- Club Tweet
- Ramadan Press Conference
- White People Say the Darndest Things
- A Few Good Men Left
- Urban Time Machine
- Scary Hours
- Life’s Not Fair
- You Have Writer
- Think Piece Telethon
- Canadian Mexican Standoff
- Supervillain Gregg Popovich
- The Only Truly Renewable Energy Source
- Historical Studio Notes
- Dear New Inmate
- Honest Everything
- Millennial Film Reviews
- The Internet Personified
- Smartphone Eulogy
- A Brief List of Petty Laws That Should Exist
- The Official Guide to Being Late
- If Arguing Was a Sport
- Socks and Adulting
- Post-Convo Monologues
- Adult Yearbook Superlatives
- Racist Compliment
- The Rap Guide to Shelf Help
- As a Black Person
- All You Can Eat
- The Real C Word
- Local News
- Vegan Chicken Omelette
- Ugly Babies and the Parent License
- Racism Connoisseur
- Fast and Furious Pranks
- White Tyrone
- Inappropriate Jokes Anonymous
- The Name Game
- Your Slogan Is a Lie, Let’s Fix That
- No Ragrets
- The Year Ahead in Headlines
- Double Positives
- Poems From All Of Your Friends
- White Daydreams and Hobbies
- Unintentional Comedy Babies
- Global Warming Bars
- World Panics After Wikipedia Finally Runs Out Of Money
- Crack Mirror
- Most Common Last Words by Age Group
- A Major Facebook Announcement
- Welcome to the Special Place in Hell
- Product Endorsements That Should Definitely Happen
- I Will Never
This better be worth it. This better be worth it. This better be worth it.
This was all Melanie thought as she stood in line outside the club. It was a chilly October night and while her wool jacket did a decent job of keeping her torso and thighs warm, she was definitely starting to feel the cold in her knees and ankles. She tried hard not to think about how warm she would normally be at this time of night, watching TV in her living room underneath a blanket.
This is definitely not going to be worth it.
Underneath her jacket she was wearing her favourite black mini dress – although she wasn’t sure she could still call it that seeing as how she hadn’t pulled it out of her closet in about eight months. Eight months. That’s how long it had been since she’d gone out like this. Her friends had invited her here weeks ago and after running through several thoroughly researched excuses over the past few weekends, she knew she had reached the end of the line. She finally had to show up. So here she was, in front of the club wearing a black dress and cat ears – the ultimate Halloween cop out costume.
“Welcome to Club Tweet!” a boyish looking bouncer announced as Melanie got to the front of the line.
Behind him was another bouncer, a bigger, older, surlier one. Melanie guessed that the former was the brains of the operation while the latter was the brawn. She began pulling out her driver’s license to hand to him when the younger bouncer laughed and stopped her. A flood of thoughts instantly rushed through Melanie’s mind:
Had it really been that long? Did she no longer need ID? Was she….old?
“You must be new here” he announced a little too loudly. “We don’t need ID here at Club Tweet. Unlike some of our competitors you can really be whoever you want here.”
Melanie wasn’t sure what that actually meant so she did what she always did in this scenario – nod in fake agreement. The younger bouncer handed her a small black marker and a name tag. Clubbing sure seems to have changed. She filled out the name tag with her first name and began pasting it to her jacket when the bouncer stopped her again.
“I’m sorry but you’re actually not going to be able to use that name in here. It’s already been taken.”
“But it’s my name. And I thought you said I could be whoever I wanted.”
“Yeah it’s just kind of a club policy thing. Someone’s already claimed it and everyone in here needs to have a unique name.” The bouncer gave her a look of empathy and handed her a fresh name tag.
Melanie decided to add play it safe this time and wrote down her full name, including her middle name which she really hated. She handed it back to the bouncer who reviewed the name tag and then looked at his clipboard. He then looked at both again before giving Melanie a sheepish grin.
“You’re never going to believe this…”
A few minutes – and name tags – later and Melanie was finally inside Club Tweet. It was loud. Really loud. Melanie couldn’t really understand the garbled auto tuned music that was being blasted throughout the room but everyone else clearly seemed to be enjoying it. The decor was mostly white with some light blue trim thrown about. Whoever designed this was clearly going for a futuristic look but it really didn’t work. Ironically, the club actually kind of looked like a leftover film set from the 80s. Think Miami Vice but even cheesier.
The first thing that Melanie noticed as she scoped out the club was that apparently she had filled out her name tag all wrong. Everywhere she looked she saw name tags with cool Halloween related celebrity puns like “Christopher Walken-Dead”, “Matt Demon” and “Blake Deadly”, while her boring looking name tag simply read “Melanie Beharrie Douglass”. There also seemed to be a lot of people wearing egg costumes which she really didn’t understand. Melanie couldn’t see her friends in the crowd and was just about to pull out her phone to try to reach them when she suddenly felt someone watching her. She looked up to see…Rick Ross?
It was just a costume but the young man wearing it was definitely committed to the part. He had what appeared to be pillows stuffed underneath his shirt, a big fake black beard on his face and a not at all realistic looking bald cap on his head.
“I’m sorry, can I help you?” Melanie said to Rick Ross.
“Do you like music?” he replied.
“Uh, yeah I guess.”
“Great! I made this mixtape that I think you should really check out. If you’re into music I’m sure you will love it. I can even spit you a little preview of what’s on it if you want.” As Rick Ross continued his sales pitch he began reaching into his shirt and fiddling with his “fat”.
Melanie was dumbfounded. Was this guy seriously asking her to buy his mixtape? Here? Now? In the club?
“It’s only ten dollars”. Ross said, smiling slightly. He pulled a fresh cd from underneath his shirt and was just about to hand it to her when —
“IT’S YOU? AGAIN?! DON’T NOBODY WANT YOUR TRASH ASS CD MAN. YOUR TAPES ARE LIKE CONSTIPATION BRUH KEEP THAT SHIT TO YOURSELF!”
Melanie could recognize that voice anywhere. That was Nia Harris. Melanie’s friends had finally found her. Nia, or “Necrota Fanging” as her name tag read, was one of Melanie’s oldest friends. Nia was always the loudest of the group back in school – a fact that had never really changed.
“AND LET ME GIVE YOUR DUMB ASS A TIP. IF YOU WANNA SELL A RAP MIXTAPE, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE DRESSED IN BLACKFACE. THAT’S LIKE REALLY OFFENSIVE. I MEAN I SHOULD PROBABLY JUST SLAP YOU RIGHT NOW!”
Melanie watched Rick Ross’ confidence deflate as he quickly realized this sale was not going to happen. She couldn’t see his eyes behind his large sunglasses but his body language was certainly a lot more timid as he quietly slinked away. Melanie turned to Nia and the rest of her crew:
“Wow, thanks for coming to my rescue ladies. So is this a thing now? People are really just hawking off their mixtapes inside the club?”
Nia pulled Melanie in close and gave her a patronizing smile. The kind your parents might have given you when you asked as about sex as a kid.
“Listen Melanie. I’m sure I’m going to be saying this a lot tonight but this is Club Tweet….Hennything is possible here.”
After spending about half an hour catching up with all of her friends and another half an hour going through the obligatory ex boyfriend
bashing talk, Melanie was finally settled in. And sure, maybe it was because she was a few cocktails in but she was actually starting to enjoy herself. She had even made a new friend, one of Nia’s coworkers named Zola, who told the most amazing and entertaining stories she had ever heard. Melanie had just met Zola and was already pretty confident that her life story was going to be turned into a made-for-TV movie at some point.
It felt really good being around her old friends – almost like they were back in school again. Some big things had changed since then; Nicole had a kid now and had to leave early and both Layla and Tania were now married, but for this one night it was almost like none of that had even happened. If anything, it was the small changes that were most notable, like how some of the girls had picked up this unusual habit of repeating anything funny said in the conversation out loud in the club to no one in particular. Melanie also had to find out the hard way that she wasn’t as cool as she thought because it seemed that modern slang had evolved a lot since she last went clubbing. Apparently “washed” means tired now and “eggplant” means penis? Melanie sat there trying to wrap her head around how this worked – anatomically speaking – when her train of thought was interrupted by Nia.
“OH MY GOD! IS THAT JUSTIN BIEBER?!”
Melanie turned around at the table and sure enough, there he was. His Holy Bieberness. Well it was actually more like Justin Bieber, two bodyguards, a giant entourage and a flock of girls – but you get the point. As Bieber walked through the club to the back of the VIP section, the mob surrounding him got larger and larger. Melanie was enthralled, it was like watching a really strong magnet pickup more and more metal at a junk yard.
“Lets go over there! Maybe we can get a picture.”
Melanie wanted to protest this change of plans and yell out “HE’S JUST A PERSON!” but a quick look around the table made it pretty clear that she would be in the minority. In fact, the only person who seemed as nonchalant about this was Zola who had apparently met Bieber the Great before.
“It was a crazy night! Remind me to tell you all about it sometime. Who knows? Maybe JB even remembers me?!” Zola bragged.
The girls all grabbed their drinks and shuffled over to the edge of the VIP section. Melanie had seen people gawk at celebrities before but nothing quite like this. This was insane. Pretty much everyone within a 50 yard radius of Bieber was either talking at or about him. And while some of the people on the outer fringes of the mob were trying to remain cool about the whole thing, the ladies up front were completely losing their shit. You know those cute videos of teenage girls freaking out over meeting a pop star? It turns out that it’s a lot less cute and a lot more sad when the
girls women are middle aged and being awkwardly consoled by the man that they presumably came to the club with. So far Melanie had overheard countless marriage proposals, several graphic sexual offers and even a couple of open threesome invites thrown JB’s way.
Melanie could feel herself being pushed into the crowd as more and more people joined the mob behind them. She looked across the club and could see that the dance floor was basically empty. In fact, that whole side of the club was pretty sparsely populated. And yet here everyone was, packed in tighter than the joint that Yung Bieber was currently rolling. It reminded Melanie of when she used to keep score at her younger sister’s soccer league. The kids hadn’t really figured out the concept of spacing yet so they all pretty much crowded around the ball no matter where it went. Melanie had just about had enough when Zola leaned in:
“Let’s try to get in closer.”
Zola grabbed her hand and began pulling them deeper into the crowd. Melanie watched in awe as she contorted the both of them around dozens of people. Zola wasn’t a big girl by any means, but she certainly knew how to throw her weight around. A few nudges and calculated pushes later and suddenly both of them were right there at the front of the mob. Justin Bieber was at most 10 feet away from them.
“HEY JUSTIN! IT’S ZOLA! DO YOU REMEMBER ME!!” Zola shrieked, nearly bursting Melanie’s eardrum.
Justin did not flinch. He kept his head buried in his phone. Melanie was kind of impressed in a weird way. It takes a special kind of sociopath to be able to ignore a crowd of people screaming your name and attempting to take long distance selfies with you. One man standing next to Melanie even appeared to be giving “play-by-play” of the whole situation to someone else over the phone.
“NO, IT’S NOT BLUE. IT’S DEFINITELY MORE OF A DARK PURPLE,” he yelled over the crowd.
“OH THE PANTS? YEAH THOSE ARE BLUE. THEY’RE JUST JEANS. I THOUGHT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HIS SHIRT,” he clarified moments later.
Melanie could feel a little bit of claustrophobia kicking in as the crowd pushed her into the man. Is this what society has come to?
“HE SEEMS TO REALLY LIKE THIS SONG. I THINK IT’S THE NEW 2 CHAINZ,” the man continued.
She could feel the nausea getting worse and immediately began fighting her way back out of the crowd.
Melanie took a deep drag of her cigarette as she stood outside the club. She turned up the collar on her coat which, once again, did nothing to help her exposed legs from the cold fall air. Melanie’s New Year’s resolution for the past three years had been to quit smoking but yet here she was. She was seriously considering just cutting her losses and moving on to another New Year’s resolution at this point. It’s too late she thought. I am what I am, and what I am is a smoker.
She watched as a black sedan parked across the street from her. Moments later the driver emerged, he was a skinny young latino man and boy did he seem furious. Melanie was sure he had a bluetooth earpiece on and was yelling at someone over the phone, but from her perspective it really did look like he was just kind of crazily arguing with himself. After a few minutes of bickering in Spanish, the young man abruptly hung up the phone. He then crossed the street and approached Melanie:
“I’m the Uber. Are you Jessica?”
“Nope, sorry. I’m Melanie. It’s the other extremely basic white name. I can see how you would get confused.”
“Well that’s unfortunate. To be honest, I would say you’re more of an Ashley but who am I to judge your parents right?”
The man turned and began retreating back across the street.
“And why exactly is it unfortunate?” Melanie cheekily yelled out after him.
The young man turned around. “It’s just rare that I get a passenger at this time of night on weekend that isn’t a drunk mess. And one that isn’t drunk and as beautiful as you – that’s like winning the lottery type odds.”
Melanie blushed and watched as he got back into his car and slowly did a U turn. His car stopped right in front of Melanie and the young man rolled down his window.
“Hey Melanie, here’s my card. If you ever want to hang out or anything, give me a call okay?”
The young man handed Melanie his card and quickly drove off. Melanie looked down at the card:
(555) 434 6854
I GIVE RIDES ALL DAY & ALL NITE
Melanie flipped the card over to reveal its exquisite finishing touch – a high-definition photo of his sweaty, veiny penis.
As the absurdity of what had just happened washed over her, she felt a tap on her shoulder. An older gentleman and a short woman, both wearing bright pink shirts, stood behind her. They had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
“Hi, we noticed you mentioned Uber! Well we just thought you should know that Lyft is having a Halloween special tonight. If you give this coupon to your driver, they’ll be able to give you a 20% discount on your trip. You can even use it multiple times!”
“I can’t believe he didn’t recognize me!” Zola protested.
Melanie struggled to stifle a laugh as she sipped her drink. All of the girls had finally reunited back at the bar and were trading stories about the craziness that had split them all up. Apparently Prince Bieber and his crew left the club just a few minutes after Melanie went out for her cigarette. By this point, the club had returned to its normal state and it was almost as if none of that had just happened. Zola, in particular, still couldn’t seem to comprehend that Bieber did not recognize her and as she went into her story about why he should have recognized her, Melanie completely zoned out.
She stared at the various flyers posted on a pinboard behind the bar. There were flyers for all sorts of events, a contemporary art and dance show called “TumbleArt”, a poetry show called “Snapp Fridays”, and even a weekly warehouse rave called “Cloud of Sound”. Melanie found it odd that Club Tweet would promote competing events and this apparently registered on her face because the bartender immediately came over.
“What’s up? Are you enjoying yourself?” the bartender asked. He looked about 30 something with slick brown hair and a full but well groomed beard.
“Yeah I’m okay. Sorry, I was just checking out those flyers, I didn’t mean to call you over – although faster customer service is definitely one of the few pros of my chronic resting bitch face.”
The bartender laughed.”I really wasn’t sure whether you were deep in thought or deeply pissed off. I just thought I’d play it safe.”
“Yeah, I was just thinking that it’s kind of weird that you guys promote other people’s events that compete with yours.”
“I guess it’s just part of the philosophy here at Club Tweet. We want to be the hub where people hang out and find out about cool new things. Even if that means that they go off and do those cool new things for a while. Ideally, they will remember that they found out about it here and will continue to come back and hang out.”
Melanie was impressed. “Wow, you seem to know quite a bit about this place. Have you worked here long?”
“Yeah I guess you could say that. In a way I’ve kind of been here since day one. My name’s Jack.”
Jack offered a handshake and Melanie introduced herself.
“So is this your first time here Melanie?”
“Yup. I don’t really go out much anymore but my friends insisted I had to come check this place out.”
“And? Did it live up to the hype? Will you be back?”
“Yeah it definitely surpassed the hype in a lot of ways. I mean this place is kind of crazy. Although I’m still not sure if it’s crazy in a good way or crazy in a bad way. I’m used to going to Club Face which is a little more…tame. Hey, how come you guys don’t have any flyers for Club Face events? I mean aren’t they the biggest club in the city?”
Jack looked offended, maybe even hurt. “We don’t just put anything on the board. It has to be something we support. And we certainly do not support Club Face. They have horrible generic music, overpriced drinks and the worst most uncool clientele in the business – what is there to support? Fuck Club Face. In fact one of our biggest goals as a club is to avoid ending up like Club Face no matter how big we get.”
Melanie could see that Jack felt pretty strongly about this so she decided to change topics.”So do you like being a bartender?”
Luckily for Melanie, someone immediately called Jack over to the other side of the bar, relieving what seemed like several thousand pounds worth of awkward tension. She turned back to her friends and could see that Zola was still telling her story. Although her stories normally felt as vivid as a movie, this particular story seemed to be as long as one. Melanie cracked a smile as she realized the irony – normally she would be at home at around this time falling asleep to a movie anyway. She pulled out her phone to set up an Uber to take her home. The closest driver was 15 minutes away. She triple checked to make sure his name wasn’t Jesus and then booked him. As she sat there reflecting on the night a short slightly frumpy looking man sat next to Melanie at the bar.
“Hey Ashley! Or was it Jessica? Sorry it was Melanie right?”
Melanie didn’t get it. He seemed to be talking to her. Was he trying to hit on her? Be funny? Because either way he was failing.
“It’s a call back,” he explained, “you know, like back there when you were talking about super basic white girl names?”
Melanie suddenly realized what was happening. “Have you been following me around the club? Are you stalking me?”
“Nah, I just happened to be coming in while you were away on your smoke break. Don’t flatter yourself bitch. You’re not that hot.”
Melanie turned and pretended to be really intrigued by Zola’s story.
INT. PRESS CONFERENCE – DAY
DR. MOHAMED ABDULLAHI stands at a podium in front of a crowd of reporters.
Once again, I’d like to thank you all for listening so attentively to our Ramadan press conference. In addition to our website which has been updated, the press packet you’ve all received contains some additional basic facts and FAQs about the month. I’m sure some of you are eager to ask questions however, so I’m happy to open up the floor.
Dr. Mohamed points to a reporter on his right.
NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)
Nancy Jeffries, CNN. When you say refrain from food and drink, what type of beverages are we talking about? Is it just a month off from alcohol or is it all beverages? Where do you draw the line?
Well actually, Muslims are completely forbidden from drinking alcohol year round so that’s not too much of a change. However, Ramadan fasting does apply to all other food and beverages.
Yes, even water. Next question?
Dr. Mohamed points to his left.
BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)
Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. Sorry, she just asked my question. I was going to ask about water.
There is an awkward pause as we all question why it took Becky so long to put down her hand.
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
Ethan Miller, Fox News. What is your response to those who’ve been saying fasting is un-American?
Who’s been saying that?
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
Did these people happen to mention why it would be un-American?
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
Everyone knows that America’s all about freedom and choosing to restrict yourself so severely just seems kind of...un-American.
I’m not sure I would 100% agree with that first statement but as far as I’m aware American freedom includes religious freedom and the ability to choose your own beliefs and rituals. Think about it this way, people choose to diet all the time – is dieting un-American? Next question.
BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)
Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. How do you guys not die?
BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)
Well I would think that 30 days without food or water would result in, you known – death?
We break our fasts every night. I guess we’ll have to add that to next year’s press packet.
NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)
Do Muslim’s brush their teeth during Ramadan? Does that count as breaking your fast?
Nope, since toothpaste isn’t a food that is ingested it would be fine.
NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)
What about gum? Sometimes I swallow my gum by accident, would that be fine?
Yes, since you didn’t intend to eat the gum that would also be fine.
NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)
I read somewhere that we eat eight spiders a year in our sleep. What does Islam have to say about this? Say I was dreaming about food, would that count as intent?
I’m not sure. I’ll have to reach out to some scholars and get back to you on that one.
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
Can you comment on a recent study that indicates that Ramadan hunger related anger is fuelling terrorism?
I haven’t heard of that study can you tell me more about it?
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
I think that we can all agree that most Muslims are pretty angry and I know I get angry when I’m hungry so maybe the two are related?
Once again, not sure that I’d agree with that first part. And without concrete proof, connecting those two claims just seems a little outrageous to me but I’ll have to look through that report before I can comment. Can you send it to me?
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
Sure..It’s been quite a while since I’ve read it so I’ll have to see if I can find it.
Dr. Mohamed nods and points to another reporter.
BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)
Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. Can you tell me a little more about the benefits of the Ramadan diet?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a diet but yeah I guess there could potentially be health benefits. I’m not a medical doctor though so I can’t really comment on that.
BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)
But your name’s Dr. Mohamed? And I’m pretty sure I heard you referring to it as a diet earlier in this press conference.
I have my doctorate in Islamic Theology and I was just using dieting as a somewhat analogous choice earlier, sorry for the confusion.
NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)
My neighbour who’s a Muslim once told me that it’s extremely offensive in his culture to turn down a gift or invitation. If I invite him over for dinner in Ramadan what would he have to do? Say yes or say no?
I don’t want to speak for your neighbour but I think most Muslims would say no. Ethan, you get the last question.
Nancy pumps her fist in joy. She clearly doesn’t like her neighbour.
ETHAN MILLER (FOX)
How do you think Ramadan fasting affected Barack Obama’s effectiveness as President?
Come on Ethan, you really think you would fool me with that one? But for the record, Obama’s not a muslim.
For some reason Dr. Mohamed winks slowly as he answers that last question. As the press conference wraps up and all the journalists begin leaving the room we close on Ethan from Fox news. He’s clearly frustrated and a look at his notepad reveals several potential outrageous headlines that have been crossed out. He then smiles and writes out a new one “Potentially fake Muslim doctor questions America’s freedom and refuses to respond to Ramadan rumours. Terrorist? We’ll let you decide.”
INT. STUDIO – DAY
THE OPENING GRAPHICS AND THEME MUSIC of the show begin. It initially seems like your typical wacky game show intro except the camera work is a little too frantic and the studio audience has no white people in it.
STUDIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
It’s now time for White People Say the Darndest Things! As always, the white people on today’s episode are not scripted actors and have not been told what to say. Now let’s get going and bring out our host – STEEEEVE HARVEEEEEY!!!
STEVE HARVEY swaggers out onto the centre of the studio stage. What should be a quick walk to centre stage takes forever due to his excessive waving, grinning and pointing to audience member as they cheer him on.
Welcome to White People Say the Darndest Thing everybody! On today’s show we have not one, not two, not three but four white people! That’s right – double episode!
The audience cheers at this news.
To my left we have Dick and Phyllis O’Callahan!
DICK and PHYLLIS (60s) blankly stare at the camera. Dick sweats excessively under the stage lights and they both look uncomfortable.
And to my right we have Tanner and Cheryl Hawthorne!
TANNER and CHERYL (20s) seem much more comfortable on stage. Tanner waves at the camera while Cheryl blows a kiss. Steve walks over to Dick and Phyllis.
Now Dick, do you like your name?
Yeah, I love Dick.
But even you have to admit. It doesn’t have the best connotations.
Screw the connotations Bill. It’s my name and I’m proud of it.
I’m sorry. Bill?
I’ve been watching your shows since forever Mr. Cosby so I feel like I know you pretty well. I was kind of hoping we we’re already on a first name basis.
I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding. My name is Steve Harvey. Bill no longer hosts the show.
You’re not Bill Cosby? What happened to Bill?
He’s been a little busy with his own issues lately. We can talk about it during the commercial break.
So are you related? You just look so alike!
Nope not related. Let’s talk about your family instead. You have any kids?
We have a daughter named Shannon and a dog named Aaron that’s pretty much like our son.
Dick takes a photo out of his wallet. It’s a picture of their dog messily kissing Shannon on the mouth.
Are you guys all so affectionate?
Don’t try to make this weird Bill. There’s nothing wrong with a little peck between family members. We all kiss each other.
And what does Shannon do for a living?
She’s a DJ, model and actor. I always joke that she has more jobs than a Mexican!
The studio audience, which laughed at every absurd line prior to this, does not laugh at her joke. A shot of the crowd shows unanimous disapproval.
What about you guys? What do you guys do?
We’re retired so we haven’t been doing much recently. Mostly just writing and eating. I really enjoy writing correction requests to newspaper editors and Phyllis just started a foodie blog so we’ve been out there eating up a storm!
What’s the most exotic thing you guys have eaten Phyllis?
Definitely this small Portuguese place we tried a while back. I think it was called Nando’s?
Steve gives his infamous look of exasperation into the camera and walks over to Tanner and Cheryl.
So where you guys from?
C’mon now. Ain’t no white people from Atlanta. Cheryl, where you really from?
Well I’m 3/8ths Scottish, 1/8th British, 4/12ths German , 2/13ths French and 1/19th Italian.
(fake counting on his fingers)
Damn, all that math just to add up to...one white person, that’s crazy! How long have you two been married?
Well how long y’all been dating?
We’re brother and sister.
So? I hear that’s not a problem down south!
Steve gives a cheesy grin to the camera as the audience laughs
Now Tanner, that’s a bit of an odd name for you isn’t it. I mean we’ve already established that you’re pretty white. Do you know who named you that?
My mom I guess.
Tanner points to a MIDDLE AGED LADY in the audience.
What’s your relationship with your mother like?
I mean most of the time we’re pretty cool. You know except for when she’s acting like a bitch.
The audience gasps in unison. Mothers in the crowd begin shaking their heads and frowning in disappointment. Tanner’s own mom begins to blush in embarrassment.
Can you give me an example of a time where she was being a bitch?
I never said she was a bitch. I said she was acting like a bitch. There’s a difference. Like sometimes she won’t let my friends come over. Or she’ll enter my room without knocking. The worst is when she buys diet Pepsi even though she knows I think it tastes like shit compared to regular Pepsi.
And how does your mom normally react when you tell her she’s acting like a bitch?
Usually she acts like an even bigger bitch. Like she’ll take away my Xbox or something.
What else does she do to punish you?
That’s it. She takes away my Xbox. What could be worse than that?
The audience laughs. Steve turns to Cheryl.
Cheryl, I understand you haven’t seen your mother or any of your family for a while?
Yeah, I just came back from a year of travelling! It was my gift to myself for graduating college and getting my first job.
An entire year of travel? Sounds expensive! What did you study that pays enough to afford all that?
I double majored in communications and humanism. I actually had to dip into my savings to pay for the plane tickets and my parents helped out with accommodations and food. Nothing too extravagant though – just hostels. I really wanted to slum it with the locals to get the authentic experience you know?
So where are you going to be working now?
I’m actually not sure if I still have a job lined up. I finally got the chance to go through my email after being off the grid for so long and my boss seems way less chill about my travelling than I thought he’d be..It’s cool though, I think I want to go to graduate school anyway.
And what are you planning on studying this time?
Food nutrition I think. I got really into veganism and buddhism when I was in India. I even got this tattoo – it says curry in Sanskrit. Ironic right?!
As Cheryl shows her tattoo to the camera, Steve Harvey returns to centre stage.
Well it’s certainly been interesting meeting all of y’all but we’ve got to get to the final section section of the show – the free for all. This is the part of the show where we open up the floor to both families to talk about a current events issue. Today’s issue is the recent NFL protests. Dick, you seem like a big NFL fan – what are your thoughts on these protests?
I hate them. When are these blacks going to finally quit crying racism? You’re millionaires for god’s sake! It’s like you said Bill, maybe if they pulled up their pants and didn’t look so thuggish the police wouldn’t be so afraid!
Steve Harvey opens his mouth to remind Dick that he’s not Bill Cosby before changing his mind.
What about you Cheryl? You seem like you disagree..
Yeah, as a fan of hip hop music, I’m pretty aware of the issues the black community faces so I’m completely in support of the protests. In fact, I even went as Colin Kaepernick for Halloween.
She pulls up a picture on her phone and shows it to the camera. It’s photo of her in a Colin Kaepernick jersey and blackface.
And you Tanner? What are your thoughts?
I’m all for protesting, just pick a better way. I don’t think they should be disrespecting our flag and our veterans.
Excuse my French Bill but what the hell does kneeling have to do with our veterans? Stop fence sitting young man. Do you think the blacks are whining or do they have a point?
Look I do think the police brutality issue is definitely overstated. Black on black crime is a magnitude worse and we don’t seem to be as concerned with that.
Exactly! This is a man that has his head on straight Bill!
And even beyond this issue, I just feel like we’re moving towards an era of reverse racism . I mean the number of scholarships and internships my girlfriend is able to get just because she’s Asian and female is insane!
Wait, your girlfriend’s Asian? You can do better than that son.
Nobody asked for your opinion grandpa.
Now come on now Tanner. There’s no need for name calling. Dick what’s your problem with Tanner dating an Asian?
I don’t have a problem with it. I just think it’s a sign that he couldn’t find someone better. Someone more like him.
Fuck you, you can’t just talk about my girl like that! You think I won’t swing on you cause you’re old?
Tanner lunges toward Dick.
It’s about time someone gave your generation a whoopin!
Dick stand up and begins waving his cane aggressively.Two burly security guards jump on stage to separate the two. Steve Harvey takes this moment to address the camera.
Well that’s all the time we have today on White People Say the Darndest Things. We hope you can join us next week!
The credits begin to roll. They are completely normal except the first two which are tiny and scroll through at a much faster speed than the rest. These happen to say “Created By – Bill Cosby” and “Executive Producer – Bill Cosby”.
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
At first glance it looks like just another television show. Heavily marketed but poorly reviewed primetime courtroom drama guest starring Aziz Ansari. As Aziz fidgets between the two expensive looking defense lawyers that flank him on either side, you can’t help but wonder why he’s doing a random television guest spot. Isn’t he a little too famous for this? Maybe he blew through all his Parks and Rec money. Maybe he has a cocaine problem. Maybe he was just bored.
It isn’t until the prosecutor calls Aziz by his real name and not some obviously made up one like Tom Haverford that it becomes clear that this is not a television show. This is real life. Aziz Ansari is really on trial for crimes against feminism.
Now Grace, are you sure Aziz understood you were uncomfortable? Is there any chance that he didn’t hear your protests?
No he definitely did. When I told him “Whoa slow down..next time” he poured me another drink and said “Now does this count as a second date?”
RANDOM MALE FROM THE BACK OF THE COURTROOM
Yeah he did! That’s my boy Rico Suave Ansari!
Order in the court room!
The judge bangs his gavel a few times and the heckler is quickly escorted out of the court room.
You may continue counselor.
What happened next?
We began to watch an episode of Seinfeld.
DEFENSE LAWYER ONE
Objection your honor. Relevance?
Your honor, they didn’t make it to the end of the opposite episode. It’s a testament to how horny and pushy he really was. That episode is a certified classic!
You’re right, that’s actually my favorite episode. Overruled.
The prosecutor looks down at his note in an attempt to recall his line of questioning.
(in a terrible accent)
No objection for you!
The entire courtroom is stunned. There is a horribly awkward silence. Was that supposed to be a joke?
Soup nazi -- get it? Sorry, I definitely waited too long before saying that. I’ll leave the comedy to the professionals in the room. Go ahead counselor.
Which Seinfeld episode was this?
The one where George does everything the opposite of how he normally would’ve.
Did you make it to the end of the episode?
Because about halfway through Aziz took of his pants and gestured toward his penis.
Gestured how? Can you demonstrate?
Grace thinks for a moment before emphatically pointing to her crotch using finger-guns on both hands. The prosecutor turns towards the court reporter.
Let the record show that Grace is pointing towards her penis. Well not her penis, Aziz’s. She obviously doesn’t have one. Although she might. You never know these days, they’re getting pretty good at hiding it. Also, she wasn’t actually pointing at Aziz’s penis. It was more like she was demonstrating how Aziz pointed at his own penis....You know what I’m sure you know what I mean.
The prosecutor turns back towards Grace.
What happened next?
I performed oral sex on him.
The crowd begins to murmur at this revelation. We overhear a few individuals quite clearly.
Damn girl! Just like that? She’s really freaky-deaky huh.
RANDOM MAN ^
If that’s assault then I guess we’re all Bill Cosby. You know what I’m saying?
The judge once again calls for order in the courtroom before allowing the prosecutor to go ahead.
Did you want to perform oral sex on him?
So why did you perform oral sex on Aziz if you didn’t want to?
Because I felt I had to.
And there you have it. The defendant, a powerful Hollywood white male -- oops, I guess I forgot to update that part. Sorry, your Honor. I’ve been getting a lot of these.
The prosecutor quickly makes some adjustments to his speaking notes (mostly scratching out some stuff) before continuing.
The defendant, a powerful male Hollywood person of color used his male privilege to intimidate my client into sex. Just like Harvey and Louis and the rest of them. They’re all exactly the same thing and since Harvey was found guilty then it’s clear that Aziz should too. I rest my case.
The judge finishes taking her own notes and then glances at her watch.
We’ll continue after lunch, counselors. See you all in an hour.
An extremely worried looking Aziz watches as the judge packs up and exits back into her chambers. His two lawyers lean in front of him to quickly confer.
DEFENSE LAWYER ONE
It’s more than just the haircut, did you see her key fob?
DEFENSE LAWYER TWO
No. What’s wrong with her key fob?
DEFENSE LAWYER ONE
She drives a Subaru.
DEFENSE LAWYER TWO
We are so fucked.
INT. COURTROOM – LATER – DAY
Aziz stands in front of an extremely butch looking female bailiff with his right hand out. He is being sworn in.
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Aziz turns to take a seat at the witness stand. As he does a small grin creeps up on his face.
Not really the circumstances I imagined myself first saying those two words. Although I hear that they can cost you quite a bit here in California.
The judge does not smile at this. Both of Aziz’s lawyers eye him nervously.
Jeez. Tough room huh.
Aziz awkwardly sits alone for a while before the prosecutor strolls up to the stand.
Mr. Ansari, I understand that you claim to be feminist. Do you know what consent is?
Yes. It’s a synonym for agree. I can even use it in a sentence if you’d like. For example, my lawyers convinced me to CONSENT to testifying at this trial even though its stupid and a waste of time.
Do you believe Grace consented to sexual intercourse on the night in question?
Is it possible that she might have been intimidated or coerced by you into actions she truly didn’t consent to?
I’m 5’4 and 140 soaking wet. Not really the intimidating type. In fact, of the countless rejections that I’ve gotten from casting directors over the years that’s probably the only one I’ve never heard. Too kooky? Definitely. Not leading man material – whatever that means? All the time. But never intimidating.
Mr. Ansari you didn’t answer the question. A simple yes or no will suffice.
Yes, I suppose it’s possible. It’s also possible that in two minutes a large meteorite will land on and put us all out of our misery. Unlikely but possible.
Mr. Ansari did you explicitly ask Grace for her consent prior to intercourse? Let me remind that you are under oath and obliged to answer truthful---
DEFENSE LAWYER 1
-- Objection, your honor! He pleaded innocent for God’s sake!
Sustained. You don’t have to answer that Mr. Ansari
Let’s be honest, we’re not really here to get answers anyway.
I just think we’re all entitled to hear the defendant actually declare his innocence.
Come on Mr. Ansari, you can answer the question if you want to.
DEFENSE LAWYER 2
He’s badgering the witness, your honor!
Aziz is no longer annoyed. He’s straight up mad.
You want answers?
I want the truth.
You’re a woman. You can’t handle the truth.
Did you ask for Grace’s consent prior to any sexual intercourse.
It’s not that simple. I did what I had to do.
DEFENSE LAWYER 1
At this point both of Aziz’s lawyers faces are basically screaming “shut your mouth right now”.
Grace is telling the truth isn’t she? You didn’t ask did you.
You’re God damn right I didn’t. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have a penis? It’s like your life is going perfectly fine when one day puberty hits and suddenly every waking moment of your life is controlled by this unquenchable monster between your legs. Now I know a lot of women hear that and think well I have urges too. Bullshit. Women don’t cat call on the off chance that the random person from across the street might really want to have sex. Women don’t wake up with explainable and uncontrollable morning wood on the morning of their fathers funeral. Women don’t furiously masturbate to Jessica Rabbit cartoon pornography. But I can guarantee you that every man in this room has at the very minimum done at least one of those things.
There is a split reaction from the men in the crowd. Some nod in wholehearted approval. Others scrunch their faces in utter confusion. One man who looks like he’s sitting to his significant other just smiles sheepishly.
Look, my dick has caused me a lot of grief in my life and it is definitely the stupidest part of my body by far. But it is absolutely brilliant at one thing – trying to get me laid. And you know what my dick has surmised is the number one thing you can do to ruin your odds of that happening? Explicitly asking – “Do you want to have sex with me?” Fabio himself couldn’t get laid after saying those words. Hell, I’m pretty sure even the most hardcore bra burning, armpit hair growing, free bleeding feminist doesn’t have sexual fantasies where her handsome boy toy leans in between kisses and asks “Hey you totally consent to this right?” Talk about a fucking buzzkill.
Aziz stews for a while before continuing angrily.
And where’s the accountability on her part? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those cavemen that thinks “Hey she was wearing a miniskirt she deserved to get raped” but she admits she never actually said she didn’t want to have sex. She’s a grown ass woman with two working feet and a working mouth that she could have used to get herself out of the situation. So yeah, I might have assumed she was interested after I took my pants off and she chose to stick around my apartment but if that’s an assumption then so is everything else in life. I don’t know that my car is going start every morning when I stick my key in the ignition but it’s a pretty safe assumption. I don’t know that the brakes will work every morning when I press that little black pedal but it’s a pretty safe assumption. I didn’t know Grace wanted to have sex that night but it was a pretty safe assumption. The only difference is for some reason I’m the one getting blamed when things didn’t work out instead of the faulty car.
It takes a few seconds for everyone to realize that Aziz’s angry rant has come to an end. An eerie silence takes over the room.
Mr. Ansari that was certainly quite the outburst. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anything like that in all my years on the bench. Given that you have admitted guilt in open court, I have no choice but to find you guilty. Is the defense prepared to proceed with sentencing?
Aziz’s two lawyers look extremely shell-shocked by all of this. They turn towards each other and begin frantically whispering.
Just give it to me, your honor. My career is basically over now anyway.
Are you sure about this Mr. Ansari? You can consult with your representation.
Aziz looks strangely unfazed by all of this.
Yes, I’m sure.
Ok then. Mr. Ansari, your admission of guilt combined with the extreme lack of remorse shown by you throughout this trial has made this a relatively easy decision to make. I sentence you to harshest possible sentence for this crime – 12 years in maximum security prison. Bailiff, please escort Mr. Ansari out of my courtroom.
(sarcastically towards the crowd)
Awesome. My agent’s going to love this. Straight to dvd here we come.
As the crowd loudly murmurs at this unexpected turn of events, a mild mannered middle aged man attempts to get the attention of the judge.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
Excuse me. Ma’am? Hello? This is absurd.
After waving his arms at the judge proves futile, the man nonchalantly pulls out a pistol and shoots it into the air. Everyone freezes except for a random woman who quickly draws her gun and points it at him.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
Jesus. Is this what a guy has to do to get any attention around here? This is a courtroom for heaven’s sake.
Mmmhmm. It would be a straight white guy waving a gun around and starving for attention.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
What does my race and gender have to do with anything?
There you go again with your white male privilege. Unfortunately for some of us, race and gender are related to everything.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
You see that’s the problem with you people. You always want to --
Now what do you mean by “you people”?
MIDDLE AGED MAN
Really? You’re going to try to imply that I’m racist because we disagree? Come on. I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. I’m not going to stoop that level of --
I see. So you’re referring to a group that you feel is below you?
The middle aged man points the gun directly at the random woman.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
Can you just let me finish! That’s not at all what I’m trying to say!
The man takes a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself before starting again. As he does the butch looking bailiff re-enters the courtroom. She quickly pieces together what’s going on and unholsters her own gun. The middle aged man is now outmatched 2 to 1.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
All that I was trying to say before you rudely interrupted me was that people such as yourself seem to think all sexual misconduct is the same. I mean a pat on the butt clearly doesn’t deserve the same outrage as child molestation!
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
Hey haven’t I see you before? Aren’t you a famous actor or something.
Yeah from that movie with the math and the apples.
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
No that’s definitely the other guy. The dumb one.
MIDDLE AGED MAN
Matt Damon damn it! My name’s Matt Damon.
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
Well it looks like you have a decision to make Matt and let me state the obvious just in case you’re not as good at math as in the movies. We have two guns you have one.
Matt thinks about it and then drops his gun. He is immediately tackled and handcuffed by the butch looking bailiff.
Relax, It’s not even real. I got it off set.
The bailiff begins to drag Matt out of the courtroom (to where Aziz got lead off to) when the judge interrupts.
Hold on a moment. Mr. Damon? Why is your name so familiar? Do you have any upcoming court cases or maybe an outstanding warrant for your arrest or something?
Probably. I’m a white male remember? But it also could be because I’m really fucking famous. Haven’t you guys ever seen any of the Bourne movies? Ocean’s 11? 12? 13?
Make sure to run him in the system for anything outstanding before you hand him off to the police.
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
(holding up his phone)
Just did a quick google boss. He’s had quite the past. I mean take a look at some of these headlines.
The bailiff begins reading from the phone.
BUTCH LOOKING BAILIFF
Matt Damon calls for diversity in front of the camera not behind it. Matt Damon casting is another case of Hollywood whitewashing. Matt Damon tells gay actors to get back in the closet. There’s so many of these. I’m just going to go ahead and guess that he’s going to be in jail for a long, long time.
Well at this point in most conversations I’d say it was nice to meet you Mr. Damon but it honestly wasn’t. Get him out of here.
The bailiff leads Matt Damon away and as he does he locks eyes with a large bearded man in the crowd. A closer look reveals the man is Ben Affleck. The two share a tender goodbye moment as Dido’s “Thank You” plays and Matt Damon is taken away.
INT. GIANTCORP CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
The almost-laughably-long boardroom table is surrounded by a handful of sharply dressed suits who quietly make small talk with each other. The chatter dies down as soon as JEFF JEFFERSON (old, cocky) walks in
Time is money guys. Let’s get started.
Jeff takes a seat at the head of the table.
Really? Nothing huh. That joke usually kills.
One executive (Frank) near the back begins to laugh maniacally.
(between fits of forced laughter)
Because we sell time machines guys...so time actually is money for us! Very funny sir!
It’s not that funny, Frank. Keep it in your pants. Have some self respect.
Jeff surveys the room. Like most executive boardrooms, it’s very male and very pale.
It looks like everyone’s here. What about on the conference call? Debbie is anybody missing?
Jen from legal had a flight delay so she’s gonna be a little late in joining but every one else is on the call.
Great, legal tends to ruin the fun most of the time anyway. Just let me know when she joins the call and we’ll get her up to speed quickly.
Jeff turns to address the room.
So as you all know, our machines have been severely under-performing in the urban demographic. I’ve called this meeting to see if there’s anything that we can do about that. Richard has your market research group been able to make leads on this? Or is this pointless endeavor like....like a restaurant trying to get certain customers to tip more you know?
Jeff doesn’t notice the uncomfortable silence in the room.
HEYYOOO! God, I love it when legal’s not here. Anyway’s what do you have for us Richard?
Richard hesitates as if considering whether to address this introduction. He decides not to.
So um our team was actually able to find a number of interesting potential root causes. For example, there was far less brand recognition in more urban demographics which is indicative of misallocated marketing resources. We also found they were more sensitive to the relatively high entry price point. Finally and probably most importantly, we realized that urban demographics demonstrated far less enthusiasm for going back in time.
Can you put that into numbers for me Dick? I’m a numbers guy.
Sure, 70% of black respondents in our survey selected the least interested response which was “I have interest in going back in time at all whatsoever.”
Any common reasons why?
We didn’t have any further prompts in the survey to ask why but I can definitely take a guess at one big one.
Well slavery, sir.
Of course! How’d we miss this? Shouldn’t we have caught this earlier?
In theory this is the type of stuff our focus groups should catch but there were some weaknesses
There was only one black person in the sample focus group.
Richard looks down at his notes.
Fatima Withers, age 36. While most of her answers where about average, she did seem to have a weird obsession with going back in time in order to ‘give that thang up to Tupac’.
Jeff thinks this over for far too long before turning towards the right side of the room.
That settles it, Tom I’m going to need R&D to quickly build out a version of the product that only goes forward. This’ll help ensure we don’t miss out on potential African-American market share.
TOM, the meek looking head of R&D looks confused by this request.
Well sir, that’s technically impossible. The laws of physics dictate that any motion --
You know what else was considered impossible? Fitting every song you could ever possibly listen to into the palm of your hand. But we have iPhones now. You know who did that?
Steve Jobs. He proved that if you believe hard enough you can make the impossible possible. So I promise you Tom that this is possible. You know why? Because I believe in you.
Tom, isn’t sure how to respond to this random pep talk.
What are you still doing here buddy? Get on back out there and let’s start making this possible!
A flustered Tom grabs his stuff and heads out of the room.
INT. GIANTCORP HALLWAY – DAY
Tom whips out his cell phone as soon as he exits the room.
Hey Rajeev, guess what he wants now?
No of course not. Why would he want a blowjob?
I don’t know you said guess so I did.
He wants a machine that only goes forward in time.
Is that motherfucker serious? You told him that’s impossible right.
Yeah I tried but he gave the Jobs speech again.
We’re so fucked.
The rest of the guys are going to hate me when they hear this.
Maybe not. What if instead of building a whole new machine, we just took out the back button?
Extracting that functionality from the code base is going to be pretty painful.
No no no no no no. Think simpler. We just have to take out the physical back button.
Brilliant! We were completely overthinking it. You’re a genius Rajeev.
Well I mean technically we both are.
The two share a chuckle at this.
INT. GIANTCORP CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
Jeff has now turned his attention to the head of finance and initial ass-kisser, Frank.
So Frank, I understand Richard’s shared some of the data regarding the price sensitivity concerns with you. Do you have any ideas on how we can approach this?
Yes, I was thinking that we could begin to offer no money down financing on our time machines. I’ve run the numbers and even with pretty high projected default rates we’d actually be making quite a bit more on each machine thanks to the interest.
Wait, are you proposing that we become a bank?
Not exactly but I do think that we have the scale to be able to handle a simple financing program. Plus fintech is a growing market and--
-- I know you’re pretty new here Frank so let me help you out a little. Unlike your old buddies over on Wall street who seem to have no issue with directly fucking over the poor for a quick dime, we really prefer to sleep at night with a clear conscience.
Sorry, I guess I got excited by the potentially significant revenue stream. I’ll tell the guys to stop working on it.
Don’t be silly Frank, we’re having trouble making next quarter’s target as is. We just need to find a way to contract out the actual lending while keeping the income. We have to be at least one step removed from that type of shit because unlike your banker buddies we’ve got a half decent reputation to maintain.
Oh. Kind of like how Apple outsources to Foxconn?
Exactly. See you’re picking up the Silicon Valley mindset already!
Frank’s face lights up at this validation. He smiles the way only a true sycophant can.
Great so now that we got the money stuff out of the way let’s talk marketing. Liam, you’re up.
Liam, the overly enthusiastic and dresses-way-younger-than-he-actually-is head of marketing stands up and walks towards the other end of the table where a projector and screen are set up.
Rather than walking you through a boring and mind-numbing marketing plan I thought I’d just show you one of the new ads we’ve been working on to target the urban demographic. After all if a pictures worth a thousand words then a video’s got to be worth a couple hundred million right? So without further ado, here it is. I really think you’ll enjoy it!
The lights in the room are dimmed and the ad begins to play on the screen.
A YOUNG BLACK BOY dribbles a basket ball down the street when he comes across a large billboard. His eyes widen and he immediately sprints back in the other direction.
A TATTOOED BLACK GANGBANGER is stopped at a red light in his lowrider with outrageous rims. He looks up at the sign and immediately screeches off into the distance.
AN OLD BLACK LADY in a ridiculous hat and her Sunday best comes across the billboard and faints.
The billboard is finally revealed.
BIG CORP TIME MACHINES NOW AVAILABLE WITH 0 MONEY DOWN
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING SOUNDING VOICE ACTOR (V.O.)
Free at last! Free at last! Giantcorp time machines are free at last!
The projector fades to black and a grinning Liam steps in front of the screen.
What do you guys think? Amazing right?!
Liam, it’s not often that I’m speechless.
A few executives share nervous looks. No one is quite sure whether Jeff means the good or bad type of speechless.
It’s perfect. Let’s get this ad running as soon as we can. Way to end this meeting on a high note Liam! Debbie did we cover everything on the agenda?
Jen wanted to cover some legal stuff related to the no money down financing but I don’t see her on the call. Her flight must’ve held her up.
Thank god! Jen would only be a downer after that amazing work of art we just witnessed. Let’s call it a meeting and send her the minutes. And make sure to attach those two ads!
Sure thing boss.
That’s about it. Thanks for your time everyone!
Everyone shuffles out of the room. There is an eerie few moments of silence before the phone in the middle of the table lights up.
Hello, are you guys still there? It’s Jen. I’m so sorry about being late.
(email notification sound followed by another beat)
Meeting minutes already? That was fast.
We hear Jen beginning to watch the first of the two ads. She instantly recognizes what it is. Her voice suddenly sounds a lot more frustrated, a lot more southern and a lot more...black.
Oh hell naw! My blood pressure’s way too high for this shit.
“I see way too many people here right now that i didn’t know last year,” Drake mumbled to noone in particular as he looked out onto the dancefloor from his VIP terrace.
His annual OVO Halloween birthday party was already well under way and much like last year and the year before, it was bigger and more immaculate. As he scanned through the crowd’s endless sea of mysterious faces, Drake couldn’t help but wonder if the party budget had reached the point of diminishing returns. He watched as two girls who must have been highschool or college aged entered the party.
“Oh my god, Becky look at her butt,” one of them yelled in shock as they walked by one of the many go-go dancers OVO had hired for the event.
Drake smiled, remembering that it wasn’t too long ago that he was the one using a fake id to sneak into parties he wasn’t supposed to be in. Best I Ever Had feels like a decade ago he thought to himself. A sudden tap on his shoulder interrupted his reminiscing.
“It’s about time,” Chubbs muttered, leaning in to be heard over the music.
Drake took one last look at the crowd and then turned to Chubbs. “I swear it feels like the last few nights we’ve been everywhere and back but I just can’t remember it all. What am I doing”
Chubbs looked deeply into Drake’s eyes for a moment before grinning and pointing to his hand. “Drake, will you please stop smoking la la? You know that shit doesn’t help.”
“Tell the DJ, pump-p-p-pump pump it up,” a drunk Joe Budden shouted out from the back of the crowd, rudely interrupting Drake mid-sentence.
Drake waited as the DJ fiddled with the equipment to turn up his microphone and then moved the microphone closer to his lips. “How bout now?”
The crowd nodded and murmured in approval. They could actually hear him now.
“They say more money more problems, my nigga don’t believe it. I mean, sure, there’s some bills and taxes I’m still evading but I blew six million on myself and I feel amazing.”
Drake took a deep breath as the crowd roared in approval at this flex.
“My classmates, they went on to be chartered accountants or work with their parents, but thinking back on how they treated me…my high school reunion might be worth an appearance. Make everybody have to go through security clearance,” he continued.
“All I care about is money and the city that I’m from –”
“– Nigga, what is that?” somebody shrieked, interrupting Drake mid-speech yet again. It sounded a lot like Joe Budden but Drake couldn’t be sure with all the stage lights and cameras pointed at him. He squinted to get a better look at what was causing all the commotion in the crowd. A man covered in blood seemed to be stumbling towards the stage.
Wait a minute, was that Jay-Z?
Drake watched in horror as what looked an awful lot like a zombified Jay-Z made his way through the crowd biting party-goers.
“Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness,” Jay chanted as he worked his way up towards Drake.
Drake’s bodyguard Baka ushered him and the rest of his crew towards an open door behind them and then pulled a pistol from his waistband, pointing it directly at zombie Jay-Z.
“Don’t make me turn this red light on your head like you Roxanne” Baka yelled menacingly.
“Goblin, ghoul, a zombie with no conscience,” Jay chanted, continuing his slow march towards them, only pausing to occasionally take bites out of terrified partygoers.
“Just know I’m a shooter first,” Baka yelled out. He fired off a few warning shots as if to prove his point but it all looked like an attempt to reassure himself more than anything.
Zombie Jay seemed to find this threat amusing. “Stop your silly nonsense. Think. What do these things all have in common?” he asked Baka.
“This is not a playground, ain’t no fist fight bitch I’m blastin,” Baka warned, slowly starting to pull the trigger.
“Everybody knows I’m a motherfucking monster!” Jay yelled out before beginning to run directly at Baka, moving surprisingly swiftly for his age. I guess 40 really is the new 20.
Baka fired two shots directly into Jay-Z’s chest which didn’t seem to do anything but annoy him. He figured he had time for one more well placed shot before Jay got within biting distance and aimed his gun a little higher.
“I drink Henny when I shoot my pistol at the range. That way when I’m tipsy, I still know I got my aim,” he whispered to himself as he placed his red laser directly onto the the charging zombie Jay’s forehead.
Just like a good basketball player recognizing a short jumpshot, Baka knew that his aim was off as soon as he pulled the trigger and the pinging sound the bullet made as ricocheted off a metal speaker in the background only made the miss more gut-wrenching. Baka turned to run back towards the door behind only to have his stomach drop even further. The door had already been closed behind him.
So much for OVO loyalty.
Drake and the rest of the crew watched through the door’s narrow window frame as Zombie Jay lunged headfirst at Baka. Their two bodies exploding in the air upon collision like a linebacker lowering the boom on a poor unsuspecting slot receiver.
Blood was instantly everywhere.
Zombie Jay’s first bite must have been out of the left side of Baka’s chest since he quickly crumpled backwards towards his left. With Zombie Jay straddled on top of Baka’s torso it was difficult to see exactly what was happening but Baka’s screaming made it hard to imagine that things were looking good. The rapidly increasing pool of blood towards his left wasn’t promising either. It’s kind of hard to put up a fight when your bleeding out.
But suddenly there was a glimmer of hope. Literally.
Drake watched as a shiny knife came swinging out of Baka’s right hand directly into Zombie Jay’s neck. Zombie Jay immediately began grasping at it, falling forward off of Baka’s body and revealing a horribly disfigured and almost unrecognizable Baka.
Baka always said the Louis pouch he wore across his body wasn’t for fashion.
This is all Drake thought as he stared at Baka and Jay through the window. Baka’s dead body lay still on the floor just a few feet from where he stood and Zombie Jay’s barely breathing body was right next to him. Drake knew opening the door was out of the question until Jay’s body finally stopped moving but he felt it was finally time to break the heavy silence that filled the room.
“You know, I never cried when Pac died but I probably will when Hov does.”
“Oh you fancy huh?” Drake said, playfully pulling at the flamboyant pink feather boa that Nicki wore.
The two stood next to each other in an empty office that apparently belonged to the nightclub’s owner. The office was nice but sparse, with a dark mahogany desk on one end, a makeshift bar by the door and a large floor to ceiling window that overlooked the dancefloor. The same dancefloor where tonight’s zombie chaos had all begun.
“I came dressed to kill,” said Nicki.
She gestured for him to hand her his joint and immediately put it out once he did.
“It’s my birthday, I get high if I want to,” complained Drake.
He watched as Nicki took a seat behind the almost comically oversized desk before walking over to the makeshift bar. Drake figured it wouldn’t be long before the rest of his security team finally returned with a zombie-free path out of the building and he probably wouldn’t get another chance at alcohol for a while.
“Look, I’m just thinking out loud,” Nicki said from behind him. “Maybe it’s time to finally put this pussy on your sideburns.”
“Girl don’t tempt me,” Drake chuckled, unsure of whether she was joking or not. “You know the things we could do in twenty minutes girl?”
Drake poured himself a glass of Remy before turning around and walking towards her.
He put his glass on the edge of the table before sitting down across from her and shaking his head.
“Nah, next time we fuck, I don’t wanna fuck, I wanna make love.”
“C’mon. We done did everything, you can think of.”
“You know, you used to call me on my cell phone when you need my love.”
“I don’t need no frauds. There’s drama when you call.”
“’Cause you don’t say you love me to your friends when they ask you. Even though we both know that you do. And I don’t wanna just talk, I wanna trust.”
Drake leaned across the table to remove Nicki’s sunglasses and get a better look at her eyes.
A chill suddenly ran down his spine.
The yellowish tint in her eyes was undeniable. Those weren’t the normal eyes of Nicki Minaj. Those were the eyes of a soon-to-be zombie. Those were the eyes Baka had before they eventually turned red and started to bleed.
Drake stood up and pretended to pensively stare out the window, struggling to summon every ounce of acting ability he had picked up from his years at Degrassi and hoping that Nicki couldn’t sense his nervousness. He made sure to keep his face neutral while mentally running through the night’s events, wondering when exactly Nicki might have been bitten.
Maybe it was only one small bite. That’s not so bad. She hasn’t shown any zombie-like signs yet. I’ll just play it cool and wait it out until the others get back. Maybe there’s even an antidote out there that can reverse mild cases.
Dozens, if not hundreds of thoughts rushed through Drake’s mind in the next few moments as he tried to figure out what to do. But it was what Drake heard next that let him know that there was really only one option available.
“OK, first things first I’ll eat your brains,” Nicki said bluntly from across the room.
Drake was stunned. There was was not even a hint of doubt in Nicki’s voice.
“Then I’mma start rocking gold teeth and fangs,” she continued calmly.
Drake turned around to look at Nicki. He couldn’t help but notice the lack of emotion on her face. It was as if she was just simply reading out instructions from an IKEA manual and not the the instructions to his death.
“You’re making me nervous,” Drake said, taking a slight step backwards.
“Why? Cause I’m a motherfucking monster and that’s what a monster do,” Nicki responded.
This was all the confirmation he needed. Drake immediately pulled a pistol from his velour hoodie and shot Nicki right between the eyes. She instantly fell onto the floor into an unrecognizable heap of feathers, makeup and blood.
“You must have forgot. I been Steph Curry with the shot,” Drake said coolly.
If I die, I’m a legend.
Drake’s entire body trembled as he peered out the broken window at Oliver and Chubbs standing in the club parking lot three stories below him.
“Jump, man! Jump, man! Jump, man!” they yelled back up at him.
Drake knew that the zombies would break through the flimsy door behind him and burst into the office any moment now, so he carefully contorted his body through the broken window and stepped out onto the ledge, making sure to avoid stepping on any large pieces of glass.
The first crack that Drake heard was the sound of the door beginning to splinter behind him. Suddenly the zombies on the other side of the door seemed even more frightening. Drake knew that every second spent on this ledge would be one less second available once they got through the door so he mustered every ounce of courage in his body and stepped off the ledge.
The second crack that Drake heard seemed even louder than the first. He would later find out that it was the sound of his left tibia snapping into two upon hitting the ground. As of right now though, he was certain he was going to die. Drake had never felt pain like this in his life. It was as if someone took exactly how hurt he felt when recording “Marvin’s Room”, injected it directly into his leg and then amplified it somehow to feel about ten times worse.
As his friends rushed over to his writhing body, Drake spotted a dark figure heading towards them from the distance. Drake squinted to get a better look. Was this finally it? Was this the grim reaper finally coming to take him away?
“Oh man, oh man, not again!” Drake howled as soon as he realized that the dark figure wasn’t a figment of his imagination.
“Just hold on, we’re going home” Oliver and Chubbs kept repeating as they tried to help Drake to his feet, completely failing to recognize the imminent threat behind them.
Drake watched as the dark figure kept coming closer. It looked eerily familiar. But it wasn’t until he was able to make out what the figure was chanting that he recognized who it was.
“Platinum that platinum this. Meanwhile I’m on the carpet with a platinum chick. I got a platinum rollie, platinum whip,”
Holy fuck. Zombie Meek Mill.
“Back to back,” Drake immediately called out to his team, gesturing for them to look out for other potential zombies in the parking lot.
“I just wanna know. I just wanna know was it Quentin Miller? Was it Hush or was it Detail where you really got your flow?” Meek yelled out as he continued to walk closer and closer.
“Man, I just wanna know,” he continued, this time a little louder.
“You don’t have to try and say it louder nigga. Trust, we heard you the first time,” Drake replied.
“I just wanna know, if you ain’t write that running through the six shit. Tell us who the fuck was Quentin running through the six with?”
Zombie Meek was now getting dangerously close.
“You underestimated greatly,” said Drake before taking out his pistol and aiming it right at Zombie Meek Mill’s head.
Zombie Meek stopped dead in his tracks and looked directly at Drake before unleashing his next barb.
“You fucking dork, you changed the style because you studied us.”
“You gon’ hype me up and make me catch a body like that,” Drake shot back immediately.
Drake paced back and forth a few times, visibly seething with anger. He then stopped, looked directly at Zombie Meek and pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened. At first everyone was a little too shocked to comprehend it all but the second and third cold metallic clicks made it pretty clear. Drake was all out of bullets.
Meek let out a long laugh before taking a step forward and continuing, “Hold up, wait a minute! Y’all thought I was finished?”
Drake was just about to begin saying his final prayers when he spotted a white Bentley aggressively driving towards them from the other side of the parking lot.
Was that? No way. It couldn’t be. Either way, Meek definitely didn’t see the car coming.
“You let Tip homie piss on you in a movie theater nigga, we ain’t forget –”
The Bentley gained on Zombie Meek in just a few seconds, driving directly over him from behind and crushing him instantly. Unfortunately, it showed no signs of slowing down as it continued to head towards Drake, Oliver and Chubbs.
“We should all disappear right now!” yelled Drake as the crew scattered in separate directions.
The car continued to accelerate and Drake, with his badly injured leg, was almost certain that he would become roadkill when the driver hit the brakes and drifted to a screeching stop just a few feet away from him.
40 smiled as he rolled down the window.
“Meek Mill trying to take you away from me? Only over my dead body!”
EXT. BEACH – DAY
Most people go to the beach to relax but Sam (5) isn’t most people and right now she’s about as focused as can be.
Come on. Where are you Mr. Seashell? I’m gonna find you.
Sam scours the beach. Head down. With purpose. She barely notices that the ice cream cone she’s holding is starting to melt and drip. Her parents sit far off in the distance under a giant umbrella. Dad watches Sam intently while Mom is busy reading a book.
Sam! Quit playing and finish your ice cream. That thing’s melting all over the place!
Sam barely registers this warning. She suddenly spots something shiny a few feet away and rushes toward it. Jackpot! Another beautiful seashell! Sam bends over to pick up the seashell and as she does most of her ice cream slips off the cone and into the sand.
Don’t you dare eat that Sam!
Sam, who might have just been contemplating whether the 5 second rule applies to the beach, begins to cry. She throws her seashell down in disgust. Dad puts down his beer, gets up off his beach towel and walks toward Sam.
It’s okay Sam. It’s just ice cream. We have a lot more at home.
It’s not the same. Their ice cream’s better. Can I get another one?
We’re not getting another one. I told you it was melting!
I barely got to eat it. It’s not fair.
Dad kneels down to look Sam in the eye. There’s a grave look on his face.
You’ve just learned one of life’s most important lessons. Do you know what that lesson is?
Sam doesn’t know.
Life’s not fair. Sometimes that’s just how it is.
Sam is still mad. What does that even mean? This is clearly not the lesson she was hoping for.
And anyway, that seashell actually looks pretty cool so it might’ve even been worth it.
Sam rethinks this. Dad might have a point there.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Sam sits on the floor watching a movie with her parents curled up on the couch behind her. Mom is busy scrolling through her phone and dad is busy trying to steal some potato chips out of the small bag that is on her lap.
He moves slowly and is just about to get his hand into to the bag when Mom slaps his hand away. This is particularly impressive given that her eyes never leave her phone.
Dad then spots an easier target. Sam has her potato chips dumped out into a pile on the coffee table in front of her. She is so enthralled with the movie that she doesn’t notice as dad slyly takes a few. He makes sure to chew them slowly.
He begins to collect some more when Sam turns around to ask a question. She sees dad move his hand and immediately recognizes what’s been happening. Dad’s been caught red handed.
What’s a --Hey! That’s not fair!
Dad quickly puts the two chips he’s already been able to snag into his mouth as Sam positions her body to protect the remaining pile. The commotion causes Mom to finally look up from her phone. She’s not impressed.
Life’s not fair. Remember?
INT. APARTMENT LOBBY – NIGHT
Dad enters the lobby and heads over to the post office boxes. He is dressed sharply, wearing a nice grey suit. The suit looks like it might be new but Dad’s face looks worn out. He’s had a long day and it’s kind of ruining the outfit. As he flips through his mail, he gets a phone call.
He stops flipping. This phone call is more important than pizza flyers.
Hi Catherine, I’m hoping this is good news?
There is a moment of uneasiness before we see that Dad is clearly devastated. Rejection stings at any age and you never quite get numb to it.
I’m sorry to hear that. Was there any particular reason why?
No I understand. Thanks. Please keep me in mind if anything similar comes up.
Dad stares at his phone after hanging up. It’s like he’s mentally trying to undo that phone call from happening.
INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT
Mom is in the kitchen chopping up vegetables when Dad enters and greets her with a kiss.
Hey! Didn’t hear you come in. How was the interview?
Honestly? I have no idea. They were pretty hard to read.
Well I still have a good feeling about the other guys. Hopefully you’ll hear back from them soon.
Dad stares at mom as she picks up the cutting board and turns towards the stove. He really doesn’t want to ruin the great mood that she is in.
They actually called me today. Just before I came in.
Let me guess, another interview?
Worse. I didn’t get it.
Mom turns back towards dad. She can’t believe it.
Really? Three interviews and no offer? That’s ridiculous! How can they just waste someone’s time like that?
You’re telling me...
The two share an uncomfortable silent moment before Sam bursts into the kitchen. She’s completely oblivious to the tension in the room and skips over to give Dad a hug.
Why are you making dinner? Dad said we’re getting pizza today.
Mom gives dad a look that says “you have some explaining to do”.
I said maybe. Mom’s already started on dinner and I’m really tired. Sam, we’ll have to get pizza another time.
This time it’s Sam that can’t believe the words that are coming out of Dad’s mouth. The shock on her face quickly turns to every parent’s worst nightmare -- pre-crying face. Sam quickly turns into an incomprehensible blubbering mess and rushes out of the room just as quickly as she came in. Mom glares at Dad.
Don’t give me that look. I was really hoping for a celebration meal!
Mom stays silent. Dad gets even more defensive.
We can make her one. We have perfectly good frozen pizza at home!
You know how much she loves pizza. That’s not fair.
Mom leaves the kitchen to go comfort Sam. Dad winces as he slams his keys on the kitchen counter. He knows he just messed up. He loosens his tie and begins looking through the mail he’s just brought in. There are a few too many past due bills in the pile.
Life’s not fair...
Just in case he wasn’t feeling shitty enough, Dad looks up to see that the stir-fry that Mom was making has begun to burn.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
Sam’s bedroom might look small and messy to the average adult eye but to her the bedroom is perfect. The moon shaped light-night on the wall and the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling give the room an outdoor feel. The only thing messing up the illusion is the muffled sound of her parents arguing in the other room. Sam lies in bed wide awake.
How many times have we talked about this? Exactly. It’s really just that simple. I can’t keep letting this go over and over again. It’s not okay.
So you’re just going to leave? Like our vows mean nothing? Like we don’t have a child that needs both of us?
Don’t you dare try to hide behind Sam. I will always be there for her. You need to start taking responsibility for your actions. This isn’t college anymore.
Sam rolls over to her side as we hear the sound of a door slam and the sound of footsteps coming towards her door a few moments later. She panics and pulls the sheets over her head. Sam is so terrible at pretending to be a sleep that it’s actually quite cute. Dad opens her bedroom door and lets out a weary chuckle.
Of course you’re still up.
Sam doesn’t budge. She insists on playing dead. Dad walks over and sits at the foot of her bed.
I know you’re awake Sam. How much of that did you hear?
Sam takes a moment before giving up the charade and pulling the sheets down from her face.
Where’s Mom going?
To Auntie Tania’s house.
Is she coming back soon?
I don’t know. I hope so.
How come you and Mom fight more than other people’s parents? It’s not fair.
It isn’t but I promise that Mom and I are working on it.
Sam is not impressed with this answer.
I want you to remember two things okay Sam? First, even if sometimes it doesn’t seem that way, Mom and I will always love you and want what’s best for you. Okay? Always.
Dad stops to make sure she’s listening.
Second, what’s the most important thing to remember about life and fairness?
Life’s not fair.
INT. APARTMENT LOBBY – NIGHT
Sam, now in her teens, is almost unrecognizable. In fact, if it wasn’t for the nametag on her Wal-Mart employee vest we probably wouldn’t recognize her. Streaks of messy blonde and blue hair poke out from underneath her beanie hat and her nose ring and multiple ear cartilage piercings indicate that she is clearly going through a bit of a rebellious phase. She wears large headphones over her ears that blast loud punk music. After grabbing the mail, Sam quickly heads for the elevators.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Dad sits in the living room smoking a cigarette as he watches a baseball game. A polite person might say that Dad has not aged well and a blunt person would say that he looks like shit. There are dark bags under his eyes and his shirt is dirty. There are far too many empty beer bottles scattered across the coffee table in front of him and he barely budges as Sam enters the apartment and wrestles off her vest behind him. She heads straight towards her bedroom without greeting him.
A moment later a furious Sam comes storming back into the living room and walks directly between Dad and the TV.
Where’s my desk?
You mean my desk. I bought that thing before you were born. Now if you don’t mind, it’s the top of the eighth.
I’m not doing this. Where is it?
Dad pulls a few crumpled bills out of his front shirt pocket.
And I guess technically some of it is over here too.
Dad sarcastically gestures towards the beer and food on the coffee table.
You pawned my desk? Are you fucking kidding me? I had three weeks of pay hidden in there!
Shit..Looks like Alberto got a great deal then. I guess that’s probably why they always say that keeping family secrets are bad. To avoid situations like this.
Sam stares at him in disgust for a moment, trying desperately to hold back her tears. She grabs a pack of cigarettes off of the coffee table and storms back to her room.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
There is a blank corner of the room where Sam’s desk clearly used to sit and the moon shaped night-light may also be gone but the glow-in-the-dark stars in Sam’s bedroom still remain. Sam sits at the base of her bed smoking a cigarette as her runny mascara begins to dry. She stares deeply at an old family photo of a much happier and much younger Sam playing at the beach. As we close in on the photo we can’t help but notice that Sam has a tattoo on her left wrist that reads “LIFE’S NOT FAIR”.
EXT. CHURCH PARKING LOT – DAY
Sam, now middle aged and looking a lot more like her mother, stares at her own reflection in a car window. This isn’t the stare of someone trying to make sure their outfit looks okay, this is the stare of someone deep in thought and apparently someone else has noticed.
Sam’s turns to her left where her husband is standing towards the trunk of the car with what must be their son. The two look like they walked out of a department store catalogue in their stylish matching black outfits. Sam snaps out of the daze that she’s in and heads over to join them. They walk towards the church hand in hand like a perfect family.
As they near the church they see a giant sign with a familiar face. This is Sam’s dad’s funeral service.
Why am I the only one that has to miss Daniel’s birthday party? This is going to be so boring, it’s not fair.
Sam stops walking and crouches down to look her son in the eye. She has the same grave look on her face that her father once gave her all those years ago. She stares at her son for a moment and just as she opens her mouth to potentially utter those three pesky words we cut to black.
INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE EXAM ROOM – DAY
A nervous young woman sits on the examination table. She eyes the posters and pamphlets within the pristine room – each one more intimidating than the last. The door opens just as she is about to begin scrolling through her phone.
Hi Michelle! How are you this fine morning?
I guess it really depends on the test results right? I’ve been doing a little self diagnosing recently and according to WebMD I might have brain cancer?
Doctor Harris laughs a little too loudly and sits down across from her. He’s middle aged and British which gives everything he says an air of authority.
You probably have nothing to worry about but it never hurts to be cautious. Let’s take a look.
Doctor Harris opens up a manila folder and begins reading Michelle’s test results. Michelle simultaneously attempts to read the doctor’s facial expressions.
Michelle’s face drops. Doctor Harris flips the page and his brows immediately furrow.
Well that’s not great.
Michelle’s eyes widen. Doctor Harris flips the page once again and looks even more concerned.
Never would have guessed it.
Is everything alright? You’re kinda scaring me doc.
Doctor Harris looks confused – almost as if he forgot Michelle was right there. He then immediately snaps back into “super professional” mode.
According to the test results, you have writer.
I’m sorry did you say writer?
Yes, are you familiar with the condition?
No. What is it?
It’s a neurological disorder that results in unusual psychotic tendencies.
Well it’s technically quite complex and like most neurological disorders it’s really ultimately caused by a slight chemical imbalance but let me see if I can explain it simply.
Doctor Harris thinks for a moment.
You know those weird thoughts that everyone has? Like, if a turtle were to lose its shell would it be naked or would it be homeless? Or where do forest rangers go to get away from it all? Or why is abbreviated such a long word? Well normal people have those thoughts and then think that’s a weird thought I probably shouldn’t think of that and keep living their lives. People with writer don’t do that. People with writer obsess about those thoughts and keep thinking about them for way too long. It’s like..unhealthy dysfunctional daydreaming.
Sounds serious. How worried should I be?
It can get pretty bad so I won’t sugarcoat it but some have been able to live relatively normal and successful lives despite it. Mild cases are a lot more common than you might think.
How bad do I have it?
Well according to your test results you have a rather severe case. But I’ll have to ask you some questions to really verify the diagnosis. I do have to warn you though. Some of these questions may be a bit...personal.
Not a problem. Go ahead.
Doctor Harris flips to another sheet in his folder and pulls out a pen. After each question and answer he takes notes.
Did you read a lot as a child?
Do you often spend time endlessly re-wording text messages and emails until they sound just right?
Have you ever thought less of someone due to their poor spelling?
Would you consider yourself popular in highschool?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. That last one is a trick question. People with writer are almost never popular in highschool.
So do I officially have it?
Yes, one of the worst cases I’ve probably seen. It’s a shame really. Any decent doctor should have caught this by now.
But you’ve been my doctor since forever.
Really? Have you still been coming in for your annual checkups?
Every year! You always do that thing where you joke about how I’m now officially too tall for a lollipop but you still end up giving me one anyway...You don’t remember?
Well that’s embarrassing.
Is writer curable?
There is an awkward silence as they both stew on this.
So what am I supposed to do?
Sorry, I probably should have lead with that.
Doctor Harris hands Michelle several pamphlets. One of the them is for a medication with a ridiculously long and graphically detailed list of side effects.
These will tell you everything you need to know about writer as well as your current treatment options. I’m also going to refer you to a specialist who can get you started with therapy and begin prescribing medication. Do you have any other specific questions?
I don’t think so. This is just a lot to take in.
Well you can always meet with me or the specialist if you think of any. I highly recommend some of those online support groups listed. Some of my patients really swear by one. I think it’s called Medium.com? I’ll go get the specialists information for you.
Doctor Harris begins to head towards the door.
Hey Doc? This might be a stupid question--
There’s no such thing as a stupid question Michelle.
This writer thing. It’s not in anyway related to writing is it?
Once again Doctor Harris laughs a little too loudly. It’s demeaning.
As in the physical act of putting thoughts into words on a page?
Nope. Completely unrelated.
INT. VARIOUS BEDROOM OFFICES – DAY – MONTAGE
Sappy Sarah McLachlan music plays as we see a series of young nerdy looking writers neglecting their pets. We know they’re writers because they all wear glasses and we know this montage is important because it’s in slow motion.
-One writer plays a half assed game of fetch with her dog as she sits and stares at her computer
-Another writer lays on a couch with his laptop on his chest. He gets annoyed when his dog comes and sits on him
-A third writer is so enthralled as they type away that they barely notice their dog as it brings over its leash
-Finally, each of the writers from above takes off their glasses in frustration. They each carry their dog out of the room and close the door. The dogs look heartbroken.
INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY
Another sad looking dog lays on a couch. We close in on him when suddenly HE BEGINS TO TALK!
Hey there, my name’s Duke. Did you know that every year thousands of writers neglect their dogs to write terrible think pieces? The first time it happened to me was when my owner suddenly thought that the world needed a 9,000 word exploration of the anti-capitalist undertones in SpongeBob SquarePants.
INT. BEDROOM OFFICE – DAY [FLASHBACK]
Duke’s owner finishes typing at his desk. He is clearly satisfied with whatever he has written and walks away. As soon as he does Duke jumps into the empty office chair and begins to read.
Now I may not be the most sophisticated reader but even I can recognize when a writer is clearly reaching just to be controversial. This truly is the clickbait generation.
EXT. DOG PARK – DAY [FLASHBACK]
Duke’s owner stares off into space, clearly thinking up another terrible piece of writing. Duke is busy sniffing various dog butts.
After speaking to some of my friends I realized the problem was much more widespread than I initially thought. I even heard something from my buddy, Buddy, that was truly spine-chilling – some people are now writing terrible think pieces in response to other terrible think pieces!
INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY
Duke now sits up on the couch.
It’s time to finally take a stand against terrible think pieces. So please do us all a favour and join our official pledge to stop reading them. Better yet, the next time you see a terrible think piece from someone that you know, call them up and tell them to stop. With your support, we can end this.