Where Threads Come Loose
"Jules and K: The Lost Kafka Notebooks Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV

The Recording Script

• Written and directed by Christopher Bahn. Copyright 1996.
• Episodes 35-38 (1997 Edition) of the radiodrama series Where Threads Come Loose
• Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM July 14, 1996.
• Engineered by Christopher Bahn and Paul Harding

• Jules, Kafka Three, Delivery Boy, Jeeves, Leonard's Dad: Tony Pagel
• K, Surly Coffeeshop Employee, Gunther Kafka, Holmes, Gunther's Boss, Fast Food Drone 2: Christopher Bahn
• Dave, Watson, Biographer: Chuck Tomlinson
• Leonard, Drive-In Manager, Young Gunther Kafka: Adam Pagel
• Bert, Kafka Two, Fast Food Drone 1: Mike Helget
• Rollie: Johnny Smokes
• Nellie, Attendant: Kari Vrabel
• Weird Sisters 1, 2, 3; Disembodied Voices 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Nurse; Gunther's Mother; Franz's Mother; Lord Kildare; Lady Kildare; People at English Manor 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 6; 7

Author's Notes
• We were coming up on producing our last shows for the series' original run in mid-1996, and I wanted to go out with a bang, so I wrote a four-part, two-hour storyline. It took me six months to write, and two months to produce. Hopefully the effort is reflected in the finished piece. The drive-in segment in Scene Two is actually one of the older pieces of my Threads writing; I'd cut it out of two previous Jules and K episodes before because they were too long, and finally used it here. It was based on a real-life conversation between my sister-in-law (an architecture major) and a weird guy who lived in her apartment building; sad to say, it's not exaggerated very much.
• Scene Twenty, when Leonard meets up with the bikers, ended up being too long in the final cut, and so I axed the part where Leonard fails to jump a garbage can. The problem there is that the ending line of the scene stayed in, so that Leonard complains of bruising for no apparent reason. The full version's included here.

Gunther Kafka: I remember it plain as day. It was 1921, just after I scrambled here from Europe. I was walking down the road here, only it wasn't no road back then, just a dirt pathway—who was to know? There was one of those winds blowing. You know the wind? Like they had back then? Ah, whadda you damn kids know from wind. The wind when I was your age, now that was wind.

Nurse: Yes, Mr. Kafka.

Art by Dan Grothe & Christopher Bahn
Gunther Kafka: So I thought, hey, nice place, Mississippi. A man could do worse. Nobody knew me here, just how I wanted it.

Nurse: Yes, Mr. Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: So I took the suitcase with the stuff in it—you know, the special suitcase—and I buried it down in Dangerous Gulch. And I said to myself, soon I'll be famous! (bitterly) Young fool I was, what did I know from famous?

Nurse: Yes, Mr. Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: It's true, I tell you! It's down there, just two miles down that road! If someone came for it, I could finally knock that blasted Franz down a few pegs!

Nurse: It's time for your medicine, Mr. Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: But it's Franz, you know? Franz? (gives up) Ah, well. Does it got the cherry flavor?

Nurse: Yes, Mr. Kafka.

SCENE II: Cafe Pathetique
Dave: Hi, K.

K: Oh, hello Dave.

Dave: What's with that big architectural diagram you're working on? Aren't you writing poetry today?

K: What? No, no. I'm all off the poetry thing. That was just a passing fad.

Dave: K, you say that every time you come up with a new silly project to waste your time on.

K: That isn't true!

Dave: It is too. Poetry is the only fad you ever come back to. Remember last month, when you said you were giving up poetry forever so you could train to play football in the NFL?

K: Oh, sure, that seems like a pipe dream now—But this one's a keeper! This diagram will be the cornerstone—that's an architectural term, y'know—the cornerstone of a resurgence of human wonderfulness! I've seen the light!

Dave: What light?

K: I've got a social mission now! My poetry will just have to wait.

Dave: You want to be some kind of activist for architecture?

K: More of a historian, really. You see, I was watching a documentary on cable last night, and it was explaining all about something called a... let me see if I can remember the name properly... a "drive-away film club."

Dave: You mean a drive-in movie theater?

K: Yes, that was it! Gosh, Dave, you're more well-read than I thought.

Dave: You mean to say you'd never heard of a drive-in movie before seeing it on cable?

K: My stars, what a revelation! Those were things they had back in the '50s, you see—the 1950s, which was about 40 years ago. People would park their cars in front of a big screen, and they'd sit there for a couple of hours watching a movie in their cars! Can you imagine such a thing?

Dave: (pause) Yes. Yes, K, I can.

K: Ah! Perhaps you're not so bad off as I thought.

Dave: What are you talking about?

K: Well, I mean, the ability to imagine what things were like in the past is one of the most important elements in developing a historical perspective.

Dave: A what? K, I don't need to use my imagination to know what a drive-in movie is. I've been to them before.

K: What? Really?

Dave: Yes, really. Honestly, what planet are you from?

K: (pause) Earth, of course. What a stupid question.

Dave: I'm sorry I asked.

K: Have you really been to a drive-in?

Dave: (resigned) Yes, K.

K: Excellent! You can help me with my project!

Dave: I don't want to hear this, K...

K: We've got to educate people! People don't know about the drive-in movies anymore! The documentary said drive-ins were very popular in the '50s, all the rage. But then in the '70s, something happened. Something awful. (long pause) Ask me what it was.

Dave: What was it?

K: What was what?

Dave: The terrible thing that happened at the drive-in theaters!

K: Oh! Oh, that! Sorry, I thought maybe you'd changed the subject.

Dave: No such luck.

K: Ask me again.

Dave: No.

K: Oh, come on...

Dave: What was the awful thing that happened to drive-ins in the 1970s?

K: (Slowly and with great gravity) People ... stopped ... going.

Dave: Right, right. Listen, I'm very busy, K, I've got a podiatrist's appointment and I want to study for it—

K: But then they developed these things known as (ahem) "B-movies." A man named Roger Corman made dozens of them, and although I haven't seen any, I just know they were all wonderful. The people need to know!

Dave: (pause) Sure, K.

K: So will you help?

Dave: With your project to preserve the history of drive-in theaters.

K: Yes. I'll need 150 Matchbox cars, and some cardboard.

Dave: What for?

K: A scale-model diorama, of course! What do you think this diagram is for?

Dave: Oh. Of course.

K: And, of course, since you're an architecture major, you'll know just how to design and build it. I'll leave all that to you—I can't be bothered, really, it probably involves paint and messy things, and I wouldn't want to get myself dirty. This is a brand new black turtleneck!

Dave: Whatever, K.

K: Let's go to the art supply store and start right now!

Dave: Um... K, listen, I think I might be a little bit too busy to work on this today.

K: I thought you were my friend.

Dave: K, I'm taking 15 credits and working 3 jobs. They keep me too busy in the architecture department for me to waste time building some silly diorama out of cardboard and Elmer's Glue.

K: Yes, usually they make you use balsa wood.

Dave: Shut up.

K: My diorama is not silly!

Dave: No intelligent person would take your idea seriously, K.

Jules: What diorama is this, K?

K: Oh, hello, Jules. I'm planning a historical diorama about drive-in theaters.

Jules: That sounds like a stupid idea.

Dave: You see, K?

K: It's not stupid! I have all the details worked out—there'll be a concession stand, and even a little ticket booth!

Jules: A ticket booth?

K: Yes.

(longish pause)

Jules: By thunder! A stroke of genius!

K: You think so, Jules?

Jules: I know so! K, we've got to leave immediately! This instant!

K: What? Why?

Jules: We'll find one of these drive-ins of which you speak, and study this lost Americana firsthand before it's gone for good.

K: Um... gosh...

Jules: No cold feet! This was your idea!

K: Yes, but a nice safe pipe dream is one thing. Actually accomplishing something with my life just makes me go all gooey inside.

Jules: K, you're coming on this road trip if I have to drag you!

K: I don't know... I'd rather just stay here.

Jules: If only there was some way to convince you...

Dave: What about the Weird Sisters?

Jules: Of course!

K: Weird Sisters? Who are they?

Dave: Seeresses. Soothsayers.

Jules: Some say they have unearthly powers. That they can vanish like mist from a murky dawn.

Dave: That they can speak with animals, and trees, and the bones of the dead.

Jules: They also play guitar better than Hendrix.

K: They must be supernatural! It sounds like we'd have trouble finding them.

Dave: Not at all. They're sitting over at the corner table.

K: (disappointed) Oh.

Jules: Come on, K.

K: I don't really want to do this, Jules.

Jules: Hush. It'll build character. Come on.

K: Oh, alright.

(Cafe ambience dies, witch ambience up)

K: Good heavens—is that them? So withered, and so wild in their attire, that look not like the inhabitants of the earth, and yet are on it?

Jules: Yes. Weird Sisters? Speak, if you can. What are you?

Weird Sister 1: Hail the poet Jules, scribbler of substandard sonnets!

Weird Sister 2: Hail the poet Jules, shameless hack and versemonger !

Weird Sister 3: Hail the poet Jules, corpulent waffle-chomper!

Weird Sisters: All hail!

Jules: Um... Nice to meet you too. Are you fortunetellers?

Weird Sister 1: It is true!

Weird Sister 2: We went to college and everything.

Weird Sister 3: We majored in business at first, but that wasn't marketable.

Jules: We were wondering if you could—

Weird Sister 1: Silence! He who seeks the way must be like the walnut tree in the east wind.

Jules: What does that mean?

Weird Sister 2: It does not matter. It must only sound impressive.

Weird Sister 3: Sounding impressive is the first step toward wisdom. The next is often investing in mutual funds.

K: Let me talk to them, Jules. Weird Sisters: If you can look into the seeds of time, and tell which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear your favors nor your hate.

Weird Sister 1: Hail the poet K, lesser than Jules yet greater.

Weird Sister 2: Hail the poet K, thinner than Jules yet heavier.

Weird Sister 3: Hail the poet K, taller than Jules yet shorter.

Weird Sisters: All hail!

K: You're really hedging your bets here, aren't you?

Jules: K, don't be rude.

K: Look, all I want to know is, is this road trip a good idea or not? Can you give me a straight answer?

Weird Sister 1: Signs point to yes, but outlook is bad.

Weird Sister 2: Outlook is good, but signs point to no.

Weird Sister 3: Reply hazy, try again.

Weird Sisters: (they cackle)

K: I guess that helps.

Weird Sister 1: Is that all you wanted? Cause we were gonna maybe catch a movie.

Jules: Gosh... well, I suppose so.

Weird Sister 2: OK, see you around, then.

K: Stay, you imperfect speakers! Tell me more! Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence, or why inside this dingy coffeeshop you, um, y'know, talk so weirdly.

Weird Sister 3: (cackles) Good luck, sucker!

Weird Sisters: Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air. (SFX: They disappear mystically, then cafe ambience returns)

K: Whither are they vanished?

Jules: Into the air, and what seemed corporal melted as breath into the wind. Would that they had stayed!

K: But I couldn't figure out what the hell they were talking about, Jules.

Jules: But it sounded impressive, didn't it?

K: Well, yes, but...

Jules: You can't argue with a trio of Weird Sisters, K. Have they ever steered you wrong before?

K: They've never spoken to me before.

Jules: Well, that proves my point.

K: OK, I've changed my mind. We'll set off in search of a drive-in!

Jules: Wondrous!

K: Jules—We don't have transportation.

Jules: No problem. I've got an idea.

K: Really?

Jules: Oh, yes. And, boy, is it crafty.

SCENE III: A biker bar.
Announcer: One hour later, Jules and K stand in front of the Smoky Hoodlum Biker Bar, a wretched hive of scum and villainy in the heart of Minneapolis' crime-ridden Kenwood neighborhood.

K: Are you sure this is a good idea, Jules?

Jules: Of course it is.

K: It just sounds kind of dangerous, that's all.

Jules: It'll work, it'll work. And if we're going to hit the open road, this is the only way to do it.

K: If you say so.

Jules: Have I ever led you astray before? Today, I mean?

(SFX: Motorcycle start fade up)

K: No.

Jules: Look, here come two likely customers now. One motorcycle, complete with sidecar. That way we can switch off on the driving!

K: Jules, they look dangerous. That one must weigh 400 pounds if he's an inch!

Jules: Shh! Here they come.

(SFX: Cycle at full volume now, pull up to curb and stop. Two men get off and walk up to Jules and K, Rollie's line fading up)

Rollie: But if Plato were correct in saying that artists should be excluded from the ideal Republic, that implies that censorship is a valid tool in the creation of a perfect state.

Bert: I find that theory logically bankrupt. Find me this Plato and I will break his spine.

Jules: Excuse me—Hello, my good fellows.

Rollie: What the hell do you want?

Jules: I have a request.

Bert: Want I should break his spine, Rollie?

Rollie: No, stay cool, Bert. (to Jules) Sir, I must protest your interruption. My brother Bert and I are in a hurry to enter our beloved Smoky Hoodlum Biker Bar, the better to drink cheap whiskey, beat up guys at the pool table, and continue our debate over the plausibility of Plato's Republic.

Jules: This won't take a minute, my good man. You seem a reasonable sort of person.

Rollie: Thank you, my friend. Ask away—I think you'll find me a reasonable and generous stranger.

Jules: May I have the keys to your (ahem) "chopper"? Aaaagh! Put me down!

Rollie: (livid) You wanna touch my Harley?

Bert: I break his spine, Rollie.

Jules: (strangled voice) Wait—it's OK... Put me down...

Rollie: Nobody touches my Harley, friend.

K: But we're the valet parkers!

Rollie: The what?

K: The new valet parking service.

Rollie: You're joking.

Jules: Not at all! The management at the Smoky Hoodlum Biker Bar wants to cater to the more upscale Hells' Angels.

K: You know, the yuppies with switchblades.

Rollie: I don't know if I like that idea.

Bert: Rollie, it sounds good! Maybe they'll start serving Brie! I love Brie.

Rollie: But Bert, every time they try to go upscale, they go at it half-assed and leave everybody feeling sour.

Bert: But Rollie... Brie, Rollie.

Rollie: Bert, Bert, Bert. Remember at the big rally in Sturgis last summer?

Bert: Oh, yeah.

Rollie: "Oh, yeah" is right! They had that wine-and-cheese festival after the Beethoven concerts, and the bastards skimped by serving us six-dollar bottles of Chardonnay!

Bert: Hey, that's right—boy, that still makes me mad.

Rollie: Man, I'm tellin' ya, don't skimp on the wine and cheese unless you want 10,000 angry guys in leather after your ass.

Bert: I broke their spines.

Rollie: You bet you did.

Jules: Ahem. Excuse me.

Rollie: What?

Jules: Your keys? Aaaagh! Put me down, we've been through all that.

Rollie: I told you, I don't like nobody touching my hog.

Jules: We're just going to park it across the street!

K: Yes, it's not like we're going to steal your bike and go on a cross-country quest or something.

Jules: Ixnay, oron-may.

K: Oh. Orry-say.

Rollie: (gives in) Oh, alright. But if you guys so much as get dirt on my chopper, I'm gonna get Bert after you.

Bert: And then I will break your spines.

Jules: Sounds fair! Good day, gentlemen! (SFX: Bar door opens, music and voices blast out, and the door shuts)

K: Jules, I must point out that neither of us knows how to work one of these Harley-Davidson ... things.

Jules: How hard can it be? It's only an extremely complicated bicycle.

K: But Jules, I never learned to ride one of those either.

Jules: K, you're so pathetic. Let me show you. I've seen this done on TV. (SFX: Cycle revs once, twice, thrice, then falls with a clang.) Ouch!

K: I'm not sure if that was the way to start the thing, Jules.

Jules: Shut up and get this thing off me. It's got my leg pinned.

K: OK, OK. (SFX: Bike is lifted)

Jules: That thing tried to kill me! Did you see it?

K: Let me have a try, Jules.

Jules: Don't be silly, K. How could you possibly—

(SFX: Bike starts)

Jules: Oh. Drat. I mean, very good!

K: We'd better get moving, Jules, or those Hells' Angels will see through our ruse, and come whip our asses.

Jules: Very well! K, let's ride!

K: Look out, Lost America! Drive-in theaters, here we come!

(SFX: Cycles rev, roll out. Music fades to next scene)

SCENE IV: A drive-in
Announcer: Five blocks away, in the manager's office at the Spring Hill Drive In.

Drive-in Manager: Get the hell off my property, you incredible loons!

K: Sir, I don't think it's fair for you to disparage our expedition.

Drive-in Manager: This is the most asinine thing I've heard of in thirty years.

Jules: Surely that's putting it a bit strong.

Drive-in Manager: (pause) Alright, yeah, the second most asinine thing. But still pretty bad!

K: Sir, we've come all this way. We can't just stop now.

Drive-in Manager: (suspicious) What do you want?

Jules: We merely wish to watch one of your famous drive-through movies.

K: Yes. We're building a diorama, you see. Got to tell the people!

Drive-in Manager: You want to watch a movie now?

K: Is there a problem?

Drive-in Manager: Of course there's a problem, you idiots. It's two in the afternoon. It's gotta be dark out to see a drive-in movie.

K: Really?

Jules: That's a good insight. Write that down, K.

K: Must... be... dark.

Drive-in Manager: Listen, maybe you two had better leave.

K: But we can't leave! We can't! I'm building a diorama! People have got to know!

Drive-in Manager: (He softens a bit) Look, kid... I appreciate the thought. But people already know about drive-ins.

Jules: They do?

K: You lie!

Drive-in Manager: No, it's true.

Jules: Gosh... this was kind of a waste of time, then.

K: It can't be! I've got big dreams! I'm building a diorama, and there were these three hags, and they said some stuff, and this can't be a waste of time, it just can't, it can't!

Jules: Ixnay on the athos-pay, you're embarrassing me.

Drive-in Manager: Listen. I'm sure if we'd met some other way, I'd think you were swell guys. But you've got five minutes to leave before I call the cops.

K: Oh... Alright, we'll leave. But you're missing out on a big chance here!

(SFX: Door slams)

Jules: Well. That wasn't so bad.

K: Yes. Besides being incredibly disappointing, it was everything I'd dreamed of.

Jules: So... (pause) What do we do now?

K: I don't know. Let's just go home.

Disembodied Voice1: Gunther Kafka...

K: Jules! Did you hear that?

Disembodied Voice 1: Gunther Kafka...

Jules: It's a Disembodied Voice! Just like in that movie about the baseball wacko who looked like Kevin Costner.

K: You mean Field of Dreams?

Jules: That or Bull Durham, I'm not sure.

Disembodied Voice 1: Gunther Kafka...

K: It must be giving us our next set of directions.

Jules: Gunther Kafka, he said.

K: Who's that?

Jules: Hmmm... I've got a hunch. Let me pull out my Pocket Encyclopedia of Deservedly Obscure Literary Figures... Damn. I must have left it at home.

K: Don't worry, I've got mine. I'd never travel without it! Let's see... "Kafka, Gunther. Born 1883. Fourth cousin of Franz Kafka, he languished in the shadow of his relative's far superior talent. No known published works, except for the fabled Lost Kafka Notebooks." Say, that is pretty obscure.

Disembodied Voice 1: Ease his pain...

Jules: Ease his pain? How?

K: Well, his bio says "Gunther Kafka's notebooks were accidentally misplaced in 1922 when Gunther was fooled by a traveling salesman into trading all his worldly belongings for what he was told was a set of magic beans."

Jules: Oh, that has to hurt! I've done that myself on occasion.

Disembodied Voice 1: Ease his pain...

K: "Kafka never got over the emotional blow. He disappeared in 1921, and according to one legend, died in 1924 after spending the rest of his days as a second-hand herring inspector in Amsterdam. The Lost Kafka Notebooks remain lost to this day."

Jules: K, we've got to help the poor man!

K: Why?

Jules: What if Ernest Hemingway had gone undiscovered? Or Shakespeare, or Jackie Collins?

K: Good heavens—the wisdom and wonderful prose lost! The whole of modern history could be different!

Jules: Exactly. And this Gunther Kafka fellow, why, he might be pretty important too! If we can make him famous, we could add a new bit of beautiful literature to everyone's lives!

K: It could make people be nicer to each other.

Jules: It could make a cloudy day full of bright sun!

K: It could take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile!

Jules: Exactly! Gunther Kafka could turn the world on with a simile! We'll go find those Lost Notebooks, and we'll get them published!

K: Wonderful! It's a brand new quest! Let's go.

Disembodied Voice 2: If you build it, he will come....

K: What was that?

Disembodied Voice 2: If you build it, he will come...

Jules: It's another Disembodied Voice!

K: Well, what is this one talking about?

Disembodied Voice 1: Gunther Kafka...

K: Which voice do we listen to?

Jules: I'm not sure.

K: Hello? Voices? Could you be a bit more explicit?

Disembodied Voice 3: Use the Force, Luke...

K: Oh, dear.

Jules: Is that a third Voice?

Disembodied Voice 3: Luke... Feel the Force within you....

K: Yes, it is. It seems to think I'm some person named Luke.

Jules: This is becoming complicated.

Disembodied Voice 2: Go the distance...

Disembodied Voice 1: No, no, Gunther Kafka...

Disembodied Voice 3: The Force, I said. Aren't you listening?

K: Which one of you are we supposed to follow?

Disembodied Voice 4: Ignore the man behind the curtain...

K: Curtain? I don't see any curtain!

Disembodied Voice 4: It doesn't matter. Just ignore him.

K: I can't ignore the man behind the curtain when there isn't any curtain for a man to be behind to ignore!

Disembodied Voice 4: Don't get smart.

K: I'm not getting smart.

Disembodied Voice 4: I give you a simple direction to ignore the man, and you get your hackles up.

Jules: What are you Voices talkng about? Make sense!

Disembodied Voice 2: If you build it, he will come....

K: Build what?

Jules: Perhaps we're supposed to build a curtain! That would give this man we're supposed to ignore something to hide behind!

K: Say, that's true. If you build it, he will come hide behind it. But how do we build it?

Disembodied Voice 3: Use the Force, Luke...

Jules: What Force? Is this like a hammer or something?

K: And who is this Luke person?

Disembodied Voice 5: Red Rum! Danny isn't here right now, Mrs. Torrance...

K: A fifth Voice! I think I need to lie down.

Jules: Who's Danny? Is he related to Luke?

K: Wait a minute, Jules. If Danny isn't here right now, then maybe he's the person who will come if we use the Force to build the curtain for him to be ignored with!

Jules: By Jove, I think you've got it!

Disembodied Voice 1: Gunther Kafka...

K: (disappointed) Oh, now it's the first Voice again.

Jules: And he's changing the subject, too.

Disembodied Voice 1: I am not changing the subject. I'm trying to steer the topic back to the original track. Gunther Kafka, I said.

Disembodied Voice 3: And I said the Force.

Disembodied Voice 1: I was here first.

Disembodied Voice 2: Yeah, well, I count four of us Disembodied Voices to one of you.

K: If you're all disembodied, how can you count each other?

Disembodied Voice 4: There he goes, getting smart again.

K: I'm just trying to follow your conversation.

Disembodied Voice 1: Look, I'm a member in good standing of the Loyal Brotherhood of Disembodied Voices Local 117, and if you guys don't find somebody else to give spooky advice to, I'm gonna file a grievance with the head office.

Jules: Please, everyone! Can we be civil about this? You have us so we don't know which way is up!

K: Jules, it's that way. Above us.

Jules: (hisses) It's a figure of speech, K. (normal voice) Why don't you just tell us what we're supposed to do?

Disembodied Voice 1: Ease his pain...

Jules: Whose pain? Right now we're being told about Luke, and someone named Danny, and that other fellow, what was his name?

Disembodied Voice 1: Gunther Kafka...

Jules: Yes, him.

K: Which one is it? Is it Danny?

Disembodied Voice 5: Danny isn't here right now, Mrs. Torrance...

Jules: I guess we can rule him out.

Disembodied Voice 1: Would somebody let me get a word in edgewise here? I'm trying to tell them Gunther Kafka, and you guys keep butting in.

Disembodied Voice 4: Listen, pal, everybody got problems. There's a guy here behind a curtain who feels like a chump, and you know why? Nobody's ignoring him! Imagine the pressure! The weight of the whole world not being on your shoulders!

K: Aha!

Jules: What is it, K?

K: Did you hear that? There's already a curtain! That means we don't have to build one!

Jules: Oh, yes! We've got you now, mister!

Disembodied Voice 4: Oh, damn.

Disembodied Voice 1: Listen, you two poets. I'm trying to tell you Gunther Kafka, Gunther Kafka, Gunther Kafka.

K: Yes, yes, but what about him?

Disembodied Voice 1: Ease his pain, you dumb schmuck! Am I just talking to a wall here?

Jules: But what about Luke?

Disembodied Voice 1: Forget about Luke! I told you Gunther Kafka, and I told you ease his pain. Have I told you anything different?

K: Well, no, I suppose not.

Disembodied Voice 1: So now you know! Go find Gunther Kafka's Lost Notebooks, and ease his pain already. You'd think I was talking to a couple of monkeys.

K: But how do we ease his pain?

Disembodied Voice 5: Red Rum...

K: You mean we have to get him drunk? What kind of a mystical odyssey is this anyway?

Disembodied Voice 1: That's it! I have had it up to here with you meddling spooks!

Disembodied Voice 3: Oh, put a sock in it.

Disembodied Voice 1: I'll put a sock in you, Mr. Smart Mouth. C'mon, all of you! Let's go back to the fourth dimension and settle this like fightin' spirit guides!

Disembodied Voice 2: You're on, punk-boy. (SFX: Angelic music)

Disembodied Voice 1: Alright, then. Jules, K, I'm not gonna tell you again. Go ease the guy's pain already before we all get old and die. (SFX: Fadeout starts) Now, you astrally projected bunch of jerks—let's see you ease this pain!

Disembodied Voice 2: Ow! No fair biting!

Disembodied Voice 5: Red rum! Red rum! Red rum! Red rum! (SFX: Fadeout complete)

Jules: Well. (pause) That's settled, then.

K: Which way do we go?

Jules: Um... Where's a good place to find Lost Notebooks?

K: Let me check my Encyclopedia of Obscure Writers again... Here we are: "Gunther Kafka's last known residence was in the small town of Floppy Junction, Mississippi."

Jules: Excellent! Get in the sidecar, K, and we'll start the second leg of our quest!

(SFX: Cycle starts, drives off)

SCENE V: Inside the biker bar.
Announcer: And so our heroes at long last figure out just what the heck they're supposed to be doing. But what about the two Hells Angels, Bert and Rollie? Do they really pose a threat to Jules and K? To find out, let's go back to the Smoky Hoodlum Biker Bar, where the bartender has just informed Rollie that—

Rollie: There's no such thing as valet parking here?

Bert: Does that mean no Brie, Rollie?

Rollie: No Brie, and no motorcycle, Bert!

Bert: A stolen chopper?! Truly we are distant from Plato's ideal republic !

Rollie: We've got to find those two poets and beat them senseless!

Bert: Can I break their spines?

Rollie: You bet! Let's go hotwire somebody's hog. We've got a crime to justify!

SCENE VI: Cafe Pathetique
Announcer: Word quickly spreads about Bert and Rollie's blood vendetta against Jules and K. A short time later, we join Dave, Leonard and the surly coffeeshop employee back at Cafe Pathetique, where everyone's sick with worry over their dear friends' dangerous quest.

Dave: (Yawns)

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Hey, Dave, that's a nasty yawn.

Dave: Better give me a coffee. Did you hear about the biker gang out to get Jules and K?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Heh heh heh! Yeah, it's a real gas.

Dave: You're not worried?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: You kiddin'? I got a pool going about how long it takes the bikers to catch up.

Dave: What?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Everybody pools their money, see, and whoever comes closest to the right hour gets the whole thing.

Dave: That's terrible! It's immoral! (pause) Put me down for five bucks for Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Got it.

Leonard: Coffee, please, Mr. Surly Coffeeshop Employee?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah, whatever.

Leonard: Hi, Dave.

Dave: (yawns again) Oh, hi, Leonard.

Leonard: Dave, you sound tired. You must have been up all night worrying about Jules and K!

Dave: No, there was a Three Stooges retrospective on Comedy Central.

Leonard: Oh. Well, that's pretty close. (pause) Aren't you worried?

Dave: Well, maybe a little. But they brought it on themselves, didn't they? Stealing a motorcycle?

Leonard: But Dave! They're our friends!

Dave: They'll be fine.

Leonard: I don't know...

Dave: Look, Leonard, Jules and K lead charmed lives. They've been in hot water plenty of times before, and they've always managed to get out of it.

Leonard: Like when?

Dave: Like the time Jules got stuck in a revolving door while being chased by a rabid wolfhound and a swarm of killer bees.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: As I recall, Dave, you jammed the door with an umbrella and let Jules escape.

Dave: That's right. Or the time when K was talked into leasing his body to medical science, and then they missed a couple of payments and some loan sharks tried to repossess him?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah—they escaped that one because of my crafty plan involving a yak from the local zoo, four gallons of fresh sour cream, and a professional Pope John Paul impersonator.

Dave: Right. So you see, Leonard, they'll be fine on their own.

Leonard: Oh. OK. That makes me feel better.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: But Dave, from what you're saying, it seems to me that every time Jules and K get in trouble, they only get out of it because somebody always comes to rescue them.

Dave: Really?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Oh, yeah. In fact, I've been keeping track of it here on this handy wall chart. (SFX: Pulls down screen) See, according to this, I've gotten 'em out of trouble 4 times, the police twice, a kindly preacher 5 times, three times for the guys from the dry cleaners'—you get the picture—and Dave—this is some kinda record—Dave's pulled their asses outta the fire 57 times.

Dave: Wow. I hadn't realized that before.

Leonard: How about me?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: How about you?

Leonard: How many times have I saved Jules and K?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Um, lemme see here... Never.

Leonard: Never?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Nope. Not once.

Leonard: Gosh, I feel terrible.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: As well you should. You're not pulling your weight!

Leonard: I'm not?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: No. Everybody else has been the hero. When's your turn?

Leonard: But—but there's good stuff on TV tonight...

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Never mind that! How do you expect Jules and K to survive this little escapade if you ain't out there to play spoiler against the bad guys?

Leonard: But how can I help? I don't know nothing about the hero business.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Well, if I was you—not that I'd stoop that low, y'understand, this is just hypothetical talk—but if I was you, I'd try to catch up with the biker gang.

Leonard: Catch up?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah. They're out on the road somewhere, tryin' to find Jules and K, right? So you catch up to 'em, and pretend that you wanna join their gang.

Leonard: But I don't want to do that! Then I'd have to beat up Jules and K!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Don't worry, Leonard, it's just a ruse. A trick. Y'see, if you pretend to be one of the gang members, you can wait until they find Jules and K, and then, you can take advantage of your tricky deceit to turn the tables.

Leonard: Turn the tables?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah. The bikers will trust you, see, and they won't expect you to rescue Jules and K from certain death. You can be a hero, Leonard!

Leonard: A hero?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: A hero.

Leonard: (excited) Really?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Really.

Leonard: Wow! Double wow! I'll get my skateboard and start right off!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Great. Have a good trip. And Leonard—

Leonard: Yes?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: If you get a chance, could you give me a call and let me know exactly what time the bikers find Jules and K?

Leonard: What time?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Yeah. For my... for my records.

Leonard: Um... OK. Thanks a lot. See you, Dave! I'm off to be a hero! (SFX: Crash) Ouch. I ran into the door. Goodbye!

Dave: What was all that about? Leonard couldn't possibly save Jules and K. He's too dumb.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: But not quite too dumb to tell time.

Dave: What does that matter?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: The betting pool, you moron! How can we find out when the Hells' Angels get to the poets if we ain't got somebody there when it happens?

Dave: That's true... But think of the danger! You know Leonard—he'll probably get beat up by the bikers too, and all so you can run your little gambling project.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Tell you what—double or nothing all three of 'em get away unharmed.

Dave: You're that confident?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: No, I just like a good bet.

Dave: You're on.

Announcer: Meanwhile, somewhere in Wisconsin...

Jules: K, you're going too fast!

K: I can't help it! Which one is the brake again?

Jules: Don't look at me. Keep trying those levers until one of them makes us go slower.

(SFX: Engine revs)

Announcer: Can our poets find the Lost Kafka Notebooks? Are they really worth finding? Will Bert and Rollie break the spines of Jules and K, or can Leonard truly save their lives? Find out by listening to Parts 2, 3, and 4 of Jules and K, Stanza 10: The Lost Kafka Notebooks.


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV