Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Twelve

After last week's light battle, the warriors return with vengeance on their minds and blood on their hands. Three great armies amassed to vie for contested land. Who would prevail? Would any survive? Would any live to sing songs of the clash?

  • Coyote led the charge atop a mighty warhorse, leading a terrible horde of hideous, slavering beasts hungry for flesh...
  • Michael and his battalion of silent assassins crept behind their enemies and swung heavy iron implements...
  • David used guile and deception to enter the field, then used explosives to finish the job.
A mindless eating machine, a wordless display, and architectural genius are on display this week.

Las Vegas Itasca

(An architectural planning meeting in Vegas. WENTWORTH, BRAD, and GEORGE stand around a table. On the wall is a placard: Wentworth Casinos, Las Vegas, NV. Out the window is a view of the Strip.)

Who’s next?

We’ve got Kirk Luberda. Bright young architecture student from the Midwest.

GEORGE (skeptically)
Ah. What do you think he’ll try to foist on us? Mies van der Rohe? Frank Lloyd Wright?

I don’t know. I think it’s about time for a Chicago-themed hotel/casino. That would be a draw. People could stay in the miniature Sears Tower. You could make a restaurant in the shape of Wrigley Field.

Call it “Ivy’s”! Serve deep-dish pizza! Italian beef!

And that big Picasso! He could be our spokesman! Like a robot-gangster-Picasso in a fedora that would stand at the door and welcome visitors!

And we could sell miniature brass reproductions of the Space Needle!

That’s in Seattle.

Guys, guys. This is not our job. Let’s see what Mr. Luberda has to offer before we overthink this thing to death.

Mr. Luberda? Come in please.

(LUBERDA enters, carrying a portfolio and a tarp-covered object, which he sets on the table.)

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Mr. Luberda. The theming of a casino is vitally important. It must be new and innovative, but classic in its execution. How well a theme taps into the zeitgeist can determine whether a casino lasts a mere year, or sticks around for a full three years.

The point is, when the building is imploded, can we look back and say, that was a gimmick we’re proud of? Or will it be another “Bridget Jones’s Pai Gow Palace”?


I think you’ll be tickled with what I’ve come up with. As you can imagine, there’s a soft spot in my heart for the Midwest.

I knew it!

Will you have a Space Needle?

Gentlemen, please. Go on.

Well. Maybe it’s best for me to just show you.
(He lifts the tarp, revealing a miniature suburban town.)
I give you: Las Vegas Itasca!


What does “Itasca” mean?

It’s my hometown. It’s a suburb of Chicago. That’s in Illinois.

(They all look over the model.)

What’s this structure here?

It’s the gazebo.
(Pause. The other THREE look blankly back at him.)
In Usher Park!

Will people know what that is?

They’ll know it’s where they cash in their chips. Beautiful, functional, and full of swans, just like the real Usher Park.

(points to a tiny human figure on the model)
This woman here on the stage. She looks like Bonnie Raitt.

She is. A professional Bonnie Raitt impersonator will perform nightly.

Why is she wearing handcuffs?

Do you guys not read the news? She was arrested in Itasca in 2001 for protesting Boise Cascade’s deforestation practices.

I don’t know, Mr. Luberda. This all seems kind of esoteric.

Is candy too esoteric for you?

(LUBERDA presses a button and the roof of the miniature Bethany United Methodist Church opens, shooting out colorful boxes of Nerds, Gobstoppers, and Lik-M-Aid.)

(gasping delightedly)
An assortment of Willy Wonka products!

Their factory is located in Itasca, on Norwood Avenue.

Oh! Are all the cocktail waitresses dressed as Oompa-Loompas?

You tell me.

(LUBERDA pulls a sketch out of his portfolio featuring an orange-skinned, green-haired cocktail waitress in short white overalls. She holds a tray with a complex, striped drinking vessel with an elaborate bendy-straw sticking out of it.)



(LUBERDA turns the page to another drawing: a man wearing huge glasses and a beige windbreaker sits glumly at a blackjack table.)

Is that John Cusack, as he appears in the movie Grace is Gone?

...which filmed in Itasca.

That’s the one where his wife dies in Iraq!

And all the dealers will be dressed like him.

I’ll tell you what, Mr. Luberda. I’m starting to take a shine to this idea. You’ve got the contract.

(They shake hands.)

Thank you sir!

Thank you. Let’s break ground immediately and start building Las Vegas Itasca. And we’ll see how long it lasts before we have to raze it.

(A miniature rumbling. Tiny flashes of light appear along the bottom of the model. It descends into tiny puffs of smoke and dust, and it is gone.)

(LUBERDA shrugs comically. WENTWORTH, BRAD, and GEORGE laugh and point. Freeze-frame. Closing credits.)

FSW: Silence is Golden Edition

Happy Friday to us, every one!

Here's the news that's fit to print. Richard is dressed as Rachel Ray. Dave is building the casino of his dreams in Vegas. There's no word, yet, from Red.

So I've been trying to work on brevity. My last couple of sketches have felt a little long. I've also been experimenting with using no dialogue in a scene. Trying to get the gist of the scene across with body language. Certainly, a lot of this would depend upon the actors playing these roles, but I think I've got enough descprition here to get the point across. Let me know what you think. Oh, and you'll notice that I've been watching a lot of old Bugs Bunny cartoons on YouTube.

Consent is Silent

A kitchen in a nice apartment. Jack is sitting at the table reading the paper. We hear the slam of a door offstage. Jack doesn’t look up.

Gail storms in and slams down an envelope on the table. She folds her arms, glaring at Jack.

Jack continues to read his newspaper.

Gail begins tapping her foot.

Jack lets a corner of the paper fold down and glances at Gail.

She raises her eyebrows and tilts her head towards the envelope on the table.

Jack straightens up his newspaper and begins reading again.

Gail tears the newspaper out of his hands and grabs his head, pointing it at the piece of paper on the table.

Jack slowly slides it towards him.

Gail gives him a “Well?” look.

Jack shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head.

Gail studies him for a moment, then smiles. She straightens out his newspaper and hands it back to him.

Jack smiles up at her.

Gail kisses him on the head and exits.

Jack waits til Gail’s gone then picks up the envelope and smells it. He smiles fondly at it, folds it and begins to slip it into his shirt pocket.

As he does this…

Gail enters with a frying pan and hits Jack in the back of the head with it, knocking him unconscious.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

FSW: Rachel Ray, $40 a Day

For the whiny little bitches - you know who you are - who are going to read this and say "you've never been with a real wouldn't know what to do...curves...hawt..." whatever. Rachel Ray's genetics are showing through. She's going to be a fat old Italian woman someday. Facts are facts. So what? I'm a fat dude, so imagine it's me dressed in drag for this sketch.

Also, I found a *great* parody sketch of RR when I was putting this together this evening. I needed to get the patter she uses to start off her show, so I went to YouTube. No luck finding a real opening to $40 a Day, but I did find this MadTV sketch. I stole the opening two sentences which sounded exactly the way I recall RR's opening. It feels weird to crib from another sketch instead of directly from the horse's mouth (yeah, I meant to say horse,) but you gotta do what you gotta do. Anyway, that's a great sketch which I recommend watching almost as much as I recommend reading mine.

Rachel Ray, $40 a Day

(Various shots of Rachel Ray - played by a fat man in a wig - in action, eating, eating some more, and eating still more. Opening graphics and music over. The credits end and we settle on our Rachel mid-screen wearing short-shorts and a bikini top with a sheer wrap over. The clothes look like they fit 30 pounds earlier. Or, perhaps when she still looked like a woman instead of a fat man in a wig.)

Hi everybody, I'm Rachel Ray! And this is '$40 a Day', the show where I travel to exotic locales and show you how to have great meals for little money. Today we're in one of my favorite places...Miami Beach! The great thing about Miami Beach is how relaxed everyone is.

(Camera pans around to show strollers, rollerbladers, lots of people in beach attire. As the camera pans back to Rachel, we see some people staring and pointing in disgust.)

I'm starving, so let's go get some breakfast!

(Rachel waddles a few steps and stops in front of a restaurant. She leans over and puts her hand on the door frame to brace herself. She's winded. There's a chalkboard with specials right next to the door.)

(Winded) This place, (looking around for the name) Miguel's, is a favorite with the locals, I'm sure. And these specials sound yum-o!

(Cut to Rachel sitting at a table with a menu and a cocktail in front of her. The cocktail is huge, fruity, and has an umbrella. But she's eaten the fruit, tossed aside the umbrella, and already drunk half of it. A waiter approaches.)

Have you decided what you'd like?

Everything sounds so good...french toast, eggs benedict, machaca and eggs, oooh...fried plantains - delish! Okay, I'll have that.

A side of fried plantains? Is that all?

Nooo. French toast, eggs benedict, machaca and eggs, AND the fried plantains. And (finishing her drink in one mighty gulp) this bitch is kicked. Bring me another of these.

(The waiter walks off fearfully as Rachel turns to the camera.)

When you're traveling, you really want to find the unique little places that make a city special. Miami Beach is a melting pot of different cultures, and the Cuban influence is felt everywhere. Like in this drink.

(Waiter returns with two other waiters, all carrying loaded trays with Rachel's breakfast. They set the mass of food in front of her and she starts eating before the last plate is even in place. The second and third waiters hurry off. Most of the food ends up in her mouth, but there is a certain amount of spillover.)

Can I bring you anything else? Some water, or another napkin perhaps?

(Speaking through food) No, I'm good for now. Thanks.

(Cut to the end of the meal. The plates are cleared, the food is gone. Two empty glasses are on the table, a third in Rachel's hand as she finishes off with a loud 'slurp' with the straw. As she puts the glass down, she notices a piece of bacon lodged between her breasts. She picks it out and eats it. The waiter returns with the check.)

Let's see how I did.

(Graphics of a check being tallied. The pre-tip total comes to $28 for food and $11 for drinks. Her tip of $1 brings her to a total of $40.)

Oops! It looks like we've used up our whole budget for the day on breakfast. But that's okay, there's plenty for us to do here in good old Miami Beach, and who knows, maybe we'll figure out a way to squeeze lunch and dinner out of this day, anyway.

(Cut to Rachel waddling down the street away from the restaurant. Shouting is heard in the background and the camera pans around to see the waiter standing outside, waving the dollar tip.)

I think you left this on the table, you cheap bleep.

Come on, I think we should get out of here. Right now! (Starts running, because fat guys in drag are funny when they run.)

(Cut to Rachel splashing around in the ocean. People are staring.
Cut to Rachel sitting on a bench. She's changed into a slightly less revealing, but equally inappropriate outfit, this time with a short skirt.)

Oh boy! I'm famished! In the summertime when I was a kid, I'd go swimming at the lake near my Grandpa Manny's. And when I got out of the water, he'd always have a steaming bowl of soup and a sammie waiting for me. So now whenever I swim, I crave soup and a sammie. I've gotta figure out a way...

(An older, well-dressed man walks by.)

Excuse me sir, have you got a second?

Sure. Hey, you're that Rachel Ray! My wife - rest her soul - used to watch your show all the time.

(Getting an idea) Your wife passed away. That's so sad. I'm sorry for your loss. I'll bet you've been really lonely...

Excuse me?

(The fat-man-in-a-wig Rachel starts aggressively flirting - sucking his fingers, touching his chest, pulling his skirt up to reveal more leg.)

I mean, since your wife's been gone. You have needs. I do too. I want soup. And I know what you want. Come on back to my hotel. I promise we'll be done in thirty minutes or less.

(The man runs away.)

(Calling out in the distance) How 'bout you, sweet cheeks!?

(Cut to later. Rachel is still sitting on the bench, crying.)

(Through the tears) I just can't take it anymore. My husband's cheating on me, Oprah won't return my calls, and I just want a bowl of soup and a sammie.

(Cut to Rachel crawling through a garbage dumpster, looking for food.)

When you're on vacation, remember to take in the local color and customs. I hear that Miami Beach is famous for dumpster diving to find free food...

(Cut to Rachel standing on the sidewalk. It's night time. She looks like a girl who's been rejected for sex and eaten dumpster food.)

I'm Rachel Ray and I'll see you next time on $40 a Day. (To child walking by with ice cream cone) Hey. Hey, kid, I'm talking to you! Can I have a lick off that?!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Eleven

This week was a light one. Three scouts met while surveying a potential battlefield and got into a fight with non-lethal ordinance.

  • Coyote threw wiffle balls at the others...
  • Michael blew spitballs...
  • Red sprayed foam...
This week we've got Pyrotechnic Parties, Camping Trips, and Tortured Artistes.

And if you get a chance, stop by David's joint and wish him well finding the other half of his ass.

FSW: Great Outdoors Edition

Another week come and gone. I would have had this up sooner, but I've been hiding under my desk in case another aftershock rolls through here. Earthquakes are only supposed to happen in Third World Countries and California. Not the Midwest.

Anyhow, Richard came out, guns a-blazing, with a funny party planning idea.

No word from Dave yet, but I'm sure he's brewing up something. Unless he's busy putting up drywall.

And I haven't heard from Red in a week. Maybe the folks at her church didn't find her sketch last week all that amusing.

Here's my offering for the week. Enjoy. And as always, feel free to play along. We'd love to read some more sketches.

The Great Outdoors

(Somewhere in the forest. MAGGIE and HARRY stumble in. They are dressed for hiking, both with backpacks. They look pretty beat-up and disheveled.)

MAGGIE: (Out of breath) That’s it. I’m done.

(She sits on a rock and takes off her pack.)

HARRY: (Also out of breath) No. Come on. We have to keep moving.

MAGGIE: I can’t take another step.

(She takes out a canteen and opens it. She up-ends it and a couple of drops fall into her mouth. She throws the canteen over her shoulder.)

MAGGIE: That was the last of the water. Harry, let’s face it, we’re done for.

HARRY: We can’t give up. What does Survivorman say? 90% of the battle is keeping your spirits up.

MAGGIE: Fuck Survivorman and fuck your happy spirit. We’re going to die out here and our bodies will probably be eaten by wolves.

HARRY: Honey, we’ve only been out here a day.

MAGGIE: There’s so much I wanted to do with my life. I can’t believe it’s over.

HARRY: That’s no way to talk. We’re going to get through this.

MAGGIE: Listen, Harry, there are some things you should know. Some things I need to get off my chest before I die.

HARRY: Um…okay.

MAGGIE: I’ve had a few affairs.


MAGGIE: All right. All right. I’ve had a lot of affairs.

HARRY: Maggie, why?

MAGGIE: Because you’re crap in bed, Harry. And because I need lots and lots of sex.

HARRY: Was it with anyone I know?

MAGGIE: Pretty much everyone you know.

HARRY: If the sex is so bad, then why did you marry me?

MAGGIE: Are you serious? Harry, you’re filthy rich. I haven’t had to work a day in the last seven years. I just went shopping and went to spas and had sex every day. I felt like a goddess.

HARRY: You only married me for my money?

MAGGIE: Heavens no. You are also friends with some of the hottest actors in Hollywood.

HARRY: You slept with George?

MAGGIE: George, Brad, I slept with all of them. Sometimes two or three at a time.

(Harry sits down on rock.)

MAGGIE: Wow. This feels great. I’ve been holding all of this in for so long. You should give it a try. Is there anything that you’ve kept secret that’s been weighing heavily on your soul?

HARRY: No. My life is an open book. I share everything with you.

MAGGIE: Okay, so it’s just me then. It’s a shame too, because this really feels great. Um, what else?

HARRY: There’s more?

MAGGIE: Oh! You remember that housekeeper who I thought stole my earrings?

HARRY: Ruth? Who’d been with my family since I was a boy? Who practically raised me?

MAGGIE: That’s the one. Well, I didn’t fire her. I killed her.

HARRY: What?!

MAGGIE: We got into an argument about the jewelry. One thing let to another and I brained her with your humanitarian award. Funny thing was, I found the earrings at Billy’s apartment the next morning. I felt so stupid.

HARRY: Billy? My brother?

MAGGIE: And father of your “son”. Are you all right? You don’t look so good.

HARRY: I…my life…I thought you…

(Maggie puts her arm around him.)

MAGGIE: There, there. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never felt closer to you than I do right now.

HARRY: You’re only saying that because you think you’re about to die.

MAGGIE: But doesn’t it make you feel a little better?


MAGGIE: All right then.

(There is a rustling in the woods. They both jump up to see what’s coming. EARL stumbles out of the bushes, twirling a toilet paper roll on his finger.)

EARL: Whoa! Hey, sorry. I didn’t realize there was anyone over here. I was just looking for a place to do a little logging. If you know what I mean?

MAGGIE: Where did you come from?

EARL: That campsite over there. Listen, I’d love to stay and chat, but natures getting ready to kick down my back door. If you know what I mean?

(Earl exits.)

MAGGIE: Did you know where we were this whole time?

HARRY: Pretty much.

MAGGIE: But why? I mean, we were just…I thought that…I don’t understand.

HARRY: I wanted to create a lasting memory for our anniversary.

MAGGIE: Our wha-? Is that this month?

HARRY: Today.

MAGGIE: Oh, honey! Happy Anniversary!

(Maggie goes to hug him, but he stops her.)

HARRY: You don’t have to pretend anymore. Why don’t you go over to the campsite and get something to eat. I’ll call the helicopter and we’ll go home. Then we’ll discuss what happened here today.

MAGGIE: Okay. But know that I’d do anything. Anything. To not be divorced from you.

HARRY: Good to know.

(Maggie heads off toward the camp. Harry takes a deep breath and look around. After a moment, Earl pops out from behind some bushes.)

EARL: Listen, I couldn’t help but overhear. If you want, me and some buddies can make sure she never leaves these woods.

HARRY: Thanks for the offer, but I can’t kill her off, she’s my bread and butter.

EARL: I beg your pardon?

HARRY: I’ve been filming her while she has sex with my friends, then selling the videos online. I’ve made more money in the last seven years than I’ve ever seen before. No, I’m going to make this marriage work. (Beat) But maybe you can help me.

EARL: How’s that?

HARRY: I think a nice outdoor film could be a real big seller.

EARL: If it’ll help you out, I’d love to bang your wife.

HARRY: I’d be much obliged.

(Harry puts his arm around Earl’s shoulder and they walk off toward the camp.)


FSW: Party Planners

Allow me to preface this sketch with a preemptive "meh". High concept, but it really goes nowhere. Not without a multi-million dollar budget to make it all happen, at least. Hmm...

Party Planners
(A large number of people fill a cavernous hall, dressed formally. The lights go down, and crossing, moving spots cut through the darkness. Just off center, a man with clipboard and walkie-talkie stands ready.)

(Deafening) Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together and welcome Mr. and Mrs. David Fagin for their first dance as a married couple!

(Into walkie-talkie) We're go for pyro!

(Flames shoot out of the top of the wedding cake. Fireworks go off in the background. The bride and groom walk through the smoke and flames to the center of the dance floor.)

(Into walkie-talkie) Bring it home, people!

(The fireworks display becomes more intense as Aerosmith begins to play at high volume. The newlyweds begin to dance.)

(Into walkie-talkie) Great work, everyone. (Turning to camera) Hi. I'm Michael Bay. For years I've worked in Hollywood making movies and making millions. But now, I've decided to branch out. So if you'd like your next wedding, sweet sixteen, or Bar Mitzvah to be a real blockbuster, call Michael Bay's Party Planners!

(Cut to Michael in the lobby of a small office. He's standing in front of reception, where a sexy young woman sits busily answering phones.)

(Answering phone) Michael Bay's Party Planners. How may I help you today?

Here at MBPP we cater to your every need from the moment you first walk in. Take Trixie over here. Pretty easy on they eyes, right fellas? I spent months working with the best casting directors in town to trying to find the perfect mix of sex appeal and girl next door. But once Trixie walked through the door, we knew we had our receptionist. That same attention to detail is what sets MBPP parties apart. Whether you want Scarlett Johansson to jump out of your wedding cake, Sean Connery to give you away or Ben Affleck to check coats, we can deliver. Let's meet some of the wizards who make it all happen.

(Camera follows Michael as he walks through a door and into the warehouse-sized back of the building. Sparks are flying from someone welding in the distance, people working everywhere, and a VW Bug in the foreground. Michael walks up to Rick and Stacy who are sitting at a small table.)

This is Stacy Lavelle. She's in charge of pyrotechnics at MBPP. Stacy, why don't you tell us what you're working on here?

We're making flashpots for the Rosencrantz/Guildenstern wedding. There's going to be a lot of noise and a lot of smoke.

Fantastic! What's the theme?


The bride's father passed away recently, so we're going to make it look like his ghost has returned to walk her down the aisle. First we're killing all the lights, then the flashpots go off, and then we're projecting images of him on a scrim. We'll play a recording of his voice, as well. The bride will never expect it!

Sounds great! I'll let you guys get back to work.

(To camera) As you can see, we take our jobs very seriously here at MBPP. We want to make sure your party is bigger, louder, and more exciting than any party before. Here's Todd McElroy, our demo expert. Todd? What are you working on?

The finale of the Sussman Sweet 16. Chloe wants a BMW convertible and of course her father's bought her one. But we've decided to bring in this new Bug instead as a joke. She'll obviously be upset and angry, and just when her tantrum reaches its peak, our stunt driver speeds in with her BMW and shoots the Bug with this fake rocket launcher. We blow a charge under the Bug and it should flip over three times before ending upside down. Then we cue fireworks.

That sounds awesome, Todd. You've been with me for a long time. How is party planning different from the movies?

Well, I can't fall back on CGI so much, so it's made me relearn some of the old ways of doing things. Otherwise, it's about the same. I mean, movies and parties are all about the same thing, right? Bombs, crashes, and rolling fire.

Truer words were never spoken. Thanks, Todd.

(To camera) I hope you've enjoyed your behind the scenes look at Michael Bay's Party Planners and want to choose us for your next party. At MBPP, no party is too big for us to handle, though many are too small. If you're looking for an intimate affair with just close friends and family, try someone else. But if you want the rockin'est party ever, give us a call.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Toodle-oo, Tuvalu

(An expanse of water, extending all the way to the horizon. Eventually, a ROWBOAT appears and drifts to center stage. DONALD, 50, is rowing. His son JASON, 18, is engrossed in a handheld holographic videogame. It is 2050.)

DONALD (looking around)
My gosh, this brings me back.
(turns upstage, looks into the distance)
(he looks to JASON)
When I was your age, all this was land.

(JASON gives the surrounding water a cursory glance and goes back to his game)


(pause. DONALD points to the middle distance.)

You see out there? Jason, will you look?

(JASON puts his game on “pause,” exasperated. he looks where his dad is pointing.)


No, to the left a bit.


Directly below there, about fourteen feet, is the Rhenium Vapor Fountain where your mother and I used to play Intra-Continuum Space-Candyland.

JASON (creeped out)
Aw, Dad. C’mon.

DONALD (smiling)
What? We weren’t always old. We used to be a young dating couple, like you and Nicole.

JASON (blushing)
Uh, no. I don’t think you were ever like me and Nicole.

Things getting serious between you two?

JASON (smiling)
I don’t know. Whatever.

You ever tell her you’re a Tuvaluan?


(pause. DONALD is visibly saddened.)

Not even a word about it? How come?

JASON (shrugs)
It hasn’t really come up.

It’s something to be proud of. Tuvalu took a look at the rising water levels and did something about it. They went into battle to save their homeland.

Yeah, I know. “They sued the U.S. and Australia to get them to cut down their CO2 emissions.”

It’s an inspirational story.

No, “David and Goliath” is an inspirational story, because David won. How does our story end? Well, here’s our homeland. Oh, except for the “land” part.


It was a brave fight. And it was the right fight. The outcome doesn’t change that.


I know, Dad. It’s just... It’s the past. It’s gone. I’m just focused on other things.

Yep. Well. You’re not alone.

(the boat runs up against something and lurches slightly. DONALD reaches down over the side of the boat and finds a tiny point of land sticking up an inch out of the water. he holds it at arm’s length to push the boat away from it.)

Is that...?

Put your hand there.
(DONALD takes JASON’s hand and holds it on top of the point of land.)
That’s the highest point on Tuvalu. That’s your soil. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see it anymore. It’s always yours.
You feel that?



I used to have to reach up to put my hand on this point. You could sit here and watch the sun set into the South Pacific. You had a view of the whole nation stretching out in all directions, up to sixteen feet below you in some places.
(DONALD removes his hand. JASON keeps his in place.)
That’s yours.



(DONALD looks around at the surrounding ocean while JASON continues to contemplate the land under his hand)

I suppose the sunset must happen a few seconds sooner now than when I was a kid.
(he reaches to the floor of the boat and pulls up a plastic bottle of water. he unscrews the cap and takes a swig. he holds it out to JASON.)
You want to do the honors?

(JASON looks at his dad and takes the bottle. he holds it out over the tip of land and pours. the water level gradually rises until the land disappears beneath it. he hands the bottle back to DONALD, who screws the cap back on. DONALD rows the boat off stage, while JASON stares at the point where the land was.)

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Ten

Oh, the humanity!

Three score and three days ago Michael and I brought forth on this internet a new challenge, conceived in Comedy, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created funny.

Now we are engaged in a great comic war, testing whether that challenge, or any challenge, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that challenge might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this web. The brave men and women, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here...

  • Red led a cavalry charge into the thickets early...
  • Coyote performed valiant but futile battlefield surgery on the wounded...
  • Michael schemed and planned and plotted and napped through it all...
  • David surveyed the great loss of life and limb from high above.
This week we've got babes in naves, doctors on telly, great warriors felled by beautiful maidens, and a little man in a boat.

If you feel my usage of this great speech for such a trivial adventure was sacrilegious, please go here to see it in its intended glory here.

FSW: Fantasy Dream Edition

It's time for another round of Friday Sketch War.

Richard was first out of the gate today, with a cautionary tale about television doctors.

Nothing from Dave yet, but if it's anything like last week, he'll toss something out that will 

blow us all away.

Update: Dave is up and, er, swimming. And we have a new battler in our midst. Red has joined the fray. Please make her feel welcome.

Here's my attempt at the funny. I think I need to cut it down some, but I like the premise a lot.

And, as always, if you'd like to play along, simply post your sketch and send us a link.


Dream Date Night Dream

(We are in the small, studio apartment of PAUL. It is decorated as any geek, fanboy might. Lots of horror movie posters, action figures on shelves, an authentic lightsaber in a glass case, Star Wars bed sheets, etc. Paul sits in bed, wearing a headset, playing an online game on his computer. Through the wall we hear the unmistakable sound of enthusiastic lovemaking.)

PAUL: (On headset) Jesus, my neighbor’s at it again. I swear that guy gets more tail than Aragon. (Beat) Oh, way more than Solo. (Beat) Well that’s your opinion.

(The lovemaking gets louder and louder, then suddenly, there is a short scream of shock followed by a loud THUD!)

PAUL: (On headset) Hang on, Slayer 9, I think I’ve got a situation here.

(Paul leans back against the wall, trying to hear what’s going on. We hear a woman’s voice saying “Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.” Over and over again.)

PAUL: (On headset) Dude, I’m gonna have to log off. (Beat) I know, I know, but you’ve got enough Hit Power to take the ogres should they attack. (Beat) Would you calm down, that wizard is long gone. I’m sure I’ll return before he does.

(There is a knock on his door.)

PAUL: (On headset) Holy shit, I think the chick he was banging is knocking at my door. (Beat) No, I’m not going to take a picture.

(More knocking.)

JAMIE: (Off) Hello? Is anyone home? Hello?

PAUL: Just a second! (On headset.) All right, all right. But only because you saved my ass on the Isle of Gygax. After this we’re even.

(More knocking.)

PAUL: Coming!

(He quickly removes his headset and positions the laptop so it’s pointing toward the door. He takes a tiny webcam and attaches it to the top of the computer. He crosses to the door and opens is. JAMIE, drop-dead gorgeous, enters, wearing a man’s t-shirt and nothing else.)

JAMIE: Oh, thank god you’re home. I think my boyfriend needs a doctor.

(Paul is frozen momentarily in the tractor-beam of her beauty.)

JAMIE: Hello? You speak English?

PAUL: Uh. Yeah. And Elven. A little Klingon, too. Enough to get by anyhow.

JAMIE: Can you help me?

PAUL: Sure. Uh. (Beat) What do you want me to do?

JAMIE: Check on my boyfriend.

PAUL: Right. Okay. Yeah.

(Paul starts to leave, followed by Jamie. There is a BEEP from his computer and he turns to look at it.)

PAUL: Uh. You know. You should. Wait here. Yeah. In case. You know.

JAMIE: Okay. Thanks. I’m a little freaked out right now.

(She goes to sit down on a beanbag chair near the wall. Another BEEP from the computer. Paul grabs her and stops her.)

PAUL: Actually. Just stay right here.

(He positions her so she’s in front of the camera. Another BEEP. Paul looks at the computer. He moves her slightly to the left and turns her sideways.)

PAUL: Right here. I’ll be right back.

(Paul takes another look at her and then quickly runs out of the apartment. Jamie stays where she was placed. A rapid series of BEEPS emanates from the computer. She looks for the sound and sees the computer. Through the wall we hear Paul.)

PAUL: (Off) Dude! Dude! Wake up. Dude!

(Paul runs back in. Jamie turns to him.)

JAMIE: Why does your computer keep repeating “thank you”?

PAUL: It’s a, uh, gratitude program I just installed.

JAMIE: Oh. How is he?

PAUL: Um, okay, I think. I think maybe he’s just unconscious.

JAMIE: Do you think he’ll be all right?

PAUL: I’m not a doctor but…

(BEEP from the computer. Paul steps closer to read the screen.)

PAUL: But, I think you should stay here until he comes to. He probably just needs a little air. Uh.

(BEEP from the computer.)

PAUL: Would you like something to drink?

JAMIE: I could really use a shot of whiskey right now.

PAUL: Oh. Well. I only have water and Diet Cherry Fanta.

JAMIE: Water’s fine.

(Paul heads over to the kitchen.)

PAUL: I’m Paul, by the way.

JAMIE: Jamie. Thanks for being here, Paul. I’m such a nutcase when it comes to emergencies.

(Paul comes back with a glass of water.)

PAUL: Oh, sure, I’m always home.

(BEEP from the computer.)

PAUL: Because I’m Rick.

JAMIE: What?


PAUL: Rich. Because I’m so rich. I never need to leave.

(Jamie begins to take in her surroundings.)

JAMIE: Wow, you really like movies, huh?

PAUL: Oh yeah.

JAMIE: Is that a real light saber?

PAUL: Darth Vadar’s. From A New Hope.

JAMIE: No shit.

PAUL: You like Star Wars?

JAMIE: Love it. I was Princess Leia for Halloween this year. You know the outfit she wore as Jabba’s slave girl?

(Paul has a physical reaction to this image. Another series of BEEPS from the computer. Jamie looks at it and seems to be a little shocked.)

JAMIE: I don’t think your gratitude program is working very well. Now it’s just repeating “Take off your shirt” over and over again

(PAUL leaps over and slams the laptop closed. A series of BEEPS. He yanks out the headset and the camera. He stuffs the laptop under the blankets.)

JAMIE: You know, I should probably check on Jarrod.

PAUL: Who? Oh yeah! No! Let me go. I don’t want you to get freaked out again or anything.

JAMIE: Okay. Thanks.

(Paul runs out again.)

PAUL: (Off) Oh hey, dude. You’re up. Uh, no I haven’t seen her. What’s that over there?

(There is a dull thud, followed by the sound of something heavy falling. Paul comes running back in.)

PAUL: He had a relapse.

JAMIE: Oh no.

PAUL: But I think he’s going to be fine. You can hang out here until he’s better.

JAMIE: Oh. Sure. Okay.

PAUL: So…You wanna see the Steampunk action figures I’ve modded?

JAMIE: You do Steampunk? Cool!

PAUL: (In complete awe) Mela en' coiamin

JAMIE: What?

PAUL: Nothing. Just an Elven blessing.

JAMIE: That’s neat.

PAUL: I could teach you, if you like.

JAMIE: That would be nice. (Beat) What’s on your shirt? Are you bleeding?

PAUL: What? Oh! No. (He wipes it away.) It must have been some sauce from my Spaghetti O’s.

(They share a laugh. Jamie sits down on the bed. We hear faint moaning through the walls. Paul turns on his stereo.)

PAUL: I hope you like Evanescence.

(Paul sits on the bed next to Jamie.)

JAMIE: They’re my favorite band.

(An annoying BEEPING noise begins.)

JAMIE: What’s that?

PAUL: I don’t know.

JAMIE: Listen, why don’t you check it out, while I slip into something a little more comfortable.

PAUL: What’s more comfortable than just a t-shirt?

JAMIE: You’ll see.

(She exits into the bathroom. Excited, Paul takes off his shirt and pants. The BEEPING is getting louder, so he begins searching for it. He looks all over and eventually winds up looking under the blankets of his bed. He is completely covered. The lights change very subtly. He comes out from under the blankets, stretching and yawning.)

PAUL: Wait. What? No no no no no no.

(He runs to the bathroom and knocks on the door.)

PAUL: Jamie? Hello?

(He opens the door.)

PAUL: NOOOO! Dammit!

(Something is still BEEPING. He makes it back to his bed where he digs out his computer. He opens it up and the beeping stops. He puts on his headset. The sound of enthusiastic lovemaking begins next door. Paul sighs.)

PAUL: (On headset) He, Slayer 9, what’s up? (Beat) Nothing, just listening to my neighbor get his baloney pony ridden. Again. Dude gets more tail than Apollo’s killed Cylons. (Beat) You’d be certifiable if you didn’t do Starbuck.

(The door opens and Jamie comes in, dressed, with donuts and orange juice.)

JAMIE: Good morning, sleepy head.

PAUL: (On headset) Dude, I gotta get back to you. I think I’m still dreaming.

(He pulls off the headset.)

PAUL: You’re…you’re real.

JAMIE: What? Last night wasn’t enough to convince you? Oh, I hope you don’t mind, but I borrowed some of your clothes.

(Paul is just standing, staring, flabbergasted.)

JAMIE: Listen, I thought maybe we could take a shower together and then watch LORT. All three movies, director’s cut of course, straight through.

(Paul falls to his knees and begins to weep.)

JAMIE: Paul, are you all right?

PAUL: I’m happier than a Ranchor in shit.

JAMIE: Cormamin lindua ele lle.

PAUL: It does, indeed.

(Paul stands up and goes to hug Jamie. He steps on one of his action figures that is on the floor.)


(He begins hopping around, loses his balance and falls behind the bed. There is a sickly sounding, WET CRACK.)

JAMIE: What are the odds?

(She looks around. Shrugs. Takes the donuts and leaves.)


FSW: Five for Health: Homemade Drugs

This one's a bit different. Most of you reading this should (hopefully) note a passing similarity to a certain television doctor and insane performer. This sketch had originally been intended as part of a C-story for a spec, but I've never been happy with my plans for the A-story and have put that spec on a back burner. I never wrote this bit out, but had a good chunk of it in my head and figured I might as well put it to use. Hope y'all enjoy.

Five for Health: Homemade Drugs
(Dr. Cyrill O'Syban stands behind a lab bench wearing a white coat and goggles. There are beakers, test tubes, and a bunsen burner on the bench.)

Hi. I'm Dr. Cyrill O'Syban. I'm a working physician with a degree from the Bangalore School of Medicine. If you're like most people, then you're tired of making pharmaceutical fatcats rich just to stop your headache or cure your hangover. I'm here today to show you how to make your own perfectly safe alternatives in your own kitchen or garage.

(Cut to animated credits which play with upbeat music over. We see an animated caricature of Dr. Cyrill O'Syban in white coat performing various tasks with quick cuts and wipes from action to action:
- taking a red-faced, sweaty patient's temperature; the mercury thermometer explodes
- performing the Heimlich in a restaurant on a very fat man; a huge meatball flies out of his mouth
- using a defibrillator on a patient; he lives
- handing a lollipop to a small girl; she smiles and shoots rainbows out her eyes
Animated Cyrill turns to the camera.)

I went to medical school, so you don't have to.

(Cut to the real Cyrill. The final strains of the theme music finish and the titles read "FIVE FOR HEALTH WITH DR. CY")

Nothing is more of a drag then seasonal allergies. This first home brew will cut right through that foggy head. We start with some over the counter allergy pills.

(During the following dialog, Cyrill takes some pills out of a box and crushes them into a beaker, then with gloves and tongs he pours from a bottle into the beaker. Smoke pours out.)

Take those out of the package and crush them up into a microwave safe container. Now carefully pour some bleach in and stir. What you want to see are small crystals just starting to form.

Cut! Cut! What the hell...are you making crystal meth? You can't do that on television!

No, it's fine. It's just for allergies. It's perfectly safe.

If it's just for allergies, why don't you just tell them to take the allergy pills?

This is much faster acting and lasts twice as long. It's because the anti-allergy chemicals get to the source faster when you smoke them.

No! Skip this one. What else have you got?

A mixture of cough syrup, tang, and goat's milk.

What's that for?

You put two drops in each eye and you can stay up for 72 hours. That's how I got through finals at good old Bang U.

No, no, no. You can't make the Hedgehog on TV!

(Jackson Tyler enters with his entourage in tow. He's wearing a retro jersey, white kicks, jeans, and a lot of bling.)

Hello, Jackson. What are you doing here?

Shooting a video for my new song, "Bernanke's a Bitch". Subprime crisis is killing my portfolio!


Heard you were here and thought I'd see if our package came in from Brazil yet. But then I saw what you were doing! Cops'll shut you down if you make that on TV.

It never occurred to me. I guess I'll just cut that one out, too.

What else you got, Cyrill O'Syban?

Ground up walnuts, ammonia, listerine, and lime je--

--British Navy. No way.

A tea made from oregano, thyme, brake dust, and nose hairs--

--Toon pang! Nope.

Crushed D-cell batteries, "Sanford and Son" on Betamax--

--Root beer?


That's even worse! That stuff will mess you up! I had a cousin got hooked on "Lizbeth" and now she just chews her toenails and watches "Ellen" all day. She voted for George Bush! Twice.

I, I just didn't know Tyler. So what do you think I should do for today's segment?

(Cut to Cyrill sitting behind a desk.)

Today on "Five for Health" we're going to discuss the health benefits of oral sex. So start your TiVos now, ladies!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Nine

We've got an interesting battle this week. Back from the brink of doom (probably after making a Mephistophelian deal) Michael is firing on all cylinders. Red's got a new home on the web, but didn't join in the festivities. David channeled his inner Sondheim. It was a slugfest out there today...

  • Michael launched an early salvo on Thursday, setting off EM devices in the atmo...
  • Coyote scrambled bombers out of a secret Antarctic base while Crystal Palace struggled to come back online...
  • Michael fired rail guns from orbit, leveling Cleveland and Minsk...
  • David launched every missile out of every attack-hardened silo, leaving the Earth a smoking cinder.
There was a lot of pain, crying, and gnashing of teeth today. We lost a lot of good people (and a lot of deadwood too...nukes and railguns are indiscriminate.) Hapkido, shotguns, fisticuffs, and song were the weapons of choice this week, my good readers. Go forth and be amused.


(A public library at night. JOYCE is a librarian, bespectacled, primly dressed, her hair in a bun. She is closing up for the night, saying “goodbye” to the final patrons and locking the door behind them. She turns off the overhead fluorescent lights and heads back to the counter. She stretches, exhausted.)

(Suddenly, she leaps up and sits on the counter. She flicks a switch and is awash with radiant spotlights. A raunchy, sexy drum loop begins. She removes her glasses and flings them away with abandon. She reaches behind her head and removes a pin, sensually shaking her long, luxurious hair around her shoulders. She launches into a rap.)

You’re waitin’ in the straight lines,
I’m dolin’ out the late fines.
I love a page-turner (so you’ve heard through the grape vines).
You sidle to the counter like you’re readin’ off the book spines.

Let’s see your card.

What’s on your mind?
You wanna be my lover?
The only date you’ll get from me is stamped inside the cover.
I got stacks of new releases, so ya better not hover.

Don’t try so hard.

Yeah, I’ve seen ya. Lurkin’ in the shelves,
Like a schoolboy giggling at Our Bodies, Ourselves.
You’re too overdue, which goes to confirm,
You ain’t quite man enough to handle this bookworm.

(JOYCE bumps and grinds while MYRTLE, another buttoned-up librarian, enters. MYRTLE flings off her glasses, undoes her hair, unbuttons the top button on her blouse and takes over.)

MYRTLE (pointing to the various aisles)
History and mystery,
Geography, biography,
Psychology, theology,
Feel like gettin’ knowledge-y?


Hell yeah, y’all ain’t gettin’ no apology!
Language is elastic, better check your etymology!

True dat!

Rifle through my card catalog.
Yeah that’s right, I work it old school, analog.

It’s all right here, systematic and methodical.
The heaviest tome to the lightest periodical.
The infinite down to the infinitesimal.

You better get acquainted with the Dewey decimal.

It’s all about the Melvils.

Gotta find it where I stack it.

If you wanna peek inside my dust jacket.

You think you belong in our philosophy section?

You’re a Norman Vincent Peale in a Chomsky collection.

Now you’re layin’ down your learnin’?

Expectin’ me to squirm?

You ain’t got the skills to impress this bookworm.

(JOYCE and MYRTLE dance ass-to-ass. LOUISE, a third librarian, glides in on a book cart. She leaps off, flings away her glasses, undoes her hair, and tears away her blouse, revealing a glittery bra.)


That’s why there’s cards in here!

Rare books!

That’s why there’s guards in here!

Old bums!

That’s why it stinks in here!
Don’t bring no food or drinks in here!

You gotta lotta nerve, droppin’ off your son and daughter,
Then checkin’ out my ass while they check out Harry Potter.
Hell, look all you want, but try not to pout.
I’m a reference librarian, so you can’t take me out.

You can access all these books for free
But not my Gray’s Anatomy.
Don’t know a dirty word? Just come to me.
I’ll point you to the OED.
Ya down with OED?

Yeah, you know me!

Ya down with OED?

Yeah, you know me!

Ya down with OED?

Yeah, you know me!

Who’s down with OED?

This li-brar-y!

(Enter FRAN, an older, more dignified librarian. She is disgusted.)

(The music stops cold, and JOYCE, MYRTLE and LOUISE stop dancing.)
What the hell is going on in here?
(The other LIBRARIANS look sheepishly to the floor.)
You gotta hike up them skirts, lay-deeees!

(FRAN rolls her skirt up at the waist, revealing her ankles. The other LIBRARIANS cheer, and the music starts up again.)

Awwww, yeah!!!!

All other librarians,
Take our advice
And keep real quiet!

Shush it good!

’Cause if you step to us,
There’s gonna be a riot!

Shush it real good!

All you other book-bitches? I don’t mean to slander ya!

But we run the tightest since the one at Alexandria!

But if you insist, and you want a brawl…

We’ll take it fist-to-fist, like Mailer and Vidal!

Just keep your head low and agree to our terms.

There’s no way in hell you can beat these bookworms.

(ALL cross their arms in front of their chests.)


Friday Sketch War: Fantasy Edition

Haven't heard anything from Dave yet. But Richard's already posted, even though he's not feeling well. And it seems as though Red isn't joining us this week either.

Update: Dave has posted and it is super fly! Check it.

Here's my entry, for what it's worth. Probably reveals a bit too much about my current work situation. But then, that's why I'm sending out resumes. Right?

The Break Room

(Office break room. Marge and Peggy, two middle-aged, over weight secretaries are eating donuts and talking.)

MARGE: So I says to him, “Carl” I says “I know for a fact that Jim’s not keeping up with his work”.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) He’s such a slacker.

MARGE: Right. We all know it. But Carl doesn’t see it. He goes “And what makes you think this?” And I almost laugh in his face. As if I have to make up stories about Jim.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) Not likely.

MARGE: Right. So I says, “Carl, I was looking at his email inbox and there’s a whole list of file requests he hasn’t completed yet.” And Carl has the gall to get upset at me. “You can’t do that,” he says. “It’s an invasion of his privacy”, he says. Like that’s going to mean anything when we’re all out of jobs because Jim’s poor work ethic causes this whole company to fold.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) Seriously.

MARGE: But Carl says he’ll look into it. He says he’ll say something to Jim.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) Good for you.

MARGE: I’m just looking out for the company. I mean, Carl thinks he’s such a fantastic Office Manager, but we all know that I should have been the one to get that job. The only reason they hired him was because we needed more men in the office to fill a quota of some sort.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) Damn ACLU.

MARGE: Exactly. The hippies ruined it for everyone. But I’ve already sent several emails to the CEO about Carl and his lack of caring about this company. I plan on getting him…

(Carl enters the break room and goes to the fridge)

MARGE: Oh hey Carl! How’s your day going?

CARL: All right. Thank God it’s Friday, you know.

MARGE: Amen to that. So, how’d it go with Jim? Is he going to straighten up and fly right?

CARL: Marge, I already told you once, this really isn’t any of your business. Jim’s only been back a week since his wife died. He’s taking things slow.

MARGE: Glacial, if you ask me.

CARL: I didn’t, Marge. No one did. And I hope you’ll stop sending me emails about him.

MARGE: He’s costing this company millions of dollars.

(Carl sighs and shakes his head. He exits.)

MARGE: Have a blessed day!

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut): Yeah.


(Marge and Peggy share a laugh. Peggy nearly chokes on her donut.)

MARGE: As you can see, the man clearly has no regard for this company.

(Marge takes out a notepad and begins writing on it.)

MARGE: This is going in his file.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) His file?

MARGE: I keep a file on everyone in the office. That way, if they ever do anything really wrong, or something that I don’t think befits an employee of this company, I can take it to the CEO and have them fired. Carl’s file is almost as big as Jim’s.

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) Do I have a file?

MARGE: Only because you’re my best friend here do I tell you this. Yes. You do. It’s the smoke breaks. You take a ten minute break every hour. That adds up.

(Peggy just stares at her. Jim enters the break room.)

MARGE: Hey, Jim. How are you doing? Again, we’re so sorry about your loss.

JIM: Thanks.

MARGE: But don’t you think using your wife’s death as an excuse to slack off at work only degrades her memory?

JIM: Excuse me?

MARGE: I couldn’t help but notice, as I read your emails, that you’re really far behind on…

(Jim punches Marge in the face, toppling her over in her chair. He gets a soda out of the fridge and exits.)

PEGGY: (Mouthful of donut) And have a blessed day.


FSW: Barista Blues

Barista Blues
(Meg and Dex stand behind the counter of an upscale coffee house. He: late 20s, detached and jaded hipster. She: 18, fresh-faced, straight from the farmland. Dex is showing Meg how the brewing equipment works.)

It's not a lot different from the one back at the Starbucks in Grover's Corners. I should be able to run it. Thanks, Dex. I'm so excited!

It's not that exciting. You brew, you steam, you move them along.

I don't mean that! I mean I've only been in LA three days and I've already got a great job! My parents said I'd end up broke and have to come home and become a dental hygienist, but now I won't have to.

I wouldn't call this a great job.

But it is! Six days from six to two leaves me plenty of time to audition, and find a place to perform. Plus when Sol hired me he said I'd get to sing on the stage here, too!

(Laughing to himself) I remember that. By the time you get out of here, you won't have the energy left to do much of anything. Besides, with what Sol pays you, you'll end up taking extra shifts just to afford Ramen. And singing on that little stage over's just more scut work.

You're a gloomy gus, aren't you!

I'm opening up. Get ready.

(Dex goes to the door and opens it up. A small line of movers and shakers has already formed. Each and everyone tapping furiously on his Blackberry or talking fervently on her Bluetooth. First in line is a smarmy, slimy man. Pretty much like everyone in line who isn't a smarmy, slimy woman.)

Good Morning! What can I get for you today?

(Looking up and seeing fresh meat) Well, good morning princess. I'm Ari. Here's my card. Call me sometime. I'd love to represent you.

(Meg takes the card and beams broadly. She holds it up and glances at Dex who shakes his head in bemusement.)

I will call you, thank you! I'm an actress, and a singer-songwriter, and a --

-- that's great, babe. Tell it to my assistant when you call, okay?

Yes, sir! What can I get for you today?

I'll have the usual, babe.

(Ari smiles to himself at his unoriginal and unclever joke. Meg starts cackling in earnest.)

Wow! You're funny!

Just make it a large coffee.

(Meg pours and hands the coffee over to Ari, who then moves to the register to pay. Slimeball steps up.)

I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf...with a twist of lemon.

(Slimeball waits expectantly...and Meg laughs.)

Oh, I love that movie! That's great!

Maybe you'd like to watch it with me sometime. Here's my card. Call me. I'm an agent.

Thanks! Oh, I've got to go in back to get a lemon. I'll just be one --

-- Actually, I'll just have a large coffee.

(Meg pours his coffee and hands it over. Sleazebag steps up.)

(Smiling to himself) I'll have the usual.


(It's later the same day, Meg's hair is messed and there are coffee stains on her shirt. She looks harried. D-Bag steps up to the counter.)

I'll have the usual.

(Meg shows teeth, but it's not a smile. Dex comes over to Meg.)

I'll take this one. Sol wants some music.

(Cheered up immediately) That's great! To tell you the truth, I could use the break. I have some great new songs I've been working on, too.

Didn't Sol tell you? You're just supposed to play that song "Bad Day". Maybe some John Mayer when he's in the mood, but that rarely happens.


(Some time has passed. Meg's hair is spiky and parti-colored and she's got a tattoo showing on her upper arm. She's sleeveless now, and in general looks a bit skankier. She's showing the tat to Dex.)

It hurt a lot. They don't tell you that. But it's pretty cool, don't you think?

It's nice.

I can't wait till my friends back home see this! They'll flip!

How was your audition on Friday?

I didn't get the part. I don't get it. There are movies and plays and TV shows all over, but there aren't that many auditions.

(Dex smiles to himself.)

Oh, I've gotta tell you! Last night at the club --

-- that karaoke bar out in the valley?

Yeah. So anyway, I was DJ-ing and this group of really hot girls and guys came in and sang. One of the girls had this amazing voice and I asked her if she sang professionally. She just laughed and said it didn't pay enough. (Stage whispers to Dex) She told me she did porn! Can you believe it?

(Slimeball walks up with a few people behind him.)

Hey, babe! How ya doing? You're looking good today.

Oh, hey. Large coffee?

Nah. I think I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf --

-- with a twist of lemon?

Heh! You caught me. Actually, how about I get you something? Dinner?

Oh, I don't know. I really shouldn't. We're not supposed to date the customers.

(The people in line begin to grumble. Their very busy, very important lives are being put on hold with this inane chatter. Meg goes ahead and pours him a large coffee.)

Well, I'll keep asking anyway.

Meg, Sol wants another set.

(Meg sighs deeply, grabs her guitar and heads for the stage. As the lights fade, we hear the opening bars of "Bad Day".)


(Meg's now got a full sleeve tat, a lip and two eye piercings, and a tat around her navel. She's sleeveless and cropped. Slimeball is at the front of the line.)

(Quietly, looking down) Large coffee please.

(Glaring...then finally exploding) You could have at least called me the next day! You said you'd call! Jesus. Damn it, you could at least look me in the eyes when you order your coffee!

(Meg pours his coffee and slams it down on the counter. Slimeball slinks away to pay and the next customer steps up.)

Hello! I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf...with a twist of lemon!

(Meg screams, reaches below the counter, comes up with a shotgun and shoots him. Silence and stillness for a few seconds.)

I'll clean that up. Sol wants you to do a set.