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Manly Things

hunting_stand.jpgEven though my kids were in Ohio I have to wonder if they sent in prompts for my script that I wrote. My "who" was Napoleon Dynamite, an oft quoted movie in my family, and my "what" was a kumquat, which we think is one of the funniest named fruits ever. My "where" was a hunting stand and our common cameo was "Brian Matuszak," director of Rubber Chicken Productions.

The first few pages flowed fast for me but I kinda ran out of steam at the end, but I drew a great cast and I think they will sell it.

So, without further ado, I present "Manly Things"...

Manly Things
Written for Chicken Hat 1
Rubber Chicken Productions
Proctor, Minnesota
May 31, 2008

Lawrence Lee

SHARON – a mother
TREVOR – her early teenage son
MANUEL – a hair stylist
BRIAN – a pizza delivery man

Air Freshener Can
Pizza Box
Headset or Earbuds
Cell Phone

[Lights up on TREVOR in a hunting stand playing with his gameboy listening to something on his headset.]

SHARON – [enters] Trevor! Any sign of moose?

TREVOR – [no response]

SHARON – [climbs up] Trevor! Any sign of moose or deer or something?

TREVOR – [no response]

SHARON – [pulls off headphones] Trevor!

TREVOR – Sheesh, mom! Don’t sneak up on me like that!

SHARON – Well, Mr. iPod, you should have your senses attuned to the world around you here in the great outdoors. What if I were a big Grizzly?

TREVOR – There aren’t any Grizzlies around here. Sheesh.

SHARON – Or a timber wolf, or a wombat. Those are ferocious creatures, wombats. Remember the wombat exhibit at the zoo when you were 12 a couple summers ago? You really were interested in those, weren’t you?

TREVOR – Wombats are native to Australia!

SHARON – [pinches TREVOR’s cheek] You’re so smart! I don’t know why you don’t get better grades.

TREVOR – No, I meant… never mind. [goes back to gameboy]

SHARON – Isn’t this nice? Here in the woods in this here stand? [sprays a can] It could use a little freshening up, but it’s so… rustic. You know?

TREVOR – [waves hand in front of face] Don’t do that!

SHARON – Well, I just don’t want it to smell like a latrine in here.

TREVOR – I’m pretty sure the point of hunting is to blend in, not to smell Lysol clean.

SHARON – But it’s pine scented, see? So we’ll blend right in.

TREVOR – [shakes head and goes back to his gameboy] I don’t even know why we’re out here. I’d rather be home.

SHARON – You’re a growing young man and hunting is a rite of passage for young men. Oprah said so. I’m just trying to help you journey into manhood. [tears up a bit] I know I’m not your father… but since he’s gone… I’m just doing my best.

TREVOR – Dad didn’t hunt. He was a tax consultant who built model ships in the basement. Why do you think he would’ve taken me hunting?

SHARON – That’s not the point. The point is a rite of passage into manhood. And I’m sure your father would have been proud to be here with you, if it weren’t for that horrible kumquat accident.

MANUEL – [enters] Hello beautiful peoples! I am back from using the little boys’ tree!

SHARON – Oh, hello Manuel! Did you get lost? You took so long.

TREVOR – [so MANUEL can’t hear] And why did you bring him?

SHARON – He’s a man and I thought you needed a male role model in your life. Someone you can talk to about your man… things.

TREVOR – Mom, he’s your hairdresser…

MANUEL – Isn’t this just da bomb? It’s like nature just threw up all over! Such texture!

SHARON – Have you seen anything to shoot?

MANUEL – I saw a little fluffy bunny that we could blow to smithereens, but I’m waiting for a big buck to show up. I want to bag me a stag!

TREVOR – [sotto voice to SHARON] This is my male role model?

MANUEL – What was that?

SHARON – [covering up] He was just complaining about the stale… rolls… at the motel…

MANUEL – I know! Wasn’t that food the pits?

TREVOR – [nodding] Yeah… just awful.

SHARON – I think I’ll just go scout around a bit. Leave you two MEN together. [smiles and sneaks off]

TREVOR – [waving “NO” to SHARON as she leaves]

MANUEL – [smiles at TREVOR]

TREVOR – [transforms his waving at SHARON into a stretch]

MANUEL – I know you don’t want me here.

TREVOR – Oh, no, Manuel, it’s great having you here. Just great.

MANUEL – No, little man, you do not have to play the games with me. Sharon is a fine woman and she wants you to be a man. But Manuel, he cannot take the place of your father. Your father who lived a proud and full life, until that fateful day and the kumquats… [overwrought with grief]

TREVOR – I’d rather not talk about that…

MANUEL – Of course not. No, of course not. But we are not here to speak of such things. We are not here to speak. We are here to act! As men would act! Boldly! We are here to hunt! For such is the nature of the man! [his cell phone rings] The hunt is… Excuse me, I have to take this. Hello, this is Manuel of Manuel’s, si. Hola, Linda sweetie. Si, I moved your appointment to Tuesday at 3:45, si. This does not work for you now? Okay, lemme check my calendar. Si, Friday morning, si, that works, sweetie. 9:30? If you don’t mind me hungover! [laughs obnoxiously and cuts it abruptly] I kid, I kid. Let’s make it 10:45. Bueno! See you then! [kissy noises] Where was I?

TREVOR – The nature of man…

MANUEL – Oh, si. [strikes dramatic pose] The nature of man! [falters] Oh, Manuel forget. Anyway, let’s be men and kill something. What do you say?

TREVOR – Uh… no.

MANUEL – No? Why this no?

TREVOR – I don’t really want to. I’m just out here because my mom reads too many parenting books. I don’t want to prove I’m a man by killing something.

MANUEL – [relieved] Thank you, sweet Mary Mother of God. I don’t really want to either, but Sharon, your mother, she’s very… persuasive…

TREVOR – Yeah, you noticed…

MANUEL – So, what is it that you want to do, Trevor?

TREVOR – [imitating Napoleon Dynamite] “Whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!”

MANUEL – [blinks] What was that?

TREVOR – Napoleon Dynamite.

MANUEL – You sure it’s not turrets? Because it seemed kinda odd.

TREVOR – [breaking character] Yeah, it’s hard getting all of these prompts in in a seamless fashion sometimes.

MANUEL – [breaking character too] Yeah, you notice how there always seems to be one prompt that gets tangentially mentioned and isn’t really essential to the plot?

TREVOR – Yeah, like that odd kumquat accident that my father was in?

MANUEL – Okay, sometimes two…

SHARON – [enters] Oh, boys! Boys! I saw movement over in those bushes over there!

MANUEL – Madre de Dios! Sharon, she is right!

TREVOR – What is it, mom?

SHARON – I don’t know, but it’s something big!

BRIAN – [enters disoriented] Did someone here order a large pepperoni pizza?

TREVOR - That would be me!

SHARON – Trevor! What are you doing ordering pizza?

TREVOR – Being a real man, mom. Being a real man.

[TREVOR strikes a heroic pose. BRIAN strikes a pose handing him the pizza. SHARON beams at her boy. MANUEL strikes a dramatic, silly pose. Hold on scene for a bit and lights out.]


Poor Brian, only getting that one line!

You know, it seems like it fizzles, but the more you think about it, it actually holds together pretty well. I think the list of prompts was just too goofy. The idea itself is really good and the characters are appealing. Oprah wouldnt' advocate hunting, though--she's more the drumming/talk about manly feelings kind.

Leah, the cameos are only supposed to be one or two lines or no lines. Since they are in all 8 shows they can't memorize a lot of dialog.

And thanks for the thoughts.

About Oprah, I have to admit to never having watched Oprah so I'm just kinda projecting ideas her way. So, if I have offended the legions of Oprah fans out there... I guess I'm okay with that, actually.

Oh, ok, I didn't get it about the cameos.

Wow--you have lived your whole life without seeing a teensy bit of Oprah? You lucky guy! I started watching Oprah religiously when I was prg. w/Katie (along w/A Baby Story). I also watched Dr Phil. Then, one day, after Paul was born, I had the TV on, and either Oprah or Phil was babbling or posturing abt something and`I thought, "what a load of crap. I have better things to do." Like, I suppose, laundry, but I think in general, people can take only so much of someone consistently proclaiming that s/he knows better than you do, and then they just switch your show off.

Advocating hunting seems more Dr. Phil to me...or Jerry Springer (for whom I'd like to apologize, on the behalf of all sane Cincinnatians). I must say that something about this particular script made me half expect a message from the Ketchup Advisory Board at the end.

Well, last night just rocked the house. My play was the last of the 8 which is always a good sign, and rightly so it turns out. The actors who got the roles got the play and really played the characters to the hilt. The guy who played Manuel, in particular, completely went for it to great effect. What impressed me, in particular, is that he was so natural and hitting ever line of his character, word perfect.

Fun fun fun.

Heaps of awesome! Yay!

And I am proud to say I provided the word "kumquat."

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