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Two men, Damon and Pythias, dressed in black suits are riding in a car. Damon is driving.

  • Damon: Have you seen that commercial on TV, for the kids who can't read?
  • Pythias: You mean the one where all those dumb kids say, "Hooked on Phonics worked for me!"?
  • Damon: So you know what I'm talking about?
  • Pythias: Yeah sure. Why, you can't read?
  • Damon: No mother fucker, I can read. I was just thinking is all.
  • Pythias: About what, dumb kids?
  • Damon: Not about the kids, about the commercial.
  • Pythias: Why the hell you thinking about a commercial for kids who can't read?
  • Damon: (thoughtful pause) You know how the end goes right? Those kids all say "Hooked on Phonics..."
  • Pythias: ...Worked for me!" Yeah, I told you I seen it didn't I?
  • Damon: Don't fucking interrupt me when I'm speaking! Now, at the end of the fucking commercial, the announcer says, "For more information call 1-800-1ABCDEFG."
  • Pythias: (lengthy pause) Okay, so?
  • Damon: Think about it man.
  • Pythias: (longer pause while Pythias spends obvious effort thinking) I don't think I quite grasp what your reaching for here.
  • Damon: The announcer.
  • Pythias: Gotcha.
  • Damon: He recites a phone number to be used in gathering more information about the product.
  • Pythias: Right.
  • Damon: He SPELLS the phone number.
  • Pythias: I'm following.
  • Damon: You don't see it do you?
  • Pythias: No.
  • Damon: It's a commercial for people who can't read. THe announcer spells the phone number. How are they supposed to call for more information if they can't read?
  • Pythias: (pause) Well... well, maybe. Maybe they have their parents call for them.
  • Damon: That's not the fucking point! Don't you understand... Can't they understand that by spelling the number for their product, a product for people who can not read, that they are isolating a significant portion of their demographics!?
  • Pythias: And this bothers you?
  • Damon: Damn right mother fucker! It bothers me plenty! It is just this sort of behavior that is indicative of the decline of our moral structure as a nation.
  • Pythias: Moral structure as a nation? I don't follow.
  • Damon: What the fuck is wrong with you? Isn't it obvious to you what's wrong with this commercial?
  • Pythias: Chill the fuck out! I can see that this advertisement has disturbed you. However, I am at a loss as to why.
  • Damon: All right, listen. The supplier in this ad is selling a product based on the product's ability to teach a skill, namely reading. However, the supplier is pandering to a demographic group that does not have need of the particular skill in question. In short, the supplier is tugging the heart strings of individuals with a soft spot for illiteracy, yet have no literacy problem themselves.
  • Pythias: Essentially, you are 100% bent out of shape because some Eddie Haskell has managed to con June out of a cookie so that he can sell it to Beaver?
  • Damon: Exactamundo my friend.
  • Pythias: And this is moral decay?
  • Damon: Yes.
  • Pythias: Hypothetical situation: Two men drive to an old friend's house, with the intent of killing him. They have no reason other than loyalty to an organization formerly run by the victim's father, who consequently, no longer runs the organization because we killed him too. Now the organization is run by the victim's uncle, and we don't even like him!
  • Damon: What we are about is different.
  • Pythias: Yes, a different situation, but wouldn't you agree that we are contributing to the moral decline of our nation by killing our friends and their fathers?
  • Damon: No, I would say the opposite; that we are strengthening the moral structure by upholding a forgotten edict, that of loyalty.
  • Pythias: Yet Eddie is to be considered evil for pursuing his avarice, a skill that could net him a tidy portion of the american pie later in life.
  • Damon: Your twisting my words mother fucker. Don't do that, I hate it when people do that.
  • Pythias: I'm not twisting your words, I am simply saying that there is no connection between a learning tool and the decline of our national morality. Yet, a connection may exist between our wholesale slaughter of friends and family and moral decline.
  • Damon: We are not on a killing spree... Listen, if you don't want to do this I can tell Zeus that you don't want in on this anymore. (pulls cellular phone from jacket pocket) I could even call him right now mother fucker! Course, he'll probably tell me to just kill you too. So why don't I just save myself the call and shoot you right now?!
  • Pythias: (pulls gun and grabs steering wheel) You ain't gonna kill me mother fucker!

A struggle ensues. Both men try to regain control of the vehicle while still trying to shoot the other. They succeed in smashing the car into a tree. Both men have been thrown from the vehicle. They are still alive yet it is obvious that they are dying rapidly.

  • Damon: Fuck man, I was only shitting about shooting you. You never did have a sense of humor.
  • Pythias: (searching for his pistol) How the hell was I supposed to know that?
  • Damon: Your my brother man! You know I couldn't kill you.
  • Pythias: We were on out way to kill Icarus... (Pythias is coughing up blood and wheezing now) we have already killed Daedalus,... why should I believe that you wouldn't... Kill your own brother?... Remember... Loyalty. (Pythias dies)
  • Damon: Loyalty is naught but a mill stone about my shoulders. (draws pistol and shoots himself)

Another contribution from the University works of Roninspoon.