Actual Ghost: Hey guys, long time no see!
Exposition Fairy: Ha! That’s what she said.
Actual Ghost: I’m sorry, what?
Exposition Fairy: That’s what she said.
Actual Ghost: I’m not following you.
Exposition Fairy: Great! I’m not going anywhere.
Actual Ghost: No, I mean, I don’t get it. That’s what who said, and what did they say?
Exposition Fairy: No.
Actual Ghost: Mmmokay?
Exposition Fairy: No, I am not doing this. This is not my job.
Actual Ghost: Seriously, I have no idea what you’re—
Exposition Fairy: I am an exposition fairy, NOT an explanation fairy. If you cannot understand a simple joke wherein an innocent comment, e.g.: “That went quicker than I expected,” is made to sound salacious by a rejoinder that suggests that a sexual partner uttered the phrase, then I cannot help you. My job is simply to magically appear and, through stilted dialogue, summarize events that would otherwise take pages and pages of scenes to reveal.
Actual Ghost: That’s your job?
Exposition Fairy: And also harmony on any vocals, but yes, that is my job.
Actual Ghost: But I mean, you should so do that. Like, right now. Because it’s been four weeks since the last post, and we still have no idea who Heather’s other ex-boyfriend was and why he was on “Forensic Files,” and it’s already Hanukkah, it’s practically Christmas, the boy is home from college and the workmen we booked months ago are all suddenly showing up at once, hoping to earn some holiday cash, drilling and banging and making us move the same stupid lamp seventeen times, and people are too busy returning the cashmere sweater they bought for their vegan stepdaughter to read anything more than a bitter Facebook meme about Elf on the Shelf, am I right?
People: Like the one where he’s got a wad of dollar bills, and he’s watching Barbie pole dance on a paper-towel holder?
Actual Ghost: See? That one doesn’t even have any words.
Exposition Fairy: I see your point. But I must warn you: my winter break begins in exactly seventeen minutes, after which time I am forbidden by my union to summarize any stor–
Bookshelf Workman: [noise like a dentist’s drill, but with percussion]
Actual Ghost: What?
Exposition Fairy: —tales, or events until the stroke of mid—
Window Workman with Earring: Ma’am, would you mind moving that lamp so I can access the windows in the tv room?
Exposition Fairy: —ember 31st. Is that clear?
Actual Ghost: Well, not exac—
Closet Workman #4: Wow, that’s a cool lamp, with all them, what are those, Japanese, Chinese, like whattayinz call ‘em?
Exposition Fairy: [sighing]: Sorry, not gonna tell you. Not that kind of fairy. Do you want to hear the story, or not?
People: Is it really long? Because we have to go to the mall to return a sweater.
Bookshelf Workman: [pounding like a hammer, but with sorrow]
Window Workman Who Doesn’t Seem to Do Any Work, Ever: I wanna hear the story!
Exposition Fairy: Swell. But now I only have sixteen minutes, so I’m not going to stop again. [Clears throat.] Okay, so when last we saw Heather, she had just bid farewell to her husband after they’d watched a Forensic Files episode about a murderer who just happened to share the name and nationality of one of Heather’s many ex-boyfriends. Happily, though, the murderer turned out not to—
“Jack”: Wait, “many”? What do you mean, “many”?
Closet Workman #4: Weren’t yinz listening? She’s not that kind of fairy!
Window Workman with Earring: Exposition, Dude. Not explanation.
Exposition Fairy: —only to discover, in the very next episode, the image of a man she actually had dated. As it happened, this was the boyfriend she had dated in—
Closet Workman #2: Ma’am, the water guy is here to read your meter.
People: That seems kind of gratuitous, even to us.
Water Guy: Yeah, but what you gonna do? I’m as real as everyone else, except for maybe that Fairy.
Window Workman with Earring: Not cool, dude.
Actual Ghost: No, I think he means the Exposition Fairy.
Water Guy: Gah! Who said that?
Bookshelf Workman: [All the tortured souls of a tiny nation expiring at once, but with sawdust]
Exposition Fairy: –who was pretty recognizable, because he was very, very—
Closet Workman #1: Well, I’m no expert, but I do believe most water meters can be found outside of an establishment, so I’m not sure why you would need to come in the house. But what do I know? I didn’t even know that cashmere was a kind of meat.
Exposition Fairy: –which is why he had seemed familiar to her in the first place. She shrieked, stopped the DVR, went back to the image, and froze it. Without question, this was–
Son Home From College: What’s all the noise down here? I was trying to sleep!
Window Workman with Earring: Dude, it’s like, 1:15 in the after–
Actual Ghost: Careful, don’t trip over the—
Son Home From College: Fuck! Who put that lamp here?
Exposition Fairy: in fact, she had even seen him wearing that very shirt. The memory of it floated back to her, along with his scent, which was an odd combination of lentils and—
“Jack”: I don’t think we need to know this. Does anyone think we need to know this?
Closet Workman #4: Nah. I mean, I dahn’t, ya gnaw I mean?
Daughter With the Straight Hair: I feel like I’m not getting enough attention in this post.
Daughter With the Wavy Hair: That’s because you’re not even here. You’re at school. We’re at school. We’re the only people who aren’t in the house.
Daughter With the Straight Hair: Then why is Jack—I mean, “Jack,” in the house?
“Jack”: Me? Oh. Well, I just dropped by to get, umm, a tie.
Daughter With the Wavy Hair: So you could…go back to work? Where you weren’t wearing one?
Daughter With the Straight Hair: This story doesn’t make any sense. Why would you–
Exposition Fairy: –a terrible dancer. But in the video–
Bookshelf Workman: [drill noise, drill noise, swift, staccato hammering, drill noise; faint smell of smoke]
Exposition Fairy: –until she realized that she didn’t even know what crime this particular episode was about. She clicked “play” and let the story resume, her heart—
Window Workman Who Doesn’t Seem to Do Any Work, Ever: Ma’am, would it be okay if I used your bathroom?
Son Home From College: Question: do we have enough cashmere left over for sandwiches?
Stepdaughter Home From College: Okay, knock it off.
Heather’s Friend Many: Hi, I heard someone was asking about me, before.
“Jack”: Oh, sorry, no, I said “many,” not “Many.”
Exposition Fairy: –but as far as she could tell, no one had died. Then, suddenly, his image reappeared, this time—
Closet Workman #3: Yo, it’s occupied! Can ya knock?
Let’s Just Call Him Window “Work”man: Whoa. Sorry, man.
Water Guy: Ma’am, could you come outside? Technically, I’m not allowed in the house.
Closet Workman #1: But what if the water meter is located inside of the premises, as they sometimes are?
Window “Work”man: Heh heh. That’s what she said.
Son Home From College: That doesn’t make any sense. That isn’t, in any way–
Exposition Fairy: –as the car drove by. According to the announcer, arrests were—
Closet Workman #5: Could somebody please move this lamp so I can access the hallway?
People: Shut up. Five closet workmen? Nobody’s going to believe that.
Closet Workman #2: Oh, and I suppose you don’t need extra money for the holidays? My kid wants that Elf on the Shelf.
Bookshelf Workman’s Wife, Who Helps Him Carry Stuff Because He Can’t Afford to Hire Extra Workmen, I Guess?: Oh I love that Elf! Isn’t he just the cutest thing? Did you see the one where the little Lego figures have him tied down like that, whosit? That giant, I want to say, Oliver?
Window Workman with Earring: Gulliver?
Exposition Fairy: –to the FBI for testing. Shockingly, the strain—
Bookshelf Workman: [drilling noise, drilling noise, thwap thwap thwap, drilling noiiise]
Heather’s Friend Many: I like your tie, Jack! That’s a pretty color.
Daughter With the Wavy Hair: Wait, he’s wearing one?
Daughter With the Straight Hair: Don’t ask me. I’m in Spanish class.
Daughter With the Wavy Hair: Then why are you texting? Levenson will kill you if she catches you.
Daughter With the Straight Hair: I’m not!
Daughter With the Wavy Hair: Then, how are we talking to each other?
Daughter With the Straight Hair: No clue.
Son Home From College: I think it’s like, there are so many people in the house right now that Mom’s just kind of manifesting extra ones, accidentally.
Daughter With Wavy Hair: Daniel, is that you? What are you doing up? It’s only 1:30.
Exposition Fairy: –which is how forensic science played an important role in uncovering the plot. As to whether he–
Bookshelf Workman: [crashing noise, as of a lamp decorated with kanji]
Closet Workman #4: That’s it! That’s what they’re called, them Chinese letters!
Son Home From College: Actually, although they’ve been appropriated from the Chinese, “kanji” is a Japanese term used to describe the modern writing system used in—
Water Guy: Ma’am? There’s a policeman outside, asking to speak to somebody name of Jack?
Window “Work”man: Whoa, somebody’s got some explainin’ to do.
Window Workman With Earring: Whatever you do, do NOT ask that Fairy.
Exposition Fairy: –the world, and Heather, will never know. But she wondered, as she clicked off the television, whether this was the last of her many boyfriends that would appear on the program. Aaand: that’s it. I am officially on break. Happy Holidays, y’all.
Heather’s Friend Many: Wait: did she say “many boyfriends,” or “Many boyfriends”?
Actual Ghost: Ha! That’s what did she say.
Daughter With the Straight Hair: I don’t get it.
People: That’s it? I waited around for that? Do you realize how crowded the mall is going to be right now?
Bookshelf Workman: [drilling noise, drilling noise, drilllllllling noise, driiiiiiiillllling nooooiiiiiise, driLLLLLLLLLLLING NOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISe]