Call Time

INT. RECORDING BOOTH

A DIRECTOR and AUDIO ENGINEER stand in a recording booth. The booth is ready for a day’s work – there’s a chair, script stand, mic, even a small craft service table with bottled water, fruit plate, various bagels, cream cheese, butter, and assorted silverware.

The Director and Engineer are not looking at the craft service table. Their eyes are focused on the DEAD COW lying in the middle of the room.

ENGINEER
If you want to cancel the session, I understand.

DIRECTOR
We already paid for the booth time.

ENGINEER
In cases like this, I don’t think a refund is out of the question.

DIRECTOR
This has happened before?

ENGINEER
Officially, no.

DIRECTOR
And unofficially?

ENGINEER
I can’t say.

They stare at the dead cow in silence for a moment. It’s a lot to take in.

DIRECTOR
Has anyone tried moving it?

ENGINEER
It’s too heavy.

DIRECTOR
So, you have tried.

ENGINEER
No.

DIRECTOR
How do you know it’s too heavy if you haven’t tried?

The Engineer grabs the dead cow firmly by one ankle, and tugs. It doesn’t move.

ENGINEER
It’s too heavy.

DIRECTOR
Good to know.

ENGINEER
I feel like we already did.

DIRECTOR
We have to exhaust all options.

ENGINEER
What if I pulled and you pushed?

DIRECTOR
Absolutely not. Can’t do it. Vegan.

ENGINEER
I’m not suggesting we eat it. Though technically that would work.

DIRECTOR
It’s not about the eating. Meat is murder, no exception. I won’t have its blood on my hands.

ENGINEER
I think it died of a heart attack, so your hands are probably fine.

DIRECTOR
The blood was figurative. My moral dilemma is not.

ENGINEER
Well, we need to think of something. You only booked the room for 4 hours.

The Director nods his understanding. He turns to the dead cow; bows respectfully.

DIRECTOR
I’m sorry, but we have to cut you into little pieces now. Namaste.

ENGINEER
We just had these carpets cleaned, so how about we don’t do that.

DIRECTOR
I’m not seeing another option.

ENGINEER
We could call Animal Services.

DIRECTOR
There’s no time. You’ll have to work fast.

The Director grabs a butter knife off the craft table; hands it to the Engineer.

ENGINEER
Why me?

DIRECTOR
It’s your booth.

ENGINEER
I’ve never cut up an animal before.

DIRECTOR
Sure you have. You eat steak. You’re already a pro.

ENGINEER
I really don’t think this is sharp enough.

DIRECTOR
You underestimate yourself. Just press really hard.

The Engineer uses the knife to cut the stick of butter on the craft service table. It takes considerable effort. The Director watches him with pity.

ENGINEER
In my defense, this butter is practically frozen.

DIRECTOR
You realize butter is meant to be served at room temperature.

ENGINEER
I do now. I’ll pass it on to our office manager.

DIRECTOR
Please do. She’s ruining her clients’ butter experience.

ENGINEER
I thought you were vegan.

DIRECTOR
And that precludes me from knowing how to serve dairy?

ENGINEER
I’m just surprised you care about people’s butter experience.

DIRECTOR
Forgive me for not fitting into your stereotype. Bigot.

ENGINEER
I feel like we’ve gotten off point.

DIRECTOR
Have we? Tell me, what’s a more suitable topic than your casual hate speech?

The Engineer motions to the dead cow. The Director looks at the deceased bovine with mild surprise, as if he’d forgotten it was there.

DIRECTOR
How’d it even get through the door?

ENGINEER
No idea. They just do, somehow.

DIRECTOR
So, this has happened before.

ENGINEER
I really can’t say.

The Engineer nods agreement and mouths the words, “All the time.”

FIN.

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