Alley Oops

BILL BILLIAMSON TYPES AWAY AT A TYPEWRITER IN AN ALLEYWAY.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Meanwhile, somewhere in an alley behind a stripmall…

TRENT SCROTAL-WAXING, A FLUSTERED WEIRDO HOLDING A STACK OF LOOSELY-BOUND PRINTER PAPER, ENTERS.

TRENT: Excuse me, are you erotic scifi novelist Bill Billiamson?

BILL: That’s right. How may I help you?

TRENT: Wow. Uh… Hi, I’m Trent Scrotal-Waxing. I recently finished reading your new book, “Wet, Sloppy Bits in Space,” and I just wanted to say you’re a real bastard, aren’t you?

BILL: I’m sorry?

TRENT: Look. I’ve been a fan of yours ever since I pirated a copy of “Dinosaur Orgy on Mars with Robots and Lasers,” but I do not appreciate this tactless commentary on me and my genitals.

BILL: I’ve done no such thing.

TRENT: Oh, come now. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice all these thinly veiled references to me and my genitals scattered throughout this… this… literary hit piece?

BILL: “Literary hit piece”?

TRENT: Playing stupid, are we, Mr. Billiamson?

BILL: I assure you, I’m not playing at all.

TRENT: And I assure you, I’ll have your ears choking on your own words… (FLIPS THROUGH THE STACK AND READS) “As the flaccid winds of Analor stung their eyes and punched their nose in that way an offensive smell might do had it a fist, they looked upon the distant light of Brixby-Eleventy and sighed a sexual sigh.”

BILL: Yes?

TRENT: (SCOFFS) Need I go on?

BILL: (CONSIDERS THIS) Yes.

TRENT: Oh, well… Uh… What about this… (READS) “Cunnilinda held his arm in the light of the moon, content in the knowledge she could never love another.” Hmm? Did you really find it so necessary to mock my lifelong inability to find companionship without paying for it?

BILL: Did you pirate and print out a copy of my book instead of buying it?

TRENT: I did. And after suffering through your attacks on me and my genitals, I have to say it was worth every penny.

BILL: Look. Mister…

TRENT: Scrotal-Waxing.

BILL: Mr. Scrotal-Waxing, rest assured that I do not know you, I do not want to know you, and I have absolutely no intention of writing anything about you or your genitals.

TRENT: A bit late for that now, isn’t it? Now the whole world thinks my genitals are of an inferior nature, utterly incapable of pleasurbation!

BILL: Are you sure you’ve actually read my book?

TRENT: I’ve… read enough, thank you very much.

BILL: (GESTURES TO THE STACK OF PAPER) May I?

TRENT: (HANDS STACK OF PAPER TO BILL) Far be it from me to stop another man from digging his own grave.

BILL: (READS) “The Turgidian drove his staff deep into the soft, yielding flesh of yet another Moistman, and howled like some sort of howling beast.” I suppose that one’s also about you?

TRENT: An obvious allusion to my deep-seated resentment toward my mother.

BILL: Right. Well, what about… (READS) “They dove headfirst into the slippy mouth of the Clitorian Caverns, never to be seen again.” What’s that one about, then?

TRENT: I was only a child, Mr. Billiamson!

Bill’s Boards

STEVE: We’ll return in just a moment to, “I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This.” But first, a completely different sketch.

CUT TO:

AN ANNOYING RADIO AD. THE SORT YOU HEAR ON A MORNING COMMUTE AND WISH YOU COULD GET FAR AWAY FROM BUT IS SOMEHOW PLAYING ON EVERY STATION.

OTHER STEVE: Do you have a business, service, or assorted flavor of ponzi scheme? Do you need to reach the least amount of people possible in the smallest radius imaginable in a world that has long since shifted to a global digital marketplace? Do you want to piss away what few marketing dollars you can afford on an eyesore of an advertisement sure to be forgotten and left in tatters in a matter of weeks or eventually covered up by another monstrosity nobody will give the time of a day, except, perhaps, in the form of a sullen sigh of disgust?

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

If so, then you need a Billboard! And here at Bill Billiamson’s Billboards by Bill Billiamson, we’re eager and turgid to take your money in exchange for a billboard designed and abandoned by Bill Billiamson, son of the legendary billboard creator, Bill Billiamson. Organic, inedible, made of one-percent recyclable materials, loose fitting, mint-flavored, smooth, yet rough, California sober, and an Ohio seven, our billboards are sure to be a waste of every dollar.

Bill Billiamson’s Billboards by Bill Billiamson: Because the internet is a strange, mysterious realm of techno-wizardry.

The Job: “Cheapshot” Sandors

A STRIPMALL PARKING LOT.

SETH: (VOICE-OVER) This job isn’t for everyone, you know. It’s given me a lot, but it always gets its cut. Always.

CUT TO:

SETH “CHEAPSHOT” SANDORS, A MISSHAPEN POTATO OF A MAN SEEMINGLY DRESSED FOR HIGH SCHOOL GYM CLASS AND HOLDING A LARGE, HEAVY TEXTBOOK.

BARRY: I’m Seth “Cheapshot” Sandors, and I’ve been a pro wrestler for twelve years.

CUT TO:

SETH BEHIND A DUMPSTER.

SETH: I’ve lost friends and loved ones to this business, actually. I mean, I know where they are – they haven’t just disappeared into thin air, or something. Obviously.

Well, for example: My sister once hit me with her car for a chance at a free trip to Classy Lou’s All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. She didn’t get it, unfortunately. And she hasn’t answered my calls… or responded to my lawyer’s attempts to get her to pay my hospital bills.

And then there was the time my one-time best friend slept with my girlfriend just to get a psychological upperhand in a match I wasn’t even involved in. (BEAT) Which, now that I think about it, doesn’t make too much sense, really…

A SILENCE.

Oh, check this out…

SETH REVEALS SEVERAL DISTINCT SCARS.

(POINTS) This is where they replaced one of my ribs with a titanium rod for some reason. This one is from the time I took a VCR to the back of the head during a “Be Kind, Rewind” match. And this, uh… this is from an unruly class of twelve–year olds who all decided to throw their desks at me for asking them to, please, put away their phones and stop recording my crying from all the mean things they were saying to me. (NERVOUS LAUGHTER) Middle-schoolers, right?

ANOTHER SILENCE.

Anyway. I couldn’t go back to teaching middle-school English after that. (BEAT) Literally, I wasn’t allowed back on campus. But I also saw it as an opportunity to take my natural ability to absorb inhumane amounts of physical, mental, and emotional abuse and make something of myself. It’s all about making those opportunities for yourself.

That’s why I’m here, actually.

JOE, A MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR WITH A MAKESHIFT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BELT, PASSES BY.

Sorry, I’ve gotta clock-in real quick.

SETH SNEAK-ATTACKS JOE WITH THE LARGE, HEAVY TEXTBOOK.

(GESTURES) Come on! Come on!

REFEREE APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE.

SETH PINS AN UNCONSCIOUS JOE WHILE A HORRIFIED CROWD WATCHES.

(TO REFEREE) Oh, stop staring and do your job!

REFEREE: (LIGHTLY SLAPPING THE PAVEMENT) One! Two! Three!

SETH STANDS, HOLDS UP THE MAKESHIFT CHAMPIONSHIP BELT IN VICTORY.

ANNOUNCER APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE.

ANNOUNCER: Your new Calvin Carson’s Town Center and Outlet Mall Champion, Seth “Cheapshot” Sanderson!

EVERYONE LOOKS UPON THIS IN SILENT CONTEMPT.

Human Capital Stock

AN ADVERTISEMENT: THE SORT YOU HEAR ON THE MORNING COMMUTE OR DAY-TIME TELEVISION.

INDEBTA, A MIDDLE-MANAGER TYPE, SULKS IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Are you a middle-manager type sulking and hiding in your office as you avoid dealing with the numerous complaints about low wages, long hours, sexual harrassment, and the various recording devices in the employee washroom violating privacy laws and basic human decency?

INDEBTA: (NODS) Uh-huh.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Have your shallow attempts to cultivate a cult-like roster of exhausted wage-slaves by way of after-hour binge-drinking events masquerading as “team-building exercises,” sparkling bottled water in the breakroom, and assorted absurd mantras, slogans, and unearthly chanting failed to obtain the results and data your corporate overlords demand of you?

INDEBTA: (SHRUGS) Maybe…

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Then maybe you need the Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System.

INDEBTA: The Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System?

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Yes, you insipid potato, the Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System is the only handheld training device designed by bastards and approved by the Federal Government for the sole purpose of keeping your worthless, yet valuable human capital stock in line!

INDEBTA HOLDS UP A MONOPTICON ELECTRIC CORPORATE EMPLOYEE TRAINER SYSTEM.

INDEBTA: Wait. Isn’t this just a cattle prod?

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Are you stupid, or just an idiot?

INDEBTA: Yes.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) (SIGHS) Light-weight, battery-powered, sexually healing, and phallic in all the right and wrong ways, the Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System is a handheld device capable of delivering enough electricity to put down an African elephant, yet dangerous enough to silence any employee demands that continue to place your owner’s money in jeopardy.

EMPLOYEE ENTERS.

EMPLOYEE: Excuse me, Indebta? I’m here to talk to you about a living wage and reasonable, humane expectations of employees.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Why don’t you give it a try?

INDEBTA: Sure, why not?

EMPLOYEE: (LOOKS ABOUT CONFUSED) Who are you talking to, Indebta? What’s that in your–

INDEBTA ELECTROCUTES EMPLOYEE WITH THE MONOPTICON ELECTRIC CORPORATE EMPLOYEE TRAINER SYSTEM, EMPLOYEE DROPS LIFELESS TO THE FLOOR.

INDEBTA: Wow! Thank you, Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System!

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) No “thank you” necessary. Simply order the Monopticon Electric Corporate Employee Trainer System and give us your money today!

Toilet Humor

AN EMPTY VOID.

A. FAILED: Good whenever, and welcome back to, “We Had Time to Fill.” I’m a failed thought experiment.

Tonight, we’re here in a vast, empty void to speak with professional recluse and fictional construct who will inevitably and invariably be misconstrued as a personal attack on some random lunatic who absolutely, positively must make everything and anything about themselves regardless of the context or subject matter, Mr. and/or Mrs. Impacted Bowels.

IMPACTED: (WAVES) Hello.

A. FAILED: Tell us a bit about yourself.

IMPACTED: I’d rather not.

A. FAILED: Fascinating. Impacted, is it true that you have not relieved yourself, in a fecal sense, for nearly two years? 

IMPACTED: That’s correct. It’ll be two years next month since the last time I defecated, excreted, or dunged.

A. FAILED: Disgusting. Is this for business or pleasure? Or perhaps for some sort of turdish world record?

IMPACTED: (CHUCKLES) If only. No, it all started two summers ago, when I discovered, while sitting on my toilet, of course, that other people were deeply invested in the whens, whys, and hows of my feculence.

A. FAILED: And how did you come to discover this, exactly?

IMPACTED: They told me.

A. FAILED: They told you?

IMPACTED: In a sense.

A. FAILED: In what sense does one possibly communicate that they wish to be involved in another’s bowel movements?

IMPACTED: In the sense that my neighbor at the time stood in their bathroom above mine, along with several of their friends, and began drunkenly commentating and cackling aloud about how they could hear my turdlacious activities. That and the assorted blogs, vlogs, podcasts, commentary tracks, and an illustrated newsletter that they’ve released in the time since.

A. FAILED: Are you sure such voracious fecalphiles didn’t simply find the sound or smell to be amusing? I mean, no need to kink shame these days, right?

IMPACTED: Perhaps. But funny sounds, smells, and sexual deviancy aside, I did find it rather uncomfortable to perform such things without proper compensation.

A. FAILED: Those cheap bastards.

IMPACTED: Cheap bastards, indeed. So, I set out into the world to find a place in which to unburden my butthole, if you will, in relative peace and quiet.

A. FAILED: And that’s what has brought you here to a dark and endless abyss?

IMPACTED: Eventually, yes. I’ve spent countless hours on the toilets of friends and family, squatted above a variety of portable chemical toilets, swam in the waters of Huntington Beach, and even once glimpsed into the vile hauntings and slitherings of a gas station washroom. And yet – and yet! – none manage to provide either the necessary ambiance or lack of microphones and cameras that I prefer when releasing that sloppy, ooey-gooey mess which weighs me down.

A. FAILED: And have you finally found that ambiance and lack of recording equipment?

IMPACTED: Well, I did until you all blipped into existence.

And So, It Comes to This

STEVE: I am a professional recluse.

SOMEONE: (INAUDIBLE SOMETHING OR OTHER)

STEVE: I’m working on a new one right now, actually. I haven’t settled on a title, but I am thinking of calling it, “Does Anybody Else Feel Like Crying All the Time?”

SOMEONE: (INAUDIBLE SOMETHING OR OTHER)

STEVE: If I had to describe it in just one word, it would be, “an introspective, single-act dramedy seeking to uncover the soul-wrenching, fruity, yet creamy center of the eternal question: who are you, and how did you get in here?” (BEAT) Or whatever one word means that.

SOMEONE: (INAUDIBLE SOMETHING OR OTHER)

STEVE: Well… I wanted to challenge myself. See what I could really do, ya know? Could I come up with a minute – just one minute – of original material every night… and waste it. Every second.

PulpBusters

SFX: AN EGG CRACKS OPEN.

STEVE: (VOICE-OVER) Inside every PulpBuster is a raw nugget of partially digested humor.

SFX: NOT ENTIRELY UN-EROTIC SLURPING, LIP SMACKING, AND OTHER MOUTH SOUNDS. UP, UNDER.

STEVE: (VOICE-OVER) Mouthwatering, vomit-inducing, sexually stimulating – PulpBusters are confusing morsels of thought and sound sure to disappoint.

SFX: MILDLY EROTIC VOMITING. UP, UNDER.

STEVE: (VOICE-OVER) This Act Like a Pedantic Twat Day, get the ones you love something special. But for the ones you hate, there’s always PulpBusters.

We’ll Have Nun of That

MOTHER SISTER, A NUN, SUNBATHES WITH A FULL COOLER OF BEER. FATHER BROTHER, A PRIEST, ENTERS.

FATHER: Good morning, Mother Sister.

MOTHER: Good morning, Father Brother.

FATHER: Do you happen to have any more of those domestic infants in stock?

MOTHER: Oh, dear. Who talked to the papers this time?

FATHER: No, no. It’s not that sort of thing.

MOTHER: Thank Heavens.

FATHER: No, there’s been another baptismal drowning.

MOTHER: Again?

FATHER: Afraid so.

MOTHER: When did this happen? How are the parents?

FATHER: Just a moment ago, actually. (GESTURES) The parents are still waiting. They think I’ve gone to the toilet. So, I’m in a bit of a hurry. If you’re out of stock, any of the younger orphans should do.

MOTHER: You can’t just swap that dead baby for another one.

FATHER: Why not?

MOTHER: The parents might notice.

FATHER: Don’t be ridiculous.

MOTHER: It’s true. I saw it in a documentary.

FATHER: What documentary?

MOTHER: (CONSIDERS THIS) I forget.

FATHER: Well. It’s still worth a try. So, do you have any you can spare?

MOTHER: Yes, I think so. But I can’t help feeling this is a bit wrong.

FATHER: Wrong?

MOTHER: Yes. Sinful, even. (GESTURES) He’s watching, you know.

FATHER: Who’s watching?

MOTHER: God, of course.

FATHER: (SCOFFS) Come now, Mother Sister. No need to bring religion into this.

MOTHER: Fair enough.

FATHER: Besides. Where in the Bible does it say a nun or a priest can’t replace one drowned child for a different, less unalive one for the sake of skirting responsibilities? Hmm?

MOTHER: I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. It’s a fairly big book.

FATHER: Yes, well, I’ve skimmed through the admittedly large book, and I’m mostly certainly there’s nothing of the sort in there.

MOTHER: Feels like a strange oversight, doesn’t it?

FATHER: It does.

MOTHER: (SIGHS) Oh, alright.

FATHER: Wonderful.

MOTHER: Any particular make or model in mind?

FATHER: Whatever’s fresh. Nothing too ripe.

MOTHER: I think I know just the one.

I Say Potato, You Say Potato

STEVE: My grandmother was a very warm-blooded, carbon-based organism capable of thought, speech, and a few other tricks. She’s long dead, thankfully. But she was the one who taught me – with no small amount of physical violence, mind you – how to properly peel and prep potatoes.

STEVE GRABS A LARGE SACK OF LIVE, TITTERING POTATOES.

Now, Grandma always insisted they had to be freshly caught and alive potatoes. And while my PTSD and regular flashbacks ensure I’m not a fan of canned or frozen – nor capable of walking down either of those aisles at the supermarket without breaking down into uncontrollable tears, if you would be so kind as to allow me to overshare – feel free to make do with whatever’s on hand.

That said. What you do is grab hold of one by the husk, like so…

STEVE REACHES INTO BAG, GRABS POTATO.

There we are…

POTATO HISSES.

Then you sort of deshell it, like this…

STEVE CRACKS, SNAPS, BREAKS POTATO CARAPACE. POTATO SCREAMS LITTLE SCREAMS.

And once you’ve asserted dominance and instilled fear in the rest of the bag through this ruthless, blood-thirsty display, the rest will mash, boil, bake, or fry with the greatest of ease.

But, as a final warning, do be sure to keep an eye on your potatoes. They are, of course, capable of holding a grudge across several generations, and likely to return in greater numbers if allowed to escape and procreate.

Thank you, and please, leave me alone.

What in the Silent H?

A COLLEGE LECTURE HALL. PROFESSOR JIGGLE NIPPLESON SPEAKS. THEIR ASSISTANT SITS ON A NEARBY STOOL, DRESSED IN A SILLY COSTUME.

PROFESSOR: Good evening, class. I am Professor Jiggle Nippleson, and welcome to tonight’s special lecture on subverting expectations. (GESTURES) Aiding me tonight is my assistant, Craigbert. (TO ASSISTANT) All set, Craigbert?

ASSISTANT: (NODS) I think so.

PROFESSOR: Wonderful.

PROFESSOR SHOOTS ASSISTANT DEAD.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE. THEN…

Now. As you can see, Craigbert never even suspected that I would casually execute them without hesitation.

CLASS OOHS AND AAHS AS THEY SLOWLY GET IT.

You might be asking yourself, “Is Craigbert really dead?”… or, “Can I learn to do this myself?”… or perhaps, “Do they have a book I can buy?”

The answer to all those questions, I’m happy to tell you, is “yes.” Yes, I do have a book you can buy, and it is very, very expensive.

CLASS CHEERS.

Clitorian Plating

STEVE: The other day, I overheard someone sharing their rather strong distaste for fictional jargon in genres like fantasy and science fiction. As opposed to real fantasy and science-fiction jargon, of course.

This person was otherwise perfectly fine with the Turgiddians committing acts of genocide across entire quadrants. And they certainly took no issue with Flaccidites being a thinly-veiled racist caricature of Romanians, with their large middle-toes, hairy elbows, and ability to shapeshift into puddles of water.

But call the thing where you pull a trigger, it goes “pew-pew,” and concentrated bits of light kill anything standing in front of it a “four-knuckled hashtagger with a huckleberry suppressor and clitorian plating,” and all believability is lost.

Aliens and interdimensional beings are perfectly acceptable, but only so long as they speak American.

Right Step, Wrong Foot

A REPORTER SPEAKERS TO US LIVE FROM A SMALL FAMILY BARBECUE IN A PARK.

REPORTER: (TO AUDIENCE) Good evening. I’m A. Work of Fiction, and welcome to the biggest mistake of my life.

Our top story tonight: a local family is shocked, sickened, and shamed by the startling revelation that I’ve shit my pants.

EVERYONE SNEERS, GAGS, DISPERSES.

Who am I? Where did I come from? And what compels an otherwise healthy, grown adult to defecate – publicly – in their pants – and at a family barbecue, of all places.

WIFE: (CONCERNED) Honey? Is everything… (SMELLS IT) (GAGS) Oh, my god…

REPORTER: (TO AUDIENCE) Joining me tonight is my wife, Insert Name Here, in her first public appearance since learning I’ve shit my pants.

WIFE: (DISGUSTED) What is wrong with you?

REPORTER: (TO WIFE) I hate your father. I always have.

WIFE: (GETS IT) Oh. Well… (SHRUGS) Be sure to clean up when you’re finished.

WIFE WALKS AWAY.

REPORTER: (TO AUDIENCE) I’m A. Work of Fiction, continuing to shit their pants live from my Father-in-Law’s retirement party. We now return you to another complete waste of time.

One Job

STEVE FORMALLY, YET FORMALLY ADDRESSES THE LISTENER.

STEVE: Dear Reader… This is a bit embarrassing to admit. But it has recently come to my attention that I simply couldn’t be assed to write a sketch.

For some, this will come as a bit of a surprise. And I assure you, you will soon learn precisely how foolish you were for doubting how astoundingly stupid I am.

Others, however, are judgmental bastards who obviously know me quite well, actually.

In either case, I’m afraid it still works out, more or less, to be a complete waste of time.

STEVE TOOTS A LITTLE HORN.

Dougs in Space

DOUG, A DEPRESSINGLY BLAND, YET SOMEHOW LIKABLE-ISH MAN, SITS ATOP A TOILET.

HOST: (VOICE-OVER) Douglas Anderson, fictional character and depressed alcoholic, never left California in his thirty-seven years of existence.

DOUG BECOMES UNCOMFORTABLY AWARE OF HOST… AND US.

In his college days, Doug traveled as far north as Stockton for a one-week training seminar after accidentally acquiring a job at a car rental company.

DOUG REMINISCES.

He also visited San Diego on several occasions, though he wasn’t particularly fond of it.

DOUG: (SCOFFS)

HOST: (VOICE-OVER) When pressed for a reason why he felt this way about an entire city, Doug only ever averted his eyes and curled his lip.

DOUG: (GROWLS)

HOST: (VOICE-OVER) He even once had plans to visit Vegas.

DOUG SMILES A SAD LITTLE SMILE.

It was to be a celebration of his twenty-first birthday with a group of his closest friends. The culmination of a lifelong bond forged through the crucible of childhood and, in once case, a brief stint in juvenile hall. Unfortunately for Doug, he had the misfortune of falling ill with a mild cold mere days before.

DOUG: (GROANS)

HOST: (VOICE-OVER) And rather than risk getting anyone else sick, he took the headache and stuffy nose as a sign from the Universe to stay home. Doug would never see the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip, nor the many fliers and pamphlets for adult entertainment that line it.

DOUG HANGS HIS HEAD, SIGHS A SAD LITTLE SIGH.

That said. Try to imagine Doug’s surprise when, without warning, he found himself ripped from atop his toilet, sent crashing up and through the ceiling of the converted garage he rented in Santa Ana from a kindly old woman named Gloria for five-hundred dollars a month, and then hurled by some unseen force into orbit.

DOUG INEXPLICABLY LAUNCHES INTO SPACE.

DOUG: (YELPS)

HOST: (VOICE-OVER) Despite the arguments that invariably arise whenever the wholesale abandonment of Douglas Anderson by physics itself is brought up in conversation, Doug was neither frightened nor quick to make some sarcastic, witty remark with his final breath. Instead, he welcomed his end with open arms. And his final thought before finding himself shredded to pieces by a passing stream of space debris, located somewhere between Newport and the moon, was this: “Dreams really do come true.”

Gloria, unfortunately, passed away several months after Doug’s ejection from the planet Earth. With Doug gone, there was nobody home on Wednesday afternoons. Thus, there was nobody around to hold the chair steady for Gloria as she refilled the bird feeder in her garden. Her body was found several weeks later by her son, Tito, who had stopped by in the hopes of borrowing fifty dollars until he started his new job.

TITO ENTERS WITH TOUR GROUP.

Tito currently operates and manages daily tours of the Doug-sized hole left behind in his mother’s garage.

TITO POINTS, TOUR GROUP OOHS, AAHS, AND SNAPS PHOTOS.

IT’S OVER

You Wyvern, You Lose Some

SOUNDSCAPE: A LOVELY SWATH OF FANTASY COUNTRYSIDE.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) In the land of Exposition, a stagecoach coaches across the Valley of Setting…

SFX: A STAGECOACH COACHES ACROSS THE STAGE.

BRADDADOCIOUS: I certainly home we didn’t waste my time coming here, Chadthony. If the President of the Land of Exposition Board of Directors himself can’t approve the plans for my new electric horse factory, I’m going to be out a lot of money.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Braddadocious Richmanson, heir to the Richmanson family orphan-blood mine fortune.

CHADTHONY: I know, Brad. I know. But I have known the President for a very long time. And while Guilty B. Association certainly may be a fool, an idiot, and a war criminal, he’s not stupid. He’ll do as he’s told.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Senator Chadthony Screwem, elected representative of the City of Pushover and collector of lost souls.

CHADTHONY: Also, I picked up this lovely thing while we were in the capital.

LOST SOUL: (INCOHERENT PAINED WAILING)

CHADTHONY: (CHUCKLES) I think the girl at the shop said this one was an erotic fruit painter, or something. (TO TIM) What did you get up to, Tim?

TIM: I watched the ladies dance.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) And Tim, local small business owner and voter against his own interest.

BRADDADOCIOUS: (TO NARRATOR) Alright, alright. I think everyone gets it – the three of us are a bunch of real bastards. No need to be such a farting pill about it.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Sorry.

BRADDADOCIOUS: Yes, well… You ought to be. People like you are always prattling on about things that matter to you and making pointed statements of the abuses you suffer at the hands of men like us. But you never stop to think that maybe we’re more than the shallow caricatures of selfishness, violence, and treachery that we make ourselves out to be, do you?

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) No. No, I guess I never really–

SFX: THE STAGECOACH SCREECHES TO A HALT, ROCKS CABIN.

BRADDADOCIOUS: Genitals!

CHADTHONY: Dammit all! Do you know how much child labor it’ll take to get Lost Soul out of this?

TIM: Mr. Senator, would it help matters any if I increase my donations to your re-election fund?

CHADTHONY: (CONSIDERS THIS) No, but you probably should do that anyway.

TIM: ‘kay.

BRADDADOCIOUS: Driver, what the Hell is going on out there?

DRIVER: (OFF) Sirs, there’s a bit of a problem on the road.

BRADDADOCIOUS: Well, either go around it or run it over.

WYVERN: (ROARS)

CHADTHONY: Oh, my stars and bars…

TIM: If I double my donations and let you increase my taxes, can you make this go away?

CHADTHONY: Triple it.

TIM: Deal.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) The problem, as it turns out, is a rather large, yet ill-tempered–

BRADDADOCIOUS: Dragon!

WYVERN: (SNARLS)

DRIVER: (OFF) Wyvern, actually.

BRADDADOCIOUS: I beg your pardon?

DRIVER: (OFF) Yeah, it’s a fairly common misunderstanding. Ya see, Dragon’s are much larger and typically have four legs while Wyverns are smaller, more agile, and only have–

SFX: KA-BOOM!

BRADDADOCIOUS: What can it possibly be this time?!

DRIVER: (OFF) I ain’t sure, Sir. But there was a streak of light across the sky just now, and then it–

WYVERN: (DEATH WAILS)

SFX: WYVERN DROPS DEAD.

DRIVER: (OFF) Yup. Killed that wyvern dead.

TIM: Anyone else hear a ringing?

CHADTHONY: Let me privatize your healthcare and I’ll make sure you’re taken care of.

TIM: Deal!

BRADDADOCIOUS: I’ll give you fifty bucks for the rights to that dragon’s corpse.

DRIVER: (OFF) Wyvern.

BRADDADOCIOUS: (TO DRIVER) Okay, okay. (TO CHADTHONY) I’ll give you fifty bucks for the rights to that wyvern’s corpse.

CHADTHONY: Deal!

DRIVER: (OFF) Sirs, I think someone’s flying over this way!

BRADDADOCIOUS: I’m sorry, did you say “flying”?

DRIVER: (OFF) Yes, Sir.

BRADDADOCIOUS: Right, just making sure.

SFX: A PASSING WIND.

TIM: Look! It’s some kinda short, stocky woman in a crazy outfit!

SFX: WINTER LANDS WITH A GRUNT.

WYNNTER: (OFF) (EXCITED) You guys saw that crazy shot, right? That had to be at least a solid half-mile!

BRADDADOCIOUS: You there – the short, stocky woman who killed my dragon!

DRIVER: (OFF) Wyvern.

BRADDADOCIOUS: We get it!

SFX: WYNNTER APPROACHES THE STAGECOACH.

WYNNTER: This is your wyvern?

BRADDADOCIOUS: Yes, I purchased the rights to it mere moments before you carelessly shot it dead.

WYNNTER: Sorry about that. I didn’t see a collar on it.

CHADTHONY: Young lady, you saved us from that terrible lizard!

WYNNTER: Huh? But he just said–

BRADDADOCIOUS: Nevermind that. Miss, I’ll forgive your reckless destruction of my personal property in exchange for the rights to calling myself the hero of this little vignette.

WYNNTER: Hey, you’re that guy who makes whatever an electric horse is!

CHADTHONY: What’s your name, young lady?

WYNNTER: Oh. I’m Wynnter Fyre. Nice to meet ya.

CHADTHONY: The pleasure’s ours, I assure you. I’m Senator Screwem from the City of Pushover. Miss Wynnter, how can my associates and I ever thank you?

WYNNTER: (CONSIDERS THIS) I guess money’s pretty good.

BRADDADOCIOUS: (CLEARS THROAT) I’m, uh… I’m afraid we don’t have much money on us. All tied up in the stalk market, I’m afraid.

WYNNTER: Stalk?

BRADDADOCIOUS: Corn, mostly.

WYNNTER: That’s okay. I’ll just take whatever you got on ya.

BRADDADOCIOUS: You’re not very heroic, are you?

WYNNTER: Oh, that’s because I’m not.

BRADDADOCIOUS: You’re not?

WYNNTER: No, but I am robbing you.

CHADTHONY: What?

SFX: SHOTGUN COCKS.

DRIVER: Ma’am, I’m gonna have to ask you to walk away now.

WYNNTER: Are you really aiming a shotgun at a woman who just downed a wyvern with one shot from a half-mile away?

DRIVER: Yes, Ma’am.

WYNNTER: Right. Just checking.

DRIVER: Sorry, Ma’am. I don’t care much for these men…

TIM: Ouch…

DRIVER: (TO TIM) Sorry, Tim. (TO WYNNTER) But they are my customers. And I have a duty to protect them.

WYNNTER: (SIGHS) Memmer…

SFX: WOM-WOM-WOM! MAGIC HYPNO-EYE SOUNDS!

DRIVER: Ma’am, I don’t know what you’re doing with your eyes, but… (SOBS) But, uh… I really… (SNIFFS) Oh… Oh, no…

BRADDADOCIOUS: What is this? What’s going on? Why is that man showing me his feelings?

DRIVER: I remember… I, I remember that time… Why did he have to leave me? I was a good kid!

CHADTHONY: Oh, this isn’t good.

WYNNTER: Heartbreaking, really. I unlocked some of his repressed memories and emotions.

SFX: DRIVER RUNS OFF.

DRIVER: (OFF) (SOBBING) Daddy! Come back, Daddy! I’ll be better! I promise!

WYNNTER: So, Gentlemen… About that money?

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Several minutes and small fortunes later…

SFX: STAGECOACH SPEEDS OFF.

WYNNTER: You’re a natural, Tim! Just be careful with all that horsepower! (A BEAT) Hey. You can get up now.

WYVERN: (STIRS AWAKE)

WYNNTER: Yeah. I think it went better than expected.

WYVERN: (GRUNTS)

WYNNTER: What? Yeah, yeah. Go ahead, I think we got everything of value from them now.

WYVERN: (GRUNTS)

WYNNTER: Uh-huh. I will. You have fun, ‘kay?

WYVERN: (GRUNTS)

SFX: WYVERN FLIES OFF.

A BEAT. THEN…

SFX: WYVERN ATTACKS IN THE DISTANCE.

WYNNTER: (SIGHS) Today was a productive day.

IT’S OVER.

Meteo’kar vs The Moonman

SFX: DING-DING! A BELL RINGS.

MUSIC: METEO’KAR: CHAMPION OF SPACE THEME. UP, UNDER.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Watch! Right over there! It’s not an Eagle! It’s not a helicopter! No, you pencil-necked geek! It’s… (ECHOES) Meteo’kar, Champion of Space!

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Neglected from an early age and raised by television, John “Twin-Beds” Joblonski dreamed of owning his own bookshop and raising miniature glass figurines on a small avocado farm in the valley. But fate had other plans…

MUSIC: THEME FADES.

SOUNDSCAPE: THE STILL SILENCE OF A LARGE, EMPTIED SPACE-ARENA ON THE MOON.

SFX: A MAN, EDWIN EUGENE “BUZZ” ALDRIN, STIRS AWAKE.

ALDRIN: (PAINED, CONFUSED) My head… What is… Where am I? Why is it so dark? (CONSIDERS THIS) Oh, no… This better not be one of those damned conspiracy conventions again!

KUR’TAHN: (PA SYSTEM) Baz Al’drin!

ALDRIN: It’s “Buzz”, you idiot! “Buzz” Aldrin! Not “Baz” and whatever else it is you said!

A SILENCE.

KUR’TAHN: (PA SYSTEM) Baz Al’drin, Champion of Earth!

ALDRIN: (SIGHS) Oh, for… Wait. “Champion of Earth”? What are you talking about?

KUR’TAHN: (PA SYSTEM) Behold, Baz Al’drin!

SFX: LARGE, HEAVY DOORS OPEN OVERHEAD.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) On July 21st, 1969, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin became the first man to walk on Earth’s moon.

ALDRIN: Oh, no… It can’t be. Is that…?

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Tonight, he does it for the second time.

KUR’TAHN: (PA SYSTEM) For decades, you have reigned undefeated as Champion of Earth. Today, that reign comes to an end where it all began, right here, in the Unicorp Cigarettes and Firearm Memorial Lunar Arena and Amphitheater! Baz Al’drin, Champion of Earth, I challenge you to a–

RING ANNOUNCER: (PA SYSTEM) –Trailer Park Trash Deathmatch!

SOUNDSCAPE: A SMALL BUSTLING CROWD IN A SMALL LEGION HALL.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Meanwhile, in a Legion Hall somewhere in Fountain Valley…

ZACH: Golly! I can’t believe Johnny accepted this match!

RONNIE: Oh, Zach! I know it’s been his dream of winning the Fountain Valley World Wrestling Championship ever since the bookstore mysteriously caught fire and he lost the avocado farm, but Johnny’s crazy for agreeing to this! Absolutely farting crazy!

ZACH: Don’t you worry, Ronnie! Johnny’s the greatest wrestler in all of Fountain Valley, and he’s gonna prove it!

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Ronnie Sweetheart, grown woman and John’s best gal, sits nervously at ringside with John’s best pal and very much a grown man, Zach Supportingrole. Together, they and everyone else in that cramped, odd-smelling Legion Hall remain blissfully unaware of the danger lurking on the moon above… 

SFX: RING MUSIC. UP, UNDER.

RING ANNOUNCER: (PA SYSTEM) On his way to the ring, weighing I don’t know how many pounds, from I can’t be assed to remember, Johnny “Twin-Beds” Jablonski!

SFX: CROWD CHEERS. UP, UNDER.

SFX: JOHN ENTERS, KISSES HANDS, SHAKES BABIES.

ZACH: Knock his block off, Johnny!

JOHNNY: Can do, best pal o’ mine!

RONNIE: Extinguish the light in his eyes and watch him slip into oblivion, Johnny!

SILENCE. THEN…

JOHNNY: Wow. That’s dark, Ronnie. Way too dark…

RING ANNOUNCER: (PA SYSTEM) And his opponent… (BEAT) I’m sorry, what? He did what? Oh… Yeah. Yeah, sure. Go ahead.

SFX: MICROPHONE FEEDBACK.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Hi. This is “Medium Pete” Peterski, owner of Fountain Valley Pro Wrestling and Car Detailing Service. I’m afraid I have a bit of bad news.

SFX: CROWD UH-OHS.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) “Uh-oh,” indeed. Despite my best efforts to assure him that he would, in fact, be paid for this month’s show, our beloved Fountain Valley World Champion, Tony “Two Thumbs” Pulcini, couldn’t afford the gas to get here today.

SFX: CROWD BOOS.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Per regulations, I officially strip Tony “Two Thumbs” Pulcini of the Fountain Valley World Wrestling Championship Title, effective immediately.

SFX: CONFUSED CROWD NOISES.

RONNIE: Oh, Zach! But what about Johnny and his dream of becoming the Fountain Valley World Wrestling Champion?

ZACH: You’re right, Ronnie! (TO PETE) Hey, Medium Pete! We all came here to see Johnny win that title and live his dream!

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Wait. Really?

JOHN: I mean, it’s more of a backup plan. But, yeah. I guess so.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Huh. That’s depressing.

JOHN: (AGREEABLE GRUNT)

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Well… I guess Twin-Beds can have it, if everyone else is cool with that.

SFX: CROWD CONSIDERS THIS.

FAN: (TO CROWD) Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay, I’ll tell him. (TO PETE) Yeah, that’s fine with us.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Cool, cool. (TO RING ANNOUNCER) Hey, do the, uh… Do the thing, I guess.

RING ANNOUNCER: (PA SYSTEM) The what?

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) You know – the thing.

RING ANNOUNCER: (PA SYSTEM) I don’t… No, I don’t get… Oh, that. Right. No, no. I get it now. (TO CROWD) Your winner by lack of funds and new Fountain Valley World Wrestling Champion, Johnny “Twin-Beds” Jablonski!

SFX: CROWD CHEERS.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Also, no refunds.

ZACH: See, Ronnie! I told you he’d do it!

RONNIE: Oh, Johnny!

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) But as Johnny, his best pal, his best gal, and the several dozen mildly entertained, yet equally disappointed fans in attendance celebrated this tragically terrible display of storytelling and craftsmanship, a strange, yet annoying light filled the Legion Hall.

SFX: A STRANGE, YET ANNOYING LIGHT SOUND.

ZACH: Jimminy, Ronnie! What’s with that crazy light?

RONNIE: I don’t know, Zach! But there’s something not quite a fish, not quite a cuttlefish coming out of it!

KUR’TAHN: (SNARLS) Where is the one they call, “Twin-Beds”?

JOHNNY: I, uh… I guess that’s me.

KUR’TAHN: While you celebrate and glorify your overabundance of sleeping apparatuses in this forsaken temple, I, Kur’tahn J’kar, have defeated this world’s true champion!

SFX: KUR’TAHN DROPS SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS SUSPICIOUSLY LIKE A DECAPITATED HEAD.

JOHNNY: My god…

ZACH: Is that what I think it is?!

RONNIE: It’s the de-bodified head of beloved astronaut and first man on the moon, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin!

KUR’TAHN: Yes, Baz Al’drin… Imagine my surprise when I received word that another was claiming to be this world’s champion – my title, won fairly in direct combat, as–

JOHNNY: Look, Buddy! I don’t care who you are or what promotion you work for – this is my show…

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Well. It’s actually my show, but…

JOHNNY: …and this is my Fountain Valley World Wrestling Championship Title!

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Also, my belt. I paid for it.

JOHNNY: And you ain’t getting a shot at it or me until Pete over there pays me for tonight and books this place for another show once he finds the money for the deposit!

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) I’m going to be honest: by the look of tonight’s gate, it’s probably not going to be anytime soon…

KUR’TAHN: (SNARLS) Your fiscal failings and lack of marketing savvy is of no concern to me! Prepare to be pinned or possibly submit in shame!

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) But as Kur’tahn’s mighty claw struck Johnny’s chest, impressively muscled for his age and level of dedication…

KUR’TAHN: (ROARS) 

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) …it shattered like glass on something hard!

SFX: KUR’TAHN’S CLAW/HAND SHATTERS.

KUR’TAHN: (PAINED CRIES)

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) And Johnny, powered by the raw energy of the forty or so mostly paying audience members in attendance…

JOHNNY: (GROWLS)

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) …severs Kur’tahn’s head from the rest of his body with a single punch!

SFX: THE SEVERING OF A HEAD FROM A BODY WITH A SINGLE PUNCH.

A SILENCE. THEN…

RONNIE: Huh. I didn’t see it working out that way.

ZACH: I think I’m going to be sick…

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) (TO RING ANNOUNCER) Ring it. Ring the bell.

SFX: BELL RINGS.

MEDIUM PETE: (PA SYSTEM) Your winner and new Fountain Valley Wrestling Champion of Earth, Johnny “Twin-Beds” Jablonski!

SFX: CROWD CHEERS.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) But as Johnny looked on at the bloody devastation in the ring and the crowd chanted his name…

CROWD: John-ny Twin-Beds! (CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!) John-ny Twin-Beds! (CLAP, CLAP, CLAP!)

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) …another strange, yet annoying light filled the legion hall!

SFX: A STRANGE, YET ANNOYING LIGHT SOUND.

SFX: CROWD GASPS!

ZACH: What in the world?!

RONNIE: Zach! Look! Johnny is…!

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) And as the light faded and their sight returned, Johnny “Twin-Beds” Jablonski was gone.

MUSIC: METEO’KAR: CHAMPION OF SPACE THEME. UP, UNDER.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) Where did Johnny go? Will Ronnie and Zach ever see him again? And what exactly is with alien professional wrestlers from the moon and the severing and exploding of heads? Find out next time, maybe, on the next installment of… (ECHOES) Meteo’kar, Champion of Space!

SFX: DING-DING! A BELL RINGS.

FADE OUT.

The Job: “Twin-Beds” Jablonski

A CITY SKYLINE.

TWIN-BEDS: (VOICE-OVER) It’s never easy being a champion. And it is a heavy title and responsibility that I take very, very seriously.

CUT TO:

JOHN “TWIN-BEDS” JABLONSKI STANDS IN A MOTEL PARKING LOT, HOLDING THE EL DORADO INN HOT TUB, CABLE TV, AND WI-FI CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BELT.

TWIN-BEDS: I’m John “Twin-Beds” Jablonski, and I’m the El Dorado Inn Hot Tub, Cable TV, and Wi-Fi Champion.

CUT TO:

TWIN-BEDS’ MOTEL ROOM. HE’S STILL WEARING THE BELT.

TWIN-BEDS: This is actually my third reign as El Dorado Inn Hot Tub, Cable TV, and Wi-Fi Champion.

My first run was back in 2009, lasting nine-and-a-half weeks. I was coming off a bad breakup, and the El Dorado was the only place I could afford. The previous champion, Eric “Seltzer Water” Anderson, had just been evicted that afternoon, and I was the first one who checked-in after that. I lost it when I fell asleep at the pool and some tourists took photos with me as I slept. The mom didn’t realize her foot on my chest was, by El Dorado Inn official rules and guidelines, an official pin. I tried fighting it, but was escorted off the premises shortly after by security.

Then I found myself back here in 2015, after I lost my job stealing airport luggage. I won the title again a short time later from a recently divorced father of three. Sure, maybe the guy needed the money more than I did. And sure, maybe it was a bit rude to interrupt his bi-monthly supervised visit with his kids by blinding him with some bottle of toilet cleaner I swiped from the housekeeping cart in the hallway and taking away his sole source of income and personal dignity as he lie beneath me, screaming about how he couldn’t see, and his kids crying about me hurting their daddy. But that’s the job, ya know? Don’t climb the mountain if you aren’t ready to be blinded and thrown off the top.

CUT TO:

THE MOTEL PARKING LOT. TWIN-BEDS IS PERHAPS A LITTLE TOO ATTACHED TO THE BELT.

TWIN-BEDS:  I don’t do it for the money. (BEAT) I mean, I do. But it’s not much.

CLERK: (OFF) Excuse me? Twin-Beds? Mr. Jablonski?

TWIN-BEDS: (TO CLERK) What’s up?

CLERK ENTERS, APPROACHES.

CLERK: Hi. Sorry. But, uh… Your credit card declined.

TWIN-BEDS: Did you call Debbie? Everything should’ve been sorted out Thursday with Debbie.

CLERK: She said she isn’t covering your room anymore. The manager said they’re going to need you out by eight tomorrow morning. You can leave the belt on your bed.

A SILENCE.

TWIN-BEDS: Where am I supposed to go?

CLERK: I’m sorry, Twin-Beds. But they don’t pay me enough for this shit.

CLERK EXITS.

ANOTHER SILENCE.

TWIN-BEDS: (SIGHS) Checkout isn’t even till noon…

The Council for the Disbursement of Pretty Bad News

A SPACE-STAGE WITH A SPACE-PODIUM AND A SPACE-MEDIA CIRCUS.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) The bad news is that the end of the world was announced sometime last Friday.

The good news, however, is that the Libertonian Council for the Disbursement of Pretty Bad News somehow booked intergalactic sexual healer and fashionista, G’lp the Turgid One, to deliver the bad news.

G’LP, A SPACE-PERSON, ENTERS, TAKES THE SPACE-PODIUM.

G’LP: Citizens of Earth. We regret to inform you that we have been informed that you have violated the terms of your lease. As per your agreement, you have thirty days to vacate the premises, at the end of which, any persons or belongings will be skinned alive, then hurled into the sun.

That said. We are aware of humanity’s hilariously limited ability to evacuate the planet in a timely manner.

So. In the spirit of appealing to our public image, we are offering two cages in the Earth Memorial Exhibit of the Schlemiel and Schlimazel Space-Safari Experience.

To enter for a chance to win, simply be one of the last two humans left alive at the end of your thirty-day eviction period. And if a winner cannot be decided by the end of your thirty-day eviction period, we will simply skin all of you alive, then hurl you into the sun anyway.

Thank you. And remember to have fun out there.

CUT TO:

A SMALL SHED CONVERTED INTO A CRAMPED OFFICE. JOHN JABOLONKSI SITS AT A TYPEWRITER AND A MICROPHONE, MAKES USE OF NEITHER.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) The announcement itself was broadcast across every major television network, radio station, and wi-fi enabled toaster and lotion dispenser on Earth.

Unfortunately, John Jablonksi, amateur professional and part-time amatuer…

JOHN: (WAVES TO AUDIENCE) Hello.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) …never heard this, as he was, at the time, pretending to work on his podcast in the half-converted storage shed he called his office.

JOHN: (TO AUDIENCE) Ignorance really is bliss.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Fortunately, his wife, Jillian Jablonski, did.

CUT TO:

A BATHROOM. JILLIAN JABLONSKI SITS ON THE TOILET, PHONE IN HAND, HEADPHONES ON HEAD, AND EYES SEIZED ON AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) Jillian, as it turns out, happened to be sitting on the toilet, listening to a podcast about the mating rituals of serial killers or something, when a voice on her electric toothbrush told her it was the end of the world.

And as G’lp the Turgid One’s impressively heartless, yet utterly tactless speech played on an inexplicably commercial-laden loop, a million thoughts shot through Jillian’s head.

JILLIAN STARES AND BLINKS AT NOTHING IN PARTICULAR.

Would she and John survive this?

JILLIAN CONSIDERS THIS.

Where would they go?

JILLIAN PUZZLES THIS.

How many people must she kill?

JILLIAN SMILES.

A BEAT. THEN…

Anyway. At some point, Jillian reached for toilet paper…

JILLIAN REACHES FOR THE TOILET PAPER…

and found none.

JILLIAN, INDEED, FINDS NONE.

Then she reached for the spare rolls in the cabinet beneath the sink in front of her…

JILLIAN REACHES FOR SPARE ROLLS…

and found none there as well.

JILLIAN, AGAIN, FINDS NOTHING.

Finally, she recalled an especially heated argument with John this morning…

JILLIAN STARES AND BLINKS. AGAIN.

something about John’s repeated failure to restock the toilet paper and his needing to do so before he plays in his little shed.

JILLIAN SWELLS WITH SILENT, RAGING BLOODLUST.

CUT TO:

JOHN’S SHED. JOHN, BLISSFULLY IGNORANT AND UNPRODUCTIVE.

NARRATOR: (VOICE-OVER) John, meanwhile, never knew of his wife’s admittedly petty grudge and subsequent raging bloodlust until he did.

JILLIAN ENTERS, BLUDGEONS JOHN WITH HIS OWN MICROPHONE.

JILLIAN: (TO AUDIENCE) Ignorance really is bliss.

You’ve Wasted Your Life

A STAGE. DIGGLE BERRIES STANDS IN FRONT OF ONE MICROPHONE. ALAN SMITHEE, HOOKED UP TO ALL SORTS OF WIRES AND CABLES, STANDS IN FRONT OF ANOTHER.

ANNOUNCER: (VOICE-OVER) We now return to our regularly scheduled program, “You’ve Wasted Your Life”!

FANFARE AND CANNED APPLAUSE.

DIGGLE: Welcome back to the show, everyone. I’m your host, Diggle Berries. Our next contest this evening is an employed man from some town you’ve likely never heard of, Mr. Alan Smithee.

MORE CANNED APPLAUSE.

ALAN: Bless you.

DIGGLE: What?

ALAN: Nothing.

DIGGLE: Well, Alan. Are you ready to begin?

ALAN: (SHRUGS) Sure, I guess.

DIGGLE: That’s what we love to hear! Now, Alan. Your first question: how many marbles are in this mason jar?

DIGGLE REVEALS A LARGE JAR FULL OF MARBLES ON A TABLE BESIDE HIM.

Take your time. You’ve got three–

ALAN: (SMILES, SHAKES HEAD) No, no, no.

DIGGLE: Excuse me?

ALAN: There’s obviously more than three marbles in there.

DIGGLE LOOKS AT ALAN, TO THE JAR, BACK TO ALAN.

DIGGLE: Are you sure about that?

ALAN: (NODS) Very.

DIGGLE: Judges?

A NASTY BUZZER BUZZES.

DIGGLE: Oh! I’m so sorry, Mr. Smithee. Now, you are technically correct – there are indeed more than three marbles in this mason jar. However, our judges have determined that you are either cheating or some sort of witch. So, I’m afraid you know what that means.

ALAN: Yeah. Go ahead.

DIGGLE: Goodbye, Mr. Smithee.

ALAN: Can I tell my wife I love her?

DIGGLE: I’m sorry, but no.

ALAN: Oh, alright then. Goodbye.

DIGGLE: Don’t interrupt, Mr. Smithee.

ALAN: I’m sorry.

DIGGLE: That’s a good sport. Goodbye, Mr. Smithee.

DIGGLE THROWS A BIG SWITCH, ELECTROCUTES ALAN.

ALAN DROPS DEAD.

SILENCE. THEN…

DIGGLE POKES ALAN WITH A STICK, ALAN SMOLDERS UNRESPONSIVELY.

Yes, I think that did it…

DIGGLE NODS, GESTURES FOR…

FANFARE AND CANNED APPLAUSE.

(TO AUDIENCE) Well, that’s all we have for you tonight. Don’t bother tuning in next week, as we’ve likely committed several felonies during the production of tonight’s program. I’m Prisoner #8675309, and this has been “You’ve Wasted Your Life”! Goodbye!

Premium Service

A COMIC SHOP. THE SHOP IS LITTLE MORE THAN A NEWSSTAND LOCATED IN THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC LOBBY OF A BUILDING OTHERWISE OCCUPIED BY ALL SORTS OF VERY REAL, VIABLE BUSINESSES IN IT.

A SINGLE, WHOLLY APATHETIC CLERK SITS BEHIND THE COUNTER, HARDLY PRETENDING TO WORK.

CUSTOMER ENTERS.

CUSTOMER: Hi. I called about the (INCOMPREHENSIBLE COUGH).

CLERK: Got it right here… (PULLS OUT A SMALL BOX) Feel free to take a look before you pay.

CUSTOMER CONSIDERS THIS FOR A MOMENT, OPENS THE BOX, THEN SCREAMS A LITTLE SCREAM.

CLERK: Something wrong?

CUSTOMER: Is this what I think it is?

CLERK: If not, I suppose we’ve both committed a felony for nothing.

CUSTOMER: What, a felony? I didn’t come here for this!

CLERK: You didn’t?

CUSTOMER: No, of course not.

CLERK: I’m sorry. What did you come here for?

CUSTOMER: I called about an hour ago about the (INCOMPREHENSIBLE COUGH).

CLERK: Oh, yes, the (INCOMPREHENSIBLE COUGH).

CUSTOMER: Yes, that’s right.

CLERK RETRIEVES A SIMILAR, YET WHOLLY DIFFERENT BOX FROM BENEATH THE COUNTER AND SETS IT DOWN BESIDE THE FIRST.

CLERK: Anything else?

CUSTOMER: No. No, I don’t think so.

CLERK: Would you maybe like what’s in the first–

CUSTOMER: No.

CLERK: No judgment.

CUSTOMER: No, thank you.

CLERK: (SHRUGS) Suit yourself. (MINDLESSLY RINGS UP A SALE) Can’t believe anyone would want something this stupid.

CUSTOMER: Wasting money is a guilty pleasure of mine.

CLERK: And mine to take it.

CUSTOMER: Yes. Right. Well. I was admittedly a bit upset when I heard they were going to adapt this into a live-action movie after all these years.

CLERK: Is that right?

CUSTOMER: I mean, how do you even begin to translate something like this to a movie, ya know?

CLERK: I certainly do not.

CUSTOMER: And you know they’re going to mess it all up.

CLERK: I do?

CUSTOMER: Of course. The studio is probably handing over the whole thing to some incompetent, visionless parasite who will suck the fun and color out of everything.

CLERK: The son of a bitch.

CUSTOMER: What can you do, right?

CLERK: (CONSIDERS THIS) Follow me.

CUSTOMER: Excuse me?

CLERK WALKS OVER TO A SMALL DOOR JUST A FEW FEET AWAY, PULLING OUT A SMALL RING OF KEYS.

CLERK: I think you might be interested in our premium membership.

CUSTOMER: I’m afraid I don’t live in the area, and I really only came out all this way for that. Kinda surprised anybody–

CLERK IGNORES THIS AND UNLOCKS THE DOOR ANYWAY.

CLERK: Follow me.

CUSTOMER: What? No, I just want the…

CLERK DISAPPEARS THROUGH THE DOOR WITHOUT ANOTHER WORD.

CUSTOMER EVENTUALLY FOLLOWS, BUT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVELY COMPLAINS ABOUT IT UNDER THEIR BREATH WHILE DOING SO.

CUT TO:

A BASEMENT BENEATH THE SHOP.

A SWEATY LARGE MAN IN A TATTERED SCREENPRINT TEE AND MATCHING BLAZER IS PREOCCUPIED WITH THE VIOLENT BEATING OF AN EQUALLY SWEATY, YET MUCH SMALLER MAN IN SOME SORT OF COSTUME.

CLERK AND CUSTOMER ENTER.

CUSTOMER: What the hell is this?!

LARGE MAN STOPS WITH THE BEATING.

LARGE MAN: (TO CLERK) Hey, I’ve still got… (CHECKS HIS WATCH) …ten minutes.

CLERK: (SHAKES HEAD, GESTURES TO CUSTOMER) Potential member.

LARGE MAN: Is that right? (TO CUSTOMER) Honest opinion? The premium membership is totally worth the extra money.

SMALLER MAN: (SPITS OUT TOOTH) I’m sorry. Was this beating canceled like some hack comedian with shit opinions masquerading as attempts at humor? (SPITS OUT SEVERAL MORE TEETH…) Or are we simply out of gas, like Lucas Stevensberg after the original Celestial Border Dispute trilogy?

LARGE MAN EAGERLY RESUMES THE BEATING.

A BEAT. THEN…

CUSTOMER: (TO CLERK) Okay. We have to call the police, or something. Right?

CLERK: Nah. (GESTURES TO SMALLER MAN) He does this for a living.

CUSTOMER: You’re pulling my leg.

CLERK: No, really. Poor guy’s some kind of unemployed actor. It’s a shame, too. He’s actually very talented. Really stirs our Premium Members into a frothy rage.

SMALLER MAN: (SERIOUSLY HURT) Children’s programming isn’t for you! Superheroes have always been political! You can joke about anything so long as it’s actually funny!

CUSTOMER: Oh, he is good. But couldn’t he just get a real job – slow-roasting children, building bears, recycling blood? Anything but this

CLERK: (SHRUGS) Seems he prefers getting the shit kicked out of him for money.

CUSTOMER: (NODS) This can’t possibly be legal, though… (PUZZLES THIS) Can it?

CLERK: While we do like to keep our premium services on the down low, I assure you everything is on the up and up. In fact, every comic shop is legally required to be built over a basement for this exact purpose.

CUSTOMER: What? No. No, I’ve been to plenty of shops that weren’t…

CLERK GESTURES TO A FRAMED CERTIFICATE ON THE WALL.

CLERK: See for yourself.

CUSTOMER: (READS) “This certificate of authenticity hereby, thereby, and whereby certificates the authenticity of this comic shop, video rental store, and/or slot-car racing facility…” (TO CLERK) This has to be some sort of joke.


CLERK: A joke, is it? And I suppose the First Great Fanboy War of 1945 is a big bowl of laughter with a side of toasted hilariousness and a refreshing glass of freshly-squeezed silly.

CUSTOMER: No, I didn’t–

CLERK: No, of course you didn’t. (SCOFFS) It never even occurs to people like you that such a bloody rampage – scores dead, hundreds emotionally wounded, countless more in dire need of a shower and antiperspirant – might demand some degree of government intervention and oversight.

LARGE MAN STOPS WITH THE BEATING…

LARGE MAN: Uh-oh… (INSPECTS SMALLER MAN’S POSSIBLY LIFELESS CORPSE. He’s gone all limp…

CLERK: No refunds!

END SCENE.