Second Fiddles

Episode 6 – Giles

September 06, 2021 Sidekicker Studios Season 1 Episode 6
Second Fiddles
Episode 6 – Giles
Show Notes Transcript

Max talks to Ren's dog, Sophia's a secret snoop, and Tammy is still abrasive. Also, there's a time jump!

FOURTH WALL
Previously, on Second Fiddles: Max can talk to animals, but they think he’s the worst. Sophia’s perfect memory doesn’t make up for her amnesia. Tammy loves alcohol, and Ren is still a bit of a mystery. What gives? Oh, and you probably don’t care, but it’s been three months. Let’s time-jump right into it!

MAX: Episode 6, Giles.

SOPHIA
Does anyone know if Ren is attending this meeting?

TAMMY
Huh, she’s not usually late.

MAX
And how would you know, Tampon? In the last few months, you’ve  been to like what, 5 meetings?

TAMMY
Well, Maxi-pad, sometimes I like my personal space.

MAX
Hey, you originally liked the idea of holding these meetings in our apartment. I’m sorry we’re infringing on your privacy.

SOPHIA
I do not like it when you refer to each other as feminine hygiene products.

TAMMY
We’ve been saying that forever. Our parents have regretted our names ever since we figured it out.

MAX
If I was a girl, Mom said my name was gonna be Karen.

SOPHIA
Do you have a complaint, Karen? Would you like to speak to the manager?

TAMMY
Even though you’re missing twenty years of memories, thank god you’re up to speed on current trends.

MAX
Actually, kids in school started calling me Maxi-pad before Tammy did. Every time someone gives me a nickname, she loves to hop on the bandwagon.

TAMMY
You know, there’s a henchie named Bandwagon. She can influence others, like the pied piper, but instead of playing a pipe, she plays indie music from a station wagon.

SOPHIA
Bandwagon carries a boombox now. She switched to a more portable music delivery system after she tried to get in Smasher’s way during a mission. It should go without saying, but he smashed her station wagon.

MAX
Really? I just always assumed Tammy makes up all the henchpeople she talks about.

SOPHIA
I have not heard her tell one henchperson-related falsehood since we met.

TAMMY
Yeah, in your face, BLEEP!

MAX
Anyway, Tammy’s latched on to every one of my nicknames. Most went away over time, but Maxi-pad never left our sibling lexicon.

TAMMY
Not every nickname.

MAX
Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure.

TAMMY
Does Doolots ring a bell? Does it do lots for you to hear that one again?

MAX
Tammy. Where did you hear that?

TAMMY
At my Fourth Wall audition. I ran into one of your old college chums, who spilled the beans.

MAX
Great. That’s just great. Who was it?

TAMMY
I don’t know, I didn’t care enough to get a name. Some dweeb. Don’t worry about it.

SOPHIA
Max, you do not appear to be pleased with this information.

MAX
No. I’m not. School was never fun for me, not even college, so being reminded of my bullies– it’s not really warming my heart.

SOPHIA
I am sorry to hear this.

MAX
You’re sad about not remembering school, but maybe your experience was like mine, so you should be glad not to know what happened.

SOPHIA
I cannot argue that. I have been so fixated on uncovering my past, I have not considered what ramifications it may have on my psyche.

TAMMY
You’re probably screwed either way. If it was my choice, I would just start fresh and not dwell.

MAX
Seriously? Well, it’s a good thing she’s not you.

TAMMY
She would be glad to be me.

SOPHIA
No, she would not. I need to know. Choosing to forget your past is still a choice.

TAMMY
But what if you wiped your own memory to forget something horrible, or maybe it’s your brain’s way of preventing you from reliving trauma.

SOPHIA
I have considered every factor, but I have not wavered from my goal. I need to know. Correction, I choose to know. Besides, I am getting closer.

MAX
Really? How so?

SOPHIA
Ever since Ren inspired me to search through high school yearbooks using facial recognition, I have been using all of the resources at the disposal of the A-league. I have gone through all of the schools in Rose City and the surrounding area, but I am widening my search. I am not giving up. Also, most of the yearbooks are not digitized, so I have to get copies from the school libraries. It is very time consuming.

MAX
Well, I hope you weren’t homeschooled.

SOPHIA
I have considered that as well, but I remain hopeful.

MAX
Is Smasher helping you? Or, uh, the guy that Smasher is when he’s not, um, Smasher?

SOPHIA
The doctor is… unaware of my search. The A-league has been gone for over a month. There is an alien race, the Kromins, taking over planets many galaxies away, and the A-league left Earth to go save the universe from the Kromin Empire. The travel process alone is time-consuming. I do not know when they will return. Only the sidekicks were left behind to help keep up the facade. One of my fellow sidekicks, Chameleon, has been shapeshifting into the other A-league heroes for random public appearances, mostly in the forms of Danger Damsel and Captain Spangles.

MAX
That’s... whew, that's insane. I don’t even know where to begin. Who’s actually doing all the hero work?

SOPHIA
The B-League has been helping in their place, along with my fellow A-league sidekicks. As you are a member of the C-League, you and the Stag have not been included in our contingency planning.
 
TAMMY
And you’re just telling us this freely?

SOPHIA
I have not been able to talk to anyone about this but Ren, as her B-league status as Snoozy Suzie has shifted our personal friendship into more of a working relationship, but she is not here yet. And you are my friends. And I trust you to keep my secrets.

MAX
Sophia… Thanks. I won’t tell, I promise.

TAMMY
That must be great for Ren. She probably didn’t think being in the B-league would mean this much high-profile work so soon into her career.

MAX
Have you met Ren? She doesn’t exactly exude confidence. At least that explains why she’s been so anxious the last few meetings. She barely speaks anymore.

SOPHIA
Yes, she has been afraid to leak classified intel.

TAMMY
Hmm. Okay, I get it.

MAX
Sophia, I need to tell you something. I’m... I'm gay.

TAMMY
Wow, this is a weird time to be ripping off that band-aid.

SOPHIA
Max, I am flattered that you have shared your sexual orientation with me. I know this does not need to be reciprocated, but I personally identify as heterosexual.

TAMMY
I think you just stole his thunder.

MAX
No, I– I wasn’t planning on telling anyone here. Working with heroes and sidekicks, it’s like– It's like being in the locker room, but way scarier. If you trust me with A-league secrets, I need to be able to trust you, too.

SOPHIA
Thank you. Becoming friends with you has been wonderful, and I look forward to discussing boys with you in the future. Especially invisible ones.

MAX
What? No! Wait, what did Tammy tell you?

SOPHIA
I should clarify. I researched you both after I joined this group, and I saw that you used to be a user of several dating applications designed for homosexuals.

MAX
Are you kidding? That’s like a huge invasion of privacy! Oh my god, have you seen my internet search history?

SOPHIA
No, I have not. Why do you ask? Should I be concerned?

MAX
Nope, nothing, no, nope, totally normal!  Wait, if Tammy didn’t say anything, why did you bring up invisible boys?

SOPHIA
I am very good at reading body language. Whenever Invisidude is brought up in conversation, your ears turn red and your cheeks flush. Also, Tammy teases you about him when she is here. I put all the pieces together quite some time ago.

TAMMY
Sophia, does the A-league do that stuff all the time? Look into people’s personal lives?

SOPHIA
We have the resources available, if that is what you mean. I cannot speak for the other heroes and sidekicks. Until I developed relationships with you, I did not understand the need for boundaries. I apologize, and I will never do it again.

TAMMY
Hold up, hold up. Don’t say that. We could use that to our advantage sometime, so don’t say never.

MAX
Really, Tammy?

TAMMY
Don’t judge me, you’re just butthurt she already knew you were gay.

SOPHIA
I apologize, Max. I really do mean it.

MAX
Just like with getting your memories back, it should be my choice to let people in, and you took that away from me. It’s like the one thing I feel like I have control over in my life.

TAMMY
Really? People can hear your voice and watch your hips do that swishy thing when you walk. It’s really not as secret as you think. You have at least one other secret you haven’t told her.

MAX
I hate you so much right now.

SOPHIA
If you would like, I can leave.

MAX
No! Please don’t. You’re already forgiven. Mostly. Tammy, however, should just go back to the bar and leave us alone. I doubt she has enough money for drinks, though. Not having a job is really crippling for a drunk, isn’t it?

TAMMY
First of all, I haven’t had to pay for a drink in years. It’s called using a push-up bra. Second, I’m not a drunk, I’m just… bored. And drinking makes things less boring. Third, Max works at a pet store. There. All the secrets are out!

MAX
You piece of BLEEP.

SOPHIA
Maybe I should let you two discuss this further.

MAX
Please, don’t leave me alone with her.

SOPHIA
This is an uncomfortable situation.

SOUND: KNOCKS AT THE DOOR

TAMMY
Got it!

SOUND: DOOR OPENING

TAMMY
Ren, you picked a great time to show up. Oh, and you brought a friend!

REN
I hope it’s okay that I brought him.

TAMMY
Yes, he’s adorable. Come on in!

SOUND: DOOR CLOSING

REN
Hey guys, sorry I’m late. I brought my dog!

MAX
Oh god, today just keeps getting worse.

SOPHIA
It is nice to see you, Ren. Hello, Giles!

TAMMY
You named your dog Giles?

REN
Yeah, this is Giles. My mom named him after a character from some old vampire show she watched when she was younger. I think she had a crush on him or something.

MAX
Ren, you really should’ve asked before bringing him.

REN
I know, I know. This is for a good reason, though. He’s been acting weird the last few days, and… we can’t really afford to go to the vet right now, so I thought maybe you could tell me what’s wrong with him?

MAX
Well, this is just the icing on the cake.

REN
Am I missing something? What’s going on?

MAX
Where to begin… So, Sophia used A-league tech to spy on us, Tammy is the worst sister in the world, and I’m super gay for Invisidude. Oh, and I work at Pet Universe on the weekends to make extra money because Tammy's unemployable. Does that about cover it?

REN
Umm, maybe I should go.

SOPHIA
Those were my thoughts as well.

MAX
No, no, it’s fine. How can we be a support group if we don’t actually open up to each other?

TAMMY
It’s really just a group hang at this point.

REN
Is all of that stuff you said true?

MAX
Yeah, it is.

REN
Don’t be offended, but… Is Pet Universe hiring?

MAX
What? That’s your response?

TAMMY
Aren’t all teenagers like 30 percent gay nowadays anyway?

REN
I mean, who hasn’t kissed another girl at least once, right?

SOPHIA
I have not kissed anyone.

TAMMY
That you remember! You might’ve been really loose with your lips before the memory loss.

SOPHIA
This is disturbing.

TAMMY
It’s okay, I for one support women empowered by their sexuality. I shall not be slut shamed for loving a stranger’s tongue in my mouth!

MAX
Kill me, please.

REN
I had gay friends in high school, it’s cool. What were you saying about Invisidude?

TAMMY
Maxi has a crush on him because they had a nice conversation one time. See how his ears are turning red? That’s his giveaway.

MAX
Is Invisidude even human? I mean, I don’t know anything about him. What he looks like, how old he is, what species he is… He could be an alien.

SOPHIA
I also did a little research on Invisidude when Tammy mentioned she had invited him to these meetings. He is human. That is all I will confirm.

REN
Is this what you meant by Sophia spying on us?

SOPHIA
I made an error in judgement before getting to know all of you. I will explain later, over coffee. It will be my treat.

REN
Okay. Yeah, sure. Wait, does that mean you know my name?

SOPHIA
Yes, I know your full birth name.

REN
Oh, BLEEP.

MAX
Wait, your name isn’t Ren?

REN
Ren’s a nickname. It’s short for something.

TAMMY
Well, now you have to tell us.

REN
I’d rather not.

TAMMY
Hey, me and Max have awkward names, if that helps.

REN
What, is it Maximilian or something?

MAX
Nope, nice try. My mom was trying too hard to be creative, so I got stuck with Maxim.

REN
What’s Tammy short for, Tamara?

TAMMY
Why not let Sophia answer that one, I’m assuming she already knows.

SOPHIA
Yes. Tammy is short for Tamsin.

REN
Tamsin and Maxim. Yeah, those are actually kinda cool.

MAX
What if we begged? Like, really pleaded?

REN
Ugh, fine, but this is only because you’re so good at whining. Ren is short for… Karen.

SOPHIA
Would you like to speak to the manager?

REN
Oh my god, this is why I started going by Ren last year!

TAMMY
Sophia, you already used that joke tonight.

SOPHIA
My comedic timing needs some work. I am sorry!

MAX
Sorry, Ren. We’ll try to tease you only like once a week, okay?

REN
I could start singing, you know.

SOUND: DOG BARK

REN
Sorry, boy, we’ve been ignoring you.

TAMMY
Is he a mix?

REN
You’re a mutt, Giles, isn’t that right? We adopted him from a shelter. We think he’s part border collie, maybe jack russell terrier?

MAX
Yeah, he looks like a border jack.

REN
Did he say that to you?

MAX
What? No, he wouldn’t know what any of that means. I just know dog breeds fairly well from working at Pet Universe. I see a lot of dogs in there.

REN
Oh, right. Sorry.

SOPHIA
You said he was acting weird. What did you mean? His tail is wagging, so that means he is content, right?

REN
He’s always happy when I’m around. I’m kind of his person. My sister loves him, and he’s really protective of her, but he and I just seem to click. He hasn’t been eating a lot the last couple days, I can’t figure out what’s wrong. That’s why I thought you could translate–

MAX
Yeah, I get it, I’m the animal translator. Technically, the term would be interpreter, not translator, but I’ve stopped pushing back on it. I mean, why bother?

TAMMY
I apologize for my brother, he’s a little salty today.

MAX
Does the salt make you want a margarita? Or will boxed wine be enough for you tonight?

TAMMY
I stand corrected, he is very salty today.

SOPHIA
What is Giles looking at? He keeps looking at something over in the kitchen.

REN
I don’t know, there’s no food out. Maybe he smells something?

MAX
He doesn’t smell some thing– he smells some one. Who do you smell? Tammy’s on her period, so maybe that’s messing with you.

TAMMY
Seriously? BLEEP you, Max.

MAX
Okay, I feel like we’re closer to being even now.

TAMMY
Never.

SOUND: DOG GROWLING AND BARKING

MAX
Ren, could you hold your dog please?

REN
I’m so sorry, he never growls, I don’t know what’s wrong with him!

MAX
My power is telepathic and kind of invasive. I’ve told you guys a million times that animals don’t like me. Try touching him and stay close, and I’ll try to figure out what’s bothering him, okay?

REN
Okay, yeah, yeah.

MAX
So, let’s see. Giles loves you, that’s really clear. He knows I’m not a threat, but I’m annoying him. He’s hungry. He wants to eat, but it hurts?

REN
Like, it hurts his stomach?

MAX
No, it hurts his mouth.

REN
Does he have a bad tooth?

MAX
Umm. I don’t think so. It’s– huh. Do you ever feed him fish?

REN
No, not usually. Oh, my mom made fish a few days ago. Maybe my sister slipped him some under the table? Do you think he’s allergic?

MAX
No, it’s not his stomach. I think there’s a little bone stuck in his mouth. At first I thought he was talking about a splinter, but you don’t really give him wooden sticks, right? So, he doesn’t want me to come any closer but he says he’ll let you get it. Yeah, so use your phone as a flashlight and look around the gumline on the bottom right side.

REN
You really are telepathic, aren’t you? I kind of thought you’d be talking to him and asking him questions.

MAX
Dogs can't comprehend human languages, they just associate the sound of certain words with meanings, like “food” and “walk” and whatever else. Dogs do pick up on tone, though.

REN
Okay, I have my light ready. Are you sure he won’t mind this?

MAX
No, I’m sure, Okay, I’m gonna have him open up wide for you. Ready?

REN
Oh, this is freaky. Okay, let’s see. I see something. This part’s all red. What’s the word– inflamed?

SOUND: DOG WHINE

REN
Got it! You were right, it’s a little bone.

MAX
Well, there you have it, Buck saves the day. Fish bones, beware!

REN
Thank you so much, Max! Seriously! We are super tight on cash right now, and this saves us from a ridiculous vet bill.

MAX
If working at a pet store has taught me anything, it’s that people who can’t afford pets shouldn’t have them in the first place.

TAMMY
Don’t take your anger out on her. You’re obviously still mad at me.

REN
I– I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought him.

SOPHIA
Should Giles be allowed that close to Max?

MAX
I said to hold on to him! He– oh! He’s licking me. Thank you, Giles...

SOPHIA
Did you think he was going to bite you?

MAX
Well, that’s the usual reaction.

REN
He’s a really good dog, I’m sure he’s just happy to have the bone out!

SOPHIA
Why is he looking around the kitchen again?

MAX
He still smells someone. Male pheromones, I think. Ew, he smells arousal or sex or something? Tammy, when I was at work yesterday, did you have a guy over?

TAMMY
I plead the fifth.

MAX
Tammy! You said you were preparing for an audition yesterday. Were you having sex in the kitchen?

TAMMY
Well, the nose knows, I guess. Thank you, Giles, you cute little narc.

MAX
Tam, you need to grow up.

TAMMY
Excuse me? You have no idea what I’m dealing with right now.

MAX
Our lease is up in a few months. If you don’t have a job by then, I’m moving back in with Mom and Dad. And I don’t mean a sidekick job. I mean any job. I don’t care if you feel like you’re too good for minimum wage or whatever, just find a source of income. Maybe try working security somewhere. Not at a bar, obviously, but somewhere… less tempting.

TAMMY
Are you ultimatuming me in front of the group?

MAX
Yes I am, with Sophia here, there won’t be denying that I said it. So either get a job, or go find another place to live.

TAMMY
You don’t understand, there’s more to it–

MAX
I don’t care. You know what? I’m gonna go get some air. Sorry, guys. I’ll see you again next week. Ren, Giles, I’m glad I could help, really. I’m sorry for being such a drama queen. Tammy is right about one thing, I’m kind of taking out my issues on you, that’s not right. Sophia, I’m not mad at you for the spying thing, just please keep everything you learned to yourself.

SOPHIA
Do not worry, I have no one else to talk to.

SOUND: DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING

TAMMY
Well, this has been an interesting night.

REN
I really should’ve asked before bringing Giles.

TAMMY
Oh, yeah, definitely, but it’s not your fault. Max used to love animals. Or still does. I don’t know. Before his powers kicked in, he was obsessed with animals. We never had any official pets because our parents didn’t want any, but that didn’t stop him from bringing home every bug and frog that he could find.

SOPHIA
And when his powers developed?

TAMMY
He thought it was his destiny. He wanted to save the world, one animal at a time. He got a sort of internship thing in high school, part of a junior zookeeper program for kids into that stuff. He was supposed to spend an entire summer working with zookeeper mentors. He wanted to help the animals be more comfortable in captivity. He didn’t want to set them free or anything, he’s not a crazy PETA person, but that’s when things started to change. He said they were all really mean to him.

REN
The zookeepers were mean to him?

TAMMY
No, the zookeepers were nice enough. Well, one guy kept telling him that it wasn’t a job for pansies, and that really affected him. He’d already come out to me at this point, but he dove back into the closet at the zoo, trying to win the approval of the keepers, which never really happened.

SOPHIA
That seems unfair to Max.

TAMMY
He’s been dealing with homophobia forever. It’s nothing new.

REN
So other than the guy who called him a pansy, who was mean to him?

TAMMY
It was the animals. They were really nasty. The apes would reach through barriers to grab at him or they’d spit or throw things, and even the cute little goats in the petting zoo would headbutt him and try to take him down.

REN
That sucks. Did he quit?

TAMMY
No, he never gave up. The people at the zoo asked him to leave halfway through the summer, and they refunded our parents for the program. And that was it. His dream kind of fizzled and died. He wanted to start small, working with exotic animals in zoos, then go out into the world and work as a field biologist.

REN
That sounds like it would’ve been perfect for Max.

TAMMY
His power could’ve been a game changer for understanding certain endangered species or whatever. He still studied and learned everything he could about animals, but when the time came for college, he enrolled in Rose Academy and settled on trying to be a superhero instead. It’s kind of sad that being a superhero was his backup plan.

SOPHIA
I did not realize how much his power changed his life.

TAMMY
Your intel on him may have told you what apps he has on his phone, and where he went to school, and, I don’t know, that he still picks his nose when he thinks no one’s around, but he’s a great guy, and he just wants to help.

SOPHIA
I was not aware of the nose-picking.

TAMMY
Um, maybe just forget that I said that.

SOPHIA
I will never forget.

REN
I think I get it. I hate what my power’s done to my family, but I try to be like Max. I want to help, but it’s just hard sometimes. I don't want to mess anything up.

TAMMY
What’s it done to your family?

REN
Nothing. No– not nothing. I don't want to talk about it. At least, not yet.

SOPHIA
When you are ready, we are here to listen. Well, not Max, because he just left, and not always Tammy, because she is flaky, but in the future, sometime, there will be at least one person here to listen.

TAMMY
There are like 35 better ways you could’ve said that, but I agree. Oh my god, are we actually a support group?

REN
I guess so... Oh, I think Giles has to go pee. Let’s go, boy!

SOPHIA
I shall accompany you outside. We will return in a minute.

TAMMY
Take your time, Giles isn’t the only one who has to pee!

SOUND: DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING

TAMMY
Hey, Invisidude, you still here?

INVISIDUDE
Yup. That was a close call, wasn’t it?

TAMMY
I was hoping the dog wouldn’t hear or smell you, but I should’ve known better.

INVISIDUDE
It’s a good thing you can’t see me, because I’m sweating straight through my costume.

TAMMY
It’s also a good thing I really did have sex in this kitchen yesterday.

INVISIDUDE
Do you think Max has any idea what’s going on with us?

TAMMY
I don’t think so. We’ve gotten away with it so far. You should go out there and follow Max. He always goes to the park over by the library. That way, Giles won’t accidentally give you away.

INVISIDUDE
10-4, Pitch. I’ll be in touch.

TAMMY
Thanks. Invisidude?

INVISIDUDE
Yeah?

TAMMY
Do you think Max is right? That I’m the worst sister in the world?

INVISIDUDE
Max is lucky to have you. And so am I. Goodnight.

TAMMY
Goodnight.

MAX
In this episode of Second Fiddles, Max is voiced by Mat Johnson, Ren is voiced by Kristy Barkan, Sophia is voiced by Robyn Rime, Tammy is voiced by Liz Thompson, Invisidude is voiced by Nick Bessette, and Fourth Wall is voiced by John Pupo. Thanks for listening!