INT. CHEERLESS ROOM - DAY
The room is bare, dusty. A ceiling fan turns. The
wall clock ticks. Craig, 30 years old and small, sits at
a collapsible card table. The only item on the table is a
book. Craig picks it up, looks at the jacket. It's entitled
"Sit." Craig opens the book. It reads: "sit sit sit sit
sit..." over and over, page after page. Craig closes the
book. He begins to stand, but thinks better of it, sighs.
He looks at the book again. It is now entitled "Die." He
opens it up. "die die die die die..." A rooster crows.
INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Craig jolts awake. A rooster stands on Craig's chest,
crowing. Lotte, also 30, in the middle of dressing for
work, hurries in and pulls the bird from Craig's chest.
Sorry, hon. I didn't know Orrin
Hatch was out of his pen. Good
Lotte leans down and kisses Craig on the forehead.
Gotta run. Shipment of grub worms
coming in first thing.
Craig, listen, honey, I've been
thinking... maybe you'd feel better
if you got, you know, a job or
We've been over this. Nobody's
looking for a puppeteer in today's
wintry economic climate.
Well, you know, maybe something else
until this whole puppet thing turns
The Great Mantini doesn't need a day
Craig, everyone can't be Derek Mantini.
Well, grub worms are waiting. Do me
Would you check in on Elijah? He seems
to be a little under the weather this
Which one is Elijah again?
INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE' S GARAGE - MORNING
The place is a mess. Vivaldi blasts through cheap speakers.
A small marionette stage stands in the back of the garage.
The stage is lit and on it is a finely sculpted puppet
version of Craig. The "Craig" puppet paces back and forth,
wringing its hands with incredible subtlety. We see Craig,
above and behind the stage. He is manipulating the puppet.
His fingers move fast and furious. The puppet breaks into
a dance, a beautiful and intricate balletic piece. Soon the
puppet is leaping and tumbling through space, moves that one
would think impossible for a marionette. Sweat appears on
the real Craig’s brow. His fingers move like lightning. The
puppet moves faster and faster. Sweat appears on the puppet's
brow. We see that the sweat is being piped from a special
device that the real Craig controls. The Craig puppet
collapses on the floor of the stage. It puts its hands up to
its face and weeps. Craig hangs the puppet, and comes down
around the front of the stage. He is heaving. He switches
off the music, picks up a beer and takes a swig.
INT. CRAIG AND LOTTE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
The room is filled with penned and unpenned animals of all
snakes, lizards, birds, a dog, cats, etc. Craig sits
on the couch and looks at the want ads, the TV is on in the
background. Elijah, the monkey, sits next to Craig holding
his stomach and moaning weakly. On the TV, Derek Mantini is
working a 60 foot high marionette from the top of a water tower.
The assembled crowd is enthralled.
The crowd is enthralled as Derek
Mantini, arguably the greatest
puppeteer in the history of the
world, performs "The Belle of
Amherst" with his 60 foot Emily
Dickinson puppet, directed by the
inimitable Charles Nelson Reilly.