Screamingscripts.com is a fictional serial blog featuring Morris Crimpanfortis V, the confused and bewildered heir to a sprawling advertising and communications syndicate. Told through press releases, interoffice memos, personal correspondence, newspaper accounts and overheated telephone transcripts, the blog also provides a platform to introduce a variety of new TV show and feature film concepts, as well as a gallery of outdoor advertising extravaganzas.

The antics take place at a curious point in the future after two monumental sunspot storms have forced the world to revert back to 1985 technologies. We’re currently living in a state of “U-hope-ia,” meaning we hope to continue moving forward toward a grand utopian future, while avoiding all the nasty pitfalls of a dull and drab dystopia. 

Here is Morris Crimpanfortis V to dish up the backstory . . .



Where I Fit In–When and If I Feel Like It

My deal is to come up with programming concepts for a new TV network. This runs the gambit from game shows, sitcoms, drama and daytime to reality, court, docudramas, interstitials, children’s, current affairs and late night–even full-length features. If I can fill dayparts with innovative homegrown programming, my reward will be a syndicated late-night talk show of my very own.

This Guy Ain’t Bad . . . For a Gazillionaire

The man I work for is a media mogul from a long line of newspaper magnates who has parlayed the family fortune into a multi-billion-dollar advertising empire. His company, Hyper-Citation, Inc., is renowned for its “Live-Action Billboards” that provide extravagant and sometimes death-defying entertainment high above the nation’s Interstates and expressways. He is known by many names in the industry, some of them not so kind, but to me he is and always will be…Daddy.

As a sideline, Daddy owns a string of TV stations. I guess 28 is more of a chain than a string. They are located in markets all across America, from the biggest to the smallest. His goal is to create a network that includes original programming and all the trappings. He ultimately wants to fold the billboards into the TV, making it possible for the network to air on the outdoor platforms in what will amount to really massive widescreens.

My Sister on the Other Hand . . .

My sister Noreen, Daddy’s little princess–I call her “Princess No”–is the corporate gatekeeper charged with shutting down my programming proposals. Daddy doted on her more than me when we were kids growing up in Seattle; I was three years her senior and male–I guess in Daddy’s eyes that somehow made me different. I don’t particularly relish the unfair treatment that persists to this day, but what am I going to do? Me and Princess manage to tolerate each other at family functions, shareholders meetings and broadcast conventions. But I would be less than truthful if I didn’t warn you: she’s a piece of work.

Just because Princess is friends with the Executive Producer of the Chicago-based realty show The Whispers of Oak Park, and just because she’s attended a couple NAPTEs gives her the misguided impression she’s a programming guru. I’m here to tell you she doesn’t know squat.

Ever Hear of Silt Ridge, Pennsylvania? Me Neither

So I’m cooling my heels at a two-bit TV station in Silt Ridge, Pennsylvania, a former coal town deep in the rusting heart of the northeast corridor, trying like a son-of-a-gun to come up with show concepts, while Princess No runs Daddy’s media juggernaut from the frenetic confines of the Chicago Loop. When I get my own TV talk show things will be different. I can deliver trenchant social commentary while shamelessly bantering with celebrity guests. For now, I desperately cling to my ideals and keep my powder dry.

Poor Mama

One bit of sad news: Mama vanished six years ago in the Chugach Mountains outside Anchorage. Knowing she was a risk-taker, we were all mindful that someday, one of her adventures was going to go sideways. One frigid Saturday morning she took off in her turbocharged Fine-Strider “Silk Dream” and was never heard from again. She’d been covering a series of sled-dog races for a radio group in the Lower 48. I was a sophomore in college. Everyone held out hope that one day she was going to burst through the door, larger than life, draped in the pelts of the wolves that supposedly devoured her. But the passage of years made us realize we were just deluding ourselves.

Daddy was never right after that. He became intensely focused on his media interests, blazing new trails on a number of different fronts including the fancy billboards. He never remarried, and to anyone’s knowledge, never even dated.

Catching You Up on the Reboot of Civilization

A couple of sidebars before I forget: 1). I’m reporting this sometime in the future. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was repealed eons ago. As you will undoubtedly see, none of Daddy’s extravagant billboard visions would ever come to fruition were he constrained by such an overreaching piece of governmental legislation. So if anyone is wondering how these spectacular 24/7 live-action displays could ever be allowed on the nation’s highways and byways, you can thank your lucky stars for ardent lobbyists. Heck, they’re even letting billboards on the moon now!

And 2). We’re still reeling from the Second Great Sunspot Dilemma. Though not as devastating as the first solar meltdown that occurred nearly a half century earlier, we’re still feeling some of the cosmic fallout. Gone are all the marvelous advances in AI, nanotechnology, 4D bioprinting, microfluidics, energy harvesting, programmable matter, neural networks, fusion power and hydrogel architecture. On the bright side, satellite transmission for radio and television networks has for the most part been restored. The majority of the TV sets have reverted from black and white back to color. But in other areas we’re not faring as well. We’re all just figuring out how to use the fax machine again–for the umpteenth time. Ugh!

Welcome Aboard–Glad You Can Make It!

That should catch you up on where things presently stand. I’m Morris Crimpanfortis V, “Morey” to some, and it’s a pleasure having you along for the ride. I hope you don’t get too put off by the family antics. It’s not easy dealing with a bunch of gilt-edged prima donnas, but I guess somebody has to do it, right?

Oh and one more thing: it would sure help if anybody could do something about Paymor Kalabrashion and his crowd before they take over the world . . .



NOTE: This blog is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.