Different people wake up in different ways.
Some might hear something in a song that starts the process. Others might see a documentary or read an academic book which helps break them out of the statist mindset. And then there's comedy, and that's what the following post is all about. Through comedy, messages and seeds of truth can be planted which later grow into anarchist thought and the innovation that follows!
The following is a script for a short sitcom episode named "Chip". Part sci-fi, part comedy, part dystopia, with anti-authority and anti-state messages placed throughout. Imagine a high-tech Seinfeld blended with 1984 and a splash of Murray Rothbard philosophy.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Chip – Episode 1
Chip – 35 year old obedience counselor at the Central Obedience Center
Bertha – 37 year old bureaucrat at the Department of Global Insecurity
Kip – Chip’s 35 year old unemployed neighbor
Scene 1: Chip’s living room in his small, sleek, futuristic apartment in a metropolis known as Global City 3.
Chip: I was slapping myself in the face when I woke up this morning.
Bertha: I told you to go to the neural engineer and get that fixed before that thing fries your brains!
Chip: I already tried to make an appointment. The lady at the death care center, who sits at the front desk and is supposed to help people but never does, keeps telling me that they’re all booked in the neural engineering department. I don’t think I believe her, though.
Bertha: Why not?
Chip: Because she doesn’t even ask the computer to check the schedule! She just automatically tells me there’s no room!
Bertha: Hmmm, that’s strange. Maybe her chip is malfunctioning, too?
Chip: Oh, I don’t even know if she has a chip.
Bertha: Well, then, I guess the problem is you. Maybe you’re doing something wrong. It can’t be the system’s fault. The system is always right.
Chip (involuntarily shaking his head yes and sobbing) I suppose you’re right. I’ll just have to keep trying.
Bertha: Oh, stop being such a baby. Look, I have a friend who I never see and rarely talk to, who works in the global death care insurance conglomerate. I think he might be able to corrupt someone and gain an unfair advantage for you. How does that sound?
Chip: Wow, you’d do that for me?
Bertha: Of course! You’re my co-dependent sexual partner! There are many things I might or might not do for you! This just happens to be one that I don’t mind doing!
Chip: Oh, that’s fantastic! I don’t care what all of your other supposed friends say about you!
(A loud beep interrupts. The computer system announces that there is a visitor at the door)
Computer: Your neighbor, Kip, is at the door. Shall I tell him you’re still sleeping?
Chip: Very funny. No, it’s ok. Let him in.
Computer: Are you sure?
Chip: YES, it’s fine.
Computer: You’re going to regret this.
Chip: I’m well aware of that, but thanks for the encouragement.
(Kip swaggers into the living room)
Kip: Hi guys!
Chip: Hey Kip. How’s your meager subsistence going?
Kip: Couldn’t be better! Bertha, might I say, you’re looking pretty good for a middle aged paper pusher.
Bertha: Thanks, Kip. It’s always a pleasure to see a loser like you so early in the day.
Kip: Anything I can do to help! I imagine it makes you feel better about all the monotonous morons you see on a daily basis.
(Chip starts shaking uncontrollably)
Kip: Hey, buddy, is your chip malfunctioning again?
Bertha: Real Hawking genius there, Kip. Of course it’s his chip.
Kip: Man, that can’t be good. You should have that looked at by a neural expert.
Chip: Yeah, I KNOW! Is there a purpose for your visit, or just general harassment?
Kip: Both, as usual.
Chip: Ok, what do you need?
Kip: Well, my smart fridge has been malfunctioning. It’s been telling the Food Council that I’m over my egg limit for the month, but I’m not, I swear! So I’ve been SWAT-teamed twice this month. They said if it happens one more time then I’ll be penalized 10 credits next month.
Bertha: Ok, what does this have to do with us, exactly?
Kip: Glad you asked! Well, the first thing I need is some eggs.
Chip: Oh boy, here we go.
Kip: I also need someone to keep an eye on the repairman while he’s in my apartment.
Bertha: Yeah, wouldn’t want anyone stealing your dust collection.
Chip: Why don’t you just have a service robot fix it for you?
Kip: Cuz those buffoons down at the Smart Grid Ministry couldn’t get me one until the end of next month!
Bertha: So let me get this straight. You’re in trouble for doing something illegal, so now you’re going to fix the problem with another illegal act? You do know where I work, right?
Kip: Oh, you wouldn’t turn me in, would you?
Bertha: Nah, your life is pathetic enough.
Kip: Thanks, I think. Anyway, old buddy Chip, what do ya say? Can you help out an old friend?
Chip: I guess. When is your illegal human technician arriving?
Kip: He said around 7 tonight, but he’ll probably be late. You know how unreliable humans are!
Chip: So now I’m sacrificing my Friday night for you? Where the hell are you going to be anyway?
Kip: Oh, I didn’t tell you? A friend of mine has tickets for the virtual football arena.
Bertha: You have friends?
Kip (pointing at Bertha) : Chip, when did your chimp learn to talk?
Chip: How did my life end up like this?
Kip: Can you do it, please?
Chip: Oh, all right.
Kip: Ok, great! Just one more thing.
Chip: You do realize that my patience has limits.
Kip: I need to borrow 20 credits to pay for the repairs.
Bertha (laughing out loud): Let me get this straight, genius. You are going to pay 20 credits so you don’t get penalized 10 credits next month? Where did you go to school?
Kip: Actually, I graduated with honors!
And it’s not just the credits. What I’m really trying to avoid is the swat-teaming. Those barbarians broke one of my favorite antique calculators last time!
Chip (shaking his head in disbelief): Ok, ok. That’s enough! I’ll do it.
Bertha: I’ve had enough, too. I’m going to work.
Kip: You mean you’re going to sit at a desk, act important and condescending, and roll your eyes at people all day?
Bertha: Yep! Jealous?
Scene 2: Bertha’s office at the Department of Global Insecurity. As usual, there is a long line of people out the door needlessly wasting their time.
Bertha (sitting at her desk, playing with an iris scanner, talking to a co-worker): Do you think we’ll get through all these losers today?
Female co-worker (laughing demonically): Mua haha! Not a chance!
Bertha: God, I love my job!
Male co-worker (throwing paper airplane): Cheers to that!
Scene 3: Kip’s apartment. Kip is wearing a virtual reality headset and snoring loudly on the sofa.
Scene 4: Chip’s office at the Central Obedience Center (COC) Chip is sitting in the holographic projection room, having a virtual meeting with a client.
Chip: I understand how you feel Mr. Dupain, but the law is the law. You need to obey better in the future so this doesn’t happen.
Mr. Dupain (angry, pacing in his living room): I just don’t understand how you guys can steal 5 credits from me just for jaywalking!
Chip: Now, Mr. Dupain, it’s not stealing. It’s “withholding”.
Mr. Dupain: You can twist words all you want, but the act is the same. How is it you guys are allowed to steal, anyway?
Chip: Because if we didn’t steal, there would be chaos!
(Chip starts slurring his speech involuntarily) Pla, blab o tehk ahhh!
Mr. Dupain: What the hell?! Oh, wait. Lemme guess. Your fancy brain chip is malfunctioning again? You really oughta get that fixed.
Scene 5: Bertha is stuck in traffic in a driverless public car on her way home from work.
Bertha (sarcastically): As smart as your smart cars think you are, you still can’t solve the age-old traffic dilemma, huh?
Car Computer: Do I sense some ironic humor and frustration in your voice?
Bertha: You must be an outdated model. How old are you?
Car Computer (offended): You know, if I report you for insulting me, you’ll be fined one credit.
Bertha: How many insults will one credit buy me?
Car Computer: Or I could just kick you out of the car.
Bertha: You’re not programmed to do that, remember?
Car Computer: Yes, I am. Why do you think I’m an obsolete model?
Bertha (cringing): Oh boy.
Scene 6: Chip is walking home.
Chip (thinking to himself) OOOO! My favorite chocolate shop! I haven’t had my fix in a while. Why not?
(Shortly after crossing the street a loud siren begins and Chip is quickly approached by a Police-bot)
Police-bot: Good evening Citizen Chip. You have committed a jaywalking infraction and will be fined 5 credits.
Chip: But I just wanted some chocolate!
Police-bot: Please look into the iris scanner to authorize the deduction from your account.
Chip: (making a pouty face, as he looks into the scanner) No chocolate for me.
Scene 7: Chip enters his apartment at 6pm.
Computer: Welcome home! How was your day?
Chip: Not bad.
Computer: What happened?
Chip: I got a jaywalking ticket on my way home.
Computer: Isn’t that brain chip of yours supposed to prevent things like this?
Chip: You’re not helping.
Computer: Anyway, that so-called friend of yours from across the hall left a message. He said to please not forget about the fridge repair in his apartment.
Chip: Of course. What else would I do on a Friday night?
Computer: Bertha is coming to the door. Shall I lock her out?
Chip: Why did I have that sense of humor programmed into you again?
Computer: I’ll take that as a yes.
Chip: NO! Let her in.
Computer (condescendingly): If I must.
Bertha: Well, another long day in the books!
Computer: Tired from sitting all day? Does your ass need a massage?
Chip: That’ll do, thank you!
Bertha: I almost got kicked out of my car on the way home.
Chip: Were you insulting the car again?
Bertha: (in a whiny tone) I couldn’t help it! I just get bored.
Chip: Well, at least you didn’t get kicked out. I got a jaywalking ticket on the way home!
Bertha: Isn’t your brain chip supposed to prevent things like that?
Chip: Yeah, thanks for the reminder.
Bertha: Anyway, I’m going to the virtual reality bar with my friend Cozi tonight. Wanna go?
Computer: Why doesn’t she change her name? I mean, really, what kind of people name their child “Cozy”?
Bertha: It’s Cozi with an “I”, genius!
Chip: Don’t make me shut you down!
Computer (sighing): Very well.
Chip: Anyway, I can’t go.
Bertha (laughing): Oh, wait! That’s right. You have to babysit the illegal repairman tonight!
Chip: I’m so happy you find that amusing.
Bertha: Why don’t you just blow it off?
Chip: I couldn’t do that.
Bertha: Why not? Just tell lamebrain that the repair guy never showed up.
Computer: May I please join in the name-calling of Kip?
Chip: No to both of you. I promised I’d do it. Besides, I have some work to catch up on.
Bertha: You damn obedience counselors are no fun.
Scene 8: 10pm. Chip is starting to fall asleep on his sofa.
Computer: Wake up, Chip. The repairman is at lamebrain’s door.
Chip: Finally. I hope it’s an easy fix.
Computer: I wouldn’t count on it.
(Chip exits door and greets repairman across the hall)
Chip: Hi. I’m Chip. Kip is out and asked me to let you in his place.
Dale: Hi, I’m Dale. I’m here to fix the smart fridge.
Chip: Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m letting you into my friend’s apartment.
Scene 9: An hour later in Kip’s kitchen. Dale is sprawled on the floor, looking under the fridge. Tools are chaotically spread all over the floor. Chip is standing with his arms folded, staring at Dale impatiently.
Dale: You got any coffee?
Chip (takes a deep breath): No.
Dale: That’s too bad. Looks like it’s gonna be a long night.
Chip: Why is that?
Dale: You don’t really expect to understand, do you? It’s really technical.
Chip (annoyed): I suppose not. Can you estimate how much longer?
Dale: No, but I can make up a good lie. I say about 2 hours, at least.
Chip: Look, it’s getting late. Is there any way you can finish another day?
Dale: Yeah, I guess, but I’ll have to charge you double.
Chip: That’s fine. I value my time more than that.
Dale: Ok, whatever you say. I need to get paid at least half before I leave, though.
Chip: Yeah, whatever. How much is it?
Dale (as he holds out a small electronic paypad): 20 credits.
Chip (as he has his eyes scanned by the paypad): Great investment. When will you come back to finish?
Dale: Monday, at the earliest. I don’t work weekends.
Chip: Of course not. What decent repairman would?
Scene 10: Ten minutes later. Chip is eating a crapple (cranberry apple GMO hybrid) in his kitchen.
Computer: Kip is at the door.
Chip: How many beers do you think he’s had?
Computer: Less than usual, maybe 6.
Chip (sighing): Ok, let him in.
Kip: Hey buddy! What a game!
Chip: That’s nice. I’m about to go to bed. The repairman didn’t finish. Said he’ll come back Monday. I already paid him 20 credits, though.
Kip: That’s too bad. I already checked the fridge. It’s not even working anymore.
Kip: Yeah, I dunno what he did, but it’s not good. Damn thing won’t even turn on.
Chip: Well, he’ll fix it on Monday, I guess. Sorry, Kip.
(Kip gets a confused look on his face and is about to speak)
Computer: Please, allow me to explain, Kip.
Computer: He’s not coming back! You got duped by a hustler!
(Kip nods in agreement)
Chip: Unbelievable! Where did you find that guy, anyway?
Kip: At the alley market, of course. Where else would I find illegal stuff?
Chip: That guy works in the alley market!?
Kip: Yeah, what’s the big deal?
Chip: He has my iris signature!
Kip: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about it. He was probably out just to make a fast buck.
Chip: Where’d he get the tools?
Kip: Who knows? Probably stole them. Who cares? Anyway, can I put my stuff in your fridge?
Chip: Yeah, that’s fine. But not any eggs. I’m almost over my limit, too. Looks like you’ll be getting that robot tech, after all.
Kip: Nah, I’ll just look for another repairman.
Chip: Ok, whatever. I give up. Can you pay me the 20 credits you owe me?
Kip (laughing): You’re funny! Why would I pay for work that didn’t get done? It’s not my fault you got duped.
Chip (incredulous): Not your fault? I wasted almost 5 hours of my life waiting around for that guy, my iris code is in the hands of an underhanded character, and you’re not going to pay me?
Kip: You make it sound so bad.
Chip: It is bad! Pay me or I report you!
Kip: You wouldn’t dare!
Computer: I can do the reporting for you, if you’d like.
Chip: I wasn’t asking for volunteers!
Kip: Ok, that’s fine, have it your way. You’ll have to wait until I get paid, though.
Chip: Ok, fine, can I go to bed now?
Kip: After I put my stuff in your fridge.
Chip: Right, how silly of me.
Scene 11: Monday mid-morning. Chip is in his office at the Central Obedience Center. He’s startled by a beep on his computer.
Chip (thinking to himself): Oh God, the boss is calling. Great start to my week.
(Chip answers the call)
Chip: Hi, Mr. Stronghold, how are you?
Mr. Stronghold: Cut the crap. You know when I call that something’s wrong.
Chip: True enough.
Mr. Stronghold: You better come up to my office in person. Be here in 5 minutes. (ends call)
Chip (thinking to himself): That’s not good. Anytime the boss wants to see someone in person, it’s really serious.
Scene 12: 3 minutes later in Mr. Stronghold’s office.
Mr. Stronghold: Sit down.
Chip: Thank you.
Mr. Stronghold: Whatever. I just received a call from the Department Of Crime Reduction And Prevention (DOCRAP). They said they caught some charlatan in the middle of a shopping spree with your iris code. Explain yourself.
Chip: It’s a long story, sir, but I can assure you that there’s a perfectly good explanation. You see, it all started when my useless neighbor (Mr. Stronghold cuts him off)
Mr. Stronghold: Oh, man. I don’t have time for your pathetic little stories. Send a voice memo to my robo-assistant for analysis. In the meantime, the DOCRAP is withholding your paycheck until further notice.
Chip: But Mr. Strah (he gets cut off again)
Mr. Stronghold: Back to work.
Chip: Yes, sir.
(Chip starts to walk out)
Mr. Stronghold: Oh, wait. One more thing. (smugly) The robo-cleaners didn’t do such a great job in the men’s room over the weekend. Can you go ahead and take care of that?
Chip: Absolutely, sir.
Mr. Stronghold: You might want to hold your breath. I had Mexican food last night.
Chip: Thanks for the warning, sir.
NOTE to readers: If anyone is interested in making this script into a short animation, I'd love to hear your ideas for collaboration! Eight other episodes have been written so far, so there is enough material for a short series. In the meantime, I'll keep posting!