[SCENE: The "Project Runway" workroom. One hour until the next runway show. Tension reigns as the four remaining designers feverishly add finishing touches to their latest creations.]
(Enter TIM GUNN, host and mentor.)
TIM: Hello, designers!
DESIGNERS (wearily): Piss off, you great prancing queen.
TIM: Excuse me?
DESIGNERS (brightly): Hello, Tim!
TIM: That's better. Now, you've all had fourteen dollars and two days to prepare your looks for tonight's show, and your challenge was to create an ensemble that your model will wear on the red carpet at an exclusive gala benefit sponsored by our friends at AngelSoft Bathroom Tissue.
I don't think I need to remind you that the winner will not only receive immunity for the next challenge, but also a layout in Marie Claire's upcoming Colonic Irrigation special issue sponsored by Activia.
I'm looking around the room and, frankly, I'm concerned. Schuyler, let's start with you.
(SCHUYLER snaps to attention. He's about 22 years old, six feet tall, and weighs 190 pounds, half of which is biceps. The heat of the competition has caused him to remove his shirt. Again.)
TIM: I see feathers. And beads. Feathers and beads. Again?
SCHUYLER: Right. Well, see, my inspiration was my Native American heritage, but with a contemporary twist.
TIM: A sort of fashion-forward Pocahontas?
TIM: I'm a little confused, Schuyler, because until now we've all been under the impression that you're fourth-generation Italian-Scottish from White Plains.
SCHUYLER: My high school football team was the Redskins.
TIM: Fair enough, fair enough. Do you feel confident about this look, Schuyler?
SCHUYLER: I feel confident that I'm the only cute gay dude left and if I get kicked off the ratings will drop fifty percent.
TIM: Carry on.
(TIM turns to LILA, a quivering waif who has been weeping softly for the past three episodes.)
TIM (gently concerned): Lila, honey, how are you?
LILA (sniffling): Fine.
TIM: I have to say, you don't sound fine. Talk to me.
LILA (sobbing): It's just...all the pressure...and...my boyfriend...sent me a break-up text message last night...and then I accidentally sewed a bugle bead to my left nipple...and my cat got out of the hotel and I can't find her...and...
(She breaks down.)
TIM: Can I ask you a question? How much sleep have you had in the past two days?
LILA: About six minutes.
TIM: And how much coffee?
LILA: I kinda stopped counting when Starbucks cut me off.
TIM: Okay, well, let's see what you have to show me. Are those...bunny ears?
LILA: Yes. The inspiration is a childhood memory.
LILA: We lived on this beautiful farm outside of Moline, Illinois...and every day I used to run through the woods and gather leaves and flowers...and I'd use them to create these fantastic outfits for myself...and all my imaginary friends...
TIM: And one of them was a rabbit?
TIM: Are we going to hear about the rabbit soon? The clock is ticking.
LILA: Can I blow my nose on your lapel? I ran out of Kleenex.
TIM: No. And Kleenex is not a sponsor of this program, so we're going to have to charge you $15,000 for that unscheduled product endorsement, okay?
LILA (fingering her scissors): Okay.
(At the next table, TIM convenes with XIAO FOU, who has tied up her unruly hair with a length of Vienna sausage links.)
TIM: How's it going, Xiao Fou?
(XIAO FOU stabs her model, INGRID, with a straight pin.)
INGRID: Ach du lieber! Dat vent right through vere my thigh vould be!
XIAO FOU: Serves you right, stupid cow.
TIM: Xiao Fou, what seems to be the trouble?
XIAO FOU: Last night she swallowed a Tic-Tac and now I have to re-fit the whole effing gown.
TIM: Oh, dear.
XIAO FOU: Plus this is like the eleventh episode and you still can't pronounce my name.
TIM: Well, if it's any consolation this is the fifteenth season and I'm still not sure how to pronounce "Klum." Let's talk about your piece, and then Ingrid can go vomit and see if that helps at all.
XIAO FOU: Okay, well, the inspiration was my family's roots in colonial New England.
TIM: Hence the mob cap.
XIAO FOU: You have a problem with mob caps?
TIM: No, no. I would just hate to see this get too costumey, if you know what I'm saying? You're going to have to style it very carefully.
XIAO FOU: I was thinking of using the butter churn off the Macy's accessory wall.
TIM: Brilliant. Carry on.
(TIM steps over to MAARV'YN's work table. MAARV'YN is madly sewing fur trim onto his model.)
TIM: Maarv'yn, talk to me. What is this?
MAARV'YN: It's a dress.
TIM: Can you be more specific?
MAARV'YN: It's a...long dress.
TIM: Can you be less specific?
MAARV'YN: It's an expression of who I am as a designer.
TIM: Better. And is that real fur?
TIM: How the hell did you buy real fur at Mood with only fourteen dollars?
MAARV'YN: I didn't get it at Mood.
TIM: Then where did you get it?
MAARV'YN: Seen Lila's cat today?
TIM: Make it work! Make it work!
[Cut to commercial.]
And Now for Something Completely Different
In times of crises, each must do what he or she can. And so I've put an original sketch of Dolores (originally seen here) on sale in the shop, with proceeds going to Haitian relief.
Even if you'd rather not expose visitors to your household to the sight of Dolores in full cry, please consider making a contribution in some way to the relief efforts. Much has been done, but more will always remain to do.
[Alrighty - the first sketch sold about 40 seconds after this post went live, which was gratifying. I've put up another, also from the archives, in case you were interested but showed up too late.]