|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 8: Attainable (in which Patti says, “I’d like to meet your mother”)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|EXT. NIGHT. A FEW NIGHTS LATER. IN
FRONT OF DUDLEY BEAKER’S HOUSE ON NO BRIDGE ROAD. Peter is waiting for
Patti. He sees her turn the corner, walking through the circle of streetlamp
light. She has dressed in the style of his mother’s 1940s high-school
days, with saddle shoes, bobby socks, a flippy skirt, and a sweater over
a white blouse.
She turns and looks at the house.How did you do this? This outfit?PETER(when Patti reaches him)Research. Rummaging. The attics of Babbington are full of relics.PATTI
So this is the place?PATTI (CONT’D.)Well, maybe.PETERMaybe?PATTIOh, it’s Dudley’s house . . . but whether I was conceived here . . .PETEROh, I get you.PATTIThat’s my grandparents’ house . . . where my mother grew up. . . .PETER(indicates the house next door)(shows the key and starts toward Dudley’s door)Well . . .Uh-uh. Let’s do this right. You go in. Get into the part. I’m going to walk around the block, and when I come back and knock at the door it’s going to be a night before you were born, and you’re going to be Dudley and I’m going to be . . . what’s your mother’s name?PATTI(puts her hand on his arm)Ella.PETERI’m going to be Ella.PATTI
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY’S BEDROOM. Peter rummages through Dudley’s closet and chooses a tweed jacket.
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY’S LIVING ROOM. Peter sits in Dudley’s chair in front of the fireplace and waits. Time passes, more time than he had expected to have to wait.
He goes to the front door and looks out.
Patti is at the curb, flirting with a couple of guys in a car. Peter can’t hear them. He draws a deep breath.
Patti hugs herself, gives an exaggerated shiver, and indicates that she is on her way to Dudley’s house.Come here. Please come here.PETER(whispering)
Peter is pleased and surprised.
The car goes off without Patti and she turns and opens the gate and starts up the walk.
Peter feels thrilled, nervous, eager.
He dashes to his chair and takes his seat.
When Patti rings the bell he gets up as if he hadn’t been expecting her, goes to the door and opens it.
She is there, smiling and hugging a notebook to her chest.
Impulsively, she grasps his hands.Ella!PETER, AS DUDLEYHi, Dud. Will you help me with my homework?PATTI, AS ELLAWell, it has been quite a long time since I did any homework, but of course I’ll help you. Come in, my dear.PETER, AS DUDLEY(packing his pipe)Thanks.PATTI, AS ELLAWhat homework do you have to do?PETER, AS DUDLEY(closing the door)I . . .PATTI, AS ELLA(oops, she doesn’t know)Do you . . . um . . . have to . . . ah . . . write an essay?PETER, AS DUDLEYYep. That’s it. Gotta write an essay.PATTI, AS ELLAWell! I can help you with that.PETER, AS DUDLEY
He sweeps his arm toward the stairs. She starts up. He lags behind so that he can look up her skirt.I knew you could.PATTI, AS ELLAI’m flattered that you came to me. I do know quite a bit about writing essays, what with my having gone to college and all, and . . .PETER, AS DUDLEYSolid, Jackson!PATTI, AS ELLAAh, yes. . . . Solid. . . . Jackson.PETER, AS DUDLEY(then, almost lecherously)Why don’t we . . . ah . . . go up to my study and see about that essay?Okay. Let’s go.PATTI, AS ELLA
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY’S STUDY.
She walks around, swinging her little hips, poking at things, then stops at the window and looks out into the darkness.So this is your study!PATTI, AS ELLAYeah. I mean, Yes.PETER, AS DUDLEY
She leans forward, toward the window, her skirt riding up so that Dudley-played-by-Peter can see a bit of the backs of her legs above her knees, and peers into the darkness.That house next door . . .PATTI, AS ELLAYour house.PETER, AS DUDLEYOh. Of course it’s my house.PATTI, AS ELLA(giggles)
He goes to her side and in a friendly way puts his arm around her waist as he leans to peer into the dark.That window, what room is that?PATTI, AS ELLA (CONT’D.)
She turns from the window, toward him, and he relishes the brushing caress of her breasts. Her eyes are teasing.That . . . is your bedroom.PETER, AS DUDLEY(a sudden realization)
She looks into his eyes. He looks into hers. They are breathing excitedly, their mouths nearly touching, and then she kisses him, and it is thrilling for both of them, but she draws away from him, and, as Patti, not Ella, says:Why, Dud. What do you study up here?PATTI, AS ELLABeauty.PETER, AS DUDLEY(surprising himself)Meaning me?PATTI, AS ELLAThere are nights when I sit here with the lights out, hoping that you will come up to your room.PETER, AS DUDLEYWouldn’t you rather I came to yours?PATTI, AS ELLAThat is more than I have ever allowed myself to hope; you see, hope is sustainable only when its object seems attainable.PETER, AS DUDLEYIs that an aphorism?PATTI, AS ELLAI think it is.PETER, AS DUDLEYWell, here I am, attainable.PATTI, AS ELLA
Before we go any further with this, I’d like to meet your mother.PATTI (CONT’D.)
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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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