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Jun 15th 2009 edited

Welcome, all, to Week Number Three! Thanks to everyone for entering and voting last week. Everyone’s favorite New Yorker (by way of Texas) Anque has suggested this week’s prompt. A tip of the cap to her for suggesting it.


As we all know, Toby Flenderson is the coolest guy in the office. Except the opposite of that. This week, your assignment is to show us what the heck kind of woman would fall for Toby Flenderson, HR rep extraordinaire and hookah aficionado. Be creative. Aside from a word limit, this prompt is wide open. Who is this lady? Why did they get married? Why did they get divorced? Exactly how many concussions must one sustain before consenting to have a child with Toby?


You are limited to 250 words. Title is not included.

Judging Criteria

  1. Overall impact
  2. True to characters
  3. Appropriate to challenge prompt
  4. Creativity


  • Deadline for submitting entry #3 is 10 pm EST on Sunday, June 21.
  • Voting for challenge #2 begins Monday, June 15.
  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the general contest thread for questions/discussion.
  • 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 16th 2009

A Deleted Scene from Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives

Toby and Cathy sit on a couch, a few feet apart. Interviewer is off-camera.

Interviewer: So how did you two meet?

Toby: I was in seminary and we met in church.
Cathy: I was high on shrooms. [looks at Toby and sighs] Really high. I had no idea where I was.
Toby: I saw her leave in the middle of the service and followed her out.
Cathy: He followed me. That’s what he does. I couldn’t get rid of him.
Toby starts to smile, then stops.
Toby: I had never tried drugs before, but Cathy couldn’t get enough of them, especially after we got together. Cathy nods slowly.
Toby: She made me chase her but we finally got married a couple of years after we met! Had sex, too. (giggles)
Cathy: (thinking) I’m pretty sure I was drunk when we eloped.

Insert shot of wedding photo: Toby with eyes closed and afro wearing ratty jeans; Cathy obviously intoxicated and slumped over.

Cathy: I took a job in Scranton with an old boyfriend.
Toby: Tom. I, I did not like Tom.


Interviewer: So what happened?

Toby: I don’t know.
Cathy: Sobriety.

They exchange looks.

Cathy: I got sober when I found out I was pregnant.
Toby: The Ob/Gyn recommended her lawyer. I represented myself. Kept the car.


Toby: I should go back to sem--
Cathy: No, you shouldn’t.

Toby (to Interviewer): So do you need anything else?

Interviewer: No, we’re good. (whispers) Jesus, we can’t use this.

Jun 17th 2009

Toby talking head: How did I meet my wife? Well, long ago we both worked at a Radio Shack in the mall together. She was engaged to a guy who worked in the Warehouse, so it took me a while to win her away from him.

Flashback to the Mall’s Carnival Night in 1989.

(Cathy is chatting to her fiance, who is leaving the party early)
Fiance: Hey, Toby! Keep an eye on her, all right?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: Hey.
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: Good. Especially after I took all your money in skeeball.
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: About when you wanna give me more of your money?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: Did you wanna do that now?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: We can go inside. I'm feeling kinda good tonight.
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: What?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: What are you doing? What do you expect me to say to that?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: Well, I, um- I...(inhales deeply)...I can't?
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: You have no idea...
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: ...what your friendship means to me.
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
Cathy: I can't.
Cathy: I'm really sorry if you misinterpreted things. It's probably my fault.
(A tear rolls down Toby's cheek)
Toby: (incoherent mumbling)
(Toby walks away)

Eventually, Cathy broke off the engagement and ended up with Toby.

Michael talking head: Why yes, back when I worked at the Men’s Warehouse, Toby worked right next door at the Radio Shack. Why do you ask?

Jun 17th 2009

A Dark and Stormy Affair -- A Novel by Toby Flenderson, Chapter 4

She was a vision in pastel and tight jeans, leaning over the frozen food bin at the Carbondale Pathmark, reaching for soy dogs. Young and bold, I sidled up to this mature temptress and made small talk. She thought I worked there and asked for a raincheck on the Fresca. By the time I returned from the courtesy counter, she was out the door, her kid in tow. He looked back and stuck his tongue out. I should have known then.

But I persisted, and after three weeks of lurking I saw her again, this time in organic meats: quail mainly but a decided penchant for free range goose. No son in sight this time. I followed her to her car and laid a Charles Grodin-esque, "Grab your bags?" on her. In mere minutes I’d convinced her it wasn't some perverted come-on but a gallant offer of help.

We made love that afternoon, the scent of lilies wafting through the windows and mixing with her Vapo-Rub and Kool Lights. When the kid walked in, I froze, unsure what do with myself. I extended my hand, an offering that revealed too much of my intentions. He wet himself and ran out.

The marriage lasted three months, and he was why. I held no grudge even after he and I met again. He did, though. And when he calls me evil, a loser or everything that’s wrong with the paper industry, I know what he means to say: “Get off my mom.”

Jun 18th 2009

Can this Marriage be Saved?

Her Side:

I don’t know if I ever loved Toby. When we met, I was studying literature, and Toby was in seminary.

He asked me out to dinner, and seemed really nervous. I was nice to him. I don’t know why.

After college, I moved to Scranton. I was hoping that Toby would stay in seminary and forget about me, but it didn’t happen. He dropped out of school and took a job in HR. He proposed to me soon after.

I didn’t want to become an old maid, so I said yes. We became pregnant soon after we got married.

Once Sasha arrived, any resemblance of a marriage began to fall apart.

His Side:

I fell in love with Cathy the moment I first laid eyes on her. I was studying to be a priest, but I was so lonely. Cathy made me so happy, I forgot all about becoming a priest.

When Cathy decided to move to Scranton, I had to go to. I couldn’t be without her. Our wedding day was the one of the happiest days in my life. The other one was the day Sasha was born.

However, my job began sucking the life out of me. Cathy would complain that I was always sad. It wasn’t anything to do with her or Sasha. It was my job, but Cathy never seemed to understand.

I just want her to love me.

The counselor’s turn:

Short answer? No.

Jun 18th 2009

Scene opens in a high school gymnasium in Scranton. A group of four middle aged men stand in a half circle, reminiscing and catching up. Above them, a banner hangs. “Welcome Scranton High School graduates of 1989” it proclaims, in bold letters.

Dave: (welcoming Mark to the circle): Hey Mark!
Mark (shaking hands with group): Hey Dave! Hey guys! Long time no see.
Bruce: Mark McKinney! How are you buddy? Geez, what happened to you?(pointing to Marks pot belly)
(laughter from group)
Mark: Beer happened to me. (more laughter, then Mark points to Bruce’s receding hair line) And what’s your excuse for that? (laughs again)
Bruce (
sheepishly): Yeah, yeah. Shut up. Say, where’s Mr. Brightside? He here yet?
Kevin: Who, Flenderson? I haven’t seen him. He’s probably setting up some big prank. That guy was hilarious back in high school.
Dave: He sure was! I wonder if he still is.
Mark: Why wouldn’t he be?
Bruce: You remember don’t you? He married Cathy Buckwald the year after we graduated.
incredulously): The goth chick?
Kevin: How those two ended up together I’ll never know. They were total opposites. He was so happy, high energy, and full of life. She was a wet blanket. A total downer.
Dave: Well, they say opposites attract.
Bruce: They sure fit that description.
Kevin: I never liked her. She was so hell-bent on changing him. I hope she didn’t.
Mark: Look! Here he
(Stunned looks from the men as Toby approaches)
Dave: What happened?

Jun 18th 2009

“Michael Scott: Witness For The Plaintiff.”

Michael (TH) I don’t think any of us were surprised when Toby got served with divorce papers.

Through the window we see Toby at Pam’s desk signing for said papers. Everyone stands there looking on in shock.

Michael (TH) “As a citizen of the US, it’s my duty and my pleasure to serve the Justice system when called upon.” Michael gleefully holds up a subpoena.


Michael sits across from an attractive lawyer with a judge at the head of the table and the stenographer behind her.

Cynthia Baugh, Lawyer: “Mr. Scott, can you tell the court what you know about the Flendersons' relationship before their marriage?”

Michael Scott, Witness: “Well from what I know it was mostly a one sided relationship from the get go. He was working part time at a winery while in seminary, and he saw Cathy Mifflin when she picked up a box of wine for one of her father's dinner parties. He dropped out and followed her back to Scranton. Actually he drove her back when her car wouldn’t start. They never did figure out why it wouldn’t start.” Michael raises his eyebrows. “ He escorted her to the party, and the events of that night lead to one of those shogun wedding things." Michael stands up and mimes a pregnant woman. “A few years later Robert Mifflin, crippled with depression, killed himself with a revolver. So they say. Do you like futons?"

Jun 21st 2009

No Happy Ending

One day during Toby's first year at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary outside Philly, he and the other seminarians had to picket Phoebe's Pleasure Palace, a brothel masquerading as a massage parlor. Their protest led to a police raid within an hour. Among the arrested was Cathy Zolinski. It was her first day as the receptionist. She was unaware of the illegal activity, but the police didn't believe her. After being released she relocated to Scranton. Toby grew obsessed with her after seeing her in news reports, and he left seminary to follow her back to Scranton. She thought he was cute, they started dating, and they soon married.

Things were going well for the Flendersons until one day they were visited by documentarians wanting to make a documentary about their lives because of their unique histories. The documentarians presented what their research had found, including that Toby was Phoebe's best customer, which was how they assumed the couple met. The planned title for the documentary was "Can Buy Me Love."

Cathy immediately kicked Toby out of the house and filed for divorce. The next day, trying to regain a modicum of control in his life, Toby jetted to Amsterdam to find a suitable replacement so the documentary could still move forward. Lightning did not strike twice.

The documentarians didn't want to start over from scratch, so they changed the subject of their documentary from the defunct Flendersons to the probably soon to be defunct company Toby works for. Dinkin' flicka.

Jun 21st 2009

Flenderson: A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden named Catherine. She was well known throughout the land for her great beauty and sharp tongue. Many men vied for her affections, but she proved difficult to charm. One unscrupulous suitor learned an embarrassing secret about her family and threatened to expose it unless she married him. Catherine reluctantly agreed, but overcome with grief, she went to her cathedral seeking solace. She encountered a young priest in training named Toby and bared her soul to him. The young cleric consoled Catherine and volunteered to confront her blackmailing suitor. Catherine saw little hope but thanked him for any help he could provide. The next day, Toby appeared at Catherine’s door with a blackened eye.

“You’ll never hear from him again.”

Overjoyed, Catherine enveloped her savior in a passionate embrace. The two quickly fell in love, married, and moved away to start a new life together. Over time, Catherine grew to hate Toby’s gentleness, and she wondered about the bravery he’d once displayed.

One day, she finally asked, “How did you chase off that evil man?”

“He ignored my chastising and instead convinced me to invest my life savings in a business venture. The next day, he had skipped town with all my money.”

“And the black eye?”

(sigh) “I fell down in the street on my way to see you.”

The next day, Catherine tossed Toby’s meager belongings onto the lawn, and so ended the couple’s fairy tale relationship.

Jun 21st 2009


Mr. Tobias Flenderson
8340 Last Minute Court
Scranton, PA 15897

Mr. Flenderson,

Please consider this your last and only unofficial warning. Do not attempt to contact our client again by any means or she will file for an official restraining order. She has explained the situation to you several times. When our client met you, unbeknownst to you, she was under the influence of some rather heavy mind-altering drugs given to her legally in a clinically controlled setting. Through the regrettable neglect of a now former employee, our client managed to slip away from the premises while under these mind-altering drugs. She has no memory of her time spent with you and, if what you say happened is true, asks that you respect her privacy and leave her to get through what can only be described as a hideously embarrassing experience from which it will take years to recover. You will be receiving a copy of the divorce papers shortly. Thank you.


Scranton Rehabilitation Center For the Filthy Rich and Famous

Jun 21st 2009


Dear Mama,

I am sorry I have not written sooner. Time flies when you least expect it. I have bad news and good news. The bad: I am divorcing Flenderson. He is not who I think, Mama. It has always been hard with my English, but you were right about no royal families here in America. When he say he is HR it is something different. I thought Flenderson could give me the world, but the only earth he brings is tracked in on his Reebok shoes. I have big plans, Mama, like you taught me. I come to America and visit churches to find a kind, lonely American man with a fat wallet and a big life to share. I counted my eggs before they hatch and King Charming is really pauper. And all this time I think I am only one who can not understand Flenderson when he talks but others say same thing! Also, Scranton is not how cousin Yuri described. He likes it here but I say Electric City has no spark. So I go to other church in other town and find different man. He is nice to Sasha and is no pauper – he sells big American cars! A man with future! I think I marry him. My ship has come under!

XOXO Kapitolina (Kathy)

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