ISBN #1

By ziggro

INT. Book Store Stockroom

ALEXANDER PAULSEN, an average 20-something slacker, sits in a stockroom, idly flipping through a Playboy. He sits upon a homemade throne made of boxes of books. The door creaks open and another man walks in. NORMAN OSTRAND, Alex's good friend, nicknamed "Oz", a hopeless romantic with degenerating sense of morality walks in.

Oz

Oh, don't let me interrupt, for a second there, I thought you were doing something halfway productive.

Alex

And what do you call this? (gesturing to throne)

Oz

A manchild with nothing to do on a Sunday morning?

ALEX

Fuck off, what are you doing here?

Oz moves another stray box in order to sit on it.

Oz

I dunno, I needed someone to talk to. I'm lost.

Alex

Oh, shit. Is this like that one time you got lost in Vegas and we ended up finding you passed out in a stripper's lap?

Oz

No, not that kind of lost, although thank you for bringing that up. That was a fun weekend.

Oz

No, something happened last night.

Alex

Something more important then Marge Simpson's exposed rack? (extends foldout)

OZ

No, Stacey broke up with me last night.

Alex puts down Playboy.

Alex

Wow, golly gee. You mean Stacey "Blew You In The Bathroom in the Taco Bell across the street and said she'd brought more then 8 guys back there" Stacey broke up with you? Damn, she was a keeper. (sarcastic)

Oz

I dunno, dude. She could have been the one.

Alex

No, there was no way that bitch was the one. That's the problem with you, Oz. You believe everything's written in the stars with like rainbows and unicorns and shit. I'm sure I've probably fucked Stacey, just like the other half of this town has.

Oz stays silent for awhile.

Alex

...which one was Stacey?

Oz

Dirty blonde, brown eyes, carried a lot of cough drops around.

ALEX

Yup, fucked the cough drops out of her in that same bathroom, not five months ago.

Oz

In the stall that says "Fuck the Jews" or the one with all the phone numbers on the toilet seat?

Alex

The Jews one.

Oz

Yeah, thought those hand prints looked familiar.

Long pause as the two both think.

Oz

I think we should definitely stop having casual sex in fast food restaurant bathrooms.

Alex

I know, right?

Oz

So what's the solution?

Alex

Hmm.

CUT TO TITLE: "Alex Cleans The Bookstore Bathroom"

INT. BookStore Lobby

A slightly dumpy and short manager of the bookstore, LEONARD WILLIS, has his arms crossed looking at Alex, who has just proposed his plan to Leonard.

Leo

You want to do what?

Alex

Clean out the bathroom?

Leo

You mean that shitty unisex thing in the back?

ALEX

Yeah.

Leo

Why?

Alex

Well, think about it. How many customers want to use the bathroom?

Leo

Like every single one that comes through here.

Alex

And what do you tell them?

Leo

"The bathroom here is a piece of shit, go piss at Starbucks."

Alex

Exactly. So I give the place a makeover and stuff and then people can piss here and not at Starbucks.

Leo

Alright, fine, although go to Starbucks and pick up the magazine behind their toilet. It's my poop literature.

Alex makes a face of disgust.

INT. BookSTORE Hallway

The bookstore hallway is very narrow with a few doors leading to back offices and break rooms. Alex and Oz stumble out of a closet with a mop and a bucket, with various cleaning supplies and rubber gloves.

Oz

You know, I was thinking that a better solution to our problem would be like getting cowboy hats and putting them on our doors so we know when the other is getting some. Y'know on a normal bed. Like normal people.

Alex

Sex on a bed is for married people! I want to be adventurous and romantic..

Oz

And so having anonymous sex in a public restroom is the solution?

Alex

Of course, it's spontaneous and spur of the moment. The shit you like, Oz. Here we are.

The two stop at a door, with a crookedly attached sign that reads "Restroom".

Oz

This thing's a restroom?

Alex

Yeah, haven't you ever taken the kids to the pool in this thing?

Oz

Judging by the dust, I don't think anyone has since the early 50's.

Alex

Found it one day, no light bulb, so I kind of just went in there and peed.

Oz raises an eyebrow at Alex.

Oz

If you didn't see where the toilet was, how do you know you peed in it?

Alex

I don't.

Oz

Ugh!

Oz throws mop at Alex.

Alex

What? So now you won't do it?

Oz

And live in the land of Alex urine with you? No thanks.

Alex

Well, so what, are you going to just stand around while I go in alone?

Oz

Hey, asshat. It's not like Mordor. Just go in there by yourself.

Alex

Alright, fine.

Alex rummages through pants and pulls out a long string and hands it to Oz.

Alex

Hold on to this.

Oz

What the hell is this for?

Alex

It's a string, attached to a Carribeaner on my belt, two tugs mean I need help and one tug means pull me up.

Oz

And no tugs?

Alex

...I'm already dead.

Alex nods and opens the door and walks through it, the string trailing behind him as Oz leans against the wall.

Oz

How is it?

Alex

Pretty rank and nasty in here. Don't have a light so I'm going to have to guess and check. Like math. But harder.

Oz

Although in this case, its' "step in someone else's shit and then check". I'm going to go see if Leo has a flashlight.

Oz drops the string on the ground, and walks away, tripping over various cleaning supplies and mops.

Alex

Oz? You still have the string right?

The string slowly starts being pulled into the darkness of the bathroom.

Alex

Oz?

INT. BOOKSTORE HALLWAY - 10 Minutes later

Oz walks back to the restroom, which Alex is now outside of, wiping his face with a towel. Oz pulls out the flashlight.

Oz

Alright, I had to pull this out of Leo's office cabinet bu-

Oz sniffs.

Oz

Okay, I've been gone for like ten minutes and now not only is it insanely cold in here, but it reeks of pot.

Alex nods and directs his eyes to the overhead vents.

Alex

Yeah, Leo hasn't fixed any of these vents, so the vents pick up anything that goes on in the shopping center and brings it back here. Plus, the fucking AC/heating unit is busted, but still on. So someone in the mall is lighting up on this fine afternoon.

OZ

I don't know, the smell is really strong. It must be close.

Alex

Nah, don't worry about it, it's impossible to get high of pot fumes. Here, give em the flashlight.

Alex stands up and Oz hands him the flashlight.

Alex

I'm going back in.

INT. BOOKSTORE HALLWAY - 10 MINUTES LATER

A thick haze now covers the hallway. Oz is sitting against the wall, chuckling uncontrollably. Alex is located within the bathroom somewhere, occasionally shining his flashlight out.

Alex

Hey, you know what, asshole? You try having your bearded dragon get late on-set diabetes. It's fucking heartbreaking.

Oz continues to laugh uncontrollably. Alex's flashlight shines out to OZ.

Alex

You okay, man? You seem a little off.

OZ

Yeah, I'm fine. How...how's it going in there?

Alex

I'm almost done. Just cleaning out all the stall graffiti. There's some fucked up stuff in here?

OZ

Like what?

Alex

Like bible verses and weird racial slurs, apparently us white folk can be referred to as "The White Plague."

Oz

Interesting.

Alex

Wait, there's something else here. Some sort of poetry or something. It's scrawled in pink sharpie.

Oz

Read it to me.

Alex

"You're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no. You're in then you're out."

Long pause as the two think about it. Oz has a fuddled look on his face.

Oz

What is that, like the Iliad?

Alex

I don't know, I never read it. Could be.

Oz

Hmm.

A MAN walks down the hall and stops at Oz and looks down on him.

Man

Excuse me, where are your restrooms?

OZ

Huh?

Man

Your manager said there was a newly renovated bathroom in the back hallway, and I need to go.

Oz

Well, we're currently doing the renovations, as you can see by my friend here.

Oz points vaguely into the dark bathroom, very unsure of what he's even doing.

Man

I don't see anyone.

Oz

Well...shut up. And go away.

Man

Well, that's quite rude of you.

Oz

Well, I don't come storming into your house and demand to use the toilet.

Man

You've never been to my house, that's why.

OZ

I don't know, I may have. What's your daughter's name?

The man looks appalled and simply walks away.

Oz

What the hell, he didn't even answer my question...

Alex

Hey, Oz?

Oz

Yeah?

Alex

I think I know where the poetry is from.

INT. BOOKSTORE LOBBY

Leo stands behind the counter and buries his face into his hands while Alex and a slightly more high Oz look on.

Leo

So, let me get this straight. You think that our bathroom, which hasn't been used or cleaned in eight years, houses the original inspiration for pop star Katy Perry's hit single "Hot N Cold", which she wrote on the shitter in a reference to our broken ventilation system.

Long pause.

ALEX

...yup.

Leo

Are you high?!

ALEX

Nope, but he is. (points to Oz)

Oz

Heehee, she kissed a girl and..

Oz walks up and bends over slightly so he can whisper in Leo's ear.

Oz

(whisper)

And she liked it.

Leo gives Oz a bizarre look and Oz just smiles with a big goofy grin. Then, Oz doubles over and throws up all over the ground.

Leo

(sighs)

Yeah, you're both fired.

Leo walks away while Alex just stands there, stunned. Oz stands back up, and smiles a very gross pukey smile.


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ISBN #1

Created: Jan 29, 2010

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