EPISODE 1 : “Midnight Cowboy”
Brownie – main character. A tall lanky American slacker with a shaggy top, a not very baggy hoodie, and a pack of
pocky hanging out his pocket. Sort of genderless.
Yuka – A young girl, brownie’s age. Tall, athletic, with tight flat hair, and sharp eyes. Serious, studious, and country-like.
She wears jeans and sneaks, and her face is pretty but plain. Brownie’s college friend.
Mrs. Murata – A hairdresser, well coifed, middle aged, medium build. She stands at a slant as if always assessing. In Mother Mode she
still preens to one side, as she offers tasty treats. Hip skirts, tight tops, heels.
Mr. Murata – A hardened fellow, soft only where the beer has made him sag round the middle. He’s a construction worker, and he dresses
like one. A scruffy five o’clock shadow painting out a complete vision of his gruff manliness, belied only by his kind eyes.
Narration: Yuka invited me to spend the summer with her in Shikoku, a small rural island of Japan.
A flight frazzled brownie comes out of the gate, his hair disheveled, his eyes red from the dryness, and his body contorted at odd angles.
Narration: I barely survived the experience.
Brownie sees Yuka holding up a sign with his name “Burauni-” on it in clear black Japanese lettering. He pulls himself back into a human shape. She’s a
vision in a cute white summer sweater and jeans. Her family (Mr & Mrs. Murata) stands behind her.
Brownie is on the speeding boat which crosses the waterway between the main land and Shikoku (visually think: really wide luxury bus seating and large
angular windows looking out onto the sea), slumped back in his seat. Seated next to him Yuka listens to her MD player, thumbing through a copy of a Shojo Comic.
Brownie starts to get up to look for the bathroom. Yuka has just taken her earphones out, they dangle around her slender fingers, hanging limp. The sound
still emanating from them. She’s looking up at Brownie.
Yuka: Brownie what’s wrong?
Brownie: Too much Pocky… Bathroom, Toire…
Yuka: Sorry, it’s out of order. Can you wait till we get to my home?
Narration: Yuka’s family lived in one of those houses that had resisted time and bomb alike. Made in the 1800’s when they didn’t believe in modern notions
like indoor plumbing.
Brownie gets to their Japanese style open air house (think: paper sliding doors, and low ceilings,) he bursts through the bathroom door, jettisoning his
shoes at the Genkan, and nearly ripping the door off the… (REVEAL) outhouse. Inside is cramped and small. The “toilet” is on a raised platform, a big
fat creepy centipede sits atop the porcelaine throne. The Outhouse is connected to the main house by a wooden bridge. The house is left open to the country air.
Brownie: (Interior) AN OUTHOUSE!?
Brownie scratching his head to a shrugging Yuka. Standing outside the outhouse.
Brownie: (to Yuka & Family) Wouldn’t you know it? I don’t have to go anymore.
Narration: Later that evening…
In the dark Brownie is startled awake by a mosquito. SWAP.
Another mosquito and then a lizard on his face eats it.
He swats it away. We hear the grumble of his innards.
We see his dark form huddled over in pain, his insides are screaming to be let out.
Brownie: …M…Mustn’t give in… Hate… Centipedes…
Brownie crawls down the hall his legs dragging behind him, a deep growl follows him.
Brownie reaches the end of the hall, ahead of him darkness, no lights around only a thin sliver of moonlight illuminates him. He has half pulled himself to his feet.
Affecting an air of dignity, Brownie steps forward toward the light of the Outhouse.
His foot finds no hold.
Incredulity etches upon his face as he plunges head long into the darkness, falling five feet down into the bug-infested weeds below.
A narrative indicator points to the bridge to the Outhouse, now visible to us, propped against the wall.
Screams of Agony.
Narration: The Next Day.
The family (excluding Grandpa) are seated around the table when Yuka, sleepy eyed and a mess wanders in yawning.
Mr. & Mrs. M: Good Morning.
Yuka looks around confused.
Yuka: Um, Have any of you seen Brownie?
Yuka is greeted by a number of quizzical looks.
Mrs. M: That’s odd, I saw the door to his room was open and he wasn’t in there?
Yuka: Where could he be?
(off panel) Grandpa: What in the devil!?
Yuka and family rush down the hall to the shock of their lives.
Close up on Brownie in the outhouse, curled up in the fetal position covered in spiderwebs and bugs, a centipede on his face, KO’d and drooling. He is the damned.
Brownie: (small) help me
The family get a comedy KO for their trouble, hair standing on end. You get the picture.
(tiny gag)Mr. Murata: Maybe we should get an indoor toilet?
(tiny gag)Grandpa: I’ll call the temple and have a priest sent over.