Picture this. A Hollywood studio. A famous Hollywood producer is talking to one of his screen writers.
“We need a horror story. A really scary, pants-wetting, horror story.”
The screen writer furrows his brow and thinks. “I’ve got something. It’s a kind of monster story.”
“Oh, interesting. Is it scary?”
“It can be.”
“Tell me about the monster.”
“Well, ok. First thing. It’s the creepiest thing you’ve ever seen. It’s got eight legs, they’ve got these appendages coming out of the front of their head and long piercing sucking tube-like thingies …” The screenwriter shivers in disgust. “It’s just really creepy.”
“Ok, well, tell me more about them.”
“They eat human skin …”
The producer leans forward, dollar signs flashing in his eyes. “Now we’re talking …”
“And the mommy can lay 60 to 100 eggs …”
“That’s … ok, that’s a lot of eggs.”
“And they can excrete twice their body weight.”
“Excrete? As in …”
“Poop. Yeah. Twice their body weight. Every day.”
The producer sits back. “I don’t think people are going to like looking at all that poop.”
“Well, here’s the true horror. This is a real story. This monster exists. And he lives in this very room. He’s right here, right now.”
The producer looks around his room. Nervously.
“Under out feet,” the screenwriter says.
The producer looks down, at the plush white carpet covering his floor. He isn’t wearing shoes, as is his custom.
“In the carpet,” the screenwriter says.
The producer withdraws his feet in alarm.
The screenwriter nods, a little evil gleam in his eye. “They’re microscopic, these little monsters, and there could be millions of them down there, living off the cells and hair that fall from your body every day.”
The producer swallows. His mouth is very dry. “This … is true?”
“Absolutely. This is 100 percent a true story.”
The producer picks up his phone, calling his secretary. “Bring in a vacuum, Tracy. A powerful one.”
“A vacuum’s not going to do it,” the screenwriter says. “You see, vacuums only get to the top layers of the carpet fibre, but deep down in the carpet, that’s where your real horror story is being played out.”
“Forget the vacuum Tracy!” the producer yells. “Bring in the flamethrower. We’re gonna torch those little demons back to hell!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the screenwriter says. “You don’t need to do that. You just need to bring in some professional carpet cleaners.”
“Yeah, their cleaning methods get right down deep into the carpet. They’ll get those tiny, little pooping vermin for you.”
The producer clears his throat. “Your son …”
“He owns a carpet cleaning company doesn’t he?”
“Why, yes! He does.”
The producer sighs. “Has this just been an ad to get me to use your son’s carpet cleaning services?”
“I … uh, I don’t know what you mean.”
“Get out!” the producer yells.
The screenwriter stands to his feet. He opens his mouth.
The screenwriter nods and turns for the door.
The producer shakes his head, and puts his feet back to the carpet, feeling the luxurious caress of the carpet fibres in his toes.
A picture comes to his mind. It is of a tiny, microscopic monster, millions of them, in his carpet.
The screenwriter puts his hand on the door.
“On second thought,” the producers says, placing his feet on his desk. “Call your son for me. And see if Spielberg is available.”