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Five Things to Impress Josh (Part 1 of 1)

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Oct. 23rd, 2008 | 12:09 am
music: So Ha -- Splashdown
posted by: msmcknittington in loathlylady

Title: Five Things to Impress Josh (Part 1 of 1)
Author: msmcknittington
Word Count: ~2500
Pairing/Character: Grizz, Dot Com, Josh, Liz, a little bit of Grizz/Beth
Rating: weak PG-13/strong PG (I drop the s-bomb, but there's no graphic sexuality or anything.)
Summary: Grizz and Dot Com contemplate the ineffability of Josh Girard.
Spoilers/Season/Episode etc: Through the end of the second season. I started writing this a long time ago, and I can’t really remember when that was. Nothing that will ruin the show for you if you aren’t caught up, for sure.
Notes: Complete! I’m not too sure about this one, but it has its moments. One of my goals before NaNoWriMo begins is to finish all the half-written things on my computer, and this was next on the list. I think this was inspired by a conversation in the comments in michellek’s journal many months ago.


Five Things to Impress Josh



One

Grizz and Dot Com know what Josh orders at coffee shops. It's hard for them to step up to the counter and order, because, damn, it's a girly drink, but for Josh, they'll undergo this test of manhood. It would be easier to order a large black coffee, but Josh doesn't drink black coffee. It gives him heartburn, and that makes him cranky.

So they're willing to step up to the counter and ask a girl named Raevyn for a blended drink. It's not a drink; you can't drink it. It comes with a spoon. It has ice cream in it. It has goddamn raspberries in it. It's the color of frilly panties, and while a man can appreciate frilly panties with a girl in them, he sure as hell doesn't appreciate drinks that color with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top.

It doesn't subtract from Josh's masculinity, but rather enhances it. Another man might look downright womanly with a pink moustache while eating a cardamom scone, but on Josh it looks cool. And he can't help it. That's just the way he is.

Two

They’ve just found out that Josh minored in geology in college and that he has one of the largest private collections of geodes in the city. This is just further proof that Josh is a man of layers and intricacies. He’s a renaissance man, really, with fingers in many different intellectual pies.

Grizz starts wearing a shirt that says, “Ain’t nothin’ but a rock hound,” and Dot Com orders a kit off the internet that contains 30 different soil types. It promises to teach anyone to identify different types of dirt at a glance, but Dot Com is struggling. The loams are really hard to tell apart, and he’s afraid of what Tracy might do with the bag of white silica sand. He’s been drinking a lot of coffee lately, and he takes his really sweet. There’s really no stopping him when he’s looking for a fix.

They’ve even learned some geology jokes. Dot Com tries one out on Josh one morning as he goes through the doughnuts.

“Hey, Josh, have you heard the one about the dyslexic geologist?”

“Nope.” Josh pokes a hole in the bottom of a jelly doughnut to see what’s inside. It’s red, which apparently isn’t right, because after licking his finger, he puts the doughnut back on the tray and pokes another one.

When Dot Com gets to the punchline, Josh just chuckles a little and nods his head.

“Great joke, man,” he says, and walks off with a glazed cruller and a bottle of mineral water.

Mineral water is a drink made for geologists, Dot Com thinks, and he grabs a bottle for himself and one for Grizz.

Later that day, Liz tracks them down because she’s looking for Tracy.

“He’s at his reflexologist, Ms. Lemon,” Dot Com says.

“Reflexologist? That better not be a euphemism for something illegal.” She pauses and wrinkles her nose. “Why is Grizz reading The Golden Look-Look Book of Volcanoes, and why do you have bags of dirt? Oh my god, is that cocaine?”

“Oh, no. Shit no. It’s silica. We’re trying to impress Josh. We heard he minored in geology at school, so we’re reading up on it. You know, so we can drop things in conversation.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Grizz says. “He has one of the largest private geode collections in the city. The only guy with a bigger one works for the Museum of Natural History.”

“Geology? No, that’s not right. Josh minored in geography in college, because the program had one of the lightest course loads, and all the women’s studies classes were filled up his junior year. And that collection is actually road atlases, because he thinks Rand McNally is like Waldo, and if he looks hard enough for him, he’ll find him and win an RV.”

Pete pokes his head in the open door then, looking for Liz.

“Hey, Liz, we’ve got a situation here. Jenna . . . something about David Blaine and some woman in People magazine. We need you.”

They’re quiet for a while after Liz leaves. Grizz speaks first.

“I can’t believe we drank that mineral water, man. It was bad.”

“I know. It was worse than the draft beer at that animal strip club Tracy keeps dragging us to.”

After thinking about it for a minute, and Dot Com doesn’t know how it is, but the atlas thing definitely increases Josh’s mystique. If you got lost in South Dakota, he’d have your back. Je nais se quoi doesn’t even cut it, because it’s a cool so deep you can’t even think it. He’s beyond cool. He just is.

He looks over at Grizz, meaning to tell him about his Universal Theory of Josh’s Coolness (“The Girard Theory” for short), but Grizz is looking wistfully at the door.

“Hey, man,” Dot Com says. “Are you blushing?”

Three

While Grizz is out filling a prescription for Tracy (Spaceman calls these pills “greens,” though they’re clearly purple, and Grizz has to go to Chinatown to get them, but that’s not really new), he stops by a newsstand to see if he and Dot Com have made the cover of any tabloids with Tracy. Nothing this week, but that might be the corner of his shirt on The Weekly World News in a picture Tracy talking to a statue of Godzilla.

What does catch his eye is a road atlas. A road atlas of Italy, which means there’s a good chance Josh doesn’t have it. The cover is real slick -- it’s red and green and white and has a ridiculously small sports car gliding around the curve of a mountain road. And it’s less than ten bucks, which means it’s an OK surprise gift between friends.

He drops the greens off with Tracy, who is having a conversation with his feet, and goes looking for Josh. He goes to the writer’s room, but it’s empty, which is pretty weird for a Tuesday afternoon. Beth comes out of her office just as he’s about to leave and look somewhere else. She’s looking pretty good today, even if she does have some muffin in her hair near her right ear and her glasses are taped at the hinge.

“Hey, Beth, have you seen my man Josh? I’ve got something for him.”

“The last time I saw him, he was studying the pigeons down in the plaza. He said something about getting into character for that McCain sketch. That one where Tracy talks about hope and change and Josh walks around in the background making dinosaur noises.” Beth tucks her hands under her arms, bobs her head, and lets out a rusty little squawk.

Grizz laughs. Is there anything this woman does that doesn’t make him want to help her father a child and then raise that child with her? There’s no way he’s going to be a baby-daddy -- his mama raised him better.

“Thanks. Guess I’ll go look for him out in the plaza.”

“No problem, Grizz.” She takes her hands out of her armpits. “Hey, how did Tracy’s trip to the reflexologist go?”

“He says his feet are real happy now because his toes have stopped talking to him about how badly he treats them.”

“I tried to tell him that running through Central Park barefoot would end badly.”

“You think we didn’t?” He smiles. “Beth, there ain’t no tellin’ Tracy when he got his mind set on something and you’re outta tranquilizers.”

“Are the tranquilizers the blues or the greens?” She wrinkles her nose up.

“We don’t get those from Dr. Spaceman.”

“You don’t?” She pauses. “That’s probably for the best.”

Grizz walks away, smiling and thinking, This is gon’ be a real good day, a real good day.

Except it isn’t.

When he hands the atlas over to Josh, he’s really excited at first.

“Wow!” Josh says. “Wow! I don’t have this one. Is it Rand McNally? I’m trying to win the RV.” He studies the atlas and the smile on his face fades, then disappears, and is replaced by a frown. “Hammond International, huh? Well, thanks, man. I’m sure it’ll come in handy. If I’m ever in Italy!”

Josh tosses the atlas on the ground and turns his back on Grizz. As Grizz walks away, a pigeon waddles over the magazine and pecks at it. Then the pigeon does what pigeons do. All over the atlas. All over Grizz’s heart.

Josh is starting to remind him of Tracy, without the monetary compensation. Or the animal strip clubs, for that matter. It’s not much, but it’s something. Tracy means well.


Four

When Grizz tells Dot Com about Josh’s defection, Dot Com is visibly upset. Near tears, really.

“I thought,” he says, and then chokes up a little. “I thought Josh was our friend.”

“So did I, man. So did I.”

They’re quiet for a few minutes. Dot Com speaks first.

“What can we do to win him back?”

“You want to win him back?” Grizz asks. “What makes you think this will be any different than Tracy?”

Dot Com shrugs.

“Josh isn’t crazy like Tracy is,” he replies.

“Ain’t nobody crazy like Tracy is, Dot Com.” Grizz leans back on the sofa and crosses his arms across his chest. “If you’re going to get us back on Josh’s good side, you’re on your own. Somebody’s got to keep an eye on Tracy.”

“That’s cold, man. Real cold.”

“Then you go buy Josh an atlas and have a pigeon do its business all over it.”

“All right,” Dot Com says, getting out of his chair. “Maybe I will.”

He doesn’t mean that literally, of course. Like Shakespeare’s favorite proverb, a fool returns to his folly like a dog to his vomit. And if there is one thing Dot Com Slattery isn’t, it’s a fool. He’s not going to repeat that atlas business. He might work for a man who has managed to alienate himself from everybody from Oprah to Minister Farrakhan to Chamillionaire, but Dot Com is black, Dot Com is beautiful, and Dot Com is proud.

Dot Com is going to make a white boy whose parents raised him as a girl into his best friend. And he’s going to do it with something Josh is sure to like.

“Jimmy Fallon?” Josh says when he unwraps the CD.

“Yeah.” Dot Com moves his hands as he talks. “I figured, you got a lot in common, you both do sketch comedy, and you both got a look.”

“Yeah . . . no,” Josh says. He picks up the CD and holds it by one corner between his thumb and index finger. “I just see him and I get annoyed. I mean, who is this guy? Who does he think he is? Look at him.” He turns the CD around so Dot Com can see Fallon on the front. “He’s even got stupid hair.”

Dot Com nods. He’s trying not to be the smartest person in the room and point out Fallon isn’t the only one with stupid hair. Sometimes being right isn’t worth it.

“I can see what you mean, man. Sorry I brought it up.”

Josh tosses the CD back in the wrapping paper and ribbons.

“Hey, it’s all right. You couldn’t know how I felt about him.” He hands the box to Dot Com and smiles. “Could you throw this out for me? And get me a Raspberry Rhapsody from the coffee place?”

Five

“What are you still wearing that rock hound shirt for? We know more about rocks than he does at this point.”

Grizz looks down at his shirt.

“It’s real comfortable, and it doesn’t stain. You know last week, when Tracy got that waiter at the Italian restaurant angry and we got marinara sauce thrown at us? That all came out, no stain treatments or nothin’. It’s the best shirt I’ve ever owned.”

Dot Com ponders this for a moment.

“Yeah, that does sound like a pretty good shirt. Does it come in any more colors, or only navy blue?”

“I bought it on the internet, man. You can get it in fuchsia, if you want. You know you look nice in fuchsia.”

“Brings out my eyes, doesn’t it?”

It’s true. Dot Com isn’t really into fashion, but fuchsia does make him glow a little from the inside.

“So,” Grizz says at last, “how did giving Josh that CD go?”

“Not good, but no pigeons.” Dot Com licks his finger and turns the page of his book. It’s about geothermal energy and technology. He’s thinking about recommending some changes to Tre, but is considering the possibility that Tracy might take this to mean he should put a volcano in his dressing room. “You asked Liz out yet?”

“Ah, no,” Grizz says, looking through an atlas. “Beth’s real hard to pin down. She’s a woman and stuff.”

Dot Com is just about to agree, because being a woman and stuff can be pretty hard to overcome, when someone raps on Tracy’s dressing room door.

That someone is Josh.

“Hey, guys,” he says. “I got a favor to ask you.”

“We already been to the coffee shop once today,” Grizz starts.

“No, no more Raspberry Rhapsodies. Jack sent me a memo telling me to watch my weight. But I got tickets to Fallout Boy. Three of them. And I was wondering . . .” He trails off and shoves his hands in his pockets. He’s not making eye contact.

“Are you asking us to come with you to Fallout Boy, Josh?” Dot Com asks.

“Yeah! Would you? That would be, like, great.”

Grizz and Dot Com exchange a look.

“Yeah,” Grizz says. “If we’re free.”

“Awesome.” Josh actually pumps his fist in victory, like he’s just scored a point in table hockey. “So, can you guys wear black? And maybe carry guns? Nothing too flashy. Just like a shoulder holster, with a jacket over top.” He shrugs. “I kinda asked this girl to go with me, and I might have told her I’m more important than I actually am. Overstated the danger of my position.”

When Josh leaves, Grizz looks at Dot Com. Dot Com hides his face in his book. Grizz knows that no book on geothermal energy has ever been that interesting.

“I can’t believe you said yes to that,” he says.

“Was I supposed to let him down? I wouldn’t have let you down if you asked me to be your bodyguard to impress a girl.” Dot Com lowers his book. “Besides, Fallout Boy is better than watching a bunch of raccoons walk around in pasties.”

“I just feel bad for them. You know, because of the fur.” Grizz picks his atlas back up. “You still got that black leather jacket I let you borrow for your cousin’s bat mitzvah?”

“I do. Do you still have my shoulder holster?”

“Yeah. What time are you picking me up?”

“Six-ish.”

“OK.”

“OK.”



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Comments {6}

teshian

(no subject)

from: teshian
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 08:02 am (UTC)
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Aw wow, this is PERFECT and SURPRISING - 30 Rock fanfic about secondary characters! Just, yes. You got the characterisation of Grizz and Dot Com DOWN, and your Josh is perfect, equal parts douchey and dorky. Anyway, I love this. It sounds just like the show, hilarious and crazy and touching all at the same time. And there totally needs to be more 30 Rock fic for secondary characters.

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msmcknittington

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from: msmcknittington
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 08:23 am (UTC)
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Ah! Thanks so much! Especially the part about getting Grizz and Dot Com right, because I don't know how to tell you how very not-black and not-male I am. Like, if you were to line people up according to their black-ness and male-ness, Grizz and Dot Com would be on one end and I would so far on the other end, we wouldn't be able to see each other.

Amazingly *snort*, I have lots of experience with douchey, dorky guys, so that wasn't much of a stretch.

And there totally needs to be more 30 Rock fic for secondary characters.

I agree. I totally want someone to write Kenneth's life before 30 Rock. His mentions of his mom's friend Ron just crack me up.

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sometimes you look like a dude.

(no subject)

from: twentyplanes
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
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I love this! ♥

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msmcknittington

(no subject)

from: msmcknittington
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
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And I love you for loving it!

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The Mighty B

(no subject)

from: runawayblue
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
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This is awesome. Oh, the unending quest of Grizz and Dot Com! To see secondary character fic warms my heart so.

For some reason, 'Spaceman calls these pills “greens,” though they’re clearly purple' is my favourite line. It made me laugh. There were a lot of good lines!

OH AND THE JIMMY FALLON THING. THAT WAS AWESOME.

You rock.

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msmcknittington

(no subject)

from: msmcknittington
date: Oct. 23rd, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much!

Hee, Jimmy Fallon! Is there any other option than for Josh to hate him? Fallon's so, like, derivative and junk!

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