Essay:Script of scene 1, The Pedophile Zone TV pilot

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(Episode begins. It is a sunny day. GERALD, a tidy, young-looking man, with Brylcreemed hair and a well-pressed flannel shirt, walks through the parking lot to his car carrying a paper bag of groceries, with celery and a French baguette sticking out of the top. Everything about him looks very ordinary, conventional, and nondescript, except that something in his eyes reveals that deep within his soul, there is a thought that troubles him. He begins looking through the keys on his chain for the one that will open his car's trunk.)

NARRATOR (in a Rod Serling-esque tone): This is Gerald. A man stuck in another dimension, a parallel universe if you will, between the life most men take for granted, and the death all men are destined for. For you see, by a twist of fate, and a stroke of a lawmaker's pen, Gerald has been forbidden from ever knowing the pleasures of a carnal relationship with a person of his age of attraction. In this state of limbo, crushed as by a mortal and pestle between the strength of his own desires and the disapproval of the society in which he lives, Gerald experiences the heights of desperation alternating with the pit of despair. It is a place we know as ... the Pedophile Zone. (Dramatic musical flourish ending on an ominous note.)

(LYSANDER walks up, in a tweed suit with a pocket square. Something seems subtly eccentric about his manner and style. When he finally speaks, his tone is Anthony Hopkins-esque.)

LYSANDER (smiling): Hello, Gerald.

GERALD (startled and distracted): Hi. Can I help you with something?

LYSANDER: The question is, can I help you.

GERALD (As though thinking that maybe LYSANDER is the grocery store manager): Oh, no thanks, I can handle this one bag easily enough...

LYSANDER (pleasantly): Not that it matters. Where you're going, you'll have no need of groceries.

GERALD (stops moving and stares): I beg your pardon?

LYSANDER: Gerald, today's your lucky day. (Casually walks a few steps away, in the direction of the camera, and lights a cigarette as GERALD eyes him suspiciously. For a moment, LYSANDER gazes unsettlingly directly at the camera, with an amused, mischievous, perhaps even slightly crazed glint in his eye, reminiscent of a combination of Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Jack Nicholas, yet slowly giving way to a hint of Gene Wilder, as though he is preparing to unveil a doorway leading beyond this world.) You know, Gerald, I can learn a lot about a man, just by following him, watching him, searching for signs of what lies beneath the seemingly untroubled surface. There are so many little tells that give away the reflections of his mind, the dreams of his heart, the hopes of his spirit, and the musings of his soul... everything from the way he stands there at just under five feet three inches tall, to those nasty scars on the wrist of his right arm...

GERALD (As though taking offense): Now listen mister, if you're gonna get insulting--

LYSANDER (turning sharply toward him, now speaking with a sense of urgency and passion): Gerald, what if I told you that you don't have to suffer anymore? Oh, don't think I don't know, how you while away every, single, miserable, day, rotting there alone like a living corpse, waiting for the end!

(LYSANDER begins slowly crumpling and crushing the empty cigarette pack in his hands, as though channeling Uncle Charlie from the restaurant scene of Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt.) This lousy world is infested by rotten, worthless people whose stupidity blinds them to the hideous depravity of what they do, driving us to the brink with their hysterical and senseless persecutions. Like disgusting maggots, they pollute and ruin a civilization that had so much potential for beauty and happiness. If only we could have exterminated that vile nest of verminous pestilence, we would have done so long ago, but alas, the collective, like a gigantic mutated amoeba from the darkest reaches of hell, has stretched out its slimy pseudopod to engulf us in the worm-ridden parasitic filth, trapping us hopelessly so that we suffer the torment and anguish of knowing we are being slowly consumed. I've had enough, and I suspect that so have you.

Why do I say all this? Because it's my mission in life to help people like you. It's what I was sent into this world to accomplish.

GERALD (stares at him like he's nuts): Sent into this world? You mean, like through some kind of interdimensional portal, like what you see in the science fiction movies?

LYSANDER (considers this): Well, if you consider my mom's vagina an interdimensional portal, yes.

GERALD (suddenly alarmed and suspicious): And what's this talk about watching me? What are you? The FBI?

LYSANDER: (Smiling): Oh no, I'm not here to talk to you about Two-7yo-Boys-Sucking-Off-A-Dog.MP4. I'm not even here to talk to you about Three_2yo_Boys_Get_Deepthroated_and_Fucked_Up_the_Ass.AVI. I'm on your side; as a civil libertarian, I agree that what you watch in your home is your business, which I would never want to intrude upon, other than by surreptitiously climbing a tree across the street and using binoculars to look in your window so I can get turned on and masturbate to your getting turned on and masturbating. (GERALD looks angry and, pointing a finger at LYSANDER, opens his mouth as though to begin complaining.)

LYSANDER (Reproachfully, as though in indignation at being judged): Don't look at me that way! You have your fetishes, and so do I. We both know we would have chosen to be normal if we could have. (More softly, gently, and empathetically now, as though speaking a sad truth) But that's just not the way the fortune cookie crumbled, Gerald. And you know that.

That's why, the other day, you were struggling to climb over the railing of that highway overpass, so you could leap to your death. But because you were too short, you couldn't make it. (GERALD nods sadly, as though thinking back on it.)

That's why you browsed the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart, before ultimately leaving empty-handed in frustration that they didn't have any left-handed shotguns in stock. (GERALD nods again, looking even more dejected now.)

That's why you went down to the railway tracks, but couldn't jump in front of an oncoming train because your non-detached earlobes and misshapen ears kept you from hearing its approach. (GERALD reaches up to feel his deformed ears.)

That's why you sat there for hours trying to figure out how to tie a noose, before finally giving up and lamenting not having been born with a higher IQ. (GERALD looks slightly embarrassed now, and glances around as though to make sure no one is listening.)

That's why you even wrote in your journal about the idea of raping as many small, innocent schoolchildren as possible, before finally deciding against it, partly because the Kennedy v. Louisiana Supreme Court ruling would keep you from qualifying for the death penalty. (GERALD looks at LYSANDER with his mouth agape, as though to ask, how did you know that?)

LYSANDER is speaking now with a sad certainty, while GERALD unwraps and begins chewing a piece of gum, as though trying to calm himself) Gerald, I know everything about you. I know your thoughts, I know your habits, I even know that you hide your spare house key under the third brick from the left in that border separating the azaleas from the fescue in your front lawn. There's nothing I don't understand about your situation.

(Speaking more quickly now) What if said I had a potion? A potion that could make all your problems go away? A potion that could give you what you seek?

GERALD: You mean a potion that's going to magically transport me to a world where adult-child sex is legal?

LYSANDER (considers this): Assuming that the afterlife is such a world, yes -- except that I wouldn't call it magic. Because you see, unlike certain ostensibly teleophilically gay 51-year-old University of Toronto sexology quacks I could mention, I happen to be a man of science. Here's my card.

GERALD (reading from the card): "Lysander, president and executive director, Suicidal Pedophiles." (Tries to hand back the card) It's against the law to commit suicide around here.

LYSANDER (As though recognizing the It's a Wonderful Life reference and playing along with it): Yeah, it's against the law where I come from, too.

GERALD (Leaning forward to spit out the piece of gum): Where do you come from?

LYSANDER: Catlett.

GERALD (Looking confused): Where's that?

LYSANDER (Looking irritated, as though exasperated at how people from northern Virginia always ask him that question): Never mind. I didn't come here to tell you about a sleepy rural community whose whole reason for coming into being was a railroad junction that became obsolete with the widespread introduction of the automobile circa the 1930s. I came here to talk about a different kind of pointless existence -- yours and mine! Don't you long for an end to this grey haze of sexlessness?

GERALD: No... (Stronger now) NO! I don't need your potions, or your secret society... (Rips up the business card, and throws the pieces at LYSANDER, who stands there smiling, as though unperturbed in his confidence that he will eventually win.) I can find my own path to death, in my own time, in my own way! (Throws the groceries in the trunk, reaches to close it)

LYSANDER (Takes a step toward him): Free will is an illusion, Gerald.

GERALD: Get away from me, you ... MONSTER!

LYSANDER: You can't hide from your nature, Gerald. It's inexorable. Like a wandering star that has crossed the event horizon of the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or like the penis of the little boy about to be fellated by his dad in that video you watched yesterday, you will be sucked in. Just like when you hit the play button knowing what is about to transpire on your computer screen, I observe your life too, confident that when the time comes, you will be the one to come to me.

GERALD: I'll... I'll call the police!

LYSANDER (Sadly, as though about to remind GERALD of an unfortunate reality): Why call, Gerald? Why not just mention to the officer that some scary man is harassing you, the next time you go down to the station on the first of the month to get your photo and fingerprints taken? And Gerald, try to smile for the camera next time; you look so morose in that picture they have on the website right now. One would think that your puppy just died. You give pedophiles a bad name by making us seem clinically depressed, when there's no reason to feel down, given that the means of our self-destruction is so close and readily at hand.

GERALD: ENOUGH! (Slams the trunk down and runs for the car door)

LYSANDER: So long, Gerald. (GERALD opens the car door) And Gerald? ... (GERALD looks back at him, terrified. LYSANDER smiles pleasantly.) I'll be seeing you.

(Dramatic musical flourish, as the screen rapidly fades to black. Cut to commercial.)