The Adventures of Professor Grebitus

[fountain]

INT. INVENTOR’S LAB – DAY

PROFESSOR GREBITUS and his assistant, MERL, stand among the various whirling contraptions and bubbling beakers. Professor Grebitus holds in his hands a small, golden device that looks a lot like a pocket watch.

PROFESSOR GREBITUS
Behold, Merl, my greatest invention! I hold in my hand, the power to control time itself. And thanks to my genius, it’s so simple a child could operate it. Continue reading The Adventures of Professor Grebitus

Make ‘Em Pay!

INT. GAME SHOW STUDIO

Our host, BERT, is standing next to contestant, VANESSA. Beside them is a large wheel with words like “Bludgeon”, “Knee-Cap”, “Papercuts & Lemon Juice” and “Light ‘Em Up!” printed on it.

BERT
Welcome back to Make ‘Em Pay, the game show where Average Joe’s get to take out their frustrations on John Q. WallStreet and Congressman Do-Nothing. I’m here with today’s grand prize winner Vanessa. Vanessa, are you feeling better yet? Continue reading Make ‘Em Pay!

Six Degrees of Desperation

INT. CROWDED SUBWAY CAR – DAY

Darrell Rogers, young and grungy. squeezes onto the packed car. He is pressed right up against Vinton Cerf, older and distinguished. Darrell is staring at Vinton, who is trying to read the paper.

VINTON

Can I help you?

DARRELL

Huh?

VINTON

You’re staring.

DARRELL

Sorry.

Darrell looks away. Vinton goes back to reading.

DARRELL

It’s just that. Well, I think I know you.

Vinton looks at him.

VINTON

I don’t think so.

DARRELL

No. I’m pretty sure I know you from somewhere.

VINTON

What’s your name?

DARRELL

Darrell Rogers.

Vinton thinks for a moment.

VINTON

No. Sorry. I’m pretty good with names. I don’t think we’ve ever met.

DARRELL

I know, I know you from somewhere. Did you go to Ohio State?

VINTON

Stanford. Then UCLA.

DARRELL

Ever work at Borders?

VINTON

Ah, no.

DARRELL

Weird. You look so familiar to me.

VINTON

Must have one of those faces.

DARRELL

That’s it!

VINTON

What’s that?

DARRELL

Facebook. We’re friends on Facebook.

VINTON

We are?

DARRELL

Yeah, I work with Jenny Barr, who’s friends with Perry Silverman who’s friends Maggie Thornburg who’s friends with Fred Burns who’s friends with Larry Page who, as you well know, is friends with you. I friended you through the “Friends You May Know” feature.

VINTON

Ah.

DARRELL

Man, how are you? I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you face to face. (beat) From Facebook.

Darrell laughs at his own joke. Vinton does not. The train stops.

VINTON

This is me.

Vinton steps off the train.

DARRELL

Dude, we should get drinks some time. Catch up.

VINTON

Um.

DARRELL

I’ll poke you later to remind you.

VINTON

Please don’t.

Darrell is grinning and waving to Vinton. The doors slide closed and the train glides off. Vinton takes a small Moleskine notepad out of his breast pocket and opens it up. We see that there is a list on the page. At the top of the page it reads:

1) Finish time machine.

2) Go back and stop Hitler from being born.

3) Buy milk.

Vinton scratches out #2 and pencils in:

STOP SELF FROM INVENTING INTERNET!

He underlines it twice, replaces the notebook and walks off.

FADE OUT:

An Old Fashioned

Perhaps I took this one a bit too literally.

Lights up on a traditional, proscenium stage. The velvet, red curtains part to reveal a door. Reginald Jeeves (a proper British butler) arrives at the door at the same moment as Lt. Commander Data (a very formal android). Jeeves tips his hat and extends his hand toward the door.

JEEVES

After you, sir.

DATA

I’m afraid I could not allow that. It would be...rude.

JEEVES

Please, sir, I insist.

DATA

I am programmed with the finest manners.

JEEVES

As am I, sir. Please. After you.

DATA

After you.

JEEVES

After you.

DATA

I must insist, sir, that you enter the door first.

JEEVES

I’m afraid that won’t be happening.

DATA

Then we are at an impasse.

JEEVES

It appears –

A Klingon warrior leaps onto the stage and cuts Data’s head off with a Batleth then runs off.

JEEVES

It’s certainly not worth losing your head over.

Jeeves mugs to the audience as a loud rim-shot is heard. SILENCE.

JEEVES

(Under his breath)

We’re not at ComicCon anymore, Toto.

The curtain falls and the lights go out.

Pimp My TV (Michael’s Entry)

FADE IN:

We see the familiar green title card that precedes all trailers: “The following preview has been approved…” As it fades to black slow, mournful, piano music plays as the following words appear on the screen:

FROM THE DERANGED MIND OF WES CRAVEN, THE MAN WHO BROUGHT YOU A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET AND SCREAM, COMES A HORRIFYING NEW TALE WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME.

SMASH CUT:

INT. BAR – NIGHT

Thunder and lightning. SAM MALONE stands behind the bar, drying glasses. CARLA TORTELLI, CLIFF CLAVIN, WOODY BOYD and DIANE CHAMBERS sit around the bar. Everyone is looking down, not making eye contact with anyone. DR. FRAISER CRANE is up, pacing around.

DIANE

I still think this is a matter best left for the proper authorities.

SAM

Fraiser, would you quit pacing, you’re making me nervous.

FRAISER

I think better on my feet, Sam. Besides, I believe the answer is simple. Ockham’s Razor.

WOODY

Three of our friends are dead, Dr. Crane. I really don’t think this is the right time to talk about shaving habits.

DIANE

He’s talking about a principle of logic, Woody, not a drug store purchase. It means that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.

FRAISER

Think of it like the plot of an Agatha Christie novel, if you like. We were all here when the killings happened, thus one of us must be the killer.

WOODY

Agatha Christie? Is she the one who played the Police Woman?

CLIFF

You’re thinkin’ of Angie Dickenson.

SAM

Now just a second, Fraiser. Why would any one of us want to kill Paul or Alan or Pete?

CARLA

I don’t know about you, Sammy, but I’m not going to let Dr. Strange-goober accuse me of murdering anyone. If it was Diane, maybe, but these guys?

WOODY

But how do you explain the eerie voice that whispered each of their names just before they turned up dead?

FRAISER

You know, maybe the killer isn’t here. There is one member of this band of merry men whose stool is empty tonight.

The front door slams open! Lightning flashes. Everyone screams. Then –

EVERYONE

NORM!

DIANE

Norman.

WOODY

Hey, Mr. Peterson, what were you doing between the hours of five and five-thirty this evening?

NORM

The usual. Counting down the seconds to sweet, sweet relief. Four, three, two –

Sam slides a mug of beer down the bar, which Norm catches and takes a long drink from.

NORM

Much better.

CLIFF

Eh, excuse me, Doc. But, eh, there’s an even simpler explanation, if I may, eh, theorize.

CARLA

Great, now Professor Van Dummkopf is going to play detective.

CLIFF

Eh, hear me out there, Carla. It’s a well known fact that before the arrival of the white man, this area was mainly home to the Pocumtuck and Nipmuck Indians. But what most people don’t know is that these tribes were, eh, well known practitioners of the dark arts. Voodoo an’ the like. And that this bar was built on one of their most sacred burial grounds.

FRAISER

Cliff, surely you’re not suggesting…

CLIFF

Surely I am, Doc.

SAM

What? What’s he suggesting?

Fraiser looks at everyone.

FRAISER

My God. It’s the bar.

More thunder and lightning. The lights flicker. Everyone gasps.

EERIE WHISPERED VOICE

I know your name.

BLACKOUT

TITLE CARD: WES CRAVEN’S CHEERS – THE RECKONING COMING THIS FALL

SOMETIMES THE TROUBLES AREN’T ALL THE SAME

FSW: Advertising Edition (Michael’s Entry)

FADE IN:

INT. BANK TELLER LINE – DAY

MARK, well dressed and handsome, is standing in line waiting to cash a check. He notices GARY, dressed in drab, ill-fitting clothes, holding a sack of change. Gary looks at his watch.

MARK

That’s a nice watch.

GARY

Oh, thanks. My mom got it for me.

MARK

Same one Tiger Woods wears.

GARY

Oh yeah? I’m not really a golf watcher.

MARK

Who is? No, I just like the products the man pitches. He has good taste.

GARY

I guess I never put much thought into celebrity backed endorsements.

MARK

Well, you should. It used to take me hours to get dressed in the morning because all of my clothes were like yours, boring and un-endorsed. But now…

Mark begins pointing out articles of clothing, starting with his shoes and moving up to his sunglasses. (Shoes, socks, pants, belt, shirt, jacket, sunglasses.)

MARK

Clooney, Gere, Depp, Pitt, Pitt, Eastwood, Dempsey. The cologne is by Federline and the boxers are Michael Jordan slash Cuba Gooding, Jr.

GARY

Wow.

MARK

Thanks. I know. You should try it.

GARY

I’d give my left nut for some fancy, advertised clothes.

MALE VOICE (O.S.)

I did.

Everyone turns to see LANCE ARMSTRONG, dressed very fashionably, stroll into the shot.

GARY

Seven time Tour de France winner and Subaru pitchman, Lance Armstrong?!

Lance speaks directly to the camera.

LANCE

Thanks to the generous folks at Celeb’s Threads dot com, now you can purchase celebrity endorsed items at deep, deep discounts. Look like Johnny Depp, in the pages of Vogue, without feeling like you had to pay with the family jewels.

Lance waves his arm and there’s a bright flash and now Gary is also very stylishly attired. And in place of his sack of change, he now carries a man-bag with a small yippie dog in it.

GARY

Wow. Thanks Celeb’s Threads dot com!

LANCE

You’re welcome, Gary. Or should I say McDreamy?

They laugh. Everyone admires what the other is wearing as the logo, a lemming wearing Hugo Boss, appears on the screen.

ANNOUNCER

Celeb’s Threads dot com. Celebrity fashions at trailer park prices. Because, let’s face it, we all want to look like someone else.

FADE OUT:

FSW: Borders Edition (Michael’s Entry)

EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY

A large, olive green tent is set up in a desolated parking lot. The remnants of burned out cars sit around it. The urban landscape is near ruin. There is a Red Cross painted on top of the tent. A long line of disheveled, sickly looking refugee-types are waiting their turn. A helicopter flies over, low enough that people duck their heads in worry, and is gone. In the distance, the sound of barking dogs. Or maybe gunfire.

At the back of the tent stands KARRIE MOORE, 30s, British, tired but still lovely to look at. She takes a long drag off of a cigarette. She wears a yellow, plastic apron that is smeared with blood. A moment later, HENRI FALCONE, 40s, French, rakishly handsome, exits the tent, wiping his hands on a bloody rag.

HENRI
Those things will kill you, no?

KARRIE
(taking another drag)
I’m trying to build up an immunity.

HENRI
Busy day today.

KARRIE
It’s been like this since we arrived.

HENRI
I’ve been working with Médecins Sans Frontières for over a ten years now. This is one of the worst places I’ve ever been sent.

KARRIE
They ever sent you to any good places?

HENRI
Just when they send me home. How about you?

KARRIE
This is my first assignment.

HENRI
And?

KARRIE
I can handle the blood. Gunshot wounds. Stabbings.

HENRI
That’s good considering this is practically a war zone.

KARRIE
It’s the children that get to me.

HENRI
Oui.

KARRIE
Their watery eyes filled with fear. We don’t have an immunization for that.
(Beat)
Makes me feel helpless. Like I’m doing nothing.

Henri puts a hand on her shoulder.

HENRI
You’re doing more for them then their own people are. That’s not nothing.

KARRIE
You think they’ll ever come a time when we won’t be needed?

HENRI
We can hope, no?

A shiny, black Cadillac Escalade pulls up and the tinted window slides down. The sound of children trying to talk over one another spills out. An overweight man leans out the window. He has a severe Texan twang.

TEXAN
Pardon me, Miss. Y’all wouldn’t be able to help us, would ya?

KARRIE
Is someone in need of medical attention?

Henri sticks his head into the tent.

HENRI
Stretcher!

TEXAN
Oh no, no. It’s nothing like that. We’re all as fit as fiddles.

The back window rolls down to reveal two very plump children sitting in the back seat, both sucking on super-sized sodas. They wave their pudgy hands at Karrie and Henri.

TEXAN
But we are lost.

KARRIE
Lost?

TEXAN
We’re trying to find the Henry Ford Museum, but this here map’s got us turned every which way. Who knew Detroit would be so confusing to drive around?

HENRI (Under his breath)
Merde.

KARRIE
I’m sorry, I don’t know where that is. But some of the locals might be able to help you.

She points to the people waiting in line. Texan takes a look at them and cocks an eyebrow.

TEXAN
Uh, thanks. But I think we’ll just keep drivin’ around. We’re bound to come across it sooner or later, right. Thanks.

He rolls up his window and begins to drive off. Two large McDonald’s bags are tossed out of the rear window before it slides back up. The stretcher bearers arrive.

HENRI
Sorry, false alarm.

They go back into the tent.

KARRIE
You know what’s ironic? I always wanted to visit the states when I was a kid.

HENRI
At least they still have running water.

KARRIE
Yeah, but don’t drink it.

They share a laugh. Karrie flicks her cigarette to the ground and steps on it, grinding it into the dirt. They head back into the tent.

FADE OUT