Don’t Quote Me: An Open Letter to Ilene Chaiken


In the parking lot, while trying to convince the deaf lesbian to park her car, Bette gets a call from Paris. “Will you come to France and be the Grand Pooh-Bah Mighty Highness of the Louvre, you fabulous creature?” a voice asks. But before she can answer, Bette is attacked from behind by Marina and dragged inside The Planet.

“Nobody move — I've got a bomb!” Marina says in the sultry way that only she can. Then she rips open her blouse to reveal two gorgeous breasts hugging a few sticks of dynamite.

The crowd gasps.

“Do what she says,” Bette orders, eyeing the detonator in Marina's hand. “Pretend she's me!” She turns to Marina. “What the hell do you want?”

“I want Kit to give me The Planet. She's destroyed what I once worked so hard to create,” Marina explains as she points to the stage. “No one should be forced to listen to this crap!”

“Don't f*ck with me, girl!” screams Kit. “I'm pregnant, menopausal, a widow, a has-been and an alcoholic!”

“I don't care how unbelievably overwritten your character is,” Marina tells her. “I want my old life back. I want to laugh with my friends again. I want to make out with Jenny.”

“The old Jenny is gone,” says the new transgender character. “But I'll make out with you. Wanna see my life-like penis?”

“I do!” says Tina, smirking at Bette as she walks through the front door.

Bette glares at Tina. “You! Why aren't you home thinking of ways to worship me?”

“It's a free country, Bette,” Tina answers. “You no the boss-o of me-o. Comprende?”

“Hold on,” says Shane. “If anyone is going to make out with Marina , it's going to be me.”

That's when Carmen wakes up. “I wish I knew how to quit you,” she says, scowling at Shane.

“Shut up, all of you,” Marina screams, “or I'll blow us all to bits!” And she raises the detonator high above her head.

“Wait!” Alice yells. “Are you all so selfish that you don't realize that Angus has been killed, Max has been crushed, Kit might lose her baby, Shane is miraculously disease-free, and that I am one doll away from the valley of the shadow of Neely O'Hara?

“She's right,” Carmen says. “We should all have coffee and talk about this. I'll start. Marina has nipple confidence, don't you think?”

“That's it,” Marina shrieks. “Say goodbye, you bourgeois lesbians!”

Suddenly, a bright yellow tennis ball comes flying through the door and smacks into the back of Marina's head. THWAK!

Alice gasps. “Dana?”

Marina teeters … totters … wobbles …

“She's going to fall on the detonator!” Bette screams. “Run for my life!”

Chaos ensues as everyone races toward the exits. People — especially musicians — are trampled, fires break out, bagels are looted …

Marina sways left, then right, then … KABLOOEY! … The Planet explodes.

Six months later (I know you like that part, Ilene) …

Bette, Tina, Alice, Shane, Carmen, Jenny and Kit are sitting in the newly remodeled Planet. “Isn't it great that we're all here talking about life and love … and me, just like we used to?” Bette asks with glee.

“Si. Un pequito, I guess,” Tina answers. “But it's probably your fault that all those innocent people who were in The Planet that fateful day are dead, Bette. It's certainly not mine.”

“Who?” Jenny wonders aloud. “Where?”

“Never mind,” Alice says. “Say, Jenny, how's your new, light-hearted book of humorous essays that have nothing to do with cutting, carnivals or sexual molestation coming along?”

“Great!” Jenny answers. “I love writing, I love myself, I love my life, I love …”

“OK, we get it,” Carmen tells her. “Shane, wanna go have sex somewhere for a very, very, very long time?”

“Of course,” says Shane. “But I have to cut Dana's hair first.”

“Where is Dana, anyway?” Alice asks.

“I'm right here,” Dana says as she walks through the front door with a big smile. “What's up, Al? Did you have another stupid dream that I got breast cancer and died?” She laughs.

“It's not funny, Dana. It was very real,” Alice insists.

Dana kisses Alice passionately. “What's real is that we're together, Al.” She smiles at the group. “We're all together again.”

Cue new theme song. Fade to black …

So, what do you say, Ilene? The ending is a bit Dallas-y, but work with me here. Writing with an audience in mind isn't such a bad thing after all, is it? Give me a shout when you get a second; I'd love to know what you think.

In the meantime, keep telling our stories, sister. I am — we all are — counting on you.

All the best,

Kim Ficera

Kim Ficera is the author of Sex, Lies and Stereotypes: An Unconventional Life Uncensored. Her bi-weekly column at, Don't Quote Me, is dedicated to all the folks in and out of Hollywood who talk without thinking or who don't know when to stop talking. Email her at kim at kimficera dot com.

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