THE PLANS WE MADE ALONG THE WAY
Fading in reveals the stoic and proud visage of Ivan Stanislav; chin lifted, staring upward and away. The Universal Championship gleaming on his shoulder. At his side, Alexei Ruslan, ever stalwart, eyes locked in the same direction.
And above the Russian Bear’s head? A thought bubble, written in sharpie, reading “I only have this belt because I didn’t have to fight Hayes!”
Zooming out a touch reveals the Event Horizon, adding the finishing touches to his artwork on one of Stanislav’s many, MANY posters; some poorly drawn flowers in Ivan’s beard. A few strange images that totally aren’t dicks. A mustache on Alexei with Michael Jordan vibes.
Regardless, the boos in the background from the St. Louis faithful ring true as Hayes rolls his eyes at the poster. Fixing the rolled-up cuffs of his black dress shirt, he takes steps down the hall, eyes locked dead-ahead.
Hayes Hanlon: So. Now what?
Cecilworth Farthington: Hmmm?
Zooming out further exposes the Financier, walking alongside Hammerin’ Hanlon.
Hayes Hanlon: Like, next steps. Plan of attack. Who’s next to “Get Glued.”?
Cecilworth Farthington: Ah, yes. Plans. Plans. People do make those sometimes. They’re all the rage, I hear.
Hayes lifts a quizzical eyebrow, but keeps in stride.
Hayes Hanlon: I’m…yeah. Sure.. So…what’s ours?
A voice interrupts the proceedings. A very familiar voice from a previous segment, in fact.
“Cecilworth Farthington”: I am undefeated at Gentleman’s Games contests. Good luck.
Both Hayes and Cecilworth (the real one) turn to see Joe Fontaine standing there with the cardboard version of Cecilworth Farthington, panicking over having accidentally played the recorded message from Joe doing an extremely bad Cecilworth impersonation.
Joe Fontaine: Oh shit, you weren’t supposed to hear that.
Sid shakes his head on entering, carrying a cage with a chinchilla inside of it. A chinchilla, as you may recall from earlier, in a very tiny beret.
Sid Phillips: I told you to take that thing off of Cardsworth before we walked in.
Joe Fontaine: I don’t remember this.
Sid Phillips: Look, how do you think Cecilworth would feel if you damaged his, uh… secretary before Cardsworth can do all of the things that a secretary is supposed to do?
Cecilworth Farthington: Indifferent, probably.
At this stage, Home Run Hayes has remained quiet for long enough, and steps forward toward Joe and Sid.
He looks at Joe.
Then looks to the chinchilla.
Then at Sid.
And the chinchilla.
Back to Joe andyougetthepoint.
Hayes Hanlon: (genuinely concerned and curious) …is that a chinchilla in a beret?
Joe Fontaine: No, this is FLAMBERGE.
Hayes blinks twice. then turns away. He lifts a finger, and turns back.
Hayes Hanlon: (using said finger for emphasis) You have to have heard all the Flambo lizard jokes, right?
Sid turns to Joe with a smug expression, the kind that says “I told you so”.
Joe Fontaine: …Would you believe me if I told you that the pet store I went to didn’t have lizards?
Cecilworth Farthington: No.
Hayes Hanlon: No.
Joe Fontaine: Okay, well, obviously, this is genuinely the first I heard of the whole lizard thing.
Sid Phillips: That’s not true. You loudly proclaimed that he was a cool, cute French chinchilla when we tried to decide what animal best represented FLAMBERGE in these trying, FLAMBERGE-less times.
Hayes Hanlon: …FLAMBERGE is literally any other animal than a chinchilla. He’s specifically one. It’s a thing.
Joe Fontaine: Well, how was I supposed to know?
Sid Phillips: Joe, he spends all of his time in the Drippin’ Room and sometimes he eats bugs. How could you not know?
Joe Fontaine: Well, on the one hand, I feel pretty silly now. On the other hand, hey… chinchillas are pretty cool.
Cecilworth Farthington: We all have our silly moments. Though most of us are… lacking in chinchilla moments.
Hayes Hanlon: This is…I’m…
The Comeback Kid thinks better, and throws his hands up. As he exits, he pauses next to Farthington.
Hayes Hanlon: Man, I hope you’ve got some kind of plan.
Hanlon looks over his shoulder at Sid, Joe…and the chinchilla….before looking back.
Hayes Hanlon: Kiiinda hard to see it right now.
The Event Horizon steps off out of frame, leaving the rest of the Glueminati, chinchilla or otherwise, behind.