Aperanian Talk Show
by Anna M.C.
HOST: (Think a medieval Jerry Springer. Actually that's probably redundant.) "Thank you, thank you, everyone, for that terrific greeting. I love you all, and I mean that. So ladies, I'm going to ask you all a very personal, intimate question here." AUDIENCE MAKES A MOCK-SHOCKED 'OOOOOOOH' SOUND IN RESPONSE. "The question is this: have you ever been in a relationship with a really terrific guy? Only problem is . . . he says that he needs some 'space'?"
OBLIGATORY ROWDY WOMAN IN THE AUDIENCE: "I'll give him some space, honey! All the space he needs -- Just kick his (BLEEP) out the (BLEEP BLEEP) door!"
OBLIGATORY ROWDY AUDIENCE CHEER
HOST: (Laughing) "Well, it seems that being commitment-shy isn't exclusive to the peasants and dregs of society who watch our show. When you add a title and a crown to all that testosterone, it only gets worse! Which brings us to today's topic, 'Princes who can't commit, and the women who love them.' (AUDIENCE CHEERS AGAIN, FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON). So please join me in welcoming our first two guests who just can't seem to make it to the altar. You know them well -- they're the monarch you love, and the tyrant you love to hate. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Prince Erik Greystone and Prince Dirk Blackpool!"
DIRK AND ERIK ENTER, AND ARE GREETED WITH RESOUNDING BOOS. DIRK LOOKS AS IF HE EXPECTED NOTHING LESS, BUT ERIK APPEARS BOTH PUZZLED AND MIFFED.
HOST: "So nice to have you both on the show. Erik, Dirk -- may I call you Dirk?"
BLACKPOOL: "Not if you enjoy breathing."
HOST: "Gotcha. So, Prince Blackpool, as I was saying, exactly how long have you been 'seeing' Bethel? And Erik, how long have you known Ariel?"
ERIK: "Well, we've been betrothed since birth, but I've only just met -- hey, wait a minute, what does this have to do with anything? I thought the topic was 'Handsome Princes and their Villainous Foes.'"
DIRK: (Sneering) "Well, that would certainly disqualify you for all the available criteria, then. However, I agree that something's definitely odd here. They told me the topic was 'Misunderstood, Gorgeous Men in Black Leather and the Heroes they Love to Hate.'"
HOST: (Laughing uncomfortably) "There must be some misunderstanding. Actually, today's topic is 'Princes who can't commit and the women who love them.' Speaking of which, let's bring out our two forlorn would-be brides -- Let's have a big hand for our two lovely ladies, Princess Ariel and the Witch Bethel!"
ARIEL FLOUNCES IN, AND BETHEL SLINKS SEDUCTIVELY BEHIND HER. AUDIENCE CHEERS. DIRK AND ERIK LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER IN RISING PANIC.
HOST: Bethel, Princess Ariel, please make yourselves comfortable. Now, it seems clear that both your Prince Charmings here --"
SAME OBLIGATORY ROWDY FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: "More like Prince (BLEEP BLEEP), honey!"
HOST: "--well, that both of them -- how can I put this without hurting your feelings? -- seem less than eager to tie the knot, so to speak. Just how does that make you feel? It's time to share the pain. Don't be shy. We're all friends here."
ARIEL: (POUTING) "Well, he's just always so darn busy. Always off slaying something. I mean, I know it's not that he doesn't want me, that's just silly -- I mean, how could he not want me? I'm the most beautiful princess in all Aperans."
OBLIGATORY ROWDY MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: "Actually, you're the ONLY (BLEEP) Princess in all Aperans, sweetheart!"
ARIEL: "Well, that's true. What's your point?"
HOST: "The point being that you're not the sharpest pencil in the box, dear. Now, Bethel, what about you?"
BETHEL: "Sentiment has nothing to do with it. We had a contract, plain and simple. He promised to make me his queen, and I promised to steal-- um, I mean, I promised to do him . . . certain favors best left unmentioned."
OBLIGATORY ROWDY MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER AGAIN: "I'll just BET you did, sweetheart! How about doing me a little favor sometime, eh?"
BETHEL GLARES DAGGERS, AND CASUALLY CASTS A SPELL. SUDDENLY, IN THE SEAT FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY SAID ROWDY MALE, ONE VERY BEWILDERED-LOOKING TADMON IS SITTING.
AUDIENCE CHEERS. SHOUTS OF "That's the way to do it!", "How about some Kentucky Fried!" AND "You go, girl!" ARE HEARD.
BETHEL: (GRINNING SMUGLY): "Well, as I was saying, I fulfilled my part of the bargain. But he has seemed rather reluctant to fulfill his. Breach of contract, I call it."
ROWDY FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER: "You should just SUE his (BLEEP) arrogant leather-clad (BLEEP), honey!"
HOST: "Well, that's one possibility, but here on the show, as you know, we like to solve things amicably."
ERIK: "What about the time that one guest beat the other one unconscious with a chair?"
HOST: "A fluke."
DIRK: "How about when one of your guests inflicted permanent nerve damage on another using only a bowl of carpacca salad? I learned a great deal of innovative techniques from that episode."
HOST: "Why, thank you. I rather liked that one myself. But this time, we really want to solve this amicably. That's why we've taken the liberty to give you two a chance to put your kolnas where your mouths are. Bring out the Justice of the Peace!"
DIRK AND ERIK IN UNISON: "WHAT????"
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE ENTERS TO THE TUNE OF CHEESY RECORDED WEDDING MUSIC. ARIEL SQUEALS WITH DELIGHT AND HUGS AN INCREASINGLY PANICKED ERIK. BETHEL JUST RAISES AN EYEBROW AND SMIRKS AT BLACKPOOL.
HOST: "All right, Erik, Dirk, are you ready once and for all to say 'I do?'"
DIRK PICKS UP THE HOST BY THE COLLAR AND SLAMS HIM AGAINST THE WALL. ERIK, FOR ONCE ON DIRK'S SIDE, DRAWS HIS MAGIC SWORD AND BRANDISHES IT THREATENINGLY AT THE HOST.
DIRK (VERY QUIETLY, INCHES FROM HOST'S FACE): "Does the phrase 'fat chance' mean anything to you?"
ERIK (EQUALLY THREATENINGLY): "I think you had better go to a commercial break. Right now."
HOST (SPEAKING WITH DIFFICULTY AS ALL OF HIS AVAILABLE AIRFLOW HAS BEEN CUT OFF): "We'll be (gasp, wheeze) right back (arrghh) after these (ack) messages."
--- CUT TO COMMERCIAL --
"It's Vector's Hat Club for Men! Yes, for all you stylish wizards who don't want to admit you wear a hat, it's the in thing to do! Totally natural-looking! No one will know it's a hat! Impress the ladies! You can even swim in it!"
---Cut to scene of Vector with an obviously disgusted model reluctantly attempting to caress his head/hat; cut to Vector backstroking in a medieval bathing suit with that weird pearl thing still on his head (bet I ruined your dinner with that image) and a slime monster, unbeknownst to him, in hot pursuit. --
"Yes, it's the Hat Club for Men! Total satisfaction or your money back! Send for your free information pack today! Remember, Vector's not just the president -- er, dictator for life -- he's also a client!"
-- END COMMERCIAL --
TALK SHOW THEME MUSIC BEGINS AGAIN. HOST, EXTREMELY BATTERED AND BRUISED AND BELLIGERENT, IS BRANDISHING A CONTRACT IN ERIK AND DIRK'S FACES.
HOST: "All right, you two, I don't have any idea what you're talking about, but you knew (BLEEP) well what the topic of the show was when you signed up. Bethel, I'll be happy to make that pending breach of contract lawsuit against His Leatherness here a class action suit, if you don't mind, m'lady."
BETHEL: "With pleasure."
DIRK: "What in Aperans are you talking about, you cretinous little swine? I never signed anything."
ERIK: "Neither did I! Let me see that. God, it does look like my signature. But I swear, I never signed that!"
DIRK: "Nor did I."
HOST: "Oh yeah? Then how did your signatures get there, then? By magic?"
CAMERA PANS IN TO VERY BACK OF AUDIENCE. VECTOR AND TRAQUILL ARE SITTING SIDE BY SIDE, HAPPILY MUNCHING POPCORN AND ENJOYING THE SPECTACLE.
TRAQUILL (TURNING TO VECTOR): "There'll be hell to pay for this, old boy, but I must say that it was worth burying the hatchet and joining forces for a bit. Erik can be an insufferablelittle twit sometimes."
VECTOR: "Indeed! You know, I just had the most marvelous idea -- I know how to make this even worse for them! All I need to make it work is to borrow and use your monocle for just one moment --"
TRAQUILL: "Not a chance, baldy."
VECTOR: "Oh, (BLEEP)!"
Thanks to the Labyrinth List for the talk show idea. : )
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