NewsRadio Episode 7:  "Trapped"
by NewsRadiator

Disclaimer:  I don't own most of these characters.  I shudder to think of what might have happened if I did.  Paul Simms is their creator and protector.

Note:  Please send any and all comments -- good or bad -- to
newsradiator@hotmail.com.

"Trapped"

Scene 1:  Newsroom

          Beth, Matthew, Joe, and Max are all sitting at the conference table in silence.  Max is sleeping, Matthew is humming to himself, Joe is playing drums with his hands, and Beth is blowing bubbles with her gum while staring at the ceiling.  Jimmy walks up to them.

Jimmy:  What the hell is going on?

Beth:  Dave and Lisa aren't back from that conference in New York yet.

Jimmy:  And?

Beth:  We're waiting for them to start the morning meeting.

Jimmy:  That should have started over two hours ago.  Do you mean to tell me that you people have been sitting on your asses, not doing anything the entire time?

Joe:  That about covers it.

Jimmy:  Just wonderful.  Max, wake up!

Max:  Huh . . . what?

Jimmy:  I don't pay you to sleep on the job.

Max:  Oh, I'm sorry.  (motioning to Beth)  Would you prefer it if I chewed gum and stared into space?

Jimmy:  No.  Here's a revolutionary idea.  Get your ass up and read the news!!

Max:  (meekly)  Yes, sir.  (He leaves.)

Jimmy:  And what about you, Matthew?  What the hell are you humming?

Matthew:  Oh . . . I sold the lyrics to one of my songs to Sheryl Crow.  I'm
trying to figure out a catchy melody to go along with it.

          Joe almost falls out of his seat laughing.

Matthew:  What?

Joe:  Sheryl Crow is going to sing a song about gnomes and wizards?

Beth:  Let me guess.  The Hobbit Rock?

Joe:  Now you're gonna be like that Babyface guy.  You'll write music for the real stars and then ride along on their coattails.

Beth:  Hey!  He worked with Eric Clapton.  He can't be all that bad.

Joe:  Whatever.

Matthew:  Anyway, I don't see what the big deal is.  It's a great chance to make some money.

Beth:  You're right.  We're sorry.

Joe:  So what is the song really about?

Matthew:  You'll just have to listen to the radio to find out.  Better yet, buy the cd when it comes out and add to my royalties.

Jimmy:  Matthew, as much as I admire your entrepreneurial spirit, GET TO WORK WITH YOUR REAL JOB . . . NOW!

          Matthew runs away crying.

Beth:  What did you do that for?

Jimmy:  Much as I love you, I'm about to do it to you too!

          Beth scurries off.  Jimmy looks at Joe with fire in his eyes.  Joe stares back before finally bolting.  Jimmy's demeanor immediately brightens, and he takes off his glasses to clean them.

Jimmy:  Damn, I've gotta do that more often.  Retirement sucks.

Scene 2:  Lisa's Car

          Dave is behind the wheel.  They are stuck in a snow drift on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere.  They are both staring straight ahead with angry expressions on their faces.  Suddenly, they turn to each other at the exact same time.

Dave and Lisa:  This is all your fault!

Lisa:  MY fault?  How is this my fault?

Dave:  Well, how is it mine?

Lisa:  I'm not the one who insisted on taking a backwoods highway rather than the interstate.  I'm also not the one who ran off the road.

Dave:  Well, I'm sorry.  I couldn't exactly concentrate with you yelling at me!

Lisa:  Well, I'm sorry you're incapable of driving while in an aroused state!

Dave:  Oh, believe me, I was far from aroused.

Lisa:  (taken aback)  Well, screw you too then.

Dave:  Now is not the time for that, Lisa.  I'm trying to think.

Lisa:  (mouth agape)  You horse's ass, I hope you freeze to death . . . one extremity at a time.

Dave:  You just may get your wish.  I can feel the process starting already.

Scene 3:  Newsroom - Beth's Desk

          Jimmy walks out of Dave's office and up to Beth's desk.

Jimmy:  Okay, Beth.  I just got everything all straightened out with Brett.  He's going to run the paper until Lisa shows up.

Beth:  So does that mean I get to run the station?

Jimmy:  No . . . I'm going to take care of that.

Beth:  (whining)  You love Brett more than me.

Jimmy:  (sarcastically)  That's right, Beth, I do.  Gay men drive me wild.

Beth:  Well, you ARE a fifty year old bachelor.

Jimmy:  (after giving her a withering look)  Have you heard from Dave and Lisa yet?

Beth:  No, but there's a really bad snowstorm between here and New York.  They probably stopped at a hotel to wait it out.  The phones must be down.

          A flashy redhead in her early sixties (Think Carol Burnett.)  rushes over to them and squeals in delight as she hugs Beth.

Alice:  Beth!!!!!

Beth:  (panicky)  Mom?

Alice:  I couldn't help but overhear you mentioning New York.  That's where YOU need to be.

Beth:  Yes, Mom.  I've been told.

Jimmy:  Beth, aren't you going to introduce us?

Beth:  Oh, I'm sorry.  Mr. James, this is my mother Alice.  Mom, this is Jimmy James, one of the richest men in the world.

Jimmy:  Beth . . .

Beth:  Trust me.  That's all she cares about.

          Max walks up.

Max:  Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it Mr. James?  Well, Mrs. . . ?

Alice:  Just Alice.

Max:  It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Just Alice.  I'm Max Louis, your future son-in-law.

Alice:  Dear God, I hope not.

Beth:  Max, go away.  You're adding to my rapidly growing headache.

          Max skulks away.

Alice:  What a relief.  You'd been doing so well since we took you off the
medication.  I was afraid you'd had a relapse.

Jimmy:  Relapse of what?

Beth:  Nothing, nevermind.  Mom . . . what are you doing here?

Alice:  What, I can't come and visit my daughter whenever I get the urge?

Beth:  You've never gotten the urge before.

Alice:  That's because you only lived ten blocks away.  All I had to do was call you, and you'd come rushing right over.

Beth:  I don't ever recall "rushing" anywhere, Mom.

Alice:  Now, Beth.  I came to see my girls.  Is there anything wrong with that?

Jimmy:  Girls?

Beth:  She practically adopted Lisa a couple of years ago.

Jimmy:  Oh, that's nice.

Beth:  No . . . it isn't.

Alice:  And just why not?

Beth:  Because she doesn't appreciate your meddling anymore than I do.

Alice:  What would you two do without me?

Beth:  Lead normal, happy lives?

Scene 4:  Breakroom

          Jimmy drags Beth inside and shuts the door.

Jimmy:  What's the deal?

Beth:  That WOMAN is the big deal.

Jimmy:  Why?  She came to visit you.  What's so wrong about that?

Beth:  Mr. James, if she came just to visit, then I'm Cybil Shephard's fashion consultant!

Jimmy:  Eww . . .

Beth:  Exactly.

Jimmy:  You know, those sneakers of hers came in handy at one of those charity dinners. I was trying to play footsie with under the table, and she almost neutered me.

Beth:  Somehow I think that spiked heels would have been worse.

Jimmy:  True.  ANYWAY, I think you should give your mother the benefit of the doubt.

Beth:  Oh please.  She came to see her "girls"?  Give me a break.

Jimmy:  Exactly how did Lisa get involved in all of this anyway?

Beth:  It was the Thanksgiving right after she and Dave broke up.  I invited her over to my place to cheer her up, but my mom and stepfather dropped by unannounced. Things went downhill from there.

Jimmy:  What do you mean?

Beth:  My stepfather tried to feel her up, so Lisa smacked him, and my mom wouldn't stop giving her love advice, just like she does with me.  My mother only calls or visits when she feels the need to interfere with someone else's life because her own is too screwed up to salvage.

Jimmy:  Beth, obviously, I don't know the woman, but I think you should at least give her a chance.  She seems sincere.

Beth:  Just trust me, okay?  She's not here to have a nice friendly chat with her darlin daughter.  She's here for blood.

Jimmy:  You make her sound like a vampire.

Beth:  Lisa HAS mentioned that possibility.  There's just not any definitive proof yet.

Scene 5:  Lisa's Car

          Dave gets back inside the car quickly and brushes the snow off his shoulders and out of his hair.

Lisa:  Well?

Dave:  We're stuck.

Lisa:  And?

Dave:  And we're not going anywhere.

Lisa:  You must be the only Wisconsinite who can't figure out how to get out of the snow.

Dave:  Oh, you're telling me it never snowed in Connecticut?  Wait, what am I thinking? We're IN Connecticut.  This is your home playing field.  YOU get us out of this.

Lisa:  In Connecticut, we have the sense not to drive through bad snowstorms.

Dave:  In Wisconsin, we make every effort to get to work on time.

Lisa:  Yes, well, we're not exactly getting anywhere, now are we?

Dave:  Not like this, we're not.

Lisa:  Oh, I forgot.  I'm talking to the man with answers for everything.

Dave:  Look, just think for a minute.  How do we get out of here?  We've been sitting her for four hours, and not a single car has passed.

Lisa:  That's because everyone else is on the interstate.

Dave:  Lisa, this isn't helping.

Lisa:  Is the cell phone charged yet?

Dave:  (after looking at the phone)  Nope.

Lisa:  What the hell is taking so long?  Is there a short somewhere?

Dave:  If Joe were here, I'm sure he could tell you all about it.

Lisa:  My only idea is that we wait for the phone to charge, and if we're not frozen solid by that point, we call for help.

Dave:  That's just brilliant, Lisa.

Lisa:  I don't see you coming up with any bright ideas.

Dave:  My idea is that I start walking.

Lisa:  The last town was twenty miles behind us.

Dave:  Then I'll walk the other way.  The map shows a town a few miles ahead.

Lisa:  In a blizzard . . . Dave, you'll freeze to death.

Dave:  I thought that was what you wanted.

Lisa:  Just your extremities.  Besides, you can't leave me in the middle of the woods with a BMW.

Dave:  Lisa, I'm sure all of the car thieves are at home by the fire right now.

Lisa:  No.

Dave:  Fine.  I'll stay with the car, and you can go.

Lisa:  Great.  Then the sexually repressed psycho kidnappers will find a lone woman in the wilderness.

Dave:  You're impossible.  Do you realize that?

Lisa:  Bite me.

Dave:  Again, Lisa.  Not now.

Scene 6:  Newsroom

          Jimmy leads Beth out of the breakroom and towards where her mother is talking to Joe.

Jimmy:  Just remember what I said.

Beth:  Yeah, yeah.

          They approach in the middle of a conversation.

Alice:  Joe, with your body, this Kate woman should be fawning all over you.

          Beth rolls her eyes.

Joe:  She just broke up with her boyfriend.  I'm giving her some space and time.

Alice:  Well, if you aren't the new sensitive male prototype.  Let me tell you, that's sophisticated talk for wuss.

Joe:  I knew I shouldn't have taken Dave's advice.

Jimmy:  Nice try, Joe.  I don't recall you asking Dave for advice.  You chose to be a wuss.

          Joe has a meek expression on his face.

Alice:  Don't worry, Joe.  It's not too late.  Go sweep her off her feet.

Joe:  Thanks.

          He leaves in the direction of the paper.

Beth:  I don't believe you.  You just met him and already you're involved in his personal life.

Alice:  I helped him out.

Beth:  Joe does not need to be helped out by you.

Alice:  Oh my God, what have I done?  YOU like him.

Beth:  (staring at the ceiling)  Get some HELP!

Scene 7:  Lisa's Car

          They are still sitting in the car with pissed expressions on their faces.  Lisa looks down at the phone and gets excited.

Lisa:  I think the phone is finally charged.

Dave:  Great!

Lisa:  I'm going to get a hold of Jimmy.

Dave:  Fine.

Intercut with Newsroom:

Matthew:  WNHX, this is Matthew Brock, Rockin Ranger number . . .

Lisa:  Shut up, Matthew.  I'm on limited battery power.  Let me talk to Jimmy.

Dave:  Well, that was rude.

          Lisa gives him a death glare.

Jimmy:  Lisa?  Where are you guys?

Lisa:  Thanks to SOMEONE, we're stuck in a snow drift on the side of a deserted highway.

Jimmy:  Uh huh.  Tell me where, and I'll send a tow truck out to get you guys.

          As Jimmy is writing on a notepad, Matthew is hovering nearby.

Matthew:  Why didn't she trust me to do that?

Jimmy:  Okay, Lisa . . . Lisa?  Oh well, it cut out.

Matthew:  Why didn't they trust me?

Jimmy:  They don't want to freeze to death, son.

Matthew:  Oh.  Limited battery power . . . is that some sort of sexual innuendo?

Jimmy:  That's quite an imagination you've got there.

Matthew:  Thank you, but I still don't understand why Lisa didn't just talk to me.

Jimmy:  Write a song about it, Matthew.  Don't whine to me.

Back in the car . . .

Dave:  Well, that's a relief.  At least we're not going to die pissed at each other.

Lisa:  Don't bet on it.  I'm staying pissed this time.

Dave:  All of this just because I drooled over some model?

Lisa:  Not some model, Dave.  A D-sized model.

Dave:  I didn't notice her bra size.

Lisa:  How could you not?  The way you were staring, you'd think you had x-ray vision.

Dave:  Didn't need it.  Her shirt was pretty much see-through anyway.

          Lisa's jaw drops to the floor.  In a second, she recovers.

Lisa:  You mother . . .

          A string of verbally abusive profanities follows.

Scene 8:  Lisa's Office

          Joe rushes in from Dave's office and finds Kate leaning over Lisa's desk to pick up a file.  He immediately halts upon seeing her and nearly loses his balance.

Joe:  Hi.

Kate:  Oh, hi, Joe.  What brings you here?

Joe:  I've been looking for you.

Kate:  I'm flattered.  I was just picking up a file for my story.  What can I do for you?

          Joe remains silent for a minute.

Joe:  Enough talk.

          He crosses the room so fast that when he grabs her, they tumble onto Lisa's desk, knock everything off, then fall in a heap on the floor on the other side.

Joe:  (underneath Kate)  Sorry.  Beth's mom said to sweep you off your feet, but I don't think she meant it literally.

Kate:  That's okay, Joe.  I'm not a masochist or anything, but I found that strangely exciting.  Besides, I can't argue with the end result.

Joe:  (smiling)  Neither can I.

          He leans in to kiss her, but the door connecting to Dave's office opens, and Beth and Alice come in.  Beth surveys the damage but doesn't see Joe or Kate behind the desk.

Beth:  What the hell?

          Joe and Kate peer out from behind the desk.

Alice:  (pointing at Joe)  HE takes my advice.  Why can't you?

Beth:  I'm sorry, you guys.  We were just looking for a quiet place.  We'll get out of your way.

Kate:  Don't worry about it.  It's lunchtime anyway.  (looks at Joe suggestively)  You coming, Joe?

Joe:  Ohh yeah!

          They get off the floor and all but run out of the office.  Beth and Alice sit on the couch.

Alice:  It's so nice to actually accomplish something.

Beth:  Don't get any ideas with me.  Save your voodoo for people who appreciate it.

Alice:  Fine.  Lisa then.

Beth:  She doesn't meet the aforementioned requirement.

Alice:  Of course she does.  So how are she and the evil wino jailbird doing?

Beth:  She annulled the marriage, and she's back with Dave.

Alice:  WHAT?  That scum-sucking diseased fish, momma's boy, tap-dancing, monkey-headed bastard that broke her heart?

Beth:  Mom . . .

Alice:  Her words, not mine.

Beth:  She said that right after they broke up.  She didn't mean it.  They're happy now.

Alice:  Why didn't she tell me?

Beth:  Um . . . because you're not her mother?  Think about it.  Give me one instance of her seeking out your advice.

Alice:  Never.

Beth:  Exactly.

Alice:  Oh, Beth.  She secretly loves that I care enough to meddle.  You both do.

Beth:  Ugh . . . I'm your daughter, not your personal provider of amusement.

Alice:  Well, why the hell do you think I had you in the first place?

          Beth glares at her.

Alice:  Seriously, Beth.  You're all I have.

Beth:  Mom, you have a life of your own.

Alice:  (sadly)  Not anymore I don't.

Beth:  (truly concerned)  What happened?

Alice:  Your stepfather left a couple of weeks ago.  He's moving to Miami with his twenty-two year old girlfriend.

Beth:  I'm so sorry, Mom.

Alice:  You hated him all along.

Beth:  Well, he never liked me, but he seemed to treat you pretty well . . . most of the time.

Alice:  By cheating on me with everything that moved?

Beth:  Okay, besides that.  You always turned a blind eye to that.  I didn't know if you were just in denial or if you were just plain...

Alice:  Stupid?  No, it was neither.  I just told myself that one day I would kill him and everything would be alright.  Looking forward to that day was what kept me going.

Beth:  That's a little . . . psycho.

Alice:  You picked a fine time to start defending a man you've despised most of your life.

Beth:  I'm not defending him.  I'm just saying that I can understand why this is  difficult for you.

Alice:  Sure, it's difficult.  He left before I could kill him.  He took away my only chance at happiness.

Beth:  Would you like me to set up an appointment for you.  I know this great therapist back in New York.  Dr. Frank Westford.  He's worked wonders for everyone around here.

Alice:  Beth . . .

Beth:  Okay, sorry.  I'm just worried about these homicidal thoughts running through your head.  Believe it or not, I don't want to see you in prison.  I do love you.

Alice:  I recall you mentioning that once . . . when your office building was on fire.

Beth:  Yes, and you responded by implying that my childhood pyromania had resurfaced.

Alice:  (laughing)  I'm sorry, Beth.  I should give you more credit . . . on a lot of things. If you never settle down with someone, that's your choice.

Beth:  Well, now you're just depressing me.

Alice:  So . . . what now?  I'm done interfering with other people's lives.  What do I do with mine?

Beth:  You become an independent woman.

Alice:  Sounds lonely.

Beth:  Not necessarily.  It may be for a while, but you'll learn to like it. Besides, you'll have me . . . and your friends.  It'll be a whole new world for you out there.  You'll be able to do things you’ve always wanted without any hassles from that man.

Alice:  You still can't bring yourself to say his name.

Beth:  (smiling)  Yes, well, now I won't have to worry about it ever again, and you can't make me talk to him anymore either.

Alice:  Oh, trust me, if I ever find out where the bastard is, he won't be talking to anyone ever again.

          Beth just looks at her strangely.

Scene 9:  Lisa's Car

Dave:  Are you finished yet?

Lisa:  Not even close.

          She takes a deep breath before starting again, but Dave cuts her off.

Dave:  You may as well quit.  You've already managed to manipulate every profane word ever uttered by man into a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb . . . sometimes all in one sentence.  I'm extremely impressed . . . and incredibly turned on.

Lisa:  I thought your extremities were frozen by now.

Dave:  I've been thawed by your glorious wrath.

Lisa:  (sincerely touched)  Really?  After all this time, all the years we've been together . . . I still have that effect on you?

Dave:  We WERE apart for a long time.  You know what they say . . . . Everything old is new again.

Lisa:  That's so sweet.

Dave:  You know, my many years of experience in this area have taught me that the effect of your yelling is mutual.

Lisa:  Oh yeah.

Dave:  Come on, the tow truck won't be here for at least an hour.

Lisa:  What about the D-sized model?

Dave:  What about her?

Lisa:  You conveniently sidetracked the conversation.

Dave:  Oh, come on, Lisa.  What's a little drool compared to what you do to me?

Lisa:  (thinks for a minute)  You're right.  Screw the D-sized model!

Dave:  Bad choice of words.

Lisa:  Dave?

Dave:  Yes, Lisa?

Lisa:  Shut up.

Dave:  You're right.

          They climb into the backseat.

Scene 10:  Newsroom

          Dave and Lisa walk in holding hands.  Lisa spots Alice over by Beth's desk, talking to Jimmy.

Lisa:  Oh my God!

Dave:  What?  Who is that?

Lisa:  Beth's mother.

Dave:  Really?  I pictured someone a little more eccentric.

Lisa:  Oh, believe me.  She's not normal.  In fact, she's not human.

          Beth walks out of the breakroom and sidles up to them.

Beth:  If you're referring to my mother, I assure you, she's quite human.

Lisa:  Since when?

Beth:  Since about four hours ago.  She promised not to interfere in my life anymore, and all is forgiven.

Lisa:  I'm glad for you, Beth.  Now what about my life?

Beth:  She promised to keep her mouth shut.

Lisa:  Thank God.

          Alice turns around and spots them.  She runs over screaming.  Jimmy follows.

Alice:  (hugging her)  Oh my God, Lisa!

Lisa:  Alice . . . it's nice to see you.

Jimmy:  How'd you all get here?

Dave:  Taxi.

          Alice looks at them skeptically.

Alice:  You two have had sex.

Beth:  Mom!!!

Jimmy:  You two been fightin?  I guess a cramped car would do that to you.

Alice:  I tell you, Jimmy.  They have not been fighting.  They have that sex look about them.

Jimmy:  That's the tip-off.

Dave:  Could we not discuss this?

Alice:  So you're the scum-sucking diseased fish, momma's boy, tap-dancing, monkey-headed bastard that broke Lisa's heart.

Dave:  Excuse me?

Alice:  Her words, not mine.

          Dave looks at Lisa questioningly, but she stares straight ahead and just looks like she wants to fall into a hole.

Beth:  Mom, what about your promise not to get involved?

Lisa:  It's a little late now.

Alice:  You're right, dear.  I'm sorry.  Old habits die hard, I guess.  So long, everyone. Beth and I are going to dinner.

Jimmy:  I'm going to head off myself.  Welcome back, you two.  We missed you while you were at the conference.  You learn anything valuable?

Dave:  Not really.  (glaring at Lisa)  I've learned plenty today though.

Jimmy:  I'll bet.

          Jimmy, Beth, and Alice leave.

Dave:  Monkey-headed bastard?

Lisa:  I meant it in a good way.

Dave:  Scum-sucking diseased fish?  Momma's boy?

Lisa:  All good things.  There are worse things to be.

Dave:  (incredulous)  Like what?

Lisa:  (after thinking for a long time)  Dumb . . . or worse yet ugly.

Dave:  Ugly . . .

          Matthew overhears Dave's comment as he passes.

Matthew:  (angrily)  Oh, and what are you, Ricky Martin?

Dave:  I certainly hope not.  We weren't talking about you, Matthew.  What's wrong?

Matthew:  I sold one of my songs.

Lisa:  That's great.  Who bought it?

Matthew:  Well, I THOUGHT Sheryl Crow.  It turns out that it's actually Sharon Snow.  I misunderstood the name over the phone.

Lisa:  Who's Sharon Snow?

Matthew:  Well, isn't that just the point . . . . She's a nobody, a BIG FAT NOBODY!!

Dave:  I'm sorry, Matthew.  Why don't you come have a drink with us?  It'll make you feel better.

Lisa:  Matthew, this woman has to be _somebody_.

Matthew:  She sings country.

Lisa:  Okay, nevermind.  How about that drink?  Now that everyone around here knows that Dave and I survived the cold through biological methods, I could use one.

Dave:  Matthew, just be sure that I don't drink too much.  (glares at Lisa)  My monkey head might explode.

Lisa:  Look, Dave.  I said that two years ago.  It didn't mean anything.

Dave:  Right.  That's okay, Lisa.  I'll have forgotten everything by tomorrow because I'll be waking up with a monkey-sized hangover . . . but at least I won't be ugly.

Lisa:  Shut up, Dave.

Matthew:  Wait a minute.  Biological methods?  What are you talking about?

Lisa:  Scratch that, Dave.  Dumb is definitely worse.

Fade Out.

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