"You forgot 'ATM'" - Our Dads
By Ben Joseph
TITLE CARD: THE SIX WAYS YOU'LL SEE YOUR DAD TITLE CARD: THE SUPERHERO YOU, about 5, take off running. NARRATOR (V.O.) You're definitely going to beat him this time. Your Dad, a SUPERHERO, runs past you with SUPER SPEED. NARRATOR (V.O.) How does he DO that? Dad picks you up and FLIES AWAY. NARRATOR (V.O.) Of the ten people you've met so far he's definitely the best. Dad lands in your KITCHEN, starts making you a snack. NARRATOR (V.O.) He's strong enough to open the peanut butter with one hand. Agile enough to get the straw into the Capri Sun without bending it. And smart enough to know the answer to pretty much everything. Dad does PUSH-UPS with you on his back. YOU Dad, how much money does the President make? HERO DAD A billion dollars. NARRATOR (V.O.) Everything. TITLE CARD: THE CLOWN A SUBURBAN STREET. You're a little older - 10 or 12 - walking home with your friends from school. NARRATOR (V.O.) We're not talking about the good type of clown because there are no good types of clowns. They're all weird and unfunny. And so is he. An UGLY CAR pulls up. Your dad - now a CLOWN - honks for you to get in. You're mortified. YOUR HOUSE. Dad, in HIGH PLEATED KHAKIS and an XXL HAWAIIAN SHIRT clowns around: He hits his finger with a hammer, tries to type on a computer with large CLOWN GLOVES, etc. NARRATOR (V.O.) His wardrobe makes cartoon characters look stylish. Carrot Top thinks his jokes are a "little broad." (beat, soft, scary voice) Sometimes, he dances. You and your friends listen to music. Clown Dad jumps in and GYRATES HORRIBLY. You turn off the stereo. A RESTAURANT. Clown Dad makes an "Asian face" as he talks to an Asian waiter. He bows slightly as the waiter walks away. NARRATOR (V.O.) Oh, Jesus, he's imitating the waiter's accent again. The only that could be worse is if- And the chopsticks are up his nose. Clown Dad does an AWFUL WALRUS impression. NARRATOR (V.O.) You wish somebody would just shoot you right now. Clown Dad squirts you with a FAKE LAPEL FLOWER. THE TYRANT DINNER. You, now 15, kind of going through a punk phase, pick at your food. NARRATOR (V.O.) You think you liked him better with the red nose. TYRANT DAD sits on an large, lavish throne at the head of table. NARRATOR (V.O.) He's like Darth Vader, Hitler, and the reverend from Footloose all rolled into one. You MOW THE LAWN as Dad supervises. NARRATOR (V.O.) He never lets you do anything. You're forced to work his land and obey his ridiculous decrees. Next to the THRONE: A STEWARD reads from a scroll. STEWARD Mandate the 9th: Thou shall not pierce thine flesh, as long as thou lives under thine roof. YOU Ugh, SERIOUSLY?! You run into your dad in the hall. You BOW ironically. NARRATOR (V.O.) You're pretty sure even serfs could stay out past 9 on weekdays. You preach to an unseen audience. YOU If we all stop eating, he has to let me go to Warped Tour! NARRATOR (V.O.) You want change, but you're not sure your fellow revolutionaries can be trusted. REVEAL: You're talking to your 7 and 10-year-old SIBLINGS. They're adorably not paying attention. NARRATOR (V.O.) Nobody in the world has it as bad as you. You stop mowing the lawn, sit on your porch, and SIGH. Next door, there's a boy doing the exact same thing. TITLE CARD: THE SUIT Dad, in a GRAY SUIT, drives you to college. NARRATOR Then you realize: Your Dad's not a dictator. He's an LL Bean catalog. DAD Now, just remember- But you're already out of the car. SPLIT SCREEN: As Dad goes through a BORING WORK DAY in MUTED GRAYS, the following happens to YOU at COLLEGE: NARRATOR You're going to be different. You're not going to sell out. You're going to read books. You play video games and drink beer. Dad sits at his computer and drinks coffee. NARRATOR Have interesting conversations with interesting people. A PARTY. You sort of listen to a girl. Meanwhile, Dad sits in a boring BOARD MEETING. GIRL I just really think the, you know, themes of the book- You interrupt her with a sloppy make-out session. NARRATOR You'll be the millionaire astronaut rock star that he never was. You wake up, on the floor, a penis drawn on your face. Dad, almost asleep at his computer, snaps awake. END SPLIT SCREEN. Dad reads BILLS. NARRATOR You don't even know why he keeps that stupid job. REVEAL: You're sitting across from him. YOU I'm, uh, going to need to go to summer school. TITLE CARD: THE HERO (REPRISE) You're running down a dark alley. NARRATOR (V.O.) OK. So you might be in over your head. A DEAD END. You're stuck. A strange GANG approaches you, wielding CHAINS and CLUBS: PROFESSIONAL WOMAN You missed your student loan payment! BOSS I need you to work through the holidays! LANDLORD I'm not going to fix your HOT WATER! NARRATOR (V.O.) That's when you remember why he was your hero. They're about to attack when YOUR DAD, a trench coat vigilante, leaps to your defense. NARRATOR (V.O.) He's not as fast or as strong as you remember, but he has other skills. And he will do anything - anything - to keep you safe. Dad takes a few punches, but manages to beat back the gang. YOU Thank you- But he's already gone. NARRATOR (V.O.) The worst part is you know there's no way you can repay him. The least you can do is stay out of trouble. A SHADY CHARACTER calls to you from the shadows. SHADY CHARACTER Hey, want a free credit card? YOU (shrug, cheerful) OK. Dolly into DARKNESS, transitioning us, with NO TITLE CARD, back to REALITY. Dad helps you pack up your room. NARRATOR (V.O.) But no more fantasies. You feel like you know your Dad pretty well these days. Really got a handle on the ol' guy- Carrying a box into the attic, you spot a GUITAR CASE. NARRATOR (V.O.) Wait, he played guitar? You open a CHEST next to it and go through the various keepsakes. NARRATOR (V.O.) Of all the things you've considered your dad, "a person" was never one of them. Maybe it's the letters, or the diploma, or maybe it's, uh, these- You find an awful pair of SEQUINED BELL BOTTOMS. NARRATOR (V.O.) -but you realize he's a guy. A guy who's had fears, desires, hopes, disappointments. He has no idea what comes next, but he's doing his best to figure it out. He's- You find a picture of your Dad and Mom holding you as infant. They're both impossibly young. He's strangely familiar. Suddenly, you recognize your dad... NARRATOR (V.O.) He's you. As you smile, just a little bit, we cut to the... FINAL TITLE CARD: YOU END.