Best Man Boys Radioplay – Part 1

A racing western theme with guitars and trumpets blares.

Beau:    Come and sit and let me spin a tale of the notorious Best Man Boys and their final stand in the town of North Cackallackee, North Carolina.  Known as the wedding capital of the state, the number of receptions and celebrations in North Cackallackee could often reach three dozen before a week’s end.

Preacher:  I pronounce you man and wife.

Audience:  (unenthusiastic) Yay.

Beau:  But the township of Cackallackee, and its rival-sister town in the south, had no inkling as to what went into the making of a fine wedding.  And as such, the people of the Cackallacks came to know the sound of The Stag Horn –

A deep horn rings out.

Preacher:  Oh no.

The audience begins to mutter.

Beau:  – a signal that the Best Man Boys were riding into town.  The Best Man Boys was gang of cussing, drinking, fool-hardy cowpokes that could not stand to attend another boring wedding, and so they took it upon themselves to liven up each nuptial gathering with dancing, singing, drinking, fucking (but not in the street), fighting (but only in the street), and non-ending confectionaries that seemed to float down from the clouds.

Bosco:  Get out of here, preacherman, because it’s time for ME to declare this marriage official; a declaration that I’ll make with this –

A shotgun is cocked and the audience gasps in fear.

Bosco:  – and this.

Audience Member 1:  What is God’s blessed name is that?!

Bosco:  It’s a piñata, a favor from Mexico, and today is its time to die.

Bosco heaves the piñata in the air and shoots it with his shotgun.  The crowd cheers as candy falls from the sky.

Bosco:  Now it’s time for the drinking, and as according to tradition, the bride drinks first.

Bride:  YEE-HAW!

Beau:  Tweren’t a man, woman, or child alive that didn’t relish the sound that low horn and the hooves of the Best Man Boys bursting through the square. All except one man.

Mayor:  I’m telling you, Sheriff Hondo, that the Best Man Boy’s must be stopped.  I did not spend $800 dollars on the finest preacher to come in from Arkansas just to have my baby girl liquored up in her wedding gown.

Sheriff:  Well, Mayor Cummingback, if it’s the gown you’re fretting about, she ain’t wearing it no more.

Bride:  YEE-HAW!!!

Mayor:  Tarnations!  Sheriff, I demand you go out and arrest them boys for disorderly conduct!

Sheriff:  But they ain’t hurting nobody, Gil.  So they get a little rowdy, but the town seems to love them.  People come from all over hoping they’ll get a glimpse of the Boys doing what they do best.  I think if a man wants to spread cheer throughout the town, who am I –

Mayor:  I don’t give two cusses what you think, Hondo, but I run this town and I say you need to run ‘em out!

Sheriff:  But Mayor –

Mayor:  Unless you want to find yourself on the losing end of the next election. I hear that new deputy of yours is a trig and ambitious lad.  Mayhap he’d want to try out a promotion.

Sheriff:  (sighing)  All right, Gil.  You made your point.  But these boys ain’t just fun and games; they carry hard calibers and they know how to use them.  I can’t just go out there right now, guns drawn, with all them people out there. Innocent lives are bound to be hurt.

Mayor:  Oh, don’t worry Sheriff.  I got a plan.

Beau:  And so a trap was laid for the Best Man Boys; an ambush disguised as a false wedding.  When the day came, and the Stag Horn blew, there weren’t nothing to do to save the Boys from the deception.

Sheriff:  It’s the Best Man Boys, boys!

Mayor:  Open fire!!!

Gun battle.

Beau:  Out of the fourteen men that rode into town, only five walked out.  They were told that if they ever returned to their joy-causing ways again in Cackallackee, their necks would be meeting a rope not long thereafter.  And so the last of the Best Man Boys parted ways, defeated and only husks of the men they were.  Most headed out of state, hoping to find some light in another town where they could start news lives away from any wedding planning.  Only one stayed in town, doing nothing but drinking at every open bar at every wedding that would allow him.  Since everyone feared that word would get back to the Mayor, no one ever talked with the man.  But there were a few bartenders that remembered a long ago time when a group of fellas brung jubilation that would reach the ears of the All-Mighty, and so an empty seat and a full bottle were always kept at the ready in the Cackallacks for the remaining member of the Best Man Boys.

The music changes to a slinky guitar riff.

Beau:  And it is thus we find the poor man hisself, living off of a memory outlawed by town ordinance, sitting at bar and drinking whiskey, listening to a hired band that only knew how to play depressing hymns regarding celibacy and cold showers and trying to forget who he once was.  But there is a new song that is about to sung in the Cackallacks, a song of hope, renewal, redemption. And though the first note of this ballad will be played by a young man that no one knows or has ever seen before in the North Cackallackee, the last note of it will be played by blaring of a deep, low horn.

Announcer:    In the next chapter of The Best Man Boys – The Man With The Holey Hat!

cowboys

* Co-Created with Joseph Payo

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Bottle Voices

A house party is in full swing.  In the living room, music plays while people dance.  Many others simply stand about with beer bottles or plastic red party cups in their hands, talking with each other.  Edgar, the person throwing the party, is leaning against a window sill talking to a three others.

EDGAR:  For the most part my roommates are all right, but one of them keeps using my shampoo.  I bought a big thing of shampoo just last week, and it’s almost gone now.  I’ve had to write a message on it saying, “DON’T TOUCH MY SHAMPOO OR I’LL KILL YOU!”

The group laughs.  Another guest, Simon, stumbles up to the group.  He is a healthy drunk, but not fall-down sloshed.  Yet his face is very flushed, and he is sweating a lot.  He reaches the group, who is still laughing, and begins to laugh with them, not really knowing what he’s laughing about.

SIMON: Ed, this is a great party man.
EDGAR:  Thanks, man.
SIMON:  Can you, uh – (Simon stumbles a bit, and catches himself) – can you tell me which way to the bathroom?
EDGAR:  Sure.  You all right?
SIMON:  (distracted) What?
EDGAR:  Are you okay?  You look a little out of breath.
SIMON:  Oh no, I’m fine.  I just took some LSD before coming to the party, and I think it’s starting to kick in.  Just want to splash some water on my face in a quiet room for a moment to get my bearings.
EDGAR: (chuckling)  Bathroom is down the hall and to the left.  Just be careful to not lock the door; the lock gets stuck and we have to slam into it to get it to open.
SIMON:  Thanks.

Simon walks down the hall and gets to the bathroom just as an attractive young woman comes out.  Simon stumbles a little again, braces himself on the wall, and steps out of the woman’s way, bowing as he does so.

SIMON:  Pardon me, m’lady.
WOMAN: (laughing)  Well, thank you, good squire.

The woman walks away.  Simon goes into the bathroom and closes and locks the door just as two other people come up and start to form a line.  While a little muffled, the music from the living room can still be heard.  Simon unzips and starts to urinate.  While he does his business, he glances around the bathroom.  It’s apparent that at least three or four people share this one bathroom; there are different toothbrushes, combs, mouthwashes, hair products, skin creams, etc.  There is even a pair of scissors next to a small booklet entitled How to Cut Your Own Hair in Five Easy Steps!.  Simon goes back to focusing on his current task at hand.  As he finishes, the music from the living room changes to a song with a loud house beat.  In the bathroom, the colors start to intensify.  Simon looks up to the ceiling to the the light bulb changing colors. 

SIMON:  Oh yeah, it’s kicking in.

Simon washes his hands, then fills the basin and splashes his face with water.  He looks into the basin and it sees  dozens of floating lights in the water.  He unstops the plunger and watches all the little lights flow down the drain.  He holds his face and hands over the sink while he looks for a towel.  There are none at the sink, so he turns towards the shower and dries his face with a towel hanging off the shower curtain rod.  As he dries his face and hands, he notices a shampoo bottle that is on a stand in the shower.  Meanwhile, three more people have joined in the line waiting for the bathroom.

The shampoo bottle has a huge label on it with the message “DON’T TOUCH ME OR I’LL KILL YOU!!!” written in huge black letters.  Simon stares directly at the bottle, reading the words over and over again.  He frowns.  He focuses in on the words “KILL” and “YOU!!!”  He begins to hear whispering voices coming from the bottle.

BOTTLE VOICES:   (inaudible whispers)

Simon leans in to hear the voices over the music coming from inside.

BOTTLE VOICES:   . . . kill . . . you . . .

Simon freezes.  His eyes widen in fear. 

SIMON:  What?
BOTTLE VOICES:   We’re going to kill you, Simon.  We’re going to find you in your sleep and we’re going to slit your throat.

Simon gives a small yelp and turns to leave the bathroom, but the door lock is stuck and he can’t open the door.  In the hallway, where even more people are in line and visibly annoyed, the door rattles harder and harder as Simon tries to get out. 

FRONT OF LINE MAN:  (knocking on the door)  Hey, buddy, let’s go, people are awaiting.
Simon let’s go of the door knob and turns back towards the shower.  The shampoo bottle is five times bigger.  It is now black and the writing on it is red and dripping like blood.  The voices coming from the bottle are now lower and more demonic.  Simon backs away into the sink.
BOTTLE VOICES:  You can’t run from us, Simon.  We have your place here all ready.  We will tie up your soul and bleed it dry.  We will take your hope and burn it in effigy to The Beast.  We will eat your heart and rape your mind.  There is no escape.  THERE IS NO ESCAPE!!!

A thundering drum fills the bathroom as a large chorus sings a song of despair and discord, which are really the sounds of the other people in the hallway.

FRONT OF LINE MAN:  (pounding on the door, trying to turn the doorknob)  Hey!  Are you okay in there?!

Simon starts to cry, and begins to grope around the sink, trying to get as far away from the shower as possible.  The bottle is now on fire.

BOTTLE VOICES:  Join us, Simon.  It’s so wonderful here.  Everyone sings chaos.  Everyone dances malevolence.  Join us.  JOIN US!!!

Simon’s hand hits the scissors that were on the sink and grasps them.  He brings them up over his head and begins to scream wildly.

SIMON:  CURSE ME NOT AND BEGONE DEMON!!!

Outside in the hallway, the people in the line hear Simon scream and then a succession of loud noises.  Edgar is walks up to the door.

EDGAR:  Simon!  Simon, are you all right?!  (He turns the knob to find it locked.)  Shit.

Edgar begins to slam against the door with his shoulder.  After a few failed attempts, the door opens with a loud crack.  Inside, Simon is found on the floor.  He is stabbing the shampoo bottle with the scissors.  There is shampoo all over the bathroom and Simon, who is screaming and laughing maniacally. 

SIMON:  ED, DO YOU HAVE ANY HOLY WATER?!

Oh, You Pretty Things

Four guys sit around a table, playing poker.  A fifth chair is empty, with a hand of cards and very few chips left.  In the background, “Oh! You Pretty Things” has just started playing on the stereo.

Guy 1:  I just don’t see what the problem is.
Guy 2:  He’s a sore loser.
Guy 3:  And he always loses.
Guy 4:  Because he sucks at everything.
Guy 1:  He’s been losing this entire game and hasn’t done anything.
Guy 3:  That’s because he still has some chips left.
Guy 4:  Yeah.  The moment they’re gone, he’s gonna freak-the-fuck-out.
Guy 3:  Defcon 4, empty the missile silos freak out.
Guy 2:  Le Freak, c’est chic, freak out.
Guy 4:  David O. Russel I Heart Huckabees freak out.
Guy 1:  You’re exaggerating.
Guy 3:  We are not and you know it.
Guy 1:  We’ve all known each other since the third grade.  We can’t NOT invite him to hang out.

The sound of a toilet flushing comes from a nearby bathroom, followed by a running sink.  Guy 5 walks out of the bathroom.

Guy 5:  I’m getting another beer.  Anybody want one?

The guys around the table all decline.

Guy 2:  (whispering) I’m just saying next time he comes over, let’s do something that doesn’t involve any kind of competition.

Guy 5 sits down, with a newly opened beer.  They all start playing poker again.  An ante is made, everybody puts some chips in, cards are exchanged, and then the ante is raised.  Guy 5 looks down to his remaining few chips, looks at his hand, breathes a heavy sigh, and throws the rest of his chips in the pot. 

Guy 3:  I call.

Everybody shows their hands.  Not only does Guy 5 lose, his hand is the worst out of the all the hands.  Guy 5 calmly swigs his beer and sets it on the table.  He looks at the pile of chips in the center of the table.  The song in the background hits the chorus and the shot switches to slow motion as Guy 5 suddenly flips the table over.  Chips, cards, beer and pretzels go flying in all directions.  Guy 3 is soaked in beer, while Guy 4 falls backwards in his chair.  A close-up of Guy 5’s face shows him screaming in fury towards the ceiling, with veins popping out all over his head.  The chorus ends and the shot returns to normal.  The table in upended, and everything is a mess.  Guy 5 is panting.

Guy 3:  God dammit!
Guy 2:  This is what I was talking about!
Guy 5:  What happened?
Guy 4:  (getting up off the floor)  You went bat-shit crazy again!
Guy 3:  This was a new shirt!
Guy 2:  This is why I don’t want to invite you to games anymore.
Guy 5:  What?
Guy 2:  You’re always doing this!  Every time you lose –
Guy 3:  – which is anytime you fucking do anything, you spastic bastard –
Guy 2:  – you overreact, do something drastic and ruin the entire day!
Guy 5:  No I don’t.
Guy 2:  Yes you do!
Guy 4:  Every time!
Guy 1:  Come on, not every time.
Guy 3:  Every time.
Guy 5:  No I don’t!
Guy 4:  You don’t even realize you’re doing it, you’re so insane.
Guy 5:  What?  I’ve never done anything like this before.
Guy 2 – 4:  Dude!

Guy 5 looks at Guy 1.

Guy 5:  Is this some kind of joke?  What are they talking about?
Guy 1:  Well . . .

MONTAGE
As the chorus hits once again, a series of slow motion shots show Guy 5 freaking out while playing different games/sports.

– Ripping a frisbee in half.
– Ripping a football in half.
– Ripping a basketball in half.
– Ripping a baseball apart.
– Ripping a tennis racket apart.
– Bending a golf club.
– Throwing darts at the guys, one of which is stuck in Guy 4’s head.
– Choking Guy 1 with a pool cue on a pool table.
– Lifting Guy 3 over his head while playing football.
– Jumping up and down on a game console.
– Chasing after the other guys on a shuffleboard court.
– Tearing the net off of a volleyball court.
– Flipping a table over with a Monopoly board on it.
– Flipping a table over with a Jenga game on it.
– Flipping a table over with a Mousetrap board on it.
– Flipping a table over with Magic cards on it.
– Flipping a table over with Yahtzee on it.
– Flipping a table over with an unfinished puzzle on it.
– Using a bicycle to knock off another cycler passing by after a race.
– Losing at arm wrestling with Guy 2, whom Guy 5 then punches.
– Firing at the other guys on a skeet shooting range.
– A close-up of Guy 5’s face in each of the scenarios with the same look of unquenchable rage on it.

BACK TO SCENE

Guy 5:  I never knew.
Guy 2:  Well, now you do.
Guy 5:  I’m sorry guys.
Guy 1:  It’s not a problem.
Guy 3:  It is a problem.  You need to calm down.
Guy 4:  Meditate.  Do yoga.  Learn to knit.
Guy 2:  Anything but compete.
Guy 1:  Don’t be so hard on him –
Guy 5:  No, they’re right.  I guess I have tendency to overreact.  I work on it.  But in the meantime, listen, why don’t I clean this up and then take everyone out to dinner?  And because I’ve been acting like a dick for all these years, it’s on me.

They all nod that this proposal is acceptable.  Guy 5 picks up the table and poker supplies.

Guy 1:  Who’s going to drive?
Guy 3:  I will; my car’s the biggest.
Guy 4 and 5:  SHOTGUN!

Pause.

Guy 5:  Flip you for it?
Guy 4:  Uhhh . . .  why don’t you just take it –
Guy 5:  No no, I gotta learn to be a fair sport.  (Takes out a quarter, tosses and catches it, and puts his hand over the coin.)  Call it.
Guy 4:  (looking at the others)  Why don’t you call it.
Guy 5:  Okay.  Heads.  (He uncovers the coin.)  Tails.  See?  I’m just fine.  Not a problem.  No tantrum.

Guy 5 walks out.  The rest stand in silence for a moment.

Guy 1:  See?  He’s already getting better –

A car door smashes through the window.  They all look to see Guy 5 ripping a car apart.

Guy 2:  Better my ass.
Guy 3:  My car!

Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger – Part III

(This is the finale of The Captain Solecistic Series.  To catch up, here is Part I and Part II.)

Radio tuning.  It finds a station, where all that can be heard is the sound of a boat on a lake.  Then there is a mechanical whir, a plop, and a grunt.

BILLY-JOE:  Good cast, mmhmm.

More ambient lake sounds.

ANNOUNCER:  And that’s all we have for this episode of “Fishing with Billy-Joe on the Radio”.  Tune in next week, when Billy-Joe almost catches a pike and then has to contend with the horrors of running out of chewing tobacco!  Now, let us wind down from Billy-Joe’s exciting saga with the latest episode of Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger!

A trumpet fanfare.

ANNOUNCER:  When last we saw our hero he had temporarily allied himself with his greatest nemesis, The Librarian, to discover the best route to get to The Jack of Trades, who is holding the town’s single whiskey distillery for ransom.  Luckily for the Captain, the distillery and the library are actually in the same building; something he would have known if his super powers hadn’t stripped him of his ability to read any sort of written symbol representing language!

CAPTAIN:  Or maps!

ANNOUNCER:   Yes, he surely is stupid, and yet his heart is pure and his might is just!  But will he get to The Jack of Trades before the distillery-library goes kablooey?  Will he be able to stop the bomb before it sends the town’s whiskey and book supply sky high?  Will the Illiterate Avenger be able to save the day in time?  We certainly hope so as the producers have had enough of superheroes with powers that make no earthly sense and are about to cancel the show – (breaking character) – wait, what?

PRODUCER:  Just keep reading.

The music changes to an ominous rumble.

ANNOUNCER:  (back in character)  We arrive on the scene inside the distillery, where The Jack of All Trades is talking to negotiators.

NEGOTIATOR:  Be more reasonable here, Jack.  We’ll bring you $500 in silver dollars right now, but we need more time.  Whaddya say, huh?  $500, and you send out just the cheap stuff.  You know, as a show of good faith.

JACK:  You can’t buy me off with 500 dollar coins, copper.  It all stays until I have my money.

NEGOTIATOR:  But there aren’t that many silver dollars in the entire city!

JACK:  Then you best start asking the neighbors for sugar ‘cause I want my money!  And none of this new age gold coins with Sacagewasit on the front!  I want the good old JFK silver dollars.

NEGOTIATOR:  JFK wasn’t on the silver dollar, Eisenhower was.  Do you mean half dollar coins?

JACK:  Whatever, I just want to ones with JFK on them.

NEGOTIATOR:  Those haven’t been struck in more than a decade!  You want us to scrounge up ten million dollars in outdated fifty cent coins?

JACK:  And do it in one hour or else this booze factory is gonna see the hot end of a match.  I have it rigged so that if anything happens to me, the countdown begins and you won’t get in here in time to stop it.  AND MAKE SURE THOSE COINS ARE SHINY!!!

Jack hangs up.

JACK:  Hmmmm, I thought JFK was on the dollar.

CAPTAIN:  MAYBE YOU SHOULD DO A BIT MORE READING!

The sound of objects flying through the air and smacking Jack in the face.

JACK:  Ow!  Who just threw a book at me?!

CAPTAIN:  It is I, Captain Solecistic!  And I have come to foil your plans to rid our fair city of wonderful liquor.

JACK:  Never, you illiterate nuisance.  Don’t come any closer or I’ll blow up this whole place.

CAPTAIN:  Give up Jack of All Trades for you have no hope of winning.

JACK:  I fail to see how throwing books at me is going to stop me from blowing this place up.

Another book flies through the air and hits Jack.

JACK:  Ow!  Stop that!

A gun fires.  Footsteps.

CAPTAIN:  (laughing)  Bullets can’t hurt me.

The gun fires again and there’s a sound of glass breaking.  The footsteps stop.

CAPTAIN:  Jack, you fiend!

JACK:  Every step you take towards me, I’ll shoot another bottle.

Pause.  Then there is one footstep, followed by one gunshot and one bottle breaking.  Pause.  Three steps, three shots, three breaking bottles.  Pause.  Captain then starts to run back and forth to test Jack, and Jack shoots one bottle for each of his many footsteps.  Phone rings, and Jack picks it up.

NEGOTIATOR:  We heard shots and breaking bottles Jack!  What’s going on in there?!

JACK:  I told you people to stay back or there would be consequences.

NEGOTIATOR:  None of my people have moved.  We’re not willing to risk any whiskey; it’s not like they’re people.

JACK:  Then what is this caped moron doing here?

NEGOTIATOR:  Caped?  Oh lord.  Is it Captain Solecistic?

JACK:  Yes.

NEGOTIATOR:  Can we talk to him?

JACK:  It’s for you?

Captain walks over to the phone.

CAPTAIN: Hi this is – (to Jack) – I took four steps by the way.

JACK:  Thanks.

Jack shoots four bottles.

CAPTAIN:  This is the Illiterate Avenger.

NEGOTIATOR:  Cap, could you just sit this one out?  You know the commish doesn’t like you interfering with police business.

CAPTAIN:  Don’t worry about me, good sir.  I can’t stand by and watch my city’s sanity being pushed to the brink by some madman.

NEGOTIATOR:  We just don’t want to lose any more of the hostages than we have to.

CAPTAIN:  Hostages?

NEGOTIATOR:  The whiskey!

CAPTAIN:  Well, by my count, he’s only shot 16 bottles –

Gunshot.  Bottle breaking.

CAPTAIN: 17 bottles.

NEGOTIATOR:  That’s what we’re talking about, Captain!  We know you’re just trying to help, but we need to placate this guy until we can take him out safely.

Pause.  Captain punches Jack, and he falls down.

CAPTAIN:  Taken care of.  I just knocked him out.

NEGOTIATOR:  What?  NO!

A beeping/ticking starts counting down.

CAPTAIN:  Oh look, the bombs started doing something.

NEGOTIATOR:  Is it counting down?

CAPTAIN:  (hesitating)  I . . .  I don’t know.  But given the context of the situation, I would say yes.

NEGOTIATOR:  How much time do we have?

CAPTAIN:  I don’t really know.

NEGOTIATOR:  You mean you can’t read numbers either?

CAPTAIN:  Or maps.  I can tell you that it looks like a stick, a couple of dots, a broken pitchfork and what I assume is a deformed shrimp.

NEGOTIATOR:  Oh my god.  Get out of their Captain, it’s about to blow!  Just grab as many bottles as you can on the way out!  We can sell them to the highest bidder and live like kings!

CAPTAIN:  Don’t worry, sir.  I have an idea.

The sound of captain struggling and then heavy footsteps.

ANNOUNCER:  As the countdown counts down, Captain Solecistic lifts the bomb and carries it away from the town’s liquor supply.  Not being able to take it outside lest he injures the good, hardworking police force, the Illiterate Avenger has only one other choice.

Bomb explodes.  Dust and debris fall to the ground.  And then clapping and cheering.  Captain Solecistic has changed back into Parker Gently and is dictating to Robbie.

PARKER:  With quick thinking, Captain Solecistic lifted the bomb single-handedly and rescued all the whiskey in town.  What was once Ruby City’s Drink n’ Read Book Depository & Distillery is now just Drink n’ Drink Distillery, as the mighty Captain ensured that all the damage was done to the town’s library, who no one ever used anyway.  No one was harmed, saved for an evil Librarian, and may he burn in the depths of the abyss with demonic fire peeling the wicked flesh from his bloody bones –

ROBBIE:  What did you say Mr. Gently?

PARKER:  Nothing, other than that Captain Solecistic has once again saved the day!  You get all that Robbie?

ROBBIE:  Yes sir.

PARKER:  Now let’s go get a drink.

ROBBIE:  But I’m underage.  See my ID?

PARKER:  Uhhhhhhh – (throws card to the ground, slaps Robbie) – don’t contradict your elders, young man.  Now off to the local tavern!

ANNOUNCER:  And that is the conclusion of this chapter of the Captain Solecistic!  We’d like to remind all you young’uns out there that we do not condone giving minors any of the cool, refreshing, fun, will totally make you cool with all the kids in the neighborhood, pleasures of whiskey!  Tune in next week –

PRODUCER:  Maybe.

ANNOUNCER:  – maybe tune in next week for another exciting tale of Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger!

old radio

Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger – Part II

A radio clicks on.  Static is heard, as well as a high-pitched whine as the radio tunes to a good station.

ADVERTISER: . . . and you’ll never have to worry about blood stains again.  Now stayed tuned for the continuation of Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger, and remember that when the Captain needs to deal with those pesky bodily fluids, he uses Uncle Popee’s Excrete-A-Gone for the stains.

A trumpet fanfare.

ANNOUNCER:  Look up – er, down, at the street.  Who is that masked man, dashing through traffic and knocking over hot dog vendors with the greatest of ease?  Why, it’s none other than Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger, the superhero with the heart of a warrior, the strength of a giant, and the inability to read even the simplest instructions on a box of Poptarts that even a mentally challenged, blind 7-year old could read.

CAPTAIN: (from a distance) Hey!

ANNOUNCER:  He also has super-hearing!  In last week’s adventure, the newest villain to plague the streets of Ruby City, The Jack of Trades threatened to blow up the town’s whiskey distillery if, thereby crippling the entire adult male population, if his demands were not met.  The Captain dashed off to stop him, but he was foiled once again when he could not comprehend a map of the city.  Now he must consult with his greatest foe if he is to find a way to win the day!

LIBRARIAN: (stamping a book) And this is due back in two weeks.  Enjoy!

The sound of glass breaking.

CAPTAIN:  It is I, Captain Solecis –

LIBRARIAN:  Oh lord, not you again.

CAPTAIN:  Yes, me, Captain Sol –

LIBRARIAN:  Why can’t you leave us alone?!

CAPTAIN:  Captain –

LIBRARIAN:  First, you come and pee all over my desk, then you get struck by lightning, completely frying my computer, and now you’re over here every week asking for help reading every single piece of paper you find.

CAPTAIN:  Not every week.

LIBRARIAN:  EVERY WEEK!  And every time, you come through the window because you’re too stupid to read the signs pointing to the front door!  Huge glass windows are expensive, you know?!

CAPTAIN:  Well –

LIBRARIAN:  And you always hit me after I help you.

CAPTAIN: (boisterous laugh) Yes, we have fought many battles, and while you are a dastardly foe, I have always won in the end.

LIBRARIAN:  My medicals bills are stacking up –

CAPTAIN:  But I am not here to regale your patrons with our past encounters.  Now, I need your help to stop the newest villain threatening this city.

LIBRARIAN:  I’ve started to talk to a lawyer –

Captain slaps the librarian.

CAPTAIN:  I know you loathe me, and I you, and someday we shall fight until one of us is no more, but dammit man, there are more important things to worry about!  Don’t you listen to the radio?

LIBRARIAN:  There are no radios allowed in the library.

CAPTAIN:  The Jack of Trades is threatening to blow up the town’s whiskey supply, and I need your help to stop him.

PATRON:  The distillery?!

The sound of many people in the library fainting.

LIBRARIAN:  What the hell?

CAPTAIN:  (taking out a map) You may be a pretentious, smarmy bastard and I hate everything you stand for, but you’ve done fair by this city.  Let us join forces.  Read this map, and help me find the distillery so that I may stop the Jack of Trades before it is too late.

LIBRARIAN:  Oh god.

CAPTAIN:  Yes, call upon your evil and ancient eldergods, and call forth your powers to decipher any written language.

LIBRARIAN:  You really are stupid.

CAPTAIN:  You know all my abilities to comprehend any written symbols has been stripped away!

LIBRARIAN:  You’re not dumb because you can’t read, or at least not just because you can’t read.

Captain knocks a lamp off a desk and onto the ground.

LIBRARIAN:  Hey!

CAPTAIN:  We don’t have time for this!  That distillery is going to be gone soon, and I need to know where it is!

LIBRARIAN:  It’s right next door, you moron!

CAPTAIN:  What?

LIBRARIAN:  If you had opened your eyes before jumping through windows and knocking out all the men in the library, you would have seen that the distillery is the building right by this one.

CAPTAIN:  Oh.

LIBRARIAN:  The distillery is the company that funds this library!  That’s why we’re called Ruby City’s Drink n’ Read Book Depository.

CAPTAIN:  I always wondered about that.

LIBRARIAN:  The two buildings are even attached.  There is a hallway down the east wing that heads straight into the main show room of the distillery.

CAPTAIN:  By Jove!  I can use that hallway to sneak into the distillery, giving me the element of surprise!  Your powers and ancient knowledge helps save the city once again.  But the time for your wily incantations and archaic wordsmithing is over, and the time for brazen action is at hand.  Farewell, my greatest foe.  Today we have found a common ground and have become allies, but I swear someday I shall destroy you and your confusing building of . . . confusion.

Pause.  Captain slaps the librarian.  Pause.  Captain knocks another lamp to the ground.  Pause.

LIBRARIAN:  Get the hell out of my library.

Captain runs off.

NARRATOR:  And so Captain Solecistic is off!  But will he get to the distillery in time to stop the Jack of Trades, or will the distillery –

LIBRARIAN:  And library!  We’re attached, you know.

NARRATOR: Will he be able to save the distillery and library before the Jack of Trades incinerates it?  Will the Captain be able to find the east wing without being able reading any of the signs posted in the library?  Will the Librarian press charges against the Captain for breaking yet another window?

LIBRARIAN:  YES!

NARRATOR:  Tune in next time to find out the answers on Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger!

Fanfare plays.

A continuation from last week’s script.

Captain Solecistic: The Illiterate Avenger – Part I

Static and the high pitch whine of radio channels changing.  Bits of music can be heard, along with some Spanish, but then the radio clicks in on its wanted destination.

NEWSMAN: . . . and they never did find the other shoe.  That’s it for tonight’s evening edition of Newest Nightly News at Night.  We’ll be back at the same time tomorrow.  And make sure to catch our midday edition, the Daily Data Deadline Dispatch.  I’m you’re host Phillip G. Rubenfelderheimerloben, bidding you a good night.  Now stayed tuned for the latest installment of The Adventures of Captain Solecistic, the Illiterate Avenger!  But first, a word from our sponsors at Blunt Briefs, makers of the underwear that don’t mess around with small talk.

A jingle plays.

ADVERTISER: BUY OUR PRODUCTS!

The same jingle.  Silence.  Then a horn plays a small fanfare.

MAN 1:  The world is full of criminals and corrupt philanthropists.

MAN 2:  They take our money, burn our houses, replace our jobs with robots and eat our babies.

WOMAN:  Is there any one that can help us?!

NARRATOR: This sounds like a job for –

Theme music.

EVERYBODY: (with echo) CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC!

NARRATOR:  That’s right, CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC, THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!  When Ruby City’s top reporter Parker Gently accidentally angered Thoth the Egyptian God of Language by urinating on the reference desk in the library while drunk, he was cursed by having his ability to read stripped away!  But the same curse also granted him super strength, super hearing, mild toenail fungus, and an unquenchable thirst to fight crime!  Now he battles the forces of evil and stands for what is true and good and happy and . . . stuff. But he must keep his new powers hidden away or else!  What adventure will he get into today?!

The music changes from the theme to a jaunty tune.  The sounds of a newsroom.

NARRATOR:  We find our hero in the office of the Ruby Bugle’s editor-and-chief, Dirk Harpoon, dictating his latest story.

PARKER: “ . . . and he’ll never be able to abuse the good people of Ruby City ever again.”

CHIEF:  That’s a great story Gently, but it needs to be written down!  I can’t remember my wife’s name, let alone an entire story!

The phone rings.

CHIEF: (answering) Yeah?

RECEPTIONIST:  It’s Barbara on 3.

CHIEF:  Who?  I don’t know a Barbara.

RECEPTIONIST:  It’s your wife –

Dirk hangs up.

CHIEF:  You used to write all your stories down, then you suddenly stopped.  What’s the skinny on that?

PARKER:  But chief, it is written down.  That’s why Robbie is here.

ROBBIE:  (popping out from behind Parker)  HI YA CHIEF!

CHIEF:  Jesus the Lord Slurping Soda on the Cross, I didn’t even see ya kid.

PARKER:  You get all of that Robbie?

ROBBIE:  Yeah, I got it all Mr. Gently, but you sure do talk fast.  My hand’s cramping all up.

The sound of someone slapping Robbie.

CHIEF:  Shut up and be grateful.  When I started in the business, I acted as an eraser when they printed a mistake.  5000 copies of the Bugle corrected by me and my tongue.  And did you hear me complainin’?

ROBBIE:  No.

CHIEF:  That’s right!  The ink was made with lead back then and I would pass out before I could say a word.  Not that it mattered as my tongue would be useless for the next thirteen days and the fumes from the machines did a number on my memory.  (Pause.)  What was I just talking about?

PARKER:  You were saying how much you liked my story.

CHIEF:  Oh yeah.  But start writing it down!

PARKER:  Don’t worry chief, I got it covered.  (to Robbie)  There’s a good boy; here’s a condom.

ROBBIE:  Gee, thanks Mr. Gently.  And it’s new!

PARKER: Now walk that story to the printer.

ROBBIE:  I won’t just walk there Mr. Gently, I’ll run!

Robbie leaves.  A door opens and closes.

CHIEF:  What a slow news day!  Nothing is going on around here!

NARRATOR:  Just then who walks in?  Why it’s none other than –

A knock.  The door swings open.

PARKER:  Stacy Bateman, top columnist at the Ruby Bugle and currently having a torrid love affair with yours truly.

Pause.

STACY:  I hate that you say that every time I walk into the room, Parker.

CHIEF:  What is it Bateman?  I’m busy talking about how nothing is going on.

STACY:  Turn on your radio, Chief, you’ll want to hear this.

A radio is turned on.

REPORTER:  This just in!  A terrorist calling himself ‘The Jack of Trades’ is threatening to blow up a local building.  Here’s an excerpt from his message to the police now:

JACK:  I demand the city hand over to me ten million dollars in unmarked silver dollars by the end of the day, or I will blow up Ruby City’s beloved bourbon distillery!

CHIEF:  NO!

The chief falls over.

STACY:  Chief!

PARKER:  He’s fainted.

REPORTER:  At present, there are no authorities at the scene as they all have mysteriously fainted after hearing the message.  It seems that Ruby City’s whiskey days are coming to a close.

The radio is turned off.

PARKER:  We have to do something!

STACY:  But what can we, masters of the written word, do to stop a mad man like that?  In these situations, the ability to read and write doesn’t mean a darn.

The sound of more people falling over.

STACY:  Oh no, it looks like the art department has heard the news.  I’m to go and help.

PARKER:  Reading doesn’t mean a darn?  Well, this looks like a job for –

An explosion, and a trumpet flare.

CAPTAIN:  – CAPTAIN SOLESISTIC, THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!  I have to stop The Jack of Trades before it’s too late.  The radio says he’s at the bourbon distillery, so I only have to look at a map!

He unfolds a map.  Pause.

CAPTAIN:  Damn.  I forgot that maps must be read.  This villain is more dastardly than I thought; always one step ahead.  It looks like I’ll once again need to turn to my old nemesis to help me in my quest to help save the city.

Dramatic music.

NARRATOR:  Who is this mysterious nemesis?  And can the Captain trust him, or will he be betrayed?  Who is the Jack of Trades, and why does he want to blow up all the sweet, lovely, life-giving whiskey?  Will the Captain be able to find his way to the distillery before it’s too late?  (pause)  You might want to get on that, by the way –

CAPTAIN:  Oh.  Right.  Up, up, and to places!

Sound of a glass breaking as the Captain jumps through the window.

NARRATOR:  For the answers to these questions and more, tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of CAPTAIN SOLECISTIC: THE ILLITERATE AVENGER!!!  Now a word from our sponsor.

SPONSOR:  Got a fresh apple pie waiting to be served?  Got some cocoa that isn’t quite ready?  Got a lonely Friday night and no friends?  Then get Hick’s All Natural Whipped Cream, the only whipped cream made with real ingredients, magic, fairy dust, and minute traces of LSD.  Hick’s Whipped Cream – Made with real cream, by real hicks, with real whips.

Radio clicks off.—Script to be concluded next week.  Created with Time For More Cake; check out his blog. —

Last Minute Science Project

Titlecard – BASED ON TRUE EVENTS

A car zooms into the parking lot of a grocery store, swerves, and comes to a short stop in front of the door.  A young college student hops out of the passenger seat and turns around to talk to the driver.

STUDENT 1 – (breathing heavy from stress) Okay, I’ll go in and get the bleach, food coloring, baking soda, two cartons of milk and the turkey baster.  You go to the Home Depot and pick up three two-foot long pieces of 2×4, some paint brushes, four neon lightbulbs, a bag of fertilizer and a tube of caulking.

STUDENT 2 – Got it.

STUDENT 1 – We’ll meet back at the apartment and get going on the Chemistry project that’s due tomorrow, pull an all-nighter, and hopefully be done before class starts at 10am.

STUDENT 2 – We should have done this two weeks ago when we got the assignment.

STUDENT 1 – Yeah, but we sat down and watched the box set of LOST while drinking pina coladas and banana daiquiris instead.  Frankly, I don’t regret it.  Do you?

STUDENT 2 – Never in life.

STUDENT 1 – That’s what I thought.  If we buckle down and concentrate, we can get this done in no time.  Professor DickwadDoesn’tAllowExtraCreditDipshit does not get to win.

STUDENT 2 – Agreed.

STUDENT 1 – We can do this.

Student 1 closes the door and the car zooms off.  Student 1 runs into the store, which has a sign out front saying “NEWLY REMODELED”.  He frantically looks around, searching for bleach.  On the Aisle 4 banner, he finds ‘Cleaning Products’ and sprints down the aisle.  Because he is not looking where he is going, he runs into a stack of cans of soup, which are marked half-off.  He picks up some and then just brushes the rest of the cans to the side of aisle with his foot.  He reaches the end of the aisle where the bleach should be, stops and turns to the shelf.  He is breathing heavily and starting to sweat.  He stands there in silence, a look of confusion slowly growing on his face.

STUDENT 1 – Nuts.

Instead of bleach, the shelf is packed full of peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and other nuts.  Student 1 simply gawks at the shelf.  A store clerk, who is passing by with a floor buffer, looks over.

STORE CLERK – Sorry, we haven’t changed the signs yet.  Bleach is in Aisle 9.

Student 1 runs past him to go to Aisle 9, where he slips on the newly buffed floor and falls right on his ass.

TRUE STORY.