... Stringers take it on the chin ...
SKIT FOR JUNE 19th 2002 FOR SILVER STRINGERS, JINI HANLEY
Featuring Kay McCarte & Jackie Wattenberg, written by Jackie Wattenberg
Setting: Melrose Drug Center
Jackie: Just the other day I was in Melrose Drug Center where I bumped into Kay McCarte.
(She walks into Kay McCarte. They bump into each other.)
Jackie: Hey, be careful!
Kay: (points to script) Well, it says here -- they bump into each other.
Jackie: Well, never take my words seriously. So, what are doing here, Kay?
Kay: Doing my weekly food shopping -- don't you just love Melrose Drug?
Jackie: What're you getting here? Aspirin? Toothpaste? Dental Floss?
Kay: No -- a bottle of milk, loaf of bread, cranberry juice, bathroom tissue, cereal, tomato soup --
Jackie: Just routine things that any old fashioned drug store would carry -- but no soda fountain. I, myself, was looking for those special no-care herbed rems & roms - but they were all sold out.
Kay: How've you been? We haven't see you lately at the Silver Stringers.
Jackie: Well, I've been pretty busy since becoming Mayor.
Kay: I'll bet. What have you been up to as Mayor?
Jackie: I've been working hard to set up a new strip mall and big-time gambling house in Mt. Hood. Melrosians have been himkering for it.
Kay: That does sound exciting--but what does the Board of Aldermen say about your plans?
Jackie: The what?
Kay: The City Council - you know, the Aldermen and women?
Jackie: Oh, I've heard about them, but Patrick told me to do the same thing he did about Mt. Hood--
Kay: What's that?
Jackie: Ignore them. He's been such a help to me.
Kay: And what are you going to call the new Mall?
Jackie: The Guerriero Alley and Fun Place.
Kay: That has a nice ring to it! But don't you miss holding your singing and writing classes?
Jackie: No. I still hold them -- Tuesday is Voice lesson Day -- right in the City Hall Auditorium. The City Clerks and Public Work units are singing so much better! And Wednesday is Writing Class day -- the firemen and policemen just love writing haikus and love poems!
Kay: They LIKE doing that?
Jackie: Better than losing their pensions! Kay, I was surprised that the Mirror didn't cover my inauguration ceremonies --
Kay: Oh, we're not covering much in Melrose anymore--we've gone international!
Jackie: (shakes head) Really?
Kay: Absolutely..Right now Don Norris is over in Afghanistan, taking photographs of new styles for women, and a special feature on the large and small caves of Osama Ben Ladin!
Jackie:Does he speak the language?
Kay: He's picking it up, and you know how good Don is at letting people know what he wants -- he's been an editor here for five years. And Lorry is helping him.
Jackie: His wife went with him?
Kay: Sure. She's teaching the Afghan women how to make delicious salads and apple pie. They love her!
Jackie: Great. What else is happening?
Kay: Russ Priestley has been in China for 3 months now doing a series of photographs from the Great Wall of China -- from a Melrose Point of View. He's determined to be the first person to walk the whole walk!
Jackie: Wow! How long will that take?
Kay: He says he'll have the whole documentary for us by 2011!
Jack Driscoll and Marie Moreland.
Jackie: That's a long time to be away...
Kay: Oh, he flies in every Friday morning for the editor's meeting.
Jackie: Amazing. What else is going on?
Kay: We sent Mary MacDougall to Rio, Brazil, to do a story on the latest fruit and flower hats.
Jackie: How exciting - how long has she been there?
Kay: Three months - but she says she hasn't tried them all on yet!
Jackie: And what's Virginia been up to?
Kay: She's over in the Mideast talking to Sharon and Arafat, trying to get them to open their minds to peace instead of vengeance.
Jackie: She's the one who could do it. And Ella?
Kay: She's over covering the crisis in India and Pakistan.
Jackie: Wow! She's got courage alright, she's game to try anything. And I suppose Frank Callahan is covering the Irish, Scottish, English area.
Kay: No, he's on double duty in Germany -- covering the German's Ach Mein Gott reaction to our steel subsidies, and -- teaching classes in "How to Speak American English with a really nice Scottish accent."
Jackie: Not an easy job -- but he does speak beautifully. What about Irving Smolens?
Kay: Irving's in Africa, covering any little war that might erupt--he knows about war--he's been there, done that, so he can explain to them why peace is better.
Jackie: Yes, he has a nice peaceable manner. And what about Natalie? What's her beat?
Kay: She's our roving reporter -- she keeps track of international leaders who sound pompous, pretentious or full of pride, and she shows them how to laugh at themselves.
Jackie: A gleeful globetrotter Uh, does she ever get to Washington, DC?
Kay: She's there right now! She mailed us a terrific poem for our next edition!
Jackie: And Louise Fennell? I loved her story on losing weight at Tufts, having all of her meals prepared for her and being paid $1500, too! I'm trying to gain a lot of weight so I can join that same program!
Kay: She's in Italy doing research on how those Italian women can eat all of that pasta and tiramisu--and not get fat!
Jackie: Exciting! And what is John Averell doing?
Kay: John is using his varieties of expertise -- he's in Russia checking on their storage of nuclear materials -- and to tighten the nuclear scientists' tension, he's teaching them to play the French horn.
Jackie: Wonderful! And how are they doing?
Kay: He says they play the Frech horn with a Russian accent!
Jackie: Might be interesting. And Marjorie Burgess?
Kay: She's over in italy, covering opera festivals and doing a calibrated account of the cats in Rome's Coliseum At her last count, it was 937. She wants to adopt them all.
Jackie: I'll take 20 or 30. I haven't seen Frances and Al Bertulli lately.
Kay: That's cause they're over in Japan covering the economic disaster that Enron caused there ... they just wrote us that Ken Lay is selling three of his pagodas there.
Jackie: Is Bernadette working abroad, too?
Kay:Of course. She's in London. She's been covering Queen Elizabeth's anniversary -- she sent me a wonderful interview she actually got with the queen!
Jackie: I'm not really surprised. Bernadette is rather regal and full of grace herself. And what of the Driscolls, Jim and Jack?
Kay: Well, they were looking for an assignment that would be challenging, and at the same time give them a chance for regular exercise. So I sent them to Cuba where they've joined the great Cuban baseball team!
Jackie: And you, Kay, are you holding down the fort?
Kay: Not really. I leave tomorrow to return to Antarctica and my darling penguins. A bunch of us are still working on the project so essential for anyone who wants to work with those adorable animals --
Jackie: And what project is that?
Kay: Litte boxes for penguins! It's crucial When you have faced two thousand penguins all without a bathroom, you never forget it! So we're taking 500 litter boxes and two hundred cats down there to show them how to use them. Wish me luck!
Jackie: I do! And I'll be avidly waiting for your report on this cultural matter in the next issue of the International Melrose Mirror! Gotta go pick up some Melrose Drug Center jello ... it's the best. O look, Kay, isn't that Jack Beckley in the next aisle? But he's all bent over. He looks .. almost like .... a senior citizen! My God.
Kay: Yes, Jackie, he's aged a lot since we've gone International -- our long distance bills from overseas are killing him! And MIT says they can't pay all of them either! So Jack has been dropping most of the Milano classes to keep going -- no more bridge classes, line dancing or tai chee -- he doesn't even know if he can keep -- the lunch program going
Jackie: Poor Jack...well, maybe now he'll feel more at home with us senior citizens! 'By, Kay!
Kay: So long, Jackie. Good luck with the jello!
July 5, 2002