Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 3)

A Scene From: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 3)
By Jeffery Self

Previously on Designing Women click here for Part 1 and Part 2

The Sugarbaker living room. Later that week. Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts) is midway into telling Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) a story.

MARY JO:
So I come down the stairs and there’s my little Quentin standing there with cereal all over the floor and STILL in his pajamas and I don’t know how it I happened, I just sorta snapped…. I picked up the TV and hurled it across the room. I wasn’t throwing it AT him per say…. I knew it wasn’t going to knock him over, I just wanted to shake him up.

JULIA:
And did it?

MARY JO:
Oh yea. He and his sister wanna stay with their Daddy for a while which is FINE BY ME. Its like they say…. sometimes it takes throwing a TV at a six year old boy to get a couple days to yourself.

The phone rings. Julia eagerly rushes over to answer it.

JULIA:
Hello?! Oh. Hey Suzanne….. No. I’m happy to hear from you, I was just hoping it’d be Charlene. No….. I like you too but there’s something I need to apologize to Charlene about….. Yes. I know that you’re terribly interesting and likable…. You’re doing what? Engaged? Suzanne, who have you met in the process of one week that you’re gonna marry?…. Uh huh….. Sure, we’d love to meet him. See ya then.

She hangs up.

MARY JO:
Suzanne is getting married?

JULIA:
Apparently. But you know Suzanne she’ll probably have changed her mind by the time she gets here and announce that she’s moving to the Middle East and becoming Saudi Arabia’s version of Barbara Walters. I just wish Charlene would call me back. I really want to talk to her before she goes through with all this.

MARY JO:
I can’t imagine spending my life’s savings on a son I’ve never met… then again, I threw a television at my son who I HAVE met so I guess I’m not the best judge of character. (Massaging her lower back) Or the weight of TV sets. I think I might have pulled something.

The doorbell rings

JULIA:
I just wish we could get a little more information on this alleged Mark Frazier.

She opens the door. There is a mousy middle aged woman outside, Karen.

KAREN:
Hi. I have some information about a Mark Frazier that might interest you.

MARY JO:
(Rushing over to the door)

Wow! Julia! Way to go. Its like magic! Try me. I wish we could find out who really shot JFK!

She closes the door and reopens it. It’s still Karen. A bit confused.

MARY JO:
Damn.

JULIA:
Sorry. Do come in…..

KAREN:
Do you all know a Mark Frazier?

JULIA:
Yes. He’s-

KAREN:
Your fiancee?

MARY JO:
No. He’s our friend Charlene’s estranged son.

KAREN:
Uh huh. This is going to sound a little bogus but…. the man you met, Mark Frazier, is not Mark Frazier.

MARY JO:
What?

KAREN:
The man you know as Mark Frazier is a con man. He’s been making his way throughout the southeast for over six years. Conning women into thinking he’s their estranged son…. or in my case in love with them.

MARY JO:
You were in love with Mark Frazier?

KAREN:
No. I was in love with Ron Hartfield. I met him at an AA meeting….. I’m sober now by the way. Completely. Unless you had a little somethin’ somethin’ you wanted to offer. And as long as you promised to keep it just between us girls. Haha. Do you? No? Okay. Thats totally fine. I met Ron at the meeting. He was handsome, charming, supportive and we started seeing each other. Going out for cups of coffee at the meeting. Stuff like that. It had been a while since I…. y’know…. put myself out there. A few years back I’d gotten a divorce and sold my business.

MARY JO:
What kind of business?

KAREN:
Sony.

JULIA:
As in?

KAREN:
As in Sony. It was a family inheritance thing but talk about a drag…. getting up, going to work, talking about crap I don’t care about. So yea. I sold that. And my husband had left me for our housekeeper, Keith. By the time I had gotten myself to an AA meeting which…. not gonna lie, was a police order…. I didn’t expect to meet somebody that made me feel as good as Ron made me feel.

MARY JO:
So what happened?

KAREN:
Oh. Same old story you’ve heard before. We got married, he disappeared one day, and took all my Sony and my ‘Gunsmoke’ money with him.

MARY JO:
Gunsmoke?

KAREN:
Yea. I did a couple episodes in the seventies. I played a novice who knew something she wasn’t supposed to. The only acting I’ve ever done actually. Ha. I think I was pretty good but who can say really?

JULIA:
So what you’re telling us is that you think Ron Hartsfield is Mark Frazier?

KAREN:
I’m sure of it. I’ve watched him come and go from this house for the past week.

JULIA:
You’ve been watching our house?

KAREN:
I don’t have ANYTHING going on right now. I literally re-read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ four times last month because I was so bored. Boooooring. The fourth time I tried reading it backwards. Even worse.

MARY JO:
Julia! We’ve got to talk to Charlene before she gives him that twelve thousand dollars!

The door opens. Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart) enters and goes straight to her desk.

MARY JO:
Wow! This door thing really does work!

JULIA:
Charlene-

CHARLENE:
Julia. I don’t have anything to say to you right now.

JULIA:
Charlene, there is someone you need to meet-

CHARLENE:
(Loading some things out of her desk)

I’m just picking up some things to take to the bank.

JULIA:
Charlene. This is Karen she-

CHARLENE:
Nice to meet you Karen, I’ve got to be going-

JULIA:
She’s here to prove to you that Mark isn’t your son.

Charlene stops.

KAREN:
Its true. My name is Karen and I’m…. well, Mark Frazier…. who I know as Ron Hartfield married me and stole everything I had.

CHARLENE:
Excuse me?

KAREN:
He’s not who he says he is. After what he did to me I became obsessed with trying to track him down and I did, in six different states in the course of two years. He targets women like us…. women of a certain age who might be eager for that kind of company. Whether its as a son or a husband or a friend…. he finds us and wipes us out then disappears.

CHARLENE:
Did Julia put you up to this?

KAREN:
No. I did. I don’t have a lot going on now that I’m sober and unemployed.

CHARLENE:
I don’t know what to say…..

KAREN:
You could say…. ‘I’ll buy you a drink!’…. haha…. I AM KIDDING!

JULIA:
You don’t have to say anything.

CHARLENE:
I really thought my baby had found me.

JULIA:
I know and maybe we can help you find the real Mark Frazier somewhere but for now we need to get this Mark, Ron, whatever his name is before its too late.

The front door opens again. Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) enters dragging Mark behind her.

MARY JO:
Wow! This is freaking magic!

SUZANNE:
(Still dragging him in)
Come on! Don’t be shy. Girls! This is my fiancée Paul!

Mark tries to run and Julia grabs him.

JULIA:
Stop it right there!

SUZANNE:
Julia!

JULIA:
Listen to me Mr. Mark Frazier, Ron Hartsfield, Dean Martin whatever the sam hill you’re calling yourself right now. I don’t know what you’ve got going on in that head of yours thats made you think you can run around doing what you’ve been doing to the women of the south but you’ve barked up the wrong magnolia tree!

SUZANNE:
Julia. What are you-

JULIA:
There are a lot of things I’d like to see done to you, young man. Many of which I’m too much of a lady to mention. But listen here and listen well… the women you see before you are Sugarbakers, one way or another, and when you mess with a Sugarbaker, you mess with me and when you mess with me you will NEVER and I repeat never think of women like Charlene or Suzanne or Karen as your own personal pawns in your sick game of thievery again…. you will bow down, with the afternoon sun in your face, you will look up at the mosquitos and spanish moss in that great Magnolia tree in our front yard, you will kiss the sweet Georgia clay beneath our feet, and rue the day you ever brought your lousy, pathetic self to the great streets of Atlanta!

The doors burst open, the police enter, arresting Mark. Julia walks away from Mark. She gives Charlene a big hug and shakes Karen’s hand as they all watch Mark be carried away. Suzanne, in a huff, storms over to Julia.

SUZANNE:
Well! You’ve done it again. You just can’t let me have ANYTHING, can you?!

Suzanne storms out. Julia, Charlene, Mary Jo, and Karen laugh.

The end.

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One Comment on “Sitcom Fan Fiction: DESIGNING WOMEN (Part 3)”

  1. Robert English Says:

    That was a perfect Julia rant. As good as anything on the original series, cept maybe the night the lights went out in georgia. Great writing.


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