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April 26, 2004
Just leave my Oscar in the mailbox

I have an idea for a movie, a short subject, based on events from my actual life. I don't have a title for it yet ("Night of the Living Dead" is already taken), but I know how the film will begin.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Act 1, Scene 1

The scene: Russ' bedroom, darkened. A human form lays immobile in the darkness, mostly (and fortunately for the viewer) covered by a blanket. His feet hang off the end of the bed. It is Russ, and he is asleep. The clock next to the bed reads 3:03 a.m.

[Sound effect: a ringing telephone.]

The phone rings, once, twice. The clock ticks over to 3:04. The sleeper stirs, mutters unintelligibly. The phone rings a third time.

Russ knows that if he doesn't answer the phone, it'll go to his answering machine, which will then beep loudly and obnoxiously in the next room, forcing Russ out of bed to shut it off. And a 3am call is never good news -- better to get it done without having to get out of bed.

A hand snakes out from under the blanket and grabs the handset.

Russ: (gruffly) "Ya? Hello."

Caller: "Russ, it's me, Joe."

Russ does a quick mental check of all the people he knows named Joe, "quick" being a relative term at 3:04am. Recognition eludes him.

Russ: "Huh?"

Caller: "You helped me with a technical support problem about six months ago, remember?"

Russ: [expletive]

Russ remembers the caller, a friend of an old friend. He regrets ever having been a telecommuter and giving out his phone number. He especially regrets not having a second phone line installed just for work calls.

Caller: "Did I...."

Russ: "... Call at a bad time? Yes, you could say that."

Caller: "Oh, I'm sorry." [Apparently not sorry enough.] "Well, I wonder if you could help me with this problem that's popped up on my network again, do you remember it?"

Russ: "Yes, but I don't work for [company name] any more."

Caller: [pause] "Oh."

Russ: "Yes."

Caller: "Well, I wonder if you might be able to... "

Russ: "No."

Caller: "..."

Russ feels sorry for the guy, who has a sticky problem that the average tech support peon will not be likely to solve.

Russ: "I can't help you. But I'll tell you what -- call Bob Smith in the morning, he should be able to help."

Caller: "OK."

Russ: "Good night." Hangs up phone.

An hour later, Russ is still unable to go back to sleep. He has an appointment in the morning for which he wants to be well-rested. He curses the caller's name until the sun comes up.

[Camera: fade to black.]

So, what do you think? Could this be expanded into a short film? There isn't much material here yet... but the day isn't over.

Ahhhh, I have a title:

Dial "I" for "I'll Murder You If You Ever Do That Again"

Posted by Russ at 02:51 PM, April 26, 2004 in Miscellany

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sounds like a good cause to wish for a tazer that operates over a phone line.

Posted by: TWilliam at April 26, 2004 06:40 PM