Office Party


dirk_icon.gif pippa_icon.gif

Scene Title Office Party
Synopsis Pippa receives valuable life lessons while waiting for her mom to get out of a meeting.
Date October 25, 2018

SESA - top floor

It’s been an hour… almost.

Dirk has been watching the clock and trying to keep the small blonde girl in the reception room quiet. With the amount of people that have gone through to Kenner’s office, he doesn’t expect Nicole to be out for a while. He is #feelsbadman because he has absolutely no idea what to do.

She’s little. She’s a girl. This is a place of business. Every time she opens her mouth to speak, he just gives her that look that makes her close it again really quickly. The secretary pool is short on temps today, so he can’t even call out.

She looks over in his direction.

He gives her a weak, placating smile.

Then he bends. He can’t help it. She’s a cutie.

“Want to hear some stories about your mommy when we first met? I was working in television!!!”

It’s tough to be a six-year-old and to sit quietly for so very long. Fortunately, Pippa Varlane has about the biggest coloring book ever in her lap, and a pail of crayons to color with on the chair next to her. Still, she’d very much like to be talking. Or playing hide-and-seek. Maybe tag, but her mother has told her that running isn’t allowed in the office.

When Dirk finally seems to want to strike up conversation, Pippa lifts her head and smiles back. Then her eyes get real big. “You were on TV?” She doesn’t get to watch much of that at home, but sometimes she gets to watch old cartoons. Her mom watches a lot of news, though, and those people must be cool, or she wouldn’t watch them so much.

"You bet, kid," he answers with a bit of a squeak in his voice, he's just as excited telling her about the glory days as she seems to be hearing them. "I ran a whole teevee station! And radio! Robyn was on a radio, and you know Brad right? Cannonhands Russo? He was on a show too… but I was the boss of the whoooooole place!"

In a way, he was. Kristen ran the place and he ran Kristen.

"We even had a dog named Trippy that was on the news."

Some of the voices behind the door get a little louder and Dirk just glares behind him. "Let's go to the break room, okay? I bet there's a snack or something. You like chocolate, right?" Pushing a button on the phone, he comes out from behind the desk and holds his hand out ot the little girl, “You can just leave those here, we have janitors.”

Pippa drops her crayon back into the little bucket and sets both it and her coloring book under the chair she was sitting on, so they’re out of the way. The inside cover has inscribed that it is the property of Pippa Varlane, so if someone finds it and thinks it’s lost, they know who to return it to!

With a big smile, she takes Dirk’s hand. “Mommy says I can’t have too much chocolate, but a little is okay.” She wrinkles her nose like she disagrees, and thinks that there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. “Halloween is a ‘ception. I’m excited for Halloween,” Pippa confides. “Mommy’s making my costume and Daddy’s going to help me carve a pumpkin. I get to pick my own and everything!”

“Mommy’s don’t know everything,” Dirk answers with a sly grin, leading the little girl to the lunch room. Despite the food shortages, there seems to be an ample amount of snacking food and the administrative assistant helps himself. “So let’s see here…. Jelly beans, gummy bears, chocolate bars, chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate covered almonds….” With every ingredient named, he dumps it into a single bowl. “Here you go kid, trail mix! That’s healthy, right?”

After placing the bowl on the lunch room table, he makes his way over to the coffee pot and pulls out two mugs. “How much sugar you want in your coffee? Two or three spoons? And you like cake? I think they brought some pound cake from the market… we’ll make you a good dippin’ coffee to go with your cake.”

He’s the best babysitter. Nicole will never ask him again.

The little girl wastes no time pulling up a seat at the table and picking through the bowl of snacks, picking her favorites. Or perhaps saving those for last. Again, her nose wrinkles, this time at the mention of coffee. “Mommy says I won’t like coffee until I’m a grown up. I don’t think I’ll ever like it. It’s gross.” Even with sugar, Pippa is dubious about the drinkability of that dark bean juice.

Jelly beans are lined up in neat little rows by color. “I do like cake,” she admits in a soft voice, like she’s afraid suddenly that all of this is a trap and her mother might come into the breakroom and give her the I’m just disappointed look that makes her cry. In spite of this concern, Pippa pops a chocolate drop into her mouth and lets it melt slowly.

“Oh little Pimple,” Dirk says in a tone that’s half you poor thing and half listen linda. “You need to trust your Uncle Dirk. Lemme show you…” Four or five heaping tablespoons of sugar join a cup of coffee that’s a pale beige color due to the amount of cream in it. That mug and a wedge of cake is placed in front of the little girl and then he prepares another one for himself.

“When I was little, my Grammy Grams used to make this for me. She was old country. If my Grammy Grams says it’s good, then it’s goooooooood.”

He picks up the piece of cake with his fingers and dunks it into the coffee, letting the heavy sweetbread soak up just enough that it doesn’t fall apart in the mug. Then he lifts it to his mouth and takes a giant bite. What greets his palate is a mixture of warm cream, sweet sugar, melty cake, and deliciousness. “Shee? Thish ish the besh! Try!!”

Pimple earns Dirk a frown. “Pippa,” she corrects with the quiet indignance only a six-year-old can manage. All that eases some when the coffee and the cake are set in front of her. While she’s dubious about the drink, she knows that cake is good. And this stuff doesn’t look nearly so dark as what her mother drinks.

Breaking a piece of cake off in her small hands and carefully dunking it into the coffee the way she watched Dirk do, Pippa takes an experimental nibble. Then a full bite. “Ish yummy!” she declares around a mouthful of cake. Normally she would chew and swallow before speaking, but Dirk’s manners have set a certain tone, and she’s following suit.

He forgot something.

Dirk leaps from his chair and runs across the room to the cutlery drawer to pull out a couple of spoons. On his way back to his chair, he hands one to Pippa and points to the cake and the cup. “When you get to the bottom of your coffee, it’ll be like a delicious pudding.” He spins his chair around with one hand and sits on it backward. He’s going to enjoy his coffee like a rockstar, or a bad boy, take your pick.

“Now the secret to a good coffee, Pips,” he says beginning his tutorial on how she can replicate his recipe. “Is four or five heaping spoons of sugar… and make sure you fill it half up with cream. You want that color to be as smooth as a Thai ladyboy’s skin….. Don’t tell your mom I said that.”

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