|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 27: Oh, Buster (in which Patti postulates a longing)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|INT. DUDLEY BEAKERíS LIVING ROOM.
Peter (as Dudley) is sitting in Dudleyís chair. Patti (as Ella) is sitting
on his lap. Heís fondling her like a dirty old man.
But, my dear, there is no inherent meaning to life at all. We poor creatures insist on trying to add meaning to it, like chocolate sauce on a quite meaningless scoop of vanilla ice cream.PETER (AS DUDLEY)Thereís something wrong with this.PATTI (AS ELLA)(squirming, stopping him)Scruples, my little darling?PETER (AS DUDLEY)(nuzzling her neck)I can imagine it .†.†. but .†.†.PATTI (HERSELF)What?PETER (HIMSELF)Iím not having any fun.PATTIOh.PETER(crushed)I mean, Ellaís not.PATTI(giving him a squeeze)Oh!PETER(relieved)Hereís what I think. I think she might have let Dudley snuggle her a bit .†.†. might have let him feel her up .†.†. and there might have been some kissing .†.†. and romantic words .†.†. a lot of romantic words, since it is very hard to shut Dudley up .†.†. but I think thatís as far as it went .†.†. because she stopped enjoying it.PATTIShe didnít enjoy it long enough to conceive me?PETERI think .†.†. that .†.†. if she did get into something with Dudley .†.†. it was because she was missing somebody else.PATTIWhat?PETERShe was longing for someone else, and she took some consolation from Dudley.PATTISomeone else? Whoís on your list?PETERYour uncle.PATTIMy uncle?PETERYour fatherís brother .†.†. Buster.PATTIBut he was killed in the war.PETERHe was smart, funny, charming .†.†. and very good-looking. Iíve read the letters he wrote to your grandparents after he joined the navy. I think you would have liked him. I think I would have liked him. And from talking with your grandmother I got the impression that Ella liked him very much.PATTIBut he died long before I was born.PETERLetís suppose that the war is over.PATTI(covering his eyes)
DISSOLVE TO:INT. THE MALT SHOP. 1944. Ella waits nervously. Bert comes through the door in his uniform. The rest of the action follows as Patti describes it.)
Buster has not come home. But Bert has. Your mother is despondent over the loss of Buster, and she realizes how much she loved him.PATTI (CONTíD., V. O.)Yeah.PETER (V. O.)But Bert is home.PATTI (V. O.)Right.PETER (V. O.)She and Bert meet. Theyíre awkward. Bert feels guilty about surviving .†.†.PATTI (V. O.)Mm.PETER (V. O.)And then it happens.PATTI (V. O.)What?PETER (V. O.)I donít know .†.†. a shrug .†.†. a laugh, something that makes Ella see how much of Buster there is in Bert.PATTI (V. O.)Oh. Iím beginning to see .†.†.PETER (V. O.)
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY BEAKERíS LIVING ROOM. 1957.
She looks deep into his eyes.Iíll be Ella. You be Bert.PATTIAw, no .†.†. not that.PETERCome on. Itís an experiment, remember?PATTIOkay.PETER(with no enthusiasm)Oh, how I missed you, how I missed you.PATTI (AS ELLA)(whispering)
She begins proving that she means it.Iím so happy to have you here with me.PATTI (AS ELLA, CONTíD.)
What followed was bliss. She threw herself into the experiment with a passion that I hadnít seen before. I was delighted to accept everything she gave me, and it never bothered me once that she kept murmuring .†.†.ADULT PETER (V. O.)Oh, Buster, Buster.PATTI (AS ELLA)
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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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