A Few Minutes with Betty, Chapter 5: "Let's Become a Comedy Writing Team" (or, "Remember My Pocketknife, Shakespeare.")

"Did you miss me?"

"Hi there, Betty. What's going on?"

"These stories that you have been writing about our chats, are you making any money off them?"

"Um, no, at least not yet. But I am thinking about collecting them into a book."

"Well if you do make any money off them, I had better get a cut, mister."

"Well our chats give me the basic themes, but I juice up the chats considerably. That's where my skill as a humorist comes into it."

"I'll give you juice. I have apple and orange. And my cut of whatever you make off the book, not half, but something. I should get paid for all this witty banter, not to mention having to put up with you. Just putting up with you should be worth a fortune."

"We do this well together, this witty banter. Maybe we could do this as a team, ya know, like writing for Hollywood. Make us an official writing team, like Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, or Mike Nichols and Elaine May."

"We probably could."

"I think so. It's something to think about at least."

"We would just need a plot to wrap around those brilliant words."

"Well yes, but that's not that hard, I don't think."

"Well, if you don't think, that would make it really hard, Shakespeare. I think the key IS thinking."

"See, you are doing it right now; this is fabulous stuff already and all you are doing is pulling my chain."

"Oh, so you are not really going to have to juice this up, then, Mr. Humorist?"

"Probably not very much. This is great stuff so far."

"Then I want half. No juice, half. Juice, I'll settle for less than half. George and I do this sort of thing all the time, only he laughs too much and distracts me."

"Well the beauty of you and me is that we do this like this and not like you and George do it. So the whole distraction element is greatly reduced."

"George is a line stealer. We go to parties, I make an off-the-cuff remark to him, and then he uses it on the entire room for laughs. Sometimes I just want to stab him in the eye with my pocket knife."

"Well, that and making him finish you first probably evens out the score, and hurts much less than the knife-in-the-eye thing."

"Please. I want it at least three times or he gets the knife."

"Dammit, you women are so greedy sometimes."


"Wait, you mean like three times in a week, right?"


"Oh dammit, in one night?"

"In one sitting."

"Good grief."

"I'll settle for two, but only if they are really good."

"Poor George, I always thought he had it so good, and now this news."

"He's never complained. And sometimes, I just tell him let's do it because I have 10 minutes. He rarely says no to that."

"Wow; you seem to have George trained pretty well there."

"I pull his tail and he does what I want."

"Ah, Curious George; of course. And here I thought that was just a series of cute children's books. The whole thing is really a handbook for female domination, isn't it?"

"Aren't most things?"

"Apparently so, as I am slowly discovering."

"Seriously, I mean. Men make more money, but everything, EVERYTHING, is marketed to women. There are hidden messages everywhere."

"I'm not sure that this is going to work well in a humor piece, though. And your message doesn't seem to be hiding very much, pulling his tail and all."

"I don't hide things. I just say it or make it known."

"I see that clearly now. Like the old knife-in-the-eye thing."

"This is why work people seem to hate to talk to me on the phone."

"Plain speaking, Betty-style."

"Yes, that, and the implicit threat of my pocketknife."

"Yes, that would do it for me. I gotta go, I have a story to cover in about an hour. Talk to you tomorrow?"

"Sure, so we can work out the details of our comedy writing partnership. And remember, I have a pocketknife, and I'm not afraid to use it."

April 6, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

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