MAD DOGS (A Mad Men Parody)
Episode 1 – ‘Lucky Sniffs’
INT – DOG DRAPER’S OFFICE – DAY
MILK is poured into a glass.
The cap is screwed onto the bottle of “Whole” and it’s placed without grace back amongst other bottles of milk — skim, low-fat. Ugh, even Soy.
A PAW grabs the glass of milk, and off-screen we hear a tongue lapping it up, and a gasp of delight.
We get a look at the drinker, it’s DOG DRAPER, Ad Dog extraordinaire, and he’s surveying the city he loves from up high in this skyscraper.
SIRENS, and Dog suddenly watches with alertness as an AMBULANCE drives by. He shakes out of the moment, looks at his desk, on which is a pen and paper — the paper full of scratched out ideas, half-baked taglines, and a whole lot of bad artwork.
He sighs, goes to lap up more milk.
As he drinks, the door opens and ROTTLE STERLING struts in, disgruntled, itching behind his ear.
ROTTLE: This meeting with Lucky Sniffs is a serious deal, when am I going to see the creative?
DOG DRAPER puts down his glass of milk, turns from the window to face us (and Rottle).
ROTTLE: The meeting is in ten minutes!
DOG: Then I guess you’ll see it in ten. (beat, Rottle keeps scratching) Fleas?
ROTTLE: Her name is Doris.
Rottle shakes off his anger, like a dog shaking off water, and lights a Lucky Sniff. The lighter’s flame almost catches his hair, so he has to shake away from it. A Lucky Sniff dangles from his mouth (like a cigarette) but the end is a bowl-shape and the smoke streams up to his nostrils.
ROTTLE: You’re going to kill me, you know. The stress, it’s no good for anyone.
He whines, like a dog.
DOG: Whine a little louder, I’m sure Schnauzer can’t hear you.
ROTTLE: Schnauzer. Guy couldn’t hear a whistle if you blew it in his ear.
DOG: You have a way with words.
ROTTLE: I told them the same about you. So have you got anything?
Dog shrugs, picks up his glass of milk.
DOG: “Lucky Sniffs — Smell home wherever you go…”
DOG: It’s the only thing that came to mind.
Rottle heads to the door.
ROTTLE: It’s not exactly crap. Have art department come up with something to blow our minds, maybe I can run with it.
DOG: In ten minutes?
ROTTLE: I told you: it’s a serious deal.
He leaves, Don stares at the pages on his desk.
He begins scrawling something on them. He’s focused, pounding out the haphazard idea the best he can, but this is what he’s made for. He’s in the moment, we’re watching this and getting a sense that he’s putting all of his effort into it when —
His door opens. JOAN (siamese cat, curvy, big-eyed) enters, carrying a stack of folders.
JOAN: They’re ready for you, Mr. Draper.
JOAN: Anything I can get you?
DOG: Happen to have a box of Bacon-Snax with you?
JOAN: I save those for special occasions.
Dog nods, “makes sense”, and heads out of his office scratching behind his ear.
INT – MEETING ROOM – DAY
Rottle and Dog enter the spotless meeting room, and the Lucky Sniff execs are already there:
SCHNAUZER is the boss, fat grouchy, too big of a beard. Two GERMAN SHEPHERDS are at his side.
All the dogs shake paws/greet each other, sniffing necks. One of the German Shepherds goes to sniff Rottle’s butt, Rottle swats him away.
ROTTLE: Schnauzer, boys. (gestures) You remember Dog Draper?
SCHNAUZER: The golden boy. Whose a good boy?
DOG (rolling eyes at Rottle): I am.
SCHNAUZER: We’ll see.
He holds up a Bacon-Snax cookie, teasing Dog, before eating it himself.
DOG: Shall we?
They sit across from each other.
SCHNAUZER: Rottle, Dog, the floor is yours. Blow our minds.
Dog waits a moment. Looks up at Rottle expectantly.
DOG: Ahem. My cue?
ROTTLE: (to Schnauzer) New tricks…
Rottle uses a CLICKER to make a ‘click’ noise. Dog hops to his feet.
Dog walks to the presentation boards near his seat. He hesitates, and turns over the first one. On the board is a poorly drawn sketch of a pack of Lucky Sniffs, the cigarette-like device that a dog holds in his mouth while the smoke enters his nostrils.
The tagline “Smell Home Even While You’re Away” is scrawled underneath it.
Yeah, it looks like a dog drew it.
DOG: Lucky Sniffs specializes in giving the consumer everything they want one breath at a time. The scent of passion, the smell of success. Your customers have been scared off by reports of toxins in the smoke, sickness in the nostrils of a small portion of puppies across the U.S.
SCHNAUZER: Bunch of hackneyed Pavlov wannabe-scientists painting our product as evil.
DOG: Unfortunately, the consumer is buying into it. Heavily. Our new campaign will alter the perception of Lucky Sniffs, going from a product that represents irresponsible gallivanting, to grown-up, mature responsibility. Family, comes first. Your best friend, comes first. Lucky Sniffs — “Home even while you’re away.”
Rottle nods at Dog while the group sits in silence. SCHNAUZER looks to his two German Shepherds, a smirk on his face. He reaches for the bottle of milk in front of him… and slowly pushes it aside.
SCHNAUZER: I was told you were the best. I was told, after we signed with you, Rottle, that the Golden Boy would have a good idea – no, a great idea. That he’d be able to take us away from this “science” business.
ROTTLE: It’s going to be a slog, but we’re the right firm to —
SCHNAUZER: Rottle, don’t sniff my ass and call yourself a bitch. I know crap when I see it.
He and the German Shepherds stand.
SCHNAUZER: And this is crap.
They turn to the door. Dog is stunned, looks at the milk, at the guys, at Rottle who shakes his head.
He hears a SIREN outside becomes alert, focused on the sirens outside the window.
Rottle, too, becomes alert. Schnauzer and the German Shepherds become alert.
Then the door opens, and Schnauzer is about to leave. Dog suddenly looks up.
DOG: Gentlemen! A moment, please?
Schnauzer looks doubtful. Dog gestures to their chairs.
Schnauzer looks at his watch, sits.
SCHNAUZER: Two minutes, Draper.
Dog stands, clears his throat. He pushes over the stand with the boards so it SMASHES to the ground.
DOG: Why did you create Lucky Sniff?
SCHNAUZER: My father came up with it.
DOG: (fine) Why?
SCHNAUZER: A simple treat for young pups to sit back and let the good times come. To gallivant, as you say. Short of having a belly rub, this was an affordable way to touch the senses. “Immediate Sensory Perfection,” he called it.
DOG: Did he ever achieve it? Your father?
SCHNAUZER: He died when I was young. Stress of having a litter of 12 killed him, my mom used to say.
DOG: The kind of stress that would bring anyone down. But you, like your father, sought perfection. Perfection is what we all strive for. We find ourselves chasing it, day in, day out. We come to work, we hope for the best. We go home, we hope to avoid the worst. The things we do, define how we act. But in the constant search for perfection, we never really grasp it. It’s always out of reach. (looks out the window, the sirens distant and fading) But we keep chasing. (looks back at the clients) Our sense of smell is important in that chase. It leads us, even if we never seem to catch the source, the reason for the smell. Life is a constant chase, it has to be, because if you finally reach perfection, and you bite down into it…you find you’ll never have enough of it.
He takes a deep breath. He’s found his inspiration.
DOG: “Lucky Sniffs – The chase you’ve been looking for.”
Rottle looks to Schnauzer, nervous. Dog has a look of wonder, but knows he’s got it.
Schnauzer looks to his right, his left. He stands and offers a smile.
SCHNAUZER: That’s a good boy.
Schnauzer and his boys leave.
Dog and Rottle shake paws. Rottle tosses Dog a milk bone to chew on.
ROTTLE: So, what’re you chasing, Dog?
DOG: Right now? (lights a Lucky Sniff) A little bit of home.
They laugh together, exiting the meeting room, bottles of milk untouched remain on the table.
End of Episode 1.