Dwight Gets Stuck In The Wall by darjeelingandcoke
Summary: …did I stutter?

The cold open (well… really the B-story) that might have been for The Deposition. #9 in the Rejected Cold Opens series.
Categories: Past, Jim and Pam, Episode Related, Other Characters: Angela, Darryl, Dwight, Dwight/Angela, Ensemble, Jim, Jim/Pam, Michael, Other, Pam
Genres: Claustrophobic Spaces, Humor, Workdays
Warnings: No Warnings Apply
Challenges: None
Series: Rejected Cold Opens
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes Word count: 3260 Read: 554 Published: October 04, 2021 Updated: October 04, 2021
Story Notes:
So as avid listeners of the Office Ladies Podcast know, one of the cards that was taken off the writers’ room wall for The Deposition was a pitch entitled simply: “Dwight gets stuck in the wall.” It ultimately went unused.

Paints a picture, doesn’t it? You can just see him… stuck in that wall.

With much love for the “Hiya buddy!” cold open and for the B plot that taught us the difference between talking trash and talking smack, this felt like a huge missed opportunity. So the other night I couldn’t sleep and instead of working on any of my currently unfinished fics I came up with this.

My apologies in advance to Canadian and Southern U.S. readers. I promise you, Jim’s idea, not mine.

DISCLAIMER:

Jenna: I'm Jenna Fischer.
Angela: And I'm Angela Kinsey.
Jenna: We were on The Office together.
Angela: And we're best friends.
Jenna: And now we're doing the ultimate Office fanfic disclaimer just for you.
Angela: Each week, we’ll remind you that all publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. from an episode of The Office are the property of their respective owners, and only two people associated with the owners, creators or producers of the media franchise can sell it to you.
Jenna: This is Office fanfic!

1. “How would he have gotten in the wall? How would he get stuck in there?” – Angela Kinsey by darjeelingandcoke

2. Seriously, that’s the whole pitch. “Dwight gets stuck in the wall.” by darjeelingandcoke

3. It just doesn’t really fit “small, real, relatable” well, you know? by darjeelingandcoke

4. Then again, the actual B-story in The Deposition is about how Jim can’t play ping-pong. So. by darjeelingandcoke

“How would he have gotten in the wall? How would he get stuck in there?” – Angela Kinsey by darjeelingandcoke
>

We open in extreme close-up on DWIGHT. All we see is his face, tilted towards an awkwardly-raised shoulder to keep his cell phone against his ear.

DWIGHT (in his natural element: full sales mode):
I can guarantee twice-weekly delivery direct to your locations in Hazleton, Stroudsburg *and* Dingman’s Ferry. You’re not going to get that from anyone else at these prices. Staples? (scoffs) It’ll cost you an arm and a leg.

The camera slowly zooms out, revealing a blue plaque celebrating Scranton leading the company in sales in 1995 and a poster for a long-ago Dunder-Mifflin all-hands meeting on either side of DWIGHT’s head… although strangely close to him, like he’s leaning against the wall.

The shot pulls out further to reveal that DWIGHT is half-in and half-out of a ragged hole in the wall behind RECEPTION. The hole starts two feet off the ground and rises to about five and a half feet. If it’s wider than DWIGHT, it’s not by much. His right leg is in the hole, bent at an uncomfortable-looking angle, and is not visible below mid-thigh. His right arm is in the interior as well, most of the way up the shoulder.

As we take this in, we notice DWIGHT is using his one free arm to hold up a finger to silence the crowd that has gathered around RECEPTION: an exasperated MICHAEL, tapping his feet and checking his watch; DARRYL, who has his arms folded across his chest and is accepting that now he’s seen everything; and LONNIE, who has one hand on his hip and is rubbing his head with the other in contemplation of this mess.

A gaggle of Dunder Mifflinites is standing by the FRONT DESK CLUMP, including an all-smiles JIM and PAM, a concerned PHYLLIS, a confused-even-for-him KEVIN and a mentally-updating-his-resume OSCAR.

DWIGHT (as we zoom out):
I go the extra mile for our customers. I won’t let anything stand in the way of meeting your paper needs. Anything. (DWIGHT pauses to listen as MICHAEL waves his hand – ‘wrap it up!’) You won’t be disappointed, Mr. Finkenauer. I’ll fax that contract over to you immediately.

DWIGHT hangs up his phone.

DWIGHT (as if he isn’t stuck in a wall):
Pam, could you send our standard six-month new client agreement to Finkenauer Larson Attorneys At Law? Number’s in my Rolodex.

MICHAEL:
 *Gawd.* Are you done? Can we get to this now?

DWIGHT:
Making the sale always comes first, Michael! You taught me that.

We cut to a talking head with OSCAR, shot at the PHYLLIS-STANLEY-ANDY desk clump. OSCAR is looking at the interviewer like they’ve taken leave of their senses.

OSCAR:
(Gestures to the scene behind him.) Dwight’s stuck in the wall. (He flips his palms in confusion. What does it *look* like is happening this morning, KEN?)

We cut back to RECEPTION.

MICHAEL (not as stressed as he should be):
Look, this can’t be that complicated, I’m sure you can do it on your own. Don’t you guys have, like… a chainsaw or something downstairs you can use?

DARRYL and LONNIE exchange a look.

LONNIE:
…no.

DARRYL:
No, Mike. We don’t… we don’t have chainsaws on hand in case someone gets stuck in a wall.

We cut to a talking head with DWIGHT. JIM is leaning against the wall next to him, nodding faux-sincerely along to DWIGHT’S monologue.

 

DWIGHT (shouldn’t this be obvious even to you simpletons?):
Look, it’s very simple. I came in early. I heard rustling behind the wall. I took out my stethoscope. (JIM raises an eyebrow.) I secured auditory confirmation there was unusual activity. I was concerned Staples or Office Depot had sent a spy. Or possibly mice. (JIM shrugs at the camera. What was DWIGHT supposed to do, *not* bust a hole in the wall?)

 

DWIGHT continues speaking over shots from earlier of the camera crew entering Dunder Mifflin for the day to find MICHAEL and ANDY fruitlessly tugging at DWIGHT’s free arm while he yelps; KEVIN rubbing butter from a container clearly labeled “S. HUDSON” around the edges of the hole while DWIGHT berates him; and PAM, barely holding herself together, holding up a file so DWIGHT can read off of it… and JIM slides next to him and pulls what appears to be an engraved business card case out of DWIGHT’s pocket, and walk away as DWIGHT fruitlessly tries to grab it back, to PAM’s amusement.


DWIGHT (in voiceover):
I used my sledgehammer to break through the wall so I could investigate more closely. My visual inspection was inconclusive, so I put the sledgehammer away and attempted to enter the area. My efforts had dislodged something in this… shoddily constructed building, and it fell on me, pinning me in place.

We return to DWIGHT and JIM.

DWIGHT:
You people act like you’ve never seen someone ferreting out corporate espionage before! (JIM shakes his head at the CAMERA CREW. How could anyone be so unfamiliar with the business world?) Turns out it was mice. (pause) Two of them are sitting on my foot right now. (He narrows his eyes.) Mocking me. (Menacingly). Hope Mickey and Minnie are enjoying their cheese, because as soon as I’m free, Disneyland’s getting gassed… courtesy of Schrute Farms. (Jim gestures: DWIGHT SCHRUTE, everybody! DWIGHT turns to JIM.) I’ve spent years perfecting a beet-based anti-rodent chemical bomb, you know.

JIM:
I know, buddy. (He reaches into DWIGHT’s shirt pocket and pulls out a trading card, and then walks away, showing it to the camera as he passes by – it’s Ka D’Argo from Farscape.)

DWIGHT:
Hey! (He attempts to chase after JIM, forgetting that he’s… you know… stuck in the wall.)

We cut to a talking head with ANGELA in the CONFERENCE ROOM.

ANGELA:
He was in such a hurry to smite one of God’s creatures he got himself trapped. (She gives a satisfied smirk.) Maybe the Almighty will see fit to send him some frozen French fries.

Seriously, that’s the whole pitch. “Dwight gets stuck in the wall.” by darjeelingandcoke

We return to RECEPTION, where all of a sudden MICHAEL finally looks like he understands the gravity of the situation.

 

MICHAEL:
I mean… come on! We don’t need to do all that. Let’s just… smash a little around him, see what happens.

 

DARRYL (sighs)
Again, Mike – we don’t know what’s on top of him right now. We start bashing things with a sledgehammer and it turns out it’s connected to the lights, we could electrocute him. (MICHAEL seems skeptical.) Plus he’s gotta be close to water pipes. We whack one of those, Dunder Mifflin’s on the hook for thousands in damages.

 

MICHAEL (whining):
But the contractor’s so expensive!


DARRYL:
It’d be more, Mike. (And by the way, I don’t get paid enough for this.)

 

MICHAEL:
I just… I don’t understand. This contractor guy’s a friend of yours, right? And any friend of *yours* is a friend of *mine.*

 

DARRYL (knows he’s not going to like the end of this):
So…

MICHAEL:
So why aren’t we getting the friends and family discount?

 

DARRYL:
Mike…

MICHAEL:
You know, help a brotha out?

 

DARRYL: (after a look to camera)
Your *brotha* would be doing you a favor already. By dropping today’s jobs to come to deal with this.

 

ANGELA (entering the shot from ACCOUNTING):
Well, I’m sorry, but I have run these numbers three times, and there is simply no way to cover that sort of cost without blowing a hole in this quarter’s budget. (She doesn’t *look* all that sorry. She delivers this next line direct to DWIGHT.) It would be devastating for the branch.

 

DWIGHT (the horror):
What? No!

MICHAEL:
(pauses, grimacing) …he can probably just swing by at the end of his day, right? That’d be cheaper, if he doesn’t have to give up today’s jobs?

 

DARRYL (startled):
I mean… yeah, but…

 

DWIGHT (desperate):
Darryl, please. I’d spend the rest of my life in this wall before I’d do anything to hurt Dunder Mifflin. (solemnly) Michael… do what you have to do.


ANGELA huffs. Sure, she’s getting what she wanted, but it’d be nice if he felt that strongly about not hurting other people’s pets, too.

 

TOBY (who the camera finds at the FRONT DESK CLUMP, where JIM and PAM are now messily sharing popcorn… perched on DWIGHT’S DESK):
Just leaving him there is a really serious liability…

 

MICHAEL (overlapping with DWIGHT):
Shut it, Toby!


DWIGHT (overlapping with MICHAEL):
Dammit, Toby.

 

MICHAEL (overlapping with DWIGHT):
He *wants* to stay in the wall. And you know why? Because he *cares* about this family.

 

DWIGHT (overlapping with MICHAEL):

I’ll sign whatever I have to. (mocking) Whatever fancy waivers your Ivory Tower lawyers in their $200 suits need.

 

MICHAEL (overlapping with DWIGHT):

Maybe your wife wouldn’t have divorced you if you cared about your family like Dwight does…

DWIGHT (overlapping with MICHAEL):

I’m loyal to this company. Do you understand what loyalty means, Toby?

We cut to a talking head with TOBY in the ANNEX.

 

TOBY:
You all got that on tape, right? In case I need to show corporate? Or a jury?

 

We cut to a talking head with ANGELA in the CONFERENCE ROOM.

 

ANGELA:
I don’t like what you’re implying. I am a professional, and unlike certain receptionists I won’t name, I don’t let my personal feelings get in the way of my work. This is an important quarter for us, and there’s no room to be sentimental.

 

DWIGHT (off-screen):
*Hey!* Dammit, Jim, give that pager back right this instant! What if my clients need to reach me? I promise you, the moment I get out of here…

 

ANGELA looks off in the direction of RECEPTION and her mouth twitches.

It just doesn’t really fit “small, real, relatable” well, you know? by darjeelingandcoke

Cut to RECEPTION. Later. DWIGHT is twisted into a pretzel trying to do paperwork against the wall. We note that the wall files have been emptied, the pencil sharpener is sitting by Pam, the printer has pushed further down the rear desk, and the coat rack is now on the far side of the couch… basically, anything DWIGHT could conceivably touch has been moved away. The phone rings.

 

DWIGHT (looks to PAM):
You gonna get that, or continuing losing a one-person game?

PAM (quietly seethes and picks up the phone):
Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam. Please hold. (She presses a button.)


DWIGHT:
Nine on the ten, Pam. How can you not see that?

 

We cut to the CONFERENCE ROOM.

 

JIM (in talking head):
So Pam was having a lot of fun sharing space with Dwight. For about the first ten minutes.

 

JIM continues speaking in voiceover over PAM’s increasing aggravation with DWIGHT. He comments on her faxing style, to her thin-lipped annoyance (as directed to camera). He attempts to reorganize the wall files and she rushes over to pull them out of his hands. He swipes at her ineffectively as she moves everything in RECEPTION just out of his reach… except for the COAT RACK, which he manages to knock over to get her attention. JIM watches with a sympathetic wince while he makes a sales call.

 

JIM (in voiceover):
Turns out even years as a witness can’t prepare you for having Dwight as your deskmate.

 

We quickly check back in with JIM in the CONFERENCE ROOM, before returning to voiceover, as JIM walks up to DWIGHT, feels around in his pocket while DWIGHT tries to ward him off without dropping his paperwork, and grabs his keys. We then cut to a spy shot of the PARKING LOT from MICHAEL’S OFFICE and watch JIM unlock the TRANS AM and retrieve something from the passenger’s seat.

 

JIM (in voiceover):

Now, I’d been planning on spending the day stealing the rest of Dwight’s accessories, then maybe moving my finger slowly towards every item on his desk while he demanded I not touch anything. But I did some research, and it turns out there‘s no conjugal visits in the Pennsylvania prison system. So, for my sake…

 

JIM (settles down on the rear desk in RECEPTION with a book in hand):
All right, what do we have here?

 

DWIGHT:
You can’t do that!

 

JIM:
“Decade of The Dead: The Zombie War, As Told By Those Who Lived It.” Neat. Shall we?

 

DWIGHT:
That is my personal private property.

 

JIM flips to where DWIGHT has a bookmark and begins to read.

 

JIM (in a cartoonishly Canadian accent):
“Growin’ ooop in a world where zoooombies are as real as donuts from Timmy Horton’s, it’s huurd to understand how we didn’t understand, eh? We were trackin’ one of them Daesh hosers across the wadi, followin’ the bloood trail. Then we came to the end of the trail, more blooood than the stands in a Leafs-Canadiens game. Noooo survivin’ that, soooory!”


DWIGHT:
Put that back right now!

JIM (with total buy-in):
Dammit, Dwight, you’re gonna give away our position to the zombies!

 

DWIGHT clams up, but looks deeply irritated and stares pointedly away from JIM as he continues to read. He’s also staring away from PAM, who shoots JIM a look of pure-spun sugar.

JIM (Canadian again):
“But somehow he had. Nowadays we’d know, fella, but back then? Jesus Murphy!”

We cut to a little while later. PAM is carrying her teapot back to RECEPTION, where we find JIM reading more calmly and less comically, and DWIGHT having given up on pretending to ignore him. PAM pours herself some tea and then happily returns to her FreeCell.

 

Cut to DWIGHT for a talking head:

DWIGHT:

This is not time theft. I am up to date with my paperwork, and Pam refuses to fetch my cell phone charger.

 

PAM (as the camera swings to her, we also see JIM in the background, sitting on PAM’s desk and eating his lunch with noticeable speed):
What did I say, Dwight?

 

DWIGHT (sullen):
Nothing.

 

PAM (CECE will have flashbacks watching this):
Did I say “touch one more file and no cell phone charger for the rest of the day”?

DWIGHT silently stews.


PAM (PHIL too):
Did I say “touch one more file and no cell phone charger for the rest of the day”?

DWIGHT (reluctantly):
Yes.

PAM:
And what did you do?

 

DWIGHT (defensive):
Look, your sorting system is COMPLETELY illogical.

 

PAM:
That’s right, you touched another file.

 

Behind them, JIM finishes his lunch, picks up the book and settles back in with DWIGHT.

 

JIM:
All right, you ready?

DWIGHT:
For the last 10 minutes! How long does it take you to eat a ham-and-cheese?

 

JIM (slams book shut):
You know, I just remembered I’ve got some sales calls to make…

 

DWIGHT (alarmed):
Wait! Please. (pleading) At least tell me what happens when the ocean-horde reaches Fort Lauderdale.

 

JIM teasingly considers… and opens the book back up, to DWIGHT’s clear relief.

 

JIM (soft Southern accent):
Our eyes couldn’t accept what we were seein’. It was like some kind of monsta outta Greek mytholg-eh, risin’ from the depths at the command of an angry Poseidon to punish us awl. The pay-nic started closest to the shore-layn. I lost my footin’ in the say-nd, and when my sista tried to help me the crowd rolled right on over us…

 

DWIGHT listens intently. ANGELA pokes her head over the partition and GLARES. This was *not* the plan.

Then again, the actual B-story in The Deposition is about how Jim can’t play ping-pong. So. by darjeelingandcoke

CHAPTER FOUR: Then again, the actual B-story in The Deposition is about how Jim can’t play ping-pong. So.

 

We cut to the end of the day. STANLEY putting his coat on to leave. He does not acknowledge the scene at RECEPTION, where PAM has given up all pretense and is openly and fondly watching JIM mime bashing a zombie skull with a pickaxe for a cheering DWIGHT. You can almost see the vision of JIM acting out stories for their kids in her head.

 

ANGELA follows in STANLEY’s wake, but stops to observe. She shakes her head in disgust, looking for all the world as if she’s gotten a whiff of CREED’s mung beans.

 

We cut to an ANGELA talking head, outside the building.

 

ANGELA (a perfectly ANGELA combination of judgment, frustration she’s been thwarted and complete denial of that thwarting):
It’s easy for someone to say they have an “Amish work ethic.” But what matters is what they do when they’re tested. I’m just disappointed. I always thought better of Dwight Schrute from sales.


Her face drops, and for the briefest of moments we get a glimpse of everything behind her anger, the deep sense of loss and grief… for SPRINKLES and for DWIGHT.

 

We cut to a little later. JIM is leaning on the wall next to DWIGHT, holding the book so he can see. RECEPTION is empty.

 

Quick pan to the entrance, where PAM, DARRYL, BILLY MERCHANT and DARRYL’S CONTRACTOR FRIEND NIKO enter. DARRYL has a couple mousetraps. NIKO is carrying a toolbox and a small electric handsaw, and BILLY has what look like building schematics in his lap.

 

BILLY:
So I don’t understand. You just… left him there?

 

PAM and DARRYL are deer in the headlights.

 

PAM (overlapping with DARRYL, stammering):
Oh, our budget is, we don’t really have a procedure or anything, and he keeps saying he’s totally comfortable…

 

DARRYL (overlapping with PAM, stammering):
Well, you know, there wasn’t really any immediate safety threat, and ah, you know, if it had been up to me, we would’ve…

 

NIKO (…okay):
Well, either way, as long as we cut pretty close, I think we should be able to rescue him without too much damage. How about it, guys, you ready?

 

JIM holds up a finger.

 

DWIGHT:
Quiet! They’re clearing the undead out of the Paris catacombs!

 

NIKO and BILLY exchange a look. DARRYL looks embarrassed. PAM hides a grin behind her hand.

JIM (with a French accent, but a serious one – he and DWIGHT are both emotionally committed now, and we zoom in on them as JIM reads):
“An advance team broke through without realizing what was on the other side. They could have withdrawn, blown the tunnel, sealed them in again… one squad against three hundred zombies. One squad led by my baby brother. His voice was the last thing we heard before their radio went silent. His last words: ‘On ne passe pas!’”


DWIGHT sniffles. JIM closes the book sadly and makes a move as if to put a comforting hand on his shoulder before reconsidering.


The camera swings to the RESCUE TEAM, who are awkwardly awaiting the all-clear.

 

NIKO:
…so can I get him out of the wall now?

 

 

 

 

NETWORK NOTES: REJECTED. Really, this is a B-story than cold open, and definitely not worth replacing Lester’s original pitch with Michael’s fake calls. And really… if you don’t find the phrase “Dwight gets stuck in the wall” inherently funny, you’re not going to get much out of this.

This story archived at http://mtt.just-once.net/fanfiction/viewstory.php?sid=6095