BARRY COURTER: Lisa, we have company. Scooch over.
LISA DENTON: You're the one hogging the couch. You scooch.
BARRY: Harumph (scooching).
LISA: I suppose all this scooching is a sign that our friend and colleague Mary Fortune needs to sit between us before we start throwing elbows. Sort of feels like the backseat of the family car.
BARRY: We've never had a guest join us here on the figurative couch, where we pretend to talk about which calendar event might actually get us off the couch and out and about.
LISA: No, we do do some stuff.
BARRY: You said do do.
MARY FORTUNE: You guys really are as immature as I thought.
BARRY: This is news to you?
LISA: Oh, look, she's leaving. Come back, Mary. See, you're running her off before she even sits down.
MARY: I was just going to get a beer. I always assumed y'all were drinking while you wrote this. No?
BARRY: Yeah, no. We'd actually be funny if we were drinking.
LISA: Quite possibly. They say liquor can't solve all your problems, but it's worth a shot.
MARY: Oh, right — Lisa is punny. I forgot about that when I agreed to sit down.
BARRY: She does that a lot. She means well.
LISA: Y'all don't get to gang up on me.
BARRY: By the way, you have to fight Lisa over any Cheetos you find in the couch. Change goes to me.
LISA: You know there's an event coming up Saturday night where we could test any drinking theories we come up with. It's called the Holiday Spirits Cocktail Festival. For $39, you get 12 sample-size cocktails, a photo with Santa and the chance to shop at a mini gift market while you stroll through First Tennessee Pavilion listening to Christmas music.
MARY: I'm sorry, you get 12 cocktails? Does sample-size mean eyedroppers of alcohol, or does Uber need to go ahead and plan a round of surge pricing for this event?
BARRY: I think they could make money, and get some laughs, taking pre-shots and post-shots photos with Santa.
Before the festival, we get a shot (you see what I did there?) at a Broadway mainstay here at home. "Les Miz" starts its five-day, eight-show run Tuesday at the Tivoli.
MARY: I believe it's spelled "Lay Miz," Barry. And how cool is it that we get so many of these big-deal, big-city shows in Chattanooga? I love listening to my friends and neighbors pronouncing "Les Miserables" with an East Tennessee accent. You know things are getting legit cultural when that happens.
BARRY: I sat next to a woman at "Re-a-nt" years ago. That's how she said it, anyway. Thanks for stopping by, Mary. Come back now, ya' hear.
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Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281. Contact Mary Fortune at email@example.com or 423-757-6653.