"That's Easy for YOU to Say" is a three-person
collaboration that grew from bbbeluga watching "Whose Line Is It, Anyway".
She issued a writers challenge to do up the game BL-style, revolving around
the following scenario, per bbbeluga:
"ALan makes a bet with "Bradffrey" - you know, the new it boys - and they lose! AS a result, for an entire day they are only allowed to say two phrases each, no matter what anyone else says to them.
Brad can only say: 'Oh, my God. That's enormous' and 'I resent that' (actual lines from the 'Whose Line' show)
Jeffrey: 'Should I use my gun?' and 'What's that?' (also same lines used)
They cant tell anyone what's going on. They can only utter those phrases all day.
"That's Easy for YOU to Say!"
Interior of CP&S kitchen.
Alan is squeezing a lime over something in a shallow dish. Brad enters.
Brad: Oh my god. Whatís that smell?
Alan: Hello, Brad. Itís poisson cru. Evidently you didnít help make the Polynesian Islands safe for democracy when you were a Marine. Their loss, Iím sure.
Brad: It smells like dead fish.
Alan: Well, I generally donít lunch on them while theyíre still alive. That would be unpleasant, especially for the fish.
Brad: Yeah. Imagine you in a bib being the last thing they see.
Alan: Well look at it this way, Brad. While I pursue the delicacies of the South Pacific, that frees up one extra cow for you. I know you didnít come in here to discuss cuisine. Whatís on your mind?
Brad: I just wanted to let you know that I canít take that Bracken case you gave me on Tuesday.
Alan: Why not?
Brad: My caseload is too full.
Alan: You didnít know that on Tuesday?
Brad: Somethingís come up on one of my cases and I donít have time now.
Coho enters and opens the fridge.
Coho: Wow. Someoneís lost that fresh all over feeling. to Brad It smells like that case that you handed off to me two days ago. I should have known that if you didnít want it there would be something really wrong with it.
Brad: We can discuss this later, okay sport?
Coho: No, sport. Itís not okay. This case is a dog. This is a very conservative town and a big medical town and a doctor accused of performing unnecessary Cesearean sections is not a winner. A jury is going to consider that a last resort measure. Our client isnít going to have a chance.
Alan: Wait a minute! Brad, you gave the Bracken case to Jeffrey?
Everyone is silent for a moment.
Brad: I have my reasons.
Alan: Well, what are they?
Brad: I told you. I have a full caseload.
Coho: Oh thatís crap. You just wanted to unload this case because itís a loser.
Alan: Itís not a loser. Dr. Bracken has substantiated every one of those procedures. His patient is exploiting popular sentiment that doctors perform unnecessary surgery, but he has witnesses that she was in trauma. She was unhappy with the scarring and sheís taking it out on a good doctor.
Denise enters with her lunch and a magazine. She sits at one of the tables.
Denise: Hey, guys. Did detention just let out? Whatís going on?
Coho: Denise, youíre a woman.
Denise: Oh my god. It wasnít detention. It was remedial sex ed. This is part of that No-Stud-Left-Behind thing, isnít it?
Coho: (ignoring her) If you were having a baby, wouldnít you want your doctor to take every precaution that you have a vaginal birth and not a Cesearean? Iíd think---
Brad: Itís called natural. Itís a natural birth.
Denise: What are you guys talking about?
Coho: Brad passed off this loser caseó
Alan: It is not a loser. Maybe youíre a loser if you canít handle it.
Coho: -- of a doctor thatís being sued for performing an unnecessary Caesarean. Now, if it was you having a baby, wouldnít you want to avoid that at all costs?
Denise: Iíd want to avoid having a baby at all costs. I havenít thought much beyond that.
Alan: Well, put yourself in her stirrups for a moment. Would it be about you or about the baby? Any doctor is going to opt for a vaginal delivery as a first choice, but---
Brad: Itís natural.
Everyone stops and looks at him for a second.
Alan: Brad, why do you keep saying that?
Brad: Well, it is. Itís the way it was intended to be. Thatís why itís called natural.
Denise: Oh my God.
Denise: (to Brad) Thatís why you donít want to take this case?
Alan: For the love of GodÖwhy?
Denise: Brad canít say vaginal.
Brad: Thatís not true!
Denise: It is! Heíd have to say ďvaginal deliveryĒ and he canít say it. Well, really, he canít say ďvaginaĒ, but I imagine he canít say ďvaginalĒ either.
Brad: Thatís a lie!
Alan: (clearly amused) Say it, then, Brad.
Brad: No. Thatís stupid. Iím not going to say it just to satisfy you. Youíre smug. I donít perform for smug.
Coho: You have got to be kidding me. Thatís what this is about? My God, you were practically a Navy SEAL. But youíre really just a girl. Oh wait. No. A girl would be able to handle this.
Brad: Denise, this is so unprofessional.
Denise: Oh címon Brad. You couldnít bring yourself to say it. You referred to it as seacraft.
Alan: Seacraft? Were you relating it to a cruise?
Coho: Seacraft? Oh my God. The hits just keep on cominí.
Brad: Oh, itís not such a big deal.
Denise: Only if the babyís name was Popeye, Brad. (to Alan) Was it?
Alan shakes his head no.
Denise: Maybe you should give me the case. Iíll win it. And prove once again why men shouldnít be in charge of anything.
Brad: Oh, that does it. Iíll take it. Iíll take the case. You guys are idiots.
Alan: Care to make it interesting?
Brad: What do you mean?
Alan: You take the case. And if you get through it without Jeffrey as second chair to, letís say, steer the seacraft, then I have to do your bidding. And if you need Jeffrey to second chair, you have to do mine.
Brad: No problem, sport.
Coho: Aye, matey! Thatís the spirit!
Alan to Coho: Care to make it interesting?
Coho: Me? What did I do?
Alan: Youíre smug. I enjoy taunting smug, Bluto.
Coho: (inches up to Alanís face) Whatíre your terms?
Alan: We both know Popeye is going to need a first mate. But if you two win, you won't be able to go 24 hours without gloating.
(Coho hesitates) Wait a minuteÖI get punished for winning? What kind of stupid bet is that?
Alan: Not winning. Just for trying to take all the credit. Of course, it's only stupid if you actually had a shot at winning. With Popeyeís speech impediment and your cocky attitude, youíre sure to alienate a jury. You guys donít have a chance.
Coho: Youíre on, you moron. This is going to be so easy. Iíll spend the next couple of days just dreaming up the poetic justice to all of this.
Alan: Yes, I imagine it would take you that long. I, on the other hand, already know what Iím going to request of you.
[by paulish and bbbeluga]
Courtroom with Caesarian section case in progress
Opposing counsel calls their client to the stand and begins questioning him about the necessity for the Caesarian delivery versus the vaginal one. Counsel tells the judge he has no further questions and sits down. Brad sits at the table, Jeffrey a seat or two away. Another moment of awkward silence goes by as all eyes turn toward Brad. Coho gets up and sits next to him.
Coho: Uh, it may have been a while but typically in a trial, when the other side is finished with questions, it's your turn.
Brad: (still unmoving) Very funny.
Judge: Mr Chase, do you have any questions for this witness?
Brad: (stuttering) Yes, your honor, we, uh, we do. (turns to Coho)
OK, I can't do it. You'll have to do it, but (grabs Coho's arm as he eagerly stands up) Ė wait a minute! I'll give you five hundred bucks to keep this to yourself!
Coho: Ha, that's chicken feed for a half hour hour of my time, buddy boy!
(gets up only to be dragged back again by Brad)
Brad: OK, what do you want?
Coho: First off, I want you to stop tugging on my Italian suit!
Judge: Gentlemen, are you intending to participate in this trial or do the chicken dance?
Coho: (tugging his arm away from Brad, who struggles to hold him back) Let me go! (a near brawl ensues as they square off over the table, until the judge orders the bailiff to intervene)
Judge: I will hold you both in contempt if someone doesn't get up here in ten seconds!
Brad: (straightening up and walking toward the stand) Doctor (fixes his tie) would you agree that a natural delivery was not possible in this case?
Doctor: The Caesarian delivery was the natural option, Mr. Chase, so I don't understand your question.
Brad: (starting to sweat) Well, I mean, as opposed to the other kind of delivery?
Doctor: I'm sorry?
Brad turns and walks back to the table, sits down, and lets Coho take over.
Hallway of Crane, Poole, & Schmidt
Brad comes through the elevator door silently, not even bothering to check for messages at reception, thinking he can get in unnoticed. He looks hopefully for some foot traffic to cover his entrance but sees Paul returning from the men's room, newspaper under his arm. He steps quickly and sidles up to Paul, realizing he has to squat a little to remain hidden by Paul.
Paul: (loudly) Brad, what are you doing?
Brad: Shhhh, I mean...I'm walking with you. I never do that much, you know? Walk with you, kind of like, in your shoes?
Paul: Are you all right? And why the hell are you walking like a DUCK?!
Brad: Uh, my back, it's a bit, uh, sore from skiing, that's all.
(Coho comes in, head held high, looking around for signs of Alan being within earshot. Instead he spots Paul and a stooped Brad, which he can't help asking about.)
Coho: What's up, buddy boy, practicing for the slalom?
Paul: I heard you two won the Bracken case.
Coho: We TWO? Ha, if I hadn't been there--(Coho stops himself and looks around cautiously, keeps his voice lower) If I hadn't been there, Ken here would have been belly up on the table with the word "vaginal" ringing in his ears.
(Unknown to them, Alan has promised Jennifer the receptionist tickets to the Oingo Boingo concert for an alert that one or the other had returned. When she alerted him, he found a perfect vantage point from which to listen and observe.)
Paul: Well, whatever it took, then. Good work. Carry on.
(Paul heads off in another direction, leaving Brad standing in the middle of the corridor, semi-squatting, Coho looking down at him. He straightens up and looks at Coho.)
Brad: (taking Coho's arm to lead him into the conference room to speak privately) Listen, my offer, before--I'll double it, triple it if you just don't--
(When he turns Coho toward the conference room, they bump right into Alan, who's been listening for several minutes from the doorway.)
Alan: Brad, I hear you won the case. I'm sure the client is pleased.
Brad: Ah, yes, of course he was. There was never any doubt in my mind.
Alan: And following that brief display of Greco-Roman wrestling moves, wasn't that Jeffrey I saw handling the cross of the doctor?
(Brad's face begins to redden. Coho stands tall, but silent.)
Alan: And Jeffrey, you did admirably keeping your role quiet for... (looks at watch for dramatic effect) all of half a minute after you got back. So it seems I have won both bets.
(Alan smiles and strolls away, leaving them standing there wondering what they'd missed. They look at one another, then decide to follow him.)
Brad: (stepping into Alan's office) So what gives, sport?
Coho: Yeah, what's the deal? Did you change your mind about the bet?
Alan: (glancing down at desk, finishing a note) Oh, no, not at all. (After completing that, he sits back in his chair and looks smugly at both of them, standing there like a pair of kids waiting for the Principal to give them their punishment.) In the morning you will both meet me in front of the building at 8 a.m. I'll tell you then what you'll be doing as your part of our bet.
(Brad and Coho look at one another, seeing dread mirrored on each other's faces.)
Coho: How about a hint?
(Alan just shakes his head and returns to the file he was reading. They stand for another moment before turning and leaving.)
Brad: (whispering as they walk to the kitchen) This is all your fault, you know.
Coho: My fault? If you hadn't had such a ridiculous case of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, none of this would have happened.
Brad: A case of what??
Brad: Yeah, I heard it the first time. What the hell is that?
Coho: Well, technically, it's the fear of long words, but I think we can avoid splitting hairs here and apply it to your pathetic case. Although...heterophobia is the fear of sex, so perhaps if we combine the two--
Brad: (walking away) Oh, shut up!
Outside the building that houses Crane, Poole & Schmidt
Alan strolls up Boylston Street and sees Coho and Brad standing in the chilly January air, looking left and right for a clue to their fate. His smile suggests his thoughts: "This is too good. Oh, just to stand here and watch the worms squirm."
Alan: (getting close enough to speak) Boys, it's a good morning to be alive, isnt it?
(Brad and Coho exchange glances and nod glumly.)
Alan: Ah, subdued. Well I can accept that. In fact, being men of few words is precisely what I had in mind for you both today.
(Alan reaches into his overcoat to remove two slips of paper from his jacket pocket. He hands one to each of them.)
Alan: (an air of magnanimity about him) Go ahead, open them up.
(Brad unfolds his slip and reads the words written, Jeffrey doing the same. They exchange glances again, then look up at Alan.)
Coho: OK, what gives? What are we supposed to make of these phrases?
Alan: Quite simply, boys, those are the only words you are allowed to utter today. No matter the situation, no matter who is speaking to you, you may only respond using one of those phrases, alternating them in sequence.
(Two jaws drop in front of 500 Boylston Street, as Brad and Coho look at Alan, then their respective papers. Alan smiles smugly, now feeling he has more than refined the look to an art form. He starts to go inside, then turns back to the two deer caught in headlights.)
Alan: Oh, one more thing: you can't explain why, to anyone.
Just outside the elevator at CPS
Alan has cued Jennifer, the receptionist, to speak to Jeffrey when he arrives.
Jennifer: (brightly) Good morning, Mr. Coho.
Coho: What's that?
Jennifer: (speaking more loudly) Good morning. Your 8:30 appointment is here.
Coho: (somewhat aggressively in his frustration) Should I use my gun?
(Jennifer, too shocked to respond immediately, stares at him for a moment before he turns away and stomps down the hall)
Alan strolls in with Brad in tow.
Alan: Shirley. I'm sure you remember our first conversation, in the men's room.
Shirley: (looking up, surprised) You zipped your pants and offered me your hand. Which I refused.
Alan: Brad has something he wants to tell you about what you saw that day. (looks expectantly at Brad, who is struggling with something, apparently) Brad.
Brad: (in exasperation) Oh my God, that's enormous!
(Shirley smiles, certain that a wager is involved but not sure exactly how.)
Alan: Thank you, Brad. That will be all.
Hallway at CPS
Denise meets Jeffrey as he tries desperately to reach his office in record time so as to avoid everyone. She does not notice that Brad is behind him.
Denise: Jeffrey. About our arrangement. How about tonight?
Coho: What's that?
Denise: (looking around for something unusual or out of place, checking her clothing) What?
Coho: (miserably) Should I use my gun?
Denise: (thinks she understands him) I should hope so, Cowboy.
Brad (stepping up indignantly) I resent that!
Denise: Brad! I... was just...
Brad: (angrily) Oh my God, that's enormous!
Denise: (looking around again, confused) What?
(Jeffrey and Brad both leave abruptly in frustration)
Denise: (to no one) OK. I'll be... in my office.
Alan: (steps out from behind the stairwell, beaming) Perfect!
Farther down the hall at CPS
Denny bumps into Jeffrey on his way to the men's room.
Denny: Jeffrey! How's it hanging, son?
Jeffrey: What's that?
(Denny stares at him for a moment, deciding whether to explain what would be hanging, but is distracted by his stomach making a loud noise.)
Denny: Oh, God, I REALLY should have had some roughage for lunch. Know what I mean?
Jeffrey: (pleased to find that his sentence actually fits for once) Should I use my gun?
Denny: (turning as he pushes open the men's room door) Nah, but you may wanna get out in a hurry.
In the men's room at CPS
At the end of a long day, Brad is relieved to be relieving himself one last time before leaving the office. Paul joins him with the same idea. At first they merely stand in companionable silence, but Paul feels compelled to ask about Brad's odd behavior.
Paul: Brad, are you all right?
Brad: (starting to answer) Paul, I--"
Alan: (from one of the stalls, warningly) Bradley.
Brad: (looks decidedly unhappy) I resent that.
Brad: (hopelessly) Oh my God, that's enormous.
Paul: Don't fret, Brad, (moves to the sink, smiling) but you don't know the half of it.
(Alan steps out of the stall, meets Brad's gaze behind Paul's back, and looks at Paul in disbelief. Brad and Alan shake their heads with the same thought: "Nah." Paul walks out the door, head held high, feeling he's finally gotten a step up on the young bucks around there. Maybe now he'll get a bit more respect.)
vignette by olucy, bbbeluga and paulish, workshopped together in our forum