“I SOLEMNLY SWEAR”
“Promises, promises, promises, sounding like the biblical Ramses, Ramses, Ramses. So noble and so adorable, but like promises, promises and more promises, they are made more to be broken”
(We start with Ethan, Mayor Sarandon and Evan Alexander outside the Mayor’s office with reporters buzzing about, asking questions. There is an impromptu podium with microphones set up)
MAYOR SARANDON: Ladies, gentlemen, ladies, especially! Please!
REPORTER: How do you feel about the mistrial?
MAYOR SARANDON: How do you think I feel? It was fucking exhilarating!
(Ethan grabs the microphone)
ETHAN: BECAUSE we’re innocent! And we would’ve been acquitted even if there hadn’t been a mistrial!
(Mayor Sarandon grabs the microphone back)
MAYOR SARANDON: C’mon, man, don’t grab the microphone from me! Lest I grab your throat and propel it to the ground! NOT that I would ever do that to a child!
EVAN: No one was accusing you of ever doing that.
MAYOR SARANDON: Listen, I was always innocent, so the mistrial was simply an act of convenient justice. Which also happens to be the name of my plan to install city courts as small as convenient stores on the sides of the roads where people would go to get tried immediately, quickly, easily, cheaply and also be able to pick up beef jerky. I think my re-election has given me the political capital to get this done.
REPORTER: What about Hansbay 2024?
MAYOR SARANDON: That too! Okay? Listen, when I get sworn in on January 21st to a fourth term as your mayor, I will work with the city council, along with Chairman Sloane and(clears throat) Ms. Edelman, to get these much-needed reforms through. I will also instruct my police force not to enforce any unconstitutional law that Barack Obama enacts after he is sworn in for a second term as your President on January 21st. That is my solemn pledge to you. Also, I will make free brownie Wednesdays every other Thursday. That is my solemn pledge to you. I have a lot of solemn pledges, let me list some more.
ETHAN: Mr. Mayor.
MAYOR SARANDON: Oh yes, also, Mr. Donahue, Mr. Alexander and I are going to volunteer at a local battered women’s shelter to assure you of my good character. Not for reasons of political expedience or of vanity, but reasons of peace with the people I govern. That is my solemn pledge to you.
Cut to Ethan knocking on Ryan’s door. Ryan opens up)
RYAN: Hey, what’s up?
ETHAN: Where’s Logan? It’s time to turn that son of a bitch over to the illuminati who control the mental health system.
RYAN: Is that what he told you?
RYAN: Logan’s usually in the attic. Let’s go look.
(Ryan and Ethan walk into a hallway and Ethan pulls down the attic door and the ladder. They both climb up into the attic to see no one is there)
ETHAN: He doesn’t seem to be here.
(Ethan and Ryan climb their way into the attic and stand up)
RYAN: It smells like insulation in here.
ETHAN: Well, it is an attic.
RYAN: (Singing) A teenage bride with a baby inside gettin’ high on insulation, it’s understood that-
ETHAN: He doesn’t say “getting high on insulation”, it’s “high on information”.
RYAN: …Shit. I really shouldn’t have tried to snort insulation with Logan up here.
ETHAN: Oh my God, where is he?
RYAN: Um, maybe this cryptic message has something to do with it.
(Pan to a message written on the wall in red ink reading “I RAN AWAY Y’ALL, -LOGAN, #SWAG”)
ETHAN: Yeah, that’s not cryptic, that’s explicit. Although I’m not sure what “hash tag swag” means.
RYAN: Dude, I’m totally going to duplicit this.
(Ryan takes out his phone)
ETHAN: DON’T! Okay, no one can know that he hid out here. My legal problems ended yesterday.
(Ryan puts away his phone)
RYAN: Fine. But it seems like he ran away.
(Cut to Detective Zimmerman standing before Judge McGlynn in court with a lawyer by his side)
JUDGE MCGLYNN: George Zimmerman, how do you plead to the charge of murdering Trayvon Martin?
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: Excuse me?
JUDGE MCGLYNN: Oh, sorry. I guess when I got drunk with those judges from Florida; we must’ve accidentally switched case files. Anyway, how do you plead to the charge of perjury?
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: I plead guilty, your honor.
LAWYER: But there was a plea bargain saying he would not contest the charges provided he only spend six months in jail.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: I heard guilty. I hereby sentence you, George Daniel Zimmerman, to one year in Vermont State Prison.
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: OH COME ON!
JUDGE MCGLYNN: See you on January 18, 2014.
(Judge McGlynn slams his gavel as cops take Detective Zimmerman away)
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: (Red Fox impression) I’M COMIN’ KIMBERLY!
COP: Mrs. Donahue’s not dead, you’re not going to die and that was a terrible Red Fox impression.
DETECTIVE ZIMMERMAN: You guys are TOTAL buzz kills!
COP 2: You’re being taken to jail, how do you have a buzz that we could kill?
(They finally take him out of the room. Cut to President Obama on inauguration day, January 21, 2013. President Obama is on the platform with his wife, kids, members of Congress, distinguished guests and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts. President Obama steps forward and places his hand on two bibles, both of which are being held by Michelle Obama)
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Please raise your right hand and-(President Obama raises his right hand) repeat after me. I, Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: That I will faithfully execute.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: That I will faithfully execute.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: The office of President of the United States.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The office of President of the United Sta-(Thrown off)
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: And will to the best of my ability.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: And will to the best of my ability.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Preserve, protect and defend.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Preserve, protect and defend.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: The constitution of the United States.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The constitution of the United States.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So help you God?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So help me God.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.
(Chief Justice Roberts shakes hands with President Obama as the cannons shoot off and “Hail to the Chief” is played. Cut to Mayor Sarandon outside the Hansbay City Hall with Judge McGlynn, Ethan, Evan, Conan, Tatum, Ben, John, the rest of Mayor Sarandon’s staff, Kimberly, Ryan, Jacob, Madeline, Scott, Ellen and others. In front of them are mostly spectators and members of the media)
JUDGE MCGLYNN: Are you ready to take the oath, Mr. Mayor?
MAYOR SARANDON: Yes, I am. Also, I am besting President Obama in the “number of bibles” category. He’s swearing in on Abraham Lincoln AND Martin Luther King’s bibles? Well I’m swearing in on three bibles, one of which was owned by David Carradine himself, and also I’m swearing in on a copy Ayn Rand’s the Fountainhead. And you know what? For good measure, a Time Magazine from 2006. (He takes out a Time Magazine from 2006 and puts it on a stack of books on the ground in front of him) So go ahead and lift that stack of books, your honor.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: Okay. (Judge McGlynn lifts the stack of three bibles, TIME and the fountainhead and puts it on level with Mayor Sarandon, who places his hand on the top bible) Please raise your right hand. (Mayor Sarandon raises his right hand) Repeat after me. I Brian Sarandon do solemnly swear.
MAYOR SARANDON: I, Brian Sarandon, do solemnly swear.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: To execute the office of Mayor of Hansbay, Vermont.
MAYOR SARANDON: To execute the office of Mayor of Hansbay, Vermont.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: And to the best of my ability.
MAYOR SARANDON: And to the best of my ability.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: Preserve, protect and defend the laws of Hansbay, Vermont.
MAYOR SARANDON: Preserve, protect and defend the laws of Hansbay, Vermont.
JUDGE MCGLYNN: So help you God?
MAYOR SARANDON: So help me God.
JUDGE MCGLYNN Congratulations, Mr. Mayor.
(Mayor Sarandon shakes Judge McGlynn’s hand as Ethan, Evan and the rest of Mayor Sarandon’s co-workers applaud heavily while the rest of the crowd applauds listlessly. Cut to Ethan and Kimberly watching President Obama’s inaugural speech on television in their living room)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We, the people, declare today the most evident of truths. That all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still. Just as it guided our forbearers through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone. To hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth.
ETHAN: (Sarcastically) Well, happy birthday, MLK! We have a black President still!
KIMBERLY: He would probably really like that, actually.
ETHAN: Whatever, I just don’t understand how Obama’s trying to take pride in his liberalism in this speech, the conventional wisdom for me is that every liberal I don’t personally like or love is a horrible, tyrannical socialist hippie who supports gay porn marriage. Now he’s trying to embrace it as a good thing?
KIMBERLY: Reagan did that with conservatism. Conservative was a bad word before he came along.
ETHAN: So was cunt-servative, but you don’t hear me gassing on about it. So now liberals are going to stop hiding from their ideology and they’ll take away our guns!
KIMBERLY: They don’t want to do that, Obama just wants to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and establish universal background checks.
ETHAN: Why not guards at schools? Obama’s kids get that!
KIMBERLY: Yeah, the NRA mentioned that. Are they saying that Malia and Sasha shouldn’t get protection unless every kid in America gets a man with a chord running down their collar following them everywhere? I’m sure Obama’s kids love being used as political pawns like that, by the way.
ETHAN: I’m a politician and if someone mentioned that Ryan was a faggot in an attack ad, I’d say that’s fair.
KIMBERLY: Why do you need assault weapons or high-capacity magazines?
ETHAN: To protect against government tyranny! Just as the Founders intended!
KIMBERLY: Did the founders intend for the Government to have apache helicopters, aircraft carriers, surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets? Because I think a tyrant would be able to defeat a ragtag group of rednecks with assault rifles and dishrags haphazardly stuffed in piss-filled beer bottles?
ETHAN: Who do you think the sixty million people who voted for Romney were?
KIMBERLY: Ah, you know, I miss this. I miss our conversations, because for months they’ve been distracted by all this legal bullshit.
ETHAN: Yeah. I’m glad too. (Ethan and Kimberly put their hands together) I’m going to volunteer tomorrow at a battered women’s shelter with Evan and Brian. What are you doing?
KIMBERLY: I’m going to try to get the business back up and running again.
ETHAN: Good. Good luck.
KIMBERLY: You too. Remember, promise me that you won’t get involved in any corrupt shenanigans again.
ETHAN: I promise.
KIMBERLY: And try not to pull a Paul Ryan and shelter a woman who wasn’t beaten.
(Ethan smiles. Cut to Ryan in KDGM sitting with Luther, Alan, Kirsten, Natasha and the ginger chick. Cooper and two other girls are sitting at a different table and Mrs. Stem is not in the room)
LUTHER: So uh, congratulations.
RYAN: On what?
ALAN: Your dad.
RYAN: Oh yeah, um…thanks.
LUTHER: We all thought he’d be in the slammer by now.
RYAN: Yeah, well, he was innocent.
ALAN: Oh, of course he was.
RYAN: How do you know my dad’s the Mayor’s Chief of Staff?
ALAN: Your name’s Ryan Donahue, his name is Ethan Donahue, I just kind of assumed.
RYAN: I guess that makes sense. Anyway, I’m surprised the mistrial happened, I was talking to my brother Jacob and-
LUTHER: Wait a minute. Jacob Donahue?
RYAN: Yes, obviously.
ALAN: You mean to tell me that Jacob Donahue is your brother?
RYAN: Well, yeah!
LUTHER: That blows my mind.
RYAN: How? You knew Ethan Donahue was my dad!
ALAN: Yeah, but Jacob is nothing like you!
RYAN: My dad’s nothing like me!
LUTHER: Yeah, but you’re like an emo druggie all-day erryday and he’s like a stoner druggie all-day erryday!
RYAN: You realize you only changed one word between your description of him and your description of me?
(Mr. Stem walks in and sits down)
MRS. STEM: Alright kids, stop talking shit and hand in your ideas.
KIRSTEN: We weren’t talking shit…
(Everybody hands their ideas to Natasha and Natasha hands them to Mrs. Stem and Natasha sits down)
MRS. STEM: Let’s see these ideas. (She reads the first one) Natasha? Giving away clothes for Veterans promo?
ALAN: Wow, a promotion.
LUTHER: We don’t have ten thousand million of these every day.
NATASHA: Why are you guys shitting on it?
MRS. STEM: I like it.
ALAN: Yeah, good job.
LUTHER: That idea was ace hardware!
(Alan and Luther bump shoulders)
MRS. STEM: So how are you going to end it?
NATASHA: I was thinking like, ending it with a title slide reading “The Clothes drop-off is this Friday, January 25th”.
ALAN: Or you could end it by coming out of the closet.
MRS. STEM: Yes! You could come out of the closet holding a pile of clothes, drop it on the bed and tell the viewers to donate.
ALAN: I meant more like an incoherent, cryptic Jodie Foster-style speech about how you’re a lesbian, but that works too.
NATASHA: I’m not a lesbian!
MRS. STEM: Go film it.
NATASHA: Yes ma’am.
(Natasha gets up, grabs a camera and leaves)
MRS. STEM: So, Ryan, you want to do a skit for Martin Luther King’s birthday?
RYAN: Yes, and by extension, black history month, which is coming up and also by extension the Super Bowl, because football is teeming with black guys.
MRS. STEM: Alright, let’s not bite off more than we can chew.
RYAN: Can we bite off three-fifths of what we can chew?
KIRSTEN: Wow, offensive.
MRS. STEM: How about you find African-American students and ask them what Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement means to them and their lives?
MRS. STEM: Good luck and promise you’ll make it good this time, unlike those announcements you did where you kept flipping your hair out of your face.
(Ryan flips his hair out of his face)
RYAN: I promise.
ALAN: Your hair’s still covering part of your face.
RYAN: IT’S A NEVER-ENDING STRUGGLE!
(Ryan gets up and grabs a camera and mic and leaves the room. Cut to Alan, Luther, Kirsten, Ryan and Natasha hanging out in the KDGM studio on couches and chairs)
ALAN: My girlfriend tweeted a picture of my dick by accident.
(Alan shows Luther something on his phone)
LUTHER: Yeah, that’s a black dick. Also, your girlfriend’s profile pic is a picture of Manti T’eo.
ALAN: Damnit, that’s a Freudian tweet!
LUTHER: The dick’s not even that big.
ALAN: The camera subtracts an inch.
LUTHER: Why are you defending a dick that isn’t yours?
RYAN: Aren’t we supposed to be working on skits or something?
ALAN: Yeah, but it doesn’t take us long to make a skit, because we’re KDGM veterans.
LUTHER: We’ve been to hell and back.
ALAN: And you’re in the thick of it, son!
NATASHA: Both you and Kirsten should probably go film right now.
ALAN: Listen to Ellen!
NATASHA: Why are you guys always shitting on me?!
LUTHER: We’re just messing around.
ALAN: Because you’re a lesbian.
NATASHA: I’m not!
RYAN: Alright, I think we’re just going to go film.
LUTHER: Do it.
(Cut to Kimberly and Rob in the office)
KIMBERLY: Okay, let’s see, how has our business been conducting itself away from the watchful eyes of Ethan Donahue?
ROB: Well, we’re being advertised on Duplicit and that’s yielding some interest.
KIMBERLY: Good, good. Any new clients?
ROB: Potentially. I am going to meet with some, as are you.
KIMBERLY: Who do we got?
ROB: Who do we have you mean?
ROB: Okay. Well, we got a 24-hour Fitness in Montpelier, we got Weybridge Elementary school, Browns River Middle School, Vergennes Union High School and we have a lot of schools in Connecticut who are interested, but they for some reason also want a bunch of guns as part of the deal. I try to tell them that we don’t sell guns, but…they don’t listen.
KIMBERLY: Jesus…anyway, those sounds like good leads. We’ll split them. I’ll take Weybridge, the Montpelier 24-Hour fitness and Browns, you can take Vergennes and the schools in Connecticut.
ROB: Sounds like a good.
KIMBERLY: Did you seriously correct me when I said “got”?
ROB: No money, no problems.
KIMBERLY: Promise me you won’t mess up any of the client meetings and definitely don’t use rap phrases. And if you must, get them right.
ROB: Got ninety-nine problems and that ain’t one.
(Cut to Rob driving while listening to the last couple seconds of “Madness” by Muse)
ROB: Finally, that fucking overplayed song is over.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: Since we here at 90.1 WRUV are subject to our listener’s infallible will, we are going to play “Madness”…again!
(“Madness” starts playing again)
ROB: GODDAMNIT! (Rob turns off the radio as he pulls into the parking lot of a pharmacy/convenience store called “Not Eckerd’s”. He gets out of his car) I could use me a Monster energy drink right about now. I hope I don’t go to the hospital again this time.
(Rob goes into the store and sees the cashier is a cute 23-year old and looks at her and smiles and she smiles back. He goes over to the frozen section, gets a Monster and then walks up to the checkout and waits behind a middle-aged man, who is paying for something. The man slides his card and the girl bags his selections for him and hands them to him)
GIRL: Have a good day.
MAN: Me too.
(The man walks away as the girl looks confused for a second. Rob walks up to the cashier’s desk. Rob puts down his Monster as the man gets a call and answers it)
MAN: Hello? Oh, hi Jerry.
(The girl scans the Monster)
GIRL: That’d be eight dollars.
ROB: Jesus Christ.
GIRL: I’m kidding.
ROB: Oh. (He laughs, as does she) God, you got me there.
GIRL: They might as well be, right?
ROB: I know. (Rob takes out his credit card and swipes it) Man, corporate credit cards, right?
GIRL: I don’t have one.
(The girl registers his transaction)
ROB: Yeah, well, I does and it’s, phew…
GIRL: Where do you work?
ROB: Altmire Racquetball incorporated.
(The man on the phone suddenly perks up and listens intently)
GIRL: Racquetball? Like, a league?
ROB: Like a Justice league. But no, we sell racquetball equipment. I have some meetings at some potential new leads, like a 24-hour Fitness in Montpelier, we got Weybridge Elementary school, Browns River Middle School, Vergennes Union High School and we have a lot of schools in Connecticut who are interested.
(The man writes something down on a notepad)
GIRL: That’s pretty cool.
ROB: Corporate credit card.
GIRL: Yeah, you mentioned that. (She holds up the receipt) Do you want the receipt?
ROB: I don’t know, maybe I could use it as an alibi if I ever get accused of murder.
(The girl laughs and hands Rob the receipt. Rob smiles and walks out. Cut to Ethan, Mayor Sarandon and Evan standing outside a battered women’s shelter with press around them)
MAYOR SARANDON: We’re ready to get to work.
EVAN: For buttered women.
ETHAN: Battered women.
EVAN: I mean, what kind of monster would try to drown a woman in butter?
ETHAN: I already corrected you, it’s battered women.
EVAN: Or drown a woman in batter?
MAYOR SARANDON: Oh my God…
(Cut to Ethan, Evan and Mayor Sarandon in the lobby of the battered women’s shelter with a tour guide wearing a safari hat)
TOUR GUIDE: Well, howdy welcome, howdy partners!
MAYOR SARANDON: What’s with the, uhh…?
TOUR GUIDE: Mr. Mayor, we are so glad you chose to come here. We do important work. So I’ll give you guys the tour then.
(The tour guide walks them into another room, where there are numerous wood-paneled box rooms and the floor is covered in hay)
TOUR GUIDE: As you can see, we treat them with the utmost respect.
MAYOR SARANDON: I can’t see anything, where are the women even?
EVAN: Where the battered women at?
ETHAN: Why do you do this?
TOUR GUIDE: They’re in here, Mr. Mayor.
(The tour guide opens one of the pine rooms to reveal a woman sitting in a room filled with hay. There is also a bowl of water. The woman is visibly shaken)
MAYOR SARANDON: Oh my God…
TOUR GUIDE: Isn’t she cute? We call her Sparkles.
WOMAN: My name is Shelly.
TOUR GUIDE: Anyway, you three can spend time with her while I prepare her food dish.
(The tour guide walks out and Evan, Ethan and Mayor Sarandon walk in and Evan closes the door)
MAYOR SARANDON: Ma’am, are you okay?
SHELLY: No, Mr. Mayor, I’m not. This place used to be an animal shelter but YOUR government didn’t appropriate the money to convert it into a battered women’s shelter.
EVAN: Plus, that bank on Watercrest still looks like a Pizza hut.
SHELLY: I know, right?
ETHAN: Well, they should’ve at least given you a bed or something.
SHELLY: The woman who ran the animal shelter now runs the battered women’s shelter! We have no place to turn!
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, this is unacceptable.
SHELLY: Then do something about it! This has to be illegal!
(The tour guide comes in with a bowl of mush)
TOUR GUIDE: Here’s your food, a bowl of high-quality Stouffer’s Mush. Harnessed from the Mush hills of Western Tibet. Cultivated by Amish woodworking and served hot and fresh. We’ll leave the lights on for ya!
SHELLY: There are no lights here!
MAYOR SARANDON: Ma’am, I find this entire establishment reprehensible in its treatment of these women!
TOUR GUIDE: Trust me Mr. Mayor, girls know what girls like!
SHELLY: Girls like Tibetan-Amish mush?
TOUR GUIDE: You know it!
ETHAN: We are going to try our utmost to shut this place down.
TOUR GUIDE: Then where will these poor women go?
SHELLY: Exactly, you can’t just shut this place down, you have to improve it!
MAYOR SARANDON: Well then improve it I shall!
(Cut to Mayor Sarandon, Ethan, Evan and Chairman Sloane in Mayor Sarandon’s office)
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: You can’t improve it.
MAYOR SARANDON: Why not?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: We can’t afford to spend that kind of money on frivolous things like free housing for women!
MAYOR SARANDON: It’s a battered women’s shelter!
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Yeah, well fifty percent of that funding comes from the feds anyway!
MAYOR SARANDON: So why are ours so underfunded?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Well…(He chuckles) it’s actually a funny story. The year was 2010. I snuck a rider into a spending bill mandating we cut city funding to battered women’s shelters and you signed it without knowing about that provision.
MAYOR SARANDON: That wasn’t funny!
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Well it wasn’t a story either!
MAYOR SARANDON: Yes it was! Listen, I got a rep to uphold! Send me a bill repealing that provision so we can ensure the efficacy of our battered women’s shelters!
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: I snuck that rider into that spending bill for a reason, Mr. Mayor.
ETHAN: What was the reason?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Principle!
MAYOR SARANDON: Could you be more specific?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Spending is always bad, Mr. Mayor, as a Republican, how do you not know that?
(Mayor Sarandon stands up)
MAYOR SARANDON: You listen to me; I will not let you ruin this. You will take up a bill to reinstate the funding. I can’t be looking like I don’t care about women in a non-election year!
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: it’s all up to me, Mr. Mayor. And I will not bring such a bill up for a vote. Lest the Earth move beneath me and the heavenly father call my name. “Nathan! Bring up the bill!”, and even then, I would respond with a resounding “nay”.
MAYOR SARANDON: So you would rather tell God to fuck himself then bring up this bill?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Yep.
(Cut to Ryan and Kirsten in an empty hallway in Hansbay High. Kirsten is holding the camera)
RYAN: Thanks for helping me out, Kirsten.
KIRSTEN: Mrs. Stem forced me on threat of expulsion to help you out.
RYAN: Well, this is what you get when you don’t have any ideas.
KIRSTEN: I did have an idea, but Mrs. Stem set it on fire in front of me and called it “okay, but not great”.
RYAN: Classic. Anyway, let’s find some black kids to interview. (The camera zooms out to reveal the hallway is even more empty than the previous shot portrayed) Um…I’m sure they’ll come. Do you know any black guys?
KIRSTEN: Well…there’s Morgan Freeman and…Morgan Freeman-
RYAN: Black guys that go to this school?
KIRSTEN: …Jacob’s friend Ross!
RYAN: Right. Um, so that’s one.
RYAN: I guess we’ll see what class he’s in right now. (Ryan and Kirsten walk to the front office where Morgan is on the computer) Excuse me, could you tell me which classroom Ross Higgins is in right now?
MORGAN: Yes I can, using my handy-dandy, nifty-grifty look-up thingy.
(Morgan looks up Ross Higgins on the computer)
MORGAN: Mr. Higgins is in room C103.
KIRSTEN: Thank you.
(Kirsten starts to walk away, but Ryan puts his hand on her shoulder, stopping her)
RYAN: Hold on Kirsten, gettin’ a little ahead of yourself, how many blacks are in this school?
MORGAN: Nope, that’s not a problem. I got my hand-dandy, nifty-grifty and admittedly disturbing database of racial, ethnic, religious and cultural minorities in the school. Even got a variable Schindler’s list of Jews.
RYAN: I’ll want to see that later, but I just want the blacks at this point.
KIRSTEN: I want the emo list later.
MORGAN: Okeydokey. (Morgan goes to the African-American list) We have one black named Ross Higgins.
RYAN: Really? Just one?
MORGAN: Vermont is only one percent black, so statistically we should have ten, but the nine that were here last school year-
RYAN: Dropped out, I know.
MORGAN: Graduated early and went to Ivy League schools.
RYAN: Goddamnit. Okay, thanks.
MORGAN: One more question before you go since we’re updating our lists, are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?
RYAN: Definitely leaving. (Ryan and Kirsten walk out the door. Cut to them outside C103) This is going to be super-awkward, but I’ll do it for KDGM. (Ryan opens the door to reveal a science class, where Ross is sitting with Beckett and there is a science teacher speaking) Sorry to interrupt this disquisition of scientific wonderment, but I am severely in need of assistance. I’d like to express my contrition for the impediment I have caused to the procedures of this class-
TEACHER: Just tell us what you want!
RYAN: Can I borrow Ross for a second? I’m from KDGM.
(Ross gets up and walks out of the classroom, as does Ryan. Ryan closes the door and walks into the hallway with Ross. Kirsten, Ryan and Ross gather)
ROSS: What do you need me for?
RYAN: It’s black history month and you’re the only black kid in the school.
ROSS: I am?
KIRSTEN: Yes, and we need you to jump up and down for the camera.
RYAN: No-where did you get that idea? No, we need you to discuss why MLK means so much to you.
KIRSTEN: But we need more than just one black kid!
RYAN: Well…I have an idea.
(Cut to Mrs. Stem watching Ryan’s video on her computer the next day. It starts with a title slide reading “HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR! Here’s what the African-American(s) of Hansbay High have to say about you”. It then cuts to a shot of Ross in the hallway)
ROSS: Dr. King was a powerful force in the 20th century. My dad once sat my sister and I down and read his entire speech, word for word. It was powerful. (It then cuts to Ross near some lockers and with a mustache this time, also he has a fake high voice) Doctor King was my hero. I dream of him every night before I dream. He had a dream. America’s dream. (Ross coughs and then it cuts to Ross wearing a red clown nose and standing in the gym) As a black clown, I can tell you that Doctor King never squirted the flower of liberty onto the nose of justice. He honked the horn of equality and deflated the balloon animal of prejudice. (Ross honks a horn. Cut to Ross with a sign on his chest reading “ANOTHER BLACK GUY”. He’s in an empty classroom this time) Doctor King was an example to us all.
(Cut to a title slide reading “HAPPY 84th BIRTHDAY, DOCTOR KING!”. The video ends and the camera cuts to Mrs. Stem’s livid countenance. Cut to Rob walking into Vergennes Union High School in Vergennes, Vermont. He walks into the front office where the receptionist is)
ROB: Hello there, I have an appointment to speak to Principal Webbley about selling him racquetball equipment.
RECEPTIONIST: Oh, okay, um…yeah, I think-
(Principal Webbley and the man from the pharmacy earlier walk out of the room laughing)
PRINCIPAL WEBBLEY: So then I told the officer that it ain’t drunk driving if you’re just pressing the gas and you don’t have your hands on the wheel! (They both crack up again) Oh…Mr. Altmire. Um, yes, I’m afraid we’ll have to reschedule our meeting.
ROB: (Verge of tears) To when?
PRINCIPAL WEBBLEY: Wow, how old are you?
MAN: Just tell him the truth. They’ll reschedule it to never, Mr. Altmire. Because I made the sale. And you didn’t. And guess what? I’ve got all those other places you mentioned in the bag for meetings. My prices are better, my service is better and my stench is less…milky.
ROB: Milk is good for the skin. Let the record reflect that. Oh…my mouth’s dry with failure.
(The man walks away)
PRINCIPAL WEBBLEY: Bye Mel! Such a nice guy.
ROB: This is racism!
(Rob storms off. Cut to Kimberly sitting in a Principal’s office. The plaque on his desk reads “KEVIN HAMILTON, PRINCIPAL” and he is on his iPad while Kimberly sits there awkwardly)
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: High score y’all!
KIMBERLY: What are you playing?
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Photo booth.
KIMBERLY: How do you get a high score on photo booth?
(Principal Hamilton puts down his iPad)
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Listen, Mrs. Donahue, we would love to consider your business, but fortunately, we don’t gotta. Because a wonderful man named Mel Grisham, you’ll remember him, he directed Spaceballs.
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Ah, you’re right, he directed Passion of the Christ.
KIMBERLY: Still wrong.
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Anyway, he came by on a freakin’ whim and boy, were his prices phenomenal, way better than yours, I’m sorry to say.
KIMBERLY: Sir, trust me, we’re a small start-up, our customer service is phenomenal, you can call me anytime, day, night, afternoon or in the afterlife, I will be there for you.
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Am I going to have a lot of customer service issues with the racquetball equipment you sell me?
KIMBERLY: Of course not, but if you do, I’ll be there.
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Unless some kid gets nailed in the nuts with one of these racquetballs, I’m not going to have a customer service issue. Even then, I’d probably just film it and put it on YouTube.
KIMBERLY: But sir-
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: Enough, we’ve made our decision.
KIMBERLY: …I see. (She stands up) Thank you for your time.
PRINCIPAL HAMILTON: You’re welcome.
(Kimberly walks out of the room. Cut to her walking out of the school when she runs into Mel. He has a nametag on reading “Mel Grisham”)
MEL: Oh, I’m sorry.
KIMBERLY: Sorry-wait a minute, are you Mel Grisham?
MEL: Oh, yeah, they made me put this on while on school grounds.
KIMBERLY: Did you just steal this client from me?
MEL: Oh, you must be Kimberly Altmire.
KIMBERLY: Kimberly Donahue, how did you know about this lead?
MEL: Some rube was boasting about the client meetings he had to some hapless cashier, I don’t know, I just wrote what he said down.
KIMBERLY: Fucking Rob…
(Kimberly walks away. Cut to Ethan in Chairman Sloane’s office)
ETHAN: Chairman, you better bring this bill up for a vote.
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Oh, are you going to bribe me, Mr. Donahue?
ETHAN: No, Chairman, I’m not going to risk getting in the thick of that shit again. All I’m going to say is that come 2014, women will despise you for this stance.
CHAIRMAN SLOANE; You know what women and all people will despise you for?
ETHAN: Try me.
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Dumping a sleeping postman into a sewer in the fall of 2011.
ETHAN: …Shit. How did you know about that?
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: I have this friend in the postal service, Greg Shuster, he told me everything.
ETHAN: Well…let me explain myself. My son Jacob and I were driving along back from my mother’s house in Jackson, Mississippi after we spent Thanksgiving there.
(Cut to 46-year old Ethan driving along with a 17-year old Jacob in the passenger’s seat)
JACOB: Remember how grandma accidentally called both Grandpa Leonard and the turkey “Paul”?
ETHAN: (Laughs) Yeah, that was the name of her first boyfriend.
JACOB: (Laughs) Classic.
(They go over a huge bump and red liquid splashes all over the back window)
(Ethan stops the car)
JACOB: WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?
(Ethan and Jacob look at the back window)
ETHAN: I think we hit a deer.
(Ethan and Jacob turn around to see there is a red liquid-covered mailbag on the front of the car)
JACOB: A deer dressed as a postman?!
ETHAN: Fuck, fuck, fuck! (Ethan and Jacob get out of the car and run over to see a postman lying on the side of the road with no blood around him)
JACOB: Fuck, dad, we killed him! He’s deader than Muammar Gaddafi!
ETHAN: How is there no blood around him?!
JACOB: Maybe he’s a vampire!
ETHAN: I don’t think that’s it.
(Inexplicably, Jacob has a stake in his hands)
JACOB: Should I stab him in the heart with a stake?
ETHAN: Okay, definitely not! How do you have that?
JACOB: I read a lot of Vampire Diaries. I mean, no I don’t, I have a diary. I mean-
ETHAN: Shut up! Okay? Let’s just…drag him off the road.
JACOB: What? We can’t do that!
ETHAN: Jacob, I feel terrible about it too, but…I can’t go to jail. And neither can you.
JACOB: …Shit. Okay.
ETHAN: Grab his feet, I’ll get his shoulder.
JACOB: God, he reeks of booze.
ETHAN: That’s the stench of death.
JACOB: Or of a drunken dead postman.
(Jacob throws his stake to the side and lifts up the postman’s legs as Ethan simultaneously lifts the postman by his shoulders. They carry him for a little bit while sobbing. Cut to two minutes later as they continue walking. They have stopped sobbing, but still look sad. Ethan puts the postman down, as does Jacob)
ETHAN: Ugh, I’m tired. Let’s just, throw him in this ditch.
(Ethan and Jacob lift him up and climb into a ditch. They lay him down there and climb out of the ditch. They then turn around and walk into the sunset while brushing off their hands. Cut back to Ethan and Chairman Sloane talking)
ETHAN: So the next day, Jacob and I felt so guilty about the whole thing and were about ready to turn ourselves in, but then we read that they found a sleeping postman in a ditch near the road we were driving on in Virginia and he was delivering a package full of ketchup, so we pieced everything together. It turns out he was some drunken postman who left his package out in the middle of the road, and we assumed he was dead without checking.
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: Why would you guys walk into the sunset like you just did something triumphant?
ETHAN: Just-I didn’t kill anybody!
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: I already knew that! Nonetheless, it’s still pretty fucking embarrassing.
CHAIRMAN SLOANE: So I would advise you back off about the battered women’s shelter situation, or I’ll batter you with bad press. That’s the last thing you need, isn’t it Donahue?
ETHAN: …I suppose so.
(Cut to Ryan and the rest of the KDGM class in the KDGM classroom on Friday. Mrs. Stem comes in and slams her papers down)
MRS. STEM: HELLO!
MRS. STEM: Man, that show yesterday was great. Everything was in the LAN folder, the only problem is, one of the videos DISGRACED A CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER!
MRS. STEM: What the hell was that?
RYAN: I…there’s only one black kid at this school, so I had to improvise.
MRS. STEM: So come talk to me! Don’t improvise! Is this an improv class? Do you need a suggestion from the audience? Well here’s a suggestion, do a scene where you DROP OUT OF THIS CLASS! But, you can only do it while asking questions.
RYAN: I can’t drop out of this class!
MRS. STEM: Not a question!
RYAN: (Sigh) Why would I drop out of this class?
MRS. STEM: Because you’re screwing it up!
RYAN: So you don’t have to ask questions?
MRS. STEM: I’m the audience, emo kid! You’re the emoproviser!
MRS. STEM: You don’t seem to be standing up for yourself.
RYAN: Well, I’m not really accustomed to arguing with teachers-
MRS. STEM: It’s called being an advocate for yourself, Ryan!
RYAN: You’re mad at me for not arguing with you?
MRS. STEM: Yes I am! And I think you dropping out of this class would be best.
MRS. STEM: Anyway, ideas?
(Cut to Ryan, Alan, Luther, Kirsten, Natasha, the ginger chick, Cooper and the two other chicks in the KDGM studio, hanging out)
RYAN: God, why does she treat me like this?
ALAN: Treat YOU like this? Well if it isn’t the all too common self-centered emo kid. You think she treats JUST you like this?
RYAN: Yeah! Because I’m an emo, or bisexual, or ADD, or-
LUTHER: Dude, you’re not the only one she treated like this during their first year.
RYAN: Did she ever tell either of you to drop out?
ALAN: Yeah, actually, she did.
RYAN: Really? Why?
LUTHER: We made a video that was a parody of epic meal time. The parody was that it was epic meal time, except the meals were even more epic.
ALAN: Apparently, she has some stigma for people eating on camera or, suffering major stomach pains on camera.
RYAN: Wow…but with the exception of the hobo canteen skit, you guys have put up some of KDGM’s best stuff.
ALAN: Yeah, way better than any shit that Natasha or Faith has ever put up.
NATASHA: You guys are assholes!
LUTHER: We’re lovable assholes!
RYAN: Wow, I feel better about this whole situation now. I mean, you guys survived that threat.
ALAN: You should drop out, though.
LUTHER: Yeah, definitely.
(The bell rings and everyone gets up and starts to leave except Ryan, who is still processing what Alan and Luther just said. Alan pats Ryan’s face as he leaves. Cut to Kimberly and Rob sitting in the office at the Donahue household. Kimberly looks livid and Rob looks nervous)
KIMBERLY: So Rob…how’d the sales calls go?
ROB: They…were a call…of sales. Black ops.
KIMBERLY: Nice. Good. Land any?
KIMBERLY: Well, that happens. It happens because you were trying to impress a girl BY THOUGHTLESSLY SPEWING OUR LEADS!
ROB: …So you heard about that.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, I did. You know, I was never sure if you had the social skills for this job and now I am sure.
KIMBERLY: THAT YOU DON’T!
KIMBERLY: Yeah. Listen, Rob…I’m sorry to do this, but…you’ve become a liability unfortunately. I’m going to have to let you go.
ROB: WHAT? I’m your co-founder!
KIMBERLY: Yeah and you’ve done a Cracker Jack job. But this is about money. You need to get a job that earns you money and makes you learn skills. Otherwise, you’ll be living here for years to come, waiting for this company to make a profit. I’m not trying to be cruel, just pragmatic.
(Rob is teary-eyed)
ROB: …What about my wife and kids?
KIMBERLY: Kassadin is neither your wife nor your kid.
ROB: He’s both!
KIMBERLY: Rob. I’m sorry. I really am. But you’ll be fine. (Rob gets up and storms out of the room) Rob!
(Kimberly gets up and goes after him. Cut to Ethan walking into the Mayor’s building. You can hear his inner monologue)
ETHAN’S INNER MONOLOGUE: I can’t believe it. I can’t fucking believe it. You were just out and Sloane pulls you back in. (He walks into an elevator and presses the up arrow) That postman got a little dirty, what’s the big deal? It was fourteen months ago! That’s like twenty years in dog years, or, cat lives. Why do animals have a different concept of time? Do they live in another dimension of time and space? I mean, they’re right there, right? (The elevator opens and Ethan walks into the office) Now I can never get Chairman Sloane to do anything he doesn’t want to. I am so fucked if that info gets out. I guess I’ll never change. (Ethan walks into Mayor Sarandon’s office to see him on the computer)
ETHAN: Hey, Sloane won’t budge on the battered women’s shelter thing, hoss.
MAYOR SARANDON: Well, it’s not really up to him anymore. I just got off the phone with Mrs. Edelman, apparently she can secure two-thirds vote so as to bring up the bill without Sloane’s approval and it has bipartisan support.
ETHAN: …Oh. Well, that’s surprisingly…scrupulous…
MAYOR SARANDON: What’s that?
ETHAN: Nothing. Good job.
(Ethan leaves the room and outside the room he smiles and makes a fist. Fade to black)
© Copyright 2016 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.