Email This Post HomeFictionThe Johnsons Have Gone Gatsby Amy Vansant June 12, 2013 Fiction, Humor, Humor Skit Scripts 12 Comments First published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, this is a skit likening bored suburban neighbors throwing Gatsby theme parties to zombies. It made sense in my head at the time. FADE IN INT. UPPER CLASS HOME LIVING ROOM – NIGHT A man, BEN, wearing pajama pants and a tee shirt, is reading his newspaper. His wife, BARBRA, wears a flowered robe and is curled on the sofa, reading a book. BEN Do you hear that? Ben drops his paper and tilts his head. We hear the faint sound of music coming from outside the home. BARBRA What? BEN Sounds like… music. The music is getting louder. The song is ‘Toot Toot Toosie Goodbye’ by Al Jolson BARBRA (shrugging, unconcerned) I guess someone is having a party. The doorbell rings. BEN Who could that be at this hour? The man gets up from his chair and walks to the window by the front door. He peeks outside. BEN (CONT’D) It’s the Johnsons! The man moves to open door. As his hand touches the doorknob, his wife leaps from the sofa. BARBRA Wait, Ben! Don’t open the door! BEN What? Why? BARBRA The Johnsons. What are they wearing? BEN (peeks out the window again) She’s in a dress and he’s in a suit. BARBRA Old-timey outfits? BEN Old-timey? Well, now that you mention it, they’re both wearing hats… BARBRA I knew it! Whatever you do, don’t open that door! BEN Barbra, what is it? BARBRA The Johnsons… They’ve gone Gatsby! BEN (his face is awash with horror) Turn off all the lights! Ben and Barbra scurry to turn off the lights on the first floor. They meet back in the foyer, holding their breath as they stare nervously at their front door. The doorbell rings again and they jump. MRS. JOHNSON (calling from outside in a sing-song voice) We know you’re in there, sillies… MR. JOHNSON Yes, come on, old sport! Open the door! Barbra covers her mouth, trying not to scream. BEN Do you think it’s the whole community? BARBRA I don’t know! This happened to my sister’s neighborhood, but I never thought it would happen here! There is knocking at the door and the doorbell rings again. MRS. JOHNSON Do come out and have a glass of giggle water with us! There is rapping on the window at the side of the house. Ben and Barbra whirl towards the noise. We can see a woman in flapper dress waving at the window, the large yellow feather in her headband bobbing. BEN They’re coming to get you, Barbra, there’s one of them now! FLAPPER (calling through the closed window) Barbra! You simply must join us! It’s the bee’s knees! BARBRA (turning to Ben, her face ashen.) We’ll have to board up the windows. There is shuffling on the front porch. A crowd is gathering. Gay laughter erupts. The tune ‘My Blue Heaven’ fills the night air. BEN My god, the movie’s just come out. This could go on for weeks! Hell, it’s DiCaprio! It could be months! Remember ‘Titanic?’ BARBRA This will be worse than ‘Mad Men.’ The theme parties, the costumes… Barbara touches her head, a glazed, faraway look in her eyes. BARBRA (CON’T) I don’t even own cloche hat… BEN (grabbing Barbra by the shoulders) Barbra! Snap out of it! Don’t be a dumb dora! Ben slaps his hand to his mouth, horrified. BEN (CON’T) It’s happening. Barbra, we’re doomed. Ben turns and steps to the window. With a final glance back at Barbra, he throws back the curtains. On the porch there is a party in full swing. Men in homburg hats and women holding cocktail glasses grin and toast to them through the window. MR. JOHNSON Join us, old sport! There’s plenty of hooch for everyone! MRS. JOHNSON Everything is jake! BARBRA (her attention captured by something beyond the crowd) My god… Ben, look! Look out at the bay! BEN What? BARBRA Remember when you asked Sampson to replace the dock light bulb? BEN Yes? BARBRA Look! We see the light on the end of Ben and Barbra’s dock, glowing in the darkness. It shines with an eerie green hue. BEN That fool! BARBRA (monotone, all hope lost) So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ swells, mixing with the sound of the people chattering and glasses clicking outside. FADE TO BLACK Author Recent Posts Amy VansantAmy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries. Latest posts by Amy Vansant (see all) Cover Reveal (again), Reading Poll + 4 ways to win a kindle - June 25, 2020 Why I shouldn’t be allowed to decorate cakes, book giveaways and deals! - June 16, 2020 New Series Cover and Synopsis Reveal, Big Beach Reads Giveaway & More Reads - June 10, 2020 12 Responses cj June 12, 2013 Amy, your blog is a mofo. I love it. Lit and humor? Be still, my beating heart! Oh, sorry. Anyhow, so cool someone read and understood it well enough to compose such a post. You got the green light, the old sport, and perhaps several others that I’ve forgotten. Marvy post, man. 0 likes Reply Amy Vansant June 14, 2013 The advatages of being a lit major is you can sprinkle the work of famous authors’ work in YOUR work and look much smarter than you actually are. 🙂 0 likes Reply SarcasticNinja June 12, 2013 To be fair, I would rather my neighborhood be taken over by Gatsby-philes than by most other literature-based zombies. For example, Grapes of Wrath parties would be way less fun. Wrath grapes don’t make very good wine. 1 likes Reply Amy Vansant June 16, 2013 Totally laughed out loud at the idea of a bunch of dusty Oakies showing up at my door for a party. That would have been funnier! 0 likes Reply Deb June 12, 2013 I love the screenplay layout. lol You’re hysterical! 0 likes Reply Michele Drier June 12, 2013 Jake? Jake!! Loved this. 0 likes Reply Tammy R June 12, 2013 Wow, Amy. CJ and I did this as a book club of two over a year ago and loved it. Of course, we just blabbed about it and came up with nothing so creative as this! What a delightful read…F.Scott would be honored. 0 likes Reply Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point June 14, 2013 Sure the Great Gatsby is a fine novel, but it’s no World War Z. 1 likes Reply Lance June 15, 2013 This is bizarre and creative enough to work. Is there any other kind of “gay laughter” that would work, here? I’m in…whatever that means 1 likes Reply Sarah June 16, 2013 This is wonderful. As was the Grapes of Wrath comment above. I read this out loud to my husband and we both had a good laugh. Thanks 🙂 0 likes Reply Megly Mc June 17, 2013 Annnnnd, I’ll be using “giggle water” for the next year…thank you for my new obsession. 0 likes Reply meleah rebeccah June 18, 2013 Oh my god! 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