scenario – “ALL THE SIGNS” by Robert Patrick

ALL THE SIGNS-scenario by Robert Patrick
 >>FADE IN<<

Exterior of a sordid HOTEL. Early morning.

Interior. The rather squalid room of the LITTLE MAN.

On a pathetic cot, the L. M is asleep, fully-clothed.

A pamphlet slides under the door.  The pamphlet is a religious paper, entitled, “Awake!”     

The L.M. Awakes!

Another note comes under the door.  It is from the landlord and says in normal letters, “Due to non-payment of rent – ” and then in DARK LETTERS: “GET OUT ON THE STREET!”

The L.M. nods vaguely and leaves the room, walks through the dark dirty hall, and gets out on the street.

It is a squalid street.  The L.M. stands in the street, immobile.  He looks down and sees stenciled footprints saying, “Follow me to the big rally.” He starts following them, just barely getting out of the street to a corner in time to avoid being run over.

He is distracted by a sign that flashes “Don’t walk.” He doesn’t walk.

He stands staring into space.  A woman walks by waving another religious paper.  It says, “Watchtower.” He looks around and finds a tower to watch. Someone nudges him and points to the street sign.  It now says, “Walk.”

He walks across the street.  When he is in the middle of the street, the sign changes to “Don’t Walk.” He stops.  A truck is coming directly at him.  He is doomed.  He stares at the truck without expression.  As it comes speeding down on him, he sees on the front the word, “Dodge.”  He dodges and is saved.  The sign changes to “Walk” and he proceeds on his way.

A restaurant. A sign in its window says, “Eat here.” He enters and is about to grab food off someone’s table when he sees a sign that says, “Exit.” He exits into the kitchen where he starts to eat out of dishes waiting to be picked up by a waitress as he continues to “Exit” and is back on the street, in an unfriendly alley. 

Two hoods see him licking his fingers and start to harass him. He is puzzled.  One of them has a shirt that says, “Hit Man.” The L.M. hits him, knocking him flat.

The second hood starts to slug the little man.  But behind the second hood is a dumpster with a sign that says, “Dump Trash Here.” The L.M. picks up the hood and throws him head first in the dumpster. A sign at the end of the alley says “Truck this way,” and the L.M “Trucks” out of the alley.

He stops in front of a bar to obey the sign “Lounge.” He looks idly about and sees a graffiti, “Kill Yuppie Scum.” A yuppie passes and the L.M. follows him, raising his hands like a movie monster to strangle the yuppie, but he happens to pass a store with a sign in the door, “Open.” 

 Naturally, he abandons his murderous quest and opens the door.  It swings open and then swings back and slaps him in the face.  The “Open” sign is still there so he repeats the moves.  This goes on for four or five repeats until he is knocked flat on his back on the sidewalk.

From his prone position he sees a sign that says “Phone.” He gets up and enters the booth and sees a sticker pasted beside the phone saying “Call 1-900-HOT TALK.”  He does so and stands listening for a moment.  He nods and is clearly about to do what someone is telling him on the phone (This can get as lewd as the director wishes) when he happens to notice a STOP sign.  He instantly drops the phone and freezes. 

He would stay this way forever except that a protestor comes up and pastes on the STOP sign a flyer saying “End World Hunger!”  The L.M. instantly runs to a fruit stand and grabs fruit which he starts to distribute to bums on the street.  The store owner and a cop start to chase him.

He runs, passing more and more of the END WORLD HUNGER posters.  He finds a quiet doorway (surrounded by the posters) and the pursuers pass.  He sees the posters, thinks real hard, then draws a gun and starts shooting bums. 

He is again pursued.  He flees, stopping only when he sees a sign that says “Wet Paint.” He stops, whips out his penis, and wets the paint, then continues running. 

He runs very fast, getting far ahead of the mob. He seems to be safe, then—

He sees a sign on a store, “Pet Shop.” Helplessly, he stops and pets the shop.

His pursuers appear around a corner and see him.

He is cornered in front of a church, with a sign that says, “Polish Catholic Church.” he whips out a handkerchief and starts polishing the church. His pursuers catch him. He is cornered. He sees a sign in front of the church: “Repent and ye shall be saved.” He falls on his knees, clearly penitent. The shadows of the mob darken the “Repent and ye shall be saved” sign. Fade out.

Fade in on a beautiful tree. The camera follows the limbs and the trunk down to the ground.  At the foot of the tree is a fresh grave and a grave stone: “R.I.P.”

The camera rests on he RIP sign for a moment, then the L.M.’s hands burst out of the grave and RIP the stone in half. 


Robert Patrick


1837 N. Alexandria Ave.

L.A. CA 90027

(323) 423-4330 (cel)

(323) 661-3737 (tel)

facebook: robert patrick playwright


7 Responses to “scenario – “ALL THE SIGNS” by Robert Patrick”

  1. RESUME/Links to Online Works « Robert Patrick's Personal Blog Says:

    […] Blog Just another weblog « play POUF POSITIVE by Robert Patrick scenario – “ALL THE SIGNS” by Robert Patrick […]


    […] 1 ONLINE SCENARIO ALL THE SIGNS–silent short–tribute to Buster Keaton ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (3) OTHER WRITINGS AND SLIDESHOWS OF SHOW […]

  3. Edward Crosby Wells Says:

    Brilliant. I love this so friggin’ much. Did you know that angle dust in pot can create almost the same result. Once, I followed the signs from Central Park South to Union Square. Thanks for this fantastic and enjoyable read. ~Edd

  4. akmediascope Says:

    Splendid! I would love to film this , yet Little MAn has to throw a hood in a dumpster and his hands have to rip a grave stone– better suited to animation unless altered . Perhaps LM could struggle with a garbage can trying to stuff the hood in and maybe the headstone could be a precut styro foam or the hands could be green screen disembodied

  5. akmediascope Says:

    This could all be done in your neighborhood–

  6. Robert Says:

    Thank you all. I wrote this a hundred years ago.I never dreamed people would like it so much.

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