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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (12/19/08) 8:44pm - ... wherein Peter writes a sketch for Friday Sketch War.

This week's Friday Sketch War has the theme "3:34am".  Here's my entry:


               Friday Sketch War
               3:34AM Edition
               "Building Maintenance"



               BLACKNESS

               A light SWITCHES ON to REVEAL --



               INT. CONFERENCE AREA - NIGHT

               SANJAY walks into an ad-hoc meeting-space in a vast, dark
               office floor.  It has a couple of couches and a coffee table.

               A projection screen (now blank) occupies a nearby wall.

               A large mechanical device sits in the middle of the area.

               A wall clock tells us it's 3:34.  The darkened windows along
               the wall tell us it's 3:34am.

               Sanjay wears a nice suit.  He chugs down a big mug of coffee
               as he walks in.

               He puts down the mug.  Takes a breath.

               A NOISE from the darkness.

               Sanjay peers around.  Nothing.

                                   SANJAY
                         Screen on.

               The projection screen blips on.  It shows MR. ABBAS, sitting
               somewhere expensive and sunny and staring at the screen.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         Four minutes late.

                                   SANJAY
                         Oh.  I can explain.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         I'm kidding!  It's a joke!

                                   SANJAY
                         Ha.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         You can be late -- it is, what,
                         three in the morning where you are?

               OMINOUS SOUNDTRACK MUSIC fades in on the office PA system.

                                   SANJAY
                         We pride ourselves on
                         professionalism, sir.  We're more
                         than happy to accommodate your
                         schedule, because...

               He trails off.  Where the hell did that music come from?

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         Is that music?

                                   SANJAY
                         Yes.  Is that a problem?

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         No, just show this machine to me.

                                   SANJAY
                         Of course, sir.

               In the background, a JANITOR enters and lays a long piece of
               brightly-colored TAPE on the floor.  Sanjay hasn't noticed
               him yet --

                                   SANJAY
                         This is just a model of the EP-71,
                         but -- bwah!

               That's Sanjay noticing the janitor.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         What?

                                   SANJAY
                         Just one moment, sir.  Screen off.

               Screen blips off.

               The janitor finishes laying down the length of tape.  Sanjay
               just stares at him.  By way of explanation --

                                   JANITOR
                         Tuesday night.  So I tape.

               -- and off he goes.

                                   SANJAY
                         Screen on.  Sorry, I --

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         I have no time.  Show me this
                         machine!  Now!

                                   SANJAY
                         This is just a model, but it
                         demonstrates --

               Janitor re-enters, dumping a pile of small beanbags behind
               the tape line.  Off Sanjay's look --

                                   JANITOR
                         Tuesday!

               He re-exits.

                                   SANJAY
                         -- demonstrates the drilling
                         capabilities of the real device.

               The janitor re-enters, moves the couches to the wall while
               Sanjay soldiers on.

                                   SANJAY
                         The innovative design saves over
                         30% in spillage and --

               The janitor starts dragging the machine away.

                                   SANJAY
                         Screen off!

               Screen blips off.

                                   SANJAY
                         What the hell!  What are you doing?

                                   JANITOR
                         Tuesday!

                                   SANJAY
                         Please just leave this machine
                         here.  Please.

               Janitor shrugs, exits.

                                   SANJAY
                         Screen on.

               Screen blips on.

                                   SANJAY
                         Sorry about that.  Now --

                                   ANNE (O.S.)
                         Lightning bolt!

               A beanbag hits Sanjay in the head.

                                   SANJAY
                         What?

               And suddenly a bunch of EXECS, including ANNE and the CEO,
               rush in.

               They're dressed in Ren Faire/fantasy costumes, brandishing
               Nerf swords, and throwing beanbags at one another while
               shouting D&D spell names:  "Magic missile!", "Heal!", et
               cetera.  (Anne only ever says "Lightning bolt!")

               The CEO wears a hood that conceals his face.

               They nearly knock Sanjay down in the bustle.

               The CEO triumphantly jumps behind the tape.

                                   CEO
                         Aha!  The forces of Melchior have
                         activated the magic wall!

               Anne throws a beanbag at him.

                                   ANNE
                         Lightning bolt!

                                   CEO
                         'Magic wall'.

                                   ANNE
                         Sorry.

               The CEO sees the beanbag pile.

                                   CEO
                         And now we have a stash of new
                         spells!

               A few execs cheer.

                                   SANJAY
                         What are you people doing?

               The CEO pulls back the hood.

                                   CEO
                         Live-action D&D, Sanjay.

                                   SANJAY
                         Oh.  Boss.  Hi.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         This is not good!  And
                         unprofessional!

                                   CEO
                         You're meeting with Abbas now? 
                         During the game?

                                   SANJAY
                         Game?

                                   CEO
                         Fix this.

               The CEO leads the EXECS away.

                                   CEO (O.S.)
                         This castle is protected by an evil
                         wizard!  We must escape!

               Sanjay faces the screen.  Mr. Abbas is not happy.

                                   SANJAY
                         I -- this isn't -- let's get back
                         to the machine --

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         I'm kidding!  It is fine.  I play
                         like that all the time.  I am a
                         fifth-level bard.

                                   SANJAY
                         I -- what?

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         But -- no time.  Do this again same
                         time tomorrow?

                                   SANJAY
                         Okay.  Sure.

                                   MR. ABBAS
                         Screen off.

               The screen blips off.

               Sanjay collapses on a couch.

                                   ANNE (O.S.)
                         Lightning bolt!

               A beanbag flies in from offscreen and hits Sanjay in the
               head.

               He lies down and goes to sleep.

                                                              BLACKOUT.


(This is also posted on at the Sketchwar site.)

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Mood: [mood icon] disappointed · Music: none
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