#179 – This is the Life (part two)

Algus: “I’d rather eat my words than your cancerous cereal.”

Originally Published: 6/25/06 . 19 pages

Synopsis
Zidane’s spending is almost out of control. Will his new investment prove to be a good move?

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

I had a bit of difficulty naming this ramble. When I was looking for a montage song, This Is the Life was suggested to me and I thought it also made a fitting title. The quote above is also one of my favorite lines from a ramble ever. Algus is a very funny character because his perspective on things is so skewed. But he can even be funny when he’s just telling it like it is.

(one week later… guess what? it’s time for a montage! yay! everybody loves a montage! this montage features lyrics from the weird al yankovic song “this is the life”)

(there’s zidane in the tv room, watching blind date and laughing. he’s smoking a cigar and using algus…to put his feet up on. algus, as you would assume, does not look the least bit amused.)

I eat filet mignon seven times a day

My bathtub’s filled with Perrier

What can I say

This is the life

(we have kuja straightening out some new clothes he has just dressed zidane in. zidane looks tanner and his hair has been cut shorter and has darker blonde highlights in it. he smiles at himself in the mirror. kuja has him wearing jeans, a blue button down shirt and a black sports jacket. algus is in the background glaring at them. when kuja is done fixing the clothes he puts his hand out. zidane reaches into his pocket, pulls out a wad of cash and hands it to him. everybody’s smiling…except algus.)

I buy a dozen cars when I’m in the mood

I hire somebody to chew my food

I’m an upwardly mobile dude

This is the life

(outside the ramble room zidane is showing off the new bentley he just purchased to rufus, edgar and setzer. they’re all admiring it, nodding in approval while zidane stands there looking smug. algus sits on the porch steps looking glum and glaring at zidane again. when they’re done looking at the car, the other guys come over and congratulate zidane, patting him on the back.)

They say that money corrupts you

But I can’t really tell

I got the whole world at my feet

And I think it’s pretty swell

(zidane has put money all over his new bed, and he’s rolling in it, kissing it, and just throwing it up in the air. algus walks into the room, sees him, shakes his head, and walks out.)

I got women lined up outside my door

They’ve been waitin’ there since the week before

Who could ask for more

This is the life

(zidane is at the strip club taking bill after bill out of his pocket and handing it to a smiling gippal. algus sits at the bar a hand to his head in dismay. when zidane is finally finished handing out the money he gives gippal a smile and a pat on the behind before leaning back in his seat, hands behind his head, smiling pompously.)

You’re dead for a real long time

You just can’t prevent it

So if money can’t buy happiness

I guess I’ll have to rent it

(edgar and setzer are walking down the hallway when they hear sobbing coming from the ramble room. they peek inside to find algus sitting there, cutting holes in the back of all zidane’s new designer pants, to make room for his tail. edgar and setzer look at one another and slowly shake their heads.)

Yeah, every day I make the front page news

No time to pay my dues

I got a million pairs of shoes

This is the life

(kuja and zidane are in front of the mirror again. zidane is modeling a pair of shoes that look to be made of gold. he’s not sure if he likes them or not. there are many pairs of equally expensive shoes lying discarded nearby. kuja sighs looking annoyed. algus is in the background shaking his head. zidane finally shakes his head no. kuja goes to speak but zidane takes money out of his pocket and flings it at him. kuja gathers up the money and goes off for another pair of shoes.)

I got a solid gold Cadillac

I make a fortune while I sleep

You can tell I’m a living legend

Not some ordinary creep

(zidane is at a mafia meeting in the tv room. they’re all going over some kind of paperwork for the new cruise ship. zidane is talking and pointing to stuff like he knows what he’s talking about. everyone is listening to him. algus is outside the tv room window watching him with a death glare.)

No way, I’m the boss, the big cheese

Yeah, I got this town on its knobby little knees

And I can do just what I please

This is the life

(zidane pulls up in his new car right across the grass in the front yard, leaving tire marks. he gets out of the car and Brady comes over looking annoyed. zidane just walks on by, tossing some money back at him as he does so. Brady shrugs and takes the money.)

That’s right, I’m the king, number one

I buy monographed Kleenex by the ton

(zidane is out shopping. a weary algus stands by as the clerk rings up 20,000 worth of merchandise. zidane doesn’t blink an eye. he just whips out a credit card and flashes a smile.)

I pay the bills, I call the shots

I grease the palms, I buy the yachts

(zidane, rufus, edgar and setzer are all standing with a small replica of the soon to be built cruise ship, smoking cigars and laughing pompously together and congratulating themselves.)

One thing I can guarantee

The best things in life, they sure ain’t free

(zidane is standing by algus’s country estate, shaking the hand of a man in work overalls. as we pan out we can see that a huge roller coaster has been put up in the yard. zidane jumps up, both fists in the air, shouting ‘whoo hoo!’)

It’s such a thrill just to be me

This is the life

(zidane sits in the pool on a float, wearing expensive sunglasses and sipping a tropical drink while algus unhappily pushes him around. zidane kicks his foot in the water, splashing algus in the face. he laughs.)

Waah, this is the life

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, lark and Brady are on the porch swing. Brady is counting money)

Lark: “They say that money changes people, and boy, it sure has changed Zidane.”

Brady: *smiling* “Yeah! He’s dropping money everywhere!”

Lark: “Brady! Look what he did to the front lawn!”

Brady: “Yeah, but…money.”

Lark: “Give me that!” *snatches money* “Ooh. This is a lot.”

Brady: “Hey… I’ve been thinking… You know how our wedding in the real world is coming up soon?”

Lark: “Yeah…”

Brady: “Well, I think we should get married here too.”

Lark: “Really? I mean I was thinking that too, but I’m surprised you’d bring it up.”

Brady: “Well, maybe if they saw us get married, some of the guys would back off.”

Lark: “I don’t think that’s gonna stop Irvine.”

Brady: “All he does is stare at your chest!”

Lark: “I’ve learned to live with it. But anyway, yeah, I definitely think we should do it!”

(they kiss. irvine comes outside. he stops and smiles at lark)

Irvine: “Hey there, good lookin’! Wanna go take a stroll with me?”

Brady: *clears throat glaring at him*

Irvine: “Man, you need a cough drop or something?”

Brady: *gives lark a look*

Lark: *shrugs* “Some things never change.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(rufus is in the ramble room adjusting mr. jingles’ hat when edgar and setzer come in)

Setzer: “Rufus, have you talked to Algus lately?”

Rufus: “Who?”

Setzer: “Algus? Your *friend*?”

Edgar: “I believe you already got the answer to your question, dear. Er…I mean dude.”

Setzer: *rolls eyes* “Whatever. Anyway, Edgar and I saw him crying the other day.”

Rufus: “I would be crying too if I was him!”

Setzer: “Maybe you should talk to him.”

Rufus: *shakes head* “Oh, Setzer, Setzer, Setzer. We all miss Algus. But he’ll always be alive in our hearts!”

Setzer: “You unbelievable—“

(but before setzer can say something nasty to rufus, zidane enters with algus, smiling widely)

Zidane: “Hello fellow rich people! We gonna burn some more money today?”

Rufus: “Sorry, Zidane. We only do that twice a week now.”

Edgar: “Are those new shoes?”

Zidane: “Yup! There are diamonds on the bottom! So I’m walking on money all the time!”

Rufus: *frowns* “How come I don’t have those?”

Zidane: “My personal shopper got them for me.”

Setzer: “Personal shopper?”

Zidane: “Yeah! Kuja! He’s the best.”

Edgar: “You do look fabulous.”

Zidane: “Some of the best money I’ve spent! And trust me, I’ve spent lots of it! I even had sheets made of money!”

Setzer: “*Sheets*?”

Zidane: “Yeah! So that way I could sleep on money!”

Rufus: “Even I haven’t done that.”

Edgar: “Well…you’re living quite the extravagant lifestyle.”

Zidane: “Well I deserve it! ‘Cause I’m rich! Anyway, all the shopping I did this morning wore me out. Think I’ll go take a nap on my new sheets. See ya!”

(he leaves. algus sighs sadly and follows)

Setzer: “Poor Algus.”

Rufus: “May he rest in peace.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, in loser land…)

Kuja: “Ugh. Zidane is driving me insane.”

Seymour: “How can you complain? You just came back from a 10,000 dollar spa day you bought yourself with the money he’s been paying you!”

Kuja: “…So? He’s still a diva.”

Nida: “He can’t be a diva! Divas are girls!”

Scarlet: “And don’t you consider yourself a diva?”

Kuja: “But the difference is that he’s a wanna be.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! I’m totally lost!”

Hojo: “You have been spending an awful lot of time working lately, muffin cakes. I’m surprised, considering you don’t like to use your hands.”

Kuja: “I know, but handling expensive fabrics doesn’t really cause calluses. And besides, I’ve been treating myself to regular manicures.”

Scarlet: “Where do you gets yours done? Because I keep getting nail fungus.”

Kuja: *grimace* “Nowhere you can afford.”

Nida: “Is he looking to hire anyone else for anything? ‘Cause there’s lots of stuff I can do and I’m looking to earn some extra cash!”

Kuja: “If he needs a human punching bag I’ll let you know.”

Nida: “Heeeeey! Maybe he needs a driver! I could be a driver!”

Heidegger: “I could be a food taster! Gya haa haa!”

Seymour: “You would just eat the food.”

Heidegger: “Definitely! Gya haa haa!”

Kuja: “Zidane’s not hiring any of you freaks. Shut up.” *then his cell phone starts ringing to ‘dancing queen’ by abba* “Oh god.” *sigh* “It’s Zidane. Hold on.” *answers* “Yeah? ………..Uh, no. That’s a job for your slave, not me. ………No, you’re a bitch. I’m hanging up now.” *hangs up and sighs* “God, he wanted me to polish his diamond soled shoes for him. As *if*.”

Seymour: “I’m sorry, did you say diamond soled shoes?”

Kuja: “I know. He can’t really pull them off. But I couldn’t talk him out of them.”

Nida: “I wanna sue someone to get money! Who could I sue?”

Hojo: “Don’t look at me! I haven’t touched you and I have the video tape to prove it!”

Kefka: *peaks up from over the couch* “Crackers!” *cackles and disappears*

Everyone: *looks terrified*

Scarlet: “…Was he there the whole time?”

Hojo: *rocking back and forth* “Can’t sleep…the clown will eat me…can’t sleep…the clown will eat me…”

Seymour: “…I think the real question is…do we really wanna know?”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, zidane is heading to his room. there’s a large packet leaning against the door.)

Zidane: “Ooh! That must be my investment info! Awesome!”

(he picks it up and he and algus go inside)

Algus: “What investment? The cruise ship that was *my* idea?”

Zidane: “No, not that stupid idea. The cereal company! I bought out someone at the singles mixer last week.” *starts to open packet*

Algus: “A cereal company?” *pours himself a glass of water* “How juvenile. Is there a cartoon character on the box?” *takes a sip*

Zidane: *still opening packet* “I don’t know! But it’s called Asbest O’s!”

Algus: *coughs and chokes on the water* “…I’m sorry, *what* is it called?!”

Zidane: “Asbest O’s! Sounds kind of like a space cereal, doesn’t it?”

Algus: *has a small smile on his face that grows and grows until he starts laughing*

Zidane: *frowns* “What’s so funny?”

Algus: “Zidane, do you have any idea what asbestos is?”

Zidane: “…No.”

Algus: “It’s a fiber used to make things fire proof or improve insulation. Ringing any bells?”

Zidane: “No.”

Algus: “Oh! How marvelous for you then! Because asbestos is actually very dangerous! And people who breathe it in over long periods of time get very ill.”

Zidane: *paling*

Algus: “Yes! It has a disease named after it and everything!”

Zidane: *pales further*

Algus: “Oh, or it can cause cancer.”

Zidane: *pales even more*

Algus: “What a splendid name for a cereal. You are a business *genius*!”

Zidane: *fumbling to open the envelope* “No! You’re lying!”

Algus: “If I was lying, it wouldn’t be as fun.”

Zidane: “You’re gonna see the great pictures of the land the ingredients are grown on, and you’re going to eat your words!”

Algus: “I’d rather eat my words than your cancerous cereal.”

(zidane finally tears open the envelope and pulls everything out. it includes several photos…of desert. he stops dead. algus starts laughing)

Algus: “Oh! Lovely! Maybe you should change the name to ‘Sand Adventure’ cereal!”

Zidane: *jaw hanging open* “There are no fields here are all! There isn’t even a tree! There isn’t even a rock! It’s just desert!”

Algus: “What a wise investor you are, Zidane. I’m ever so jealous of your street smarts. Tell me, would you trade them for my business school degrees?”

Zidane: *hands to his head* “Oh my god! I’m ruined! Ruined!”

Algus: “I wish, but I doubt it. How much did you invest in this dead end?”

Zidane: “500 million dollars!”

Algus: *blink blink* “…I’m sorry *what*?!”

Zidane: *turns to him eyes wide* “500 million dollars! And I signed a contract! If I don’t pay up, I’m gonna go to jail!”

Algus: *grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him* “You fool! Don’t you know you never buy something before you look at it!” *releases him* “Ah! You deserve it!”

Zidane: “What am I gonna do?!

Algus: “Are you the praying kind, Zidane?”

Zidane: “No.”

Algus: “Then I suggest you start.”

(and with that algus leaves the room.)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, tseng is walking down the hallway with reeve)

Tseng: “Hey, Reeve, did you notice anything weird with Rufus and Elena lately?”

Reeve: “No. Why?”

Tseng: “Nothing weird? You haven’t noticed that he really likes to take care of Lily all of the sudden?”

Reeve: “I think Rufus just likes kids.”

(tseng stops walking and he grabs reeve’s arm forcing him to stop)

Tseng: “Reeve, are you serious? You really haven’t noticed anything?”

Reeve: “I haven’t noticed anything, Tseng. Are you okay? You seem like you’re on edge lately.”

(tseng grabs reeve by the shoulders and kisses him.)

Reeve: *with a confused smile* “…What was that for?”

Tseng: “What?”

Reeve: “You’re just randomly kissing me in the middle of the hallway now?”

Tseng: “Why not?”

Reeve: *touches his cheek* “You’re cute. I have to go. I’ll see you later.”

(reeve rushes off. tseng sighs sadly. then rufus comes over, all smiles)

Rufus: “Hey, Tseng! What’s going on?”

Tseng: *frowns* “Rufus… Hey, can I talk to you a second?”

Rufus: “Do you want a raise?”

Tseng: “No.”

Rufus: “Then what’s up?”

Tseng: “…You know, you don’t have to concern yourself so much with watching Lily. I’m her dad. I can handle it.”

Rufus: “It’s okay! I don’t mind!”

Tseng: “I mean I think it’s great that you like her so much, but I think Elena is starting to think you have a thing for her or something.”

Rufus: *frowns* “She does?”

Tseng: “Well, you are paying a lot of extra attention to her. I just don’t think that’s good. You’re our boss.”

Rufus: *defensively* “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Tseng: “Kind of defensive, for someone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about.”

Rufus: “I have somewhere to be.” *glares and stomps away*

Tseng: “Argh!”

(he storms out onto the porch. there he sees sephiroth staring into the tv room window so intensely he doesn’t even notice tseng)

Sephiroth: *mutters* “You bastard… Don’t you dare… Don’t you—“ *turns red* “That’s it!” *he turns to go inside but tseng is in his way*

Tseng: “What are you doing?”

Sephiroth: “None of your business!”

Tseng: “Who are you spying on– Vincent and Auron?”

Sephiroth: *punches his fist into his palm* “I’m gonna break his face in! Move!”

Tseng: *doesn’t move* “Knock it off and sit down!”

Sephiroth: “I said *move*!”

Tseng: “I don’t know what they’re doing, but you’ve got no right to interrupt whatever it is! So sit down!”

Sephiroth: *very angry now* “I. Said. MOVE!”

Tseng: “You gave Vincent up, Sephiroth. You’re not supposed to care anymore!”

(sephiroth looks furious. he shoves tseng aside. tseng just snaps. he quickly lunges back in place and launches a punch right in sephiroth’s face. he connects. this pisses off sephiroth even more. he lunges himself back at tseng, ready to throw a punch of his own. and an all out fight breaks out. they both start punching and shoving each other all over the porch. then lark, reno, rude, irvine and zell rush outside looking frantic.)

Lark: “Oh my god! Stop fighting you two!”

(but they pay no attention and just keep fighting)

Lark: *to the other guys* “Stop them! Do something!”

(reno and irvine rush over to tseng and grab him by the arms, restraining him. rude and zell do the same to sephiroth)

Tseng: *snaps* “Why don’t you get your f$%^&#@ priorities straight?!”

Sephiroth: “Why don’t you mind your own damn business!?”

Lark: “What is going on here?! Why are you fighting?!”

Sephiroth: “Because he doesn’t know when to leave me the hell alone!”

Tseng: “Because he’s a damn phony!”

Sephiroth: “You started it!”

Tseng: “You shoved me!”

Lark: “I don’t care who started it! Now both of you go inside and cool off!”

(the guys release them both and tseng and sephiroth both go inside, glaring at each other.)

Zell: *rubbing the back of his head* “Man… I thought they were friends!”

Reno: “They must both be havin’ a bad day or something.”

Rude: “At least.”

Irvine: “I’ve never seen Tseng that pissed off!”

Lark: “All right. Everybody back inside.”

(the guys go back inside. lark is about to go inside when the window of the tv room opens and auron peeks out)

Auron: “What was going on out here?”

Lark: “Oh…nothing. Boys will be boys. You know.”

Auron: “That’s a good expression.”

Lark: “Yeah.”

Auron: “Just making sure everything’s okay.”

Lark: “Everything’s fine.”

(he goes back in and closes the window)

Lark: “…I hope.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, algus is sitting alone in the ramble room when zidane comes in)

Zidane: “Algus! There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you!”

Algus: “What, do you want me to polish your diamond soled shoes? Because I think I quit. Now we can go to jail together.”

Zidane: “Look, you have to help me! I totally messed up! I don’t wanna go to prison! I’ll end up somebody’s bitch!”

Algus: “I thought you liked that sort of thing!”

Zidane: “Please help me, Algus! I’ll…I’ll do anything.”

Algus: “*Anything*?”

Zidane: “Yes, anything! Please, god only knows what they’d do to a guy with a tail!”

Algus: “Very well. Let me see your contract.”

(zidane hands it over. algus silently reads it over for a few minutes)

Zidane: “Well?”

Algus: “All right, Zidane. I see a way to get you out of this. But I have two demands.”

Zidane: “Anything!”

Algus: “First, admit you are the dumbest person to ever walk the earth.”

Zidane: “I’m the dumbest person to ever walk the earth! What else?”

Algus: “You’re going to transfer all my money and assets back to me. And you’ll resume your slave duties without ever daring to sue me again.”

Zidane: “What?! But I’m rich now!”

Algus: “Don’t bend down in the shower, Zidane.”

Zidane: “Even I don’t want it to happen like that! Fine! Fine! You can have it all back! Just get me out of this!”

Algus: *pulls a piece of paper from his pocket* “Very well. Just sign here.”

Zidane: *looks at it* “What’s this?”

Algus: “It’s a contract saying that you promise to give me everything of mine back. You should always read a contract before you sign it. Which you would know, if you had a brain.”

Zidane: “Fine.” *signs it* “There. Now how are you going to get me out of this?”

Algus: “I just did.”

Zidane: “Huh?”

Algus: “That check you handed in is so much money that there’s no way it has cleared yet. We’ll make the proper transfers right now and that check will bounce. Because it’s obviously a scam, they’re clearly not going to follow up on it.” *stands* “And now I am the master, and you are the slave again.”

Zidane: *frowns* “I should have known it was too good to last.”

Algus: “I had that contract in my pocket since day one, just waiting for you to screw up.”

Zidane: “Thanks for the confidence.”

Algus: “As I said, Zidane, some men know how to use money, and others know how to abuse it. I think it’s clear now what kind of person you are.”

Zidane: “Can I at least keep all the clothes I bought? You already cut all the holes for my tail!”

Algus: “Certainly…if you’re willing to wear them *backwards*.”

Zidane: *pales*

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(later, algus is sitting with rufus, edgar and setzer, having tea in the tv room)

Sephiroth’s voice: “OMG! Zidane! What the hell is wrong with you?! Put pants on!”

Zidane’s voice: “I do have pants on! Algus made me wear them backwards!”

Algus: “…I didn’t think he’d really do it.”

Rufus: “It’s great to have you back as President of the MAFIA, Algus!”

Edgar: “We already demoted Laguna back to translator.”

Setzer: “He didn’t care.”

Rufus: “Now everything can be back to normal.”

Algus: “You know, for that one week I was poor, you treated me like I didn’t even exist. I had never felt so awful about myself in my entire life.”

Rufus: “You would have done the same.”

Algus: *smile* “Yes. I most certainly would have.”

(and with that they laugh pompously)

 

THE END

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