Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sparky the Slug.

(Recently discovered script for the pilot episode of a children’s adventure series, set to run as part of NBC’s slate of live-action programming. Based on the book Eine Schnecke Namens Sparki [A Slug Named Sparky] by Hans L. Grettel)

(Theme song: “They call him Sparky! Sparky! Sparky the slu-hug! They call him Sparkyyyyy! Sparky the slug!!!”)

(Scene One: Little Bobby Penderwhump is seen playing with his faithful pet slug, Sparky, out in the Penderwhump’s back forty. Cheery music.)

Bobby: Gee, Sparky, it sure is great to be on summer vacation, huh?


Bobby: You bet it is, boy. And it sure is a beautiful day, isn’t it, Sparky?


Bobby: You can say that again! Hey, let’s play a game! Fetch the ball, Sparky!


Bobby: Gee, Sparky, the ball went in the old well! And that’s my last Super Pinky!


Bobby: I know, Sparky! I’ll just lower myself down on the old bucket rope! What could possibly go wrong? You stay here and hold the handle while I grab the roooooooooooooooope


Bobby: Sparky! I’m trapped in the well! And my ankle’s twisted! And I have ADD! Maybe shingles too! And I can’t stop using exclamation points! Get help, Sparky!

(Sparky turns and races away at high speed.)

(Scene Two: Back at the Double Bar Hook “At” Sign Umlaut Ranch. Soothy music.)

Mrs. Penderwhump: Gee, John, I wonder where Bobby and Sparky are. I haven’t seen them since Thursday.

Mr. Penderwhump: Oh, don’t worry about it, old gal. You know that boy. He’s probably just up to some mischief.

Mrs. Penderwhump: Like the time he tied little Nellie to the train tracks? (Laughs)

Mr. Penderwhump: (Laughing) He’s all boy, that one. Hey, is there any more of that Jim Beam left?

Mrs. Penderwhump: I got you a case at the general store today.

Mr. Penderwhump: Good. It’s the only way I can stand your cooking.

(Camera pans toward Mrs. Penderwhump, who, despite her carefree demeanor, seems to suspect that something is wrong. Soft dramatic music.)

(Scene Three: In the well. Softer dramaticker music.)

Bobby: Gosh, I sure hope Sparky brings help soon! I’ve only got 8,000 gallons of water and two bites of Super Pinky left!

(Scene Four: Sparky hurtles along for thirty minutes. Music: “Yakity Sax.” Suddely he comes upon a fearsome dilemma: a salt lick! Sparky screeches to a halt, and, two hours later, manages to crawl around it.)

(Scene Five: Back at the ranch)

Mrs. Penderwhump: You know, sugarlump, I’m starting to get worried.

Mr. Penderwhump: Have another drink and shut up.

Mrs. Penderwhump: I mean it, John, blast your eyes!

Mr. Penderwhump: Okay, okay. If Bobby’s not back by this time next week I’ll go look for him.

Mrs. Penderwhump: If only his father were here!

Mr. Penderwhump: If— Hey! What the hell?

Mrs. Penderwhump: That poor little tyke! I sure hope he’s all right!

(Loud dramatic music.)

(Scene Six: In the well)

Bobby: Golly, I can’t subsist on water and cheap rubber much longer! I hope Sparky makes it!

(Scene Seven: Sparky crests a hill. The farmhouse is in sight. Music: high drama. Sparky barrels toward the house. He arrives just as Mr. Penderwhump’s deadline is up.)

Mr. Penderwhump: Okay, okay, I said I’d go look for the little bast— Why, look! It’s Bobby’s pet slug, Sparky!

Mrs. Penderwhump: Thank heaven! Sparky, is something wrong?

Mr. Penderwhump: Give him room on the rug. I think he’s trying to write something.

(Scene Eight: The following afternoon.)

Mr. Penderwhump: “Bobby is in the we.” The we?

Mrs. Penderwhump: Not the we, you silly inebriated jackass! See? He’s writing an L! Bobby’s in the well!

Mr. Penderwhump: Holy slappin’ catfish! Let’s go, boy!

(Scene Nine: Mr. Penderwhump and Sparky race across the fields. Sparky outpaces the aged Mr. Penderwhump considerably.)

(Scene Ten: In the well.)

Bobby: If this show gets picked up I’ll probably have to do this crap every week.


Bobby: Hey, that sounded like Sparky! Could it be?

Mr. Penderwhump: You down there, Bobby?

Bobby: Yeah, Dad! Help!

(Mr. Penderwhump lowers the rope to Bobby, and drains his bottle while Bobby climbs up. Triumphant music.)

Bobby: Thanks a lot, Dad.

Mr. Penderwhump: Could a sworn I had another bottle on me.

Bobby: I couldn’t have survived much longer on Super Pinky.

Mr. Penderwhump: Better than your mother’s cooking, anyway.

Bobby: And thanks to you too, Sparky! You saved me!


Bobby: Come on, boy! Speak!

Sparky: Aw, for Pete’s sake, I’m just a dumb animal! Quit anthropomorphizing, will ya!

Bobby: Gee, Sparky, you sure are smart.

(The three of them schlep home while a voiceover sings the Sparky closing theme: “Happy Trails to You.”)

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