Authors: Dani Amore
Rocky is in his phony telephone repair van. There is a bank of monitors all covering different aspects of Straun & Partners advertising. One monitor is covering Tom’s office. Another one is on Morgan’s office. There’s movement on the monitor showing Morgan’s office. Rocky hits a button and the image is transferred to the biggest monitor.
Morgan is sitting behind his desk as a man walks in.
“Sit down, Conrad,” Wolcott says.
The man sits across from Morgan. The man looks like the classic advertising agency account guy: he appears ten years younger than he is, he’s handsome, and he’s smooth to the point of being smarmy.
“I hope you’ve got good news,” Conrad Straun, founding partner of the firm, says to Morgan.
“So he wants conflict and a recurring character,” Wolcott says.
“Yes, we’ve been over this Morgan. Do you have some concepts yet or not?”
“It’s a very rough thought at this point, really just a first idea that just sort of...came to me.”
“Come on Morgan. If you wait any longer American Oil will just pick up their hundred million in billings and say see ya’!”
Morgan taps a pencil against a pad of paper.
“Dr. Slick,” he says.
“Excuse me?” Straun says.
“Dr. Slick. He’s a classic villain,” Morgan continues. “Threatens the environment. Screws the consumer. He represents everything bad about the oil industry.”
“Dr. Slick. As in...oil slick?”
“Like every great villain, he’s got an arch enemy. Someone who foils his plans in every thirty second commercial.
Conrad Straun smiles. “American Oil.”
Morgan Wolcott grins right back. “You catch on quick. It’s classic drama. Conflict. A recurring character. And it will take only a few hours for me to write up the scripts.”
Straun takes a moment to think about it.
“You just came up with this?”
Wolcott nods. “Just now. Just before you walked in here.”
Straun reaches across Morgan’s desk and shakes his hand.
“You did it. You totally nailed it. Dr. Slick is genius!”
Inside the camouflaged van, Rocky explodes. “You prick! You bastard!”
He keeps watching the monitor which shows Morgan in his office basking in the accolades from Conrad Straun.
“Okay, Morgan,” Rocky says to the monitor. “You wanna go up against me and Tom, huh? You wanna roll the dice, get in our way, and see who comes out on top, huh?”
He snaps off the monitor.
“Prepare for the ass kicking of a lifetime, my friend.”
Tom is working out an elliptical trainer. He’s going at it hard, working up a good sweat. A guy climbs up onto the elliptical trainer next to Tom and starts working out. Tom glances over. It’s Jack, the account guy in charge of the American Oil business.
“Hey Jack. How’s it goin’?” Tom says between breaths.
“Couldn’t be better.”
He glances over and sees an attractive young woman doing some free weights.
“How’d you like to knock the bottom out of that?” the account guy says.
Tom glances over, and then concentrates on working out.
“You creative guys must need to exercise a lot. Pretty stressful, isn’t it?”
“It can be, yeah,” Tom admits.
“Coming up with last minute solutions, every day of the week? I’d burn out in a week.”
“I hear ya.”
The woman doing the free weights starts a different exercise, this time bending over. Jack lets his eyes run all over her body.
“How’d you like to punish that for an hour? Get her by the ankles and bring her down.”
Tom looks at him.
“You make it sound like you’re roping her at a rodeo or something.”
Jack looks at Tom.
“Whatever. Speaking of stress, Morgan must be pretty wired. Even when he’s on a roll like now.”
“I couldn’t tell you,” Tom starts to say, then stops. “What do you mean on a roll?”
The account guy spots another woman entering the workout area. She too is very good-looking.
“Oh, man. I’d love to-“
“Yeah, I know,” Tom says, cutting him off. So what did you mean about Morgan being on a roll?”
“Haven’t you heard about his killer idea? Dr. Slick? Genius! He came up with that in like, ten minutes. Amazing.”
Tom rips the emergency stop cord from the elliptical and stares at the account guy.
“What did you say?”
“Dr. Slick. Morgan just solved the American Oil problem.”
Tom feels the anger flow over him.
“That’s complete bullshit! I presented that idea last week!”
The account guy raises an eyebrow at Tom, preparing to humor him.
“Yeah, sure you did,” he says.
Morgan Wolcott is in his office talking on the phone.
“Ah, tell him to have another martini and blow it out his ass.”
Morgan laughs at the response from the other end of the line as Tom barges into the office.
“I need to talk to you, Morgan.”
Morgan holds up a finger.
“Ah, he’s nothin’ but a tubby bitch,” he says into the phone, then laughs again. “All right, talk to you later.”
He hangs up and looks at Tom.
“I heard that you came up with Dr. Slick.”
“Who said that? It was a team effort. And we’re all on the same team. You’re really not doing yourself any favors acting like this, Tom. You’re doing yourself a huge disservice.”
“I’m not being selfish you ass. Give me credit for my idea.”
Morgan stands up behind his desk, starts putting on his sportcoat, getting ready to leave for the day.
“Well, listen to you. When did you grow some balls? Granted, they’re little ones, sort of like peashooters, but they finally dropped, didn’t they?” he says, a big smirk on his face.
“I’m serious Morgan. You can’t steal my idea.”
“Sure I can, Tom. Because here’s the problem. If I told people you came up with this idea, no one would have believed me. They all think you’re a hack. And I can’t blame them.”
Morgan Wolcott arrives at his home, a mansion along the Gold Coast of Chicago. He is in his kitchen, fixing himself a cocktail when the doorbell rings.
There is a stunningly beautiful young woman at the door. She is wearing a simple cleaning uniform. On a typical woman, the uniform would look very ordinary. But Morgan looks at her with unvarnished interest.
“Yes?” Morgan says.
“Hi, this is the Wolcott house?” she says, smiling. Morgan notes her perfect white teeth and lovely smile.
“It is,” he says.
“Great!” she says. She starts to enter the house..
“Wait,” Morgan says. “Did my wife hire you? Because you don’t look familiar.” He pauses. “And she’s out of town for the week, so I can’t ask her.” He gives her a small smile.
“She certainly did, I talked to her personally,” the woman says.
Morgan steps aside and lets the woman in the house, taking a long look at her attractive backside as she passes him.
“Uh-huh,” he says. “God knows she doesn’t know how to do any of that herself.”
The woman sets down her cleaning supplies. Morgan notes her slender legs.
“Hey, I know this sounds kind of odd, but before you get started...how ‘bout a cocktail? I just made a batch and it’s too big for me to drink alone. I’d hate to dump it out.”
The woman looks at him, then smiles.
“Sure,” she says. “Whatever you want, Mr. Wolcott.”
Morgan and the new cleaning lady are sprawled on the living room floor, semi-naked, drinking vodka straight from the bottle. Morgan has built a roaring fire and loud music is playing. He takes an olive from his martini and places it on the middle of his stomach.
“Oops,” he says. “Looks like you missed a spot.”
She crawls over to him, does a seductive little dance, and then climbs on top of him, kissing him, and kissing her way down to the olive. She eats it then continues south.
Morgan begins to moan.
“Whatever my wife is paying you, it isn’t enough,” he says.
Tom, dressed in a jogging suit, knocks on the door of Dylan’s apartment. He waits, and then knocks again. Finally, the door opens.
It’s Dylan. But he looks nothing like the sharp dresser he was at the agency. He hasn’t shaved or bathed, he’s dressed in a dirty T-shirt and gym shorts and he’s got a can of Schlitz beer in his hand.
“Hey,” he says.
He turns around, not waiting for a reply and goes back inside the apartment.
Tom looks around, and then follows him inside.
The place is as much of a mess as Dylan. Beer cans, fast food wrappers, dirty clothes are all over. The television is on but Dylan is slumped in a chair, just staring at nothing.
“Wow, this is...really....smelly.”
“Yep,” Dylan says. “Home sweet home. Want a beer?”
“No, thanks. Tough as it is to pass up Schlitz.”
“The pride of Milwaukee.”
Tom watches his friend. “So what’s going on with you, Dylan?”
“Is that supposed to be some kind of joke,” his friend says, turning to look at him with dead eyes.
“Nothing is going on with me. What’s going on with you?”
Tom shrugs. “Same old stuff. Morgan fucking me over, being a total asshole.”
Tom looks around the apartment with barely concealed revulsion.
“So what are you up to?”
“What’s it fuckin’ look like?”
“Are you at least looking for a job?”
“What’s the point of a job search when everyone in town knows you’re the king of gay porn. Download at work. Fill your hard drive. Whack off!”
“I wish you would’ve told me you were gay.”
Dylan lunges to his feet.
“I’m not gay! Goddamnit!”
Tom nods. “I believe you. You look too dirty and unkempt to be gay.”
“Goddamn right! I’m a fucking slob! I’m a pig! I totally objectify women all the time - I can’t possibly be gay!”
He sits back in his chair, cracks open another Schlitz and has at it.
“So the porn at the office?” Tom asks.
“Was planted! Someone set me up! Put all that shit on my computer.”
“Why? Who knows! Probably some chick I banged and then never called! I mean, let’s face it, I’m an asshole. There’s no shortage of people I’ve treated like shit,” Dylan says, then looks closely at Tom. “Yourself included.”
Tom thinks about that for a minute.
“How do you think the stuff was planted on your computer?”
“You know Doug, our IT guy? Well, we’re drinking buddies. Anyway, I got him to look over my computer after I got fired. He said the shit was all fucked up. He’d never seen anything like it. But he thought it looked like my system software had been reconfigured somehow. It was designed to automatically go to these porno websites and download everything, and then repeat it all over and over again. Once it was launched, there was no way to stop it.”
“What did Human Resources say?”
“They told me to get out, never say a word, or they would sue me for all kinds of workplace harassment.”
“Pretty much. They weren’t buying my explanation. They said my Internet history showed I’d been doing this porn stuff nonstop for a couple years. They expressed amazement that I’d managed to hide it for so long.”
“It’s a joke. Why would I continually surf porn at work? I can’t whack off in the office, and who can spank the monkey for eight hours straight?”
“Ouch,” Tom says.
“Someone set me up. And I have no idea who.”
Tom has a thought but quickly ignores it.
No way, he thinks.
The conference room at Straun & Partners is adorned with all kinds of Dr. Slick materials: posters, billboards, t.v. storyboards, print ads and point-of-purchase displays.
Jack, the account guy, is the only person in the room.
Tom walks in.
“Where the hell is everyone?”
Tom is momentarily at a loss for words. “I have no idea,” he finally says. “No one knows where Morgan is. His secretary can’t reach him anywhere - home, office, cell phone. It’s like he disappeared.”
“I don’t believe this,” Jack says.
He storms out of the room and Tom sits there in silence looking at all of the Dr. Slick stuff on the walls.
Jack comes back in. “Where’s Kelly?” he asks.
“Quit,” Tom answers.
Jack looks around the room. “Jesus Christ!” he shouts. Finally, his gaze settles on Tom.
“You’re gonna need a tie.”
Rocky is watching the monitors in his van. They show the conference room in which Tom is presenting his Dr. Slick idea to the American Oil people.
“Attaboy, Tommy. Attaboy,” Rocky says to the monitors. Java, the dog Rocky kidnapped, growls at him.
Tom is standing in the American Oil main conference room, replete with all manner of Dr. Slick marketing pieces.
Tom is nervous, but his voice is surprisingly calm.
“I believe Dr. Slick gives you everything you’re looking for both strategically and creatively,” he tells the assembled room. “A recurring character for consistency. A platform for telling your stories. And above all, a memorable vehicle to brand American Oil in the minds of the consumers as the “hero” of the oil industry. And now, if I may, let me introduce you to...Dr. Slick.”
The lights dim and a section of wood paneling slides back revealing a giant television screen. An advertising “animatic” begins to play. We see a classic James Bond-ish villain in the middle of his “evil lair.”
“And with my stranglehold on oil prices, I will make everyone pay while destroying the environment!” the villain says.
Suddenly, a “hero” in the form of an American Oil worker appears a la James Bond.
“Not so fast, Dr. Slick! Your plan will never work as long as American Oil is around. Our refining techniques keep prices down and air quality up!”
The villain shakes his fist at the American Oil hero. “I should have destroyed you when I had the chance! But you’ll never catch me, American Oil!”
Dr. Slick “dissolves” into an oil slick and slides out a steel door in his headquarters.
There is a close-up of the hero. “You’ll never win, Dr. Slick. Not as long as American Oil is here to protect the world!”
The screen fades to black and the lights come up in the conference room.
Tom looks around the room and is met with dead silence.
Jack, the account guy, gets more and more nervous until he finally can’t stand it.
“It’s really more of a thought-starter,” Jack says. “A jumping-off point if you will. We’re prepared to re-craft and re-write and rethink everything.”
The President of American Oil, Gordon Wells, looks around at the various people sitting at the table. He finally gets up and walks around the table, passing all of the different executions of the Dr. Slick idea.
Finally he gets to Tom.
“Stand up, young man.”
“Never in my thirty-nine year history at American Oil have I seen an idea so blatantly edgy, so ridiculously over the top, so...”
Jack jumps in, clearly panicking. “We’ll start with a clean slate sir.”
“so...perfect!” Wells booms.
There’s silence in the room.
“Perfect?” Tom says.
“Perfect. I buy it. I buy it all. The whole Dr. Slick shootin’ match. Make it happen, gentlemen. Make it happen!”
“That’s great!” Tom says. He looks at Jack, then around the room as if he’s expecting hidden cameras to be revealed.
“There’s just one thing,” Wells says, his voice very serious. Everyone stops in their tracks. “Just one thing I want to make sure happens so that the world will recognize the brilliance of this Dr. Slick idea.”
“You name it, sir. We’ll do it,” the account guy says.
Wells puts his arm around Tom’s shoulders.
“I want this go-getter in charge. I want him to make all the calls, is that understood?”
Jack sidles up and puts his arm around Tom’s shoulders as well.
They all beam at Tom.
Tom looks more than a little uncomfortable, but very, very happy.