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.


R.A. Porter said...

Fantastic. Really, really nice stuff. Damn, you're kickin' my ass with these polished and *good* pieces.

Can't wait till you're back to writing 'em fresh (and not so fresh, sadly) like me!

Michael Brownlee said...

Yeah, sorry. That one was show tested and everything.

Next week, come hell or high water, I'll pull of a last minute sketch if it kills me.

R.A. Porter said...

I think we should start trying to challenge each other (and Dave) to write on specific topics each week. Just rotate around the job of picking the next week's topic and posting it when we put up our sketches.

You should take the honor, since you've got a show going on right now and are still going to try doing a fresh sketch for next week. Pick a topic or theme and put it in the comments here and we'll all try our best to hit it.

Michael Brownlee said...

Great idea. I'll see what I can come up with.

joe g said...

Helen Slater was da bomb in "Supergirl."

*Cues up McCartney's "Helen Wheels"*

Michael Brownlee said...

Okay, this week's theme: Workaholics.

The clock is ticking, so get to work!

R.A. Porter said...

Excellent theme!