Episode 5: Of Musk and Muskie
Cecil and Ebenezer met for the first time since Cecil’s arrival at the hotel. Ebenezer complained about the unreliable delivery of his prunes, then told Cecil he lived on the 13th floor (amusing Cecil, who remained unconvinced of the floor’s existence). Cecil asked Ebenezer whether he had told anything to Alderman Snuff, but Ebenezer couldn’t recall, since both he and Alderman were hopped-up on pills at the time. The desperate Cecil threatened Ebenezer. In response, Ebenezer pulled out his old blunderbuss “Muskie.” They came to an agreement to keep each other’s secrets:
Ebenezer: “I won’t tell anyone you’re a sissypants, and you won’t tell anyone about the 13th floor.”
Doris (a.k.a. ShiShi) and Tillie were drinking in the lounge.
Doris: “It feels like I’ve been drinking for days—probably ’cause I’ve been drinking for days.”
Tillie chided Doris for overusing her new cologne (Vanilla Fields™ from Coty®), then offered her some advice about love, drawing on her many years’ experience as a washed-up porn star/widow 8 times over/philanthropist.
Celeste was cleaning in the garden when Dr. Weeds arrived. Dr. Weeds questioned her about her blindness, suggesting that he could use his laser to perform radial keratotomy on her. She explained that that wouldn’t help—the only problem with her eyes is that she doesn’t have any. After a long digression in which Celeste related the history of her adoptive family, Dr. Weeds returned to the subject of restoring her vision. If she would arrange a meeting between Cecil and Alderman Snuff, Weeds explained, he could give her the eyes of someone in the hotel “who won’t be using them anymore.”
In the bar, the new Cyber-Vladimir was explaining his electronic parts and connections (including the keyboard port in his rectum) to Mad Dog. Mad Dog indignantly condemned the internet as a “pipeline for porn,” but Vladimir demonstrated his power by hacking into the US Treasury and transferring cash directly into Mad Dog’s pockets.
Alderman Snuff confronted Cecil about the body in the meat locker, and told Cecil he was taking him in. Cecil not-too-subtly implied that if that happened, something bad, like an explosion, might happen to the car—but only the front part, not the back seat where Cecil would be sitting, of course. Since the threat of prison didn’t seem to intimidate Cecil, Alderman revealed that he had some compromising photos he could show to Cecil’s dad.
Alderman visited Tillie in her room to ask her some questions. She explained that she lived at the Gregorio because she’d been kicked out of every nursing home her kids put her in, “because I’m fucking crazy!” Alderman’s questions took on a distinctly sexual implication, but then Doris came in, and he dropped Tillie like a hot potato.
Vladimir began literally surfing the internet, but quickly disconnected after realizing that Mad Dog was right about it being nothing but porn.
Cecil was panicking in his office when Celeste came in to clean. After a little game of “follow the bell” and a brief discussion of his cologne (a mixture of CK One™ and Drakkar Noir™), Cecil told Celeste how worried he was. She asked if he was afraid people would find out he’s gay, but that wasn’t the problem—in fact, Cecil had never thought of that as being especially secret. He explained his real dilemma: He really wants to run the hotel as a legitimate business, but he knows that his father won’t let him go straight, and that Alderman will just keep pouring on the pressure. Suddenly realizing that Cecil has mob connections, Celeste ran out of the office as quickly as she could, blurting out “Gotta clean the rooms! Please don’t kill me!”
Mad Dog was polishing up the bar and inhaling the fumes from the spray cleaner. Ebenezer snuck up behind him, wielding Old Muskie, and demanded “all the hooch you’ve got and the special keys to Man Night!” However, since “all the hooch” consisted of a single bottle, and the only “key to Man Night” was just to be a man, it was a pretty lame robbery. Ebenezer laughed at his little prank.
Dr. Weeds waited in Cecil’s room, passing the time by trying to call “Blind Date.” When Cecil arrived, he offered Weeds a deal. If Weeds disposes of Alderman, Cecil will put up the funding for Dr. Weeds’ laser—all $200,000 of it.
Vladimir bid furiously for some unknown item on eBay, but didn’t get it.
Doris showed Alderman to her room. As they exchanged some tender sweet talk, Alderman steered the conversation to the stories and secrets she could tell. Doris realized what he was trying to do.
Doris: “You think you can stick your tongue down my throat and I’ll just tell you everything about everybody?…You’re right!”
Doris promised she’d tell him all the dark secrets of the hotel, “the pedophilia, the necrophilia, the herbophilia.” These topics were a bit of a turn-off for Alderman, but he kissed her anyway.
Ebenezer and Mad Dog were drinking and huffing away in the bar. After Mad Dog said that huffing fumes was his one great vice, Ebenezer pointed out another one:
Ebenezer: “I know that the owner of this hotel is a pansy, and you’re a pedophile!”
Mad Dog: “I never rode a bike in my life!”
A panicked Vladimir sought out Dr. Weeds to share some important news he found on the internet: “Cokie Roberts says the NEA won’t be funded!” Dr. Weeds was visibly upset.
Tillie and Celeste had some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. After Tillie asserted that Ben & Jerry are Jewish, Celeste agreed: “This tastes so good, they gotta be Jewish!” Tillie got upset (“Tell me, how does ‘Jewish’ taste?”), but Celeste explained she was just trying to go along with Tillie’s perpetual Jewish-pride observations. Celeste then led the other patrons in a toast to Judaism.
Dr. Weeds casually ambushed Alderman Snuff in the hallway. Alderman tried to persuade Weeds to join the side of the law—after all, he did show him to the body in the meat locker. However, Weeds told Alderman that that evidence would disappear unless Alderman met his price—a price the Caponés could meet. Cecil arrived and predicted “Someone’s about to die!” Alderman pulled out his gun and agreed. Dr. Weeds objected: “I’m the killer in this show!” But from the wings, Ebenezer took careful aim with Old Muskie…and fired. But who did he hit?
TO BE CONTINUED...