Title: Tainted Beer (1/1)
Disclaimer: I don't own it. I don't make money off of it. I just use it to make other people happy. Suing me will only get you action figures.
Notes: Written for the Soap Opera Cliché challenge.
Warnings: I'm not bad. I just write that way.
The endless Friday workday was done. Bottles sufficiently capped, Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney trudged into the break room to gather their things from their lockers, more than looking forward to the weekend. It had seemed that Mr. Shotz, for some unknown reason, had been working them harder than ever the past week.
"I am beat," Shirley said, shoving her gloves and work smock into her locker and grabbing her coat and purse. "I don't even have enough energy to be upset about not having a date this weekend."
"I know how ya feel," Laverne said. She dragged a chair over from a table and set it in front of her locker before plopping down in it, exhausted.
"Ya know, someone's really going to have to talk to Mr. Shotz about this," Shirley said as Laverne leaned forward and rested her forehead against the cool metal of her locker door. "He can't go on working us this hard. He's going to wear us to a frazzle."
"I'm already frazzled," Laverne said, the metal door deflecting her voice.
Shirley grabbed Laverne by the shoulders and pulled her back in the chair, sitting her up straight before she opened her locker for her.
"C'mon," Shirley urged. "Get changed. The sooner you do, the sooner we can get home and put our feet up."
The break room was nearly empty by the time Laverne worked up the energy to pull off her smock and toss her gloves into her locker, all without getting up. Shirley had collapsed into another chair while she waited, her head resting against her arms on the table. Laverne pulled her coat and purse out of the locker and shut it, once again resting her head on the door.
"WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HERE?"
The booming voice so startled both women that they nearly knocked their chairs over backwards sitting up so quickly. They both recognized the disembodied voice as that of the owner of Shotz's Beer and their boss, Mr. Shotz.
They'd never met the man personally. He'd always spoken to them through a speaker in the break room. Any conversation they'd had with the man, they directed at the portrait depicting his likeness that hung in the break room, lording over them.
"Hello, Mr. Shotz," Shirley said, standing up and looking towards the portrait. "We were just leaving."
She pulled Laverne to her feet and led her to the portrait.
"Mr. Shotz," Shirley said tentatively. "We were just wondering...um..."
"Well, don't get us wrong, we like our jobs well enough, but we were wondering why you were working everyone so hard lately," Shirley said quickly. "All the extra work is just wearing everyone down."
"I HAVE MY REASONS."
Laverne's exhausted stupor suddenly drained away.
"That's no answer," she snapped.
"Laverne, don't!" Shirley admonished in a harsh whisper. As she attempted to pull Laverne away from the portrait, her voice returned to a normal tone. "Thank you, Mr.-"
"No, no," Laverne said, jerking free of Shirley's grasp. "We've always been good hard workers. We don't complain and we don't ask questions and we do our job. We have a right to know why you're working us to death."
"VERY WELL, DEFAZIO."
The women looked at the portrait in astonishment.
"I HAVE FOUND A WAY TO INCREASE OUR BUSINESS."
"Oh, well, that's good," Laverne said. "I guess that means we'll be getting raises then, huh?"
"I DOUBT THAT. I HAVE DECIDED THAT THROUGH SHOTZ BEER, I CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I'VE ADDED AN INGREDIENT TO THE RECENTLY BOTTLED BOTTLES OF BEER THAT WILL MAKE ANY DRINKER SUSPEPTIBLE TO BRAINWASHING. THE FIRST SHIPMENT IS ALREADY ON ITS WAY TO BE DISTRIBUTED. AND ONCE IT'S OUT, NO ONE CAN STOP ME! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Laverne and Shirley stared at each other, horrified.
"Oh, I bet he ties girls to railroad tracks for fun," Laverne said weakly, clutching Shirley's arm for support.
"Laverne, we've gotta stop that truck!" Shirley said urgently.
"What? We can't! We don't even know what truck it is," Laverne said.
"Yes, we do!" Shirley eyed the portrait warily before pulling Laverne away from it, closer to the door. She lowered her voice and said, "Remember earlier today, at lunch? When we talked to Lenny and Squiggy? Remember what they said?"
"Yeah. Squiggy said he was gonna be a grandfather because his moth had kids," Laverne said, making a disgusted face.
"No! After that. Lenny and Squiggy said they were working late making a special delivery," Shirley said.
Laverne's eyes widened.
There was a split second pause before Laverne and Shirley ran out the door.
Running wildly through the maze of the brewery, they were winded and sweating by the time they reached the loading dock. To their relief and amazement, the truck they were after was still sitting in the garage. Lenny was sitting behind the steering wheel and Squiggy was sitting next to him in the passenger seat, a huge road map spread out in front of them.
Laverne ran to the driver's side of the truck, Shirley to the passenger side.
"Lenny!" Laverne yelled, hauling herself up truck's runner. "What are you doin'?!"
"Tryin' to figure out the best way to get to Gridley Street from here," Lenny replied, pointing to the map. "For some reason, people don't appreciate ya goin' the wrong way down a one way street, even if it is the quickest way to get where you're goin'."
"You can't!" Shirley exclaimed. She'd hoisted herself up on the runner on the passenger side.
"Of course we can," Squiggy corrected her. "Says here we can just go around to Winston Street."
"No, that's not what we mean," Shirley said, annoyed.
"Mr. Shotz is trying to take over the world," Laverne said hurriedly. "This shipment of beer is the start of it."
"That's just silly," Lenny said.
"It's true!" Shirley cried. "He put a brainwashing ingredient in the beer! He's going to use it to take over the world!"
"Shirley Feeney, I'm surprised at you," Squiggy said. "Makin' up stories. I'd expect this from Laverne, but not from you."
"Yeah," Lenny agreed. "Besides, who wants to wash people's brains anyway?"
"That sounds like something from one of those monster movies at the drive inn," Squiggy said. "Ya know. One of those movies where the pretty girl would get kidnapped by the evil scientist and he'd try to put her brain into the body of an ape or something."
"And the girl always ends up in a bra and slip," Lenny said eagerly.
He bit his palm as Squiggy went through what seemed to be convulsions.
Shirley reached through the open window and smacked Squiggy on the chest.
"Woman!" Squiggy roared. "Don't be layin' hands on me like that!"
"This is serious! It's no movie!"
The guys composed themselves.
"Sorry, ladies, but I just don't buy it. Now if you'll excuse us, we've got important business to attend to," Lenny said importantly, flipping the map away from him.
The map smacked Squiggy in the face. He fought it off and attempted to refold it before just balling it up and shoving it into the glove compartment.
"Lenny, you have to listen to us!" Laverne pleaded.
"I don't have time, Laverne. Get off the truck."
With the girls clinging to the side mirrors and yelling in protest, Lenny put the truck into gear and began to pull out of the loading dock.
Obeying the law, Lenny stopped at the end of the street. Laverne seized the opportunity and jerked his door open. Shirley followed her lead. Laverne grabbed Lenny by the front of the shirt and dragged him out of the truck. On the other side, Shirley had Squiggy by the ear.
"Are you crazy?!" Lenny yelled. "You're gonna get us into trouble."
Though their intentions had been good, their planning had not been. In Laverne's haste to pull Lenny out of the truck, it had been left in gear and was now rolling away from them, gaining speed as it coasted down the hill.
The four of them stared open mouthed after it for only a frozen second before they started running after it.
They were at a disadvantage from the start. Not only was the truck traveling down a hill and gaining speed, but the foursome also had to be wary of the traffic speeding around them as the chased the runaway vehicle. They were losing the race quickly. At ever intersection the truck crossed, they cringed in horror expecting it to be smashed by an oncoming car, but it always managed to slip through.
The road wouldn't last forever. It ended at a t-intersection. Beyond it was a lake.
Laverne, Shirley, Lenny, and Squiggy were two blocks away, still running, when the truck hit the barrier, crashing through it, and fell gracelessly into the lake.
Panting and puffing, the foursome ran to the edge of the destroyed barrier and looked down. The truck was sinking quickly. Only the rear doors of it were still visible.
"The beer!" Lenny exclaimed.
"That's such a waste," Squiggy lamented.
Their groans of dismay were lost in the sound of celebration as Laverne and Shirley hugged and jumped up and down and squealed in delight, "We did it!"
"We saved the world!" Shirley cried.
"We definitely deserve that raise now," Laverne said happily.
"Hey! What are we supposed to tell Mr. Shotz about the beer?" Lenny asked.
"Who cares! We saved the world!" Laverne exclaimed, hugging Lenny.
Shirley slung her arm around Squiggy's shoulders and met his confused look with a smile.
"Let's go to the Pizza Bowl," she offered. "The pizza's on me! A victory celebration for saving the world!"
Lenny and Squiggy looked at each other and shrugged.
"Whatever you say," Squiggy said. "You're buying the food."