SCENE OPENS on a typical Airbus A380 jet flying an international route. Mr. Animal Guy, a mild-mannered dude (except when he is not) in his 4o’s, is alone in seat 3A when someone–or maybe something–seems to float down the aisle and sit next to him. As this shadowy form sits, a gust of wind buffets the jet sharply, all the babies on the plane begin to cry in unison, and Gerard Butler sashays across the little airplane screen in a rubber surfer suit in “Chasing Mavericks”. The shadowy form stares a few moments at Butler’s modern hippie ‘do, shadowy hand perched over the barf bag, before turning to face Mr. Animal Guy.
MR. FEAR GUY: Thailand? You’re going to Thailand? What, are you crazy? Why are you doing that?
Mr. Animal Guy rolls his eyes, turning to face his new companion.
MR. ANIMAL GUY: Oh, you again. You’re really not looking well. If you must know, I want to help some elephants. I’m an animal guy and I think elephants are one of the coolest animals on the planet. In Thailand there’s a program that helps them, and so I’m going.
MR. FEAR GUY (rubs hands together sinisterly): Oh, this is gonna be good. You know, I’ve got like a million reasons why this is the biggest mistake of your life.
MR. ANIMAL GUY (sighs): Yeah, I know.
MR. FG: They speak a foreign language. You don’t know Thai.
MR. AG: I know a few phrases… and the people in the program said they would teach me.
MR. FG: You don’t know shit. You’ll look like an idiot. You won’t even be able to get to the hotel. They’ll laugh at you, you know how you loooove that.
MR. AG: Is the sarcasm necessary?
MR. FG: Oh, I haven’t even started, big boy. Your life was good. You had a nice house back there in Los Angeles. You should’ve stayed there. Locked the doors and pulled the drapes even. Hide under the bed. Get serious brother, you need to be safe.
MR. AG: Hide under the bed? Seems excessive.
MR. FG: I’m looking out for you. There could be earthquakes back in L.A. Leprosy outbreak. People, for god’s sake. People. Stay away from them, they can be nasty. They can talk to you or even give you leprosy. But you’re changing the subject. Let’s just stay on this trip to Thailand and how you’re fucking up big time.
MR. AG: Clock’s running on you. I hear you talk, you kind of sound like you’re full of it.
MR. FG: Am I? What about this? You’re 45. Jesus, you’re 45! Holy crap, you’re old! Anyway, point is, these kinds of things are done by kids. You can’t hang with them. You can’t do the physical stuff, and you sure can’t talk to them. Nothing in common there.
MR. AG: I’m in the best shape of my life.
MR. FG: Mosquitos will eat you. Or the teenagers. They’ll eat you alive. You should see them when they strike, they can unhinge their jaws and swallow you whole.
MR. AG: Mosquitos or teenagers?
MR. FG: Teenagers. The mosquitos suck your brains out of your skull with their proboscises. Just like a Slurpie.
Mr. Animal Guy looks doubtful.
MR. FG: Check this. You’re leaving your cats back there in L.A. to be taken care of by total strangers. They won’t feed them right. Lyle’s finicky. What if he starves to death? What if someone breaks into the house and hangs everybody? I’m talking not just the cats, but even the cat sitter. At least it would serve him right for starving Lyle.
Mr. Animal guy says nothing, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
MR. FG: Ah, I got you there. That’s a familiar one, isn’t it? You’ve had that one for years. Broken windows, home invaders, and cat hangings all around.
MR. AG: Yes. But you know, I’m starting to realize how stupid this all sounds when you say it out loud.
MR. FG: I have a cold. I’m all nasally.
MR. AG: I really think that this trip might be pretty cool. And as long as I’m open, I think mostly some pretty cool things will happen. And I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not buying your line right now.
MR. FG: Smooshed.
MR. AG: Smooshed?
MR. FG: You’ll be smooshed by an elephant. Flattened. Trampled to death.
MR. AG: I have to go. Plane’s landing now.
MR. FG: Is it landing, or just maybe… is it crashing?
MR. AG: Your voice cracked on that. Kinds ruins the effect.
MR. FG: (sighs) Are you gonna eat those nuts? I’m hungry, like, all the time.
MR. AG: Yeah, I know. Sure, have a nut and then crawl your ass back to coach. This is business class, dumbass, and you don’t belong here.