01x09 - I'm With Stupid

woman: ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪
♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪
♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, la, la ♪
♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪
♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

Looks like my secret breakfast spot isn't so secret anymore.

Oh, my God. Hi.

Hi.

Yeah, I would've never even known about this place, except I got off at the wrong stop one day on my way to work and...

Tolstoy before 9:00 a.m.

Hasn't anyone told you about the New York Post?

Yeah, uh... (scoffs)

Nah, I skip all the boring parts about collective farming and go straight to the soap opera of Anna having the affair.

It's like Real Housewives of St. Petersburg... with dense Russian prose.

You know, you should take a crack at the slush pile sometime.

The slush pile?

Not Tolstoy, but you never know.

And if you tell anyone about the French toast here, I'm gonna have to kill you.

Don't worry. I'm...

I'm really good at keeping a secret.

Hey.

Morning.

Where's the slush pile?

Uh, it's that sad, little stack of books behind me.

That's the slush pile.

Cash Money Bitch: Finances Be Trippin'.

[snorts]

Wow, this is all in caps.

"Girl, do you want to get paid like a basic bitch or a billionaire bitch?"

Oh, my God. This is awful.

They all are.

Every one is worse than the last.

All you have to do is read the first line.

[giggles]

"It turned out Larry's spirit animal was... the hedgehog."

[laughs]

"As time went by, I came to realize Trevor was definitely incontinent."

Oh.

both: Ew.

[both laughing]

Okay, and for the win, by Meredith Montgomery,

The Scarf.

"The severity often differs, even the location of the wound. But what's never changed is the fact that he was a Confederate soldier and my grandfather. The boy who saved his life was a Union bugler."

[laughs]

Bugler.

No, wait, wait, wait, wait.

This one isn't that bad.

"He was 12, and he made a tourniquet out of his scarf. The Confederate soldier survived, and then five years later, he tracked down the little bugler and gave it back."

Aw, that's sweet.

Liza, it's not gonna hold up.

You have a better chance at matching with Ryan Gosling on Tinder than finding a good book in the slush pile.

[horn honks]

The Scarf?

Yeah, okay, I know the title is lame, but it's really good.

It's about how this 12-year-old Union soldier uses his scarf to save a Confederate soldier's life and how that act of humanity shapes the identity of the Union soldier's family for generations.

Wow.

It's good. You should read it.

Oh, no, I'm not really that big of a reader.

I mean, I read Japanese Manga every once in a while, but mainly for the art, you know?

Oh, I didn't know that.

I mean, maybe you can read it to me in bed after we play dodgeball.

[people chattering]

Bam!

The Billburg Ball Slingers?

Yeah, and I designed the logo myself.

It's dope, right?

Totally.

Hey, what up, Donny? D-cup!

Legend, that one.

Oh, he's on the team? Okay. Okay.

Then I have nothing to worry about.

Just watch out for her, her, and those two right there.

Yeah, it got super crazy one night after finals.

You ready?

No, I don't even know the rules.

Shh. Just don't get hit.

[dramatic opera music playing]

♪ ♪

[whistle blows]

♪ ♪

[all shouting]

man: Man down.

[upbeat funky music]

man: Over there.

man: ♪ Shake it, shake it ♪

woman: You're out!

[yelps]

man: Head down.

You're out!

I hit you.

[yelps]

♪ ♪

woman: You're out!

♪ ♪

You know what, the problem is, is you never found your rhythm.

I don't think there was just one problem, Josh, unless it was me agreeing to play.

I totally thought you'd love it.

I'm sorry.

Also, you look like you'd be a lot faster than you were.

There was nowhere to run!

It was like being trapped in a cage with rabid hipsters.

If there's such thing as artisanal steroids, I'm pretty sure they were on them.

Whoa, where was this fire out on the court?

Huh? I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

I'm gonna go get something else for your eye, all right?

Or we could just go home.

[chuckles]

Hey, Josh's new friend.

I'm Jen.

Liza.

Ooh, I think that's my bad. Sorry.

You're like my old camera. You tap it, and, bam, the air bags deploy.

Tap? Yeah, I actually think you hit me pretty hard.

Eh, maybe.

When I first joined the league, it almost wrecked me... busted finger, chipped tooth, and what turned out to be gonorrhea.

Okay, well, it was really nice talking to you.

Yeah, I'd just gotten out of a seven-year relationship.

When you're with a guy for that long and you finally have your freedom, you make some bad calls.

So anyway, Josh and I know each other well.

Gonorrhea well?

[laughs] Nah.

He's clean.

Have fun with him. He's gorgeous... but dumb as a box of hair.

Hey, I got you some ice.

Whoa, or is it ices?

[laughs]

What's the plural of ice, bro?

It's a collective noun.

Hey, I brought you some ice.

You okay?

Oh... uh, no. It still smarts...

I mean, hurts.

man: ♪ Honey, a heart attack honey ♪

Hey. Good morning.

Morning.

[chuckles]

Looks like someone had a little too much fun last night.

Not exactly.

[gasps]

Oh, my God. What happened to you?

Dodgeball, that's what happened.

Why are we still playing kids' sports?

You shouldn't be allowed to throw a ball at someone's face with adult strength.

Come up to my office.

I've got some pretty heavy-duty stuff for period acne and covering tattoos.

It should do the trick.

I also got nailed in the v*g1n*.

[groans]

[laughs]

Can I ask you something?

Yeah.

Do you think Josh is dumb?

I'm sure he's dumb. He's a guy.

Josh dropped out of college.

So did Mark Zuckerberg.

Kelsey, he doesn't read.

Well, if that's important to you, then that's important.

I mean, we all have our deal breakers.

I finished that book.

It totally held up.

No way.

What happened with the little bugler's scarf?

Well, it... it becomes this family legend.

The story of the little bugler gets passed down through this family, like long after the scarf goes missing.

By the end, you start to think,

"Maybe there never was a scarf.

"It was just a way for this family to form an identity."

Sounds like a total mom book.

50 Shades of Grey was a mom book.

Uh, don't remind me.

My mom kept her copy in her bath caddy.

I'm like, "Mom, I'm glad you still have a s*x drive, but I don't need to see the evidence next to your loofah."

I really think The Scarf has the potential to be something, Kels.

Well, the only way that a book like that happens is on a grassroots level... blogs, suburban book clubs...

I thought those book clubs were only for, like, you know, bored housewives.

Those bored housewives, with their Oprah picks and their bottomless glasses of Pinot Grigio, drive this business.

If you can get the housewives, you can make the best-seller list.


Michelle?

Liza Miller, it is so good to hear your voice.

Yours too; I've been thinking about you so much.

Oh, and me you.

Am I ever gonna see you, or do I have to hope to run into you again on a street in Brooklyn?

Actually, I was wondering if I was still in good standing as a member of book club because I have an amazing book for us to chat about.

Michelle: Well, we're supposed to reread The Handmaid's Tale, but it's really just an excuse to make Margarita Atwoods, so, yes, of course.

We'd love to read your book, especially if it means getting you back.

Thank you so much.

I'll email you a PDF right now.

A what?

Personal call?

Oh, uh, no. I finished all my w...

Oh, my God, if you have conjunctivitis, you need to leave.

Once someone in the bullpen gets that, everyone has it.

It's like kennel cough.

No, I... I got this from dodgeball.

Oh. Cute. My niece plays dodgeball.

She also calls jeans "hard pants" because she's six.

Feel free to go home and slap a patch on that.

No, actually, I'd like to stay and do some work.

I... I found a book in the slush pile that I'm kind of excited about.

You're excited about the slush pile.

Oh, well, perfect.

Then, when you're done with those, you can read my junk mail.

Do you want to split an appetizer?

Yeah, uh, maybe the "geh-nocchi"?

Actually, it's pronounced "gnocchi."

What?

Why hasn't anybody ever told me this?

'Cause you do it so cute.

It's okay; it's like the most mispronounced food.

And I took a little Italian in college, so...

Oh, really?

You're fancy like that, hmm?

Do you speak any other languages?

No, I mean, I took Spanish for a year in high school, but...

And then after high school, you just traveled?

Yeah, uh, I guess I just traveled.

No, I mean, no college?

I mean, in between Europe and Asia, I... I went back to West Virginia for a little bit and enrolled in some college.

Oh, cool. What was your major?

Smoking weed. Yeah.

Unfortunately, I was never really able to declare it because I only stayed for a semester, but...

Well, have you ever thought about going back?

Mm, God, never. No.

Well, that's okay; I mean, you know, a lot of people who didn't get a great education can self-educate with books.

Wait, so is this... is this whole me not reading, like, actually a problem for you?

No, it's just books and reading are my life.

I... I work in publishing.

Yeah, and I'm a visual person.

I get turned on by what I feel and what I see, not by just some words.

Of course. That's right... tattoos.

Tattoos. Tattoos.

Is that all that you think that I'm about, though?

Of course not.

[sighs] That's good.

You know what? I... I'm actually...

I'm just gonna tell you some things about me because I'm not really sure you've been paying attention.

So I am the type of guy that likes to play bad music with his buddies at the bar around the corner.

I'm someone who actually enjoys listening to the J Train as it's rattling outside my window because I know that it's filled with all kinds of wonderful people that are just living their lives.

I like smoggy sunsets, I like smoking pot, and I would much rather experience the world than read about it in some book.

Of course. I know that.

Do you?

'Cause I... 'cause I'm not really sure that you do.

Hey.

Come on.

[sighs]

All right.

You know what? Maybe, uh...

Maybe I don't really know that much about you, either.

Hey.

Is there a liquor store in the area that gift-wraps?

I need a really good bottle of Tequila that can make a guy blind drunk and forget everything I said to him last night.

Uh-oh. What happened?

Ugh, I let Josh see the real me, the self-sabotaging, 40-year-old New Jersey housewife who couldn't just let a good thing stay that way.

Wait, you told him you're 40?

No, but I behaved that way... critical, judgmental... like I have any right.

And, Maggie, he is so wonderful.

He's heartfelt and deep, and I just screwed it all up.

It's like if I was really 26 and I could start all over, that is the man I'd be falling in love with.

Okay, well, he's so wonderful, and you're so wonderful, and...

Wait, did you just say love?

Only in the most speculative of terms.

Stop using the fancy words and tell me how you really feel.

Okay, first of all, I know this is gonna end, and it's gonna end badly.

Well, if that's what you believe, it's probably why you're trying to push him away.

You're right. I guess I was trying to do that.

It sounds like you succeeded.

Spectacularly.

[doorbell rings]

Hi!

Hey!

[laughs]

Hi. Nice to see you.

You too. Come in, come in.

Hi!

Hey, stranger!

Nice to see you.

You too.

Hi.

Oh, my God. Does she hit you?

What? No. Who?

There was a rumor you went to Brooklyn to be with that lesbian friend.

It wasn't me, but now I get why the setup with Richard didn't work out, which is fine; I'm cool.

Oh, I got this from a city sports league that I joined, and I moved to Brooklyn because my friend, who happens to be gay, is graciously letting me crash.

Whatever you say. It's none of our business.

I watch Ellen every day.

Oh, all right. Who wants to go first?

Michelle: Well, I printed a copy of mine out and underlined some passages I thought were particularly significant.

Would that be a good place to start?

It's great, but, real quick, I'm just curious.

Who liked the book? Be honest.

Oh, I... I loved it.

Loved.

Me too.

It's so good.

It's Winter's Bone meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Meets The Alchemist.

I mean, the whole thing is a parable, right?

I agree with Michelle. Look.

I even wrote, "Parable?" on the cover.

What'd you think, Lori?

Oh, honestly, I haven't read a book since college.

I just come here for the cocktails.

Sometimes she naps.

Well, I think it's genius.

I tried to look up some of the author's other work, but I couldn't find anything online.

That's because she's never been published.

Oh, you're kidding.

What do you mean?

She's never been... how is that possible?

I know. It's hard to believe.

An editor friend of mine discovered her.

This friend needs to get this published.

Yes, she does.

Thank you guys so much.

So good to see you.

Thank you.

Drive safely.

Bye. Okay.

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

Hey.

It was so good to see you!

It was so good to see you too, Lori.

[panting]

You know, sometimes I fantasize about being... in Brooklyn.

Okay.

Okay. All right.

I got to go.

You... you got to go.

Yeah.

Okay, so me too.

All right. Be safe.

Good night. You too.

Okay.

Thank you.

All right.

Bye-bye.

Okay, bye. It's just you're so pretty.

Just don't let anything...

I'm gonna stop talking. Okay. Who's got my keys?

[energetic electronic music]

♪ ♪

woman: ♪ I don't want to behave ♪
♪ Don't want to wait for Saturday ♪
♪ ♪
♪ Young and drunk and free ♪
♪ Hey, mister, mister, dance with me ♪
♪ 'Cause I'm sick of doing what they tell me ♪
♪ Sick and tired of trying to please ♪
♪ I'm escapin', breakin' free ♪
♪ With a pocket full of cash ♪
♪ My dice is swinging on the dash ♪
♪ ♪

Hey, how'd it go last night?

It was weird, but look.

Some of the women from book club posted great reviews of The Scarf on Goodreads.

Oh, my God. They all loved it.

I know, and now all these other people on the site are wondering how they can find it.

Well, that's a start.

[keyboard clicking]

What are you doing now?

I'm telling them to contact Empirical Press and demand that we publish the book.

Hey, what do those housewives do at book club, anyway?

People got drunk, talked about guys.

One woman kissed me inappropriately on the mouth.

Oh.

So not that different than when we all hang out.

Better wine, bigger living rooms.

[upbeat music]

♪ ♪

What are you doing here?

Hey.

Well, I figured, if I came here, you know, got a little beat up again, maybe you'd feel sorry for me and walk me home, maybe even put your arm around me.

And then along the way, I'd say something charming, and maybe you'd forgive me.

It's kind of a stupid plan, but sometimes, I'm kind of stupid.

Oh, did... did you realize that we have something in common?

That is not what I meant.

I don't think you're stupid.

[sighs] Okay.

Why is it such a big deal to you that I don't read?

Honestly, I think I was just looking for a problem.

I just don't want to be blindsided by one down the road.

I feel like I can't trust how happy I am.

Wow.

Okay.

Do you know what... what my takeaway is from hearing all that?

That I'm prone to emotional sabotage and have some past relationship baggage?

No.

It's that I'm emotionally way smarter than you.

[chuckles]

And better at dodgeball.

So much better at dodgeball.

[both laugh]

Good thing you're so cute, you know that?

Just coast on them good looks.

So you forgive me?

No. No.

Not so fast.

There's a pop quiz later... clothing optional.

Okay.

[mutters]

Okay, come on. [laughs]

[whack]

[chuckles] What's up, Jen?

[laughs]

[upbeat music]

♪ ♪

woman: ♪ Mm, mm, mm ♪

I love this area.

It's my favorite neighborhood.

What's it called?

Dumbo.

[both laugh]

It's beautiful.

woman: ♪ I'm seeing stars ♪
♪ Mm, mm, mm ♪
♪ I'm seeing stars ♪
♪ Mm, mm ♪
♪ I'm seeing stars ♪