By Alexandro “Dr. #Content” Strauss ’15 (with apologies to Steven Soderbergh)
[It is THURSDAY of Reunions. Two lifelong friends (because what life is there before Princeton?), FRANCESCA “FRANKIE” OCEAN ‘11 and ESPERANZA DEL MAR ‘11, are hanging out at their old EATING CLUB, any resemblance of which to any real-world person or place is purely coincidental.]
OCEAN: Damn… where is everybody?
DEL MAR: I know. Feels like nobody came back this year.
OCEAN: It’s our seventh Reunions. We’re hitting that drop-off point. People stop coming every year, which makes it worse for all their friends, and it just snowballs from there.
DEL MAR: It is Thursday, though. It’s probably going to get better in the coming days.
OCEAN: Still. What are we going to do until they show up? If they show up? Drink?
DEL MAR: Sure.
OCEAN: But I do that all the time anyway! Ah, crap. Are we… are we in for a…
DEL MAR: Don’t say it.
DEL MAR: Don’t say it!
OCEAN: …a boring Reunions?!
[THUNDERCLAP. This is notable because the thunderstorms aren’t forecast to hit until much later tonight, and then persist through Friday and Saturday.]
OCEAN: Oh, no. We are, aren’t we?! This is it. The beginning of the end. It can’t happen this soon. It can’t! I can’t have a boring Reunions before I turn 30! No! No! No!
DEL MAR: Calm down, Frankie.
[Someone clears their throat behind them. They spin around, and see a GRIZZLED OLD MAN WITH A CLASS OF ‘68 PIN standing behind them.]
GOMWACO’68P: Excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing. I remember being in your same boat during my seventh Reunions.
GOMWACO’68P: While I was looking for something to do that year, I heard a rumor of a great and terrible treasure hidden away from public eyes. A vault, hidden deep beneath Nassau Hall, guarded by an array of traps and monsters dating back to John Witherspoon. And within…a secret fund, reserved for only the most urgent of university matters, a fund which has since its founding grown to enormous proportions! Riches befitting not just a person, but a kingdom!
DEL MAR: Do you mean…
OCEAN: Could it be…
DEL MAR: Queen Noor’s savings acount?
OCEAN: The money Princeton saves from not air-conditioning anything?
GOMWACO’68P: No, you idiots! Queen Noor’s savings are stored in Firestone, everyone knows that. And the A/C money… it… it… [He pauses, overcome with tears, reliving the sweat-soaked May of his sophomore year in Wilson.] Never mind. You’re not ready.
DEL MAR: Come on. Please?
GOMWACO’68P: No. No way. [1.54-second pause.] Oh, all right. You know how more beer is consumed at Reunions than at any other event in the country?
OCEAN: Isn’t that just because the Indianapolis 500 restricted beer sales or something?
GOMWACO’68P: Yes, but you know who convinced them to do that? Who couldn’t stand being anything but number 1? We did. You know how much it costs to convince the Indy 500 to do something like that? And that money can’t come out of the endowment, you know. Not legally. Princeton had to dip into their special reserves. Off the books. Cash and gold only. And they say those reserves are hidden under Nassau Hall. I’ve tried for years to find them, but never could. And now I’m too old for the game. Maybe you can—
DEL MAR: No way. That’s ridiculous. Frankie, that’s ridiculous, right? Frankie? [She notices Frankie has left the table.] Frankie! [She leaves too and runs to catch up.] What are you doing?
OCEAN: Going to Firestone! I have to know if it’s true.
[INT: FIRESTONE LIBRARY FRONT DESK]
OCEAN: Hi, I, uh… wait. How does this work? It’s been so long since I’ve been in a library…
DEL MAR: Beats me. I was a psych major. Never set foot in here.
OCEAN [to the LIBRARIAN at the desk]: Hi, uh, this is a bit of a long shot, but, uh, do you carry anything about any, uh, subterranean construction on campus? Besides Firestone, I mean.
LIBRARIAN: If you’re looking for school archives, you’ll want to go to Mudd Library.
DEL MAR: You mean we’ve got to do this all over again?
[INT: MUDD LIBRARY]
OCEAN [to the librarian]: Hi, uh, we’re looking for—wait, didn’t we just see you in Firestone?
LIBRARIAN: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
OCEAN: You’re the same librarian! Same person, same outfit, same everything! How did you get here before we did?
LIBRARIAN: You must have me confused with someone else.
DEL MAR: Quick, Frankie, let’s just ask before this turns into an extended gag. [To the librarian] Is there anything in the archives about a secret treasure room under Nassau Hall?
LIBRARIAN: Oh, the vault records? Yeah, let me go bring those up for you!
[15 minutes later.]
OCEAN: You find anything yet?
DEL MAR: Nope—no, wait. Check out this old issue of PAW. “In a ceremony in the Nassau Hall vault open only to the University’s board of directors, Princeton University President Harold W. Dodds officially inaugurated the F. Scott Fitzgerald ‘17 Slush Fund—a secret, pseudolegal reserve to ensure that the University can provide, in Dodds’ words, ‘the most bitchin’ parties known to man all year, every year.’”
OCEAN: Wait, they announced this in PAW? How’s it still a secret, then?
DEL MAR: I think you just answered your own question.
OCEAN: Oh, true.
DEL MAR: Oh man, they even added some verses to “Going Back To Nassau Hall” for the occasion. Here, look:
OCEAN: “Underground in Princeton, unbeknownst to all,
There’s a hoard of treasure beneath Nassau Hall,
Left behind by F. Scott to pay for our booze,
Situating us saturated long as we choose.”
DEL MAR: Were they trying to get people to steal it?
OCEAN: No, wait, this is just Tiger Mag from a few years later. Guess it faded into legend pretty quick.
DEL MAR: Still, all these historical articles about it—it’s definitely a real thing.
OCEAN: Yeah, and not just historical—here’s a Prince article about it from 2003. Wait. Oh my God.
DEL MAR: “U. Anounces Slush Fund Now Over $7.1 Billion”. Classic Prince.
OCEAN: Not the typo, the sum! 7.1 billion dollars! Just for booze!
DEL MAR: That’s ridiculous.
DEL MAR: Disgusting.
OCEAN + DEL MAR [unison]: We should steal it. [Pause.] Hell yeah we should. Jinx! Personal jinx, 1, 2, 3! Jinx!
[This goes on for a while.]
OCEAN: Okay, but seriously, let’s do it.
DEL MAR: Look at this floor plan! All the security guarding it. No way we can do it on our own.
OCEAN: You’re right. We’ll need a crew.
DEL MAR: Can we hit the tents before doing that?
OCEAN: Of course.
[They leave, joyously singing new verses to “Going Back To Nassau Hall”.]
OCEAN + DEL MAR: When we’re back in Princeton, whole gang gathered ‘round
We’ll dig up that slush fund, lift it from the ground
Secret treasure of the University
Extricate it and exfiltrate it from New Jersey!
END OF DAY ONE
[It is FRIDAY of Reunions. Frankie Ocean and Esperanza Del Mar are huddled on the floor of the DORM ROOM they’re sleeping in for the weekend, poring over a bunch of PRINTOUTS they made from photographing the documents in Mudd.]
OCEAN: All right. So we’ll hit the vault tomorrow, during P-Rade. Takes advantage of their distraction and gives us the cover of fireworks if things go wrong.
DEL MAR: All right. But there’s a lot of security measures we’ll have to get through.
OCEAN: Yep. It’s time to…
GATHER THE CREW
DEL MAR: Odds are they’re going to have some muscle patrolling the vault. We need to either drag them away or incapacitate them. That’s going to be a problem.
OCEAN: I know just the girl.
DEL MAR: You do?
~THE COMBAT SPECIALIST~
OCEAN: My freshman year roommate! Anna Polithalassa ‘11. Completed ROTC in one day. Was the on-campus informant for the CIA. Killed Bin Laden for her senior thesis.
DEL MAR: Wait, wh—
OCEAN: Ninth-degree black belt. Became a flying ace using only a parachute. Survived a firing squad without a scratch.
DEL MAR: Hang on, what was that about the—
OCEAN: Went rogue in ‘13. Sole survivor of her court martial. Now travels the globe. UFC champ in her spare time. Has stolen the Mona Lisa once, and the fake she replaced it with twice. Had cameos in two “Fast and Furious” movies.
DEL MAR: Wow. And she came back for Reunions?
POLITHALASSA [from behind them]: I never skip Reunions.
DEL MAR: Gah! Where did you come from?
POLITHALASSA: I’ve been here the whole time. Watching. Waiting. Anyways, I’m in! When do we start?
DEL MAR: Uh… tomorrow during P-Rade. Not sure where we’ll meet up yet.
POLITHALASSA: Don’t worry. I’ll find you. And remember: I was never here.
DEL MAR: Nice. Okay, it looks like we might have to breach some reinforced doors. That’s going to be hard to do.
OCEAN: I might know someone.
~THE EXPLOSIVES EXPERT~
OCEAN: Hey, Mare—you were a chem major, right?
MARE SIVAKUMAR ‘11: Yep.
OCEAN: So you know all about explosives then, right?
MARE: God, no! Why does everybody keep asking me that? I did my thesis on thermoelectric cooling.
OCEAN: Perfect! We’re going to break into the vault below Nassau Hall, and we might need to blow through several feet of steel. We could really use your help.
MARE: Let me stress, once again, that I’m totally clueless about this stuff. I work for Dove now. On shampoos.
OCEAN: Awesome! So you’ll help us blow open the vault?
MARE: Did you even hear me?
~THE ONE WHO CAME BACK TO PRINCETON FOR GRAD SCHOOL~
DEL MAR: Yemanjá! You’re just the gal I was looking for. See, we heard this rumor about there being a secret vault under Na—
YEMANJÁ OLAWALE ‘11 *19: Yeah, it’s true.
DEL MAR: Wait, you know about it?
YEMANJÁ: I’m doing my dissertation on subterranean structures on Ivy League campuses. I know all about the vault. Location, size, security measures, architecture, all of it.
DEL MAR: No kidding? That’s perfect! The more we know about the vault, the better.
YEMANJÁ: Oh God. You know I’m back in Princeton, right? Like, full time? Doing nothing with my days but research, research, research? Surrounded only by fellow grad students equally consumed by their work? I was looking forward to this weekend as an excuse to do something—anything—other than work for a few days. And now you want me thinking about work the whole time? Do you really think there’s anything you can say that’ll convince me to join you?
DEL MAR: …it’ll be fun and we might make a lot of money?
YEMANJÁ: Oh, all right.
~THAT GIRL, YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH THE INFURIATINGLY PERFECT LIFE~
MARINA TOLEMAN ‘11: Frankieee!
OCEAN: Oh my god, Marina! I didn’t realize you were coming back! [They hug.] How’s life in LA? Are you still writing for HBO?
MARINA: No, I’m not.
OCEAN: Oh, I’m sor—
MARINA: Yeah, I learned a lot there, but it was always just a job, you know? It was just the safe offer I took after I graduated. I left as soon as I could sell one of my movie scripts.
OCEAN: Anything I might have heard of?
MARINA: Maybe. You watch any of the new Star Wars movies? I did a couple of those.
OCEAN: Wow, okay… uh… I heard you adopted a kid?
MARINA: Two, actually! They’re with Zephyr’s mom for the weekend.
OCEAN: Oh, right, you two got married! I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t take that much time off work.
MARINA: Don’t worry! I think we both knew not to expect many people could find the time to make it up to Fairy Meadows. And it’s not like you missed too much. We didn’t even make it three-quarters of the way up Nanga Parbat for the bachelorette party before we had to turn around.
OCEAN: I, uh, guess not. Is Zephyr here? I don’t think I’ve actually met her.
MARINA: Yeah! She’s just over—hey, Zeph? Here’s that friend I was telling you about.
~THE SPOUSE WHO DIDN’T GO HERE~
ZEPHYR KANNEMANN: Hey! Mare’s told me all about you.
OCEAN: Great to meet you! What do you think of our Reunions?
ZEPHYR: Sure beats what Stanford does, I’ll tell you that. Harvard too. I’ll have to go back to Oxford one of these years; never had a chance to check theirs out. That is, if Rhodes Scholars count as alumni! Of course, it’s hard to go back when you’re working on a startup that turns carbon dioxide in the air directly into electricity.
OCEAN [under her breath]: oh my fucking god
ZEPHYR: It is kind of odd being here as a spouse, you know? Everyone else knows each other, and I’m just here seeing so many new names and faces. It’s a little…
OCEAN: Boring? Well, I have just the cure for that!
ZEPHYR: I was going to say overwhelming, but I’m listening…
~THE GIRL WHO ONLY COMES BACK FOR SATURDAY~
[The following exchange takes place in TEXT MESSAGES on Esperanza’s phone.]
DEL MAR: hey nat you at reunions or what
NATSUE MIZUMI ‘11: not yet !!! will be there sat tho
DEL MAR: you’re only ever there for saturday
why did I ever think otherwise
MIZUMI: yep sorry haha
DEL MAR: well frankie and myself and a couple others are going to try and rob the secret vault under nassau hall during prade you want in
MIZUMI: sounds like fun! but i kinda wanna use prade to see everyone
DEL MAR: ah dang
we can still use you
you can keep them distracted during it
MIZUMI: good point! ok im in
DEL MAR: sweet
[And now, back to talking.]
DEL MAR: All right! That makes eight, including us.
OCEAN: Wait, wait, wait. We should probably add a guy or two to this, right?
DEL MAR: Why? We’ve already got 8, Ocean.
OCEAN: Yeah, but that pun would only work if we’re class of ‘08, and we’re not. We’re class of ‘11. So we need…
THE THREE TOKEN GUYS
DEL MAR: I still really don’t see why we need them.
OCEAN: Well, uh, see, if we add them, we can have…
~THE GUY FRANKIE CLEARLY ADORES~
DEL MAR: Wait, Troy? The guy you always flirt with at Reunions but it never goes beyond that?
DEL MAR: Is this all a big scheme for you two to finally get together?
DEL MAR: Look, he obviously likes you too. If you want to get with him just—
OCEAN: There he comes now! Act cool, act cool!
DEL MAR: [sighs]
TROY JACKSON ‘11: …Hey.
OCEAN: So, uh… wanna help me and Esperanza rob the University?
DEL MAR: Okay, if you get one, I get one.
~THE FRAT BRO WHO NEVER MOVED ON FROM HIS GLORY YEARS~
OCEAN: How do you know this guy?
DEL MAR: He was in Gauss House one year. Met him at a pregame there.
OCEAN: And your name is… Cuke, you said?
OCEAN: …just Cuke?
OCEAN: Like a combination of—
OCEAN: Do you—
CUKE: I know nothing from before my frat years. Not even my birth name. I exist in a displaced fragment of self, cut off from any semblance of my being not having to do with being a Zete. Personal growth, professional ambition, romantic desire—I feel none of them. I feel nothing. I AM nothing. Nothing but wearing tank tops and pounding shots with my bros. I am Cuke. Maybe I’ll always be Cuke.
OCEAN: And you’re picking this guy why?
DEL MAR: He’s an old friend. He needs our help. Maybe, in that vault, he can find whatever it is that was taken from him. Plus, look at how jacked he is! That sort of… raw… rippling… sensual muscular power is bound to come in handy.
OCEAN: Okay, fine.
CUKE: I will join you. Maybe deep in that vault I can find the identity, the life, I long ago lost. And if not, you know how many cases of Natty Light and American-flag swim trunks that money can buy, brah?
OCEAN: Well, I think that’s everybody we nee—
VOICE: Excuse me, I think you’re lacking someone like me in your little heist plan.
DEL MAR: Beg pardon?
[Ah, crap. It’s…]
~THE COLLEGE REPUBLICAN~
T. HARLAN PELL, SR. ‘11.: T. Harlan Pell, Senior.
HARLAN: Added pre-emptively for whenever I father a son.
DEL MAR: Do we really want this guy?
HARLAN: Oh, so just because I’m a white, conservative male, you’re going to shut me out? Real tolerant of you.
DEL MAR: Shut up.
HARLAN: And now you’re limiting my free speech? On a college campus?!
TROY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down. [To Ocean and Del Mar] I say we take him. I know this guy. Not well, but I know him. He works in Scott Pruitt’s office. He probably knows a thing or two about theft.
OCEAN: [sighs] Good point. Okay, fine. You’re in.
DEL MAR: Well, we’ve got our team. Let’s go rob us some money.
END OF DAY TWO
[EXT: The 5TH REUNION TENT, night. It is SATURDAY of Reunions. Frankie Ocean is talking to her friend MATT. They both have to shout over the music.]
MATT: I didn’t see you at P-Rade!
OCEAN: Oh, that’s because I went with some of my friends to rob Nassau Hall!
MATT: Really! How’d you manage that?
[FLASH BACK to ten hours earlier. The CREW is in position at the steps of NASSAU HALL.]
DEL MAR: Okay… the plan says there’s a passageway under these steps.
OCEAN: Hmmm. I don’t see anything. No seams, no levers, nothing.
DEL MAR: It’s a perfect seal.
OCEAN: All right, Mare! You’re up!
MARE: For the last time, I don’t actually know anything about explo—
YEMANJÁ: Oh, for Christ’s sake. Didn’t you read any of the blueprints I sent over? The passage is sealed except to those in greatest need.
ZEPHYR: But… what does greatest need mean here?
YEMANJÁ: Did they teach you nothing at Stanford? Here.
[She grabs the fifth of Jägermeister Cuke’s been carrying and upends it on the steps.]
YEMANJÁ: The passage to the slush fund only opens to those in greatest need of the slush fund. So if you show that you’re running low on alcohol…
[The STEPS suddenly begin shifting, sliding, and moving, reforming into a staircase down into a dark, narrow PASSAGE.]
ZEPHYR: Oh my God…
[The crew enters warily.]
DEL MAR: It just keeps sloping down…
MARINA: And turning…
MARE: It’s getting cold…
TROY: And dark…
POLITHALASSA: Whoa, look down there! In that side tunnel! It’s the weather machine! The CIA’s been looking for it for yea—
POLITHALASSA: …Forget I said anything.
[They halt. A gigantic TIGER blocks their path!]
TIGER: Hello, younglings.
[Troy and Frankie instinctively embrace each other.]
TROY: Whoops, I, uh…
OCEAN: No, it’s okay, I just… I mean…
DEL MAR [under her breath]: Just kiss already.
TIGER: Do not fear. I will not hurt you… that is, if you please me. Only those who truly embody the Princeton spirit of knowledge and learning may go further. So I am here to ask you a few questions. Questions that test whether you truly learned anything at Princeton. Questions that can be about any topic.
DEL MAR: Oh no.
MARINA: I’ve forgotten everything I learned at Princeton.
DEL MAR: I never learned anything to begin with at Princeton.
CUKE: The only things I learned at Princeton involved beer.
HARLAN: I learned all I needed to from reading The Fountainhead at age 13.
POLITHALASSA [cracking knuckles]: Come on. Let me take him. I can do it. C’mon.
TIGER: Today’s topic is…
[All gaze in apprehensive horror.]
TIGER: Thermoelectric cooling!
[Mare’s eyes light up.]
POLITHALASSA: Ah, dang it!
[Cut ahead. They have continued down, where they find themselves hiding behind a rock, trying to figure out how to get past two huge, scary-looking GUARDS.]
ZEPHYR: Whoa. They look like they can break us in two without breaking a sweat.
POLITHALASSA: I can handle ‘em. Just give the word.
OCEAN: Wait, wait, wait, hang on. Before I totally forget, I want to see some pics of Marina and Zephyr’s kids!
MARINA: Oh, right! We haven’t shown you guys yet. Zeph, do you have your phone?
[They all gather round.]
TROY: Oh my God!
DEL MAR: They’re so cute!
ZEPHYR: That’s Ellie—we named her after Ellie Kemper—and that’s Sigourney.
MARINA: Named after Sigourney Weaver, obviously.
ZEPHYR: We figured we’d each get to name one.
MARINA: After our favorite alum from our alma mater.
ZEPHYR: If we adopt another, I have dibs on Rashida. The perks of going to grad school!
GUARD #1: Hang on, can we see?
GUARD #2: Oh my goshhhhhh they’re adorable!
GUARD #1: What sweethearts!
GUARD #2: You know what, just for making our day, we’ll let you into the vault!
DEL MAR: Wow, thanks!
[They step into the hallway leading to the VAULT DOOR.]
OCEAN: All right. The vault should be the next target. Time to set off our distraction. Esperanza? Go for it.
[She whips out her phone.]
[EXT: NASSAU HALL STEPS. Natsue Mizumi gets the text she’s been waiting for and goes off to the P-RADE, at which point…]
LITERALLY EVERYONE ALL AT ONCE: Nat! It’s so good to see you!
[INT: They have reached the vault door.]
MARE: There it is.
DEL MAR: The door to the vault.
TROY: Right there in front of us.
MARINA: Just beyond that field of lasers.
OCEAN: All right. We’ve got to work our way to the door without tripping any of these lasers. Anna, I think this is your area of—
HARLAN: What, are you libs all scared of a little light? Wow, no wonder you’re losing the culture war. Watch how a true alpha male handles things.
[Harlan leaps forward, tripping the lasers and setting off a deafening alarm.]
HARLAN: Awww, what’s that? Did I trigger you? That why you’re crying so loud? What a college snowflake. You let one guy step in your safe space and you’re running back to mommy. No wonder you’re—AUGH!
[A giant rubber mallet swings down from the ceiling like a pendulum and catches him square amidships, sending him flying upward and out through a convenient shaft in the ceiling. His scream of anguish Dopplers away into nothingness before we hear the faint splash of him landing in Lake Carnegie.]
DEL MAR: Oh, thank God.
TROY: I’m sorry I suggested he join us. Wasn’t worth the handful of jokes we got out of it.
DEL MAR: No kidding.
OCEAN: Okay, now we just have the vault door to open. Any idea how we do—wait, what? The vault’s opening! It’s… ah, crap.
[The huge door has opened for them. Inside, the vault is vast, disappearing into shadows far before any of the far walls become visible, and it is empty. There’s nothing in that colossal room, nothing at all… except… illuminated in a beam of sunlight filtering down from an opening far above…]
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT CHRISTOPHER L. EISGRUBER ‘83: I thought you might show up.
ALL [unison]: University president Christopher L. Eisgruber ‘83?
GRUBES: That’s right. I’m the one who guards the Slush Fund. Don’t worry about your friend—
ALL [unison]: He’s not our friend.
GRUBES: —my only rule is I can’t bring any harm to the Princetonians who try and steal it. Which is why anybody who trips that laser gets a nice, safe landing in Lake Carnegie. Well, except for the lake monster, which—[he stops for a moment and listens intently]—oh. Oh dear. Guess it doesn’t feast on just rowers. [He takes a swig from a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.] Ugh. The 20-year reserve just isn’t a patch on the 23.
DEL MAR: Where’s the money?
GRUBES: What money? Oh, the Slush Fund? It’s long gone. We turned it into… well, slush… years ago.
OCEAN: 7.1 billion dollars’ worth?
GRUBES: Hey, you know how much Pappy Van Winkle costs? This boy’s gotta have his Pappy Van Winkle, you know!
OCEAN: You drank it all?
GRUBES: Shared a lot of it with Shirls. Running a university… it’s a tough job, you know? [He takes another swig.] Well, that’s the last of that.
YEMANJÁ: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I’ve looked into Ivy League alcohol smuggling. The most expensive Pappy isn’t worth more than ten thousand dollars a gallon. Which means…
DEL MAR: That’s more alcohol than any one human could ever consume.
YEMANJÁ: Which means either Eisgruber is some sort of demigod, or…
OCEAN: Or he’s lying to us about where the booze is. Wait, what the hell?
MARINA: He vented the steam tunnels in here!
DEL MAR: Don’t let him escape!
POLITHALASSA: I can’t see a damn thing!
[The steam slowly clears.]
OCEAN: He’s gone.
DEL MAR: Well, dammit.
OCEAN: The money’s still out there.
DEL MAR: But we’re never going to get our hands on it, are we?
OCEAN: What a bummer.
DEL MAR: Y’all wanna go drink the pain away at the 5th?
END OF DAY THREE
[A weak and pale sun looms over the ruined expanse of Princeton University. The crowds are gone. The alumni have gone back to their habitats, leaving behind only memories, memories and a thick dust of beer cups and bodily fluids that chokes the air and blocks out the sun. Ocean’s ‘11 are all sitting, dejected, on the steps of Nassau Hall. Well, except for T. Harlan Pell, Sr., who got eaten by the lake monster. And Cuke, who left the group to wander, forever, from frat party to dank and dim frat party. And Marina and Zephyr, who went back to, like, their perfect daughters and their gorgeous mansion in Beverly Hills or whatever, ugh. And Anna Polithalassa, who left without telling anybody, so as to avoid being tracked. And Yemanjá Olawale, who didn’t technically leave, but, like, grad school. And Natsue Mizumi, who saw everybody she wanted to see in 11 hours, 22 minutes, setting a new personal best, and promptly left. And Mare Sivakumar, who got sick of everybody at the 5th asking if she knew how to make their beers explode.
Really, it’s just Frankie Ocean, Esperanza Del Mar, and Troy Jackson, since he and Frankie finally confessed their feelings to each other or whatever.]
DEL MAR: What a mess.
JEFF BEZOS ‘82: Whoa, what’s this? Why so glum, chums?
ALL [unison]: Jeff Bezos ‘82?!
BEZOS: Yep, that’s me! Jeff Bezos ‘82, founder of Amazon! Why are you all so miserable? It’s Reunions!
OCEAN: We spent it all trying to break into the vault underneath Nassau Hall, and when we did, there was nothing there.
BEZOS: No kidding? Oof. That would crush any spirit. Here. [He takes out his checkbook.] I hate seeing any of my fellow tigers so down.
DEL MAR: What are you doing?
BEZOS: How’s… I dunno… 500 million each? It’s not the Slush Fund, but I hope it’s a good consolation prize.
DEL MAR: You’re giving away one and a half billion dollars?
OCEAN: To us?
BEZOS: Eh. I’ll make it back in a week or two.
DEL MAR: Wait, so you’ll spare that money for us, but not for your employees? You’d seriously rather give a billion dollars to three financially well-off Princeton students than use it to keep your workers off food stamps, or allow them to use the bathroom without fearing for their jobs, or—
TROY: What she means to say is, um, thank you so much, Mr. Bezos! It’s, uh, very generous of you.
BEZOS: You’re very welcome!
[He writes them each a check and leaves. There is a long silence.]
DEL MAR: Well, I guess we’re fabulously wealthy in the end after all.
OCEAN: I suppose.
DEL MAR: I don’t feel good about it.
OCEAN: Not at all.
TROY: Yeah, now that I have this check in my hands, it’s like…
DEL MAR: Yeah.
OCEAN: What a strange Reunions.
DEL MAR: No kidding.
OCEAN: We need to split the take with the rest of the crew.
DEL MAR: For sure.
TROY: And donate the rest.
DEL MAR: Mm-hmm.
[There is a pause. A cool wind blows through. All three zip up their beer jackets a bit.]
OCEAN: Well. You guys want to go to Haven?
TROY: Sure! Totally forgot to go the last two nights.
DEL MAR: And the lines might be shorter today.
[They sit there, staring unfixedly into the distance, wrapped in the tired serenity of post-Reunions weariness, just breathing, feeling the gentle play of wind on their muddied beer jackets, feeling, despite everything, that it’s too soon to get up off this curb, too soon to walk out the FitzRandolph gates, too soon to, once again, leave Princeton.]
DEL MAR: Wait, were we supposed to close on some sort of joke?
[Fade to black.]
Click here to read last year’s Reunions story, “Ted Cruz Goes To His 25th Reunion”.