Avant garde, no?

One day, in my final year of high school, I was asked to write a script for a play, for House Drama.

This is when the various houses all put on a short play, and the best one is the winner.

I WAS ROBBED!

Some weepy bullshit about refugees won... I mean, fuck! I could have played it straight if I knew that was all you wanted, you hack judges!

The stupidest thing about the winning play, was that it was supposed to be about Australian refugees, but everyone thought it was about nazis, because the guards were making the refugees do long walks and stuff, and they were totally, "We're so jewish" but then they prayed to Jesus, but how many refugees do that anyway?

Anyway, I digress. I think my one came second.

Anyway, Rob Coupe asked me to write this, and boy was he surprised when I handed him the following the next day:


Okay, so when I'm writing this script, I'm seeing the stage being split into two parts, with Vince's office on one side, and the dinner party on the other side, with some sort of divider in the middle. Also, a small area in front of the stage (down on the gym floor) for the lair of Dr. Colossus.. The structure is like this. Act I is in the office. Act II is on the other side, in a flashback. Act III is back in the office. Act IV is in the lair of Dr. C. Act V is on the other side, in the past. Act VI is back in the office.

Act I.

We open in the office of Vincent Gershwin, Private Detective. Vincent sits at his desk, and delivers his monologue. By the by, poor old Vince is a hardened P.I., who truly attended the school of hard knocks.

Vincent: It had been a very slow week, mainly because time had actually been slowed down. (shouts offstage) Damn you, Dr. Colossus, you commie bastard! (back to da monologue) but the slowness of the week was also due to the lack of clients. For some reason, they were avoiding me like the plague. I mean, really. You punch one nun in the face, and suddenly you have a bad reputation.

Things weren't looking good. In fact, things were the opposite of good. My bank balance was low, and my bar tab was being studied by NASA.

And then she walked in the door.

Enter the illustrious Helena. Va-va-voom… that's Helen in a nutshell.

Vincent: She was beautiful… her full red lips, her haunting green eyes, her supple and heaving… uh, arms. Perfect in every way. She was truly a goddess, a dainty flower in a world of weeds. A fiery vixen with an -

Helena: Um, excuse me? When you're quite done, I'm in need of a private detective.

Vincent: When I'm quite done?

Helena: Yes.

Vincent: Very well. Where was I? Ah, yes, I was about to describe your smooth silky skin. Bathed as if with an inner glow, it's radiation saturates my heart.

Helena: It was just a figure of speech, actually. I really do need your services nowish.

Vincent: Uh, right. So, what's the story, morning glory?

Helena: Actually, my name's Helena, Helena Handbasket. Don't worry, I killed my parents years ago for that crappy pun.

Vincent: So, what's the sitch, Helena? Are you a stripper turned informant on the run from the mob and your old life, looking to start a new life, but your old life is catching up with you due to a wacky chain of events set off by your purchase of a hot dog on 3rd and Main?

Helena: No.

Vincent: Well, I'm out of ideas. Help me out here, sweatkitten.

Helena: Sweatkitten?

Vincent: I meant it in the affectionate sense.

Helena: You better have. Anyway, it's like this…

Act II

Helena goes into the other section, where some sort of dinner party is going on.

The dinner party is being held at the residence of Dame Francesca Paris. Also in attendance is her 'usband Emilio. Um, who else? Jeffrey Watts, inventor. And Pumpkin Escardo, the illegitimate heir to the Escardo fortune. They are seated at a table, and Helena joins them by sitting at the end. Everything that Pumpkin says is completely ignored. They are deep in conversation, and Helena introduces them to Vince.

Vince: So, who are these people?

Helena: Well, seated next to me is Dame Francesca Paris, and her husband Emilio. Next down is Jeffrey Watts.

Vince: THE Jeffrey Watts?

Helena: Oh, no, I'm sure there are others. This is the famous one, though. Inventor of such fine products as the perpetual motion engine, and the peg. Finally, we have Pumpkin Escardo, the illegitimate heir to the Escardo fortune.

Fran: Frankly, the common people disgust me. You should hear the language that comes out of some of their mouths.

Jeff: Example?

Fran: 'Twas only the other day, while checking into a hotel that the man behind the desk asked me, would you believe, "Which room would youse like?" Honestly! Why can't people be more like us?

Emilio: Well, leather is prohibitively expensive, dear.

Pumpkin: And another thing… the police are fascists these days.

Fran: Well, Jeff, I heard you invented something the other day?

Jeff: Did you, now? Well, I don't like to blow my own horn.

Pumpkin: I mean, nudity isn't a crime.

Fran: Oh, no, do go on. We love to hear of your inventions.

Jeff: Well, it's a little bit complex, but basically it's a machine I've created to determine the meaning of life.

Pumpkin: It's the natural state of being!

Fran: And that is?

Jeff: Surprisingly, it's -

He's interrupted by the entrance of Ramone.

Fran: My god, it's Ramone! Returned from the grave on the anniversary of the night we killed him!

Ramone: That's right. You never should have performed those voodoo chants over my corpse.

Emilio: Yes… why did we do that anyway?

Suddenly, the lights go out. When they come back on, Ramone is gone.

Helena gasps.

Helena: Oh no! Where is my pearl necklace?

The flashback ended, Helena returns to Vince's office for Act III.

Act III.

Helena is reseated in Vince's office.

Helena: So, will you take the case?

Vince: No.

Suddenly, Vince's phone rings. He picks it up and talks to the person on the other end, who we don't hear.

Vince: Hello? Yes. Yes. No. Why? Oh. Both thumbs? Well, that's not really a problem, is it? And my Spongebob DVDs? Okay. Yes. Yes. No. Okay. Bye.

Vince puts the phone down.

Vince: Okay, I'll take the case. I've formulated a simple plan.

Helena: And what's that?

Vince: I'm going to travel back in time.

Helena: Actually, that sounds unnecessarily complicated.

Vince: Yes, and quite expensive on your part too. I'll be back soon. I have to see a man about a time machine.

Helena: Well, obviously.

Act IV.

Vincent has walked into the lair of Dr. Colossus.

Vincent: Hello? Anyone home. Preferably mad scientists with a penchant for time travel.

Suddenly he is set upon at all sides by the minions of Dr. Colossus. There can be many of them.

Vincent: And who are you?

Minions: We are the singing minions of Dr. Colossus!

Vincent: Singing? Oh crap.

The Minions burst into song, barbershop style:

Come on and hear,

Come on and cheer,

Because Dr. Colossus is back in town.

Now everybody step to a syncopated rhythm,

As we go in with them, as they begin.

You'll be saying Yessir, the band is grand, he's the best professor in all the land..

Vincent: Enough! Where is Dr. Colossus?

Dr. Colossus enters.

Dr. C: Well, well, well, Mr. Gershwin. I don't think you're in any position to be making demands.

Vincent: Actually, it was a question, albeit a somewhat forceful one.

Dr. C: Be that as it may, Mr. Gershwin, you're surrounded by MY minions… Oh, this doesn't bode well for our hero, does it?

Vincent: Well, not really.

Dr. C: What do you want, Mr. Gershwin? Why did you come here?

Vincent: I want the secret of time travel, Dr. Colossus. And I want it now.

Dr. C: And why should I give it you, Gershwin?

Vincent grabs a minion.

Grabbed minion: Unhand me, you rogue!

Vincent: If you don't, I'll reduce this one's face to a bloody pulp.

Dr. C: Not Harold! He's my favorite!

A Minion: I thought I was your favorite?

Dr. C: I tired of your antics long ago, Thomas. Very well, I'll tell you. The secret to time travel is… lima beans.

Vincent: Lima beans?!? Where am I going to get those?

Dr. C: In the Fruit and Produce section of the supermarket, of course.

Vincent: But that's so far away from the candy!

Dr. C: Quite. Now if you've finished threatening my dear sweet Harold, I'm afraid I have a fire-breathing giant robot to construct.

Vincent: A fire-breathing giant robot, eh? Are we still on for tennis on Tuesday?

Dr. C: Oh, yes. I'll see you then.

Vincent: Ta ta.

Act V.

Helena is sitting back at the dinner party. Vince returns to his office, picks up a torch and downs the lima beans.

Jeff: Well, it's a little bit complex, but basically it's a machine I've created to determine the meaning of life.

Pumpkin: It's the natural state of being!

Fran: And that is?

Jeff: Surprisingly, it's -

He's interrupted by the entrance of Ramone and Vincent.

Fran: My god, it's Ramone! Returned from the grave on the anniversary of the night we killed him!

Ramone: That's right. You never should have performed those voodoo chants over my corpse.

Emilio: (to Vincent) And who are you?

Vincent: An interested third party.

The lights go out, and Vincent trains his torch on Helena, catching her in the act as she puts her pearl necklace into her pocket! Ha, quite a twist, isn't it.

And then, the lights come back on.

And the act finishes.

Act VI.

We're in Vince's office again. Helena is sitting there, and Vincent walks in. He sits down at his desk.

Helena: How was it? The time travel, I mean.

Vince: Very enlightening. I found out who took your necklace, by the way.

Helena: Really? Who was it?

Vince: It was me.

Helena: What? But, I… insurance fraud… pocket.. what?

Vince: Yes, you stole it first, intending to claim it for the insurance money. It was awfully naughty of you. Then when you came to see me, I utilized my newfound knowledge of time travel and stole it from your dresser drawer, along with a whole bunch of silverware.

Helena sits there, shocked.

Vince: Yes, quite the twist, isn't it.

Vince steps forward, for a closing monologue.

Vince: And that was the end of the adventure. I paid my bookie and retained my thumbs. A cheap baseball bat and a secluded swamp got Helena out of my life, and I had just enough left over to start a savings account. Unfortunately, during another time travel adventure a week later, I killed my grandfather, creating a paradox, thus bringing the universe to an untimely end.