Five-Minute Average Joe

by Zeke

Host: Hi there, all you boys and girls in La-La Land. I'm Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, but you can call me Frankie, or Lorne if you want me to answer. Have we got a show for you tonight!
Audience Member: Hey, why are you hosting this? Doesn't Average Joe have a real host?
Host: To know that, babe, wouldn't you have to actually watch Average Joe? (gestures to the drummer)
Drummer: BA-DUM BOOM
Host: And if what the friendly folks in the grapevine say is true, watching it even once means kissing your soul goodbye. That's a pretty bad idea for at least one guy I know.
Audience Member: So should we be, I dunno, running or covering our eyes or something?
Host: You wound me, sugarpie! This is my version. Totally soul-safe, guaranteed. You see... can you bring it down a notch, Jimmy?
(quieter music plays)
Host: We live in a big, wonderful genre full of demons and spaceships and blatant defiance of the laws of physics. It runs on antimatter and ketracel white -- and love. So tonight, kiddies, we're gonna make our own little contribution to the big, beating heart of romance that keeps science fiction real. We're gonna find a big ol' hero of a man for this lovely lady here.
Beka Valentine: I'm flattered, really, but I don't need --
Host: Honey, I've watched your show. You need all the help you can get.

Host: Here's how it's gonna work, guys and dolls: Each of the eight manly-man contestants gets a date with the heroine, and she picks four to go to the next round. The two who make it through that round are into the finals.
Audience Member: Manly men? Isn't this supposed to be Average Joe?
Host: Nitpickers never prosper, baby, but I'll tell you anyway: we decided for this version we'd choose based on "Joe," not "Average."
Audience Member: You found eight Joes in science fiction?
Host: My little candy apple, if you can find eight Joes in science fiction, I'll sit my @$$ back and let you host! But we got as close as we could.
Beka: Isn't this a pretty arbitrary restriction on my playing field?
Host: Go date, Beka babe. I promise you'll like 'em. And if you don't, you get to kill as many as you want.
Contestants: WHAT?
Beka: Score!

Joe: And so, after 22 years, we finally got back to the Alpha Quadrant, thanks almost entirely to my medical acumen.
Beka: That's quite a story, Doctor. So why did you decide to go by Joe?
Joe: Oh, my wife suggested it.
Beka: You're married? Why did they make you a contestant if you're married?
Joe: That's how desperate they were to find someone named Joe. Anyway, it's not necessarily an obstacle. I'm always looking for a better substitute.
Beka: Substitute? What do you --
Joe: You can change your hair colour, right? Can you make it blonde?
Beka: Sure, but --
Joe: Would you mind trying on this dermaplastic garment?

Beka: You're very charming, Mr. Sisko, but I think you're a little old for me.
Joseph Sisko: We'll see if you feel that way after you've tried my shrimp Creole. Have you ever been to New Orleans?
Beka: Um... Earth isn't in great shape where I'm from.
Sisko: All the more reason to come visit my café. Wait till I show you where our chili powder comes from!

Joe Carey: And while I'm not Voyager's chief engineer anymore, I still like to pretend I am.
Beka: Another married Voyager character... they were desperate to find Joes.
Carey: I'm just happy to get the airtime. I never seem to appear except in flashbacks these days. But hey, at least that means they can't kill me, right?

Beka: So the not-quite-Joes begin, eh?
John Sheridan: They're doing the best they can. That's all that can be asked of any of us, really. And if we all pull together and --
Beka: Okay, okay. Let's skip the sermon.
Sheridan: Yes, you're right. None of us has the right to force his opinion on others. No matter how powerful you are, it's not your business to decide how other beings or races will live their -- GAK!
Beka: Oh, thank God. I mean... will he be okay?
Host: Don't worry, sugarplum. Every few minutes or so he pulls a Jennifer Love Hewitt's career and dies. You just need to kick him like so until he --
Sheridan: Independence! Morals and right and wrong and... where was I?
Host: Dead.
Sheridan: Oh, good. Nothing serious.

Porthos: Ruff!
Beka: He's so cute! What breed is he?
Jon Archer: I don't know if we should be having a conversation that's not about the Xindi.
Beka: Oh, you need to loosen up a bit. This is supposed to be a date. Let's do something fun.
Archer: Hmm... okay. Game of water polo?
Beka: Is that the one with the horses?
Archer: Only if you're playing West Luna rules.

Beka: Wow. I can actually feel the angst radiating off you.
John Crichton: Are you working for Scorpius?
Beka: What? No. Who's Scorpius?
Crichton: Psycho Goth bastard who's stalking me. Everything that happens to me involves him somehow. He's always watching me, waiting to make his move....
Beka: Don't you think you're being a little paranoid?
Scorpius: (under the table) Actually, John's concerns are quite sensible.

Beka: So you work for the government?
John Doggett: Yep. I investigate the really crazy cases that seem to involve aliens and time travel and that kind of nonsense.
Beka: You know, I live on a spaceship.
Doggett: Sure you do, ma'am. Sure you do.

Tyr Anasazi: Hello.
Beka: What the--? You're not even close to a Joe!
Host: That's true, kitty cat, but we just couldn't say no to Mr. Ubermenschen here. Just ask the two casting directors who tried. Of course, you'll need a resurrection spell....
Tyr: I would like to make it to the final four, if you don't mind.
Beka: Put that stupid force lance down, Tyr. Why don't you ever just ask?
Tyr: I find that my requests are given higher priority when they are emphasized with armaments.

Host: It's always bittersweet saying goodbye to contestants. We must now bid a fond farewell to Dr. Joe, Agent Doggett, Lieutenant Carey, and Mr. Sisko.
Beka: Bye, guys. Nothing personal, you just suck.
Host: The next round will be a little something we call Wheel of Jeopardy. Each contestant will spin this big wheel and give a question to the romance-related answer it lands on. Beka will decide which two did the best.
Beka: Aren't you going to say "sugarplums" or "sweetie pies" or something?
Host: Even I take breaks.

Wheel: (SPIN)
Beka: "In the closet."
Crichton: Scorpius is hiding there, isn't he? Isn't he?
Scorpius: (from the closet) Don't be ridiculous, John.
Host: Sorry, muffin. Beka's actual question was -- oh. Let's just move on, shall we?

Wheel: (SPIN)
Beka: "The beach."
Archer: Where would be a good place to walk the dog together?
Host: Nicely done, Romeo!
Archer: Also, where might we look for clues to the location of the Xindi weapon?
Beka: You're lucky I find obsessiveness kind of attractive.

Wheel: (SPIN)
Beka: "Candlelight dinners, chocolate truffles, and galactic peace."
Sheridan: Um... what are three noun-adjective pairs?
Host: Come on, that was an easy one. It was "What do you want?"
Sheridan: Never ask that question.

Wheel: (SPIN... BLAM)
Host: Hey! That wheel didn't come cheap!
Tyr: I weep for you.

Beka: Okay, I've chosen the final two: Archer and (sigh) Tyr. Who should put the stupid force lance down already!
Tyr: I am unswayed.
Host: Congratulations, big boys! Time for the big finale. In the finest tradition of romance through the ages, you kids are gonna fight it out.
Archer: Without weapons, right?
Tyr: You may take the force lance from my cold, dead hands.
Host: Relax -- I don't know anybody willing to try it, and I know vampires. But the captain here gets one too, and just to keep things interesting, no firing them, okay?
Tyr: I would not deprive myself of the pleasure by ending the fight that quickly.
Host: That's... generous of you.

Starting Bell: DING
Beka: Poor Jon. Wait, why isn't he hitting back? Does he enjoy --
Host: Ouch! Down he goes. Looks like steroid-boy is the champion.
Angel: I thought I was --
Host: You know what I mean, Angelcakes.
Tyr: Captain Archer is thoroughly defeated. I am the victor, and as such, I claim --
Host: Almost, baby. All you have to do is beat the surprise challenger!
Tyr: Surprise challenger? I heard of no -- (KLONK)
Jim Kirk: Surprise.
Beka: Ooooo. That was very impressive.
Kirk: (puts arm around Beka) The impressing has just begun. I know the most enticing beach on Darius XI....

Host: And so, as our happy couple heads off to enjoy an all-expenses-paid week together, don't you feel a sense of accomplishment? We've added a little more love to this silly old multiverse, and every little bit counts. So I leave you with this final song, sung by a very good friend of mine....
Angel: Wise men say... only fools rush in... but I can't helllllp falling in lllllove with you....
Audience Members: (screaming, running, throwing of chairs)
Host: Always a crowd-pleaser, plum pudding. And always the best way to clear everyone out of Caritas by closing time.
(Beka and Kirk head off in the Shuttle of Love at Ludicrous Speed)


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___ Five-Minute Average Joe

This fiver was originally published on April 5, 2004.

DISCLAIMER: It's April, fool.

All material © 2004, Colin Hayman.