February 01, 2010

My favourite tree is not undefinitely the Great Basin Bristle Cone Pine

During the exam period of term 3 when we were meant to be working for exams, I started writing a 'sitcom' called 'Nick Chen is a Loser'. It's pretty awful, although I was able to reuse about 1% of it for something I might actually be able to hand in. Well, anyway, I did 3-and-a-half episodes before giving up and being frustrated with the terrible product. It's probably the worst thing I've written over the last few years, which is saying something, but I thought I'd share it anyway, admidst this existential crisis we're all in, even if it's just me in it, looking at clouds, wondering where the day went and if it will come back to give me a second chance to do nothing again.

In the comments box: Episode 1 & 2 of "Nick Chen is a Loser".


- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. NICK: hi. my name is nick, and i’d like to welcome you to two things. firstly, welcome to the first episode of my fifteen minute nickcom. andy warhol said that everyone at one point would have their own nickcom for fifteen minutes, and i guess he was right.
    i’d like to welcome you to my hometown of raferton, a town where people say thank you if you don’t speak to them. it’s not all bad: shark attacks have dropped 15% over the last three years. rafterton also has the world’s largest magnet, which attracts a lot of tourists. and magnets. occasionally fridges. things in raferton are never quite as they seem: this morning, i thought i saw a unicorn. turned out it was just a flying horse with an ice cream cone stuck to its head. we were once visited
    by a man called richard sheldrake who kept staring at a beautiful woman without realising it, and then she fell over. perhaps he should stop looking at people. there’s a new restaurant called: pam’s pasta. it only serves pasta. i’m a a restaurant reviewer, so i have to go, even though i can’t stand nostalgia.
    STEPHEN: [muffled voice]
    NICK: i can’t hear you.
    STEPHEN: [muffled voice]
    NICK: sorry. this is my flatmate: stephen the sleazy librarian. never ask him about the moon landing.
    STEPHEN: [muffled voice]
    NICK: take off your gas mask.
    STEPHEN: sorry.
    NICK: now what were you going to say?
    STEPHEN: the moon landing never could’ve happened. it’s all the way in the sky – how could it ever have landed?
    NICK: why were you wearing a gas mask?
    STEPHEN: i just got this sense of impending doom that something horrible is going to happen and kill us all painfully and slowly.
    again?
    NICK: i’ll get the final laugh if we’re bombed.
    STEPHEN: only if it secretes laughing gas.
    NICK: i guess so. stephen is a sleazy librarian. is she still in the flat?
    STEPHEN: no, she left early.
    NICK: why?
    STEPHEN: i don’t know. i was having fun with the fake pregnancy kit. until she started crying. are you wearing orange trousers?
    NICK: what’s wrong with them? my legs look good in orange.
    STEPHEN: orange doesn’t suit you.
    NICK: you’re wrong. back at school, i went to a halloween party dressed as an orange. it was just unfortunate that the school bully came as a smoothie maker. im wearing them out to that new restaurant i’m reviewing. what’s the time? i’m going to be late.
    STEPHEN: where’s your watch?
    NICK: i gave it to the homeless man outside.
    STEPHEN: that’s nice of you.
    NICK: i just ran out of conversation, panicked, handed him my watch, then ran off.
    STEPHEN: what did you do that for? he only wants to talk about the weather.
    NICK: you’re confusing him with a geography teacher.
    STEPHEN: if you’re going out, can you pick up my clothes from the laundrette?
    NICK: why would i do that?
    STEPHEN: it’d give you an opportunity to see cynthia. she’s always there. i’m beginning to think she owns the place.
    NICK: she does.
    STEPHEN: oh, that’s probably why it’s called cynthia’s laundrette.
    phone rings.
    NICK: hello?
    CYNTHIA: hey nick, it’s cynthia.
    NICK: hi cynthia
    STEPHEN: hi cynthia, we were just talking about you.
    CYNTHIA: is that stephen?
    NICK: sorry, our phone is broken; it’s always on speakerphone.
    CYNTHIA: oh, hi stephen.
    STEPHEN: hi cynthia.
    NICK: don’t worry cynthia; this may seem awkward, but it’s not as bad as when stephen called a sex line.
    STEPHEN: it was a wrong number.
    NICK: you weren’t wearing any trousers.
    STEPHEN: which is why i need you to pick up my clothes from the laundrette.
    NICK: anyway, what is it cynthia?
    CYNTHIA: i need some help, nick. can you come over to my flat?
    NICK: i’ll be there immediately.
    CYNTHIA: okay, thanks nick. see you then.
    hangs up.
    STEPHEN: you love her.
    NICK: no, i don’t.

    01 Feb 2010, 02:32

  2. STEPHEN: you didn’t even ask her why you had to go.
    NICK: she said it was urgent, so why does it matter?
    STEPHEN: because you’re going to review a restaurant.
    NICK: i have time for both, i think.
    rings speaking clock.
    CLOCK: at the third stroke, the time will be… 8:47 and thirty seconds.
    NICK: oh no, the table’s only reserved for another twenty minutes.
    CLOCK: why don’t you send stephen instead?
    STEPHEN: yes nick, why don’t i go instead? i can review food.
    NICK: since when do i listen to the speaking clock?
    STEPHEN: when you tried to install the freezer.
    NICK: yes, and all of our ice cream melted.
    CLOCK: sorry.
    NICK: you have to pretend to be me, or else you won’t get the table.
    STEPHEN: i’m an actor, nick.
    NICK: no you’re not. you’re a sleazy librarian.
    STEPHEN: i played hamlet at school. i got a standing ovation.
    NICK: from your parents, and only because they wanted to leave early.
    CLOCK: i played hamlet once.
    NICK: how? you’re a clock.
    CLOCK: that didn’t stop you from taking my advice on how to install the freezer and fix the phone.
    NICK: yes, and it’s stuck on speakerphone, and i don’t have time for this. i’m going.
    CLOCK: how ironic – no one ever has the time for me. oh, by the way, stephen, what’s the time? i’ve forgotten.

    CYNTHIA’S FLAT

    NICK: hey cynthia. what’s the matter?
    CYNTHIA: hi nick, thanks for coming. you’re such a lifesaver.
    NICK: oh, anything for you.
    CYNTHIA: no, i meant that you look like a superhero with those orange trousers.
    NICK: oh. [forced laughter]. you look beautiful.
    CYNTHIA: you better not be hitting on me, nick?
    NICK: no, i wasn’t hitting on you, i was just commenting on the fact that your dress is so smart and you’ve done your hair and…
    CYNTHIA: don’t worry, i’m joking nick.
    NICK: oh.
    CYNTHIA: now thanks for coming. i’ve got a problem.
    NICK: i’m here to help.
    CYNTHIA: and you’re not busy? you don’t have to be anywhere?
    NICK: of course not cynthia.
    CYNTHIA: well, i have to babysit my niece tonight.
    NICK: i can help you babysit. we can babysit together. they’re showing ‘the hand that rocks the cradle’ on tv tonight.
    CYNTHIA: the problem is, i forgot about my date with chris.
    NICK: you have a date with chris? chris is horrible.
    CYNTHIA: why?
    NICK: he robbed a clown.
    CYNTHIA: that’s only a rumour.
    NICK: he has a neverending handkerchief.
    CYNTHIA: it’s for his hay fever.
    NICK: he has a flower that squirts water in your face.
    CYNTHIA: and that’s where he gets his hay fever from.
    NICK: then where else did he get those big shoes?
    CYNTHIA: he has big feet, and you know what else they say about men with big feet?
    NICK: yes, they must’ve robbed a clown.
    CYNTHIA: anyway, we’re going to a restaurant called pam’s pasta.
    NICK: i’m not sure i am free.
    CYNTHIA: it’ll only be for three hours. you said you weren’t doing anything else?
    NICK: i guess not.
    CYNTHIA: simone!
    SIMONE: bye aunty cynthia.
    CYNTHIA: nick will look after you.
    SIMONE: but he’s wearing orange trousers!
    Cynthia leaves, closes door.
    SIMONE: are you in love with aunty cynthia?
    NICK: why do you ask?
    SIMONE: your pupils dilated when you looked at her.
    NICK: how old are you? five?
    SIMONE: nearly five.
    NICK: how do you know anything about love?
    SIMONE: i read it from your twitter. more importantly, why are you wearing such ugly trousers?
    NICK: you’re five. what do you know about fashion?
    SIMONE: more than you, apparently. chris told me about you.
    NICK: what did he say?
    SIMONE: he said you’re really boring.
    NICK: i’m not boring.
    SIMONE: apparently you made someone fall asleep at a party. just by talking.
    NICK: she was a narcoleptic.
    SIMONE: he said you have a phobia of being abandoned by everyone you know and care about.
    NICK: that’s not true.
    SIMONE: prove it.
    NICK: why don’t we play a game?

    01 Feb 2010, 02:33

  3. SIMONE: can we play mermaids?
    NICK: how do we play that?
    SIMONE: there are two versions. the first version involves us flooding the house and pretending to be mermaids.
    NICK: no. what’s the other version?
    SIMONE: the 2nd version is where we relive the 1990 comedy drama film called ‘Mermaids’ based on a bookalso called ‘mermaids’. it starred winona ryder, bob hoskins and cher. i’d quite like to be cher, but i don’t mind if you want to be cher, because i can also be bob hoskins, if that makes things any easier.
    NICK: why not just hide-and-seek?

    RESTAURANT

    WAITER: hello sir, have you decided what you would like to order?
    STEPHEN: just the salad, please. will it be cheaper if you remove the peppers? i’m a bit short of cash, you see. actually, would you mind lending me a tenner?
    WAITER: sir, might i remind you that we offer restaurant reviewers the meal on the house?
    STEPHEN: because nick is the restaurant reviewer, i get this meal for free?
    WAITER: are you not nick?
    STEPHEN: oh, yes, i am. i forget, because nick is such an unmemorable name.
    WAITER: especially when it’s your own?
    STEPHEN: well, it sounds like rick and mick and stephen malkmus & the jicks and…
    WAITER: [interrupting] can you please just order.
    STEPHEN: if it’s free, then i’d like the panda pasta, shark fin ommelette, and is that real unicorn?
    WAITER: no sir, just a flying horse with an ice cream cone stuck to its head.
    STEPHEN: okay, then the rhino burger [fade out]

    phone rings
    NICK: hello?
    STEPHEN: hey nick.
    NICK: how’s the restaurant, stephen?
    STEPHEN: it’s fine. the dodo drumsticks are a bit dry though.
    NICK: i thought you were vegetarian?
    STEPHEN: no, i’m omnipotent.
    NICK: you mean an omnivore?
    STEPHEN: isn’t that like god?
    NICK: no. big differnece.
    STEPHEN: well, anyway, they think i’m you, and the chef has offered to bribe me for a good review?
    NICK: say no. we don’t want it.
    STEPHEN: you don’t know what it is.
    NICK: i don’t care. don’t take any bribe.
    STEPHEN: also, cynthia’s here at the restaurant. why aren’t you with her?
    NICK: i’m with her neice.
    STEPHEN: isn’t she a bit too young for you.
    NICK: i’m babysitting. we’re playing hide-and-seek. i’m pretty good actually. i’ve been hidden for nearly an hour.
    STEPHEN: are you sure she’s looking for you?
    NICK: yeah. it’s just that i found the best hiding place.
    STEPHEN: attic?
    NICK: no.
    STEPHEN: aquarium?
    NICK: no.
    STEPHEN: tore a hole in the time continuum, walked inside the gap, then hid behind a tall tree?
    NICK: no.
    STEPHEN: then where?
    NICK: behind the washing machine.
    STEPHEN: no one ever goes behind the washing machine. not even road runner when he’s hiding from wile e. coyote.
    NICK: there’s not much space. i’m not sure i can get out without bursting a water pipe.
    STEPHEN: you have to get out of there and find her. she might be snorting cocaine right now.
    NICK: she’s only 5 years old.
    STEPHEN: i know. why else do you think children can be hyper one minute, crying the next?
    NICK: she’s only 5, and even she’s old enough to know the moon landing happened.
    STEPHEN: but it’s too big to land. how do you get it back up?
    /> NICK: whoops.
    STEPHEN: why are you saying whoops?
    NICK: i just tried to get up and i think i broke a water pipe.
    STEPHEN: what makes you think that?
    NICK: the room’s being flooded.
    STEPHEN: well, can you answer the original question. do i take the bribe?
    NICK: no.
    STEPHEN: but it’s a washing machine. the chef has it with him.
    NICK: please bring it here immediately to cynthia’s house.
    STEPHEN: ok, but i must finish by panda pasta first. needs more salt though. waiter? can i have some holy water to wash this down? [fade out]

    01 Feb 2010, 02:34

  4. CYNTHIA’S HOUSE

    SIMONE: nick?
    NICK: oh, there you are.
    SIMONE: are you flooding my house?
    NICK: you know how you wanted to play mermaids?
    SIMONE: yay! i knew chris was wrong when he said you were boring.
    NICK: thank you.
    SIMONE: i also knew he was wrong when he said you were a sad lonely man with a paranoid phobia of being abandoned by everyone you know and care about. so, who’s going to be bob hoskins?
    NICK: er, can you help me get rid of all this water.
    SIMONE: it’s up to my knees.
    NICK: maybe if i just open the front door.
    /> NICK: there’s still some left.
    SIMONE: there’s a really big sponge in that cupboard.
    NICK: i don’t think a sponge will do thejob.
    SIMONE: no, really, open that cupboard.
    NICK: my word – that is a big sponge.
    SIMONE: it’s the same sponge that peter andre uses.
    NICK: it’s soaking up all the water. this sponge is amazing.
    SIMONE: (in a different voice) i swear i didn’t steal it. i’m innocent. innocent i tell ya!
    NICK: what are you talking about.
    SIMONE: i was being winona ryder because i thought we were playing mermaids?
    NICK: let’s just clean this place up before your aunt gets home.

    MUCH LATER
    NICK: i can’t believe we’ve managed to clean this place.
    SIMONE: i told you the sponges were good. they’re peter andre worthy.
    SIMONE: well peter andre isn’t exactly spongeworthy is he?
    NICK: you can’t use the term ‘spongeworthy’ with a 5-year-old.
    SIMONE: why not?
    NICK: it’s a reference to a man being sexually sufficient, whilst also being a reference to a television programme that finished long before any five-year-old was born.
    SIMONE: i preferred it when you were being bob hoskins.
    stephen rings.
    NICK: hi stephen, are you nearly here?
    STEPHEN: yeah.
    NICK: good. everything is fine apart from the washing machine. you did bring the washing machine?
    STEPHEN: no…
    NICK: i told you to bring the washing machine.
    STEPHEN: yeah, but i negotiated, so we now have a freezer. i’m actually outside the door.
    /> NICK: [surprised] cynthia? stephen?
    CYNTHIA: you seem so surprised to see us.
    NICK: i just didn’t expect you both to be together.
    STEPHEN: we were all in the restaurant, so we came back together.
    CYNTHIA: it’s a nice freezer you’ve got.
    NICK: simone broke the washing machine.
    SIMONE: no i didnt.
    NICK: yes she did.
    SIMONE: no i didnt. he did. when we were playing hide and seek.
    CYNTHIA: i don’t understand. the washing machine’s been broken for months.
    NICK: oh…
    CYNTHIA: What happened to your trousers? they’re not orange anymore…
    NICK: they’re not colour fast. i spilt some water on them.
    CYNTHIA: why does the house look like an aquarium?
    NICK: maybe we didn’t clean up so well.
    CYNTHIA: it looks like a washed up beach.
    SIMONE: we were playing mermaids
    CYNTHIA: is that a shark in the kitchen?
    NICK: i guess that ruins the shark statistics.
    STEPHEN: i feel bad.
    NICK: why?
    STEPHEN: it’s missing a fin.

    TO BE CONTINUED IN EPISODE 2

    01 Feb 2010, 02:34

  5. I would watch this. I really would. Please write and produce it. Hell, I’ll play any characters or extras for free, just to speed up production.

    01 Feb 2010, 17:48


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