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Show and Tell

The Whistle Blower

By Dennis HumphreysPublished 10 months ago 14 min read

by: D.R. Humphreys (the DreamWriter)

I sat in the outer waiting area to meet with Mark Goldfob, Executive Producer of a number of movies and television shows over his past twenty-one-year history. His company advertised for concepts for a pilot that hopefully would become a new comedy series. He was hoping by listing an open invitation something different might come to light. As an aspiring script writer, I saw it as my chance. At least the initial e-mails of mine were answered, and I was invited to explain my ideas in more detail..

His secretary disappeared for several minutes, then she emerged from a room I assumed was Mr. Goldfob's office.

“Mr. Laundry...? she began but I interrupted her.

“That's Landry,” I corrected her.

“Whatever... Mr. Goldfob will see you now. He's waiting for you,” she told me solemnly, not even looking at me, as I rose from the chair to go into the man and give my pitch.

It was a large office with a large window that framed its occupant, sitting behind a large desk. It was an obvious power move to intimidate visitors. Its occupant was the graying, producer... Mr. Goldfob.

“Mr. Landry. I read your synopsis and it shows promise. Do you think a religious comedy will work?” he asked me.

“Being Amish isn't a religion, but they are religious. It's a sect that conducts a way of life,” I told him. “Like the Quakers.”

“The Amish. How familiar are people with them?” he asked me.

“Somewhat familiar. But we can set the groundwork for that. It's simple enough,” I told him

“OK then. You have half an hour. Give me all that you have. I won't interrupt. It's your thirty minutes,” he assured me. “Go!”

“This is fundamentally a takeoff of the popular movie, 'Witness',” I began, “some years ago with Harrison Ford, where an Amish woman's child witnesses a murder and Harrison Ford is the policeman who is assigned to guard him. He dons the Amish look to go unnoticed and unsuspected as a cop, because the criminals are looking for the kid to make sure he doesn't talk. He has to 'be Amish', yadda... yadda.

Basically, with the Amish way of life, everything stops in the year 1890. They don't use electricity, phones or power tools... no television, radio etcetera. No electric refrigerators or cars... they use horse and buggies and their bicycles have no pedals. You push with one leg. They are a non-violent people, and their way of life is simple. They are primarily a farming community. Personal hygiene is wanting. Fresh bath water is reserved for the father/husband and is reused starting with the oldest to the youngest child. The last to get the used water is the mother/wife. The women wear long dresses and pantaloons. They cover their hair with bonnets. They don't shave their legs, or underarms. If you're lucky enough to have good genes you may have good teeth. Otherwise, watch out, because they don't really use dentists.

Imagine the opening scene where the Amish woman goes to the big city and take her ten-year-old child with her. The boy is completely taken back by the city. It's nothing he has ever seen before so he's fascinated. She has a meeting with someone from their community, who is doing work there, and she tells her son to wait in the outer room until she's finished. The boy sits for a time but then curiosity takes him to the window to watch this strange, unfamiliar outside world. He decides to go out looking closer and wanders down an alley where he sees an unfamiliar Amish man... an Amish 'hit man' arguing with another man. Suddenly the hit man is on the other man but since they are non-violent and don't believe in force or weapons, the hit man tickles his hit. Getting him to the ground he continues to relentlessly tickle the man, who laughs uncontrollably, finding it harder and harder to breath. Unfortunately, the hit man continues tickling for too long and the man dies. When this occurs he looks up and around to make sure no one is looking, but he realizes there is a witness to the event... a small, ten year old boy named Eli Yoder., Eli runs, afraid, back to his mother, telling her what he saw. She takes him to the police to report the crime, which is where she meets Officer Marvin Flack who becomes their guard and eventually her love interest.

Flack goes with Eli Yoder and his mother, Sarah Yoder to their community to protect them until the boy can testify as the state's witness for the prosecution. He dresses as an unmarried Amish man and stays with the Yoder family. He is supposedly a cousin. Sarah Yoder's husband has died a few years previously. On the way into their nearby town with Sarah Yoder's father, in a wagon, a bicycle gang passes them... a bunch of young Amish kids standing on their bikes with9ut pedals, pushing them along with one foot, making engine sounds as they go. Mr. Miller remarks about what is happening to their youth these days with all the outside influence. The kids in the gang are making 'varoom' noises with their mouths as they pass. 'Next thing you know, they'll be sneaking pedals on their bikes', he comments.

Then, while shopping, several non-Amish women try to pick up Mr. Miller and grab him, pinching his butt, thinking he's cute. He objects and Officer Marvin Flack, jumps in the middle of the women with a number of outlandish karate kicks and knocks all the women out, which is an embarrassment to all the Amish seeing this, since it against their beliefs to fight. Flack can't quite understand how someone can just 'turn the other cheek'.

The Amish community do not believe in insurance but if someone needs a barn or a replacement for one that is destroyed, they all get together to replace it... bringing the lumber and the labor to rebuild. The women cook the meals while this undertaking occurs feeding the men as they work. The next day there is a barn raising and Marvin Flack goes with the community to provide his assistance. Clumsily he tries to hammer dowels and plane wood but is not very good at it. By the end of the day, we see Sarah Yoder feeding him because all of his fingers are bandaged and wrapped so he cannot use a fork or feed himself.

Her father, Samuel Miller sees them watching each other as she feeds him and he is unhappy with their growing familiarity. Food dribbles down the policeman's chin as he eats. Sarah licks it off his face.

Her father comments the next day to the policeman that he has worked very hard and needs a 'man's night out' that night after another day of work, finishing the barn. He swears him to secrecy about where they go... an Amish strip club in the city and promises to take him there, hopefully trying to steer his interest away from his daughter.

When they get there, posters outside display a few of the strippers, Abigail, Bridgett, and Bertha... three top headliners for the evening. The first thing that impresses Marvin Flack is the only light on stage are from candles since they cannot use electricity. The women are all wearing long dresses with hair bonnets. They strip to their pantaloons as the men in the audience go crazy hooting. You can't see much anyway because it is so dark. The women's personal hygiene is less than perfect and they do not shave their legs or underarms. The women stripping to their pantaloons exhibit very hairy appendages. The look on Marvin's face says it all, and he wonders why he's even there. As they leave the strip joint the Amish gang passes on their pedaless bikes, making varoom noises.

Later that night after getting to the Miller house, Marvin is sitting in his room in a rocking chair in plain view of Sarah's bedroom where a kerosene lantern light burns. There is a wash tub of water there as Sarah prepares to bathe. Marvin feverishly watches as she disrobes. Now naked, she steps into the tub of water and begins bathing. She realizes he is watching her and has failed to close the door She continues to wash. She sits in a chair facing him by the tub, where there are several rubber duckys floating. and shoots water from between her legs, spraying him in the face. She finally gets up and bends over to pick up her slippers, with her butt towards him, taking her time. Slowly she closes the door using her butt to do so.

Marvin Flack and the boy, Eli Yoder become close friends quickly. Since he has no father, he is bonding with this policeman, who most of the community address as 'English'. Tourists in the area think it odd when they see Flack dressed as Amish. He looks Amish but when they see him on his phone yelling and threatening the person on the other end of the line they begin thinking of him as a rebel.

The hit man, Uri Glick and two associates, Amos and Levi Ebersole are getting closer, looking for the boy. While they are Amish, they are not from this community, and they are looked at suspiciously because of their questions they are asking. The Ebersoles are identical twins. The one stutters and the other has Turret's Syndrome, so it often takes awhile to question people, that's why they leave it to Glick to do the interrogations. Then after several days, they are still in town but they begin making headway. By the end of the day they locate where the boy is. A trusting member of the community, another boy, tells them it sounds like Eli Yoder and gives them a general idea where the farm is where he lives.

The three men go looking for the farm with some difficulty until they see a cow walking in the pasture with 'Yoder Farm and an arrow for direction, written on its side. Marvin Flack sees the buggy coming down the lane in the distance, being driven by Glick accompanied by his two associates. He runs inside the house to warn everyone but trips over the frame on which, several women, including Sarah, are making a quilt. He foolishly gets entangled in it and the women have to help extricate him from his entanglement.

'Take Eli and hide until I tell you to come out,' he warns his responsibilities. 'Take Papa Miller with you.'

Once he's sure they're well hidden he goes to a chest in his bedroom and opens it. He has hidden his secret weapon there because he has promised not to use a weapon of any sort in respect of the community, Sarah, her father and her son. He pulls out as tank from inside, labeled 'Nitrous Oxide' (laughing gas). 'Two can play their game' he says to himself with a smile.

Flack puts the tank in a burlap sack and runs to the barn, making sure the three men see him as they drive up in the buggy. Flack begins playing cat and mouse with the three men to take them off the trail of Eli Yoder. They split up to try to corner the policeman. It is Amos Ebersole that sees the policeman head into one of the barn silos, so he follows. Glick heads out the opposite door in the silo and locks it behind him. Then he goes around to the other side and sees Amos Ebersole go into the silo and Flack closes the door. He quickly locks Amos Ebersole in the door, pulls the lever for the grain release, dumping enough grain inside to immobilize the intruder. Flack runs a hose from the tank through a knothole. Opening the tank the sound of the gas escaping is obvious. Soon, the heavier than air gas settles at the bottom of the silo and overcomes the hunter. Flack unlocks the door to the silo to release Amos Ebersole, whom you can hear laughing inside the silo. He emerges from inside, laughing uncontrollably and telling one liner jokes. Then he laughs even more at his own jokes. He wanders over to some chickens to entertain them. Flack leaves him there to search out the other two. Flack sees Uri Glick inside the large barn at the far end, going from stall to stall to search for the policeman. Suddenly, he has an idea of how to get the Nitrous Oxide to Glick. He shoves the end of the tank into one of the cows' rectums and opens the valve, filling its anus with the gas.

As the criminal enters the stall from behind the cow, he fails to see Flack. Flack jumps up from behind several bales of hay in the stall next to it and scares the cow. The cow jumps and farts at the scare, releasing nitrous oxide in the hoodlum's face. He grimaces at the odor he inhales, not realizing he took in a large quantity of nitrous oxide. He leans against the stall wall there and begins laughing at the cow's butt hole and pointing. As he points, Flack handcuffs him to a post. As he starts to leave, Amos Ebersole walks in still laughing. He takes his place with Glick and continues telling jokes to him as a captive audience. One last man to go, Flack goes in search of him. He is at a loss as to where Levi Ebersole is but precedes to carefully look for the man.

He is surprised as the second Ebersole jumps out of the hayloft onto Flack. who stumbles to the floor under his adversary's weight. With Levi Ebersole sitting on him, he struggles to keep the man from tickling him with his extended index fingers. As he stretches to grab his dropped nitrous oxide tank, Levi Ebersole is able to begin tickling Flack who struggles to keep from bursting into laughter. As he takes the tank and begins opening the valve, Levi Ebersole grabs the opposite side and tries to pull it away from Flack. They fight over ownership of the tank, back and forth. You can hear the hiss of the gas as it escapes. Flack continues holding his breath as you see Ebersole's countenance change and laughter begins. He falls off of Flack, holding his stomach, as he rolls around in unbridled levity. Flack leads him away and handcuffs him to his brother. He then leads them both away and handcuffs all three men to each other. Then he takes them to the farmhouse as he sees dozens of neighbors in buggies coming to the family's rescue, not realizing Flack has everything under control.

They all step from their buggies as the three men Flack captured continue to laugh uncontrollably. Soon, all the people there start laughing uncontrollably from the power of suggestion. Even the horses throw their heads back and appear to be laughing as they show their teeth with a serpentine movement of their lips.

Marvin realizes his stay here is limited. Now Uri Glick does not present a threat, and once the trial is finished, Uri Glick will be a bygone memory. He contemplates staying and changing his way of life to that of the Amish. He remembers fondly the image of Sarah Yoder, bathing naked, and eventually shutting her door for privacy, using her butt crack to do so. We see an extreme close up with the camera to reveal the smile on the policeman's face.

He sits with Sarah to discuss staying and becoming Amish, but she tells him she doesn't think he would look good in a beard. Undaunted, he insists on staying and tells her he will talk to her father about it. He does later in the evening before bedtime, but her father tells him he won't look good in a beard.

The next day, Marvin takes the buggy and he and Eli go to town. On the way there, the policeman idly asks Eli if he would like him to stay and become his father. The boy considers it, then says he doesn't think he could get used to him in a beard. Everyone says hello to both of them as they walk down the sidewalk of the town. Along the way, he asks several acquaintances what they think of him joining the Amish community. They all tell him the same thing... they don't think he'll look good in a beard.

As they try to across the street, the bicycle gang cuts them off, angering Marvin, and he socks one of the last teenage kids on his cycle sending him to the ground. A few tourists snap pictures, some are horrified, and some clap. Eli Yoder exclaims he can't become Amish, he doesn't have the mentality for it.

The initial court date is set to establish a trial date if there is enough evidence, so Eli Yoder, Sarah Yoder and Marvin Flack have to appear in court for the state. Marvin Shows up in a suit and white shirt and tie but still wearing his Amish straw hat, making people stare. Sarah tells him she is embarrassed. Please take off the hat and he replies if he embarrasses her that easily perhaps they shouldn't consider marriage. She replies she never considered marriage and he is taken back not understanding, thinking the kiss and flirtations were meant for that conclusion. She replies with a question: 'Do you know how boring it is being Amish?... no lights, television... the only thing I have is a battery operated vibrator to look forward to.'

The hearing begins and since there is a witness it doesn't take long to establish a court date... three months away and the three of them leave. Marvin is exasperated and devastated that Sarah has turned him down but feels he can turn her around. He knows she and Eli will be put under witness protection custody and relocated until the state brings them back for the trial. Hopefully, since his undercover bit as an Amish man was successful in guarding the two, they might assign him again, wherever they are sent.

He finds out he is assigned to guard the mother and son being sent to Indiana, to the Amish community there, hiding in plain sight. They are to go as a family for the best cover. Marvin must now grow a beard which is the worst beard ever seen. It's blotchy and the hair grows every which way eliciting stares. They leave on an Amtrak train to Indiana. That's about it.

So, you see, Mr. Goldfob the takeoff of 'Witness' for a pilot will be comedic and informative so people, no matter how much they know about the Amish, will still learn enough more to understand the humor as our story unfolds. There will be a lot of sight gags, as in that old movie, 'Airplane', which was a take off of 'Airport'. The precepts of the Amish way of living is easily understood, a lot of humor can be derived from those incongruous sight gags. A lot of the humor doesn't even need much of an understanding of the Amish. Humor will be derived from 'misunderstandings' and it can be carried through as Marvin Flack experiences his new way of living other than the traditional modern lifestyle of which he is familiar.”


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