Some time ago, I participated in something called "Sketchwar". Every Saturday, we'd pick a topic. Then we'd all write a sketch that had to do with that topic, and post it the following Friday. The next day, we'd have a new topic to work on, and so on.
I figured, now that I have time for such things, I'd start doing this again. I set myself the topic of "Starting Over", and wrote a sketch from that. If anybody feels like playing along, I'm going with the topic The Twilight Zone for next week (it's been on my mind lately, what with the show and all).
FADE IN: EXT. BEACH - DAY CHRISTOPHER (30) plays fetch with his dog on a sunny, idyllic beach. A "KBXY NEWS" logo sits in the lower-right corner of the screen (as it does throughout). NEWSCASTER (V.O.) Meet Christopher Bailey, a man who's quit the rat race in Manhattan for a shack by the beach in Kawileah. He's given up on a high-roller salary to pursue his dream... INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN "TroothBombzBlowinUp" types in a youtube comment: "are you a fuken nazi in naziland". NEWSCASTER (V.O.) ... being a dick to people on youtube. INT. SHACK - DAY Christopher types at his laptop in a little shack that looks out on the ocean. Happy. Almost beatific. A man at peace. CHRISTOPHER "Are you a fucking Nazi in Nazi-land?" (contented sigh) Yeah. Sending that. He clicks the mouse. INT. TV STUDIO - DAY DEBORAH (30), cheery and attractive, faces on offscreen reporter. A chyron appears: "Deborah Mendell: Girlfriend". DEBORAH Chris is amazing. He's just the happiest guy I know. INT. TV STUDIO - DAY GARTH (40), a good-natured hippie, faces an offscreen reporter. A chyron appears: "Garth Wilson: Friend, Life Coach". GARTH No matter who you are, there's nothing more important than following your bliss. And I think Chris is a guy who understands that. INT. TV STUDIO - DAY Back to Deborah. DEBORAH It's like he's got this mission, to piss off every person who uses youtube. EXT. BEACH - DAY Christopher throws a piece of driftwood for his dog to fetch. DEBORAH (V.O.) I tell him that's impossible, but you know what? That only makes him more determined. CHRISTOPHER This guy posted a video about how to handle the latest changes in Massachusetts estate law. I think I'm gonna tell him I hope he gets colon cancer. INT. OFFICE - DAY BOB and ANNA (20s) -- intense, grad-student types -- face an off-screen reporter. Chyron: Bob Devotchnik and Anna Hare: Youtube Commenters". Behind them is a whiteboard. At the top: "Fuken or fukn -- which is more offensive?" Below that is a list of bullet points addressing the question. BOB It's a common misconception that these comments come from angry teenagers. Really, it's a labor of love from maybe a hundred people. ANNA Yeah, I mean: imagine the dumbest person you know. Now think about the average youtube comment -- it's even dumber, right? BOB It's no accident. ANNA It's hard work from dedicated craftsmen like Chris. INT. SHACK - DAY Chris sits at his computer, showing off youtube profiles. CHRISTOPHER This one is actually an automated system I set up. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN The screen shows a profile for "XtremeBlackIdPeezFan". CHRISTOPHER (V.O.) It goes to music videos and puts in recommendations for the Black Eyed Peas. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A youtube comment from "XtremeBlackIdPeezFan": "fuck this shit wwhh you not listen to my humps my humps roooolz shti" CHRISTOPHER (V.O.) I've set up lots of personas. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN The screen shows a youtube profile for "UnrepentantBlackguard". Its profile photo is an old-timey boxing poster. CHRISTOPHER (V.O.) Reginald Thornbottom is a 19th-century Wessex mill worker. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A youtube comment from "UnrepentantBlackguard": "were i within striking distance of you, sir, i would heartily give you what-for!" A reply comment: "what" CHRISTOPHER (V.O.) Even if you have no idea what he's saying, you still know you got burned. INT. SHACK - DAY Same as before. CHRISTOPHER And that's what it's all about. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A youtube profile for "Yarr!" A pirate. CHRISTOPHE""R (V.O.) I've tried a pirate, but nobody takes him seriously. INT. TV STUDIO - DAY GREG (50s, fat, bald) addresses the offscreen interviewer. Chyron: "Greg Rollins: former boss". GREG Don't get me wrong, Chris was a superior hedge-fund manager. But he was clearly under stress, and he never seemed to relate to the rest of the management team. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A youtube video shows Maru the cat trying to fit himself into a box. GREG (V.O.) Except for that one time we talked about cat videos. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A comment on the video from "InfoWarsFckyeah" reads, "Your cat is stupid." BOB (V.O.) Clearly, something was wrong with Chris. INT. OFFICE - DAY Back to Bob and Anna and the whiteboard. BOB The stress was getting to him, the lifestyle, something. ANNA We started seeing comments like this one -- INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN Another comment from "InfoWarsFckyeah": "u retardc i thers just 1 word 4 u annits" ANNA "You retard C, I there's just one word for you an' it's..." INT. OFFICE - DAY Back to Bob and Anna. ANNA It's what, Chris? What is it? BOB The Chris we knew would have never done such shoddy work. NEWSCASTER (V.O.) What did you do for him? BOB We talked about an intervention, but Anna mentioned one of the great bitchfukkpanties comments. INSERT - COMPUTER SCREEN A comment from "bitchfukkpanties" reads, "you stupid getyer ass righ fur fuks sak fag". ANNA "You stupid get yer ass righ fur fuks sak fag." INT. OFFICE - DAY BOB We're pretty sure it means, "There are some things a man has to sort out on his own." EXT. BEACH - DAY Christopher types away on his laptop, his dog sitting beside him. A passing TOURIST holds a smartphone, glaring at it. TOURIST Goddamn Black Eyed Peas fan.... CHRISTOPHER That right there? That's what makes it all worthwhile. EXT. BEACH PICNIC - DAY Christopher, Anna, and Bob have a little picnic on the beach. They pore over a chart with two columns of offensive words. There's a line drawn between "fag" in the left column and "nazi" in the right. NEWSCASTER (V.O.) So, want to know what really matters in life? Just ask Christopher Bailey. Address: the beach, Hawaii, USA. CHRISTOPHER "Fagnazi". I like the sound of that. FADE OUT.
Mood: peaceful · Music: none