|The Funniest Guy at NCIS
Author: Channel D PM
Tim has been roped into doing stand-up comedy for an NCIS HQ charitable event. Tim...doing comedy? It'll be a learning experience for him. Written for the NFA Ironic Much? challenge. One-shot, drama.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Tim M. - Words: 2,286 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 2 - Published: 04-07-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6886562
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Funniest Guy at NCIS
written for: the NFA Ironic Much? challenge. The challenge required the use of irony in the story.
rating: K plus
starring: Tim and the rest
disclaimer: I own nothing of NCIS.
Tony's eagle eyes shot a glance across the squad room, where a person who was not normally seen there was advancing in their direction.
"What's the date?" he asked his teammates out of the corner of his mouth.
"March 31," Tim and Ziva chorused. Both then said, "Oh, no…"
"Oh, yes. Wacky Wanda Wheelwright's birthday, and it looks like her annual cause is on her mind."
"I'm taking sick leave," said Tim, springing up to grab the last leave request form on Gibbs' desk. Ziva beat him to it.
"Sit down, both of you," Gibbs ordered. "Her charitable causes are always good ones. She raised close to $3,000 for Haiti relief last year. Let's hear her out."
"Hello, agents," Wanda Wheelwright of Accounting sang as she came into their territory. She was middle-aged and a bit round, like a bunny; but as the team knew, a wolf's cold eyes lurked beneath the soft rabbit brown ones. "I'm soliciting for the Navy-Marine Corps Warrior Relief charity."
"How much?" they asked, reaching for respective wallets or purse.
She laughed, and waived them down. "We're not doing a three-legged race this year, or a crossbow shoot, or a hotdog-eating contest. I think you'll like what I have planned for this year's event."
"I…am certain we will, Wanda," Ziva said with false courage.
"Of course you will. We will have a secret talent show, featuring the talents of the special agents."
"We have to have talents?"
"Yes, and here's the kicker. Two kickers. First, you will pick your talent from a slip of paper in this hat. Second, your talent will be kept secret until performance day."
The team exclaimed glances. "I don't think that really sounds like us, Wanda," Tony said diplomatically. "But…"
"The donation for participating is $10," said Wanda. "Those wanting to just be in the audience get to donate $25."
"Hand over that hat," said Gibbs, as all four rushed forward.
At home that night, for the tenth time Tim looked at the slip he'd drawn. Stand up comedy, it read. Was there anything less like him? Tony could pull it off; he was in funny mode 'round the clock. Ziva had her way with wry remarks. Even Gibbs, if he put his mind to it, could probably come up with good one-liners, followed by looks that could have the audience rolling.
Wonder what they did get? Gibbs—singing? Ziva—juggling? Tony—spinning plates on sticks? Tim chuckled. One thing he knew, he would not direct any jokes at anyone else who worked at NCIS. For one thing, most of the audience would be armed, and Tim was in no rush to die.
He wasn't happy about his assigned task, but one often had to work at something to make a contribution for charity, so he resolved to do his bit. Tim knew nothing about writing jokes, and had never in his life been to a comedy club. But nearly all knowledge was contained on the internet, he reasoned, so he started doing research. The talent show would be held in three week's time (spread out over 5 lunch hours); that should be enough time to get prepared.
When the day arrived, Tim felt ready. He had practiced the comedy routine he'd created over and over, and didn't even need note cards now for prompts. I can do this, he thought as he dressed at home in one of his best suits. He didn't expect to be comedy club material, but if he could get a few laughs, he'd be satisfied. His day on stage was a Tuesday. The previous day had seen assorted acts: two singers, a bongo drums player, a juggler, a mime, a cheerleader, a magician. All had been clever, if a little rough. All had been good sports, and the audience applauded well.
Tim knew that his entire team would be performing today. Wanda had arranged it so that teams wouldn't be split up, in case they had to go out into the field. He had no clue, though, as to what Tony, Ziva or Gibbs would be doing—all had kept mum about it. Tim had a faint sense that yesterday's performers had somehow been matched to innate interests of theirs, which is why they didn't come off as ludicrous. The cheerleader, for example, had been an Olympic athlete before joining NCIS, and was still very limber. She was mostly a cold-case agent, but had looked spunky in her teenaged daughter's cheerleader uniform. How Wanda had managed that, instead of having, say, the cheerleader play the xylophone, Tim didn't know. Perhaps she'd bent the corner of the slip of paper for the task she wanted chosen before letting the agent reach into the hat. Yes, that must be it…there was a slight bend to Tim's slip of paper, he saw now. Wanda was devious.
When the lunch hour came, Gibbs' was the first act up. He was dressed in ordinary working clothes (as if anyone could ever convince him to do otherwise). He carried onto the stage a stool, a saw, and a homemade bow—and proceeded to play The Marines Hymn, followed by Secret Agent Man and then Octopus's Garden on the saw! The audience was toe-tapping and rocking right from the start; by the third, they were clapping along with the rhythm. They all roared when Vance, the MC, asked Gibbs, "Is that my new saw that you borrowed last month and haven't returned?" Gibbs exited to thunderous applause and the "additional donations" jars in the aisles started to overflow, causing Wanda to rush to empty them for the next round.
Ziva's turn was next. Tim was amazed that she (or anyone) really had been given the plate-spinning act. She wore a beautiful, long, burgundy gown as she came onto the stage; a stage hand quickly set up a table with four poles mounted on it. Ziva carried four plates of contrasting colors and a short pole, and started the first plate spinning on her short pole. She quickly transferred it to the first pole in line while over the loudspeaker there came a recording of Khachaturian's Sabre Dance, the traditional music for such an event, which pumped up the excitement. Ziva did pretty well, starting a new plate spinning while making sure the ones already going didn't run out of momentum. There was only one near-miss when a plate almost fell, but Ziva coolly rescued it and went on. The audience applauded with vigor.
She smiled and bowed, letting the plates drop into her hand one by one. The performance choice had been a good match for Ziva's talents, as precision-oriented as she was.
Tim swallowed. He would be up next. Tim McGee, "Mr. Hilarity."
He passed by Tony, who'd just come into the wings: his turn coming up after Tim's. Tony, in full clown make-up and costume. Well, that would be an act worth seeing, Tim thought with a chuckle and a smile.
As soon as Vance introduced Tim's act, Tim came on stage with a confident wave. He'd had a chance before work to position himself at the microphone stand and hold the mike, and was glad that he had done so.
"Greetings," he addressed the audience, feeling suddenly confident. "I'm Tim McGee, known as the funniest guy at NCIS." He paused, briefly, for the titter of surprised laughter for this play-against-type. That was a good sign, according to the internet sites he'd read. He'd grabbed the audience, early on, and they would ride on with him unless he faltered and lost them. He had no intention of faltering.
"I've always been a funny guy. When I was a boy, I got a Scout's merit badge for making funny faces. Weird thing is—I wasn't even in the Scouts! What did they mean?" Over this he made a few grotesque faces, and let the laughter roll in.
"Scouting exists in the 'great outdoors.' The 'great outdoors.' What's so 'great' about it? I discovered my allergies in the great outdoors. Where other boys were allergic to ragweed or wild berries or grasses, I was allergic to…everything!" More laughter for Tim's known allergies. "Starting with my scout uniform! He scratched himself. 'Mom! You mixed up the laundry detergent with itching powder again!'" Tim yelled off to his side over laughter.
Onto the next group. General wisdom held that you didn't stay on any one subject very long—maybe three or four lines; that was it. Leave the audience wanting more while catching their attention with something fresh.
"My mom; I love talking about her; she's a saint. Saint Mom, she's known at our church. She has a great sense of humor, and I get mine from her. By that I mean I steal it from her when she's not looking. She doesn't suspect a thing, but I know she has a BOLO out on it in her state." He deepened his voice like a TV anchorman. "'Mrs. McGee's sense of humor was last seen November 9, while she was watching The Big Bang Theory…'"
Next subject. "Do you watch much TV?" he asked the audience, to a scattered response of nods, "Yeah!"s, and whistles. "I don't watch TV much. I let my TV watch me." Some giggles. Good. Tim's absurdist-style humor was captivating the audience. "Mostly it gets bored pretty quickly and falls asleep. Which is good. It's freaky to suddenly see yourself on the 11 o'clock news." He put the deep anchorman voice back on. "'Today in the District's southeast quadrant, Tim McGee once again slipped and fell into a muddy creek. He was still mud-soaked when he arrived at home, according to a report filed by his TV. And now a look at the weather…'" He wasn't sure the audience heard the last bit over their laughter, but he knew enough to plunge on, and not look back.
Before he could start his next set, though, he felt his phone vibrating. What a weird time for a call! Well, that was what voice mail was for. "What's peculiar in this age is when a video of you goes 'viral'. 'Viral'; what a term! There's no cure for viruses, as we all know," he said deeply. "Think about this…what if things other than videos would start to go viral? Suppose every time you ate a banana, eight more appeared?" Again his phone vibrated. Stop it, he thought. You'll throw off my rhythm! "Or maybe that would happen with cupcakes? Eat one, get two dozen more! And your neighbors on all sides would get them too, and the cupcakes would spread!" "Yeah!" he heard someone in the audience yell. It sounded like Abby.
"On the down side, what if tears were viral? You get sad, everyone in your house cries, and soon everyone on your street is doing the same." Tim cried false tears, to much laughter. From the corner of his eye he saw Vance, in the wings, motioning to him. What was he trying to say? Vance gestured, and Tim, having slightly turned his head toward him, realized Vance was indicating his phone. Tim quickly pulled it out and glanced at it, having improvised, "And then they all call you about it."
Oh. My. God.
The text read,
Sarah's been in an accident. She's at GW Hospital. Come at once.
He could feel the tears flow, for real now, as he replaced the phone on its clip.
"I'm sorry. My sister—there's been an accident." The audience roared and cheered, assuming this was part of the act.
"No, really. It's not viral; it's personal. It's a personal viral," he said, reduced now to babbling. "It's not meant to be funny." But of course they didn't believe that, having been strung so far along. "And so I must go. Go now. Thank you," he said, his lip trembling as he ran off stage to a standing ovation. Tony the clown only gave him a curious look.
He sat by his sister's bedside as she groggily tapped the TV remote control. "Sarah, let me do that for you."
"As if. Your taste in TV stinks, Tim," she said.
He grinned. "What do you care? You'll be asleep in 10 minutes, anyway." Tim squeezed her hand.
"It's the principle of the thing."
"So tell me, why did you step into the street without looking both ways? You're lucky to be alive, Sarah."
"Spare me the lecture, Tim. I've got two broken legs and three broken ribs and am just out of surgery for internal bleeding. I won't be going clubbing again for awhile."
"I'm just concerned about you. I don't have so many sisters that I can afford to lose one."
She closed her eyes; feeling very tired. "You're so funny, Tim. You should try doing stand-up."
"Maybe someday I will," he said. "The world's a funny place."