"So, why are you 'persona non grata'?," Dude asked Alice.
"I don't even know what that means," admitted Alice.
Dude laughed. "Your friends seem to care about you a lot, but they don't involve you in decision-making."
"That's because they're smarter than me," Alice responded.
"'Because they're smarter than I,'" Dude corrected.
Alice looked confused. "Whatever."
"Okay, let's see this place," Lou demanded, stomping through the front door.
The two guys Dude had mentioned were already in the house, watching TV.
"Hi, I'm Peter," the bearded guy introduced himself.
"Hi, I'm Bill," the red-haired guy introduced himself.
Lou prided herself on being a canny judge of character, and immediately thought both of the guys were reasonable people.
"So, why are you guys on board with Dude's--for lack of a better word--'plan'?," she asked.
"Well," Peter said, "he's a good guy, and together we've got a decent skill set going. I paint, Bill does woodworking, and Dude's a musician. What do you and your friends do?"
Lou sighed. "I'm pretty good with computers--I used to be a professional figure skater, but I blew out my right knee a couple months ago, so I had to find something else to do. Kelly's a decent cook, and Regina is outdoorsy and can garden."
"How about your friend, Alice," Bill asked. "What can she do?"
"Well, nothing, really," Lou said, sounding disgusted.
"That's not fair, Lou!," Regina had walked over and piped up. "She can make drinks, so maybe she could work as a bartender or something."
"Only problem with that," said Peter, "is that the rules of this town, Willow Creek, is that no one can apply for a job here for at least 2 weeks after moving in. And you have to have paid taxes for those 2 weeks, and they're not cheap!"
The doorbell rang, and a very large blond man strode in.
"Is Dude Musico here?," he asked. "I'm Derek Johnson, and I'm in training with NASA."
"OMG," Regina giggled, "it's Buzz Lightyear" (remembering a movie from her childhood).