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

The Recording Script

• See Part I

Announcer: Last time, you remember, Jules and K were just about to complete their quest to find the lost notebooks of Gunther Kafka. To that end, they've raced off on a motorcycle to Floppy Junction, Mississippi, where they hope to track down the elusive Kafka. Meanwhile, the poets' friend Leonard was captured by evil biker thugs Bert and Rollie, who plan to use the Kafka Notebooks themselves in a shameless plan to achieve filthy richness. Let's join the action deep in the cave where, years before, Gunther Kafka hid his notebooks.

(Cave ambience)

Art by Dan Grothe & Christopher Bahn
Rollie: There—these ropes should hold you, Leonard.

Leonard: You'll never get away with this, evil biker dudes!

Rollie: Of course we will, Leonard. Your two friends aren't exactly brain surgeons.

Leonard: Ha! That's our strength! Fortune smiles on the soft-headed, you vile miscreant!

Rollie: Right, right, whatever. Bert, you finish booby-trapping the entrance to the cave?

Bert: Yep. Fifteen spring-loaded spears, craftily hidden among the rocks.

Rollie: Good. We will injure them horribly, as befits our evil villainhood. Then we'll make them suffer for the inconvenience they've put us to!

Bert: Can we go for ice cream after that?

Rollie: Yeah, sure.

Bert: When can we kill them?

Rollie: Soon. Now help me put the land mines around the notebooks.

Bert: (petulant) Rollie, I'm tired of waiting.

Rollie: Patience, Bert. Jules and K will be here soon.

Bert: But I want to beat somebody up now!

Rollie: Bert, I told you, we have to wait for Jules and K to find Kafka, and then come here.

Bert: Then we kill them?

Rollie: Then we kill them.

Leonard: Fiends! I'll never rest until I put an end to your evil! Just let me out of these ropes, and you two are goners!

Bert: He's so cute.

Rollie: He's like that guy in Phoenix we buried in the desert.

Leonard: I'm a hero, y'know!

Rollie: Yeah, yeah, kid. Listen, I had a feeling you were gonna start acting like this, so I brought a little something to shut you up.

Leonard: You're gonna stick a sock in my mouth, aren't you?

Rollie: It ain't a sock. But it is a gag, of a kind.

Leonard: A gag, huh? Well, mister, you can gag me, but you can't put a gag on the truth!

Rollie: Uh-huh. (SFX: Click, static, TV)

Leonard: I'll never rest until—hey, wow, you've got cable!

Rollie: 57 channels, and something worth watching on every one.

Leonard: I love TV...

Rollie: Now, what were you sayin' about Jules and K?

Leonard: Look, it's a documentary! I love documentaries...

Rollie: Heh. Works like a charm.

TV Announcer: We now return to "Zinc: Our Little Buddy of the Mineral World" on the Discovery Channel.

TV Narrator: Imagine a world without zinc. (long pause) Hard to do, isn't it? Yes, zinc, that miracle mineral, pervades the life of every decent American.

Rollie: Bert, go set the land mines outside the cave entrance.

Bert: OK. (SFX: Footsteps away)

Rollie: Meanwhile, I think I'll take another look at these Lost Kafka Notebooks. (SFX: He opens box, effects as before) Maybe a little light reading will let me know why these things are so important. Or maybe they'll help me nap! Haw haw haw! (box effect fades to next scene)

SCENE XXXVI: The Rest Home
Announcer: Meanwhile, Jules and K race to discover the real Gunther Kafka.

(SFX: Cycle hum, stops)

K: Here we are, Jules. The Floppy Junction Rest Home For Sufferers of Jumblebuggy Syndrome!

Jules: Good heavens! We've already been here. This is where they keep the old men who think they're Gunther Kafka!

K: Exactly! If you're a nasty old hermit like Gunther Kafka, where's the best place to hide?

Jules: Congress?

K: Besides there! I'm talking about this Rest Home.

Jules: You mean ... one of the old men is only pretending to pretend?

K: One of these Kafkas is not like the others.

Jules: How do you know?

K: Very simple. The best place to hide something is in plain sight. And the real Gunther Kafka doesn't want to be found. Now, if people see Gunther Kafka here, at the rest home, they'll assume that he isn't really Kafka when in reality, he is!

Jules: Therefore, one of the old men that we met was Kafka, and two were not.

K: We uncover the real Kafka, then he gives us the Notebooks and we go home! Elementary?

Jules: Elementary.

K: OK. Jules, take care of the door.

Jules: Hiiiiiiiiiiiii-ya!

(SFX: Door splinters)

K: Why did you do that?

Jules: Oh—sorry, I thought you wanted us to enter dramatically.

K: I was just thinking you should knock.

Jules: Too late now. Let's just go with the flow.

K: OK... Alright, Kafka, we know you're in here!

Gunther Kafka: What in the blazes?

Kafka Two: It's the damn kids!

Kafka Three: Always with the damn kids.

Gunther Kafka: Get the hell off my lawn!

Jules: We're not on your lawn.

Gunther Kafka: And stay off!

K: Be quiet. Now speak up! One of you creepy old geezers is Kafka, and we want to know which.

Gunther Kafka: It's me!

Kafka Two: Over here!

Kafka Three: I'm the guy!

Gunther Kafka: Shut up, it's me!

Kafka Two: Let's take this outside.

Kafka Three: Oh! My liver's cramping up again.

Gunther Kafka: Ah, whadda you know about the liver? I got a liver here, it's like nothin'.

Kafka Two: Oh, his is the nothin' liver, eh? Well, take a look at this liver here! (SFX: Wet squelch) Eh? How 'bout that one? Who's Mr. Big Shot now?

Kafka Three: My liver's been autographed by President Herbert Hoover.

Jules: Alright, alright, please! We don't want to hear about your livers.

K: Now, whichever one of you is really Gunther Kafka, you listen to me. Jules and I have read all about you. We know how much you don't want to be forgotten. We know about how hard you struggled back when you lived in Prague, the long nights writing by candlelight, fighting the rats and the street mimes for food, your almost complete lack of personal hygiene—

Gunther Kafka: Actually I kind of liked that part.

Kafka Two: Me too!

K: ...Yes. Anyway, we know of the raw, seething talent within you that the world was never allowed to see.

Jules: You were never recognized for your talent.


K: So which one's really Kafka?


Jules: Come, come, please tell us.


K: Say something, please! (pause) Alright... We'll try a new tack. My "Pocket Guide To Obscure Authors" says the real Gunther Kafka had a distinct birthmark on his right shoulder.

Gunther Kafka: Oh, I got one! (SFX: Cloth tears)

Kafka Two: Me too! (SFX: Cloth tears)

Kafka Three: I've got one here! (SFX: Cloth tears)

Jules: (incredulous) They all have the same birthmark?

Gunther Kafka: Hey, it's statistically possible, ain't it?

Jules: I suppose so...

Kafka Two: It ain't no ain't not, that's what the man says.

Kafka Three: Good thing they had the coupon at the tattoo place.

Gunther Kafka: Shhh!

Jules: What coupon?

Kafka Two: Nothing. No coupon! He was misled.

Kafka Three: I was mistaken.

Gunther Kafka: He went bonkers all of a sudden. It happens, but what do you do?

Jules: This is some kind of conspiracy, isn't it?

K: All three of you know who the real Kafka is, and you're conspiring to keep it from us.

Kafka Two: Us? Lie to you?

Kafka Three: We wouldn't lie to nice boys.

Gunther Kafka: You tried to keep off the lawn.

Kafka Two: And the driveway.

Kafka Three: That counts for something.

Gunther Kafka: We don't forget those who appreciate lawn care.

Jules: Lawn care! Are you call nuts? We're here to make you famous, and all you care about is lawn care?

Kafka Two: What, he doesn't like the lawn care?

Kafka Three: A man's no kind of man that doesn't like the lawn care.

Gunther Kafka: He should stay off the grass if he knows what's good for him.

Kafka Two: I had a lawn once, in 1936. Now I have a driveway! It's harder to mow.

Kafka Three: Driveways ain't good for grass.

Gunther Kafka: Whadda you know about lawn care?

K: (Loses it) Will you shut up about the bloody lawn care! We came to make you famous, because we feel sorry for you! And if that wasn't bad enough, the guy who does get fame and fortune—well, posthumously, but still—is your hated fourth cousin Franz!

Kafka Three: Oh, Franz. I knew he'd bring the Franz into this.

Kafka Two: That Franz, he was always trouble.

Gunther Kafka: Don't mention Franz! That name is not welcome in my house!

Kafka Two: Yes! I feel very personal about it.

Kafka Three: No Franz! Take him right out!

Gunther Kafka: I don't want him!

Kafka Two: Return to sender!

K: Look, you cantankerous old fossils—we're here to make you rich and famous. You've done nothing but put obstacles in our way.

Jules: K?

K: I've got a good mind to just go home right now.

Jules: K?

K: I can't imagine why you'd all just sit there and calmly lie right to our faces, even when you know we've caught you.

Gunther Kafka: Ah, you little punk. You ain't caught Kafka 'til you know which one of us is really him.

K: (shriek of frustration) Aargh! I'm gonna clock him one, Jules, I swear it—

Jules: K! Listen to me!

K: What?

Jules: I think I've got an idea.

K: It better be good.

Jules: Don't worry. I'm not just a half-baked clod.

K: That's true. You're pretty full-baked.

Jules: Indeed. Let's go outside a second, I'll tell you what I've got.

Announcer: Meanwhile, back in the cave.

Rollie: Heavens to Betsy! Bert! Bert, come here!

Bert: Rollie? What's wrong?

Rollie: We were wrong, Bert!

Bert: Huh?

Rollie: We thought the notebooks would make us rich. But I've been reading them—we didn't think big enough!

Bert: Reading? Rollie, momma always told us reading was for decadent middle-class pasty-boys, not leather-wearin' types like us!

Rollie: But Bert, the things Gunther Kafka wrote of! The sublime depth of feeling, the intimate portrayal of the raging human heart!

Bert: Who cares about that? The plan was to sell these things to some slimeball publisher and wait for the movie rights to be auctioned off.

Rollie: But there's so much to life than money! This is pure poetry—it tears the scales from mine eyes!

Bert: Have you gone soft?

Rollie: I've gone sensitive. And Gunther Kafka made me that way. (sniffs) Heaven bless him.

Bert: Rollie—I can't let you live like this. It's subhuman. I'm gonna have to break your spine.

Rollie: No! Wait! You don't see the beauty!

Bert: There is no beauty in English literature. Only false dreams and oblivion.

Rollie: No, no, no—That's not what I'm talking about.

Bert: It's not?

Rollie: No! I mean, the depth of understanding I get from Kafka—we can use that to control people!

Bert: We can?

Rollie: Yes! Kafka's writing will let us dream big, Bert! We don't have to be just a couple of thugs on Harleys. We could be Mafia kingpins! South American dictators! Even—dare I say it—airline company executives!

Bert: With the power of literature, the world unfolds before us!

Rollie: Bert, my brother, with the Kafka Notebooks, you and I could RULE THE WORLD! (SFX: Thunder)

Bert: Wow. It's a surprise more people aren't English majors.

Announcer: This scene was brought to you in part by a grant from the Society of Megalomanical Librarians.

Gunther Kafka: Where'd the kids go?

Kafka Two: Always the kids coming and going—it ain't like the old days.

Kafka Three: Here they come again!

Jules: Alright, Kafkas, listen up. You see this?

Gunther Kafka: It's a piece of paper.

Kafka Two: What's he waving that thing around for?

Kafka Three: Somebody could get hurt from that.

Jules: This is a bill.

Gunther Kafka: A bill?

Jules: For your unpaid subscription to Reader's Digest.

Kafka Two: Oh, the Digest.

Kafka Three: I knew the Digest was gonna be trouble.

Jules: It says here that the real Kafka—whichever one of you that is—hasn't paid for Reader's Digest since 1946.

Gunther Kafka: '46?

Kafka Two: That's a long time.

Kafka Three: That's not no time at all.

Jules: Calculating the unpaid balance, plus interest, plus late fee, this comes to—let's see here—$27,000.

Gunther Kafka: What?

Kafka Two: Twenty-seven grand?

Kafka Three: Oh, my goiter! That's no chump change.

Jules: So the real Kafka, you see, owes us big time.

Gunther Kafka: You can't get Kafka to pay if you don't know which one of us is which.

Jules: That's true.

Kafka Two: Ha! Got you there!

Kafka Three: Damn kids.

Jules: So we'll just make the three of you split the bill evenly. That's nine thousand each.

(long pause)

Gunther Kafka: Uh... sounds good!

Kafka Two: No it doesn't!

Kafka Three: I'm not Kafka! My name's Floyd Henderson. Here, I got a birth certificate and everything.

K: This seems pretty authentic.

Kafka Three: Of course it's authentic! I ain't payin' no nine grand for no magazine I never subscribed to.

Gunther Kafka: Wait! You dumb schlemiel, it's a trick!

Kafka Three: I gotta go. (SFX: Footsteps, door)

Jules: And then there were two.

K: What about you? Are you Kafka?

Jules: If you are, you'd better have your checkbook ready.

Kafka Two: No! I'm Waldo Pfeffermeister.

Gunther Kafka: Shut up! Don't listen, he's gone bonkers.

Kafka Two: I got a driver's license and a set of fingerprints and a signed note from my doctor. I'm not no Kafka, not now, not ever.

Gunther Kafka: Of all the cheap, unfaithful, ungrateful... I paid you two good money to pretend to be me!

Kafka Two: Let me outta here! (SFX: Footsteps, window crash)

Jules: And two Kafkas minus one leaves... you.

Gunther Kafka: Ehhhhh... Whadda you know from Kafka?

Announcer: Back in the cave, Leonard's still shackled by the power of television.

TV Narrator: Here we see some zinc, that plucky little mineral, saving the life of a hapless toddler. Oh, happy zinc, saviour of man!

Leonard: TV... I love TV...

TVN: Yes, without zinc, this young lad wouldn't be able to get a good job or attend the college of his choice.

Leonard: Hey... These ropes aren't very tight. I could get free if I wanted. Let me just wriggle a little here... There! I'm free! Now I can be a hero!

TVN: Stay tuned for more of the exciting adventures of zinc, wonder miracle of the modern chemical industry.

Leonard: Oh, commercials! I love commercials! (pause) No! I've got to save Jules and K! ...But there's so much good stuff on TV... (Shatner) Must... ignore... television... Must... be... strong... Nnnnngh! (SFX: TV turns to static) Ha! I have beaten the tarpit of television! Now to do hero stuff! Bert and Rollie left the Lost Kafka Notebooks on top of the TV set. I'll just grab them and—

Bert: Hey! Rollie, Leonard's loose!

Leonard: I've got the notebooks, you fiends! (SFX: Runs away)

Rollie: Get him, Bert!

Bert: I'll break your spine, kid! (SFX: Bert chases him) Gimme those notebooks!

Leonard: Get your hands off those!

Rollie: Keep chasing him, Bert—he's not looking where he's going!

Bert: Drop the notebooks, kid—you can't escape. There's a chasm ahead!

Leonard: Don't try to fool me, Bert—I won't fall for the old "You're going to fall off a cliff" ruse twice!

Bert: It's no ruse.

Leonard: It's not? (pause) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Bert: Haw haw! That got him.

Rollie: Did you get the notebooks?

Bert: Um... well, we were struggling pretty hard for 'em... I held onto about half.

Rollie: Half?! You gigantic lummox!

Bert: Sorry, Rollie. What do we do now?

Rollie: We'll just take over part of the world... Maybe Ohio. And we can still beat up Jules and K. They'll be here soon.

Announcer: Back at the Rest Home...

Gunther Kafka: I don't even subscribe to Reader's Digest.

Jules: But you are the real one, right?

Gunther Kafka: (sighs) Yes. I'm the real Gunther Kafka.

K: Thank goodness.

Gunther Kafka: Now get off my lawn.

Jules: We're not on your lawn.

Gunther Kafka: And stay off.

K: Take us to the Notebooks.

Gunther Kafka: Why?

Jules: What do you mean, why?

Gunther Kafka: I mean, why bother? Who cares?

Jules: We care!

Gunther Kafka: You care? That's a consolation?

K: You're a very aggravating old man, do you know that?

Jules: Why did you just put us through all that rigamarole?

K: Yes—paying people to impersonate you, just to confuse us? You're no mere hermit.

Jules: Is somebody out to get you or something?

Gunther Kafka: No, no, it ain't nothin' like that.

Jules: Well, why, then? We came to help you! This is your time.

Gunther Kafka: My time, eh?. When I was your age, back in 19-hundred-and-two, I sat around in the coffeeshop, scribblin' away in my notebook, thinkin' "Next year—that's my time."

Jules: Uh-huh.

Gunther Kafka: So next year rolls around, and I'm writin' stories left and right and front and back, and I still ain't famous. So I think, "next year, that's the time." Next year, nothin'. Meanwhile, Franz, my fourth cousin—maybe you've heard of him.

Jules: Of course! He's famous!

Gunther Kafka: I know he's famous, you schmuck. Franz sells a short story—and another, and another. All of a sudden he's Mr. Big Shot—and I'm still markin' time in the cafe. Everywhere I go, I hear Franz, Franz, Franz. Finally I say, "Move to America! That's the place! Things happen there!" I mean, not in North Dakota, but in general, things happen in America. So, 1924, I jump onto a boat and sail off. I find out the boat's actually going to Finland, and I don't actually reach the U.S. until '27, but I still say "This is the place! Now is my time!"

Jules: And...?

Gunther Kafka: Nothin'. I write stories in New York, in the shadow of the great publishers of the world. Nothin' happens. I move to L.A., write screenplays for the studios, hang out with actors—one time I was in a diner, and Errol Flynn comes in, and he says "Is this seat taken?" And I says "Yes, I'm sorry, somebody's sitting here." So he goes across the street and gets Chinese take-out. (pause) Such a nice man. Lovely with children.


Jules: I'm sure. So what happened with your writing career?

Gunther Kafka: Nothin'. Nothin' and more nothin'. I move to Mississippi, figure I'll live like William Faulkner, just run around the back woods all day with a shotgun and some rural types. And I'm still writin' away, every day a new story or a poem or whatever. Meanwhile, I read in the newspaper that Franz has sold the movie rights to "The Trial" for $4 million. I get nothin'. Five years later, I hear they want to build a theme park based on "The Metamorphosis"! Imagine!

K: It's called EuroDisney, I think.

Gunther Kafka: No kiddin'?

Jules: It's deviated somewhat from the original concept.

Gunther Kafka: Ehhh... Well, anyway, I got to 1935, and I'm 52, penniless and completely obscure. My relatives, they call me on the phone and they tell me they put up a statue of Franz in the town square back home. They build a new football stadium, and call it the Kafkadome. Everywhere I go, I hear Franz, Franz, Franz. So I say the heck with it! I take all my notebooks, all my poems and stories, and I go bury them in the bottom of a ravine. And I say, if I'm meant to be famous, well, they're gonna have to come find me! And I ain't gonna make it easy. I had to wait 114 years, they're gonna put forth some effort!

K: OK. But now we're here. And we've found you.

Jules: So let us help you! Take us to the notebooks.

Gunther Kafka: Ehhh... I don't wanna be famous no more. I just want to take care of my lawn.

K: Oh, come on!

Gunther Kafka: How you gonna do it?

Jules: Do what?

Gunther Kafka: Make me famous! You got some kind of plan?

K: Of course!

Jules: We had it all worked out from the beginning.

Gunther Kafka: Well?

Jules: We... well, we make you famous!

Gunther Kafka: That's it?

K: I know it's a bit vague...

Gunther Kafka: You're just making this up as you go along, ain't you?

Jules: That's not fair!

K: Yes! It's true, but it's not fair!

Gunther Kafka: You want me to come out of decades of hiding, throw away everything I've built here—for a couple of little jerks who ain't got any idea how to proceed?

Jules: Um... I suppose so.

Gunther Kafka: (sighs) Alright, alright. I suppose I ain't got any choice. Come on. I hid the notebooks about two miles away.

(Cave ambience)

Bert: Rollie! I see them, Rollie!

Rollie: Excellent! They'll be pulverized by our land mines and crafty traps!

Jules: Where are you going? The front entrance is over there.

Gunther Kafka: I built a side entrance in case anybody tried booby-trapping the front door. It's hidden behind this rock. (SFX: Door creak)

K: Wonderful. Let's go in.

(SFX: Door shuts)

(Cave ambience)

Rollie: A side door?

Bert: Panic! All is lost!

Rollie: No! Calm down! Quick, back this way. We'll cut them off.

(SFX: They run)

(Cave ambience)

Gunther Kafka: I don't understand. This is where I left the notebooks.

K: Well, they're not here.

Jules: So where are they?

Gunther Kafka: I dunno. Unless maybe somebody got here before we did.

Jules: Oh, that's unlikely.

(SFX: B&R run into room)

Rollie: There they are!

Bert: I got 'em!

K: Aigh! Let go!

Jules: You brute! This shirt cost $14.95!

Gunther Kafka: Who the hell are you two?

Rollie: We're the guys who have your notebooks, Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: You fiends!

Rollie: With your unwitting help, old man, Bert and I will RULE THE WORLD! (SFX: Thunder)

Jules: You'll never get away with this. We'll stop you!

Bert: That's what your friend Leonard said.

Rollie: So we dropped him into that chasm over there.

K: Oh, dear.

Jules: Again?

K: Oh, Leonard. He died heroically, just like he wanted.

Jules: We'll build a big memorial for him.

Bert: Actually, I'm gonna kill you now. Into the chasm you go!

K: What, you're not gonna break our spines first?

Bert: Oh, yeah. Thanks for the reminder.

Jules: Agh! Put me down! That hurts! (SFX: Spine breaking)

Bert: (sings) Breakin' spines, mighty fine. All the time, breakin' spines!

Gunther Kafka: Alright, that's enough. (SFX: Whack) Put him down.

Bert: Ow! The old man hit me with his cane!

Gunther Kafka: Put the little fat guy down, I says. You deaf?

Bert: Um... sorry.

Rollie: Bert, stand up to him! He's just an old man!

Gunther Kafka: I may be old, but I know a thing or two about punks like you.

Rollie: Old man, I said—

Gunther Kafka: You ain't worthy to mow my lawn! (SFX: Whack)

Rollie: Ow! Stop that!

Gunther Kafka: Ah, shaddup. You damn kids. Why don't you get a job? Always causin' trouble, little punks, never good for nothin'.

Bert: But we're tough!

Gunther Kafka: You ain't tough. Go mow my lawn.

Rollie: Do what?

Gunther Kafka: Were you listening? Do I not speak English? I tell you to do my yardwork, if you think you're so tough. Mow my lawn.

Bert: We don't take orders from you.

Gunther Kafka: (SFX: Whack) Speak when you're spoken to, not before! Mow my lawn.

Bert: (whimper) Sorry, sir.

Rollie: Hey—we're gonna be airline execs! Don't mess with us!

Gunther Kafka: Ehhh, I had your kind wrapped around my finger before the first world war. Go and mow my lawn.

Rollie: Yes sir.

Gunther Kafka: Only don't step on it when you mow it.

Bert: No sir.

Gunther Kafka: And don't let that damn lawnmower touch no grass.

Rollie: Yes sir.

Gunther Kafka: Grass ain't meant to be mowed.

Bert: No sir.

Rollie: Please! Leave us alone!

Gunther Kafka: Mowers ain't good for grass.

Rollie: Yes sir.

Gunther Kafka: So go mow my lawn.

Bert: Yes sir.

Gunther Kafka: Am I talking just to hear myself?

Rollie: Yes sir—I mean, no sir!.

Gunther Kafka: Mow my lawn already. Go!

Rollie: Yes sir.

Gunther Kafka: (With echo on his voice to make him sound like an angry Old Testament deity) Mow! My! Laaaaaaaaawn!

Rollie: Bert, run! This old man's tough!

Bert: Momma help me!

(SFX: They run away)

Gunther Kafka: Ha ha! Works every time.

Jules: That was incredible!

Gunther Kafka: Lissen, kid, I'm three-time champion of the All-American Crochety Old Men contest. Don't nobody mess with me.

K: Look, here's the box with your notebooks.

Gunther Kafka: Huh—about half of them are missing.

Jules: Maybe Leonard had then when he fell into that chasm.

K: Oh, no! All that brilliance—gone forever!

Gunther Kafka: No, it ain't.

Jules: But Mr. Kafka—there's no way we can get down that chasm. They're lost.

Gunther Kafka: No—they ain't.

Jules: How's that?

Gunther Kafka: Well, when I hid the notebooks, I thought maybe somebody might try throwin' em down the chasm. So I threw a trampoline down there.

Jules: A trampoline?

Gunther Kafka: Yeah. Pretty crafty, no?

K: That's not going to work.

Leonard: (fading up over next lines) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Jules: What's that sound?

Gunther Kafka: It's your friend Leonard!

K: He's got the notebooks!

Jules: Gosh, he's moving pretty fast.

Gunther Kafka: Lotsa momentum the kid's got.

K: Look, he's slowing down.

Jules: I hope he's got enough speed to reach us.

(SFX: L grabs edge of chasm)

K: He's grabbed the edge of the chasm!

Leonard: Jules! K! Help!

K: Quick! Throw us the notebooks!

Leonard: Here! Now grab my arms!

Jules: Are you kidding? We might fall in too!

K: Yes, we could get hurt!

Leonard: But—but—(he falls) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Jules: Poor Leonard.

K: He's going faster than last time.

Gunther Kafka: He's doing a swan dive! Very aerodynamic, that boy.

(SFX: Bwaaaaang, then scream gets louder)

K: Good gracious! He's moving like a bullet!

(SFX: L crashes through roof of cave and fades away)

Gunther Kafka: Ah, that damn kid! What's he think that's gonna do to the resale value of this cave?

Jules: I wonder where he's going to land?

Announcer: Meanwhile, back at Cafe Pathetique.

(SFX: Cafe ambience)

Dave: What do you mean, nine-fifty?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: It's the price. You ordered an espresso, I said nine-fifty.

Dave: That's outrageous!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: That's the going rate.

Dave: How do you justify that?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Blame OPEC. Coffee prices are tied to the price of crude oil. When oil goes up, coffee goes up.

Dave: Why?

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Hey, pal, my coffee ain't thick and sludgy for nothin'.

(SFX: Incoming bomb, L screaming)

Dave: Now come on.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: What's that noise?

(SFX: Explosion)

Leonard: Whoa... I feel woozy.

Dave: Leonard!

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: How did you get here?

Leonard: Ungh...

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Hey—kid! Speak to us!

Leonard: (croaks) Small espresso, please.

Surly Coffeeshop Employee: Nine-fifty.

(Cave ambience)

Gunther Kafka: OK, I kept my part of the bargain. Here's the notebooks. Now make me famous!

K: Oh, Jules! At last, our quest is at an end.

Jules: I'll go mail off copies to all the publishers of the world! (SFX: He runs off)

Announcer: Half an hour later...

Delivery Boy: (bicycle bell) Telegram for Mr. Gunther Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: That's me!

Delivery Boy: Sign here.

Jules: (SFX: Rips telegram open) Let's see what it says.... "Dear Sir or Madam: Thank you for your submission. We regret that it does not serve our publishing needs at this time."

Gunther Kafka: What?! A rejection slip?

K: Don't worry, Mr. Kafka. That's just the first notice. We sent copies of your notebooks to every major publisher everywhere! One of them's bound to publish it.

Jules: I don't know about that... This is signed "All the major publishers in the world."

Gunther Kafka: What?! Those bastards!

Jules: "P.S. Don't bother us again."

K: That was rather uncalled for.

Jules: Mr. Kafka? You don't look well.

Gunther Kafka: Of course not! My dreams, up in smoke! Oh! My goiter! The goiter's gone bad!

Jules: Oh my god!

K: Kafka's collapsed!

Jules: Call an ambulance!

Gunther Kafka: No! No ambulance!

K: But you're hurt.

Gunther Kafka: I said no. Call me a cab.

Jules: A cab? But you need to go to the hospital.

Gunther Kafka: I said no ambulances. They're unreliable. Call me a cab!

K: Why?

Gunther Kafka: The only things you can count on in this life are death and taxis.

Jules: But—

Gunther Kafka: The pain! Ehhhh...

K: I think he's dead.

Jules: He is? Well, win some, lose some.

K: Jules! I'm starting to panic.

Jules: Think, think... Look! There's a pay phone!

K: Oh, yes! Funny we didn't see that before.

Jules: We can call for help!

(SFX: They run to the phone, and dial)

K: Hello? I'd like to order a pine box, about six feet long. Yes, COD's fine. Thank you.

Gunther Kafka: What are you doing?

K: Aaaaigh!

Jules: Kafka! You're alive!

Gunther Kafka: Of course I'm alive! It takes more than rejection from every major publisher in the world to kill me.

K: Oh, Mr. Kafka... We tried our best.

Jules: How can we make it up to you?

Gunther Kafka: Lissen... Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe I'll never be a published writer. But I got a real nice lawn.

K: Is that really a consolation?

Gunther Kafka: Life is full of trade-offs, kid.

Jules: That's so depressing.

K: If that's how the world treats a writer, I'm never going to write poetry again! I'm going into insurance.

Jules: I'll sell used cars.

Delivery Boy: (bicycle bell) Telegram for Mr. Gunther Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: That's me.

Delivery Boy: Sign here.

Jules: (SFX: Rips telegram open) "Dear Mr. Kafka: April Fool! We were just kidding."

Gunther Kafka: What?

Jules: "Please accept this five-million-dollar advance. Your promotional tour starts Wednesday."

Gunther Kafka: Oh, my heavens!

K: Oh, happy day!

Jules: A happy ending after all!

Delivery Boy: (bicycle bell) Telegram for Mr. Gunther Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: What, another one?

Delivery Boy: Sign here.

Jules: (SFX: Rips telegram open) "Dear Sir or Madam. April Fool again! We just couldn't resist. Don't try cashing the check, it'll bounce."

K: Oh, dear.

Gunther Kafka: I might have known.

Delivery Boy: (bicycle bell) Telegram for Mr. Gunther Kafka.

Gunther Kafka: Get the hell out of here!

Delivery Boy: Don't you want your telegram?

Gunther Kafka: Of course I don't want the telegram, you little—

Jules: Here, here! I'll sign for it! (SFX: Rips telegram open) It's from the reading public of the world!

Gunther Kafka: What—all of them?

Jules: Apparently. There are about four billion signatures here.

K: Goodness me! What does it say?

Jules: "Dear Mr. Kafka: We loved reading your lost notebooks. They are simply the most wonderful thing ever.

Gunther Kafka: Wow! (pause) How did the reading public get my notebooks?

Jules: Oh, that's because of us.

Gunther Kafka: How's that?

K: Well, we figured as long as we were mailing copies of your notebooks to all the publishers, why stop there?

Jules: We sent copies to each and every person on the planet.

K: Cost us hell in postage.

Gunther Kafka: I'll bet. What else does it say?

Jules: "Please accept undying fame in the pantheon of second-rate writers."

Gunther Kafka: (offended) Second-rate?

K: Well, it's better than nothing.

Gunther Kafka: Ehhh... That's true.

Jules: "And although we can't offer you an advance, we've taken up a collection and offer you five bucks as a token of our appreciation."

Gunther Kafka: Goodness! Such largesse!

K: People love you, Mr. Kafka!

Gunther Kafka: I feel great. I'm gonna go mow my lawn.

Jules: Wonderful. We'll take this opportunity to say goodbye, sir.

Gunther Kafka: You're going?

K: Yes, we've got to get home.

Gunther Kafka: It's about time. You've made an old man very happy, but you shouldn't overstay your welcome or your company will become tiresome.

Jules: If that's a veiled invitation for us to stay—

Gunther Kafka: Of course not! It's poker night tonight, I got my real friends coming over.

Jules: But—

Gunther Kafka: Shoo! Shoo! Thanks for everything. Close the cavern door on your way out.

(SFX: Stone door closes, cave ambience stops)

Jules: What a strange old man.

K: Jules, how much did that last telegram cost us?

Jules: $12.95.

K: Here's seven-fifty.

Jules: It's too bad our quest was a failure.

K: No, it wasn't, Jules.

Jules: But we never got the notebooks published—we had to lie to Kafka. Wasn't this whole thing just a big waste of time?

K: No, Jules. It's never a waste to see new things and learn new things.

Jules: Oh? This trip made you a better person?

K: Yes. Maybe even two. I learned that if you've got a dream—any dream, it didn't have to be bringing fame to Gunther Kafka. It could have been helping an old lady buy her groceries, or developing a cure for all disease, or making absolutely sure to see every episode of the X-Files, even the dumb one with the psychic cheerleaders. This adventure taught me that if you've got a burning inner desire to get something accomplished, something beautiful and wonderful that'll help humanity along the path toward justice and harmony and eternal bliss, then you should dream that dream!

Jules: K?

K: To dream the impossible dream! Fight the impossible fight!

Jules: K?

K: To climb the unclimbable climb, to wrong the unwrongable right!

Jules: K!

K: What?

Jules: You're babbling.


K: Oh. Sorry. Well, are you ready?

Jules: Yes. Let's go home.

(SFX: Cycle roars off)


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV