John: ... I think their friendship makes sense. It's not like it's Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz hanging out together.
Tyrone: Did they ever explain that, by the way?
John: No, although I understood why Ethel and Lucy spent so much time together. Ethel always had an agenda. If you look at the episodes, although it seems Lucy is the prime motivator of most plots, you can see Ethel planting the idea in her head, Iago-like.
Tyrone: Ethel, let us also note, was often genuinely funny. Acerbically so --
John: Yeah, that wit didn't match her current surroundings. It seemed to me Ethel probably had a really interesting backstory we never saw.
Tyrone: Such as?
John: I don't know ... Ethel was a stripper working a mercenary bar in Central America, maybe an opium den/whorehouse in the Phillipines. Marrying Fred was her ticket out and to respectability. Hence her street smarts and sass.
Tyrone: (beat) Are you pitching the "Ethel Mertz Working a Donkey Show in Tijuana" backstory?
John: It fits. It also, naturally, leads to some sexual experimentation on Lucy's part --
Tyrone: Stop talking now.
John: AGAIN explaining just why this attractive, confused younger woman was spending all day every day with a more confident older woman --
Tyrone: But, my friend, that still doesn't explain the Ricky/Fred thing.
John: Hmm. Well, that backstory's even cooler, since Ricky did flee Cuba. Maybe Fred was Merchant Marine --
Tyrone: No, CIA. Fred was CIA in Cuba, pre-Castro.
John: I think it would have still been OSS, but nice. Fred gets Ricky out of Cuba when Ricky was a child, forming a Batman-and-Robin like bond between them.
Tyrone: Does Ethel know?
John: Good question. But it would be really cool if the only person who didn't know about all this was Lucy.
Tyrone: You know where this inevitably leads.
Tyrone: "I Love Lucy" fanfic.
John: Sweet Jesus no.
( ... four hours later ...)*
Tyrone: Hey, sorry to bother you, but I had a question on that script.
John: No problem.
Tyrone: (beat) You were writing the "I Love Lucy" fan fiction, weren't you?
John: I just got to the part where Fred hit Batista in the face with a pipe wrench, grabbed the ten year old boy and swam out to the waiting Navy Destroyer!
Tyrone: "From now on, I call you ... Ricky."
John: Sweet. I'm using that.
Tyrone: Please. Get help.
*God as my witness, absolutely true.