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E5: The Job Hunt

Stan helps Betula look for work. Gubbin doesn’t.

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Episode Transcript

INTRODUCTION (ELI)

Hello, hello. It’s Eli, writer and co‐producer. We’ve got about ten days left in our fundraiser for Season Two of Alba Salix, and we’re about two‐thirds of the way to our goal. So this is where we need your help to push us over the finish line. If you like what you’re hearing, please donate if you can, and help us get the word out. Tell a friend. Tell all your friends and family and followers, and help us bring you six more Axe and Crown episodes and of course six more full half‐hour episodes of Alba Salix, Royal Physician.

Thank you to everyone who’s pledged so far, and tweeted and Facebooked and Tumblr’d and everything‐elsed. If you haven’t, now is the time! Check it all out at AlbaSalix.com. Thank you!

MUSIC: OPENING THEME

ANNOUNCER

The Axe and Crown. Episode Five: The Job Hunt.

INT. BAR, MORNING

The outside door opens and Stan enters.

STAN

Morning, Gubbin!

GUBBIN

Ugh. Don’t remind me.

STAN

Happens every day, you better get used to it!

GUBBIN

You here to see Betula?

STAN

Who? Oh, your niece, right.

GUBBIN

“Oh, your niece.” Bit late to play it casual, kid.

STAN

Well, sure, she’s nice and all…

GUBBIN

Says the guy with a bouquet of flowers.

STAN

They’re for the bar!

GUBBIN

Yeah, why didn’t I think of that? Roses on the tables, that’s just what the place needs. Roses on the vomit‐stained tables, maybe some nice doilies to go under the pastries.

STAN

When have you ever served pastries?

GUBBIN

(a sore point)

We used to.

STAN

Well, if we just fix up the kitchen and hire a cook…

GUBBIN

Eh. Too much hassle.

STAN

Do you think she likes flowers?

GUBBIN

Who, my niece?

STAN

Yeah, your niece. What does she like? Flowers? Marzipan? Walks on the beach?

GUBBIN

The hell should I know? Ask her yourself!

STAN

I can’t just come out and ask her… that’s like cheating.

GUBBIN

What is it with you humans? You can’t learn to say what you mean?

STAN

It’s just not… the way we do things.

GUBBIN

All this “hello” and “nice to see you” and “oh, no, that’s fine.” It’s like there’s a layer of gunk between you and the real world. It’s like… eating with a fork.

STAN

What are you saying, exactly?

GUBBIN

Say what you mean, is what I’m saying.

STAN

You don’t always say what you mean. “Roses on the tables, that’s what this place needs!”

GUBBIN

That’s called irony.

Betula comes down the stairs, sleepy and cross.

STAN

Hi, Miss Betula!

BETULA

Oh, good morning, Stan.

STAN

Would you care for a flower?

BETULA

Sure. I’m starving.

She eats the flower.

STAN

Ah. Oh. Oh, no, okay. You might want to be careful of those thorns…

(too late)

Oh. Yeah, okay. So. Did you sleep well?

BETULA

No, not at all. The bed is so soft and cozy.

STAN

Isn’t that a good thing?

BETULA

I think my spine actually oozed out of shape in the night. Uncle, didn’t you say you just renovated?

STAN

Yeah, we did.

GUBBIN

(happily)

Slipped my mind.

BETULA

You gave me the squishy bed on purpose.

STAN

I’m so sorry! I didn’t know. Why don’t we move you to a room with a, uh… a classic mattress?

BETULA

That would be nice. See, Uncle? That’s how to run a tavern.

GUBBIN

You complaining about the free room I’m giving you?

BETULA

Look, I’ll pay you, Uncle. I just need to find work.

GUBBIN

Well, you got six days left. Time’s a‐wasting.

STAN

Yes! Speaking of work… Let’s find you a job.

He unfolds a newspaper.

BETULA

Well, today I was just gonna see if anyone down at the docks needs day labourers.

GUBBIN

(scoffs)

Kinda late in the morning for that. They all start work at dawn. Hell, I run a bar and I was up before you.

BETULA

Well, strangely enough, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.

Stan flourishes his paper.

STAN

I got the classified ads from the Grandville Gazette right here. That’s where I’d start if I was looking.

GUBBIN

Yeah, say, why don’t we find you both a job?

STAN

Not me! I got the old Axe and Crown to keep me busy.

GUBBIN

No, seriously.

STAN

Can’t talk, reading. “Accountants Wanted…”

BETULA

I’m not an accountant.

STAN

“Actors for a new production of The Ghastly Murder of Count Bozannio.”

BETULA

Do they have any roles for trolls?

STAN

Hey, you never know!

GUBBIN

Yeah, maybe the Count gets murdered by a seven‐foot‐tall strongwoman.

Stan circles the ad with a pen.

STAN

True. True. I’ll put that down as a “maybe”. Hmm. “Architect‐slash‐baker sought for Gingerbread Construction, Limited.” Um… “Chimney Sweeps…”

BETULA

I don’t think we’re going to find anything in the paper.

STAN

No, you gotta dream big! I mean… what did you always want to be when you grew up?

BETULA

Uh… Champion smashball player?

Stan leafs through the pages.

STAN

Okay, cool…

BETULA

Or a carpenter. Or gryphon trainer.

STAN

Hmm. I don’t see any openings. This week, anyway.

GUBBIN

No, because Farlorians don’t play smashball, they don’t keep gryphons as pets, and you can’t be a carpenter if you’re not in the Guild.

STAN

Well then, isn’t it lucky I’ve got contacts in half the construction guilds in the city.

GUBBIN

(laughing)

Yeah, I’m sure your name carries a lot of weight.

STAN

It does, actually. They all did work for my father’s old company.

(to Betula)

He was a real estate developer. He left me this place when he died.

BETULA

Really? So you run his company now?

STAN

Well, no… my sister inherited the company.

GUBBIN

Oh yeah, right. I heard about that. Your big sister got everything, right?

STAN

I mean, she’s actually younger than me, but basically—

GUBBIN

Oh, yeah, that’s right. So, how old’s your sister, Stan?

STAN

Oh. Well, uh… she…

GUBBIN

Yeah, go on.

STAN

…is… twelve.

BETULA

Wow. And your father left the family business to her?

GUBBIN

While Stan got this fine establishment.

STAN

Betula, if you want a construction job, I will get you a list of places. Guild pay is a heck of a lot better than day labour!

BETULA

Thanks, Stan.

GUBBIN

You really think they’re gonna hire her?

STAN

They must be smart enough to see what a strong, able‐bodied troll woman could do for them.

BETULA

You make it sound like they got something against trolls here. They don’t have something against trolls, do they?

GUBBIN

Eh, no more than most humans.

STAN

I like trolls.

GUBBIN

Well. We got that going for us.

STAN

Ignore him, Betula. We’re gonna find you a job!

MUSIC STING

INT. BAR, AFTERNOON

Betula trudges in.

STAN

Betula! How did it go? Any takers?

BETULA

No, it’s funny, no one’s hiring.

GUBBIN

Hunh.

STAN

You’re kidding! I was down in Guildhall Row last week and there were Help Wanted signs everywhere.

BETULA

Yeah. Every guild hall I go in, it turns out they’ve just finished hiring, and they forgot to take the sign down. Or buddy who does the applications just happens to be off on vacation.

STAN

Really? Gosh, that’s rotten luck.

BETULA

Or no one wants to hire a troll.

GUBBIN

Did I or did I not say this was going to happen?

BETULA

Or a woman, probably.

STAN

Aw, c’mon. Did you say I sent you?

BETULA

When I managed to. At the one place that didn’t turn me away immediately.

STAN

And that didn’t help?

BETULA

The secretary just laughed. And laughed.

STAN

Oh. Well, I’m a funny guy.

BETULA

And laughed. Until she finally passed out. I filled out an application, but I’m not expecting much.

STAN

You can’t let that stop you!

GUBBIN

Yeah, he’s right. Keep trying, it’ll be hilarious.

BETULA

You’re such a help, Uncle.

STAN

Hey. Whoa. Brain explosion! Hold on. Why don’t we hire Betula?

GUBBIN

What do you mean, “we”?

BETULA

You could definitely use a maid.

STAN

See, Gubbin? You’re always complaining about how much work it is running this place…

GUBBIN

Not much cleaning to do here.

BETULA

Well, by your standards, no.

STAN

Hey, what about the kitchen?

GUBBIN

What about it? It burned down.

BETULA

(skeptical)

It did what?

GUBBIN

There was a big fire. It’s too dangerous to go in there.

BETULA

Really!

STAN

So it’s a good thing Betula is an expert carpenter.

BETULA

I said I wanted to be a carpenter.

STAN

I will pay for the materials… We can rebuild the kitchen! Better than before!

GUBBIN

No. It’s a safety hazard.

BETULA

This whole tavern is a safety hazard.

STAN

Well, let us help you clean it up. How bad can it be?

BETULA

Yeah, Uncle.

GUBBIN

Never mind the kitchen.

Betula has moved over to the kitchen door.

BETULA

Hmm. It’s almost like you don’t want people to go in here.

GUBBIN

Don’t touch that door.

STAN

Careful—booby trapped, remember?

BETULA

It is? Gosh, I better be careful.

She unlocks the door. The net trap trips harmlessly, with a little twang.

GUBBIN

Hey! How did you disarm that? Stop! I told you, it’s dangerous…

But she’s already through the door.

CROSSFADE TO:

INT. KITCHEN, CONTINUOUS

Betula strolls in. Stan follows cautiously.

STAN

Wait. Gubbin, I thought you said there was a fire in here. There’s not even soot on the walls.

BETULA

I know, right?

STAN

All the pots and things are just sitting here…

BETULA

Like someone just stopped in the middle of cooking, and ran off.

STAN

Gubbin? You okay there, buddy?

BETULA

Uncle?

STAN

What happened in here?

GUBBIN

(heavily)

He left.

BETULA

Who left?

GUBBIN

Johann. My… the cook.

STAN

Your ex.

BETULA

Wait. Wait.

GUBBIN

He was the cook, way back when I first started working here. He helped me get over a lot of things. Helped me feel normal again, you know, after the war.

STAN

He must have been some cook.

GUBBIN

You have no idea. He even learned to make a few troll specialties, just for me. Only human I ever met who could make a proper domplinka.

BETULA

Awww.

GUBBIN

After Noreena died, he stuck around and we ran the place together for a few years. It was… nice. Easy, you know? I was out there, and he was back here, taking care of everything.

And then one night, I came back here and there’s him with this strapping young delivery guy from the greengrocer’s up the hill, having some kind of private tasting.

STAN

Oh. Oh man. Did you guys fight?

GUBBIN

Eh. Words were exchanged. He ran off after his delivery boy or whatever, and I just…

BETULA

Locked the door and never went back in the kitchen again?

GUBBIN

Haven’t had a decent meal since.

STAN

I’m sorry, Gubbin.

GUBBIN

Eh. Trolls and humans. It was always gonna happen.

STAN

Well… why don’t we renovate? Reorganize, clean the place up, scrub away all those bad memories.

GUBBIN

Who needs a kitchen?

BETULA

Uncle, you’ve got the only tavern in town that doesn’t have food. Even the raccoon hotel down the street brings in fresh garbage for their guests.

STAN

Yeah! C’mon, Gub. You could have pastries again…

GUBBIN

(grunts)

STAN

Or… what was it? Dumplinkies?

GUBBIN

(suddenly dreamy)

Domplinka…

STAN

(at Betula)

Yeah. Say, do we know anyone else who might know how to make domplinka?

BETULA

What… me?

STAN

Can you?

BETULA

Sure, I used to make them all the time back home.

GUBBIN

Ohhh. It’s been a long time…

STAN

Gubbin, I think we might have found our new cook.

BETULA

And byglintur. And kling klangs.

GUBBIN

Keep talking.

STAN

This is perfect! We get a cook, you get a job, everybody wins! What do you say, Gubbin?

GUBBIN

(considers)

All right. You’re hired.

BETULA

Thanks, you guys.

STAN

We’ll show that Johann. Big two‐timing jerk! We’re gonna turn this place around…

(sings)

Turn this place around! The best food in town! We’re gonna—

GUBBIN

Stop. Stop. STOP THAT DANCING.

STAN

You can cook human food too, right?

BETULA

Right. Human food. Of course.

STAN

Amazing.

GUBBIN

Question is, where the hell are we gonna get groceries now?

STAN

There’s more than one greengrocer in town. Hey, maybe you can find your own delivery guy. Eh?

GUBBIN

Why do I even tell you things.

STAN

“Special delivery. Special delivery for Gubbin. Hello. Where’s the handsome troll in the back?”

GUBBIN

Stan, are you done?

STAN

“I’d like to find you. I have a delivery just for you…”

MUSIC—CLOSING THEME

ANNOUNCER

The Axe & Crown!

Starring Hugo Jones, Art Carlson and Marisa King.

Written and directed by Eli McIlveen.

Recorded in Toronto at Trench Recordings.

Sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Produced by Sean Howard.

The Axe & Crown is a Forgery League production. To find out more, visit forgeryleague.com.