|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 15: Further Experimentation (in which Patti changes her clothes)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|INT. ELLAíS OLD CAR. LATER.
Ella stops at Pattiís house.
Peter and Patti walk to the door.Peter, see Patti to the door.ELLA(as mothers will)
Good night, Ella!PATTI(calling)(to Peter)Listen, I think you might be right about the paternity issue. Youíre too nice a guy to be the son of a .†.†. nasty old crow. Letís try the experiment again, okay?Well, okay. Sure.PETER(trying to seem blasé)
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEYíS LIVING ROOM. Peter is in Dudleyís chair, looking into the fire, waiting for Patti. The phone rings.
Peter turns the light out and looks toward the room that was Ellaís. That light goes on, and there is Patti with PETERíS GRANDMOTHER by her side. Patti is claiming to have been spattered by a passing car. She pouts, plucks at her skirt, wrinkles her brow, and then, with a smile at the way good luck sometimes comes with bad, produces a change of clothes from a paper bag; Peterís grandmother comforts Patti, then leaves the room, closing the door. Patti begins unbuttoning her blouse.Hello?PETERDudley? Itís Ella.PATTI, AS ELLA (ON PHONE)(sweetly)Ellllla! How are you, ďEllaĒ?PETER, AS DUDLEY(overacting)Iím fine. Can I see you?PATTI, AS ELLA (ON PHONE)More homework, I suppose?PETER, AS DUDLEYYeah, thatís it. More homework.PATTI, AS ELLAWell, come right over, my dear.PETER, AS DUDLEYI have to change my clothes first.PATTI, AS ELLAOh.PETER, AS DUDLEYGo up to my room and change my clothes.PATTI, AS ELLAOkay.PETER, AS DUDLEYJust going to run up to my room .†.†.PATTI, AS ELLAOh. .†.†. Your room. .†.†. I see.PETER, AS DUDLEY(the realization comes)Iíll bet. Here I go. See you later.PATTI, AS ELLA
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEYíS FRONT DOOR. A FEW MINUTES LATER. Peter opens the door with a trembling hand.
Hi, Dud.PATTI, AS ELLA(the innocent darling)Come in, my dear.PETER, AS DUDLEY(the dirty old man)
CUT TO:INT. THE MALT SHOP. THE NEXT DAY, AFTER SCHOOL. Slipping her lips over the tip of her straw, Patti sucks up a mouthful of vanilla milkshake.
She laughs down the straw and it bubbles in her milkshake.Learn anything new last night?PATTI(soft, milky, and sweet)I learned .†.†. that you .†.†. have beautiful .†.†. breasts.PETER(as if thoughtfully)
She uses her straw to blow a bit of milkshake at him.I always supposed that you did have beautiful breasts .†.†. but I was pleased .†.†. to have my supposition confirmed by direct observation and .†.†. digital palpation.PETER (CONTíD.)
She rolls her eyes.Nice shot.PETERWas this whole paternity thing just a way to get your hands on me?PATTINo! It wasnít. Honest.PETER(perhaps too quickly)
She threatens him with the loaded straw again, and he raises his hands to suggest surrender, or a truce.Patti .†.†. I really do have strong doubts about my paternity, and strong suspicions about Dudley Beaker and my mother. I meant what I said about the experiment, and Iím grateful to you for assisting me with it.PETER (CONTíD.)(in deep sincerity)(with a shrug)I never said I wouldnít enjoy it.
She pauses and cocks her head.Well, I learned something, too.PATTIYes?PETER(hoping for a compliment)Assuming that youíre doing a good job of playing Dudley .†.†.PATTI
Peter hangs his head.I think I am.PETERThen I think Ella had a crush on him.PATTIReally?PETERYeah. Heís kind of cute .†.†. and Iím talking about him, you know, not you.PATTI
She walks to the door. At the door, she turns.Youíre kind of cute, too, but Iím talking about Dudley.PATTI (CONTíD.)(then, almost reluctantly)Thereís something .†.†. something I learned about myself .†.†.What is it?PETERI like to hear guys say, ďI love you,Ē .†.†.PATTII think I could have guessed that.PETERPatience, jackass.PATTISorry.PETERI like to hear, ďI love you,Ē but I know it usually means something else.PATTIOh.PETERBut there is something that I might rather hear .†.†. ďI want to take you away from all this.Ē Do you know what I mean at all? I mean take me away from my house and my family and the hallway with the torn carpet, and the smell in the morning when my little brother wets his bed, and the way my mother falls against the wall on nights when my father decides that a good smack will help her sleep, and the way she wheezes in the morning when she lights her cigarette, and the way she asks me if I want one, inviting me to join her in regretting everything I just listed for you. Iím not saying that Ella felt the same things I do, I just mean that she might have felt the way I do. I could be very attracted to a man who would take me away from all that .†.†. and I could imagine that Dudley might.PATTIMy dear, wonít you let me take you .†.†.PETER(in Dudleyís manner)Donít make a joke out of it.PATTI(getting up, hurt)Iím sorry.PETERIím going home.PATTI
Peter .†.†. why donít you let me take you away from all this?PATTI(with a sweep of her arm)
CUT TO:EXT. A STREET IN BABBINGTON. A FEW MINUTES LATER. Peter and Patti walk arm in arm, along the way to her house.
She laughs and draws herself closer to him.Iím sorry. I was trying to clear the air .†.†. blow the smell of your brotherís piss away.PETER
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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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