Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: Cheese Danish Guy

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

Cheese Danish Guy
Word Count: 599

“I think this is all going to blow over,” read Stacy.

Harvey harrumphed.

“It’s just a big misunderstanding,” said Stacy. “You’ll see.”

“Will you just go tell Steve about the meeting?” asked Harvey.

“I will, I will,” said Stacy. “Don’t get so upset, you cheese danish.” Stacy looked up from her script. “I’ll be honest,” she said, “I don’t really get the whole cheese danish thing.”

Harvey was flipping a pen in the air. “That’s because you read it wrong,” he said. “It’s not ‘you, cheese danish.’ It’s more like ‘ya cheese danish.’ You know, kind of like ‘faggedaboudit’ or… ‘ya big lug.’ You know.”

“I just… I don’t think it’s a real thing that people say,” said Stacy.

“Well, nobody says it now,” said Harvey. “But they will. It’s a catch phrase.”

“But it’s not a real catch phrase,” said Stacy.

“But it will be,” said Harvey.

“This is a spec script,” said Stacy. “Shouldn’t we maybe worry about catch phrases after we’ve sold it?”

“Methinks the junior writer doth protest too much,” said Harvey.

“I feel like it’s a lot to explain to a studio exec,” said Stacy.

“Look, it’s not going to be the one thing that keeps a studio from making this pilot,” said Harvey. “We’ve got a great premise, don’t we?”

“We do,” said Stacy.

“And great characters, right?” said Harvey.

“They’re fine,” said Stacy.

“They’re more than fine,” said Harvey. “They’re iconic. And part of that iconography is Jeremy’s catch phrase. He’s the Cheese Danish Guy. Do you think people went around saying ‘Heeeeeeeey’ before Fonzie?”

“I’m pretty sure ‘Hey’ was in the lexicon before Happy Days, yeah,” said Stacy.

“Not ‘Hey’,” Harvey clarified, “but ‘Heeeeeeeeeeeey.’ You see the difference?”

“I get what you’re doing, I really do,” said Stacy, chewing her lip. “I think it’s a good marketing tool once the show has been picked up, but for now it’s kind of a distraction.”

“Studio execs know the value of a good catch phrase,” said Harvey.

Well, I don’t, Stacy wanted to say, but she was the junior. Harvey was a fossil, but it was his show to run.

“You don’t approve,” said Harvey.

“What?” said Stacy. “Did I say that?”

“You were thinking it,” said Harvey.

“I wasn’t thinking anything,” said Stacy.

“You were,” said Harvey, “and I want to hear it. Never let it be said that I don’t listen to ideas from others in the writers’ room.”

“No one’s saying that,” said Stacy.

“Tell me what you really think,” said Harvey. “Right now.”

Stacy studied the floor. She was too new in this field to be mouthing off to a superior. That could end a career, if she wasn’t careful.

“Just say it,” said Harvey. “I won’t fire you.”

Stacy took a deep breath. “I think it’s not 1992,” she said.

“Come again?”

“It’s not 1992,” she said. “Catch phrases are fine, but we live in the age of the internet. Things go viral, but you can’t plan them. And character tics that become catch phrases have as much to do with the actor as they do with the character being portrayed, so there’s no point in assigning a catch phrase to a character we haven’t cast. But mostly I think that no one at any point in human history has ever called another person a cheese danish.”

For a while, no one spoke.

Harvey broke the silence. “Well, I did say to be honest.”

“Sorry,” said Stacy.

“We’ll table the cheese danish,” said Harvey. “Just one quick question though.”

“Shoot,” said Stacy.

“How about calling someone a fruit salad?”

Edited by Carolyn "Such A Weird Weird Idea" Abram.

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