(DEATH is bored. He calls his friend BILL.)
What say you?
It’s not a good day.
Sure, I have the
Time to kill,
But I fear that I don’t have the will.
I go about my business
Every morning, noon, and night.
Most doomed souls go easily;
Some put up a fight.
But, honestly, it’s boring me.
I don’t know what to say.
The last pickup that I enjoyed
Was probably that Martha Raye.
Dude, you know what?
You should totally get
Someone who isn’t ready quite yet.
It’s not allowed.
The fines would be large.
Fines? Wait a second—
Aren’t you in charge?
In a sense, but it’s complex.
The afterlife has many checks
And balances. I can’t just slay
Whoever springs to mind today.
I mean, well, yeah, I guess I could,
But I’m not sure it would be good.
That’s the very point I’m making.
You need to stop your bellyaching.
You’re not the flu. You’re not the sprain.
You’re Death, so rule your domain.
Now I have to hang up the phone.
My wife went out and I’m alone.
It’s one of those rare just-Bill nights:
Just Bill and 50 porn websites.
(DEATH laughs at his friend, betraying a trace of envy.)
Bill is a genius,
Although he’s a rake,
But who will I go for?
Who will I take?
I’m calling Bill back …
Damn, he turned off his phone.
I don’t really feel like
Going out there alone.
(DEATH calls some other friends to see if anyone wants to go collect a few souls with him. Most are busy or invent an elaborate excuse to avoid the errand. Finally, DEATH calls LITTLE RICHARD.)
Who’s calling me?
But don’t worry.
This isn’t business.
It’s just that, well,
I feel depressed
And I’d love to have you
As my guest
On a little trip across the earth
To find some souls and reverse their birth.
(LITTLE RICHARD is enthusiastic about the idea.)
Where should I meet you?
It doesn’t really matter. We’ll
Be traveling by astral plane.
So how about the Platter Kill?
I’ve always loved the name.
(LITTLE RICHARD and DEATH meet by the Platter Kill, a stream in upstate New York. DEATH is wearing his trademark black robe. LITTLE RICHARD is wearing a yellow-and-red jacket with rhinestones.)
Good to see ya.
Good to see you, too, my friend.
So tell me: whose life should we end?
I’ve got an idea.
I’m all ears.
Let’s go get that Britney Spears.
That’s an interesting notion.
It would cause a great commotion.
And her music’s not so vital, if you know what I mean.
But she’s still in her youth,
And, to tell you the truth,
I had sort of been thinking of killing Tom Green.
The girl can’t help it.
She was born to sleaze.
You’ll see her, here and there,
Down on bended knees.
Can she at least contract
Some foul disease?
(They agree to flip a coin. LITTLE RICHARD produces a coin, which is a quarter with a picture of himself on one side. The other side has a picture of his butt.)
Snakes and snails
And hog-slop pails
And whips and wails:
I call tails!!!
(It is tails. In Canada, in the middle of filming a scene where he French-kisses a cow, TOM GREEN feels an unspeakable cold shudder through him.)
You know what’s strange?
I was briefly changed.
A cloud crossed my heart
And gave me a start,
But I’m all better now.
Please bring back that cow.
(DEATH and LITTLE RICHARD arrive in BRITNEY SPEARS’s living room. It is disorganized. Magazines are everywhere, along with lingerie and empty pizza boxes.)
It’s hard to find her
Amid this debris.
She’s probably still sleeping;
It’s not even 3.
(BRITNEY SPEARS stumbles out of the bedroom. She has slept in sunglasses.)
I’m really sorry
I slept so late.
Did I miss another court date?
Girl, listen, I’m sure you did,
But that’s not why we’re here.
You were once so young and pretty;
Now you look like you drank a whole keg of beer.
Don’t make rude sport
Of my rise and fall.
I’m not a bad sort,
Not at all, y’all—
Do you truly wish to understand
Why we’ve come unannounced and unplanned?
In a minute I’ll take off my hood
And you’ll behold my flaming skull,
And terror will consume your mind,
And all your senses will go dull.
An icy finger on your brow
Will extract you from the here and now.
I’m sorry, y’all, but I don’t know Greek.
Is that the language you’re trying to speak?
Your mortal essence will lie coiled
At your feet just like that snake
You danced with at the VMAs,
And I don’t mean Justin Timberlake.
You’ll sleep, but you will not awake.
I swear, I don’t know what y’all are saying.
Is this some trick that Kevin’s playing?
Bama lama bama loo.
Honestly, what can we do
So that you understand this visit?
It’s not that complicated, is it?
A wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom.
We are here to seal your doom!
I’m dying now?
What? Why? And how?
Well, it’s not like I was bored
And needed something to do
And looked around the world
And randomly picked you.
(DEATH removes his hood. He has, as promised, a flaming skull. He steps forward and touches BRITNEY SPEARS on the breast.)
Hey! Uh, wait—
You said my head.
Oh yeah. Right.
OK. You’re dead.
(BRITNEY swoons. Everything around her dissolves. She begins to sing with the voice of an angel.)
Once I was a kind of modern Cinderella
And then I beat the crap out of a car with an umbrella.
Oh, it’s all coming back to me now in a blur:
I worshipped Madonna and made out with her.
I lived a life of adventure and fun.
I drank! I smoked! I hit-and-run!
I shaved my head! I shaved my vagina!
I acted as dumb as Miss South Carolina!
Please take care of my mom and my kids.
I am kneeling and praying and closing my lids.
Goodbye, Sean Preston. Goodbye, Jayden James.
Hey—not bad—I remembered their names.
My journey from childhood to B-cup to prenup
Is over. I’m done. I surrender. I give up.
I’m lying down flat on the floor of the room
So you can convey me to my timeless tomb.
(DEATH bends down to pick up BRITNEY SPEARS but notices that she is not wearing underwear.)
I would take her, but …
(LITTLE RICHARD peers downward. He notices the absence of underwear, too.)
Do you mean to say
That you can’t lift her
And take her away
If she isn’t wearing drawers?
Sadly, yes. Can she wear yours?
Upon further review,
I’m sorry to say
I’m commando, too.
(BRITNEY SPEARS stirs, wakes.)
I must have left the world behind.
This place I’m in, it must be heaven.
I was born back in the ’80s
And died here in two thousand seven.
Be strong, my fans—be good, be brave,
Bring cans of Red Bull to my grave.
(BRITNEY SPEARS stands shakily and tries to float away.)
Jenny jenny, wooo, jenny jenny.
When it comes to brains you ain’t got any.
The extraction came to a full stop.
(DEATH explains the situation to BRITNEY SPEARS more respectfully.)
I thought you’d be taken,
I thought we’d be going,
But we ran into trouble:
Your privates were showing.
(BRITNEY SPEARS is elated.)
I’m saved, I’m saved!
I feel so strange.
I’ll learn to behave.
I promise I’ll change.
Bad-luck baby put the jinx on me.
I think it’s time for us to flee.
(DEATH and LITTLE RICHARD jog off, then remember they can dematerialize, and do. BRITNEY stays on the floor in a trance, contemplating her brush with death. Slowly, she begins to absorb the news, and to develop the ability to think about the world around her.)
Baseball is my favorite sport,
And so George Mitchell’s bleak report
Has thrust everything into question
And thus disrupted my digestion.
Across the world in Pakistan
The president’s a helpless man.
His nation lacks maturity
And adequate security.
(BRITNEY SPEARS studies geopolitics and philosophy. She inches closer to enlightenment. Then, on December 18, her younger sister, Jamie Lynn, announces that she is pregnant. This upsets DEATH.)
Crap, a child’s getting born.
I have to say that I am torn.
Babies certainly are cute,
But they interfere with my pursuit
Of lifelessness upon the earth,
And so I must lament this birth.
(The news also upsets BRITNEY SPEARS. She abruptly stops studying the world and studies margaritas instead. She drinks all the way through to New Year’s Eve, when she hatches a plan.)
Two thousand seven, what a year it has been.
Some guy got his nut off inside Jamie Lynn.
Now my little sister is the gotten-with-child one,
The grabber of headlines, the she’s-running-wild one.
Remember way back when I was not sick?
I rocked the mike on “Crazy” and “Toxic.”
I had a kind of expertise.
Who knew those songs were prophesies?
But if I want to stay internationally famous,
It’s no longer enough to be an ignoramus.
I think that I need to be working toward
My ultimate rest and my final reward.
If I’m not in the public eye,
I might as well just up and die.
(BRITNEY decides to call DEATH but accidentally calls LITTLE RICHARD.)
You dialed wrong, you freakin’ loony!
(BRITNEY SPEARS redials, asks DEATH to remove her from the earth. DEATH refuses.)
Oh please, oh please—I planned it out:
See, Kevin will show up and I’ll start to shout.
I’ll wolf down pills and schnapps and gin.
The paramedics will strap me in.
(I’ll make up steps for a new dance
While I am in the ambulance.)
Then I’ll get me a boyfriend, a paparazzi.
We’ll light off quick for Mexico.
I’ll be a pop-star kamikaze,
Nosediving wildly wherever I go.
He’ll buy me cocaine to consume.
We’ll have sex in a dressing room.
And, though it is unjust of me,
I’ll ruin my chance at custody.
I have a goal. I will achieve it.
You know the earth? I’d like to leave it.
(DEATH refuses again.)
Come on, dude, why the rebuff?
I’ll give you a lap dance and hand job and stuff.
(She starts to gyrate arhythmically. DEATH isn’t aroused.)
This may be the wrong reaction,
But I won’t give you the satisfaction.
(Irritated by BRITNEY SPEARS’s manner, by her sister’s pregnancy, and even by LITTLE RICHARD’s relentless boisterousness, DEATH decides to kill a number of others, including Suzanne Pleshette, Brad Renfro, and DEATH’s close friend BILL. BILL’s wife comes home to find him slumped in front of the computer, which is displaying a porn site. At BILL’s funeral, she makes a speech about how BILL was the man of her dreams, and how she hoped to have a family with him, and how those imagined children would now never have the opportunity to have him as a father. She then sits in her car and plays BRITNEY SPEARS’s new album, Blackout, at top volume. It helps, a little, for a little while.)
Note: If you’d like to see a short film based on the below musical, copy and paste the following URL into your Web browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXhceW4ey4I