Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tammy the Little Mermaid, Part Two

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's the next installment of the (very mean) Fruitville girls, and their little play. I'm going to try to keep commentary to a minimum, not because this isn't plenty snarkable, but because these chapters are fairly long -- feel free to snark away in the comments!

(Warning, there are a lot of names in the third chapter. I liked to make lists of names.)

Chapter Three

After a quick lunch, the orphans and Madison students resumed their auditions. A few more "J" names went (what was the point of making Brett Jamison go before lunch?), then the "K's" and "L's."

"Do you know what it's time for now?" Tammy whispered, grinning. "It's time for me to go get ready! 'Cause it's almost time for my audition!" She bounced off.

"Good riddance," Beth muttered.

"She looks so calm and happy," Stella said nervously. "I'm so nervous I have a stomachache."

"Don't worry," Beth reassured her. "You'll get the part." But inside Beth wasn't so sure. She hoped Stella had improved her singing.

Roberta March, Bridie Miller, and two boys' auditions seemed to fly by. The next thing Beth knew, Tammy was at the microphone.

"Are you ready?" Mr. DiBiaz asked her.

"Yup," Tammy replied, grinning that stupid grin. Ms. Pinelli began to play, and Tammy launched into a perky version of "Beechwood 4-5789."

"She's singing oldies," Beth groaned to no one in particular. "Grown-ups love oldies." Beth was right. The adults were smiling and tapping their feet. The worst part was, Tammy had a great voice. She was a hit. A huge hit.

There's still hope, Beth told herself. She could be a horrible dancer.

But no such luck. Tammy did a cute dance to an old 50's song, "Rockin' Robin." She was charming, well-choreographed, and in beat with the music. The grown-ups were ecstatic. Mrs. DiBiaz began to dance along! (Oh, gag.)

The last part was the script reading, and Beth knew how Tammy would do on that. She was at least as good as Brett, if not better. Stella would have to be outstanding to beat Tammy.

"How was I?" Tammy grinned when she sat back down.

"Great. Terrific," Stella muttered.

"Terrible," Beth lied.

Stella's turn wasn't for a few more hours. When she finally went up to the microphone, she stood there nervously, frowning as if she were about to get the death penalty. Her song began. It was "The Greatest Love of All."

Not Whitney Houston! Beth thought anxiously. How unoriginal! And why is her voice so shaky? She sounds like she's singing on a roller coaster.

"She sounds like she's singing on a roller coaster," Tammy spoke up casually.

"Shut up," Beth snapped. "You weren't that great, either."

Stella's dance was good, but it was to a modern song with a rap ("OPP"? this was around that time...), not an old 50's song. The adults frowned.

Stella's script-reading was excellent, definitely her best department. It could win her the part, Beth told herself. But Beth had her doubts.

After Stella, there were some more "S" last names, a few "T" names, a "U" name, some "W" names, a "Y" name, and a "Z" name -- Tami Zuendel. By that time, it was the 5 o'clock hour, and it was time to announce the parts. (That was some fast casting!)

"Now," Mr. DiBiaz began. "I want you to know that you are all winners, no matter what. You all had excellent auditions, and we wish we could pick all of you for lead parts." He chuckled. "But we don't have that many lead parts. I wish we did, but ..."

"Get on with it!" a Madison boy yelled impatiently.

Mr. DiBiaz gave him a dirty look. "Okay. Judges?" (Um, it's not a talent contest, Mr. DiBiaz.) A teacher, Miss Jenkins, handed him a piece of paper. "Here we go. We'll start with our fish. They will be played by ... Kenny Arrons, Megan Bagley, Dillon Barnes, Carrie Crumpacker, Shannon Douglas, Tom Hart, Luke Hendricks, Hollie Kolman, Jake Morrison, Rondie Patrick, Tyler Pratt, Dustie Rawlings, Pete Ross, Terissa Taylor, and Tami Zuendel."

"That's all I get?" Tami cried angrily. "A fish?"

Mr. DiBiaz frowned at her. "Just be patient. We have one special fish. The bass in 'Under the Sea' will be played by James Gustman. Now! Onto our seahorses. They will be ... Sammy Aarons, Jenny Ames, Courtney -- a boy -- Cromwell (I'm sure they figured out he was a boy during the auditions), Brenda Harris, Todd Jessel, Robby O'Friel, Trista Rich, and Tina Santos. The seahorse that speaks will be played by Ryan Wilson. Now, the townspeople."

"Do the good parts!" someone cried.

"I am reading the parts as they are listed, thank you. The couples dancing will be played by Jake Morrison and Terissa Taylor, Pete Ross and Jenny Ames, Dillon Barnes and Megan Bagley, Tom Hart and Tami Zuendel, Todd Jessel and Trista Rich. The individual townspeople will be played by Sammy Aarons, Kenneth Andrews, Jack Appleby, Kenny Arrons, Christina Chase, Courtney Cromwell, Carrie Crumpacker, Shannon Douglas, Shawn Egbert, Beth Harris, Brenda Harris, Wendy Harris, Luke Hendricks, Hollie Kolman, Robby O'Frield, Rondie Patrick, Tyler Pratt, Dustie Rawlings, Tina Santos, and Ryan Wilson."

"The merpeople," Mr. DiBiaz continued. "Are Brianna Arnold, Jill Bray, Jess Duggar (does she have 16 brothers and sisters?), Elisabeth Garcia, and Beth Harris as the mermaids, and David Bowman, Chris Christenson, Ryan Huff, Sam Johnston, and Grant Randall as the mermen. Mark Jenkins, Andrew Johnson, Joan Quackenbush, and Kris Walker will play the merpeople in 'Poor Unfortunate Souls.' There are various other sea creatures. The sharks will be played by Becca Fuller, Scott Kendrick, Jeraldine Snuff, and Kevin Sumner."

"Does that mean I act like a shark?" Becca asked suspiciously.

Mr. DiBiaz smiled. "No, honey, no. Now, there are four turtles. The dancing turtle will be Christina Chase, and the three being played like drums are Tamara Rogers, Milli Smith, and Virginia Vaughn. The three dancing flamingoes will be played by Wendy Harris, Martha James, and Janine Yamamoto. In 'Under the Sea' there are some clams and such which will be played by your orphans without any other roles. You will not be in the program."

"Gee, thanks!" an orphan yelled sarcastically.

Mr. DiBiaz frowned at her. But then he smiled again. "Now," he announced. "We are coming to the bigger parts! Ariel's six sisters -- Aquata and Adella and all them -- will be played by Sandra Austin, Catherine Henderson, Alexis Lugbein, Debbie Morton, Vicky Steenbie, and Scarlett Steinberg. The three maids at the castle will be Barbara Ryan, Serena Simpson, and Tyanne Volker."

"And now ... for the parts you've all been waiting for." A hush filled the auditorium. "Erik the Prince will be played by ... Brett Jamison. And Ariel the little mermaid will be played by ... Tammy Morris."

"Yea!" Tammy cried.

"Alright, Tam," Tami Zuendel said, grinning at her friend.

"Man," Beth grumbled. She turned to Stella, who looked disappointed. "Sorry," she said sympathetically.

"It's okay," Stella muttered.

Everyone was chattering and congratulating Brett and Tammy. Mr. DiBiaz held up his hand and cried, "Hold it! We still have more parts to announce." The kids quieted down.

"Ursula the Sea Witch will be played by ... Belinda Kazmeyer."

"WHAT?!" Belinda yelled. "Does that mean I'm terrible?"

"No, no. It means you're very good. That will be a hard part to play. Flotsam and Jetsam, Ursula's crocodiles, will be played by Bridie Miller and Lucia Willard. Urusla in disguise (wasn't her name Vanessa?) will be played by Stella Smith."

"Big part," Stella muttered.

"The king of the castle, Erik's father, will be played by Billy Luke. Erik's dog, Max, will be played by Deena Boulder."

"What?!!" Deena growled. "A dog?!!"

Mr. DiBiaz ignored her. "Louie, the chef ,will be played by Desi Gonzalez. Triton, the king of the sea, will be played by John Ketchum. Sebastian will be Scott Lunsford, Scuttle will be Brandon Douglas, and Flounder will be Meg Billman."

"Alright, Meg!" Tammy and Tami whispered. Meg grinned.

Mr. DiBiaz was still talking. "We've named all the acting roles in the show. But there are still some other jobs. Our set movers will be Aaron Ennis, Forrest Ludlow, Jane Roberts, and Dylan Sawaya. Our set designers will be Shelley Bartell, Kevin Cross, Thea DiBiaz, Roberta Malich, and Nort McWhittle ... with the help of an adult. Our costume designers will be Stephanie Armstrong, Joni Goode, Kendra Hogan, Samantha Slaught, and Candy Underwood ... also with the help of an adult. And I believe five of our girls will be joining the boys and girls from the Madison choir ... Jinnie Nye, Tracey Smith, Rachel Steenbie, Ericka Steinberg, and Erin Wells. Does anyone not have a part?"

Twelve orphans raised their hands.

Mr. DiBiaz sighed. "Alright. You twelve will have your free time as normal when we practice, until I tell you otherwise."

"Are we coming here tomorrow?" a Madison boy yelled.

"Yes. Starting tomorrow, you will come here to practice every other day except for the last week, when you will come here every day. Got it?"

"Yeah!" everyone screeched.

"Okay. Mr. Tatum will hand out your scripts, and then you Madison students can pile on out to your buses and my orphans can start their free time ... I encourage you to spend that time highlighting your lines or learning your parts."

The gray-haired man in the gray suit tossed everyone a thick, mint-green booklet with The Little Mermaid printed across the front. Tammy flipped through hers. Jeez! There were 'Ariels' on practically every page!

Pretty soon, the shouting in the auditorium had died down. The only people left inside were Beth, Stella, Megan, and Tammy.

Tammy was about to go join Tami and Meg in the gym when she noticed the expression on Stella's face. She looks so miserable, Tammy thought. In a way, Tammy felt kind of guilty. She did get the part of Ariel like she knew she would, and she was happy about it. But other people who wanted the part, like Stella, must have been pretty disappointed. (How Jessi Ramsey of Tammy.) Tammy decided to congratulate her friend. Stella had worked hard, too. She deserved it.

"Hi," Tammy said, walking over to the front of the stage, where Stella, Beth, and Megan were sitting.

"Oh, hi," Stella mumbled. She inched over a little bit so Tammy could sit down, too.

The four girls were silent for a moment. The auditorium doors were open, and Tammy could see huge Joan Quackenbush in the hallway that separated the auditorium from the cafeteria. Joan was stuffing leftover food from the breakfast cart under her sweatshirt -- Twinkies, and fruit pies, and Fibar bars.

(Apologies for my rather stereotypical depiction of an overweight girl. For the record, Joan was based on some wrestler named John Tenta, aka "The Earthquake." What are Fibar bars?)

"Look," Tammy snickered, pointing. "She just steals that stuff in front of everyone."

"Haven't you ever done that before?" Beth shot back.

Tammy gave her a strange look. "Uh ... no." She turned back to Stella and said sincerely, "You did a good job on your audition."

Stella snorted. "Yeah, right. Ursula in disguise. Whoa. You're the one who did a good job."

"I bet you knew you were going to get the main part, huh, Tammy?" Beth asked smugly.

"Well, I ..."

"We know, we know. You're so wonderful. Jeez, you don't have to brag."

"Why are you acting so strange and rude?!" Tammy cried angrily. "I didn't even do anything to you!"

"Guys, don't fight," Megan said in a worried voice.

"I can fight if I want to!" Beth retorted. "Aren't you getting tired of her constant conceitedness?"

Megan shrugged. "No..."

"Well, I am, and so's Stella, and so's everyone else!"

"You're just jealous of my good looks," Tammy said smugly.

"Yeah, right! We are not jealous of you. Get that in your head!" Beth screeched.

"You should be! You have so much grease in your hair, you could fill this whole building with it!" Tammy screamed back.

"It is NOT greasy..."

"SHUT UP!" Megan shouted. Tammy, Beth, and Stella stared at her. Megan rolled her eyes. "I mean, please be quiet. Now, Beth, come with me."

"What?" Beth groaned.

"Come with me," Megan repeated. "You can hate each other as much as you want, but you're not going to fight around me." Beth left with Megan, looking annoyed.

"What was her problem?" Tammy asked Stella after they were gone.

Stella just shrugged. She, too, was starting to get very annoyed with Tammy Morris.

Chapter Four

Tammy spent the rest of the evening highlighting her lines and trying to memorize the beginning ones. She was going to do a good job on this play, no matter what Beth or Stella or anyone thought! They were just jealous. (Shut up, Tammy.) Beth didn't even have any lines, and Stella only had about three.

But Tammy was still a little confused about why Beth was mad at her. Beth wasn't her best friend, but it wasn't exactly pleasant having someone hate you.

Oh, well, Tammy thought as she crawled under her covers (it was time for Lights Out) and Trisha, the B-floor's adult supervisor, stuck her head inside the room and flipped the light off. I'll worry about it tomorrow.

"Goodnight, Tammy. Goodnight, Christina," Janine whispered.

"Goodnight, Janine," Christina whispered back. "Goodnight, Tammy ... or should I say, goodnight, Ariel?"

"Goodnight, you guys," Tammy grinned. See, Beth! she thought triumphantly. It's just you that's mad! Everyone else is glad for me!


The next morning, Tammy woke up, as usual, to Mrs. DiBiaz's announcements. This time she didn't lounge around in bed, though, she immediately threw on an outfit, combed her hair, and sat down with her script. She was studying her lines before Christina and Janine were even dressed!

"Gosh," Christina murmured. "A little early today?"

"Huh?" Tammy mumbled absently. "Oh ... yeah. This play is gonna be so cool! You should be studying your lines, too."

"I don't have any lines. I'm excited, too, though."

"Yeah, well ... let me study." (Why ever don't they like her?)

Tammy was five minutes late for breakfast. But she had memorized her first five pages! She decided on some Twinkies and orange juice and headed for her usual table.

(I love all the healthy breakfast foods Fruitville serves.)

Something was wrong. It was already full! Stella, Tami, Meg, Ericka, Scarlett, Deena, Beth, Wendy, Brenda -- and Jinnie Nye was in Tammy's seat.

"Move, Jinnie," Tammy ordered the pudgy redhead. "This is my spot."

"Does it have your name on it?" Beth snapped back.

"Yeah, I'm staying right here!" Jinnie cried.

"But ..."

Tammy shot Tami a pleading look. Tami shrugged. "Jinnie was here first," she said firmly.

"Why don't you go sit with Joan?" Beth suggested sweetly.

"Shut up," Tammy grumbled, stomping off and sitting down at a table with Megan and some other girls. No matter how hard Beth tried, she wasn't going to ruin this play!


Step One is working out pretty good, Beth thought with a smile as she watched Tammy stomp away like a little baby. Step One of Beth's ruin-the-play plan was to let Tammy know Beth's opinion of her. Beth was pretty sure Tammy knew that by now. So it was time for Step Two -- turning everyone else against Tammy. She didn't think that would be too hard with Stella and her sisters, because Beth could convince her sisters of almost anything, and Stella, after all, had lost to Tammy.

"Who's getting tired of her?" Beth spoke up casually.

"Who? Tammy?" Ericka replied.

"Who else?"

"I kind of am," Stella admitted. "She's all 'Good job. You have a good part' ... but anyone know that Ariel is better than Ursula in disguise. It's like she's rubbing it in."

"Exactly," Beth nodded. Then she got an idea. "Hey, Tami! Did you know she laughed at your audition?"

"Really?" Tami asked curiously.

"Yes," Beth lied. "She said you danced like a puppet and sang like that lady in the old show 'All in the Family.'"

"That old lady who screeches?!" Tami exclaimed.

"Yes. And Stella, she said you sounded like you were singing on a roller coaster." That's even true! Beth thought.

"What a jerk!" Stella cried.

"I did hear her say that," spoke up Wendy. "Did she say anything about me?"

"No. But you can tell she doesn't like you or Brenda or me. Everytime we're around her, she always whispers something in someone's ear and laughs."

"I heard her call you a dog once, Deena," said Ericka.

"Dog?!" Deena growled. "No one calls me a dog and gets away with it!"

"No one says I dance like a puppet and gets away with it ... especially not my 'best friend'," Tami grumbled. "I've always liked you better anyway, Meg."

Meg grinned.

"You guys," whispered Beth. "I have an idea ... you know, to kind of like get back at her."

"What is it?" everyone asked eagerly, leaning forward.

"Well, you know how she's all excited about being Ariel? I was thinking we could, maybe, ruin the play. Who wants to see Tammy get all the credit?"

"I don't want to," Meg whined. "I want to be Flounder!"

"Aw, come on," Tami said. "It's not the biggest loss in the world."

"So? I like my part. I want to do the play!"

"Well," suggested Scarlett, "how 'bout if we just ruin it for Tammy? I'm not exactly thrilled with her, either. We can play tricks on her ... steal her script and stuff. Get her to quit. Then they'll have to pick a new Ariel -- Stella or someone -- and we can still do the play."

"Good idea!" cried Beth. "In fact, it's a great idea. I kinda wanted to do the play myself. Now we can still do it."

"Let's tell everyone about it ... everyone except her, of course," said Stella. "We may have to lie to some people, but we need everyone in on this."

"Let's even tell the boys!" Tami cried.

"Great," Beth said, grinning. I've done it! she thought happily. Step Two is working, and it looks like Step Three will, too! (Uh-oh. Poor, poor Tammy...)


By two o'clock, the time play practice was supposed to start, almost the whole orphanage was angry with Tammy. Even the nerds and snobs and loners. (snicker) Beth and the others had done an excellent job.

Mr. DiBiaz told the Madison boys and Fruitville girls they could get "acquainted" before practice. About twenty orphans ran over to introduce themselves to Brett Jamison.

"You guys, stop drooling over him. You're so immature," Tammy said, rolling her eyes.

The orphans swiveled around and snapped in unison, "Shut up!"

"Uh, excuse me," said Brett, looking slightly amused and slightly overwhelmed. "But isn't she Ariel? I think she's the one I should be getting to know the most."

"You wouldn't want to know her," Stella stage-whispered. "She has two personalities."

"I do not!" Tammy cried, exasperated.

"Whatever," Brett said. He walked over to some other Madison boy.

"Now see what you've done!" Martha James hissed angrily.

"It wasn't me. You're the ones who were chasing him around and flirting like idiots."

"We're the flirts?" Brianna Arnold snickered. "Ha! You should see yourself."

"I do," Tammy smirked. "I love looking at myself. It's a great pleasure."

"Oh, shut up," snapped Beth. "I can't stand you."

"You think I can stand you? No one can!"

"Think again, Tammy. You're the one no one can stand. Your best friend doesn't even like you anymore."

"Yes, she does."

"No, I don't," Tami grinned.

"Girls, break it up!" Mr. DiBiaz shouted, like they were having a wrestling match or something. "It's time to begin practice!"

"Where do we go?" cried Cass Firr, one of the twelve orphans who didn't have a part. (Yes, they do, they're thankless clams.)

"I've told you, Cass. Go have free time. You can watch us if you'd like. Now we'd best start. Mr. Tatum, if you would line your choir up, please. My girls, join them."

"Where do we stand?" asked one of the few Madison girls.

"Off to the side of the stage. Ms. Pinelli will show you."

The choir clumsily trooped up the stage's three stairs, bumping into each other on the way.

"No, no, no!" Mr. DiBiaz yelled. "Gracefully. You can't stomp up there like a herd of elephants!"

"Thanks a lot!" a girl cried, sounding insulted.

"I don't mean you look like elephants. But you're walking ... oh, never mind! Just go up there in a straight line ... in the order you're standing in ... and do it gracefully!"

The choir tried again. They were better.

"Good," smiled Mr. DiBiaz. "We're doing the song about 'Mysterious Fathoms Below.' Now sing!"

The choir began the song. They really weren't bad -- maybe even good -- until two voices could be heard loudly and clearly. One was humming the theme song to The Smurfs and the other was singing "The Hallelujah Chorus."
(What morons.)

"Cut!" Mr. DiBiaz yelled. "Ericka, Erin, what are you doing?! We're singing 'Mysterious Fathoms Below'!"

"Sorry," the girls said sheepishly.


The choir started again. They were off-key this time, but at least they were all singing the same song.

"Now!" announced Mr. DiBiaz when they were through. "We need Triton, two of the sharks -- Kevin and Becca -- and the seahorse with the speaking part."

"I have a line," said Ryan Wilson, the seahorse with the speaking part.


"Okay. Seahorse with the speaking part," Ryan read from the script. (Like he wouldn't have some name.) "Blows horn ... oh, I have to blow a horn?"


"But that's who I play!"


"Okay, okay. Jeez. You don't have to yell so loud." Ryan read his line. Next Sebastian the crab (Scott Lunsford) and Triton, Ariel's father (John Ketchum) had some lines. They were shockingly good. Ariel's sisters came next.

"SISTERS! GET ON STAGE!" Mr. DiBiaz boomed.

Five of the girls ran up beside him. Mr. DiBiaz sighed. "There are only five of you," he said impatiently.

"I know," replied Scarlett.


"It's Alexis," said Sandra Austin, with her nose in the air. "She's doing free time."

"GO GET HER ... OH, NEVER MIND! What she misses, she misses. You five go ahead."

"Wait -- am I Aquata, or Adella, or what?" asked Debbie Morton.


"I want to be Aquata," Debbie grinned.

"I want to be Aquata," Scarlett argued.

"Just get on with it," Beth said impatiently under her breath. "If this keeps up, we won't even have to ruin it for Tammy!"

The sisters figured out their parts, and sang their song. Next it was time for ...

"You-know-who's debut," Beth muttered.

Tammy Morris walked up onstage with Meg. Meg had her script. Tammy didn't.


Tammy shrugged. "I don't need it. I've memorized my first five pages."

Mr. DiBiaz's face relaxed into a grin. "GREAT! Now that's what I call an actress! Okay. You may begin."

Tammy and Meg (Flounder) started to act. But Tammy's heart wasn't in it like it was before. Did Beth have to turn her best friend against her? She kept forgetting every line.


"I think so, too," Tammy said glumly.

Down in the audience, Beth was grinning. Step Three was working now, too! Scarlett had hidden Tammy's script just before practice, and Beth knew Tammy would be angry when she found out. She might even quit the play right then and there!

Beth sure hoped so. No matter what, Beth was going to make sure Tammy Morris would regret the day she said her first conceited comment.


What is "Step Three" even supposed to be? Anyway, coming up next: the time-out booth and even more 'tween nastiness!


Deathycat said...

Is Carrie Crumpacker related to Carrie Packer? ^_^ This is funny. Even though she's a bitch I feel kind of bad for Tammy.

tctill said...

Haha! I don't think I ever made the Carrie Crumpacker/Carrie Packer connection! Maybe I did that subconsciously? Carrie Crumpacker was a very minor character in Fruitville (I'm not sure if I ever gave her any lines) whose last name came from some guy I had a crush on in middle school. She was also named after "Crush" the wrestler.

Recap That! said...

I read Martha James as Martha Jones.

My favourite bit is how Mr. DiBiaz refers to the orphans as orphans to their face. Like having no parents wasn't enough, he has to keep reminding them every five seconds. :P

I also feel bad for Tammy. But she doesn't annoy me that much. I think she's quite a accurate portrayal of a kid.

Anyway, awesome, as always!

Sada said...

I keep ALMOST feeling sorry for Tammy, but then she'll start talking about how terribly good-looking she is and ruin the moment.

I am so glad I'm no longer a tween.

Cory said...

I agree that every time I am almost feeling sorry for Tammy, she does something to make me hate her again. Also, I said this last time, but it's worth restating: these girls are bitches. No, seriously. I think that the reason they're all orphans may have something to do with karma.

Cory said...

Also, I feel bad for the twelve orphans who don't have parts. That seems unnecessary. It would be understandable if there were a lot of orphans who didn't have parts, but there are only twelve. I mean, they could at least be in choir or something.

tctill said...

I know, right? Mr. DiBiaz does say they can play clams, but what's the deal with not putting them in the program -- the fish and seahorses get to be in it!