Jack & Jill
Under Pressure

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Tumbleweed: D | Grade It Now!
Under Pressure

Ferret lies nibbling orts on the bed and asks where Jill and Jack are going. "To a party," Jack says listlessly and Ferret jibes, "And you're in such a party mood." Jack hovers over the supine Ferret, sneering, "And what are you guys doing tonight? Gonna burn up the sheets again?" She then cackles as if she might cough up her lungs while Ferret stares at her with vague concern. What do you know, another knock on the door! Everyone's got a key to the lobby in ManNOTtan! It's Jill again, just in time to swap petulant inanities with Jack about those three pesky words. She's all tricked out like a Care Bear in a fuzzy blue robe, which Jill designates as "cute -- not ready, but cute." Jack bustles anally about the kitchen island explaining that she doesn't want to go to the party -- but he should go anyway. She reveals in the halting tones of a Diane Keaton manqué that she's upset, but she doesn't want to be, and she knows she's not supposed to be mad and has no right to be mad, but this isn't just about her saying what she said and him not responding; it's about more than that. Jill takes the bait and asks what it's about and she says, "It seems like ever since we met it's been about you pursuing me. And I liked that. I like that. Well now all of a sudden it seems like it's been flipped, or tipped, the other way. And you know, I just feel shaky. And I don't like that." "I see," says Goofus, looking steamed all of a sudden. "So then this doesn't work unless you're the one being adored the most -- or the loudest?" Jack denies saying that, but Jill's twitching eyebrows reveal that he's well on his way to an adenoidal aria of epic proportions. "Yes, that's exactly what you just said, maybe you don't realize it, Jack," he begins. "I can't promise that I'm always going to be the one taking the lead. Sometimes it's going to have to be you. You're going to have to be okay with it!" As he winds down his eyelids flutter as if on a dimmer switch, and he walks out abruptly, leaving Jack to look stricken while fondling the belt ends of her Teletubby costume.

In Martha Stewart's world, geese are called "Gwyneth" and Chow Chows have royal titles! What baby wouldn't want to be swaddled in her line of high thread-count infant linens? My new motto: "Girl, get some Tampax and get on with your life."

Barto, wallowing in modes of substitute satisfaction, plays electronic darts while Jill paces with a cordless phone pressed to his skull. "Just call her," Barto says. Cut to Ferret splayed on a couch in the Habitrail Hideout, wearing a baseball shirt with the numbers "00" on the front -- I guess to reflect Barto's RBI. "Just call him," she says to Jack, who paces et cetera. "I refuse to call her," says Jill, "the ball's in --" "-- your court," finishes Ferret. "She doesn't like the ball in her court," Jill asserts. Cut to Jack whining, "I'm not used to it," her face taking on a Jimmy Durante cast. "It's probably scary for her," drawls Barto. Ferret says now Jack knows how Jill always feels, Jill claims Jack never thinks about this, Jack admits she never thinks about it, and Barto and Ferret invite Jill and Jack to go bowling. "I don't know -- maybe," the two Js answer in split screen, thus ending this exhausting cross-cutting extravaganza, which taught us nothing we didn't already know beforehand.

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Jack & Jill




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