pandemo (pandemo) wrote,
pandemo
pandemo

Act I, Scene II [PatM] (WC: 3437) F


http://pandemo.livejournal.com/643903.html


INT. CORYDON - LUDLOW'S STEAK HOUSE - BAY WINDOW TABLE - NIGHT


Obie gets a pin with a colored head from the waitress behind the east bar.


        OBIE
    Come on, party-pooper! You've got to put a
    pin in your hometown on the wall map.

        JEREMIAH
    Where I live now, or where I was born?

        OBIE
    Do 'born'; it's probably further away. At least
    mine was.

Obie drags Jeremiah between loaded tables to the wall map on the west side of the restaurant.


        JEREMIAH
    And here I thought you were so shy and
    backward.

        OBIE
    Safety in numbers, you know. And, an audi-
    ence always helps, right? I can't believe
    you're an actor. I always imagined they were
    'on' all the time, obnoxiously so.

        JEREMIAH
    Does that mean you like me now?

Jeremiah slants his charismatic grin at her, which several tables-full of patrons relish.


        OBIE
    Let's not get carried away, now. Jes' poke
    that there pin in.

        JEREMIAH
    You're cute when you let your grammar go all
    to pot.

Jeremiah reaches up to poke a pin into the California coast, hitting blue.


        OBIE
    Geographically impaired, right? You just put a
    pin in the Pacific Ocean. You were born at
    sea? Your mother is really a mermaid, and
    you were adopted when you were found
    stranded on the strand shortly after birth?
        JEREMIAH
    Mermaid, sure. And my father was a narwhal
    impersonator. Actually, I'm not wearing my
    glasses. Try San Francisco.

    Is there a plug-in handy?1
        OBIE
    What?

        JEREMIAH
    You know, like electric current.

        OBIE
      (mumbles)
    Last of the red-hot lovers and all that. Talk
    about non sequiturs.

Jeremiah overhears parts of Obie’s comments.


        JEREMIAH (SIMULTANEOUSLY)
    And they say MEN always have sex on their
    minds!

        OBIE (SIMULTANEOUSLY)
    Current. Like the eddies swirling around us all
    night, as unlikely as that is.
(grumbling to herself)
    Bet I have fifty years on him if I have a day!

Obie starts back to their table with Jeremiah trailing behind her.

Jeremiah smacks his forehead.


        JEREMIAH
    Duh, buh! Electric current. As in to plug in
    my laptop.

        OBIE
      (mutters to herself)
    Plug in his lap... top or bottom -- still sounds
    off colored to me. Damn man is a walking sex
    machine and knows it. Pure SOAS.

        JEREMIAH
    What? What’s that? I’ve never heard that
    word before.

        OBIE
    Sex on a stick.

        JEREMIAH
    You quite terrify me, woman!

Obie wanders back to their table by a different route, dodging Jeremiah.


        OBIE
    I get what I'm supposed to be attracted by
    and to, but what in the world is drawing HIM
    to ME? And why would he expect me to be-
    lieve it enough to respond?

Obie begins to sit. Jeremiah appears magically, slides her chair in at the last possible moment, yet manages it smoothly, making it seem as if she expected it to any lookers-on, then sits opposite her.


        JEREMIAH
    What're you nattering about over there?

        OBIE
      (speaks more loudly, but
      still too softly for the atten-
      tive diners nearby to hear)
    Too high and mighty to ask the waitress to
    plug you in yourself? Afraid she'll jump your
    bones in public?

        JEREMIAH
    No. I can and do function alone successfully
    most of the time, being fully trained and all.
    Does O. B. stand for Old Bat, Old Biddy? Or
    maybe something worse?

Raising his eyes to meet those of the WAITRESS, Jeremiah calls her wordlessly to him.


        OBIE
    Look at that! He's magnetized. She's iron fil- ings! One glance and she comes running.

        WAITRESS
    Buffet, order off the menu, or both? Anything
    from the bar?

        OBIE
    Just keep the ice water coming here.

Obie rolls her eyes toward Jeremiah.


        JEREMIAH
    Menus, please. Water's fine. And a plug in
    for my laptop?

Setting two menus down, the waitress leaves. Jeremiah meets Obie's eyes.


        JEREMIAH
    They all come running except for you. YOU
    seem immune. I came to you.

        OBIE
    So you did.

Jeremiah takes Obie's hands in his.


        OBIE
      (Sings softly, in no discerni-
      ble key.)
    "Heaven bless us; I'm just asbestos," to adapt
    a line from an old song.

        JEREMIAH
    Never heard of it.

        OBIE
    Or maybe just don't recognize it as out of
    context and out of tune as it is.

Jeremiah retrieves his laptop from an empty chair at their table as another waitress approaches, carefully laying a cord along the wall where it will not become an obstacle, winding up at their table with the working end in hand, throwing a triumphant smile at Jeremiah, as if she'd just given her very life to save him from some dire fate.

Jeremiah returns the smile, touching her hand unnecessarily as he removes the plug and hooks up his laptop, then dismisses her by turning back to Obie.


        JEREMIAH

    What's the song's name?

        OBIE
    I don't know. Slide that thing over to me
    while you go reserve your room and I'll tell
    you.

Jeremiah turns his laptop to face Obie. Obie speaks without looking at him.


        OBIE
    "I Won't Dance", Nelson Riddle, 1957.

Jeremiah stands as he speaks.


        JEREMIAH
    I'm not even sure my MOTHER was born by
    then.

He moves to her chair, escorting her to the buffet.


        JEREMIAH
    No, she wouldn't be. She had me when she was 19... Just how ancient are you, anyway?

        OBIE
    Nineteen twenty-seven.

Standing side by side, Obie and Jeremiah dish up lettuce salads.


        OBIE
    You?

        JEREMIAH
    Nineteen seventy-eight. A fifty-one year gap
    between us! Awesome!

Taking both plates, Jeremiah sets them on their table, then seats Obie again.


        JEREMIAH
    That's nearly three generations. You could be
    my grandmother!

        OBIE
    Never having been a mermaid, I think I'm to
    be spared that embarrassment.

Obie types.


        OBIE
    Here in the "Cast of Characters" is a physical
    description of Cu.

Obie reads.


        OBIE
    Blue-eyed Indian, 6' 7" or so, long black hair,
    generally worn loose.

Obie glances up.


        OBIE
    And keep in mind, I think wigs are highly arti-
    ficial and can be spotted readily. Whoever
    plays the role will own the hair permanently
    for the duration.

    Thinking about movie fake-outs reminds me
    of the time I was at the screening of the origi-
    nal Black Stallion movie.

Int. Arabian National Championship Horse Show - ringside patron’s boxes.


        OBIE (V. O.)
    The movie moguls had bussed a whole bunch
    of patrons of the National Championship Ara-
    bian Horse Show boxes over to the preview,
    as a big promotional event, and as I'd been
    picking the brain of the acknowledged Arabian
    Horse bloodlines and conformation expert,
    Gladys Brown Edwards, I not only got scooped
    up, but ended up sitting with her, the pro-
    ducer and his entourage of industry flunkies,
    as at the time, she worked for the top Arabian
    Horse magazine, the Arabian Horse World.

INT. MOVIE THEATER SCREEN


Insert footage from The Black Stallion of the boy and horse swimming off the desert island.


        OBIE (V. O.)
    All through the movie up to that point, the
    classic Crabbett style of Old World Arabian
    had been used, a black stallion called Cass
    Olé, who was there on the show grounds, as
    was Kelly Reno, the eleven year old boy who
    played Alec Ramsey. Cass Olé had a short,
    thickish neck, well-arched, and a short back.

Display the start of the race scene from The Black Stallion.


        OBIE (V. O.)
    For the race scene, however, the animal
    switched to a tall, lanky new Egyptian import,
    *EL MOKHTAR. With the first long distance
    side shot, the entire audience began to laugh.

INT. MOVIE THEATER - INCLUDING THE SEATING AREA - SCREENING RACE SCENE


        OBIE (V. O.)
    One movie official became highly agitated.

INT. MOVIE THEATER - SEATING AREA - PRODUCER’S ROW


        MOVIE MOGUL
    Why are they laughing? That's not a funny
    spot.

        GLADYS BROWN EDWARDS
    Because of the switch in horses.

        MOVIE MOGUL
      (sputtering indignantly)
    How can they tell? We died the markings to
    match!

INT. LUDLOW’S - OBIE AND JEREMIAH’S TABLE


        OBIE (V. O.)
    Giving a White-eyes like YOU colored con-
    tacts, a long-haired black wig, and finagled
    camera angles to enhance your height would
    be the exact same thing to people in the
    know.

Jeremiah hangs his head.


        OBIE
    An insult to the audience's intelligence, and
    we can only pray that they would respond
    with laughter, not rotten tomatoes.
        JEREMIAH
    Okay, I get it. You don't need to beat me up
    with it. It's just that I came and got you be-
    cause I WANT TO PLAY CU.
        OBIE
    You need to consider Mick, the sheriff. He ac-
    tually KISSES the girl, whereas Cu just mar-
    ries her, repeatedly, in tribal ceremonies she
    does not understand, and nobody thinks to fill
    her in.

Obie sets her fork down.


        OBIE
    Mick is with her naked on screen, and is on screen longer than CU, I bet, if the stuff were timed out.

Jeremiah pins Obie with his eyes.


        OBIE
    She marries CU because it seems to be ex-
    pected, without ever kissing him on screen,
    sort of by propinquity, the same way you
    seem to get your girlfriends. You star with
    them and voilá, next thing you know, you're
    buying them an expensive house, which you
    later gift them with and leave, still friends.

        JEREMIAH
    Where'd you get such intimate information? I can't believe what I'm hearing.

        OBIE
    I Goggled you on line.

        JEREMIAH
    When?

        OBIE
    When I was considering who should play what
    parts in my screenplay. I checked out all the
    young Turks IMDB generated until I got sick of
    it.

Obie reaches over, touching Jeremiah's hand.


        JEREMIAH
    It is UNNERVING in the extreme for you to
    read all that into the junk that's printed about
    me on line.

      (thoughtfully)
    If I'm being honest here, however, I have to
    admit that you're amazingly accurate in your
    assessment, considering the tripe you evalu-
    ated from.

        OBIE
    The chicks love you, of course, but their guys
    say impolite things and think you're a fake.
    Guys seem to be threatened by you, so per-
    haps that’s why they’re so negative.

Jeremiah sets his fork down and picks up Obie’s hand.


        OBIE
    And Wikipedia. I read bios on Wikipedia until
    I was ready to nail my mouse to a fence post
    and go horse around instead.

Jeremiah rubs his fingers across Obie’s hand.


        OBIE
    And read the reviews, especially Roger Ebert
    of the Chicago Sun-Times. He’s a real kick.

    Then I signed up for DVD's By Mail and began
    watching people’s movies so I had some idea
    of their range.

        JEREMIAH
      (incredulously)
    You watched all my movies?

        OBIE
    Goodness, no! I strongly dislike horror, so I
    skipped all those, and most of the B flicks.
    But I watched Pearls Before Swine repeatedly.
        JEREMIAH
    Then that was just an act when you didn’t
    recognize me when I first came to your door?
        OBIE
    Good heavens, NO! You weren’t dressed
    the same… Well, you HAD CLOTHES ON when you
    came to my door… Not a Speedo.
        JEREMIAH
    What’s wrong with the way I look in a
    Speedo?
        OBIE
    Absolutely nothing. The old 'If you've got it,
    flaunt it' rule obviously applies, especially in
    your business. And NOBODY is denying that
    you've got it. You don't have to get so huffy.
    But, I wouldn’t have opened the door to you
    had you been wearing one.
Obie pauses, frowning.


        OBIE
    Who’d ever believe you came to get ME
    dressed like that? Get real. Iowa’s a far piece
    from any stargazer’s hangout.

        JEREMIAH
    Branson.

        OBIE
    Double or triple the distance to Des Moines.

Obie pauses.


        OBIE
    Anyway, you could play Mick in a heartbeat.
    You're part Irish; he's Irish. You're similar in
    age. He's tall; you're tall. He's well built;
    you're well built, but you're now the age
    where you're going to have to be careful not
    to start to go to fat.

Jeremiah glances down at his skin tight shirt, stretched over an extremely fit torso.


        JEREMIAH
      (soundlessly)
    Fat?

        OBIE
    He's morally and ethically honorable, loyal,
    gutsy, and no pansy.

    I don't know you well enough to know how
    you stack up in that regard, but I sense you
    want to keep your hometown values, not get
    sucked into a Hollywood high roller lifestyle.

        JEREMIAH
      (incredulously)
    Fat?

        OBIE
    You'd be great in Mick's role. It's a far more
    demanding one than the Indian do-gooder's.

        JEREMIAH
    Then who would be CU?

        OBIE
    I have no idea. But it WILL be a Native American, not a fake.

        JEREMIAH
    I never get the girl. I'm always just an "also ran".

        OBIE
    Hang around for the Sequel and you do -- Alice, the town librarian.

        JEREMIAH
      (thoughtfully)
    A bedroom scene, too, come to think of it.

        OBIE
    We're sure getting our cart before our horse.
    The book isn't even fully edited and ready to
    send off, and here we're arguing casting for
    the movie tie-in.

    Quit playing the devastated lover. I'm way
    too vulnerable to withstand the onslaught of
    your grin. You have no real feelings for me.
    I’m just excess baggage on the train trip of
    your life.

        JEREMIAH
    That’s the one thing you’ve said in all your as-
    sumptions that I disagree with. I’ve read everything I can find of yours on line.

    How did you decide that I don't feel any con-
    nection to you? You're the most intriguing
    woman I've ever met. I came down here be-
    cause YOU have something that I want. You.

Jeremiah cups her hand between both of his.


        JEREMIAH
    I've had pretty, plenty of pretty; I've had
    young, talented, well-educated, well-thought
    of, rich, successful, sensuous, sexy, seductive,
    you name it, but they didn't last. I’m still sin-
    gle, still unsatisfied, and still searching.

    I feel hollow. There's got to be something
    more.

Obie meets his eyes for a long moment, then concentrates on her water glass.


        OBIE
    Give it up. I’m so old, I've forgotten how.

Jeremiah backs off.


        JEREMIAH
    Who else did you check out?

        OBIE
    I don’t really remember. Steve McQueen.

        JEREMIAH
    He’s DEAD!

        OBIE
    So I discovered. Tony Curtis. Harrison Ford.
    Robert Redford.

        JEREMIAH
    These are your idea of YOUNG TURKS?
    They’re OLD!

        OBIE
    Give me some credit here… When I saw their
    current Wikipedia photos, I discovered that.

    Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Josh Hartnett,
    Leonardo De Capri, Orlando somebody with
    gorgeous dark eyes.

        JEREMIAH
    Orlando Bloom? Pirates of the Caribbean?

        OBIE
    Maybe. I never saw that one.

        JEREMIAH
    At least the last three aren’t thirty yet. I
    think your definition of YOUNG needs some
    work.

        OBIE
    I ended up signing up for one of those DVD by
    mail services to check out their acting, movie
    by movie, through their entire available reper-
    toire.

        JEREMIAH
    In the mean time, you need to come to Cali-
    fornia with me to pitch your series to the
    movie moguls.

        OBIE
    The scuttlebutt on the street says that only
    the young Turks will be considered.

        JEREMIAH
    You'll never know until you try. If I arrange a
    meeting with the studio big wigs and round
    trip transportation, will you accompany me?

        OBIE
    Will they even look at an unfinished product?

        JEREMIAH
    What you pitch is the idea, and a time line if
    they show interest. You don't have to hand
    them hard copy. What you want to do is show
    that your project has "legs", that the public is
    interested in it.

        OBIE
    How do we know that? Who's ever reacted to
    it?

Jeremiah pushes his empty plate aside and pulls his laptop into position.


        JEREMIAH
    Let me see. Here's a good part.

Looking up, he eyeballs the full tables more intently, as if counting heads.


        JEREMIAH
    Looks like an audience to me. Slide around
    here, and let's do a reading for them.

        OBIE
    This isn't California. These people won't...

Obie is effectively cut off as Jeremiah stands and raps his fork sharply on the side of his water glass.


        JEREMIAH
    If Obie and I were to present a segment of an
    upcoming book and movie, would you all be
    willing to oblige us by listening?

Chairs SCRAPE as people readjust to face the bay Jeremiah and Obie’s table sits within.


Jeremiah takes Obie firmly by the hand, locking his fingers through hers as he helps her around the table to be able to see the scene displayed on his LAPTOP.


        JEREMIAH
      (to audience)
    I'll be reading the part of the local sheriff,
    which isn't much of a stretch, as some of you
    have probably seen me doing a role like that
    on screen already.

        AUDIENCE
      (An audible roll of MUR-
      MURING ripples wall to wall,
      as people recognize him, or
      explain who he is to neigh-
      bors.)

        JEREMIAH
    I think a lot of you already know Obie. She
    says some of you are her former students, or
    teachers in the local school systems, or their
    relatives. She's going to be reading the part
    of Despina, who is supposed to be 26 years
    old. I know that's a bit of a stretch, more
    likely a digit reversal, but if you just close
    your eyes and let your ears build the proper
    picture, you'll discover that her voice is great
    and your mind can take you there.

        AUDIENCE
      (Soft LAUGHTER meets this
      sally.)

        JEREMIAH
    Just don't get her too embarrassed. She says
    she's no actress. I believe her, but an actress
    isn't what we need right now.

Obie pantomimes opening a door, surveying a room, filling in what she's seeing in a stream of consciousness rap.

Obie and Jeremiah present a scene that lasts about fifteen minutes, garnering applause and a crush of people to shake hands with them.


        AUDIENCE
      (enthusiastic claps and
      whistles)

        OBIE
    That sure woke THEM up, anyway. By the
    way, we'll be in the paper. I saw editors from
    two local papers, one in Seymour and the one
    here. We'd better pick up a scrapbook. Your
    clipping service probably never heard of these
    places, much less believe they have papers.
    If we play our cards right, we might even
    make the Des Moines Register.

        JEREMIAH
      (laughs)
    Oh, I don't think that will be a problem. I'm not
    even sure my clipping service has heard of
    Des Moines.

        COOK
    Obie, I hope you don't mind, but I videoed
    your performance. It was so precious. I'm so
    thankful it coincided with my break time.

        OBIE
    Oh, Pat, that's fine.

Obie and Pat hug warmly.


        JEREMIAH
    Me, too!

Jeremiah pulls Pat into his arms, hugging her tightly, then lightly busses Obie’s forehead, drapes an arm over her shoulder, and tucks her against his side, eyes shining.


        OBIE
    May I get your footage copied, Pat?

Pat nods affirmatively.


        PATRON
      (shouts, slightly drunk)
    Encore! Encore!

Jeremiah glances at the clock.


        JEREMIAH
    I have to go sign in at the motel before
    eleven.

        SECOND PATRON
    I'm the owner; consider yourself signed.

        JEREMIAH
    Gotta love small towns. We can continue, in
    fact, I'd be thrilled to -- every actor just
    LOVES an appreciative audience, but we need
    a country/western singer for the next part.
    We've got the words up here on the laptop if
    there are any takers. Marty Robbins's "Paso".

A bashful patron is pushed forward by public acclaim.


        LOCAL COUNTRY/WESTERN SINGER
    I know the lyrics. My wife has just slipped out
    for the guitar.

        JEREMIAH
    Well, we'll just read up to that part, then let
    you take over.

Jeremiah looks over the crowd, now standing room only, a wide grin on his face.


        JEREMIAH
    Must be ESP. This crowd seems to be grow-
    ing. What's the capacity here?

        THIRD PATRON
    We've got the sheriff here, too, so I'm sure he
    can grant you a waiver.

While the sound system gets set up and eager beavers move their table out of the way, Obie and Jeremiah chat softly, hands locked.


        JEREMIAH
    When we get done here, why don't you drop
    me off and drive on home? I can give you a
    call in the morning.

        OBIE
    Isn't that car your baby? Never saw a man
    yet who wasn't silly over his fancy car. What
    if a deer jumps out in front of me and totals
    it?

        JEREMIAH
    I'll live. I may cry a bit, but I'll live.
      (Sings, in a surprisingly
      pleasant baritone.)
    They stole my car.


PERFORMANCE MONTAGE – LUDLOW’S STEAK HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

-Jeremiah and Obie read, hamming it up

-audience members take the various roles as needed

-Jeremiah and Obie read, drinking from bottled water while the other reads

-audience members share hilarity and good will

-Jeremiah and Obie read, an empty water bottle lined up in front of each of them, as they continue to sip from new ones

-Pat returns to the kitchen after her break

–Pat’s hand-held DVD camera switches hands until it runs out of tape

-Jeremiah and Obie read, five water bottles in front of them, until both pantomime that they are slightly hoarse

-several other cameras provide different angles

-someone pantomimes volunteering to collect footage from them all and collate it onto DVD's

-local lights-out is reached

END MONTAGE

______________________________
1. Actually, his geography IS off. A narwhal's range is in the ARCTIC Ocean, not the Pacific Ocean.


Last updated 6/20/08 formatted dialog and parentheticals, matched with laptop version. 6/12/08; 6/22/07.

Word Count: 3437
Reading Level: 4.5
Tags: patm
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments