"Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebrating)"
Summary: The workers of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton are celebrating another under-appreciated holiday.
Rating: T, I tried to write Michael as close to he is in the show as possible, so if I wrote something, then felt a little embarrassed about it... I left it in. So, if you're offended, remember: it's Michael.
Disclaimer: All Office (US) characters are owned by NBC, etc. Respect to Andre Young, Greg Daniels, and Rick Gervais.
The atmosphere among the Party Planning Committee was tense and irritable. More than usual, anyway. It was no secret that Angela took an especially pride in her ability to throw what she saw as a truly excellent office party, even when that meant dealing with Michael's own particular level of insanity, but... this was crazy even for him.
"I just don't see how we're supposed to organize a this party," Angela nearly pleaded.
"This is important to Michael," Dwight stressed, "we have to find a way."
Even though Angela was going out of her way not to face Dwight, it was obvious to everyone else in the room that he was the only one she was talking to. "But, a holiday with the 'eff word' in it..."
"I have learned to trust Michael implicitly," Dwight said evenly, "when he thinks something is a good idea... he is never proven wrong."
At this point, Michael popped into the room. "How my party-planning hookers and hos coming along with the party planning?"
"We really haven't figured out exactly what you want us do, Michael," Pam admitted.
"Well, than you better get on it, Pam," Michael instructed forcefully, then turned to the camera and smiled, "after (Edit) Wit Dre Day only comes around once a year. You betta ask somebody."
Jim: "Why are we having a party for Dr. Dre?"
Jim gives the 'thoughtful jim.'
Jim: That is a very good question.
Jim: See, every so often Michael will hear what he thinks is a new band or a new song and he will really latch onto it... you know how he gets. He's especially bad with rap music, which he never really gets but he really wants everyone to think he does. So, I guess he heard someone talking about Dr. Dre and now he's obsessed with celebrating Dre Day.
Jim does the "jim-shrug."
Jim: I mean, "The Chronic" is only fifteen years old, so... that's current by Michael's standards.
"So, I was going to get you a card for Dre Day," Jim said, leaning down on the reception desk, "but of course the shelf was completely empty," he shrugged in mock resignation. "I guess it's my own fault for waiting 'til the last minute."
Pam shook her head and let out a sigh.
"And what is the traditional gift for Dre Day?" Jim furrowed his brow.
"You know there actually is an answer to that question," Pam reminded him.
Michael suddenly appeared in the doorway to the conference room. "If everyone could come in here," he called, "and let's get this party started right."
Michael, dead serious: When I first discovered hip hop... back when I was just a boy, the toughest group we had was Kid 'n Play. And they would have these house parties that would just get completely out of control and take over whole blocks and there would be music and dancing and... they actually made a documentary about it. Did you see it? Man, if your movie turns out that well... [He pauses to think about it. I used to think that was the hardest music out there... you know, Naughty By Nature and Kris Kross and DJ Jazzy Jeff, but when Gangster Rap first came out... like three or four years ago, that's when I knew what was up.
Michael stood at the front of the conference room, more than a little giddy as he looked at all the hastily printed images of Dr. Dre and his entourage that have been hastily taped across the room. "Thanks for coming in everyone."
"We didn't really have a choice," Ryan pointed out laconically.
"I'm sure all over you can't wait to get to festivities," Michael continued, "but I thought first off we should take some time to think about who Dr. Dre really is and what the true meaning of (Edit) Wit Dr. Dre Day is to all of us. So, I turn to our local expert." He paused for emphasis before looking to the man seated to his left, "Stanley, if you would be so kind to say a few words."
Stanley's eyes went from drooping sleepily to burning with furious in the space of seconds. "Do you realize I barely know who Dr. Dre is?"
Michael was genuinely shocked and more than a little saddened. "You really don't know one of the pillars of the African-American community, Stanley? I'm disappointed, I..."
"Michael, it just seems a bit odd to have a day to celebrate Dr. Dre in the office," Oscar interrupted.
"Well, I would be more than happy have a John Leguizamo day or a Ricky Martin day, Oscar," Michael replied in what he obviously felt was a diplomatic tone, "you just have to tell me when. There's no need to be jealous," he smirked.
Oscar fumed a bit in his seat, but accepted that saying any more would help nothing.
"Now, since our resident African-American is sorely lacking in team spirit," it was obvious Stanley wanted to respond just then, but settled on getting back to his crossword puzzle, albeit angrier than usual. "I will say a few words about our friend Dr. Dre." Michael cleared his throat, then continued.
"Julius Irving Dre was born on the mean streets of Newark. Life was hard for young Dre growing up on the Ghetto," Michael lowered his eyes sorrowfully. "He was forced to earn money by dealing black tar heroin to school children." Michael paused to let the drama sink in, "but eventually was able to pull himself up through hard work and dedication, and he became the first member of his family to go to medical school," he concluded warmly.
They were all thinking it, but Oscar was the first to speak up. "Michael, Dr. Dre isn't really a doctor."
"Of course he is," Michael clearly thought this much was obvious.
"No, that's just a name he gave himself," Phyllis explained slowly, "you know, to prove he was down with the street." Jim could only jim in response.
Michael shook his head. "You are thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King."
And then it was one of those moments that frequently happened around Michael Scott, where a whole room of people are so horrified they just don't know what to say.
"That's an honest mistake, though," Michael granted warmly.
Pam, sincerely: Sometimes I really feel like I've been too hard on Michael.
Pam: And then...
"Anyway," Michael continued, oblivious as always to the stunned silence, "one of Dre's greatest achievements is discovering other talented rappers like K.-Fed," Michael gestured to the picture on his left, "and SW1," Michael gestured to the picture on his right, "both of whom have gone on to go platinum more times than the Beatles, Elvis, and the Rolling Stones combined..."
Toby: It's not that Michael forgot about Dre... so much as he didn't know about him in the first place.
"But, Dr. Dre would never be happy with us just talking about him like this." Michael shook his head boldly. "He was always a rapper first, before he became an Emmy nominated actor or stand-up comic and that is how he'd like us to honor his memory."
Then Michael started spitting out rhymes... or what he thought were rhymes, anyway... and Jim could only stare in bemused shock. Of the many sources he was plagiarizing, Jim could pick out some Cheap Trick and whole sections of "She Blinded Me With Science," but soon lost track of what Michael was saying entirely, partly as a defense mechanism, partly because Dwight had started beat-boxing, but mostly because Pam was currently driving her nails into his arm in a vain effort to deal with the crippling discomfort she was feeling. She probably didn't even realize she was doing it. Trying to act casual, Jim turned his eyes back to Michael.
"For God's sake, Dwight! Stop beat-boxing, I'm trying to kick it old school!"
"You know how Michael ruined all those songs for you?" Pam asked.
"I think we can safely add anything by Snoop Dogg or Dr. Dre to that list," she sighed.
While the Dre Day festivities were still well underway, she and Jim had managed to sneak back into the main office under the guise of checking for an important fax from Jan. Neither of them realized the camera had followed them but, frankly, they were too happy to have escape (if only temporarily) to worry about it.
Jim raised a concerned eyebrow. "Is it really that bad?"
"I think I'm going to be sick," Pam replied.
Jim thought about it, but he just couldn't help himself. "So, if I were to ask if you were 'still representing for the gangstas all across the world, still hitting them corners in them low-lows...' that would be the kind of thing wouldn't help?"
"I hate you."
Jim smiled broadly, "I can live with what."
Dwight poked his head in. "You two get back in here," he shouted urgently, "it's your turn to play 'Twenty Dollar Sack Pyramid!'"
Pam and Jim shrugged at each other and followed Dwight back into the conference room, with Jim half-singing "Swing down to the chariot-stop and... let me ride..." which earned him a light smack on the arm from Pam.
Michael: The thing that I love about Dr. Dre and about Eminem and about the Fifty Cents is... it's not like rock and roll were it's all about making the most money or having big houses or cars... it's about the love and the music and standing by the people you care about. Wow. That is what I want to bring to the work place every time I bring some N.W.A. or 2 Live Crew into the office, that is what I aim for when I trade rhymes with my many African-American friends, and that is what (Edit) Wit Dre Day means to me.
Michael looks left and right.
Michael: So, chill... until the next episode.
Michael flashes a big smile for a few seconds... which then drops into uncertainty.