ALEXANDRA: Up for a walk?
MICHAEL: LIKE A SPACE WALK? Do we have the proper gear? Is that what we’re going to be for Halloween? Gently condescending female cosmonauts exploring the final frontier while being condescended to by their boss?
ALEXANDRA: Um, maybe? Though if the anniversary of Boys Don’t Cry has taught us anything, the roles of female astronauts should probably be played by actual females. I need to mail these postcards for Tony the Democrat and pick up some more Vitamin D. It is Fall as fuck and I’m already feeling seasonally affected.
MICHAEL: Could be allergies. OR THE FLU. Let’s get our shots while we are there. It’s supposed to be a really bad strain this year.
ALEXANDRA: They say that every year.
MICHAEL: They say the average temperature of the Earth rises every year, too. Doesn’t make it any less true.
ALEXANDRA: Fair point. I just hate needles. And pain. Plus tomorrow is upper body day.
MICHAEL: I’ll take two tickets to THAT gun sh… sigh. Sorry, seems that antiquated pro-gun expression habits die hard. I should say, rather, that I admire your arms as they are — the perfect balance of strength and circumference that you deem appropriate for your place on the gender spectrum and I fully support you wherever that may be at any given moment.
ALEXANDRA: Thanks. I’ve been going for shredded yet still dainty, intimidating without being menacing.
MICHAEL: So… Michelle Obama?
ALEXANDRA: Hashtag goals.
MICHAEL: The soreness is proof that the vaccine is working and your meritorious marrow is pumping out antibodies. If it don’t hurt, it don’t work.
ALEXANDRA: Well Margaret can rest easy because YOU won’t be winning the Booker Prize anytime soon. But throw in a fiddle and you might have a TikTok country smash on your hands.
MICHAEL: I’ll have you know that “Wrangler on my booty” is a “lewk” I can totally pull off. Though I would never. Or would I? Are they still made in the US? And I can’t remember if they use ecologically responsible dying processes… was it them or The Gap? Did you move our boycott spreadsheet into the cloud so I can access it from my phone yet? OOH! I downloaded a new infographic-building app! Let’s make one for the companies we’re supporting and make it into wallpaper for our phones. You know the resolution on the new iPhone…
ALEXANDRA: YOU ARE NOT UPGRADING, MICHAEL.
MICHAEL: According to my Google calendar, I’ve already won one. I need it. IT’S BEEN OUT FOR OVER A MONTH!
ALEXANDRA: So, has Ellen DeGeneres — decades even — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some disappointing glitches to work out. You can wait. Think of the planet. Instead, can you do some internet sleuthing? I heard that Jennifer Lopez gets free face cream samples from some premium skincare company and then uses them on her entire body.
MICHAEL: Michelle Obama arms or not, Alex, I don’t think you have the kind of platform that drives luxury brands to shower you with free product.
ALEXANDRA: We can’t all be your precious Aniston and break Instagram with a single selfie, Michael. I just have questions. Like… does she receive tiny little firming eye-cream-size samples? And if so, how many unrecyclable jars does she go through in a day to cover her entire body? I mean… bunions, too? Because she’s a dancer and you know her feet must be even more messed up than white politicians likening impeachment to a lynching. The potential for packaging waste is startling!
MICHAEL: Fancy face creams always come in glass jars — highly recyclable.
ALEXANDRA: Recycling still takes energy! And outside of the planetary impact, how much time must that take? Think of all the other things a person could do with that kind of time.
MICHAEL: Maybe she listens to podcasts. Maybe other people apply it for her while she’s answering emails.
ALEXANDRA: Who ARE you, the patron saint of J-Lo’s skincare regime?
MICHAEL: C’est moi.
ALEXANDRA: TOO SOON, Michael.
MICHAEL: There isn’t time to WAIT for something to not be too soon in this blistering news cycle. I have whiplash, friction burns, AND a sprained left eyebrow from all the incredulous faces I involuntarily make each time I jump on Twitter. Frankly, my T-zone is breaking out more aggressively than the news alerts. Here’s a dose of my “great and unmatched wisdom” for you — Skincare is HARD. Why can’t someone make a charcoal face mask that I can apply without feeling like a racially-insensitive politician? And what kind of world are we living in where I’m relieved that politician was reelected? Ten hours of testimony from Billy Taylor has my IBS in an uproar. My bowel is as irregular as Bernie’s heartbeat.
ALEXANDRA: Fresh air is what we need. Let’s take that walk to the pharmacy. We can see if Burt’s Bees has something new to make you feel better. But it has to be in a tube. Not one of those single-use, multi-layered plastic mask things, ok?
MICHAEL: Right. Let’s get one of those pore-tightening clear ones. Once it dries we can make exaggerated expressions with our faces, stretching it out so that when we let our faces go limp again, they’re covered with puckered flaps of dry wrinkles and we can see exactly what we’ll look like after eight years with this guy in office.
ALEXANDRA: First one to get their flu shot gets to pick out a bag of Halloween candy?
MICHAEL: Individually wrapped coping mechanisms? Really, that’s your solution?
ALEXANDRA: On the way, we can imagine what would happen if Todd Phillips tried to direct a trilogy of movies inspired by Nancy’s latest memo: The Shakedown, The Pressure Campaign, and The Cover Up.
MICHAEL: I accept both your offer of individually-wrapped coping mechanisms and that of distraction. But I’d rather explore the tawdry, romantic escapades of a noir detective by the name of Delecto.
ALEXANDRA: Then we’re going to need some additional individually-wrapped provisions since abstinence-only clinics are the sole ones receiving federal funding these days.