Parasitecology S01E05 Transcript

Square
S01E05 – “I Feel Something in the Air”

By

Alan Gallauresi


ACT 1 – THE STRUGGLE
INT. JAVIER’S BED – LATE MORNING
The pair gets a message and Cher pushes Javier into action, starting with a shower and breakfast.
Buzzing sound of phone notification.
CHER
Come on, Javier – we’ve got to get out of bed.
JAVIER
(mumbling, half-sleep)
Mmm. Nooo.
CHER
Come ON.
JAVIER
No, I’m tired, and exhausted and –apparently I still have a parasite in my head.
CHER
I’ve told you before, please do not use the P-word.
JAVIER
(grumbling)
Sorry… sorry, Cher. You know… I thought you were supposed to help me with this.
CHER
I am, but it’s not that simple. You body doesn’t just make endless supplies of chemicals, you know, and…
Phone buzzes again.
CHER
What is that?
Roll in bed sound.
JAVIER
Mmm.. it’s just a message from some people at Personeum, my old company. They’re getting together for drinks this Friday and invited me along.

2.
CHER
Work friends, wonderful!
JAVIER
I didn’t say friends.
CHER
Sorry, and what’s this figure wearing a multicolored hat and then an image of a fountain?
JAVIER
That means… drink to excess.
CHER
I understand, you get overly inebriated with ethyl alcohol and then jump in a fountain for fun. I’m not naive, Javier. We will say yes.
JAVIER
Uh — NO we will not. I don’t want to see people from work AT work, much less in a social setting, thanks. Hard pass. Hardest of passes. Host VETO privilege pass.
CHER
That is a M-A-Y-B-E maybe. And… send. You’ve got some unread messages, here.
JAVIER
Yeah, they’re from my sister Mia, checking up on me.
CHER
Oh – that’s considerate.
JAVIER
It’s not. She thinks now that Dad is dead that it’s her job to be HIM and push me. Tell me what I’m doing wrong with my life. See — “Got your message about quitting — hope you are still on your meds and not planning on asking me for money. Being hard on you because I know you can do better.”

3.
CHER
I understand, but… I have seen your memories, you know, and you haven’t always made it easy for her. And of course, she shares genetic material with you and you don’t exactly have the largest… emotional support network.
JAVIER
No family, no friends, no life – got it. Thanks, Cher.
CHER
Now. That’s not what I meant. And this — state — goes back to what I said before. I’m not a miracle worker, ok, and while I can boost things here and tone them down there — I need more chemicals to work with. You wouldn’t expect me to bake a cake without sugars and saturated fat and desiccated arthropod powder, would you? No! We’ve got to get your body making more raw materials — dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline, oxytocin, maybe melanin, get you a nice glow going.
JAVIER
Okay, how do we do that?
CHER
Simple. I’m new in town, take me on a tour of your hormones and neurotransmitters by engaging in a series of behaviors that will elicit their release.
JAVIER
Okay, I think I see what’s happening here, and I’m NOT comfortable with letting you watch, that’s just weird.
CHER
What? NO! Ughh, please, keep all that REPRODUCTIVE-ADJACENT stuff to yourself. No, I’m talking about FUN — organic chemical producing FUN! Chemicals that I’ll have your body store and release in order to keep you functioning in peak condition. In fact, if you can’t produce enough, eventually you will become ill and perhaps even… die.

4.
JAVIER
Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Because what I heard just there is that I am pretty much in a 1-to-1 Crank situation.
CHER
No, Javier.
JAVIER
Well, I don’t really think Crank 2 applies.
CHER
Neither applies, Javier. This is not Crank, because, as you know, Crank is not a serious work of applied science.
JAVIER
Okay, Mr. Science — what’s our first experiment, then?
CHER
ICE CREAM!
EXT. CITY STREETS – OUT FOR A WALK, DAY
The pair bicker over Earth and bots while they go out to an ICE CREAM PARLOR.
City sounds of streets, foot-traffic, etc.
CHER
Are we almost there?
JAVIER
Patience. This tour guide’s giving you the scenic route around the city. Coming up on your left, there’s a bus stop that smells like urine and
(sniffing)
Pine-sol.
CHER
Actually, that’s us. Side-effect of the pinenes, plus you getting full sniff privileges back. It’s 80% of tasting, you know. And I thought the ice cream place was THAT way…

5.
JAVIER
Scenic route, remember? And isn’t it better if we stay out of sight, you know, of the MURDERBOTS?
CHER
Always with the murderbots… RELAX. I’ve told you before – there aren’t any murderbots here, and there aren’t likely to be any anytime soon. This is a pre-enlightenment system, which means galactic regulations prevent travelling here in anything but the most rare of circumstances. And, let’s be frank, it’s not like many would be coming anyway… it’s a bib world.
JAVIER
I don’t know what that means.
CHER
A bib world… you know. There’s no judgement, it’s just… You know how some planets are immaculately maintained and when you go you dress up nice and if you happen to spill a few crumbs while you’re eating there, a fancy waiter comes by and scoops them up with a tool invented just to scoop up little crumbs? And then, some planets are more… CASUAL… COMFORTABLE… the sort of place you throw on some crocs and a scruffy server offers you… ah…
(aside)
I need an inexpensive alcoholic concoction designed specifically to encourage copulation…
JAVIER
That’s, like, all of them. Ok, uhmm… Bangaritas.
CHER
… And a scruffy server offers you three-for-one Bangaritas and notes that bibs aren’t just optional, they’re encouraged. A BIB WORLD.

6.
JAVIER
You’re saying my planet, home to wonders like the great pyramids and Van Gogh’s Starry Night, birthplace of Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, originator of amazing moments of inspiration like… Hands Across America… to… umm, the original Prisoner miniseries, the wrestling scene from They Live… keyboard cat…
CHER
WHAT is a keyboard cat?
JAVIER
IT’S A CAT THAT PLAYS THE KEYBOARD. Mostly Hall and Oates songs. Ok, it’s probably more of an impressive accomplishment under the broader umbrella of “the internet”…
CHER
Hmm – mmm. I’m intrigued by this “internet”, we do not have anything similar to the concept.
JAVIER
Oh it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s the worst thing ever invented but it’s FANTASTIC — DON’T — DON’T interrupt! You’re saying that ALL THAT is roughly comparable to an all-you-can-crack-open bring-your-own-hammer crab legs dinner served on large picnic tables covered in stanky butcher paper?
CHER
Oh, no! This ENJOYABLE conversation has been interrupted by our sudden arrival at an ICED CREAM establishment. Let’s not stand here in the doorway, all the congealed lactase might melt away, and the chocolate chip cookie dough will be at dangerous bacteria levels!
Door and bell sound.

7.
JAVIER
You’re just lucky this place has the greatest Butter Brickle ice cream known to man. It’s the food of the gods.
CHER
It sounds wonderful!
(aside)
Yes… hello, ETCETERA! Scoop-keeper, I’ll have a large Butter Brickle in a… waffled cone.
JAVIER
With chocolate sprinkles.
CHER
With chocolate sprinkles! Oh, my that is large, yes. A couple napkins, a large bench, and now, Bearer — we wait!
JAVIER
Excuse me?
CHER
Well, you want to eat it, don’t you?
JAVIER
Is this a trick question? It’s my favorite food in the world.
CHER
No trick. Your body doesn’t produce dopamine for a reward, it produces it in ANTICIPATION of a reward. So, here’s the reward. You just have to wait for it.
JAVIER
(unhappy)
But… my reward is melting.
CHER
Yes, it’s drip-drip-dripping, just like that steady flow of dopamine.
JAVIER
Plus that mom is looking at us strangely. And her newborn.

8.
CHER
We don’t care what they think, right? They’re strangers, they don’t define our behavior – we do, and we reward it appropriately.
JAVIER
Well, they define whether they’re going to call the cops on the man who’s purposefully letting ice cream melt all over his forearms.
CHER
Alright, alright, let me just check on the old maple-syrup bucket, and… yep, looking full. Good job! I think we’re ready for our reward, now. You know, Javier, I’ve had dozens of hosts but every time is new and exciting, and I think you might be the most exciting yet. I’m excited for the grand tour of human emotional responses, and this is just day one! I’ve got a whole week planned – we’re going to have some wonderful experiences, you and I. And speaking of… how’s that ice cream tasting?
JAVIER
(mouth full, neutral)
Tastes a little like my hand.
CHER
Mmm, yes – it is delicious, isn’t it?
(aside)
Scoop-keeper, we require moist towelettes. No, moister!

9.
INTERSTITIAL – THANKS
HI FOLKS, THIS IS ALAN/ROB FROM PARASITECOLOGY AND OTHER FINE INTERRUPTED TALES PODCASTS SUCH AS INTERRUPTED TALES.
We want to thank you for listening and hopefully you’re enjoying the show. If not, keep listening, cause there’s candy. Bags of it. Mark Summers has not seen as much candy as we’ll have on this podcast.
I want to say thanks this week to a lady gracious enough to lend her voice to doing narration on the show. She is Stacey Frost from the Rough Giraffe podcast, one of the absolutely funniest podcasts out there. It’s a comedy trivia podcast hosted by Stacey, her hilarious Mom and of course Kipper the wonky cat. Go look it up and subscribe to Rough Giraffe on all major podcast platforms or at roughgiraffe.podbean.com.
Sugar britches, I want to get you back into the show, but first I want you to do one thing for us: tell people about us on social, why don’t you, that would be nice. Log into your hootsuite, check your clout score, do it for the gram, just kind of nicely gently tell people that this show is the only thing you like and everything else is meaningless. Cool? Cool.
Thanks and back to the show.

10.
ACT 2 – THE TURN
INT./EXT. MONTAGE OF SCENES
The pair go through a “montage” of short scenarios in order to experience emotions of all types.
INT. CASINO
Sounds of slots and buzzing.
CHER
Day 2: Norepinephrine for energy and coping with stress!
JAVIER
(scared)
Cher, I can’t afford this.
CHER
Exactly! Pretty stressful, isn’t it? Especially if we put it all down on one ride of a tiny metal bearing’s brownian motion.
(aside)
“Put it all on black, attendant of the wheel!”
JAVIER
Cher, that is twenty-five hundred dollars and my entire savings…
Male peanuts mumbling, rolling sound, and announcing.
JAVIER
(excited)
And PETER PARKER’S PARTY PANTS, you are the most amazing symbiotically joined life-form I have ever known. Five THOUSAND dollars!
CHER
… Actually, Bearer, we’d get more of the “good stuff” if you lost.
JAVIER
Got you covered. Five bucks on black, TEN bucks on red, and then all the imitation crab you want, BABY!

11.
EXT. AMUSEMENT PARK
Sounds of crowd, carnival music.
CHER
Day 3: Adrenaline for reaction time and stimulation. Now, I feel compelled to reiterate, too much adrenaline could result in a massive cardiac arrest.
JAVIER
I already told you, the Tea Cups are for toddlers.
CHER
Toddlers have a very keen sense of self-preservation.
JAVIER
(questioning)
I’m starting to think you’re scared.
CHER
Nonsense! It’s just that when you get to be over 600 years old, you learn the wisdom of not leaving your personal safety to the whims of itinerant carnies who refer to crystal amphetamines as “their medicine.”
Clunking noise of roller coaster stopping.
JAVIER
Cool, ’cause the best view is at the front. We’re up – time to strap in!
CHER
Let’s not and tell the ticket taker we did.
JAVIER
You really are scared, aren’t you?
CHER
NO — simply cautious, circumspect, unacquainted with this park’s safety record, ETCETERA.
Clank of seat restraint coming down.

12.
Uhh, there’s still time to reconsider.
(aside)
Attendant, I believe I have consumed unsustainable amounts of fried oreos, please unhook my restraint!
Negative male Peanuts mumbling and clunking of coaster taking off.
JAVIER
Oh yeah, vomit is pretty much guaranteed.
CHER
Sweet MODOK on a crutch!
Loud coaster noises.
INT. HAUNTED HOUSE
“Scary” sound effects loops.
CHER
(vampire accent)
Day 4: Endocannabinoids for mental plasticity and mitigation of the FEAR reflex, ah ah ah.
JAVIER
This is not going to work.
CHER
(Boris Karloff)
Why won’t it work, Javier? Will you be too frightened to make it through this house of hauntening? Mmhh hah hah.
JAVIER
I think it’s more that the exit signs are so bright that I can see the wooden zombies before they pop up. And also the teenager dressed up like an Old Navy shopping axe murderer tripped over one as he grabbed my arm.

13.
CHER
Yes, and given that he’s such a bad employee, do you think he obeys the “all employees must wash hands” instructions in the bathroom? And what if those cold sores on his mouth weren’t costume make-up?
JAVIER
That’s disgusting… Are… Are you being serious with me?
CHER
No, because the Herpes Simplex Virus is coming from inside your own body, Javier!
JAVIER
WHAT?
CHER
And now you’re scared.
(ghostly)
LET’S GOOOOO.
INT. PUPPY PETTING ROOM
Sounds of puppies yipping.
CHER
(muffled)
Day 5: Oxytocin for empathy and bonding.
JAVIER
Now this was a good idea.
(baby talk to puppy)
WASN’T IT, little puppy?
(normal)
Where’d you find a puppy petting room, anyway? I don’t remember looking it up.
CHER
(nasally)
It was in that rec center flier we saw when we were looking at couple’s retreats. Can we go now?
(sneezes)
JAVIER
(disappointed)
Yeah, I suppose. Although I don’t understand how you are somehow allergic to dogs when I’m not. And second, the couple’s retreat thing made NO sense at all.

14.
CHER
(still nasally)
Well, we still need more oxytocin. So if you could quickly fall in love or cuddle some strangers or be sad over a loss…
JAVIER
Be sad over a loss, why didn’t you say so?
Sound of film projector and muffled dialogue, then music.
CHER
(crying)
I can’t believe he sacrificed himself for everyone, even after he’d been abandoned for so long…
JAVIER
(crying)
There will never be a braver toaster, Cher. NEVER.
EXT. PARK.
Sound of birds.
CHER
Day 6: Endorphins for controlling pain. Now according to your decades-long memories of light news articles, there’s an ideal circumstance in which endorphins are produced…
JAVIER
Ok — one, I live in the city and I don’t have a car. Two, I don’t have a kid to be trapped under one. Three, I don’t have the credit or the… infrastructure to make either.

15.
CHER
Are we wedded to the idea that is has to be your car, or your… baby… alright, I can see this is a NO GO. You’ll just have to do it, the old fashioned way. Exercise!
JAVIER
Hold on, Cher, it’s possible we’ll stumble upon a kid trapped under a car by accident. Better that than on purpose.
CHER
Seems unlikely. Let’s get JOGGING.
JAVIER
Are you planning on bottling the chemical that causes stomach cramps? You know what I ran my last mile in?
CHER
Judging from the muscle degeneration and overall, uh, flab factor, maybe 7 or 8 minutes?
JAVIER
The correct answer is that you’ll have to ask my 9th grade gym teacher.
CHER
Excuses. Nobody wants to exercise, they want to HAVE exercised. Look forward to that feeling.
JAVIER
Oh, I am. The thought that you’ll be having it too is my main motivator. Here we go…
(exaggerated breathing)
INT. JAVIER’S APARTMENT
The pair exhausted, but slightly elated take a rest and chillax on the phone; Javier wakes up to Cher obsessed with the internet.
Sound of door opening and slump onto a couch.
CHER
(indistinct)
COUCH — COUCH!

16.
JAVIER
(breathing lightly)
Wow, I don’t understand what’s going on — I should be wiped. I think I’ve finally experienced a runner’s high after 30 years of wondering what the hell people were talking about. It’s like the g-spot of exercising!
CHER
(breathing very hard)
I… gave you a little extra juice to reduce pain and… turned down, aghh, production of lactic acid to reduce muscle… fatigue.
JAVIER
Why do YOU sound like you just ran a marathon?
CHER
I… am mitigating the effects of… the increased need for oxygen. You… need more and I am… getting less. I’m acting… as a barrier… until your body is more capable.
JAVIER
Really? That’s actually really sweet, Cher. What can I do for you? Get you some juice? Chew on some pine needles?
CHER
Just… relax. Lie down. And try… to consume less oxygen.
JAVIER
Now you’re in my wheel house. Time to fire up my phone and fall down an Internet hole until I drift off to sleep.
CHER
It’s 10:46 AM.
JAVIER
You’re right, The Price is Right is almost on. Ehhh, but the remote is over there. Back to Plan A.
Sound of phone unlock and clicking while Cher breathes.

17.
JAVIER
Although… it’s strange. I’m not really feeling tired. Trying something new like exercising, combined with my depression, normally would send me running back under my bed covers. But this past week has actually been… pretty good. I might just go to that work drinks thing… maybe. Hey — check out this red hot nickel ball vs hydraulic press video. Might as well bring a biplane to a star destroyer battle.
Short background sounds of videos.
CHER
(still out of breath)
Yes… that is… oddly satisfying, just as claimed. Javier, it isn’t just that you did the activities… it is that you accomplished them. And that… results in Day 6.2: serotonin for happiness and well-being. So, that leaves one question — are you still thinking about… what you were when we first met?
JAVIER
(confused)
You don’t know?
CHER
(emphatic)
Well, obviously not. I can’t read your thoughts, only your memories.
JAVIER
(thinking)
No… no. I guess I’m not.
CHER
(sighing in relief)
Good! Okay, here you go then.
JAVIER
(reeling)
Oh god, what… something just hit me like a ton of bricks.

18.
CHER
(cheery)
Oh, listen… I know. I’ve kind of been holding back a… a lot… for you and I’m going to need just a short break, just while you take a little nap. So let’s just get cozy…
JAVIER
(woozy)
Yeah. Yeah, ok… whooh.
CHER
And before you drift off, there’s something we haven’t discussed yet that is crucially, vitally important — which button do I press to meet the fabled CAT of KEYBOARDS?

19.
OUTRO PART 1

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