Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 44, Day 307 - "You Know - Like The End of the World"

“You Know – Like The End of the World”

Written by Joe Janes

11/21/09

307 of 365

CAST:

Peter, late teens

Muriel, late teens

News Anchor, ???

(Lights up on Peter, a nerdy teen who got dressed up, complete with a corsage, escorting Muriel, an emo-goth girl, into his room. SPECIAL NOTE: There is the role of the TV News Anchor which can be done entirely as a voice-over or on stage in a separate playing area>))

PETER

And this is my room, where all the magic happens.

MURIEL

What magic?

PETER

My homework, mostly.

MURIEL

Look, I know we don’t know each other really well, but I appreciate you trying to help me with algebra.

PETER

I am always happy to help a damsel in distress. (He pulls out a chair.) Your throne. (She, of mild disgust, sits.)

MURIEL

Your mom told my mom that you’re really good with math.

PETER

Ha. “Really good” is an understatement, Numbers are my bitches.

MURIEL

I wouldn’t need help if Mr. Othic hadn’t caught me cheating.

PETER

Well, that’s the problem with writing teeny, tiny notes on your shoes. It causes you to squint and stare at your Chuck Taylors.

MURIEL

Why are you dressed up? Did you go to a prom earlier? Or church? Or some church prom?

PETER

No. I just like to dress up when a lady comes to visit.

MURIEL

Whatever.

PETER

Do you mind if I turn on the television? I don’t want to miss the “Lost” marathon.

MURIEL

You like “Lost”?

PETER

Oh, yes, indeed. I find its time paradoxes to be fascinating brain ticklers. Like algebra.

MURIEL

I tried watching it once. I thought it was stupid. Nobody survives a plane crash like that. And a smoke monster? Is that to try to get me to quit cigarettes? Can I smoke in here?

PETER

Normally, I would say yes. But my mom and dad could come home at any moment and they wouldn’t be so understanding. (He turns down the volume.) I’ll keep the volume down. I’ve seen them all before. I just want to see if they include any Easter eggs, like fake commercials for Oceana Airlines. Now, then, did you bring your algebra book?

MURIEL

No. You didn’t say I’d need it.

PETER

I see. Well, fear not. I, Peter the Awesome, am always prepared. I have kept copies of my textbooks over the years and have my algebra book from last year. (He goes to a bookshelf) Here we go.

MURIEL

You’re not supposed to keep your book.

PETER

You’re not supposed to cheat on tests, either.

MURIEL

Don’t you end up paying a fine for not returning the book?

PETER

Which my father gladly pays for… sucker.

(They hear a high-pitched tone coming from the television. Then a squawking sound. Then the voice of an exasperated announcer.)

ANNOUNCER (VO)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is NOT a test. I repeat, this is NOT a test of the emergency broadcast system. This is an actual emergency. We’re getting news reports from all corners of the globe. The polar ice caps have melted. Repeat, they have melted, raising tide levels all over the world. Every know active volcano has erupted and is spewing lava, every known fault line has shifted and earthquakes are all registering a devastating ten on the Richter Scale, wild fires, tsunamis, tidal waves, hurricanes. Every known natural disaster is now bearing down upon this planet.

PETER

Oh my God.

MURIEL

That’s horrible.

PETER

It’s a good thing we’re in Kansas. I don’t think any of those things will affect us.

ANNOUNCER (VO)

More horrible news is coming in, ladies and gentleman. Oh, this is just horrible. On tip of these natural disasters, swine flu seems to have quadrupled in strength. We’re getting reports of swine flu, sars, west Nile, every conceivable type of flu is falling mankind.

MURIEL

Oh, Peter.

(Muriel grabs on to Peter, who likes that she did that.)

PETER

Don’t worry, Muriel. I’ll protect you.

MURIEL

How can you protect me from the flu?

PETER

I have plenty of free time and often run doomsday scenarios here in my bedroom. (He pulls back his closet door.) Here I have a bounty of survival needs. Cliff bars, bottled water, a filter for turning urine into water, gallons of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a CB radio and a battery-powered PlayStation 3.

MURIEL

What about a gun, for protection?

PETER

I have nun-chucks.

ANNOUNCER (VO)

Ladies and gentleman, I keep hoping I can break in with some good news, but, I’m afraid, I only have more. The moon has broken its orbit and is hurtling towards us. Flying saucers are hovering over all major cities blasting major buildings and landmarks with some massive laser-like weapon. The dead are coming back to life and feasting on the living. It’s unclear if these two incidents are related. And this just is, the skies have cracked open and the air force reports seeing four men on horseback riding across the stratosphere looking intent. I’m not sure what that means, but that is the word used, intent. Maybe they meant intense.

MURIEL

Peter, what are we going to do?

PETER

We’ll be safe in here. I’ll lock all the doors and windows (He does this as he speaks.) Muriel, if we survive this…

MURIEL

Yes?

PETER

Well, we may have to repopulate the planet.

MURIEL

Okay. Can we do that later?

PETER

Um, sure. I’m not saying it just to, you know, have my way with you. I’m being practical. We’re young, we’re fertile, we may be mankind’s only hope.

MURIEL

I really don’t want to think about it, right now, Peter. The world is crumbling around us.

PETER

I’m sorry to harp on it, but just in case something should happen to me. I want you to know we’re still covered.

MURIEL

I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you die, you’ll become a zombie and I’ll have to beat your brains in with num-chucks. Which I am willing to do.

(Peter pulls out a small Styrofoam ice chest from the closet.)

PETER

This ice chest is filled with over a hundred vials of my nectar. (He takes off the lid.)

MURIEL

You keep your own… in old prescription bottles?

PETER

I told you. I’m prepared for any doomsday scenario. Whatever you don’t use, you might be able to sell on the black market. If there are other survivors, they’ll want to start giving birth to geniuses. And here’s a turkey baster! I put a ribbon on it.

MURIEL

I’m having a hard time dealing with all this, Peter. The last thing I want to think about is popping out little Peters to repopulate the planet.

ANNOUNCER (VO)

As if things couldn’t get any worse, folks, poisonous giant spiders are climbing our television tower. We’ll be off the air soon. Apparently, giant spiders are crawling all over electric systems all over the world and are about to knock out all electronic communications grids. The consequences of this will surely be the final nail in humanity’s coffin. We’ll all be cut off from one another as all airplanes currently in flight drop from the skies like dead birds. Dead birds struck down in flight. Falling like rocks. Rocks shaped like dead birds. Or large airplanes. What’s this under my desk? Snakes! Snakes! Motherfucking sna-

(The announcer is cut off and all we hear is fuzz. The lights cut off in Peter’s room. He quickly lights a portable lantern. He and Muriel stare at one another and hold hands over the lamp. We hear the sound of an airplane falling from the sky. It gets louder and louder. They run to the window to look. They see it crash in a big ball of fire.)

MURIEL

See. No survivors.

(Blackout.)

5 comments:

Aly said...

it's the end of the world as we know it.

not sure the turkey baster part works so well, but i like the premise of this sketch, and the use of teenage characters. anything with the end of the word in it is always pretty cool.

the announcer/VO does a lot of telling not showing which might be the job of an announcer... for instance, in the last bit, "the consequences of this will surely be the final nail in humanity's coffin." would an announcer say that, or a philosopher?

Chris Othic said...

Mr. Othic loves this sketch, with the caveat that he was not a fan of the ending.

My first instinct would be to say that it seems like we have two separate sketches here, a relationship scene and then a doomsday scene that nicely heightens every doomsday scenario possible. But I get that that is the point. I love that you have taken this relationship scene thrown this other element in there.

What doesn't work for me is Peter and Muriel. It's a pretty stock scene, and kind of has a non-ending.

But I love the idea of this scene and the end of the world stuff is out of the world stuff.

Joe Janes said...

Aly - It's Fox News.

Chris - I see your point. Except for the very end, it could probably be handled in editing down the "pre-emergency" part of the scene.

mark krause said...

i really thought it was a trick,peter could have put in a tape of the disaster just to get into muriel's pants,but i think he blew it when he pulled out his vials of jism,not a turn on to women,of course he sounds like a virgin,socially inept

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a female, I really enjoyed how Peter used the end of the world to get a little action. The vials made him a gentleman, but I thought he gave up on real action a bit too quickly. Maybe if he said helpfully that he'd be willing to inseminate her the old fashioned way if she thought the turkey baster was too technical...