I don't own the Brady Bunch (thanks goddess). Rob Tapert and Joxer's brother own Xena (lucky ducks). My dinar situation was not enhanced by the writing of this uber Xena story. (In fact, I lost money on it, since I was allegedly supposed to be working while I was writing it. Ahhh yes, another XWP work-time production. I wonder if there's a way to tabulate the collective impact XWP has had on the decline of work- place productivity...) Anyway, I don't want a spanking for this, as it's only a non-profit, fun-making foray into the vast and fertile abyss of American television. Neither Xena, nor the Bradys were my original ideas, however the scenario contained herein is mine, mine, all mine... And true to the Two Dinars mantra this story assumes a queer audience.

Spoilers for several third season eps.

Send comments to Pursh at: afn04535@afn.org

Now find a spot on the shag carpet, and get comfy in your bean bag... here's...

(Or, Uber Xena meets the Brady Bunch)

by Pursh
copyright 1998

It's a typical early Saturday evening in 1970's America and a frighteningly large majority of the Nation's pre-teen set is tuned into the box, waiting for the current episode of the Hades Bunch to begin. To the delight of kiddies all over the Country the familiar musical refrain begins to tinkle over millions of pre-decent sound quality TVs. As the music starts, a giant tic-tac-toe board appears, much like an up close version of the Hollywood Squares, with less squares, but that's another story altogether. By the end of the first refrain, Christmas Carol Hades is looking longingly at her eldest son Grog Hades, who is staring off camera gazing lustfully at his pet goat, who is grinning at Argo, who whinnies and looks at Xena, who occupies the square directly under Marshland Hades.

Here's the story of a lovely Xena,
who was uber dating the eldest Hades girl
Happily she didn't have shag hair like her mother,
or frightful, bouncy, over permed curls
Feelin' groovy!
Keep on truckin'! Here's the story of a handsome gay man
who was busy with three boys of his own
They were four guys, living all together
In their very happy all dude home
'Til the one day when the shag hair met the dapper fellow
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
that these miscreants must somehow form a family
and that's why they moved to Hades and got their undies in a bunch

Undies in a bunch
Undies in a bunch
Have a nice day!
Happiness is... Here in Hades talk about nothing, eat your lunch
And keep your undies in a dysfunctional, wadded bunch

Wadded bunch
Wadded bunch

That's the way they malfunction
with their undies in a wadded bunch

A wadded bunch
A wadded bunch
a warm puppy.

In Hades they malfunction with their undies in a wadded bunch!

Just as the music ends, with the tic-tac-toe board still intact, Xena looks up at Marshland and winks.

XENA: I love being on the bottom. Heh, heh Xena wins again.

The tic-tac-toe board disappears and a commercial break from a corporate conglomerate hits the airwaves. It spends two minutes, for which it paid thousands, to huckster the boldly asinine notion of dumping toxic, carcinogenic pesticides onto suburban lawnscapes, where little children and house pets roam, in the name of killing dandelions.

Television screens across America are blank as we hear Xena's voice.

XENA: Gawd. We have to get some new sponsors for this show. When did dandelion become the enemy? gABs and I eat dandelion greens on the road all the time. As any pre- mycenite knows, that plant is one of the Earth's most friendly allies, with edible roots, leaves and flower tops! Why the leaves alone are one of the best digestive-aid greens on the planet!

THE PRODUCER (whispering ): Will someone tell her to shut up! We're rolling live!

THE DIRECTOR: Xena! Shut up. All your ideological nattering is going cause us countless problems.

XENA: Well can't we have Oprah or some other decent sponsors for this show, like we do for mine?

DIRECTOR: Xena! Oprah isn't invented yet. The Color Purple hasn't even been written.

XENA: Then how come I'm here?

DIRECTOR: Xena, I've explained this a million times. This is maximum uberosity. Now get with the program.

XENA: Is that like getting in with the in crowd?

DIRECTOR: Close. I'm glad to see you've studied the era- appropriate phrases packet I sent you. Now just remember that in the uber ethers there are no rules, except when there are rules.

XENA: Like Oprah can't advertise on this show cuz she's in the '90s, but lawn pesticides that cause cancer can, because this is America.


XENA: Even if it means the slaughter of millions of nutritionally awesome, life supporting dandelions, and the dumping of tons of horrid cancer causing chemical goop into the Earth?


XENA: These uber gigs suck. Why do I have to do this?

DIRECTOR: Because the fans get restless and bored during re- runs.

XENA: Well, don't I have any say in this at all? It's still my show, at least in theory anyway. And you know, there is an ancient, safe and effective way to get dandys out of the yard! Just dig a bit and pull 'em up! It's fun! Why gABrielle and I....


XENA: Sigh. I like my life better in the other universe where I have to fight fire clotheslines, devils, horned delivery boys, Callisto and gods in Elvis suits.

DIRECTOR (impatiently ): Can we start now?

XENA: Yeah, yeah. But I'm warning you, I'm not into this.

DIRECTOR: Don't worry. Next week we're sending you to hang out with Charlie's Angels.

XENA (cheering ): Angels! Lovely! Will I get to see Lao Ma? Surely if anyone made it to angelhood she did, and I'd love to see her. Plus I need some advice. See, I'm wanting to propose to gABrielle, but I don't know if I should do it over a fine dinner and nice wine in a posh tavern, or just keep it simple and pop the q in front of our simple, yet consistently romantic campfire...


XENA: What? You don't like campfires? Well, who's asking you? That's my point, I want to ask Lao Ma ...

DIRECTOR: Xena! Please! The sooner we start the sooner we'll finish...

XENA (ignoring him ): By the way, is that the angel show where Callisto goes sometimes?

DIRECTOR: Errr.... not exactly. But it is a little more action than you'll see this week with the undie waded Hades bunch ...

XENA: Cool. I like working with Callisto, maybe she can come visit. I mean an Angel show is an Angel show, right?

DIRECTOR: Sure Xena. Whatever you say. Now can we start?

XENA: Roll 'em!

TV screens across America light up. Marshland Hades sits in the very Hades family room watching a boxy, top-o-the-line- Curtis Mathis TV, circa 1974.

JAN (entering room ): Whud up sis?

MARSHLAND: Can't you see I'm watching TV? Leave me alone.

JAN (sitting down ): Whatcha watchin'?

MARSHLAND: Xena, Lesbian Princess.

JAN: Groovy, Marshland.

MARSHLAND: Mmmmmmm. This is a great segment. gABrielle dies.

JAN: Gawd, Marshland...hey...that woman...in the black mini, with that round killy thing... isn't that the gal who took you to prom last year?!

MARSHLAND: Duuuuhhhh. I'm glad that somebody around here notices my dating habits. What's your name, anyway?

JAN: I'm Jan, the middle child. I notice everything. Because everyone is so busy ignoring me, they don't notice me noticing.

MARSHLAND: You?! You're the middle child? I didn't even know we had one of those.

JAN (like she's in on some big secret that everyone else is dying to hear ): We have two!

MARSHLAND: We do?! In this house?! Who?!

JAN: Peter.

MARSHLAND: Peter? I thought his name was Pierre? He's a middle child too?!

JAN: Sigh.

Jan looks toward Curtis Mathis who is now rolling the kiss scene from The Quest.

JAN: My goodness! No wonder you're so jealous of that mini skirt's on-screen girlfriend.

MARSHLAND: I'm not jealous. And her name is Xena, not "that mini skirt."

Back on Curtis, Xena holds gABS high above her head and shouts "Vengeance!" Marshland has a gleeful gleam in her eyes.

JAN: If you're not jealous then why are you so happy whenever the little one with the pole is being maimed and tormented?

MARSHLAND (still distracted by, and staring lustfully at, Curtis ): What did you say your name was?

JAN: Jan.

MARSHLAND: Right. Look June, or whomever you are, just put a lid on it, OK? This is my special subtext snippets tape. Before Xena and gABrielle can have any on screen action, including the most benign and platonic of gestures, like a peck on the cheek, one or both of them has to be dead, dying, tortured, bruised, wounded, drown, beaten, burned, dragged or impaled by a poison arrow. But in truth all this gore is really thoughtful, well-timed pretext to set up the subtext.

JAN: Wait a minute. Let me get this right. Before the Curtis Mathis will show two consenting adults, who share gender in common, having an intimate, loving moment, they basically have to be ready for the emergency room?

MARSHLAND: Right. Pretty clever, huh?

JAN: Actually I find it to be a profoundly pathetic commentary on the state of contemporary culture...

MARSHLAND: Look, don't go brainy on me chickee, that's my role as the oldest child. I think I liked you better when you were invisible.

JAN: Good goddess. No wonder I'm a shy recluse and the only teenager on the block without a Curtis Mathis.

MARSHLAND: Oh gawd. What do you want anyway? Can't I just watch in peace?

JAN: I...uhhhh... well, actually... I was wondering if I could... uhhhhh... you know... borrowalittlereefer. It's time for Jany-poo-poo to check out, know what I mean? MARSHLAND: Oh is that all. I'm out, but check Mom's stash in the walk-in closet behind the Lysol.

JAN: I already did. That little rat Sin Dee and her scuzzy friend Tara beat me to it. And judging from the way the Lysol was situated, I bet our servile servant Malice was in on it too.

MARSHLAND: Hmm. Where is Sin Dee anyway?

JAN: Duuh, I thought you were claimin' to be the brainy one.

MARSHLAND: Get a clue June. This is the '70's. They don't let girls be brainy on '70's TV. We have to wait another decade for Gag me and Lace me...errrrr... I mean Cagney and Lacy, before that happens. So where's Sin Dee?

JAN: Out blowin' dope with Malice and Tara would be my guess.

MARSHLAND: Well, where's Mom?

JAN: Oh, she and Grog went on another one of their afternoon "shopping" trips.

MARSHLAND: Humph. Mom always did like Grog best. Where's Dad?

JAN: Out dancing with his new boyfriend Nelly, at Jim and Joe's Midtown Manpower Disco and Cappuccino Cafe Drag Review.

MARSHLAND: In the middle of the afternoon?

JAN: The only time he can escape without Mom noticing is when she and Grog are... uhhhhh....out.

MARSHLAND (looking lovingly toward Curtis ): Ohh, shhhhhh, she's on again.

CURTIS MATHIS: "...Even in death, gABrielle, I'll always love you."

MARSHLAND (picks up the remote control and quickly stabs at the mute button): Humph.

JAN (studying the remote control ): Hey, if this is the 70's, how come you have that rectangular channel, volume changey thingy?

MARSHLAND: Because we're the Bradys, I mean the Hades, and we're rich, even though we pretend that we aren't, and we have all the ostentatious consumer crap-ola that the majority of America loves to salivate over.

Jan ponders this for a moment before becoming distracted by Curtis.

JAN (staring at Curtis ): Wow, Marshland. Xena really is a babe. Where'd ya meet her, anyway?

MARSHLAND: When I was leading cheers, at the pep rally before last year's state championship football game against Amphipolis High.

JAN: No way. Xena is a cheerleader?

MARSHLAND: No, stupid, she's the Amphipolis football team.

JAN: Oh that makes sense. Who won?

MARSHLAND: Amphipolis, of course!

Jan and Marshland hear the front door open. The room fills with the resounding giggles of Sin Dee and Malice. Sin Dee joins Jan and Marshland in the family room, while Malice stays behind to mop up the mud she and Sin Dee dragged onto the entryway floor. Jan, still mildly annoyed at Sin Dee for swiping the last of Ma Hades' secret Lysol stash, tilts her head back and marches out of the room in a huff, bumping into Sin Dee in the process.

SIN DEE (to Marshland ): Yo, who's the dramatic blonde?

MARSHLAND: It's June, our middle sister.

SIN DEE: June?! June Cleavage from that beaver show? She's our sister? Groovy, Marshland. I didn't even know we had one.

MARSHLAND: Apparently we have two.

SIN DEE: We have two middle sisters?! Let me guess ...ahhh...June and ahhh ...May...are they twins?

MARSHLAND: No. The other one is a boy version called Pierre.

SIN DEE: Oh, that guy? I thought his name was Peter.

MARSHLAND: No, you're confusing him with Peter at the Rainbow Center. He was Dad's boyfriend before Nelly. I think.

SIN DEE: Whaaa? Dad's gay?!...wow...well, I guess he'd have to be to marry Mom...uuhhmmmm....oh wow...I'm way too stoned for this...uhhhhhhh, but if Peter isn't Peter, then who's the guy running around the house singing about puberty?

MARSHLAND: Gawd Sin Dee. I'm going to have to talk to Mom about her supplier. That's Pierre.

SIN DEE (triumphantly ): Ah! Our other middle sister, who's a boy.

MARSHLAND (distracted by Curtis who is projecting Xena, who is singing "The Love of Your Love" from The Bitter Suite ): Right.

Malice enters the room wearing her blue maid dress which is steaming and soaked with hot sudsy water from scrubbing the entryway floor. Marshland hits the rewind button.

MALICE: Hey, who's the despondent blonde who just tracked through my clean floor in a huff?

SIN DEE: That's June Cleavage, one of our two non-twin middle sisters, who has her own beaver show.

MALICE: Damn! This crew gets bigger every day. I suppose she'll be wanting me to feed her and clean up after her like the rest of you slugs...

MARSHLAND: Shhhhhh! I'm trying to watch Xena chuck gABrielle over a cliff.

SIN DEE (to Malice ): She gets so bossy when she's watching educational TV.


MALICE: Ha! Xena-Schmena. She was nothing but the Amphipolis football team, with no future, no goals, no nothing, before she met Sam.

MARSHLAND (muting Curtis ): You dare insult the Lesbian Princess, servant! Sam's just an ol' washed out bulldagger who's only claim to fame is teaching Xena a slick trick or two with a butcher knife.

MALICE: Ha! If Sam wouldn't have given Xena a job in the butcher shop after she won the state championship football game, Xena would have sat at home watching football videos until the leather rotted off her well-toned bum. Sam gave that girl a new lease on life!

MARSHLAND: Oh right Malice. I suppose Sam takes the credit for getting Xena to start wearing leather minis and metal breastplates too.

MALICE: No...that was my idea. For which Xena never thanked me, I might add. You young dykes are so ungrateful.

MARSHLAND: Humph! Sam is just jealous because Xena's more butch than she'll ever be!

MALICE (turning red in the face as her voice raises ): Sam is the butchest butch butcher around and you know it, Miss Marshland Hades smarty pants.

SIN DEE (still feeling the effects of the marijuana ): I think she has a point Marshland. Sam's pretty butch. Up until 10 seconds ago I thought she was a boy, like our sister Pierre.

MARSHLAND (enraged ): Stay out of this Sin Dee, or I'll send you and your little tow rag ass friend Tara, off to Buddy Hinton's house so fast your perm will fall out.

SIN DEE (exiting the room ): No Marshland! Not that bully Buddy Hinton!

Sin Dee runs out of the room to go hide in the walk-in closet with the Lysol and the goat that Grog has been dating since he turned 13. Marshland walks toward Malice. They stand toe to toe glaring at each other, while Curtis "psychic TV" Mathis unmutes himself and starts playing "Hate is the star, it becomes who you are..."

MALICE: This is between Sam and Xena.



Meanwhile Sin Dee opens the walk-in closet door and begins to sniff around the Lysol can. From the corner she hears a "baaaaaa" sound.

MUFFLED VOICE FROM THE CORNER, BEHIND THE TOWELS: Damn. Can't get no rest in here today.

SIN DEE (startled ): Akkkk! Who's there?

Sin Dee looks around the very Hades walk-in closet, and notices a green amorphous blob grooving to an unknown beat just above her head.

SIN DEE: Akkkkk! Help!

MUFFLED VOICE FROM THE CORNER, BEHIND THE TOWELS: Chill little sister. Nobody's gonna do ya no harm in here.

A shaggy, shirtless, bell-bottom clad goat standing on two legs, wearing a tie-dyed headband and a huge peace sign necklace on a leather cord appears from behind the towels.

THE GOAT: Please allow me to introduce myself...

SIN DEE: Whatever...

THE GOAT: I'm Mr. Ned, Grog's other household love interest.

SIN DEE: I'm Sin Dee Hades, of the undies in a bunch ubers.

MR. NED: I know who you are. Don't you think I see you in here every other day sniffin' 'round that Lysol can?

Sin Dee blushes, and notices the amorphous blob again, only this time it looks like a basketball with hundreds of tiny light-reflecting mirrors on it.

SIN DEE (pointing to the reflecting sphere ): Mr. Ned, what is that thing?

MR. NED: Ah, it's my disco ball, my window to the world. I get pretty damn bored in here waiting for Grog every night. In fact, I'm pretty damn bored with Grog in general. That ball is my sole entertainment, my lifeline. Except for infrequent visits from my niece Hope, I have very little social interaction. Do you know Hope? I love that child as if she were my own. I was present at her birth, you know. Saw the whole thing. She's about your age.

SIN DEE: Hope? Nope. Don't know Hope. But she sounds nice.

MR. NED: You'd like her. She could help you with Buddy Hinton, that's for sure.

SIN DEE (with glee ): She could? You should introduce us. I think I like her already.

MR. NED: Cool. I'll send her a vibe and ask her drop over.

SIN DEE: Hey how'd you know about Buddy Hinton?

MR. NED: I'm a psychic devil goat. I taught Curtis everything he knows about self unmutation.

SIN DEE: Groovy Mr. Ned. Hey, ya got any food in here? I'm starting to get hungry.

MR. NED (tossing Sin Dee a stack of Mrs. Hades' purple, extra thick Turkish hand towels by Perry Ellis ): Try these.

SIN DEE (chewing a thick purple towel ): Yuk! Too thick. I prefer thin and chewy.

MR. NED: Oh I forget, you two leggeds are more particular about food than us psychic devil goats. Better scoot down to the kitchen, if you want non-devil's food. SIN DEE: Right.

Within moments a loud crash emanates from the kitchen. Marshland and Malice, who have been staring menacingly at one another for the past 15 minutes, run toward the noise. Peter skips through the room humming a gay tune about puberty, and Sin Dee sits amid a tumbled array of Mrs. Hades' copper bottom Faberware looking confused. She holds a jar of peanut butter in one hand and a very Hades butter knife engraved with a large letter "H" in the other. A long purple string is stuck between her two front teeth and there are Oreo cookie crumbs and M&M remnants on her face. A box of unopened graham crackers, still in their wax paper wrapping, sits atop her head.

MARSHLAND: What on Earth?

MALICE: Good goddess on high Sin Dee. I must find out where Mrs. Hades buys her pot. What's wrong with you?

SIN DEE (in her cry baby Sin Dee voice ): Mr. Ned the psychic disco devil goat suggested that I come down here to get something to eat since I have the munchies, so I ran in here to find food... It seemed like the reasonable thing to do at the time...Please don't send me to Buddy Hinton's house...It's all so confusing...I came in here to make a peanut butter, Oreo, M&M, and graham cracker sandwich, but then Pierre came skipping through the kitchen singing some inane ditty about changing, but I only caught him out of the corner of my eye, and I thought he was Buddy Hinton, which scared me so I jumped, which caused Mom's trendy copper bottom Faberware to crash all around me, and at first I panicked, but then I remembered that Malice will clean it all up, because unlike most of the world, we not only have expensive cookware, but a very Hades paid maid servant as well.

MALICE (picking the M&Ms off Cindy's face, while patting the graham cracker package on Sin Dee's head with her free hand ): There, there dear. Mrs. Hades' weed always makes you a little jumpy.

Suddenly Hope appears, sitting on the kitchen counter in her untailored burlap mini dress. Auntie Callisto clearly hasn't had any success in brushing her hair, and to avoid everyone staring at it she begins to spin her head around a la Linda Blair.

MARSHLAND (assessing Hope's outfit ): My gawd. You need to accessorize. That's what separates us from the plants and animals, dear.

SIN DEE (stepping forward with an outstretched hand ): Hi! You must be Hope.

HOPE (with her head still spinning ): That's right...let's go get Tara and seek out some adolescent fun and games at the neighborhood daycare center!

SIN DEE (somewhat disappointed ): Well, all right. But I was hoping we could go to Buddy Hinton's house first. Your nice psychic disco devil goat Uncle told me that you could help me resolve that situation once and for all.

HOPE (her head spinning even faster with excitement ): Wheeeee! Murder is my special skill!

SIN DEE: Groovy Hope! Let's go! Bye Malice! Bye Marshland!

MALICE (chuckling and nodding her head while flashing her classic "oh well" grin ): Little devils!

Hope and Sin Dee run hand in hand toward the front door. Sin Dee still wears her graham cracker cap, while Hope's head continues to spin furiously.

MALICE: Hey you two! Wait.

Like all the Hades kids unless they want something, Hope and Sin Dee ignore Malice.

MALICE: Now listen to me. Sin Dee! Don't go out with graham crackers on your head! It isn't very Hades! And you Hope, stop spinning your head around like that. It'll make your eyes cross and they'll get stuck that way forever.

Hope and Sin Dee slam the door shut on the way out.

PETER (racing through the kitchen singing ): "It's time to change, you've got to re-arrange...na na na na na na...na na na na na..."

MARSHLAND (in her big sister irritated voice ): Hey freak boy, you talkin' to me?

PETER: No, just singing a merry tune..."It's time to change, you've got to re-arrange..."

MARSHLAND: Yeah, well that's good, because I'm a big dyke, and I ain't changin' for no cheeseball freak-o family values- ass crap-ola TV show.

PETER: Why Marshland! I think homosexuality is a fine thingy indeed! Every family should have one! Or two! Or three! Never change dearie. I love you just the way you are.

MARSHLAND (softening toward the male middle child, whom she hadn't noticed prior to this encounter ): Don't worry about it, huh. But kiddo, nix the puberty anthem, eh.

PETER (alarmed ): But I have to practice!

MARSHLAND: Practice? Why?

PETER: Tonight Amphipolis High is honoring the championship football team and I'm singing with the Rainbow Center Chorus for the gala event!

MARSHLAND: What! Xena is going to be here, in town, for a special honor, at a big community event, and she didn't even call and tell me? Grrrrrrrrr.

PETER (soothingly ): Awwwww. Don't be sore at her Marshland. I'm sure she has a good excuse.

MALICE (self righteously ): Humph!

Just then the phone rings.

PETER: Ooohhh! I hope it's Elvis! I hear he was spotted at Sam's butcher shop just hours ago.

MARSHLAND (runs to the phone ): Hello, very Hades residence. This is Marshland. May I help you?

WOMAN'S VOICE: Geeze, you're getting as verbose as gABrielle.


XENA: Say, I'll be in town tonight for a little party at Amphipolis High, and I was wondering if ...

MARSHLAND: I accept!

XENA: Great babe. Argo and I will be there at seven. It's a formal thingy, so dress up.

MARSHLAND: Oh Xena! May I borrow your High Priestess Bitter Suite gown with the sacred quarter moon headgear horns?

XENA (chuckling ): Of course sweetie.

MARSHLAND: Heee heeee. Oh I can't wait! Xena?

XENA: Yes my sweet suburban honey pot?

MARSHLAND: Just one other thing....

XENA: Name it, my lovely pumpkin breath...

MARSHLAND: Ummm, do you think, uhh, either before or after the party, you know whenever you have a sec, you could have a little knife fight with Sam? It's just to settle a minor femme pride issue argument thingy that Malice and I are having...

XENA: Marshland, no. No.

MARSHLAND: Whaddya mean "no"? There isn't a butch in the suburbs who says no to Marshland Hades.

XENA: Sorry babe. Ever since I started hangin' with gABrielle, I've sworn off gratuitous violence.

MARSHLAND: Oh this just sucks. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I knew The Bitter Suite would turn you into a cream puff. I said it all along. Xena, my world is falling apart right before my eyes.

XENA: I'm sorry, but I'm forgiving those who would harm me and doing good for those who hate. Forgive, if not forget, that's what gAB's says, and my friend Joe made up a pretty song about it. Want me to sing it for you?

MARSHLAND: This is ridiculous!

XENA: Marshland, forgive me and you'll discover too, that the love of your love is you.

MARSHLAND: Of course the love of my love is me. I already know that. Gawd Xena, everyone on the planet and in the uber spheres and parallel universes knows that I'm in love with myself and that I'm the most self-centered girl-thingy in the free world.

The screen goes blank and a series of moronic commercials ensue wherein, among other things, one corporate huckster encourages women to spread aluminum-chloride laced anti- perspirant under their arms. Xena hears this a begins to pitch an off camera fit.

XENA (to the Director ): That's it I'm outa here.

THE DIRECTOR: Xena, calm down, please.

XENA: No. Anti-perspirant? What in Tartarus is that!? The body sweats to rid itself of toxins and to cool itself, two noble purposes.Besides I like the smell of warrior sweat in the morning, and plugging pores with aluminum chloride goop is just asking for trouble. And anyway there's a very simple, natural way to combat...

THE DIRECTOR: Xena! Please. Can we just finish, huh?

XENA: No. I want equal time, or equal access, or whatever it is...

THE DIRECTOR: Xena, this isn't public TV. There's no such thing as equal anything on 1970's network TV. We don't even show women's sports, unless we you riding atop Argo on the very Hades front lawn counts.

XENA: That's it. I am not going back on until you schedule nightly WNBA games and we inform our viewers about aluminum chloride...

THE DIRECTOR: Look, Xena, how about after Charlies Angels I give you another uber gig where you can have your own talk show, and you can tell the world all about whatever you want.

XENA: Hmmmmmmmmm. Fine. I'll start with poison lawn chemicals and work my into the bathroom via the basketball court...

THE DIRECTOR: Great, so we can begin, right?

XENA (muttering to herself ): There must be some kinda way outa here...

THE DIRECTOR: Now Xena, take your place over there on the very Hades couch.

XENA: Awww right, awww right. ...

....so rush out and buy Twister NOW!

We now return you to your program...


The scene opens with the entire Hades clan, including Xena and Argo, sitting in the very Hades front room on various pieces of very Hades furniture. Marshland, Xena, Argo and Peter have just returned home from the Amphipolis High Xena rally. Milk Hades, the benign, ineffectual and much loved family patriarch, wears his usual distant but eternally thoughtful gaze. Christmas Carol Hades sits on Grog's lap in the Lay-Z-Boy. In a dimly lit corner Blobby Hades tries to engage Sin Dee, Hope and Tara in a game of tag. Jan may or may not be present. No one has noticed one way or another, and no one cares.

MARSHLAND: Oh what a great party, and Pierre, you were just wonderful.

PETER: Thanks, sis. For future reference my name's Peter.

MARSHLAND (ignoring Peter): Xena, I'm so grateful that you showed me the error of my ways for asking you to slice Sam to pieces over that little skirmish Malice and I were having. You were right all along. And thanks for stopping at Gray Sock's temple ruins on the way to the Xena rally so Pierre and I could powder our noses while you patiently waited on Argo.

XENA: Sure hon. But what a strange coincidence that Sam just happened to be at the temple, sharpening her knives on the rare knife sharpening temple stones, at the same time we pulled up.

PETER (sarcastically, while staring disapprovingly at Marshland): Coincidence, right. Just like Sam's “accidental fall” into Gray Sock's eternal fire pit was a coincidence.

MARSHLAND (glaring at Peter): Shhhhh, Pierre.

XENA: Accident? Why didn't you tell me Sam had an accident at the temple while we were there. I could have helped! I recently saved gABrielle from that fire pit, and I'm sure...

MARSHLAND: Oh hush, Xena. No one's interested in hearing about your gravity defying flying leap that saved gABrielle from certain death...

BLOBBY: I am! That sounds cool.

MARSHLAND (to Blobby): Can it squirt.

XENA: Marshland, you didn't have anything to do with Sam's accident did you?!

Meanwhile, using a secret tail tapping code that she and Argo developed during Xena's earlier pontificating about dandelions, Tiger stands in the kitchen doorway, looks at Argo and spells out 'Hi sweetie. Come in here and have some chow with me, while these morons blabber on about nothing.' Argo exits to the kitchen.

MARSHLAND: It was an accident, I swear!

PETER: Yeah, about as accidental as Crassus' beheading.

XENA: Marshland! I keep trying to tell you that murder for sport is no longer one of my many skills, and I wish that you would follow my good-Xena example, and put that principle to work in your own life!

PETER: Yeah Marshland. If you wouldn't have tricked Sam into going to Gray Sock's temple ruins, and filled her full of moldy corn ale, blind-folded her, spun her around three times and talked her into that game of Pin The Horn On The Deliverer, I believe she'd still be with us.

XENA: I was wondering why you were so adamant about playing a round of that game after you powdered your nose...

MARSHLAND: Oh, Xena, Xena, Sam's death was a mere unpremeditated technicality. It was pure fortuitous fate that in her drunken, blind-folded and spun around state, she tripped into Gray Sock's eternal fire pit after I gave her a playful shove.

MILK: Well, I'm just glad that you kids solved your problem through game playing and fun, rather than resorting to the trickery and senseless violence that, outside of the Hades home of course, is so prevalent in our society today. I'm proud of you Marshland.

MALICE: Me too Marshland. This was clearly an accident brought on by Sam's excessive drinking. And now there's one less drunk in the world! Hurrah!

Xena rolls her eyes, and wonders for the ten billionth time in forty-five minutes if there is any loop hole in her contract that can be exploited to its fullest advantage so that she can vanquish the Hades bunch uber forever. She sighs out loud and checks back into uber reality...

MILK: Marshland, your maturity in handling this conflict calls for a celebration! We can either order a pizza with live frogs on it, or pack up and head for Hawaii for a well deserved very Hades vacation!

A collective Hades bunch squeal fills the room.

BLOBBY: I vote for Pizza!

MARSHLAND and Christmas Carol glare at Blobby. He sticks his tongue out at Marshland, and she cocks her arm back to smack him, but is stopped by Xena's chakram which ricocheted around the very Hades home in 2.5 seconds, caused no damage, and brought Marshland's arm down to a more sisterly position. Marshland squints her eyes and tries to give Xena a dirty look, but she can't because Xena is the model of perfected loveliness in her leather mini and cast-iron outer-wear bra thingy.

CHRISTMAS CAROL (in her lovey-dovey-doo shag hair queen voice): Miiiilk...

MILK: Wait! Why, looky here, I have exactly seven tickets for the next plane out to Oahu!

CHRISTMAS CAROL: So when do we leave?!

MILK: Tonight!

JAN: Groovy!

CHRISTMAS CAROL (to Jan): Who are you?

JAN: I'm Jan, the middle...

MARSHLAND (unconscious of Jan's presence): Dad, since I'm responsible for bringing all this joy into the house once again, can Xena come to Hawaii with us?

CHRISTMAS CAROL: No, Marshland. There are only seven tickets, and as the shag haired matriarch of this so-called family, I'm certainly entitled to first choice on who gets them, and I choose me, and Grog.

GROG: Right. I go wherever Mom goes, so that's two tickets right there.

CHRISTMAS CAROL (crossing her arms and glaring at Marshland): So there, missy.

MARSHLAND (ignoring Grog and Christmas Carol): Please Dad!

MILK: Of course Xena can come honey.

CHRISTMAS CAROL (stomping her foot): Miiiilk...

Xena silently exits the room.

MILK: Look Christmas Carol, Nelly needs someone to carry his bags, and Xena's the only one in the family with any musculature.


Sin Dee, Hope and Tara become restless in the corner of the room. Sin Dee is covered in blood, wearing a sinister grin on her face. Hope and Tara appear to be in shock.

CHRISTMAS CAROL (noticing the ratty trio): Sin Dee, where have you been?

SIN DEE: We went over to Buddy Hinton's.

MARSHLAND: What on Earth for?

MALICE: Yeah, I thought you were going to go terrorize the daycare tots.

SIN DEE: We did. But we went to Buddy's first to murder him.

MALICE: Oh that makes sense.

SIN DEE: Daddy, can Tara and Hope come to Hawaii too?


SIN DEE: Waaaahhhhhh. Why?

MILK: Because the evidence indicates that you stood by and watched while Hope committed the strangulation of Buddy, and Tara dealt the beating that resulted in his death. You are prohibited from hanging out with Hope and Tara for two weeks. However, you can go to Hawaii, since you didn't actually commit the dirty deed.

SIN DEE (hiding her blood soaked hands behind her back): The evidence shows that? Aw crud, I guess I won't be joining the gals in Cell Block H any time soon. But oh well! The good news is, it's grass skirts and lots of other grass for me!

MILK (pointing to Jan): You there. Call the proper authorities and have these two ragamuffins hauled off and taken to the place where they keep all the poor people criminals. And get that hay-headed one a new dress out of the private reserve in my closet.

JAN (happy to be noticed and eager to oblige): Right!

MARSHLAND: Dad, you're so fair and just and full of integrity, just like judge Arbus. No wonder I'm turning out so well.

PETER: Yes, he's a true paragon of the honest manly man. One of the few and proud gay fathers living a lie in a heterosexual marriage.

MILK: OK, Peter, enough. Lay off the outing Dad thingy would ya?

PETER: Well, I'll lay off on outing you, but I'm not going to Hawaii with all of these boring hets and you and Nelly and Xena and Marshland.

GROG (making a fist as he steps toward Peter): Look ya little homo, you're going to Hawaii with the fam, and you're going to enjoy it.

PETER: Oh, poo. Papa, don't make me go. I hate the beach. All that filthy sand and nearly naked women everywhere you look...

MILK: I know what you mean, Son. Peter will stay here with Tiger.


MILK: No Christmas Carol, that's final. Someone has to stay behind and water the grass and dump toxins on the dandelions.

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Well, I guess you're right.

GROG (to Peter): Humph. One day I'm going to be a doctor and I'm going to find a cure for people like you.

PETER: Oh poo on you, you big bully. Why don't you cure yourself. At least I date within my age group, and species, and outside of my immediate family.

GROG: Grrrrrr. Mom and I are related in theory only, and like me, she acts really young for her age, making us virtual peers. And I'm gonna break up with Mr. Ned soon ...

MILK: I'm pretending I'm not hearing this.

MALICE: That would be very much in character and a very Hades thing to do.

BLOBBY: Really, we wouldn't want to talk about anything or in anyway appear different from the neighbors!

GROG: Right! We wouldn't be middle class Americans if we did!

MARSHLAND: And without us the entire lawn poisoning industry would collapse!

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Yeah! Maintaining our stupidity is a vital part of a healthy American economy!

SIN DEE: Better keep quiet then, and not let this go beyond the living room walls, lest we ruin all of America!

MALICE: Aloha!

Meanwhile, as the living room conversation continues on in this vein, Xena enters the kitchen where Tiger and Argo are deep in conversation over a meal of vegetarian pork chops and applesauce.

XENA: Hi gals.

TIGER (using her tail tapping code, in reliance on Xena's skills in advanced language deciphering): What's up big girl!

ARGO: (using secret Xena-Argo Speak): Yo gal.

The beasty gals continue their thoughtful exchange while Xena retrieves the cell phone that Ephiny got her for her last birthday, which she carries right next to her breast dagger. She quickly punches in a series of numbers.

SOLARI (sounding wired):'Lo?

XENA: Hey So! It's Xee!

SOLARI (sounding happily surprised, and wired): Hey the Xenababe! How's it going out there?

XENA: Oh, this uber gig pretty much sucks, but I have a clever escape plan that no one would ever suspect in a million years.

SOLARI: Great babe.

gABrielle grabs the phone from Solari.

gABrielle: Hi hon.

XENA: Hi sweety.

gABrielle: When you comin' home baby?

XENA: Soon, soon, my love. Do you miss me?

gABrielle: Errrr... well Callisto and I have been spending a lot of time in the purification hut so that helps me not dwell on how much I miss you...

XENA: gABrielle, you're not falling for Cali are you?

gABrielle: Only when you're out ubering dear.

XENA: Phew. Everyone knows Callisto is my number two girl, and I don't want you hornin' in on the action.

gABrielle: Of course not! Xena, we really need to work on your paranoia and trust issues. How's it going out there anyway?

XENA: Didn't you get my email?

gABrielle: No, Xenon left my lap top in the barn and in a PMS sugar crazed fit Solari snarfed it, after mistaking it for a giant piece of dark chocolate.

XENA: Oh, no wonder she sounded so wired.

gABrielle: Oh Xena! You're so perceptive! I love that about you! Is everything OK out there?

XENA: gABrielle, this undies in a bunch gang is weird, weird, weird.

gABrielle: Undies in a bunch? That sounds neither comfortable, nor sanitary.

XENA: I'm telling you, these post mid-century folks are an odd crew. You wouldn't believe what they eat. There's this thing called twinkie that is made from synthetic toxicity...

gABrielle: Synthetic toxicity? What's that?

XENA: Well, it's kind of hard to explain, but basically it's way opposite organic.

gABrielle: Eeeewww. What's it look like?

XENA: It's looks are deceptively benign. In fact it kind of resembles dumplings with red stuff, except the red stuff is this white poofy compound, kind of like stiff milk only really sweet.

gABrielle: Eeeeeewwwww. Come home to mama bay-bee, I'll fix you up some good food.

XENA: Purrrrrrr.

gABrielle: But, by the gods Xena, that sounds like an awful thing to be eating.

XENA: Honey that's not the half of it. You should see what they do to dandelions, right in their own yards!

gABrielle (gasping): Don't tell me, they salt them and fry them in oil!

XENA: Worse. Way worse. Death by poison.

gABrielle: They eat poisoned dandelions? That's absurd!

XENA: They don't eat'em, they just tox'em.

gABrielle: But by the gods, how stupid!

XENA: Truly. I gotta get outa this place, if it's the last thing I ever do...But don't worry, love, I have a plan.

gABrielle: Care to share.

XENA: Yes.

gABrielle: Ohhhh, I just love the new post-Bitter Suite Xena! Let's hear it!

XENA: Tonight the undies in a bunch are all taking an airship to some remote island...

gABrielle: Owww, have them say hi to Ginger and Maryanne for me...

XENA: No, not that island. It's another one. They're going for the purpose of resting, which I find odd since none of them, except the servant woman, ever work. But anyway, my ruse is to claim that Argo and I will swim to the island and meet up with them later. Meanwhile, we'll accidentally on purpose make a wrong turn and swim to Greece instead.

gABrielle: Mmmmm, just the thought of how fetching you look in your swimming toga makes me chafe under the BGSB.

XENA: Someone's coming, gotta go. Bye Lamb.

gABrielle: Bye darling. Have a safe swim. Give my love to Argo.

MARSHLAND: Xena! We've been looking all over for you. C'mon, it's time to go!

XENA: Errrr, Marshland, I think Argo and I will swim there and meet up with you all later. Argo hates airship food, and I prefer to fly throughout the air by my own volition only.

MARSHLAND: Grand idea! Would you mind carrying Nelly's excess baggage around your neck?

XENA: Not a problem.

CHRISTMAS CAROL: Let's go family!

The camera fades out after a shot of the Hades bunch elbowing their way into the airport limo cab outside their very Hades front door. After Argo, Tiger and Mr. Ned say their good-byes a resolute Xena climbs atop Argo with Nelly's luggage. Enroute to the sea Xena does the right thing and detours to Fed Ex, where she forwards an honest and somewhat thoughtful dear Joan note to Marshland, after first sending Nelly's luggage to the Bad Luck Tiki Doll Motor Lodge and Surf Board Repair Shop, where the Hades are staying in Oahu. With her blue eyes aglow and her fake hair in tact, Xena steers Argo toward the Pacific Ocean, while working up a warrior sweat on the way back home to real love, real drama and real food.


c. 1998 Pursh
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