|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 25: When You Dance (in which the business floats anew)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|INT. ELLA’S CAR. MINUTES LATER. Ella
begins driving home.
Patti and Peter exchange a look.You know what I wish?ELLAYeah. I think so.PETERHm?ELLAI think I know what you wish.PETEROh . . . no . . . I mean, yes, I do wish that everything had gone the way I wanted it to go, but right now I wish I could go to Dudley and ask him what to do. I think he would know.ELLA
It’s Ella’s turn to take a deep breath.But, of course, I can’t . . .ELLA (CONT’D.)I think I know what he would say.PETER(a beat, then)You do?ELLAYeah, because he spent a lot of time telling me what I should do.PETER
What would he say?ELLAYou want to attract a crowd, do you? Well, there is only one requirement.PETER(in Dudley’s manner)What’s that, Dud?PATTI (AS ELLA)What is it? . . . I think you already know. Just ask yourself why it is that one man might labor for years to write an elegant treatise on the birth of stars and win only a single admirer, while another can stick a bamboo pole up a dog’s ass, blow the poor cur up like a balloon, delight a crowd that fills the town square, and fill his pockets with their silver. What is that man’s secret?PETER(with a Dudley chuckle)Talent?PATTIOf course! . . . The common touch!ELLA(startled, wide-eyed, turning to look at Peter)I wouldn’t have put it quite that . . .PETERYou’re right! The common touch. Good for you!ELLA(after a moment)Bert was right.(after another moment)Like father, like son.
EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT MORNING. Ella, Patti, Peter, Bert, Raskol, Mr. and Mrs. Lodkochnikov, Sweetie, and Porky White are working feverishly but happily.
They are repainting Arcinella in tropical colors . . .It took just two days (and some more borrowed money) to get Arcinella out of her elegant clothes and into something more comfortable. This time, we didn’t work alone.ADULT PETER (V. O.)
bolting a barbecue grill to the deck . . .
erecting bright pennants on a dozen poles . . .
that say “Ella’s Lunch Launch” . . .
mounting loudspeakers . . .
In the wheelhouse Patti puts a vinyl 45 onto a record player, and plays Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” The gang applauds.
|EXT. A STREETCORNER IN BABBINGTON,
DAY. Patti hands out flyers.
Porky White had flyers printed for us . . . at his own expense.ADULT PETER (V.O., CONT’D.)
Peter on a streetcorner, handing out
EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. THE NEXT DAY. MORNING. The crew is getting ready for the first day of business. Ella is wearing shorts and a sailor’s middy blouse. Patti is wearing a bright red bathing suit that dips to the dimples above her buttocks in the back, and she looks sensational.
The moment we left the dock I knew that we were going to succeed this time.ADULT PETER (V. O., CONT’D.)
EXT. BOLOTOMY BAY. EARLY MORNING. Arcinella pulls up to a clam boat. Patti shows the clammies a chalkboard menu.
The clammies confer briefly, then order:Thanks to the common touch, the enterprise rose like a bubble on a breeze.ADULT PETER (V.O., CONT’D.)
I’ll have the clamdigger’s breakfast.CLAMMY 1Me too.CLAMMY 2Egg-on-a-roll-with-a-beer . . . twice.PATTI(short-order style)
EXT. THAT AFTERNOON. The bay is much more crowded now. The clamdiggers are gone, but there are many pleasure boats. Ella is busy at the grill, and Patti is handing out hot dogs, hamburgers, and, of course, beer, lots of beer.
Everybody laughs, but Ella really isn’t amused.Every morning we catered to the clammies, and every afternoon we catered to the vacationers.ADULT PETER (V. O.)Got any champagne?WITTY VACATIONERNope. Sorry. Plenty of beer.PATTI(going along with the gag)Those funny little sandwiches?WITTY VACATIONERNot this trip.ELLA(abruptly)
For a while, it seemed that we could do no wrong . . . but even a bubble rising on a breeze has its ups and downs.ADULT PETER (V. O.)
EXT. BOLOTOMY BAY. ANOTHER DAY. The bay is calm. Our crew is chugging happily along. Little by little, they are enveloped by fog. They can’t see anything but whiteness. It turns them into children, laughing and giggling . . .
MUSIC UP: “When You Dance,” by the Turbans, from 1955.Hello-o-o out there.ELLA(calling into the fog)Where arrrrre you?PATTII can’t seeee you.PETERIt’s so strange . . . and wonderful.ELLAIt’s like being inside cotton candy.PATTIHowever . . . we are in some danger of being run down by a bigger boat.PETERWe don’t have a fog horn!ELLAMy fault. I should have . . .PETER(guiltily)We don’t need one!PATTI(turning the music up)
Patti, Peter, and Ella dance on the deck in the fog . . .
Gradually, the fog lifts.
There isn’t a boat in sight.
They go on dancing.
THIRTY SECONDS OF
"WHEN YOU DANCE"
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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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