| The King of hearts
In a classroom in an American high school. The teacher holds a stack of papers in his hand. The air is full of tension. Some students look at him fearfully, while others manage to look cool. The 17-year-old Benjamin Seaman, who sits next to Paul in the third row, belongs to the latter group.
Teacher: Before I will give you back your class tests, let me tell you that it's becoming quite boring. There were absolutely no surprises. The good ones have got the good grades and the bad ones have got the bad grades, as they always have. And then there are boys like Benjamin. (The teacher walks towards the mentioned student.) Here, Benjamin. It's a C – again. (The teacher puts some papers on Benjamin's table.)
Paul: Wow, Benny! Another C! Your collection is getting bigger and bigger. I think we'll have to change the spelling of your name a bit. Let's turn 'Seaman' into 'C-man' with the letter C at the beginning.
(Some students around them start to laugh.)
Teacher: Hey, Paul. You could have been lucky if you had a C. But it's only a D this time. Try harder next time! (The teacher lets the papers fall on Paul's desk.)
Benjamin (mumbles): I wouldn't mind swapping grades with you, Paul. I' m fed up with all these C's.
Paul: You'd better put up with it: you are and you will always be average, Benny – in every sense.
Teacher: Now I come to the best essay. It's Laura again. (Then he turns around, walks to the second row where the girl sits and hands her her papers.) Very well done, Laura!
Benjamin (whispers to Paul): That's not fair! How can someone be so intelligent and so gorgeous at the same time!
Paul: I don't know. Why don't you ask her, Benny?
Benjamin (still whispering): Ask Laura? This absolutely perfect blond dream girl? I would rather die than ask her that question!
Paul: You shouldn't be so shy! I mean, you aren't ugly. Okay, you aren't a second Justin Bieber either. But who is it? And she won't be a single forever. So don't wait too long!
Paul is in his room at home. He is sitting at his desk looking at a Spiderman poster.
Benjamin: Oh, Spidey! I wish I had your superpowers! Then I would be a hero that could even win the heart of girls like Laura. But I'm just another Sheldon Cooper, with similar interests and similar look, but without his intelligence. I can only wait for some kind of big bang, some kind of miracle to happen, something that will change my boring life.
(At this moment his younger sister Jennifer enters his room.)
Jennifer: Hey boring brother! (Obviously she overheard her brother's last sentence). Your boring family are waiting for you to have dinner with them. So come downstairs now! I don't think Spiderman will be too sad to lose his dialogue partner. (She giggles.)
Benjamin: Oh, you stupid sister! Can't you knock before entering my room?
Jennifer: Of course I could. But if I knocked I wouldn't hear my brother's wise words. And you know that I, as your younger sister, look up to my intelligent older brother.
Benjamin (shouts): Get out! (Jennifer leaves. Benjamin waits for a moment. When he is sure that she has gone downstairs, he starts talking again.) Oh, Spidey. Why can't I just put some web into her mouth so that I don't have to hear her talk? Why can't I be you? Where is the radioactive spider whose bite will turn me into a superhero? (He sighs. Then he turns away from the poster. Suddenly his eyes light up.) Oh, I almost forgot our school trip to the chemistry factory tomorrow. Maybe there will be a friendly little animal that can help me to become a hero like you, Spidey. (Benjamin leaves his room.)
In the foyer of Buycorp, an international chemical concern. A woman in a white coat stands in front of Benjamin's class.
Woman: Welcome to Buycorp, the biggest and most modern chemical concern in the east of the United States. My name is Felicia Colby and I am going to show you some of the most exciting parts of this place. In addition, I'm here to answer your questions. (Laura lifts her hand.) Oh, I see someone who already seems to have a question. Yes, please. You may talk.
Laura: Thank you. I would like to know if any experimental animals are used here?
Felicia Colby: Yes, there are monkeys on the 13th floor. But they are not hurt. More questions? (She looks around, but no hand is lifted.) Okay. Then come with me to the first floor! (The students follow her to the stairs.)
Benjamin (whispers to Paul): I won't come with you. I prefer the 13th floor. I want to see the monkeys. Can you say that I had to go to the toilet if anybody should ask where I am?
Paul: Err, okay.
Benjamin: Thanks, Paul. See you later!
(While his classmates leave the stairs on the first floor, Benjamin goes on climbing the stairs. Nobody sees him doing this.)
Some minutes later Benjamin stands in a deserted laboratory on the 13th floor.
Catherine (with a metallic voice): Hail, Caesar!
Benjamin (confused): Who was that? Who is talking? (He turns around and discovers three cages, in which there are three chimpanzees. All of them wear a round metallic device around their necks.) Was it you, monkeys, who have just talked to me?
Anne (with the same metallic voice as Catherine's): Beware the guys of March!
Mary (with the same metallic voice as Catherine's and Anne's): Soon they will be here! So you better disappear!
Benjamin: What the fuck? These monkeys are talking!
Catherine: Bloody Mary's absolutely right. It's time for you to opt for flight! But before you do, take one or even two!
Benjamin: Two what? What the hell are you talking about?
Anne: The yellow tubes of magic. Otherwise your life ends tragic.
Mary: It's the liquid where it starts. The boy becomes the king of hearts.
(All of the chimps point to a table where there are test tubes with a yellow liquid. Benjamin goes to the table, takes two of the test tubes and pours them into his empty water bottle. Then he looks back to the chimps waiting for another order.)
Catherine and Anne: It's the liquid where it starts. The boy becomes the king of hearts.
(Suddenly Benjamin hears a sound. Immediately he hurries to the door. He succeeds in leaving the room without being noticed.)
A little later Benjamin is back with his class.
Paul: Oh, Benny. You're back! There was no need to worry: nobody has asked for you. Nobody noticed your absence - as usual. (Paul laughs scornfully.)
Benjamin (ignoring Paul's remark): Paul, you won't believe what I've just seen! There were …
Felicia Colby: Now I'm going to take you to Professor Henry March and his team. Please follow me to the elevator. The twelfth floor is waiting and ... a little surprise!
(Some minutes later the class sits in a conference room. A thin white-haired man appears. Three chimpanzees that are led by three men in white coats follow behind him.)
Professor Henry March: Hello. My name is Professor March. Please welcome my chimps Catherine, Mary and Anne!
The class: Hello Catherine, Mary and Anne!
Professor Henry March: You see that they are absolutely okay. They feel fine, don't you, Catherine? (The chimp nods wildly. Then the Professor offers her and the other two some bananas.) Here! This is for you, my little princesses! (The chimps take the bananas carefully, their eyes down.) Do you see how well-disciplined they are? I think they are more civilized than some of you are. Haha! (He laughs.) Who of you would like to come closer and play a little game with one of my chimps? You don't have to be afraid! This is not the Planet of the Apes! Haha! (He laughs again.)
Benjamin (lifts his hand and shouts): Me! (Without waiting for an answer he gets up and walks quickly and straight to the chimps, while ignoring the professor.) Hey, Catherine! How are you? Speak! I know you can tell me that! Come on! Talk to me! Call me Caesar or whatever you want! But talk!
Professor March: I'm sorry, boy! My chimps can't talk. But they have a very good memory. That's why I want you to play Memory with them!
Benjamin: Sorry. You should take someone else for that kind of game.
Professor March: Okay. Who feels clever enough to compete with my chimps?
Laura: I do!
Benjamin (when he walks past Laura): Kick them in the ass! (Laura just smiles. Benjamin goes to his teacher and asks him.) Can I go to the toilet? (The teacher nods.) Can come Paul with me? (The teacher nods again.)
In the restroom for boys.
Paul: What was that, Benny? Haven't you heard that animals can't talk? You made a fool out of yourself when you asked them to talk to you. It was really embarrassing.
Benjamin: But they DID talk to me when I was alone with them on the 13th floor.
Paul: That must have been a hallucination. Maybe there were some drugs in the air that clouded your mind.
Benjamin: No! It wasn't an illusion! It was real!
Paul: Hmm. And what did they say?
Benjamin: They told me to take this. (He takes his water bottle out of his bag to show Paul the yellow liquid in it.)
Paul (disgustedly): Yuck! They wanted you to take their piss?!
Benjamin: This is no piss! Smell it if you don't believe me!
Paul: That won't be necessary. I believe you. But if this is no piss, what is it then?
Benjamin: I don't know. But they said this would make me a king of hearts.
Paul: A king of hearts? What does that mean? A kind of womanizer?
Benjamin: Maybe. I'm not sure. But I believe that I will know after I have drunk it.
Paul: Seriously? You want to drink this pee-like liquid?
Paul: Aren't you afraid that you will turn into „Monkeyman“ or whatever?
Benjamin: I think I'm going to take the risk. (He takes a sip from his water bottle.)
Paul: And? How do you feel?
Benjamin: Hmm. I don't know. I feel good, I think.
Paul: That doesn't mean anything. A transformation into a chimp might take time. You can still grow hair like a monkey while you are sleeping tonight.
Benjamin: Do you want to scare me? No matter what you say, Paul, I'm going to test the effect of this liquid now!
Benjamin: I am going to talk with Laura.
Benjamin and Paul enter the conference room. Laura stands next to the chimps. All of them are facing a large screen on the wall. The screen shows an oversized checkered playboard.
Professor March: And the winner is Catherine! She wins the game with 12 points to 10 points. Thank you for playing, Laura. You did a great job. You must know that Catherine sometimes even beats me.
(Laura goes back to her seat. Benjamin follows her, while Paul is looking for his seat at the other side of the room. When Laura sits down, her neighbour Jack starts to talk.)
Jack: Haha! Our brainiac has lost against a monkey!
Benjamin: Don't laugh too loud, Jack! You would even have lost against a blind mole! Besides, it was not fair to let Laura compete with a genetically pimped-up chimp. Nevertheless, she has shown that her natural talents are impressively great.
Laura: Thanks Benjamin. But I can handle insects like Jack.
Benjamin: Yes, of course you can, Laura. But a wonderful young lady like you shouldn't have to deal with insects like Jack. And now go away, Jack!
Jack: How dare you! You can't talk to me that way!
Benjamin: You have just heard that I can. And now do as I told you. Leave!
Jack: I will. But before I do this, I'm going to give you that!
(He stands up and hits Benjamin into his stomach. Benjamin clings to the back of the chair. Then he slowly lets himself down onto the chair. In the meantime Jack goes away.)
Laura: Benjamin! Oh poor Benjamin!
Benjamin (who is obviously in pain): I'm not poor. Now that I sit next to you I'm the richest man in the world because I own your presence.
Laura: Oh! I would never have thought that you could be so charming!
Benjamin: And I never thought that I could show you how much you mean to me. But now here I am and I confess to you that you're the most wonderful girl of the universe to me!
(Suddenly the students around them begin to get up from their seats.)
Student (next to Benjamin): Hey! Haven't you heard that the teacher has told us to go? (Benjamin and Laura rise. Together they walk surrounded by lots of their classmates.)
Benjamin: Laura, can we talk tonight? Privately?
Laura: Are you asking me out on a date?
Benjamin: Yes. I think so. Would that be okay for you?
Laura: Benjamin, two minutes ago we were almost complete strangers. We never had a conversation that lasted more than five seconds. And now you want a date with me?
Benjamin: Exactly. Will you say yes, please?
Nora (a girl who overheard their conversation): Say yes, Laura! You dating Benny would lead to a lot of funny gossip.
Benjamin: And it would lead to a very happy boy.
Laura: Okay. Why not. I think I can read the book that I was going to read tonight another day. Meet me at Starbucks at 8 o'clock!
Benjamin (smiling): I will. Not even the faultiest stars will stop me.
It's 7 o'clock in the evening. Benjamin is in his room and looks at his Spiderman poster.
Benjamin: You should have seen me, Spidey! I was so cool. Laura just couldn't resist my unbelievable charm. In less than three minutes she was caught in my web. From now on you and me are colleagues – superhero colleagues. I'm the amazing Benjamin. My effect on girls now really seems supernatural - thanks to my new magic potion. It seems that this potion always gives me the right words. Nothing can go wrong anymore. After this night Laura will be mine. The hottest and most intelligent girl will want and need me like lifeblood. (At this moment his sister enters his room.)
Jennifer: Haha! Did you really say that a girl will want you?
Benjamin: Yes, I did, my sweet little sister.
Jennifer: And did you talk about a living girl?
Benjamin: She's as alive as you are, Jennifer, but maybe not quite as funny. Perhaps you can give me some lessons.
Jennifer: You want lessons from your little sister? Seriously?
Benjamin: Yes, please.
Jennifer: Well, I think I could give you some advice. After all I am a girl and I know what girls want and what they don't want.
Benjamin: Go on, please.
Jennifer: Girls don't want boring boys. So first of all you should change your boring style.
(Jennifer opens Benjamin's wardrobe and looks into it.) You've got to give her the feeling that she is something special for you because she is special. Every woman is special. So you must be special and look special, too, for her! (Suddenly she smiles triumphantly.) Ah! I think I have found the right outfit for you. To make it a little bit more extraordinary I will give you something from my collection.
Benjamin: Your beautiful earrings?
Jennifer: No, a scarf.
Benjamin: Okay. I thank you very much, Jennifer. And I also want to apologize.
Jennifer: For what?
Benjamin: For never showing you how much I like you.
Jennifer: It's okay. I think I wasn't much better. And now get dressed! Girls don't want boys who make them wait.
In the Starbucks café. It's five minutes to eight. Benjamin sits at a table and watches the entrance area of the café. When Laura appears, Benjamin lifts his hand to beckon her to his table.
Benjamin: Hello Laura! I am here!
Laura: Hello Benjamin!
Benjamin: Please sit down! I'm really happy that you have come.
Laura: Well, thanks for inviting me. You are lucky: books are patient and never jealous.
Benjamin: You're right. Let's praise books! Maybe I will even buy a second one. (He smiles.)
Laura: I could talk about books all evening, but now I would rather talk about you: You look different tonight.
Benjamin: Is it bad or good?
Laura: Good. I like your look. I just wonder how much you have changed lately.
Benjamin: Well, I think in order to be good enough for you I just had to change.
Laura: Don't praise me too much! You hardly know me.
Benjamin: Okay. But please allow me one more compliment before I stop flattering you.
Laura: Okay. What is it?
Benjamin: You are a Ferrari on two legs.
Laura (laughs): Why? Because I arrived here on time?
Benjamin: I think you know what I mean.
Laura: Well, thanks. But is Ferrari not an Italian car? I don't think I look very Italian.
Benjamin: You're right. With your blond hair you rather look Swedish. But do you really want me to compare you with a Volvo?
Laura: No, I want you to compare me to a summer's day.
Benjamin: Okay. By the way... Have they just turned up the heating? No? Then it must be you who makes me feel so warm.
Laura: Well, you could take off the scarf.
Benjamin: Anything you like. (He takes off the scarf.)
Laura (smiles): This is enough for now. You're really sweet. I wonder why you don't belong to the most popular students at school.
Benjamin: Well, I only know that you are one of the popular students, Laura. So maybe you know something that we unpopular kids don't know.
Laura: Oh, I don't think that I know any secrets about how to become popular. I just try to respect everybody so that they respect me.
Benjamin: Really everybody? Even Jack?
Laura: Well, he's an exception. He's an asshole. Just like his followers Steve and Trevor. They enjoy bullying younger students. That's awful.
Benjamin (thoughtfully): Somebody should do something against Jack and his gang.
Laura: Yes, but everybody is afraid that they will be their next victim when they start fighting them. But let's stop talking about these disgusting students. Why don't you tell me something about you?
Benjamin: Well, there's not much to say about my life. But I feel this will change in the near future.
Laura: Why do you think so?
Benjamin: Because you are here. That makes me believe that anything is possible. I even might get a B in my next class test.
Laura: If you work for it, you'll surely get it. I don't get my A's by lazing about either.
Benjamin: I would be much more confident if I could work together with you.
Laura: Oh, so you only dated me because you wanted me to give you private lessons?
Benjamin: No, of course not. But the gentleman in me says that I should better not reveal everything that I would like to do with you.
Laura: Just keep on listening to him! He seems to be a wise man. But what would he say if I told you/him that today was your lucky day and that you could make one wish?
Benjamin: I think I would wish for a kiss.
Laura: A kiss on the very first date?
Benjamin: Yes, but I would wait till the end of the date because they say that you should save the best for last.
Laura: You don't have to wait that long. (She moves her head towards Benjamin. When their mouths are only a few inches away from each other, Benjamin kisses her softly.)
Benjamin: Wow! I think I'm in heaven! Thank you, Laura!
Laura: You're welcome.
Benjamin: And you can't imagine how welcome this was for me.
Laura: Well, maybe we could repeat it on our second date if you like.
It's four o'clock in the afternoon. Benjamin has just arrived at home after a long school day. He sits down at his desk and looks at his Spiderman poster.
Benjamin: Hey Spidey! I... (At this moment his sister enters his room.)
Jennifer: Hey Benjamin! Did you want to start another discussion with Spiderman?
Benjamin: Well, …
Jennifer: Of course you did. But you don't have to talk to a poster. You can talk to me. You can tell me everything you would tell Spiderman! Trust me! And talking to me is not only much less nerdy, but it has another big advantage over talking to a Spiderman poster.
Benjamin: Which is?
Jennifer: I am able to answer. So you should better talk to me! In addition, I know what Spiderman would say because I have watched the movie.
Benjamin: Which one? There were 5 Spiderman movies in the last twenty years: three with Tobey Maguire and two with Andrew Garfield.
Jennifer: I mean the one in which his Uncle Ben dies.
Benjamin: Oh, that's the first one.
Jennifer: Listen, Benny! I know why you admire Spiderman so much. You both lost your most important father figure. For Peter Parker this was his Uncle Ben and for you it was our father, who I miss, too. But you don't have to handle his death alone. You've still got our mother and me. There's no need to escape into a fantasy world.
Benjamin: Are you really only 14 years old, Jennifer? I get the feeling that I'm your little brother and you my big sister. But you don't have to worry about me. I feel fine. Remember that I had a date only yesterday! And it was a success! She wants to see me again!
Jennifer: Yes, I remember. And I'm happy for you that you started to have a real life. This is the right way, Benny. Please continue it!
Benjamin: I will, Jennifer, now that I've developed my true potential.
Jennifer: Your true potential? What do you mean?
Benjamin: Let's say I've realized how much power I've got. And as you watched the first Spiderman movie, you certainly know what Uncle Ben has told to Peter Parker.
Jennifer: I'm not quite sure. Was it something about responsibility?
Benjamin: Yes. He said: 'With great power comes great responsibility'.
Jennifer: Does that mean you are going to protect this city in a colourful costume from now on?
Benjamin: No. But I feel that I have to do something against evil people. And one evil person attends the same school as I do. His name is Jack.
Jennifer: Oh Jack. That swine! But what are you going to do to him? Are you going to beat him up?
Benjamin: No. My power is not physical. It's verbal. So I'm going to talk to him.
Jennifer: And you think that your words will defeat him?
Benjamin: Not actually defeat him, but maybe turn him into a better man.
Jennifer: Oh, then you need superpowers, I'm afraid.
Half an hour later Benjamin stands in front of the house where Jack lives. After ringing he faces a middle-aged man in an old jeans and in a dirty undershirt.
Benjamin: Good afternoon. My name is Benjamin Seaman. I'm a friend of Jack and I would like to talk to him.
Man: My son's not here. But I think that he must be here in a few minutes.
Benjamin: Can I wait for him inside, please?
Man: Okay, come in!
Benjamin: Thank you, Sir!
(Jack's father leads Benjamin to Jack's room, where Benjamin sits down on a revolving chair. He looks at the posters on the wall. He sees the rappers Eminem and 50 Cent and the alternative rock band Placebo. Besides there is a poster of the film 'Cruel Intentions'. Then he hears the bell. He turns around to look at the door waiting for Jack to enter the room. Seconds later Jack appears.)
Jack: What the hell are you doing in my room?
Benjamin: Oh, hi Jack! You've got some cool posters here. But I must admit that I was a little surprised that you listen to a 90s-band like Placebo.
Jack: I just like their song 'Every you, every me' from the film 'Cruel intentions'. That's all. And now tell me why you are here!
Benjamin: Actually I'm here to apologize to you. I shouldn't have called you 'insect'. That was rude. I'm sorry.
Jack: Oh, well. You're right. You shouldn't have done it. And now that this is clear you can go home.
Benjamin: One moment, please. There's another thing why I came here.
Benjamin: I think you know that I am the goalkeeper of our school soccer team...
Jack: No, I didn't. And I don't care. Soccer is a game for girls.
Benjamin: I don't think so. There are millions of men who play soccer. And you should play it, too.
Jack: Why? Because you think I'm a girl? (He clenches his fist threateningly). You better be careful what you say!
Benjamin: Sorry. This was not what I wanted to say. I mean you should play soccer because you are a Muller.
Jack: What has my surname to do with it?
Benjamin: Muller or Müller is the name of a lot of famous German soccer players: Gerd Müller, Dieter Müller and Thomas Müller. Maybe you have heard that the Germans have won the FIFA World Cup in 2014. People from this country seem to be very talented soccer players. So you might be a talented soccer player, too. It's in your genes.
Jack: Hmm. I don't know.
Benjamin: Just come to our next training on Friday! Or are you afraid that you won't score a goal against me?
Jack: No, of course not!
Benjamin: So I'll see you on Friday?
(Suddenly Jack's father enters the room. In one hand he holds a bottle of beer and in the other hand there is a piece of paper.)
Jack's Father (outraged): Jack! Can you explain this letter from your school to me? It says that you hit a younger student so hard that he had to go home. (He hurls the letter to Jack. Then he steps towards his son and slaps him in the face.) Why do you always do such stupid things? When you go on like that, you will leave school without graduation. And what are you going to do with your life then? What do you think will your future look like?
Jack: Well, I will probably end up like you: jobless and divorced. (Jack's father slaps him again.)
Jack's Father: Your mother knew what she did when she left you, her only child.
Jack: I know why she left. She just couldn't stand being your wife anymore.
(Jack's father looks at his son - blind with rage. He lifts his bottle of beer as if he wanted to hit his son with it. But then he lets it down and hurries out of the room. Jack sits down on his bed. Tears are running down his cheeks.)
Benjamin: I feel so sorry for you. (He waits for an answer but Jack stays silent.) I think I should go now. I hope to see you on Friday, champ. (Benjamin leaves.)
It's Friday afternoon. Benjamin, Paul, Jack and some other boys are in a changing room. Their clothes are dirty. Some of them are still sweating.
Jack: Hey, Benny! Did you really think I wouldn't score a goal against you!? I've even scored five goals! I'm a German soccer god!
Benjamin: You're really an excellent soccer player, Jack. A true Muller. So I hope you join our team.
Jack: I'll think about it. I'm not sure if this team is really good enough for a champ like me.
Benjamin: Then why don't you bring Trevor and Steve with you? They are strong and fast. They will surely make our team better.
Jack: Okay, I'll ask them.
Benjamin: Just ask? You are a leader, Jack. Tell them and they will follow.
Jack: You're right. But now I must go. See you, Jam! (Jack leaves the changing room.)
Paul: Jam? Did he just call you Jam, Benny?
Benjamin: Yes, he did.
Paul: But you're Benny and not Jam!
Benjamin: I'm Benjamin. So I'm Benny AND Jam.
(Jack re-enters the changing room.)
Jack: I almost forgot to thank you for arranging a job interview for my dad.
Benjamin: You're welcome, champ!
Jack (smiles): Bye, Jam! (Jack leaves.)
Paul: What did you do for Jack's dad? You arranged a job interview for him?
Benjamin: Yes. Why shouldn't I? His father needs a job and my mum is a personnel manager, whose task is to give other people jobs.
Paul: But did you forget that Jack is our enemy?
Benjamin: Only if you want him to be our enemy. But I want him to be my friend.
Paul: I see. That's why you let him score so many goals against you.
Benjamin: I think that he will be good for our team. And having him in our team will be good for our school.
Paul: Benny, I hardly recognize you. You get involved in our team. You get involved in our school. Do you still take this strange yellow liquid?
Benjamin: Yes, I do. And as you can see, it works. I didn't only win Laura's heart but also Jack's heart.
Paul: But take care that you won't lose my heart!
Benjamin: Okay, Paul. What would you say if I asked you to dinner? There's a burger restaurant not far away from here.
Paul: I would say that you still got my heart.
Benjamin (smiles): Fine. So come on! Let's go! I have to tell you about my second date with Laura.
Two weeks later. Benjamin and Laura sit in the school canteen and have lunch.
Benjamin: Laura! Just look at my last exam! It's a B! My second B in one week. I think it's time to say goodbye to C-Man. Please say welcome to B-Man!
Laura (smiles): I'm very proud of you, Benjamin. But I'm not surprised. I knew that there was more in you. That's why I want to make a proposal.
Benjamin: What is it?
Laura: You know that I am the student representative.
Benjamin: Yes, I know. And I know that you are very good at it.
Laura: Thanks. But I think that someone else should do it next time.
Laura: You, Benjamin. I want you to run for election.
Benjamin: Me? Seriously?
Laura: Yes, because I think that you are the right person for it. You've proved that you care about this school and its students. And they like you. They know that the credit for the end of Jack's gang belongs to you. You are ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. You are the ideal candidate. And I'm going to support your candidateship.
Benjamin: Wow! I don't know what to say.
Laura: Just say yes!
Benjamin: Okay. Yes.
Laura: Fine! And now we should prepare your speech.
Benjamin: Speech? Which speech?
Laura: Every candidate has to deliver a speech. Yours is tomorrow.
Benjamin: Oh, so soon?
Laura: Yes. But we've got the rest of the day to prepare it. I think that will be long enough.
Benjamin: Laura, will you excuse me, please? I've got to go to the loo. (Benjamin gets up and leaves. Soon he is in a bathroom stall, where he takes out his water bottle.) Thank god that I've got you, my little magic potion. (Suddenly someone hammers against the door of his stall. With shock Benjamin drops the water bottle into the toilet.) No! My liquid! (He bows down to save his bottle. But when he gets hold of it, it is empty.) Oh no! I've lost it all!
Boy (in front of Benjamin's stall): What's going on in there? You're upset because you lost your pee? How perverted are you? And which crazy fool calls his pee 'yellow liquid'?I think I'd better come back later. (He leaves the bathroom.)
Benjamin (steps out of his stall): Damn! Without my potion I won't be able to deliver a speech. I have to get me some. I have to go to Buycorp again. (Seconds later he is with Laura again.)
Sorry, Laura. I can't practice the speech with you. I have to get something done. I will call you when it is finished. Thanks for your offer to help me. Bye!
It's still Friday, but two hours later. Benjamin is in the foyer of Buycorp. He talks to the receptionist, who wears a headset.
Benjamin: Please, I must talk to Professor March. It's urgent. Please!
Receptionist (gives Benjamin a critical look): Hmm. What is it about then?
Benjamin: Well, it's about one of his experiments. I've got to tell him that it worked. He will be very pleased.
Receptionist: Okay, I will call him and ask if he wants to see you. (Then she presses a button, waits a moment and starts to talk.) Hello, Professor March. Here is a boy who says that he must tell you something about your experiments. (She waits.) Okay. I'll send him to the 13th floor. (She presses the same button again and looks at Benjamin.) Okay, you can go. I think you know the way.
Benjamin: Yes, I know it. Thanks a lot!
(One minute later he is in an elevator. When it opens on the 13th floor, he is greeted by a white-haired man.)
Professor March: Hello. I am Professor Henry March. And you must be the boy who wants to see me.
Benjamin: Yes, my name is Benjamin. I've got an important message for you and a little request.
Professor March: Okay. Follow me into my office. (They walk down the corridor until the professor stops to open a door on his left side. They both enter. The professor sits down behind a desk.) Please, sit down, Benjamin! (Benjamin sits down on the chair in front of the professor's desk.) What is it that you want to tell me?
Benjamin: Your experiment with the chimpanzees... It works!
Professor March: Yes, I know. Their cognitive performance is quite impressive...
Benjamin: Quite impressive? Don't be so modest, Professor. It's amazing! You've taught them to talk and you've produced something that has turned me into a king of hearts!
Professor March (embarrassed): Oh!
Benjamin: Oh? Don't tell me that you didn't you know that!
Professor March: Well, I'm afraid that I must tell you something that you didn't know. It might be quite disillusioning for you.
Benjamin: What is it? Was the liquid toxic? Will I die?
Professor March: No, it's not toxic.
Benjamin: So what is it then? Tell me!
Professor March: It has no effect at all. It was only a part of a prank.
Benjamin: A prank? What kind of prank?
Professor March: We at Buycorp have the habit of playing jokes on new colleagues. We send them to the laboratory on the 13th floor and when they enter it, a process is initiated automatically. The chimps apparently begin to talk. But in fact, the new colleagues only hear voices that we recorded for them.
Benjamin: So I've only become a victim of your prank.
Professor March: I'm sorry. It was not our intention.
Benjamin: But this liquid gave me new power! New mental power. How can this be?
Professor March: It's a typical example of the Placebo effect. A medicine has an effect because we believe in its effect although it is absolutely ineffectual.
Benjamin: But I did things I've never been able to do before. So you must be wrong...
Professor March: No, the liquid only consists of water and of yellow dye. There's nothing else in it. Everything you did was done by your own power.
It's Saturday, the day of the speech. Benjamin has just arrived in the auditorium, which is full of people. Among the students he recognizes Jack, who holds a poster which says: 'We don't give a fucking damn - for noone but our Uncle Jam!' On the stage there is a blond boy in a posh suit.
Blond boy: Teachers, students, Americans. Is here anybody who wants to be as average as Benjamin C-man? I don't think so. You are here because you want to be great. And I'm going to make this school great again so that you can be great. I'm going to make the school walls so high that only great students can come in. I'm going to double the amount of security guards! I'm going to fight every low-quality invasion from outside.
Believe me because I tell you the truth! Believe me because I am great, just like my father was great and just like his father was great! Vote for greatness! Vote for honest Ronald Drumpf! (There is applause while he leaves the stage.)
Benjamin (On stage now, he looks around nervously. Then he spots Laura who smiles at him. He smiles back): Friends, students, teaching staff. Ronald has told you that I'm an average boy. And he is a great and honest man. So are his father and his grandfather – they are all great and honest men.
Look at this! Here is a current class test of mine. You can see: it's a B. It's a good grade. And a wise man recently said that good is the new perfect. But Ronald says I'm just average. And he is a great and honest man.
I think you all know Jack Muller. He was the embodiment of terror at this school. But I found out that he actually is a good boy. I gave him the chance to show how good he is. I turned him into a friend. Do you think an average boy could have achieved this? But Ronald says that I'm an average boy. And he is an honest and great man.
Then there is Laura, the former student representative. As you all know she is very beautiful and extremely intelligent. Deservedly, she is one of the most popular students at this school. But she has given her heart to me, Benjamin Seaman. Do you think that she would have given it to an average boy? But Ronald says that I am average. And he is an honest and great man.
But I must admit: I was average, or at least, I thought I was average. But then some incredible creatures helped me to see the truth. They helped me to realize how much power I've got. They helped me to believe in myself. But you don't need this help. You are better! Just hear my words and believe in yourselves! You will find out that nobody is average. We all have talents that make us special. And one day we can reach the stars. All of us! Together!
(There's standing ovation. The students chant 'Ben-ja-min'.)
Laura, Jack, Jennifer, Paul! Please come here! I need you now, my friends.
(The four students go on stage. Benjamin hugs Paul, Jack and Jennifer one by one. When he stands in front of Laura, he gives her a passionate kiss.)
I love you, Laura!
Thirteen years later. Jack Muller sits in a television studio. In the background you can see the words „The Laura Seaman Show“, which is written in big letters. A blond woman sits near him behind a desk. It's the host of the show: Laura Seaman.
Laura: First of all I want to say sorry that you and the US soccer team have lost against Germany the FiFA World Cup final in London with 2 : 3. On the other hand I want to congratulate you on an excellent performance. You have scored one goal and have given one assist.
Jack: Thank you Laura. I think I'm quite satisfied with myself although we lost the game. You must not forget that before the tournament nobody would have thought that we would reach the final. We only had an outside chance. Nevertheless we showed the world that for us Americans soccer is not a girls' game anymore. In the future it will be hard for everybody to beat us. We're getting stronger and stronger every year. And I believe when we've got the support of our fans, we will win the next FIFA World Cup in Chicago in 2032.
Laura: So everything's fine, isn't it?
Laura: What do you mean?
Jack: The spectators in England gave me cause for concern. They almost exclusively supported the German team.
Laura: Well, Germany and England are both European countries. So there's a certain proximity.
Jack: But didn't you hear about the long-lasting rivalry between England and Germany? The English hate the Germans because they almost always lost against them although they think that they have invented soccer. And what is even more important, we Americans were the underdogs. Everybody loves the underdogs. But not us.
Laura: Hmm, do you have an idea why the English didn't support you?
Jack: Yes, I have.
Laura: What is it?
Jack: We Americans aren't the darlings of the world anymore. After the presidency of Barack Obama our popularity decreased from year to year. And now with Ronald Drumpf as the president of the United States a lot of people all over the world no longer retain from showing their contempt for us Americans. I never thought that I would ever feel ashamed of being an American. But since this tournament I do.
Laura: Oh, is it really so bad?
Jack: Yes, it is. A lot of them chanted „Yankees go home“ throughout the match. Before the tournament I thought about a change to Arsenal London. But now I prefer to stay in the US. And I realized one more thing.
Laura: Yes? What was it?
Jack: The English love their king. They love King William.
Laura: So you would like to have another King William here in America?
Jack: Yes, absolutely. I mean even a lot of Americans hate Ronald Drumpf because he is to blame for the worst economic crisis that America has ever seen. We're almost cut off from the rest of the world.
Laura: But do you really think that a monarchy is compatible with all the values that the Americans appreciate so much?
Jack: You mean freedom, democracy, equality, justice, the pursuit of happiness and the idea that you can achieve anything if you just work hard enough?
Laura: Yes, all these ideals that are so important for our American Dream.
Jack: Well, I think it's time for a new dream in order to wake up from this nightmare.
Laura: And could you tell me an appropriate candidate for this royal position? Who should be the first king of America according to you?
Jack: The philosopher Dr. Benjamin Seaman, your husband!
One week later. The same place. But today Laura Seaman is surrounded by one man on her right and one man on her left.
Laura (looking directly into the cam): Good afternoon! Last week a guest of mine recommended my husband Dr. Benjamin Seaman as the new king of America. Today I want to discuss whether this would be a good idea. With me are Mr. Smith, a monarchist, and Mr. Walden, an anti-monarchist. (She turns to the anti-monarchist.) Mr. Walden, what is your opinion?
Anti-Monarchist: To my mind, a monarch in the USA is absurd because this country lacks the appropriate tradition. There never was a king or queen in America and there will never be one.
Monarchist: I partly agree with you. The American history has never seen a monarch, but it also shows that the American people never backed off from taking extreme measures if they were thought necessary. And now there must be a change! Why not with a monarch?
Anti-Monarchist: I'll tell you why! Because we don't want anybody to rule us whom we didn't elect!
Monarchist: Well, we could ask the people if they want a monarch.
Laura: And we will ask them, at least a part of them, that is, everybody who is watching this show. (Then she turns to the camera.) Are you in favour of a monarchy in the USA or against it? Can you imagine Dr. Benjamin Seaman being the king of America? If yes, call 555-001, if no, call 555-002.
Anti-Monarchist: Before you decide, please take into consideration that if we make Dr. Seaman the king, a coloured person will never be the head of state in America again.
Monarchist: That's not out of the question. Dr. Seaman's descendant could marry a black person. And their child would be a coloured person. This way there would be a strong connection between the blacks and the whites in the USA. A connection that will make the union of this country much stronger.
Anti-Monarchist: Okay. This is possible, but it is not the people's decision, but the monarch's one or his descendant's one. So it's still undemocratic.
Monarchist: I can see your point. But can't you see where our democracy has led us? Into chaos and a terrible crisis. It seems that the electorate just isn't able to vote for the right person because not the best people are candidates but the richest people. And these are often not identical.
Anti-Monarchist: Not every president of the United States was as incompetent as Ronald Drumpf. Remember John F. Kennedy.
Monarchist: I happily remember this wonderful president, but unfortunately he was killed much too soon. And none of his descendants has ever become a president. But this could have happened if he had been the king of the United States.
Anti-Monarchist: But he was a true politician. Dr. Benjamin Seaman is only a philosopher.
Monarchist: But a very good one. He has written the bestseller 'Nobody's average', which I enjoyed reading very much. He's quite popular. And he has got a wonderful wife, who seems to be even more liked. I couldn't imagine a better royal couple.
Laura (blushes): Thanks.
Anti-Monarchist: I agree, but do they want to be the royal couple?
Monarchist: Let's ask them, or at least one of them. (He turns to Laura.) Mrs. Seaman, would you like to be one part of the royal couple?
Laura: Well, I'm not sure. I'm quite satisfied with my present life.
Anti-Monarchist: Did you hear that, Mr. Smith? She doesn't even want to be a queen. And I think nobody who is sensible wants to be a king or a queen. Just some power-mad guys who don't care about this country.
Monarchist: You must be talking about Ronald Drumpf. Right?
Anti-Monarchist: Well, he may seem power-mad. But we can easily get rid of him.
Monarchist: Easily? We have to wait for two more years. That's a long time, in which a lot of things can go wrong, which they actually did in the last two years. A new law that constitutes a new governmental system could shorten this awkward time. (He turns to Laura.) Mrs. Seaman, if the people wanted you to become their queen because they see their last hope in you, would you say yes? Would you be so responsible that you would become queen if it was wanted and necessary?
Laura: Well, I think I would first talk about it with my husband. (She pauses.) Oh, I just got the result of our opinion poll. I can hardly believe it: Seventy percent want Dr. Benjamin Seaman to be the king of America!
Monarchist (smiles): Then I can only wish you a nice conversation tonight, Mrs. Seaman. I wish I could be a witness of it.
Two weeks later in Ronald Drumpf's house in Manhattan. In the evening he sits in his dining room with two guests: Dr. Benjamin Seaman and his old friend Paul.
Ronald: I'm glad that you have accepted my invitation to meet me at home in New York City.
Benjamin: Well, thanks for inviting me.
Paul: I must say thanks, too, for letting me come with Dr. Seaman and report on your meeting for my employer the TIME magazine. I'm sure this will push my career as a journalist.
Ronald: You are both welcome although some people may think that I hate you, Dr. Seaman, because I could lose my position as the head of state of America because of you.
Benjamin: I don't think that you will lose this position because of me. It is in danger because of the policy that you made. If you had listened to what your opposition had said, you wouldn't be in such a big trouble. But it's not too late for you. You can still change your policy and save yourself. You can stay the president of the United States if you are ready for some compromises, ready for a cooperation with the opposition.
Ronald: Does that mean that you still want to become America's first king?
Benjamin: It is and it has never been my plan to be a monarch, but if you continue your disastrous way, I will do what the American people want me to do, namely to become their king.
Ronald (staring at Benjamin and looking for words): Well, I think I'll have to sleep on it. But now enjoy the meal that my cooks have prepared for you!
Two hours later. Ronald is alone in his bedroom. Nervously he walks around and talks to himself, as if there were a devil and an angel in his head.
Devil: Fuck this shameless philosopher! How can he come here, eat your food and then blackmail you?
Angel: He didn't blackmail you. He showed you a possible way out. Just do as he says and everything will be fine!
Devil: No! You won't give in to this insignificant little man! You are the great Ronald Drumpf! Nobody tells you what to do!
Angel: But if you don't follow his advice, you won't be the president anymore. There's no other way.
Devil: Yes, there is! You could kill him!
Angel: Kill him? For heaven's sake! Please don't do it! You'll be arrested for murder.
Devil: No, you won't if nobody believes that you did it.
Angel: But you'll be the main suspect. You've got a superb motive and the opportunity to do it.
Devil: But nobody will accuse you when they have a better suspect. I suggest choosing Paul. First kill Benjamin and then Paul! Say that Paul killed Benjamin and even tried to kill you. Say you had to kill Paul in self-defence. He won't deny your testimony because he will be dead.
Angel: But why should anyone believe that Paul killed his longtime friend?
Devil: The Secret Service will find a reason. Believe me! They are very inventive. So take the knife and do what a man has to do!
Ronald: Okay. I will.
Ronald, who wears a long dressing gown and some gloves, enters Benjamin's bedroom. He takes out his knife, which he hid under his gown, and heads towards the sleeping Benjamin. Suddenly there is a jingle. Benjamin wakes up, sees the armed Ronald and is shocked.
Benjamin: What are you going to to do? No! Please! (He shouts.) Help! Help me! He wants to kill me!
(He gets out of his bed, trying to escape from the man with the knife. Ronald jumps onto the bed with raised hand. At this very moment Paul enters the room. In his hand he holds a small camera, which films Ronald while he is jumping down the bed, following Benjamin and trying to reach him with his knife. But he fails. Then he realizes Paul's presence, stands still and drops the knife.)
Paul: Please smile, Mr. President! The whole world is watching you at this moment. And Benny, I think your mobile phone is ringing. Why don't you answer the call? I'm sure that the person at the other end of the line will be very amused to hear the latest headlines: Killer president is stopped. Future king is safe.
Nine months later. Paul and Jack enter a hospital room. In their hands they hold a poster with the words: „Welcome to your kingdom, little Regina, our future queen!“
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