Laila arrived at the audition and discovered it was being held in a dilapidated clubhouse of some sort. The car parked in the front lawn should have been her first clue that something was amiss, yet her dreams of fame and fortune propelled her forward and into the building.
As she entered, she was greeted by a den featuring four chairs, all with the backs facing her. Before she could say anything, they turned, one by one. It was then that she saw her judges were anything but normal.
The first chair swung around and Laila was greeted by a terrifying creature. It was no living woman, but a banshee, weeping and wailing. She did welcome Laila to the audition, albeit with a wail and not a warm, normal hello. She also told her to break a leg. Laila considered the possibility that the terrifying spirit was being literal.
In the second chair sat a man who looked very much like Bono, but swore his name was Roger Murdock. He refused to say much besides his name, though he vehemently denied being Bono. The chair to his left turned and revealed a very small and sinister fellow wearing a green tux and top hat. He said his name was Fernando.
Then the last chair turned. Laila didn’t know what to expect, particularly given the reveals the first three turns offered. Nothing yet—not the car in the lawn, not the banshee, not Roger Murdock, not the little guy in the colorful tux—had prepared her for this moment. For when the 180-degree turn was complete and Laila saw the final judge, she saw not a human, but a floppy-armed inflatable dude with a video screen for a head.
She wasn’t sure what this meant for her audition, but any encouragement would be welcomed.
There's a person on every video conference call who is placed there strictly to nod in the background.
— Juliet Actually (@julietactually) February 21, 2017
Things started on a positive note when Roger Murdock offered a compliment.
Him: You have beautiful skin.
Me: Thanks, it's not mine.
— VnT (@Vodkantots) March 16, 2017
Then the banshee howled, “What brings you here?”
everything I do is out of spite
— Her Tall Boots (@fuzzlime) March 16, 2017
Are you plotting my doom or plotting my death? I just want to make sure I'm dressed appropriately.
— EricaTriesToTweet (@SteussieErica) March 15, 2017
A girl has to dream, after all.
Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet my new girlfriend. The Future Haunted Road Ghost Bride Hitchhiker
— Böb El Diablo Jänke (@Bob_Janke) March 13, 2017
Meanwhile, off in a parallel, or maybe a parallax, universe, an entirely different truth was emerging.
good morning to everyone except my man who's sleeping soundly in his coffin rn
— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) March 16, 2017
But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the music, even the occasional country song.
He's a little bit country and she's a little bit rock n' roll but the murder clown that's gonna kill both of them really likes polka music.
— Mr. Bea Arthur (@FuckabillyRex) March 14, 2017
Also there’s the matter of Fernando’s attire. It made him seem superfluous to the goings on.
His scarf matched his shirt matched his pants. He was like a drapery, but far less useful.
— Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) March 15, 2017
It was then that the man in the monitor stopped flopping and nodding and spoke.
We can put a man on the moon, but we can't put a walrus on a comet.
— Damon Hunzeker (@DamonHunzeker) March 15, 2017
He realized he wasn’t exactly being helpful.
Telling me "I'm not a serial killer, don't worry" sounds exactly like something a serial killer would say.
— Goddess Of Mischief™ (@AsgardianRose) March 14, 2017
So, he decided to lighten the mood.
Go ahead and slap someone with a sardine today.
— Beatriz (@wittwitbarista) March 13, 2017
Roger Murdock got in on the act, however obtusely.
It's not stalking if you hold a boom box over your head.
— Olive U (@offbeatoliv) March 15, 2017
Things went kinda downhill from there.
Sometimes, I don't even know why I'm stalking you.
— Mable Gertrude (@MableGertrude) March 9, 2017
The director, or random dude who’d wandered in from some other part of the clubhouse, called for a commercial break.
[Smashing fluorescent light tubes in a daycare parking lot] IT'S RAM TRUCK MONTH!
— Piece (@Piecezilla) March 13, 2017
Goats! Do you have one?
wife: Why didn't you talk to me about getting a goat?
me [stops feeding the goat] You would have said no
— Josh (@iwearaonesie) March 14, 2017
A new series coming soon on TBS!
[blows nose, leaves tissue on hors d'oeuvres tray] look, Romanian men should be able to get drunk and wear capes w/o being called 'vampires'
— Some call me RZA (@jrza206) March 14, 2017
Then, from out of nowhere, came a second contestant. This wasn’t how things were supposed to work. Laila remembered the car in the lawn.
She was a femme fatale like no other. The smell of pickling brine wafted from her skin; she had eyes like a lizard.
— Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa) March 8, 2017
The contender was a little bit rock and roll.
I forgot to lock my front door before I went to work, so fingers crossed some murderer finally makes his move.
— Kimtopher (@kimtopher22) March 6, 2017
Then Floppy, because he probably deserves a name at this point, inexplicably decided to speak up again. And again, no one knew what the hell he was talking about.
Should Tiffany forgive Britney? I don't know, ask Ashley.
— L'Boxy L’Roxy (@laboxalaroxa) March 8, 2017
It may seem like things are sort of getting away from us, but don’t worry.
Relax. It's going to get much worse.
— Tony™ (@tsm560) June 2, 2015
Fernando offered another compliment. Things kinda went downhill from here, again.
HIM: You just light up every room you walk into.
ME: One building. I burned down just one building. When will you let it go?
— rachelle mandik (@rachelle_mandik) March 9, 2017
The director shouted. It was time for another commercial break.
I speak MY truth to PowerAde™ Lemon Blast Lite, because it blasts all the electrolytes without all the sugar
— Lars Frumperstall (@underalls) March 11, 2017
How this emerged from “Shark Tank” is anyone’s guess. But, I mean, check ‘em out.
My corduroy underwear doesn't make that "swish, swish," sound when I walk because it's a thong
— Zack (@Mr_Kapowski) March 12, 2017
Now the one that tugs at the heartstrings while mildly annoying before we cut back to the show.
That is an excellent question. I'm going to story-song my answer in the manner of Jim Croce.
— Al Dente (@six_2_and_even) March 10, 2017
The banshee got real.
Step into the clearing but don't walk into the circle of stones unless you have something to offer.
— TattleTaleSister (@TattleTSister) March 7, 2017
But she was supportive.
Drop it in the cauldron and stir.
— Trudacious (@Trudacious) March 11, 2017
Cut to extra special guest who has a message about something or other.
The best scared straight type documentary I've ever seen was that Friday the 13th one on teen sex.
— Boyd's Backyard™ (@TheBoydP) March 9, 2017
Meanwhile, the battle continued. Laila was having none of her would-be interlocutor.
I'm inclined to accept the fact, without protest, that I was never taught to be stubborn.
— ʆℴ Ɗเɠɠเƚყ (@WhaJoTalkinBout) March 16, 2017
It was time for a fight. They met at the crossroads.
[Laying on railroad tracks]
"This is nice!"
— Я. (@iinkedZombie) August 10, 2015
But first a quick commercial break!
[outside of bank]
Guy (puts on pantyhose mask): Ok!
Guy 2 (puts on mask): Ready!
Me (wearing pantyhose): Ok, I'm gonna need a minute.
— Chad Read (@squirrel74wkgn) March 1, 2017
Wu-Tang Financial: Protect Yo Liquid Assets
I'm not going to lie, his extreme couponing is a big turn on.
— Sadie Smith 2.0 (@SadieSkyNinja) March 4, 2017
Let us bring you luxury.
Hey you're no Pia Zadora yourself
— Jeff Newton (@yonewt) March 10, 2017
Now back to our show.
Don't exaggerate mom! It was more of a rap skirmish, and the winner was indeterminate.
— Gian D'Oh (@GianDoh) March 9, 2017
The battle intensified.
Him: *whispers in my ear*
Me: You love me?
Him: No. I said I loathe you.
Me: Close enough.
— Jawbreaker (@sixfootcandy) March 15, 2017
They taunted one another.
Bring forth your demons,
I need a snack.
— V (@Inferno_V) March 9, 2017
Floppy went to speak, but Roger Murdock cut him off.
His only claim to fame is that in the winter of '91 he exchanged foot sweeps with Vladimir Putin during a festival outside of Vladivostok
— DonQuickOats (@DonQuickoats) March 10, 2017
Meanwhile, the challenger remembered her own motivation. Also, being nameless didn’t help.
[Prison Diary Day 5]
Did a perfect cartwheel today and nobody clapped. I hate it here
— Viktor Winetrout (@Cpin42) December 9, 2016
Laila, though, subtly hinted at the fate that would befall her opponent.
"As he was in life, so he is in death"
[racecar bed style coffin is lowered into the grave]
— Ygrene (@Ygrene) March 11, 2017
This homeless guy has an invisible Bluetooth. I can barely afford one that covers my whole ear. Very unfair!
— Jason Hunzeker (@hunz74) March 10, 2017
And we’re back, tension rising.
I have a bad attitude and I'm not afraid to use it.
— Mrs. Dick Helicopter (@Hormonella) March 13, 2017
Things getting real.
We desperately need something to unite humanity. No, not love or compassion. I'm talking about a full scale alien attack.
— liVsy (@liv_thatsme) March 15, 2017
One-upping climbing at a fast pace.
I've never recited Pi but once I did a killer keg stand on the beach.
— Anna Grace (@graceful_asfuck) March 14, 2017
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough, you gullible piece of shit.
— Jennifer S. White (@yenniwhite) February 12, 2017
The banshee howled in horror when the camera cut to her.
Parenting doesn't prepare you for the awkward glances you get when a naked Ken doll falls out of your briefcase.
— ThisOneSays (@ThisOneSayz) March 9, 2017
Back to the competition.
You may recognize me from such patterns as 'All over the place' and 'Taking things too far'
— kanye's bhole (@bossy_bootz) March 9, 2017
Another mic dropped!
Not to brag or anything but I'm probably the hottest broad at this quilt show
— lunaticminge (@majesticminge) March 14, 2017
The fight coming to a close, a truth was uttered.
Don't regret the things you've done. Regret the rapscallion you've purposely become.
— Unwarranted (@_Aynne_) March 15, 2017
And then the penultimate mic was dropped.
this one time, I was able to rob a bank armed with nothing but a notebook filled with poetry I wrote in the 8th grade
— Grant Tanaka (@GrantTanaka) March 13, 2017
The fight ended as Floppy, the banshee, Fernando, and Roger Murdock turned their chair backs to the challenger. She had been bested. And as for Laila? Well, let’s remember that car in the lawn out front. She won, but it was more “won,” for none of these judges amounted to much. Sure, Fernando babbled a bit about a pot of gold, but his understanding of physics was way off.
Laila understood. And as G.I. Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.” I’m not sure that’s relevant here. What is relevant is that our set design is flawless. I mean, it’s beyond reproach, and that’s not for nothing.
OTTO: After two centuries of dimensional travel, my power
ME: Earth women find you electrifying, you are a great ice sculptor
— taffè benīngtøn (@singwithTaffy) March 9, 2017