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

Friday (4/20/12) 3:45pm - ... wherein Peter posts yet another Sketchwar thingie.

Wow -- two months since my last Sketchwar entry!  My writing time got eaten up by the radio serial, among other things.  Let's try and pick up where we left off, shall we?...

--

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.  This week, I set myself the topic of "useless skills".  If anybody wants to join in the Sketchwar fray, next week's topic is Firefly -- 'cos hey, looks like we have a properly assembled and costumed Firefly cast at our disposal.

          Sketchwar
          "Women in Peril" Edition
          "Office Parking Lot"
          
          FADE IN:

          EXT. OFFICE COMPLEX - NIGHT

          JEFF (20s) and ELAINE (20s) walk down a well-lit sidewalk
          through a dark office complex.

                              ELAINE
                    Thanks for walking me to my car.

                              JEFF
                    No problem.

          As Jeff continues, Elaine carefully curls her hand into a
          fist and pokes out her keys between her fingers.

                              JEFF
                    I'll go back over that last section
                    for typos, and then hand it off to
                    -- what're you doing?

                              ELAINE
                    Oh -- it just makes it so, if you
                    punch someone, it leaves holes.

          They look at the shadows, a bit nervous.

                              JEFF
                    Ah.  Hey, I'm sure they'll catch
                    whoever's...

          He trails off.

                              ELAINE
                    Yeah.

          They walk in silence.

          There's a sudden RUSTLING from the darkness.

          Elaine suddenly drops into a badass martial-arts stance.

                              JEFF
                    Hey, what --

                              ELAINE
                    Shhh.

          She eyes the shadows carefully, then relaxes.

                              JEFF
                    Wow, what was that --

          He makes some cheesy martial-arts poses.

                              JEFF
                    -- thing?

                              ELAINE
                    Oh, that? just krav maga.  Lots of
                    women know basic self-defense,
                    y'know, to be safe.

          They resume walking.

                              JEFF
                    Well, I don't know krav maga.

                              ELAINE
                    Heh.  You don't have to worry about
                    getting assaulted on the way to
                    your car.

                              JEFF
                    True.

          Louder rustling!

          Elaine drops into a stance again.

                              JEFF
                    What?

                              ELAINE
                    That was definitely something.

                              JEFF
                    Okay, let's just book it to the car
                    --

                              ELAINE
                    No, that's another hundred feet,
                    and the sight-lines are all wrong.

                              JEFF
                    So, we go back to the office?

                              ELAINE
                    That sends us through three blind
                    corners; we could get ambushed at
                    any of them.

                              JEFF
                    What the -- how do you know this?

                              ELAINE
                    It's just basic situational
                    awareness, Jeff --

                              JEFF
                    But this is Jason-Bourne shit --

                              ELAINE
                    It's just stuff that women notice,
                    okay?  Like shoes!  We note
                    distances, we count exits --

                              JEFF
                    Jesus.

                              ELAINE
                    Anyway -- my point is, if there's
                    something out there, we can't run. 
                    We have to make a stand here.

                              JEFF
                    Okay --

          Somehow, Elaine unsheaths a katana.  SHING!

                              JEFF
                    HOW DO YOU HAVE A KATANA?!

                              ELAINE
                    SHUT UP AND COVER MY SIX!

                              JEFF
                    WITH WHAT?!

                              ELAINE
                    Here, take my pepper spray.

          She tosses him a tiny canister.

          They stand back-to-back, facing out into the darkness.

          Silence.

                              JEFF
                    How long do we --

                              ELAINE
                    Shhh.

          Suddenly, a HOODED FIGURE jumps from the darkness, expertly
          twirling a bo stick.

          Just as the stick is coming down towards Jeff's head --

                              ELAINE
                    STOP!  HE'S WITH ME!

          And the stick stops inches from Jeff's head.

          The hooded figure unhoods to reveal CAROLINE, a friendly,
          dowdy, middle-aged woman.

                              CAROLINE
                    Sorry, Jeffery.  Thought you might
                    be that attacker we've been hearing
                    about.

          Jeff whimpers.

                              CAROLINE
                    By the by, you've got that nozzle
                    aimed at yourself, dear.

          Jeff pockets the pepper spray.

                              JEFF
                    Well, how do you know it's *not* me
                    -- I mean, it's not, but you can't
                    just trust --

                              ELAINE
                    Oh, if it were, we could just use
                    this.

          She pulls out a little button unit, like a garage opener.

          Jeff takes it.

                              JEFF
                    Really, what's thi--

          He tries pushing the button.

          There's a loud VZZT noise, and suddenly Jeff doubles over in
          pain.

          Elaine picks up the button unit.

                              ELAINE
                    I put a standard subdermal
                    electrode on your neck -- y'know,
                    just in case.

                              JEFF
                    It -- you --

                              CAROLINE
                    In case you turned out to be evil.

                              JEFF
                    What?

                              CAROLINE
                    It's a sign of respect, Jeffrey. 
                    It means she thinks there's a
                    chance you could best her in
                    combat.

                              JEFF
                    Does Creepy Chris have one of these
                    subdermal things?

                              ELAINE AND CAROLINE
                    Oh yeah.

                              JEFF
                    Wow.

                              ELAINE
                    Okay, see you tomorrow, Caroline.

                              CAROLINE
                    Stay safe.

          Caroline disappears into the darkness.

          Elaine and Jeff resume their walk.


          EXT. OFFICE COMPLEX - ELAINE'S CAR - LATER

          A normal, well-lit parking lot.

          Elaine gets in her car.

                              JEFF
                    Here you are.

                              ELAINE
                    Thanks again, Jeff.

                              JEFF
                    Uh-huh.

                              ELAINE
                    You sure you're feeling okay?

                              JEFF
                    I don't know *how* I feel.  I mean,
                    this was all kind of awesome,
                    but...

                              ELAINE
                    Yeah.  You get to just walk back to
                    the office without worrying about
                    anything.

                              JEFF
                    Hmm.

                              ELAINE
                    See you tomorrow.

                              JEFF
                    Later.

          She drives off.

          Another rustle from the shadows.

          Jeff instantly pulls out the pepper spray --

          -- and accidentally sprays himself in the face.

                              JEFF
                    OW!  WHY?!

                                                        FADE OUT.



I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  On the one hand, I had fun with the topic, on the other, I suspect any comedy sketch based on the prompt "women in peril" would have made me feel icky.

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