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Apartment 406

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18. Ill

Joe: (asleep in bed)

Tom: Dude, wake up.

(beat)

Tom: (slaps Joe) Wake up!

Joe: (jolts awake) Gahhh! What?

Tom pointed at the clock on Joe's nightstand, which read 8:13 AM.

Joe: OH, MAN!

Tom: Yeah, it's so late I thought you were dead.

As Joe slowly got out of bed and changed his shirt, he saw Tom looking out the window.

Joe: What's going on, mate?

Tom: It snowed, mate.

Joe: How much?

Tom: Like, a few inches? I dunno, I don't have a ruler or whatever.

Joe got over and looked out the window, and it seemed that Tom was right.

Joe: Cool.

Tom: Definitely.

Joe: I was planning to go to Oiltrack to get a drink and whatever is on the pastry rack. Do you want anything?

Tom: Cream cheese stuffed super pretzel.

Joe: Alright. (walks towards apartment door) I'll be back.

Tom: But the roads-

Joe: Yeah, that doesn't matter. (beat) Eh.

(cut to Joe holding and shaking a salt shaker out the window)

Tom: What's that gonna do? It's hitting the grass, anyways! You're the second dumbest person I've ever met.

Harry: You know I can potentially hear the thoughts of the snails down there, right?

Joe: Whatever, I did my part. (drops salt shaker)

(Salt shaker falls on snail)

Snail: AHHHHH-

Joe: Okay, I'm busting out of this joint. 

Tom: You want a jacket or something?

Joe: Hmm?

Joe left the apartment, got into his car, and started slowly driving to the nearest Oiltrack. "Cool, not much traffic.", he remarked to himself. Within a couple minutes, he was in the parking lot. When he got out of the car, he saw six similar faces, which belonged to the Kids on the Street.

Craig: Craig wants a pretzel.

Robert: No, not now.

Emma: Well, well, look who it is.

Robert: That's what I'm supposed to say, dang it! So, anyways, you!

Joe: Yes, me.

Robert: DON'T INTERRUPT ME!

Joe: I don't have to listen to you.

Robert: Very well. (pulls out T-shirt cannon) 

Joe: I'm not cold, I don't need another layer or whatever.

Robert: No, no. 

Robert pulled the trigger and snowballs started flying out of the cannon and onto Joe's face. Robert aimed the cannon up and down, even as Joe turned his back and walked into the store. By the end, Joe looked like a guy that...I dunno, a guy that got hit by a modified T-shirt cannon by some dumb kids? After he got his food, he drove back to the apartment, and kicked open the door.

Tom: What happened?

Joe: The Kids on the Street had some snowball cannon weirdness.

Tom: They got you everywhere?

Joe: That's what it is.

Tom: I hope you don't get sick, dude.

Joe: Whatever.

That night, there was some trouble in Joe's immune system.

(cut to "The Official Immune System Control and Defense Center of Joe Summers")

(Couple of cells sitting at control panel)

Leader: Alright boys, we got a common cold coming! Do the stuff and the things!

(beat)

Cell Worker #1: So, uh, Frank, you still seeing Julie?

Cell Worker #2 (Frank): Yeah, yeah. She's talked a bit about this other guy, Ron, but insists they're just platonic.

CW #1: Okay.

(Two other CWs are sitting nearby)

CW #3: So, uh, Ron, you still seeing Julie?

CW #4 (Ron): Yeah, yeah. She's talked a bit about this other guy, Frank, but insists they're just platonic.

Frank: WHAT?! (runs off into bathroom)

Leader: Johnson! Get Frank back here! We need all hands on deck!

CW #1: Uh...well...

(Common cold blob grows bigger and begins to engulf the center)

(THE NEXT MORNING)

(Joe is lying in bed, wakes up)

Joe: AHHHHH! (starts coughing fit)

Tom: (walks in) Son of a-

Joe: Those stupid kids got me sick, I think. (cough) I bet they've never even played a Tinonden Entertaining System. Should we go to the hospital or doctor or something?

Tom: Are you nuts? We can't afford that!

Joe: (sigh) Yeah. Get the medicine.

(cut to Tom pouring some cough medicine into some cup)

Joe: I got this stuff a while back. Apparently it works.

Harry: Imagine that.

Joe sat down and started slowly taking small sips out of the medicine. He then set the cup down, and let out a loud, breathy squeal after a couple seconds.

Tom: What was that?

Joe: That was one of the worst tastes that has ever come upon my mouth, and the sound of my soul exiting (cough) my body.

Harry: Try it again.

Joe drank some more, to a similar result.

Harry: Heh.

Joe: (coughs on Harry)

Harry: That was...not very nice. (walks away)

Joe: I'm not drinking any more of that.

Tom: Come on man, it'll help.

Joe: I just don't know if I can. At what cost?

Tom: Dude, don't be like that.

Joe: You try it.

Tom: (drinks medicine) WAHHHOOOO! (crumples to floor) Maybe you're right. This is really stupid, but what do we do?

Joe: Maybe TV has the answer.

(cut to Joe and Tom watching a TV commercial)

Announcer on TV: Feeling sick? Then buy some Tewroytx!

Lady: Yeah, I feel better.

Man: I'm glad I can water my favorite houseplant, Betty, again without getting it sick.

Announcer on TV: I don't think houseplants work like that.

Joe: What does that even mean?

Just then, Joe saw some little white text at the bottom of the TV, then took the remote and paused the TV.

Tom: What does it say?

Joe: Side effects could include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, throwing up, losing your lunch, flu, common cold, hypothermia, epidermodysplasia verruciformis, (cough) extreme anxiety and depression, splinters, losing the use of your arms, using the lose of your legs, 82 different types of cancer, death (obviously), blindness, getting stabbed in the chest by a magic knife, extreme head trauma from a magic TV-

Tom: Okay, stop. 

Joe: I'm not gonna risk it.

Tom: Good idea. That's a weird order to put those symptoms in, it's not even funny at all.

Harry: Of course it's not funny, those are horrible ailments, you moron!

Joe: Yeah, that sounds like a lot of throwing up. What do we do?

Tom: Blow your nose or something.

Joe: Good idea.

Harry: Why didn't you think of that before?

Joe: Too easy.

Harry: Pssshhht.

Joe: I forgot, also.

Harry: Yeah, okay. Just stop coughing, you baby.

Joe: (cough) What coffin?

Harry: (frowns, walks away)

Joe got a wad of tissues from the nearest tissue box, and blew his nose.

Joe: Aw, gross.

Tom: Oh, grow up.

Joe: (cough) I don't know, man. I don't feel anything.

Tom: It works over time.

Joe: I'm a man who likes instant gratification. Who isn't?

Tom: You're freaking...oogh.

Joe: I admit, (cough) a felt the least bit better after taking that medicine.

Tom: Oh, good. We gotta train you or something. 

Joe: How are supposed to do that?

Tom: I have an idea.

(cut to Joe and Tom standing outside the apartment with a big, shirtless, tattooed guy)

Joe: The homeless dude outside the apartment?

Homeless Guy: You don't know me by now? I'm Ben. Now what do you want?

Tom: (hands Ben a quarter) Make as big of a sigh as possible in Joe's direction.

Ben leaned his head towards Joe, and let out a loud, breathy sigh, letting out a putrid stench.

Joe: Aw, what?! (cough)

Tom: Desensitization.

Ben then closed his mouth, and Joe and Tom began walking back into the apartment. 

Tom: I'll pay you more later if it works.

Ben: Cool.

(cut to the apartment)

Tom: Drink up.

Joe drank a little of the medicine, but it was clear that nothing was still working.

Tom: Isn't there like a pill version of these medicines?

Joe: My body doesn't handle those well.

Tom: Dang.

Joe: I need like some crappy drinks to practice on.

Tom: Like what?

Joe: Cranberry juice, (cough) some mix, I don't know.

Tom then went to the store, buying the biggest jugs of cranberry juice he could find, and a bunch of disgusting food that he knew Joe would hate. Excitedly, he then drove back to the apartment, and got out a blender.

Joe: What's that smell?

Tom: Do you want 1 or 2? Pick a number.

Joe: Uh, 1.

Tom then poured Joe a glass of cranberry juice. Joe reluctantly took it, and took a big swig of it.

Joe: Oh...uh...hmm...OH, GOD! (runs into bathroom, starts coughing fit) ...eep. How about 2?

Tom: Wow, okay.

Tom then threw onions, expired french yogurt, swiss cheese, dry buntcake, and some other stuff including his sweat in the blender, sat back, and watched it all loudly go together. After a minute, Tom poured it onto a cup, and Joe sheepishly walked out of the bathroom to drink it, which he did.

(cut to Joe's head leaning over a toilet in the bathroom)

Tom: Doesn't look like it worked.

Joe: Eeep...give me the stuff. (cough)

Tom: What stuff?

Joe: The med-(wheeze), dude, I can't.

Tom: Oh, sorry. Any other ideas?

Joe: I don't know.

The next morning, Joe went into Tom's room, excited.

Joe: I have an idea! I have an (cough).

Tom: Okay, what? What?

Joe: Let me show you.

(cut to the Oiltrack gas station)

Joe: Okay, look at this food. It's great, but not high culinary art. Same with the drinks. If you mix those enough, they taste weird. Let's try to match that up with that cough (cough) stuff.

Joe started grabbing some old veggie chips, old glazed donuts, and a large cup. He started mixing all of the different drinks together, but decided that that wasn't enough, and whispered something to Tom.

Tom: WHO WANTS TO HELP MAKE THE WORST DRINK EVER?

Joe: Thanks.

Everyone in the building looked straight at the two, and started walking towards them, even the cashiers. People started leaning their armpits into the cup, and tried to find anything they could.

Joe: Don't breathe into it or anything, I'm sick.

Guy: Then why are you doing this?

Joe: It tastes better than the medicine.

Guy: Yeah, that makes sense. I recently had this Tewroytx stuff and it was the worst!

Joe: ...eee.

All of a sudden, Ben walked into the Oiltrack.

Ben: Hey, uh, what's going on? (sniffs) Oh, what is that?

Joe: The worst drink ever.

Ben started slowly walking up to the drink, as Jerry, the musical instruments guy, started playing his spaghetti western theme. 

Joe: Dude, no.

Ben: Nonsense.

Ben then breathed into the cup, as everyone surrounded them, cheering Joe on.

Joe: I was only practicing for that cough medicine...

Guy: Too late.

Joe: Okay. (raises cup up to head and sips drink)

(cut to Joe lying on the apartment bathroom floor, unconscious)

Tom: (opens door) Oh my god! DUDE, COME HERE!

Harry: (walks in) He's dead! Call 911!

Tom: You call 911!

Harry: NO TIME FOR BICKERING!

Tom: (walks up to Joe) Okay, he's still breathing.

Harry ran back to the kitchen table and poured some cough medicine into a cup, before running back into the bathroom. He opened Joe's mouth and splashed the medicine down his throat.

Joe: (cough) WHAT? WHERE AM I?! The last thing I remember is, uh, the Oiltrack.

Tom: You must have passed out in here. You drank people's armpit sweat.

Joe: It was peer pressure!

Harry: You really are a loser.

Joe: Yeah, I was just trying to practice.

(beat)

Joe: I was lying back there. I do feel quite a bit better, actually. Let's see. (quiet cough) Huh.

(cut to the immune system center)

Frank: Apparently that Ron guy was talking about a different Julie. A different Frank and Ron, as well. Funny, eh?

CW #1: Well, then who was that other guy?

Frank: ...I dunno. Maybe they are just platonic.

(cut back to apartment)

Tom: Oh, cool. Just keep, ah...recovering?

Tom went over to the window, and dropped a few dollars out of it. Ben then caught the money, and tucked it in his pocket.

Ben: I'm glad to hear he's better!

Tom: Yeah. (cough)

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19. The Perfect Combination

Tom: (lying on couch) You gotta change your name to Dick so we'll be Tom, Dick and Harry.

Joe: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Tom: I think I'm finally recovering from your sickness, though.

Joe: The medicine sucks, doesn't it?

Tom: I should have tried the drink mix...but I would have passed out...hmm.

Joe: If that was the worst drink ever, then I have to wonder what the best drink was.

Tom: Only one way to find out.

(Cut to Oiltrack gas station)

Joe: Okay, so what are your favorite flavors out of the drinks?

Tom: Cherry, orange, strawberry, tomato-

Joe: Tomato?

Tom: I got sprayed by a skunk once. It's actually a good drink.

Joe: The other three are slushies, do you think it'll work?

Tom: Of course it will! Why wouldn't it?

Joe: Good point. Let's mix!

Tom grabbed a cup and started mixing the four flavors together until the cup was filled up. He took a sip out of it, and a small smile formed on his face.

Tom: Could be better, but it's good.

Joe: We could add some other foods, like last time.

Tom: Good idea.

Joe went over to the pizza slices, picked one up and after opening the box, dumped the pizza into the drink.

Tom: Geez. (sips) Getting better.

Joe and Tom then dumped some more stuff into the cup, like nachos covered in melted cheese, gummy worms, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, and several types of snack cakes.

Joe: Is this even a drink anymore?

Tom: Try the coffee grinder.

The two dumped the drink into the store's coffee grinder, and waited for it blend. When it came out, Joe picked up the orange-yellow mixture that was in the coffee cup.

Tom: How about that.

Joe: Wanna taste?

Tom: Sure. (sips drink) OHHH MYYY-

Joe: Is it good?

Tom: It's amazing.

Joe: (sips drink) WOAH!

Just then, some random guy walked up to the two.

Guy: You think you have the best drink on your hands, eh?

Joe: Well, yes.

Guy: (sips drink) WOAH, MAMA! How did you invent it?

Tom: We just put a bunch of stuff together.

Guy: Cool. (walks away)

Tom: (walks up to cashier) I'd like to buy this.

Cashier: Sir, your total adds up to about 12 dollars.

The next day, Joe stepped outside his apartment to get the morning newspaper, and as he skimmed the front page, his mouth fell open.

Joe: Tom, we made the front page!

Tom: What, why?!

Joe: Let me read it:

THE PERFECT COMBINATION:

by Rick Anderson

Two men, names unknown, were at the Orange Drive Oiltrack Gas Station when they invented the supposed "perfect" drink, created from a combination of different foods at the gas station. Said one of them, "We just a put a bunch of stuff together". This has been compared to a similar incident in 1994 when a group of college students-

Tom: Okay, I get it. I didn't know that guy was a news reporter!

Joe: How were you supposed to?! It's the 21st century, there are more important things going on!

Tom: I know, man. Let's go check what's going on at the Oiltrack.

Joe and Tom went over to the window, and looked out at the Oiltrack, where there was a massive crowd of people.

Joe: I can't believe it.

Tom: I was just trying to have some fun!

Joe: So was I! Geez.

Tom: Should we go over there?

Joe: Sure. Our picture wasn't there or anything. (looks over newspaper again) Yep.

Tom: Yeah, let's just blend in.

(cut to the Oiltrack parking lot}

(everyone is yelling and cheering)

Guy: Where are the guys?

Guy #2: Who are the guys?

Lady: Are any of you the guys?

Guy: I'm a guy.

Lady: That's not what I meant!

(Joe and Tom arrive)

Joe: Who do you guys think made this?

Lady #2: I dunno.

Guy #3: But I promise to capture whoever did so they make it for me ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!

Tom: Eee...

Harry: Well, how do we even know if it's any good?

Joe: Harry?

Harry: Joe?

(cut to the apartment)

Joe: What were you doing there?

Harry: I can go where I want.

Tom: Did anyone give you weird looks?

Harry: Not that I saw.

Joe: I would have that human body formula done, but you know.

Harry: No, I don't.

Joe: Me and Tom made that drink.

Harry: Wwwhhhaaattt?

Tom: Yeah, we gotta lie low.

Harry: Sounds good.

Joe: It'll be pretty hard for them to found out our identities, I bet.

(cut to inside of Oiltrack)

Guy #3: Who were they that made the drink?

Cashier: One had light brown hair, casual golf shirt, another had dark brown hair, glasses.

Guy #3: What do I do with that?

Guy #4: Excuse me, sir, I'm a police sketch artist. (draws photorealistic picture of Tom and Joe, shows it to Guy #3)

Guy #3: Haha! (takes artist's sketchbook, holds it up) FIND THEM!

(everyone cheers)

(cut to the apartment parking lot)

Guy: Let's try here!

(Joe and Tom walk out)

Tom: It's a good thing we have free bagels, huh?

Joe: Yeah, I told you it was worth it!

Guy #4: Yeah, that looks like them.

Guy #3: ATTAAACK!

Joe: What the-

The mob launched at Joe and Tom.

Guy #5: What's the secret recipe? WHAT IS IT?

Joe: I-wait-BACK OFF AND I'LL TALK!

(everyone steps back)

Joe: Let's see, cherry, orange, strawberry, tomato, all of those were drinks, cheese pizza, nachos covered in melted cheese, gummy worms, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, and several types of snack cakes-

Guy #3: WHAT TYPES?!

Tom: Uhhh...any type...will do?

Guy #3: We'll see about that.

(Joe and Tom go back into apartment)

Joe: Dang, we were gonna get some bagels.

Tom: I hope this stops soon.

(cut to Joe picking up the newspaper the next day)

Joe: OH NO!

PERFECT DRINK DUO REVEAL SECRET RECIPE

by Jeb Anderson

This Sunday, an angry mob crowded around the Orange Drive Oiltrack and the Eastwood Apartments, demanding for the secret recipe to the perfect Oiltrack drink created on Saturday. The recipe is-

Tom: I can't believe it!

Joe: Geez. What do we do?

Tom: I don't know. We can't just be in here forever.

Joe: Nonsense. They got what they wanted. Let's just go out.

(cut to Joe and Tom walking in the apartment parking Iot)

(large crowd cheers)

Tom: Oh, no no no no-

Crowd: Yes! Yes!

Guy #6: Thanks for giving us the recipe, it was the greatest thing ever!

Joe: Oh, it was nothing.

Guy #7: You're my hero!

Lady #3: Marry me!

Tom: Dang.

(Joe and Tom run back into apartment)

Harry: What's going on?

Joe: We're super famous here for making that dumb drink.

Harry: Oh. Weird.

Tom: It'll hopefully stop tomorrow.

(TOMORROW)

(Joe and Tom walking in apartment parking lot)

(everyone cheers)

Tom: Aw...

(THE DAY AFTER THAT)

(Joe and Tom walking in apartment parking lot)

(everyone cheers)

Joe: Crudcakes.

(ONE WEEK LATER)

(Joe and Tom walking in apartment parking lot)

(everyone cheers)

Joe: STOP! STOP!

(everyone cheers louder)

(Joe and Tom run back up to apartment)

Joe: This has to stop. 

Tom: What do we do, like be shut ins or something?

Joe: I used to be like that, and no one cared about me.

Tom: Hmm.

Harry: This is kinda funny, you gotta admit.

(cut to someone looking in through the window)

Harry: Nevermind.

Tom: Dude, we're almost out of food.

Joe: Hey, nice rhymes.

Tom: You get the idea! 

Joe: Just get a Box O Stuff disguise.

Tom: Nah, those costumes make me itchy.

Joe: Let's just wait out the day. Hide in your room and close all the windows. Hmm, we could start selling those disguises.

Tom: NO!

Joe: Yeah, I see what you mean.

The next day, Joe quietly got the newspaper, and as he was about to step back in the apartment, Pete walked by.

Pete: Hey-

Joe: You can't have any money.

Pete: So you're the drink guys?

Joe: Yep.

Pete: Must be nice to have so much fame.

Joe: Not really.

Pete: Still, though.

Joe: (forms big smile) Come with me. Do you own any casual golf shirts?

Pete: I think just one.

Joe: Awesome. 

Joe then went back into the apartment, and grabbed a comb, before handing it back to Pete.

Joe: Make yourself look like me as best you can.

(cut to outside the apartment)

(everyone cheers)

Joe: I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

(everyone stops)

Guy #8: EVERYONE SHUT UP! HE HAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

Joe: Yeah. There's been a mistake. Me and the other guy didn't make that drink. (points at Pete) This one did. The other guy is his brother, who's, ah, out of town at that moment.

Everyone: WWWHHHAAATTT?

(everyone leaps at Pete and starts cheering)

Guy #4: Even police sketch artists make mistakes, I suppose.

Guy #3: I don't even care about that, now!

Pete: Yippee!

(Joe sneaks away)

(cut to Harry and Tom watching out the window)

Harry: Well, if he's happy...

Tom: Yeah, I'm glad that's over with.

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20. Meet the Creator

(Joe, Harry and Tom are walking around convention center)

Joe: I'm glad we could make it to Sequential-Art-Con.

Tom: Yeah, hopefully the four and a half hour drive was worth it.

Joe: Right, it's a shame we have to do that again.

Tom: So, what do you want to do?

Joe: Meet Owen Allen, creator of Superhero Man!

Tom: Nice.

Joe: This place is so big, though. How will we be able to find him?

The three looked to their right, and saw Owen's booth.

Harry: That was easy.

Joe: I got this piece of paper for him to sign.

Tom: Do it, man!

(beat)

Joe: I can't!

Tom: Why not?

Joe: I'm too nervous!

Tom: Oh, come on.

Joe: You guys don't understand! I'm as a big of a fan as you two combined!

Harry: Dude.

Joe: Let's come back later.

(LATER)

How much later?

(THIRTY MINUTES)

Oh, got it. 

Joe: I think I'm ready. (starts walking to booth) Nevermind.

Harry: No way, man! (pushes Joe at booth)

Joe: Woah!

Owen: Yes?

Joe: I'm a, uh, fan.

Owen: Okay.

Joe: My friend over there is...ah...dressed as Robobug 4958.

Harry: Yeah!

Owen: You want an autograph, kid?

Joe: (pulls out piece of paper) Yes.

(Owen pulls out pen, signs paper)

Joe: Thanks. (grabs paper)

Joe walked away, and him, Harry and Tom kept walking through the center.

Tom: That was kinda awkward.

Joe: Well, I got his autograph.

Harry: Autographs don't matter.

Joe: Whatever. 

Voice: Oh, really?

Joe: Are you talking to me?

Voice: Yes. Jack Putnam.

Joe: The Jack Putnam?

Jack: Yes.

Joe: The original writer for Superhero Man? One half of the original team?

Jack: YYYEEESSS. That jerk started taking all of the credit!

Joe: Owen?

Jack: YES, YES! When Superhero Man started, we were a great writer-artist team.

Joe: I know that.

Jack: But, oh, that wasn't enough for Owen. He wanted to be credited for everything, cutting me out of it all.

Tom: Really?

Jack: YES, YES, REALLY!

Tom: Okay! Sorry.

(Joe, Harry and Tom walk away)

Joe: I can't believe it.

Harry: That really sucks.

Joe: What do we do?

Tom: What now?

Joe: We gotta get those two back together.

Tom: What now?

Harry: How are we supposed to do that?

Joe: Uh, I don't know.

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom standing at Owen's booth)

Joe: So, uh, about Jack Putnam.

Owen: Who?

Joe: Jack Putnam.

Tom: Oh, boy.

Owen: I don't know any Jack Putnam.

Joe: Yes, you do.

Owen: No, I don't.

Joe: The original writer for Superhero Man.

Owen: Huh? Oh, yeah.

Jack: (walks up) What was that?

Owen: Who are you?

Joe: He's your old writing partner.

Owen: What?

Jack: See, this is a smart kid. Maybe you could stand to be more like him.

Joe: Thanks.

Owen: AAAUUUGGGHHH!

Jack: Let's get outta here, kid.

Joe: Huh?

Jack grabbed Joe and started pushing him away from the booth, as Tom and Owen stared at each other.

Harry: So where does that leave me?

Tom: I dunno. So, what do we do?

Joe: So, what do we do?

Jack: We gotta make some changes to those comics. Write my name on the credits.

Joe: How do we do that?

Jack: You have some comics here, right?

Joe: Yeah, at the hotel.

Jack: Any from issues 73-183?

Joe: Yeah, yeah.

Jack: Get them. We'll make, ah, New York Sequential-Art-Con exclusives.

Joe: Haha, cool.

Joe ran over to his hotel, went into his first floor room, and grabbed several Superhero Man comics, before running back over to Jack in the con center.

Joe: I got them.

Jack: You got some paper?

Joe pulled out some leftover paper, and Jack ripped it up, before taking out a pen and writing "written by JACK PUTNAM" on it. He then licked the back of the slip, and stuck it on the front of the comic. He did this a few more times with the other issues.

Jack: NEW YORK SEQUENTIAL ART CON SUPERHERO MAN EXCLUSIVES!

Voice #1: Who are you?

Jack: Jack Putnam.

Voice #1: Are you?

Jack: YYYEEESSS!

Voice #1: Whatever, let's see. (grabs comic)

Joe: Hey, that's mine!

Jack: Hey, that's three dollars!

Joe: Give it back!

Voice #1: Fine. Will I get another one?

Jack: Yeah.

(cut to Joe and Jack standing at a copy machine)

Joe: How many copies are we gonna do?

Jack: 51 of each.

Joe: Oh, man.

Jack: Don't worry, this thing is fast. You want an autograph, kid?

(cut to Tom and Owen)

Owen: You want an autograph, kid?

Tom: Uh, what happened with Jack?

Owen: Alright, I'll talk. One issue, Jack was busy and couldn't do the writing. So, I filled in for him this one issue. It got great critical response. I thought that if I kept getting sole credit, people would like it more. I suppose I somehow figured that if that issue was so good, people would buy more if they saw the exact team behind it. Sort of a brain trick psychology type deal.

Tom: What?

Owen: But, that guy is a great comic writer. I don't know what I would do without him. But the series got bigger and bigger, and the money got more and more plentiful. Around issue 183, he finally quit. His son, Red Putnam, is the writer now.

Tom: Red?

Owen: Ah, his real name is Alex.

Tom: Well, you still could have credited him. I'm sure you got some good dough before the solo issue.

Owen: I suppose that could make sense. Does it really?

(cut back to Joe and Jack)

Joe: Does it really?

Jack: Yeah, everything looks fine. Can't even tell the difference between any of it, or whatever.

Joe: What, who, huh?

Jack: Nevermind. Let's uh, I dunno, staple these?

Joe: That's a little unprofessional.

Jack: Who's the professional here?

Joe: Right. Sorry, sir.

Jack tirelessly stapled everything together, and after a long time, they ran back from the machine out into the halls of the con center.

Guy #1: Where's my thing? I got some leftover pizza to get to.

Jack: Yeah, here. (hands comics to Guy) Three bucks a pop.

Guy #1: Okay, cool. Hmm, this was written by you? (hands money) Cool.

Jack: They always were.

Guy #1: Wow, really? I know a guy on the comic book black market that can help these get in bigger circulation in some-

Jack: No.

Guy #1: But-

Jack: No, it's fine.

(cut back to Tom and Owen)

Owen: No, it's fine.

Tom: It's not. You gotta get back together. What's your net worth?

Owen: 10 million or something? Give or take?

Tom: You could still have 6 or 7 million if you give the proper money to Jack and Red.

Owen: Agh, I'm...sure they're okay.

Tom: Oh, well, everyone thinks Jack isn't doing anything.

Owen: He came up with most of everything on the groundbreaking issue 12.

Tom: Oh, cool. 

Owen: Same with some of the greatest later ones. He was always better than me at that stuff. Damn, Owen, you're losing it!

Tom: Then give him the credit and pay he deserves!

Owen: I'll think about it.

Tom: Okay.

(cut to Joe and Jack)

Jack: Okay.

Guy #2: I'm your biggest fan ever. 

Joe: No, I am.

Jack: Okay.

Guy #2: I had no idea you wrote all of that. It seemed kinda suspicious...

Jack: Oh, you know...

Joe and Jack went back to Tom and Owen, and there was some awkward silence for a little while.

Owen: Uh, I'm sorry.

Jack: What?

Owen: I said I'm sorry. I'm gonna start crediting you from now on.

Jack: Alex writes the comic, now.

Owen: Gahhh! Yeah. I'll even pay you guys more for all of your work.

Jack: More than ten dollars an issue?

Owen: Yeah. Soon you'll be able to buy a lot of stuff.

Jack: Like a glow in the dark lava lamp?

Owen: Definitely. Something like 10 grand an issue, all of the past ones included.

Jack: Whoa, mama! 

(Jack and Owen high five)

(cut back to the apartment)

(Joe walks over to Tom with comic)

Joe: Dude! A new Superhero Man! (opens book) written by RED PUTNAM. Wait, Red?

Tom: That's his kid's nickname.

Joe: Oh...wow! WE DID THIS! WE GOT THIS CREDIT IN!

Tom: I know! Cool!

Joe: We made the Putnams rich as...I don't know...uh...Charles Q. The.

Tom: Not that rich, but still pretty well off.

(Joe and Tom jump up and high five each other, and freeze in place mid air)

(beat)

Joe: Harry, turn up the heat.

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This was a fun one to write. Yeah, it's a little different and shorter, too. I hope it's good?

21. True Perseverance

One night, during a bad rainstorm, Joe, Harry and Tom were watching a sci fi/action movie.

Tom: Superhumans of Saturn? Why did you pick this?

Joe: I don't know. At least it was cheap.

Harry: That's because it's a VHS in 2005. 

Joe: Well, when I was there at the video store a week ago, it looked pretty good.

Tom: A week ago?

Joe: Yes, just abooouuuttt. (beat) Oh, man! I gotta get this back there the end of the day!

Tom: But it's 11:43 PM and that video store is almost across town!

Joe: Maybe the traffic is good!

(cut to terrible traffic outside of the apartment)

Tom: Mmm.

Harry: GO! GET OUT!

Joe got the VHS from out of the player, slipped it back in the cover, and ran down to the parking lot. He then went over to his car, tightly clutching the VHS. "Probably could have got an umbrella", he thought to himself. After getting in the car, he sped out of the parking lot, and started driving towards the video store, under the speed limit, of course. However, after a minute, there was heavy traffic. Joe sat there for a minute, and then the rain got worse and worse, until he could barely see anything outside of the car.

The rain was pounding, and after a while, Joe felt something hit his car. He got out of the car, and onto the sidewalk. His car had crashed into another, and out of the second car came a giant man. The man balled his hands up into fists, and began slowly walking towards Joe. The man was about to uppercut Joe, before Joe suddenly started running away.

Joe was running faster than he ever had, even faster than he ever knew that he could. He kept running for a while, until he was in the ocean. He could see the beach near Weisston in the far distance, but the man was out of sight. The current was moving insanely fast, so Joe was swept away. He helpessly stood in the ocean for a while, until he came up on a deserted island. When he stepped, a couple came up to him.

Guy: Civilization!

Joe: What?

Lady: We've been stuck here for...uh...a week? A month? I don't know!

Guy: Do you have any food?

Joe: Nooo...

It was then that Joe noticed cuts and weird marks all over their legs.

Joe: Are you, uh, eating...each...

Lady: Where? What?

Guy: Why would we ever do that? (walks toward Joe, leans down, grabs Joe's leg)

Joe: YAHHH!

Joe managed to free himself from the guy's grip, and went back into the ocean, letting the current sweep him away. For ten minutes, he let the ocean carry him, until he came upon another island. It was far larger, and a desert.

Cautiously, Joe walked onto the desert, and looked around. He didn't see any crazed cannibals, or anyone for that matter. He walked around the desert, which was seemingly never ending. But soon, he got too tired to move, so he collapsed in the sand. Joe then fell asleep, defeatedly, and slept for several hours.

The sun began to come up, waking up Joe. He freaked out, briefly forgetting where he was, before remembering that he was stranded on a deserted desert island...something like that. Sad and homesick, he sat down, and started drawing with his finger in the sand. As he looked up the sky, he saw what looked like an old, beaten down car flying around in it. "Hallucinations...what the...", he confusedly muttered to himself. But faster than he could blink, the car landed in front of him. Joe slowly backed away, as the Superhumans of Saturn got out.

Joe: What?

SOS #1: Hello, citizen.

Joe: What?

SOS #1: It's me, Bill.

Joe: Yes. I saw that on this VHS I... (gasp)! I have to return that as soon as possible! How far away am I?

SOS #2: Beats me.

Joe: Can't one of you summon it or something?

SOS #3: Yeah, Mary has super strength, and I can fly.

Joe: I know that, Richard.

Richard began to fly back to Weisston, with Mary holding on to his shirt. Upon their arrival, Mary grabbed the car, and then threw it, so it landed it the desert, right next to Joe. Once to the two got back to the desert and Joe was in the car, Mary threw the car back in Weisston's general direction.

Joe: Woah, I'm flying! Thanks, Superhumans of Saturn!

SOS #1-4: No problem!

(cut to Joe sitting in traffic)

Joe: This sucks. At least I have my imagination. (looks at clock in car) 11:53! Come on...

Just then, traffic started moving a little more. Joe looked to his right, and saw the video store. "What?!", he yelled to himself. Joe then parked and went inside.

Joe: I'm here to return Superhumans of Saturn.

Cashier: Cool. (grabs tape)

Joe: Phew. Glad that's over with.

(cut to apartment)

Joe: (opens door) What was that?

Tom: What?

Joe: You said the thing was across town!

Tom: It's been a while since I rented any videos. Same with you, I thought.

Harry: Maybe you both thought the other was talking a different one. Those video stores have names, you know.

Joe: Whatever.

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22. In the Gutter

One day, Joe, Harry and Tom were watching an episode of "Stuff Around the World", hosted by famous television presenter Clifford "Lucky" Numbers.

Lucky: Howdy there folks, I'm Lucky Numbers, bringing you-

Harry: Blah blah blah. Get a new gimmick.

Lucky: Today's episode is about bowling alleys!

Joe: Alrighty then.

The TV then showed clips of people going bowling, including a thirty second slow motion shot of someone getting a strike.

Harry: That was tedious.

Tom: They like commercials so much, how about they jam more of those in there instead of that?

Lucky: From casual to competitive, bowling is a game for everyone!

Joe: For everyone, eh?

Tom: You want to go bowling, don't you?

Joe: How could you tell?

Tom: Agh.

Joe: Look, if it's for everyone, then that has to include us!

Tom: But we're nobodies.

Joe: That's not the point, man. I've always wanted to do it. It's a lifelong goal!

Harry: I knew nothing about that.

Tom: I thought you wanted to take over the world.

(muffled organ sounds)

Joe: Right. But it still looks neat.

Tom: You got a point.

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom driving to the bowling alley)

Harry: You need shoes, right?

Joe: You get those at the place, though.

Harry: Oh, that's fine.

Tom: So, what and where is this place, anyways?

Joe: Memory Lanes. It's...someplace, I dunno.

Tom: You don't know? Geez.

Joe: There's a 50-50 chance we'll find it, and the same chance we'll not.

Tom: That makes no sense at all.

Just then, something hit the roof of the car.

Joe: AHHH!

Harry: WHAT WAS THAT?!

The three looked out the window, and saw that it was a bowling ball that had hit the car.

Joe: We're gonna need to fix this. Who has the most money here?

Tom: None of us, I think.

Just then, another bowling ball went flying into the air.

Harry: Okay, the balls are coming from the next right turn!

Joe: On the corner?

Harry: Yeah.

Joe and Harry then managed to follow the balls all the way to Memory Lanes' parking lot, where they saw a little kid throwing the bowling balls.

Joe: (gets out of car) What are you doing?!

Kid: Waiting for my mom and dad to finish playing that game.

Joe: Stop throwing those, you wrecked my car!

Kid: How much money is it to fix, three dollars?

Joe: (opens mouth to say something)

Kid: My parents are finally done!

(Joe, Harry and Tom run into the building)

Dad: What happened to my bowling balls, Phillip?

Joe: Yeah, just the three of us.

Cashier: Okay, that'll be $59.80.

Joe: Uh...oh. Everyone?

(Joe, Harry and Tom each pull out twenty dollars)

Tom: Good thing I have the advice column.

Joe: Aw, come on. Let's roll...or bowl, I don't know.

(Joe, Harry and Tom walk up to the shoes booth)

Joe: Size...uh, 12.

Harry: Size 6.

Tom: Size 11.

Shoe Guy: Yeah, hang on.

The shoe guy went over to the shelves, got three pairs of bowling shoes, and threw them back over to the desk, where a bunch of blue crud spilled out of them.

Tom: I don't know about this.

Joe: What is that stuff?

Shoe Guy: DO YOU WANNA PLAY OR NOT?

Joe: Well, we already paid a fortune to do so!

Shoe Guy: THEN GO BOWL!

Joe: Okay, fine, fine. (walks away with shoes)

Tom: (putting on shoes) I'm gonna shower later today.

Joe: Me too, probably. 

Harry: I don't think all of that blue crud spilled out.

Joe: Right. What lane should we do?

Tom: I don't know, they're all the same.

Joe: Lucky 7 it is.

(The three walk to over to Lane 7)

Joe: Who wants to keep score?

Harry and Tom: Not me.

Joe: Not me. You do it!

Tom: You do it!

Guy: I'll do it.

Joe: Cool.

Guy: I'll do anything for the Plantman Rollers!

Harry: Who?

Joe: Thanks for the...uh...the...uh...team name? (beat) Can I have a pizza from the snack bar?

Guy: Sure thing! (runs to snack bar)

Joe: All right!

Joe grabbed a bowling ball and rolled it down the lane, knocking over 6 pins, as everyone began yelling.

Harry: How am I supposed to bowl with all of this noise?

Joe: (pulls out earplugs)

Tom: Those aren't Skrooyoo brand, are they?

Joe: No, they're (reads label) X brand.

Harry: Fair enough.

Joe, Tom and Harry put in the earplugs, and continued their game. After a while, the score guy came back.

Guy: Pizza?

Joe: What?

Guy: PIZZA?

Joe: Oh, nice! Sorry everyone, pizza break time.

Tom: Neato!

The three grabbed a bunch of slices, and sat down to eat.

(cut to lane 8)

Player #1: Good, we can finally play.

Announcer: Jim steps up, and throws the ball, using a little topspin, and...that's a strike!

(everyone cheers)

(FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER)

Joe: Alright, pizza break is over.

Announcer: Aaannnddd the Butter Gutters finish with a score of 419! The Plantman Rollers have gotten this game, into a bit of an irregular order, but it's time for them to play.

(beat)

Announcer: (walks up to Joe, Harry and Tom) IT'S TIME FOR THEM TO PLAY!

Joe: Wha-sorry! Were you waiting?

Announcer: Yeah.

Joe: What?

Announcer: (motions bowling ball throw with hands)

Joe: Right.

(ONE BOWLING GAME LATER)

Announcer: The Plantman Rollers win with 420!

(everyone cheers loudly)

(Announcer runs up to the three to shake their hands)

(Joe, Harry and Tom take off earplugs)

Joe: Alright, what is it?

Announcer: You're going to the final round of the triannual Memory Lanes bowling tournament? Don't you know?

Tom: What?

Joe: The guy at the front never said that!

Announcer: Wha- (looks at front of building) Jack! Get out! For the last time, you don't work here!

Joe: We don't know anything about the Plantman Rollers! How did you not realize we were someone different?

Announcer: What? The team said they would be getting plastic surgery!

(cut away to the Plantman Rollers sitting around)

PR #1: You know, bowling kinda sucks. I can't play when I'm not motivated.

PR #2: Yeah. Let's do golf instead.

(cut back to the alley)

Announcer: Well, someone has to play.

Joe: Fine.

Harry: WHAT?!

Tom: Sure, I guess.

Joe: When is it?

Announcer: This time tomorrow?

Joe: Really?! 

(cut to the apartment)

Tom: Okay, what's the plan?

Joe: I got it.

Joe turned on his Tinonden Videobox, and changed the disc in it.

Tom: What's going on?

Joe: Videobox Sports!

Harry: Hmm.

Joe: Okay...bowling. Use the control stick to determine your position, left and right buttons for the topspin, and A to roll.

Harry: I know that, stupid.

Tom: Let's play. I'll get my controllers.

(ONE VIDEOBOX SPORTS BOWLING GAME LATER)

Harry: Ha, I won! 289!

Tom: Come on, I was nervous!

Joe: Our total score is 863. Geez, this is so much easier than real life.

Tom: That's how video games are. 

Harry: Practice makes perfect.

Joe: Okay. Another round, anyone?

(ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SIX ROUNDS LATER)

Tom: What time is it?

Harry: 3 AM...something like that.

Joe: That's my 43rd perfect game!

Harry: Hey, I only have 42! I bet I can get more than you!

Joe: You're on.

(FOURTY EIGHT ROUNDS LATER)

Harry: 58 to 58! Tiebreaker!

Joe: Nah, I think I've had enough.

Tom: Yeah, the sun's about up...woah.

Joe: We have...ah...six hours until the tournament.

Tom: I'm a little tired. I'm gonna get some rest.

Joe: Your game was so bad that I thought you already were asleep!

Tom: That was forced as all hell.

Joe: Yeah, yeah.

Harry: (drinking energy drink) Try this.

Tom grabbed the drink and started drinking it, before spitting it out.

Harry: Did it help?

Tom: I don't know.

Joe: I'll be fine. I didn't get much sleep during college, i'm a trained professional. Plus, I don't trust my body to wake up on time. I don't think I can drive, though.

Tom: Yeah. It'll take us enough time for us to walk there, I bet. Heh.

(beat)

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom walking down the sidewalk)

Joe: Do you (yawn) guys ever notice how you walk slower when you're tired?

Harry: Yeah, I almost fell down the stairs.

Tom: Dude, we're gonna bowl 20s, or something. We're toast.

Joe: We've come too far.

The three slowly walked down to the bowling alleys, using their memories of getting there yesterday to guide them. After several hours of walking, small breaks, and extreme tiredness.

Tom: Well, here (yawn) we are.

Harry: I probably lost a few pounds today.

Joe: At least that dumb kid isn't here.

Tom: Yeah, he is. He's flying.

Harry: (weird sounding yawn)

Tom: What?

Harry: Are you hallucinating?

Tom: Maybe.

Joe: What time is it?

Harry: (looks at watch) B4:89.

Joe: Whaaa? Maybe we should have slept.

(Joe, Harry and Tom walk into Memory Lanes)

Jack: Step this way, Rollers.

Tom: Oh, thanks! What time is it?

Joe: I've never seen a giant air hockey paddle before.

Jack: Uh...11:49.

Joe: Okay.

Harry: Let's get some pizza.

Tom: What if it starts begging not to be eaten?

Harry: Good point. But, I gotta eat something.

Joe: (looks at menu) How about mozzarella sticks?

Tom: Sounds good.

Harry: Yeah, I don't eat those much, anyways.

(ONE HOUR AND THIRTEEN MINUTES LATER)

(Joe, Harry and Tom are asleep)

Announcer: ATTENTION!

(Joe, Harry and Tom wake up)

Harry: Man, I was only out for a few minutes. Things still look weird.

Joe: I know.

Announcer: THE TRIANNUAL MEMORY LANES BOWLING TOURNAMENT ENDS NOW! IT'S THE BOWLING BALLS VS. THE (ahem) PLANTMAN ROLLERS!

Tom: At least we win in the department of "least lame name".

(BB #1 growls)

Joe, Harry, and Tom looked ahead at their lane, and it started to turn into the one from Videobox Sports. They looked around, and even the background was the same, and each of the three then saw a Videobox controller pop up in front of them.

Joe: Woah.

Tom: It's just like the game!

Harry: I guess our nap wasn't long enough.

The three then started playing, concentrating on only themselves. Their many hours of training came in handy, as they knew exactly what to do, getting relatively good results. However, their tiredness sort of weakened their playing. After they finished, they had a final total score of 747.

Tom: Just like a plane.

Joe: Yeah, but the other team still has to go.

(Joe, Harry and Tom fall asleep)

The Bowling Balls were sort of dumbfounded by what had just happened, and were also a bit angry.

BB #1: What's the matter? Don't know the basics of bowling? WE'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE TURNS!

Announcer: Look, I don't know what their deal is. Just go.

The team tried their best, but their game was a bit thrown off because of what had happened. Early on, they had a lead over the Rollers, but let their simultaneous ego and nerves get the best of them, and finished with 738.

BB #1: NOOO!

(everyone cheers)

Announcer: THE QUOTE "PLANTMAN ROLLERS" WIN! WOOHOO! (runs down to Joe, Tom and Harry)

(Joe, Tom and Harry wake up)

Joe: Oh, did we win?

(Announcer hands Joe a trophy)

Joe: Yes! We won!

Tom: Nice!

Harry: I'm not hallucinating anymore!

Joe: Neither am I!

Tom: Same...and nice!

(cut to the actual Plantman Rollers standing outside the alley)

PR #1: "Plantman Golfers" sounds good.

PR #2: Seems a little generic.

PR #1: Well, what else could there be?

(Joe, Harry, and Tom walk out)

PR #1: Did the Rollers win the tournament?

Joe: Actually, yeah.

PR #1: (grabs trophy) I'll take that. We made to to final four, after all.

Joe: Why, I oughta-

(PR #3 raises driver golf club)

Joe: Nevermind. We'll be back in another four months.

Harry: We will?

Joe: I don't know.

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23. Real Men

One night, Joe was working late on a scientific project in his room.

Joe: Yeah...mix that...almost there...YES! FINALLY!

Harry: (opens door) What's going on?

Joe: I finished your thing.

Harry: The..uh...the uh...

Joe: The human mold. It lasts for five hours unless you come in contact with the antidote.

Harry: What?

Joe: Get these on. (throws shirt and pants at Harry)

Harry: (puts on clothes) Now what?

(Joe throws of bucket of liquid at Harry)

Harry: Aw, what was that?

Joe: Quick, to the mirror! To the mirror!

Joe and Harry ran into the bathroom, and looked straight at the mirror. They watched in silence as Harry's limbs began to squirm. 

Harry: WHAT'S HAPPENING?

Joe: Nnnggghhh...

Harry's body went from a humanoid ladybug form to that of some scrawny-black haired guy faster than anyone could say the script of this episode so far.

Harry: WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!

Joe: It...ah...worked.

Harry: YOU WONDER WHY YOUR ONLY FRIENDS ARE ME AND TOM? 

Joe: I...uh...

Harry: IS IT PERMANENT?!

Joe: No, no. (pulls out antedote in bucket, throws bucket at Harry)

Harry's body then turned back into normal.

Harry: I feel sick. (kneels down) That was kinda cool, though.

Joe: Oh.

Harry: That could be useful. It'll take some getting used to, though.

Joe: Right. We could even go to Cibus again.

(beat)

(Joe and Harry laugh)

(Harry throws some of the formula on himself)

Harry: Hey, look-

Tom: (walks in) INTRUDER!

Harry: No! No!

Tom: Harry?

Joe then threw some more of the antidote on Harry, bringing him back to normal.

(Tom starts gagging, runs to toilet)

Joe: Let's go...uh...outside.

(Harry pours formula on himself)

(cut to the apartment parking lot)

Harry: Feels weird.

(Guy walks up to Joe and Harry)

Guy: Hey, new neighbors.

Joe: I've lived here for a little over a year.

Harry: I've lived here for eight and a half months.

Guy: Oh, I've never seen you around. What's your apartment number?

Joe: I'm not telling you. That's weird.

Guy: Alright. That's cool. (walks away)

Harry: I'm cool!

Joe: He wasn't talking about you.

Harry: Ah, whatever. Pizza?

(cut to Scadente's Pizza)

Joe: (walks in, attempts to snap his fingers) Garçon! One large cheese.

Cashier: Hey, man! Who's the other guy?

Joe: Friend of mine.

Cashier: Neat. One large cheese coming right up. (walks away)

Harry: I'm neat.

Joe: I guess you get that one.

Just then, a group of four people in the next line over turned to Joe and Harry.

Person #1: When you say cheese, do you mean a slice or a whole pizza?

Harry: According to him, slice means "little large cheese".

Person #2: That's weird.

Harry: I know.

Joe: Hey!

Person #1: You seem cool. I'm Randy.

Harry: Uhhh-

Person #1: These people are Emily, James, and Anna. Got a nice friend group thing going on.

Harry: What? What are you implying?

Randy: Well...

Cashier: One large cheese, Joe.

Joe: Thanks. (grabs box)

(Joe and Harry walk out)

Joe: What was that?

Harry: I don't know! Did they want to me to hang out with them?

Joe: YES!

Harry: Oh. Don't worry, man. Nothing will tear me away from my roomies.

Joe: Good, then.

(cut to the next day, Tom and Harry are walking in the apartment parking lot)

Tom: Going to the store is pretty normal, I think.

Harry: Sure.

Just then, Harry saw those four people walking along the sidewalk.

Harry: Aw, dude.

Tom: What?

Randy: Hey, it's whats his name!

Harry: Me and Joe were at Scadente's and these guys just came up-

Randy: Wanna do something?

Harry: No.

(The Kids on the Street walk up)

Robert: What's going on here? Get out of the way!

Randy: Shut it! (uppercuts Robert)

Tom: Woah!

The two groups started fighting, as Tom and Harry watched in silence.

Randy: You gotta stop messing with folks!

James: Especially us!

Anna: You're making everything worse!

(beat)

Emily: Yeah!

Tom: I could never do that. Hmm.

Randy: How about it?

Harry: Uh...okay?

Randy: Great! (grabs Harry's arm, walks away)

Tom: Uh...

(cut to the apartment)

(Tom opens door)

Joe: What now?

Tom: These kids ran off with Harry. Apparently they were from Scadente's.

Joe: WHAT?!

Tom: They beat up The Kids on the Street, also.

Joe: Huh. He's coming back, right?

Tom: I hope, I don't know. Agh!

(FOUR HOURS LATER)

Joe: He's not coming back, is he?

(Harry walks in)

Harry: Ah, just in time for the ladybug transformation!

Joe: What's going on?

Harry: Sorry...there was bowling...extra cheesy nachos...I-

Joe: You what?

Harry: I tried to leave, but they were good nachos, and those people really didn't want me to go. But, my roomies, of course...

Tom: Oh, really?

Harry: I can have other friends, no?

Joe: I guess, but-

Harry: You guys are still the best, though.

Tom: We better be.

Harry: In fact, what say we play some Tinonden?

Joe: Cool, I'm in the mood for something on the Super Entertaining System.

Harry: Sounds good.

The group played video games for the rest of the day, and had a pretty good time while doing so. The next day, Tom and Harry then went out to the store.

Harry: (dumps formula on self) Okay.

Tom: That's good.

(cut to Tom and Harry at the store) 

Tom: You like Williams bread, yeah?

Harry: Mhm.

(Those four people are walking down the aisle)

(Harry slumps down to the floor and starts pulling on his face)

Tom: What? What is it?

Harry: ...it's them.

Tom: ...no!

(The group walks up to Harry and Tom)

Randy: Are you busy?

Harry: Yes.

Randy: Oh, sorry. See you soon. 

(The group walks away)

Tom: The nerve of some people.

The two finished their shopping, and then drove back to the apartment. As they were in the parking lot, about to get back to their place, the friend group of four came walking by.

Harry: Are you just following us now?

Randy: Maybe.

Harry: And why do the others never say anything?

James: We're shy.

(Tom frowns)

Randy: Wanna go bowling again?

Harry: I won the last tournament.

Randy: ...so that's a yes?

Harry: I...uh...hmm...well...I guess so?

(Harry walks away with the others)

(cut to the apartment)

(Tom runs in)

Tom: They got Harry again!

Joe: WWWHHHAAATTT?!

Tom: What's the deal, man? It's like they were following us or something! They were at the store, too!

Joe: Oh, man! Didn't you try to stop them?

Tom: I don't know, man! I'm starting to get creeped out by his cronies, too.

Joe: Who's? Randy's?

Tom: The main one, yes.

(beat)

Joe: Let's follow him.

Tom: Good idea.

Harry and the others were walking to Randy's car, and Tom and Joe secretly pulled up, coming to a dead stop until the other car started moving. Randy's car drove to Memory Lanes, with Joe and Tom following right behind. As Randy and the others went into the alley, Joe and Tom watched through the window for a bit.

For ten minutes, Harry and the group just bowled and had some fun, confusing Joe and Tom.

Joe: We're kinda stupid.

Tom: We've wasted a good amount of time on this, so-

(lights in the alley shut off)

Tom: What the-

(candle lights up)

Randy: Welcome to the Brotherhood of the Friends.

Harry: Some name.

Anna: Well-

Randy: SILENCE, SILENCE, ALL OF YOU! ONLY TALK WHEN I SAY!

Joe: I don't know what his problem with Robert is, they're exactly alike.

Tom: I'm sensing a pattern.

James: Supreme Leader Randy Roberts-

Joe: That explains it.

Tom: Sibling rivalry, eh?

Joe: Maybe that guy's name is James James or something.

Tom: Heh.

James: -he will perform the ritual of initiation.

Joe: Steal a candy bar!

The four then pinned Harry to the floor, duct taping up his arms and legs. They then got closer to Harry, while chanting "Our friend" over and over again. They laid their knees on his stomach, and raised up a pot of acidic juice.

Randy: Have a drink.

(Joe and Tom run in)

Joe: YOU have a drink!

Randy: Wha?

Joe: (whispers) Quick, Tom, the car!

(Tom runs into parking lot)

Joe then charged at the four, without a plan. He thought of knocking the candle out of their hands but remembered all the movies he had seen where knocking over a small object lit with fire on it's top burned down an entire building, and changed his mind, throwing his fists at them. He was mostly unsuccessful, and was praying for Tom to come in. But, after a minute...

Tom: (runs in with bucket, clears throat) YOU HAVE A DRINK! 

Tom went up to Harry, and threw the bucket, which was filled with the antidote, at him. When the juice hit Harry, he instantly turned back into a ladybug.

Randy: AW, WHAT THE HELL!

James: Ladybug? What?

Anna: Let's get outta here!

Randy: You said it!

(The four run away screaming)

(beat)

(Joe, Harry and Tom high five each other)

Tom: I think I was pretty cool back there.

Harry: No, I'm the cool one.

(beat)

(Joe, Tom and Harry laugh)

Joe: Ahh, that's not funny anymore, actually.

Harry: Maybe, being a human being isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Joe: You can say that again.

Tom: You don't know the half of it.

Harry: At least I have more choice for when I go to the bakery now.

Tom: Oh, wow, good for you.

(beat)

Joe: Do you think they'll tell anyone?

Tom: I hope not.

Harry: If they do, let's hope nobody believes them.

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24. Writing Readers

One quiet morning, Joe was reading the newspaper.

Joe: Dude, nothing happens around here.

Harry: You want Weisston to be a war zone engaged in political and social turmoil?

Joe: ...no, good point. When are the eggs coming?

Harry: A few minutes?

Joe: Gahhh! I'M SO HUNGRY!

Harry: People in war zones engaged in political and social turmoil don't get many good eggs.

Joe: Good point.

Tom: (walks in) Shut it! I'm working on my advice column.

Joe: Alrighty, then.

Coincidentally, Joe was reading the newspaper page that featured Tom's weekly advice column. This time, Tom was answering a reader who couldn't deal with his roommate.

Dear Irritated,

I've had to deal with annoying roommates as well-

Joe: I'm gonna buy some coffee and then throw it on that kid's face...

, in college I had this one guy who would blast terrible movies at midnight and leave his barbeque chips everywhere.

(cut to Tom's first roommate, Bill, reading the newspaper)

Bill: I'm gonna throw some coffee on that kid's face.

You really have to be assertive with these people. Try any means necessary to do so. Figure out what they like, and use blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda blah yadda blah blah blah yadda get into blah blah yadda

Joe: I need a better attention span.

Harry: (slips plate on table) Eggs.

Joe: Cool.

As Joe ate his eggs, he looked at the section on the newspaper called "Writing Readers", a section where readers of The Weisston Tribune could write a small opinion article, if that wasn't apparent or something. 

He read the articles, and got a burst of inspiration. If these random, normal people could get in to the paper, why couldn't he?

Tom: (walks in) I'm done with work today. People really hate their roommates.

Joe: You're not gonna be the only 406er in the newspaper, know what I'm saying?

Tom: Excuse me?

Joe: Writing Readers?

Tom: Hmm. Sure.

Joe: Cool.

(cut to Joe sitting at the computer)

Joe thought his unique outlook on life would bring the "wow" factor most media outlets are interested in. But, he just couldn't think of anything to see. He stared deeply in the computer screen, looking at the three words he had typed.

WAR IS BAD

(Tom walks in, stares at computer screen)

Joe: I know...

Tom: You need to make people think, man. You've gotta be a complete imbecile to disagree with "War is Bad". Just let ideas come to you. I dunno, watch the news or something.

Joe: Hmm. Sounds good.

(cut to Joe watching TV)

News Anchor: Here, the election is evenly split Democrat and Republican...

Joe: Hmm.

News Anchor: ...no third party candidates, as well.

Joe: Pssshhht, partisan stuff is dumb.

(beat)

Joe: Hey!

Joe ran back into his room, and started typing a quick column up. It was only a few minutes before he was...

Joe: DONE!

Tom: (walks in) Oh yeah? Let's see. (looks at screen) Partisan system, ah?

Joe: Yeah, you know.

Tom: Okay. (silently reads the column)

Joe: Ahhh?

Tom: Nice work. Print it out and mail it and all of that.

Joe: Sure.

Joe then sat proudly in the chair as it printed, before folding it in an envelope and racing off to the apartment's public mailbox to dump the envelope in there.

Joe: Ahh, now I wait.

(beat)

Joe: Okay.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: Is the paper here?

Tom: No.

(beat)

Joe: Now?

Tom: NO, NO! YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN IT IF IT HAD COME!

Joe: Oh, sorry. I'm sure you felt giddy when you started in the paper.

Tom: I guess so. You're being ridiculous, though.

(thumping noise outside)

Joe: Could it be? (opens door)

Tom: Is it...be? I don't know, man.

Joe: YES! YEAHHH! (grabs newspaper)

Tom: Okay, let's see if they published it.

Joe: They...probably published it.

Tom: We'll see.

Joe excitedly flipped through the paper, until he got to the "Writing Readers" column.

Joe: (scanning paper) Not "from the left"...maybe from "from the right".

Tom: You're nowhere near the political right, man.

Joe: Yeah...yeah. Aghhh!

Tom: Don't worry. There are more than two people that submit stuff.

Joe: Seriously? Politics don't matter!

(Harry walks in, grabs comics page)

Joe: Alright, let me just read the rest of the paper. (starts rummaging through papers) WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMICS?!

Tom: Yeah, about that...

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: Dumb postal service takes forever.

Tom: So you're still expecting?

Joe: Expecting what?

Tom: The paper.

Joe: You bet! (opens door, grabs paper)

Joe scanned through all the pages, and then slumped down in his chair, disappointed.

Tom: No?

Joe: No.

Tom: So yes?

Joe: IT IS NOT THERE!

Tom: Oh, got it.

Joe: Was something wrong, you think?

Tom: Maybe it'll be here-

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: It's not here.

Tom: Oh.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: No, nothing.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Harry: Nothing here.

Joe: Aw man, you spoiled it!

Harry: Well, it's still not here.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: There can't be that many people who are writing these.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: No.

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: No!

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: No...

(THE NEXT DAY)

Joe: NO NO NO!

Tom: Yeah, it's not gonna be in there.

Joe: I give up! No more!

Harry: How does today differ from yesterday?

(beat)

Joe: Tom.

Tom: What?

Joe: We are going to the headquarters.

Tom: What'll that do? They got more important stuff going on.

Joe: (holds up ice cream page of grocery store catalog) It's on me.

(cut to Tom and Joe driving in the car)

Tom: I can't believe myself.

Joe: It's for a good cause.

Tom: Heh. Whatever you say.

Faster than they could recite an entire daily newspaper, the two were at the Tribune's headquarters. 

Tom: (parks car) This is stupid.

Joe: Partisan systems are stupid! Nyyyeeehhh!

Tom: ...right. 

(Joe and Tom walk up to the front door)

Guard: Iiidentifcation pleeeaaase?

(Tom puts on sunglasses, holds up ID card)

Joe: I'm with him.

Tom: Yeah...he's with me.

Guard: Very well.

Joe and Tom then walked in, and looked around. Joe and Tom were marveled as they looked around the offices, even as the latter had been there a couple times. They walked through the building, excited to see the owner/editor, Chuck Miller.

Joe: Woah, that dude is helping put together the comics page! I'll keep that one forever.

Tom: Mmph. I'm pretty sure the dude's office is at the very top, if I remember.

Joe: The highest position's office is always at the top. Is there a stairwell around or something? I'm scared of elevators.

Tom: Me too, I wish more places had the money and space to get escalators installed.

Employee #1: There's...uh...one over there. (points at a door to his right)

(A LOT OF STAIR CLIMBING LATER)

(Joe and Tom are out of breath, panting)

Tom: Whoo...floor 12. Chuck Little's office should just to the right. (looks to the right) Yeah.

(Joe knocks on door)

Tom: Aw, geez. This dude's my boss, so don't be a crazy wad.

Joe: I've never really had a job.

(awkward silence)

Chuck: Who is it?

Tom: Tom Richards. I do an advice column here.

Chuck: Ah, yes. Come in.

Joe opened the door, and him and Tom walked in to see a very large man sitting at a very large desk. Chuck then jumped down from his chair to reveal himself to be about four feet tall.

Joe: Little.

Chuck: Oh, quiet, you, I have money! Tom, you've been doing great work. What do you want?

Tom: My...uh...it seems weird now that I say it out loud to you...but...um...

Chuck: Spit it out, I got stuff to do.

Tom: Yeah, my friend submitted something to "Readers Write" roughly a fortnight ago, and it hasn't been...printed?

Chuck: What?

Tom: I'll see myself out...

Chuck: Alright, you guys have taken enough of my time on this...name?

Joe: Joe Summers.

Chuck: (grabs intercom microphone) Any column submissions from a Joe Summers?

(no one in the building responds)

Joe: They know my name!

Chuck: Heh. This kid makes me laugh.

Joe: Hmm...

Joe thought back to when he was sending the letter, before realizing a minor detail that could have potentially slipped everything up.

Joe: I didn't write anything on the envelope.

Tom: YOU ARE SO- (pauses) nnnggghhh.

Chuck: (chuckles) How did you screw that up? Weird friend you have, Tom. Just send it again correctly if it really means that much to you.

Joe: Okay. Thanks! You're pretty nice for a guy in a comparatively high position of power.

Chuck: Hmm? Oh, thank you, I suppose. Keep up the good work, Tom.

Tom: Yes, sir.

(Joe and Tom leave)

Chuck: Wait! I got a question about my marriage!

Back at the apartment, Joe printed out the column again, addressed it in an envelope and threw it into the public mailbox. The next day, Joe excitedly grabbed the paper, and flipped to the page with "Writing Readers" on it, and there it was.

On partisan systems

Joe Summers, East Weisston

Joe: Oh, man! 

Tom: Good work, mate.

Joe: (reading column) I wrote this! I DID! DOESN'T THAT JUST MAKE YOU FEEL ALIVE?

Harry: Quiet, I'm eating here.

Joe: (grumbling) I don't see you writing for the paper.

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Is this any good at all? I don't know.

--

25. The Musical

(Joe is sleeping, slowly wakes up)

(fast tempo rock music starts playing)

Joe: Dang, another crappy day

I have all these bills I gotta pay

I wish I could get out of this town

To stop my life from going down

(beat)

Hang on here, wait a minute

This is my life, I don't need to sing it

What's going on, what's the deal?

Really comfortable is not how I feeeeeeeel

(runs into living room)

Tom, Harry, how are you two?

I feel possessed, by some alien goo

Tom: I'm not sure, either, it's really strange

I don't want this to be a permanent change

I feel possessed too, it seems insane

This singing junk seems completely inane

Right now, I just want to run into a pole

So let me try and find a good old loophole

(beat)

Leather jackets feel like the skin of an orange

I wonder if those could grow on any variation of a sporange

Aw, man! This is bad!

It really makes me sad

To know I have little control of my words

Like some mentally deranged nerds

Wow, how forced can these rhymes get?

For all these dumb words I feel like a safety net

Harry: This out of control singing makes me want to die

Is this a cruel trick from the milkmaid in the sky?

MMM: I am not fully to blame for this overblown rock spectacle

The taker of this blame is possibly detectable

You just have to open your eyyyyyeeeees

Around this big little town of Weeeeeiiiiiss-

Harry: -ton? -ton?

Yeah, son.

That sounds about right

I would just like to fight

Whatever dude did this to us 

Even if I have to take a public bus

(lightning strikes)

(music gets slower)

(man flies by the window)

Man: It is I, Sir Doom!

Flying to bring everyone gloom

I was stuck with this magic singing curse

Since birth, it's just been the wooorst

So I plotted last night

Without putting up a fight

I decided that everyone else

Should sing and not yell

Even forced rhymes like that

Are pulled out of a hat

Without any single person's controoolll

Even if on them it takes a tooollll

(laughs evilly for twenty seconds)

(music gets faster)

Joe: Alright, stop it! Stop it!

Stop before I have to hit

Yooouuu right in the cheeessst

That scenario would just be the beeessst

(shuts window)

Tom: How will we stop Sir Dooooooooooooom?

If we don't, humanity will face the ultimate doom

Joe: Did you just rhyme something with itself?

That's like loosening the bottom of a shelf

It ruins everything

With a little ding

(beat)

Agh, I'm losing my mind!

In a way that's one of a kind!

I'm not responsible for this deranged writing

Who is it that's making this biting?

MMM: I swear it's not me causing all of this gloom

You saw earlier, it was that damned Sir Doom!

Harry: We need to beat Sir Dooom!

We have to make him go booom!

Does anyone have any plaaans?

To beat this eeevil maaan?

Tom: I think the box of tools would suffice

Throwing them at him wouuuld be niiice

Joe: (grabs box of tools from the apartment storage space)

Which one do you guys want to use?

We'll use them to charge at him like a moose

Impact driver, angle grinder, chainsaw, tile cutter

Impact wrench, monkey wrench, jigsaw, stale butter

Harry: I put that in there, I'm sorry, man

It was expired, I diiidn't have a plaaan

Joe: Maybe we need to grab all of it

Throw them at him to hopefully slit

His wrists

(beat)

And fists

(opens the window)

SIR DOOM! WE HAVE PIZZA! DEEP DISH!

FOR YOU TO EAT IT IS OUR ONLY WISH!

Sir Doom: (flies to window) Ooohhh! This cures my gloom!

Now go and bow down toooo Sir Doom!

Tom: Nobody refers to themselves in the third person but Tom!

Please stop controlling us, you're not our mom!

(Joe, Harry and Tom throw power tools at Sir Doom, who the tools bounce off of)

Joe: My tools! My tools!

What have you done, you fools?!

Sir Doom: No quick moving saws can stop me!

It was just fine, didn't sting like a bee!

(laughs evilly for twenty seconds)

(opens eyes to see Joe, Harry and Tom are gone)

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom driving. They pass by Jerry)

Joe: All this singing makes my mouth feel like sand

So I'm gonna leave it all to the one man baaannnddd!

(Jerry plays on-tempo spaghetti western music for a minute and a half)

(The three arrive at tall, abandoned building)

Tom: This is the place! This is the place!

In college some dude with an ugly face

Dropped out and opened a fireworks shop

Selling them for sixty bucks a pop

But the state prohibits some types of fireworks

So they threw him into jail, without any perks

(Joe, Harry and Tom get out of the car and kick down the door)

Guy: Oh my! Oh my!

Anything you wanna buy?

Tom: Did you get out jail

To make one more sale?

We need all of them to beat that flying midget

So we need them free, Dick, is it?

Dick: Is he the one that cursed all of us?

You get them all free, you must, you must!

(Joe, Harry and Tom grab fireworks and run up to to roof of the building. Sir Doom flies over to them)

Sir Doom: What do you want? What do you see?

Do you want to sing to the city like it's a dumb moviiieee?

(Joe, Harry and Tom throw fireworks at Sir Doom)

Sir Doom: Ahhhhhhhh!

Wahhhhhhhhh!

(massive explosion)

(cut to Tom and Harry reading a piece of paper and looking at storyboards taped up on the living room walls)

Tom: Dude, I don't think The Morons are seasoned enough to do a song like this.

Harry: And how are we gonna make this music video?

Joe: Eh, you have a point. Maybe if we ever get big.

Tom: Yeah, if.

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Last one for this season.

---

26. Flipping Burgers

One day, Joe and Tom were playing with their old "Gops", when the telephone rang.

Joe: You get it, Harry.

Harry: Why me?

Joe: We're busy.

Harry: (picks up phone) Harry's...uh, can I think of a joke first?

Chuck Little: Is this Tom Richards?

Harry: This is his roommate.

Chuck: Oh...tell him to come to the Weisston Tribune office first thing tomorrow morning.

Harry: What time is first thing?

Chuck: 8 AM. Thanks.

Harry: Bye. (hangs up) Tom, go to the newspaper offices at eight tomorrow morning.

Tom: Why?

Harry: I don't know. Just be there.

Tom: Or be square?

(beat)

Harry: Just go.

(EIGHT TOMORROW MORNING at the Tribune's office. The column writers are gathered with Chuck.)

Chuck: I have an important announcement. The-

(Large man in suit walks in)

Chuck: Mr. Charles Q. The! 

Charles: It is I, Charles Quincy The. I have bought this silly little paper from this silly little man!

Tom: Chuck!

Charles: He refused to budge, but I have more money than him, so, you know. Despite being valued at a dozen billion dollars, I and the rest of The brand is always looking to expand it's horizon. The news is an important way to get information to the little people all over the country, so what better to have control of? Now, there will have to be some budget cuts that come along with this executive switch. First, we will be changing the newspaper's name to "The Paper".

Chuck: How the hell is that a budgetary issue?

Charles: It takes less printing time and money than "The Weisston Tribune".

Chuck: You're just trying to take over the world-

(muffled organ sounds)

Columnist: That's my phone, sorry.

Chuck: -and put it in your image because you're some-

Charles: GUARDS!

(Police come in, tie up Chuck, and throw him into an empty office)

Charles: And, we'll make some removals. First, the comics. 

(Everyone's jaw drops)

Charles: Big waste of space. More importantly, all of the columns. All of you. You're fired.

(All of the columnists start yelling)

Charles: They will be replaced with a "Charles Q. The Appreciation" section. Now get outta here.

(The columnists walk away, defeated)

(cut to the apartment)

Tom: I got fired.

Joe and Harry: WHAT?!

Tom: Charles The forced his way into the ownership of the paper, and some changes.

Joe: Isn't that the guy that tried to trademark Christmas?

Harry: What are the changes?

Tom: (sniffs) You're not gonna believe it.

(cut to the three reading the next day's paper)

Joe: The Paper? Are you serious?

Harry: CHARLES Q. THE APPRECIATION?!

Tom: I told you.

Joe: This is bad, dude.

Harry: One of us needs to get a job. 

Joe: Not me.

Harry: Not me. Since the thing with those four weird kids, I'm a little...you know. I also don't have a resume and all that.

Tom: (sigh) It's always me.

Joe: You've already beat all of our Videobox games. I still have a few left!

Tom: Harry, has, uh, a couple left.

Joe: Come on, you've seemed a little bored recently.

Tom: I dunno. I just can't believe the newspaper is like it is...

Harry: (reading paper) Weisston job openings at an all time low.

Tom: Huh.

Joe: What did you major in?

Tom: Uh...graphic design.

Joe: Neat. That's big these days, no?

(cut to "Generic Graphic Design Building")

Executive: Do you have any applicable skills?

Tom: For...uh...the job?

Executive Lady: Yes, the job!

Tom: I'm good with making visually pleasing images for various purposes.

Executive Lady: That's basically what graphic design is, sir. I'm looking at your resume and you seem to not have much experience.

Tom: I graduated from school last year!

Executive Lady: Don't mouth off to me, young man.

(cut to the apartment)

Tom: Nope.

Harry: Speaking of newspapers, isn't that how people find jobs a lot anyways?

Joe: Yeah, the help wanted ads! (turns newspaper page) Oh, man.

All of the ads were now for positions like butlers and cleaners for Charles Q. The.

Tom: No! I'm not doing that.

Joe: Good. 

Harry: So, now what?

(beat)

Joe: To the internet!

Joe, Harry and Tom went over to the computer, and got on to a statewide job hunting site, where Joe and/or Tom could choose their ideal job, talk to presumably a representative, and get sent a dozen emails a day. 

Harry: This is stupid.

Joe: Yeah. We haven't even clicked anything and there's already a bunch of pop ups about profiles and representatives and all that.

Tom: Let's just get this over with.

Joe: I'll do it. You already did an interview.

Eric: Hello, I'm Eric, a representative for the Virginia Online Center of Employment. How may I help you?

j406: I need money

Eric: What is your major?

j406: Character Animation

Your chat session has ended.

Harry: Ha.

Joe: How rude.

Tom: Uh...how much money do we have?

(ONE TRIP TO THE BANK LATER)

Joe: Enough to make it through 18 days.

Tom: Alright, so, uh, that's a good amount of time.

Joe: Let's just relax for a bit.

For the next two weeks, the three mostly relaxed, with any employment thoughts mostly out of their minds. Despite this, they still attempted to spend wisely, but nothing can come between a person and their Scandente's Pizza. However, Joe, Harry and Tom still all had a good time. But, then there were four days until their money was to run out.

Joe: So, uh, we have $625 left.

Tom: And rent is due in three days.

Joe: (sigh) Yep.

Harry: Isn't rent $620?

Joe: Yes. Why did you need to tell all of us that?

Harry: I dunno.

Joe: When was the last time you bought groceries, Tom?

Tom: A few days ago?

Joe: Oh, man.

Harry: So, I guess we need to ration. Small meals and no snacks.

Joe: My family always said I need to lose weight.

Tom: This sucks already.

Over the next three days, Joe, Harry and Tom rationed what little food they had left, getting hungrier and sadder. And then, one morning, the landlord came by.

Landlord: Rent.

Joe: Yep. (slips envelope with $620 under the door)

Landlord: Thanks.

Tom: Well, all we have left is...five bucks.

Harry: What can we do for five bucks?

Just then, all of the lights shut off. Then, the heat, and water did, in quick succession. 

Joe: Aw, dude, this is rock bottom. (starts weeping softly)

Tom: What are we gonna do, man?

Joe: Tell the jobs about your special abilities.

Tom: But if I show them my super strength and ability to fly, they're gonna take me away.

Joe: They're already gonna kick us out of here, man.

Harry: Is this the end?

Tom: I really hope not.

Joe: Yeah. You guys are the only friends I've ever had.

Harry: Hmm.

Tom: I guess we should start looking.

Harry threw on some of the human formula and the three then went all over Weisston, looking for jobs. They split up the town into three sections, and went wherever they could. They tried their hardest, but they were now out of money and were never the most professional people to begin with. So, they didn't impress many people. At the end of the day, they met back at the apartment.

Joe: It's over, man.

Harry: I'm gonna need a lot of that human formula.

Tom: What will I do?

Joe: I don't know, man. 

Harry: Should we ration the five dollar bill if we run out of food completely?

(beat)

Tom: Let's sink ourselves into some TV. 

Joe: You can take all of the necessities away, but not the CRT box.

Harry: Don't jinx it!

(beat)

Harry: Phew! (grabs remote, clicks "Power")

(nothing happens)

Tom: Oh, right, we don't have electricity.

(everyone cries)

Tom: I'm not sure my parents would want to loan me a big amount of money...

Joe: Same. At this point i'd get pretty small, modest, amounts of money, but you know.

Harry: My parents don't even have money!

Joe: Wait, everyone. Let's watch TV from the window of a TV store like they do on...TV.

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom watching TV from the window of a TV store like they do on...TV)

Tom: This is the life.

Harry: About on the level of getting stepped on by a kid.

Joe: This show sucks.

TV Announcer: ...we'll be back right after these messages.

Commercial Announcer: Are you watching this from the window of a TV store like they do on...TV?

Joe: Yes!

Harry: They can't hear you, imbecile.

Commercial Announcer: Then drown your sorrows in some FLIPPING BURGERS!!!

(Tom snickers)

Commercial Announcer: Come down for some ultra mega beef burgers at just $7.99! And then some super ultra mega beef burgers at just $10.99! FLIPPING BURGERS!!!

Harry: Let me guess, no jobs open.

Commercial Announcer: JOBS! WE HAVE JOBS! ANYONE WITHOUT AN EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL RECORD CAN APPLY AT FLIPPING BURGERS!!! YEAH!!!

(commercial ends)

Joe: Tom, you're the best cook.

Tom: I'm not wasting these so called talents on some greasy fast food.

Harry: Do you want to have food, water and electricity?

(beat)

(cut to Tom grabbing a spatula)

Cashier: 'Ey Tim! 2 giant super ultra mega beef burgers on the double!

Tom: Mhm. (starts flipping massive patties on a grill)

(FRIDAY NIGHT)

Tom: Paycheck!

Joe: How much?

Tom: 400 USD.

Harry: Woohoo!

Joe: You're doing great!

Harry: CRT box time!

Tom: Remember, we gotta spend wisely.

Joe: Got it!

Tom: Plus, as I was going home, I saw a peaceful protest outside The Paper's offices. Wanna go?

Joe: Could we get some Scadente's on the way back?

Tom: Yeah, I saw they have a sale for a large cheese and some bread twists!

Harry: Oh, man!

(Joe, Harry and Tom leave the apartment)

 

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Wrote these next few a few months ago, I don't know what to think about them. Trying to get some motivation back.

 

27. Four Days


(Joe and Harry are sitting in the apartment)


Joe: What do you want to do?


Harry: I don't know, man.


Joe: When does Tom get off work again?


Harry: I don't know, man.


(Tom opens door)


Joe: Hey, it's the average working joe!


Tom: But Joe's your name.


Joe: Good point.


Harry: Got any evening plans?


Tom: I'm a little tired right now. I wanna sit down in a field and relax or something.


Joe: Let's do it.


Tom: Really?


Joe: Yeah, if it'll help you put more pizza on the table.


(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom sitting in a field of outside of Weisston)
 

Tom: I hope whoever left these old lawn chairs in the parking lot didn't want them.


Joe: Don't we all.


Joe's legs then got tired, so he switched his seating position. As he did that however, his foot hit the ground, which sounded off with a loud THUMP.


Harry: Is there something under there?


Joe: You check.


Harry: I suppose I will. (starts digging into ground with his hands)


After about thirty seconds, Harry felt his hand hit something solid. He then grabbed it, and pulled it up. It was a box that said "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL MARCH 27, 2005"' on top.


Tom: That's a time capsule!


Joe: Yeah! And there's four days until we can open it!


Harry: Aw, man! How convenient is that?


Joe: We gotta take this back before anyone gets to it. I bet the people from (looks at box) 1985 are waiting for this Sunday.


Tom: Then how about we keep it here?


Joe: We'll come back in four days.


Harry: That makes sense.


(cut to the apartment)


Tom: (holding box) What do you think is in it?


Joe: Stuff from 1985.


Harry: That's obvious, stupid.


Joe: Maybe like a...TES?


Tom: Tinonden Entertaining System? Those weren't out here in March.


Joe: Right.


Tom: I don't know man, I was 2 and 3 that year.


Joe: I was 8 and 9.


Harry: I wasn't born.


Tom: Ahhh, it's just so mysterious and stuff!


Joe: I GOTTA OPEN IT!


Tom: No!


(Harry takes box, throws it in storage closet)


Harry: That's staying closed.


Joe: Right. Sounds good.


(cut to Joe trying to fall asleep in bed)


Joe: Ahhh, one day down. (imagines some guy looking for the time capsule)


SGLFTTC: Where is it? Where is it? My best memories of college were in there! (starts crying) Who would do this?


Joe: (starts shaking) Oh, man.


SGLFTTC: You! Joe Summers, you have always been, are, and always will be, a terrible person!


Joe: Ahhh, he wouldn't know my name. (starts to fall asleep)


The next day, Tom was flipping burgers at Flipping Burgers. As two customers waited for their order,  he looked at three pictures on the restaurant wall that showed the first location's opening, in 1949. 


Customer #1: Why don't fries cost a nickel anymore? Lame.


Customer #2: These are interesting, though, sort of like a time capsule.


(Tom stops flipping burgers, as "time capsule" echoes in his head)


Cashier: Tim? Tim! Three ultra beef burgers!


Tom: Right, sorry. (whispers to self) Pull yourself together, man.


(cut to Harry sitting on the couch)


Harry: I wonder what's in the time capsule.


(beat)


(Harry coughs)


Later that night, Tom came home from work, at the same time that Joe came home from an electronic store.


Joe: I was thinking about the capsule.


Tom: Yeah, so was I!


Harry: I suppose I was too.


Joe: The suspense is killing me, man!


Tom: I know, same!


Harry: The more we think about it, the suspense will get worse.


Tom: Well, of course.


Joe: I know! It'll just get worse.


Tom: I've waited for stuff longer.


Harry: I get it, but waiting is waiting!


(All three groan)


 For the next three days, Joe, Harry and Tom became more and more obsessed with the time capsule. They could still carry out all of life's daily tasks just fine, but it was really all they thought about. At the end of March 27, there were a lot of emotions in the apartment.


Tom: Just a few more hours.


Joe: I hope no one has looked for it so far.


Harry: They probably have.


Joe: You'd think someone would have said something.


Tom: I mean, there are decent number of time capsules out there.


Joe: What do you guys think is in there?


Tom: Community college pictures?


Harry: Some records?


Joe: The last possessions of ancient civilization?


(beat)


Joe: Eh.


Harry: Wasn't there a part of the 80s where Rubix Cubes were all the rage?


Joe: I love Rubix Cubes!


 Tom: You've never come even remotely close to solving one.


 Joe: It's about the journey, not the destination.


(Harry slaps Joe in the face)


Joe: I'll say whatever stupid thing it takes for me to continue the argument.


Harry: That's obvious.


(beat)


Joe: What time is it?


Tom: Time for you to get a-


(Joe raises fist)


Tom: look at that clock...over there.

 
Joe: Hmm, 9:42 PM. Dang.


Harry: Why can't we skip to-


(TWO HOURS AND EIGHTEEN MINUTES LATER)


Joe: Let's do it!


Tom: That went by faster than I thought it would, actually.


Harry: Time flies when you're playing video games. (pours formula on himself)


The three then ran out to the parking lot, where someone else was getting in their car.


Tom: I've never opened a time capsule before.


Guy: (turns around) Time capsule?


Joe: Yeah, who's asking?


Guy: March 27, 1985, just outside of Weisston in a field?


Harry: Yes.


Guy: What are you doing with that?


Joe: We-


Guy: WHY'D YOU TAKE IT?


Tom: Sorry, did you?


Guy: My college graduating class did that! A bunch of people will be wondering where it is!


Joe: We were gonna give it back.


Guy: I don't believe you.


Joe: What's that?


Guy: I don't believe you.


Harry: Sorry, what's tha-


(Joe slaps Harry in the face)


Guy: I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!


Joe: Now we're even, Harry.


Guy: We're not even yet! My innocence is in there!


Tom: I lost my innocence earlier than 22, definitely.


Joe: Me too.


Harry: I'm almost two years old.


(Joe covers Harry's mouth)


Harry: Wmmph. (Whoops.)


Guy: You guys are nuts! Now gimme the box!


Joe: Let's move.


Tom: (whispering) Hand it over!


Joe: I wanna see what's in it!


Guy: I wanna see what's in it more!


Joe, Harry and Tom hopped in the car and took off towards the field, and the guy did the same just behind them. While staying at a safe speed, they sped towards the field, except when there was particularly bad traffic. It was a ride filled with tension, as the four were scared with what was about to happen. The field was on the other side of town and then some, but even then, it seemed a lot longer than that. However, after a while, the two cars arrived at the field. Then, the four men got out, and stood in a square.


Guy: Hand it over.


Joe: I mean, I don't see anyone else. I see why you want it, but I don't see-


Guy: Stop screwing around!


Joe: Will we still get to see it?


Guy: No. You've done enough.


Joe: Well, too bad.


The guy then rolled up his sleeves to reveal some massive muscles

.
Tom: Dude, stop.


Joe: I've waited for this for days!


Harry: So have I, but speaking of waiting, the emergency rooms around this hour are-


Guy: I've waited for this for twenty years! (charges at Joe, Harry and Tom)


Joe: Unchoreographed fight sequence!


Joe, Harry and Tom, and the guy charged at each other. Right before they got to the guy, Joe and Tom chickened out, jumping out of the way. This left just the guy and Harry to fight. For about thirty seconds, they threw punches trying to knock each other over. Then, a bus rolled up to the road next to the field. A bunch of people got out and watched the fight.


Lady: David!


Guy: Lauren?


Lauren: What are you doing with these kids? We're here to open a time capsule!


David: I'm sorry. He just took it.


Joe: We were gonna bring it back!


Guy #2: I mean, if he was gonna bring it back-


Lauren: You always did stupid stuff like that in college! Maybe, that's why I dumped you.


David: Eh...


Guy #3: If those kids could stay back, though, that'd be nice.


Lauren: Yeah.


Joe: Dang. (drops box)


(Joe, Harry and Tom step back)


The people from the bus surrounded the box, excitedly opening it.


Lady #2: My portable CD player!


Lady #3: A half finished can of fish food, the last before my family of fish died... (sigh)


Joe: Looks like I was right.


Tom: Can you guys see anything else?


Harry: Just some Polaroids.


Joe: Yeah. 


Tom: Looking back, this was sort of anticlimactic. We should've it would just be some pictures and stuff.


Joe: Yeah.


Harry: Stop saying yeah!


Joe: Okay.


Tom: I'm tired. Let's go home. 

 

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Sorry for the delay. This was the 31st episode written but I've moved it up. I hope it's good.

28. Dry Spell

(Alarm clock starts blaring)

Joe: (jolts awake) Wah…oh, okay. Let’s see here. (shuts off clock)

Tom: (in other room) Bye you guys, I’m going to work in a few minutes here.

Joe: I’m sorry to hear that.

Tom: …right. (walks out of apartment)

Joe sighed, before getting out of bed and slowly making his way over to Harry’s room. He slowly opened the door as Harry slowly opened his eyes. 

Harry: What’s, ah, going on?

(beat)

Joe: Good morning.

(long silence)

Harry: Good morning to you, too. What do we have in the fridge?

Joe: Well…

(ONE TRIP TO THE FRIDGE LATER)

Joe: Some semi-fresh cereal, strawberries, leftover pizza, fruit juice…

Harry: Alright, I’ll just get some cereal.

(beat)

Joe: Okay,

The two made their way into the kitchen, and as Harry fixed his breakfast, Joe went to stare out the window. He felt as though life was starting to get even more routine. No new adventures, no more exciting things going on between him, Harry and Tom. Where was everyone?

Joe: Harry, where is everyone?

Harry: I dunno, bit of a loaded question there.

Joe: Nnnggghhh...

Harry: I’m serious!

Joe: Right. I’m getting bored.

Harry: That’s nothing new, though…

Joe: No! Really bored! Really, really bored! It’s been, what, a couple months since we’ve done anything noteworthy? Really! Think about this, Harry! I…I…

(Harry is slowly stepping back)

Joe: I’m the type that needs some adventure, you know?

Harry: Yep, you’re a true adventure man…

Joe: Precisely!

(beat)

Harry: So, may I ask, what’s your plan for adventure?

Joe: Well, first we’re gonna…and then…well…well, three heads are better than one!

Harry: Two.

Joe: Two!

(cut to Flipping Burgers)

(Joe and Harry are running towards the entrance, and then into the restaurant)

Cashier: Welcome to Flipping Burgers-

Joe: Yeah, is Tom here?

(Teenage worker and Tom both walk up to the register)

Teenage Worker: How…do you know me?

Joe: I’m looking for the other one.

Tom: What are you doing here?

Joe: I’m here you break you out!

Tom: Okay.

(Cashier looks at Tom)

Tom: Alright, I’m already fixing to leave. 

Just as Tom walked out of the working area, an alarm sounded.

Joe: Ah! (runs out the door)

The manager then stormed over to Tom, screamed some incoherent gibberish, and stormed away, casting a long silence over the whole restaurant.

Harry: So, what’d he say?

Tom: I gotta stay until my shift ends in 4 minutes.

Harry: Okay.

(FOUR MINUTES OF SITTING AROUND LATER)

(Joe, Harry and Tom are running out of the parking lot)

Tom: About time! But, what’s the big deal, gents?

Harry: I don’t know.

Joe: I need some adventure, man!

Tom: Oh?

Joe: I’ve been standing around for too long! Let’s do this!

(cut to the trio standing in the field just outside of Weisston)

Harry: What are we doing here, again?

Joe: Oh, come on. This is one of our lives’ most eventful set pieces!

(long silence)

(Harry and Tom walk away)

Joe felt a wave of crushing defeat wash over him, as he began to lose hope, with the realization that he would probably have to do this challenge himself. In his head, he began to think of all the places he, Harry and Tom had visited, almost tracing his steps from the past year or so, save for the places that the trio were banned from. He was able to drop off Harry and Tom after an almost silent car ride, and for a couple of hours afterwards, he journeyed around Weisston, looking for something that could pique his interest. He drove to the local TV station, Scadente’s, The Morning People, The Arena, The Oiltrack, Memory Lanes, and more, but with each location came more and more disappointment, as if these single locations could potentiall provide him a large burst of adventurous energy. 

As Joe was driving back to the apartment, he felt the cell phone is his pocket vibrate. He took his eyes off the road (don’t try at home) to see that it was Tom calling him.

Joe: Hello?

Tom: How much longer will you be out?

Joe: I’m coming home right now.

Tom: Good. I’m not completely into bizarre thrill seeking attitude you’ve randomly started going around with.

Joe: Why?

Tom: It’s sorta weird, man. Like one day you didn’t care, and the next-

Joe: That’s just who I am!

Tom: Okay.

Joe: What?

Tom: No, I wasn’t being sarcastic there. Anyways, be careful with all this thrill seeking stuff. You could get in trouble.

Joe: This isn’t anything big, man! I’m just trying to…trying to…

Tom: Get something big?

Joe: Agh! 

Tom: Heh. Look, just be careful. 

Joe: Come on, now. I’m driving home. The only steps after that are to park the car, go up the stairs-

Tom: I know, I know! Well…see you then.

Joe: Okay.

(Tom hangs up)

Soon, Joe drove into the apartment’s parking lot, and he was walking over to the stairs, he felt someone grab his shoulder, and push him to the floor, before blacking out.

A minute later, he awoke, under a blanket, to six shadows standing before him. 

Voice #1: Craig isn’t sure about this…

(slap sound)

Voice #2: Shut up!

Joe: (pulls off blanket, screams)

Robert Roberts: Hello, Joe!

Joe: You…I…ooohhh nooo, The Kids on the Street!

Robert: Ye-

Joe: AHHH…why man? Why? Not today? I’m just trying to live, man! I don’t want trouble! Gah! The nerve of some people! Agh! Jeez!

(long, awkward silence)

Joe: So…wh-what do you want?

Robert: (attempts a dramatic voice) Re- (cough) Revenge.

Emma Emerson: We had to spend some time at the big house because of YOU!

Joe: Oh yeahhh. 

(beat)

Joe: Sorry?

William: That won’t cut it, I’m afraid.

Robert and William then simultaneously leaned close to Joe’s face, each of them slowly raised a fist, and before Joe was able to properly react, they punched him in the cheeks. Joe was stunned, and within seconds, the rest of the team jumped on him. The kids pinned Joe down to the ground, and in the moment, he just started flailing his legs around, hoping to kick someone off of him. He determined that he succeeded, eventually, as he heard a crashing noise and felt some of the weight lifted off of his body, but he couldn’t really see much in the moment. This sort of distracted some of the others, so with some of the weight off his body, Joe was slowly able to stand back up, and start to walk away.

This was until he jesrd the kids running at him again, so he awkwardly pushed them back, trying as hard as he could not to make things worse. However, the kids leaped at him again.

Joe: What’s the problem? You’ve already beat me up!

Robert: That’s not enough.

Joe: Okay, now. We don’t have to-

William: What? (punches Joe)

Joe: (punches back)

William: Oof! (falls over)

(beat)

Joe: Oh…oh god…what am I doing? I’m punching kids! What the hell?! That’s not who I am! What’s happened? You guys have driven me against my principles, and i'm disgusted at the both of us...Tom was right…I’ve gotten out of control here. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. 

 (bends down to look at his reflection in a puddle)

I…I…I can’t see crap in this puddle.

(stands back up)

I’m sorry, kid.

William: Ha. Didn’t even hurt.

Joe looked up the four remaining kids that stood before him (Craig was missing), and wasn’t happy with what he saw.

Joe: All of you, clean yourselves up. Seriously. This crap isn't cool.  I can’t believe you guys. I’m getting out of here. 

The kids didn’t move towards him, as they were a bit surprised by what had just happened. As Joe was walking to the stairs, he saw a police car slowly going down the road, stopping in the alleyway where everything had just happened. Craig suddenly appeared in the bushes to give a thumbs up, before vanishing again.

As Joe walked into the apartment, and his bruised appearance startled Tom and Harry.

Harry: What happened?

Joe: Action. Not good,

Tom: Hmph.

Joe: I need to think about life for a while, peace out. (walks into his room and closes the door)

 

 

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29. The Apartment 403 Show

(Landlord knocks on door)

Joe: Huh?

Landlord: We've gotten some noise complaints from other apartments. So, you'd better care more about them and their life, or else.

Joe: Yeah. Got it.

Landlord: I hope so. (walks away)

Tom: Who was that?

Joe: Landlord delivering noise complaints. 

Tom: Again?

Joe: I guess. He says we gotta think more about the other people here.

Harry: (walks in) Like me?

Joe: No, others in the apartment building.

Harry: Well, I'm one of those people, still.

Joe: We don't even know any of these people! What if they're bad people or something?

Tom: Well, what happens if we don't follow the rules of this?

Joe: "Or else".

Tom: That's never good.

Joe: Alright, what's one thing that isn't loud?

Harry. TV with the volume turned down?

Tom: Heh. Why not?

(Joe turns on TV, starts flipping channels)

Harry: There's nothing on.

Joe: That could only be possible if there were zero channels.

Harry: Nnnggghhh.

Joe: I wonder what's on public access.

Tom: Why is that?

Joe: Maybe I could help the little man out.

Tom: Fair enough.

Harry: Like us?

Joe: Stop that, Harry. (flips to public access channel)

In a brief silence, the three watched some talk show by a guy named Chris Jonahanson. 

However, the background looked a little familiar.

Tom: Hey, that kinda looks like our apartment.

Joe: Maybe because it IS our...

Tom: Stop that. Maybe it's another apartment.


Harry: How can we know that?

(beat)

Joe: AHHHHHHHHHH-

(Landlord knocks on door)

Landlord: That's it!

Joe: (opens door) It's not what it looks like!

Tom: We had a question!

Landlord: Alright, what is it?

Joe: Anyone here named Chris Jonahanson?

Landlord: Yep. Let me guess, you wanna be on his show?

Joe: Yeah!

Landlord: Wouldn't be the first one. (closes door)

Harry: At least we didn't get kicked out. 

(cut to the parking lot, Joe, Tom and human Harry are looking up at the windows)

Joe: Which one do you think it is?

Tom: This is weird.

Guy: (walks up) Whaaa (cough) aaat are we doing?

Joe: Do you watch The Chris Jonahanson Show?

Guy: I can't. (closes eyes)

(beat)

Harry: Is he-

Tom: I don't know.

(Joe reaches for Guy’s eyes)

Guy: (wakes up) WHA-

Harry: Okay, he's not.

Guy; Sorry, I didn't get much sleep last night. This guy up there (points to window) was yelling about his talk show.

(The four silently study the windows)

Joe: That must be 402. What luck. There's a TV star in the apartment building!

Tom: Public access on a medium sized town doesn't mean TV star.

Joe: At least TVs aren't dying.

(beat)

Joe: Aw, man. Sorry...

Tom: I miss my old job.

Harry: Okay, okay, okay, so let's do this.

(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom standing at 402's door)

Joe: You do it.

Tom: No, you do it, TV boy.

Joe: Fair enough. (knocks on door)

(beat)

Harry: I think I can hear something on, like the TV?

Joe: Guess they're not home.

(beat)

Joe: Guess I got the math wrong or something.

Tom: It's simple single digit math, you dipwad! What's going on in there? (knocks on Joe's head)

Joe: Ah, stop it!

Harry: Try 403?

Joe: Eh. (knocks on 403's door)

Chris: (opens door) What?

Joe: Chris?

Chris: How do you know my name?

Joe: Jonahanson?

Chris: Do you wanna be on the show?

Joe: Yeah! Yeah!

Chris: I'll see. Wait for a call.

Joe: You don't know my number.

Chris: Oh. Go away.

(beat)

The next week, Joe, Harry and Tom were watching The Chris Jonahanson Show.

Chris: You're on the air, caller.

Lady: Hello?
 
Chris: Yeah, you're on the air.

Lady: Has this show inflated your ego at all, you think?

Chris: Huh? No, no, I was already great before this. I got people knocking at my door asking to be a part of the show.

(Joe turns off TV)

Harry: What a scudwhistle.

Joe: We'll show him.

Tom: Well, I still wanna see something. (turns on TV, starts flipping channels)

(TV shows someone crawling through the vents)

(Tom changes channel)

(TV shows someone breaking into a house)

(Tom changes channel)

(TV shows someone knocking on a door)

(Tom changes channel)

(TV shows Tom changing the channel)

(Tom turns TV off)

Joe: I'm bored.

(beat)

Harry: Could I use the shrink and human formulas at the same time? Just curious.

Joe: The shrink one seems sort of outdated, like a placeholder looking back. Probably wouldn't be compatible.

Harry: Daw.

Joe: That gives me an idea, though. Hold on.

Joe ran into his room, grabbing the shrinking formula, before running back to the living room.

Joe: Go into 403, Harry. (pours formula on Harry)

As Harry shrank down, he began crawling in the hall, and went under the crack of the 403 door, trying to find Chris.

Chris: (looks down at floor) Where's that penny...AHHH!

(Joe and Tom run out into hall)

Joe: Oh man, my pet bug! (knocks on door)

Chris: Yes?

Tom: We, uh, want our bug back!

Chris: Fine. (opens door)

(Joe and Tom then run in)

Chris: Agh, hang on. (starts rubbing eyes)

(Joe quickly pours both antidotes on Harry)

Harry: Aw...where is the little guy?

Chris: (stops rubbing eyes) Whaaa?

Harry: I guess we killed him. Heh heh
.
Chris: Alright, get out now.

(beat)

Joe: Uh...no?

Chris: You wanna be on the show, don't you?

Joe: Yes.

Tom: (whispering) Let's get out of here, man.

Chris: You can't!

Joe: Oh...oh, yeah? Why not?

Chris: I'm not gonna reward you for being weird and stupid.

Joe: Fine. I don't wanna be on your stupid little thing anyways!

Chris: (loud gasp) Oh, YEAH?! Then, you'll have to be on it!

Joe: Pssht. That was easy.


(cut to a piece of paper reading "The Chris Jonahanson Show" being pointed at the camera)

(Joe is shaking nervously)

Tom: Christ, man, calm down.

Chris: (throws away paper) Welcome to the Chris Jonahanson Show, episode 12! Original air date, April 12, 2005, production code-

Harry: This was a mistake.

Chris: AH! And, here are our guests. (points unplugged microphone at the three) Names?

Joe: Joe.

Tom: I'm Tom.

Harry: Yeah, Harry.

Chris: Excellent. Are you ready for the interview?

Joe: I guesssss?

Chris: Okay. What is your favorite food?

Joe, Harry and Tom: Scadente's Pizza.

(beat)

Chris: Hmm. Favorite activity?

Joe: I think we all like hanging around, playing video games.

Tom: Yeah, watching TV.

Chris: Ah! Like this show?

Harry: We found this by flipping channels.

Chris. (tugs on collar) Most embarrassing secret.

Joe: I'm not telling you! That's why it's a secret. Doy.

Harry: Maybe you have some embarrassing secrets.

Chris: Okay. I'll tell you! I...I...

Tom: Ha.

Chris: Most irrational fear?

Joe: That's a bit subjective, Chris.

(canned laughter)

Chris: What the-

(canned laughter)

Chris: Huh?!

(cut to Harry pressing a button on a machine)

(canned laughter)

Chris: Stop that!

Harry: Heh.

Chris: is there...uh...anything remarkable about you guys?

(Joe and Tom look at Harry)

Harry: I'm...uh...pretty cool.

Joe: (slaps forehead) I won a bowling tourney once.

Harry: Oh yeah, I won an arm wrassling tourney.

Tom: I, uh, also won the bowling thing.

Chris: Ooh! How?

Joe: Hallucinating Videobox Sports...?

Chris: Heh. Video games.

Joe: Hey, man, that's not cool.

(canned laughter)

Chris: I don't believe you. That strategy is ridiculous.

Tom: ...we also took over halfway through for some team...accidentally.

Chris: WHAT?!

Joe: You seem like you want juicy stuff, so...

Chris: Yeah, because our ratings are down.

Joe: Looks like it's just you here.

(beat)

Chris: Out.

Joe: Wait, what?

Chris: This is all over. We're done here!

Joe: Whatever you say. 

(Joe, Harry and Tom leave)

Joe: That was weird.

(ONE WEEK LATER)

TV: Welcome to the Chris Jonahanson Show, episode 12!

(Joe, Harry and Tom are frowning)

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This was the last one I wrote before the longer-than-intended seasonal hiatus, as a result I was burned out, but I hope it’s goood

 

30. The Longest Yard

 

(Joe, Harry and Tom are channel surfing)


TV: AAAOOOHHH!


(channel changes)


Joe: What in the world was that?


(Tom changes channel back)


TV: That's a touchdown for the Ostriches!


Joe: Oh, it was just sports. Nevermind.


Tom: Stuff makes me sick. Those hits probably make them sick, too.


Joe: You bet. Does this stuff really matter?


Tom: No. It does not.


Harry: People seem to take them seriously.


Joe: No dip, bug boy. We have a right to act condescending.


Harry: Video games are sort of a sport. We take those seriously.


(beat)


Joe: I hate some sports.


Tom' Uh...yeah. Guess you're right.


Joe: I dunno, i'm just pretty weak.


Tom: Yeah, but I’m getting by.


Harry: (starts flexing muscles) Ah.


Joe: No need to brag. I'm better at the "Lux the Lizard" games than you, anyways.


Harry: That's bragging, idiot!


Joe: Who you calling idiot, idiot?


(Joe and Harry start yelling incomprehensibly)


Tom: Guys.


(Joe and Harry keep yelling incomprehenibly)


Tom: Guys...


(You guessed it)


Tom: GUYS!


(Joe and Harry stop yelling)


Joe: Yeah, what?


Tom: Uh...stop yelling.


Joe: Anyways, you guys like any sort of competitive stuff?


Harry: ...he asked after a year of knowing them.


(Joe opens his mouth to say something)


Harry: Ah ah ah.


Tom: I watched boxing in college sometimes. Roommate got me into it.


Joe: Mhm. 


Harry: Nice, nice.


(beat)


Harry: We're really boring people.


Joe: I used to throw the Frisbee with my dad as a young buck.


Tom: Pretty cool. I did that a bit, too.


Joe: They made me play ultimate Frisbee in grade school gym, too. I always lost,


Harry: Just like always.


Joe: You're not wrong, my friend.


(cut to MMM holding a Frisbee)


MMM: What was this doing under my bed? Oh, well. (throws it away)


(cut to Joe looking out the window)


Joe: Why, those were the glory days, if by glory they mean horrible, droning...is that a Frisbee in the parking lot?


Tom: (looks out window) Looks like it.


Harry: Isn't life something.


Tom: Howsabout we, er, throw the thing around.


Joe: Let me check my to do list. (holds invisible piece of paper up) Sure.


(Harry grabs human formula for a nearby table and throws it on)


(cut to the three standing out in the parking lot)


Joe: Go long, one of you!


Harry: I'll...uh...do it.


Tom: Wait, this is a little...uh...


The Frisbee flung out of Joe's hand, and almost instantly, and it began flying towards a car.


Tom: AGH!


Joe: DON'T JUST SCREAM, CATCH IT!


Tom and Harry ran at the Frisbee, and Harry dived over the hood to catch it. He caught it, and then dropped it quickly.


Harry: That was a stupid idea.


Joe: Maybe we could go on the grass.


Tom: That thin strip of crud? No.


Joe: (sigh) You're right.


(beat)


Harry: Let's go to the field.


(cut to Joe, Harry and Tom driving up to the field)


Joe: (rolls down window) What the?


Tom: (reading sign) Under construction?


Construction Worker: (walks up) New hotel. Is there a problem?


Joe: Yes, there's a problem, I-


CW: Good, I didn't think there was. (sticks hand in car and rolls up the window)


Joe: Some people. (drives off)


(cut back to the apartment)


(Joe, Tom and Harry walk in)


Joe: Well, that sucked.


Tom: That's obvious. 


Joe: Why would they do that to a field?


Tom: When you think about the money, it's obvious.


Harry: WHY IS EVERYTHING OBVIOUS TO YOU?


Tom: Geez, man. I...uh...I don't know.


Joe: (sigh) What now?


Tom: TV again?


Joe: Sounds good.


As Joe went to bed that night, he couldn't stop thinking about the Frisbee. Sure, it was stupid. Sure, it was irritational. But sometimes things like that, for whatever reason, really grate on you, you know? He had good memories of playing Frisbee, and just wanted to have some more with his best and only friends. As the next day proved, he would stop at nothing to get his way, just like always.


Right when Joe got up that morning, he went over to his computer. He frantically ordered a bunch of fake grass, and chose the "same day delivery" option. Within minutes, he heard a knock at the door.


Harry: What's that?


Joe: I dunno. Did Tom forget something? (walks over and opens door)


Postman: Package for a Mr. (reads card) Jor Sumners?


Joe: Must have made some typos. Yeah, that's me.


Joe signed some forms, and then excitedly shut the door and grabbed the massive package.


Harry: What is it?


Joe: Stuff.


Harry: I see.


Joe: No, you don't. I haven't opened it yet.


Harry: I SEE!


Later that night, when Tom was coming home from work, there was a lot more traffic than usual. He was confused about why, until he a massive and bumpy mountain of grass covering the apartment parking lot.


Tom: JJJOOOEEE!


Joe: (walks out) ...yes?


Tom: (parks car on sidewalk, gets out) What...what the hell is this?


(beat)


Joe: Eee...this was a bad idea.


Tom: What?!


(Joe holds up Frisbee)


Tom: Nnnggghhh.


Harry: (looks out window) What's all of this...noise...


(beat)


Joe: I can, uh, get it back out.


Harry: I want you to tell me what you did right now.


Joe: I ordered some...some...fake grass.


Harry: What?! From where?!


Joe: (reads package) O. O. Yorks Lawn Improvement?


Harry: What?


(beat)


Tom: Joe, what's O. O. Yorks backwards?


Joe: Skroy O. O.?


(beat)


Joe: AAAUUUGGGHHH!

Harry: Skroyoo? Didn't those lawsuits close them down?


Joe: I guess they must have reformed or something!


Tom: YOU ARE THE BIGGEST MORON I'VE EVER MET!


Joe: (sits down, with his head in his heads) You're right...you're right. (looks at crowd gathering) I'm sorry, everyone.


Guy #1: I need to get to my car!


Lady #1: Same here!


Guy #2: I say we form a riot!


Guy #3: We already are a riot, Bill.


Guy #2: Good!


(Crowd directionlessly starts charging at Joe)


Joe: WAIT!


(Crowd continues running)


Joe: (backs away) IF I GET THIS OUT WILL YOU STOP?


(Crowd stops)


Guy #2: Wait, he hasn't gotten it out, yet-


Guy #3: Shut up, dummy! (beat) Alright. It's 5:06 PM. Get it out by 6:06, or we'll get the riot up again. We'll wait here 


Guy #2: I'm kinda hungry, actually.


Guy #3: Ah...

 


(Murmurs among the crowd about being hungry)


Guy #3: Hmm. Alright, guy. You promise to get this out in 1 hour?


Joe: Yes. Pinky promise.


Guy #3: Uh, sure. 


(Joe and Guy #3 touch pinkies)


Joe then ran back up to the apartment, frantically looking around for Harry.


Joe: Dude, get out here.


Harry: Yeah?


Joe: Throw on the formula and use your super strength.


Harry: What?


Joe: Pull out the grass or else the people out there are gonna make mincemeat out of me!


Harry: But that won't work! Remember the water bottle and the earplugs?


Joe: PLEASE, MAN!


Harry: Gah, fine.


(cut to Joe and Harry out in the parking lot)


Harry found a crack at the edge of the grass, put his hands under it, and started pulling. He tried his hardest for ten seconds, using all of his strength, but alas, it just wouldn't come off. Everyone in the crowd started to join in, but still, they were unsuccessful.


Tom: Does, uh, anyone here have access to construction equipment?


(cut to MMM staring at his computer)


MMM: Better throw them a bone.


Guy #4: I'm actually a construction worker! I'm working on the hotel at the field outside of town!


(everyone boos)


Guy #4: But I can help!


(everyone cheers)


The worker got into his car parked on the sidewalk, and drove off to the field. A while later, he came back with a wrecking ball. He aligned it perfectly with the parking lot, and started aiming the wrecking ball.


Lady #2: Hey! You're aiming at my car!


CW #2: Sorry. (aims elsewhere)


Guy #5: That's my car!


The worker kept aiming the ball at different places, only to find that he was aiming at someone's car. After about a dozen more repeats of this, the worker found a spot with nobody's car near, and crushed the grass with the wrecking ball. There was little effect.


Now, the time was 6:03 PM. Joe was losing hope and had just accepted his fate.


Joe: Alright, guys. Just do it!


Guy #3: No, we're a fair riot.


Guy #2: I've never considered myself-


Guy #3: We're a fair riot.


(THREE MINUTES LATER)


Guy #3: Let's go!


The crowd charged at Joe, yelling incomprehensibly. They ran on the rocky terrain, actually running onto and down cars. The grass slightly shook under their footsteps. As Harry walked in a little closer there was finally enough weight to put a small hole in the grass, the spot where the wrecking ball struck. When noticing this, the riot, Harry, Tom and Joe then started pulling on the edges of the hole, slowly ripping out the grass. Eventually, all of the grass was gone.
Joe: We did it! We just had to attack the weak point.


Pete: (walks out from crowd) I helped!


(beat)


(crowd walks away in all different directions)


Joe: Well, we saved the day.


(Harry and Tom glare at Joe)


(Joe awkwardly smiles at the screen as it closes out in a circle)

 

 
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