A red arrow with blinking bulbs shows us the direction of Martha's Boarding House. Jim approaches the front door and walks through, crossing through a beaded curtain to find himself in a very cool little room, actually, decorated with overstuffed chairs in various shades of green, a pink rotary phone, a lone floor lamp, and a TV so old that it plays the national anthem promptly at 10:30 and only tunes in to shows airing on the Dumont Network. A portly woman we all know from somewhere enters through the curtain and hands Jim a bowl of soup. He tells her he was sent by "the mechanic down the street," which we know already, on account of also having been sent by the mechanic down the street, and he sits down on the only non-green chair in the room, settling back and attempting to thwart my hard-fought recapping authority. Jim takes a sip of the soup, and we're afforded yet another weirdola zoomy camera angle, this one pretty much announcing the product-placed tagline, "Campbell's soup is good CLUE." Why else would such a mundane activity be heralded by such fanfare? Or perhaps Communism is just a red herring. The proprietor informs Jim that they're "very selective about our clientele," and this block of dialogue is kind of cool and therefore bears verbatim repeating. Enjoy it with your scene study class or drama therapy workshop today!
Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before: How old are you?
Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before: Married?
Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before: Employed?
Jim: Yes, ma'am.
Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before: By whom?
Jim: Good soup, by the way. [Stage direction: mutual silent appreciation of soup and soup-related liquids throughout history. "Stew" and "gazpacho" wonder after their own inclusion.] Um, I'm employed…
That sells her. Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before offers to show Jim to his room, offering that it's "twenty-five dollars a night." Jim grabs his bags and follows. Walking down another darkened hallway, Plump Woman We've All Seen Somewhere Before further explains, "Your room is in the East Wing. You can look across this garden into the West Wing. Now, these rooms are specially designed for your enjoyment. The North Wing, however, is completely, totally off-limits." Jim looks toward the North Wing to see a sign reading in curlicue calligraphy, "No Entry! Off limits!" Ah, yes. The well-worn "You can stay here as long as you want, just as long as you don't lay a hand on my daughter" or the "You can sleep in the barn as long as you want, just as long as you don't stick your dick in that hole" staple convention of any good rural travel narrative. I know it well. Well, not that well. Oh, all right. Kind of well.