Friends S5:E5 – Trick or Phoebe, smell my Phoebe, give me something Phoebe to eat. If you Phoebe, I don’t Phoebe, I’ll Phoebe down your underwear! What. Is. Good, Mercedes Friends? Welcome to our fifth annual Halloween Post-Extravaganza! ? (I realize that my use of the comma there means a) I could be writing a Halloween extravaganza blog post or b) we could be celebrating Halloween after having an extravaganza.) ? Any who, how’re ya doing on this lovely Halloween Eve-Eve? If you’re in the spirit of the season like I am and, therefore, open to a fright, we have quite a scare in store for you later in the post. Before we get to that, however, it occurred to me that while we are celebrating Halloween today, funnily, our Friends 20/20 episode analysis won’t be part of the celebration because our FRIENDS were not celebrating Halloween 20 years ago in the episode under discussion. The GOAT ? sitcom certainly had years with Halloween-themed episodes but this does not happen to be one of them. While I might find that batty, right now in my head, I’m envisioning you – the reader – completely unimpressed by the observation in such a condescending way, you decide to respond to me in your best Chandler Bing-impression voice, snickering, “Well, ah Boohoo.” Fine. Enough FRIENDS observations for today. I can tell that ever since I let the (black) cat out of the bag that there is going to be a scare in today’s post, you’re all fixated in anticipation. Fine, fine, fine. Without further ado, I present…
Chandler and Monica Bing sat down with me (Ken Adams) in their Westchester County, New York home last Thursday, October 18th, 2018, to give their first public statements and provide video documentation to theLeftAHead of then Monica Geller’s “Me Too” moment.
[Ken] Monica and Chandler, thank you so much for choosing to share your story with theLeftAhead. Monica, please begin, whenever you’re ready.
[Monica] Well, thanks for having us Ken. I guess I’ll start by giving a little background. The year was 1998, twenty-years ago, almost to the day, in fact.
[Ken] Is that why you chose to go public with your story now? The twenty-year anniversary?
[Monica] Well, I hadn’t really thought about it until just now, so no, Mr. Adams. Our reason for going public now is that Chandler and I felt that perhaps my story could help empower other survivors and also help inform voters.
[Chandler] Yeah, so anyway, as Mon was saying, it was roughly 20-years ago…
[Monica] Now, that I’m thinking about it, it was the weekend of October 23rd -25th, 1998, to be exact.
[Chandler] Nobody needed you to be that exact, but whatever…
[Monica] Nobody needed you to interrupt me but you still did that now didn’t you?
[Ken] Monica, please continue.
[Monica] Anyway, as I was saying, Chandler and I were really new in our relationship and we were still hiding it from our friends so we decided to have a weekend getaway to get a break from all of the sneaking around.
[Chandler] We told our friends that we both had out-of-town work conferences. It was genius, except for one small detail. Monica decided to say her conference was in New Jersey without consulting me. Had she consulted me, she would’ve found out that my fake conference was already in New Jersey so it would have made more sense for her fake-conference to be somewhere else as to not arouse suspicion.
[Monica] You’re doing it again.
[Monica] Interrupting me. So, once again, as I was saying, Chandler and I went away to Atlantic City for a romantic getaway weekend and immediately started fighting.
[Ken] Why were you fighting?
[Monica] Chandler was obsessed with watching some stupid car chase from the moment we got there and when I called him out for being inconsiderate, he called me, “Mom.”
[Chandler] Umm, actually…the reason we were fighting and not having fun is that you made us change rooms 17 times upon arrival.
[Monica] Whatever, Speed Racer. So, even though we were fighting, we decided to grab dinner together on Saturday and as we were walking back into the lobby of the hotel after dinner, to our great surprise, we saw Donald Trump waiting for an elevator in the lobby.
[Chandler] Kenny, as you might imagine, I’m not big on videography. Having said that, I just so happened to have a video camera on this particular occasion. It was a video camera that belonged to my roommate at the time, Joey Tribianni. He had brought it with him on a trip to London and also used it when our other friend Phoebe had her brother’s triplets.
[Monica] Tell him why you, a non-viroegraphy enthusiast, had Joey’s camera on our trip to New Jersey.
[Chandler] Monica and I wanted to use it in the hotel room on our weekend get-a-way for…
[Monica] Excuse me, Monica and I?
[Chandler] I wanted to use it in our hotel room that weekend to try a thing I learned in Maxim Magazine.
[Ken] I’m sorry, did you say your friend Phoebe had her brother’s triplets?
[Chandler] Story for another time, Kenny. Story for another time.
[Monica] Chandler, get on with your videotape part already.
[Chandler] Sorry, Mon, TMI? Okay, anyway…as soon as we approached and I realized it was Donald Trump waiting for the elevator, I thought I could one-up Joey’s footage of him and Fergie (he got her on camera on the aforementioned London trip) by getting Trump to be on camera with Monica.
[Monica] So we approached Donald Trump and Chandler asked if we could get footage of him posing for a hug with me.
[Chandler] At first he seemed approachable and amenable to our request.
[Monica] Oh, man, did that quickly change. As soon as he turned his attention from Chandler to me, something changed in his demeanor. He put a TicTac in his mouth and he moved on me. I was shocked because Chandler was standing right there. I stepped aside and quickly reported that the guy that had asked for the picture is my boyfriend. He mumbled that he didn’t care and something about being a star. He had become so tunnel-visioned with his infatuation for me, he hadn’t even noticed that Chandler had lifted to camera and was now filming him.
[Chandler] To my complete astonishment, in front of a lobby full of people, he approached Monica again and stuck his and out to grab her…
[Monica] Luckily, my brother once taught me some martial artists and so I used the concept of Unagi to sense what this pervert was attempting to do and to quickly react by karate chopping Donald Trump’s hand away before he had successfully grabbed my private area. He was extremely agitated at my ability to defend myself and angrily screamed at me, “You’re supposed to let me do this, you rotten bitch. Whatever, you’re a dog anyway. If you worked for me, I’d tell you, ‘You’re fired.’ Have a nice life regretting turning down the best thing that ever happened to you.”
[Chandler] Without ever once turning back to me to notice that I was filming, Donald Trump stormed onto the elevator and his scowling, pumpkin face disappeared behind the elevator doors as they closed.
[Ken] Tell me you got the whole thing on tape.
[Chandler] Could I have gotten any more of the whole thing on tape?
[Ken] That’s a yes?
[Monica] Yes, that’s Chandler’s dumb-ass way of saying yes.
[Ken] I’ve heard whispers from many other journalists over the past couple of years about the existence of an Elevator Tape. Are you telling me…?
[Chandler] Exactly Ken, my man. I shot the Elevator Tape!
[Monica] Well, I starred in it! So I win!
[Chandler] Yes, dear, as always…you win. Anyway, Kenny…see the common misconception among the journalistic rumors is that the incident took place in Trump Towers when in fact, it happened at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City before Trump was forced to declare bankruptcy there. What a loser, I mean, you’ve got to be pretty bad a business to bankrupt a casino. Any of my colleagues in the advertising world, you see, I’m in advertising…
[Monica] Chandler, shut up.
[Chandler] Yes, dear.
[Ken] Well, I must say, this is an incredible development one week before the midterms. And you’re willing to release the tape today to theLeftAhead for us to make available to the public?
[Monica] We are, Ken. This has been a tough decision, I really value my privacy. I actually almost came forward in 2016, but when so many other women came forward after the Access Hollywood tape, I assumed that Trump’s sexual misconduct would be a disqualifying for him to become President of the United States. I assumed he would lose the election without me needing to come forward and I could go on living my private life. To this day, it still boggles my mind that that disgusting, pervert won. I have had a nagging thought in my mind ever since. What kind of message does excusing Donald Trump’s sexual misconduct by electing him president send to our kids? What kind of example do our children currently have in the White House? My kids, Jack and Erica, will be eligible to vote for the first time in the 2020 Presidential Election and I fear if the voters don’t provide a check on his power in the midterms, there may not be a 2020 election. The stakes are too high this time. I had to come forward. I had to speak out. If our interview and our releasing of the infamous Elevator Tape helps persuade one person to vote on Tuesday, November 6th who was planning to sit the midterms out, then the sacrifice of our privacy will be worth it.
[Ken] Monica, Chandler, thank you.
[Monica] Thanks, Ken.
[Chandler] Thanks, Kenny.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our horror story. The scariest part? While our Halloween tale is hyperbole, it is not really an exaggerated portrayal of the behavior of the real-life Donald Trump and the fact that this behavior was not disqualifying for him to be elected to the most distinguished position in our government is a true indictment on our society and its erosion of decency. For two years now, we’ve been living in the aftermath of what Thomas Friedman aptly coined our Moral 9/11 and Election 2018 is our chance to Make America Good Again. One week from Tuesday, we need to make Lady Liberty the new face of the Me Too Movement and say #TimesUp on the deal with the devil that the Republican Party made in order to be in control of our government – their choice to be complicit in Donald Trump’s assault on the moral fabric of the United States of America. Help make sure that their cynical, win-at-all-costs degradation of our values will not prevail in the end. Vote for a Blue Wave of decency on November 6th.
Recap in the Key of Phoebe – This is the one where Monica and Chandler go on a weekend getaway to get a break from all of their sneaking around, Rachel’s family dog LaPoo dies which causes her to start getting nose bleeds, Ross (temporarily set back by Rachel’s nose bleeds) finally tells her that he has promised Emily to stop seeing her in order to get Emily to come to New York, Phoebe agrees to Rachel’s plot to start a new group and decides to recruit Joey for it, Joey figures out that Chandler and Monica are hooking up and then promises them he won’t tell anyone else, and Monica and Chandler get in a huge fight on their weekend getaway but then Monica explains to Chandler that couples in an adult relationship can work through a fight while indicating to him that she wants to make up followed by him indicating, “me too.”
Gandalf Gaffes – None. Flawless episode!
Chan Man Quip of the Week – [The Setup] Phoebe, Monica, Joey, and Chandler are in Monica’s bedroom pretending to flip Monica’s mattress but really attempting to wait out an expected fight between Ross and Rachel. Chandler is listening intently out into the living room through the door. Phoebe asks him, “Can you hear anything?” Chandler sarcastically responds, “Oh yes, somebody just said, ‘Can you hear anything?'” Monica looks over across the room to see Joey bending over on the other side of her bed. She asks, “Hey, Joey’s ass, what are you doing?” Joey raises back up holding a box that he pulled out from under the bed and reports, “Well, remember when they got in that big fight and broke up and we were all stuck in her with no food or anything? Well, when Ross said Rachel at the wedding, I figured it was gonna happen again, so I hid this in here.” Looking through the box, Monica says, “Ooh, candy bars, crossword puzzles…” Before she can finish, Phoebe interjects, “Ooh, Madlibs, mine!” She proceeds to snatch up the MadLibs. Glancing in the box, Chandler asks Joey, “Condoms?” Joey defensively explains, “You don’t know how long we’re gonna be in here! We may have to repopulate the Earth.” [The Knockout] Using his interrogation technique as if it were a sharp blade, Chandler questions, “And condoms are the way to do that?”
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