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The 'S' Files

by Bryan A. Thompson




   The UFO


<Jerry and Elaine are on the couch, made out into a bed, covers pulled up over them, playing footsie or something, when Kramer enters>

Kramer: " - Oh, Sorry."

Jerry: "Kramer, didn't you see the clothes hanger on the doorknob? That's the sign!"

Elaine: <Pushing Jerry> "You told me that was the sign for the dry cleaners!"

Jerry: "No, I didn't - the sign for *that* is the flag up on the mailbox."

Kramer: "Are you positive?"

Jerry: "Yes! Yes, I'm sure its the sign. Its always been the sign! Its confusing, I know - the dry cleaner sign should be the big red pentagon with the 'S' in the middle - because Superman a.k.a. Clark Kent, probably has a lot of dry cleaning, what with all that changing..."

Kramer: "No, I still think that's the sign for the cleaner to pick up. Ask Elaine! In that case, I think I know why you're having trouble keeping a dry cleaner."

Jerry: "Well, what's your version of the signal for that?"

Kramer: "A handkerchief tied around the doorknob."

Jerry: "Like the musical? What kind of a stupid sign is that? Listen, as fascinating as this conversation is and all, we were *kind* of in the middle of something here..."

Elaine: "Its alright, Kramer, he was false advertising. We WEREN'T in the middle, at the beginning, or anywhere *close* to the end of anything."

Jerry: "I'm a slow starter - besides, with an ending like the swirl, you've got to start slow."

Kramer: "Sure, you weren't...Listen, Jerry, I thought we made a pact not to give her schnapps any more than absolutely necessary..."

Jerry: "I didn't - we were flipping through the channels, playing remote roulette, and it just - kinda stopped on the naked channel. I'm only human."

Kramer: "Anyway, while I've got you both here, I've got news. The 900 number people called me this afternoon. It looks like its a go!"

Elaine: "What's a *go*?"

Jerry: "He was watching the X-Files..."

Kramer: "Don't sell yourself short, Jerry, *We* were watching the X-Files."

Jerry: "What'd you have to say that for? Oh, alright, WE were watching the X-Files, when he gets the idea for this 900 number where you call, and for $4.00 a minute, you can report UFO sightings."

Elaine: "I thought that you said you didn't like that girl. You told me...And as for you, what kind of a *stupid* idea is that? You can call 911 and report them for free. I have a nephew that does it all the time - he calls twice a week and reports seeing Martians about to land on Uranus..."

Kramer: "Ah, but they won't believe you. They'll thank you, and hang up, and go and have a good laugh with their buddies and not do anything about it once you're gone."

Jerry: "And you do believe them?"

Kramer: "Got a motto and everything. Get this - 'Operators are standing by to believe you.'"

<Enter George>

George: "Hey everyone."

Jerry: "You, too? What is this, Grand Central Station?"

George: "Whaaaat? I was picking up my father's watch from the jewelry store down the block - it was originally his great grandfathers."

Kramer: "What was wrong with it?"

George: "Great great grandpa Tommy gave it to me to give to him. I think that he felt sorry for me, not having any money to get dad something. I accidentally left it in my pants, and it went through the wash. I got it fixed as a birthday present. Took every last dollar I had, too. For some reason, Grampa Tommy doesn't know that I'm stupid. I didn't want him to find out this way."

Kramer: "How old did you say he was?"

George: "Very funny."

Jerry: "Ah - excuse me - and as for you, you idiot, how could you not see that signal?"

George: "That's your signal? What are you trying to do, confuse the dry cleaner?"

Jerry: "You came up with that signal, remember?"

George: "It, uh, never caught on...eventually I changed it to the cleaners. I get a lot more use out of it that way."

Jerry: "How could you change *the signal*?"

George: "If I can make it, I can change it, Mister! What are you doing putting your signal out, anyway, your date leave when they showed up?"

<Everyone stares at George>

George: "What, she's into the menage? Oh My God, I can't believe it! Uh, Jerry - Listen, I'm going to have to owe you that $50 until payday."

Elaine <shoves Jerry again>: "You made a bet? Well, just for that, Mister, you'll never find out!"

Jerry: (In his best whiny voice) "You promised! Please?"

Elaine: "Nuh uh. No way you're profiting twice from a bet like that, Jerome."

Jerry: "What if I give up the money? What if I call off the bet? Then would you tell us?"

Elaine: "Only fifty? Seems to me that you'd pay a little more to know something so...well, so *juicy*.

Jerry: "How much we talking about, sister?"

Elaine: "Fifty each, to my favorite charity, and if you're going to call me sister again, at least let me put some clothes on first."

All: "Deal."

George: <shyly> "I'm going to have to owe you."

Elaine: <to George> "No problem, I just won't tell you."

George: "Oh, come on! I'm temporarily out of work. <Pause> I could give you my father's watch as collateral?"

<Everyone looks at George>

George: "Oh, like any one of you wouldn't do the same thing?"

Elaine: "I wouldn't...besides - what am I, a pawn shop? Do I look like I have a tattoo that says, "Money to loan?"

Jerry: <Looking under the bedspread covering he and Lainey, then back up to Elaine> "Just checking."

<Authors note - gotta be a 'three balls' joke here, someplace, but damned if I could find it>

Kramer: "You know - you can see right through that comforter - its a very loose weave."

George: <to no one in particular> "Oh yeah. You're right - no big deal."

Elaine: <Covering herself and hiding behind Jerry> "Aah! Get *OUT*!"

Kramer: "What? Its nothing that we haven't seen before...Nip."

Elaine: "I thought that I told you never to call me that!"

Kramer: "It isn't my fault that those things keep getting loose - you ought to exercise a little more control."

Elaine: "Get the *hell* out!"

<Everyone just sits there looking at each other>

Jerry: "Alright, Costello's, out you go."

Kramer: "We - ah - can't right now."

Jerry and Elaine: "Eeeeewwwww."

George: "Come on, Elaine, his birthday is next week - I'll have to pay you back before then!"

Elaine: "Yeah - well, due to recent *inflation*, the price just went up."

George: "That's not fair - I couldn't help it. It wasn't my fault! My little man has a mind of his own, and I don't see why I should be held accountable for his actions."

Jerry: "Because you are, that's why. You know, if you don't have any more control than that, maybe you should carry a book with you at all times. He was the same way when we watched 'Hee Haw' back in grade school."

Kramer: "LalalalalalaIamnotlisteningtoyoulalala" <Runs from room>

Jerry: <to Elaine> "One down, one to go - hey, maybe that's where the expression came from..."

Elaine: "I thought that you weren't impressed."

George: "I wasn't - he, on the other hand..."

George: "I'm going, I'm going." <cautiously stands, as if unsure of himself, and slowly starts to leave the room> "Thanks again for a lovely evening."

Elaine: <In her best tape recorder voice> "Come back and see me some time..."

George: <Starts to bend down and run from the room>

Elaine: <Shouting into the next room> "I forgot - you haven't got the time! Hahahahaha"

Jerry: "You know he'll never pay you back, and there are easier ways to get the time, like calling the bank, looking at the sun,...."

Elaine: "Yeah, I know, but I needed a new watch."

Jerry: "I tried to give you a watch last Christmas - you gave it back!"

Elaine: "It was too expensive. You were having trouble getting gigs, and you just bought that Cadillac for your parents. Besides, it had a *mouse* on it!"

Jerry: "It was a Seiko!"

Elaine: "I know, I know, but I had just dumped Putty, the first time, and I didn't want to send out the wrong signals."

Jerry: "With all these signals around here, you'd think that there would be a lot fewer of these <yells to others in next room> 'accidents'."

<Later - and completely dressed, as far as we know>

<George sitting on the couch, looking sheepish, with a pillow in his lap>

Elaine: <As sarcastically as she can muster> "Been a while?"

George: "'bout <gulp> five minutes."

Elaine: <Reaches for pillow to beat him upside the head>

George: "Elaine, I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Kramer: "C'mon, Lainey. Give."

Jerry: <teeth clenched> "Nobody calls her that but me."

Elaine: "And Putty. Oh! And Daddy, and Mr. Pitt..."

Jerry: "Alright, alright. Would you tell us already?"

Elaine: "There's still the matter of my - ah - fee."

Jerry: "It wasn't my fault these idiots didn't see the sign! I did my part. Mine shouldn't go up!"

Elaine: "It *should*, but it *didn't*, now, did it?"

Jerry: <Bowing head> "No, I guess not."

Elaine: "And from you two, Cashmere. Plus the watch, you...you!"

George: "You can't have the watch! Its just collateral. Till I pay you next Tuesday."

Elaine: "Whatever."

Kramer: "What a coincidence! I've got a guy can get us thirty percent off. He just started at the Jones store."

Jerry: "Smith?"

Kramer: "Yeah. I practically saved his live, Jerry, he owes me one."

Elaine: "You saved his life? What happened?"

Kramer: "I was painting a billboard across the street from his apartment, right?"

Jerry: "Wait a second, you were painting a billboard? What was it?"

Kramer: "It was a mural that tells the history of Kramerica. There's the Exxon Valdez, piled up on some rocks, and its leaking oil all over the place, and there's black gooey seals, and a beached whale, and next to the whale on the beach there's a marine biologist..."

George: <Big smile> "I posed for half a day!"

Kramer: "Yeah - and George is standing there, and he and a bunch of other people are hosing off the whale, and trying to push and pull it back into the sea. And the caption says, "Even a Marine Biologist couldn't save this whale - but Kramerica could have." Anyway, I look his apartment building was on fire, and this guy's hanging out of a window, and the flame and the smoke was coming out, and he was going to have to jump, see. So I run across the street with my ladder, climb up to the third floor, and get the guy over my shoulder, and pull him to safety. Because I was so close, we even had time to get some of his stuff out. I almost had the big screen, like the one that we got for that nice couple in the Hamptons, but dropped it in the crowd of onlookers that gathered below my ladder."

Elaine: "Wow! You're a real lifesaver! So how come we didn't see you on the nightly news?"

Kramer: "Well, the paramedics and the media got there about the same time, and I was talking to that reporter Maria, telling her what happened, and then - well, this guy comes up, and he's freaking out and says that he's the owner of the place that's on fire, and keeps going on about why's his TV smashed up on the street, on top of his mother-in-law, no less. Well, I told Maria that it must've been his father I rescued, and it turns out that his father had been dead for over three years, and that the guy in the apartment had been a burglar, and Channel 6, in its infinite wisdom, decided that assisting in the rescue of a felon wasn't newsworthy and instead they ran a bunch of pictures of the TV with the mother-in-law's feet sticking out from under the screen. He was really pissed about the TV, too. The police took the guy into custody, and yelled at me for helping him to almost escape. Only in New York!"

Jerry: "Well, I guess there really isn't any place like home."

Kramer: "Anyway, it turns out that Mrs. Smith, the guy's wife, was so grateful that I didn't let the guy that dropped the TV on 'Mom' get away that she got Mr. Smith to give me a lifetime discount on any purchase at the Jones Store."

Elaine: "Mr. *Smith* offered you a discount at the *Jones* Store? If the cashmere says 'Always Save' on it, the deals off. And I wanna see the receipt this time."

Kramer: "Oh, don't worry. I'll do the shopping this time, right Georgie boy? When that commercial plays next Sunday during the 'X-Files,' we'll be rolling in the dough, brother. And don't think I'll forget my friends after I'm wealthy, either, I'm gonna stay the same person I've always been."

Jerry: "Well, I guess that's true - hey, that reminds me - how will you know when you've finally retired, Kramer? What is it like? One day you just get a Social Security check in the mail? What, do they stop letting you pay full price at Denny's? How will you know?

Kramer: "Oh, I'll know. Wait a minute, Jerry - I haven't got a first born son! Who'll inherit all this when I go? Who'll be left to carry on the Kramerica Empire? Nobody, that's who. My world's crumbling, Jerry!"

<Kramer freaks and runs out of the room>

Jerry: "He's probably going after the cashmere - don't you think you should follow him?"

George: "Kramah! Kramah! Wait for meeee!" <Runs after Kramer>


<Next Week, the gang, sans Kramer, is gathered around the TV to watch the first of the UFOmercials>

Elaine: <Elaine enters, wearing a new cashmere coat, doing the twirly thing> "Looky what I got in the mail, today!"

George: "Wow! Is that - "

Elaine: "Yup, its cashmere. Along with a note that said that the deal just got bigger. That's all he said."

Jerry: "Where do you think he is, anyway?"

George: "I don't know. I followed him as far as the Staten Island Ferry. It was just leaving, and he jumped and landed alright, so I tried it, but a bum tripped me and I landed on my butt on the pier. By the time that I made it onto the next one, he was nowhere to be found."

Jerry: "Did it occur to you that its an *island*? That he'd have to come back on the ferry *some* time?"

George: "I was shaken up from the fall. I lost my glasses, and then people started to put change into my hood, and then I went home. So, uh, listen, Lainey, we lived up to our part, I think its your *move*."

Elaine: "Yeah. Kramer lived up to your part. You just won the lottery, Mister. I don't even think that I should tell you with him gone and all..."

George: "Pllleeeeeassse!"

Elaine: "No."

George: "Aw, come on. You got yours, now I want mine."

Elaine: "I told you already. No."

George: "I don't get it."

Elaine: "I'm *NOT* a *Lesbian*! I'm not into the menage!"

George: "You don't have to be a lesbian to be into the menage, if you get my drift."

Elaine: <Thinks for a second> "Eeewww."

Jerry: "Okay, you're officially out of the 'guy's' club. Turn in your badge and gun at the desk out front."

George: "That isn't what I meant, although...No. What I meant is that you don't have to be a lesbian. Susan told me. To be a lesbian, you have to prefer women to men."

Elaine: "That isn't what they taught us in health class. They said one time and you're hooked. Just like weed."

George: "Weed?"

Elaine: "Yeah, weed. You got a problem with weed?"

George: "No weed problem, just sounds a bit 'dated', that's all."

Elaine: "A lesson in drug nomenclature, I'm getting from you. Oy."

George: "Believe me, sister, you can take it or leave it. It isn't like weed. Susan converted back, you know."

Elaine: "Ah, George, this is kind of a sensitive topic for you, what with the Susan foundation and all, but while you were engaged, she, ah, well, she made a pass at me. Two, actually. At first, I thought the incident with the popcorn at the movies was an accident."

George: "I can't believe this!"

Jerry: "Its true, George, she converted me out of two girlfriends. She's like a Jehovah's Witness but for lesbians. The only thing missing is the bicycle built for two."

<From the TV>

"Did you see that?"


"What you think it is?"

"Dunno. Think we should tell somebody about it?"

"Naw, they never listen, anyway. Best thing to do's just let it have that cow."

"The *Hell* I will! That cow cost two hunderd dollars! I'm calling the UFO hotline!"

TV Narrator: "For only $3.95 a minute, an agent will take your statement, place it in our databases, compare it to other reported incidents, prepare a grammatically correct report, and forward it to the appropriate authorities within 24 hrs of the sighting. Don't delay, call (900) I-SAW-IT-2. Operators are standing by to believe *you*."

Elaine: "Oh, My God. How tacky was that? Grammatically correct?"

Jerry: "Database?"

George: "Agent? What's he going to do, hire Newman?"

<Ominous knock at the door>

Jerry: "Newman!"

<Jerry opens the door>

Jerry: "Newman!"

Newman: "Hello, Jerry. Did you see the commercial?"

Jerry: "Yeah, we saw it."

Newman: "Kramer just called - he was in California."

All: "California?"

Newman: "Yeah. He was talking to the bigwigs at Fox. The people that produce the 'X-Files' are interested in buying the rights to the stories that people call in to him. Must be running low on ideas."

Jerry: "This whole idea seems a little far-fetched to me. I mean, he's not even home to answer the phones! What kind of person runs a nationwide commercial and then doesn't answer the phone? Its Crazy!"

Newman: "Crazy like a Fox!"

Jerry: "You mean you think its a good idea?"

Newman: "Well - there's something that I really should tell you. Its so trivial that I hesitate to even bring it up..."

Jerry: "Well, then why don't you..."

Newman: "Okay, you talked me into it - the meet with Fox was so sudden and all, that he - he had me forward his phone to your number. Now if you'll excuse me, I really must be leaving-"

Jerry: "Hold it, *mailman*. How come he didn't forward it to you?"

Newman: "I *have* a day job. But he figures that at least one of you is here virtually around the clock. He said you'd really be doing him a solid. He'll owe you big."

Jerry: "You mean bigger. I'll put it on his tab."

Newman: "He asked you to change your answering machine message to reflect the 'spirit' of the UFOmercial."

Jerry: "Oh, don't worry."

<Phone rings - everyone stares at it>

Elaine: <Pointing at George> "You get it!"

George: "Why me? I don't even know what a database is! He's the one with the computer!" <Points to Jerry> "Besides, its his phone."

<Other phone starts ringing>

George: "Its practically your apartment. I'm waiting for the day when you move in."

Elaine: "Nice, George, real nice."

Elaine: <To the telephone> "Hotline. Let me have it."

<lots of time passes, they're taking lots of calls, etc.>

Jerry: "Finally. Three hours of calls from that one commercial. That's over $1200!"

Elaine: "Wait till the Thanksgiving Day parade. All those balloons, one's bound to get loose. Over 10 million people, that should keep you busy for a while."

Jerry: "Me? You're not leaving, are you?" <Ring> "Wait a second."

Jerry: <talking to a customer> "You again - look, if the UFO was shaped like a saucer, had flashing lights and the name of the town painted on the side, its probably *not* coming to kidnap your grandkids..."

Customer: "Hey, I thought that operators were standing by to believe me."

Jerry: "Well, when they do, you'll be the first to know."

Elaine: "Hey, listen to this - I got a date!"

Jerry: "From one of the UFO guys?"

Elaine: "No. Eeewww. No, he was calling (900) I-PAY-4-IT and misdialed."

Jerry: "Hey, I know that number - that's the place where Cosmo's girlfriend used to work."

Elaine: "She quit?"

Jerry: "Nah, but *George* just couldn't get her out of his head. He kept calling her, and then when he couldn't pay the bill, they thought that they were personal calls, and fired her."

Elaine: "That's too bad. Well, I gotta go get ready."

Jerry: "You're still going out with him? A guy that resorted to calling phone sex? That's the ultimate sign that you've given up on life, or that there is nothing more for you to buy. The only gift to get someone that has everything is a gift certificate for that."


Elaine: <To the caller> "What'd you see?"

Caller: <Voice of Frank Costanza> "Where the hell is my watch, you hussie?"

Elaine: "Excuse me?"

Caller: "This is Frank Costanza. I said, where the hell is my watch?"

Elaine: "I - I have it, Mr. Costanza - George gave it to me last week for collateral."

Frank Costanza: "What do you mean, collateral? What collateral? Who'd possibly loan that idiot anything?"

Elaine: "Well, Frank, its like this. He gave it to me so that I'd talk dirty to him."

Frank Costanza: "Talk dirty to him. That's just what the phone company said when I complained about the last phone bill. Well, I didn't believe them, and I don't believe you!"

Elaine: "I'm afraid its true, Mr Costanza."

Frank Costanza: "What did you tell him?"

Elaine: "Excuse me?"

Frank Costanza: "I said, what'd you tell him?"

Elaine: "I'm not going to tell you that!"

Frank Costanza: "Why not? I'm paying $3.99 a minute, I thought that was why."

Elaine: "Why didn't you just call the apartment? Its a local call?"

<Covering the mouthpiece> "Like father, like son."

Elaine: "I told him that I wasn't into the menage."

Frank Costanza: "You sure?"

Elaine: "Pretty sure."

Frank Costanza: "Damn it. He bet me $50 that you weren't. I lost." <Hangs up>

Elaine: "That was your daddy. He wants his watch back."

George: "You got the cashmere - give me the watch, and I'll give it to him."

Elaine: "I kinda like it."

George: "What?"

Elaine: "Its part of the new 'Eclectic Elaine' look."

George: "It was my great great grandfather's watch."

Elaine: "I've got an idea." <Calls Frank Costanza> "Mr Costanza? Listen - I've got a deal for you. You owe George $50. He owes me $50. I've got your watch. How 'bout we call it even?"

Frank Costanza: "We both know that's the only way we'll ever see a nickel out of the bum. You've got a deal."

<The End>

[Authors Comment: Inspired by a particularly bad episode of the X Files. I'm not a big enough fan to remember exactly which one, might as well be all of them for all I care. As for the title, I thought that the main focus would be the 900 number - still may for all I know - anyway, a better title might be 'Mixed Signals', or maybe even, 'The Girl, the Gold Watch and Not very much else". This was also the first of the rip-off stories. In mine, the gang jokes about Kramer retiring and not changing a bit. In Jerry's, he retires to Del Boca Vista, and Jerry jokes about how he should have something to retire from.]

[Note:  If you've seen one, click here]


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