“THE LASER POINTER”
“I paint with broad strokes, I paint out loud, to the boisterous cheers of the approving crowd, I descend into the crowd and I shrink and crawl, I thought the canvas would build me tall and make them visit and make them call, but as I lay in wait, they move along. They’ll listen to my song, but they want no epilogue. As my confidence is draining, from knowing me they are abstaining, so it does not matter how hard I’m straining, I’m trapped inside my own oil painting”
(We start with Ryan, Alan, Luther, Faith, Cooper and Natasha in the KDGM room, waiting for Mrs. Stem)
LUTHER: Faith, stop being a bitch.
FAITH: I didn’t do anything!
LUTHER: I just mean in general.
(Mrs. Stem comes in)
MRS. STEM: Good morning everyone, we’ll go ahead and get started. Alan and Luther’s rap about how to protect yourself from your items being stolen from your car, was GREAT! But I thought you tackling anybody near your car was a little heavy-handed, especially considering it was supposed to be about how people protect their items from being stolen when they’re not near their car.
ALAN: No regrets.
MRS. STEM: It lost you five points.
MRS. STEM: Anyway, Natasha and Faith, I don’t know how you managed to drive the two and a half hour drive to Manchester, New Hampshire to do announcements, or why you even thought that would be interesting, but they were fine and you got a hundred.
FAITH: Can you spot me the hundred bones that I put down for gas money, ain’t nothin’ funny on that trip?
MRS. STEM: No. Anyway, Ryan, your skit was fantastic!
RYAN: Thank you.
MRS. STEM: I can’t really find anything wrong with it. You promoted the student Ted Talks cogently and with great humor.
RYAN: Thanks. (Cut to the desk in the KDGM studio. Ryan suddenly pops out from under it and sits down) Hey students! Hansbay High TED talks are coming up, and yes, the regular TED talks has had a lot of prestigious speakers, but look at some of these people, Bill Gates? (Cut to a footage of Bill Gates at TED talks) Bill Gates revolutionized the economy? Well, Paul McKinley (It shows a picture of Paul McKinley, a handsome kid with brown hair) does that on his day off! (Cut to Ryan sitting on a bench in the school hallways. He speaks in a British accent) Gordon Brown was (It shows TEDX footage of Gordon Brown) the first Labor Prime Minister of Britain since 1979? Well, (it shows a picture of an Indian-American kid) Farzhad Hamal knows what that means. (Cut to Ryan peering over the second floor mezzanine of the school) Al Gore (Shows video of Al Gore at TEDX) won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth? Well, Hillary McHenry (shows a picture of her) defeated George W. Bush in an election! (The picture goes away) Ooh! (Ryan makes a stabbing motion) Right for the jugular! (Cut to the end of a wall in the hallway of the high school. Ryan peers out from behind that wall) Colin Powell (shows video of Colin Powell speaking at TEDX) was the first black Secretary of State? Well, Brandon Nehring (shows a picture of Brandon Nehring) was the first person of German ancestry to host the student TED Talks! (The picture goes away) What now, Secretary Powell? Nothing! You’re done! Nice job, but you lost! (Cut to Ryan sitting in the lunch room) Richard Dawkins was (cut to TEDX footage of Richard Dawkins) was a senior fellow at Oxford University and a leading evolutionary biologist? Well, Ellen Pittenger (shows a picture of Ellen Pittenger) was a senior SENIOR fellow at Oxford University! (The picture goes away) But, you’ve got her beat on the evolutionary biologist thing, that’s…that’s actually pretty impressive. (Cut to Ryan leaning against a soda machine) So come to student TED talks Saturday at 2pm. Or you could stick with the unaccomplished rubes over at the regular TED talks. Your choice. (Cut to a title slide reading “Hansbay High TED Talks: Saturday, May 4, 2013, 2pm-5pm, coordinated, hosted and guest hosted by Brandon Nehring, all are welcome” this slide is displayed to music. Cut back to KDGM)
MRS. STEM: Wasn’t it good, you guys?
FAITH: It was good.
LUTHER: Very much so, Alan and I were just talking about how good it was.
RYAN: You weren’t, but thank you.
MRS. STEM: Alright. Ideas today?
(Cut to Ryan, Luther, Alan, Natasha and Faith hanging out in the KDGM studio. They’re all talking, except for Ryan, who is on his phone in the corner)
ALAN: Is it racist to not really be into black girls?
LUTHER: I don’t think so.
FAITH: I guess it’s not racist, it’s just superficial.
ALAN: It’s like, it’s not racist to not be into fat chicks.
FAITH: Okay, now it’s really superficial.
LUTHER: Whatever, is it racist to prefer Asian people to not cut your hair?
LUTHER: It’s just a preference! They don’t do it right, they make it like the Killing Fields of my style.
RYAN: (Under his breath) Wow, way to make it racist and compare it to Cambodian genocide.
LUTHER: What was that, Ryan?
LUTHER: Okay, anyway, we should probably go film that storm coming.
ALAN: Storm chasers, Alan and Luther! Let’s ask the storm questions or some shit.
(They both get up and leave)
NATASHA: I guess we should film announcements under the sea.
(Natasha and Faith get up and leave, leaving Ryan alone. He puts his phone away and puts his head in his hands, runs his hands through his hair and flips his hair. Cut to Ryan, Brandon, Paul, Cassandra, Chandler and others in Ms. Pinnicetti’s English class)
MS. PINNICETTI: Good morning, everybody! I’m glad you’re all here. Let’s do good things. (A kid with brown hair, tanner skin, glasses and cargo shorts raises his hand flamboyantly) Dick?
DICK: (Somewhat flamboyantly gay voice) I have like, eighteen good things!
MS. PINNICETTI: Let’s condense it down to one.
DICK: Compromise alert! Eleven, that’s half.
PAUL: It’s not.
DICK: Anyway, my first good thing is that I went to Starbucks and got a drink under the name of my favorite author, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
MS. PINNICETTI: That’s awesome! I love using fake names.
DICK: Well, I did it for practical reasons, I’m wanted in several states for public lewdness and I have to keep a low profile.
MS. PINNICETTI: Okay, moving on-
DICK: My second good thing, is that I finished reading the 6,000 pages of my favorite web comic Homestuck, and let’s just say, all of you should read it immediately or I’ll hold it against you for all time!
MS. PINNICETTI: Dick, we have other people here-
DICK: I have nine more!
MS. PINNICETTI: Just, save them for the next nine good things sessions.
DICK: But then there’ll be twice as much! I don’t have enough time left in the year to share all my good things!
MS. PINNICETTI: We have all of next year, Joe, what’s your good thing?
JOE: My good thing is, where do you live?
MS. PINNICETTI: That’s not a good thing, that’s a question, and a pretty inappropriate one at that.
JOE: I think I live really close to you, like, but a net’s throw away.
MS. PINNICETTI: Are you trying to imply you’re going to catch me with a net?
JOE: I’m not trying to imply anything. You have a beautiful apartment, by the way.
MS. PINNICETTI: Okay, if I don’t come in one day, you guys will know what happened, anymore good things? None? No? Great. Today, we’re starting our committees to review applications of this class’ best work in the fields of poetry, short stories, research and other things, so we can take all the good ones and put them in a book, that’ll take us back three-hundred bones, by the way. We need thirty bones from each committee in order to finance the publication of this book. So please, gather into your committees.
(Everybody starts moving desks around and organizing into committees. Cut to Ryan, Paul, Brandon, Dick, Joe and Chandler in a committee)
BRANDON: Okay, the Poetry Committee will come to Hors d'oeuvres.
(He takes out a tray of Hors d'oeuvres)
BRANDON: They’re free for the taking! (Pause) Seriously? Nobody?
DICK: I already had breakfast, so…
BRANDON: Jesus, what a waste. (He puts away the Hors d’oueuvres) Let’s get started with these poems, shalt we?
(They all grab some poems out of the pile and start reading them. Cut to Brandon and Brennan speaking to Mr. Pannell in his class)
BRENNAN: So, the two of us think it would be a good idea for next year to have Hansbay High Classicists Club.
BRANDON: Liberal Arts Club.
BRANDON: Sorry to harp on this, but it’s Liberal Arts Club.
BRANDON: Brennan, who’s the hypothetical President of the Club?
MR. PANNELL: So, what would you discuss in this club?
BRANDON: Classic literature, classic music, ESPN classic-
BRENNAN: Which just reinforces my idea, which is that it should be called Hansbay High CLASSICISTS club!
BRANDON: No. Anyway, we think it’d be a terrific club. But of course, we need a classroom in which to gather in during lunch and plus, we need a teacher’s sponsorship anyway, we figured you and your intellectual hubris would permit such a thing.
MR. PANNELL: Well, I do hold repletion for my latitude to be phrenic. And I extol you two fine young men for your dynamism in contriving this very exigent group. I am willing to bestow canonization and auspices for this club, and I would even think it idoneous to give the club a catechism in the last couple of weeks of school, wouldn’t you concur?
MR. PANNELL: Splendid. Let’s Camp David this b-word!
(They all get up and pile their six hands on top of each other and shaking them while looking toward the camera, smiling unnaturally wide. Cut to Jacob, Roger, Beckett and Jesse at lunch)
ROGER: So, hey, have you guys decided on what college you want to go to?
ROGER: That’s okay.
JACOB: No, I mean like, what do you mean?
ROGER: Nigga, I asked if you knew what college you were going to, this isn’t math and science.
JACOB: Don’t you mean rocket science?
ROGER: Rockets aren’t a science. I can make a rocket out of two toilet paper tubes, some duct tape and a pitcher of gasoline.
JACOB: To answer your question, do I really have to think about that already?
BECKETT: Dude, you’re graduating in a month, you should already be sure of where you’re going, Jesus!
JACOB: Calm down, Beckett.
BECKETT: I’m just saying dude, get your shit together.
JACOB: Where are you going, Beckett?
BECKETT: I’m not going to college!
JACOB: Jesus, and you’re giving me shit?
ROGER: I’m going to-(He shows his sweater, which bears the CCV logo) the Community College of Vermont in Burlington.
JACOB: I’m going-(Points to his plaid shirt) to…plaid.
ROGER: Do you really not know where you’re going?
JACOB: No, I actually decided where I’m going about two months ago. The Community College of Vermont in Burlington.
ROGER: I thought that too, then I found out there hasn’t been a Community College of Vermont in Burlington since 2010, so now I’m going to the Community College of Vermont in Winooski.
JACOB: Oh. Okay, Winooski it is! I think that’s even closer.
BECKETT: Oh, so NOW you know what college you’re going to! But you just couldn’t remember? How convenient!
JACOB: Why are you being like this?
BECKETT: Dude, I’m a part-time student and I’m tired of dealing with this school shit. Did you know seniors don’t have to come in until eleven on Thursday and Friday because of junior testing?
JACOB: Yes, why is that something to be upset about?
BECKETT: Because we have to come in at all! How shitty is that?
JACOB: Wow, that’s really…anyway, who do I have to tell about my college plans?
JESSE: Tell the counselor. The deadline to tell them is May 7th.
JACOB: That’s today.
ROGER: So go do it, negro! Also, take a college tour. Just to see what yo’ ass gettin’ into.
JACOB: My ass is getting into a community college, my ass is probably going to feel like it’s in 13th grade.
BECKETT: I HATE delicious chocolate! (He takes a Hershey’s bar and throws it) I hate that I have to eat it all to get the euphoria of tastiness!
(Cut to Jacob sitting in Counselor Vammberg’s office)
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: Jacob, it’s very nice to have you back.
JACOB: It’s nice to be back.
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: I very much enjoy your company.
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: Don’t go.
COUNSELPR VAMMBERG: Sorry, I uh…I just get tired on Ryan coming in here. Anyway, what can I do for you?
JACOB: I’m just here to say officially that…(Jacob puts on a “Settlers of Catan Players of America, Vermont Chapter” baseball cap) I’m going to the Community College of Vermont at Winooski!
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: That’s not a CCV hat.
JACOB: Yeah, it’s just a hat I stole from some kid.
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: Well, I’m glad you have decided what college you are going to. I will make a note of it.
JACOB: Yes ma’am. I’m going to go now.
COUNSELOR VAMMBERG: Please don’t.
(Jacob gets up and leaves the room. Cut to him walking out of the main office. He walks offscreen and Chris Hayes walks into the shot)
CHRIS HAYES: Has anybody seen my hat?!
(Cut to Ethan and Jacob getting out of the car in the CCV parking lot to see the Community College of Vermont in all its mediocrity)
ETHAN: it sure is a campus.
JACOB: I think that’s generous.
(They walk into the front doors of CCV and go up to the reception desk)
RECEPTIONIST: Hi, I’m the receptionist. Who are you here to see?
ETHAN: We’re here to get a tour of the facility.
RECEPTIONIST: A tour? Eek. Okay. Um…let me talk to Brad. (She shrieks Brad’s name in the most stridulous manner as Ethan and Jacob cover their ears) BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!
RECEPTIONIST: Sorry, he’s far away.
(They uncover their ears)
JACOB: Then go get him!
RECEPTIONIST: You want me to get him while he’s on the toilet?
JACOB: I didn’t know he was-
(Brad rolls over on a rolly chair)
BRAD: Hey, my services have been requested?
ETHAN: He was right there the entire time?!
RECEPTIONIST: Could you take these three around campus on a tour?
ETHAN: There’s only two of us.
RECEPTIONIST: No, there’s you two and Brad.
ETHAN: You were talking to him, why would you count tell him to take himself on a tour?
BRAD: Anyway, I’ll take you guys around the campus. I’m not a professional guide though, so don’t expect a big show, we don’t usually have people ask us for tours.
ETHAN: Alright, any tour would be fine.
BRAD: Here we go! (Brad gets up and leads them down a hallway) Here, we have a hallway. Now, you can turn left or right at this hallway, which do you choose?
JACOB: This isn’t a text adventure.
ETHAN: I’ll choose left.
BRAD: You’ve chosen left, let’s go! (Brad walks left, followed by Ethan and Jacob. They see a brown-haired girl in a skirt and CCV sweater with a brimming smile) Ouch! You’ve run into the overly-excited college girl!
COLLEGE GIRL: He called me a college girl! (She squeals with excitement) I’m going to get a tattoo!
BRAD: Thank you very much, Samantha. Now, let’s go down to a classroom. (Cut to Brad, Ethan and Jacob in one of the classrooms. The teacher is sitting at his desk playing with a Rubix cube) This is an average CCV classroom. These people are thrilled to teach here.
TEACHER: Hey, I’m the teach.
ETHAN: Oh, don’t get up.
TEACH: I won’t. But I like to teach kids and shit.
BRAD: Professor Woodcrane here used to be a coach at South Burlington High, now he’s a Professor here at CCV.
PROFESSOR WOODCRANE: Meteoric rise, y’all!
BRAD: But Woodcrane is a prime example of how meteors don’t rise, they fall.
WOODCRANE: Word up.
BRAD: Let’s move on. (Cut to Jacob, Ethan and Brad on the roof of CCV’s building, overlooking greater Winooski) This is the roof.
ETHAN: Why are we here, man?
BRAD: This is important. Sometimes I like to go lie up here during my morning classes and think about the nature of life and death.
JACOB: During your morning classes?
BRAD: During my morning classes.
ETHAN: What about on-campus housing?
BRAD: There is no on-campus housing.
BRAD: I said there is no on-campus housing!
ETHAN: …Well then…so where is my boy here going to live?
BRAD: Well, how far away do you live?
ETHAN: …Sixteen minutes?
BRAD: That sounds reasonable.
ETHAN: Wait, are you saying he should live with me while he’s here?
JACOB: It would only be a year, dad.
ETHAN: A year?! I don’t have a year! I thought you were finally going off on your own!
JACOB: I am, I’m just living at your house still.
ETHAN: No, no, no, there needs to be another arrangement!
JACOB: Maybe you could pay for me to have an apartment?
ETHAN: Fuck that! How about you live with your grandparents? They live in Burlington, it’d be easy!
JACOB: Living with old people? I don’t know, don’t they smell when they get out of the shower? Or, cars? Or rooms or anything really?
ETHAN: These are my parents, they’re wonderful people. Of course, you’d also have to live with my shithead brother Paul.
JACOB: Does he sleep on a bed that’s too small for him? Because I think that would really depress me.
ETHAN: You might have to sleep on the couch for a night or two while they try to get him out of bed, but other than that, you’d be fine.
BRAD: This is exhilarating and all, but can we get off this roof?
ETHAN: You’re the one who brought us up here.
(Cut to Ryan, Brandon, Chandler, Joe, Dick and Paul reading poems)
PAUL: Wow, Ryan, this poem’s very well written.
PAUL: This line, when you say “the quotidian snippets of my everyday give way to the gray mainstay of the overplayed, the dial moves ever slightly my way, then makes a sharp turn and ruins my day”, I mean, that’s some terrific imagery and metaphor.
RYAN: Yeah, I tried to make a point of doing that.
DICK: I really like your poem, Paul.
PAUL: Thanks, Dick.
DICK: I like how you say you’re “tangled in a tornado”.
PAUL: Thank you.
DICK: I’d like to be tangled in you.
PAUL: I’m not going to have gay sex with you, Dick.
DICK: I could have straight sex with you.
PAUL: How would that work?
CHANDLER: I like this song, Ryan, but what is it about?
RYAN: It’s about rape culture. The objectification of women, casual sexism and the indifference the leads to more rapes and more unreported rapes.
DICK: God, I hate rape culture.
RYAN: I know, right?! In fact, did you know that 56% of college-age males according to a Harvard study would commit rape if they knew they could get away with it?
DICK: Sorry, I hate rape culture, I just don’t like talking about it.
RYAN: (Confused) O-kay. What?
PAUL: I think it’s high time we eliminated some poems about confirmed others. Let’s ballot, and remember, you can’t vote for your own work.
DICK: I hate you! What if I want to put mine at an unfair advantage?!
PAUL: That’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid.
RYAN: Let’s start voting.
(They all pass around poems. Cut to Ryan, Brennan, Sarah, Michelle and Michael at lunch. Ryan seems somewhat annoyed by something)
MICHAEL: I read that no cemetery wants to bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
SARAH: Why don’t they just cremate him and throw his ashes off that old water tower where he, his brother and his brother’s sexy friends used to hang out?
MICHAEL: Seriously, why do he and his friends have to be so attractive? Did you see the friends they arrested for covering his ass?
BRENNAN: I say we dump Tamerlan in the ocean, Bin Laden style. Or, we cremate him and force feed his ashes to the hunger-striking Gitmo detainees.
MICHELLE: “Force Feeding Ashes”, that’s a great band, album or baby name, someone write it down.
BRENNAN: We’re housing confirmed innocent people at Gitmo! How can we live with ourselves?
MICHAEL: Well, do they think starving is going to make it any better? It says right there in the constitution, if an individual is innocent and is in jail, you have the right to feed him gruel through an old asthma inhaler.
BRENNAN: Ryan, why are you being so quiet?
RYAN: Oh, nothing, I’m just-(Suddenly, a green point of light passes by Ryan’s eyes) AH! What the fuck?
RYAN: Nothing, I just saw a green light pass my eyes. (Another green light passes his eyes) AH! Goddamnit! (Ryan covers his eyes) Someone has a laser pointer!
MICHAEL: Okay. Just ignore it.
(Ryan removes his hands from his eyes)
RYAN: I can’t ignore it, that could blind somebody!
MICHELLE: That’s not true, is it?
RYAN: It could. I see the motherfucker that’s doing it!
(Pan to some kid in a hat pointing the laser pointer in various places)
SARAH: How is it even affecting both your eyes? One of them’s covered by your hair.
RYAN: Yeah, and I still need one of them! (The laser pointer passes by his eye again) AH! Goddamnit! I’m gonna kick his ass!
BRENNAN: Ryan, calm down, just ignore him, he’s just being a jackass.
RYAN: Yeah and he could blind me! He could blind anybody here! We’ll all be Stevie Wonder fans by the time we leave this lunch!
MICHELLE: You don’t have to be blind to appreciate Stevie Wonder’s music!
RYAN: Don’t you have to be deaf to appreciate Beethoven? (The laser pointer crosses his eye again) AGH! Jesus! Fuck this! I’m going to Chemistry!
BRENNAN: What’s gotten into you?
(Ryan kisses Brennan on the cheek, takes his back pack and walks away. Brennan quickly follows. Cut to Ms. Pinnicetti talking to her English class)
MS. PINNICETTI: Well I’m glad everyone was able to find some good poems, short stories and interpretive water colored folk art dance steps to put into the book. How did the short story committee do?
CASSANDRA: We had some great ones. Although I’m fairly sure one of them was plagiarized from the bible.
MS. PINNICETTI: How sneaky. Anyway, how did the poetry committee do?
BRANDON: We did well. Ryan had some great ones we put in there, as did Paul, Cassandra and Mac.
MS. PINNICETTI: Good, this book should be good.
BRANDON: Can you get it put in the library of Congress?
MS. PINNICETTI: Um-
BRANDON: Oh my God, Obama’s going to read our book!
PAUL: That’s such a remote possibility.
MS. PINNICETTI: Anyway, feel free to talk until the bell rings. I’m going to send my mom some angry e-mails.
(Ms. Pinnicetti sits down and starts typing. Paul, Brandon, Chandler, Dick and Joe gather into a group and start talking. Ryan is sitting in the back corner playing with a paper clip while their group casts a shadow on him. Ryan gulps, rises from his chair grabs his backpack and joins the group)
PAUL: So I went to see Snide Kitten over the weekend, it was so good, it’s like a jazz fusion band.
BRANDON: Yeah, they’re great.
CHANDLER: Oh my God, you’re such a hipster!
PAUL: Chandler, do you even know what a hipster is?
CHANDLER: It’s someone who has dreads, sporty frock coats, likes bottled water and listens to musac.
BRANDON: Yeah, you don’t even have anything close to an inkling that lives down the street from an idea as to what a hipster is.
PAUL: I just happen to like Snide Kitten.
RYAN: I’ve heard of-
DICK: Oh my GOD! I was reading Homestuck last night-
PAUL: Do we really want to hear this?
DICK: Probably not, but I’m going to talk anyway just because I want to talk-
(The bell rings)
PAUL: Oh, there it is.
(Everybody starts to disperse from the room, as does Ryan, who does so solemnly. Cut to Brennan and Brandon sitting at desks in Mr. Pannell’s room)
BRANDON: Alright, this meeting of the Hansbay High Liberal Arts Club will come to order.
(Pan out to reveal nobody is there)
BRENNAN: I think, perhaps, we should have put up some fliers or something. Maybe shoot out an email.
BRANDON: I guess. Maybe just pull some people form the hallway.
BRENNAN: We’re just going to assume they know anything about poetry and literature or that they even know how to pronounce the word “classicists”?
BRANDON: It’s Liberal Arts!
BRENNAN: Whatever! Brandon, I’m going to go to lunch and convince, perhaps, Ryan, or some of my friends to come, they’ll spread the word and hopefully we’ll get participants in next week’s meeting.
BRANDON: Fine, but get an eclectic bunch, I don’t want to turn this into wrist slicer’s anonymous.
BRENNAN: Great. (Brennan and Brandon get up. Cut to Brennan talking to Ryan) Ryan, what is the deal?
RYAN: Ugh…I don’t know, I guess I just have a lot on my mind.
BRENNAN: Like what?
BRENNAN: When’s the last time you went to work?
BRENNAN: Okay, so I guess you should worry about being fired.
RYAN: Not really.
BRENNAN: Then what is it?
RYAN: I just…I’ve realized that everything I do, in KDGM or English, people in both class are all impressed by it, but…they’re still not taking an interest in my life or who I am. I just always expected them to come around once they started seeing how good I am at writing poetry or songs or making videos.
BRENNAN: Ryan, it takes more than that. What you need is confidence.
RYAN: That’s the thing, though!
(Cut to Ethan and Jacob sitting in someone’s office, waiting)
ETHAN: Did you hear about Chris Christie’s weight loss surgery?
JACOB: Yeah, I did.
ETHAN: He’s so running for President.
JACOB: Or he doesn’t want to die red-faced on the floor of his office.
ETHAN: C’mon, fat men never change their habits unless it’s to court the voters. Do you really think he wants to be the first President since Taft to have a specialized bath tub and the first President ever to have a specialized casket when he succumbs to a heart attack dealing with the stress of being President of the United States?
JACOB: You can find plenty of XL caskets on the sale rack at a funeral home!
(A man walks in wearing a suit as Jacob and Ethan rise to shake his hand)
MAN: Hi, I’m Elmer Kimball, Administrator of CCV Winooski.
ETHAN: Nice to meet you, sir.
(They sit down)
ELMER: Thank you for choosing CCV Winooski. Find yourself here.
JACOB: Right. Well, I guess I’m just wondering what I can do for you.
ELMER: Well, I’ve reviewed your application and we believe we can accept you.
ELMER: But we are interested in what your major might be.
JACOB: My…major. Of course. Um…is there a class on political science?
JACOB: Okay, so I’ve ruled that out. Um…how about criminal justice?
ELMER: Yes, we have a class on that.
JACOB: Shit, two for two. Out.
ETHAN: Then why do you ask him about them? Jacob, what are your interests?
JACOB: …Oh, Jesus.
(Cut to Ryan and Brennan, talking)
RYAN: I guess what it comes down to is…I’m intimidated by their intelligence.
BRENNAN: Ryan, you’re very intelligent!
RYAN: Right, but as intelligent as them? I don’t know, why do you think I was so mean to Brandon when I first met him nine months back?
BRENNAN: Because you were intimidated by his intelligence, but you were contrite!
RYAN: But I was still intimidated!
BRENNAN: What’s intimidating about Brandon? He looks like he couldn’t punch his way through a piss-soaked paper bag with hulk gloves.
RYAN: But he could examine the meaning of why he’s in that piss-soaked paper bag to begin with! Meanwhile, I just might head-butt my way out of the bag and use a dry bag to huff something out of!
BRENNAN: Ryan, do you want to be mentally challenged?
RYAN: Excuse me?
BRENNAN: Sorry, that came out wrong. Do you want to be intellectually challenged?
RYAN: Why would I want to be-
BRENNAN: Damnit, I mean do you want to be specially challenged-FUCK! Do you want to be intellectually stimulated?
BRENNAN: Then come join the Hansbay High Classicist’s club.
RYAN: What’s that?
BRENNAN: It’s a club Brandon and I founded to discuss the finer things of philosophy, poetry, literature and the like. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
RYAN: When do they meet?
BRENNAN: Right, the fuck, now.
BRENNAN: Yep! We have twenty minutes left in lunch, let’s strap one on! For knowledge!
(Cut to Ryan and Brennan in Mr. Pannell’s class leaning against desks)
RYAN: Um…where is Brandon?
BRENNAN: I texted him saying the meeting was back on about ten minutes ago, I don’t know.
RYAN: Should we just…start?
BRENNAN: On what?
RYAN: Well, what’s on the itinerary?
BRENNAN: I don’t know, I’m only the Vice President.
RYAN: If Veep has taught me anything, it’s that the Vice President can bitch her way to everything!
BRENNAN: I’m not a fan of that show, everyone on that show is an asshole.
RYAN: Exactly, go get it!
BRENNAN: Um, fine, our itinerary today is…discussing…
BRENNAN: Just, give me a minute.
RYAN: Brennan- (The bell rings) oh, well listen to that.
BRENNAN: Goddamnit. What a disaster.
RYAN: Brennan, you obviously care about this club way more than Brandon does. Why don’t you wrest control from him, coup de ’tat style?
BRENNAN: Because that would be traitorous and Brandon is the one who came up with this idea. He’s the only reason this club exists. I am always faithful to those who have given me so much.
RYAN: …I guess that’s your prerogative. I’ll come to the next meeting, hopefully it will be more like an NRA convention and less like the convention for protectors of the third amendment.
RYAN: Walk with me to Chemistry.
(Brennan grabs Ryan’s hand and they walk out of the class. Cut to Jacob, Ethan and Elmer in that office from earlier. Elmer looks very uncomfortable, Ethan is tense and Jacob is flustered, trying to come up with something)
JACOB: I’m thinking, I’m just…I’m thinking!
ELMER: Please, continue. Twice.
JACOB: Ugh, do I have to come up with my major right now?!
ELMER: No, I’ve already expressed several times that you don’t.
JACOB: But I need to. I have to think of SOMETHING!
ETHAN: Jacob, just calm down.
JACOB: I can’t calm down, I’m racking my brain to think of some interest of mine besides smoking pot-
(Jacob breaks down in tears)
ELMER: Okay, I’ll leave you two alone.
(Elmer rushes out the room)
ETHAN: Jacob, Jacob. Look at me. (Jacob, his cheeks wet, looks at Ethan) Jacob, just pull yourself together. I would expect this from Ryan, but not from you.
JACOB: I’m sorry! (Jacob wipes his face and sniffs, then composes himself) Okay, I’m composed.
ETHAN: Good. Now, Jacob, let me tell you something. I went through something similar when I graduated in 1983.
ETHAN: Yes. I wasn’t sure what to do. I had an interest in religion, but I didn’t want to be a priest, a clergyman, a pastor, a preacher or a monk. Trust me, I did not want a life of voluntary poverty or low-pitched humming. So, I ruled that out. Did I want to become a businessman? Sort of, but not really. Then, it hit me. I admired President Reagan. His cadence, his crispness, his leadership and his glowing personality. I supported Reagan in 1980 because the economy was contracting and my dad’s clothing company failed, so he was out of work. They were trying times. And we knew President Carter was to blame. So, as a fourteen year old, I supported Reagan with my heart and my voice. Also, the part of me that wanted Leonid Brezhnev to be mounted on a rocket and shot into the sun. I realized three years later that I wanted to get involved in politics, at a more local level but still! I realized that after suffering the late 70s and early 80s economic contraction, coupled with the early 80s recession, that had inspired me to pursue a degree in political science. What are you inspired to do, ask yourself that.
JACOB: …I’ll have to give that some thought.
ETHAN: You gave it an excruciating fifteen minutes of thought just now.
JACOB: Holy shit! Holy shit, I know what I want to do!
(Cut to Brennan and Ryan outside his chemistry class)
RYAN: Your club will be a success, I guarantee it.
BRENNAN: And you just have to be confident. Don’t shy away.
(Ryan and Brennan kiss and they both walk away. Ryan walks into his chemistry class to see Ms. Tucker, Ross, Jared and Bruce, along with the other students, in the classroom)
JARED: Doctor Ryan!
RYAN: Reporting for duty.
(Ryan sits down near Jared, Bruce and Ross)
ROSS: That’s what a solider would say.
RYAN: After killing you, Ross.
ROSS: That doesn’t-
RYAN: (Jokingly) Just get out of my life! (They all laugh again. Bruce takes out a Rubix Cube and starts solving it) Bruce, do you do that for the attention?
BRUCE: I used to, but now I just do it for practice. And people always make the same joke when I finish it. They-(Bruce finishes the cube real quick, then flips one side over) change on thing, and then they (He flips it back to its correct place) say “ooh, I solved it!”
RYAN: Every time?
BRUCE: Every time! It’s so old!
RYAN: Well, there’s nothing original under the sun anymore, I mean, if somebody stuck the Rubix cube up their ass, then-
BRUCE: That would be original!
RYAN: Right! That would be impressive!
JARED: Doctor Ryan would know how to remove that.
RYAN: Wasn’t I a psychiatrist?
JARED: Fine, you would…talk it out.
RYAN: Like a guy on a ledge?
(Cut to Brennan and Ryan talking earlier in the cafeteria)
RYAN: That’s the thing, though! I am plenty confident around my Chemistry classmates because it’s a remedial class and some of them are sophomores and one of them is Ross! And you know what, they haven’t even seen my work! But I exude confidence around them because I feel a sense of superiority due to my age.
BRENNAN: Yes, you being six months to a year older than them makes you so much more sagacious.
RYAN: It does! I was rolling over on one side when a man in a white coat was rescuing them from a cave!
(Cut to Ethan driving Jacob home. Jacob has a smile on)
ETHAN: So, that’s really what you want to pursue?
JACOB: Yes. I believe I can really find fulfillment that way.
ETHAN: Well, I’m glad. Drug counselors really help out the community.
JACOB: Yeah. I figured after seeing what Ryan is going through and the tragedy that befell Logan and Peter…it just makes sense. This is what I want to help people with. Then I could be a hero, like Chuck Ramsey!
ETHAN: …The punter for the 1974 New York Jets?
JACOB: No, the man who rescued Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight from that house last night.
ETHAN: Oh yeah…why is it that every time a black person gets a hold of a news microphone, they use it to make bombastic comments like “ain’t nobody got time for that” and “hide your kids, hide your wife” and “I knew something was wrong when a pretty little white girl ran into a black man’s arms”, I mean, I feel like we should just keep black people away from microphones. Especially Katt Williams, aaannddd President Obama.
JACOB: I feel like we should keep you away from a microphone, this Chuck Ramsey guy is a hero.
ETHAN: He also has prior convictions for domestic violence.
JACOB: Goddamnit, we can’t have anything. At least all those girls are safe.
ETHAN: And at least you finally have a career path. But what about once you join the army? How is social work going to transfer over to that?
JACOB: I could be an army psychologist.
ETHAN: Yeah, that always works out well.
(Cut to Brandon, Paul, Dick and Joe playing the card game “Munchkin”)
BRANDON: Okay, now remember, your gender in this game is what your gender is in real life. And only girls can use the broad swords.
PAUL: Has a broad sword ever been used in this game?
BRANDON: …Yes. But, that’s only because someone drew the sex change card, anyway-
(Brennan walks over)
BRANDON: Brennan! What’s going on?
BRENNAN: What do you mean, what’s going on? I texted you that the meeting was back on! Where were you?
BRANDON: You texted me you had found ONE more person to be in the meeting. ONE. I mean, that’s a little sparse, wouldn’t you say? I had better things to do.
BRENNAN: Dude, the only way this group can grow is if we do with what we have!
BRANDON: And what we had was nothing! Sometimes you gotta avoid dancing with the one that brung ya.
BRENNAN: Jesus. You were the one who “brung” us! You founded the group!
BRANDON: Yeah, and it’ll look great on my college resume, but right now, I’m going to play a triple spell on a three-handed dragon lust! How’s that for prioritization?
BRENNAN: Wait, so you’re just doing this club because colleges like it?
BRANDON: Yes! Why else?
BRENNAN: You know what else colleges like? Hunchbacks! Does that mean I should stuff a few watermelons under the back of my shirt and moan “master” all day?! No!
BRANDON: What the hell are you talking about?!
BRENNAN: The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
BRANDON: I know the novel you’re talking about, but what you don’t know is that the Hunchback wasn’t in the college Notre Dame, he was at the cathedral Notre Dame in Paris.
BRENNAN: Yeah! Everyone would know that if we had a Hansbay High Classicist’s Club meeting today!
(Brandon stands up)
BRANDON: LIBERAL ARTS!
BRENNAN: Ugh! (Brennan storms off. Cut to Brennan and Ryan in Brennan’s room. Brennan is pouring whiskey into two glasses while Ryan sits on Brennan’s bed) Brandon doesn’t care about the club. Not in the slightest.
RYAN: I care about the club.
BRENNAN: Thank you, Ryan. (Brennan brings the drinks over to Ryan and hands him one. Brennan sits down next to Ryan) To Hansbay High Classicist’s Club!
RYAN: And to confidence! (Brennan and Ryan clink glasses and take drinks) Jesus, drinking on a Tuesday night. What is wrong with us?
BRENNAN: We’ve had stressful days. And we have easily accessible alcohol from my dad’s liquor cabinet, right next to his fireworks stash and the gift basket of magnums and Godiva chocolate he got from the NRA Convention in Houston over the weekend.
RYAN: Well, obviously, I can’t stay long or get too drunk because it’s a school night. (Cut to Ryan and Brennan drunkenly stumbling along the street outside Brennan’s house at night, Ryan has slurred speech) This is awesome!
BRENNAN: (Slurred) Ryan, Ryan, you didn’t drink too much, did you? I don’t want you throwing up too much, buddy.
RYAN: Naw, naw, it’s fine, once I get it out my mouth it feels guh. (They both start laughing) I’m gonna run for American freedom!
(Ryan starts running)
BRENNAN: Ryan, don’t run! You’re gonna fall!
(Brennan starts running after him. Ryan eventually tires and lays down on some grass as Brennan runs over to him)
RYAN: Good night.
BRENNAN: Ryan, you can’t sleep here, okay? We gotta get you home eventually.
(Ryan rolls onto his back)
RYAN: The stars are so beautiful, Brennan.
(Brennan lays down next to Ryan)
BRENNAN: Yeah, they are.
(Brennan and Ryan put their arms over each other’s shoulders)
RYAN: Brennan, what is all this? Like, what is consciousness? How did all of this happen?
BRENNAN: It’s just-(Hiccup) harmonious chaos.
RYAN: That’s a contradiction in terms, though.
BRENNAN: Life’s a contradiction in terms, Ryan.
RYAN: Life’s a contradiction because I exist and I hate that I do…
BRENNAN: Don’t say that. Or, at least say that in a funny accent.
RYAN: (Irish accent) Part of me wishes I didn’t exist, laddy boy boy!
(They both drunkenly crack up)
BRENNAN: That’s better.
RYAN: But seriously, how did my thought happen? Where did this all come from? What is the meaning of my existence anyway?
BRENNAN: Ryan, you’re thinking about thinking, that’s completely fruitless.
RYAN: I don’t fuckin’ need fruit, I need answers! Let’s go on Yahoo Answers and ask what life is.
BRENNAN: They’ll tell us how to upholster our couches.
BRENNAN: But Ryan, no matter how we got here, we have to make our own purpose and try our best to enjoy the ride.
RYAN: …I’ll try my best.
(Ryan turns over and starts making out with Brennan. The camera zooms out from that sight further and further and eventually it fades to black)
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