The Tinning of Dorian Gray, Part 3 (of 5)

The Tinning of Dorian Grey, by Janet Brusselbach
The Tinning of Dorian Gray, by Janet Brusselbach

This is a screenplay I wrote in 2002.  I thought I’d share it with y’all over this holiday week, mainly so I don’t have to do any real, actual new content or anything.  So, check it out, and I hope you enjoy this story about, living, loving, learning and tinning.

EXT – BOB’S LAW OFFICE – MORNING

 

BOB’S law office is more or less like any other law office.  We see BOB sitting behind his large desk, various diplomas and fine art prints. On his desk sit a nameplate, various photographs of loved ones, a small paper-shredder and other desk toys and geegaws.  On the other side, we see DORIAN and TOM sitting down facing BOB.

 

DORIAN

So, Bob, do you think we can do this?

 

BOB

Well, I guess so.  It’s, as I’m sure you’re aware, highly irregular.  And, well, rather illegal.

 

DORIAN

Hmm.  Well, first off, we should put it in my will.  I’d feel better.  It’ll make it a little more legitimate.

 

TOM

Well, as legitimate as something this stupid could be.

 

DORIAN

Shut up, Tom.

 

BOB

I guess.  Still, though, it doesn’t really matter that much.  Something doesn’t become magically legal because it’s someone’s last request.

 

DORIAN

So, uh, how do I do this?  Can I just tell you what I want to say, and you can put it up into lawyer-ese later, and then I can sign it?

 

BOB

Sure.

 

DORIAN

All right.  I, Dorian Gray, being of sound mind and body, aside from the whole cancer thing, want my corpse to be chopped up and put into tins.  Then, I want the tins distributed, with labels that I’m working on having made glued on, at my funeral.  So everyone can take me home with them.  With all my possessions, whatever’s left, I want to have liquidated, and then split up evenly amongst everyone who shows up at the funeral.  And I want Tom here, uh… what’s your last name again?

 

TOM

Howesebury.  Remember?  All those times in class?  When we’d go into roll call, and the teacher’d call out your name right before mine?  Gray, Dorian?  Howesebury, Tom?  Remember?  Y’know, when your parents decided that public school would be good for you?  Am I ringing any bells at all?

 

DORIAN

And I want Tom Howesebury to be the executor of my will.  Oh yeah, and before my stuff’s liquidated, I want to give my maid my CDs.

 

BOB

What’s her name?

 

DORIAN

(pauses) I’ll get back to you on that.  Anyway, that’s it.  Tinning, liquidation of assets, Tom executor.  Oh yeah, Bob, just take your fees and stuff off the top of the liquidation thing too.

 

BOB

It’s customary for your lawyer to be the executor of the will.

 

TOM

Yeah, Dore, I don’t want to do it.

 

DORIAN

I said it, and it’s final!  Tom, you’re doing it!  And you’re going to like it!

 

TOM

Hey, Bob, uh, as my first act of executor-ing, can I make you executor?

 

DORIAN

Oh, no you don’t!  You’re not getting out of it that easy!

 

TOM

Bob, we’ll talk.  Later.

 

BOB

OK, I’ll draw this up (pauses) later.  Anyway, back to the task at hand.  How, erm, how exactly are you thinking about doing this?

 

DORIAN

Well, that’s why I’m here, I need advice.  How do you think we should go about getting this done?

 

BOB

Well, OK, first off, you’re too old to scam those kids’ dying wish charities, so that won’t work.  And, well, as I’ve said before, what you’re asking is pretty illegal.  So, uh, as your lawyer, I’m here to tell you it’s not going to happen.  As your friend –

 

At this point, BOB stands up, and takes down all his diplomas and Bar Certifications and other official certificates, and chucks them all in his bottom desk drawer.

 

BOB (CON’T)

I’m going to tell you that your best bet is to see about going about it sort of, well, under the table.  See if you can find someone who’ll accept the money on the Q. T., and go through with this.  But, well, this isn’t exactly terribly likely.  Since, well, if it got out, they’d probably be closed down.  Seriously, Dorian, I’d work on a more (pause) traditional (pause) method of (pause) disposal.  If you don’t mind me putting it like that.

 

DORIAN

Nope!  Not at all!  Although, uh, what can you do for me?

 

BOB

Well, I can draw up your will.  And, well, I might be able to act as an intermediary of sorts, should you find a plant that would actually take you up on your offer.  In the meantime, well, just keep an eye out for tinning plants that are shutting down, I guess.  If anyone was going to help you out, it’d probably be them.

 

DORIAN

I see.

 

BOB

Have you done any research yet, at all?

 

EXT. – THE FELPAK CANNERY – DAY

 

We see DORIAN gazing up at the reflective building in awe, as if he’s just seen Valhalla.  TOM is looking at the building too, but he just sees a cannery, nothing more.

 

DORIAN

This.  This is where I want to be my penultimate resting place.  It’s so wonderful.  I can see myself in the side of the building!  That’s so much class.  This is it.

 

TOM

Well, I suppose it is nice, y’know, for a place where they put fish into small cans.

 

DORIAN

Don’t rob it of its dignity like that!

 

INT. – THE FELPAK LOBBY

 

The lobby looks how you’d expect the interior of a modern building to look, providing that building wasn’t actually a cannery.  Behind the large wood desk is a RECEPTIONIST.  DORIAN is still visibly excited.  TOM is bored and vaguely uncomfortable.  He occasionally sniffs the aroma of pungent fish in the air.  He tries to hide his distaste for the smell, as to not offend the RECEPTIONIST.

 

DORIAN

Uh, hi, I’m Dorian Gray.  I’ve got an appointment with the president?

 

RECEPTIONIST

Yes, sir.  His office is on the 50th floor.  Go right in.

 

INT – FELPAK ELEVATOR

 

DORIAN and TOM are the only two in the elevator.  DORIAN is twitching with glee and anticipation, like he’s going to meet his favorite celebrity.  TOM is just standing still, looking up at the numbers above the door.

 

INT – FELPAK PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

 

The elevator doors on the 50th floor open, and DORIAN and TOM step outside.  They see a long corridor in front of them, and a SECRETARY behind a smaller, but elegant desk in front of a larger, heavy door, labeled “Franklin J. Steeverson, President”.

 

DORIAN and TOM approach the desk.  DORIAN’S nervousness is beginning to overtake his anticipation.

 

DORIAN

Hello, uh, I’m Doria-

 

SECRETARY

Dorian Gray?  Mr. Steeverson is waiting for you.

 

The SECRETARY gets up and opens the door, and motions DORIAN and TOM inside.  MR. STEEVERSON is an older man, about 60 years old, sitting at an incredibly large desk.  His office is full of fine art and sculpture – but originals, not prints, as in BOB’S office.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Good day.

 

DORIAN

Hello, Mr. Steeverson.  I’m Dorian Gray, and this is my friend, Tom (pauses)

 

TOM

Howesebury. 

 

DORIAN

Howesebury.  How are you doing, sir?

 

MR. STEEVERSON

I’m doing well, thank you. What can I do for you?

 

MR. STEEVERSON gestures to chairs that are dwarfed by the size of his desk. DORIAN and TOM sit down.

 

DORIAN

Well, uh, sir, —

 

MR. STEEVERSON

So, Mr. Gray, you’re looking well, how’s that portrait holding up?

 

DORIAN

Pardon?

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Well, you’re Dorian Gray, aren’t you?

 

DORIAN

Yes, sir, I am.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Haven’t you ever read that story?

 

DORIAN

Which?

 

MR. STEEVERSON

The one you’re named after, of course!

 

DORIAN

I (pause) can’t say as I have, sir.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

No matter.  Just if I were named after a famous story, I’d read it.

 

DORIAN

Sorry, sir.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Anyway, what did you want to see me about?

 

DORIAN

Well, uh, sir, I’m dying of cancer.  I’ve got about six months to live.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Oh, I’m sorry, that’s an unfortunate blow.

 

DORIAN

Yes, but –

 

MR. STEEVERSON

How are you holding up?  I hope it’s not too dreadfully painful.

 

DORIAN

Actually, I’m feeling fine, I don’t hurt a bit right now, but, well, what I wanted to talk to you about was, well, my final plans.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Oh, do you need some help to pay for the funeral expenses?  I’m sorry, Mr. Gray, but we’re not a charity.

 

DORIAN

Oh, no, sir, you misunderstand.  I’m quite wealthy.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Well, then, what exactly do you want?  We’re a cannery, you realize.

 

DORIAN

Well, sir, my final wish is, well, it’s a bit out of the ordinary, you see.  I mean, I took the tour last week of your facilities, and well, it’s beautiful.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Why, thank you, young man.  I’m glad you enjoy my humble cannery.

 

DORIAN

Oh, don’t think of it like that sir, it’s very nice; it’s the best cannery I’ve ever seen!

 

MR. STEEVERSON

You flatter me!

 

DORIAN

Which, well, I guess brings me to my request.  Well, uh, I’d like to be tinned.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

(pauses in shock)

What?

 

DORIAN

I’d like to, uh, when I die, uh, I’d like to be, well, processed and put into tins.  Like you do with the fish.

 

MR. STEEVERSON looks at TOM, who is just sitting in the chair, somewhat embarrassed, looking at his fingernails.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Is this some sort of prank?  You can’t be serious.

 

TOM

That’s what I said.

 

DORIAN

No, I’m 100% serious, sir.  I’m, well, I’m a big fan of your business, it’s so clean and well-maintained, that, even though I could be tinned at any of the canneries in the area, it would be an honor to be a Felpak tin to be my final home.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

What possible reason could you have to be tinned?

 

DORIAN

Sir, my plan is to be tinned, and then, at my funeral, to be able to give away my body to all my friends.  Like cremation, only without the selfishness.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Mr. Gray, you can distribute the ashes however you want when you’re cremated.

 

DORIAN

Yes, but when they give you the ashes, they don’t have any way of separating the ashes that are just you from the other ashes.  It’d be dishonest if one of my friends thought they were getting me, but they were getting someone else entirely.  This way, they’d know it was me, and that it was only me.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

This is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard!  How do you expect that we do this without contamination?
DORIAN

I’ve thought about that, and I would have a portion of my estate set aside for Felpak to clean the machinery thoroughly before and after, so as to not contaminate either my tins, or the tins you make afterward.  So, not only would I pay for the materials for the tins themselves, and the delivery, but also for the labor and the cleaning of the machines, and of course, the replacement of any parts that get damaged from my bones.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

I’m glad you’re so thoughtful, Mr. Gray, but you couldn’t possibly think that we’d go along with this.

 

DORIAN

No one would have to know!  It would be a secret operation!  I wouldn’t advertise the funeral or anything, and only my close friends would know of the quality job your plant would do on this job.  You may even get some customers out of the deal!

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Mr. Gray, I cannot allow you to use my plant as a place to promote cannibalism!

 

DORIAN

Cannibalism?!  Sir, people would be strongly advised against eating me.  STRONGLY advised. After all, not only do I have many impurities in my blood and meat, not being raised for consumption, I’ve also got cancer, and, well, that can’t be good.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Please get out of my office, and stop wasting my time.

 

DORIAN is crushed.

 

DORIAN

Please, sir!  Please!  This is my dying wish!

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Get out.

 

DORIAN

Sir, please!  If you just set a price, I’ll pay it!  I’m desperate!  Please let me be a Felpak product!  Please, sir!  This company is so beautiful!  Let me be processed here!

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Get out!

 

DORIAN

Please, sir!  Just let me do this!  It’s the one thing I want!

 

TOM

Dore, let’s go!

 

DORIAN

Please!

 

TOM

Let’s GO, Dorian.

 

By this time, DORIAN is fighting back tears.

 

DORIAN

I beg of you, sir!  I wouldn’t ask, if I didn’t have the utmost respect for your fine company!  Please, sir!

 

MR. STEEVERSON

No.

 

TOM grabs DORIAN and drags him out of MR. STEEVERSON’S office.  DORIAN is all but crying on the way, and continues to plead.

 

TOM

Mr. Steeverson, sir, I apologize on behalf of my friend.

 

MR. STEEVERSON

Out!  Get out!  Now!  Out!

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