Escalatipede!

An escalator / goes full Terminator / terrorising a shopping centre / swallowing teenagers, mothers & strollers / shop assistants, security patrollers / and the situation soon looks absolutely fucked / till they send in Mitch through a ventilation duct

Mitch is a public works engineer / a maverick mechanic with a controversial career / in groovy metal plates and gears / notorious for the outrageous ideas / he’s secretly worked on over the years / but no-one believed him / and the works department relieved him / of his badge and his oil gun / and his job at the works department looked totally done / his last automated walkway diagnostic run / so he went off piste with a taste for whisky / took on jobs that were wildly risky / till eventually / he went completely / off grid / and now and then you’d hear the weird things he did / like that funicular spectacular in the Himalayas / a luggage conveyor / turned aircraft slayer / at an international airport south of the Equator / but how much was fiction, how much was fact / just a gifted technician that fell off track / completely cracked

And nobody thought they’d see him back

Acting on tip-off information / the Corporation / follow him down to a town called El Concepcion / and a dive-bar called Los Organisation / where fugitive engineers get good lubrication / and chew over dark web instrumentation / it takes them a while to sober him up / show him the charge sheet they say they’ll rip up / if he’ll just come back to the scene of the crime / and de-escalate an escalator one last time

He grimaces, says fine

MONTAGE! / a secret lock-up with a freaky frontage / Mitch having a rummage / through an illicit tonnage / of fancy tools and shit / a silenced wrench with a scope on it / a box of hollow-point bolts / a watch that watches volts / a terminal for jolts / throwing together a toolkit of the maddest, most bad-ass bits / whilst Mitch / swings weights with his legs while he sits / grits / his teeth / goes for long runs on the beach… / the whole scene seems to go on forever / but because they hire a decent Editor / only lasts a minute or whatever

Meanwhile, back at the shopping centre / the evil escalator / has turned excavator / making a hellish nest / out of hundreds of shopping carts it compressed / and the marines go in all guns blazing / and the levels of personal bravery displayed is amazing / but the officers are crazy / their logic’s totally hazy / how are you supposed to shoot a creature / whose prominent feature / is a body made of steel and die-cast aluminium? / where do you even beginium? / (General Rivera wants nukes / but the President rebukes / ‘This is a goddamn shopping centre! / Rivera! / How’s THAT gonna play at the Primaries in November?’)

But suddenly a squeal of wheels / as a maintenance truck screeches up and reveals / Mitch the engineer in coveralls / leaping out the side with two full holdalls / of kit / a pair of safety goggles and a hard hat set back on his head quite a bit / ‘The Mitch is back’ he snarls. ‘Deal with it’

He sneers as he scans / the complicated plans / General Rivera holds in her trembling hands / then gives his curt commands / ‘Nobody touch nothing till I say so’ / Rivera gives the okay, so / slips him a chain with a lucky peso / which Mitch slowly kisses and whispers ‘Hey – You know? / I never thought I could love a General / She blushes, says ‘Didn’t they tell ya love’s ephemeral? / It’s a shame to waste it / Make it back alive and maybe you’ll taste it’ / (they carry on like this for about a minute / till the audience restlessly reaches its limit / and wishes there was a law to prohibit / every goddamn love scene like it) / ‘See you later, Escalator!’ salutes Mitch / then giving a smile like a boyish twitch / dodges off fast as Michael Jordan / out through the LAPD cordon / straight into a ventilation vent / he’s almost one hundred and one percent / sure is guaranteed / to lead / to the lair of the monstrous escalatipede / (which is what the LA Times have called it / even though the President tried to stall it)

There follows a sequence of fights and explosions / that might excite all you big action bozos / but the more I see the less I care / and I’m suddenly distracted by the amazing hair / of the person in the chair / in front of me / and wonder if it’s like that naturally / or if they get extensions / and how much it costs and other questions / till the next thing I know the film’s wrapping up / the escalatipede’s smoking and so are the cops / Mitch is kissing Rivera / the camera pans away from the shopping centre / and the audience are starting to leave the theatre / putting on their coats / abandoning their cartons and watery cokes / and squeezing past, saying excuse me / because apparently that’s the end of the movie

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