It was springtime, 1998, and the Mediaramans were feeling a little witty and weird after a long, tiring winter. Someone created a new thread on the 90210 Discussion Boards called Let’s Write Our Own Episode.
So we did.
A paragraph here, a scene there, both familiar and unfamiliar posters took up the plot, some with less attention to detail than others. The initial post brought Brinda back to the zip code, pregnant, and we went from there. Val schemed. Stevie was skeevy. Nat was superfluous. We created new characters and brought back old ones, refigured plot twists we hated, made fun of 90210 Conventions, and pointed out problematic elements that the show never dealt with to our satisfaction. We worked in inside jokes and gratuitous self-references and insults to 90210 both in general and specifically, peppering installments with references to Brandon’s shelf o’ hair and Donna’s boob-cavern, or 90210’s penchant for presenting sexist stereotypes with the softening guise of a supposedly-strong female extra character.
And I went a little nutty.
Soon I was treating the LWOOE board as my own private showboat, releasing creative impulses previously stymied by my schoolwork and sowing the seeds for what would later develop into the 90210 Rants… and eventually, C’est Cheese itself.
Things got weirder. Stuff that we’d written a year before started happening on the show, and certain scenes were a little too close to things we’d written to be 100% coincidence… weren’t they? One poster who ostensibly worked at FOX on another show said that, yes, to her knowledge, people on 90210 did watch our boards. A lot. It was never proved, but the thought was tantalizing. And hell, I got a little power-mad and decided the whole world of pop-culture was ripping me off! For pity’s sake, this was well before I’d discovered ‘NSync and Etiquette Hell!
So this is a labor of love in remembrance of betty boop and Samantha B. and screamin’ and Alex and Sbeet and Ace and Donnanottori and Danny “xix” Drennan himself… and in remembrance of one’s roots. *lighting a candle* and *wiping a sentimental tear*
Here’s how it all began:
Apr 24 10:36
When I used to teach seventh grade English (quite an experience in itself) one of the kids' favorite things to do on a "fun day" was to write a group story where everyone contributes a line. Seeing as the shows are getting more and more pathetic, leading to everyone's postings getting more and more hilarious, I thought we should write our own episode. If everyone contributes a few lines of script, it should be interesting to see what develops. So here goes... Scene 1, Casa Walsh
Brando: There's an email on the counter from someone named Brenda. Any idea who that is, Kel?
Apr 24 21:53
On closer examination, Brandon realizes that the e-mail says " Brandon, you've got to help me. Dylan's still feeling guilty about Toni's death, so he started getting drunk again and I threw him out last month. But now I don't have enough money to pay my bills, and I can't find any good acting jobs anywhere. Dad won't help me, he told me I'm on my own. Can I borrow money for a plane ticket and fly back? I promise I won't stay long, I just need time to think all of this out. I'll get a job there, I SWEAR. Brandon, DON'T TELL MOM AND DAD, OKAY?"
Brandon stares at the computer REAL HARD. Not because he's reading, but because he's trying to figure out something. Finally he speaks. "I don't remember going out with any girl named Brenda." Does the trademark eyebrow thing and starts to type out his reply.
Apr 25 12:51
We-The-Viewers are then treated to a lengthy montage (with musical accompaniment, of course) of Brandon remembering all the girls who've been hot for him (like that pre-graduation episode).... His Minnesota chick, Marianne Moore the Party Girl, the (yeah-right) Harvard-bound teenage mom, Emily Valentine, darling Nikki, Jill-from-New York, the actress who got him a spot on her TV show, the ice-skater, his summer fling at the club, Mrs. Professor, Claire, Val, Kelly, Mariah the Angel Girl, Susan, Tracy... I'm sure I'm forgetting a whole big bunch.... Anyway, while Brando's staring off into space, Val comes in and leans over his shoulder to read the e-mail. Sucking in her breath, she exclaims "Brenda's coming back HERE? ... 'Don't tell Mom and Dad'...? Hmmm...."
Apr 25 13:15
unbeknownst to val and brandon, kelly also walks into the kitchen, looking for her car keys on the counter. seeing val and brandon huddled so close together, she asks what they're doing. as brandon turns around to talk to her, val scrolls down the lap top screen to read the last sentence of brenda's email: "and brandon, please don't tell anyone, but i think i might be pregnant. i know it's dylan's, but i'm scared, i'm alone and i want to come home. please call me as soon as you read this." Val then turns around to face kelly and says, "hey kel, looks like brenda has a special surprise just for you. come take a look for yourself..."
Apr 25 17:07
At this point, just in case any genuine dramatic intensity might be building, we are treated to a Donna Tuba Interlude.
Apr 25 18:18
*howl* That's right!
Okay, Donna's on a big job interview that Daddy set up for her with the usual "Sweetheart, I was telling a patient of mine all about how talented you are, and they
really want to meet with you to talk about the possibility of you whipping up some of your fabo-keen designs for them!"
So Donna's rushing around the SS Stupid putting on a yeah-right business outfit (i.e. a skirt that just barely reaches crotch level, way-too-scooped necked shirt, itty bitty little jacket, clunky shoes with more inches of platform than there are inches in her skirt- WAIT! I've had a revelation! Donna really wants to be Posh Spice!) with her hair in Astro-Pippi Longstocking braids, while Mr. Sensitive Boat Boy is lounging in his Calvins on the bed, mumbling all the usual clichés about Donna not having to worry about impressing these people... they'll see how talented she is.... Donna's still Fretting because even though this is a friend of "Daddy's" she still isn't too sure what fashion house this potential client is with.
So, after a brief time-out for Donna and Noah to bill and coo at each other, and Donna to bleat over some semi-risqué comment of Noah's, she arrives at the Peach Pit (where else?) where Nat is pouring coffee and informs her that her "big client" is over at the corner booth waiting for her....
So Donna, doing the oh-so-cute Donna-Nervous thing slides into the chair opposite the Big Client and presents her portfolio. BC thumbs through the sketches, making the usual approving noises under his breath and winds up by saying (what else?) "You know, you're very talented. Your father told me you were, but I had no idea...."
Donna makes her little modest bleat that sounds like someone is revving a small power drill, and waits with that stupid closed-lipped smile (in a too-close close up, of course).
"Yes" BC says decisively, "you're perfect for the job! Now, do you have any questions?" Donna opens and closes her mouth a couple times with another Bleat and says "Well... um.... actually.... Daddy never told me what company you work for? Are you with Versace? DKNY? Or-"
"Actually," BC says meaningfully, leaning closer, "I work for Little Bit of Fetish. We're looking for someone to design leather and latex dominatrix-wear."
Cue the tubas. Donna opens and closes her mouth some more. "Oh! Um! Ha ha! Yeah!" as she bleats and nasal-exhales and flaps her chickeny elbows and other such annoying faux-Lucy Donnaisms.
Cut to commercial.
Apr 25 23:15
As we return to our program, David "Hi-Yo" Silver is conversing with the fetish dude, a very overly "queeny" guy who wears a lot of gold chains and leather—the Bob Guccione look. His name is Devon Dean, because he's a knockoff of Calvin Klein, and that's about the level of originality that 90210 would have. Suddenly, he screams at David, "How could you possibly think I would have any use for you or your crappy music, you no-talent piece of shit!"
Whoops, sorry--that's the real-life version. Let's try it again. Take 2:
David has been summoned by the Big Client himself to his office because this is 90210 and the BC couldn't possibly use a go-between like an agent or manager because the budget won't allow it. Suddenly, DD smiles meaningfully and leans over his desk to look at li'l David like he's actually hot stuff. "I LOVED your latest song...what was that called--MAKE ME YOUR LOVER?"
David, attempting to be hip, says, "MAKE ME AN OFFER. You know, it's a goof on the whole commercialism thing, because all my songs go to ads for...first, deodorant, then last month, a douche...it's like, a bad joke or something."
DD does the trademark pursing of lips that old "queeny" designers are required to do on TV, and says, "Well, I think you're ready to move up to my line of men's underwear...don't you?"
David does that slack-jawed expression that makes him appear so brilliant for about 5 seconds and then goes, "Uhh.."
"I think you'll find the benefits QUITE stimulating," says DD as he hands David a contract. "That's just for the royalties alone."
David suddenly does a 180 and says, "Wow...where do I sign?"
DD simply points a manicured fingernail on the dotted line as David the Retard signs without consulting any expert, such as a lawyer. As David leaves the office, Devon's secretary Gertrude (you know from the name that she's a tough old broad) says, with an incredulous look, " Devon, did you really think that song was appropriate for OUR line?"
Devon Dean smiles sarcastically. "Oh, don't worry, once we go ahead and make a FEW CHANGES, it'll be fine."
Apr 26 18:30
I really have too much time on my hands.... *sigh*
LAX. Brandon and Kelly rushing through crowds toward the terminal.
" Brandon, calm down! You know international flights are always late!" Kelly is whining, decked out in some itty-bitty skirt-and-jacket/clunky shoes combo, with her GI Jane hairdo.
"I can't calm down, Kel," huffs-and-puffs Shelf Head, resplendent in one of those nubby suit/dark-colored shirt/totally obnoxious clashing tie combos. "I haven't seen Brenda in four years since she moved to London to go to that acting school, and with Jim and Cindy in Hong Kong, I'm the only one she can turn to." (i.e. the Big Recap Speech)
"And Dylan's nowhere to be found?" Kelly adds in a Continued Recap but Subtle Kellybitch moment.
"Always right and right again, Kel. He was hittin' the bottle pretty hard, Brenda said."
"How awful" clucks Kelly with that pseudo-concerned-yet-superior quirk to her baby-mouth. "But I still don't understand what she- Ooh! There she is! Brinda!" "Bren! Yo, Brenda!"
And as both of them yell and wave, Brinda Warsh makes her way out of the terminal, short-haired, round-cheeked, and about to explode underneath a voluminous maternity blouse.
Kelly stares with her little sour-candy mouth all squinched up like a drawstring bag. "She's- *pregnant?* Brandon, why didn't you say anything?"
"I couldn't, Kel, she-"
But their dorky exchange is interrupted as Brenda throws herself into their arms and burst into tears, all while Brandon is patting her awkwardly and saying "Hey... hey, Bren, it's okay" and Kelly is cooing whilst looking over Brenda's head at Brandon with that Worried Girl Scout expression that means she is about to launch another Rescue Mission....
Cut to the Casa Walsh Welcome Home bash for Brenda (which, of course, will include Noah, who she doesn't know, and Steve's latest g.f., who she doesn't know, but nonetheless feel compelled to welcome Brinda back to "her old zip code")....
Tag! Someone else is It.
Apr 27 9:27
Next we cut to the Cedar Oaks Mental Hospital a set which doubles for the Cedar Oaks private hospital on AS's SUNSET BEACH. We see Teruh the psycho street child, whose Dr. is releasing her, telling her she's ready to return to the real world. Her Dr. asks her what her plans are. Terruh says that there is an old friend she needs to visit: Cue the scary new age music!
Apr 27 11:17
Brandon, Kelly, and Brenda pulling up to Casa Walsh. Brenda is obviously pissed. "Mom and Dad GAVE you the house?" she asks. "Dad tells me I'm on my own in London, and then they do.." (she can't even finish, she is sputtering so hard.) She gets out of the car and does the Brindastomp to the house as Brandon and Kelly exchange looks. She goes in the house, shakes her head in disbelief and stomps up to her old room only to find...
Apr 27 12:21
Valerie, waiting in Brenda's room! Since the two haven't seen each other since childhood, there is a tender reconcilation, congratulations for the baby, and exclamations of "Girl, you look good!".
Then Brenda drops her bags and eases onto the bed.
Val: "If you'd excuse me, I'm just getting ready to go out"
Brenda: "No problem, I just want to shower and take a nap".
No one leaves. Brenda goes "Well, you're excused - go and get ready. I'm exhausted".
Val is like, "This is my room."
Bren: "YOUR room. Is nothing sacred? Where am I supposed to sleep?"
Kelly smirks, "Maybe you could move into David's place for a while."
Bren: "You and David!? What about Donna? Will someone please fill me in on the sexual musical chairs?"
Apr 28 1:05
Of course, y'all forgot to add Brinda's reaction to Kelly's GI JANE do.
Kelly! Ohmygid, what happened to your hair!!!!?
Apr 28 14:01
The Spineless Women Compound. Kelly is serving tea with the ceramic pot on the rattan tray she bought at Pier 1 to Donna, Brinda and Val. Brinda is, of course, in a flowing flowery maternity dress, Donna and Kelly in respective Itty Bitty Suits (TM), and Val in a brown-is-the-new-black (TM xix) pair of camel-toe flared trousers, little shirt and sweater. Donna is (of course) showing Brinda pictures of all the Memorable Happenings that Brinda has missed... "this is us at the CU graduation... this is me at my first big photo shoot in Hawaii... this is Kelly and Jackie and Erin at the mother-daughter fashion show benefit we did for Alpha House... here's David onstage... this is Val at the PPAD... here's Brandon and Steve at the Beat..." Since the pictures are shown only to emphasis how much Awesome Stuff the Hillsters have done without Brinda around, the photo montage includes lots of those yeah-right-they-really-took-a-picture-of-*that* shots (i.e. Donna's Big Fashion Shoots), and do not include pictures of things like Kelly's Dead Gay Friend, Nat and Joanie's wedding, any shots that include any Hillster Exes (Susan, Tracy, Colin, Joe), nor any "controversial" events ("Strike the Match," Kelly's Cult, couples who are not currently couples like Donna and David, etc.), and of course no pictures of Hillsters that have moved on, such as Ohndrea or Claire.
Brinda sighs and sips tea and makes some comment about wishing she had all her pictures of London... the theatres she performed at... the summer she and Dylan spent in Greece.... Kelly's making Jealous Twisty Lips, which Val seizes upon with a few well-placed, needling comments. "Don't be ridiculous, Val," Kelly retorts in her best Girl Scout manner. "I'm in love with Brandon now." "That's right, and she was always happy about Brenda and Dylan getting back together," says Donna staunchly.
Brinda raises her thin, overplucked eyebrows in that particularly Brindaish disdainful expression. "Well, it doesn't matter now."
"So you haven't heard from Dylan since he left for South America four months ago?" Val asks in her best trying-to-be-nicey-nice voice, but also passing on Vital Information to We the TV Viewers.
"No. And I don't want to," says Oh Snootiest of Brindas (GAWD I miss Brenda!)
"None of us have heard from Dylan," adds Donna, setting up an upcoming scene when Kelly gets a telegram from D himself... but we'll deal with that later. Back to Ladies Having Tea....
"It sounds like you guys have been having a blast here… I missed you guys so much," says Brinda a little wistfully, looking through a couple more pictures. "Hey, Kel, who's this?" And Brinda pulls out the one picture of a Bad Hillster Experience... Kelly and Terruh, matching haircuts, arms looped around each other's shoulders, Terruh looking dazzlingly happy, Kelly with her aren't-I-a-Savior not-quite-smile on her rosebud lips.
Donna seizes the picture away in a brief Tuba Moment. "What picture? Who? What? Hmm? What?" while holding it against her Cavernous Chest.
"No, Donna, it's okay." Kelly says, reaching for it, and Val leans over and exclaims "Hey, Kel, isn't that Tara, the girl who tried to kill you?"
Kelly takes on her “I Am a Saint” Air. "Yes. Tara was so mixed up. We were in drug rehab together. I tired to help her... I really did, but...."
"Kel, it's okay. You didn't do anything wrong" says St. Donna the Good consolingly.
Kelly sniffles. "Tara was mentally unbalanced, and I guess she was jealous of me... she wanted to be like me... she started dressing like me and acting like me and going everywhere with me.... I didn't know what to do. When I tried to make her go away, she pulled a gun on me and made me drive out to the beach with her. She tried to kill us both with carbon monoxide gas, but luckily I got away.... They put her back in an institution. I wonder what ever happened to her.... I wonder if she's okay."
And as Kelly's wondering all innocently and compassionately, outside on the porch with all the patio stuff and towels that no one ever steals (or uses, for that matter), Terruh Streetchild is looking through the lacy curtains, longish hair dyed black, dark scruffy clothes, black baseball cap pulled low. In her hand in a copy of the same picture of her and Kelly, with big X drawn through Kelly's noble face. "I hate you, Kelly Taylor," she hisses as the Scary New Age music kicks in again....
Dwanollah needs to quit procrastinating her Final Paper....
Apr 28 16:24
Can I play?? Meanwhile, Steve is sitting glumly at the Peach Pit. Nat comes over (yeah, I know. Nat shouldn't get TWO scenes, but this is a special episode....) and says, "Hey pal. Why the long face?". Steve sighs and says, "I just don't get it, Nat. I'm irresistable to women, but I haven't had a date in almost three weeks. I'm starting to feel like a priest, if ya know what I mean. And to top it all off, Brandon stood me up for a meeting we had with a potential advertiser for the Beat...". Nat jumps in, "Well, Brandon's probably pretty busy what with Brenda being back in town". "Brenda's BACK??" Steve cries. "Why didn't anyone tell ME? How do you know all this, Nat?". "Because I read the script, Steve. Besides, you KNOW that I always know everything that's going on, even though nobody ever seems to tell me anything!" Steve just shakes his head and groans. Just then a girl with long black hair comes in and sits down next to Steve. It's Terruh Streetchild. She recognizes Steve and quickly pulls her hat down over her face. Too late. Steve has seen her. He sucks in his gut, puts on his cheeziest grin, and says "Hey there, beautiful. Are you waiting for someone?". Realizing that Steve doesn't recognize her, Terruh sees her chance to get back "in" with a hillster and get close to Kelly. "Well, she says. I was. But maybe you're BETTER than what I was waiting for!" Steve grins his slimiest grin at Nat, and says, "Why don't we talk about it some more.....somewhere else so we don't get interrupted by whoever you were waiting for?". Terruh agrees, and the two leave. Nat stands there with a puzzled look on his face, and mutters, "Where have I seen her before?".
Apr 28 16:33
Next scene: A dimly lit, rundown villa overgrown with vegetation. A man with a scruffy beard, matted hair, and a dirty tan lays shirtless on a mat with his forearm covering his eyes. The silouette of a woman passes in front of the camera. The woman begins speaking in Portuguese, but English subtitles track the conversation. "You're a mess" she says to the man as she gently kicks the mat. "Go take a swim in ocean and clean up a bit. Maybe it will sober you up, too." She kicks the mat again. "Do you hear me?" "And leave you alone with my wallet? Not a chance, sweetheart," the man replies before breaking into a coughing fit. The woman takes the man's wallet from his rumpled pants on the floor and thumbs through the bills inside. "Hmm, barely enough for my cab fare," she says. She removes some of the cash, then notices three photos tucked neatly away. The first is of a young man on a beach wearing a surfing wetsuit with his arm around a similarly-clad young woman with long dark hair; the second is of the same man at the Eiffel Tower gazing lovingly at a pretty blonde, whose small lips are curled into a smile; and the third is of the man in a beige suit posed next to a petite beauty in an ivory slip dress with long curls and big eyes. "If I didn't know better," she says, "I'd say you were uite a stud in your day." She tosses the wallet onto his chest. "What happened to you?" The man is silent as she leaves, then he pulls the photos from the wallet and ingers each of them gently. "Life happened to me," he says to nobody, in English. "Life."
Apr 28 19:29
Yay, Boardsters! I am looking forward to the next installments of this "season" (8 and 1/2?) than I ever look forward to the real thing. You are all awesome!
Apr 28 21:41
Yes, I'm still procrastinating Final Papers. 'sides, this is too, too much fun to pass up!
Casa Walsh, Brinda's Old/Valerie's Current Room. Brinda and Val are sacking down for the night, Brinda in the Infamous Rollaway that Brandon's hick, white-bread Minnesota girlfriend used oh-so long ago.
"-it's no problem, you know you can stay as long as you like," Valerie is saying, tossing Brinda an extra pillow, her shortie nightshirt displaying lots of leg.
Brinda, in a far more voluminous short caftan, does the pregnant-woman-carefully-lowering-herself-to-a-sitting-position-while-holding-her-back-and-groaning maneuver. "Thanks, Val. I'll admit, I was nervous about coming back, seeing old friends, especially in this condition."
"So what are you going to do? I'm asking as an 'old friend'," Val hastily adds.
Brinda sighs. "I don't know... that's what I came here to figure out. I couldn't get any acting roles, I was running out of money, Dylan's long gone, and I certainly can't tell Mom and Dad... they'll be so disappointed."
"Give Jim and Cindy a little credit, Brenda. They love you. Maybe if you tell them-"
"No! I just can't tell them yet. Promise you won't say anything to them?" begs Brinda.
"I promise," says Angelic Val with that dimply sincere smile of hers. "Now what is it about pregnant women needing lots of sleep?"
But as Val reaches to turn out the night, the sound of a thumping headboard and squeaking mattress, along with female cries of "Oh, Steve, Steeeeeve! You're so goooood!" and Steve's Skeevy Laugh are heard from the adjoining room. Brinda and Val exchange their own individually special Raised-Eyebrow Looks. "Well! I guess this means Steve won't be moping around here anymore," Brinda says, and she and Val giggle while the cacophony from next door continues.
Morning. Pasta/Fork Kitchen(TM xix). The Casa Walsh inhabitants are doing the Typical Breakfast Scene Thing... Brandon reading the paper in a trailer-park undershirt, Brinda slicing cantaloupe, Val brewing coffee, when Skeevy Steve makes his entrance, groaning and begging Val for a cup of coffee. "Make mine a double," he says in a Attempt at Steve Cuteness. "Sounds like you already made yours a double last night," quips Brandon, and they exchange Penis Boy "ehhhhhh"s and wiggle their eyebrows at each other.
"New girlfriend, Steve?" chirps Val over her coffee mug.
"I just met her yesterday, and man! What a girl! She's wild! She couldn't get enough of me! She wanted it in bed... on the floor... in the shower-"
"So that's why the water was running at two in the morning," comments Brinda with the Brinda Raised Eyebrow, while Brandon and Steve launch into the complicated Ritual of Penis Boy High-Fives and "awright brotha"s.
"So is she still here?" asks Val.
"Yeah, I, uh, promised I'd bring her breakfast in bed. She didn't want to come downstairs with everyone here. I think she feels a little shy about meeting you guys... after last night's activities" he crows, and he and Brandon launch into another bout of high-fives, hand shakes, head butts and Three Stooges moves.
"Well, I'm sure she's very nice," says Brinda. "What's her name?"
"Kara" says Steve skeevily.
And upstairs, leaning over the banister and listening is Terruh, her now longish darkish hair tousled and dressed in one of Steve's KEG t-shirts, listening with a devilish smirk on her face just to make sure that We the TV Viewers are hit over the head with the fact that she's clearly plotting something devious.
Cut to a smallish, obviously foreign airport. A longer-haired/short ponytailed and goatee’d Dylan enters, with a duffle over his shoulder and a flask in his hand. There’s a Big Weighty Pause as Dylan looks at three pictures fanned in his hand before shoving them back into his pocket, then takes a long look around, and then a long supposedly-surreptitious drink followed by a grimace/groan combo, before heading over to the ticket counter. "I'd like the next available flight to Los Angeles."
"Very good, sir. Will that be round trip?"
"No," says Renaissance Man Dylan with heavy significance. "One way."
Apr 29 9:47
So then we cut to Val and David at Carly's old House. And Val is going through her mail, and realizes that she has finally got some compensation money for her rape. and David gets all excited and asks Val to help him finance a new demo tape. But Val who has miraculously returned to the real val not the pod person Val, laugh's in his face and chucks her relationship with him. David nervously laugh's as if he has forgotten his next line. Next we see Boat Boy who is breaking the news to Donna that he has lost his business. And Donna in typical Hillster fashion tells him, "I can't go out with you anymore if you're poor, but if you need some money, I can give you alone." And Boat Boy just stares at Donna in awe of her genorosity, and saintlyness. Meanwhile Kara(Teruh) has gone shopping at the Sex shop. Out of her shopping bag she pulls some handcuffs and a short blond wig. As the scary new age music starts up again, Kara puts on the wig and goes and looks at herself in the mirror. She says to her reflection, "Hi. I'm Kelly Taylor. Clutched in her right hand is a bottle of pills. She smirks to herself, pleased with her devious plan. She looks at the pills and laugh's. "Yep these should take care of Kelly. Then we see Kelly talking to Donna saying, she needs to get a refill on some birth controll pills. Donna announces that she is taking Steve's new girlfriend out to lunch, and that they can pick the pills up for Kelly.
Apr 29 10:09
David, despondent over his 47th tiff with Tiff... er, Val, uses his numerous BH contacts to arrange a business meeting in an office with a desk and everything. You see, there's this miracle drug by the name of... " Niagara" which has proved remarkably effective in helping men with their sensitive fertility problems. But what they need is just the right jingle to really *sell* this product. So they proposition David to license the Greatest Song In the History of Mankind for one more advertisement: "Winter, Summer, Spring, or Fall..." David, while reluctant to relinquish what is left of his integrity, agrees. The next day, he buys back the PPAD with his residuals. Jasper's Law reunites for a lucrative "reunion" gig at the PPAD attended by seven thousand people. Who should all get back to their day jobs.
Apt. 248 - Q
Apr 29 10:50
The next scene is of Dylan sitting in coach on the plane back to LA. In the elastic of the seat pocket in front of him he has carefully balanced his three photos, while on his tray table he has built a precarious tower out of a dozen or so empty mini liquor bottles. Just then the plane jolts, sending the tower crashing to the floor; it jolts again, and up jump two masked hijackers, brandishing guns. "Sorry for the inconvenience, folks," one of them shouts, "But before you all get to LA, we're making a little unscheduled stop in Mexico. Punta Brava, Mexico!" Dylan slouches in his seat and listens closely as the hijackers bark orders to the flight crew. "That voice," he says under his breath. Meanwhile, the hijackers remove their masks, as hijackers tend to do, and they reveal themselves to be Kevin and Suzanne. A flasback to Dylan and Val and Jonesy rescuing Erica and Dylan's money plays, then fades back into the slouching Dylan, who looks at the hijackers REAL HARD.
Apr 29 11:22
Cut to Val, strolling in the Beverly Center, loaded down with bags. Who does she run into but Donna and Kara/Teruh!
Val "Hello, ladies. Just doingsome shopping. It seems that your man has decided to comply with the law and pay me what he owes me. Too bad that to do the right thing he's forced right out of business" (trademark smirk).
Donna "Noah...broke? His money...gone? Well, I love him for his...personality! He loves me!" (Inwardly "I can't believe I slept with him so soon!"
Val "Yeah. Right. SO Kara, you look familiar. Where have I seen you before? At the After Dark?"
Donna "Come on, Kara, we don't have time to amke small talk with this extortionist. Let's go!" Donna stomp off with Kara/Teruh in tow, who swiveles her head to exchange a smirky look with Val, over whose head a light bulb is beginning to form...Val dashes off with her bags.
Apr 29 13:22
(you guys rock...this is much more entertaining than the real thing)
Apr 29 17:50
So we see Val rushing into the BB office. "Steve, I've got to talk to you!". Steve looks up from buttering his toast and says, "Not now, Val. I'm not in the mood for your scheming and conniving. I'm in love, and not even you can wreck that.". "Oh yeah?", says Val. "Well, I just met your new bed bunny, and she's not exactly a stranger!". Steve rolls his eyes and groans. "Oh, don't tell me she's one of your crazy friends from Minnesota! Is this one a con artist too, or just a thief?". "No, Steve. She's not from MY past.....she's from Kelly's!". "Explain", Steve demands. "Weeeellllll.....", says Val, "I don't really know that I want to. You've been pretty ignorant to me so far today.....Oh hi Janet. Get me a coffee, black.". "Get bent, Val!" At this point, Steve snorts and walks away, saying, "Val, you can just go now. I don't know what kind of game you're playing this time, but Kelly doesn't know Kara, and neither do you. You're just doing this because you've always been mad at me for breaking off our relationship!". Val's eyes bulge, and she sputters, "You breaking off.....why, you stupid.....I'm the one who quit sleeping with you, and frankly you never meant anything to me anyway.". Hearing this, Janet goes running from the office sobbing. "What's her problem?", asks Val.
Apr 29 18:20
C'mon, Dwanollah! You can write your next installment in the style of Hemingway and count it toward time spent on your paper!
Apr 29 19:40
Oh, Carol.... *dissolving in hysterics* You asked for it....
Dylan sat on the plane. The flight was bumpy. Bumpy flights made him nervous. At the front of the plane were Kevin and Suzanne, who were holding guns anddemanding that the plane take them to Punta Brava. Dylan had been to Punta Brava once with Kelly. He had surfed in the warm water and, in the evenings, theyhad eaten fresh fish wrapped in tortillas, with lime squeezed over the fish to give it a tangy taste. They used to go to the same cafe to order the fish and tortillas, andthe waiter always served them cold beer from the tap in big glasses with a mist of frost still on them. It was good beer, cold and clear. Dylan wished he had somenow. But there were only the small bottles he had ordered from the flight attendant with his airline meal. It had been a long time since dinner; since he was in coach, not first class, the dinner had been small and not very good. The potatoes had been overcooked, and the meat was tough and tasteless.
The plane bounced again. "Easy there," said Kevin as Suzanne fell against him. Her reddish brown hair was still curly, but she had cut it very short. Kevin had grown a beard with his moustache. They still had not seen him sitting there. Dylan sat very still in his seat and waited.
"What are you looking at?" Kevin said to him.
"The hell you were. You were looking at me."
"Don't worry about him, Kevin," said Suzanne, looking at the bottles lined on the fold-out tray in front of Dylan. "He's just drunk."
"Are you drunk?" Kevin asked him. "Answer me, bright boy."
"Yeah," Dylan said, looking away. He looked out the window. They were flying over Mexico now. He remembered when he had flown to Mexico several years ago, the last time he had seen Suzanne and Kevin. They had kidnapped his sister Erika, and had taken all of his money. He remembered when he told Toni about it, and how Toni had cried and held him with her cool, smooth arms. They had been in bed, but Dylan couldn't sleep. They had talked until the sun came up and then Dylan was able to sleep. He had been very tired.
The plane was dipping lower. They were landing in Punta Brava. It had been a long trip. Suzanne was walking down the aisle of the plane, making the other passengers give her their money. "Give me your money, bright boy," she said when she reached Dylan.
"I don't have any," Dylan said. He made his voice low and slurred, so she wouldn't know it was him.
"What do you mean you don't have any? Give me your wallet."
Dylan reached for his wallet. It was warm from being in his pocket. It was a leather wallet, and smelled good. It reminded him of the jacket his father used to wear when they would go hunting. It was a handsome wallet. Brenda had bought it for him when they had been in Greece last summer. It had been very hot in Greece. They had sat together in a cool cafe and drank ouzo and ate spicy roasted lamb and eggplant cooked in olive oil. They had soaked up every bit of the olive oil with pieces of crusty bread. At night they slept together in their hotel room. The hotel was an old one, but clean. There was a bar at the hotel, and before they went to bed at night, they would sit at the counter and drink strong red wine from straw-covered bottles. The bar was good and well-lighted. It was a good place. After, they would lie in their bed together and listen to the ocean after making love. It had been a very good summer.
Dylan opened his wallet. There was a creased bill and several traveler’s checks, and his credit cards were in the plastic holders. Suzanne took the wallet from him. “Here’s some money,” she said. Then she looked at the credit cards. She looked at his face. “Kevin, come here,” she called. “It’s Dylan.”
Kevin came and stood next to Suzanne. “Dylan McKay,” Kevin said.
Dylan could hear the breathing of the other passengers. He didn’t move.
“Get up,” Kevin said.
Dylan got up. His legs were very numb from sitting. His knees felt like jelly, like they had the time when his father’s car had been bombed with his father still in it. Dylan could remember the smell of burning things, and the crackling, popping sounds of the car tires exploding from the heat and flames. Afterwards, he had picked the cool fragments from the ashes, and made two piles, one of metal, one of bone. The bones of his father.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Kevin asked him.
“Nada,” Dylan said.
They took him to the back of the plane. They held their guns against him as he walked into the first class section. There were only two passengers in first class. A woman with very bright yellow hair was sitting in one seat. She was very fat, and wore big gold jewelry that glittered. She looked very frightened. The other person was a man who was reading a newspaper. He did not look up as Kevin and Suzanne made Dylan sit in a chair.
“Now we’ve got the bright boy where we want him,” Suzanne said to Kevin. “Should we shoot him now or make him wait?”
There was the sound of a gunshot from behind Kevin and Susanne. Kevin tipped forward. He was slumped on Dylan’s lap and the left side of his head had been blown away. There was another gunshot, and the gun Suzanne had been holding dropped. She was holding her shoulder, and Dylan felt something warm and wet dripping onto him. He was very afraid.
The man who had been holding the newspaper came forward. He pulled Kevin’s body off Dylan and let it fall to the floor. He kicked away the gun Suzanne had been holding. He was holding a sawed-off pistol, and Dylan could feel the heat from the gun’s muzzle. It was still smoking.
The man looked down at Suzanne. “You will untie him now,” the man said. He had very dark eyes and wore a suit that was creased as if on a hanger.
Suzanne was still bleeding, but she untied Dylan. The man stood over her. “I will take care of Dylan McKay,” the man said. “I am Tony Marchette.” Then Tony Marchette shot Suzanne again. The gunshot made a small, neat circle in her forehead.
Tony helped Dylan stand. “Come,” he said. “It is over now. Let us go talk. I know a good, clean, well-lighted café in Punta Brava where we can get ham and eggs,” he said.
As they walked out of the airplane, Dylan took the three photographs from the pocket of the airline seat where he had been sitting.
It was very warm outside.
So that’s how the Episodes started.
I think one of the greatest, yet weirdest, compliments I ever received thus far as a writer is when, years after writing the Faux-Hemingway episode, someone somewhere posted on some board I’d never read before that they never “got” Hemingway until they read my episode.
At any rate, I think the Faux-Hem dealie was the thing that really got me going. A few weeks after I wrote that episode, I graduated from my B.A. program, and was packing to move to Philadelphia for my Master’s. Soon, without much thought to what others might’ve written, I was spending the odd early-summer day on an episode or two, feeling inordinately pleased when someone would post “WONDERFUL!” or when someone would e-mail me with a compliment or when I’d hear The Husband-Type Man laughing out loud when he read something I’d written earlier that day. Silly? Yes. But validating. And fun as hell. I’d never written any kind of parody or fan fiction before, but I jumped in, and soon had a whole faux-season’s worth of Episodes to my name.
Stay tuned for more!
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