So I wrote a screenplay…
It’s late Friday night inside the house of an upper-class neighborhood. Two teenage lovers lock lips in the daughter’s bedroom, deviously decorated with religious paraphernalia, a variety of stuffed animals, and colorful crafts to conceal her true sinister behavior. Journey’s “Faithfully” is playing through a cassette player, adding to the sensual ambience. The year is 1984.
Foolishly, the parents of this juvenile deviant booked out of town for the weekend, leaving behind their young royalty to finish her “research paper;” only this pretty princess has other plans in mind. “Let me slip into something a little more comfortable,” she hints at her hunk opposite to her on the bed. They’ve decided it’s time to take their relationship to the next level.
The hunk strolls down the hallway, fist-pumping all the way to the bathroom. He has been waiting for this moment his whole life. The fact that precious jewelry, family heirlooms, and various knick-knacks in the bathroom have gone missing doesn’t even faze this testosterily charged adolescent. His mind is totally oblivious to everything except his immediate future spent with his first and only love. A giant smile spreads ear to ear across his face as he opens the toilet lid, unbuttons his pants, and hums his favorite love song, all in preparation to take a leak.
He looks down, releases a ghastly shriek of terror, and steps back in shock. He shakes with an uncontrollable tremble; the sight is just too much for him to bear. It is one of the most disgusting things he has ever seen in his entire life– a large mound of bio-hazardous madness piled high inside the bowl.
“Babe, what’s wrong,” the girl asks with mounting concern as she bursts into the bathroom.
“You’re sick. You’re SICK!” the boy repeats. He is absolutely livid. “How could anybody make something that atrocious!?”
He storms out of the bathroom and down the stairs, brushing his princess out of the way. She follows him like a pathetic puppy. Outside, the engine of a red Camaro ignites, and with a couple of revs, it speeds away undetected from the crime scene.
The boy stomps towards the door and clasps the door handle before his girlfriend grabs onto his other arm. She gives him one final plea.
“We’re done. We are DONE,” screams the boy, as the door swings open.
“No babe, wait! I love you!” It’s no use. The door slams in her face and the young lover is left by herself in humiliation with nothing but the remains of an all-natural brownie mix in her stall and the hook of her favorite journey song echoing through the house. The turd burglar has struck again…
That’s the very first scene of a screenplay I wrote, entitled “Turd Burglars.” If you’re a sane person reading this, you’re reaction should be something along the lines of, “What in the Hell?” And I can totally understand, being it’s only the first scene in a movie that only expands in its offensive nature. I used to wonder how in the world I came up the idea for a movie centered around a “turd burglar.” Looking back however, I realized that there’s a history behind this brainchild, and even a logical explanation of how I formed this story inside my head and put it onto paper. Maybe after reading this, you may have a slight understanding of how I came up with the concept, and eventually believe, “Hey, he might actually be onto something really funny.”
But anyway, let’s get on with the story. It all started during your typical Sunday in the city of Seattle…
It was one of the hottest weekends in Western Washington during the summer of 2008. I had recently started my new profession as an engineer making gobs of money, so needless to say, things were going very well. After what some might call an excess of partying, there I lay on my good friend Ben Woodward’s futon, profusely sweating from the 85% humidity mixed with the 95-degree temperature in the air (which is very hot for Seattle since nobody has air-conditioning. Anywhere). It was early… too early, but there was no way I could gain another minute of sleep in that smoldering hot box of Ben’s crusty apartment, at least not in the type of pain I was in.
I rose to a hunched position, trying to reclaim the memories of the night prior. I was surrounded by Rainer beer cans, some empty, some completely full, and a mix of others in the in-between status. There was a putrid smell of garbage reeking from the overflowing trashcan with fruit flies swarming, mixed with rotten food particles clinging to the stacks of dirty dishes and mold crawling from plate to plate. Bags from Dick’s Drive-In cluttered the living room, reminding me that we had made the pilgrimage to Seattle’s premiere burger joint the night before… Now it was starting to come back to me. Maybe that was the reason why I had this terrible feeling arising in my stomach, and I’m sure my surroundings were aiding to that uneasiness inside me to come out. Not puke all over the place, but something a little subtler, a bit more normal, at least to some.
I rose from the futon, leaving a large puddle of sweat behind to be permanently stained into the cushions to forever remind us of this weekend. There were two paths I could go. One was the community bathroom that easily exceeded the grotesque conditions of the rest of the apartment. The other was a more dangerous route through Ben’s room where he spent his time slumbering away, unaware of the massive heat wave beating down upon us. It was a safe haven of sorts, a luxurious escape compared to the cradle of filth of which I was entrapped inside, even if it were only for a mere half-hour. The trek would be well worth the risk.
I snuck passed the corner of Ben’s living room that had been tainted by a black fungal like substance that perfectly contrasted his white carpet, probably an unknown offshoot of some type of growing bacteria that would have Scientist perplexed for years of its origin. But there he was, sound asleep like a little baby. This was too easy. I strutted through with a bit of cockiness to my step and slid into the bathroom. No one was the wiser.
The bathroom served as a solar deathtrap, further intensifying the blistering heat wave that we’d been cursed with that weekend. It was an action I wasn’t looking forward to to say the least, but it had to be done nonetheless. I sat down with sweat pouring from every pore in my body and proceeded with the dirty deed.
It was an absolute disaster, 20 minutes of extreme agony before I could finally rise covered in a blanket of sweat and gaze upon the vile creation pultruding above the waterline. I reached for the lever to dispose of my product that left me in total disgust, for no man should ever set eyes on what was inside that toilet; the consequences would be absolutely devastating. But then, an evil thought slipped into my mind. I stood over the bowl and contemplated my decision, except there was nothing to contemplate. I already knew what I was going to do the moment the thought popped into my head. I lifted my hand from the lever that had not yet been depressed, and shut the bathroom window. Before leaving, I casually flipped the heat lamp on and crept back through his bedroom and into the living room without his knowledge. Boy was he in for a surprise.
A good amount of time passed before Ben woke. He’s a heavy sleeper, he really is. So much time, that I nearly forgot about the incident and was reacquainted with an old friend called sleep. That is, until a blood-curdling scream from Ben’s room blasted my eardrums, followed by the sounds of picture frames falling and a large mass crashing into a desk, letting its contents spill onto the floor.
He burst into the living room, bug-eyed in his undies with sweat dripping from his dimple-imprinted forehead. “What the hell was that!?” he exclaimed, violently trembling in his socks. I sat there and tried to act surprised, but all that was delivered was a grin ever growing into a bigger and bigger smile. He wanted to kill me, I could see it in his eyes, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Who could blame him? The man was absolutely petrified! The only thing he could do was slowly slide down into a fetal position, where he lay in a comatose state, letting his natural instincts of surrender take over.
Since then, my relationship with Ben Woodward has always had a bit of uneasiness to it, as if he never fully recovered from that incident. And unbeknownst to me, that day marked the beginning of a journey, one that led me to begin my amateur career as a screenwriter. Unfortunately, it also marked the beginning of an ongoing battle that lasted years.
It started out as harmless fun, as all these things do. Ben would sneak his way into my bathroom to leave a nice surprise for me, and a couple days later, I would return the favor, finding a creative way to out-do his last. The human race has a natural drive for competition, and the stakes rose to unbelievable heights with each prank we pulled. As the battle ensued, we each grew wiser, sniffing out the evidence and destroying it before it could be seen, or finding other means to outsmart the other, making each successful stunt more satisfying than the one before it.
But after awhile, our game had reached dangerous levels of competition. There was only so much our bodies would allow us to handle naturally before we began taking drastic measures in order to achieve the upper hand. Houses and apartments were broken into to deliver the goods, cleaners and other “supplements” were taken to produce cloggers, and eventually, the game ventured outside the bounds of the bathroom. This was no longer a game of friendly contest; this was all out war.
It reached a tipping point one night where emotions ran high after a round of jabs, until ultimately, and tragically, punches were thrown. Mike Gibson separated us, offering us a world of hurt if we didn’t stop our antics. We both wisely obeyed, for Mike is a certified ass kicker of all mischiviants. I think that night we both realized that we’d finally crossed the line, and it just simply wasn’t worth it to continue on. So we formed an unofficial truce and stopped the madness before it destroyed our friendship and our bodies any further.
Those events seemed to stick with me however, and from time to time, whenever I sat down to provide my body with natural relief, I thought about the days when Ben and I would devise schemes to force distraught upon each other, and the other times I’ve felt the same by entering a random public stall. Such examples are when you open a door to find the scene of a grenade explosion, with debris plastered everywhere, or when the world’s supply of toilet paper just wasn’t enough for that certain individual who previously occupied the stall (which actually happened today at work believe it or not). Usually in those cases, the perpetrator didn’t understand the concept of flushing whatsoever.
One thing I’ve tried to understand is why somebody would leave something like that for a random person to see, unless they’re just a sick person. In that case, there are a lot of unstable people out there, some of which work for the federal government, which is even a scarier thought. I do know with males however that no matter the age, dropping a giant bomb is considered a major achievement in our twisted little minds. Get a couple of us going, and you could spend a whole night reliving the history of our most decorated creations. If it’s a great accomplishment, pictures can taken and shared with friends, which is okay being it’s a trustworthy group of brethren and you’re not sharing your business with everyone in the world, most of who wouldn’t want to see in the first place. But on rare occasions, where the creator leaves a masterpiece, it’s totally acceptable to leave the work of art on display.
“Hey you guys, come check this out,” I remember one of the students on my floor shouting down the hall of the dorms during my freshman year of college as we leisurely converged our way to the bathroom.
“Whoa,” one of the kids said as a dozen of us gathered around the stall, mouths agape, marveling at the monster in the middle. We were in total amazement at the size of the object, so much that we left that stall untouched for a week. I think even the janitor didn’t even bother walking in and flushing, for he too was quite impressed.
It sounds like repulsive talk, but ask any honest man, and he’ll tell you about the biggest torpedo he’s ever fired, or the most astonishing direct explosion his ever encountered. It’s one of those topics that are very taboo to talk about, but once it’s brought up, we pour our hearts out, eagerly waiting to tell our own tales of combat.
One day while working in DC, I was in the bathroom having one of those moments of reflection, when a man entered a stall two down from me. I could tell by the way he walked in and groaned that there was a mess already scattered about. He must have been very eager to get on with business, for he wasted no time sitting down after he depressed the flush lever.
“What the-“ he exclaimed as he shot up off the john and water began to overflow and fall onto the tiled flooring. He grunted and stormed out of the bathroom, an action I couldn’t blame him for (but at least he could’ve washed his hands afterwards in my humble opinion). The water slowly seeped into my stall, sending me into a panic to finish my deed and jump off the pot myself.
While scrambling to get my things together and return to work before the flood of water outlined the reach of my shoes, a revelation came to me. How many times has this happened to people just like me, not this exact incident perhaps, but occasions where people enter a bathroom only to be blown away by what lied in front of them? It happens all the time I concluded, and it’s a situation people can really relate too.
My mind started flowing rapidly with stories throughout my life that I had experienced or heard where something wild and outrageous happened during a trip to the bathroom. There were so many, most of which people wouldn’t dare talk about in the public sphere, but deep down in the darkest parts of their sick little minds, would secretly love to hear.
Some nights later, I picked up a book on how to write screenplays. I was on to something, something really good. I breezed through the book, picking up on the storytelling techniques and screen writing formats as if they were second nature. I was ready. I opened up my computer, and began writing, and didn’t stop.
The words were placed on the paper draft as if they were diarrhea; they just didn’t stop flowing! The more I wrote, the more the storyline and characters seemed to develop clearer inside my head. There was no guarantee that people would like it, and even a lower probability that it would ever be made into a movie, but as long as the ideas kept pouring out of my brain, it was my duty to put them to paper and release my vision to the world, and now after over two years of writing, editing, and rewriting several times, I eventually produced a product ready to send out to the masses.
The story centers around two police officers, one, a rookie cop named Jones who is full of potential, but still has a lot to learn about the force. The other, Jackson, a washed up loser, was once the premiere detective of the local police squad before tragedy struck him and his family. Now he’s been given a second chance to put his life back together and mentor his young apprentice. Through their pursuit of a vicious cat burglar terrorizing the neighborhood, the two work and grow together, forming an unforgettable bond to catch this relentless villain, who leaves behind no evidence except for a single calling card; a giant mess at the bottom of the toilet for his victims to discover, leaving them overcome with fright and quivering in fear.
As these cases increase in their frequency, the public’s concern grows, to the point where people contemplate even entering their own bathroom, and parent’s worry that their child’s next bathroom visit could be there last, as the horror of such a monstrous scene would haunt them for the rest of their short lives. Jackson and Jones must do everything they can to catch the perpetrator before it’s too late and the town is left in a giant heap of waste, getting themselves into a couple sticky situations along the way, some of which nearly cost them their jobs, and their lives.
All the while, Jackson must prevent his protégé, Jones, who is eerily following in the same footsteps of his shaky past, from self-destruction; one that the turd burglar, whom we eventually find to have a close connection with Jackson, is all too eager to see through.
Apart from a fanfare of dirty tricks, silly jokes, and outlandish situations that the two heroes find themselves constantly tangled in, “Turd Burglars” in the end is a story of good vs. evil, friendship, and learning how to cope with the demons that hold us back and prevent us from moving on. Set in the 1980’s suburban dreamscape, “Turd Burglars” places normal people looking for their shot at the American Dream up against an out of this world villain for an epic showdown you’ll have to see to believe…
So if you’re interested in reading my story, or even getting a large group together and doing a screen reading, I’d love to share it and get your thoughts on what you think of it or how it could possibly be better. Even with such an unconventional subject matter that’ll leave the purest of hearts shying away, it’s something I’m actually really proud of and that I think people would really enjoy. I mean, how many people do you know that can say they’ve wrote a screenplay? It actually takes a lot of work coming up with a complete, full-length story. But now, it’s finally complete, and hey, maybe if enough people show interest, we can make a movie! That would be a dream come true.
But until that day comes, let me know if you’re interested, and I can send you a copy, and if we get enough people involved, we can turn this dream into a reality. Let’s make this happen!