Thursday, May 28, 1998

It's a Horrible Life


GEORGE is in the lotus position. Chanting …

GEORGE: (intoning) I am I. I am my own reality. I create my own reality. I create my own choices. I create what is right for me and what is right for me is what I choose to create. I create my own reality. I create my own...

The door bursts open.

JEFF: You seen the disk?

GEORGE: Please respect my space.

JEFF: You seen the disk?

GEORGE: (repeating -- as if the question is gibberish) Have I seen your disk?

JEFF: (desperately) Have you seen my disk?

GEORGE: What disk?

JEFF: My zip disk. My project disc. It's got all my work on it...

GEORGE: You only made one backup?

JEFF: (starting to lose it) I made ten backups but it's all degaussed...somebody...the hard drive's garbage. Somebody broke in and...

JEFF stops, realizing that, of course, GEORGE is the one who did all that. GEORGE being GEORGE, there is nothing JEFF can possibly do about it.

GEORGE: I'd be happy to help you look for it. Really.

JEFF looks at him for a second then turns red. Shuts the door.

GEORGE: (mimicking) Boohoohoo. What a dick. (shutting eyes, sitting on the floor again, folding up his legs and going back into meditation. Intoning...) I create my own reality. I create my own right and wrong. Good and evil is what I say it is because I am God in my personal universe.

Go to: GEORGE in his car. The same mantra he's been repeating is coming out of his tape/CD player.

JEFF crosses the parking lot. GEORGE studies him.

GEORGE: Hey Jeff. You found the disk yet?

JEFF stops.

GEORGE: Guess what? What if I told you I had it -- in my glove compartment? You wouldn't do anything, about would you? That's because you're a fucking loser, Jeff. You gonna do something? No.

Jeff just stands there

GEORGE: I know what you're thinking Jeff. You want to kill yourself, right? That's why you're standing here. You know something? I think that's a good idea. Kill yourself.

JEFF doesn't say anything, but he's devastated. His face is a wreck of pain.

GEORGE walks up to him.

GEORGE: Kill yourself, you fucking loser. Do it. Do your wife a favor. Do the fucking gene pool a favor. We all have to make choices.

Out of nowhere, CLARENCE, this balding, middle-aged guy, appears and gets between GEORGE and JEFF.

CLARENCE: (sadly) George, George...

GEORGE: Hey, fuck off.

CLARENCE: Actually, I think it's you who should kill yourself.

GEORGE: (turning around, then karate kicking out at him) Fucking FAGGOT!

CLARENCE: Actually, I'm an angel. We have no sexual identity to speak of. You would know that.


CLARENCE: ...if you knew your Origen.


CLARENCE: But of course you don't...

Already out of breath, GEORGE bends down, picks up a lead pipe and begins swinging it in violent arcs through the air where CLARENCE is standing. The pipe, repeatedly, passes through CLARENCE's shimmering form without hurting him. GEORGE, bellowing in rage like an animal, keeps swinging until he exhausts himself, falls to his knees, dropping the pipe on the snow. Clouds of steam come out of his mouth. He's gasping. CLARENCE just calmly stands there. The sound seems muted now. Everything frozen.

CLARENCE: Out of breath already?

GEORGE: Fuh..fuh...ff....

CLARENCE: Your sensei considers you a disappointment. You're aware of that, right?

GEORGE: Why is he just standing there? (shouting to JEFF) Hey, fucker. Fucking jump, you fucking loser.

CLARENCE: Jeff can't hear you. Time has stopped you see.

GEORGE looks around: cross-cutting sequence. Nothing moves, even the smoke coming out of the chimneys across the bridge.

GEORGE: (closing his eyes) This isn't happening.

CLARENCE: Nothing is happening.

GEORGE: It's a momentary lapse of reason.

CLARENCE: No it isn't. And please try to talk without quoting self-help tapes and Pink Floyd.

GEORGE: It's a momentary lapse of fucking reason and you don't fucking exist!

CLARENCE: Or alternate between self-realization jargon and thuggery. Don't don't do that either. That'd be nice, too.

GEORGE: (laughing at the absurdity of it) That’s your opinion?

CLARENCE: That's my opinion.

GEORGE: Well, you don't have a right to an opinion because you don't exist. Fucking hallucination or something.

GEORGE shuts his eyes.

CLARENCE: I exist. Cogito ergo sum and so forth.

GEORGE: You can't exist! I swung that fucking pipe right through you!

CLARENCE: Yes you did, George. Yes, you did. But that really doesn't prove anything. I'm real, but not like you. Insubstantial, and so forth. Like I said, I'm an angel.

GEORGE: (opening eyes) My guardian angel?

CLARENCE: Your guardian angel is dead.


CLARENCE: You murdered him, George. There are casualties in the war in heaven.

GEORGE: Aw, come on. You can't murder angels... Like when was I supposed to...?

CLARENCE: It's that dream where you always wake up screaming -- and that’s really all I'm allowed to tell you. But, to get back to your inquiry, I'm not your guardian angel. I'm the angel assigned to guard the world from you.

GEORGE: From me?

CLARENCE: You, my friend, have bought death into the world.

GEORGE: Fuck you, Mr. Whoever you are. I choose to create my own reality and within that reality I create positive energy and sometimes that means a little death. But it's all leading up to something.

CLARENCE: Yes, I know. You're going to steal a man's life's work and use the money to produce your own martial arts movies starring you. And you're not even very good.

GEARGE: That's what editing's for. It's all be worth it, pal.

CLARENCE: It will?

GEORCE: Yeah, because I'm going to make the world a better fucking place.

CLARENCE: You? With your movies?

GEORGE: Fucking-A. My movies will teach positive fucking values to the kids.


GHORGE: Just say no and be all that you can be. Could we go now? Jump-start time on whatever?

CLARENCE: So, you can talk that man into jumping off the bridge and become an even greater mediocrity than Steven Segal?

GEORGE: So I can achieve my full potential by any means necessary.

CLARENCE: And teach positive values to the kids?

GEORGE: Yeah, fucker, because I'm going to go out there and make a difference and in my reality there are no boundaries and kids need to know that and they will because that's my choice. The world will be a better place because I'm fucking in it. Me and people like me.

CLARENCE: You really think you're making the world a better place?

GEORGE: What did I just say, huh? What did I just say?

CLARENCE: Because you're in it?

GEORGE: Fucking-A.

CLARENCE: Would you like to see what life would be like if you'd never been born?

GEORGE: Whatever.

GEORGE: I was never born -- so the liberals took over. That's what you're telling me?

CLARENCE: Not exactly.

Reality warps, runs together, like wet paint on a spinning disk. It congeals again. Different reality. The future that didn't happen.

GEORGE: Fuck that a monorail? You killed the cars -- that's why it's so fucking quiet.

CLARENCE: The cars run on hydrogen.

GEORGE: W-what's this? Like Disneyworld or something?

CLARENCE: No, George. It's not a ride -- it's reality, or one possible reality, specifically the one in which you were never born. In this timeline, it isn't necessary to confine hope for the future to the realm of nostalgia.

GEORGE: Well, I'll be damned.

CLARENCE: It's a distinct possibility.

GEOREE: What's that doohickey?

CLARENCE: That's a solar energy collecting station, George.

GEORGE: What a load of crap. Solar's not cost-effective.

CLARENCE: Of course not, starting from your assumptions. Remember Jackson DeWald?


CLARENCE: Remember track? Junior High Varsity?

GEORGE: Oh yeah! Dickson. "Dickwad." Skinny little dipshit dick. Tried to pass me up once and I broke his leg for him.

CLARENCE: He never recovered. That spark he had? Gone.

GEORGE: Aw, too bad, boo-hoo. It's called competition, Angel-boy. Maybe you don't play that way in the clouds, but that's how it works down here. You gotta play rough if you hang with the big dogs.

CLARENCE: But in this future he had nothing to recover from. You were never there to break his leg so he continued to run. He went on to become a High School track star, got an athletic scholarship and did quite well in engineering.

GEORGE: Yeah, he always was a dickwad. Your point?

CLARENCE: (pointing) Well, he invented it, George. Your doohickey. See those panels? If you study it up close it would resemble a leopard skin -- nanotechnology, you see? Really very beautiful, if you look at it. If you look closely. A hexagonal pattern. Each cell capable of converting, storing and transmitting...

GEORGE: Boring.

CLARENCE: George...

GEORGE: Fuck you and your nanotechnology. Fuck you any your lizard skin. Ask me if I care: no. Ask me if I give a fuck: no. Fuck, you, fuck you, fuck you. I choose not to listen to you. I choose not to create this reality.

He walks away, disoriented, back across the public square trying to find his car. He finds it -- its tires have been slashed.

GEORGE: Some utopia.

CLARENGE: I never said it was utopia, George...

GHORGE: Get the fuck away from me.

He runs through downtown.

Just enough has changed to make him confused. The closer he gets, the less futuristic it all looks. GEORGE stops seeing the monorails and video displays, and starts seeing the street level details. He slows down, stops running, starts walking, edgy, pulled into himself. The city looks interesting...but not exactly safe.

There are lots more people on the sidewalk -- way too many. Buildings are still standing that had been torn down years ago...and some haven't been painted! There are streetcars and street walkers...too many cars, too many people. GEORGE wanders around sneering, shaking his head, muttering...liberals...fucking liberals. There's a snarl of ugly hand-written signs on the shop widows, ugly, non-uniform newspaper boxes and vendors with sidewalk stands selling you name it, delivery trucks and cars and pedestrian traffic all moving wherever they please -- there’s obviously no code enforcement or aesthetic uniformity, God, no, what's that, even a fucking Laundromat -- all that shit the Downtown Committee cleaned up years ago was back. The Downtown Renaissance Project...

GEORGE had been in on it: he'd been part of the original Committee of Ten that gave birth to the Downtown Renaissance Project, a total downtown makeover, a positive push to clean up and go upscale. The Committee had rallied the downtown merchants behind it whether they liked it or not -- and the drive succeeded. They had created progress and taken bold steps to build the Downtown of the 21st Century by putting in pretty, old timey gaslights and lots of busy brickwork and plantings and remodeling all the buildings to look like Louis XIIV's personal whorehouse. Trey created a business-friendly atmosphere by cutting down on dangerous, freely-moving car traffic and people randomly stopping their cars and shopping at will with median strips, traffic abatement humps and rigid code enforcement; they cut down on those loud, nasty outdoor musicians and shuttered, rowdy outdoor clubs with noise ordinances; cut down on dirty little retail businesses by coversine all the ugly signs over the shops with exactly spherical oak trees and -- most importantly -- cut down on the wrong kind of social element by carving up that huge, dangerous green space in the center of town -- that anachronistic, non-revenue generating space that was at one time called the town square where people sold drugs, got mugger and bums slept on benches -- by turning that space into much needed downtown parking and the equivalent of six football fields of asphalt, which came in handy for the downtown's profitable street fairs. They said it couldn’t be done but the Downtown Renaissance worked. The Committee had done it. They had cleaned up the town....

If only most of the original merchants had remained in business long enough to see it.

But it was all undone now -- fucking liberals! -- as if none of the Committee’s hard work had ever happened, as if none of the city commissioners had ever been paid a nickel under the table...

In isn't all clean anymore. It isn't all the same.

And George walks through the wreckage of his dream muttering liberals, liberals...

There's noise, traffic, confusion, old people, young people on skateboards, dirty people, black people. Downtown still has grocery stores, filling stations and apartment buildings. People still live where they work! The scale seems smaller: less gentrified, less intimidating. It’s not all cleaned up! Nobody's enforcing code to make it all look exactly the same!

GEORGE looks up and can actually see clothes hanging from a line. The city ... is wrong! It all seems more like a European city and he hates it. He passes a newsstand, looks inside...

It's not supposed to be a newsstand.

Years ago it stopped being a newsstand, turned into a card shop that served a thousand varieties of the world's coffee and cigars, America’s three top daily newspapers, the local daily newspaper, GQ and Cigar Aficionado. But now it's a newsstand again, crammed with dirty, yellowing, smudgy newspapers from everywhere...

He looks down through the glass. Squinting.

He sees that there are three daily newspapers in this town alone...

Screams. Runs.

Acting on instinct alone, his feet take him to his favorite cigar bar. He opens the door and walks in and immediately knows there's something wrong -- because the air is full of oxygen. Blinking in confusion, he sees that there are no cigars. He staggers to a table. A waitress comes.

WAITRESS: (vaguely southern accent) Coffee, hon?

GEORGE: Gimme a mochachokayaya mochachino latte frappe. Lite.

WAITRESS: (putting hand on hip) You want a coffee or not, smart guy?

GEORGE: How 'bout a beer?

WAITRESS: (chewing gum) You wanna beer?

GEORGE: Anchor Steam.


GEORGE: Haitian Blackened Voodoo?

WAITRESS: Look...I ain't got all day, hon.

GEORGE: (desperately) Sam Adams?

WAITRESS: Sam Adams don't work here. You wanna beer or not?

GEORGE: Well what do you...

WAITRESS: We got Miller, we ain't got Bud. What's the difference? It's beer.

CLARENCE: (sitting down) Get him a beer.

WAITRESS: You got it. You?

CLARENCE: I'm fine.


GEORGE laughs to himself.

GEORGE: "Hon"...hahahha. (imitating accent) "Hon."

CLARENCE: George...

GEORGE: Some fucking utopia.

CLARENCE: I told you it's not...

GEORGE: Guess what? I like my world. I like my microbreweries.

CLARENCE: There are still microbreweries. Some. It's just not so important...

GEORGE: It is to me. I like my consumer choices. All of them. Every last one.

CLARENCE: Look at her.

GEORGE: That fucking waitress outta Alice? Her?

CLARENCE: In your world she's a homeless person. (gesturing at the people around them) These other people? He's dead; she's in prison; he's on methadone maintenance.


CLARENCE: Jackson DeWald...

GEORGE: We still talking about him?

CLARENCE: Nanotechnology led to cheap solar also led to cheap fusion which had the effect on the late 20th-century that steam did at the beginning of the 19th. Another industrial revolution. Cheap energy led to incredible inventions,amazing creativity...

GEORGE: All because I didn't push Geekson off the track?

CLARENCE: Well, no. Not just because of that. Remember Dan Matthews, RPTC?

GEORGE: Yeah. I remember. He was a fucking kike, man. Real name's Mathias. Changed it, y'know?

CLARENCE: And you set him up for an honor offense.

GEORGE: (righteously) Well...he lied.

CLARENCE: Matthews...or Mathias...went on to become part of Special Forces. The Mossad contacted him during the Iranian hostage crisis.

GEORGE: They all hang together, you know.

CLARENCE: They were able to share their expertise as to the problem of sand in the rotors -- which is the reason Jimmy Carter's abortive attempt to rescue the hostages in 1979 succeeded and Carter went on to a second term.

GEORGE: Drove the economy into the ground and let the Soviets take over the world.

CLARENCE: No. The Soviet Union fell of its own dead weight -- and not because of trillions of dollars of defense spending on unlimited credit. The economy revived as a result of natural business cycles -- without the savings and loan crisis and other benefits of voodoo economics. PAATCO of course win their strike...

GEORGE: Yeah, and I betcha that destroyed the airlines.

CLARENCE: Well, no. Actually they succeeded in upgrading the entire system by 0985. Which paved the way for the beginnings of commercial space flight during the Hart administration.

GEORGE: Hart? Gary Hart?

CLARENCE: Gary Hart.

GEORGE: Hart's a flake.

CLARENCE: In point of fact ,history has proved his ideas to be essentially sound.

GEORGE: That's anti-progress and chances are this whole town is a big liberal fake you rigged up to win me over.

CLARENCE: You mean like a Potemkin Village?

GEORGE: No. I mean like one big phony stage set stocked with actors that's supposed to look good. I'll bet the rest of the country is just a buncha savages sitting in huts and there's no technology, right?

CLARENCE: Wrong. Actually, there's a moon base, a space station, the beginning of a colony on Mars. America is still an industrial giant.

GEORGE: Yeah? Well that's bullshit. You're telling me there’s all this technology but everything looks small and dirty...

CLARENCE: Because there's a lot of energy and a lot of money and a lot of people have it. It isn't that important to look like you’ve got a lot of money.

GEORGE: I'll betcha they put all the conservatives in forced labor camps.

CLARENCE: Kemp won the election in '88 and '92.

GEORGE: Oh, now I get it! And he ran you guys into the camps -- That's what got America back on track.

CLARENCE: No. What did it was the end of the drug war. Kemp had sense enough so do that...

GEORGE: Kemp wouldn't do that!

CLARENCE: Actually, he did...and the heavens didn't fall. As a matter of fact.

GEORGE: I don't need this in my reality! I don’t choose to create this!

He runs, screaming, headed straight for the bad part of town envisioning needles, bloody beatings and dirty, psychotic sex with crack whores -- all the better td blast his way out of this delusional reality by an act of sick, self-destruction. There is no bad part of town. There are prostitutes and drugs -- but none of what he finds is sordid and dirty enough for a decent act of self destruction because that's all legal now.

GEORGE: Fuck no...public transit!

GEOPGE: You fucking liberals! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you to hell!

CLARENCE: I really do think you should kill yourself now.

GEORGE: Maybe I'll fucking kill you.

CLARENCE: You see what you've done...

GEORGE: Yeah...I made it a better word.

CLARENCE: A better world?

GEORGE: Yeah, for me, fucker, it's better for me -- and fuck you’re fucking dirty crowded city with hydrogen cars, mass transit and no microbreweries and jobs for dicks. Fuck all these working-class shmucks with jobs and factories and a fucking space program. My world is better for me and fuck everybody else. And I am going to kill you, you fucking dick.

CLARENCE: You use that word a lot. 8,789,882 times, to be precise.


CLARENCE: 8,789,483.

GEORGE: I'm gonna kill you...

CLARENCE: You can't.

GEORGE: I killed that other angel. That's what you told me.

He swings, but nothing happens.

CLARENCE: George....

He swings again.

CLARENCE disappears. GEORGE looks around, realizing that he's back on the bridge. Time seems to be moving again. He stands there, gathering himself, looking around -- then does a double take. Sees JEFF, standing at the rail. Walks up, ready to push him over, then thinks twice and steps back.

GEORGE: (softly, to himself -- steam curling out of his mouth) I am God in my own reality. I choose to create my own reality.

Like a magician, GEORGE raises his hands.

GEORGE: Hey Jeff?

JEFF just stands there.

GEORGE: (softly) Kill yourself.

And JEFF, obediently, jumps. Falls towards us...

And, as it always works out in these things, JEFF, of course, is wearing GEORGE's face.

Sunday, May 24, 1998

About a Doughboy


The PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY lies on a couch talking to a PSYCHIATRIST.

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY: ...and then he put me in the microwave.

PSYCHIATRIST: Obviously, this did not happen.

DOUGHBOY: Yeah. Obviously.

PSYCHIATRIST: You are alive.

DOUGHBOY: I didn't die! I didn't cheat on my wife! Any more brilliant observations?

PSYCHIATRIST: Do you want ...

DOUGHBOY: I'll tell you what I want! I'm 36 years old. 36, Doc! But I'm still the Pillsbury Doughboy. I'm sick of it! I want to be the Pillsbury Doughman!

PSYCHIATRIST: You do not see yourself as ...

DOUGHBOY: You know what people do to me, Doc? Complete strangers. They come up to me on the street. "Do the laugh," they say. "Let me poke you in the belly!" Like I'm ...

PSYCHIATRIST: Well ... Oh, I'm so embarrassed.

DOUGHBOY: Oh, hell no.

PSYCHIATRIST: May I poke you in the belly?

DOUGHBOY: No! Aren't you listening?

PSYCHIATRIST: Let me poke you with my finger!

DOUGHBOY: No, get away from me.

PSYCHIATRIST starts chasing DOUGHBOY around couch.

PSYCHIATRIST: I poke you. Then you do the cute little laugh thing!



DOUGHBOY: No! This is an abuse of the patient relationship!

PSYCHIATRIST: Heee-heee. You know?


PSYCHIATRIST: Hee-hee-hee.

DOUGHBOY stops, whirls around.

DOUGHBOY: I got a better idea. (whips out 45) Let me poke you in the fucking belly!

He does.

DOUGHBOY: Laugh! Laugh motherfucker! (pokes him)

PSYCHIATRIST: Hee-hee-heee!

DOUGHBOY: Louder! (pokes him)

PSYCHIATRIST: Hee-hee-heee!


LIL POPPY: How'd it go honey buns?

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY: It went great. I had a breakthrough.

LIL POPPY: Pillsbury called. They want you to ...

DOUGHBOY: Fuck 'em.

He sweeps her off her feet and plants a big wet smooch.

Friday, May 22, 1998

Poor Dough Boy

The follow sick-and-twisted bit, if done live action, should be shot with surreal, fisheye lens photography and garish colors...if animated try a Tex Avery/Kricfalusi twist...

Aw, what the fuck. Forget I said that.

This has to be animated...

Open, CU inside car. Ambiant traffic sounds, engine noises. Beautiful dressed-in-red woman (who looks suspiciously like the Cool World doodle version of Kim Bassinger to me), looking in rearview mirror applying lipstick to enormous, gorgeous, yumyum lips. Light changes to green. She goes forward. Camera goes down and out behind some obstacle. The screen goes fuzzy black and we can't see her anymore. We hear traffic sounds, squeaky moans of frustration, brakes -- and then our POV goes back over the obstacle and we see the beautiful driver again.

And we realize there is someone inside the bag who wants to see...

Go to POV inside the car, arcing past the driver to a grocery bag where the camera converges on a cylindrical container of crescent roll dough, the grinning albinoid humunculoid mug of the PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY emblazoned thereupon. Camera goes closer. We see that the container is glistening with what looks like tiny beads of sweat.

Go: INT, kitchen. WOMAN enters with grocery bag, thumps it down on kitchen countertop.

WOMAN: back.

She stretches...luxuriantly. Does a few neck rolls.

Go to grocery bag. We hear whining noises from the PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY.

WOMAN does another twist, another head roll. We hear a crack...

WOMAN: Ahhhh....that felt good.

Go to: static shot grocery bag. Frustrated, whining noises...

WOMAN strides on over to her answering machine with a seductive, clack-clack ankle-strap wedgie walk. Clicks it on...

CHILD: (girl's voice) Mom! I'm spending like the night at Chrissie's like you said, OK, so make sure the school gets the money tomorrow and tape Southpark, OK?

MAN: (dumb, redneck voice) Honey? Listen, uh, sorry, but me in the boys we got know. Anyway's something come up and looks like the hunting trip'll be another day or two, you know. But I surely miss you, honey.

WOMAN: (blowing hair off her forehead) Damn.

She's disappointed. We realize instantly that she was expecting this guy back -- which is why the fancy red dress and (but for the crescent rolls) bag full of microwaveable no-cooking required food, along with arrangements to get rid of the kid for the night. She was planning a dinner. She was planning an evening. She was planning on a little badabingbadaboom, goddamnit. Crazy as it may seem, she still feels that way...

She walks back across the kitchen with her seductive walk...

More desperate sounds from the grocery bag.

The WOMAN leans over, peers into grocery bag. We see her face -- DOUGHBOY's POV -- in extreme, full-lipped closeup...

WOMAN: You're cute, anybody ever tell you that?

She makes a kissy-face.

Pulls out the cylindrical container...sets it down on the counter.

As if he could watch her from there...

Because she's going to give him a show.

She walks away a short distance. Stops.

WOMAN: Ever get lonely in there, huh? Pillsbury Doughboy ever get lonely? Pillsbury Doughboy ever want to be a Pillsbury Doughman?

And, in one of those embarassing moments of private fantasy that folks in bad relationships sometimes indulge in, she starts doing a striptease -- bumping, grinding, fluffing up her hair, sliding up and down the fridge like a pole at Club O -- as she peels off her clothes one by one and does her best to put on a show of intense sexual display for the PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY (the additional, graphic details of which I leave to the diseased imagination of all of you people and the storyboard artists). Soundtrack starts playing the take-it-all-off music of her fantasies...

Go to: writhing cannister of dough on the counter...bulging whitely at the seams...

And the music just stops. The WOMAN walks closer, in fisheye distortion indicating the DOUGHBOY's POV.

WOMAN: Well that's one way to get a workout. You too? (wicked smile) Guess you'd better cool off, huh? (with Marilyn Monroe breathy intensity) Night...

With red-nailed hand she picks up the DOUGHBOY container -- tosses him in the fridge's freezer. Closes the door.

Go to black.

Cut to the bread-shaped kitchen clock ticking and tocking in lap dissolve from 1:45. And we hear...

Groaning noises, the sound of straining.

Go to shot of fridge. More gutteral noises from within. Is the DOUGHBOY whacking off? Nope. Turns out he's pushing the freezer door open with superdoughboy effort. Succeeds...

His tiny little form leaps out. He ambles forward, doll-like, on computer-animated footless legs of dough.

It's at this point we realize that there's a theme going in the decorations in this house. The kitchen clock looks like a loaf of bread. There's a decorative basket of glazed wax phony baguettes on the kitchen table. The coasters on the coffeetable look like pieces of toast...

The DOUGHBOY advances.

CU: his face. A twisted, smirking, quivering leer.

He walks down the hall. Into the bedroom. Opens door.

From DOUGHBOY's POV we cross the distance from door to bed. Like a rat he leaps, squirms under the sheets. We see the DOUGHBOY's bulge moving...

Go to shot from above of WOMAN in bed. Neutral expression on face. Then a smile creeps up. Noise of crinkling sheets. She shifts a little, making mmmmmm noises, subsiding, then going mmmmm with greater intensity...mmmmm...mmmmmm.....

Morning light. WOMAN looking at bathroom mirror. She seems to be covered with flour.


Go to: INT, bright cold light of medical office. 2-shot WOMAN and DOCTOR -- the GYNECOLOGIST.

GYNECOLOGIST: (nervous) I'm afraid it's yet another yeast infection.

WOMAN: What?

GYNECOLOGIST: Y-yeast infection.

WOMAN: That's the third time this year!

GYNECOLOGIST: Well, sometimes these little guys are very p-persistant. (handing her a bottle of pills) Take this..these. And do your best to get rid of any and all wheat, yeast and bread products...

Go to INT -- home. The WOMAN's at the door. About to leave. We see a MAN there -- obviously her husband. Big, tall, strapping guy in plaid hunter's jacket. He's not happy.

MAN: Whaddya mean you gotta go? I just got back.

WOMAN: It's group.

MAN: Yeah but this here's family. And how come you got...

WOMAN: (putting hand to her lips than his) Later...hmmm. And get rid of the bread products?

MAN: (shuffling feet, giving in) Well...OK.

And she's out the door.

Sound: tickticktocking of clock.

Pan past kitchen trash can full of bread, rolls, breadsticks to tired-looking MAN at kitchen table.

MAN: (muttering to himself) Something's up here...I dunno...something's not...

Sound: tickticktocking of clock.

MAN looks up. He sees -- and we see -- that the clock is shaped like a loaf of bread. Go to his eyes, which narrow suspiciously. He looks around --

To the toast-shaped coasters --

To the phony baguettes --

To ceramic salt and pepper shakers shaped like white and black loaves of bread --

To an unmistakeable pattern of white dots on the tile floor.

MAN grunts.

Leaping, with exaggerated whooshing noise, he gets down on his knees and eyeballs the floor. Frowns, twisting up his face, puzzled. Leaps up -- to the kitchen drawer -- gets flashlight -- goes back to look --

In circle of light on tile grid we see what he sees: a powdery dot pattern leading away from the kitchen --

MAN looks up --

-- to the bedroom door.

Looks down again.

MAN's face twists up with the agony of thinking. Nothing articulate comes out of him, just grunts, noises, sentence fragments...

MAN: Whuzzat? Goddamn little...uh? Looks like little...nah? Uh-uh. Can't be. Mmmmm. But it sure looks like. Uggghhh...

...until the unthinkable idea develops like a nasty little Polaroid Swinger snapshot into an image of unmistakeable clarity in his mind.

MAN: (face exploding with the knowledge) FOOTYprints!

He turns red. We see teeth, clenched in rage.

Looks back down at the footprints. Tracks.

Refrigerator -- to bedroom.

Bedroom -- to refrigerator.

MAN bellows like a bull. Bolts up, leaps to fridge, throws open freezer door.

POV, inside freezer. Darkness. Then light. MAN outside glaring in. Inside, in foreground, a spiralled-open cylinder of dough, its occupant missing.

Hand reaches in, grabs. MAN's face going to pieces in all directions: a fragmented symphony of hatred, barely holding together. Hand holding dough container shaking, another hand grabs, also shaking. Slowly, the two hands twist in opposite directions, spiralling the opened package back to its original, unpopped-open form. The shaking stops. Hold a beat: on a package of crescent rolls with the blackbutton eyes and toothless mouth of the PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY's smiling, waving form now clear to see in all its apparent asexual innocence.

Go to longshot of the house from outside: we hear a howl of rage and knowledge.

Inside: burly hand pulling shotgun out of guncase.

Like JACK NICHOLSON in "the Shining" the MAN stalks the house in feral rage.

Quick cuts of his silhouetted, rifle-toting form --

Framed in utility room doorway.

In the TV room doorway...

Child's room...

MAN -- rummaging through closet crammed with kid's toys. He sees ET. Shoots ET.

CHILD: Daddy you promised!

MAN: Sorry.

He runs off. And his death-bringing silhouette appears in --

The TV room.

The bathroom doorway...

CU laundry hamper. Dark then light. MAN peering in.

CHILD (off): What is it, Daddy? What's the matter?

MAN: It's OK, hon. Daddy's just killing the Pillsbury Doughboy. Go back to bed.


Cut to: PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY, gasping for breath in dollhouse. He puts on a pair of little shoes. This should get an awwwww out of the audience. Then he looks at us, grinning at his own cleverness.

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY: (covering mouth with hand) Tee-hee.

MAN: (hears sound -- reacts like hypersensitive animal) Huh?

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY runs across huge space of living room.

MAN turns, runs, cocks rifle.

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY climbing up a cabinet...

MAN running, roaring...

Go to: INT, conventional oven. Rectangular glass window showing kitchen beyond. Shards of pizza crust and grease at the bottom. Huddled in a corner, the PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY hides.

PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY: (looking at camera) Last place he'd ever look. Hee-hee.

MAN'S face in oven window. Door opens. DOUGHBOY chokes with fear.

MAN: One in the oven, huh?

Oven door opens. The MAN's enormous, hairy hand goes in -- grabs the DOUGHBOY who screams, flailing.

MAN: You know how this ends, dontcha?

DOUGHBOY: (screaming, because he knows...) No...please...

MAN: (looking out at the movie theater audience) And you people. You know how YOU want it to end.


MAN: Well let's put it to a fucking vote just like Tinkerbell. (looking out at audience) So tell me, folks. All you who wants me to let the little fucker go applaud. (hold a beat) Now everybody applaud who wants to see me throw this dickless wonder in the microwave.

(hold a beat and, of course, America votes to fry the DOUGHBOY)

Go to INT, microwave. Door opens. Hand throws DOUGHBOY in. The little guy runs to get out, but it's too late. The cold, white, enamelled door slams shut. He's trapped behind another, colder, gridded window with the MAN looking in...

Cut to DOUGHBOY's POV of the MAN's twisted, malicious face laughing huhuhuhehhh.

EXT, kitchen. The MAN's hand goes to the microwave button panel, punches up "Nuclear Holocaust."

The killing light goes on.

DOUGHBOY: (feeling it) Fuck. This is worse than Scanners.

Sound: doorbell dingdong. Go to livingroom. Front door opens...

WOMAN: (coming in) I'm back!

MAN: (ritualistically) How was group?

WOMAN: (shrugging, tired) Group was group. You get rid of all the bread products?

CHILD: Yeah, uh-huh. And Daddy killed the Pillsbury Doughboy.

WOMAN: (mock scolding) Oh did he?

Go to INT Microwave. DOUGHBOY dying in graphic agony.

CHILD: And he shot ET too.

WOMAN: Well...naughty bad Daddy! (playfully slapping him on shoulder)

MAN: (mock hangdog) Sorry.

WOMAN: Oh you.


DOUGHBOY: Pain...too much pain...

WOMAN laughs. Everybody laughs.

WOMAN: God I love you guys. It's good to be family.

Go to DOUGHBOY carbonizing in the posture of a Buddhist monk.

MAN: (whispering to himself) Again.


MAN: Bearhugs!

The child squeals. MAN and CHILD clinch on WOMAN in a big huggy cluster. Off camera, we hear a ding.

Go to all-white. Nostalgic "Nothin' sez lovin' like somethin' from the oven" theme plays. Credits roll. Black on white.

WOMAN: Lights!

CHILD: Sor-ry.

Background turns black -- white on black text scrolling up.

MAN walks across frame chewing on crunchy breadstick...or sumpin.

Credits continue to roll. Off-camera we hear...

WOMAN: (sexual) Night dear.

SOUND: The DOUGHBOY's signature "tee-hee."

Soundbite: "Eeee! Eeee!" from Psycho theme.

Wednesday, May 6, 1998

Name That Demon!

Reader's note: This is part of a loosely connected series of sketches and story cycles involving the Jack Getz character -- my alter ego, natch, "Jack Getz" being the name of my pseudonym. The context of this bit: Getz has just run away from his scary adult responsibilities and is hiding out from the big bad world. "Mr. Natural" is, of course, R. Crumb's famous guru/con-artist character. His appearance here is a dead steal.

Cave is jury-rigged with electrical cables, flickering florescent light fixtures hanging between stalactites, computers, TVs, and various other late 20th century crap.
JACK GETZ is hunkered down, watching an old TV set.
 GETZ: Look at all that weird fucked-up shit out there in so-called "society." Good thing I'm down here in my cave. (looks at camera) Oh, howdy neighbor! I'll show you what's happening in my neighborhood.
Audio: Misterogers theme.
GETZ wanders off, giving guided tour. Camera follows.
We see piano man, playing Misterogers theme. His ankle is chained.
PIANO MAN: (whispering) Get me out of here. For the love of God. 
We walk past him. Piano fades.
GETZ: Well, neighbor. I've got my teevee refrigerator...dried food...plenty of firearms and ammunition. Got my computer hooked up so's I can write and send stuff out. Bootleg cable, bootleg power, heh-heh, the fools. Not that I need electricity.
DEMON appears: devilmask face, whiterobed body. Demonic, y'know?
DEMON: You think you can hide?
GETZ: Gaahhhh! It's the devil!
DEMON: You can't run away, Getz!
GETZ: Watch me!
GETZ runs in a dead panic. (Cartoon running noise.) Then suddenly stops. (Cartoon skid.) Hearing familiar laughter behind him, GETZ turns to look. Sees MR NATURAL flat on his back, hooting, hollering, slapping his knees.
MR NATURAL: Ooohhahahaa! "It's the devil!" Devil coming after you! Hahahahaa!
GETZ: There some point to this?
MR NATURAL: (standing up, dusting himself off) Actually there is, my can't run away from your demons.
GETZ: I don't believe in demons.
MR NATURAL: Yeah you do. You ran, dintcha?
GETZ: And don't talk about demons.
MR. NATURAL: You mean in this scary cave?
GETZ: Well...
MR NATURAL: Demons, demons, demons!
Echo: Demons, demons, demons!
GETZ: (hands over ears) Stop it!
MR NATURAL: And I will -- because this is your lucky day, my boy! (opening up portmanteau "Exorcist Kit" traveling case, which expands to a table filled with arcane books, holy water, Bible, etc.) Today's the day we face your demons! It's exorcism time!
GETZ: I didn't agree to this.
MR NATURAL (flashing contract) Yeah, you did.
GETZ: Besides which I hated that movie...
MR NATURAL: It's not a movie, son, not a movie. (walking back to computer) Let's see what you got here...
GETZ: Don't touch that! I mean, please don't touch that...
MR NATURAL ignores him, punching away at the keyboard.
MR NATURAL: Porn ... porn ... more porn ... failed novel ...AHA! See? I found it.
GETZ: (bending down to look) Wha...
GETZ: Sophie? (snorts) Nutty online stalker. Ain't no demon.
MR NATURAL: She's your demon, son -- one of 'em. Step one, you've got to name 'em. (flipping through book) That's what it says in the manual.
GETZ: OK. Step two?
MR NATURAL: Cast out the demon, what else?
GETZ: I'm scared, Mr. Natural.
MR NATURAL: Don't be my boy, don't be. Nothing to be scared of. (mumbling, still flipping thru book.) Just death, dismemberment, disembowelment, eyes gouged out, possible loss of immortal soul (still flipping, then suddenly shouting) AHA!
GETZ: Gahhhhhh!
MR NATURAL: The name of the demon!
GETZ: Oh boy. (sticks nose into book) Who ...
MR NATURAL: Agghh, you made me lose my place!
GETZ: Sorry.
MR NATURAL: Sorry, sorry. Anyway. (flips through book) The name of the demon is ... (flips through book) The demon is ... (flips through book) She's ... She's your ex-wife...or ... (flips through book) ... like it says here in the suppressed card deck of the Major Arcana ... (flips through book) ... the demon's name is ... (flips through book -- stops) ..."Exwiffa!"
Cave lights flicker. Distant scream.
GETZ: Step one?
GETZ: Wait ... I thought you said its name was Sophie?
MR NATURAL: No. Sophie's just a vessel, as was your ex-wife. The entity you know of as your "ex-wife," is in fact, the demon.
GETZ: Yeah she was. But they're not the same person.
MR NATURAL: On the Acacian Extroplasmic Karmic Energy Level they are -- "Sophie," your "ex-wife," or hex-wife, heh-heh. Lotsa different masks, same parasitic demon entity. And she's hurt -- she, he, it. She's hurt, you're guilty. That's how she gets her hooks in you!
GETZ: My ex-wife?
MR NATURAL: Pay attention! (whacks Getz on head with book)
MR NATURAL: The demon -- the demon you call your "ex-wife." Remember all that shit she put in your head?
MR NATURAL: (speaking with ex-wife's voice) You hurt me. You hurt my feelings, what's wrong with you?
GETZ: Oh, yeah. That shit.
MR NATURAL: That's the demon! Damn amateur. You did a halfass job. 
GETZ: I did?
MR NATURAL: Yeah. You and your constant online bitching, you thought you got that shit out of you. But it didn't work.
MR NATURAL: No. See, you cast out the demon (pointing) into your computer here ... then it crawled up the Internet and into Sophie, crawled back out, now it's coming backatcha!  It's all very scientific, my boy...sort of a bad shit karmic backflow in serious need of a pataphysical Rotorooter treatment.
GETZ: Jeepers.
MR NATURAL: And now it's trying to get its hooks in again. Just like your ex-wife did!
GETZ: She never got her hooks into...
MR NATURAL: Oh, so I'm wrong, huh? Here I am, I bust my ass for you, I descend into hell for you and it's "Fuck off Mr. Natural Time?" Snotnose punk! You're going to fucking turn on me after all I've done for you -- you're going to use me then shit all over me, huh?
GETZ: Gee, Mr Natural I'm really, really sorry. I was really outta line with that...
MR NATURAL: I'm doing it, see? I act all hurt -- like you're the one attacking me. Then you start apologizing! Guilt summons the demon, stoopid. Remember?
GETZ: Oh, right ... right. So how do I, uh, un-summon the...
MR NATURAL: Testicularity, my boy. Balls! Cojones! Grow a pair! Stand up to the demon! Even me!
GETZ: You!??
MR NATURAL: Yeah! Next time I start shoveling any shit in your noggin, don't take that shit. Stand up to me!
GETZ: How ...
MR NATURAL: Just say, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!" Tell me where to get off.
GETZ: Tell you where to get off?
MR NATURAL: Ab-sitively posolutely my boy...or maybe you think I don't know what I'm talking about?
GETZ: No, you're the -- (catching himself) I...I mean, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!"
MR NATURAL: What'd you say, boy?
GETZ: You heard me.
MR NATURAL: No. You tell me what you said.
GETZ: I said, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!"
MR NATURAL: That's what you said?
GETZ: That's what I said.
MR NATURAL: (roaring with rage) Nobody talks to me like that, fucker. Nobody! You think you can talk like that to ME???
GETZ: F-fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!
MR NATURAL advances, menacing, fists clenched. GETZ backs up.
MR NATURAL: I'm gonna fuckin' kill you!
GETZ: Mr. N-natural?
MR NATURAL: (roaring, laughing with evil intensity) Mr. Natural? Pathetic human! I am not Mr. Natural!
The old guy charges -- head-butting GETZ who spits up blood.
MR UNNATURAL: (roaring) I am Mr. Un-Natural! Ah-ha-ha! And now you shall PAY!
GETZ: Help, Mr. Wizard! Helpp....
MR UNNATURAL: (looks at camera) Why the fuck are you still here?
Charges camera. Jittery footage. Go to black.