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A Family Affair

Story By Liz Friedman & Chris Manheim
Teleplay By Chris Manheim
Directed by Doug Lefler

Top back to TWO DINARS

Pursh on A Family Affair:


There's lots of good stuff in this one. For starters Xena's cool hair barrette is back. Pwaise Hestia! Pwaise Hestia! Pwaise Hestia! I love monitoring the Fin's hair do-dads. And I know exactly what Xena is up to with that 1970's girlie-girl relic. She's tryin' to femme up her image for the in-laws, but that tight bottom Herodotous ain't budgin' for no dyke-ass Warrior Princess. Ahh, Poteidaia, where nothing changes but the time.

Well, nothing but the time and the physical appearance of gABrielle's parents that is. Her Family of Scare Dad is the same Dad that appears in Sins of the Past, but dear old Mom is a new gal altogether, and neither of these humanoids look a lick like the dancing, singing, happy procreators who were masquerading as her parents in The Bitter Suite. But then again these folks actually may not be her parents at all. I say the farmer dude who sings "you've been plucked out from the heart of our lives for so long" and Julie Moran who responds "now we're grateful you've come back to the place you belong" are her parents because gABS hugs them both special and then she segues into the number with Lilla. And just never mind Lilla's obdurate fly away hair mess in that scene. I haven't got the time to give it the discourse it deserves, but there's little doubt that her whiggin' wigger could be the topic of it's own treatise. Anyway, the beloved webmistress claims that these TBS people can't be gABrielle's parents because Herodotous has never been that clean and Hecuba can't sing like Julie Moran. Hmmmmmm. In any case it's right odd that Herodotous is so uptighty about having gABS home again in AFA since neither he nor Hecuba bothered to be home for her visit during The Prodigal.Oh well, who needs the same 'rents, or any 'rents for that matter, hanging around from year to year anyway.

And I bet the Destroyer agrees with me on that one. Maybe if the ol' blue sword haired ruffian could trade his parents in every now and then he could get a date with someone else besides his Mom.

Far be it from me to bemire the pokey haired beast for his pedigree, but you may recall that I did envisage his possible appearance maladies and warn you dear readers of it last summer. So for the sake of critical integrity let's shift this conversation and discuss the contributors to junior's anomalous gene pool.

For starters, are there some bad chromosomes on hAres' side of the family or what? Or maybe those sharp stick hairs are a granddaddy Gray Sock inheritance. In any case, to add insult to injury, son o' spikes doesn't seem to have much going on in his oddly shaped brain chamber either. I mean stick baby is fully grown and the extent of his communicative capacity is "maaamaa." Sonny boy better wise up or his criminal blue butt is gonna catch a life time gig sorting plastics in the Poteidaian prison system's pin wheel factory. And that would be a shame considering the intelligence of his Mother and all that he could learn from her if he could get that brain thing happening. Like her little trick in cracking the bridge of no return with one smooth flex of the eyebrow, for example.

And once again cyber smooch to the music crew for a great score. The re-play of the Ulysses siren song when Hope is assessing Pokey's non-existent wounds, and it's use again right before Xena stabs Blue Boy in the back, is perfectly delightful and brings the mood of both scenes quickly into focus.

And cheers to Joxer for staying in character and knocking yet another summation into the foul zone with his impolitic wag proclaiming that any sister of gABrielle's is a part of her family. At least the tenuity of his mental functioning is consistent.


Ooooo goody A Family of Hair...errrr...I mean A Family Affair. I love A Family Affair. Jodie, Buffy, Sissy, Unca Be-ow, Mr. French Toast and Mrs. Sleazy-Beasley! Wheeee! Let's play old TV pretend! I get to be Sissy! Hey, dykes can be sissies, and if I'm not Sissy then I'm not playing. Besides I love Sissy. Well really I love Sissy's hair. That girly-girl's got all the right moves when it comes to accessorizing her hair. I love Sissy's late 1960's Flip. I LOVE that Flip! I love the '60's! I love Sissy! I think Sissy loves me back. Well, I'm pretty sure she does. And if she doesn't she could real soon. You never know. If she did, that might make Cyane jealous, which would be a real good thing, since I'd do just about anything to get Cyane's attention.

Oh Cyane, Cyane! Wherefore art thou Cyane?

Sissy's hair is preeettttyyy. And I love Sissy's hair accessories! Sissy has pretty barrettes and colorful hair do-dads. You can never see the bobbi pins in Sissy's hair. Sissy's hair is puuuuurrrrrfect. I think Sissy might want to be my girlfriend, but I'm not sure. I better go call her and find out where she stands on all of this. Shhhhhh, don't tell Cyane. Well, okay, go ahead and tell her if you want to.

Oh Cyane, Cyane! Shall I wear my heart upon my sleeve for the daws to peck at?

Sissy has an excellent Lift to crown off her Flip. Sissy has the best Lift! Xena had a real good Lift, and frosty pink lipstick, in Hooves and Hairnets and in The Reckoning.

Gasp! I just realized something! In Hairnets and The Reckoning Xena copied Sissy! Imitation is the highest hair compliment ever, of course, but still Sissy says it's rude as hell to take someone else's hair design and not credit them for it! That settles it. Xena has to be Mr. French Toast.

Now let's see, I'm Sissy and Xena's Mr. French Toast. So that leaves gABrielle to play Buffy, and Lilla can be Jodie. If Homophobe-rodotus...oh whoops I mean Herodotous would get the nettle out of his butt he could be Unca Be-ow, but until he shapes up the Destroyer can play Unca Be-ow. That leaves the role of Mrs. Sleazy-Beasley for Joxer. Okay, perfect!

SISSY: Mr. French Toast I see that you're trying to take all eyes off of me and my great hair success by happening to find your 1960's metal Earth mama hair barrette right in time for this episode, even though you haven't been wearing your barrette at all lately.

XENA: Whatever.

SISSY: Xena! Quit being such a weenie. Mr. French Toast never says whatever.

JODIE (to Xena): Yea. Plus Mr. French Toast has more facial hair than you.

BUFFY: Yea and he only wears his leather mini skirts at night when he and Unca Be-ow go out dancing.

JODIE: Yea. During the day when he comes to work at our house as a bearded surrogate mother and paid slave he wears a Father Knows Best suit and tie and a stiff little narrow brimmed derby.

BUFFY: Yea this isn't working out, Sissy. We want Hope or Vidalis to play Mr. French Toast. Xena's a bomb.

JODIE: Yeah! Yeah! Mr. French Toast! Hope or Viadils! Hope or Vidalis! Hope or Vidalis!

XENA: Geeze, I can tell when I'm not wanted. gABrielle...errrr...'scuse me...Buffy...I'm going to the mall for awhile so you kiddies can play old TV pretend with a more appropriate Mr. French Toast.

BUFFY: Kay. Don't hurry back.

SISSY: Okay, where were we?

BUFFY and JODIE (in their irritating simultaneous whining chant voices): Mr. French Toast! Mr. French Toast!

SISSY: Oh right. Well, we can ask Vidalis to be Mr. French Toast.

BUFFY: What about Hope?

SISSY: Nope.

JODIE and BUFFY (in unison, both with their heads slightly cocked to the right): Why not Sissy?

SISSY: Sissy is afraid of Hope, children.

BUFFY: Brother! That's riddicckaaluss.

SISSY: Buffy, now you listen to Sissy. Hope can turn a grown woman's hair to straw with the twitch of an eyebrow. She can make a gal's colored hair do-dads fly right off of the braids they're holding together. With one gravity defying eyebrow stroke she can unhook a clunky two-pronged1960's barrette and make it fly around the room snapping its jaws open and shut several times before landing it right between the eyes of an unsuspecting styrofoam wig head. Now I said no to Hope and I mean no. Ask Vidalis or suffer with Xena.

JODIE: Xena just left in a car with Purshy Mason's legal assistant, Della Street.

BUFFY: Grrrrrrrr.

JODIE: Just teasin' gABr...uhhhh...Buffy.

BUFFY: Pllllppppp on you Lilla...errrr...Jodie.

JODIE: Buffy! That is so out of character! You and I are supposed to bond in tormenting our teenage sister, or cousin, or whatever Sissy is. We never turn against each other, just like real brothers and sisters!

BUFFY: Oh good point. Sissy is a sissy! Sissy is a sissy! Sissy is a sissy!

SISSY: Buffy be quiet for 10 seconds would ya. All of your Gregorian chanting is going to frighten my hair, flatten my Lift, and straighten my Flip. I do have my limits you know.

BUFFY: Well Sissy, only sissies are afraid of Hope.

SISSY: Look smart fart, Hope is not allowed to play anywhere in this house, least of all near my herbal hair care products or complex metal hair barrette collection. Is that clear Missy?

BUFFY (sighing resolutely): Yes Sissy.

JODIE (trying to cheer her chastised sibling by getting their whining rant back on track) We want Vidalis! We want Vidalis! We want Vidalis!

Vidalis enters the living room from the kitchen via tacky early 1970's oversized cowboy-like window shutters masquerading as interior doors.

VIDALIS: Well. I'm flattered. But I want to be Sissy.

PURSH: That role's taken.

Upon noting the gelid asperity in Pursh's tone and manner Vidalis forces enthusiastic cheerfulness into his reply in order to avert conflict, which would be far to realistic, and therefore distrubing, to the Family of Hair viewing audience.

VIDALIS: Oh all right then. Mr. French Toast it is.

JODIE and BUFFY: Yeah! Yeah! Let's go pester Unca Be-ow! Mr. French Toast! Mr. French Toast! We're going to go pester Unca Be-ow!

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Very well children, you own the world, so do as you please. But be back here in 15 minutes for your post breakfast Coke and sugar snack. If we play our cards right and load you up on enough caffeine and refined white sugar we can sue your school district in a few years for failing to give you an education due to their inability to reign in and teach your spastic asses.

SISSY: Yes, you children run along. I'm going to go comb, rat and spray my Flip.

JODIE and BUFFY (sprinting toward Hope's only begotten blue stick-haired rug rat): Unca Be-ow! Unca Be-ow!

The Destroyer, looking confused but wanting to do his best in playing the role of the kindly bachelor uncle with a femme, bearded, house slave boyfriend, responds to the noisy urchins using the only word in his vocabulary.

UNCA BE-OW: Maaaaama?

JODIE: Unca Be-ow, we don't have a Mama. That's the whole point.

BUFFY: Yea. We're being raised by two men and a teenage harlot. I mean hairlot. I mean a teenager with a lotta hair.

UNCA BE-OW (lumbering toward the unsuspecting innocents with open arms): Maaaama!

Unca Be-ow snares Jodie in his arms and begins to pat down Jodie's unruly fly away red hair.

JODIE: Ouch Unca Be-ow! Stop petting my fly aways so hard.

BUFFY: (laughing at Jodie's plight): Hee hee. Jodie has fly aways and Unca Be-ow has Jodie in a death grip! Jodie has fly aways and Unca Be-ow has Jodie in a death grip! Jodie has fly aways and Unca Be-ow has Jodie in a death grip! Wheeeeee!

JODIE (as she wrangles in Unca Be-ow's grip and struggles for air): Shut up... Buffy...gasp...I'd rather have fly aways than Sindee Hades hair...gasp...like you.

BUFFY: (crying) Whaaaaaa! You mean-head! I do not have Sindee Hades hair Jodie. I'm tellin' on you. Whaaaaa. I'm tellin' Sissy that you made me cry! Sissy!

JODIE (gasping for air as Unca Be-ow tightens his loving grip): Gasp. How 'bout helpin' me to escape...gasp...from Unca Be-ow before he snaps my neck. Gag.

BUFFY: (ignoring her irksome sibling): Sissy! Jodie said that I have Sindee Hades hair! Whaaaaa!

SISSY: (entering the room from her bedroom where she had been sitting at her swinging, ultra mod, mid-century, white laminated press board grown up girl make up table with obtrusive, overly large and inappropriate for home use, Hollywood dressing room lights): Okay you two what's going on here? You know I need quiet when I'm ratting.

Unca Be-ow shifts his grip and gets surly with a particularly recalcitrant fly away as Jodie negotiates for a precious stream of air.

BUFFY: Jodie said I have Sindee Hades hair.

SISSY: (guffawing rudely): Sindee Hades? From the Hades Bunch?

Sissy surveys Buffy's 'do thoughtfully and conspicuously laughs out loud again.

SISSY (laughing): You do! You have freakin' Sindee Hades hair! Holy Hera on high how did I manage to miss that important fact for all these years?

BUFFY (crying): Whaaaaaaa! Pursh you're kicked out of being Sissy. Sissy would never say anything that mean.

Pursh, who is anxious to maintain her post as the know it all, too old acting for her age, hair obsessed teenager, matroningly turns a gentle smile on the weeping Buffy.

SISSY: Honey, oh poo! There, there now dear. Buffy, now don't cry. Shhhh, there, there poor child, it's not your fault that you have Sindee Hades hair...

BUFFY: Whaaaaaa!

SISSY: ...Uhhhhhh...but, but, but well, it's nothing to be ashamed about. Not all blondes can look like Cyane, you know.

BUFFY: Whaaaaa!

SISSY (patting Buffy on her boing-boing curls): Now shhhhhhh. There, there. At least you don't have horizontal fly aways like Jodie. Take heart sweetie. Things really could be alot worse.

BUFFY: (cheering through sobs): They could?!

SISSY: Sure! Of course! Don't 'cha remember Xena's 1970's hair in Warrior Princess, the initial Hercules Xena episode? Her hair in that episode takes the all time hideous hair award.

XENA: Hey!

BUFFY (ignoring the ex-Mr. French Toast who has returned home early from the mall and slyly entered the room via the cowboy kitchen door shutter thingys): It does?

SISSY: Sure! That hairstyle stands as the decade's most notorious defilement of American style.

XENA: Hey Pursh...

PURSH: Watch it Princess, I'm Sissy!

XENA: Oh for the love of....

PURSH: Sissy.

XENA: Okay Sissy. Just for your information the vaguely curling-ironed side-flap, quasi-Farrah Fawcett feathered look that I sport in that episode is still alive and well in every mall in America.

SISSY: Look sweet cheeks, I don't care if that dithery hair profanation is deployed on a detective or a warrior, an angel or a princess, at a mall (god bless America) or at a pre-Mycenanean village (goddess bless Renaissance Pictures), that mess is a distempered abomination unworthy of small screen tough babes, be it the '70s or the '90s.

XENA: Humph.

BUFFY: Yeah! Xena has the ugliest hair in the world and not me! Yeah! Yeah!

SISSY: That ain't the half of it little sister. Remember Xena's hair in Callisto? Xena Warrior Hair Babe really fell from grace in that one.

BUFFY (eager to hear of Xena's follicular misfortune): She did?

SISSY: Yea, she's got two weirdo side braids flanked by Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman temple strands that can't decide if they're bangs or the main mane.

BUFFY: Hey Sissy, you're starting to sound suspiciously like Pursh again.

SISSY: Oh, gABrielle...errr Buffy...sorry. I'm Sissy through and through! And don't you forget it!

BUFFY: Prove it.

SISSY: Uhhhhh....

XENA ( trying to worm her way into the fun game of old TV pretend by ingratiating herself to Pursh with some helpful words of wisdom): Say something nice Pursh. Sissy would say something nice about my hair.

SISSY: Oh! right! Uhhhhhhhh. Well, let's see here. Oh! I know! Well, for one thing Xena is the best when it comes to resourceful, non-traditional use of hair.

XENA: I am?

BUFFY: She is?

JODIE: Gasp. Someone please...help...

SISSY: Yep! Remember Destiny and Xena's hair whip on Cheezer's minion who attacks her in Niklio's healing hut, after he first arrows M'lilla?

XENA: Oh yea, I liked that part!

BUFFY: Rats! I didn't know you back then!

SISSY: Well, I did. And I've memorized every line. "Tonight a new Xena is born, with one purpose in life: whippin' bad boys with neck propelled snappin' fake hair."

XENA: Did I say that?

BUFFY: Did she say that?

JODIE: Someone...please...air...

SISSY: Well sumpthin' like that...

BUFFY: Wow Xena, that is so cool. Sissy, I want Xena to be Mr. French Toast!

SISSY: I'll take it under advisement.

BUFFY (to Xena): Sorry babe, I tried.

SISSY: Oh and what about Xena's hair in A Tale of Two Muses? There her Mary Hartmans are delightfully accented by a noteworthy quasi-poof which is bolstered by two lovely and strategically knotted upper-head plaits.

BUFFY: Right Sissy! And really, no one wears the back o' the cranium, long hair Bun-rias head bun better than Xena during TBS's red skeleton dress dance.

SISSY: Oooo, and how about Callisto as Xena in Ten Little Warturds? The blonde semi-pompadour poof with two half-mast kinda thick side braids flatters the incognito Xena masterfully. Sigh. Calli is delish as a good gal, and so is her hair.

The girls unconsciously pause for a collective moment of silent reverential reflection.

SISSY: Oh and what about Xena's top o' the rock baby chaser hair in gABrielle's Hope...

BUFFY (interrupting eagerly): Yes, I remember that scene quite well...

HOPE: How could you forget it, Mother.

gABrielle: Akkkkkkk! Hope! I'm Buffy, not Mother. Now vamoose. The role of Mr. French Toast has already been taken by Vidalis with strict orders from Sissy, who has taken Xena's application for the part under advisement, in case Vidalis needs a break or pisses Sissy off. I'm afraid you don't have a chance at the part. So go. We're talking about hair here, and I don't want you to develop a complex. Go tear apart Mrs. Sleazy-Beasley or something.

Hope slinks off to the corner with her eyebrows sadly drooping at yet another unambiguous rejection from the woman who brought her into the world.

JODIE (who has now suffered a 40% reduction in hair mass due to Unca Be-ow's incessant head petting in the name of eradicating fly aways): Gasp...Hope...please, before...gasp...you leave...gasp...call off your kid...gasp...in another five minutes...gasp...I'll be bald.

HOPE: Oh Pshaw! He's just playing. You're the one who asked him to be Unca Be-ow any how. What did you expect? Glamour?

BUFFY: There were no good choices for Unca Be-ow Hope, only lesser degrees of evil.

SISSY: Excuse me, but I'm trying to tell a hair story here!

gABrielle: Please continue. We were talking about gABrielle's Hope when Xena was chasing me around the mountains trying to murder my child.

SISSY: Hey there Buffsters you're sounding an awful lot like gABrielle...

XENA: Yea. I really don't think it's very fair that I got kicked out of being Mr. French Toast for accidentally going out of character one time early on, when you gals go out of character every 30 seconds or so, and you still get to play and I don't.

BUFFY: Be quiet Xena. Do go on Pursh, errrr, I mean Sissy.

SISSY: Well, when gABrielle is fibbing to Xena about pitching the baby, the image is shot from the ground up, and Xena's hair simply looks lovely from this angle. The long, free, banged look suits the warrior baby hunter in general, and in this scene in particular her hair is unusually alluring because it has a gorge-ola and very subtle wave that looks stunning.

JODIE: Gals...gasp...in addition to going bald...gasp...I'm gagin' over here...gasp...in the tenacious grip of Unca Be-ow...gasp...if anybody cares.

HOPE: Which we don't.

Jodie's oxygen troubles continue to remain in disfavor on the attention meter as the girls' reflective Xena hair reverie continues and, to Hope's delight, Jodie slowly begins to slip away from this life.

SISSY: And remember Warrior..Priestess...Tramp? Xena has full bangs, a perfect Lift, understated waves throughout, and an ever so slight curl at the end, times three. Sigh. This was one of Xena's defining moments for undiluted hair perfection.

BUFFY: Ummmmm. And there have been some seriously hard hitting good Xena hair moments over the past few years. I mean for one, what about her messy TBS I love you, forgive me hair?

SISSY: Oh yea, and her TBS we love war hair!

BUFFY: Oh and her long Debt II flying silk sheet ethers dance hair with Ma!

SISSY: And her Miss Amphipolis blonde wig hair!

BUFFY: And her cute bangs when she almost kissed me...errrr...gABrielle in The Quest!

SISSY: And her poofy on top, long on the bottom girlie-girl coif in Remember Nothing! That was a great hybrid of her Hooves and Hairnets look, which, I might add, she copied directly from me.

BUFFY: And Xena's hair has certainly spruced up more than one Herc episode.

SISSY: Yea like her Xena the Conqueror hair and Havana in the '50's head gear and gown bedizenment in Armageddon Now II.

BUFFY: Oooo and her moll hair in Stranger in a Strange Land. She looks great in that bob!

XENA (smiling warmly at Buffy): Well I'm not the only one who has provided enchanting hair highlights over the years.

gABrielle: Shhhhhh! Xena, you can't talk. You we're booted from being Mr. French Toast for refusing to stay in character. Now sit down and be quiet until we're done, or go into the kitchen and teach Mr. French Toast how to use his Ronco all in one electric carving knife and beard trimmer.

XENA ( her warm smile turning to a frown): Zeus. You been takin' bossy lessons from Sissy or what?

gABrielle: Xena!

Xena slugs off to the kitchen to bond with Viadlis over the creative uses of his sharp, all in one, electric cutlery and personal facial hair care device.

SISSY: Xena's right you know Buffy. If we're talking hair highlights we better talk gABrielle.

BUFFY: True. No Doubt about it, I have...I mean the Bard has...the best highlight job in Poteidaia.

SISSY: And her highlights are just the beginning! Remember her solstitial Solstice Carol side braids pulled back to a plaited "V" with a 1970's wooden hair barrette? Sigh. She's so fetching in the Earth mama style. Oh! And how about the Bard's sexy messy hair when she awakes on deck in Lost Mariner. That's certainly worthy of a rewind or two.

XENA: Uhh-huh....

gABrielle: Xena you beast! Get back to that kitchen and rattle them electric knives and nifty beard trimmers.

Xena lumbers back through the cowboy shutter doors, sticking her tongue out at Hope along the way. Hope, who has been sitting in the corner with droopy eyebrows since her earlier rejection from Mother, is unfettered by Xena's termagancy because she is busy masticating paper spit balls to hurl at Buffy when the opportune moment presents itself.

SISSY (turning to the misbehaving Devil and the feeling left out Warrior Princess): But unlike you Xena, Bard Girl does not do well in the fake hair department. Her Ulysses wavy brunette dancer wig is pitching a serious bid for an eternal spot in Velasca's lava pit.

HOPE: Yes, and what about her hair in The Greater Good? Shudder. Greater good, perish the thought.

gABrielle: Hope I thought I told you to go tear up Mrs. Sleazy-Beasley.

HOPE: Look Mother, as the Greater Bad, I feel that I am entitled to opine on your hair in at least one episode, and I choose The Greater Good.

BUFFY: I don't know. We'll have to run it by Sissy.

SISSY: Hope, due to your noteworthy failures in playing well with others, you're really not supposed to be in this house or anywhere near my hair care products or participating in old TV pretend at all. But since you're here, and given your status as the Greater Bad, and the potent proclivity of your eyebrows, if you promise not to kill anyone, and to stay on topic, you may briefly opine on gABrielle's Greater Good hair. But if one, and I mean just one, hair chomping, air borne barrette finds it's way into my styrofoam wig heads you're outa here.

HOPE: Fine.

XENA (incredulous): I can't believe Hope gets to play and I don't!

SISSY: Xena, really! I have spoken on this matter, and you are not the Mr. French Toast selection. Now please, get back to the kitchen and let us play in peace.

XENA: This isn't fair. You rejected my Mr. French Toast application just because I wore your hair in Hairnets and The Reckoning and didn't give you credit for it.

SISSY: Well that certainly didn't help your chances any, but the truth is that you had the part and you pooched it in the first five seconds. Now be quiet.

JODIE: ...And to you...gasp...Buffy...I leave my favorite rag doll...gasp...

Xena hangs on one of the cowboy shutters resolutely, moping like she did when gABrielle wouldn't donate her hair for Xena's bent nail fishing lure in FFG. Vidalis twitters about the kitchen sweeping up beard hairs and bread crumbs from his recently Ronco trimmed face rug.

BUFFY: Xena for the love of Hestia, what's wrong with you? Why are you pouting like that?

XENA: (indicating Sissy): Not only will Miss self-righteous what's her skirt not let me be Mr. French Toast, she also said that I had the ugliest hair in the world in my Iolus dating days, and I wouldn't talk if I were her. She's totally obsessed with her hair, and for all of the effort she puts into it, it isn't even really that great.

SISSY: (acridly): That is obscene blasphemy. Not counting That Girl I have the best Flip on mid-century American network TV. And if my hair is so bad I guess that's why you copy it every chance you get, huh?

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Now, now kiddies. Xena, don't be to hard on Sissy. A formidable obsession with hair that renders minimal to barely noticeable results is a good part of every healthy teen's daily regimen.

SISSY: That's right Princess. Now sit down, shut up, and hand me that ozone busting aerosol.

XENA: Grrrrrrrrr.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Xena, please, be the adult here.

HOPE: Ahem! I believe I've been given permission to opine on Mother's Greater Good hair.

SISSY: That's true Hope, please go ahead.

HOPE: As I was saying, Mother's bowling ball like Greater Good hair helmet should be locked up in the Dagger of Helois closet for eternity, and the rat who donated her hair to make it should be forced to watch I Dream of Jeannie re-reuns in Tartarus while eternally baby sitting Gareth, Macon, Joxer and the hero worshipping prison guard from Locked Up and Tied Down.

XENA (determined to enter the game, even if by force): And what about her TBS welcome home gABrielle slightly waved, short banged shoulder flounce mop?

SISSY: Yuk. That hair mess is dangerously beyond goody-goody, even for Po-dunk-a-dia, and has no business atop the otherwise fetching Bard's pretty head.

XENA (pushing her luck at seemingly being accepted into the fun game): Oh my gawds, and her Blind Faith queen hair looks like a cross breeding experiment involving a chemically altered cinnamon roll and a genetically disadvantaged big horn sheep.

SISSY: And her Bun-rias head bun in Callisto is right scary.


XENA: Oh yea. That thing snuck over to Callisto from Orphan of War, except in Callisto it's a dusty brown blonde wanne be. Yuka-poo.

JODIE: ...gABby...gasp...give my regards to...gasp...all three sorta sets of our shape-shifting Moms and Dads...gasp...

XENA: But she makes up for it in TQIM with that cool leather head band.

SISSY: Oh right, and by the time we get to FFG her 'do is definitely legitimately gorgeous.

XENA: And what about her hair in Sac I? I did that for her. I copied if off my Lift look in Hairnet.

SISSY (turning a Hope-like squinty-eyed glare at Xena): Ahem! Xena! Which you copied from me.

XENA: (rolling her eyes as Vidalis elbows her in the ribs): Which I of course copied from Sissy.

SISSY: And you also copied the barrette that you're wearing right now from me.

BUFFY: Oh I do love that barrette on you Xena.

MR. FRENCH TOAST (leaning on his broom from beyond the cowboy doors): Oh me too, it's understated, and believe me considering the rest of your outfit that's a deliciously bold inconsistency.

BUFFY: It sure makes for a cute Princess.

SISSY: Humph. She copied it from me.

JODIE (as she breathes her last breath): Good-bye...gasp...cruel TV world...sigh.

UNCA BE-OW (to the limp corpse formerly known as Jodie): Maaaammaaa?

HOPE (to Unca Be-ow): I'm your Mother you stupid, two-legged, prehensile, diabolical follicle mutant porky-pine!

UNCA BE-OW (looking down at the lifeless Jodie with all the concern that a stick-haired blue beast can muster): Maaaaamaaaaaa?!

BUFFY(turning her attention to Unca Be-ow): Goodness he's unattractive.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Yes, and that fact is compounded by his utter failure to accessorize.

HOPE: Hey, I've learned that on this show sometimes no accessories are the best accessories. And my son is not unnattractive considering the other entrants in the bad guy beauty competition.

MR.FRENCH TOAST: Pshaw! Like when are no accessories the best accessories?

HOPE: Like when the accessory in question is Joxer's helmet.

BUFFY: Oh gawds yes. Xena, now there's something for you to do. Go kill that pointed tin turnip right now.

HOPE: Mother, I tore Mrs. Sleazy-Beasley's head off an hour ago.

BUFFY: Great honey. Mommy is so proud of you.

SISSY: Oh I know another accessory to put on the hit list. How about that beard ornament worn by the spy glass seer dude in Orphan of War.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Eeeeeewww yes! Oh too true! That thing is just plain gross.

XENA: And what about Judge Arbus' pointy on top, floppy on bottom flap cap in The Execution?

SISSY: YEs! Good choice Xena.

XENA: And then there's Gareth, the unlovable ADITL giant. I bet that non-tooth brush owning mound o' trouble eats freezer burn ice creams cones for breakfast, and citrus flavored alka-seltzer for a mid-morning aperitif. And he wonders why he doesn’t have any friends.

BUFFY: Huh! He's likable compared to Daxon, the guy in Warrior...Priestess...Tramp who flambes Leah.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Oh my goodness yes. That human trash bucket needs help in every known hygiene category, not to mention a little schooling in the development of compassion and consciousness.

BUFFY: I bet he drinks root-beer Kool-aid from unrecyclable containers.

SISSY: Buffy! You must be right! I always wondered who on Earth was drinking that headache inducing alleged potable! It must be him! Who else could it be!

BUFFY: Oh I know it's him Sissy! I heard he drinks it over sour dough ice cream!

SISSY: Yuuukkkkaaa-poo gABb...errr...Buffy...

BUFFY: But only after he's had wild Harpie wings marinated in kerosene and cooked over a trash fire for dinner.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Yea, and guess who he invites for dinner?

SISSY: Oh, I know! Dagnon, the flea-pot from Orphan of War.

BUFFY: Oh that dude with a troublesome gray complexion and bad '70's rock band hair? Yuk! He makes Unca Be-ow look like a catch.

XENA: Eeeewwww! Hope is right. All of the pig bag bad guys on my show are much worse than Unca Be-ow.

BUFFY: Oh I don't know about that. What about Ming Tein? Aside from his absolutely flawless skin, he's one of Xena's few adversaries who practices regular dental hygiene.

MR. FRECNH TOAST: Oh good point Buffy. And even though he wears his polka-dot skirt to excess, that butch brutal tyrant is no pig bag!

SISSY: Ooooo, I just love all the butches on Xena's show!

BUFFY: Oh it's true, isn't it Sissy! Nothing on the box consistently delivers a more delightful cadre of super butchy butches than XWP.

SISSY: Yea gABS...errr...Buffy, and the absolute butt kicker about that is that these deserts all wear skirts. Oh but my goddess how I do love Xena's show.

XENA: Well, by the gawds, can I officially join in your fun game of old TV let's pretend then or what?

SISSY: I guess so Xena. But you can't be Mr. French Toast.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: I know! Since Lilla...errr...Jodie has apparently expired, Xena can take her place!

XENA: Thanks for the offer French-wad, but since I have this little staying in character problem, I think I better just be myself.

SISSY: I know Xena! You can keep hanging on those shutter door things, and be a cowboy princess!

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Great! I always wanted to be a cowboy princess. And Buffy can be my cowgirl queen!

BUFFY: I'm all for it sweetie. You are unequivocally edible and undoubtedly the butchest thing in a skirt.

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Gee, thanks pumpkin.

SISSY: 'Scuse me, but could we get back to the topic here.

HOPE: I think the topic is XWP butches, Sissy. And Mother has just suggested that Xena reigns in this category.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Oh, well, my yes. You can't argue that.

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Not if you want to keep the blood flow to your brain.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Certainly dear. But you would concede, wouldn't you, that there are many fine XWPskirt wearing butches, in addition to yourself.

PURSH (speaking up before Xena has the opportunity to answer ): Ooooooo yea, Frenchy, I'm with ya on that one. Take hAres in The Bitter Suite red skeleton dress dance for one.

XENA: Hey! Get back in character Pursh.

PURSH: Sorry. But ya gotta admit that the hAre god's got it goin' in the right direction in that scene.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Oh yes, yes! His light blue, light weight, mid-calf summer skirt is just perfect. Mmmmmmmm, "Let the music of war with it's lustful refrain arouse..."

SISSY (back in character and interrupting Mr. French Toast's melodic reminiscing): Ahhhhhhh! I don't care if they put the god of war in a hairnet, faux pearl ear bobs, a pink chiffon tutu and anemic white panty-hose. He is one butch dude and that is one hot dance.

BUFFY: What about Solari? She's butch. She's buxom. She's obedient. She has long hair. She says little. Does it get better?

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Hey babe, you've had some pretty legit skirt wearing buxom butch moments yourself.

Buffy hesitates, letting Xena Cowboy Princess' compliment sink in, while clinging tenaciously to her fuzzy, over-sized purse.

SISSY: True enough, Buff! Anyone who thwacks around a strawless broomstick like you dois definetly a butch-lite with great butchy-butch potential.

BUFFY: Well, I'm not the only butch-lite on the show! What about Autolycus?

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Well, besides you dear, I'd say he's the most prominent entrant in the butch-lite category. His amazon short skirt and halter top Quest garb, and his Philipon the Reformer maxi, prove that he can wear a dress with the best of 'em! Myself included.

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: And then there's my old pal Bun-rias.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Oh yes! Soft-spoken, pretty bun-head, pony-tail boy Bun-rias. Sigh. He does the big nasty on the back of horse and under a big ol' grunting bear skin. And he is oh so gracious in revealing his delicate inner butch during his Lao Ma dinner date flirtations.

BUFFY: Plus he goes into butch daddy mode when he finds out that Xena is preggers with Solan, the hormone driven child sage.

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Well I nominate Argo for the butch team. A cowboy princess like me would be lost without a four legged butch like Argo.

BUFFY: Yea, she was really butch early on when she fought our enemies and did tricky tricks.

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Oh, and I think we better give an honorable mention to Callisto here. Her Bitter Suite slappin' hut hair is da bomb because it's so femme, and yet her demeanor is so butch. Sigh. The rage mama walks the line perfectly.

MR. FRENCH TOAST: Mmmmmm, yes, and she's certainly fetching in that softer style, with no rouge hair strands hanging in her face.

In the corner of the room, Hope sits atop Jodie's limp corpse and prepares to hurl a bomb of a spit ball at Buffy, while Unca Be-ow, who has been snacking on various house pets to stave off depression caused by Jodie's demise, makes a startling discovery.

UNCA BE-OW (to Hope): Maaaammmaaaa!?

XENA COWBOY PRINCESS: Hey, it looks like there's finally juice flowin' to Unca Be-ow's skull cavity.

SISSY: How refreshing.

Hope's eyebrows begin to twitch at Xena Cowboy Princess' unctuous remark about her blue, stick-haired infant prodigy. Xena Cowboy Princess glares at Hope unflinchingly. Buffy lightly touches Xena Cowboy Princess' arm, while Sissy nervously fidgets by poofing her Lift with her open palm.

In the next room Sissy's metal barrettes begin to shimmy and shake, as Hope's left eyebrow crests into a slowly ascending arch. Vidalis looks skyward for inspiration on how to avert the brewing conflict which is certain to offend the viewing audience, ruin his new carpets and put Sissy's styrofoam wig heads in harm's way. As he looks up his eye catches a glimpse of the room's hulking, corner-sitting grandfather clock, which reads five minutes 'til three.

VIDALIS: Kiddies! Look! It's almost time to watch I Dream of Slave Jeannie!

Vidalis skirts over to the tube and yanks at the on button with his thumb and forefinger, and TV static fills the air. Hope jumps off Jodie, deflates her eyebrows and sets down her saliva and paper product projectile. Xena Cowboy Princess and gABrielle skip toward the box and plop down in front of it, while Unca Be-ow tears off Jodie's arm for snaking purposes during the show. 35 seconds into the program gABrielle realizes that Vidalis wasn't being facetious when he tagged Jeannie as a slave girl.

gABrielle: Xena? This woman, this Jeannie, she's a slave.

XENA: Uh-huh.

gABrielle: Xena, we have to save her! Somehow...

XENA: Don't worry gABrielle I have a plan...

gABrielle: Xena do you ever get the feeling that sometimes nothing is really over. You know it just keeps coming back around, but it's wearing a different face. It's the same underneath, you know what I mean?

XENA: Sure. Before I met you television was caught in a cycle of misogynist stupidity, and no matter how hard it tried, it could never break free. This Jeannie is a prime example of that.

gABrielle: Xena, promise me...promise me, that we will free this woman...

XENA: Oh I promise all right...

c. 1998 Pursh
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