Wedding parties are hard and even more so when you have to choose.
CHARACTERS: JASON, BRANDON, SERENA (WAITRESS), VOICE OF MATTHEW
EXTERIOR. A sunlit sign reads "FLINN'S COUNTRY CLUB RESTAURANT"
INTERIOR. AFTERNOON RESTAURANT TABLE
(Jason sits relaxed and confident at table with table cloth. Brandon enters, walks up to table.)
BRANDON: (Shaking Jason's shoulders) Hey, Big Bro!
JASON: (Startled) Heyyyyy, little brother! (Playfully) God! Stop. Stop it! (Brandon smiles and stops.) How is it that you always bring me to the brink of a heart attack whenever I see you?
BRANDON: (Sitting down amused) Well, soon you'll have a wife to protect you from me, alright? By the way… congratulations, man! Christine is smokin' hot!
JASON: Ah, thanks, Brother. Hand's off, though!...No but really… It's nice you and I could finally get together again. It means a lot to me. Which is actually why we're here: to talk about the wedding. (Reaching over and pressing first finger down on table in time with words, smiling.) And Your. Place. In it.
BRANDON: (Happily) Oh my god! You're right. All those traditions and shit. I totally forgot about all that…
JASON: Yeah. (Leaning back in to chair.) Just be grateful you're not paying for all of that "shit"… (Smiles) But right now, that's not what we're worrying about. Brandon, obviously you know there's a grooms party, and well—I'm actually tearin' up man—I would be absolutely honored if you would accept the position in the wedding as my Best Brother.
BRANDON: (Surprised and confused.) Your… Best Brother? (Jason waits in eager anticipation.) What?
JASON: (Slightly agitated.) My Best Brother.
BRANDON: What's a… Best Brother?
JASON: The honor given to the groom's best…brother. What else would it be?
BRANDON: (Squirming.) I mean, besides Jayden, who's like three-years-old and technically our half brother... Aren't I your only brother?
JASON: Oh Brandon… don't get like this…
BRANDON: No, I think you just meant to say your Best Man. Not your Best Brother, right?
JASON: Ohhhhhhh! No… I already promised the Best Man position to Nathan Levendowski. You remember him. We were really close in high school and everything.
BRANDON: (Confused.) Oh… Yeah… No, that makes sense. (Jason makes a slight grimace.) No, no, no, I totally get it. I'm so sorry. Nathan was a really great guy, and I'm seriously not offended or anything.
JASON: So…is that a yes, then? Best Brother?
BRANDON: I mean… sure. Why not. If Nathan's your Best Man, then I'll be right there after him as your... Best Brother. I guess I can live…
JASON: (Confused) Oh…no…
JASON: (Beat.) Well, it's just that, I've chosen to give the Second Best Man position… otherwise known as the First Groomsman position… to… Samuel Pots.
BRANDON: Samuel Pots?
JASON: My barista.
BRANDON: Your barista?
JASON: I've never had someone just get—like really get—how I like my milk foam clovers formed in my lattes.
BRANDON: (Stilted) Milk foam clovers?
JASON: It's the only way I get through my morning…
BRANDON: (Beat. Shaking head.) Ok… Ok… whatever. I'll be your Third Best Man or Second Groomsman… or… whatever… (Phone rings.)
JASON: Hold that thought. (looking at iPhone.) I'm sorry. Do you know anyone with a 402 area code? (Presses button. Into phone.) Hello? (Brandon rolls eyes.)
MATTHEW: (Hick accent) Jason Paulson? This is Matthew!
JASON: Who? Matthew… what?
MATTHEW: Matthew Spalding.
JASON: Matthew Spalding? Oh!!! THE Matthew Spalding? The piss pants boy from third grade P.E. class? Oh my god! How are you doing, man?
MATTHEW: Oh wow. You're the first person to remember me. Well here goes nothing, I'm passing through your parts on or about August 12th. Doing some couch surfing these days after serving some time behind bars, and I just found your number at the internet cafe…? (Brandon sips at water.)
JASON: You're kidding me! Well what a day to go couch surfing... That's my wedding night, man! Of course you can come over… but rules are rules: you'd have to be in my groomsparty and send me off!
MATTHEW: Well I'll be damned! (Brandon's eyes bulge.)
JASON: Yeah!I got an open Third Best Man position if you're interested. (Brandon chokes on water.)
MATTHEW: Oh wow. Nobody's never give me nothin' like this.
JASON: Alright, Well I'll pencil you in! Later, brother! (Jason disconnects phone. Takes sip of water.)
BRANDON: You just gave away my Third Best Man position to a couch surfer?
JASON: (Ignoring Brandon. Pulling out small notebook and pen. Writing down information.) This is such a blessing. Christine and I have been looking everywhere for someone to take those pesky Third and Fifth Best Man positions. (Looking up.)
BRANDON: Third and Fifth? Who's fourth!?
JASON: Oh! (Smirking.) Christine thought it would be cute to have Jayden crawling into the Fourth Best Man position.
BRANDON: Our three-year-old half brother!? So I'm fifth!?
JASON: Oh, no. That position was just given away to Serena.
BRANDON: Serena!? Who's… (Waitress walks up.)
WAITRESS: Is there anything else I can get you two? (Jason wraps his arms around waitress's waist.)
JASON: When I walked in, I just thought to myself, "there's the energy that I need from my fifth best man position."
BRANDON: She's not even a man!
JASON: Brandon… (shakes head) don't get Republican on me. (Beat.)
BRANDON: (Passionately and theatrically.) No. I'm sorry. This is ridiculous! I'm your brother, I was there when we skirted down Mr. Thompson's hill, got all covered in blackberry stains and scratches. Mom couldn't believe what we had done. Or what about…what about when I took the fall when you left the back door unlocked after your senior year kegger and Dad walked in on that drunk ass Miles Simmison cuddled up on the kitchen floor in his own puke? I was grounded for two months, Jason! Or what about the fact that if it weren't for me, interning at McCallister and Sons, I wouldn't have gone to that insufferable corporate Christmas party, I wouldn't have booked the same caterers for Dad and Mom's thirtieth anniversary, I wouldn't have fortuitously match made you with the quaint, beautiful, smokin' hot, everything-that-is-wonderful-in-your-life Christine? You wouldn't even be getting married if it weren't for me! And I get relegated? Out of what…probably the entire fucking wedding party photograph? Past a motley crew of characters and no names I know nothing about!? (Huffing.)
JASON: (Slightly tearing up.) So…is that your answer? No?
BRANDON: (Shaking head. Wiping eyes.) Yes. (Standing up.) You give me no choice. I can't. I won't be… your… best brother. (Jason lowers his head. Brandon turns away in shock. Beat.)
JASON: (Raises head.) How 'bout an usher?
BRANDON: (Furious screaming. Turns around. Rushes for Jason's neck.)
EXT. OF COUNTRY CLUB SIGN
SOUNDS OF SCREAMING AND DISHWARE BREAKING INSIDE
Time Out with Clio is a weekly pause each Friday when you can come and spend a moment with me as I daydream in the corner. Feel free to leave suggestions or inspirations for future posts.