(Open on a YOUNG MAN, mid-20s, at his first day of work at a Jiffy Lube. A mustachioed, gum-snapping STORE MANAGER, mid-30s, removes his grease-stained glasses and shakes our young applicant’s hand.)
MANAGER: Welcome aboard. Now, when you ring up the customers, be sure to get a home address so we can add them to the mass coupon mailer. It takes some tact, as people don’t like to give out their personal info. Are you comfortable gathering information?
(Cut to a dingy interrogation room at the American base in Guantánamo. We see a montage of the YOUNG MAN screaming at a tied-up Iraqi prisoner, slapping him in the face, kicking him out of his chair, being calmed down by a fellow soldier, connecting electric clamps to the Iraqi’s testicles, etc. Cut back to the YOUNG MAN as he responds without emotion to the MANAGER.)
YOUNG MAN: Yes, sir, I think I can handle that.
(Open on a short-haired, twentysomething YOUNG WOMAN as she puts on a white lab coat in an X-ray room. A door opens and a VETERINARIAN appears holding a domesticated white rabbit, which the VET pets as it purrs gently. She throws the YOUNG WOMAN a stethoscope.)
VET: Now remember, people’s animals are like members of their family. So it’s important that we stress to them the gentle methods and safety precautions we employ while the pets are here in our supervision. Know what I mean?
(Cut to the same YOUNG WOMAN at Abu Ghraib, smashing a prisoner in the face with the butt of her rifle, hogtying naked prisoners, posing in front of a naked dogpile of blindfolded prisoners with a “thumbs up” as a cigarette dangles from her lower lip. Cut back to the VET’s office, where the YOUNG WOMAN responds.)
YOUNG WOMAN: Yes, ma’am. (Accidentally laughs.)
VET: What’s so funny?
YOUNG WOMAN: Nothing.
(Open on a large man, early 40s, with a crewcut, heavy chin stubble, and a 90-degree jaw line as he gnaws on an unlit cigar at Ghostbusters headquarters. He is greeted by the Ghostbuster in charge of new applicants, DR. EGON SPENGLER, who takes him on a tour of the premises.)
DR. SPENGLER: Colonel, we’re so delighted to have you. Can we offer you a Diet Dr. Pepper or some nacho-cheese combos? No? Very good, then. Right this way. So listen, there are times when it can be very exciting around here.
(A 400-pound cement gargoyle jumps at our applicant, but is restrained by a chain attached to the wall.)
DR. SPENGLER: See what I mean? Anyhow, most people think the ghost-busting business has been down since the late ‘80s. Not true. They may not come in the form of hell-bent 10-story-tall marshmallows anymore, but take my word for it, there are still plenty of ghosts out there in need of a good busting, especially in season. Needless to say, I’m not afraid of any of ’em …
(DR. SPENGLER chuckles, but his joke falls on deaf ears. The two share an awkward pause.)
DR. SPENGLER: But seriously, at times, when you head out to the site, you got your proton gun all charged up and set on “Annihilate,” but there are just no good-natured ghosts or endearing poltergeists to be found. You’re going to want to fire that sucker, believe me, but you have to show restraint. It can be a bit of a cock tease—you know what I’m saying?
(Cut to footage of our applicant holding a U.S. Army M21 assault rifle in an Iraqi warehouse full of harmless farm equipment, an old beat-up foosball table missing a yellow goalie, and, most notably, no weapons of mass destruction or weapon-producing agents. The COLONEL scratches his head in confusion, then helplessly resurveys the room to no avail. Cut back to Ghostbusters home office, where the young man responds.)
COLONEL KICK ASS: Believe me, Dr. Spengler, I know the feeling. Just out of curiosity, what kind of name is Egon?