If you want to be her lover, you have to LARP with her friends.
By Ben Joseph
INT. UPSCALE RESTAURANT KEN and JULIE, 20s, are on a first date. Julie LAUGHS as Ken finishes a story. He smiles nervously. JULIE Is everything OK? You look uncomfortable. KEN I'm sorry. It's just- a girl like you doesn't usually go out with a guy like me. You know, a nerd. JULIE Hey, I'm a total nerd, too. KEN Oh, girls always say that. JULIE No seriously! I love Firefly, I play Dungeons and Dragons, and I think Holy Grail is way worse than- JULIE/KEN (finishing with her) -The Life of Brian. (bad British accent) Stwike him, Centuwion. Stwike him vewy wuffly! The two LAUGH. KEN Oh, wow this is great! We have so much in common. You should totally come over and play Halo later. JULIE (suddenly serious) That's a joke, right? KEN Uh, I just thought- since you said- JULIE I said I was a nerd. Not some beer guzzling frat boy who likes generic shooters with shitty, floaty controls, awful vehicle combat- Ken's horrified. Julie composes herself. JULIE I'm sorry. I get really passionate about this stuff. She chuckles charmingly. JULIE Sometimes, I'll hang out in the manga section of Barnes and Noble for hours. KEN (mispronouncing "manga") Oh, I love manga! Dragonball Z, Spirited Away.... He trails off as Julie's face falls. JULIE Well, uh, first if you're watching it on TV, it's an anime, not a manga. Second, Spirited Away? There are SO many better Ghibli films than that over-promoted Oscar bait. KEN Ghibli? Is that, like, a Pokemon? Julie takes a deep breath. JULIE At least tell me you watch them in the original Japanese. KEN I don't really like reading sub-titles. JULIE (SUB-TITLED, in Japanese) I didn't say anything about sub-titles. Ken looks at her, confused. JULIE This isn't going to work out. We're too different. Like Otacon and Sniper Wolf. KEN I'm not sure- Julie gets up to leave. Ken stops her. KEN Wait! So you're a little nerdier than I am. We both love pop culture. There has to be some common ground. Julie thinks for a moment. JULIE Star Wars? KEN (agreeing) Star Wars. JULIE The prequels: So bad, am I right? KEN I know! When they made Yoda fight with that tiny lightsaber? That looked so silly. JULIE Almost as silly as having Yuuzhan Vong kill Chewbacca, right? KEN (clearly lost) Oh, uh, that guy- He's so evil- Ooo, evil robot dude- Ken trails off. He's got nothing. JULIE Oh for F*CK'S sake. The Expanded Universe? The novels, the comics? KEN Don't those suck? JULIE That's not the point! Sure, Martha Jones was a shitty Dr. Who companion, but that doesn't mean I stopped watching Dr. Who. KEN Who? Julie's eyes start to water. JULIE That better have been a clever joke. KEN Of course it was! (quiet, desperate) He's James a Bond villain, right? Julie stares at Ken, almost in tears. She SLAPS him across the face and walks away. POST-HUH. INT. BEDROOM - LATER Julie and her friend STACY paint LEAD FIGURINES as if they were painting their toenails. JULIE (almost crying) -and he couldn't even name all of the current Batman titles. STACY Sh. Sh. It's OK. Let's go play some Catan.