Burning! Burning! - 11/13/04
The Formulaic Teen Sex Comedy Iím writing to beat out Samís Formulaic Sports Movie is going well, although the competition has stretched out over a month now. I guess it takes longer than I thought to make sure something is good and formulaic.

Not to give away the plot (there isnít much to give it away), but at one point four kids burn a house down and have to keep the owner from finding out about it. Unfortunately I donít know much about what happens when a house burns, so I called Brian 2, who used to be a paramedic, to do some research. I was outside the Torrance Library when I made the call Ė the following is an abridged transcript of the conversation.

PAUL: Hey Brian, itís Paul. Random question for you. What happens when a house burns down?
BRIAN 2: (long pause) You didnít burn down your house, did you?
PAUL: No! No, noÖ not yet. I mean, itís for a screenplay Iím writing. Some kids burn down a house, and I just wanted to call you and get some authoritative information, since you used to be a paramedic.
BRIAN 2: Oh, OK, cool. What do you wanna know?
PAUL: Well, first, I wanna make sure this house is good and fucked. What kind of fire would make sure it was totally laid to the ground? Like an electrical fire?
BRIAN 2: Well, electrical fires arenít bad, but gas fires are better because they go deep into the piping and stuff.
PAUL: Oh, thatís good. Could I make it some kind of combination gas/electric fire?
(Here I notice some people are looking at me)
BRIAN 2: Sure. The other good things about gas fires is sometimes the house explodes. Like in Fight Club.
PAUL: Nice. OK, next, what would I do if I wanted to keep anyone from finding out about it? Letís say the owner was out of town.
BRIAN 2: That doesnít matter. 911 is going to come, and then they have to contact the owner before they rope off the house.
PAUL: Could I bribe the firefighters?
(Here I notice the Torrance Police Station is right next the library Ė right next to me)
BRIAN 2: Youíd have to bribe more people than that. The police would hire an arson investigator.
PAUL: I could bribe him too.
BRIAN 2: Youíd have to also bribe some city officials, because they have to reissue permits to the place if anything is going to be done with the lot.
PAUL: Could I hire some sleazy contractor to take care of that for me? You know, for simplicity.
BRIAN 2: I suppose so. Thatís a lot of bribing.
PAUL: Thatís OK, I have a lot of untraceable money to use.
(Here I notice a guy in a business suit staring at me and talking into a cell phone)
PAUL: Um, I should probably go. I really appreciate it man.
BRIAN 2: Paul?
PAUL: Yeah whatís up?
BRIAN 2: You ARE writing a screenplay, right?
PAUL: Yeah dude. Iíll send you a copy.



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