Subconsciously – Chapter 6
American Lee Cohn lies her way through England in order to acquire a football team endorsement for e-Pocalypse energy supplement e-cigarettes.
Chapter 6 – Marshmallow
RADIO: Her Majesty the Queen remains in a coma this morning. Witnesses have now come forward claiming that shortly prior to Her Majesty’s episode following the royal wedding the Queen was supposedly seen smoking an e-cigarette with an unknown fem–
(Lee Cohn’s phone rings and she turns down the car radio…)
NELLIE: Lee, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I put a call into Los Angeles.
LEE: Oh no. Nellie, you didn’t.
NELLIE: Yes, I’m afraid I did. I’m sorry, Lee; but we’re desperate. He’ll be in London this afternoon.
LEE: Well, that should give me just enough time to hang myself in my hotel room.
(That afternoon Lee picks up Warren Marsh at Heathrow. Warren Marsh is the twenty-one year-old marketing whiz kid of Hollywood, a former coworker of Lee’s and a fellow protege of Nellie Turano’s…)
WARREN: (sniffs) So where’s the action in this town, Cohn. You get your dick wet yet or what?
LEE: Ugh. I don’t have a dick, Warren. Unless you count the one I’m driving from the airport right now.
WARREN: Funny. So I’ve been thinking about how I can save this whole e-Pocalypse campaign you’ve been screwing up.
LEE: Actually, I’ve been doing just fine on my own. I’ve already gotten us a football club sponsorship.
WARREN: Yeah, with a team no one’s ever heard of. Nope, we need a big name endorsement. Someone everybody on this trash island has heard of. We need Murray Chive.
(Lee & Warren are seated at an outdoor cafe in downtown London across from a pudgy, aged, toupee’d man hurriedly speaking on his cellular. Nearby diners are glancing at Mr. Chive with looks of disdain..)
LEE: (leans over, whispering) This guy’s a movie star?
WARREN: This guy’s a legend.
LEE: How come I’ve never heard of him.
WARREN: Because this place is like its own country or something. I gotta tell ya, I hardly understand a word these people say.
LEE: They’re speaking English. We’re in England.
WARREN: (shrugs, sniffs) I dunno.
MURRAY: (hangs up) Right, so what’s all this about.
WARREN: Mr. Chive, we want you to be the future of e-Pocalypse energy supplement e-cigarettes.
MURRAY: I’ll do it for two hundred thousand quid.
(The waitress thunks a plate down in front of Mr. Chive and walks away glaring at him…)
LEE: (grabbing Warren’s sleeve, whispering) That’s a quarter of our marketing budget.
WARREN: Money well spent. These people love him. Now let’s go see this little soccer team of yours.
(Lee & Warren get up and leave as a passing motorist hollers “WANKER!” at Mr. Chive, who responds with a flipped bird and a smile as the car putters away…)
(Lee & Warren are sitting in the bleachers watching a Bumfordshire football match that the Humpledumps are somehow miraculously winning…)
WARREN: Now for the second prong of my attack: Kids.
WARREN: I got a guy who can synthesize flavors into the e-cigarettes we have in stock. Marshmallow, cotton candy, chocolate/peanut butter. Kids will love it.
LEE: We’re not going to market e-cigarettes to children.
WARREN: I even had the boys in the art department back west develop a mock-up of the character we’ll use in commercials.
(Warren shows Lee a picture on his phone of a cartoon vaping wolf…)
WARREN: Meet ‘Wolf-e’, the e-cigarette-smoking wolf. We’ll have ads, we’ll put his face on lunchboxes, plush dolls, hell, maybe even a Saturday morning cartoon.
LEE: This is absolutely deplorable. I’m calling Nellie.
WARREN: She’s already signed off on it.
WARREN: She said you guys are desperate and to use my best judgment.
LEE: And this is your best judgment. Getting children addicted to e-cigarettes with some cheap Joe camel knockoff.
WARREN: (stares off wistfully) God, that was a brilliant campaign.
WARREN: Look, Cohn. These kids are gonna smoke cigarettes. They’re kids. That’s what kids do. If they’re gonna do it anyway, why not get ’em to smoke ours.
LEE: How do you sleep at night?
WARREN: I usually don’t. Speaking of, you know where a fella can score some blow?
(Lee hops off the bleacher and is heading back to her car when she spots Bumfordshire F.C. president Judy Wellesley slipping the head ref a large wad of British pounds after Bumfordshire’s victory…)
LEE: (sighs) Oh, this day.
(Back in Chicago, Nellie Turano is Googling the new spokesman for e-Pocalypse and she stumbles across an old YouTube clip from a British morning talk show dated years earlier titled ‘Murray Chive Racist Meltdown’…)
NELLIE: Oh no.
(Nellie clicks on the link and a red-faced Murray Chive is hollering at a speechless female host…)
MURRAY: And I’ll tell ya another thing about the Jews! They’re a bunch of greedy Hebrews who control the banks and the weather. ‘Course at least they don’t smell as bad as the nig–
(Nellie shuts down the browser window and a pale pallor washes over her face…)
NELLIE: Oh, this day.
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