“LIKE EIGHT YEARS AGO”
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda”
(We start with a 39-year old Ethan Donahue and a 38-year old Kimberly Donahue sitting at the Donahue breakfast table in late August 2005. They are both looking at Hansbay Quintessential newspapers with the headlines “HURRICANE KATRINA DISASTER” and “FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN UNSURE OF TOTAL HORSE CASUALTIES”)
KIMBERLY: This is absolutely awful.
ETHAN: I know. Those poor people in the gulf coast.
(Kimberly puts down her newspaper)
KIMBERLY: You don’t think President Bush bears any responsibility for the extremely slow response to this disaster?
(Ethan puts down her newspaper)
ETHAN: He’s got it, okay? Bush doesn’t like to work in a high-pressure environment, you’re pressuring him too much, that’s why he’s screwing up a little bit.
KIMBERLY: He’s the President of the United States of America! It’s a high-pressure job! It took him five days to deploy FEMA; he didn’t even cancel his vacation initially!
ETHAN: He needed to recharge his batteries, Kimmy! You know how stressful it is to deal with a hurricane of this scope?
KIMBERLY: Is it like sitting on a rooftop, wet, hungry and sick?
ETHAN: He’s clearing brush down there, maybe, if the levees were made of brush, they wouldn’t have breached.
KIMBERLY: No! Why did Bush appoint a former head of the Arabian Horse Racing Association to head up the FEMA?
ETHAN: As an outreach to the Islamic community, I don’t know! Listen, Bush has everything under control.
KIMBERLY: No he doesn’t! He’s incompetent! If Kerry had won last year, he would’ve bored the hurricane into submission, but Bush just egged it on with his frat boy douchiness.
ETHAN: That is completely-
(A twelve-year old Madeline walks in with her backpack on)
ETHAN: Good morning Maddie, how’s my little sixth grader?
MADELINE: I’m good.
KIMBERLY: You are well, that’s something you learn to say in sixth grade English.
MADELINE: I’m good.
(Madeline sits down at the table)
ETHAN: Are you excited, Maddie?
MADELINE: I guess.
KIMBERLY: You know, you’re becoming a big girl, don’t be surprised if boys start going crazy for you.
ETHAN: God, I don’t think I’m capable of punching twelve-year old boys.
MADELINE: Dad’s right, boys are gross. They’re always playing in mud and joking about mud and talking about mud. What’s with them and mud?
ETHAN: I don’t think they’re infatuation with mud is as extensive as you think it is. (An eleven-year old Jacob walks in with his backpack) Good morning, Jacob.
KIMBERLY: Good morning, Jacob.
JACOB: Good morning, mom and dad. (Jacob sits down) I’m starting fifth grade today.
ETHAN: We know. Are you glad to not be in elementary school finally?
JACOB: Yeah, I guess. (Yawns) I’m pretty tired though.
KIMBERLY: Did you not sleep well?
JACOB: I didn’t sleep at all.
ETHAN: Excuse me?
JACOB: I didn’t sleep at all.
KIMBERLY: Why didn’t you sleep?
JACOB: I just couldn’t. It never happened. I pretty much know how many speckles are on our ceiling.
ETHAN: How many?
JACOB: I lost count at five. The point is, I’m pretty tired.
ETHAN: Jacob, you can’t have a sleep schedule like that. You’re going to be falling asleep in class and fifth grade teachers don’t mess around, they will send you right to the principal’s office, this ain’t fourth grade anymore, no sir, this is FIFTH grade, the big leagues.
JACOB: They said that about fourth grade.
ETHAN: And they were right.
KIMBERLY: I’m going to make you a healthy breakfast to at least get some energy for you. (Kimberly starts to get up, but then a ten-year old Ryan comes in. He’s wearing a striped collared shirt and jeans with shorter black hair) I’ll make some for Ryan too, my little fourth grader!
RYAN: I’m so excited for fourth grade! I’m gonna have a blast!
(Kimberly kisses Ryan on the head and goes into the kitchen)
ETHAN: Yes you are. What happened to your hair, kiddo?
KIMBERLY: I’ll tell you later, Ethan.
ETHAN: Uh…okay. I heard you had a blast over the weekend, Ryan.
RYAN: Yeah, my daycare had this all-nighter at an arcade, Brennan and I had a lot of fun!
ETHAN: Did you remember to follow my rules?
RYAN: Yeah, I didn’t make eye contact with the janitors.
ETHAN: Good. So what’d you do there?
RYAN: Um, you know…I had fun.
(Ryan walks away)
ETHAN: He’s being secretive.
(Cut to Saturday, August 27, 2005. A ten-year old Ryan with relatively long, more even hair than before and a ten-year old Brennan, who is also dressed like a normal non-emo kid, are sitting in the back of a van with an eleven-year old Scott Alexander and a twelve-year old Kyle Lautenberg. The side of their bus says “Children’s Barnyard”. Inside the van, a censored version of the song “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani is playing)
RYAN: I don’t understand what Gwen Stefani is saying.
BRENNAN: That’s my something. “That’s my” is all I’m getting.
KYLE: It’s shit.
(They all gasp)
RYAN: Oh my God, did you just say that?
KYLE: Yeah, it’s shit. I’m twelve, I can say that.
BRENNAN: Gosh, I can’t wait to be twelve.
RYAN: It stinks that I won’t be twelve until 2007!
KYLE: Don’t be wusses guys, just say it now.
RYAN: The driver could hear us!
KYLE: The driver could’ve heard me!
SCOTT: But don’t you have like, a Jew shield?
KYLE: Shit you!
RYAN: Holy shit. Oh my God, I said shit. HA! That’s awesome.
KYLE: Yeah it is. Hey, do you guys know how babies are made?
BRENNAN: Well, the male ejaculates sperm into the female vagina which in some cases fertilizes the egg, which then leads to the development of a fetus in the womb, and after a nine-month gestation period, a baby slides through the birthing canal into the hands of a qualified gynecologist.
KYLE: No, that’s retarded. A man pees in a woman’s butt and nine months later the woman vomits a balloon with a baby in it. If that balloon doesn’t float up into a ceiling fan and brutally savage the baby into pieces, the baby’s balloon is popped in time and it falls into a mother’s arms.
RYAN: So, my pee can make people?
RYAN: Awesome, I’m going to pee on everything when I’m older!
BRENNAN: Wait, can two boys make a baby together?
KYLE: HA! That’s called being gay and you can only make a baby with another man in Massachusetts.
BRENNAN: (Looking disappointed) Oh.
BUS DRIVER: QUIT YOUR YAMMERING BACK THERE, YOU LITTLE TWERPS! WE’RE HERE AT VERMONTASIA!
RYAN: Why is our bus driver from the black lagoon?
(The Bus Driver turns around to reveal he’s a black man)
BUS DRIVER: THE HELL YOU SAY, KID?!
(Cut to Ryan, Brennan, Scott, Kyle and a bunch of other kids in an arcade/mini-golf/go-kart establishment called “Vermontasia”. The black driver stands by while the kids listen to a girl in her early twenties who works there)
VERMONTASIA EMPLOYEE: My name’s Gretchen and I will be your helpful helper during your all-night stay-stravaganza brought to you by the energy drinks that will make you fat and unhealthy when you guys are teenagers! (Gretchen pulls out an older version of the “Monster” can) Monster Energy!
RYAN: I want it now!
GRETCHEN: Now, there are rules at Vermontasia. We lock the doors at seven so your overnight stay can begin. First rule, do not go into the back because that is where I will be making out with my boyfriend during the night. Second rule, don’t touch anything that could hurt you.
RYAN: I would never hurt myself on purpose.
BRENNAN: What’s something that could hurt us though?
GRETCHEN: Moving on to the third rule, no racing with the Go-arts unless you were born on August 27, 1992 or earlier. Otherwise, you have to have an adult drive you.
BUS DRIVER: That would be ME!
GRETCHEN: Fourth rule, no one over 250 pounds may drive the Go-Karts.
BUS DRIVER: That would be me as well.
GRETCHEN: So I guess the third rule would not be you.
BUS DRIVER: Yeah.
GRETCHEN: The fifth rule is no running, no screaming, no cursing, no bullying, although that one’s not very widely enforced and no crying. Seriously, no crying. The sixth rule is have fun and the seventh rule is no two girls can go to the bathroom at the same time due to the rampant nature of lesbianism.
LITTLE GIRL: Are you serious?
KYLE: It makes sense.
(Cut to Madeline on the bus with twelve-year old Britney)
BRITNEY: We’re living on easy street now, Maddie.
BRITNEY: We’re in sixth grade, meaning we’re superior to the fifth graders because we were born earlier than them.
MADELINE: I guess.
BRITNEY: I’m gonna pick on so many fifth graders, you don’t even know.
MADELINE: You shouldn’t do that, my brother’s a fifth grader.
BRITNEY: Fine, then how about this fifth grade kid over there?
(Cut to an eleven year old Roger sitting next to Jacob on the bus)
ROGER: Okay, I’m gonna wait in the bathroom and when people go into the stalls, I’m gonna jump up over them and look down into it and yell “take a piss already!”
JACOB: Are you sure that’s a good idea?
ROGER: What do you have that’s better?
JACOB: Something that’s not…gay.
ROGER: Why is looking into bathroom stalls and yelling things at people taking pisses gay?
JACOB: Because it would be even funnier if we threw glitter on them when we did it!
(They high-five and then an eleven-year old Beckett peeks his head in from the seat behind them, he has a black eye)
BECKETT: Hey guys!
(They gasp. Cut back to Britney and Madeline)
MADELINE: No, that’s a friend of my brother’s. What about Adam over there?
(Cut to a twelve-year old Adam delicately strumming on a guitar and looking out the window in a contemplative reverie. Cut back)
BRITNEY: Oh, he’s not a fifth grader. But he is the boy of my dreams.
MADELINE: You like him?
MADELINE: Like, you like-like-like-like him? Like?
BRITNEY: How many “like” boxes do I have to check? I like him!
BRITNEY: It’s about time you get in the game, Maddie. That Asian girl is getting more guys than you ever did.
MADELINE: I guess I just never saw guys like that.
BRITNEY: You’re in sixth grade now, hon. Guys aren’t yucky anymore. And the only way girls are yucky is if they’re ugly or dumb.
BRITNEY: No, just ugly. See the world through my eyes, and you’ll see boys.
(The bus stops. The driver opens the bus doors and the students funnel out. Cut to Jacob, Roger and Beckett, along with other students, in a classroom being taught by a thin woman with brown hair named Mrs. Glibmaster)
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Alright, class, welcome to the first day of fifth grade. I’m Mrs. Glibmaster. Usually at this point we would go around the room and have everyone share something they did over their summer, but I honestly don’t want to feel like an underpaid underprivileged plebian right now while you guys describe how you toured the pyramids and found them “aight”.
BLACK KID: Is that a snipe towards me?
MRS. GLIBMASTER: No, it is not. Although I’m sorry about your family in New Orleans.
BLACK KID: I don’t have a-
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Today we’re going to learn about how great a man Christopher Columbus was. He invented America and never touched a single hair on a Native American’s head. (Cut to Jacob, who is asleep)I’m sorry, I just-URGGGHH, I can’t concentrate when a kid is sleeping. Excuse me? Could you wake him up?
(Roger shakes him awake)
JACOB: AH! Hi.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Hi. Thanks for joining us. What’s your name?
JACOB: Jacob Donahue.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Word of advice, Jacob. Don’t sleep in my class unless you want a star to be removed from your pouch.
JACOB: You wouldn’t. I worked HARD for that pouch!
ROGER: it’s the first day!
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Let me just tell everyone here something. I will remove a star from your pouch at a MOMENT’S notice. I am a sick fuck. (Everyone gasps) Fun, I meant to say.
JACOB: You’re a sick fun?
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Just stay awake or the star gets it. Now-
(Mrs. Glibmaster drones on)
JACOB: God, I can’t stay awake.
KID RIGHT NEXT TO JACOB: How do you know you’re not asleep right now? What if you’ve been in a coma for five years and you’re just imagining this all? Or, what if you are God?
JACOB: Stop. Thanks.
ROGER: Try dirt biking nigga, it really gets the blood flowing.
JACOB: I need something I can do right now.
ROGER: Well, you’re in luck. I just got my first cell phone.
(Roger takes out a flip phone and flips it open, causing everyone to stare at it)
JACOB: Oh my God, that’s awesome!
ROGER: Isn’t it? I got two contacts on this baby and one of them is my brother’s dealer.
JACOB: Dealer of what?
ROGER: I don’t know, but I intend to find out.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: I’M SORRY! URRGGGHHHH! Phones are not allowed in this classroom! Give me it. (Mrs. Glibmaster goes over to Roger and Roger hands her the phone, which she then puts at her desk and she walks back to the front of the classroom) You can get it back when God floods New Orleans-(Roger begins to get up) AH! Let me finish…again. Sit down. (Roger sits down) Now-
(She drones on again)
ROGER: Sorry, bro.
JACOB: Ugh. (Cut to Jacob lying awake in his bed at night, which has sheets that have stars and planets on them) Um…shouldn’t I be asleep by now? It’s like, almost ten thirty. (Jacob checks the alarm clock next to him and it says “1:00 AM TUES AUGUST 30 2005”) Wow, not close. About three hours off. I’ve been lying here for that long. How do I pass the time? (Jacob gets up and goes to his closet, which has numerous Hot Wheels and model cars) I guess I could organize an illegal street race here by the side of the dresser. (Cut to Jacob next to the dresser in his room with nothing but his closet light on. Five Hot Wheels are lined up right next to each other. Jacob is meanwhile pretending to be the drivers of the sundry vehicles talking trash) I’m gonna kick your ass, McCulsky! Not a chance, McCaskey! You got your mother’s under pants in there, butthole? That was a diss! Suck donkey balls, McCulsky! I learned that from TV. Three, two, one, GO! (He pushes two cars ahead, then the rest in quick succession, but they don’t go very far on the carpet) Oh yeah. No motors. Well, crap. What the heck am I supposed to do now? Why is it that I was tired during school but not now? Wait, maybe I can sleep in the same bed as mom and dad! They’re warm bodies will warm me to sleep.
(Jacob walks out of his room. Cut to Ethan and Kimberly in bed. Jacob comes in and jumps on the bed)
JACOB: Mom! Dad!
(Ethan and Kimberly wake up, bewildered and confused)
ETHAN: What? Jacob?
KIMBERLY: What do you need, honey?
JACOB: I can’t sleep!
ETHAN: Jesus, I might as well go in.
KIMBERLY: No, Ethan, stay. It’s one o’clock honey, why can’t you sleep?
ETHAN: Jacob, there’s no monster in your closet. Except Ted Kennedy, be afraid of liberals.
JACOB: Is Ted Kennedy really in my closet, mommy?!
KIMBERLY: Ted Kennedy’s a 73-year old man, the only reason you should be scared of him is if he’s taking you on a drive through a Massachusetts island.
JACOB: But I can’t sleep and I want in your bed.
ETHAN: Jacob, you’re getting too old for that.
KIMBERLY: Nonsense! You may sleep with us if you’d like.
JACOB: Well I don’t want to be a little boy, though…
ETHAN: Exactly Jacob, you’re eleven, you can practically vote, just go watch C-SPAN until you fall asleep.
JACOB: What’s C-STAN? Is that another country we’re at war with?
KIMBERLY: I’ll put on C-SPAN. (Kimberly gets up and takes Jacob’s hand and leads into the living room. He lays on the couch and Kimberly puts a blanket on him and uses the remote to turn on an antiquated black box television characteristic of the late 90s and early 2000s. She switches over to C-SPAN, where Senator Ted Stevens is presiding over the Senate in an earlier recording of Senate activities from July 29, 2005) This’ll lull you to sleep in a heartbeat kiddo, unless Stevens starts yelling.
(Kimberly kisses Jacob’s head and goes back into her room as Jacob looks at the TV)
SENATOR STEVENS: Under the previous order the leadership time is reserved, under the previous order the Senate will proceed to the consideration of the conference report to accompany House Bill 2361, which the clerk will report.
(The clerk stands up)
CLERK: Conference report to accompany HR 2361, the committee of conference-
(Cut to one hour later. Jacob is still awake and now Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is speaking on the floor of the Senate)
SENATOR MURRAY: Um, when you just incur inflation, the VA is spending twenty-five percent less per patient than in fiscal year 2000.
(Cut to an hour later, an excessively bored but still awake Jacob is watching Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) talk on the floor)
SENATOR DOMENICI: Mr. President, this energy bill will create jobs for our country. More secur-more secure jobs. And we will be using cleaner energy in the future. And this will happen across America and it will happen in the state of Wisconsin.
(Cut to four hours later, at 6AM in the morning. Jacob is still awake watching Senator Ted Kennedy on the floor of the Senate)
SENATOR KENNEDY: My friend, uh, um, the Republican amendment says that we should study the problem of cop killer bullets, our police officers are the ones that are in the line of fire.
(Ethan walks in with a donut and coffee)
ETHAN: Whoa, Jacob, did you fall asleep last night?
JACOB: …No. Is that the bad man you’re talking about?
ETHAN: Yes, that’s him, why didn’t you sleep, this is extremely boring.
JACOB: …I don’t know…I just…couldn’t…
ETHAN: Could you stop putting ellipses in all your sentences and just get to the point?
JACOB: What are……………………..elipses?
ETHAN: Okay, you need to go to school regardless of whether you got any sleep. For the last two days.
(Cut to Madeline and Kyle in art class molding clay pots)
MADELINE: God, I hate working with clay.
MADELINE: Because it makes my hands all messy.
KYLE: I like to work with it so I can put holes in the clay so they can explode in the oven.
MADELINE: Why would you want that?
KYLE: Because explosions are cool!
MADELINE: You don’t get to see it, though.
KYLE: But knowing it happened is enough for me.
MADELINE: What’s your name?
KYLE: I’m Kyle Lautenberg.
MADELINE: I’m Madeline Donahue.
KYLE: Donahue? Wait, do you have a brother named Ryan?
MADELINE: Yeah, he’s a 4th grader, do you know him?
KYLE: Yeah, we go to the same daycare. We were at an all-night sleepover a few days ago.
(Cut to Ryan and Brennan playing a shooting game at the Vermontasia Arcade with those plastic red and blue guns, shooting them profusely)
RYAN: DIE! Take that giant bug!
BRENNAN: I love how deep this game is.
(Cut to a shot of the game they’re playing. It is a poorly-done cell shaded game where Ryan and Jacob are two archeologists in a car being chased by giant spiders. One of the archeologists is an incredibly thin and incredibly explicitly dressed archeological assistant and the other is a mixed-race man of average size and height. He stops firing the gun and turns towards the camera while an incredibly long bar of skin protrudes from his face and goes off camera in what is likely an austere glitch)
GEOLOGIST: (Ham-handed composure) Oh my lord! These spiders are attacking us!
RYAN: I really felt like he just stated what we all saw was happening.
BRENNAN: And apparently has a long tumor coming from his face.
(Ryan laughs. Cut back to the game. As the geologist fires at the spiders, the hot geological assistant turns around and puts a pencil in her mouth and puts her hands on her hips in a suggestive disposition)
GEOLOGICAL ASSISTANT: What are we going to do?! You’ve got to help us!
RYAN: Is she really being cutesy while they’re being attacked by spiders?
BRENNAN: Yeah, and it appears like-(Cut to the screen, the geological assistant now has a bar of pink emanating from her tits and going off screen) she has breast cancer.
(They laugh as a mixed-race kid walks up behind them)
MIXED-RACE KID: Hey Ryan, hey Brennan.
RYAN: Hey Nathan, what’s up?
NATHAN: Nothin’, just…trying to find something to do.
RYAN: Awesome, we’re gonna go on the bouncy castle in a few minutes.
RYAN: Yeah, just after this game.
NATHAN: Hey Ryan, your hair’s gotten pretty long, hasn’t it?
RYAN: Uh, yeah, I’m growing it out I guess.
NATHAN: Hmm…I see…it’s kind of gay…
NATHAN: Yeah, dude.
BRENNAN: Nathan, I don’t think it’s gay.
NATHAN: Dude, gay guys always have long hair.
RYAN: It’s not gay.
NATHAN: Don’t get all defensive.
(Ryan tries to restrain his emotions)
RYAN: I have to go to the bathroom.
(Ryan drops the gun and runs away, leaving Brennan and Nathan confused)
BRENNAN: What the heck, Nathan?
BRENNAN: You know he’s sensitive!
NATHAN: Sometimes you have to tell people the straight dope.
BRENNAN: Shut-shut up! His hair is fine!
NATHAN: Honestly, he almost looked emo.
(Brennan slaps Nathan in the face)
BRENNAN: Don’t you fucking dare.
(Brennan walks over to the bathroom and walks in to see Ryan indiscriminately cutting random chunks of hair with scissors he was somehow able to procure)
BRENNAN: Jeez, Ryan!
(Ryan turns around)
BRENNAN: Give me those scissors, where did you even get those?!
RYAN: You’re lucky I stole these!
BRENNAN: No I’m not! Why would you steal scissors?! Just give them to me; you’re massacring your hair!
RYAN: HE SAID IT WAS GAY! I’M NOT GAY! I DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO THINK I’M GAY!
BRENNAN: Nobody thinks you’re gay, Ryan. He was just being a jerk.
RYAN: He’s my friend! Like, what the hell?!
BRENNAN: He’s obviously not really your friend, just give me the scissors before you hurt your hair or somebody else’s.
RYAN: I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ANYMORE! THIS HAIR ISN’T EVEN MINE! IT’S RICARDO DONAHUE’S HAIR!
BRENNAN: Please tell me that’s not an aborted brother of yours.
RYAN: What’s aborted mean?
BRENNAN: I’m like the only one who actually knows anything about the female body in this daycare!
RYAN: I just wanted this to be a fun overnight outing but Nathan had to ruin it.
BRENNAN: You’re letting him ruin it! Just calm down, we don’t have to hang out with him; we’ll go steal a go-kart.
RYAN: I want to go on the bouncy castle in the gymnasium.
BRENNAN: Great, we’ll do that.
RYAN: I want to do it now!
BRENNAN: Okay! Yes, you’re right, let’s do it now! C’mon.
(Ryan sticks the scissors in his pocket and Brennan tries to grab at them but Ryan slaps his hand and they walk out of the bathroom. Cut to Madeline and Kyle in the art class working with the clay)
KYLE: So, uh, art is pretty-
(Twelve year old Adam walks over)
ADAM: Hey, can I borrow some clay?
(Adam takes Madeline’s entire block of clay and walks away)
MADELINE: I know.
KYLE: How ru-
MADELINE: Cute is he, huh?
MADELINE: He’s cute.
KYLE: He just stole your entire brick of clay!
MADELINE: But he can lift a brick of clay, that’s pretty impressive.
KYLE: Not really.
MADELINE: I should go talk to him.
KYLE: Sorry, are we experiencing the same reality right now?
MADELINE: Shut up and spot me.
(Madeline walks away)
KYLE: Spot her?
(Kyle turns around and watches Madeline walk over to Adam who is working with an enormous pile of clay right next to Roger who is sitting there with no clay gazing at his flip phone)
MADELINE: Hey Adam.
ADAM: Do you want your clay back?
MADELINE: Naw, I’m good.
ADAM: I wasn’t going to give it back anyway.
MADELINE: Right. So, what’s up?
ADAM: Nothin’ much, just clayin’.
MADELINE: I love clay.
ADAM: I don’t wanna talk about clay, babe.
(Madeline sits down)
MADELINE: What do you wanna talk about?
(Cut to the art teacher on the school telephone)
ART TEACHER: You kiddin’ me? Ms. Peters is a total slut. TOTAL slut. How do you explain the lacks of an “R” in “MRS” Peters? You think I’m making that shit up? TOTAL slut. If she had a brand of energy drink it would be called “TOTAL Slut”. I guess it would have guarine. Condi Rice? TOTAL slut. She’s banging Bush’s brains out, I guarantee you. Maybe that’s why he responded so slowly to Katrina because Rice banged his brains out. She’s the Secretary of SLUT. We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom in Condi’s SLUT! Oh, Terry Schiavo? She was a-
(Cut to an interested group of fifth graders on the other side of the room, including an eleven-year old Alan and Luther)
ALAN: Ms. Conehurst?
MS. CONEHURST: Excuse me. (She puts the phone to her chest) Slut? I mean, yes?
ALAN: What’s a slut?
MS. CONEHURST: You kids are in fifth grade and you don’t know what slut means? God, the media has not done its job in corrupting your intenerate minds. Ask your sixth grade friends on the other side. (She gets back on the phone) Hello?
ALAN: We don’t need to ask them, they’ll make fun of us for not knowing. Look it up in Oxford’s.
LUTHER: Is that like, a book of spells?
ALAN: What? No, it’s a book of words.
LUTHER: Sorry, I’ve been playing too much Maple Story.
ALAN: Let me just look it up. (He takes out Oxford’s and opens it up) Wow, it opened right to slut. Slut means “an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute.” It also apparently used to mean a broken windmill. Does that satisfy you, Luther?
LUTHER: No, I need to call someone this new word, Alan. A prostitute sucks on pee-pees for cash, so we just need to find the person closest to doing that.
ALAN: Over there!
(They look at Madeline talking to Adam, seeming very flirtatiously interested in what he’s saying)
LUTHER: Wow, that girl is a total windmill.
LUTHER: Yeah, a slut.
ALAN: Let’s spread the word.
LUTHER: Totally. When I got home, I’m IM’ing everybody I know.
ALAN: How many people do you know personally?
LUTHER: At least ten. Also, my IM name is LionDude70.
ALAN: My mom says I can’t have Instant Messenger until I’m fifteen. I hope people still use it in 2009.
LUTHER: They will.
(Cut to Madeline walking down the hallway of her intermediate school. Everybody seems to be staring at her and whispering behind her back. Suddenly, she walks past a slatternly looking man wearing 18th century Irish peasant rags)
IRISH PEASANT: (Irish accent) WHORE! YA WHORE! GO BACK TO WHERE YA CAME FROM, YA WHORE!
MADELINE: WHAT THE HELL!?
(Security drags the man away and as he’s dragged away he continues yelling)
IRISH PEASANT: YA STRUMPET! I SEEN NESSIE YA KNOW!
(They throw him out and while she still recovers from that perplexing moment, Britney marches over to her)
BRITNEY: What is this, this, this, this GARBAGE I keep hearing about you practically making out with Adam?!
MADELINE: WHAT?! I didn’t make out with Adam!
(Luther and Alan walk over)
LUTHER: Oooooohhhhhh, that’s not what I heard on the street.
ALAN: Not even close.
MADELINE: What did you hear?
LUTHER: We heard there was some first, second and third basing going on in your art class today.
MADELINE: What is third basing?
ALAN: You guys did one of those butt bumps.
MADELINE: Not true on either count.
BRITNEY: Madeline, I’ll have you know that I called dibbity dibs on Adam.
MADELINE: Dibbity dibs?
BRITNEY: Yes! That is binding!
LUTHER: She’s right.
MADELINE: Who the hell even are you?
LUTHER: I’m Luther, sweetheart.
ALAN: I’m Alan. Nice ta greet ya.
MADELINE: Not nice, you guys are believing a rumor about me that is completely false!
LUTHER: Well, to be fair, we spread the rumor.
MADELINE: Then how did you “hear the rumor on the street”?
ALAN: Because, we spread it? I mean, how is this hard?
MADELINE: I guess it isn’t since you’re just admitting all of this to me! Okay? Britney, I didn’t make out with Adam.
BRITNEY: Then why are they spreading this rumor?
MADELINE: Because, maybe I talked to Adam a little bit.
BRITNEY: A little bit is too much, Maddie! Dibbity-dibs!
LUTHER: That’s a legally binding kid contract.
ALAN: It’ll hold up in Kid Court any day. Speaking of which, watch Kid Court, now on Nickelodeon right after The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and before watching a SpongeBob lunch box for half an hour.
LUTHER: Who are you talking to?
ALAN: I’m going to get a show on Nick one way or another, I don’t want to have to work hard all my life.
MADELINE: Fine, I won’t talk to Adam anymore. Meanwhile, you two jerks need to stay out of my business and stop spreading rumors about me!
ALAN: Yeah, you’re uh…you’re right. But it was fun to experiment with the word slut.
LUTHER: Yeah, I don’t know if I regret it.
(Cut to Madeline in the lunch room. She walks out of the lunch line with her lunch and nervously scans the room for her friends. She finally finds where Britney is sitting and walks over there and sits down next to Britney and her friends)
FRIEND: Uh-oh, here comes the crush snatcher!
FRIEND 2: Don’t snatch my (takes out a can of Crush soda) Crush, crush snatcher!
(The friend waits a few seconds and then smashes the can of Crush, causing Crush to squirt all over Madeline’s face as they all laugh. Madeline runs off in a tearful dash. Cut to Madeline crying in the bathroom. Then, cut to outside the bathroom. Kyle is walking by and hears Madeline crying and stops dead in his tracks)
KYLE: Is that…Maddie? Well, I have an idea.
(Kyle goes over to the water fountain nearby and takes a drink. He then paces around a bit and takes another drink and waits. Cut to Jacob dead asleep in Mrs. Glibmaster’s class while she speaks)
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Moving on from the American Revolution to the invention of the internet, we-I’m sorry, can someone please wake Jacob up?
(Roger shakes Jacob. Roger shakes Jacob even more. Roger opens Jacob’s eye lids to reveal his pupils are not there)
ROGER: I think he’s dead.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: He’s not dead-you know what? I’ve had enough of this. I’m taking his tired ass down to the principal’s office.
(Mrs. Glibmaster comes over and slams her hand down on the desk and Jacob wakes up)
JACOB: Hey! Yeah, I know Christopher Columbus was great.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Come with me, Jacob.
(Cut to Jacob sitting in a seat in front of a woman principal named Ms. Jones)
MS. JONES: I am incredibly disappointed with you, Jacob.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: His name’s Jay.
JACOB: No, it’s Jacob.
MS. JONES: Jay, you disappoint me. Why are you sleeping in class to such an austere extent?
JACOB: I’m just, I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, or any sleep for that matter since school started.
MS. JONES: The belt, huh?
MS. JONES: I’ve heard the stories far too often. (Ms. Jones stands up and looks out the window) Kids getting the belt so often that they become afraid to sleep, fearing that their father will belt them if they fall asleep.
JACOB: Does that really happen?
(Ms. Jones turns around)
MS. JONES: Wouldn’t you know?
JACOB: No, I wouldn’t, listen, my dad doesn’t hit me, I just can’t sleep!
MS. JONES: Well. (Ms. Jones sits down) I took this job not only because I knew a woman like me would not get a High School Principal job, but also because I could stop abusive parents. However, if you’re telling me you’re having trouble sleeping and are expecting me to do something about it? Then I will. Um…drink milk. Are we done here?
MRS. GLIBMASTER: We haven’t gotten anywhere yet, Ms. Jones! He’s still sleepy and will probably be sleepy tomorrow.
MS. JONES: Nothing we can do, I suppose. Back to class.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: This is ridiculous, we can’t just allow our students to get away with this!
MS. JONES: It’s not a big deal, get him coffee or something.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: It’s not a big deal? Look at him right now!
(Pan down to Jacob, who is asleep and wearing a nightcap)
MS. JONES: Ah, he found one of my night caps.
MRS. GLIBMASTER: Why do you have those? I mean, who wears a hat to bed?
MS. JONES: It was No Child Left Behind I think.
(Cut to Ryan and Brennan jumping around in one of those bounce house obstacle courses)
RYAN: This is so sick, what time is it?
BRENNAN: It’s eleven!
RYAN: Awesome! We have this bounce obstacle course to ourselves!
RYAN: Hi honey, back from work?
BRENNAN: Ugh, yeah, rough day.
RYAN: Well, just come into the house then.
BRENNAN: All right, then. (Brennan jumps between two inflated cylinders and lands in an area full of smaller inflated cylinders) Agh, son of a bitch!
(Ryan jumps in as well)
RYAN: Yeah, I did some renovations.
BRENNAN: Clearly. Where’s my dinner, honey dearest honey dear?
RYAN: Yeah, just up that wall.
BRENNAN: You put dinner behind a wall.
(Brennan “hits” Ryan and Ryan falls onto his back, bounces and laughs)
RYAN: Honey! Don’t hit me!
BRENNAN: Ugh, I guess I’ll climb the wall.
(Ryan gets up)
RYAN: I forgive you.
(Brennan climbs up the inflated wall and Ryan follows. They then slide down the slide and to the end and they get off)
BRENNAN: Shit, I forgot my keys.
RYAN: Let’s go back!
(They run around to the beginning and hop into it. They rush toward the entrance)
BRENNAN: HUSBANDS FIRST!
(Brennan pushes Ryan out of the way as he laughs and Brennan runs through the initial obstacle. Ryan gets up and runs through the initial obstacle and then tackles Brennan onto the floor. They roll around laughing for a bit until Ryan ends up directly on top of Brennan, leading to them just staring at each other and smiling)
RYAN: I really like you.
BRENNAN: Me too.
(Ryan kisses Brennan on the cheek)
BRENNAN: Why’d you do that?
BRENNAN: Let’s get up. (Ryan and Brennan get up and look at each other. Brennan uses his hand to move some of Ryan’s hair out of his forehead area) I liked your longer hair better. You should grow that back.
RYAN: …I will.
(Brennan “hits” Ryan and Ryan falls to the ground)
BRENNAN: QUIET, BITCH!
(Brennan climbs up the wall and Ryan jovially follows. Cut to Kyle on his flip phone, pretend-talking)
KYLE: So that’s when the ball dropped, and I was like, it wasn’t me! (Madeline walks out of the bathroom wiping tears from her eyes) Gotta go! (Kyle puts his phone in his pocket) Maddie, are you okay?
MADELINE: No, I’ve had a crappy day! These two fifth-grade jerks Alan and Luther from our art class spread the rumor I was a slut just because I spoke to Adam and now Britney’s friends are making fun of me.
KYLE: Well that’s not right.
MADELINE: It isn’t right, but mostly I just don’t get it. We’re sixth graders, we don’t have sex!
KYLE: You’ve obviously never been to the Philippines, but yeah, it’s just stupid people making up drama for no reason. We’re still really young.
KYLE: You must feel pretty bad about yourself.
MADELINE: Well, yeah!
KYLE: You know what? Why don’t you come over to my house this Sunday for my family’s Rosh Chodesh Elul dinner, it seems like you need to get your mind off things.
MADELINE: Rosh Chodesh Elul?
KYLE: Yeah, basically we have a dinner, we light candles, we spin dreidels, we trade securities, it’s a blast.
MADELINE: Isn’t candles and dreidels Hanukah though?
KYLE: It’s all the same shit.
MADELINE: Ugh…I don’t know, people, people will think we’re an item or something, there’s just-not-I can’t!
KYLE: Madeline, it’s just a friendly dinner!
MADELINE: No, I’m sorry!
(Madeline walks away quickly, leaving Kyle dejected)
KYLE: …I’ll get her. If it takes me eight fucking years I’ll get here. Beyond that I think would probably be unreasonable.
(Cut to Jacob lying awake in his bed, his eyes bloodshot. It is the afternoon)
JACOB:…I’m pretty sure I’m in the early stages of fatal insomnia. Like I’m some Italian family or something or I’m worried an Italian family will kill me in my dreams. I’m too tired to be tolerant towards Italians right now.
(A 27-year old Rob walks in)
ROB: Hey, little dude.
JACOB: Who the hell are you?!
(Kimberly comes in)
KIMBERLY: Jacob, this is my half-brother Robert. Robert, this is Jacob.
(Jacob sits up)
ROB: When can I meet Ryan? I can’t stay long.
KIMBERLY: Ryan’s won’t be here until later tonight.
ROB: Damnit, I have to go to New York to face the music for a drunken assault charge at five. But don’t worry, I’m coming back in seven years.
KIMBERLY: That’s an oddly definite time period. Not to mention, long.
ROB: I planned my life years ago. I planned this conversation when I was eight.
KIMBERLY: Something about my half-brother, he’s a pathological liar.
(Cut to Jacob, who is asleep)
ROB: Wow, is he a narcoleptic?
KIMBERLY: No, he just hasn’t been getting very good sleep lately.
ROB: I think I may have just the thing.
KIMBERLY: Perfect, I’d be willing to try anything at this point.
ROB: Just give me a few hours.
(Kimberly leaves and Rob shakes Jacob awake)
ROB: I’m going to show you something you will love. (Rob takes out a copy of “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”) I will pause as many times as you want so as to answer questions.
(Cut to the two of them watching the movie in Jacob’s room on an old TV. They are both laughing)
JACOB: Pause, pause.
ROB: His name is Kumar, not Kermit.
JACOB: I know, I’m not “Muppets” young, but I just want to know, I always heard that whatever they’re smoking is bad for you.
ROB: It’s not bad for you, Jacob. It’s natural. Shit, I do cocaine and I’m fine, although I always have congestion, is it hot in here or what, do you have a phone I could borrow?
JACOB: Yeah, I do. You don’t have a phone?
ROB: I don’t, word of advice, don’t trust coke whores.
JACOB: So what does marijuana do?
ROB: It relaxes you, makes you laugh, makes you sleepy. But don’t do it until you’re at least fifteen. You understand?
JACOB: Okay. But it is comforting to know it’s there.
ROB: No shit.
(Rob unpauses the movie and they both keep laughing. Cut to Jacob lying in his bed, peacefully asleep at night. The camera pans out from his bedroom window to reveal the street they’re on at night. A transition occurs to modern day and the camera slips back into the modern day living room of the modern day Donahues looking at a memories scrap book)
ETHAN: Wow, those were wild times.
KIMBERLY: You sound like you’re describing the first summer of college, this was not wild, it was more…2005.
ETHAN: Wild times.
JACOB: I remember watching that movie with Rob.
RYAN: I’m glad I didn’t meet Rob until 2012, I might be fucked up on drugs today like Jacob is. (They all stare at him) …What?
(Fade to black)
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Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
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