Monday, November 5, 2007

Die Hard 9-11

INT, COMMERCIAL AIRLINER - DAY
John McClane is leaning back in his seat. The seat in front has a mini-TV screen on it. The screen flickers and comes to life. A smug, Teutonic face appears.

KARL: Enjoying the flight, Mr. McClane?

McCLANE: I was. Gruber right?

KARL: Karl.

McCLANE: Yeah. That's bullshit. Simon and Hans. Two brothers.

KARL: I am a bastard.

McCLANE: You ask me, you're all bastards.

KARL: Ah, the trademark McClane wit.

(OS) A noise from the front of the airplane. Terrorists storming the cockpit.

KARL: Shall I tell you what's going on, Mr. McClane?

McCLANE: Save it. I got some ass to kick.

Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone walk by.

SNIPES: Keep talking man. We got this.

STALLONE: Yo.

McCLANE: Fine. OK. So, what's going on, asshole?

KARL: I am causing this plane and another exactly like it to fly into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

McCLANE: Why are you -- the money right?

KARL: Precisely. The gold bullion in the basement vault conveniently deposited by your Federal Reserve. As we speak, my men are driving away with it in armored vehicles disguised as ice cream trucks. In the confusion and destruction, the loss will not be noticed.

(O.S.) Sounds of ass-kicking.

SNIPES: (O.S.) Stop hitting him, man. He ain't breathing.

STALLONE: (O.S.) Yo. 

McCLANE: Dream on, Karl. Your pilots in training just dropped outta flight school.

SNIPES: (O.S.) Can anybody fly this fucking thing?

TED STRIKER: No problem.

TED strides to the cockpit. The passengers applaud.

LESLIE NIELSEN: I want you to know, we're all counting on you.

PASSENGERS: USA! USA!

TED: (O.S.) OK, I got it. Like riding a bicycle.

KARL: (smirking) I am sure Mr. Striker is quite competent. But this will not matter, you see.

STALLONE: (O.S.) Yo. Pull up on the fucking joy stick there. What's the matter with you? I thought you said you could fly this thing!

TED: (O.S.) I'm trying!

McCLANE: OK, you Eurotrash dickweed. What's wrong with the fucking plane?

KARL: Ah. Nothing as such. We're flying the planes by remote control, you see. I saw it on The Lone Gunmen. The so-called "terrorists" are smoke and mirrors.

McCLANE: You'll never get away with this.

KARL: Oh. But I already have.

McCLANE: This is bigger than me, asshole. You crash this plane, you move to the top of the shit list.

KARL: Ah. And whose list would this belong to?

McCLANE: The United States Government, shithead. The Feds will be after your ass.

KARL: I think not. In fact, the "Feds," as you say, are paying me to perform this operation.

McCLANE: Bullshit.

KARL: No. Mr. Cheney himself is, as you might say, my silent partner.

McCLANE: Why? What's his fucking motive?

KARL: Your nation's elite needs another war, of course. The military industrial complex, as it once was fashionable to say. Arm sales are down. A Reichstag Fire will reverse that trend.

McCLANE: You fucking bastard. Fire?

SNIPES: Yeah, he say "fire" like it ain't no thing.

McCLANE: You know how many people ...

KARL: Oh, it's not just a fire, Mr. McClane. The Towers will fall.

McCLANE: I don't believe you. You think two planes will bring down the Towers?

KARL: It's doubtful. Which is why my demolition team has laced the Towers with explosives and severed strategic support columns.

McCLANE: Nobody noticed?

KARL: They are a Ninja demolition team.

McCLANE: Jesus, crashing the planes ain't enough?

KARL: No. The Towers must fall, you see.

McCLANE: Why?

KARL: It's more visually interesting.

McCLANE: This is too fucking complicated, man.

STALLONE: Yeah. I got the IQ of a pork flank, and this plan sounds retarded to me.

KARL: Does it? Well there's more.

McCLANE: More?

KARL: Yes. We're destroying Building 7 as well.

McCLANE: Why?

KARL: The fireworks would be pretty. Did I mention we also are crashing another plane into the Pentagon?

McCLANE: No.

KARL: Well, we are. Except it won't be a plane. We're diverting the real plane and killing the passengers and disguising a missile as a plane and shooting it into the Pentagon.

McCLANE: It won't work, Karl.

KARL: Why not?

McCLANE: Too many moving parts is why. You ever heard of Murphy's law?

KARL: Please. I explained it all to George Bush and Dick Cheney in my highly detailed Powerpoint presentation. Mr. Murphy did not attend. My plan will work.

McCLANE: No it won't! You ever seen an old movie? No matter how good the plan is, the plan gets fucked up. The Killing, Reservoir Dogs, whatever. The best-laid plans of mice and men and all that shit. Something always goes wrong. Somebody always talks.

KARL: Nothing will go wrong. No one will talk. The plan is perfect, Mr. McClane. Well, I must be off. How is it you say? "Yippie-kai-kay, motherfucker." Goodbye, Mr. McClane.

STALLONE: Hey! There's the Statue of Liberty!

I wish to make this nice and sparkling clear, O my brothers. This sketch is a reaction to Dylan Avery's "Spare Change," a DVD of which I have seen. This is satire. I'm not postulating 9-11 was an inside job. I'm saying that's an idiotic idea -- for the reasons that John McClane pointed out. It's too !@#$ complicated. Every !@#$ detail has to work like clockwork or the plan fails. Too many people involved. The motive makes no !@#$% sense. 

Friday, August 17, 2007

Son of the Microsoft Car

EXT, HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY - NIGHT
The house is surrounded by Zombies.

INT, HOUSE
Joe and Linda get ready to make a desperate run for it.

JOE: Come on, honey. The car is only ten feet away. We can make it.

LINDA: OK.

One of those this-may-be-our-last-kiss kisses.

JOE: Let's do it.

EXT, HOUSE
They burst out the door. JOE blasts various ZOMBIES with a shot gun. LINDA whacks them with a crowbar. They make it to the car.

LINDA: Let's get out of here!

JOE: My thoughts exactly.

He turns the key.

COMPUTER VOICE: Microsoft Car now installing updates.

A bar display on the dashboard slowly expands.


EXT, HOUSE
The ZOMBIES surround the car. We hear smashing noises. Screams.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Microsoft Car 2007


INT, MICROSOFT CAR SHOWROOM, day.

JOE USER approaches BILL GATES. BILL’s proudly showing off the Microsoft Vista, otherwise known as MSCar 2007, which resembles a genetic splice between a 1957 Cadillac and the Hindenburg. It gleams and shines. Despite his better instincts, JOE is seduced and comes closer. BILL notices, rubbing his hands and leering. He speaks with the unctuous, accent of Peter Lorre -- apparently polite but dripping with perverted subtext.

BILL: I see you are man of taste, sir. How do you like our new car?

JOE: Oh. It’s uh pretty, I’ll give you that. (looking closer) Why fins?

BILL: Oh, you don’t like fins?

BILL reaches in and touches dashboard – the fins disappear.

JOE: How did you do that?

BILL: The same way you would. It’s easy.

JOE: What would I do?

BILL: Anything you want. The options are infinite!

JOE squints, looks suspiciously inside the car.

JOE: Where’s the steering wheel?

BILL: In the recycle bin of history! We at Microsoft Cars use the joystick now! It’s so cool and futuristic. But, see, you can have the steering wheel if you want. (touches something – a steering wheel magically appears) We can also do “old school.”

Opens door.

BILL: Would you like to go for a test drive?

JOE: Well, I …

BILL: You’re not afraid, are you?

EXT DAY, LA Freeway.

Without any transition, JOE and BILL are sitting in the car, just driving along on the I-10. JOE’s on the left, BILL’s on the right. BILL’s driving. It’s a right-drive car.


BIL: Welcome to your beautiful, new home.

JOE: (white knuckled grip on the dashboard) Uh. What just happened?

BILL: We are taking a test drive, as you requested. I can show you the electronic form you signed. Including the “hold harmless” indemnification clause. Feel free to relax.

JOE: OK. (leaning back in his seat, closing his eyes)

JOE: Gee, the engine sure runs quiet … (opens eyes—realizes he’s in driver’s seat) Wait a minute, you’re driving.

BILL: Of course, sir. It’s a right-drive car. Right-drive is much more logical. We at Microsoft Car have done studies on the human brain that … But it’s so simple to make it a left-drive car! I just have to touch the menu… in the right way. (gropes suggestively at the bewildering dashboard menu) Even an ape could do it! Would you like to …

JOE: No, no, no. Keep driving.

BILL: As you wish.

Cars on the freeway pass them wildly, honking furiously.

JOE: How fast are we ... (looks at dashboard) 80 miles an hour? No. That can't be …

BILL: It’s kilometers per hour. Metric system!

JOE: So much more logical, yeah, OK. What’s that… I dunno, that red bar over the ...?

BILL: Oh. That is the following distance bar. It’s wonderful. You don’t have to do that irritating “one second two second thing” where you’re counting telephone poles. It indicates …

JOE: What’d you do with the turn signal?

BILL: The turn ...? (laughs) Oh, that. That’s in the driver to driver communication interface menu. See, you just touch …

JOE reaches for something

BILL: No, not that!

A heads-up map display appears on the windshield in front of JOE’s face.

JOE: Ahhhh! I can’t see anything. What the hell are you ...

BILL touches something. The map disappears.

BILL: I’m sorry sir. That was the personal navigation global positioning menu. It shows you where you are in terms of a Google Earth virtual reality real-time avataric presence which is constantly correlated to the number of available seats at nearby restaurants and sports venues.

JOE: I couldn’t see the road.

BILL: Naturally. Everything is designed with you, the user in mind. As I was saying, with the power of the DDCI, your car can indicate much more than whether you’re turning or applying the brakes or other such mindless things. You don't even need to honk the horn anymore! MSCar is so smart, it knows when you are angry! The car changes color depending on your mood and adopts a submissive posture in the presence of a policeman.

JOE: What’s that tiny little …

BILL: Oh the cute little glass. I’ll make it bigger. (gestures) This is how much gas you have. In optimist mode, we are half full. In pessimist mode …

JOE finally explodes with rage.

JOE: Shut up! Just shut up and take me back!

BILL: As you wish.

BILL pushes a button. The front of the car turns into the back of the car. The seats rotate 180 degrees. The car comes to a complete stop, then accelerates in the opposite direction against Interstate traffic. Older cars crash and burn all around it.

BILL: You see how easy that was?

JOE: Jesus Christ!

CAR: The nearest church is 1.7 kilometers.

JOE screams, covers face with his hands.

JOE: We’re gonna crash! We’re gonna crash!

BILL: “Crash?” I don’t like that word, Joe. You know what, Joe? The more I think about it, the more I don’t like you.

JOE: Help!

BILL: But you don’t want my help, do you Joe? (recorded soundbite of Joe’s voice) I hate you! I hate you!

BILL turns into Clippy. A blinking manifestation of pure evil in the form of a living paper clip.

BILL/CLIPPY: Do you think I’ve forgotten?

JOE: No. No!

BILL/CLIPPY: Goodbye, Joe. Enjoy the ride.

He fades away. The car crashes off the road, headed for a gas station.

JOE: No! I don’t wanna die!

CAR: Ask about MSFuneral.

JOE: Nooo!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Naughty Little Bunny

... a cautionary tale

Hippity-hop, hippity-hop.

The chocolate bunny skipped along the path. An empty yellow Easter basket dangled lightly from his paw. His burden of chocolate eggs was gone now. He had hidden them all for the children to find.

But he was a lazy little chocolate bunny. He had slept late and started late and taken too much time.

All his brother and sister chocolate bunnies – the good little bunnies who loved the children and got up early and worked quickly – had finished long before.

And they were long since gone.

Theirs had been the work of morning, his the work of late afternoon. Very late. Now, like a brightly colored egg, the sun was slipping behind a purple hill. Easter day soon turned to Easter night.

And the lazy little bunny was alone.

Hippity-hop.

He skipped along nervously.

Hippity-hop.

How quickly the darkness came!

Hippity-hop.

So dark. How he wished he had gotten up earlier. How he wished he had worked harder.

Hippity-hop.

There were tales, legends. The wise old bunnies spoke in quiet whispers …
Of him.

Him.

He who came out at night.

Only at night.

He dealt harshly with any bad little bunnies that he might find wandering about alone through the darkness.

Quite harshly.

Hippity-hop.

Don’t go out at night, the old bunnies said. Get home before dark or he’ll find you. He’ll find you.

Hippity-hop.

He. Him. It. The thing that all chocolate bunnies feared but would not name.

Hippity-hop.

But such things could not be. They were just stories. Old bunny stories. They …

What ... was that noise?

The chocolate bunny stopped in his tracks. He twitched his nose and looked from side to side.

There was nothing.

He looked up and then looked down.

Nothing.

But behind him? What if there were something behind him? What if …

His little heart went pitter-pat. He steeled his courage, all the courage a chocolate bunny could find, and forced himself to turn his head. He looked behind him …

But there was only darkness and the wind.

He let out a sigh. And then he laughed.

What a stupid little bunny he was! He was almost home now. Through the rustling trees he could see the lights of Chocolatetown. Almost home. Stupid bunny!

There was nothing to fear, he told himself. Nothing to fear. Only stories. And he turned his head towards home once more.

But the path was blocked.

He froze in his tracks. The empty Easter basket dropped softly from his hands. Help …

The naughty chocolate bunny tried to scream for help, but the scream did not come. Voice and breath did not come. Help did not come.

Silently, deliberately, Count Chocula sank twin fangs into his neck and began to feed.

This narrative should be spoken in a Boris Karloff imitation to accompanying animation or puppetry. A Hannibal Lecter voice would work, too.