Saturday, November 13, 2004

Girlfriends

CAST
Laura Bush-America's First Lady
Condeleeza Rice-America's Secretary of State
Jose Gonzalez-Secret Service Agent

(Private family quarters of the White House on the eve of the mid-term elections. Laura and Condi are relaxing and watching political coverage on TV.)

CONDI
Those Goddamned democrats. What's she know about troop withdrawl? Hilary Clinton can kiss my black ass!

LAURA
Condi!

CONDI
Pull and pray? Girl, that's an exit strategy if you're drunk, horny and 16.

LAURA
Puh-lease. I need one night without politics. I think George TiVo'd Veronica Mars.

CONDI
I need a beer then to watch my girl Veronica solving those crimes and shit. Maybe she can find Osama for us.

LAURA
(laughs)
The George's parents polished the beer off last night. I'll send Jose for more. JOSE! OH JOSE!

(Secret Service Agent enters.)

JOSE
Mrs. Bush? What is it?

LAURA
(flirting)
Hola Jose!

JOSE
(Frustrated with whatis apparently ongoing sexual harrasment.)
Good evening Mrs. Bush.

LAURA
The Secretary of State and I would like you to go fetch us some cervesas por favor.

JOSE
Of course.

CONDI
(She pulls money out of her bra)
Amigo, here's a twenty. Get as much of whatever that will buy. Laura, you still smoking?

LAURA
(laughs)
Does the Pope shit in the woods?

CONDI
(Reaches back into her bra, gestures to Jose)
Honey, I think it's "Does a bear shit in the woods." Two packs of Parliaments. And a bag of Funyons!
(Jose takes the money and leaves.)

So where is the leader of the free world?

LAURA
(Looks at her watch.)
Right about now he's giving a speech to the D.I.C.C's in Texas.

CONDI
Dicks?

LAURA
The Department of Immigration Control and Containment. And then he's quail hunting with Cheney.

CONDI
And by that you mean they're gonna get drunk and watch porn and try not to shoot eachother.

(Her cell phone rings, she looks at the display)

Shit.

LAURA
Pretty much. Who's that?

CONDI
Kim fucking Jong Il. Hello Kim. . . Yeah I got your text. Whoa. WHOA! I gotta give you a billion dollars or you're gonna bomb South Korea? What? Ok. Uh-uh. I can't understand a word you're saying. What? Put your translator on, Kim. Put your translator on. PUT YOUR FUCKING TRANSLATOR ON!

(A pause while Kim gets his assistant)

Pete, you tell that crazy little shit to sit tight. Ok? He off the meds again? That's what I thought. Talk to you guys tomorrow.

(Knock at the door)

LAURA

Who is it?

JOSE
It's Agent Gonzales, Mrs. Bush. I have the items you and Madame Secretary requested.

LAURA
Well come in.
(Jose enters)
Beinvenidos!

JOSE
Where would you like it?
(Both ladies laugh)


Condi, he's asking me where I like it. Should I tell him?

CONDI
(Cracks open beer, lights cigarette.)
Doesn't he know you're the first lady of Fa-reek-ie?

JOSE
Mrs. Bush, my shift is ending now . . so if there's anything else you need?

LAURA
Anything I need? (breathlessly) Where do I begin?

JOSE
(horrified)
Well you have a good evening then.

(Jose exits.)

LAURA
I think he's into me, don't you?

CONDI
Ok, so I don't want to get up in your kool-aid.

LAURA
Since when did you start minding your own business?

CONDI
True. Ok so girl, what's going on with you?

LAURA
Can you keep a secret?

CONDI
I still never told no one you voted for John Kerry, now did I?

LAURA
I think I've fallen out of love with George.

CONDI
I could never understand what you saw in him in the first place. What a dope.

LAURA
Hey, when was the last time you were in a relationship? What do you know?

CONDI
(angry)
You back that thang up! Just back it up now!

LAURA
He's never leaving Hilary, Condi, you know that.

CONDI
(sobs)
But I love Bubba!

(loud yelling can be heard outside, Agent Gonzales busts back in the room.)

JOSE
Mrs. Bush, Secretary Rice, we must get you to the bunker. An angry mob of log cabin Republicans is threatening to burn down the White House!

(Laura and Condi jump up, Condi grabs the beer. Laura clings to Jose dramatically.)

LAURA
Oh, Jose. You'll save us won't you?

JOSE
M'am I'm just doing my job.

(Black out.)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Johnny Law

CAST
Officer John- mid 30s
Pete- mid 30s

(Any street, Chicago)

Officer walks up to car, stumbles a bit.

OFFICER JOHN
Do you know why I pulled you over?

PETE
Actually, officer, no I don't.

OFFICER JOHN
Oh.

PETE
Well?

OFFICER JOHN
Uh . . license please?

PETE

(Hands over his license.)
I know I wasn't speeding. . . What is this about?

OFFICER JOHN
(Fumbles license, then drops it.)
You weren't speeding, no. Do you have that insurance thing?

PETE
Uh, my insurance card? Seriously, why did you pull me over?

OFFICER JOHN
(pauses)
How much have you had to drink tonight?

PETE
Not a drop. Here's a question, how much have YOU had to drink tonight?


OFFICER JOHN
(draws his gun)
GET OUT OF THE CAR, NOW!

PETE
Relax. Alright. (He gets out of the car)

OFFICER JOHN
LIE ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD!

PETE
OK, please. I just want to get home to my wife.

OFFICER JOHN
(starts to cry)
Aw man, I'm sorry. You can get up.

PETE
(moving carefully, slowly)
I'm just going to get back in my car now. You can keep my license. . and I'm going to drive--

OFFICER JOHN
(Interrupts)
My girlfriend broke up with me today.

PETE
I'm sorry to hear that.

OFFICER JOHN
It sucks.

PETE
Seriously guy, have you been drinking?

OFFICER JOHN
A little. I took a couple 40s off some bums by the el. And then I chugged a six pack on my lunch. It just hurts, man.

PETE
Maybe you should go home?


OFFICER JOHN
Can't. I'm on thin ice at work.

PETE
Can I go now?

OFFICER JOHN
Wait. Do me a favor, man will ya?

PETE
What?

OFFICER JOHN
Call her for me.

PETE
You have got to be kidding me.

OFFICER JOHN
Please?

PETE
You want me to call your girlfriend?

OFFICER JOHN
Pretty please?

PETE
Look, I hope things work out. I just want to go home.

OFFICER JOHN
(Pulls gun out, points at Pete's head)
JUST FUCKING CALL HER, DIRTBAG!

PETE
Jesus! Ok, alright. What do you want me to say?

OFFICER JOHN
Just tell her I love her.

PETE
Dial her number and give me the phone.

OFFICER JOHN
No use your phone. She won't answer if she thinks its me.

PETE
(mumbles)
So I have to pay for this. That’s just great.

(Hands his phone over.)
Fine. What's her name?

OFFICER JOHN
Kelly.

PETE
What's your name?

OFFICER JOHN
John.

PETE
Uh, Kelly? Hey, I'm Pete. . a friend of John's. . no wait, don't hang up.

OFFICER JOHN
(whispers)
Tell her I can't live without her!

PETE
So, anyway. Um, he seems to be having a hard time with the breakup and all.. What, this is the FIFTH time you've tried to end it? . . No I didn't know that. . . Well anyway, he wants you to know. . Uh huh. . . yeah . . NO, of course I think restraining orders mean he shouldn't break into your apartment in the middle of the night and crawl in bed with you. . . .uh huh . . .no . . uh huh. . Selfish in bed? . . Ok. Ok. Ok. I get it. I'll tell him.

OFFICER JOHN
So buddy, I still have a chance, right?

PETE
Uh, honestly, I think she needs a little time. I'm gonna go now, alright?

OFFICER JOHN
Just one more thing.

PETE
Oh my God, WHAT?

OFFICER JOHN
Remember how I said I'm on thin ice at work?

PETE
Yeah?

OFFICER JOHN
I'm way behind on my ticket quota. I'm going to have to write you up for that busted tail light.

PETE
I don't have a .. .

OFFICER JOHN
(Glass shatters)
You do now.

(Black out.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Foreign Exchange

CAST
Halima: 16 year old girl from Darfur,
Lindsay: 17 year old girl, h.s. senior
Chelsea: 17 year old girl, h.s. senior, Lindsay's BFF
Rory:17 year old boy, Lindsay's love interest
Skyler:17 year old boy, Rory's BFF

(Cafeteria at an affluent North Shore high school)

(Lindsay and Halima walk up to a table where Chelsea, Rory, and Skyler are sitting and chatting. Halima is straggling behind.)

LINDSAY
OH MY GOD You guys have got to meet (she turns) .. .where did she go?

HALIMA
I am here.

LINDSAY
Halima, silly (she pulls Halima forward) Guys, this is Halima. She's staying with us. She's like, from Darfur.

RORY
Cool. Where's that?

HALIMA
(Halima and Lindsay sit )
Sudan....

RORY
Cool. Where's that?

SKYLER
That's that place George Clooney is so pissed off about.. . (punches Rory in the arm) Dumbass.

(Everyone nods knowingly.)

RORY
That's heavy.

CHELSEA
(speaking loudly)
SO HOW DO YOU LIKE AMERICA?

HALIMA
It's so peaceful and wonderful. Lindsay's family is very kind.

CHELSEA
(losing interest in Halima)
OH MY GOD Linds. Seriously. I so have to tell you something.

LINDSAY
WHAT?

CHELSEA
SERIOUSLY.

LINDSAY
WHAT?

CHELSEA
UNBELIEVABLE!

SKYLER
TELL HER ALREADY JEEZ (To Halima) They can go on like this forever.

CHELSEA
(rolls her eyes)
My mom is being a total dick. She said no to the Vera Wang for homecoming.

LINDSAY
God What is her problem?

CHELSEA
Seriously. My dad hooks up with the Peapod delivery chick and I'm stuck with the head case. My life is over.

HALIMA
Peapod? What is this?

LINDSAY
You can like order food on the web and it's . . uh .. delivered to your house? Remember how my mom said you just have to cook, you don't have to like go to the store? That's because we get the FOOD DEE-LIV-ERRRD.

HALIMA
Food brought to your home? That is a dream. My mother would love this. She is very sad and tired from taking care of my younger brothers and sisters. It is very hard to feed everyone since my father was killed three years ago. When I left them at the camp, my mother was about to have another child.

RORY
So you have a step dad then now? I hate my step dad.

HALIMA
I don't know what you mean. Step dad?

LINDSAY
It means your mom has a new husband.

HALIMA
No she does not.

RORY
Ooooh. Love child . . suh-wheet (High fives Skyler)

HALIMA
She was raped. The soldiers . . .

CHELSEA
(Interrupts, puts up hand)
I. AM. EATING. So Halima what kind of things did you guys do for fun in Darfur?

HALIMA
Fun? My people are experiencing complete annihilation. That's not much fun.

CHELSEA
Work with me here. What's your class schedule like?

HALIMA
(pulls out her schedule)
English, American History, Popular Culture, Feng Shui, the Foundation of Foundation and something called Tai Chi?

CHELSEA
Awesome. You, me and Linds will have third period together. It will rock, right Lindsay? Lindsay?

(Lindsay and Rory are making out. Lindsay makes garbled noises in attempt to answer Chelsea.)

CHELSEA
You are such a slut. God!

LINDSAY
(Breaks away from Rory)
Whatever.

CHELSEA
WHATEVER?

LINDSAY
WHATEVER!

CHELSEA
Hater

SKYLER
Save the drama for Myspace ladies

HALIMA
(Consfused and annoyed, she changes the subject.)
I read that some schools in Chicago do not have enough books? Is this true?

LINDSAY
(laughting hysterically)
That is so funny Halima, did you read the Onion? That's a fake paper. Those stories aren't true.

HALIMA
The Onion? I do not think it was this onion?

LINDSAY
Well, I'm sorry. But that doesn't make any sense.

HALIMA
But not everyone has a beautiful home and school in Chicago, no?

CHELSEA
Earth to Halima. This isn't Chicago, this is uh, Winnetka?

SKYLER
What is this like, Nightline? Halima, you will figure it all out soon enough. Shit this pup (grabs Rory's arm) transferred from Evanston it was like holy culture shock, batman!

RORY
No shit dude. Hey Halima, you're kinda hot.

HALIMA
I am cold today. I washed Lindsay's clothes and couldn't wash my sweater because Lindsay said our clothes can't touch.

RORY
No, I mean you're looking good. Come on I'll walk you to Tai Chi. (Rory and Halima get up and start to walk away) Wanna go to homecoming?

LINDSAY
OH. MY. GOD I thought he was going to ask me to homecoming. What a bitch!

CHELSEA
That's what I thought. She is like really skinny though. Right Skyler?

SKYLER
I'm late for curling practice. (He gets up)

LINDSAY
Yeah, like scary skinny maybe. She does not even look good.

CHELSEA
Yeah like hello, Nicole Richie called, she says she wants her eating disorder back.

(girls crack up laughing and leave the table)

LINDSAY
I'd kill for those thighs, though.

CHELSEA
Me too.

(Blackout)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Power Point

CAST
Bryan-mid 30s
Alicia-early 20s
Maggie-mid 30s
Jim-late 20s
Frank-early 40s
Kelly-late 20s

(Conference room of a suburban office. It's a Saturday and snowing heavily. The workers are under deadline and grudgingly agreed to come to work.)

FRANK
(addressing his team)
Looks like we got it guys. Great work! Let's pack it up and head out before the snow gets worse.

BRYAN
(looking at his laptop)
Uh, we're not going anywhere. The state police just closed the expressways.

FRANK
(Walks to the window)
You're kidding me . . . its not that ba–-

MAGGIE
Bad? It's a blizzard, Frank. A blizzard. Again, so glad you volunteered us to come in on a Saturday.

FRANK
Hey, I wasn't about to flake on our biggest account.

MAGGIE
(mimics him, uses snotty voice)
I wasn't about to flake on our biggest account. Whatever. I need some more coffee.

(Maggie exits)

JIM
Wow. So that's why it's a bad idea to fuck your coworkers.

ALICIA
JIM!

JIM
Frank, what were you thinking? She's a psycho.

FRANK
What are you talking about?

KELLY
Everyone knows about you guys. The whole office, shit the whole company knows. Remember when the warehouse guys started singing "Secret Lovers" last week after the insurance meeting?

FRANK
Yeah.

KELLY
That was for you.

FRANK
Fuck.

ALICIA
Bryan is the Metra running? I have to get back to the city.

BRYAN
(Still surfing the web)
Nope.

ALICIA
What are we going to do? God I hate the suburbs!
(She starts to whimper)

BRYAN
Hell if I know. Frank you're our fearless leader, any ideas?

FRANK
I'll call my wife and see if there's anything on the news.

(Frank exits, passing Maggie. Maggie kind of shoves him.)

MAGGIE
I think the old man has beer in his office fridge, whaddya think?

ALICIA
I think that's a great way to lose your job, Maggie.

MAGGIE
(pulls out a beer from under her sweater, cracks it open)
Looks like I'll be in the unemployment line with a hangover then!

JIM
Maggie, why are you so crazy?

MAGGIE
You want a beer don't you?

JIM
Oh yeah.
(He gets up to leave.)

BRYAN
Grab me one!

KELLY
Me too!

(They look expectantly at Alicia)

ALICIA
Oh, alright.

MAGGIE
Looks like we got ourselves a little office party.

(Frank enters.)

FRANK
Well, we're stuck here for at least the next four or five hours until the roads open up. I called George and he doesn't want anyone taking any chances.

(Notices Maggie's beer)

I guess I should call him back and tell him he might need some beer. You know he keeps that for after hour meetings with clients.

MAGGIE
I could give a shit. How's the missus?

FRANK
Maggie.

(Jim enters with an inbox filled with beers.)

KELLY
So did you two ever, you know get it on here at the office? That's kind of a fantasy of mine.
(She looks at Bryan.)

(Maggie and Frank stare at each other in silence.)

KELLY
In this conference room?
(Maggie and Frank are still quiet)

BRYAN
On this table?
(Maggie busts out laughing)

JIM
That is fucking disgusting. I eat my lunch in here sometimes.

MAGGIE
Oh, settle down. When you're with Frank it's only the best. The Double Tree in Arlington Heights mostly. Frank was even going to spring for the Sybaris for my birthday, remember?

ALICIA
EEEWW. Frank, the Sybaris? Really?

JIM
Those commercials are nauseating. How anyone could find two people frolicking in a steamy broth of semen and Lady Stetson sexy, is completely beyond me.

(Everyone laughs, except Frank.)

FRANK
It's not that bad.

MAGGIE
Oh, it is Frank. It is. Alright. Who wants to see my presentation?

KELLY
Come on Mag, we're done with work.

MAGGIE
This is a very special presentation. One that I was saving for Monday when I quit.

FRANK
You're bluffing. You're not going anywhere.

MAGGIE
(She grabs Bryan's laptop and begins to furiously point and click. Soon a power point presentation appears on the wall.)

Indeed, I am not bluffing. Ready? Alright on this first slide you'll see a bar graph detailing the sharp decline in my affection for Frank during the last two quarters of 2006. Kelly, you have a question?

KELLY
Yeah, there's this dramatic dip around Labor Day, but then the numbers climb right back up. What happened?

MAGGIE
Wanna field this one Frank? Hmmm? Guess not. That would have been when he didn't show up to my party, but then spent the following week doing some hard core wooing and so I caved.

FRANK
I took my kids camping Maggie. You know that.

MAGGIE
THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE FRANK! Alright, moving on. Here's a picture of Frank in his underwear sleeping on my couch. Pay attention to the size of his gut, and his hairline. This was taken in early February. Now compare it with this nearly identical photo taken last week. Not only is he getting fatter, but he is losing his hair at a faster-than-normal rate. Alarming.

FRANK
YOU DON'T KNOW THAT!

MAGGIE
I DID THE RESEARCH FRANK!

BRYAN
Ya know, that would be a great spot in your presentation for some animation.

MAGGIE
Ya think? Hmmm. Maybe. Ready for the next slide?

EVERYONE
YES!

(Maggie clicks to the next slide, everyone gasps, then starts laughing.)

MAGGIE
OK, so here we have Frank's penis. He's a heavy sleep-

(Interrupts)
FRANK

I'M LEAVING!
MAGGIE
Whatever. So as I was saying, we have Frank's flacid penis which you can see if you look at the legend on the inset, is just a shade under three inches, give or take a milli . . . ok centimeter.

ALICIA
Yikes.

KELLY
But he's so tall! His feet are huge. Three inches? Really?
(She holds out her thumb and index finger as if to measure that distance.)

MAGGIE
Urban legend ladies. It's classic bait and switch. Don't you go falling for it.

(They nod)

JIM
Ok, now you're just being a bitch.

BRYAN
Yeah. Size doesn't matter. Everyone knows that.

(The girls laugh)

MAGGIE
Hey, you know what? If the size of my ass is gonna matter, than the size of your. . .

(Frank enters)
You're back! Yay!

FRANK
You're so fired. Once the streets clear--

MAGGIE
But I worked so hard on this presentation. And we're not even a a third of the way through it. Sorry guys, would love to finish but Power Trip here says I'm done. I'll go pack up my office.

FRANK
That's a good idea. And there's got to be some work the rest of you can be doing.

(He exits)

JIM
I do have a few things, I guess.

(He gets up and takes the beer with him.)

ALICIA
Maggie, I'll help you pack. Three inches? You must have really liked him.

MAGGIE
Thanks. And yep, I did.

(The two exit leaving Bryan and Kelly. Bryan is engrossed in his computer.)

KELLY
Any word on the roads?

BRYAN
Nope. Like Frank said it's going to be a few hours still.

KELLY
Well, I'm caught up with work, are you?

BRYAN
I still have to . .

(looks up from his computer and sees Kelly's face.)

. . . oh. Oh.

KELLY
That's what I thought.

(Black out.)

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Braunschweiger

"Braunschweiger"
First Draft
August 18, 2007


CAST
Anthony: 30-year-old partner in New York law firm
Richie: 30-year-old Union Plumber


(Early evening. Alley behind Melrose Park funeral home. Attending the wake of a childhood friend, Anthony and Richie have just stepped out for a cigarette and to pass a flask back and forth.)

RICHIE
I guess I shoulda reached out to her more. What a way to go, right?

ANTHONY
Her poor mother. Poor, poor lady.

She looked good though.

RICHIE
Her mother? You’re a little drunker than I thought. She’s like a thousand years old.

ANTHONY
No. She looked good.

Actually I think I’m more stoned than drunk.

RICHIE
Oooh. Big shot Manhattan lawyer all weeded up!

(Richie studies Anthony for a moment)

Surprising though, I look at you . . . and I think coke.

ANTHONY
(laughs)
Nope. I can finally afford the good stuff. I had my assistant Fedex it to the hotel.


RICHIE
No hotel for my oldest friend. You should stay by me.

ANTHONY
I don’t think so, Rich. Thanks.

RICHIE
I insist.

ANTHONY
I have a lot to do back at the W. The fedex had some actual work in it.

RICHIE
(exhales loudly)
I don’t want you at my house anyway. Jagoff.


(Gives Anthony a little jab. Anthony and Richie take a moment to light new cigarettes, then begin to engage in that stupid, playful sort of sparring two guys might do outside an imaginary Melrose Park funeral home. Anthony pulls away.)

ANTHONY
Even seeing her in there, I still can’t believe she’s gone.

RICHIE
I know, it’s hard. We’re only 25. It’s too early for this.

ANTHONY
We’re 30.

(Takes a long swig off the flask.)

I was going to marry her.

RICHIE
(aggravated)
You know, I’m pretty sure it’s sacrilegious to be dishing up bullshit within 30 feet of a priest.

(does the sign of the cross)

And admit it, you were just banging her brains out in high school.

ANTHONY
No, I remember you telling everyone that was your after school job.

RICHIE
Oh yeah, that was me. And half the guys in our class. Did you date her before or after me?

ANTHONY
Uh, I think I was number three. . . no. . . number four after you.

RICHIE
You came after Demetri the Greek. He was bawling like a chick in there earlier. You see him?

ANTHONY
It was probably the last piece of ass he ever got.

You know what, it could be the fact that “I’m weeded up” as you call it, or maybe it’s this swill you put in the flask, but I feel like I could cry.

RICHIE
Don’t fucking cry.

ANTHONY
(Angered, he points to the Funeral home door.)

Our friend’s in a coffin in there. . . after losing her life in the strangest, no the most horrifying way imaginable. . . and I can’t cry? Are you even human?

(Anthony sobs)

RICHIE
It is the weed isn’t it? You always cry when you’re stoned. You’re more depressing than a Neil Young song.

ANTHONY
(Crying stops abruptly)

Yeah it’s the weed.


RICHIE
It’s great to see you buddy. Too bad it’s for something like this.

ANTHONY
Yeah, it’s like a class reunion in there. Immaculate Conception Class of 1995.

RICHIE
(Nods)
She was a beautiful girl.

ANTHONY
Gorgeous. You couldn’t dream up a better first time.


RICHIE
She was your first? Senior year?

ANTHONY
A respectable 17, what’s wrong with that?

RICHIE
Uh nothing, if you’re a--


ANTHONY
(interrupts)
A what? Do not go there. She told me you couldn’t. . . I don’t even have to say it, do I?

RICHIE
She’s a liar. We did it plenty. Maybe I caught her in one of her black out phases. She was drunk all the time. Homeroom? Drunk. Gym class? Drunk.

ANTHONY
She didn’t remember. Come on.

RICHIE
Obviously we can’t put her on the witness stand. But yeah, we were together a lot. I can’t believe you say she was good. She’d just lie there like a . . .well, like a corpse.

ANTHONY
Spectacular choice of words.


RICHIE
Oh, pardon me. I’m just a plumber. I’m not some fancy, big bucks fag lawyer.

ANTHONY
(shakes his head)
Now I know why I haven’t been back here in five years.

Jagoff.

RICHIE
No, you’re the jagoff. I’m grieving here. I’m prostate with grief.

ANTHONY
(busts out laughing)
I think you mean prostrate. You’re prostrate with grief, Richie.

RICHIE
What is this, Final Jeopardy? Prostate. Prostrate. Who gives a fuck.

ANTHONY
So there was some talk about raising money in her honor.

RICHIE
For what? For a cure for being loose? They better never cure that.

ANTHONY
No, to raise awareness. So nobody has to die like that again.

RICHIE
Yeah, that was pretty ugly. But you’d think it would be common sense to not abuse luncheon meats in that way.

ANTHONY
To each their own.

RICHIE
Me, I’d take some cool whip over what those two freaks did. I could never get Linda to do it outside anyway.

ANTHONY
And even if you did, I'll bet if you had your wife, naked, covered in liverwurst and lying in Lincoln Park in the middle of the night with wild coyotes lurking, I’m guessing you’d let that call go to voicemail.

RICHIE
I got a blue tooth, so I coulda just kept on going.


Black out.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Surpise Party

“Surprise Party”
First Draft
August 25, 2007


CAST
Rebecca: Early 30s
Michael: Early 30s
Bill: Early 30s
George: Early 60s


(A solemn Rebecca is sitting in a dimly lit room drinking, waiting for her husband Michael to return home. Michael enters, expecting to find a surprise birthday for himself and instead is faced with an inquisition.)


REBECCA
(softly, with no emotion)

Happy Birthday Michael.

MICHAEL
(confused)

Uh, thanks?

REBECCA
(furious)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

(She throws her glass at him. It misses and crashes against the wall)

YOU SOULESS SCUMBAG!

MICHAEL
Is something wrong?

REBECCA
(stifling sobs)

I know. I know everything.

MICHAEL

You know? You know what?


REBECCA

Don’t play dumb with me. I have proof. It’s all over the place. The credit card statement, the cell phone bill—

MICHAEL

Oh baby, what are you talking about? I’d never have an affair.


REBECCA

No, not an affair. God, I can’t believe this!

MICHAEL

Then what in the hell are you talking about? Fuck, I walked in here expecting a surprise party!

REBECCA

(exhales loudly)

I cancelled the Evite.

MICHAEL

Why?

REBECCA

Because you are a liar. All this time, I thought I knew the man I married. But I don’t.

(she sobs again)

You’re a Republican, Michael, aren’t you?

AREN’T YOU?


MICHAEL
(stammers)

I. . .I don’t know what you’re talking about.


REBECCA

Come on, Michael. The signs have always been there.

(door bell rings)

MICHAEL
Apparently someone didn’t get the cancellation.

(Michael walks to the door and opens it.)

You know I’m not a Republican. I’m a sometimes left-leaning independent--

REBECCA

With Libertarian tendencies, yeah I know.

LIAR!

(Michael’s friend Bill enters.)

MICHAEL
(aggravated)

You have lost your mind woman.

(looks at Bill)

Party’s cancelled Bill.

REBECCA

(She picks up a stack of bills
And begins to read them aloud.)

$250 for annual NRA dues--


MICHAEL
It’s not that NRA, it’s the National Rugby Association. I love that game.

REBECCA
You never played it a day in your life and I called, Michael. I also called and got your IPASS activity report. 15 trips last month alone to DuPage County. You work downtown and your mom lives in Wilmette. Why in the world would YOU need to go to DuPage County?

MICHAEL
That has to be a mistake.


REBECCA
And your email, Iheartrummy@gmail.com? You don’t even play cards. I’m such a fool!

BILL

And I’ll be going now. Happy Birthday, Mike. I’ll just leave the wine over here.

(he starts toward the door)

REBECCA
I bet you’re one too.

BILL
One what?

MICHAEL

Rebecca is accusing me of being a Republican.

BILL
(Clearly knows that Michael is indeed what Rebecca says he is.)

Republicans? Us? That’s preposterous. We’re actually big fans of Hilary Clinton. We spent most of lunch today singing her praises, didn’t we, Mike?

(he starts to laugh)

Some gal, that Hilary.

MICHAEL

You’re not helping.

(He walks over to her and kneels next to her chair.)

Rebecca, so what if I am? I’m still the same Michael.

REBECCA

You probably think this war is a good idea?


MICHAEL

Of course, they hate us for our freedom. We must annihilate them.

(looks to Bill for approval)

REBECCA

I want a divorce.


BILL
(starts drinking directly from the wine bottle)

Oh, that’s great. Cut and run. Just like a liberal.

MICHAEL

Bill, please shut up.

(Michael continues to plead with Rebecca.)

No, baby. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. Or Mary Matalin and James Carville? We can make this work!

REBECCA

NEVER! I can’t even look at you.

(door bell rings)

That’s my dad.

MICHAEL

Your dad, why?

(Bill answers the door)

REBECCA

I’m leaving. I’m packed.

(George, Rebecca’s dad enters and rushes to where Michael is kneeling. He pulls Michael to his feet and begins to choke him.)

GEORGE

HOW DARE YOU CHEAT ON MY LITTLE GIRL! I’LL KILL YOU!


(Michael gasps and groans, and gestures to Bill for help who just stands there drinking and watching the action)


REBECCA

Dad, he didn’t cheat on me.

GEORGE

But you called me all upset, saying he betrayed you?

(He lets Michael go, who falls to the floor trying to recover.)

REBECCA

He did. I found out he’s Republican. He admitted it.

GEORGE

Oh, honey you’re so na├»ve sometimes.

REBECCA
What?

GEORGE

You married an investment banker who grew up on the North Shore.

REBECCA
I know, what was I thinking? I guess I wanted to believe he was enlightened.

MICHAEL
Hey!

GEORGE
Why don’t you two talk this out. We’ll leave. You can find some common ground.

BILL

Yeah, you two just cancel each other out anyway.


Black out.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Wives Swap!

CAST
Osama Bin Laden–early 50's
Abu Ayyub Al-Masri-mid 40s, Bin Laden’s girl Friday.
Tom Handler-late 30's, reality show producer
Libby Johnson-late 20's, Midwestern housewife
Delores Florentine-mid 40's, Brooklyn working mom
Shawna Westwood-early 30's, Alabama housewife
(Bin Laden’s sitting room, inside a cave in Afghanistan. It’s the night before filming begins on the latest reality show–Wives Swap!)

TOM
(looking at his watch
impatiently.)
Where in the hell is this guy?

SHAWNA
Yeah, you’d think Osama Bin Laden would be punctual.

LIBBY
I’m scared. And it’s freezing in this cave.

DELORES
Does anyone know we’re here? Like maybe the government at least?

TOM
(he jumps up, and begins
pacing the cave.)
No. I couldn’t risk another producer stealing my idea. I couldn’t even take a chance on a cameraman, that’s why I’m filming this myself. Jesus! He was supposed to be here over an hour ago!

SHAWNA
I still can’t believe he agreed to this. Three of his wives are already in the states, right? Tom?

TOM
Yes, uh. I was going to wait to tell you this. . . . .

LIBBY
What?

TOM
O.K. But, you can’t breathe a word of this to Osama.

The ladies in unison
WHAT?

TOM
(voice lowered.)
My production assistants kind of misplaced his wives.

DELORES
YOU LOST OSAMA’S WIVES? How in the world is that possible?

TOM
Shhhh. I don’t know. They said the girls landed with their translator at JFK. They asked to go to the ladies room and POOF!

SHAWNA
POOF?

TOM
POOF. They were gone.
(Bin Laden and Al Masri enter, and startle the group.)

Abu
Welcome infidels to Camp Xray.

LIBBY
Xray? Isn’t that–

Abu
(interrupts)
WE HAD THAT NAME FIRST! AMERICANS ARE NOT ONLY MURDERERS BUT THEY ARE THIEVES AS WELL!

OSAMA
Pay him no mind, the Jihad is making him weary. Welcome to our home. I am Osama Muhammed Rashid Abdullah Abrahim Muhammed Bin Laden. Introduce yourselves and then you will each be beheaded.

(They shreik in horror, Osama and Abu laugh)

Just kidding. I am looking forward to filming your television show.

SHAWNA
(She walks unsteadily toward Bin laden and extends a shaky hand.)
Mr. Bin Laden my name is Shawna Westwood, pleased to meet you.

OSAMA
(He recoils in disgust)
I can not touch you until we are married tomorrow.

SHAWNA
(Looks at Tom)
Uh, Tom?

TOM
Just a formality, it’s not binding.

LIBBY
I heard so much about you. I’m Libby Johnson from Toledo.

OSAMA
Ohio?

LIBBY
Yes.

OSAMA
(laughs)
That’s where Klinger was from, no? We love watching M*A*S*H here, don’t we?

Abu
Ah yes, it is indeed one of our favorites. Hmmmmm. Hot lips.

DELORES
(Acting tough, she saunters over to him)
And I’m Delores Florentine from Brooklyn, New York.

OSAMA
Good for you.

(Looks at Tom)
And you’re the Jew.

TOM
Well yes, technically I’m Jewish. . . but--

OSAMA
At this point I’d do business with George Bush himself. Money is running out. Abu says I get three million for our Jihad if I convince these American women to stay and remain my wives after two weeks?

TOM
That’s the deal, sir. And if they choose to return to their husbands in America, they get the three million to split.

OSAMA
I need to have a word with my comrade.
(Bin Laden and Abu huddle in private conversation. They’re gesturing wildly, unintelligible Arabic is being thrown back and forth.)

LIBBY
Uh, isn’t that like treason?

TOM
One man’s treason is this man’s award winning T.V. Besides, do really you think any of you will want to stay here forever?

DELORES
(sarcastically)
I can’t stand having sex with my husband. It would be great to have another 6 or 7 women to help take some of the heat off. And can you imagine how quick the housework–or in this case–the cave work will get done?

SHAWNA
Yeah, and anything would be better than living in Alabama.

LIBBY
I always liked dark and swarthy.

TOM
Did you get a whiff of these guys? They’ve been up in these mountains without a bath since the Reagan administration.
(Osama and Abu’s voices are getting
louder.)

What are they fighting about?
(The four stop and look at Osama and Abu who now are playing Rock/paper/scissors. Osama looks defeated and Abu walks triumphantly back over to the group.)

ABU
There has been a change of plans.

TOM
What are you talking about?

OSAMA
The women will marry Abu, it is decided.
(The ladies gasp)

TOM
That is unacceptable!

ABU
But Osama already has six wives and I have none!

TOM
The show films tomorrow. Osama’s wives are in America with their husbands, and Libby, Delores, and Shawna have to live as Osama’s wives. Without that, there’s no show and no money for your Jihad.

OSAMA
Abu has been my trusted servant for years. He deserves these wives. His happiness is worth more than three million dollars.
(He nudges Abu)
And a little infidel sex will help him get through the long Afghan winters.

Abu
Ooooh. Osama, you are bad. And Zionist, now you must leave. You are not invited to my wedding.

(He throws his head back and lets out an ominous yell. A dozen armed guards appear and grab Tom and start to drag him out. The girls start to cry. One guard hands a burqua to each of the women. He forces them at gunpoint to put them on.)

DELORES
(Throws the burqua on the ground.)
I AM GOING TO PRETEND YOU DID NOT HAND THAT TO ME!

Abu
You must wear this, or you will die.

DELORES
I’d rather–

Abu
(interrupts)
BURQUA OR DEATH!

DELORES
Hey you little worm, I’M NOT WEARING THIS!

Abu
BURQUA. OR. DEATH!!!!

DELORES
KISS. MY. ASS! Girls, take those ridiculous mumus off. We’re going home.

Abu
(meekly)
Burqua or death?

Delores and the ladies throw down the burqas and march off. Abu picks up one and begins to wipe a tear from his eye. Osama comes to comfort his friend.

OSAMA
There there. Do not cry.

Abu
But I loved them.

OSAMA
Cheer up, the cast of Amazing race will be here next week.

End.