Thursday, May 6, 2010

Law and Order

You know how the show Law and Order always starts with someone finding a body and saying, "Oh my God!  A Body!"?  The show has been on for about 50 years now and has had a kabillion episodes and so the oh-my-god-a-body moment has to get more and more original. Mitch and I love to see how they are going to contrive to have yet another New Yorker find a body lying around.  I think I might start a blog where people can write just the beginnings of Law and Order and then we'll see who can come up with the most original way for a New Yorker to find a body.  Here's mine for today:

(In Central Park on a nice summery day, unpacking party supplies for a family picnic.)

Paula - Do you have the tablecloth? I want everything to be perfect.

John - Yes, it's right here.

Paula - Did you hear from your mom? Are your parents going to be here?

John - Yes, oh, and I forgot to tell you, your sister called. Your mom told her about today and invited her. I think she's coming.

Paula - Oh GREAT! I told my mom not to tell her!

John - I don't see what the big deal is.

Paula - I love her but, come on. I'd like to share at least one piece of big news without her wrecking it.

John - You didn't even tell her about the baby, how would she ruin it. She'll be just as surprised as everyone else.

Paula - Of course I didn't tell her I'm pregnant. She'd have to find some way to top it. Don't underestimate Janet.

John - Don't worry about it, nothing could top the news that they are going to be grandparents!

Paula - John! She announced her engagement at our wedding! She told my parents she had rabies the day I got into Columbia. I'd just like her to not steal my thunder this once.

John - Okay, I think that's everything. Oh look, here comes your parents!

(Enter Paula's parents)

Paula's Mom - John, Paula! How nice! How are you? What a good idea for a day like this! I can't remember the last time we were on a picnic!

Paula - Thanks Mom, thanks for coming! Hi Dad.

Paula's Mom - I hope you don't mind, but I told Janet and she's coming too. She's been kind of down lately, you know because of Antonio being deported.

Paula - Yeah, John told me. That's fine.

(Enter John's parents.)

John's Mom - John! I'm so glad we found this place! Kind of out of the way, huh?

John - Hi Mom, Dad!  What do you mean, it's Central Park?

John's Dad - She just means it's a nice spot, so private!

(Enter Janet being pulled by an enormous great dane on a leash.)

Paula's Mom - Look here's Janet! Oh my! Janet, where did you get that dog?

(Everyone gathers around the dog and Janet. Paula gives John a knowing look.)

Janet - I'm dog-sitting for my neighbor. She had to go to the hospital.

Paula's Mom - Jenny? Oh my goodness! What's wrong with her?

Janet - She was bleeding out of her eyes.

Paula's Mom - Oh Dear! I hope she'll be okay! What on earth could that be? Do you think it's contagious! Maybe you should get checked out! Don, let's take her to the hospital. Paula, can you and John watch the dog?

Janet - I'm fine, Mom, don't worry about me. I might have the dog for a while, he's a handful, but he's a lot of fun. His name is Ballbreaker, can you believe it?. Hi Paula! How are you? Mom told me about the picnic. I hope you don't mind my crashing!

Paula - No, don't be silly, it's fine.

Paula's Dad - Ballbreaker! (laughing) What kind of a name is that?

Janet - I honestly don't know what Jenny was thinking, because he's so sweet.

Paula - Anyway, thank you all for coming! Shall we sit down? John and I have some news, and I can't wait to tell you!

Janet - Oh, just a minute, the dog hasn't gone to the bathroom for a while and I don't want him to do it around us and ruin our picnic, so let me give him a chance to go first okay? I'll be right back. I have some news too! I won the lottery! BRB!

(Janet leaves. Ooohs and aaahs and murmuring from all the parents.)

Paula - (quietly to John) See, I TOLD you! Quick, let's tell them before she gets back. (To Everyone) Okay everyone, why don't you let John and I get you a drink here, and then we'll tell you our news!

Paula's Mom - Oh my! What could it be? What an exciting day! I hope Janet is okay.

John's Mom - It is pretty secluded here, I hope she doesn't get lost.

Paula - She'll be FINE. Okay, John? Shall we tell them?

John - Paula is dying to tell you, so go ahead, Honey.

Paula - Well, after a long time of trying, John and I are going to be -

(In the distance Janet can be heard yelling.)

Janet - Ballbreaker! Ballbreaker, come back! What are you doing? Ballbreaker! Come! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

(Everyone gets up and runs toward the scream. Janet runs back into the scene.)


(Everyone runs to make sure Janet is okay. Scene cuts to the bloody head being licked by the dog.)

Paula - You've got to be fucking kidding me.

(chaos, screaming, running around)

Paula's Dad - OHHH GROSS! I found a hand!


Okay, now it's your turn, go to and write your own.  Send yours to me and I promise I'll put them on the new blog:!  Leave your name and website!  See you there!


  1. Just an observation, not related to the fun, really: in the bar on the right hand side of the new blog, you have an excerpt of the post, and near the bottom, you entreat readers to send in their own "body discovery" scenes, but the e-mail link has an HTTP protocol on it, so anyone that clicks it will be sent to, attempting to log in with the user ID www.pluvial124. The link should be a MAILTO protocol.
    I've never seen Law & Order, so I'd feel funny trying to write a scene for it - no feel for the show, you know? Maybe the same thing would work, but substituting "Connections" or "The Nature of Things"? I just can't picture David Suzuki or James Burke losing their shit over a corpse, no matter how unlikely the find, though.
    I need to watch more television!

  2. Fixed it! Thanks, Jared. You don't have to be a watcher of Law and Order to do this. Just think of some ridiculous way for a person to stumble over a body. Easy!

  3. Do real life events count?

  4. Jared, it could be anything, ANYTHING, as long as it's set in NYC and ends with "Oh my god! A body!"

  5. Love the DUNN-DUNN! I can just hear it...I thought that Janet would be the dead body and Paula would be the main suspect. Didn't see that one coming.

    BTW, I *heart* Chris Noth.

  6. I've always wanted to be a dead body on one of those shows. Remember when Taylor Swift got to die on CSI? So if you don't have to be famous on your episode I'd like to be the head.

  7. Jane, if I am ever the writer of a tv show, and there is a dead body or disembodied head, I would be honored if you would be that dead body or disembodied head!


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