EMPOWERING

Written By Jafei Pollitt

CLARK

MANNY

PORTIA

INT. HEATED UP TUNA IN A MICROWAVE FOR LUNCH EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE


CLARK stands up on a podium in front of about 30 people for the annual HEATED UP TUNA IN A MICROWAVE FOR LUNCH EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE.


MANNY and PORTIA sit behind him in black chairs on the stage.


CLARK

Hello! And welcome everybody to our 45th annual HEATED UP TUNA IN THE MICROWAVE FOR LUNCH EMPOWERMENT CONFERENCE.


The crowd erupts. A guy rips off his shirt. A woman gets on her knees to pray in all it’s glory.


CLARK

Yes, we are all excited to have you here once again! As with all the years we have been doing this, we strive to empower those who chose to eat heated up tuna in the microwave for lunch. You belong. You are normal. You are not the weird one in the office.


The crowd joins in yelling with CLARK.


CLARK AND AUDIENCE

THEY’RE THE WEIRD ONES!


CLARK

SO! To get this conference kicked off, I have a wonderful speaker with me here today. Let’s all welcome up Portia Wells!


The audience claps vigorously. Very vigorously. One guys hand lights on fire he’s clapping so fast. PORTIA stands and smiles. She shakes CLARKS hand and takes the podium.


PORTIA

Hello! I’m thrilled to be here at the La Quinta ballroom in Raymond Nebraska! It’s a hot one out there today; perfect day for a tuna melt!


The audience laughs so hard some of them throws up.

PORTIA

My job this weekend is to keep you all smiling and confident. I have a background in Therapy for the Smelly and I want each and every one of you to know that I am just a phone call away whenever one of you is told by your coworker that your unique lunch is what makes them want to throw their kid out a window and go on a murdering spree. I am here to empower you. I am here to let you know that your coworkers don't want to hang out with you after work because you’re TOO cool. And I’m also here to facilitate this year's luncheon which will feature Tuna melts, heated up tuna on a stick, and mayonnaise blended up and put in cups!


The crowd blows up again. One guy can’t take it and has to step outside he’s so hysterical.


PORTIA

That’s my little intro, now let me bring up the TRUE star of the hour, Mr. Manny Vest!


The crowd claps intensely. MANNY stands, straightens his jacket, and walks up to the podium. He shakes Portia’s hand. The longer he talks, the more he starts to sound just like Barack Obama.


MANNY

Thank you, everybody. I am Manny Vest. Co-founder of Eating Tuna in the Office and Being Called a Creep Who Probably Watches Dog’s Do It In The Park. It’s great to be here. Great to see all your lively faces. I love the smell in here. Smells just like my cubicle and also the breakroom after I heat up my lunch and take it to my cubicle. I wanted to share a little story with all of you. Last May, I was given the dream job of a lifetime. CEO to Tesla. I know, awesome. Elon Musk saw me in a parking garage picking at some pigeon poop on my window, thought I had what it takes, and hired me on the spot. I got along great with my coworkers. I loved my office space. And then, one day, I decided to bring my own lunch in. Can you guess what it was?


PORTIA

An Apple?


MANNY

No, very wrong, Portia.


CLARK

A side salad from Ben & Jerry’s?


MANNY

No, Clark. It was a double tuna sandwich with mayonnaise and one slice of cucumber. And It was cold. It needed heat.


The crowd ooos and awes. Some mouths drool.


MANNY

So I did what any sensible man would do. I stuck it in the microwave. But not just any microwave, Elon Musks personal microwave. You see, over the few months I’d been working there, Elon and I grew close. We’d hang out in his office, he’d inject me with experimental cyborg tech, and we’d share a beer. He told me I could use his microwave anytime I needed. So... I did. And you know what happened?


AUDIENCE

HE SAID STINKY, STINKY! GET OUT YOU’RE FIRED!


MANNY

No. He said “I love you, Manny. I want you to be my partner. Grimes was all for the public. Our baby was made right here in the factory using cyborg tech. Be with me. Breathe that hot, tuna breathe right into my heart.”


The audience goes silent.


MANNY

I wanted to share that story with you all because I wanted to make you all jealous.

(pause.)

And I also wanted to show you that we are not alone nor are we disgusting. There are people out there that will love us for just being US. So, let’s raise a tuna sandwich to all the brave workers who eat heated up tuna for lunch!


The audience riots with love. Molotov cocktails are thrown at the walls with love. People are making out, riding each other like horses, and clapping.


MANNY steps off the podium and CLARK takes his place.


CLARK

Thank you, Manny. What an inspiring start to this year's conference. Now, if everyone will join us in the La Quinta lounge area, we’ve cooked up quite a meal!


The audience files out quickly and recklessly.


CLARK

And don’t forget to heat it up!


MANNY and PORTIA laugh at each other. Then they start violently making out.


END

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