INT. MR. BURNS' OFFICE – DAY
SMITHERS ENTERS TO FIND MR. BURNS AT HIS DESK.
SMITHERS: You rang for me, sir?
BURNS: Smithers! What is that infernal racket outside?
SMITHERS: There’s a big rally. The writers are striking.
BURNS: Writers?! I have writers?
SMITHERS: Yes, sir. Remember you bought that network and studio so you’d get invited to David Geffen’s Passover Seder?
BURNS: I thought there’d be girls!
SMITHERS: I’m working on that Playboy Mansion invite but so far they’ll only let you go during the day.
BURNS: Drat! And now I’m stuck entertaining the worthless masses?
SMITHERS: If it’s any consolation, sir, no one is watching since you made Ann Coulter your nightly news anchor.
BURNS: Excellent. (THEN) Well, all this noise is distracting. I’m trying to do this morning’s “Tangle Towns”.
SMITHERS: They won’t be quiet, sir. I’ve asked.
BURNS: Then have them killed! I’m doing “Tangle Towns” for godsakes!
SMITHERS: Uh, we really can’t do that.
BURNS: I own nuclear power plants. Can’t we just respond with a small loaded missile?
SMITHERS: Unfortunately, sir, it would wipe out the entire population of the city.
BURNS: Still! It would send a message.
SMITHERS: We could perhaps negotiate with them?
BURNS: What?! When I could let them suffer, lose their saving and homes instead? What good is busting the anti-trust laws if I can’t squash the defenseless?
SMITHERS: Well, the strike will put a dent in the network and studio profits.
BURNS: Is Korea still buying my Plutonium?
BURNS: Then who cares if America doesn’t get its precious “TV shows”? It’s time someone invented some alternate form of entertainment whose patent we can steal anyway.
SMITHERS: We’re looking into the internet.
BURNS: The internet? Yes. I’ve heard good things. Can’t I just buy that?
SMITHERS: The internet is a worldwide system of computer networks that allows users to send and receive information from other computers. It’s interconnected around the globe.
BURNS: So you’re saying I have to wait three years.
SMITHERS: More like four but yes. It’s this internet that is the sticking point in this writers strike.
BURNS: They can’t have it! It’s mine!
SMITHERS: No, they don’t want it all, sir. Just a tiny piece. They believe that when they write something that we make huge profits from they deserve a small compensation.
BURNS: What?! Ridiculous!! This is the twisted handiwork of Homer Simpson, isn’t it? It’s just the sort of harebrained idea he would hatch. Imagine, writers thinking they have rights to their creation! Don’t we have individual nuclear missiles?
SMITHERS: No, sir.
BURNS: Well, what can we do to shut them up?!
SMITHERS: Nothing. They’re a feisty bunch. We’ve tried scare tactics, we’ve threatened to sue, gotten them to the negotiating table under false pretenses, used the media – which we own – to offer a distorted view to the public. And still they come, in seemingly larger numbers.
BURNS: Fine. Then hand me my airhorn.
SMITHERS DOES. BURNS GOES TO THE WINDOW. A LONG BEAT, THEN:
BURNS: Well open it you idiot.
SMITHERS: Sorry, sir.
SMITHERS OPENS THE WINDOW. BURNS TURNS ON THE AIRHORN, AND BEGINS ADDRESSING THE CROWD.
BURNS: Attention, writers. I will never give in. I don’t need you! Any of you! Do you understand! I don’t need writers! And I never will! Ever! Ever ever ever! (BEAT) Listen, while I have your attention – can anyone tell me a town in Wisconsin that has an ‘n’ an ‘m’ and five ‘o’s?