Almost Plausible

Ep. 13

Paper Clip

26 April 2022

Runtime: 00:48:42

This week, you may ask, "What's Cooking?" Well, "Today's Special" is nothing short of a "Big Night" for us when we come up with an "Off the Menu" story about a paper clip. There will be no "Waiting..." as we choose a pitch faster than we ever have. It's a fairly simple premise, but as we get "In the Weeds" we end up with a lot of "Spinning Plates" in fairly "Short Order." Things get "Heavy" fairly quickly, tensions rise, and pent-up frustrations become "Uncorked" as the story reaches its "Boiling Point." In the end, everyone gets their "Just Desserts," and realizes that "A Rising Tide" will, at least in this case, lift all ships. We're really happy with how this one turned out, and we don't think you'll feel "Burnt" after you listen to it. "No Reservations" are needed to enjoy this "Delicious" episode, just download, listen, and raise a "Toast" to our story about a paper clip.

References

Transcript

[Intro music begins]

[Emily]
A serial killer leaves paper clips on his or her victims (We don’t have gendered stereotypes here, so it could be a woman serial killer. It doesn’t have to be a man) as his calling card and the media refers to him-

[Shep]
You said. You said it doesn’t have to be a man and then immediately said “as his calling card.”

[Intro music]

[Thomas]
Hey there, story fans. Welcome to Almost Plausible, the podcast where we take ordinary ideas and turn them into stories. This week, we’re exploring ideas where a humble paper clip takes center stage, insert paper clip puns here.

[Shep]
Finally.

[Thomas]
Okay, I didn’t have time to write my intro this week. So up first on today’s show, we’re going to workshop some paper clip themed puns.

[Shep]
Oh, no!

[Thomas]
No, I’m kidding of course. And when I say we, I mean my co-hosts, she helps hold us together. It’s Emily.

[Emily]
Hey, guys. I think of myself more as a binder clip than a paper clip.

[Thomas]
And every week my puns test his mettle. It’s F. Paul Shepard.

[Shep]
It’s painful to be here.

[Thomas]
All right, well, let’s get this episode moving along at a good clip. Shep, what are your story pitches?

[Shep]
Well, I thought, when you say a story with paper clips, the first story that came to mind my mind was the one red paper clip where they traded it and then got an item and traded that and traded that and traded that and traded up to a house. Like that’s a great story. It’s not really about the paper clip, which is the first thing to leave the story. So forget that story. I was thinking, okay, so pitch number one, paper clip being the thing that you need right now at that time, it keeps showing up when you need to pick a lock or short a circuit or clip papers. It’s the same paper clip showing up again and again and again. I don’t have anything other than that. I just like magical reality.

[Thomas]
That one feels a lot like Pockets.

[Shep]
Yeah. Well, what was the movie that was also kind of like Pockets…? Paycheck.

[Emily and Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Paycheck. He had, like, an envelope full of stuff, random stuff, and just everything that he pulled out was the thing that he needed right at that moment. Was a paper clip one of those things? I saw that in theaters. So it’s been a while.

[Thomas]
I’ve seen it more recently than you, but still not that recently.

[Emily]
I have not seen this one. I did not know that’s what it was about.

[Thomas]
It’s basically like Ben Affleck trying to get paid and a company trying to screw over an independent contractor.

[Emily]
All right.

[Thomas]
So it’s very realistic.

[Shep]
Well, it turns out he screwed himself over. He just didn’t remember. Anyway, pitch number two. So imagine smuggling something rare or important, so you put it in the form of something innocuous, like a paper clip. So like a spy thriller, either the paper clip is made out of some precious substance or it has secret information encoded on it or something like that, but the protagonist is separated from it and needs to retrieve it to complete their mission. I don’t know how much of that is about the paper clip and how much is just a spy thriller. Pitch number three is a spy thriller.

[Thomas]
I’m sensing a theme.

[Shep]
To go off on a tangent, I’ve been reading this comic called Spy X Family recently this week, and I love it. It’s just absurdist. He’s a spy undercover, but he needs a family. And so he finds a woman to marry him because she also needs to get married. She’s an assassin. He doesn’t know that. She doesn’t know he’s a spy. And they have an adopted daughter who’s psychic. And it’s just my kind of humor from top to bottom. It’s bonkers. Anyway, so pitch number two spy thriller. Agent Paper Clip, so nicknamed because they can supposedly get out of any jam with just a single paper clip, is tasked with an important undercover operation. There’s one small problem. Agent Paper Clip is actually so nicknamed because they’re a stuffy accountant type. They don’t really work in the field. That’s not their thing. But Command thinks that they’re just in persona. So they’re still sent on the mission and hijinks ensue. Perhaps the real quote unquote “paper clip agent” has to show up and save them. And maybe in the final scene they escape using a single paper clip and it all circles back together.

[Thomas]
So fish out of water spy thriller. Kind of like The Tuxedo.

[Shep]
Yeah. Mistaken identity. Yeah.

[Thomas]
Yeah. Alright.

[Emily]
All right.

[Thomas]
Funny, because a couple of yours are very similar to mine. My one that’s probably fairly similar is something similar to MacGyver, but with kids. And the MacGyver kid always carries paper clips because of how versatile they are. So he uses them throughout the film to get him and his friends both into and out of situations using his cunning and paper clips of course, another one that’s sort of similar to yours is that some metals have what’s called shape memory effects, which allows them to have different shapes at different temperatures. So it looks like a simple paper clip could at the right temperature, automatically change its shape into something else. So what would that be? A key that perfectly fits a specific lock, a small tool or weapon. Yeah,

[Shep]
A code phrase. I’ve seen that memory metal where you put it in hot water and it says, I love you. Or it says you could make it, say whatever you want. That takes a longer piece of wire, though. Maybe too long for paper clip.

[Thomas]
Right. Maybe it’s like a comically large paper clip.

[Emily]
Maybe it’s one of those fancy paper clips that comes in the shape of different things. So it’s a lot of metal going through to make that shape.

[Thomas]
One of my other ideas. A heartwarming tale of a kid with a terminal illness who wants to set a world record before he dies. Him and his family come up with a bunch of ideas, but they’re all impossible for one reason or another. They settle on the idea of making the world’s longest paper clip chain. But he realizes he can’t do it alone. An internet campaign brings thousands of people together who all link together hundreds and thousands of paper clips, ending up with the longest paper clip chain ever created. Guinness certifies the win. And in the end, the kid dies because it’s a terminal illness.

[Shep]
Very heartwarming.

[Emily]
Yeah. I like it when the kid dies at the end. Makes me happy.

[Shep]
It’s kind of like, what was the- Hands Across America?

[Emily and Thomas]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
And then my last idea. I’ve heard that Michelin star judges will put a paper clip on the bathroom counter as a test to see if the bathrooms in the restaurant are being checked on regularly. And perhaps that’s something that gets mentioned at the beginning of the film. And then during just some random dinner service, one of the employees finds a paper clip in the bathroom. And so the restaurant is, like, freaking out. They had no idea that they were even being considered for a Michelin star. This revelation throws them into complete chaos, which, of course, they’re trying to hide because they don’t want the judges to know. So speculation runs rampant. And in the end, it turns out to all have just been a series of misunderstandings that changes the lives of the restaurant staff. So maybe for the head chef, it renews his love of cooking. The sous-chef decides she wants to move on to another restaurant. An overlooked waitress is promoted to the head of house. Something like that.

[Shep]
I like this one.

[Emily]
I do, too. This one is my favorite so far.

[Shep]
It’s so different than anything that I came up with because it’s not using the paper clip to solve a thing. It’s just- Well, is this still about the paper clip?

[Thomas]
Okay, yes and no. Right. The paper clip doesn’t have a long recurring role. I mean, it kind of comes back in the end. They kind of figure out what’s been going on. But the inciting incident happens because of the paper clip. It’s the cause for everything, right?

[Shep]
Right. It’s, the inciting incident is caused by the paper clip. But is the story about a paper clip? I like the story a lot, especially if you don’t explain it at the beginning. It’s just one of the staff finds a paper clip in the bathroom and then grabs it and goes to the kitchen like, “Oh, we are fucked.” And as the audience, we have no idea why he’s reacting this way over a paper clip. And then it’s revealed the Michelin stars, judges, and all that. I think as a premise, that’s great, that’s something that I would probably want to watch. I don’t know if it’s about a paper clip, though.

[Thomas]
Well, I think it might be good to reexamine the premise of the show. Does it need to be about that thing over and over and over again? Whatever the object is? Or is it enough for the object to set the story in motion?

[Emily]
I think we could go with it being the inciting incident, and you can bring it back in here and there like, the paper clip. Okay. They find the paper clip that incites the idea that they’re in this mad dash to impress the Michelin rater, and then it’s used for something else, and then it’s used for something else. And then you said chaos sort of ensues. The hostess’ shirt is going to pop open, so they need the paper clip to keep her boobies in. I don’t know.

[Shep]
That’s good. That keeps it part of it.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I like that.

[Emily]
Yeah. And so it’s used throughout to solve various problems temporarily until the very end. And then you find out it was some diner who had used it as a hairpin and she just left it in the bathroom accidentally.

[Shep]
A hairpin?

[Emily]
Yeah, they don’t work great as hairpins. I’ve tried. I know.

[Thomas]
Gosh. It would sort of be funny if it was just, like, fell out of somebody’s jacket sleeve or something like that. Or somebody was, like, fishing around in their pockets for something they’re like “Paper clip?” and just, like, tossed it on the counter without even thinking about it.

[Shep]
Maybe we should listen to more pitches before we just keep diving into this one.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
I mean, we could just stop there and not listen to my garbage today.

[Thomas]
No, we want to hear your pitches, Emily. It’s very important.

[Emily]
All right, first pitch. It’s a doozy. A serial killer leaves paper clips on his or her victims (We don’t have gendered stereotypes here, so it could be a woman serial killer. It doesn’t have to be a man) as his calling card and the media refers to him-

[Shep]
You said. You said it doesn’t have to be a man and then immediately said “as his calling card.”

[Emily]
Well, we do know that statistically speaking, it’s most likely to be a white man in his thirties.

[Thomas]
It should be like a black woman or an Asian woman or something like that, something that no one would- She’s like using that to her advantage that everyone’s talking about this male, obviously a troubled white male. All the pundits are saying, “Oh, it’s another case of this.” And she’s just like “Mwahahahaha!”

[Emily]
And the media refers to this killer as. Wait for it Clippy.

[Shep]
Boo!

[Emily]
I worked so hard on that joke.

[Shep]
“I see you’re trying to commit a murder. Would you like some help?”

[Emily]
Exactly. There’s a competition in a large office building in a downtown area where all the office administrative teams from each floor are competing in the Dunder Mifflin Games of The Office. And they are going to win the coveted Golden Paper Clip. And you have games such as a collating race where they have to collate paper as quickly as possible. Who does the best spiral binding, solving the printer error, where they’re given a printer that has an error and they have to make it run. And it’s time to-

[Shep]
I’m out. No, that’s the deal breaker.

[Emily]
Prep the office room competition, where they have to go in and get the conference room fixed up for a fake conference, but there’s something mysteriously wrong with it and they have to find a smell or banana, something weird in there.

[Thomas]
It’s like a glass top table, and you got to get all the fingerprints and smudges on.

[Emily]
Yeah, there’s a spreadsheet accuracy test, that sort of thing. I just thought it would be kind of fun to do, like an Olympics of office administration.

[Shep]
Now, is this viewed as, like, The Office style where it’s mockumentary style, or is it like a sports movie where it’s leaning into the Olympic style?

[Emily]
I want it to be a sports movie, leaning into the Olympic style. I think it would be so much fun just a bunch of middle-aged women and like younger women just getting into the office world, competing.

[Thomas]
There’s like a race down the hallway in heels.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
What year is the set?

[Emily]
1974

[Shep]
Okay.

[Thomas]
For the men. The men put on heels, and they race down the hallway. It turns out one of the guys is a drag queen on the weekends that nobody knows about. So he’s like a pro in heels.

[Emily]
So he’s killing it. Yeah.

[Shep]
But he kills it in heels. Now everybody knows.

[Thomas]
Right? He’s, like, sashaying his way down there super fast, and everyone’s like, “What? “Then he’s like, “Oh, wait.”

[Emily]
“I mean, it’s so hard-“

[Shep]
“Oh, Ouch. My ankle.”

[Thomas]
Yeah. Wiggles his leg. “Oh, no!”

[Emily]
Now. I’m just seeing at the end credits as his act on a glittering stage.

[Thomas]
That’s definitely the end. Like, they go to his club to celebrate because his team wins, right? So they go to his club to celebrate, and everyone’s like, “Oh, this is great. This is so cool.”

[Emily]
Great. And they sing Nine to Five and I Am in Love.

[Thomas]
Oh, yes.

[Shep]
Oh, this is so good. These are great ideas this week.

[Thomas]
These are great.

[Emily]
Yeah. Alright, so the next one is probably my weakest one. It’s a paper clip game. Teens wear strings around their neck and they collect paper clips and they’re covered in paper clips, but they lose one every time they get in trouble with a grown up for something. And like at the end of a set amount of time, a week, a month or even a year, whoever has the most paper clips wins something.

[Thomas]
So what’s to stop them from just adding more paper clips?

[Emily]
Honor system.

[Shep]
Yes. Teens are well known for their honor.

[Emily]
Yes. I said it wasn’t my best one. Definitely my worst one. And then also any one episode of MacGyver.

[Shep and Thomas]
Yup.

[Emily]
All right, now we get to pick.

[Thomas]
All right, what do we love? It feels like the two that we like the most are the office one and the restaurant one. So both workplace comedies.

[Shep]
Yup.

[Emily]
I almost like the restaurant one more because it’s, a paper clip is more conspicuous there.

[Thomas]
I see what you’re saying. Yeah.

[Shep]
Whereas with the office competition, it’s all kinds of office supplies, not necessarily about a paper clip. The prize is the Golden Paper Clip.

[Emily]
Is the golden paper clip.

[Thomas]
I see what you’re saying. I agree.

[Shep]
All right, so we’re going with the restaurant.

[Thomas]
That might be the fastest we’ve ever made a decision.

[Emily]
Wow. We are on top of it this week.

[Shep]
We are 16 minutes into it. We’re just finishing pitches. We’re not on top of it. We are ten minutes behind.

[Thomas]
All right. I really like what you were saying before about not knowing, the audience not knowing about it ahead of time. I think it’s a really good opportunity for the audience to get that explained by the head chef or the owner of the restaurant or somebody.

[Shep]
Oh, you have a new staffer in the kitchen.

[Thomas]
Yeah. It’s somebody’s first day, and he’s on the line, and he’s like, “What’s the big deal?” And somebody else explains it to him. I don’t think we should see who leaves the paper clip, right?

[Shep]
Oh, no. It has to be a mystery.

[Emily]
No, we see the employee find it.

[Shep]
Yeah. Because if it’s not the judge and we know that it’s not, then all the tension is gone immediately.

[Thomas]
So we have to establish upfront a few things. We have to establish the head chef is just-

[Shep]
Burnt out and tired and. Wants him to-

[Thomas]
In a rut. Maybe a little bit like the beginning of the movie Chef, except the other way around, where it’s like the owner in Chef is like, play it safe, don’t experiment. And the head chef is like, champing at the bit to do new, interesting things. So this is maybe the other way around. The owner is like ragging on him. Like, “You make the same thing and the quality of what you make has gone down. You make the same thing. It should be the best you’ve ever made because you had so much practice making it. What’s going on?” And maybe I just had a thought, though. If his food sucks, then why would they be getting a Michelin star?

[Shep]
Right. Oh, so it’s got to be that the owner wants him to try new things and he doesn’t want to try new things because he’s really good at the few things that he does now. And he’s like, he’s set in his ways.

[Thomas]
He’s kind of older chef. Maybe he took this as, like almost a retirement job. “This will be the last kitchen I work in. I’m getting really burnt out. I’ll just do this style of food or whatever that I know really well.” And maybe the restaurant has a new owner or something who wants to change-

[Emily]
Yeah. I was going to say maybe it’s a newer, younger owner, like the son of the original owner comes in, is like “It’s time to make some changes here. We can’t just live off of the same menu.”

[Shep]
Well, see, if the chef had been there for a very long time, though, and he didn’t come here as a retirement job, but he had been there from the beginning and has built up this restaurant but has become set in his ways and is no longer experimental when the owner knows that he has that in him because that’s how he used to be.

[Emily]
That is also a good way.

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s good. So maybe one of their first fights is about that. And the chef is saying something along the lines of, “You don’t think my food is good?” He’s like, “Your food is fantastic, but it’s boring.”

[Shep]
“I’ve had it. I’ve had it before.”

[Emily]
“The city has had it.” Yeah.

[Thomas]
Right. “Everybody in town has had it.” Yeah. “People aren’t going to keep coming back for this.” I think that’s a really good way to go.

[Emily]
I think that’s you could start out with them having that argument before they have knowledge of the paper clip.

[Thomas]
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. You have to establish everybody’s current states before that inciting incident comes so that we start to see all their character arcs. So maybe the sous-chef is trying to butt into this argument because she wants to get noticed. She’s hoping to be treated more like a head chef, a sort of co-head chef type of situation. Or maybe she is trying to move on to a different kitchen. I don’t know. But maybe she’s in there sort of saying, basically trying to become part of the conversation and agreeing with the owner. And maybe the head chef is saying, “No no no.”

[Emily]
“You’re still young. You’re a young woman. You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a man and I know how to cook.”

[Shep]
She’s not young. She’s been working there for ten years.

[Thomas]
And then there’s the head waitress or whatever, who basically does the job of the hostess. But-

[Emily]
Yeah. There’s the front of house manager. She’s just a well experienced manager, but she’s burnt out.

[Thomas]
I think that there is not a front of house manager. They sort of did that typical thing that a lot of companies do where the person left and then they had everyone pick up the slack and then they just never filled that position again. And she’s just sort of become the de facto manager.

[Emily]
So she’s sort of like she’s the most senior waitress and we would actually have a head waitress. She’s just the most senior. She’s there on these nights. She helps out the poor newer hostess who’s not so green that she doesn’t know what she’s doing but is still like nervous a little bit.

[Thomas]
But she sets the schedule. She figures out, she helps people cover when they’re sick and all that sort of stuff. She essentially is doing all of that work but not being paid for it and not having that title.

[Shep]
Oh, she’s not there on the night. They call her in after they find the paper clip.

[Thomas]
Yes. Oh, yes.

[Emily]
There you go.

[Shep]
And she basically saves their bacon because they were not ready. And she does all the stuff that you said. She sets the schedule and everything, but she just happened not to be working that night and the pressure was on.

[Thomas]
That’s really good.

[Shep]
And so she came in on her day off, her one day off a week to save the restaurant. That’s got to be worth something. That has to be recognized. If not now when?

[Emily]
Yeah. If they get that good rating, then she’s going to prove herself for sure.

[Thomas]
In the kitchen we have the head chef, the sous-chef, and the new guy, the new line cook. We have the owner. What’s his deal? Why isn’t he promoting the head waitress? I guess what I’m asking is what is his character?

[Shep]
Oh, what if he did replace them but with a friend of a friend or something, who’s just not good at the job? And maybe they’re working that night, but everyone on staff knows that they can’t pull it off, and it’s too important to let it keep going the way that it is. And that’s why they call her to come in and basically take over from the guy who was the son of a friend of the owner.

[Thomas]
Is the owner’s nephew or something. So is his arc essentially realizing, coming to terms with that? Or maybe the money is starting to dry up. His argument is valid. The food has gotten stale. Everyone in town has had it. Yeah, they have regulars who like what they have on the menu, but that’s not attracting anybody new. They won best restaurant in the local newspaper’s voter, you know, where the readers vote, eight years in a row. But that was, five years ago was the last time they won or something like that. So they’re starting to see that profit margin gets smaller and smaller. And that’s why the owner likes having the nephew. He’s cheap, he’s family.

[Emily and Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
But he has to now come to terms with- Not that you have to spend money to make money, but you have to take the job seriously.

[Emily]
You have to invest in it wholeheartedly.

[Thomas]
Exactly. Yeah. You can’t cut corners if you want to be profitable in the long run.

[Shep]
So I imagine there’s going to be some conflict between the head chef and the sous-chef over what to have on the menu that evening. If there’s potentially a Michelin judge there, the head chef is going to want to stick to what he’s done really well. “If they’re here for what we do, this is it.”

[Emily and Thomas]
Right.

[Thomas]
And the sous-chef has big ideas and is trying to get one or her plates out, and the head chef just will not hear it. It’s too important to take a risk.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Thomas]
Are we writing Ratatouille?

[Shep]
No, it’s completely different from Ratatouille. These rats aren’t trained.

[Emily]
I think something should go wrong in the kitchen. Like a freezer, a dish should be spoiled.

[Thomas]
Or some shipment of some critical ingredient didn’t show up-

[Emily]
Right? Something like that. Yeah.

[Thomas]
For the chefs. The head chef’s like primary dish. They served the last one that night, and nobody told him they were out of whatever that was. Maybe they told the head of house guy.

[Emily]
They told the incompetent head of house guy who has no idea and didn’t order it in time. And was like, “Oh, yeah, it’s coming tomorrow. We don’t need it. We can do something else.”

[Shep]
Or he didn’t know that it was supposed to be delivered today, and it has not been delivered yet. And so they have to change the menu because he’s not thinking of that in that way. He’s not on top of it. He’s not paying attention to what’s arriving and making sure that they’re ready. Whatever it is, it’s got to be something that’s got to be fresh. Otherwise why don’t they have a stockpile of it?

[Thomas]
Right? Yeah. I was thinking seafood.

[Emily]
Yeah. Like oysters or something.

[Thomas]
Maybe scallops.

[Emily]
I vote scallops because I like those.

[Thomas]
I like scallops, too.

[Shep]
I do not eat seafood, so I like scalloped potatoes. Does that count?

[Thomas]
Well, now I just want to make scalloped scallops, because that seems funny to me. Do we have any other characters that we need to introduce to the story? I mean, obviously there are going to be other people who work in the kitchen.

[Emily]
Yeah. There’s going to be some goofy dishwashers and funny bus boys.

[Thomas]
What about customers? Obviously, there’s the customer who they think incorrectly is the judge. And this person is getting all sorts of stuff lavished upon them, compliments of the house. And they’re just like, “Okay, great.”

[Shep]
They’ve got to be very curmudgeonly. That’s why they think it’s the judge. So they’re giving them stuff on the house, and he’s just, like, “Mhm.” Just not impressed.

[Thomas]
It’s like an older European guy, because that’s another thing that I’ve heard is that there are different little clues to tell when you’re going to be judged. And one of them is an out-of-country phone number, it’s usually an out-of-country phone number, will call and make a reservation. I think it’s actually usually for two people, but.

[Emily]
I don’t think he should actually be European. I think they should think he’s European, but then turn out that he’s French Canadian.

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s good. I think there should be an older couple at the restaurant who’s really annoyed that their service sucks because they’re not paying attention to them because they’re all focused on the one guy.

[Emily]
Yeah. And they may be regulars, wealthy about town regulars. And they’re like-

[Shep]
Oh, that’s why they’re being neglected. They know it’s not going to be these people. They’re regulars.

[Thomas and Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
All right. I like the way our story is going. I think we have some great characters. So when we come back from our break, we’ll dive into that plot and figure out what all happens.

[Break]

[Thomas]
All right, we’re back. Like I said before the break, I really like our characters. So now we need to figure out the plot. Do we have enough paper clip? Do we have enough ideas in mind? Is this still a paper clip movie? Obviously, there’s that inciting incident where they find the paper clip.

[Shep]
I think we have the end on the paper clip also.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Okay.

[Shep]
At the end, when they realize he’s not a judge and all their imagined situations, none of that happened. They still have the paper clip. So I imagine the head chef or the new head of house using it to clip some papers that they’re filing away.

[Thomas]
I was thinking that somebody was just going to throw it in the garbage or toss it aside or something. And then the head chef wants it as a little… or maybe he keeps it clipped onto his whites.

[Emily]
Are we having that sous-chef move on to a different restaurant, or is she going to- do her and the head chef come to an understanding, and now he’s going to mentor her in a better, more loving way?

[Thomas]
I think the expected outcome is that latter one, that they patch up their issues. So I think she should move on. They do patch up their issues, but she’s still moving on.

[Shep]
Right. They’re parting as friends.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah. He becomes avuncular towards her and is like, “I can mentor you. I think you’ve got potential. Why don’t we work out some menu items?” And she’s like, “You know, I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready to go.”

[Thomas]
Whatever her dish is- because his ingredient, his scallops, aren’t there. And so he’s freaking out because he doesn’t know what to do. And so they end up making her dish and it’s really good. And the guy who they think is the judge, he really likes it. And so at the end, the head chef admits, like, “Hey, this is really good. This was a great idea. And you saved our bacon because you didn’t use bacon in the dish. So we have lots of it still.”

[Shep]
(pained groaning)

[Emily]
Big money saver.

[Thomas]
He says, “This is great. I want to put this on the menu.” This is a great way to demonstrate too, that he’s changed, that’s his character arc. He’s willing to change the menu. He wants to change the menu. And here’s this great new dish. And she says, “That’s great-“

[Shep]
“I’ll teach you how to cook it cause I’m leaving.”

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Yeah. I think that’s a good way to end their story. She gets the confidence she needs to move on and become a head chef somewhere else or whatever. And he’s now reinvigorated in his passion.

[Thomas]
Maybe he starts grooming the new guy not to be a sous-chef, but to be a better chef. He’s fairly green.

[Emily]
He helps him with more technique, things that he’s-

[Thomas]
Right. Oh, he asks the new guy’s opinion on stuff. We see them developing a dish.

[Emily]
Has him taste.

[Thomas]
That’s good, has him taste, and the guy says, “Needs more cilantro” or whatever. And he’s like-

[Shep]
No, no more cilantro. “Needs less cilantro.”

[Emily]
Needs all cilantro and seafood. Just cilantro-soaked seafood.

[Shep]
Zero stars.

[Thomas]
But at any rate, he listens to what the guy says and he says, “You’re right.”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Do we want to draw attention to the paper clip on his whites or just sort of, it’s there?

[Emily]
I was thinking if she makes the new dish and he’s like, “I want to add it to the menu,” and she’s like, “Okay, I’m going to show you how.” And then at the very end, you see him paper clip that new dish onto the menu in the back in the kitchen.

[Thomas]
What are some other ways the paper clip can show up? In the story we talked earlier about using it as a fastener for clothes or something.

[Emily]
I think the hostess’ shirt should pop open, and they do need to use it for that. They’ve called in the head waitress. She’s going to come in, she’s going to bring in a new shirt with her and fix that problem. So at least we see how the paper clip can move from somewhere else. So we’ve got it in one scene where it’s helping keep it together.

[Shep]
So what else could it keep together?

[Emily]
Our receipts.

[Shep]
What else in the kitchen could it keep together?

[Emily]
Could we unfold it and use it for something in the kitchen as a replacement? Because they don’t have-

[Shep]
If you unfold it, then it’s going to be unfolded forever.

[Emily]
Bad idea. Maybe that’s when we see it paper clip the new menu item to the back line.

[Thomas]
She writes down a recipe or something like that. And she brings it to him.

[Emily]
And he’s like, “We don’t have any other choice.”

[Thomas]
Yeah. He agrees to do it. He grabs the paper clip, clips it up on the- whatever’s in front of them there.

[Emily]
And then at the very end, you can just kind of see him sneak it onto the whites.

[Thomas]
Yeah. So maybe he takes it down at the end and hands it back to her and says something about, “I’d really like to put this on the menu.” She’s like, “Well, then keep it.” And so now he has the paper clip, or maybe he kind of looks over and sees the paper clip is still there, and he takes it off and clips it onto his whites. Are there any other customers, or are they kind of like the other people in the kitchen and the other waiters and waitresses? They’re just sort of people who are there for background flavor, but they’re not anybody we really focus on. There needs to be some rowdy or disruptive customer.

[Emily]
Yeah. I was thinking, is there a couple with a baby or are there a rowdy bachelorette party or something?

[Shep]
What kind of restaurant is this?

[Emily]
So no baby, no bachelorettes. It’s fine dining if it’s going to get Michelin rated, right?

[Thomas]
Not necessarily.

[Emily]
Okay.

[Thomas]
But usually that’s the case.

[Emily]
I don’t know about the systems.

[Thomas]
It could be a steakhouse or like a French restaurant or something like that that people would maybe more associate with an upscale type of place. I could definitely see a tired old steakhouse, white linens and kind of very formal and stuffy and old fashioned. It would be funny then if they ran out of steak, or like their signature dish and they run out. Oh, because the food was being, well, I was going to say the nephew wasn’t there to accept the delivery, but he wouldn’t. It would be somebody in the kitchen’s job, probably the head chef or the sous-chef or the owner. I don’t know enough about how a professional kitchen works.

[Shep]
It’s a pretty big coincidence that this is happening.

[Emily]
This is true. Yeah. I like incompetence rather than coincidence in this case where he just didn’t order in time.

[Thomas]
But it wouldn’t be the nephew’s job unless we make the nephew not head of house. Maybe he’s like a general manager or operations manager or something. So he has duties that are both front and back of house. That would make more sense then. So then, yeah, it can absolutely be his fault he didn’t place the order or he didn’t show up on time to accept the delivery or something.

[Emily]
Well, if the owner is trying to cut costs and hiring the nephew anyway, he would try to combine running front and back house through one person.

[Thomas]
Yeah. That’s why I like the idea of him being more of a general manager.

[Emily]
Yeah, that makes sense.

[Thomas]
What are some major plot points? What are some chaotic things that happen? Obviously running out of whatever ingredient. That’s a pretty chaotic thing. We know the ill-fitting blouse or the button coming off the blouse or whatever. That’s one of them. Instead of having a rowdy customer, it could just be the couple that gets really upset and they’re starting to raise their voices a little bit and they’re trying to placate them, so they have to comp stuff for them as well.

[Shep]
Could we have another couple where a young guy is trying to impress a date and did not realize how expensive the restaurant was and now doesn’t have enough to cover it? Because if the restaurant’s hemorrhaging money on all these other places, this is just one more thing that could really tip the owner over the edge.

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s good.

[Emily]
Does he try to talk to the head waitress and be like, “I have a little problem. What can we work out?”

[Shep]
“That wine was how much? For wine?”

[Thomas]
“I thought that was the price per bottle.”

[Emily]
So how do we resolve that? What do we see with that storyline?

[Shep]
I don’t know. I just want to see the restaurant lose more money.

[Emily]
I like it. I think it’s a good way to go. I think you’ve got something, I can see it.

[Thomas]
So whoever their waiter or waitress is goes to the nephew because he’s the general manager. They don’t have the authority to make a decision. So they go to him and explain the situation. He’s like, “Great, we’ll call the cops.” And he does. And so now the police are on. So he’s like, “Oh, I better mention it to my uncle.” And he’s like, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this situation handled. The police are on their way.” And he’s like, “What?”

[Emily]
Yeah, I like that.

[Shep]
That’s great because they’re trying to be classy. There’s potentially a Michelin judge here and the cops show up.

[Thomas]
How does that get resolved, though? What does the owner do? Or the head waitress?

[Emily]
It is usually resolved one of two ways. Cops being called or comping the meal and just being like, “Don’t come back.”

[Thomas]
So the owner’s freaking out because he doesn’t want to lose any money because they’re already in debt. So he needs to make a profit. So he’s upset about that. And she’s just realizes, “Look, there are two ways this could go. We can make this end quietly or with the cops.”

[Emily]
Yeah. And maybe she’s like, “You can take it out of my pay. You’re not losing out the money in the long run.” And then maybe the kid comes back with some money or something.

[Thomas]
Actually, I like that. I like him coming back and apologizing profusely.

[Emily]
Yeah. And before you ask, where does he get the money? When he comes back with the money, he hawks something important to him.

[Shep]
His Golden Paper Clip award.

[Thomas]
That he won at the drag show.

[Shep]
It was a very weird show. So the cops don’t show up?

[Emily]
I think the cops do show up, but she’ll go out and handle the situation and say, “No, I was misunderstanding.” And they don’t even make it, like, past the podium. So she gets it-

[Thomas]
I don’t think they make it into the restaurant. I think she just goes and stands outside. Or she tells somebody else, like, “Wait outside. When the police show up, tell them to wait there and come get me.”

[Emily]
Yeah. And she solves the problem with the cranky old couple. They’re getting louder and angrier and grumpier. Maybe they overcharge them and that’s how they make up the money.

[Thomas]
That’s, another great opportunity to create conflict is maybe the couple is demanding a comp, but they’ve already comped the kid-

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
And they’re comping a whole bunch of stuff for the judge, who they think, the person they think is the judge. They’re not making any money this night, and they have to pay all their employees.

[Shep]
Yeah, that’s the cost of doing business, though. You want a Michelin star? It’s going to cost you. It’s only one night. Let it slide.

[Emily]
Because once they get that Michelin star, the business will roll in.

[Shep]
Yeah, it’s an investment.

[Thomas]
Who convinces the owner of that? Because I think that’s a great resolution.

[Emily]
The waitress does, because that’s part of her-

[Shep]
Or the sous-chef not the head chef.

[Emily]
Not the head chef, not the incompetent nephew. Maybe the waitress and the head chef get together or the sous-chef-

[Shep]
The sous-chef. Yeah.

[Emily]
And the waitress team up and are like, “This is going to bring in more business if we get this.”

[Shep]
Why aren’t they going and starting a restaurant together?

[Thomas]
Maybe that’s where the sous-chef goes. She’s going to start her own thing. Maybe she’s going to go start a food truck.

[Emily]
Yeah. Maybe she tries to convince the waitress to go, but the waitress has some sort of emotional connection to the restaurant or something.

[Thomas]
Well, she gets promoted.

[Shep]
Oh, she has to get promoted or she’ll leave. That’s why she gets promoted. She’s prepared to walk.

[Emily]
She’s like, “I’m going to go with Stephanie. We’re going to open this food truck, and it’s going to make lots of money.”

[Shep]
Not a food truck.

[Thomas]
Yes.

[Shep]
That’s the movie, Chef.

[Thomas]
Which is a very good movie.

[Shep]
It is a good movie.

[Thomas]
I’m trying to decide the order of that. So does the sous-chef offer her the job, and she says, “Can I have some time to think about it?” or something? And then goes to the owner and says, “Hey, I have this other opportunity…”

[Emily]
Yeah. I think maybe the sous-chef is like, “I think tonight has shown me that I can do this, that I’m ready for it. I’ve been thinking about opening a restaurant. I’ve got a little nest egg, and you’re not getting anywhere here. You deserve more than to just be a waitress. So come with me.” And the waitress is like, “I don’t know.”

[Thomas]
She has dependents at home or something-

[Emily]
Yeah, “I’ve got cats I got to feed and a puppet addiction. It’s just-“

[Thomas]
“I have this paper clip collection.”

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
“And I lost one earlier.”

[Emily]
“I spent so much money on this Golden Paper Clip.” But I think, yeah. She goes and talks to the owner, and he kind of acknowledges like, “Yeah, you really saved us tonight.” And she’s like, “Yeah. Because Steve is incompetent and he can’t run things. You need somebody who knows this business, knows this restaurant, knows our customers, and that person is me.”

[Thomas]
I think the owner needs to come to that realization on his own because there are a whole bunch of situations that we have where it’s other people convincing him all night long. So this big thing for him, this is like the end of his arc essentially is recognizing that, yeah, the nephew is an idiot and he’s not going to work out.

[Emily]
And that saving that money isn’t worth, is bleeding-

[Thomas]
It’s costing money.

[Shep]
So why would she stay, though, even if he’s offering to promote her? Because her question has got to be, why wasn’t I already promoted?

[Emily]
I think she goes into quit, right? She’s not coming in to beg for the- she’s going in strictly to be like, “Yeah, fuck it, I’m done.”

[Shep]
Right. And this is where the owner goes, “If she leaves, I’m screwed.” And is like, “I’ll promote you.” But then she’s like, “If I were that qualified, why wasn’t I already promoted?”

[Thomas]
Maybe he just literally says out loud what his character arc is. He states it. He says, “I was trying to save money. He’s my nephew. I can pay a minimum wage and get away with that. I can’t pay you minimum wage and get away with it. But tonight I finally realized I need you. You should be in this position. You’re right.”

[Emily]
“You can handle the head of house. You can manage the kitchen. You can talk to the chef and keep him on track in the kitchen so that you’re not doing both jobs.”

[Thomas]
And so she maybe says something about, “Does that promotion going with a raise?” or something like that. And he kind of just sort of shrugs. He’s like, “I guess that’s the cost of doing business.” Harkening back to the earlier conversation. He’s starting to recognize, okay. Does the restaurant have some sort of long-term goal? Or short-term goal, I suppose, that’s a sink or swim thing for them? They have to get to a certain amount of profitability by a certain time? Is there some loan that’s coming due? Otherwise the bank will foreclose on the restaurant. I don’t know how any of that works.

[Shep]
If the restaurant has been around for that long…

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s true. But if they’ve been losing money, maybe he’s taking out loans to continue to pay the staff.

[Shep]
Have they been losing money, or has the owner just wanted to take out more money from the restaurant and make it more profitable because it stopped being a showcase for fine dining and just became a business? And so he’s trying to do it as a business. And that’s how this head chef got tired of it, because the constant cutting of corners, he can’t experiment and do anything. He has to stick to the same dishes. Otherwise they can’t afford the risk anymore.

[Thomas]
Everyone’s about to quit. The head chef’s going to quit. The sous-chef’s fucking quitting. The line cook isn’t going to quit, but all of his key people are going to quit on him.

[Emily]
Yeah. They’ve been fed up with it for years because he came in and took over and he’s got a business degree. So he is like, “We’ve got to get those overhead down and the profits up. Even though we were profitable and we were managing well and we were successful, I want more more more more.”

[Thomas]
So that’s the climax. After the judge has gone, after they realize it wasn’t that they’re all sort of feeling really shitty. They’re having an emotional low point because they put in all this work and they realize it’s for nothing. The chef, he sort of hit his breaking point, as has the waitress that we are focusing on. She sort of hit hers as well. The sous-chef knows. I mean, she’s already decided, maybe we find out earlier in the film that she had another offer, or maybe she’s not starting her own restaurant. Maybe somebody else is starting a restaurant, but they want her to be the executive chef at that restaurant. So she has this offer that she knows she’s going to take, and we find out about that earlier somehow.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Okay, that’s good, because she would consider not going if they got a Michelin star while she was here.

[Emily]
So, yeah, this just seals it for, that being fake just seals it.

[Thomas]
There’s a big fight happening in the kitchen because everyone’s just fed up and everyone’s like, “Well, then I’m quitting.” And “I’m quitting, too.” “We’re all leaving because this sucks. We hate being here if this is how things are going to be.” And the owner, that’s his come-to-Jesus moment, he’s like, “Please don’t go. You’re all absolutely right. I’ve been fucking this up. I was focused on the wrong things. What do I need to do to fix this?” And they just kind of say what their thing is. The chef’s like, “I want to do different things. I want to make different food. I want to experiment with stuff again.”

[Emily]
“I need support from you. For better ingredients, finer organic ingredients,” whatever.

[Thomas]
Yeah. He’s like, “I can work with you to manage costs, but you’ve got to let me experiment a bit.” He says, “Okay, that’s fair.”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
And the head of house girl says, “I want a promotion. And I want that promotion to come with a raise. And I think I’m worth it.” And he’s like, “Yes, I agree. You’re worth it. You’ve demonstrated that not just tonight, but for the past six months” or whatever, since they lost their previous head waitress or whatever. Oh, I guess the nephew was there to replace that person.

[Emily]
What happens to the nephew, though?

[Thomas]
I was just going to ask, is the nephew already gone at this point, or is he standing there as part of this argument?

[Shep]
He’s got to still be there.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah. Firing the nephew is part of the deal. That’s part of what convinces her to stay. She’s like, “I want him gone.” And the owner’s like, “Jeff, you’re fired.” And he’s like, “What the hell?”

[Shep]
“I made you money.”

[Thomas]
Is there anything else we need to figure out? Because I feel like we’re pretty close, or maybe we’re there.

[Shep]
How do they find out that the judge isn’t a judge?

[Emily]
Yeah, that’s what we were missing.

[Thomas]
That is a really good question.

[Emily]
I have a couple of ideas but I don’t think they’re great.

[Thomas]
Well, I have zero ideas, so let’s hear yours.

[Emily]
Alright, so I have the angry couple that we- they noticed the table is getting a lot of attention but they don’t know what for and they can’t really ever see it or whatever. They’re not at their regular table. They’re shoved off to the corner somewhere, which is part of their complaints. They’re in the drafty by the bathroom table. Then as they’re leaving, they run into the guy, and this is Shep’s favorite, and they notice what a coincidence. This is the CEO of my company that I’m a VP for and then that’s how it’s revealed.

[Shep]
Well, I don’t like coincidences. I might have mentioned that before. I don’t remember.

[Emily]
And I believe I prefaced this with ‘not great ideas’. The other one I have is somebody lets it slip or something and he’s just like, “What? What are you talking about?” And he’s like, “No, I’m from out of town. I’m Jean-Luc from Manitoba.” I don’t know.

[Thomas]
Have you seen Waiting for Guffman?

[Emily]
It’s been so long.

[Thomas]
So they think there’s this big, I forget what he is, critic or producer or something, who’s going to come. And so they do all this stuff. They pull out all the stops. Basically, it’s the same plot where they go overboard because they think this important person is coming. And then at the end, they have him come to the back and meet all the cast and crew and everybody. And then that’s where they say, “Oh, whatever, Mr. Guffman” or whatever. And he’s like, “Oh, I’m not that person. But, hey, I really liked your show.” And they’re all just like, “What.”

[Shep]
You reminded me of the movie Big Night.

[Emily]
I had that thought earlier and I was trying to remember the plot of Big Night and see if this was this.

[Shep]
(Quoting IMDb) “Big Night (1996), New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.”

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Shep]
So, NOT the same.

[Emily]
No. Oh good. Thank God. Because I didn’t bring it up because I was like, I don’t want to find out. This is the same plot as Big Night.

[Shep]
I’d forgotten about it. And then…

[Thomas]
Can we get Tony Shalhoub to be the head chef?

[Shep]
Oh, man. Or the owner or the judge? Whatever Tony Shalhoub wants to do.

[Thomas]
Yeah. Oh, God, he would be great as, like, the demure guest who doesn’t really know what’s going on. Yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah, as the judge.

[Shep]
The “Judge”. See, now I want that so bad.

[Emily]
Oh, I love Tony Shalhoub so much.

[Thomas]
How is it revealed that he’s not? Does somebody say something? Somebody lets it slip. The nephew who’s an idiot, says something, and they’re like, “Dude.” And he’s like, “Oh.” But see, the thing is, if you’re a Michelin judge and you’re at a restaurant and someone says, “Hope we get that star.” Of course you’re going to deny.

[Shep]
No. The “judge” has to do something to reveal that he’s not the judge. Like, try to sell them insurance or “Who does your accounting?” Or “Here’s my business card.”

[Emily]
He should try to sell him insurance. That’s actually how insurance is done. We do that. We sit at a restaurant that we like and we get great service and we’re like, “Hey, who’s your agent? What premiums are you paying? Who are you going through?”

[Thomas]
For the sake of the audience. Emily works in the insurance industry. In case that wasn’t obvious.

[Shep]
Was there a grease fire in the kitchen?

[Thomas]
There could be.

[Shep]
Because if there were a grease fire earlier and the door happened to be open for a second and the supposed judge saw a glimpse of what they think might have been a fire. And then later the cops show up and he’s like, “Is this about that fire?” And then at the end, he’s like, “If you have problems, here’s my card. I sell Insurance.”

[Emily]
I like that.

[Thomas]
I like that. Yeah.

[Emily]
That’s the reveal. He leaves his business card.

[Thomas]
And then, oh, God, he gives it to the waitress, the poor, just normal regular waitress. And she comes into the kitchen with this sort of like just-seen-a-ghost look on her face. And everyone’s like, “What? What did he say?” And she just sort of holds the card up and hands it to the owner or whatever. And he’s like, “I don’t understand.” She’s like, “He sells insurance. He’s not a Michelin judge.” And everyone’s like, “What the fuck?” And that’s where the whole end of the movie begins.

[Shep]
How did they know that it had to be him and not some other customer in the restaurant?

[Thomas]
Well, they know the one couple. They recognize the one couple.

[Shep]
Right. The regulars. And it’s not going to be the kid on his date.

[Emily]
And maybe the incompetent nephew is like, “Oh yeah, I saw that guy in the bathroom just before…” Whatever. And so that’s where they make the assumption that-

[Thomas]
The men’s bathroom is where they find the paper clip. Who finds the paper clip?

[Emily]
Yeah, the new guy.

[Shep]
He wouldn’t know the significance of it. It’s got to be someone who knows the significance of it that grabs it and takes it back to the kitchen.

[Thomas]
It could be the owner. Maybe there’s something he’s got going on that night. And he’s kind of like in his own head, he goes in the bathroom to give himself a little pep talk or something. Sees the paper clip.

[Shep]
Oh, we need a replacement for the sous-chef. Maybe there’s another someone else that works in the kitchen that would move up who is not really, it’s not their life or whatever. They’re not really big into it, but they’re in the business. They’re kind of in denial that it’s not their life. And they’re the ones that recognize the significance of the paper clip, and they are the ones that bring it to the kitchen.

[Thomas]
That’s good. There was an episode of Kitchen Nightmares where I just remember Gordon blindfolds the head chef, and I think the sous-chef, there’s just two guys that work in the kitchen. He blindfolds them and gives them different pieces of meat. And the head chef is misidentifying sometimes which animal it’s from, and the other guy is nailing it. And in fact, at one point, he knows exactly the cut of beef it is. He can tell just by the taste and texture. He says, “Oh, it’s beef. It’s (this cut of beef).” And it was. And essentially, Gordon tells him, like, “You should be the head chef of this restaurant.” And he’s sort of like, “I don’t know, whatever.” And the head chef is really upset, but I like that there’s just a guy who’s really good at his job but didn’t want that responsibility.

[Shep]
Yeah, that lands for me.

[Thomas]
Especially because maybe he hasn’t been at this restaurant for the whole time the head chef has, he’s been here as long as it’s been dull. And so he doesn’t have any major aspirations to move up at this restaurant because why? He’s just collecting a paycheck. Whatever. This is fine. Maybe someday he’ll do something else.

[Shep]
I think that he and the head chef should be friends. They get along. They’ve known each other for a few years.

[Thomas]
Oh, for sure.

[Shep]
But, yeah, he has no aspirations.

[Thomas]
The sous-chef is newer than him.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
She was hired into that position and, you know. Okay, sure, whatever. She has more experience.

[Emily]
He’s not butthurt that she was made sous-chef from the outside because-

[Shep]
He wasn’t interested in it.

[Thomas]
Maybe he was a little disappointed, but at the same time, like you said, he’s not super interested in it. He doesn’t really care.

[Emily]
It would have been nice, but whatever.

[Thomas]
Right. It’s like when one of your friends is getting married, you’re like, “Will I be the best man or will I be the maid of honor?” And you’re not and you see who it is and you’re like, “Yeah, of course I’m not. That makes way more sense for that person.” Yeah.

[Shep]
Right. That makes sense. “Oh, your friend from childhood. Okay, that’s fine.”

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
“Not me who met you in college. Okay, I get it.”

[Thomas]
Yeah. Is there anything else, or do we have it?

[Shep and Emily]
I think we have it.

[Thomas]
I agree.

[Emily]
I’m happy with it.

[Thomas]
Me too. This is another one of those ones that I really want to see it.

[Shep]
And it’s not Big Night, which was my concern.

[Thomas]
And it’s not Big Night.

[Emily]
Yeah, it’s not Big Night. Thank God.

[Thomas]
Well, this one looks good on paper, but maybe it’s not worth the paper it’s written on? You can let us know via email or social media. Links to those can be found on our website AlmostPlausible.com We do hope you’re enjoying the show and if you are, we hope you’ll take a moment to give us a five-star rating on Apple podcasts. Even if you don’t use Apple podcasts to listen to the show, your rating in that directory will help us tremendously. Thank you for listening to the show. Emily, Shep, and I will be back next week, same pod time, same pod channel, with another episode of Almost Plausible.

[Outro music]

[Shep]
I had Panda Express. I had no fortune cookies. It’s the little things.

[Emily]
It is little things. Normally they give you an abundance of fortune cookies.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
I’ve never gotten more than one and sometimes not even that.

[Thomas]
You need to order from a different Panda Express. You should complain to corporate.

[Shep]
Yeah, I’m not going to commute to get Panda Express, though.

2 Comments

  1. q00u on April 26, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Spy x Family is now an anime!

    • F. Paul Shepard on May 17, 2022 at 2:53 am

      I love it! Very faithful to the source comic.

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