Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week 10, Day 67 - “The End of the World”

“The End of the World”
Written by Joe Janes
3/26/09
67 of 365

CAST:
Bri, 30s
Keely, 30s

(Lights up on a missile silo control room somewhere in Kansas. Bri and Keely wear dark coveralls. The reasonably attractive Keely sits at a control panel as the reasonably unattractive Bri takes down readings from wall panels on a clipboard.)

BRI
Man. You know what I haven’t done in awhile, Keely?

KEELY
What’s that, Bri?

BRI
Go to a movie. Go out to a movie theater, sit in air-conditioned comfort, eat a bag of popcorn, sip on an ice cold coca-cola and watch a flick on the big screen.

KEELY
Guess I haven’t done that in awhile, either.

BRI
We should go. After work Friday. Maybe even sneak out of the ol’ silo early. Grab some dinner at the Chicken Shack. Hit the mall and see what’s playing. Sound like a plan?

KEELY
Sounds more like a date.

BRI
Date? Naw. You’ve been clear on that. This is just two co-workers getting away from the drudgery of baby-sitting a nuclear missile. Relaxing. Blowing off some steam. Bitchin’ about the boss.


KEELY
You’re my boss.

BRI
Just barely by rank. You can bitch about me.

KEELY
I do.

BRI
To my face.

KEELY
I do.

BRI
Then it sounds like we’d have a good time.

KEELY
Bri. No. I don’t go out with people I work with. Makes things weird.

BRI
Keely, we both got transferred here. Neither of us knows anybody. We can’t tell anybody that we’re here babysitting a nuclear missile in their backyard. Aren’t you just the least bit lonely?

KEELY
Yes, Bri. I’m lonely. But it’s just an assignment. We’ll be here a few months and then move on to something else.

BRI
Right. And we’ll regret not taking the time getting to know each other better. Not now, but, you know, down the road. You’ll look back and think, “That, Bri. Cute. Comely-

KEELY
I would never say “comely.”

BRI
Fine. But the way I fill out my coveralls will forever be etched into your mind.

KEELY
This is true.

BRI
Then let’s go out on a “sort of” date.

KEELY
What’s a “sort of” date?

BRI
Very casual and if something happens, it happens. If not, no big deal. Still just friendly co-workers.

KEELY
Nothing’s going to happen.

BRI
It might.

KEELY
It won’t.

BRI
You never know.

KEELY
I’m gay.

BRI
I can deal with that.

KEELY
It kind of takes dating completely off the table, don’t you think?

BRI
Not necessarily. I’d go gay for you.

KEELY
Doesn’t work like that.

BRI
You’re telling me flat out that there is absolutely no way under any circumstances that you would sleep with me?

KEELY
Maybe if it were the end of the world.

BRI
So there’s hope!

KEELY
I said “maybe.”

BRI
What if there’s a nuclear war? What if we fire off ol’ Bessie here and the whole planet’s just a post-apocalyptic wasteland? You’re telling me you wouldn’t have sex with me to carry on the human race?

KEELY
I don’t want to have a kid now the way things are on this planet, what makes you think nuclear holocaust is going to sweeten the deal?

BRI
Okay, then. As long as we know where we stand. But this Friday, after work, I am going to go to a crowded restaurant and eat fried chicken and then see a movie in a big room with lots of other people. Some of them inexplicably rude and loud. I’d like to not be alone when I do that.

KEELY
It’s a date.

(The lights turn red as a baritone pulsing buzzer-warning signal goes off. Bri and Keely look at the control panel stunned and then look at each other. Lights and sounds fade.)

7 comments:

Brian said...

What's funny is that I did the "Let's hang out" thing to a girl named Kelly. No nukes involved though. It didn't work out, though.

And seriously.. Bessie?

idjar said...

No one would ever say "comely."

Chris Othic said...

Yeah, "comely" sounds like a funny word that the writer put into the character's mouth. I'm sure there's a better choice there. Maybe a different joke.

I like the out.

Joe Janes said...

I actually think Bri would use that word in the context of that line - trying to "charm" Keely into going out with him. I did revise Keely's response to include that she, nor anyone else on the planet, would use the word "comely."

Nat Topping said...

I like comely. Keep it.

I think from a writer's perspective, you might look at that word and think "who would actually say that?" But from a performer's stand point, you ask "what kind of person says that?"

There's a difference between writing something that isn't an honest reaction and writing something that reads a little bit weirdly on the page but could be an acting gift. Kind of like "you great" from was a typo from the magical talking fish scene but look how much fun Greg had with it.

Nice little relationship scene though.

Joe Janes said...

So, a little bit about the origin of this scene. It all comes down to the line, "I'd go gay for you." I just thought it was a silly notion that if a desperate guy found out the woman he was attracted to was gay and that simply "going gay" would please her, well... So, I know the scene would somehow be about a guy hitting on a gay woman. But I didn't want to put it in a bar or an office. "Missile Silo" is a location I often use as an example of "not your usual environment" in classes, but have never written a scene in one. And, in the process of writing the scene, the lines that got it started, became less important.

And there's a guy in France who wants to translate the scene and post it on his website...

http://www.la-fin-du-monde.fr

And your high school french is still working. It does translate into "The End of the World."

Chris Othic said...

I reverse my position on the word "comely." I agree, on second thought, that it does work with this scene and Nat's point is spot on. And hey, I'm British!

Tootle-loo.