Friday, March 29, 2013

Sample Friday, Excerpts From Pilot, by WD

Callaghan's interior is filled with booze, golf games, and waitresses in tight referee shirts. Zack is sitting at the bar, which is fairly full with a much older crowd, minus a HOT YOUNG RED-HEADED FEMALE, who is sitting across the room. Zack's talking to the bartender, JACKIE, a dark-haired female in her early fories. She's cleaning glassware while listening to Zack.
So you slapped him.
Yes! I was a man possessed by rage, frustration, and anxiety. Topped off with a splash of hunger.
You're never had an asshole customer? One who, despite your best efforts, never seems to appreciate you?
I have. But this time was different, somehow. My manager said that maybe it was time for me to move along. Perhaps he's right. Maybe I'm just ready for something different, you know?
Zack, I can tell you from experience——20 goddamn years of experience might I add——you do what you gotta do. Maybe being forced to find something new is a blessing in disguise. Here's my thinking; I like to imagine that all of us are here for a certain purpose. If restaurants turn out not to be your calling, then there's something else waiting for you. Look at me. Look at my surroundings right now. Someone has to take care of these poor, lost, ancient souls. See, I figured out a long time ago I'm their goddamn Pied Piper. Guiding these old motherfuckers with my wise and soulful flute. Until they all drop like flies.
You're the embodiment of the American Dream.
We can't all be Rockefeller's.
Jackie walks over to the service bar area to make a cocktail for a server. She's mumbling, but anyone can hear her.
Goddamn kids. Wouldn't know the difference between a smart phone and a thumb up their ass.
The ATTRACTIVE RED-HEADED FEMALE slides into a stool next to Zach, much to his surprise.
Hey there. I'm Anna.
Anna looks at Zack's beverage of choice, a lager.
What are you drinking?
A lager. I drink it from time to time.
Zack nods his head in the direction of Anna's drink.
Fuck vodka. That's not my style. Gin and tonic. It's vintage; a classic.
Anna orders another drink through Jackie. Jackie points to Anna's drink.
No, something different this time. How about a lager?
Zack's face lights up.
I'm a girl who likes trying new things.
Zack and Anna are buzzing from their drinks.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Zack looks uncomfortable, but hides it well from Anna. He thinks she's hot enough to deal with any amount of crazy she might be carrying.
(visibly upset)
I'm not too surprised. My dad has always been this whole "everything has to be done in a certain way in a certain order" kind of guy. He's very big on structure. My mom is kind of the opposite. She feels that all his rules, and his Ward Cleaver persona, are strangling her, figuratively speaking. And me too!
Did you know that on my very first date, my dad showed off his gun collection?!
Maybe somebody just needs to tell him——
I love him to death, but it's easier said than done. Especially since he just earned a promotion, which is great, don't get me wrong, but it also means he'll be stuck in his job more than he already is. And I don't know how much longer my mom can take it. I feel terrible for saying it, but I kind of wouldn't blame her if she left him.
Zack takes all of this in. Maybe there is a little too much baggage, but . . .
I was fired today for slapping a man.
Jackie, talking to nearby patrons, overhears Zack and bursts out laughing.
Tips are fantastic, Jackie. Also, they're not mandatory.
Jackie turns her head away. Zack resumes his convo with Anna.
I work across the street. Or did, anyway. I bartend, and today we were balls to the wall busy. This guy came in, was just a real asshole, and normally I can handle people like that. Not this time. I snapped; it was like I stepped out of my own body. What do they call that? Out-of-body experience, or something to that effect.
That's why I've never worked in places like that. I would've like, totally broken dealing with that crap.
There's nothing to it. I've been working in restaurants for five years.
Wow. I mean, is that your career goal? That's kind of cool.
Oh, god no. No, no, no.
What I really want to do is write.
That's seriously awesome. I, myself, took a few creative writing courses back in school.
Oh yeah? Where at?
Chapman University out in Southern California.
No way, I used to live real close to the O.C. Right in the Balboa Bay area. My parents took me to the beach all the time when I was younger.
Zach's phone rings. On the other end is his brother, RANDY.
It's my brother. I'll be back.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 19


On second thought, maybe I should put the ol’ crazy noggin’ to work first. Since I’ve been in survival mode, I haven’t exactly had time to cogitate on the idiopathic nature of my rapidly deteriorating mental condition. But maybe I’m finally ready to shift gears. And I should start by asking myself some very important questions, like this one: What. In. The. Ever-loving. Hell. Is. Wrong. With. Me? I know the answer is out there somewhere, whether it’s in books, or even floating around the not so pleasant fluid part of my brain matter. 
Ok . . . so where do I start? At the very beginning, Lizzie, you know, the part where God created you, the grey suit, and the red bow-tie.   Huh? The who, the what, and the damn what? . . . Oh, I get it. You mean, think back to the schizophrenia diagnosis of Dr. Bow Tie Freud lo those many years ago? Like, was there any validity to it? Nah, doesn’t feel right. Over the last ten years, I’d met a couple of friends terribly afflicted with schizophrenia, and so tormented by voices they couldn’t function at all. Besides, my problem seems to be speaking in different voices, not hearing them, save one, which doesn’t count because it’s only the one voice, and quite obviously represents the bitchy, sarcastic side of me. Everybody has a side like that. Ok . . . so maybe mine is a bit louder than most, but still, I’ve clearly been able to function well enough to get through college, marriage, and kids.
Let’s move on to . . . bi-polar? Noooo way, jose. I don’t get depressed, and I’m not manic. Although . . . haven’t I been like that since I left the hospital? Still . . . I’m going to go with a big fat no on bi-polar, too. The mania is probably a side-effect of whatever it is I’ve got.
Well . . . there’s multiple personality disorder. Oh, hell no. Sybil 2? Not even close. I'd read the book and seen the movie. What a schlockfest that was. Sort of like the movie Jaws. Who in their right mind believes this stuff? Besides, I don’t have blackouts, dress funny, have memory problems, or bite people in half.
What else could it be, then? I’ve covered the majors. Or have I? What about schizo-affective disorder? Hmm . . . I do have the symptoms: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and thinking, mania etc . . . 
As the day wears on, I warm to that idea, believing I must have some kind of disorder related to schizophrenia. After all, Dr. Bow Tied Freud seemed very sure about his diagnosis, or he wouldn't have contacted Texas Vocational Rehabilitation Commission to see me through college. That’s a lot of moula.
Ok, I’m ready to deal. The question now is, who do I go to for help?
“Oooh, I know, I know, Lizzie. How ‘bout that penguin doctor? She was real nice. And let’s face it, honey, the psychiatrist route ain’t working for you. So aim lower. Lots lower. Know what I mean?”
Hmm. There’s a thought. I go talk it over with B, and he agrees to call Dr. Penguin. Somewhat relieved, I hit the sack, but not without last minute editorial comment from the peanut gallery.
“Oh boy, Lizzie. This is gonna get good now. Showtime, baby. Time to pop a whole field of corn. Hehehe . . .”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sample Friday-- From the Pilot Script by W. D.

Let the evidence show, faithful readers, that I cannot be found guilty of the crime of doting mother, and overall reckless spender. There's a lot more good stuff in ds's script than what I'm allowed to put on here. 

I mean seriously, how can anyone with a substantial sense of humor not want to see this on the small screen(a sitcom minus the bad words?), or on Vimeo, (a webseries with the bad words).
Hopefully, ds will go to work on pre-production soon. But that's like expecting Rip Van Winkle not to fall asleep.
Anyway, tune in for more Sample Friday's, (if I'm allowed).

A beat up Chevy Malibu pulls in. It's having engine problems.
ZACH ANDREWS is sitting behind the steering wheel, outside of (name redacted) Grill. He has just made a phone call.
Hey brother.
Nope. Car's still alive.
Zach imitates an engine noise rather terribly.
There, you hear that? Ok man, I'm only calling to let you know who just called me this morning.
Ugh, I hate texting. That's why. But I invited this person over to our place this weekend. Remember Lila? She totally wants to shoot some Stoli with me.
I want vodka! But yeah, her. The chick who puked all over your ——Hey, hold on a second. Holy.  SHIT!
Zach has become distracted as he looks out his windshield. He sees an ATTRACTIVE, MIDDLE-AGED FEMALE and a CEO BOARD MEMBER-TYPE OLDER MALE having sex out in an open field. They are still fully clothed.
Bro, I'm totally gonna show you a video later. You're gonna want to watch this.
It won't be.
Hey, the mom who sent me that video link had told me it was about two hot girls who share a cup of warm, creamy Butterbeer!
Zach hangs up. He proceeds to take his phone, turns on the video camera portion of it, and films the couple.
The bar is PACKED. There are no seats available, and there's a bunch of PATRONS standing around talking.
A set of swinging doors is in view. The door labeled IN bursts open as ZACK, wearing a Mickey Mouse pin, is carrying three dishes of lunch entrees in his arms, as well as a carry-out bag that's hanging off his right shoulder. He heads to TABLE 309 and drops off their food. On his way back, ZACK passes a table of two MIDDLE-AGED MALES.
(rolling eyes)
Hey, I would love another IPA before nightfall!
I apologize, sir. I'll be right back with that.
Zack gently pushes some PATRONS out of his way as he rushes behind the bar.
A beer and a dick kick coming up just for you, douche.
Zack looks over his customers sitting at the bar. ROGER, a man in his early 60's who has been a regular of ZACK'S for a long time, is sitting calmly nursing his scotch on rocks.
Need an enforcer?
No, but a pair of soccer spikes would be nice to have right about now.
Why's it so busy today?
Zack grabs a bottle of INDIA PALE ALE from the bar's beer cooler.
I couldn't tell you anything other than I've never seen it like this before. At least in the morning.
He grabs a pitcher of water.
All the servers have clocked out, so I'm the only one here.
Zack heads back toward TABLE 317, occupied by the two middle-aged males. He drops off the beer and fills TWO near-empty glasses of water.
Can you take the plates out of our way?
Zack forces a smile, as he lifts two empty appetizer plates off the table.
Absolutely. Is there anything else I can get you gentlemen right now?
No. I'll ring a bell when we need you.
Zack sighs, and walks back over to TABLE 309. After checking on his customers, he heads back behind the bar counter, and clears empty glasses and wing baskets. Suddenly, he hears FINGERS SNAPPING from TABLE 317. A hint of anger crosses Zack's face as he hesitantly walks over to the table.
Yes . . .?
Two shots of your house bourbon.
A forced smile appears on Zack's face. He goes back behind the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon and two shot glasses. Meanwhile, Roger's been looking on.
Just say the word. You know I've handled worse guys.
No need, Roger. I have a lot of patience.
Zack zooms back to 317.
OK gentlemen, two shots of fine bourbon.
Zack nearly slams the shooter glasses on the table, then pours three ounces from the bottle into the glasses.
Well, that's all. You're no longer needed right now.
Zack stares at him.
I said goodbye.
Zack slaps the man! Middle-Aged Male #1 just stares at Zack in disbelief. Finally, Zack abruptly turns and rushes back to the bar. His hand trembles as he snatches a beer, hoping to make amends by wooing his assault victim with a free drink. He hurries back to table 317.
So, um . . . I hear . . . You know, you look nice today . . . I hope your day has been full of . . . polkadots . . . And rainbows.
In a moment of desperation, Zack starts singing. Badly. If she were dead, Barbra Streisand would be choking in her grave.
Zack sits across from his MANAGER. They're having a one-on-one over Zack's slapping incident.
Five years, man.
I don't know why I couldn't keep my composure with him. He was just so degrading.
And how does that make him any different from the many other assholes who have dined here? You know the policy, man. I can't have my employees attacking the guests.

You're right, Joe. In my defense, do you remember Thanksgiving Eve of '09?
The night we went over $10,000 in sales? Hell yes.
Do you remember my last table of the night? One parent and three screaming banshees. I held my ground. Now that mess was the absolute worst I've waited on, up until this guy.
Maybe it's time for you to take a break. You've been doing this for a long-ass time.
As nice as that sounds, it's what I know. Restaurants, bartending, serving. It's my trade.
Zach looks down.
(to himself)
Oh God, is that really it? Do I not have anything else to offer?
That's not true, man. You have great repertoire with people, barring today, of course. More than I can say for a lot of the dumb shits that get hired here. 
The same dumb shits that you hire?
I digress.  Ass.
This just sucks. I don't want to lose you, dude, but corporate won't let me keep you. Hey, what about your writing? How's that coming along?
It is what it is. Writer's block sucks.
Don't you need to write to have writer's block?
(mock laughs)
Jackass. I've been looking around for work. There's a few workshops here and there, but I can't really afford them.
It's too bad Carol and Shannon aren't around anymore.
They're off doing some philanthropic work in South America, or wherever the fuck it is they're at now.
Maybe you're right. A break from all of this isn't such a bad idea. But I'd have to find something fast. Like pronto.
Well, dude, I can give you a great recommendation. Whatever you need . . . I'll do it in a heartbeat. Just one suggestion. Next time, don't slap the hand that feeds you.
As opposed to the hand that hits me instead?
Now you've got it! But, I've gotta ask you, Zack. Why a slap? Was a punch too masculine for you?
You're too funny, Joe. No, I was pretending his face was your mom's left tit!
I don't know. It sounded better in my head.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 18

Chapter 18

Eight little round pills bask in the glow of my left palm. I count them again. Yep, eight. 
Hmm . . . now spell out the word failure, Lizzie. How many letters are there? 
Ok, I can’t argue with that. Psycho Voice is right. I’m a failure. Couldn’t even make it through one session with Dr. Cuckoo. Now what? God, I’m just so tired of it all! I’ve had it up to the wazoo with the rocking and the weirdo voices.
 I guess I could try to follow the universal mantra of mind over matter, or, follow the famous words spoken by millions of helpful(but not really), authoritative people telling other, but more weak-minded people to, “buck up.” And I could probably do this to the bitter end of time, except, I’m not that stupid; I fully realize my mind has a mind of its own, with the result that every damn day I will forever dance on the edge of madness. Well, this time I might as well leave the land of sanity for good. Why postpone the inevitable?
I stare at the pills, becoming rather fascinated that they have taken on a muted golden glow, as if there were a halo surrounding each one. Are they beckoning to me? I reach down to caress one pill when suddenly . . . a cinematic moment flashes through my mind. 
Im sitting in an ordinary chair, in an ordinary office mumbling some nonsense or other. On the other side of an obsessively neat desk, sits Dr. Cuckoo, his slender fingers resting on a circular red button the size of a quarter. He stares at me like I’m a speck of dust on his desk. Is he disgusted? Bored? Slowly, his eyes start to close. 
Horrified, (and pissed), I watch in disbelief as his forefinger accidentally on purpose presses down on the button. The floor beneath me vanishes! And I'm off . . . falling, falling, ever falling, into the never-ending darkness of eternal madness. 
Damn! That's it. I immediately lay out the eight little white pills in two rows of four on top of my nightstand. Starting on the first row, I shove pill numero one into my mouth. Ah, that wasn’t so bad, was it? A few minutes go by.  I argue back and forth with myself. Should I take another pill, or shouldn’t I? As time marches on, I finally make the decision. The 'should I' has it. Down goes another pill. Then I wait and wait and wait again. I don’t really know why I wait, except it seems I’m having an awful hard time deciding between swallowing a pill, and not swallowing a pill. Sigh. Why have I always been so very indecisive about things? Even parking my car can take twenty minutes.
What seems like an eternity later, I pop the third pill down. Another minute goes by before I abruptly list to the side, then rub, rub, rub the sleep out of my eyes. Can't do it. My eyes are wayyy too heavy, as if someone dropped little balls of wet cement on them. Geez, what’s up? Well . . . I think I’ll take a little nap, then resume my pill-popping. Yep, thats the ticket. I close my eyes. 
A couple of hours later, I awake groggily, and find B standing by the bed, the remaining pills in one hand and a bottle of valium in the other. He doesn’t look very happy. After we exchange a few terse words, he slinks away carrying the whole kit and caboodle of medication. I don’t object, mostly because I'm an emotional block of numb—no fear, no anger, no joy, no sadness, no nothing.
Numb, meet nuts! snicker, snicker
Oh shut up you! I have to think, because it's way past time I got off my sorry, self-pitying ass and start facing some dire facts, and looking for answers on my own. Where to begin? . . . Ah ha! By burying my nose in some abnormal psychology books.
You go, girl! After all, if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain. Annnd . . . if you really believe that, Lizzie, I got a luxury highrise smack dab in the middle of the Sahara desert to sell you!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 17

Chapter 17

I’m sitting in the waiting room of Dr. Cuckoo’s office about to die a slow, tortuous death. My sense of hearing is super heightened. Muted voices become yelling voices. I want to scream, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEOPLE, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! And if that isn’t bad enough, the hum of the various office machines sound like a thousand bees colonizing in my ears. I cover them up as panic begins to take hold and the rocking begins. Dammit. What’s going to happen now? 
B reaches over, takes my hand and tells me it’ll be all right. I relax, then murmur a silent pray to the God of whomever to keep me off the floor. My body immediately slides out of the chair and kisses the floor. Well, that worked. Stupid me. I’ve only been praying for three weeks now. And look what it hath availeth me. I’m beginning to believe I’m not high on God’s list of priorities.
B helps me back up to my seat. At least I didn’t switch off. Small victory that, because Ima thinkin' seriously about running out the door. Before I can do that, though, B and I are ushered into the good doctor’s office.
I teeter in and fall down on a couch trying not to rock. That doesn’t work. But at least I stay upright and don’t switch off. Another small victory. Wow! two in a row. Good enough to be a confidence booster. 
I gape at Dr. Cuckoo as B hands my hospital records over to him. What an odd way for the man to dress: white belted robe, brown sandals, dark beard and a halo over his head. Blink. Wait. Let’s do this again, Liz. Dark trousers, cotton/poly blue shirt open at the neck, shiny brown shoes, thinning hair the color of sandpaper. Enter Psycho Voice.
“OMG, it’s Dr. Bob Newhart! Cool.”
Shut up, you. I gotta focus here. B does most of the talking, though, explaining to the doc what’s been happening to me since I got out of the hospital. 
Dr. Cuckoo replies. Ugh. Very dry, like the texture of burnt paper, very boring, and designed to get on my very last nerve. Without warning, I fall to the floor, crawl underneath a table, and start rocking back and forth on my hands and knees. Fortunately, the voices don’t emerge. Am I at last gaining some control over these voices? With great effort, I manage to stop the rocking and get back on the couch again.
The good doctor doesn’t even look at me. Fact is, he hasn't addressed me at all. Odd. Red flags pop up. Finally he drawls, “Mrs. ET, what do you think happened in the hospital?”
“I . . . I . . .” Help! I desperately try to form more words, but my thoughts don't wanna connect with my mouth.
He repeats the question. And yawns. A split second later, his eyes close ever so slowly, and his head sort of nods. Red flags go from warning to a wave of flames quicker than a flash fire lusting after a log cabin! The voice in my head roars,
“Ok, so that’s like a really big 10-4 no no breaker, breaker. Time to retire, you stupid, lazy bastard!”
I grip my head in pain and look at B. He’s turning scarlotta. Suddenly, Dr. Cuckoo bolts upright, clears his throat and begins to read Dr. King Kong’s notes to me. Storybook time. When he finishes, he announces that he’s in complete agreement with his colleague; illness-induced auditory hallucinations, complicated by severe panic attacks, which, he says, is perfectly normal for what I went through. They will lessen, he says, but in the meantime he’s going to prescribe a new drug to help me get over my anxiety. On and on he goes and where he stops nobody knows. Until he finally does. To yawn. AGAIN. Oh dear, somebody call the fire department! The voice in my head needs dousing.
“You m**f**king  pos!!! Get the f**k out, Lizzie! This guy’s a zombie!”
I don’t hesitate. I flee. Out of the office, out of the building, and into the parking lot where I steamroll my way to the car. As I pound on the backseat door window, a stream of highly offensive curse words pour out of my mouth that stop half the people in the parking lot. B finally makes it to the car, and tries to calm me down. Too late. I can’t stop the voices. He hustles me into the back seat before the police are called.
As he peels out of the parking lot, the voices pour out of me like steam from a hot spring: he's crazy, no, she's crazy, no, I'm crazy, nah ah, we're all crazy. Soon though, I lapse into sing song,
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
I’m so crazy.
Take a key and lock her up, lock her up, lock her up,
Take a key and lock her up,
She’s so crazy.