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Gun Play

by John Rodat on July 20, 2011


INT. Office -Day.

JACK and EMIL sit at facing desks in an office space with an open floor plan. There are other work stations in the background, but there are no other employees visible. Jack and Emil, both in their late 20s or early 30s, are dressed in modern, office-casual attire. (Think: Dockers and solid-color button-downs.) Though their appearance and mannerisms are contemporary, there is something about them and their interpersonal dynamic that suggests this has been going on forever.

Emil (standing, waving a handgun): Say ‘hello’ to my leetle frien’.

Jack: (on the phone, says nothing).

Emil: Ahem! Say, ‘howdy’ to my li’l pardner.

Jack: (still nothing).

Emil: Ah-HEM! Say ‘wassUP?!” to ma li’l ni . . .

Jack: No! (Now, to caller) Hey, can I call you back? Thanks.

Emil: Jack, Jack, Jack. Isn’t that just like you, to bring a phone to a gunfight?

Jack: What? It’s “a knife.”

Emil: Oh, really? That’s a knife? What, is it, then, a Swiss Miss phone? With a blade and an ax and a . . . a . . . that part  . . . that you hold with your hand . . . up to your mouth, part . . . talking part?

Jake: No, the expression is “knife to a gunfight.” And it’s Swiss Army. Swiss Army.

Emil: Jack, I’m pretty sure the Swiss don’t have an army. They’re politically Nutella.

Jack: Neutral. Nutella is a hazelnut and chocolate spread.

Emil: Ah, yeah. Duh. Swiss chocolate. That’s what they’re known for, Jack. And Glocks.

Jack: OK, one, that is not a real gun. And, two, the Swiss are not known for Glocks—but for clocks.

Emil: Well, clock this, bizotch! (Stands up and points the gun at Jack sideways, gangsta style.)

Jack: Don’t point that at me.

Emil: OK, one, it’s not a real gun. And, two, yes it is.

Jack: OK, one, you’re an idiot. And, two, have you ever heard of Chekov’s gun?

Emil: Oh, oh, oh, I know that! Chekov’s gun is a laser . . . a pheasant . . . a phaser!

Jack: Wrong Chekov. Chekov, the Russian playwright, said that you can’t introduce a gun in the first act without it being fired in the next. It’s foreshadowing.

Emil: So, there’s six more weeks of winter?

Jack: Foreshadowing. It’s a literary device to hint at what comes later in the plot.

Emil: You’re not the boss of me.

Jack: Look, I don’t make this stuff up. If it’s a real gun, it’s got to go off.

Emil: It has to?

Jack: Literary device.

Emil: But what if it’s a trick?

Jack: Oh, a red herring? Clever. Then we might be all right. I didn’t think you’d know what that was.

Emil: I don’t know what that was.

Jack: Then don’t point that at me.

Emil: OK, it’s not a real herring. A red gun. A real gun. It’s a joke. I’ll put it away.

Jack: A happy ending.

Emil: Ha! I always thought that meant . . . (tucks gun in waist band).