Toast.

Toast.

By Jessica Q Honig & Michael G Gross

Over credits:

INT. KITCHEN A – EVENING

Close up of cranberries fall into a strainer, water drips across the fruit.

INT. KITCHEN B – EVENING

Malted barley is measured.

INT. KITCHEN A – EVENING

A gas stove is being lit.

INT. KITCHEN B – EVENING

Malt colored water is shot as it transitions into an early then full boil.

INT. KITCHEN A – EVENING

Cranberries burst in a saucepan.

INT. KITCHEN B – EVENING

Homemade beer is transferred into growler style bottles. We notice GUS, a young man, label two bottles of beer “Honorable Barley.”  (or?? “Barley’s Elixir.”)

INT. KITCHEN A – EVENING

Orange juice is added to cranberries in a saucepan. WINNIE, a young woman, stands by the pan.  She is wrapped in a red towel, and a matching one is wrapped on her head. She hurries to throw ingredients together, test the concoction, then begins to simultaneously stir items and apply make-up with help from the silver reflection of the stove’s hood. A laptop situates atop an unused stove-burner. Winnie fiddles with a blog page on a laptop.

Screen shows:

WHIMSICLES!

Marriage of Two Greats: Croissant and Molten Chocolate Cake.

(image, a croissant on a stick)

End Credits.

EXT. APARTMENT – EVENING

GUS sits on steps outside an apartment building.  He types furiously on a Blackberry.  Two growlers of beer sit next to him on the steps, and a bunch of flowers are precariously balanced atop them.

WINNIE rushes around the corner.  She carries a casserole dish in one hand, and is looking at her cell phone.  She reaches the steps, and knocks the flowers out of balance.  She quickly bends, and picks them up.  She pauses for a moment, and then hands them to Gus.

WINNIE

(apologetic)

Sorry.

Gus frowns, and returns to typing on his Blackberry.  Winnie continues inside.

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY – EVENING

Winnie knocks on the door, looking at her phone. Hostess MELISSA answers.

MELISSA

Winnie!  You made it.  Come on in, almost everyone’s here.

WINNIE

(agitated)

Well, that’s great.  I’m leaving.  I just wanted to drop this off.

Winnie hands Melissa the casserole dish.

MELISSA

What do you mean, you’re leaving?  Come inside for a second.

Winnie enters the apartment.

A group of people sit around in small pockets of conversation.  Winnie follows Melissa into the kitchen.  Melissa sets the dish down on the counter.

WINNIE

I won’t be in the same room with him.  I won’t.  (Sarcastically) The Carb King, or whatever his name is.

MELISSA

Gus?

WINNIE

Yes, Gus.  He’s a jerk.  Did you see what he just said?

Winnie waves her phone in Melissa’s face.

MELISSA

Well, no, not this time.  I was, you know (motions to indicate prep work in kitchen)…why do let him antagonize you like this?

WINNIE

Why do you let him ruin your blog?  It’s supposed to be fun, about good food, and he’s always making himself the center of attention.

MELISSA

Winnie, come on.  You play along.

WINNIE

You’re taking his side?

MELISSA

I’m not taking sides.  Would you have a glass of wine, and relax?

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY – EARLY EVENING

Gus sets down one growler of beer, and knocks on the door.  He bends, and picks it back up.  Host KYLE answers the door.

KYLE

Gus, fashionably late.  When you’re supplying the beer, you should be early.

GUS

(hands Kyle one growler)

Don’t worry, one pint of this, and everyone here will be feeling fine.  Plus, I had to get in one more shot at Whimsy before I came up.

KYLE

(leading them inside the apartment)

I think you really pissed her off this time.  “Whimsicles are something off the Tastykake scrap heap?”  A little harsh, don’t you think?  Have you even had one before?

GUS

I have.  They’re good actually. But she, she was a little over the top, spouting “Whimsy obviously loves Whimsicles. Peace and Whimsicles.” I mean, come on, she’s a nut case. I just like messing with her.

KYLE

Well, mission accomplished.  She’s in the kitchen with Mel.  She looked pretty pissed. (reaching for a growler) Here you want to put that other guy in the fridge?

GUS

I’ll take it in.  I want to give Mel these flowers anyway.

KYLE

You know she’s my wife?

GUS

(walking toward the kitchen/sarcastic)

But, she’s my girlfriend.

INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN – EVENING

Melissa and Winnie are talking over a glass of wine.  Gus enters.  The conversation stops.

MELISSA

(uncomfortable)

Gus.  Hey, you’re here.

GUS

I am.  And, I brought the beer.  And, some flowers for you, of course.

Gus puts the growler in the fridge, and then presents the flowers to Melissa.  He smiles, and turns to Winnie.

GUS (CONT’D)

Hey, I’m Gus.

WINNIE

(frowning)

Winnie.

Winnie reluctantly takes Gus’s hand, and they shake.

GUS

Winnie, blog name Whimsy, from what I hear.  Head of marketing for Whimsicles, no doubt.

Gus looks at Winnie, and she stares back. She clenches her teeth.

MELISSA

Gus, don’t start.

GUS

(animated with hand gestures)

What?  I like them, I really do.  I’m stirring things up on the blog, that’s the point, right?  You guys want to be famous bloggers?  Winnie knows I mean no harm, right Whimsy?

WINNIE

(ignoring Gus)

I haven’t said hello to Kyle yet.

Winnie picks-up her wine glass, and walks past Gus out of the kitchen.

GUS

What’s her problem?

MELISSA

I think you crossed the line this time, Gus.  Tastykake?  That’s the worst thing you could have said, you don’t realize…

GUS

(interrupts)

She’s not afraid to throw a punch, believe me.

MELISSA

Didn’t you mother tell you not to hit girls?  She was so upset she was going to leave.  I had to beg her to stay.

GUS

All right.  I’m sorry.  What do you want me to do?

MELISSA

Just stop being an asshole.  The flowers should have won you some points.

GUS

What?

MELISSA

Cornflowers.  They’re her favorite.

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

A crowd people socialize. Several small tables with hors d’oeuvres have been set up, and the group has broken into small pockets of conversation.

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

Winnie stands alone with a plate of food.  Gus approaches with two glasses of beer.

GUS

(offering a glass to Winnie)

Looks like you need a drink.

WINNIE

Why is it socially unacceptable to be at a party and not have your hand glued to a glass of alcohol?

GUS

I meant to wash down that food.  Looks a little starchy.  I thought you were anti-carbs.

WINNIE

I’m a bread addict.

GUS

Oh, so that whole “Carbs Kill” thing on the blog…

WINNIE

(interrupts)

Addictions kill, Gus.

GUS

Ok, ok.  But, really, try the beer.  I made it myself.

WINNIE

Fine.

Winnie takes a glass from Gus, and has a sip.

WINNIE CONT.

Wow, that’s good.  You made this?

Gus nods.

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

Gus and Winnie are observed laughing and drinking beer, isolated from rest of the party.

GUS

You should take it easy. The beer has like 7.5% alcohol.

WINNIE

What does that mean?

GUS

It means each glass is worth about 3 Amstel Lights or whatever the hell you usually drink.

WINNIE

Still a smart ass, I thought you were being nice…

GUS

I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.

WINNIE

So, is that your excuse for the blog, too? You can’t help yourself?

GUS

My excuse for what?

WINNIE

For being so mean to me.

GUS

If I didn’t think you could handle it, I wouldn’t antagonize you.  It’s actually a compliment.

WINNIE

You have an odd way of delivering compliments.

GUS

I’m an acquired taste.

WINNIE

At, best.

GUS

Oh, come on. Who’s being mean, now?  Are you mad I didn’t bring you cornflowers?

WINNIE

What?

GUS

I heard they were your favorite.

WINNIE

I love most wildflowers.  But, cornflowers, well it’s too bad Mel doesn’t have any of our art around anymore.  We went through a cornflower stage in college.

GUS

I remember seeing those. That was you? Figures.

WINNIE

What figures?

GUS
I don’t know, it was kind of strange stuff. Out-there, really.  What kind of person takes a perfectly natural creation, crumbles it and then scrapes the remains to glue on canvas and throws some spray-paint over it?

WINNIE
A brilliant one.

GUS

Hah, ok, I suppose they were unique.  I don’t know if you’ll believe me now, but I actually liked them.

WINNIE

I wish they were still around, that’s all they lacked really, permanence.

GUS

I guess you need to recreate them, then.  I have a ton of cornflowers at my place.  They’re all yours.

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

Gus and Winnie linger at the party, assisting Kyle and Mel with clean-up.  Melissa and Kyle stand observing them working together.

KYLE

Honey, get the camera. This a blog moment.

GUS

Shut-up.

MELISSA

So, what are you guys talking about?

WINNIE

Gus was telling me how well the girls at Johnson and Wales could cook.

KYLE

That’s the reason he left me alone at Brown, the food wasn’t good enough.

WINNIE

All about the food, huh?

GUS

(sarcastically)

Oh, Winnie tell me what it’s about? Cornflower art?

WINNIE

Imagination? Ambition? I don’t know, maybe there is more to life than eating what’s conveniently put in front of you, Mr. Carb King?

GUS

Convenient? Hey, Kyle, Winnie thinks I live for food and convenience.

KYLE

And you don’t?

Gus guzzles beer.

WINNIE

Well, you have a one-track mind on the blog.

GUS

I have a distinct personality.

KYLE

Something has to keep him in touch with humans. He lives way out there in the country, the only socializing he does besides blog rants is talking to his animals.

WINNIE

Well, that explains your verbose desperation.

Cut to:

INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT

Winnie and Gus put their coats on.

Kyle approaches Gus and Winnie to hand them their cleaned dishes.

KYLE

(kisses Winnie on the cheek)

Night Kids. Way to behave. You know, I was kind

of hoping you’d bring your Whimsicles for dessert.

GUS

You can make those?  I thought you were just their number one fan.

KYLE

She…

Winnie puts a finger to her mouth to quiet Kyle.

WINNIE

I make a pretty good Whimsicle.

GUS

And, you held out tonight?  Not that cool.

KYLE

(to Winnie)

You need a ride?

WINNIE

No thanks, Gus offered to take me!

Cut to:

INT. CAR – NIGHT

Gus drives Winnie home.

GUS

So, are you going to get back into Cornflower art?

WINNIE

I don’t know.  I don’t have as much time for that kind of stuff anymore.

GUS

Yeah, I know how that goes.  What do you do anyway?  You ask a lot of questions, but you don’t talk about yourself.

WINNIE

I thought one person talking about themselves was enough.

GUS

(laughing)

Hah, ok fair enough.  Well, I’m asking now, what do you do?

WINNIE

It’s boring, and this is my stop.

GUS

Ok, well you’ll tell me when you come out to the farm for your cornflowers.

Winnie smiles at Gus, but doesn’t respond.

GUS CONT.

Well, it was nice to meet you, to put a face to the name.

WINNIE

I agree. You grew on me.

They hug good-bye from inside the car. Winnie pulls for mittens, and then her phone drops out of her pocket onto the passenger’s seat. She exits the car. Gus follows Winnie with his gaze – out his driver’s side window until she enters her apartment.

Cut to:

INT. KITCHEN – MORNING

Gus sits at a kitchen table with a laptop open.  He sets his breakfast plate on the floor, offering scraps to a dog, BARLEY. Gus scans the food blog, and adds a comment, “Can food or flowers be art? I need a consult with Whimsy. PS – You lost your phone, Carb King found it.

Fade to:

EXT. RURAL BACKROAD – LATE AFTERNOON

Winnie stops her car along a back road surrounded by undeveloped land. She gets out of the car, opens a road map. Re-enters the car and proceeds to drive.

Fade to:

EXT. FARMHOUSE – EVENING

Gus greets Winnie as she parks a compact car along a rocky driveway. Winnie carries a shopping bag with her.

GUS

You finally found, us, huh?

They consider a hug, and then decide to shake hands, smiling from the awkward exchange.

WINNIE

I think I turned at the wrong farmhouse a couple of times.

GUS

That happens.

WINNIE

It’s so beautiful out here.

GUS

Wait til the stars come out.

WINNIE

(looks up at the sky)

Oh, god, I know.  I’m sorry I’m so late. Did I mess up dinner?

GUS

Nah, not much prep-time required.  What about you?  You bring everything you need to make my Whimsicles?

WINNIE

(holding up bag)

Of course, I’m ready to go.  I can’t believe I’m making them for someone who compared them to Tastykakes.

GUS

I thought I had made amends.

WINNIE

Well, almost.

We follow them as Gus leads Winnie around the estate, offering to carry her bag, during a brief tour.

Fade to:

INT. FARMHOUSE – RURAL SUBURBS

Gus flicks a light switch that illuminates a modern kitchen.  It is filled with stainless steel appliances that surround a massive island. There is a large bunch of cornflowers sitting on the counter.  Gus sets the bag next to them.

WINNIE

(picking up flowers)

Are these for me?

GUS

They are.  I’m sweetening the pot.  Dinner, art supplies, and your phone in exchange for a true Whimsicle, fair trade?

WINNIE

I think so.

GUS

You know, I would have brought you your phone.

WINNIE

I wanted to come out here.  See the place.  It’s great. I wish I had this much space.

GUS

(approaching back door)

You should move out of the city.  Get some fresh air.

Gus opens the back door.

GUS (CONT’D)

(yelling)

BARLEY!  BARLEY!  Come on Buddy.

WINNIE

Barley?

GUS

My dog?  The only other real attraction here besides the cornflowers.

WINNIE

Oh, I don’t know.  You’re warming up.  I think you can only be obnoxious if there’s a keyboard in front of you.

Barley comes bounding through the back door.  He bypasses Gus, and heads straight for Winnie, tail wagging.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

(bending to greet the dog)

Well, aren’t you sweet?  Is it to compensate for that horrible name your father gave you? I thought dogs took on the personality of their owners?

GUS

I think it’s more like opposites attract.

WINNIE

(smiling)

Maybe you’re right. (pause) So, do I get to see the rest of the place?

GUS

(frowning)

Ugh, well, not much to see.  Grand re-modeling plans kind of stalled out after the kitchen. How about a drink instead of a tour?

Gus starts toward the fridge.

WINNIE

(upbeat)

Whattaya got?

Winnie approaches Gus from behind, and places a hand on his hip while looking over his shoulder.  Gus tenses slightly, and looks back in her direction.

GUS

Water of course, some beer, iced tea, bottle of wine in case of emergency…

WINNIE

(interrupting)

Is that Bud Light?  The famous beer maker has Bud Light?

GUS

It serves a purpose.

WINNIE

What purpose is that?  Oh, I guess it’s for the groupies that can’t handle the homemade moonshine.

GUS
Groupies?

WINNIE

Oh, come on.  This kitchen alone must get you laid every once in a while.

GUS

(turning to face Winnie)

Oh, you think so? It’s for me actually.  Still haven’t completely shaken the fondness for Anheuser Busch.

WINNIE

I don’t I believe you, but why don’t you open that bottle of wine.

GUS

Sure, dinner will take 30 minutes whenever you’re ready.  What about the Whimsicles?

WINNIE

You want to rush right to dessert?

GUS

No, I just don’t know how long you need to make them.

WINNIE

I’ll get them ready while you make dinner.  Let’s have a glass of wine first, though.

GUS

Fair enough.

Cut To.

INT. KITCHEN EVENING

Gus and Winnie sit on stools at the kitchen’s island.  There is a picked over plate of cheese and crackers in front of them, and the bottle of wine is empty.  They have partially full glasses in front of them.

WINNIE

This is some kitchen though, I’m a little intimidated by it.

GUS

Why intimidated?

WINNIE

I don’t know, I always used to get in trouble for being in the kitchen when I was a kid.  I made too much of a mess, or used something I wasn’t supposed to.  I always felt like I was creating, and my Mom thought I was in the way.

GUS

I think my Mom would have liked to have me in the kitchen.   I just wasn’t interested back then, and then I set the microwave on fire, which pretty much ended her trying to get me involved.

WINNIE

What’d you put in there, silverware?

GUS

Didn’t unwrap microwave popcorn, threw it in, foil and all.

Winnie laughs, then stands and slides around the kitchen as if ice-skating, and she looks at the floor – curiously.

WINNIE

(shuffling in circles)

I think that beats my grease fire.

GUS

(watching her with a smirk)

Sounds like you were a handful, but at least we have our own kitchens to burn down now.

WINNIE

I’ll try not to ignite anything tonight.

Cut To.

MONTAGE OF DINNER PREPARATION/DINNER

Winnie works on the island, making Whimsicles. She’s full of flour, and untidy. Gus is in and out of the kitchen, working the grill and the stove.  They continue to drink, and occasionally observe the other working.  Gus sets the table, and serves them dinner.  They eat, talk, laugh. The dog circles the table.

Montage ends.

INT. FARMHOUSE KITCHEN – NIGHT

Gus and Winnie sit at the table.  Their plates are clear.  Another empty bottle of wine sits between them.

WINNIE

That was amazing, really.  It was delicious.

GUS

Well, the grill is my specialty.  The fancy stuff, I leave to the experts, and just sit back and enjoy.

WINNIE

Well, that was my role tonight, sitting back and enjoying.

GUS

Don’t forget you’re in charge of dessert.  Unless, you know, it has gotten kind of late.

WINNIE

Are you kidding?  I’m not leaving til you, til you try a real Whimsicle, Carb King. You’re going to be impressed!

Cut To:

INT. FARMHOUSE – LATE NIGHT

Gus and Winnie are straightening up the kitchen, putting away dishes, when they are interrupted by the DING of a timer.  Winnie goes to the oven.

WINNIE

(peeking into the oven)

Looks like they’re ready.

GUS

Smells like it.

He brushes her hips with his hands as she removes the Whimsicles.

WINNIE

Okay, they have to cool for a few minutes.

Both look at the pastries on the counter, for a moment, in silence, and then Gus walks toward the fridge.

GUS

What should we drink with these?

WINNIE

Milk?

GUS

Perfect.

WINNIE

I think so, too.

Winnie transfers the pastries to a plate and follows Gus into a small family room.  He puts the two glasses of milk on an old coffee table, and a beat-up couch. Winnie joins him, after setting the tray on the table.

GUS

(lifting his milk glass to propose a toast)

To a blogger that I grossly underestimated.

The two laugh, and clank glasses.

WINNIE

Jesus. That’s some seriously creamy, yummy milk.

GUS

Why thank you. It’s um, I milked it myself.

WINNIE

Shut up!

GUS

(self-amused)

Yeah, I could demonstrate in the morning, if you’re still around.

WINNIE

I’m officially an accepted member of your groupie-club, then?

Gus grabs for a stick of the pastry.

GUS

Still with the Groupie-club? If you say so, consider yourself a card-carrying member.

He takes a bite.

GUS (CONT’D)

Jesus Christ, this is amazing.

Winnie smiles, with pride. And then kisses Gus on the cheek.

WINNIE

Thanks for being grateful.

GUS

Um, yeah, no – I mean, thank you. I can’t believe you know how to make these. And, and you don’t even have the recipe to follow.

WINNIE

(looking mischievous)

Uhuh. Whimsy knows how to make her Whimsicles.

Gus takes another bite, and then another.

GUS

I’d pay you for this recipe. It makes a difference, you know, to serve them hot.

WINNIE

I know.

GUS

So, what’s the recipe?

WINNIE

I’ll never tell. Whimsy will never tell…

GUS

(perplexed)

You’re Whimsy as is the whole concept behind Whimsicles, aren’t you? What a liar. (exaggerated feminine voice) ‘My job’s boring, I don’t want to talk about it…’

WINNIE

I don’t deal all my cards at once, maybe. Besides, Whimsy – my name is Whimsy on the blog, didn’t you get the hint.

GUS

I don’t know.  Why would I make that connection? I can’t believe no one told me.  So, I guess you are allowed to cook in your Mom’s kitchen now?

WINNIE

I suppose, but she still…

Winnie hesitates and then nestles closer to Gus.

WINNIE (CONT’D)

The milk does go with them, perfectly. We should sell your stuff at my bakeries.

GUS

I’m not for sale.

WINNIE

(laughing)

Fine. We’ll have to be friends, then. And, and for the record, my parents still consider baking my “silly hobby.”

GUS

Idiots.

Gus empathically pulls Winnie closer, and they both continue eating. When they finish, we observe them in a continuous talk as they shift positions – until they fall asleep.

Fade to:

INT. FARMHOUSE – MORNING

Gus jostles from Winnie’s hold of him. He starts to make them breakfast. Simply toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and sunny side up eggs. Winnie wakes at the sound of eggs being fried.

GUS

I made you some breakfast. If you, I mean, if you’re up for eating before you drive back to the city.

WINNIE

Oh, yum.

Gus brings Winnie a plate.

GUS

Don’t get too excited. It’s just eggs and toast. Farm basics.

WINNIE

Simple and honest.  That’s my style.

GUS

So what time do you need to be home?

WINNIE

Do I have to leave?

FADE OUT.

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12 thoughts on “Toast.

  1. So does this mean BK gets all bent out of shape when I ride and beat him like a rented mule?

    Poor BK. I got some cornflowers to cheer ya up.

  2. Haha, I mean you are assuming you are the inspiration for the male character…

    In truth, its not so literal. We know you and BK will never make amends on any level.

    • wow. 3-PUTT, i thought we wrote strictly autobiographically. let DUBS be…

      and, and i swear we decided BK looked best in cornflower blue dresses, remember that photo you shared with me from your coffee table photo album?

      thanks for reading cow-beaus.

      Q

  3. I have to be Gus. He lives out in the country. He always causes controversy and somehow he makes things about him. He even has a dog and a nice kitchen.

    I’m destined to be Gus.

  4. I’m not imaginative enough to read things like this and picture the scenes in my head, unfortunately. Although clearly BDH has a wild, runaway type imagination thinking he beats anything other than the 3 incher in his pants. He’s a shower not a grower ladies!

  5. So you don’t have the imagination to read a script, but you have the imagination to think about what I do with my trouser snake?

    Weird thought process you have there, but whatever you want…

    • Thanks Suzie.

      This is actually something I co-wrote with Q. I’ll let her know that you liked it…

      Is that a 2nd Swiss blog you are starting?

      Very industrious.

  6. Oh good! Are we getting more additions to this? I would like to tune in!

    haha no – I was thinking of switching to the wordpress but didn’t think there was enough jazziness on there for me. I obviously like lots of clutter! 😉 Now I’m just tooooooo lazy.

    • no one can compete with Mac in the Jazziness category. For sure.

      This is all for this little story/script for now. But rumor has it we might start something new soon.

      thanks for checking in, enjoy the snow over there….

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