Untitled Sketch Show – Episode 1

INT. AFTERNOON. A NICE CAFE SIMILAR TO SEINFELD’S “MONK’S CAFE” OR A FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANT REMINISCENT OF KELSEY’S OR TGI FRIDAYS

Frank and Carl are sitting at a table. They have finished their meals and are now enjoying the last of their drinks and a rapidly degenerating conversation.

Frank is drinking a tall beer, Carl is sipping an Iced Tea. A waitress (or waiter) is seen serving other customers.

FRANK
Y’know man, I don’t know what I’m going to do about money. My rent’s due tomorrow, I have student loans and there’s nothing in the fridge but a jar of old mayonnaise and maybe a slice of cheese.

CARL
Maybe you could get a loan?

FRANK
I tried, the teller just laughed when he saw my credit score.

CARL
Probably wasn’t a good idea to have bought that jetski.

FRANK
Hey! That was your idea and it was cheap.

CARL
It cost four thousand bucks.

FRANK
Yeah, so?

CARL
Okay, fine. What about the fur coat?

FRANK
You cannot deny that I look fabulous in that.

CARL
That’s true. You do.

There is a brief pause and then

CARL (cont’d)
But the handcrafted grand piano probably wasn’t a good idea.

FRANK
I’ll give you that one.

CARL
I mean, it barely fits in your apartment.

FRANK
Yeah.

CARL
And you had to get rid of your old table so now you eat on the piano.

FRANK
Well I-

CARL
Not to mention you play terribly.

FRANK
Alright man, lay off!

CARL
Your neighbour threatened to set you on fire last Christmas when you got drunk and wanted to sing carols, remember?

FRANK
Like you’ve never made a mistake.

Flashback:

INT. A STORE RESEMBLING THAT OF A BEST BUY OR FUTURE SHOP.

Carl stands looking at an ipod and a zune side by side. He looks at the iPod, then back at the Zune then back at the iPod. After a moment he picks up the zune, nods and walks away.

Flashback ends.

INT. AFTERNOON. THE RESTAURANT. PRESENT DAY

CARL
Nope.

There is a moment of silence. Carl drinks from his Iced Tea and looks out the window. Frank notices a couple leaving.

FRANK (Whispering)
Hey.

CARL
What?

FRANK
Shhhhhh.

CARL (Whispering)
What?

Frank points over to the table where the couple was sitting.

FRANK
I’ll be right back. Keep a lookout.

Frank sneaks over to the couple’s table and takes the tip. He then sneaks back to his and Carl’s table and takes a long drink of his beer while looking around.

CARL
What the fuck did you just do?

FRANK
They were pretty stingy. Five bucks for a meal that definitely cost at least sixty.

CARL
Once again, WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST DO?!

FRANK
Could you keep it down? I only took the tip.

Carl stares at him trying to come to terms with the heinous act he just saw his friend commit.

FRANK (cont’d)
I think I might be able to get forty from that group over there.

CARL
Are you fucking insane? You just stole from the waitress.

FRANK
She’ll be fine. She probably makes like five hundred bucks a day from tips alone.

CARL
You have no idea how waitressing works do you?

FRANK
Gotta go.

He sneaks over to the now empty table and calmly scoops up about thirty dollars in cash. Nobody notices. He then returns to his and Carl’s table.

Carl is once again, dumbfounded but now with an added dash of fear at the prospect of Frank getting caught.

FRANK (cont’d)
I should have been doing this for years.

CARL
You’re a- You should seriously go to jail for this.

FRANK
Haven’t yet.

CARL
This is pretty messed up. How long have you been doing this?

FRANK
Well I started about three days ago when I was on a date. I went to the bathroom and came back to find her walking out with my wallet. So there I was, stuck with the bill when I noticed that some people who were paying with their credit cards were leaving extra money on the table. So I decided that whenever I eat out… And the rest is history.

CARL
Why didn’t you bring your wallet with you to the bathroom?

FRANK
She said she was curious about Canadian money and she wanted a closer look. Now I know this was pretty weird thing for a girl to ask but man, she was soooo hot.

There is another moment of silence. This one passes more uncomfortably.

FRANK (cont’d)
Ooh, business meeting two, o’clock.
That’s at least fifty right there.

CARL
No. I’m getting the bill and you are leaving all of that money as our tip to the waitress.

FRANK
C’mon man, I need this or else I’m out on the street.

CARL
For fuck’s sake dude, I’ll pay your rent this month.

FRANK
You’d do that? Thanks!

CARL
You’re welcome.

A pause and then…

CARL (cont’d)
I can’t believe you stole from waitresses, these girls make shit, sometimes they have to share with the rest of the staff.

FRANK
If you think that’s bad you wouldn’t believe how much I swipe from panhandlers when nobody’s looking.

Fin.

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BOG

MarshA traveler was I on a grand exploration,
Boldly I went without due hesitation.
I leapt forth blind drunk on earnest pluck
And so it was soon that I found myself stuck.

“Damnable fortune!” the swamp heard me cry.
Too late I realized the firm land was a lie.
A mudhole, a bog, call it what you like,
It spelled only doom for my opt’mistic hike

“Perhaps forward still” was my prime consid’ration
And so I trudged onward with reserved expectations.
But my luck was away and my fears were found true,
For I earned no release; the soup held me like glue.

Leftwards, rightwards, upwards but down
Was all I could manage as I sunk through the ground.
“Why me? Why now? Why had there been nothing to warn?”
Thought I as gravity took me up into my arms.

I cursed and swore and cried in that spot,
That godless land on that forsaken plot.
“Bugger the landlord! Damn mother nature!”
But cursing neither name drew me a saviour.

After a struggle my pride gave up and fled
And I conceded: “Without rescue I’m dead.”
Young as I was I hated the task:
“I must cry out. For help I must ask.”

“Help!” I hooted. “Heeelp!” I hollered.
“Heeeeeeelp!” I yelled hearing no return caller
Except for the crickets and except for the breeze
and except for rustling swampland leaves.

Other wanderers came and other wanderers went.
They saw my stuck figure and my predic’ment.
Some went on their way, some helped me in vain
But eventually they all saw my fate very plain.

And as the day faded so too did my strength
And I realized I would be stuck for some length
Of time in the mudhole, swamp, mire or bog
Till nought but my bones were left with the logs.

“Please,” I croaked through paper dry lips.
“Anyone” I pleaded between crying fits.
A spectre I felt, a shade appeared on the ground
But when I looked ‘round there was nought to be found.

Despite my ears I heard the shadow then speak
It said nary a word and made nary a peep.
But it’s message was clear as its voice was grave;
The shadow promised I would not be saved.

Oh misery! Oh despair! Oh sadness and gloom!
Oh wretched, mournful, despondent doom!
Tears uncountable, wailing untold
Left me as my horrible conclusion took hold.

And then all was still… And I waited… And remembered
The young man I was when I began this adventure.
And I remembered how even when things seemed their best
I would know journey’s end and I’d lay down to rest.

I looked to the shadow, nodded, said “Aye.”
“I’ve accepted my fate. I am ready to die.”
The shadow then pulled me from my mud trap,
Laid me down on the ground and closed my eyes for a nap.

And then it moved onward leaving me behind.
It could never rest, there was never the time.
For a little ahead a traveler like myself
Had gotten himself stuck
And was crying for help.

Sex, Drugs and the Internet

Stimulation,
Excitation,
Electrification from so many sensations.
Show me, tell me. Give me a smell, a feel, a taste.
Overload and manipulate, take me from this place.
Bring me pain, bring me joy,
Bring me something real
Then bring me more.

Sky

Image

Photo by Luanne Glenville

Photo by Luanne Glenville

Child’s canvas by cloud and warzone by storm,
Eve’s celestial soup and golden glory by morn,
Face of god; eyes of moon and sun
A domed double of Gaia’s motions.

Dark then light and day then night
Hour by minute by second a sight
Of heaven’s reassurance that ever despite
Darkness oncoming is a future so bright.

Song of a Night Out

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

O happy drunklings
Look how we’re stumbling
Fumbling feet as we sing.

Our aplomb is a wonderling
Our worries’re crumbling
On this night we shall live to be kings!

Hail to our highness
For we are the finest
To laugh and cavort on this night

We’ve abandoned our shyness
We’ll prove ourselves timeless
And revel ’til dark turns to light!

Ageless

These bones creak
And this skin folds.
Soft smells, stale tastes, past thoughts and ghostly feels
All refuse to fade
Like scars earned in thousands of fights thousands of dreams ago.
These old memories,
And the ageless faces I share them with
Make this old man feel young again.

The Gods

2015-04-30 01.40.23

I was the first to find it, the rock from the sky. It came down on fire and changed everything. At the time I had been out hunting and was getting no luck among the craggy mountains. I was heading back to the camp when I saw it crash down. The wind from its impact knocked me down and scattered my supplies. The mountain shuddered and, needless to say, I scampered down its side as fast as I could, partly to avoid a rockslide and partly to see what that — thing — was.

      I managed to make it down the mountain rather quickly and in one piece, darted across the clearing and raced through the trees. Leaves whipped my face and thorns scarred my ankles, however I kept going. In hindsight, I have no idea what I was thinking. I should have left well enough alone but, at the time, something compelled me to investigate.

      Finally, after running until the sun rose, I made it to the object’s landing place.

      I stood there stupefied.

      The object had made a hole in the ground large enough to fit a village. Trees were burned to ash. In the centre of the hole the object sat, smouldering, and I could feel it almost as if it was pulling me closer. I made my way through the ash to the object. I reached out to touch it but hesitated; an ominous feeling came over me. A part of me sensed that something huge was going to happen, and soon.

      I sat there like that, holding my hands out, so close until I could stand it no longer.

      I left.

      I finished hunting and managed to take down an injured creature that would feed the camp for about two sunsets. It would be the first meat any of us had tasted in weeks, what with me being the only hunter (and a pathetic one at that). I was on my way back when I remembered the object. I felt that the rest of the camp should be made aware of its presence. However, when I went to pick it up the same hesitation came over me. Eventually I overcame my trepidation and wrapped it in a blanket.

      “What do you think it is?” I asked the chief. He didn’t hear me. He was too busy examining the object. I repeated the question.

      Looking up he said, “Thrag, it’s the answer we’ve been searching for.” I had never seen the man so filled with joy. Despite his advanced age you could see in his eyes that he felt a hundred moons younger.

      Later on when the fire had been started and the moon shone its brightest the entire camp assembled around the object. At first we stared. Nobody had any clue what action to take next. Then an enterprising child named Symnie advanced toward the object, reaching out with her hand. She couldn’t have been any older than a moon so there was no way for her to understand what she was doing.

      Symnie touched the object.

      Everybody held their breath.

      Symnie giggled and together we all exhaled.

      Without warning a light show started up. There were images of orbs and simple pictures of us. There were creatures that I had never seen before, spectacularly coloured ones and creatures that appeared as if they would feed the entire camp for a year. One of the more frightening images caused Symnie to begin to weep and the entire camp to scatter into the trees — not far enough to be out of sight range or earshot, though. We were a group of cowards leaving that child there, crying. I eventually ran out, got her, and brought her back to the trees where she would be safe. A low-pitched, booming voice began to speak in a strange language.

      The camp waited. And we listened to the booming voice. And we watched for what would happen next.

      We weren’t disappointed: out of the object came an image of two beings. There they floated. Yes, floated. The beings were similar yet different, like two halves of one whole. Even still they were not dissimilar in appearance to us.

      The booming voice continued to speak.

      “Salutations de la terre! Nous sommes les humains de la planète Terre dans la galaxie Voie Lactée! Nous venons en paix!” The message then paused and continued. “Pagbati mula sa lupa! Kami ay ang mga tao mula sa planeta lupa sa kalawakan milkyway! Dumating kami sa kapayapaan!”

      Another pause.

      “Groeten uit de aarde! Wij zijn de mensen van de planeet aarde in de melkweg melkweg! We komen in vrede! … Pozdrowienia z ziemi! Mamy ludzi z planety Ziemia w galaktyce Drogi Mlecznej! Przychodzimy w pokoju! … Salamu kutoka nchi! Sisi ni binadamu kutoka katika dunia yetu hii katika Galaxy ya milkyway! Kuja kwa amani! … Greetings from Earth! We are the humans from the planet Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy! We come in peace! … Grüße von der Erde! … ”

      We came to understand that each pause meant that the message would actually repeat, only this time in a different language. The message continued like that almost until the moon set.

      The next day the chief announced that we had found what we as a tribe were looking for.

      “Our creators,” he proclaimed to the camp. Then he put one hand firmly on the object. And the entire show began again. “They have given us a sign. They exist and we must find them! Then we can take vengeance on those who cast us aside and torment us!”

      He was referring to the Draliths, who twenty moons ago waged a religious war against us. In short, they believed themselves to be gods and we believed ourselves to be created by the hands of gods. Many were killed on both sides of the battle in an attempt to convert the other. The Draliths, however, got hold of a black liquid which they used to burn down our village. At the time we were three thousand strong and now we number maybe a third of that, scattered out about the countryside. The chief had convinced us to go in search of our creators so we would become more powerful and defeat the Draliths. We had been wandering ever since, fearing an attack that would indeed wipe us out for good.

      The chief was telling us to worry no more.

      Everybody got a turn to touch the object and I, being the one who discovered it, got the first chance (second to Symnie, of course). The object was cool and smooth like nothing I had ever felt before. I could run my entire hand over it and not have to wipe my fingers on my tunic afterward due to the dirt. The object made me feel at peace. Surely this was the work of gods! For the first time since our village burnt down I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried and I cried so hard I felt alive. Everyone in the camp did the same. It was like a huge weight had been lifted from us.

      Then we heard a horn.

      The weight was back and it was heavier.

      The raid was a scene of utter chaos. Everywhere there were Draliths with clubs, spears, knives and torches. They ran from hut to hut setting everything in their sight ablaze. Some of our people tried to stop them but only received a club to the face or a stab from a spear. The chief lay face down in a red pool and not very far away the child Symnie stood trembling. A Dralith approached her but before he reached her I tackled him to the ground and began pummeling his face with my fists and some nearby rocks. A club came into my field of vision and sent me to my back. Then the world went dark.

      After the raid I sat in a pool of mud and blood and looked around. Our food was plundered, our huts burnt down and people lay dead all around. Slowly I stood up and limped over to the object. I knocked it over into a mud pit. The show started up again and I spat at the images of the esseri umani, the manusia, the humans. I cursed them. Everybody who was still alive joined in. This was their fault; because of them we believed that with their help we could defeat the Draliths. Us! Not a warrior amongst us, just women and children, frail old men, cowards and me, the pathetic excuse for a hunter. We were only spared because the Draliths knew that we would rebuild, grow more food, hunt more animals and then they would raid us again and take everything. Our chief had led us astray into thinking that we, on our own, were too weak to defeat the barbaric Draliths.

      “No,” I said aloud. “We’ll help ourselves.”

      I took a rock and I smashed the object. It didn’t break — it was too strong for that — but I continued to smash it. Every survivor smashed it. It was the skulls of the Draliths we were hammering on. It felt good.

• • •

It is the fourth day of the season of two suns when the humans land in the middle of the battlefield where my people defeated the Draliths. The vessel that they travel in is similar in appearance to the same object that my ancestor Thrag discovered moons ago. The humans foolishly step out of it. We tear them to pieces.

Originally published in the Capybara – A project of the Descant Arts & Letters Foundation (2011)

2015-04-30 01.39.07I wrote this in grade 10 (about five years ago) and honestly, looking back on it now I can think of a hundred things I would have done differently. Still, it was one of my proudest moments having this published and hopefully it won’t be the last.

Cheers!