Writer, C. Neil Davenport, presents an original short comedy script about a sincere elder named Doris who strives to return a white elephant gift to every toy store in town.
Submitted to UNCSA’s Screenwriting MFA Application
First 5 PDF Pages
INT. NURSING HOME – DAY
A NURSE places a WRAPPED CHRISTMAS GIFT at the foot of door which has a SIGN reading, “Have a blessed day,’ knocks and walks off.
INT. BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS
A FRAMED PHOTO of DORIS, aka “Grams”, a 75 year little old woman with her silver hair up in a bun and a young woman who will be known as JESSIE are embracing. A clear loving relationship here sits on an END TABLE alongside JEWELRY, PILLS and coke bottle GLASSES.
Doris shuffles towards the door. It seemingly takes forever: Coming!
Doris makes it to the door, opens it and spots the gift. She finds a CARD attached. Opens it; “Dear Doris, everyone in group missed you during this year’s White Elephant gift event. All of us are praying for a speedy recovery.” How endearing. (She puts the card to
her chest like a child)
Doris unwraps the gift and removes the lid. She looks down at
it and frowns. Turns to the table, grabs her glasses and puts
Doris puts her fist under her chin with an intense stare at
the gift. Beat. Doris gestures her hand away to say, “I haven’t a clue on
what this is.” She shuffles away and returns with her
Doris tilts her head back and squints to navigate the device: Contacts… Jessie… FaceCall.
The phone rings and Jessie picks up.
JESSIE (O.S.): Heya Grams!
DORIS: Jessie, what exactly is this, dearest?
Doris points the phone at the inside of the gift.
JESSIE (O.S.): OH MY GOD, Grams!
Doris brings the phone back up to her face: You’re as red as a tomato!
JESSIE (O.S.): Why do you have that?!
DORIS: It’s a gag gift.
Jessie covers her face with her hand (O.S.): Poor choice of words, Grams. You need to return that, like now!
DORIS: I don’t even know what it is more or less where to return it.
JESSIE (O.S.): You didn’t hear this from me, but it came from ‘The Toy Store.’
DORIS: (Looks down at the gift and then at that the phone) ‘The Toy Store.’
JESSIE: Yes. I’m at work, I gotta go.
Jessie hangs up.
Doris shakes her head accepting Jessie’s odd behavior peers at the gift and shuffles towards the door to poke her head out: Would anyone be so kind and please take me to the toy store?
INT. TOYS”R”US CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK – LATER
A CHEERLEADER-TYPE YOUNG WOMAN (16) flips through a magazine and blowing a bubble with her gum. She notices Doris shuffling towards her and returns to the magazine.
Doris plops the gift on the return desk: Phew! Good morning. I was told I
could return this item here.
Cheerleader opens the gift, sees the item, swallows her gum in shock and runs off.
DORIS (Stands there for a moment): Hello?
INT. WALMART CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK – LATER
A GOTH DUDE (25) watches a video on the computer, notices Doris shuffling towards him and returns to the video.
Doris plops the gift on the return desk: Good afternoon, sweetie. I need to
return this to your toy section.
Goth Dude opens the gift and bursts out laughing: Yeah, we don’t carry those here. (Pushes it away)
DORIS: Okay, well, if you owned whatever this is, where would you return it?
GOTH DUDE: (Points to himself) You wouldn’t catch me dead owning one of those mama… my ex on the other hand… but it probably came from ‘The Toy Store.’
DORIS: Are you friends with my granddaughter?
GOTH DUDE: …
INT. ‘THE TOY STORE’ CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK – LATER
Doris enters, the opening of the door triggers the sound of woman moaning.
DORIS: Oh my.
Doris sees the front desk and shields her eyes from the lingerie manikin and all the toys handing along the aisle. Doris makes it to the front desk. There’s no one there, but a small device with a button reading, “Push Me.”
Doris pushes the button, a woman’s cries out, “YES!” from the device. She jumps, pushes it again thinking it will turn it off, but it makes the “YES!” sound again and again.
Doris backs away from the desk and heads towards the door.
TATTOOED WOMAN, (50’s), walks up to Doris with a smile from
ear to ear: Good evening!
TATTOOED WOMAN (CONT’D): How may I help you today?
TATTOOED WOMAN (CONT’D): Oh, dear. Are you okay?
Doris hands over the gift.
DORIS: I-I’m here to return this.
Tattooed Woman opens the gift, looks and closes the lid.
TATTOOED WOMAN: Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear you weren’t satisfied. Our mission here at ‘The Toy Store’ is to please, but if it’s not for you, we don’t
judge. Is there anything else I can help you with, love?
DORIS: (Muddles it over) Just, you know, out of curiosity. What exactly does
that do, dearest?
TATTOOED WOMAN: (Smiles in that she thinks Doris is
playing with her, but realizes she’s not) You don’t… know?
Tattooed Woman leans in and whispers into Doris’ ear. Doris covers her mouth in shock, looks at Tattooed Woman, then puts her hand on top of the gift.
DORIS: You mean this – (hand gesture)?
Tattooed Woman nods like a kid.
Doris looks sternly at the gift, puts her fist under her chin and looks up at the woman.
DORIS (CONT’D): What type of batteries does it take
June 13, 2021. 7:17 PM EDT