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

Friday (2/19/10) 3:10pm - ... wherein Peter writes a sketch for Sketch War.

Sketchwar is an online weekly sketch-writing group.  Every week, participants write comedy sketches about that week's topic; at the end of the week, we read each other's sketches, comment, and perhaps bicker about who wrote the best sketch that week.  If you're interested in participating, this page has information about how to throw a sketch into the ring, as well as the schedule of upcoming topics (next week's topic is "Surgery").

This week's Sketch War topic was "Lost & Found".


               Sketchwar
               Lost & Found Edition
               "Circle Ten Office Plaza Training Film"

               FADE IN:



               MONTAGE

               A quick montage of old photographs of an office park, with
               star wipes from one photo to the next, and the superimposed
               title "Circle Ten Office Plaza Training Film."

               A) An exterior shot of an office building.

               B) Close-up of a sign that reads "Circle Ten Office Plaza".

               C) Interior shot of a large lobby.

               D) An EMPLOYEE stands at a counter beneath a "Lost & Found"
               sign.  The lost & found center is a small room connected to
               the lobby by a door-sized counter.

               Cheesy MUZAK plays over this montage.

               We hear the NARRATOR over this sequence:

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Welcome to your new career at the
                         lost-and-found booth at the Circle
                         Ten Office Plaza!  Pay close
                         attention to this video, and you'll
                         learn how to do a circle-ten-tastic
                         job!



               INT. LOST AND FOUND DESK - DAY

               BRYAN sits at the counter beneath the "Lost & Found" sign.

               FREEZE FRAME on this.

               TITLE appears:  "The Four C's of the Lost and Found"

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         The four C's of the lost and found!

               The MUZAK keeps playing throughout the video -- the only
               audio on the training film is the muzak and the narrator.



               MONTAGE

               Various footage of circle-ten employees, with the title "1. 
               Courtesy".

               A) A friendly VALET takes the keys to a BUSINESSMAN's car.

               B) A friendly JANITOR waits for a SECRETARY to walk by before
               buffing the floor.

               C) A friendly GROUNDSKEEPER saves a kitten stuck in a tree.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         At the circle ten office park, your
                         first responsibility is always
                         courtesy.



               INT. LOST AND FOUND DESK - DAY

               Bryan sits at the counter.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         So remember:  show them that circle
                         ten smile!  Let the office-ten
                         family know that they matter to
                         you.

               MICHAEL walks up to the counter.

               Bryan smiles at Michael.

               Michael smiles back.

               Bryan's smile fades into a creepy, steely gaze.

               Michael, a bit disturbed, walks away.



               INT. LOST AND FOUND DESK - DAY

               Bryan sits at the counter, holding a wallet behind his back.

               Michael stands at the counter.

               The two converse.  Apparently Bryan is asking questions and
               Michael is describing the wallet, though we can't hear the
               audio.

               Over this, a TITLE reads "2.  Confirmation".

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Picking up items is simple.  Just
                         ask the patron to describe the lost
                         item, so as to confirm the item is
                         actually theirs.  At circle ten, we
                         don't want someone accidentally
                         claiming the wrong thing!

               Meanwhile, the conversation between Bryan and Michael grows
               heated, until Bryan grabs Michael, pulls out a switchblade,
               and holds it to Michael's throat.



               INT. MAIN LOBBY - DAY

               A purse sits abandoned on the floor of the main lobby.

               TITLE:  "3.  Collection.'

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Gather up lost items in the
                         immediate lobby area.

               Michael walks by, notices the purse, stops.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Much as we love everyone in our
                         circle-ten family --

               Michael picks up the purse and walks towards the lost & found
               counter.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         -- someone might see fit to keep a
                         lost item for themselves.

               Bryan LEAPS IN from out of frame, and SIDE-TACKLES Michael.

               They fall out of frame.

               Bryan gets up, shouts at Michael for a bit (again, we don't
               hear the audio), picks up the purse, and goes back to his
               counter.



               INT. BEHIND THE LOST AND FOUND DESK - DAY

               Inside the lost-and-found "room", Bryan bows to an elaborate
               shrine, complete with candles and flowers, to a GIANT PILE of
               lost items.

               TITLE:  "4.  Collation"

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Finally, be sure to keep the lost
                         items effectively sorted.



               INT. LOST AND FOUND DESK - CONTINUOUS

               Michael approaches the desk, which has a "Closed:  back in
               five minutes!" sign posted.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         This way, you can find items
                         quickly and effectively for our
                         circle-ten patrons.

               Michael knocks on the desk. 

               Bryan gets up, alarmed.

               Bryan shouts at Michael (no audio), and points out the sign.

               Michael makes apologetic gestures.

               Bryan decks him.



               MONTAGE

               The same montage from the beginning.

               A) An exterior shot of an office building.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Now you know the basics of --

               CUT TO STATIC



               INT. OFFICE - DAY

               A NEW HIRE watches the static on a TV screen.

                                   SUPERVISOR (O.S.)
                         And that's the basics of your new
                         job, kid.  Got it?

                                   NEW HIRE
                         Yeah -- just don't act like that
                         crazy guy, right?

               In the background, Bryan creeps in.

                                   NEW HIRE
                         Right?

               Bryan approaches.

                                   NEW HIRE
                         He's right behind me, isn't he?

               Bryan flicks open his switchblade.

                                   BRYAN
                         Let's pour this gravy.

                                                              BLACKOUT.




(I've cross-posted this to the Sketchwar site.)

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