Thursday, July 31, 2008

FSW: Spider

This week's topic, as chosen by Michael, is procrastination. Oddly enough, I didn't wait until the last minute to write this. I'm sure you can't tell based on its quality, however. A couple items of note: 

  • There were enough scene changes in here that trying to format as anything but a screenplay was irritating and hard to follow, so I did that and exported a pdf. If you can't see the Scribd plugin below, please let me know in comments and I'll gen a text version as well. If you like the way the Scribd plugin works for things like this, let me know that in comments. I might start using it for the occasional posting.
  • If y'all couldn't guess, I'm joking here. Tom Kelly is a frakin' hero to me, as are all the engineers who worked on Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury. I recommend his book Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module if engineering and project management are at all interesting to you.
  • Jim McDivitt and Rusty Schweickart flew LM-3, callsign Spider, in low Earth orbit while CM Pilot Dave Scott remained in Gumdrop on the 10-day Apollo 9 mission. This was the first manned flight of the LM and the little foil and mylar bastard passed with flying colors. (I'm exaggerating about its construction, again.)
  • Next week's theme is...ah! Yes! In honor of what August 8 is, next week's theme will be DISNEY.

Read this document on Scribd: fsw spider

Friday, July 25, 2008

FSW: Cross Dress Edition

Richard tossed this one out last week. And, like him, I've waited until the last minute to crank it out.

Not to self: Start tossing out ideas earlier in the week.

Next week theme: Procrastination

All right. This here's what we call a "blackout". A quickie that, hopefully, ends with a laugh. Much like my sex life.

Party Pops

(A team of ad execs are sitting around a table. There are take out contains littered everywhere. Everyone is fried.)

James: We've been at this all night. Let's just call it and get some sleep.

Peter: No. We have (looking at watch) four hours until deadline. Come guys, we can do this.

(David hops to his feet and starts doing jumping jacks.)

David: We just need a little energy. We've got some decent ideas here. We just need that one killer idea to push us over the top.

Martin: All right, if no one else is going to say it, I'll point out the huge elephant in the room. This product is  just not marketable.

James: Every product is marketable, Martin. We just have to find the right angle.

Martin: We've come at this thing from every angle imaginable. There's just no way we're going to make Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public race out the grocery store and buy a pack of Boy George's new "Party in Your Mouth Popsicles." I mean, for god's sake, they're even ribbed.


FSW: President Paul

Um, last week I selected the topic of cross dressing for this week's sketches. Little did I know that it wasn't an easy theme and I wouldn't get my first opportunity to work on it until a half-hour ago. Ugh. It's...okay. I treated it like an improv sketch and once I had the basis, just pushed forward without much concern about what was happening. It suffers from not having a really good through-line. Sorry. Next week, hopefully, I will have more time to write my sketch, but for now, take some small enjoyment from President Paul.

(A crowded press room. Reporters crammed in, shoulder-to-shoulder. There's a constant low-level murmur coming from them as they wait. As one, they all turn their heads and track someone moving to the podium. We're still on the reporters.)

Mr. President! Mr. President! Chuck Masters, LA Times. President Paul, how do you respond to those who say your election was a fluke? That if Barack Obama and John McCain hadn't been caught with their hands in Cookie Jar you would never have been anything more than a spoiler.

(We cut to the podium. Standing behind the Seal of the President: Ru Paul.)

First off, baby, it's Madame President! If Hilary had this much style she'd be standing here today. Second, I know Cookie Jar. She's huge on the erotic dance circuit. Y'all've been treating her like a pariah and that's not right. She's a sweetie and it's no wonder my former opponents were enthralled by her charms. As to your question, Chuck, let me say that I think the American public made an informed choice, an intelligent choice, and a choice they'll be very happy with.

Madame President! Cindy Shermer, Miami Herald.

Go ahead, Cindy.

Madame President, you won Florida handily, dominating in Miami-Dade county. Is this another case of confusing ballots and people voting for the wrong candidate?

Cindy, you look awfully pale. You don't get out much, get away from your computer screen, do you?

That's not relevant. Are you avoiding my question, Madame President?

Not at all, Cindy. I'm trying to answer it. Maybe you should get outside sometime and walk around your beautiful city. That's my city. My people. The freaks and fabs of Miami got up and voted for one of their own.

Are you saying you don't think the Serpentine ballots might have had something to do with it? With your name right next to Ron Paul's name?

Y'all think Miami and Fort Lauderdale would have voted in record numbers for a crazy man yelling about the gold standard? Why would they do that when they could vote for the real Gold Standard?

Madame President! Over here, please, Madame President! Pick me, pick me!

That's more like it! Go ahead, Francesco.

Thank you, darling! Francesco Batisti, Vogue. Madame President, what do you say to the rumors that you plan on picking Ralph Lauren to be your Secretary of State?

Sounds like you've got a source deep, deep inside, Francesco! That's right, I'm picking Ralph. He's a little darling, and when I think how America should present herself to the world, I think Lauren.

Madame President! Thank you. Cal Trumbo, FOX News. What are your plans for the court? It is likely that two or three Supreme Court justices could be replaced during your term in office. What sort of candidates are you going to seek to fill those openings?

Cal, I'll seek the same sort of candidates for those openings as for all my openings. Fabulous ones! Thank you all for coming, but I have to meet with the Joint Chiefs now!


Friday, July 18, 2008

FSW: Workaholic Edition

It's not bad enough that I've been trying to cram a little writing in this week, but now I have theme. Sheesh. I don't work well with guidlines and structure. I'm more or a free range animal.

At any rate, Richard thought this might be a fun way to spice things up. He also thinks that going to the dentist is better than a day at Disney World. Sick twist. You can peep his hard work here.

For myself, well, somehow once I got this idea in my head, I couldn't shake it. I'm also counting this as my make-up "founding fathers" sketch from the 4th.

Enjoy. And remember, you're more than welcome to become more than just a spectator. Next week's theme is "cross dressing". So get to work.

(An old farm house in Virginia, 1776. Martha is in the bustling kitchen giving orders to servants.)

Martha: Doris, go out to the coup and fetch me a dozen eggs. Abligale, make sure there's plenty of mint for the tea. Who's supposed to be churning butter?

Bea: I am, ma'am.

Martha: Well get to it. It's not going to churn itself.

(Thomas enters with a flourish and sets down his valice.)

Thomas: Honey, I'm home.

Martha: That's great dear, but the Adamses are coming over for dinner and I still have to get this pie dough rolled out.

Thomas: I thought we were going to have a nice, quiet dinner.

(He slides up behind her and puts his arms around her waist.)

Thomas: Just the two of us?

(She smacks his hands away and moves to another counter.)

Martha: TJ, please. Not in front of the servants.

Thomas: But dear, I've been gone for over a month.

Martha: Do you think that when you leave this place just shuts down? No. I've got an entire house to run here. It's been even worse since you started on this Declaration of Independence business. Every Tom, Dick and Benedict Arnold in the state wants to stop by and give you their two farthings.

Thomas: Martha, please. Let's just slip off into the larder. Just for a minute or two. I've missed you so much.

Martha: I'm sorry, dear, but you'll have to wait.

Thomas: But I have important household business I want to conduct with you.

(He tries to take her in his arms again. She smacks him with a towel.)

Martha: If you're not going to roll up your sleeves and help me with this meal, I would appreciate it if you would just remove yourself from my kitchen.

Thomas: Some welcome home this is.

Martha: (Softening some) Oh, don't sulk like a little child. Go get your things unpacked. I'll send Sally up to the room with a glass of tea and some biscuits.

Thomas: Oh, Sally, yes, of course. That sounds just fine dear.

(He kisses her on the cheek, grabs his bag and exits. She begins rolling out dough.)

Martha: If it wasn't for that woman's vagina I would never get any work done around here.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

FSW: Working Through the Pain

We've decided that writing a sketch a week, often a few hours before it's due, isn't nearly challenging enough. From now on, we're going to write on set topics or themes. Michael's picked this week's theme: workaholics. I'll go ahead and pick next week's theme right now...cross dressing. (TheWife and I are going to see Eddie Izzard in Vegas next weekend.)

I wish I had more time to give this a bit more polish, but it's 10:45pm. I'm going to a 3:15am showing of "The Dark Knight" and need at least a little sleep. So my apologies for the rough edges.

(Ravi, a surgeon in his early 30s in surgical whites, works on a patient with OR nurse Betty at his side. Anesthesiologist Karl sits on the other side of the operating table monitoring his equipment. Ravi is performing delicate brain surgery on Amanda. An intricate ballet occurs between Ravi and Betty. Her responses to his one word grunts for instruments occur almost before he makes them. His hands fly.)

Retractor. Melman. (BEAT) Damn it! Where's that priest?

He should be here any moment. Are you sure you need him?

Am I sure? Damn it, Betty - Debakey - don't you think I know what I'm doing? Kimmel.

It just seems too soon for a priest. You're the best damn surgeon in the state. It's too soon to give up.

(Oh yeah, turns out this is the sort of brain surgery where the patient is awake.)

I'm right here!

Take it easy, Amanda. Everything's going fine.

I'm sorry. I just think...well...I'm sorry.

Damn it, Betty. That's enough! Hemostat.

(The door to the OR flies open and a man rushes in. He's also dressed in surgical whites.)

Father Rodriguez?

(It's not Father Rodriguez. It's Chip, Amanda's 20-something assistant.)

No, sir. Amanda, there's a problem in Singapore. I did what I could without you, but the foreman said if the worker's demands aren't met they'll strike.

That's alright Chip. Come on over here. Doctor Cheswick, you don't mind if Chip takes your seat for a moment, do you?

But I have to watch this monitor here. See how it goes beep, beep, beep? If it stops, I have to press these switches and turn these dials. I can't just--

--Thanks. Scoot. Alright Chip, what's the skinny?

Leno. Wipe, please.

(Betty wipes Ravi's brow with a piece of gauze held by forceps.)

They're demanding a six-percent cost of living raise--

--That's doable.

And Friday night off.

I'm sorry, Doctor. I was out of line.

That's alright. It's understandable. Balfour.

Friday night off? Every Friday? We can't do that. We'd never meet the production goals.

Actually, just this Friday. George Michael is playing Jalan Besar Stadium and they want to go.

The entire shift?

Apparently George Michael is like the David Hasselhoff of Singapore. Singapore's Germany in this analogy.

Fine. Do it. But every shift has to cut ten minutes off lunch for the next three weeks. Anything else?

No, ma'am.

(Chip gets up and Karl takes his seat back. He turns a few dials, but nothing happens. As Chip leaves, another man enters the OR - Father Rodriguez.)

Finally! I was beginning to think you wouldn't make it in time.

I came as quickly as I could, my son. Is this the woman?

Yes. Amanda, this is Father Rodriguez.

I'd shake your hand, but I'm otherwise occupied.

(Polite chuckles all around, but from Betty. She's steamed.)


Ravi Srinivasan, do you take Amanda Palmer to be your lawfully wedded wife?


Friday, July 11, 2008

FSW: Radio Show Edition

Another Friday and another sketch that I'm pulling out of my filing cabinet. Being tech week for Metaluna, I just haven't had a free moment to write, let alone think of anything other than my lines for the show.

Richard's all new this week, though, and not messing around. People have gotten hurt.

Dave's been AWOL for a couple of weeks. But don't give up on him. He's out there watching from the tree line.

So this piece is on the long side. I wrote it for WNEP's "Armageddon Radio Hour New Year's Eve" show a couple of years ago. There aren't a lot of stage directions because, well, it's radio. Think 30s/40s.

"Helen on Wheels"

ANNOUNCER: Grinkleman’s Prosthetic Limbs is proud to bring you another exciting evening of mystery and mischief with everyone’s favorite wheelchair-bound detective, Helen Slater. Grinkleman’s Prosthetic Limbs; When you need a helping hand, or hook, you need Grinkleman’s.

SXF: Noir-ish music.

HELEN: (Voice over) Father McDougan was in quite a state. Some creeps had bagged the baby Jesus from the Nativity Scene in front of City Hall.

MCDOUGAN: It’s not just any baby doll, Helen. It was hand crafted in Rome, out of 24 carat gold and blessed by the Pope himself.

HELEN: (V.O.) I’d never seen him so upset. He had the look of man who had seen Lucifer himself poking around his back door. He wanted the baby Jesus back and he didn’t want to wait for the Second Coming to see him again.

MCDOUGAN: Do whatever you have to do, my child, just short of breaking a commandment. Unless it’s murdering the thieving son of a bitch that stole our baby Jesus.

HELEN: (V.O.) Keeping the commandments in tact was no small feat in my line of work. But if someone was going to get plugged over this doll, it sure wasn’t going to be me or Franny, God bless her heart. I felt bad making her work on the day after Christmas, but I knew this case wouldn’t wait. McDougan didn’t give us much to go on, so we started at the only place I could think of.

SFX: Door chimes. Squeaky wheels.

MOSHE: (Heavy Jewish accent) Welcome to Moshe’s Jewelry & Deli, how can I help you?

HELEN: We’re looking for baby Jesus, you seen him?

MOSHE: What are you, pulling my leg or something?

HELEN: I’m not pulling nothing. Has anybody been in here lately trying to push baby Jesus on you?

MOSHE: Do you know what part of town you’re in?

FRANNY: It’s a solid gold, baby Jesus.

HELEN: That ring any bells for you?

MOSHE: A baby made out of gold. Sheesh, who could afford such a thing?

HELEN: So nobody’s come in trying to sell one off fast and cheap?

MOSHE: What are implying?

HELEN: I know the type of clientele you deal with here, so don’t try and play all kosher with me.

MOSHE: I haven’t heard of this baby Jesus, but if it’s gold I know someone who might be able to help you.

HELEN: Spill. And fix us a couple of ham sandwiches while you’re talking.

FRANNY: Um, Helen.

SFX: Driving car and windshield wipers.

HELEN: (V.O.) After we got our order straight, Moshe told us where we might find our Jesus thief. I don’t know why the crooks and scum of this city always have to pick the day with the worst weather to be up to no good in, but it hasn’t stopped raining since we got this job. Don’t they know that rain plays the devil on a woman’s hair?

FRANNY: What kind of a twisted soul steals the baby Jesus right out from under his mother’s nose?

HELEN: I think we’re about to find out, Franny.

SFX: A car’s brakes squeal to a stop. Car doors slam and men’s voices mumble.

HELEN: Come on, let’s make tracks.

SFX: Car door opening and closing. Footsteps on gravel. Trunk being opened and wheelchair being pulled out. Squeaky wheels. Another car door opening.

HELEN: Turn the chair around.

FRANNY: Let me help you.

HELEN: I can do it myself. Ouch, you’re pinching my –

FRANNY: I’m sorry, I don’t want you –

HELEN: Just hold the damn chair still!

SFX: Body sitting down hard. Car door closing.

HELEN: Umbrella!

SFX: Umbrella opening. Raining, hitting umbrella.

FRANNY: Are you sure you want to go in there?

HELEN: We don’t have any choice. Let’s make tracks.

SFX: Squeaky wheels. Door opening and Jazz music.

HELENThe place was jumping. Nothing but sad sacks spending their Christmas bonuses on booze and loose women as far as the eye could see.

BARTENDER: Welcome to Dashiell’s Hamlet, ma’am, what can I get you?

HELEN: Did you see two men just come in here?

BARTENDER: Who said that?

HELEN: I did. Down here.

BARTENDER: Sorry, didn’t see you.

HELEN: Two men just came in here a minute ago.

BARTENDER: You should put a tall flag on your chair or wear a bell or something.

FRANNY: Helen, over there. That’s him.

BARTENDER: That’s Biggie Beahaul and his head goon, Felsch.

HELEN: Let’s go introduce ourselves, Franny.

SFX: Squeaky wheels. Two loud thuds.

FRANNY: Helen, are you all right?

HELEN: Who puts steps in a bar? Lord. Excuse me, Mr. Beahaul?

SFX: Ice being stirred in a glass.

BEAHAUL: Sorry, lady, I don’t work with charity cases.

HELEN: I’m not here for a handout Mr. Beahaul, I’m looking for something.

BEAHAUL: This look like the lost and found?

HELEN: I’m not talking about lost mittens here, this “something” is worth a lot of scratch.

BEAHAUL: What makes you think I’d know anything about it?

HELEN: Call it woman’s intuition.

BEAHAUL: How’s about you call it a day and get lost before I lose my temper and flatten your tires. Felsch, see these dames to the door.

FELSCH: Yes, sir, Mr. Beahaul, sir.

HELEN: Not so fast, Felsch. I think we might have something that interests you. Franny, show him.

SFX: Cat call whistle.

BEAHAUL: Nice melons.

HELEN: Honeydew. Moshe said they were your favorite.

BEAHAUL: Out of season too. You ladies went through a lot of trouble to get my attention.

HELEN: Now that we’ve got it, I wonder if we might have a moment of your time.

BEAHAUL: Sure, why not. Let’s go back to my office.

SFX: Squeaky wheels and footsteps. A door opens and closes.

BEAHAUL: You can set the melons down over there.

SFX: Two melons being set down.

BEAHAUL: Start talking.

HELEN: We’re looking for a doll.

BEAHAUL: Try the toy store.

HELEN: A Jesus doll.

BEAHAUL: Try the church.

HELEN: A Jesus doll made out of solid gold. (Pause) What’s the matter Mr. Beahaul, cat got your tongue?

BEAHAUL: I’m not in the solid gold, baby Jesus sales market.

HELEN: Oh no? What exactly does it say on your business cards?

BEAHAUL: It says “Be wary of strange women in wheelchairs who come baring melons”.

HELEN: I hope you didn’t have to pay by the letter.

BEAHAUL: Wait a minute. You’re that broad that thinks she’s a detective, ain’t ya?

HELEN: How do you know that?

BEAHAUL: It says so right there on the engraved plaque on your chair.

HELEN: That was a gift from Franny.

BEAHAUL: I’m afraid it’s time for you to go.

HELEN: Not until we get what we came for.

BEAHAUL: If you came for a fat lip, then you might be in luck.

HELENL: You wouldn’t dare hit a defenseless, crippled woman in a wheelchair, would you?

SFX: Slap!

HELEN: You could have just said “yes” or “no”.

BEAHAUL: Actions speak louder than words.

HELEN: Yes they do. And your actions tell me you’re one rotten bastard. Franny, the melons.

BEAHAUL: Oh, so you’re an Indian giver too.

SFX: A melon being smashed on the ground.

BEAHAUL: Hey! Don’t waste those!

SFX: A gun being cocked.

BEAHAUL: What the devil!

FRANNY: Keep your hands where I can see them or I’ll plug ya. You too Felsch.

BEAHAUL: The ol’ .45 in the melon trick. I shoulda known.

HELEN: Mr. Beahaul, would you come here for a second?

SFX: A step.

HELEN: Closer.

SFX: A step.

HELEN: Bend down here, I want to tell you something.

BEAHAUL: Nuh-uh, you’re just going to hit me.

HELEN: I’m not, I just want to whisper something in your ear.

BEAHAUL: You can tell me from there.

HELEN: Just come here.


SFX: Squeaky wheels.

BEAHAUL: Ow! My foot.

SFX: The door bursts open.


SFX: Gun shot.


HELEN: Franny, what did you do?

FRANNY: He startled me!

BEAHAUL: You just shot Father McDougan!

HELEN: Father McDougan, can you hear me? Are you all right? Franny call an ambulance.

SFX: Footsteps running off.

MCDOUGAN: (Labored breathing) I was just comin’ to tell ya.

HELEN: What? Tell me what?

MCDOUGAN: The baby Jesus.

HELEN: We were just about to get it for you, Father.

MCDOUGAN: Sister Mary Catherine put it in the wrong closet. It was in the church all along.

SFX: Running footsteps.

FRANNY: They’re on their way. How is he?

BEAHAUL: You shot him, how do you think he is?

HELEN: Hang on, Father, help is on the way.

FELSH: I haven’t been to church in a while, but I’m pretty sure that’s a sin.

SFX: Faint sound of a siren.

ANNOUNCER: Will Father McDougan finally meet his maker? Will Franny go to prison for killing a priest? Will Helen give up detective work forever? Tune in next week when Grinkleman’s Prosthetic Limbs brings you another exiting chapter in the ongoing saga of everyone’s favorite wheelchair-bound detective, Helen Slater. And remember, at Grinkleman’s the pant leg is always half full.

SFX: Dramatic music out.

FSW: Rules of Order

(Amy stands at the head of a packed and unruly conference table. Everyone is talking over everyone else, trying to be heard above the din and chaos. Kurt sits quietly by Amy's side.)

People! People! Please! Can we have order, please?!

(She bangs her hand on the table and the chattering stops. Amy's got control for the moment.)

Thank you. Alright, now as I was saying--

--Amy, look we're not getting anywhere with this, right? Can I make a suggestion?

Sure, Steven. What do you--

(whispers) --he can't talk yet.


(still whispering) He hasn't been recognized by the chair. He can't talk.

But I'm the chair.

(still, like a weenie, whispering) You have to say it.

(sighs) Fine. The chair recognizes Mr. Denton.

Uh, right, okay. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I think we should just put it to a vote whether we should even use the money from the bake sale for new band uniforms. I think it should help pay for the field trip to the capitol, and why should we fight over band uniforms if we aren't even going to have the money to buy them?

Okay. Anything to just get on to the next agenda item. Who thinks we should buy new uniforms? Raise your hand.

(whispering...seriously? what's with this guy?) You can't do that! He has to make a motion first, then it has to be seconded. We're nowhere near voting on it.

You're serious? We've been at this for two hours already. Let's just try to make some headway. Don't you want to go home to your family? I know I'd love to get the hell out of here and get a drink or three.

( he's just doing it to piss me off) As much as I love my wife and kids, I love RONR. Without it, we'd be no better than savages!

(Kurt holds up his copy of "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised" triumphantly and Amy considers it seriously for a moment. Then she snatches the book from the little twerp's hand and CONKS him over the head with it. Kurt's knocked backward and knocked out.)

Okay, everyone raise your hand if you think we should buy uniforms.



(Same configuration as before, only now Kurt sits a little farther from Amy. Everyone is dressed differently: another week, another meeting.)

Alright, our first order of business tonight--

Ahem. Excuse me?

(sighs) The chair recognizes Mr. Burton.

After last week's meeting I had a lot of time to think. After I came to, anyway. And I think you were right, Madam Chair. I think for our little PTA, RONR is just too cumbersome and formal. So I'd like to propose we change to the Native American model.

What's that, Kurt?

(Kurt picks up a large stick from behind his chair and holds it up.)

The Talking Stick. Whoever holds the stick can speak. No one else can speak without the stick. It gets passed around to each person in turn who can speak, or elect not to. It's very fair.

(Amy holds out her hand for the stick. Kurt hands it over.)

Hmm. I see what you mean. This does seem better than that fussy little book.

(Amy CONKS Kurt with the talking stick. Over and out.)

Okay. First order of business tonight is the pancake breakfast.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Friday Night Sketch War: July 4th Edition

The fireworks for our nation's celebration paled in comparison to the fireworks on display in this week's two-man dustup. Two warriors, using every weapon in their arsenals in an all-out battle for ultimate victory!

  • Coyote launched the first attack, a Roman Candle of Vengeance, and a dozen Sparklers of the Undead...
  • Michael retaliated with a barrage of M80s of Destruction and a Cinnamon Sizzler!
We've got the true story of our nation's founding and the maybe true story of Michael's first date. Poor guy. That's gotta sting.

Friday, July 4, 2008

FSW: Reaction Edition

The gauntlet was thrown down and I tripped over it, but never picked it up. It's been a long week and I thought I was being good by getting this sketch written the other day. I just couldn't shift gears to the 4th mode fast enough. Maybe next week.

However, if you want to read about our zombie forefathers, Richard's got you covered.

If you want to read about the tragic consequences of choosing the wrong lip gloss, I'm all over that this week.

Enjoy. And Happy Birthday Nation o' mine.

Pants on Fire

AT RISE: In total darkness we hear giggling and keys rattling. A door opens and we see the silhouettes of Sarah and Mark stumble through in mid make out. They might fall or stumble over some furniture.

MARK: (Laughing) Let me turn on a light.

SARAH: No. Not yet.

(Things get quiet. We hear a Zipper going down.)

MARK: (Taking a breath) Oh wow. Sarah…

SARAH: Shhhh. Just enjoy the ride.

(We hear the sounds of pleasure coming from both of them. More from Mark. Mark’s moans of pleasure start to turn to moans of discomfort.)

MARK: Ow. Ow! Sarah wait.

SARAH: Are you all right?

MARK: Something’s not right.

SARAH: Too much teeth?

(Mark fumbles for the lamp. The lights come on and we see that they are both dressed nicely, for a night out. Mark is zipping up his pants. His pain and her panic will increase throughout the following.)

MARK: No, my face. It feels like it’s on fire. And itching.

(He is scratching.)

SARAH: Oh yeah, it looks like you’ve got some red blotches on your neck.

MARK: Oh no.

SARAH: What? What is it?

MARK: I think I’m having an allergic reaction.

SARAH: To what? To me?

MARK: Maybe. Maybe something I ate.

SARAH: Is this bad? Do you need to go to the hospital?

MARK: Depends on what it isth. Oh sthit. My tongue’s stharting to swell.

SARAH: All right. What do I need to do?

(Mark is now beginning to feel it in his crotch.)

MARK: Oh! Oh wow. Thisth can’t be good.

SARAH: What now?

(Mark turns his back and unzips his pants.)

MARK: I think it’s swelling.

SARAH: Well, couldn’t that be because I was…

MARK: Not that kind of swelling. Oh no! More red blotches! Did you useth hand crème today?

SARAH: Yeah. Earlier.

MARK: What kind?

SARAH: Ponds.

MARK: Was it sthented with anything? Vanilla? Peacheth?

SARAH: No. No, I always use the unscented kind.

MARK: Your lip gloss.

SARAH: What about it?

MARK: What kind?

SARAH: Lip Venom.

MARK: What’s it made of?

SARAH: It’s cinnamon and ginger spices…

MARK: Thinnamon! It’s the thinnamon! I’m fucking allergic to thinnamon!

SARAH: How was I supposed to know? This is only our third date! I don’t even know what your favorite movie is or if you had any pets when you were a kid.

(Mark’s is having trouble breathing.)

MARK: I think my throat is closthing up.

SARAH: I’m calling 911.

MARK: I can’t go to the hosthpital becausth of swelling in my dick.

SARAH: But if you’re going to die…

MARK: I justht need sthome benedryll.

SARAH: Do you have a bee sting kit?

MARK: I’m not allergic to beesth!

SARAH: Well, do you have a…cinnamon…sting kit?

MARK: What?

SARAH: What do you normally do when you have an allergic reaction to cinnamon?

MARK: It’th never been this bad before.

(She goes into the kitchen and comes back out with a wet dish towel.)

MARK: You can’t justht wash it off.

SARAH: I don’t know what else to do.

(His breathing is becoming more labored.)

MARK: I justht need to sthit down for a minute.

(He sits on the couch, wheezing.)

SARAH: I think we need to get you to a hospital.

MARK: (Getting woozy)No, no, no. No hosthpitalsth. Maybe thisth will passth.

(With that he passes out.)

SARAH: Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

(She lightly taps his face, trying to rouse him.)

SARAH: Mark! Wake up! Please!

(She freezes.)

SARAH: What if dies? Killed by a blow job. I’ll never live it down.

(She begins to frantically shake him, slapping him harder on the face.)

SARAH: Wake up! Wake up, you allergenic pussy!

(She crams the wet towel onto his face, pushing into his mouth.)

SARAH: I am not a murderess!!!

(The thrashing rolls them off onto the floor. The jolt brings Sarah to her senses.)

SARAH: Oh, God. I’m sorry.

(She cradles his head and wipes him with the towel. Mark starts to come around.)

SARAH: Yeah, that’s it. Come back to me. Come back.

MARK: (Weakly) Stharah? Isth that you?

SARAH: I’m right here, Mark.

MARK: I think I’m stharting to feel sthlightly better. Maybe the towel wasth the way to go.

SARAH:You’re alive. I’m so happy you’re alive!

(Sarah, in her excitement, bends over and kisses Mark on the lips.)

MARK: Noooo!


FSW: The Legend of the Fourth

I decided to go with an Independence Day theme for this one, also challenging Michael to see if he could do the same. We'll see what he comes up with later, but for now, please enjoy my offering.

The Legend of the Fourth
(Stan sits at the edge of his young son Seth's bed, tucking him in for the night. Sunlight leaks through a break in the window coverings.)

Okay, sport. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Dad, why do I have to go to bed so early tonight?

Well, tiger, this is the scariest night of the year. The night when the walking dead roam the land looking for young boys and girls so they can eat their brains. Tonight is July 4th.

But Jimmy said there were fireworks tonight. His parents are taking him to the lake to watch.

Then Jimmy's parents mustn't love him like your mom and I love you, champ. Fireworks aren't fun and games. We set off fireworks to scare away the monsters. Close your eyes and I'll tell you the legend of the fourth.

Tom Jefferson hated the king. When Tom was a boy, he'd written a long letter to the king, telling him how he wanted to become a knight someday so he could hit people over the head with a hammer. But the king never wrote back. So when Tom grew up, he had it in for the king. Problem was, Tom was what they call a dilettante, which is a fancy word for no-good slacker. Like your Uncle Bob.

He looked everywhere for other people who hated the king. Patrick Henry hated the king because he was greedy. Patrick was always saying to people "give me this or give me that," but the king never gave Patrick anything. Ben Franklin hated the king because the king didn't like the electric lights Ben invented. John Adams hated the king because he wanted to be king himself.

So they worked on a plan to destroy the kingdom.

First they stole bodies from the cemetery. Then Patrick Henry took all the best parts from the bodies and sewed them together to make a better body. He realized that none of the teeth would fit in the mouth he'd used, so he asked his friend Paul Bunyan to carve some out of wood. They put them in the mouth and used Ben Franklin's electricity to make it come to life.

They named him George Washington and he beat the king up until he left. Then he chopped down a cherry tree and made everyone a pie to celebrate. That was the first July 4th in 1776.

They realized that if they could make George come back to life, maybe Ben Franklin's electricity could also make them live forever. So later that day they went back to Ben Franklin's secret lab.

Patrick Henry was greedy, so he wanted to live forever. He used Ben Franklin's electricity on himself.

Ben Franklin wanted to invent more things, like stoves and kites, so he used his electricity on himself.

John Adams wanted to be king forever, so of course he used Ben Franklin's electricity on himself.

But Tom decided he didn't want to live forever. And that was good, because what none of them knew was that Ben Franklin's electricity could keep them alive forever, but every year on the same day they'd made themselves live forever, they'd need to eat. If they didn't eat, the hunger would gnaw away at them and make them feel like they'd been kicked in their boy place.

The only thing that would make the hunger go away was brains. Brains of little boys and girls.

The next year on July 4th, Tom saw John Adams in the street trying to catch some children to eat their brains. He said, "John Adams, what are you trying to do to those children?"

John Adams said, "Why, I'm trying to eat their brains Tom Jefferson!"

Tom needed to save the children, so he tried to think of a way to scare off John Adams. Then he figured it out. He could use fireworks. "Everyone knows that zombies don't like loud noise," thought Tom. "Maybe John Adams is like a zombie now."

Tom was right, and the fireworks scared off John Adams. Zombie John Adams.

And that's why every year on the fourth of July, the children go to bed early and the grownups set off fireworks. To protect you from Zombie John Adams, Zombie Ben Franklin, and Zombie Patrick Henry.

(Seth's face is barely visible, with a deeply traumatized look in his eyes. The whole bed is shaking from his terror.)

What about Zombie George Washington?

Right. Him too. He's the worst. With those wooden teeth, chewing on the little brains.

Alright, buckaroo. It's time to go to sleep.

(Stan gets up and exits the room. Seth continues to tremble. Outside Seth's bedroom, Stan's wife Kerry gives him a long, deep kiss. She's wrapped in a fluffy robe.)

How did it go?

Great. He won't be coming out till morning.

Okay. Then you'd better hurry and get changed. I don't want to be late.

What about you?

(Kerry opens her robe to reveal a latex bustier, stilletto heels, and a garter belt. She picks up a riding crop from a nearby table and gives Stan a healthy whack with it.)

Our first Sparklers and Spankers party? I've been ready for hours.