If The Oscars Were For Accountants
Women and men fill the room, donning brown suits and haircuts that were never, not even for a minute, remotely in style.
We open on the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Topeka event space. A limp banner reads “4th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF ACCOUNTANTS AWARDS.” Women and men fill the room, forking at warm Cobb salads while donning brown suits and haircuts that were never, not even for a minute, remotely in style.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s ‘Takin’ Care of Business’ plays in the background. Rick Moranis takes the stage.
RICK: How’s everyone feelin’ tonight?
ACCOUNTANT #1: I cried at my wedding, but I’m bawlin’ tonight!
ACCOUNTANT #2: My! Face! Hurts! From! The! Smile!
ACCOUNTANT #3: Life — it really is grand!
RICK: Um, cool. I’m Rick. I played an accountant in Ghostbusters and could use two-hundred bucks, so I’ll be your host tonight, where we’ll recognize achievements in financial forecasting, deadlines and — oh, goddammit…
RICK: … and we’ll have plenty of liquid assets, so drink audit you want.
ACCOUNTANT #1: Bless my heart and curse my liver — that is too funny!
ACCOUNTANT #2: I am going to have a heart attack!
ACCOUNTANT #3: God, I’m so happy I was born!
RICK: Whatever First award is for Best Advisement in a Series B Fund. The nominees are Gary Friedkin-
A man in a mustard shirt stands slowly and pumps his fist.
RICK: Debra Killingsworth-
A woman stands and smooths out her wrinkled brocade dress.
RICK: And Phoebe Henson.
A woman in Coke bottle glasses sneezes.
RICK: Um, Debra, you won.
DEBRA walks to the podium and stares unblinkingly at the crowd.
DEBRA: We. Need. Diversity. On. Our. Accounting. Principles. Boards!
She drops the microphone and walks to her table.
RICK: Huh. Guess these things get political, too. Say, what’s #MeToo, but for accountants?
ACCOUNTANT #1: Not funny, Rick!
ACCOUNTANT #2: It’s still #MeToo, Rick!
ACCOUNTANT #3: Abuse isn’t confined to one industry, Rick!
RICK: Yep. My bad. This brings us to our next award — Best Accountant in a Supporting Role. First up, Malcolm Greenwood, for helping a 74-year-old claim his late wife’s life insurance, which prevented him from… having to go back to work? At 74?
A man wearing a puke green blazer waves his hand dismissively.
RICK: Jesus, that’s intense. Next up, Sandra Higginbotham, who… discovered a loophole that kept a women’s shelter open?
A woman in a hideous sundress stands proudly.
RICK: Wow. Our last nominee is Patty Sowards, who… oh, Christ-
Rick fights back tears.
RICK: …who helped an immigrant family avoid accidental tax evasion and deportation.
A woman in a T.J. Maxx pantsuit beams.
RICK, covered in sweat: God, you know what? No winners. You all win. We’ve got one award left, and then let’s get out of here.
Rick’s wife, LARA, walks onstage.
RICK: Honey, what are you-
LARA: Don’t you remember?
A look of horror passes over Rick’s face.
RICK: No. No, no, no.
LARA: Don’t be silly. Folks, here to finish off the show … Meryl Streep!
MERYL STREEP appears in a flurry of fairy dust and anti-aging cream. There’s an onslaught of applause.
ACCOUNTANT #1: Christ in Heaven, Beelzebub in hell, and my uncle somewhere in the middle — that’s Meryl Streep!
ACCOUNTANT #2: Can! Not! Process! My! Surroundings!
ACCOUNTANT #3: I would literally die for you, Meryl!
MERYL, dramatically: And I, for you!
MERYL: Looks like somebody’s had a few too many liquid assets.
MERYL, scanning the crowd: Looks like there aren’t any costume nominees, eh?
ACCOUNTANT #1: Great one, Meryl!
RICK: Stop making fun of them!
MERYL: Oh, we’re having fun. I’m here to present Best Director of an Accounting Firm. The winner is-
Meryl fully takes in her surroundings.
MERYL: Folks, why don’t we head to my place in Pasadena for a little soirée?
ACCOUNTANT #2: Sounds great, Meryl, but we’re in Topeka!
MERYL: Do you not have planes?
ACCOUNTANT #3: We don’t own airplanes, Meryl!
MERYL: Oh. Well, can I count on you to watch the Oscars?
ACCOUNTANT #1: Don’t own a TV, Meryl. Cut the cord to pay for my kid’s college!
MERYL: Well, this was a jarring foray into normalcy. I think I’m going to leave.
RICK: Are you serious? You didn’t even give the award!
Meryl Streep spins and vanishes in a cloud of $800 slippers and antioxidants. Rick rushes to the podium.
RICK: God. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry I judged all of you. Forget about her. The work you do is just as important as anything else. Maybe even more important. You know that, right?
ACCOUNTANT #3: We’ve always known that, Rick!
RICK: OK. Whew. So, what’s the after party like? Safe to assume there won’t be nearly as much cocaine as there’d be at the Oscars’ after party, eh?
ACCOUNTANT #1: That’s where you’re wrong, Rick.