Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 2)


A Scene from: DESIGNING WOMEN
By Jeffery Self

Previously on ‘Designing Women’ or CLICK HERE to read PART 1

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.

CUT TO: Later in the scene

CHARLENE:
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.

CUT TO: Later in the scene

JULIA:
Maybe 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!

CUT TO: Later, calling Lou

CHARLENE:
No answer.

MARY JOE:
Y’all. This is sorta scary.

The doorbell rings.

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

NEW EPISODE BEGINS HERE

We return from commercial to the Sugarbaker house/interior design office. A few days have passed. Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter), Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart), and Mary Joe Shivley (Annie Potts) are returning from Suzanne Sugarbaker’s (Delta Burke) funeral in nineteen eighties black lady garments. They’re all very quiet and go to their respective desks, sit, and stare off in the distance for a while.

CHARLENE:
Well, it was a beautiful service.

MARY JOE:
Sure was. Its hard to believe Suzanne touched the lives of so many people.

CHARLENE:
I know. When the entire Atlanta Braves walked in, I almost fell out of my seat!

MARY JOE:
The Atlanta Braves, sure. How about when Ted Turner got up and sang ‘Amazing Grace’!

CHARLENE:
Mmmmm. You’re right. I’ll never forget that until the day that I die. Oh! That sounded weird on a day like today. I’m sorry Julia.

MARY JOE:
Julia, honey? How are you feeling?

JULIA:
(Blank and dazed)
I don’t know. I guess I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing.

CHARLENE:
Well of course you are honey.

MARY JOE:
Julia. Just take your time.

JULIA:
Its the whole mystery of the thing. How does somebody just drop down dead in the shoe department at Nieman Marcus?

CHARLENE:
(Looking at her shoes which are really worn out, as if to say: I need to buy new shoes)

Makes ya think doesn’t it?

JULIA:
(Getting up and going upstairs)

What I need is a nice long hot bath.

MARY JOE:
Good idea, Julia!

The doorbell rings. Charlene goes to answer it. It is Lou Stegall, the British Kenny Rogers impersonator Suzanne had been dating before she died. He is dressed in full on Kenny Rogers get up.

CHARLENE:
Mr. Stegall.

LOU:
(With a really thick British accent)

Hello darlings. Is Julia in?

JULIA:
I’m here Lou.

LOU:
Julia. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to speak to you at the funeral…. I was in the lobby warming up before I sang ‘Islands in a Stream’ above Suzanne’s casket.

CHARLENE:
Which was a wonderful touch, by the way.

LOU:
Thanks. It wasn’t too pitchy was it?

CHARLENE:
I didn’t think so. But I can’t sing. What did you think Mary Joe?

MARY JOE:
I wouldn’t say pitchy, no. I don’t know if its nessecarily the right song for you…. do you ever do ‘The Gambler’? That seems like more your kinda thing.

CHARLENE:
Oh! I love that song! (Singing) ‘Said, if you’re gonna play the game boy…. you gotta play it right!’

MARY JOE:
You can too sing, Charlene!

CHARLENE:
Aw. Ya think so?

LOU:
Definitely!

JULIA:
(Interupting)

Mr. Stegall, is there something that you wanted?

LOU:
Uh. Yes. My apologies, Julia. I wanted to talk about something that might be a bit…. controversial.

CHARLENE:
I KNOW! There had to be more than one shooter on the grassy knoll! One man shoots Kennedy himself with all the world watching?! ITS A FUCKING CONSPIRACY! (She rips open her blouse) LETS TAKE DOWN THE SYSTEM ONE MAN AT A TIME!!!!!!

LOU:
Uh. That’s not what I was going to say.

CHARLENE:
(Sheepishly covering her chest up)

Oh. Of course not. I don’t actually believe in any sort of conspiracy theories regarding JFK. (Beat) I don’t. (She purposely knocks over a cup of pencils) I’m gonna be over here cleaning these up.

Charlene moves away.

LOU:
Look. Julia. I might just be the Southeast’s most famous British Kenny Rogers impersonator but….. I have a hunch. And….. that’s…. well, that Suzanne Sugarbaker isn’t dead.

CHARLENE:
WHAT?!

LOU:
Hear me out. She left her house at nine AM on Tuesday, and called me at nine thirty. She told me she was on her way here and at ten AM she dropped dead in the shoe department at Neiman Marcus. Doesn’t that all sound a little strange?

MARY JOE:
A lot of things sounds strange with your British accent. Especially Kenny Rogers songs.

LOU:
I’m just saying. Nobody saw the body in that casket, and the only person who saw her after she died was Atlanta’s coroner.

MARY JOE:
So what? You think Suzanne got the coroner to fake her death? Why would a respected city official do a thing like that?

LOU:
Apparently you don’t know Joe Hapeville.

MARY JOE:
Who’s that?

LOU:
Atlanta’s coroner. And the biggest sex addict from here to Texas.

MARY JOE:
Whats in Texas?

LOU:
His brother, Ed Hapeville. He’s even worse than Joe.

MARY JOE:
Meaning?

LOU:
Meaning…. at least Joe puts on underwear to go to work.

MARY JOE:
Ew.

LOU:
Look. I love Suzanne Sugarbaker and if this is true I just want to know the truth. She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. She’s the love of my life. We’re meant to be together…. as I stated at the funeral, we’re islands in a stream. That IS what we are….. I just want to know if she’s alive. Is that so much, Julia?

Julia hasn’t, in case you didn’t notice, said a word for the past few minutes. She’s just been standing…. stewing in her reactions to this news. She has that look in her eyes. That crazy eyes look where you know she’s about to do something nutty like scream or bite the head off a small Native American child then spit it out into her coffee. She looks Lou up and down and then directly into his eyes.

JULIA:
(Calmly but building into a classic Julia Sugarbaker rant)

Mr. Stegall. I don’t know what brought you to Atlanta or to the great south or to the United States of America but I know this…. when I had to walk up to that shivy, ivory coffin today and tell my baby sister goodbye in front of all of Atlanta…. I knew that would be the last time I had to do it. Do you know how hard that was? No. You don’t.

But now, to have Prince Charles in a Kenny Rogers get up barge into my living room…. my place of business…. and try to tell me that my sister, the most beautiful woman in ALL of the south has faked her death with the help of a nymphomaniac city official. My first impulse is to grab your tea sipping, croquet playing, God Save the Queen dandy neck and THROW you out like a catfish into the Chattahoochee River!

(Now she’s really cooking)

And if you EVER come back here MR. STEGALL then I have every intention of doing with you what my Daddy did with catfish. And it should be noted, MISSSSS-TER STEEEEE-GALL that my Daddy didn’t throw catfish back into the Chattahooche…. he took a nail and hammer and MOUNTED THEM TO- HIS- WALLLLLLL!!!!! (Calm again) Do I make myself clear, Mr. Stegall?

LOU:
(With his tail tucked between his Kenny Rogers impersonating legs)

Uh. Yes. I am sorry Julia. I just…. was…. concerned. I’ll let myself out.

JULIA:
(Slowly with venom)

Tooooo-Dle- Loooooo, Govenor!!

She slams the door. The audience errupts into applause the way they always cheer when Julia Sugarbaker verbally attacks somebody. It’s a weird tradition, isn’t it?

MARY JOE:
Can you believe that?

CHARLENE:
Just walking in here like that-

MARY JOE:
With the craziest thing I’ve-

JULIA:
I am going to take that bath now.

MARY JOE:
Alright. Julia. Thats a good idea.

Julia exits upstairs. After a moment.

CHARLENE:
Do you think he might be right?

MARY JOE:
Right?

CHARLENE:
Do you think Suzanne might not be dead?

MARY JOE:
Oh come on, Charlene. You sound crazier than you did when you called in that bomb threat after Melanie Griffith lost the Oscar for ‘Working Girl’.

CHARLENE:
Hey! Comedic performances are ALWAYS over looked at the Academy Awards and something has GOT TO BE DONE ABOUT IT!

MARY JOE:
Lets just put that whole Lou Stegall thing behind us. I don’t want to upset Julia anymore than she already is.

CHARLENE:
You’re right.

Mary Joe turns on the television as she and Charlene sit down on the sofa. We hear the newscaster.

NEWSCASTER:
And a breaking story out of Atlanta, City coroner and noted sex offender, Joe Hapeville confesses to aiding local interior decorator and woman about town, Suzanne Sugarbaker in faking her own death.

Mary Joe and Charlene look at each other.

MARY JOE:
Oh my God!!

CHARLENE:
Maybe there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll after all!!!!!!

TO BE CONTINUED

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2 Comments on “Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 2)”


  1. […] post: Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 2) « Jeffery Self's Blog Tags: america, been-having, brought-you, calmly, great, house-after, ivory-coffin, julia, […]

  2. Anne Arky Says:

    Quick question….why did they wear the garments of black ladies to the funeral? Interesting choice.


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