Friday, January 13, 2017

sixtysomething Episode 14 Vitriol and Egg Rolls



FADE IN
HELEN'S KITCHEN.  HELEN PIPES PATE INTO PASTRY SHELLS AS INEZ SITS ON A STOOL AT THE COUNTER.

INEZ
I still sort of feel like I want to go march in Washington.  I guess it's too late now.  

HELEN
Yeah.  Thought about it.  How surreal to be in a place crawling with two such diametrically opposed factions.  Nasty broads and Trumpers. Sheila is trying to get me to go to the march in Pasadena.

INEZ
Nah. Marching in Pasadena is wishy washy.   I I can get not going to D.C. but really, Pasadena? What kind of commitment is that if you can go the extra 15 minutes to downtown? Are you making a sign?

HELEN
I can't think of anything pithy.  I'll probably get one of those crocheted pussy ear hats from Etsy.  I don't know if all this mobilization is gonna accomplish anything but God, something's gotta make me feel better.

INEZ
Yeah, it's a new breed of adversary I guess. (IN STENTORIAN VOICE) But remember our nation's rich history of effective protest. Civil rights.  Got us out of Vietnam.  Women. Gay rights.  But old school politicians were at least sensitive to public opinion. This catastrophe is a new frontier.

HELEN
Do you remember the Moratorium?

INEZ
I remember seeing it on the news.  There wasn't much spirit of dissent in Connorsville Indiana.

HELEN
I was in middle school.  We saw on TV all the cool kids with black armbands like they wear at gentile funerals.  Jewish mourners wear these little buttons with black ribbons. Gosh, I went to an L.A. public school that was about 80% Jewish.  Can you imagine that now? Anyhew, some rabbi's kid stole a couple of cartons of mourning badges and we all wore 'em.  We thought it would make a big splash. No one paid any attention.  We were crestfallen.  

INEZ (admiring Helen's handiwork)
Those look good.

HELEN SURVEYS THE TRAY OF HORS D'OEUVRES, FINDS A SLIGHTLY MISSHAPEN ONE AND OFFERS IT TO INEZ.

INEZ
Oh man.  Trout?

HELEN
Whitefish.

INEZ
Who for?

HELEN
Wedding in Topanga.  Very high maintenance folks.  Applying the asshole surcharge. Which reminds me, Christy's gonna be here soon. It's your fault so you gotta shill.

INEZ
What are you talking about?

HELEN
She wants a spread for some Occidental College fundraiser and I'm pretty sure that she doesn't expect to pay. In a different time I might do a super deep discount but now I'm saving it all up for Planned Parenthood and immigrant rights. Plus both of my girls were turned down by Oxy.  Anyway, back me up. You're obliged.

INEZ
What do I have to do with it?

HELEN
She's your neighbor.

INEZ
So what. You know her too.

HELEN
Yeah, but if she weren't living three doors down from you I would have unknown her decades ago. Just hang here and affirm that this is a business and not a hobby and there's no free buffet.

INEZ
Yeah, She is cheap.  She just bought a big Motherwell for the foyer but Joe next door caught her on video stealing his paper.

HELEN
Remember that bullshit with the nursery school silent auction?

INEZ
Oh yeah.  Vaguely.  Some brouhaha.

HELEN
Yeah.  She won the auction for Carol Goldblatt's condo in Mammoth for a week and never paid for it.

INEZ
Oh yeah.  That's right.  She claimed she'd paid in cash but didn't remember who she'd given it too.

HELEN
Right, Just to keep things civil Carol ended up writing a check herself.  Five hundred smackers for her own friggin' condo. 

HELEN MOVES TO ANOTHER COUNTER TO REFILL PASTRY BAG.  INEZ SQUEEZES ONE OF THE HORS D'OEUVRES A BIT.  HELEN RETURNS TO THE TRAY, NOTICES THE MISSHAPEN CANAPE AND HANDS IT TO INEZ.

HELEN
Don't fuck up any more of them.  That whitefish is twenty two bucks a pound.  There are some cookies in the jar if you're hungry.

INEZ GRABS THE JAR AND EATS

HELEN
You know, I was telling Hannah that one of the advantages of being sixty is that you have a good radar about people.  It's much easier at my age to know right away when a relationship isn't worth pursuing.

INEZ
Yeah, but Hannah's butt doesn't droop.

HELEN
Your butt is fine.  I've sort of gotten to the kernel of why we're such a mess now.

INEZ
Speak, oh wise one.

HELEN
Part of getting so friggin' old is that I've shed most of my malice.

INEZ
'splain.

HELEN
I was totally hooked on the adrenaline of being put upon and indignant for most of my life.  Thanks mom.  But now, there are people I don't like very much...

INEZ
Yeah, volumes.

HELEN
Fuck you bitch. I know now who not to engage with.  I love not having to put any energy into hate and loathing.  It's this fabulous liberating benefit of ancientness.  But now, with this spray tanned monster, I'm full of venom again. It's poisoning me and I'm afraid it will be at least four years until I snap out of it.

INEZ
I hate to admit it, but you're totally onto something. The first thought in my head when I woke up this morning was a hope that they'd turn up a tape of Trump in his BVDs egging on a bunch of Russian whores to pee on the bed Obama slept in.

HELEN
See!  It's been years since I fantasized about someone being humiliated.   But I keep praying that it comes out that Putin has him totally blackmailed or that he's zillions of dollars in debt to Russia. I want him sentenced to life in prison for treason. I hate that the asshole has driven me to hate. Maybe a huge march will help me tamp that down a bit.

INEZ
Yeah, that, or a trip to the dispensary.

CUT TO
INEZ SITS ON A STOOL EATING COOKIES.  CHRISTY SITS NEXT TO HER.  HELEN FUSSES IN THE KITCHEN.

HELEN
How many people Christy?

CHRISTY
About fifty have RSVPed but you know how people always show up without RSVPing.  I'm thinking probably seventy five or eighty.

HELEN
Are you thinking passed or stations or both?

CHRISTY
I guess both.  The spread you did for Inez's 60th was fantastic.  

HELEN (GOES TO HER LAPTOP, BRINGS UP A FILE AND READS)
Ok. Nezy's party.  There were two stations. The bruschetta bar and the yakitori table. For passed we did the lobster egg rolls, Mexican street corn, wild mushroom crepes, pressed watermelon and tuna tostadas.

INEZ
Those lobster egg rolls maybe the best thing I've ever eaten in my life.

CHRISTY
Oh that all sounds so yummy.  This is great of you Helen.

HELEN
You'll need two servers at both stations, someone in the kitchen and two for passing. Do you need a bartender too?

CHRISTY
Yeah, sure.

HELEN
Nezy, in the green folder on my desk there's an appetizer price list and then in the blue one is all the staffing breakdown.

CHRISTY REGISTERS SURPRISE. INEZ RISES, FETCHES THE LISTS AND HANDS THEM TO CHRISTY

INEZ
World's best caterer.  Worth every penny.

(INEZ AND HELEN EXCHANGE A GLANCE)

HELEN
Christy, we'll give you the 10 percent friend discount.

CHRISTY (HALF HEARTEDLY)
Thanks Helen.  You know, I'm thinking maybe it's only going to be fifty people.

HELEN
Okie dokey.  The station prices listed should cover about fifty people...

CHRISTY
Maybe the stations will be a bit much.  I'm thinking maybe just the passed appetizers.

HELEN
Okie dokey.  You figure 6 hors d'oeuvres per person so you're looking at about 25 dozen for fifty people.

CHRISTY
Oh.  The prices are for a dozen?

HELEN
Yup.  But remember, I'm taking off 10%.

CHRISTY
I don't think we're going to need the lobster egg rolls.  Maybe just the street corn and the pressed watermelon.  Keep it simple.

HELEN
So just two items?

CHRISTY
Yeah.  That should be fine.

HELEN
The corn and the watermelon are our least expensive,  $50 per dozen so 25 dozen comes to $1250.  And you'll only need one kitchen person and a single server and of course the bartender

CHRISTY
Maybe I can just pick up the stuff from you and serve it myself? And Pete can tend bar.

HELEN
Okie Dokey.   I do have to warn you that you've got two appetizers that don't have protein.  They're not filling so people may eat more than six a piece.

CHRISTY
I don't think it's a big eating crowd.

HELEN
Okie Dokey.  I'll just need a 10% deposit now and the rest when you pick up the food.  I'll throw in some of my own serving ware. Just make sure to return it.

CHRISTY
Let me run this by Pete just to make sure. I'll mail you the deposit check tomorrow.

HELEN
Okie Dokey.

CUT TWO HELEN AND INEZ HUDDLED TOGETHER AT THE COUNTER LICKING WHITEFISH PATE FROM THE PASTRY BAG OFF THEIR FINGERS.

HELEN
Christy's totally going to Costco.

INEZ
Totally Costco.  Baby carrots and runny yogurt dip.  How much are those knitted pussy hats?

HELEN
Twenty five or so.

INEZ
I'll buy 'em for us.

HELEN
Okie Dokey.

CUT