INT. NEW JERSEY - DAY|
The basement screening room of Now Culture headquarters. The EDITOR of Now Culture sits in front of a white bedsheet stapled to the wall. By his side is an old, heavy film projector. All around him are empty folding chairs. He is fidgeting, impatient. Perhaps he has not gotten enough sleep.
walks in and sits next to him. She says nothing but eagerly sits down, as though ready for a Wednesday Double Feature.
JAMES B. NICOLA
enters next, speaking with excellent Diction.
|Is this seat taken?|
appears, seemingly from nowhere, his eyes holding a secret sorrow, like a bedraggled Jack Lemmon in Love.
|Why yes, I'm afraid it is.|
|Pardon me. My mistake.|
Not yet ready for a fight, James retreats to the back row, waiting for the right moment. This subtle drama is soon eclipsed by
bursting into the room.
|Cool it, guys! I don't want any Bride Wars going on in here. Everything's got to be Picture Perfect for this premiere, better than Sex and the City 2.|
Russell stops what he is saying, distracted by the entrance of
wearing a wide-brimmed white hat and sunglasses.
|Hey, you look familiar!|
|You Do Not Know Me.|
From offscreen we hear the voice of
ELLEN MCGRATH SMITH
The camera finds her as she is speaking, getting coffee from a coffee machine.
|Ah, but I know you.|
|Is it now? Or could it be that I saw you in The Bath in Poltergeist?|
|But... how? How could you possibly know that?|
|Never mind... I just know. No sense Beating a Dead Horse.|
W. F. LANTRY
enters from the kitchen, holding a glass of deep red wine.
|Are you sure that horse is dead, Ellen? It's a cold morning, Ellen, and I see a fine mist coming up from his nose.|
|The fact is, Angela was there. What I was doing doesn't matter.|
|Sure, nothing means anything. Is that it? To live and die, To Have and Have Not, none of it matters. Santa Claus on Mars, Oz in the Jungle, it's all just a game to you, isn't it?|
A loud crash. We see
ROBERT E. WOOD
up to his neck in fallen folding chairs.
|Dear me, all these accusations have left me Vertiginous.|
|And they've left me Breathless.|
flies in on a PENGUIN.
|You think YOU'RE breathless? I just flew in from Montana, and this little lead zeppelin decided he had to take a detour to visit his folks. I bet you can guess where THEY live. I haven't been so inconvenienced since Joseph Papp told me he needed Maria Callas Accompanied In The Antipodes and I was the only one who knew how to make a Sundae the way she liked it. The secret ingredient is ketchup.|
|Hey I want my twenty bucks. You bet me I was a flightless bird.|
|Will The Year In Penguins never be over??|
Malvern gives the penguin a twenty and he flies out the window (the penguin).
walks in through the door.
|Hey guys, did you see that penguin?|
|I hope he croaks.|
|Sounds like you've got Bullfrogs on Your Mind.|
Before Malvern can counter this assertion,
dances into the room.
|You think penguins are trouble? You don't know what trouble is until a Black Hawk Gets Down in your neighborhood.|
From the back of the room we hear the laughter of
|Ha! And I thought Meeting Robert Olen Butler was stressful.|
|Anything can be stressful Without a Telephone Booth.|
crosses into view with a dramatic flourish.
|Not JAPAN IN APRIL. It is the most beautiful thing you'll ever see.|
appears behind Tatjana.
|Hmm, I'll have to go there. I'm always looking for Something New|
|Something new? Okay, you asked for it.|
|Russell grabs the side of his face with both hands, and PEELS IT OFF! There beneath the dripping rubber is none other than|
|JOHN J. TRAUSE|
laughing maniacally. Everyone in the room is gasping.
|There is more going on here than you could possibly understand. And it's best that way. Sure, I could give you A Clue to the Meaning of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), but that would only be the tip of the iceberg.|
|Enough, John. You've said too much already. The truth isn't "out there." The truth is IN HERE.|
|The Editor points to the white bedsheet, and starts the projector...|