[Disclaimer: The following is not a true story, nor inspired by one]
(In the corner of the cubicle warren, the upper manager confronts an office drone)
Manager: Not only was your report on time instead of early, it was barely edited and the graphics were poor. No wonder you shlump in here day after day, wishing someone would put you out of your misery – I feel the same way about you…. You’re going to cry, aren’t you; that just makes you weak and vulnerable. Oh, now you are crying. If you tattle to H.R., I’ll destroy you. (Cell phone rings; he looks at the caller I.D.) I have to take this. Disappear.
(The drone sobs off; the manager answers the phone while entering an inner office)
Manager: How did you get this number?!
Voice: I’m your mother – I will always find you. You may have turned your back on this family, Jeremiah, but this family will never leave you alone.
Jeremiah: It’s “Jeremy” – I’m hanging up now.
Mother: Fine, hang up, walk away again! Claire is performing in the school talent show and just wants her only uncle to be there for her.
Jeremiah: What? Why?
Mother: Jeremiah, you promised!
Mother: When she was born! You said at the hospital, if she somehow managed to ever get into a talent show, then you’d be there in the front row.
Jeremiah: That’s a lie! `Sides, the commute’s too far.
Mother: Nonsense, you’re only an hour and a half away and the show doesn’t start until 7.
Jeremiah: I’m busy.
Mother: I’m busy! Everyone’s busy! But we’re all still going, and you should, too.
Jeremiah: I don’t want to!
Mother: Jeremiah Benjamin Smith – you will go to your niece’s talent show.
Jeremiah: We’ll see about that. (Disconnects. He looks up and sees that he is in one of the conference rooms while a meeting is in progress)
Chairman: Do you need some PTO, Jeremy?
Jeremiah: No, sir, thank you. (Runs out)
(At 7:30 p.m., the family is seated in the front row of the auditorium and the show has gone through several acts)
Mother: Ach, look who made it.
Jeremiah: (In his suit and on his phone, he climbs over fold-out chairs and people to reach the front row, even though there is plenty of room in the aisles) Sell! I said “Sell”, not “Hell”!
Audience Members: Sshhhh!!!
Jeremiah: (Sits and disconnects) So how long do I have to stay for this thing?
Family and Audience Members: Ssshhh!!!!! (Programs are thrown at him)
Jeremiah: (Grabs a program) She’s on last?!!!!!! (Mother stuffs a program into his mouth)
(The show proceeds with the usual singers, dancers, ventriloquists, and fire breathers. Claire’s act consists of her playing the guitar and singing, but not at the same time. She bows to the confused applause)
Jeremiah: (Slow clap) That’s it? I could’ve been at the bar! (He tosses a carnation with a “Love you” to his niece on the stage and climbs over people and chairs to leave)
Mother: Jeremiah! You are not my son!
Jeremiah: I certainly hope not!
Audience Member: This has been the least boring talent show I’ve ever been to, I must say.