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March 22, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 3

Round 1 is done and Round 2 is still in voting, but here is Round 3 of the Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown. In Round 1 Sylvester McCoy prevailed over Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston trounced Colin Baker. So here are your brackets now.

Round 3
Bracket # 4
- Sylvester McCoy vs. Tom Baker
Bracket # 5 - David Tennant vs. Christopher Eccleston

Get your votes in by the time I finalize my presentation on Wednesday. So, play it safe, and send me your votes now. Just mail them to doctorwho@ironic1.com.

And then come to Nerd Nite 1.2 Wednesday, March 24, 7:30 at the Teatro Zuccone to see the Final Four you picked and vote for the best Doctor of all time. Be there and be square!

March 21, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 2

While I tabulate the results from Round 1, here is Round 2. Send your votes to doctorwho@ironic1.com and feel free to make your case in the comments below.

Round 2
Bracket # 3 - Patrick Troughton vs. Jon Pertwee
Bracket # 6 - William Hartnell vs. Peter Davison

Voting for this round will end sometime on Wednesday when I finalize my presentation, so don't wait around! Vote now!

There will be one more round to determine the Final Four. The Final Four will be revealed at Nerd Nite 1.2 at the Teatro Zuccone this Wednesday, March 24. The event begins at 7:30 and will feature lots of presenters on all sorts of nerdy topics. Cover is $5.

March 19, 2010

Nerd Nite 1.2 - The Ultimate Doctor Who Showdown - Round 1

Ten go in! One comes out!

For Nerd Nite 1.2 I am going to settle once and for all who the best Doctor is, at least until Matt Smith becomes the Doctor starting April 4. In the spirit of March Madness I have constructed a bracket and have seeded the Doctors based on how many stories aired in their reign.

#1 - Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor 1974-1981) - 42 Stories
#2 - David Tennant (Tenth Doctor 2005-2010) - 36 Stories
#3 - William Hartnell (First Doctor 1963-1966) - 29 Stories
#4 - Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor 1970-1974) - 24 Stories
#5 - Patrick Troughton (Second Doctor 1966-1969) - 21 Stories
#6 - Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor 1981-1984) - 20 Stories
#7 - Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor 1986-1989) - 13 Stories
#8 - Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor 2005) - 10 Stories
#9 - Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor 1984-1986) - 8 Stories
#10 - Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor 1996) - 1 Story

Now, you vote. Argue, convince, rant in the comments below, but send your official votes to doctorwho@ironic1.com.

First up, brackets 1 and 2: Sylvester McCoy vs. Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston vs. Colin Baker. I'll be taking votes on these until noon on Sunday and then I'll post the next round. To find out who makes the Final Four you will have to come to Nerd Nite 1.2 at the Teatro Zuccone this coming Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30.

Let the nerd fight begin!

March 13, 2010

Mountain Top

mount-olympus.jpgMy second script for Chicken Hat weekend. My prompts last night were Oscar Wilde, A Clown's Nose, and Olympus (the actual mountain, not the home of the gods) and I was writing for 2 men, plus a walk on by Kaylee Matuszak.

I had several false starts on this one, including a funny but ultimately unsustainable scene of 19th century authors downhill skiing, but finally focused on the parenthetical note about Olympus as my jump off point. It was, of course, my son, Simon, who threw that prompt in there. It is another of my more philosophical pieces returning to a common theme in my writing - the true believer meets the skeptic. Enjoy.

Don't read further if you don't want any spoilers.

WHO: Oscar Wilde
WHAT: A Clown’s Nose
WHERE: Olympus (the actual mountain, not the home of the gods)
CAST: 2 Men
WALK ON: Kaylee Matuszak

SHERPA – Kaylee Matuszak


HIKER – Come, my trusty sherpa, it cannot be far to the peak. There, at the peak of Mount Olympus, we will find all the secrets of the ancient gods!

SHERPA - Yeah, well, the peak is right over there. I’ll let you go on your own.

HIKER - But, trusty sherpa, don’t you wish to learn ancient wisdom and stand in the place of the ancient gods?

SHERPA - Sure, but this is only a walk on role and my dad tells me I’m only supposed to have one or two lines of dialog, and since I’ve already established place and character, I think I’ve done more than my fair share. I’ll let you carry the rest of the scene on your own.

HIKER - Your words are strange, trusty sherpa, but I will do as you wish! Wait here and I will return. (turns) Behold! There is the peak! And, lo! A solitary figure sits upon the peak! Could this be an emissary of the gods? Could it be a god himself? Do I dare speak to him? I will chance it. (Goes over to figure.) Pardon me, I have traveled far to seek enlightenment on the mountain.

GURU – Really? That’s great! Because we haven’t had power here for weeks and I was hoping to catch up on American Idol.

HIKER – What?

GURU – You said you were from the light and power company, yeah?

HIKER – No. I’m a seeker of enlightenment! The whole truth!

GURU – You say you got a hole in your tooth? You’ll want a dentist, then. Can’t help you there.

HIKER – No! You misunderstand me, old man! I come to the top of this mountain to find wisdom!

GURU stares at HIKER.

HIKER – I have traveled a long way. Far I have traveled. And long. Very steep climb. Took me many days with my trusted sherpa. Long and far. So… here I am.

GURU – Yep. There you are.

HIKER – Look, can you help me?

GURU – I can try, but I’ve never really studied dentistry…

HIKER – No! With my quest… you know…

GURU – Quest? What quest?

HIKER – My quest! For wisdom! Truth! Ultimate knowledge! The secret of the gods!

GURU – So what’s the question?

HIKER – Well, uh… um… who are you?

GURU – Would you believe that I am almighty Zeus, god of thunder?

HIKER – O almighty Zeus! Forgive my insolence as a mere mortal…

GURU – (laughs) Nah, I’m just yanking your chain. The name’s Percy. What’s your name?

HIKER – Er, Bill, actually. Um, so, what are you doing on the top of Mount Olympus?

GURU – Comparative literature.

HIKER – Comparative literature?

GURU – Yeah, after you see a dentist, you should probably get your hearing checked, too.

HIKER – What?

GURU – (louder) After you see a dentist! You should probably…!

HIKER – No, comparing literature to… what?

GURU – Nature. I’m a professor of 19th century literature, you see. I studied all the great writers of the period. Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, the Bronte sisters. And I specialized in the transcendentalists – Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau. They marveled at nature, idealized it, worshiped it, almost, you could say.

HIKER – And what great wisdom have you found, o wise man?

GURU – Nature sucks.

HIKER – What?

GURU – Those guys had no idea what they were talking about. They needed to get out more. There’s no wisdom to be found here. It’s just a pile of rocks.

HIKER – Ah! Aha! But isn’t the knowledge that there is no wisdom to be gained by being here in fact in itself a kind of wisdom?!

GURU reaches out and tweaks HIKER’s nose hard.

HIKER – Owww! (holding his nose) What did you do that for?

GURU – I wanted to see if it hurt.

HIKER – Of course it hurt! Why wouldn’t it hurt?

GURU – It didn’t hurt me. My nose is perfectly fine.

HIKER – It wasn’t your nose that got twisted!

GURU – Oh, you’re right. I guess I didn’t really learn anything from it at all, did I? Not directly. Not unless I take your word for it.

HIKER – Take my word for it. It hurt.

GURU – If it were the other way around, would you be willing to take my word for it? That my nose hurt?

HIKER – Sure. Why not? It’s pretty obvious.

GURU – So, why are you here, Bill?

HIKER – I told you. To seek wisdom.

GURU – Why climb all the way up here for that if you are willing to take my word for it? Why aren’t you comfortably reading a book in some armchair somewhere?

HIKER – Because that’s not the same as…

GURU – Actually experiencing it? (shrugs) Then why ask me or anyone anything?

HIKER – (blinks) Oh. (looks around him, as if for the first time) It’s a nice view.

GURU – You think so?

HIKER – Can we start this whole thing over again?

GURU – I don’t see why not.

HIKER – (offers hand) Hi, I’m Bill.

GURU – (shakes hand) Hi, I’m Percy.

HIKER – Hi, Percy. (sits) Nice pile of rocks you got here.

GURU – It is what it is.


March 12, 2010

Sesame Street Blues

ernie_koekie.gifIt's time for another round of Chicken Hat plays, and so here is my original script for the day. The twist this time is that instead of writing one 10 minute show we are writing two 5 minute scenes, presumably 12 hours apart. I got one actor and a walk on and an optional off stage voice. I took that option.

I broke two cardinal rules in this script. Don't make your actors sing. Don't make your actors do impersonations. Yet, after the read through, I feel fairly confident this should be good.

My prompts were:

WHO: A Bitter Academic
WHAT: Harmonica
WHERE: Sesame Street
TIME: 11:00
WALK ON: Super Dave Anderson (area television meteorologist)

If you are coming tonight, don't read on unless you want spoilers.

ACADEMIC – played by Dave Anderson

PROPS: Cookies, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots, Harmonica



SOUND CUE – Music from Sesame Street up and then fades.

COOKIE MONSTER – Hello boys and girls! Me Cookie Monster and me here to tell you about the letter “C.” Letter “C” is me favorite letter in the whole alphabet. You know why? My favorite thing in the whole world start with letter “C.” You know what that is boys and girls? I show you! Cookies! Om nom nom nom nom.

ACADEMIC – Cut! Hold it right there, Cookie Monster.

COOKIE MONSTER – What dat? Who dat?

ACADEMIC – I’m from the Family Association for Healthy Living and you need to be a better role model for children and eat more healthy things. Here. Here’s your new approved script. And we cleaned up your grammar a bit too.

COOKIE MONSTER – You gotta be kidding me.

VOICE OFF – Take two!

COOKIE MONSTER – Hello boys and girls. I am your blue furry pal and I am here to inform you about the properties of the third letter of the Roman alphabet, the letter “C.” This crescent shaped letter is my favorite letter, though other letters are of equal value and should not be thought less of, because of the many wonderful things that start with the letter “C.” Here, let me show you some of the delicious things that start with “C.” Behold! Cauliflower. Cabbage. Carrots. (breaking) What the hell is this crap? Crap! That start with “C.” I don’t even say me name in this piece of shit script. Me Cookie Monster! Me not cauliflower pussy-whipped “blue furry pal.”

VOICE OFF – The Producers want to take the show in a different direction. A healthier direction.

COOKIE MONSTER – Oh yeah, let me tell you then what you can do with this script…

[Harmonica Blues Riff]
The Surgeon General has gone and
slapped a warning on me.
He says I promote
juvenile obesity.
The PTA is seeking an injunction
to ban me from class.
They’re lawyering up
to sue my monstrous blue ass.
And I’m so blue. I’ve got those Cookie Monster blues. Oh yes I do.
What can I do? I am what I chew. So I got those Cookie Monster blues.

They want me to be a role model
for good girls and boys.
They tell me not to eat cookies
and pretend it’s my choice.
Well some birds can swim and
you can teach a fish to fly.
But I got to eat cookies until I
get a myocardial infarction and die.
And I’m so blue. I’ve got those Cookie Monster blues. Oh yes I do.
What can I do? I am what I chew. So I got those Cookie Monster blues.

They got me eating broccoli
and leafy green veggies.
I tell kids to play nice
and not give each other wedgies.
But when I’m not on the TV
I can do as I please.
I’m shooting up snickerdoodles, baby,
and snorting lines of powdered chocolate chip cookies!
And I’m so blue. I’ve got those Cookie Monster blues. Oh yes, you know that I do.
What can I do? I am what I chew. So I got those Cookie Monster blues.

They point their fingers at me
and tell me to be kind.
They say I’m a role model, baby,
and I got to tow the line.
But cookies are what I eat
and a monster is what I am.
And I’m going to go all Godzilla on their ass
if they make me eat one more frickin’ yam!
And I’m so blue. I’ve got those Cookie Monster blues. Oh you know I do.
What can I do? I am what I chew. So I got those Cookie Monster blues.




SOUND CUE – Music from Sesame Street up and then fades.

ERNIE – Hey, it’s Ernie here and I’ve got a surprise for my buddy, Bert.

ACADEMIC – Excuse me, Ernie, I’m…

ERNIE – You! Cookie Monster told me about you. You’re the guy from the Family Council for Sticking Their Noses in Where They Don’t Belong!

ACADEMIC – Now, I’m just trying to make this show better.

ERNIE – Cookie Monster went on a binge because of you! Last I saw, he had 3 Girl Scouts at his trailer and he was snorting crushed up Thin Mints off their merit badges! You go do your good deeds somewhere else because we don’t need your advice. Shoo! Scram! Get out of here!

VOICE OFF – Ernie, the producers need you to clean up your… errrr… representation of your alternative lifestyle.

ERNIE - Uh huh. They can just kiss my orange muppety ass!

[Harmonica Blues Riff]
They say I don’t promote
family cohesivity.
They say I should exhibit
moral sensitivity.
Why all this consternation?
Well, I’ve got my hunch.
Because my choice of life partners
has got their panties in a bunch.
And I’ve got the blues. The ambiguously possibly homoerotic subtext blues. Oh yes I do.
I got a lifestyle that they put on trial. I’ve got those kinda sorta gay muppet blues.

My life partner Bert
likes pigeons and oatmeal.
He collects bottle caps
which gives him a cheap thrill.
I’m zany and nutty.
I like playing my drum kit.
But because we live together
it makes people say dumb shit.
And I’ve got the blues. The ambiguously possibly homoerotic subtext blues. Oh yes I do.
I got a lifestyle that they put on trial. I’ve got those kinda sorta gay muppet blues.

Look, I’m a hand puppet!
Is your brain on vacation?
I’m not even anatomically equipped
for sodomic fornication.
All this speculation makes me
question what’s going on here.
I got a puppeter’s hand up my ass
what’s up yours? I wonder.
And I’ve got the blues. The ambiguously possibly homoerotic subtext blues. Oh yes I do.
I got a lifestyle that they put on trial. I’ve got those kinda sorta gay muppet blues.