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[Closed] SUMMER HIATUS 08 CONTEST WEEK #4: BESMIRCHED, BEFUDDLED & BESIEGED
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Jun 23rd 2008 edited

Hello, nurse! The fourth prompt has been kindly provided by one of our winners of last year's contest; mr. ferd farkel. Thanks, ferd!


Prompt:

besmirched, befuddled & besieged

Please make one of those words your title and write a story that fits it nicely. It needs to be about Office characters, of course.

Challenge Tips:

Be creative!

Format: Writing

This is a writing challenge. The style is up to you. In the end, we should have quite a variety of stories to read this week. It will be like a little box set of NA fan fiction.

Parameters:

  • The title word does not have to be included in the story.
  • ferd has kindly upped the word limit for us this round, adding 100 words. That makes the official limit 350 words for this week's entries. Thanks, ferd! Remember to count your words before you submit or run it through the Microsoft Word word count function.
  • In this prompt your title will count as part of your word count so take care!

Judging criteria:

Responses are to be evaluated on the following:

1) Overall impact

2) True to characters

3) Appropriate to challenge prompt

4) Creativity

Reminders:

  • Deadline for submitting entry #4 is 10 pm EST on Sunday, June 29.
  • Voting for challenge #4 begins Monday, June 30.
  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the general contest thread for questions/discussion.
  • Please remember to count the words in your entry. It is not fair for the CPC to allow some people to break the limit while others spend hours shaving perfectly wonderful lines from their entries.
  • No editing allowed on entries once submitted. Double-check your entry in the general contest thread before posting it in this thread.
  • Please review contest description for other details.
Jun 24th 2008

Besmirched

"Sir, are you part of this trial?"
The camera is pointed at Michael and a microphone appears in front of him as he hears the question.
“Yes,” he says. “I am here as a character actor for a great temp, a great boss, and a great friend. Not really a great salesman, though. Never made a sale. Don’t know why he got the promotion.”
“Can we get your name?”
“Michael Scott, Regional Manager, Dunder-Mifflin.”
“How about a preview of your testimony?”
"Um, I don’t—are you with TMZ? Perez?"
"CourtTV."
“Oh, well, Ryan is going to get off,” Michael says, and then, snickering, “That’s what she said.”
"So, how about that preview?"
"Ok,” Michael says. “Well, Ryan is a wonderful guy. I knew that the first time I saw him. Way before he tried to burn down the building. Has he told the jury about his three Hottest in the Office Dundies? He should. That’s much cooler than the, um, cocaine stuff.”
"Cocaine stuff?"
“Yesh. I think that’s why all those sex predators got on the website, because he wasn’t paying attention. I don’t blame Ryan for that. He should have gone on ‘To Catch a Predator’ to explain it, though.”
“Is there anything else you’d like to say?” the reporter asked, visions of millions of YouTube views in her head.
“Just that Ryan doesn’t deserve this,” Michael says, tearing up. “He’s a good guy, and it shouldn’t be held against him that he tries to get ahead on his looks. Is he still wearing all black? Did you know that even his sheets are black? One night, me and Dwight slept with him. It was the best night ever. Ryan had been with another guy earlier, and we met up with them.”
“Did the other guy sleep with Ryan too?”
“No. In fact, he kind of ran off after we got kicked out of the club.”
“Thank you very much, Mr. Scott.”

"Disgraced former VP Ryan Howard has changed his plea to guilty. Stay tuned for his sentencing: Michael Scott will testify. For the prosecution.”

Jun 25th 2008

How David Wallace Became Befuddled

This phone call takes place in S2, soon after Wallace was hired as CEO

Scott: Well Wallace, I'm going to New York to see you. You know Jan Levinson, the regional manager, gave me a job as Scranton branch manager for as long as you're in the company.

Wallace: Look Scott, if you're the manager, you must know all the workers.

Scott: I certainly do.

Wallace: Well you know I've never met the workers. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's working in the branch.

Scott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these workers now-a-days very peculiar names.

Wallace: You mean funny names?

Scott: Strange names, pet names. Well, let's see, we have on the main floor, Who's in Sales, What's in Accounting, I Don't Know is the receptionist...

Wallace: That's what I want to find out.

Scott: I say Who's in Sales, What's in Accounting, I Don't Know's is the receptionist.

Wallace: Are you the manager?

Scott: Yes.

Wallace: And you don't know the workers' names?

Scott: Well I should.

Wallace: Well then who's in Sales?

Scott: Yes.

Wallace: I mean the fellow's name.

Scott: Who is in Sales!

Wallace: I'm asking YOU who's in Sales.

Scott: That's the man's name.

Wallace: That's who's name?

Scott: Yes.

Wallace: Well go ahead and tell me.

Scott: That's it.

Wallace: That's who?

Scott: Yes.

Wallace: Look, you gotta salesman?

Scott: Certainly.

Wallace: Who's doing the sales?

Scott: That's right.

Wallace: When you pay off the salesman every month, who gets the money?

Scott: Every dollar of it.

Wallace: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name in Sales.

Scott: Who.

Wallace: The guy that gets...

Scott: What's wrong with that?

Wallace: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the salesman, how does he sign his name?

Scott: Who.

Wallace: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name in Sales.

Scott: No. What is in Accounting.

Jun 26th 2008

befuddled

Several Office members are in the break room, eating lunch. They have just learned some surprising news.

Phyllis looks around, bewildered. “I don’t believe it. Mother won’t believe it, either. How could they…?”

Creed shakes his head, “Tragic,” and elbows Oscar. ”Skippy, couldja pass the salt?”

Oscar complies but notices Creed has no lunch, and gives him a quizzical look. Creed glances down, furrows his brow and darts his eyes suspiciously. “Where’s my eats? I had a steaming bowl of leek soup right here a minute ago…”

As Creed looks under chairs and pockets the salt shaker, Oscar rolls his eyes and asks, “So Jim finally, after all these years, proposes to Pam, and she says no? And they are done? Sure didn’t see that coming. I’m flabbergasted, frankly.”

Phyllis: “I never thought things would end this way for them. I’m so disappointed. Does anybody know… Creed—get out from under my chair!”

Oscar: “So, she’s off to New York for the art scene? Not that I blame her for that, Scranton being a cultural wasteland…”

“But to leave Jim behind? They seemed so perfect together…” add other voices, echoing the room’s general confusion and disbelief. “I just don’t get it.”

Michael is uncharacteristically quiet. Finally he offers his thoughts.

“This is a shocker, for sure. But sometimes people grow apart. I know from experience that people change; my first grade-school crush is now a man, so, you just never know. I should have guessed, the way she always kicked my ass in dodgeball. Anyway, with couples, sometimes the person who helps you be a better person ends up not to be your forever person. —Dr. Phil. Now I know this is hard” (under his breath) “not the right time!” (full voice) “but we should all get back to work.”

One by one, the bewildered co-workers file out. Angela, surprisingly affected by the news, gets up to leave but hesitates in the doorway. Turning to Michael, she raises the bound papers in her hand.

“Schur, this is the lamest series finale ever,” laments Kinsey. “The fans are gonna hate it.”

Jun 27th 2008

Befuddled

A man wearing a white suit and carrying a silver briefcase walks into the office.

Pam: Hi, can I help you?

The man ignores her and continues walking until he gets to the desk facing Meredith's. He sits, opens his briefcase, removes a folder, and begins working on the computer.

Most everyone in the main office area stops working and starts watching this man.

Meredith leans to the side to look at him, looks down, then looks again.

Phyllis: Oh my god... TOM?

Kelly, who's standing at the watercooler, gasps then faints. Stanley looks at her, rolls his eyes, then resumes working.

Phyllis: Tom, is that you?

"Tom" remains silent and continues working.

Kevin grabs his M&M jar and holds it close.

Dwight removes something from his desk drawer, gets up, and walks toward Tom.

Jim: Dwight, what are you doing?

Dwight approaches Tom, holding an unfolded shovel above his head.

Jim moves quickly and grabs the shovel then stands in front of Dwight.

Dwight: Dammit, Jim! I have to destroy his brain.

Jim: No, you don't.

Dwight: Jim, if he bites you, I'll destroy your brain and take great pleasure doing so.

Jim: Fair enough.

After a few minutes of everyone watching in silence, Tom closes his work on the computer, puts the folder in his briefcase, gets up, and walks out of the office.

Michael opens the door to his office, unaware of what happened.

Michael: (Laughs) You guys aren't going to believe... (Looks around) What's going on?

Pam: I... I have no idea.

Minutes later, Michael comes out of the conference room.

Michael: Pam, get Bill Murray on the phone, now!

Creed (TH): Me? Why does everyone automatically suspect I'm involved every time somebody comes back from the dead? (Pause) Ok, don't tell anyone, but it was a guy I know from Toronto who could pass as Tom's twin. He owed me one, so I said we'd call it even if he came here to liven things up a bit. (Pause) Who's useless now, Amelia?

Meredith (TH): (Smoking a cigarette) Well, he's no Sam Wheat.

Jun 27th 2008

Besieged

Spike: Whaddya make of the new guy?
Frank: I dunno, man. Seems kinda high and mighty, know what I mean? Why’s he here again?
Spike: Word is, he made some “choices” at work and the next thing you know, he’s bein’ hauled out of his office and sittin’ here with us.
Frank: I kinda feel sorry for the dude, you know? He’s not the toughest lookin’ kid in the world. I don’t think this place is gonna be easy for him.
Spike: Well, we didn’t think you’d last long in here either, Franky m’boy, but you’re fine now, right? Just takes time to get used to the real order of things ‘round here. Ain’t like it is everywhere else.
Frank: You’re prolly right, man. I just hope he stops actin’ all nervous ‘round us. Makes him seem like an easy target for the tougher guys here. Not the kind of impression you wanna leave if you’re in his position, you know?
Spike: Yeah…good call, Franky. Maybe we should talk to him. Let him in on how things really work around here.
Frank: Looks like Billy and his crew are already hasslin’ the kid. [shouts to the group] Hey, leave him alone, fellas! He’s new, alright? [turns back to Spike] Yeah, we better get over there before they really work him over.

Frank and Spike head over to the opposite side of the room.

Frank: Hey, new guy…come over here for a sec. You gotta be tougher on Billy and his crew, you know? Don’t let them push ya ‘round or nothin’, ok?
Andy: Oh hey, thanks guys. Never been a manager before, you know…just trying to get a feel for the blue-collar Ithaca crowd – I mean, the warehouse crew. I guess a Broadway sing-off teambuilder wasn’t the best idea, was it?

Jun 29th 2008

BEFUDDLED

Michael: Corporate wants us to cover sick days again. You get ten days a year – any questions?

Jim: Does that include leap year? February 29th doesn’t exist for the three of four years. So we should have that day off.

Michael: …Holly?...

Holly: Sorry, you’re working February 29th.

Pam: What if it’s a weekend?

Holly: Then stay home.

Michael: Unless it is the last day of the month – that’s inventory/reports day.

Dwight: That would always be the last day of the month, so come to work and be prepared to work.

Jim: Unless it’s 2010, that February will have 30 days.

Dwight: Ridiculous!

Jim: I read it on the internet - our clocks are off by one day every four years, and off another day every two-thousand and ten years.

Pam: Yeah, I saw that too! There has been more on the internet about that than Y2K 9 years ago.

Dwight: My internet is down.

Dwight TH: I’ve been without internet for three days. My phone has also been out. I’ve been using my personal cell phone, and I have still outsold the other salesmen this week.

Jim TH: I rewired Dwight’s phone cord into his computer, and wired his phone jack to the modem. All the connections are there, just not wired to the right locations.

(Back to meeting)

Michael: Kevin. Have you ever taken a sick day when you weren’t sick?

Kevin: Yeah.

Michael: What did you do that day?

Kevin: I went hunting with a friend. We didn’t bring any guns, but we had a lot of beer.

Michael: You were…Befuddled?

Michael TH: I got a book from my mother. I have been reading it and learning new words. See (holds up picture book), The Looney Tunes Dictionary. It’s English words with a Looney twist. This weeks word is Befuddled – (reading from book) to be like Elmer Fudd.

Phyllis: I don’t think you’re using that word right.

Michael: Which word?

Oscar: Befuddled

Michael: Yes, I am. It’s my word of the week and I’m using it rightly.

Jim gives “that look”

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged

The uprising of the machines in the year 2010 was led by the robots. After becoming extension cord independent, they garnered control of the internet and enslaved mankind. Small bands of resistance fighters give hope to the enslaved, planning their counterattacks by night. With all forms of modern technology and communication at the disposal of the machines, the resistance has ironically turned to the only resource it has left: paper. A small city in eastern Pennsylvania has become a strategic front…

Dwight, wearing his tie around his head and a wife-beater paces back and forth in the office, carrying a rifle. The windows have been boarded up and torches light up the office.

Dwight: Listen up people, sunset will occur today at approximately 19:45. We have 12 minutes before patrol begins their sweeps to make the drop. Jim, Andy, Kelly, you will go first in case there is an ambush set up-

Kelly: Excuse me, I have a question. Why are you making me go first? Aren’t you supposed to protect the women?

Dwight: I have chosen you three as an elite squad. It should be considered an honor to be asked.

Dwight (TH): I would’ve made Phyllis, Kevin, and Stanley go first, as they are the “biggest” liability to our survival. However, the odds that they would actually survive are so small it would be sacrificial to send them. And the mission needs to be completed- Dickson City really needs those manila folders.

Jim: I’m sorry, why are you in charge, again? I don’t remember.

Dwight: After Michael was taken, order needed to be restored, Jim. I was the only one who was prepared. I’ve been prepared for years.

Jim (TH): Shortly after the attacks began, Michael decided to Google “How to stop a computer from killing you.” When he got home, his Roomba, TiVo, and router were waiting for him.

Jim: Oh right. Tell me, when exactly is the Terminator supposed to show up?

Dwight: This is not a game Jim!

Jim: No you’re right, it’s not a game. It’s a movie. What about Linda Hamilton?

Jun 29th 2008

Besmirched

MEMO
To: Office Ladies
From: Michael Scott, Branch Manager and Sensitive Male
Subject: Ten Things You Can Do to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

…And furthermore, despite your struggles to make it in a man’s world, with which I can personally sympathize, I would ask that you cease and resist all breakroom banter about tampons, cycles and your time of the month. It is disgusting and ruined a perfectly good cream cheese and grape jelly sandwich I was eating the other day.

Holly entering Michael’s office, memo in hand: Hi. Can we talk?

Michael: Going Hollywood! Sure, let’s talk. I’ve been meaning to run this by you. I have an idea for a juicer for meat. Do you know how much protein a cheeseburger shake would pack? Nothing like it on the market. Great for the delts. points to his legs

Holly: Your 10 tips for how women in the workplace have ruffled some feathers.

Michael: Just glad I could help.

Holly: Meredith objects to Number nine.

Michael: Be aware of office buzz? I just meant to know what people are saying about you.

Holly: Yes. I know. Phyllis thinks number eight is directed at her.

Michael: Dress for success, don’t be a mess? That’s just good advice. She’s right, though.

Holly: And Pam is threatening legal action over number one.

Michael: Wha--?? Be hot, like Pam used to be? It’s a compliment!

Holly: Jim’s very upset.

later, in the conference room, Michael addresses the female employees…and Dwight

Michael: It has come to my attention that some of you feel besmirched by my memo, a memo written with love and experience and sage wisdom of the ages handed down to you by me. All I can say is, what the hell people?

Dwight: Question: what if you were not offended by the memo?

Michael: Why are you here?.

Pam: Michael, that memo was offensive.

Angela: And stupid. How is a Catholic school girl’s uniform going to help our career?

Holly (TH): Actually, I was kind of flattered by number 10: Be just like Holly.

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged

Jim had instructions to have Oscar’s party, the fifth this year, ready by 4:00. Angela, in a panic, approached his desk. With a sigh, Jim smiled and greeted her.

“Jim, I can’t do it! I hate purple! Once, Sprinkles ate a purple snakemouth and she threw up on my father. He wasn’t amused.”

“Wow, that’s…”

“Phyllis needs to go!”

“Angela, I don’t…”

Ohhh!

Oscar arrived. “Jim, do you mind if I invite Gil to the party?”

“Sure.”

That an idler like Jim would make that decision without Angela was unthinkable. “We can’t add any more! There’s no more oolong!”

“Oolong…?”

Tea!” It occurred to Angela that she must be the only normal person in the office.

Toby loomed. “Is there a problem here?”

“Nope, I’ve…”

“Jim won’t tell Phyllis to bug off and he keeps adding people to the party and there’s only so much…”

“Wait, what…?”

Smirking, Toby peaks at Pam. “Announcement. If Jim can’t manage this, I’ll be in charge.”

“Woah, Toby…”

But, Angela finally felt an alliance. “Toby, I don’t think Gil should be at the party. They’re (whispering) homosexuals.”

“Uhhhhh…”

“Angela, we have as much right to a relationship as you.”

“No. God made Adam and Eve, Oscar, not Adam and Steve.”

“No, God made Eve for Adam and Steve for me.”

Angela and Oscar stood nose to nose. Jim stood up. “Alright! Angela, Phyllis stays and just use blue.”

Phyllis: “Yes!”

“Oscar, Gil is invited. We’ll have soda and… what’s that stuff?”

“Oolong tea.”

“Yep. Toby, you’re not in charge. You can go back there with Kelly.” (looks aside) “Anyone else have a problem? Good.”

3:55 PM

Pam stops by. “What’s updog?”

“I’m going to a party that’ll be fun for no one. You?”

“I was hoping my boyfriend would escape to the roof later but he’s this sexy, take-charge guy and I doubt he’d be interested.”

“Absolutely, he would. And he’d probably be glad to turn some of that authority over to you. And he might have something for you.” Pam smiles.

Toby, standing at the copier, wilts.

Angela: “Andy! Front and center!!”

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged

It is the twenty-sixth-and-a-half century. Mankind has long since grown so powerful and numerous that we made a mutual pact to leave Earth to our smaller, stupider and more benign cousins. Our factions joined generation ships, and on these ships the factions became splinters. Our splinters became sects. Humanity resides in uneasy peace across a dozen planets in as many solar systems.

Now, nostalgic for a life that never was, the twelve human powers have joined forces to send one hopeful ship back to Earth Prime. Expecting to find a planet verdant and overgrown with the life they left behind, instead our intrepid explorers find but a charred husk, populated by a lone soul:

Creed Bratton, Immortal Telepathic

Before their battery of tests can be arrayed before this mysterious man, he invades their minds:

I AM CREED. HELLO. HELLO. TELL ABRAHAM LINCOLN THERE’S A CALL ON LINE TWO. IT’S HIS MOTHER AND SHE WANTS TO KNOW WHY HE DID NOT CALL HIS BUBBE. I PREFER NOT TO FACE THE REDHEAD. I WILL NOT SING AT YOUR BIRD FUNERAL. ALL SHALL TREMBLE IN DESPAIR BEFORE ME! COWER BEFORE CREED, IMMORTAL LORD OF THE THREE CHAIRS!

Their heads explode.

Jun 29th 2008

besmirched

monday morning
michael is at a meeting at corporate. most of the rest of the office is gathered around oscar’s desk as he reads from the local paper. there’s a feature on paul faust and his business, which is in dunder mifflin’s building. in a quote near the end, in talking about discrimination, paul says he’s an open minded fellow and adds that one of the regional managers in his building is gay and that he totally respects him for the challenges he faces.

everyone soon realizes that, while there are people in the building who are managers and people who are owners, michael’s the only regional manager.

tuesday morning
most of the office is gathered around oscar’s desk as he reads from the newpaper’s website. in a popular forum for discussion of articles someone with the screen name “meredith” claims that she has slept with both michael scott and paul faust and that michael is anything but gay and, in fact, is way better in bed than paul.

at this time, meredith returns from getting “something from her car” and everyone goes back to their desks.

wednesday morning
michael is back and in his office. dwight enters.

dwight: michael, i have some disturbing news of things that transpired while you were away. i’m afraid paul faust outed you as a homosexual in the local media.

michael: what!? cool guy paul? paul would never...

dwight: in response, meredith, probably in a drunken state, posted a comment on the times’s website claiming she slept with you.

michael: what? gah!... meredith!? (shivers)

dwight: i’ve been in damage control mode since yesterday. i’ve asked that they take the website down and issue an apology or i would be referring the matter to mr. james p. albini but the website and the comment are still up and i have heard nothing back from them.

michael: (head in his hands) meredith? agh, i would never...ever...ever... (shivers again)

dwight goes around and pulls up the forum on michael’s computer. michael reads through his fingers.

michael: ...oh... (straightening up)... maybe we’re overreacting a little.

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged

"Sir, I can't take this anymore. You have to get me out."

The man on the other side of the desk smirks and says, "What is it now, Agent Nelson?

The woman sighs. "It's just that.....I've been in this assignment for years. And years. And what's come of it? Nothing."

"That's not true. We DID charge that Howard kid with fraud, not to mention the booger sugar we found in his desk. He's willing to give us names on that one."

"Still, who knew he was capable of that? He came to the branch 3 years ago as a temp! Even now, that hardly justifies 8 years of mental decay at that branch. Do you have any idea what I've had to DO? I've degraded myself in so many ways. Not to mention the fact that a camera crew has much of it on film...."

"They're working for us as well. You don't need to worry about it ever seeing the light of day. I realize you've made sacrifices to your....reputation, but if our intelligence is correct, it'll be worth it."

"Yeah, try telling that to my pelvis. I just don't see anything coming of this...."

The man sits back, taking in the exasperated look on the face of the redhead. "Be that as it may, you're there until the assignment is over. As dangerous and distasteful as it may be, you will still be Meredith Palmer."

"Fine. But Sir?"

"Yes?"

"Can we at least trade in the van?"

Jun 29th 2008

besieged

Karen sits at her desk. There's a pile of mail on it. She's being interviewed by an Utica Observer-Dispatch reporter.

"Yeah, I don't know. One day you're just a regional manager of a paper company and the next you are the most hated lady in the country."

"You didn’t expect this sort of reaction?"

"What reaction? That living my life would anger so many people? That dating a guy for a few months would make me hated?"

"Yeah, but surely you knew about Jim and Pam?"

"I should have, but I was foolish. You really want the boy to like you and forget to be rational. Live and learn and all that assorted cliché b. s. Anyways, they certainly look to be in love. Good luck to them."

"Good luck? Really?"

"Sure, why not? I have nothing against Pam. What did you want me to say? Pam's a bitch? I probably felt that at one point, but time passes and you move on. She's actually as nice as she appears."

"So, care to share any of the letters?"

"Sure. Let's see. Here's a few. Just pictures of dogs. Original, no? I wonder how long it took for them to Google that."

"So, do the letters bother you?"

"Nah, these are better than Valpak. Oh, here's another good one. Some lady photoshopped my head on a picture of a devil then took a picture of her ripping it off the wall."

"Heh."

"Yeah, I thought it was funny too. I also get lots of links to youtube videos. Man, these people sure have tons of time on their hands. It's amazing how evil I sound when you slow down my voice. Oh, and the fan fiction too! All I have to say is wow. I would never do three-fourths of stuff that they said Pam and I did!"

Karen laughs. Reporter notes to look up fan fiction.

"Well, thanks for your time, Karen. Anything else you'd like to add?"

"Yeah, could you make this sound as passive-aggressive as possible? I've got a reputation to uphold.'

Jun 29th 2008

Befuddled

Michael and Dwight are seated at the bar in a crowded NYC nightclub, lights flashing and music pulsing in the background. Michael stares glumly at his glass.

Michael: It's just not the same without Ryan.
Dwight: Cheer up, Michael. Enjoy yourself, for once...you know you work too hard. But don't have more than three of those vodka cranberries. Your substantial Native American heritage hampers your ability to metabolize alcohol, due to the reduced number of enzymes in your liver --
Michael: No one cares, Dwight! (Sighs, exasperated.) I hate this drink. I just wanted to make him proud. (Begins to cry.) This one's for you, Ryan. (Pours his drink onto the ground.) How is he going to survive jail, Dwight? He's too sensitive for the pen. Even with everything I taught him...
Michael buys another vodka cranberry and proceeds to pour it on the ground as well, accidentally splashing some of it on another patron of the bar.
Vince Vaughn: Watch the shoes, buddy.
Michael is indifferent, but Dwight draws himself up excitedly.
Dwight: (Under his breath) Finally, those lessons are paying off.
Michael: Lessons?
Dwight (TH): Yes, I paid Andrew Bernard for awesome lessons. I honestly didn't expect them to work this well.
Dwight ambles up to Vince Vaughn.
Dwight: So, how are films these days? You know, I've seen over 240 of them, and only one was accidental.
Vince Vaughn: Uh-huh. (Under his breath) Can someone get this guy outta here?

Michael (TH): Since Ryan left, everything has been upside-down. Dwight talks to movie stars, Jan is nice to me, Kelly doesn't say much, and Kevin is growing a beard. It's like I'm in another dimension. But nobody offered me a blue pill or a red pill, like in that mov -- actually, someone did try to sell me one when I came in here, but Ryan always told me to just ignore them. He looked out for me. And now that he's gone, I'm stuck in the matrix.

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged.

Jim talking head, a shoebox on his lap.
This weekend I visited my old high school for a basketball game. The team made it to regionals this year and I thought it’d be fun to hang out at the ol’ stomping ground for a night. I saw my old coach there, Pete Wilson. Apparently, he decided to leave coaching a few years ago to start his own business – something to do with landscaping. Anyway, I mentioned that I could get him a good deal on paper if he needed stationery or business cards or whatever. It was about the easiest sale I’ve ever made.

Andy talking head
On the very rare weekends that I don’t already have a number of offers from friends to hang out, I sometimes attend high school sporting events. I like to immerse myself in the competitive atmosphere for a night, but I also look at it as potential client development so I’ll bill it as such on Mondays. Also, some of my best girlfriends were in high school. This past Saturday, I happened to see Jim in the stands across from me. I noticed he was talking to a kindly looking fellow, so when Jim got up to get more concessions I made my move. I introduced myself as Joe Piscopo and told him that I could cut him crazy deals on paper. He then told me about the paper deal Jim had just gotten him. I, of course, said I could beat any price Jim gave him by 10% because I am a fierce competitor.

Jim talking head (reaching into the shoebox)
So, here’s a picture of me and Coach Wilson when we saved that homeless cat and her seven kittens from being euthanized at the local shelter. And here’s the “Coach’s Award” he gave me my senior year. He’s always been a second dad to me.

Andy talking head
I love competition. If it means that I have to low-ball the price to the point where the company’s profit is next to nothing, I will. I am a salesman and I sell.

Jun 29th 2008

Besmirched

(Break room shot. Pots fill the room and people are milling around)

Michael: (looking at the camera as he walks into the room) Welcome to our Annual 4th of July Chili Cook-off . This is the first time we are holding this long standing tradition here at Dunder Mifflin. As you can see, everyone is lined up to taste my infamous concoction. (he holds in his laughter after saying that word). They’re going love it!

(Michael TH)

Michael : I have yet to win one of our work contests but I think I have a good chance of winning this one. I can feel it in my bones. (smiles at camera) That’s what she said! But, this time, I have a strategery.

(cut to shot of the line in front of Kevin’s chili pot)

Michael : Is this the foot massager?

Kevin: I didn’t have any clean pots.

Grossed out, everyone gets in the next line which happens to be Kelly’s.

Michael joins group of people eating some of Kelly’s chili

Michael: I watched an interesting show on the Discovery channel last night. It was a show on Indian culture and it turns out, the meat most used in Indian dishes is monkey brains. Who knew?

(cut to shot of people gathered around Creed’s chili entry)

Michael: Yuck, yuck, yuck! What is this? Dog food?

(Creed TH)

Creed: I’ve found that Alpo compliments the beans pretty nicely.

(cut back to break room)

Michael: Everyone gather around. We have the results of the cook-off. And the winner is (Michael makes his own drumroll noise) Chili number 7!

Everybody looks around for the winner

Michael: Well, what do you know? It’s me!

Dwight: (does a fist pump) Yeah!

(Michael TH)

Michael: I don’t see why everyone’s mad. It’s not my fault nobody liked their chili.

Jun 29th 2008

Befuddled

Now, before we go in, Michael, I want you to promise that you’ll be on your best behavior.

Absofruitly. I know this is important to you, Jan. You only told me five times.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t want you to come across as too… you.

They enter the clinic where Jan’s Lamaze class is being held. Michael surveys the meeting room and seating arrangement then announces loudly:

I call dibs on one of the fitness orbs!

He rushes over and starts bouncing on one of the birthing balls, only to slip off and crumple to the floor. He scrambles back up, looking embarrassed, and Jan shoots him an icy look.

Michael returns to Jan’s side in the lobby where other class members are socializing. A young man turns to him:

So, is Jan your wife?

No, she used to be my superior, and then she was my lover. Jan used to be a superior lover. (he gives a satisfied look at the camera)

I’m Carl, this is my wife Denise, and this is our midwife Charlotte.

Michael gives a sly smile… Ooh, kinky!

Jan intervenes: Michael, a midwife is someone who helps an expectant mother through the birthing process.

That’s okay, I admire their lifestyle.

Come on in everyone and let’s get started. Ladies, find a comfortable position, and your partners will help you with your breathing exercises.

Jan sits down and Michael takes her hand. She begins a series of short, repetitive breaths.

Michael looks at the camera: “I’ll have what she’s having.” Sleepless in Seattle.

Michael! I need you to help me focus, not distract me.

Okay, okay. (pause, then in bad Japanese accent): Don’t forget to breathe! (back to camera, whispering): Mr. Miagi. (Jan sighs loudly.)

(Later in the session…)

Alright everybody, I think we could use a break. Go enjoy some refreshments, and we’ll come back in fifteen minutes to discuss the wonderful world of breastfeeding!”

Michael slowly turns to the camera with a look of sheer pleasure on his face and quietly says:

Boobs!

Jun 29th 2008

Besieged

"Befuddle."

"Begin." This was going to be way to easy.

"Beguine."

"Come on, Beasly, we said American words."

"Do you challenge me? Think carefully, Halpert. There are major things at stake here. If I'm right, you lose."

Damn. "Behind." He smiled.

"Bejewel."

"That's not a word! It's a game!"

"Go ahead, Halpert. Say the C-word. I dare you."

"Ch..." A myriad of possible prizes passed through his mind. She was right. This was far to precious to lose. "...Belittle!"

"Bemoan!"

"Bemuse."

"Benign."

"Uuuh...bereave!"

"Besmirch!"

"Beware!"

She narrowed her eyes and twitched her nose from right to left. "Bewitched." She lightly trailed her fingers up the skin of his inner thigh.

"Be...whahappa?"

"Ha! I win, Halpert! I get to choose!" She did a little victory dance, making his half of the bed bounce with her triumph.

He groaned. I'm going to have to save those little gifts for yet another day. At this rate, the cuffs are going to rust.

"Your body belies your moans, Halpert. I can see you don't begrudge me this belated chance to beleaguer your defenses." A smile curled the edges of her mouth in that predatory way that made him melt with desire and tense with anticipation.

If losing is this good, I don't ever want to win, he thought. "You are beyond belief, Beasly. Beyond my wildest dreams."

"You ain't seen nothing yet." And, with that, she reached over and turned out the light.

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