10 Spankin’ New Days for Tina Fey — Day Six

This past weekend, I started writing my new spec script.  This time, I’m writing an episode of How I Met Your Mother.  As I was brainstorming storylines, I closed my eyes and began to imagine devoting my life to writing.  To be fair, my current life as an attorney is indeed devoted to writing, so the transition would not be entirely earth-shattering.  I imagined my life as a writer, living in LA or in Manhattan; long hours in the writers’ room; chugging mug after mug of coffee to keep my brain fresh and the words humorous.  After years of strenuous work, I imagined finally becoming a show runner and developing my own series for a major network.  I saw the show take off, both critically and in the ratings.  Perhaps my show would unseat American Idol for prime time network dominance.  Would my show be a comedy?  A drama?  A dramedy?

However, my fantasies immediately became interrupted when I began to think of how my traditional Taiwanese parents would react to my sudden change of career path.

INT. CHINESE RESTAURANT — DAY

ALEXIS and her HUBBY are in a restaurant with Alexis’ nameless parents, MOM and DAD.  Dad is restless, sighing and staring at his watch, which shows a time exactly 30 minutes beyond his normal dinner time.  A sizzling rice soup arrives, and the four begin to eat.  Alexis and Hubby appear nervous and tense.

ALEXIS

So mom and dad, you know how I had something to tell you?

MOM

Oh, you finally pregnant?  It’s about time!  Your eggs are old.  Boy or girl?  You eat more.  You eat for two now.

Mom scoops additional soup into Alexis’ bowl.

ALEXIS

No mom.  I’m not pregnant.

MOM

Ay!  You cannot get pregnant?  I will die with no grandchildren!

(to Dad)

This is your fault!  She is your daughter!

ALEXIS

Mom!  We haven’t even tried to get pregnant.  It’s not about that.

MOM

What is it then?  You need money?  You still have a job?  You both laid off?

ALEXIS

Well, it’s kind of related.  We both have jobs, but I wanted to talk to you about my job.

MOM

Oh, you go back to big firm?  I tell you many times you need to go back to big firm and make big money.  You finally listen!  You hear that?  Your daughter finally listen!

DAD

(chuckling)

You pay the check then.  We order more!

Dad waves at the SERVER, who promptly attends to the table.

DAD

(in Mandarin)

A Peking Duck and a whole fish.

SERVER

From the tank?

DAD

Oh yes, yes, yes.  I go pick our fish.

Dad leaves the table with the server and proceeds to point at various options for the slaughter.

ALEXIS

Mom.  Listen to me.  It’s not that.

MOM

You sick?  American health care very bad.

ALEXIS

No!  It’s not that. 

(beat)

I’m quitting my job.  

MOM

To make more money, right?

ALEXIS

Well, maybe in the future.  

Hubby places his hand on Alexis’ back and nudges her.

ALEXIS (cont’d)

I’m going to quit my job to be a writer.

MOM

Huh?  Write for what?  Lawyer newspaper?

ALEXIS

No mom.  For TV.  I want to be a TV writer.

Mom sits at the table, food dangling from her mouth.  

MOM

You say again?  My English no good.  I thought I hear you say stupid.

ALEXIS

Mom, I got a position.  It’s just a starting position, but it’s a position where I can finally do what I love.  I’m going to write for TV.

Dad returns to the table, holding his hands up in victory.

DAD

I picked biggest fish for us!

MOM

You go tell them to put fish back!  Alexis is poor!  

DAD

What?

MOM

They cannot pay!  Go save fish!

Dad runs off, screaming to the nearest server.

MOM (cont’d)

Are you crazy?

ALEXIS

Mom, it’s my dream.  It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.

MOM

And my dream was to live with my doctor daughter and her doctor husband.  I don’t have my dream.  Why I send you to Harvard for law school?  You go to Harvard to be a lawyer.  You don’t go to Harvard to work for TV.

ALEXIS

Well, actually mom, it’s not uncommon.  Many lawyers become television writers.  Like David E. Kelley, or Rick Eid.  They were both lawyers who became very successful writers.

MOM

Your daddy and me are too old for this.  How you going to make money?  How you going to buy a house for your daddy and me to live?

ALEXIS

Oh, well [Hubby] is still working at a big law firm.  He’s going to make partner and support us all!

Oops.  I just realized that I haven’t revealed that portion of the plan to the hubby.  Oh well.  Surprise!  You’re making partner and supporting us all!

Discover me, Tina Fey!

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Filed under Legal Woes, Life, Plea to Tina Fey, Television

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