This one’s a little weird. I hope you like it, anyway!
(In the back hallway of a retail outlet. Zelda is alone talking into their shirt.)
ZELDA: Yarrow to Hawkeye Jenkins, do you copy? (A short pause) Entering the hive. Preparing for – uh, what was it – natural selection? (A short pause) Good. Middle bee approacheth. Yarrow out.
FERDINAND: Hello there! Might you be Zelda?
ZELDA: That’s me!
FERDINAND: Welcome! My apologies for keeping you waiting. A fellow tried to pass off his PlayStation 10 as broken, when in fact, he had just emptied it of parts. Nothing gets passed old Ferdinand!
ZELDA: Oh, really? You must be very perceptive.
FERDINAND: I am, oh, I am.
ZELDA: A good man to have at the helm, then!
FERDINAND: Ah, indeed. Please, make yourself comfortable.
(They sit. Ferdinand leans back. Zelda does the same.)
I admit to having some questions about your CV. Well, one question, I suppose. You have sung hip-hopera in Europe professionally for fifteen years?
FERDINAND: That wasn’t my question, no, my question is, why in heaven or on earth are you applying for this entry-level, joe-category job with no benefits or perks? We normally employ recent fine arts graduates!
ZELDA: Yeah, the Canadian hip-hopera scene kind of blows. I moved here last year with my partner, he got a new job, right, and I thought I’d just integrate, but, like, there’s nothing to integrate into. So I figured, hey, I’ve never worked in customer service. I’ll give it a shot.
FERDINAND: Surely you can find something in your sector. Canada lacks nothing that Europe has.
ZELDA: Except a hip-hopera scene, I guess.
FERDINAND: Zelda… I’m sorry, but I must pull out the cliché that you are over-qualified for this position!
FERDINAND: I believe someone of such talent will always find what they are truly looking for. And forgive me for assuming that this is not, in sooth, what you wish for from this cascade of experiences we call life.
ZELDA: N-no, I’m not over-qualified, I’m perfect! I – please, I need the money, my husband got demoted, and we’re barely making payments on our mortgage, and I just need some society to stop from going insane, and, and, oh, my life is in ruihihihins~ (by now she’s sobbing too much to speak.)
FERDINAND (comes around to Zelda and pats them on the back): Oh, cry not sweet dove. Fly! The sky will sing with you if you give it the key!
ZELDA: You won’t reconsider?
FERDINAND: I’m afraid I’m too romantic to pluck such a chicken.
ZELDA: Uh. Kay. I guess I’ll have to let you know what’s really going on.
ZELDA: You said nothing gets past you. But you bought my sobbing.
FERDINAND: Y-your face – it’s dry!
ZELDA: Fraid so.
ZELDA: Sure. Look. I’m …
(Zelda takes out a device and scans the room.)
The room isn’t bugged. I’m from CSIS. I need to take this position for a secret mission.
FERDINAND: A secret…! Pardon my directness, but may I see your ID?
FERDINAND: Zelda Prodotinopolis. Wow. I have always dreamed about hosting a secret agent! What is your mission?
ZELDA: I will tell you because I know you are trustworthy and vigilant.
FERDINAND: My sincerest thanks, Sir!
ZELDA: But you bought my sobbing, so I must wonder what else you’ve bought. The League of Evil Geniuses is smuggling contraband music into the country using your store. We’re not 100% sure how, yet. By keeping an eye on customer service, I’ll be able to identify the collection process without raising suspicion.
FERDINAND: I am deeply saddened by this information. Of course, you shall have the position. You will also have first choice of schedule, and you must let me know if you need to peruse the warehouse.
ZELDA: Thank you, Ferdinand. CSIS will look kindly on you.
FERDINAND: I am happy to be of service. Welcome aboard, agent Prodotinopolis!
ZELDA: Never call me that. (She turns to go.)
FERDINAND: Go see Susan at the front for your first shift!
(Now outside Ferdinand’s office:)
ZELDA: Yarrow to Hawkeye Jenkins. The bee is working. (Pause) The bee is working. Yarrow out.