Two graduate students, HANNA and PRIYA, sit at a high-top table, nursing cocktails.

HANNA: Can you believe that guy in our seminar? He just would not stop mansplaining. Like, we all know how the electoral college works; we don’t need you to mansplain it to us.

PRIYA: Stop saying that word.

HANNA: What word?

PRIYA: The m-word. Don’t you know? If you say the m-word five times, you summon the Candymansplainer.

HANNA: Who the hell is the Candymansp—

PRIYA: Shh, don’t say it! They say he’s the vengeful spirit of a libertarian “disrupter” who believed women wouldn’t date him because they were intimidated by his intellect. They say his beard is as thick as George R. R. Martin’s unfinished manuscript, and he smells of craft beer.

HANNA: The kind that tastes like pine needles and used body wipes?


(HANNA shudders with revulsion.)

- - -

HANNA, wearing an old Replacements T-shirt and pajama pants, stands before her bathroom mirror.

HANNA: This Candymansplainer stuff is all bullshit. It can’t be true, right?

(HANNA checks over her shoulder nervously, then stares into the mirror. )

HANNA: Candymansplainer! Candymansplainer! Candymansplainer! Candymansplainer! Candymansplainer!

(The CANDYMANSPLAINER, a terrifying figure dressed in a Patagonia vest, appears behind her. HANNA screams.)

CANDYMANSPLAINER: You know, Paul Westerberg is one of the most underrated lyricists of indie rock history.

HANNA: I know! That’s why I’m wearing the shirt! But how can you be here? I only said your name four times.

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Actually, five; the first time was when you said I was bullshit. But if you’re such a big Westerberg fan, name three songs. Not “Skyway”; everybody knows that one.

(HANNA runs, screaming.)

- - -


PROFESSOR SMITH: Let’s discuss how Nabokov uses an unreliable narrator to make the reader understand the perspective of a pedophile. Hanna, what do you think?

(The CANDYMANSPLAINER appears in an empty chair.)

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Actually, a pedophile is someone who is attracted to prepubescent children. Lolita is a pubescent child, which would make Humbert a hebephile.

PROFESSOR SMITH: Sorry—who are you?

HANNA: Professor Smith, I’m so sorry! I summoned him in the mirror and now he won’t stop following me around, mansplaining.

PROFESSOR SMITH: God, how bleak. Why is he carrying a hook?

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Technically speaking, this isn’t a hook. It’s a sickle, because—

PROFESSOR SMITH: No. Absolutely not. Get out.

CANDYMANSPLAINER: But you haven’t heard my take on Pnin.

(Students flee the room in terror. )

- - -

HANNA paces, agitated, while PRIYA and NELLY try to calm her.

HANNA: He follows me everywhere I go! Yesterday I was in a room where someone mentioned NFTs, and he just appeared and started lecturing about blockchain and calling us “right clickers”!

NELLY: So does he try to kill you, or…?

HANNA: (sighs) No, he’s just really tedious.

NELLY: But what’s his deal? Is he one of those guys who takes up three seats on the train?

(The CANDYMANSPLAINER appears behind NELLY.)

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Actually, you’re thinking of my cousin, the Candymanspreader.

(The CANDYMANSPREADER, dressed in baggy joggers and a hoodie, appears on the sofa. His legs are spread wide, taking up most of the space on the sofa; on the end, where a person might be able to squeeze in, he rests a soggy Shake Shack bag.)

(HANNA, PRIYA, and NELLY scream.)

PRIYA: Oh my god! That’s so rude!

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Actually, the wider male shoulder-to-hip ratio makes it uncomfortable for men to sit with their legs together. This is basic physiology.

CANDYMANSPREADER: Don’t forget the balls, bro. Can’t let ’em overheat!

NELLY: Help! I’m trapped between them! And he has a sickle!

CANDYMANSPLAINER: As I was explaining earlier, before I was rudely interrupted, it’s a sickle rather than a hook because it’s a sharp, curved tool used for agricultural harvesting.

NELLY: I know, that’s why I said it was a sickle!

(CANDYMANSPLAINER brutally lectures NELLY on farm equipment while HANNA and PRIYA escape through the window. The CANDYMANSPREADER puts on headphones and pretends not to hear anything.

- - -


HANNA: Why are we here at this Tesla plant? This is like ground zero for mansplainers!

PRIYA: Exactly. I’ve done some research on Twitter. We have to fight fire with fire. The only way to stop the Candymansplainer is to defeat him with… the Ultimate Mansplainer!

HANNA: (gasps) You mean—?

PRIYA: That’s right.

(Just then the CANDYMANSPLAINER appears, brandishing his sickle. HANNA screams.)

HANNA: Priya, help!

PRIYA: Elon Musk! Elon Musk! Elon Musk!

(ELON MUSK appears in a leather jacket, sporting a fresh undercut. HANNA and PRIYA hide behind a pile of recalled Teslas.)

ELON MUSK: You know, all Ukraine has to do to end the war in Ukraine is withdraw from Ukraine.

CANDYMANSPLAINER: Oh wow, Elon Musk! I’m such a huge fan! I can’t wait until I can drive my Tesla in the Hyperloop!

ELON MUSK: Well, technically, you wouldn’t be driving at all. The Hyperloop uses aerodynamic forces generated by pressure differentials to allow for frictionless movement.

CANDYMANSPLAINER: (starts to shake) Of course, obviously, that’s what I—

ELON MUSK: A lot of people who don’t know anything about science make that mistake. You should take a class at the new university I’m opening in Austin, the Texas Institute of Technical Studies.

CANDYMANSPLAINER: (shaking intensifies): Is—is that like Bari Weiss’s new university?

ELON MUSK: Get it? TITS? I’m very passionate about comedy. It’s a funny joke because it sounds like a real university name, but it’s really just boobs. You’ve seen boobs before, right?

(CANDYMANSPLAINER begins spinning in dizzying circles and suddenly explodes. Only a pile of meticulously oiled beard hair is left behind. ELON MUSK watches, then disappears in a puff of marijuana smoke.)

HANNA: Priya, you did it! We’re free!

PRIYA: Can you believe it? For the rest of our lives, we will never have to be mansplained to again!

(HANNA and PRIYA hug again and walk off into the sunset, holding hands and braiding each other’s hair. The screen begins to fade. Suddenly, the beard hair begins to assemble itself into human form. As the screen goes black, we hear one last word.)