NewsRadio Episode 604:  "Limbo"
by NewsRadiator

Summary:  Matthew resolves his dilemma after Brett sets him up on a blind date;  Lisa decides to become Max's coanchor;  Beth and Jimmy play matchmaker for Joe and one of the newspaper's reporters.

Disclaimer:  Most of these characters are not mine.  This is what would happen if they were.

Note:  Please send all feedback -- good and bad -- to NewsRadiator@hotmail.com.

"Limbo"

Scene 1:  Newsroom -- Conference Table

Dave:  Matthew, you'll be covering the ambassador's visit to New York.  I'll need the
          story by the end of the day.

Matthew:  How am I going to get to New York?

Dave:  You're not going to New York, Matthew.  You're staying here.

Matthew:  Then how am I going to cover the story?

Dave:  Ever hear of something called the Associated Press?

Matthew:  Yeah.

Dave:  Ever use it for one of your stories?

Matthew:  You can do that?

Dave:  Oh dear God.

Lisa:  Matthew, what do you think we've been talking about all these years whenever we
          say anything about proofreading AP stories?

Matthew:  Oh . . . AP.  I thought those were the initials of one of our other reporters.

Lisa:  There are no other reporters.  Just you and that Derek guy.

Matthew:  Yeah, I guess you're right.  That was pretty stupid.

Max:  Hey, M.B.

Matthew:  Yeah, Matthew Brock.  So what?

Max:  No . . . Moronic Bumbler.

Beth:  Shut up, Max!

Dave:  Really, Max.  Do you think you could make the least effort to be polite once in a
          while?

Max:  Do you know what you're asking?

Joe:  He's right, Dave.  It's a lost cause.  He isn't capable of being polite.  Of course, in all
          fairness, it's not his fault.  He can't help it that he was brought up by gorillas.

Max:  Who's the real gorilla . . . Mr. Garelli?

Joe:  Hey, Lisa.  Help me out here.  You're good with words.  What do Max's initials
          stand for?

Lisa:  Mammoth Lardass?

          Everyone except Max busts out laughing.  Beth falls out of her chair, and Matthew starts crying.  Joe is howling.  Max just stares at Lisa.

Max:  Don't you have someplace to be . . . like running a newspaper or something?

Matthew:  Yeah, why are you sitting in on our meeting?

Lisa:  I miss this place.  I miss radio.

Beth:  WHY?

          Lisa looks across the table to see Matthew unzipping his pants and looking inside.

Lisa:  At the moment, the reason escapes me.

Dave:  Matthew, what are you doing?

Matthew:  Max dropped his pen down my shirt.  I can't find it.

Max:  My pen is right here in my hand.

Matthew:  Oh . . . then it must be mine.  Never mind.  Carry on, everyone.

Dave:  Thank you for your blessing, Matthew.

Matthew:  Yeah, yeah.

Dave:  Anyway, Derek the supervising producer quit this morning.

Beth:  Who?

Dave:  The supervising producer -- you know, the second most important person in this
          office.  The other reporter that Lisa mentioned.

Beth:  Still not ringing any bells.

Max:  That's because everyone knows that the newsanchor is the second most important
          person in the office.

Dave:  Normally, I'd agree, Max.  However, that would only be the case if the anchor was
          COMPETENT!

Max:  You wound me.

Dave:  That's the point.  Now, Lisa, could you spare one of your reporters from the
          newspaper to help us out over here on a part-time basis?

Lisa:  For how long?

Dave:  Just until we can find a new producer.

Lisa:  Sure.  You can borrow Kate for the week.

Dave:  Great.  Meeting's adjourned, everyone.

Matthew:  Ow!!!!

          As everyone is getting up, they look over at Matthew.  He's still sitting down.

Beth:  What's wrong, Matthew?

Matthew:  I found my pen.

Joe:  Where is it?

Matthew:  (calmly)  I must have sat on it.  It seems to be protruding from my ass.

Beth:  Maybe it's a sign.

Matthew:  Of what?

          Everyone rolls their eyes and walks away.  Only Joe and Matthew are left.

Matthew:  Joe, a sign of what?  What's Beth talking about?

Joe:  Objects protruding from your ass?  Come on, Spaz.  Even you should be able to
          figure that out . . . considering your current dilemma that is.

Matthew:  I'm afraid I'm lost.

Scene 2:  Breakroom

          Matthew and Brett are sitting at the table.

Brett:  So you've been doing what I said?  About acting natural?

Matthew:  Yeah.  To tell you the truth, I'm even more confused now.

Brett:  Why am I not surprised?

Matthew:  So what do I do?

Brett:  You go on a date.

Matthew:  With whom?

Brett:  Don't worry about that.  I'll set it up.

Matthew:  Oh, so this is a blind date.

Brett:  What's wrong?  You've never been on one before?

Matthew:  I've been on several actually.  It's just that I'm always the first one there, and as
          soon as the women walk in and see me, they always turn tail and run.

Brett:  Yeah, women are crazy like that.  That's why I gave up on them a long time ago.

Matthew:  You used to date women?

Brett:  Sure . . . in kindergarten.

Scene 3:  Dave's Office

          Dave is sitting behind his desk.  Lisa is pacing.

Dave:  Lisa, I can't very well get any work done with you pacing over there.

Lisa:  Sorry.

Dave:  What's wrong?

Lisa:  I'm bored.

Dave:  We've been back together for a month and you're already bored?

Lisa:  No, not with us.  I'm bored with my job.

Dave:  I'd think after being overworked for four months, you'd welcome the break.

Lisa:  This is me you're talking about.  I thrive on being overworked.  It's what I do.

Dave:  Well, just think.  The primaries are coming up.  You'll be plenty overworked then.

Lisa:  I know, but it's not enough.  I miss radio journalism.  I've been doing it since
          college.  I can't just let it go this easily.

Dave:  What do you want to do?

Lisa:  I want to be Max's coanchor.

Dave:  What about the paper?

Lisa:  I can still do that.  I can do both.

Dave:  Lisa . . .

Lisa:  Dave, please . . . I HAVE to do this.

Dave:  Oh, okay, but Max is NOT going to be happy about this.

Lisa:  So what?

Dave:  I see your point.  I'll run it by Mr. James, and then you can get on the air.

Lisa:  Thank you, Dave.

Dave:  You realize you're asking to be confined to a small glass box with no one for
          company except Max.

Lisa:  I'll survive.  I did it before, I can do it again.

Dave:  What if you two get trapped in there for a long period of time and Max is forced to
          use you for food?

Lisa:  I assume by a long period of time you mean five minutes?

Dave:  Well, you know Max.  He has that damned glandular disorder.

Lisa:  You're not going to talk me out of this.

Dave:  What if he assaults you with a barrage of boring stories?

Lisa:  I'm ignoring you, Dave.

Dave:  You're going to regret this.

Lisa:  I'm leaving now.  I'm not hearing a word you say.

Dave:  Have it your way.  Soon enough I won't be the only one around here who knows
          how you taste!

Lisa:  Well maybe you and Max can form a club.  You can call it the Cool Table.  Good
          day, sir.

Scene 4:  Newsroom -- Beth's Desk

          Jimmy walks in and comes over to Beth's desk.

Jimmy:  Good morning, sweetie.  How goes it in the magical land of WNHX?

Beth:  Mr. James, did you get up this morning and turn on Mr. Rogers again?

Jimmy:  How'd you know?

Beth:  Whenever you start talking about magical lands, it's a sure sign you've been
          frolicking in the Land of Make Believe.

Jimmy:  Beth, men my age don't frolic.

Beth:  They don't watch Mr. Rogers either.

Jimmy:  Well, excuse me.  I can't help it if I'm bored out of my mind.

Beth:  Why is everyone bored around here?  Is it contagious?

Jimmy:  I don't know.  You think you can come up with something for me to do today?

Beth:  Well, we could play matchmaker.

Jimmy:  Beth, that's girl stuff.  Jimmy don't do that.

Beth:  Oh, come on.  Explore your feminine side.  It'll be fun.  You know you've always
          wanted to.

Jimmy:  No, thank you, Beth.  I think enough guys around here are exploring their
          feminine sides already.  I don't need in on the fun.

Beth:  Mr. James, please.  Do it for me.

Jimmy:  Damn.  I never could say no to you, could I?

Beth:  Thank you!

Jimmy:  Alright, alright.  Who are we playing matchmaker for?

Beth:  Okay, you see that rather attractive brunette over there sitting down at the desk?

Jimmy:  Yeah, that's Kate Allen -- Lisa's reporter.  What's she doin' over here?

Beth:  Some guy that works for the station quit today.  That woman's filling in for a
          while.

Jimmy:  Okay.  Have you ever talked to her?

Beth:  No.

Jimmy:  Then how do you know who to set her up with?

Beth:  Mr. James, that's not important.  You should know everything's about looks
          anyway.

Jimmy:  Then how come you went out with my nephew Theo?

Beth:  Could we just forget about that for a second . . . wait, no . . . forever?  Please?

Jimmy:  Fine, fine.  So, who do we set her up with?

Beth:  Joe.

Jimmy:  WHAT?  Are you crazy?

Beth:  Why?

Jimmy:  Joe doesn't need any help with women.  He's a stud.

Beth:  If you hadn't noticed, he's only had one date since we've been up here in New
          Hampshire . . . and he hasn't brought anyone back to the cabin.  He's spent every
          night there, so that means he hasn't had any sex either.

Jimmy:  Why are we even discussing Joe's sex life or lack thereof?  Why is this our
          business?

Beth:  Because he's our friend.  It's our duty to help him out.

Jimmy:  Why Kate?

Beth:  Because she's pretty.  That's the only criteria as far as Joe is concerned.

Jimmy:  Okay, fine.  Whatever.  What do we do?

Scene 5:  Breakroom

          Joe is fixing the microwave when Beth and Jimmy come in.  Jimmy looks bored and unwilling, like Beth is forcing him to be there.

Beth:  Hey, Joe.

Joe:  What's up?

Beth:  How's it hangin'?

Joe:  How's what hangin'?

Beth:  I think you know.

Jimmy:  Oh, Beth . . .

Joe:  Beth, I really don't think you're the one to be having this conversation with.  No
          offense.

Beth:  Okay, Joe.  Enough beating around the bush.  You need to get laid, and I have the
          perfect candidate.

Joe:  Who?  You?

Beth:  Of course not.  Why?  Do you want it to be me?

Joe:  No!  I was just surprised, that's all.

Beth:  Uh huh.  I don't believe you.

Joe:  Oh, whatever!  Me and you?  Ha!  In your dreams!

Beth:  I think you summed it up, Joe.  Whatever!

Jimmy:  Okay, okay.  Could we just get on with it?  If you're gonna make me do this,
          Beth, the least you could do is speed it up.

Beth:  You're right.  Let's get on with it.

Joe:  Get on with what?  Who's this candidate you're talking about?

Beth:  You know that reporter that Lisa sent over here to help out?

Joe:  No, I haven't seen her yet.  Why?

Beth:  Allow me to remedy that situation.

          She drags both men to the breakroom door, and they all look out into the newsroom
where someone in leather pants is bending over to pick up a pen off the floor.

Joe:  Oh, mama!  Come to daddy.

          The person stands up straight and turns around towards them.  Joe's face falls when he realizes it's Matthew in tight pants.

Joe:  Dammit, Matthew!  Why are you dressed like that?  You scared the hell out of me!

Matthew:  Joe, I'm just trying to dress the way I feel, and. . .

Joe:  Yeah, yeah.  Whatever.  Get out of here.

Jimmy:  For what it's worth, Matthew, Joe thinks you have a nice ass.

Matthew:  Gee, thanks, Joseph.  You having sexual ambiguity problems of your own?

Joe:  Get out of here . . . NOW!

          Matthew leaves.

Joe:  Did you set that up, Beth?

Beth:  (cracking up laughing)  Joe, I couldn't have planned something so perfect if I'd
          tried.  That was all you.

Jimmy:  You know what, Beth?

Beth:  What?

Jimmy:  This is turnin' out to pretty damn fun after all.

Scene 6:  Booth

     Max and Lisa are sitting at their respective microphones.

Max:  I'll have you know I'm taking a paycut for this, Lisa.  Thank you so much.

Lisa:  Yes, Max.  That's exactly why I wanted to do it.  It was all an evil plan to take away
          your not so hard-earned money.

Max:  You know what?  You have greatly annoyed me today, and it's not even lunchtime.
          First, you insist on calling me names at the staff meeting.  Now you take away part
          of my job and force Dave to cut my salary.  What is this sadistic little game you're
          playing with me?

Lisa:  I'm not playing any games, Max.  I'm just trying to do my job.

Max:  Your job does not include being my coanchor and making my life a living hell.

Lisa:  It does now, so live with it.  Now shut up.  We're back on the air.  This is Lisa
          Miller for WNHX.  In Washington today, thousands of protesters stood on
          Pennsylvania Avenue and forced police to block off the street for four hours.  The
          protesters were angry with the White House's recent veto of Congress's proposed
          tax reform bill.  Here's Mammoth Lard . . . excuse me, Max Louis . . . with more on
          that story.

          Max has a shocked expression on his face until he finally snaps out of it and starts
reading his news report.  Lisa stands up and walks out of the booth.  Dave is standing at the bottom of the stairs waiting for her.

Dave:  I see the feeding frenzy has officially begun.  Thank God you had the good sense
          not to finish that sentence.  I can already hear the panicked voice of someone from
          the FCC on the phone calling to chew me out and fine the station.

Lisa:  Well, I didn't finish it, so your problem is nonexistent.  Besides, it worked.  It made
          Max shut the hell up.

Dave:  Please don't make me fire you on your first day back on the air.  Somehow I don't
          think it would be good for the relationship.

          Lisa just smirks then walks away.

Scene 7:  Dave's Office

          Dave is on the couch with his laptop when Matthew barges in.

Matthew:  David, I need to talk to you.

Dave:  Obviously.  What about?

Matthew:  My problem.

Dave:  Again?  Haven't we already met our weekly quota on that subject?

Matthew:  Are you gonna talk to me or not?

Dave:  I didn't know I had a choice.

Matthew:  Okay, you know what?  You don't, so just sit back and get comfortable.

Dave:  And buckle up just for good measure?

Matthew:  Yeah, that too.  It might prove to be a bumpy ride.

Dave:  I had the feeling I'd need to.  Okay, Matthew, what is it?

Matthew:  (quietly and confidently)  I'm not gay.

Dave:  I thought you said it might be a bumpy ride.  What's so bumpy about that?  I must
          admit, I'm a little disappointed.  Can I get my money back?  Or wait, can I just get
          back the last thirty seconds of my life?  I'd settle for that.  Really, I would!  Can I?
          Can I?

Matthew:  Well, it's certainly been bumpy leading up to this point.

Dave:  Uh huh.  What made you finally decide you're not gay?

Matthew:  This morning, Brett said he was going to set me up on a blind date . . .

Dave:  With a man?

Matthew:  (sarcastically)  No, Dave, with a pig.

Dave:  Well, Max certainly seems to get his kicks that way.

Matthew:  Yes, with a man.  Anyway, I've spent the whole day thinking about how
           uncomfortable I am with the mere idea.

Dave:  What?  You can't just be nervous?  What if you're just scared?

Matthew:  Okay, I THOUGHT I had everything figured out.  You may be on to
          something there, David.

Dave:  Do you mean to tell me this whole hetero vs. homo melodrama could have been
          resolved forever if I hadn't opened my mouth?

Matthew:  Yeah.  You bring up interesting points.

Dave:  Oh, dammit!  Tell Joe to come in here and kick my ass . . . and kick it good.

Matthew:  Later, Dave.  I have too much on my mind right now.  Thanks a lot.

Dave:  Believe me, I wish I could take it all back.  I really do.

Matthew:  You know, it seems every time I talk to you about this, I walk out with more
          questions than answers.

Dave:  Go with that feeling.  Remember it always . . . for all eternity.  The next time you
          think about coming in here and talking to me about your problem, remember this
          day and all of your confusion that was brought about because of it.

Matthew:  Alright.  So, really, what do you think about all of this?  Huh?

Scene 8:  Newsroom

          Joe is at the snack table, placing duct tape around one of the legs when Kate walks
up to get a cup of coffee.

Kate:  Hi.

Joe:  (awestruck)  Hi.

Kate:  I'm Kate.  I work for the paper.  What's your name?

Joe:  Joe.  I'm an electric . . . I'm an electrical engineer.

Kate:  Oh, really?  That must be exciting.

Joe:  (back to his charming self)  Yeah, there's always sparks flying everywhere.

Kate:  I'll bet.

          Beth and Jimmy are smiling proudly.  They sit at Beth's desk giving thumbs up signs to Joe.

Kate:  Well, I'd better get back to work.  Nice meeting you, Joe.

Joe:  Yeah, you too.  I'll see you around.

          As soon as Kate leaves, Joe goes over to Beth's desk.

Joe:  You didn't tell me she was hot!

Beth:  Well, I was unsure of exactly what you found hot after that thing with Matthew.

Joe:  Shut up!  I thought we said we would drop that!

Jimmy:  No, Joe.  We said we wouldn't tell anyone else.  That doesn't mean WE can't give
          you hell over it for the rest of your life.

Joe:  So does she like me?

Beth:  I don't know.  She seemed impressed with the "electrical engineer" part.

Jimmy:  Yeah, what's the deal with that?

Joe:  Nothin' wrong with stretchin' the truth a little bit.

Jimmy:  Joe, I don't think the women that date you go for your brains.

Beth:  Why?  Joe's a pretty smart guy.

Jimmy:  I know, I know.  Just look at him though.  His studliness just blocks out all the
          other stuff.  It's blinding.

Joe:  Okay, Mr. James, I'm kind of uncomfortable with where this is going.

Jimmy:  Oh, okay.  I gotcha.  Would you like me to get Matthew to tell it to you?

Joe:  It's not funny anymore!  Just leave me alone!

          Beth and Jimmy laugh as Joe storms out of the newsroom.

Beth:  (baby talk)  Awwwww, poor Joey.  I think we hurt his feelings.

Jimmy:  That's alright.  I'm sure Matthew's strong arms will provide the warmth and
          comfort that Joe needs right now.

Beth:  (in hysterics)  Oh my God.  You did NOT just say that!

Jimmy:  Damn, this is fun!

Scene 9:  Booth

          Max is just getting off the air when Lisa walks in.

Max:  You know, I've been wracking my brain for over an hour trying to think of
          something witty that your initials stand for, and I just can't do it.

Lisa:  Don't strain your brain, Max.

Max:  Ah, but I could just find some other way to humiliate you on the air.

Lisa:  And what have you come up with so far?

Max:  Well, let's see.  I could broadcast to the world that you're sleeping with the boss.

Lisa:  That's old news.  The whole world knows it.  They knew it five years ago.

Max:  Five years?  Damn.

Lisa:  You're telling me.  Besides, Dave being my boss is only a technicality.  We're on
          equal footing in this office.

Max:  If that's what's going to let you sleep tonight, so be it.

Lisa:  You know, Max.  I really don't understand your problem.  I'm cutting down on
          your workload.  I'm giving you more time to concentrate on being a foodie . . . or a
          glutton . . . or whatever the hell it is you call it.

Max:  Yes, but you've taken away a portion of the money I use to PURCHASE my food.

Lisa:  Max, we live in a communist household.  We all chip in an equal amount for
          groceries, and we all get fed.  Actually, it works in your favor.  No one bothers to
          divide the food up equally.  You get all the food you want.  You come out ahead.

Max:  Hmmm . . . I never thought of it that way.

Lisa:  That's right.  Who ever thought that there would be advantages to living with six
          other people?

Max:  Oh, I've dreamt of it.  Of course in my dreams, all six of them are female.

Lisa:  Were they human or animal?

Max:  You're hilarious, you know that?

Lisa:  Yes, I do.  Anyway, are you fine with this now?  Everything's settled?

Max:  I'll still never forgive you for broadcasting my name as Mammoth Lardass over all
          of New England . . .

Lisa:  Hey, I didn't finish it completely.

Max:  Oh, that's right.  Our listening audience is made up of complete morons!  I've
          gotten twenty calls in the last hour asking, "Just how large is your ass, Mr. Louis?"

Lisa:  What did you tell them?

Max:  I told them that you were the fat one and that you were just mad at me because I
          refused your sexual advances.

Lisa:  No you didn't.

Max:  Oh yes I did.

Lisa:  I'm going to kill you, you son of a bitch!

Scene 10:  Breakroom

          Beth is sitting on the counter.  Jimmy and Joe are at the table.

Beth:  So, Joe, are you going to ask Kate out?

Joe:  So soon?

Jimmy:  Isn't that the approach you've always used before?

Joe:  On New York women.  The women up here are a different breed.

Beth:  We're not dogs, Joe.

Joe:  Maybe not you specifically, but some are.

Beth:  Okay, that's fair.

Jimmy:  So exactly how slow are you gonna take this?

Joe:  I don't know.  I'm gonna follow her lead for once.  I'm turning over a new leaf.

Jimmy:  Well, congratulations.

Beth:  Yeah, you just might overcome your basic male pigness.

Joe:  Not overcome it, Beth.  Just mask it.

Beth:  Joe, the only way you could mask that would be to wrap your entire body in duct
          tape.

Joe:  Been there, done that.

Beth:  Is that an electrician's idea of kinky sex?

Joe:  How'd you know?

Beth:  Never mind.

Scene 11:  Dave's Office

          Lisa storms into the office, severely pissed.  Dave is on his laptop.

Dave:  What now?

Lisa:  Are you aware that Max is telling our listening audience that I suffer from obesity
          and that I WANT him in the worst kind of way?

Dave:  Well, if you'd really prefer Max to me, I can't say I understand, but I'll respect
          your decision.  It's been fun, Lisa.  Enjoy the rest of your life.  I'm sure you and
          Max will be very happy together.

Lisa:  Shut up, Dave.  It's not funny.

Dave:  Well, what did you honestly expect?  You all but called him a mammoth lardass
          on the air.  Did you think he'd just turn the other cheek?

Lisa:  Dave, you're supposed to be on my side.  He called your girlfriend fat.  What are
          you gonna to do about it?

Dave:  Lisa, you're not fat.

Lisa:  I know.

Dave:  So then what's the big deal?

Lisa:  The big deal is that now over twenty listeners think I AM fat, and those are just the
          ones that have called Max so far.  The number is quickly growing.

Dave:  I have never understood women's preoccupation with weight.

Lisa:  Dave, we're not getting into this discussion, okay?  Now just tell me what you're
          going to do to Max.

Dave:  Haven't I been clear on this?  Nothing.

Lisa:  You can't just do nothing.  You're supposed to defend my honor.

Dave:  Defend your own honor.  You know how to fight.

Lisa:  Dave, anyone could kick Matthew's ass.  Besides, I'm not talking about fighting.

Dave:  I guess you're right, but I'm still not going to do anything.  It would send the
          wrong message.

Lisa:  Oh, and what message is that?

Dave:  That you get special treatment.  We've been over this before . . . several times.

Lisa:  That's bull, Dave.  Like I told Max, you're not my boss.  It's not special treatment.

Dave:  That's right, but I AM Max's boss, and I'm not going to do anything to him just
          because he insulted you.   I just can't.  Take care of it yourself.

Lisa:  Max doesn't work for me anymore.  I can't do anything to him either.

Dave:  Then I guess you're stuck.

Lisa:  You have been SO helpful, Dave.

Dave:  I try.

Lisa:  Yeah, well, you're sleeping in your own room tonight!

Dave:  Huh?

          Dave looks up, startled.  Lisa storms over to her own office just as Max is coming in the other door.

Max:  Hello, Dave.

Dave:  Damn you, Max.  Do you know what you've done?

Max:  No.  What?

Dave:  Insulting Lisa.

Max:  Oh.  Call a woman fat, and her world crumbles from beneath her.  It gets them
          every time.

Dave:  Now I see why you have trouble with women, Casanova.

Max:  So are you going to fire me for dishonoring "your woman"?

Dave:  No, I already told her I wouldn't do anything to you.  However, I do have an idea
          to fix all of this.

Max:  Why fix it?

Dave:  Let's just say I have a vested interest now.  I want this settled . . . quickly.

Scene 12:  Restaurant

          Matthew is sitting in a booth, looking very nervous.  He keeps on running his fingers through his hair to get it just right.  Suddenly, a man walks up.  He's tall and muscular.

Mark:  Hi, I'm Mark.  You must be Matthew.

Matthew:  How'd you know?

Mark:  Brett told me to look for someone who looked like he was about to puke.

Matthew:  I'm very near . . . on the brink actually.

Mark:  Well, I'll tell you what.  Let me go recover my appetite, and then we'll eat.

Matthew:  I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to gross you out.  Please, sit down.

Mark:  Thank you.  So, Brett tells me you're trying to discover yourself.

          He sits down across from Matthew.

Matthew:  I guess you could put it that way.  How did you know that you were gay?

Mark:  You really want to know?

Matthew:  Yeah, if you don't mind.

Mark:  Well, I'm a fashion photographer you see.

Matthew:  In New Hampshire?!

Mark:  Yes, in New Hampshire.  I teach at Dartmouth.

Matthew:  Oh, okay.  Go on, please.

Mark:  Anyway, I was nineteen years old and doing my first lingerie shoot, and I realized
          that I wasn't even remotely turned on.  I was more interested in my job.

Matthew:  Damn.

Mark:  Yeah.

Matthew:  You must have remarkable self-restraint.

Mark:  No, actually, I don't.  Like I said, I wasn't even tempted.  On the other hand, when
          I did a male underwear shoot, I was going out of my mind.  I was in heaven.
          Antonio Sabato in Calvin Kleins will do that to a man.

Matthew:  So what about me?  I look at porno mags every once in a while.  I get turned
          on by the women in all their naked splendor.  So doesn't that mean I'm straight?

Mark:  Not necessarily.  It could just be that you're turned on because that's what society
          expects of you.  You could just be conditioned for lust toward females.  Until now,
          you've probably never given a second thought towards men, have you?

Matthew:  No.

Mark:  Well, what do you think about me?

Matthew:  Nothing really.

Mark:  Not the answer I was looking for . . .

Matthew:  I'm sorry.  I just can't picture myself with another man.

Mark:  Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Matthew:  Oh, no.  I don't think so.  If I did, there'd be no going back.

Mark:  That's the whole point.  Once you've walked on the wild side, you'll never want
          to go back.

Matthew:  I don't think so.  You know, I think that in all of this mess over the last month,
          I've learned something about myself.

Mark:  What's that, Matthew?

Matthew:  I'm just plain weird.

Mark:  Oh really?

Matthew:  Yes, and that doesnít mean that Iím gay.  It just means that Iím more specialer
          than everyone else.

Mark:  More ďspecialerĒ?

Matthew:  Damn straight.  I am my own man, and no fireman or any other random
          stranger is ever going to have the power over me to make me doubt myself . . . ever
          again.

Mark:  Well, if thatís the way you want it.

Matthew:  It is.

Mark:  Well, it was nice almost getting to know you.

Matthew:  Uh huh.  Iím sorry for wasting your Friday night.

Mark:  Nah, thatís alright.  I still have time to hit all the gay bars.  I might still get lucky.

Matthew:  Happy trails then . . . and thank you.

Mark:  No.  Thank you.

Matthew:  For what?

Mark:  For not puking on me.

Matthew:  Oh, yeah.  Sometimes I even impress myself.

Scene 13:  Cabin Living Room

          Lisa is sitting on the couch reading when Dave drags Max into the living room.

Lisa:  Why did you bring the bastard in here?  Are you going to kick his ass in front of
          me?

Max:  Iíd just like to see him try it.  He wouldnít be able to withstand the stinging blades
          of the windmill.

Dave:  I wouldnít be too sure of that, Max.  Anyway, I have the solution to this little war
          that you two have been waging on each other all day.

Lisa:  Youíre going to get Joe to kick his ass?  Or better yet, Iíll do it.

Dave:  Lisa, you donít like violence.

Lisa:  That was before he told people I was fat.

Max:  Well, I think you should just stick to your own job and not cut in on mine.

Dave:  Enough!  Hereís what weíre going to do.  Max, Lisa . . . you two are going to do a
          photo shoot together, and weíre going to put you in newspapers, magazines, and
         billboards all over New England so the listeners can put faces to names.  What do
          you say?

Max:  How is this a solution?

Dave:  It erases any doubt about Lisaís weight.

Max:  How does this benefit me?  I like the world believing me to be thin.

Dave:  I donít care.  Actually, just look on it as good publicity for yourself.  So are we
          agreed?

Lisa:  I guess.

Max:  I suppose so.

Dave:  Great.

Max:  If youíll excuse me, Iím going to go play with my pig now.  Unlike SOME people
          (glares at Lisa), Louie doesnít talk back.

          Max leaves the living room.

Dave:  So, you want to go out and catch a movie?  It is Friday night after all.

Lisa:  (gloomily)  Yeah, sure.

Dave:  Next question.  Am I still sleeping alone?  You realize thatís the only reason Iím
          involved in all of this.

Lisa:  No, youíre not sleeping alone.

Dave:  Wonderful.

          Lisa still has a frown.

Dave:  Whatís wrong?  You donít like my solution?

Lisa:  I really wanted Max to get his ass kicked.  I donít care by whom.  You, Joe, me . . .
          whoever.  Anything less is just too . . . civilized.

Dave:  Lisa . . . sometimes I worry about you.

Lisa:  Why?

Dave:  Because youíre crazy.

Lisa:  You know, this isnít exactly something you should be telling a woman who already
          threatened to withhold sex.

Dave:  Well, you know.  Crazy isnít necessarily a bad character trait.  It can be very sexy.

Lisa:  Youíre in deep, Dave.  Too deep to dig yourself out that easily.

Dave:  Lisa, think of what youíre saying.  Youíre going to withhold sex because youíre
          mad at me.  For most people, this would make perfect sense.  For us, on the other
          hand, itís preposterous.  Itís just not how we operate.

Lisa:  I suppose I could start yelling at you.  Tonight might not be a total waste after all.

Dave:  What do you say we skip that movie?

The End

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