Nov 10, 2022
Theo and Leona of the World Bugle (Team E-O to you) return for
(they originally appeared in Cultists Stole My Baby!)
Written and produced by Julie Hoverson
Theo - Henry Marks
Leona - Robyn Keyes
Chief - Julie Hoverson
Larry - Dave Fontenot
Baby Dali1 - Julie Hoverson
Baby Dali2 - Risa Torres
Baby Dali3 - Danar Hoverson
Waitress - Sirena Raine
Melody - Tanja Milojevic
Harmony - Cailean Evedus
Other Dalis - Marleigh Norton, Kat Pryde, Gwendolyn Gieseke-Woodard, Kimberly Gianopoulos, Kimberly Poole, Brittney Cruz
Music by Josh
Dali Song - Music by Reju (used under creative commons license), words by Arthur O'Shaugnessy, Sung by Julie Hoverson
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
Cover Design: Julie Hoverson
"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's an infamous newsroom, can't you tell?"
Whatever Happened to Baby Dali?
[Opening credits - Olivia]
Theo "Smoothie" Walsh
OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's a notorious Newsroom, can't you tell?
REPORTER 1 So your sister said - oh, not YOUR sister, a NUN named SISTER.
REPORTER 2 Drinking the vinegar counteracts the toxins in the system due to--
REPORTER 3 Fourteen people just vanished? Were you on any mind-altering substances?
REPORTER 4 Yes, if you spell it backwards it certainly does make the word--
SOUND DOOR CLOSES
THEO Chief? I - uh-- [breaks off in horror]
SOUND RUSTLE OF TAFFETA
CHIEF Whaddaya think?
THEO [freaked out] Are you... getting married? [squeak] In white?
LEONA [quiet] Are you really asking?
CHIEF Nah - scared ya didn't I?
CHIEF Don't worry. I'm still eligible.
LEONA Back away. Don't take your eyes off her.
CHIEF Whaddaya think? It's a little tight in the gut. Gonna have to cut some of them carbs.
THEO [trying] Yeah. That would do it.
CHIEF At least I got the shoulders to pull off strapless. Hey, where you going?
LEONA Eager to get to work. You know these young pups.
CHIEF Good attitude. Interview room 3.
THEO Oh, good!
LEONA [side of her mouth] Quick.
SOUND DOOR SHUTS
THEO what was that?
LEONA It's June.
LEONA Happens about this time every year.
LEONA Bridal feature pull-out? I don't know! [hissed] I don't ask! [commanding] Room 3.
THEO Oh, right.
SOUND DOOR OPENS
LEONA You go first.
THEO Right. [a beat] Holy cow! It's her!
LEONA Chief doesn't move that fast. Especially in a train.
THEO No, I mean - I mean - It IS you, isn't it?
DALI 1 Is it safe here?
THEO Why does everyone ask that?
LEONA Who does he think you are?
DALI 1 I'm - I'm Baby Dali.
THEO I knew it! I love your music.
LEONA We don't do publicity stunts. C'mon, Smoothie.
SOUND HUSTLES HIM OUT OF ROOM, DOOR SHUTS
THEO We don't?
LEONA Of course we do. When we arrange them. Part of our job - your job - is to protect the Bugle from being used for anyone ELSE's cheap publicity.
THEO Oh. But Baby Dali's been missing for fourteen days!
LEONA Probably in rehab.
THEO No! No one knows where she's been! If we could break the story--
LARRY Hey! You'll never guess who I just took a call from!
LEONA State mental health board?
LARRY [gloating] Baby Dali. She's ready to come home, and called US to break the story!
THEO Wait, but she--
LEONA [covering] When did she call?
LARRY Just now.
THEO Where did she say she was?
LARRY Hah! No way. This is MY scoop! [running away, laughing] My ticket out of the bullpen! [stops, turns back] Hah!
THEO That's ... sad.
LEONA Yeah. Send a stripper. Come on.
THEO Where are we going?
LEONA [exasperated] Room 3?
SOUND DOOR OPENS
LEONA Sorry about that. Had to do some quick fact checking.
THEO Yeah! Make sure you're really.... [melting] Really her.
DALI 1 Precisely the problem! Proving I'm her! I mean me.
LEONA [muttered prompt] Oh?
THEO [gasp] Oh?
DALI 1 I'm plagued with posers!
LEONA [sigh] Aren't the solid black sunglasses and white fright wig a bit of a giveaway?
THEO [infatuated] I knew who you were the moment I saw you.
DALI 1 You have a nice face.
THEO I do?
LEONA My colleague will now take notes.
SOUND PEN, PAPER, SLAPPED DOWN
SOUND IN CAR
THEO Where are we going?
LEONA Following Larry.
LEONA [disgusted sigh]
THEO [getting it] Oh, him! How do we find him again?
LEONA He hasn't left yet.
THEO How do you know?
LEONA I ordered donuts.
DALI 1 Oh!
LEONA Shh. You're not here, remember?
DALI 1 [singing] I swear!
THEO Why is she hiding in the back seat under your gym bag?
LEONA One - so she won't be seen, since she won't take off that wig.
DALI 1 It is my own hair!
LEONA Like hell. I saw it shift.
DALI 1 It is a wig - but it IS my own hair.
LEONA [shudder] uhhhhh.
THEO And two?
LEONA Two what?
THEO You said that was reason one. What's two?
LEONA So you can focus, dumbass.
LEONA There he goes! Keep your eyes on the green Camaro.
LEONA [growl] Green car. Coming out of the parking garage!
LARRY [giving a code phrase] The dog flies in the springtime.
DALI 2 [squeaky] Yellow is the color of my true love's eyes.
LARRY You sound... different.
DALI 2 I use a voice modulator on stage.
LARRY Ah. So. The world is listening. Tell me your story.
DALI 2 Listening? Aren't you from the print media?
LARRY Oh. Yeah. I was speaking figuratively.
DALI 2 I see. Anyway... I have a really big story, but I have to be certain it will see print!
LARRY Of course!
SOUND FOOTSTEPS STORM UP
DALI 1 Imposter!
DALI 2 Imposter!
LEONA [off, whispered] I thought you were watching her!
THEO [vague] Uh-huh.
LEONA Go get the story dumbass.
THEO But you?
LEONA I can take photos from here.
THEO [vague] Okay.
LEONA Did I mention I'm not giving warnings any more?
LARRY [angry] You? No way! The tale of two Dalis is all mine!
THEO I - we - brought one of them.
LARRY Then dance with the Dali you came with! It's only fair!
DALI 1 She's a fake!
DALI 2 She's a fake!
THEO Waitaminute. You don't even sound like--
BOTH DALIS Autotune!!
DALI 3 [chiming in] Autotune.
THEO Oh. Huh? Three?
WAITRESS All, righty then - that will be 3 orders of waffles, three fruit cups-
ALL DALIS It's the only thing vegan on the menu.
WAITRESS And two pots of coffee. Comin right up!
SOUND DOOR OPENS
SOUND DINER NOISES
SOUND DOOR SHUTS, CUTTING OUT THE SOUND
LEONA [prompting] Ok, this isn't going to last forever - someone will say something, eventually, and then these three won't be an exclusive any more!
LARRY Exclusive to all three of us. I get my credit, too.
THEO Of course! Fair is fair.
LEONA [muttered] I got your credit right here.
DALI 1 Can we get on with this?
DALI 2 I have a recording session in two hours.
DALI 3 No, I do.
DALI 1 How can they be so much like me?
LEONA Ask them some questions - figure out which is the real one.
THEO Right. Ok. Which of you is the real Baby Dali?
ALL DALIS I am.
DALI 3 Or should I say [singing] I am me and no one else is.
LARRY Sounds convincing to me.
LEONA I think that one's a guy.
THEO That doesn't help... there's been "speculation" about Dali.
LEONA [disgusted noise] Ugh! At least let me get some snaps while you think.
SOUND TAKING PHOTOS
THEO Gee, they even pose alike.
LARRY I guess it will all come down to DNA.
THEO I don't think so. Dali is a notorious germophobe, and a compulsive clean freak. [nervously over explaining] According to her official web page, which I only browsed for informational newspaper business reasons.
LARRY Yeah, me too, but I didn't read much. Those costumes are pretty skimpy.
THEO Don't be so creepy, not right in front of her - uh, them.
SOUND DOOR KICKED IN
LARRY [faints] Uhhh...
LEONA I'll be in the... uh... Corner.
THEO Stop right there!
MELODY You're not giving orders here!
HARMONY Yeah. Get those hands up where we can see them.
LEONA Keep them talking, this is great.
LEONA Find out what they want.
THEO They're dressed like ninjas.
MELODY What did you say?
MELODY I heard you, and I have perfect pitch.
THEO oh. Nothing ... uh... uncomplimentary.
MELODY [getting closer] Do you know who we are?
LEONA Say no.
THEO Uh, no? and - and I don't want to, because that way I can never identify you or even report you for robbing a waffle house!
MELODY [scoffing] Waffle house!
HARMONY We care nothing for your waffles.
THEO Uh, ok.
ALL DALIS We're having the fruit cup.
MELODY No. No fruit cup today. You are coming with us. Just you three.
LEONA You can't just leave us here. We might-- [prompting] might--?
THEO Uh, what?
LEONA We might [prompting] do something? Ugh!
THEO We might tell [heavy import] THEM.
MELODY [horrified] How do you know about THEM?
LEONA I'm actually impressed.
THEO oh... Everyone knows about THEM. But only a select few know how to reach THEM.
MELODY [grim] right. You will come with us as well.
HARMONY What about the sleeping one? Does he know THEM?
LEONA Oh, him? He doesn't know anyone.
SOUND WALKING, ECHOEY
THEO Can we take off the blindfolds now?
MELODY Harmony! Take off the blindfolds. And search them. We don't want any messages getting to THEM.
ALL DALIS [general interjections of annoyance like Hey! Stop! Ouch! Ooh!]
HARMONY Give me your phone.
HARMONY What's this, in your bag? [confused, examining a camera] It has a lens like a phone, but it's awfully big. And it doesn't even have a keypad.
LEONA Hmph. It's an antique. Keepsake. I keep meaning to have it mounted on a keychain.
HARMONY It's big for a keychain.
LEONA [exasperated] I'll never lose my keys. Besides, I still use the flash... uh - flashlight function sometimes. See?
SOUND CAMERA SNAPS
HARMONY Oh. Ok then. And you.
THEO Be gentle.
LEONA [sarcastic aside] Be careful. At least she left on the ninja mask. [up, to Theo] find out what's going on.
THEO Harmony, is it? A codename, I'm sure, since you and your partner there are clearly too smart to use your real names in front of your victims - I mean in front of civilians.
HARMONY [noncommittal grunt] Hmph.
THEO All right. I'm not asking for me, but what do you plan to do with the Baby Dalis? I worry that something bad is going to happen.
HARMONY Nothing bad. To them.
THEO That's a lower case "them," right? Not a THEM them?
MELODY Enough chit-chat! You probably know why we brought you here--
LEONA Not a clue.
MELODY We are the Secret Protectorate Aligned to Reduce or Control Leaching of Entertainers.
THEO Leaching? Huh?
MELODY We needed an "L".
LEONA Sparcle? [snort of almost laughter]
THEO Tell me more. I'm a good listener.
MELODY You don't know it, friend, but there's a celebrity crisis happening every 20 minutes, and no one else is trying to help!
THEO No? Really?
MELODY That - those three - are proof of the latest perfidy the government has in the works.
ALL DALIS We are?
MELODY [definite] Cloning.
ALL DALIS Uh...
DALI 3 [panicked] I need to use the bathroom.
DALI 1 Yes, my disappearance was a publicity stunt, and yes I am the real Baby Dali.
LEONA Heh heh - just like To Tell The Truth.
DALI 2 What?
LEONA God I feel old.
THEO And the other two - you and ... her?
DALI 2 Professional Dali impersonator. I was just taking advantage of the vacuum left by her--
SOUND DOOR OPENS, FEET ENTER
DALI 3 [crying and running in]
MELODY Do not worry, Baby Dalis, we are only here to liberate you and facilitate your re-entry into society.
LEONA Like a celebrity dogpound.
LEONA Better make it truly, monumentally good.
DALI 2 Way to take the pressure off.
THEO Uh, what if I were to tell you I'm a reporter for the Weekly World Bugle?
MELODY I would be forced to kill you.
HARMONY We're not yet ready to reveal our manifesto to the world.
THEO Ah. Good thing that would have been a ruse, then, eh?
LEONA We're gonna die.
THEO But you have to ask yourself, then, how DO I know about THEM?
Moment of silence
MELODY [cold] I don't have to ask anything.
HARMONY [shocked] Melody! You know that we can't do that! [cut off]
MELODY Shh!!! How do I even know that you know about THEM, eh?
LEONA I do not want to die at the hands of bimbos named after the bugaloos.
THEO [ominous but vague] Do you know about the government connection?
MELODY [shocked] You know?
THEO But it's not who you think it is. They want us to believe it's this department, or that [hinting] bureau, when ultimately... [trails off suggestively]
HARMONY He does know!
THEO The officials in question might just find themselves a little less able to sleep at night, if they knew that you knew that I know that THEY know just what's behind it all.
MELODY Do you know the countersign?
THEO Like that incident last month. [breaking his train] The what?
LEONA [muttered] Bugaloos.
MELODY [suspicious] It almost sounds like you're one of us. Do you know the countersign?
LEONA [muttered] Benita Bizarre?
THEO Uh... Josie and the Pussycats?
LEONA [exasperated] Damn!
MELODY Welcome brother!
LEONA [impressed] Damn!
AMB DIFFERENT ROOM
MELODY Don't speak yet.
SOUND MUSIC TURNED ON
MELODY It jams any listening device.
THEO I love this song.
MELODY It seemed fitting. [suddenly brisk] So. What do you know about the cloning project?
THEO Uh... nothing specific. We've had our eye on suspicious activity for quite some time.
MELODY Damn. I was hoping.
THEO Well... I don't think they can be actual "clones". Don't they take years to grow? And Baby Dali only really got famous with her song "Treehouse victim" last year.
MELODY You underestimate the cloning process. The technology is there.
THEO Oh. But they're not... perfect copies...?
MELODY That is the trickiest part. They are clearly mixing DNA.
MELODY Yes. The squeaky one is probably mixed with that creepy chick from Poultergeist.
THEO Ri-i-ight. And the other?
MELODY [definite] Morgan Freeman.
THEO Uh, yeah.
SOUND DOOR FLUNG OPEN
HARMONY (breathless) We’ve found more! There must have been a breach at the Baby Dali containment center!
THEO Containment Center?
MELODY They had to breed them some place.
THEO Tell me, do you guys see a lot of Elvises?
MELODY How many?
MELODY No, I mean how many Babys have we found?
HARMONY Four more, and another 8 possible sightings.
THEO That's a lot of Dalis.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, SCUFFLE SUDDENLY STOPS
SOUND FEET, DOOR SHUTS
THEO What are you doing?
DALI 2 I want to take this all off and get them to let me go! But they won't let me!
LEONA Naked? That'll be a photo op.
DALI 2 Just the makeup and wig!
DALI 1 Never tarnish the illusion.
THEO Don't! Their belief in this clone thing might be the only thing keeping us all alive.
DALI 3 Besides, I can't take it off - I've had surgery.
THEO [creeped out] Oh?
DALI 3 For my FACE. Not down there. That's probably what started all the rumors.
DALI 1 I love the rumors.
DALI 3 [starstruck] You do? Really?
SOUND SILENCE, DOOR OPENS
HARMONY Get in there!
SOUND SEVERAL PAIRS OF FEET
THEO Oh, yeah. They've been finding more of them.
SOUND DOOR SLAMS, LOCKS
DALI 4 They took me right off the stage!
DALI 5 I was on a date.
DALI 7 Busking in the subway.
DALI 8 [bad asian accent] I Baby Dorry.
DALI 6 I was working a party.
THEO And no one tried to stop them from taking you?
DALI 6 What could 6-year olds do?
THEO Oh. [gets it] Ohhh.
DALI 9 I like your glasses. Are those Couture?
DALI 10 Knockoffs, but they're good aren’t they? I'll give you the url.
LEONA Even if one of them does get naked, I don't think it will stop them. [up] Haven't you - no I mean you - already done that on stage?
ALL DALIS I am a SPECTACLE!
LEONA She's done just about everything on stage except light her farts.
THEO That's it!
ALL DALIS We're vegan.
LEONA Don't look at me.
THEO I don't mean [hinting] lighting gas...
LEONA You lost me.
THEO Have you ever seen the movie Gaslight?
THEO Hey! You better get in here!
SOUND LOCK UNLOCKING
LEONA One more shot.
SOUND DOOR OPENS
HARMONY [horrified] What happened? Where's their hair?
MELODY Is she - uh, that one - dead?
THEO [strange voice] She is dying of captivity.
ALL DALIS [chanting together] We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.
MELODY But she's still talking.
THEO Mechanical convictions.
HARMONY I love that song.
MELODY Brother Theo, what happened?
THEO There is more at work here than you can comprehend. I like you.
LEONA Straight from Gaslight to Star Trek. Smooth.
THEO But I hate you.
HARMONY You're mean!
SOUND SHE GOES RUNNING OFF, CRYING
ALL DALIS [CHANTING ALONG] World-losers and world forsakers, on who the pale moon gleams.
THEO Oh! Uh--
LEONA Don't back off.
THEO Right. [trying to match the Dali tone] We are the Music Makers and We are the Dreamers of Dreams.
LEONA You do realize she didn't write that, don't you?
MELODY [confused] Why are you just speaking it like that, why aren't you singing?
THEO [creepy whisper] Because - we have no melody!
MELODY [disturbed] But-but I'm Melody!
THEO Are you? Are you even here?
MELODY I - I am! And I still have the gun - uh... [horrified] My gun?!
LEONA Plan B.
SOUND GUN COCKS
LEONA [commanding] Time to go.
THEO Ok, we--
LEONA Quick, before they decide on an encore.
CHIEF Good thing you got them all moving.
LEONA We got pictures of them both with and without the wigs, and of them leaving to get on a special charter bus.
THEO They painted the name on the side really fast.
LEONA No, that's actually a company that only gives tours to Dali impersonators.
THEO Go figure. Do they have an Elvis bus too?
LEONA Yeah. But they get fewer drag performers.
CHIEF [reminiscent] Yeah. They serve deep fried bananas, and spin a wheel to see which color outfit gets to sit shotgun. [breaking out] Uh, uh - I mean, I hear they do.
LEONA [quick, changing the subject] Right. We've got at least four stories out of this.
THEO And something for Larry.
LEONA [annoyed and horrified] What?
THEO He was in on it, too. [sheepish] at the beginning.
CHIEF Larry? Larry who?
LEONA From the switchboard.
CHIEF Look kid. Being nice ain't how news gets made. It's just a fact o' life.
THEO Well... If we don't give him something, he might take what he DOES have and go to another paper.
LEONA You want to give him a story?
THEO [weakly] He could have the waffle house kidnapping.
LEONA [long suffering sigh] I guess. As long as he leaves our names out of it. You just volunteered to edit it.
CHIEF So what else do you have for me?
THEO Mass migration of dalis.
LEONA [snickering] SPARCLE.
THEO The sublimation of and abrogation of self in the gestalt identity of celebrity.
THEO I can spin it.
CHIEF Nice. Big words make people believe crap like that. Whatever it is.
THEO I meant an article on how people try and be like famous people.
CHIEF Keep the big words. It sounds better.
THEO I'll find some experts.
LEONA [another idea] There's also that thing about whether she is a he. Theo found out--
THEO Uh, no.
CHIEF What do you mean?
THEO The real one wouldn't confirm or deny.
LEONA Even when she kissed you?
THEO Yeah, well... [shrugs] A Dali is a Dali.
CHIEF You could do something with that, you know. On the puzzles page. Get three of them and one fake impersonator.
CHIEF Put pictures of them all in a four box grid and stick some clues in as to which is which. Run a little contest. Think about it. [commanding] In your office. I have to call someone about flowers.
THEO [thinking back to the wedding thing] Flowers? For?
CHIEF Truman at the Guardian when he drops dead seeing our headlines.
THEO Ohhh. Good.
LEONA Come on.
CHIEF Eh. Maybe I should just send that stripper.
SOUND DOOR SHUTS
SOUND THEY LEAVE - THIS FADES ACROSS THE BULLPEN
LEONA I like the puzzle idea, though we should make it 9-up, like the brady bunch.
LEONA [angry growl] Nostalgia. Look it up.
THEO Who will be the fake impersonator?
LEONA She did say you have a nice face.
THEO NO way!
LEONA I have to take the picture.
REPORTER 4 We actually already have all the Dalis we can use.
REPORTER 3 No, thanks, but if you have an MJ sighting? No?
REPORTER 2 Anything else? Photo of the prez stepping into a spaceship?
REPORTER 1 Yes, yes I'll ask - can we use anything from Ringo Starr? He's on the line and--
ALL REPORTERS Naaaaaaaah.
FADE TO END