|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 4: No Easy Thing (in which Dudley Beaker gets down to brass tacks)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|INT. DUDLEY’S STUDY, UPSTAIRS. It’s
a stuffy room, bookish, which is exactly the effect Dudley wanted.
Dudley is sitting at his desk, fussing with his pipe. Peter enters.
Peter takes the key and starts to go.Well, Peter, are you in our employ?DUDLEYHuh?PETERWill you be major-domo of our little manse while Eliza and your humble interlocutor make the Grand Tour?DUDLEYYeah . . . I guess so.PETERWe have often sat here, we two, while I have attempted to pass along to you the wisdom that I have wrested from life.DUDLEY(almost fatherly)Yeah.PETERThere was a time when you enjoyed those sessions, I think . . .DUDLEY(Peter shrugs). . . but now . . . you think I have nothing left to teach you. Correct?I think . . . I can think for myself.PETERAnd I think you have a lot to learn.DUDLEY BEAKER(dismissively)(fiddling with his pipe)Let’s get down to brass tacks.(more fiddling)First, do no harm. . . . In other words, don’t break anything.Okay.PETERAnd I don’t want you throwing any wild parties for your vulgar little friends . . . nor do I want you luring girls here, plying them with drink, and deflowering them on the sofa. . . . In short, I do not want you acting the part of the bachelor playboy just because you have the run of the house.DUDLEY(with an ambiguous smile)Do I make myself clear?Very.PETER(now full of ideas)Well, then, here is the key.DUDLEY(producing a key)
Peter . . . I meant to ask you . . . how is your mother? Is she well?DUDLEY (CONT’D.)(softening)She’s okay. A little upset.PETERUpset?DUDLEYShe tried to make candy.PETERAnd made a mess, I suppose.DUDLEY(almost tenderly)Yeah.PETER(sorry for her)One of the greatest temptations that we fall prey to is the idea that we can do something . . . extraordinary . . . and thereby win fame and fortune and . . . even self-respect.DUDLEY(almost to himself)(a sigh)But most of us just cannot do what we wish we could do.(regaining his tweedy, didactic manner)There was once, long ago, in Seville, so they say, a certain madman . . .
DISSOLVE TO:EXT. A PLAZA IN SEVILLE, LONG AGO. We see the madman’s antics as Dudley describes them.
. . . who had perfected the art of inflating dogs. He would catch a stray dog that might be passing by, and he would insert a hollow reed into the dog’s . . . into a certain part of the dog . . . and then he would blow the dog up like a balloon. As you might expect, this performance never failed to attract a crowd, and in the crowd there was always a heckler who claimed that there was no mystery to inflating dogs. Whereupon the madman would hand the heckler a hollow reed. After the heckler had tried and failed, the madman would make a low bow and say, “Gentle people, will you agree, now, that it is no easy thing to inflate a dog?”DUDLEY (CONT’D., V. O.)
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY’S STUDY.
You might tell that story to Ella . . . to your mother . . . sometime . . . in your own words, of course.DUDLEY (CONT’D.)(a quick frown, then)
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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 author’s 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 doesn’t particularly resemble Peter Leroy—except, perhaps, for the smile.
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