In the last episode of Preston Dirges’ saga, Preston and Valerie were split up during lunch. Meanwhile, Gordon and Tina are late for a meeting hosted by their boss…
Int. Office Meeting Room – Day
Gordon and Tina slip into a meeting, late. Gordon carries a print-out of spreadsheets. The room is barely big enough for the conference table; a dozen people huddle around it. Lee stands at the far end, giving a presentation. There are two spare seats at Lee’s end. Lee stops talking. Gordon and Tina apologize and squeeze their way to the vacant seats.
LEE: So glad you could make it! Now you’re here, should I start again, or maybe I should give a brief summary of what’s been said so far?
GORDON: A brief summary would be good…
TINA: We’ll pick it up as you go along.
LEE: You’ll pick it up? Because I waste time at the start of each presentation, waffling and saying nothing of importance?
TINA: No, sir.
Lee returns to his presentation. Seen from between the shoulders of Gordon and Tina, his voice becomes a drone where individual words cannot be discerned. His movements blur like time-lapse photographs. Gordon pulls out his smartphone under the table, and uses instant messaging to begin a conversation with Tina. The brain translates, in voiceover. Gordon messages: “WDYT Valerie?” The action freezes as the brain explains what is taking place.
BRAIN (V.O.): During the early 21st Century, time constraints demanded that most communication be abbreviated and sent via the internet. Let me guide you through this archetypal example. ‘WDYT Valerie’ means ‘What Do You Think about Valerie?’. Gordon wants to court Valerie, and is seeking Tina’s approval.
The action unfreezes. Tina replies to Gordon – “V=OK”.
BRAIN (V.O.): Tina thinks Valerie is okay.
Gordon – “V=GLG. Nice eyes”
BRAIN (V.O.): Valerie is a Good Looking Girl. Gordon is thinking of Valerie’s breasts, but knows it is more socially acceptable to discuss her eyes.
Tina – “No1 = ugly eyes”
BRAIN (V.O.): Tina suggests that everyone has nice eyes. She is trying to discourage Gordon.
Gordon – “IMHO <> Stevie Wonder. Should I ask V out?”
BRAIN (V.O.): In Gordon’s honest opinion, Stevie Wonder does not have nice eyes. Gordon pursues the question of courting Valerie.
Tina – “!!!??? LOL. ROFL. ROTFLMAO.”
BRAIN (V.O.): Tina says she’s laughing out loud, rolling on the floor with laughter, and rolling on the floor whilst laughing her ass off. None of these are literally true.
Gordon – “SMO”.
BRAIN (V.O.): Serious mode on. Given the context, this is a mild rebuke.
Tina – “SMO: NAGI”
BRAIN (V.O.): Seriously, Tina thinks courting Valerie is not a good idea.
Gordon – “Y”
BRAIN (V.O.): Why?
Tina – “B/C V likely has BF.”
BRAIN (V.O.): Because Valerie probably has a boyfriend already.
Gordon – “WYGIWYAF. Agreed?”
BRAIN (V.O.): What you get is what you ask for. Gordon wants Tina to endorse his plan to court Valerie.
Tina – “No”
BRAIN (V.O.): N-o spells “no”.
The camera tracks back from Gordon and Tina as they continue to send messages. Everyone else is silent, staring at them.
BRAIN (V.O.): (stage cough) Ahem. Psst.
Tina looks up and nudges Gordon.
LEE: Are we interrupting you?
TINA: No. We were just taking notes.
LEE: So you’ve noted everyone’s ideas for improving efficiency, have you? Now what’s your suggestions?
Tina thinks for a moment and then speaks up excitedly.
TINA: We can improve note-taking by giving everyone iPads.
LEE: Yes. Right. (to Gordon) And you, Gordon? What do you suggest?
Lee’s mobile phone rings; he answers it.
GORDON: It’s not cost-cutting, but my marketing proposal…
Lee leaves, still on his phone. The others shuffle out too.
TINA: Never mind Gordon. You can raise your proposal next week.
GORDON: I’m always putting things off. Not any more.