Archie's Commercial Adventure
by Sarah B.

SCENE: A windswept English coast. A full team of cameramen, etc.,
are preparing to shoot a commercial. Standing on the beach is ARCHIE
KENNEDY, wearing his naval uniform without the jacket or vest. His
shirt is open to the belly button and he's staring at the surf
pensively.

DIRECTOR: Okay, Archie baby, we're all set to rehearse your spot.
Any questions?

ARCHIE: (peevishly) Yes, a few. Why haven't I seen the script? And
why am I standing here in 45-degree weather half-naked?

DIRECTOR: Archie sweetcakes! We're professionals, you can trust us!
Just read what's on the teleprompter, you'll be a smash. And don't
worry about the weather, you look great.

ARCHIE: I'm freezing.

DIRECTOR: (ignoring him and walking back to his chair) All right,
you're only in port for a day and your colleagues are already halfway
done shooting their spots, so let's get this rolling. Just walk
toward the camera and read what's on the teleprompter.

(ARCHIE sighs and steps back to his mark)

DIRECTOR: Action!

ARCHIE (walking slowly along the beach, reading the teleprompter
carefully): As a distinguished member of the Royal British Navy, I
live a life that demands respect, loyalty, and above all, honesty.
So you can trust my word, ladies, when I... (pauses and squints at
the teleprompter) Why am I speaking to the *ladies*?

DIRECTOR: You're great, Archie baby, you're smash! Just keep going!

ARCHIE: (shrugging and continuing his slow walk) So you can trust my
word, ladies, when I recommend a product. Therefore, when it's that
time of the...that... (stops in his tracks and blinks at the words
rapidly for a moment; then:) BLOODY HELL!!

DIRECTOR: What, Archie baby? Problem?

ARCHIE: (jamming his hands onto his hips) I'm doing a TAMPON COMMERCIAL?!?!

DIRECTOR: Archie, this is the nineteenth century! It's hip, it's
progressive, the chicks go nuts for a man who understands their
sensitive side.

ARCHIE: (sapphire bullets of love blazing) What on EARTH made you
think I would consent to selling WOMEN'S SANITARY GARMENTS? I'm a MAN
for heaven's sake!

DIRECTOR: Er - well, yeah, of course you are, babycakes! But -

ARCHIE: I thought I was selling cars or tires or beer!

DIRECTOR: Archie, bay-bee! Our market research shows that women don't
associate you with those things. When they see you - um - well, if
they saw you with a bottle of beer or standing next to a hot-looking
car, it just wouldn't fit!

ARCHIE: (very angry) WHY NOT?

DIRECTOR: Well, uh...well, you just don't have the tough, macho
image, you know! Those big innocent eyes, the peach-fuzz cheeks -
that scrunchy little nose, most women think you're cute as a bug's
ear! That doesn't sell cars!

ARCHIE: But it sells absorbant napkins?!

DIRECTOR: Sure! Women trust you, they figure those baby blues
wouldn't lie. You've hooked their maternal side. Don't fight it.

ARCHIE: But - but I'm tough! I raced a burning fuse to save Horatio!!

DIRECTOR: Yes, and everyone thought that was very sweet.

ARCHIE: I KILLED PEOPLE in our first raid on the Indefatigable!!

DIRECTOR: And jumped around like a cute little puppy dog afterward.

ARCHIE: I fended off a sniper attack for heaven's sake!

DIRECTOR: Yes, and sent a million women squealing when you scrunched
that button nose. You're going to look fifteen forever, deal with it.

ARCHIE: Are you trying to tell me that after five years of service in
His Majesty's Navy, after enduring trials and tribulations and
fighting to defend my flag and my country with sword and pistol, that
I still rate no better on the testosterone scale than ladie's
protective sanitary products?!

DIRECTOR: Well, if it makes you feel any better, you weren't our
first choice. But Bunting kept sobbing hysterically, so...

ARCHIE: AUUUUGGHHH!!!!

(HORATIO saunters up, wearing a leather biker's outfit and drinking a
Foster's Lager.) Hullo, Archie. Is something wrong?

ARCHIE: (looking Horatio up and down). Oh, DON'T tell me you've been
shooting a beer commercial!

HORATIO: Yes, lovely fun actually. This morning I had on a World War
II uniform and they filmed me running through a mine field rescuing
orphans. That was for Bentley, I think. Then they dressed me up
like a race-car driver and we shot a Michelin tire ad. After lunch
I'm putting on chaps and there's a mechanical bull - Archie, you're
turning very red.

ARCHIE: (through gritted teeth) I'm - selling - god-damned - tampons.

HORATIO: (after a pause) Oh. Well, heavens, I could never do that.
See, you've bested me, Archie. Good for you.

ARCHIE: STOP that, dammit! I hate this! I've been through WORSE
than you and women still see me as the boy next door! No - the
POODLE next door! What the hell happened?

HORATIO: (taking a swig of the beer) Nothing, Archie. They just
haven't seen your incredible courage is all.

ARCHIE: But why not? If the daring raid I pulled off while you were
on the Marie Galante won't make women swoon, what the hell will?

HORATIO: Well - actually, no one ever saw that. It was edited out.
Commercial breaks,you see.

ARCHIE: (after a pause) Nobody saw me swinging off the topmast rope
past the burning sails?

HORATIO: No, sorry.

ARCHIE: Well - well, but surely the part where I defended those
helpless prisoners in France won them 'round! Against the sadistic
guard? After I was captured?

HORATIO: Er...well, I'm afraid that had to be cut as well. Timing
and everything. I'm certain it was very brave of you.

ARCHIE: (after a longer pause) Nobody saw THAT either? I was brilliant!

HORATIO: I'm sure you were, but -

ARCHIE: But - well, come on! You're famous for your heroics,
Horatio, but even you had to be impressed when I saved the ship on
our way home from Muzillac. I should be receiving a ton of lusty fan
mail for that act alone, and yet no one's said a peep. It's like it
never happened.

HORATIO: ........

ARCHIE: Oh, DON'T TELL ME.

HORATIO: I'm sorry, Archie, but we were only slotted for eight hours!
The series isn't called 'Kennedy', after all!

ARCHIE: Are you trying to say that NONE of my daring, heroic exploits
made it on the air?

HORATIO: (after some thought) Well, I always thought it was damn
brave the way you dumped out your soup in the prison. I always
thought the bread was worse, myself...

ARCHIE: Oh, SOD OFF. Horatio, I don't understand it! If no one saw
those things, then all they saw of me was - was how I cowered in
front of Simpson, and how I had a fit and you had to knock me out,
and then when I was in the prison, and when I almost choked in
Muzillac! I would have come off as a complete... (pauses and covers
his face with both hands) oh BUGGER.

HORATIO: (trying to be cheerful) Well, they didn't see any of the
buggering. So there's some luck, eh?

ARCHIE: (glaring at Horatio) Oh, DO shut up. My God, no wonder I'm
stuck doing a menstrual aid commercial while you're off fighting the
Nazis! Women must think I'm a total sissy!

HORATIO: Well, not all of them. Some of them think you're kind of
cute, actually. Like Ricky Martin.

ARCHIE: GRRRRRR!!!! All right, that's it! (grabs the beer bottle out
of Horatio's hand and bites the neck off) What did you say you were
filming this afternoon?

HORATIO: er - It's a Michelob commercial on the mechanical bull - but -

ARCHIE: But nothing, Horatio. I've been kept down long enough, and
it's time for women to see Archie Kennedy as he's always been MEANT
to be seen - hair flying, covered in leather, hairy manly chest bared
to the world. Show me to wardrobe, dammit - I'm ditching this
uniform for a Harley Davidson jacket!

DIRECTOR: (approaching cautiously) But Archie, baby, you've got a contract!

ARCHIE clobbers him.

CUT to a short time later, interior of a smoky bar. Archie's sitting
on top of a mechanical bull, dressed head-to-toe in motorcycle
leathers. He has a black cowboy hat jammed over his eyes and is
chewing on a cigar. Horatio stands nearby, looking around nervously.

HORATIO: Archie, I'm not certain this a good idea -

ARCHIE: (Giving Horatio a small glare) You can talk. You blubbered
over Mariette's body and snotted all over the captain, and no one
think's YOU'RE a sissy. I have to prove myself, Horatio, or I'll be
selling feminine deoderants next. How do I look?

HORATIO: Like three of the Village People. Archie -

ARCHIE: Confound it, Horatio, this is my one and perhaps only chance
to be taken seriously by the women of the world. They're going to
see Archie Kennedy, full-blooded English male, or I'll die trying to
bring it to them. Now turn on the bull.

HORATIO: Archie -

STAGEHAND: I got it!

(Horatio jumps back as the bull starts whipping around frantically.
Archie hangs on for all of two seconds before he is flung through the
air.)

ARCHIE: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

(ARCHIE hits the wall with a very loud thud and slides down it to
land in a heap at the bottom)

HORATIO: (hurrying over and kneeling beside his bashed buddy) Archie,
I tried to warn you, that mechanical bull's thrown three men already
today. Captain Pellew was injured attempting to film a Pine Nuts ad
on it this morning, they had to take him to the emergency room to
remove a beer tap from his forehead.

ARCHIE: Uuuuuurrrrggghhhhhh...

HORATIO: So you see, Archie, it's useless trying to pretend to be
something other than you are, because the women of the world will
always have their Romeos, but there are precious few men they can
truly trust and call friends.

ARCHIE: (disentangling himself) How very philosophical of you,
Horatio. But I still want to be seen as something other than
everyone's darling little brother.

HORATIO: You will be; in the meantime, I've found a sponsor who is
very anxious for you to sell his product; in fact, I think he'll be
very happy if you film it right here, while you're still bleeding.
Here's the script.

ARCHIE: (taking the script and reading it) *sigh*. Well, it's a
start I suppose. (looking toward the camera as the blood runs freely
down his forehead) Hello, this is Lieutenant Archie Kennedy for
'Band-Aids'...

THE END!!