|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 30: The End (in which Arcinella sinks and Patti sings)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|EXT. NIGHT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. Peter
is bailing Arcinella with the jet pump, just as Captain Mac did.
He leaves the water above the planks, coils his hoses over his arm, and pitches the jet pump into the bay.For ten more nights I pumped Arcinella, bailing her out, keeping her afloat, but I did what Captain Mac had done, leaving more water in her bilge each night, and on the tenth night . . .ADULT PETER (V. O.)
. . . I said goodbye and walked away.ADULT PETER (CONT’D., V. O.)
INT. ARCINELLA’S BILGE. EXTREME CLOSEUP. We can see the water rising, ever so slowly, but rising.
INT. BABBINGTON HIGH. A HALLWAY. BETWEEN CLASSES.
Hey . . . Captain Mac’s old boat sank. Right at the dock. I heard the guys who bought her from you aren’t even going to bother bringing her up.RASKOL(passing Peter)
INT. THE LEROY FAMILY DINING ROOM. Thanksgiving dinner is over. Peter and Ella and PETER’S GRANDMOTHER are clearing dishes from the table. Peter’s father and GRANDFATHER are getting up from the table and heading for the living room.
That was delicious. I shouldn’t have had that third piece of pie. It was the best turkey ever, wasn’t it? (etc.)ALL (AD LIB)
INT. THE LEROY KITCHEN. AN HOUR OR SO LATER. Peter and Ella are finishing the dishes.
I’d like to see her.ELLA
EXT. PATTI’S HOUSE. Ella and Peter arrive. Patti runs to the car and gets in. The three of them drive off.
EXT. ARCINELLA’S SLIP. They walk to the edge of the bulkhead, where they look down through the murky water at Arcinella’s graceful shape and muted pastels.
Ella puts her arm across Peter’s shoulders and gives him a squeeze. She sighs and smiles and shakes her head.With a few dozen inner tubes and an air hose we could probably raise her.PETER(mostly to himself)
The three of them burst into adolescent laughter.She gave us quite a ride.ELLAYeah, quite a ride.PETERShe blew me up, she really did.PATTIShe was truly inflationary . . . a gasser . . . a jet pump!PETERA blow job!PATTI(impulsively)
They get into the car.Oh, I loved it all!ELLA(sobering, shivering)(heading for the car)But do you know what was the very best?The day we were lost in the fog?PATTIThe day when Dad . . .PETER(then embarrassed, shy)I don’t know. What was the best part?
INT. ELLA’S OLD CAR.
She starts the car, puts it in gear, and drives off.For me . . . it was the night Mr. Lodkochnikov sailed with us. He really enjoyed himself!ELLA
He even ate the sandwiches. . . . He ate them all!ELLA (CONT’D.)
EXT. THE ROAD BESIDE THE RIVER. We see Ella’s old car going away as, surprisingly, snow begins to fall. The car vanishes in the gently falling snow, vanishing into the past, and another car pulls into the frame from behind and stops at Arcinella’s slip, arriving from the present. Adult Peter and Albertine get out of the car, walk to the edge of the bulkhead, and look down into the water.
They get into the car and drive off, just as Ella did.I probably could have.ADULT PETER(reminiscing)What?ALBERTINERaised her with inner tubes.ADULT PETER
INT. PETER AND ALBERTINE’S CAR. With Albertine at the wheel, they begin the drive from Babbington back home to Manhattan.
They’re driving along the Long Island Expressway.Once my mother had succeeded with the lunch launch, she couldn’t fail. She’d done the trick: she’d inflated a dog. After that it was easy. She ran one little business after another, and they all did well.ADULT PETER
The sun has nearly set as they approach the city. Lights have begun to come on across the Manhattan skyline.The week my father spent on the boat changed him. He quit the garage and became her assistant, her sidekick. He admired her from then on . . . forever after.ADULT PETER (CONT’D.)
Albertine pulls into a parking garage in Manhattan.Patti considered the question about my paternity closed, so she went back to dating thugs.ADULT PETER (CONT’D.)
He takes the bags out of the trunk.About a year later, she dropped out of school. She sang in a doo-wop group that never made it, Little Patti and the Sexpots.ADULT PETER (CONT’D.)
ROLL CREDITS.She never got very far, but she still performs . . .ADULT PETER (CONT’D.)(with mischief in his eye)Want to go out tonight?
INT. THE SILVER HOUND, A LOUNGE IN MANHATTAN, THAT EVENING. Peter and Albertine make their way to a table. Patti Fiorenza, now 40-something, but still sexy, is on a small stage, finishing a number. A ripple of applause. Patti acknowledges it with a nod. Then . . .
She sings “When You Dance,” in a slow, sweet, melancholy, torchy, piano-bar style while the credits continue to roll.This is for a friend of mine.PATTI
When you dance,
THIRTY SECONDS OF
"WHEN YOU DANCE"
INFLATING A DOG SCREENPLAY | CONTENTS
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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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