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The Not Shall agreement (3 of 3)

Panda
Terms to be discussed.

Gabbe
Let’s stay away from technical language. I want to just be frank and open so there are no misunderstandings. This is a mediation and not a deposition.

Panda
I’d like to state for the record that all verbal agreements, yes, affirmative, okays and alrights are valid unless stated in the record.

Gabbe
Duly noted.

Horlick
What’s first?

Vanessa
You mean, what’s only. Money. That’s why we’re in this room. Would you marry me if I had … didn’t have … four hundred million dollars?

Panda
That’s liquid. Plus six hundred million in assets and climbing.

Vanessa
Don’t be vulgar, Stanley.

Neil
I’m not…

Vanessa
No, no. This is what you aspire to. You’ve done nothing but shop since we started going out. I watched that documentary by your former boss. I realised that I can buy the love of a doting husband.

Panda
Strike that from the record. It is an emotional statement meant for contextual purposes only and does not constitute a basis for this agreement.

Tori
Noted, and so stricken.

Gabbe
Would you like to say something, Mr Ross?

Neil
I’m insulted and hurt, so no.

Gabbe
Perhaps we should continue to the first items on the agenda. You have them listed here as “Not Shalls.”

Vanessa
They’re like commandments. I learned from my mother’s first three marriages that there is the need for honesty. It makes everyone clear.

Gabbe
Do you have an opinion on this?

Neil
I can’t believe you’re painting me as a gigolo. You know I am attracted to you. The fact that we’re getting married makes us equal.

Vanessa
You’re attracted to me? How sweet you are. As for equality, why don’t I give my money to charity and become a stylist?

Neil
No problem. Do it.

Panda
Your father left you stewardship of his estate and controlling interest in his group of companies. You can’t just give away your obligations.

Vanessa
Thwarted by vested interests. What luck for you, my darling little duck.

Neil
That’s a nasty thing to say. I’m not here for that.

Vanessa
I know I’m not pretty.

Neil
Please, there is no need to feel insecure. I’m committed.

Panda
But, what are you committed to?

Gabbe
Uhmm… May we proceed with the list?

Panda
All my client is saying is that she is a human being with feelings. She wants to retain her self respect.

Gabbe
Would you like to say something reassuring before we continue, Mr Ross?

Neil
This is hard for me, as I feel a lot of this is private.

Horlick
Let’s just get on with the list.

Panda
Not Shalls.

Eli
Here’s my handkerchief.

Neil
Just cut out the theatrics!

Vanessa
This counts as emotional abuse. Discounting my feelings. Calling them theatrics.

Neil
This is abuse, ganging up on me with this team of lawyers.

Vanessa
You didn’t complain about my team when they got you a coffee and a quick chat with Bruce.

Eli
Let that be stricken.

Gabbe
Not shall everyone be overreacting, please.

Vanessa
Okay, can we please just punch this out? My biological clock is ticking.

Gabbe
Not shall one: Both partners shall not deviate from a strict vegan diet. Meals outside of the home are to be prepared at a list of approved kitchens in each of the following territories.

Neil
Wait…

Vanessa
You told me you were a vegan when we met. You only buy organic vegetables. You only eat out at Soigné. You swim three kilometres every morning. That’s why we connected. We had so much in common.

Neil
I need …

Gabbe
Do you agree or do you disagree?

Neil
Yes. I mean, yes, I agree.

Tori
Noted.

Eli
Not shall two.

Gabbe
Not shall two: Both parties shall not deviate from a strict regime of physical, aesthetic and emotional upkeep.

Horlick
That’s three things.

Eli
Blah, blah. One category, upkeep.

Gabbe
Upkeep includes scheduled appointments with physical trainers, physicians, aestheticians, and Kabbalah teachers. Appointments may include therapy, counseling, physical examinations, semen sample submissions, drug screening and biweekly STI panels.

Neil
I can … Yes. I agree.

Gabbe
Not shall three: Both parties shall not break a period of strict celibacy after the conception of each child, for a period of one year. After which, relations may continue by mutual consent.

Vanessa
It’s part of my religion. Celibacy during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Neil
What religion? You liar. We do it three times a night now.

Vanessa
His religion is Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, Comme des Garçons… I respect his religion by letting him use my Amex Black Card to the maximum limit. Every month.

Eli
Stated for the record: Miss Plank respects her future husband’s religion and has supported him fully while they are engaged.

Gabbe
Religious intolerance is strictly prohibited. Respect for either party’s religion is a non negotiable, I’m afraid. Now, do you agree or disagree?

Neil
Damn you. Yes, I agree.

Gabbe
Not shall four: Both parties shall not exceed an interpersonal proximity of two hundred kilometres in radius to be activated at agreement signing, until the youngest child reaches the age of majority.

Panda
That’s eighteen.

Neil
I agree. This is sounding like a jail sentence.

Horlick
Please strike that last passionate flourish from the record.

Tori
Duly stricken.

Vanessa
That’s why they call wives the ball and chain. He’s already accustomed to it. Frank Müller watches at Christmas. Family friend discounts at Versace. Homes in Athens, Rome, Berlin.

Neil
This is getting ridiculous.

Panda
It is called a prenuptial agreement. If you had the money, we would be negotiating the installation of cameras in her eye sockets.

Vanessa
I would not show up on his radar, in the first place. What was her name again? The model you said you wanted to buy?

Neil
That’s an awful thing to say. That was pillow talk. Fantasy …

Vanessa
She’s nineteen. Right… Her name is Roja. She is a starving model, a high school dropout, who is almost half my age. I hired her as my full time personal assistant. You can stare at her all day, but if you so much as sniff her. If I can’t get pregnant, she’s agreed to be my surrogate.

Neil
You’re sick.

Vanessa
I’m a paying customer!

Panda
Not shall five, please.

Gabbe
Not shall five: Mr Ross shall not engage in paid or unpaid employment with any employer other than the Gareth E Plank Memorial Foundation, as its chief operating officer.

Neil
Okay, finally, something I can agree to while keeping my manhood. Yes, I agree.

Vanessa
Thanks for not asking if it’s a paid gig.

Neil
Screw you!

Vanessa
Actually, when we’re finished here, that will be your only duty as COO.

Eli
Ha! Chief “Operating” Officer. I get it. What?! That’s funny …

Vanessa
Shall we continue?

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

33 replies on “The Not Shall agreement (3 of 3)”

That’s funny! Not the divorce part because I don’t know the circumstances, but certainly the idea that you might have been spared some headache knowing that promises had to be kept. Isn’t it strange how we have to force people to respect us?

Liked by 1 person

The humor is well put and the emotions of Neil and Vanessa is well brought out. I loved the Amex Black Card very much, made me laugh a lot 😀

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