fromAugust 2015
Column:

Baby Steps

When Ronnie Met Howard
0

Photo

FADE IN:

EXT. THE “HOLLYWOOD” SIGN – ESTABLISHING SHOT – MORNING

EXT. HOLLYWOOD, AN OFFICE BUILDING
(HOWARD exits the building in a huff, speaking on his cellphone.)

HOWARD: Gary, no more interviews!.... Baba Booey, listen to me, no more! (He looks around.) And where’s the car?... Where am I? I’m on... (freaking out) Oh, God, Hollywood Boulevard! (He is immediately set-upon by throngs of adoring fans requesting selfies.) Never mind, I’ll grab a cab!
(He disconnects and flees up Highland, frantically waving his hand to hail a taxi. Finally, a taxi stops and he rushes inside.)

HOWARD: The Bonaventure Hotel!

EXT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE – ESTABLISHING SHOT
(The hotel is an enormous contemporary structure in Downtown Los Angeles.)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, RONNIE RAY’S HOTEL ROOM
(RONNIE examines himself in the full-length mirror, confident that he is prepared to face the day at DrupalCon LA. In fact, he’s the very model of a modern major network newscaster, albeit more hairy and clueless. So here he is, showered, combed, and nicely dressed. He slips on his Drupal Watchdog ID tag and stands straight and tall. He thinks, “Okay, interviews today with Morten, Nate and Jen, maybe Fabian, maybe Angie.”)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ron, it’s a movie, how do we know what the character is thinking?]
[NOTE TO EDITOR: Jeremy, a great actor can express thoughts without words. To play me – I mean, “Ronnie” – my agent is negotiating with CAA for Clooney, Brad Pitt, or, in a pinch, Jack Black. But if it’s stressing you out, “Ronnie” can just mutter to himself.]

RONNIE: (muttering to himself) Okay, interviews today with Morten, Nate and Jen, maybe Fabian, maybe Angie.

(He grabs his clipboard and heads out into the hall.)

EXT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE
(Howard exits the taxi.)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, HALL
(Ronnie, at the yellow elevator bank, rings for an elevator.)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, LOBBY
(Howard strides into the hotel and looks around for the yellow elevator bank.)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, ELEVATOR
(Ronnie gets on an elevator, which is round in shape: half of it is glass-enclosed and offers a spectacular view of Hollywood.)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, LOBBY
Ronnie exits the elevator just in time to spot Howard getting on a neighboring elevator.)

RONNIE: (muttering to himself) Oh my God! (Ronnie quickly steps onto Howard’s elevator. As the doors close...)

INT. WESTIN BONAVENTURE, ELEVATOR

RONNIE: Howard! I bet you’re in LA for DrupalCon!

HOWARD: (Backing nervously away) What?
(The elevator rises.)

RONNIE: The Drupal Convention. I’m Ronnie Ray, and I’m conducting interviews for Drupal Watchdog. (Presenting his ID tag.) See?
(Howards nods, clearly terrified, his back pressed against the elevator’s glass wall; there’s no escape.)

RONNIE: Did you know, this is the exact same elevator where they shot that scene from True Lies, with Arnold on the horse?
(Howard nods, humoring him.)

RONNIE: But did you also know that they had to shoot the scene over and over again because the horse had terrible diarrhea?
(Howard shrugs, thinking “Who is this mashugana?” and “How do I get out of here?)
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Ron–]
[NOTE TO EDITOR: –Okay!]
(Howard whips out his cellphone and speed-dials.)

HOWARD: Gary? Code One. I’m serious.

RONNIE: So tell me, is your website built on Drupal?

HOWARD: RuPaul? He was on my show one time.

RONNIE: Drupal. Oh, I get it – funny. (Ronnie consults his clipboard for a second, then continues.) Howard, if you don’t mind my asking, could you love a woman who practiced open source?

HOWARD: I’m married, I don’t do that anymore.

RONNIE: Do you think Drupal’s front end is too far up its backend?

HOWARD: Look, I don’t want to be interviewed, okay?

RONNIE: Final question: what’s your favorite emoji to use in a GitHub pull request?
(Before Howard can respond, the elevator slows and stops.)

HOWARD: This is my floor.

RONNIE: Wait! (Leaning closer.) Are you going to DrupalCon Barcelona?
(The elevator doors open.)

HOWARD: Are you?

RONNIE: I wouldn’t miss it.
(Howard edges past Ronnie, cautiously reassuring him.)

HOWARD: Okay, then, I’ll see you in Barcelona. We’ll walk on the beach. We’ll do lunch. We’ll drink sangria.

RONNIE: Awesome!
(Howard makes his escape and flees down the hall. Ronnie leans out the elevator, waves, and calls after him...)

RONNIE: See ya in Barcelona!
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Watch the When Howard Met Ronnie movie.

Image: ©RON BRAWER

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