DISCLAIMER: None of it belongs to me. It’s either Buena Vista’s or... um... whoever owns Abbot and Costello’s material.

"And finally, today Nightstone Unlimited bought out the Springwerks Corporation, gaining itself a new entertainment branch and a specialty advertising division. It's rumored that even now Dominique Destine is personally reviewing her new holdings to determine what to keep and what to let go. That's all for the WVRN business report, back to you, Don."

Dominique Destine sneered at the TV screen even as she turned off the news. Amazing, really: they finally got something right. Aside from her being almost done with the interviews, that is. *Thank goodness for that, * she thought with a sigh. It'd been a long day.

Her intercom buzzed. "Ms. Destine?" her current secretary called. "Mr. Abbott is here."

"Send him in."

The man that entered was tall and thin, with receding brown hair. His vaguely worried expression matched the rumpled condition of his business suit. He smiled nervously in greeting when she made it clear she wasn't moving from her seat behind the desk. "Hello, Ms. Destine."

She nodded briskly in return. "Mr. Abbott. Let's skip the formalities. Tell me about your division, and why I shouldn't have it dismantled."

"Well, we did advertising for Springwerks and whoever they hired us out to, such as our last job. We did this sweet TV run for the Susquehanna Hat Company, you know, down on Fleugel Street--"

She raised a hand, halting him before he got to far. "I'm not interested. What I want to know about is your employees. And minimal details, Mr. Abbott. Tell me what we're looking at. Names, salaries, just the basics."

He shifted, apparently cowed by her. Good. Maybe he'd finish quickly. "Alright, well, I know them floor by floor, it's just the easiest way to go through it. Now, the managers should come first, the four of them. As for names, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third-"

Dominique frowned. What game was this fool playing? "That's what I'm trying to find out," she growled. "Tell me the managers' names."

"I am telling you. Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third--"

She interrupted again, already starting to wonder if the man had been dropped on his head as a child. "You do know their names, correct?"

"Yes," he said, apparently catching the dangerous look in her eyes.

*Bah. Might as well take this one stinking human at a time.* "Then who is on first?"


"I mean the man's name on the first floor."


"The man running the first floor in your office."


*Is he an owl, or an idiot?* she thought, leveling a glare at him. "The man on first floor."

"Who is on first."

"What are you asking me for?" she growled.

"I'm not asking, Ms. Destine, I'm telling. Who is on first."

"I, on the other hand, happen to be asking: who is on first?"

The human started to look vaguely panicked. "That's the man's name!"

"Who's name?"


After a pause, she intensified the glare. "Well? Tell me!"


"The man on first."


"The first floor manager."

"Who is on first."

Demona let out a faint growl. Stupid, infuriating cockroach scum.... "Have you a manager on the first floor?"


"Then who's running first?"


She paused again, wondering just how the conversation had spiraled out of control and into this horrifying farce. Time for another tactic. "When you pay the first floor manager every week, who gets the money?"

Abbott looked almost offended. "Every dollar of it! And why not; the man's entitled to it!"

"Who is?"


"So who gets it?"

"Why shouldn't he? All right, so sometimes his wife comes and gets it, but it all ends up at the same place."

"Who's wife?" Dominique demanded, hands clenching the edge of the desk almost hard enough to leave behind indentations.

"Yes. After all, the man earns it."

"Who does?"


"All I'm trying to find what's the man's name on first floor!" she snarled, visions of dismembering the man dancing through her mind.

"Oh no, no, What is on second floor."

"I'm not asking who's on second."

"Who's on first."

"That's what I'm trying to find out!"

"Well, don't change the people around."

"I'm not changing anyone," she snarled, seeing red. It was a miracle her eyes hadn't turned ruby with fury, even in human form. Dragon be damned, she WOULD find out the humans' names!

"Now, take it easy," Abbott cautioned, noticing her rage.

"What is the man's name on first?" Demona snarled, shoving the façade of Dominique aside.

"What's the guy's name on second."

"I'm not asking you who's on the second floor," she said through gritted teeth.

"Who's on first."

"I don't know!"

He waved that off. "He's in charge of third, we're not talking about him."

"How did I get onto the third floor?" Demona half shrieked.

"You mentioned his name."

"If I mentioned the third floor manager's name, who did I say is running third?"

"No, Who's responsible for first."

"Stay off of the first floor!"

"Well what do you want me to do?" Abbott cried, his frustration as clear as her anger.

"Oh, never mind. What's the man's name on first?"

"What's on second."

"I'm not asking who's on second."

"Who's on first."

"I don't know."

"He's on third."

"And there I go back to third again," she sighed. "How the hell did that happen."

"Well, I can't change their names," he declared defensively.

"Will you please stay on the third floor?"

"Happy to. Now what is it you want to know?" he asked, leaving frustrated for sympathy.

"What is the man's name in charge of third floor?"

"What is the fellow's name on second floor."

"I'm not asking who's on second!"

"Who's on first."

"I don't know!"

"THIRD FLOOR!" he yelled, practically leaping out of the chair.

"Enough!" she yelled right back, slamming a palm down on the desk. "How about computers? Do you have computer artists?"

"Of course. Three of them, one supporting IBM, another Mac, and the last just goes between the two."

"Good. Let's start with the IBM user: his name?"


"Oh, I don't know," she snarled sarcastically, "I just thought I'd ask."

"Well, I just thought I'd tell you." He seemed far too insulted for being such an annoying piece of humanity.

"Then tell me who's the IBM user."

"Who runs first."

"Stay off of first floor!"

"Then don't mention any names from there!"

"I want to know what's the artist's name who uses IBM computers!"

"What runs second floor."

"I'm not asking who is on second!"

"Who's on first."

"I don't know!"

By now able to guess, she gave the human a weary look as both declared, "Third floor."

"IBM user's name?" she tried again.



"Oh, he's the Mac freak. Uh, user."

"Mac freak," she repeated. How the blazes did she end up there?


She decided to move in another direction. Just ONE human's name! That was all, just one! "You have a designer?"

"Wouldn't this be a fine advertising business without a designer."

"Whatever. His name?"


"Come again? Are you refusing to tell me this information? This meeting decides the future of your career. "

"But I AM telling you!"

"Then go ahead."


"Just tell me who's your designer!"

"Ms. Destine, I already told you-"

Slamming her hands on the desk, she shot to her feet. "I'LL BREAK YOUR ARM IF YOU SAY 'WHO'S ON FIRST'!!!!" she roared.

He cringed back in his chair. "Yes, Ms. Destine."

"Now." She sat back down, running her hands over her hair in an attempt to calm down. "I want to know what's the designer's name."

"What's on the second floor."

"I don't know!" Mentally slapping herself, Demona found herself chanting with the man: "Third floor!!" *Dragon, he has a one track mind!* "You have a lawyer?" she demanded, considering the possibility of a suit. Or better yet, the possibility of getting around assault charges.

"Yes, ma'am. "

"The lawyer's name?"


She sat and stared at the insane man for a few seconds. "Today," she repeated, voice far too calm. "And Tomorrow's the designer."

"Now you've got it!"

* He's got a couple of days running the business. I can't take this anymore!* "Frankly Mr. Abbott, at this point I don't give a damn!"

"I beg your pardon?

"I said," she snarled, leaning over the desk to get into his face, "I don't give a damn!"

"Oh." He nodded sagely. "That's the secretary."

"Well, things are looking bad for the former Springwerks Corporation. About half the employees were laid off today, up to and including the company's advertising division. On a tragic, related note, the manager of said division, Bud Abbott, suicided today upon learning he'd been fired, leaping out of the window of Dominique Destine's window seconds after getting the news. To compound the tragedy, his home exploded later this evening. Fire officials are declaring it a leaky gas main, while several eyewitnesses claim it was a gargoyle with a bazooka. Frankly Don, I'm for the stove theory. Back to you."

In case you aren’t familiar with the classic origins of this fic, the original "Who’s on First," by Lou Abbot and Bud Costello, I based it on a transcript at http://laffnow.com/humor/whos.html. Or at least some place like that. ;)

Countless groveling thanks to Ryuu sama for the idea in the first place. I hope it turned out as amusing as you hoped.

Thanks also need to go to Karate Dave, even if he probably will never read this, for the inadvertent help in naming Springwerks.

Let me out of here!!!! A.K.A. Home

I want to read more! To get back to the fic archive

Any questions? Complaints? Screams of outrage that I actually consider myself a writer and/or dared to show this in public? Tell me! Send it all to Norcumi@backtick.net! I love mail!!!!