|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 24: Hope Dies (in which the business sinks)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT NIGHT.
No one at all has come.
Ella and Patti scan the sky. The weather is not threatening.It’s the weather.PETER(scanning the sky)
They all realize that the last phrase describes this night.Those clouds? People probably figured they might bring rain.PETER (CONT’D.)(pointing westward)But they didn’t.ELLA(feebly)No, but they might have.PETERMost people are very worried about getting their good clothes wet . . .PATTI. . . and rain is an agent of depression in our culture.PETEROh, yeah. Rain is so deflating. People say . . . “don’t rain on my parade” . . . “don’t be a wet blanket” . . . “it’s a washout” . . .PATTI(absent-mindedly nibbling a sandwich)
Trickle, trickle . . .PETER(inspired, holding his hand out as if to feel the rain, sings)Splash, splash . . .PATTI(catching it)
|EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT NIGHT.
A couple walks toward the boat. They are clamdiggers, with the look
of peasants: good, sturdy, honest folk, but not the sort that one would
expect to be interested in an elegant excursion.
Hey. We might have some customers.PETER(whispering)Really? Do you think . . .ELLA(doubtful)(when they stop)Good evening. . . . Welcome.We heard it was restful and romantic. That’s what Caught-yer-cough said.CLAMMY WOMAN(boarding unaided)You mean Mr. Lodkochnikov?PETERI never could get that right. . . . He said it’s restful and romantic . . .CLAMMY WOMAN. . . but bring your own food, he said, ’cause otherwise you don’t get enough to stuff a guppy.CLAMMY MAN(holding up a paper bag)
CUT TO:EXT. THE BAY. Arcinella glides across the bay in the light of the setting sun. Ella and Patti are giving the couple the full treatment. They drink champagne . . .
refuse the offer of caviar . . .
sample the little sandwiches out of politeness . . .
eat the fried chicken they brought . . .
and hold hands in the sunset.
CUT TO:EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT NIGHT. As departure time nears, the HARBORMASTER chugs up in a launch.
He boards, looks around.Ahoy, Arcinella.HARBORMASTER(calling out)Ahoy . . . Harbormaster.ELLA(self-consciously)Permission to come aboard?HARBORMASTER
The harbormaster considers the plate of sandwiches very carefully, and very carefully selects a pink one.Nice job you did. Very nice.HARBORMASTERWhy thank you. Some champagne?ELLANo, no, I couldn’t do that.HARBORMASTERHow about a sandwich?PATTI
He finishes filling out a form on a pad that makes copies, tears one off, and hands it to Ella.Happens that I’ve got something for you. . . . You see, Arcinella is still registered to Captain Macamangus . . .HARBORMASTER(taking a bite)Mmmm . . . . and she’ll have to be registered in your name by Wednesday.
CUT TO:EXT. A MOMENT LATER. The harbormaster chugs off, waving the sandwich. Ella, Peter, and Patti huddle over the form.
It’s expensive.PATTIOh, not that expensive.ELLAMore than we’ve brought in so far.PETER
CUT TO:EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT NIGHT. As sailing time approaches, Peter, Patti, and Ella preen.
She grimaces, then crosses her fingers.Do I look all right?ELLA(anxiously, to Patti)Elegant, as always. . . . and me?PATTIStunning.ELLA(to Peter)Everything ready?Oh, sure. You bet.PETERSaturday night!ELLA(anxious)
Patti and Ella pace the foredeck in their satin gowns, pretending not to watch for signs of excursionists.
In a while, a single car pulls up. Two young couples with stars in their eyes get out, dressed in prom style.
Ella sighs. She knows it’s over; it’s a failure. But she’s going to give these couples a wonderful ride.
The four blush and giggle. Patti brings champagne.Good evening! How elegant you look!ELLA(extravagantly)
CUT TO:EXT. BOLOTOMY BAY. The excursionists are happy. Everything seems perfect, but Ella’s eyes show that it isn’t so.
CUT TO:EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE END OF THE EVENING. The two couples are getting into their cars.
They drive off. Ella and Patti burst into tears.Good-bye. Thank you. It was wonderful. Wonderful. It was elegant.COUPLES (AD LIB)It was wonderful having you aboard!ELLA(still upbeat)
Don’t let it get you down. . . .PETER(embracing them)
CUT TO:EXT. ARCINELLA’S STERN. A MOMENT LATER. Ella and Patti sit on either side of Peter; all are dangling their legs in the water. Ella and Patti sniffle and blubber miserably.
Still sniffling and blubbering.It wasn’t the night we’d been hoping for, but don’t . . . don’t lose heart.PETER
More tears.Come on, chin up!PETER (CONT’D.)
Please stop crying. We’re going to be a success, a big success. We just have to make some adjustments. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves, and . . .PETER (CONT’D.)Peter. You can’t inflate a dead dog.ELLA(with a twisted smile)
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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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