Lights, Camera.... Time to Take Action!

Written by:
Linda Kay


BILL & TED characters are trademarks of Nelson 1991 Inc. The motion picture BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE & © 1989 Nelson Films Inc. All Rights Reserved. The motion picture BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY © 1991 Orion Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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The deafening squeal of two sadly out-of-tune guitars permeated the otherwise serene San Dimas neighborhood. Residents were all too familiar with the source of the squalor, sometimes wishing their properties were located out of earshot of the Preston's home; it wasn't unusual to see a passing neighbor shoot a dirty look in the direction of the closed garage, wondering what kind of horrible torture those boys could be putting their instruments through to produce such sounds.

Could the people see inside the garage, they would have been equally confused. Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan, were frantically throwing themselves into their jam session, leaping and contorting as they flailed at the strings with no particular rhyme or reason.

Ted stepped forward slightly to address their make-believe audience. "And now.... for the crowd insighting, awe-inspiring climax to our most triumphant set!" He stepped aside, motioning to Bill. "Go for it, dude!"

Bill had backed up to the rear of the stage; his face intent. With a sudden spurt of energy he launched himself forward, sliding across the stage on his knees. Ted successfully jumped over him as he slid underneath, however his guitar cord tangled around Bill's body, jerking Ted down clumsily as Bill overshot the edge of the stage and crashed noisily into the amplifiers.

Picking themselves up from the disarray that was once their stage, they looked at each other and smiled broadly.

"Excellent!" came the stereo sentiment.

"Whoa, Bill! That was our best finale yet!"

"Yah!" Bill agreed, untangling himself from the equipment. "It'll be even better when we become famous and can afford to replace the equipment after every set!"

Ted removed his guitar and wiped his forehead. "I would say that was one outstanding day's worth of rehearsal, dude!"

"Most assuredly, Ted, my friend. It is almost enough to brace us for the start of yet another week of school."

Ted cringed, sticking his tongue out. "Don't remind me!" He suddenly straightened, a panicked look crossing his face. " Whoa, Bill, speaking of school.... do I not recall we have some kind of assignment due for our American history class tomorrow?"

Bill had finally managed to untangle himself from Ted's guitar cord and was brushing himself off. "Worry not, Ted. We were given three whole weeks to accomplish that assignment!

"But, Bill, my esteemed compadre, that was three weeks ago!"

Bill thought about this intently. "Then I guess it is due tomorrow, dude."

Ted nodded. "What were supposed to have done, anyway?"

Crossing the stage, Bill fished in his pocket. "I'm not sure. But we still have all afternoon to complete it." He finally produced a tattered, worn piece of paper from his pocket. Unfolding it, he held it up to read aloud. "You and your study partner must present to the class either a play or video based on the historical event assigned to you."

"Heinous!" Ted sighed. "How're we supposed to complete something like that in one afternoon?"

"I dunno, Ted."

"Ms. Wilson shoulda given us more time!"

"She did give us three weeks, dude! It's totally our fault we waited until the last minute."

Ted dropped his head sadly. "Another 'F' in American history and we will most definitely flunk!

"This is true, Ted. And considering the historical event we must re-enact, that may well be the outcome of our procrastination." He again read from the paper. "The event symbolizing east meeting west."

Ted thought about this a minute. "Whoa! You mean like the first 'Pizza Hut' opening in Russia?"

Bill shot Ted a frustrated look. "No, dude! Ms. Wilson jotted us a note." He held the paper so Ted could see as he read it aloud. "Bill and Ted - That means the driving in of the golden spike, bridging the railroads across America. And it had better be good!"

They looked at each other a moment, then collapsed into worried, sitting positions on the stage.

"It seems we are destined to become the historical figures in our class," Ted sighed.

They slumped in defeat for a second, then Bill suddenly brightened and jumped to his feet excitedly. "Whoa, maybe not, Ted!" He rushed to the worktable, rummaging around the mess there as Ted got up and walked over to him.

"What d'ya mean, Bill?"

"It's simple, Ted!" Bill threw aside some rags to discover what he had been looking for. He grabbed the video camera and held it up proudly. "We simply go back in time to the driving in of the golden spike and videotape it happening!

Ted gave Bill an unsure look. "Isn't that cheating?"

Bill held the assignment paper out for Ted to see. "It says to present either a play or video of your historical event! It doesn't say it can't be the real thing!"

This point made Ted brighten. "Excellent!" they both exclaimed happily, following it up with a moment of exuberant air guitar.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Bill and Ted hurried to the phone booth which sat outside the Circle K with an out of order side hanging on the front. Removing the sign, they stepped inside, and Bill checked the video camera again to make sure there was a tape inside as Ted lifted the Circuits of Time Directory and began flipping through the pages.

"Hurry up and find the number, Ted! Missy-Mom'll kill me if I'm late for dinner again!" He thought about that remark a moment, then commented under his breath, "Although, the way she cooks, that might not be such a bad alternative."

Ted excitedly pointed to the page he had open in the book. "Here it is, dude.... 'The Driving in of the Golden Spike'!"

"Outstanding work, dude!"

Ted balanced the Directory on one knee and dialed, finishing by pressing both symbol buttons. The phone booth soon became aglow and disappeared into the Circuit with a whoosh.

"Whoooooaaaaaaaaa!!!!"

Promontory Point, Utah - May 10, 1869:

The phone booth dropped from the sky, landing with a thud. Bill and Ted stumbled out, slightly shaken. Bill fumbled with the video camera, making sure not to drop it despite his dizziness. "Are we there, dude?"

Before Ted could answer, a voice suddenly rang out to their left.

"Gather 'round, ladies and gentlemen! We are ready to begin the ceremony!"

Ted looked to Bill excitedly. "Looks like we made it just in time!"

"Excellent! Give me a leg up, dude! We don't wanna miss this!"

Ted held his hands out for Bill to step on and hoisted his friend onto the top of the phone booth where Bill positioned himself with the camera. Through the viewfinder, Bill could see two trains slowly approaching one another as a crowd gathered around the rails. Two men, one representing the Union Pacific Railroad and the other the Central Pacific Railroad, were standing in front of the crowd, ready to speak.

"This should be most triumphant!" Bill stated eagerly, trying to look as professional as possible.

The man representing the Central Pacific Railroad held his hands up to quiet the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen.... it is with great pride we may greet you on this momentous day when east will finally meet west by way of rail! And to mark this auspicious occasion, we shall now drive in this special golden spike, at long last completing our founding fathers' Manifest Destiny!"

A man set the spike in place and the two railroad representatives then took turns driving it into place. The crowd cheered, throwing their hats into the air as the trains rolled nose to nose.

"Whoa, excuse me, ecstatic railroad dudes!"

The crowd grew silent as everyone turned to look at Bill.

"Sorry to interrupt, but would you mind pulling up the spike and doing it again? I'd like to get another angle for editing purposes!"

The people stared at him, completely baffled.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The entire class was entranced with the shaky images on the television screen at the front of the room. Ms. Wilson, their American History teacher, stood to one side, watching intently as Bill asked the men to it again for a second take. The video cut off and the screen went to snow as the teacher leaned over to eject the tape, standing in front of the room and holding it up.

"William.... Theodore.... what can I say? I'm impressed!"

"It was nothing, Ms. Wilson," Ted commented sincerely.

"Yeah," Bill was quick to agree. "We couldn't even get a second take! I had hoped to achieve a more dramatic angle...."

Ms. Wilson crossed to them proudly. "Don't be so modest, boys! This video shows creativity and style! Why, I think we may have two budding Orson Welles in our midst!"

Ted looked at Bill in confusion. "Orson who?"

"Orson Welles.... you know!" She motioned to one of the many old movie posters on her walls. "He directed Citizen Kane!"

Ted nodded politely, then leaned over to Bill. "Who's Citizen Kane?" he whispered.

"Was he not the one that killed his brother, Abel?"

Ms. Wilson continued, unabated. "I never expected the two of you to show so much initiative! You must have worked on this film for weeks! The sets...the actors...! This effort deserves special attention!"

Bill and Ted exchanged somewhat guilty glances.

"Perhaps a second screening to the class would suffice?" Bill suggested hopefully.

"Yes, and with popcorn this time!" Ted added.

"I have something better in mind," Ms. Wilson announced. "There's a statewide student film competition taking place right now! I'm going to enter this video on your behalf! Who knows? You might even win a scholarship to study at film school!"

Bill shot up in his chair. "Really, Ms. Wilson, we're flattered! But we wouldn't want to edge out any of our fellow filmmakers with our exceedingly brilliant craftsmanship!"

"That's what competition is for, William!" Ms. Wilson pointed out, then crossed back to her desk, setting the tape on some books. "To think, I may be the one to discover the greatest directors of the future!"

Slowly, Bill and Ted sank down into their seats.

* * * * * * * * * * *

After school the dudes sat on the curb outside the Circle K, sadly slurping Frosty Slushes. After a long time, Ted finally spoke.

"Bill, is your stomach, like mine, plagued by agonizing pains of extreme guilt?"

"'Fraid so, Ted. We are facing a most distressing situation."

"We just wanted to pass our history class. Who knew Ms. Wilson was such a film buff?"

"We must remedy this situation most promptly, Ted, or our consciences won't allow us a moment's peace!"

Ted nodded vigorously. "So what do we do?"

Realizing that neither of them had an immediate answer to that question, they went back to drinking. Bill, in particular, practically inhaled his artificially flavored frozen drink, seemingly determined to swallow what was left in one gulp. Ted stopped to watch in amazement as Bill reached the bottom of the cup, gasping for breath and obviously suffering a major brain freeze. He leaned back, steadying himself on one arm, then brightened.

"I got it, Ted! She can't enter the video in the contest if she doesn't have it!"

Ted eyed his friend warily. "But she does have it, Bill, my frozen-brained compadre."

"Not if we steal it back!"

Ted eyed his Frosty Slush with some concern, then looked at Bill the same way. "Isn't stealing wrong?"

"Technically, yes, but it is our movie!"

"That is true. But you forget.... we have no experience with such heinous doings. Our life of crime to date consists only of your bungled attempt to steal a candy bar from the Thrifty Mart at the age of seven! And you promised then that you would never steal again!"

Bill nodded. "You're right, Ted. We'll need help if we want to retrieve the tape. Perhaps we can solicit some assistance from the past."

Together they got to their feet, pausing to deposit their empty wax cups in the garbage can before hurrying around the side of the building to the phone booth. Bill thumbed eagerly through the Directory.

"The difficulty we face is finding someone who is a top rank thief, yet honest enough to work with!" Ted pointed out.

"An honest thief?" Bill thought aloud. "That sounds most improbable!"

Just as that statement left his lips, Bill turned the page and they both eyed a one page ad for Robin Hood, which declared such statements as "Honest is his middle name" and "A peach of a thief".

"Of course, Ted! Robin Hood! That's one dude that would certainly be willing to help two dudes in distress!"

They quickly closed the door to the booth and in a moment had disappeared, shouting as they fell, "I hate this part!!!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sherwood Forest - 14th Century England

The squirrel scurried up the tree, glancing about nervously before depositing the nut it had just found into it's hideaway. Turning back, it raced down the tree, hoping to find more of the same nearby.

Moments later, a dirty hand reached from behind the same tree, groping inside the hole and taking the few nuts stored there. The thief quickly began tiptoeing away when the angry squirrel's chattering stopped him in his tracks. He turned to see that the squirrel was chasing after him, stopping to stand on its hind legs and chatter angrily.

"Hey, they are for a poor, hungry soul!" the thief insisted, then added softly to himself, "Namely me!"

Unimpressed, the squirrel rushed at him, and the cowardly thief dropped the nuts and ran away, hiding behind another tree as the squirrel reclaimed its winter stores. The man was just catching his breath when a bright flash startled him and a telephone booth dropped out of the sky nearby. Terrified, he scrambled behind a tree, barely getting up enough courage to look around the trunk at the strange, smoking object as two boys stepped out.

Ted looked around. "So, this is Sherwood Forest! Where are all the Merry Men?"

"Forget the Merry Men, dude!" Bill chastised. "We have more important historical personages to bag!"

"Oh, right! The most righteous Maid Marian babe for a start!"

"You can say that again!" the thief let slip.

Bill and Ted turned toward the voice. Seeing he'd been spotted, the thief ducked back behind the tree.

"Yo, ragged-type peasant person!" Bill called. "Might you know the whereabouts of a Mr. Robin Hood?"

The scraggly man peered at them suspiciously from his hiding place. "What do you want? The reward for turning him in?"

"No way!" Bill assured the man. "We would like to solicit his pilfering talents for a most important task!"

The man cautiously stepped out from behind the tree. "My name is Robert Hood, but some people know me as 'Robin', mainly by reputation, I suppose."

Bill and Ted eyed the scraggly man with surprise.

"Which obviously lives up to your appearance...." Bill began.

"Not!" they both added.

"Where do you know of me?"

"Dude, you are a legend!" Ted informed him. "Everyone's heard of Robin Hood!"

This news took the bedraggled Robin Hood by surprise. "They have? Surely you jest!"

"My friend, Ted here, jests not! You and your band of merry dudes rob from the rich and give to the poor!"

"We do?" Seeing the growing look of concern on Bill and Ted's faces, the bedraggled Robin Hood decided he had better start playing the part. "Oh! Oh, yes! Of course we do! Rob from the rich and give to... give to... are you sure you've got that right?"

"Most certainly!" Bill assured him. "And we need your help to steal back a videotape from our history teacher!"

Robin Hood eyed them with some interest. "Is this thing... valuable?"

Bill motioned for emphasis. "Hood dude, as far as Ted and I concerned, there is no monetary value high enough to place upon it!"

Seeing an opportunity for personal gain, Robin Hood stepped toward them, throwing his arms around their shoulders. "Then yes, my dear friends! By all means, how could I turn my back on you? I'll be glad to accept the assignment!"

"Thanks, dude," Bill and Ted commented together, sneering and turning up their noses as they each took the smelly arm from around their shoulders and lifted them off.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The phone booth landed roughly in the empty schoolyard of San Dimas High. As Bill and Ted stepped out, they had to grab onto Robin Hood to keep the groggy man on his feet.

"Oh, I have not been so dizzy since my last ale!" Robin Hood moaned.

"That is merely the oddities of time travel playing havoc with your stomach," Ted offered. "You will get used to it!"

"It is easier to deal with if you are a veteran rider of the Matterhorn at Disneyland, such as Ted and myself! Come on!"

They pulled Robin Hood into the school, sneaking around every corner to make sure no one would see them. Approaching their history class, they were surprised to see the door wide open. Creeping closer, they peered around the doorway to see Ms. Wilson writing some assignments on the blackboard. They brightened, however, when they saw the tape was still sitting on the corner of her desk.

"Okay, Hood dude!" Bill coached. "You're on! It's the small, black box on the desk."

Robin Hood glanced into the room, then nodded to them before sneaking into the room while Ms. Wilson's back was turned. The dudes waited a moment, then peeked in after him. Even to Bill and Ted it was apparent that the man had no idea what he was doing. His sneaking was so obvious it was ridiculous. He approached the desk, then stopped before taking the tape, spotting Ms. Wilson's purse on the other side. He awkwardly reached across the desk to grab it, much to Bill and Ted's shock.

"Bill! That filthy crook is goin' for her purse, dude!"

"I told you an honest thief was most improbable, Ted! Never believe advertising!"

They watched as Robin Hood, trying to be quiet without alerting the teacher, reached farther and farther, trying to steady himself with the chair, which suddenly slipped, sending him and the chair crashing to the ground with a clatter. Ms. Wilson turned in surprise, faced with the scraggly man at her feet.

"Oh, my! What in the world....?"

Bill and Ted immediately raced into the room to the rescue, helping the embarrassed Robin Hood to his feet.

"Worry not, Ms. Wilson!" Bill was quick to announce. "This rather pitiful man is with us!"

"Yes! He is.... um.... Bill's uncle!" Ted harped in, ignoring the look of disbelief Bill shot him. "We were showing him around school."

"That is correct. He somehow got away from us."

Upon finishing that sentence, Bill noticed that the videotape was lying next to him and he managed to grab it without anyone noticing as Ted elaborated on the alibi.

"The man's not all there, if you know what I mean." He leaned over to whisper, somewhat loudly, in the teacher's ear. "A lot of Bill's relatives are like that."

"Shut up, Ted!" Bill snapped, having overheard.

"Well, it's very nice to meet you, sir," Ms. Wilson offered to the dazed thief, who wasn't used to people being nice to him. "Just let me know if there's anything I can do for you!"

"Could you spare a few guineas for a poor, hungry man?" Robin Hood ventured to ask.

Before the man could say another word, Bill and Ted quickly herded him from the room.

"Thanks, Ms. Wilson!" Bill called behind them. "We'll catch you later!"

Once outside the room they regrouped in the hallway.

"Whew!" Ted sighed. "That was close! Did you get the tape?"

Bill held up the cassette proudly. "We are off the hook, Ted, my excellent compadre." The look of sadness that crossed Ted's face concerned Bill. "What is it, Ted?"

Ted sighed, fidgeting. "I don't feel any better. I mean, we both know stealing is wrong!"

Bill studied Ted's face, then sighed himself. "You're right, Ted. If we take up stealing,

we might end up like this guy!"

They looked over at Robin Hood, who was trying to figure out the combination of a nearby locker. Ms. Wilson walked out of the classroom past them.

"Good night, boys."

"Ms. Wilson?" Ted called after her, catching her attention. Ted hesitated before continuing. "Um.... me and Bill.... we have something to confess."

Bill held the tape out to her. "Yah. We took our tape back."

Ms. Wilson stepped forward, taking the tape from them with surprise. "The tape? But why? Don't you want me to enter it in the film competition?"

"No, ma'am," Ted answered. "Ya see, we sorta cheated on the assignment. We didn't really make that film."

Ms. Wilson's mouth fell open in silent protest. "But how....? You're voices were on it!"

Realizing he couldn't tell her the truth, Bill thought quickly. "Yeah, um.... we taped the movie off the t.v. and added our voices later. Y'know, like special effects stuff."

The look of disappointment on Ms. Wilson's face made Bill and Ted feel terrible about what they had done.

"Please, give us another chance!" Bill pleaded. "We'll do the assignment again, and this time we'll do all the work ourselves!"

"Yah!" Ted chimed in. "We promise it'll be a most triumphant feature!"

Ms. Wilson eyed them for a moment, then sighed. "Well.... you did confess. All right, I'll give you until Monday to shoot another movie. Otherwise I'll have to give both of you 'F's on this assignment."

"Thank you, Ms. Wilson!" Bill and Ted exclaimed.

The teacher turned to leave, warily eyeing Robin Hood, who was still fumbling with the locker. "I guess you've had other things on your minds," she commented to herself.

Bill and Ted walked over to Robin Hood, who looked up at them guiltily. "I was just making sure the lock works!"

They grabbed his arms and dragged him out of the hallway.

"Come on, dude!" Bill announced. "We've got a movie to shoot!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

Ted and Robin Hood watched Bill pace back and forth in front of the booth outside the school. Bill stopped long enough to check Ted's watch, and then continued his walking.

"What is keeping Missy?" he asked rhetorically.

"Here she comes now!" Ted pointed as Missy-Mom's station wagon appeared, screeching to a halt at the curb in front of them. She leaned out of the car window, holding out the video camera.

"Here you go, Bill!"

"Thanks Missy.... I mean, Mom," Bill offered, taking the camera from her.

"It's too bad we are not shooting a remake of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!" Ted commented. "You'd be perfect, Mrs. Preston!"

Bill eyed Ted with frustration as Missy blushed slightly with a smile. "Why, thank you, Ted!"

Ted returned the smile warmly until Bill grabbed his arm and pulled him back. "I may not be home in time for dinner, Miss.... Mom."

"Aw...." Missy sighed sadly. "And I was going to fix macaroni and cheese. Are you sure you can't make it?"

Bill's eyes grew terrified at the mention of macaroni and cheese. "Nope. Definitely not. Sorry."

"Well, I'll just have to be sure to save some for your lunch tomorrow! Bye, boys!" With a roar the station wagon pulled away.

Once the vehicle was out of sight, Bill shuddered. "That was close!"

"I thought you liked macaroni and cheese!" Ted said with confusion as they walked to the phone booth where Robin Hood was waiting.

"I do.... when it's not green!" Bill explained.

"Oh."

Bill herded Robin Hood into the phone booth as Ted picked up the Directory. "What should I look up, dude?"

"Our film has to be totally triumphant, so we'd better find a great director to give us some tips," Bill answered.

"What about that Awesome Welles dude Ms. Wilson was raving about?"

Bill's face lit up. "That's it, Ted! Awesome.... I mean, Orson Welles! If he's not too busy selling wine."

Ted flipped through some pages, then thumbed through one page a bit before coming across the right listing. "Here it is! Welles, Orson. There's a number here for a place called Grover's Mill, New Jersey. Shouldn't he be in Hollywood?"

"Ted, you bonehead! That's probably his home number! Directors never actually live in Hollywood! Let's booth!"

Ted closed the glass door to the booth as Bill dialed.

"What about me?" Robin Hood asked worriedly.

Bill eyed him seriously. "Hood, dude, we're going to need as many people as we can get to be in our film. Hopefully you're a better actor than thief!

* * * * * * * * * * *

Grover's Mill, New Jersey - October 30, 1938

Inside a small farmhouse, a mother and two children were huddled around the radio listening to what they believed to be a terrifying news account. Each word from the stuttering, gasping reporter brought fear into the hearts of the mother and daughter, while the son seemed to grow more and more excited by the minute. As the tension in the report grew, the mother gathered her children closer, causing the boy to fidget angrily. Their father sat casually in his favorite chair, reading a newspaper and not paying any attention to the broadcast.

"...I can see them now... they're coming over the hill! Auuuuuggghhhhhh!!"

With this scream the mother went into a full-fledged panic. "Oh, we're done for, we're done for!"

"Yeah!" the little boy agreed excitedly. "The aliens are taking over the world!"

The father eyed them all calmly from over the top of his paper. "There are no aliens coming to take over the world."

Despite her father's statement, the little girl nervously tugged at her mother's skirt. "Mommy? Are the aliens going to eat us?"

Hearing this, the mother turned angrily on her husband. "How can you sit there and read at a time like this? Those space creatures will be here any minute!"

The man set down his paper and stared at his petrified family in disgust. "I swear! You'll believe anything you hear on the radio! It's a joke! A gimmick! Probably just an advertisement for some new car or something."

The mother ran to him and grabbed his arm, pulling in hysterics. "It's a news bulletin! And the aliens have landed, right here in Grover's Mill!"

The boy ran around, looking out every window. "Maybe they'll take us with them in their spaceships and do experiments on us!"

This statement made the little girl howl and started the mother panicking again. The father reached the end of his rope and grabbed his wife by the arm. "I'm going to prove once and for all that this is a load of nonsense!" He pulled her toward the door.

"No! Not outside! They'll shoot us with their death rays!"

The father threw the front door open. The boy darted outside past them, looking around for the space aliens. The father had to push the mother outside as the little girl reluctantly followed. Once they were gathered on the porch, the father motioned about as the others look up at the night sky.

"There! Now.... do you see any aliens falling out of the sky?"

As if on cue, the phone booth cracked through the darkness and landed in front of the porch, much to the horror of the family.... except the little boy, who grew even more excited. The mother, father and little girl promptly screamed and ran inside.

"Whoa, neat!!!" the boy gasped, staring at the phone booth in front of him.

Bill opened the door to the booth and stepped out with Ted close behind as Robin Hood gasped for air, leaning inside the booth to keep himself standing. Bill gripped the video camera tightly as he looked around.

"I sure hope this Orson dude is home, Ted!"

By this time, Ted had spotted the boy on the porch and waved to him.

"Greetings, shocked-looking young dude!"

The father dashed back onto the porch in a flurry with his shotgun, which he cocked and aimed at them.

"Reach for the stars, space aliens!"

Bill and Ted immediately threw their arms into the air. "Bogus!!!" they exclaimed, staring up into the barrel of the shotgun.

"Whoa! Do not shoot, paranoid, farmer dude!" Bill exclaimed.

The father looked up at him. "Why not?"

Bill thought about this, and found himself unable to come up with an answer. Seeing Bill couldn't think of anything, Ted did his best to fill in.

"Because it would be most heinous! 'Specially for us."

The boy ran to his father's side, pulling at him anxiously. "Look, Dad! We captured space aliens!"

The man slightly lowered his gun, eyeing Bill and Ted in confusion. "They don't look like space aliens."

"Of course not! They came disguised as humans! But they goofed and made their space ship look like a phone booth instead of a car or something! That and those stupid clothes...."

Ted stepped forward with some resentment. "Hey, most fashion-unconscious little kid! We are making a bold fashion statement here!"

The father lifted the gun again. "Just hold it right there!"

The little boy started running around the porch enthusiastically. "We captured the aliens! We'll be famous! We'll be heroes!"

Bill began to get an idea of what was going on and stepped forward, not thinking about the video camera he was waving around as he spoke. "Excuse me, but this is all a big mistake...."

"They've got a death ray!" the mother screamed from her vantage point inside the house.

Suddenly the boy wasn't so brave or excited any more. He stared at the camera with widening eyes. "We'll be hamburgers!" he screamed, ducking behind his father, who stood, shaking, as was the shotgun.

"Put that thing down!" Bill cried nervously.

Taking this as a threat, the father dropped his gun and threw his hands into the air.

"That's better!" Ted sighed. "You're libel to shoot somebody's eye out, pointing that thing at people!"

The father, now having surrendered, began speaking slowly so he could be understood as his wife and daughter walked out of the house and stood behind him in support. "Do you want to be taken to our leader?"

"No way!" Bill said. "We are merely looking for a dude named Orson Welles."

The family looked at each other as if they had not heard correctly.

"You want Orson Welles?" the father asked with surprise.

"That is correct," Bill confirmed.

"Why?"

"Because he is a most outstanding director!" Bill answered matter-of-factly.

The boy looked around his dad. "You travelled millions of miles just to find a director?"

"Naw.... only a few decades," Ted corrected. "So, do you know where this Orson dude is?"

The mother leaned to her husband to whisper in his ear. "They must intercept our radio! Orson Welles is usually on tonight! That's why they came now!"

"Look, I'm sorry, but since you aliens decided to invade tonight, Orson isn't on!"

Bill and Ted looked at each other in disappointment. "Drag!"

"Well, would any of you paranoid farmer folk like to be in a movie?" Bill asked hopefully.

The family backed away, terrified. "They wanna take us back with them!" the boy stuttered.

The family tried their best to act nonchalant as they slowly escaped into the house.

"Gee, thanks! But really, not tonight. Maybe some other time!"

They run inside, slamming the door shut. Bill and Ted, discouraged, walked back to the phone booth where Robin Hood was trying to pick the coin box.

"That was a most non-triumphant waste of time!" Ted moaned.

"Indeed.... no actors and no Orson Welles. This is getting us nowhere fast."

Suddenly a loud booming noise exploded above them and another phone booth dropped out of the sky, landing near theirs and startling Robin Hood. The door of the second booth opened and Rufus stepped out.

"Rufus!"

"Greetings, my excellent friends! The three headest honchos thought you might be having some trouble. Need some assistance?"

Inside the house, the boy was peering out the window as the father picked up the phone receiver.

"Now there's more of them out there!" the boy reported.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of this!" the father promised, then turned his attention to the phone. "Hello? Get me the police!"

Meanwhile, Bill was explaining their situation to Rufus. "So, you see.... we need some advice on movie making."

"Hmmmm, I see you're problem. I'm afraid I'm not much of a movie expert. The most popular laser-movie rental of our time is the Back to the Future trilogy."

"Whoa!" Ted exclaimed with surprise. "Future babes must really like Michael J. Fox!"

"No, but it's a great novelty film. I mean, really! Time travelling in a DeLorian? A car wouldn't even fit into the Circuits of Time!" Rufus turns to leave. "Wish I could help, though."

"Can't ya give us any direction, Rufus?" Bill asked hopefully.

Rufus stopped at the door of his booth and thought for a moment. "Well, if you're talking famous directors, why not try Cecille B. DeMille? He's a pretty famous dude, and he did make some excellent movies!"

"Thanks, dude!" Ted offered gratefully.

A siren could be heard approaching in the distance. Rufus stepped into the booth. "And I suggest you get moving before you're taken in and dissected for scientific purposes!"

Bill looked at Ted with disgust. "That would be most egregious, Ted. We'd best booth!"

Bill and Ted climbed into their booth after Rufus' had disappeared and within a few seconds their booth had vanished only moments before a police car arrived on the scene, screeching to a halt in front of the farmhouse. The family dashed out, pointing to the empty spot where the booth had been standing.

"There they are!" the father yelled. "They're right...... there?"

The policeman stood next to the patrol car, eyeing the family with impatience. "Let me guess.... you're listening to your radio, right?"

The family shared a look of surprise as they glanced back to the house where the radio was blaring.

"....and that brings to a conclusion The Mercury Theaters' adaptation of the H.G. Wells' classic, War of the Worlds."

The family, embarrassed, looked back to the policeman, who was not amused.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Somewhere in California - circa 1939

The phone booth landed with a crash in a small, make-shift dirt parking lot with trailers and movie equipment visible in the background. Bill and Ted exited the booth, followed closely by Robin Hood, who darted from the booth and promptly grabbed hold of a nearby tree.

"That's it! I'm not going anywhere else in that thing! It makes me nauseous!"

"Hood dude, you are a total disgrace to your legendary image! Who would've guessed you would be such a wimp?" Bill scolded.

"Yo, Bill! Check it out! Mr. DeMille must be shooting a movie!"

"Yah! Perhaps he will be able to educate us in the way of the great film-makers so that we, too, may acquire outstanding directing talents!"

"Thus winning back the trust of our history teacher and also acquiring the admiration of the babes in our class!" Ted remarked.

"Excellent!" they exclaimed, and began doing an air-guitar duet when a voice boomed over a megaphone nearby.

"Quiet!!! We're ready to roll!"

Curious, Bill and Ted walked over to where the action was taking place, leaving Robin Hood clinging to the tree.

Upon arriving at the edge of the set, Bill and Ted stood, amazed. The scene set up before them was none other than the driving in of the golden spike. On the clapboard one of the crew was holding it read 'Union Pacific, director DeMille'. The set was somewhat like the actual event, but brighter, fancier and huge. The actors were standing around, waiting to go, but Cecille B. DeMille appeared unhappy. He was holding a megaphone, which he always seemed to talk through while waving his arms about in a frenzy.

"No, no, no! It's not big enough! It's not grand enough!" He turned to talk to his flunky, still screaming through the megaphone into the man's ear, which the flunky seemed

used to. "How many more extras can we get out here by this afternoon?"

"The casting agency says they can provide hundreds of extras in a moment's notice," the flunky reported blandly.

"That's not enough! We need thousands! Get on the phone with Central Casting and see what they can do!"

"Yes, sir!" the flunky said before running off to handle the matter.

DeMille turned to the cast and crew. "Okay, everybody, take five! We've gotta wait to get more people out here!"

Bill and Ted gave each other impressed looks, then approached DeMille, who was sitting worriedly in his director's chair.

"Um, Mr. DeMille, sir?" Bill began. "There weren't that many people at the driving in of the Golden Spike!"

DeMille sat up quickly and turned on them; the megaphone pointed at their faces. Bill and Ted cringed at the loud voice directed at them. "What, what, what??? Who dares to contradict me, the greatest epic director of all time???"

"I am Bill S. Preston, Esquire!"

"And I am Ted 'Theodore' Logan!"

"And together we are..... Wyld Stallyns!"

They performed a heartfelt air guitar duet, which apparently left Mr. DeMille unimpressed. "And you have the nerve to tell me how to direct my movie?"

"On the contrary, B-man," Bill insisted. We came to ask you to help us direct our movie!"

"I'm already up to my ears in projects! I don't have time to take on any more."

"It wouldn't take long, dude," Ted explained. "We could shoot it while you're waiting for your extras to show up!"

"Indeed! And, seeing how we are working on the same exact story, we could use your sets!"

DeMille looked appalled. "For thieves you certainly are out in the open about it! You want to steal my movie!"

"We aren't thieves!" Ted protested, then threw a look over his shoulder to Robin Hood, who was still clinging to the tree but looking at something with interest.

Intrigued, Robin Hood let go of the tree and walked to a nearby trailer with a poster for The Adventures of Robin Hood on it. He eyed the handsome Errol Flynn and stood proudly, acting as if he looked the same way.

"Not bad!" he said softly to himself. Looking around quickly, he reached up and snatched the poster, rolling it up before sticking it under his shirt.

"Well, that guy is a thief, but we're not!" Ted finished.

Bill held up the video camera. "Yah! We're just making a movie for school! And we brought our own equipment!"

DeMille grabbed the video camera from Bill and looked at it with extreme interest, becoming like a little boy. "I've never seen a camera like this! How does it work?"

"Help us direct our movie and we'll let you play with our camera all you want!" Bill offered.

DeMille looked at them, still somewhat unsure. "Well, as long as you promise not to release yours before mine!"

"B-man, we promise that our movie will not be seen for another fifty years!" Ted stated.

"The question that remains is who else do we get to be in the movie?"

"You could have a cattle call," DeMille suggested.

"Yes, but although this is a western, we don't need any cows," Bill replied, causing DeMille to look bewildered.

"Why don't we just use these actors?" Ted asked. "They're all in costume and everything!"

"Ted, my friend, you forget.... Ms. Wilson is a total movie buff, and chances are she has seen this particular flick!"

"Well, then perhaps the Circuits of Time would be useful to us once again," Ted suggested.

"Good idea, Ted! B-man, we will return most promptly with some actors for our movie. In the meantime, would you mind looking after the Hood Dude for us?"

Bill handed DeMille his video camera, which DeMille accepted happily, turning it over to examine. Bill and Ted ran to the phone booth.

"Who should we get for our movie?" Bill asked.

Ted thought for a moment, then snapped his fingers. "How about the Marx brothers?"

"Wouldn't Ms. Wilson recognize them?" Bill asked.

"Not if we get Zeppo!" Ted pointed out.

"Good thinking, Ted!" They looked through the Directory a moment. "Here it is.... Marx."

Ted dialed the number and the phone booth took off as Bill and Ted screamed.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Brussels, Belgium - 1848

In a quaint little home, Karl Marx was sitting at his writing desk, pondering. His wife entered and set down some pastries.

"Karl, dear, try to eat something!"

"Thank you, Jenny, my love, but how can I eat when my greatest work has no title?"

She turned to leave the room. "Do not worry, my dear. Something will inspire you!"

After she left, Karl picked up one of the pastries and stared at it. "The Communist Croissant?" He threw the croissant down in disgust. "Oh, what is the use?"

With a cracking sound the phone booth landed in the middle of the room. Karl looked up with mild interest as Bill and Ted got out.

"How's it going, Zeppo dude?" Ted offered in a friendly manner.

Karl looked back down to his work and sighed. "The Communist Zeppo? No, no, it's no good!"

"What's no good?" Bill asked.

"I cannot think of a title for my book! My wife thinks I need inspiration, but where can I find inspiration?"

"Maybe a hop through time in our resplendent booth to be in a movie would provide the

proper inspiration!" Ted suggested.

Karl gave this some thought, then shrugged. "Sure, why not?"

"Outstanding!" Bill and Ted exclaimed.

Karl entered the booth, which became aglow.

"All we need now is a few more actors and we're set!" Bill said eagerly.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Back at the set of Union Pacific, DeMille was crouched down, looking through the eyepiece of the video camera as he hollered through the megaphone, make-believing there was a crew and cast on the empty set.

"More rain! More lights! Oh, and more donuts for the extras!"

There was a crackling sound from above, and DeMille directed the camera skyward and followed the phone booth as it hurtled down, landing next to him.

"Not bad, but could I get more smoke for the next take?"

Bill and Ted exited the booth, followed by Karl Marx and two other men. "B-man, we are ready to shoot our movie!" Bill announced.

"Yes!" Ted echoed. "We have assembled a fine cast!"

"Yeah? So, who'd you get? Gary Cooper? Bette Davis?"

Bill stepped aside to show the men one at a time. "This is Zeppo Marx, although he likes to be called Karl."

DeMille looked at the man, unsure, but held out a hand to shake anyway. "Nice to meet you. I'm DeMille."

Karl looked thoughtful. "The Communist DeMille? No."

Karl walked away, still in thought, as Ted stepped forward with the next person, who was dressed in robes. "This is our good friend, So-crates, who is always willing to help out his friends in need."

Socrates shook hands with DeMille. "So, what are your credits?" DeMille asked. Socrates just smiled shyly and moved away.

"He doesn't speak any English," Ted informed DeMille.

"You hired an actor who can't speak?"

"Yeah, but wait 'til you see him emote!" Ted assured the director.

Bill walked up to the last person, who was dressed in a sequined jumpsuit. "And this is not an incredible simulation, but the one and only Elvis."

DeMille, totally in shock, shook hands with Elvis.

"Hey, there....uh, how's it goin'?" Elvis mumbled, then gyrated and wiggled a little before turning and following the others toward the trailers.

Ted leaned over to whisper to DeMille. "We thought, maybe, he'd like to be in a good movie for a change."

With a sigh, DeMille shrugged his shoulders. "This is going to be some movie!"

* * * * * * ** * * * * * *

The makeshift cast was assembled on the railroad tracks of the Union Pacific set. Bill and Ted stood at the front with sledgehammers to drive in the golden spike. Socrates and Elvis were ready, seated in the engine rooms of the trains and waiting to proceed toward one another to meet at the point. Robin Hood and Karl Marx were standing nearby for their important role as the excited crowd.

"Everybody ready?" Bill asked, looking up at Socrates, who gave him the okay sign. Bill then looked to Elvis. "Elvis, are you ready, dude?"

Elvis leaned out of the engine, singing loudly, "Well it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go, cat, go!"

"I think that means he's ready," Ted ventured to guess.

Bill looked at DeMille, who had mounted their camera on a tripod and was preparing to follow Bill's direction. "Okay, B-man.... follow the action, and be sure Ted and I get a decent number of close-ups!"

"Yes, and be sure to get my good side!" Ted added.

"Which, exactly, is your good side?" DeMille asked.

Ted looked thoughtful. "Whichever side is facing the camera, I guess," Ted replied.

"Whatever," DeMille sighed. "You guys are the directors!"

Bill motioned around grandly. "Okay, dudes! Lights, camera.... go for it, dudes!"

The red light on the video camera started flashing and everyone became immediately rigid as they recited their memorized lines.

"Oh boy.... this is some party, huh, dude?" Robin Hood asked Karl Marx.

"It is indeed a most outstanding celebration! Truly excellent!" Karl replied.

The camera then moved to focus in on Bill and Ted. "Yo!" Bill began. "Babes and gentledudes! My most excellent business rival and I are pleased to be with you on this most auspicious day!" He began looking around for something.

"Yes!" Ted continued. "And now we shall drive in this most triumphant and truly expensive golden spike, to symbolize...."

"Ted, where is the truly expensive golden spike?" Bill interrupted.

Ted looked around, but the spike was nowhere to be seen. "Who took the spike?"

DeMille looked up from the camera, displeased. "Propman! Where's the spike?"

The propman, who was standing with his cart nearby, shrugged. "It was right there in the rail, sir!"

"Okay, who took the Golden Spike???" Bill yelled to be heard across the set.

Everyone studied everyone else, whispering quietly, but no one came forward. Ted yelled

up to Elvis. "Elvis, dude.... did you swipe our golden spike to make a necklace or something?"

"We can't go on together, with suspicious minds...!" the King sang in reply.

Bill nudged Ted and motioned to Robin Hood, who was standing on the side trying to look innocent. Bill winked at Ted, then looked incredibly sad. "What are we gonna do, dude?"

"I do not know. Without that golden spike we will not be able to complete our movie!"

Robin Hood listened, and began to feel guilty.

"No movie, and we most assuredly will flunk our history class," Bill sighed.

"Yes, and then we will grow up to be truly ignorant."

"And we won't be able to find work and we will starve most egregiously."

"Wasting away to nothing. Then we'll never get any babes."

Robin Hood broke out into tears, stepping forward while crying loudly, and fishing into his pocket to pull out the golden spike. "I'm sorry! Here, take it, take it!"

Bill took the golden spike happily. "Hood, dude! You are truly the hero of the day!"

"I am? Say....! I am! And I feel great! You know, I'm going to give away everything

I steal from now on to those who need it more than me!"

"That, Hood Dude, sounds like the stuff legends are made of!" Ted smiled.

"Yes!" Bill agreed. "It was a truly magnanimous gesture, even though this spike is not really gold but polystyrene."

DeMille stomped his foot, getting impatient. "What is going on?"

"Worry not, B-man!" Bill called. "We have recovered the golden spike!"

"Then let's continue, please!" DeMille insisted.

Bill and Ted prepared themselves again. "Yes! And now we shall drive in this most triumphant and truly expensive polystyrene.... I mean, golden spike, to symbolize the meeting of east and west!"

DeMille motioned to the trains. "Okay! Come toward each other, and stop when I tell you!"

As the trains started moving, Bill took a swing at the spike, missing it completely. Ted then tried, and also missed. Time after time each of them attempted to hit the golden spike, but each time they missed. By this time DeMille was shaking with frustration, running a hand over his face in anger. Finally he exploded, running to Bill and Ted in a fury.

"No, no, no! Put your backs into it! Here, let me!" DeMille grabbed the sledgehammer from Bill and started to drive in the golden spike, unaware of the trains getting closer and closer, going at a pretty good speed.

Bill and Ted see the trains are going to collide with DeMille in the middle. "Um, Mr. DeMille, sir?" Ted started.

DeMille continued to pound, oblivious to everything else. "I'll show you how to drive in a golden spike!"

Bill and Ted ran forward to grab DeMille and pull him off the tracks. "Bail, dude!" Bill yelled.

They managed to yank DeMille out of the way just as the trains bumped into each other with a loud crash, each engine jolted from the track as they did. Once the dust settled, Socrates stood up through the window, rubbing his head and pantomiming the crash. Elvis also got to his feet, rubbing his back and mumbled "I'm all shook up!"

DeMille viewed the crash with despair, while Karl and Robin Hood applauded as they were supposed to in the script.

Bill and Ted were ecstatic. "Outstanding crash, Ted!" Bill exclaimed.

Ted turned to see the video camera was still running, and straightened to recite his last line with Bill standing beside him proudly.

"That concludes our most excellent Manifest Destiny!"

Karl Marx suddenly popped up in front of the camera, exuberant. "Manifest! The Communist Manifesto! That's it!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

Once again the class sat, entranced, by the video playing before them. The sight of someone yelling "The Communist Manifesto! That's it!" ended the show, and Ms. Wilson ejected the tape as the class finished laughing.

"Well, William.... Theodore.... your second attempt at a movie certainly was.... different."

"It didn't work out quite the way we'd planned," Bill informed her.

"Yeah," Ted added. "We wanted it to be in black and white, but we couldn't find any black and white videotape."

Ms. Wilson walked to her desk, writing something down in her grade book. "It may not have been exactly what happened, but it showed a lot of hard work, so I'm giving you both B+'s."

"Excellent!" The dudes air-guitared.

"Ms. Wilson?" Ted asked. "Are you still gonna send our tape in to the student film competition?"

Ms. Wilson looked amused at the thought, then smiled at them. "No, boys. But I think I know the perfect place to send it!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

Bill S. Preston's house - several weeks later

Everyone sat around the television set in the living room, their eyes glued to the screen. Missy entered, carrying a bowl of half-burnt popcorn. "Here you go!" she announced, handing it to her husband and everyone examined the bowl a moment, trying to find a piece that wasn't completely black.

"So, when's this great movie of yours coming on?" Deacon asked.

"Chill out, little bro!" Ted scolded. "It'll be on any time!"

"Yeah, well, I shoulda known the two of you would end up on this show sooner or later!" Deacon quipped. Bill and Ted tossed popcorn at him and they scuffled a bit.

Mr. Preston motioned for them to be quiet as Missy sat next to him. "Ssshhhh! Quiet guys! Here it is!"

On the screen a silly host stood in front a sign reading "America's Goofiest Home Movies". "Wasn't that goofy?" he asked the studio audience. "And now, here's a really goofy tape sent to us by a schoolteacher in San Dimas, California! Get a load at what her students, Bill Preston and Ted Logan, thought the driving in of the golden spike was like!"

Bill and Ted's videotape began with Karl Marx and Robin Hood talking about the celebration. As the tape played, Missy cuddled next to Mr. Preston and everyone laughed.

"Truly, Ted, we are two outstanding and promising directors!" Bill stated.

"Not!" the laughed together.

THE END