Written for an Editor friend on her 40th.

QUEEN OF THE EDITORIAL JUNGLE

FADE IN:

SHE is sitting at her computer, with marked up papers scattered in loose piles about her cube floor. SHE is wearing headphones, and is frustrated and mumbling to herself.

HE stands in her cube entrance, dripping sweat from dysfunctional glands, tangling up his therapist’s advice with the feverish influences of lonely nights fueled by super heroine graphical novels (She Bantha, Tiger Twins, Ms. Victory, and Lightnin’ Streak), his adrenalin fired by a Venti latte, 50 sit-ups, new power tie, narrow nylon rimmed glasses, and red Pumas, he blurts the completely inappropriate observation he’s been girding his loins for days to get the balls to make.

SHE turns, pulling off her headphones.

SHE

I’m sorry, what? Say again?

SHE squints at him.

HE

I—

SHE

Stop there. Here’s some advice: keep your eyes on the business end of business, buster, and it won’t trouble you again.

HE

But, I—

SHE (sighing)

I suppose it’s natural to descend right to the anus jokes, but it won’t do. Helloooo, employee handbook? Look, page 65, paragraph 6. There’s an opaque shield around exposed skin at the office. If you’d follow rules, you wouldn’t find yourself in such a state.

HE

But—no, please, no, let me speak! Look, it’s very attractive, but do you worry about unwanted attention?

SHE

Hellooo? Business end? Opaque shield? What’s the problem? Okay, look. It’s comfortable. It’s practical. And…

SHE dangles limp marked up copy as EXHIBIT B.

SHE

…it is hotter than a freakin’ jungle in here.

HE

But—

SHE

Floss—yeah, I’ve heard it all before. In high school.

HE

Not…

SHE

So hard to see the utility, is it? It not only covers me below, but it doubles as a sling, and a slingshot—I can stun small vermin at 100 yards. Voila!—it’s fashionable headgear, and a very edgy robber’s mask. It is my utility belt, Boy Wonder. Stick ’em up! Hah!

HE

Well. I didn’t mean, just—be right back.

SHE

That didn’t take long.

HE

While I was gone I—

SHE

Got into your lower left desk drawer? We all know about the bottle. Let me extinguish all live flames.

HE

—Did some research while I was gone.

SHE

I see you killed a few trees.

HE

Well, I have compiled a definitive history of the thong. You may find it—

SHE

Fascinating. CliffNotes version please.

SHE

Ahem. For millennia, this versatile strap was habillement du jour for the wandering San men of southern Africa…and, err, male gods of the Greek pantheon…who were captured and sold into the harem of Awilda, a migratory Scandinavian princess turned Viking raider—

SHE

Great-great-great granny!

HE

—to avoid marrying Alf the Feeble…she traded thongs for salted herring to Native American fishermen…their photos firing the imaginations of golden age American comic book artists…launched the first Brazilian Carnivale…and, ahem, of course, Gandhi.

SHE

It’s a history of men? Typical. Not the tale of your daddy’s shower shoes, though, eh?

HE

I, um, also wrote a song. In praise. A thong song.

SHE

Stop there, citizen! You’re about to violate copyright. As an Editor, I’m duty bound to report you. First, I’ll have to stun you and bind your wrists and ankles. Two more uses.

HE

You…it’s like you anticipate my every move. Are you…a super hero?

SHE

Heroine, mac! Get a clue. No man can do this!

CRACK! THWUP!

THE OVERHEAD FLOURESCENTS start to strobe…

SAMUEL JACKSON (lyrical, growling V.O.)

FOXY GUINEVERE JONES!! DIVINE EDITORIAL ENFORCER!! (“motherfucking” implied)

A LIGHT OVER A DISTANT CUBICLE explodes, with accompanying shrieks. JUNGLE DRUMS BEGIN, LOW.

HE

I…seek your autograph.

SHE

Rise, citizen. Here’s my catalog—order something and I’ll be happy to sign it. How about this decorative Post-It block? Comes in handy as a cry for help when I’m away from the desk.

CUT TO BLACK

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