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Posted:|| August 26, 2019 Views: 70|
2nd in a series
"The Adventures of Ken Harris - 2"
by Mark Valentine
The Adventures of Ken Harris: Fictional Time Traveler. Episode 2.
Each week, Ken Harris magically travels into a famous work of fiction to warn characters of impending danger. This week, he stumbles into Gone With the Wind.
SCENE: Early 1861, a dressing room within Tara, a large plantation in Georgia. Mammy, a slave owned by the O’Hara family, is helping young Scarlett O’Hara get dressed for a party. From out of nowhere, Ken Harris appears in the room.
SCARLETT: (startled) Oh my heavens! What are you doing in here? Who are you?
KEN HARRIS: (looking startled himself) Ken Harris. So sorry for interrupting. I think I’m in the wrong place. Who are you?
SCARLETT: Scarlett O’Hara.
KEN HARRIS: Scarlett O’Hara? (Ken looks confused for a moment and then his eyes open as he realizes what has happened) Oh, I see what happened. I was aiming for Gone Girl – I was going to warn Nick about…never mind, it’s not important. Anyway, I must have overshot and hit Gone With the Wind. My mistake. So sorry for the inconvenience, Miss Scarlett. I’ll be on my way.
SCARLETT: I should say so! Dropping in like that when I’m half naked. Appalling!
KEN HARRIS: Half naked? My, how times have changed. Lady, those are some industrial-grade undergarments you got there. You look like you’re suiting up to play goalie for the Blackhawks.
SCARLETT: I haven’t the faintest idea what you just said, but you sound like a Yankee.
KEN HARRIS: Believe me lady, I hate the Yankees as much as you do – you see, I’m from Boston. Red Sox all the way. Am I right? (Ken gyrates his shoulders and hips in a move known in 2019 as the Boston Red Sox Shimmy*)
SCARLETT: Oh my -- such vulgar gyrations! (turns to Mammy) Mammy, will you please go and fetch Mr. Wilkes so he can come in here and throw this vulgar person out. (Mammy leaves. Scarlett again addresses Ken) I’m not sure where you come from, but around these parts men are expected to be gentlemen.
KEN HARRIS: Oh, you mean like Ashley Wilkes?
SCARLETT: Yes, like him.
KEN HARRIS: The guy who’s going to marry his cousin and go to KKK meetings? That Ashley Wilkes?
SCARLETT: Mr. Wilkes is the very model of a southern gentleman, but you wouldn’t know anything about that would you? I’m guessing you don’t have gentlemen like that where you come from.
KEN HARRIS: Sure we do – they wear MAGA hats and they hate immigrants.
SCARLETT: My parents were immigrants.
KEN HARRIS: At last – we have something in common.
SCARLETT: I don’t know about that, but I can tell you that you’re wrong about Mr. Wilkes. He is NOT going to marry Melanie. Once I tell him how I feel about him, I’m sure he’ll change his mind.
KEN HARRIS: Yeah, listen, as long as I’m here, let me give you some advice. You’re barking up the wrong tree by chasing after Ashley. Rhett Butler is the guy you really love. You just don’t realize it yet.
SCARLETT: Rhett Butler? Why, he’s almost as much of a scoundrel as you are. Besides, I’m perfectly capable of deciding for myself whom I will and won’t pursue.
KEN HARRIS: Fine, suit yourself. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I’ll be going now.
SCARLETT: Such language! In front of a lady! Have you no shame?
KEN HARRIS: What are you talking about?
SCARLETT: Don’t you know there are certain words that shouldn’t be said in polite company? You are obviously a reprobate and a sinner.
KEN HARRIS: YOU’RE judging ME?
SCARLETT: And why shouldn’t I?
KEN HARRIS: Well, for starters, you own slaves. On the continuum of good to evil, that’s waaaay down there on the evil end.
SCARLETT: Not that I owe you an explanation, but I treat my slaves like my own family.
KEN HARRIS: You slapped Prissy and called her the n word. Do you do that to your family?
SCARLETT: The n word? You mean ni…
KEN HARRIS: (interrupting Scarlett before she can finish the word) STOP! Like you said, there are certain words that shouldn’t be said in polite company.
SCARLETT: Anyway, I never slapped Prissy.
KEN HARRIS: Sure you did.
KEN HARRIS: On page six hundred and something, I think. It’s such a long book, who can remember? It’ll be a miracle if I can find my way out of here.
SCARLETT: You Yankees don’t know the first thing about the south. We need slaves to work on our plantations. You just want to impose your values on us. That’s why there’s going to be a war.
KEN HARRIS: As long as you brought up the war, let me give you another warning. Not sure why I’m bothering, but in spite of your selfishness, racism, and petulance, there’s something likeable about you, so I’m gonna give you a heads-up. You might want to consider moving somewhere else, because General Sherman is gonna open up a huge can of whup-ass round these parts. Tara will be toast. In fact, all of Atlanta will be burned to the ground. Kris Kristofferson will write a song about it. And you will end up dirt poor. You’ll marry anything with a pulse to try to make ends meet, but in the end you’ll end up alone and penniless.
Scarlett tries to slap him in the face, but he grabs her wrist and holds it tight.
KEN HARRIS: Don’t slap me, lady. I’m just the messenger. Your quarrel is with General Sherman.
SCARLETT: (trying to pull her arm free from Ken’s grasp) Unhand me you animal! Why, you’re nothing but a primitive brute. I wouldn’t be surprised if you carried me up the stairs, threw me on the bed and…you know…
KEN HARRIS: No, what?
SCARLETT: …had your way with me. (she raises her eyebrows as if to suggest that her last statement was more of a suggestion than a protest)
KEN HARRIS: You are some piece of work lady. I’m outta here.
SCARLETT: What? You don’t find me attractive?
KEN HARRIS: No, you’re pretty enough, but I keep coming back to that whole ‘owning human beings’ thing. It’s kind of a turn-off.
SCARLETT: Oh, fiddle dee dee. Just go on and leave then.
(Ken walks toward the door. As he reaches for the doorknob, Scarlett speaks)
SCARLETT: Ken, wait! Are all those things that you said really going to happen?
KEN HARRIS: Yup.
SCARLETT: But that’s not the way I planned it. I’m supposed to marry Ashley, make a success of Tara, and have children.
KEN HARRIS: Well, you’re pretty resilient. Things might work out for you in the end. After all, tomorrow is another day.
(Ken opens the door and walks out. Scarlett thinks a minute, then says to no one in particular)
SCARLETT: Hmm -- tomorrow is another day – I like that.
* here's a link to a GIF of the Boston Red Sox shimmy
and 2 member cents.
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