Where Threads Come Loose
"Jules & K, Stanza III: Lunatic Fringe"

The Recording Script

• Written and directed by Christopher Bahn. Copyright 1996.
• Episode 9 of the radiodrama series Where Threads Come Loose (originally episode 15 of 1997 Edition)
• Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM, November 1994.

• Jules Hampton Sykes: Tony Pagel
• K, Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Christopher Bahn
• Dave the Normal Guy: Dan Grothe
• Floyd, Espresso Machine: Griffin Lund
• Leonard: Adam Pagel
• Cop: Paul Bernhardt
• Chorus of radicals: Everybody
Narrator: The scene is Cafe Pathetique, in Dinkytown, Minnesota. If you're looking for a place where the coffee is fresh, the clerks are friendly and the conversation is always witty and urbane... well, then keep looking. Because this place is the hangout of Jules and K, poets, aesthetes, and beret wearers, who are about to take a break from writing verse to find out what life is like when it's lived on the lunatic fringe.

Art by Dan Grothe & Christopher Bahn
SCENE I: Cafe Pathetique
The usual crowded-restaurant sound effects underneath pretty much the whole episode.

Jules: Hello, K. Can I sit down?

K: Don't bother me, Jules, I'm trying to get some good writing done!

Jules: For heavens sake, K, we could both be old men by that time.

K: No, no, just listen to this line I just wrote: "Oh oh baby, yeah yeah yeah."

Jules: It doesn't strike me as a very good poem, K.

K: Well, no, but there's so much potential there! I am convinced that if I work hard enough I can become a great artist!

Jules: Yes, well, don't give up your day job.

K: What are you talking about? I don't have a job. Work is for commoners!

Jules: Well, I know that! It was a metaphor. Good heavens, man, do you think I'd be able to spend all day here if I had something else to do? It's hard enough to make time for poetry when the only thing I have to worry about is my English classes. God forbid I should have to work for a living. At least, that's what my parents always say. (pause) Oh, look, here comes Dave.

K: Dave? He's not important. He doesn't even write poetry!

Jules: K, my boy, you're not looking at the big picture. There's room enough for all kinds of people in the world, even boring people like Dave. Besides, if we play our cards right we can get him to pay for our drinks.

K: Oh, good, I was going to get another latte but I'm just dead broke.

Jules: Me too. I can't figure out why I never have any money. My parents send me a check every month.

K: Maybe it's the self-help books.

Jules: Yes, I do go through a lot of those. But I can't stop myself! I need more!

Dave: Hello, Jules, Hello, K.

Jules: Dave, we need six dollars right now.

K: And some cigarettes.

Dave: No!

K: But Dave, we're your best friends!

Dave: You're not my best friends. You only say that when you need money from me.

K: Yes, because it always works.

Jules: You're still a wonderful human being despite that you aren't an artiste like me. And, um, you too of course, K.

K: And that ugly haircut you've got.

Jules: Yes, other than that you're a terrific person.

Dave: Gee, thanks for slumming with the unwashed.

Jules: Think nothing of it; it's noblesse oblige.

K: So fork over the dough.

Dave: Forget it. I'm not paying for your coffees.

Jules: Dave Dave Dave, whatever am I going to do with you? I even wrote an elegy in your honor.

Dave: Jules, an elegy is a poem you write in honor of someone who's dead.

Jules: (taken aback) It is?

Dave: Yes, Jules, it is.

Jules: What if I recited it in a very happy voice?

Dave: Not enough, Jules.

Jules: Ah, well. One small thing like that shouldn't ruin the tribute to you, Dave. Here, I'll read it for you. Ahem.

K: It's terrible.

Jules: I hadn't started yet.

K: Oh. Well, give me a signal when you do.

Jules: I'm starting now. "Dave, Dave, bulbous-nose Dave, your sweet tresses flow down your back in great locks of hair, like a great furry beast did cling to your spine —"

Dave: (interrupts poem) OK, OK, here's the money.

K: And the smokes?

Dave: Here. Just stop reading your poem.

Jules: Oh, so you don't like your elegy? The tribute I slaved at for hours! And I tried to make it rhyme, but wouldn't you know it, I just had the devil's own time finding a rhyme for Dave. Some gratitude. Well, listen mister, this poem may not rank among my great works, but consider who the subject matter was! Have you ever tried to write a poem about yourself? It's a real chore. You're boring, Dave.

Dave: Well, thanks for the poem, Jules. Weren't you going to go get coffee?

K: Yes, and don't forget my latte. Have him put extra whipped cream in it. Move along now, Gerald.

Jules: I told you never to call my by my real name in public!

K: Gerald Gerald Gerald. Are you going to get the coffee?

Jules: Alright, I'm going.

Dave: Do you mind if I sit here? The coffeeshop's pretty full. I don't think there are any other tables open.

K: Well, I can make room. Let me just push Jules' poetry onto the floor... (SFX: paper rustling) There. Make yourself at home.

Dave: I still can't understand why you and Jules always hang out together when you obviously dislike each other so much.

K: I simply feel sorry for him. He's a constant reminder of what I'd be like if I was as untalented as he is. And besides, ultimately we both share the same goal.

Dave: Artistic success.

K: No. We'd like to become famous enough to be friends with Morrissey one day. To do that we need to be great poets. I was just telling Jules, I'm convinced that if I work hard enough I can become a great artist!

Dave: Yes, well, don't give up your day job.

K: I don't have a job! I'm trying to become a well-respected artist! The question is, which one?

Dave: What do you mean, which one?

K: Well, today I tried to concentrate on becoming Michelangelo. I repainted the Sistine Chapel on my ceiling at home, but my perspective was off, so instead of God's hand touching Adam's hand, it ended up jammed in his left nostril.

Dave: Boy, that's too bad.

K: Yes, back to the drawing board.

Dave: Right, K. Where's Jules with those coffees? It's taking him a long time.

(pause, raise and lower music to show switch in perspective)

Jules: Give me a latte without whipped cream for K, and a water for Dave. Water's still free, right?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah. What do you want for yourself?

Jules: Well, that's a good question... Oh, what to drink, what to drink... I'm tired of latte, mocha's too sweet... hmmm....

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Look, pal, there's a line behind you. Hurry up and decide.

Jules: I'm thinking, my good man.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: We all know that could take hours. Try one of my new drinks if you're tired of the old ones.

Jules: New drinks? Oh, let's take a look. Say, they're all so expensive — they must be good. What's a "cafe laxativa"?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Coffee and prune juice, with whipped cream on top.

Jules: Sounds awful.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: It is.

Jules: Why is it five dollars a glass?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: To make up for losing customers. After a good strong cafe laxativa, a lot of people never come back to my coffeeshop again. I don't mind driving people away, it's the lost income I can't stand.

Jules: I see... Well, I think I'll pass on that one.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: If you drank one you certainly would.

Jules: No, I mean I don't want to drink one.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: You sure?

Jules: Yes.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Don't be hasty now.

Jules: Well, alright, change the order for K's latte to a laxativa.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: You won't regret this.

Jules: I'm sure. What's "direct espresso"?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Ah, it's this wonderful new invention of mine.

Jules: I'm not interested.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Did I say mine? I meant, it's the latest thing from New York's hippest cafes. Christian Slater gulps down direct espresso like it was water.

Jules: Really? Tell me about it!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I dunno... Are you hip enough?

Jules: Oh, I'm cutting edge, man.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I dunno.

Jules: Oh, I'm hip, man, really I am! I watch Beavis and Butthead every week even though half the jokes go over my head! Please! (pause) I'll tip you an extra dollar!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Well, OK. Here, you have to stick your head under the nozzle for the espresso machine.

Jules: Ouch! Hey, let go!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Do you want to be hip or not?

Jules: Yes! Yes, please make me hip!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Alright, open your mouth, and say Aah.

(SFX: Hiss of espresso machine)

Jules: (gurgling in pain as boiling espresso goes directly down his throat) Aaaaaah!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: There you go. Direct down the gullet. Heh heh heh.

Jules: So am I hip now?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Are you kidding? Not likely.

Jules: Perhaps I should patronize another coffeeshop, my good man.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: You sit your ass down and stop thinking anti-Establishment thoughts like that. I'll do all the patronizing around here.

Jules: Ah... Yes, I suppose you're better at it than most of the rest of us.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Tch. Insulting morons like you is a full-time job. So many idiots, so little time.

Jules: Yes... Well, thank you for the coffee, my good man. Now, back to the table... Why good heavens, look over there! It's my old friend Floyd! Floyd! Hello, how have you been? It's been years!

Floyd: Hey, man, I'll have the money in a few days. Just lay off.

Jules: I beg your pardon, I'm not looking for money.

Floyd: Oh. Well, go away then.

Jules: (trying to be friendly in the face of rudeness) I'm sorry, perhaps you don't remember me. We went to high school together.

Floyd: (confused) Oh, yeah, you were that fat kid nobody liked.

Jules: (tightly) Yes. That one.

Floyd: Your name was, um, Gerald, right? Gerald Jones.

Jules: Shhh! Er, that is, yes, but I've had my name legally changed to Jules Hampton Sykes.

Floyd: Why? What was wrong with Gerald Jones?

Jules: It was terribly prosaic. And don't say it so loud, I'd be a laughingstock if anyone knew my real name. Say, why don't you come and sit over at our table. I'd love a chance to chat.

Floyd: Whatever.

Jules: Dave, K, say hello to my old friend Floyd!

Dave: Hi, Floyd.

K: Where's the coffee, Jules?

Jules: Here, I got you a special new blend. It's called a cafe laxativa. Very, very hip over in France. And it comes with whipped cream!

K: (genuinely touched) Why... thank you, Jules. I'll never call you Gerald Jones again!

Jules: Think nothing of it, my good man. And a water for you, Dave.

Dave: Jules, I paid for the coffee, you could have at least picked somethng up for me.

Jules: Dave, I'm merely watching out for your wallet. Someone has to.

Dave: But —

Jules: Floyd, that's a very strange-looking goatee you have there.

Floyd: Yeah, I know. It's an exact duplicate of Trent Reznor's beard.

Jules: Oh... did he graduate with us?

Floyd: Duh! He's the guy from From Nine Inch Nails.

K: A hardware store?

Floyd: No, man, a band! They rock!

Dave: Floyd, you'll have to excuse Jules and K. They're pop-culturally maladaptive.

Floyd: Huh?

Dave: They're not very cool.

Floyd: Oh. Well, I knew that already.

Jules: Um, Floyd, about your beard... why is it so... stiff-looking?

Floyd: It's artificial, man. It's one of those new "press-on" goatees.

Jules: Not your own?

K: But it looks so real!

Floyd: I bought this beard at the drugstore. 12 ounces of previously worn human beard hair for only $23.99! Although the fine print on the back of the box says this is really just a "beard substitute."

Dave: It looks like plastic to me.

Floyd: (as if Dave had complimented him) Thanks, man. I really like the way this beard looks, it's so much glossier than real hair. Only I ran out of the glue that it comes with, so I'm using Elmer's Glue instead.

Jules: Veeery chic.

K: I'm going to go out tomorrow and buy two.

Dave: Why don't you just grow your own goatee?

Floyd: My beard grows out fine! What are you insinuating?

Dave: Nothing! I just don't know why you don't grow your own beard.

Floyd: Listen, smart boy... I've got your number, see? I don't need any lip from you.

Dave: What are you talking about?

Floyd: Alright, I admit it, man! I can't grow a beard. I let it go for three months once and it just looked like I hadn't washed my face. I tried everything. The Hair Club For Men rejected me. They said they only help people who are bald on top! The fascists! I tried magic markers, they didn't work. I looked for temporary tattoos, but they were all sold out, so I tried an iron-on decal of a mustache.

Dave: You ironed your face?

Floyd: I tried to. There wasn't a setting on the iron for human flesh, so I set it to cotton, and... well, it hurt a little but I went through physical therapy, and I'm OK now.

Jules: My good man, why don't you just go clean-shaven?

Floyd: Hey, man, get real. Beards are cool. I can get into bars with it.

Jules: (condescending) Oh, I see. You're a poseur.

Floyd: I am not a poseur! At least I didn't change my name — Gerald.

K: (snide) Ooh, he's got you there, Gerald.

Jules: Ooh! Don't call me that! Besides, your real name isn't K, it's Kevin! Kevin Anderson! You don't get much more boring than that!

K: How dare you call me by my name! I'll kill you, you pedantic doggerel enthusiast!

Jules: Ha! I've got more pure poetry in my little finger than you have in your little finger!

K: Why, you! That's a baldfaced lie!

Jules: Alright, big boy, throw down your beret and you and me will indulge in fisticuffs!

K: You and what army?

Floyd: Fisticuffs? What's that? You guys some kind of perverts?

Jules: It means I'm going to punch him, you fool.

Dave: Hey, hey, calm down! Stop fighting! Sit down, all of you, you're causing a scene.

Jules: Alright, alright.

Dave: Do you want me to have to call your parents again?

Jules: (stiffly) That won't be necessary, David. I can be civilized, if the others can't.

Dave: Play nice. Now, then... (pause) Floyd, your goatee fell off.

Floyd: It did? Oh, maaaaan! It always does this when I get excited. You know, I get hot and I sweat and the Elmer's glue doesn't stick as well.

Dave: Well, just leave it off.

Floyd: I can't. I have to have a goatee at least. Otherwise nobody invites me to parties. If I don't have that, I have to get my nose pierced, and Mom says she won't pay for it unless I clean out the garage.

Dave: It must be hard to be a real live grunge rocker.

Jules: (as if he's saying something very distasteful, like "job" or "K") Grunge. I don't understand this grunge stuff. I tried that Pearl Jam, and it tasted terrible!

K: Yes, and Smashing Pumpkins was no fun at all. I just got blisters from holding the sledgehammer, and those seeds got everywhere.

Floyd: Bah. You three are completely clueless.

Dave: Hey, I didn't say anything —

Floyd: Bah. You don't have a goatee. What do you know?

Dave: Why do I hang out with you people?

Jules: You're getting cultured, that's why.

Dave: I'm getting annoyed, is about all.

Floyd: Well, s'pose I should go to class.

K: Class? What for?

Floyd: I dunno. I just gotta. I haven't gone in a week, and I think the midterm's today.

Jules: Which class?

Floyd: History of Marxism 1001. We're studying the fascistic oppression of the working classes.

Jules: You're not serious!

K: The working classes? Who cares about them?

Jules: Yes, they're just little people.

Floyd: I know, but my prof, she says you have to worry about the masses, so I've been pretending to care.

K: So you're not getting much out of the class then?

Floyd: No, it's boring, man. When I read "Oppression of the poor" in the class schedule, I thought you'd learn how to actually oppress people.

K: And who wouldn't?

Jules: Yes, it's a practical skill you can use for a lifetime.

Floyd: Exactly. But that's not what it's about.

K: Well, there's the problem with a liberal arts degree.

Floyd: Right. Instead, it's all about people who made life better for humanity in general. Not very cool.

Dave: I don't think cool has much to do with it, Floyd.

Floyd: I'll say. Gandhi was pretty cool. He was the original straight-edge skinhead. But he would have been a lot more popular if he'd been a jammin' guitarist, like the Edge from U2. I mean, you can either be a spiritual leader and starve yourself for your beliefs, or you can become a really cool rock star. There comes a time when you just have to make a choice.

Dave: Whatever, Floyd. You're gonna be late for class.

Floyd: Right. I'll be back in an hour.

SCENE II: Cafe Pathetique

Floyd: I'm back from class! Here, Jules, take one of these books. Here's one for you, K, and one for you, Dave.

Jules: What is this?

Floyd: It's Chairman Mao's Little Red Book. It's a fount of pure wisdom.

Jules: Oh... um, thank you. Why are you handing these out?

Floyd: I've been radicalized!

Dave: What? Floyd, you go to a single lecture on the history of Marxism for ten minutes and you turn into a leftist?

K: Rush Limbaugh was right!

Floyd: I can't help it. It's the MTV.

Dave: Floyd, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Jules: Boy, your mom is gonna be pissed.

Floyd: Hey, it wasn't like I just snapped or something. I've been hassled by the Man before.

K: The Man? Which Man?

Floyd: The Man, man!

K: I'm sorry, but which man? Have I met him?

Floyd: The fuzz. The oppressor pigs. The Establishment's shock troopers.

Jules: Oh, I get it! K he's referring to the police.

K: You mean Sting's old band?

Floyd: Hey, man, get with the revolution! I mean the real police. Only last week, the cops busted into my house at three o'clock in the morning for no reason at all!

Jules: No kidding? What happened?

Floyd: I was minding my business, practicing my electric guitar, and they broke my door down! They broke three of my strings, too. And they took away my Rolling Rock.

Dave: Wait a minute —

K: That's awful! How dare they?

Floyd: Yeah, I know. I'd only been playing for a couple of hours. It wasn't like I was bothering anybody.

Dave: Well, yes, actually, you were. You had it cranked up all the way, on a Thursday.

Floyd: How would you know?

Dave: I was the one who called the cops on you. That's the fourth time I've had to do it, too. Why can't you get headphones?

Floyd: Hey, man, don't oppress me! It wasn't that loud.

Dave: The floor was vibrating enough to register on the Richter scale. And the cops were knocking for half an hour before you even heard they were there.

Floyd: Well, that's not my fault, is it?

Dave: One of them fired off a warning shot with his .45 right outside your door and you still didn't hear it.

Floyd: You see! That's exactly what I'm talking about! If we lived in a state of total anarchy, those cops wouldn't had fined me, because there wouldn't be any pigs to give out fines!

Dave: So you're saying that the fact that you've been repeatedly fined for ignoring the noise ordinances makes you an authority on police brutality and misuse of power?

Floyd: Hey, man, you're gonna be the first one aganst the wall when the revolution comes.

Dave: I'm just asking.

K: So when is this revolution of yours?

Floyd: Oh, in a couple of minutes. I'm waiting for Leonard to arrive with the spray paint. Oh, there he is!

Leonard: Hi, guys! Power to the people!

Floyd: Power to the people! Leonard and I have organized a sit-in strike here at Cafe Pathetique. We're going to sit in this coffeeshop and sip hot drinks until everybody stops being mean to poor people.

Jules: How altruistic of you.

Floyd: Well, the prof said we could get extra credit for it, too, so we decided it was a moral imperative.

Dave: How is anyone going to notice that you're having a sit-in strike?

Floyd: What do you mean?

Dave: Well, I mean, how is sitting here sipping hot drinks different from what you normally do here?

Floyd: Well, first of all, I've got this bomb!

(screams, general murmur of shocked surprise)

K: Where did you get a bomb so quickly?

Floyd: Oh, I already had it. I like to carry around a few grenades in case I get mugged. You can't trust the streets these days, there's no law and order anymore.

Leonard: We're going to hold you all hostage until oppression stops everywhere. And if we don't get it, we're going to start killing the people in nonsmoking. It's the price we have to pay for justice.

K: Can I join your revolution?

Jules: Oh, K. Activism is so yesterday. It's the '90s. Be apathetic.

K: No, I really want to change the world, or at least help turn over police cars.

Floyd: I dunno, man. You don't have a goatee.

K: But I've been hassled by men too!

Jules: That's "the Man," K.

K: Whatever. The cops arrested me once and put me in jail for three years. It was so hard to get a good night's sleep! The beds were all lumpy, and no room service.

Floyd: Uh huh. What were you in for?

K: I... uh... killed a guy.

Floyd: You're lying.

K: No, I'm not! ...well, alright, yes, I am. Was it that obvious?

Floyd: Duh.

K: Well, I had anarchist relatives.

Jules: Say, that's true. Your uncle Frank was a big-time terrorist back in the '60s.

K: He was the wildest man in the anarchist party. He used to get drunk on Molotov cocktails and purge his next-door neighbors.

Floyd: Wait. Did you say Molotov cocktails?

K: Yes.

Floyd: K, a Molotov cocktail is a kind of explosive.

K: I know. That's what killed him in the end. You know, it's awfully hard to hold your liquor when it's not liquor at all, but burning gasoline. He sure found that out the hard way!

Floyd: Dave, is that true?

Dave: It's probably exaggerated, but it's not hard to believe K's family members would be that stupid.

Floyd: Alright, K, you're in the club.

K: Thanks, Floyd! You won't regret this!

Leonard: This is wonderful, Frank! It's a mass outpouring of the people's will, and it's happening right here in the coffeeshop!

Jules: You can't have a mass outpouring with only three people.

Leonard: Got it covered. I brought along this package of Instant Leftists!

Jules: What's that?

Leonard: It's kind of like sea monkeys. You just add water, and poof!

Jules: I don't understand.

Leonard: Here, let me use Dave's glass of water.

Dave: Hey, I was drinking that!

(SFX: Splash, then some kind of "instant-growing" sound)

Radicals: Hell no, we won't go! Hell no, we won't go! Hell no, we won't go! (etc.)

Floyd: OK, everybody, calm down. Let's go up to the counter and present our demands.

K: Oh, and while you're there, could you get me another cafe laxativa?

Jules: Oh, you liked it, did you?

K: They're just scrumptious.

Jules: Goooood. This one's on me too then.

K: Why, thank you, Jules.

Jules: Don't mention it.

Floyd: Hey, can I get some service here?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: What? Oh, gawd, another customer. Why can't you people just leave me alone?

Floyd: Silence, oppressor pig! We're taking over this cafe.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: You can't do that!

Floyd: Yes, we can! This is a people's coffeeshop! Except for those people in nonsmoking.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Listen, buddy, I sling the java around here. I can't letyou guys have control. Next thing you know, there might be communism! Free love! We'll all be listening to gansta rap!

Floyd: Jeez, you're right. I hadn't thought of that. Sorry, man.

Leonard: Floyd, stick to your principles! We're ushering in a new era of peace!

Floyd: But he said —

Leonard: He's a tool of the man! He's trying to trick you!

Floyd: He is?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Damn, you found me out.

Floyd: Alright, I change my mind.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: (resigned sigh) Darn this uncontrolled spread of liberalism. Alright, what are your demands?

Floyd: First give me a refill on K's cafe laxativa.

(SFX: Hiss of espresso maker)

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: That'll be three bucks.

Floyd: Capitalist swine!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: OK, $2.75.

Floyd: Alright, that's fair.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Do you have any other demands, or were you just gonna hang out?

Floyd: We demand the complete abolition of the monarchy! No more kings!

Radicals: No more kings! No more kings! No more kings! (etc.)

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: (shouts them down) Wait a minute! Be quiet! Hold on! We don't have any kings here. America isn't a monarchy.

Floyd: It isn't?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: No.

Floyd: Leonard, I thought you said —

Leonard: No, Floyd.

Floyd: Well, maybe reforming the political system is too ambitious for just one demonstration. But we can't just take over this coffeeshop and not have any demands! We'd look foolish!

Leonard: Well, I dunno... What's a good thing to protest for?

(silence for a few seconds)

Jules: Better TV.

K: Snacks.

Floyd: Rolling Rock.

Dave: What about peace?

Floyd: Sure, what the hell. We demand peace, and free beer!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I'll make a call to the U.N.

K: Floyd, is this struggle for social justice going to take long?

Floyd: It could take years. Why?

K: Well, I have to call my father and tell him I'll be late for dinner.

Floyd: Oh. Well, go ahead.

K: Dave, I need a quarter.

Dave: (resigned) Here.

(SFX: dialing, ringing, pickup)

Father: (phone noise over voice) Yes?

K: Father, I'm going to be a little late coming home tonight.

Father: What? Do you know how long it took me to heat up those microwave burritos for supper? Hours! Since we don't have a microwave, I had to use a cigarette lighter, and I kept burning my fingers.

K: I keep telling you not to buy those burritos anymore, father. Anyway, it's not my fault I'll be late. It's Bill Clinton's. I've joined a group of left-wing radicals, and we're going to hang out at the coffeeshop until everybody's nice to everybody else.

Father: What? K, let me talk to your leader. I can't believe you crazy kids...

K: Floyd, he wants to talk to you!

Floyd: OK, man. Hello?

Father: Listen, punk, I understand you've convinced my son to help destroy the moral framework of America by agitating for peace.

Floyd: And free Rolling Rock.

Father: You nutty left-wingers! You should have held out for Miller High Life. Let me talk to K again.

K: Ye, father?

Father: Nothing, son. Just get home before dark or I'll have you disowned. And all your friends, too. Love you, son.

K: Love you too, dad. (SFX: Hang-up, dialtone)

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: (loudly) Well, I'd better go in the back room and grind some more coffee. Say, Dave, why don't you come give me a hand?

Dave: What do you want me for? I don't work here.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Ixnay! ollow-fay e-may, I ave-hay an an-play.

Jules: Uh-oh, pig Latin! He's up to something sneaky. You'd better do as he says, Dave.

Dave: Alright, alright... (SFX: music & crowd noise dims) What do you want?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I've got a plan to stop them, Dave. We cannot allow Cafe Pathetique to fall into enemy hands. Are you with me?

Dave: With you in what?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: If I don't control this shop, then it must be destroyed. But I need your help to do it.

Dave: What are you talking about?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I'm going to set the automatic self-destruct device. That will give us five minutes of artificially heightened tension to resolve the situation before everything in the shop blows sky-high.

Dave: That's a stupid idea.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Hey, it works on Star Trek.

Dave: That's true. How do we do it?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Well, I flip this switch on the espresso machine (SFX: Loud ka-chunk) and we're in business.

Espresso machine: Please enter your command.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Set automated destruct sequence, authorization Pagel Omega Three.

EM: Does the first officer concur?

Dave: Who —

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: That's you.

Dave: Oh. Um, yes. Set destruct sequence.

EM: Destruct sequence now initiated. You now have five minutes of extra dramatic tension.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Alright, let's go back out. (SFX: music & ambience fade back up)

Jules: Dave, thank heavens you're back! The police have arrived.

Cop: (on megaphone outside window, continuing under the next few lines) This is the police! Come out with your hands up! We have you surrounded! Leave now and nobody important will get hurt! Please? C'mon... I'm heading over to the donut shop now, I'll be back at the end of the episode.

K: I think I'd like to leave now.

Floyd: We can't leave! Remember what Thomas Paine said! "We must all hang together or we will assuredly all hang separately!"

K: That doesn't have anything to do with being surrounded by policemen!

Floyd: Yes it does. It means we must all be willing to die to move the revolution forward.

K: What?! I didn't know that! I thought it just meant we were supposed to hang out as a group and do things together socially, so we'd all be good friends.

Leonard: You coward running dog!

K: I'm too young to die! I've got so much left to do!

Jules: Indeed. You could spend the next twenty years just writing one decent haiku.

K: You bloated pragmatist! I'll — oh, my.

Jules: What's wrong?

K: Jules, what was in those cafe laxativas?

Jules: Oh... nothing. Why?

K: I'll be right back.

(SFX: Music sting)

Narrator: Due to an unexplainable bout of good taste and restraint, we at Where Threads Come Loose are not going to push the cafe laxativa joke any further. However, so that those of you listening at home may get full enjoyment out of this gag, we now present a few moments of silence so that you can imagine the likely consequences of drinking several large glasses of laxative. (pause) We now return you to the regular storyline, already in progress.

(SFX: Music sting)

Jules: K, back so soon? You've lost weight.

K: Shut up, Gerald.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Hey, you guys are gonna have to leave.

Floyd: Leave? We can't leave. The cops have the place surrounded.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I don't care. Cafe Pathetique closes at eight o'clock, and it's 7:59.

Leader: But we're holding you hostage! You can't close the shop!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I told you, I don't care. My cheap boss won't pay me time-and-a-half for overtime work, so I'm not sticking around here one second longer than I have to.

Leader: No overtime pay?! He's exploiting the masses!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Right. So you'll understand, then, that I've got to kick you guys out. You'll be doing the dirty work of the Establishment otherwise.

Leonard: He's got a point there, Floyd.

Floyd: The devious Establishment! We can't escape it! Even sitting in a coffeeshop, it bends us to its nefarious will!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah, that's about the long and short of it, pal. Now scram. I gotta sweep up.

Floyd: Alright, alright, we're going. Leonard, let's go down to the railroad tracks and pretend to be homeless.

Leonard: Cool.

K: Hey, what about the instant radicals?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: I can fix them. Watch this. (pause) Hey, look, it's the Grateful Dead! They're driving down 15th street! You'd better go follow them!

(SFX: Wild cheering and the Radicals run away)

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Heh. Works every time.

Jules: Well, thank goodness that's over. K aren't you ashamed of yourself for trying to make the world a better place?

K: Yes, I don't know what I was thinking. Let's just stick to poetry.

Jules: Yes, life is so much easier writing odes to the terrible existential angst that plagues our society these days.

K: Hey, that was going to ber the subject of my next poem! You stole it!

Jules: I did not!

K: Did too!

Dave: Calm down. Nobody stole anything. You guys always write about existential angst.

Jules: That's true, it is our metier.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: What are you guys still doing here? I told you we're closed.

Dave: I thought that was just a ruse to get rid of Floyd and Leonard.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: It was, but why stop when you're on a roll? I can't stand you people either.

Jules: Well, it is almost time for F-Troop.

Espresso machine: Five minute countdown has elapsed. This coffeeshop will self-destruct in fifteen seconds.

Jules: What was that?

Dave: The espresso maker? We never shut off the auto-destruct!

Jules: I didn't know espresso machine had auto-destruction capabilities.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: It's from Taiwan.

Dave: Can we defuse them?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: There's no time for that. The episode's running long.

Jules: So we're going to be blown to smithereens?

K: Boy, Sylvia Plath has nothing on this.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: It's just a sound effect, don't get melodramatic.

K: Well, if I'm going to die I'm going to go out reading my poetry.

Jules: Yes, I have a poem right here reserved for just such an emergency.

Dave: Oh, please, no.

Jules: Over the teeth like a couple of Tums, look out God, here I comes.

K: I die, I die, my heart and intestines will fry.

Dave: Please, make it stop!

Espresso machine: Explosives activated.

(SFX: Large explosion)

Dave: (underneath explosive SFX) Thank yooooooou...