"Moore" Roseanne Roseannadanna
"Excuse me," an excessively frizzy-haired woman asked in a thick Brooklyn accent, "if you're not too busy preening yourself in that window, could you point me in the direction of the station manager's office?"
"Um." The silver-haired man startled, discontinuing the examination of his smile in the reflection of the said office window. He turned and frowned at seeing the smug-looking woman with a stack of papers shoved in the nook of her armpit. "Why would you want to know?" he asked, recovering his air of aloofness.
"Well, you know, it's always something, isn't it?" The dark-haired woman belligerently replied. She hastily shifted the papers from her right hand to her left and extended her palm to shake. "I'm Roseanne Roseannadanna, the applicant for the anchor position."
"Oh," Ted exclaimed in genuine shock. He withdrew his hand from the half-shake he had given. "Anchor position?"
Before he could get an answer, a slender brunette approached them. She was absorbed in a stack of papers in one hand and carried a coffee cup in the other. "Ted, I want to go over – " she stopped short when she realized he was already speaking with someone. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt anything," she apologized.
"Oh, no, no," Ted replied, seeming relieved for Mary's timeliness. "You weren't interrupting anything. I was just going to inform this lovely woman that she must have taken the wrong turn." He lied through his pearly teeth.
Roseanne shuffled through her papers and pulled one to the top of the stack. "Nope. I'm in the right place all right. You're the one who must've gotten lost in your good looks, Mister," she defended brashly.
Intrigued, Mary shook off the annoyance of the visitor's tone to notice Ted's guilty countenance. An exaggerated look of understanding crept over her face. "Here, let me see those directions," she said. The slender woman leaned over the visitor's shoulder, her eyes darting back and forth while she lipped the directions in silence. Looking up, she said, "You're in the right place all right."
"Great, someone who knows how to read." The visitor reclaimed her sheet of paper. "Now, where's that nice man who called me on the phone?" Her sweetened Bronx was accompanied by what was questionably called a smile.
With that, Ted succumbed to defeat in deflecting the applicant. He threw his chest out and smoothed the front of his suit with his hands. "Excuse me," he said in his self-inflated, manly tone, "I have lines to practice after I stop and get my – " he looked around and saw the cup in Mary's hand " – coffee," he finished. And he left his co-worker alone with the unpleasant woman.
"That's right, big boy," Roseanna burst out unexpectedly after him. "Go tell your momma she raised a sissy."
That would have been enough to have made everyone's jaws drop, but she continued. "Let me tell you something, preening in other people's office windows is disgusting. Do you think the person on the other side wants to see last night's spinach stuck between your teeth? Roseanne Roseannadanna says that if you took the time to brush your teeth in the morning, maybe you wouldn't feel the need to go around making other people see your putrefying vegetation. But no, you pick it out and get that little piece of muck stuck under your nails. Then you go around shaking people's hands, or drinking coffee, hoping you'll finally get to digest it." Roseanne made a sour face and wiped her hand off in her clothing. "Ew, people like that make me sick," she said.
Turning to a speechless Mary, Roseanne saw her coffee and went off on another tangent. "What is it with you coffee drinkers? I'll tell ya somethin'. I got a letter from a Mr. Richard Feder once. And he asked me what I thought of the coffee shops going up all over town. I told him that aside from that being a stupid question, I, Roseanne Roseannadanna agreed that he had a point. I mean where do they get the names for their drinks? Latte, Mocha, Cappuccino – it sounds like a foreign mug shot line up. And we're populating our cities with them."
A harried-looking Mary tried desperately to smile and recover her wit. She extended her free hand to shake, before the recant about the spinach made her shrink it back. Tucking it awkwardly under the arm she lowered her coffee mug out of sight. "I-I'm sorry. I'm Mary, and if you'll come with me, I'll show you to the station manager's office."
"Thank you, ma'am." Roseanne answered, clueless of Mary's disarray.
After a good half an hour passed, to everyone's surprise, the frizzy-haired woman and Lou emerged in laughter from Mr. Grant's office.
"So you'll be available to start immediately?"
"Absolutely, Mr. Grant. If there's one thing I believe in, it's punctuality," she stated, jabbing Lou's stomach with a firm finger. Much to the gathered crowd's amazement her gesture was met with joviality instead of a stern rebuke.
"Punctuality," Lou said, laughing. "I get it. Good one. We'll see you first thing in the morning then, Roseanne Roseannadanna."
"First thing," Roseanne echoed, walking backward, still pointing at Mr. Grant as thought they shared a secret connection.
When the woman left, Lou's smile faded. "Come out. I know you're all there listening."
To that four guilt-ridden faces appeared from around the coffee maker – Mary, Murray, Ted, and Gordy, the weatherman.
"Sorry," Mary began, lowering an un-sipped from cup of coffee.
But Grant waved her comment off. "I'm not interested in sniveling. I have an announcement to make to all of you, in case you couldn't hear the entire interview with your ears pressed to the glass." He paused to note their guilty looks, then proceeded. "We have ourselves a new team player. She'll begin immediately, and I expect you all to be supportive." He turned toward his office, and then spun around with a smile on his face from some hidden source of inspiration. "She's a little different, but she's got gumption and I think she's exactly what this station needs." His sternness returned. "So I don't want to hear any complaints. Understood?"
Everyone nodded in agreement, plastic smiles stuck to their faces. But as soon as their boss returned to his office and shut the door, their happy facades deflated to worry.
"A new anchorwoman," Murray broke the silence to speak for all of them.
"Look at the bright side, nobody's lost their job over this," Gordy responded.
"Then again, losing your job might be better than working with … that," Murray added, looking blankly toward the door Roseanne had exited.
"Well, I, for one, am not going to stand for this," Ted announced, squinting his eyes with resolve toward his boss's office. "If anyone gets let go around here, it won't be me," he countered self-assuredly.
Mary rolled her eyes at Ted's lack of concern over the rest of them.
"Don't be so sure about that," Murray played on Ted's nerves. "After Lou hears this morning's mangling of the Girl Scout parade, you may be the first one up on the block."
Ted's confidence wavered. Trying to save face, he straightened his tie and walked off in the opposite direction from the boss's office.
"Can you believe that?" Mary said.
"Oh, don't worry about him. Ted is Ted," Murray answered.
"No. I mean Mr. Grant," Mary corrected. "How can he do this to us? He never said a word about this to anyone." Mary's face became taut and upset. "That inconsiderate, heartless, …"
"Ahem, Mary," Murray cut her off.
She looked up to see Mr. Grant's office door swing open and Lou step out. "… nice, considerate man," she mindlessly finished, donning her plastic smile again.
"Mary," Lou grunted her name and motioned her into his office.
Murray put his hand on Mary's shoulder with a look of condolence.
The brunette's vibrant smile disappeared to be replaced by dread. "Oh, he can't be serious," she moaned and walked toward Lou's door.