ILEARN THAT LIFE IS NOT A GAME Written by Matt Burns

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INT. LIVING ROOM SPENCER stands on a tall ladder. On his head is a comically oversized VIRTUAL REALITY HELMET. CARLY points a video camera at Spencer while SAM looks on an iTab. CARLY Come on, Spence, it’s been ten minutes. You have to jump. The virtual reality only works if you’re suspended in mid-air. SPENCER Well who designed this crazy thing? Someone who delights in terror and danger? CARLY Let me check the manual... Yeah, it says right here he did! SAM You’ve got to jump, man. The viewers online are starting to post very mean things. SPENCER I doubt it. In my experience, everyone online is extremely polite. SAM (reading) Scardey-cat... Wuss... Oversized baby... SPENCER For the last time, I am of normal size for my age! Count me down. SAM AND CARLY Three... SPENCER From a hundred! SAM AND CARLY (shaking their heads) Two...One... SPENCER leaps, shrieking, from the ladder and dangles five feet above ground in a harness.

2.

SPENCER (shrieking, scared) Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! CARLY What is it? SAM My screen is still loading - What world are you in? Are there aliens? Monstaer? SPENCER (Flailing arms and legs wildly) Yes, there’s a monster! CARLY What kind? SPENCER A mouse! Get it away from me! FREDDIE enters carrying a fire extinguisher. FREDDIE Hey guys, do any of you want to buy a fire extinguisher-- (Noticing Spencer) Who’s the dope-on-a-rope? CARLY Spencer is trying out our new VR Helmet 3.0. He’s in a French restaurant now. SAM More accurately, he’s hiding in the closet of a French restaurant. The game connects with my iTab so I can see what he sees. Sam shows Freddie. On the screen, Spencer is cowering behind a mop. SPENCER Hey! French mice are scary! They wield baguettes like billy clubs! SAM Why the extinguisher, Freddie? Is there an impending blunder of yours I should be concerned about?

3.

FREDDIE I’m trying to sell it. My grandma gave it to me because one time I burned my finger on the stove so now she thinks I’m Mr. Flammable! SPENCER That was my senior superlative. FREDDIE I need to raise money for a new wide-angle camera lens. Hey, are you webcasting now? A special episode? CARLY The company that makes the VR Helmet promised us a full sponsorship if we can get a million viewers to see it in action. What are we at, Sam? SAM Nine hundred thousand. But forget the sponsorship, I just want a million people to see Spencer flail like a squid on a stick. FREDDIE I read about this helmet on GameFeed.com. It’s supposed to have this amazing swimming mode that makes you feel underwater! Can I go after Spencer? Sam and Carly cringe. CARLY Well... It’s kind of a tricky situation because Spencer, Sam, and I decided to start saving up a few months ago and since we all chipped in and... SAM We bought it; you didn’t; have fun watching from the bleachers, nerd. CARLY Sorry. FREDDIE Man! I’ve been looking for a job all month and no one is hiring. (MORE)

4. FREDDIE (CONT'D) I even put an ad on Meg’s List but no one needs to hire me to film their events now that everyone’s phone has a camera in it! I’m obsolete! I’m an HD-DVD in a Bluray world.

SAM A what? FREDDIE Exactly. CARLY Don’t worry; you never know when an opportunity will come knocking. A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. SPENCER Aah! Was that out there or in here? I think the mice are mutating and now they’re big enough to knock on the door! CARLY What did I say about an opportunity? Am I good? SAM You’re good. FREDDIE walks to the door. FREDDIE Maybe this is Steven Spielberg looking for an assistant! He opens the door to find LUKE THE LANDLORD. LUKE Carly, Spencer, this is your final warning. Your rent is three months overdue. If I do not have a check by midnight tonight you will be evicted. This is your final warning. SAM I thought your dad was paying for this place.

5.

SPENCER Shh! We’re not Carly and Spencer. We’re... Marley and... Charley. LUKE No one here is named Marley or Charley. Your photographs are all over the Internet and other tenants complain about the noise you make all the time. I know exactly who you are. You two owe me fifteen thousand dollars. SPENCER (whispering) Carly, come here. CARLY Could you get out of there? It sounds like you have a trash can on your head and it’s giving me bad memories of your last birthday party. Spencer wiggles out of the helmet and pulls a rip cord on the harness. He collapses onto the ground. He pulls Carly to the side. SPENCER Listen, sis. We’ve been in a few pickles before. Actually some were just cucumbers, not full-on pickle spears yet, or even pickle chips, but you get what I’m saying. CARLY We should have a picnic next weekend? SPENCER Yes, of course, with lots of hot dogs. Wait, no. I mean, yes, but what I meant was that we have to distract this landlord. CARLY Why not just write him a check? SPENCER We have no money.

6.

CARLY Right. But if we can stall him until our webcast gets a million viewers... SPENCER The VR Helmet makers will start their sponsorship, and we’ll be able to pay the rent. CARLY Brilliant. Scared of mice, but brilliant. Spencer addresses Luke. SPENCER Luke, you’ll be happy to know that my sister and I recently earned thousands of dollars playing... SAM Hide from the Mouse. It was a radio contest to see who’s the most afraid of rodents. Naturally Spencer won. SPENCER (begrudgingly) Yes... Hide From the Mouse. CARLY All of the money is in the closet right over here. Will you come with me to get it? I’ll need help carrying all the cash. Carly shows him the closet, then locks him inside. CARLY (CONT’D) Hey, everyone! Looks like Landlord Luke is going for a costume change! Let’s get back to the VR and get those million viewers! A knock at the door. FREDDIE Maybe this one is a job! SAM Make this quick; we’re dropping viewers. We need Spencer to get back in those dangling briefs.

7.

SPENCER It’s a harness! And the boxer version did not provide proper support. Spencer opens the door to find DEBT COLLECTOR SUSAN. She is young and hot. SUSAN Is this the residence of Spencer and Carly Shay? SPENCER Why, yes... Yes it is. Mr... Dr. Spencer Shay, Esquire. Please come in. May I pour you a glass of wine or perhaps fluff a pillow for you? SUSAN No. You may write me a check for the one hundred and sixteen thousand dollars you two owe in credit card debt. CARLY What? We have debt? SUSAN You have the debt high-score. CARLY Spencer, you told me those were “bottomless gift cards.” SPENCER I guess we found the bottom! SUSAN You have received over thirty notices of your outstanding debt. SPENCER Oh. (Realizing) Ohhh... CARLY Oh what? SPENCER I figured outstanding meant we were winning. Like, “He’s an outstanding student,” or “She’s an outstanding trapeze artist.” So I kept piling on the debt.

8.

SUSAN Where are your parents, kids? They co-signed your credit card and are responsible for this debt. FREDDIE (to Sam) Kitchen. Freddie and Sam exit to the kitchen. INT. KITCHEN FREDDIE We have to stall her until we can get those million views! Or else we won’t be able to do the show any more. Think fast! SAM Okay... Dance contest? FREDDIE No one has the shoes. Poker tournament? SAM No one has the visors. Wait... I’ve got it! INT. LIVING ROOM CARLY Our dad is an Air Force officer stationed on a submarine. He’s been there for six years. SPENCER We miss him, but the bathroom sure is quieter in his absence. SUSAN Great. Where is his checkbook? If you two don’t pay this bill today everything in your apartment will be repossessed and you two will be arrested. SAM (from kitchen) Hey, Debt Collector Lady? It’s a good thing you got here now...

9.

FREDDIE (holding a thrown-together pan of cereal and chips) Because it’s your surprise birthday party! With a special... cereal chip-cake! INT. KITCHEN Spencer ushers her into a chair and puts a party hat on her. Carly sets the camera down on a table and joins the others in the kitchen. SUSAN Today isn’t my birthday. CARLY You didn’t hear? Everyone gets two birthdays this year! President’s orders! SPENCER Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear... Lady who wants to take our stuff away and arrest us... Happy birthday to you! CARLY How about some real food before dessert? Let’s see, put some oil in the pan... I’ll just start up the stove. Spencer, what meats do we have? SPENCER We have an exquisite variety of high-quality meats, from pork to beef to chicken... FREDDIE Which would the lady prefer? SPENCER I should note that all of those meats are combined into hot dog form. CARLY Looks like another fried hot dog feast for us!

10.

Spencer tosses her some hot dogs from the fridge. She dumps them into the pan. SUSAN Where are your parents, kids? How long have you been unsupervised? There is mold all over the kitchen. Carly lights the stove and Luke enters, holding a door. LUKE I broke out of your closet. That’ll cost three hundred dollars to repair. SPENCER Oh, hello there... crazy Uncle Herbert! Always making up outlandish stories... LUKE My name is Luke and I am your landlord. You two have been living in this enormous apartment without jobs for far too long. CARLY Who’s ready for a tasty... A FIRE erupts from the pan. CARLY (CONT’D) Grease fire?! FREDDIE How do we put it out? SAM Water, duh! She sprays water from the sink, but the fire continues. SPENCER Dad never taught me what to do! Spencer flails and screams. CARLY Stop flailing! SPENCER But flailing’s what I do best!

11.

SAM It’s what he does best. FREDDIE He’s an outstanding flailer. LUKE Calm down, kids. Jesus Christ. Look, just... He turns toward Carly and the door he holds smacks the flaming pan out of Carly’s hands. It ignites the door, then rains flames over Luke and Susan. Their clothing catches and they roast in hellfire, screaming in agony (sample lines: You kids deserve nothing; You will pay for this; You are worthless; You are frauds and con artists; No one respects you). CARLY Put them out, Spence! Spencer grabs Freddie’s fire extinguisher from the living room. He aims it at the burning debt collectors and pulls the trigger, but the nozzle is aimed backwards. He sprays it straight into his own face, which surprises him and causes him to stumble backwards and fall out a window. A loud crash when he lands. SPENCER (O.S.) Well... I can confirm that I’m not on fire! Carly, Freddie, and Sam stare at the flaming Luke and Susan, stunned. They motion to each other, wanting to help, but none knows what to do. Luke and Susan roast to death. SAM On the upside, they do smell better than hot dogs. Spencer climbs through the window. SPENCER What smells so good? (Noticing the charred bodies) Hey, look at that! Problem solved! No more debt! Can I get back in the VR Helmet? Now I know how to defeat those mice: Grease fire! CARLY Spence. There are two dead people in our kitchen. What do we do?

12.

SPENCER I think... Isn’t there a hi-jink we could do? There’s got to be a hijink... (Serious) There’s always a hi-jink... CARLY There must be some wacky possibility... Some zany character we can call... But seeing these two dead bodies here is making it really hard to think. I know we’ve gotten into a lot of trouble before, but this is just... FREDDIE Carly, were you still filming? Were we broadcasting live online? The RED CAMERA LIGHT leers at them. CARLY ...Oh no. SAM (reading iTab, worried) Hey guys, we got the sponsorship. Almost two million viewers were watching. CARLY (putting her head in her hands) Oh my god... FREDDIE We’ll say it was a prank! All special effects! Stop-motion and CGI. We can clean this all up. A knock at the door. SPENCER Nobody say a word, okay? We’ll just say we were playing charades. Carly, cover up the bodies. Carly and Sam lay some jackets over the bodies. Spencer opens the door to find UNCLE HERBERT, who Spencer and Carly do not know.

13.

SPENCER (CONT’D) ...Hello? Do I owe you money? If so, please come to the kitchen. UNCLE HERBERT Hi, Spencer, Carly, I’m your Uncle Herbert. SPENCER We were just talking about you! I didn’t know you actually existed. UNCLE HERBERT Are those two dead? CARLY Those two what? These two... mannequins? UNCLE HERBERT Those are burnt human bodies. They’re both dead. What the hell did you kids do? SPENCER Listen, please help us. We made a mistake. Do you think our dad could help us? He’s been away in that submarine for so long and I’m starting to think we need help taking care of ourselves. UNCLE HERBERT Submarine? You believe that? Your father was a con artist who stole credit card information off the Internet. He died of a prescription pill overdose six years ago. How are you kids living here? He left all his money to charity. CARLY All of it? UNCLE HERBERT You two didn’t get a dime. He said you always got into hi-jinks that caused him a lot of stress and incredible financial hardship.

14.

FREDDIE Wait a minute... So after all the fuss you made about me not being allowed to play VR Helmet because I didn’t pay, you really didn’t have any money? CARLY Well... Do you want to play now? FREDDIE (noticing bodies) I’m not really in the mood. SPENCER Since you’re our only living relative, will you please help us deal with these bodies? We’re really in a pickle here. CARLY Or a cucumber. SAM Stop. I feel like throwing up. SPENCER So will you help us? UNCLE HERBERT Absolutely not. I only came here to get my golf clubs. I’m going to report this double-murder to the police. Uncle Herbert goes to the closet and gets his golf bag while the kids stare at the charred bodies in their kitchen. Uncle Herbert exits. The kids keep staring.

Fade Out.