Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 20: Whack It (in which Mr. Lodkochnikov lends a hand)
by Eric Kraft
Inflating a Dog on Film

The screen rights are available.
E-mail Alec ďNickĒ Rafter.

INT. PETERíS BEDROOM. Peter is dressing in a captainís whites, a costume that Ella has improvised.
CUT TO:
INT. THE LIVING ROOM. Ella, wearing a raincoat, sweeps into the room.  Bert is sitting in his chair drinking a beer and watching television. Peter, also wearing a raincoat, hurries down the stairs and joins her.
ELLA
Weíre off, Bert.  Wish us luck.
BERT
(hardly looking, grunting)
Yeah.  Good luck.
They hurry off.
BERT (CONTíD.)
(after theyíve left)
Is it raining?
CUT TO:
EXT. PATTIíS HOUSE. When Ella pulls up, Patti, also wearing a raincoat, runs to the car and slides in beside Peter, breathless with anticipation.  Ella drives off.
CUT TO:
EXT. THE DOCK. They board Arcinella. Patti and Ella shed their raincoats.  They are dazzling in slinky white satin gowns.  They get to work abovedecks.
Peter goes into the wheelhouse.  He presses the starter button.  From the engine room, we hear a dull metallic click, nothing more.
He presses the button again.  Another click. 
PETER
(to himself)
Third timeís the charm.
He presses the button again.  Not even a click.
He goes below, looks at the engine, wiggles its wires.
He goes back to the wheelhouse.  He presses the starter button, and nothing happens, nothing at all. 
Panic is setting in.  He hurries below.
He squats there, staring at Arcinellaís engine.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(from the quayside)
Evening, ladies.  Donít you look nice.
ELLA
(coyly, playing a belle)
Why, thank you, sir.
Peter looks through a porthole and sees Mr. Lodkochnikov.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Whereís young Peter?
ELLA
Below, getting ready for our shakedown cruise.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
I havenít been aboard Arcinella for a very long time.  Do you suppose I might have permission?
ELLA
(a little awkwardly)
Oh .†.†. why, of course.
Mr. Lodkochnikov lumbers aboard.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(appreciately, taking in the fresh paint and the slinky gowns)
Very nice .†.†. very, very nice.
Patti giggles.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV (CONTíD.)
Mind if I take a gander at the old galís innards?
ELLA
Not at all.  And tell Peter to hurry up.  The sunís starting to set.
Mr. Lodkochnikov makes his way until he is beside Peter. 
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(in a whisper)
Want some help?
PETER
(with a sigh of relief)
Yeah. .†.†. Thanks.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(matter-of-factly)
Iíd say that .†.†. the pinion gear on your starter motor is not engaging the rack on the flywheel.
PETER
(as if he knows)
Of course! .†.†. Anything we can do?
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Oh, sure.
A moment passes; Mr. Lodkochnikov says nothing.
PETER
What?
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Well, Mac used to whack her with a hatchet.  Didnít he leave the hatchet?
PETER
The hatchet?  Yeah.  He left a hatchet.
He rummages arund and comes up with a rusty old hatchet.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
You give a couple of whacks on the starter motor .†.†. not too hard .†.†. but enough of a whack to free up the shaft and get it to engage.
PETER
Uh-huh.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Do that.
PETER
What?
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Hit it.
Peter gives the end of the starter motor a timid whack. 
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
Whack her!
Peter gives it a harder whack, and heís rewarded with a metallic clunk that means success. Mr. Lodkochnikov smiles. Peter scrambles back to the wheelhouse, presses the button, and the engine starts.  Ella and Patti cheer.
CUT TO:
EXT. ABOVEDECKS. Mr. Lodkochnikov makes his way through the wheelhouse and seems to be headed for shore.
ELLA
(formally, graciously)
Wonít you accompany us?
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(awkwardly, embarrassed)
Oh, I couldnít .†.†. I .†.†.
ELLA
Please.
PATTI
(enthusiastically)
You can stand in for the customers.
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(looking at his callused baymanís hands)
Iím not very elegant.
ELLA
Tonight .†.†. you are.
Patti leads him by the hand to a deck chair in the bow.
CUT TO:
EXT. THE BOLOTOMY RIVER. MINUTES LATER. With Mr. Lodkochnikov sitting in the chair drinking champagne, Arcinella glides through the stillness of the evening and its fading light.
Ella and Patti provide attentive service, offering him little sandwiches, pouring champagne into his glass.
At one wonderful moment, Patti and Ella slip into the wheelhouse, and all three stand together in the little cabin, savoring the sweet smell of their coming success.
PATTI
People are going to love this .†.†.
ELLA
Do you really think so? 
PATTI
Oh, yeah.  Itís going to blow them up. Itís going to change this town.  Everythingís going to be much more elegant from now on.
PETER
Where should we go?
ELLA
(blithely)
Anywhere you like. Sheís in your hands.
They return to work.
Peter turns Arcinella toward the west.
The sun sets, and the stars come out, but the glow in the sky silhouettes Mr. Lodkochnikov in his deck chair, where he sits smoking, looking at the stars, the very picture of an elegant excursionist and a satisfied customer.
CUT TO:
EXT. ARCINELLAíS SLIP. LATER. Peter brings her in perfectly. 
MR. LODKOCHNIKOV
(heaving a contented sigh)
It has been a lovely excursion .†.†. the stars .†.†. the champagne .†.†. the beautiful ladies .†.†. the steady hand at the helm .†.†. everything.
He kisses the hands of Patti and Ella, salutes Peter, and leaves for home.  Peter, Ella, and Patti watch him walk away for a moment, then silently turn to cleaning up.
CUT TO:
INFLATING A DOG SCREENPLAY | CONTENTS | CHAPTER 21

Candi Lee Manning and Alec "Nick" RafterHere are a couple of swell ideas from Eric Kraft's vivacious publicist, Candi Lee Manning.
 

You'll find more swell ideas from Candi Lee here.

.....
Tip the author.
You can toss a little something Kraft's way through the Amazon.com Honor System or PayPal.
Amazon.com Honor System


Copyright © 2001 by Eric Kraft
Registered with the Writers Guild of America East in 2001 

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.

.....
Add yourself to our e-mailing list.
We'll send you notifications of site updates, new serials, and Eric Kraft's public lectures and readings. Just fill in this form and click the send-it button.
NAME

E-MAIL


ABOUT THE PERSONAL HISTORY
COMPONENTS OF THE WORK
REVIEWS OF THE ENTIRE WORK
AUTHORíS STATEMENT

LITTLE FOLLIES
HERB íNí LORNA
RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED
WHERE DO YOU STOP?
WHAT A PIECE OF WORK I AM
AT HOME WITH THE GLYNNS
LEAVING SMALLíS HOTEL
INFLATING A DOG
PASSIONATE SPECTATOR
MAKING MY SELF
A TOPICAL GUIDE

CLASSIFIEDS
SWELL IDEAS

COMPLETE SITE CONTENTS
WHAT'S NEW?

Home Page

HOME