Brilliant movie idea (Part 7 of 10)
(A few years back I started to write an odd/comedic movie idea down. Every day I would add a small scene and see where it went. It went nowhere. Now it is going nowhere again because I’m on vacation this week and need to fill up the days. Plus, there has been an uptick of Hollywood-types nosing around the website and I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I’m NOT blockbuster material. Enjoy.)
The awkwardness of dinner was now transitioning to the awkwardness of attempting to watch TV together. Clay made a mental note to pay more attention to Patti than Tina. Tina tried her best to interact with Patti more than Clay and Patti did her best not to take a fork and drive it into Tina’s skull.
Most of the stations were still on the air and they each took turns questioning how long that would last. The movie channels did their best to present awkward content, seemingly every film was dealing with old lovers or new lovers or ways to ditch your current wife or ways to get revenge on your cheating husband.
“So this is the rest of my life. Super” Clay thought to himself.
When it seemed that the awkwardness has reached its zenith there was a knock at the door.
“What fresh hell is this?” Patti thought to herself.
“I’ll get it” Tina said, springing up and out of the room, hoping that perhaps she would luck out and behind the door would be a runaway cement truck eager to run someone over.
No such luck. Instead Donna stood in the doorway.
“Hello. Come in.”
Hopefully you can figure out who said which hello. I added the “Come in” to make it easier. If you’re still having trouble, remember that Tina was the one in the house and rarely do the people outside invite the people on the inside to “Come in.”
“I’m Donna.” If I have to explain who said that might I suggest easier reading material?
“What could possibly be easier than this?” you might ask yourself.
Good point. Moving on.
“I thought the whole street would be dark … I guess a lot of houses have timers” Donna offered up by way of a conversation starter. The truth was that after a day all alone she was just thrilled to see another living human. When she turned the corner and saw Clay her heart skipped a beat.
Then she saw Patti seeing her see Clay and it skipped a few more.
Not in a good way.
Clay was all smiles and scooped her right up into a hug.
“I’ve been worried about you. Took you long enough” he said.
“Sorry, a lot of the roads out of the city were blocked. Once I got into Jersey I actually did a little exploring off the highways to see if I could see any other signs of life.”
“Did you?” asked a hopeful Tina.
“Nope. Nothing. Have you guys heard anything else about what’s going on.”
Everyone looked at Patti. It was clearly her turn to speak.
“I was on the internet” she began “And there were no posts of any kind of social media.”
“So the internet is still up?” inquired Donna.
“So far. So far everything is still up. Power. Water. Although I doubt that the trash will be picked up tomorrow.”
And there it was. An attempt at humor. You would have thought that Gilbert Gottfried had just walked in and done a set given the change in mood. Donna sat down and Patti asked if she would like a drink, she said yes, and suddenly the awkwardness evaporated and was replaced by a nice tolerable discomfort.
For the next hour they exchanged opinions and advice. Donna had watched a TV show that explained that Las Vegas would be the last city in America to lose power because of the Hoover dam. Patti wondered why it was that whores were naturally drawn to Las Vegas, even in a bizarre situation like this, but kept this question to herself for fear of ruining the tolerable discomfort.
Eventually Clay let Donna know about the four additional women who were on their way.
The number four seemed to surprise Patti and Tina. Apparently he’d forgotten to tell them about Samantha and Jennifer.
“I was calling everyone I knew this afternoon” he began to explain “and an old friend picked up … and she was actually with someone else.” He shot a nervous look at his wife, expecting the worst and getting it in spades.
“Who? Who picked up?”
“And, can I inquire who the other person was? Was it, just a wild guess here, someone else that you’ve had sex with?” Patti asked in a way that made Tina long for the awkwardness of only a few hours ago.
“I know this looks bad dear. Yes, it was another girl who I dated. I don’t know why this is happening.”
“And you called her? No doubt summoning her to your harem.” Patti’s mood swung quickly from anger to sadness. This caught the room off guard. Everyone had just silently agreed to have no pity for the shrill woman having a breakdown in front of them but now empathy was back on the table. As if to cement the emotional momentum she turned to look at the other two women and said “He’s my husband. Why is this happening?”
Life likes to pile on at moments like this.
There was a knock at the door.
Driving through the front of stores and then walking around and taking whatever you want isn’t as much fun as you’d think it is. Sure, for the first few there’s a certain creepy novelty to it but after you’ve discovered that there really isn’t that many things you need if you’re never going to attend any type of social gathering ever again it gets old.
Denise and Abby discovered this as they walked around the VF Outlet Center in Reading, PA. A little bit out of their way but time was not a very pressing issue. While Denise was primarily concerned with finding something nice to see Clay in, Abby was still wrestling with the idea that he was some sort of judge and jury awaiting their arrival. Given her somewhat erratic morality she found herself less and less enthusiastic about getting there.
Especially given she was walking back to her car with an armload of stolen merchandise. She was getting herself so freaked out that she almost thought of returning everything.
When she had awaken that morning Abby thought for a moment that the day before hadn’t happened but she didn’t even have to open her eyes to know she wasn’t in her own bed. The hotel, although nice, still smelled like a hotel. The sheets felt like hotel sheets and the pillow was much more comfortable than the one she had at home. She couldn’t remember if she’d dreamt.
She had knocked on the door of the adjacent room and summoned Denise to a delightful breakfast before setting off towards Philly. They seemed to make good travelling companions and although their meeting was under difficult circumstances she was happy to have run into her.
She still worried about the elephant that she’d left behind in Columbus.
When they finally got back on the road she turned to Denise and asked her for a favor.
“Can we stop at the Philadelphia zoo?”
She expected a brisk rejection but to her surprise Denise just laughed shook her head to indicate she wasn’t entirely against the idea.
“I believe it’s rude to show up to someone’s house with a few monkeys.”
Denise laughed again and started to change into something more conducive to springing animals from cages. Her new outfit to make Clay unconsciously suck in his breath ever so slightly when he laid eyes on her would have to wait.
“I’ll call Clay and let him know we’ll be a bit later than expected. I won’t mention the monkeys.”
By the time Samantha and Jennifer arrived everyone was pretty exhausted after such a surreal day so it was agreed that everyone would find a place to sleep that night in the house and then reconvene in the morning.
Clay had assumed that he was in for a lot of drama once he shut the bedroom door behind him and found himself alone with Patti but she seemed too tired to yell at him. Besides, there was no way she could really believe that he had anything to do with it right? She didn’t even fight him when he threw one arm over her as they drifted off.
Bruce, the dog that the downtown Philly contingent had brought with them, woke Clay up early. Patti was either still asleep or doing an outstanding representation of sleep. He pulled on a pair of pajama bottoms and led Bruce to the back door. On the way he passed the other sleeping denizens of the house, each looking more adorable than the next curled up on couches and chairs.
As he followed Bruce around, the dog being very particular about where his inaugural crap would take place, he heard other dogs barking in the otherwise silent neighborhood.
When everyone was awake and gathered around the dining room table, after Patti had stepped up to the plate(s) and cooked a nice big breakfast, Clay suggested that everyone take a stroll around the area and see if they couldn’t let out whatever pets they found. It would be a nice to try and save a few and at the same time they could look for other accommodations should they decide as a group to stay together.
Once the assembled females got talking it quickly got loud. Gone was the shock of the previous day, replaced by the reality of their common circumstances. There was a certain amount of displaced anger looking to find a spot to land, most noticeably the observation by Donna that unlike the rest of them Clay and Patti were waking up in their own home.
As amiable as Clay tried to be it was clear that the others were aware of what they all shared and didn’t appreciate the male/female ratio if this was in fact going to be the end of the world as they knew it. He was actually relieved when Patti asked him to make a run to the market for more food. They had about another day before anything fresh would start to turn.
The others paired off, Tina with Donna and Samantha with Jennifer, and headed out to explore their new surroundings.
By the time dinner rolled around everyone had calmed down and nobody was blaming Clay anymore. Outwardly anyway. Fresh off of saving dozens of once-beloved pets and finding houses that they could live in without having to go through the mortgage process the mood had brightened considerably.
There was almost a giddy feeling of some new adventure beginning as they all pitched in to set the table and make the assorted salads and wheat rolls that would act as the gastronomic supports before Patti’s barbecued ribs took center stage.
Clay looked around the table and for the first time realized how amazing the scene before him actually was. He smiled a guilty smile.
There was a knock at the door. Everyone froze. Eyes darted back and forth nervously until finally Clay stood up and announced that he would get it.
The others exhaled when they realized that any knock just meant more people had made it and it was completely acceptable to continue to talk amongst themselves. Even Patti was joining in.
Clay opened the door to find a very distressed Denise. He was expecting a little hysteria, in fact it was becoming commonplace, but not this hysterical.
“A tiger ate Abby!”