With the writers' strike capping the well of ideas and creativity in Hollywood, it's now more important than ever to give back to the same community that gave us Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Jaws IV: The Revenge. To this end, I've taken it upon myself to help those underappreciated directors and producers by offering my services as an unsolicited scab.


I've already got a treatment of my first summer blockbuster ready to go. It's sure to be a box office record-breaker. It has all the hallmarks of a sure-fire winner: heart, action, adventure, intrigue, and romance. I give toyou the story of a man and his time-traveling dog.


ROVERCLOCKED


The movie begins at night on a nondescript sidewalk in a quaint downtown setting. Wind rustles thorugh litter strewn around the street, growing more fervent, and finally culminating in a flash of light. When the light fades, we see a dog wearing a silver collar standing in the middle of a scorch mark. The dog sets out down the street at a purpseful pace. He passes an electronics store, the window of which containing a convenient display of televisions that are all tuned into the same news broadcast, which is reporting on a new product that will revolutionize the pet industry at its unveiling tomorrow.


Cut to midday in a pleasant suburban neighborhood. A young mailman named Franklin makes his round, cheerily greeting the residents of his stops. His cheeriness abruptly dies when he is hounded by a tiny, yappy dog, which tears one of his socks before he can evade it. His cowardly retreat takes him to one of the larger houses, where a beautiful gardener is trimming the hedges of a house. The mailman approaches her, and nervously tries to strike up a conversation. As he fumbles, he is surreptitiously watched by the dog that appeared in the scorch mark the previous night.


Cut to a press conference hosted by the company that promises the revolutionary new pet product. The company president, Missus Chuck,a middle-aged woman with steely eyes, presents the product: a dog collar that manipulates the nerve impulses of whatever dog wearing it. She demonstrates this by placing the collar on an unruly dog that her assistant, the burly and unnecessarily fearsome Mister Tycho, brings out. Once the collar is in place, the dog becomes docile and obedient. The invention is met with thunderous applause.


We return to Franklin, now finishing his route. He strikes up a conversation with an old lady. Then he begins acting strangely, as if he hears another voice that we cannot hear. He attributdes the odd non-sequitors to the old lady, who grows fearful of his increasingly confused ranting. Throughout the conversation, we see the mysterious dog staring at the mailman.

Cut back to the office of Missus Chuck, who paces the floor and monologues to the sinister Mister Tycho. She gleefully outlines her plans for world conquest through the enslavement of dogs everywhere using her wondrous invention, which will give her remote control over every dog wearing the collar. With an army of dogs at her command, she intends to cripple the political and military infrastructure of the US (whose leaders are all upstanding, patriotic individuals, and therefore own dogs), and then assume command in the ensuing chaos.


Franklin comes home, exhausted, and does not see the mysterious dog slip into his house before teh door closes behind him. As he prepares his pathetic meal of beer poured over cereal, strange doings go on without his notice: the refrigerator door closes by itself after he carelessly leaves it open; an errant ball on the floor moves itself aside before he trips on it; the television remote hides itself before he can turn the TV on. Sitting on the couch, and too lazy to get up to turn on the TV, Franklin eats his cereal in silence. Then he jolts with a fright, much as he did when talking to the old lady. He hears that voice inside his head again. Looking around, he sees the dog staring at him from the kitchen doorway. It quickly becomes evident that the dog is talking to him inside his brain, only no one (including the audience) but Franklin can hear it.


Franklin panics and picks up his bottle to hurl it at the dog, only to have the bottle shatter in his hand. He then curls up in the corner, cowering, and begins echoing the dog's telepathic words so that the audience can hear the explanation as well: the dog is from the future, and has come back in time to prevent a catastrophic event that will plunge the world into darkness. The dog has chosen Franklin to help, because he sees qualities in Franklin that will greatly aid his mission. Tomorrow, the dog promises, they will undertake a task of planetary importance.


In pet stores across the nation, the collar is quickly catching on. Families everywhere are putting the new collars on their dogs and enjoying the absolute obedience of their pets.


The next morning, Franklin is reluctant to get out of bed. The dog blows up his alarm clock with the power of its mind, encouraging Franklin to get up. Franklin dawdles over breakfast (more beer and cereal) insisting that he's not cut out for saving the world. The dog retaliates by lighting Franklin's newspaper on fire, also with the power of his mind. Sufficiently convinced, Franklin drives the dog to the pet product factory wehre the collar is being produced.


Walking into the lobby, Franklin and the dog are stopped by the receptionist, who asks them of their business. At the dog's silent instruction, Franklin brazenly and embarassedly states that they're here to stop the megalomaniacal machinations of the company's president. Mister Tycho is called to remove Franklin and the dog.


Word of the strange altercation reaches Missus Chuck. She realizes that someone has discovered her plans. She orders Tycho via radio to eliminate the intruders.


Tycho pulls out a gun to kill Franklin. Franklin freaks out, but then receives encouragement from the dog, and overpowers Tycho in an epic clash that ends with Tycho being caught in the innards of a copy machine. The dog leaps atop the machine's controls and activates the copier. Tycho is dragged into the copier's innards, which mash him inexplicably. Images of his grisly expression pour out of the copier, to Franklin's disgust and confusion.


The dog and Franklin reach Missus Chuck's office for the climatic showdown. Missus Chuck holds them at gunpoint as she operates a laptop with her collars' control program. She is moments away from realizing her destiny. Appropriately, she launches into a story of the dog attack in her childhood that spurred her hatred of dogs and of the government, whose animal control agencies failed to capture the beast that made her go through twelve rounds of painful rabies treatments.Just as she is about to activate her control program, the dog makes her head explode, showering Franklin in brain matter. Horrified, Franklin demads the reason for his inclusion in the mission, if the dog possessed the power to kill with its mind all along. Through Franklin's dialogue, it is revealed that the dog needed Franklin to open doors.


As Franklin bids the dog farewell, he asks the dog what the point of all this was. The dog (speaking through Franklin's annoying echoing) suggests that Franklin seize the day, and make the future a better place so that dogs don't have to travel back in time and fix things themselves. Then the dog vanishes in a puff of special effects.


Heeding the dog's advice, Franklin approaches the attractive gardener on his route, and confesses his heartfelt feelings for her. He asks her on a date, to which she plainly refuses. Embittered, Franlkin encounters the yappy dog that tore his sock the other day. He punts the dog and returns to his rounds. Roll credits, and rake in the millions.