Sunday, November 25, 2001

Das Kops

Montage of Nazi Stormtroopers busting people. Nazi regalia, but modern production values. The soundtrack plays Bob Marley's "Bad Boys" -- but with a Germanic, oompa-band arrangement.

INT APARTMENT - NIGHT

We hear TV noises in background. Standard news broadcast, standard talking head voice in background, just subliminal, nothing unusual about it at first.

VOICE: ...looking back on the often painful history of the century that went before. Today itself the...

Camera slowly pans past row of books on shelf -- lotsa dystopian literature from first part of 20th Century (“The Iron Heel,” “It Can’t Happen Here,” “Brave New World,” etc.) also fair amount of leftist stuff from same time period. (Ideally, all titles should be printed before 1944.) Camera keeps panning...


MALE NEWSCASTER: ...60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of New York City which led the United States to unconditional surrender and a swift end to the war. In a lighter note, Youthkorp troops 24 and 36 marked the anniversary with a bombing of their own -- water balloons!

Bookshelf ends. Camera tracks across wall to edge of door. We see it’s locked up with massive, redundant system of deadbolts, locks and chains telling us whoever lives here has done serious job barricading themselves in.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER: I guess he’s all wet.

MALE NEWSCASTER: (chuckling ) I think you’re right, Helga. I --

Sound of TV changing channels. Camera continues past door to edge of wall tracks at extreme CU over plaster pattern, maybe some old revolutionary poster, to end of wall which doglegs into a room.

VOICE: ...Reisfenstahl film festival all this weekend.

Camera enters room. We hear but don’t see it’s the source of sound from TV. Camera goes in on stunned looking guy on couch watching TV. (Since he’s watching TV and camera is dead-on his face we infer TV is directly behind camera.) He sits there, unblinking, holding TV-clicker; pill bottles and empty whiskey bottles surround him on the couch. TV babbles in background. Camera goes into his face. Something dead, burnt-out and defeated about it. Ideally, a Steven Wright type. Camera zooms into one eye. Sound of clicker clicking Go to --

COMMERCIAL:

Shots of aggressive, evil looking SUV lifted from somebody else’s real commercial.

ANNOUNCER: Strength through joy, with the Panzer, the Reich’s most popular sports utility vehicle!

Go to: happy Aryan-looking family in one. Dad pops head out window.

DAD: And now with 50% more livingspace!

ANNOUNCER: It’s the superior choice for superior...

CLICK:

Bavarian oompa band version of “Bad Boys” cops theme.

Title graphic: GESTAPO!

ANNOUNCER: Brought to you live-as-it-happens by the Ministry of Public Information -- as always the people you see are not actors.

Go to Stormtroopers inside police car.

POLICE RADIO: 411 in Oyster Bay, 411 in Oyster Bay.

STORMTROOPER: (explaining to camera) 411. That’s harboring inferior races.

STORMTROOPER #2: Submen.

STORMTROOPER: Yeah, whatever you call ‘em. Over 50 years now and they’re still some of em clinging on, hiding out. Real hard to kill ‘em.

STORMTROOPER #1: Well they don’t wanna die -- from their perspective. In a way you can’t blame ‘em.

STORMTROOPER #2: Yeah. Like blaming cockroaches when you spray em. Raid!
(Both laugh)

STORMTROOPER #1: But what really bothers me is when people of Aryan blood help them out. It’s like they don’t know what we fought for all those years. That really bugs me.

STORMTROOPER: (Holding picture -- some kind of print out -- for benefit of camera) This is the guy we think they’re hiding.

STORMTROOPER: What is this, some kinda Indian or something?

STORMTROOPER: I dunno. Hawaiian, or maybe he’s just in a Hawaiian shirt.

STORMTROOPER: OK. This is it.

Go to EXT shot. handheld camera following GESTAPO.

STORMTROOPER: (going up to door -- whispering ) This is the part I hate.
Kicks in door.

STORMTROOPER: Raust! Raust! On the floor!

(Terrified family does)

STORMTROOPER: Everybody looks Aryan. You got your papers?

STORMTROOPER: (holding Kachina doll) Whatthehell is this?

CLICK

Go to guy on exercise machine. Horst Wessel theme.

ANNOUNCER: The Nazi track!

CLICK

MALE NEWSCASTER: ....60th memorial book burning in Island Park.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER: Most of these books are props, I understand.

MALE NEWSCASTER: Right. But it’s important to re --

CLICK

(INT police car)

STORMTROOPER: ... intellectuals are the worst. Talk about cockroaches...

STORMTROOPER #2: But they always give themselves away.

STORMTROOPER: Yeah. Can’t keep their mouths shut. Is this the address?

STORMTROOPER #2:: (reading paper) Yeah.

EXT, APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT

They get out, walk down the hallway carrying a battering ram, then stop at one of the apartments. Check apartment number on slip of paper. Yep. Right apartment number. Start battering door with battering ram.

INT, APARTMENT - NIGHT

Go to guy on couch. Camera pulls back. We hear pounding sounds in background. Camera goes out, tracks across wall back to doors. We see the door shuddering as, obviously, STORMTROOPERS on other side are pounding it in. The camera continues to track, returns to the bookshelf and the soon-to-be-burned books. We hear the door shatter and the STORMTROOPERS crash in.

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Unbearable commecials


I hate commercials with bears in them. There are currently two commercials out there where a pair of friends encounter a bear and one of the friends sets the other friend up to get mauled by the bear so he can get all the goodies, (Smirnoff Ice, Planters Peanuts, or whatever the hell it was.) Are the people who write this shit sitting in cubicles directly across from each other and ripping each other off like lazy-ass SAT cheaters?

“Bears! Yeah!”

There’s one commercial where a cartoon bear is taking a shit in the woods. The bear gets a scratched-ass look of pain on his face due to Brand X toilet paper. Another bear turns him on to Charmin Ultra Soft. The bear takes another shit, then wipes himself with the nice toilet paper. The bear gets a look of deep, ursine, anal gratification — the look of pleasure is unmistakably sexual. 9 times out of ten, they show this when I’m eating. A cartoon bear deriving intense pleasure from wiping soft things on its ass is not something I wish to contemplate when I’m eating. Not to mention ever.

On the other hand, if they’re going to go this route they might as well go for it. Something like...



Warning! X-Rated Bear Comedy!




Thursday, November 22, 2001

Ken Keseywulf

Unlock the word horde
Tell of Kesey, son of Paine
Of Oregon came he, wild wideeyed
Down from tall trees, stobs skin ripping
Word world wielding
Further far of faring he
Intrepid tripster!
Speak now of bus-bedecked with psychoswirl
Cassidy, sire of Babydriver, at the wheel
Moriarity!
John the Baptist who lost his head
On and on and on in final frame per second
Super-8 and Ampex sucking light and life into their pools
Is this trip really necessary?
Kesey!
Set forth -- into the right now naked
Set forth -- bullbare bright skull opened
Reddy Killowatt bulb burning
In dark time of closed minds inward turned around him
When freedom’s hall was clasped
In Combine’s grasp of Grendel talons
Military madness, monster of might
A time when knightmares gripped the skin
When sons of William the Wild, he the son of Donovan
Offending Cosmo the Bright One
Said “let us bring the war within the skull
Make mouse fight cat and cat cower”
Of fruit of ergot did they forge
Sandoz physic, herb of mind’s door opening
War’s weapon of weakness wielded in skull
Of this he took but did not cower
Eyes open, surrounded by the broken ones
In Grendel’s depths, pool of death
He saw there peace, not war, clear water
Fountain not laid by hand of man
No sword but hand of light there
Lady of the Lake, Liberty’s arm restored in light
Holding torch bestowing light like diamonds
Shining stabbing down to Uncle Sam blue deep in dungeon’s depth
Shining crying “get the fuck out of there”
For he shocked the skull to enter
Skull within skull, keep of Faust
Entered down and in tomb’s womb
Found hard within soft, yin in yang
The pool of fire, Fire on the Lake
As spoken in the tossed bones
Pools of Bibbit’s eyes where dead men dwell and dying live
For light in darkness lies and in prison freedom
Yet down in deepdown dark where monsters are
Nurse Ratched, Grendel and Bubba fucking mommy
Down he dove there, down to dark depths
Into death’s black pools dove he and fucked the monster
And passed the Acid Test
Owsley!
Fuck the speed limit!
Let perception’s doors open!
Set forth the grateful dead!
Drink skyblue fire and dance in light!
Cross country in your chariot!
Pranking yanking chains and rattling cages
Flute freedom unspelling doom damned dumb
Set Turtle Island swimming free in Ylem
Worldsea of anarchy, Occam’s Ocean ringing
But death dies not when bottom line is clasped
And Combine holds the ledger
(For red is dead and dead not better)
You wanted to look at the books? Here, look at the books!
The numbers must add up
Numb to numb and dumb to dumb!
Mouse will be eaten and cat kill
Dance stilled, songs shushed, writers silenced
The King must die
Is ye natural order of things
Back and to the left, back and to the death
Too many RPMs -- slow down!
We plant the pot, we bronze the shoes, we set you up
For law is power, power law
Combine’s skullfuck on your orbitals
Here’s prison’s prism, hippy -- go refract yourself
But death from death did Kesey steal
Faking suicide died, sort of
Wrote note, left car on cliff, was born again
Dying born into land more dead than dead
Namely Mexico, under the volcano and to the left
In Puerto Vallarta, wreath writhed in excess
But the Combine wasn’t fooled
Mouse roared, cat’s corrned, quaking
But no big shit
For Grendel fucked the knights of the revolution
As they lay sleeping in dayglo Mead Hall
Psychedelic dungeon where phony hippies meet
Even as Kesey did time in Chino
Of knights’ plucked fucked skulls did Grendel gather
All skulls piling into marketing display at JCPenney
Released . . .yeah, right
Out of prison, it was all prison
Miles and miles of unmade movie and books unwritten
Woodstock jumped in the water and drowned
Revolution aborted while rude beasts slouched
Nixon unto Reagan and all of Grendel’s children
Yet what is written has been written
The seeds are in
The mouse is out of the bag
Grendel has been fucked and unfucked can never be
Go to sleep, it’s time to live; wake up, it’s time to die
No problem
Backward turning Kesey never wanted
Further onward, further further
Furthermoreforevermore
No turn unstoned, no bridge unburned
For the flute is always playing
And death is just part of the trip
Of last word heard as gearstripping bus
Was burning turning into
Hall of the Bright One, place of final acidtest, mead indeed
The word unlocked was one last prank
You’re free, you stupid fuckers -- just too dumb to know it
Dumb, damned, free
Furthur!

Monday, November 5, 2001

The Death of Irony

EXT, CEMETERY - DAY
Assembly of weeping mourners at outdoor funeral. Each represents a rhetorical trope.)The headstone reads: IRONY. A Preacher speaks from the lectern. 

PREACHER: Irony ... is dead.

BATHOS: (Weeps insanely)

PREACHER: He is survived by his cruder brother, Satire.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Terrorist Sell

OPEN: Still pic of happy, smiling American child. Camera pulls back.

NARRATOR: Suzie is a lucky child. Her parents love her, give her a good home, give her enough to eat. There are millions like her in America -- but you can help change that. For only a few drachmas a month, you can disrupt a happy American child by financing your very own suicide bomber. Won't you help? Give to Osama bin Laden's "KILL THE CHILDREN FOUNDATION" Together, we...

Go to: INT CAVE

OSAMA watching TV. He clicks it off with clicker.


OSAMA: Somehow this isn't working. We make the appeal but the money isn't coming in. Yet it must be going somewhere...

Go to --

BEEVIS and BUTTHEAD in livingroom filled with money. BEEVIS has his t-shirt around his head and has morphed into CORNHOLIO.

BUTT-HEAD: Look at all this money, huh huh huh. Money's cool.

BEEVIS: I am the great Cornholio! I need some teepee for my bunghole!

BUTT-HEAD: We should like go on a plane and be like pilots or something.

BEEVIS: Are you threatening me?

BUTT-HEAD: Chicks dig pilots....

Back to OSAMA -- he's going through credit card receipts.


OSAMA: 8-27, Lap-dance; 8-28, lap-dance, all night escort service, $600 ATM withdrawl from "Diamond Dolls," $10 bank fee; 8-29, $12.75, box cutters and industrial lubricant Ace Hardware...(whacking receipt) Well that explains it!

ACCOUNTANT: (Woody Allenesque) Begging your pardon your worshipful horribleness, but your humble cringing slave did, uh, make a certain suggestion concerning purchase orders...

OSAMA shoots him.

ACCOUNTANT: Teflon-coated bullets...$59.95 a clip....try getting advice like that from Quickbooks. (he falls dead)

OSAMA: Ah shit, I killed another accountant. And now I'm out of money...wha?

OSAMA reacts as two THUGS drag in what looks like a very old Jon Voight -- none other than MILO MINDERBINDER!

MILO: Allow me to...

OSAMA: Kill him.

MILO: Your loss. (shrugs) It's a simple business proposition. Just hear me out.

OSAMA shrugs to indicated "OK." The THUGS release him.


MILO: I think I see a way out of your cash flow difficulty -- you realize the media exposure you're getting? You can leverage that. Some serious bucks...

OSAMA: Which I will use to kill your brothers and sisters.

MILO: I don't have a problem with that.

YOSSARIAN'S GHOST: (appearing next to MILO) It's all illusion, Milo. (MILO briefly reacts, but ignores ghost)

OSAMA: You would betray your own people?

YOSSARIAN'S GHOST: Numbers, Milo. Just numbers....

MILO winces -- as if an irritating bug is buzzing around his head. MILO seems to sense YOSSARIAN -- makes violent effort to will the ghost out of existence. MILO turns his attention back to OSAMA --

MILO: Hey, it's gonna happen anyway. I might as well take advantage, right? It's called free enterprise.

YOSSARIAN'S GHOST: (fading away) Flesh and blood, Milo, that's what's real. Flesh and...

OSAMA: And what if everyone else thought this way?

MILO: Then I'd be a fool to think any differently.

OSAMA: And this idea?

MILO: Two words.

OSAMA: Two words?

MILO: (with an air of delivering a deal-clinching punchline) Product placement. (He waggles his eyebrows triumphantly)

OSAMA mulls it over. His eyes brighten.

OSAMA: It's so evil, it just might work!

Cut to: commercial for COMFORT INN. INT, room.

TERRORIST plops down on bed.

TERRORIST: Comfortable...and affordable! With rates like this, my only problem is wiring my savings back home!

* * *

INT, plane. Turban-wearing TERRORIST tick-ticking away at Sony Vaio.


PASSENGER: What's on your Sony Vaio?

TERRORIST smiles evilly...

* * *

Cut to: POV of security cam watching TERRORISTS enter airport. One of them holds bag up to camera. We see the label: L.L. Bean.

* * *


Go to -- INT, plane. Two terrorists in reclining seats.


TERRORIST: When you go to meet Allah go first class.

TERRORIST: Go American Airlines!

STEWARDESS places pillow under one of their heads.

* * *

TERRORIST stands in center of baseball stadium -- he's extravagantly wired with dynamite.

TERRORIST: You have made your choice America -- as I have made mine! Now is the time, America!

Cut to -- Large screen video monitor above stadium magnifying his image to giant-size scale as he lifts Pepsi to his mouth and drinks.

TERRORIST: Take the Pepsi challenge!

* * *

Go to -- BRUCE DERN in Goodyear Blimp.

DERN: (reaching for switch on killer dart machine) They're gonna remember me, oh yeah, they're gonna remember me. (turning to camera) If not, remember GOODYEAR -- first in tire performance!

FEMALE TERRORIST: Get the logo in frame, you fool.

Blimp turns, we see logo -- then the blimp fires over stadium -- which the Pepsi Challenge Terrorist has already blown up.


DERN: Ah shit, the Pepsi terrorists got here first.

***

Go to -- flaming grottos of hell. YOSSARIAN's walking around. MILO appears poking away at handheld calculator...


YOSSARIAN: Yeah, I figured you'd get here.

MILO: Is this hell?

YOSSARIAN: Do you want to go to hell?

MILO: Oh God...oh God...I'm gonna be here forever...

YOSSARIAN: I tried to tell you. It's just numbers, Milo. Numbers...

A DEMON appears and offers MILO some chocolate covered cotton.

DEMON: Cotton candy?

MILO takes it, eats. YOSSARIAN walks off, shaking head, and fades away sadly...

Monday, October 8, 2001

Operation Richard Simmons

Evidently we're dropping food on Afghanistan. What would Richard Simmons say?

INT, PENTAGON

RICHARD SIMMONS addressing RUMSFELD.

RICHARD SIMMONS: (hand on hip) What do you MEAN you’re dropping food -- just indiscriminately dropping food? Have you ever considered the weight problem? They don’t know how to count calories! They need my “Deal a Meal”...!

RUMSFELD's eyes narrow.

INT, C-17 CARGO PLANE – DAY

Army grunts push RICHARD SIMMONS, along with thousands of “Deal a Meals” or fuckingwhatever his latest scam is now called, through the open cargo bay door.

RICHARD SIMMONS falls ...

EXT, AFGHANISTAN – DAY

AFGHAN PEASANT: (stretching out arms and looking at sky) Fuck -- it’s Richard Simmons.

RICHARD SIMMONS crushes him.

Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Uncle Sam and Santa

Uncle Sam gets stabbed in the back. Now it looks like Bin Laden's next victim will be -- Santa Claus.

Yeah, you heard right.

Santa Claus.

Seeing as how our economy has turned into a warped whipsaw in which 90% of all retail selling depends on "holiday gifting," if you kill consumer spending, you kill Christmas, you send America into a recession, you kick America in the nuts. If Santa dies, the terrorists win. You follow me so far? Great.

So now, it's become our patriotic duty to SPEND. It's like WWII turned inside out. I can see the propaganda short now. A B&W cartoon -- Chuck Jones or somebody doing bit for the war effort -- all old, scratched and skippy. Bad sound....

* * *

Open, title card. Blaring music. . .

ARE YOU A TERRORIST?

Cut to, INT, JOE AMERICAN's garage. JOE AMERICAN kinda looks like the guy on the "Man Show" logo. Bald, beer-gutted, middle-aged, open-mouthed dopey and good-natured.

JOE AMERICAN s tinkering around with a busted radio he's trying to fix. Burning away with the old soldering iron...
.

UNCLE SAM walks into the garage.

UNCLE SAM: Say, Joe American, are you a terrorist?

JOE AMERICAN: Wha?

UNCLE SAM: Well, what do you think you're doing?

JOE AMERICAN: I'm fixing this radio.

UNCLE SAM: "Fixing"...?

JOE AMERICAN: (puzzled) Yeah, that's right.

UNCLE SAM: You're "fixing the radio"...? Not buying a new one?

JOE AMERICAN: Uh...no.

UNCLE SAM: Well, I guess that makes you a terrorist!

JOE AMERICAN: Huh?

UNCLE SAM: Don't you see that's exactly what Osama bin Towelhead wants? If you buy a new radio, someone else will have to make that radio...

JOE AMERICAN: It's a Sony.

UNCLE SAM: OK, uh. But someone in America will still have to SELL that radio. Which means someone on the dock to take that radio off the ship from Japan, someone to drive that radio in a truck to Best Buy, someone to stock the radio, a bored clerk who ignores you until you buy it, a bored old guy on a stool who checks your package on the way out to make sure you're not shoplifting, a bored techie on the help-line who ignores you when you call to say the radio's broken, a bored clerk at the Best Buy customer service window who also ignores you, a bored techie in a Dungeons and Dragon t-shirt in the little corner of Best Buy where they fix stuff under warranty assuming you've paid for another warranty who, after insulting you, finally fixes your radio, not to mention the bored old guy on the stool who once again checks your package on the way out to make sure you're not shoplifting when you take your radio back home.

JOE AMERICAN: Wow!

UNCLE SAM: But if you fix that radio yourself -- you're putting all those people out of work -- you might as well be working for Osama! You might as well be a terrorist. Imagine!

A thought balloon pops over JOE AMERICAN's head. Inside, we see a quick fantasy clip of JOE AMERICAN driving monster truck full of dynamite through the Best Buy barriers and into the store where it explodes with vicious intensity.

Thought balloon disappears.


JOE AMERICAN: (throwing radio to garage floor and stomping on it) To hell with that! I'm buying something I don't need RIGHT NOW!

UNCLE SAM salutes him. JOE AMERICAN salutes back and skeedaddles out of the scene. UNCLE SAM then turns around and addresses us...

UNCLE SAM: But what about YOU, America? Are you...

(Go to montage to illustrate --)

Saving your money?
Making do with less?
Repairing old appliances or clothes to make them last?

....then YOU might as well be a terrorist!

(In a 3-way split frame, various cartoon Americans react -- spending, consuming, throwing away)

UNCLE SAM: Are you sitting around on a quiet Sunday afternoon playing Scrabble?

Go to -- AMERICAN FAMILY doing just that.

AMERICAN FAMILY: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

UNCLE SAM: Then YOU might as well be a terrorist! Get in your car and go someplace! Ask yourself, "Is this trip really necessary?" If the answer is "no" -- then "go!"

Go to -- AMERICAN FAMILY. They react. Get in the car and go. Horizon before them dissolves into rippling American flag...


Back to --

UNCLE SAM: Do your part, America! Throw some sand in Osama bin Towelhead's killing machine!

(Cartoon illustrates; America throws sand in gears of killing machine, exaggerated Tojo-like caricature of bin Laden reacts with fury)

Back to UNCLE SAM -- SANTA appears right next to him.


SANTA: (rubbing eyes) Why...I can't believe my eyes! Christmas is saved.

UNCLE SAM: The country is saved.

SANTA and UNCLE SAM turn and salute each other. They turn back to us.


UNCLE SAM/SANTA: Join the fight, America! Osama has his weapons; we have ours. Credit cards! (UNCLE SAM and SANTA whip out credit cards and aim them at the audience) And you do too! You and you and you, America! Credit cards! Millions and millions of credit cards! It's in your wallet, in your pocket book - yours, mine, all of us, the arsenal of democracy, unstoppable. PRESENT ARMS, AMERICA!

Quick clip thousands of hands thrusting credit cards to the sky.

UNCLE SAM: Ready!

SANTA: Aim!

UNCLE SAM: Fire!

Go to quick fantasy sequence of credit cards falling like bombs and exploding on Osama.

UNCLE SAM/SANTA: (in unison -- both pointing at us) Spend your money, America!

Dissolve to end credits over rippling flag logo. Patriotic music plays. "Spend your money, America."

Sunday, September 23, 2001

Jesus is coming, look busy

OK, we gotta do something. Nobody asked. But here's some ideas.

OPERATION LET THEM EAT SAND

Why are we even in the Middle East?

Oil.

Basically, that's the only reason we have any connection with these fuckers whatsoever. Their main natural resource is oil. After that comes psychosis. After that comes sand.

If it wasn't for the oil we could tell them all to go jump up a stump.

That would be a good idea.

Because these people are crazy.

They're all a bunch of lunatics who've been out in the hot sun too long.

I know what sun will do to you.

I remember when I worked at the concrete yard out in the sun all day. Everybody was constantly hostile. The Do-the-Right-Thing effect. "Where's the fucking drill fuck you where do you fucking think it was goddamnit you got fucking shit for brains". Fuck, fuck, fuck - every sentence was like that. There was a constant baseline of hostility. You figure that's what happened to the people there. All that sun fried their brains. Look at Lawrence of Arabia. Typical English closet queen.

Put him out in the sun for a year and he's like, "EAGGGHH! NO PRISONERS!"

These people have been out in the sun for hundreds and hundreds of years.

It's turned them into a whole region of Yosemite Sams.

--OOOOOO, YOU OFFA MY GOLDURN PROPERTY, VARMINT. I'M A COUNTIN TO THREE!

--IT AIN'T YOUR PROPERTY IT'S MY GOLDURN PROPERTY.

--WELL IT WAS MY GOLDURN PROPERTY FIRST.

--WELL YOU KILLED MY DAD.

--WELL YOUR DAD KILLED MY GREATGRANDAD.

--WELL YOUR GREAT GRANDDAD KILLED MY GREATGREATGRANDAD.

--LISTEN YOU DAGNAB HORNY TOAD, DON'T THINK I'M FORGETTIN HOW YOUR VILLAGE KILLED MY VILLAGE BACK IN THE MIDDLE AGES.

--WELL I'M GONNA KILL YOU RIGHT NOW.

--NO I'M GONNA KILL YOU YA DANG VARMINT!

We've tangled ourselves up with a buncha Yosemite Sams with centuries old feuds because they happen to be sitting on top of a sea of oil. It's like buying gas at Charlie Manson's filling station. CRAZY CHARLIE SELLS FOR LESS! "I'm Crazy Charlie! I'm slashing prices to the bone! I'm slashing everything to the bone!" America says, "Shit, I know he's crazy - but you can't beat those prices!"

We need to stop going to Crazy Charlie's. If oil is the reason we're involved in the Middle East in the first place, we need to find something else. We need to develop other forms of energy and let them eat sand.

Fuck them. Fuck the Middle East. Fuck Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turdistan...

Fuck all of them.

If you had the best brains in the world developing efficient solar panels, fusion, whatever, we could say fuck them.

We need an alternative energy Manhattan Project.

We need to create a hydrogen economy. Get some cheap energy source - solar and wind at first, eventually fusion - and use the energy to extract hydrogen out of water. Use that to create self-contained hydrogen cells that don't blow up to run our cars and power plants. Create a society where you don't use gasoline at all and everything runs on clean hydrogen - that turns into water when it burns.

Sure, it'd cost a shitload of money.

But that money would be a fraction of all the money we've spent since, say, the oil embargo of 1973 when we should've figured this out in the first place. All the money we've spent propping up various regimes, all the money we spent on the Gulf War, the marines killed in Lebanon, the destruction of the WTC, the money we'll spend on the next war, not to mention all the money down the fucking toilet creating a total surveillance society.

Not to mention the untold trillions we're going to spend.

OPERATION ACID RAIN
Like I said, these guys are boiling with adrenaline. If only the CIA could invent some kind of chemical that'd make people turn peaceful.

Wait a minute. They already did.

It's called acid.

They were testing it on college kids back in the early 60s. A few of them decided they liked it and started making their own. This is the source of the entire "Peace and Love" revolution.

So....

Drop massive amounts of acid in the water supply of various hateful countries. They'd all be dropping their weapons and going, "Everything is so beautiful." Bin Laden would start shaking like a washing machine with a towel caught in the agitator. "That...that map isn't real. The pins. Killing people, not pins. I'm so full of...hate...ohmygodohmygod." He'd either explode, like the Nazi in "Raiders of the Lost Arc" who couldn't look at the face of the angel
without seeing death. Either that, or he'd fall on the ground and remain totally helpless until the Mafia got him.

PS: Yeah, I know this shit ain't funny.

Mafia, not Marines

Like I said, it's a trap. We need to resist the urge to blow the shit out of people in huts with towels on their heads in some massively futile symbolic gesture. This is not a time for emotional retaliation. This is a time for cold revenge. We need to put a hit on Osama.

We don't need the marines. We need the Mafia.

This is what they're good at.

I think there was even a guy named Genovese who got killed in the WTC. This shit is personal. They fucked with us, now we need to fuck with them - on a personal level.
Subcontracting the assignment to the mob would be cost-effective.

Just call in Tony Soprano.

The government could say, "Here's the deal, you guys get to own Liberty Plaza. You get to rebuild the Trade Center, the Mafia gets to own it. We also let John Gotti out of jail. Just kill these fuckers. Stop 'em. Be creative."

So one morning Bin Laden gets out of bed and there's a camel's head under the sheets. "Ahhhhhh!" Robert DiNiro's in the tent. "Nice fucking tent you got here, nice fucking map. You think you're some big shit, huh? Let's dance. You want to fuck with me? No, you're not dealing with the army now, it's just me, you're dealing with me. You wish it was the fucking army. Hey - here's Joe Pesci with his pen. He wants to talk to you!"

So, just like "The Godfather," you wipe all the fuckers out no matter how long it takes. Ten years later somebody's falafel stand is blow to bits. That's OK. These guys can be very, very patient.


Friday, September 21, 2001

Last Day at the Office


INT, OFFICE -- DAY

The office is somewhere halfway up the WTC North Tower. It's still early morning. JEFF and TIM -- two guys in their early 20s -- are fooling around, throwing Nerf football. ANN, meanwhile, is trying to get the copy machine to work.

ANN: 47...47. I want one copy, not 47. Why's it stuck on 47?

She makes a groan of frustration. Turns machine off and on.

TIM: 53, 22, 47 - HIKE!

Just as TIM shouts "47" the machine blinks back on. The copy quantity readout says 47. It blinks on the exact moment TIM shouts "47." ANN notices this and makes a face.

TIM hikes the ball back to JEFF then makes run across the office. JEFF throws the Nerf football to him, a totally wild shot, no chance JEFF will catch it. The screaming purple foam football boinks off cute little King Kong display on wire shelf over copy machine. (There are King Kong dolls and posters all over the place. The big old ape has been the office mascot ever since the remake -- in which Kong climbs the WTC -- came out in the 70s.)

ANN reaches down and picks up football off the floor. She straightens up KING KONG display, talking to it, dusting him off.

ANN: Sorry.

Cut to KONG's eyes. In a weird way, he almost seems to react.

ANN: You guys should show some respect.

JEFF and TIM make ape noises.

ANN: You're so immature.

JEFF: Lighten up. It's Monday.

ANN: It's Tuesday.

JEFF: Well for me that's Monday. Could we have the football back.

ANN: No.

She says no but throws him the football anyway. Reflexively, he catches it.

JEFF: Jesus, I knew you're going to do that. It's like I've been having this weird sense of déjà vu all morning. Anybody else?

ANN: Yeah, it's weird.

JEFF: Like synchronicity, is that the right word?

TIM: That's an album by the Police.

JEFF: Yeah, but I think it's the right word.

TIM: Sting is such an asshole.

ANN: Like you said "47" right when the copy machine went "47."

TIM: That's called a coincidence.

JEFF: I knew you were going to say that.

TIM: I don't believe in that Miss Cleo shit...

The second he says that a TV comes on. We hear MISS CLEO saying "Hi, I'm Miss Cleo! The cards can reveal..."

ANN runs over, turns it off. TIM whistles "Twilight Zone" theme.

TIM: Who turned that on?

JEFF: This is definitely getting creepy.

JEFF throws the football across the room. It lands, exactly, inside a King Kong basketball hoop which lights up.


JEFF: See, normally I couldn't do that.

TIM just kinda looks at him.

JEFF: Now the boss is going to open that door.

TIM: Yeah. Like he does that every morning.

BOSS: It's time people.

JEFF puts his fingers to his temples in a psychic see-all gesture. ANN laughs. TIM shakes his head, tries not to laugh. They all go into the meeting. TIM's the last one in -- muttering "Why can't we have a 9 am meeting like everybody else....no I didn't say anything..."

Door shuts.

INT, Meeting Room - Day
BOSS, ANN, TIM, JEFF and BOSS's silent secretary are all sitting around a long conference table with panoramic view of New York City skyline outside the windows.

BOSS: (gesturing with his hands) Wireless internet.

JEFF: (uninspired) Wireless internet.

BOSS: Come on, people, work with me. Wireless internet. How can we make that sexy?

JEFF: Put another hole in it.

BOSS: You're funny, you know that, you're pretty fucking funny, you should get a job as a comedian. (gesturing again) Wireless internet -- come on people, you had your fucking coffee yet? Free associate, OK? Gimme something.

TIM: (tiredly) Wireless...tireless.

BOSS shakes head in disgust.

JEFF: (looking out window) Jesus, that plane's coming in kinda low, isn't it?

TIM: Reddy Killowebb.

BOSS: Come on, let's focus, OK?

JEFF: Jesus, he's turning.

BOSS: Hey, stop looking out the window...hello! Focus! (he does an eyes front gesture with two fingers) Wireless web. I want everybody to really think about it.

JEFF: (turning away from window) Web, web...don't get tangled in the web.

BOSS: Yeah...no. There's something there, but...

JEFF: You know, web, spiderwebs, wires, traps. Tangled web we weave. There's that whole association.

BOSS: That's clever, Jeff. Too fucking clever.

JEFF: (nervously stealing glances out window) But that's what people hate. Plugging in, wires, Ethernet cards, LANs and all that...Jesus, does anybody else see that?

TIM: Wireless sets you free like...

BOSS: (cutting him off) Don't anybody say butterflies. Gates already did the butterfly with that MSN thing.

JEFF: Anybody else see that plane?

TIM: (rubbing eyes) What, yeah. There's a plane there. So ...

BOSS: (pissed) Enough with the plane.

JEFF: The plane isn't supposed to be there.

BOSS: Then it'll turn around. Enough about the plane. What about wireless internet?

JEFF: I don't know. Get wired? Got wireless?

TIM: Get unwired. The Internet unbound?

BOSS: Somebody did that.

TIM: You sure?

JEFF: (looking out window -- can't believe what he sees) It's not...

TIM: Pinocchio with his wires cut?

BOSS: I like.

JEFF: It's not turning around.

BOSS: (curtly) It's got to turn around.

JEFF: It's not.

BOSS: Could we stay on topic here?

JEFF: It's coming right for us.

TIM: (mocking -- because this is a line on "South Park") 'It's coming right for us.'

JEFF: No, seriously, it's coming right for us.

TIM: (finally looking) Shit, it's coming right for us, shit. This isn't happening.

BOSS: Goddamnit, guys, it's not --

He looks out window, sees plane, shuts up, freezes.

JEFF: I dreamed this. I know I dreamed this.

TIM: This isn't happening. He's gotta pull up.

JEFF: He's not pulling up.

For a few more seconds they all sit there at the conference table -- all of them frozen, deer-in-headlights style. The plane gets closer and closer, coming in straight on.

Some authority-figure gene kicks on in the boss. He stands up, takes charge, starts barking out orders.


BOSS: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, COME ON PEOPLE, LET'S MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT...

Everybody except JEFF runs out of the room. He just stands there, frozen at the window as the plane gets closer and closer. Then something seems to tug him. He turns around. Sees ANN watching them.

Seconds left. They exchange looks. Both know they're going to die. It's suddenly, blindingly clear to JEFF that he loves her and she loves him, one of those office undercurrent things, though they never admitted it. They knew it all along, of course -- but they danced around the fact, both assuming there'd always be time for the dance.

Less the last second left and the barriers fall. He smiles, she smiles back. Each knows what the other is thinking -- barriers gone now, not that they were ever real in the first place -- time for one last look, eyes exchanging infinite knowledge just like Bonnie and Clyde yeah, exactly like Bonnie and

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Rightface March Dept.

All of a sudden, everywhere I look it's flags, flags, flags. Eagles and flags. Support the President! United We Stand! An overdose of patriotism. America -- rightface, march! Hut, hut, hut! Understandable response, OK. But is anybody else uncomfortable with this shit? We're one step away from martial law. The right has been a little too damn quick to use this as an excuse to clamp down and control the agenda. It's like all they can do not to start smiling. It's exactly what they want.

I picture a George C. Scott-type Four Star General appearing on TV and addressing the American people on 9-12.

GENERAL CARNAGE: This has been a great tragedy for the American people. This has been a sad day for all of us. As a result, we're going to have to stop worrying about shit like "lock boxes" and all that egghead math stuff like plus "two equals four." The Pentagon's gonna need a whole lot of money. Oh yeah. We're gonna need all the money America's got, and then some. And we're going to have to beef up the CIA. All this shit like, "you can't kill leaders," "you gotta get search warrants" -- the bill of rights all that crap - we'll have to throw all that shit out. We'll need to send lots of money to the military so we can buy cool shit to kill people. Remember, if we'd had Star Wars we could've sold Bin Laden a missile and shot it down. But no! He was forced to use low-tech shit that worked! That's why we need more weapons systems, more military power, more spies, more finks, more surveillance, more police. It's been a sad day for all of us, but, together, the American people shall prevail. Thank you."

Then he goes into the next room. He starts saying "YES...YESS!" under his breath and pumping his fist. "YESSSSSSSSS!"

Meanwhile, the American people responds ...

"Let's lurch to the rightwing! Let's go to war! Let's support our leader!"

It's like there's a hypnotist with a watch on a chain. "Don't think about George W. Bush. Think about the war! See the pretty, pretty war! The President is not an idiot! You must respect your leader! Support the leader!"

America's like Homer Simpson with drool coming out of his mouth. "Support....leader. Must support leader."

Uh, you mean Bush?

George W. Bush?

HOMER: Support leader. Aggghhhhh.

This guy's a leader? Jesus. They're comparing him to FDR.

FDR was like "A date which will live in infamy."

That's a leader.

GWB is reading the teleprompter. "They did stuff to us so, uh, we're gonna do stuff to them. And to ourselves together. Or something."

He's an idiot.

Let's face it, if John McCain had been elected president nobody would've fucked with us. The terrorists were probably watching the election returns. "The wimp is president! They elected the wimp! Hahahaha! Not even the wimp - the son of the wimp!"

And, like any wimp, GWB will be tempted to do some dumbass thing just to prove he's not a wimp.


Thursday, September 13, 2001

Two terrorists on a plane

Two terrorists on the plane, getting ready to hit the first Twin Tower. They're guarding the cockpit. One turns to the other and says, "So ... what are our demands?"

And the laff just never stop!

Hey, is everybody in the mood to escape and just feel good tonight?

Sorry.

There’s no escape, no Seinfeld-esque observational comedy. I’d feel like an asshole -- “Hey, what’s up with those tags under chairs saying ‘Do not remove under penalty of law?’ First, what’s the law? Second, how would they know, hahaha.” It’s like cracking jokes when the Hindenberg’s going down, “Is that a blimp or a zeppelin or what?” No.

All I can think about is the towers, so we’re going to talk about the towers.

I’m sorry, that’s probably the last thing you want to think about. but the images keep going through my mind -- like that scene with the guts spilling out of that guy in Catch-22, over and over...sorry....

OK, now that I’ve got everybody in a good mood (announcer voice) Tonight, here’s comedian Jack Getz with the lighter side of mass murder!

I think Sam Kinison said it best...

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING
WHAT WERE THEY FUCKING THINKING? YOU FUCKERS!”

I paraphrase.

I mean they thought they were going to paradise -- like God’s ordered ‘em to kill! Like God’s like Charlie Manson in the sky sending ‘em out on a killing spree. “I know Terry Melcher’s in one of those fucking buildings -- he wouldn’t give me a fucking record deal!” They thought there’d be chicks, like heaven’s the fucking Playboy Mansion, or for some of ‘em more like Neverland Ranch. You kill thousands of people then -- BING! -- “Here we are in paradise!”

Imagine the surprise.

One second, the Terrorists are looking out the cockpit window at an extreme fucking close-up of a skyscraper coming at ‘em at 300 mph. The next second -- DING! --

DEMON: (with voice of Franklin Pangborn) Welcome to Hell Hotel! We’ve been expecting you!

They’re looking around at all these flames and shit. People are screaming in the background. Little demons are running around with pitchforks. Something is deeply wrong. It’s messing up their whole theology...

TERRORIST: There must be some mistake. We have a reservation in paradise.

DEMON: No, there’s been no mistake.

TERRORIST: There are supposed to be women.

DEMON: No women for you, but we do have an excellent view of the lake of fire. (hits bell on front desk -- DING!) Front!

A nasty-looking demon bellboy appears.

DEMON: Show these gentlemen to their rooms...

TERRORIST: No, please check your register, ahhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, September 6, 2001

Oooeey-gooeey

Back when I was a kid, American TV was stupid and crappy the way it should be.

My family had an old black-and-white Zenith ("The quality goes in before the name goes on!") that was more like a Nadir. No cable. No clicker. Only three channels.

In fact, we didn’t even get three channels. ABC came out from Channel 10 in Largo and another Channel 10 in Fort Myers. My hometown was pretty much equidistant between the two--thus, the signal was equally crappy from each. So I spent my childhood with no ABC. No Batman. No Bewitched. No Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” Poor me. Years later, I actually saw the shows I'd missed. Jesus. I didn’t miss much. (The poor damn actor from La Strada reduced to dueling with ghost pirates for Irwin Allen, etc.) But I’d be lying awake at night thinking wow, what am I missing, a submarine with big windows in the future, Batman kicking the crap out of the Joker, aliens ...

The two stations we could get came out of Tampa: WTVT Channel 13 and WFLA, Channel 8. My brain was filled with phantom reference points: Dale Mabry Boulevard, The Frisch’s Big Boy (We didn’t even have a Big Boy) Courtney-Campbell Causeway -- aw, shut the hell up, somebody drop a bomb on Tampa, I hate Tampa.

WTVT had a guy called Salty Sol Fleishman who talked about fishing, another freckle-faced guy called Andy Hardy, who looked like Howdy Doody, who did the weather. Late, late at night (in an interminable live commerical, plunked, evilly, dead center in the horror movie time slot), Andy Hardy would do a fake interview with an old Cuban guy who looked like a corpse and owned the Columbia restaurant chain. Both of ‘em would be there at this big photogenic spread of Cuban food on a white tablecloth. Mr. Whiteboy’d be sitting there and the undead Cuban would raise a glass of wine and say, “Salut and happy days.” Hardy’d ask him, “Uh, what’s all that Manuel?” and the ancient Cuban dude would explain, "Well, this is flan de leechy custard, this is..."

And I’d sit there watching that shit because I was a TV addict.

Addict. Not in the sense of, ha-ha, exaggeration for rhetorical effect. I was a little TV addict. “TV will ruin your mind,” as they say. They were right.

I’d pop up at 4:30 in the morning to watch -- whatever.

If the tube was showing a steaming turd, I'd watch it.

I'd watch snow.

There were times when there was NOTHING on. Even Saturday mornings....

But I’d be up. Watching. Dead black around me. Everybody else in the house asleep. Must have TV. Need TV. Aghhhhh....

I’d be there, in front of the Zenith, in a modified zazen sitting posture in front of the TV screen, flickering blue light pouring over my face, eyes wide open like the “2001” space embryo. Watching.

The camera would be panning back and forth over fucking BAROMETERS and windspeed indicators -- rows and rows of big black round dials with various weather information -- slowly, slowly, back and forth. And I’d sit there watching it.

Because there was nothing else on.

Sometime around 5 a.m., they started broadcasting some crappy early-1950s space opera, damned if I remember the name. A spaceport with gantry, etc. Rockets with fins that shot flames like 4th of July firecrackers. Guy with big chin. Woman with big tits. I think there was a monkey, but this may be progressive memory interference from “Amazon Women on the Moon”...

As dawn approached, Saturday morning content got less and less shitty. Block of real cartoons were just ahead. If I could just hold on.

Gumby. Some low-rent puppet show....

Then, around 8, we’d enter the big cartoon block -- “Space Ghost,” “Banana Splits,” “Scooby Doo,” I’d be mainlining the stuff. Starting to get a headache about 3 hours into it. Dad screaming DON’T SIT SO CLOSE TO THE TV! YOU’LL RUIN YOUR EYES! Fighting with my sister over content control. NO, I DON’T WANT TO WATCH PENELOPE PITSTOP, aggghhh WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN THERE STOP THAT WHO STARTED.

All this time, I'd be maintaining constant battle with my parents not to turn off the TV and do chores (which succeeded or failed relative to parents’ hangover) and with my sister not to watch icky girl TV.

I fought this battle, always knowing at some level what I was seeing is horseshit. I mean, come on. I'm a kid. But I could see every joke coming a mile away. Then, sometime around 10 a.m., there was an oasis of Warner Brothers -- Roadrunner cartoons, Bugs Bunny cartoons, a segment I’ll remember for the rest of my life where Yosemite Sam dies, slides down a chute and goes to hell...

Then, around 12:30 p.m. the cartoons flickered out. After that, Salty Sol started talking about fish. “Well the tarpon are...” Fuck the tarpon! Do I give a shit about tarpon? No. A shit I do not give. No towheaded fishing pole-carrier I. But I'd watch anyway. Because THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE ON. I knew that, if I held out, if I could just hold out, sometimes (depending on the whim of Channel 13’s erratic programming schedule) they’d show “Shock Theater” at 1:30 p.m., a neat, mini-seminar on the effects of radiation on bugs, gila monsters and 50-foot women with big tits. Around 2 p.m. my parents would kick me outside.

No more TV.

I wanna watch TV!

No. Go play, you little shit. Play! That's what kids are supposed to do!

Now, if any of you out there are still with me after this self-indulgent, projectile-vomit inducing nostalgia trip, here’s more...

The same TV-addict shit applied after school. I’d get in, and fight my parents over whether I’d watch TV or do homework. (I had a very strange household, namely one with parents in it. Dad, a one-book published writer suffering from a five-year spell of “writer’s block” was always home; Mom, a teacher, got home around 2:30 or 3 p.m.)

At 4 p.m. there was a bizarre little kiddie show featuring Uncle Dave -- “Uncle Dave’s Restraining Order,” or whatever the hell they called it. A by-the-numbers kiddie show, natch. "Uncle Dave" had a peanut gallery of screaming kids and a clown assistant (of the Hobo Kelly knockoff variety) called “Barnie Bungleupper.” Uncle Dave entertained kids with stupid games, humiliated the clown, had a “Cavalcade” of old, cartoons, showing crappy Popeye cartoons (evil King Features mediocrity) and a few surprisingly good cartoons -- surreal, R Crumby stuff from the 1930s in which fire grew legs and ran down stairs ...

As to the stupid kiddie games, one was more along the lines of bizarre, surrealistic, sado-masochistic, David Lynchian and disturbing.

The game was called “Oooey Gooey.” It was a sort of Russian Roulette for kids, I kid you not.

Six kids would sit around a lazy susan -- a wooden wheel, about one foot in diameter, about six inches off the floor. Six upright paper bags were poised above the wheel, mouths hanging in emptiness.

Inside five of the bags were cheap little prizes. Decoder rings. Viewmaster projectors. Candy. Balloons...

Inside one bag was something nasty. Runny eggs, etc., inserted by Uncle Dave (or his exploited clown assistant).

How it worked --

Uncle Dave would spin the wheel with six kids sitting around it. Wheel spins, stops. In clockwise order, each kid puts hand in bag expecting either prize -- or slime. When one of the kids got slimed (awful facial expression, pulls out hand covered with nastiness) all the other kids would shout out "OOEEY GOOEY!” and Uncle Dave’d would come up, haha, you’ve been a good sport, here’s your consolation prize, a ticket to...

So, one day, it doesn’t work out so well.

They spin the wheel, wheel stops, each kid takes turn.

Kid #1 - gets prize.

Kid #2 - gets prize.

Kid #3 - gets prize.

Kid #4 - gets prize.

Kid #5 - gets prize.

And there's only one freaking bag left.

Now it’s Kid #6’s turn. All the kids kinda turn and look at him. Mixed expressions. Feeling sorry for him with a little ha-ha thrown in.

He knows there’s slime in the bag. He knows.

He knows, now, that what he’s supposed to do is stick his hand in the bag of slime, pull out his slimed-hand, and have all the other kids shout “OOEY GOOEY!” Everybody’s waiting around for him to do it. But he’s not going to do it. He’s not sticking his hand in there.

“C’mon,” says Uncle Dave. “Stick your hand in there.”

“Uh-uh.”

“Be a good sport.”

“No.”

“You’ve gotta stick your hand in there.”

“I don’t wanna stick my hand in there.”

Uncle Dave and the kid exchange looks. It’s a battle of wills now. Uncle Dave realizes this kid is making him look bad on his show. (My God...what if this kid gets away with this? It’ll be anarchy...anarchy!) On some deep, sick, control-freak level, Uncle Dave is morally outraged at this kid. The kid knew the rules when he got into this game. He was willing to take a prize, natch. He lost. Now he has to pay the price. (Bust a deal -- face the wheel.) It’s the principle of the thing!

“Stick your hand in the bag.”

“No.”

“Be a good sport, kid. You don’t want all your friends to see you and think you’re a bad sport, do you?”

The kid shakes his head no -- meaning, Fuck you, Uncle Dave. I don’t give a shit, I don’t care what my friends think, I’m not sticking my hand in the bag.

The kid starts to get up and walk away.

At this point Uncle Dave loses it.

Uncle Dave grabs the kid by his skinny little wrist and starts man-handling the kid’s hand into the bag. The kid is howling NO! NO! like there’s sulfuric acid in there. The kid fights, with everything he’s got. But Uncle Dave, with an expression like Mister Hyde on his face, is winning. He forces the kid’s hand down into the slime. All the other kids shout “OOEEY GOOEY!” The kid pulls out his dripping hand and starts bawling at the top of his lungs.

WAHHHH! MOMMY! WAHHHHH!

Suddenly, Uncle Dave realizes he’s in deep shit.

All at once, he realizes his assertion of authority was a mistake.

He pats the kid on the back, “There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Barney Bungleupper is wiping the kid’s hand off. Kid’s still crying.

“Say, we’ve got a consolation prize!”

“WAHHHHHH!”

“It’s...I’ve got a ticket to -- wouldn’t you like to go to...”

Kid’s backing away like Uncle Dave’s a child-molester.

“It’s a whole day’s pass to -"

“WAHHHHHHHH!”

“Hey, dry those eyes kid. I’ve also got --"

Mommy's screaming off-camera.

“Leave him alone! Haven’t you done enough...”

Outraged Mom is coming up now -- kid runs to her, buries head in her skirt. Uncle Dave’s looking trapped. Barney Bungleupper’s sorta caught in the middle. Kid’s still holding onto Mom and screaming. You can hear his voice kinda muffled.

Which is when the PLEASE STAND BY card comes up.

The Barney Bungleupper Show premiers the next day.

And Uncle Dave was never seen again.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

Surfing Mars Dept.

Robo sez: "And don't trust the 'Ghosts of Mars' either. John Carpenter is back, more Carpenter than ever. If you want to see 'Assault on Precinct Thirteen' meets 'Dark Star' meets 'Species' meets 'The Thing' meets 'Road Warrior' meets 'Aliens' then dammit you will be glad you went."
OK. I'll take that as a challenge.
'The Thing' meets 'Road Warrior' meets 'Aliens' coming right up ...
* * *

EXT, MARS - NIGHT
Desolate Marscape. MAD MAX driving domed car on improbable asphalt road. Sitting next to him, ET.

MAD MAX wants to make time, natch. But the beloved little ET wants him to stop.

ET: ET pee-pee.
MAD MAX: Piss off.
ET: Yes. ET piss off.
MAD MAX: I meant that in the sense of don't piss off.
ET: (pointing to crotch with glowing finger) Ouch.
MAD MAX: Aw, crikey.
ET: ET...VD.
MAD MAX: Spare me the details, mate. Christ. We'll stop at this ice cream stand.

MAD MAX pulls into a convenient X-TRO KONE, stops.

ET puts on breathing mask, runs out of car. Hold a beat. MAD MAX drives away.

MAD MAX: Cheeky little bugger. (looking at seat) Aw CHRIST...he leaked all over the fucking seat!

ET runs to bathroom doors labeled HIS, HERS, ITS, with man, woman and antenna-ed alien silhouettes respectively. ET runs into "ITS" door. Weird liquid noises. ET runs out. Looks around for MAD MAX. Shrugs. Goes up to window to buy ice cream. Takes a second to decide.

Quick flash of menu --

ROCKY ROBOT
FETID ICHOR FUNBAR!
CHEW-Z CRUNCH
RIPLEY RIPPLE

ET makes selection. Tentacle presents him with cone. ET walks away contentedly licking cone. Stops.

Confronted by enormous ALIEN BEACHBALL holding wicked-looking gun.

ET: (offering cone) Friend!

The ALIEN BEACHBALL shoots him in the face. ET falls in a puddle of gore. The BEACHBALL retrieves ice cream cone -- then hands it to the CHICK FROM SPECIES. We know her by voice only, as only her legs and the bottom half of her pregant belly are visible in frame. She takes the cone...

CHICK FROM SPECIES: Fetid Ichor? FETID ICHOR??? (having a hormonal flash) I SAID ROCKY ROBOT, YOU FUCKER!

She kicks him out of the frame.

EXT, EARTH COLONY POLICE STATION.
We see flames, vague shapes of some horde. The POLICE STATION is under siege.

INT, POLICE STATION.

ICE CUBE: (looking out window) OK, motherfuckers. This shit's fucked up. This looks bad.
PAM GRIER: Honey, I can deal with bad...
ICE CUBE: This is bad raised to its own motherfucking power.
PAM GRIER: As bad as "Jackie Brown"...?
ICE CUBE: Worse than that.
PAM GRIER: Worse than "Jackie Brown"...!
ICE CUBE: Bitch, it's worse than that Steven Segal movie you did.
She gives him a dirty look.

Cut to MAD MAX at the wheel of his idling vehicle -- patiently stopped at a diamond-shaped yellow sign with silhouette indicating an alien-possessed HUSKY. The sign reads: CAUTION! ALIEN POSSESSED HUSKY CROSSING. An alien-possessed HUSKY crosses, SNAKE PLISSKEN's head in its jaws.

SNAKE'S HEAD: Max!
MAX: Snake!
SNAKE'S HEAD: I guess that pretty much kills it for a third sequel.
MAX: Aw, whatthefuck. Gotta know when to quit, right?
SNAKE'S HEAD: Right, man. Later!

INT, POLICE STATION --

PAM GRIER: You're one cold motherfucker, you know that? So what's the situation? What's so damn bad about it?
ICE CUBE: We surrounded by a gang of alien beachballs.
PAM GRIER: Alien beachballs?
ICE CUBE: Yeah. With sharp teeth. Looks like Marilyn Manson be charge of them motherfuckers.
MARILYN MANSON: (OS) There's no earthly way of knowing...
PAM GRIER: OK, that's bad.
ICE CUBE: And...
PAM GRIER: There's an "and"...?
ICE CUBE: 'Fraid so.

He looks out barred window. Hold a beat. ICE CUBE turns back to PAM GRIER.

ICE CUBE: They playing "El Deguello."

The BEACHBALLS burst through the door. ICE CUBE and PAM GRIER each grab a Big Fucking Gun (BFG for short) and start blasting away. Like the "Coms" on that old "Star Trek" episode, the BEACHBALLS just keep coming and coming. At the height of the carnage, DEAN MARTIN staggers into the room, a SHOWGIRL on either arm. He's holding a partially-consumed fifth of whiskey labelled "Best wishes, Michael Garibaldi"

DEAN: Got any ice?

Still blasting, ICE CUBE silently gestures to a small fridge. While the SHOWGIRLS mug for the camera, DEAN MARTIN walks over, removes ice, finds a glass, puts ice in glass, pours whiskey, drinks. He then goes to the barred window and looks down.

DEANO: (wincing) "El Deguello," huh? (shouting down) You cats know how to stay on key?

EXT, MARS
MAD MAX, idling at another alien-crossing. He waits as more HUSKIES cross, followed by the BLOB, several GEIGER-ALIENS, the MARTIAN FLYING MACHINES from George Pal's "War of the Worlds," JOHN CARTER OF MARS, an ARMY OF ZOMBIES holding chainsaws labelled "PPTY GEO. ROMERO" and, lastly, ALICE COOPER and a hatless WILLY WONKA.

ALICE: Hey! You seen an army of Alien Beachballs?
MAD MAX: Yeah, I reckon I did, mate. I thought it was a bloody convention. You like the main attraction or something?
ALICE: No. I'm their leader, man. We're gonna find Marilyn Manson and kill him.
MAD MAX: Stole your act?
ALICE: No. He stole my fucking eyeliner.
WILLY WONKA: Don't forget my hat!
ALICE: Where is the fucker?
MAD MAX: Back past the giant head aways. Turn left at the Sea of Dreams. Can't miss him.
ALICE: Thanks.
ALICE runs. WILLY WONKA follows.
INT, POLICE STATION.

ICE CUBE and PAM (each with BFGs) holding off endless stream of ALIEN BEACHBALLS coming towards them in a narrow hallway.

ICE CUBE: Damn this gets old. This shit's why I dropped out of High School in the first place.
PAM: Tell me about it.
ICE CUBE: (shouting) Could I get some ammunition here?

WALTER BRENNAN: (off-camera) I'm coming, I'm coming.

DEANO: And more ice for me.

WALTER BRENNAN: Keep your shirt on.

More carnage to the distant sounds of "El Deguello." Then a sudden silence. The folks in the POLICE STATION react, listen. Far, far away we hear JOHN WAYNE saying "Now you listen to me you alien sons of..." -- abruptly cut off and followed by the sound of eating. It gets loud again. More carnage.

Back to MAD MAX, driving along alone. He speaks to the camera.

MAD MAX; You know what I still don't get? Where's the ghosts, eh? I mean this is supposed to be the "Ghost of Mars," right? Where's the sodding...

Next to him in car --

GHOST: Right here.
MAD MAX: Ahhhhhhhh! Who the bloody hell are you?
GHOST OF RAY BRADBURY: Ray Bradbury -- the noted science fiction writer of such...
MAD MAX: Yeah, yeah, I know who you are. What're you doing here, then?
BRADBURY'S GHOST: I'm doomed to wander the sands of Mars until a filmmaker makes an adaptation of one of my books... (long pause) that doesn't stink on ice.

Long silence.

MAD MAX: Good luck, mate.

INT, POLICE STATION.

ICE CUBE: It's quiet.
PAM GRIER: Too quiet.
ICE CUBE: No, bitch. It ain't "too quiet." Why everybody fucking say that?
PAM GRIER: Hey, you need to back down.
ICE CUBE: How quiet is too quiet? How can you get any more quiet than quiet?
PAM GRIER: You coming at this all wrong.
ICE CUBE: Just on edge, is all. It's too damn quiet.
PAM GRIER: Kiss my black ass.
ICE CUBE: Where'd they all go?

DEANO: (still looking out window) Wouldja believe it? This is starting to spook me...

ICE CUBE: What are they doing?

DEANO: They're... (turning to camera with great significance) They're playing show tunes.

Cut to BEACHBALLS doing the da-da-da-da-da "When You're a Jet" number from "West Side Story." Lotsa spidery finger-popping and unlikely choreography.

Pan up into a starry black sky. Hold on diminutive Martian moons.

Between Deimos and Phobos, a distant SURFER passes.

Long version below jump.