T I T R A G I C

"Nothing on earth could come of it"

The earliest version of a James Cameron script, painstakingly reconstructed by H. K. Fauskanger by applying the scientific methods of Advanced Literary Criticism to a later version. Oh, I should mention that there are some pictures way down, and they aren't even mine. First picture used with permission from the good people behind the Titragic Page, other photo-editing by PhineasBog (or Jay, as his parents called him); all of the pictures he has mutilated (sometimes in co-operation with me!) you'll find here. In recognition of Jay's efforts, I have bestowed upon him the incredible honor of hosting this titanic piece of scholarship on his web-site. (OK, so maybe I was running out of capacity on my own site...)

** All right...let's make a good old-fashioned DISASTER MOVIE! We'll exploit an actual historic event and assure everyone that this is an oh-so-accurate reconstruction, but also jam a fictitious soap-style luv story into it... a nice, legal way of appropriating the earnings of millions of teenage girls.

** In the opening scene of the movie, the audience finds itself in the DARK ABYSS! The only light comes from a small sub sinking towards the bottom. On board is SPOCK LAFITTE, a treasure-hunter who used to operate on land, but nowadays he spends most of his time in international waters because various governments want to have a talk with him. (In particular, the Israelis are a little pissed because upon finding the Ark of the Covenant, he melted it down because the gold was "easier to transport" that way.) With him in the sub is a blob of fat by the name of FECES BOVINE. The latter is under the impression that he is a part of this expedition in his capacity as a computer expert. Actually Spock brought him along just in case the surfacing system of the sub fails: Relieving the sub of Bovine's weight will make it surface immediately.

** The sub reaches the bottom and starts skimming over it. Spock is looking out through the porthole, camcorder in hand.

         Spock: OK, we just passed Davey Jones' locker on the left... there's Jimmy Hoffa... we should be nearing then... ah, here we are!

** Something appears in the lights of the sub. It could be Andy Warhol's ultimate work of pop-art, "Rusting Junk on Seabed". It isn't. Welcome to TITRAGIC.

         Spock (to his camcorder): It still gets me every time... to see the sad ruin of the great ship sitting here, where she landed in the night of April 1, 1913, after her long fall from the world above. I guess it reminds me of poor Suzy, the kitten I got when I was seven; she loved to watch the birds from our balcony, but unfortunately we lived on the nineteenth floor. Anyway, I am deeply moved. A chill runs down my spine, I can't breathe, sweat breaks out all over my body, I pee in my pants...
         Bovine (pinching his nose): You're so full of shit, boss!
         Spock: Sorry. Well, here we are again at the deck of Titragic. The pressure at this depth is enormous. The windows of the sub are nine inches thick, and if they go, it's "sayonara" in two microseconds. So why am I here, taking such a risk? Well, if the Mafia bosses financing this expedition were ever to suspect any foul play on my part, it's "ciao" in one microsecond.

** The sub drifts aft over the rusting ruin, past the bow, past the forecastle deck, past the cute little sign on the bridge: TRANSATLANTIC LINER FOR SALE. Used only once. Please contact the London office of the Falling Star Line.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Remember to commission a good model of the wreck for these scenes. After all, that "I risked my life diving to the wreck of the real Titragic to obtain authentic footage"-crap will form an important part of the publicity campaign for the movie, so the audience mustn't be able to tell that I actually shot the whole thing in my bathtub.]

** The sub deploys quite a few small, red cylinders all over the starboard side of the wreck, then pulls away.

         Spock (to his camcorder): When we are working down here, one somber fact never leaves our minds. That is the fact that this is a grave. In deep respect for the memory of the people who died on Titragic, we do our utmost not to disturb anything on or near the wreck. The wreck site must be preserved unchanged for future generations. If I were to destroy anything down here, desecrating the grave of the people who died so tragically and needlessly, and causing further damage to the still majestic remains of the greatest of all ships, I would never forgive myself. For every time I see wreck, I feel an... an awe... that words can't describe. [Turns off the camcorder.] OK, enough of that bullshit...BLOW THE FUSES!

KA-BOOM!

** Almost the entire starboard side of Titragic collapses in a cloud of rust. Inside the sub, Spock and Bovine eagerly watch as the debris thrown out from the wreck settles on the seabed below them. Suddenly they spot what they are looking for: A safe, plunging halfway down into the mud before it stops!

         Bovine: There! There! Oh baby-baby, do you see what I'm seeing, boss?!
         Spock: Yep! It's payday! If the diamond is in that safe, the Grave Robber Association will have no choice but to elect me president!

** CUT TO THE SURFACE one hour later. On board the Yukkish, a rusting Russian salvage vessel that any day will need salvaging itself, the dripping safe is lowered onto the deck by a winch cable. Spock has summoned his North Korean video crew, former employees of Kim Il Sung, experts on producing not-so-documentary documentaries: Occasionally, Spock's investors want to know what he is doing with their money, so he needs something to show for himself.

         Spock (to the camera): Well, if I can allow myself a little pun in the general euphoria now dominating the ship, the safe is finally safe indeed - saved at last from the dark deep where the icy water, salt and bitter as tears, has been mercilessly eating on the steel while the long decades of the twentieth century came and went in the world above. When I see the safe, still wet and glittering in the sun it has not seen for eighty-four years, I cannot help thinking that it is as if it wants to thank us for saving it from the dark abyss, realizing that it is at last beyond the ravages of time. This is where my job ends. Our museum-trained experts now take over, commencing the time-consuming process of conserving this important piece of history.

** The camera is switched off while a bunch of thugs brutally attack the poor safe with sledgehammers, crowbars and cutting torches. As soon as it has been cracked open, Spock orders the camera back on.

         Spock (to the camera): OK, here we are again a week later... with the patience of angels, our dedicated experts have finally managed to gently open the safe we recovered from the wreck of Titragic. It has been a long week, with endless speculations as to what the safe may contain. Will we really find the thing we are after, the priceless diamond that went into the ocean with the ship that dark night so long ago?

** Spock greedily reaches into the safe. Some muddy, barely recognizable artifacts soon lie scattered on the deck... but... no jewel.

         Bovine (dryly): Perhaps the diamond has dissolved?
         Spock:
Shut up! Well... I have to admit it... this is one of the greatest disappointments of my life. But... but I will of course take it as a man.

** The camera is switched off again, and Spock throws himself down, starts pounding the deck with his fists and cries like a baby. The incessant stream of tears falls on a thin, rectangular sheet that came from the safe, gradually wiping away the mud and the rust.

         Bovine: Hey, boss... look at that! It is a drawing of some kind.
         Spock: What? A piece of paper being submerged in water for well over eighty years without dissolving? Impossible!
         Bovine: Ssh...I know, but don't destroy the entire plot of the movie!

** They bend over the drawing. It turns out to be an amateurish rendering of a naked young woman, complete with a talk-bubble containing the words Take me!

         Spock (suddenly noticing something on the drawing): Wow...look at that! Round, symmetric, absolutely beautiful!
         Bovine: Yes...both of them!
         Spock: No, not those...the thing between them! Don't you see? When the drawing was made, this woman was wearing the diamond we are after around her neck!
         Bovine: Oh my, you're right! Dracula never had dreams this beautiful!

** CUT to a completely different place. Back on terra firma, we find ourselves in the studio of some unhappy artist (just how unhappy we are about to find out). There's a TV in one corner of the room, and Spock is being interviewed.

         Spock (on TV): Of course, everyone has heard the legends about Titragic. The band playing "I Wanna Sink to the Bottom with You"... the silly captain who never thought about transferring all the passengers to the iceberg... the disgustingly rich people whose relatives got even more disgustingly rich by cashing various life insurances afterwards... However, I want to get to the bottom of it all. Did you get that one? The bottom of it all! He, he!
         Reporter: Yes, hysterically funny. We have to mention that over the years, you and your methods have attracted some controversy, some people doubting your motives and qualifications, or even calling you a grave robber. For instance, there was an incident last year, when you were conducting a dig in Egypt...
         Spock: Give me a break! The local authorities never gave me a chance, hated me for no reason at all... for instance, they went mad just because I removed a wall with some graffiti on it!
         Reporter: You mean, when you dynamited what was probably the longest hieroglyphic inscription in existence to gain access to the gold you hoped to find inside the grave?
         Spock: Whatever. Let us return to the present, shall we? Well, here we are, salvaging artifacts from the wreck of Titragic. Let me show you something we found today... ahem, if there are any parents watching this program, they may want to send their children out of the room.

** We PAN OUT from the television set to reveal a divan in the same room. A disgusting, wrinkled, mummified corpse is lying on it, in much the same position as the girl on the drawing, and just as naked. Suddenly, the mummy stirs! O horrible horror, the loathsome thing is still alive! It is actually the very last living survivor (you understand, right?) from the Titragic - DOSE DeMENT BUCCANEER. Despite all the "accidents" her heirs have tried to arrange over the years (they tired of waiting for their inheritance already in the mid-sixties), she has lived to be one hundred years old. Somehow, she has even survived all the three million cigarettes she has been chain-smoking since she was 17. The tar has evidently preserved her instead of killing her! Urgh! "Preserved" is of course a very relative term.

         Spock (on TV): Ready, folks? OK, what do you think of this? Cool or what?

** The drawing of the young woman appears on the screen, attracting the attention of the thing on the divan. Sitting in a chair in front of her, pencil in hand, is the hapless artist who has spent the last ten years doing nothing but making ever new drawings of her naked body: For some reason she just loves to be depicted that way. His wrists are scarred after numerous suicide attempts. If only she had let him keep the drawings, so he could have sold them to a horror magazine and made a little (or more likely quite a lot of) money! But no, his entire meager existence is based on the pitiful salaries this mean old witch pays him.

         Spock (on TV): Should this have remained unseen at the bottom of the ocean forever, when all the readers of Playboy Magazine can see it and enjoy it (if my very reasonable price is acceptable to the editor)?
         The living mummy (looking at the drawing on the screen): What the &#@%£?!! Seems that I've put on some weight since 1913! Well, at least it isn't as embarrassing as in the old days, when my mother couldn't throw a single party without showing everybody photos of me as a baby, naked ass up. Hey, Pierre, you know what? I think I'll go to that salvage vessel and bore them to death with the story behind that drawing! Call Sleazy and have her pack my things and arrange for transportation. You can take a couple of days off. No suicide while I'm away, or I'll kill you when I come back!

** LATER, back on the ship, Spock is on the phone with his sponsors.

         Spock: Don't worry, we will find the diamond... very, very soon... what did you say?... no, I'm sorry, I have no idea which would reach the bottom first, the sub we are using or a man with cement on his legs... If I want to find out? Well, I can't say this is a question that has preoccupied me much, but if... hey... sorry, I have to hang up! There's a chopper coming; I must see what it is.

** Spock runs to the helicopter deck.

         Spock: Hey, who's coming?
         Bovine: No idea. Jehovah's Witnesses shunning no expenses?

** The helicopter lands on the ship. Out comes the passenger: the horrible, wrinkled thing we have already met. Behind her is her granddaughter, SLEAZY. Sleazy has actually put up with being Dose's slave for a decade or so. Her wrists suggest only one or two suicide attempts, so it is clear that there is something that keeps her going. Now how can a woman more or less voluntarily waste her entire youth slaving for this disgusting old hag? Don't worry, we'll have the answer before the movie is over!

         Spock: Who the hell are you?
         Dose: I ask the questions here, handsome! Well, have you found the "Coeur Deluxe de la Merde" yet?
         Spock: Gasp! Everybody who knows about the diamond is supposed to be dead (I took care of that myself), so how can you know?
         Dose: Easy, I had the damn thing around my neck once! I'm the girl on the drawing you found, stupid! For heaven's sake, I haven't changed that much, have I?
         Spock: Don't ask.
         Dose (walking past him into a cabin without any further invitation): Ah, there I see my drawing! Oh, how nice of you to tape it up on a wall where everyone can see it! See, Sleazy? That's how your kind old grandmother used to look! Wasn't I a dish?
         Spock: That is actually a picture of Pamela Anderson. Your drawing is on the table.
         Dose: Damn, Sleazy forgot to bring my glasses!
         Sleazy: Look at the date on the drawing! April 1, 1913!
         Spock: Yeah, seems your grandma was having a good time while the ship was sinking. Well, granny, are you ready to go back to Titragic?
         Dose: I dunno! Sleazy, did you bring my swimsuit?
         Spock: That was not what I meant. Look at this computer simulation of the Titragic instead.
         Dose: What is a computer simulation?
         Bovine: We have recreated the whole ship inside a computer, so to speak, so that we can study the sinking in great detail. You may not be aware of it, but such technology is quite common today - when they are designing airplanes and the like.
         Dose: What is an airplane?
         Bovine: Never mind. Look at this monitor...I mean this cute little window here... you see the ship, right? Here comes the iceberg... they tried to port around it, and at first they thought they had made it, but there was suddenly a major leakage in the cargo hold, so clearly they hadn't. Then the ship floods... the bow goes down... Pac-Man and Super-Mario have a really nasty confrontation on the boat deck, so that the ship breaks in two... and then the whole thing just sinks... and this presentation was sponsored by Nintendo; they will soon start marketing this as "Control the iceberg, kill more than a thousand people and win the game." Pretty cool, heh?
         Dose: Indeed. Of course, the experience of it was even cooler.
         Spock (turning on a tape recorder): Will you share it with us? (Of course, I won't share the movie rights with you...)
         Dose: Well. It's been eighty-four years...
         Spock (interrupting): It's OK. Just try to remember anything. Anything at all.
         Dose: SHUDDUP! Do you want to hear this or not, Mr. Lafitte? You think I'm just a senile old woman who can only remember some scattered fragments, eh? But I still have all my mental faculties, thank you! Wanna test me? Roosevelt is President! Two plus two is 3.14! And I can even remember that Roosevelt is President! Can I get on with my story?
         Spock: By all means... (After all, I kind of enjoy pure fiction...)
         Dose:
Well, it's been eighty-four years...
         Sleazy: You've already said that, Nana!
         Dose: How kind of you to remind me, Sleazy! Also remind me to cut you out of my will. We'll try again: It's been... how many years was it? I forget.
         Spock: Never mind, we'll check the history books later. Go on.
         Dose: Okay. I had been touring Europe with my mother and my fiancé, wasting a couple of fortunes we didn't need on clothes and paintings. We planned to return to America on Titragic. Titragic was called the ship of dreams. And it was... it really was... though beforehand, no one suspected that we are talking about wet dreams here...

** On a screen behind her, we see the rusting hulk of the wreck. But suddenly something horrible happens... the lovely red-brown color seems to fade away, giving way to harsh white and dull black paint... and then it is TOO LATE TO PULL OUT! The unsuspecting audience suddenly finds itself brutally flung back to 1913, into a savage era when words and phrases like "AIDS", "nuclear waste", "ethnic cleansing" and so many other concepts we know and love had no meaning at all! There she lies, ready to begin her maiden voyage: TITRAGIC, pride and joy of the Falling Star Line. Because of the spoilers included in the first 10 minutes of the movie, particularly bright individuals among the audience may have gathered that the ship will sink, so now they can leave the cinema without having to suffer through the rest of the crap. It doesn't really matter - they have already paid for the ticket, right?


** On the quay, a girl in her late teens emerges from a car (assuming that her gargantuan hat doesn't get stuck in the door). This is YOUNG DOSE, looking at least a little better than the disgusting fossil we have already met in the other end of the century. She looks at the Titragic as if it were the proverbial fly in her soup. Her travelling companions are more impressed. We are talking about her anemic mother RUT DeMENT BUCCANEER, Dose's weasel-like fiancé PAL COCKEY (heir to Cockey Steel Industries and umpteen million dollars as soon as he can scrape together enough arsenic) and his middle-aged valet SPENCER LOVERBOY.

         Dose: I don't see what all the fuzz is about. It doesn't look any bigger than the Mauritania! Not that one either... or that one, or that one, or that one, or...
         Pal: Those are the lifeboats, Dose! The Titragic is the big thing they are resting on. See?
         Dose: So what? It still doesn't look any bigger than the Mauritania!
         Pal: Of course not, after all it's only a model two feet long, but do pretend to be impressed by the FX, or they'll recast you.
         Rut: So this is the ship they say is unsinkable!
         Pal: It is unsinkable! Even God himself could not sink this ship!
         God: Try me!
         Pal (to Dose): Did you say anything, sweetpea? Well, never mind. Loverboy, make sure our suitcases are delivered to the right cabin! I don't want to arrive in New York and find out our luggage is on its way to Siberia, like last time.
         Some porter: Sir, you'll have to check your baggage through the main terminal, round that way...
         Pal (seemingly handing the porter a monstrous tip): I put my faith in you, good sir!
         Porter (stunned by the money): Yes, sir! At once, sir! At your service, sir! [Runs to do Pal's bidding.]
         Pal (to Dose and Rut): Amusing, isn't it? These people are so poor that you can hand them Monopoly notes with no risk; they simply haven't seen the real thing! It never fails!

** As Rut, Dose and Pal embark on the ship, we CUT to a bar somewhere near the dock Titragic is about to leave. At one of the tables, a poker game is in progress. Through a thick haze of smoke, we can barely make out a young bum. Conceivably he can be perceived as a little handsome, especially if you are among the people who find a pile of dung aesthetically pleasing. Meet SNACK WHORESON; his mother hated him already when he was three months old (meaning half a year before he was born), and soon she quite deliberately threw out the baby with the bath water. Twenty years later, this creep is still around, though Fate has now mercifully decided to put him on the Titragic and finally rid the world of him. As a bonus, one of the very few people in the world who are stupid enough to stomach Snack's nauseating presence for more than just a few moments - the Italian youngster FABRICATIO - will also go on Titragic. You have no idea how much it will improve the history of the twentieth century to have these wandering disaster areas withdrawn from circulation already now!

         Fabricatio: Snack! You're pazzo! And your brain is pizza! You have bet everything I own!
         Snack (through a cloud of smoke belching from the suspicious-looking cigarette in his mouth): When you've got nothing, you have nothing to lose! And since you have even more nothing to lose than I have, it is only fair that I bet your money instead of mine!

** On the other side of the table are a couple of Swedes. Since Snack is about to cheat their tickets to Titragic from them, they will survive and make it to America on another ship, where they will be among the ancestors of the Swedish cook on the Muppet Show. They are talking together in Swedish.

         Swede: Di doo! Doo-di doodi doo di Stockholm! Doo di doo di doodi doo! [Subtitles: "You moron! I should have left you in Stockholm! I can't believe you bet our tickets!"]
         Another Swede: Doo doodi-doodi doodi; di doo di doo di doo. Doo di doo doo di doo di doo doo doo. [Subtitles: "You lost our money; I'm just trying to win it back. Go for his solar plexus if we don't win."]
         Snack: All right, the moment of truth! Somebody's life is about to change!
         Fabricatio: Somebody's life is about to end, if you have lost all my money!
         Swede: Doo? Doodi-doodi-doooo-di! [Subtitles: "See? I have four aces!"]
         Snack (triumphantly putting both his cards and his rotten teeth on display): So what? I have FIVE aces!
         Fabricatio: Hurray! I'm going to America!
         Some dude: No, Titragic goes to America - in five minutes!
         Cinema audience: To America, eh? We'll see about that!
         Snack: Come, Fabricatio! We must hurry! [Starts collecting the money and the tickets on the table.]
         Pissed Swede: DOODI-DOODI-DOO!!! [Grabs Snack and is about to hit him.]
         Snack: Take it easy, my good man! Now you listen to me. You can keep all the money I have won from you; my friend Fab and I only want your tickets to the ship. [Puts the money into the Swede's pocket; this barely persuades the other to let him go.]
         Snack: Come on, Fab, let's go!
         Fabricatio (low): Yeah, better leave before he discovers that his gold watch left his pocket together with your hand.

** Snack and Fabricatio run out of the bar and make their way to the ship, mercilessly trampling on the herds of black cats crossing their way. As they are about to embark, a uniformed twit with a British accent halts them.

         Officer Blightoller: JUST a minute... have you been through the inspection queue?
         Snack: Of course! But we don't have any lice anymore. After sucking our blood, they all died of syphilis.
         Blightoller (giving Snack the benefit of doubt he doesn't deserve): All right, come on board!

** LESS THAN A MINUTE LATER, Snack and Fabricatio appear on the boat deck.

         Snack (joyously crying out to Fabricatio): We're the luckiest sons of bitches in the world, do you know that?

[If the audience readily gets the irony, move on to the next scene. If not, add more lines, e.g.: Fabricatio: Yes, how unbelievably lucky that we won tickets to the Titragic! Snack: Yeah, the Titragic of all possible ships! How incredibly, insanely lucky we are! Fabricatio: If you hadn't had enough aces, we wouldn't be on the Titragic now! Snack: Yes, if I had lost, we wouldn't be on the Titragic at all, but would have to take another ship, and that would have been really unlucky! Instead we are so lucky-lucky-lucky that we will travel on the Titragic and no other ship than the Titragic (etc. etc. etc.) - Don't worry, the dupes that constitute the audience WILL get it eventually.]

** Snack and Fabricatio elbow their way to the railing. The crowds on the quay seem incredibly, ecstatically happy. Everybody's waving their hands, and Snack waves back.

         Fabricatio: Do you know somebody?
         Snack: What do you think, when they're so happy to see me leave?

** Titragic leaves port. As the monstrous ship picks up speed, it passes a sailboat that is utterly dwarfed by the leviathan steaming by.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: It may be a good idea to end that scene before the wake of the Titragic inevitably topples the sailboat and the people on board it drown.]

** On the ship, passengers are settling down in their cabins. In a luxurious suite, Dose is admiring a rather abstract Picasso painting she bought during the tour around in Europe.

         Dose: Fascinating. It's like being inside a dream. There is truth, but no logic.
         Pal: Just like when you girls are gossiping, right?

** Dose looks at her fiancé. There is a short Ally McBeal-style flash showing us her thoughts, involving Pal's face, her own hands and a pick-axe.

         Pal: That Picasso guy will never amount to a thing. Trust me! I know.
         Dose: How can you be so sure?
         Pal: Come on! Men will never walk on the moon, civilization has matured to the point where there will never again be any wars, and this would-be "artist" will never amount to a thing! It's just common sense, Dose!

** THAT SAME NIGHT, Titragic arrives in Cherbourg, France. Suddenly, the whole ship tilts toward starboard, threatening to capsize!

** In the reception area, what could very well have been Jabba the Hutt's overweight aunt has just come on board. The porters and stewards try to gently usher the walking mountain of fat closer to the midst of the ship, so that Titragic can regain stability.

         The thing: Never mind where my cabin is! You can show me my cabin later. Where is the galley? I need FOOD! I'm starving! Why, it has been well over fifteen minutes since my last meal!
         Ancient Dose (voiceover): In Cherbourg a woman came on board called Polly Crone. Her family was originally quite poor, but then her husband for some reason felt that he had to invent the world's best diet pill, and they instantly became rich. She translated all that wealth into something she could always carry with her, namely fat. We all called her "Fatsie". History would know her as "that fat bitch".
         Bovine (voiceover): Good old grandma!

** THE NEXT MORNING, Titragic is steaming west across the ocean. This is a deeply symbolic scene, indicating that before long, everything will go west. On the bridge, the Captain gives an order to the officer on duty.

         Captain: Take her to sea, Mr. Murdick! Let's stretch her legs!

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Perhaps I could use Arnold as the Captain? After all, he is one of my regulars. On the other hand, "Take hurh to zee, Mrh. Murhdik! Let's strhesh hurh leks!" may not sound quite... right. Moreover, I don't know where to fit in the obligatory "I'll be back!" After all, there can't well be a sequel: Titragic II - The Falling Star Line Strikes Back. Or can there? Screw the historical facts...]

** Snack and Fabricatio are standing in the bow (the other people in their cabin started to complain about some kind of "smell" and threw them out). Fabricatio is experiencing the effects of those wild mushrooms he had to eat the day before, since Snack had already gambled away the money he was going to spend on food.

         Fabricatio: I can see the Statue of Liberty already! It's very small, of course.
         Snack: Impossible, it will still be three days before we reach New York! You would have to look into the future!
         Fabricatio: But I do see the Statue of Liberty! I can even see the rest of New York... people moving around... there's a newspaper boy... I can almost make out the headlines... it's very, very small of course... let me see... S-H-I-P D-I-S-A-S-T...
         Snack: Never mind, you're just imagining that you are seeing something! Now let's give way to our innermost nature and behave like complete idiots for a while! YAHOO! I'M THE KING OF THE HILL! YAHOO! YAHOO! Hmm, that sounds like a good name for something - perhaps I should trademark it?

** Snack and Fabricatio are standing in the bow howling like wolves, pounding their chests like orangutans and generally proving Darwin right. Then the ship moves on... the camera pulls back... perhaps it's both the ship moving on and the camera pulling back, who would know the difference?... anyway, more and more of the would-be impressing bow section comes into view... the whole forecastle deck... then we see the bridge... then the first funnel... by now, the dupes in the audience think they are about to be treated to a magnificent fly-over scene of the entire ship... and so they would, if the camera man had not suddenly disappeared into a cloud of black smoke and suffocated.

** To make the audience forget their disappointment, we CUT to the luxurious Palm Court, where a group of people are having lunch. We recognize Dose, her mother and her fiancé, and Polly can't be kept away as long as there is food on the table, but seated along with them are the owner of the ship, BRUTE DISMAY, and its constructor, THOMAS PANTRIES.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Of course one may ask why the fictional people I have wantonly jammed into the Titragic story are mysteriously invited to have lunch with some of the most prominent men on the ship... but that doesn't mean that I have to come up with an answer.]

** Brute Dismay is bragging about his new ship.

         Dismay: She is the largest moving object ever made by the hand of man in all history, except for the pyramids. And in all fairness it must be mentioned that they only move because of the Earth's rotation. Our Master Shipbuilder, Thomas Pantries, came up with the designs.
         Pantries (prudently downplaying his own role): I may have knocked her together... I may have spent more sleepless nights than I can count drawing the incredibly complex plans required... I may have worked around the clock at the shipyard... I may have aged before time in my ever more hysterical attempts to have the ship ready by the scheduled date... I may have suffered a few nervous breakdowns, strokes and heart attacks due to the inhuman strain and pressure I was under... I may have become suicidal at times... but all of this pales into utter insignificance compared to the efforts of Mr. Dismay.
         Pal: Really? Then what did he do?
         Pantries: Well... a year and a half ago, he turned up in my office saying, "Build me the world's biggest luxury liner within eighteen months or you're fired!"
         Pal: Ah, the ability to inspire one's employees... the mark of a true leader! My compliments, Dismay!
         Dismay: Thank you!

** Dose drills a cigarette into a mouthpiece a foot long and lights up.

         Rut: You know I don't like that, Dose.
         Dose: Come on, mother! It's not your lungs, is it?
         Rut: No, but it is my eye you always manage to ram that monstrous battle-lance of a mouthpiece into as soon as you get distracted.
         Pal: Don't worry, I'll disarm her. [Puts out Dose's cigarette.]
         Rut (to Dose): One day, when you are a hundred years old, you will think kindly of your mother, realizing that if it had not been for her, you would have died of lung-cancer long ago.
         100-year old Dose (voice-over): Bitch!
         Pal: Keeping all those poor Third World tobacco farmers employed is a dirty job, but someone has to do it... I take my turn in the smoking room every night, but I wouldn't want my wife to be involved in this filthy business.
         Polly (to Dismay, trying to change the subject): Who thought of the name "Titragic"? Was it you, Brute?
         Dismay: Yes, actually. I wanted the name to convey tragedy, disaster, impending doom... Don't know why; it just seemed appropriate, somehow.

** Dose doesn't listen. She is lost in her own thoughts, looking deeply hurt, angry and devastated.

         Old Dose (voice-over): I saw my whole life as if I'd already lived it... an endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts and polo matches... always the same people, just as narrow-minded as myself... me never having to do anything, never having to work to make a living... and all of that was just great, of course. But now I realized that Pal wouldn't allow me to smoke. Not one lousy cigarette in my entire life! How unjust! How cruel! I mean, how could I ever enjoy all that opulence and wealth if I couldn't light up whenever I felt like doing so? There I was, at the tender age of seventeen, quite unable to cope with such a deadly blow to my heart. All the bleak, non-smoking years ahead seemed to stretch out before me, endlessly: It was as if I was standing at a great precipice, with no one to pull me back, no one who cared about my craving for nicotine, or even noticed it. There and then, I decided that a life without cigarettes was not worth living. In short, I decided to END it all!

** THAT NIGHT, Dose runs aft along the long promenade decks and doesn't stop before she finally reaches the poop-deck, as far back as it is possible to get before you get wet. (No rhyme intended.) For a moment she is just standing there, a panting monument to suicidal teen-age nihilism. Then there is a dramatic close-up of her beautiful Nike shoes as she climbs over the railing. ("Anachronism"? Yeah, technically speaking - but hey, Nike will pay us lots of $ for that scene.) Within moments, she is hanging from the back of the ship, ready to let go.

** Suddenly, Snack appears behind her, heading for the railing. Nature calls, but just as he is unzipping, he notices her.

         Snack: Hey there, miss, pardon me for saying so, but I think you've got it wrong! Look at me, it is so much easier to walk about on this side of the railing!
         Dose: Stay back! Don't come any closer!
         Snack (embarrassed): Oops...ah...yeah, I guess my annual bath is several months overdue. Sorry about the smell.
         Dose: Idiot! I am trying to commit a decent suicide here, and you are distracting me! Get lost, so that I can concentrate!
         Snack: Ah...you want to jump? I see! But hey, you would freeze!
         Dose: What do you mean I would freeze? Don't presume to tell me what I will and will not do! You don't know me!
         Snack: But that water is cold!
         Dose: How cold?
         Snack: How cold?! Cold cold! Which reminds me of something I saw at the Nickelodeon once... there was this movie about a killer robot made of mercury, all liquid you see, so it just repaired itself instantly if it was hurt... but then there was an accident with a big trailer full of liquid nitrogen, and when the mercury robot waded through it, it was so cold that the robot froze solid, and then there was this other, good robot that picked up a gun and said 'Hasta la vista, baby!' and fired one bullet at the frozen robot so that it was crushed into a million pieces and...
         Dose: I KNOW WHAT T2 IS ALL ABOUT!!!
         Snack: Sorry... you just didn't seem like... you know... the "action-movie" kind of chick. Great movie... wouldn't be surprised if they shoot a remake one day. Who knows, maybe the CG scenes could be improved in a future version, assuming that computer technology hasn't already peaked now in 1913? Well, never mind... where was I? Ah, liquid nitrogen! I'm telling you, liquid nitrogen is LUKEWARM compared to the sea down there!
         Dose: How do you know?
         Snack: How do I know?! When it comes to cold, I'm an expert. Ever been to Wisconsin?
         Dose: No.
         Snack: Well, they have some of the coldest winters around, and I grew up there. When someone dies in Wisconsin in the middle of the winter, we don't just bury them. No way to dig a grave, forget it, the ground is frozen right down to the core of the planet. Instead we have to leave the dearly departed out in the snow over night, and when the body is frozen, we sharpen it in one end and ram it into the ground with a sledgehammer! So, miss, I know what cold is. And I can tell you that the sea is very, very, very, VERY, VERY cold! Mark my words, you wouldn't last long down there!
         Dose: And how is that supposed to worry me when I am trying to commit suicide?
         Snack: Hmm! Good point. I didn't think about that.
         Dose: No, you aren't very smart, are you? Well, nice to have met you, bum!
         Snack (runs over to the railing beside her and looks down): No! Wait! You don't want to do this!
         Dose: Oh yes I do! Goodbye, mean, smoke-free world!

** She jumps!

Thump!

** Gee, that thump didn't sound very much like a splash, did it?

         Snack (dryly): I told you that you didn't want to do this.

** Below, Dose is sprawling with her nose pressed flat against a wooden platform hanging from the stern, right below five mighty, golden letters: TITRA. With a brush in his hand and a bucket of golden paint hanging in a rope beside him, some humble Falling Star employee standing on the platform is just finishing the A.

         Painter: I'm so sorry, miss. We thought we would have these letters ready in time for the departure from Southampton, but it turned out that we had to work overtime. May I assist you over the edge?
         Dose (angry): I can take care of my own suicide, thank you! It wouldn't even be a proper suicide if I had to have others do it for me, would it?! Damn men, always think that a girl can't get anything done by herself!
         Snack (calling from above): Come back up! I know you don't want to do this!
         Dose: Still presuming to tell me what I will and will not do, are we?! For the first time in my life I am going to do what I want and I WANT TO JUMP!
         Snack: No you don't!
         Dose: Do too!
         Snack: Do not!
         Dose: Do too!
         Snack: Do not!
         Dose: Do too!
         Snack: Do not!
         Dose: Do too!
         Snack: Do too!
         Dose: Do not!
         Snack: Do too!
         Dose: Do NOT!
         Snack: Do TOO!
         Dose: Do NOT! NOT! NOT! How many times do I have to tell you this?!? Can't the pitiful little blob of fat that passes for your brain fathom that that I do NOT want to jump?!
         Snack: OK! OK! You win! Now take my hand, and I'll drag you back over the railing. Since you don't want to jump, I mean.
         Dose (suspicious): Hey... wait a minute... did you somehow manipulate me just now?
         Snack (taking her hand): No chance, you were completely determined to have it your way. By the way, I'm Snack Whoreson.
         Dose: Dose DeMent Buccaneer.
         Snack: Wow, do you have to rent extra space in the phonebook for that?

** Just as Snack pulls her back over the railing, Pal and his valet Loverboy turn up on the deck behind them.

         Pal: Hey, you! What are your filthy hands doing all over that girl?! I'm her fiancé! I'm the only one who has the right to be abusive to her!
         Dose: Pal, you don't understand! I wanted to see the propellers, but I didn't notice the railing, and therefore the railing didn't notice me, either. Thank God, Mr. Whoreson was here to pull me back!
         Pal: Hmm! So that's the way it was?
         Snack (crossing his fingers behind his back): Yeah, that was pretty much it.

** Snack suddenly realizes that the suicidal chick is RICH! What if he could seduce her and gain access to her suite? That could be an enriching experience indeed! But before he can steal her stuff, he must steal her heart - and how can he do that with her fiancé plodding around? He must try to stay close to her, waiting for the right moment!

         Pal: Well, I guess a little something for the boy is in place. [To his valet:] Mr. Loverboy, I think a twenty should do it.
         Dose: What?! Is that the going rate for saving the woman you love?
         Pal: You're right, let us not exaggerate. Loverboy, make that ten!
         Dose: Pal!
         Pal: Ooooh...Dose is displeased! All right, let's give this poor steerage ruffian an experience he can tell his bastard grand-children about. Hey, boy, would you like to join us for dinner tomorrow night?
         Snack: Dinner?
         Pal: Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't use difficult words when talking to a man of your social standing! Well, you see, those of us who enjoy regular meals use the term "dinner" about our main daily meal, involving several courses: typically there will be meat, wine, a dessert - do you get the picture?
         Snack: Ah, I see! "Dinner", heh? Cool! OK, count me in! [Perfect!]

** LATER, Dose is back in her cabin, staring into a mirror like some chimp just beginning to realize that the other chimp is actually itself. Her musical box is playing a depressing tune. Pal enters the room.

         Pal: I know you've been melancholy... I don't pretend to know why. After all, next week we'll get married, and after that you can spend the rest of your life safe in my home, cooking my meals, doing the dishes, cleaning the floors, punching out a baby every year for a decade or so - in short doing all those little things a woman must do to have a rich and fulfilling life.
         Dose (tired): Yeah, what conceivable reason could I have for being melancholy?
         Pal: Anyway, I thought I would cheer you up with a little something I bought for you. [Dangles a necklace with a 56 karat heart-shaped diamond before her eyes.]
         Dose: Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!
         Pal: Perhaps as a reminder for my feelings for you. You see, it is such a perfect symbol for how I feel every time I see you.
         Dose: Because your love is pure and strong like a diamond?
         Pal: Actually because diamond is very hard. Anyway, this necklace has an interesting history as well. It was once worn by Louis XVI. During the French Revolution, he desperately tried to keep it hidden from the revolutionaries. In the end he actually swallowed it, but it was so big that it got stuck in his throat. Then they took him to the guillotine and detached his upper extremity, but afterwards, the executioner saw something glittering where the king's neck used to be. And there, in a pool of blood and vomit and other goo, he found this beautiful, heart-shaped jewel. Exclaiming "Merde!" he lifted it up, and ever since, it has been known as the "Coeur Deluxe de la Merde". Fascinating story, don't you think, Dose? Oh, by the way, you shouldn't get it wet - I was warned that it gives out a somewhat unpleasant smell.

** Dose, so fascinated that she is about to puke, says nothing.

         Pal: It was made for royalty. We are royalty, Dose. If you don't believe me, just look at the porthole over there. See the paparazzi outside, trying to get a picture of us?

** THE NEXT DAY, Dose has invited Snack up to the boat deck. They have already been walking around for quite some time, Snack telling her the story of his life.

         Snack: ...and then my mother said to the cop, "No, he's not my son, I've never seen him before." Since then I've been on my own.

** Dose looks at him, impressed.

         Snack: Well, Dose, we've walked about a mile on this boat deck, talking about how I grew up and how nice the weather's been and how it can only get better as these huge funnels keep spewing soot and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. But I reckon that's not why you came to talk to me, is it?
         Dose: Mr. Whoreson, I...
         Snack: Snack!
         Dose: Snack...I want to thank you for what you did. Not just for pulling me back, but for your discretion. I mean, you could have started blackmailing me and everything.
         Snack: No, that is not my style! Er... incidentally, what is your address?
         Dose: Look! I know what you must be thinking: "Poor little rich girl! What does she know about misery?"
         Snack: No. No, that's not what I was thinking. [He was thinking: "Poor little rich girl! She would really know about misery if I ever got into her suite, for then she would suddenly be a poor little POOR girl!"]
         Dose: I was getting desperate because I will soon have to marry Pal Cockey. You must have noticed my monstrous engagement ring!

** She shows him her ring; the jewel that is set in it could easily be mistaken for the Rock of Gibraltar.

         Snack: Gahd! Look at that thing! You would have gone straight to the bottom!

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Every seemingly innocent moment we spend with Snack and Dose is informed by the poignant truth that soon, everything we see around them will be gone. But people's memories are short. Half of the idiots in the audience have already forgotten that the ship will sink. So throughout the movie, we'll have to scatter "involuntary ironic" lines like the above, to remind them about the upcoming disaster. Hmm... what else can we throw in? Some major character going to the toilet, flushing down and observing that "whoa, there everything went down into the water"?]

         Dose: Five hundred invitations have gone out... all of Philadelphia society will be there... and all the while, I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crowded room and screaming at the top of my lungs and no one even looks up!
         Snack: Yeah, I know the feeling. Like when you're standing in the shower and there's no hot water.
         Dose: But surely a shower isn't normally a crowded room? Aren't you alone there?
         Snack: Ah, so that's why no one looks up!
         Dose: You're weird! Is that a sketchbook you have there? Are you an artist or something?
         Snack: Yes. [Sc. the "or something" part.]
         Dose (grabbing Snack's sketchbook, containing the props for the "artist" stunt he sometimes pulls to charm his way into people's home): So this is your work?
         Snack: Yes, sketches I made in Paris. Careful! One day those may be hanging in the Louvre! [Snack plans to hang them there himself when he breaks in to steal the Mona Lisa.]
         Dose (looking at Snack's amateurish drawings): Well... hm... the common denominator seems to be women and nakedness, right?
         Snack: That's one of the good things about Paris: lots of girls willing to take their clothes off!
         Dose: Yes, you must be able to create beautiful nudes.
         Snack: Yeah, when you mention it, that's another advantage.
         Dose (recognizing the same woman on many of the drawings): You liked this woman. You used her several times.
         Snack: Yes. She was a one-legged, one-armed, one-eyed, one-dimensional prostitute. Because of all the missing parts, it took me much less time to draw her than other women, so I stuck to her. She had a good sense of humor, though. But then I didn't have to draw her sense of humor, so that was no problem.
         Dose: You do get around for a person of limited means.
         Snack: Sure do! It's not only Paris; last year I was in Vienna. Money was no problem; you see, I gave private lessons to a painter about my own age. Very talented - he just needed a little instruction. Well, I don't know where he is now, but with the lessons I gave him, there is no reason why the Academy of Art should not accept him as a student. I'm glad, for he said that if he couldn't fulfill his dream of becoming a famous painter, he would get into politics instead - and I really can't see young Adolf as a politician.

** INSIDE THE SHIP, Brute Dismay is having lunch with the captain.

         Dismay: I feel the need, the need for speed! Have you lit all the boilers?
         Captain: Well... the engines haven't been properly run in yet, so...
         Dismay: Nonsense! Get it done!
         Captain: Ahem... I think I make such decisions on board this ship, Mr. Dismay!
         Dismay: Oops... pardon me! I step out of line. Of course, I am just a passenger, even though I own the ship. You, as captain, is the highest authority on board, so you must do as you think is best. To change the subject entirely, do you know what horribly degrading conditions unemployed people are facing these days? Having to stand in line for hours only to get a little soup, spending cold nights freezing under bridges because they can't afford even a modest apartment... that sort of thing. It is particularly difficult for elderly people, I believe... a man your age almost invariably ends up in the gutters if he loses his job. Too bad, isn't it? It is a hard and cruel age we live in.
         Captain: After all, it's been several days...I guess the engines are run in already.
         Dismay: Good man! The first crossing of the Titragic must make headlines! More than that, it must make history in ocean travel! People must still remember it when the century draws to a close! A spate of books must be written about the first crossing! There must be blockbuster movies made about it, with budgets exceeding the gross national product of most Third World countries... combined! Do you get my drift?
         Captain: Ah! I guess it won't be enough to use all the boilers, then... I'll have the stewards locate each their porthole near the waterline and stick out an oar to row.

** LATER, on the long promenade deck, Snack is teaching Dose a new sport. Her face is covered with her own saliva.

         Snack (a little tired): OK, Dose... let us take this one more time... rule number one... you never spit against the wind! You won't make it to the Spitter Olympics that way. Surely this isn't so difficult to understand?
         Dose: Yes, Snack. I think I've got it now.
         Snack: Right... my mouth is drying up, so this will be the last demonstration for a while. You watching?
         Dose: Yup!

** One last time, Snack demonstrates his masterful performance: rolling the gob on his tongue, up to the front, arching his neck, then a big breath and PLOOOW, the clot is speeding towards the horizon. Some guy in Honduras is going to wonder what hit him.

         Dose (awed): Incredible!
         Snack: It is only a matter of training, Dose - long years of training and discipline. And no steroids, thank you! I know there are those who use such short-cuts, but I think it is a threat to the whole sport.

** Snack and Dose grab the railing as the ship suddenly TILTS, heralding the arrival of Polly Crone. It turns out that she is not alone; there are also some other women, including Rut!

         Dose: Hello, mom! Mr. Whoreson has taught me a fascinating new sport!
         Rut: Oh, so? Was that before or after he infected you with rabies?
         Old Dose (voiceover): The other women were gracious and curious about the man who'd saved my life. But my mother looked at him like an insect, a fly in her soup. You know all the jokes about the guy who finds a fly in his soup and calls the waiter, right? "Waiter, what's that fly doing in my soup?" And then the waiter says something like, "Looks like the backstroke, sir!" OK, that was a digression... though eventually, Snack did get ample opportunity to do the backstroke...

** The dinner signal is sounded. Soon, everyone will be looking for flies in their soup.

         Snack: Wow, dinner! And I'm invited! Wonder what is on the menu?
         Polly: Well, as of this morning, they were planning to serve lamb. But that was before I visited the galley, of course. I don't know what they came up with instead.

** AS DUSK IS FALLING, Snack walks in through the First Class Entrance, dressed in a tuxedo he has "borrowed" somewhere. He can barely believe that for once, he is entering the domains of the rich and famous without the help of picklocks or a crowbar. He pauses briefly before the huge Mickey Mouse-clock with carved images of Mickey and Minnie on either side of the dial, then proceeds down the stairs. Shortly afterwards, Pal and Rut come down the stairs, Dose following behind them.

         Pal (conversing): ...and there are several thousand tons of Cockey steel in this very ship.
         Rut: Then we know who to hold accountable in case there is a problem.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Ah, this is really perfect! From now on, the Bad Guy candidature of Dose's weasel-like fiancé does not depend merely on the fact that he will try to come between her and Snack (never mind that it is actually Snack who is trying to come between him and Dose) - no, it turns out that Pal is also to blame for the upcoming sinking because of the rotten steel his company has been delivering to the shipyard! Now we know that he will, in effect, murder more than a thousand people! Come on, let's hate him all at once!]

** Pal and the DeMent Buccaneers suddenly face their dinner guest.

         Pal (hardly recognizing Snack in a tuxedo): Amazing! You almost look like a gentleman!
         Snack: Almost?
         Pal: Well...it would help to complete the illusion if you concluded the dig your fingertip is conducting deep in your right nostril.
         Dose: Shall we go and have dinner, then?
         Snack (obediently licking his finger clean): I have already started.


** They enter the luxurious Dining Saloon, chock full of people so rich that they couldn't become poor even if they tried.

         Old Dose (voice-over): He must have been nervous, but he never showed it... hardly anyone noticed the wet stain in his crutch. Seeing the greedy glint in his eyes as he ogled all the opulence around him, they all naturally assumed that he was one of them. So we sat down to have dinner, but mother could always be counted upon...

         Rut: Tell us of the accommodations in steerage, Mr. Whoreson. I hear they're quite good on this ship.
         Snack: The best I've seen, ma'am. Hardly any rats. Especially now that we have caught and eaten most of them.
         Pal (to the people around the table): Mr. Whoreson is joining us from the third class. Or was it the fourth class, the ones clinging to ropes hanging down the sides of the ship? I forget.
         Dose: It turns out that Mr. Whoreson is quite a fine artist... there are not many five-year-olds alive who would be able to imitate his drawings. He was kind enough to show me some of his work today.
         Pal: Dose and I differ somewhat in our definition of fine art. Not to impugn your work, sir... I'm sure it is every bit as awful as the paintings of that Picasso guy.
         Snack: Thank you.

** Snack looks bewildered at all the spoons and knifes next to his plate. Having eaten with his fingers all his life, he wonders what they are for.

         Polly Crone (whispering, discretely pointing): That one is for meat... that one is for the soup... that's a salad fork... and when the mindless chatter is starting to drive you mad, this is the one you use to lobotomize yourself.
         Servant (to Snack): And how do you take your caviar, sir?
         Snack: Unopened jar. Much easier to sell afterwards.
         Rut: And where exactly do you live, Mr. Whoreson?
         Snack: Well, right now my address is the RMS* Titragic. After that, I'm on God's good humor.
[*RMS = Real Megalomaniac's Ship.]
         Rut: God's good humor?
         Snack: Yeah, over the years, he's had quite a few good laughs at my expense.
         Rut: And how is it that you have means to travel?
         Snack: Well, I'm an artist like Dose said, and one of my specialties is a kind of quite small, rectangular lithographs... immensely popular.
         Rut: So you make money on those? What are the motives?
         Snack: Well, there are presidents' faces, lots of intricate doodles, some numbers and a little text, such as "In God We Trust". The color is predominantly green. And yes, I guess you can say I make money.

** CUT to the Marconi room. One of the two WIRELESS OPERATORS suddenly gets excited.

         First Wireless Operator (furiously transcribing the Morse code): Hey... I'm getting a very important message. There, that's the whole thing! The captain should see this right away. I guess he's having dinner now. You take this paper and try to find him! I must stay here in case there's another message.

** The other wireless operator leaves for the dining saloon, message in hand.

** Back in said saloon, the desert is over, and people are beginning to leave. Pal and most of the other men are heading for the smoking room, still mumbling among themselves: Surely even a third-class bum should have realized that eating cream cake with one's fingers doesn't help the appetite of the others at the table?

** While licking his plate clean, Snack realizes that he will soon be expected to leave first class. Which is too bad, since his scheme to seduce Dose and gain access to her suite still hasn't come to fruition. He mustn't lose contact with her now! Better send her some kind of "romantic" message. Snack has his pencil... but where can he find a piece of paper?

** Suddenly Snack spots the wireless operator entering the saloon, homing in on the captain sitting by a table in a corner. Rushing over to him with the message, he conveniently has to pass by Snack's table...

CRASH!

         Snack (vigorously chewing on a newly-piled banana): Oh, poor man! You must have slipped on something. Here, let me help you up!
         Wireless operator: Thank you...I think.
         Snack: Better be careful, you know! Well, I have to go now.

** Pretending to leave, Snack actually sits down at another table and furtively produces a piece of paper. He glances briefly at what is written on it (some "Ice Warning" crap), then shrugs, turns it over and writes his own message on the other side. Then he sneaks back to the table where Dose is sitting.

         Snack (shaking her hand): Good night, Dose. Thank you for an unforgettable dinner... or was it brunch? Can't remember. Well, good night anyway. [Turns and leaves the room for real.]

** Dose discovers that he slipped a note into her hand.

         Wireless operator (in background, getting desperate): Hey, has anyone seen a small piece of paper? It's an important message! The captain must see it!

** Making sure no one sees her, Dose unfolds the note and reads: Mete me biLow in stiridge aNd lets hev a reaL partie!!!!! You briNg the booz and i'LL briNg the atmosfeer!!!!! Yoors siNseerLi, sNac.

** SOON AFTER, Dose joins Snack in the drunken brawls permanently going on somewhere near the keel. The steerage passengers are playing their primitive Stone Age instruments, accompanying a woman who is singing an old Irish folk song.

         Celine MacDion (singing): Love was when I loved you / one true time I ho-o-old to; / in my life, we'll always go on. / Near, far, wherever you are / I believe that the heart does go on. / Once more, you open the door...
         Dose: Somebody open the door and kick that screaming scarecrow out through it! What incredibly cheesy lyrics, just a bunch of clichés! Snack, did you drag me all the way down here only to listen to that?
         Snack: Sorry, I thought it was something better.
         MacDion: I see you, I feel you, I fondle you, but my heart will go on and on and on...
         Snack: Hey, Dose, did you change your mind about the music? You're dancing to it!
         Dose: No, I've just assumed a ballet stance I haven't tried in years; I hoped that standing on my toes would be so painful that I could shut out that awful noise. Shit, it isn't working! Well, let me have a little nicotine instead!

** She grabs a cigarette out of someone's mouth and takes a big drag.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: The leitmotif of this movie is that smoking means freedom. Earlier, we have seen Pal put out Dose's cigarette, symbolizing that he wants to control her life and take her freedom away. Snack, who represents the freedom Dose wants, appropriately smokes all the time. Now, together with Snack, Dose grabs a cigarette to symbolize that she takes her freedom back. In short, IF YOU ARE FREE, YOU SMOKE. This is of course the perfect message to send to all the young people who will be watching the movie... but hey, only the tobacco industry is both wealthy enough and desperate enough to pay for the gargantuan Titragic set we are going to need!]

** THE NEXT MORNING, Dose and Pal are having breakfast together.

         Pal: I had hoped you would come to me last night.
         Dose: Yeah, I bet.
         Pal (getting angry): But you were busy with your exertions below decks, right?! You will never behave like that again! You are my wife in practice, if not yet by law. So you will treat me just as a wife is expected to treat her husband!
         Dose: We are arguing, so what are you complaining about?
         Pal (explodes): You got to control your feelings, Dose!!! All right, so that gutter rat you have been seeing is rather handsome! All right, so you are a little attracted to him! But you GOTTA RESIST IT, Dose! Oooooh, how I just HAAAATE it when people give in to their emotions instead of staying calm and rational!!! [Emphasizes this point by overturning the breakfast table, jumping up and down on the china, and screaming into Dose's face:] SELF-CONTROL, Dose! You've got to learn a little SELF-CONTROL!!!!!

** Pal marches out through the door, a small, black cloud hovering above his head. Rut comes in.

         Rut: You heard what he said! You are not to see that boy again, do you understand me, Dose? I forbid it!
         Dose: But Mother...
         Rut: Don't you Mother me! Our situation is precarious. It is a fine match with Cockey, and it will ensure our survival.
         Dose: How can you put this on my shoulders?
         Rut: Gahd, Dose, how can you be so selfish? Do you want us to be poor? So poor that we would have to drink the champagne straight from the bottle? That we could go to the opera only every other week? That we would have to clean the dishes instead of just throwing them away and buy new ones? Do you want to put your own mother through the horrible humiliation of being seen wearing the same pair of shoes on two different occasions? Is that what you want?
         Dose: It's so unfair.
         Rut: Of course it's unfair! We're women. Our choices are never easy. At least we don't have the right to vote, so that we would have to worry about that as well.

** LATER, Thomas Pantries is leading a group of passengers back from the bridge along the boat deck; they are on a guided tour around the vessel.

         Dose: Mr. Pantries, I did the sum in my head, and with the number of lifeboats times the capacity you mentioned... forgive me, but it seems that there are not enough for everyone aboard.
         Pantries: About half, actually. That's a safety precaution.
         Dose: Eh???
         Pantries: In case the look-out spots an iceberg or some other obstacle, we must of course be able to port around it. Then it is important that the ship is not too heavy and sluggish because of unnecessary mass, being burdened with a lot of lifeboats. To the Falling Star Line, the safety of the passengers has always been a top priority. Therefore it was decided to remove most of the dangerous lifeboats to ensure that the ship would be as maneuverable, and hence as safe, as possible.
         Dose: But then we would be even safer if there were no lifeboats at all, right?
         Pantries: Great idea, young Dose! [Makes a note in his notebook.] That's what I'll do when we build the next sister ship, the Gastronomic, next year!

** Suddenly, Snack appears behind the group and discretely leads Dose away into the gymnasium nearby, where they can be alone.

         Dose: Hey, I finished pumping iron earlier today! What are we doing here?
         Snack: I have to tell you something. Dose, you're the most amazingly astounding, wonderful girl... hmm, chick... er, broad... what's the word again?... just a moment, got to check my thesaurus... ah, WOMAN... I have ever met! So please come with me to the bow.
         Dose: What on earth are we going to do in the bow?
         Snack: Listen! I'm not an idiot... it only looks that way. I know how the world works. I have ten bucks in my pockets and nothing to offer you. Hence you will have to sustain me if we stick together. And since neither of us could get a decent job in a million years, we must think of something. Have you noticed that most modern ships, including this one, have no figurehead? You have the looks, you could do that job! You just stand in the bow looking pretty all day, and you'll be rich before you know it! I'll be your agent. Let's go to the bow and start your training right away!
         Dose: Don't be silly! I am going to marry Pal. I love Pal!
         Snack: Hey, what happened to your nose? It just grew nearly an inch!
         Dose: All right, let's go to the goddamn bow, then!

** SOON, just as the sun is setting, Snack and Dose are standing in the bow, ready to start her training as a professional figurehead.

         Snack: Dose, I want you to close your eyes.

** NO!!! Never do that when Snack is around! Shit... that stupid girl did it!

         Snack (busy removing various bracelets, ear-rings, necklaces etc. that Dose doesn't need): Don't peek!
         Dose (opens her eyes anyway, but sees only the ocean ahead of the ship): Oh, Snack, I'm flying!
         Snack: You do? You haven't been stealing my cigarettes, have you?


** Dose turns her head and looks at Snack... it is as if some kind of magnetism is drawing their faces together... then they... URGH... they do... well, you know, that horribly unhygienic LIP thing people sometimes do when primitive instincts override their common sense! Ouch... it seems Dose and Snack are doing the grotesque TONGUE thing as well! There then stand, exchanging saliva, while the fresh paint of the bow glows in the setting sun. Hmm... perhaps it isn't freshly painted after all? Don't we see some rust here and there? Don't we see quite a lot of rust, actually? Aaargh, is it not rust ALL OVER THE PLACE?!??!! Hey! Dose and Snack are becoming transparent... they just FADE AWAY... what kind of incredibly weird disaster is this? Someone call Mulder and Scully! Shit, it's 1913 and they haven't been born yet! Oh... false alarm. From 1913 we just morphed back to the present, the bow as it appears on the wreck. Well, there's a natural explanation for everything...

         Hoary Dose (turning away from the monitor showing the rusting bow): That was the last time Titragic saw the light of day... and the first time I gave Snack the time of day.
         Spock: Right, so we're finally up to dusk the night of the sinking. The film is half over, so it was time we got to the funny part where people start dying. Boy, will they use fast-forward a lot when this movie is released on video! All right... can we skip whatever "romantic" blah-blah-blah that remains and move on to the iceberg?
         Dose: But I haven't told about the drawing yet! The drawing is important!
         Spock: OK, then... but make it brief!

** On the screen behind Dose, we see the sad ruins of the suite she once lived in... a fireplace... an empty doorframe... the colorless remains of a Ming vase, all crushed. But then we morph back to 1913... the colors return to the room... there is suddenly a door in the frame again... the Ming vase next to the door seems to magically reassemble itself, and we see what a graceful vision of beauty it once was...

...that is, before Snack SLAMMED OPEN THE DOOR and CRUSHED it.

         Snack: Oops! So solly! It wasn't expensive, was it?
         Dose: Nothing you couldn't pay for if you managed to sell ten of your drawings every day for a couple of thousand years. I guess we'll have to start right away. Snack, I want you to draw me! And as a paying customer, I expect to get what I want. [She throws him a dime.]
         Snack: Hey, do the words "capitalist extortion" mean anything to you?
         Dose: Snack, I want you to draw me like that French girl!
         Snack: But we would have to chop off one of your legs and...
         Dose: Nonsense! This is your great chance to learn how to draw a person with both legs in place.
         Snack: Wow, I will grow as an artist tonight!
         Dose: Snack, I want you to draw me naked.
         Snack: Something else will also grow, then!

** Dose opens Pal's safe (remember to have a good, long, lingering shot of the safe, so that at least some of the dupes in the audience will recognize it as the very safe that will be dynamited out of the wreck eighty-four years later). While she has her back on him, Snack pillages the suite.

         Dose (busy retrieving the Coeur Deluxe de la Merde from the safe): What do you think of the Picasso in the corner?
         Snack: Ah...I almost overlooked that one! Thank you! [Cuts out the painting and rolls it up.]
         Dose (blissfully unaware that she is doing something that may be compared to showing your baby to a pedophiliac): This is a very rare diamond. I want to wear it when you draw me.
         Snack (ogling the diamond, drooling): Hey, Dose... my customers are usually quite poor, so I'm not used to drawing jewelry... can't I borrow this stone until tomorrow night and make some sketches of it? Then we will... ahem... meet again here and I'll draw you wearing it. (Ha ha ha...)
         Dose: No, I want you to draw me right away.

** SOON, Dose is lying naked on a coach. Snack, drawing her, is also lying... in his own way.

         Snack: Don't you worry, Dose, I am very professional in such situations.
         Dose: Just try to finish the drawing before your slobber has dissolved the paper completely, right?


         
[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: I plan to do the drawing, so crucial to the plot of the movie, myself. Remember to lay in a good stock of paper and conte crayon! After all, I may not get the drawing right at the first try; indeed I'm afraid I shall have to spend many an hour with the naked actress...]

** The camera closes in on Dose's face (other parts of her naked body would undoubtedly interest the male half of the audience more, but we won't get eleven Academy Awards if it becomes too obvious to those goddamn moralists what a smutty movie this really is). Suddenly, Dose's young and smooth face MORPHS into her face as it appears 84 years later!

         Spock, Bovine and Sleazy (cringing back in shock and utter disgust): UUURRGH!
         Sleazy: Nana, PLEASE don't do that! You almost gave us a heart attack!
         Mummy Dose: He, he! So fun to see you jump! Well. While Snack was drawing me, my heart was pounding all the time. It was the most erotic moment of my life. At least since I watched my hamsters mate when I was twelve.
         Bovine (bent over the computer, checking the Titragic database): Hey, I've been trying to find some evidence to corroborate this whole wild story of yours - but I can't find anything on this Snack character.
         Dose: No, there wouldn't be anything, would there? And I have never spoken about him to anyone before now - not even to your grandfather, Sleazy, when I later met him. A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. While we are on the subject, he wasn't really your grandfather. I had an affair with the gardener. But that's another story.
         Sleazy: Nana!
         Dose: Then I'm not entirely sure that you are really my granddaughter, either. But that is yet another story.
         Bovine: Sort out your problems later. Well, Snack made a drawing of you. Right. What happened next?
         Dose: You mean... did we "do it"?
         Bovine: Yes...?
         Dose: You mean, did we rip off our clothes and have wild, uninhibited sex?
         Bovine: YES...?
         Dose: You mean, did our young, naked bodies meet in ecstasy, his manhood penetrating my body and my soul, divine spasms running though us, the ground trembling, our bodies bathed in sweat?
         Bovine: YESSS...?!!
         Dose: NO! We did nothing of the kind! What a dirty imagination you have, Mr. Bovine!

** CUT back to 1913. Dose is dressed again, and Snack is just signing the drawing (trying to remember how his name is spelled). Dose looks at it with some skepticism.

         Dose: I didn't really wear black leather boots, did I? And what is that thing in my hand? A whip?
         Snack: Artistic liberty, Dose. Artistic liberty.
         Dose: Well, I guess it will have to do. You see, Snack, this drawing is my parting present for Pal. I'll leave it in his safe. Now that I'm going to run off with you, I want to make sure that he knows what he is missing!
         Snack: Ahem...wouldn't it make the symbolism perfect if that goes for the diamond, too? Since it's on the drawing, I mean.
         Dose: Absolutely not! I am not a thief! Don't you have any integrity, Snack?
         Snack: Most definitely! I hate to see beautiful jewelry locked away in a cold, dark safe! My integrity forbids me to let such atrocities continue.
         Dose: Don't worry, Pal will need this stone to buy himself another bride soon enough! Let him keep it, poor guy.

** She puts the drawing and the Coeur Deluxe de la Merde in the safe. Snack looks longingly at the diamond as she closes the door and locks the safe. Drat!

** Suddenly, they hear someone outside and run (even without the diamond, Snack has very good reasons not to let anyone search his pockets right now... he can always get rid of Dose later). As Dose and Snack escape through another door, Loverboy comes in. He gets a glimpse of them and runs after them, but they make it to an elevator and goes down with it. As the elevator disappears out of Loverboy's view, Dose makes an anachronistic gesture.

** Unable to keep up with the ill-matched couple, Loverboy goes back to the smoking room, locates Pal and tells him what has happened. Upon learning that Snack has been in the suite, Pal rightly suspects the worst and rushes to it. He immediately opens the safe. Thank goodness, the priceless diamond is still there... but what is that? Seconds later, Pal finds himself staring at Snack's drawing of Dose, his face a good imitation of a fish that has spent approximately three minutes out of water. He tenses to rip it into 213 pieces... then checks himself.

         Pal: I've got a better idea.
         Loverboy: My pleasure, sir!
         Pal: No, not that... afterwards, some poor, unsuspecting shark smelling the blood will come over his body and be left with acute diarrhea. Can't have that... I've always loved sharks... they were like kindred spirits or something. No... I've got an even better idea!

** Snack, blissfully unaware that evil plans are being hatched against him in this very moment, thinks Loverboy is still pursuing him and Dose. After roaming around the entire ship, disturbing each and every Falling Star employee trying to do his goddamn job, Snack and Dose somehow end up in the cargo hold. Suddenly, they find a red, brand-new Renault between the crates. Snack instinctively slips into the driver seat and prepares to hot-wire the car, then remembers that they are in the middle of the ocean. Damn! Dose thinks he is just playing some kind of romantic game and climbs into the back seat. Well, better just play along with her...

         Snack: Where to, miss?
         Dose: To the stars!
         Snack: Are you nuts?! Even the closest star is 4.2 light-years away! If this thing can go fifty miles an hour, which I seriously doubt, it will take us some 13,423,000 years to get there!
         Dose: Hmm! Then what are we going to do?

** OUTSIDE, the Titragic is steaming through the cold night. ZOOM IN to reveal the two lookouts in the crow's nest in the mast. The older lookout is busy with a crossword puzzle, leaving it to his younger and less experienced colleague to do the actual looking-out.

         Older lookout: Hmm... "big, cold, white thing floating in the sea"... seven letters. Any suggestion?
         Younger lookout: "Overweight frigid Caucasian swimmer"? No... too many letters, right?
         Older lookout: Right.
         Younger lookout: Hmm...what about "iceberg"?
         Older lookout: I-C-E-B-E... yeah! I think that's it! Good thinking!
         Younger lookout: Yes, I'm smart, right?
         Older lookout: Seems so.
         Younger lookout: All right... I won't fool you! I can't take the credit, really. It occurred to me when I spotted that huge, massive, towering berg right in front of us.
         Older lookout: Ah, so that's how you figured it out! Right... "river in Germany", five letters. You won't spot that in front of us, will you?
         Younger lookout: Well, I guess there is some water from any river in the ocean!
         Older lookout (laughs): That's a good one. Ah... the Rhine, of course. Have I told you that I sailed up the Rhine once? Horribly polluted. They oughta' call it the Urhine. Did you get that one? The Urhine! Ha-ha!
         Younger lookout (laughs obediently): Yeah! That's a good one, too!
         Older lookout: Erm...hmm...uhm...did you mention something floating right ahead of us?
         Younger lookout: Yes, the biggest iceberg I've ever seen. The Urhine, ha ha! Did you really think of that one yourself?

** The older lookout slowly lowers the magazine with the crossword puzzle and gazes into the darkness ahead of the ship.

         Older lookout: Ooooh...shiiiit...
         Younger lookout: Shit? Hmm..."excrement"? "Feces"? How many letters?
         
** The older lookout doesn't answer. Instead he frantically picks up the phone to the bridge, praying that he won't get the answering machine as usual.

** ON THE BRIDGE, Officers Murdick and Blightoller are residing in the captain's absence. The phone rings.

         Murdick: Shall I...?
         Blightoller: I can pick it up, but if you...
         Murdick: Well, my solitaire won't go up anyway, so...
         Blightoller: Stay where you are, old chap, I'll pick it up.
         Murdick: No, it's no trouble...
         Blightoller: No trouble for me either...
         Murdick: I appreciate it, but as the officer in charge I guess I'm the one who is supposed to answer the phone...
         Blightoller: No, I think I could do it...
         Murdick: Well, I guess it wouldn't really be against the book...
         Blightoller: Who can it be?
         Murdick: Oh, they probably want us to buy something...
         Blightoller: Yes, a damned nuisance it is, right...?
         Murdick: I remember last year, some damn salesman was on the phone and tried to get me to buy a bloody encyclopaedia... twelve volumes! The worst thing is that he succeeded. But in the end I got my money back, thank goodness! It was a long struggle before I got there, though. Have I told you about that?
         Blightoller: No...?
         Murdick: Well, it's a long story, actually. But if you want to know, I...

** CUT BACK TO THE CROW'S NEST, where a hysterical lookout is clinging to a microphone, knowing all too well that within seconds, the world is going to lose a transatlantic liner and gain an essential ingredient for 2.6 million "whiskey on the rocks".

         Lookout: Pick up, you bastards!

** ON THE BRIDGE, the phone keeps ringing: DRIIING! DRIIING! DRIIING! DRIING! DRIIING...

         Murdick: ...and then I told him, "If I ever see you again, I will stick all twelve volumes up your ass!" Need I say that I've never heard from him again?
         Blightoller: No, I figure you didn't. [Looks at the phone.] Hey...that must be a persistent bastard in the other end.
         Murdick: Perhaps it is that woman telling what time it is. She is rather persistent, isn't she? Guess she has to be, with such a job.
         Blightoller: But does she ever call others? Don't you have to call her?
         Murdick: Hmm...yes, I wonder if you're not right. Then who can it be?
         Blightoller: Could be one of those perverts, you know. Lots of moaning and groaning. I'm not going to pick up if it is one of those.
         Murdick: But then we don't know unless we pick up, do we?
         Blightoller: No, I guess we won't. Now that's a dilemma, right? A little like "how do I know the light isn't on when the refrigerator door is closed?" I mean, if you open it, the light is supposed to be on. But how do you know it really goes off when you close the door? Perhaps it just keeps burning, sending your electricity bill sky-rocketing for no purpose whatsoever?
         Murdick: That isn't really the same problem, is it?
         Blightoller: No, I didn't say it is the same, it's just related. Somehow. I think.
         Murdick: Perhaps we should simply take our chances and pick up the bloody phone?
         Blightoller: Yeah, I tend to agree. Could be something important, you know.
         Murdick: Shall I...?
         Blightoller: No, we agreed that I'll answer it, right?
         Murdick: We did?
         Blightoller: Didn't we?
         Murdick: Well, it doesn't really mean anything to me, one way or the other...
         Blightoller: I'll do it, then.
         Murdick: All right, if it's OK with you. But if it's a salesman, just remember that you must not give him your credit card number.
         Blightoller: What if it's some charity? The Red Cross or something?
         Murdick: Hmm. That's tough. When it is some goody-goody thing, it is harder to say no, right? Makes you look mean, indifferent to other people's misery... that sort of thing.
         Blightoller: It does, doesn't it?
         Murdick: We have a good excuse, you know... we don't get paid before we reach New York. So we can say, with some candor, that we don't have much money right now.
         Blightoller: Hmm. Yes, that will work. Right, I'll pick up the phone now.
         Murdick: Yes, do that, old chap.
         Blightoller: I mean, it's no use putting it off, right.
         Murdick: No, we must try to be a little efficient, I guess.
         Blightoller: We must, mustn't we?
         Murdick: Yeah.

** Blightoller walks over to the phone... pauses to have a look at his watch... yawns... yawns again... spots some dirt on his left shoe... bends over and wipes it away with his handkerchief... straightens himself... carefully puts his handkerchief back into his pocket... and... and... and... picks up the phone!

         Blightoller: Hello?
         Lookout: ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!!!!!
         Blightoller (gives out a tired sigh): Hmm... this wouldn't by any chance be the lookout, would it?
         Lookout (hysterical): Of course it is the lookout!!! WHO ELSE?!!
         Blightoller (cold and calm): Right. You are aware that you are addressing a superior officer?
         Lookout (confused): Yes...?
         Blightoller: Then may I ask why you did not address me as such?
         Lookout: What?!
         Blightoller (irritated, tensely calm): It is "iceberg... right... ahead... SIR!"
         Lookout: What are you tal...
         Blightoller (interrupting, his anger erupting): SIR! You will address me as SIR! Is this so difficult to understand?! SIR! SIR! SIR! Right! I will give you one more chance! Use it well, or you can consider yourself unemployed. Let's take the whole thing one more time. You spot an iceberg right ahead. You pick up the phone and call the bridge. Well and good so far. Then I answer the phone. And then you say...?
         Lookout (sobbing, near a nervous breakdown): Iceberg... right... ahead... sir!
         Blightoller: Excellent! Now that wasn't really so difficult, was it? OK. Iceberg right ahead noted. Anything else in sight?
         Lookout (still sobbing): Nohohohooo...
         Blightoller: Well, then you're dismissed. But I'll be watching you, so be sure to address superior officers in the proper way hereafter! [Hangs up the phone.]
         Murdick: The lookout, was it?
         Blightoller: Right.
         Murdick: Uhm...am I wrong, or did you mention an iceberg?
         Blightoller: Yeah, right ahead, if our freezing little friend in the mast hasn't misplaced his glasses again.
         Murdick (looks ahead, spots the berg, enters instant hysteria and utter panic, and screams): HARD A' STARBOARD!!! ...or is it a' port? Damn, which one is "left"? I always forget!

** Murdick activates the emergency brakes. All over the ship, sleeping people are thrown out of their beds, drinks spill over, and houses of cards fall in ruin.

** Incredibly slooooooooooooooowly, the Titragic starts to turn.

         Murdick: Come on, turn, turn...! Oh no, we're going to hit! I know it, we're going to hit!
         Blightoller: What kind of defeatist attitude is that? Think positive, man!
         Murdick: Right! Think positive! Positive-positive-positive! All right... after we have hit, I will manage to jump onto the berg just as it passes us, instead of having to stay on the ship when it goes down and all the people on board DIIIIE! How's that for positive thinking?

** The bow of Titragic is rapidly nearing the iceberg! Twenty feet... ten... five... four... three... two... one...

** LIFT-OFF! The date of the Bow and the Berg was cancelled in the last squintillionth of a second! If there had been one more coat of that dull black paint, the bow would have hit. But the berg missed the ship and drifts harmlessly down the starboard side. As it is passing, two polar bears on it greet the officers on the bridge, raising a Coke in toast. ($$$!)

         Murdick: HAAAAAA! We made it! Just as I said the whole time! Don't worry, Blightoller, I won't tell anyone how nervous you were.

** The ship is saved, right? There will be no sinking and no tragedy, right?

** Sorry...remember that SNACK WHORESON is on board! Berg or no berg, the ship is DOOMED!

** CUT back to Dose and Snack, who are busy steaming up the windows of the Renault. We only see their naked feet, sticking out over the driver's seat.

         Dose: Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! (etc.)
         Snack:
Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! Ah! Uh! (etc.)

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: We have just begun a very crucial scene, so make sure that the actors learn their lines well.]

** Their feet are all over the dashboard and the pedals. In the throes of passion, Snack's toes accidentally turn the key that the owner simply left in the ignition (who would steal his car in the cargo hold of a ship in the middle of the ocean?)

         Snack (hearing the motor): Eh...uh?
         Dose: Don't worry, Snack! I have read all of Dr. Freud's books, so I know everything about the male preoccupation with size. But you needn't feel inferior; I love you just as you are!
         Snack: No, it wasn't that... but what is that sound? I gotta check.

** Snack slides back over the seat... uh-oh... his naked feet accidentally land on the pedals... UH-OH... !!!

WROOOOOM!
CRASH!!!

** A runaway Renault rams right through the side of the Titragic, emerging below the water! SPLOSH! Snack and Dose are flushed out as the car plunges against the deep. They re-enter the cargo hold in the middle of the small Niagara that pours into the ship. Seconds later, the half-naked couple is clinging to a ladder, spitting and coughing and swearing while the water swirls around the crates around them. A few of them are already floating.

         Dose: What the &#@%£ happened?!? What did you do?!
         Snack: Don't complain! Now wasn't that an interesting variation of "the ground trembling"?
         Dose: This has to be the first case ever of reckless driving in the middle of the Atlantic! How did you get your driver's license? Mail order?!
         Snack: Vending machine. Well, let's get out of here. This ladder leads to the well deck, I guess.
         Dose: But...we made quite a big hole there, and water keeps gushing in. Shouldn't we tell someone?
         Snack: Nah, I'm sure it won't be a problem! Oh no... my cigarette is gone! That is a problem.

** High above them, the Captain, Dismay and Pantries rush onto the bridge.

         Captain: What was that, Mr. Murdick?
         Murdick: Er... it must have been that iceberg! I tried to port around it, and for a moment I thought we had made it, but now the instruments seem to indicate a major leakage in the cargo hold. There must have been a finger of ice that bunched into the hull just as we passed by the berg.
         Captain: Is it serious?
         Pantries (checking the instruments): I'm afraid it is. We've got a five degree list already, so I can tell you that Titragic will founder. It is a mathematical certainty.
         Dismay (shocked): You mean, like "two plus two equals four"?!
         Pantries: Actually more like "2,200 passengers minus 1,200 lifeboat seats equals bad publicity for the company".
         Dismay: But this ship can't sink!
         Pantries: If you say so, sir. But be prepared to come up with a good explanation when those cute little crabs start exploring your cabin.
         Captain: Shit, this is going to be one of those days... ship sinking, panic breaking out, passengers dying... I'm getting too old for this! Well, how long?
         Pantries: An hour at the most. Well, two if we get the weight of that Crone woman off the ship as soon as possible.
         Captain: I think you will have your headlines and books and blockbuster movies, Mr. Dismay!
         Dismay (recovering from the shock): It will be a disgrace to the Falling Star Line if this story gets out. Let us try something creative instead. We take one lifeboat, sabotage the others and leave. Then we say that the ship... er... disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle!

** The others LOOK at him.

         Dismay: Right, we're too far north... OK, what about this one: Against our advice, all the passengers decided to take a bath, but no one returned, and we... hmm... just don't know what happened to them!

** The others LOOK at him again.

         Dismay: Right... we would still have to explain whatever happened to the ship itself. Okay... the whole thing was sucked into the sky by a tornado? Was eaten by termites? Disappeared in a time-warp? Went over the edge of the world, confirming that it was rash to throw out Medieval cosmology?

** The others keep LOOKING at him.

         Dismay: Shit... OK, do what you must, shipper.

** The captain strides straightway to the Marconi room and scribbles down a message for the operators to send.

         Wireless operator (shocked): CQD, sir? CQD as in "SOS"?
         Captain: Yes. "Come Quickly or we Die" and "Sinking Overly Speedily". Tell whoever answers that if they can't be here in two hours, they needn't bother at all. [Leaves the room.]
         One wireless operator to the other: Shit, this is one of those "Houston, we've had a problem"-situations, isn't it? We'd better start sending the distress call right away!

** ON THE DECK OUTSIDE, Snack and Dose are trying to put their clothes back on.

         Dose: Everything is soaking wet! And I can't take the clothes back to my cabin to dry them, or Pal will start asking awkward questions when he sees them tomorrow!
         Snack: You're right. I know what to do! Let's put on only the clothes we need to cover ourselves, and leave the rest out here to dry in the sun tomorrow. Tomorrow night, you'll just send your maid to fetch them while people are having dinner.
         Dose: Good idea! But where can we leave our clothes so that no one will find them in the meantime?
         Snack: Hmm...do you see that abstract sculpture up there on the roof of the superstructure? Made of metal bars or something? It's almost out of sight; I wonder why they hid it up there. But anyway, it is a perfect drying stand.
         Dose: Yes! Oh, Snack, you know the answer to any problem, don't you?
         Snack: I'm trying, Dose, I'm trying! [Climbs up to the "sculpture" and hangs the dripping clothes all over it.]

** IN THE MARCONY ROOM, the transmitter EXPLODES!

         First wireless operator: Shit, what happened?
         Second wireless operator: How should I know?! It is almost as if something just short-circuited our antenna, but it can't be! Inform the captain immediately! We must get out the distress signal in some other way!

** OUTSIDE, Snack climbs down again, and he and Dose head for her cabin to warm themselves. Snack is rolling a new cigarette. On the way, they almost collide with a man carrying a bunch of distress rockets.

         Dose: Snack, you make me feel so safe! Despite that little mishap down in the cargo hold, it is as if nothing can go wrong when I'm with you.
         Snack: I know, Dose. I seem to have that effect on women.

** Behind them, the man is ready to fire the first rocket and frantically starts searching his pockets. He is absolutely certain that he had a box of matches!

         Snack (casually lighting up his cigarette): I'm freezing! Let's hurry back to your cabin, shall we?

** DEEP IN THE SHIP, in a humble steerage cabin, Fabricatio wakes up feeling kind of wet.

         Fabricatio (muttering to himself): Damn...I haven't had this problem since I was six years old! Hmm...how can it be so cold? [Turns on the light.] AAARGH! There's water everywhere! Wake up, everybody! The ship must be sinking! Follow the rats! The way the rats are going is good enough for me! Only a rat instinctively knows how to escape from a sinking ship!
         Other steerage passengers: But we had the last rat for dinner tonight, don't you remember?
         Fabricatio: Shit, I should have remembered that eating too much can be dangerous to your health! Oh, I wish Snack was here! He would have known how to escape from the ship, as by instinct!
         Other passengers: Stop contradicting yourself! You just said that only a rat instinctively knows how to escape, but now you say Snack can do it, too!
         Fabricatio: What's the contradiction?

** UP ON FIRST CLASS, Snack and Dose have reached her suite... only to face Pal and Loverboy, who have summoned the Master at Arms!

         Pal: Ah, at last! Two things dear to me have disappeared this evening. Now that one is back [he looks from Dose to Snack], I have a pretty good idea where to find the other.
         Snack: What are you talking about? Your self-esteem, that went missing when I cuckolded you?
         Pal: Shut up! Now let's have a look in your pockets!

** Hiding the Coeur Deluxe de la Merde in his hand, Pal pretends to pick it out of Snack's pocket! (Too bad he didn't really reach down into his pocket and found all the jewelry Snack did steal from the suite.) Pal dangles the diamond before Snack's eyes.

         Snack (awed over his own abilities): Wow, I didn't know I was that good!
         Dose (shocked): But you couldn't have done it! I put the diamond back into the safe myself!
         Pal: Easy enough for a professional! You see, while he was drawing you, Snack also carved out an exact replica of the diamond from a piece of candy and switched it for the real thing while you were putting your clothes back on!
         Snack: No! No! I didn't do it! At least I don't remember doing it! It must have been a reflex! I swear on my mother's grave!
         Dose: But when you told me about your family earlier, you said your mother was still alive!
         Snack: I did? Oh...she died last night. Got a cable about it this morning. She bumped her head, and they had to amputate the whole thing. Very tragic.
         Pal: Cuff this lying creep and take him away!

** Snack, screaming and kicking, is lead away by the Master at Arms. Loverboy follows them, giving Snack an encouraging kick in the ass whenever necessary. Alone with Dose, Pal slaps her face.

         Pal (angry): You are a little slut, aren't you? Do you associate anything at all with the word "faithful" expect that it is a common dog's name? How ungrateful you are! Why, I visited every brothel in Paris to learn how to please you after we get married, and then you do this to me!

** Suddenly, the door opens, and a steward comes in.

         Steward: Sir, I've been told to ask you to please put on your lifebelt, and come up to the boat deck. Now at once! It's captain's orders.
         Pal: Hey, how do you dare to come trampling in here like that? Lifebelt? Ah, see what you have done! You have upset the lady! Look, she's crying!

** Soon, first class passengers are gathering in the great staircase, but no one really knows what is happening. Dose spots the ship's constructor in the crowd and decides to ask him.

         Dose: Mr. Pantries! What is going on? Please tell me the truth! Nothing about the stork!
         Pantries: Let me put it this way. I hope you don't have a goldfish bowl, for if you do, your pet will soon... escape.

** Dose puts her fingers to her mouth, which is how girls in 1913 expressed a serious case of FUD.

         Pantries: Tell only who you must. I don't want to be responsible for a panic, everybody getting hysterical about their goldfish.
         Pal: So we are sinking?! I'll bet Snack is responsible! Down in the ship, he is slowly filling the hull with spit!

** Minutes later, the officers are manning (well, womanning) the first lifeboats. On the boat deck, Pal displays his warm and caring personality.

         Pal: I should have kept that drawing, it will be worth more in the morning. Hmm, too bad that Picasso guy isn't on the ship as well! Perhaps we could have got something for that horrible painting of his after all.
         Dose: You unimaginable bastard! That is a LOVELY painting!
         Rut (in lifeboat): Come on board, Dose!
         Dose: No, mother. I have just decided that this is the perfect occasion for me to assert my independence and leave the nest. Goodbye!
         Pal (calling after her in vain): Where are you going? To him? Are you mad? The only reason for saving him would be to avoid polluting the sea!

** Inside the ship, Dose swiftly locates Thomas Pantries to get some directions.

         Dose: Mr. Pantries, where are arrested people held captive?
         Pantries: When we are not in the process of keelhauling them, you mean? That would be the Master at Arms' office.
         Dose: Where is it? You see, my boyfriend...
         Pantries: Young lady, this really isn't the right moment for trying to obtain some handcuffs that you and your friend can use in your kinky little games!
         Dose: No, he is already cuffed!
         Pantries: Even worse than I thought! Well, if you really have to go to the Master at Arms' office, you must take the elevator to the very bottom, go left, go down the crewman's passage, then make a right turn into the next corridor, go in through the white door (actually all the fifty-two doors in that corridor are white, so make sure you pick the right one), then you follow the next corridor and remember to hold your breath since you will be passing through the shaft leading to the second funnel (a little construction error - Harland & Wolff spilt coffee on my plans and had to improvise), then you go left, left, left, left, left and left again until you start thinking that Communism is actually a good idea, and then you go in through the first door on the right.
         Dose: And then I'm there?
         Pantries: No, then you are totally, utterly, hopelessly lost. But it doesn't really matter. Since we have already seen that you are still alive eighty-four years from now, it is physically impossible for you to die on this ship tonight.
         Dose: Well, that's a comforting thought.

** Dose heads for the elevators.

         Dose: Z deck, please!
         Elevator operator: Sorry, miss! There's no lift now.
         Dose (going berserk): I'M THROUGH WITH BEING POLITE! True, I have NEVER BEEN VERY POLITE IN THE FIRST PLACE, but THAT DOESN'T CHANGE MY GODDAMN POINT! I am GOING DOWN and I am GOING DOWN NOW! And I don't mean GOING DOWN WITH THE BLOODY SHIP, but GOING DOWN WITH THE ELEVATOR!
         Operator: But miss...
         Dose: Shut up! SHUDDUP, I say! I'm GOING DOWN no matter what you say! Just TRY to stand in my way, and I will kick your balls and SPIT IN YOUR FACE just like my boyfriend has taught me to do! GET OUT OF MY WAY! Just because this is 1913 you think a girl can't operate an elevator, eh? Well, STAND BACK AND WATCH, dude!

** She brutally pushes him away, opens the elevator door in a single furious movement and rushes in, fiercely determined.

         Dose: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA - aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgh!

** There is a faint splash somewhere far down.

         Operator (calling down the echoing elevator shaft): As I tried to tell you, miss... there is no lift!

** CUT to Dose down at Z deck. The ship is sinking (remember?), so she landed relatively soft in the water flooding the corridor. Now, still swearing, she heroically (heroinically?) starts to search for her beloved Snack in the bowels of the ship.

** OUTSIDE, quite a few lifeboats are already rowing away from the tilting ship. The band is playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Thomas Pantries approaches one of the officers.

         Pantries: Mr. Blightoller, why aren't the boats filled to capacity before they are launched?
         Blightoller: Well, there are several reasons, actually...
         Pantries: Look, there is Polly Crone in a boat all by herself! Why?!
         Blightoller: Don't be silly, don't you see the boat is almost sinking as it is? You can't put that megaton woman and other people in one boat and still expect it to float!
         Pantries: That's no excuse! Fat floats on water, so she didn't need any boat at all. Hey...there is the Duchess of Rothes, and she is also in a boat all by herself! How do you explain THAT?
         Blightoller: You misunderstand, Mr. Pantries. She's not all by herself at all. She figured it might take some time before we are rescued, so she just wanted to have enough space to exercise her lovely, prizewinning Siamese cat. I didn't think that was unreasonable.
         Pantries: I'm in a madhouse! Well, there I see one boat that is at least half full... BUT WHAT'S THAT BEHIND IT?!??!??
         Blightoller: The Duff-Gordons had a lot of luggage, so they needed a couple of extra boats for their suitcases. Come on, it is their own servants who are rowing, so if they want to tow all that stuff, why should we interfere? Moreover, you know that the Lady is designing naughty lingerie for royals. Do you have any idea what she would sue us for if any of her creations were lost?

** Panic breaks out in the crowd. Blightoller starts waving with a pistol.

         Blightoller: Stand back! Stand back, I say, or I'll shoot you all like dogs!
         Man in crowd: But you didn't shoot the dogs, you gave them one lifeboat each!
         Blightoller: So what? Don't you love animals or something? [To Pantries:] As you see, we have everything under control here. There is no need for you to worry.
         Pantries (tired): Right. I'll be in my cabin hanging myself.

** DOWN IN THE SHIP, Snack has been handcuffed to a waterpipe. (No, not a bong, stupid!) Outside the adjacent porthole, that is already submerged, the piranhas are quite amused by his desperate attempts to pry himself loose.

         Snack: What are you looking at? [Turns to the audience:] And that goes for you, too!

** Water starts seeping through the doorframe, indicating that the corridor outside is already flooded.

         Snack: Oh shit! Boy, am I glad Loverboy closed the door when he left! That will buy me some time.

** Suddenly, the door is SLAMMED OPEN and Dose comes in. So does a fairly good imitation of the Victoria Falls.

         Dose: Snack! Snack! At last I found you! Aren't you glad?!
         Snack (trying to keep his head above the water): Ecstatic. How did you find out I didn't do it?
         Dose: I just noticed how many other things were missing from our suite after you had been there. When you had stolen all that stuff, there would be no room left in your pockets for the diamond!
         Snack: I'm cuffed to this pipe, Dose! I can't get loose!
         Dose: Well, I figured you'd be cuffed like this, so I brought along an axe, but... but I would hate to use it! It would break my heart!
         Snack: Break your heart?! Are you nuts? Use the axe, Dose! For God's sake, use the axe!
         Dose: Oh, Snack, you are so brave! [Raises the axe, tears filling her eyes.] Goodbye, then, my love!
         Snack: What? Goodbye?! Hey, Dose, stop! You're aiming for my head!
         Dose: Of course. It is horrible to drown like a rat, so now I use the axe to put you out of your misery before the water rises above your head. Isn't that what we are talking about?
         Snack: Dose, you stupid cow! Use the axe to cut the chain between the cuffs and free me!
         Dose: Oh, silly me! Why didn't I think of that?
         Snack: Who knows, maybe the genes for red hair and intelligence just don't travel together? Apropos, I think you'd better practice a little before I let you use the axe on this short chain with my hands on either side. See that wooden cabinet over there? Let's see if you can hit the little knob on the door!

** Dose walks over, raises the axe so clumsily that she could easily behead herself by accident, and thunks it into the cabinet. Incredibly, she does hit the knob.

         Snack: That is good, Dose! You can do it!
         Dose: What? Did you mean the knob on that door? I was aiming for the knob on the door to the left!
         Snack: I'm a goner... Well, enough practice - the water is rising fast, so we have to try. Here's the chain, Dose! Just hit it hard and really fast! At least it will soon be over, then...

** Dose raises the axe.

         Snack: Listen, Dose, I trust you! I trust you one hundred percent! But... erhm... you don't happen to have any bandages, do you?
         Dose: Thank you so much for your confidence in me, Snack.
         Snack: But I do trust you... to either free me, kill me or make me invalid! Perhaps it would be best if you do aim for my head. Then there would be some chance that you'll hit the chain.
         Dose: Snack!
         Snack: Yes, that's my name. Well, we can't wait any longer! Do it!

** He closes his eyes. So does she!

** She brings the axe down... K-WHANG... and... wouldn't you know it... on the first try and with her eyes closed, she actually manages to cut the chain between the cuffs without hitting Snack! Welcome to the wonderful world of Hollywood...

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: By all means, save this scene for the very last day of filming, since in all probability we are going to need more than one take. It would be both tricky and expensive if we must add in a CG version of the missing hand of the actor throughout large parts of the movie.]

         Snack (opens his eyes to find himself free): You did it! I don't believe it!
         Audience: Neither do we! The way she handled that axe she would be a danger to herself and others even if she were chopping firewood!
         Snack: OK, never mind credibility! Then I can light up a cigarette as well, even though I just got out of the water and my tobacco (or whatever it is) ought to be soaking wet. Let's make our way to the boat deck!
         Dose (indicating the flooded corridor): This is the way out.
         Snack: Oh, so? Where is the scuba gear? No... we must find another way!

** Somewhere in the flooding corridors, they run into Fabricatio.

         Snack: Fab! Do you know the way out?
         Fabricatio: I've been trying to find it! There is niente that way, only a room full of something called "inflatable rafts". I got out just before it flooded.
         Snack: Too bad there is niente between your ears as well, Fabricatio. Well, let us try to find a way up.

** UP ON THE BOAT DECK, Pal and Loverboy are looking for Dose.

         Loverboy: She's not on the starboard side either.
         Pal: Do you think she plans to free that gutter rat and get off the ship with him?
         Loverboy: Impossible, she would have to leave him behind. They are only letting women and children into the boats, you know.
         Pal: That's what I'm worried about! Haven't you noticed how boyish and immature he looks, and how infantile he behaves? Women and children, right? No... better keep a close watch for them both!

** So they should, for somehow, Snack and Dose have reached the boat deck.

         Dose (shocked): All the boats are gone!
         Snack: Well, not the big one, but we are getting there!
         Dose: Oh, where did I put that hat I had when I embarked? We could have turned it upside down and paddled away in it.
         Snack: Wait! I think there are still one or two boats all the way forward!
         Pal (spotting them in the crowd): Dose! Where have you been? You look horrible! Here, take my coat! Hmm, why do I have the feeling that I am forgetting something important now?
         Snack: You put the diamond in the pocket, right?
         Pal: Yes, of course I put the diamond in your pocket! Did you think I was going to sit still while you stole the love of my fiancée?
         Snack: Actually I wasn't referring to my pocket this time... but since you are so dense and generally unsympathetic, I won't explain it to you.

** No one wants to sound pessimistic, but by now it is obvious that there are only minutes left before Titragic will founder. The bridge is about to go under. Not many feet away, on both sides of the foremost funnel, people are desperately trying to ready the last two lifeboats. One of them has become entangled in ropes, so that the ship may drag it under when it sinks.

         Some officer: There's no time! Cut those ropes! Cut 'em if you have to!
         Another dude: I need a knife! I need a knife!
         Officer: Cut those bloody ropes!

** Fabricatio has a knife and sees his chance to charm his way into a lifeboat. Running up to the boat, he starts cutting everything he sees.

         Fabricatio: Don't worry, folks, we'll have the boat loose in no time!
         Officer: Thank you...or...HEY! Stop! You idiot! That's not the rope restraining the lifeboat!!! THAT WAS THE WIRE SUPPORTING THE FU - -

SQUEEEEEEENK-
CRUSH-
SPLATT!

** The bad news: the foremost funnel just toppled and crushed the lifeboat to smithereens. The good news: in terms of statistical average, the intelligence of the living Italian population suddenly increased noticeably.

         Snack: Poor Fab. Well, I hope he remembered me in his will.
         Pal: Always the optimist, heh, Snack? By now, you should be busy writing your own will (and finding a bottle to put it in). As for Dose, she can only save herself if she comes with me. You see, those of us who are not scum like yourself, but belong to the better half of the people on board, can always find a way out. Now watch while I make a little arrangement with one of the officers. Not that you will benefit much from it. I always win, Snack. One way or another.

** Pal heads for the very last boat, now almost full with women and children, and addresses Officer Murdick.

         Pal: I'm a business man as you know, and I have a business proposition for you. If you let me have a seat in that lifeboat, I'll sign over to you 13 % of my stocks in the Brazil division of Cockey Steel Industries, and assuming that interest rates remain stable, I will grant you an option for another 2 % if you can come up with the necessary cash before the end of the fiscal year. When this ship goes down, there will be less steel available in the world, so the value of our stocks is sure to rise. How can you turn down such a generous offer?
         Murdick: Easily. This time your money can't save you any more than it can save me, Mr. Cockey: There goes the last boat. I've been thinking, and I have concluded that I might just as well end this here and now. As Descartes almost put it, "Cogito, ergo BOOM!"

** Murdick takes his pistol and ventilates his brain.

         Pal: Drat! I was so sure that he would accept that offer, never knowing that our Brazil division was declared bankrupt last week. Now what do I do? Hmm... so my money can't save me? We'll see about that!

** Dose and Snack couldn't care less what will happen to Pal. They run aft, pursued by the advancing water as the bridge and the entire bow section go under. Suddenly, Dose spots the ship's constructor inside the first class smoking room. Curiously, he seems to be busy adjusting the mantle clock above the fireplace.

         Dose: Mr. Pantries!
         Pantries: Oh, Dose...
         Dose (seeing his lifebelt is off, lying on a table): Won't you even make a try for it?
         Pantries: I'm sorry that I didn't build you a stronger ship, young Dose. But don't worry! I was about to hang myself when I suddenly realized that I can save us all!
         Dose: Really?! How?
         Pantries (lunacy beaming from his eyes): It's very easy, really! I'll simply adjust all the clocks on the ship so that the disaster won't have occurred yet!
         Snack: Shrewd... [Low, to Dose:] I think the most merciful thing will be to simply let him drown.
         Dose: I'm afraid I have to agree. I'll take his lifebelt as soon as he looks another way.

** As the bow goes down, the stern of Titragic starts to rise. The monstrous propellers emerge out of the water, revealing the words KILROY WAS HERE on one propeller blade.

** On the boat deck, the band is quite appropriately playing "Nearer My God To Thee".

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: Of course, the version of the psalm that was actually heard that night would sound hopelessly dull to a modern audience. So in the movie, we'll use the remixed dance/techno version instead! Hardly anyone will notice the little historical inaccuracy, but the audience won't fall asleep.]

** The psalm ends.

         Band leader: Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight. But now it is every man for himself. Even so, let us exchange instruments before we part. [To one band member:] For instance, you take my violin, and I'll take your double-bass.
         Double-bassist (touched, handing him the instrument): That's a beautiful thought! Even if only one of us survives, the survivor will still have a memento of the other!
         Band leader: Yes. And I guess the survivor will be me, since your huge double-bass is a much better flotation device than my puny little violin, sucker! [Jumps over the railing with the instrument.]

** In the lifeboats, the women are just staring, numbed by the horrible sight of the dying liner with all their near and dear ones still on board. The owner of the ship also made it into a lifeboat, and does his best to cheer them up.

         Dismay: Don't worry, ladies! It isn't that critical. After all, the damn thing is insured!

** The stern keeps rising toward the starry sky, swiftly approaching forty-five degrees.

         Polly Crone (in lifeboat): Well, there's a Kodak moment.

** The middle part of the hull now has to carry the enormous weight of the stern, but if no extra strain whatsoever is put on the ship, it may still hold together. Up on the boat deck, some people flock around a priest.

         People: Bless us, father, for we have sinned!
         Priest: That's funny...so have I! Those stewardesses were really lovely, weren't they? But now we'll just say a hundred Hail Marys, and I'm sure we'll be okay. And since the ship is sinking fast, the Virgin will surely forgive us for using the short version. HAILMARYHAILMARYHAILMARYHAILMARY...
         Snack (to Dose): That stuff won't help. But now I know what to do! We must chop loose the deck planks and build ourselves a raft! Do you still have that axe, Dose?
         Dose: Yeah, here it is. You never know when you are going to need an axe.

** Snack starts bringing the axe down on the poor deck planks: BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

         Snack: Don't worry, Dose! In a minute we'll have a raft ready!
         Dose (hands pressed together): Oh, you're so strong, Snack!
         Snack (with sudden surprise and awe): Hey...that priest over there must have gotten through to his boss after all! The planks I am trying to pry loose start to come off all by themselves! Do you see, Dose? It's a miracle!
         Dose (slightly worried): Well... actually I think there is some sort of crack forming below them... perhaps this wasn't such a great idea after all...

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENK-
CRRRRRRRRRAAASH-
SPLOSH!!!!!!!

** The Titragic splits down all the decks and breaks in two!!! The lights go out, the stern section falls back toward the water, the remaining funnels topple, and one suspects that very soon, things may start to get serious. Dose and Snack suddenly find themselves standing next to a messy pit of jagged metal.


         Some steward (conveniently located on the other side of the pit): Hey you! You'll have to pay for that, you know! This ship is Falling Star Line property!
         Dose and Snack: SHUT UP!!!

** The bow sinks, steward and all. The detached stern floods and starts to rise again. People are jumping, parachuting and hanggliding off it.

         Dose: We must also jump now, Snack, or the suction will kill us!
         Snack: No, we have to stay on the ship as long as possible!
         Dose: Why?! So that it can pull us down with it when it founders?
         Snack: No, so that the audience can be treated to some really cool shots of us idiotically clinging to the top of the stern as it goes down like an elevator to hell.

** As Douglas Adams would have put it, the stern of Titragic is sinking in much the same way Styrofoam isn't. It swiftly rises vertically. Defying gravity and common sense alike, Snack and Dose run to the railing on the poop deck and climb over it. The man with the golden paint, still down there on his wooden platform, realizes that the ship is about to go down and furiously tries to finish the C in its name. And so he should, for now the stern of Titragic thinks it is time to start its final, vertical plunge into the sea.

         Dose: What is happening, Snack?
         Snack: Well, the ship is sinking...?
         Dose: Don't you patronize me just because I'm stupid!
         Snack (watching the roaring waters devour people clinging to ventilators and deck benches below): This is it! Oh no, my cigarette will get wet!
         Dose: Oh, Snack! Save me!
         Snack: We can still survive, Dose! We only have to keep cool!
         Dose: The water, four degrees below freezing, will probably help!
         Snack: OK, Dose, here's the picture: The ship is going to suck us down, and that's not the only thing that sucks about this whole situation. But we're gonna make it, Dose! Trust me!
         Dose: I trust you! And see where that has got me!

** The Titragic slips below the surface. KA-FLOOOSH! End of movie? No such luck!

** Afterwards, there is utter chaos in the water, further crowded since the Icebather Union picked just this place and date for their annual convention.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: We will need a lot of extras for this scene. Luckily, we will be shooting it in Mexico where there are no strong unions to bother us if a few people are missing afterwards. The omelet and the eggs, right?]

** Dose surfaces in the middle of the muddle. No sign of Snack. (Sorry to disappoint you - he isn't dead yet.)

         Some man in the water: What is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?
         Dose: Answering the silly questions of a horny balding idiot!
         Man: Sorry you feel it that way. Hmm, seems that I feel like panicking just a little bit, especially since that will give me the perfect excuse for fondling you! AAARGH! OH NO! THE SHIP HAS GONE DOWN! WE ARE ALONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC AND WE'RE GOING TO DIIIIIIIIE! [Desperately grabs hold of Dose and pulls her under.]

** Snack, who wasn't sucked down by the ship after all (you were warned!), suddenly appears and PUNCHES the man repeatedly. Finally Snack pulls Dose away from the poor guy's unconscious body.

         Snack: All the books say that if you must to rescue a drowning person that is panicking, you needn't hesitate to knock him out.
         Dose: But don't all the books say something more, too?
         Snack: Yes, but it seemed boring, so I never read any further. Swim, Dose! I need you to swim!
         Dose: To keep me warm and to get out of the muddle, you mean?
         Snack: Yeah, I guess that would be nice, too... but since I am a lousy swimmer, I need you to swim so that I can sit on your back.
         Dose: In your dreams, Snack!
         Snack: In that case I must find some kind of wooden debris to keep me up, and FAST! Ah, there is some!

** A door, thrown out from the broken ship, is floating in the water. There is a small brass sign on it, with the single word LADIES. Dose shoves Snack aside and climbs onto it.

         Dose: Sorry, Snack, this one is for ladies only. You must try to find the one that says GENTLEMEN.
         Snack: Just my luck! According to your fiancé, I am not even a real gentleman.
         Dose (shivering): I'm so cold! I can't feel my body.
         Snack: Hmm, sounds serious! Take off your clothes, and I'll check that everything is still there.
         Dose: But Snack, the boats will be coming back! They will be here any minute now!
         Snack: Yeah, right... unless Santa Claus beats them, of course.

** In one of the boats, the women are listening to the screams of the people in the water.

         Women: That is our men over there! We must go back and pick them up!
         Officer in charge of boat: You don't understand. According to the long-established policy of the Falling Star Line, as codified in regulative 13, subsection 6D, paragraph 9, no passengers are boarding during the hours between 10 PM and six o'clock in the morning. Especially when facing tragedy and disaster, it is vitally important that we do everything by the book, or chaos and anarchy would result. Surely you can understand that, ladies?

** MUUUUUCH LATER, Dose is still lying on top of the door. Snack, still in the icy water, clings to it. By now, there are icicles dangling from their noses and ears.

         Snack (trembling from the cold): I don't know about you, but I intend to write a strongly worded letter to the Falling Star Line.
         Dose: About the sinking, you mean?
         Snack: Nah, such things happen all the time. But the catering in steerage was scandalous! Porridge every goddamn night! Made me puke! I will never eat porridge again in my entire life. Which may not be as long as it sounds.
         Dose: I love you.
         Snack: So do I.
         Dose: You do? You really love me?
         Snack: No, I meant I love me, too.
         Dose: Oh.
         Snack: Dose, there is one thing you must promise me.
         Dose: Yes, Snack, I promise that I will survive! I promise that I will never give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless it seems! I will never let go of that promise! I will never let go, Snack!
         Snack: Actually I wanted you to promise that if you lose when we toss up that dime you gave me for the drawing, you will let me have your lifebelt.
         Dose: Forget it, Bozo! Your arms are frozen stiff already, you can't toss anything!
         Snack: Oops. Then I guess this is the end of the road... but don't cry for me, Dose! There are other fishes in the pond.
         Dose: Yeah, and soon they are even eating you.
         Snack: But you must go on... and smoke all the cigarettes you want... and have lots of underweight babies... and die an old vegetable... and... [His voice trails off.]
         Dose: Snack! Snack! Talk to me, Snack!

** Pulling open his eyelids, she discovers that both of his pupils have been replaced by an X. Dose cries and the audience cheers.

[DIRECTOR'S NOTE: In case we are going to shoot a sequel, perhaps I should leave some loose thread that will allow us to bring Snack back? Maybe he isn't really dead, but just suffering from hypothermia? After all, I got away with that hypothermia crap in The Abyss: It's simply incredible what those dupes in the audience will swallow. No...I'm tired of this silly one-dimensional character already! Let's go for a happy ending and KILL him!]

[Of course, if we really, absolutely have to make a sequel, there is always the solution of "Snack's unknown twin brother"... his sp(l)itting image...]

         Fossil Dose: Well, the band had been playing almost till the very end, and by means of a tuba that was still floating around, I finally managed to call back a boat to pick me up. And that was pretty much the whole story. But now you know that there was such a man as Snack Whoreson, and that he saved me.
         Bovine: What?! How did he save you? If you had gone into the lifeboat with your mother instead of going back to free him from the Master at Arm's office where he was cuffed, the outcome would have been just the same - you would have survived and he would have died. The only difference is that you would have been sitting in a nice and dry lifeboat instead of clinging to a piece of debris in the icy water. So what did Snack do for you, really?
         Dose: Hmm. I never thought of it that way. Screw him, then.
         Sleazy: But what happened later?
         Dose: Afterwards, the people in the boats could do nothing but row. Row and row and row and row. For some reason, no distress calls had been sent from the Titragic, and neither had they fired any rockets. Since no other ships had the faintest idea that anything was wrong, none came to rescue us, and we had to row across half the Atlantic, all the way to New York. During the journey I discovered that Pal had also survived, for in the last minute he had glued all his greenbacks together and paddled away in history's biggest and most expensive paper boat - but I made sure he never saw me. As for Snack, he exists now only in my memory. I don't even have a picture of him.
         Spock: His body was never recovered, then?
         Dose: Oh yes, we had him in the boat I was in. But it was a long way to New York, and people got hungry.

** CUT back to 1913. Actually it is now 1914, and the people in the boats are still rowing. At last, the Statue of Liberty looms up before them. Dose doesn't even notice. She is quite delirious and keeps sucking on the diamond she found in the coat, thinking it is a piece of candy like Pal said.

         Dead-but-won't-lie-down Dose (voice-over): Even afterwards, I didn't speak to mother or Pal, so they never knew that I had survived. I went on to become a rich and successful actress, for having pretended to like him for several months, I was ready to master any role. He married, of course, and finally scraped together enough arsenic to inherit his millions. But the crack of '29 hit his interests hard, and he took a bath with his toaster. Or so I read.

-       -       -       -

** At long last, Dose has finished her boring and pointless story, and now this last surviving Neanderthal is taking a stroll on the deck of the Yukkish. She walks over to the railing and stretches out her arm. She opens her hand... and there it is! She still has the Coeur Deluxe de la Merde! Oh no, Mr. Alzheimer is finally knocking on the door: She plans to throw the priceless diamond into the sea!

** The angle changes. We are below the water, seeing the ship above only indistinctly. But in slow motion, we see something fall from the railing, nearing the waves... shit, the crazy old hag really did it... what a waste! SPLASH! Here it comes! Hey... wait a sec! THAT'S NOT THE DIAMOND! What a relief!

** CUT back to the railing, where only Sleazy and Spock are now standing. Thank goodness, the diamond is in their safe hands! They are completely euphoric.

         Sleazy: I knew it! I KNEW IT! I knew she had it! She once showed it to me when I was a little kid, bragging about her treasure! Oh, how many years have I not put up with her tyrannical whims while I discretely ransacked her house, but I never found it!
         Spock: But now you have it, and that makes you my new best friend! In three days, I can have the Yukkish in Rio. What do you say?
         Sleazy: Excellent! [Over the railing:] GOODBYE, you incontinent old bitch! Give my love to Snack!

** CUT to Dose, who is presently busy drowning far down in the water, still wondering how she got there. But even as she expires, her sinful soul goes on, plunging toward the seabed far below... there is the wreck of Titragic... she is sucked into it... and for God knows which time that yucky "morphing" business happens, and suddenly we are back on the intact ship. A door opens, and Dose enters the main staircase. All the people who died are there, looking at her - Mr. Pantries, the Captain, Murdick, Fabricatio and countless others. And at the top of the stairs - brace yourselves - she spots no one but Snack, who admittedly looks better than you would expect considering that he has spent most of the twentieth century being dead. Actually, Dose herself has also been rejuvenated, so now we are back on square one. Snack opens his arms, welcoming her. She runs toward him, the music SWELLS, some sick sort of happy ending is two seconds away...

CRASH!

** Rather ungracefully, Dose finds herself sprawling on all four. She twists her head around and looks up at the man who tripped her... oh no... and the ones standing there along with him... oh no-no-no-nooooooo!!!!

         Loverboy: Gahd, that felt good! I've been waiting eighty-four years to do that, you spoiled little brat!
         Rut (ice-cold): Welcome, Dose! So you actually survived the sinking, but you never bothered to tell your own mother, did you? You had a career as a rich and successful actress while I had to work as a seamstress and couldn't even afford a ticket to one of your movies so that I could have discovered that you were alive! Where were you when I died of pneumonia in 1931? Busy with some orgy in Beverly Hills?
         Pal: That's nothing! Did you notice how she actually enjoyed telling those twits up there about my suicide in 1929? And the rest of the story she told them, making me look like a bloody VILLAIN because I wasn't completely overwhelmed with enthusiasm when a bum came along and started screwing my fiancée... you really added a new dimension to the word "biased", Dose!
         Pantries: Well, you folks have an eternity, literally speaking, to sort out your personal issues. I suggest that we now focus on something that I think is of general interest: Precisely why the ship sank...

** Dose gets up. She looks around, eyes wild. But she and Snack are cornered! There is no escape!

         Pantries: Well, we have had plenty of time to inspect the damages and figure out the whole thing. Renault missing, an big hole in the cargo hold, Murdick here being quite certain that he actually did manage to port around the iceberg...
         Murdick: It wasn't the goddamn berg, was it? It was you two! I shot myself feeling guilty for something you did!
         Painter: And what about me? Do you realize that I almost had the C finished when I was crushed by the mounting pressure hundreds of feet below the surface?!
         Captain (to Dose and Snack): At last we have both of you here! But as you may have guessed, there will be no more "Romeo and Juliet on the Love Boat"! Just too bad that you are dead already, so we can't kill you. But that is just about the only thing we can't do to you! Oh, what a splendid eternity this is going to be!
         Pal: Hey, where is that priest who was busy giving absolutions to people immediately before the ship went down? Ah, at last Dose will be my wife in practice and by law! I will spend as many millennia as necessary teaching her to honor me, as a wife is required to honor her husband. I believe I told you that I always win, Snack! One way or another!
         Entire crowd of Titragic victims: BUT FIRST WE ARE GOING TO GIVE THOSE TWO SQUIRTS WHAT THEY DESERVE! WE ARE ALL DEAD BECAUSE OF THEM!

** Tilt the camera up toward the dome above the staircase before it gets really nasty...

** Mercifully, THE END!

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