Where You Shouldn’t Eat Crackers

Credits

Carl G. Brooks – Paul
Erin B. Lillis – Allison
Richard Nadolny – Chuck
Nazli Sarpkaya – Beyza

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


IN THE PODCASTING “STUDIO”, BAXTER-ELLIS HOME

PAUL

Okay, I think it’s set to go.

ALLISON

Do you see the level meters going?

PAUL

Level meters?

ALLISON

Coral told me to check the level meters.

PAUL

Okay, first of all, they go by Cor now and I’m sure they would appreciate you at least trying to remember that. And second, when did they tell you that?

ALLISON

When we recorded our summer episode.

PAUL

We didn’t record a summer episode. Not you and me, at least. But Chuck and I did, and it was an awesome episode, wasn’t it, Chuck?

CHUCK

You bet your babe’s butt it was. We talked about how to beat the Clanch.

ALLISON

Well so did Beyza and I.

CHUCK

I seriously doubt that. You have no idea how to beat the Clanch.

ALLISON

No, you socket wrench, we didn’t talk about your stupid Clanch or Sport Illustrated swimsuit models or Lego bombs or hockey, or any of the usual stuff guys probably talk about.

CHUCK

You probably talked about babies and antiques and bikini waxes.

ALLISON

You really don’t understand women, do you?

CHUCK

I should. I’ve been married three times.

BEYZA

Well I would have talked about Sport Illustrated swimsuit models. As a feminist and a lesbian I can see both sides of that discussion.

ALLISON

Who’s side are you on, anyway?

BEYZA

Whoever’s treating me to Thai after this.

CHUCK

Thai… yuck. Basically napalm on a bed of rice.

ALLISON

You are so uncultured, Chucker.

PAUL

Okay, let’s see if we can manage to keep ourselves civil since Cor isn’t here to referee as usual. So let me set up the basis of this episode for our listeners. Listeners, as you might remember from our last episode, Allison and I were having a debate on who should sleep on the couch and who gets to keep the bed. So we’ve each brought in our best friends to serve as advocates for our case. Then based on the points we make here we’re going to have you vote to settle it. And we will abide by your decision, won’t we Allison?

ALLISON

We agreed to it, so…

PAUL

Okay, then, here… we… go!

ALLISON

So I’ll start it off. I have my bestie Beyza here, whom you might remember from our summer episode, to back me up and provide a very sound argument as to why I should get the bed and Paul should sleep on the couch. Say hi to everyone, Beyza.

BEYZA

Hello to all you loyal Deconstructive Criticism listeners out there. I’m Beyza, and I’ll be your cohost today, bringing substantive and cogent reasoning to Allison’s points.

CHUCK

Wow, laid it on a bit thick there, didn’t you, Babeza?

BEYZA

If you want to play with the big boys you’ve got to sound professional in front of the microphone, Chuck.

CHUCK

So, you want to play with the big boys, eh? In that case I’ll be glad to show you just how-

BEYZA

Paul, please reign in your pet monkey, would you?

ALLISON

Yeah, we can’t do this with him Chucking all over everything she says.

PAUL

Chuck, take it down a notch. You know she’s not into men anyway.

CHUCK

That’s cuz she hasn’t met the right one.

ALLISON

Neither has your wife, apparently.

CHUCK

Oh come on. It’s just some harmless flirting, isn’t it, Babeza?

BEYZA

You can drop the whole Babeza thing. It’s not cute. And I’ve heard closing statements at murder trials that were more flirty.

PAUL

Okay, you two. Let’s try to get along for this episode, shall we? So where were we? Oh yeah, so here are my reasons why I should get to keep the bed-

ALLISON

Ah-ah-ah! I go first! I was starting to make my opening statement when Chucker interrupted me!

CHUCK

Technically I interrupted Babeza-

BEYZA

Have you ever been throat punched with the spine of a John Grisham novel?

Pause

CHUCK

Beyza.

BEYZA

Thank you.

ALLISON

Okay, so as I was saying in the last episode, I have my CPAP machine that’s already set up on my nightstand. There’s no place to set it up and plug it in if I have to sleep on the couch.

PAUL

You know you could always-

CHUCK

I gotcha covered, Paul. Personally, since you’re the one who snores then you’re the one who should have to move to the couch. It’s not Paul’s fault you snore.

BEYZA

Do you even know what a CPAP is for?

CHUCK

It’s to keep you from snoring. Right?

ALLISON

It’s to keep me from dying.

CHUCK

Oh.

(beat)

You know, they say dying in your sleep is the most peaceful way to go.

ALLISON

Want to find out the least peaceful way to go, Chucker?

PAUL

Nobody’s dying, peacefully or otherwise. We have a show to do and a decision to be made.

ALLISON

By the listeners.

PAUL

Right. By the listeners.

ALLISON

So let me finish making my case, if I may. One issue with sleeping on the couch while wearing my CPAP is I risk getting the hose caught in the couch cushions. That could cause me to twist my neck and seriously injure myself. Not to mention Chad the Doberman could run by the couch chasing after poor Mr. Gustafson and end up unplugging the machine from the wall, as I will have to have an extension cord running across the floor. If anyone’s going to pull the plug on me, I don’t want it to be Chad.

PAUL

That’s not going to happen because Chad is crate trained. I put him away at night just before we go to bed and you know it. Now that I think about it, maybe you don’t actually have sleep apnea. Maybe that demon cat lays on your chest when you’re sleeping and steals your breath from you.

BEYZA

And does what with it, exactly, Paul?

PAUL

I don’t know… probably FedEx’s it to Satan or something.

CHUCK

I thought cats stole the breath of babies?

PAUL

You’re not helping my cause, Chuck!

CHUCK

Oh yeah. It’s forty-something year-old women they steal the breath from. Angry forty-something year-old women.

ALLISON

Chucker…

PAUL

Okay, my turn. The reason I should get to stay in the bed is because I somnambulate.

ALLISON

Somnambulate. You know what? If you‘re going to use a five dollar word you should at least learn how to pronounce it. He sleepwalks.

PAUL

That’s right, I sleepwalk. And because I sleepwalk I have a familiar path I travel. If I change the location of where I sleep, that path will no longer be familiar and I could end up in a very dangerous situation.

BEYZA

You could end up at a community theater auditioning for the musical adaptation of The Matrix.

CHUCK

Good point, Paul. Isn’t it dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker?

BEYZA

It’s very risky. In that situation he could awaken to find out he was cast as Agent Smith.

ALLISON

Or worse yet, Jada Pinkett Smith.

PAUL

It’s not funny! Sleepwalking is a serious condition. There’s a theory that the myths of zombies originated from people who were witnessed sleepwalking.

ALLISON

You’re probably right, Paul. Watching zombie movies is about as interesting as watching people walk in their sleep.

BEYZA

How do you know you sleepwalk? Have you ever woken up in a different part of the house confused as to how you got there?

ALLISON

Actually, I don’t think he sleepwalks at all. I think he’s faking it. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night and gone into the kitchen to see Paul making a PBJ. I was like “Paul, it’s two in the morning” and I caught him glance at me out of the corner of his eye then squeeze them shut super quick. Then he starts mumbling something about ancient Egypt and muttering “Get me the Pharoah post haste”.

CHUCK

Yeah but what reason would he have to fake sleepwalking?

ALLISON

Because he was doing the whole “can’t eat after eight” thing and didn’t have the balls to admit he was cheating.

PAUL

Hey, I have the balls! Sometimes dreaming makes me hungry, that’s all. Oh, and speaking of cats–

BEYZA

Were we speaking of cats?

ALLISON

We were three years ago, yes.

PAUL

–speaking of cats, that’s another reason you should be the one sleeping on the couch. That damn cat! It yowls to come into the bedroom then I’m the one who gets up to let it in then it wants to lay on top of my head making that idling weed whacker noise and giving me a nice soothing claw-based scalp massage. Then I end up being all congested from all that cat dander – no wonder you need that ridiculous machine to breathe in your sleep – until it gets bored with playing Marquis de Sade and wants to go out again, and here come the midnight yowls. But you just lay there dead to the world looking like a fighter pilot who passed out in the cockpit, so once again, I get up to let the damn thing out. And by then, it’s no surprise I’ve worked up a bit of an appetite.

ALLISON

Ah-hah! So you are lying about the sleepwalking thing!

PAUL

Really? That’s your takeaway from that?

CHUCK

I think he makes some damn good points, Ally Gator.

BEYZA

He should be disqualified for lying, as far as I’m concerned.

CHUCK

What are you, a game show judge?

BEYZA

I’m an attorney, actually.

PAUL

Yeah, tell him what kind of an attorney, Beyza.

Pause

BEYZA

An estate planning attorney.

CHUCK

You mean, like doling out dead people’s stuff to their relatives?

BEYZA

That’s a Chucked up way of putting it, but something like that.

CHUCK

Then you can chime in if Allison’s CPAP stops working.

ALLISON

Chucker!

PAUL

Come on, Chuck. Play nice.

CHUCK

I’m just saying.

BEYZA

Keep it up and Elaine will be seeking my services, buddy.

Pause

CHUCK

Fine. You all are no fun.

ALLISON

Actually, you just made your own case as to why you should sleep on the couch, Paul. You wouldn’t have to get up to let Mr. Gustafson in. You wouldn’t have to have him sleeping on your head as he never does that to you when you fall asleep on the couch. And you wouldn’t have to get up to let him out again. Most of all, not having to do all that up-and-down business won’t make you have to fake sleepwalk your way to a sandwich at 2 AM.

PAUL

I’m not faking it! I just happen to be tired enough that I’m practically asleep. Plus, sometimes I like to have a bowl of Froot Loops.

BEYZA

Froot Loops? What are you, nine?

PAUL

I’ll have you know I have it with hemp milk. There’s nothing more grown-up than hemp.

BEYZA

I’ll buy that. There’s nothing more adult than saying how grown-up you are.

ALLISON

Spot on, Beyza!

CHUCK

Hey, Paul is more man than either of you could ever hope to be! Probably one of the most grown-ass men I’ve ever known. Even more grown-ass than me. And I’m pretty grown-ass.

ALLISON

You got the ass part right. Maybe pain-in-the-ass. And speaking of pain, remember my back issues? I can’t sleep on the couch because of my back problem!

PAUL

Oh ho ho… you’re not the only one with back problems! Remember when I threw out my back five years ago on that rollercoaster ride?

ALLISON

Yeah well I threw out my back only three years ago, so it was more recent. I’ve had less time to heal.

PAUL

No, no, I’ve suffered my back injury much longer, almost twice as long as you, so it stands to reason I will need to take better care of it.

BEYZA

Are you two seriously arguing about who has a worse back?

CHUCK

Yeah, do you get an award for worst back or best bad back?

BEYZA

Okay, that actually wasn’t bad, Chuck.

CHUCK

Unlike their backs!

BEYZA

Boy, you’re on fire now!

CHUCK

Let me show you just how hot I can get!

BEYZA

Okay, Little Engine That Won’t. You had a good run there, then you had to go and Chuck it all up.

PAUL

This is serious, you two! Neither of you have hurt your back so you don’t understand how important it is to get the right support when you sleep.

ALLISON

It doesn’t seem to bother your back when you fall asleep on the couch.

PAUL

As a matter of fact, it does. You wouldn’t know it to see it because you go to bed before me, but I wake up in serious pain when I fall asleep on the couch. I can barely walk, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get from the couch to our bed.

ALLISON

And it takes you just as long to shamble from the bed to the fridge. Sleepfaking.

PAUL

You’re not going to let that go, are you?

BEYZA

How about you let us chime in and give our opinions on the situation of who should get the bed?

PAUL

I suppose that sound fair.

ALLISON

Sure, maybe you can get him to see reason.

BEYZA

Okay, I’ll give it a shot. I won’t say you should defer to the lady because I’m too much of a feminist for that crap.

PAUL

Wow, thank you.

BEYZA

Don’t thank me yet, Paul. I’m not letting you off the hook. The CPAP argument is a good one. Having to roll over and face the back of the couch might push the mask out of place and disrupt the seal it needs to work properly.

CHUCK

I think Allison should take the couch. She’s shorter than Paul so she’ll fit on it more easily.

BEYZA

Paul clearly likes to stay up later than Allison. If she has to sleep on the couch she can’t go to bed while he’s still watching tv.

CHUCK

Yeah but as the grown-ass man that he is, he can’t expect to take Marisol to the couch. That’s a total teenager move.

Instant tension; just add Chuck. The silence is beyond awkward and certainly deafening

CHUCK

What? We’re all thinking it.

PAUL

(mortified)

No, not true Chuck.

CHUCK

Come on, Paul… you know you were.

ALLISON

That Chucker makes a good point. You can’t invite Marisol to your couch, now.

BEYZA

Wait… what’s this all about? Are you talking about his old friend Marisol?

ALLISON

Yes, his old “friend” Marisol.

BEYZA

Wow.

PAUL

No, Beyza. It’s not like that. Allison thinks this whole separation is about that. But it’s not.

CHUCK

Are you sure? Tell me if it wasn’t for Allison you wouldn’t try to get with that.

BEYZA

“That”. Not at all objectifying.

PAUL

I never said-

CHUCK

Actually, you did. I remember you referring to her as “the one who got away”.

PAUL

No, no. I broke up with her. How could she have gotten away when I broke it off?

ALLISON

Or did you break it off because you couldn’t keep up with her? And now she’s back and a stone’s throw away and now maybe you can reel her back in?

BEYZA

So now she’s a fish. I’m revoking your feminist card, Allison.

ALLISON

Just come clean, Paul. Did you ever refer to Marisol as “the one who got away”?

Pause

PAUL

No. I don’t know. Not in those words. I don’t think so. And if I did it was before you.

ALLISON

That’s the thing, Paul. There was no “before me” after Marisol. Not even a “between me and Marisol”–

CHUCK

Nice!

ALLISON

Shut up, Chuck!

BEYZA

Shut up, Chuck!

ALLISON

It was straight from Marisol to me. I know that. I just told myself you broke up with her because you wanted to be with me. Boy was I stupid.

PAUL

Allison, you weren’t stupid! You’re not stupid. I’m the stupid one. You know I say stupid things sometimes.

ALLISON

Doesn’t matter if it’s stupid. It only matters if it’s true.

Long pause

PAUL

I don’t want to be with-

ALLISON

Save it.

(pause)

Listeners, you know what to do. I think your vote should be pretty clear. Come on, Beyza.

Sound of setting headphones down as ALLISON and BEYZA get up

BEYZA

That new co-host spot is sounding better and better, isn’t it Ally?

Sound of the door closing, brief pause

CHUCK

Boy, I could really go for some Mexican about now. I bet you could too, huh?

PAUL

I’m not hungry.

CHUCK

By that I meant-

PAUL

I know what you meant, Chuck. Remind me to prep you before having you on the show again.

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