A Christmas Carol
Bob Guza chews his pencil earnestly and sits behind his large mahogany desk, deep in thought.
"I wonder," he asks aloud, "What the best way to end this scene would be? Should I have Jason say 'I'll take care of it' before zooming to a close up of Steve's chiseled face, or should I have Sonny say 'Jason, I know you'll take care of it', before zooming to a close up of Steve's chiseled face? There's such a subtle distinction between the two, I don't know which would be more powerful".
He stares up at a large, framed photo of Steve Burton for guidance. Studying it intently for a moment, he eventually beams and says, "Steve, I KNEW you'd know what to do! You're so right, it makes sense for Sonny to say the line, because it shows how important Jason is to Sonny and, ergo, ipso facto, the whole show."
Thrilled with a job well done, he excitedly types out the final line of his scene and starts to pack his belongings before he hears a strange noise from under his desk.
"Hello? Is someone there? Is it...did Christmas come early and bring Kelly Monaco under my desk? Heh. Heh. Heheh."
A regal looking woman steps gingerly out from under Guza's desk and imperiously says, "No, you pervert. It's me."
A wave of recognition passes over Guza's face and he groans, "Oh, god, it's you. The ghost of Glory Montana or whatever your name is. Can't you just leave me alone and haunt me when I'm not at work? This is embarrassing".
She rolls her eyes and gestures for someone else to come out from under the desk. A friendly looking man appears and glares at Guza, who reciprocates with a confused stare. "Am I supposed to know you?"
The man, far too politely, extends a hand and says "I'm--or, rather, I was--Doug Marland".
Guza continues to stare blankly.
"I wrote for As the World Turns and Guiding Light, and GH. I actually created the Quartermaines".
Guza shudders. "Ugh, that was you".
He starts to continue, but is interrupted by another person entering the room, this time through his door.
"Bob," the ghost of Gloria Monty says coldly, "I believe you've met Claire Labine".
"You're dead?" he asks.
"No, I only wish I was after seeing what you did to my show," she answers ruefully.
Guza clears his throat. "Um, anyway, I was just getting ready to go--"
Gloria Monty's ghost stares at him and says, "Don't you even want to know why we're here?"
"Not...not really, no".
"We're concerned, Guza," Doug Marland's ghost chimes in. "What you've been doing on the show lately is a bit beyond the pale."
"Doing?" Guza repeats lamely.
"Killing Alan. Killing Emily. And now killing Georgie. It's like you're ruining everything that viewers have come to love about the show".
"Oh, please. I haven't ruined Jason."
The two ghosts and Claire Labine exchange glances. "This," Gloria Monty's ghost says, "is going to be harder than I thought".
"Are you familiar with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?" Claire Labine asks.
"No, I don't listen to country music".
She pauses for a minute so that the three high functioning people/ghosts in the room could stifle their laughter. "What we're going to do, Bob, is try and show you the error of your ways. We were thinking that if we found out a little bit of your childhood, we'd be able to ascertain why your...thoughts and moral compass are so skewed."
"Well, all right, but I have to be home before the Survivor finale".
Doug Marland's ghost starts the proceedings. "Did you watch a lot of television when you were young, Bob?"
"Not a lot. I was more of a movie buff. I learned a lot from the movies. A lot about family, and romance and how much you can succeed if you try hard."
"Really? What was your favorite inspirational movie?"
The two ghosts and Claire Labine are dumbfounded. "The slasher movie?"
Claire Labine searches for words. "But that's not really inspirational...it's more of a violent film about a psychopath".
"The thing is," Guza reasons, "Michael Meyers really wanted to get revenge on his family for raising that slutty older sister. And he wanted it so badly that he broke out of an asylum to kill babysitters. That's drive, that's passion."
"But it's a movie about murder."
Guza laughs. "It's not like they killed the actresses. They just pretended to, in a really gory way".
Doug Marland's ghost starts to speak but Gloria Monty's ghost cuts him off. "We were going to examine more of your youth and the way it impacted your adult thought but I don't think I could stomach more navel gazing by a sadistic misogynist--"
"Thank you," Guza interjects politely.
"And what we really want to know is, what the hell is wrong with you? What sort of thrill do you get from ruining one of the most revered soap operas in history?"
"I wouldn't say I'm ruining it as much as I am perfecting it".
"How the hell," Claire Labine asks, "is brutally killing Emily and Georgie perfecting the show? Viewers watched them grow up."
"Yeah, the old viewers. We want the hip kids, the young kids. Do you know how much merchandise a 12 year old girl will buy over the course of the year?"
"Do you think it's appropriate for a 12 year old girl to watch two beautiful, smart women be brutally strangled?"
His pointed silence all but confirms that he did, in fact, believe it to be appropriate.
"I created Emily and I was writing when Georgie was born," Labine adds gingerly.
"Ew, that was you? No offense, but the original Emily suuuucked. She was so edgy and sarcastic and she was a druggie. Jason would never have a sister like that!"
"So the daughter of Alan and Monica DESERVED the be brutally murdered," Doug Marland's ghost asks angrily.
"What about Georgie?" Gloria Monty's ghost snaps. "Frisco and Felicia's daughter! A good, kind character, brutally murdered. And this after months of ignoring poor Lindze Leatherman so much that the poor girl BEGGED to be put in a romance with Spinelli in magazine articles? BEGGED! To be paired with Spinelli, whatever that is".
"What," she continues, "Do you have a no good-girl clause? Is Robin next?"
At the gleam in his eyes, she hurriedly adds, "What on earth is wrong with you? These are two beautiful, kind characters, LEGACY CHARACTERS at that, and you snuff them out in a most violent, despicable manner by a killer who you obviously pulled out of your fiercely stupid ass, during a sweeps period that will go forgotten once January comes around. Come next May will anybody remember that Georgie existed, or will she go the way of Justus and AJ? Once Natalia Livingston's contract runs out and you no longer need her to play a mentally challenged ghost, will Nikolas get a new true love and forget about Emily? You've all but destroyed the Jones family and your decimation of the Quartermaines is nearly complete, and for what? For more focusing on your merry band of mobsters and their molls? You're an evil, woman hater who, and I cannot stress it enough, is a dreadful, dreadul writer who is incapable of crafting a story with a beginning, middle and end without it becoming complete and utter tripe".
To Doug Marland's ghost and Clarie Labine, she says "I simply cannot be in his presence a moment longer." Turning to Guza, she adds, "The very sight of you repulses me. I hope your next writing job involves Two and a Half Men".
At their retreating forms, Guza mutters, "I consider that a compliment". Once he's alone, though, Guza appears to be shell-shocked. He takes a deep breath and picks up the phone. "Steve, hey, it's me. Listen, you would not BELIEVE the night I had. Uh, call me back and I'll fill you in. Laters".
He waits a moment and taps his fingers on his desk, then dials the phone again. "Hey, Steve, it's me again. I just left a message on your cell...and texted you...and IMd you, but you didn't holla back, so I figured I'd call you at home. Uh, gimme a call. I'll be at the office, just chillin'. Bye".
He hangs up and spins his chair around. He glances at the clock and says, "You know what, it's not too late, I should just go over to his house and tell him in person".
**I'm too depressed about the state of the show today to write my truly angsty, angry rant. Plus, I felt it was unladylike to curse as much as I did in my draft rant post...