"You forgot 'ATM'" - Our Dads
By Ben Joseph
TITLE CARD: THE SIX WAYS YOU'LL SEE YOUR DAD
TITLE CARD: THE SUPERHERO
YOU, about 5, take off running.
You're definitely going to beat him
Your Dad, a SUPERHERO, runs past you with SUPER SPEED.
How does he DO that?
Dad picks you up and FLIES AWAY.
Of the ten people you've met so far
he's definitely the best.
Dad lands in your KITCHEN, starts making you a snack.
He's strong enough to open the
peanut butter with one hand. Agile
enough to get the straw into the
Capri Sun without bending it. And
smart enough to know the answer to
pretty much everything.
Dad does PUSH-UPS with you on his back.
Dad, how much money does the
A billion dollars.
TITLE CARD: THE CLOWN
A SUBURBAN STREET. You're a little older - 10 or 12 -
walking home with your friends from school.
We're not talking about the good
type of clown because there are no
good types of clowns. They're all
weird and unfunny. And so is he.
An UGLY CAR pulls up. Your dad - now a CLOWN - honks for you
to get in. You're mortified.
YOUR HOUSE. Dad, in HIGH PLEATED KHAKIS and an XXL HAWAIIAN
SHIRT clowns around: He hits his finger with a hammer, tries
to type on a computer with large CLOWN GLOVES, etc.
His wardrobe makes cartoon
characters look stylish. Carrot Top
thinks his jokes are a "little
(beat, soft, scary voice)
Sometimes, he dances.
You and your friends listen to music. Clown Dad jumps in and
GYRATES HORRIBLY. You turn off the stereo.
A RESTAURANT. Clown Dad makes an "Asian face" as he talks to
an Asian waiter. He bows slightly as the waiter walks away.
Oh, Jesus, he's imitating the
waiter's accent again. The only
that could be worse is if- And the
chopsticks are up his nose.
Clown Dad does an AWFUL WALRUS impression.
You wish somebody would just shoot
you right now.
Clown Dad squirts you with a FAKE LAPEL FLOWER.
DINNER. You, now 15, kind of going through a punk phase,
pick at your food.
You think you liked him better with
the red nose.
TYRANT DAD sits on an large, lavish throne at the head of
He's like Darth Vader, Hitler, and
the reverend from Footloose all
rolled into one.
You MOW THE LAWN as Dad supervises.
He never lets you do anything.
You're forced to work his land and
obey his ridiculous decrees.
Next to the THRONE: A STEWARD reads from a scroll.
Mandate the 9th: Thou shall not
pierce thine flesh, as long as thou
lives under thine roof.
You run into your dad in the hall. You BOW ironically.
You're pretty sure even serfs could
stay out past 9 on weekdays.
You preach to an unseen audience.
If we all stop eating, he has to
let me go to Warped Tour!
You want change, but you're not
sure your fellow revolutionaries
can be trusted.
REVEAL: You're talking to your 7 and 10-year-old SIBLINGS.
They're adorably not paying attention.
Nobody in the world has it as bad
You stop mowing the lawn, sit on your porch, and SIGH. Next
door, there's a boy doing the exact same thing.
TITLE CARD: THE SUIT
Dad, in a GRAY SUIT, drives you to college.
Then you realize: Your Dad's not a
dictator. He's an LL Bean catalog.
Now, just remember-
But you're already out of the car.
SPLIT SCREEN: As Dad goes through a BORING WORK DAY in MUTED
GRAYS, the following happens to YOU at COLLEGE:
You're going to be different.
You're not going to sell out.
You're going to read books.
You play video games and drink beer. Dad sits at his
computer and drinks coffee.
Have interesting conversations with
A PARTY. You sort of listen to a girl. Meanwhile, Dad sits
in a boring BOARD MEETING.
I just really think the, you know,
themes of the book-
You interrupt her with a sloppy make-out session.
You'll be the millionaire astronaut
rock star that he never was.
You wake up, on the floor, a penis drawn on your face. Dad,
almost asleep at his computer, snaps awake.
END SPLIT SCREEN. Dad reads BILLS.
You don't even know why he keeps
that stupid job.
REVEAL: You're sitting across from him.
I'm, uh, going to need to go to
TITLE CARD: THE HERO (REPRISE)
You're running down a dark alley.
OK. So you might be in over your
A DEAD END. You're stuck. A strange GANG approaches you,
wielding CHAINS and CLUBS:
You missed your student loan
I need you to work through the
I'm not going to fix your HOT
That's when you remember why he was
They're about to attack when YOUR DAD, a trench coat
vigilante, leaps to your defense.
He's not as fast or as strong as
you remember, but he has other
skills. And he will do anything -
anything - to keep you safe.
Dad takes a few punches, but manages to beat back the gang.
But he's already gone.
The worst part is you know there's
no way you can repay him. The least
you can do is stay out of trouble.
A SHADY CHARACTER calls to you from the shadows.
Hey, want a free credit card?
Dolly into DARKNESS, transitioning us, with NO TITLE CARD,
back to REALITY. Dad helps you pack up your room.
But no more fantasies. You feel
like you know your Dad pretty well
these days. Really got a handle on
the ol' guy-
Carrying a box into the attic, you spot a GUITAR CASE.
Wait, he played guitar?
You open a CHEST next to it and go through the various
Of all the things you've considered
your dad, "a person" was never one
of them. Maybe it's the letters, or
the diploma, or maybe it's, uh,
You find an awful pair of SEQUINED BELL BOTTOMS.
-but you realize he's a guy. A guy
who's had fears, desires, hopes,
disappointments. He has no idea
what comes next, but he's doing his
best to figure it out. He's-
You find a picture of your Dad and Mom holding you as
infant. They're both impossibly young. He's strangely
familiar. Suddenly, you recognize your dad...
As you smile, just a little bit, we cut to the...
FINAL TITLE CARD: YOU