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avatar of mice & mensches — my animated pilot script

i had this idea for an animated series:
ANIMALS IN GROUP THERAPY.
I call it PET PEEVES.
i wrote a pilot script.
“of mice & mensches”
i’m sharing it here on my blog. it’s a long read, you’ll need coffee, or wine… seriously.
i swear, i can see it as a series. i can.
i think it’s so funny & brilliant.
but then again…

FADE IN:
EXT. HEAVENLY CREATURES CEMETERY
A Funeral. It’s pouring. For a wedding, this would mean bad luck – for a funeral it doesn’t much matter.
Over a sea of mostly black ‘tote’ umbrellas, we HEAR wailing; crying, sniffling, snorting, one could even say we hear an unbalanced and slightly obnoxious orchestra of emotions.

GRAVESITE: A small simple casket rests inside a freshly dug hole, which, by the way, is slowly but surely filling with rain.

MOURNERS POV
A pair of legs, from the knees down – khaki trousers tucked into a pair of BLACK OVERSIZED GALOSHES.
These legs belong to Dr. Wayne Dwayne Dyer Dwyer. A very famous Author slash therapist slash motivational speaker. His bestseller, “The Power of Eternal Intention,” has been translated into two hundred and fifty seven languages – some in languages that don’t even exist yet. His “Connecticut clip” at times can be very soothing, melodic – other times, a bit unnerving and every so often, a word gets stretched beyond its natural limit. In other words, a thoroughbred.

ANGLE ON LEGS
DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
(calm and gentle)
— and maybe one question we need to ask ourselves in a tender nonjudgmental way: is there anything we could have done to prevent this horrific sad unnecessary needless cruel accident?
(a thoughtful pause)
Or perhaps, it wasn’t an accident. Perhaps not unlike many therapists I know, Dr. Anna Manna Pia carried the weight of every single patient’s story, scenario, life history right there ON HER SHOULDERS —
(a beat)
— and just like a big solid massive boulder, nothing you say or do is going to remove that weight. Nothing.
(Very agitated)
You end up looking like quasi friggin’ moto, and finally, finally like a rubber band, all that–crap–just–makes–you–snap!

SFX – RUBBER BANDS SNAPPING, SNAPPING, SNAPPING.

CROWD: Ooohing, aahhhhing, a couple of “oh my God,” and a few “ughhhhh gross….”

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
(takes a breath, then a bit more soothing)
But perhaps we should focus on this moment, on this precious moment – which will in a moment from now turn into another precious moment.
(palpable inhale, then palpable exhale, beat)
And for a mere thirty nine ninety nine, you can purchase my new audio book, Hello Dalai Lama, and playback those precious moments over and over and —

LENNY
(OS, in a nasal ala Ratso Rizzo voice)
— Jesus F. Christ, who hired this guy?

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
Imagine clearing the cobwebs, the bad karma, pushing aside all of those self imposed limitations —

LENNY (OS, RAPID FIRE)
— come on come on come on come on, I don’t got all day.

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
(a beat)
— and boundaries.
(slowly)
I’d like to leave you with one of my very favorite quotes from the hit movie Jerry Maguire.
(thoughtful)
“You fill me.”

A HUSH, then:

CHLOE (OS)
“You complete me.”
(a beat)
You fill me is something you would say at a gas station, “that’s right, come on baby, you fill me, give it to me right up to the ‘F’.”
(a beat)
Quote, “You complete me.” End quote.

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
(calmly)
And you are?

Chloe steps out from the crowd. Our tough, sassy ex-movie star K-9. A little worn and bloated around the edges. Think Kathleen Turner in Virginia Wolff – wearing the most inappropriate outfit to ‘this’ funeral — head to toe “faux.” Lots of attitude.

CHLOE:
I am Chloe Van DeCamp.

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
“Turner and Hooch?”

CHLOE
No, that was some bitch from Orange County. I was in the Dick Woof series, “Roll Over and Play Dead.” Five seasons and then like that –
(snaps her paw)
— replaced. Some young hot whippet. One minute I’m wearing a diamond studded collar, the next, I’m looking around for a hydrant. What kind of God would do that?

Silence, then:

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE:
(a bit unnerved)
Portia?

Portia – our anorexic pig from Great Neck, wearing a red rain slicker and matching hat – timidly steps forward. Accidentally brushing up against Chloe who stands with her paws on her hips.

CHLOE:
Excuse me, Miss Thing.

Chloe makes various animal sounds and noises. Growl, snap, hiss – oink, oink, hiss — MEOOOOOWWWWWW.

DR. WAYNE DWAYNE
(to Chloe)
You are very troubled.
(to Portia)
Portia. You wanted to say a few words. Come on, come on, don’t be shy, a few final words.

Portia steps forward — her mouth quivering. She looks so very frail.
She looks down at the very wet hole in the ground. Unable to control herself, she sobs, the tears fall. A large tear moving it’s way down her cheek – she catches it with her tongue. She is utterly completely at a loss for words.

Then from out of this sea of umbrellas – one by one, our neurotic pets: Lenny our Lab Rat, Divine our Transvestite Rabbit, Jabbers our mute Parrot, Snowball our White Himalayan Cat, and lastly, Chloe — gather around our precious Portia, as they ‘pay their last respects’ to their beloved and FORMER THERAPIST.
And on the count of three, a group huddle and hug.
Screen goes black.

TITLE: “Rule number one. Absolutely no fraternizing outside of Group.”

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

INT. THE KIBBLE AND BITS BUILDING – SAME AFTERNOON
A high rise.
ELEVATOR BANK – All our pets stand — waiting in silence, in their own thoughts, in their own puddle — dripping wet from the rain.
Ernie, our retired NASA chimpanzee — arrives. It looks like he just got off the plane from Boca. A little straw fedora tipping ever so slightly on his head. He slides in between Divine and Chloe. A beat, then:

DIVINE
(out of the corner of his/her mouth)
You weren’t at the funeral.

Ernie shrugs, as if to say, so what?

A beat.

LENNY
Whats-a-matter, Ern, got a funeral phobia?

ERNIE
Up yours, Len.

This completely unnerves Lenny, makes him squirm. He starts to twitch and squirm, twitch and squirm.
And never, ever call Lenny Len. The elevator arrives. One by one, they step in. Just before the doors close – on a count of three, they all – except for Lenny – shake, shake, shake… shake themselves dry…

LENNY
Jesus F. Christ, look at me —
(a beat)
— a drowned rat.

The elevator doors close shut.

CUT TO:
DR. SCHMEKEL
Enters the building. An old, cranky Schnauzer – Freudian, Reichian, Ambien. Using his umbrella as a walking stick. His grey hair, short and spiky; his rotten teeth, stained and yellow.
He walks over to the directory, placing his bifocals on the tip of his nose, as he scans the directory.

ANGLE ON DIRECTORY
A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P—
CLOSE ON NAME:
DR. ANNA MANNA PIA, PHD,DMV,VMD,LSD — Room 2207: a red crayon through the name, and then the word DEAD, scribbled next to it. SCHMEKEL tugs at his spiky little beard. Thinking, wondering, deciding…
Thinking, wondering, deciding. Elevator vs. Stairs.
Thinking, wondering, deciding. Elevator vs. Stairs.
Ah, yes. A decision.
He shuffles along.
Right past the elevators, and makes his way toward the stairwell.
Wonder what his phobia is? Heights? Closed tiny spaces?
He climbs the stairs…

CUT TO:
ELEVATOR
Shoulder to shoulder.
And then, POUFFFFFF, a putrid horrific awful smell fills the small space.
JABBERS, clamping his nose closed.

SNOWBALL:
Eewwwwwwww. Gross.

DIVINE:
Chanel…
(a beat)
…Number 2.

LENNY:
(looks smack at Chloe)
It’s comin’ from you.

All eyes now on Chloe. A moment, as she tries to spin this into something a bit less awful. She’s obviously embarrassed. Who wouldn’t be?

CHLOE:
It’s glandular.

ERNIE:
Glandular? Que pasa, baby?

CHLOE:
Hey midget, don’t start.

ERNIE:
I am not a midget. Okay?

CHLOE:
Oh. I forgot. Little Creature.

Ernie flips her the bird. Literally.

CUT TO:
SCHMEKEL
Third floor.
A little less energetic as he climbs the stairs.
CUT TO:
ELEVATORS
Chloe, standing in one corner. The others, standing in the opposite corner.
SFX: A BELL RINGS. RINNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG.
Round Three of this “sparring” match.

ERNIE:
(sarcastic)
Maybe it wasn’t ‘age discrimination.’

CHLOE:
(nasty)
Watch it you drunken, short, filthy, sexual deviant.

LENNY:
You say that like it’s a bad thing.

CHLOE:
(real bite – to Lenny)
Why don’t you stick a broom up your ass and sweep the sidewalk.

Lenny squirms and twitches. Squirms and twitches.

LENNY:
Hey, hey, hey…who you talkin’ to here?

The beginning of a cat fight — meoooooowwwwwww, hissssssss, hissssssss, raaaaaa, claws out.

PORTIA:
(in tears, stuttering)
Pleassssssse. We, we, we, we…

All eyes turn to Portia, her lower lip quivering:

PORTIA:
We, we, we…

LENNY:
Piss or get off the pot.

PORTIA:
We we we are supposed to be sad.

CUT TO:
SCHMEKEL
Fifth Floor landing. Loosens his ‘collar’ — a little bit of a rest. 17 more to go.

CUT TO:
ELEVATORS OPEN – 22ND FLOOR
Our pets pile out. Walk down the hallway, a very bland and boring hallway. Off white on off white.
Chloe, applying lip liner and gloss, walking a few paces behind.

ROOM 2207
DR. ANNA MANNA PIA – PET-A-PIST
The pets stand in front of the door. A collective sadness.
Moan. Ahhhhh.
Divine goes for the doorknob and opens the door.

SNOWBALL:
She was so trusting.

One by one, they enter the room, each hanging their coat on the coat rack.
The coat rack falls from the weight.

WIDE SHOT – ROOM
Mix n’ match — floral and chintz, leather and cloth. A couch and chairs in a semi-circle. As each pet makes its way to it’s very own seat, we notice a framed poster on the wall of PAM ANDERSON, the caption reads, “Hey, Pa, make mine faux.”

ANGLE ON PORTIA — Timidly wedging herself into the corner of the couch, grabbing a throw pillow and hugging it tightly against her skinny body.
FREEZE FRAME ON PORTIA
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Anorexia Nervosa. Purge and spend, purge and spend.”

ANGLE ON SNOWBALL — The princess all curled up, nice and comfy, on a Laura Ashley chintz foot stool. She’s licking her pearly white coat and paws clean.
FREEZE FRAME ON SNOWBALL
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Anal-compulsive, Impulsive, and Excessive.”

ANGLE ON CHLOE — The drama Queen reclining on the oversized shabby chic chair. Chipping away at her nail polish.
FREEZE FRAME ON CHLOE
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Mid-life Crisis. AKA – no longer has an agent.”

ANGLE ON JABBERS — Perching on the back of a spool chair, he looks a bit like a Yoga instructor — left leg up. Left leg down. Right leg up. Right leg down.
FREEZE FRAME ON JABBERS
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Hysterical Muteness. What?”

ANGLE ON LENNY — On the opposite end of the couch from Portia. Any more on the edge of the cushion, he’d be on the floor. Biting his nails, twitching, squirming, eyes darting back and forth.
FREEZE FRAME ON LENNY
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Acute and Obnoxious paranoia. AKA, The rat that knew too much.”

ANGLE ON ERNIE — Sits on a folding chair, his little legs dangling. He secretly wishes his feet touched the floor.
FREEZE FRAME ON ERNIE
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Self Identity crisis. The first to step on the moon, but a Human got all the credit.”

ANGLE ON DIVINE — Sits smack in the middle of the couch between Portia and Lenny. Boy Girl Boy/Girl…
FREEZE FRAME ON DIVINE
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Manic Depression. Passive Aggressive. Panties or Boxers.”
And wedged in the corner of the room, minding his own business:

ANGLE ON AN 800 POUND GORILLA
FREEZE ON GORILLA
LOWER THIRD READS:
“Figment?”

WIDE SHOT — the ENTIRE GROUP – a la, “A CHORUS LINE”
Screen goes black.
FADE OUT
FADE IN:
SCHMEKEL
Tenth floor. Holding onto the hand rail.
As a group of ‘legs’ rush down the stairs.
WHOOOOOOOSHHHHING right past him.
Over this we HEAR:
LENNY (OS)
You kiddin’ me, you kiddin’ me? Definitely a suicide…

INT. ROOM
LENNY
…she was friggin’ miserable.

ERNIE
No way, Jose.

LENNY
Don’t ever, ever call me Jose. Got that straight, Monkeyboy?

ERNIE
Who you callin’ Monkeyboy?

LENNY
I’m warnin’ you.

ERNIE
No, I’m warnin’ you.

DIVINE
Hey, hey, hey, give it a break. Enough already. Jesus.
(a beat)
I’ve seen miserable.

LENNY
(Taken aback)
Oh. And I haven’t.
(a beat)
I am Mr. Misery. Right here. Me.
(jabbing his nail into his chest)
I have seen torture. I have seen someone’s colon bein’ ripped right outta…

SNOWBALL
(oblivious, nonchalant)
I had a colon irrigation. Very soothing.
(thoughtful)
…although having that rubber tube stuck up your…
Okay, okay, fine.

CHLOE
(closing her eyes, waving off the thought)
Envision it. Thank you.

DIVINE
Yes, but have you ever gone into a bar on Tenth Avenue?

LENNY
Try ‘be-low’ Tenth Avenue.

DIVINE
Lenny one, Divine zero. Happy?
(a beat, continuing)
Just walkin’ in, you wanna kill yourself. Slash your own throat.
(a beat)
Trust me, she was not a jumper.

SNOWBALL
Really? How do you know what a jumper looks like?

DIVINE
Well, for starters; uptight, nervous, confused…

SNOWBALL
You sound like an expert.

DIVINE
Who asked you? Anybody here ask her?
Nope. Not a one.

CHLOE
How about we dip that pretty perfect white paw of yours into a litter box.

SNOWBALL
Testy.

DIVINE
She was not a jumper. I vote accident. Anyone else vote accident?

Ernie, Jabbers, Portia and Divine raise their paws.

DIVINE
Four three. Accident.

PORTIA
(quietly)
Well I miss her.

CHLOE
Of course you miss her, you called her incessantly —

SNOWBALL
Ooooh. Big word.

CHLOE
(looks at Snowball, mimicking)
Testy —
(without missing a beat, to Portia)
— a thousand times a day.

PORTIA
Th-th-at is not true. I did not call a th-th-th-ousand times a day.
CHLOE
Oh, excuse me. I apologize.

PORTIA
Th-th-thank you.

CHLOE
Only a million, gazillion times in the middle of the night. Miss Pia this, Miss Pia that…blah blah blah blah–
(feigning crying)
—boo hoo, boo hoo, sob sob sob sob sob.
(a beat)
She probably hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in three years. Three years you’ve been in therapy and look at you. You codependent freak. You know what I think, I think you killed her.

Portia – absolutely mortified. Her little mouth hanging down to the floor. Her eyes widened with grief and disbelief. Everyone a little shaken up.

CHLOE
You needy, grabby, touchy, feely…
(a beat)
…PIG.

LENNY
You off your meds, babe?

CHLOE
(really irritated)
Babe?

CUT TO:
SCHMEKEL
Twelfth Floor.
All of a sudden, a Charley Horse in his leg. Excruciating. Shake shake shake shake shake shake shake….

CUT TO:
ROOM
Portia is inconsolable. Divine is stroking one of Portia’s pig tails with his/her rabbit foot.

SNOWBALL
(To Chloe))
You are so evil.

CHLOE
Please. Evil lives on a ranch in Crawford, Texas. I’m just bitter.

PORTIA
You’re jealous. Th-that’s what you are.
(blowing her snoot)
A jealous nasty fat bloated–

CHLOE
(overlapping)
—at least I keep it down.

PORTIA
— path-th-thetic “has been.”
(a beat))
Nobody loves you.
(a beat)
Nobody.

CHLOE
(great passion)
Really? I won an EMMY for gods sake.
(takes out her cell phone from her little pocket and waves it about)
Here. Call the Academy of Arts and Sciences, they’ll give you the exact number of people who love me.

DIVINE
Loved. Past tense. That was eight years ago.
(a beat))
You can’t even get arrested.
(a beat)
Unlike Lenny here, who seems to be on the most wanted list.

LENNY
Screw you.

DIVINE
You wish.
(a beat))
Remember, careful what you wish for, baby.
Divine flirts. Batting his/her lashes, sticking out his/her tongue and wiggling it. Lenny shuts his eyes and shakes off the thought. Then – inspiration strikes Lenny – he jumps off the couch. Filled with complete and neurotic energy. A beat.

LENNY
I got it. It all makes perfect sense. She was schtuppin’ Todd.
(a beat)
That little sneaky, ugly, creepy –

ERNIE
(Mumbling, under his breath)
— mock the things we are to be.

LENNY
Hey, Ern, did you just say somethin’?
(Ernie, doing his “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” routine.)

LENNY
Didn’t think so.
(a beat, as he continues his original thought)
— paranoid Weasel.

CHLOE
Stoat.

SNOWBALL
Ferret.

LENNY
He’s a friggin’ Weasel.

DIVINE
Get to the point for God’s sake.

LENNY
(snarling at Divine)
The point IS — they were havin’ an affair.

PORTIA
(shocked)
Dr. Pia and Todd?

LENNY
(impatient)
Are you deaf?

PORTIA
No, Th-th-at’s Jabbers.

ANGLE ON JABBERS – Fluttering his feathers, as if to say, “I’m not deaf, stupid, I’m Mute.”

PORTIA
(continuing)
I have irritable bowel syndrome.

(Divine taps Portia on the back.)

DIVINE
You said that without stuttering. I’m proud of you.

PORTIA
(appreciates the support)
Th-ank you, Divine.

(Lenny is freaking out. Completely unnerved now.)

LENNY (SCREAMING LOUD)
THE POINT IS —
(has everyone’s attention now)
— I bet she died right smack in the middle of —
(with a little extra OOOMPH)
— a sexually compromised position.

DIVINE
Like what? Standing up?

CUT TO:
STAIRWELL – 15TH FLOOR
Schmekel, now sitting on the stairs. A bit de-hydrated. His bifocals slipping down the tip of his nose from perspiration, constantly pushing them up as he reads out loud from MY LIFE AS A PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIST by Trevor X. Schmekel has a booming voice. Not unlike a Shakespearen actor or a hacking coughing chain smoking lung filled housewife from either Queens or Staten Island.

SCHMEKEL
Chapter Seven. How to divide pain into types —
(emoting)
— Separation versus Loss. Death versus Divorce. Shame versus humiliation.

PASHA, A gorgeous ‘40 something’ long haired Persian cat, comes bounding down the stairs. Stops, smiles, flutters her lashes, a real femme fatale:

PASHA
(sexy)
Harold.

SCHMEKEL
(flustered)
Pasha.

PASHA
How about you and I go up and down up and down —
(a pause)
— the elevator a few times.
(nose to nose)
I bet that’ll cure you.

Schmekel lets out a deep long sigh. Waves her off. She disappears down the stairs:

SCHMEKEL
(continues reading from book)
Burning sensation versus urinary tract infection.

CUT TO:
ROOM, Lenny pacing back and forth, back and forth – scratching his little tiny head until it bleeds.

PORTIA
We’re not supposed to be walking around.

LENNY
Oh, really?
(looks around the room)
Says who?
(a beat)
Hadda be a murder. Hadda be. Plain and simple.

DIVINE
Here we go. Welcome to “Lenny-land.”

SNOWBALL
Ten minutes ago you were swearing it was a suicide.

LENNY
Yeah, well, now the wheels are spinnin’, the truth is comin’ to the foreground. I see it all very, very clearly.
(a pause, taps his head)
In my minds eye, clear as day.

SNOWBALL
(tapping the space right above the bridge of her nose)
It’s the third eye.
(now, tapping her head)
Not minds eye.
(a beat)
I’ve had hot oil treatment on that chak-ra.

CHLOE
Honey, which one of your chak-ras hasn’t had an oil change?

LENNY
Minds eye. Third eye. After you got two, it’s all extra.

SNOWBALL
Oh, come on, who would want her dead. She was so kind, so understanding, so generous…

DIVINE
…and she knew everyone’s little dirty secret.

LENNY
(excited, manic)
B-14. BINGO.
(a beat)
You guys remember Felix–

All heads nod YES.

LENNY
He didn’t jump in front of the car, everyone said he jumped, but he didn’t jump. No way. He was always lookin’ both ways before he crossed. He was so friggin’ cautious — he would even put his head to the pavement and listen for on comin’ tires…

DIVINE
You can do that? Listen for tires?

LENNY
Metaphorically.
(a beat)
He would ‘metaphorically’ listen for tires.

DIVINE
What’s the metaphor?
(A beat.)
You mean literally?

LENNY
I mean metaphorically.
(silence, then)
He was pushed. I swear on my mother’s grave —

ERNIE
You had a mother?

LENNY
(wiping his forehead)
Anyone got a tissue? I’m sweatin’ like a pig…
(to Portia)
No offense.

PORTIA
No offense taken, Lenny.

DIVINE
Uh Uh. No way. She wasn’t murdered.

(Lenny closes his eyes, shakes his head, claws on hips. This is not easy. Someone’s always gotta give him a hard time.)

LENNY
(to Divine)
You just like bein’ contrary, don’t ya?
(Divine ignores him, a beat)
Okay, so she wasn’t murdered, and it wasn’t a suicide–
(looks right at Divine)
–and it DEFINITELY was not an accident. That leaves what, natural causes. I don’t think so. None of us here are gonna die from natural causes.
(in a whisper)
We’re all goin’ the way of the dinosaur.
(picks up a telephone from the desk)
Hello, Museum of Natural History…
Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo…

(All feathers get ruffled now.)

CHLOE
God, you are so deluded.

LENNY
And you’re here, why?

CHLOE
Oh, sure, make this about me now.

LENNY
You called me deluded. Whatdya expect? Validation?

CHLOE
Honey, if I want to be validated, I’ll get my parking ticket stamped.

DIVINE
Oh, sweet chihuhua, what I would give to be stamped at a parking garage.
(touching himself, herself all over)
Stamp me here, stamp me here, oooh, mommy, give it to me, give it to me, touch me, stamp me.

(Lenny shoots Divine the ‘evil eye.’ A moment of silence, then.)

DIVINE
I don’t bite.

LENNY
I do.

After a long silence:

PORTIA
(very timidly)
Excuse me, but what does th-th-this have to do with Dr. Pia and Todd?

CUT TO:
SCHMEKEL
On all fours. Dog tired. It’s all beginning to feel like a mirage. Like being in a desert — one step at a time. Almost there.

CUT TO:

WIDE SHOT
All our pets are now sitting calmly in their seats.
A beat, then:

CHLOE
Okay, so, now what?

ERNIE
Whatdya mean?

CHLOE
Six of us, no therapist.

ERNIE
Seven.

DIVINE
Yeah, but you’re not a weekly. You’re a what?

ERNIE
I’m chopped liver.

CHLOE
And we’ll what…sit around and do this every week?

DIVINE
Do what?

CHLOE
Bitch, moan, groan…
(a beat)
…snap.

PORTIA
I don’t bitch and moan and groan and snap.

CHLOE
Oh. I forgot. You’re purr-fect.

LENNY
(a beat)
So, like, who makes this decision, how we gonna decide?

SNOWBALL
Let’s take a vote.
(a pause)
All those in favor of not coming back every week, raise your paw.

Tension mounts. We see a few paw movements. Some paws getting itchy. Just as one or two paws are about to raise — and by the way, we’ll never know which pet — the door pushes open.

In walks SCHMEKEL. Disheveled. ALL EYES ON HIM. As he stands up on his hind legs. Gathers himself.
He walks over to the old beat-up leather chair. Makes himself at home. Crosses his legs. Puts on his bifocals.
Takes in each pet. Nods. Clears his throat. Straightens out his whiskers…

SCHMEKEL
Today, we’re gonna talk about death and loss.

FADE OUT:
FADE IN:

ANGLE ON SCHMEKEL Comfy, nodding, rubbing his chin, as he finishes scribbling notes on a very small tattered pad. He puts down his pen, taking in and sizing up, each one of our pets.

ANGLE ON JABBERS, LENNY, CHLOE, DIVINE, PORTIA, ERNIE and SNOWBALL.
And they, in turn, take him in and size him up. A look here, a nod there. Another look. Another nod.
SCHMEKEL’S lids are getting heavy, his eyes begin to close — one could even say he dozes off — his head bobbing up and down, up and down… A beat. They all look at each other, as if to say, “Now what?”

LENNY
What the…

(Lenny gets up off the couch. Goes right over to the now snoring Schmekel, and JABS his claw into Schmekel’s head.)

LENNY
Hey, hey, hey. Wake up. I’m payin’ through my nose here.

Schmekel arouses.

SCHMEKEL
I was deep in thought.
(a pause)
I would prefer if you remain seated.

(A very irritated Lenny walks back to the couch, sits.)

PORTIA
(leans in to Lenny, in a whisper)
I told you.

LENNY
(to Schmekel)
And I would prefer if you remain awake.

DIVINE
Lenny one, Schmekel one.

SCHMEKEL
(to Lenny)
Have you not heard about the sub-conscious, Mr…
(opens his folder, reads)
…Bukowski.

LENNY
How ‘bout subterranean?

ERNIE
Your last name’s Bukowski?

LENNY
Yeah. What’s it to you?

ERNIE
Any relation to Chuck?

LENNY
The barfly?
(a pause)
Nah.

WIDE SHOT — the whole group.

SCHMEKEL
(to Lenny)
And your theory?

LENNY
(confused)
Theory?

SCHMEKEL
Your conjecture, assumption, guesswork, position and a word I’m sure you hear plenty of, suspicion…

LENNY
I got it, I got it. Jesus F. Christ, I’m not dumb.

SCHMEKEL
I wasn’t accusing —

LENNY
(interrupting, points to Jabbers)
–him, on the other hand, he’s friggin’ deaf dumb and blind. A trifecta.

PORTIA
He’s hysterically mute.

LENNY
He’s friggin’ Helen Keller.

CLOSE ON JABBERS, one day, they’ll all be sorry. But for now, he’ll take the high road. Feigns stupidity.

LENNY
(to Schmekel)
You want my theory? About what?

SCHMEKEL
Anything. We were talking about Dr. Pia’s untimely death. Perhaps you’d like to contribute your hypothesis.

LENNY
My what?

SCHMEKEL
Your thoughts. Contribute your thoughts.

ERNIE
Oh, good God.

LENNY
You got a problem, Ern? Now’s the time to open the proverbial can of beans.

DIVINE
Worms.

LENNY
Worms. Beans. Whatever.

DIVINE
(sarcastically)
Oh. He’s got a theory, all right. Murder, mayhem, intrigue.

CHLOE
God. I miss that weekly paycheck.

SCHMEKEL
(Clears his throat)
Please. Share.

LENNY
Nah. I’m through sharin’. All it brings is heartache.

(Portia turns to Lenny, for one split second, he seems so vulnerable and lonely. He turns to her and begins making an ugly chattering noise with his teeth. RAHH RRRRRAHHHHH RAHHHHH.
Okay. Maybe not lonely. A moment of silence, then:)

SCHMEKEL
(looks at his wristwatch)
Any final thoughts, feelings, questions before we wrap this up?
(a beat)
Anything?

MALE VOICE (OS)
How ‘bout a joke.

All eyes on the 800 LB. GORILLA wedged in the corner.

800 LB GORILLA
What can a bird do that a man can’t do?
(a pause)
Whistle through it’s pecker.

SCREEN GOES BLACK – Title: “Lithium. A new Leash on Life.”
FADE OUT:
FADE IN:
CREDIT ROLL:
We wrap up (each episode) with our pets piling out of Schmekel’s office – greeted by their OWNERS — seen only from the KNEES DOWN. THEIR SHOES being “their identity.”

MANOLO BLAHNIK heels – PORTIA
Black scruffy lace-up FLORSHEIM’S – LENNY
Brown COLE HAAN tassle loafers – CHLOE
Multi-colored Platform PRADA’S and an ankle tattoo – DIVINE
BLACK PATENT J.P. Tods “driving’ shoes – SNOWBALL
Old worn-torn BIRKENSTOCK’s – JABBERS
And last, but not least,
What appears to be a pair OF BLACK UGGS – ERNIE

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Category: Uncategorized 4 comments »

4 Responses to “of mice & mensches — my animated pilot script”

  1. avatar
    Madge Woods

    F……… genius. Where does this come from? So funny.

  2. avatar
    Hollye Dexter

    Pet Peeves! Hysterical.
    What on earth inspired this???
    Was this an Ambien induced dream? Did you eat a “special brownie”?

    : )
    And by the way, I loves me my Wayne Dyer so dontcha be makin’ fun of him!

  3. avatar
    Barbara@The Middle Ages

    Hysterical! And fuckin’ brilliant. Are you sending it out and around???

  4. avatar
    armierungsgewebe

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