May 20, 2022
Paul and Donna are hired by Prince Waldo Charming to find his lost love - his only clue? A shoe.
Donna Bella - Julie Hoverson
Paul Bette - Joel Harvey
Goldy Taylor - Rhys Torres-Miller
Prince Waldo - Morgan Brown
Alexander - Will Watt
Rumplestiltskin - Philemon Vanderbeck
Miss Barbara - Robert Cudmore (YAP Audio)
Espadrille - Reynaud LeBoeuf
Music by Somewhere Off Jazz Street
Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com)
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
Cover Design: Julie Hoverson
"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's a private detective's office
in a time sort of like the 1940s, can't you tell?"
PUMPS AND SPECTATORS - B&B Investigates, episode 2
Goldy Tailor - secretary
Prince Waldo Charming
Espadrille gruff "stepsister"
Barbara, housemother/fairy godmother
OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's a Detective Agency, can't you tell?
SOUND PHONE RINGS, PICKS UP
GOLDY B&B Investigations, may I help you? [beat, then turns belligerent] Look, it ain't gonna happen. ... No. Because the boss don't help no one find tarts. Nope. Never.
SOUND HANGS UP
DONNA Another missing good time girl?
GOLDY Nahhh. Queen of hearts. Ya know.
DONNA Oh. Patticakes. Well, if anything real comes in, I can handle it. [annoyed] Just 'cause Paul's not back from the enchanted brute convention as early as he was supposed to be doesn't mean the office shuts down. He may be off doing who knows what with his furred and fanged cronies, but I'm sure he knows he can trust me to take on whatever--
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
GOLDY Man, she had it bad. A case of sea green envy for what the boss might be getting up to with his old college chums. So what they were mostly frogs, bears, and the occasional walrus - she'd heard the sort of thing they used to get up to--
DONNA What are you doing?
GOLDY Filling in. The boss should be back any minute, and then --
DONNA Look, I don't need anyone else horning in on my - our voiceovers.
GOLDY I just figured you might not want to be the one pouring your heart out in a narrative conceit....
DONNA So you thought you'd pour it out for me? [sarcastic] Thanx.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, JINGLE OF BELL
ALEXANDER Pardon the interruption, ladies. May I announce Prince Waldo Charming?
SOUND STRIDES REGALLY IN, FOLLOWED BY AN ENDLESS ENTOURAGE.
DONNA Did you have to bring the whole box of toy soldiers? The office is only so big.
ALEXANDER [consults with the prince, then] Atten-hut! About face! March.
SOUND ENDLESS FEET LEAVE AGAIN
ALEXANDER The prince apologizes for the intrusion, but he prefers to keep this as informal and ‑ahem- low-profile as possible.
DONNA Sure. I can see that. Why don't you step into the office over here?
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
DONNA So this was the infamous prince Waldo - the biggest royal catch of the last eight fishing seasons, and far too wily to let himself get hooked. Every princess, rich society dame, screen siren, and various other lesser gold diggers had set their bait for him, and he swam serenely past them all. I'm not among the anglers myself, since I already had my own trophy in sight- my own partner, Paul Bette, away now drinking with his cronies and doing whatever they please in the name of "old times".
GOLDY [side of the mouth] You're staring.
GOLDY [side of the mouth] He's about to get a restraining order.
DONNA Oh, um-- Office, right.
SOUND OFFICE DOOR CLOSES
DONNA Well? What can I do for you?
SOUND CLICK OF INTERCOM
GOLDY A package just came for you.
DONNA Busy now. Goldy? Three coffees, please? One too hot, and two just right? Yes.
SOUND INTERCOM OUT
DONNA So, what brings you to a private investigator?
PRINCE I don't think we need to discuss it until he arrives.
DONNA [barely polite] What? [exasperated noise] He is due back soon, but I can help you just as well. My name's on the door too. Well, my initial, anyway.
PRINCE [bland, disinterested] Oh? Lovely. I hope you don't mind, but I find this is really a masculine sort of problem.
DONNA There are potions for that, you know.
ALEXANDER [incensed] Young lady, what are you intimating?
DONNA That maybe he doesn't live up to his name?
ALEXANDER What's wrong with Waldo?
DONNA I meant Charming.
PRINCE I'll have you know--
SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN
PAUL Coffee? Donna? Why don't you let me deal with these good gentlemen.
PAUL [muttered] Go to voiceover.
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
DONNA [spitting words] So I left the boys to it.
PAUL [vo] What Donna didn't know was that I'd been listening on the intercom and knew she'd been about to scratch the eyes out of a very powerful prince--
DONNA It wasn't his eyes I'd be aiming for--
PAUL And it wouldn't do us any good to get on his wrong side.
DONNA Does he have a right one?
PAUL So rather than subject her to more of the prince's royaler-than-thou attitude, I decided to step in and let her off the hook.
DONNA [softening] Oh!
DONNA Leave the intercom on. [blows him a kiss]
VOICEOVER MUSIC FADES
DONNA I'll just scoot then and go get my nails done or something, shall I?
PRINCE While nothing could possibly enhance your already considerable beauty, I'm certain that's precisely what you need. [kisses her hand]
SOUND FOOTSTEPS, DOOR
DONNA Yup. Definitely need to get my nails sharpened.
GOLDY Come on. Let's hear what they have to say--
PRINCE [on intercom] Bit of a temper, has she, that girl?
PAUL [on intercom, fading to normal voice halfway through] You don't know the half of it. She's passionate about everything.
PRINCE Ah. Well, then. Let me get down to the problem at hand. I think you will understand, Mr., um--
PAUL Bette. Paul Bette. Just call me Paul if you like.
PRINCE Paul. Quite. And you may call me Prince Charming.
PAUL Charmed. [waits for a laugh, nothing] Ah. Your case?
PRINCE Well, I have a passing acquaintance with an old school chum of yours, Prince Freddie Grenouille, and he says you are top of the line - both for cleverness and for ... ahem... discretion.
PAUL Absolutely. Anything you say won't leave this room.
PRINCE Good. I'm sorry to take so long to come to the point here, but this is a very delicate and stressful situation, and I am truly truly desperate.
PAUL Go on.
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
PAUL I'd seen it all, from paternity suits to clearing up the occasional "carriage under the influence" charge. And the royals were often the worst. They could get away with pretty much anything, as long as they were willing to risk the occasional fairy charm or gypsy curse.
DONNA But Charming had never been a "bad boy" - at least not in any way that made it into the scandal rags--
PAUL Hey, what's with the--
DONNA My new voiceover music just arrived by special messenger. I'm trying out a couple of different pieces. What do you think?
DONNA You don't like it.
PAUL It's a little ... perky.
DONNA Fine. Go ahead and finish up.
PAUL Are you ...annoyed?
DONNA [snapping] No.
VOICEOVER MUSIC CHANGES BACK TO NORMAL
PAUL Charming did have a nearly spotless record. He was an athlete - Greco-roman wrestling, fencing, and polo, a supporter of the arts - even acted in a few charity plays from time to time. A general bon vivant. No dark side, or so everyone thought...
VOICEOVER MUSIC OUT
PRINCE [vibrant] So when I danced with her last night, it was like we'd known each other for ever!
PAUL Did you happen to catch her name?
PRINCE Only Cindy. When I asked her last name, she merely smiled and changed the subject - she was so alluring!
PAUL And you want me to--
PRINCE [desperate] Find her. I must see her again. You can't possibly understand the pressure a thirty-uh-something prince is under to find a bride.
PAUL I can see that would be awkward.
PRINCE Women are constantly being shoved at me from all sides, and - frankly? I can't stand most of them. They're such insipid little birds. They tell me how fascinating I am, and then proceed to show they know nothing at all about me. They profess to like all the things I like, then don't even know how to spell jai-alai, let alone play it.
PRINCE [continued] I've spent years carefully keeping clear of marriage, since it would mean I'd have to spend my entire life with a silly little twit, and would be obligated to listen to her chirp.
PAUL And this Cindy?
PRINCE [raptured] Completely different. She dressed marvelously, but didn't feel compelled to give me the names of all her tailors. She danced like a dream, but didn't demand I take her for one more spin around the floor, or suggest we walk out on the balcony. And when she said she liked the things I like, she - she actually did!
PAUL Can you give me a description?
PRINCE About my height - in heels - long glossy dark chestnut hair - a few shades darker than your young lady's auburn - rather like Alexander's here - huge luminous eyes, and long artist's fingers on very strong hands.
PAUL Hmm. Alexander, was it?
ALEXANDER [slightly panicky] Sir?
PAUL Can you add anything?
ALEXANDER I wasn't-- I was with a sick friend last night.
PAUL Ah. That's awkward. [to prince] Do you have any other clue to her identity?
PRINCE Oh, yes. Alexander, the bag.
SOUND BAG PLOPPED ONTO DESK, SOMETHING PULLED OUT
PAUL A... shoe.
PRINCE She ran away at the stroke of midnight, and left it behind.
PAUL Can I keep this?
PRINCE But - she'll need it, when I find her again.
PAUL I mean to go over it for clues. I'll get it back to you.
PRINCE [sigh of relief] Well, yes, then. I thought-- nevermind.
PAUL I have my own female troubles - I have no plans to try and horn in on yours.
ALEXANDER You think any woman would throw over [too warm] such a Charming price, for a big brute of a private eye?
PAUL [chastened] No. [tries to chuckle] Course not. But I do have to warn you, sire--
PAUL This girl. If she deliberately made herself such a mystery, there may very well be a good reason.
PRINCE like what?
PAUL She could be anything - a commoner, a ghost, a transformed hedgehog--
PAUL The point is, you need to face reality and understand that there could be something very shady about her.
PRINCE I don't care. She's the only woman I've ever felt this way about, and I plan to marry her - come what may. You find her for me. I shall handle the rest.
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
PAUL Chauvinist or not, Charming was determined, in that way that only princes in love can be. It was that particular brand of love that drives one to climb unclimbable mountains and fight unkillable dragons, and what do they get at the end? Married.
DONNA Like Charming said, most princesses were simpering idiots with more hair than brains, and I should know - I may not be one myself, but I went to the same prep school.
PAUL This? You decided on this?
DONNA Give me a break. I can't tell how they're gonna sound until I try them out.
PAUL This is awful.
DONNA Fine. Let me see the shoe, and we'll go on from there.
SOUND SHOE SET ON DESK
SOUND HE SITS IN CHAIR
PAUL Do you think it's a little... large?
DONNA A bit bigger than mine.
PAUL Really, I guess I never really--
DONNA Look at my feet?
PAUL [leering a bit] I never make it down that far...
SOUND SHE SITS UP ON DESK
PAUL Really. [slight growl]
DONNA Question. When I left, did the prince and his friend -uh- make it down that far?
PAUL What do you mean?
DONNA What were they looking at?
PAUL They just watched you leave.
DONNA I didn't hear you growl--
PAUL Well, of course-- [suddenly worried] Oh-- you actually notice when I do that?
DONNA [dreamy] Of course I do. I don't mind when you-- um, get annoyed on my behalf.
PAUL [deep breath] I think we're getting a bit off track here.
DONNA Right. Shoe.
PAUL No, left. Shoe. Anything?
DONNA It's a Dolce-geppeto. They're pricey, but not extortionate. Too bad she didn't mention her dressmaker - that would have been a much better clue.
PAUL Well, how many places sell these shoes?
DONNA Assuming she's local, maybe six of the big boutiques downtown.
PAUL You wanna take those, then? Go ask questions?
DONNA Um... No.
PAUL You don't want to go shopping for shoes? I mean, [scared] you're going to leave me to hit all these fancy ladies' shoe shops?
DONNA I have some ideas of my own to follow up on, and the shoe isn't going anywhere. Tell you what, if you don't get a hit on the shoe in 24 hours, I'll take it.
PAUL But - but how do I even ask?
SOUND INTERCOM BEEP
DONNA Goldy, could you come in here?
DONNA Take this to Rose & Snow's and ask for the style number. Then ask them if they have any record of someone buying this shoe in this size in the last two weeks.
GOLDY I don't do legwork. I ain't as young as I used to be.
DONNA Buy yourself a pair of shoes - on the office - while you're there.
GOLDY Gimme that!
SOUND SNATCH, DOOR SLAMS
PAUL [brightening] So I could just send her round to every store?
DONNA Not at a pair of shoes per trip. We'd run through our entire commission.
DONNA I said they weren't cheap. One pair we can add in as a legitimate expense - past that... [shrug] Once you get the style nunmber, you can phone the rest. Well, I'm heading out.
SOUND JUMPS DOWN OFF DESK
DONNA Need anything?
PAUL [a bit lost, watching her] Um, no...
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
PAUL Wo. [deep breath] I thought over the content of our discussion and realized there was something she was keeping back - that secret smile, the strange questions - but while we were talking I couldn't take my eyes off her, sitting on my desk like that, one silk-seamed leg crossed over the other. [growl] She doesn't even seem to notice the effect she has on me, and I'm not sure whether that makes it worse or better - if I tell her, she might just stop, and then I won't even get this much of a--
MUSIC CHANGES AGAIN
DONNA What is this, a beer garden? They sent me the wrong box, I'm sure of it.
PAUL It's not so bad - for a polka.
DONNA Hmph. You done yet?
PAUL Uh, yeah - I'll talk to a few folks while I'm waiting for Goldy to get back.
DONNA [beat] There are things men just don't see, and which it's probably better they don't. A picture was painting itself in my head, and while it wasn't a particularly tricky answer to the problem of find the girl, it also wasn't likely to have the happiest of endings. Why? I added up a size 11 shoe, a lady who could spell jai alai and a prince who didn't stare at my backside as I left the room, and I got a very queer answer indeed.
MUSIC STARTS TO FADE
DONNA And it was an answer I wasn't sure my wonderful he-man partner would be at all happy about, which is why I went alone to a boarding house we used to rather snottily call Gamma Alpha Ypsilon, back in my own sorority days.
SOUND FEET ON PORCH, KNOCK ON DOOR
DONNA Hi, I'm a P.I. and I'm--
SOUND DOOR SLAM
SOUND KNOCK ON DOOR
DONNA I'm not going away. You can talk to me, or you can talk to my partner, and he ain't gonna understand.
SOUND DOOR FLUNG OPEN
BARBARA What do you want?
DONNA I'm looking for someone, and I think she might be known here.
BARBARA For this you come around annoying my girls? Scaring poor Espadrille half to death?
DONNA I have no interest in making trouble for anybody. Please. I just have some questions and would rather not shout them to the entire world. Can we talk?
BARBARA [deciding] You tell me what you need, I decide if I'll ask anyone else. Come on - my parlor's over here.
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
DONNA So I outlined the problem, and Miss Barbara was very upset by the whole situation - she said she was sure Cindy wasn't one of her ...boarders, but that she would ask around. She didn't give me much hope, though.
BARBARA Tell the poor boy it will never work. Two worlds, all that. He would have to be willing and able to take her as she is - warts and all, as they say - and the chances of that are - pfft!
DONNA You might be surprised.
BARBARA Honey, I ain't been surprised in years.
VOICEOVER MUSIC CUTS IN
PAUL Were you using the old music again?
DONNA I ...forgot. Sorry. But the new stuff is pretty cringe-worthy.
PAUL Keep trying, sweetheart. You'll find something.
DONNA I hope so. Did you need the voiceover?
PAUL Only if you're finished.
DONNA [sigh] Yeah, I guess so. I need to think.
PAUL So I checked with the photographers from last night's big bash - and found that the mystery just deepened. This Cindy was a slick sister - seemed to always know where the snappers were and managed to keep her back to them all night. Only once did they catch half a profile, head and shoulders with just a glimpse of the side of her face - I told him to blow it up and send it over, along with a dozen of the dress, figuring maybe Donna could play name that dressmaker. Then I decided to catch up with an old friend...
SOUND BANGING ON A DOOR
RUMPY [muffled, hung over] Bugger off!
SOUND CLINKING OF COINS
PAUL One, two, three--
SOUND DOOR IS FLUNG OPEN
RUMPY If it ain't me old pal, Bette. Git yourself inside here - that daylight's too damn bright.
SOUND SHUFFLING FEET
PAUL It's dark out.
SOUND A COUPLE OF STEPS
RUMPY Then what am I doing asleep?
RUMPY [amused] Gotta watch them rafters, you old beanstalk you.
PAUL [strained, cause he's bending over] I need you to find out about someone for me. A woman.
RUMPY Your sweet partner? She running around with other ...dicks?
PAUL What? What do you--?
RUMPY Nothing. Just wondering maybe she plying her trade - and I do mean detecting, no offense, [sarcastic] my friend - elsewhere.
PAUL Of course she's not. She wouldn't--
RUMPY You're probably right. So who did you want me to check over?
SOUND CORK OUT OF JUG
PAUL [musing] There wouldn't be time, anyway - though she didn't want to take on the shoe--
RUMPY [gulping, then] Whazzat?
PAUL Nothing. Um. Right. A woman who was spotted at the Prince's June Glam ball last night. No one seems to know who she was, and she didn't, apparently, have an invite.
RUMPY [way sarcastic] Yeah, one look at me, and you just know I'm up on the society pages.
PAUL I don't think this dame's "society." I think she's working an angle on the prince, and I want to know if there's a whisper anywhere.
RUMPY What's in it for me?
PAUL This, now--
SOUND CLINK OF TWO COINS
PAUL And twice that if you can deliver.
RUMPY C'mon, Bette, old buddy, old pal - I'm gonna haveta drink around for this, maybe float some people. Play the game.
PAUL Keep your receipts.
SOUND A COUPLE STEPS, THEN
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER
PAUL I started the wheels in motion, but nothing would turn up for a couple of days - if ever. [beat] Donna? Are you there? [beat, then worried] I figured she just didn't like the case - she certainly didn't seem to take a shine to that prince. He was handsome, in that tall, cold, blonde princely sort of way, and she always says she hates those guys. [beat] Donna?
DONNA Busy now. I'll fill in my part later.
PAUL Where are you? Maybe I can come by and help?
DONNA Nope. Just interviewing the prince's friend. You go ahead and keep the-- Oops, gotta go!
PAUL The friend? Dark haired, willowy, handsome, not so tall. Not a good train of thought to catch, since like any other express, it runs non-stop. [up] I'll just go back to the office then, shall I?
DONNA [chuckling breaks off] Hmm? Oh, sure. See you in a bit.
SOUND DOOR SLAMS OPEN HARD
GOLDY I see someone's in a bright and shiny mood.
PAUL No calls.
SOUND STOMPING FEET, OFFICE DOOR YANKS OPEN, THEN SLAMS
VOICEOVER MUSIC - new tune, not too bad.
GOLDY What did she do?
GOLDY Oops - I'll get out of--
DONNA Wait, what did who do? [waits a second] Goldy? Chicken. Fine. Music hold.
SOUND MUSIC CUTS SUDDENLY
SOUND TELEPHONE RINGS
GOLDY B&B Investigations, how may--
DONNA [filter] What were you saying?
GOLDY Oh. Boss is kind of upset is all. Figured, um...
DONNA [filter, warning] What?
GOLDY Well, when he starts slamming doors, he's usually annoyed... um... with-- you?
DONNA [filter, long breath to get her composure back] I am in the middle of something, but-- Soon as I'm back, we're going to have a--
GOLDY Oops - call coming in. buh-Bye!
SOUND PHONE HANGS UP
ALEXANDER Were you finished with me?
DONNA Not quite, but I don't think we can talk here. I need you to come to my suite at the Andersen Arms. Tonight at 7 p.m. Alone.
ALEXANDER Really, miss Bella, I don't think--
DONNA Sweetie, you're not my type. But we need to talk somewhere a bit more private.
ALEXANDER [cautious and concerned] Talk?
SOUND SCRIBBLING A NOTE ON PAPER
DONNA It's regarding the welfare of the prince, and you know how people leap on--
SOUND HANDING PAPER OVER
ALEXANDER Hmm? [reads, gasps, the a bit frightened] Yes, of course. I'll-- I'll be there.
NEW MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER - KIND OF ROMANCEY
DONNA Now to figure out how to tell Paul I wanted to handle a denouement on my own.
GOLDY You want I should tell him?
DONNA Will you stop jumping in on the voiceovers? We have enough trouble sharing them as it is.
GOLDY Fine. I was gonna tell you where the boss is. But since you obviously have everything well in hand--
DONNA Where is he? [beat] Goldy? Hold.
MUSIC CUTS OUT
SOUND PHONE RINGS
DONNA Come on...
PAUL [on phone] Hello?
DONNA Oh, drat.
PAUL [on phone] What? Donna?
DONNA Paul, I--
PAUL [on phone] I've found Cindy.
DONNA You have? Where?
PAUL [on phone] Well, a good solid lead. Should have my hands on her by this evening, but she's a tough cookie to nail down.
PAUL [on phone] What?
DONNA If you nailed down a cookie. Nevermind.
PAUL [on phone] Why are we talking on the phone? Why don't you just come on into the office?
DONNA I - I've got a terrible headache. Think I'll go home and lie down. Be fresh in the morning. Bye!
PAUL [on phone] Donna? [normal] Donna?
SOUND HANGS UP THE PHONE
PAUL Damn. Headache, my eye.
SOUND PHONE RINGS, keeps ringing
PAUL Goldy? You wanna get this?
GOLDY [off] Nah - it's probably her again.
PAUL But it's your job to answer the phone...
GOLDY [off] I'm on my break.
SOUND PHONE PICKED UP
PAUL [sighs, then tries to mimic Goldy's voice] B&B Investigations, how can I help you?
GOLDY [off] Oy...
RUMPY [on phone] You got a cold, Bette? Or just drinking alum?
PAUL [normal] Stuff it. What you got, Rumpy?
RUMPY [on phone] [chuckles] What you got for me?
PAUL I'll meet you tomorrow.
RUMPY [on phone] Nuh-uh. [sighs] My expense account musta grown from magic beans - it's just about sky level now.
PAUL We didn't--
RUMPY [on phone] Oh, it'll be worth it. Bring your wallet to the Andersen Arms right away. I'm in the lobby.
SOUND PHONE HANGS UP
MUSIC FOR VOICEOVER - STILL THE LAST MUSIC DONNA WAS USING, ROMANTIC
PAUL What the--? This is... Donna's music? [gulps] The Andersen Arms was a classic old building on Mermaid street, and Donna had lived there for--
RUMPY Did you bring the clinkage?
PAUL I'm not there yet. This is still the voiceover.
RUMPY [chuckles] Nice grooves. You going soft, pal.
PAUL It's Donna's new music.
RUMPY So she's going soft? Hmmm...
PAUL Look, I'll be there in a second!
RUMPY No skin off my nose.
PAUL [sigh] Fine. I arrived. Done.
MUSIC FADES OUT
RUMPY Took you long enough. Cross my palm, and I'll tell you all.
SOUND COINS CLINK
RUMPY That's what I'm talking about. I've got one interesting tidbit--
PAUL Shh. Hide!
PAUL That fellow, who just skulked in. I know him.
RUMPY Friend of yours?
PAUL A client.
RUMPY Hmm. Is this a consultation?
PAUL Hold that thought. I'll be back to get my coins' worth.
SOUND STORMS IN THROUGH REVOLVING DOOR
RUMPY [going off] I'll start you an account.
ORIGINAL VOICEOVER MUSIC STARTS
PAUL Nope. [beat] Go away. [beat] I'm not saying anything.
MUSIC ENDS IN A HUFF
SOUND ELEVATOR DOORS OPEN
SOUND HEAVY STRIDES, KNOCKING ON A DOOR
DONNA [off] Huh? Hello?
PAUL Open up.
DONNA [dramatic gasp] Paul?
SOUND DOOR OPENS, HE PUSHES IN
DONNA What? What's wrong with you?
PAUL It's highly unprofessional, you know.
DONNA Well, I should say so!
PAUL To just waltz in here like this--
PAUL And-- What?
DONNA Are you apologizing?
PAUL What? No. Where is he? I saw him in the lobby--
DONNA [gasp] You came here because-- You thought - [gasp]!
PAUL What am I supposed to think?
DONNA I solved the case, but you're not going to like the answer.
PAUL What makes you think I won't?
SOUND WATER RUNS IN THE BATHROOM
DONNA That's why. Look, I was about to do the big unveil, but--
PAUL [plaintive] Without me?
DONNA [softening] You'll understand. Can you keep quiet?
PAUL Of course I can.
SOUND BLOWDRYER RUNS
PAUL [sheepish] O-k.
SOUND KNOCK ON THE DOOR
DONNA That will be the prince.
SOUND FEET, DOOR OPENS
DONNA Come in, your royal highness.
SOUND HESITANT FOOTSTEPS
PAUL No entourage?
DONNA Ssh. Thank you for coming alone.
PRINCE [upset] I haven't much choice. Alexander is nowhere to be found.
PAUL Your pal from the office?
PRINCE We've been chums since childhood. I feel rather exposed without him along.
DONNA It must have been awkward, then, that he couldn't make it to the ball.
PRINCE It was the first he ever missed. Too bad, I think he'll like Cindy.
DONNA They probably have a lot in common.
PAUL [suspicious] They do...?
DONNA You better have a seat, sire. This is likely to get a little awkward.
PRINCE But have you found my Cindy?
PAUL [quiet] Yes?
PRINCE Where is she?
SOUND DOOR OPENS, HEAVY FOOTSTEPS
BARBARA Right here. Come on out, honey.
SOUND SLOW BARE FOOTSTEPS
SOUND CHAIR ALMOST TOPPLES AS PRINCE SPRINGS UP
CINDY [vexed] Oh, dear! Why did you bring him here?
DONNA Hold on! Sorry I didn't warn you, Cindy. Sit down, your highness.
PRINCE But my darling, don't you want--? I thought we-- we clicked.
PAUL [musing quietly, gets it] Like they'd known each other for years. [groan, gets it] Oh.
PRINCE But you're the only woman I've ever loved.
CINDY And you're about to despise me.
PRINCE That could never happen.
CINDY Yes it can. [voice lowers to Alexander, then ruefully] I'm just lucky you're a bit nearsighted, Waldo.
PRINCE What? Alexander?
BARBARA She prefers Cindy when she's all dolled up.
CINDY [Cindy again] I really do.
PRINCE But... is it a spell?
CINDY No. It's just--
BARBARA Go on, hon. There's no going back now.
CINDY I could probably spin you a grand story about being enchanted, or cursed, but none of it is true. Unless you count love as some kind of magic.
CINDY I never meant it to be more than one night. One chance to dance... with you. But you - you just had to [wistful] go all manly and try and find me! Barbara convinced me it's better to let you know, rather than leave you searching forever.
BARBARA Trust me, he'd eventually find some clue to who you are. The higher the hopes, the harder the fall, and all that.
CINDY Don't worry, I've already - I mean Alexander has already - applied for a quest permit, and I plan to absent myself from court for a decade or so.
PRINCE I say - I'm the prince here. Don't I get any say?
CINDY Yes. [deep breath, bracing herself]
BARBARA [comforting] I'm right here.
DONNA Me too.
CINDY Go ahead.
PRINCE I-- I suppose I never thought about you that way, Alexander.
CINDY [wilting] Of course.
PRINCE Until I saw you at the ball.
CINDY [startled, perking up a bit] Oh?
PRINCE Perhaps there is some magic. To love.
CINDY But you don't want me. I mean you want this-- the surface-- when underneath, I'm--
PRINCE My best friend? What's so wrong? I've met far too many beautiful girls I can't stand to be near. You do something to me.
CINDY [gasps ecstatically]
[their voices fade for a bit]
DONNA I wish it could work for them.
PAUL Really? It seems an odd match. Really odd.
DONNA What's wrong with an odd match? Love's all that matters. Though I do have one concern. Babs?
BARBARA [sniffling a bit at the romantic moment] What? Yes? Oh, go on - I'm all verklempt.
DONNA I get choked up too. But, what about when they're supposed to--you know-- have kids?
BARBARA Oh that's a piece of cake. There's always a baby in a peach pit, or I have this deal with the marsh king. You'd be surprised how often these kinds of things happen.
PRINCE [fading back in] But how will it ever work?
PAUL [clears throat] May I?
DONNA What? Really?
PAUL I'm not one to stand in the way of true love. You said Alexander applied for a quest permit - no reason he shouldn't go, disappearing from court, about the same time Prince Charming--
PRINCE Oh, you can call me Waldo.
PAUL Thank you, your highness. [back to the point] At the same time that Waldo meets Alexander's distant cousin Cindy, who sneaked into town to surprise him and ran into the prince instead.
DONNA Oh, and, if you can, you should do a little bit of almost being seen together, which will take a little quick change action, but we can help with that, right Barbara?
BARBARA Quick change is practically my middle name.
PAUL Alexander can send a letter now and then, eventually rescue a damsel in distress, and settle down in a kingdom far far away.
PRINCE There's only one thing left to do!
PRINCE I hope you remembered to bring that shoe. It will have to do until we can get rings...
BARBARA [choked up] I'll start planning the reception!
OLD VOICEOVER MUSIC
PAUL So, the prince found his true love.
DONNA Love's funny that way.
PAUL And all Alexander's--
PAUL --years of devotion paid off.
DONNA Waldo better appreciate all he's-- she's done.
PAUL There's just not enough pronouns--
DONNA --Particularly since some of your friends are definitely "it"s.
PAUL Hah. Hah.
DONNA Speaking of those, how was the enchanted beasts reunion?
PAUL [down] Fine. Every year there's less of us left - too many with their curses broken, or married with better things to do.
DONNA [hopeful] It's in the air. Love, I mean.
PAUL [growls, close] Yeah... [backing off] I mean, they make a cute couple...
GOLDY [exasperated] Oh, shut up and kiss her already.
PAUL & DONNA What?
GOLDY You heard me. Think quick - I'm on double overtime just to be in this voiceover.