*We fade in as Sach and Chuck help Slip into the dressing room. Buddy and Junior follow behind them.*
Chuck: Unfortunately, Sach and I have to get back on stage.
Sach: Yeah. We're in the next scene!
Buddy: We aren't, and we aren't that important to the story, anyway. We'll keep an eye on him!
Junior: And we'd be happy to at that.
Chuck: Thanks, fellas. *gently rests his hand on Slip's good shoulder* Everything's gonna be fine, Slip.
*Slip merely grunted his response.*
Buddy: Don't worry, Chuck. We'll keep anyone else from attacking him. (Grins) We're stronger than we look.
Chuck: *Nods* I learned that the hard way a couple years ago. *turns to Sach* Come on, Sach, we gotta head back.
Sach: Right. (He hands Slip his bag of pretzels) Here, Chief. You look like you need these. You're really pale. I think I have some chocolate chips somewhere, anyway.
Slip: *Quietly* Thanks, Sach.
Sach: Anytime, Chief. (He heads out, too. Buddy shakes his head.)
Buddy: Sach is really one of a kind.
Junior: He sure is.
Buddy: (Turns to Slip) How are you feeling now, Chief?
Slip: *Eyes the pretzels* Been better. *Sets the bag on a nearby table and snitches one, which he munches on*
Junior: Sach is right, though, Slip, you are really pale. I've never seen you like this before.
Buddy: This has really spooked you.
Slip: That's puttin' it mildly. *Takes another pretzel*
Buddy: I wish we could knock that bitch Zelda into next Tuesday, or at least explain that you're taken.
Slip: She don't care if I'm taken.
Buddy: And we still haven't found that money!
Junior: We've looked everywhere, too!
Buddy: She's got it really well-hidden, wherever it is. Half the theater is lookin' for that dough!
Slip: She prob'ly put it somewhere oblivious, too.
Buddy: And Sheila's gone after the other half of the theater. Butch is still real upset 'bout earlier...and I heard Gabe said she tried for him, too.
Slip: *Groans* Damn.
Buddy: I wouldn't be surprised if she was behind whatever happened onstage. Her and her goon stagehands.
Junior: I wouldn't be surprised, either.
Buddy: It's kind of a shame this is all a set-up. I'm actually enjoyin' bein' onstage, no matter how bad the script is.
Junior: I'm enjoying it, too.
Slip: *Puts another pretzel in his mouth* I'm gonna be glad when it's over.
Buddy: What was goin' on with you an' Chuck onstage? What's with the arguin' an' givin' each other dirty looks?
Slip: *Makes a face* Zelda got in his head. *pops another pretzel in his mouth, then another*
Buddy: She did her hexin' thing? I've heard about that from Gabe and Butch. I didn't think Chuck was her type.
Slip: She couldn't get close enough to me, so she took it out on him. *shoves several pretzels in his mouth this time*
Buddy: That's not good.
Slip: No shit. If I get my hands on her... *Swallows, then coughs once and gasps.*
Buddy: (Eyes widen) Chief? Are you ok? Your face looks redder than usual.
*Slip slaps his good hand on the table, then points at himself.*
Junior: Oh shit. *Moves behind Slip and slaps his back*
Buddy: (He does the same) Come on, Chief! Get it all out!
*After about a half dozen slaps each, Slip finally coughs and gasps loudly.*
Slip: *Groans* Can't take this any more...
Buddy: Chief, are you ok? Do you need water?
Slip: *Nods* Water, yeah.
Buddy: Junior, go get Slip some water. I think there's a water cooler in the hall.
Junior: I'll be right back! *runs out*
Buddy: This just isn't your night, Slip.
Slip: *Coughs again* No kiddin'.
Buddy: I know I'm not really a part of the group anymore, and neither's Junior...but we're both here if you really need help gettin' rid of this Sheila.
Slip: Yeah. ‘Cuz I can't handle this.
Buddy: We don't like her any more than you do...and I don't think she really likes us, either.
Slip: I need all the help I can get. I don't normally ask for it.
Buddy: (Chuckles) Yeah, we know. It's always been like pullin' teeth to get you to admit you ain't Superman.
Slip: An' Superman don't usually have a busted arm and has had attempted murder happen three times.
Buddy: I don't get what's goin' on with those attempts on your life. What's she up to? Is she distractin' us again? I thought her assistant wanted you under the covers, not six feet under the ground.
Slip: Zelda likes me. Sheila don't.
Junior: *comes back in* Here's the water. *hands Slip the cup*
Junior: They just put a new jug in.
*Slip takes a drink. When he’s halfway finished, he pauses, his eyes turning glassy.*
Buddy: Slip? Slip, are you ok? You look like Sach does most of the time.
Junior: *waves a hand in front of Slip's face* Slip? Uh oh...
Buddy: That water must have been drugged! (Makes a face) They're probably tryin' to make sure no one else starts lookin' for money.
Buddy: It's probably some odorless, tasteless thing that you couldn't see if you tried. It ain't your fault. (Frowns) But what are we gonna do 'bout the Chief? He has to finish the show!
(That's when the door opens. Sheila and several of her men enter. Sheila smirks.)
Sheila: Well, well. Looks like that little chemical I added to the water supply worked just fine.
Junior: Haven't you done enough?
Sheila: I'm just keeping the lot of you out of my way until after the show. (Narrows her eyes at Slip) He's causing too much trouble.
Junior: That's because you're trying to steal money!
Sheila: Not really. This is my theater. That's my play onstage. Ergo, that's my money.
Buddy: But it's not yours! That Alabama guy wrote it, and we put it on!
Sheila: Yes, but who hired all of you, including O'Malley? Who allowed Mr. Mahoney to hire his friends, despite the fact that none of you have a lick of acting experience except for the old man...and his was thirty years ago?
Junior: Slip knew this was a good cause. That's why he wanted to do it!
Sheila: Yes, but he's also an amateur. Someone who didn't know what he was doing and would be very easy to fool.
Buddy: Slip's no dope. We all started catchin' on pretty quick. (Looks at Junior) Routine 5?
Junior: *Nods* Routine 5!
(They both launch themselves at the goons at once, tackling them to the ground. Sheila dives quickly away and hurries out the door.)
*Slip starts to groan, the drugged water wearing off.*
(When Buddy and Junior come up, the goons are on the floor groaning. Buddy and Junior shake hands, grinning, then go over to Slip.)
Buddy: Slip? Chief, how do you feel now?
Slip: *puts his good hand to the side of his head* Ever wonder what swimmin' in molasses feels like?
Buddy: No...and we'll have to warn everyone else to drink fruit juice or anything they brought with them and not that water.
Junior: We took out Sheila's goons, though.
Slip: *Eyes widen as he finally notices them* They just come in? Sheila, too?
Buddy: Yeah, but she blew the coop.
Slip: *Groans* Too easy...she's got som'en...else up her sleeve.
Zelda: *Appears in the doorway with more goons* Well, well, look at who I found.
Slip: *groans* Zelda...
Buddy: You're the one who keeps climbing all over Slip!
Junior: Get out of here! He ain't interested!
Zelda: *Grins* You two are rather entertaining.
Buddy: Wish I could say the same about you, sister. Your acting stinks, and your throwin' yourself at Slip and Chuck is just pathetic.
Zelda: I wouldn't have to throw myself if they'd simply cooperate, but now I have to force them. *to the goons* Get them!
Slip: Routine 13!
Buddy: Where are we gonna run to, Slip? The windows ain't big enough.
Slip: The passageway! *Gives Buddy a shove. Junior follows, with Slip right behind*
Zelda: No! Stop them!
Buddy: Passageway? (Slip opens the door he found before and shoves Buddy in. He goes in after him, then Junior.)
Buddy: (He stumbles into total darkness) What the heck is this, Chief? (Puts his arms out and waves them around) Where are you? Slip? Junior?
Slip: Found this passageway earlier. Anyone got a light? *yelps* An' quit wavin' yer arms! That was my bad shoulder!
Junior: *Pulls out a lighter* Better?
Buddy: (Nods) Thanks. Sorry, Slip. I couldn't see where my arms were going. (Looks around) Maybe we ought to see if there's another side to this. Those creeps and that bitch may still be after us.
Slip: Yeah, there is another end... *Looks around and groans* Didn't notice how cramped it is before.
Buddy: (Shrugs) It's not too bad. (Points ahead) You lead, Slip. You were here before.
Slip: *Grunts* Only one way to go. Woulda been nice wider, though.
Junior: I guess it's a little narrow. *shrugs*
Buddy: (As they continue down the passage) You're scared, ain't ya, Slip?
Slip: *Groans* The sooner I'm outta here, the better.
Junior: I'd take that as as close to a yes as we're gonna get.
(Suddenly, the boys find themselves up against what appears to be a solid wall.)
Buddy: Well, what do we do now?
Slip: *Groans* No...gotta be another door... *feels around with his good hand*
Buddy: It has to be here... (He leans against the wall...and falls right through it. A hand waves into the passage.) I'm here! I'm ok. I'm...sore.
Junior: Bud! *Runs over and leans through the opening* Lemme help you up!
*Slip appears behind them, just inside the opening.*
Buddy: (As Junior helps him up, we see we're in the office) Thanks, Junior. (He looks around) Well, this is disappointing. Considering how long we were in the tunnel, I thought we'd end up in China or somethin'.
Slip: *Cut back to him in the doorway* Aw, no. Shit...
Junior: What's wrong, Slip?
Slip: The papers with who Sheila was givin' the money to...they're gone!
Buddy: You think she might have taken them back while you were out?
Slip: If not before that. *groans, sitting down; winces* Shit...
Buddy: (Looks at his watch) We really need to get back to the stage for the finale, Slip. You think you're up to finishin' the show?
Slip: I ain't got much choice.
Buddy: Come on. We'll let the others find the money. We've got a show to do!
(The trio head for the stage as we fade out on the office.)