Interview With The Fortunate One

(Who is Soft as a Scroll of Charmin and Hard as 10-Day-Old Nutbread)

by Danae


The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess are owned by MCA Pictures and used here without permission. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this nonsense. __________________________________________________



OPRAH: (to the audience) Ya’ll know Draco and Marcus, Joxer and Hercules. Ulysses, Iolaus, Borias, and Ares. But, do you recall? The most famous lip-lock of all? (laughs at her own intro as the audience buzzes) Ya’ll are gonna be so excited when you find out who is here today! Are you ready?! (audience roars enthusiastically; Oprah rubs her palms together anxiously) I’m so excited about this! I haven’t been this excited since I had Emma Thompson on the show. (audience roars again) Today... we have none other than our new favorite Xena: Warrior Princess guest star, Her Highness, Lao Ma!! (puzzled audience murmurs among themselves) Now, I know, I know... we all thought Lao Ma was killed off in Part 2 of "The Debt." Apparently, it’s not true! Perhaps we’ll find out why in a few moments. She’s arriving in the studio now. Everyone... Please help me welcome... LAO MA!!

Audience goes crazy. Camera pans to four Chinese female pallbearers, carrying a huge, ornate casket on their shoulders. They lower it slightly, and a door in the side of the casket opens. Lao Ma slides out, looking none the worse for wear. She walks slowly to Oprah.

OPRAH: (bows her head) Welcome, Your Highness. We’re thrilled to have you here.

LAO MA: (bows her head in return) Thank you. I wish only that I were worthy of your show.

OPRAH: (extends an arm toward one of the two chairs on the set) Please, have a seat.

LAO MA: Thank you. (looks quizzically at the chair... looks at the floor... looks again at the chair. Finally, tries to be as regal as possible as she puts her feet up in the chair and kneels down so she is sitting on her feet)

OPRAH: (raises her eyebrows, but respectfully follows suit, kneeling uncomfortably in her own chair) We’re delighted to have this opportunity to talk with you, Lao Ma. You might be amused to know that you have surpassed M’Lila as the most popular and subtext-positive character in Xena’s past. The Xenites love you.

LAO MA: Of course they do. It is easy to love someone Xena loves. But, you must love someone Xena hates.

OPRAH: Oh... You mean, like, Callisto?

LAO MA: More than that. I mean, like, Joxer.

Audience groans and mumbles angrily. A stage hand rushes to subdue an enraged woman who is about to throw a chair at Lao Ma.

OPRAH: (clears her throat nervously) Um... Why don’t we get started by having you explain how it is that you are alive again. I mean, we heard Ming Ti’en admit that he sawed the top of your skull clean off and ripped your beating heart from your chest. Girlfriend, how could you possibly live through that?!

LAO MA: (unsuccessfully attempts to keep from laughing at Oprah) I’m sorry, Oprah. (chuckles again, then becomes serious) But, you are trying to understand the show in terms of logic. In order to transcend the limitations of logic, you must stop expecting, stop dreaming, stop thinking. You know... make like you’ve had a lobotomy with a hair broach.

OPRAH: I see. Okay... Well, let’s continue. Until "The Debt," third season subtext seemed to be dead.

LAO MA: You’re wrong. If subtext were actually dead, word would get out.

OPRAH: We were happy to see a lot of blatant subtext in "The Debt." Did you, Xena, and Gabrielle do that on purpose?

LAO MA: Oh, yes. We made sure it was seen every once in a while. It helps to convince doubters.

OPRAH: Is that so? You know... the producers have stated that they do not intend for the show’s characters to behave subtextually.

LAO MA: That’s true. But, just because TPTB created our characters doesn’t mean they own us. Xena, Gabrielle, and I decided we’ll do this a different way. We are going to make them the most loved of producers. It is our gift to them.

OPRAH: Doesn’t it bother you that the producers get all the credit for the success of the series?

LAO MA: Not at all... As long as lesbians are aroused. Subtext comes from alt fanfic. What difference does it make who gets credit for it?

OPRAH: How do you suppose the straight audience will react when they wake up and realize that you’ve been doing this intentionally?

LAO MA: Most of the straight audience has been asleep for a long time now, Oprah. We’re offering them a chance to wake up and smell the fish.

OPRAH: If you feel so strongly about this, why don’t you just make subtext the main text?

LAO MA: Would you wake a baby with an alarm clock?

OPRAH: I see your point. So, you use subtext as a means to desensitize society to homosexuals?

LAO MA: Exactly. Subtext could be a very useful dramatic device, if aimed at the right audience.

OPRAH: What message are you trying to convey to the audience, specifically?

LAO MA: Our message is simple: "Fill TV with straight shows and see only illusion. Add shows about Xena and Ellen and see two women swap spit."

OPRAH: That’s good.

LAO MA: Heck, I have a whole book of this stuff.

OPRAH: So, tell us what Xena is like!

LAO MA: She is so full of peaches and porridge. And, subtext is in her blood... It’s more natural to her than her hair color.

OPRAH: What was it like to kiss her?

LAO MA: It was like heaven that lasts a long time.

OPRAH: Go on!

LAO MA: Let’s just say, To watch others kiss Xena is to have a cheap thrill. To kiss Xena yourself is to know ecstasy.

OPRAH: How did you rehearse for that scene?

LAO MA: I told her, "Do not hesitate to use my lips for your pleasure."

OPRAH: Did you have a chance to talk with Liz Friedman while you were taping "The Debt?"

LAO MA: Yes, I did.

OPRAH: What did she say to you?

LAO MA: She said, "We’re going to have subtext in this land, and you’re going to help me bring it about."

OPRAH: Ooooo... girl!

LAO MA: (smiles shyly) But, I asked her if she really wanted to send me, her insignificant guest star, to handle such difficult affairs of society.

Oprah takes a long drag from an opium pipe and watches Lao Ma closely as she reaches for a glass of water on the table.

LAO MA: (holds up the glass of water) This is very beautiful. (looks seriously at Oprah) Nothing is as soft as water, yet who can withstand the raging flood unless Xena and Gabrielle come along in a canoe?... And, even then, it’s only if Gabby can convince Xena you’re worth saving.

OPRAH: (does a double take at Lao Ma) Back to the producers... Did you talk with anyone else?

LAO MA: Yes, I spoke to Steven Sears. I told him, "The rift has become too large. It must be made small."

OPRAH: You go, Girl!

LAO MA: When I met Robert Tapert, I was able to see into his soul.

OPRAH: Really?! And, what did you see?

LAO MA: I was fortunate enough to see his vision for the opening episode of the tenth season.

OPRAH: Tell us!

LAO MA: I saw him say to Renee O’Connor, "Renee, with your abs so tight... Won’t you kiss my wife tonight?"

OPRAH: Xena and Gabrielle aren’t going to kiss until the TENTH season?!!

LAO MA: It’s a beginning. (smiles at the stunned audience) It will be a scene that will make lesbians most happy.

OPRAH: (sighs heavily) Well... We know you have a very busy schedule to keep, Lao Ma...

LAO MA: Yes, later today I am due to appear with Yentl on ‘Rosie.’

OPRAH: Then we won’t detain you. But, please answer one more question before you go.

LAO MA: Certainly.

OPRAH: The producers seem to be afraid to build up sexual tension between Xena and Gabrielle. What would you say to them about that?

LAO MA: I’d say, "If you build it, they will come."



The Bard's Corner