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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The Most Valuable Employee

Cheerio, hombres. As promised and/or threatened yesterday, here’s a script for a sketch about a man after my own heart — useless in the office, and yet indispensable to the company. All thanks to a huge aluminum shaft and a fondness for leather.

Uh… that may have come out wrong. Probably, you should just read it. And try not to think of that “huge shaft” business.

(Of course, if this ever gets made as a SketchBalls bit, there’s a good chance it’ll include one. So there’s that to look forward to, maybe. Or not.)

Anyway, here go:

.461

[MR. DANIELS, in suit and tie, sits behind a large office desk; NANCY sits beside him, reviewing a file folder. Both are very serious.

VINCE stands inside the office doorway, chewing gum and looking bored. His shirt is untucked, and tie sloppily loosened.]

MR. DANIELS: Yes, Vince. Have a seat.

[Vince flops into a chair across from Daniels and puts his feet up on the desk. He’s completely disinterested in the conversation, blowing bubbles, texting on his phone and playing with items on the desk.]

MR. DANIELS: Vince, I think you know what this is about. We’re here to discuss your performance. Or frankly, the lack thereof. This is Nancy, from Human Resources. She’ll be handling your… ‘processing’ when we’re done.

[Vince points at Nancy and winks, making a clicking sound.]

NANCY: (uneasy at Vince’s attitude) Um, yes — we’ll take care of some paperwork. And I can answer any questions you have.

[Vince is busy texting and doesn’t bother to respond. Daniels gives Nancy a “see what I mean?” look; she looks surprised at Vince’s lack of concern.]

MR. DANIELS: All right, let’s get this over with. Vince, you’ve been here for six months. In that time, I have seen no inkling of effort from you whatsoever. You’re routinely late. You skip weekly meetings. You take three-hour lunches. You’ve missed every deadline. And the one time you clocked out after five o’clock was because you’d fallen asleep in a stall in the mens’ room.

[Vince gives a thumbs up, without bothering to look up.]

MR. DANIELS: (to Nancy, but loudly) You see? He doesn’t care.

NANCY: I understand, Mr. Daniels. But we do need proper documentation to terminate.

[Daniels opens a desk drawer and pulls out a huge stack of papers. He goes through them, holding some up as he ticks them off.]

MR. DANIELS: Oh, you need documentation? Well, how about this? I’ve got progress reports — stalled, performance reviews — sub-par, formal warnings — ignored, complaints from coworkers — fed up. And don’t get me started on the affidavits for the police action.

NANCY: Police action?

MR. DANIELS: We caught him stealing office supplies.

NANCY: Well, now — hasn’t everyone taken a few Post-Its now and then for personal use?

MR. DANIELS: No. We caught him selling our copiers from the back of his Subaru. The cops put him on monitored probation.

[Vince lifts one pant leg to reveal the security anklet. He still doesn’t care.]

NANCY: Oh dear. Did that at least keep him from stealing?

MR. DANIELS: Sure. Of course, based on the tracker, now we know who keeps drilling glory holes in the ladies’ bathrooms.

NANCY: Oh, I… oh! I thought those were for passing spare toilet paper in an emergency.

MR. DANIELS: (not sure how to respond, eventually giving up) Uh… yeah. Look, the POINT is, Vince has been given every opportunity to contribute. He’s well aware of the situation. And as of today, his probationary period is over. So if we could get on with the firing-

NANCY: Sir? Protocol?

[Nancy holds a piece of paper up to Daniels, pointing to a specific line. He sighs and turns to fully face Vince.]

MR. DANIELS: Fine. Vince, as your supervisor, I am formally recommending to HR that you be terminated from your position. Now, this is purely a formality at this point, but is there anything you’d like to say on the record as to why you should be allowed to continue here? Anything? Anything at all?

“Yeah, well I play a mean game of tiddlywinks.”

[Vince puts his phone away, stashes his gum under the desk and leans back in his chair, smug. Nancy is ready to record his statement.]

VINCE: Four. Sixty. One.

[Daniels and Nancy look at each other, puzzled.]

NANCY: I’m sorry. Could you repeat that?

VINCE: Four sixty-one.

[Daniels and Nancy share another confused look.]

MR. DANIELS: I don’t… what is “four sixty-one”? Is that your locker combination? SAT score?

VINCE: Four sixty-one, my friend, is my batting average. On the company softball team.

[Nancy dives into the personnel file, skimming through pages.]

MR. DANIELS: Yeah, well I play a mean game of tiddlywinks. I don’t see what that has-

NANCY: Sir, one moment please. I’m trying to verify this claim.

MR. DANIELS: What the hell does it matter? And why would his softball average even be in-

NANCY: Aha! Found it! Whoa. You ARE a slugger. Mr. Daniels, four sixty-one in eighteen games. With twelve dingers!

MR. DANIELS: So?

VINCE: So — I’m the best weapon you’ve got against Acme.

MR. DANIELS: Acme? Who cares about Acme? We’ve got three times their market share. We run circles around those clowns.

VINCE: Not on the softball field.

[Nancy nods and hands Daniels a sheet of paper.]

NANCY: He’s right. Acme’s beaten us in the corporate league playoffs six years in a row. They’re always lording it over us at conferences and trade shows. It’s embarrassing.

[Daniels is flabbergasted.]

MR. DANIELS: Wha… But… You can’t be-

NANCY: Mr. Daniels, they’ve started inviting our clients to the games. We lost the Penske account to Acme last year after they mercy-ruled us in the third inning. And this year’s playoffs start next week.

MR. DANIELS: No. No no no no…

NANCY: It’s a business decision, sir. I’m afraid you can’t fire Vince. He’s far too valuable.

[Nancy gives Vince a big sweet smile.]

MR. DANIELS: Now, look here! This sack of-

VINCE: (to Nancy) Hey, babe. You wanna grab a burger?

NANCY: Now, Vince — it’s kind of against the rules for employees to date. (beat) But what the hell! Four sixty one!

[Vince and Nancy get up; he pops his gum back in his mouth and puts his arm around her shoulder.]

VINCE: Did I tell you I play shortstop? Started six double plays.

NANCY: Wow! Hey, you like this office? I could get you this office.

[Vince and Nancy exit; as we fade to black, Daniels rummages through Vince’s file, trying to figure out what the hell just happened.]

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