Check out our first Pretty Southern script
In this pandemic time when COVID has closed all the local theatres and comedy clubs, I took a virtual sketch comedy writing class with Laugh Lab. Comedian Lace Larrabee started this enterprise (check out my first standup from her inaugural class in 2017) with fellow comic and writer Hillary Heath.
One of the reasons I pursued this class was to sharpen my writing skills. Over the years, I’ve written skits and dabbled in playwriting but had never written an actual script before. And as a lifelong fan of Saturday Night Live and other sketch comedies, I was interested to know just what the writing process was like for creating ‘a game’.
If you watch SNL and are familiar with the popular sketch, The Californians this scene from The Atlantans was inspired by that hilarious work. However, the characters are all my own, originals who are tangential with the whole Pretty Southern fictional world around the Cunningham family, specifically Macy’s friends.
The scene is set in circa summer of 2008, when Facebook was still considered ‘new media’. There was no Instagram or dating apps (which let’s be honest really killed the Buckhead party scene) when girls had Blackberry Messengers and Coach bags instead of giant iPhones in fanny packs.
This photo was from JEZEBEL Magazine’s Most Eligible Party in 2008. Note the Blackberry.
We’d love your thoughts on this scene and what you’d like for us to share next. Because let’s be honest y’all, we could all use more throwbacks to the party days pre-COVID.
So we present to you, dear reader, The Atlantans
INT. A YOUNG WOMAN’S APARTMENT IN ATLANTA
Madison sits primping in front of her bedroom mirror, all dressed up for a night out. There’s a knock on the door. She flips her hair before turning away from the mirror, prancing across the room. It’s her sorority sisters, Jordanne and Shannon. Shannon is carrying a big duffle bag.
Jordanne: Hey girl, haaay!
Madison: Sup ladies! Happy Friday! How was your week?
Jordanne: Oh my god, Maddison. It was such a long one. I’m so ready to party tonight. I called James and told him to pick us up in like ten minutes.
Madison crosses into the kitchen where a bottle of vodka is sitting on the counter and hands them both red solo cups.
Madison: Then it’s time to pregame! Jordanne, here you go, it’s vodka-soda-lime. And so glad you could come up for the weekend, Shannon!
Shannon: Oh my god, y’all, I forgot what a clusterfuck Atlanta traffic is during rush hour.
Shannon drops her Vera Bradley duffle bag on the couch.
Shannon: I took I-20 from Augusta, but then I missed my exit on 285, so
instead of coming down 400, I had to crawl up Peachtree Industrial to Peachtree to Piedmont and got stuck at like every light.
Jordanne: Why didn’t you just take the connector? You could have picked up I-85 through Downtown and taken 400, or have come up West Peachtree to Peachtree.
Shannon: Girl, you know there’s always traffic on Peachtree.
Jordanne: Well, at least you don’t have to be DD tonight because James will be here soon.
Shannon: Who’s James?
Madison: He’s a limo driver that we met leavin’ Johnny’s Hideaway. Whenever we need a ride, we just call James and give him like twenty bucks then he takes us anywhere between Buckhead and Piedmont Park.
Shannon: Oh my god y’all, that’s so awesome.
Jordanne’s cell phone vibrates and she smiles.
Madison: Is that the new boy blowing you up on BBM?
Jordanne: Yes, it’s Caleb. He wanted to see if he and his guys should meet up with us for dinner at Tin Lizzy’s, or later at Five Paces.
Shannon: Wait, did you get a new boyfriend?
Jordanne: Well, not exactly. I’ve been talking to this guy Caleb for weeks. He’s everything I want in a guy: hot, smart, comes from a good family.
Shannon: Hold up. Are you talking about Caleb Roberts?
Jordanne: Yeah… Do you know him?
Shannon: Um, yeah! His brother was in my grade at Magnolia Academy. Their Daddy owns country clubs across the South. They live in Tuxedo Park off West Paces Ferry.
Madison: Shut the front door! That’s the Caleb you’ve been talking to? His family is loaded but he’s such a trainwreck. I heard his parents brought him home from UGA ‘cuz he had a cocaine problem.
Jordanne: Well, I’ve never seen him do lines.
Shannon: Seriously, girl. His mom, Birdie, is best friends with Macy’s mama, Caroline, and Macy has shared some stories. Call Macy if you don’t believe us.
Jordanne: Maybe he’s changed. He seems to like me. We’ve been talking and meeting up for happy hour at Tavern at Phipps, and there was one time we had coffee in Virginia Highlands, and he pays for everything so I’m holding out for a date night at Chops.
Madison: I wouldn’t hold out too long. He’s texting you, wanting to go out, but he is not asking you on a date. He’s such a frat bro. This is about sex.
Jordanne: Even if I do shack with him tonight, I got new sticky boobs at Target just for the occasion.
Shannon: I thought your tits looked bigger! You’re popping out in that dress.
Madison’s phone vibrates in her Coach bag on the counter.
Madison: That’s my condo gate. James must be here to get us.
Shannon: Ok. I need a refill then let’s go. Whatever you decide to do Jordanne, just be careful.
Jordanne: Girl, please!
James is waiting in the condo parking lot. Madison, Jordanne, and Shannon pile in. Their solo cups match the red leather of the limo’s interior. They toast together. The limo pulls up to the tiny parking lot of Tin Lizzy’s and the girls spill out. They get margaritas at the bar before moving out to the patio beneath the trees. A Three Amigos is placed before them and they dive into the cheese dip.
Jordanne is on her phone, texting and smiling. They leave Tin Lizzy’s where James and his limo are waiting behind the restaurant next to Hal’s. He takes them all of 1 mile up to Five Paces Inn and drops them off.
Caleb is waiting inside. He’s your typical frat bro in a white polo shirt, although nearly 6’3” to his credit. Next to him are two other bros, Linton and Foster. They give the girls shots. Jordanne falls into Caleb, smiling hard; Madison and Shannon give each other the side-eye.
Jordanne immediately runs to the bathroom where Madison and Shannon hold her hair back. She pukes and rallies.
The group decides to move on, Linton gets a taxi, and all the girls and guys pile in to head to Johnny’s Hideaway.
Arriving at Johnny’s, they cut the line and Linton gives the bouncer a $20 so they all get in.
On the loudspeaker, the DJ reminds everyone ‘No drinks on the dance floor’. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” blares. The girls dance together like they’re reliving their college days.
Jordanne makes out with Caleb despite having puke breath, but he’s too drunk to care. At some point, he sneaks away to the bathroom to do blow with his buddies. They shut down Johnny’s at 3 a.m.
The group walks to Waffle House, chows down, then takes a taxi back to Madison’s condo. And then… 🙂
Want to read more of The Atlantans and The Pretty Southern Stories?
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Thank you so much, Marsha!!!
This is awesome!