Sunday, January 13, 2002

Miss Oleo

OPEN – INT, apartment. Nervous, vulnerable, Terri Garr-esque woman – ALICE -- sitting on couch, watching TV.

Go to TV –


MISS OLEO: I’m Miss Oleo, call me now! You can hide de truth from yourself but de cards don’t lie. You’ll find out tings you don’t even tell yourself. De truth will set you free if you only call me now!

ALICE bites her lip on cusp of indecision than calls—on portable headset phone. (This kind of phone necessary for later bit of business.)

Cut to – INT, rows and rows of marketing cubes – not shabby, an upscale high tech mission control feel. (Can cut establishing shot if too expensive.)

Go to – INT, telephone operator in one cube. Operator is looking at a whopping big monitor the size of a big screen TV. (In fact, it IS a bigscreen TV. We’ll fake all the monitor stuff, record it, play on TV and use either in cutaways or show with actor in scenes where see both actor and TV.) The actress is faking a Jamaican accent but she is not MISS OLEO.

The screen “MISS OLEO” is supposedly looking at has big heading -- METACONSUMER DATACORP. Underneath, lively “video wallpaper” indicates all sorts of moving, shifting, instant blips of information. (The gag, to spell it out, is that when you call “MISS OLEO” you think she’s reading your future from the Tarot cards when, actually, all the information is coming from some ridiculously intrusive TRW-style credit report / consumer data company that not only knows what you ate for breakfast but, thanks to its knowledge of your bowel movements, also knows when you’ll crap it out again. It’s both the backstory and the joke.)

OK, back to the actual script –


An icon pops up showing ALICE’s face with her name “Alice Anderson” above it; another phone icon indicates incoming call and her number; another icon flashes “uploading data,” then lots of digital Chinese boxes start opening up indicating income level, address, her work history, spending habits, etc.

ALICE: Listen, I don’t know if I should ask you this but, I’m worried, anyway, maybe I shouldn’t … I don’t know … I don’t really believe in this…

She rambles vaguely. All the time “MISS OLEO” is looking at an oscilloscope waveform of her voice. Graphic next to it labeled PAT-REC-AN is spitting out data like:

STRESS LEVEL: 150% of normal.
SUBHARMONICS: catalechamine fear reaction pattern.
ANALYSIS: 98% indication regression childhood abuse pattern response aggressive male transference parental violence pattern. Indicates HIGH PROBABILITY PHYSICAL THREAT FROM VIOLENT MALE.

(Above should not affect pace – just background stuff which goes by very quickly.)

MISS OLEO pushes button labeled “Relationship History.” A scroll of thuggish boyfriends unfolds.


MISS OLEO: You don’t have to spell it out for me, child. De cards say all. You got de man trouble, am I right? If de man’s no good, you fall in love with him. You like de bad boys, don’t ya?

ALICE: It’s true…it’s true. I can’t believe this.

She punches up icons which unfold into pics of various nasty looking with corresponding data…

MISS OLEO: De first boy I see drugs.

ALICE: Wow, that’s totally right….

MISS OLEO: Boyfriend number two like dem guns. And he got dat police record.

ALICE: Oh God … how did you know?

MISS OLEO: Number three like to run over dem little puppy dogs wit de big car. Number four like tearing dem tags off de mattresses. Very bad man.

ALICE: Yes he is.

MISS OLEO: An dis las one, ooooh my, mmm-mmm, you pick de baddest apple from de bad apple tree, don’t you darling? He be de bad bad rude boy.

She touches icon of his face: a criminal record unfolds.

MISS OLEO: I see trouble wit' de law….he like de drugs, de guns, killing dem puppy dogs, tearing dem mattress – worst of de whole bunch….

A red icon blinks PAT-REC. The repeated word “ASSAULT” is highlighted red in criminal record. All these little red ASSAULTs blink twice like so many evil exit signs, and immediately cross-reference to hospital records of the woman.

Assume that as the OPERATOR talks (in fake Jamaican accent of “MISS OLEO”) there are things on screen corresponding to what she’s saying…


MISS OLEO: He hit you, didn’t he?

ALICE: Oh my god…yeah.

MISS OLEO: You try to get de restraining order, but de bad penny keep coming back.

ALICE: I thought he was a bad apple.

MISS OLEO: Don’t contradict Miss Oleo, child. I see great danger for you.

An indicator blinks: ACCESSING HOME SECURITY. We see a floorplan of her house with glowing red indicator of intruder. Little home security cams shows it’s Mr. Rudeboy.

MISS OLEO: De cards be telling Auntie Oleo you in great, great danger. I see dat rude boy in your house right now. Now, child.

ALICE: Ohmygawd.

MISS OLEO: Don’t be fretting, child – hear the words that I be telling you, time to pull it together, child.
But…

MISS OLEO: He not in de room yet, child. You got de time. You got to be mighty cool now, OK? Be taking de deep breath and not making de noise now. Are you breathing de deep breath?

ALICE: Yes.

MISS OLEO: Dat good child. You have to be very cool now, OK? Listen to your Auntie Oleo and all be better. You be trusting your Auntie Oleo?

ALICE: Yes.

MISS OLEO: Dat good. Now again be taking de deep breath and listen up now. You listen real good to your Auntie Oleo. You get up from de chair now. Get up from de chair and go to de bookshelf on your left.

ALICE: OK.

MISS OLEO: Your other left…

ALICE: OK.

We see her do so on MISS OLEO’s screen. Another shows the THUG inching along…

MISS OLEO: He be coming down the hallway. OK, now dere on de third shelf, you see dat statue?

ALICE: Uh-huh.

MISS OLEO: OK, now pick up dat statue – no, not that one, the big heavy one – dat’s right. Now wait on the other side of de door until I tell you to hit him good child. Now be waiting…

Silence. Drag it out. Door opens.

MISS OLEO: Now hit him! Hit him!

ALICE whacks him a good one.

MISS OLEO: Did you hit him? Dat’s good child.

ALICE: Do you want me to call the police?

MISS OLEO: No, no. Don’t do dat – dey just blame de victim. Dis card here says you got dat garbage disposal and dem big ginsu knives. You got all dat, child?

ALICE: Uh-huh.

MISS OLEO: Now here’s what you gotta do…

MISS OLEO: (on TV screen in ALICE’s apartment with sound of garbage disposal in background) Call me now for your free reading!

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