Friday, October 24, 2008

FSW: Dinner at Doctor Eskatos'

Let's have a little change of pace for next week. If you read the sketches but aren't going to compete, comment here with your idea for what the theme should be. I'll pick my favorite and we'll run with that. If we get no suggestions (or if we fear the suggestions we get) the honors will fall to Ken. And if you want to compete, email a link to your sketch to sketchwar at dreamloom.com.

But that's next week. This week's theme, Mad Scientist, was selected by Michael. Of course, I was going to give you a beautiful musical about a misunderstood mad scientist in love with a sweet girl, but that bastard Whedon stole my idea from me! He'll be hearing from my lawyers! Instead, I give you...


FSW: Dinner at Doctor Eskatos'

INT. CAR - NIGHT

CURT, late 20s in sport coat and oxford, drives. Beside him is his wife PAM, late 20s and fashionably dressed. Her sister GINNY, mid-30s on the verge of old-maid hood, sits in back with her hands clasped on her lap.

PAM

How much further?

CURT

It's right up ahead

PAM

You weren't kidding when you said he lived outside city limits.

CURT

He likes his space, I guess. How are you doing back there, Ginny? You've been awfully quiet.

GINNY

Hmm? Oh, I'm good. Just working through some tensor products.

Pam rolls her eyes. Curt turns to her befuddled.

PAM

Ginny does linear algebra in her head when she's nervous.

GINNY

I'm not nervous.

CURT

I flunked pre-algebra twice.

(beat)

We're here.

Curt stops the car and the three get out. They walk up to the front door or a neat, well-kept bungalow. As soon as Curt presses the bell, the door opens, revealing IVAR, a short, slightly hunchbacked nebbish.

IVAR

Master is expecting you. Come in.

INT. BUNGALOW - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The guests enter the cozy home and Ivar closes the door behind them. He points them to the living room where DOCTOR ESKATOS - 40s, lean, unruly cloud of hair, wearing a long white lab coat - sits perfectly upright. His body carves out exact 90-degree angles in his floral couch. Matching the couch, the decor of the house is early-grandmother.

IVAR

Master, your guests.

ESKATOS

Yes, yes, Ivar. I can see that. Please go see to our meal.

Ivar exits through a swinging door to the kitchen. Eskatos rises and crosses to the visitors. He extends his hand to Curt.

ESKATOS

Curt, I'm so glad you could make it.

CURT

Thanks, Doctor Eskatos. I was honored you asked. This is my wife, Pam.

ESKATOS

(shaking hands)

Pam, nice to meet you. Your husband speaks very highly of you.

PAM

Thank you. He says...things about you, too. This is--

ESKATOS

--Your sister Ginny, I presume.

Eskatos clasps Ginny's hand and shakes it too hard and too long. But Ginny doesn't seem to notice. He lets go and gestures to sit. The door to the kitchen swings open and a tray of drinks enters the room, carried by IGOR, who looks exactly like his brother. The drinks are proffered.

CURT

Oh, that's perfect. I'm parched. Thanks, Ivar.

IGOR

Igor.

CURT

I thought your name was Ivar?

IGOR

Igor.

Igor turns to Eskatos and spills the last drink on him.

ESKATOS

Clumsy oaf!

IGOR

I'm sorry, master. Let me get you another!

Igor rushes out of the room leaving Eskatos to clean himself up.

PAM

He seems a little...

(whispering)

is there something wrong with him?

ESKATOS

(yelling)

His mother was a scallion!

GINNY

Scullion.

ESKATOS

What?

GINNY

Scullion. You said 'scallion', but you meant 'scullion'. I'm something of a wordy.

Curt and Pam look at each other, horrified.

ESKATOS

I said what I meant. His mother was a scallion. He and his brothers were some of my first experiments with human-vegetable hybrids.

The door swings open. Igor rushes back with a towel and another drink.

ESKATOS (CONT'D)

(dripping with disdain)

As you can see, the experiment was not a success.

The door swings open again and the third brother, BRYCE, enters with a cheese plate.

BRYCE

Master, we were out of the crackers you like, so I toasted some bagel chips.

ESKATOS

Yes. Fine. Whatever, Bryce. Leave us! Both of you!

Bryce and Igor scurry out. The door swings open again and Ivar starts to walk in, but his brothers' hands grab him and pull him back into the kitchen.

PAM

Doctor Eskatos, Ginny is working on her PhD, too.

ESKATOS

Oh really? That's fascinating. What is your field of interest?

GINNY

High energy physics.

ESKATOS

Fascinating.

PAM

Maybe Doctor Eskatos would like to hear about your thesis.

GINNY

Oh, I don't want to bore him with that.

ESKATOS

Nonsense! I'd love to hear about it.

The door swings open again. Ivar (or maybe one of his brothers, who can be sure?) sidles in and takes the untouched cheese plate. He also picks up the unfinished drinks and carries them out on a tray.

ESKATOS (CONT'D)

It's so difficult to grow good help these days. I should have used cauliflower. How much better things would be had I used cauliflower.

The door swings open again and two of the brothers try to walk through at the same time, jamming against the jamb. Finally, they figure out how to enter. Igor carries another tray of drinks.

BRYCE

Master, the lamb will be ready in 30 minutes.

Igor spills the drinks on Eskatos again.

ESKATOS

Aaargh! You imbecile! I should have chopped your mother up for garnish before you were ever born!

IGOR

Master, I'm sorry. Let me help you.

ESKATOS

You've done more than enough!

Eskatos takes out a PDA and taps it for a moment. There is a bright flash of light and a puff of smoke appears as Igor screams in pain and runs around the room. He is singed and smoking. Bryce runs to the kitchen. Curt and Pam stare in shock.

CURT

What was that?

ESKATOS

This? Death ray.

PAM

He's not dead.

CURT

(to Pam)

Pam, let's not upset the doctor, please.

ESKATOS

No Curt, she's right. He's not dead. Not even a little.

Igor, the top of his head stil smoking, grabs a drink and douses the embers.

ESKATOS (CONT'D)

Like all my other inventions, my orbital death ray is a failure.

CURT

Orbital?

ESKATOS

Yes. I have a series of satellites in polar orbit. I can target any location on the planet. But to what end? Look at that! Death ray, indeed.

GINNY

Microwaves?

ESKATOS

Of course.

GINNY

Have you considered crossing unsynched beams with tachyon pulses to set up--

ESKATOS

--To set up Frakes-Francis interference! Of course! How did I not think of it before. Igor!

The door swings open. Igor resists entering, but his brothers' hands shove him back into the room.

IGOR

Yes, master?

ESKATOS

Bring me the lamb!

IGOR

But master, it is not finished yet.

ESKATOS

And I plan to remedy that.

Igor exits as Eskatos takes his PDA and frantically taps.

CURT

This is fun, huh?

Igor returns with the lamb on a platter. He looks nervous as he sets it down on the table and takes several steps away from it. Eskatos points the PDA at the lamb and taps it once. A bright flash, a puff of smoke, and Igor is gone.

ESKATOS

Huh. Must not have accounted for the Wheaton drift. I never was any good at linear algebra.

BLACKOUT

2 comments:

Ken Robertson said...

Oh, those awkard double dates when you forget to account for sunstrata magnetic variances! The good news is that I think there is a death ray app available for the iPhone (has 3G swicthing issues still). And I work with enough vegetable people to appreciate the respect you've treated them with here - nicely done.

Love the idea for getting next weeks theme too - I pasted it to my post also - suggesting that people post theme ideas here, but if someone misses I'll make sure it makes it's way to you.

NotNits said...

Excellent! I'm very, very happy for Ginny.