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Teething Again

 

FADE IN: Black screen.

 

Chris

What are you doing after graduation?

 

Sam

Nothing. You?

 

Chris

Nothing.

 

Sam

Good.

 

Chris

Good.

 

CUT TO: Graduation day at a large, prestigious university. Students, professors, and parents are milling around the building where the ceremony is held. We first focus on one graduate with his parents.

 

Jackís Mom

Remember John, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, weíll always be proud of you.

 

Jack

What if I burn down an orphanage?

 

Jackís Dad (with a grin)

Thatís fine. Just donít marry a man or become a priest.

 

CUT TO: Another graduate with his parents, and two younger siblings. The mother is trying to take a picture of her three children.

 

Chrisís Mom

Chris, youíre not smiling.

 

Chris

I am.

 

Chrisís Mom

Well smile more.

 

Chris

Smile more?

 

Chrisís Dad

Think about how youíll never have to write another exam.

 

Chrisís Mom

Yeah, do that. Smile.

 

She takes the picture. Chris looks around and spots someone.

 

Chris

Oh, hold on. Iíll be back.

 

Chris walks off, past some other graduates, and walks up to two students by themselves. They see him coming.

 

Marlon

Ah-hoy-hoy.

 

Chris

Hey. (to Sam) Where are your folks?

 

Sam

Trying to find a parking spot. Taking pictures?

 

Chris

Yeah. Get Ďem over with, I guess. (short pause. To Marlon) Where are your parents?

 

Marlon

At home.

 

Chris

Home?

 

Marlon

Yeah.

 

 

Sam

Howíd you swing that?

 

Marlon

Told them that I wasnít graduating. That I failed a course.

 

Sam (gesturing to the diploma in Marlonís hand)

How are you going to explain the sheepskin?

 

Chris

Or the fact that youíll never try and make up the credit?

 

Marlon

Iíll tell them Iím taking the course over the summer. Maybe theyíll even give me money for it.

 

Sam

Youíre evil.

 

Marlon

No, Charles Manson is evil. Darth Vader is evil. I just donít want to deal with that shit.

 

Marlon indicates a graduate about fifty feet away who is being subjected to countless photographs with about a dozen pushy relatives.

 

Chris

Yeah, but stillÖ

 

Marlon

Are you gonna be home for dinner?

 

Chris

Probably not. Probably go out with my family.

 

Marlon

I was thinking of ordering Chinese and calling over Clarissa to celebrate.

 

Sam

Youíre still seeing your T.A.?

 

Marlon

No, weíre just friends now.

 

Sam and Chris roll their eyes. Marlon doesnít say anything. Chrisís parents walk over.

 

Chrisís Mom (to Chris)

Chris, Iíd like to take some more pictures. (to Sam and Marlon) Hi, I donít think weíve met. Iím Chrisís Mom and this is his father.

 

Sam

Hello.

 

Marlon

Good to meet you.

 

Chris

Oh, Mom, Dad, this is Sam Gill.

 

Chrisís Mom

Hello.

 

Chris

And this is Marlon Dell.

 

Marlon

Hello.

 

Chrisí Dad

Pleased to meet you.

 

Chrisí Mom (to both Sam and Marlon)

Where are you parents?

 

Sam

Mine are trying to find a parking spot.

 

Marlon

And actually, Iíve seceded from my family.

 

Pause. Chrisí parents (and Chris) are shocked. Sam also looks confused.

 

Chrisí Mom (confused)

IímÖ Iím sorry, you-

 

Marlon

Iíve left my family. Actually, everyone has left my family. We donít have a family. It just wasnít working for my parents, sisterÖ brother, so we got a lawyer and we went our separate ways.

 

Chrisí Mom

Oh my goshÖ

 

Marlon (reassuringly)

No, no, itís fine. Itís made everything so much easier. Iíve saved hundreds of dollars a year on birthday and Christmas gifts alone.

 

Chrisís Dad (at a loss)

OhÖoh.

 

Marlon

I mean, we still see each other occasionally. At funerals, every so often weíll get together and update our wills, stuff like that.

 

Chrisís parents having nothing to say to this. CUT TO: Jack with his parents, they are just walking around the grounds. Jackís dad is smoking a cigarette.

 

Jackís Dad

So when are you moving back home?

 

Jack

Iím not.

 

Jackís Dad (to Jackís Mom)

Told you. Youíre paying for dinner.

 

Jackís Mom (to Jack)

Not even for a couple months? Just to get back on your feet?

 

Jackís Dad

Now donít encourage the boy. Iíve gotten used to strutting around the house in the nude with him gone.

 

Jackís Mom (to Jack)

Heís just kidding.

 

Jack

Too late. Iím already scarred for life.

 

CUT TO: Chris and Marlon.

 

Chris

Christ, whyíd you have to say that? Of all the possible lies?

 

Marlon

Relax. Theyíll never meet my parents.

 

Chris

Thatís not the point. The point is theyíre going to think Iím living with a psychotic.

 

Marlon

Well youíre already living with Jack.

 

Chris

Exactly. One psychoticís enough.

 

Sam returns to them, alone.

 

Chris

You were quick with the parents.

 

Sam

Camera ran out of batteries. Those special camera batteries. Theyíve gone to find another pair.

 

Marlon

Shitty.

 

Chris

Just prolonging the inevitable.

 

Sam shrugs listlessly and looks around bored.

 

Sam (gesturing to someone)

HeyÖ

 

Itís Jack. When they see each other, Jack puts his rolled up diploma to his right eye and looks out of it like a telescope.

 

Jack (pirate voice)

Arr! I spy three assholes off the starboard bow!

 

Chris (nodding)

Captain.

 

Jack (still in pirate voice)

Which of you scurvy dogs are gonna swab my mast?

 

Marlon

A rear-end admiral if I ever saw one, Jack.

 

Jack (lowering diploma)

Parents a no-show, Marlon?

 

Marlon

My Dad had a tee-time he didnít want to lose. And Momís his caddy.

 

Jack

So itís the standard Marlon bullshit, huh?

 

Chris

Hey, so are we done here, or what? We got our diplomas, is there anything else?

 

Sam

Yeah, weíre to be dragged off campus and told not to come back until we pay for more courses.

 

Pause.

 

Jack

Bar after dinner?

 

Chris

You know it.

 

CUT TO: A close-up of a full chicken meal on a table. In start-stop live animation, the food quickly disappears as if it is being eaten. The plate is empty in seconds. CUT TO: A trendy, packed bar. Chris, Jack, Sam, and Marlon are sitting at the bar counter, all drinking beer. Some sort of dance music is playing.

 

Jack

This music sucks.

 

Chris

Awful.

 

Marlon

Think we could have one night without any musical criticism? Itís graduation night for christís sake.

 

Jack

Well how hard is it to put on ĎWhipping Postí for the next twenty minutes? (to bartender) Hey, who chooses the music in this place?

 

Bartender

You guys do. At the jukebox.

 

Chris

Hey, donít blame this shit on us.

 

Alan (leaning in between Jack and Chris)

Well if it isnít the fab four. (to the bartender) Rye and ginger. (short pause) Itís the end of the line, gentlemenÖ

 

Sam

Canít wait to start hitting the temp agencies tomorrow, huh?

 

Alan

I donít know. Iíll see what the hangover says.

 

Marlon

Itíll say the only thing it ever says, Ďaah! Aah! Aah!í

 

Jack

When you go you should tattoo your fancy new commerce diploma to your forehead. Show Ďem that you mean business. (short pause) Pun intended.

 

Alan (gets drinks, gives bartender some money)

Keep it. (then as if it just dawned on him) Oh yeah, youíre all fancy pants, lah-dee-dah arts students, arenít you?

 

Marlon

Itís actually called, Ďterminally unemployedí, thank you very much. (drains his beer)

 

Alan

So youíre going to drink yourself to death instead?

 

Chris

Well, Samís gonna take a cyanide pill later on in the bathroom.

 

Sam (with a snort)

Yeah, right. Before my student loans are paid off? The bankíll dig me up and pawn my suit.

 

Jack

Whatíll they get for that? Forty dollars?

 

Sam

Yeah. Iíll soil myself in them, just piss Ďem off.

 

Alan (patting Sam on the back)

Itís that kind of eloquent talk thatíll take you to the top, young man. (to all of them) Later, guys. Donít be strangers.

 

Chris

Yeah, take care, Alan.

 

Alan leaves. Pause.

 

Jack

Not a bad guy.

 

Marlon (overtly enthusiastic)

Iíd fuck him in the butt!

 

Sam

Thatís not saying much, Marlon.

 

Chris

Twenty dollars and a smile, thatís all it takes for you, right?

 

A girl comes to the counter, beside Jack.

 

Marlon

What are you, my pimp?

 

Chris

If youíre offering, I could use a job. I got a really nice hat and cane to use, too.

 

Jack (to the girl beside)

Donít worry, theyíre just kidding.

 

Girl

Yeah, I figured. (to the bartender) A rye and ginger.

 

Jack

Hey! Thatís what Iím drinking!

 

Girl

Youíre having a beer.

 

Jack

I mean, thatís what Iíll be drinking next.

 

Marlon (to girl)

Donít worry, heís harmless. But if you buy him a drink, heíll follow you home.

 

Jack

Not if itís far.

 

CUT TO: The four of them walking down the street late at night, extremely drunk.

 

Chris

So. Whatís next?

 

Marlon

Iím going to throw up, then go to bed.

 

Chris

And then?

 

Marlon

Then Iím going to get up in the morning. Throw up again if I have to.

 

Chris

And then?

 

Jack

Are you trying to ask us about the future, Christopher? I mean, donít beat around the fuckiní bush, all right? Out with it! In the open! Deal with the motherfucker!

 

Sam (to Jack)

Hey man, youíre smashed.

 

Jack

No, youíre smashed!

 

Chris

Hey, just take it easy.

 

 

Jack

No, you take it easy!

 

Sam (teasing)

Boy, do I love dick.

 

Jack

Boy, do you ever.

 

Marlon (sportscaster-like)
OhhÖ tried to get the drunk but was reversed.

 

Chris

I guess that part of Jackís brain is unaffected by alcohol.

 

By now they are on a residential street, and begin to walk up the steps of one particular house.

 

Chris

Anybody have keys?

 

Marlon (coming forward)

Yeah, Ďscuse me. (to Chris) This is our house, right?

 

Chris

Weíll find out in a minute.

 

Marlon tries the key. It opens the door effortlessly.

 

Jack

Success!

 

The four of them stumble inside. Before the door closes behind them, Marlon bolts back outside and throws up in the porch. The other three watch from the doorway.

 

Jack

Hey, way to go!

 

Sam

Thanks for doing this outside, and not on the kitchen floor.

 

Marlon (still doubled over)

No problem. (short pause) Can someone get me some paper towels?

 

Jack

Aw, come on. Let the sun dry it out. Thatís what itís there for.

 

Sam

The sun or the vomit?

 

Jack

Both. They compliment each other. (to Marlon) Done?

 

Marlon (standing upright)

Yeah. (short pause) Good enough.

 

They all enter, the door closing behind them.

 

END OF SAMPLE

 

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