Monday, January 18, 2010

DAY 365 - "White Chocolate"

Thank you everyone who has supported me on this yearlong creative journey. People have told me they have found it inspirational which alone has made it worth it.

Tomorrow night, I'll be at Goose Island in Wrigleyville tipping back a pale ale around 7pm. Stop by and say howdy if you can.

The next step in the project is to start rewriting and prepping 26 shows that will present all 365 sketches over ten days in June at the Strawdog Theater. But I won't start that until Wednesday. Tomorrow is my first day off in a year from sketch writing. I will keep people posted on the progress on this blog. We'll keep the "365 Sketches" name for a while longer.

Big thanks to Don Hall who, aside from inspiring a few scenes, has been very empowering in keeping me looking forward and is producing the Strawdog shows. I don't know if there's anyone who has read all 365, but if anyone has come close, it's my brother Don and fellow Robot vs. Dinosaur, Chris Othic. Alisa Hauser, Mark Krause and Kayla Branch have probably read the majority of them. Their support has been invaluable. (If there is someone who has read them all that I missed, let me know. I'd like to thank you.) The people who have given me shout outs from time-to-time or asked me how it was going are too numerous to try to list and I'm sure I would fail in trying to remember them all. Your encouragement was also appreciated.

I also received tremendous support through my participation in Robot vs. Dinosaur ("Run, Palindrome, Nur" and "Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School") and WNEP ("The (edward) Hopper Project" and "Nighthawk Sandwich"). They gave me projects to write for which helped keep me going. My Tuesday night men's goals group (Mike, Matt, Brian, Doug, Tony, Brad, Tom and Ed) also kept me accountable.

Chris warned against doing the 365 project. His reasoning was sound. It might suck and, in turn, do damage to my reputation as a writer and a teacher. But once I embarked on it, he became one of my staunchest supporters and never backed off on tough criticism or high praise when giving feedback on scenes.

This is for Chris who requested a scene on a spaceship with aliens and women in mini-skirts.



“White Chocolate”

Written by Joe Janes

1/18/10

365 of 365

Cast:

Capt. Bob Dingle, 40s

Carlo, 20s

Cassandra, 20s

Duche, ???

Chak Bluker, ???

(Lights up on Captain Bob Dingle quarters on the spaceship U.S.S. Amaretto. We hear a COM whistle. The captain walks out shirtless, in tight black pants, drying his hair with a space towel. He presses a button on his communication console.)

DINGLE

Captain Bob Dingle, here.

CARLO (VO)

Yes, captain. I know.

DINGLE

What is it, Carlo?

CARLO (VO)

We just entered the Vagon quadrant and are on a steady course to Alpha 3. We should be there in six hours.

DINGLE

Thank you, Carlo. Is Yeoman Cassandra on her way?

CARLO (VO - sighs)

Yes, Sir. She’s bringing you the reports you asked for.

DINGLE

Excellent. We are not to be disturbed. Is that clear?

CARLO (VO)

As usual with new female crew members.

DINGLE

Have the galley send up some Parnassian Champagne and some of those toasted coconut scallop thingies from Enyothic 4. I think this meeting could last hours. Hours upon hours. We’ll need sustenance.

CARLO (VO)

They should already be in your quarters, sir.

DINGLE

Ah, yes. I see. Thank you, Ensign. (There is an old-timey doorbell sound.) I have to go. Wish me luck.

CARLO (VO)

Sir?

DINGLE

It’s something sailor’s do.

CARLO (VO)

Good luck, Sir.

DINGLE

I won’t need it.

(He presses a button. Sits seductively in his chair.)

DINGLE (continuing)

Come in.

(Yeoman Cassandra comes in. Her uniform is a one-piece short skirt and boots. She carries space clipboards with her.)

CASSANDRA

I have the supply reports, Captain.

DINGLE

Go ahead and set them down over there. (She does.) Oh, that’s good.

CASSANDRA

You look like you just got out of the shower. I can come back.

DINGLE

Nonsense. We’re a military outfit on the USS Amaretto. Close quarters. In the trenches. Space trenches. There are going to be times when we’ll see one another in various states of undress. We have to get used to it. (He traces one of his nipples.) Do you find it distracting?

CASSANDRA

I’m a little uncomfortable.

DINGLE

I’ll go ahead and change. (He walks off.) How is your first interstellar space mission going, Yeoman? Is it everything you expected?

CASSANDRA

It’s very exciting. Going to worlds most humans can only imagine. I look forward to learning about alien cultures first hand.

DINGLE

I can take you places no woman has ever been.

(Dingle reenters wearing a smoking jacket over his bare chest.)

DINGLE (continuing)

There. That’s better. I was just going to have a sip of champagne and a toasted scallop or two. Would you like to join me?

CASSANDRA

Captain. I have a husband.

DINGLE

Oh. You haven’t heard.

CASSANDRA

Heard what?

DINGLE

What happens the Vagon quadrant stays in the Vagon quadrant.

(We hear the COM whistle, again. Dingle pushes a button.)

DINGLE

Captain Bob Dingle, here.

CARLO (VO)

Yes, Sir. There is an important message from space command. It’s on a secured channel.

DINGLE

Right on schedule, Carlo. Pump it into my cabin.

CARLO (VO –sighs)

Yes, Sir.

(We hear Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” start playing in the captain’s quarters. He starts dancing “seductively” at Cassandra.)

DINGLE

Ooh. That sounds like a very important message, Yeoman.

CASSANDRA

It sounds like an old rhythm and blues song from the mid-20th century.

DINGLE

That’s because it’s in code. I’ll decipher it for you. “Attention. Codename: White Chocolate…That’s me…”

CASSANDRA

That’s not the lyrics.

DINGLE

It’s embedded in the thumping, throbbing rhythms, Cassandra. To read it properly, I need to put my hips into it. If you move your hips, you might be able hear it, too. (He listens, again.) “…Your mission in space may last another year without returning home to loved ones. A long, cold, lonely 365 earth days. Recommend to fend off space madness, that crewmembers have conjugal visitations with one another. As captain, you should be taken care of first.” And then it repeats. Well, there you go, Yeoman Cassandra. We have to protect Captain White Chocolate from space madness.

(Cassandra goes over to the console and turns the music off.)

CASSANDRA

You’re the captain of the most powerful spaceship in the galaxy and you have to resort to tactics like this to try to get laid?

DINGLE

Yes.

(We hear a loud crash. Lights flicker and go dim. Cassandra and Dingle get knocked into each other and around the cabin. Warning alarms go off. Carlo breaks in on the COM.)

CARLO (VO)

Captain! Captain! We’re under attack.

(The shaking stops. Cassandra pushes Dingle off her.)

DINGLE

Who is it, Carlo?

CARLO (VO)

Haggian Chak Blukers, Sir!

DINGLE

Chak Blukers! Damn, them! They always know when I’m about to get some.

CASSANDRA

You weren’t-

DINGLE

Fire everything you’ve got at them!

CARLO (VO)

It’s too late. They boarded us, already. (We hear sounds of fighting and lasers being shot.) Captain, they got…me. (We hear the sound of a phone go dead and then a dial tone. Dingle pushes a button and turns it off.)

DINGLE

I have a bad feeling about this.

CASSANDRA

You should. We’re in trouble.

(There is the sound of a blast and Duche Bog, a large smelly Haggian Chalk Bluker, bursts in with another similarly large and smelly Chalk Bluker. Duche points his weapon at Dingle. The other Bluker grabs Cassandra.)

DINGLE

Duche Bog! I should have known.

DUCHE

Captain Bob Dingle. Aka, White Chocolate.

DINGLE

You broke our code!

DUCHE

Oh, please. You’ve been trying to spread that nickname in three galaxies.

DINGLE

It fits, don’t you think?

DUCHE

I have no idea what it refers to in your world, but I don’t think it will replace what everyone already calls you.

DINGLE

And what’s that?

DUCHE

Jackass. We have unfinished business. You gallivant across the universe and try to screw any race that has a hole you can stick your weenie in.

CASSANDRA

You call it a weenie on your planet?

DUCHE

“Weenie” and “jackass” are universal. Unfortunately, your captain doesn’t do his research. He killed a friend of mine, a Dolphinium, by plugging up the blowhole with his weenie.

CASSANDRA

Ew.

DINGLE

I thought the squeals meant she was enjoying it.

DUCHE

You mean “he.”

DINGLE

Ew.

DUCHE

You. Earth woman. (He takes off his belt and walks up to her.) Leave.

DINGLE

What will happen to her?

DUCHE

We will put her on our slave ship where we will make her wear a metal bikini and take anti-gravity bubble baths in a glass enclosure. She will also read us bedtime stories. (He shrugs.) We have trouble sleeping.

CASSANDRA

Captain!

DINGLE

Don’t worry. I will rescue you.

DUCHE

You can try. (He signals for her to be taken off and the other Chak Bluker does so.) If you can still walk.

(Duche sets his weapon down and presses a button on the console. We hear “Let’s Get It On.” He starts dancing at a terrified Dingle as lights fade.)

17 comments:

Dianna said...

I'll see you tomorrow night. I expect a description of what "space" towels and "space" clipboards are.

Joe Janes said...

Wow, I didn't really think I'd need to explain this. Space towels, obviously, are thin and shiny and dark colored and don't look like they'd be absorbent at all. Space clipboards are clear plastic and different colors. Duh.

Aly said...

"Duche Bog"- I like it. :)

CONGRATS!!

ethanol said...

What an achievment ! Congratulation ! I hope we can meet one day

Olivier

Anonymous said...

Pretty nice site you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. BTW, why don't you change design :).

Joe Janes said...

Olivier - Thanks for making 365 international! When I rewrite "White Chocolate" I'll blow up the world, just for you.

Old Ned said...

ROCK ON!

Jill said...

Congratulations, Joe! And what a good one to go out on. I like the line "'Weenie' and 'jackass' are universal."

Chris Othic said...

Excellent! You did it! Hooray! (Who says Hooray?) What a great finish! This scene is a money shot! Yaaay!

Thanks for not heeding my warning and writing this one for me . . . can I play Cassandra when it gets produced?

Whew! You did it! You really really did it!

And I read all of them but maybe 5-10. I missed them when I was on vacation a couple times this year.

See you tonight!

[This post has been flagged for excessive use of exclamation points]

Nat Topping said...

Hooray! I knew I was going to like this scene from the moment I read "space towel." Congratulations, sir!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Joe!!!

MJ

GW said...

Whoop! Whoop!

rebar said...

Nice jorb, sir!

Jeannie said...

Joe,

In completing 365, you have boldly gone where no man has gone before. Yes you have provided inspiration for us, writer slackers, and I look forward to seeing them in production!

Congrats....
JB

Chris Othic said...

Okay Joe, I'm back to harass some more. Now that you are in the rewrite phase, do you think you could eventually do a post on what you thought about the whole process? What you learned along the way? How your writing may or may not have changed? How your work habits may or may not have changed? How did you feel about the overall quality of your stuff? Were there any sketches that really stood out to you as good or bad? Any favorites? Least favorites? Anything you would do differently if you did it again? Advice to someone that would be crazy enough to try this? Would you recommend that someone try this? Would you do it again? Did you get what you wanted out of the 365 Project? And anything you wanted to elaborate on.

Just askin'.

Joe Janes said...

Thanks, Chris. It might be too soon to answer a lot of those questions, but I'll keep them in mind.

mark krause said...

well it was great to read your work again Joe,always enjoyed your sense of humor,my favorite author,now deceased,mr. vonnegut and you always kept me entertained,good job. and yes i have read them all,either i need a life or i'm just a glutton for punishment,thanks again joe