SCRIPT: The Catfish

After six months of hard work, Betsey has finally decided to get back on Tinder. Determined to find a date to go do fun stuff with, she puts up her best selfies and changes her profile to be more inviting. In her search for an exciting new summer romance, she matches up with a variety of interesting characters.

The first is Aaron, 34, a Marketing Executive from Sioux Falls. He is a tall, fit beefcake with dark hair and an affinity for sleeveless shirts. He’s also a sports enthusiast who is passionate about his local teams! In his free time, he likes tailgating, local breweries, and a variety of outdoor activities.

Thinking this could be the perfect opportunity to finally play some tennis, Betsey decides to message him first.

Betsey: Hey Aaron. How are you doing today?

Aaron does not respond for several hours. When he finally does, it is much later in the evening. Perhaps a little too late in the evening.

Aaron: Sorry for the late response lol. im good. Just chillin after a long day at the office. how r u? 

Betsey: I’m doing pretty well. Doing about the same. It’s nice to relax after a long day of hard work.

Aaron: yea i kno exactly wut u mean. Wut do u do for work?

Betsey: I’m a writer.

Aaron: wut do u write?

Betsey: I write a bunch of different stuff. Right now I am working on some screenplays. I want to write movies someday.

Aaron: Cool. So wut r u on here for?

Betsey: I guess that depends on what you’re looking for.

Aaron: im just looking to hook up. U into it? U can drive up to my place in Sioux Falls.

Betsey: Uhh… I don’t think so.

Aaron sends her a dickpic anyway. Betsey shrieks and drops the phone. She unmatches with Aaron immediately and moves on to the next candidate.

He is Jack, 36, a contractor from Sioux City. He is tall, dark, handsome, and wants to build you a brand new HGTV Dream Home! In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and grilling. He doesn’t say much, but he sure is handy around the house. Best of all, he looks good doing it too!

This time, he decides to message Betsey first. He does so at a reasonable hour of the day, sometime in the early evening.

Jack: Hey.

Betsey: Hey there. What’s up?

Jack: Just cooking dinner on the grill. Wanna see a picture?

Jack sends a snap of his elaborate creation roasting on his backyard grill.

Betsey: Wow! You sure know your way to a woman’s heart, don’t you?

Jack: I do okay. Do you cook much?

Betsey: As it turns out, I’m much better at eating food other people cooked.

Jack: Oh. Well I think cooking is fun.

Betsey: I mean, I’m always willing to learn. So who do you cook for? Is it just yourself or are you cooking up a storm for your tinder dates?

Jack: Actually, I’m cooking for my kids right now. They’re staying at my house for the summer while their mom is in rehab.

Jack sends Betsey a picture of himself fishing with two little boys.

Betsey: Wow. Okay.

Jack: Yeah I got off the meth a long time ago, but she’s still struggling with it today. That’s why I take pride in being such a great father. Do you ever want to have kids?

Betsey: Uhh… Sorry, gotta go! Bye!

Betsey unmatches with Jack, takes a deep breath, and sets down her phone.

Betsey: Maybe Tinder isn’t such a great idea after all. It’s too easy to eliminate candidates based on superficial factors. I’ll try meeting someone in real life.

Later that week, Betsey goes down to Bloody Mary’s to look for a date. There she encounters Jaimie, 34, an uptight beer delivery guy who seems like he needs to have some fun. He is yet another tall, dark, and handsome beefcake. Obviously, Betsey has a type. She decides to chat him up and ask him out on a date. Unfortunately, Andrew has gotten to him first.

Andrew: Yeah, so I’ve seen you talking to Betsey a lot lately.

Jaimie: Yeah. I mean… she’s not that bad. Some of her writing is pretty good. Not bad looking, either. I dunno. I guess I just thought… why not go for it?

Andrew: Yeah, ummm… you should stay away from her. Listen, I don’t mean to be the one who has to tell you this, but she’s totally crazy. She’s got a really bad history with men. I’ve had a lot of complaints about her in the bar. Trust me. You don’t want to get involved with her.

Jaimie: Yeah I mean, I noticed she writes about you all the time.

Andrew: Yes. She does. It’s crazy, but surprisingly entertaining and somewhat accurate. I can’t say I don’t take the time to peruse her little website on occasion. It’s just something to do when I’m bored at work. Anyway, I’ve heard she’s a nightmare to deal with in person. She’s always getting involved in other people’s conversations. You should definitely stay away from her. I mean, definitely.

Jaimie: All right. I guess I will if you say so.

Andrew: Good.

Andrew smiles to himself sneakily and changes the subject to PBR, The Official Sponsor of Bloody Mary’s Bar. Sometime later, Betsey runs into Jaimie again at the bar.

Betsey: So, since we’ve been chatting at the bar and all, I thought maybe we should go out sometime. I’m not looking for anything serious. I just want to have some fun.

Jaimie looks around the bar nervously, as if he is being watched closely.

Jaimie: Uhh… yeah, I mean, we can have some fun. What do you want to do?

Betsey: Why don’t we go play mini golf? We can stoned silly before we go.

Jaimie: [smiling sadly] That does sound like fun, actually. Yeah, let’s do that. When should we go? On Saturday?

Betsey: Yeah, we can just meet here.

Jaimie: Okay, see you then.

Betsey: Ta ta!

On Saturday, Betsey gets dressed up for her date and goes to the bar to meet her date. Unfortunately, Andrew is standing there waiting for her instead.

Andrew: You’re not going out on a date today. Sorry.

Betsey: Why do you always scare all of my dates away? Can’t you see I’m trying to get laid? You can’t keep me all to yourself. You’re married! You’re not being fair to me.

Andrew: You are my writer. Besides, you don’t want to date any of those guys anyway. All of them are jerks. Especially this guy. Trust me. I’m just looking out for your best interests.

Betsey: I really don’t think you are, actually.

Andrew: You should be grateful to me. Your taste in men is terrible. I’m just trying to keep you safe.

Betsey: I hope you’re including yourself in that terrible men statement.

Andrew: Yeah.

Betsey storms away from Andrew and goes to wait for the delivery guy. To the surprise of absolutely no one, he fails to show his face at the bar the rest of the day. Much to her disappointment, Betsey ends up sitting at the bar with Mad Dog and Andrew like she always does. This is the exact situation she was hoping to avoid by planning a date for Saturday.

Andrew: Haha, surprise! It’s me! I’m your date for the day! Check it out! I even brought my daughter and pregnant wife along! Hurray!

Betsey: Does anybody have some bleach I can drink?

Suddenly, Duke appears out of nowhere behind the bar and hands her a glass.

Duke: Here you go.

Betsey: Wow, thanks. This isn’t really bleach, is it?

Duke: Actually, it’s a fine Irish whiskey from my family’s private stock.

Betsey: Oh you fancy, huh?

Duke: I thought you could use a glass after dealing with all that.

Betsey: Wow, maybe you’re not as bad as I thought.

Duke: I’m really not.

Betsey: In that case, congratulations, Mr. de la Salle! You’re the winner of Betsey’s Story this week. Well done. Here’s your Medal of Honor and Certificate of Achievement Award.

Duke: Thanks. You know, I’m not surprised I’m the winner. That’s just who I am when I wake up and get out of bed every day.

Betsey: Neither am I. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I need to leave and forget this bs. I am way too good for this shit. I am a great person and I deserve to have sex with someone who really cares about me. That’s why I’m getting back on Tinder again.

Against her better judgment, Betsey gets back on Tinder. She swipes through until she finds another tall, dark, handsome beefcake. This time he is Steven, 32, a graduate student at Coyote State University. He moved here from California! His profile pictures include a shot of him playing tennis and holding a black Labrador puppy.

Thinking this could be it, Betsey decides to go for it.

Betsey: Hey Steven, what are you up to this week?

Steven: Hey, Betsey! Not much! I’m just working, taking a few summer classes, and hitting up the tennis courts. What are you up to?

Betsey: I’m working on a screenplay. It’s kinda like a tv show based on my real life. What are you here getting your Masters in?

Steven: I’m actually doing my doctorate in American literature.

Betsey: Wow, that is so hot.

Steven: Yeah, I came here because it was a good deal for the price, but I really miss California. I think I will go back there once I’m finished up with my classes here.

Betsey: Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m from D.C. originally but I’m not too keen on going back. I prefer California myself. I’ve been living in Verm for almost eight years now. I’m trying to make it work, but it’s just not for me. I really can’t see myself settling down here permanently. It’s just… not for me.

Steven: Same. The people here seem nice and friendly enough, but there’s just something about them… you know what I mean?

Betsey: I know exactly what you mean.

Steven: So do you want to get together sometime?

Betsey: Sure. I’ve actually been looking for someone to play tennis with. Maybe I can meet you down at the courts.

Steven: That would be great! Let’s meet there at 10am on Saturday.

Betsey: Awesome. I have to warn you, I’m a little bit rusty!

Steven: That’s okay! I can teach you some of my moves if need be. 😉 😉 😉

Betsey: Yay!

When Saturday morning rolls around, Betsey is ready for her date. She has assembled the perfect little tennis outfit to be both fashionable and functional. When she pulls up to the tennis courts, she doesn’t see anybody else there. She takes a seat on the bench by the entrance, looks around nervously, and starts to wait.

After fifteen minutes, her date has yet to show up. Realizing she has been played once again, Betsey lets out a defeated sigh and starts gathering up her things to leave. All of a sudden, she hears a whistle and turns around. Her face falls as she sees Andrew coming over the hill with a tennis racket in hand. Sam the golden retriever puppy is trotting along close behind him carrying a tennis ball in his mouth. Andrew waves wildly at her. Betsey tries to make a run for it, but Andrew and Sam catch up to her anyway.

Andrew: Surprise! It’s me! I’m your date for today!

Betsey: What happened to Steven?

Andrew: Who is Steven?

Betsey: He was the guy I was supposed to meet here today.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, Steven. Uhh… he’s not real. I made him up because I knew you wouldn’t go out on a date with me unless I pretended to be someone else.

Betsey: You catfished me on Tinder just so we could go on a date?!

Andrew: Yeah.

Betsey: Andrew! That’s not fair to me! You’re married! You can’t just keep me all to yourself like this!

Andrew: Yes I can. You’re writing my story. This is serious. I need you to focus. I can’t have you getting involved with any more distractions.

Betsey: This is completely ridiculous and unfair! You’re just worried that I’m going to meet someone who will steal the spotlight away from you!

Andrew: Yeah. I can’t have that happening. I need you to finish the story. We’ve gotta keep going until you finish the story.

Betsey: Oh Andrew, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. I need to get away from you.

Andrew: Sorry, it’s too late for that. You signed your name in blood, remember? There’s no turning back now. You’ve gotta finish the story.

Betsey collapses onto the park bench, utterly defeated. She looks at the ground for a minute before the puppy jumps up onto her lap. He wags his tail and offers the tennis ball to her. She holds it in her hand and stares at it sadly. Andrew approaches from behind and puts his hands on her shoulders. Betsey squirms uncomfortably but he continues to hold her there anyway.

Andrew: Now, now… don’t be sad. I’ve got the whole morning free. Don’t you want to play a game of tennis with me?

Betsey: [hesitantly] Okay, Andrew. I guess I’ll play a game of tennis with you.

Andrew smiles pleasantly and offers his hand to her. She takes it and follows him reluctantly as he leads the way out onto the tennis court.

The End

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