From various angles converging on the front door. The number on the door is 659. ALICE, a teenage schoolgirl has her hand on the doorknob, turning it.
A cute looking boy smiles and waves.
Alice enters and slams the door behind her.
NARRATION ALICE VOICE OVER.: I first realised that the world was coming to an end when I got home from school and found the cat gone.
Alice looks around.
In the hall, there is an umbrella stand on the right of the door with an umbrella leaning to the right.
There is a grandfather’s clock with the time set at the traditional ten to two.
The hall table is covered with a pink cloth.
ALICE: Einstein! Einstein!
She walks into the living room.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Funny phrase that, innit? ‘Found the cat gone.’
There is a sofa and chair and a picture of her parents holding a pig in baby clothes.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): I mean you can find something or it’s gone. It can’t be both. Can it?
She walks into the kitchen.
ALICE: Einstein! Einstein!
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Wait a mo. Rewind a bit.
Effects, speeded up and in reverse. She rushes backwards out of the house.
Montage of backward shots. Alice rushes backwards along the road on to a bus that sets off going backwards.
Alice at school writing furiously – backwards.
Backwards into house again.
The cute boy smiles and waves as before, quite normally – but reversed.
Now moving forwards, she points at her parents’ picture on the wall.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): My Dad is a real ugmo.
The baby is a baby, now.
EXT. PUBLIC HOUSE BEER GARDEN
DAD Appears. He is plain but not really ugly. He is talking
in a jerky, speeded up manner.
MUM appears. She is rather flighty looking and is drinking pint after pint in a speeded up manner.
Alice looks disapprovingly from one to the other.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Mum is always drunk.
DAD: (silently in time with narration) You’re drunk.
MUM: (very loud) You’re ugly. But every one of these I drink, you get more handsome!
She grabs his tie.
He looks terrified.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Mum is also a nymphomaniac on the quiet.
Alice puts her fingers down her throat.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Dad told one of his crappy crummy jokes.
EINSTEIN the cat jumps up on to a chair.
DAD: How could I make that cat bark?
Everyone looks nonplussed.
DAD (CONT’D) Off Camera: Put it in a sack…
The cat, blurry and pixilated, is put into a sack.
DAD (CONT’D) O.C.: Take it out into a field
Dad, blurry and speeded up, rushes into a field with a sack.
DAD (CONT’D) O.C.: Get some petrol…
Dad, grinning, holds up a can of petrol and points to it.
DAD (CONT’D) O.C.: Pour petrol on the cat in the sack.
Dad, blurry and pixilated, pours petrol on to the sack.
DAD (CONT’D) O.C.: Strike a match.
A match flares up.
DAD (CONT’D) O.C.: And the cat goes…
Sound FX WOOF!
DAD (CONT’D) (back in the beer garden): WOOF!
Everyone looks disgusted. A few groan. Dad alone, laughs.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Dad is the only one barking around here. He is a stand-up psychopath who acts out all his jokes.
Montage of stills, as if posed for the camera, Dad with someone hanging upside down, Dad holding a chord leading to a guillotine, Dad holding a chainsaw. He is smiling in all of them.
Alice pottering around in the garage.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: So I have to give Einstein a sporting chance.
She picks up a small petrol can.
She pours the petrol down the drain.
She fills the petrol can with water from the tap.
She picks up an identical petrol can.
She juggles with both petrol cans, throwing them up into the air and catching them.
She closes her eyes.
After a few times, she opens her eyes and puts the two petrol cans down, side by side.
ALICE (to Einstein): Now I know what you’re thinking, punk. Is the petrol in the can on the left or the one on the right.
ALICE (CONT’D): What you have to ask yourself, punk, is, ‘Do I feel lucky?’
Einstein meows again!
ALICE (CONT’D): Well, do you punk?
Einstein plays with a little toy mouse.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: See, one man’s joke, is another’s science project.
She holds up the two petrol cans.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D)
From the outside, it’s impossible to tell whether a single can
contains petrol or water.
Einstein looks up at her.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): So it’s impossible to tell, in the
absence of the cat, whether he is alive or dead.
Alice enters almost identically as before although there are some subtle differences.
The umbrella on the stand is on the left instead of the right. The cloth on the table is gold instead of pink.
There is a framed photograph of the cute boy on the table.
She holds on to the door handle for longer than before.
ALICE: Einstein! Einstein!
She looks around.
ALICE (CONT’D): Einstein, Einstein!
She walks into the kitchen.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: It was unheard of for Einstein to not greet me in the hall when I came home from school.
She heads for the garage.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): So it was impossible to know whether the cat was alive or dead.
She opens the garage door.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): So the only logical way to describe Einstein’s condition was to assign to it all possible quantum states, to say that he was simultaneously alive and dead and only when I found which can had been taken, the one with petrol or the one with water…
She enters and walks to the shelf with the petrol cans.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Only then could I know for sure.
She looks at the shelf.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Only when I looked in the garage…
There are two petrol cans. She picks up first one and shakes it, then the other.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Both were full.
She stands back in amazement.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): There could only be one explanation. Reality had broken down!
She walks back into the house.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): My experiment was like taking a sample from a fast flowing river.
She stares at A DIGITAL CLOCK showing the time as 6:59.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D)
And then, as if no further proof were needed.
The clock changes. Instead of showing 7:00 it shows – 6:60!
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): There could only be one cause for that.
She takes out an exercise book from her satchel and proceeds to write.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): An electromagnetic pulse from a supernova that will kill all life on earth in one burst of gamma radiation!
She begins to make calculations.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Cats in undefinable quantum states and electromagnetic disturbances causing semiconductors to change from ground state to excitation.
She pauses and checks her watch.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): By my calculation…
She starts writing again.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): I have just seven minutes to complete my science project.
She writes something else.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): And save the cat.
There is a bumping sound from upstairs.
Alice looks up at the ceiling.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): My parents always were, violent love makers.
Some plaster falls from the ceiling.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): But you’d think they could restrain themselves at a time like this.
Through the window, fireworks can be seen going off.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): The Christians are as bad.
The digital clock shows 6:62
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Finished. Now to hand it in!
There is a knock at the door.
NARRATION ALICE V.O. (CONT’D): Ah! Just in time!
She opens the door.
MRS PODOLSKY, the Science Teacher is standing in the doorway.
MRS PODOLSKY: Alice, have you finished your science project?
Alice clutches the exercise book to her chest.
ALICE: Yes and no.
MRS PODOLSKY:‘Yes and no?’ – What kind of an answer is that?
Alice holds the exercise book out in front of her.
ALICE: One that precisely describes all possible quantum states.
Mrs Podolsky holds up her finger.
MRS PODOLSKY: Ah! So I determine the outcome?
The digital clock shows the time as 6:63
ALICE: That’s the theory!
MRS PODOLSKY: And the end of the world?
ALICE:Always a potential state. Very improbable on a day to day basis.
MRS PODOLSKY: But given a long enough period of time–
The digital clock shows the time as 6:64
ALICE: That clock normally displays a maximum of only fifty nine minutes.
Miss Podolsky nods.
MRS PODOLSKY: But for it to show sixty or more minutes is not impossible–
ALICE: Only highly improbable. In the same way that the end of the world–
MRS PODOLSKY: Has become inevitable. And so I know your Science Project is completed for the same reason.
There is a loud ‘plop’ and Dad drops through the ceiling. He is wearing hideous lime-green pyjamas.
ALICE: Oh my! Curiouser…
Another loud ‘plop’ and Mum drops through the ceiling beside him. She is wearing a hideous winceyette nightie.
ALICE (CONT’D):… and curiouser!
Mum and Dad hold each other.
ALICE (CONT’D): Mum, you’re drunk!
The digital clock now shows 6:65.
MRS PODOLSKY: They just oozed through the ceiling!
MUM: Contrariwise, we oozed through the floor!
MRS PODOLSKY: How improbable was that?
ALICE: The answer’s in my science project.
Mrs Podolsky flicks through Alice’s exercise book.
MRS PODOLSKY (voice gradually fading out on the noughts): Of course! Plank’s Constant has increased in size from point nought nought nought nought nought nought nought nought…
Alice smiles, sadly.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: Sad isn’t it? But this is what years of being a science teacher does to people.
MRS PODOLSKY: (voice gradually fading in on the noughts) …nought nought nought…
MUM: She’s being rather noughty!
Alice shushes her.
MRS PODOLSKY:..nought six six six it’s become just one.
ALICE: Inevitable, really.
MUM:Ah! So although the probability of Plank’s Constant changing from an infinitesimally small number to unity is very very small…
ALICE: Given enough time, it becomes inevitable.
Dad stares at Mum.
DAD: How do you know that?!
Mum looks round, helplessly.
MUM: I guessed!
MRS PODOLSKY: And so all the other improbabilities – including your mum knowing Quantum Theory – happen because of that one!
Dad shakes his head.
DAD: If that’s logic, I’m a banana!
Dad turns into a banana!
In the front door, the cat-flap opens and Einstein jumps through, meowing loudly.
ALICE: Einstein! I’d forgotten about the cat flap! Welcome back!
She picks up the cat.
ALICE (CONT’D): You look as if you’ve seen a mouse!
The cat-flap opens a little more and a mouse looks through!
The clock shows 6:66!
Speeded up rewind of all the events so far.
The number 666 shows. Alice’s hand appears, moving towards the doorknob.
A boy’s hand appears and takes hold of the girl’s.
It is the cute boy. They smile at each other.
NARRATION ALICE V.O.: On second thoughts, I’ll not go home today.
Alice and the boy walk away together, holding hands.
FADE TO BLACK
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