Universe Egg

We tried mixing all the colors of the dyes to make black and we got this instead.

Very Lucky

I wrote a play for MadLab's 3 in 30: Lucky show. In the end, the director and I decided to cut out the mime parts. It was too distracting from the two actors and really didn't add anything to the show.  Some of the lines were modified as well because part of the mime's job was to constantly have harder and harder death scenes to act out.

Here is the script. Sorry about the formatting:



At RISE:                                                        

ACE sits in a chair facing stage right.  An empty seat is in front of him and also behind him.  A COP walks in with MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS and sits him facing away from ACE.

COP
Sit here and wait until you are called.

The MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS does a “tip of the hat and a bow” to the COP. The COP shakes his head and walks off.

DR. DUNN walks in wearing a suit jacket.

DR. DUNN
Hello Mr. Clover. I'm Paul Dunn. I work for the county as a… helper.

ACE
You mean psychologist?

DR. DUNN
That sounds so formal, Mr. Clover.  If you want formality, you can call me Dr. Dunn.

ACE
Hello Dr. Dunn. Please, call me Ace.

DR. DUNN
You know, Ace, it usually it takes about six hours to get a doctor over here to the station. But I had one client get sick and another escape so my entire morning was open.

ACE
Yes. Lucky me.

DR. DUNN
It gave me time to take a nice relaxing walk in the park all alone to gather my thoughts.

ACE
It’s good to be alone sometimes…

DR. DUNN
So, I'm here because you have refused to get a lawyer, you won’t answer any questions and yet you aren’t requesting to leave. They think you are traumatized. They want to know if you are capable of even answering questions.

ACE
So basically they want to know if I’m crazy.

DR. DUNN
Well, to be honest, yes.

ACE
Do I get to look at the ink splotches? I love those tests.

DR. DUNN
No. We are just going to talk. I'll write down some notes. Then I'll talk to the judge and see if we can't.. oh crap...my favorite pen is broken... AND LEAKING! All over my papers!

(Dr. Dunn stands up and wipes ink from his hands and reveals an ink splotch on the paper.)

ACE
I see a knife stuck in someone’s back.

DR. DUNN
What?

ACE
The ink blot test... on your paper.. a knife. In someone’s back.

DR. DUNN
Oh, I see it now.

ACE
Here, you can borrow my pen.


DR. DUNN
Thanks. Wow, that’s a weird looking pen. So, why won't you get a lawyer?

ACE
I don't need one.

DR. DUNN
You could be in some very big trouble here.  You were found standing over that bleeding woman. She's in a coma and it’s not looking good.

ACE
I called 911. That’s more than just standing over her.

DR. DUNN
There were no other witnesses. You seem guilty because you won’t talk.



ACE
In the end, they’ll find me innocent. They want me here for questions and I don’t need to answer them just yet. I’ll talk soon enough. I’m sure things will turn in my favor. They always do. I’m very lucky.

DR. DUNN
Being lucky means capitalizing on random opportunities. Nothing more.

ACE
Not for me.

DR. DUNN
What do you mean?

ACE
I’m lucky.  Good things happen to me.

DR. DUNN
You’re not lucky right now.

ACE
My luck will turn.

DR. DUNN
Some people are good observers. Lucky people find a $20 bill on the ground because they notice it when so-called unlucky person doesn’t.

ACE
No. It’s more than that. I’ve been lucky my whole life… but the people around me… they’ve been unlucky. It’s as if my luck is only based on the misfortune of others.


 DR. DUNN
(writing and speaking to himself)
Over-inflated sense of ego…

ACE
It’s not that. It’s… it’s luck! The worst kind of lucky.

DR. DUNN
It’s coincidence.

(When ACE speaks about the individual scenarios, the MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS
acts them out.)

ACE
I used to think that. When I was 8, I wanted the neighbor’s bike. He had an accident when the brakes failed and was paralyzed. His parents gave me the bike.

(MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS Hit by car pantomime.)

DR. DUNN
That’s more unfortunate for him than it was lucky for you.

ACE
At 12, I was the worst kid on the baseball team. We made it to the playoffs and both teams’ Gatorade made everyone but me sick. The coach had no choice but to put me in. The pitcher couldn’t throw strikes. I got hit by a pitch and the puking runner on third threw up all the way home for the winning run.

(MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS Sick, baseball, puking pantomime.)

DR. DUNN
That’s just gross.


ACE
At 16 I wanted a car. I found $5000 in the street. No one claimed the money, but later we found out it was dropped when a man was shoved into traffic while leaving the bank.

(MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS counting money, pushed in traffic pantomime.)

DR. DUNN
Everyone gets lucky.  Look, I found this gold coin I found in the park this morning.

ACE
I’m different.

DR. DUNN
Ace… do you know about Indian rain dances?

ACE
Sure. Indians dance and then it rains.

DR. DUNN
Sure. But did you know that they work 100% of the time?

ACE
Now that’s impossible. Dancing doesn’t make it rain.

DR. DUNN
The way a rain dance works is that they dance until it does rain. It’s got to rain some time. They just dance until it does. When it does, they give credit to the dancing.

ACE
What’s that have to do with me?

DR. DUNN
You probably wish for 100 things a day. When something does happen for you, you forget the 99 other wishes and remember the one.  You just keep wishing for things and when something does randomly fall in your lap, you blame luck.

ACE
I don’t sit around wishing all day. As a matter of fact, I spend a lot of time trying not to wish for anything so that the people around me aren’t hurt. I only wish when I really need to use it. When I feel like my back is against a wall.

DR. DUNN
So now you are a superhero with superpowers?

ACE
At 23, I was poor, out of work airplane mechanic and in love with a woman who was in love with my best friend.  I loved her with all my heart. One day I wished we could be together. He was killed in an industrial accident when he fell down a set of stairs, was impaled on a set of decorative spears and then fell in a pit of acid.  She collected from a huge lawsuit and I was there to help her through her grief.

(MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS falls down stairs, is impaled by spears and falls in acid. Then, man giving woman hug pantomime.)

DR. DUNN
That’s a complete and horrible coincidence.

ACE
If I wish for something hard enough, I’ll get it.

DR. DUNN
Still… it could all be random chance. Couldn’t  it?

ACE
Her parents didn’t bless our relationship. They said they would do everything they could to keep us apart.  I wished they could see things in a different way. As luck would have it, they died in a small plane crash and we were able to marry.

(MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS Horrible plane crash pantomime.)

DR. DUNN
You are beginning to scare me.

ACE
And now, in a hospital across town, she is dying.  She needs a full liver, kidney and heart transplant.  We have the money to pay for it, but not the organs.

  DR. DUNN
I’m sorry to hear that.

ACE
Worse yet, she has a very rare blood type.

DR. DUNN
It seems your luck has now completely run out.

ACE
Well. You see… this morning I made a wish.

DR. DUNN
What are you saying?

ACE
I wished that my wife would get better. That she would be able to get the transplant.

DR. DUNN
The stabbed woman?

ACE
The woman who was stabbed… If I’m very lucky, she’ll die and be a donor with my wife’s extremely rare blood type.

DR. DUNN
That’s impossible.

ACE
It’s highly improbable.

DR. DUNN
You… you murdered her!

ACE
It was some other guy. As a matter of fact, from a distance, he looked a lot like you.

DR. DUNN
What?

ACE
Yes. Someone with your looks. Now as I recall, now as the trauma has dissipated,  I seem to remember him stabbing her in the neck. Maybe with a pen.


DR. DUNN
They won’t believe you. I have an alibi… I was…


ACE
As luck you would have it, you were walking in the park alone this morning. With no witnesses. Except an off duty mime that saw you from afar…

DR. DUNN
No!


ACE
And I’m guessing that woman was a rare coin collector and that she is missing a rare gold coin.

DR. DUNN
You are insane! That’s crazy.

ACE
Is it?


The COP walks it and speaks to the MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS

                                                                        COP
Alright, pal. Time to look at photos and see if you can pick out the man you saw stab the woman.

The MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS beings pointing to the two other men and miming a stabbing motion.

COP
That’s him?

The MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS nods and the COP walks over to the two.

COP
That pen! It matches the wound on her neck!

DR. DUNN
It’s not mine! It’s his!

(The cop reaches in DR. DUNN’s jacket pocket.)

COP
The missing gold coin. You’re coming with me, murderer.

(The COP drags him off. The MAN IN BLACK LEOTARDS follows making hanging pantomimes.)

DR. DUNN
No! It was him. He set this all up. He did it. He’s the one! He’s….. he’s….

ACE
Very lucky.
THE END

Pick Five Music Videos You Would Send to the Universe


My co-worker posed a question the other day.  He asked, “If you had the opportunity to send five music videos into the cosmos in the hopes that some alien civilization would find and be able to watch them, what videos would they be?”

We spoke for a few minutes and set up some guidelines. The videos, in our opinion, would have to be ones that would give the alien race an overall sense of what music videos are, how they are and why MTV doesn't play them anymore. The popularity of the song or the artist(s) would not matter, just the video.

And somehow, it wasn't hard to pick.  I had about ten and then just had to narrow it down.

I'll list mine first with a little commentary. If Jeffrey has any comments, I can add those later. Feel free to drop your top five in the comments and your reasons why they should be sent into space.

Worlds Apart – Journey 
Worlds Apart is the quintessential music video. Full band playing invisible instruments. Lip syncing. Real emotion that is faked. Then real instruments. A girl who seems not to notice them. A wharf. This is the Rosetta Stone of music videos. 

Wires - RED FANG
This video is very instructional as it gives a step by step course on how to make a video. And they break shit because that is what rock is all about.

Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel 
Sledgehammer takes the Worlds Apart Rosetta Stone and smashes it in front of the Golden Calf of the music industry. This is the best video ever.

Psycho Killer (From the Film “Stop Making Sense) - The Talking Heads 
David Byrne does not need to have his video shot into space, because he is God and can do it himself.  He'll get to it once the Earth is destroyed and he finds himself seeking entertainment on another ethereal plane. 

Jerk It – Thunderheist 
I have my reasons for liking this video.  You can read about them here.

Here are Jeffrey's videos. Not a bad collection to send our alien friends to be. 

Take on Me- aha


Thriller-Michael Jackson


Hot for Teacher- Van Halen


Fat- Weird Al 

OK, so to understand this one, the Aliens would need to know that this is a parody, so we are allowing a 4.5th video to go along and that would be:

Bad- Michael Jackson


Gin and Juice-Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre



Don't Drink That Coffee

This was a play I wrote in 2012. For a few reasons that were not anyone's fault, it was never produced.  Here is a 1st draft of a time traveling love story:


DON'T DRINK THAT COFFEE

At RISE:                                                           
(Lights up on an office break room.  Coffee machine with cups, creamer, sugar and napkins. A table with a chair. A “refrigerator” is plugged into the wall.)



BOB enters with a thick stack of papers and carefully sets them down on the table.  He goes and makes some black coffee. Just as he is about to drink it, Future Time Man FUTURE BOB pops out of the refrigerator.

FUTURE BOB
Don’t drink that coffee!

BOB
What?

FUTURE BOB
Don’t. Drink. That. Coffee.

BOB
Who are you? What are you doing in the break room?

FUTURE BOB
I can’t tell you.

BOB
If you don’t tell me, I’ll drink this coffee.

FUTURE BOB
You’ve got me there.

BOB
(Starts to put coffee to mouth.)

FUTURE BOB
Ok! Ok!  It’s breaking the rules, but if it will keep you from drinking it…. I am you. You, 10 years in the future.

BOB
You look nothing like me.


FUTURE BOB
In the future, science has made it possible that so that fat, short ugly people can change their weight, height and looks.

BOB
What are you insinuating?

FUTURE BOB
Gestures at BOB as is to say, “have you looked at yourself recently?”
Well…

BOB
In the future, does everyone wear Nickelback t-shirts?

FUTURE BOB
No, this is my camouflage for this time period. In the future, Nickelback doesn't exist. They were scrubbed from time.

BOB
The future is sounding pretty good.

FUTURE BOB
No, it’s not.  That’s why I came back here.

BOB
In a refrigerator?

FUTURE BOB
Something to do with the electrical field that cooling compressor puts out. 

BOB
I still don’t believe that you are me or that you are from the future. In every book I've read, the time traveler reveals secrets about his past self.

FUTURE BOB
I don’t really read books.

BOB
I don’t either. That was a test.

FUTURE BOB
Well, I know we both have watched movies about time travel, so go ahead. Ask me anything.


BOB
I… we, were at a party last night.  What did we do?


FUTURE BOB
Dude. I don’t remember what happened at that party.

BOB
Neither do I, I was hoping you could fill in the blanks.

FUTURE BOB
OK. How about this…You love unshelled peanuts…

BOB
Everyone knows that.

FUTURE BOB
… and you stuff them in your nose when you are alone.

BOB
Not everyone knows that.

FUTURE BOB
You cry during most every Cure song.

BOB
That’s a lie…

FUTURE BOB
 Singing
Standing on that dizzy edge I kissed her face…

They both start crying.

BOB
OK, stop.  Stop!  Here’s one no one but me and a future me would ever ever ever know…

FUTURE BOB
In a cow’s butt.

BOB
Oh my god you are me.

FUTURE BOB
Yes.

BOB
Christ…

starts to drink the coffee

FUTURE BOB
Stop that!

BOB
Sorry.  So, what does this coffee have to do with the future?

FUTURE BOB
What they told me is that when we… you try to take that first drink off coffee, you spill it on yourself and that sets up a series of events that creates a horrific future, my present. If we can keep that coffee off your shirt, we think that a new future will open up.

BOB
Well, hasn’t the future already changed by you showing up here?

FUTURE BOB
Not necessarily.  You see, the future is like a series of diverging paths.  But those paths can all come back together when an event pulls them back in.

BOB
What?

FUTURE BOB
Think of it like two stop lights.  You’re at a light with a bunch of other cars behind you and a soon as it turns green you race forward. But the next light is a long red light. And so you sit there and all the other cars catch up. Go slow. Go fast. No matter what you do, that light takes all those possible futures and reigns them back in.

BOB
What if I run the red light?

FUTURE BOB
Yes!

This scares BOB and he almost spills the coffee on himself.

FUTURE BOB
Moves through the steps as he speaks them
Sorry. Right now, we are in between those two stop lights.  If I remember correctly, the spill happened after I got the coffee and sat here to review this presentation.

spills the coffee on himself
Kinda like that.

BOB
So what is so terrible about this future?

FUTURE BOB
That, I cannot tell you.

BOB
(Threatens to spill on himself.)
Spill, spill, spill!

FUTURE BOB
No, I can’t. My memory has been blocked.  I cannot remember anything past about an hour from now plus anything they told me before I left. It’s all hazy. I just remember the regret…

BOB
That’s stupid.  How are you supposed to convince me to do something without some specific dire threat?  Am I the father of the next Hitler? Do I invent some horrible weapon?

FUTURE BOB
 You make up paint color names for a living. I don’t think the guy who created a color called “Cotton Candy Sea Foam” is going to make a doomsday weapon.

BOB
You try and make a name for something that is pink and green.

FUTURE BOB
I did.  I called it “Cotton Candy Sea Foam.”

BOB
Look I…

A woman walks out of the refrigerator.

(BOB and FUTURE BOB together)
Who are you?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
I’m you and you.

(BOB and FUTURE BOB together)
But you’re a…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Yes, in the future it’s much easier to change your looks and get a sex change.

FUTURE BOB
How do I, we know…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Cow’s butt.

They both shrug.

BOB
You look familiar? Like someone I work with.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Yes, Lisa… that’s a long story of regret and lost opportunity…

FUTURE BOB
That’s right! That’s the last memory I have is running into her outside this door…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Look. We screwed up.  We sent you back in time to stop you from spilling the coffee. But that didn’t fix anything .  It made them worse.

BOB
So what am I do to?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
First, you, get back in the time machine. You are done here.

FUTURE BOB
See you buddy! Hey, Future me as a woman… if things don’t work out here, you know when to find me.

FUTURE BOB steps into the refrigerator.

BOB
Future me is fucked up.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
I know. That’s why I’m here.  Now, carefully. Add one creamer.

BOB
You’re kidding. How is this…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Add the creamer!!

He pours in the creamer.
FUTURE BOB comes out of the time machine disheveled and panicked.

FUTURE BOB
Oh GOD it’s terrible! The future! Use two creamers!
He runs back in the time machine.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Try two creamers.
BOB pours in a second creamer.  FUTURE BOB comes out of the refrigerator acting completely feminine with a boa.

FUTURE BOB
The future is fabulous!
FUTURE BOB Returns back in the machine.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Um, try adding a sugar.

BOB
Am I supposed to drink this?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Just do it.
No one comes out of the refrigerator.
There… I think that did it.  Now. Go to your meeting. Give your report. Drink the whole coffee.

FUTURE BOB comes out in a robot mask and in a robot voice.
FUTURE BOB
DRINK ONLY HALF!
FUTURE BOB goes back in the refrigerator.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
…drink only half
Both look at the machine and nothing comes out.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Good-bye past life me. I hope things work out for you. Us.

She steps in the time machine and is gone.
BOB takes the coffee and picks up the report and thinks for a moment.  He goes to the refrigerator and unplugs it.  He then puts his creamer/sugar coffee back and pours a cup of black.  On the way to the door, he purposefully spills it on himself. Just then, LISA walks in.

LISA
Oh! You’ve got coffee all over you. Here…
She wipes it up a bit with a napkin.
LISA
There.
Their eyes meet for a moment and there is almost a something, but then it is gone and LISA begins to walk off and so does BOB. BOB turns around after a moment of hesitation.

BOB
Hey… you… um… you want to do something tonight?
LISA
Um, OK. Coffee?

BOB
Sure. It’s on me! Oh, God I can’t believe I just said that…

LISA
You’re funny. I like that. Pick me up at 6:30.

They walk off.

(Lights down.)