Episode 48 – Standard Docking Procedure Transcript

MONICA:

[NARRATION]

I step through the portal and realize I’ve made a huge mistake. I could be anywhere. Literally fucking anywhere at this point. And any time . . . or I believe anywhen is the correct phrasing du jour. But my heart wanted to chase after Jake and save his ass . . . without actually thinking about the trouble my delectable ass would be in. And now here were are: the first stop on our whirlwind tour of the entirety of the cosmos, from the big bang to the big crunch, and everything in between. Around and around we go, and where we stop . . . nobody fucking knows. Or if we stop, for that matter.

I hear music . . . weird music. I’ve got lights of all colors and . . . neon? Okay, that’s a choice. An aesthetic, but I can dig it. I’m a fan of that whole . . . culture? Fad? Craze? I don’t know what the hell it was really, but it was groovy. Not so much the clothes. But the feel of everything. Kinda Blade Runner but way less fucking bleak. The ‘80s, no? 1980’s. Only they didn’t have space stations back then. And I know I’m in space right now because I can see a window, a so-called porthole on this space station, where I can see ships flying around and . . . robots I guess, droids, whatever . . . a whole bunch of activity going on out there. 

And I’m in a . . . bar? I can see a sign above a bunch of strangely shaped and colorful looking bottles – in neon of course – giving me the name of this fine establishment. 

At first I can’t believe my eyes. I literally rub them to clear them.

CAFE 80s.

As in that Cafe 80s? From Back to the Future 2

No. Fucking. Way.

And then I see I miss-read the sign. The logo, I swear, is just like the one from the movie starring one Michael J. Fox, only with a whole colorful neon Tron vibe, only it’s not 80’s . . . It’s CAFE 2680s.

O-kay. Guess I’m in the . . . 27th century? 

Cool. That’s fine. Totally . . . fine.

Good job I’m in a bar.

[Break]

MONICA:

[NARRATION]

I decide to lean into it. What other choice do I really have? I mosey on up to the bar. It’s pretty quiet in here right now. A couple tables occupied, a few people on stools. I choose one at the end of the bar hoping I can keep my distance from everything, a low profile. 

Within moments, a tall, broad, hirsute man with kind eyes and a warm smile is catching my attention.

BARK33P: 

[Ronald Regan Voice] 

Welcome to the CAFE 2680s, where it’s always morning on Pseudopolis Station, even in the after-noo-noo-noon. [tape winding noise] Would you like to see our happy hour specials? [mic echo] Mr. Gorbachev, tear down those prices!

[BEAT]

MONICA: 

Well, that’s too fucking much. I had a hunch with the sign, but now you’re even quoting shit from the movie!

BARK33P: 

[CLINT EASTWOOD DIRTY HARRY]

But can you guess the movie? Do ya feel lucky, punk?

MONICA: 

Are you kidding me? Back to the Future 2 of course. Though if it really is the 27th century . . . that flick sure has survived a long time.

BARK33P: 

[Loud Announcer voice, boxing bell rings] 

And we have a winner, ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between. There is still hope for Pseudopolis! [Voice switches to tech-bro] With a higher percentage of population recognizing pop culture references the overall population’s quality of life will improve. This is the path to the future. This validates my reason for existing.

Thank you all for coming to my TED talk.

[Canned applause plays]

MONICA: 

TED talk? What the fuck is that?

BARK33P: 

Don’t worry about it, my good new friend. And you have earned yourself any item in this fine establishment on the house. Gratis maximus!

MONICA:
Okay . . . you’re not going make me have a . . . Pepsi free are you?

BARK33P: 

[GENUINE LAUGHTER]

 I think I might be falling in love with you . . .

MONICA: 

What?!

BARK33P: 

Damn, you heard that right? That was meant to be inside my head. Sometimes my inner voice gets confused with my actual voice.

MONICA: 

This isn’t getting any better.

BARK33P: 

Nothing like an adult beverage to make things better. World weary, stumbling into a bar, you look like you’re [Tom Petty voice, guitar sting] runnin’ down a drink.

MONICA:

[Exasperated] 

Okeydokey. Do you . . . [sigh] . . . you probably don’t, but I’m going to ask anyway. Do you by chance know how to make a . . . Long Island Iced Tea?

BARK33P: 

[Posh voice]

 For you madam, certainly! Jolly good, always fancy a spot of tea myself, y’know. 

[ROBOT STEPS WALKING AWAY]

MONICA:

[NARRATION]

Geez, thank god he’s gone. He was getting to be . . . a bit much. If I was Marty McFly, I’d say that things are getting pretty heavy. But I’m not, so I’m just gonna go with the flow. And that’s when a cute brunette dressed in a very colorful uniform perches herself on the stool beside me. She’s got two patches on the front of her uniform: one says Pizza from the Stars. Huh, now that seems really familiar. And the other says: “Ask Me About Carloni’s Pizza Cube.” Okay. That just sounds weird.

Oh, and now she’s looking at me with a big frown on her forehead.

MARISOL: 

Are you about hit me with some pickup line or you just gonna keep staring at my patches?

MONICA: 

Jesus, I’m really sorry. I just . . . I’m new here and I’ve never really heard of a . . . pizza cube before.

MARISOL: 

You should keep it that way. They’re not good.

MONICA: 

Then why are you advertising . . .

MARISOL: 

[Cutting her off]

Because it’s my job. 

MONICA: 

You deliver pizza?

MARISOL: 

Yep.

MONICA: 

For Carloni’s Pizza?

MARISOL: 

Yep. Oh, and he’s Irish by the way, which is a whole bag of weirdness you just don’t want to get involved with.

BARK33P: 

Marisol! How wonderful to have you back at the CAFE 2680’s. And what might I procure for you on this fine morning?

MARISOL: 

It’s the damn afternoon, BARK33P!

BARK33P: 

Ahh, but you know the familiar refrain of the CAFE 2680s . . .

MARISOL: 

[Cutting him off]

Just get me my usual. 

[Sarcastic] 

Pretty please.

BARK33P:

[English butler] 

Very well, very well.

MONICA:

His name is Barkeep?

MARISOL:

Almost, but with the letter E swapped out for threes. He was built back when every robot had to have some gimmick in their name to sell well.

BARK33P: 

Here is your . . . Long Island Iced Tea, as requested.

MARISOL: 

What is that? 

MONICA: 

It’s . . . a drink from where I come from. 

MARISOL: 

Does it have alcohol in it?

MONICA: 

Oh, most definitely.

MARISOL: 

Good. Barkeep, change my order. I’ll have what she’s having.

MONICA: 

And how exactly do I . . . drink from this . . .

BARK33P: 

[John Wayne voice] 

Not from around these here parts, are you, pilgrim?

MARISOL: 

Barkeep! Go. Get. My. Drink. Now!

BARK33P: 

[sotto vocce] 

Swift exit stage right.

MARISOL: 

Necesitas ayuda? You just push your thumb here and it pops the nozzle open and then . . . Salud!

MONICA: 

Oh right. Thank you. [Drinks.] Oh man.

MARISOL: 

Strong? Tiene fuerza?

MONICA: 

It sure does and that’s a good thing. And here’s our illustrious bartender.

[ROBOT STEPS] 

MARISOL: 

Not a word from you. Add it to my tab. 

So you’re not a local to Pseudopolis then?

MONICA: 

No. Definitely not. I’m from . . . Really far away.

MARISOL: 

Anywhere I’d know? I deliver to a lot places . . . to galaxies far, far away.

MONICA: 

I . . . don’t think so. Although Pizza from the Stars . . . that sounds really familiar to me. Is that another pizza delivery place you work for?

MARISOL: 

No. It’s this app that anyone literally anywhere can order pizza with and get it all paid for and then I deliver it to them, wherever they are in the cosmos.

MONICA: 

How do you  . . . get there if it’s like on the other side of the galaxy? 

Or . . . many light-years away?

MARISOL: 

Well, I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

MONICA: 

What?!

MARISOL: 

Sorry, just a little joke. It’s a trade secret of Pizza from the Stars. Can’t tell you how it all works. Because even though I wouldn’t murder you, my bosses might. So I’m not gonna tell you.

MONICA: 

I’m a fan of that choice too. You know, I think I might’ve used the app once. A while ago. You happen to remember a delivery for a guy named Jake Fisher in a place called Ostium?

MARISOL: 

Do you realize how many pizzas I deliver in a single day?

MONICA: 

I know. That was fucking dumb of me. I’m sorry . . .

MARISOL: 

[Cutting her off] 

A damn lot. More than you can imagine. But I do actually remember that order. Jake Fisher. Ostium. Yep.

MONICA: 

Wow. That’s incredible. Did Jakey say something weird that stuck in your head? Was it because of the way he reacted when you said it was a Roanoke pizza? Damn, I wish I could’ve seen his face then.

MARISOL: 

He did kind of lose it for a bit when I told him that. But no, the reason I remember it so well is because that was my last delivery. I just got back from Ostium and after the whole experience and how far I had to travel, I needed to reward myself with a . . . what did you call it?

MONICA: 

Long Island Iced Tea.

MARISOL: 

Right. I’m not gonna remember that, but it’s good. Hell of a lot better than the pizza your boy Jake ordered, I’ll tell you that.

MONICA:

That’s the second pizza you’ve trash-talked. Is there any pizza you do like?

MARISOL:

Nope. Not a bit. Hate the stuff. Why?

MONICA: 

Because you’re . . . So you just delivered to Ostium?

MARISOL: 

Yeah. It was a real weird experience. I was banging on that door for eons until he answered the damn thing. I was about to kick the damn puerta down. Oh and get this, when I was about to leave, he gives me something he called a tip.

MONICA: 

How nice of him.

MARISOL: 

No it wasn’t! I can’t do anything with this! 

MONICA: 

Dollar bills. Yeah, I get that. Not much use for paper money in the 27th century. 

MARISOL: 

No kidding! I didn’t want to waste my breath telling him so I just got out of there.

MONICA: 

Is it okay if I have them?

MARISOL: 

Sure. I can’t do anything with then. Consider it payment for my new favorite drink: the Long Land Spiced Tea.

MONICA: 

Yeah, that’s not actually what it’s called.

MARISOL: 

I don’t care. And the more I drink it, the less I care.

MONICA: 

Okay, well, thank you for your time. I’ve got to get going actually. Got somewhere I need to be.

MARISOL: 

Really? Okay. Whatever. You gonna finish your drink?

MONICA: 

No. Don’t have time. You can have it, if you’d like.

MARISOL: 

[Excited] 

You don’t need to tell me twice! Hasta luego! See you in another life. 

MONICA: 

You have no idea. Tell Barkeep goodbye from me.

MARISOL: 

[Snorting sound]

MONICA:

[NARRATION]

I hop off the stool and walk away from the bar. As soon as I picked up the American money from my world, even if it’s from a time before mine, I feel myself being drawn. Feeling a need to leave this place I’m in. This world. I follow my sense, letting it lead me to a door I hadn’t noticed before. I look around, wondering if I should be more discrete, and then decide I don’t give a fuck. No one’s going to see me again, so what does it matter? 

I walk up to the door, stare at it. Waiting for it to open. Nothing happens. I feel my cheeks heat up and redden as the embarrassment spreads through my body. 

I see a panel and wave my hand in front of it. 

The door mercifully opens and I step through and leave the world of Pseudopolis Station forever.