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Monday, May 29, 2017

Fan Fiction -- Dirty Reading

I, Mike Sylwester, wrote this fan-fiction story myself. My format is a movie proposal.


In the movie Dirty Dancing, non-dancer Baby Houseman learned to dance from a professional dancer named Johnny Castle and subsequently enjoyed a sexual fling with him.

The movie refers to a subplot that began before Baby arrived at the Kellerman resort. A professional dancer named Penny Johnson enjoyed a sexual fling with a Yale medical student named Robbie Gould, who was working as a waiter at the resort during the summer. Robbie was an avid reader who recommended Ayn Rand's novels to young females at the resort.
Penny Johnson crying in the movie "Dirty Dancing" 
Penny ended up crying, and Robbie ended up smirking.
Robbie Gould smirking in the movie "Dirty Dancing"
This story of Penny and Robbie should be told in a prequel movie, titled Dirty Reading.


Penny's Admiration for Robbie: At the beginning of the summer of 1963, Penny Johnson arrives at the Kellerman resort with the other professional dancers. The first summer guests have not arrived yet. Resort owner Max Kellerman assembles the dancers and other entertainers in the restaurant for a staff-orientation brunch.

While the waiters serve snacks to the entertainers, Max introduces the waiters. He remarks that waiter Robbie Gould is a medical student at Yale and will give brief lectures about health to the resort guests as part of the summer activities.

A close-up of Penny's face shows that she is obviously impressed by Robbie's intelligence and confidence.

The next day, the first summer guests arrive at the resort. As the guests unload their luggage from their cars, a loudspeaker announces that the day's activities will include a brief lecture about sprained ankles. As a dancer, Penny is interested in that topic, and so she uses her break time to attend the lecture, which is given by Robbie. Penny admires Robbie giving his lecture with exquisite eloquence and expertise.

Book Club in the Bunkhouse: Later, that night, Penny encounters another waiter who is named Billy and who is trying to carry two watermelons on an outside path. He asks her to help by carrying one of the watermelons. He leads her into the employees' bunkhouse.

As Penny enters the bunkhouse's main room, she sees that Robbie is conducting a book-discussion group for the resort's waiters and chefs. She recognizes that Robbie is conducting this discussion on a much higher intellectual level than the earlier sprained-ankle lecture for the guests.

Billy remarks to Penny that she is not supposed to be there, because it's a secluded "dirty reading" book club. He explains that the intellectual employees get together at night to discuss Ayn Rand's philosophical writings.

As the discussion proceeds, Robbie notices Penny. He reads a passage from Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and asks Penny to comment on a passage about valid axiomatic knowledge. Penny tries to comment, but her effort is shallow and silly. Then Robbie asks a female chef -- named Esther -- to comment on the same passage. Esther's interpretation of the passage is profound and brilliant.

As the discussion continues, Esther's remarks reveal that she attends Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Jewish studies. Penny, who only barely graduated from high school, feels humiliated by her own intellectual inferiority, and so she leaves the bunkhouse.

Esther's Departure: On the next day, Penny encounters Esther near the resort's lake and compliments her on her intellect, education and eloquence. Esther barely acknowledges the compliment and seems preoccupied by a private concern.

That evening, Penny is approached near the resort's gazebo by Neil Kellerman, the grandson of Max Kellerman, the resort's owner. As Neil flirts with Penny, she changes the subject to objectivist epistemology. Trying to educate herself, Penny asks Neil whether he has any particular opinions about valid axiomatic knowledge. Neil, obviously ignorant, deflects her question and resumes flirting. Penny fails to flirt back. In order to lighten Penny's mood, Neil invites her into the resort's kitchen for a snack.

In the kitchen, while Neil is looking through a refrigerator, Penny notices Esther sitting under a counter, in darkness, and weeping. Dismayed, Penny excuses herself from Neil and rushes from the kitchen.

Penny runs through the resort grounds and finds Robbie sitting in the bunkhouse, reading a book. Penny informs Robbie about Penny, and he summons a few of his closest friends. Eventually Esther is found and brought into the bunkhouse.

Esther informs Robbie and the others that she has realized that she has become pregnant and so will have to return home immediately to her family. She already has discussed her situation by telephone with her parents. They all have agreed that Esther will be sent to visit "her aunt" but really will be sent to a Jewish charitable home for pregnant, unmarried girls. There she will give birth to the baby, which will be given up for adoption by a Jewish childless couple.

Robbie smirks and remarks that this will be the best solution to Esther's problem. Esther scowls at Robbie and leaves the building to begin packing for her trip home.

Penny's Substitution for Esther: Meanwhile, Robbie and his close friends begin discussing a new problem that had been unknown to Penny. It turns out that Robbie and Esther had been scheduled to lead a book discussion for the intellectual staff members of another resort, called the Sheldrake. The discussion was scheduled to take place in just five days and would cover Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. Robbie had planned that, as part of the discussion, he and Esther would dramatically read aloud several of the male-female dialogues from the novel.

The group discusses which female members of the book club might substitute for Esther, but each possibility in turn is eliminated as unavailable. Then Billy suggests that Penny might step into the role. All the book club's members scoff at the suggestion. Then Billy informs them that, near the gazebo earlier that evening, he overheard Penny trying to engage Neil Kellerman in a discussion about valid axiomatic knowledge.

Billy argues further that the Sheldrake event will not require Penny to speak extemporaneously. Rather, she will merely read aloud some passages from Atlas Shrugged. Because there really is no other choice, Robbie agrees reluctantly that he will train Penny to read the passages.

Robbie's Training of Penny: A series of brief scenes depicts Robbie training Penny to dramatically read aloud from Atlas Shrugged. There are moments of humor as Penny mispronounces words. Gradually, Penny's reading skill improves, but she continues to mispronounce the passage's last word, epiphenomenalism.

As they spend time with each other, Robbie tells Penny about his life. He reveals that as a teenager he had been carried away intellectually by the writings of theologian Richard Niebuhr. Only in recent months has he recognized that Niebuhr was surpassed philosophically by Ayn Rand.

These intimate discussions captivate Penny, and close-up views of her admiring Robbie reveal to the movie audience that she is falling in love with him. He too is obviously falling in love with her.

Consummation: Robbie and Penny travel by car to the Sheldrake Hotel, where they perform their dramatic reading well. The only problem was that Penny hesitated when at the very end she was supposed to read the word epiphenomenalism. Instead, she substituted a definition that she had found in a dictionary -- the doctrine that mental processes are a by-product of brain activity. However, the Sheldrake audience was satisfied because it did not know that the reading was supposed to end with the difficult single word.

Robbie and Penny travel back to the Kellerman resort hotel and report to book club members that the performance went well. Penny receives praise and thanks from the club members. Penny sneaks back into her bedroom and is relieved to see that none of her fellow dancers have noticed her absence.

On the following day, the weather is rainy, and Penny is preoccupied with romantic thoughts about Robbie. Penny shows up unexpectedly at Robbie's cabin. They talk. Robbie tells Penny about another Ayn Rand novel -- The Fountainhead. He pulls out the paperback version and suggests that they together do a dramatic reading from it.

Of course, Robbie's selected passage is the description of Howard Roark sneaking into Dominique Francon's bedroom and raping her there. As Robbie and Penny read the passage, they both become sexually aroused and ultimately engage in sexual intercourse.

False Accusation: On the following day, Max and Neil Kellerman discover that a dozen watermelons are missing from the hotel kitchen's pantry. The Kellermans investigate the circumstances and gradually eliminate all possible suspects except the waiter Robbie Gould. All of the other waiters and kitchen workers have solid alibis, because they all were at an employee dance party in the bunkhouse, where they posed for a group picture. The only employee not seen on the photograph was Robbie Gould.

The Kellermans fire Robbie. He packs his luggage into his car and drives away.

Later that day, the Kellermans conduct a staff meeting and inform all he employees that they have fired the waiter Robbie because he stole a dozen watermelons from the pantry. A close-up view reveals that Penny is struggling with her conscience. Then she stands and announces that she knows that Robbie is innocent, because she was having sex with him in his cabin during the same time when the watermelons disappeared from the pantry.

Shaken from their certainty about Robbie's guilt, the Kellermans challenge the employees to help investigate further. Soon a hotel maid discovers the dozen watermelons in the closet of the hotel room of an old couple, named the Schumachers. Then the police department is invited to investigate, and detectives discover that watermelons have disappeared from the panties of other hotels where the Schumachers have vacationed.

Robbie's Return: The Kellermans phone Robbie, ask his forgiveness and invite him to resume working as a waiter for the remainder of the summer. Robbie agrees. He returns and works again as a waiter. He glories in his exoneration.

In addition, Robbie resumes conducting the meetings of the employees' "dirty reading" book club. Penny attends the meetings and tries to participate, but her comments are superficial and silly. The others dismiss and even snicker at her comments. Robbie does not support her comments. He even seems to discourage her from expressing her opinions. In general, Robbie treats Penny disdainfully.

A series of brief scenes show Penny and Robbie growing apart. She skips book club meetings and then eventually stops attending at all. She spends more and more time time -- and then all her time -- with her fellow dancers.

Penny and Johnny: Penny bonds emotionally with fellow dancer Johnny Castle, but there is one problem between them. Johnny knows that Penny has had sex with Robbie, because she had announced it at that staff meeting about the missing watermelons. Johnny hates Robbie so much that he fears his fury will cause him to suffer impotence if he tries to have sex with Penny. Johnny decides to keep his relationship with Penny platonic.

Nevertheless, Penny and Johnny enjoy their platonic relationship. They decide to collaborate on developing the choreography of a dance for the resort's last-night talent show. The dance will be a combination of Cuban rhythm and soul dancing.

A series of brief scenes shows Penny and Johnny trying to teach the dance to their fellow hotel employees, most of whom are poor dancers.

At a couple of moments, close-up views of Penny's face reveal that she seems to be suffering from nausea.

In the final scene, the employees are practicing their dance, but still poorly. Penny tells them they should not not about their dance moves. Rather, they should just express their feelings and use their muscle memory. She coaches them:
Stop thinking about your dance steps. Just feel the music's rhythm and let your subconscious brain guide your feet. It's just a matter of epiphenomenalism.
This time, Penny's pronunciation of that word is perfect! The employees practice the dance one more time, and this time they do it perfectly!!

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