SCENE 1, EXTERIOR. MORNING, CROSSWALK. The teacher is standing outside in the early-morning sun with a large, red STOP sign; he is waiting for students to arrive on the other side of the street. A small car turns into the school drop-off zone. The window on the driver’s side comes down, and the voice of a boy in the passenger seat can just be heard trailing off.
JOEY: But I told you that you can’t…
TEACHER: Good morning, how are you guys doing today?
JOEY’S MOM: Oh sorry, Mr. Z. I was going to say ‘good morning’ to you, but I guess I’m not allowed to talk to you today.
TEACHER: What, you’ve been banned?
[The mom glances to the boy in the front seat then back at the teacher].
JOEY’S MOM: Sorry, I’ve been forbidden.
[The teacher nods appreciatively and glances from the mother, to the boy, and then back to the mom again].
TEACHER: So, I’ve been blacklisted?
JOEY’S MOM: Unfortunately, yes.
TEACHER: Well, you’d better not talk to me then; I don’t want to be responsible for getting you into trouble.
[The mother gives a small wave, rolls up the window, and pulls to the curb to let her son out of the car. The teacher continues to cross the students arriving to school].
SCENE 2, INTERIOR. MIDMORNING, CLASSROOM. The class is filing out to labs. The fifth-grade boy is still lingering at his desk. The teacher casually approaches him, starts to say something, and then changes his mind.
TEACHER: Sorry, I was about to make a joke, but then I realized that I’d better not since you’re not speaking to me.
[The boy sits in stunned silence for a beat].
JOEY: No that’s okay, Mr. Z. You can still do it.
TEACHER: [Shaking head]. Sorry, I’ve been blacklisted.
JOEY: Maybe you could write the joke on a piece of paper…
TEACHER: And take a chance on you violating your restraining order? I think not.
[The boy sits for a second longer before answering].
JOEY: Oh, do you know what? I think it would be okay, Mr. Z. After all, I just remembered that today is opposite day.
TEACHER: Opposite day?
JOEY: Yeah [grins]. That means that everything is opposite, so you can tell me the joke after all because I am speaking to you.
TEACHER: I don’t know about this whole ‘opposite day’ thing, I’ve never celebrated it before.
[The boy thinks quickly and changes tatics].
JOEY: Would you tell me the joke if I gave you a hug?
TEACHER: Sorry, won't work work; today is opposite day, remember?
JOEY: Okay. Well, then you could push me away, or punch me in the face instead.
TEACHER: I don’t think I want to do either of those things, Joey.
TEACHER: Okay. I guess I’ll tell you the joke.
[The boy leans forward in his seat and looks at the teacher with anticipation].
TEACHER: Oh yeah, I just remembered…today is opposite day. That means that I can’t tell you the joke after all, sorry.
[There is a slight pause as the teacher begins to walk away].
JOEY: Mr. Z? Would you please NOT tell me the joke today?
[Fade to black].