The Elephant In The Room

INT. COFFEE SHOP - MIDDAY                                        
                                                                           
          A man, DAVE, is sitting at a small table while gazing into a     
          half empty cup of black coffee. He is haggard, and clearly       
          looks like he could use a decent night’s rest. STEPHEN walks     
          in, in a decidedly chipper mood. He notices DAVE and sits        
          down in front of him.                                            
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Hey, Dave. It’s been a while!                          
                    What’s up?                                             
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Hey Stephen, how’re you?                               
                                                                           
          A WAITRESS wanders by, STEPHEN grabs her attention.              
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Coffee with milk and two sugars                        
                    please. Thanks. (turns back to                         
                    DAVE) I’m good. Y’know, same old                       
                    stuff. Nothing to report.                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE (TIRED)                                 
                    Ah, great. That’s great.                               
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    You, on the other hand, look like a                    
                    sack of shit. No offense.                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Thanks.                                                
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    What’s the matter?                                     
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Well, it’s my pet elephant.                            
                                                                           
          The WAITRESS brings STEPHEN’s coffee. A beat passes.             
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    ...I’m sorry?                                          
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    My pet elephant.                                       
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    You have a pet...elephant. In a New                    
                    York Apartment...                               
                              DAVE (ANGRY)                                 
                    Yeah, I do, okay?! What’s your                         
                    problem?!                                              
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN (DEFENSIVE, BACKTRACKING)            
                    Nothing! Nothing! It’s just                            
                    not...something you hear every day.                    
                                                                           
                              DAVE (CALMING DOWN)                          
                    Sorry, sorry. I guess it IS kind of                    
                    odd. Sorry for lashing out. I’ve                       
                    just been on edge for the past few                     
                    weeks, on the count of the                             
                    elephant.                                              
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN (TENTATIVELY REPEATING)              
                    Of course...on the count of the                        
                    elephant.                                              
                                                                           
          Another beat passes. STEPHEN sips his coffee.                    
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Okay. I’ll bite. What’s the deal                       
                    with the elephant? Why’s it in your                    
                    apartment?                                             
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Well, he’s on the younger side, so                     
                    he’s not completely unmanageable.                      
                    And he’s been potty trained pretty                     
                    well, too. He’s a really fun pet.                      
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Then what’s the problem?                               
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    He’s been snitching on me.                             
                                                                           
          STEPHEN does a double take, incredulous.                         
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    It’s my fault, really. I’m the one                     
                    who taught him how to play                             
                    pictionary.                                            
                                                                           
          Another beat passes.                                             
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN (DEADPAN)                            
                    You’re really stretching your                          
                    credibility here.
                              DAVE (GETTING UP ANGRILY)                    
                    Listen, I’ve had a shit week, and                      
                    if you don’t care about this, I                        
                    don’t have to stay here-                               
                                                                           
          DAVE grabs his jacket to go. People are starting to stare.       
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Okay, okay. Settle down. It’s                          
                    alright. What happened with the                        
                    pictionary?                                            
                                                                           
          DAVE takes his jacket back off and puts it on his chair. He      
          sits back down and takes a deep breath before continuing.        
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Well, I thought that teaching him                      
                    pictionary would be kinda fun. Like                    
                    for a lark. I mean, who ever heard                     
                    of an elephant playing pictionary,                     
                    right?                                                 
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN (SARCASTIC)                          
                    Who indeed?                                            
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Yeah. It was great for a few                           
                    parties, but then things                               
                    got...weird. Norman started drawing                    
                    things every day.                                      
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Norman?                                                
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    That’s the name of the elephant.                       
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Naturally.                                             
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    So Norman started off drawing                          
                    normal things, pictionary things.                      
                    Like Wolves, Space Ships, the JFK                      
                    assassination. Stuff like that. But                    
                    eventually...he moves on to drawing                    
                    pictures of me. And he’s gotten                        
                    pretty good at photorealism. So                        
                    there’s no doubt that it’s me.                         
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    What’s so bad about that? You’ve                       
                    got a talented elephant.
                              DAVE                                         
                    Yeah, but they’re pictures of stuff                    
                    I don’t need other people seeing.                      
                    Me taking a shower, me peeing...me                     
                    pooping. (pause) To be fair,                           
                    they’re pretty good. He’s got all                      
                    my expressions down pat.                               
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Why’s he always in the bathroom                        
                    with you?                                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    He’s not. He’s only been in there                      
                    with me once.                                          
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Then how does he get all the                           
                    details right?                                         
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    He’s a keen observer, and, of                          
                    course, elephants never forget.                        
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    That...makes sense.                                    
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    That’s not the worst part, though.                     
                    It’d be fine if he were just                           
                    drawing these for fun. I could get                     
                    rid of them on my own time. But                        
                    just last week, my parents were                        
                    over and Norman comes trotting in                      
                    with a new drawing in his trunk.                       
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN (INTERESTED)                         
                    ...what was it?                                        
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    It was of me...uh...touching                           
                    myself.                                                
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Oh. (beat) Well, if it makes you                       
                    feel any better, I’m sure your                         
                    parents didn’t need an elephant to                     
                    tell them about that.                                  
                                                                           
          The nearby WAITRESS stops and cocks her head at the phrase.
                              STEPHEN (TO WAITRESS)                        
                    You had to be there.                                   
                                                                           
          The WAITRESS shrugs and keeps walking.                           
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    After my parents left, though,                         
                    Norman kept staring at me with this                    
                    smug, shit-eating grin on his face.                    
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Are-can elephants be that                              
                    expressive?                                            
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure                      
                    that vindictive little shit has it                     
                    in for me. He’s also been showing                      
                    the pooping pictures to whoever                        
                    decides to drop by. Apparently, my                     
                    landlord is a fan.                                     
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    I’d like to see one of those,                          
                    actually.                                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Don’t take his side! This isn’t a                      
                    joke! Help me out here, Stephen!                       
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Why don’t you just get rid of him?                     
                    Take him back from where you got                       
                    him? Y’know...like the                                 
                    elephant...ranch...or something.                       
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Do you know how hard it is to                          
                    transport an animal that size? Have                    
                    you even considered how I’d fit him                    
                    in a crowded subway?                                   
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    No. I don’t know how you’d fit                         
                    Norman on a subway.                                    
                                                                           
          A large grin slowly spreads across DAVE’s face.                  
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Well, you just take the "s" out of                     
                    sub and the "f" out of way.                            
                                                                           
          A beat passes and the gears start to turn in STEPHEN’s head.
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    There’s no "f" in way. (beat) You                      
                    dick! Was that was what this was                       
                    all about? A stupid joke?! I                           
                    TRUSTED YOU. This has been a                           
                    colossal waste of my time!                             
                                                                           
          STEPHEN gets up and grabs his coat.                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    No, wait! I just couldn’t resist!                      
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    Fuck you! This is why we don’t talk                    
                    any-                                                   
                                                                           
          STEPHEN is interrupted by the slamming of the coffee shop        
          door. A girl, STACY, storms in up to DAVE.                       
                                                                           
                              STACY                                        
                    DAVE! You son of a bitch!                              
                                                                           
                              DAVE                                         
                    Oh, hey baby, what’s up?                               
                                                                           
                              STACY                                        
                    What the fuck is this?                                 
                                                                           
          STACY brandishes a piece of paper. On it we see a very           
          artfully done picture of DAVE having sex with a girl who is      
          not STACY. The photorealism of the sketch makes this clear.      
          In the background, the edge of an elephant shaped silhouette     
          is seen peeking through the doorway.                             
                                                                           
                              STEPHEN                                      
                    That’s it, I’m outta here.                             
                                                                           
          STEPHEN tosses his money on the table and starts to dash         
          out.                                                             
                                                                           
          END.
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