“Hello, and welcome to Access Hollywood’s live, red carpet coverage of Ryan’s Mom’s Awards.” Billy Bush smiles at the camera. Bleachers outside the Kodak Theatre contain thousands of screaming fans. Awards Expert Tom O’Neil stands next to Billy.
“What kind of surprises can we look for this year?”
“Well.” Tom oscillates between addressing Billy and the camera. “The Best Actress category is nearly identical to last year: Julia Roberts is nominated for Notting Hill, Meg Ryan is up for You’ve Got Mail and Sandra Bullock, who during past ceremonies has received nods for While You Were Sleeping and The Proposal, is still nominated for those films, and also for The Blind Side, which Ryan’s Mom caught on DVD and loved.”
“Let’s talk Marisa Tomei. She was nominated fourteen years in a row for her hilarious performance in My Cousin Vinny. Why the snub this year?”
“You can thank Ryan for that one. He borrowed his mom’s My Cousin Vinny DVD without telling her. She didn’t realize it was missing and, as a result, forgot to watch the movie this year. Tomei’s camp is furious with Ryan, while his mom is just ‘used to it.’”
“This sort of thing happens a lot, doesn’t it?”
“Ryan’s quite selfish, yes, Billy.”
“When did he even have time to steal a DVD from his mom?” Billy asks. “I thought he lives in Pennsylvania and doesn’t care enough to visit?”
“He lost his job,” Tom says. “He’s living with his aunt in Connecticut, collecting unemployment.”
“So, when’s he going to get a job?”
“I actually have a statement from Ryan’s camp on the subject: He is ‘waiting for the right job.’”
“When you’re unemployed,” Billy says, “isn’t any job the right job?”
Billy Bush sees Sandra Bullock approaching. Paparazzi take photos and Bullock signs autographs before spotting Bush.
“Sandra.” Billy walks up to her. “You look amazing. Ryan’s Mom has largely stuck to DVDs of your films over the years. Was there any concern that she might watch something else?”
“Not really.” Sandra Bullock texts on her phone as she answers the question. “People rarely make the kind of movies that she likes.”
“You had a streak of three years where you were nominated for Two Weeks Notice. Why no love for the film in recent years?”
“My agent told me that Ryan borrowed the DVD,” Sandra says. “He lost the case and returned the movie in a blank one. We were all wondering, though: How’s his mom supposed to remember that one of her favorite movies is in a blank DVD case?”
“Has he gotten a job yet?” Sandra asks. “Oh, never mind, they’re calling me in.”
Sandra Bullock rushes inside.
“We are minutes away from the start of the show.” Billy Bush notices Carrie Winston.
A young woman in a white GAP t-shirt approaches Billy, waving at the camera.
“Carrie, this is your third year at Ryan’s Mom Awards. How long has it been since you and Ryan broke up?”
Carrie takes a piece of gum out of her mouth. “We didn’t break up, I broke up with him—four years ago.”
“Ryan’s Mom keeps inviting you back, hoping that you two will get back together,” Billy says.
“Yeah, who knows?”Carrie rolls her eyes at the camera.
“Are you presenting tonight?”
“I’m introducing a montage of Ryan getting fatter over the years. Ryan’s Mom thinks it’ll encourage him to lose weight.”
“Absolutely. She’s not trying to be mean, she just doesn’t want to see him get diabetes or die single.”
Billy puts his hand on his ear.
“We are just about to take things into the Kodak Theatre, but hold on, there’s breaking news: Ryan borrowed his mom’s car last night and didn’t put the keys back where he found them.”
Billy Bush looks ahead, sees Ryan about to enter the theatre.
“Ryan!” Billy yells. Ryan walks over, nervous, smiling. “Where did you put your mom’s keys?”
“Oh.” Ryan takes a moment. “Probably on the counter.”
“Why would your mom buy a key rack if she didn’t want to have her keys placed on it?”
“I don’t know.” Ryan walks toward the theatre.
Billy Bush shakes his head. “Well, the show will be starting at least fifteen minutes late. We’ll be back live after the ceremony to find out just how disappointed Ryan’s Mom is in him tonight.”
Ryan Sartor's writing has appeared in The Bygone Bureau and Punchnels, among other publications. He was recently a visiting writer at The Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Conn. He lives in New York City.