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Freedom Rules!

Scenes from the screenplay

Based on a True Story

by Richard Alan Krieger

Table of Contents

1. Film Treatment

2. Opening

3. The Misunderstood Hero

4. Swami Fights Cattle Mutilations

5. Sex Education (Flashback)

6. Close Encounters with the Pleiadians 

7. Independence Day Celebration (a True Story - "The Misunderstood Hero")

Film Treatment


"A high school graduate faced with major life decisions, suddenly finds himself in an inter-dimensional battle against evil alien forces that want to control time throughout the whole universe..."

On the edge of a windy and raining cliff, a pregnant woman falls off before the police can grab her. Yet she survives to give birth to Guy. Who we then see as a small child playing in a sandbox in the park while all the other kids are watching the puppet show Punch and Judy.

We then flash forward in time to see Guy who has just graduated from high school driving his car. He is pondering what he should do for the rest of his life. Like should he get married to his self-absorbed girlfriend Tiffany.

Jerry is Guy's best friend, and is having the ultimate graduation party that night on the 4th of July. It isn't long before everyone has arrived and the party is starting to swing.

Soon, problems start to happen though. The over-the-hill rock star Max doesn't want to play, has a drug overdose, and comes back to life. Guy and Tiffany get into a big fight and break-up shattering his hopes of love. People are getting out of control and start lighting things on fire, blowing stuff up, along with shooting a bottle rocket at a motorcycle cop that explodes next to his head.

And then as the band starts playing a blues rocker called, "Misunderstood," a fight breaks out between the Jocks and the Stoners.

That's when Guy, all confused and upset, slowly walks through the totally insane party toward the cliff. He stares down at the ocean wondering why all this is happening.

Then someone runs up to the cliff and throws a flaming pin-wheel over the edge that lands in the bushes down below, creating a huge fire that starts to spread quickly up the cliff.

Guy dives off the cliff into a fireball and does a wild dance kicking up dirt trying to put out the fire.

Someone then runs into Jerry's house and calls the Fire Department.

Overhead a police helicopter has arrived and is shining its spotlight onto the wild party down below. That's when sirens are heard as police cars start to arrive.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the cliff, Guy has finally put out the fire. Exhausted, he slowly climbs back to the top of the cliff.

As he gets to the top, he pulls his head up to the street level. There, he sees Jerry trying to explain why there is no fire to the Firemen who are all mad because they think someone has called them as a practical joke. He then notices a line of riot police marching by.

Now he has to find another way back to the street, so he climbs around the edge of the cliff and ends up in the backyard of Jerry's neighbor Earl.

Just as Guy starts to stand up, he finds himself staring at the end of a shotgun. Earl thinks Guy is high on drugs from the party and is trying to sneak into his house to rob him. Guy tries to explain to Earl what happened, but Earl doesn't believe him and calls the cops.

The cops come and haul Guy away to jail. On the way back to the police station, the policemen decide to pick-up some donuts.

As they munch their donuts down in the parking lot, they see a 1930's car speed through the intersection. Right behind that car, is another old car shooting a machine gun out the window at the first car.

Dropping their donuts, the police with Guy in the back seat take-off in full pursuit of the two vehicles. They have a mad chase through the streets of San Pedro as they all head toward the L.A. Harbor. The chase proceeds over the Vincent St. Thomas Bridge where they are joined by a police helicopter.

It turns out that the first car is being driven by Nicholas Tesla, the famous inventor from the early part of the 20th century. He is seen working with some dials that control a digital screen map on the dash board.

The second car chasing him is being driven by two Grey Aliens wearing trench coats and big sunglasses. The Aliens are sitting on several pillows so they can see the road. They want Tesla alive for questioning, so they are trying desperately only to shoot out his tires.

The helicopter spotlight begins to bother the Aliens a little too much, so they pull out some sort of laser weapon and shoot the helicopter down.

They all just barely make it over an opening drawbridge, as they head toward the leaving freight ship called the "Chronos."

As Tesla approaches the ship he pushes a button that makes a small cannon come out of the front of his car. He then shoots the cannon at the ship, but the ship returns fire shooting his rocket out of the sky.

A very upset Tesla then pushes another button which makes him disappear into another dimension.

The Aliens now start shooting at the police and Guy. Both cars race up a ramp and fly through the air and land onto the departing ship. All of a sudden a hatch opens and the cops and Guy go down a dark tunnel and end up in some sort of holding tank.

Soon the ceiling opens as a bright light shines on them. A huge vacuum then sucks them up onto the main deck where they wait to meet the Alien's leader.

Out of some time portal three humanoids dressed in some old soldier uniforms appear. One of them is the E.T. Reptilian leader whose name is Bantar "Father Time" who then shapeshifts from a human body back into his Reptilian body. He is angry as he talks about their failed mission to alter the timeline of history.

Bantar tells the police and Guy that he has this grand design that will thread time with his evil power throughout the whole universe. He plans to affect even those places that are known to be timeless. His goal is to be not just the ruler of the world, but to become the "Time God" of all existence.

He offers the three a simple choice; they can join his evil quest or die. There's only one minor thing, if they are to work on the ship. They must get castrated and become eunuchs for his harem.

The policemen and Guy pretend to go along with this madman in hopes they will escape somehow along the way to the operating table.

Before they can do anything, the two cops have been castrated. And now Guy waits his turn.

As the guard escorts Guy into the operating room, Guy wrestles the gun away from the guard and locks the guard and doctors in a closet.

Guy gets to the deck of the ship and starts looking everywhere for a lifeboat so he can escape off the ship.

Then out of the distance, he sees a small U.F.O. coming toward him. The small saucer then secretly lands on the ship. Guy hides around a corner and watches, as the door of the craft slowly opens.

Out pops Tesla, with a homemade bomb that he plans to blow-up the ship with. As he struggles to set up the bomb, Guy starts to talk to him. Guy recognizes Tesla from history and says so. Tesla is flattered and they become friends.

It isn't long before they are discovered before the bomb could be set. They both jump into Tesla's spaceship and just barely escape as the Chronos fires its guns at the flying saucer as it speeds away.

Now they are on their way to the "Pleiadian Connection" who are cool E.T.s who live on some tiny island in the Bermuda Triangle who Tesla hopes will help him defeat Bantar. 

They are cruising along just fine, when all of a sudden, Tesla's spaceship starts to disappear bit by bit. Tesla is also starting to disappear too because of hitting some sort of time warp. Then Tesla and his spaceship totally disappear as Guy falls into the ocean.

Guy does his best to stay afloat in a very stormy sea. Soon he notices that many sharks are starting to surround him.

Just before he is about to be eaten alive, mermaids rescue him and pull him to the shore of an island. As he wakes up, he sees two Rastafarian beach dudes standing over him sipping drinks with little umbrellas sticking out of them. It turns out that these dudes are the Pleiadians that Tesla was trying to get help from. 


They take Guy to their beach hut where Guy tells them the whole wild story that has happened so far. Guy then explains to them that the universe needs their help to stop evil Bantar before it's too late.

The Pleiadians say they can't get involved, for they are mere monitors of this planet's evolution, and do not want to alter things. But Guy tries to convince them that if Bantar gets his way, there will be no more pockets of timelessness in the universe, including timeless sex. When hearing this thought, the Pleaiadians draw the line, and say that they will help out after all.

Then Tesla finally lands in his new spaceship on the island, and they all start making plans to stop Bantar.

But to do this, they need Guy to go back to his hometown and find his true love from childhood Angela. It is their special love from this "Time Reality" that will be the secret weapon that will help generate enough energy to break-up Bantar's evil plans.

Tesla gives Guy a ride back home to his hometown, but Guy soon finds out that Angela has become a runaway in Hollywood heartbroken after the disappearance of Guy on the night of the party and fire.

She now is about to be deceived into becoming a prostitute by a sleazy pimp called "Jack Daddy."

Guy comes to Hollywood to rescue her but Jack Daddy stops Guy and captures him. He and Angela are then rescued from the pimp by a New Age Guru called "The Swami" who was on his way to gamble in Vegas in his limo.

So Guy and Angela then decide to go to Vegas with the Guru to hide from Jack Daddy for a while until things cool down.

The two of them end-up getting married and are watching the Pirate Show at the Mirage as part of their honeymoon.

Guy begins to tell Angela how they have been chosen with their special love to help save the universe from the evil time controller Bantar.

Suddenly Pirates fly out of the show on swinging ropes grabbing Angela, but fail to get Guy. The crowd goes wild thinking it's all a part of the show. The Space Pirates then escape with Angela into a waiting spaceship that then flies away.

Meanwhile, back at the island, Tesla and the Pleiadians finally pick-up the remote signal from Guy to come get Angela and him.

Then the Pleiadians and Tesla fly to Vegas in the Pleiadian Mothership and meet Guy in a tiny bar where he explains to them that Bantar and friends have captured Angela.

In an underground base under Vegas Bantar questions Angela about the plot to foil his plans of time domination. He also tells her of his successful trips back in time, and that nothing will stop him now.

High above the city in the Pleiadian spaceship, Guy is hooked up to the "Love Locator" machine that soon locates Angela at the underground base.

Guy, the Pleiadians and Tesla proceed to rescue Angela form Bantar who then escapes through some time portal.

Our heroes begin to chase Bantar through various time periods. They all end up fighting a final big battle on the Chronos where our heroes finally defeat and catch Bantar.

Tesla now wondered what should be done with Bantar since he had been captured. The Pleiadians then came up with a great idea. They suggested putting Bantar in their "Zoo of Bad Examples." The vote was unanimous for the Pleiadian’s suggestion. So they shrank Bantar and put him in a tiny bottle for the journey back to their planet.


All is well as the Pleaiadians give Guy and Angela a lift back to their hometown.

It's now a few years into the future, and Guy and Angela don't have a clue as to what they will tell everyone for their missing time.

So the Pleiadians pulled out a bag of precious gemstones and said, "Here!...have some rock samples." They then go on to say, "You can tell everyone that you were treasure hunting and you got lucky."

Guy and Angela say good-bye to the Pleaiadians and Tesla, who has decided to go back to the Pleaiadian's home planet of ShaWaLa for a long needed vacation.

Now Guy and Angela are seen walking down the street greeting different friends who are happy to see them again.

They walk into the distance as the sun sets. Feeling good, not only about their future, but for the future of the entire universe.

For now... once again... "Freedom Rules!"

by Richard Alan Krieger
Copyright 2004

 

OPENING


At night, on the edge of a windy, rainy cliff, a pregnant woman stands alone. She is crying, scared and in pain as she looks down at her womb. She pulls a music box from her coat and it starts to play "Rock-a-Bye-Baby." Police on patrol notice her and shine their spotlight at her. A policeman runs from the car and tries to grab her but she falls over the edge of the cliff into the darkness.


In the distance, the cliff scene of emergency vehicle flashing lights slowly begins to emerge as a fast approaching helicopter arrives and joins in the search for the woman. Suddenly, the helicopter's searchlight shows the woman caught in the bough of a tree just barely alive.


The helicopter takes her to the hospital as the swinging doors of the hallway bursts open with the woman being raced down the hall on a gurney being pushed by a medical team.


The woman violently sits up clenching her womb and releases a long intense scream... 


(Zoom-in close-up of her screaming mouth) 

(Zoom-out of a screaming newborn baby's mouth) 

(Close-up of the face of a young laughing boy in the future)

(Camera slowly zooms-out and pans a scene of children watching the puppet show "Punch & Judy" in a city park.)

(Camera slowly pans away from the puppet show to the sandbox playground area where a lone child named Guy is building a sandcastle)

(Present tense of Guy age 17 remembering that day in the park when he was 7 years old)

 

Guy - I'll never forget that day in the park... it had become so clear to me... I didn't belong here. I must have been an accident.. some sort of mistake. What were those kids laughing at anyway? It was the classic puppet show "Punch and Judy" and it was humanity at its worst. The violent name of "Punch," foretold what was to come in the story. The story was about this mad puppet named Punch. And whenever anyone would tell him that he wasn't acting very nice, he would get really mad at them. He’d get so mad to the point where he'd pull out his big bat and whack the other unlucky puppets to death. How dare they tell Punch what to do. Those ungrateful puppets who thought differently than Punch deserved what they got according to "The Philosophy of Punch." Maybe those kids were really laughing their heads off in relief because they felt lucky that this psycho puppet wasn't killing them that day. I guess what I couldn't come to terms with the most, was seeing everyone cheering with so much enthusiasm the glorification of violence. As well as thinking that somehow it was also funny at the same time. This bizarre freak show only confirmed to me that I lived in a crazy world that I knew I would have problems trying to adjust to. And no matter how one tries to justify it… trying to reason with insanity is totally insane...

 

(Then out of the blue a big foot comes down crushing Guy's sand castle. It's the foot of a large eleven year old boy who has come over to play in the sandbox playground after the puppet show. The large boy is laughing maniacally after having destroyed Guy's sandcastle. Soon the other kids who were at the puppet show are now running all around guy. Many of the kids are acting aggressively toward each other as two wrestling boys roll over what's left of Guy's sandcastle. Guy gets up all sad and slowly walks away from the playground. Then upon seeing a butterfly playfully dancing in the breeze, Guy's mood shifted to that of delight and wonderment as he began to walk home...)

GUY THE MISUNDERSTOOD HERO 



(A stoned teen from the 4th of July party throws a pin-wheel off the windy cliff which starts this huge fire. Guy dives off the cliff and puts out the fire all by himself. When Guy finally reaches the top of the cliff/street, he sees the riot police in the street for the out-of-control party he was just at. He now has to try and get back to the party through the neighbor's backyard. As he begins to stand-up, he finds himself staring into the barrel of a shotgun that the neighbor is pointing at him.) 



Earl - Don't move! 

Guy - Wait! Don't Shoot! 

Earl - I said don't move! I mean it! 

Guy - I'm not moving okay? 

Earl - I know what you're up to. You're not ripping me off, punk! 

Guy - No man, you got it all wrong. I just finished putting out this huge...... 

Earl - Quiet! I don't want to hear it. You damn kids, all hyped-up on drugs looking for some free stuff. You think the world owes you something don't ya? 

Guy - What? I can't believe this. 

Earl - Don't try anything funny. Now move over there toward the door. 

(They both move over to the door where Earl calls the police.) 

Earl - Yes, I've got a burglar here for ya...uh huh....and hurry! 

Guy - I'm not a burglar! Now if you'd only just let me explain.... 

Earl - Oh, now you're the victim here. Your crying baby act won't work on me or the judge. 

Guy - I give up man. This is so ridiculous. 

(Guy starts to walk over to the cliff's edge.) 

Earl - Hey, what do you think you're doing? 

(Guy, all frustrated, decides to mess with Earl's head.) 

Guy - It's time for me to go now. 

Earl - Hey! get back over here right now or I'll........ 

Guy - Or else you'll shoot me with your gun? Or should I wait for the police to come to put me in jail for no reason?

Earl - You're talking all crazy kid. 

Guy - No, I'm taking control now and you can't stop me. 

Earl - What do you mean? 

Guy - You saw the movie Peter Pan didn't you? 

Earl - Of course I did! 

Guy - Remember the scene where Tinkerbell shares some of her magic fairy dust with everyone so they could fly?
Earl - Ah, yeah. 

Guy - Well, I met Tinkerbell dancing in your tulips over there. And she sprinkled some magic fairy dust on me. So, I now can fly too. You can't touch me for I'm as light as a fairy now. Watch me fly away. Bye-Bye.


(Guy starts flapping his arms and going toward the edge of the cliff as the Police show up.) 



Joe (Policeman 1) - Freeze! Don't move! 

Earl - Be careful, he's got the power to fly from Tinkerbell! 

Tim - (Policeman 2) - Alright Boy, don't be stupid, come away from the cliff! 

Guy - I will, only if you'll listen to my side of the story. 

Joe - That's why we're here Son. We want to hear all about it. 

Guy - Well, I sure hope so. 



(Guy then walks away from the cliff and the police grab him and drive him away. On the way to the police station the police and Guy get involved in a high speed chase that passes them where guns are being shot out the window. The police call into the station.) 



Joe - We're in pursuit of two black 1930's Buicks. Traveling east on 22nd at Pacific. Suspects are armed and dangerous. Over! 



(The inside of the first car reveals an older gentleman, Tesla the famous 20th century inventor/scientist driving. He is also adjusting some dials, switches, and a digital map screen on the dashboard. The second car's occupants are two tiny grey aliens wearing big sunglasses, black trench coats and Fedora hats. The aliens are both sitting on several cushions so they can see the road. The chase goes through town with plenty of near misses and a few accidents to other cars. The next scene is inside the alien's vehicle as they chase Tesla through town.) 



Smek - I hate Tesla! I want him dead soooo bad! 

Dork - No, we can not do that. 

Smek - Why not?! 

Dork - Orders are to bring him back alive. He has information we need.
Smek - So what! You know how many times we've chased that son of a bitch?! 

Dork - Many times. 

Smek - Too many times....damn it! 

Dork - We must control ourselves Smek. 

Smek - Control ourselves? I'll show you control! 


(Smek then sticks the machine gun out the window and starts shooting all over the place hitting street lights, store windows, etc. as he also tries to drive at the same time.)
Dork - Aim at the tires! Let me have the gun! 

Smek - I'm shooting the gun! Okay? Hey Tesla, eat this!
(The aliens shoot another round of bullets at Tesla. As they do that, Tesla pushes a button and a magnetic pole sticks up in the back. This device then catches all the bullets from the Alien's machine.) 


Joe - These guys are insane. Be careful Tim! 

(Just as they all go over the Vincent Thomas Bridge a police helicopter joins in the chase.) 

Tim - Well it's about time we get some help. 

(The helicopter is shining it
s spotlight into the Alien's vehicle.) 

Smek - What's that?! Ouch! My eyes! Get that light out of my eyes! 

Dork - They appear to be following us. 

Smek - Don't you think I know that? You think you're smarter than me don't you? 

Dork - Do not. 



Smek - Do too. So your head's bigger than mine. Big deal! 

Dork - Smek.....you mustn't lose your temper. 

Smek - Agggh! The lights are in my eyes again. Those idiots! That did it! Hand me the "Gizmo of Death." 

Dork - Alright, but please watch where you aim it this time. 

Smek - Just feel lucky I'm not aiming it at you! 



(Dork hands the weapon over to Smek. He then aims and fires the weapon at the helicopter which then explodes in the sky. The cops watch the event and try not to become too emotional.) 



Joe - Whoever did that just signed their death certificate. 

Guy - Maybe you dudes are getting into something way beyond yourselves. 

Joe - I think we're the ones who'll make that decision here! 

Guy - Whatever... just trying to help. 

Smek - Boom! Did you see that? Yeah! Are you impressed now? 

Dork - Impressive. 

Smek - Damn right it was! It still never ceases to amaze me how Bad-Ass these stupid Earthlings think they are. 


THE SWAMI & CO. DEAL WITH THE CATTLE MUTILATORS


("The Swami" is staring out the limo window as it drives through the desert to Vegas at night. A spaceship is seen flying with its search lights shining onto the ground. "The Swami" then speaks to the Limo Driver Duke.)

Swami - Duke! You see them? 

Duke - Sure do.
(Angela and Guy start to wake-up in the backseat.) 

Guy - What's going on? 

Swami - We got a spaceship on the horizon. Yes indeed, looks like they're up to their nasty tricks again. Duke, let's give them a little scare...what say you? 

Duke - Rock 'n' Roll Swami! 

Angela - Hey! Isn't that a U.F.O? 

Swami - More like a spaceship flown by evil aliens out for a joyride and a midnight snack. 

Angela - No way! 

Swami - It's even stranger than the X-Files. 

Angela - Wow! So why are they coming here? 

Swami - That's a long story. And it depends upon which race of aliens you're speaking of. Right now, these particular aliens appear to be "the Greys." It looks like they're up for a little cattle mutilation. We must stop them and save our four-legged friends. 

Guy - Huh? 

Swami - The cows! 

Angela - What's going on Guy? 

Swami - Relax.....we do this all the time. 

Guy - So why are they messing with the cows? 

Duke - Because they're twisted. They're also messing with us too. You know, abductions of our earth women for their hybrid program because they've lost their ability to "do it," thus trying to save their race. What really upsets me, is they didn't even bother to ask us. 

Swami - Now Duke, one topic at a time. We don't want to overload these good people with the bizarre. Now as to why they kill these cows by draining all their blood, cutting out their eyes, tongue and genitalia....that's a very good question. Lots of theories are out there. 

Duke - I told you they're twisted. 

Swami - As to why they're doing this, I think that they're eating those body parts and drinking the blood in an effort to help them manifest better here in the 3rd dimension. Whatever they're up to, I don't like it. 

Duke - Plus they're trespassing! 

Swami - You got that right Duke....let's get em'! 

(The limo heads off the highway onto a dirt road. They come-up right near the spaceship which has a bright light shining down on one of the cows as "The Swami" and Duke jump out of the car.) 

Swami - Go away! Leave our cow friends alone! They have done nothing wrong to you! 

(A couple of black helicopters come up to the side of the spaceship. One of the helicopters speaks out of a loudspeaker.) 

Helicopter Pilot - You are on government property....leave now! 

Duke - This land is our land! We know what you're up to! 

Swami - "We the People" have not authorized you to do this! You hear me?!
Duke - Yeah! Not in our name! 

Guy - The government's in on this too? 

Helicopter Pilot - Leave the area now! 

Angela - Guy I can't believe this. 

Guy - I know, it's a total nightmare. 

Swami - Duke! Go get the video camera! Quick! 

Duke - I'm on it!
(Duke runs to the car trunk and gets the video camera and starts taping the event.) 

Swami - Now the whole world will see what you're doing! 

(The spaceship and helicopters depart the area.) 

Swami - Yes! We did it Duke! Good job!
Duke - Yahoo!
Swami - They sure are camera shy. 

Duke - Yeah they are, it works every time! Ha! 

(The Swami and Duke get back into the car.)
Guy - That was just too weird for words.
Angela - So is there anything else we should know about on this trip we're on? 

Duke - Yeah, we win every time we go to Vegas! You know, good karma. 

Swami - To Vegas Duke! 

Duke - Vegas it is......YeeeeeHaaaaaa!!!!

 

SEX EDUCATION

(Guy has a flashback of his 7th Grade Sex Education class with Mr. Gumtree where he is the only boy in a class full of girls.)

 

Mr. Gumtree - Now Guy, I really don't think you get the topic of this class. That being, the whole process of how babies are made.

Guy - Oh I think I get the basic concept. (he smiles)

Mr. Gumtree - I'm not talking about what you do out there at "Lover's Lane" either!

Guy - I do believe that's classified information, Sir. 

Mr. Gumtree - Must I remind you that the “Birds and the Bees” is a serious matter?!

Guy - I have to admit though, it's a bit confusing how two entirely different species can breed together. (class laughter) 

Mr. Gumtree - Well the rest of the class seems to have gotten it. (Mr. Gumtree winks at a girl in the front row who then blushes.)

Guy - Oh I'm sure they have.

Mr. Gumtree - Alright Mr. Wise Guy, so everything including "life" itself is a joke to you?

Guy - No Mr. Gumtree, this is one of my favorite serious subjects. Like, if it wasn’t for lovemaking, I mean the act of baby making, we wouldn’t even be here.

Mr. Gumtree - Now you're starting to get it.

Guy - In fact, I remember my first education in sex. (Flashback scenes are shown as Guy tells his story.) I was in the 4th grade and there was this girl who had a crush on me but I couldn't stand her. So one day on the playground at lunchtime she came up to me with a bunch of her friends demanding that I kiss her. I then ran away as fast as I could with what seemed like the whole school chasing me. The chase ended when I went into the boy's restroom thinking that I would find refuge there, but her gang of boy henchmen cornered me and pinned me down to the floor. As I kicked and screamed she slowly and sadistically kissed me. Yuck! (everyone laughs) Then they all laughed at me like you're doing right now. (it gets all quiet) And that... was my first encounter with the opposite sex.

 

(Guy imagines standing naked with his hands folded over his genitalia in front of the class of girls who are pointing at him as they laugh hysterically.)

 

Mr. Gumtree - If that was me, I would have felt flattered that a girl had such strong feelings for me.

Guy - Oh really? All I’m saying is that it wasn't very pleasant having the weirdest girl in school sexually forced upon me as a young boy. She probably had cooties too for all I knew! (more laughter from the girls)

Mr. Gumtree - Come on…. that's not even a transmittable disease. (At that point, the needle of a pin could have been heard hitting the floor.) Alright then… remember unprotected sex might be lots of spontaneously fun… but  don’t forget where babies come from! Class dismissed.

 

(Guy then has a vision of himself naked again… this time with the whole class of girls chasing him with crying babies saying that he’s their father.)

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PLEIADIANS


(Guy lies unconscious on an island beach after being rescued from hungry sharks by Mermaids. After a few moments a large ominous shadow looms past Guy. And then another one crosses his face. Guy slowly begins to awake to find two Rastafarian beach dudes standing over him smiling. They're dressed in shorts with flower shirts. They're also sipping tall drinks with little umbrellas sticking out of them.)

 

Lanoo - You want one?

Guy - What?

Lanoo - A drink... do you want a drink man?

Zen - They’re delicious. We make them ourselves.

Guy - Ah, yeah sure. (Lanoo magically pulls another drink out from behind his back and gives it to Guy. The two beach dudes sit down as Guy drinks his drink.) Thanks! I was really thirsty. (The beach dudes just smile and stare at Guy.) So, you live around here?

Lanoo - Ya, ya, we live over in the next cove.

Guy - Oh.

Zen - And where you be from man?

Guy - Funny you should ask… because just a moment ago I was asked the same question by a… oh you won't believe me.

Lanoo - Go ahead, try us.

Zen - Ya, we believe in most anything.

Lanoo - That’s right… if it can happen, it just might.

Zen - Exactly.

Guy - Alright. I was just talking to a mermaid.

Lanoo - Did you say mermaid?!

Zen - Impossible!

Lanoo - What are you talking about?

Guy - I knew you wouldn’t believe me! But really, I was like talking to this really nice mermaid.

Zen - Then again, you were probably just dreaming. It’s all in your mind man. 

Lanoo - Ya, the mind is a very powerful thing to use.

Guy - I guess. So how did you get here?

Lanoo - There was this giant storm and our ship sank.

Guy - Sorry to hear that.

Zen - Sorry!? Are you kidding? This is the place to be man! Some might say you’re lost....than again, others might say you've found paradise.

Lanoo - Ya, who in their right mind would want to trade this for the rat race of the big city?

Zen - What’s wrong with you, are you crazy man?

Guy - Yeah, but don’t you ever miss your family and friends?

Lanoo - Well sometimes, but if we are to meet again… it shall be.

Zen - That’s life.

Lanoo - No matter how many lifetimes it takes.

Guy - So you believe in reincarnation?

Zen - Not just believe it man, we know it's real. There’s a big difference between faith and knowledge.

Lanoo - Where do you think genius comes from? Does one know the whole story of a book by reading just one chapter? Every lifetime is like another chapter added to one's cosmic book.

Zen - Ya, most people who depart planet earth are either too bad for heaven and too good for hell so they then come back here for another chance to do it better than before. It all works out with karma which means "action" in Sanskrit as the great justice equalizer.  

Guy - Right, like for every action there's an equal opposite reaction.

Zen - And the seeds you sow are the ones you grow.

Lanoo - Ultimately the "Big Picture" that is beyond the shores of our imagination is mysterious for a reason which we can't even begin to understand from our limited perspective. The best we can do is respect and appreciate it for the awe that it inspires.

Zen - That’s why the Native Americans called it…. Wanka Tanka or “Great Mystery.”

Guy - I'm with ya there. Hey! It’s all starting to come back to me. I remembered that my name’s Guy. Yeah! Alright!

Zen - Fantastic! Welcome Guy to our enchanted island. My name is Zen and this here's Lanoo. (Lanoo nods his head.)

Guy - Cool... nice to meet the both of you.

Lanoo - So Guy, would you like to come over to our beach hut for lunch?

Guy - Sure, I have nothing planned on my calendar today.

Zen - We see you have a good sense of humor too.

Lanoo - That's one of life's greatest treasures.

Independence Day Celebration

a True Story

 

It was the 4th of July 1993, and my good friend Chuck was throwing his traditional "Independence Day Celebration" at his house in San Pedro, California. His house was a 1940's two story bungalow on 40th St. at the end of the block on the cliff overlooking Cabrillo Beach and L.A. My rock band Tragicomedy got the party going in the afternoon with a couple of sets.

 

When it became dark, we all waited in anticipation for the big firework show that the city was going to put on in the harbor down below.

 

As we awaited the official firework display, the locals on the street started doing an impressive warm up act of their own. For every house on the block had people setting off all kinds of fireworks even though fireworks were officially outlawed in the city. There was even some dude on a rooftop who after running out of fireworks did the next best thing in lighting paper bags on fire and dropping them over the ledge.

 

Up to this point it had all been fun and games, but now there was a foreboding sense of danger in the air due to the immense amount of fire blazing in such a small space.

 

Suddenly a motorcycle cop zoomed up and screeched his bike to a halt in the middle of the cul-de-sac. You could see his jaw drop in bewilderment at the spectacle of dozens of illegal fireworks going off all around him.

 

Right at that very moment, he came face to face with one of those fireworks as a screaming ball of fire descended in his direction. As the skyrocket approached the officer, he froze in utter fear and could do nothing but to await his fate. The rocket then exploded a few inches behind his head which prompted him to take off like a bat out of hell.

 

After that violent act of provoking authority, I knew that it was now only a matter of time before we would see the return of that motorcycle cop accompanied by many of his buddies who would no doubt be looking for revenge for the rocket assault on one of their fellow officers.

 

At that point, I went to the end of the street to look out over the ocean to get some fresh air, relax and enjoy the view away from the continuous flaming fire frenzy. There, I found a few other people doing the same thing.

 

Then a stoned male teen appeared wobbling back and forth towards the cliff... 

Stoner - “So, you want to see some kaleidoscopic colors? Hahaha! Check this out!” 

 

Before we got a chance to answer him, he pulled a Pinwheel Firework out of his coat, lit it and threw it out over the edge of the cliff towards the ocean. But instead of it hitting the ocean like the city’s professional fireworks did, it landed in the dry shrubs below. The shrubs then quickly caught on fire. And since it was windy, the flames rapidly climbed up the cliff towards the Block Party.

 

The small group I was standing with at the edge of the cliff became very animated knowing that our peaceful haven had come to an end and now some sort of drastic action needed to be taken…

 

Party-Goer 1 - “I’m out of here!” So he and some other people ran off down the street to escape the mayhem.

 

Party-Goer 2 - “I’m calling the Fire Department!” And then he ran into the party house to make the call.

 

I then stood there all alone in total disbelief looking down at the fast approaching fire wondering what I should do next. I knew at that moment, that time was quickly running out in terms of trying to save the neighborhood from this fiery inferno, something had to be done right now. 

 

So I jumped off the cliff and miraculously landed 20 feet below on my feet on the steep slope and began running swiftly toward the inferno. The flames had now turned into a “Ring of Fire’ approximately 30 feet in diameter. Instead of trying to fight the fire from outside the ring, I broke through the thick firewall of flames that were about 8 to 10 feet high. The crackling sounds of the flames were intense as I flew through them. By making this move, I knew I’d have a better chance of fighting the fire because I would be behind the direction that the  flames were taking that the wind was pushing up the hill.

 

I first focused on the fires at the top of the ring that were immediately threatening homes. Like a mad whirling dervish, I  fanatically kicked dirt with my feet at the flames as fast as I could to suffocate them. As I did so, the flames did a swirling dance around me. At times the flames would blow right into my face to further taunt and mock me for trying to put them out. 

 

Then there were a few moments where time seemed to slow down like a slow motion scene in a movie. As the ‘Fire Dance’ commenced, I ducked and weaved in precise defensive martial art moves to dodge them from hitting me directly.

 

After I was able to defeat the fire's offensive front line near the top of the cliff, I began to focus my attention on the fire's sidelines that were branching out. To do so, I ran around the remaining perimeter and continued to kick dirt at the firestorm. After putting out the sidelines, I then dealt with the last remaining flames at the bottom of the cliff. Those flames were like kittens to deal with vs. the hungry lions I had just tamed at the top. Finally, I was able to put out the last burning embers of the ‘Fire Ball Monster.’

 

At the top of the cliff I noticed a police helicopter circling above with its spotlight shining down upon the street. I don't know where I found the strength to even start to climb that cliff, but somehow I did. As I neared the steepest part at the top, my fatigue really started to show, for every move I made became slower and heavier. 

 

I eventually was able to put my hands on the street's pavement and then slowly pulled my head up to the street's surface. The first images my blurry watery eyes saw was a total barren street. But as my eyes began to focus better, I saw Chuck talking to the Firemen next to their truck. It appeared that they were arguing with him. I then realized that the Firemen were all upset about being called out to put out a fire that was nowhere to be found... in other words, an illegal "False Alarm" in their minds.

 

Seeing this misunderstanding happening, I then started to try and pull myself up onto the street to explain to the Firemen what had happened. Just as I was doing so, lo and behold, about ten police officers began to approach me marching in a row dressed in full riot gear with their billy clubs held high looking for action. When I saw that ominous sight, I quickly ducked back down below the street.

 

I then waited awhile for all the commotion to die down before making my final move to get back to the party. And it’s a good thing I did, for I needed to rest some more because I was too exhausted to even try to make the last and hardest part of the climb. 

 

After a while of observing total silence, I finally arose onto the street and made my way over to Chuck's pad. Inside I found myself with just a handful of party refugees who were in shock all talking at once about what had just happened.

 

As I listened to the various stories, someone handed me a cold one. That same person then asked me why my face had charcoal smudges all over it.


I then replied, “Well, it all started with a firework that got out of hand…”  

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