Ten Little Comedians, Part 1
A decimation of Tenth Anniversary Week
Sa'ar: This is the latest we've ever been for anything.
Zeke: Oh, stop saying that.
Sa'ar: It is.
Zeke: You're just being all meta.
Sa'ar: No I'm not! This conference was supposed to start at 5!
Zeke: And it's only 5:15.
Sa'ar: The next day!
Zeke: *checks invitation* Oh. Okay, fair enough.
Derek: There's nothing wrong with 5:15 PM.
Sa'ar: I thought there was nothing wrong with 7:57 PM.
Derek: Do you have a problem with --
IJD: Eyes on the road, Derek.
Derek: I don't know why we're not getting a wide berth! Can't they see my "Baby On Board" sign?
IJD: Is it legal to keep that in the window when the baby isn't here?
Derek: Probably not, but nobody actually takes them down. Like handicapped stickers or nuclear weapons.
IJD: I would take mine down.
Derek: Heh, we'll probably see about that soon enough.
(Zeke and Sa'ar grumble.)
Zeke: Hey, you didn't grumble as loud as I did.
Sa'ar: With my karaoke skills, it's just a matter of time.
Zeke: As soon as I think of a less important subsite than Babylon 5, I'm making you head of it.
(The car pulls into a parking area next to a mansion. Derek takes a handicapped spot.)
IJD: Anybody see Scooter?
Zeke: I don't know what kind of car he drives. Just that he drives it on the left side.
Derek: He does?
Zeke: Yeah. He's probably parked that way too.
IJD: How do you park on the left?
Sa'ar: Geez, if he drives in the wrong lane, he probably crashed on the way he--
Scooter: For the last time, I'm not British!
(Scooter has just pulled up, riding a... a sc... I refuse to narrate this.)
Zeke: Sorry. I keep forgetting.
IJD: Where are you from, anyway?
Scooter: New York! What's so hard to remember about that?
Derek: It might help if you wore a shirt that said "I Heart NY" instead of "Up With Cardiff, Wot Wot".
Sa'ar: I do a good "New York, New York."
Zeke: Please don't.
IJD: Okay, are we all ready to go here?
Derek: Ready as we'll ever be, I guess. We do have a certain disadvantage in terms of knowing what the hell is going on.
(Everyone looks at Zeke.)
Zeke: Who, me? I got the same invitation as the rest of you. *holds it up*
Scooter: It seems prestigious and all, but it's awfully vague.
Sa'ar: "You are hereby invited to the 2010 Experts' Conference."
Derek: How bad can it be? According to the fine print, we'll solve world hunger or something just by attending.
IJD: In those exact words. "World hunger or something." It doesn't exactly flood the mind with confidence.
Zeke: Yeah, but it doesn't exactly flood the ocean with petroleum either, unlike some countries.
(Zeke cocks his head at Scooter, winking.)
Scooter: I'm not British.
Zeke: ...Well, I meant the States, of course.
Sa'ar: Comes in handy being Canadian, eh?
Scooter: Oh yeah, we're very jealous. After all...
Derek: ...there's much to be said for being so irrelevant...
IJD: ...that nobody would notice if your country did screw up.
Sa'ar: How did you organize that without a huddle or something?
Zeke: Let's just go inside.
Derek: Without knowing any more about the situation?
Zeke: Sometimes you've got to punch your way through.
IJD: (I'm gonna open the door before he tries that.)
Zeke: Besides, let's face it, we're a day late. Everybody's probably gone.
(The five step inside... to find the place absolutely packed.)
Zeke: Uh... April Fool's?
IJD: Wow, look at 'em all!
Derek: They don't look like experts. But I guess we don't either.
Sa'ar: (putting on a "+5 Expert" pin) Speak for yourself.
Scooter: Looks like everybody's just mingling.
Zeke: On the second day of the conference? Shouldn't the icebreaking part be done?
Scooter: Might be tea time.
Scooter: *sigh* We do have tea in Wales too, you know.
Zeke: Did you just say...
Scooter: New York.
Zeke: No, you said --
Scooter: You can't prove it.
Kriegsgräber: Well well! New arrivals!
(A big German professor type walks up to the team.)
Zeke: Uh, hi.
Kriegsgräber: Guten tag! I am Dr. Kriegsgräber of Heidelberg University.
Derek: Pleased to meet you. What do you teach?
Kriegsgräber: *preens* Not to brag, but I am among Europe's leading Shakespearean scholars.
IJD: Okay, that's an expert.
Sa'ar: Oh really? Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 2. Go!
Kriegsgräber: "I pray you, tarry: pause a day or two before you hazard..."
(Sa'ar takes off his pin and puts it back in his pocket.)
Kriegsgräber: And what do you gentlemen do?
Zeke: We run different sections of a website.
Kriegsgräber: *raises eyebrow*
Zeke: A parody website.
Kriegsgräber: *even higher*
Zeke: Parodies of Star Trek, mostly.
Kriegsgräber: ...Ahem. Well, I am sure we will all benefit from your... experience.
Derek: We do video games too.
Zeke: So what have we missed?
Kriegsgräber: Ah! Surprisingly little. Nothing, in fact.
IJD: Really? The talks haven't even started yet?
Kriegsgräber: If, indeed, there are talks. Most of us came prepared to present, but the invitations gave no hint of the conference's agenda.
Scooter: Haven't the convenors told you anything?
Kriegsgräber: They have yet to appear! The butlers providing refreshments have been the only evidence that organizers even exist!
Derek: That's funny.
Kriegsgräber: Indeed... er, where did your friends go?
(Derek's the only one still there.)
Derek: I think they heard "refreshments" and took off to find them.
Kriegsgräber: Ah. You have better manners.
Derek: I'm with them in spirit, but marriage has trained my body out of it.
Zeke: (wandering back with a drink) If there's no Dr. Pepper in heaven, give me hell, baby.
Kriegsgräber: A noble sentiment.
Zeke: Or limbo if they have diet there. Hey, look! Somebody's even later than us!
(Indeed, another straggler has just come through the door. And it's --)
Zeke: Kelonzi! Haven't seen you in a dog's age!
Kelonzi: Er... me neither. Who are you?
Kelonzi: Zeke. Zeke... what, from Five-Minute Voyager?
Zeke: FiveMinute.net, actually...
Kelonzi: Well, no wonder I didn't recognize you. We've never met in person. How did you even recognize me?
Zeke: Authorial privilege. So hey, what brings you here?
Kelonzi: I got this weird invita--
Voice: ALL ARE PRESENT!
(The front door slams, hard.)
Derek: Who was that?
Kelonzi: Hey, it won't open again!
Kriegsgräber: Allow me... (tries it) Oof! Indeed, Fräulein! It is locked from the outside somehow!
(Startled, the guests are haphazardly gathering at the door, including the other staffers.)
IJD: Who locked us in?
Guest 1: Check the peephole!
Guest 2: GAH! Not me, after what I saw in that movie.
Zeke: *shudder* I saw too.
Kelonzi: Forget it, I already looked. No one's there.
Kriegsgräber: We are presented with a mystery!
Zeke: Someone went to great lengths to trap us all in a house...
Scooter: But who?
Sa'ar: And what do they want?
IJD: And how long till we start dying one by one?
IJD: Well come on, you know it's gonna happen.
TO BE CONTINUED....
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DISCLAIMER: Various copyrights are violated here. We don't mean to -- GAK!
All material © 2010, Colin Hayman.