Canadian Dream (a really short screenplay)
I wrote this a few years ago, & thought I had lost it when my old PC croaked, but I was able to salvage the data off the HD, & there it was! I dunno why all the Canadian stereotyping, maybe I had watched Strange Brew & Canadian Bacon a little too often...
Anyways... I'm wondering about my formatting, as well as pacing & that sort of thing. If you insist on commenting about the "plot" just know that this is based entirely on a dream I had, & I wrote it immediately upon waking up from said dream.
EXTERIOR: Fade in to panoramic postcard view of Canadian Rocky Mountains, camera pans down to a twisty mountain road as a black pickup truck comes into view, & approaches the camera. Camera follows the truck as it continues along the road, & reaches a gigantic shopping mall built in a valley between mountains. The truck pulls into the parking lot, & parks in front of a small diner-type restaurant on the outlot of the mall. Dave, a skinny long haired man of about 30 gets out of the truck, & goes into the diner.
INTERIOR: Inside the diner is much like any family style restaurant, with booths & tables that seem just on the edge of being in need of replacement. Dave is shown to a table by the hostess, & orders his food, eats, pays the bill, & gets up to leave.
EXTERIOR: Dave is walking out the diner’s doors, and notices his truck door is open, when a large, rusty, dented old conversion van drives up, blocking his view of his truck & a man gets out.
Van man: Hey, beautiful scenery, eh?
Dave: Yeah, sure. Excuse me.
(Dave tries to get around the van, but the man blocks his path.)
Van Man: What’s your hurry?
(Dave still tries to get around him.)
Van Man: You must be an American.
Dave: Yeah, so? Get out of my way, I think someone is stealing my truck!
(Dave fakes one way, & darts the other, finally clearing the man & his van, & runs to his truck where he can see that someone is stealing it.)
Van Man: You really don’t want to do that.
(Just before he can get to it, the engine starts, & the door slams shut. He can see a large bald head inside the truck as it screeches away from him.)
Dave(Yelling): NOOOOOOOOO!!! STOP THIEF!! HELP ME! Someone is stealing my truck!! Someone please help me!! FUCK!
(The van pulls away at this moment going in the same direction the truck left. A few people on the sidewalk look in his direction, but look away quickly, & quicken their pace).
Dave pulls out his cell phone, & tries to dial the police, but the screen tells him that the service is not available in this area. So he runs back to the diner & a pair of payphones attached to the wall just outside the door. He scans the phone, & reads it to find what number to call for the police. Finds it, & dials. The phone begins to ring on the other end.
INTERIOR- You can see a close up of a phone on a glass table. It rings, & after about 3 rings, a hand picks up the receiver, & the camera follows the receiver to the face of the Cop. His eyes are half closed, & he looks like he hasn’t had a shower or a shave in a week. He is wearing a toque with the flaps down, but untied. There is a badge attached to the front of the hat. Somehow he looks wet.
Cop(slurring): ‘lo? Poleesh, eh. Umm, what’sh you need?
Cut to EXTERIOR- Diner
Dave: You’ve gotta help me! Someone just stole my truck! I got a good look at him, & I saw what direction he was going. Please hurry! I think you could still catch him! I’m at the Mountainview Mall Diner.
INTERIOR- Now you can see a little more of the cop. Apply every Canadian stereotype to him. There seems to be water flowing on the wall behind his head.
Cop(composing himself, somewhat): Whoah, slow down there, eh? This is the police, you know?
EXT: Dave is starting to look even more crazed.
Dave: Yes, I know this is the police, I called you because someone stole my truck!
INT: You can see a little more of the cop, & his surroundings.
Cop: Well, we don’t handle that kind of thing, you see?
Dave: Don’t han… WHAT?!?!?
INT: The cop is sitting against what looks like a brass wall, & you can see that the water cascading down the wall is coming from three taps above the cop’s head.
Cop: Well, we’re not really equipped to, errr, handle… that kind of thing, eh. B’sides, I’m really in no condition to drive. hehehe.
EXT: Panic is really starting to grip Dave.
Dave: Isn’t there someone else I can talk to?
Cop: ‘Fraid not. Everyone else is off fishing.
Dave: Well, how the Hell am I gonna get my truck back?
Cop: Hey now, there’s no need for that kind of language, eh? I really shouldn’t drive, but if you keep that up, I’ll be forced to come down there, eh? Don’t you have insurance? That’s what it’s for, you know?
Dave: Of course I have insurance, but it wouldn’t cover what I owe on it!
Cop: Ah, so you’re an American?
Dave: Yes, what the Hell does that have to do with anything?
Cop: I’m warning you sonny, you keep it up with that language, & I will have you in jail so fast your head will spin.
Dave: What did I say?
Cop: That “H” word.
Dave: “H” word? Hell?
Cop: That’s it. Stay right where you are.
Dave: So, saying “Hell” is more of a crime here than Felony Grand Theft Auto? What happens if I say shit, or fuck? Capital punishment?
You can see the cop getting more & more incensed, & the camera pulls back further, & you can see that the “water” pouring down the “wall” was coming from a beer tap on the bar he was leaning against. The rest of his surroundings resemble a bank vault.
Cop: You just stay right where you are. The courts will decide your punishment.
Dave: Well, it’s not like I have my truck. I sure as Hell can’t go anywhere. Jesus Christ, what is your problem?
Cop: Just keep talking, you’re digging yourself deeper & deeper. I hope the judge throws the book at you.
The cop hangs up the phone, & takes a long swig from the tap.
Dave hangs up the phone, and gets his cell phone back out & dials a number.
Dave: Mom! Please, you’ve gotta help me! Someone just stole my truck!
Mom(over the phone): Didn’t you call the police?
Dave: Yes, I did, but they were no help. I think they’re coming to arrest me for bad language too.
Mom: You know I raised you better than that! Swearing at a police officer? Hmph, I hope some jail time will teach you some manners. Good bye!
Dave: Mom? MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!! (to no-one in particular) Oh, shit, now what do I do?
Sirens can be heard in the background now.
Dave: OK, Rod Serling should be coming along any minute now, right?
Four police cars tear into the parking lot, & screech to a halt in front of Dave, the officers all jump out with guns drawn. Dave raises his hands, & falls to his knees, as the police all converge on him. Dave is sobbing, & laughing at the same time. Action slows down as the police tackle him & take him into custody.
Fade to black-
On screen text:
SIX MONTHS LATER…
Shot opens on a large stainless steel sink filled with dishes, & a pair of arms washing them. Pan up to see Dave is washing the dishes at the diner. The hostess comes up behind him, & grabs his ass, causing Dave to drop a plate he was drying, shattering it on the floor.
Hostess: Gotcha! Haha!
Dave: Hope that doesn’t come out of my pay.
Hostess: Oh, cheer up! You should be pretty close to having enough to get back home soon, right?
Dave starts picking up the broken shards of the plate from the floor.
Dave: Yeah, I guess.
Hostess gets down, & helps him pick up the broken plate.
Hostess: Hey, you’re lucky! That judge was really nice to let you off with a fine. You could still be in jail right now, you know?
Dave: You’re right, I could. I was just thinking…
Hostess: About what?
Dave: Oh, never mind. Hey, it’s time for my break. I’m gonna go outside for a few, OK?
Hostess: Sure thing, sweetie.
She kisses him on the cheek, & goes back to the front of the diner.
Dave walks out the back door of the diner onto the small steel landing outside. He sits down at the head of the stairs leading down to the parking lot. He puts his head in his hands, & is still for a moment. A vehicle pulls up next to the stairs, & the door opens. Dave looks up, & sees that it’s the same van he saw the day his truck was stolen. Three people get out of the van. The first man is the same man he encountered before, the woman doesn’t look familiar, but she was in the diner that day. As the driver walks around the side of the van, he sees that it’s the same man who stole his truck. He has grown his hair out somewhat, but there is no mistaking his giant head. They are arguing about whether or not they should call the cops about something. Dave stands up, & the three finally take notice of him. Van Man looks at him warily, & the thief walks up to the payphone next to the stairs. Dave looks at the large man, & then at the full bottle of iced tea in his hand, & back at the man. Seemingly taking aim to throw the bottle at the mans skull.
Thief: What the Hell you lookin’ at?
Van Man: Yeah, punk, What the fuck’s your problem? You slow or somethin’?
Dave: No, no problem at all. I just hope you weren’t planning on using that phone to call the police. They’re pretty useless.
Dave smiles, & walks calmly back into the diner.
Dave(calling up front to the hostess): Honey, could you come back here a minute?
Hostess(running back): What is it?
Dave: Could you call the police, & report some people swearing out behind the diner?
Hostess: Sure thing! How awful! Who is it?
Dave(smiling): Oh, no one. You know something?
Hostess(dialing the phone): What?
Dave: I’m starting to like it here.
Fade to black as sirens are heard in the background.
© 2003 David E Rachau
We are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously,
and I live in horror of not being misunderstood.