|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 2: Spring Cleaning (in which Ella makes a mess and Bert squirms)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|EXT. OUTSIDE THE LEROY HOUSE, KITCHEN
DOOR. AFTERNOON. Peter is arriving home from school. He tries
to open the kitchen door. Itís stuck. He pushes against it.
Threads of crystallized sugar crackle when he pushes the door open.
CUT TO:INT. THE KITCHEN. The kitchen is glazed with sugar. Webs of crystallized sugar run along the walls, across the countertops, the stove, the sink, the white metal cabinets.
Ella isnít aware of Peter. Sheís drizzling hot syrup from a can in which sheís punched tiny holes, waving the can over aluminum foil on the floor, making swirls and squiggles. Her swings grow wider and wider. As she swings the can, she begins to swing herself, dancing, swinging and swaying with the can. Peter is smiling. He realizes that his mother is doing something a little mad, but it looks like fun to him. She whirls around, and the can swings in Peterís direction.
She stops swinging the can, and the syrup runs in streams onto the floor. She notices Peter for the first time.Hi, Mom.PETER(a little tentatively)
She looks around the room, beaming.Peter! I didnít even see you. I was all wrapped up in what I was doing.ELLA
She swings the can to indicate everything sheís accomplished, and the syrup follows, but when she turns toward Peter again, her smile is gone. She stops and says .†.†.Iíve been so busy. Making candy. Not ribbon candy .†.†. that didnít work. I think you do need machines for that, after all. This is lace candy .†.†. Ellaís Lacy Licks. See it all?ELLA (C0NTíD.)
They exchange panicky looks.Oh. .†.†. Iíve made a mess.ELLA (C0NTíD.)Dadíll be home in a couple of hours.PETER(itís the awful truth)
They fall into a frenzy of cleaning. After a while, a glance at the clock: twenty to six.Weíve got to get this cleaned up.PETER (CONTíD.)(conspiratorially)Iíll do it.ELLA(dispirited)Weíll both do it.PETER
Iíve got an idea.ELLA(tentatively)Great. We need an idea. What is it?PETER
CUT TO:EXT. THE FRONT OF THE LEROY HOUSE. A MINUTE LATER. Peter and Ella carry Bertís favorite chair onto the front lawn.
They carry the table that stands beside it out there, too.
They place the table beside the chair, just right.
They carry the TV set out and put it in front of the chair.
Peter runs an extension cord through a cellar window.
Ella plugs the set into it.
CUT TO:EXT. THE FRONT OF THE LEROY HOUSE. A FEW MINUTES LATER. Bert pulls into the driveway in a 1955 Studebaker. (NOTE: Everyone in Babbington drives a Studebaker.)
Bert starts across the lawn toward his chair. Peter comes out the front door with bottles of beer in a bucket full of ice.Spring cleaning?BERT(getting out of the car)Right! But weíre not finished.ELLA
Peter hands Bert an opener. Bert sits in the chair and opens a bottle. Ella turns the television on.You donít mind, do you?ELLA (CONTíD.)
She and Peter head inside to finish their work. At the door, Peter steals a look at Bert. MR. MORTON (60s) comes by, walking six tiny dogs on leashes. He stops and regards Bert curiously. Bert squirms, embarrassed to be sitting out there.We wonít be much longer.ELLA (CONTíD.)
Mr. Morton looks up at Peter, who shrugs and rotates his forefinger beside his head. Mr. Morton nods and goes on his way.Sitting out on the lawn, Bert?MR. MORTONSpring cleaning.BERT(snapping)Uh-huh.MR. MORTON(skeptical)
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Copyright © 2001 by Eric
The screenplay for Inflating a Dog is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the authorís imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this teleplay may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
The illustration at the top of the page is an adaptation of an illustration by Stewart Rouse that first appeared on the cover of the August 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The boy at the controls of the aerocycle doesnít particularly resemble Peter Leroyóexcept, perhaps, for the smile.
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