Monday, December 26, 2011

The Beast in the Jungle (Part 2)

"THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it...because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over."
- Hunter S. Thompson

In 'Part One' of this blog, I defined "the beast in the jungle" as being a potential reality that exists as an abstraction in the future. I emphasized the importance of living in the present and not worrying about anything that may or may not happen in the future, because the present is the only true reality that we should be concerned about (read the previous blog HERE).

I also talked about how the above philosophy could be applied to my financial situation, which always seems to be on the verge of disaster but never actually IS - in my present reality - a disaster. Even though I would often go into a month not knowing how I was going to pay my bills in a couple of weeks, somehow the money would come and I'd always end up OK. All I had to do was keep my faith, trust that some higher divine power would come through and make everything OK.

Well, for the last two months of 2011 my trust in this "higher power" was put to the absolute test; and in the process, I basically came face to face with the beast in the jungle. In fact, I think it's safe to say that I touched the beast, even kissed its forehead tauntingly. And you know what? Ultimately, the beast turned out to be not so bad after all. The beast actually turned out to be one big, giant pussy. Of course, you might be asking yourself what the hell I'm talking about. So allow me to explain myself:

In October of 2011, I actually arrived at the end of the month and realized I had absolutely no way to pay any of my bills. This was the first time that this had ever happened. All my videography and digital editing work had dried up. There was nothing coming at me from any paying source. No wedding videos. No dance recitals. No corporate gigs (PetEdge - a company I had done a lot of work for earlier in the year - didn't have anything more for me). There was literally nothing and all my funds evaporated like a pond in late July. I didn't worry about it at first. Technically, I still had until November 2nd before the actual due dates for the bills, so I thought I would figure something out in the meantime. But I didn't. Nothing came at me. I mean, there was literally no money to pay my bills with. The due date came, and for the first time EVER, I did not pay any of them. Not one single bill.

At first, I really freaked out about the situation. I was late paying my bills! What a disaster! How could God leave me hanging like this? Why did he help me out all those other times but totally forsake me right now? What an asshole. "Lord! I don't want to be part of your creation anymore! This is flawed!"

But then I was washing my hair in the shower one day and I realized that things weren't so disastrous after all...not in the present, that is. I mean, nobody was going to bother me that day about not paying my bills, as there would likely be some sort of a grace period. I was probably OK for the next day as well. And the day after that. Maybe even for a good, full week. So I decided to take things day by, literally. The actual financial ruin was still in the future. Maybe I'd get the money in the next day or two or three and everything would be swell.

In fact, it wasn't that long before I came to the conclusion that this was likely one giant test of faith (of course, it also occurred to me that I may have been delusional and stupid and completely out of my mind). But, yes, I really thought I was engaging in one, gigantic trust fall, like what we used to do in drama club. The question was how long could I go without letting the fear get to me; how long could I go strictly living in the present reality and having no concern about the financial collapse that seemed so frigging imminent it wasn't even funny?

Of course, all rationale and logic told me that I needed to go out into the world and secure some other paying job, abandon what I enjoyed doing with my life and find a more financially stable lifestyle in an office or maybe a holiday retail job. And let me tell you: I was basically on the verge of doing this. But when I thought about going this route, it didn't feel right for, at all. The main reason was because I knew I would be lacking sufficient stimulation and forced to be uncreative for long periods of time, which is something that would make me miserable. And why should I be miserable? I mean, if I had to be miserable to survive in the world, then, well, I didn't want to be in the world, and it was as simple as that. I basically said to God, "Hey, man, if you want me to be miserable, then go screw yourself and your creation and please throw a lighting bolt my way that'll take me out. But if you DON'T want me to be miserable, then you better help me out of this situation. I will show you my full faith and trust, but - in the end - you have to make everything OK."

So I left it at that and I managed to get through November 3rd...and November 4th...and the 5th, and the next day and the next day. To tell you the truth, I don't think I heard from any of my creditors until a few days before Thanksgiving, and it came from a non-threatening letter that suggested I pay one of my bills as soon as possible. The week after that I think I got a phone call with an automated message and then maybe a week later I got another letter. In the meantime, no money had come my way. But no disaster or ruin came my way either. I actually made it to about halfway into December before things got a little hairy, and after that, well, things quickly escalated into a very scary situation.

The first phone call I got from a living person was from my bank on December 15th. During the two months that I had been broke, my checking account became overdrawn because of the monthly fee the bank subtracted from the zero dollars I had in the account. The lady on the phone was very nice, and she basically just said I had to take care of the situation in a couple of days or they would be forced to close my account. I thought I wouldn't be able to pay them, because I thought they'd fined me twenty dollars for each overdraft; however, it turned out that there were no fines and I owed the bank much less than I thought (only twelve dollars). So I was able to roll some coins I found and I actually came up with the twelve dollars I needed to balance out my account. Problem solved.

But then the next phone calls came, almost one after another, like Pandora's box had been opened. First, it was my credit card company. Then, it was an agency collecting for PayPal's "Bill Me Later" division, which I also owed money to. Then came the student loan people. Needless to say, I started feeling very overwhelmed and very stressed.

Now, I'm not sure if you've ever dealt with bill collectors and collection agencies before, but if you never have, it's certainly not an experience I would ever wish upon anybody. To be honest, I don't know how anybody can actually have a soul and also be a bill collector. To say these guys are persistent would be a gross understatement. On the week before Christmas, it got to the point where I was receiving about three phone calls per hour from whatever agency was collecting for Bill Me Later. I eventually turned off the ring to my phone and tried to ignore them. But they were pretty vicious. They would keep calling and never leave a message. Apparently the law says if they talk to you in person or leave a message they're not allowed to call again for a significant period of time. But if they don't leave a message, then they can keep calling as much as they want, and harass the shit out of you.

The week before Christmas, I was literally ready to have a breakdown. I felt so stupid for letting my financial situation get so out of hand. I mean, was I even taking a leap of faith or was it all in my head? Was I just being incredibly stupid and completely fucking myself over for life? To be honest, I was just about ready to accept the latter as the truth...

But then God finally intervened.

A very well-paying gig basically came out of absolutely nowhere. An old friend of mine had a wedding video that he needed done by Christmas Eve but he didn't have time to edit. He was willing to pay me very good money to get it done. So, boom, there it was. My leap of faith had possibly paid off.

I took on the project and for the next week I worked day and night getting the wedding video done so I would meet the deadline. The calls from the bill collectors kept coming, but I tried to stay sane, sweet-talk them on the phone and basically dodge them as best as I could. In the end, I got my money and, well, I was fine. Although things got very scary, nothing very bad had actually happened in my present reality. I mean, I basically had the shit scared out of me by the harassing bill collectors, but I was fine in the end. God had come through and saved my ass from anything truly bad happening. I stared financial ruin right in the face - eye to eye with the beast - and what I realized is that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I went much further than I ever thought I could, pushed my faith to the limit, and just when things were getting a little too hairy, I was saved. All was still fine. All was swell. There was absolutely nothing to be worried about. I didn't have to compromise my joy, become miserable and get some boring office or retail job that I hated going to every day. I did what I wanted to do, every single day - what kept myself happy and my soul at peace - and I was fine in the end.

So I would encourage people to do the same. Go eye to eye with the beast and see that there is nothing to fear at all. Do what you want to do with your life. Don't get scared into doing something that sucks or that makes you miserable. Take the leap of faith. Go the distance. Hit rock bottom. Let yourself fall and your world collapse. How bad does your present reality actually become when you do this? Do things ever become truly disastrous? Or do you get helped through each day, one waking hour at a time?

On a side note, I feel the need to mention how similar my financial situation during the last couple months of 2011 was to the situation I had in Poland during my (alleged) past life (read about this life HERE). It was around 1939 in German-occupied Poland, I had a family of nine to feed and I was experiencing extreme financial difficulties. The Nazis came along and offered me a very well-paying job; I was an excavator and they wanted me to clear some land and dig some "anti-aircraft trenches". I was afraid of financial ruin, so I took the job, even though I didn't have the best feeling about working with the Nazis. I cleared the land and dug the holes, but I eventually discovered that I wasn't digging anti-aircraft trenches; I was digging mass graves that would be used to bury hundreds of Polish intellectuals that the Nazis wanted eliminated. Even though I immediately knew partaking in such evil was wrong, I still went along with it, because I was afraid that I would be killed and my family would starve.

Of course, a lot more was at stake while I was in Poland (i.e. a family of nine to feed), but the basic situation was very similar to what I experienced during the last two months of 2011. In Poland, I compromised my soul (in perhaps a very extreme way) out of fear of financial ruin. In my life now, I was on the verge of doing the same. I wasn't considering working for the Nazis or anything like that (obviously), but I was about to get some boring office or retail job and that was a path that I wasn't at all comfortable with, a path that was going to make me absolutely miserable. Where in Poland I had more faith in easy money than God, in my current life I like to think that I placed more faith in God. Where in Poland I feel like I kind of failed my test of faith (however difficult it was), in my current life as Matt Burns I was put to the test again and, this time, I really think I passed. I mastered my fear of financial ruin, hopefully once and for all.

On Christmas night 2011 - when I finally realized I had passed my "test of faith" - I had a really strange dream. I was floating through Space or the universe or something, and so weren’t a bunch of other people...or maybe it was their spirit selves, souls or whatever you want to call it. All I know is a bunch of us were floating towards what-I-identified-as Source Intelligence, the Divine father of the entire universe (i.e. God). Some people were struggling to get to Source, but couldn’t quite get there. Something would pull them back. Others would hit a point where they simply couldn’t go any further, like they were hitting a brick wall or something. But I was basically locked into Source and being sucked in like I was caught in a magnetic field. Where everybody else was struggling, I didn’t have to put any effort into getting there at all. It was like I was going on cruise control. I got closer and closer to Source and, eventually, I became one with it and then I suddenly became aware of being back in my bed and feeling this awesome sensation come over me. I think the best way to describe it is to say it was a feeling of ascension, and I’m not quite sure I know what I mean by that.

Looking back on it, I think this dream could have meant a number of things. I think it may, in a sense, mean that I finally found God...or, in a sense, became one with God after taking an enormous, seemingly never-ending leap of faith (these past few months have been the grand finale, but the 'leap' has actually been going on more then seven years, since I finished college). In fact, I think that's the whole point of taking a leap of faith: to find God and become one with Him in the sense that you are as fearless as He is.

I also think the dream was symbolic of me passing the test that I failed to pass in my past lives. I finally overcame my fear of financial ruin and finally showed that I have one-hundred-percent trust in God and Source, the Divine Father, or whatever you want to call that highly intelligent energy. I certainly can't go so far as to say I am an ascended master now (i.e. that I have mastered one-hundred percent of the human condition), but I may have - perhaps - made a major accomplishment, ascended to some degree (on a spiritual level) and for that I'm kind of proud of myself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Parallel World

Well, I recently dug up a documentary I made a couple years ago and made some minor tweaks to it. It's called A PARALLEL WORLD and it's about a haunted house on Cape Cod that my aunt and uncle were renting in the winter of 2009.

One thing I wanted to add to the documentary (that I hadn't included in the original cut) was how 'something' allegedly follow me home from the house after I was there investigating its paranormal activity. This 'thing' was a man who actually appeared in my dream about two or three nights after I had been at the house. The man had pinkish eyes and was very pale, basically to the extent that he lacked any pigmentation in his skin whatsoever (think Darth Vader when he removes his mask). I hate to say it, but this man actually looked like the victim of a drowning, which is really strange because somebody related to the house on Cape Cod - a young man named Tom - had drowned in a boating accident (halfway through the documentary we find a letter informing family members of the drowning).

The dream itself didn't last for very long, but I could tell for some reason that it was more than just a dream. All I remember was that the man was very desperate and full of despair. He was creeping towards me and I got the sense that he wanted my energy. But I backed away from him. I didn't want him to get near me at all. Then I woke up.

For the next three months after the dream, I experienced some strange paranormal activity in my bedroom. I would wake up in the middle of the night and the light over my bed would be turned on. Another time, I woke up and saw that the power to my Playstation had been switched on. Then there would be mysterious electrical issues - outlets not working or being temperamental - things of that nature.

It wasn't until a year later that I spoke to a psychic medium about the haunted house and she said, "You know, Matt, something followed you home that night!" Needless to say, I was a little unsettled when I heard this, but it explained the weird dream I had, not to mention the paranormal activity in my bedroom.

Fortunately, another medium taught me how to do a "spiritual cleansing" and I eventually cleared myself of all foreign and unwanted energies. After the cleansing, all paranormal activity ceased.

Anyway, without further adieu, here is the full-length documentary "A Parallel World". Check it out if you haven't seen it already. It may give you the creeps, so snuggle up with that special somebody before you press 'play':




Monday, November 28, 2011

Thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Over the past few months I've had a lot of mixed feelings when it came to the Occupy Wall Street Movement. On one hand, it was a breath of fresh air to see people interested in making a difference and wanting to change things that they don't like happening in America. In fact, it was only a handful of months ago where I was watching a documentary on the band Nirvana and there was an interview with Curt Cobain talking passionately about certain issues he had with media, politics etc., and it made me realize that there weren't many people like that anymore. Nobody seemed to give a damn in this day and age. With the economy in the shape it was in, everybody seemed to be more concerned about financial survival and holding on for dear life to what was left of the American Dream. Saving the world wasn't anywhere close to being on their list of priorities; indifference and apathy seemed to be rampant; dissent and discourse seemed to be dead. But then the Occupy Wall Street movement happened and it reminded me that there are, indeed, still people out there who want to save the world. It rekindled some of my hope in humanity.

That all being said, I didn't necessarily feel the need to join the movement myself. I feel like I protest in my own ways (mainly through writing) and going to an organized protest for me would be like a spiritual person feeling the need to attend Church for no other practical reason than to show off his spirituality. But I can understand why others would want to go to the protest. And it gives Washington, Wall Street, corporate America and the wealthy "one-percent" a good wake-up call - basically, that Americans apparently aren't as complacent as previously thought. They're not going to just allow Wall Street to get away with stealing billions of dollars from taxpayers in bailouts, run their shady credit default swap schemes, purposely destroy the economy to eliminate the middle class etc.

One thing I've found most fascinating (and frightening) about the Occupy movement is how the 'elite' have been responding to the protesters. The first thing they tried to do was demean the people by painting them as bums, misfits, menaces and outright criminals. I was recently watching an interview on TV where Newt Gingrich said - with the signature Republican smirk - that the protesters needed to "get a job and take a bath". Frankly, I can't believe that anybody would ever take a politician seriously who makes such childish, immature, negative and hateful remarks. What kind of America are we living in when protesters embracing their American right to change things and make a difference are made to feel like absolute shit? Bullying leaders like Gingrich are about as anti-American and unpatriotic as they come. At some point in his life, Gingrich made the cowardly choice NOT to be free and - out of sheer insecurity - he's now ridiculing those who actually choose to be free. This is a man who is a bigger "enemy of freedom" than any terrorist out there in the world.

But demeaning the protesters ultimately proved ineffective, so Gingrich and the rest of the elite then tried to lay a guilt trip on them. They started scolding the protesters because all the police presence at the protests was supposedly costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. This may very well be true but it's important to remember why the protesters are there in the first place. Maybe if Wall Street didn't swindle the American people out of billions of dollars in bailouts, run their Ponzi schemes, hand out all their bogus loans, bet against these loans in the futures market and generally fuck up the economy in an inexcusably malicious way, the protesters wouldn't have to be on Wall Street to begin with. Besides, what kind of America are we living in when protesters are made to feel guilty for simply wanting to change things and make a difference? A true America cannot exist if protesting is depicted as being something that's too costly. That's basically like saying freedom is too costly so you better shut up no matter what's going on, be complacent and save the taxpayers' money. If there's anything the taxpayers SHOULD be funneling money into it's freedom, not into "bailouts" for banks that are supposedly "too big to fail".

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that true freedom is something being battled against by the ruling powers, whether it be Wall Street, Washington, corporate America or the wealthy one-percent. With the help of the media, they constantly chant "Never Forget 9/11!" and remind us about Al Qaeda and Bin Laden and Zawahiri and underwear bombers and "homegrown terrorists" and "lone wolves" to take attention away from themselves and their own hatred of freedom. The truth is that the only "homegrown terrorists" we really need to be afraid of are morons like Newt Gingrich who ridicule people for simply being free, tell them to get a job and take a shower etc. Gingrich talks a big game about loving freedom, but the truth is that the only kind of freedom people like him love is the kind that secures his position as rich and powerful while the other ninety-nine percent struggles every month to pay its bills. He is part of a larger movement to essentially redefine freedom as something that only serves the wealthy elite, destroys the middle class and prolongs a society where wealth is distributed in an absurdly disproportionate manner.

Whether you're for the Occupy movement or against it, one thing we can hopefully all agree on is that protest and dissent are essential to a society that is going to be truly free. Once we become hostile towards this kind of freedom or try to guilt-trip those who embrace it, we might as well be living in 1930s Germany.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Psychic Vision

I just thought I would post this brief video clip of a psychic medium describing a vision she had of me. I'm not quite sure what the vision means, but it sounded kind of cool, and it reminds me of the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi for some reason, though you may not agree with me.

The vision...

Danielson and Mr. Miyagi. You see the parallels, right? Of course you do.


NOTE: I wrote the blog below sometime in 2007, but never published it for reasons I don't remember. It's a little tongue and cheeky, but worth posting. Some strong language/sexual content. Don't read if you are easily offended.


This is a letter from me to a German girl I had a weird, two-hour “moment” with at a bar in Boston on Fat Tuesday 2006. I write it in hope that one day the girl will remember my name, look me up on the Internet and find me here. So if you're not the German girl, you shouldn't be reading this, as things are going to get really erotic and steamy. If you are the German girl, then, "Hey, how's things going? Remember me?"

February 2006. Fat Tuesday. I was experiencing the blues. Only days earlier I discovered that all four of my wisdom teeth had cavities and needed to be removed. Bad news for a man with no dental insurance. Certainly a date with Mr. Anheuser-Busch was on the bill.

A friend from college was going to be in town for a few days, visiting his sister. We decided to get together and do a good old-fashioned bender. We started at a bar called the Pour House on Boylston Street. It was 11am. We got hamburgers and several mugs of beer. The hours began to blur. The buzz began to set in...

By early evening, we ended up at a bar formerly called the White Horse Tavern. I'm not sure what it's called now but I'm sure it's something stupid. I was sitting at the bar, going off on my usual loud, drunken rants:

“No, Paris Hilton is really, really smart.”

“Ok, Burns. Sounds good.”

“No, dude, Paris Hilton is, like, really bright. People don’t understand her.”

“All right, Burns. I believe you.”

“No, Paris Hilton’s REALLY smart. I’m gonna marry her and have her babies.”

“Ok, Burns. Good luck with that.”

“No, you don’t understand...”

When suddenly, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I glanced to my four o' clock and saw this girl sitting alone in a booth, looking in my direction.

I didn't think much of this at first. It wasn't unusual for me to draw attention to myself when going off on my drunken rants. But the glances kept coming and soon I began to realize that, "Holy shit, that girl over there wants my balls!”

Yes, it appeared to be the case. But should it have really surprised me? I mean, who wouldn't be attracted to a guy who sticks up for such misunderstood celebrities as Paris Hilton? Duh!

The question was what to do about it, as I wasn't in the mood for bullshit. All I really wanted to do was go over and ask, "Are you into me or what?" None of this, "Hey can I buy you a drink?" mumbo jumbo. But I was too afraid. Sure, I was drunk and more confident than usual, but when it came down to it, I was still my usual, nervous self.

Ten minutes or so passed. My friend had to meet another friend and had no choice but to take off and leave me. "This isn't good," I thought. My buzz had reached its peak and I was feeling really swell. I sure as shit didn't feel like calling it a night and riding back to the suburbs on a train full of boring commuters. I wanted to party. But there was no one to party with.

I looked back over to the girl who only minutes ago was giving me all sorts of eye-action. "Should I talk to her?" I asked myself. "No, bad idea," I thought. I didn't know her. What if she was a sex addict and wanted to go back to her place and she had Aids? "Aids wouldn't be a good thing to have," I realized. So I packed up shop and left the bar.

Stumbling down Boylston Street in a drunken haze, I started hearing an infuriated voice in my head: "You fucking pussy, Burns! That girl wanted your balls and you just ran away from her! She wanted to take you back to her place and give you Aids! How can you live with yourself, pussaaay?!" I knew the voice was right: I wanted that girl’s Aids.

I was back to the bar in ten minutes - maybe less - and, to my luck, the girl was still there. But I was still too scared to make my move. Where would such an action lead me? What road could it take me down? What radical changes could it possibly bring to my life? But, most importantly, would the girl really have Aids?

All the questions freaked me out, so I made a quick beeline to the bathroom and tried like hell to muster up a leak. I eventually managed to shake a few drips into the urinal, flushed, took about three minutes to wash my hands and, finally, came to the point where I looked in the mirror and said...

“All right, Burns, you hot shit. Let’s do this!”

I reentered the bar, immediately put the girl in my cross-hairs and took a deep breath: “That girl over there is gonna get it so hard and ya know what? I’m the one who's gonna give it to her!!!”

I strutted closer and closer and closer to the booth...shoulders up, chest out - I had never looked so jacked. And, then...

I sat.

"Can I buy you a drink?" I asked in a voice reminiscent of a pubescent Peter Brady.

", I'm all set," she said in what I soon realized was a German accent. That’s right: she was German, which, by the way, did not disappoint me in the least. She actually looked a lot like Lola in that movie Run Lola Run, except with bigger boobs and nicer thighs...oh, and she had brown hair, I think - not red.

“Why’d you come back?” she asked.

“I needed to go to the bathroom.”

“Oh...but why’d you sit down?”

“Oh, um, you know, I saw a pretty girl here and, thought, ‘what the heck?’”

Damn, I was smooth. Hell, Humphrey Bogart himself should’ve been taking notes...if, you know, this was 1946, not 2006.

But the Bogart-like charm I exuded was a stark contrast from what was going on in my head:

“Holy shit, is she gonna ask me back to her place, god, I need rubbers, well there’s a C.V.S. a couple doors down, Aids isn’t really too bad of a disease, do you think we’re gonna do it in the shower?”

Clearly my brain had mutated into a bottle of Budweiser.

But the question was how the transition was going to take place? How was I going to go from the booth in the bar to the hot German girl’s shower? I didn’t know the answer to this...

So once again I panicked and struck up a conversation with her! Yes, I know, I know. Stupidest fucking move a horny dude could make, right? But I did it and, goddamn, I had to follow through.

I learned she was a singer studying music at Berklee College of Music...

“...I’d get HIV first, maybe I’ll never get the Aids...”

That Johnny Depp was her favorite actor...

“...I’ve dealt with strep throats, certainly I can handle the Aids...”

That Guinness was her favorite beer...

“...Magic Johnson’s still alive, right..?”

And that she had a mom and a dad back in Germany. They were both worried sick about her.

Eeeeeeeerrrrrrrcccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhh!!! Crash!!! Hubcaps rolling on pavement.

And that was that: my buzz was killed.

It was like suddenly snapping out of an acid frenzy and finding yourself in the middle of a desert...a whining wind shivering your bones...vultures circling your head. “What the hell am I doing?” I asked myself. “Where am I?” “Why am I here?” The recollection of rubbers, CVS’s and showers flooded back into my mind, but it seemed like these memories were all part of something that happened years ago - not minutes.

It was the image of her “Mom and Dad” that killed the buzz. Why were they worried sick? Among other things, because of horny drunkards like myself, prowling the streets of Boston. Their daughter was Little Red Riding Hood and I was the Big Bad Wolf - the sleazy guy in the Lifetime movie, the guy at the truck stop in Thelma and Louis, the dog trying to piss on the new fire-hydrant, the…well, you get the point. Yes, I was all those and more. And it made me feel like a horrible person.

So I decided to continue the conversation and pretend like I never had any thoughts of going back to her place and contracting her Aids. And, I must say, it wasn’t that bad of a conversation, though I couldn’t tell you what it was about because I don’t remember any of it.

Two hours later we decided to call it a night. I walked her a little ways down Boylston, asked for her email, and gave her a hug. Part of me still wanted some first base, but by that time I had stale booze breath and figured it would be better to part on a higher note (my hugs are irresistible). Besides, now that the booze was almost completely out of my brain, I realized I didn’t like her that much, anyway. She was just somebody to fill the space before I found Paris Hilton and had her babies.

Anyway, as fate would have it, I ended up losing her email, so this is just my shout out to her. If you read this, I enjoyed the conversation, even though I hardly remember any of it, and good luck with the Aids! Magic Johnson’s done well. You will too!

Love Always,

Matt Burns

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crossing Over

On March 18, 2010 I witnessed something very fascinating that I think people will also find rather fascinating. A circle of mediums congregated at a place in Easton, Massachusetts to cross a woman's (her name is Linda in the video) grandmother over to the "other side". Linda's grandmother had been pestering her for two years after passing and refused to "go into the light". She was afraid of having to face God and look back on what she had done during her time on earth.

I was fortunate to be able to videotape the 'crossing' and I share it here for others to view. Among other things, the video begins to answer our questions about what happens to us after we die. It also explores concepts such as "life reviews" and "life contracts", the importance of forgiveness, and the soul versus the body.

The 'crossing' is conducted by a renown medium named Liam Galvin. His voice may sound strange at times because he is actually channeling his spirit guide who is helping with the ceremony. Enjoy!



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soul Mates

I just thought I would post the interview below for anybody currently having relationship troubles or for anybody who is currently pissed off at an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend. If you're anything like me, you can get really worked up about certain issues, sometimes get absolutely irate, and have trouble letting the negativity go.

I stumbled upon the interview recently and I had actually forgotten that I had it. It was recorded in early 2010 for a documentary I was trying to do about a psychic medium named Ava. She says some really interesting things here about soul mates and reminds us that we need bad relationships in order to learn how to be treated and how to treat others. It's this learning process that eventually prepares us to be with our "soul mates".

This means that it's kind of stupid to get so pissed or worked up about a relationship-gone-sour. It went sour for a greater purpose, not because of bad luck. Learn to forgive the girls/boys who back-stab, betray you and act insensitive to you; they teach you how you want to be treated and how not to treat others. Also, learn to forgive yourself for being insensitive/selfish in a past relationship; move forward and know how to treat your significant other better the next time. Remember that it's all a learning process and - like with anything else - you can't learn unless you make mistakes.

So, without further adieu, here is a brief clip from the interview. It may brighten your day or at least allow you to let any beef you have - with either your ex or yourself - go.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Beast in the Jungle

Over the years I have to confess that I have been a bit of a worrier when it came to my financial situation. In fact, I guess I've been a worrier ever since I graduated college about seven years ago and got spat out into the "real world". To my misfortune, the economy seemed to get a little worse every year that went by and then in 2008 it completely tanked and, well, it hasn't gotten much better since then.

Needless to say, I felt very anxious about the uncertain times and my uncertain future. It also didn't help that I chose the life of an artist, writer, wedding videographer, freelancer and overall odd-jobber. With few exceptions, I rarely had a dependable income coming my way. Financial ruin always seemed to be imminent, lurking around the corner like a beast in the jungle. However, to this date, it has yet to come, and even though my financial situation today is probably more fragile than ever, I'm starting to wonder if it will ever come at all.

Looking back at the past seven years, I can't tell you how many months I went into not knowing how the hell I was going to pay my bills that were due by the month's end. Sometimes I wouldn't have the money until a week before or sometimes even a few days before the bills were actually due. At first, I'd spend most of the month worrying how the hell I was going to pay the bills, but, one way or another, the money would come and I'd realize that all my worrying was needless. Over time, I would worry less and less and, eventually, I hardly worried at all.

Anyway, the conclusion I've drawn from this entire seven-year experience (and see if you can follow me with this) is that the future is a beast, but it's a beast that only exists as an abstraction in our minds. After all, the future doesn't exist. It never exists. It is only a potential reality, but never an actual reality. So if we work ourselves up about something that may or may not happen in the future (like, in my case, financial ruin) then we are becoming a victim of something that doesn't even exist to begin with, which makes no sense whatsoever.

When people say they are in financial trouble, what they usually mean is that financial ruin seems imminent, but the fact of the matter is that - at the present point in time - they are living and breathing and they've been fed, clothed, sheltered etc., so, technically, they are in no financial trouble; the only trouble that they have is in the future, but the future doesn't exist, so there is no trouble.

Most people who actually do experience financial ruin in their present reality are experiencing it because they deserved it. They spent way more money than they have...on things like widescreen TVs, ridiculously large homes, nice cars, vacations etc. They basically got what was coming to them for being materialistic and living outside their means. I truly believe that as long as you're living as decent/modest/humble a life as you can, then you will never experience financial ruin in the present; and even if you do, it's not worth worrying about it for every day leading up to it. If you do this, then your worrying becomes the "beast" that ruins you, not the actual event of experiencing financial collapse. You end up panicking and doing something rash like getting a job you don't like, doing something unethical, screwing somebody over, stealing etc. You sacrifice happiness and maybe even morality for financial security.

If you haven't made the connection already, much of this blog was inspired by a short story by Henry James I recently re-read entitled THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE. The story is about a man named John Marcher who is convinced that he's been singled out by God to experience some sort of catastrophic event in his life. He doesn't quite know when the "event" will take place, but he constantly feels that it's imminent and he hardly does anything with his life other than put all his time and energy into worrying about what the "event" will be.

Among other things, the moral of James' story is that worrying about an event that may or may not happen in the future is actually worse than any actual event that may or may not occur. The so-called "beast in the jungle" is, essentially, the uncertain future, but it's up to the person whether they want the uncertainty of the future to frighten the life out of them. If the beast ever strikes, then that's unfortunate, but worrying about the beast striking isn't going to make things any better. In other words, it's better to live life to the fullest - without worry - up until the beast strikes, instead of living a paralyzed life of fear.

Overall, James' story is a rather philosophical tale about ignoring the future and concentrating only on the present, which is the only true reality. This is a life philosophy that can not only be applied to things like financial fears, but to just about all of life's worries, whether it be in relationships, love, jobs, travel, school...yes, just about everything. The bottom line is that the future is a cunning little devil that tricks us into thinking it is real when it is only an illusion. If you remember that, then you will worry less and your life will be better.


Read the second installment of this blog (THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE PART 2) by clicking HERE.

The Importance of Being Happy

At the risk of sounding like Wayne Dyer or some other New Agey positive-psychology guru, I just wanted to share a minor revelation I had recently about the importance of being happy. Up until recently, I saw happiness as...well, not very important, in the sense that it was up to me if I wanted to be happy but as far as anybody else was concerned it was none of their business how I felt. I also felt kind of selfish about wanting to be happy, which is a feeling that quite possibly stems from my Catholic upbringing where the insinuation is that one needs to make unpleasant personal sacrifices to please a God that is superior and external to ourselves.

Lately, however, I have seen "God" in a much different manner from which I was taught in my CCD classes. With the help of the author Caroline Cory (and her book The Divine Plan: Beyond 2012) I have come to understand God as a tremendous intelligent energy that we all stem from and that we are all a part of. Every single thing in the universe is an extension of this "God" and, although we all possess our own individual free will, it can be said that WE ARE ALL GOD. As my mentor Ray Carney once said, we are "God's eyes and ears, his arms and hands and fingers, his taste buds and nostrils, his consciousness..." - in other words, our experiences and actions in the world (good or bad) comprise the massive universal experience that is God.

In this light, "happiness" takes on a whole new importance to me, because it is no longer a personal issue that only affects the individual, but it is actually something that affects God and the harmony of the entire universe. If we aren't happy, our souls are not at peace, and if our souls are not at peace then there is a small piece of God that is in pain as well, and, if there is a small piece of God that is in pain, then there is a disruption in the universe (a 'disturbance in the force' to use Star Wars terminology) and universal harmony is damaged.

Therefore, we basically owe it - not just to ourselves - but to the entire universe to be happy in our lives. Contrary to what I used to believe, it is not at all selfish for us to want personal happiness but it's actually a selfless desire to keep God and the overall universe in a state of peace. Whether it's a job we despise going to every day, or a group of friends we don't feel comfortable being around, or a marriage we don't feel is right for us, or a religion we don't really feel comfortable following, or a lifestyle we lead that isn't true to ourselves...we owe it to the people around us and every other single being in the universe to change our lives in a way that makes us more happy.

Now, when I talk about being "happy" I don't mean to imply that people should have a big Jack-Nicholson-like smile on their faces 24 hours a day. And I don't think people should spend their free time frolicking through a meadow shouting "Wheeeeeee!" All I mean when I say 'happiness' is that our souls should be in a state of comfort. We should be doing what we WANT to be doing in our lives, not what outside influences (whether it be religions, corporations, politicians, celebrities, media, family, friends, grandparents, dogs, cats) want us to do. As selfish as it may sound, we should live to please ourselves and nobody else and in doing this we are selflessly pleasing God.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

LIFE HAS A WAY - my new short story

This is the first ten pages or so of what is now my seventh completed short story. LIFE HAS A WAY is a dark tale set in a Las Vegas hotel room. Among other things, the story gets inside the mind of/empathizes with a man who has decided to become a murderer. Overall, it's a response to America's ominous economic times circa the year 2011. There is strong language, some violence and intense content. You can read it if it sounds like something you would be interested in, but I won't twist your arm or anything.


by Matt Burns

“OK. I’ll see her then. Thank you.” Click.

He sat on the edge of the bed’s swanky comforter and dropped the vintage rotary phone back into its lime-green receiver. He was still wearing the same Italian suit he had driven into town with three days ago, but now - of course - it was more wrinkled and also stained from the three-dozen or so White Russians he had consumed over the past few days. Or maybe it was more than a few days. It was easy to lose all sense of time in the dark, windowless casinos of fabulous Las Vegas.

To say he looked “together” would have been a statement that could’ve turned the most stoic poker-face into a Pinocchio. Marty looked like he was - at one time - the all-American man, but at some point got dragged through a (figurative) swamp. His face was pale and powdery-looking and he had Walnut-sized bags supporting his bloodshot eyes. The upper two thirds of his hair was still a healthy-looking brown, but the lower third was a dry gray. Like rings in a tree trunk, the gray hair was an indicator of time, the amount of time in which Marty hadn’t given a shit about how he looked (now around a couple months or so). At a certain point, hygiene and overall appearances stopped mattering to him. It had probably been days since he showered and he wasn’t even sure if he had washed his hands, or applied deodorant or even pissed. The truth was that he had lost all respect for himself and basically life in general. He didn’t give a fuck about anything anymore. What was the point when his life was in the state it was right now?

Marty took a look around the hotel room and realized that he was sitting amidst the last remnant of luxury he was going to experience for perhaps the rest of his life. And he didn’t even earn it in a respectable way! The room was a gift the casino gave him downstairs for gambling so fucking much, a “comp” as they called it. They also gave him a baseball cap, some key chains, and a free breakfast voucher he could use at whatever time he wanted to call “morning” (for most gamblers, it was around four o’clock in the afternoon). Perhaps the casino felt guilty about getting him drunk and taking all his money. At any bar or club, Marty would have been cut off very long ago. But not in Vegas. As long as nobody was causing a scene, gamblers were encouraged to get as shit-faced as possible.

But, yes, the room was nice, especially compared to the smoky carnival atmosphere downstairs. There was a mini-bar, widescreen TV and also a marble Jacuzzi near a window that had a beautiful view of the Strip. Overall, the interior design was very swanky, a tribute to Old Vegas, like around the time when the Rat Pack was doing their thing. Lots of loud patterns on the curtains and furry rugs...foam, cylinder-like pillows on the beds...square lampshades on lamps...martini glasses and large mirrors by the bar - that sort of thing. If it wasn’t for the occasional “Made in China” stickers plastered onto all of the pine furniture, Marty would have felt as though he had been transported to a better time. Or at least a time better than his present reality. That was kind of the point, though. Nobody in Vegas wanted to be in touch with reality. They were there to escape from it.

Marty popped a couple aspirin into his cotton-dry mouth and tried to shake off the sounds of the casino that were echoing in his head, mostly the tacky merry-go-round-type-sounds from the slot machines. He reached down to his leather, Brooks Brothers suitcase and pulled out a freshly-polished Glock that he’d owned for a number of years now. It was one of the very few possessions that hadn’t been repossessed by the credit card companies, or by his fucking wife...or ex-wife was probably the more technical way to put it. That traitorous bitch took everything from him, the kids included, even though she didn’t give a fuck about the kids. She just took them to piss Marty off, like they were another materialistic possession she needed in order to fill the void in her soul. And it’s not like she didn’t have another sugar-daddy lined up for herself, another guy to leech off of for the rest of her life…or at least as long as the guy was making enough money to make her girlfriends envious. If Marty were a congressman, he would be adamant about making gold-digging illegal, especially in the current post-feminist society he found himself living in. Stupid women. They totally fucked up the country. If they had just stayed in the kitchen where they belonged, the economy wouldn’t have grown so fucking big that it had no choice but to explode.

But, alas, his mind was wandering again.

Marty brandished the Glock in his palm for a couple of minutes and thought about the prospect of doing himself in. But it didn’t really seem like a satisfying thing to do. It’s true that he was depressed, but - more than anything else - he was really angry. And it wasn’t normal anger. It was a hatred, not necessarily directed towards anything specific. Just a general hatred towards all things. An appetite for destruction. And although he didn’t really like that he was feeling this way, it was undoubtedly what he felt. And he’d be lying if he said he felt otherwise.

Back when he was happier, Marty used to watch the news and hear about all these bizarre murders and he’d wonder how it was that any man could have the desire to kill, especially in the case of the random murders. But now he could empathize with this kind of man, mainly because he was there...he was actually in that state of mind. It was a hunger for destruction that he never had the capacity to fathom. But now he was drowning in it. He never thought a man like himself could be degraded to the point of feeling this way. But it happened. Amazing.

Marty stood from his bed and took a moment to fight off a head-rush. The aspirin was seeping into his bloodstream now and the echoes of the slot machines began to diminish a bit. Feeling more energy in his muscles, he stumbled his way into the bathroom, flicked on the light-switch, planted his hands into the granite vanity and took a long stare into the vanity mirror.

Looking deep into his eyes, Marty remembered how he’d always prided himself to be a man of good instincts. He’d tell people that he had a sixth sense, that he was able to take one look at a person and - within seconds - know whether that individual could be trusted. This “gift” came in especially handy when it came to making deals in the corporate world, or drawing up contracts with clients, or interviewing prospective employees. The President and CEO of his firm considered him an invaluable asset to the company, a so-called “rising star”. He made the company lots and lots of money with his good instincts...well, with the exception of that one time. He lost them a little money, an amount insignificant in the long run but looked bad on the quarterly statement. The shareholders were pissed and the CEO needed a fall-guy. So Marty got dumped. It was as simple as that. Wasn’t a man entitled to make a mistake here and there? No, not in the corporate world, apparently. The CEO seemed sad about the termination, but he reminded Marty that he had a responsibility to the shareholders. Besides, a man operating from a business mindset didn’t care about the life of one person. An employee was just a mechanism in a machine that could be easily replaced like a broken part. Yes, Marty got dumped like a colon-full of rancid Chinese food. It was gross. Corporate America could go fuck itself.

But, again, his mind was wandering. Where was he? Oh, yes, the sixth sense.

With the help of his sixth sense, Marty could sniff out something rotten like he was a bloodhound. And this is exactly what was worrying him at the given moment. Because now he could sense something unsettling in his own eyes. There was something staring back at him in the vanity mirror and it hadn’t always been there. It seemed like something foreign to his person, but maybe it wasn’t so foreign after all. Maybe this was just who he was now. After all, people can change over time - a man born with good intentions does not always have good intentions. Life had the power to change a man like himself, from something good to something not-so-good. So maybe this was his identity now. In other words, he wasn’t possessed by a demon or other entity making him angry; he WAS angry. Nothing was influencing him to hate. He WAS hate. No schizophrenic or psychotic split-schizoid phenomenon wanted him to destroy. HE WANTED TO DESTROY. And there was nothing more to it than that.

Looking back on it, Marty wasn’t exactly sure when it was his eyes had changed. He was pretty sure that it was a gradual process, not necessarily something that happened at one definitive point in time. Maybe it happened around the time he lost his job. Or when he missed a few loan payments. Or when the collection agencies started harassing him...and his family...and his wife’s family. Those bastards even started calling his neighbors, just to humiliate him, basically rubbing in the fact that he’d lost the competition with the Jones’. They figured once he was one-hundred-percent humiliated he would somehow come up with the money. Of course, he never did. He simply didn’t have the money. And no amount of humiliation was going to make it magically appear.

But maybe Marty’s eyes changed a little bit later, like when the bank took away his house. Or when his wife left him without hesitation, like he was merely a damaged commodity to be replaced. Or when he increased his daily consumption of alcohol from one beer to about six, sometimes with a little hard stuff thrown on top of it all. He started with the Bacardi, and then worked his way up to the 190-proof Everclear.

Or maybe his eyes changed when - with his wife gone - he developed a raging porn addiction, basically looking at anything with a pussy, some even interracial, barely-legal and outright twisted. He didn’t really give a fuck. It was all the alcohol, combined with everything else, turning him into something monstrous, not to mention belligerent. He’d start swearing at his children a lot more often, especially when they were always “taking mom’s side”. One time he even hit his eight-year-old son in the head with a remote control. Then he’d go out to a bar, get even more wasted, fuck anything that would spread its legs. That kind of thing.

Whenever it was, one thing was for sure: his eyes were very different from what they used to be. There was something evil inside of him now. And while part of him longed for his lost innocence, another part of him liked what he felt inside. It was a very powerful, destructive force. It made him feel stronger than he’d ever felt before. In control. A fearless force of change...

Marty stood there in the bathroom mirror and studied the look in his eyes for what-seemed-like ten more minutes. Then he turned the bathroom light off and returned to the bedroom. He opened the drawer to a pine night-stand and took out a Gideon Bible that looked brand-spanking new, or at least like it hadn’t been touched by any human hands for as long as it had been in the drawer.

He sat back on the bed’s comforter and paged through the super-thin pages of the Old Testament. The Book of Job eventually made its presence known and Marty tried refreshing his memory of the story. Everything was taken away from that Job guy, but he still kept his faith in God. How admirable. What a saint. Round of a applause and pats on the back to you, good fellow! But, really, how realistic was that story, anyway? The story of Job was...well, just a story, nothing more. It was a story that didn’t have any relevance to reality, especially the current reality that was the early 21st century. Job was merely a fictional character written by some man who didn’t really know what the world was going to turn into circa 2011. There was much more at stake these days. Worse economy. Harder to get a good job. A lot more pressure to keep up with the Jones’. Yes, if Job were living in the world today, he would never hang in there and hold onto his faith. No way. No-how. And even if he did, he’d be a sucker. OK, he’d keep his faith and then what? Happily ever after in heaven? Horse shit! Anybody who believed that was a sucker!!!

Marty slammed the Bible shut and tossed the book across the room.

“Hello, God,” he uttered aloud with a hint of aggravation in his voice. “I don’t really get it. Life, I mean. I never had anything but the best of intentions. But the life you created here has a way of pulling us in directions that we never wanted to go in. I wanted to keep working and stay married and maintain a stable family. But everything got fucked up, through no fault of my own. I was forced to go in a certain direction. I never wanted it. It just happened. And now look at me: here I am about to kill some girl I’ve never met before in my life. But this is what I wanna do. What else can I say?”

He rubbed his hand along the barrel of the Glock, like almost masturbating it, feeling his appetite for destruction grow even stronger inside of him. He got some sort of sadistic pleasure out of stroking that tool of destruction, the destroyer of God’s creations. Yes, the gun - the anti-creator - would be his new god now, the only thing in life worth putting his faith into.

“I was born a good person...really, I was. If I had died when I was eight...or even when I was thirteen...heck, maybe even when I was twenty-two, I would have gone to heaven. There’s no doubt about that. Then again, anybody who died at that age would have gone to heaven. It’s not really fair, is it? Only the good die young, they say. Well, of course only the good die young. Because they haven’t lived long enough to become bad. The longer you live, the more time there is to be corrupted by life. Life and time and reality has a way of corrupting us. But, alas, I digress.”

“It wasn’t like I made some bad moral choice. Did I? No, I don’t think so. I never stood face-to-face with the devil and gave into his temptation. At least not that I can see. I WANTED to be good. I set out to be good. But I guess life has a way. It has a way of pulling you in a direction you never wanted to go in.”

“I mean, I went to school, God, and worked hard and got good grades. I had dreams. Positive ones. Dreams of actually bringing some good into the world instead of something bad. But, like I said, life (that you created) has a way. You created a life that has a way with people like me. You did this to me. You brought me to this point. I don’t know why, but here I am, and you could have intervened and done something better. But, no, here I am.”

For a moment, Marty felt his eyes burn and he thought he was going to cry. But he managed to hold back the tears. The Marty who would have cried over shit like this was dead now. The new Marty didn’t feel emotions.

“So let’s get down to brass tacks. I’m not really well in the head, God, if you haven’t noticed. I feel something sinister in my bones and see it in my eyes. Why am I telling you this? I’m not so sure. Maybe I still have some piece of soul left over. Maybe I’m warning keep people who deserve to live away from me. Or maybe I’m just explaining to you why I’m going to kill people. Maybe I’m speaking for all the murderers out there. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I want you to hear me and hear me well: it’s no longer a possibility that I’m going to kill somebody, it’s a fact. I WANT TO KILL AND DESTROY. It’s simply what I feel like doing right now. Whoever this fucking hooker is, God, I am going to kill her and, hell, I’m going to enjoy it. So either you throw a lightning bolt my way and kill me or...well...this girl deserves to die by my hand and that is her fate. I didn’t want it to be like this, God. But life has a way. You led me to this point.”

Marty’s prayer was suddenly interrupted by a light knock on the room’s door. He gave his Glock one last stroke and then hid the weapon under the bed’s pillow.

“God, I hope you have heard my words.” And with that final warning, he closed the prayer.

“Who is it?!” he shouted as he stood from the bed and crept his way towards the door.

“It’s Chyna,” said a muffled voice from behind the door, loud enough for Marty to hear, but quiet enough so that nobody else could.

Read the rest of this story here:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Supermarket Zombies!!!


Here are the first 30 pages of my newest screenplay SUPERMARKET ZOMBIES!!! It is a horror-comedy that has everything from zombies to skateboarding to punk rock to gore and much, much more. I post the pages here for feedback and to possibly attract interest from producers or girls who are attracted to screenwriters.

The story involves a Haitian master of Voodoo in search of the American Dream. He brings a crop of zombies to America and sells them as slaves to the local "American Supermarket" for a percentage of the store's earnings. The supermarket's profits skyrocket with the help of these new employees who work long hours and for no pay, but it's not long before the zombies get hungry for brains and all the other employees gradually start turning into brainless zombies!

However, there's one skater punk cashier named Jason Hawk who doesn't give his brain up so easily. Although he finds himself trapped one morning
amidst a gigantic supermarket of zombie employees, he'll be damned if he's gonna become a zombie himself. Nah-uh! No way! No-how! If those zombies want a piece of his tasty brain, they're not gonna get it without Jason putting up ONE HELL OF A FIGHT! YAAAAAAAAH! DEATH TO ZOMBIES! PUNK ISN'T DEAD!!! OI OI OI!!!

NOTE: please disregard the poor formatting, as pasting the script as a blog doesn't translate very well.

By Matt Burns
WGA Registered # 1186466

Ext. haiti - Sugar plantation. Day

It's an endless field of sugarcane. There is green for as far as the eye can see.

A BLACK SLAVE kneels in the soil, chopping down a stalk of cane with a rusty machete. The SLAVE wears nothing but a pair of dirty denim overalls and a straw sun hat.

There is mostly silence...except for the buzzing sounds of heat bugs or other humming insects.

But, suddenly, the SLAVE hears rustling...

And groaning.

He lays the rusty machete on the ground and stumbles to his feet.

He swipes the beads of sweat from his forehead and hears the noise again.

He creeps towards the sound.

And creeps...

And creeps...

The field is dense, lush and very thick. No visibility beyond a few feet.

Soon, the SLAVE hears what-sounds-like chomping and lip-smacking, like a dog chomping the meat off of a bone.

He moves further into the cane and comes to a small, circular clearing in the field.

In the clearing there is another PLANTATION WORKER lying on the ground...DEAD!!!

The SLAVE is shocked...

...but even more shocked to see two other PLANTATION WORKERS kneeling beside the carcass, taking bites out of the head and snacking on the brains. These are no normal workers. They are...


The SLAVE is horrified.

Suddenly, the ZOMBIES feel the SLAVE'S presence and look up from their tasty victim.

The SLAVE shivers in his overalls - paralyzed with fear.

The ZOMBIES grunt their way onto their feet.

The SLAVE is still paralyzed and doesn't budge.

The ZOMBIES stumble their way towards the SLAVE.

The SLAVE finally shakes the paralysis out of his bones and runs like hell!

Ext. the fields. Day

The SLAVE weaves his way through the thick, green cane. He trips! He falls! He crawls! He stumbles back on his feet! He keeps running!

The ZOMBIES stumble and groan their way after the SLAVE - nothing but the thought of tasty brains running through their minds.

ext. Further into the fields. Day

The SLAVE runs! Hops! Jumps! Runs! And trips! Over a thick stump of cane!

UMPH! He lands face-first in the soil.



He hears groaning and grunting coming from not too far away.

He peels his face out of the dirt, rolls onto his backside and sees what is fast approaching him...


The brain-eating ZOMBIES aren't too far behind. The SLAVE can see glimpses of them amidst the rustling cane.

The SLAVE jumps to his feet! He limps! He stumbles!

He runs for his life!!!

Ext. edge of the field. Day

From this perspective, the field looks even more enormous. It goes on forever. Nothing but a horizon of cane in the distance.

All is quiet and peaceful with the sound of buzzing insects - except for three spots in the field where there is rustling.

The rustling moves closer and closer to the edge of the field.

The SLAVE finally emerges from the cane and runs like hell...

Within a couple seconds, the ZOMBIES emerge from the cane and follow the SLAVE'S trail. They salivate like Pavlov's dogs.

Ext. Sugar mill. Day

The SLAVE spots the sugar mill from a few hundred feet away and heads straight for it. Perhaps he can lose the ZOMBIES in the mill!

Int. Sugar mill. Day

The SLAVE bursts into the mill...

...slams the door shut...

...and locks it tight!

He let's out a sigh of relief, turns around, and is shocked to see...

...NO!!! More ZOMBIES - frothing at the mouth like a bunch of rabid raccoons.

The SLAVE has nowhere to run! Nowhere to hide!! He's doomed!!!

He takes a closer look at the ZOMBIES and realizes that one of them is white! It's the SLAVE OWNER!



Nothing leaves the zombie SLAVE OWNER'S mouth except for moans and grunts, like the others.

Slave (CONT'D)

Monseigneur Pierre! Monseigneur!!!

The zombie SLAVE OWNER doesn't acknowledge his name. His eyes are empty. After all, he is among the un-dead...

But, suddenly, a DARK MAN emerges from behind the ZOMBIES. He wears a black hat with a black rim, black pants and black cape. His face is pale as powder. His eyebrows are black, wiry and untamed. He looks like a cross between Bela Lugosi and The Yellow Man in the "Curious George" books (though with black - not yellow - clothing). This is MR. EVIL.

The sight of MR. EVIL horrifies the SLAVE. The maniacal look in this man's eyes is enough to make any man scared silly, let alone a slave who has just been chased by two brain-hungry ZOMBIES.

Slave (CONT'D)

Who are you?!

MR. EVIL says nothing. All he does is pierce the slave's soul with that crazed look of his.

The SLAVE nearly hyperventilates with fear.

MR. EVIL slowly locks his fingers together, conjuring some sort of black magic from hell.

The ZOMBIES moan and groan and drool! Moaaaaaan! Groaaaaaaaan! Drooooooooool!

The SLAVE eyeballs all the frothing ZOMBIES and whimpers with fear. Oh, God, what a damned sight!

Then, the ZOMBIES start stumbling towards the helpless SLAVE.

The SLAVE whips himself around to the door and tries to leave the mill. But as soon as he opens the door...




They moan and groan and grunt.

The SLAVE turns the other way...

MR. EVIL'S ZOMBIES are just a few feet away from him now!

He turns towards the door.


He turns the other way.


The poor SLAVE is trapped on both sides by horrible ZOMBIES.

He has no choice but to drop to his knees and submit. But not before he lets out one of the most haunting...


...ever heard.




Two-hundred years later. (Present Day)

Ext. america - the streets of suburbia. Day

All is quiet and perfect and boring.

The houses look like they all got crapped out of the same machine - white picket fences, sprinklers, Vinyl-siding, paperboys, flower-beds, garden gnomes and matching trash barrels.

The grass is an Eden-like green - except for the small yellow signs warning passersby of toxic fertilizers.

Birds chirping...lawns giggling...

But, then, commotion.

In the far distance, there is cacophony. Chaos. Disorder.

It's two TEENS...on skateboards.

They weave on and off the streets.

Grind the curbs.

Olly over trash barrels.

Pull "Burts" in the middle of strangers' driveways.

Anger neighbors.

Set off car alarms.

And generally just tear it up like dudes who know how to!

One TEEN is JASON HAWK. If you looked up 'thrasher' in the Webster's dictionary you would see a picture of JASON next to it. Wild, frosted hair. Baggy pants. T-shirt with a disconcerting skull-like logo on it. Dangling crucifix earring (a la Barry Bonds but way cooler). Finger-less gloves. Dogtags. The works.

The other TEEN is JASON'S best friend CUDDY, aka 'Cud-dog'. If you looked 'thrasher' up in the American Heritage dictionary you would find a picture of CUDDY next to it. Collared shirt only buttoned at the collar. Tan khaki pants tapered at the ankles. Black low-top Vans. Wiffled hair.

JASON and CUDDY thrash their way down the street.

They kick-flip onto the sidewalk.

Variel back onto the street.

Cut off cars.

Piss off DRIVERS.

Get honked at! Beep! Beep!

JASON and CUDDY bring whole new meaning to the art of skateboarding. They are friggin' ballerinas with boards! So graceful! So beautiful! But also so cool! So stoked!

These dudes know how to turn a boring neighborhood into something thrash-worthy!

Ext. Suburban neighborhood - street corner. Day

JASON and CUDDY meet up with a small gang of SKATER BUDS coming from a perpendicular street.

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS skate in circles around one another, do sick wheel-slides, kick-flips, heel-flips, Vari-flips and other tricks.

Skater bud

What's goin' on, fell-uhs?!

They twirl around on their boards, doing seven-twenty spins. Others hop around on the board like it's a pogo-stick.

Skater bud (CONT'D)

Jason and Cuddy, get ready to be happy.

JASON stops his tricks and looks the SKATER BUD square in the eye.


You found one?

The SKATER BUD wiggles his eyebrows.

Jason (CONT'D)


Ext. house - driveway. day

It's the ass to a big pick-up truck.

On the bumper to the truck there is a big sticker of an American flag and another sticker right next to it that says "U.S.A. Rules!!!", also followed by another sticker that says "If you don't like it here, leave!".

The engine starts.

The truck pulls out of the driveway.

And floors it down the road. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrccccchhhhh!

Ext. hedges. Day

There is rustling. And giggling. Some voices.

JASON pokes his head out from the hedge and watches the truck buuuuuuurn its way down the street.


(to the skater buds)

Let's do this!

They chuck their skateboards over a wooden fence and then hop the fence themselves.

Ext. pool. DAY

The pool is a drained, concrete bowl shaped like a kidney. In other words, it's a skateboarder's wet dream realized!

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS take turns skating the pool.

They skate...

...and grind...

...and hand-plant...

...and rock and roll...




Two of the SKATER BUDS skate the pool simultaneously, sometimes even skating in sync with each other. It is at times a truly beautiful sight - like a flock of birds moving in perfect synchronization with each other. It's like their minds and souls are operating in unison.

Ext. suburbia - outside house with pool. Day

A police cruiser rolls down the street and suddenly sees two more SKATERS hopping the wooden fence with their boards.

Int. police cruiser - rolling down street. Day

The COP grabs his radio and shouts...


(into walkie-talkie)

Calling all units, calling all units. I got one word for ya: skater punks!!!

Ext. Pool. DAY

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS continue to pull out the sickest tricks imaginable. Board-slides! Five-O grinds! Fakies! Nose-picks!

But, suddenly, they hear noise coming from the front of the house - tires screeching and, then, sirens wailing. Uh-oh.

Then, before they can even gather their druthers about them, there is a shout:


Freeze, dildos!

It's the COP who was scoping out the neighborhood. And he's already made his way into the backyard, aiming his gun right towards the pool.

Nailed. Damn.

Int. Police station. Day

POLICE OFFICERS buzz in their cubicles like worker bees in a strip of honeycomb.

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS sit in chairs that swivel in place.

They amuse themselves by seeing how many times they can spin in place without using their feet. Obviously, they're not taking their arrest very seriously.

At the far end of the office appears a police captain named OFFICER DICKHEAD. He struts down the row of cubicles like he's the mayor of cool-ville - only the joke's on him, because he definitely isn't.

OFFICER DICKHEAD has a goatee and a body that has consumed one too many Ultra-fuel shakes from the local GNC. He's probably on the juice, too, because his face and neck look way too disproportionate for his size.

OFFICER DICKHEAD comes to the end of the cubicles and sees JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS.

Walking behind his desk, he shouts...

Officer dickhead

Skater punks! Not a big fan!

He plops his swampy ass into his seat.


And when I say I'm not a fan...I mean I HATE YOUR FRIGGIN' GUTS!!!

He plops his feet up onto the desk.


You punks picked the wrong pool to skate. Do you have any idea whose pool that was?! Any idea at all?!

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS shake their heads.




JASON and CUDDY gulp.


Let's see here...we got trespassin', breakin' and enterin', malicious destruction of private property...if it was any other day, I'd throw you punks right in jail.

JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS eyeball each other.


But I'm headin' down to Foxwoods today and I don't wanna do all the paperwork.

The SKATER BUDS let out a sigh of relief.

OFFICER DICKHEAD takes his feet off the desk and leans in close to JASON, CUDDY and the SKATER BUDS.


Still had to call your folks, though.

A group of PARENTS appear at the far end of the office.

JASON catches sight of them.


(under his breath)


A smug smirk crawls up OFFICER DICKHEAD'S face.

And then he jumps to his feet.


And if it happens again, I'll kill ya!

Ext. Jason's house. night

It's a ranch and has Vinyl-siding and, basically, looks not much different from all the other similar-looking houses in the area.

A big, dark, gas-guzzling, hearse-like car rolls into the driveway and parks.

Int. Jason's house - kitchen. night

It's dinner-time!!! Well, TV-dinner time.

Everything on the table is labeled "American-brand", whether it be salad-dressing or ketchup or soda pop or croutons or milk or peanut-brittle or whatever.

JASON sits at the end of the table, eating out of an 'American' box filled with an overly-processed goop resembling squash and mashed potatoes.

His MOM and DAD - two middle-aged suburbanites - sit on each side of him. DAD wears a white-collared shirt with a name-badge and a pocket protector lined with pens. His appearance exudes a submissiveness relative to MOM, who clearly wears the pants in the relationship.

All is awkwardly silent. But something seems to be bothering MOM. She eyeballs DAD with a fuzzy set of eyeballs.

DAD isn't looking.

MOM clears her throat to get his attention.

But DAD still doesn't look up.

MOM gives him a little kick to the shin.

DAD finally looks up.

MOM nods over to JASON.

DAD is confused.

MOM widens her eyes and gives another nod in JASON'S direction.

DAD realizes what she wants him to do.



JASON looks up from his cruddy meal.




This is the third time you've gotten in trouble this week, son. And the summer just started.




Well, this isn't a good thing.


I was just havin' some fun.


DAD isn't sure what to say next.

MOM gives DAD weird baseball coach-like signals. A touch of the nose...a rub of the lips...a tap on the head.

DAD gets the hint.

DaD (CONT'D)'re eighteen years old, now.

MOM gives him a few more signals.


And I think it's time you get yourself a job. Make a little money.

The word 'job' is wax to JASON'S ears.



DAD flinches from JASON'S ejaculatory shout. He looks to MOM for a sign.

MOM turns her head to the side, pulls out her lips and wiggles her tongue like a bird of some sort.


No, Jason. Dr. Phil says this is a good time for someone your age to get a're gonna have to get a job. Or...or...

He looks to MOM for another sign.

MOM holds out her hands and wiggles her head like an Egyptian.

Dad (CONT'D)

You're grounded for the summer.


What?! Dad, that's not fair.


It's firm, but fair.


Where am I gonna work? Nobody's hiring. The economy's crap.



MOM nonchalantly points to a bottle of American-brand salad dressing.

DAD sees her.

Dad (CONT'D)

Hey! Why don't you take a ride down to the American?

The word 'American' brings sourness to JASON'S face.


The American?! No way! There's no way I'm workin' at the American!

MOM bursts out in what-sounds-like bird-calls.


Yew! Yew-yew!!!

DAD seems to understand her.


Now, Jason, I know it's not the most glamorous job...




...but it's a paycheck.

JASON hangs his head down to the table in despair.

Ext. Cuddy's house - backyard. day

CUDDY skates a sick mini-half-pipe, rolling up and down...

...rocking and rolling...

...pumping back and forth...


Grounded for the summer?! Shit, I just got no TV for a night.

JASON sits on his skateboard to the side of the ramp. His head is buried in his hands. He is the personification of despair.


So what are you gonna do? Get a job?


I have no choice.


Well, hey, come on down to the American. They'll hire you on the spot.

JASON lifts his head out from his hands.


Yeah, maybe when hell freezes over! Only an asshole works at the American!

CUDDY skids to a stop and gives JASON the hairiest of all sets of hairy eyeballs.

JASON realizes what he's just said.

Jason (CONT'D)

No offense.


A lot taken, dick! Where you gonna work, then?!

JASON jumps to his feet and propels his skateboard into his hands with his foot.

He hops up to the top of the mini-ramp and plants the tail of his skateboard into the metal coping.


I got some ideas.

He drops in and skates up a friggin' storm.

Ext. Video store. Day

The "Video-Rama" store is nestled between a convenient store and a laundromat in some small plaza in some place that isn't really important right now.

JASON skates up to the front of the store, kicks his skateboard into his hand and enters the store.

Int. Video store. DAY

It is a pre-Blockbuster, independently-owned deal, complete with tacky orange carpeting, humming fluorescent lights and a sketchy adult video closet in the way back.

A small TV mounted on the wall of the store plays some ultra-violent, Tarantino-esque movie.

A pimple-faced CLERK sits behind the front desk watching the movie and stuffing an onion-packed Italian sub into his face.

A little Bee-a-leep! alerts the CLERK that a customer has entered the store.

It's JASON and his skateboard.

But the CLERK doesn't bother looking to see who it is. He's too engrossed in the movie.

JASON steps up to the desk.

Without making any eye contact, the CLERK says...


Last name?

JASON is confused.



The CLERK types Jason's name into the computer.

Jason (CONT'D)



-last four of your phone number?


What? No, I'm not renting. I came to see if you're hiring.

The CLERK finally un-glues his eyes from the movie...

...and laughs maniacally.


Hahaha! That's a good one! Hiring! Hahahahaha.

JASON're not?


Boy, what in THE hell is wrong with you? Of course we're not hiring! We're goin' outta business!

He points to a sign in the corner of the store that says "Liquidation sale".


Oh, I didn't know. What happened?


The American's what happened!


You mean the American's renting videos now?


No, no, no nah-no-no NO. They're not renting videos. They're renting shit.


Oh, OK...


They're gonna have those stupid vending machine thingys that shit out the DVDs, and, oh yeah, that makes for a REAL good renting experience. You think the American's gonna carry any obscure Indie titles? No, they're gonna have all the blockbusters and all the popcorn movies and all the blah blah blah blah blah. What's gonna happen to all the art-house flicks or the foreign masterworks or experimental ave-en-garde...

JASON decides it's probably a good time to leave before this wacko CLERK bores him to death. He starts to leave the store.

But the CLERK is offended.


Hey...hey!!! Where you goin' now, hotshot? Nobody's hiring except the American!


Whatever you say...psycho.



You skater punks just never learn! There are no other places! There's just the American!!!

JASON flips the CLERK the bird and quickly leaves the store.

The CLERK shakes his head at JASON'S stupidity and resumes watching his movie.

Int. music store. day (montage sequence)

JASON talks to an EMPLOYEE at the record store.

The EMPLOYEE shakes his head and points up to a sign that says, "Going out of business".

Int. Bookstore. DAY (Montage sequence)


The BOOKSELLER shakes his head and points to a sign that says...

"Liquidation sale! Everything must go!!!"

JASON is discouraged.

ext. Clothing store. Day (montage sequence)

The store looks dark, run-down and ghostly.

JASON walks up to the window of the store, wipes some grime away with the back of his hand and peers inside.

The store has clearly been closed for a great deal of time. There is nothing but a few empty cardboard boxes and naked mannequins and a shelve or two.

JASON turns away from the window and leaves the store.

Int. bakery. Day (montage sequence)

The place is also forsaken.

The OWNER to the BAKERY stands behind the counter with his lips wrapped around the barrel of a shotgun.

He is about to pull the trigger when he hears a jingling of the bell above the store's front entrance.

JASON enters the store.

The OWNER quickly hides his shotgun underneath the counter.

JASON asks the OWNER a question.

The OWNER shakes his head in despair.

JASON turns away and leaves the shop.

The OWNER pulls the gun back out, wraps his lips around the barrel, and...


ext. center of town. day (end of montage sequence)

The center of the town is like some sort of ghost town out of the wild west. All the stores are dark and closed and dilapidated.

JASON skates up to a graffiti-ridden newspaper bin and shoves a couple quarters into it.

He takes a newspaper out of the bin and drops every section of it on the ground...except for the "Help Wanted" section.

He pages through.

Page 1 has an add that says "The American's now hiring in all departments."

Page 2 has an add that says "The American's now hiring in all departments."

Page 3 has an add that says "The American's now hiring in all departments."

Page 4 has an add that says "The American's now hiring in all departments."

Page 5 has an add that says - well, you get the idea.

JASON crumples up the newspaper and chucks it back into the bin.


(under his breath)

This is bullshit.

Ext. road on hill. Day

JASON coasts down the hill on his skateboard - very slowly, weaving from one side of the road to the other.

He soon comes to a corner.

He creeps around the corner.

Beyond the corner, there is an open view. The view is of a man-made valley, the walls of which are comprised of huge squares of concrete.

At the bottom of the valley lies an enormous concrete parking lot filled with cars, and at the far end of the parking lot is one of the most gigantic supermarkets in existence:

The American Supermarket.

JASON rolls up to the valley's edge and kicks his skateboard into his hand.

He peers down to the gigantic American Supermarket.

Such an enormous piece of architecture - the eighth wonder of the world. Red, white and blue bricks comprise its facade, along with an enormous red, white and blue sign that reads "The American Supermarket". It is like a K-Mart, Walmart and Super Stop & Shop all in one.

There is a look of defeat in JASON'S eyes.

He drops into his skateboard and rolls down the hill...into the valley...into the bowels of the American Supermarket.

ext. cruise ship - somewhere in the atlantic ocean. Day

The multi-level ship plows its way through the choppy Atlantic waters. An enormous American flag waves from a pole at the very top of the ship.

Int. cruise ship - dining area. Day

A newspaper is open at a dining table, concealing whoever's reading it.

An unidentifiable MAN is behind it, scanning over the stock pages.

The American Supermarket stocks are doing tremendously well. They're up several points. In fact, a headline reads, "American stocks are up! Everything else is down!"

A WAITER approaches this mysterious MAN behind the newspaper.


More coffee, Sir?

The mysterious MAN emerges from behind the newspaper and reveals his face.

O the horror! It's the sinister Mr. Evil from the Haitian sugar plantation.

His eyes swirl with craziness.

Mr. Evil

(Hungarian accent)


The WAITER refills Mr. Evil's cup with ink-black coffee.

MR. EVIL lifts the cup of coffee to his lips and takes a sip.

Mr. Evil (CONT'D)

Aaaaaaagggghhhhhhh. Tell me, much longer until ve arrive?


Very soon, Sir. In fact, we're probably comin' up on the land right now.

Ext. cruise ship - deck. day

Mr. Evil steps out onto the deck and strolls down to the bow of the ship.

His eyes twinkle at the sight of something in the far horizon.

It's the statue of liberty, standing tall and proud.

Mr. Evil rests his hands on the deck's railing and gazes at the statue.

His eyes are full of excitement, wonder and awe - but beneath all these emotions there is still the underlying look of utter malice.

Ext. American supermarket - parking lot. Day

It is a jungle of cars.

Cars rolling around in every which direction.

CUSTOMERS pushing carriages.

Sales fliers blowing in the wind like tumbleweeds in the Wild West.

JASON skateboards his way through the busy lot, nearly getting hit by a dozen or so cars in the process.

Ext. American supermarket - front entrance. Day

An endless row of soda, water and juice machines creates a "fence" of corporate logos bordering the whole store.

At the very end of this "fence" and just a few feet away from the store entrance is a bench. On this bench sits a man named HENRY.

HENRY looks like he's smoked about eight packs of cigarettes a day since he exited his mother's womb. His clothes are greasy like those of a chimney sweeper and his skin is as browned and crispy as a baked potato.

HENRY sits cross-legged on the bench smoking - what else? - but a cigarette.

JASON rolls down the fire-lane running parallel to the store, kicks his skateboard into his hand and makes his way toward the store's sliding electric doors.

He eyeballs HENRY.

HENRY seems to kind of be in his own little world. He doesn't acknowledge JASON, nor much of anything else. His empty eyes lack the presence of a soul.

JASON parts the electric doors...and disappears into the mouth of the American Supermarket.

The doors slide back shut. JASON is swallowed whole.

Int. american SUPERMARKET. DAY

JASON takes his first step into the store. His ears get pierced by a cacophonous wave of 'beeps' coming from the front-end cash registers' scanners.


JASON moves further into the store and is humbled by the enormity of its interior.

Each aisle seems to be miles long. No end to the store in sight - only a blurry horizon of commodities in the distance.

Int. American supermarket - front end. day

JASON moves his way down the front end.

He sees drones of LATINO EMPLOYEES bagging groceries at the end of the check-outs. They are of the young and old, male and female, healthy and unhealthy. Some walk with limps and others, every once in a while, allow a slight look of pain to penetrate their stoicism.

JASON looks at the wall to his left and sees a huge photograph of MR. JOE FAZIO (apparently the store manager), looking something like the portrait of Mao in Tiananmen Square. Beneath this photo are smaller photographs of the other department managers - like grocery, bakery and produce dudes. They all have a phony - almost creepy - look in their smiles.

Int. American supermarket - registers. day

There is a CASHIER at a register who looks a little familiar:

Why, it's CUDDY!

CUDDY finishes up a transaction with a customer and spots somebody in the corner of his eye.


CUDDY does a double-take.


(to himself)

Well, if that don't be it all...

(to Jay)


JASON ignores his friend.

Cuddy (CONT'D)

Hey, Jay!!!

JASON keeps walking.


(to himself)

Has hell frozen over?

He checks the supermarket ceiling for icicles and feels around his register for anything the least bit chilly.


Don't think so.

INT. AMERICAN SUPERMARKET - customer service. Day

JASON joins the end of a relatively short line and waits his turn to be served.

A WOMAN stands behind the customer service desk whose name-tag identifies as WANDA. She has grayed, wrinkly skin, like that of an elephant. Her greasy hair is weaved into what's basically a cross between a dread-lock and a pony tail - kind of like a floor-mat. She is an old, burnt-out hippy who probably still lives in her Volkswagon bus.

She finishes a transaction with a CUSTOMER and locks eyes with JASON.


(in a smoker's voice)

Can I help you, honey?

Her words hawk up globs of phlegm.

JASON is a bit disgusted by WANDA'S appearance.

She smiles at him and reveals a nice set of pearly-yellows.


Yeah, I wanna fill out an application.

Hinges squeak.

WANDA steps to the side. A door flies open behind her.

MR. JOE FAZIO - the store manager - steps through the door. He is a middle-aged man wearing a cheap-looking Italian suit and a fake-looking Rolex. His hair is slicked back with waaaaaaaay too much gel.

MR. JOE FAZIO looks in JASON'S vicinity, but never makes any eye contact. His eyes are always looking over the store's activity, just to be sure everything is under control.

Mr. joe Fazio

(to Jason in a Boston accent)

Hi ya doin', boss? I'm Joe Fazio, the store managah.

He holds out his hand for a ritualized handshake, but still never makes any eye contact.

JASON shakes his hand.

mr. joe fazio (CONT'D)

Come on up to the office and we'll get ya started.



MR. JOE FAZIO opens a door to the side of the service desk and motions for Jason to walk through.

JASON steps into the service desk and disappears.

MR. JOE FAZIO never takes his eyes off the activity in the store for a second.

INT. american supermarket - mr. joe fazio's OFFICE. DAY

There are no windows, just off-white walls with a fluorescent light buzzing on the ceiling.

A desk lies directly beneath this light. Nothing is on it except for a pile of applications, a liter of Diet Coke, an extra-large ice coffee and a Red Bull.

MR. JOE FAZIO leads JASON into the room.

Mr. joe fazio

Have a seat...

He motions for JASON to sit in a chair at the desk.

JASON takes a seat.

MR. JOE FAZIO sits at the desk and immediately chugs the entire liter of Diet Coke.

JASON watches him chug the Coke in awe.

MR. JOE FAZIO finishes the Coke, licks his finger, takes an application off the top of the pile and starts filling it out.

Mr. joe Fazio (CONT'D)

US citizen?



Mr. joe FAZIO

18 or ovah?



Mr. joe FAZIO

Convicted felon?


Yes. I mean, no.

MR. JOE FAZIO taps his pen on the desk for a second or two.

Mr. joe FAZIO

Wanna work in the deli?



Cheese shop?




Sporting goods?






I was kinda hoping for something in the front end.

Mr. joe FAZIO

We can do that.

He writes a few more things on the application.

Mr. joe fazio (CONT'D)



Uh...any time, really.

MR. JOE FAZIO'S eyes twinkle from the sound of 'anytime'.

He grabs his super-large iced coffee and starts chugging the entire thing - right before JASON'S eyes.

JASON is amazed.

MR. JOE FAZIO finishes his last sip, licks his lips and says...

Mr. joe fazio (CONT'D)

All right...just got a little personality test for ya. We do it with all new employees.

JASON sits up straight in his chair and gets ready to answer.


(reading from the paper)

You're in the break room. You overhear a cupla employees talking about starting a union. What do you do? A: immediately alert me or an assistant managah about what you heard. Or B: join the employees in organizing the union.


Well, I

MR. JOE FAZIO isn't pleased.


Let me rephrase that question...

MR. JOE FAZIO leans closer to JASON and leers at him like an eel.


A is the right ansah and B is the wrong ansah.



MR. JOE FAZIO lets out a forced chuckle.


Congratulations, you passed.

He slides the application over to JASON.



Sign here.

JASON looks down to the 'X' where he needs to sign his name.

The X gets bigger...

...and bigger...

And bigger.

JASON grips the pen.

MR. JOE FAZIO salivates as he waits for JASON'S signature.

JASON caves and finally signs his name.


(holding out his hand)

Welcome aboard, boss.

JASON forces out a smile and shakes MR. JOE FAZIO'S hand.

With his free hand, MR. JOE FAZIO chugs his entire Red Bull.

Int. American supermarket - conference room. Day

MR. JOE FAZIO pops a tape into an old VCR.

INT. american supermarket. Day (orientation video)

A black HOST in his 40s walks along the front end of the store, sporting a big, bright smile on his face.

The BAGGERS in the background are mainly young, white males in their 30s. There are only a few WOMEN and a handful of other BLACKS and ASIANS thrown into the scene to be politically correct.


Here at the American we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment.

(as though somebody off-screen is asking him a question)

What's that? Not sure what, exactly, constitutes sexual harassment? Well, watch and observe...

Int. American supermarket - checkout (orientation video). DAY

A YOUNG FEMALE CASHIER whose name-tag identifies as DONNA finishes a transaction with a customer.


And two-dollars is your change. Thank you for shopping at the American.

The CUSTOMER takes the change and walks away.

DONNA has a lull in her line, so she turns to the register behind her.

An older MAN CASHIER whose name-tag identifies as ED smiles and nods at DONNA in a very suggestive manner.

Donna (CONT'D)

(with the worst acting ever)

Hey, Ed...I heard you were retiring.

ED keeps nodding his head and smiling.


Yeah, to my apartment...with YOU.

DONNA'S smile fades and she suddenly feels very uncomfortable.

INT. AMERICAN SUPERMARKET - conference room. DAY (end of video)

MR. JOE FAZIO shuts off the VCR and whips a piece of paper at JASON.

Mr. joe fazio

Just sign here saying you saw this video.

JASON signs the paper.

MR. JOE FAZIO snatches the paper away before JASON even finishes signing his name.

Mr. joe Fazio (CONT'D)

Let's go get ya feet wet.

JASON follows MR. JOE FAZIO out of the room.

INT. american supermarket - janitor's closet. Day

MR. JOE FAZIO kneels into the closet and rummages through a big cardboard box.

JASON stands behind him, feeling awkward.

After a few moments, MR. JOE FAZIO emerges from the closet, holding an "American" shirt in his hand.

Mr. joe Fazio

Yeah, this looks about your size.

He hands JASON the shirt.

JASON holds the shirt up to his chest. It must be about an XXXL because it pretty much hangs down to his knees.

MR. JOE FAZIO doesn't really seem to notice the size. He hops back onto his feet and seems to be more concerned with JASON'S grungy appearance.

Mr. joe FAZIO (CONT'D)

(speaking as though reading off a cue card)

Here at the American we have a strict policy regarding personal hygiene. All associates are expected to arrive for work freshly showered and clean-shaven. Fingernails must be neatly-trimmed and free of dirt. Uniforms must be washed after each shift and free of stains.

MR. JOE FAZIO eyeballs JASON'S crucifix earring.


The earring...

He points to his ear.

MR. JOE FAZIO (CONT'D)'s gotta go.

JASON reaches up to his ear and fingers his earring. No! Not the earring!!!

He reluctantly removes the earring from his ear.