Unofficial Transcript From “The Queen’s Gambit” Writing Room—Season Finale: “End Game”

Writer A: So I guess that does it. That’s the last revision. I think it’s as tight as it can be. All we need to do is print up the Final Draft, sign it, and send it off to Production. (Yawns.) It’s been a heck of long night, but I think we got it.

(The four writers in the room applaud.)

Writer B (Draining the last drop of his coffee cup): It’s hard to believe we’re done. I just want to say how proud I am to be part of this series.

Writer C (Stretching): Agreed. It’s been a real pleasure.

(The writers begin to shake hands.)

Writer D: You know…(nibbling lip)…what if….if…?

Writer A: What if what?

Writer D: Nothing. Forget it. It’s nothing.

Writers B and C exchange glances with expressions that say, “Oh no,” and “Here we go again.”

Writer A: Just tell us. It’s got to be something.

Writer D: No. It’s nothing. Let’s sign the Final Draft. It’s stupid.

Writer A: Remember our manifesto. We’re honest and open. No move goes unexamined. Go ahead. What are you thinking?

Writer D: (Blurts) What if Borgov lost in the semi’s?

Writer B: You mean the quintessential Russian chess villain we’ve spent five episodes building up? That Borgov?

Writer A: Hey, remember the manifesto. We hear each other out. Go ahead.

(Writer B noiselessly mouths, “Remember the manifesto.Writer C executes an elaborate eye roll.)

Writer A: You were saying.

(Writer B yawns and starts to doodle on his copy. Writer C crosses his arms and looks at the ceiling.)

Writer D: I was just thinking audiences love surprises. What if when Beth shows up to the final match, it’s not Borgov? I mean, talk about a stunner. It would be the biggest television shockwave since, um, what was that one show…you know, with the guy that gets shot?

Writer C: Oh, for Pete’s sake.

Writer A: Who would be in the final match, if not Borgov?

Writer D: Well, I hadn’t quite figured that out yet. I thought we could have an even bigger, badder, more imposing Russian chess villain— the guy that beat Borgov!

Writers B and C look at each other with glances that say, “Unbelievable” and, “I’m so sick of this shit.”

Writer D: (Eyes spreading wide as the empty paper plates with pizza crusts) I’ve got it! What about that kid she trounced in Episode 4, the Russian kid? Like now as a pimply teenager? No no no! Wait. Even better! She has a twin! Beth has an identical twin! Separated at birth. And the twin learned to play chess at a different orphanage, from a different janitor!

(Writer D looks pleadingly around the table. With each face, his smile and expression are dialed down a few notches, until he is slouched, head down in the chair.)

Writer D: See. I told you it was stupid. I quit. I’m just not a writer. I don’t have what it takes. No wonder I never get anything published.

Writer A: Don’t be ridiculous. You were a big part of this.

Writer D storms out of the room.

(Writer A signs the draft, slides it over, whispers, “Get it to production,” before following after Writer D.)

Writer B (to C): Remind me if I ever get married, and my significant other wants me to give her brother a job as a writer, and that brother hasn’t even written anything beyond a parking ticket in the mall where he works as a traffic cop, to say, politely, with love, HELL. NO.

A Guide to Blinking Garage Opener Lights

I recently discovered that the blinking of a dysfunctional garage door opener is not random flashing, but in fact expresses a range of meanings and emotions. After consulting various online sources, reference materials, databases of codes and nonverbal garage door communication, and one neighbor, I hereby feel confident in reproducing the following list.

Light blinking continuously: it’s possible someone (read: your kid) may have accidentally locked your garage door by pressing the lock button.

1 flash: broken or disconnected wire leading to safety sensor.

2 flashes: black/white wires reversed or safety sensor wire shorted.

3 flashes: the international distress call for messy garage in need of organizing.

4 flashes: safety sensors are misaligned.

5 flashes: commonly referred to as the number of humanity since humans have five fingers, five toes, five senses, and five appendages (counting the head). Your garage door is expressing its own mortality. It has about five more open-and-closes before the end.

6 flashes: There is significant debate about six flashes in the blinking garage light academic community. Many believe that six is the sign that there is some devilish malfunction in the wiring, i.e. don’t even think of trying to fix this yourself. Call your garage service right away. However, there is a smaller but very vocal contingency in the literature that argues six flashes signify the garage door unit’s desire to exist in harmony with other neighboring garage doors.

7 flashes: the sensors are feeling a deep sense of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual), directly tied to God’s creation of all things—including the tupperware bin, flow wall modular panel storage, and ceiling fleximount racks.

8 flashes: your garage door wiring has an infinite number of problems. Just replace the entire system.

9 flashes: the number nine is revered in garage doorism culture as it represents good fortune at the end of a cycle. The nine flashes originated in torches from the Indian subcontinent as early as 3000 B.C. Replace the battery and expect long garage door opening life.

10 flashes: The famous Greek mathematician Pythagoras called ten the perfect number because it comprehends all arithmetic and harmonic proportions. Many scholars note that while Pythagoras was very good at math, he was not good at fixing the Greek version of the garage door. Therefore ten flashes, despite being perfection due to arriving at the decad when you return to the monad, means you have a plethora of problems. We’re talking double digits here, and you might as well just replace the entire system.

Eleven or more flashes: likely just random blinking resulting from a wire malfunction. Unless it’s thirty-seven. Get out while you still can.

Any combination of short and long flashes: contact the FBI. Your garage door opening system has been compromised.

Brand Spankin’ New Email Address

That’s right folks, the Humor Faucet now has a new email address to give you, the readers and foreign spies, an opportunity to provide feedback about whether the faucet is living up to its mission: protect wild turkeys and their habitats.

Sorry, that’s a separate blog I’m part of. The Humor Faucet’s mission is of course to keep the humor flowing.

If a post makes you laugh—or doesn’t— let me know at Thanks for writing. Also, please let me know where you’re from on the email. (Especially if you’re a spy.)

In honor of the new address, I will now share my very first email. Paul from Buffalo writes:

Dear Tim,

It’s my job to plug in my kids’ screens at night so they can fry their brains every morning when they wake up before dawn so that my wife and I get a little extra sleep.

The problem is that my wife has this decorative prickly plant (see photo) that she insists stay in the corner right in front of the outlet. I’ve tried moving the plant but she always moves it back. She claims the plant looks better where it is, but again, the plant is quite prickly. What should I do?


Buffalo, NY

Prickly plant.

Thanks Paul for writing. This isn’t really an advice website, but since you ask, you could try charging the screens from another outlet. Considering the pandemic and all the horrible things happening in the world right now, that you have to contend with a prickly plant on a regular basis doesn’t seem all that bad. Unless, of course, there are other prickly plants blocking other openings that you wish to enter. If that’s the case, I think it’s time to take a stand against all obstructing prickly plants, decorative or otherwise. Best of luck.

The Sides From The Last Waltz

At the Band’s much celebrated farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day 1976, they served the audience of 5,000 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco a turkey dinner. The concert itself has been preserved and thoroughly discussed/scrutinized thanks to Martin Scorsese’s documentary.

However. Considering the social norm that it is rude to arrive at a holiday dinner, it’s fair to ask what, if anything, the special guests brought to the feast? Here is a possible list of that table full of side dishes lost forever to rock and roll history:

  1. From Neil Diamond: Sweeeeeeeet Caroline Po…ta…toes. Marshmallows never tasted so good. So good. So good.
  2. From Neil Young: Cinnamon Girl Baked Carrots
  3. From Eric Clapton: Slow Hand’s Slow Roasted Creamed Corn.
  4. From Van Morrison: Black Eyed Girl Peas with Bacon and Pork
  5. From Muddy Waters: Champagne and Reefer
  6. From Ronnie Wood: (to the chagrin of Neil Young) Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
  7. From Ringo Starr: Something (Hard to be sure the exact contents: a casserole-ish glob in aluminum foil with some kind of meat?)
  8. From Joni Mitchell: Coyote Corn (with extra dill pickles, to the chagrin of Neil Young)
  9. From Bob Dylan: Buckets of water. Many will say it was rain, but what if there was a custodian’s closet and drinking fountain right near the banquet hall entrance and that closet was missing a bucket? Just because he has the Nobel Prize doesn’t mean he always brings something to a dinner, does it?
  10. From the Band: “Put The Load On Me” Loaded Baked Potatoes.

I mean, they didn’t just eat turkey, right?

To the car driving behind me at 3:38 PM on a Thursday

No, I wasn’t drunk. My three-year-old, sitting directly behind me, dropped her Elsa doll. Then her stuffed penguin. Then the Elsa doll again. The second time it was really wedged in there. I was able to extricate the doll with a slender but firm two-finger grip of the cape. Just thought you should know.

Also the Elsa doll is one of those singing kinds. That might be one detail too many, but since I told you about the cape part, I thought I might as well go “all in.”

Glad I was able to clear up the little matter regarding my seven swerves and erratic speed. Good day.

Healthy Marriages During Covid-19

I got mad at my wife the other night. Snippy, to be exact. I was snippy. Over a small, little thing. I won’t go into it. It doesn’t matter.

We laughed about it today and came to an agreement. We shouldn’t be mad at each other, or fight, about anything, until the pandemic is over. Just let it go. All of it. No more sweating the small stuff. We’re in this together.

Until the pandemic is over. Then it’s on. Like that time I had to feed the fish AND plug in the i-pads? That shit’s coming out.

New M.F.A. Rankings Released

The much anticipated updated M.F.A. Rankings are here— not to be confused with other popular M.F.A. rankings (Masters in Fine Arts, Most Fanciest Aardvark, etc.).

I’m referring, of course, to my six year-olds newest Most Favorite Animal rankings, which have taken everyone by surprise. Let’s get to it.

6. The gorilla. Wow how the mighty have fallen. Seems like only yesterday that the gorilla was a clear cut favorite, the first stop at the Wild Animal park, and the most popular cup in the cabinet. Now not even in the top five, there’s no telling how far this beloved animal of early childhood will fall. Nothing lasts forever, not even the love of my young daughter for a muscle bound hairy chested ferocious beast.

5. The cheetah. Another surprise here. The fastest animal on land apparently isn’t that impressive anymore. Eighty miles an hour is just whatev’s. Daddy drives that fast on the highway. Even the cute baby cheetahs at the Wild Animal Park, or the fact that they are friends with a dog, failed to return the spotted cat to top animal status. The cheetah still clings close to the tail of a gorilla, if gorilla’s had one, but now they’re moving in the wrong direction.

4. The reindeer. A total shocker here. No one saw this coming. Not at a lunch conversation on a Thursday in September. I ’bout sprayed leftover Sloppy Joe. Did she watch a Christmas movie recently? Read a Christmas story or book? Was there a conversation about Christmas that I missed. No. No. And no. There’s no explanation. It’s inexplicable. But it’s true just the same. The reindeer cracks the top five a full three months before Christmas, with some analysts predicting a number one ranking in the near future.

3. The jellyfish. Just at a loss here folks. Why? What? Huh? Jellyfish? Did you read about them? No. Wild Kratts? No. What made you think of them? I don’t know. Do you know that they sting and it can be quite painful? I don’t care. They don’t even have brains and you’re picking them over cheetahs and gorillas? Yes. Again, another example of how unpredictable M.F.A. rankings, and life, can be.

2. The panda. Just about the only thing on the current list that isn’t a head-scratcher. The panda remains fixed at the two spot. A fixture, if you will, of cute, cuddly-wuddly, bearness. Fuzzy still counts for something, thank goodness.

1. The fox. Completely out of left field. Where did this come from? A movie? Show? The internet? A video game? And now the fox is rumored to be in the running for a Halloween costume. I just don’t know what the world is coming to.

All I can say is, kids grow up fast. Things like their favorite animals and their faces change so quickly. If you’re not careful, you can blink and before you know it you don’t even recognize your kid’s favorite animals, or face or voice. I don’t know. I’m still so blown away. I mean jellyfish are interesting and all, but really?

Instead of “stank”

So I learned a word the other day. Let me pause here to congratulate myself….

Done. So that word is: miasma and it means “a highly unpleasant smell or odor.”

I will now use this new term of mine in a made-up conversation between a very intelligent couple with large, expansive vocabularies.

HUSBAND: Beloved, allow me the inestimable boon of another morsel and transfer me the salver of artichoke pizza.

WIFE: My sweet, my cogitation suggests you better defer. The miasma from last time is still lingering in our eiderdown.

There you have it. Be good people!

And They Say That The Internet Has Useless Information

Greetings readers of the Faucet! Thank you as always for taking the time to read my blog. I want to report that Joe The Plumber, the original writer of the Faucet blog that I took over for, is still hearing that darned drip drip drip inside his head, but the good news is that the blood-curdling screams of agony are, on the whole, less.

I wasn’t able to write a blog entry this week. When I went to visit Joe, there was a large accumulation of buckets he had ordered off Amazon, presumably to catch the drips that aren’t happening, and well, one thing led to another and I got caught up in a bucket drive to get buckets to the bucket-needy. That’s a story for another time, but the experience gave new meaning to the lyrics of the Grateful Dead tune, “Hell In A Bucket.”

Fortunately, I belong to a humor blog writers association that for a very minimal donation of plucked nose hairs in sealed envelopes (not sure what they use them for, again another matter) provides substitute humor writers for cases just like these. This writer wished to be known as That Guy has produced the following blog, which I have not vetted for quality assurance and therefore disclaim any all liability pertaining to thusly.


By That Guy

  1. The old standard two-steps-at-a-timer followed by one for the last step.
  2. The two-stepper followed by the big three step jump at the end (less frequent).
  3. The beat down one begrudging step after the other, the toe barely surmounting the carpeted lip, weight heavily on the handrail, usually at the end of another beat down of a day.
  4. The start-off-with-a-three-step jump, followed by two-at-a-time for running up to grab things.
  5. The one step, mixed with two step, that also includes randomly playing air drums.

Punctuation Humor

(Note: this blog post is in no way intended to disparage the fine products and marketing of Zak! insulated cups and mugs.)

Brad (Director of Marketing): So we have two new members on the team, Andrew and Seth. Let’s give them a warm welcome. (Thumbs up and applause emoji’s from all Zoom participants.) Would you two mind telling us a little about yourselves before we begin. Andrew, why don’t you go first?

Andrew: Hi everyone. Glad to be part of the marketing team. I just graduated with an MFA in Poetry from Northwestern. I have seven previous years experience in marketing with REI. I’m really excited to be here.

Seth: Yo what up? So I’ll just come out and say it: my Dad’s the boss. The head honcho. The big burrito. I’m in a band. He wanted me to “try it out,” because I got, like, in some trouble and owe him some dough. So here I am. Peace y’all.

Brad: Great, thanks guys. Today we’re finalizing the sleeve for our new 13 oz. insulated cup. I’ll share my screen to show the new members the work we have so far. Any final ideas?

(Extended silence.)

Andrew: I actually have a short poem that I wrote this morning. Maybe it would fit above the bar code and next to the base camp logo? Here, I’ll read it:

Rivers are long, Mountains are tall,

Recycle this band,

Keep the earth clean for all.

Brad: Wow, that’s um, that’s good. Yeah. I think we can use that. Just email it to me after the meeting. Great. Thanks. Anyone have anything else?

Seth: Yeah I got something broseph. What if, like, you know, we uh, added an exclamation point after the company name. Instead of Zak. It would be, Zak! You know, like, instead of when you cheers after pouring a brewski with your buds at a campsite, instead of cheers-ing with a Zak. You would be like, Zak!

Brad: Ooookay, well, um, I guess, you know, maybe? We’ll think about it.

Seth: Far out, bro, far out.