Live at the Table: Fiasco! Pt. 1

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Overview[edit | edit source]

Episode Links[edit | edit source]

Episode Description[edit | edit source]

Janine, Jack, Keith and Ali are LIVE playing Fiasco!!!

Other Episode Information[edit | edit source]

The game board for this game can be seen on patreon (requires patreon login to view).

Plot[edit | edit source]

Dax and Darren meet up at the Bluff City Zoo after it closes to discuss the success of their most recent scheme (putting little ears on the tapirs to make them look like mini elephants), and to decide what their next fake exhibit should be. Darren says they need to go bigger to get the people in. Dax says they could take the jaguars and paint them black to make them panthers, but Darren disagrees, saying that they’re basically the same animals. Dax then suggests they could take the cheetahs and paint them black and make them panthers.

Darren says he knows a guy he has access to fur coats, and they could use those to make manes on the leopards and paint them and say they have lions. Dax agrees, saying that they could do that and paint them black, so that they have black lions, and also stage an attack with them (“that’s huge”). Darren says they could save the person and Dax enthusiastically agrees, saying that the zoo will have to give him his own exhibit, and Darren is equally excited (“you’re going to be in the newspaper again!”). They both agree that it is an excellent plan.

The next morning, Boots Bonus has been allowed to give the Zoo’s daily “we can save the zoo” press briefing to the three journalists who are in attendance. Boots nervously stumbles his way through it, interrupted by Never Watson-Wiley, as he attempts to extol the values of the Zoo (“just because [D. E. Hitchcock] died, doesn’t mean the zoo is bad now, does it?”) but gets caught up on talking about the Zoo Cafe (“aren’t all cafes health cafes? You need food to live”). Never quickly hustles Boots off-stage.

Never sends Boots off to do some busywork as she works on social media content. To do this, she asks Dax to come with her to the sneezing monkey enclosure, asking him to sneeze, which after some confusion after what exactly she was asking him to do, Dax does. Dax asks if he can help with anything else, and Never asks if he can record his future sneezes on his phone. Dax has a very old phone, so Never says he should speak to Boots about getting help putting a voice recorder ap on his phone.

Boots arrives, asking Never how she thought he did in the morning’s press conference. Never dodges the question, instead asking Boots to help Dax with his phone. Boots asks why Never was making Dax sneeze, and Never says she needs the sneezing sound to attract the attention of the monkeys (“they feel a kinship”). Boots is amazed by this. Never quickly leaves. As Boots doesn’t know how to work Dax’s phone, he gives Dax his much newer phone and explains how to use it to record sound files.

Darren and Dax meet on the employees only side of the Great Cats! enclosure to discuss their plan in more detail. Dax invites Boots along to help with the planning because Boots is “like the smartest guy [he’s] ever met”. Darren is excited to meet Boots, who he is under the impression “does phone stuff for the zoo”. 

Darren and Dax explain their plan to Boots (“see those leopards out there? Imagine if they were lions” “Black lions”). Boots does not understand, as he is not aware that they have been altering the exhibits, and he especially doesn’t see how this idea will get Darren and Dax “a million dollars”. Darren points out one of the lions, telling Boots to imagine if that lion attacked someone and then that person was rescued by Dax. Boots is confused by this, especially when Dax says the exhibit that he will get as a result of this is an exhibit where he is in the exhibit.

Boots asks for clarification on the plan, stressing that he doesn’t support it (“I don’t want to say I like what I’m hearing, because I don’t, but I’m definitely hearing some things”), and is shocked when they tell him that they have been disguising the animals as other animals. Boots tells them that it is “the worst plan [he] has ever heard”.

Dax, trying to get him back on board, offers that Boots could be the person who gets “attacked” (“I’m doing quotes!”). They stress to him that the attack will be fake but that the rescue will be real (“movie magic! That’s what it is! It’s movie magic!”), and that doing this will boost attendance numbers and help the zoo. Boots agrees, but says he wants to run the idea past Never first.

Never has her weekly informal supervisors meeting with Darren to discuss any updates on the pachyderms that Never can use in the zoo’s social media. Darren update her on some of the younger pachyderms, and asks if she retweeted the photos he sent her, and Never says she saved the photos and tweeted them from the zoo’s account.

Despite thinking that Boots is the “idea guy”, Darren decides to bring Never into his and Dax’s plan, since they plan to shoot a video of their faked attack. He doesn’t tell Never the full plan, only that they plan to do a public photo op with Boots (“and if anything happens, don’t worry about it, because it’s going to be fine”).

Never is initially resistant, but ultimately agrees since only Boots will be in danger, and suggests that they could dress Boots up to look like a member of the public, since it would “feign audience involvement in a safe and controlled manner”. Darren tells her that they will be doing it on the next Sunday and she should “get her camera down” and although Never is suspicious of his phrasing, she agrees to be there to film the encounter.

After the zoo closes, Boots meets up with Darren outside the lion enclosure to discuss the plan, as Boots has been researching lions and has discovered that they mate for life (“that’s sick!”). Unfortunately, this makes Boots very nervous - the reason the Bluff City Zoo only has one lion is because Boots and Darren told Dax the lioness should go to the Trenton Zoo, and now their lion has lost it’s mate. Boots believes that this lion knows it was him that talked Dax into the decision and will be out for revenge (“he looks sad, doesn’t he?”).

Darren texts about the lion, and Dax confirms that the lion is sad about the lioness being sent to Trenton (“he’s wrecked about it”). Darren says that Dax is also bummed about it, and that Dax being bummed might affect his ability to control the lions. Boots says he refuses to go into the enclosure. Darren says that the need to give the lion a gift, and Boots is worried he will be the gift. Darren asks Dax what you should do “if you have disrespected a lion”. Dax replies that “a lion can know exactly how you’ve hurt it just by looking into your eyes” and that “you need to make real material amends”.

Boots says to make amends, they have to get the lioness back from Trenton, and Darren agrees. Boots says that he will use Never’s contacts to get Trenton to bring the lioness back over as a joint event that will reunite the lion, and Darren says he wants to take the lion back permanently.

Never calls Boots to her office to teach him how to look like a French-Canadian tourist, which is still her understanding of the plan. She gives him various items “to help with the plan” (fanny pack, plastic sunglasses with the tag still on them, a t-shirt with a steak pattern on it, khaki shorts, a bag from the zoo gift shop with a Bluff City Zoo t-shirt in it). Boots tries to clarify the plan, and it becomes apparent to Boots that Never does not know the full details of the plan and that she believes that it will be some kind of faked meet-and-greet (“no actual liability on our part”), and reassures him that he’ll do a great job. Boots asks for Never to fill out his review form from his college.

Dax brings his new phone to Never, as he has filled the phone with sound files of his sneezes. He doesn’t know how to get the files off, and although Never tries to explain, Dax does not quite understand (“if I put them in my drop box, are you going to have to drive out there and pick it up?”). Eventually, he texts her the files, asking again why she needs the sneezing. Never says it’s because it’s good for getting the monkey’s attention so that they look at the camera, and that he should worry too much about it. Dax says he believes that she is “trying to pull the wool over [him]”, although he doesn’t know exactly why he thinks that.

Never tells him that because he’s a cat person he “looks for things that aren’t really there” (“are you sure about this because I did have the doctor check and I am full person”). She coaxes him out of the conversation, and Dax agrees to send her more sneezes.

It is the day of the lion meet-and-greet. Darren quickly gives the fake black lions a quick repaint. Dax is in the enclosure with the fake black lions and the “bummed lion that hates Boots” (“I am Dax Leopard, the leopard shepherd”), while Never films from outside. Dax brings out Boots, introducing him as “Francios”, “Thomas Francios” and “Francios Bonus”.

Boots apologises to the lion while not making eye-contact with the lion. The lion stares at him intensely. Dax asks if he wants to give the lion a hug and he says he does. Dax signals to Darren to bring forth the second lion, and Darren throws a deli-meat wrapper towards Boots. The real lion slowly walks towards Boots.

Dax encourages the audience to cheer (“the cats love the noise”), and continues towards Boots, jumping on top of Boots. Dax makes a series of noises, getting the lion to hug Boots (although the lion does growl into Boots’ ear). The crowd goes wild, and Boots continues to hug the lion, apologising profusely for the lioness being transferred away.

Although the crowd loved it, Boots has yet to make “real material amends” to the lion. Never hosts a press conference covering the “prevented lion attack”. Boots gets her attention from off-stage, saying that he has something he wants to address. Once the press conference is over, Boots tell her that transferring the lioness to the Trenton Zoo was a huge mistake, and asks her if there’s any way to get the lioness back. Never says that the Bluff City Zoo doesn’t have the money to buy it back, and there’s nothing in the lioness’s contract that says they can ask for her back.

Through the course of their conversation, Boots realises that the black lions are really leopards, and his faith in the “sanctity of the zoo” is shaken.

Boots tells Never that they should use the press to get the lioness back, by leaking to the press that the lion and lioness have been separated, and this will put public pressure on both the Bluff City and Trenton Zoos (“I don’t love pressure”). Never encourages him to frame it as being something that the Trenton Zoo did, to keep negative attention off the Bluff City Zoo. 

Never, having got the idea to paint the Trenton Zoo in a negative light, goes to the Trenton Zoo with a plate of old macarons, leaving them there with a note card that says ‘free samples’. She hires an outside person to set the cookies up at the Trenton Zoo, and then sends Dax to Trenton Zoo to post on a dummy social media account about how the Trenton Zoo has bad food. She then has Darren post on a different dummy social media account about the fresh Bluff City Zoo macaroons.

She gets a call from someone from the Trenton Zoo, saying that they know what she did, although Never attempts to play it off like she doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Dax, now “a hero", enlists Darren’s help in building the Dax Leopard exhibit. Never approaches them as they are “hammering something” although it is not clear what they are actually constructing. She questions why they’re building an enclosure for Dax, and says that if he’s in the enclosure he should have the food that the animals eat. When that doesn’t convince Dax, she says that he would have to provide his own uniform. Darren says they could bedazzle Dax’s uniform vest. Dax says he doesn’t understand why she’s fighting him on the exhibit, as he is a hero now (“I’m being so chafed by your jealousy [...] don’t chafe me dude”).

Never says that the exhibit won’t show Dax “in [his] element”, and Dax says they should put a lion in with him. Darren says they could build him a stage to show him with the Great Cats!.

Dax is also shocked to learn that he will not be getting a million dollars from the video Never took, as he and Darren thought they would. Never says they don’t make any money on the social media videos, and that they shouldn’t have done those calculations (“I don’t go to you two for math. I don’t know many people who do”). Darren and Dax insist that they are owed a million dollars. Never says if they show him a million dollar invoice, she’ll pay them.

Never continues to try and talk Dax out of having his own exhibit, and manages to convince him to go with a chair (or throne) instead.

Darren invites Dax and Boots to a club on the boardwalk to ask them a favour. Boots is running later, but Darren tells Dax that he and Boots have been trying to get the lioness back. Dax says that that’s a good thing, because ever since it saw Boots again it’s been sick (although he also does not realise that the “French-Canadian guy” was Boots). Darren says that bringing the lioness back will get Dax his own exhibit, and that to celebrate the lioness’ return and to make amends they should to a lion vow renewal. Dax agrees that this is a good idea because lions are “mad sentimental”.

Boots arrives, commenting on how loud the music is, Dax enthusiastically agrees. Darren and Dax share their lion vow renewal plan. Darren tells Dax that Boots already knows all about the situation because he was the french canadian guy. Dax is genuinely surprised. They leave to plan the lion’s wedding.

They meet back up in the cafe of a bookstore to plan how to get Trenton Zoo to return the lioness. Never overhears them talking, and drops by their table to tell them that Trenton Zoo has caved to public pressure and agreed to loan the lioness back to them the following week. They launch right into telling her about the lion’s wedding. Never has some questions about the logistics of it, aggravating Dax, who produces the lion’s original marriage certificate. Boots encourages Never to think about the publicity angle, and she agrees that the public would love it.

Never asks Darren to come to her office to draft out the wedding invitation to show to the public. They clash when discussing the design elements, but ultimately decide on an off-white (since it’s a vow renewal rather than a wedding). Never asks if the lions have any family and Darren says that once of the leopards was going to ask the lions to be the godparents to one of their cubs, and that he could bring over a peccary as a ringbearer.

The day of the wedding/vow renewal arrives. It’s held in one of the enclosures and is open to the public. Dax officiates the wedding (wearing a sleeveless tuxedo), and the lion’s best man and maid of honour are both leopards. The Trenton Zoo delegation walk the lioness down the aisle “like they’re her father”. Darren and Boots both assist from inside the enclosure, and Never films from outside, standing with a huge crowd of the general public.

Dax gives the lioness a treat in the shape of a ring and pronounces them “lions and lions”, and the crowd cheers, letting off sparklers (“everybody make noise, they love it!”). Darren starts his wedding playlist, since he cannot express his feelings about the lion wedding through words (the song is ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ by The Darkness, accompanied by Darren’s Just Dance hard mode choreography).

Boots says that he’s not sure what they accomplished here today, and Dax says he should say something to the lion. Boots begs the lion not to eat him, and the lion puts a gentle paw on his shoulder, showing that Boots has made material amends.

Outside the enclosure, Never thinks about Boots’ intern-creditship review.

Darren gets caught in the zoo system, unable to leverage the lion wedding into a promotion any higher than a supervisor role at the Bluff City Zoo. He gets transferred to Trenton Zoo, which he is very upset by but cannot get out of. Darren tries to put together a youtube channel/animal wedding company, which eventually starts to take off a little (a chicken wedding for a Trenton school) until the bad press about the lion wedding (and the other Bluff City Zoo scams he was involved in) makes it to Trenton, and his animal wedding licence is revoked.

Boots finishes his internship, saying a pleasant goodbye to everyone at the Bluff City Zoo. Months later, he researches sneezing monkeys and the reality of the level of scams being run at the Bluff City Zoo, and his part in them, dawns on him. Boots finally receives his internship credit reports and his supervisor is not pleased with what Never wrote (“lets other zoo employees get him caught up in absurd schemes rather than doing assigned work, needs heavy management, is not independent, is not a self-starter”). Boots visits the zoo as member of the public, looking at the zoo with fresh eyes.

After the lion wedding, all of the keepers are emboldened into doing wilder and wilder stunts with their particular animals, which Never is stuck facilitating. The Bluff City Zoo gets some transfers from Trenton who are more attentive to the Bluff City Zoo’s social media, exposing Never’s deception. A new social media person is brought alongside Never, to be trained as her replacement. Eventually, Never is let go from the Bluff City Zoo and gets a job doing social media stuff for one of the casinos, which she finds much less rewarding. She eventually quits, giving a member of public her phone and walking away.

Sadly, the lions get divorced (“the smells were wrong”). Even more sadly, nobody cares about Dax’s hero exhibit, and the only people who stop by were “punk kids” that Dax gets into an altercation with. With Darren working at Trenton, Dax doesn’t get to see him as much anymore until they’re not really best friends anyone. Dax, believing that the zoo is no place for animals anymore, releases the great cats! into the wild and is chased by the police. He skips town, last seen wearing groucho marx glasses as a disguise and heading to his favourite spot on the boardwalk to get chicken tenders before getting onto a city bus, trying to get as far as he can on $18.

Cast[edit | edit source]