who the heck knows anything, anyway

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

nov 22. subtitle: terrible sitcom script with great promise


Most recently, I've had the pleasure of developing pityriasis rosea. It's a rash of unknown origin that lasts at least six weeks. It looks like the type of rash you'd draw on yourself as a kid to get out of school: big, red, round/oval spots all over. You can't get rid of it. You just have to ride the wave. Despite splotching up my neck real good, it has, thank sweet baby jesus, avoided my face. At least it happened in the winter; I'd pass out if I tried rocking these turtlenecks in August. 

Sometimes a health issue is so wild that it's comical. I could pitch a whole show about the medical magic and mysteries that befall all of my family members. I mean, how many people under the age of 100 do you know who've had scarlet fever? Because my brother, Matthew, has. That's right--we've got that Oregon Trail shit. And we've got Daniel, too, who married me for some reason and has nothing wrong with him! It's the perfect set-up. 

The world has seen so many medical shows that focus on doctors. Sure, House had a physical disability and struggled with addiction, but what if--imagine this--it was always lupus. Because a character has lupus. Imagine! Lupus, Lyme, EDS, ALS, blindness, deafness, permanent injuries, ADHD... I know many people who experience these things already use humor to share their stories (or feel better when they feel like shit), so imagine the delightfully dark jokes that will let people laugh with us instead of just feeling bad for us. I feel like the way to move forward with chronic illness inclusivity and normalization is to let a family like mine publicly make fun of our bodies. It's time to let the patients shine! Comedy will bring us together, babyyyy!

Here. I've spent twenty minutes writing a(n admittedly terrible) scene for a late-90's sitcom. I'm willing to move to LA, but I'll need great health insurance, pay that's high enough for rent and weekly doc appointments, and my current medications have me taking naps every day, so you're looking at a writers room that works 10am-1pm. Let me work from home 95% of the time and I can throw in 5-7pm.


*****

 

Sitcom, Name TBD:        "The Rash" (first draft)       11/09/23


ACT ONE

INT. LIVING/DINING ROOM - MID DAY

A group of Czuba family members is milling about--DANIEL (husband) is on his laptop at the table, MATTHEW and CONRAD (brothers) are looking at their phones on the couch, KERRY (mother) is clearing off the coffee table.

KILLIAN enters through front door.

KILLIAN:

Hey guys, can I show you something?

EVERYONE glances up and over to her, looking either vaguely interested, generally disinterested, or slightly annoyed at being interrupted.

KILLIAN lifts her shirt up enough to show her whole stomach. There are five comically large, circular red spots.

KILLIAN:

Is this fine?

EVERYONE stares blankly, unsure of what to think or say.

AUDIENCE LAUGHS.

KILLIAN:

(Still looking down at her stomach)

There aren't *that* many... 

NO ONE says anything.

KILLIAN:

It's probably just weird hives? It doesn't hurt or anything. 

DANIEL:

Did you take some Benadryl?

KILLIAN:

Definitely did not.

AUDIENCE LAUGHS.

You know me so well.

DANIEL:

(Gets up from the table)

How many do you want?

KILLIAN:

One, please! I'd like to take a three hour nap instead of passing out for two days.

KILLIAN turns to look at her stomach in the hall mirror, gently poking at one of the spots, nonplussed. Since her shirt is still lifted up, the audience can now see her back. It is almost completely covered in the large spots. It looks terrible.

KERRY:

Oh my God.

CONRAD starts laughing. MATTHEW is cringing and silently mouthing the word "yikes."

AUDIENCE LAUGHS.

DANIEL has not gotten all the way to the bathroom and stops in his tracks, trying to appear calm and not sound concerned.

CONRAD:

I don't think you need any Benadryl.

DANIEL:

Change of plans. Who wants some ice cream and a brief trip to Urgent Care?

AUDIENCE LAUGHS.

MATTHEW:

Can I come?

DANIEL:

Sure, but bring your wallet. I'll cover the ice cream, but you're on your own for urgent care; your copay rates are higher than my student loan payments.

AUDIENCE LAUGHS 

MATTHEW:

I'm obviously just coming for the ice cream.

DANIEL grabs his coat and speaks kindly to Matthew.

DANIEL:

I love you, but if you don't have a fistful of Lactaid in your pocket as we speak, you will not just be coming for the ice cream.

AUDIENCE LAUGHS as Daniel hustles them out of the house. KILLIAN looks comically surprised. 

Fade to commercial.

***fin***