Ulysses: The Sitcom

(A quiet afternoon in the Bloom household. LEOPOLD BLOOM is at the kitchen table, drawing up an ad for a wine merchant named Keyes. The work is obviously intense and detail-oriented: one slip of the brush and the whole ad will be ruined. All of a sudden, STEPHEN DEDALUS bursts in through the front door.)

STEPHEN: In nomine Domini!

BLOOM: (Dropping his brush and ruining the ad.) Jaysus! I wish you wouldn’t scare me like that!

STEPHEN: (Twirling his ash plant.) No offense, O fearless, wingèd father, but it’s not that hard to scare you.

(BLOOM stares into the camera with an exasperated look on his face. Audience laughter.)

STEPHEN: I hope you don’t mind … I’ve brought along a friend.

(Stately, plump BUCK MULLIGAN follows STEPHEN through the front door.)

BUCK: Hey, Mr. B!

BLOOM: Stephen, I’ve told you a thousand times not to bring your friends over while I’m trying to work.

BUCK: Aww, don’t worry, Mr. B. We’ll be out of your hair in no time. We’re just stopping by for a couple wineskins on our way to Nighttown. Isn’t that right, Kinch?

STEPHEN: (Slumped on the sofa, reading A Treatise on Happiness.) Yeah, whatever.

BLOOM: Jaysus!

(MOLLY appears at the stairhead. She’s wearing hot pants and a rather lascivious top. BUCK whistles.)

STEPHEN: Cease your inane caterwauling. The woman before you wouldn’t dare receive your pox-ridden embrace.

BUCK: I can still try, can’t I? (Audience laughter.)

MOLLY: O rocks! What’s all this?

BLOOM: I was working on an ad and …

STEPHEN: A visiting bard and a wine-mouthed Hippocrates just so happened to drop by.

MOLLY: O rocks! I was trying to get some sleep!

BUCK: Sleep, eh? (Audience laughter.)

(There is a knock at the door. An agitated BLOOM rises to answer it. It’s BLAZES BOYLAN, played by Growing Pains star Alan Thicke.)

BLOOM: Jaysus!

STEPHEN: In nomine Domini!

MOLLY: (Luxuriantly.) O … rocks!

BUCK: Blazes Boylan, eh? (Uproarious audience laughter.)

BLAZES: Oh. Hmm. I see I’ve come at a bad time.

BUCK: Another young buck out for the missus?

BLOOM: (Rolling his eyes at the camera.) I think I’ll go down to the pub.

(Cue theme music.)

Ulysses: The European-Style Crime Thriller

(BLOOM and STEPHEN are sitting in an exceptionally dark pub, drinking Guinness. Ominous music plays. They are obviously waiting for someone. The someone they are waiting for is FATHER COWLEY, who appears in the doorway as a frighteningly thin silhouette. His face is ravaged from his cocaine habit. He rips off his collar before sitting down and ordering a Guinness.)

STEPHEN: Where are they?

COWLEY: They’re back in the chapel.

BLOOM: (Angrily.) Fecking out with it, Cowley, you bitch’s bastard!

(Everyone is silent for a long time. Closeup shots of STEPHEN, BLOOM, and COWLEY’s eyes.)

COWLEY: I don’t have them.

BLOOM: Who the feck does, then?

STEPHEN: You’ll excuse my associate’s behavior. His wife is two-timing him.

COWLEY: I seem to remember her. She came to confessional, but I was too coked up to …

BLOOM: (Driving a knife into his fetid cheese sandwich.) You can kiss my bloody Irish arse, Cowley!

COWLEY: All right! I’ll give them to you.

STEPHEN: Make it quick.

(A BLIND STRIPLING enters the pub. The STRIPLING cuts an imperious figure in the doorway even though he’s just a stripling. He taps his way to the table with his cane. Everyone looks frightened. The STRIPLING sits down and orders two Guinnesses.)

STRIPLING: Are these the famous con men? Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Bloom—if that’s you—it’s a pleasure to finally meet. Cowley just can’t stop talking about you.

COWLEY: (Grinning nervously.) Aye. It’s true.

STRIPLING: Gentlemen, you tell me there’s a controlled substance in dear dirty Dublin that is not under your control. You offer me your protection and I agree to help you. And this man (directing an unseeing hand at FATHER COWLEY) has stood in the way of our happiness. Does that make you angry?

BLOOM: Like bloody hell it does!

STRIPLING: (Draws his gun and holds it to FATHER COWLEY’s forehead.) Very good. I propose we get rid of him.

(STEPHEN and BLOOM draw their guns. FATHER COWLEY, terrified, withdraws a package from his coat and throws it on the table.)

COWLEY: I didn’t agree to this, stripling!

STRIPLING: Just do what these gentlemen tell you.

STEPHEN: Open the package.

(FATHER COWLEY opens the package, revealing 200 bars of Irish potato soap.)

BLOOM: Fecking grade-A it is.

STEPHEN: You’ve pleased us. We’re going to go urinate against a wall now. (Cocking his gun.) Don’t try anything while we’re gone.

(FATHER COWLEY and the STRIPLING remain seated at the table, forced to listen to the sound of STEPHEN and BLOOM relieving themselves. Then the STRIPLING cocks his gun and nods to FATHER COWLEY.)

STRIPLING: Let’s go.

COWLEY: Right.

(The two go outside and begin firing. STEPHEN and BLOOM fire back. Handel’s Messiah plays. The camera focuses on the abandoned glasses of Guinness: the beer vibrates with every gunshot.)

Ulysses: The Offbeat Indie Film

STEPHEN: My life is a meaningless void. What’s the use of being precocious when it can’t get you a real girlfriend?

BLOOM: As your spiritual father, I insist that you stop seeing all those whores. And the syphilis: that’s one doodle that can’t be undid, homeskillet.

MOLLY: Listen: How about we just form an awkward ménage à trois? It’ll solve everyone’s problems.

STEVE BUSCEMI: I’ll go get the holy water.