Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don Wakes Up in 1953

Cut to beach scene.  A younger Don's on a beach towel in Venice Beach, California.  The weather's perfect:  a breeze blows gently in off the waves.  Apparently it's the early fifties, since women walk by on the beach with one-piece swimming suits in the style of that period.  Behind on the street, people are roller skating and early fifties cars are going up and down the street.  Don's with a boy, apparently his younger brother.  He calls Don "Jethro".

Don's Brother: Aw Jethro, why don't you just come on back home? This plan's plumb crazy!

Don (hissing the words): Quit calling me Jethro.  I told you.  It's Don.  Don Curtainer.  You keep doing that, and I'll make you wish you hadn't!

Don's Brother: OK, ok.  So it's "Don".  And I'm Abraham Lincoln!

Don:  The main thing is, you've gotta get out of here.  I've got things to do! 

Don's Brother: Like what? (he makes an up and down motion with his hand)

Don: That's it!  I'm outta here. (Don get's up, grab's his towel, and walks up the beach fast.  His brother stays behind.

Don's Brother:  That's it, Jethro!  Run fast!  Just like you always do.

Jed and Don's dirty little secret

Jed: (darkly) Why, I've always been here, boy. You know that.
Don: (nods slowly) I guess I do.
(They continue driving, far out into the country. In the distance, the glow of lights can be seen and
the indistinct noise of a crowd. Or a mob.)
Don: Seems to be something going on up ahead.
Jed: (tickled by this) Hee, hee, I'd say so. (turning serious) Stop here, so we can get ready.
(Don stops the car and looks at Jed meaningfully)
Don: Get ready?
(Jed reaches down between his legs and retrieves two white hoods, one of which he gives to Don)
Jed: (putting on his hood and getting out of the car) We'll leave the car here and walk the rest
of the way. Wouldn't be seemly to have the cruiser there.
Don: (looking at his hood for a moment and then donning it): No, it wouldn't.
(As they walk on into the darkness, the glow of lights grows as does the sound of the mob. When
they turn a corner, the whole panorama comes into view: 50 or a hundred people, men women and children, all clad in white gown and white hoods. Nearly all carry torches as they form a semi-circle around a lone black man, feet and hands bound, standing on the hood of a battered pick-up, a noose about his neck. A cigarette is between his lips and we see that it is the same negro from the bar in scene one. The camera zooms in for a close-up on his face as the negro leans forward to light his cigarette from one of the nearby torches.
Negro: (taking a deep drag and then sighing with satisfaction): Ah, now that's freshness! (to audience) When it comes time for your final smoke, don't just take any old butt. Tell 'em 'it's a Jigaboo or nothin!' (he takes another drag, inhales deeply and smiles with pleasure) You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Don Picks Up Miss Cramp

Late night (early morning), the streets of Mayberry.  Don Curtainer-Taylor at the wheel of the cruiser, a 1960 Ford sedan with a red rotating beacon on top.  Close up of Don's face shows he's beat:  he's had a rough night.  No sleep, fight with the wife.  He drives slowly down the residential street.  Then he sees someone up ahead on the sidewalk, running.  As he approaches, he sees it's a woman in early 1960s phys ed garb:  shorts and a tee-shirt, tennis shoes.  Her pony tail bounces, and as Don draws up to the side he notices that's not all that bounces.  He waves at her.  She stops, he reaches over and rolls down the passenger window.

Don:  Anything I can do to help?

Miss. Cramp:  No Sheriff, I'm just running.  You know, for exercise?

Don: (with a quizzical expression): OK...

Miss. Cramp:  Lots of folks are doing it.

Don: Really?  Want a ride?

Miss.  Cramp (hesitant):  Well, I don't know...  I guess so, but only up to my street.

Don: Hop in!

Don and Ms. Cramp ride along.  The radio's on, playing the news.  Apparently, a doctor in Cleveland has murdered his wife.

Miss Cramp:  Oh that's so creepy.

Don: Yeah, pretty creepy.

Miss Cramp:  You can let me off here.

Don:  I'll take you all the way home.

Miss Cramp:  Oh no, that's ok.  This will be fine.

Miss Cramp gets out, jogs off into the darkness.  Close-up of Don.  His eyes are getting bleary.  Suddently sitting next to him it seems that Jed Clampet has materialized.  Jed is under the impression that Don is his son.

Jed: Heh heh.  Hot tomato, eh Jethro?  I'd like to jog her up and down a few times.  Hey, what're you starin' at Jethro?  I swear, sometimes you jest ain't right, boy.  Here, take a swig off'a this jug.  Looks like you need it.

Don:  Don't mind if I do.  Say, how did you get here?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Opie, How Come Your Hair So Red? [Sunday at Floyd's]

[scene - Floyd's Barber Shop. Present are Andy, Barney, Goober, Howard.
The barber chair is empty. Seated along the wall, the men seem to be in a
somber, and troubled state. The checkerboard sits, a partially played
match, unattended. Someone eavesdrops from the adjacent store, where the
open vent allows at least some of the conversation to be heard easily.]

FLOYD: Well, Andy, you know, from the time you were a boy, I always knew
you to keep your temper. [pause] Yes, you have always kept your temper.
You have the whole town behind you.

BARNEY: Sure, thing, Anje. You know I'll back you up. You just say the
word, what you want me to do.

GOOBER: Andy. You know you can count on me, too. Anything. I could go out
there and take another look. You want me to do that? I could do that, yeah
sure, I could do that.

HOWARD: Now, fellas. Listen here. Andy's here for our support. He knows
you all are with him. Just give him a minute, okay? There is no reason,
boys, to fill up Andy's head with all these decisions. I think we need to
just wait until he has something to say.

[Andy has had his head down, looking at the floor, his fingers clasped
together. He takes in a deep breath. The normally calm sherriff of Mayberry
is unmistakably shaken. Looking up... ]

ANDY: Floyd? You still have any of those cigarettes we had on that fishing
trip last week?

FLOYD: Sure, Andy. Howard, would you get them? They're over there in that
drawer, 2nd from the bottom. There's a lighter in there, too. [Howard gets
to the drawer. Some unswept hair clippings shuffling along under his
orthopedic shoes.]

[Goober, acting on a quick idea, goes outside and brings in the standing
ashtray that always sits by the bench. He stops a moment. Opens the lid,
empties the butts and ashes into the trash can by the swinging screen door
of the shop. He rushes back in, as if it could be in another minute would be
too late. He stands the smoking tool near Andy's chair.]

GOOBER: Here you go, Andy. Maybe I'll have one with you. Would that be
alright? Would it?

[We hear the metallic click of the Zippo, as Goober opens and closes the
lighter. ... Andy looks up, appreciatively. He takes them from Goober,
pulls his own cigarette from the pack, and lights it, hands back to Goober.
He takes a deep, slow drag. He scans his friends of many years. He looks
toward the window toward the front of the shop. Pausing, as the smoke rises
up, as seen in Floyd's mirror.]

ANDY: Boys. I have another favor to ask. While I'm gone, I want you to
look over Aunt Bea. I may go and try again to find Opie. Howard, I will
give you a number, where you can leave a message.

[The men sit, expressionless, as they process what Andy said.]

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opie, How Come Your Hair So Red?

Don is wearing his purple heart, pinned to his swimming trunks. He is at the beach. The surf is up. With the waves rolling in, Brian Wilson's falsetto can be heard faintly, singing from a fairly distant concession. ("When I Grow Up to Be a Man.... ") Two women are lying face down on towels between Don and the concession.

"Sir? Can I get you anything?"

A red-haired boy, about 10, interrupts Don's gaze toward the sound, and the bathing beauties.
All Don sees is that glint of red. He shakes him off, then stops, turning toward him, and replies.

"I'll have a root beer float, and some Cracker Jacks, boy."

"Sure thing" and he runs off.

Inside, looking from the concession window, Joan is watching Don, as Opie approaches. Her expression does not reveal much. But it might be surprise.

"Who is he, Thelma Lou?" asks the boy.

"Just another man from the city, Ope"

I oughta tell him that his fly is open, Opie thinks as he returns with the cup and cracker jack in the foldout cardboard container.

Brian Wilson, singing, as the beauties gather up and start to move.
Don is gone. Opie finds the purple heart on a blue towel the next day.

Wearing the Pants

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Opening credits
Interior: Upper middle class ranch style home in New Rochelle. Door opens and Dick Van Curtainer enters to be greeted by his wife, Mary Tyler Curtainer. After giving him a welcoming kiss, she indicates that they have guests, i.e. Paul "Buddy" Kinsey and Peggy "Sally" Olsen, sitting on the couch. Straightening his tie, he walks towards them, hand extended. Unfortunately, an ottoman is in his path and he trips over it. Mary, Paul and Peggy move towards him in concern as he lies on the floor, his arms and legs sticking out in impossible angles. Their concern turns to alarm when he does not move, his face contorted into a ghastly rictus. As Peggy tries to console the sobbing, nearly hysterical Mary, Paul calls the paramedics.
Superimposed over this final scene are these words: "Over 95 percent of all accidents occur in the home. Please be careful. A message from the Ad Council and this station"

End opening credits.

Kitchen of Rob and Laura Peachtree. Early morning. Sitting at the table, their only son, Itchie, eats his toast and cereal, reading the box. Enter Rob Peachtree, shirt, tie and jacket shoes and socks, but no pants.

Rob: Honey, honey?...Itchie, have you seen your mother?

Itchie shrugs, his eyes never leaving the cereal box. Enter Laura Peachtree, clad in capri slacks and a tasteful blouse.

Rob: Oh, there you are! Honey, have you seen my pants?

Laura: Oh Rob! Everyone knows that I wear the pants in this family! (Big laugh)

Rob: Very funny. Why don't you just drag your fat ass down to that hellhole they call a city then and work for that slave driver, Alan Sterling?

Laura (In tears): Oh Rob!

Rob (repenting) I'm sorry, honey. I know I shouldn't take it out on you, but that bastard's been busting my hump so much lately over this Lucky Strikes account, I feel like I'm ready to explode. On second thought, forget about my pants... Where's the liquor?(He begins rummaging desperately through the cabinets, refrigerator and even the oven)

(Even Bigger laugh and applause)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Opie, How Come Your Hair So Red?

[Opening scene, the Taylor home, Opie, quietly, in Andy's bedroom] there is an old color photo in a cigar box, opie is looking at it, at home one day] a man and a woman smiling, looking at one another. opie puts it away carefully, just like always.]

[cut to Outdoors scene, a long ago summer's day scene] a man and a woman sitting alongside the road. she was perched on a large rock, and he was seated against it, leaning back against her. her red hair shone in the sun, and her dress was showing her to be shapely, and relaxed. he was dressed
more plainly, but neat, maybe a uniformed shirt, unbuttoned. it was humid,
sultry, especially if not used to the way it feels in the south. the air, thick with honeysuckle, comes up in the breeze. an occasional truck would pass, wheels whine on for a mile or more as it moves on in the distance.
they sit quietly, like they needed to figure some things out, what to do.
like more has happened than they know what to do about right yet. At some point the woman's hand gently runs through the top of the man's curls. He
feels comforted, then reluctant. ] music fades in, fades out

[cut to another hot summer day, perhaps 7 or 8 years later.
About a quarter mile by foot from the same highway, young opie and howard, seated along the bank, fishing poles stretched out toward the water]

[howard and opie, fishing quietly, idle small talk, relaxed. sunshine, cool breezes.]

[opie, briefly remembering a question at school--- "Opie, How come your hair's so red?"]

opie: (sighs, thinking, then speaks) my aunt bee said my ma's hair was red like mine. I seen a picture of her once. she was pretty. real pretty. and she wore clothes that I never seen much around these parts. real fancy like.

howard: yes, ope. I remember your ma. she was a real sparkle. she come
into town with another man, and they got into a tussle, and he left her here. your pa looked after her, and things got serious. (thinks to say more, but falls silent, thinking to himself)

opie: pa don't ever say much about her. and I don't feel it my place to
ask. I guess he'll talk some about her some day.

howard: my goodness, look at the time. pull up your line, opie. I have
a lodge meeting tonight. and I told your pa and floyd I'd pick 'em up.

opie: if you don't mind, I'll stay here awhile.

howard: well, I guess you're old enough to be trusted. you sure?

opie: yeah, sure. I'll be fine. besides, it's my turn to catch one.

howard packs up his things and takes the trail back to the highway.
(thinking, he may have said too much, worrying about how andy would react, were he to find out)


alternate ending of scene .....
howard (as he packs up his gear, quckly) : get your ass in the truck, opie.
and don't you bring up that woman to me ever again!

Aunt Joan Brings Chicken

Sec: Oh, and Goober called from Wally's to say that your car was  ready. Should I tell him to drop it off?

Don: (distracted) Yes. (Starts to open the door but at the last moment pauses to look back) What's my schedule look like today.

Sec: Pretty light, Sheriff.(Looking at date book) 1:00: Appointment at Floyd's for a haircut -- 2:15; Conference with the creative team about the Emmit's Fix-it Shop campaign. That's about it. What about
Otis? Should I give him the keys?

Don: (frustrated) Yes, yes, give him the damn keys!

Sec: Very well, sir. Oh, and sir, I hate to tell you this, but Ernest T. Bass is at it again.

Don: Breaking more windows I suppose!

Sec: (not knowing what he is talking about) Windows? No sir. He's been trying to steal the Lucky Strikes account, again.

Don: Oh, right, right. I'll take care of it.

Sec: Yes, Sheriff.

(Cut to: Don's office. Don enters, takes off his overcoat and hangs in on the rack in the corner. He registers surprise when he finds that he is wearing a Sheriff's uniform beneath it. He is further surprised when he surveys his office and finds that it now the County Courthouse in Mayberry, North Carolina. He is still confused when the old fashioned desk set phone on his desk rings)

Don (picking it up): Yes?

Sec: Aunt Joan's here to see you, Sheriff. Shall I send her in?
Don: Aunt Joan? Yes, yes, send her in.
(Enter Aunt Joan, a vivacious woman in her early sixties. Her lustrous red hair is tied up in a tight knot atop her head and the "fuck me" red dress she wears clings to every curve and contour of her perfect sun dial figure body. In her left arm, she carries a picnic basket full of Andy's,-- er, that is, Don's-- lunch.

Aunt Joan: (sultrily): Hello, Don. I've brought your lunch.
(Opening the basket and passing her tongue lustily over her own lips)
Fried chicken! 

Don: (grabbing the phone in a panic): Sarah, get me my Secretary!
(As he waits for the call to be put through, Aunt Joan does a slow sensuous dance in front of him, all the while eating a chicken leg)

Don: (his connection completed)
Is Goober here with my car yet? Good! Cancel my appointments for the rest of the day! I'm going home!
(He hangs up the phone, makes a wide berth around the still gyrating Joan, grabs his coat and brief case and dashes out of the door.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sterling Cooper Taylor Fife and Otis

Cut to rural office interior, all in black and white.  Old-fashioned phones are perched on each of the many oak desks. Closeup of the agency's name, on a wooden sign hung from the back wall: "Sterling Cooper Taylor Fife."  In front of each larger desk sits a smaller desk, with a hayseed secretary, typing on ancient typewriters.  It's hot.  Old fashioned electric fans blow the hot air around.  The secretaries are armed with fans which they wave lazily in front of their sweaty faces. The camera zooms into the scene as the theme from the Andy Griffith Show plays. In walks Don Curtainer-Taylor, dressed in an expensive early sixties suit.  The camera focuses briefly on his quizzical expression as he scans the familiar but somehow different scene.  He walks up to his own office door, which bears his name hand-painted in old-fashioned style. His secretary greets him.  She bears a strange resemblance to Andy's girlfriend on the Andy Griffith Show.

Ellie: Hey sheriff ... uh I mean Hey Mr. Curtainer-Taylor.

Don: With a distant look. Did I have any calls?

Ellie:  Well, Otis.  He wants the key to the liquor cabinet.

Don: Shit. 

You Know My Name

CUT TO INTERIOR LADIES POWDER ROOM. Spacious and Ornate. It looks like the ballroom on the Titanic. Attractive cocktail waitress is using the Girdle Removal machine to ready herself for doing "her business" The door opens and Don Curtainer enters.

Waitress: What are you doing? This is the ladies room, you cad!

Don: (taking her in his arms) And I'm a ladies man (he notices the machine and thoughtfully rubs one of its stirrups.) This is made by one of our clients. Tell me; what do you like best about it?
(Always working!)

Waitress:(coyly) A lady's not to talk about such things with strangers!

Don: Then perhaps I should introduce myself
(As they consummate their meeting with some illicit fornication, the camera focuses on Don's hand, still intently caressing the stirrup)

CUT TO: Afterwards. Don is tying his tie, five cigarettes hanging from his mouth. The Waitress is crying in the corner.

Don: That's the trouble with you girls -- too emotional.

Waitress: But you don't understand! I'm pregnant!
(Without missing a beat, Don pulls a wad of bills out of his coat and tosses them to her)

Don: There's 5000 dollars. All I ask is this; if it's a boy, name him after me.
Waitress: (Pocketing cash) But I don't know your name!

Don: (smirking to himself in mirror) I know.

Don Does Research

INTERIOR: Smoky bar. Very smoky. So smoky you wouldn't believe.
Sounds of clinking drinks and coughing. Lots of coughing. Zoom in on
Don Curtainer. He is smoking five cigarettes and making notes on the
back of a match book. Close up of match book reveals that he has
written "cough, cough, cough, hack and cough"
He looks up thoughtfully from his matchbook, rubs his chin with his
thumbnail and lights another cigarette. An elderly black man in a
bartender's uniform is clearing his table.

Don: Excuse me, but I couldn't help noticing that you are a negro.

Black man nods. Enter hotel manager.

Manager: Is this darky bothering you, sir? (To black man) Toby, have
you been bothering the white man?

Black man: I ain't done shit!

Don: It's all right. I was just talking with him. But you can get me another drink -- scotch and rum with a grain alcohol chaser. Better make it a double -- I've got a long drive out of the city ahead of me.

Manager (servilely) Right away, Sir!


Black man: (Under his breath) Stupid mother....

Don: So, my good negro fellow, do you smoke?

Black man: Who said so? Who tole you dat?

Don: (shocked) A non-smoker! Fascinating! I have heard tell of such beings, but never knew they actually existed.

Black Man: Oh, you mean cigarettes. Yessir, I smokes cigarettes.
(shows pack)
Jigaboo. I was in the war and the army used to give a carton to us every week. I loves my Jigaboos. Wouldn't smoke nothing else.

(Attractive cocktail waitress passes by)

Don: Excuse me, but I have to go cheat on my wife. Don't go away, I'll be right back.

Black Man: I understand. I'm a married man myself, I am.
(Don leaves and black man lights up a cigarette, takes a long satisfying drag, looks at it and then
the camera.)
Black Man: Jigaboo cigarettes. You don't have to be a negro to smoke them... but it helps. (exit)
(Enter waiter who puts Don's drink on the table. Before he turns towards the camera, we

Fade out)