Almost Plausible

Ep. 2

Pockets

08 February 2022

Runtime: 00:44:12

Is that a new episode of Almost Plausible in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us? Probably both! Have you ever thought about how weird pockets are? They’re like little pouches that live inside your clothes. And why don’t more women’s clothes have pockets? Seems silly to us. In this episode, we explore magically linked pockets, pickpockets, and how pockets were invented in the first place as we work out a movie plot based around a pocket.

References

Transcript

[Intro music]

[Shep]
Yeah, see, now that would seem like a crazy thing. You just sewed a pouch into your clothes.

[Thomas]
Right?

[Shep]
What if you change your clothes?

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
You have to get a different pouch for every article of clothing now. That’s crazy. You’re crazy.

[Thomas]
So every day I have to empty my pouches into the new pouches in the new pants? This is ridiculous.

[Emily]
That is a lot of work.

[Shep]
Yeah, this is nothing but downside. Now that I’m thinking about it, why do we have pockets?

[Intro music]

[Thomas]
Hey there, story fans. Welcome to another episode of Almost Plausible, the podcast where we take ordinary ideas and try to come up with stories based on those ideas. This week’s idea is pockets. So I’m really interested to see what we can come up with. And when I say we, I am referring to my co-hosts, Emily-

[Emily]
Hello.

[Thomas]
And Shep.

[Shep]
Good evening.

[Thomas]
As I said, I’m looking forward to the story we come up with for pockets. But first we need to pitch some story ideas. Shep, what were you able to come up with?

[Shep]
Well, the obvious idea is that, pockets that are linked together. So let’s say you have a guy and he puts his hands in his pockets, his pants pockets one day, and there are other hands already in his pockets. So he freaks out and he pulls his pants off and throws him down on the ground and, like, stomps on ’em. What the hell, man? It’s warm hands in your pocket, not something you forgot about.

[Thomas]
If you felt like, other fingers, you’d be like, there’s a tarantula in my pocket.

[Shep]
Yeah. Your first thought wouldn’t be, those are hands.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
Your first thought would be there is some sort of creature in my pockets. But if he stomps on the pants, he’s not doing anything, because the entrance to the pockets is like an entrance to a shared space that’s not next to us. The pockets are really slimming. You put your phone in there, it’s not going to bulge out on your leg because it’s not there.

[Thomas]
It moves into malletspace.

[Shep]
Yes, exactly!

[Thomas]
Yeah. It doesn’t push away from you.

[Shep]
So you have these possibly two characters, but how do they start communicating to each other that they have this unique shared space? You could write notes on there and drop them in your pocket, perhaps?

[Emily]
A lot like The Lake House, but with pants.

[Shep]
Oh, dang. Yes. The Lake House, but with pants.

[Emily]
Can Keanu Reeves still be in it, though?

[Thomas]
I hope so.

[Emily]
Oh, my God. Could you imagine him reaching in his pants and then, like, feeling another hand, doing his Keanu Reeves’ “Whoa!”

[Shep]
Yes. Well, this one writes itself.

[Thomas]
Anything else?

[Shep]
No, that’s it.

[Thomas]
All right, so I had basically the same idea, but a couple of other ones as well. How about the story of the person who invented pockets on clothes? Maybe you could take it kind of seriously. Or perhaps you could do a comedy. Kind of like The Invention of Lying, about a modern-day world where pockets on clothes don’t exist. And then one day somebody figures out, “Hey, pockets!”

[Shep]
You mean like the modern woman’s world where pockets are only decorative?

[Thomas]
Right? Yeah.

[Emily]
Pockets don’t exist. What are you talking about? This is a fictional story.

[Thomas]
We have a built-in audience.

[Shep]
I liked The Invention of Lying quite a lot. I thought it was very silly. And I like that premise where it’s the modern world, except one thing is different, something that’s obvious to all of us but totally foreign to the characters in the film.

[Emily]
I like that idea.

[Shep]
I like that idea immediately. Now I’m picturing how do you sell someone on the idea of pockets? If there are, if pockets don’t exist? What’s your sales pitch? That kind of thing. It’s like, “Oh, you’re tired of holding your keys and your phone in your hands all day long? Well, let’s put like a portable hand sewed into your clothes.”

[Thomas]
People probably have pouches or purses or something like that, but everybody has them and it’s like, “Oh, stop forgetting your pouch or your purse or whatever and leaving all your stuff behind.” Like, you can carry it on you.

[Shep]
Yeah, see, now that would seem like a crazy thing. You just sewed a pouch into your clothes.

[Thomas]
Right?

[Shep]
What if you change your clothes?

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
You have to get a different pouch for every article of clothing now. That’s crazy. You’re crazy.

[Thomas]
So every day I have to empty my pouches into the new pouches in the new pants? This is ridiculous.

[Shep]
Yeah, this is nothing but downside.

[Emily]
There’s a lot of work.

[Shep]
Now that I’m thinking about it, why do we have pockets?

[Thomas]
The other idea I had is the true purpose of that little pocket on jeans is a mystery lost to time until our protagonist stumbles across its true purpose. Which, the true purpose is to hold a pocket watch.

[Emily]
I was going to say, isn’t it for the pocket fob?

[Thomas]
That’d be boring. So, I was thinking, something else. I don’t like that idea as much as my first one. Those are my two ideas though.

[Emily]
No, I like the first one.

[Thomas]
Emily, what do you have for us?

[Emily]
I have a woman finds a pair of pants in the lost and found, and they look great on her. Make her butt look good, very slimming. And they have these incredibly large pockets to hold all of her things. Wallets, keys, phones, and other things that I don’t know what else you could carry in pockets, because I am a woman and I don’t have pants with big pockets.

[Thomas]
So it’s a fantasy story.

[Emily]
It’s a fantasy story. It could be like cargo pants. I don’t know.

[Thomas]
She’s is going all in.

[Emily]
She’s gone full pocket.

[Shep]
Never go full pocket.

[Emily]
I also have magic pockets in a coat that will provide the wearer with the exact thing they need in that moment of crisis. So, if they needed money, they’d have the exact amount of change they would need, cell phone to make a call, keys to get into a building, et cetera, et cetera. And then the special magic trick for this, besides that amazingness, is if it’s something that wouldn’t normally fit in a pocket, it would be a picture of that item. And then as they open it up and look at it, they look up, boom, it’s in front of them just where they need it.

[Shep]
So it’s the room of requirement from Harry Potter. Except in your pants.

[Emily]
In your pants or coat. Yeah.

[Thomas]
I really like the idea of this where it’s like, “Oh yeah, you’ve got the exact change,” “Oh, you’ve got whatever thing you need.” And then one day they’re walking along and they have their hands in their pockets and all of a sudden they feel something and put out and it’s a gun. And they’re just like, “What the fuck is about to happen?” Or something like that. So it’s like suddenly like-

[Shep]
Oh yeah, no, that’s great.

[Emily]
Yeah. You could go crazy with that.

[Thomas]
“What the…” Yes, I think that would be really cool.

[Shep]
Oh yeah, I like that a lot. No, the more that I’m thinking about it because they’re so accustomed, the main character is so accustomed to always having what they need that when they start to get something that they don’t know, like, picture the first time they get it they’re like, “Oh, what do I need these car keys for?” And then they press the button and then there’s a car in front of them and they’re like, “Oh, because I was reaching in my pocket to get like a bus pass or something. This is better. I’ll just do what the pocket’s telling me to do rather than what I wanted.”

[Emily]
Right. And the pocket sends them on the adventure to save…

[Shep]
And the pocket starts sending them on crazier and crazier things until the point where it’s like, “Why did I do this? What am I doing? Am I just a puppet? A pocket puppet?”

[Emily]
And I have a bunch of small throwaway ones that were just for amusement.

[Thomas]
Yeah, let’s hear those too.

[Emily]
You got a pocket portal. Your pocket is a portal to something else.

[Shep]
Portal to where?

[Emily]
Anywhere. Whatever. I don’t know. I didn’t get that far. I got pocket portal.

[Shep]
Okay, make it a portal to another pocket and then you have my idea.

[Emily]
Yeah. See, it works for me. Pocket Gremlins.

[Thomas]
Like The Borrowers, but they live in your pocket.

[Emily]
Yeah!

[Shep]
Are they friendly or are they antagonistic?

[Emily]
I think there would be both. Good pocket Gremlins and bad pocket Gremlins.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
“Oh I have to throw these pants out, they’re infested with Gremlins.”

[Emily]
Yeah, these ones are infested with Gremlins. These ones are infested with Mogwai. Mogwai are fine.

[Shep]
In the same jacket? That’s trouble brewing.

[Emily]
I spilled water in that jacket after midnight. It wasn’t my fault.

[Shep]
They duplicate with water.

[Emily]
Oh, right.

[Shep]
You left a sandwich in that jacket.

[Emily]
I left the sandwich in there. That’s right after-

[Thomas]
You put a wrapper, an empty wrapper in there, but there were some crumbs.

[Emily]
There was a crumb. That’s all it took. Just one bite.

[Shep]
What are the rules?

[Emily]
History of the pita. And I was thinking that one could be a funnier one, a mocked-up history of the pita. I really like religious satire, so I thought maybe, like, the history of the pita as surrounded by, surrounding some sort of, like, historical biblical story. I don’t know. Do we make the pita-?

[Thomas]
But, like, the biblical story is tangential. It’s happening in the background of the pita.

[Emily]
Yeah, it’s just there. It’s just there in the background. Yeah, it’s Life of Brian, but with a pita. Something romantic and amusing about pickpockets in a big city.

[Thomas]
That’s good, I hadn’t thought about pickpockets. That keeps pockets central to the story.

[Emily]
Yeah, yeah. That’s as far as I got, was like something romantic and amusing.

[Shep]
See, I like that one as well. I guess I like all ideas, but I can imagine, like, two pickpockets that are trying to flirt with each other, but they’re from rival gangs, and so they can’t really talk to each other. They can’t be seen talking to each other, so they sneak notes into other people’s pockets for the other one to pick out again.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
I like that.

[Thomas]
I like that, too. Okay. That’s definitely high up on the list. The magic pockets that provide what you need, I think, is way up there for sure. And then the story, The Invention of Lying but the invention of pockets, I think those are our top three. So we each have one in the top three. How about that?

[Shep]
What? I don’t have one.

[Thomas]
Yeah. The pockets that are linked. Did I not say that one?

[Emily]
No, you did not say that-

[Shep]
No, you did not. It’s fine. There are lots of good ideas this week.

[Thomas]
I can’t keep track of it.

[Emily]
Pockets that are linked are good, too. They’re all good.

[Thomas]
I like that one as well. Yeah.

[Emily]
We surprisingly came up with a good number of pocket-related stories.

[Thomas]
It’s funny because I thought it was going to be difficult to find, like a really good one. They all felt a little, when I was thinking about it I was “None of these ideas are really super great.” But now that we kind of talked through some of them, this is why the pitch session is so important.

[Emily]
Yeah, no idea is a bad idea. It’s just underdeveloped.

[Thomas]
For me, if I was going to watch a movie based on one of these, it would probably be the one where the pockets give you what you need. Because I like the sort of-

[Shep]
Magical reality.

[Thomas]
The suddenness of this person’s routine shifting or whatever. What do you guys think?

[Shep]
I like that one a lot.

[Emily]
I’m down for exploring that one.

[Shep]
It’s got some deep pockets, so let’s dig in. How about the pocket levels up over time, as you do things like the pocket suggests, you can start getting larger objects out of the pocket.

[Thomas]
Like your connection with it gets stronger and it gives you better suggestions.

[Shep]
Right. This is once again motivated to do what you think the pocket wants you to do because you’re getting the benefits from it. So the day that you reach into your pocket and there’s a gun, now you have a dilemma.

[Emily]
Yeah!

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
I like the idea that the pockets are sentient and sort of like a puppet master. Yeah.

[Shep]
Now can you put stuff in this pocket? And if you can, what happens to that stuff?

[Thomas]
I mean, my gut reaction to that or my gut thought on that is that like “Yeah, it’s just like a normal pocket. You can put stuff in there. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t translate- it’ll just be there.”

[Shep]
Yeah, but if you can always pull out what you need or what you can use. Not necessarily everything that you need, but what you can use at that moment. If you already have stuff in that pocket, where’s the room for the thing that you can use?

[Thomas]
Maybe if you put something in the pocket, it prevents that power from being able to happen.

[Shep]
Or maybe you’re giving the pocket a treat. “Here is something for you, besides lint.”

[Thomas]
Well, what does the pocket want?

[Shep]
That’s a good question.

[Emily]
What does the pocket want? Okay, say we’re going to go with the gun. That’s going to be the peak. What will they do with the gun? Are they going to assassinate someone? Are they going to defend themselves?

[Shep]
I think that’s the dilemma. Or that’s the tension-

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
When they first pull out the gun. What is this for? Is this for defense or am I going to attack?

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
I want the Pockets to be evil.

[Shep]
Well, obviously.

[Emily]
And I want it to be an assassination-

[Shep]
All these djinn powers, that’s all, they all want… They get you with these little treats, these little powers.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
What I initially imagined when the gun comes out or whatever is the person thinks, “Oh, this is what I need right now. Therefore, it’s to defend.” And so they’re looking around, they’re holding this gun, they’re looking around, or they walk in somewhere or whatever, but without realizing it, they’re the attacker, like they’re the bad guy. They think they’re the good guy. They think that they’re going to protect themselves or the people around them, but unwittingly, they become the bad guy. Shep, you’re making a face.

[Shep]
I’m just thinking of recent events.

[Thomas]
Well, I mean, it’s America that’s always a recent event.

[Emily]
Now. You’ve got-

[Shep]
When would this air? That event is always recent.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Come to think that there has been another one since the one that I was thinking of.

[Emily]
We’re not promoting gun culture.

[Thomas]
No, I mean, gun violence is a thing that happens all over the country.

[Emily]
Right?

[Thomas]
Not just in schools or malls or whatever. It’s not exclusive to any one location. And we’re not necessarily saying that the person would actually fire the weapon. They’re just holding it.

[Emily]
I was envisioning he would be, like, on a city street downtown somewhere and just reaches in his pocket, and is was like, “What the…?” And like you said, maybe at first panicking, thinking, “Shit, someone’s after me. I’m going to need this to defend myself. What’s going on?” And then realizing there’s no threat, it’s just a normal, sunny, bright day.

[Thomas]
Or maybe somebody’s just jogging toward him and he’s like, “Oh, this must be the person.” He sees somebody running toward him. He’s like, “Oh, this must be the person coming to attack me.” Or maybe running up from behind. He turns around and there’s somebody running and he points the gun at them and they’re like, “Whaa?”

[Shep]
I don’t know. If I had a gun suddenly appear in my pocket, I probably wouldn’t pull it out in public. I would hold onto it. I’d keep my hand on that gun.

[Emily]
So he feels. Reaches and feels it and is like, “Oh, shit. What the…?” And then realizes there’s no threat and then gets to a safe place, pulls the gun out and tries, puts it on the table and figure out “What does it mean?”

[Thomas]
I mean I think he has to take it out of his pocket, at least for a moment, so that the camera can see it.

[Shep]
Right. But you don’t have to take it all the way.

[Emily]
No.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
So the pocket wants him to kill someone.

[Shep]
Or, he doesn’t know.

[Thomas]
Is he going to be attacked or does he need to rob something or what does the pocket want?

[Shep]
Right. So how does it communicate with him next? It gave him a gun and he didn’t use it. So what is the next thing that’s in his pocket? It could be the target. “Here’s a flyer for a band or a speaker or some something.”

[Thomas]
When he still thinks like, “Oh, maybe I’m going there… Some bad person is going to show up at this event, and I’m going to be the one to stop them.”

[Emily]
It’s a band flyer. And then he gets a phone call from a friend who’s like, “Hey, I got an extra ticket. You want to go see this band tonight?” And it’s the band on the flyer that the pocket just gave him.

[Thomas]
I think the problem with that, though, is that he’s not going to be able to just walk in the door with a gun in his pocket. He’s either going to go through a metal detector if it’s a big enough venue, or he’ll probably be patted down or something like that. So he has to break into the venue some other way.

[Shep]
Or he has to learn how to put stuff in his pocket that he can take out again later. He starts to use the power of the pocket. He thinks he’s using it to his benefit. He’s learning the ways, but really, he’s the one being used.

[Thomas]
What is the pocket’s end goal? Just create chaos? Ruin this guy’s life? What is the goal of any genie?

[Emily]
What is the goal of a djinn?

[Thomas]
Why do they grant your wishes but in the worst possible way?

[Shep]
Because they’re assholes.

[Emily]
Because they’re demons. So I think it’s just to create chaos. I think it’s strictly to create chaos.

[Thomas]
I always assumed it was like, because they’re stuck doing this thing. They have to serve you, they have to comply, but they’re going to comply maliciously. It’s the only thing that they have. Like, “Well, hey, you asked for that. You weren’t specific.” So, yeah, just create chaos and ruin your life for being greedy. Because usually it’s like, “Oh, I want to be the most famous person in the world” or whatever. And then they’re like, “Okay, and then your life is ruined.”

[Emily]
Now, does he get in his pocket things that he visualizes initially, or is it just a most convenient thing?

[Thomas]
I like the idea that this is the exact amount of change he needs. And so that’s the way he finds out about it the first time where they’re like, you know, he needs, like, $0.13 more or some weird thing. He’s like, “Oh, shit. I don’t think I-” And then he reaches in the pocket. “Oh, actually, I have exactly $0.13 right here. That’s weird.”

[Shep]
That one. Because it’s not everything that he needs. It’s just the gap. So the first time he has almost enough, he’s just short $0.13 because of tax or whatever that he didn’t calculate ahead.

[Thomas]
Right. He’s bad at math

[Shep]
He’s bad at- If only I could identify.

[Thomas]
I was going to say “So he’s like everyone.”

[Shep]
Yeah. So that’s when he finds it and it happens to be a dime and three pennies. He’s like, “Oh, what a coincidence.”

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah, that’s perfect.

[Thomas]
And then there’s a couple of other things, like that where he’s like, “Oh-“

[Emily]
I like the idea of a bus pass, too, before the car so that he’s, like, trying to catch the bus and trying to find fare or whatever, but pulls out a bus pass. He’s like, “I don’t remember getting this.”

[Shep]
Buying this. Yeah, but it works.

[Emily]
But it works, okay?

[Shep]
He swipes it in the machine, and it works. So it’s a legit bus pass.

[Thomas]
He just finds this jacket, or he gets it from a thrift store? Like, how does he end up in his possession?

[Emily]
He’s helping his mom or relative clean out a dead relatives attic, and finds this pants or jacket or something. And he’s like, “Yeah, this looks like me. This will work. I needed one of these.”

[Thomas]
It’s got a sweet tiger embroidered on the back.

[Shep]
Or, like, say, it’s his birthday. He has a big party. It’s one of the big round numbers. And he feels like he’s not done anything with his life. He’s talking to his friends, and he’s kind of drunk and he’s like, “I wish my life were more exciting. I wish my life had meaning,” something like that. “I wish fill in the blank.” And then the following day, when he’s cleaning up or whatever, he finds a jacket that someone possibly left at his apartment. He doesn’t know who left it. It’s just someone’s jacket and it’s just there. And then it happens to be a windy day or rainy day or cold day. And so he wears the jacket because that’s, what he needed at that time was this jacket. Then, because this isn’t some jacket that’s been sitting around. If this is someone’s jacket… So when he finds the $0.13, maybe feels guilty, like, “This isn’t my money, but it’s the exact amount of money I- In my mind, I’m thinking I’ll get $0.13 later and put it back in here.”

[Emily]
Right?

[Thomas]
Right? Yeah, it’s an easy amount. “I’ve got $0.13 at home.”

[Shep]
Right. “I can make up for this gap at some point in the future.”

[Thomas]
Yeah. “I’ll buy the person a new bus pass when I figure out whose jacket this is.”

[Shep]
Right? So maybe he’s keeping notes. “IOU whatever amount.”

[Emily]
Oh, no, I like that. And then maybe I was thinking maybe one of the times he puts it in before he figures it out, he puts it in and it disappears. And the jacket is like, “Yeah, you owe me. This is how you get to pay me back.”

[Shep]
“Contract accepted.”

[Emily]
Yeah. The pocket is like, “Oh, yeah.”

[Shep]
At what point does he stop actively looking for the jacket’s owner? When he starts to realize its power, perhaps he wants to keep it for himself.

[Thomas]
I feel like it’s more just sort of just tapers off. Like he’s put a thing on Facebook, like, “Hey, did somebody leave this jacket here?” Whatever. And no one’s claiming it. And he grabs it on that cold, windy day and he’s like, “Okay, I just need this, I’ll just borrow it today. Whatever. It’s no problem.” As these things keep happening more and more, it’s really handy. Once he’s got it figured out, I think he’s like, “Oh, well…”

[Emily]
“Well, nobody’s claimed. Nobody’s come looking for it.”

[Thomas]
“Nobody’s claimed it. It’s not hurting anybody, it’s helping me.”

[Emily]
“It’s mine now.”

[Thomas]
If it’s- I don’t know why he doesn’t put two and two together. If it has this benefit, why wouldn’t the owner come looking for it?

[Shep]
Because they died. Because it took their soul.

[Emily]
Because it’s a chaos pocket.

[Thomas]
Is that its ultimate goal? To kill him?

[Shep]
Well, let’s leave it ambiguous. If what he does, if what the pocket leads him to do is assassinate someone, like assassinate a politician or something, you could go Dead Zone with it where it’s like, this politician would have done something really bad. And by stopping them now, you’ve saved the world, basically. But also, you’re going to pay the price for having done this. Because it’s not like the cops are going to get the jacket to confess.

[Thomas]
Right?

[Emily]
Right?

[Shep]
It just stops working. Once its mission is complete, it no longer serves a purpose and fails. Before that, he has to get a gift for someone, perhaps a lady friend, and tries to pull out, like an article of clothing. And then in the post credit stinger, she could find something in the pocket of that. It is passed on.

[Emily]
Yeah, it just replicates itself.

[Break]

[Thomas]
So I like the gun thing, because I think that’s really quick, immediately- If you suddenly pulled a gun out of your pocket that magically appeared, and you knew, like, if we’ve established with the audience that it gives him what he needs. You can see a gun and understand immediately what that is. And I think the gravity of that should be pretty clear. I like the idea that he kind of pulls it out and he shoves it back in his pocket, and he’s, like, looking around in a panic. And so he, like, runs into a restaurant or a busy place or whatever. He’s like, “Okay, I’m going to be around people because that way I should be safer. They’re not going to attack me-” He’s like, walking down the street by himself. “If I go into this pizza joint where there’s a bunch of families and stuff, I’ll be safe.” And so he sits there and he’s looking around like nothing happens. He’s like, “Okay, weird.” The gun is still there, but he’s like, “All right, I don’t know.” And he rushes home to his apartment or something like that. And, yeah, he’s got the gun on the table, and he’s like, “What the fuck is happening?”

[Shep]
So before this, you have to establish strange people keeping an eye on him or from his perspective, that’s what he sees.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
Once he starts to realize the power of the jacket, he wants to keep it. And then he starts spotting, perhaps through his paranoia, these people looking at him wherever he goes.

[Emily]
Like a friend, he meets a friend for dinner, and the friend’s like, “Man, this is a really nice jacket. Where did it come from?” And he starts to get a little paranoid about his friend asking so many questions about this jacket.

[Thomas]
“Is that that jacket that you put on Facebook?”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
“Why are you wearing somebody else’s jacket? That’s weird.”

[Emily]
I think after the gun, though, maybe like a fake ID or something, fake identity or something comes out of the pocket.

[Thomas]
Oh, it’s like a passport!

[Emily]
Yeah. So he thinks-

[Thomas]
With not his identity, it’s his photo, but some different identity.

[Shep]
No. So he keeps pulling stuff out of his pocket back at his apartment, and it’s all incriminating stuff like that. So he’s dropping it like, “What the hell? What the hell?” And so later, all of that evidence is there.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
This is great.

[Thomas]
I like this story.

[Shep]
I like this idea. It starts from such a simple premise, which is how the best ones go.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
Which is, you start to imagine, “What would I do in that situation? If I had this thing that would give me whatever I could use at that moment?”

[Thomas]
And I think it’ll be easy to abuse that power or that gift or whatever.

[Emily]
At first it’s convenient. He doesn’t quite understand it. It’s always little things and then it gets nicer. And then he starts like Felix said, the treats get bigger and better. He gets a really nice car.

[Shep]
Does he check the registration to see who owns the car?

[Emily]
Later we find out it’s registered to the other name.

[Shep]
Oh yeah! That’s great. That’s great.

[Emily]
He didn’t know early on it had started.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I think he would just assume that the car or that the pocket or the jacket or whatever it is gave him the car in his like, “Why- It gave me the car. It’s my car.” That’s what his thinking would be, “It is my car.”

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
I would check the registration, though. This is someone’s car.

[Thomas]
But I think he’s thinking that it’s his car because the pocket gave it to him.

[Emily]
Yeah. I would have blind faith in the pocket’s power and just do what… I think at that point I would be like, “Cool, I got a car!”

[Shep]
He’s just curious, how does this work? What are the rules? And if it were really intended for him, it would have his name on the registration, which is going to be in the glove compartment. So he opens up the glove compartment, and it’s not his name. It’s that other name he doesn’t know yet. This is the first time he’s seeing that name. Maybe he Googles that name. “Maybe they live in the area. Maybe I can find them.” No results.

[Thomas]
“Maybe it’s their jacket.”

[Shep]
Yeah, that would make sense. When he sees people following him or from his perspective, following him, or he runs into sketchy people, he thinks they’re perhaps working for this mysterious person that has this magical jacket.

[Emily]
Can we throw in a nod where some of the people he thinks are following him are Japanese tourists?

[Shep]
I don’t get it.

[Emily]
It’s a Spanish Prisoner reference.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Spoilers 20 freaking years later.

[Thomas]
Well.

[Shep]
Well, I was going to watch it tonight, but never mind.

[Thomas]
Should definitely watch The Spanish Prisoner. It is a great movie. Very good.

[Emily]
Always watch The Spanish Prisoner. Such a good movie.

[Thomas]
So what is the pocket or jacket or whatever trying to get him to do? Is he going after somebody? Is he supposed to kill someone? Is it just setting him up for- to look like, with all this incriminating evidence, to make it look like he’s done something he actually hasn’t? I mean, I think we still have to figure out what is the jacket’s ultimate goal.

[Emily]
I honestly like the idea of the jacket’s goal being just to destroy his life, not kill him, but to destroy his life.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I think it would be way worse for him to be in jail forever.

[Emily]
Right. So I think he doesn’t actually have to follow through on the crime. I mean, if he does the pocket won’t care, it’s going to get the same end result, but preferably if he doesn’t, but they have all this incriminating evidence he ends up… I don’t know.

[Thomas]
What if the ultimate dilemma, the climax dilemma that he faces is if he goes through it, if he murders another person, the jacket will get him out of the situation. It will provide what he needs to escape. But he chooses not to murder another human being. That’s where he draws the line. And then he gets arrested and it’s like his life is ruined.

[Shep]
But he made the moral choice. I like that one.

[Thomas]
But he made the correct moral choice-

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
So you could establish that earlier. If, when he doesn’t do what the pocket wants him to do, it stops working for a while.

[Thomas]
Or find some way to punish him.

[Shep]
Right. So at that moment, maybe he goes there to that location not to murder them, but to save them. Like, “Something is targeting this person, and I’m going to stop it because I’m a superhero and I have a magic pocket and I can do whatever I want.”

[Thomas]
So he starts following this person around. He’s like, “I got to be there when the bad thing happens-“

[Shep]
“So that I can stop it.”

[Thomas]
“So that I can stop them.” But then he gets hassled by the police or Secret Service or whoever. It’s like, “Why are you following this person?”

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
“We’ve seen you’ve been spotted following this person around. What’s your deal?”

[Emily]
I like thinking maybe like a celebrity or singer or something. So it’s like their bodyguards and police are like, “What?” Notice it. So there’s that constant tail on them to tail him.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
And then that way you get out of any sort of political weirdness Manchurian Candidate and stuff. You get away from that. I do like The Dead Zone, but I think sometimes that trope has-

[Shep]
Has been done a lot since then?

[Emily]
Been done a lot since then, and it’s too easy to… Let’s not feed that, is what I’m saying.

[Shep]
Right? I have no objection.

[Emily]
I like a celebrity. I like a singer, like Britney Spears-ish type person or something,

[Thomas]
Yeah, I like that because you get some… I think there’s some good set pieces you can get out of that. Good backstage things and stuff like that. And the point that you brought up, too, about having private security, I think that’s perfect.

[Emily]
Because then you always have the reason of why people would have noticed that he’s following the person, because that’s their job.

[Thomas]
I feel like it should be somebody that we’ve established earlier in the story that he likes their music or whatever. Like, it’s a person he knows, and he’s like, “Oh, I like this person,” or something. I don’t know. There’s some connection there. Either he likes them or he really hates them or whatever. He’s like, “This person is overrated,” or whatever, right?

[Shep]
Or he’s pretending to like them. Like he’s trying to hit on a girl and she likes them. So he’s like, “Oh, yeah, they’re great. I love them.”

[Thomas]
Yeah, something like that. To where there’s an established connection.

[Shep]
That’s why this is in his Google history later, because he’s looking them up.

[Thomas]
Maybe she says something like, “I’d really love to go to a concert,” or whatever. And so he’s like, “Oh, Britney Spears, New York City,” whatever.

[Shep]
Yes,

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
Like, looking for her schedule. “Where is she going to be on tour?” or whatever. And it’s like-

[Shep]
Write that down. That’s great.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
I just tried to picture him up, explaining to him, “I’m not a stalker. I’m not a fanat- I don’t even really like them, okay?”

[Emily]
“It’s not really my genre.”

[Shep]
“So you were doing this to impress the girl. I see.”

[Emily]
“I do everything to impress women. Look at me!”

[Thomas]
The great scene where he’s in the interrogation room and they bring up some, like, this evidence, and he’s like, “Okay…”

[Shep]
“You’re saying it’s in the jacket. Did the jacket search for Britney Spears New York? Is that the jacket typed on your computer? Is that what you’re saying?”

[Thomas]
What else do we need to figure out about this? Are we already done?

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Emily]
I mean, it’s a pretty complete story other than actual dialogue and beat points.

[Thomas]
The actual details. Yeah. What is the lowest moment for him?

[Shep]
Obviously the ending when he’s being tackled by the cops. Other than that?

[Thomas]
What’s the end of the second act? Is the mid second act turning point when the gun comes out?

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Is that too late?

[Shep]
No, that’s the right time to do it. That’s where you want your twist to be, because you think this movie has established itself as going in a certain direction where he’s becoming more and more debauched and getting super into going out to clubs and always having the right whatever.

[Thomas]
All right, maybe the lowest low is like a narrow escape where he’s been following her around or something, and he’s almost caught with a gun somewhere he’s not supposed to be. He manages to escape because the jacket gives him what he needs or something. I don’t know.

[Emily]
What if he has to explain to a roommate or a family member? Like, they’re like, “You’ve been acting weird.” They found things because they’re going to narc on him. That’s how they’re going to get caught.

[Thomas]
Yeah. The lowest low is the police raid his apartment and find all the incriminating evidence, he can’t go home, he’s actively wanted, but he feels like he still has to complete this protection mission or what he thinks is a protection mission.

[Emily]
I think that’s when he realizes what’s really happening, like the pocket’s intent is not for him to protect the celebrity. It is, in fact, to end it.

[Thomas]
Why doesn’t he just get rid of the jacket right then?

[Shep]
Dang it.

[Thomas]
We were done. And then I asked a difficult question. When will I learn?

[Emily]
Would it be the worry that somebody else would get it and it would be the same result?

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah. If he figures out that what the jacket wants is to kill this person, he throws the jacket away. He’s like, “Fuck this.” And then he was like, “Wait, the next person who picks up this jacket is going to fall into the same thing.” Is there a sort of thing where he tries to destroy the jacket-

[Emily]
Yeah. And then it’s undestroyable. Yeah.

[Thomas]
And it comes back the next day or whatever, or he burns it and-

[Emily]
Nothing happens.

[Thomas]
Just fine. Nothing happens. Like…

[Shep]
So it’s well magical is what you’re saying. It’s not just a jacket that was left at his apartment. It is completely magical.

[Thomas]
I think it’s truly a magic object. Yes.

[Emily]
Well, yeah. It’s still like, because, the idea of it creating that garment or the other pocket for a future thing, it’s not something you think about until later. But that’s kind of how it replicates itself against being identified through future generations. So this has been doing this for a while, right? Okay. We don’t need to go into that whole story.

[Shep]
Not in the first one.

[Emily]
Not in the first one.

[Shep]
You save that for the prequel.

[Emily]
The pocket has been doing this for generations, but it’s always a different pocket. It’s always a pocket on a different article of clothing Because it creates its escape at some point in the life. So he doesn’t know that. We don’t know that. That’s where the whole big surprise ending is. So even if he could have destroyed it, it still can go on. So if it’s full magical, then it could just when he goes to prove that the pocket does this thing, the jacket is just gone because it’s now transferred to the new garment.

[Shep]
So is he spending his life in prison or is he getting shot by the cops at the end?

[Emily]
Life in prison. I don’t want to-

[Thomas]
I don’t think he should be killed for doing the right thing.

[Shep]
Right. But I was just thinking that he could be shot through the jacket and it’s destroying the jacket.

[Emily]
That’s how you- Because the guy’s wearing it and he dies. And then it goes into the clothing that he gifted to somebody else.

[Shep]
Right. So you think momentarily as an audience member, you think, oh, it’s over now. The jacket is destroyed. Nobody’s going to wear a jacket covered in blood and bullet holes.

[Emily]
Yeah. Let’s kill him. I’m not attached to him. He doesn’t have a name.

[Shep]
Sorry, main character.

[Emily]
Fuck that guy.

[Thomas]
I do like the idea, though, that it’s been the same jacket all along. And he even makes a remark or something like that in the Facebook post. Like, “It’s this cool old style, this vintage looking jacket,” or whatever. And actually, if it is the same thing, then in the post credits thing, it’s the jacket, but it’s not covered in blood and it doesn’t have a bullet hole. And some other person’s, like, maybe there’s a cop who’s taking stuff into evidence. He’s like, “Well, this guy’s fucking dead. Like, who cares? Cool jacket.”

[Shep]
I don’t think cops are allowed to just browse the evidence locker.

[Thomas]
No, he’s taking it to the evidence locker.

[Emily]
No one said they’re allowed to do it.

[Thomas]
What happens to evidence after a case is closed?

[Emily]
Generally auction. Yeah, if it’s viable,

[Thomas]
I suppose the jacket could just appear somewhere. If it just appears in his apartment, did somebody leave it there? Or is it just magically there? Then it can just magic itself somewhere else.

[Shep]
Right. You think it’s magically there because he made that wish on his birthday-

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
There’s an explanation in this magical reality for why this appeared and is giving him these gifts. If it’s going to vanish, then he doesn’t get shot by the cops and he just spends his life in prison.

[Emily]
He can go to prison for it. Okay. Then we don’t have to kill him.

[Shep]
Well, then we don’t have an excuse for him to pull out some other article, like a purse or something to give to someone else. Because it’s the jacket that moves on. Not the pockets.

[Emily]
The other object being- transforming- And then like you said, for the sequel prequel, we can show “That’s what the guy who shot Franz Ferdinand was wearing,” or “That’s the pocket that came from.” He could do one of those really annoying montages of like-

[Shep]
The pocket throughout history.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
But see, actually that’s why I like it being the jacket through history. Because then it’s one identifiable piece of clothing. Otherwise you have to have some person who’s like, “And then it went into Franz Ferdinand’s- in to the guy who shot Franz Ferdinand’s waistcoat. And then it went into whatever.” And how would anybody know that? Whereas if it was just this one identifiable jacket, you’re like, “Oh, there’s that jacket again, and that guy is wearing it in that photo.”

[Emily]
Silly film being a visual medium.

[Shep]
So it is a specific jacket, some style, like a vintage bomber jacket or something recognizable.

[Thomas]
And then at the climax, when he chooses not to fulfill what the jacket wants, is that the point when it leaves him? It’s just gone? He’s not wearing it anymore. He’s just like, “What the fuck?” Standing there holding a gun, no pocket to put it in.

[Emily]
I like the idea of it being taken to evidence or something. That’s how he loses it is in the process of being arrested.

[Shep]
So it could just disappear from evidence. It’s magic. It doesn’t need it to be given away.

[Emily]
It just magics itself somewhere else.

[Thomas]
So do we show that, like, somebody goes and they’re, like, digging through the evidence, or maybe the box of evidence gets delivered, and there’s just, like, a bag that’s still sealed perfectly,

[Shep]
It says “Jacket”

[Thomas]
But it’s empty. Yeah, it says “Jacket” or whatever. And person’s like, “What the fuck is this?”

[Shep]
So maybe you have him in interrogation. He’s like, “It’s the jacket. The jacket.” And they’re like “There was no jacket in the evidence, so-“

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Shep]
“Nobody knows what you’re talking about.” If he can be arrested at some point earlier for some reason and reach into the pocket and get keys for the cuffs. So that later when he doesn’t have the jacket and he’s handcuffed, he could just look at it longingly.

[Emily]
Maybe he first gets arrested for trespassing because he’s stalking that celebrity.

[Thomas]
Well, that could be part of his lowest low moment.

[Emily]
Yeah,

[Thomas]
Like, the police find all that stuff, and then he gets arrested as a result of that. And you think, “How’s he going to get out of this?”

[Emily]
And the coat is like, “See, I’ll get you out of this, I’ll save you. Life will be good. Just do what I want.”

[Thomas]
OK maybe he, like, gets into the police car, and because he’s, like, kind of on his side, the key falls out of the pocket, and he sees it, and he’s like, “Ah damn it. All right.”

[Shep]
Who is the actor in Silicon Valley? The main character. Middleditch?

[Thomas]
Yeah. Thomas Middleditch.

[Shep]
Yeah, that’s who I’m picturing for all of this.

[Emily]
That’s about the kind of person I was picturing.

[Shep]
Very reluctant, but trying to at the beginning, trying to live up the life.

[Thomas]
Yeah. I think you’d be really good for that character. All right, so is there anything else on this story that we need to sort out, or do we have it?

[Shep]
I think we have it. I can’t think of-

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
The big question was, why doesn’t he get rid of it? And the answer is, he does. It doesn’t take.

[Emily]
It keeps coming back.

[Shep]
Maybe it just keeps appearing on him.

[Emily]
He gets rid of it one night, wakes up the next morning. He’s in the jacket.

[Shep]
He’ll be at a restaurant, and then he looks down, he’s wearing it. He didn’t put it on. It wasn’t there a moment ago.

[Thomas]
That feels like somebody else would notice that happening. I like the idea, though, that he, like, tosses it out. He, like, throws it in a dumpster or something, and he goes home, and he’s like, “I’m done with this thing.” Wakes up the next morning, there’s a chair in his 300 square foot New York apartment or whatever.

[Emily]
There’s a chair right by his bed and it’s been watching him sleep all night long.

[Thomas]
Right. And, like, draped over the chair is the jacket.

[Shep]
I like this more because if he talks to the jacket, like it’s a person. Like, it has its own personality because it keeps doing all this stuff. It’s like a one man show.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
Because he’s alone with the jacket. Makes it easier to film.

[Thomas]
All right, well, I agree. I think this is a good one. I’m really happy with this story. I really want to see this movie now.

[Shep]
That’s always how it is.

[Thomas]
It’s so frustrating. It doesn’t exist. All right. Well, thanks for listening and you can let us know whether or not you think our idea for pockets is a good one. Hopefully you do, because we all do. But if you have any thoughts about it at all, good or bad, you can contact us via email or social media, all of which you can find on our website: AlmostPlausible.com Thanks again to Emily and F. Shepard for joining me. We hope to join us again for another episode of Almost Plausible.

[Shep]
Bye!

[Emily]
Bye bye.

[End Music]

[Thomas]
That’s good. God, I want to see this now. Damn it.

[Emily]
Maybe when we actually have to flesh out and write.

[Shep]
That’s how they all are. If we could write a full script in a week-

[Emily]
I know.

[Shep]
We could flood Hollywood because I know they’re short on scripts.

[Emily]
Clearly they don’t have any because all movies are already made.

[Thomas]
What we need to do is get this podcast big enough that we have our own Netflix show-

[Emily]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Like Black Mirror type of thing where it’s just like, “Oh, we just come up with a bunch of episodes,” and then-

[Shep]
Give it to Netflix and they film it all, and…

[Thomas]
Yeah, we’re just the EPs on it and somebody else, there’s a whole writer’s room that fleshes it all out. They take the idea and then they work out all the details that we gloss over.

[Emily]
Yep.

[Shep]
(laughs)

1 Comment

  1. ThanksItHasPockets on April 21, 2022 at 1:42 am

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