A week in the life of Steve and Larry
by Barb Wolfe
This was originally a skit, written in a screenplay format, with a Seinfeld type humor in mind. Steve is a big tough pussycat of a guy from Brooklyn (as in Steve Schirripa) and Larry is a slightly neurotic, and somewhat anal guy from LA whose down to earth transparency is both endearing and hilarious (as in Larry David).
It’s amazing the things that can come to pass from idle chat, the discoveries made from an imaginative investigation. This is one such story, a story where reality and fantasy overlap and fold into each other, in a world where boundaries are forever blurred.
It all began when Steve and Larry were shooting the breeze in the living room of Larry’s Los Angeles home. Steve was sitting snugly in a club chair. Larry was sprawled out on the couch and had just finished describing a dream to Steve.
“…and that was it. The next thing I knew, I was awake!” said Larry.
Steve, listening with half an ear, was formulating his own question. “Hey Larry, did you ever wonder where those strangers come from?”
“What strangers?” asked Larry.
“You know… the people that show up in your dreams.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“You know how sometimes you’ll have somebody in your dream where you don’t really see their face but you just know who they are?”
“Yeah… go on,” Larry replied cautiously.
“And then there are the other times when you’ll have somebody in your dream and you’ll see their face but when you wake up you realize you don’t know that person. You never saw that person in your life.” Raising his voice and his arms in Italian speak, Steve continued, “I wanna know where those people come from, ya know? Who the hell are they and how the eff did they get there?”
Chuckling, Larry commented, “I’m sure Freud would have something to say about that.”
Steve leaned forward in his chair, and in a moderately challenging tone asked, “What? Are you saying it’s never happened to you?”
Appearing to contemplate the question, Larry replied, “No, it has. It happened in my dream last night, actually. I just never really gave it any thought, is all.”
“Well I have and it disturbs me.”
Larry got up and walked across the room to the computer on his desk. “I just got an idea.”
“What are you doing?” asked Steve as he pried himself out of the chair.
“I’m going to Google it,” said Larry as he sat down and fired up his computer.
Steve’s Brooklynese was becoming stronger. “Google what? I know you can Google just about anything, but this?”
“Trust me,” Larry said, all smiles on his balding, nearsighted head. “Allow the master to work his magic.”
Picking up a magazine and flipping through it, Steve muttered under his breath, “Trust me. Oy!”
Hard at the computer searching and clicking, Larry could be heard mumbling, “No, that’s not it..…No….No”
Steve looked up from his magazine and shook his head in unbelief.
“Noooo…. Maybe… No… No… I don’t think so… No….” Then, all of a sudden, Larry shouted, “This is it! I got it!”
Tossing the magazine back onto the coffee table, Steve walked over and stood behind Larry. “What’s it? You found something?”
“Yeah, there’s a website for a place near Wilshire Blvd called Dream Extras.” Larry turned off the computer and practically bumped into Steve as he stood up.
“Are you sure it wasn’t Dreamworks like the studio?”
“No, it was Dream Extras. Definitely Dream Extras.”
“What does that mean? Like an extra in a movie?
“Yeah, that’s what it looked like. Come on.” Larry walked over to the hall closet and grabbed a light jacket.
‘Come on where?”
“I got the address. Come on. Let’s go check it out.”
“Have you got a screw loose?” bellowed Steve at the volume he used for the majority of his waking moments.
“Come on. The girls are shopping, you won’t play tennis with me and the golf courses are booked solid. Do you have something better to do today, big guy?”
Shrugging, Steve walked towards Larry and the door. “Okay. I’m with, but I can’t say as I like this.”
Larry drove slowly down the sun-dappled one-way street. Both he and Steve peered out their respective windows in search of addresses occasionally visible through the low hanging tree branches.
“It should be up this block on the left side,” said Steve.
“Okay, help me look for a spot.”
Steve quickly looked into the side view mirror to check the traffic behind them. “Put your left blinkers on.”
“You see one?”
“Yeah. Four cars up. The red SUV. It’s pulling out.”
As Steve and Larry approached the double-wide storefront of Dream Extras, a nicely dressed man in his forties exited and walked out into the street to hail a cab.
Doing a double take, Larry exclaimed, “That’s him!”
“That’s the guy in my dream last night.”
Larry quickly walked toward the stranger. Waving his hands over his head, he yelled, “Hey you! You were in my head last night. Who are you?”
Just then a cab pulled up and Mystery Man, totally ignoring Larry, got in.
Larry, left standing in the middle of the street, turned in a circle, his hands on his head. He looked over at Steve in astonishment, “I can’t believe this. Do you believe this?”
“Come on. Let’s go in,” said Steve, nodding his head toward Dream Extras.
A perturbed Larry walked back to the sidewalk. “Okay but I’m going to find out who that bastard is.”
“I believe you will,” assured Steve as he opened the door for Larry.
Steve and Larry scanned the reception area when they entered. There was a single receptionist behind a tall marble counter and a few people in the waiting area. One was typing away on a laptop, two were playing games on their phones, another was reading, and one appeared to be napping, slumped open-mouthed in his chair with an open newspaper spread across his chest and belly.
As Steve and Larry approached the receptionist, Steve loudly whispered to Larry, “You calm down. Let me do the talking.”
Larry mumbled something unintelligible and then out loud said, “Okay.”
Steve was all smiles when he said, “Good afternoon.”
The receptionist dutifully smiled and responded, “Good afternoon. How may I assist you today?”
Steve, reading her name badge, said, “Well Lenore, my friend and I would like to find out more about your company. What exactly do you do here?”
“We conduct sleep studies here. Are you having trouble sleeping?”
Larry, standing almost invisibly behind Steve, nudged him to say yes.
“Actually, it’s not that I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m really having a problem with my dreams.”
Lenore perked up when she heard this. “Oh really?” she asked, “Well then I have a few preliminary questions for you.”
“First question. Do you have a life?”
Steve, not known for his patience, blew a gasket. “What do you mean do I have a life?” he asked in a voice loud enough to make the napping man jump in his chair and send his newspaper flying across the floor. “What the fuck kind of question is that?” he boomed. “Of course I have a life! What business is it of yours anyway? What the hell kind of place is this?”
“There’s no need to be belligerent, Sir. I’m just doing my job.”
“Well, Hun, with all due respect, I think your job sucks!”
“I agree, Sir. But it’s still my job.”
Seeing the need for a quick intervention, Larry stepped up to the counter to smooth things over. Pointing his thumb sideways at Steve and turning on his charm, he said, “My friend is just cranky because he hasn’t been sleeping well. He doesn’t mean anything by it. I’d like to apply though. Can we start over with those questions?”
Not really wanting to deal with either of these guys, but mentally calculating her commissions earned so far this week, she reluctantly agreed. “I suppose so.” Then, looking at Steve, she pointed her arm to the waiting area. “Do you want to have a seat over there?”
Steve complied and took an empty seat next to the scared guy, just for the hell of it.
Lenore continued with Larry. “Name?”
“No, your last name please?”
“Paul. Larry Paul.”
“OK, got it. Do you have a life?”
Larry, by process of elimination, deduced the correct answer. “No, I don’t have a life.” Thumbing over his shoulder to point it at Steve, he added, “He’s my life.”
Lenore looked over at Steve and rolled her eyes. “OK, you qualify. Please follow me.”
Larry called over to Steve, “See you in a bit,” and followed Lenore toward a door on the right.
Steve, trying to be a sweet as pie, asked, “Oh Miss, how long will he be?”
“The standard audition lasts about 15 minutes.”
“Okay, I’ll wait. Thank you.”
About 20 minutes later, Larry entered the reception area through a different door in the back of the room. He was all smiles and counting a wad of cash as he passed Lenore.
“So, Larry, will we see you again tomorrow?”
“Yes, Lenore. I’ll definitely be back.”
Steve extricated himself from his seat and met Larry at the front door. “So?” he asked.
Larry, still holding his money, pushed the door open to the street. “This place is really something.”
“Well, are you going to tell me what happened?” Steve asked as they started walking back to the car.
“Sure. They put me in this bedroom and there was relaxing music playing.”
“I lay down on the bed and they put this helmet on my head and the next thing I knew, I was in Japan.”
“Japan? You’re kidding me.”
“Well, I guess if it’s the middle of the day here, then it’s the middle of the night there, right?”
“Yeah, I guess. So what happened?”
“They put me in some guy’s dream.”
“Well, what did he say?”
“How the hell do I know? Do I speak Japanese?”
Steve laughed and shook his head in disbelief. “So what did you do?”
“I didn’t know what to do so I was just myself.”
“Okay, that is way scary.”
“I walked around his house and poked around a bit.”
Larry recounted his Japanese dream invasion as they walked to the car.
“I walked around the living room and the home office. You know, just checking things out. I touched things, opened his desk drawers and nosed around. He had a really nice library, nice leather bound books, you know? I was in the mood to read but the books were all in Japanese. So I thought, let me get something to eat and watch some TV.”
Shaking his head, Larry unlocked the car doors.
“I looked inside the fridge but there was nothing in there that I could identify. I mean nothing!”
Steve joked with him. “There was like no leftover rice that you could pick at?”
“I wasn’t about to touch some guys leftovers, are you nuts? I checked the cabinets too and found a can of something I thought was tuna fish until I opened the can.”
“What was it?”
“I have no idea but I wasn’t touching it.”
Larry pulled out of his parking spot and made a right at the light.
“So I stretched out on the couch with the remote and channel surfed for a bit. I thought there would be something I could watch like maybe a news program in French or something. But there was nothing in any language I could understand. 120 channels and nothing.”
“Jeez, you would think there would be one or two in a European language.”
“Yeah, right? So anyway, I got restless and walked around the apartment again and spent some time taking in his artwork and décor. I have to say this guy’s apartment was really done up nice.
He had an abstract sculpture that was absolutely beautiful. He had quality paintings as well. I even peeked behind them to see if he had a hidden safe. A safe would have kept me busy for a few hours, you know?”
”Oh my God, Larry the safecracker. OY. Then what happened? Hey! Watch this knucklehead in the blue Ferrari; he’s all over the road.”
“Thanks. The last thing I remember was a vase that was on the sofa table. I picked it up to look at the bottom, you know, to see if it was a Ming vase or something.” Looking guilty, Larry continues. “It could have been an urn; I’m not sure”. The guilt visibly passes. “Anyway, somehow I dropped it and it broke. And then I woke up.”
“I’ve known for years that you’re a putz but I never knew you were so nosey. Remind me to never leave you alone in my house. So that’s it?” asked Steve.
“That’s it. They paid me $200 for 15 minutes and said I passed my audition. Let’s go eat. It’s on me.”
“I called Roger when you were in there. He’s going to meet us at the Laurel Diner.”
Sitting in a booth in the Laurel Diner, Larry and Steve filled Roger in on the Dream Extras experience.
Roger was incredulous. “So, let me get this straight. You went to find out who the strangers are in your dreams and it turns out they are poor schmucks who don’t have lives of their own and get paid to invade yours.”
Larry, taken back a bit, admitted, “Well…yes, I guess you could say that.”
“So where’s the money coming from?” asked Roger.
“I didn’t ask. What do I care where it comes from?”
“Okay, I’m just asking. So you’re going back tomorrow?”
“Sure, why not? I have nothing big going on tomorrow.”
As Steve thought more about what had happened, he became a little skeptical about the whole thing. “Larry, how do you know they didn’t screw with your head? Like plant an electrode in your brain or something?”
“Yeah or hypnotize you to tell them your bank account numbers and passwords?” asked Roger.
“Roger,” said Steve.
“Do you EVER think about anything other than money?”
Roger shrugged in response.
“Well, let’s give it a week,” said Larry, “and if I’m acting differently, you let me know.”
A week had gone by and Steve and Roger were standing across the street from Dream Extras waiting for Larry.
“So it’s been a week. Have you noticed anything different about him?” asked Roger.
”Nah. He’s the same schmuck he’s always been.”
“Well, has he said what the dreams were about?”
“Yeah, he mentioned a few like how he scared the hell out of some Japanese dame when she found him in her shower in the raw.”
“Okay, picture this. Larry is taking a shower in the bathroom of a large Japanese woman. The woman hears the shower running and cautiously enters the bathroom. Then she takes a plugged-in hair dryer and quietly approached the shower. Then, with the dryer in hand, she quickly pulls the shower curtain open and scares the shit out of Larry. The first thing he sees is the huge woman, I mean really huge. He’s startled so he screams. Then he sees the hair dryer and it’s still plugged in so he screams some more. The woman, who was petrified, to begin with, screams. Then she looks down at Larry’s exposed private parts and is horrified, so she screams even louder. Then Larry woke up.”
Roger laughed out loud. “I think our boy needs help.”
“And that’s not all. He had a close call in the next one too.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Well, the way Larry told it, he went into his sleep state and then was surprised to find himself outside on a rooftop of a tall building. The moon was out and he easily spotted the door to get inside. But the door was locked. There was a handle instead of a knob. He pulled and yanked to no avail. So then he went in search of the fire escape. He walked over to the outside perimeter of the building and cautiously walked along until he found it.”
“Are you kidding? Larry is scared of heights. I’ve seen him get sick just driving by the Empire State Building. That’s how bad he is.”
“I know, but what else was he going to do?” Steve said laughing. He was leaning comfortably against a USPS mailbox. “Maybe when you’re in a dream, your phobias disappear. Who knows?
“So anyway, he felt the fire escape and shook it to make sure it was secure. Once he was satisfied, he took the fire escape down two floors before he found a window that would open. Then he crawled in but the guy must have been a light sleeper because he woke up and shot at Larry.”
“No way!” exclaimed Roger.
“Right? They missed this time, lucky for him, but how does that work in dreams? What would have happened if he had gotten hit? This dream thing could be a dangerous business.”
Just then, a bus filled with Japanese tourists pulled up close to Dream Extras and people started filing out. Almost simultaneously, a truck pulled alongside the bus, and caught in traffic, effectively blocked the side of the bus.
A minute later, Larry exited Dream Extras, his usual smiley self, and spotting Steve and Roger across the street, waved over to them.
Then things started to happen quickly. The truck pulled away, revealing a banner on the bus. It read: Meet the people of your dreams. Larry started to cross the street when a Japanese man started pointing at Larry and yelling in Japanese.
”That’s him, that’s him,” the man shouted in Japanese. “That’s the man who dishonored the memory of my Grandfather.”
Larry, of course, didn’t understand what the man was saying. Having a huge ego, Larry thought the guy wanted an autograph. He was all smiles until he saw the obese lady running at him, waving an umbrella and shrieking in English.
“That’s him!” she bellowed. “That’s the man who peed in my shower! That’s him!”
Hearing that, Larry started to walk backward slowly. Then when four Japanese people started running toward him, yelling and waving their arms, he turned and ran.
As he ran past Roger and Steve, he shouted, “Where’s the car?”
The next day, Larry and Steve were seated in a booth in the Laurel Diner waiting silently as the waitress brought them their deli sandwiches, coleslaw, and pickles.
As soon as she was out of hearing range, Steve asked, “So that’s it? They fired you?”
“Yeah. They called me in this morning because they had gotten complaints from those people on the bus yesterday.” Larry takes a bite of his pickle. “Good pickle,” he says crunching away. “Since I wasn’t doing very well in the Japanese market,” he continued, “they offered me another time slot in a different country. And when I turned them down, they fired me.”
Steve leaned his upper body towards Larry and in a conspiring tone said, “It’s just us here, so tell me. Did you really pee in that lady’s shower?”
Larry swallowed his bite of pickle and chuckled. He had Steve laughing out loud as he summed up his story. “Did you see her? That sumo wrestler woman had a plugged-in hair dryer and was swinging it at me. There I was… in the shower… stark naked… dripping wet… and facing electrocution by hair dryer…” Pausing for effect, he then continued, “Yeah, I peed in her shower. She’s lucky that’s all I did.”
Steve lost it. He was laughing hysterically when he said, “You sick bastard. Oh my God, you are one sick fuck, you know that?”
DreamExtras.com. It’s for real.