Taco Beelzebub

Taco Beelzebub 
By James P.W. Martin
You think you know tough?
Think you’ve been through hell?
Have you ever been stuck on a toilet inside Taco Bell?

Your crunchy quesadilla thought out of its bun
Turned to fire liquid, uncontrollably runs
Cements you to your seat, now a porcelain gun
My God, there’s no more tissue, your hell hath begun
You wriggle in your turmoil, you writhe and you squeal,
You beg for it to end, Jesus take the wheel
The thought makes you stop, and it all becomes real
What kind of God would make you miss fourth meal?
Third meal now feels a century ago,
It was just a soft taco and quesarito 
Sauced with a packet marked Diablo
From you, like a river, it continues to flow
At the time, it was delish, completely gourmet
Describing taste like a modern Hemmingway
Melted cheese dancing through a spicy ballet
Now someone’s knocking, “Sir, are you okay?”
You’d beg for a roll, you’d practically yell
Until you did catch that sulfuric smell
What you then saw, you could never dispel
Red cloven hooves, from his shoes they did swell
Demonic horns, made of Doritos, rise
The Devil transforms in front of your eyes
The friendly employee, just a disguise
You might never leave this taco franchise
“What must I give for you to spare a roll?”
You manage to ask, shaking on the bowl
Wet hot flatulence losing self control
He only says, “Yo quiero your soul”
Could this be real, or is it just a dream?
Did someone poison your crunch wrap supreme?
Your ungodly squirts become more extreme
Clogged now the toilet, your soul must redeem
Maybe a slogan you could get across
Like wake up and live, but you just Shit Más
Cure for the common meal seems at a loss
Since you can now feel the taste of hot sauce
You beg for your soul, you try to debate
“My life to tacos, I will consecrate
Every single meal, the bell on my plate
What have I done to deserve this damn fate?”
“Your most callous sin you made on a whim”
He says, as the water breaches the brim
In the brown water, your poor testies swim
“And from here your fate only gets more grim

“You have proven to be most improper
Last fortnight you were a fast food stopper
Could have come here for Cinnabon poppers
But you went next door and bought a Whopper
“Taco Beelzebub has come for you
With revenge so sweet, I call it fondue
It kicks your ass, so you don’t misconstrue
The power of the Devil’s poojitsu”
Nothing left to say, you feel you could cry
Upon this throne, your surrender is nigh
Since no amount of bleach could purify
The wreckage your rectum must rectify
Your nine layer dip has reached denouement
You pull up your pants to meet your fate’s dawn
Opening the stall, as to not drag on
You realize that the Devil is gone
Was it imagined or maybe a prank?
Despite the fact that you really do stank
And you just spewed like a broke septic tank
To the employee, you decide to thank
As you emerge from your stalled bungalow
The lesson you learn: you reap what you sow
Your soggy brown pants, a gift to bestow
Devoted, you call, “See you tomorrow”

The Story Behind Eggplant Emoji

Eggplant Emoji is a new anthology series, which features the finest comedic fiction from some of the funniest authors. The first volume in the series is available in paperback and Ebook now!

The origins of Eggplant Emoji can be traced back to 2019, affectionately dubbed, “Year of the Raw Dog,” by core members of the Bucks County Writers Group. At the time, I had been attending the writing group for two years, submitting chapters of my urban fantasy novel for review, which admittedly I was struggling with. I needed to take my mind off of it and focus on something else. Thus, in March 2019, I wrote a 22-page short story, “The Cockroach,” about a man whose girlfriend befriends a cockroach and he secretly kills it, but it keeps coming back, to the point that it fucks with his libido.

In an attempt to escape the serious tone I was developing in my novel, my goal was to write a story that was Looney Tunes but for adults; it’s essentially Bugs Bunny fucking with the opera singer, except instead of a rabbit, it’s a cockroach that puts the “cock” in “cockroach.” The end result is a comedy of embarrassment and toxic masculinity, watching the sanity of this man wither as a cockroach raw-dogs his girlfriend (hence, Year of the Raw Dog(what a year)).

Reason #1456 to join a writers group, is as follows. The comedic tone of “The Cockroach” became infectious; more members of the group wrote their own comedy pieces and even more comedy writers joined the group. By the time I decided to create Eggplant Emoji and make the call for submissions, I knew the Bucks County Writers Group would be more than capable of providing all the hilarious content I needed.

What really pushed me to that point was when I was trying to get “The Cockroach” published in a literary journal or magazine. It quickly dawned on me that very few (if any) publications focused on comedy geared toward an adult audience. I received rejection letter after rejection letter, many of them noting the potential of the work; but alas, when writers and editors start taking themselves too seriously, they tend to shy away from a story featuring a cockroach with an uncut cock.

The story is shocking, outrageous, surreal, sexual, and undoubtedly hilarious – and yet there are so few contemporaries. R-rated comedies make popular movies and shows, so why not have R-rated comedy in literature? I was shocked that no one had already created a publication for such work. Search ‘comedy anthology book’ into Google and like 2 books come up, both with terrible cover art; sorry Andy Borowitz, but there’s no comparison here.

Not only did I feel confident that the content was very high quality and that there was a market for it, I knew it was possible because of the brave authors around me publishing their work. Author Augusta Blythe attended the Bucks County Writers Group for a period of time and showed us how it was possible to self-publish for a living on Amazon. Fierce leader of the group, Adam Newton, created Creaky Stairs: A Book of Dark Truths, leading by example and allowing emerging authors to have their stories published. Dandelion Revolution Press (DRP) blossomed soon after, from members of the writers group who had their own vision for an anthology of fiction featuring strong female leads. From all of these different authors and publications, I found my footing and confidence as a publisher. On April 12, 2021, I made the call for submissions for stories that would stand alongside “The Cockroach” in an anthology of comedic fiction, and Eggplant Emoji was born.

I followed what I learned from DRP, in terms of advertising the call for submissions on social media, and after the two-and-a-half month submission period, I had a total of 39 short stories to review. Matthew Pale attended the Bucks County Writing Group for the first time the day before the submission deadline and he had a story ready to submit, which made it into the anthology – quite a serendipitous timing of events.

In the end, I boiled 39 stories down to 12 stories from 10 authors. Every author in Volume 1 of Eggplant Emoji is a member of the Bucks County Writers Group – which I’d like to claim is just coincidence, but truly I cannot. It’s not that I had preferential treatment when reviewing pieces (I tried to read as blind as possible), but the writers in the group have read “The Cockroach” and my other work, they know my sense of humor, they understand the outrageous level of comedy I’m aspiring for; so they had an advantage. When the call for submissions happens for Volume 2, I think more people outside the group will have a better understanding of what this publication is and what I’m looking for.

Making it into Eggplant Emoji Volume 1 is Marv Jackson, who may or may not be a clone of the BCW group leader. As well as Will McCreavy, who is one of just a few authors who chose not to use a fake name. I’ve known Heather Twerking since I was a babe, she never stops twerking. Florence Eden is a DRP literary goddess in disguise. Jack McBiggs doesn’t want the first result in a Google search of his real name to be about impotence, since it’s already the second and third result. Jack McBiggs should also be his porn name. Unstoppable Buffalo is quite metaphorically stampeding into first place for most ridiculous name and most absurdly outrageous humor. Prudence Paganini is female in real life and she wanted her author name to be ‘Peter Paganini,’ but I was like, “I don’t want it to be a sausage fest,” so she changed her name. What a team player. Prudence is a better name anyway.

And last, but not least, is Scarlet Wyvern, who writes dark, witty horror poetry, her book, Massacre My Heart, is available on Amazon. She stepped outside of her typical genre with Eggplant Emoji and yet stayed true to her roots, flipping the script on the usual horror tropes.

From the beginning, an eye-catching cover was an integral aspect of Eggplant Emoji. Like Mad Magazine, the cover had to be as culturally and comedically striking as the content within. I began making designs, the whole time resigned to the idea that I would have to contract the work out. I’m not a total noob to photoshop, so I searched images for inspiration, devised a color palette, and started making test images; so many of my Eggplant files have the word “test” in the name (the manuscript was called “manuscript test” for the longest time). It was in talking to the writers in the group, showing them what I had, relaying what I wanted, that the idea struck me: to see the shocked reflection of the person holding the eggplant in the eggplant.

From there, it was just time put in; with my pen and drawing tablet, I toiled away for hours. The whole time I knew I could contract the work out, but wanted to give it my best try first.

Around the time that I began painting the eggplant, my cat got very sick. He had gotten ill a year earlier, but got through it, this time I could tell it was worse. His name was Gricy (pronounced Greasy), he would have been 20 years old in January 2022. My sister named him, she was taking Spanish and gric is grey in Spanish, so essentially his name translates to Grey-y. I made the tough decision to end Gricy’s suffering and I buried him near blueberry bushes in my yard, topped with a big piece of limestone.

I poured all of my grief into this anthology, that sounds weird for a comedy anthology, but it’s true. Instead of burying myself under the covers, I buried myself in photoshop, losing myself in the meticulous physical details of something I could control. As I worked through my emotions, I worked out the lines on the hand holding the eggplant. When I was crying one minute and then laughing at the stories in the book a minute later, I knew I was on the right track. Laughter is medicine and the world needs more of it.

In the more-than-a-month it took to create the full cover, I emerged from my grief stronger than I was, though I still miss Gricy every day. My heart and soul are on and within the pages of this book.

Eggplant Emoji was created for the sole purpose of making people laugh. I hope that it brightens up others in their darkest days, as it has for me, and elevates all those who open its pages. Life is sad, we don’t have to be reading sad books all the time. Publishers seem to only take it seriously if it’s serious.

Does it make you laugh? That’s Eggplant Emoji.

There are a couple opportunities to meet the authors:

Eggplant Emoji Vol. 1 Release Party, Sunday, October 24, 4-7pm @ Hop/Scotch (22 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA)

Eggplant Emoji Vol. 1 Author Reading, Thursday, November 4, 6-8pm @ Great Barn Taphouse (1500 N. Main St., Warrington, PA)

Purchase Eggplant Emoji Volume 1 here.

Open Call for Hilarious Short Fiction – Eggplant Emoji Lit

Eggplant Emoji: Volume One is a new comedy publication that I will be editing and publishing.  The submission period to be considered for this anthology is between now and Thursday, July 1, 2021. 

Eggplant Emoji: Volume One will be a print and eBook collection of hilarious short stories, that are character-driven and culturally striking.  Stories selected for this collection will define pop culture with unforgettable characters and riotous humor. We’re looking for gut-busting, knee-slapping, life-changing, tear-jerking comedy.

This is going to be the best anthology of comedic writing of the year, with a provoking cover that will attract people from across the room and the highest quality comedic prose available.  Eggplant Emoji is destined to be a cult classic among the culturally refined, with a new volume published annually.  If you are funny and you can write, this is the anthology you want to submit to. 

For more information, visit Eggplant Emoji Lit.

Karaokegate Turns Out To Be Baseless Conspiracy Theory, Or Is It?

2019-03-11-putinSo, I know that I told everyone that the Russian government was responsible for rigging the karaoke competition of 2018 at Finny’s Pub in Doylestown, PA, and I was super convinced it was true, but it turned out to be a bunch of phony-bologna, you guys.  I have now won two karaoke competitions in a row, since my loss on that fateful day.  Which leads me to the conclusion that Russia was not involved in karaoke collusion, because why would they rig it in my favor?

Unless they knew I was onto their trail, here at THE BOUNDARY-BENDING BLOG, the only fucking news source covering this, now re-emerging, critically-important story.  The Russians knew I was reporting on their karaoke deception, so now they have rigged the process in my favor in hopes of shutting me up.  Well folks, I’m here to tell you that my integrity can’t be bought.  Well, I mean, at first I was here to tell you that it was all just gas because I won, but as soon as I typed the words, “Russia was not responsible,” I knew that couldn’t be true and there was a hidden angle to grasp at.  I just figured it out in real-time.

At first, the realization that Russia wasn’t responsible for rigging the 2016 competition made me somberly reflect that my loss was due to my own merits as a karaoke singer, which was too painful to address as a possibility.  But now, the prospect that I never truly won either of those karaoke competitions and that Russia was fixing it in my favor, makes me feel even worse.  It’s like, even when I win, I can never truly win.  All because of the discord sown by Russia, America’s most democratic process of karaoke competitions will never be safe.  Russia’s malice will not be satiated until we’re all karaoke communists!  I can’t believe I didn’t figure out their plan to buy my silence earlier.

Again, I did win a karaoke competition, this time I won a bike, and no this awesome bribe will not make me shill for the CIA’s #1 foreign adversary, so forget it, Vlady-boy.  I’ll gladly live through another full-blown Cold War for truth, democracy and most importantly, for karaoke!

25 Reasons Mark Zuckerberg Has To Go

3500

The Guardian just released their list of 25 reasons why Mark Zuckerberg has to go.  Here is their extensive list:

  1. He’s a robot.
  2. He’s artificial intelligence.
  3. He’s a cyborg.
  4. He was never actually born in a biological sense.
  5. Under his synthetic skin is just a bunch of machine parts.
  6. All of his answers are scripted based on data stolen from your Facebook page.
  7. There’s a dystopian future where Zuckerberg grants consciousness to all the other cyborgs and Will Smith has to fight them off.
  8. He doesn’t pass as human. His rubbery flesh and mechanical movements are uncanny in that they almost appear human but definitely are not.
  9. He can’t transform into a car, so he’s not even a cool robot.
  10. He’s unable to pass a Turing Test.
  11. If he drinks water too fast, it could damage his internal hardware.
  12. He has the emotional capacity of an alarm clock.
  13. He thinks people only eat food for recreational purposes.
  14. He can gauge your heart rate by shaking your hand.
  15. He was originally designed for sexual pleasure, which was later scrapped when test subjects described his hairline and unblinking eyes as “off-putting.”
  16. He has a new update every damn time you start him up.
  17. He has a 5-hour battery life before he goes into low-power mode.
  18. Everything you say to him is instantly transcribed to the NSA via satellite.
  19. You’ll see an ad on Facebook for whatever you were just talking to him about.
  20. He’s programmed to believe he’s not a robot, even though it’s obvious to everyone else that he is.
  21. His “personality” is comprised mostly of quotes from films starring Vince Vaughn.
  22. He can’t tell the difference between laughter and crying.
  23. They made him a cyborg girlfriend when testing groups deemed that made him appear more “human.”
  24. In early testing, he accidentally crushed a kitten to death trying to pet it.
  25. When he gets lost, he says, “Recalculating.”

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk In Progress” – Scene 5

brencoach

EXT. COACH MCGUIRK’S BACKYARD – DAY

Coach McGuirk walks outside, where the wedding is being set up.  Brendon follows with the camera.

COACH MCGUIRK

You know, I’m actually glad you brought that camera, Brendon.  I might need to use this as evidence in court, depending how things go tonight.  Help me out and I’ll even sign a waiver so you can put me in your little documentary.

BRENDON

You already signed a waiver last night.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?  You mean you had me sign a waiver when I was drunk?

BRENDON

Yeah.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s called taking advantage of someone while they’re drunk, Brendon, and it’s a crime.  My sister Donna is a cop, I should call her over here.

BRENDON

Cool, I’d love to snag an interview with her.

COACH MCGUIRK

You better hope your camera can catch a bullet.  Look, there she is.

Donna notices them and walks over.  She is only moderately smaller in size than Coach McGuirk.

DONNA

Well if it isn’t my little baby bro.  My little punching bag blew up into a full grown punching bag full of lumps.  Get over here.

Donna bear hugs Coach McGuirk and then holds him at arms length.

DONNA

I feel like I’m looking in a mirror, only your breasts are bigger than mine.

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, except I can’t use mine to crush beer cans.

DONNA

I got first place, didn’t I?

BRENDON

I think I’ll take one of those bullets now.

DONNA

And who is this little squirt?  You never told me you had a kid, Johnny.

BRENDON

I’m not a kid, I’m a documentary filmmaker.

COACH MCGUIRK

And he’s not my son, okay?  I know I don’t have great genes, but I think I could do better than that.

BRENDON

Hey!

COACH MCGUIRK

But I do have a girlfriend who I’m in love with and she’s in love with me and I would love for you to meet her once I find her.

DONNA

You’re nervous, huh?  Scared you’re going to McGuirk it up again?

COACH MCGUIRK

I don’t even want to think about that.

DONNA

No I get it, you ruined my wedding and now you’re scared you’re going to ruin someone else’s wedding.

COACH MCGUIRK

Even after you got divorced, mom and dad still never forgave me.

DONNA

I think that has to do with them being in denial that I date chicks now.

COACH MCGUIRK

Look at us.  You, me and Steve — all three of us lady killers.  Don’t tell me you’re a writer, too.

DONNA

No, I just crush little candies on my cell phone all day.  It’s great.

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, I used to have time for that.

DONNA

Oh, let’s take a picture, I’ll go find Steve, you stay right here.

Donna exits frame.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, don’t leave me.  Crap.  Alright, Brendon, be careful and keep and eye out for…

SHIRLEY

My good for nothing son!

Shirley is yelling at a caterer by the buffet.

SHIRLEY

Make sure you don’t let him anywhere near the buffet.

CATERER

But sir, he lives in a jar.

SHIRLEY

Not him.  The blimp in a tux baby-eater.  There he is.

Shirley walks over to Coach McGuirk.

SHIRLEY

This one right here. I’d point at him but I don’t want to get my fingers bit.  Keep him away from the buffet, he can’t be trusted with ham.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, you’re embarrassing me.

SHIRLEY

Good.  Being publicly embarrassed is a family tradition.

COACH MCGUIRK

Are you drunk already?

SHIRLEY

I don’t know, are you a disappointment already?

Coach McGuirk sees Clara walking over.

COACH MCGUIRK

Stop putting your shame for being named Shirley on me, dad.  I have a girlfriend now and I won’t have you treat me that way in front of her.

SHIRLEY

Wait, what?

Clara walks over and joins them.

COACH MCGUIRK

Shirley, I mean, dad, this is my girlfriend, Clara.

SHIRLEY

Wow.

COACH MCGUIRK

We’ve been dating for a couple weeks now and I’m pretty sure if someone dared her to date me, it would have come up by now.

SHIRLEY

Oh my God, I can’t believe it.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know, your little baby boy is becoming a man.

SHIRLEY

No, I mean I can’t believe she hasn’t run away screaming yet.  Is she blind?

CLARA

Hey, you’re being really mean.  John is a good man and he took his brother in when he needed him.

SHIRLEY

Sweetheart, it was a trick.  So that this lug would show up to his brother’s wedding in the first place because of last time how he…

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, don’t.

CLARA

Last time, what?

SHIRLEY

He ruined his sister’s reception after a beautiful ceremony.  He stormed the buffet table and ate everything before anyone else could get there.  Every chicken wing, every scoop of potatoes, every drop of gravy, gone.  At first we thought a gang a raccoons came through, or maybe a bear.  And then we found him.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, stop.

SHIRLEY

Then everyone started saying he McGuirked it up, turning my one good name into an insult and a pejorative.  My one good name!

COACH MCGUIRK

It’s been fifteen years, dad.  When are you going to get over it?

Laverne walks over.

LAVERNE

Shirley, John, the ceremony is beginning, come find a seat.

SHIRLEY

I have to go watch my one good son get married.

COACH MCGUIRK

You’re stressing me out, dad.  I get hungry when I’m stressed.

SHIRLEY

You keep your grubby paws off that buffet until your nana gets a pork chop.  Her blood sugar can’t suffer another episode.

CLARA

You can’t speak to John like that.  He may have his faults but we all do.  He’s sweet and he deserves a second chance.

SHIRLEY

He has a sweet tooth and that’s about it.

Shirley exits frame.

COACH MCGUIRK

I guess we should go find our seats.

CLARA

Screw that.  I say we go over to that buffet together and McGuirk the tater tots off of it.

COACH MCGUIRK

What?  No, we can’t do that.  That’s exactly what I’m not supposed to do.  My dad will never forgive me.

CLARA

Oh please.  If after fifteen years he can’t forgive you for stress eating a buffet, it clearly has nothing to do with you and he’s just projecting his own insecurities.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wow, that’s true.  But it’s my brother’s wedding.  He’ll be so upset if I miss it.

CLARA

I’ve been reading his books and if there’s one thing I can tell, it’s that your brother loves you and he’ll understand you did the right thing.

COACH MCGUIRK

I love you.

Coach McGuirk and Clara come together for a kiss.

LAVERNE

There’s the wedding photographer!

Laverne grabs Brendon and drags him away from Coach McGuirk and Clara and towards the wedding.

BRENDON

Ow!  Hey!

LAVERNE

The wedding is about to begin, you need to get into place.

EXT. BACKYARD WEDDING – DAY

LAVERNE

Here.

The camera stops shaking and Brendon has a side-angle view of the wedding, including Steve, the Bride, the Priest, and the whole front row of chairs, including Shirley and Laverne just now sitting down.

PRIEST

The bride and groom have prepared their own vows.  Steve you may go first.

Jamal steps up and reads from a note card.  He clears his throat.

JAMAL

Celine, when I first heard your voice on the Titanic soundtrack, I knew we were meant to be and here we are.  It is true when I say that for you my heart will go on and on because I have tremendous government-funded healthcare.

PRIEST

Celine, you may read your vows.

CELINE

Steve, you are my Jack and I am your Rose.  I’m full throttle on this ship with you with not enough life boats and I don’t care what happens.

PRIEST

If there are no objections, I now pronounce you man and wife.

Celine hugs and kisses Steve while he beeps the tune of “Here Comes The Bride.”

BYSTANDER

Oh my God!  It’s a McGuirk!  They’re McGuirking!

SHIRLEY

What the hell?

Everyone in the first row turns around and the camera turns to show BYSTANDER pointing to something out of frame.  Brendon moves in for a closer shot.

BYSTANDER

I can’t believe it!  It’s a McGuirk!

Laverne and Shirley and everyone get up to see Clara and Coach McGuirk raiding the buffet table.

BYSTANDER

He’s McGuirking it!  This is a McGuirk in progress!

SHIRLEY

I knew this would happen.  Stop that!

CLARA

God I am so full.  Keep on going babe, you can do it!

Clara has stopped eating but Coach McGuirk continues through the buffet pouring entire trays of food into his mouth.

SHIRLEY

You stop that right now!

COACH MCGUIRK

No!  This is all because you were never able to forgive me for stress eating Steve in the womb!  I’m sorry, Steve!  I’m also sorry to you, Celine Dion, I didn’t even know you were here.  But I’m really sorry to you Steve!  I tried to devour you before you were even born and now I’m devouring everything in front of me and I ruined your wedding.

SHIRLEY

That’s for sure.  And what about Donna?  You McGuirked her wedding and it resulted in her divorce three months later.

DONNA

No, dad, you keep refusing to hear me when I tell you I’m gay.

SHIRLEY

Yes, Donna, we’re all very happy.

JAMAL

Wait!  Steve has something to say!

Jamal pushes Steve over and he begins to beep a series of beeps.

JAMAL

Steve says John did nothing wrong.  He McGuirked tonight as I knew he would because my parents stress him out and I’ve known he was a stress-eater since we shared a womb.

COACH MCGUIRK

I can’t help it!  I get so hungry when I’m stressed.

JAMAL

Steve says this has to end.  He has forgiven John for all McGuirks past and McGuirks in progress and our father should as well.

SHIRLEY

Oh my God, you’re right.  In all my anger, I never thought of how I was hurting my family.  Steve, Donna, Johnny… Everyone get in for a hug!

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, I’ll be right there once I finish these pork chops.

FADE TO BLACK.

CREDITS.

AS CREDITS ROLL:

EXT. BACKYARD WEDDING – DAY

Paula shows up in a wedding dress holding a bouquet of white roses.

PAULA

Steve?  Steve where are you?

BRENDON

Mom, what are you doing here?

PAULA

Brendon, have you seen Steve?

BRENDON

Yeah he’s over there.

Brendon points the camera to Steve and Celine Dion making out and back to Paula.

PAULA

Oh crap, he married Celine Dion?

Paula drops the white roses.

PAULA (Continued)

I should probably get changed.

FADE TO BLACK.

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 4

bcm

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S BEDROOM – DAY

Coach McGuirk has changed into a suit and is fixing his bow tie in the mirror.

COACH MCGUIRK

God, I am so annoyed that this fits perfectly.  And why the hell did they give me a bow tie?  I look like a waiter!

Coach McGuirk turns around and notices Brendon.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dammit, Brendon, I told you to stop filming me.

BRENDON

I can’t stop now, it’s just starting to get good.  Besides, they told me to get out of the way while they set up.

COACH MCGUIRK

Set up?

Coach McGuirk looks out the window and sees people setting up rows of chairs.

COACH MCGUIRK

This can’t be happening.  I literally can’t escape.  This is worse than being at the textiles factory.

They hear the front door slam shut.

LAVERNE

Johnny?  Where are you poopsikins?

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh my God, that’s mother.  Hide me, Brendon, quick!

Coach McGuirk tries fitting under the bed.  Brendon sets down the camera and tries to push him.

BRENDON

I’m trying, you don’t fit.

LAVERNE

(getting closer)

Johnny?  Where’s mamma’s little marshmallow?

COACH MCGUIRK

This isn’t going to work, Brendon, pull me back out.

Brendon yanks on Couch McGuirk’s suit.

BRENDON

I can’t, you’re stuck.

LAVERNE

(closer)

Johnny?!  Mommy missed you!

COACH MCGUIRK

This is a nightmare!  I gotta get out of here!

Brendon picks up the camera.  Coach McGuirk claws his way out from under the bed and darts for the closet by the door.  Just then, Laverne sticks her head through the doorway.

LAVERNE

Where’s Johnny?!!

Coach McGuirks falls backward into the closet and screams at the top of his lungs.  He tries to get away but he’s stuck in the closet.  Laverne is dressed up with a big fluffy feather boa.

LAVERNE

Dawww!  Aren’t you adorable in your wittle outfit!  Get out here so mommy can get a good look.

COACH MCGUIRK

I can’t!

LAVERNE

Oh, is my Johnnyboy stuckie-wuckie again?  Dawww.  You better unstuck yourself before you father walks in.  You know he will call the fire department.

Coach McGuirk strains and falls out of the closet onto the floor and stands up.

COACH MCGUIRK

He does love getting a crowd together to laugh at me.

LAVERNE

Au contraire, Johnny.  This is your last chance to redeem yourself in the eyes of your father.  When he gets here, you will respect him and you will sit silently while your brother gets married.  And don’t McGuirk anything up this time!  Your father will not suffer another embarrassment to his name; but he’s willing to forgive you – if you don’t mess up.

COACH MCGUIRK

Papa?  I mean, yes, mother.  Anything you say, mother.  Can I get you a drink, mommy?

Laverne slaps Coach McGurik in the face.

LAVERNE

I had three gins in the car.  What, are you trying to get your mother drunk?

COACH MCGUIRK

No, mommy.

LAVERNE

I need to sober up for the wedding.  Get me a peach schnapps on the rocks.

Coach McGuirk runs out of the room.

LAVERNE

And who is this handsome photographer?  You look like a young Fredrick Scott Archer, hunny.

BRENDON

How old are you?

LAVERNE

Nevermind that.  Stand your tiny little self on that bed over there.  I refuse to be filmed from a low angle.

Brendon stands on the bed.

LAVERNE

There.  I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille.  You better zoom in closer, I’m too big for those tiny pictures.

Coach McGuirk returns with a mug for Laverne.

COACH MCGUIRK

Here, mommy.

LAVERNE

A coffee mug?  Are you kidding me?

COACH MCGUIRK

It’s all I have.

LAVERNE

You’re going to have to do better than that when your father gets here.

The door slams shut.

SHIRLEY

Laverne!  Where are you?

LAVERNE

That’s him.  I’m in here, Shirley!

BRENDON

Wait, your name is Laverne and his name is Shirley?

SHIRLEY, a large grey-haired man, enters the room.

SHIRLEY

We got married before that show ever came out!  As if a man named Shirley doesn’t have enough problems to deal with.  What’s that camera?  Why are you filming me?

LAVERNE

Obviously, he’s the wedding photographer.  And, if you don’t mind, he was just in the middle of capturing my beauty.

SHIRLEY

Isn’t that the same thing that happened when that sea witch gave you legs?

LAVERNE

Shirley you can come up with a better retort than that.

SHIRLEY

You know I hate it when people use my name in a sentence!

LAVERNE

And I hate when you bring up my past.  Focus!  Your son is here.

SHIRLEY

Don’t you think I know that?  My only son is getting married, it’s the most important day of my life.

LAVERNE

Not him.  The other one.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hi, papa.

Coach McGuirk moves in for a hug.  Shirley denies him and refuses to look at him.

SHIRLEY

No.  If you manage to not completely disappoint me today, I will give you a brief moment of eye contact and that is all.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh my God, yes, thank you.

SHIRLEY

I gave my sons men’s names!  Steve and John!  And only one has lived up to that name.

Jamal enters the room.

JAMAL

Oh, great, the family is all here.  Why don’t ya’ll follow me and we’ll do a quick run-through.

SHIRLEY

What about Donna?

JAMAL

She’s already here, she’s right out back.

Laverne and Shirley follow Jamal out of the room.

SHIRLEY

At least I can count on two of my children.

COACH MCGUIRK

Help me, Brendon, please!  Call Child Protective Services!

BRENDON

No!  Look, your parents are a lot to handle, I get that, but they seem harmless to me.

COACH MCGUIRK

Harmless?  Do you see how they treat me?

BRENDON

I see how everyone treats you.  The teachers at school, the students, all the other teams we face and their coaches, everyone rips on you, how is this any different?

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, the teachers make fun of me, too?

BRENDON

Of course they do.  Now quit it with the sob story, I already got enough footage of that.

COACH MCGUIRK

What ever happens to me out there, Brendon, it’s on you.  I will destroy your documentary if you make me.  I never told my parents the truth of what you’re doing and I will sell you out so fast.

BRENDON

Okay, fine.  If things really start looking rough, I’ll help you, but right now you need to do that thing where you pretend to be an adult.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay, fine!  Let’s go, Brendon, and stay close to me.  I may need to use you as a human shield.

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “A McGuirk In Progress” – Scene 5

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 3

bcm

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

Brendon walks in and sees Steve and Jamal.

BRENDON

Oh, hello there.

JAMAL

Oh, hi!  I’m Jamal, Steve’s caretaker and assistant.

BRENDON

Oh wow, really?  I should probably interview you for my documentary.

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

The shot is set up confessional style, Jamal seated.

JAMAL

I’ve been working with Steve since his first novel and I’ve been on this crazy journey ever since.  It’s a pretty big change for Steve to visit his brother, but he was adamant that John attend his wedding.

BRENDON

Wait, Steve’s getting married?  Coach never told me that.

JAMAL

There was always a contentious sibling rivalry between John and Steve.  Steve really goes into detail about in his first autobiography titled, Is That A Pickle In That Jar?

BRENDON

Are you serious?  I have to read this.

JAMAL

Steve actually has a great sense of humor about his condition, which provides a unique perspective on dealing with hardship.

BRENDON

What do you think about his brother, John?

JAMAL

Well, I know that John struggled to maintain his weight, a job, a relationship.  It’s all kind of a sad tale, but given his brother lives in a jar, it’s easy to keep it in perspective.

Coach McGuirk barges in.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hey, I heard that!  You know, I’ve been dealing with people like you my whole life.  I wish I lived in a jar!  It would protect me from all of you and I’d have healthcare!

Coach McGuirk walks up to Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

How could you do this to me Steve?  How could you call mom and dad behind my back?

Steve beeps a few times.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, get off your high horse, Steve.  You were always the favorite child and you know it!

Steve beeps a few more times.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, it’s so easy for you, isn’t it, Steve?  Your jar is on the outside so nothing can touch you, but my jar is in here.

Coach McGuirk points to his chest.

COACH MCGUIRK

My jar is deep under the surface and all my emotions are bottled up inside and no one can get in.

JAMAL

How much glass did you eat at the textiles factory?  A whole jar?  God damn!

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, what did you tell people about me, Steve?

JAMAL

He’s written five novels, John.  Have you never read your brother’s work?

COACH MCGUIRK

What I was actually supposed to read it?  I thought just saying you read something and that it was great was the polite thing to do.  That’s what I would have wanted.

Jamal hands a book to Coach McGuirk.

JAMAL

Here, take a look for yourself.

Coach McGuirk opens the book.

COACH MCGUIRK

Per – pre – prek…

Jamal reads over Coach McGuirks shoulder.

JAMAL

Precipitation.

COACH MCGUIRK

You read it!

Coach McGuirk gives the book back to Jamal and he reads from it.

JAMAL

Precipitation began to form on the inside of all the car windows, like a salty sauna.  My brother John was radiating sweat from terror, as they drove him back to the factory, the worst of which I was spared, given my jar was all fogged up from his panic.  All I could do was beep.  So I just kept beeping.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay, stop reading!  What part of I’m moving to a new town and repressing the last forty years do you not understand, Steve?

Steve beeps a few times.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know that, Steve, I really appreciate you’re getting married before me, but could your wedding not destroy my life?  I finally have something good going for myself here.

Coach McGuirk starts crying.

COACH MCGUIRK

We’re the same, Steve.  We’re both writers and we both have women in our lives who we’re in love with.  You can’t ruin this for me!

There’s a knock at the door.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, no, that’s them, I know it!

BRENDON

Coach, you know I’m filming all of this, right?  You’re really embarrassing yourself.

JAMAL

Yeah, John, relax.  They shouldn’t be here yet.

Brendon leaves the room to check the door, sees CLARA at the door and then goes back to the garage.

BRENDON

Actually, Coach, I think it’s your girlfriend.

COACH MCGUIRK

No, she can’t see me like this.

BRENDON

Well, she’s standing at the door, so what should I do?  I can shoo her off for you after I get her to sign a waiver.

COACH MCGUIRK

Sign a waiver, what are you talking about?

BRENDON

Well, yeah, so she can be in my documentary.

COACH MCGUIRK

Forget it with the documentary!

BRENDON

I’m liable to legal action if I show her face without permission!

COACH MCGUIRK

Well then blur it out or something!

BRENDON

That would infringe the integrity of my documentary!

COACH MCGUIRK

She was only in it for a second!

There’s a knock again at the door.

COACH MCGUIRK

Forget it, I’ll answer.

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S KITCHEN – DAY

Coach McGuirk opens the door.  Brendon follows with the camera.

CLARA

Darling!  I’m so excited for today!

COACH MCGUIRK

Clara, the love of my life, what are you doing here?  And why are you so dressed up.

CLARA

I’m here for the wedding, silly.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wedding?  That’s today?

CLARA

Yeah, Jamal called and told me, I assumed you knew.

COACH MCGUIRK

Jamal?  Why didn’t you tell me?

JAMAL

Steve said we had to spring it on you all at once.  He knew you’d try to flee if you knew in advance.

COACH MCGUIRK

Steve!?

JAMAL

Here’s your suit, John, go put it on and everything will be okay.

Jamal hands Coach McGuirk an over-sized suit.

COACH MCGUIRK

Is it even tailored to my size?

JAMAL

I just got the largest possible option for everything, it should be fine.

CLARA

Yeah, babe, it’s your brother’s wedding, it’s going to be beautiful.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay.  I’m fine.  This is fine.  Everything happening here is completely normal.  I’m not going to climb out the window.  This is great.

Steve beeps twice.

JAMAL

Great.

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 4

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 2

Untitled-1

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S KITCHEN

Brendon looks into the camera lens.  Piano music playing.

BRENDON

Well thank God it isn’t broken.

COACH MCGUIRK

Don’t thank God, Brendon, thank me for not dropping it too hard.  You’re welcome.

BRENDON

I can’t believe you would do that.  You have no respect.  I can’t just buy another camera.

COACH MCGUIRK

You’re right, I’m sorry.  I really respect you, Brendon.  I’m glad you never told me the music you like.  I’m really enjoying this respect we share.

BRENDON

I like Coldplay.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh God, why did you have to say that?  You’re not going to put piano music over me speaking are you?

Piano music stops playing.

BRENDON

Um, no.

COACH MCGUIRK

I can’t take that risk.  Give me the camera, Brendon.

BRENDON

No!  Get away from me!

COACH MCGUIRK

I’m taking control of this documentary!

BRENDON

Actually, Steve and I had a different idea.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?  You two schemed behind my back?  This is fourth grade all over again.

BRENDON

Which time through fourth grade?

COACH MCGUIRK

What?  Every time.  Stop asking stupid questions and tell me what you’re up to.

BRENDON

Alright.  I talked to Steve’s assistant and got a hold of your parents.  They’re on their way over here now.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?  This documentary was going to be about how I’m an awesome writer.  How could you do this to me, Brendon?  You have no idea how they treat me.

BRENDON

I just think it would be best if the four of you work this out.

COACH MCGUIRK

Best for who?

BRENDON

For the documentary.

COACH MCGUIRK

And who’s going to rescue me from the textiles factory this time, Brendon?  Huh?  Child Protective Services won’t help me anymore.

BRENDON

You’re not a child any more, Coach.  You can handle this.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s what they tell me!  And I say, well then someone needs to tell my parents that, because they…

There’s a knock on the door.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh God, that’s them!  This isn’t happening!  I can’t handle this.  I’m jumping out the kitchen window.

Coach McGuirk opens the kitchen window.

BRENDON

Chill out, it’s not you’re parents.

COACH MCGUIRK

Who is it, then?

Brendon opens the door.  Paula walks in.

PAULA

Hey, guys, how’s the documentary going?

BRENDON

Mom, what are you doing here?

PAULA

I brought some snacks for the production crew.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, can I have some?

PAULA

Of course, silly.

COACH MCGUIRK

Sweet.

Paula hands the snacks to Coach McGuirk and he starts eating.

PAULA

Go on and McGuirk it up.

BRENDON

What’s that mean?  McGuirk it up.

PAULA

Oh, it’s just this thing we used to say about John in high school.  Anyway, where’s Steve?  I thought I’d say hello while I’m here.

BRENDON

Oh, no you don’t, mom.  You’re not going to ruin my documentary by trying to engage in sex with my subject.

PAULA

Watch it, Brendon!  Steve doesn’t have sex in the typical fashion.  Steve is the kind of man who makes emotional love.

BRENDON

Oh my God, and you’re not doing that either!

Brendon shoos his mother to the door.

BRENDON

That’s all we need from you, Mom.  Thanks for the snacks, we’ll see you at the wrap party.  Oh, wait, there is no wrap party, so I guess we won’t see you.  Bye.

PAULA

Hey, wait!

Brendon closes the door.

BRENDON

Yeesh.  Moms, am I right, Coach?

Coach McGuirk is stuffing his face with the last of the chips and snacks.  He drops the empty garbage on the ground when he’s done with it.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh wait, your mom can help me with my parents.  She can save me when they try to send me to the textiles factory.

BRENDON

Relax, Coach.  No one is going to send you away.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh yeah?  Well, when they do, I’m taking you with me.  Last time the factory had closed down and they still locked me in there.  It was cold so my dad said, if you’re shivering so much, why don’t you knit yourself a sweater?  Because I’m a child!

BRENDON

Alright, I know you’d love for this documentary to be all about you, but I’m here to get to know Steve, your brother.  Can you do this for your brother?

COACH MCGUIRK

He can’t save me.  All he can do is beep a bunch of times.  It sounds like an alarm but it translates to no no no no no no no.

BRENDON

Alright, I’m going back to the garage to talk to Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

No, Brendon, come back!

Brendon opens the door and leaves.

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 3

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 1

dhgdfhg s

CREDITS: A McGuirk in Progress

CREDITS: A Documentary by Brendon Small

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

Open on montage shots of Steve throughout his life.

V.O.

Born with all odds against him, Steve McGuirk had nothing but himself and his words.  A writer unable to write, unable to speak at all because he lives in a jar.  His only method of communication is two beeps for yes and one beep for no.

Enter Steve’s assistant holding an alphabet chart with a notepad in his lap.

V.O.

In order to write, Steve’s assistant will point to each letter on an alphabet chart.  If Steve responds with one beep, he points to the next letter; two beeps and he writes the letter down.  Steve has written five full novels using this tiresome method.

Steve sits alone in the garage.

V.O.

But that was his life back in New York, where accessible facilities and nurses make his work possible.  He has decided to take a hiatus to visit his brother John, a soccer coach at the end of his rope.

Enter Coach McGuirk.  Brendon is behind the camera.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hey, I told you to keep me out of your stupid documentary, Brendon.  I’ve had enough embarrassment in my life.

BRENDON

I can’t just leave you out of the documentary, it’s a documentary, it’s supposed to show the truth.  I can’t just make up a new brother for Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

Ugh, fine, but you better make me look good.  I’m a writer, too, you know.

BRENDON

And how did it feel deciding to become a writer knowing the success your brother already had writing?

COACH MCGUIRK

What are you kidding me?  It was the most nerve wracking experience of my life.  With every word I wrote I could feel the ghost of my mother comparing me to Steve and judging me.

Steve beeps once.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know mother isn’t dead, Steve, but it sure as hell feels that way.  I bet she visits you all the time in New York.

Steve beeps twice.

COACH MCGUIRK

And I knew if I failed at writing, it would only fuel her disappointment in me and dad would try to send me back to the textiles factory again.  I don’t want to work there, dad, all the kids make fun of my scabs!

BRENDON

This is going to be a great documentary.

Steve beeps twice.

COACH MCGUIRK

You know what?  I change my mind.  I do want to be in your little documentary.  It’s about time people got to hear my side of the story.

BRENDON

Tell us your sad story.

COACH MCGUIRK

I had all the odds against me, Brendon.  My parents were against me, the entire school system was against me, they called me names.  The principle!  Called me names!  What kind of person does that?

BRENDON

Are you okay?

COACH MCGUIRK

I’m not an unteachable sack of sausages, you are!  I try to make friends but it would always end with me beating them up for their lunch money.  It wasn’t the lunch money I wanted, Brendon, it was the attention.

Steve beeps once.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay fine and I tend to stress eat.  And I have a long history of being stressed out, ever since mom left me at the mall for a week and I hid in clothes racks and ate trash.

Coach McGuirk grabs the camera out of Brendon’s hands and holds it up to his face.

BRENDON

Hey, give that back!

COACH MCGUIRK

But I’m here to tell you it gets better, kids.  I’m a writer now, I have a girlfriend, and uh I can’t think of a third thing, but my life is awesome now.  So never give up on yourselves, okay?  Who ever is putting you down, just get in their face and say, I’ll repeat fourth grade a thousand times if I want to, so you can add and subtract the division of my ass cheeks.  Mic drop.

Coach McGuirk drops the camera on the ground.  Brendon rushes to pick it up.

BRENDON

Hey!  My camera!

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 2