Saturday, October 27, 2007

Keeping It Real

I call in sick today and Benson is suspicious. Whatever. I sit at my computer and flip the switch, bringing the blank monitor to life. The chat room calls. My name is BANE.

SPAZZ is on again. All he can talk about is his divorce and how he hates his wife.

SPAZZ: Is it against the law to hire a hit man? Just kidding.

BANE: I’ve heard of too many cases where a hit man was more trouble than he was worth. Much better to do it yourself. Just kidding.

SPAZZ: Don’t temp me.

BANE: I’m just voicing what you really want to do. Hear me out. If you’re not afraid.

A dog barks. I look out the window. A woman is walking a dog, but it keeps tugging at the leash. She’s using one of those choker collars. The more the mutt yanks at the chain, the tighter it becomes. The dog stops barking and begins gasping for air. The woman continues to jerk the leash, and as they turn the corner out of sight, I can hear the dog’s toenails scraping on the concrete. The scene repulses me and I think about Benson. My jaw begins to clench.

SPAZZ: I don’t think I hate her enough to kill.

BANE: That’s the problem with people. They think too much.

SPAZZ: Okay. How would you do it?

Yeah, I told SPAZZ that people think too much, but some serious thinking was in order to answer this question. I ran a picture through my mind of the perfect murder. Gunshot. Strangling. Stabbing. Explosion. Carbon monoxide. Poison. Not to mention the various methods of torture. The list is endless.

I smile for the first time in weeks.

BANE: Logic and reason are your friends. You can’t afford to be ruled by impulse. Murder is a fine art.

SPAZZ: You sound pretty serious. This is a joke, right?

BANE: Of course. We’re just hypothesizing.

The phone rings. I feel the tension in my neck and back. Sweat begins to bead along my forehead. Caller ID says BENSON. He’s checking up on me. I take a deep breath as I pick up the phone.

“Hello…Mr. Benson?...yes, sir…not too good…I think I might go to the doctor if my fever doesn’t break soon…I should be back to work in a couple of days…I just need some rest…I appreciate your concern, but it’s not necessary…no…I couldn’t trouble you…it’s out of your way…of course you can drop by…if you insist…goodbye, sir.”

Looks like I’ll be having company later. Benson’s making a special trip to see me and he’s bringing the Hamilton file. He thinks I can work on it at home when I start feeling better so I won’t be so far behind. My lucky day. I look at my computer screen. SPAZZ hasn’t missed a beat.

SPAZZ: How exactly would you kill my wife?

BANE: You need to observe her behaviors. What is her daily routine? Where does she go? What does she do? Then you need to establish an alibi. That is very important. A documented phone call or an airplane ticket.

SPAZZ: Seems like an awful lot of trouble.

BANE: Yeah, but the stakes are high in the game of murder. You have to really want this person dead. Nothing else matters. You embrace a perpetual hatred toward the object of your wrath. Your life is meaningless as long as she is alive.

SPAZZ: I guess you’re right.

BANE: It requires commitment and patience. Observations of her behaviors may take weeks. Even months. But in the end it’s worth it.

SPAZZ: What about motive? If you hate someone that much, you’re bound to be the first suspect.

BANE: You’re right. You have to speak well of her in front of others, especially her close friends and associates. In fact, go out of your way to be kind and thoughtful to her. This is all part of the preparation period.

SPAZZ: Hey, you’re good.

BANE: Compliments will get you nowhere.

SPAZZ: The weapon of choice?

BANE: Poison. It’s silent. No fuss. No pain. Easy clean up.

SPAZZ: You give her a martini, or what?

BANE: A dark-colored carbonated beverage works best. Hides the fizz.

SPAZZ: Since we’ve gone this far, how would you dispose of the body?

I thoughtfully stroke my chin. Slicing and dicing is no good. Much more fun but way too messy. Blood everywhere. Incineration is good if you have a fireplace or furnace, however, it would have to be in winter, otherwise it will arouse the curiosity of neighbors.

BANE: Bury it. Preferably in a basement underneath the concrete or in a wall. Like a tomb. You can use chemicals to dry out the body to prevent odor.

SPAZZ: Seems like you have an answer for everything. I’m impressed.

BANE I haven’t mentioned the most important thing.

SPAZZ: What’s that?

BANE: The test comes when they begin to question you about what happened. At this point, you must be very careful. Everything depends on it. Act too upset, they’ve got you. Act too casual, they’ve got you. Be ready for any question. They’re experts. If you can beat them on the psychological level, you’ve won. Keep your story straight. That’s the key. They will have you retell the story over and over, asking different questions each time, trying to trip you up. And they’ll analyze every movement. Every facial expression. Every nuance of speech.

SPAZZ: Congratulations. You’ve committed the perfect murder.

The doorbell rings. It’s Benson with my “homework.”

BANE: Have to sign off now. Talk later.

I log off. As I walk to the door, I smile for the second time in weeks. On the kitchen table are two glasses and a six pack of Coke.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Graveyard Party

(A song parody sung to the tune of "Garden Party")

I went to a graveyard party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share goth memories, and quote Anne Rice again
When I got to the graveyard party, they all knew my name
But I didn’t recognize them, they didn’t look the same

No clove cigarettes, black fingernails or chains
You see, their tattoos said “Hummers Rule,” and they voted for McCain

Goths arrived from miles around, everyone that I knew
But Spider flashed her wedding ring and raved about her “dude”
And sitting on a headstone, scribbling little notes
Crow was on his laptop, checking NASDAQ quotes

No clove cigarettes, black fingernails or chains
You see, their tattoos said “Hummers Rule,” and they voted for McCain

Just as I was leaving, I saw my old girlfriend
Ophelia said, “How are you?” and gently took my hand
Her corpse-like deathly pallor really turned me on
But she just wanted a donation for a Rush Limbaugh telethon

No clove cigarettes, black fingernails or chains
You see, their tattoos said “Hummers Rule,” and they voted for McCain

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Newlyweds in elevator, embracing and snuggling throughout conversation.

YOUNG WOMAN: Darling, when we get to our new apartment, are you going to carry me over the threshold?

YOUNG MAN: Of course I am, sweetheart. It’s tradition.

Elevator stops. MIDDLE AGED WOMAN and MIDDLE AGED MAN step into the elevator; 40s/50s, nicely dressed. Husband carries a bottle of wine. Young couple moves to the side. MIDDLE AGED MAN pushes button.

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: Why do we have to bring wine to a dinner party?

MIDDLE AGED MAN: You have to bring wine. It’s tradition.

Elevator stops. OLD MAN and OLD WOMAN step into elevator; 60s/70s. They stand at opposite sides with the other two couples in between. OLD WOMAN pushes button.

OLD WOMAN: I can’t believe they didn’t have oatmeal on the menu.

OLD MAN: Who eats oatmeal at a Chinese restaurant?

Elevator stops.

YOUNG MAN: Well, here we are, love muffin. Home sweet home. (Young couple exits).

OLD WOMAN: And I didn’t like what my fortune cookie said. “Live long and prosper.” What in the world does that mean? Is that a crack about my age?

OLD MAN: It’s from “Star Trek.” Sign of the Vulcan.

Elevator stops.

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: Eighteen dollars for a bottle of wine! Unbelievable! (Middle aged couple exits. OLD MAN and OLD WOMAN are alone. Long period of silence.)

OLD WOMAN: What’s the point of the fortune cookie anyway? Tradition?

OLD MAN: No, I don’t think so. It just means the meal is over.


Friday, August 17, 2007

The Coffee Shop Incident

My friend Abigail and I were having coffee at Starbucks and talking about everything from birthday cakes to chick flicks. We were right in the middle of a personal discussion concerning Abigail's treatment by a rude and obnoxious guest at a recent barbeque picnic, when a man began browsing the newspaper shelf near our table.

The man was standing so close to us we could have combed his hair.While we were talking, we kept looking at him from the corners of our eyes. We were aware that he could hear every word we said. I signaled to Abigail to stop talking so we just sat there in silence waiting for the guy to leave. He didn't. At least not right away.

The silence was so great that Abigail couldn't stand it and asked me, "So, have you been playing the piano lately?"I launched into "piano mode" and rattled off my repertoire, all the while hoping this guy would go away. Finally, he did and we were able to finish our discussion about the boorish behavior of the oaf at the picnic.

Later on, we laughed about the newspaper guy. We thought we should have pulled that stunt in the Seinfeld episode where Elaine, Jerry and George are sitting in the restaurant and a woman is eavesdropping on their conversation. They find out someone's listening to them so Elaine says to George and Jerry: "So you're gay. Who cares? Come out of the closet already."I should have said to Abigail, "So tell me all about your sex change operation."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coffee Klatch

A One-Minute Play
by Luana Krause

(Cordelia and Phoebe are sitting at kitchen table drinking coffee.)

CORDELIA: So where is he now?

PHOEBE: In the basement.

CORDELIA: The basement? How did you get him down there?

PHOEBE: It wasn’t too difficult. I had so much adrenaline flowing through my body I could have lifted a bulldozer. I wrapped a towel around his head and dragged him by the feet.

CORDELIA: Good idea. The towel, I mean.

PHOEBE: His head still thumped on each step, though. Couldn’t do much about that.

CORDELIA: What time did you…?

PHOEBE: Four-thirty.

CORDELIA: I was watching “Oprah.”

PHOEBE: Yes. We were both watching “Oprah.” Here at your house. Right?


PHOEBE: Who was on the show?

CORDELIA: Um…I think it was Nathan Lane.

PHOEBE: Well, was it Nathan Lane or not?

CORDELIA: Yes. I’m sure it was Nathan Lane.

PHOEBE: He’s wonderful. Sorry I missed it.

CORDELIA: Me, too. More coffee?

PHOEBE: Yes, please.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Quest for the Potato Oles

Some may say it was a coincidence. Others may say it was random luck. But I say it was Divine Intervention.

Saturday I pulled into the drive-through at Taco Johns and ordered a crispy taco, a bean burrito, a small potato oles and a Pepsi. I should have known that Armageddon was right around the corner when this exchange took place at the pay window.

Worker: You ordered the taco and burrito?

Me: Yes. And potato oles and a Pepsi.

Worker (looking at his register): Oles and a Pepsi? Uh…yeah…right. That's $5:10, please.

Sure enough, when I got home, the potato oles were nowhere to be found. I had broken the Cardinal Rule of fast-food drive-through: I failed to check my bag to make sure the order was correct. My bad. I could have driven all the way back to get them, but that’s not my style. I hate confrontation. I would rather be trapped in an elevator and forced to listen to hip-hop music. I was hungry and exhausted; I just wanted to eat my dinner and watch King of the Hill. potato oles for me.

The next day, Sunday, I was driving home after a church council meeting and decided to stop by Taco Johns again for dinner. This time, I was determined to acquire the coveted potato oles.

I saw the long line in the drive-through, so I parked the car and went inside to place my “to-go” order. It was the same as before: crispy taco, bean burrito, small potato oles and a Pepsi. But this time the price was $6:39, a difference of $1.29 from yesterday’s order. I was confused, but went ahead and paid. I don't know why I didn't ask about it right then, but before I could say “taco bravo,” I had already passed the point of no return.

It was then that I realized that my order was already in the "computer" and automatically displayed on a monitor in the kitchen where the workers were furiously filling orders. A spirit of dread filled my soul as I approached the kid at the counter who had taken my order.

Me: Excuse, me what's this? (I showed him my receipt and the initials SPO)

Worker: That's super potato oles.

Me: What are super potato oles?

Worker: A large potato oles with meat and cheese on it.

Me: But I ordered a small potato oles.

Worker: Sorry, I thought you said super potato oles.

Me: No, I just want the small potato oles.

Worker: Are you sure you don’t want the super potato oles?

Me: No, thank you. I’d rather have the small potato oles.

Worker: Uh...okay…

Immediately, beads of sweat appeared on the kid's forehead and his hands started shaking. His face turned white with fear. With great trepidation, he reported the mix-up to the workers in the kitchen. He was Frodo facing the fires of Mount Doom. I heard someone scream at him, "Are you crazy! I don't have time right now! I'll fix it later!" Frodo came back to me and said they would take care of it soon. I had ruined his day…what was left of it, anyway.

In the meantime, I sat at one of the tables to wait for my order. As I observed the huge crowd in the restaurant and the chaos in the kitchen, I knew this wasn't going to be easy: the kid would have to re-calculate my order on the register, give me a refund, and then they'd have to prepare another potato oles…all the while serving the hungry, impatient multitudes.

Next thing I knew, a worker solemnly emerged from the kitchen with two orders of potato oles on a tray, reminiscent of an altar boy bearing the cruets of wine and water at Mass. At first I thought they were for me -- bonus potato oles to atone for the sin of screwing up my order. But, alas, he handed the tray to a family that was waiting nearby.

A few minutes later, a worker found me at my table and handed me my order. I thanked him and looked in the bag. Yep. There they were. The hated super potato oles mocked me, determined to make my life miserable.

Saddened and angered by my misfortune, I asked myself, “What would Hank Hill do?” The answer came to me in an apparition as I stared at the meat-and-cheese-topped super potato oles in my hand. I obeyed the vision. On my way out the door, I threw the horrid spuds in the garbage!

Looking back, I should have given them to another patron. I hate to waste food...but by trashing them, I was hoping to attain a state of stoic indifference to replace my despair and unexpressed rage. I can’t bring myself to yell at people or make a scene in public. EVER! I’ve turned the other cheek so often that I make Mother Teresa (God rest her soul) look like Paris Hilton.

I say that my Taco Johns experience was Divine Intervention because it was two days in a row that I had tried to acquire the Holy Grail, aka the elusive potato oles, and both times I failed. Maybe God was trying to save me from the fat and calories; He probably figured a taco and burrito was all I needed. So, I'm thankful I was spared the discomfort of "over-eating” and the resulting misery. God works in mysterious ways.

I just hope He turns the other way next time. I've got my eye on that "Oreo Spoon-Bender Milk Shake."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Losing Wait

Hubby recently turned fifty-five, that middle-age milestone when you realize that no matter what else happens decaf is here to stay. You also become aware that for the first time in your life, your thirty-something coworkers are calling you “Gramps.”

A sure sign that hubby was beginning his inevitable journey through the Golden Years began five years earlier when he received his first issue of “Retirement Today” magazine, featuring such riveting articles as “When Tennis Elbow Kills.” In addition to this informative periodical, hubby now enjoys the added benefits of senior discounts at movie theatres, department stores and Bubba’s Bistro.

Reflecting on this sad state of affairs, he made the life-altering decision to get a complete physical to assess the damage caused by decades of armchair football. The diagnosis wasn’t surprising. Hubby is fifty pounds overweight, his cholesterol is off the charts and his blood pressure exceeds that of an espresso-addicted monkey. Consequently, the kitchen counter has become a pharmacy with bottles of pills for his various ailments, which include the aforementioned maladies, along with acid reflux, back pain and shin splints.

Following doctor’s orders, hubby undertook a mission to lose weight and get more exercise. Over the years he had tried every diet known to man: Northwest Beach, the Twilight Zone, Cupcake Busters. His favorite was the Gazpacho Jack Daniels Diet; every meal included a bowl of tomato soup with a whiskey chaser.

Despite his failure in the past to lose weight, he was enthusiastic about changing his lifestyle and determined to slim down. His excitement was inspiring. Just the other day at the grocery store I was delighted to see him rounding the corner with a bag of fat-free potato chips and a six-pack of diet root beer.

Hubby had better luck with his exercise regimen, which meant a work out at the gym three times a week. He used the treadmill for aerobics and lifted weights to tone his triceps, biceps and abs. I’m sure there were abs in there somewhere. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But apathy set in about two weeks later and the excuses started flowing like melted butter on corn-on-the-cob. Weak ankles. Blister on toe. Denver Broncos didn’t make the playoffs.

After thirty years of marriage, I’ve learned that hubby needs my encouragement and support if he’s going to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I’m up to the challenge. Maybe an incentive will work. When he loses his first fifteen pounds, we’ll use his senior discount and make a reservation for two at Bubba’s Bistro.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Dinner Talk

Rebecca’s hands tightened into fists and she furiously shook her head, trying to dispel the obsessive thoughts that assailed her daily. She didn’t know that studying for “Jeopardy” would be such a challenge. She had memorized hundreds of facts that were crammed in her head like a box of crayons with every color under the rainbow. Black forest, red velvet, white wine, blue cheese, hash browns. STOP IT! Unable to sleep more than a few hours a night, she was exhausted. This had been going on for weeks; Rebecca wasn’t used to getting such little sleep. Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlett, Maid Marian, Sheriff of Nottingham. KNOCK IT OFF! Offend, runoff, official, offshoot, trade off. NO!

Her friends Zoe and Marla had joined her for dinner to celebrate her being chosen a contestant, and tomorrow Rebecca would be flying to Hollywood. Her greatest fear was that she’d look like a complete idiot. Buffoon, dolt, laughingstock, moron, lunatic. NOT AGAIN! What was she trying to prove, anyway?

Rebecca wiped her hands across her apron as she turned to the pot that was now boiling over. When she was putting the hot pan in the sink, she noticed a movement in the reflection of the window. She turned quickly, but Zoe and Marla were still sitting motionless, right where she’d left them. Rebecca didn’t want them to know how nervous she was about the show, or about the voices. At first, her rambling thoughts only happened when the room was quiet. But now it was getting worse and she had trouble controlling it. She took a deep breath, and with a forced smile, carried the bowl of steaming pasta to the dining room.

“Penne pasta and marinara sauce!” said Marla. “Beck, you’ve outdone yourself this time.”

“I adore your cooking, Cheri. This delightful repast reminds me of a funny story. Have I told it before? I don’t think so. Or have I? No, I’m fairly certain I haven’t. Anyway, when Roger and I were in Paris last summer, we dined at this quaint out-of-the way bistro…”

Rebecca didn’t hear the rest. Her thoughts carried her away into another category. What is the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Champs-Elysees?

“…and can you believe it? The waiter forgot the wine!” Zoe finished her story with a dramatic shriek of laughter.

What is Bordeaux, Champagne, Alsace, Burgundy, Roussillon?

Marla chuckled politely for Zoe’s benefit and then glanced in Rebecca’s direction, “Are you okay, Beck? You look a little flushed.”

“I’m fine. Too much wine I guess. How’s the salad?”

“Wonderful,” said Marla.

“Divine,” said Zoe.

“Good. I wanted tonight to be special.”

“You’re not nervous about the show, are you?” asked Marla.

“No, not all.”

Zoe sipped her Chablis and said, “You have nothing to be afraid of, my dear. You’ll reign supreme!”

Who is King Louis, Queen Elizabeth, Tzar Nicholas, Ferdinand, Isabella?

“In fact, Beck, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of the all-time winners!”

“Well, I don’t know about that…” said Rebecca.

“Don’t be so modest,” said Marla. “You’ve told us how it’s always been your dream and how you’ve never had the courage until now. We know you’re ready for this. Don’t worry.”

Rebecca nodded and a faint smile played at the edge of her lips. She didn’t deserve such devoted friends. Marla and Zoe were right. She would be just fine.

“Marla, darling, what exhibits are on display at the gallery this season? I’m dying to see something new,” asked Zoe.

What is renew, Newport, newlywed, New Delhi, newsworthy?

“Well,” said Marla, “in December we’re showing works by an artist from New Orleans by the name of Jim Stone.”

What is amethyst, topaz, emerald, zircon, sapphire?

“Never heard of him. What has he done?” asked Zoe.

“He’s a sculptor. Specializes in Old West motifs,” Marla replied.

Who is Buffalo Bill, Crazy Horse, Wyatt Earp, Annie Oakley, Geronimo?

Zoe sniffed in disdain. “Old West? I didn’t know there were cowboys in New Orleans.”

“You’d be surprised, Zoe. New Orleans is quite the Renaissance city.”

Who is Da Vinci, Copernicus, Botticelli, Cervantes, Monteverdi?

Marla continued, “It’s not all about Cajun cuisine and Jazz, you know.”

What is gumbo, jambalaya, ragtime, bebop, swing? STOP IT! Rebecca stood up abruptly.

“Is everyone ready for coffee and dessert?”

“Absolutely,” said Zoe.

“Do you need some help?” asked Marla.

More than you know, thought Rebecca. “No, I can handle it. Just make yourselves comfortable in the living room. I’ll be right back.”

In the kitchen, Rebecca sliced three generous portions of German chocolate cake. Eins, zwei, drei, vier, funf. Suddenly her hands started shaking uncontrollably. Just slight tremors at first, but quickly turning into sharp, jerky movements. She dropped the knife. As it clattered to the floor, she bit her knuckles in fear. What’s wrong with me?

“Beck? Are you okay in there?”

“Just dropped the knife. I’m okay.” Monet, soufflĂ©, Bombay. The room was spinning around and around like a carousel and Rebecca was getting dizzy…fizzy…tizzy. Her head hurt and the voices grew more persistent. Jupiter…hickory smoked…For Whom the Bell Tolls…

Rebecca screamed, dropped to the floor and crawled into a corner of the kitchen. Marla and Zoe ran in and found her there in a fetal position, clawing at her hair and moaning in agony. Bermuda Triangle …peregrine falcon…Margaret Thatcher….NO! Sardines…quantum mechanics…Prohibition…HELP ME! Centigrade…Dow Jones…Frosty the Snowman…MAKE IT STOP?

As Marla dialed 911, Zoe reached down and stroked Rebecca’s cheek, speaking words of solace. “Don’t worry, Cheri. We know you’re a tiny bit anxious about your appearance on the show and that you’re terribly afraid of looking like a fool, but you’ll be fine. Just fine.”

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I will now say a word and I want you to say the first word that comes to your mind. Ready?

PATIENT: I think so.

SHRINK: "Word."

PATIENT: Okay, go ahead.

SHRINK: I already did. "Word."

PATIENT: I'm waiting.

SHRINK: The word is "Word."

PATIENT: You just said that. I don't have all day.


PATIENT: I'm not deaf. Just give me the word and we can get started.

SHRINK: You're impossible!

PATIENT: That's two words.

SHRINK: I've had it!

PATIENT: Three words. I thought you said it was going to be one word?


PATIENT: Back to two words. Make up your mind.




PATIENT: "Stop."


PATIENT: "Stay."


PATIENT: Which one? "Dye" as in color or "die" as in dead?

(SHRINK runs out the door screaming)

PATIENT: That's five therapists in as many weeks. Must be something in the water.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Previously on "24"

The following takes place between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. Federal agent Jack Bauer interrogates a suspect at the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) in Los Angeles.

JACK: We don’t have much time, Pyle! The entire city of Los Angeles is going to be annihilated in less than 15 minutes! Now … WHERE IS THE BOMB!?

GOMER: Gol-ly! You talk just like Sergeant Carter!

JACK: Carter?

GOMER: He’s my sergeant at Camp Henderson. A real nice feller. He was the first person who took an interest in me when I moved here from North Carolina. You ever been to North Carolina? That’s where I’m from. Mayberry, North Carolina.

JACK: Is that where you got the bomb?

GOMER: Well … I don’t think we have any bombs in Mayberry. Unless you count the cherry bombs they sell at the fireworks stand on Maple Street. But that’s only on the fourth of July. I’ll never forget the time me and Goober got a whole bag full of cherry bombs and lit ‘em all at once. You should have seen the…

JACK: Who’s Goober?

GOMER: Goober’s my cousin. He works at the Mayberry gas station. The best gosh darn mechanic in town. Well, actually, the only mechanic in town.

JACK: So he’s the one who built the bomb.

GOMER: The bomb?

JACK: Don’t play dumb, Pyle. We know you’re the brains behind Operation Aunt Bee.

GOMER: Aunt Bee’s having an operation? Gol-ly!

JACK: (His cell phone rings; he answers) Bauer here … Kim, I can’t talk now. I’m interrogating a suspect…I told you, not now! Okay, but make it fast…uh huh…yeah…I’d go with the pink nail polish. It’ll match your skirt … I love you, too, sweetheart. (Hangs up phone)

GOMER: Pink nail polish is pretty. Lou Anne always wears pink nail polish. It looks real nice.

JACK: Lou Anne Poovie. We know all about her.

GOMER: Then you must have heard her sing at the Blue Bird CafĂ©! She’s got the sweetest voice. Just like an angel.

JACK: She’s a terrorist, Pyle. She’s been working for the underground in Pakistan for the past five years.

GOMER: Hmm…that must be why she always breaks our date on Thursday nights.

JACK: Time is running out! We have to find the bomb NOW!

(Suddenly, the interrogation room shakes from a nuclear explosion near the city)

JACK: The bomb has gone off! (Jack runs for the door but can’t get out)
Open the door!

VOICE OVER LOUDSPEAKER: Sorry, Jack. The attack has automatically sealed all the doors at CTU. No one comes in or goes out for the next 24 hours.

GOMER: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Now we have all the time in the world for a nice long chat. Did I ever tell you about…

(JACK assumes a fetal position in the corner of the interrogation room. He proceeds to suck his thumb and whine “Mommy”)