Friday, May 30, 2008

FSW: Man Down Edition

The day got away from me. End of the month is always hectic at work. Add in a little rehearsal, a lot of wedding stuff and you've got yourself a Sketch War without the "war".

Richard, The Universal Soldier, comes through as always with a topical sketch about the sleeper cell that is Rachel Ray.

I haven't heard from Dave since RAW closed. Hopefully he didn't go overboard on the wine and end up in the Lake.

I'm afraid the next couple weeks could be more of the same. I'll try and get some things together so you won't miss me while I'm off on the honeymoon.

Sketch War Salute

We don't have 21 guns or anything fancy like that. Just heaps of respect for a fine sketch comedy actor who has left us.

Harvey Korman passed away last night. Probably best known for his stint on the Carol Burnett Show and his role as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles.

I think part of the reason he was so well loved was all the times he cracked up because of something Tim Conway had done. Here's one of my favorite moments.

The planet just got a little less funny today.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

FSW: Rachael Ray, Terrorist!

Tough choice today. Most of the day, the topic below seemed the most obvious target. Then around 4:30 I heard Harvey Korman had died. I thought about trying to write a sketch in honor of his greatness, but I'm not worthy. I wanted to give him a sendoff fit for a king, but I'm just a lowly piss boy.

So instead, watch and mourn (and by "mourn", I mean "laugh your ass off") here.

Now that I've properly bummed y'all out, here's this week's effort

Rachael Ray, Terrorist!
(We're in the middle of a park on a beautiful May day in our nation's capital, cherry blossoms in full color, wispy white clouds gently tracing paths across the rich, azure sky. Front and center is Rachael Ray, played by a fat man in a wig. She holds a small Dunkin' Donuts. She wears a keffiyeh.)

Hi! I'm Rachael Ray! When I'm on the road, I can't always whip up a batch of baba ghanoush and big bowl of tabbouleh. So when I'm craving that taste of home, I stop in at Dunkin' Donuts for their all new Falafel Munchkins!

(Opening the box, Rachael plucks out a little ball of fried garbanzo goodness. Between her sausage-like fingers, the falafel ball seems particularly delicate.)

He's so cute! Look at that.

(She pops it in her mouth and her eyes roll back in her head like a fat man, wearing a wig, possessed by a demon of the sort that likes its garbanzo flour deep-fried.)

Delish! You can really taste the EVOO they fried it in, too.

(She quickly finishes off four more falafel. She reaches down and picks up a cup of Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee.)

Nothing better to wash down your awesome Dunkin' Donuts Falafel Munchkins than fresh-brewed Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee!

(Like a Shop-Vac, she sucks it up the straw and down her mighty gullet.)

Dunkin' Donuts. It's not just donuts anymore!

CUT TO: News Studio
(Michelle Malkin - played by an Asian man because it is so hard to find an actual Filipino Tranny willing to make fun of one of his/her own - sits next to FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly. Behind them a monitor shows the frozen and deeply disturbing image of Rachael.)

Michelle, tell the viewers at home what bothers you about this ad.

You're kidding me, right Barbie?

It's Megyn.

Whatever. Look. That fat cow is wearing a keffiyeh. Anyone who wears a keffiyeh is a terrorist. Anyone who defends anyone who wears a keffiyeh is a terrorist. Yassir Arafat used to wear a keffiyeh and he was a terrorist. Don't you get it?

I'm trying to follow you...

I'll speak slower.

That would probably help. Thanks.

Yassir Arafat wore a keffiyeh. Rachael Ray is wearing a keffiyeh. Clearly she's just like him.

Didn't Yassir Arafat also wear shoes?

What's your point, Barbie?



You're wearing shoes. Does that make you a terrorist, too?

(Michelle sticks her fingers in her ears and hums and goes LALALALA very loudly.)

(Sing-song) I can't hear you.

Michelle. Michelle!

(Michelle takes her fingers out of her ears.)

I hope I've made my point.


I have a statement from Dunkin' Donuts here I'd like to read. It says, "It's a goddamn black and white silk paisley scarf you ignorant slut. And we didn't pick it. But we're going to pull the ads anyway because we're owned by the Carlyle Group and are a bunch of pussies afraid of a loud-mouthed Filipino Tranny."

What do you have to say to that?

Dunkin' Donuts can lick my balls. At least for the next three months until I see the special doctor.

No one, but no one who wears a keffiyeh should be allowed to live. They should be marched off to concentration camps. And the parents who let their children wear that evil symbol of jihad are worse. That's the most un-American thing a parent can do, is let their children wear a keffiyeh.

(The monitor behind Michelle changes to show a photo of Meghan and Cindy McCain. Meghan proudly sports a keffiyeh. Not a black and white silk paisley scarf that a fashion-less Filipino Tranny might confuse, but a traditional keffiyeh.)

Michelle? Any comments on the photo on the monitor?

Yeah. Barack Hussein Obama went to a Madrassa and Hilary Clinton is almost as much of a man as I still am.

Thanks, Michelle. We'll be right back.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Sixteen

As the three-day weekend rolls to a close, it's time to announce the winners and losers of this past Friday's battle royale. In another two-man fight to the death,

  • Coyote drew first blood with his katana...
  • Michael parried with his claymore. What sucked for Coyote, was the Claymore was of the landmine variety.
Winner: Michael.

While we're enjoying the small duels, it's about time some friends and family join in the battle. We're not the only writers here; we shouldn't be the only writers fighting on Fridays. Email a link to your sketch to

Friday, May 23, 2008

FSW: Office Edition

Richard's playing doctor this week.

Dave is quiet at the moment. Perhaps his still dreaming about his dream job.

Your sketch is probably really funny. But since you won't let us read it we'll never know.

I really wanted to have a Memorial Day themed sketch today. But that just seemed like too much work. So here's my entry this week.


The Day Job

(An office cubicle. Jarred sits at his desk entering data. He is having a hard time staying awake. Colleen enters and stands behind his chair, watching him work.)

COLLEEN: Man, I love the way you tear into a spreadsheet.

JARRED: (Not taking his eyes off the screen.) Hey, Colleen.

COLLEEN: Seriously, it’s like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel or something.


COLLEEN: If I didn’t have my own work to do, I could just stand here, watching you do this all day long.

JARRED: Thanks.

(She pats him on the back.)

COLLEEN: Well keep up the awesome, awe-inspiring work.

JARRED: Will do.

(Colleen exits. Barry pops his head over Jarred’s cube wall.)

BARRY: Man, Colleen’s going a little overboard with this new positive reinforcement initiative, don’t you think?

JARRED: Seriously. Does she really think going around to everyone and comparing their data entry to master painters is going to make us work harder?

BARRY: She compared you to a painter?

JARRED: Michelangelo.

BARRY: She didn’t say anything like that to me.


BARRY: All I got was a blowjob.

(Jarred stops typing.)

BARRY: Well, better get back to it.

(Barry disappears back to his cube. Jarred sighs and starts typing again.)


FSW: On the Couch

(Trevor lies on a couch, while behind him Mary sits in a chair taking notes. She is wearing a suit and glasses. Her hair is in a bun held together with a pencil.)

How are you feeling today, Trevor?

I'm okay. A little sluggish. Didn't get a good night's sleep.


Restless. My dreams were too vivid, I think. Probably shouldn't have had that burrito before bed.

Tell me about the burrito.

You don't want to hear about the dreams?

I haven't had breakfast yet. (BEAT) And sometimes a burrito is just a burrito.

(They both chuckle at her bad joke.)

Alright. Tell me about your dreams.

They started out like they always do. I was thirteen and mowing the lawn. It's July and I'm working up quite a sweat. Now, our yard was pretty small, maybe a quarter-acre of grass to mow, but in my dream it's this huge expanse. It's at least three, four acres. And it feels like I'm pushing uphill in both directions.

(Furiously scribbling notes) Mmmhmm...

I keep thinking I'm going to run out of gas and need to fill up the tank, but it keeps going. Engine sputters a few times, but it just keeps running. The sun's beating down and I'm sweating a ton.

What are you wearing?

Wearing? I guess I'm in shorts. I've never thought, wait...I'm wearing my uniform from my first job.

What job is that?

I was the guy in the El Pollo Loco costume who held the sign down by the road. Terrible job. I lasted a month. I think that was a record. That costume smelled like cigarettes and puke.

So you're mowing the lawn in the costume. Do you have on the chicken head?

No. Just the rest of it. The feet are huge, too.

(More energetic notetaking) Mmmm...

And then suddenly, I find myself lying by a pool.

Are you alone?

My mother's there, feeding me grapes. It's kind of weird.

Are you still in your costume?

No. I'm in swim trunks. And you're there, too, painting my toenails.

(Notes) I'm there? Hmm. What are your mother and I wearing?

She's in one of those old-timey swimsuits. You're dressed like you are now. Suit, hair up, glasses.

Very interesting --

-- I love you, Mary.

No, no, no. You're just projecting your feelings onto me.

No, Mary, really I do.

(More notes) Mmmhmm. (BEAT) Tell me more about your mother. How does it make you feel when she feeds you these grapes.

I guess it makes me feel good. I was hot and thirsty, and the grapes are cool and moist in my mouth.

And what do you think the grapes represent?

Represent? I don't know.

Okay, we'll get back to that. Let's move on to something else. Last time you said you were having some performance issues. How is that going?

I, I just can't get excited anymore.

Does anything excite you? Any fantasies?

Um, this is kind of hard to say...

This is a safe place, Trevor. You can say anything in here.

When I woke up from the dream I was pretty excited.

(Mary flips pages, she's taking so many notes now. Her pencil breaks and she pulls the one out of her hair to continue unabated. Her hair falls around her shoulders.)

I think we're about to have a breakthrough--

(The door opens and Sally, a teenage girl, comes in.)

Mom? There's a call for you from the hospital. Something about seizures, or something? One of your patients.

(Getting up) Thanks, Sally.

Dad? Can I borrow the car tonight?


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Fifteen

If you thought last week's drunken scuffle was an embarrassment, wait until you see this week's slap fight. There's a rumor we might be joined by some fresh blood soon, so this lull in the war might merely be a short-lived ceasefire. Let's hope.

  • Coyote wants to make an omelet, so he breaks a few eggs...
  • Michael has a date, but someone is ovulating.
Clearly, we need more sketch writers to join in the festivities. Post your best and send an email to

Friday, May 16, 2008

FSW: Cop Out Edition

So I've been a little busy lately. And more than a little unfocused. So the sketch I was working on for today didn't really come together. But that doesn't mean I'm going to leave you empty handed. I have this play I've been working on forever. A comedy, of course. About a poor fellow who goes out on a date with a woman who may or may not be murdering the men she goes out with. At the moment it's titled The Blind Date Black Widow. This is a scene from early in the first act. Our hero, Mitch, has just had a little verbal confrontation with a nosy neighborlady and now his best friend, Stew, has come over. It's set in Mitch's tiny, one bedroom apartment. Please feel free to leave any feedback you may have.

For those playing by the rules this week, Richard's flown the coop and Dave has too.

The Blind Date Bandit

(The door begins to open but the chain catches it. There is a thud.)

STEW: (Off) Ouch! Mitch, open up!

MITCH: Hang on Stew.
(He opens the door)
Sorry about that.

(Stewart, 30’s and husky, enters. He is wearing his police uniform.)

STEW: Why are you using the chain?

MITCH: Why don’t you knock like a normal person?

STEW: Because you gave me a key.

MITCH: I gave you that in case I lock myself out. Not so you could let yourself in here whenever you want. What if I was with someone?

(Stewart makes himself at home. Getting a beer from the fridge, eating whatever food might be lying around.)

STEW: Like who?

MITCH: What if I had a date?

STEW: I think I know you better than that.

MITCH: What do you want, Stew?

STEW: What do you mean?

MITCH: What brings you by?

STEW: Nothing. My shift ended early today so I thought I’d stop by and shoot the shit with you.
(Beat) That’s an odd turn of phrase, isn’t it? Do you suppose people in olden times used to sit around and actually shoot shit?

(Mitch just looks at him)

STEW: What? The entomology of words and phrases has always fascinated me.

MITCH: Don’t you mean etymology?

STEW: Isn’t that the study of birds or something?

MITCH: No, that’s ornithology.

STEW: I thought that was teeth.

MITCH: Maybe you should look into another hobby.

STEW: Eh. So what are you cooking? It smells good.

MITCH: Dinner for my date. Tonight. I hate to rush you out of here, but I still have to get ready.

STEW: Is this one of the girls Alison set you up with?

MITCH: No, Stewart, your wife had nothing to do with this date. Thank God.

STEW: What’s that supposed to mean?

MITCH: Alison’s a terrible matchmaker.

STEW: Mitch, she runs her own dating service. I think she knows what she’s doing.

MITCH: She’s set me up three times and every one was a complete disaster.

STEW: You ever think that maybe that has more to do with the matchee than the matcher? I mean, they don’t just throw people together willy-nilly. There’s a science to it, Mitch.

MITCH: Like physics and biology?

STEW: Did you lie on your form? I bet you lied on your form. Trying to make yourself look better so you could rate a better class of woman.

MITCH: I didn’t lie on my form.

STEW: What did you put down as your occupation?

MITCH: I don’t remember.

STEW: Did you put down temp?

MITCH: I told you, I don’t remember.

STEW: No, you put down writer.

MITCH: Just because I’ve never had anything published doesn’t mean I’m not a…hey, how did you know I put down writer? Does Alison let you look at the forms?

STEW: Sometimes.

MITCH: What about the confidentiality agreement?

STEW: Mitch, I’m your best friend. I know more about you than what you put on a stupid dating service form. (Beat) And if you’re only 160 pounds, I’m Liza Minelli.

MITCH: I had just gotten over the flu when I filled out that form. And the women she set me up with were all nuts.

STEW: She screens her clients very well.

MITCH: Stew, the last one was covered in tattoos.

STEW: Tattoos are very sexy.

MITCH: She had over a dozen Elvises on her ass.

STEW: You got to see her ass? That sounds like a pretty good date to me.

MITCH: Some of them had real hair for sideburns.

(Alison bursts through the door. She is worked up. She heads straight for Stew.)

ALISON: I thought I’d find you here.

STEW: Honey, I was just on my way home. What’s up?

ALISON: I’m ovulating.

STEW: Now?

ALISON: No, whenever it’s convenient for you, yes now!

STEW: Okay, take it easy. Let’s go.

(Alison begins undressing.)

ALISON: There’s not enough time.

MITCH: What’s going on here?

STEW: We’re trying to have a baby.

ALISON: Less talking, more undressing.
(To Mitch)
Stew’s sperm is a little sluggish.

STEW: The doctor gave her these hormone pills that make her a little agitated sometimes.

ALISON: Stewart, I swear to Christ, if we aren’t having sex in the next 38 seconds I will cut off Mr. Tinkle and feed him to the dog. Move!

(She begins to drag Stew towards the bedroom. Mitch blocks them.)

MITCH: Wait, I have a date tonight. You guys can’t do this here.

ALISON: Mitch, once we get started it’s going to take all of seven minutes. Four if Speedy here would take off his pants already!

(She reaches for Stew’s belt and begins taking off his pants.)

STEW: We don’t want to mess up his sheets honey.


(She pulls Stew down behind the couch.)

MITCH: Oh…I…uh…I think…wow…I’m going to check on my dinner.

(Mitch exits into the kitchen. Stew and Alison are concealed behind the couch.)

ALISON: You have to tilt it more!

STEW: I’m tilting it as far as it’ll go.

(The phone rings. Mitch enters and sees them and exits back into the kitchen.)

ALISON: Farther!

STEW: Ow! It doesn’t bend like that.

(The phone rings.)

ALISON: Answer the damn phone, Mitch!

STEW: Honey, getting stressed like this isn’t helping.


FSW: In the Coop

In the Coop
(Two women wearing partial chicken costumes sit next to each other on nests on a raised platform. A conveyor belt runs beneath the platform, on which eggs occasionally pass.)

Did you hear? Esther's boy came by her coop for Sunday dinner.

My Irving didn't even call on my birthday and you should tell me this?

I was making conversation. You're not the only one whose children don't come by, you know. I haven't seen my Rachel since she moved.

Chicks these days. In my day, family was the number one thing. You respected your mother, you respected your father. Now, they're running off to coops as soon as they're old enough to peck their own seed.

No respect for tradition.

We lay them, sit on them while they incubate--

--I had the worst case of hemorrhoids when I was incubating my Susie--

--and teach them how to live. And how do they repay us? Do they call? Do they write?

I can't read that chicken scratch.

That's not the point. Is it asking too much a mother should she her grandchicks? Maybe spoil them a little?


I...I'm ashamed to say it.

Ruthie, you know me. You're like a sister to me. You can tell me anything.

And you'll tell it to all the other hens.

I promise I won't. Trust me.

(Ashamed) Sarah's taken up with one of those farkakt Rhode Island Reds. She's been laying for him like crazy.

I'm so sorry, Ruth. All we can do is raise them the best we can. Eventually they have to make their own choices.

But a Red?!? I'm no racist--

--I know that, dear.

But couldn't she find a nice Jewish Rooster?

Maybe he is Jewish. Like Sammy Davis, Jr.

My mother would have fricasseed me if I'd ever taken up with a Red.

These are different times, Ruth.

I know. They have no respect for the old ways. No respect for their parents. Now, they just run off with the first cock that smiles at them.

Does she love him?

Love?! I didn't love Moishe when I married him.

Neither did I, but we grew to.

That's because Moishe was special.

Remember the way he could make the sun come up, just by crowing?

(Ruth and Mildred sigh contentedly and moon for a few seconds, thinking of Moishe.)

Oooh! One's coming!

(An egg drops onto the conveyor belt below Ruth and is carried off.)

That was easy. They're never that easy for me.

You don't relax enough. You just need to breathe.

Oh! I felt that. I think it's almost time!

(Ruth reaches over with her wing/hand and takes Mildred's wing/hand.)

Just remember your breathing, dear.

(Ruth demonstrates Lamaze-style breathing to Mildred who starts doing the same. She makes a face, and an egg drops onto the conveyor belt. Ruth looks down at it and shakes her head.)

A *brown* egg? You too?


Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Fourteen

This week we just had a drunken scuffle between two irate generals.

  • Coyote spies on post-coital pillow talk...
  • Michael chooses neither paper nor plastic...
  • David fired a late shot, too drunk on absinthe to make it out earlier.
Let's get some more battlers next week. Post your best and send a link to

What Happens in Degas, Stays in Degas

(A WOMAN and MAN sit sullenly in a Paris café in 1876. The woman stares ahead drunkenly, a glass of absinthe on the table in front of her. The man smokes a pipe and stares offstage. They sit next to each other but don’t acknowledge each other. They are silent for several moments.)

(Enter MARK and CAROLYN, two modern-day American tourists in their fifties. They wear Hawaiian shirts and carry maps and a digital camera. CAROLYN nudges MARK and points, none-too-subtly, at the French couple. MARK nods and snaps a picture of them.)

(MARK and CAROLYN sit down next to the couple. MARK flags down a WAITER, who squints at them quizzically.)

Deux absinthe, merci.

(The WAITER contemplates them, bewildered, for a beat, then turns and exits.)

Well, I thought that ballet was simply charming.

MARK (reading a guidebook)

(CAROLYN turns and speaks to the WOMAN.)

Bon jour. We adore your ballet. We just came from there.

(The WOMAN turns her ghostly gaze on CAROLYN and blinks languidly a few times. Apparently unsure whether or not MARK and CAROLYN are hallucinations, she returns to contemplating the middle distance.)

Now, don’t drink it until we’ve prepared it.

Oh, will you get your nose out of that book? Relax!

We have to do the ritual. Do you want to experience this or not?

We’ll be fine.

(The WAITER wheels a cart up to the table. He sets before MARK and CAROLYN two glasses of absinthe, a pitcher of water, a bowl of sugar cubes, and two flat metallic utensils.)


(But the WAITER has already turned and begun wheeling the cart off.)

CAROLYN (delighted)
Well look at this!
(She notices something missing.)
Oop. We didn’t get spoons. Waiter!

MARK (holding up a flat utensil)
No, these are the spoons.

How are you supposed to stir with those?

You don’t stir. Look.
(MARK performs these steps as he describes them.)
You set a spoon over the glass. Then you put a sugar cube on it.

(CAROLYN turns to the WOMAN and whispers mischievously.)

This isn’t legal in our country. Or time.

MARK (continuing)
Then you pour water over the sugar cube and into the glass until it gets milky.


You try.

(CAROLYN repeats the steps with her own glass.)

Do we drink it now?

Let’s go for it!

(MARK and CAROLYN raise their glasses to each other, then to the MAN and WOMAN, who ignore them. MARK and CAROLYN sip.)

Oh, my gosh. It tastes like… Oh, I can’t put my finger on it.

It’s bitter.

Crows. It tastes like Crows.

What do you mean it tastes like crows?

The movie candy. Crows. They’re like Dots, but they’re black, and they taste like black Jujyfruits.

Yeah. Licorice.


It’s supposed to taste like licorice.

I didn’t know it was supposed to taste like black licorice. This whole time I was thinking red licorice.

Red licorice isn’t licorice.

I thought it would be like a glass of strawberry liqueur. Like that Alizé strawberry liqueur?

Alizé isn’t strawberry, it’s passion fruit.

Then what was the strawberry liqueur we had at that aquarium fundraiser? It was so fun!


Dolfi. I was thinking this whole time that we’d be drinking strawberry Dolfi liqueur.

Absinthe is green. Why would you expect a green drink to taste like strawberry?

Excuse me.
(The MAN does not react.)
Excuse… Par-done mwah, monsieur.
(The MAN slowly turns to CAROLYN.)
I’m sorry, would you mind putting out your pipe?
(The MAN continues sucking disinterestedly on his pipe.)
We’re American. It’s just a little jarring.

(The MAN slowly turns away again.)

Do you want to switch seats?

No, I won’t give him the satisfaction.

MARK (whispering)
They’re French. They’re notoriously rude. Do not take it personally.

CAROLYN (a little louder than necessary)
Well they have no problem taking our money personally.

Shh. Switch places with me.

Licorice isn’t green either.

Who said it was?

I don’t think I like this. The bloom has just evaporated off the charm of the evening for me. I’d like to go back to the hotel.

(The WOMAN startles them by unleashing a long sigh of infinite sadness. MARK and CAROLYN look at her for several seconds, but she is unaware of their existence. The WAITER passes through again, and MARK flags him down.)

The bill? Um… L’addition, s’il vous plaît?

(MARK holds up a credit card. The WAITER makes no attempt to take it, staring back with a look of brazen, open-mouthed confusion.)

They won’t have heard of credit cards, Mark.

Oh, dammit, you’re right.
(MARK takes a wad of paper money from his fanny pack.)
French francs? Do you take French francs?

(The WAITER blinks at them, then makes the vaguest cursory gesture excusing himself and exits.)

Just leave some money on the table, and let’s go.

(CAROLYN gets up and leaves. MARK counts out a few bills and sets them on the table. He follows CAROLYN off. A beat. The MAN refills his pipe, relights it, and puffs deeply.)

FSW: Small Store Edition

Richard is the early bird this week with a hilarious sketch about a little pillow talk.

I know Dave was headed to a Cubs game today, so he could be busy putting on his parka and snow boots before heading to the stadium. It's like March here today.

Here's my sketch for what it's worth. After seeing Campaign Supernova the other night, I really wanted to blast one out of the park. But I'll settle for a single. As long as I don't strand the runner on base.

(A small, country grocery store. JIM stands behind the counter as JERRY finishes unloading his basket. Jim is ringing up items on the cash register, no barcode scanner here, through their conversation.)

JIM: You are going to love these strawberries. Meredith just picked them yesterday.

JERRY: Your produce is always so good.

JIM: Well, it helps when our orchard is only ten miles away. We can pick it and sell it the same day.

JERRY: It certainly makes a difference.

JIM: You can almost taste the love.

JERRY: Is that where that extra sweetness comes from?

(They laugh. Jim has finished tallying up the order.)

JIM: All righty. That’s going to be $27.50.

(He reaches under the counter and pulls out a plastic bag.)

JERRY: Don’t worry about the bag, Jim, I brought my own.

JIM: Well, look at you. Janet’s finally got you paying attention to the environment.

JERRY: She told me that if I brought home another plastic bag from the store she’d smother me with it.

(They laugh.)

JIM: Well, I’m glad to see you’re doing your part. Here, let me bag it up for you.

JERRY: You don’t have to-

JIM: No, no. Come on.

(Jim takes the bag and freezes. His mood shifts.)

JIM: What the hell is this?

JERRY: What?

JIM: This?

(Jim points to the logo on the bag.)

JERRY: It’s a reusable bag, Jim.

JIM: From Wal-Mart, Jerry. Why do you have a bag from Wal-Mart?

JERRY: I…I…I don’t know. I just have one.

JIM: All these years, Jerry. All these years you’ve been buying your groceries here. I thought we had something special.

JERRY: We do, Jim. You know I love your store.

JIM: Yet here you stand with a Wal-Mart bag. In my store, Jerry! In my store!

JERRY: Calm down.

JIM: How many times?

JERRY: What?

JIM: How many times have you shopped…(chocking back tears) at Wal-Mart?

JERRY: Oh, come on. Don’t do this. It didn’t mean anything. I swear.

JIM: It means something to me, Jerry.

JERRY: Jim, listen, would you rather I shopped in your store with this bag or shop there with…well you don’t even sell reusable bags.

JIM: I am aware of my shortcomings, Jerry! You don’t have to slap me in the face with it. (beat) Did you like it?

JERRY: I don’t know…

JIM: Come on, tell me, what was it like?

JERRY: Jim, please, don’t do this to yourself.

JIM: I have to know, Jerry! Were their honeydew as juicy as mine? Did they have 97 varieties of apples?

JERRY: No. God no. I didn’t even look at his melons. I swear. You know your produce is the tops.

JIM: Then what? Why did you do it?

JERRY: I was weak…

JIM: Just tell me.

JERRY: I don’t-

JIM: Tell me!

JERRY: There are just so many more options! All right? Is that what you wanted to hear? And they sell giant, family size boxes of cereal.

(Jim gasps and nearly faints.)

JERRY: You only sell the smaller ones.

JIM: I don’t have the shelf space and you know it.

JERRY: I know. I’m sorry. But, sometimes it’s just easier to buy the bigger box.

JIM: You could always buy two smaller boxes.

JERRY: But the bigger box costs less. Look, I’m sorry you had to find out this way. I’ll just get my things and go.

(Jerry begins bagging his groceries. He finishes and heads for the door.)

JIM: Wait.

(Jerry stops and turns. Jim takes a small container of raspberries over to Jerry and puts them in his bag.)

JIM: Just a little something to remember me by.

JERRY: Thank you.

JIM: Do you think you’ll ever come back?

JERRY: Would you have me?

JIM: I guess we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

JERRY: Yeah. (beat) Yeah.

(Jerry exits. Jim watches him go, the grief washing back over him, he begins to sob and slowly slides down the door to the floor.)


Thursday, May 8, 2008

FSW: Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk
(Mark and Vanessa lie side by side in bed with the sheets pulled up to strategically cover their nudity. Hair is mussed. They've clearly just finished an energetic session of lovemaking.)

That your thong?


Ceiling fan.

Um, no I think that one's yours.

That was...where did you learn that new trick?

The one with the rolling pin?

No, the other one.

"The New Yankee Workshop." Norm's a stickler for shop safety, so I figured--

--measure twice

cut once!

(Vanessa leans across Mark and grabs a bottle of Gatorade from a side table.)


(Mark leans across Vanessa and grabs his own bottle of Gatorade from her side table.)

(Indicating bottle) Orange. I'm old-school., that thing you said?

Which thing? About the mold in the basement? Because that wasn't dirty talk. I just think we need to have that looked at.

No, not the mold. The other thing.

Oh. That. I just...I thought you'd like that. Guys like to hear stuff like that, don't they?

Um, in the abstract, sure. You were just so...specific. It was unnerving.

How do you mean?

I mean, saying "you're the best" or "no one's ever made me feel this way" is a hell of an ego boost. I'm not going to lie. But usually - and it's not like I've been with a lot of other women, and I'm not trying to compare - usually it doesn't come with such a detailed list of people and places and...positions.

I don't follow.

Well...alright. For example, when I was doing that thing with the watering can and toilet brush you said (in a monotone) "ooh baby, the way you move your hips is better than Joe Piscopo doing me reverse cowgirl in the back of that Hoboken cab with the bad shocks, summer of '98, baby, baby, baby."

No. I didn't say that. I mean, maybe I said something like--

--word for word.

Really? You were going pretty fast then, how can you be sure?

I'll never forget. Those words - and that look in your eyes, like a starving hyena - are etched in my memory.

I'm sorry if I freaked you out. I was just so good. Like you'd taken it to another level. I guess I just lost my head. But what about you? I mean, I wasn't the only one talking. What was that you were trying to say before I took the Saran Wrap off your head?

Help me, please. I can't breathe?


(They sit in a moment of awkward silence.)



Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: Round Thirteen

Whoo doggy! Lucky round 13. Let's get right into the action.

  • Coyote threw a million little pieces of shrapnel at his foes...
  • Michael trained a firehose of Evian into the fray...
  • David gave us all hemlock and consumption.
Three warriors entered. None survived. They're dead. All of them dead.

Shadows on the Cave Wall

(RICK and STEVE in the front of a car. RICK is driving. STEVE is in the passenger’s seat.)

(RICK suddenly swerves, then honks his horn.)

Look at this jackass.

What a moron.

RICK (yelling out window)
Sometimes I think everyone except me is an idiot.


Am I an idiot?

Well, let’s approach this Socratically. Are you me?


Then I’m afraid you are an idiot. QED.


I’m not a fan of that conclusion.

Well, your problem is with Socrates, not with me.


No, you know my problem with Socrates? That cave allegory. That’s some bullshit right there.

You think bare language, in and of itself, is an adequate method to describe the depth and breadth of reality?

Well, no. I just think it’s a shitty metaphor. It’s too baroque. Prisoners since birth in a cave who can’t move their heads and are therefore forced to watch shadow puppets cast by a fire above and behind them? Come on.

I see.

If you have to go that far to prove a point, maybe you don’t have a point at all.

That was Plato.

Bullshit. It was Socrates.

It was the character of Socrates in Plato’s Republic.


That’s essentially like saying you hate Toulouse-Lautrec because you don’t like the way he sang “Nature Boy” in “Moulin Rouge.”


Well, I don’t.

FSW: Meta-Bistro Edition

I'm gonna second what Richard said about his post this week.

Not quite firing on all cylinders. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. And not doing a damn thing if I can help it.

No word from Dave yet, but he could be busy putting razor-wire around his apartment.

(A small table in a stylish bistro. A man and woman are chatting about a book at one table. At another, Craig sits looking at the menu. A waiter approaches.)

WAITER: Could I get you something to drink while you’re looking over the menu?

CRAIG: I’ll just have a bottle of Evian.

WAITER: I’m sorry sir, but bottled water has been banned in the city.

CRAIG: Really?

WAITER: I’m afraid so. We just have tap water.

CRAIG: Oh, then, Aquafina I guess.

WAITER: That’s bottled water, sir.

CRAIG: Really? I read something on about it being just tap water.

WAITER: It may be, but they still put it in a bottle and ship it out.

CRAIG: Where does your water come from?

WAITER: The lake, I suppose.

CRAIG: No aquifer or mountain stream?

WAITER: There are no mountains in Chicago.

CRAIG: Wow. This is tough. I really had a taste of water when I came in here.

WAITER: I can bring you a glass of water, if that’s what you want.

CRAIG: Why didn’t you just say so? I’ll have an Evian.

WAITER: But. It will be a glass that I hold under the tap in the kitchen sink. Because there is no bottled water.

CRAIG: Ew. Sink water? I thought this was a Zagat’s rated restaurant.

WAITER: The food is very good sir.

CRAIG: But the water’s from the toilet.

(Craig takes a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and pulls one out. He takes out a lighter.)

WAITER: Excuse me, sir.

CRAIG: What now?

WAITER: There’s no smoking in the restaurant.

CRAIG: (Sighing heavily) You didn’t ask me if I wanted smoking or non-smoking. I would have told you I wanted smoking.

WAITER: No smoking in the entire restaurant.

CRAIG: Fine. I’ll sit at the bar then.

WAITER: The entire restaurant. Including the bar.

CRAIG: You know I should just take my money and find another restaurant.


CRAIG: But nothing. Just bring me your foie gras appetizer. Unless you banned geese as well.

WAITER: Geese no. Foie gras yes.

CRAIG: Oh, come on!

(The lights come up on another table, at which Richard and Dave are sitting, drinking cocktails.)

RICHARD: The third one should have been funny.

DAVE: Foie gras is pretty funny, when you think about it.

RICHARD: It should have been something outlandish, though. Something extreme.

DAVE: Force feeding geese to make their livers swell isn’t outlandish or extreme?

RICHARD: Oh, shut up.

DAVE: I’m just saying.

(The lights go down on their table and come back up on Craig and the Waiter.)

CRAIG: Who are they?

WAITER: I don’t know, but they’ve been in here all morning commenting on everything anyone says.

CRAIG: Weird.

WAITER: I know. So, have you decided?

CRAIG: I’ll just have the grasshopper gonad soup. And a glass of your iced Deported Immigrant Tears.

WAITER: Venti or Grande?

CRAIG: Grande, of course.

(The waiter and Craig freeze mid laugh. The lights come up on David and Richard’s table. The look at one another and roll their eyes.)

DAVID: (Calling towards the bar, holding up his glass.) Yeah, I’m gonna need another one of these.

RICHARD: (Holding up his glass) Make that two.


FSW: Blind Date

Please forgive me ahead of time for a boring sketch. I've had a rough week and didn't get to this until an hour ago. It's not good. Seriously. Sorry.

Blind Date
(Meredith sits at a small table in a stylish bistro with a glass of wine. She is fashionably dressed. She frequently raises her eyes from a copy of "All the Pretty Horses" to glance about. Liam enters, carrying a copy of "No Country for Old Men" under his arm. He wears dirty jeans and a sweatshirt. His hair and beard are long and unkempt. He looks around, spots Meredith, and crosses to her table.)


(Looking up) Yes?

(Liam indicates his book and then points to Meredith's. She invites him to sit down.)

It's nice to meet you finally, Liam. Would you like a drink?

A beer would be great.

(Meredith waves at a waiter who comes over.)

A beer for my friend, and another glass of chablis for me, please.

(The waiter goes off to fill the order.)

Did you find the place okay?

Yeah, once I realized it was near The Y, I knew I'd been here before.

Oh? Do you workout at the Y?

I live there.

Oh. What do you do?

Odd jobs. I used sweep out the back alley at this place for their day-old bread. But the new manager is a prick. He'd rather throw it out than give it away.

I didn't realize. Well...

(The waiter appears with their drinks. Meredith finishes hers off in one swallow, points to the glass, and holds up two fingers to the waiter.)

I loved what you said about "The Road" on the forum. That was the best analysis I've ever seen of McCarthy's lyrical descriptions of the wasteland.

Thank you. That's very sweet. Especially considering what you had to say about "All the Pretty Horses". I'm re-reading it now, and it's not the same book to me at all after what you said.


(There's an uncomfortably long pause in conversation. Liam finishes his beer. Both try to say something and stop themselves. The waiter arrives with another beer and two glasses of wine. He sets them down and Meredith and Liam both take long drinks.)

Keep them coming, would you?

So, you have a computer at The Y?

No. I use the one at the public library. I like it there, especially during the summer. They don't like us in The Y during the day, so I've gotta find someplace cool.

So what's a woman like you doing looking for men online? You must be beating them back with a stick.

Hardly! I've tried everything., eHarmony, JDate --

-- Oh, you're Jewish?

No. But all the dates I went on were terrible. All the men were idiots. One of them thought the Coens had written "No Country for Old Men"!

You're kidding!

I'm serious.

(The waiter returns with yet more alcohol and takes away the empties.)



(Meredith and Liam have been at the table a while and are clearly well lubricated. She's moved to the seat next to Liam and is cozying up to him.)

You want to get out of here?

Sure. Your place or mine?


(As Meredith picks up her bag, its contents spill onto the floor. Amidst the brush, mascara, compact, and wallet is a copy of "A Million Little Pieces". Liam picks it up and turns it over in his hands. He hands it back to Meredith who looks ashamed.)

Actually, I'm feeling a little tired. I think I'm just going to head back to The Y. Thanks for the drinks.

No, Liam, wait. I can explain!

No. I don't think you can.