A King in a Court of Fools book launch: discovered script

Some of my visitors will recognize my guest today from Twitter as he’s one of those folks who does what he can to help others and connect with them through social media. Larry Enright is the author of the bestselling mystery Four Years From Home. I’m excited to say he has a new launch today of his most recent project: A King in a Court of Fools. Please do read and comment and share to your heart’s delight.

And…

we’re live!

I am happy to present this extremely interesting artifact from the archives of the National Unbelievable Foundation of Filmmaking (NUFF) that was recently uncovered stuck behind a towel dispenser when workmen were redoing the rest rooms at the South Park McDonalds — one of the original McDonalds from the 1950s. An expert at NUFF said that, originally hand-printed on composition notebook paper and written in the form of a TV script, this piece is a classic example of a 1950s Catholic school punishment assignment. There you have it! Enjoy!

A King in a Court of Fools, the TV show

INT. ST. CATHERINE’S SCHOOL – SISTER CARMELLA’S CLASSROOM – LATE AFTERNOON

Several students from Sister Jeanne Lorette’s sixth grade class are in the front of a classroom of eighth graders, preparing for their weekly TV show. A semicircle of five wooden chairs has been positioned opposite one other chair. Two students are setting up the “camera” which is a large cardboard box on a stand with a funnel sticking out one end. One student has a makeshift clapboard and is pacing about, practicing saying “action.” Another, obviously the director with a clipboard, is telling the others what to do while trying to arrange the chairs perfectly. The announcer is practicing her lines. The eighth graders are politely waiting for the show to begin, having given up their last period Latin class to allow the sixth graders to put on their show. Sister Carmella and Sister Jeanne Lorette are standing quietly in the back of the room.

SISTER JEANNE LORETTE

Let’s begin.

CLAPPER

Action!

ANNOUNCER

Welcome to the Kids of St. Catherine’s Show, the only weekly TV show produced, directed, and hosted by the sixth grade of St. Catherine’s School.

A snicker from the back of the classroom draws a clearing of the throat by Sister Carmella, followed by silence.

ANNOUNCER

Our host today is the sixth grade, straight-A student Frankie Marx. Ladies and gentlemen, Frankie Marx!

Frankie Marx enters, dressed in sports jacket, tie, and black penny loafers with a shiny new dime in each. The two nuns begin to clap and the eighth graders join in halfhearted applause.

FRANKIE

Thank you, thank you, and welcome to the show. We appreciate your taking the time out of your otherwise boring and pointless day to listen to someone obviously your intellectual superior.

There is an awkward, dead silence, and then a single cough from the back. Sister Jeanne Lorette is shaking her head. Frankie clears his throat and adjusts his tie.

FRANKIE

As I was saying, today’s guests are the Ryans, not by my choice, but they are here nonetheless. They live on Caswell Drive and all five of them are students here. How exciting is that? Without further ado, please welcome Mary, Kate, Sam, Harry, and Tom Ryan.

The director holds up an applause sign and the students begin to clap. The classroom door opens and the Ryans enter, led by Tom. The director points them to their seats. Frankie sits down across from them.

FRANKIE

Please introduce yourselves to the studio audience.

Each stands up in turn and says their full name. Tom is the last to speak. He faces the eighth graders.

TOM

I’m Tom Ryan. I was the one they blamed when someone closed all the windows and let a few thousand caterpillars loose in your room last week. They made me clean them up, including all the guts you guys squished on the floor, but I didn’t do it and they could never prove it. Thanks a lot.

VOICE FROM THE BACK

Nice going, Ryan!

SISTER CARMELLA

Thank you for volunteering to clean all the desks after class today, Mr. Kelly.

Laughter rolls across the room. Tom sits down. Frankie gestures outlandishly to the Ryans and speaks.

FRANKIE

Tell us, what brings you on the show today?

TOM

They made us, Frankie. Remember? It’s part of my punishment.

HARRY

Can I wave to Mom and Dad, Tommy?

KATE

It’s just a pretend TV you little goof.

HARRY

Then why are we here, Katie?”

SAM

(whispering) The book, Harry, the book.

FRANKIE

Yes, the book. Specifically, this book, the one you call the “Book of Tom.”

The director hands Frankie a composition notebook:

TOM

Hey, give me that. That’s mine.

He grabs it from Frankie.

FRANKIE

Yes, it’s part of your punishment from Sister Jeanne Lorette, isn’t it?

TOM

You better not have read any of it, Frankie. You see what it says there, right? I’ll pound you. I mean it.

FRANKIE

Yes, I read your idle threats. Why would I bother to read your ridiculous homework?

SAM

You take that back, Frankie. Tom’s journal isn’t punishment and it isn’t ridiculous. It’s a story about us.

FRANKIE

Oh yes, the infamous Caswell Gang, with your silly hats, and your secret handshakes, and…

SISTER JEANNE LORETTE

Frankie… Tom… back to the script, please.

FRANKIE AND TOM IN UNISON

Yes, Sister.

FRANKIE

So, tell us about the story, Tom. What’s so special about it?

TOM

That’s for me to know and for you to find out.

MARY

Tell him about the Pink Lady, Tom.

TOM

Ixnay on the ady-Lay, Mary.

HARRY

But I like your story, Tommy.

TOM

Fine. You tell it.

Frankie turns to the studio audience and stands up.

FRANKIE

Ladies and Gentlemen. I now present Harry Ryan telling us the story of A King in a Court of Fools.

Harry stands up. Applause. Fade to the story of A King in a Court of Fools.

-30-

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of humor about the newly published work, A King in a Court of Fools, by Larry Enright.

About the book: A King in a Court of Fools, originally published as a serial novel, is Larry Enright’s second published work. It is humorous, nostalgic fiction about kids growing up in the 1950s and has been already enjoyed by ages ten through ninety-one. It is available in both eBook and paperback from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. Click for details to Purchase or sample A King in a Court

of Fools.

Larry Enright, author of Four Years from Home

About the author: Larry Enright was born to Irish Catholic first-generation immigrants and

raised in Pittsburgh. After college, he moved to the Philadelphia area where for the past 40 years

he has filled his life with many careers including musician, teacher, programmer, researcher, and writer. He has written three other novels, including the best-selling Four Years from Home. Visit Larry Enright’s site.

Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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3 comments on “A King in a Court of Fools book launch: discovered script
  1. Sky Murphy says:

    You’re a funny guy. Love your books!

  2. I always wanted to be in a play. Then in 5th grade the nuns made me be in one. I played the starring role of a tree in our production of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.” That was the first known occasion of a tree singing “Jingle Bells, Batman smells” during a performance. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records it as the time a 5th grader got the longest known detention.

    Thanks for hosting me, Thea. I hope everyone enjoyed my little “play.”

    All the best,

    Larry

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