The Letter

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The Letter

Frank hands Pratt his match letter. "Where was it?" he asks. "Filed under 'N' for 'ne'er-do-well,'" Frank snots. Thank God somebody recognizes that Pratt's a prat. Carter curiously wonders what Pratt's top choice was. "I ain't saying," Pratt says gruffly. Gallant, ready to leave, asks Carter if they'll see him that night at Lava Lounge with Luka, Haleh, Susan, and Abby. Naturally, when Carter hears the last name, his ears and his brain -- you know which brain I mean -- both perk up. "Yeah, maybe, I dunno," Carter bluffs, even though we all know he's going to show up and try to save Abby's drunk soul before having his earnest way with her. Carter notices that Pratt is mightily pissed. He got his last choice in the match. "Where is it?" Carter asks. "Here," Pratt gapes, dumbfounded, unable to believe his terrible luck. We, too, are unable to believe ours. Carter looks up, amused. "Good for us," he sighs. "I'd better be getting my damn locker," Pratt grumbles, stomping off in a right tizzy. Oh, grow up, dildo.

Carter inadvertently turns toward The Letter and catches sight of Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen reading it. She meets his eye despondently, and Carter nods grimly. They each know what the other is thinking, and silently agree that it's sad Mark clearly flunked Handwriting in second grade.

A bleached-blond bartender leers at Susan, noticing Chloe's number still scrawled on her hand. "You haven't had a drink yet, and you've already got somebody's number?" he grins, unfortunately making no excuses for the hideous Hawaiian-print shirt he's wearing. The whole bar is Tiki-tacky -- neon lights, hula music, faux wood. No parrots yet, but it's early. The bartender presents Susan with two gigantic bowl-glasses of red punch, stuffed with fruit on sticks and umbrellas. "Two Sacrificial Virgins," he says. Susan's eyes bug out. "How much alcohol's in there?" she gapes. "Enough to make you forget you're being thrown into a volcano," he answers. "Oh, I get it," she says. "Uh, I think." Abby approaches to help, spies the virginal vats of voodoo juice, and gets a gleam in her eye that says, "May the puking commence." Abby and Susan tease each other about how stupid the bar is, and how they left their coconut bras at home; Susan says she picked Lava Lounge because Mark had a birthday there once, and it seemed right to remember him there. Not sure how the Sacrificial Virgin is apropos where Mark's concerned, but I'm certain I'd prefer to die ignorant of the connection.

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