PLEASE NOTE: This script has been formatted for optimum viewing at a screen setting of 800x600.


Who is the best mate for Gabrielle? It's been debated far and wide by subtexters in favor of Xena, and by J/Gers in favor of... um... what's that guy's name again? The tall one... he shows up sometimes but I have this weird eye condition where I don't actually see him... Joxer! That's the one. Anyway, I thought I'd end this debate once and for all. Good thing I'm not prejudiced in one camp or the other. Nah ah, Ms. Neutral, that's what they call me. Wait, that was Ms. Nuisance -- okay, never mind what they call me. Just read the sketch (unless you're a Joxer fan and then I'd strongly suggest you don't read it. Why aggravate yourself?)


by Joanna

1998 Dec 05



The ghost of Perdicus is standing behind the host's podium. Cheesy music plays.

PERDICUS Welcome everyone to The Mating Game! We're here today to find the perfect match for my widow, Gabrielle!

Wild applause from the studio audience which consists of Amazons, warlords, centaurs, and various Maori extras as well as a generous sprinkling of Xenites, both subtexters and J/Gers.

PERDICUS (cont'd) (serious) As you know, my marriage with Gabrielle was cut tragically short--

The subtexters and Amazons cheer.

PERDICUS (cont'd) --by the evil Callisto. Not wanting Gabrielle to be bereft of a mate for the rest of her life due to her overwhelming love for me--

The entire audience howls in laughter.

PERDICUS (cont'd) (trying to ignore the audience) --I'm here to find her someone to take my place. So allow me to introduce the people who are here to vie for Gabrielle's hand.

Cheesy music swells and one side of the stage is lit to reveal the candidates.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Bachelo-- um... contestant number one hails from Amphipolis. She's into swords, killing, conquering and the greater good. Tall, dark and deadly, please give a warm Mating Game welcome to: Xena, Warrior Princess!

Wild applause.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Okay, bachelor number two is the son of a warlord. Breaking from family tradition, he's now into falling down, causing himself bodily injury, being a wannabe and occasionally fishing. Introducing Joxer!

The J/Gers (only a handful of the audience) scream their support as the rest boo. Joxer holds up a fish, a goofy grin on his face.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Our third contestants hail from the lovely town of Poteidaia. They're into rhyming, being annoying, and ale. Give it up for The Amazingly Untalented Poteidaian Chorus!

Crickets chirp as many of the audience members mumble "Huh?". The Chorus are all crowded around the third chair, smiling and waving in unison.

PERDICUS (cont'd) And now, let's bring out the lovely widow! She, too, hails from Poteidaia, but after cruelly jilting me, she went off to live a life of adventure. Fortunately, she came to her senses and married me. Unfortunately, she only had time to 'discover what love is' before I was sliced and diced. (realizes he's tangenting) Yes, well, our beautiful bachelorette is a talented bard, loves to whack bad guys with a stick, and gravitates toward any cultish religion she can find -- let's give a very warm welcome to Gabrielle!

From the wings, Gabrielle appears, smiling and carrying her staff. She waves to the audience who cheer enthusiastically. Several Gabfans faint at seeing her dangerously developed abs in person. Perd attempts to give her a welcoming kiss, but she holds up her staff to ward him off.

GABRIELLE Sorry, Perd. Dead guy breath. PERDICUS But I brushed... (giving up, brightly) Welcome Gabrielle! Have a seat and let's begin!

Gabrielle sits on the stool, a bunch of index cards in her hands. She smiles at the audience, waves at the Amazons, sucks in her tummy for the Gabfans then gets down to business.

GABRIELLE Bachelor number one. I'm a firm believer in love conquering all. If we went on a date, do you think you'd be able to conquer me? XENA I have ten winters of experience in the conquering field. One look at me and you'd be mine. GABRIELLE Xena? Is that you? PERDICUS You aren't supposed to guess-- GABRIELLE I choose number one. PERDICUS No, you have to play the game first. GABRIELLE But I want Xena. C'mon out, Xena!

Xena stands up but Perd hustles over to her.

PERDICUS You can't go out there yet. The game has only started. XENA You heard her. She needs me. (patented worried shout) Gabrielle! GABRIELLE (patented worried response) Xena!

Perd races around to calm down Gabrielle.

PERDICUS Please, Gabrielle. Just play the game. Ask the next contestant.

Reluctantly, both women sit down.

GABRIELLE Okay, but this is silly. Bachelor number two, same question.

Joxer, excited that he's getting his chance, falls off his stool, leaving the fish sitting alone on the chair.

FISH Glub. GABRIELLE Oooookay. Bachelor number three. If you were a chariot, what kind of horses would pull you? CHORUS (In unison, naturally) We're a lot to drag,
so it wouldn't be a nag.
We would condone
a healthy roan.
GABRIELLE (frowning) Had to bring up dragging, didn't you? I pick Xena. CHORUS This is absurd.
We just said the word!
She's the one
who found dragging fun.
XENA Did not. Besides we made up. Remember, Gabrielle? (singing) Yes I lied...

Gabrielle goes melty. 3rd-season-hating Xenites boo, while 3rd-season-loving Xenites swoon.

PERDICUS Maybe you should ask the next question. GABRIELLE Okay. Number two. I like to write stories. If you were the hero of one of my stories, what would you have done to deserve it?

Joxer, having crawled back onto his stool, puts the fish on his lap and puffs up his chest.

JOXER Um... FISH Glub. GABRIELLE Charming. Bachelor number one-- JOXER Wait! I didn't get to-- GABRIELLE (sighing) Oh goody, it's Joxer. Listen, give it a rest, okay? I'm not under a spell or anything, so don't bother trying. Number one, if I complained of... swelling... in certain areas, what would you do to 'fix' it? XENA Kiss it and make it better. PERDICUS Hey, that's not one of the questions! GABRIELLE Oooh, I like that answer. Gimme some details. XENA Well, first I would slowly remove the clothing over the affected area, all the while giving you my life-saving breath to make sure your airways were clear. I'd then massage your chest in an effort to keep your heart beating as I explored the swollen area with gentle fingers. Then I'd--

The subtexters pour bags of ice over themselves as the Amazons begin to chant.

PERDICUS Okay! It's obvious that contestant number one has a lot of experience as a... healer. Let's move on, shall we? GABRIELLE Thanks, Xena. I'll need a demonstration of that technique later after I choose you. XENA Oh yeah. Count on it. GABRIELLE (fanning herself) Phew! Um, number three. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? CHORUS Geez, that's lame.
What a stupid game.
GABRIELLE Just answer it, you idiots. CHORUS Fine, though it'll bore us.
Truth is, we'd be a forest.
GABRIELLE Number two? XENA I think number two there would be dogwood. GABRIELLE (giggles) And you'd be an oak, right Xena? I choose Xena. CHORUS You haven't been fair
to the second chair.
He's barely said boo,
though he's got no clue.
PERDICUS Hey, it's my job to say 'boo'! I'm the ghost here. JOXER I could sing my theme song! CHORUS Forgive us for speaking!
This wasn't our aim.
Not that song -- Xena's freaking!
She's eager to maim!

Xena has her sword and chakram out, ready to kill all the rest of the contestants.

JOXER But Xena -- you got to sing! Why can't I? CHORUS Be quiet, you fool!
That sword is sharp!
If she uses that tool
you'll be playing a harp.
JOXER Cool! I'd love to learn the harp. PERDICUS Don't kill him! Then I'd have to put up with him. (whispering to Gabrielle) Are you considering choosing number two? Cuz I may be dead, but I'm not heartless and don't want you to make a mistake. GABRIELLE I choose Xena. PERDICUS She's a murdering ex-warlord. Maybe number three would be to your tastes? CHORUS Listen to our host,
even though he's a ghost.
He makes a lot of sense.
We don't kill and aren't dense.
So pick number three.
You'll be happy, you'll see.
You'll think it was big of we
to offer polygamy!
PERDICUS Maybe you should choose Xena. GABRIELLE I choose Xena. PERDICUS (to audience) Okay, it's time for the suspense to be over. Who will she choose? Will it be contestant number one?

Xena smiles smugly.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Or bachelor number two?

Joxer is fiddling around trying to get his sword unstuck from the rungs of his stool. The fish flounders around, slapping him in the face with its tail, causing Joxer to fall down in a tumbled heap entwined with his stool.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Or contestants number three?

The chorus is cowering behind their stool, their eyes glued to Xena who still has one hand on her chakram.

GABRIELLE (reading off a card) Well, it was a difficult decision, they were all such great choices... huh? (throws away the cards) Yeah, this was a real toughie. I choose number one.

With the exception of the sulking J/Gers, who are busy composing hate mail to the author on their laptops, the audience cheers.

PERDICUS Okay, let's meet the ones you didn't pick.

CUE: cheesy music.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Bachelor number two balances his busy schedule between falling down and causing himself bodily injury. He has a secret crush on you, Gabrielle, that is obvious to everyone except, well, you. Please meet -- Joxer the Whitey!

He comes around the corner, still tangled in the stool, the fish wearing his hat.

JOXER That's Joxer the Mighty. PERDICUS Ha! As if.

Joxer tries to kiss Gabrielle but she holds him off with her staff.

GABRIELLE Sorry, Joxer breath. JOXER But I brushed... Maybe you'll kiss my fishy friend instead? FISH Glub. GABRIELLE Sorry, baited breath.

Dejectedly, he goes off stage.

PERDICUS You also didn't choose contestants number three. They're into rhyming, being annoying and ale. They hail from your own hometown, so let's give a big hand to The Amazingly Untalented Poteidaian Chorus!

The Chorus comes around the corner, lips puckered. Gabrielle's staff is already up.

GABRIELLE Sorry. Rhyming breath. CHORUS We're crushed.
We brushed...

They slink offstage.

PERDICUS Are you ready to meet your mystery date? GABRIELLE Yeah, bring out Xena. PERDICUS Okay! Contestant number one is a former world conquering warlord who's now into killing bad guys, embroidery and the greater good. Please give a huge Mating Game welcome to Xena, Warrior Princess!

Xena comes around the corner and after feigning surprise, Gabrielle leaps into her arms, kissing her soundly.

GABRIELLE Mmmmm... warrior breath. The best. XENA I'm partial to bard breath, myself. GABRIELLE Let's get out of here. XENA Good idea. PERDICUS Wait! I haven't told you your prize yet. The Mating Game is sending you to beautiful Britannia! GABRIELLE What?? PERDICUS Yes, gorgeous Britannia. Home of shame, flame and cricket. You'll take this fabulous wooden boat with an eye painted on it to the shores of this mysterious island nation where there are battles to be ignored and fiery gods to impregnate you. The entire trip along with a hundred dinars spending money is yours courtesy of The Mating Game! XENA I think we'll pass. You go, Perd. I think Dahok is your kinda guy. PERDICUS I don't get to go on the trip. Oh well, guess we'll just send Herc. He's the next contestant on the game. Wonder who he'll pick?

Xena and Gabrielle aren't paying any attention as Xena is beginning to demonstrate her cure for swollen things.

PERDICUS (cont'd) Uh... yeah, okay. (cheerfully to the audience) Please stay tuned to The Mating Game for our next contestant, Hercules, the Legendary Journeyer. Meanwhile, because I don't think they'll stick around until the end of the show, let's have Xena and Gabrielle give you all our Mating Game farewell. Ready, ladies?

Perd puckers up to blow a kiss, but it's obvious that the two women have forgotten there's an audience. With a shrug he blows a kiss to the audience and starts hauling the two entwined women off the stage.