The Odd Couple, Episode 8: European Vacation

Episodes 1-7 can be read HERE.

[Exterior, dusk, rural Slovakia. Tazer, Kaner and Rinky, representing the Blackhawks organization, have traveled to Slovakia to attend Marian Hossa's wedding. After flying from Chicago to Prague via London, they take a train to Trencin, Marian's hometown. From Trencin they are shuttled in a black Mercedes limousine for over an hour deep into the wooded foothills by a strangely silent chauffeur. He lets them out with their luggage in front of a ten foot tall iron gate, which is open. In the distance they see the unmistakable silhouette of a castle's parapets outlined against a blood red sunset. Without a word the chauffeur gestures them forward then gets back into the limo and drives away.]



Kaner: It's like motherfuckin' Castlevania up in here!

Tazer: Indeed. What would you say, Rinkesh, twelfth century?

Rinky: Oh, at least, sir. Possibly eleventh or even tenth. I would need to get a closer look at the masonry to be sure.

Tazer: Of course, but medieval without question.

Rinky: I had no idea Mister Hossa was a man of such means. To maintain a residence of this size-

Kaner: [Interupting] Hoss shits gold bricks.

Tazer: [Ignoring Kaner] Shall we, gentlemen?

[The group starts walking up a long narrow path, sometimes barely visible in the fading sunlight, through dense stands of centuries-old walnut and oak. The only sound they hear is a breeze rustling the treetops high above them and their own heavy breathing. By the time they reach the top of the hill they are all panting and sweating under the weight of their luggage. In front of them is an immense set of double oak doors, fifteen feet high and intricately carved.]

Tazer: [Breathing heavily, bent double with his hands on his knees] Rinky, go knock.

[Rinky approaches the huge iron knocker and just as his hand is about to touch it, the doors begin to swing silently inward.]

Rinky: I did not even touch the knocker, sirs.

Tazer: Don't worry about it, Rinkesh. Apparently we were expected.

Kaner: Hoss better have some god-damn Fiddle Faddle in there. I'm fuckin' hungry and he knows that's my snack.

[As the doors swing open, a flood of golden light pours through the threshold. They are able to make out the figure of a man standing inside an enormous entry hall but his face is obscured by the light. The floors and walls are both made of dark wood and the walls are all carved in the same intricate motif as the front doors. There are candles on the walls, along the banister of the grand marble staircase behind the man, in elaborate floor stands as well as candelabras. The man steps forward and his face becomes clear as he walks up to the trio.]

Marian: Honored teammates and guests, welcome to my humble home.

[Marian is wearing a floor length robe of crimson silk, edged in sable fur.]

Kaner: Nice robe, Hoss. Where's the bar?

Tazer: [Steps forward and shakes hands with Marian] It is lovely to see you again, old friend. On behalf of Patrick, Rinkesh, and the entire Chicago Blackhawks organization, we are honored to be invited to your home and would like to extend the heartiest of congratulations on your impending marriage.

Kaner: [To Marian] Yeah, bro, congrats. Good job. You locked down the same piece of ass for the next fifty years. You can go ahead and retire your balls now.

Marian: Thank you, Jonathan, my fiancee and I accept your congratulations with the utmost goodwill.

Kaner: Nice crib, by the way. Reminds me of the Governor's mansion from "Benson".

Marian: Oh? I do not believe I familiar with "Benson".

Kaner: [To Rinky, shocked] Dude says he never saw "Benson"!

Rinky: It's the great pity of the world, sir.

Kaner: [To Marian] C'mon Ho-dog, be straight with me. You never got "Benson" on TV in Slovakia?

Marian: No, I am afraid not. We did get re-runs of "Knight Rider" which I did not care for and "Too Close For Comfort" which I enjoyed very much. Jim J. Bullock always made me laugh.

Kaner: [With raised eyebrows] I'm pretty sure Benson could kick J.J. Bullock's ass up and down those stairs behind you all day. I don't believe you never saw "Benson"! The theme from "Knight Rider" was tight though. Doo-doo-doo-doo!

Rinky: Duh-duh-duh-duh!

Kaner and Rinky together: Da-da-da-da-DA-DA!

[Kaner and Rinky perform their complex five-step handshake with two snaps over the right shoulder]

Marian: Oh, Patrick, I almost forgot. This is for you. I knew you would want it.

[Marian reaches inside his robe and pulls out a box and tosses it to Kaner]

Kaner: Fuckin' Fiddle Faddle! BOOM!

[Holding the box of Fiddle Faddle in one hand, Kaner starts doing a hybrid Running Man/Cabbage Patch dance in the spot where's he's standing while starting to recite the opening narration from Knight Rider.]

Kaner: "Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the world of a man who does not exist..."

[Tazer ignores Kaner's antics, Rinky smiles foolishly while bobbing his head to the beat, Marian smiles benevolently.]

Kaner: "...Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law." [Stops dancing] Yeah, that's the good shit. [Opens the box of Fiddle Faddle and eats a handful.]

Tazer: [To Marian] Perhaps we should turn in, Marian. It has been a long travel day for us.

Kaner: Speak for yourself, butt-munch, I'm ready to party.

Marian: Tell me, Patrick, have you ever tried Absinthe?

Kaner: Never heard of it.

Rinky: Ah, the Green Fairy.

Marian: [Surprised] You are familiar with the beverage, sir?

Kaner: [Muttering to himself] JT's a green fairy.

Rinky: [To Marian] Am I not a Master Mixologist as certified by the London College of Mixology? I have been intimate with the mind-expanding properties of absinthe for many years now.

Marian: Indeed?

Rinky: Indeed.

Marian: Perhaps I shall prepare nightcaps for everyone then?

Rinky: Certainly.

Marian: Let us retire to the library.

[Marian leads the group through a series of much darker, damper and colder passageways until they arrive at a richly decorated room with countless books lining the shelves of three walls. A fire taller than Tazer occupies up most of the fourth wall. In one corner there is a fully stocked bar behind which Marian immediately takes up his position. Everyone else takes seats in large, comfortable chairs in front of the roaring fire.]

Marian: [Gesturing around the room] My great-grandfather, the 14th Baron, was a collector of rare books.

Kaner: [Knowingly] I went to the libary last week. They keep the old poon there.

Tazer: I thought I knew the biographies of all of my teammates. I had no idea you were of royal blood, Marian.

Marian: [Dismissively] I don't like to talk about it.  [Quickly changing the subject] What I will be serving to you gentlemen is not a traditional absinthe as most people know it. What I serve in this house, since we are in Slovakia after all, is more of what one might call wormwood bitters. It has a higher alcohol content than traditional absinthe and has been known to shall I put some people.

Rinky: Yes, it is true that the Slovakian absinthe is slightly different than what you might find elsewhere on the continent. It is an enlightening refreshment. It opens channels and corridors of the mind that you may never have known existed.

Kaner: [In a high-pitched falsetto] We gonna get hiiiiiiiiiiigh.

[Marian finishes the drinks by dissolving a sugar cube into each glass. As the sugar begins to mingle with the alcohol, the mixture takes on a glowing green hue.]

Rinky: The Green Fairy.

Marian: [Steps out from behind the bar with the glowing green glasses on a silver tray] A toast, gentlemen. To old friends!

Everyone: To old friends! [Everyone drinks]

Tazer: This is quite refreshing, Marian.

Marian: I think you will find it even more so the deeper you get into your glass.

[Fast-forward fifteen minutes. Tazer and Kaner are in a barely coherent stupor. Marian and Rinky are seemingly unaffected by the drink.]

Marian: Perhaps I should have used a weaker liquor. Although I have never known Patrick to be incapable of holding his alcohol. [Pauses then looks at Rinky] Yet for such a slight boy of no older than twelve you are the model of sobriety.

Rinky: It would take something stronger than absinthe to affect me, sir.

Marian: [With iron in his voice] I see.

Kaner: Hello, Mr. Hefner, I'm your biggest fan. It's a buffet of poon here today, sir.

Marian: The absinthe can reveal our greatest hopes, dreams and fears.

Rinky: Master Kane frequently speaks of his desire to visit the Playboy Mansion. It sounds like he's there right now.

Kaner: Oh, it's Miss April. How are you ma'am? I am about to take a trip to the moon, do you want to join me? Yes? Awesome. We're gonna have to take my go-kart, okay?

Marian: I wonder what he is seeing right now?

Rinky: Oh, I have a pretty good idea.


Kaner: Why you gotta bust my balls like that, Toad? I got a lady here! We're on our way to the moon to hump! Oh, there's that cunt, Peach. Peach! Peach! Where the fuck is my bong? You fucking stole my bong the last time I was at your place. What do you mean, "what bong?" I'm pretty sure I only have one alien head bong and you stole it, you dirty whore!

Rinky: It is just as I suspected. He is riding a go-kart to the moon via the Rainbow Road. Apparently Miss April 2010 is riding shotgun and he trying to resolve various disputes and perceived slights on the way.

Kaner: I knew it! The moon is made of green cheese! It is delicious, too. And smelly. Miss April? Miss April? Where did you go? Oh, there you are. You turned into a camel! No, I won't fuck you! Why not? You turned into a camel for fuck's sake! Who do you think I am, Crosby?

[Kaner starts to quiet down as Tazer starts speaking]

Tazer: Your Holiness, I am not worthy of this honor. You are too kind, your eminence but I am sure this is some kind of mistake. I am sure there are thousands of other people more deserving of this honor than I.

Marian: Can you decipher this as well?

Rinky: Well obviously he is in the presence of some important religious figure, the Pope perhaps?

Tazer: Your honor, I merely healed some sick people by touching them, that is all. I don't think you could actually consider those miracles, could you? Oh, you're infallible. I see. Well, if you insist on naming me the first actual living saint in the history of the Catholic Church, I guess I have no choice but to accept. Thank you very much sir. I am humbled. Ha! Look at my head, it's glowing!

Marian: [Stands up decisively, then in a thundering voice] Enough of this silliness! [Then much more quiet and menacing] You are more than you appear, boy.

Rinky: Perhaps. You are not what you appear to be either, Baron.

Marain: If you know what I am, then you know what I need. Kane and Toews were not invited here by chance.

Rinky: Yes, I know what you need.

Marian: Young blood. And I will have yours to start with.

Rinky: Just so.

Marian: You are even younger than both of them, so I shall quench my thirst by opening your supple neck first. I could never have dreamed that they would bring an innocent lamb such as yourself to my slaughter. [With a penetrating, hypnotic gaze] Come to me now young sir, so that I may sate myself on the blood of your youth.

Rinky: [Unaffected by the gaze] You think this is my first rodeo, my lord? I've seen this movie before.

[Moving with the quickness and agility of a small brown cat, Rinkesh rolls off his chair and sprints from the library. Marian unleashes a hiss of fury, then in a puff of smoke, transforms himself into a huge black bat. He flies fly down the dark corridors after the boy.]

[Back in the brightly lit Entry Hall, Rinkesh is kneeling on the floor near their luggage, working at the straps and zippers. As he is reaching into a pack, the great black bat appears and transforms back into Marian.]

Marian: My teeth are aching with desire, young slave. I long to drink your life force. So vital, so innocent.

Rinky: Not tonight, my lord. [Rinky pulls a crucifix from a pack and holds it out in front of him.]

[Marian, hovering a few inches off the ground, hisses again and grunts with pain. Nevertheless, he begins gliding forward very slowly and very deliberately despite the presence of the holy artifact.]

[Meanwhile in the library, Kaner is starting to come around]

Kaner: [Groggily shaking his head] Fucker roofied us! I knew that cock-sucker was up to no good. Fucker said he never saw "Benson"! That's big Hoss' favorite fucking show.

[Kaner goes over and shakes Tazer awake]

Kaner: [Shouting] Wake up, fairy! That ain't Hoss, that is some evil twin or some shit and he took fuckin' Rinkles!

Tazer: [Coming to and putting together the pieces from what Kaner said] I see. This is dire. Rinkesh is in great peril. We must hurry!

[Tazer and Kaner sprint from the library back down the way they originally came.]

[Back in the Entry Hall]

Rinky: You are of the oldest lines, I see. This may call for some heavier lifting than I had originally anticipated.

Marian: I yearn to split your jugular and feel your pulse die between my teeth. So young, so fresh.

Rinky: [To himself] Damn the undead scoundrel! His blood-lust is unstoppable. He has been laying in wait here since the season ended! Still, something doesn't feel right...

[Rinky quickly reaches into his pack again and this time pulls out what appears to be a dagger forged from pure silver. With a quick flick of the wrist, he sends it spinning, end over end, toward the master vampire. The dagger sinks into Marian's upper leg. With a howl of agony and fury, Marian rips the knife from his leg and continues closing in on the boy with an air of impending doom.]

Marian: I will not be denied your blood, young sir. After I have eaten your heart and slaked my thirst, you will be transformed. You will be my eternal slave and together we make a feast out of your former masters.

Tazer: [From behind Rinky and Marian] Doubtful, Marian, doubtful. The boy is ours, and you are obviously ill.

Kaner: Eat a dick, Hoss.

Rinky: Sirs! Sirs! To the Grail!

Marian: [With incandescent hatred and eternal hunger burning in his unholy eyes] I will dine on the marrow and souls of not one, but three children this night!

[Tazer and Kaner sprint past Marian. Next to Rinky, amongst their luggage, they heave out a trunk larger than the rest. Working in perfect unison they unlock all of the bolts and latches with unbelievable rapidity.]

Marian: [Now glowing with a pitch black nimbus about him and just a few feet away] What is this foolishness?!?

Rinky: You know very well, my lord. You know all too well. Now, sirs!

[With one fluid movement Tazer and Kaner hoist out Lord Stanley's Cup. As bright as the noonday sun, the perfect, unwavering silver light of a thousand champions bursts forth from the Chalice directly into the face of the immortal, undead lord.]

Tazer and Kaner: [In unison] WE ABJURE THEE!

[With that, the undead Baron's body expands slightly before contracting upon itself and imploding into a pile black ash that falls to the floor in a heap.]

Rinky: You recovered from that foul drink, just in time my lords.

Kaner: Lord Stizlle in the motherfuckin' hizzle!

Tazer: Yes, our timing was quite fortuitous.

Kaner: Fucker roofied us!

Rinky: You recovered quicker than I expected, Master Kane. You truly do have an iron constitution.

Kaner: Fuckin' A, Crinkle Cut. What are we supposed to do with this pile of shit? [Gestures towards the pile of ashes]

Tazer: The Marian we know, our friend, can still be restored if we act quickly. Rinkesh, a broom, as quick as you can.

[Rinky runs out of the room and returns a minute later with a regular kitchen broom.]

Rinky: I could not find a dustpan, sir.

Tazer: It is of no consequence. Tear apart the box and brush it onto the cardboard. [Points at Kaner's box of Fiddle Faddle.]

Kaner: Son of a bitch!

[Rinky sweeps the pile of ash onto the Fiddle Faddle cardboard]

Tazer: Now dump it into the cup.

[Rinky does that]

Tazer: [Picks up the silver knife Rinky had thrown earlier and wipes it off] We must provide some of ourselves to make this happen. [Pulls the blade across his palm, hands it to the other two, who do the same.]

Tazer: Let your blood fall into the ashes.

[As their blood pours into the bowl, a pale, pulsing light starts glowing from the heart of the ashes.]

Tazer: I call upon you, great champions of the past, to recover the lost soul of our brother, Marian.

[The ashes glow brigher until they are too bright to be looked at. Tazer, Kaner and Rinky are forced to look away. After the light subsides, they turn back and see the naked body of their friend, Marian, lying on the floor next to the Cup.]

Tazer: He is returned to us.

Marian: [Moaning and groaning] Where....where am I?

Tazer: All is well, my friend. You were lost but we have found you now. Come back to the world of the living.

Marian: [Sitting up] What happened?

Rinky: An ancient evil invaded your body. You became his host, if you will.

Marian: A Dracul?

Rinky: You know of the Dracul?

Marian: I grew up here, of course I know about them. The last thing I remember was walking my dog after must have been weeks ago...when I saw this giant black bat flying right at me.

Rinky: It happens all too frequently in this part of the world. Just be thankful we arrived when we did, with the Stanley Cup at our immediate disposal, no less. Your soul would have been lost forever, otherwise.

Marian: I must find my family and my fiancee. They must think I am dead.

Tazer: Yes, let us get out of here as quickly as possible.

Kaner: You owe me one box of Fiddle Faddle, Hoss, plus I want to stop at a 7-11 for a blue slurpee on the way back to town. You're gonna owe me for a long time on this, Boss Hogg.

Marian: Fine, we'll stop for slurpees.

Kaner: Damn right we will. I knew you weren't you right away. First of all, you said you never saw Benson. The Hoss I know loves Robert fuckin' Guiillaume like no one else I ever met. Second, who likes "Too Close For Comfort" over "Knight Rider"? That Baron fucker was some kinda spooky homo.

Marian: I do love me some "Benson".

Tazer: [To Rinky] One question for you, my friend, before we leave. How did you know to pack a crucifix and a silver dagger?

Rinky: Simple, sir. I knew we were heading for rural Slovakia. There was always a high probability of coming in touch with an undead. Simple deductive reasoning sir.

Tazer: Dearest, Rinkesh, always prepared.


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