Friday, September 29, 2017

Clownaround


Clown: Well, Mr. Knight. You sure are prolific. Let’s look at some of these titles, huh?

Circus of Blood
The Honking.
Killer Clowns from Inner Space
Red Nose, Black Heart
The Fears of a Clown
Dying on the Inside.
Auggggh! There’s Sulfuric Acid in those Seltzer Bottles.

You know, hyuck. I’m no literary critic.

HONK.

But I detect whatchamight call a theme running through yer books. Maybe it’s my imagination …. But they seem, to be all about evil clowns!

Say …

You know what my father did for a living?

N-no.

Can’t hear you.

No.

No what?

No. I don’t know what your father did for a living.


Wanna guess?

No.

Come on! Don’t be skeered1 Guess!

He was a clown?

That'

He was a clown, that’s what?



Well…the jokes on you! Cauyse you k now how it feels

Children run away screaming

You know what happens now/

Kiuds run away screaming

I only wanted to make kids laught, mr knight

You like to scare people
Huh.

HONK

Me? I like to make people laugh! Especially kids!

HONK.

Once upon a time,
Why kids yused to giuggle and laugh just to see me.
You know what they do now?

Mommy! Daddy! It’s a clown! Help!

You know what mommy and daddy do?

HONK

Wjhu you’d think they’d say clowns are nice! Clowns are goodf@ There’s nothing to be afraid of honey! Ha.

HONK

But you’d have another think coming, Mr. Knight.
They come up to me and styick their fists in my face. You get away from my kid!

Like I’m some kinda pervert or something. Wanna know something else?

The Circus Circus Circus got rid of all its elephants last mpnth. Gusess what else tyhey did?
They fired all the clowns! Elephants work for peanuts you know?

But clowns? Us clowns take home a paycheck!
Or we used to. You wanna know why?

Cause clowns scare the children! Cause clowns scare ecrybody@ Cause nobody likes clons anymore! Cause it’s all your fault!

HONK.

You know how that feels, Mr. Knighgt?

No. Of course not.

But you’re gonna.


      

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Florida Man

Florida Man

Act I


Scene One


NORTH FLORIDA PINE FOREST - NIGHT
Wild, dense growth around an ancient sinkhole. Primordial. Scary.


The Florida Skunk Ape skulks on stage. Australopithecus' long lost cousin. A tall, hairy, Bigfoot-like hominid. Who does the classic Bigfoot stroll.



Sounds (OS). Somebody’s crashing through the woods.



Skunk Ape reacts. Freezes. Then unfreezes. Finds his dignity.

      
Skunk Ape: To hell with it. No more running. Not this time.

Skunk Ape turns to face the approaching threat. Bravely stands his ground.


Crashing noises. (OS)



Skunk Ape: (to us) They’re sneaking up on me, folks.


Crashing noises. (OS)

Skunk Ape: Yeah, real stealthy.

Crashing noises. (OS)

Skunk Ape: (shouting) Hurry it up, guys!

More crashing noises. (OS)

Skunk Ape stands there waiting impatiently, rocking on his heels. The sounds get louder and louder …


Then Dr. Foster and Trevor finally thunder onto the stage — a 50-something scientist and his young graduate assistant, an indentured servant from the University of South Florida's fine anthropology program. Both wear pith helmets. They look like they've escaped from a National Geographic Special.



They see the Florida Skunk Ape at the same time.



Trevor: Oh, wow! Is that him, Dr. Foster?



Dr. Foster shakes head no, irritated. Pulls out GPS tablet. Starts furiously thumbing it.



Skunk Ape: (holding up hands in surrender) OK, guys. You found me. You win. I give up. I’m tired of running. Just plain tired.



Dr. Foster: (swiping GPS) Damnit!



Skunk Ape: Get out your cameras, boys. Yeah, you’re going to be famous. It’s me!



Dr. Foster: (swiping) Damnit, damnit, damnit!



Skunk Ape: Florida Skunk Ape, yep. 



Dr. Foster: (swiping) Damnit! He should be here! 


Skunk Ape: Florida. Skunk. Ape.

Dr. Foster: (swiping) Damnit! He has to be here!

Skunk Ape: I am here! In the flesh! In person! Big as life and twice as nasty.


Dr. Foster: (looking around) Devil's Millhopper! This precisely matches the most recent sighting! 



Skunk Ape: “Skunk Ape.” (scoffs) Flattering name, huh? 



Dr. Foster: 29.7043 degrees north! 82.3938 degrees west! But where the bloody hell is he?



Skunk Ape: Right in front of you, doc. Skunk Ape, c'est moi. (looking down at Trevor) That's Florida Skunk Ape, to you, kid.



Trevor looks up at the big, hairy hominid with a flash of empathy.



Trevor: “Skunk Ape.” Wow, dude. What did that do to your self-image growing up?



Skunk Ape: Listen, kid. You have no ...



Dr. Foster: This sodding thing is bloody useless!



Throws GPS unit. Trevor follows its trajectory with his eyes.



Trevor: It's mine?


Sound: Crash! (OS)


Skunk Ape: Wow. What an asshole.



Dr. Foster stomps around the forest in a wild, gibbering fury.



Dr. Foster: Bugger all! Not just some. All! Bugger the whole sodding world and everyone in it! No! Bugger the whole sodding universe! Bugger all possible parallel universes!



Kicks tree stump.



Dr. Foster: Eaagggh!


Trevor: Sorry, man. He’s under a lot of stress. Those grant people —


After all that violent movement, Dr. Foster locks up like an unoiled engine. Crouches in a ball on the forest floor. So enraged he can't move.



Dr. Foster: (shuddering with fury) This is not my bloody fault! It's not! It’s not, it’s not, it’s not!



Skunk Ape waves hand in front of Dr. Foster's apoplectic face. Snaps fingers. Gets no reaction.



Skunk Ape: Hello? Florida Skunk Ape here? You found me, OK?


Dr. Foster: (muttering through clenched teeth) We’re not looking for you.


Skunk Ape: You want an interview? Exclusive?



Dr. Foster mutters something else.



Skunk Ape: Excuse me? I didn’t quite catch that, doc.


Dr. Foster leaps to his feet with furious anger. Gets in Skunk Ape’s face.


Dr. Foster: (shouting) I said, “We’re not looking for you!” We’re not! Looking! For you! In point of fact … no one is! Because no one cares! You, sir, are utterly insignificant in the grand scheme of things! Evolutionary dead-end that you are, you don’t matter in the slightest! You are NOTHING! Have I made myself clear?



Skunk Ape: (hurt) Yeah, doc. Pretty clear.



Dr. Foster: Damnit!


Kicks tree stump.

Skunk Ape: (trying to hide his hurt feelings) OK. Well, so ... Who are you looking for?

Dr. Foster: (shouting to the sky) Why do you hate me, God? Why? Do you enjoy seeing me fail? Does that give you some perverse pleasure?

Kicks tree stump.

Dr. Foster: (shouting) Perhaps you’re making an example of me! “Dr. Foster is guilty of hubris! Watch, as I make him suffer!”

Kicks tree stump.

Skunk Ape: I’m sorry you’re having a bad day, doc.

Dr. Foster: Eaagggh!

Kicks tree stump.

Skunk Ape: But I think I deserve an answer, doc.

Trevor is terrified. Starts shaking his head. Wants Skunk Ape to drop the question.

Skunk Ape: It’s really a simple question, doc.

Trevor: (whispering) This is not a good time, Mr. Skunk Ape. Not when he’s like this.

Skunk Ape: C’mon doc. If you don’t want me … who are you really looking for?

Dr. Foster: (mutters something


Skunk Ape: Jesus, doc. Speak up!



Trevor: (whispering) “Florida Man.” He said “Florida Man.”



Skunk Ape: Florida Man? Pffft! Florida Man’s a myth.


The light of insanity flares in Dr. Foster’s eyes.


Dr. Foster: (pointing stage left) This way! I can feel it!


Trevor looks sadly up at Skunk Ape. Shrugs.


Dr. Foster and Trevor run off stage left.



Skunk Ape walks dejectedly in that direction. Stops. Looks off into the distance where they've run.



Skunk Ape: (shouting) No! Hey! Guys ... guys! Stop! I’m just fucking with you, OK? This “Florida Man” you’re looking for? He’s real all right. Real as me. The Florida. Skunk. Ape.



No response. Skunk Ape shouts again.



Skunk Ape: Hey ... guys! No bullshit! Seriously! I know where he lives! I can tell you where to find him! You want to find him, right?



Nothing.



Skunk Ape: Guys ...?



Crickets. A hoot owl.



Skunk Ape: Hey, f—



Skunk Ape can't speak. Can’t even say “fuck you.” Rubs his eyes. Blinks back tears. Looks at audience.



Skunk Ape: Stop looking at me!



Skunk Ape runs off stage.



Go to black.


Scene Two.


Spotlight up on ...



Dr. Foster, standing smugly behind a lectern in a proud white lab coat. Right beside him, there's an unlit scrim. Hiding something.


And, yes, this is an “Elephant Man” parody.


Dr. Foster: Ladies and gentlemen. Sluts and slobs. Distinguished scientists and members of the liberal media. And, of course, Mom. Without further adieu, I give you … Florida Man!



The scrim lights up. Revealing the backlit silhouette of a slouching fat slob.



The audience gasps. Then lightly applauds.



Dr. Foster points at the silhouette with a large, uh, pointer.


Dr. Foster: Florida Man stands at approximately 167 centimeters in height ...


Reporter: (shouting OS) What’s that in inches?



Dr. Foster: I have absolutely no idea.



Points at silhouette again.



Dr. Foster: I draw your attention to the unhealthy condition of this apparently human specimen. (tap) Here … we see a massive beer gut, clearly indicative of early stage cirrhosis.



Wiseass Woman: (OS) He should work out more.



Laughter. 



Dr. Foster: No, madam. Florida Man would only hurt himself. (pointing) Please also note the distinctive slouching posture; the splayfoot gait; the swollen ankles. Sad, yes. But Florida Man's physical deficiencies are only matched, if not exceeded, by his profound lack of mental acuity. Examples abound, and they are quite well documented. At 5 p.m., on January 8, 2004, in a quiet suburb of Ocala, Florida Man replaced a burned-out fuse in his pickup truck with a 35 mm shotgun shell, which promptly exploded in his face. At 7 p.m., on that very same day in Wimauma, Florida Man liberally doused his groin with lighter fluid, whereupon he...



Reporter: (OS) Hold on. Are you saying this is the same person?



Dr. Foster: No, sir. I'm saying it's the same phenomenon. Or phenomena.



Reporter: Either way ...



Dr. Foster: No. Actually, I think it is “phenomenon.” I was right the first time.



Reporter: (OS) Whatever, man. How can “Florida Man” be in two places at once? Or three? Or ...



Dr. Foster: I don’t know. How can Santa Claus do it?



Reporter: How … You believe in Santa Claus?



Dr. Foster: Do you, sir? Do you? But I think we’re asking the wrong question here. Does Santa Claus believe in you? That's the real ...



Santa Claus walks on stage.


Dr. Foster: Not now!


Santa Claus walks off stage.



Dr. Foster: Well. If I may now resume? Splendid. (pointing at silhouette) Barring any further interruptions, may I now direct your attention to ...


Reporter: (OS) Hey! He hasn’t moved!


Dr. Foster: What? I’m sorry ...



Reporter: (OS) He hasn't moved!



Dr. Foster: Who hasn't moved?



Reporter: (OS) The Florida Man silhouette, man! He’s supposed to be back there, right? Well, “he” hasn’t moved since you started talking!



Someone in Audience: (OS) We want to see him!



Someone Else in Audience: (OS) Show us!



Dr. Foster: Oh, very well. Fine. I was hoping to spare you good people ... but I suppose it can't be helped.



Violently removes scrim. We see ...



Reporter: Ah, c’mon. Seriously, man? A cardboard cutout?



Dr. Foster: You’re very perceptive, sir. And I am quite serious.


Mom: (OS) This is extremely disappointing, son. Tonight, you can make your own dinner.

Dr. Foster: Yes, I can, mother. And I will. But this is all mere preamble, hmm? Stagecraft, as it were. The time has come … for the genuine article! Now, behold good people ... the real Florida man!


He claps his hands twice.


Dylan Jones walks up on stage. He's badly made up to look like a redneck. Big putty nose. Fat suit. Trucker hat. Etc.


Reporter: (OS) That’s an actor!



Dr. Foster: No, it isn’t.



Reporter: (OS) Yes, it is! It’s Dylan Jones! 



Dr. Foster: So you claim.



Reporter: (OS) I recognize him, man! We did improv together!



Dr. Foster: Really? And was his nose this hideously grotesque?



Taps Dylan's nose with pointer.



Dylan: Ow!



Reporter: (OS) He’s wearing makeup! That’s putty or something!



Dr. Foster: For purposes of scientific demonstration only.


Reporter: (OS) This isn’t very scientific, man.

Dr. Foster: Fine! (to Dylan) Leave this stage at once! You’ve failed, sir! Failed!


Shoos Dylan Jones away with his pointer. Then turns to face the audience.



Dr. Foster: Well. Ladies and gentlemen, etc. I believe I now have some explaining to do.


Audience Member: You got that right, you lousy two-bit phony! Start explaining! Now!

Dr. Forster: Yes. Well, here it is! The simple explanation. Surpisingly simple! You’ll laugh when you hear it. Really. Well. To be perfectly honest ... ah … returning to the question of Florida Man. Ah ... In a nutshell … The thing of it is … From a rigorously scientific anthropological perspective. Empirically speaking … Well … I haven’t actually found him yet.

Audience erupts with boos and catcalls. (OS)

Dr. Foster: But I will find him. Oh, yes. I will! And when I do ...


Trevor appears, stage right. Huge smile on his face. A smile that says, “We found him.”



Dr. Foster: You “good people” can all kiss my bright, red, scientific arse!



Dr. Foster shoots double birds at the audience. Then runs off with Trevor.



Go to black.


Scene Three.


Interior, Trailer - Day.

The mother of all shitholes. The Japanese anti-clutter crusader would commit seppuku at the very sight.


Within this mound of unholy chaos, a redneck sits, his hairy back turned to the audience. Florida Man, obviously. He’s holding a massive, Dirty-Harry-style 44 Magnum and spinning the chamber.



Knock at trailer door. (OS)



Florida Man: You cops?



Skunk Ape: (OS) No.



Florida Man: I owe you money?



Skunk Ape: No.



Florida Man: Well entrez vous then, motherfucker.



Skunk Ape enters.



Florida Man: Wazzup, man. Tell me the good news.



Skunk Ape: They’re looking for you, buddy.


Florida Man: Yeah? (pause) Well, that ain’t news, “buddy.” And it ain’t good. (spins chamber of the 44 Magnum) Fuck.