Two Tickets To Edelweiss / 23 April 1998

I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously feeling that moviemaking vibe. Maybe it’s just the time of year, you know that time, the time when every kid is out on the street corner with their Polaroids taking hundreds of photographs of The Man beating down on the common folk and then they string said photos together sequentially, binding them with brass brads, say, then creating nice little flip books which they can sell for five bones to curious passersby. And I must admit the bug is in my soul, too, the film bug that is, the bug that is buffed and cut and action-packed, and I gotta do what s/he tells me. Plus we’re in that Post-Oscar/Pre-Crashing-Asteroid filmic lull where the studios basically just throw out the garbage and get rid of the clutter on their collective desks, you know, which is irritating because if you’re going to see a bad movie it might as well be God Awful and Enormously Expensive, but I have to wait until Memorial Day and beyond before the G.A. and E-squared films start hitting, and this is all bad for me because I have this sick compulsion to see every movie that comes out and at this point the experience has been drained of any enjoyment it once had and I just keep going, keep on going, back for more, again and again, even though I know it’s bad for me, that it’s killing me, that it’s affecting my job performance and interpersonal relationships and causing wild weight fluctuations and poor judgment and a complete abandonment of hygiene and my entire paycheck going right up my nose … ah. Hm. Never mind.

Anyhow, my friend Bob makes movies from time to time and last night he made a quick little one that I was in and I got to yell and cry and look scared and then wear a mask that looked like a retarded baby’s face and then I rolled around on the floor of a garage and whimpered, so if you see something like that as you’re surfing through the higher numbers on your local cable system, well … hell … tell ‘em Fireland sent ya!

But the point is, I since I’m in the mood for making sweet movies, I thought I’d whip out a quick script to share with all of you out there who know what I’m feeling, so then if you were just sitting around and watching Ally McSheedy or finding animal shapes in the clouds and jonesing to make a little movie of your own but don’t want to bother with writing a script (tedious! tiring! bring tha ennui!), that you could just stop by over here and take this one. I do this so I don’t feel guilty at Thanksgiving time when people are volunteering their time helping the homeless and hungry.

Feel free to take any artistic liberties with the visual interpretation but I beg you not to alter a single word of the dialogue as it’s been carefully constructed for maximum impact and delight, and removing even one word would be like removing Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, from the Union.


a fireland screenplay

SCENE 1: FADE IN. Extreme close-up on the glaring, bloodshot eyes of THE FIREMAN. The left eye [evil] is blackened and puffy. Just now emerging from the right eye [good] is a tear. Dead silence on the soundtrack. Nothing moves for a full three minutes except the blinking of THE FIREMAN’s eyes. Finally, we hear the barest hint of sound which slowly, achingly, resolves itself into a breathy whisper that says:

BREATHY WHISPER: [airily] Of free self-consciousness, a grip on world-historical-fellowship, a vision piercing veils of mist, the most unprejudiced of minds, stamped by the higher criticism, whose empiricism is raised to a total synthesis. That was, monsieur, your intention, yes?

With that, the camera suddenly pulls back with extreme rapidity, moving backwards at approx. 35 mph, if possible. What is quickly revealed is THE FIREMAN, wearing a pastel suit with a t-shirt, sort of like Don Johnson’s getup in Miami Vice, holding a beautiful woman’s severed hand, wearing a gorgeous diamond-studded engagement ring (the hand, not THE FIREMAN), falling to his knees and howling in agony as the camera keeps on trucking back. He is further revealed to be in the middle of the verdant field where they filmed the video for Blind Melon’s “No Rain” which, if Pop-Up Video[tm] is to be trusted, is somewhere in Southern California. In fact, let’s just use that song for the opening music. In fact, let’s just run that video instead of this opening sequence because it’s really cute and it could be a tribute to the young man who died. Then the camera pans up to reveal a black, empty sky, into which the CREDITS appear. All of the names pass by in three seconds (maybe we could use a distressed typewriter font that flickers around a lot in order to keep the gen-x’er’s attn) except for the writer’s credit which is held steady for 90 seconds.

SCENE 2: A police station.

SGT. OHM: [yelling, veins apop] Where in the good hell is The Fireman?

OFFICER MARTINEZ: I ain’t seen his sorry ass all day.

OFFICER EL CERRITO: I heard he was makin’ time with his ladyfriend.

SGT. OHM: [yelling, red-faced] What? She’s nothing but a walking mantrap and a walking informant!

OFFICER WALNUT CREEK: Her treacherous nature is most unsuitable for a trustworthy relationship, especially with an officer of the law, thrice-decorated.

OFFICER MARTINEZ: Amen to that particular shit.

SGT. OHM: [yelling, hoarse] Well you tell him for me, big shot, big goddamn man, you tell him that these goddamn tickets for the goddamn policeman’s ball won’t sell themselves!

OFFICER WALNUT CREEK: On the contrary, sir, with the musical lineup including Green Day, Peter Gabriel, Natalie Imbruglio, Fugazi, and a specially-reunited Greg Kihn Band, I think those tickets will, in fact, sell themselves!

SGT. OHM: Ha ha, yes, yes indeedy, you got me there, W.C. Can’t argue with that!

CUT TO: Black. Credits roll.

Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

A novel called Chokeville and a beverage-review site called The Knowledge For Thirst.

A great deal of typing is collected in the Archive.

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