Split the Check

Credits

Tal Minear – Cor
Erin B. Lillis – Allison
Carl G. Brooks – Paul

Written by David S. Dear
Opening music “Coffee” by Cambo
Closing music “Life Illusion” by Ketsa


INTRO

COR

Hey everyone. Well, it’s been a rough couple of weeks since the wedding, as you heard. The parents were only speaking to each other through me at the start of this season and I had a one-on-one session with each of them last episode to see if I could convince them to at least sit down and talk. Which I was actually able to do, and I’m pretty proud of myself for pulling it off!

So I popped in here real quick to record this intro cuz in a few minutes the parents are coming in here to have a chat with me. I convinced them to continue letting me record their progress throughout the season, so we’ll see how this goes. I’m a bit nervous, I have to admit. Okay. I’m going to pause this until they get here.

RECORDING WITH PARENTS

COR

Okay, we’re rolling. Are you both ready?

ALLISON

Ready. Wow, it’s weird doing this again. It feels like forever since we did an episode together.

PAUL

It was a few weeks ago, Allison.

ALLISON

Well, Paul, you have to admit a few weeks with you feels like an eternity.

PAUL

I agree yet I disagree. I agree that a few weeks with you feels like an eternity. I disagree that a few weeks with me feels like an eternity. It feels more like a refreshing warm summer breeze with a hint of coolness in a meadow, naked as the day I was born.

ALLISON

Seriously?

COR

Okay, I vote for no images or descriptions of either of you naked at any level for any reason. Deal?

ALLISON

Deal. Easy enough for me not to picture him naked.

COR

That goes for you too. No nudity; frontal, backal, or otherwise.

PAUL

It’s not like people can actually see me naked. This is an audio medium. Now after I get in shape-

COR

For the love of countless gods, please stop!

PAUL

Fine.

(beat)

Which incidentally, I will be after shedding the extra fifteen I’m carrying-

COR

DAD!

ALLISON

PAUL!

PAUL

Okay, okay.

COR

Geez, it hasn’t even been five minutes and you’ve already derailed. I would really like you to get to the matter at hand. I’m nervous enough as it is.

ALLISON

Oh, don’t be nervous, Coral-

(Every time ALLISON calls them “Coral” COR immediately corrects her and says “Cor” almost on top of it)

It’s not like we’re going to put you in foster care or sell you to a child labor welding camp.

COR

That’s a relief since that was what I was worried about. My butt joints never hold all that well.

ALLISON

Actually, I could teach you a thing or two if your father would let me invest in a welder.

PAUL

I thought you bought a soldering iron. Same thing.

ALLISON

A soldering iron? That’s what  Keebler Elves use for welding.

COR

I feel like you two are stalling. You’re going to give me an ulcer at the tender age of sixteen.

PAUL

Alright, alright. I suppose we should get down to it.

ALLISON

Yeah, I suppose we should. So your father and I talked about it…

COR

I think I’m going to throw up.

ALLISON

Okay, just relax. It’s going to be fine. Tell her, Paul.

PAUL

That’s right, Cor. Everything’s going to be fine.

COR

Oh gods. I knew it. You’re getting a divorce.

PAUL

No, no. We’re not getting a divorce. At least not at this point.

ALLISON

We’re taking things one step at a time.

COR

One step at a time? What does that mean? Are you getting separated? You’re filing for a legal separation, aren’t you?

PAUL

We’re not getting separated.

ALLISON

Well, not officially separated.

PAUL

Not legally. With all the paperwork and the judges and the notaries and what not.

ALLISON

I thought you were a notary? If we did decide to get legally separated, couldn’t you do it?

PAUL

No, I never finished the class. The instructor said something about me not paying attention. Or something like that. I kind of tuned her out after awhile.

ALLISON

Why did you want to become a notary anyway?

PAUL

Honestly? For the power.

COR

You guys are driving me crazy with this! What do you mean by “not officially separated”?

ALLISON

Coral… your father and I are doing a trial separation.

Pause

COR

A… trial separation.

ALLISON

Yes. We’re going to do a separation on a trial basis.

PAUL

That’s right. Your mother and I are going to test out separating before we actually separate.

COR

That… that doesn’t make any sense.

ALLISON

Sure it does. It makes perfect sense. We try it out and see how well it works and if it doesn’t work we don’t get separated.

COR

Nope. Still doesn’t make any sense. Like, how do you know if it works?

Pause

ALLISON

That’s a good question.

PAUL

I suppose we should see what that would look like.

COR

So if it doesn’t work you either stay together or go straight to divorce?

PAUL

Hmm… I don’t know…

ALLISON

We don’t have to know. We’ll know it when we get there.

PAUL

That’s a good point, Ally.

COR

So what are your plans?

ALLISON

What?

COR

What are your plans for this “trial separation”?

ALLISON

What do you mean what are our plans? We’re going to separate on a trial basis! How do you not understand that?

COR

But what does that actually look like in practice? How are you going to do this test separation?

Pause

ALLISON

Well…

PAUL

That’s a good question. We hadn’t planned it out yet.

COR

Well you’re going to want to know how to go about it. Are you going to tape a line down the middle of the house like some stupid sitcom?

PAUL

Oh. Well, there goes my first idea.

COR

Let’s have it. Let’s take this time to plan out your pseudo-separation.

ALLISON

Fine.

PAUL

Okay then.

Pause

COR

Well?

ALLISON

Well… let’s start with the food.

COR

The food? Really?

ALLISON

Yes. If we were really separated we would have to buy our own food, right?

PAUL

Good thinking, Allison. Dibs on the Folgers.

ALLISON

Oh, you can have the Folgers. Don’t worry, I won’t touch your precious can of Folgers you keep in the freezer. Which makes sense as that’s what you do with a dead body.

PAUL

I also claim any and all Pop-Tarts.

ALLISON

Oh no you don’t. Those Pop-Tarts are rightfully mine.

COR

Just so you know, all the Pop-Tarts in this house were bought by me and I’d thank you not to eat my Pop-Tarts.

ALLISON

I thought you were vegan?

COR

Oh, it’s okay, Mom. These are free range Pop-Tarts.

ALLISON

Okay, smart ass. You hear that, Paul? Not your Pop-Tarts.

PAUL

I don’t think I’ve heard the word Pop-Tarts uttered this many times in a conversation since college.

ALLISON

I suppose we can resort to the old put-your-name-on-a-Post-It plan so we know who’s food is whose. Put a Post-It on your Pop-Tarts, Coral, before your father eats them all.

COR

Aside from my Pop-Tarts what’s the point of doing that? You don’t even eat the same foods. Beef for you, Dad, turkey for mom. Mom whole milk, Dad hemp milk. Mayo versus Miracle Whip. Beer versus wine. The list goes on. Name me one food you two agree on.

ALLISON

Lay’s.

PAUL

Lay’s.

COR

The potato chips?

PAUL

Yes. We both like Lay’s. Looks like we’ll be getting separate bags of Lay’s, then. And I’ll know if you’ve dipped into mine, Allison, as I plan on writing my name on the bag in indelible Sharpie and counting each and every one as soon as I open it. So I’ll know if you’ve had the audacity to steal even one of my Lay’s!

ALLISON

Ooh, that’ll show me.

COR

Okay, the food is pretty much taken care of except those damn Lay’s, which you could clearly end up in court over, gods know. So what’s next on your master plan? How about sleeping arrangements?

Pause

ALLISON

Well, isn’t it obvious?

PAUL

It’s quite obvious.

ALLISON

I’m glad we’re agreed on this.

COR

Just to be certain, let’s take this in the direction it’s going to go anyway. Why don’t you go ahead and tell me what it is you agree on?

ALLISON

Simple. Your father stays up late watching stupid 80s movies and invariably ends up falling asleep on the couch covered in Nutter Butter crumbs. He obviously is able to sleep on the couch quite comfortably so the choice is clear.

PAUL

Okay, for one, I gave up the Nutter Butters because a: I am trying to lose a couple of pounds and two: I found something unappetizing in one once, so-

COR

Ooh, what did you find in there?

PAUL

A tiny critter foot. I think it was from a skink.

COR

Eech. I had to ask.

ALLISON

A skink? How do you know it was a skink’s foot?

PAUL

I took a picture with my phone and Googled it. Skink. I’m pretty sure. I stopped eating them there and then as I didn’t want to find the rest of the skink.

ALLISON

Gross. Moving on.

PAUL

Anyway, just because I doze off on the couch doesn’t mean it’s a comfortable place to sleep all night. Nice try, Ally. Besides, you’re the one who sounds like a bear doing lines of coke so you should be the one relegated to sleeping on the couch.

ALLISON

It’s for that reason that I need to sleep in the bed. All my CPAP gear is set up there and I have a place to plug it in, which I won’t if I sleep on the couch. Unless I run an extension cord across the living room which becomes a trip hazard when Coral gets up in the middle of the night for… seaweed snacks or whatever it is they eat.

COR

Hey, not all vegan snacks are dry and boring. That’s why I eat Pop Tarts. Unfrosted.

PAUL

Yawn. The unfrosted ones are the Ang Lee of Pop Tarts where the frosted ones give you that Michael Bay experience.

COR

It doesn’t seem to stop you from eating my Pop Tarts now, does it?

PAUL

That it does not.

ALLISON

Well I’m not sleeping on the couch.

PAUL

And neither am I.

COR

You’ve got a Montana king size bed. You can sleep a couple of sumo wrestlers in that bed without them ever touching. There’s more than enough room for both of you to ice each other out. So you don’t have to share food and you barely have to share a bed. What other brilliant considerations are you making for this separation on training wheels?

Pause

ALLISON

Well, Paul?

Pause

PAUL

Well what?

ALLISON

What else did you have in mind for our separation?

PAUL

I don’t know. Is there something specific you have in mind?

ALLISON

I assumed you did.

PAUL

What exactly do you assume I have in mind, hmm?

ALLISON

Why are you assuming that I’m assuming what you have in mind?

COR

Okay, let’s stop this before this dialog turns into a Christopher Nolan movie. Just say what you mean to say.

Pause

ALLISON

Okay. Dating.

COR

There it is. Genie’s out of the bottle.

ALLISON

Isn’t that what you wanted to talk about? What you want to consider? To entertain, maybe?

PAUL

You’re the one who broached the subject. Maybe it’s you who’s been thinking about getting back out there.

ALLISON

Oh really, Mister I-Need-To-Lose-Fifteen-Pounds! All of a sudden, after I’ve spent the last year trying to get you to go to the gym!

PAUL

And why is that, Allison? Am I too doughy for you? Am I not enough Don Johnson and too much Dom DeLuise?

ALLISON

One: old, and two: dead.

PAUL

Maybe you’re the one who wants to get out there. Why don’t you go ahead and get on Timber and right-stripe a bunch of guys.

COR

Tinder. And swipe right.

ALLISON

Well there’s only one person you want to stripe right on… wait, what did you say it was? Swipe right, right Coral?

COR

Wrong. Cor. Right, swipe right.

ALLISON

Right. And we all know who that is, Paul!

PAUL

Let’s not go there again.

ALLISON

But that’s exactly where you want to go, isn’t it? Galivanting around the world with the exotic, glorious, beautiful Marisol, the one who got away!

PAUL

First of all, she’s not galavanting right now, she’s working in Redmond. Second of all, if I wanted to be with her, I would be. But I want to be with you. That is, when you’re not like this.

ALLISON

Well I am like this which means you don’t want to be with me, so you might as well be with her.

COR

Okay, we need to take a time out. I think we need to table this particular aspect of your separation for the time being. Let’s stick to making sure you don’t eat each other’s potato chips or cross the DMZ of your bed or inadvertently watch each other’s TV shows. Agreed?

(pause)

AGREED?

ALLISON

Fine.

PAUL

Okay.

COR

Good. Now it’s getting late and we need to get dinner. What do you guys want?

PAUL

Dick’s.

ALLISON

Schezuan Palace.

COR

Oy. You know I’m not going to go pick up dinner from two different places for you.

ALLISON

Please? I’m almost out of gas.

PAUL

And Doordash is so expensive, with the tip and all…

COR

So this is how you plan to make your separation work. By using your kid as your gopher.

ALLISON

That actually sounds like a good plan.

PAUL

Think of it this way… at least we’re not staying together for the sake of the kid.

ALLISON

It might make you feel better to know you’re making this trial separation easier for us to pull off.

COR

Thanks. I’ll sleep better tonight.

AFTERWORD

COR

Okay, so you heard it here just now, folx. The parents aren’t splitting up, as in divorce. At least not right now. They’re supposedly separating, if you can call it that. It sounds like the most codependent separation I could imagine. Meaning that they are each codependent on me. I just know this could end up creating a bunch of heavy lifting for me as far as keeping this household going. The one thing I won’t be stuck in the middle of and what I refuse to get caught up in is the whole dating thing. I’m not sure if either of them actually has the courage to see other people. I mean, I love my parents, but let’s face it, they’re a couple of broken weirdos. And mom and dad… if you’re listening, I meant what I said. Eh, who am I kidding? There’s as much chance of them listening to this show as Josh Gad listening to the show. Hey, I love Josh Gad! Say anything bad about him and I’ll fight you! Eh, no I won’t fight you, I’m a pacifist and I love our listeners! Thanks again for listening, I suppose we’ll see where it goes. Until next time…

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