Saturday, September 24, 2005

J.B. and the G. go on a working holiday in Slumberland

Exterior. Landscape. Day.
There are books everywhere. Disorganized heaps as well as neatly categorized stacks of varying size and stability make up the hills and valleys of a vast landscape that stretches beyond the horizon. James Bond and the giraffe are hiding behind a mound of fashion magazines. Bond, wearing his ninja outfit, is hastily getting a Heckler & Koch assault rifle ready for action. The giraffe is perusing the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. A green knapsack is open between them.

GIRAFFE
What sort of lame ass metaphor is this, anyway? I mean, come on.

BOND
Shut up. How many times do I have to tell you to keep your head down? And hand me that magazine.

GIRAFFE
(Holds up the issue of Cosmopolitan)
This one? There’s a killer article called “Ten ways to please your giraffe”. I’ll tell you one thing: Whoever wrote it sure don’t know nothing about giraffes.

James Bond snarls and grabs a rifle magazine out of the knapsack. He loads the weapon.

BOND
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother to keep you around. The double negatives alone…

GIRAFFE
(Puts down the magazine)
Women are insane. Hey, did I tell you, I had that nightmare again. The one where all my ex-girlfriends form a panel of judges? Well, as usual they chronicle my wrongdoings, each in turn, in order to decide whether to send me to hell or not. Only this time they make their statements in the manner of musical numbers. A couple of them even do a little choreographed dance. Then, just as they are making their closing arguments, in walks my mother…

BOND
Telling people about your dreams, camelopard, is like showing them slides from your holidays.

GIRAFFE
That’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?

BOND
Well, you never ask me about my dreams, why would I want to listen to yours?

GIRAFFE
That’s not fair, James. I would love to hear about your dreams. I just assumed… You never talk about those things. You’re too wrapped up in this persona you have created for yourself.

BOND
What on earth do you mean?

The giraffe gives him a look.

BOND
Maybe you’re right. It’s just… I almost never remember my dreams. And if I do, you know, they’re not always pleasant. The line of work we’re in, the constant strain. The killing. Why do you think I drink? Hell, we both drink.

GIRAFFE
True. But I can go without it for long periods of time.

BOND
Because you store it in your hump, idiot. Anyway, today was different. This morning, I woke up calm and light after a very productive night of sleep. My dreams have left me with a feeling of well-structured finality on a whole range of conflict areas. I feel like there’s been a yard sale in my subconscious mind.

GIRAFFE
What a beautiful way to put it.

BOND
And you know what? This was all set off by that horrible Nick Kershaw video we saw on VH1 Classic. It’s true. It must have reminded me of the 5th grade or something. I didn’t even notice at the time, but that song stuck in my head and worked as a detergent on my memories of early pubescence. Every little nagging recollection of humiliation and loss seems to have clicked into position, played out and dissolved.

GIRAFFE
Wow.

BOND
My classmates, teachers and family members have been parading in front of me all night, holding their little speeches, doing their little twirls, like puppets that come alive in a play and afterwards return to the orderly box.

GIRAFFE
That’s the difference between you and me. You are so fucking well adjusted.

BOND
Quiet. Target is approaching.

The sound of sandaled feet running on crisp paper. In one swift movement, without hesitation, Bond lifts the weapon to his shoulder, takes aim and softly squeezes the trigger. There is a loud crack.

GIRAFFE
Did you get him?

BOND
Right in the heel. The tortoise will be pleased.

They get up, pick up the knapsack, and run toward the balloon.

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