Friday, December 16, 2011

Case Study No. 0127: Norris McQueen, Grace, and Bill

The Librarian Strikes Back
Mild-mannered librarian Norris is bullied at work and unable to express himself to the girl of his dreams. But then he goes on an assertiveness course with a difference..
Tags: short film
Added: 3 years ago
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Slapdash Films presents
A film by Danny Phillips

The Librarian Strikes Back

[scene opens inside the Municipal Library, as Norris is reshelving books while Grace is helping a little girl find a book]
NORRIS: [looks longingly at Grace and imagines a halo appearing over her head]
[Bill suddenly appears behind Norris and gets in his face]
BILL: [singing in a mocking tone] Norris loves Grace ...
[Norris jumps back slightly]
BILL: Why don't you ask her out?
NORRIS: Don't be impertinent!
BILL: Or you'll do what?
NORRIS: [tries to puff himself up] I'm your manager!
[not impressed, Bill grabs him by the shirt]
BILL: So? Maybe I'll ask her out myself. She is pretty ... pretty ugly!
[he walks off and stands behind Grace, making lewd gestures while Norris does nothing, eventually storming out of the library and walking along the road when he sees the "Out of My Way! Assertiveness Training Centre"]
NORRIS: [shrugs to himself] What've I got to lose?
[he enters and sees a man at his desk, typing on a computer]
NORRIS: Hello? Hello?
[the man looks up and shrugs]
NORRIS: Uh, my name's Norris McQueen ...
MR. ASSERTIVE: Wadda you want?!
NORRIS: Well, I'm, uh ...
MR. ASSERTIVE: Get on with it, mate! Come on, I haven't got all day!
NORRIS: I was just here for assertiveness training ...
MR. ASSERTIVE: See, that wasn't so hard, was it? At least you found the right office! There's a bunch of grief counselors next door, got their clients running in all the time!
[he pounds his fist on the desk]
MR. ASSERTIVE: You're in the wrong office, I tell 'em!
[Norris jumps back slightly]
MR. ASSERTIVE: [makes baby noises] ... Imagine dealing with that all day.
[he gets up out of his chair]
MR. ASSERTIVE: You quite obviously need my services ...
[cut to Norris and Mister Assertive walking down the street]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Interesting life story, Mister Librarian. So tell me ...
[he elbows a passerby out of the way, and (when the man looks back as if to say "What gives?") keeps walking while giving the middle finger]
MR. ASSERTIVE: How is it that assertiveness is going to improve your life?
NORRIS: Well, there's a woman ...
NORRIS: Well, we work together, and I think she's amazing.
MR. ASSERTIVE: So, what's the problem-o? How does she feel about you?
NORRIS: Well, we get on and stuff, but ... I dunno, I keep on meaning to ask her out on a date.
MR. ASSERTIVE: It's okay, I understand, and I think I can help!
[he puts his hands on his shoulders]
MR. ASSERTIVE: You've gotta be decisive! If there's something you want, work out a strategy and don't stop til it's yours!
[they see to a lady sitting in the park about to eat a piece of cake]
MR. ASSERTIVE: You hungry?
NORRIS: No, not ... Well, maybe.
MR. ASSERTIVE: Oh, be decisive! I'm hungry, and I fancy some cake!
[he walks over to the woman and stands over her]
MR. ASSERTIVE: That cake looks nice! Really tasty! Could I have some cake, please?
CAKE LADY: No, go away ...
MR. ASSERTIVE: Hmm, fair enough ...
[he moves in closer, hovering over the cake]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Mmm ... mmm ...
[he sticks his tongue out and starts licking his lips]
CAKE LADY: What do you want?
MR. ASSERTIVE: I hope you don't mind. I'm just gonna stand here and watch you eat that cake ... Which is good, 'cause I get all the pleasure without any of the cost. Y'know what they say, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!
[she relents and hands him the cake]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Aw, thanks! Don't you want it?
CAKE LADY: I've lost my appetite ...
[she gets up and leaves, and he starts eating]
MR. ASSERTIVE: [turns to Norris] I wanted the cake. I got the cake. That's lesson one, identify and object and make it yours!
NORRIS: But you made her feel bad! Kind of embarrassing ...
MR. ASSERTIVE: I'm not embarrassed. Assertive people don't feel embarrassed ... Lesson two, embarrassment is your friend!
[he throws the rest of the cake over his shoulder, then they see a muscular man with a can of Coke]
MR. ASSERTIVE: You thirsty?
NORRIS: Well ...
NORRIS: Uh, yeah yeah! I could, I could drink a lake!
MR. ASSERTIVE: Good, 'cause it's time to get practical!
[he points to the man, who is doing pushups]
MR. ASSERTIVE: There's your drink! Your goal, go get it!
NORRIS: But look at the size of him!
MR. ASSERTIVE: The bigger they are, the harder they fall!
NORRIS: He'll murder me!
MR. ASSERTIVE: Are you gonna be a doormat all your life?
[he looks down, then nods his head and walks over to the man]
MR. ASSERTIVE: That's it, get 'im!
[he stops in front of the man, then nervously takes out a handkerchief and wipes his brow]
NORRIS: [stunted] Phew. It's hot. I'm really thirsty. Um, can I have some?
[the man takes a sip]
NORRIS: Uh, of your drink? To, to drink?
BIG BLOKE: How about you piss off, before I break you?
NORRIS: Uh, I'm suprised you went for a full fat Coke ... Y'know what they say, a second on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
BIG BLOKE: What, are you saying I'm fat?!
[Mister Assertive, in the background, winces]
NORRIS: [nervously] No no no ... Uh, I just thought someone so fit and health-conscious as yourself wouldn't drink something so high in sugar.
BIG BLOKE: Uh, I'm just big-boned ...
[he hands Norris the Coke and walks off]
NORRIS: [gets a surprised look on his face, then smiles and takes a sip]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Norris, drink up! Savor the taste of victory!
NORRIS: [nods and takes another sip]
MR. ASSERTIVE: I thought you were gonna get your head kicked in!
[Norris does a spit take]
NORRIS: What?! But you let me do it?
MR. ASSERTIVE: Lesson number three was gonna be, know your limitations ... Big fish versus little fish, blah blah blah. You, my friend, are the biggest fish! You're the great white! You're Jaws 1, 2, 3, and 4!
NORRIS: Yeah, I'm Jaws!
NORRIS: [starts biting at the air and growling]
MR. ASSERTIVE: If you can ask someone that scary for that drink, you can do anything!
NORRIS: Yeah, I don't know how to thank you. I just feel so empowered, like I can do anything!
MR. ASSERTIVE: Well, lemmee know how it goes, and ...
[he hands him his card]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Um, pay me two hundred dollars.
MR. ASSERTIVE: I'm not a charity worker. I just gave you the tools to get out there and grab life by the horns! Cheap at twice the price!
NORRIS: Yeah well, I'm only gonna pay you a hundred and fifty!
MR. ASSERTIVE: [laughs] I've created a monster ...
[he suddenly grabs Norris and puts him in a headlock]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Hey, it's two hundred dollars, or I'll rip your guts out and I'll feed ya to the pigeons!
NORRIS: [nervously hands him his wallet]
MR. ASSERTIVE: [lets him go and takes his money] Good lad ...
[friendly again, he gives him a pat on the back as Norris walks off]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Go get 'em, tiger!
[with Norris out of sight, the muscular man and the cake lady walk up to Mister Assertive]
MR. ASSERTIVE: Josh, Taylor. Thanks for responding so quickly to my text messages.
BIG BLOKE: You did say it was an emergency.
CAKE LADY: Do you think it worked?
MR. ASSERTIVE: That man is overflowing with assertiveness. Look out world!
[cut to Norris entering the library, as Bill is still harrassing Grace]
BILL: There he is. Grace was just telling me about the sexy lingerie she bought last week. Crotchless and everything ...
GRACE: [embarrassed] No! I, I ... how dare you!
NORRIS: It's okay, Grace. We both know it's his pathetic attempt at humor. Would you mind waiting at the counter for me? I want a word with Bill.
BILL: Sup, big-nuts? Come to give me a pay raise?
NORRIS: More a lesson in respect ...
[he punches Bill in the stomach, who goes down in a heap]
[cut to Grace at the counter, as Norris drags Bill over to her]
BILL: Grace ... Grace, I'd just like to apologize for pretty much everything I've ever said to you. It won't happen again.
NORRIS: Good lad ...
[he pushes Bill out of the picture]
NORRIS: Go find something useful to do.
[scene ends with Norris holding Grace's hand and looking into her eyes]

Norris - Chris Peters
Mr. Assertive - Paul Doran
Grace - Clarissa Phillips
Bill - Daniel Cross
Big Bloke - Fabian Probst
Cake Lady - Brigitte Najjar
Mr. 8 - Josh Dawson
Library Girl - Taylor Dawson
Library Customers - Terry Bates, Sue Bates
Music courtesy of Peter John Ross (
Written directed produced and edited by Danny Phillips
Slapdash Films 2008

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