On the Red Carpet

 

VOICE

VISUAL

Tiffany waves, and the armadillo ambles over.

Three women with snakes for hair pass behind Tiffany. An armadillo follows them.

TIFFANY: Look! There’s Galves, the god of Galveston, Texas. Let’s see if we can get a word. Oh, Galves! Galves!

TIFFANY [to her viewers]: I know you all want to see how the gods are manifested this year. And I’ll bet you can’t wait to get a glimpse of the very latest in divine hairstyles.

TIFFANY CLERMONT [Breaking News reporter]: That’s right, Marsha! It’s very, very exciting here on the red carpet because, as you can see, the gods are beginning to arrive!

Tiffany gestures at the red carpet, where a stream of gods walk, fly, and slither toward the banquet hall entrance. In the distance, more gods emerge from limousines.

TIFFANY: Galves! It’s great to see you again!


GALVES: It’s great to be here, Tiffany. And you’re looking good, as usual.

The armadillo looks Tiffany up and down with a gleam in its eye.

Tiffany realizes where the armadillo is looking and sidles away from him.

The armadillo, built low to the ground, looks up Tiffany’s skirt.

TIFFANY: That’s nice. And you’re a speaker this year! What does it mean to you to be speaking to your fellow gods? How does it make you feel?


GALVES: It means a great deal to me, Tiffany. I feel very proud.

TIFFANY: Oh, you! I see you’re manifesting yourself as an armadillo this year. What a chic choice! Tell our viewers about it.


GALVES: It’s a Texas thing, and ecological, too. I want to call attention to the threats facing armadillos all over the great state of Texas. The suffering! You wouldn’t believe!

Tiffany waves to a god on the red carpet.

As Galves answers, Tiffany looks beyond him at the parade of gods on the red carpet.

TIFFANY: Sounds delicious!

TIFFANY: Celebrity chef Gaston La Nourriture is preparing tonight’s banquet. Are you looking forward to dinner?


GALVES: Oh, yes. Gaston is making up a special fruit plate for me, garnished with spiders, scorpions, and worms. We armadillos love that kind of stuff, you know.

Olema enters the interview area, manifested as a buxom babe. When Galves sees her, his incandescent red color quickly fades to normal armadillo, and he scurries away.

Galves glows cherry red.

TIFFANY: Olema! Olema! Come over here and let our viewers see your gown!

GALVES: Are you ignoring me, Tiffany? That makes me mad!

Olema stands next to Tiffany. Her black gown is slit up to the hip on one side, exposing a sleek leg, stocking, and a possible garter belt. Her gown’s neckline plunges to her navel.

TIFFANY: Oooh! You wear that gown so well. Not many gods could carry it off!


OLEMA: Why, thank you, Tiffany. It just feels natural to me. I like this look, don’t you, hmmm?

Bolinas, manifested as a hunky male celeb, walks along the red carpet. Tiffany waves at him.

TIFFANY: I’ll bet you’re driving the male gods wild! But, wait, you don’t have an escort. That’s not right. Oh, look! Here comes an eligible bachelor god.

Bolinas steps into the interview area. He wears a white dinner jacket, ruffled shirt, and red cummerbund. A lock of hair curls down over his forehead.

TIFFANY: Oh, good. He’s coming over. [To Olema.] A beauty like you should definitely have an escort. It’s totally necessary, don’t you think?

Olema looks at Bolinas with distaste.

TIFFANY: Oh, Bolinas! You’re so Clark Gable! You make my heart flutter.


BOLINAS: Thanks, Tiffany! You look great, yourself.

Tiffany stands between Bolinas and Olema, smiling radiantly.

TIFFANY: I’m playing matchmaker tonight! I want to put you together with Olema for a grand entrance into the banquet hall!


OLEMA [muttering]: Not a chance.

Tiffany’s head swivels back and forth between the two gods.

TIFFANY: You two will be the envy of all the gods!


BOLINAS: Actually, Tiffany, I don’t think I want to do that.


OLEMA [realizing she’s being rejected on national TV]: What?

Tiffany, sensing a story, moves her microphone back and forth between Bolinas and Olema.

BOLINAS [to Tiffany]: We just don’t get along. [To Olema] No offense.


OLEMA: You don’t want to escort me? What’s the problem? Feeling a little impotent because of your canceled presentation, hmmm?

Bolinas puts one hand on his hip and one behind his head, pivots, and does a bump and grind with his back to the camera.

BOLINAS: Yeah, well, we all know why your presentation was popular, don’t we? Sex, sex all the time! You appeal to all the worst instincts of godhood. Hey, look at me! I’m Olema, and I’m too sexy for my priests!

A nimbus of light forms around Olema. It pulses and changes colors like a personal aurora borealis.

OLEMA: You sanctimonious do-gooder! I can’t stand your kind. You wouldn’t know a goddess if she bit you on the ass. You’re still a virgin, aren’t you, hmmm?

Bolinas’s upper body swells, and his biceps burst the seams of his dinner jacket.

Olema’s aurora flashes into flames

BOLINAS: You think good isn’t sexy? The only way you can get a man is to haul him in for one of your perverted punishment sessions.

Tiffany squirms out of her position between Olema and Bolinas.

A group of gods on the red carpet stop to watch.

TIFFANY: Hey! Be careful!

A circle of flame cuts through the sidewalk around Bolinas, who begins to sink into the ground.

OLEMA [to Bolinas]: Who’d want to spend time with you under any circumstances, hmmm? You’ve got as much personality as a clod of dirt. Here, taste some. You’ll feel right at home.

Levitating above the burning hole, Bolinas blows a puff of air at Olema. The puff shreds much of Olema’s gown, scattering pieces of cloth like leaves to reveal her panties, garter belt, and stockings.

BOLINAS [rising out of the hole]: Don’t you think you’re overdressed? Why conceal the only assets you’ve got?

Tiffany looks frantically from Bolinas to Olema.

TIFFANY: Hey, hey, guys! We’re all friends here, right?

Tiffany dives out of the interview area as a jagged bolt of lightning streaks from the sky and strikes in front of Bolinas. The ruffles on Bolinas’s shirt crumple and blacken, and his red cummerbund flies off.

An explosion of thunder follows, throwing Bolinas off his feet. He cartwheels through the air and crashes into the line of limousines.

OLEMA: OK, that’s it, you smarmy hypocrite! You act all goody goody, but you still want to see the goods, don’t you? You better look fast, though!

Bolinas stands up in the wreckage of the limousines. His ruined dinner jacket hangs from his shoulders, and his torn shirt reveals an action hero’s chest.

Olema, haughty and half-naked, regards him with disdain.

VARIOUS GODS [watching from the red carpet]:

Nice hit!

Woot!

Do it again!

Bolinas gestures, and Olema is catapulted from the interview area. She crashes into the banquet hall doors, collapsing the scaffolding that holds the Heavenly Days sign and the twinkling lights. Individual lights fly through the air and explode as they hit the ground.

BOLINAS [in a voice that reverberates off nearby buildings]: You degenerate, irresponsible, perverted excuse for a goddess! Leave this world, and we’ll all be better off!

Bolinas and Olema face each other, separated by the length of the red carpet. They both glow with anger. Their forms can barely be discerned through the waves of light and heat emanating from their manifestations.

OLEMA [getting up and pushing pieces of scaffolding away]: Not bad for a wimp. Why waste all that power on good works, hmmm? Get a little fun out of being a god. Or is fun too scary for wittle Bolinas?


BOLINAS: What do you know of good works, you whore? You’re only out for yourself!

Tiffany flattens herself on the ground.

The watching gods step delicately out of the way.

TIFFANY [looking from Olema to Bolinas and forgetting she is on the air]: Oh, shit.

Olema launches herself into the air and flies toward Bolinas. He rises out of the line of limousines to meet her. They collide in midair over the red carpet and disappear in a series of explosions.

OLEMA AND BOLINAS scream incoherent cries of rage.

The explosions rise up into the sky and drift away over downtown Springfield.

Tiffany picks herself up off the ground, brushes off her dress, and steps back into the interview area.

VARIOUS GODS [watching the explosions from beside the red carpet]:

They do it every year.

Yeah, but this is the best one yet.

Personally, I think they like each other.

In the background, the parade of gods on the red carpet resumes.

TIFFANY: Well, that’s it from here. This is Tiffany Clermont reporting from the red carpet. Back to you, John and Marsha.

Fade to commercial.

JOHN [from the studio, off camera]: Another great job, Tiffany! Don’t you think so, Marsha?


MARSHA: That’s right, John.