I was having brunch with a friend earlier today. She’s a comic, and we were chatting about bits and whatnot. I told her about an idea I’ve been sitting on. It’s something, though I don’t know exactly what it is. She told me to write it down. “Oh” I said, gesturing to my head, “it’s all written down up in here.” She shook her head “Your brain is an Etch A Sketch. Write It Down.”
She’s right. I don’t need to nail it, and the pressure to get it right first time will kill its potential. If I just get it down, I can take and tweak ideas later. So here. I’m getting it down.
It starts with a couple of guys hanging out, watching internet videos on their phones. One guy shows another guy this video of a dude mashing people’s food as they’re trying to take photos for Instagram (excessive link size, I know. You kinda need to watch some of the 55 second clip to get this idea). They chuckle and go back to work. They’re on the set of some kind of high profile food magazine shoot. Think the equivalent of Vogue, but food. They’re crew members working on a massive project. Something like an ornate croquembouche, gilted and everything. It’s almost threatening how magical it looks. Everyone is gathered and they’re just about to get their shots. The talent is in place. The director/DP, etc are all around. They’re gearing up, and the video flashes back into this dude’s head. It’s silly, he shakes it off and looks back to the shoot. He looks at the cake, the video flashes in his brain. He can’t shake it. He’s trying to concentrate, but it’s not going anywhere, it’s just getting more insistent. Everybody else fades into slow motion as he looks back at this cake with the video throbbing in his skull. Everything’s set, and at the last moment before the cameras click, he yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and squashes the cake. There’s silence. Everyone’s stunned. He’s stunned, looking at his hand, the now ruined exquisite pastry, the director/DP and talent.
The director looks him right in the eyes and lays him out bare. “What are you doing? Why? Why would you do that? Do you know how many people work on this shoot? That cake? That cake was twenty hours work from a team of the world’s most exclusive patisserie. We have been putting this shoot together for DAYS. Have you got any idea of the total hours that went into getting the shot that you just ruined? Have you even thought of the cost? That was real gold. The cost of materials alone runs in the thousands. The wages for everyone on this shoot? There were tens of thousands of dollars involved in getting that one shot. That one shot for the Christmas issue, the biggest issue of the year. It’s printing tomorrow. This all had to be done by 10am, and it’s all gone now. Did you even think of your own family? They needed you to have this job. You have a sick wife and your benefits are the one thing keeping her health above water. How are you supposed to pay the bills now? Can you comprehend the magnitude of what you’ve done here?
It cuts to a wedding. He’s standing with his wife, watching his daughter about to cut the cake with her new loving wife. Everyone is smiling, they look so beautiful and happy. He looks into his wife’s eyes and it’s obvious, no matter how hard the past months have been, this is a bright light in the darkness. Staring right into her teary blue eyes, there’s a flash in his brain. The same video. He gasps, but you know the score. It’s in there and not going anywhere. We know how much this all means to everyone, but some things are inevitable. At the moment just when the photographer’s about to take the shot, he yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and squashes the cake. Gasps and dead air across the room. We’ve been here before. His daughter dresses him down this time. She talks about the work that went into the cake, how much time it took them to find just the right bakery, especially after that emotionally gruelling experience with the homophobic bakers. All the financial hardships her and her wife had, and how the wedding almost didn’t happen. The guy knows he’s fucked up, but he has nothing and she keeps barrelling into him.
Cut to the hospital. His wife is in bed and he’s sitting by her side. She looks very frail. They’re talking, she says something like “I talked to Jane earlier. They’re struggling, but they do love each other.” He asks “did she ask about me?” His wife shakes her head “she’s not ready for that yet. It’s still too soon.” A doctor walks in with a chart and nurse. The doctor starts explaining how fortunate they were to be living in Canada with the healthcare system. How if they were in America, there’s no way they’d be able to afford this vital medicine. The doctor goes on about all manner of stuff pertaining to treatment, while the guy’s eyes look towards the bag of medicine the nurse is holding. We can hear the doctor going on about how severe the wife’s case is, how they were lucky that they managed to catch it when they did, etc. The guy is still looking straight at the medicine. We all know where this is going, the video flashes back into his head. The nurse plugs the medicine into the IV, the doctor is droning on. We see a shot of the wife’s hand bareknuckling the husband’s own. It’s obvious she’s suffering. She starts talking about how emotionally taxing it’s all been, etc. We get the picture. The dude steps up, yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and slaps the medicine out of the IV. Silence all around. The medicine bag is just pissing out on the floor, going everywhere. Total shock. The room is stunned. In the background the bag continues spraying everywhere. There’s silence, aside from the sound of the medicine shooting out. The doctor starts talking, laying the dude out. Something like “Why would you do that? Your wife is in a critical condition. This is vital. Do you know how much that medicine was worth? In America, people go bankrupt over life saving medicine like this. I mean, you’re SO lucky we’re in Canada and your wife will be able to survive, but there will be severe consequences. There will be an inquiry. At this level, there is a high chance of jail time. You’ve lost so much, why would you cause yourself to lose even more? There are tears streaming down his wife’s face. Hurt and anger in her eyes.
Cut to a shot of a book cover. The title is “how to build a house out of books” or something. The book is lowered and we can see a house made out of books that looks like the one on the cover. The man inserts the book itself as the last book required to make a workable door. It’s hidden away at the back of library and, from the outside, just looks like a shelf. It’s very silly. The guy has lost everything. He’s been kicked out of home. He’s living in the library in secret, none of the staff or patrons know. He’s exhausted and gaunt. He’s using the computers and secretly masturbating under his track pants. We’ve all taken a Greyhound bus, we know what that looks like. It’s very obvious. He’s scrolling through porn forums, etc. He’s getting there, when suddenly the video pops into his head. As before, he tries to push it away, but it’s not going anywhere. Cue clips of his thoughts flashing between porn and this video, when all of a sudden he sees something, yells “SMOOSH” and cums right on the screen. A librarian sees/hears this and is shocked. Other patrons look. The librarian starts dressing him down, while the whole time he’s also extolling the virtues of the public library system, etc. The point is to really drive home how scummy it was for the dude to do it. As he’s saying all this, the camera cuts to a shot of the cumstain dripping down the screen, directly under something that says “Bread Face”…
Cut to a shot of a table. It’s a bright area, well-lit and colourful. A really pleasant vibe. An exotic cake sits in the middle of the table. The dude comes in and sits down. He looks healthy, happy. “Hey guys” he says cheerily “this week we have a Dacquoise. It’s a type of meringue from the French village of Dax. I know ya’ll are big fans of the cream based cakes. Okay, here goes. SMOOSH.” He smooshes his face right into the cake. It’s a live stream. The screen cuts to the comments coming in thick and fast. A bunch of “SMOOSH”es, cheering, smiley faces, “GOOD SQUISH, SIR” and that kind of thing. It’s evident these people adore the guy. There are too many comments to track. The view counter keeps going up, it’s over a million. The guy pulls his face back up, huge grin from ear to ear. “Well that was fun. Remember, if you have suggestions for new cakes or breads, send in your requests via Patreon. I just wanted to say once again how much I love and appreciate you all. You know I had hard times and having your support really pulled me through. This community is amazing, and I’m so proud we managed to pull together and set up that scholarship for underprivileged inner city students. You’re astounding humans. Geez, I’m tearing up here. I need to go, but until next time, “SMOOSH”.”