SCENE: Gardenhire family kitchen. CAROL GARDENHIRE has just served RON GARENHIRE two unfrosted Pop Tarts on a brand new plate from a set she bought at Target last Friday.
RON GARDENHIRE: Wow sweetie, this looks amazing. What did you do to it?
CAROL GARDENHIRE: I toasted them.
Gardy takes a bite of the unfrosted Pop Tart just as the land-line phone rings. Carol goes over to answer the phone, a yellowish thing with a long spirally cord hanging on the wall.
CAROL GARDENHIRE: Hello? Oh hi Nick! How ar—
Gardy grabs the phone from Carol's hand before she finishes.
RON GARDENHIRE: Nicky! My man! Missed you so much! What's sliding?
NICK PUNTO: Everything! I'm going to be in Minnesota tomorrow and was wondering if that couch in your den office is free?
RON GARDENHIRE: Of course it is!
Gardy covers the receiver, looks at Carol, and starts excitedly pointing at the phone.
SCENE: The men's clothing section at CostCo in Maple Grove, two days later. NICK PUNTO has awkwardly lodged himself into the lower shelf of the Gardenhire family shopping cart, arms and legs stretched out like superman. RON GARDENHIRE tries to push the cart forward, but the rubber toes of Punto's tennis shoes keep hitting the floor and messing up the cart's navigation. Gardy stops.
RON GARDENHIRE: Okay, I think that's enough now.
NICK PUNTO: No!
Gardenhire starts rubbing his eyes.
NICK PUNTO: LNP! Get great deals! Save money!
SCENE: Gardenhire home office around 3:11 AM. RON GARDENHIRE sits in the glow of his computer screen. He's about to get down. He looks over his shoulder at NICK PUNTO, fast asleep on the couch. Gardy smiles to himself and cracks his knuckles. Using one finger, he types "RON GARDENHIRE NEWS" into the Google search box.
Ron's smile slowly fades.
RON GARDENHIRE (whispering to himself): Holy crap... Big Brother is real.
Ron turns and stares out into the darkness of his den/office for a minute, listening to the gritty wheezing of Punto's slumber. "How did they know?" Gardy thinks to himself as he looks back down at his hands. He suddenly gets up and goes to the kitchen to put a Target brand frozen pizza in the oven.
SCENE: Gardenhire home office around 4:43 AM. NICK PUNTO is awoken by the faint smell of smoke. He sits up and yawns, looks both ways, then sprints to the kitchen. Nick finds the oven smoking. He turns off the oven and looks inside.
NICK PUNTO (under his breath): Seriously?
Punto opens up some windows to air out the smoke. After the pizza cools he throws it in the kitchen trash and takes all the trash out to the bin in the alley. He returns to the kitchen to put a new liner in the trash can, clean the dishes, and wipe down the counters. Punto then goes back to the office den and lays on the couch.
NICK PUNTO (whispering): Never change, Gardy. Never change...