Live at the Table: Bluff City Zoo TWO! Pt. 1

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

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Contents[edit | edit source]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Devin, Dax, Darren, and Dudley have been tapped by the Bluff City Zoo management board to head up the creation of the new satellite zoo, Zoo 2 as part of their ‘The Last Word Is Zoos’ campaign. This campaign is a large-scale plan to create multiple satellite zoos on a newly-acquired patch of land, with as many as six future satellite zoos under discussion.

The episode opens inside the behind the scenes area between the lizard presentation show and a movie about “The Bodies of Bluff” (an educational film about Bluff City’s different lakes). Darren is setting up the film reel for the show while Devin watches, eating the mini marshmallows which are meant to be for zoo attendees to feed to the zoo’s polar bears by tossing them into her mouth. Darren admonishes her, telling her that he believes the zoo is cutting their marshmallow budget and so she shouldn’t eat them. Devin is unapologetic, believing that if the marshmallow budget is cut they can simply buy more. Darren takes the marshmallows away, asking what she is doing in the backstage area. Devin says that her mum dropped her off and as she doesn’t have any homework to do and her laptop battery is too  low to scroll through tumblr she is there looking for something to entertain her until her mother picks her up again.

Devin asks what Darren is doing there, and Darren says that he is there to refill to the mini-marshmallow machine and to prepare for the upcoming bird seminar. Dudley slams open the auditorium doors, apparently searching for Darren - he has the fifth graders for the bird seminars (“it’s bird time baby!”) and the children are so rowdy that Dudley insists that the students be let in right away (“can you entertain yourself kids?” “No!”). Darren is dismayed, as his watch says it is currently 4:20pm and the seminar is set to begin at 5pm. Dudley says that it is 5pm, and asks what still needs to be done. Darren explains that he hasn’t put on the playlist for the birds yet, which he believes will upset the birds if they are required to be on stage without their music (“you can’t just ask a bird to be an entertainer”). Dudley doesn’t think they need the music but says they’ll blast the music quickly and Devin races to put the music on.

Darren explains how the show usually goes - the four birds (13 house sparrows, a bee hummingbird, a cockatoo which Darren mistakes for an 84 year old african grey parrot, and an Inca Tern) all say their own name (“because they can all talk and they’re all highly intelligent”), then Darren will ask questions to the birds which they are sometimes able to answer, the birds do a relay race, and finally attendees throw peanuts for the birds to catch. Dudley is excited by this (“sounds fuckin’ incredible”), and ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton begins to play.

Dudley announces Darren to the excited roar of the students (“Jolene is my aunt’s name!” “Jolene’s my aunt’s name, are we sisters?” “my mom said, um, she said birds can fly!”). Darren attempts to run through the seminar. The children are not impressed by the sparrows (one child starts chanting “lay an egg” and another yells “my dad calls these trash birds!”), they complain that the bee hummingbird is “too small” but are won over by hearing that it is the smallest bird in the world, they are not impressed by the age of the cockatoo until it speaks (“my name is Joshua”). Devin interjects with a fact about the fourth bird, Inca Tern, which Darren says is their “most emotional bird”. Darren announces the start of the bird’s relay race, attempting to hype up the crowd, but the students remain unimpressed and make up mean chants about the birds (“show bird!”) and the birds seem “bummed out”. The bee hummingbird escapes during the relay race, quickly disappearing, and the students also begin to leave. Darren and Devin try to find the hummingbird in the now-empty auditorium with no success.

After the disappointment of the bird show, Devin is bored. She grabs a fistful of shredded documents from the wastebasket and wanders towards the Zoos 2 small mammals pavilion where Dax is working to give the paper to the chinchillas as nesting material. Devin greets Dax as a fellow counselor, telling him vaguely about the disappointing bird show. When she asks where the chinchillas are, Dax eventually admits that he has let them lose as he “[tries] not to tell [the chinchillas] what to do” but they are “around” and are “lose in an controlled way” but they “don’t respond to direction or authority”. Devin offers to help him look for them, but Dax says he doesn’t need any help as he has a clicker that he can use to call them. He uses a clicker, and one chinchilla comes to him, climbing up his body to sit on his shoulder. Dax gives the chinchilla a nut and then hands the chinchilla to Devin, who attempts to leave with the chinchilla. Dax tries to stop her, although when Devin asks what exactly he’s doing with the chinchilla right now Daz says he is “in thinking more than doing mode right now”, explaining that he has big plans for the next month. Devin claims that her taking the chinchilla is helping him, since he won’t have to look after the chinchilla while she has it, and that it will be safe with her. Dax agrees (“chinchillas are safe, and they have a good eye for danger”).

Dax asks what Devin plans to do with the chinchilla and Devin says she only wants to hang out with it. When Dax asks why she has a handful of paper scraps,  Devin says she wants to use the paper to make a little nest for a chinchilla. She asks if the chinchilla has a name, and when Dax says it doesn’t (“they mostly click at each other”), Devin says she will workshop a name and let him know what she comes up with.

Dax goes to find Dudley, meeting him at the health cafe. Dax gets a square cafeteria pizza to eat while they talk. Dax says he has a new plan, and asks Dudley what he thinks the best thing and the worst thing about small mammals is. Dudley says that the best thing is how beneficial they are to his reptiles, revealing that he has been feeding Dax’s small mammals to his reptiles instead of the mice that he’s supposed to be feeding them. Dax demands that he stop and Dudley refuses to do this, making Dax extremely agitated. To try and calm him, Dudley says he could go through the list of mammals he’s fed to his reptiles (for this session: twelve chinchillas, two brown rats, jerboa). Dax says he, as a member of the parks department, can fire Dudley and says that Dudley is fired (“you’re fired bro” “fuck bro. You fired me”). Tensions rise as Dax tells Dudley to “go home and drink some milk” and the two yell final words across the cafeteria, parting on bad terms.

At 3am in the aquarium’s Ri$h Fi$h specialist exhibit (an exhibit of fish that have been the beneficiaries of people’s will and are now wealthy, due to a fad around forty years ago to leave your money to your pet fish). Darren, trying to find some inner peace after his bad day and unaware of what time it is due to his broken watch, discovers Dudley leaning over one of the aquariums with a net. Darren immediately expresses shock at seeing Dudley, and the two exchange their secret handshake (fist bumping, miming drinking from a glass, and then saying the word “calcium” in unison).

Darren asks what Dudley doing there, and Dudley says he’s there to see the rich fish. This statement (“rich fish”) sets off a preset light show and casino sounds. The two briefly discuss the fish’s wealth before Dudley begins to weep, saying that he has had a bad day. Darren says he has had a bad day also, although Darren seems to be hopeful that the lost hummingbird will be found eventually. Dudley tells Darren that Dax fired him, which surprises Darren, and also that he missed out on hearing whatever scheme Dax was about to tell him about and bring him in on. Darren agrees that it was probably a great plan (“that’s Dax an, he’s got great plans”). When Dudley explains that Dax fired him for feeding the mammals to the reptiles, Darren says he is on Dax’s side about the whole thing, which upsets Dudley (“I cannot overcome my misdeeds bro”). Darren tries to reassure him (“you can always overcome your misdeeds bro”), and Dudley says he’s trying to do that by stealing one of the rich fish, specifically a beta fish that won $120,000 “playing” blackjack. Dudley brings Darren into the play (“milk brothers never die” “milk is stronger than blood”). Dudley says he’s going to scoop the fish out using an ice cream container (‘Mint Choc Chip, Delicious’) and transport it home to the twenty gallon tank.

Darren chastises him, saying that he’s looking at the fish as dollar signs instead of a fish. This gets through somewhat to Dudley, but he continues to explain his plan - once people notice the fish is missing he will bring it back, getting his job back. Darren says they can just apply for Dudley to get his job back, but Dudley says that Dax was so mad at him that this is the only way forward. He asks for Darren’s help, citing Darren’s fish knowledge and their milk-based bond. After a brief discussion, they agree that they will go to Jerry’s 24 Hour Fish Supply Store and drop the fish there until the tank Dudley has prepared, and proceed with Dudley’s plan.

The next morning, Darren approaches Dax in the health cafe to talk to him about the missing fish as one of their managers has posted about it in the work slack. Dax is shocked to hear about it, and Darren expresses a similar level of distress, using it as a segue into talking about Dudley’s firing. Dax stands by his decision, especially since most of the reptiles aren’t supposed to be fed live mammals. Darren changes the subject, asking if Dax is working on any plans, which Dax says he is. Like with Dudley, he asks Darren what he thinks the best and worst thing about small mammals is. Darren says the best thing is “since they’re small they tend to be cuter on average”, which Dax says is the correct answer. Darren says the worst thing is that they are eaten by reptiles, which Dax agrees is bad but he believes that the actual worst thing is that, because the small mammals are so small, they are difficult to see.

Dax asks if Darren remembers the peccaries and the Great Cats! and Darren says he does, and Dax says that this prizes that his small mammals would work better if they could be seen better. He plans to erect huge custom-made magnifying lenses in front of the exhibit (21ft minimum) so that more people can see the small mammals more easily, creating ‘the biggest animal exhibit in the world’. Darren sees the value in his plan, exciting Dax and the two begin to rekindle their friendship as they discuss the details of their new plan. Dax and Darren hype each other up (“we’re on the bro page”).

Darren uses their new tentative friendship to advocate for Dudley, claiming that Dudley could have a different skill set and that Dax should give Dudley his job back to help with their scheme. Dax is unsure, as he believes that Dudley’s skill-set does lie with reptiles and that he already filed the paperwork. Dax calms a little, apologising for slandering the ladder competition, as Darren also won it. Darren asks Dax to keep an open mind about Dudley, and Dax continues to dismiss Dudley (“sometimes milk goes bad”), but that if they need someone to climb a ladder really fast he’ll think about it.

Devin finds Dudley at the BMX park across from the zoo where Dudley is doing tricks on his bike. She gets Dudley’s attention and he rides over to her, and asks if he got fired. Dudley confirms that he was fired, and asks about her new chinchilla. She says she got him from Dax, and asks Dudley if he wants his job back. Dudley says he does, and they got to a concrete podium to be a little away from the other BMXers and to look over the contents of Devin’s portfolio - tracing paper, a copy of an old will, and a few sheets of blank paper stained with tea to look older. She explains that the will is a copy of her grandfather’s, D.E. Hitchcock the 4th, will, who was a benefactor of the zoo. She says that she will forge a note adding in a good word for Dudley to get his job back, and in exchange Dudley will buy her beer.

Dudley is wary of this, since her grandfather is long dead. Devin says their family has always been a little clairvoyant, and so it would be believable to her mother that her grandfather would have written the note. Dudley says everything sounds good apart from the beer buying. Devin attempts to convince him that buying the beer is okay, and that the plan will work. Dudley says he believes that the forgery will be good but he’s not sure it will be enough, and Devin says that if that happens he can just buy her a twelve pack instead of a twenty-four pack. Dudley says that he won’t buy her beer but he might be able to get her $20,000. Devin agrees immediately, saying that she can get the forgery done in around twenty minutes. Dudley says he can get her the month by the end of the week, and the two shake on it.

Dax is called to the zoo managerial office to make his weekly report and is asked to wear a suit. Dax, in a sleeveless suit, meets with Councilman Ort and outlines the past week, skimming over the “setbacks”. Ort asks about the birds, and Dax says that it was “an emotional issue” as the birds were too upset to put on a good show, and that one of them cannot be found. Ort says that missing animals are not a good look for Zoo 2, before moving on to the topic of chinchillas. Dax explains that twelve have been lost as a reptile keeper fed the chinchillas to their reptiles and that this keeper has now been fired.

Ort moves on to the topic of the missing fish, asking Dax to explain the situation before asking for Dax’s ID which they then cut in half, firing Dax immediately (though Dax still has his job with the parks department). Dax tries to argue with Ort to no success (“the city speaks through me”).

Dudley calls Darren to give him a fish update. Darren is happy to hear that the fish is doing well and seems happy (“this is the opposite of yesterday man”). Dudley asks for Darren’s advice about the plan, as he now believes Devin’s plan will work without the fish. Darren asks if he’s going to bring the fish back, and Dudley says his plan now is to sell the fish. Darren is against the idea, but Dudley says he needs it, as he now owes Devin $20,000. Darren is still against the idea, but Dudley says it’s too late as he already listed the fish for sale. A call comes in from a potential buyer (using a voice disguiser), and Dudley accidentally puts them into a three-way call. When the buyer realises they are in a three-way call they are hesitant, but Dudley convinces them to stay on the line. The buyer asks for the fish’s routing and bank information, which Dudley doesn’t know. Darren says that the bank has tattooed this information onto the fish, and Dudley says that he will give the buyer the information the next day as it’s difficult to read the tattoo with the fish swimming around. The buyer demands the bank information by Friday, the voice disguiser slipping to reveal the buyer’s real voice. They hurriedly hang up. After the buyer hangs up, Dudley asks why Darren said the fish has the information tattooed on it when they both know it doesn’t have a tattoo. They have an argument, and Darren hangs up on him (“I’m feeling a little lactose intolerant”).

Meanwhile, Devin arranges for the addition to her grandfather’s will to be discovered in their antique wooden desk which reads:

Let it be known that I, D.E. Hitchcock the 4th, have had a dream that I believe to be of great import. In this dream I stood alone in a field, a clear sky became a dark sky, menacing and bearing heavy roiling clouds. Thunder deafened me, lighting blinded me, yet when my sight recovered I saw safe harbour before me: a brick house, it’s door open, an inviting birth to harbour those otherwise at the mercy of the merciless torrents. A brick house. June 31st, 1994.

She then heads to school, to attend her AP French class.

That night, Dudley sits alone in the BMX park, googling to try and discover how you find someone else’s bank account details. Darren, his relationship with Dudley now soured, considers teaming up with Dax to steal the fish back “for justice”. Dax stands alone in his yard, using a balance board while trying to balance things on his nose to centre himself.

Cast[edit | edit source]