Excerpt from a More Sensitive Remake of 1996 Action-Thriller The Rock

GOODSPEED

I’ll do my best.

MASON

Your “best”! Losers always whine about their “best”! Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.

GOODSPEED

Carla was the prom queen.

MASON

Really?

GOODSPEED

Yeah.

[GOODSPEED pauses.]

Or, I should say, she was technically the prom queen. If I’m being perfectly honest, though, it was a really small school. Like, 30 kids tops in the graduating class. So the distinction of prom queen was probably less meaningful than at a typical, larger regional high school.

To address the larger point, though, I don’t think it matters whether she was the prom queen or not. She’s a beautiful capable woman who oughtn’t be reduced to a distinction she received as an 18-year-old. Nor does her physical beauty reflect on my own capacities as a chemical weapons specialist.

Exchange from a Non-Extant Woody Allen Film

An agitated PATIENT, played by Allen, lies on a THERAPIST’s couch.

PATIENT

It’s terrible, doctor. I can’t rid myself of this overwhelming sense that everything is hopeless.

THERAPIST

Many people benefit from an activity that requires consistent, periodic attention. For example, have you tried gardening?

PATIENT

Gardening? Doctor, I tried. I’m one of the few — my radishes, they attempted to stage a coup. It’s embarrassing.

Poem: An 11-Year-Old Discusses His Financials

I don’t want to get a red car
because I know it’s flashy.

I don’t want to get a black car
because I know heat’s an issue.

I know how much a car costs,
about insurance, I get it.

A gray car is so boring.
A beige car is boring.

My big gram gave me 50 dollars
and my cousin 50 dollars.

I’m saving.
I’ve been picking up returnables.

He used his for one night at a hotel.
Why would he do that?

Three Observations of an Imbecile

1. I’m fluent in multiple dialects of English: banal English, insufferable English, trampled English.

2. I used to pursue wonder, now it’s available to me whenever — by reflecting on the expanse of my shortcomings.

3. Why do I publish these trifles? Because something inside me is compelled to “leave my mark.” Something absurd.

The Cure’s Robert Smith Spends a Semester Abroad with a Jewish-American Family

A teenaged ROBERT SMITH is lying on his bed, hopeless.

MRS. FRIEDMAN
(Walking to ROBERT SMITH’S bedroom.)

Alright, Robert. Out of bed, time to go.

(Arrives in doorway.)

Oh my G-d, Robert, are you still asleep?

ROBERT SMITH

No. Just rendered inert by the burden of living.

MRS. FRIEDMAN

Okay, Robert. You’ll have plenty of time to be rendered inert later. Right now, though, you’re going with Mr. Friedman to get fish for Shabbos.