Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 1)


A Scene from: DESIGNING WOMEN
By Jeffery Self


The camera pans into the Sugarbaker House/interior design office. It’s morning and Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart) is already at her desk on the phone. Mary Joe Shively (Annie Potts) is making coffee in the kitchen.

CHARLENE:
(Speaking into the phone)

I understand Mr. Henderson….. yes, I understand that too Mr. Henderson…. yes Mr. Henderson…. yes I know that Mr. Henderson…. understood Mr. Henderson…. well, like it or not Mr. Henderson we can’t use dirty diapers as wall paper. I’m sorry. Have a good day.

She hangs up

CHARLENE:
Goodness! The questions these people call and ask.

MARY JOE:
You don’t have to tell me. Just last week I had a guy call and ask me if we ever decorated prison cells! He wanted to do it for his mother!

Charlene and Mary Joe share a good hearty pre-ten AM laugh (those are rare in your office, aren’t they?)

CHARLENE:
(Coming off of her hearty laugh and becoming somber)

My Aunt Regina is prison. She’s gonna be there for the rest of her life. Isn’t that weird to think about?

MARY JOE:
(Horrified)

Oh my God. I’m so sorry Charlene. What did she do?

CHARLENE:
(Solemn)

It’s not what she did. It’s what she didn’t do.

She bursts into her usual infectious laugh.

CHARLENE:
I’m kidding!

Mary Joe is relieved, Charlene laughs then becomes very serious again:

CHARLENE:
She shot her parents in their nursing home because she said they were too much of a buzz kill.

Mary Joe is horrified. Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) comes down the stairs.

JULIA:
Morning ladies. Sorry I’m running a little behind today. I had some bad shrimp at dinner last night. So I guess you could say I’m not running a little behind but that my little behind is running.

Julia winks at Mary Joe who continues to stay horrified at Charlene’s last comment and now at Julia. Sick Broads. That ought to be the name of this show.

JULIA:
Has Suzanne arrived yet?

CHARLENE:
Please. Has Suzanne ever gotten here this early?

JULIA:
Well, she made a big point that she was going to turn over a new leaf today.

CHARLENE:
Oh please. The only thing Suzanne turns over is herself!

They all laugh.

MARY JOE:
Yea. Every man south of the Mason Dixon line between the ages of twenty five and forty has turned Suzanne over!

They all laugh ever harder.

JULIA:
Don’t be so flattering, Mary Joe. I’d say between the ages of twenty five and sixty!

They all laugh some more. This is an upbeat office setting.

JULIA:
Well. She said she’d be in by nine.

CHARLENE:
Well you know Suzanne and time. She was late to her own surprise party.

MARY JOE:
Well, its almost ten now.

JULIA:
I know that. There’s a clock in my bathroom. And a TV. Thank God. Did you know they show old episodes of ‘The Honeymooners’ on Channel twelve starting at four AM. This food poisioning business is brutal but when I was laying on those cold bathroom tiles this morning, and I heard Jackie Gleason shout ‘To the moon Alice’ well…. for just a split second I felt thankful to have been stuck to the toilet for eight hours.

CHARLENE:
Geez. I hope she’s alright.

JULIA:
Who? Alice? No. He never ACTUALLY hits her…. thats the whole joke-

CHARLENE:
No-

JULIA:
Oh. My toilet? No. My toilet is definitely used to being used if you catch my drift.

She winks and sticks her tongue in her cheek.

CHARLENE:
No! Suzanne. I hope she’s okay. I mean…. if she said she was gonna be here by nine and its been an hour….. I’m gonna call her at home.

She dials the phone.

CHARLENE:
(Talking into phone)

Hello?….Conseula? It’s Charlene…. CHARLENE…. at Sugarbaker’s….. I work with Suzanne…. SUZANNE…. your boss…. the woman who PAYS you! Yes. Yes. The She Bitch.

Mary Joe and Charlene exchange a smile. It says: they love that the maid calls Suzanne a bitch and that they also love hispanic stereotypes on TV. Who doesn’t?

CHARLENE:
(Still on phone)

So I’m calling to see if Suzanne is home? She did? What time? Two hours ago? Did she say where was going? Okay. Thanks Conseula. I’ll tell her.

She hangs up.

CHARLENE:
Conseula said Suzanne left to come here two hours ago. Oh, and she wanted me to tell you, Julia, that your entire family is made up of ‘tyrants’.

Julia shrugs. Its nothing she can deny.

MARY JOE:
Two hours is a long time, y’all. It only takes Suzanne ten minutes to get over here. Where do you suppose she might be?

JULIA:
If I know Suzanne, she just might have stopped into the mall and is the midst of maxing out one of her credit cards. Or she went over to Lou Stegall’s house after his wife left-

MARY JOE:
Who’s Lou Stegall?

CHARLENE:
He’s the new man Suzanne’s been having an affair with. He’s a Kenny Rogers impersonator but he’s got a British accent! Its a HOOT!

MARY JOE:
Does anybody have his phone number?

CHARLENE:
I bet it’s in one of these phone books I’m always holding onto.

We look down and realize that Charlene has been holding an enormous stack of phone books since the beginning of the scene, nay…. beginning of the entire series. It’s always been there but we never noticed. Like ‘Monk’. Have you ever watched that show? I haven’t. Charlene finds his phone number. She calls him. Then hangs up.

CHARLENE:
No answer.

MARY JOE:
Y’all. This is sorta scary.

CHARLENE:
Mary Joe’s right. Two hours is a long time to be missing. Should we call the police? I don’t need a phone book for that number!

JULIA:
No. They won’t do anything this soon. Lets not overreact just yet. How about I go drive around and make sure her car isn’t broken down on Peachtree Boulevard or something.

MARY JOE:
Good idea. I’ll come with you and Charlene you stay here in case she shows up.

JULIA:
I’ll get my keys!

Julia goes upstairs to get her keys, as she’s making her way up, she waves her hand in front of her face.

JULIA:
(Calling down)

Good God! Use the downstairs bathroom today, ladies!

The doorbell rings. Charlene runs to answer it. It’s a Policeman.

POLICEMAN:
Are you Julia Sugarbaker?

JULIA:
(Coming back down the stairs)

That would be me, officer.

POLICEMAN:
I’m sorry to tell you this but your sister…. Suzanne Sugarbaker is dead.

All three woman gasp.

TO BE CONTINUED

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One Comment on “Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 1)”

  1. Serg Says:

    Absolutely love it and can’t wait for the next scene.


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