OSV: Give’er a scooch to the left. Okay okay, just a smidgen back to the right. Aaaaand…right…there.
The camera backstage follows Grady Patrick, making his way through the non-descript cinder block corridors. The bowler cap, and manager underneath, comes to a halt as we pan around to catch Teddy Palmer, in street attire, shaking the hands of what would appear to be Staples set-up team members.
Grady Patrick: It’s looking good, Ted.
Teddy Palmer: She’s a beauty, ain’t she?
The ‘she’ in question would be a duo of extended cubicles pushed together, cutting out a clearly defined space in the middle of the otherwise wideopen hall. The open middle is largely taken up with a gaming table and chairs.
Grady Patrick: Sure is. But shouldn’t you be taking that down?
Congratulations dear viewer for catching the comically large and comically awkward ‘Congratulations’ banner pinned across the grey felt beauty’s exterior wall.
Teddy Palmer: And why would I do that? It’s still appropriate for the occasion…
Grady Patrick: How? How could you possibly think that is still appropriate?
Palmer’s earnest smile shifts.
Teddy Palmer: Red almost won. Not congratulating him on a great effort out there would just be rude of us.
It is in the awkward silence that you can pick out just how unsecluded a locale the three-sided sectional has been erected. Staffers and agents have been passing behind with their heads buried in business, or hidden from camera, save for a pair who make their way centre-screen, in masks reading ‘III’ and ‘IV.’
Enemigo IV takes a slow walk, inspecting the structure as he goes.
Enemigo III meanwhile steps to the pair and gestures between them and the cubicle, as if to ask ‘who’s idea was this?’
Teddy Palmer: That would be me.
While Ted proudly raises a hand, taking responsibility for the erection of the office furniture, a storm rolls in from the east.
Alexander Redding: Goddammit.
Pouring out a bottle of H2O over his head and face, Red is steaming. The bruises on his chest are just forming into the picture perfect hamburger pink. Done, the bottle is fired off-screen into some recycling, we’re sure.
Alexander Redding: I get it, I fucked up.
Grady turns his attention to Red, while Ted begins taking the security luchadores on the ten cent tour.
Grady Patrick: I want to say I told you that sending me to the back wasn’t the smart play…
Teddy Palmer: Take note of the ergonomic chairs featuring adjustable lumbar support. Designed with correct posture in mind, without sacrificing comfort.
Wiping away frustration and excess water, Red lets out a huff.
Alexander Redding: Yeah, I wasn’t counting the guy light. But you told me yourself. Tell me, if I was that close, and needed the gimmick to end it, you wouldn’t have tossed it? Or grabbed a foot..
In the background, Enemigo III leans in to run a hand along the real leather cover along the table and nod.
Alexander Redding: Not that it matters now. I guess it’s up to Ted to make an impression now.
Teddy Palmer: Genuine leather. Nice, huh? And check this. The filing cabinets are actually refrigerators. Say…can I offer mi amigos a refreshing beverage?
The rocking shoulders and pout out of Enemigo III scream, ‘maybe…’
Enemigo IV re-emerges from his walkabout. Without a word, this world class charades player mimes fire, and points past Ted.
Teddy Palmer: One time. One time I set a cubicle ablaze, and I’m forever labeled a fire hazard.
The camera comes in as Red and Grady join in, Ted in one corner, as the security stand at the perimeter.
Alexander Redding: You know, I’ve damn near seen about all the masks I can stand for one night.
Standing threateningly close to IV, Red might have caught that second wind five minutes late, the tension only getting cut by the crisp release of CO2.
Teddy Palmer: One Moosehead Cracked Canoe.
Enemigo III nods, pulls the mask back just enough to take a sip, then nods in rhythm, tapping at the shoulders of his compatriot.
Taking one step back, and then around, Enemigos III and IV are watched by an unflinching Red as they depart.
Alexander Redding: Assholes.
Teddy Palmer: They seemed friendly enough to me. Anywho…
Ted dips a hand back into the filing cabinet to produce a bottle in the unmistakable purple velvet cover.
Teddy Palmer: Care to christen this vessel, good man?
Taking the bottle, Red rips off the bag and untwists the cap. After a healthy glug, or two mississippi’s, the lid is replaced and the whole bottle of Crown smashes against an exterior corner.
Teddy Palmer: To one last ride!
Redding finally takes note of the banner hanging up, and ungently removes it. Palmer shrugs, exchanging a quick glance with Grady. Grady hands a placard over to Red, who hangs it on the now vacant thumbtack.
“Open for Business”