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Bye-Bye, Barbara--The Musical! - Jack Fleming's Journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
P. N. Elrod

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Bye-Bye, Barbara--The Musical! [May. 26th, 2006|02:44 pm]
P. N. Elrod
[Current Location |Butt in chair, said butt covered by Kevlar]
[mood |wicked]
[music |Theme to Bye-Bye, Birdie]

Yes, I'm taking full responsibility for this.  Yeah-sure-you betcha!

(For "Agent" B, should you see this--it's called a parody, [of Bye-Bye, Birdie and a 1968 French film called Bye-Bye, Barbara--yeah, that's it--THAT'S the ticket!] and I'm totally able to do it, so don't bother bitching at me or my host.  It's legal.)

My apologies for not including more of the Mod Squad and others so closely working on AW.  Couldn't squeeze that many on stage!  But you all have my humble gratitude and respect for all that you have done, are doing, and will do!


Bye-Bye Barbara

A Cautionary Tale in One Act

by P.N. Elrod




Dramatis Personae


Neo Writer

Victoria Strauss—a guardian angel

A.C. Crispin—another guardian angel

Absolute Write—a helpful entity

Big Bad Barbara—a disaster about to happen

Miss Snark—a reputable agent

Killer Yap— a poodle with ’tude

George Clooney—Miss Snark's own private boy-toy

Jenna Glatzer—an unseen and highly benevolent presence 
Hugh Jackman—a hot stud
Jude Law—another hot stud



Interior of a typical writer’s crappy apartment.  The walls are lined with books, the floor is littered with books, stacks of paper, crumpled paper, coffee cups, soft drink cans, pizza boxes.

Stage left has a desk and chair facing out toward the audience.  Seated there, hunched over a laptop, is young Neo Writer.  She is feverishly tapping at the keys.


Neo:  (in triumph)  There!  Finished!  My book is finished!  Now I shall get it published!!


Strauss & Crispin: ( bathed in light entering Stage Right)  Congratulations!  But don’t you mean SELL it and get it published?


Neo: Yeah, whatever.  (dances around)  Woo hoo!


Strauss & Crispin:  Uh-oh.


Neo:  And now a web search to find an agent!  (Attacks the keys again)



One Week Later…


Neo: Oh!  I am in despair!!! No one wants my brilliant work!


Absolute Write:  (Enters Stage Right)  Have you tried a beta reader?  Maybe your work isn’t quite ready yet.  Spellcheck—did you do that?  Here, post it on me and get some feedback.


Neo:  No, yes, it IS, yes, no, now shut up—I must continue my search!  (taps furiously—stares at the screen.)  Oh my god!  I’ve been accepted!  She likes me—she really likes me!!  I'VE GOT A LITERARY AGENT!!!!


Strauss & Crispin: (peering over her shoulder)  Oh, hell.


Absolute Write:  NO! NO!!! DON’T DO IT!


Neo:  Lemme just get my checkbook…(makes out a check)  There!  Look out destiny—here I come!


Absolute Write:  Honey, I love you but you’re a moron!  DON’T SEND THAT CHECK!


(Thunder, lightning effects, dire chords of threatening, minor-key music, all but Neo are blown  upstage by the blast of wind as Big Bad Barbara makes her entrance.  Neo falls to her knees in awe. )


BBB: (grabbing the check from Neo) Oh, you darling writer!  You wonderful, WONDERFUL writer!  (Pets the fawning Neo on the head)  How I love…how you signed this!!


Neo:  Thank you-thank you!  For a time I feared I was unworthy!


BBB:  Hey, two hundred and six smoking rejections would discourage anyone from thinking they have talent, but I will SAVE you!!


Neo:  Oh, magnificent Barbara


BBB:  Later! (makes a fast exit, so fast that Neo falls flat on her face and stays there) 


(Crispin, Strauss, and Absolute Write pick themselves from the floor, dazed.)


Absolute Write:  What happened?


(To the tune of Elvis singing Trouble, enter Miss Snark in blood red stilettos, a bucket of gin in one hand, walking Killer Yap, a snazzy poodle with attitude who wears a cool tam.)


Miss Snark:  Shit, that’s what, boobala.  To quote Bored of the Rings: “The fewmets have hit the windmill.”


Absolute Write:  She didn’t…!


Miss Snark:  Oh, hell, yes, she did. (Sips from her gin bucket)


Absolute Write:  I TRIED to warn her! I really tried!


Miss Snark:  Cool your jets, sweetie, the fat lady has yet to sing.


Absolute Write:  Yes!!  I will post warnings about that—that ______! 


Strauss & Crispin:  And we will, too!


(They go to Neo’s laptop and take turns typing fast)


Absolute Write:  Yo—neo!  You getting a CLUE yet?


(Neo sits up, stares at them, puts her hands over her ears, and shuts her eyes.)




AW, S, & C:  Yeah, okay, we get it.  (They resume typing)





Miss Snark:  Gotta hand it to you, gang, you done good.  That’s the best 20 Thumbs Down Agents list I’ve ever seen.


Killer Yap:  Yap!


Miss Snark:  It’s unanimous.


Absolute Write:  I am humbly glad to have it posted all over me.  I can just FEEL the links being made.  I’ve never been more proud, more happy, more HONORED……


(Cue thunder, lightning, music, wind.  Stage blackout)


(Lights come up and Absolute Write is GONE.)


Strauss and Crispin:  What the hell just happened?


Miss Snark:  More shit—and Killer Yap didn’t dump that load.

Killer Yap: (Indignantly)  YAP!


Strauss & Crispin:  We must fix this!  To arms!  To arms!  Call Jenna!!


(They get to work on the laptop)


(Miss Snark saunters over to Neo, nudging her out of her self-induced coma with the pointy toe of one shoe.)


Miss Snark:  Hey—Nitwit—up and at 'em!


Neo:  Huh—what?


Miss Snark:  Has that check cleared?


Neo: Why, yes, it has.  The same day it arrived.


Miss Snark:  Any action for your money?


Neo:  Lemme go see!   (Gets on the laptop, shoving S&C out of the way as her panic rises)  She won’t respond!  (Uses phone)  Hello, Miss Barbara?  I’m Neo—you accepted my book and I was wondering….  (Holds receiver away, shocked.  Killer Yap starts howling. Neo ends the call)   She's taken my money, isn't doing anything to sell my book, charged me 75.00 for this phone consultation, AND cussed me out!    How can this BE??!! 


Miss Snark:  Don’t look at me like that, you were warned.


Neo:  But—


Miss Snark:  Uh-uh, get your own gin, this is mine.


Neo:  Where will I go?  What shall I do?


Miss Snark:  Don’t tempt me.  (Toward the wings)  Hey—boy toy!  Time to play, and that hot tub better be boiling tonight!


(George Clooney—his worshipful gaze on Miss Snark—emerges from the wings, sweeps her, gin bucket, poodle and all, from her feet.

Clooney:  You amazing creature, my dreams are coming true. For this piece of heaven, I'll make the foreplay last for months!

Miss Snark:  As I've said elsewhere, "Put up or shut up."

Killer Yap:  YAP!!!!

(Clooney carries her away.)


Neo:  Damn.  Some babes have all the luck.  (Wailing mode again)  Oh, I should have listened to Absolute Write!  I’m so sorry!


BBB:  (Off stage) BOO-HAHAHAHA!  Absolute Write is DEAD!!!!  And I did it with my little cease and desist!  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!


Strauss & Crispin:  NOT so fast, you silly wiper of other peoples’ bottoms!


BBB:  You can’t stop ME!  I am as beautiful and terrible as the dawn!  All shall send me their samoleons and despair!!!  AHAHAHAHA! 


(Thunder etc. effects roaring madly)


Strauss & Crispin:  Like we haven’t heard that one before.


Neo:  This is terrible!  How can I stop it??


Strauss & Crispin:  There’s only ONE way! 


Neo:  Anything!  What can I DO?


Strauss & Crispin:  Clap your hands three times and shout “I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE!  I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE!  I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE! 


(Neo does this!)


Neo:  Nothing’s happening!


Strauss & Crispin: (to the audience)  She needs help.  All of you writers out there join in!  I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE!  I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE!  I BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE WRITE! 


(The audience does this)


Strauss & Crispin: (To their cell phones)   Okay Jenna, let 'er rip!


(Thunder etc. effects roar to a crescendo then suddenly STOP.  

Bathed in light, with an angelic chorus in a burst of song for backup, Absolute Write rises from upstage center, floating mightily overhead.)


Absolute Write:  Oh, yeah, I’m BACK, baby, and better than ever!  

(Flies around the stage, Beethoven’s
Ode to Joy plays triumphantly.)


BBB:  No way!  I’ll shut you down again!  I'll SUE you for a BILLION dollars you—


(Absolute Write shines a search light on BBB, who screams in agony)


BBB:  No!  Not ME!  What a world, what a world, to think you could destroy my beautiful wickedness….oh, I’m melting….melting….


Strauss & Crispin:  Heard THAT one before, too. 


BBB:  Aaaaaaagh!  (abruptly drops under the stage, sound cue of a toilet flushing)

Jenna Glatzer:  (voice over)  So THAT'S where the damn delete key went!

Strauss & Crispin:  Yay!!

(Enter Hugh Jackman and Jude Law, wearing Chippendales bow ties, tux pants, and big smiles.)

JackmanAnn, you've kept me waiting long enough.  Away with us to my Wolverine Love Lair and I shall ravish you with my burning gaze...and anything else you'd like to check out.

Crispin:  Lair?  You've got a lair?  Whoa, baby!

Law:  And you, Victoria, you wicked wench.  Leaving me to perish for the want of your caress.  I must have you or the world will end!  Come to me, you matchless love goddess!

Strauss(Checks her Blackberry)  I think I can just squeeze you i--whups!

Jackman and Law sweep the ladies away.  

Chorus of 23,000 AW members appears, voices rising as one....)


CHORUS:  (to the tune of Bye-Bye, Birdie)


Bye-Bye, Barbara

We’re glad you’re out the door

Bye-bye, Barbara,

You will scam no more!


No more rip-offs

The neos are safe from you.

We’ve got the tip-off

Your rep is down the loo!



Hello, pro-publishing!

I’ve learned my lesson now!

No more listening

To greedy mad cows!


(The AW Mod Squad appears, carrying Jenna around the stage on their shoulders.  Music shifts to “Hooray for Captain Spaulding”)




Hooray for Absolute Write

And all the Forum Postings

From PA to POD to ghostings

Hooray, hooray, hooray!


We can now read the truth

With no more jackass braying

We’re so glad you’re staying

Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!


Absolute Write has arrived!!!!


Absolute Write Sings:


Hello, I must be posting.

I cannot stay, I came to say

I must be posting.

I’ll stay a decade or two,

I’ll see the neos through,

But I am telling youuuuu

I must be posting!


Absolute Write:  I once zinged a scam agent in my pajamas.  How she got in my pajamas I’ll never know.




Hooray for Absolute Write

And all the Forum Postings

From PA to POD to ghostings

Hooray, hooray, hooray!!!!


Absolute Write has arriiiiiiiiiiived!!!!


(Crescendo and close)


   Yes, you may certainly link to this entry!  WOOT! 


From: (Anonymous)
2006-05-27 03:15 pm (UTC)

Re: That was great! Ann and Victoria Here!

Thanks for my boy-toy...I'm going to go fantasize now...

- Victoria
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: p_n_elrod
2006-05-27 04:16 pm (UTC)

Re: That was great! Ann and Victoria Here!

Happy to have been of...of...oh...uh...good grief!

You two get a ROOM, fer gawds sake!

:running away:
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)