Hats, Scarves and Handshakes
Mitchell Allen: When I saw “Whip it”, I thought about the scene where the pageant contestants were telling the audience about who they would like to have dinner with. Later that day, my wife shows me your YouTube clip of Willow Smith performing Whip My Hair . So, I thought I’d invite you to dinner. To balance the guest list, I had to find the right person. So I invited Steven. Thank you both for coming over.
The King and Queen of Non Sequiturs
Ellen DeGeneres: For me, it’s that I contributed, … That I’m on this planet doing some good and making people happy. That’s to me the most important thing, that my hour of television is positive and upbeat and an antidote for all the negative stuff going on in life.
Steven Wright: I intend to live forever. So far, so good. When I die, I’m leaving my body to science fiction.
Toni Allen: Oh come on, Steven, you’re too young to be talking like that. It’s not too chilly in here for you, is it?
Steven: It doesn’t make a difference what temperature a room is, it’s always room temperature.
Ellen: But seriously, I think overall in the scheme of things winning an Emmy is not important. Let’s get our priorities straight. I think we all know what’s really important in life – winning an Oscar.
Toni: Help yourselves to the relish tray.
Steven: What a nice night for an evening. So, do you live around here often?
Ellen: Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log.
Mitchell: I’m looking forward to Christmas, now that you mention it. Dominique will be home from school. He’s an engineering major, you know.
Steven: My friend has a baby. I’m recording all the noises he makes so later I can ask him what he meant.
Ellen: I don’t need a baby growing inside me for nine months. For one thing, there’s morning sickness. If I’m going to feel nauseous and achy when I wake up, I want to achieve that state the old fashioned way: getting good and drunk the night before.
Mitchell: We have sparkling cider, too. Toni doesn’t drink. I used to, but I think that was a grave error.
Steven: When I have a kid, I wanna put him in one of those strollers for twins, then run around the mall looking frantic.
Mitchell: I always wanted a large family. I was practically an only child.
Steven: When I was a little kid we had a sand box. It was a quicksand box. I was an only child… eventually.
[Mitchell guffaws. Everyone sits down with small paper plates and jelly jars of sparkling cider]
Ellen: I was coming home from kindergarten. Well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It’s good for a kid to know how to make gloves.
Toni: That’s horrible! We home-schooled our kids. We don’t trust anyone to look after our children, teaching them god knows what at god knows where.
Ellen: I’m a godmother, that’s a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that’s cute, I taught her that.
Mitchell: [Shaking head.] That’s just so wrong, I’m sorry.
[In the background, the microwave dings.]
Mitchell: [gestures] Shall we go in?
Mitchell: [Proudly observing the setting] Look at this spread! Straight out of Applebee’s, if you ask me.
Steven: I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time”. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
[Mitchell guffaws. Everyone sits down with jelly jars half full of sparkling cider]
Mitchell: When I told my wife we were having you two for dinner, she fainted. I thought it was celebrity shock or something. Turns out, she thought I wanted to practice cannibalism. I said, “honey, we’re not humanitarians.” Truth is, we get all our food from the supermarket. Even though we live out here, we’re from the city. I never learned to hunt or fish.
Ellen: I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her. Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when they are wearing dark glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot.
Steven: If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?
Mitchell: [chuckling] Have some salmon, Steven.
Steven: Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish. There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
Mitchell: The ailurophobic Airedale stood catatonic in a catamaran. He had another boat he could have chosen, but his barque was worse than his bight.
[In the background, crickets chirp loudly]
Mitchell: Be right back. Blush sauce is in the microwave.
[blushing himself, runs into kitchen and returns with a steaming bowl.]
Steven: I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time.
Toni: We substituted skim milk for the cream. This dish is so fattening.
Steven: I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol. I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I’m gone.
Ellen: Sometimes when I am driving I get so angry at inconsiderate drivers that I want to scream at them. But then I remember how insignificant that is, and I thank God that I have a car and my health and gas. That was phrased wrong – normally you wouldn’t say, thank God I have gas.
Toni: [laughing nervously] Well, I hope you won’t have that problem this evening. We were going to have broccoli but Mitchell misspelled it on the shopping list and he walked right past it!
Steven: If a word in the dictionary were mispelled, how would we know? I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.
Mitchell: You must not have gotten very far, to have arrived at such a conclusion. [slaps own wrist in mock rebuke] What’s the deal with mean people? I heard one lady tell another the she had just finished reading William Goldman’s Boys and Girls Together. The second lady said, “Then your lips must be tired.” The first lady’s face crumpled.
Ellen: You have to have funny faces and words, you can’t just have words. It is a powerful thing, and I think that’s why it’s hard for people to imagine that women can do that, be that powerful.
Mitchell: I’m having a lot of fun with the funny women on my blogroll. I was thinking about how cool it would be to have them all together for some kind of party. Can you imagine what that would be like? Trouble is, everybody is so busy these days. So I just kept the idea in the back of my head until …
Steven: The other day I… uh, no, that wasn’t me. Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time.
Ellen: I was in yoga the other day. I was in full lotus position. My chakras were all aligned. My mind is cleared of all clatter and I’m looking out of my third eye and everything that I’m supposed to be doing. It’s amazing what comes up, when you sit in that silence. ‘Mama keeps whites bright like the sunlight, Mama’s got the magic of Clorox 2.’
Steven: Ever notice how irons have a setting for permanent press? I don’t get it.
Mitchell: Ellen, I remember one of your routines where you did a Groucho Marx shtick. “Is that a Sari ?” “No it’s a Sarong.” “I’m Sari I was Sarong.” That was funny. So many different words for boats and dresses, huh?
Ellen: I don’t understand the sizes anymore. There’s a size zero, which I didn’t even know that they had. It must stand for: ‘Ohhh my God, you’re thin.’
Steven: I met this wonderful girl at Macy’s. She was buying clothes and I was putting Slinkies on the escalator.
Toni: They sure don’t make them like they used to. Plastic Slinkies, plastic baseball bats. Spongy footballs, though. You gotta like that. Especially in the house.
Steven: Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.
Mitchell: That’s deep!
Ellen: We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent.
Mitchell: Steven, I think Ellen just dissed you. Or were you talking about me? I have puzzle books for improving my memory but I forgot where I put them.
Ellen: I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me – they’re just, like, ‘I can’t believe you don’t remember me!” I’m like, ‘Oh Dad I’m sorry!’
Mitchell: That’s so wrong. We’re having strawberry shortcake for dessert.
[Gets up and begins clearing the dishes off the table.]
Mitchell: [Placing cake on table] I think we are looking at five pounds, per thigh.
Ellen: You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.
Toni: [Laughing] I don’t think I could even walk that far.
Steven: Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
Mitchell: Listen, I was just curious …
Steven: [Interjects drolly] Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.
Mitchell: … I was wondering. Were you funny as a child?
Ellen: People always ask me, “Were you funny as a child?” Well, no, I was an accountant.
Mitchell: [Pouting and muttering, sotto voce] There’s no accounting for bad manners.
Steven: When I was a kid, I went to the store and asked the guy, “Do you have any toy train schedules?”
Toni: Mitchell is obsessed with model trains.
Mitchell: [Nodding appreciatively at Toni and speaking brightly] I tried model rockets but they were too expensive, though not as much as radio-controlled airplanes!
Steven: Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff.
[Mitchell tries cutting himself a second slice of cake, but fumbles and slices his thumb.]
Mitchell: Ow! I nearly cut my hand off!
Steven: On the other hand, you have different fingers.
Ellen: The way I see it… If you need both of your hands for whatever it is you’re doing, then your brain should probably be in on it too.
Mitchell: [grumbling, foul mood returns] You’re always such a comedian. What do you do when you see strangers?
Ellen: [Looking surreptitiously at her watch] Just go up to somebody on the street and say “You’re it!” and then run away.
Steven: Is it weird in here, or is it just me?
Mitchell: I’m sorry. All this blood just makes me think of the time I …
Toni: My, my! Look at the time.
Hats, Scarves and Hugs
Mitchell: Thanks for coming by! Let’s do this again!
Ellen: Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off.
Steven: At one point he decided enough was enough.
Toni and Mitchell: Bye-bye!
Back on the Couch
Mitchell: It was going great until the end, huh?
Toni: They’re never coming back, in case you didn’t detect the sarcasm at the door. Ellen was probably mad because you put a piece of salmon on her plate. She’s a vegetarian, you know.
Copyright © 2016 by Mitchell Allen