EXT. ZOO — CAFETERIA — DAY

Two dogs, BUSTER and MAX, sit unsupervised, tied up and people watching.

BUSTER
Look, watch. Look, watch.
(a beat)
Heheh. “Bark.” Hah! See? I tell ya…

MAX
See what?

BUSTER
Pfft. You didn’t watch, didja? Look.
Watch, this time, watch.
(a beat)
Watch.
(a beat)
Heheh… “Bark.” Hah! See?! Y’see?!

MAX
Alright…

BUSTER
You watch this time?

MAX
Sure, but…

BUSTER
It’s the reaction time. The reaction
time. There’s nunuvvit. None. See?

MAX
Well…

BUSTER
Got ’em eatin’ outta your paws, is
what. Your paws. You read?

MAX
Oh, I read. Like…not. I mean,
what’s the point to any of this?

BUSTER
The point, man—the point—is
that we be runnin’ the show! All
along! Y’ever see me scoop up
their poo? Naw! Never! But they
be doin’ it every day.

MAX
So?

BUSTER
So what else you’d think they’d
do? Huh? What other stuff?

MAX

BUSTER
You read?

MAX
…Like?

BUSTER
Like… Lessee. Like… Like fetchin’.
Or, or—uh… Like playin’ dead.
That’d be a good one, eh? Or
chaisin’ ya tail? Er, their tail? I
mean… I mean, ya know what I
mean.

MAX
Yeah? And what good would that
do?

BUSTER
Who says it oughta do good? Can’t
it just be for fun? What better
reason to do somethin’ is there?!
You realize what a goldmine we be
sittin’ on right now? Like, like…

MAX
Like…?

BUSTER
Like “ole good boy”-be-damned-
type goldmine shit. They bark,
they roll, we beat on ’em like
doormats.

MAX
You’re nuts.

BUSTER
Doormats
.

MAX
You know that, right?

BUSTER
Never set foot no vet again. See
they get them thermometers.
Probably beg for ’em if we asked.
…Shit! I mean, why not?
(a beat)
“Bark.”

MAX

BUSTER
Jus’ cool it. Cool it—keep ya pants.
(beat)
“Bark!”

MAX

BUSTER

MAX
I believe your words were “eating
out of our paws.”

BUSTER
Be cool, man. This here’s an art.
Can’t expect miracles outta the
gate.

MAX
Right.

BUSTER
Jus’ gotta smart ’em up a bit first.
First word down, sure, but that’s
peanuts. It’s tough when they
ain’t sharp…