“Do you mean nonpareils?”
“Oh, these are non-parallels.”
“I will just get some popcorn with butter then.”
In walks a rather foul-smelling couple.
“Hey, can I speak to the manager?” Manteno communal narcissist, Optimal Club accordion-player and port-o-dump partner Bern Cacca asks Damien.
“OK Karen. He’s busy,” Damien says in his usual monotone voice, not even looking at Bern, too concerned with filling popcorn and listening to the copier in the back office create a pile of ticket facsimiles so he can hopefully woo women with them.
“We have a meeting at 2 to discuss advertising our porto potty business with a Mr. Konrad…Teeerant?”
“I know, I know. It’s Teirant. Rhymes with ‘tyrant.’ Walk over to that door and knock.” The bulbous neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt points to the door simply marked “Manager” getting a glimpse of Bernadette Cacca’s behind as she and her husband Peppi make their way toward Konrad’s office. An evil grin fills Damien Hurlbutt’s face, with bedroom eyes to match.
After the meeting, Bern, Peppi and Konrad emerge. Bern beelines toward the washroom, pinches a massive loaf, and stares at it in awe. She is so proud of her creation, almost afraid to flush it down. Since she has nowhere to burn it at the multiplex, she reluctantly pushes the handle and washes her hands in the sink. At least she did that. Damien ogles Bern’s round bum as she and her beau Peppi exit the theater.
“Fill up those popcorn bags!” Konrad commands his clerk Damien. “Friday I expect to make big bags at the release of the new rom-com. We partnered with our advertisers to increase the bottom-line. This one’s gonna be a game-changer. Make me a sign.”
“Yep.” Damien heads to the back office to draw and make more color copies of movie tickets on the company’s budget.
While working on the sign, Damien’s brother Robbie calls his flip phone. Thinking it’s one of the many OKStupid ladies he messaged, he answers.
“Damien, it’s Robbie, you dork.”
“Can you get me a job at the theater? Wally’s cuttin’ back my hours again.”
“Maybe. Hey, there’s this cute chick coming in Friday for the new premiere.”
“Groovy. Can I meet her?”
“She’s married. But I have first dibs.”
“Hey, I got a free ticket if you wanna come down.”
“Do you think your boss will let me work with you? If you really love your brother you will ask your manager. It’s really selfish of you not.”
“Come down and see the film. Friday night.”
“Later.” Damien and Robbie disconnect…for now.
Peppi and Bern Cacca are loafing away inside their run-down shack in Manteno.
“These maxi pad commercials always come on when I am watching TV. This is Star Trek. Men watch this show,” Peppi whinges.
“Hey Pep. I got this handy-dandy new laundry basket. Would you like to come with me to the laundromat?”
“Why? Bern, I try to help and you won’t let me.”
“Oh come along for the company. You’re fragile. I can do it all. Maybe you can hold doors for me while I haul all our laundry in.”
“So I can watch? Yeah, no. I am busy.”
Peppi walks into his bedroom to get away from his wife, lights up the skunkiest joint he’s got and guzzles moonshine.
It’s showtime. In walks Bern Cacca wearing her accordion over her Peppi’s Portopotties shirt, bearing the caption “King & Queen of the Throne.”
“Hey, Bern. We have changed our mind about your advertising strategy. We think playing accordion while Peppi raps about portopotties is not a good idea,” Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant tells Bernadette Cacca.
“Oh, Peppi stayed home. I wanna belt some crappy show-tunes instead.”
“It does not take a genius to figure out that we both need to make money. Sing at home, preferably with the windows shut. We designed a new ad, and we think you’ll like it. It will play halfway through the movie. A new rom-com premieres tonight, “Steamy Love.” We expect a big bag from a big turnout. Your seat is on me.
“Hey M’lady. Would you like some popcorn?” theater clerk and neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt calls out to Bern Cacca.
“I’m good, thanks. What a lovely theater you have!”
“Aww, shucks. Hey M’lady, Madame. What is this lovely lady doing when the film lets out? I can get you free tickets if you meet me at the Gaslight Bar.”
Bern heads to her seat, excited to see all the theater patrons, and tries to make friends with as many as possible, hugging, shaking hands, and calling them “darling”. Bern thinks she’s everybody’s friend, and reminds the crowd of all the favors she does for charity and her enablers.
The film begins to roll.
At intermission, the new ad for Peppi’s Portopotties plays, interrupting a scene depicting two people kissing, and a prominent plot point. Will the lady choose her secret lover or go back to her husband?
“Let’s all go to the washroom
Let’s all go to the washroom.
Let’s all go to the washroom,
And take ourselves a dump.”
The patrons run to the restrooms, but not to crap or whizz.
They barf up the popcorn, candy and pop, for which they overpaid at the concession stand.
Too nauseous to stay for the ending, the crowd of moviegoers leaves Teirant Cinema-13 in droves.
An angry Bern Cacca leaves the multiplex, worrying about her squeaky-clean image as a singing fool who raises money for the Manteno Optimal Club, and gives rides to friends because she loves to look good.
“Hey honey puddin’ — what are you doing right now?” the bulbous concessions clerk Damien Hurlbutt asks Bern Cacca as she passes the ticket counter.
“I have a date. I’m leaving you guys.”
“With me, my dainty queen?”
“No, you moron.”
“How about me?” pops up Damien’s brother Robbie Hurlbutt, emerging from seemingly nowhere.
“No, with JB, the Turd Burglar.”
Frowns fill the faces of the Hurlbutts, while a devilish grin fills that of Bern Cacca as she embraces the neighborhood Turd Burglar, who has been waiting for her in the parking lot.
Konrad Teirant counts his ticket sales, all smiles because he does not plan to offer refunds. He had made his big bag and takes it home to lie in it, spreading the cash all over his bed, rolling around in it and over it like a dog.