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Very short script for a very short film.
Farcical tragedy? Tragic farce? NOTE: THIS IS (AT PUBLICATION TIME, BUT STAY TUNED) A WORK OF SATIRICAL FICTION.
Setting: Magisterial District Courtroom 1, downtown State College, PA, daylight.
The large courtroom is almost empty, and the windows are covered with thick plastic sheeting duct-taped to the window frames. The only occupants are the Magisterial District Judge, seated at the bench, a court clerk standing by the door, 18-feet to his right, the defendant seated at a table 36 feet in front of the bench, and a court stenographer seated at a stenography machine at the 18-foot midpoint. Each is wearing four masks on his or her face, elastic straps crisscrossing their heads and looped behind their ears, with three layers of plastic wrap inserted between the four-to-eight layers of fabric. All are exhibiting symptoms of hypoxia. In addition, the Judge is wearing a complete hazmat or medical virology suit, with a black air hose slung over his shoulder and black judicial robes awkwardly layered on top. There is a loud hum in the room, as a negative pressure system sucks room air out through a vent, similar to a fume hood used in a lab.
JUDGE (voice muffled and distant by the four masks, three plastic layers and haz-mat suit face-nozzles and drowned out by the ventilation system) - Ms. Watt, I’m looking at the charging documents here. Do you understand the crime for which you have been cited?
DEFENDANT (voice also muffled and distant, but slightly less than the judge) - Yes, Your Honor.
JUDGE - Could you please state the charge for the record, so the Court can be sure you fully understand the gravity of your infraction?
DEFENDANT - Yes, Your Honor. I’ve been charged with… “Incitement to Potluck.”
Sound-effect: ominous cello phrase, BOM-BOM-BOOOOOM.
Alternatively: ridiculous trombone phrase: BWOMP-BWOMP-BWOOOOMP.
JUDGE - That is correct.