Speedy, Polly, Guido and Francine pose as newlyweds and move into a brand new suburban community called 'The Greener Side', where married couples have been going missing under mysterious circumstances.
Since the dawn of time (1999) this story has been sitting in my computer collecting cyber dust. Yes – it's old! Almost ten years old. All it needed was some editing and a decent conclusion. I started writing it just after I finished watching the X-files episode 'Arcadia', where Mulder and Scully also have pretend to be husband and wife at this spooky high-class community.
Speedy/Polly and Guido/Francine fans may like this one (although it's not meant to be a romance, just a silly 'what if they married' kinda thing).
Narrator: Oh good! You're just in time for Speedy and Guido's action packed movie marathon! (Groan) Turn to the Disney Channel while you still can …
Guido: Let's see ... (carrying an armful of DVD's) ... what shall we watch first? Ah ha! (Drops the DVD's on his coffee table, except for one) How 'bout 'Sirens'?
Speedy: (sitting on Guido's couch with his arms folded) Sirens? Never heard of it. Does it have spies?
Guido: Nuh uh.
Speedy: Badly dubbed karate guys going 'HIYAAH!' and chopping things with their heads?
Speedy: (going for the last resort) Not even Jedi's?
Guido: (reading the description on the back of the DVD cover) 'When a painting is termed blasphemous, a young minister and his wife visit the artist in Australia ... '
Speedy: (interrupting) Sounds interesting! (Adds under his breath) About as interesting as the Narrator ...
N: I get no appreciation. NONE!
Guido: Come on, Speedy! Would I select something boring? It's totally cultural! Did I mention it has Elle MacPherson swimming in a lake with … (showing him the picture on the back) … no clothes on?
Speedy: (suddenly lights up) You know, I've always loved culture. Forget Jedi's, play that DVD!
Guido: (turns on the TV, but is distracted by a news update) Hey, did you hear about this?
Speedy: (sarcastic) Did you hear about Elle MacPherson in a lake without any clothes?
Guido: (ignores Speedy) There's this new suburban community just outside of Little Tokyo. One of those picket fence type places with perfect lawns and stuff. Some residents have disappeared without a trace ... even their garden gnomes go missing. Creepy huh?
Speedy: What part of the phrase 'play that DVD' did you not understand?
Guido: Who would be calling now?
Speedy: Dunno, but you can tell them their timing sucks! Can I start the DVD?
Guido: No way, you'll make me miss the beginning.
Speedy: You'll miss a bunch of previews, big furry deal!
Guido: I like previews …
Speedy: BUT –
Guido: (with the phone to his ear) Hello? … Who is this? … Oh, it's you Polly! Sorry, you've got a terrible telephone voice. You sound like you sucked in a balloon ... Yeah, I don't like you either ... Uh huh ... Now? But me and Speedy were ... An emergency? ... Did you cut yourself while shaving again? ... Calm down, it was a joke! … I do NOT smell like livestock! Where do you come up with these insults? ... Fine … We'll be right over.
(Guido hangs up.)
Speedy: What's Polly calling you for?
Guido: She's passing on a message for Big Al. He wants us over at the Palace for an emergency meeting right away.
Speedy: Princess Vi didn't stab herself in the gum with a toothpick again, did she?
Guido: Nah, I think she uses floss now. We better go and see what Al wants. Time to change scenes!
Speedy: Aw, already? (Stands up) The Palace better have a DVD player …
N: Never mind the fact that we were just in Guido's 'Bachelor Pad' – a completely new set – and the audience doesn't even get a lousy description! Those two Guido fans in the world will be very upset right now.
Guido: You want a description? Okay, fine … (pointing around the place) … that's the lounge room, kitchen, poster of Yasmin Bleeth on the fridge, bedroom with waterbed, my rap-free CD collection and a bean bag that survived the eighties. Anything else you wanna know?
N: (disgruntled) Just get on with it.
Speedy: (following Guido out the front door) Neat-o! You got a waterbed?
Guido: 'Neat-o'? Who says that any more?
(Cut scene to the Palace where Speedy, Polly, Guido and Francine are kneeling on the floor around Big Al.)
Al: I have a top secret mission for you Pizza Cats. I'm sure you're all aware of the unsolved disappearances at the suburban community 'The Greener Side'. According to my sources, every time a new couple moves in they soon vanish without a trace! As a result, 'The Greener Side' is now in danger of closing down and ... (suddenly distracted) … Speedy and Guido for the last time, put that DVD cover down and pay attention!
Speedy, Guido: Sorry Al ...
Al: As I was saying. Your job is to go undercover and pretend to be new property owners.
Francine: (cutting in) Ah, excuse me Big Al. But why do you want us to do this? Couldn't you hire professionals? We have no experience as spies!
Al: I've asked you because I have a feeling Big Cheese and his crows have something to do with this, and rotten Cheese is a field you do have experience in.
Speedy: (insulted) Pardon me Al, but what do you mean by that!
Fran: It's a metaphor Speedy.
Polly: (explaining further) As in 'Big Cheese' rotten cheese?
Speedy: Oh! Sorry. I thought he was insulting the pizza.
Al: I want your full attention on this operation Pizza Cats. That means no messing around! Any questions?
Speedy: I have a question! Are the houses equipped with DVD players?
Al: What? Shut up, Speedy!
Polly: (addressing Al) So do you want us to move in to these houses as roommates?
Al: (smiling conspiringly) Hardly. You see, 'The Greener Side' prides itself on being a family place. It targets newlyweds who want to raise children in domestic paradise. So, I've split you up into two happily married couples –
All, except Al: (unhappily shocked) WHAT!
Al: Speedy and Polly, you'll be Norville and Lilian Jones. Guido and Francine, you'll be Hugh and Jenny Smith. Exciting, huh? It'll be just like a TV show!
Fran: It's not exciting!
Polly: This is a TV show!
Guido: I can't be married! I have dates to think of!
Speedy: Ah ... excuse me but Norville? How can you call me NORVILLE!
Polly: (smirking) This coming from somebody named 'Speedy' with a surname that's a food dish .
Speedy: Yeah shut ya yap 'Polly Esther', you cheap fabric!
Al: (talking over top of them all) QUIET! It's only pretend and it's only temporary. Besides, you'll all be too busy to play house!
Speedy, Polly, Guido, Fran: (still unsatisfied) BUT –
Al: (yelling) SILENCE!
N: Nice Princess Vi impersonation! I guess Al doesn't get out much.
Al: You have your orders. You'll move out tomorrow morning. Everything's been arranged. I expect you to stay in character and mingle with the neighbours. NO GOOFING OFF! Understood?
Speedy: (saluting him) Yes sir, Sgt Dente!
(Big Al gives Speedy a dirty glare.)
Speedy: I mean ... (timid) ... understood.
N: We now conveniently skip to the next morning where our heroes are married and moving into their new homes!
(Speedy and Polly appear extremely grumpy while driving towards 'The Greener Side' complex.)
N: Don't tell me … (chuckle) … the honeymoon period's over already?
Polly: (sitting in the passenger seat) What do you mean 'over'? Like it ever began!
Speedy: (driving while shifting uncomfortably in his seat) This suit Big Al made me wear is chafing me! I think 'Norville' should seriously consider a wardrobe and name change.
Polly: More like 'Lilian' should get a wardrobe change. All I've got to wear are sweater sets! But we may as well forget it, we're not supposed to change anything about the identities assigned to us. Those are the rules!
(Polly leans forward and feels for something under her seat. The next minute she sits back up, holding two folders: one that says 'Lilian' and another that says 'Norville'. She opens the one labeled 'Norville' and begins to read.)
Polly: Norville Yancy Jones –
Polly: Yes, Yancy! Deal with it … (continues) … aged twenty-two. Financial consultant. His favourite sports are golf and sailing … (flicking pages) … he's a Sagittarian, allergic to peanuts, was a bed wetter until the age of thirteen …
Speedy: Enough already! This guy's a dork!
Polly: Speedy, you're going to have to read your profile and learn it. How can you go undercover if you don't know anything about the cover?
Speedy: Oh, and I suppose you know everything there is to know about … (thinking) … Linda!
Speedy: Close enough!
(Polly throws the folder at Speedy's head in frustration.
They arrive at their new house ... )
Real Estate Agent: (showing Speedy and Polly around) And this is your ensuite bathroom. And this … (leads them out to another room) … is the master bedroom. We had the king-sized bed delivered last night, just as you ordered Mr Jones.
Speedy: I did? (Polly nudges him) I mean, I did! Yes, me and the wifey like the bed big.
Polly: Yeah, so we can have a lot of space ... (glaring quickly at Speedy)
Real Estate Agent: I'm guessing you two had a lovely honeymoon! Paris, was it?
Speedy: Absolutely! Spain's an amazing country.
Polly: (through gritted teeth) France!
Speedy: FRANCE! Yes, France. (Covering his tracks) You see, we went to Spain after we went to France. I always get those two mixed up! Had a swell time didn't we muffin? (Puts his arm around Polly)
Polly: You bet ... (cringing) ... dumpling.
Real Estate Agent: (leaning over to shake both their hands) Welcome to 'The Greener Side' Mr and Mrs Jones! You're lucky to get this place so quickly. It ah … (in a creepy sort of tone) ... recently came on the market.
Speedy: This place has a DVD player too, right?
Polly: (irritated) Oh, give it up already Spee – (correcting herself) – er, I mean Norville … Norville! You have to excuse me, I'm suffering a little jet lag.
Real Estate Agent: (hands over the keys to Speedy) I'll leave you two to it then. If you have any problems, don't hesitate to call. Bye bye!
Speedy, Polly: (too happy) BYE BYE!
(The Real Estate Agent walks out of the bedroom and leaves.)
Polly: (changes from happy to annoyed in a breath) Speedy, since whenwas Paris in Spain!
Speedy: Well … (trying to think of a witty comeback) … you got some stuff wrong as well! You forgot that I'm ... (cringe) … 'Norville'. Why did Big Al call me that?
Polly: Remind me to buy you an Atlas when we get home! In the mean time … (changing the subject) …was it me or was that Real Estate woman kinda strange?
Speedy: How so?
Polly: I don't know, I just got a feeling …
(They go downstairs to the kitchen, just as the phone rings.)
Speedy: (picking it up) Jones residence! Sanctuary of marital bliss, who may I ask is calling?
Polly: (rolling her eyes) Kill me now …
Speedy: Hey 'Lilian' honey, guess what? It's our neighbours, Mr and Mrs Smith!
Polly: Oh goody! I'll go mark this date in the calendar and we'll celebrate it every year!
(She exits the room in a huff.)
Speedy: Geez, somebody needs a cup of tea … (switches back to talking on the phone) … so 'Hugh', how are things? You guys settled in?
Guido: Hardly. Francine's driving me crazy! She keeps moving all the furniture. She's even trying to find the phone number for the nearest hardware store so she can re-paint the walls teal! And she's folding all the ends of toilet rolls into little fancy points. It's like living with Martha Stuart on a six pack of Red Bull!
Speedy: Yeah, Polly's getting on my nerves as well. Can I send her over there and you come over here so that we can have that movie marathon?
Guido: Al says we're not supposed to know each other yet. It's too early. He suggested we wait until one of the neighbours throws a welcome party.
Speedy: Welcome party? I haven't seen any stupid neighbours since we got here!
Guido: Me neither. Maybe it's like a secret society?
Speedy: Nah, I don't remember seeing that in the script.
Guido: Sorry Speedy, I'll catch up with you later. Francine's yelling at me about something … I have to stick her head in the gas oven.
Speedy: At least you got the one that cleans. I got the pre-menstrual catwoman!
Polly: (yelling from another room) I HEARD THAT!
Guido: Bye Speedy. (Hangs up, and turns around to Francine) What's up now?
Fran: I wanted to know if you think the vase in the hall looks better on the left or the right side of the dresser?
Guido: (irritated) Francine!
Guido: Fine, Jenny! Next time you want to yell at the top of your voice, chose a flash flood or food poisoning. Not vase placement!
Fran: I'm sorry, Guido – I mean, Hugh. It's just I feel so anxious here! Interior design calms me down.
Guido: Interesting method.
Fran: Plus I've always dreamed of owning a big home like this. It just makes me feel like nesting!
Guido: Well, quit it! We're not married, this isn't our house, and we're not birds!
Fran: Oh Guido, people went missing here and nobody knows how or why. Doesn't that bother you? There could be a man hiding in our closet!
Guido: I'm more suspicious about the garden gnomes myself …
Fran: The what?
Guido: (pointing out the window to the front yard) See for yourself! We have gnomes now but tomorrow … (casting her dark look) … who knows.
Fran: Who cares about garden gnomes what about ME!
Guido: Gnomes have feelings too ya know.
N: Back at the Jones residence! Sanctuary of marital dung ...
Polly: (in running shoes and gym clothes) Speedy, I'm going for a jog around the block. I'll check out the other houses while I'm at it.
Speedy: (peering out a near by window at the house next door) Good idea, except these houses look deserted. I can't see any TV's on!
Polly: Maybe they're doing something else.
Speedy: (laughing in disbelief) Yeah right! Like what? Talking?
Speedy: Wow ... (with wide eyes) ... this place is freakier then we thought!
Polly: Or maybe they don't have TV's, did you think of that?
Speedy: Okay, now you're just scaring me!
Polly: (shaking her head in dismay) I'm gonna go. Your TV-DVD obsession is getting old fast!
Speedy: Fine ... (on another notion) ... by the way, when are you cooking dinner?
Polly: (stopping abruptly in her tracks) What did you say?
Speedy: You know, dinner? The last meal of the day? Right after lunch? You are my wife after all, 'Lily-pily' … (winks at her)
Polly: (hands sternly on hips) And this is the twenty-first century, 'Norvy-porvy'! Besides, I saw a microwave meal in the freezer.
Speedy: Microwave meal? What about real food!
Polly: Well, there's always that jar of mustard in the cupboard. I'm sure you'll think of something!
(She heads out the front door with a wide grin.)
Speedy: We've been married one day and already I have to eat frozen food? (Yelling after her, before the door slams shut) I WANT A DIVORCE!
Polly: (yelling back) FINE BY ME!
(Cut scene to Polly taking a jog past one of the neighbour's houses.)
Polly: Hmm ... (observing the house) … Speedy is actually right about something. There appears to be nobody living in these houses. I thought only some couples went missing, not the entire neighbourhood!
N: Maybe after they heard you were moving in they decided to relocate to another cartoon.
Polly: (mad) YOU COME DOWN HERE AND SAY THAT NARRATOR!
N: No! Why don't you come up HERE!
Polly: Then that's just what I'LL – (suddenly confused) – hey, where are you anyway?
(A guy comes out of the house in question, carrying a garbage bag.)
Polly: Ah ha! Life! (Waving) Hello!
Neighbour: (startled) Oh, er hello! I didn't see you there.
Polly: (jogging towards him) I'm the new neighbour … and you are?
Neighbour: New neighbour? I wasn't informed people were moving in ... (holding out his hand) … hi, I'm Peter White!
Polly: I'm Poll … er, Lilian Jones! I've just moved into number seven with my husband – (cringe) – Norville.
Peter: (eyebrow raised) Number seven, you say?
Polly: Yes, number seven. We don't believe in any of those silly disappearance rumours! Ha ha!
Peter: (in a dark tone) Really?
Polly: (slightly nervous) Sure. Do you?
Peter: (hastily checking his watch) Look at the time, I should be inside! Nice to meet you Lilian.
(Peter hurries back in the house.)
Polly: (after a moment's reflection) Now that was odd.
(Polly proceeds to walk back to her house. She's almost around the block when – )
Peter: (running after her) Lilian! Hey, I just had a quick word with the wife. We thought it'd be nice if you and your husband came over tonight for dinner. We could all get to know eachother a little better. What do you say?
Polly: Oh … well, yeah! That sounds nice. It's not too much trouble, is it? Do you have enough food?
Peter: Oh yes, we have enough food! It's no trouble at all.
Polly: All right then. Do you mind if I invite the other new neighbours along too?
Peter: You mean there's more?
(At the Smith residence near by … )
Fran: (peering out the living room window) Guido! I mean Hugh, Polly – I mean Lilian!
Guido: Let's drop the codenames for tonight, huh?
Fran: Okay. It seems Polly's met one of the neighbours!
Guido: Cool! Is he green, scaly and wearing spandex?
Fran: Huh? Have you been spraying the toilet air freshener in your mouth again? I told you that stuff doesn't work on breath.
Guido: I know, I remember your hour long lecture. Look, I was reading an article on alien abduction, and I have a theory –
Fran: (cutting him short) Stop RIGHT there mister! I'm already creeped out enough in this place, don't make it worse by talking about aliens!
Guido: You're right. It's probably not aliens anyway.
Fran: Thank you!
Guido: In fact it might be vampires! Did you know –
Fran: (puts her fingers in her ears and walks away, singing) "I like big butts and I cannot lie! You other brothers can't deny!"
N: And at the Jones residence across the road …
Fran: (still singing) "You get SPRUNG! Wanna pull up tough cuz you notice that butt – "
N: I said at the Jones residence across the road!
Polly: (yelling as she walks through the front door) Speedy, don't eat anything! The neighbours have invited us to dinner!
Speedy: (meeting her in the kitchen) Don't worry, I couldn't open the mustard.
Polly: You were going to eat a jar of mustard for dinner? What are you, a nomad?
Speedy: It was your suggestion LILIAN my WIFE who doesn't cook meals for her generous HUSBAND!
Polly: Speedy, I'm not your wife! Get a grip on reality and come next door with me … otherwise you see that meat mallet over there? (Pointing to the kitchen bench)
Polly: That's gonna be your new tail. Now go get dressed! We have to go and invite our other neighbours along, the Smiths.
N: And so, after they were dressed and Speedy smelled strongly of his signature pepperoni aftershave, over the road they went to the Smith house. Fa la la la! Happy families!
Guido: (meeting them at the door) Well if it isn't the neighbours, finally coming to say hello! You guys run out of sugar?
Speedy: You guys disappeared yet?
Polly: Cut it out you two! Guido, tell Francine we're going to meet some of the neighbours for dinner.
Guido: Hey, that's right! You met one of them, didn't you? Me and Francine saw you out the window. Anything fishy to report?
Polly: I got a weird vibe from this Peter guy. I don't know, something was off about him.
Guido: So you didn't notice anything like extra pale skin, or slightly sharper teeth?
Speedy, Polly: Huh?
Fran: (who just appeared behind Guido) I told you Guido – I mean Hugh! Don't start talking about all that supernatural stuff around me! What's going on?
Polly: We've been invited to dinner! It's short notice, but it could be a lead.
Fran: Great! I'll go fix my hair … (darts back inside)
Guido: Considering she doesn't re-arrange any furniture on her way, we should be right out!
(A little time later, when Francine and Guido are ready, they all begin to walk down the street together towards Peter's place.)
Polly: Remember everyone, we're really undercover now! Everybody act like happily married couples.
Speedy: Yeah! And look out for anything 'cheesy' ... not including the appetizers!
Guido: Gotcha! (With his arm around Francine) This is exciting, huh Jenny?
Fran: (less than enthused) Thrilling ...
N: After the Cats arrived at Peter's place, they were quickly introduced to his wife Cici, after which everyone gathered round the dinning table for food that was beyond the caliber of Speedy's jar of mustard – hence, he was very happy to have come along.
Cici: (talking to Guido) So! Hugh, how did you and Jenny meet?
Guido: Ah ... (thinking on the spot) … in rehab!
Fran: (almost choking on a chicken bone) Agh!
Guido: (pats her on the back) You okay there, Jen? (Continues to explain) I was a shock therapist and Jenny was my patient.
Fran: I think I need a toilet break ... (looking at Peter) … can you tell me where the toilet is?
Peter: (pointing) Down that hall there and to the left. You can't miss it.
(She gives Guido a glare as she departs, though she can still hear him talking as she walks away … )
Guido: Jen has been hearing voices for years. That's why she seems a little sketchy!
(In the bathroom … )
Fran: (angrily talking to herself ) Oh, just wait until I get that smart mouthed Gui – Hugh home! He's the one who needs rehab, not me. I'm perfectly all right.
(She suddenly hears an electronic, buzzing sound … )
Fran: (listening) What's that?
N: The wheels in your head turning?
Fran: Very funny!
(And in the dining room … )
Polly: (with a strong note of sarcasm) That was a very interesting story, Hugh.
Guido: How's about you, Lilian? How did you and … (clears his throat) … Norville meet?
Cici: Yes! Do tell.
Polly: Let's see, it all began –
Speedy: (interrupting) Ah, actually sweet pea, I'd like to tell it if you don't mind!
Polly: (not liking this idea at all) But … honey bunch, they asked me to tell it.
Speedy: Yes I know darling, but you always get to tell it.
Polly: But –
Speedy: (talks over her) Thanks buttercup, I knew you'd understand! (Turns to the rest of the table) It all started when my precious here made an appointment for plastic surgery.
(Polly drops her fork while Guido stifles a laugh.)
Peter: Are you a plastic surgeon, Norville?
Speedy: (playing along) Why yes! Yes I am.
Peter: What a coincidence, so am I! What practice do you work for?
Polly: (sounding smug) Yes cookie, what practice do you work for?
Speedy: I, ah … (looking to Polly for help, but doesn't receive any) … my practice! My practice … well, it's –
(Suddenly, Francine returns from the bathroom … looking afraid.)
Speedy: (happy for the distraction) Hey, Jenny's back! Here Jenny, have some potatoes! (Scoops potatoes on her plate) Tell us a story, any topic!
Polly: (a little worried about her) Jenny, are you all right?
Fran: I'm … feeling a little sick now that you mention it. Hugh … (turning to Guido) … I must've forgotten to take my medication. Can we please go home so I can take it and I can get some rest?
Guido: No problem! I'll finish my chicken leg and we'll go.
Polly: (taking Francine's hint) It's okay, we'll escort you guys home. Norville has to wake up early tomorrow, he's got surgery.
Speedy: But … (gazing longingly at the food on his plate) … I'm not through yet!
N: After some timely efforts on the girl's behalf to drag the boys from their chicken and say goodnight, we now catch up with them walking back home.
Polly: (trying not to yell too loudly) Plastic surgery? What were you THINKING! (Slaps Speedy's head)
Speedy: Ow! I thought it was a good cover!
Polly: I'll staple your tongue to your forehead, THEN we'll see who needs surgery! Don't you remember your profile? Norville's a financial consultant, not a plastic surgeon! And you're a CEO for a construction company! (She slaps Guido)
Guido: OUCH! We're actors, we improvise. It's fun!
Polly: This isn't supposed to be fun, nitwit! Fran … (concerned) … what happened back there? Are you really not well?
Fran: (extremely sarcastic) Oh you know, nothing's been the same since I stopped having shock therapy.
Guido: (smiling) First thing that came to mind, I swear! But seriously, you weren't yourself after you went to the bathroom. What happened?
Fran: I found a hidden camera behind a vent in the wall. And a hidden stairway in the linen cupboard.
Polly: (shocked) A hidden camera! And a stairway in the linen cupboard?
Speedy: (as shocked as Polly) Why would they need a camera in the bathroom? That's just nasty!
Guido: Where'd the hidden stairway go, Fran?
Fran: Somewhere dark and gloomy underground. I didn't have time to check it out obviously … plus the camera buzzing around made me edgy. All I wanted to do was get out of there! There's something wrong with that couple. And now they'll know I know about their stairway because of their secret camera! They'll come after us in the night and we'll disappear before morning!
Polly: (taking charge) I agree with Francine, I didn't feel comfortable for one second in that house! Even before I knew they had hidden cameras and stairways.
Guido: (pondering something else) You know … I bet that stairway leads to where they're keeping all the vampires.
Polly, Fran: (ticked off) GUIDO!
To be continued ...