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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Bad-vertising Campaign

Apologies for being a bit sparse here over the last week or so. Rest assured, I’ve not simply been resting on my laurels.

(Particularly considering I’d have to steal someone else’s laurels first, were I inclined to rest upon a set.)

Rather, I’ve been hustling pieces out to meet a number of deadlines — a bit for the Mona Schreiber contest, another for the new Mug of Woe collection, Woe of the Road, and this weekend, the second assignment in the latest NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge.

I bring these things up now, of course, because when the various results, decisions and standings come out, I’m not going to want to talk about it. Also, I’ll sit in my darkened bedroom eating ice cream straight from the tub and badmouthing writing of all kinds. Stupid writing, who does it think it is? I always said we should’ve stuck with hieroglyphs, anyway.

“Stupid writing, who does it think it is? I always said we should’ve stuck with hieroglyphs, anyway.”

In the meantime, I’ve also managed — just — to keep up with my sketch writing class over at ImprovBoston. This week was a ‘free form’ assignment, and I was a bit pressed for time, so I worked up a couple of short numbers. These are both TV commercial parodies — one that my friend Jenn and I talked (read: giggled like drunken schoolgirls) over a while back and I finally wrote up, and another that I can’t blame her, or anyone else, for any part of. Sadly.

So have a look, and be glad these ads aren’t running on your local late-night television station. Yet. Happy weekend.


IS IT IN YET?

[Stan, a middle-aged man sits on a couch, reading a newspaper. He serenely flips pages as the announcer speaks.]

ANNOUNCER: Are you afraid of the unknown? Terrified of the consequences of your every decision? Do the simplest questions throw you into a fevered panic?

NANCY: (offscreen) Stanley? What do you want for dinner?

[Stan freezes, wide-eyed with anxiety.]

ANNOUNCER: Well, fear no longer. Home Psychics is here to help.

[Stan smiles, relieved, and looks to his side. A woman in gypsy clothing sits on the other end of the couch, huddling over a crystal ball on the coffee table. She gazes into the ball, waving her hands mysteriously.]

PSYCHIC: I forsee… chicken cacciatore!

[The man beams, giving a thumbs up.

Switch to dining room, where Stan and Nancy are finishing dinner; they chat in the background as the announcer speaks.]

ANNOUNCER: We provide full-time, live-in psychic support to answer all of your most pressing questions. As well as those of your loved ones.

[Stan reaches for an open wine bottle.]

NANCY: Stan, you’ve had three glasses already. Don’t you think that’s enough?

[Stan turns to other side, where psychic is sitting. She has a place setting, but a ouija board instead of a plate. She moves her hands around the board, then shakes her head firmly ‘no’. Stan shrugs at his wife, and smiles as he picks up the bottle and refills his glass.

During next voiceover, a montage of ‘psychic assistance’ shots roll by:

Stan holds up two neckties. Psychic walks toward him with divining rod, eventually pointing to one of the ties.

Stan is in bed, and stirs groggily as though alarm has just gone off. Psychic stands over nightstand, staring intently into a teacup. She makes a ‘cut it’ motion with her hand; Stan hits the snooze alarm and rolls over to sleep.

In the living room, psychic shakes a Magic 8-Ball, reads it, and points to the couch. Stan triumphantly pulls the TV remote from between the cushions.

Stan holds large bottle of antifreeze, prepared to drink it. Psychic flips a coin, looks at it, and shakes her head ‘no’. Stan shrugs, caps the bottle and sets it down.]

ANNOUNCER: You lead a busy life. You can’t be expected to predict the future or unearth the secrets of the universe. That’s where Home Psychics comes in. Our highly sensitive clairvoyants, mentalists and futurecasters are standing by to plumb the depths of the unknown and divine all of the answers you seek. For a low monthly fee, you too can enjoy the exclusive service of a presumably-certified, partially-bonded shaman — or shawoman — of your choice.

[Cut to closeup of psychic, staring mesmerically into camera.]

PSYCHIC: You WILL choose me. I AM the best psychic. I will NOT hock your good china.

[Cut to bedroom. As announcer speaks, camera pans in slowly from side of bed, where Stan and Nancy are under covers. Stan is on top and squirming.]

ANNOUNCER: So call Home Psychics today. Because you don’t have all the answers in life. But *we* do.

[Cut to closeup of couple’s faces — his furrowed in concentration, hers bored.]

NANCY: Is it in yet?

[Stan’s eyes widen; they both look to the other side of the bed, where the psychic is lying on her stomach beside them, with tarot cards dealt. She flips over the final card and shows it to them.]

PSYCHIC: I see… the Hermit!

[Closeup of couple’s faces — his aghast and hers mildly disgusted.

Wider shot of bedroom with overlay containing title ‘Home Psychics’ and logo — a simple stylized house with turban on top — along with slogan “It’s not in until we *say* it’s in!”

In background, Nancy shoves Stan into floor. She reaches over and turns off nightstand lamp. Fade to black.]


COCKFAX

[DUANE is in a bar with CAROL, trying to pick her up. He practically drips with sleazy innuendo.]

DUANE: C’mon, baby, let’s go back to my place. I’ll show you my pet ‘python’.

CAROL: I… don’t think that’s-

DUANE: Aw, c’mon! I got a footlong ‘hero sandwich’ in my bedroom with your name on it.

CAROL: I… I don’t know.

DUANE: Baby, please. I’ve got a big huge ‘pipe’ you need to see. It could leak at any moment.

CAROL: Well… all right, fine. Show me the CockFax.

DUANE: What?!

CAROL: The CockFax. Let me see the CockFax.

[The ANNOUNCER enters opposite. As he speaks, Duane pleads with Carol and protests. She remains adamant.]

ANNOUNCER: Look familiar, ladies? Don’t fall prey to false advertising, exaggerated claims or plain old wishful thinking. Before you commit — for a lifetime, or even half an hour — do the right thing. Ask for the CockFax.

[Duane finally relents, and produces a report. Carol reads a few lines and breaks out laughing. Duane slinks away as she laughs and points.]

ANNOUNCER: CockFax is an independent service providing reliable, up-to-date information on your prospective partners’ “endowments”. We provide a free comprehensive Johnson report, including service records, inspection results, odometer readings and flood damage history. Available at any reputable bar, restaurant, meeting place or Greyhound bus station near you.

[Duane returns, with SASHA on his arm, heading past Carol for the door. Carol taps Sasha on the shoulder and whispers in her ear.]

ANNOUNCER: So don’t risk going home with a lemon. Or a baby carrot. Get the info you need, before you do the deed. And always ask:

SASHA: (to Duane) Show me the CockFax!

[Duane slinks off again, alone. The girls slide up to the announcer, who leads them away, one on each arm.]

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