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.