“THE EASY WAY OUT”
“Some must be first; and every coward blights his brother's hope, and spreading truth arrests; while every brave man helps the world, and lights the flame of courage in a thousand breasts”
- Ada Cambridge
(We start with Mayor Sarandon in his office on his computer. Someone knocks on the door)
MAYOR SARANDON: Come in.
(Maria comes in and closes the door)
MARIA: Have you heard anything yet?
MAYOR SARANDON: No, the grand jury hasn’t voted yet.
MARIA: How were they able to ascertain the evidence against you anyway?
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, it could have something to do with the witness testimony from those Caymanese hotel workers down in-is that the term for a Cayman Islands citizen? Caymanese?
MARIA: Maybe it’s like Caymanesque?
MAYOR SARANDON: No, that means “similar to Cayman”, that makes no sense, is it Cayman-ish?
MARIA: That also means “similar to Cayman”.
MAYOR SARANDON: The point is, I might be fucked. (Another knock is heard at the door) Come in.
(Ethan, who is wearing civilian clothes, comes in)
MAYOR SARANDON: Hello, Ethan.
MARIA: Hi, Ethan.
ETHAN: Hi, Maria. Maria, could I talk to the Mayor alone?
MARIA: Sure thing.
(Maria leaves and Ethan sits down)
ETHAN: Tonight, nine o’clock, you and I watch the debate at my place.
MAYOR SARANDON: I can’t, I have an appointment at nine.
ETHAN: You have an appointment at 9pm?
MAYOR SARANDON: Fine, no, but I could be getting indicted today.
ETHAN: What?! Really?
MAYOR SARANDON: Yes! The prosecution ascertained evidence and the grand jury is deciding today. I could be fucking ruined.
ETHAN: What is the charge again?
MAYOR SARANDON: Like you don’t remember! Misuse of public funds.
ETHAN: Ah yes, how could I forget? Good times.
MAYOR SARANDON: Shut it, Ethan.
ETHAN: Whoa! What’s with all the hostility?
MAYOR SARANDON: Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because you quit after eleven years and now you’re forcing me to find someone who’s not a bitch to be my Chief of Staff. Plus, I’m about to be indicted and you’re insulting me.
ETHAN: Well, you could probably get the flashing charge dismissed! Public nudity is legal in Vermont as long as it’s not for sexual gratification.
MAYOR SARANDON: I’m not being indicted for the flashing, that’s not a felony. And Vice Chair Edelman was not a motivating factor for that action, I was just too drunk to remember my pants were down.
ETHAN: That’s so sad.
MAYOR SARANDON: Hey, fuck you. You should be the one being indicted. Bribery and extortion and all.
ETHAN: I have kids, Brian. You don’t. They need me.
MAYOR SARANDON: Whatever, I have Sandra.
ETHAN: No, you don’t.
MAYOR SARANDON: Oh yeah. Anyway, fuck you and fuck your debate watching party. Get the fuck out.
(Ethan gets up and leaves the office, slamming the door shut. Cut to Kimberly waking up in her hotel room at 11am. Next to her bed is a plate of half-eaten chicken and there are several empty pints of Ben and Jerry’s throughout the hotel room. She gets up and walks into her hotel bathroom. Cut to her taking a shower)
KIMBERLY: I should self-examine. (Kimberly feels her left breast) Oh my God, I feel a lump! Wait, that’s just my left nipple. I really should’ve paid attention in health class. I also should’ve paid attention to how much of an ASSHOLE Zimmerman was!
(Cut to Kimberly sitting on her bed wearing her towel. She turns on the television and flips it over to local news with Patrick White and Fiona Cadbury)
PATRICK WHITE: The Debates between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are tonight at 9pm eastern, 8pm central, 7pm mountain and 6pm pacific time. Commentators have criticized the dance contest portion of the debate, saying it disproportionately favors the President. In response to this, the producers of the debate have added a grave-baptizing portion. The debate is expected to focus on Domestic policy, but will probably focus more on how Romney believes in America and how President Obama thinks Romney is too rich to be president.
KIMBERLY: Ugh, all the speculation. We’re so giddy we can’t even keep our mouths shut. Right, Ethan? (Pause) Fuck. I’m hungry.
(Cut to Kimberly in the concierge room upstairs. She is eating eggs and sausage at a table while businessmen at a table behind her discuss things)
BUSINESSMAN: I’m looking to strengthen my business’ bottom line with portfolios, expansion and double-line profit quarter price indexing.
(Kimberly appears to be interested as she is overhearing the conversation)
BUSINESSMAN 2: None of that made any sense. Listen, if you want to expand your business, you simply need a larger office, new employees and advertising. Newspapers-
BUSINESSMAN: Wow, newspapers. Why don’t I advertise on the back of a Macintosh too?
BUSINESSMAN 2: Fine. Internet advertising also works. Buses, trade papers, newsletters, yearbooks even. That is the way to grow a fledgling business.
BUSINESSMAN: Hm. That is good advice. Man, are these scrambled eggs or stupid eggs? HA!
BUSINESSMAN 2: Wow. Bad joke.
(Cut to an HOA meeting. All the members are waiting for Kimberly to arrive)
ELLEN: I bet Kimberly’s too busy having sex with Detective Reynolds to preside over the HOA meeting.
LYDIA: No, she slept with Detective Zimmerman.
KELLY: Guys, I’m pretty sure it was Mayor Sarandon. That’s probably why Ethan quit.
KATHY: All of y’alls are wrong. Kimberly had sex with a ghost, just like Kesha.
KATIE: I heard she had sex with a tree.
KATHY: No, that was their daughter Madeline. Madeline’s also half-wolf.
(Kimberly comes in and everyone goes quiet. She makes her way up to the President’s desk and slams the gavel)
KIMBERLY: The HOA Council will come to order. The first item on today’s agenda is the question about whether the playground is under our jurisdiction, considering it is owned by the Hansbay, Vermont Church of Latter Day Saints. Ellen is hereby recognized.
ELLEN: Thank you, Madame President. (She stands up) The Church of Latter-day Saints has been good to us when it comes to owning some of the more banal attractions in our community, therefore taking it off the Hansbay City Government’s bill and of course, ours. However, considering the fact they are requiring our children to wear thermal underwear while playing on the playground, it seems a little ridiculous. My little Billy wears shorts, not a short-sleeved white shirt with a black tie. Therefore, I move to amend title 217, Cypress Creek code to provide for the preparations of purchases authorized under clause 12-B (As she drones on with jargon, the camera slowly zooms in on Kimberly, looking clearly bored) of the HOA 2012-2013 charter approved Monday, August 20, 2012. (Pause) Madame President?
KIMBERLY: What? Oh yeah, sure.
ELLEN: By that you mean, “without objection, so ordered”, right?
KIMBERLY: Yes. Without objection, so ordered.
ELLEN: That is why I would be such a better President of this organization.
(Ellen sits down. Cut to Ryan sitting in his English class along with other students. His English teacher is sitting at his desk on the computer. He gets up and goes to the front of the class)
TEACHER: Good afternoon, everybody. I hope everybody is having a day filled with levity, frivolity and good humor. Because all of that ends now. Your six weeks grades are due this Friday, folks. And if you don’t get on top of them, they’re sure to get on top of you. And they are definitely not bottoms. (Ryan exhibits a confused countenance) I’m not one to worry about grades, usually. To me, grades are just pathetic attempts at quantifying the intelligence or lack thereof of students without just telling them they’re stupid or smart. If I were in charge, instead of grades, we’d do it the old puritan way, anyone who didn’t do well in school was sent to work milking goats or providing the kindling for witch burnings. However, it’s the nineties, and things have changed.
RYAN: It’s not the nineties.
TEACHER: HEY! IT’S MY TURN TO TALK, HERE!
TEACHER: It’s time to see me about any outstanding grades that you want to address. But first, let me call out the people who need to see me about grades. Ryan Donahue and the rest of the people who need to see me about grades will have to go to my website.
RYAN: C’mon, Mr. Pannell!
MR. PANNELL: It’s a tough world after all, Donahue! In the meantime, pair up in groups of four and do character analysis for the Scarlett Letter.
(Everybody immediately gets into groups of four, except for one group with three people. Ryan then reluctantly joins that group. They all turn desks towards each other and form little clumps. Once they do that, they sit down)
GROUP MEMBER: Okay, great. Let’s get started. I thought the woman in this book was a cheating whore who deserved to be punished in the manner she was.
GROUP MEMBER 2: Wow, that is not what the lesson you’re supposed to derive from this book.
GROUP MEMBER: Oh, I’m sorry Blake; apparently it’s your job to decide what I get out of a book!
BLAKE: No Zach, I’m just saying the message of the book is one against social ostracism based on violation of societal morals.
ZACH: Well, I ostracize people all the time, so forgive me if I don’t live in your cookie cutter world!
BLAKE: Ryan, what’d you get out of it?
ZACH: Yeah, it might be helpful to hear what one of the people I ostracize thinks.
RYAN: Um, I thought Hester was ostracized from the town because he cheated on his wife and they didn’t like that.
ZACH: Okay, Hester is a chick.
RYAN: Right, I said that, and I think Hester cheating on her husband was wrong, but I don’t think she deserved to be bullied on Facebook.
BLAKE: This story takes place like, over 350 years ago.
ZACH: If you were going to try to bullshit your way through an analysis, why were you so gender and time specific?
RYAN: I guess I’m not a good bullshitter.
ZACH: You’ll pick it up.
(Mr. Pannell stands up)
MR. PANNELL: There is no greater feeling than the feeling of helping another person succeed.
(Mr. Pannell sits down)
BLAKE: …Why did he just do that?
RYAN: He is just one of the most interesting teachers I’ve ever had.
ZACH: I heard he owns a jet ski.
RYAN: No, he rents it.
ZACH: How do you know?
RYAN: My dad’s a lighthouse operator and he sees him jet skiing on Lake Champlain sometimes and he says that he rents it. (Ryan gets a text and checks it) My dad just texted me saying he owns it!
(They all squeal with excitement. Cut to Mayor Sarandon walking outside of his office to see a slew of reporters gathered there with microphones, including Matthew Chambliss. They all start asking him questions in unison as he stops on the bottom steps of the stairs. There are many cameras pointed at him)
REPORTER: Mr. Mayor, do you think you’ll get indicted?
MAYOR SARANDON: No, I’m innocent.
REPORTER 2: Do you want to be indicted?
MAYOR SARANDON: What-what kind of question is that?
MATTHEW: How does it feel to be beaten by the blunt end of justice for your crimes, Mr. Mayor?
MAYOR SARANDON: How does it feel to lose your watch in a black whore’s twat, you fucking dick? (They all gasp) And by that I mean, I feel fine because I’m innocent. But for real, he had sex with black whores.
MATTHEW: They all know, that’s why you’re going to eventually be punished for having sex with prostitutes, Mr. Mayor. I took away your precious leverage.
MAYOR SARANDON: This coverage is not fair and balanced.
(A chick in her 20s marches up to the Mayor’s office with a sign reading “NO BLOOD FOR OIL!”)
CHICK: MAYOR SARANDON, YOU’RE A RACIST!
MAYOR SARANDON: I beg your pardon, young lady?
CHICK: Mayor Sarandon, you’re a racist, thieving, war-mongering coward.
MAYOR SARANDON: I have no control over war, and I’m not a racist.
CHICK: Oh really? Then why did I just say you were?
MAYOR SARANDON: I don’t know, maybe you made a baseless accusation.
CHICK: That’s possible. I kind of do that a lot. Anyway, sir, you are a despicable politician and I was wondering if I could get five bucks for a latte?
MAYOR SARANDON: Excuse me?
CHICK: I need a five-spot for a frappacino.
MAYOR SARANDON: Why would I give you five dollars for a frappacino? I don’t even know you.
CHICK: Are you saying you won’t even give the voice of the people five measly dollars for a macchiato?
MAYOR SARANDON: Why do you keep changing the type of coffee you want?
CHICK: Why don’t you resign and go to jail, you corrupt jackass?!
MAYOR SARANDON: I did not do ANYTHING wrong! This is a witch hunt of the highest proportions! Even more so than when we had that actual witch hunt a long time ago!
CHICK: There was a witch hunt here back in the 1600s?
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, it was 2003. Very hysterical times. You know, with Lord of the Rings being big and all. Listen, all of you, I will not be indicted by a grand jury today and even if I am, I will fight the false charges tooth to nail. I have served as the Mayor of this city for almost twelve years. I have served with deference to my duties and my responsibilities. I oversaw the development of Hansbay town center and I have cracked down on the subsequent white teenager drug trade associated with that area. I have strengthened our police force by taking away their tasers and arming them with batons, just like the old days. I oversaw the construction of the stone bridge over the lazy stream near the sleepy meadow. Either that or I just listened to a hypnosis recording one time. The point is, I have been good to this city and it’s about time the state’s attorney be good to me. Thank you, and there will be no more questions.
(The Mayor walks away as the horde of reporters shouts out questions all at the same time. Cut to the Mayor sitting in a coffee shop. The protestor chick from earlier walks in and sees him. They make sharp eye contact. The protestor walks over to the line and starts waiting. The Mayor gets up and walks over to her)
MAYOR SARANDON: Hi there.
(Mayor Sarandon takes out his wallet and pulls out a five dollar bill)
MAYOR SARANDON: I guess I’m taking you up on that offer.
CHICK: …Thank you.
MAYOR SARANDON: You are welcome.
(Mayor Sarandon hands her the five dollars and it becomes her turn in line. She walks up to the counter)
CASHIER: What can I get you today?
CHICK: I would like a tall peppermint mocha frappacino chichato with caramel swirl and a vanilla bean froth mix cup swirl twist.
CASHIER: I hate that I know exactly what you’re talking about. What’s your name? (She picks up a cup and a sharpie)
CASHIER: Okay. Anything else?
EMILY: Yes. Join the movement.
(The chick hands her a pamphlet that reads “PPELCOA- Making the world a better place, one public interruption at a time”)
EMILY: You’ll thank me later.
CASHIER: I already thanked you.
(Emily gives the cashier five dollars)
CASHIER: Thank you. Do you want change?
EMILY: Yes I do. Change in the system.
CASHIER: Oh my God, just go. We’ll call your name.
(Emily walks away. Mayor Sarandon follows her to a table and they both sit down)
EMILY: Can I help you?
MAYOR SARANDON: …Yes. Um, what compelled you to protest at my press conference this today?
EMILY: I was motivated by how corrupt you are. You deserve to be thrown out of office like yesterday’s radish.
MAYOR SARANDON: I get that, but why did you bring a sign protesting blood for oil? I have no control over that.
EMILY: I guess I’m just opinionated. People have always told me that.
MAYOR SARANDON: I see. So what’s your organization?
EMILY: PPELCOA. Pedantic, Pretentious, Egotistical Liberal Chicks of America. We go around interrupting public events to make a point and spread our message. We interrupted a house hearing by protesting the War in Afghanistan, and it was a hearing on pedophilia.
MAYOR SARANDON: Wow. So, do you think that makes a difference?
MAYOR SARANDON: But we’re still in Afghanistan.
EMILY: Yes, but we aren’t in Iraq thanks to our tireless efforts.
MAYOR SARANDON: Actually, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are the reason for-it’s not important; I just wonder why you thought I was worth your time, because I’m certainly not. Yet, you certainly are worth mine.
(Cut to Mayor Sarandon in a morgue with the coroner)
MAYOR SARANDON: Hey, do you have any corpses that look like me, weigh 190 pounds and are five foot ten?
CORONER: Why do you ask?
MAYOR SARANDON: I…am looking for my long lost brother.
CORONER: Oh, okay. Yeah, we might have someone for you.
(The coroner walks over to one of the drawers. He unlocks it and slides it out to reveal a black man with Mayor Sarandon’s weight and height)
MAYOR SARANDON: Wow. Um, do Sarandon clones come in white by any chance? (Cut to Mayor Sarandon driving his car to the edge of the White Cliff in Addison. Near his car is a small memorial for Dirk Jameson. He gets out, pops his trunk and takes out gasoline and douses his car in it. He then takes a dead pig from his trunk and puts it in the front seat. He then takes out a matchbook and removes a match from it. But then, he puts the matchbook down, goes back to his trunk, removes a glock from it and puts it near the pig. Then, he takes a rope from his trunk and ties the rope around the pig’s neck. Then, he takes out a bottle of hydrocodone and throws a bunch in the pig’s mouth and then throws the bottle in the corner of his corner. He then takes some whip cream and sprays it around the pig’s mouth) Okay, so I drove my car off a cliff while it was on fire and I was shooting myself, hanging myself and overdosing. Jesus, I’m over-thinking this. What am I going to change my name to? Where am I going to go? Aren’t they going to know if that’s a pig or not? DNA testing? Fuck! FUCK! FUUUUUUUUUCK! (His voice echoes. Then, Mayor Sarandon glances at the newspaper in the trunk that was used to wrap the dead pig, and he sees Emily interrupting a city council meeting with the headline “Liberal Activist Escorted out of yet another City Council Meeting”. He looks at it and smiles. Cut to Kimberly walking to her car in the parking lot. Ellen catches up to her)
(Kimberly turns around to see Ellen)
KIMBERLY: Oh. Hi Ellen.
ELLEN: Hey. Listen, I think you’re doing a great job.
KIMBERLY: Do you?
ELLEN: Yes. All you really need to do is improve on your knowledge of parliamentary jargon.
KIMBERLY: Why am I doing a great job?
KIMBERLY: You said I was doing a great job, tell me how so.
ELLEN: Um, I think your ability to take constructive criticism is commendable.
KIMBERLY: That is such a back-handed compliment.
ELLEN: But I think maybe you should work on delegating some of your responsibilities. You’re a busy woman after all. Having a wife and two kids and all.
KIMBERLY: I have a husband and three kids.
ELLEN: Right, so maybe just give me some of those responsibilities. I can work wonders for you.
KIMBERLY: You want my job, don’t you?
KIMBERLY: Why don’t you want Evan to have it?
ELLEN: Evan is doing fine. He’s constructing miniature versions of WWI battles.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, well my husband punched him in the face for trying to hold him against his will.
ELLEN: That’s water under the bridge.
KIMBERLY: Listen, if you want the job, why don’t you just take it?
KIMBERLY: I’ve decided that I don’t want this job anymore. Take it. Take it far away from me and never bring it back.
ELLEN: Wait, you’re resigning?
KIMBERLY: Yes. Take it.
ELLEN: Great. Thanks, I will.
(Kimberly and Ellen shake hands. Cut to Mr. Pannell’s class, still working hard in groups)
RYAN: I think Hester can’t see the error of her ways. She stole mail from a baker’s son.
ZACH: C’mon, man.
(The bell rings and Mr. Pannell stands up as people pack up their things)
MR. PANNELL: Remember, there’s another arbitrary exam of your intelligence next class! Have good Wednesdays everybody!
(Everybody funnels out except for Ryan, who stays behind and sits and walks over to Mr. Pannell’s desk)
RYAN: You wanted to see me?
MR. PANNELL: Yes. It has come to my attention that your grades are lackluster. Last year you barely passed some of your classes and this year isn’t looking too dandy either. You have a 69. That is simply not going to cut it, I need some key papers from you.
RYAN: What papers are you referring to?
MR. PANNELL: The East of Eden summary guide and the analysis of the author of East of Eden, Stein Johnbeck.
RYAN: I think you mean John Steinbeck.
MR. PANNELL: Hey, I’m not the one on trial here. Do you have these papers?
RYAN: I’ll get them to you at my earliest convenience.
MR. PANNELL: Good, because Beck Steinjohn paper is vital. You’ve missed a couple days of school as well. Why?
RYAN: Illness. I possessed maladies that inhibited my academic administration.
MR. PANNELL: Do you think using big words in your explanation will get you out of this just because this is an English class?
MR. PANNELL: Listen Ryan, you have to turn these into me by tomorrow morning or else I won’t have enough time to grade them in time for the Thursday at 3pm deadline.
RYAN: Yessir. Sorry sir. Thank you, sir.
MR. PANNELL: Stop, doing that, just get these into me.
(Ryan leaves the classroom. Cut to Ryan walking into his house later that day. Ethan greets him at the front door)
ETHAN: Hey Ryan. Ready to watch Romney invest his foot in Obama’s ass?
RYAN: Yeah right. I’m ready to watch our spirited orator President Obama ring Romney’s neck.
ETHAN: Well, they did downplay the expectations. But it’s not like Romney will make rookie mistakes like looking down, or not calling Obama out on his lies.
RYAN: Well, nobody expects either candidate to do that, they’re skilled politicians.
ETHAN: Yeah. Anyway, I’m ordering pizza and the debate starts at nine.
RYAN: Cool. I just have to do some homework.
(Cut to Ryan on his laptop in his room listening to loud emo music and playing Sky Rim)
RYAN: Yeah, suck it, Krosis. Oh damn it, it’s 7pm. I need to get that shit done. Alright, no more distractions. (“Opa Gangnam Style” starts playing in the background) What the fuck? (Jacob busts open Ryan’s door and is wearing a blue tuxedo. Behind him are Ross and Beckett. They walk in) What? Why? What are you guys doing in my room and why is that Korean pop song that the internet beat to death with the blunt end of Kim Jong Il’s corpse playing in the background?!
(The drop comes)
JACOB: Donahue style!
RYAN: NO! Don’t do this!
(They start doing the Opann Gangnam Style dance. Ryan gets up, leaves the room and turns off the music and comes back inside. Jacob, Ross and Beckett stop dancing)
JACOB: Because we can! Who else is going to?
RYAN: How about every other fucking parody video that people have been making in the last week?! It hasn’t been this incessant since “Somebody that I used to know”.
JACOB: Yeah, I remember making “Donahue that I used to know”.
JACOB: Listen, I have a YouTube partnership, okay? I get paid to make viral videos. Remember my Rack City parody?
RYAN: You mean the one you made ten dollars off of like almost three months ago?
JACOB: Yeah, and that ten dollars has collected interest, which means it’s now thirty dollars.
RYAN: What do you-what? No, that’s not how that works.
BECKETT: This tuxedo is really itchy.
JACOB: Well, we got it from a thrift store, what do you expect?
BECKETT: I expect not to get lice.
RYAN: Guys, shut up! Okay? I need to do some worksheets for Mr. Pannell’s class, so I don’t have time for your fruitless quest for viral videos.
JACOB: I get fifty cents in the mail from YouTube every week by breaking my back working for the entertainment of the people, and this is how you repay me?
RYAN: I never said I liked your videos!
JACOB: But you do, right?
JACOB: Fuck you, man.
RYAN: Leave me to my business, alright? (Jacob, Beckett and Ross leave. Ryan gets on his bed and back on his laptop) Alright, time to focus on getting this shiatsu done. (Ryan goes to the Hansbay High website and goes to Mr. Pannell’s page) Where are those sheets he’s talking about? Wait a minute, does Shadow Senator’s new album come out today? It’ll take me just a second to look it up. No harm, no foul. Ryan goes to Google. Cut to Mayor Sarandon standing on the cliff with his car covered in gasoline still with all the rest of the stuff he put in there)
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, my car’s already covered in gasoline and filled with crazy shit. I don’t have a lot of other choices besides to push it over. If I choose not to fake my own death, I’ll simply claim some stole my car and committed suicide. Or, rather, a pig stole my car and committed suicide. Bottoms up! (Mayor Sarandon pushes the car over the cliff and it falls and lands at the bottom of the cliff. Cut to Mayor Sarandon driving his car on the road. He sees a coffee shop coming up. He also sees the protestor from earlier walking down the street. He parks at the coffee shop. He then takes a deep breath, gets out of the car and goes into the coffee shop as the protestor continues to walk towards it. Cut to them sitting down at the table in the coffee shop)
EMILY: What do you mean I’m worth your time?
MAYOR SARANDON: I…I’m not sure exactly. You’re very interesting. What are you fighting for?
EMILY: Equality. Healthcare, jobs, human rights, gay rights, all things you probably despise.
MAYOR SARANDON: My, you’re opinionated. And passionate. You know I’m about to be indicted, right?
EMILY: Yes. And you deserve it. You and your posse of politicians stealing bread from black people’s plates and putting it on your own.
MAYOR SARANDON: I’m not exactly sure what that means.
EMILY: It means you are greedy.
MAYOR SARANDON: Maybe. But-
MAYOR SARANDON: Definitely then. But I can change. I would be willing to resign and give up corruption, if I could just escape from my current predicament.
EMILY: And how do I factor into this exactly? Why are you even talking to me?
MAYOR SARANDON: Because you feel passionate enough about my corruption to remind me of it. Therefore, you feel passionate about me.
EMILY: I feel passionate about hating you.
MAYOR SARANDON: Let’s not pretend that hate doesn’t factor into a healthy relationship.
EMILY: What relationship? We don’t even know each other.
MAYOR SARANDON: Run away with me. I can avoid the tyranny of the Grand Jury if we just went to Canada together. It’s a little over an hour from here, eh?
EMILY: Way to end a bad proposition with a bad joke.
MAYOR SARANDON: People in Canada say “eh” a lot.
EMILY: I understand.
MAYOR SARANDON: We’ve got to be together.
EMILY: I will not aid and abed an indicted individual. Why are you even concerned about your job? You’re being indicted and you’ll most certainly lose the upcoming election even if you aren’t.
MAYOR SARANDON: Can we trust Mordecai Lautenberg?
EMILY: Did you just recite the tagline to your latest campaign ad?
MAYOR SARANDON: Yes. Did you know he tried his first cigarette when he was only 14 years old?
EMILY: Is that really all you’ve dug up on him?
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, without going after the Jew factor, it’s damn difficult. I’M DYIN’ HERE, YOU GOTTA HELP ME!
EMILY: Why me?
MAYOR SARANDON: Because you are the only thing I have, all my friends have betrayed me, my wife is dead, my girlfriend left me and I have no kids! What the fuck else am I supposed to do?!
EMILY: That’s hardly my problem. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go splash red paint on people coming out of Burlington Coat Factory.
MAYOR SARANDON: That’s never going to work.
EMILY: Neither is this.
(Emily gets up and walks out of the Starbucks, leaving Sarandon feeling hopeless. Cut to Kimberly sitting at her desk in her hotel room, thinking)
KIMBERLY: …What could I sell? (Pause) I could sell dog food! But then, I’d have to get a horse slaughterhouse, and I doubt they would allow that in the business center. That also eliminates my glue factory idea. Maybe I could sell horse shoes? Why do I keep coming back to horses? I could sell basketballs. Horse, damnit. Whores? Sounds too similar. Plus, I don’t know if hosting a brothel here would be the best idea considering I sleep here. (Someone knocks on the door) Who is it?
ROB: It’s Rob!
KIMBERLY: Come in.
(Rob comes in with racquetball equipment)
ROB: Just got back from racquetball practice.
KIMBERLY: That’s great.
(Rob closes the door)
ROB Literally, just now, I left immediately after racquetball practice and I drove straight here when I got your text. I didn’t even have time to change.
KIMBERLY: You’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
(Rob puts his bag down)
ROB: Yeah, well I changed while I was driving.
KIMBERLY: That’s really dangerous.
ROB: So how’re you holding up?
(Rob sits down)
KIMBERLY: I’m fine. I’m getting along.
ROB: What have you been doing with yourself?
KIMBERLY: I guess I’ve been passing the time constructively. I reorganized my filing system into a less organized system.
ROB: So you disorganized it.
KIMBERLY: Yeah. I decided to organize it A-Z, not necessarily in that order.
ROB: What do you have on file anyway?
KIMBERLY: Ideas. Ideas I’ve come up with since Ethan first encouraged me to keep an idea journal.
ROB: Cool. What kind of ideas?
(Kimberly pulls out a box full of papers from under her desk)
ROB: Wow, you weren’t kidding.
(Kimberly pulls out one)
KIMBERLY: This one’s from thirteen years ago. It says “Rat-fighting ring in post-Y2K wasteland”.
ROB: How long do these go back?
KIMBERLY: Twenty years. When Ethan and I first met he encouraged me to do this.
KIMBERLY: Don’t do that. (Kimberly pulls out another idea card) This one says “My precious ring I want”.
ROB: Not so much an idea as it is a terrible misquoting of Lord of the Rings.
KIMBERLY: I think it was Yoda.
ROB: Why are you even looking through these ideas?
KIMBERLY: I don’t know. Maybe one of them can come to good use. To be honest, I’m thinking about starting a business.
ROB: A business? A business run by a lady?
KIMBERLY: Yes, Rob. A lady business.
ROB: Are you going to sell flowers or, plan weddings or…menstruate?
KIMBERLY: How is menstruating a business idea? No, I’m not going to do any of those things. But there has got to be something in this box that I could do. (Kimberly takes out another slip of paper) “Make ironic pants”.
ROB: What does that even mean?
KIMBERLY: I guess it means instead of putting something ironic on your shirt, you can put it on your pants.
ROB: That’s really stupid.
ROB: Well you know…my racquetball club is not letting me play again until I find a new equipment supplier.
KIMBERLY: Well, they probably just don’t want you to play because you su-wait a minute! That’s perfect! I’ll start a racquetball supply company!
ROB: That’s great idea, but what were you saying before about why they’re not letting me play?
KIMBERLY: Um, I was saying…Rob, do you want to join me in this entrepreneurial endeavor?
KIMBERLY: Yes. You know the sport, you know the customers and you know the market. We could call it, Altmire Racquetball Supply Incorporated.
ROB: Why do we have to use your maiden name? Why can’t we use my last name?
KIMBERLY: My maiden name is your last name.
ROB: Oh yeah.
KIMBERLY: Rob. Are you in? Or are you out?
ROB: Let me think about this for a second.
ROB: I think I’m in.
KIMBERLY: That was literally a second. Awesome!
(Rob and Kimberly hug. Cut to Ryan head banging while listening to an emo rock song)
SHADOW SENATOR: (On the computer) MY HEAD GOES DEEP INTO THE EARTH AND IMPLODES! SO MANY SOCIETIES WATCHING STARVATION AND JERKING OFF THEIR CHODES!
(Ryan notices the time and pauses the song)
RYAN: Fuck, it’s 8:55. How did I manage to lose track of time for nearly two hours? Oh yeah, Shadow Senator. Damn them and their incredibly poignant and vulgar social commentary. I love how they compare drone strikes in Libya to bathing in horse cum.
(Ethan comes in)
ETHAN: Ryan, the debate is starting in a few minutes. I ordered pizza and breadsticks!
RYAN: Well, I do have to pay close attention to the political process.
(Ryan gets up and leaves his homework on the bed. Cut to Ethan, Ryan and Jacob on the couch with an empty pizza box on the coffee table. Ethan looks exhilarated, Ryan looks disappointed and Jacob looks indifferent)
RYAN: What the hell is the President doing? Romney could literally say “I can dunk from the three point line” and he wouldn’t go after him for lying.
ETHAN: Yeah, and Romney is 65 years old, but he’s much for lively and spry than cranky ol’, tired ol’, maybe high ol’ President Obama over here.
JACOB: Well, you’re 46 and you just said the words “lively” and “spry” so maybe Romney’s younger at heart than you.
ETHAN: Damn right he is, he’s making Obama look like a black Steve Buscemi.
JACOB: I honestly can’t wait until this election is over, regardless of who wins. It’s like, I don’t even know if my baby’s going to be black or Mormon, it messes with me.
RYAN: Obama’s taking his lead for granted, he didn’t even go after Romney for firing the moderator and big bird.
JACOB: Do you think he fired Bain employees like that? “Listen, I’m sorry Matt, but I’m going to fire you, I like what you do, I like big bird! I even like you, but clean out your things”.
RYAN: Why would he mention his like of big bird when firing Matt?
ETHAN: This is so awesome.
(Cut to Mayor Sarandon in his living room, drinking scotch and watching local news)
PATRICK WHITE: We have just gotten word that the Mayor of Hansbay, Vermont, Brian Sarandon, a Republican serving since 2001 has been indicted on the felony charge of misusing public funds.
(Mayor Sarandon puts his drink down. He then bows his head and begins crying. His butler Fabio comes in)
FABIO: Sire, are you alright?
MAYOR SARANDON: (Still crying) I’m fine Fabio, just-just leave early, please.
FABIO: Alright, sire.
MAYOR SARANDON: Also, stop calling me sire.
FABIO: Okay then. Feel better.
(Fabio leaves the house. Cut to Mayor Sarandon on his iPhone)
MAYOR SARANDON: Do you know where I could get a huge block of ice at this time of night? No, not an ice sculpture, unless it’s like a sculpture of a cardboard box or something. (Cut to Mayor Sarandon in his backyard. He is on a chair tying a rope to the branch of a tree. He ties the rope and then puts his head through the noose. He is about to knock the chair over, but looks at his watch) Fuck! I’m missing the debate!
(He pulls his head out of the noose and jumps off the chair. Cut to Ethan, Ryan and Jacob watching the debate. The doorbell rings)
ETHAN: I’ll see who it is.
(Ethan gets up and walks over to the door and opens it to see Mayor Sarandon standing there)
MAYOR SARANDON: Yep. I thought I’d watch the rest of the debate with a friend.
ETHAN: But I thought you hated me because II quit.
MAYOR SARANDON: I was indicted. It’s the best thing I can do right now.
ETHAN: …Okay. Come in.
(Mayor Sarandon comes in and Ethan shuts the door. They walk over to the couch and sit down)
MAYOR SARANDON: Hey Jacob, Ryan. Nice to see you two again.
RYAN: You two, Mr. Mayor.
MAYOR SARANDON: How’s Romney doing?
ETHAN: I think they swapped out the President’s cocaine for Nyquil and vice versa for Romney.
(They all chuckle. They all look at the TV to see Obama looking down while Romney talks. The camera closes in on Mayor Sarandon’s face, which has a slight smile on it. Cut to Ryan doing his homework in his room at 11pm. East of Eden by John Steinbeck is on his bed, open)
RYAN: Fuck, this book is long. And why is it read left to right, unlike normal books?
(He pulls out an anime comic. Cut to Mayor Sarandon driving the next morning. He is listening to the radio)
RADIO HOST: The President was awful last night, and don’t be surprised if the Obama campaign sharpens the attacks against Governor Romney.
(Mayor Sarandon sees a sign reading “ROMNEY BIT A WOMAN (It happened) www.romneybitawoman.org, #romneybitawoman”. This makes Mayor Sarandon chuckle. He drives past the sign and pulls into the parking lot of the Mayor’s office. He gets out of the car and walks into his building. He walks up the stairs and goes up to the second floor. He walks into the room to see Maria looking distressed at her desk. Maria stands up)
MARIA: Mr. Mayor!
MAYOR SARANDON: Maria! What?
MARIA: Um…go into your office.
MAYOR SARANDON: Alright.
(Mayor Sarandon opens the door to his office to see the Vermont state police rummaging through his things while an attorney stands by)
MAYOR SARANDON: Of course.
(The attorney turns to him)
ATTORNEY: Brain Sarandon?
MAYOR SARANDON: You know it.
ATTORNEY: I’m James P. Mongeon with the Vermont State’s Attorney’s Office.
(One of the Vermont state police officers walks over)
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: Mr. Sarandon, you’re under arrest for the misuse of public funds.
(The officer handcuffs Mayor Sarandon)
MAYOR SARANDON: Hey, have you ever watched Super Troopers?
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: Shut it.
MAYOR SARANDON: Okay.
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you by the state. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?
MAYOR SARANDON: Does it matter if I say no?
VERMONT STATE POLICE OFFICER: Fuck no.
(Cut to Mayor Sarandon being escorted out of the courthouse by cops as the media surrounds it)
MAYOR SARANDON: How did they get here so quickly?
(Cut to Kimberly and Rob in Kimberly’s hotel room wearing accountant caps and making calculations on really old adding machines)
KIMBERLY: Why are we using archaic technology to calculate our potential profit margins?
ROB: Out with the old, in with the new.
KIMBERLY: That doesn’t make any sense, I’m using a laptop.
ROB: Yeah, you’re probably right.
(Rob gets a bat and smashes the adding machine)
(Cut to Mr. Pannell’s class in the morning. Ryan walks in)
MR. PANNELL: Ryan! Do you got the stuff?
RYAN: Are you trying to solicit drugs from me?
MR. PANNELL: No, I mean the papers.
RYAN: Yes. Yes, sir they are done.
(Ryan takes out his binder and gets the papers out. He then walks over to Mr. Pannell’s desk and puts them down and begins to leave)
MR. PANNELL: Stay here.
(Ryan turns around and stands there as Mr. Pannell thumbs through his papers)
MR. PANNELL: What even is this?
RYAN: Those are the papers you asked for, sir.
MR. PANNELL: These are the equivalent of youslapping a sheep guton a piece of paper and handing it into me.
RYAN: Well…at least I bothered to lacerate the sheep.
MR. PANNELL: Oh, I get it. You figure you could hand in anything and just avoid eye contact with me next class or hope that I don’t look at it until you’re gone, just so you can say you did it, right? You’re unconcerned with doing it well, as long as you do it.
MR. PANNELL: The answers you put on the summary guide are incredibly vague, probably based on a cursory glance at Spark Notes and this analysis of the author is also equally vague. This line is my favorite. “John Steinbeck derives his life experiences and applies them to his writing. He is an astute writer with an incredible amount of talent”. What are his life experiences?
RYAN: He, uh…writes books.
MR. PANNELL: Jesus. Let me ask you something Ryan. Does this fulfill you? Do you feel good after half-assing work like this? Wouldn’t it feel better to put actual work into something and then feel proud of your accomplishment? Or would that stress the seam on your skinny jeans? I want you to redo these.
(Mr. Pannell hands Ryan the papers and Ryan takes them. Mr. Pannell looks down at his papers and works)
RYAN: (Sincere and drawn out) …Thank you.
(Mr. Pannell looks up, surprised)
MR. PANNELL: You’re uh…you’re welcome.
(Ryan walks away with a smile on his face while Mr. Pannell looks on in surprise. Fade to black)
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF PAUL LEDET, 1995-2012
© Copyright 2016 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
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