...an early Christmas present from all of us here at Singletails. Yeah. It's long. So fix yourself a nice cup of hot Ovaltine, settle in, and I hope you like it.
Bear Eye for the Twink Guy
(Opening Scene: Mike, Jack, and Bill are riding in Mike's black Dodge Ram Pickup 4x4.)
Mike: So who do we have this week?
Jack: This week, the Three Bears will take on Tim. He lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and works someplace called All About Throw Pillows.
Bill: Sounds like we've got our work cut out for us.
Mike: And here we are. Let's move, Bears!
(The Three Bears bivouac from the truck and head up the walk to Tim's condo in Village Two. After ringing the doorbell, they're greeted by Tim, wearing a marino wool sweater, charcoal gray pants, and talking on his cell phone.)
Tim: Hold on, Meliss', there's somebody here.
Can I help you?
(The Bears barge past Tim.)
Jack (taking the phone from Tim): He'll call ya back, Sweetheart. He's got some changes to make.
Tim: Who are you? What's going on here?
Bill: Hi, Tim. It's kinda like a makeover. You know what a makeover is, right?
Tim: Uh... but I didn't... hey!
Mike (inspecting refrigerator): Typical. Condiments and mixers and what looks like two month old Brie taken home from a party. It's sad.
Jack: Look at this bedroom! What a mess! How many sweaters do you own, Tim? Too many to put fit in the closet, that's for sure.
Tim: Don't you touch my sweaters!
Jack: Believe me, your sweaters are safe.
Bill: It looks like you watch a lot of tv, huh, Tim? The way you have all those throw pillows arranged facing the set. Like a mixture of a temple and an opium den.
Jack: Tim, we're taking you places. Don't you have anything decent to wear? All these shoes and no boots, Tim?
Tim: Why would I need boots? It's not raining.
Jack: Tim, let me let you in on a little secret. A good pair of boots are your best friends. Rugged and durable, they'll keep your feet comfy and last a lifetime. Bill, we'll need to stop for boots.
Bill: Boots. Check.
Mike: We've got a long day ahead. I'm gonna fix us all something to eat. Step in here, Tim. Luckily I shopped on the way.
Tim: Uh... I think that there's a pan in there... What are you making?
Mike: The best breakfast in the world, Tim. Cream chipped beef on toast.
Tim: Oh. My. God. I can't eat that. I'll put it right on my thighs.
Mike: You'll eat it and enjoy it, Tim. That's what food is all about. Enjoying it. Since you seem to have neither a toaster or a toaster oven, we'll have to toast this bread in the conventional oven.
Tim: No, seriously. I have to watch my weight.
Mike: I guess you could stand to fill out some. Just joking, Tim. Wanna know the secret of good eating? It's the Three Bears diet plan: you can eat all you want, as long as you make it yourself or someone makes it for you. You wanna veg out in front of the television with Doritos? No dice. You wanna bake yourself some banana bread? Go right ahead.
Here's what we're doing, Tim. We're melting some butter in the bottom of this pan. Then we add the chipped beef. We don't want to brown the beef, so we're just gonna wait until we hear that sizzle. Then, add about the same amount of flour as we put in butter, and stir it around good. See how it all sticks together and dries up? Perfect. Butter and flour is the basis of just about any sauce you're gonna make. It's called a roux. Now we add the milk, little by little... Yo! Toast is ready. Butter that up for us, will ya, Tim?
Now then, you add the milk, stir it around, wait for it to thicken and get bubbly, and then add a little more. You keep doing this until you have enough of the stuff to feed however many you're feeding. Starting to smell good, huh, Tim?
Tim: I... I... That smells fabulous! Oh. My. God. And I haven't eaten since around lunch yesterday when Paige and I had those slices of apple in our apple-tinis. I could cry. I think I will.
Jack: Uh, Tim, Repeat after me: "It smells great! Thanks for making it, Mike." When giving a complement, keep it short and sweet, and keep the focus off yourself. Got it?
Tim: Right. It smells great! Thanks for making it, Mike.
(New scene: Tim, Jack, Bill, and Mike are seated on throw pillows with empty plates on their laps.)
Tim: I feel so much better. Thank you, Mike. Now, what's this all about?
Jack: We're here to help, Tim. And it seems obvious that you need some help. Let's start with your body, for example.
Tim: My what? What kind of a makeover is this.
Jack: Not very fond of your body, huh? Evidenced perhaps by the variety of colognes in the bathroom and the endless layers of sweaters you seem to wear. It's all about loving your body. That's where it all starts. I want you to spend some time soon looking at yourself in a full length mirror. Give yourself a massage. Notice the way your muscles flex. Find out how good it feels when you touch different parts, the hairs at the nape of your neck and under your arms, your neck, the arches in your feet. You have a great body, Tim.
Mike: We've gotta hit the road, guys.
(The Dodge Ram pulls up in front of a gym.)
Tim: Puh-leeeze! This is wear I have to spend two hours on the life cycle or something to work off that breakfast?
Bill: Even though you always feel great after a good workout, we're actually here for another reason, Tim. Today, you learn how to relax.
(The Three Bears and Tim pass the equipment and head for the men's locker room.)
Bill: Alright, Tim. Strip.
Tim: I thought you said 'relax.'
Bill: Just strip, Tim.
Bill: And now, into the sauna. When picking a gym, always check the temperature on the sauna. The steamroom is a good option, too. In fact, steamrooms are often hotter.
Tim: Oh I see what this is all about... I've heard all about what goes on in saunas and steamrooms.
Bill: Yeah, that's pretty great. But this is actually about something else altogether. And if the sauna is hot enough, then that won't be much of a problem. Now in we go.
Tim: Ow! It's too hot in here? I'm sweating! I don't like this.
Jack: God I love to sweat!
Mike: Yeah, me too, Boss.
Bill: That's the whole point, Tim. Okay, everybody into the shower!
(They head to the showers)
Tim: That was quick.
Bill: This isn't the 'it's over' shower. This is all part of the process. It's the cold shower.
Bill: Gets your blood flowin, huh? Okay, now back to the sauna.
Tim: What is up with this?
Bill: This is how we're gonna spend the next hour, Tim. From the sauna to the cold shower, back to the sauna, back to the cold shower, back to the sauna, back to the cold shower. It would be nice if we could break the ice and dive into a lake, but this is a close second.
Tim: This is some kind of weird torture, isn't it?
Bill: You wish! Just wait.
Tim: That was amazing. That was totally amazing. Every muscle in my body is relaxed.
Bill: And you've sweated out all the bad stuff. Notice how as it went on your tolerance built up? I had to drag you out of the sauna the last time, and you barely stuck it out for a minute when we first went in. It's good for the heart, good for the skin, and it feels so damn good.
Tim: Bill, that was awesome. I loved that!
Bill: The sauna has found it's way into folk traditions the world over. Except here in the good old U. S. of A. The sauna is all about relaxing and getting your strength. It's pure relaxation. And it takes a while if you're doing it right. That's a big problem with the world today, Tim, not enough relaxing goes on. Lying in a hammock, sitting in front of a fire, taking a walk. It's fine if it's 'therapeutic' (Jack and Mike spit at the word), but it's important just to relax.
Jack: Next stop, Tim, we go find you a man.
(New Scene: A crowded Bear bar is having a Sunday afternoon beer blast.)
Tim: Oh. My. God. We must be in the wrong place.
Jack: Nope, this is the place alright.
Tim: It's way too crowded. We'll never get to the bar. And there's no place to sit.
Mike: Let me get the first round.
Tim: I'll have a Stoly martini.
Mike: *sigh* Tim, Tim, Tim. I hope I won't be rude if I get you a beer.
(Mike and Bill make their way to the bar.)
Jack: Beer is more social, Tim. The point isn't to get drunk. The point is to spend time, enjoy, and meet guys. Oh. Take your shirt off.
Jack: I mean your sweater and your shirt.
Tim: Why would I take my shirt off?
Jack: Because nobody is gonna be able to tweak your nipples through that sweater. (As he says this, Jack takes off his flannel shirt. Mike and Bill return from the bar with beers, having already taken off their shirts.)
Tim: It's okay with the bartender?
Bill: The bartender isn't wearing a shirt either, Tim.
Tim: Okay okay okay. Here goes.
(Tim takes off his shirt.)
Jack: Isn't it great to be in your skin, Tim? Surrounded by all these hot men?
Tim (drolly): Not too many Armani models from what I can see.
Jack: Nope. Just men at home in their own bodies here. See one you like?
Tim: Uh... It's hard to tell with everybody just wearing jeans and boots... I mean, you can tell a lot about somebody from their fashion sense.
Jack: True. You might want to stay clear of guys with brown hankies in the left back pocket. That could fry your circuits.
Jack: I'll explain later. Hey, I think that hot cub over there is giving you the eye.
Tim: Oh. My. God. Look at those blue eyes. (Turns and faces the wall quickly.) He is looking over here! Oh God.
Jack: What are you doing?
Tim: Do you know who he is? I've got to find out his name. You guys come here' What's the 411 on him?
Jack: Why not go over to him, give him a 'Woof!' and see if he woofs you back. If he does, look into his eyes, and just kiss him for all you're worth.
Tim: You are out of your mind. I have no idea who he is!
Jack: Yeah? So? If he's a good kisser, there's not a lot more you need to know. Life is short, Tim. You've gotta strike while the iron is hot. Go for it. He might be the man of your dreams, or he might just be a guy you sucked face with and chatted up in a bar. But you'll never know. By the way he's looking over here, I'd say it's mutual. Uh oh! Daddy Bear at four o'clock has his eyes on your cub, Tim. Better move fast.
Tim: But... but...
Jack: No buts. Just say 'Woof!'
(Back at Tim's condo.)
Tim: His name is Wally, and he's an architect, and he's restoring a historic barn in Montgomery County, and he thinks Brazil is the most amazing place in the world and goes there a few times a year, and he grew up in New Hampshire, and he rides horses...
Mike: Seems like quite a catch! Good work! Mazzel Tov! Before we go, you and I have to talk, Tim.
Tim: About what? I love my new boots, by the way. They are sooooo comfortable. It's like they were made for my feet...
Mike: That's appreciated, Tim, but not about the boots. I want to know about your job. A retail gig, right?
Tim: Yeah, it's a rent payer.
Mike: You like it?
Tim: Well... It's alright.
Mike: But you're not happy doing it? It doesn't bring you joy?
Tim: Mike, it's a job...
Mike: And that means you're there forty hours a week. That's way to much time to be doing something that isn't bringing you any joy, Boss. What would you rather be doing?
Tim: Rather be doing? I don't know. I'd rather be rich!
Mike: No, seriously. Did you go to college?
Tim: I had a year and a half at Penn State before I dropped out. I was in the electrical engineering program. I don't want to be an electrical engineer. Bor-r-r-r-r-ing. But I'm great with math. I can figure out how much people are spending before they even get to the cash register at All About Throw Pillows.
Mike: Tell me about those throw pillows. You seem to like them.
Tim: Some of them. I mean, look at this one, that's beautiful! Look at that weave!
Mike: Huh. Ever thought about making them?
Tim: What? And be a seamstress? God no.
Mike: I was actually thinking more along the lines of textile design. You've got a good eye for color and design, and you're good with math.
Tim: I don't get... What is that?
Mike: A textile designer comes up with designs and fabrics, and figures out how they can be realized, the looming. I bet they have a program for that down at Drexel. Or, you could probably talk your way into a job somewhere local.
Tim: But isn't that all done in China or somewhere?
Mike: The manufacturing is, but the specs come from here.
Tim: I think that could be kinda cool.
Mike: If you're doing something you enjoy, and take pride in your work, and can point to something and say, "I made that," that's damn cool, Tim.
Tim: Mike you're right...
Jack: Tim, it's time for us to get going. One twink down, about ten million more to go.
(Mike, Jack, and Bill get up to leave.)
Tim: You're going? Do you have to? I mean...
Bill: You've got your work cut out for you, Buddy. You need to go buy 'The Joy of Cooking' and figure out what you're gonna make when you have Wally over for dinner. And remember, no television. In fact, move the tv into the bedroom.
Tim: I will be like soooooo nervous!
Mike: Right. You'll need a sauna before you make dinner. Be sure to give yourself enough time.
Mike: 'Bye, Tim!
Bill: Good luck, Tim!
Jack: You'll do great, Buddy!
Tim: ...bye! And thanks! Thanks for the boots! Thanks for everything!
You came into my life
And things never looked so bright,
Oh Baby you bring out the best in me!
Since you've been around
Since you've been around,
Days are gettin' better,
Nights are gettin' better,
Oh things just keep gettin better!