Professional Progress Report

Just stopping by to update anyone who cares about my progress in becoming a professional writer/digital nomad. Someday I will be financially and location independent. For now, I remain trapped in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Alas.


Several weeks have passed since I started working on my novel again. Things have progressed well. I’ve been reading through my website archives and pulling out what I need for my narrative. It’s so much easier with the new outline I made. The new outline is allowing me to mercilessly cut out all of the extra crap that has accumulated over time. Killing my darlings has never been so easy.

It’s trucking along well. I’ve been trying to do a little bit every day. Reading my blog from the beginning can be a challenge for me sometimes. It makes me very emotional given everything that has happened since I started. I constantly find myself frustrated by the fact that I established several things up-front (ig: I’m a writer, I’m writing a memoir about my life, I struggle with depression/anxiety, I have a bad history with relationships, and I’m trying to work through my issues), yet so many people refuse to acknowledge any of this. I’m tired of intentionally being misunderstood.

It’s also clear from the early blogs what those people from Bloody Mary’s were trying to do to me. There were clearly coordinated efforts to gaslight me, bait me into reacting, and instigate arguments. It’s really pathetic and sad. It’s also glaring obvious what a sociopath the owner really is.

Ah yes, this character. This character I never planned to write, who snuck up on me out of nowhere, took over the narrative, and used everything I wrote against me. What a snake. It’s depressing to read knowing there is now an unpublishable manuscript dedicated entirely to this character and his sexy ways. It’s crazy. I still can’t believe it. So that’s something I constantly have to deal with. Fun!

The good news is, most of the stuff I wrote about him won’t be making it into the final version. The stuff that does remain doesn’t paint a very nice picture of him, mostly because he is not a very nice person. It is what it is.

I’m super nervous to meet with the agent next week, so I signed up for a pitching workshop at the conference to guide me through the most important ten minutes of my life. No pressure or anything, lol. But seriously, I can’t even think about it or I will totally fucking freak out. I don’t have Xanax to help me with panic attacks, so I’m just avoiding thoughts about it altogether.

Overall, I’m very confident in the current version. I believe in the character arc. I really think the flow of the plot makes sense now and that this character’s journey is relatable to people (mainly women) who struggle with mental health and bad relationships. I’m glad I took time away from it. It really allowed me to see the forest from the trees. Thanks again for everything, Paris Writing Workshop. I never would have made it this far without you!


As I’ve stated before, I am currently in the process of transforming my blog into a profitable business venture. It’s hard. It’s take a long time. I overthink everything and constantly compare myself to the other bloggers and influencers I’ve been studying. I’ve learned to turn the jealousy into motivation, but it can still be a struggle. The grand vision doesn’t line up with the day-to-day yet.

I’ve been developing content plans, which is good, but I’m still falling short on my posting goals. A lot of it has to do with anxiety and general feelings of worthlessness. It’s pretty common in this world to compare yourself to the false perfection promised by Instagram. I am no different. I fall victim to it every day, especially because I go out of my way to study other blogs and websites.

One thing I remind myself is that I’m just not there… yet. I will be someday, but not yet. It doesn’t happen overnight. A solid, high-quality blog takes time to build. These bloggers didn’t do it overnight either. A lot of them struggled for years and constantly moved in and out of their parents’ houses. It’s part of the journey. I can’t fault myself for generally being on the right track.

Courses & Job Hunting

I’m finally starting to make significant headway on this. There’s a lot to learn. I’m transitioning from gig-hopping in the service industry to full-time digital nomad. There’s a lot to learn in terms of practical skills. I’m exploring a lot of different options, such as digital marketing, copywriting, UX writing, and web development. I want to cover all my bases so I have more options.

I’ve worked may way through quite a few of the courses now. I’m developing more of coherent plan as I go along. I look at remote job boards every day to get some idea of what they’re looking for. My anxiety is still preventing me from actually applying, so I’m focusing all my energy on my courses for now. I think once I round out my skillset and build a solid portfolio, I will feel more confident in myself. As they say on FDS, develop the confidence of a mediocre white man.

I was seriously considering signing up for a TEFL certification course, but it’s financially out-of-reach for me at the moment. It’s always something I can do later on when I’m in a stronger financial position. It’s just not in the cards right now. That’s why I decided to focus my energy on the skills I’m learning from Udemy for $12 a course. The projected salaries for these jobs are also much higher, which is better for my champagne lifestyle.

Networking & Social Life

This is going poorly, as per usual. I tried to put myself out there with the Paris International Film Festival and managed to fall spectacularly on my face. My anxiety is high and my confidence is low. However, it’s not really about me at the end of the day. We are here to watch movies and celebrate up-and-coming filmmakers. In life, you don’t always get to walk the red carpet. Sometimes you’re just in the audience, and that’s okay too. I’m just happy to be here supporting other creatives.

I’m still lurking more than commenting in all of the Facebook groups and reddit subs I’ve joined. Every once in awhile, I pose a question. I always get good, helpful responses, whether it’s about job hunting, traveling, digital nomad life, mental health issues, or “leveling up.” Joining online communities is helping me ease back into a social life, which has been really hard for me to do.

I’ve taken a couple communications courses to help me with this ongoing issue. I’m also seeking out CBT workbooks to aid me in my quest to develop meaningful relationships with other people. I’ve never been the most popular person. After everything that happened with Bloody Mary’s, my trust in most people is gone. I’m struggling to learn how to embrace relationships instead of fear them. The pandemic doesn’t help. Neither does the crap that happened with my cousin. Alas, I remain hopeful that someday this will change for the better and I can finally host the fantastic dinner party of my dreams.


I’m back in a pretty solid routine. I wake up every day at 8am, come to the cafe, write for a few hours, and then spend the afternoon doing whatever I want. I’ve figured out a nice, comfortable way to work from home. I have a little lap desk I use in bed while wearing sweatpants. Yes, I know, I should set up my home office again and I won’t feel so scatterbrained. I’m not there yet. Besides, it’s the middle of the SD winter. It’s dark and cold and my bed is so soft and warm. I don’t want to leave it.

Mental Health

I’m fighting back against the depression and anxiety pretty hard. It’s ruined my life for so many years now. I’m tired of it. I want to be a different person now. A better person. It’s a lot of hard work. Being in this town really doesn’t help. It seems to drag me back down to where I was before in spite of my best efforts.

I’ve had a couple of minor episodes since I got back. The last few days have been particularly hard. That’s why I’m writing this progress report. I feel like I’m about to jump off a cliff, so I need to spell out everything I’m working on to remind myself that it’s a process and I’m just not there yet. Don’t give up now, Betsey! You’re almost there!

I will get there someday. I’m just not there yet. It’s a process. It takes time. It’s okay. I don’t have to justify it to anyone else. All I can do is live my truth.

PROMPT: Gas Station Casino

PROMPT: Write about an experience you’ve had at a gas station or convenience store.
Taken from 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Do you know what a gas station casino is? Neither did I, until I moved to South Dakota. Out here, gas station casinos are EVERYWHERE. I would estimate that the majority of gas stations in SD have at least one video lottery machine, if not several rooms full of them. In fact, most gas stations have an entire wing of the convenience store dedicated solely to video lottery machines. It is truly one of the weirder cultural aspects of SD as far as I, a person who grew up inside the Beltway, am concerned.

As I am not a gambler, I had no reason to ever set foot in a gas station casino. The only time I had ever been in one was during my brief stint as a gas station attendant (yes, this is a real job I once had), which required me to clean the casino. My assigned tasks were stocking the free snack bowls, vacuuming the nasty carpet, and wiping down the greasy machines. I quit this job after about a week and ran off to Colorado with my boyfriend at the time. The relationship did not work out.

I remained largely indifferent to the existence of gas station casinos until I found myself sitting in the one at “my” gas station (aka the one down the street where I frequently buy snacks, cigarettes, beer, and incense sticks) on a random Sunday afternoon. How did this happen? Well, there’s only one person in this world who could possibly convince me that setting foot in a gas station casino is a great idea. That person is none other than my good friend “Mad Dog.”

I was not planning to hang out with Mad Dog on this particular Sunday. I have no idea what I was planning to do, to be honest. I went to the gas station to buy cigarettes and saw Mad Dog’s beat up old orange bike parked outside. I did not see him when I went inside because he was not in the convenience wing of the building. I asked the gas station attendant if she had seen him and she promptly pointed to a door I’d never noticed before. Imagine my surprise when I walked through this door and discovered a whole half of a building I never knew existed before!

As I’m sure you’ve already realized, this part of the building contained the casino. There were two rooms full of video lottery machines, one smoking and one non. Mad Dog was in the smoking room, of course, chainsmoking his Mavericks and drinking a beer. He was deep in conversation with a Native lady I’d never seen before (who he claims to have dated once when he was much, much younger) and his friend “Crazy Dave.” I’d met Crazy Dave on a number of occasions prior to this. He definitely has that nickname for a reason. That’s all I’m going to say for now.

Mad Dog greeted me happily and immediately offered to buy me a beer. I had no idea that one was allowed to purchase beer from the convenience store and drink it in the casino, but apparently this is encouraged. He walked over to the convenience side, bought me a 24oz can of Bud Light, poured half of it into a plastic cup, and promptly started chain smoking again.

A few minutes later, Crazy Dave and the Native lady returned to their gambling. It was like watching a human turn into a zombie in approximately 10 seconds flat. They spent the next hour sitting at the machines while Mad Dog told me the same set of stories I’ve heard a thousand times. He apologized to me because gas station casinos “don’t have the liveliest of crowds,” which is why he prefers actual bars.

An hour later, Mad Dog went back to the store to buy another pack of cigarettes. He returned with another beer for both himself and me. This is how I ended up drunk at a gas station casino at approximately 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. I did not play on the machines (nor did Mad Dog), but we did watch several people gamble away hundreds of dollars they didn’t have.

Sometime during the second beer, a super trashy white lady and an old Native guy appeared in the casino. The Native guy and Mad Dog chatted for awhile while the lady played the machines, then they switched places. The lady sat down with us at the table, lit up a cigarette, and proceeded to start talking about Donald Trump. She goes on and on for about 20 minutes before returning to the video lottery. The room was silent again. Mad Dog got bored.

“Well, do you wanna finish that beer and head over to Cleo’s?” he asked. “There should be a much livelier crowd in there.”

Before I could respond, he dumped the rest of my beer into the plastic cup and handed it to me. He did the same for his and started for the door. The gas station attendant smiled and waved at us as we left. Both of us walked out of the gas station with open containers in hand. Mad Dog made me carry his down the street to Bloody Mary’s while he rode his bike. He parked his bike and went inside for a drink, leaving me outside with both cups. I sat on the bench outside and finished mine. After about 20 minutes, Mad Dog reappeared and finished his cup. Then we walked around the corner to Cleo’s, only to discover it was closed. The day ended with him returning to Bloody Mary’s and me wandering back to my apartment.

It wasn’t an eventful nor exciting day by any means. In fact, overall it was rather dull, especially for a “drinking with Mad Dog” situation. However, it is the story of the one time I randomly got drunk in a gas station casino, and that’s what makes it interesting.

The End


Once upon a time, Bloody Mary’s Bar was owned by a woman. This woman is the most badass motherfucker in all of the bar’s history. This is the completely made-up version of her life story, as told by a writer who totally embarrassed herself after waiting years to finally meet this person.

EXT: Outer Space. A lone spaceship hurdles towards Earth at an alarmingly fast speed. It enters the Earth’s atmosphere and heads straight for South Dakota. The subsequent montage of scenes unfold as the Narrator describes them.

Narrator: A long time ago, in a galaxy not-so-far away, an alien baby was sent to Earth to collect data on human beings. A little girl named Lisa saw the bright lights in the sky and watched in awe as the mysterious unidentified object in the sky crash landed in a field near her house. Letting her curiosity get the better of her, Lisa wandered out into the field to investigate. There she discovered the wrecked space ship with a tiny baby inside. She took the baby home to her family, who adopted him and raised him as one of their own. From that day on, the alien vowed to someday return the favor.

Thirty-some odd years later…

A white Cadillac with chromed-out spinners on the wheels speeds down a dirt road towards an abandoned farmhouse. Three men in cowboy hats stand outside waiting. The Cadillac pulls up in front of them. Out steps a young woman dressed in all black carrying a suitcase. She flips her hair back as she adjusts her designer sunglasses. She opens the suitcase to reveal the cash inside.

Lisa: Is that enough for you boys?

The men look at each other and shrug.

Man 1: It’s more than enough. Unfortunately, you are a woman. Therefore, you will never be good enough to run Bloody Mary’s Bar.

Man 2: Why don’t you just get married and have babies like a real woman is supposed to do?

Man 3: Yeah!

Lisa: What the hell? I thought we had a deal! You said you respected me as an equal! Why are you backing out now?

Man 1: Well, we talked it over with a bunch of other men and all of us agree we’re scared of women with power and influence, especially you.

Man 2: The thing is… Bloody Mary’s is a working man’s bar. If we sell it to you, you’ll destroy the integrity of it for future generations to come. That’s why we can’t sell you the bar. We just don’t trust a woman to run it. You might let your crazy, irrational lady emotions and stuff get in the way.

Lisa: Wow. What a bunch of bullshit!

All three men suddenly pull guns on Lisa. She gasps in horror as she realizes she’s been betrayed.

Man 1: We’re sorry, but we can’t sell you the bar.

Man 2: We still want the money though. That’s why we lured you out here to an abandoned farmhouse where no one will hear you scream.

Man 3: Now you will die.

Dramatic music plays as the men start to close in on Lisa. Luckily, right at that moment, the alien appears to save the day. He jumps out of the trunk of the car and shoots each man in the head. Lisa grabs the suitcase full of money and gets in the passenger seat of the car. The alien throws a timed explosive device at the farmhouse and jumps into the driver’s seat. He puts it in reverse, does a donut, and takes off at full speed. They are less than a mile away from the farmhouse when in explodes into flames. Lisa clutches the suitcase to her chest and takes a deep breath as they make their escape.

Lisa: Thanks for rescuing me, Owl. I shouldn’t have come out here alone. I’m glad you showed away in the back to make sure I was safe.

The Owl: Anytime, sis. It’s the least I could do considering the fact that you saved my life once too.

Lisa: But the bar! What are we going to do about the bar?

The Owl: It’s already taken care of.

The Owl points to the glovebox. Lisa opens it and takes out a stack of documents. Everything appears to be in order. All she has to do is sign.

Lisa: Where did you get these?!

The Owl: I have my ways. And don’t worry about the murders. We’ve already taken care of those too.

Lisa smiles at him gratefully as they drive off into the sunset. Three weeks later, the body of the bar’s previous owner is found in a canyon somewhere out in Colorado, half-eaten by wolves. To this day, they’re still don’t know if it was a murder or a suicide.

The End

STORY: Place Your Bets

One not so special afternoon, Sam and The Line of Death are all huddled around the end of the bar pouring over pages of stats. Betsey is sitting on the opposite side of the bar watching them with mild interest.

In spite of her better judgment, her curiosity ultimately gets the better of her. She wanders over to the opposite side of the room where all of them are sitting and takes a seat beside Jaimie. All of the old men turn around and look at her suspiciously.

“What’s up, guys?” Betsey asks pleasantly. “I thought I’d stop being anti-social for once and come join the party.”

The Line of Death continues to glare at her in silence. Betsey flips her hair back and smiles cheerfully, determined to make herself some new friends.

“What are you guys working on so diligently over here?”

“It’s stats,” Sam says quickly, holding up a sheet with multiple rows and columns. “For baseball.”

Betsey looks at the sheet of paper and rolls her eyes with disinterest.

“Numbers,” she grumbles. “I’m not so good at those. I’m much better with words, as I’m sure you all have noticed. I still like baseball anyway, especially with the amount of hot beefcakes out there playing the field.”

Sam scoffs and tosses his head back. The expression on his face is that of pure jealousy.

Beefcakes,” he mutters under his breath. “I’ll show you a hot beefcake…”


Sam snaps his head back to attention.


Betsey shakes her head and turns back to the Line of Death. Their ice cold stares are unwavering.

“So…” she asks casually, “Are you guys taking bets, or what?”

“It’s a one hundred dollar buy-in,” Howard suddenly pipes up. He is short, bald man with a loud, raucous, unforgettable laugh. “We’re betting on whose going to win the game on that TV right over there.”

Betsey turns around and looks at the TV he is pointing to. Then she shrugs to herself and takes out her wallet.

“I’ll give you ten dollars,” she says, slapping her money on the counter. “I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do.”

“You can’t join the game if you can’t afford the buy-in,” Harold says very matter-of-factly. He is a tall, skinny man with a penchant for Hawaiian shirts. He pushes up his glasses and clears his throat. “No buy-in, no bets.”

Sam looks back and forth between the group of cranky old men and the spirited young woman who doesn’t quite seem to understand her place. He suddenly sees a major opportunity sitting right in front of him.

“I can always lend you the money for the buy-in,” Sam says casually. He takes out a roll of cash from his pocket and waves it in Betsey’s face. She looks down at it and raises her eyebrow. She too can suddenly see the obvious opportunity there.

“I’m not in the business of borrowing money,” she says, looking back up at Sam. “But I’d be more than happy to work for it.”

“And just what to do you plan to do to earn it?” he asks.

“Whatever you want me to do.”

Sam puts his hands on the counter and leans in closer to her. He looks her up and down with a sneaky little smirk on his face. Betsey sits up straight and leans in too. When their eyes meet, everyone can feel the heat of the spark passing between them. Howard and Harold roll their eyes as Jaimie shifts in his chair uncomfortably.

“In that case, you can meet me in my office later for a private meeting,” Sam says. “We can discuss your future at the company. Perhaps work out some kind of mutually beneficial arrangement?”

“A private meeting, huh? I think I like the sound of that.”

“And I think you’re really gonna like working for me.”

“Is that so?”

“It is. You’ll find that my employees always get treated very well around here. Especially when they behave themselves, listen carefully, and obey all of my orders. Do you understand me?”

“Whatever you say, Boss,” Betsey says in her most flirtatious voice.

“That’s what I like to hear.”

Sam’s eyes sparkle down at her. She is just about to respond when Howard clears his throat loudly.

“Can we can get back to the game, please?” he asks in his grumpiest voice.

Betsey looks back at the Line of Death as Harold holds out his hand expectantly.

“Your buy-in, please.”

Sam takes a wad of cash from the money clip and slaps it down on the counter. He looks back at Betsey with a devilish grin on his face. Harold takes the money and puts it in a little bag. Howard makes a quick note on the spreadsheet.

“Team, please.”

Betsey turns around and looks up at the TV. She thinks about it for just a moment before deciding to go with her gut instinct.

“The blue one,” she says confidently.

All of the men around her look at each other and immediately burst out laughing. Sam shakes his head and chuckles softly at her.

“But they’re the worst team in the league!” Jaimie exclaims. “They haven’t won a single game all season!”

“Something tells me their luck is about to change.”

Jaimie folds his arms and looks at Betsey in disgust.

“Look, you can do whatever you want. You have the right to lose. I’m just saying they’re not going to win. It’s statistically impossible. All of us have been pouring over this stuff for years. None of us placed their bets on them. You’re making a big mistake if that’s what your decision is. Sam’s gonna be out a lot of money now because of you.”

“It’s not that much money,” Sam says calmly, watching the exchange with amusement.

“I don’t care about a bunch of spreadsheets,” Betsey snaps. “My gut instinct tells me they’re going to win.”

“Final answer?” Howard asks.

“Final answer.”

The Line of Death chatter quietly among themselves as Howard writes down the bet. Everyone takes a shot a LeRoux to seal the deal and promptly return to watching the game.

Sometime in the bottom of the ninth, a rookie wild card batter hits a home run with all the bases loaded. The four-point run immediately puts them in the lead. The opposing team has no chance to win their lead back.

The Line of Death stare at the TV in shock as the crowd goes wild and the team rushes the field to celebrate their first win of the season. They slowly turn their chairs to see Betsey’s reaction. Much to the their chagrin, she isn’t even watching the game at all. She is simply there writing in her notebook, lost in her own little world. Sam chuckles at the sight as he stands there on one leg and takes it all in.

“Your team won,” Howard says loudly.

Betsey looks up from her notebook and looks around the room in confusion.

“What team?” she asks obliviously, as if she has already forgotten the exchange from just a few hours prior.

“The team you bet on,” Sam reminds her. “The one we all said was going to lose.”

“Oh!” Betsey sits up and smiles in surprise. “See? I told you their luck was about to change! So how much did I win?”

Sam takes the envelope from Harold and counts the cash inside. He sets aside two hundred dollars for himself and hands the rest to Betsey.

“Looks like a thousand dollars,” he says pleasantly. “Congratulations.”

“Wow!” Betsey says, looking down at the envelope in delight. “It’s been such a long time since I’ve had this much money to my name. I think I’m going to go get my nails done to celebrate!”

She promptly stands up and shoves her notebook back into her bag. She motions for Sam to pour them all another shot of LeRoux and raises her glass high above her head.

“Nice doing business with you, boys!” Betsey says cheerfully, slamming down the shot and skipping out of the bar. “See you all tomorrow!”

The Line of Death glares after her as the front door slowly closes behind her.

“She can’t do that!” says one. “That’s unfair!”

“Yeah! She swindled us!” says another. “She must have had some kind of information beforehand that we didn’t.”

“We’ve been robbed!” says the third.

Sam shakes his head and rolls his eyes.

“A bet’s a bet,” he says. “She won that money fair and square. Besides, she’s a penniless Writer Extraordinaire. She doesn’t have a steady cash flow like we do. Just let her go out and enjoy herself for once.”

All of the old men grumble and go back to their spreadsheets, annoyed that they’ve been bested by a woman once again.

The End

SCRIPT: Commercial Break

Everyone is sitting at Bloody Mary’s Bar minding their own business, except for Betsey. Suddenly, she looks up from her notebook and right into the camera at the audience.

Betsey: We interrupt this episode of Betsey at the Bar to bring you a special message from our sponsors.

The scene changes to a shot of Andrew lounging on his couch watching tv in a PBR t-shirt and a ratty old pair of basketball shorts. His hair is messy and sticking out from the side of his head. Lying on the couch next to him a cute little golden retriever puppy named Sam.

Andrew: Hey Sam-Sam! Do you want a treat?

Sam jumps off the couch and wags his tail enthusiastically.

Andrew: Can you do the special trick I taught you? Can you go get Daddy a beer?

Sam barks enthusiastically and runs out of the room. The camera follows him into the kitchen, where he opens the door to the refrigerator and picks up a pounder of PBR with his mouth. He shuts the door again and carries it back into the living room where Andrew is sitting.

Andrew: Good boy, Sam-Sam! You get a treat!

Andrew takes the beer, tosses Sam a piece of peanut-butter flavored bacon, and smiles at the camera.

Andrew: It’s PBR, the Official Sponsor of Bloody Mary’s Bar!

Sam: Bark bark!

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to an old gas station where Teen Angel is fixing up a car. He is covered in grease and dirt. After working steadily-but-unsuccessfully for a long time, he sighs heavily, puts down his tools, and walks over to a mini-cooler nearby. He pulls out a bottle of Miller High Life, pops the cap, and looks at the camera.

Teen Angel: Miller High Life. The only REAL beer for REAL, hardworking, American men like me.

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to a 1950’s-style suburban kitchen with a cute little brunette housewife setting the table for dinner. She is wearing a nice dress, a frilly apron, and high heels. Her hair is perfectly done up and she has on a full face of makeup. Duke comes home wearing a suit and tie. He hangs his hat up by the door and walks into the kitchen.

Duke: Honey, I’m home!

Duke’s Wife: You’re just in time for dinner, darling. I made your favourite: meat and potatoes with a can of Schlitz on the side.

Duke: Where are the children?

Duke’s Wife: They’re already in bed. I know how you feel about children, honey. They should be neither seen nor heard. That’s why I wanted it to be just us for tonight. I even bought a brand new set of lingerie.

Duke takes the beer and sits down the table. He takes a sip of his Schlitz and smiles happily.

Duke: Ahh, this is the life for me.

Suddenly, he hears somebody calling his name off in the distance. The scene goes blurry as Duke’s daydream dissipates into reality. He finds himself standing in a modern-day suburban kitchen wearing a frilly pink apron. The children are screaming loudly and running around everywhere. He looks down at the pan in front of him and realizes it’s on fire. Suddenly, his wife appears behind him wearing a designer pant suit.

Duke’s Wife: Let me guess. You burned our dinner. Again.

Duke: I’m sorry. It was an accident!

Duke’s Wife: Here I am, out there in the world, working hard, slaving away all day so we can have a good life, and you can’t even have dinner ready when I come home?! What good are you?!

Duke rolls his eyes and goes to the refrigerator to get a can of Schlitz. He raises it up in an imaginary toast as his wife stands there staring at him in utter disbelief.

Duke: Don’t worry, darling. I didn’t burn the beer!

The commercial ends.

The scene changes to Betsey sitting in the bar with a glass of champagne and her notebook. She pours one out for Dubs and orders a Miller High Life instead. Teen Angel serves it to her with a smile on his face. Betsey looks at the camera and winks.

Betsey: I don’t always drink champagne, by when I do, I drink the Champagne of Beers.

Teen Angel: That’s what I’m saying!

The commercial ends.

Betsey: And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Betsey returns to writing in her notebook while her characters return to tending after the bar.

The End

STORY: The Legend of Chico

One not-so-ordinary day, I was sitting at Bloody Mary’s Bar talking to Mad Dog when suddenly, he mentioned a character by the name of Chico.

“Wait, wait,” I said, lifting my hand to interrupt him. “Stop right there. Who the hell is Chico?”

Mad Dog looked at me with one eyebrow raised.

“You wanna know about Chico?” he asked slowly. “I’ll tell you about Chico. Chico used to be the Owner of Bloody Mary’s Bar.”

“What?!” I exclaimed. “Really?”

“That’s right,” Mad Dog said. “Chico was one of the shadiest guys in town. He was Greek. You know how Greeks are. They’re like Jews. They’re nothing by liars and thieves.”

I let out a heavy sigh and gave Mad Dog a Look.

“Can we please refrain from making offensive generalizations about different ethnicities and perpetuating racist stereotypes?”

Mad Dog looked at me as if I had just spoken to him in a foreign language. He looked my face over carefully.

“Yeah, now I see it,” he said. “You got a little bit of something in you. Are you Jewish or are you Greek?”

“I’m a Citizen of the World,” I said proudly. “I’ve got a little bit of everyone in me.”

Mad Dog shook his head and rolled his eyes.

“Anyway,” he said. “About Chico. He was one shady guy. Not the kind of person you want to mess around with. One thing’s for certain, though. He sure did know how to get the job done.”

I opened up my notebook and started taking notes immediately. Mad Dog looked off into the distance nostalgically and began telling me the story.

“It was bar against bar. A race to the top. Chico screwed over a lot of people to get there. A lot of people were after him. He owed money all around town. He owed so much money, they even put a price on his head. There were Wanted Posters everywhere. Then one day, Chico disappeared. Just up and left town without telling a soul. No one knew where he was. There were plenty of theories, of course. Most people say he’s still hiding out back home in Greece. Anyway, a couple of months later, Chico was found dead in a canyon somewhere in Colorado, half-eaten by wolves. No one knows if it was a murder or a suicide.”

Mad Dog paused as if to say “The End.” I stared at him wide-eyed for some time before I finally managed to snap out of it.

“That’s it?” I asked.

“That’s it.”

I stared at him with my mouth wide open.

“You’re telling me the Former Owner of Bloody Mary’s Bar was found dead in a random canyon somewhere half-eaten by wolves?”

Mad Dog nodded.

“That’s right,” he said again.

I shook my head in disbelief.

“Seven years!” I exclaimed. “Seven years I’ve lived here and nobody ever told me this story? You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!”

Mad Dog looked over at me and smiled.

“You really are a writer, aren’t you?” he asked.

“Of course I am,” I said. “Why else would I follow you around?”

He smiled at me again.

“So,” I said. “Who do I have to talk to around here to find out more about this Chico character?”

“Oh,” Mad Dog said, shaking his head. “You don’t just go around asking questions about Chico. Nobody in this town is going to talk to you about Chico.”

“But I thought you said Chico was dead.”

“It doesn’t matter!” he snapped. “You can’t just go around asking questions about Chico.”

“Okay,” I said. “But I’m just letting you know right now, the next time I come back here, I’m going to start asking questions about Chico.”

“Good luck,” said Mad Dog. “No one in this town in going to talk to you about Chico.”

The next time I went to Bloody Mary’s Bar, I decided to start asking questions about Chico.

“So…” I said pleasantly, cozying up to the Line of Death after another successful round of Jeopardy. “Did any of you guys ever know a character by the name of Chico?”

All of the old men in the room gave me the same look at once.

“Who wants to know?” one of them asked suspiciously.

“Oh, I’m just a writer,” I said. “I like to write about Bloody Mary’s Bar. I heard a story about Chico and I thought he sounded like an interesting character. It’s not every day you hear a story about someone who was found dead in a canyon somewhere half-eaten by wolves. I’m interested in hearing the rest of the story.”

All of the old men glared at me again.

“Oh, you’re a writer huh?” another asked. “Sounds more like a Troublemaker to me.”

“Yeah,” said another. “What makes you think you can just come in here and start asking questions about Chico?”

“Sounds to me like you need to learn how to mind your own business,” chimed in the last.

I was caught off-guard by their reaction. I had no idea it was such a big deal to start asking questions about Chico.

“I’m sorry,” I said politely. “I was under the impression that Chico was deceased.”

“I don’t know about that,” said PJ. “If there was ever a person I knew in my life who would fake his own death to get out of some trouble he was in, it was Chico.”

“You knew Chico?” I asked with a dazzled look in my eyes.

“Oh yes,” he said. “Many years ago. He was very good to me. He always treated me fair. I was sad to see him go. Then again, you never know. I went to the funeral. They never opened the coffin. I still like to think he’s over in Greece with his family, relaxing on a beach somewhere eating a delicious gyro.”

I smiled at him.

“I think that’s how I prefer the story to end,” I said.

“Me too,” said PJ.

All of us sat together in silence for a minute. Finally, PJ went back to the bar and I went back back to Mad Dog.

“See?” said Mad Dog. “I told you. Nobody in this town is going to say a goddamn word to you about Chico.”

The End

Overheard at Bloody Mary’s Bar

One of my favourite things about being a writer is my collection of quotes. I have been collecting them since I was in high school. The following is a collection of quotes taken from my favourite bar, Bloody Mary’s. I have mined them from several notebooks I’ve used over the last three years. Some are attributed, while others are not. I hope you enjoy the show!

Mad Dog: This place sucks. Let’s go to Cleo’s.
Me: Ugh, why on Earth would anyone ever want to go to Cleo’s?
Mad Dog: The beer here is too expensive.
Me: It’s not expensive compared to a city. Besides, you’re not paying for the beer. You’re paying for the Bloody Mary’s Bar Experience™.
Mad Dog: What’s that? Sitting at the bar alone while everyone else in the room judges you?
Me: I see what you’re saying, but why sit at the bar when you can go outside and sit on the patio?
Mad Dog: You got on me on that one right there.

“What is it? The 1800’s?”
“Well, it is South Dakota.”

“Are you finished?”
“Yeah, I’m Finnish. Just kidding! I’m Polish.”

“He’s the Cornelius Vanderbilt of Social Security.”
“What does that even mean?”

“I keep my house emasculate.”

“If you’re seen slow dancin’ with him, it’ll ruin your reputation.”

“My couch may pull out, but I don’t.”

“I took so many pictures last night, I had to delete some apps to make room for them all.”

“I gave up Catholicism for Lent… five years ago.”

“Do you think we’ll ever make it back out to the Hills alive?”
“You two sound like a couple of old cowboys.”
“We are a couple of old cowboys.”

Mad Dog: Let me tell you a story about that guy sitting right over there. That guy was hired to kill me. He tried everything. He even tried to run me over with his car. Finally, he realized, he can’t kill me. I’m invincible.

Mad Dog: Andrew used to be a fun guy. Always surrounded by women! Women everywhere! He was nice until he became–
Andrew: A Capitalist?

“Sioux Falls is like a suburb without a city.”

Mad Dog: In a few years, you can retire. Upgrade to Executive Level. Become a traveling bartender. You know… Ski Slope Mama.
Andrew: Ski Slope Mama???

Mad Dog: [points to my phone] Can you find me a list of everyone who’s currently in jail?

“George W. Bush definitely has Jedi Powers. Did you see him dodge those shoes? Normal people can’t do that.”

Andrew: I went to Prom Dinner at Al’s Oasis.
Me: You went to Prom Dinner at The Taxidermy Capital of the World?!
Andrew: What? It’s a nice place. It’s the nicest place in town!
Me: [horrified stare]

“You’re not a real Catholic until you’ve had an exorcism.”

“It’s always been one of my dreams to pop an eye out.”

“I would never never teach Sylvia Plath, just because I would never want to be implicated in someone’s suicide.”

“The other day I was just driving along and everything was so idyllic, you know? And then I thought… I might die here.”

“I’m not gay, but I’ve got a huge guy crush on Steve McQueen!”

“I worked in a slaughter house once. I lasted a day. Not because I was against it, but because it was too far away.”

Tattoo Guy: There’s nobody real in this bar tonight. Everyone is just an actor playing their part on the stage of life. It’s all so fake and meaningless.
Me: Wow, TG, that’s actually really deep and insightful. I’m totally going to write that one down in my notebook.

Me: Oh, like Fixer-Upper?
Andrew’s Mom: More like… Burner-Downer!

“He’s ex-military.”
“Oh, so it’s his job to be an asshole.”
“Yeah, old ex-military is the worst.”

“It’s hot. I’m hungry. They’re 18. Let’s go.”

Me: [barging into Bloody Mary’s right at opening] Is there something going on here that I should know about?!
PJ: Uhh… there’s an employee meeting at five?

“Oh, you made multiple mistakes tonight? Welcome to Bloody Mary’s Bar.”

“Here, you smoke this while I go get a drink.”

“It’s not a real 21st birthday if you don’t end up in a jail cell.”

“They call him Smoke Manning.”

“It’s not Betsey. I would have heard her.”

“I literally have a Masters degree in figuring people out and I don’t understand what’s going on with men.”

Some Rando Who Just Got Out of Jail: This town is bizarre. It’s like I’m trapped in some kind of movie.

“I looked out my window and it was like a time warp.”

“I thought it’d be a dirty old cattle town, but it was actually a nice, clean place.”

“They call him Shithouse Dan. He’s from Texas. We wrote a song about him.”

Townie: [to Andrew] You’re better in real life.

Me: Owl, when did we find out who Edward Snowden was?
Owl: June 5th, 2013. Wait, who is we? Do you mean me, or everybody else?

Mad Dog: Did you get married?
Townie: Yes.
Mad Dog: [shakes his head and rolls his eyes] Another Idiot.
[All the married men in the room laugh. Andrew laughs the loudest.]

“My only plan in life is not to have a plan.”

“Smokin’ dope and runnin’ porn.”
“Sounds like the life.”

Mad Dog: Why aren’t you out there stealing Trump signs? That’s where all the money is!

“Can I get you something?”
“A new life.”

“I’m gonna squeeze it like it’s a chicken’s neck.”

“I don’t want to pee or piss all over your place of business.”

“So you’re mad at me because I have too many opinions?”

[introducing me to someone new]
“This is the woman who owns my soul.”

“With all the money I handle, I probably have the immune system of a cockroach.”

“Sorry I’m not all smiles today!”

“What’s the matter? Why do you have that look on your face? Haven’t you ever smoked weed out of a giant plastic bag before?”

“I love Star Wars!”
“Who doesn’t? [long pause] Fascists.”

“I don’t necessarily have the nicest wiener.”

“I don’t think you realize that when a jackal gets hungry, it eats.”

“I’m not saying you’re my Rosaline. You might be Juliet!”

“I’m immune to the charms of most men.”

“This song really pushes the boundaries of what it means to be music.”

Me: [comes in a cowboy-like getup]
Bartender: Why are you dressed like that?
Me: This is how South Dakota people dress.
Bartender: I’ve never seen a South Dakotan dressed like that.

“You ever look at people and think, wow, drugs are bad? Well, these are the kind of people you look at and think, wow, drugs are magic!”

“I feel like we all have pieces of the same story.”

Artist Kid: [comes in wearing a vintage leather jacket] On a scale of 1-10, how Kyle is this jacket?

“And then the evil villain mastermind sent his henchmen to spy on me.”

“My stripper name is Diamond.”

Mad Dog: [randomly, out of nowhere] Have you ever met the Hershey’s Chocolate Family?
Me: What?
Mad Dog: Hershey’s… like the chocolate.
Me: What?
Mad Dog: They’re from Germany.

Mad Dog: [talking and talking] You got all this down?

Me: I’m hungry.
Date for the Evening: Me too.
Me: Let’s go get R-Pi.
Date: No way. Can’t do it. [long and calculating pause] That would absolutely destroy my calorie count for the day.

“There’s an awful lot of ass-fucking going on around here.”
“Well, it is South Dakota.”

Mad Dog: Every day is Halloween.

“My mother always used to say that if you gotta go, you say you gotta water the lilies.”

Me: I’m gonna go watch Andrew paint the awning.
Mad Dog: Me too! I hope he’s wearing his tight little shorts.
Me: [excitedly] Me too!

“Haven’t you ever gotten naked and rolled around in paint before?”

“He lived in his house for eight years and only cleaned his bathroom once. He is The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Mad Dog: Andrew, you’re the only person in this world that I like.

Mad Dog: Garden Gnomes are my favourite animal.

“I made a beer bong out of a flamingo lawn ornament in college. We called it The Flabongo.”

Mad Dog: You know the only reason why I like baseball?
Me: Why?
Mad Dog: Because it was the only thing they let us watch in study hall.

“Take your work seriously, but not your life.”

“I’m not thinking right now. I’m just talking.”

“Winter is for getting drunk and pissing all over yourself.”

“Sorry I wasn’t smiling at 7am!”

“I’m not really a joke person. I’m more like an anecdote kind of person.”

“Do you live out in the country?”
“No, I live on Jefferson Street.”

“You know you’ve hit a low point in life when you’re getting into a fistfight over a 30-pack of Keystone Light.”

“I’ll have a water with no ice, please.”

Rando from SoMD: I hope you put Southern Maryland on the map.
Me: Be careful what you wish for.

“Welcome to Bloody Mary’s International. The Owl is flying. Jester can check the luggage. He’s not allowed near the bar anymore after mixing this terrible drink.”

“You’re just like my pinky toe. You’re cute and little and I’m probably going to bang you on the table later tonight.”

Mad Dog: [catches me sitting on the bench outside of Bloody Mary’s] Well, well, well… look who I found sitting out on the streets of Paris.

“All I know about the Illuminati is that they’re on the dollar bill.”

“Oh my god! There’s not enough brains in all three of them to make one!”

“I’m sure I’ll see you all much sooner than I want to.”

“I worked at that gas station before it was a Casey’s.”

“I’ll have the cheapest beer you have.”

Me: I was actually supposed to meet somebody important here tonight.
Mad Dog: Was it me? I’m the only person who’s important here.

Me: That was fun.
Mad Dog: Not as fun as watching a sunset.

Mad Dog: Hey Andrew! Are you ready to go to the strip club now?
Andrew: [dead serious] Yes.

Mad Dog: And that was the first time I saw a really nice set of titties.
Me: The End.

SCRIPT: The Mural On The Wall

Betsey is sitting out on the patio of Bloody Mary’s writing in her notebook. Suddenly, a group of men come along and start getting ideas.

Andrew: I’m thinking about painting a mural right here. I have a vision in my head.

Guys: Tell us, Andrew! You’re soooooooo Great. We love you soooooo much!

Andrew: Thank you, thank you. What can I say? I am a pretty Great guy.

Guys: Tell us your vision, Andrew!

Andrew: It should be a mural of a Sexy Serving Slut!

Guys: That’s a Great idea, Andrew! Wow, you’re sooooooo Great.

Betsey: Seriously?

Andrew: She can be serving PBR! I can get the company to pay for it. I’m all about that corporate sponsorship. I get to take a little bit off the top for myself.

Betsey: Is that how you do it?

Andrew: Yes.

Guys: We don’t even care! We live to serve you, Andrew! We think you’re sooooooo Great. We all just want to be you.

Andrew: Thank you, thank you.

Betsey: Wait a second. You’re telling me you want to paint a mural of a beautiful woman serving drinks on that wall?

All the guys get hearts in their eyes and boners in their pants. They sigh dreamily together.

Guys: Yes…

Betsey: Umm… I mean… there aren’t really a whole lot of women who work here, so. Yeah. That’s not really an accurate depiction of what’s going on here. If anyone’s a Sexy Serving Slut, it’s Andrew. He can be the model!

Andrew: [shyly] You really think so?

Betsey: I know so.

Andrew: Well, thank you, but I don’t know if I have time to pose for a mural. I’m just so busy being Great all the time.

Betsey: That’s okay. You can just get Teen Angel to do it.

Teen Angel: [stands up and pumps his fist in the air] Yes!!!

Betsey: [singing softly] Started from the bottom, now we here

Teen Angel: That’s what I’m saying!

Andrew: Okay, well let’s get this local artist who specializes in painting signs to do it.

The Artist comes in for a consultation. He leers at Betsey and asks him to model for her. She goes to his studio and discovers he is a creepy, predatory, perverted individual who likes 13 year old girls. His wife is in on the whole thing.

The Artist makes Betsey like a cheap whore. She leaves his studio and never goes back ever again. She comes to Bloody Mary’s and drinks for the rest of the day. She gives the dirty money to PJ just because she doesn’t want it in her hands.

Betsey suddenly realizes she drove out to this man’s farm out in the middle of nowhere all alone. Mad Dog says he should have gone with her. She feels sick to her stomach. Who knows what could have happened to her out there?

The Artist and Andrew sit down together for the consultation.

Andrew: This is my vision.

The Artist sketches Andrew’s vision right in front of his eyes. He is amazed and inspired.

Andrew: That looks Great! That’s exactly what I want!

The Artist: Okay, I can do that. That’ll cost you $1500.

Andrew: What?! Are you fucking kidding me? No way!

The Artist: I can do a smaller, less elaborate sign for less.

Andrew: What if it was just the PBR logo?

The Artist: It’s still going to cost you a lot. I’m a specialist. My time and talents are valuable.

Andrew: Okay, let me think about it.

The Artist leaves. Betsey writes a note to Andrew explaining what happened to her. He gets really upset and they get into a huge argument in the middle of the bar on Friday afternoon.

Andrew: You’re too opinionated! Why can’t you just keep your mouth shut?

Betsey: You don’t understand! That’s not who I am! That’s not where I’m from! I’m from Washington, D.C. There was a terrorist attack there when I was 13 years old! My Family knew people who died! I saw the ruins two days after it happened! If you see something, you say something. People’s lives are at stake here, Andrew! I can’t just not say something!

Andrew: I have feelings for you.

Betsey: What?

Andrew: I have feelings for you. I’m married.

Betsey: I have feelings for you. You’re married.

Andrew: What do we do now?

Betsey: I don’t know.

Betsey leaves and tries to avoid him for awhile. It doesn’t work. It only makes everything worse. She comes back to the bar when he’s not there. She is still extremely bothered by the sign issue. She looks around the patio and has a sudden realization. She walks up to Andrew and taps him on the shoulder.

Andrew: What?

Betsey: About the sign…

Andrew: Yes?

Betsey: Why don’t you just take the one hanging above the awning and hang it up on the wall? What’s it doing all the way up there anyway? No one can really see it. It should be hanging on the wall.

Andrew mouth drops wide open. He stands there looking at her in shock.

Betsey: You never even thought of that, did you?

Andrew: No.

Betsey: [shakes her head in disbelief] This is why you need more women around the place.

Andrew: I know.

Betsey: I just saved you $1500 and needless association with a creepy pervert. What are you going to do now?

Andrew: I’m going to Disney World!

The End

STORY: A Breath of Fresh Air

I look up from my notebook just in time to notice the little green snake slithering toward me.

“My, my, haven’t we been working hard today?”

“So it would seem. I am a professional writer, you know. I don’t have time to just sit around all day. I’m very busy and important.”

“You’ve been working all day. Why not take a break? Relax out on my patio? Have a drink?”

“You just want me to write another story about you. That’s hardly a break.”

“I disagree,” hisses the snake. “Writing about me is a far more relaxing experience than writing about a bunch of silly old prostitutes.”

“They’re not silly,” I say. “Don’t diminish them just because you disagree with what they do. You’re not so different from one yourself. And writing about you is nowhere near as relaxing as you think. It’s actually quite stressful.”

The snake looks into my eyes hypnotically.

“Write me a story, Betsey. Please?”

“Well…” I hesitate at first, but I cannot resist him for long. “All right, if you really want one, I suppose I have just the story to satiate you. It’s about a sexy snake who lures an unsuspecting writer into his nest.”

“Sounds spectacular,” says the snake, slithering off the desk. He transforms into a handsome, young Emperor with beautiful blue eyes sitting cross-legged on the floor.

“You may tell it to me now,” he says with some authority in his voice.

“Whatever you say, Your Majesty.”

I drape myself comfortably across the chair and begin to pen the tale.


One afternoon, I was seated comfortably on the bench outside of Bloody Mary’s Bar. The wi-fi in my apartment had recently gone out, so I decided to steal it from my favourite and most-frequented bar instead. I figured I’d spent enough money there over the years to justify it.

Unfortunately, right at the moment, I looked up from my phone to see the handsome, young owner heading straight for me. Just my luck. He caught me stealing his internet from him… again.

“Hey Betsey,” he said with that sneaky smile on his face. “What are you up to today?”

“Oh nothing,” I said. “Nothing at all. I definitely wasn’t sitting here stealing your internet, if that’s what you mean.”

“Why don’t you come inside?” he asked. “Take a break. Relax on the patio. Have a drink.”

I looked him up and down once before my eyes finally settled on his left ring finger. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks again.

“No thanks,” I said. “I’ve got other plans today.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, once again catching my gaze in his. I could feel his beautiful blue eyes hypnotizing me. He gave me a winning smile as he opened the door. He closed his eyes as the cool blast of A/C hit his face. He ran his fingers through his hair and shook his mane out in the breeze. He stood there for just a moment, posing for me as if he were a model. I even noticed him lift the corner of his shirt up just a little bit.

“It sure is hot outside,” he said seductively. “You sure you don’t want to cool down with something refreshing to drink?”

I covered up my gaping mouth just in time to catch the drool.

“Uhhh…” I stumbled over myself searching for words. “Well… I guess… when you put it that way… how much could one look really hurt? I mean drink. One drink. Yeah. That’s right. I’m an alcoholic and I come here to drink.”

Andrew held the door open for me with a wide smile on his face. It wasn’t until much later that I realized I had been robbed completely blind. The worst part was, I didn’t even care. As far as I could tell, it was worth every penny.


The Emperor smiles at me and claps his hands.

“That was a good one,” he says.

“Thank you,” I reply. “I wrote it just for you.”

“Just for me?”

“Just for you.”

“But why?” he asks softly.

“Because,” I say, once again stealing a line from our mutual friend, “You’re the only person in this world that I like.”

“Thank you,” he says.

“You’re welcome.”

The End

SCRIPT: The Island of Lost Guys

On today’s episode of Island Hunters…

BETSEY: Hi! My name is Betsey! I’m a Writer Extraordinaire from Washington D.C. I’m looking to purchase an island in Belize where all of my Lost Guys can live.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: What are you looking for in an Island Paradise?

BETSEY: When I think of the Island of Lost Guys, I think of space. Lots of space. I want them to be comfortable, you know? I see a nice big beach house with a pool and a dock for a boat. I definitely want trees so they can hang up their hammocks, and a huge dining room/chef’s kitchen so they have somewhere to eat. I won’t be cooking for them, of course. I plan to hire somebody for that.

As far as bedrooms goes, they’re boys so they can bunk up if necessary. I’m thinking maybe 10 bedrooms, 15 at the most. As many bathrooms as possible, because they are men, and men are just… disgusting. I fully plan on providing 24-hour on-site staff to clean up after them. I really want to make them to feel at home.

Budget wise, I’m looking to spend about $13 million. I know it’s Belize and the exchange rate is cheaper, so I’m willing to take on a fixer-upper. I have a feeling it’s going to take some time to get all of them together anyway.

REAL ESTATE AGENT: Well, that’s all very reasonable. After some searching, I’ve found the perfect Island Paradise for you! It has everything you’re looking for, and it’s only $1 million. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but it’s got everything you need. Doesn’t it feel good to take advantage of third world tax havens?

BETSEY: It sure does! I love Capitalism! Now let’s update this mansion! I’ll paint it some bright colors, get some nice furniture, hang up some hammocks, install a home theatre with surround sound and all the latest video game systems. Servants to cater to their every whim, a chef to cook them whatever they want, a maid to clean up after their mess. Whatever these guys want! Their wish is my command!

REAL ESTATE AGENT: Say, just what are you planning to do with your Island Paradise anyway?

BETSEY: Now that I have this Island Paradise, I’m going to invite all of my ex-boyfriends, muses, and former love interests to stay here. There’s only one catch… none of them have any idea they’re secretly being filmed for America’s Next Great Reality TV Show™. Let’s tune in and see what happens next…

The opening credits roll. A private jet lands on a remote island somewhere off the coast of Belize. Off step a bunch of wildly different but equally attractive men. Area Codes by Ludacris plays in the background.

THE LOST GUYS, in order of appearance:

  • THE GENERAL, a sexy former Jedi Knight, played by Ewan McGregor
  • THE PERSIAN, a greasy used car salesman
  • HENRY WILLIAMS, a handsome young French teacher
  • MERRICK, a seductive, gothic vampire
  • BEAR, Merrick’s First Best Friend
  • RYAN, Merrick’s Second Best Friend
  • TEA, an alcoholic
  • DOUBLE D, a drug addict
  • TOM, an actor specializing in villainous roles
  • THE FRENCHMAN, a suave rando picked up on the streets of Paris
  • THE PRINCE, a scoundrel and a cad
  • DUKE, Tom’s cranky older brother
  • LEO, a washed-up, old actor
  • ANDREW, the sexy Owner of Bloody Mary’s Bar

THE LOST GUYS arrive on the Island and get settled into their rooms. They break into the open bar by the pool and begin their ceremonial rituals of fraternal bonding.

After a round of Halo gets a little too heated, THE PERSIAN gets voted off the Island. After an intense, rum-fueled argument escalates into a fight in the backyard, THE PRINCE gets escorted off the Island by the police. TEA and DOUBLE D choose to leave in order to make better lifestyle choices. BEAR and RYAN follow MERRICK around everywhere he goes. THE FRENCHMAN and HENRY WILLIAMS were just here on vacation. DUKE is only here for the food. LEO couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts.

That leaves THE GENERAL, MERRICK, TOM, and ANDREW. They all get along harmoniously, until the subject of BETSEY comes up. That’s when the real contest begins.

TOM: I’m her favourite! She loved me so much, she was stalking me!

MERRICK: Oh, please. She was “stalking” all of us. That doesn’t count. It’s part of her job.

ANDREW: I think we can all agree that I’m her favourite. Just look at the way she writes about me. It’s so obvious she wants me the most out of anybody.

MERRICK: Woah there, pretty boy. You’re not her favourite. I’m her favourite.

ANDREW: Yeah? You think so? She comes into my bar almost every single day.

MERRICK: Just because she likes your bar doesn’t mean she likes you.

ANDREW: You think just because you sparkle in the sun you’re some kind of hot shit?

MERRICK: I am hot shit. You wouldn’t even believe how much money I make.

ANDREW: You wouldn’t even believe how much money I make.

MERRICK: You think you’re a big deal just because you own some bar in Small Town, South Dakota? Who are you, anyway?

ANDREW: I’m a bigger fucking deal than you are. I own my own business, mother fucker. I oversee a historic property. Meanwhile, you’re up to some kind of shady shit doing military contract work. Your job only exists because my hard-earned tax dollars are paying for it.

MERRICK: Sounds like the joke’s on you, asshole.

ANDREW: Yeah? You wanna dance, douchebag? I can take on some East Coast pussy like you.

MERRICK: You think so, Pretty Boy? One punch in the face and you’re straight outta the game!

ANDREW: Not if I rip your dick off first! What have you got left after that? Your charming personality?

MERRICK and ANDREW get into the Classic Alpha Male Struggle for Dominance.

Meanwhile, BETSEY and 20 of her closest friends are watching the scene unfold from her home theatre on the island next door.

BETSEY: This was the best investment I’ve ever made. Worth every penny. 10/10, would buy again.


Cut back to MERRICK and ANDREW fighting.

MERRICK: You don’t even know her that well! You’re too busy talking to everyone else in the room!

ANDREW: I know her plenty well! You wouldn’t even believe how drunk I’ve seen her get before! That’s when her real personality comes out!

MERRICK: That may be, but you don’t know her the way I know her. I’m The Best She’s Ever Had. I got two words for you, bro: Vampire Sex. You don’t even know what that means.

ANDREW: I don’t want to know what that means. I’m sure I can show her plenty of things she’s never seen before. She doesn’t even know anything about South Dakota. I could show that bitch The World.

MERRICK: Sounds like a whole lot of Talk and not a whole lot of Action. Pretty typical for a Politician if you ask me. You don’t even know what you’re missing, bro.

ANDREW: Just looks like I’m missing a bunch of Crazy.

MERRICK: You don’t even know. She is tame around you. All she does when she’s around you is sit down, shut up, and write in her fucking notebook. I’ve never seen her act like that around a man before. You should’ve seen what she did to me. She lay waste to the small town in Maryland where I’m from. She dated both of my best friends. And on top of it all, she was the best sex I’ve ever had. That bitch is fucking crazy, but if I could fuck her again, I totally would. She’s just that good.

ANDREW: [raises one eyebrow with intrigue] Really?

MERRICK: Really.

TOM: Hey now, don’t talk about her that way.

EVERYONE: Shut the fuck up, Tom!

MERRICK: Don’t even get me started on you, Farm Boy. I could kill you after what you did to her. You’re lucky she asked me to spare your life, or you wouldn’t even be standing here right now. You’re not even worth my time. At least Pretty Boy here would put up a decent fight.

ANDREW: I’ll show you what a real man looks like, you little vampire bitch.

BETSEY: Okay, everybody, that’s enough fighting over me for now. My ego has been stroked enough. It’s time for everyone to cast their vote for the winner of Last Muse Standing.

Everyone casts their vote. The results are placed into an envelope and delivered to BETSEY. She flies to the island next door and makes a spectacular entrance in a stunning evening gown. MERRICK and ANDREW look at her with sparkling eyes. Both are equally confident they are going to win.

BETSEY: Gentlemen, thank you for coming to my island. This has truly been one of the most entertaining stories I’ve ever dared to write. I want to thank both of you for continuing to inspire me every day. Merrick, thanks for the hot sex! Andrew, thanks for letting me back into your bar. But there can only be one.

The tribal drum music grows louder and more intense. MERRICK and ANDREW look at each other tensely. BETSEY enjoys watching them fight over her a little too much. Finally, after a painfully long commercial break from our corporate sponsors, the suspense is over.

BETSEY: And the winner of Last Muse Standing is… THE GENERAL!

ANDREW and MERRICK are equally shocked. THE GENERAL smirks and struts to the front in black leather pants. BETSEY fawns over him for awhile before presenting him with a pair of golden panties.

BETSEY: Congratulations, sir. You really are my ultimate inspiration.

MERRICK: I don’t understand! Why the hell did this guy win? He’s not even real!

THE GENERAL: Fool! She’s been writing my screenplay since she was 13 years old. She’s gone through at least 20 drafts. It’s only now just getting good. You think she’s not using every minute of her limited spare time to plot ways to use her family Hollywood connection to J.J. Abrams? She’s writing it for Ewan McGregor. There’s no way he’s gonna say no.

ANDREW: Now that’s Crazy.

THE GENERAL: We’ll see who’s got the last laugh, Pretty Boy.

THE GENERAL takes BETSEY by the arm and leads her back to the helicopter. They take off and fly away into the sunset, together at last.

The End.