CLICHÉ –THE FILM

 

     “Cliché” is a film of student life showcasing the city of Philadelphia, its cobbled streets, architecture, open-aired markets and cultural life, making it into a modern-day Paris for our little “La Boheme.”

     The film follows the “Three Musketeers of Art,” a house of college kids, some go-go girls and horse carriage drivers through a series of pranks they play on the city.

     The film opens in a spy genre, as the Musketeers install their own paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  It quickly moves to the teen film genre as they turn their carriage house quarters into “The Flying Dutchman Restaurant” – with the help of collaborating cabbies and hotel doormen filling it with tourists for a few Fridays a year, and just as quickly disappearing from the map by Saturday morning.

     As our characters move from one cliché incident to another, unlike a standard comedy, the continual romantic mix-ups and run-ins with the mob have lasting impacts which move the film to realism.  By the end, the Musketeers are serving out jail terms for a real scam they didn’t know they were in, while the kids find themselves caught up on the staircase to middle age. The film closes on Rodin’s “Thinker” sitting on a bronzed toilet, and we realize this last prank was the final spark of their bohemian youth.

 


 

INT - BASEMENT HALLS of PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART – NIGHT 

 

High arched Medaeival basement halls of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we see two dark figures moving a large canvas down the hall.

  CUT TO:

INT - MAINTENANCE ROOM

 

Yeshic is punching code into an alarm system, talks into a walkie-talkie or cellphone. 

 

YESHIC

Guard’s at 6 coming your way.

              CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE GALLERY 4.

 

Bulba and Soltan appear to be re-hanging a large painting.

 

BULBA

“got that?, watch it!”

 

SOLTAN

Hung.  Hit the light.

 

BULBA

Lemme…tacked!

 

Soltan picks up their little equipment kit, takes a dustbrush from his cloak and sweeps up quickly and leaves.  We have our first glimpse of Bulba over his shoulder as he attaches a brass nameplate and leaves.

 

CLOSE-UP NAMEPLATE: 

“THE FRAMEMAKER”

THADDEMEUS RUYGVENDT  Flemish b.1644 d.1676

 

CONT. SWEEP TO PAINTING

 

We see an old Flemish painting in an ornate gilt frame.  Close up of the framemaker gilding a frame reveals the same face from the same angle as Bulba’s.

 

YESHIC

“gallery 7 clear.  Guard 2’s on break.  We’re in flint. I’ll get you that grade 9 wire”

 

INT. GALLERY 7

 

LESHIC and LAURIE step down from behind curtain.  Laurie is all in black leotards, while LESHIC is in black cape, which comes open to reveal he is wearing red Spandex tights and a silver lammė belt.

 

LESHIC

asshole

 

SOLTAN O.S.

(over PHONE)

gallery 9, hung

 

YESHIC

wing A corridor OK, alarm reset

 

LESHIC

(into phone) Asshole, we’re in seven!

 

YESHIC

shut down… let’s clear out!

 

We see Leshic and Laurie lifting a small painting carefully from window sill.  Laurie takes the tool-box and two jerry-rigged hanging aluminum footstands they’ve been standing on behind the curtain.  They quickly sneak out of gallery 7 with Leshic carrying the painting.

 

INT. OLD-STYLE DREXEL CLASSROOM – LATE AFTERNOON

 

The end of a lecture on the social role of civil engineering in history. 

 

PROFESSOR 1

As Civil Engineers you are changing the face of the earth, converting the world around you to human uses, and yet, there is only a thin skin of that face supporting all of life.  You must remember Nature – for all of engineering is nothing more than putting Nature’s Laws to human uses.  I’ll leave you with that,

 

CONT. INT. CLASSROOM – from Professor’s eyes.

 

Students packing up things hastily.  Looking at watches and bolting.

 

PROFESSOR 1

and I’d like you to write me a few paragraphs explaining how you, as civil engineers, will work with your architects…. Or, if you are architecture majors… how you will work with the Civils.  You get an ‘A’ if you just repeat what I just said in your own words, and it should take you no more than a page.  See you Wednesday.  Class exits.

 

INT.  THE “GREAT COURT” OF THE OLD DREXEL TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE

 

Soltan, Leshic, and Yeshic are waiting for TIM, who exits amidst a large gang of students some carrying winter coats.  Soltan is buttoned up in his black cape without the cowl up.

 

TIM

Anything break yet?

 

SOLTAN

ya shoulda heard what Channel 10 said!” 

 

TIM

What did they say?!!

 

YESHIC

They got NO idea yet! 

 

SOLTAN

I told you, it’s going to take’m til next week.

 

 

INT.  MODERN PENN CLASSROOM --AFTERNOON

 

The end of a lecture on the business of media, as seen from just behind Ward’s desk, we see him fidgeting, and getting up to leave before lecture ends.

 

PROFESSOR 2

Performing an extraction of American media production against, say, expenditure cycles in education or military, highlights cyclical aspects in the economy that wouldn’t be otherwise apparent. 

 

Ward gets up and exits through the back of the room.

 

PROFESSOR 2

…..which brings us to the Rawn-Veblen hypothesis of the cyclical nature of valuation…. There’s no coincidence that McCluhan correlates ……

 

EXT. GARGOYLE-STUDDED DORMITORIES AT PENN. – SEVERAL MINUTES LATER, A LATE WINTER AFTERNOON. 

 

PAN of GARGOYLES to the Muftic Flame, with TIM now, await Ward in front of his quarters to tell him the news.  Soltan greets Ward in his cowl, quickly flashing his spandex underwear. 

 

YESHIC

I thought he wanted to be a chef.  Why’s he going here?

 

TIM

Ward’s mom and pop are big hoots upstate and think he’s gotta go here. 

 

Ward is checking his watch, arrives running around the corner

 

WARD

ON time! 

 

TIM

So he figures it’ll be fine when he opens a big restaurant chain.

 

WARD

Big chain. Drive-thru Gourmet. Food on a schtick!

 

YESHIC

Do we have time to get the girls for the 6 O:Clock News?  Hurry up.

 

WARD

Gotta throw my laptop.  A second.

 

Ward runs into the dorm.

 

SOLTAN

Time to check out these gargoyles!!

 

Leshic and Soltan start running around inner court looking… Several moments later Ward reappears and the guys run back and start walking out of the quadrangle and out onto Spruce/South Street.

 

WARD

We gonna watch all the coverage at once? You got us cable, too?

 

YESHIC

Aw shit.

 

TIM

Aw shit?  All the planning for this and you don’t have cable?

 

LESHIC

d’You know where we can get 4 more TV sets?”

 

EXT. AERIAL ABOVE PENN STADIUM AND ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM – SUNNY WINTER AFTERNOON

 

We can see Soltan’s red spandex and the other four figures walking between the stadium and the museum.  The shot should lower behind them, showing the South St. bridge

 

Sound fades in as we descend on the group.

 

TIM

Did you guys ever hook up with those two dykes?

 

YESHIC

What dykes?  Who?

 

TIM

The carriage … the horse-girls, you know

 

SOLTAN

They’re NOT dykes

 

TIM

So d’ju hook up? 

 

YESHIC

We’re still working on it.

 

SOLTAN

We’ll keep working on it, don’t you worry. They’ll be on the team soon.

 

EXT. - SOUTH STREET BRIDGE - CONTINUOUS

 

WARD

Man, this chick gets at my pants last night…. Whatta fukn bore!  I swear it’s over-rated.  Like we gotta keep playing this game of tag all our lives like we’re little kids.

 

LESHIC

That’s why you get married

 

YESHIC

anyway- we still like playing tag!!

 

TIM

What about those guys that throw their whole life away over two tits?

 

WARD

You’d never understand that

 

TIM

Games.  You guys like playing games.

 

SOLTAN

I can’t get over them gargoyles.  How come nobody ever told me about them?

 

TIM

You know, Soltan, I think Megan is hot on you.  I think she’s trying to break up with me.

 

YESHIC

Bullshit

 

SOLTAN

Me?  Not me!  Leshic there!

 

WARD

Yeh bullshit, you’ve been together since 2nd grade.

 

TIM

Kindergarten. / Leshic, you, Yeshic… you guys are all the same in your mighty man outfits.

 

WARD

And when did you start getting it, eighth grade?

 

TIM

 [bored with the thought] Ninth

 

WARD

Like I said, you’d be the last one to understand the rest of us guys.

 

WARD

What do we need four TV sets for?  I’ll get us two more.

 

EXT. - Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Front Steps

 

MEGAN exits with other art students. She and TIM embrace. They’ve been waiting around for her class to finish.  Megan is slight and rather Peter Pan’ish.  She is carefully bohemian and intellectual, and not without a figure, but clearly not about to use make-up.

 

The group all excitedly heads off to their place, TIM and Megan are habitually hand in hand.

 

YESHIC

I’m getting tired

 

WARD

What time did you guys start?

 

LESHIC

Man, you forget we were there making a delivery at 4:30 before they ever closed!

 

TIM

They’re going to know it was an inside job.  Just like “[use some movie title]”  You’re going to get caught.

 

LESHIC

Not for months.  And what do they care?  All we did was hang our own paintings in their goddam museum - just to prove they can’t recognize good art.

 

MEGAN

That’s not why they have museums, and you know it.  Art theory 101.  You even teach it, Lech.  You guys just pulled this off to see it on TV.

 

YESHIC

(hamming) The world will see my art is as good as Eakins

 

LESHIC

and my frames framing Rubens

 

SOLTAN

and MY sculpture ?

 

YESHIC

We need more TVs!

 

MEGAN

You see, y’re more excited about tonite than the heist. 

(to Tim)

I told you they’re just media freaks.

 

Leshic flashes red spandex

 

TIM

IT’S THE MISFITS!!

 

LESHIC

AND glad of it!

 

WARD

I’ll get Bulba and Laurie.  See ya there!

 

EXT.  13th and Camac Street.  Outside “The Carriage-House Club.”  CHRISTINE greets them at the corner lugging her shopping bag of found books and sundries. She introduces the leitmotif of cliché.

 

CHRISTINE

They can see us here from the end of the block. 

 

LESHIC

Christine, do you have a TV we could borrow?”

 

CHRISTINE

TV makes me too upset. You had better close the door and go upstairs.  You’ll get me in trouble and they will put me back in the institute you know

 

TIM

I know I know…you can’t stand reality

 

YESHIC

She doesn’t LIVE in reality

 

CHRISTINE

I can’t stand what you kids BELIEVE is reality because you live everything as if you’re in a movie.  My world is not a damned screen.

 

LESHIC

No writer ever thought YOU up, CHRISTINE.

 

MEGAN

You got herb?

 

CHRISTINE

They are watching!  You’re all fools. All of you. Get going!

 

INTERIOR, LECTURE HALL AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. SEVERAL MINUTES LATER. 

 

A student is asking a question about beliefs and ideals. Ward walks in the back and signals to Laurie who gets up and joins him.

STUDENT 

If people are so easily brainwashed, what about true beliefs and ideals.  Are you saying all of us are brainwashed?

 

Laurie is behind the student asking the question, turns and sees Ward waving her way, and she begins packing up.

We see Laurie from Ward’s view, Very hip-looking professor in the background, Laurie is already leaving class as the professor answers the question, possibly distracted by Laurie’s legs and thigh-clinging short skirt facing him…

 

PROFESSOR 4

The gestaldt theorists thought our need for value vectors were the core of the uh

I suspect you might call that our need for brainwashing. Yes…Thinking and looking

oh yes…  thinking and looking..

Laurie’s rear bending over to get her books seen from the professor’s view, looking around the room but keeps returning to Laurie..

 

your concept

I mean your question is very clearly enunciated. EVOKEd.

Provocative is what I mean. 

The need for brainwashing is simply built-into a very tight mental structure of ours.

REAL tight!  Good question.

Any more questions? Class is, uh

See you tomorrow

I mean Thursday. 

 

STUDENT IN 1st ROW (whispering)

            Wednesday

 

PROFESSOR 3

I mean Wednesday.

 

EXT. COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAMPUS.

 

Some kids are standing in the far background, should go un-noticed leaning over their car, talking.  Books are on the roof and they’ve got coffees or cokes in their hands. A coffee and laptop case are on the trunk.  Ward, Bulba and Laurie are in the foreground. 

 

BULBA

I walked into 4 classes and called out your name.  How comes he could find you so quick?

 

LAURIE

Why do we have to get there so early?

 

Still in the far background, other kids distract the kids talking, who get into their car, leaving the books on the roof and the coffee and laptop case on the trunk.

 

WARD

cause these guys haven’t been to sleep yet and they don’t want to wait til the 10 O:clock News”

 

LAURIE

Guess what lunkhead, neither have I gotten any sleep.

 

WARD

[to Laurie] You weren’t there!…? 

 

LAURIE

yes I was lunkhead

 

WARD

Bulba and I are getting TVs, wanta come?

 

In the far background, partially obscured by Ward or Laurie, if you are distracted you don’t notice that the car drives off with the cup of coffee and pile of books on the roof.

 

LAURIE

Why’d you have to come at all?

 

BULBA

It’s a special occasion.  Better than a party.  At’s my idea, too.

 

The car with the cup of coffee and pile of books passes directly in front of our line of vision. 

 

LAURIE

Mr. Bulba knows best.

 

 

INTERIOR.  Inside “The Carriage-House Club,” a converted 1820’s carriage house, complete with hand-cranked carriage elevator, and three large loft spaces for storing carriages.  A small central utility area houses the kitchen and bathroom. Makeshift rooms have been put together with office cubicle dividers, silk flags of various nations draped over them, some with beds and some with schoolbooks and computers.  They refer to each other’s rooms by the national flag. Only one room next to the elevator has a door.  This is where Tim and Megan stay.  We see everyone one by one come up and in and follow them into Loft 2, the Club.

 

MEGAN

Anybody in Great Britain? You guys still here?  The guys are here!

 

 

From inside cubicle under the Union Jack

 

TRISH

Trying on a new suit

 

From inside another cubicle

ANGE

an’ I’m trying on Trish’s old suit

 

 

Inside Loft 2 in “The Carriage-House Club.”  It is for all intents and purposes, a restaurant with tables and checkered tablecloths scrounged from a defunct coffee house.  It boasts a fully-stocked bar and a raised stage with makeshift lighting, and a large central hooded fireplace.  Here is the back entrance, to which CHRISTINE has a key. It leads down narrow steps to an alley in the back.

 

Everyone enters the club.  Trish and Ange are in and out, modeling each other’s go-go outfits, when Laurie comes in and starts critiquing them, and tells one of the girls to get her Plexiglas platforms from ‘Italy’… so we realize she is must be a dancer too. TIM and the Muftic Flame are asked for advice, and Megan makes caustic comments.  None of the girls have been doing this very long.  The Muftic Flame artists, staring at the girls, suddenly forget about their prank until CHRISTINE comes up the back steps dragging a big old dusty TV set.

 

 

LAURIE

 You better not dance like that

 

ANGE

Why?

 

LAURIE

You’ve got enough bellybutton lint to stuff a pillow!

 

ANGE

 [Ange looks down and blushes as she takes about a big wad of lint]

 

TRISH

We’re new at this, OK?  Hey Leshic, got any ideas what we could pull off at a go-go club? 

 

TIM

I thought that’s why you were going into it – you had your scam ready.

 

LAURIE

We knew Yeshic would come up with our best ideas

 

MEGAN

I’m afraid Yeshic’s brain stops when it hits on a little bellybutton lint

 

TRISH

[Trish walks up to him and pokes his nose in jest to wake him up] There’s a revolution going on under your nose…. You’re mustache is revolting!

 

YESHIC

 [jolted back] My mother told me that, too

 

LAURIE

Actually, we thought that once we got good at this, we’d get Ward’s parents to open us an old-time burlesque house. Trombone players, popcorn, fire-eaters…

 

YESHIC

My grandfather worked in a burlesque house.

 

LAURIE

We’re doing it to pay your rent when the Dutchman goes belly-up.

 

TRISH

Actually, Angel did have a great idea…

 

ANGE

There is SOOO much money in this, it’s unbelievable tremendous!!

 

MEGAN

Tell us about it later.

 

ANGE

No, I mean, it’s all on the up and up.  It’s not gag at all!  I mean a TON of money!

 

TIM

And you all decided to become go-go girls, but…

 

TRISH

No.  I just like turning some men into mush and others into wild beasts

 

LAURIE

The power of it all

[a loud thumping noise is coming up the back stairs, which we didn’t know were there til now.  It is CHRISTINE.]

 

CHRISTINE Could somebody help me there?

 

TIM

I’m coming CHRISTINE[he runs down the stairs, several thumps and moments later]

 

TIM

Where the HELL did you get this monster? 

 

CHRISTINE

When I dropped out of college, well actually, I never dropped out of college,

 

LAURIE

I bet there’s not even a remote!

 

CONT., the girls opening boxes and modeling different shoes, Tim putting up the TV and no one is paying attention

 

CHRISTINE

I had a break-down and I was institutionalized. And anyway, my parents got it for me because they thought I would like the educational channel.

     You know that the sex-trades may look innocent to you, and I know it seems exciting and risqué once you get up the nerve, but when I was your age I almost got up the nerve because I knew a few dancers and boy, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t go near it with a ten-foot pole. 

 

by this time, everyone is stock still listening to CHRISTINE intently…

 

You know they were all eventually seduced by the senior dancers who were their supervisors. If they weren’t pimped off by their DJs to pay for cheap dope.  I thought I could get in and out with no scars, but no.  Not me.  I wouldn’t have anything to do with it.  Not that I didn’t pay my rent with a little dancing, or something mind you.  But I wouldn’t tell this to anyone for the world.

 

YESHIC

CHRISTINE,  You mean to say YOU were once a dancer?

 

CHRISTINE

Well, not exactly.  But not that I couldn’t have become one… that is, before I lost these front teeth.  That was a long way back.  Ten or fifteen years I’d say…

Everyone laughs.  We hear a toilet flush and Soltan comes in.

 

SOLTAN

 What did I miss? 

 

---everyone begins to go about their thing.

 

CHRISTINE

…fifteen years can do a lot of damage, let me tell you!  I wouldn’t go near that industry if you paid me.  …. I get down by the clubs and see the girls looking frazzled.. coming and going in their sweats.  Deadly, simply deadly…

 

Trish grabs a pair of overalls from the wall and puts it over her go-go outfit. She’s already on a ladder pulling a TV cable.  Ward and Bulba arrive with two new TV sets.

 

TRISH

Where’d you get those?

 

WARD

 “Trish, when did they teach you electrical work at Temple.  I thought you were a media student?”

[putting down new box, to Bulba]

“Got a box-cutter?”

 

TRISH

Media 101.  Attach C.A.B.L.E. to TV set. 

 

BULBA

[pulls box-cutter from his shirt-pocket for Ward, talks to Trish]

Rite Aid.  On your credit card.  I signed your name. We’re returning them tomorrow.. so be careful.

 

TRISH

she looks for her wallet and realizes she’s got on her go-go outfit under the overalls]

Where’d you get my cr….?

 

WARD

MY credit card..…for the Dutchman’s sports’ bar.

 

BULBA

picks up the ladder with Trish on it and carries it to corner over the bar

Shaddup you both. We got work,

 

WARD

We need…

 

BULBA

We gotta find some new shills to bring in the crowds or we not gonna make your rent, chickie!

 

TRISH

Well, Mister Zorba Bulba,…

 

[she begins to descend the ladder as she unhooks the suspenders from the overalls… ]

 

…We chickies have figured out a BETTER way to make our rent than scamming tourists into The Flying Dutchman, so THERE!

[she leaps up onto a chrome pole alongside the bar, spins upside down and begins sliding down in the standard go-go move….]

 

BULBA

Maybe we change the menu to wings and beer, Ward, yeh? 

 

WARD

on your ass!

 

TRISH

[still upside down]

Like when YOUR ass gets caught, Ward!

 

BULBA

You go ‘touts nu’ here?  I got it!  We’ll be the first “Breastaurant” an’ the waitresses wear Freudian slips!

 

WARD

Ugh..

Why should we get caught?  We invite all the Committeemen!  Democrats AND Republicans.

 

TRISH

[when she gets to the bottom, she throws the overalls at Bulba]  I liked that, Bulba. Very good.

 

Here! YOU can pull the cable!  [she puts on her heals and struts into Loft 3 and we follow her in]

 

 ….”Like when “The Flying Dutchman” gets reviewed in the Philadelphia Magazine we better have another way to pay our rent…. and you can pay our fines. O.K., chef?

 

Loft 3 is a workroom, full of canvasses and large pieces of unidentifiable frames and sculpture.  TIM is briefing the members of The Flame on the next great prank.  Like a happy geek engineer, he is explaining the intricacies of Microsoft Project schedules to them. Soltan begins to explain the framing and mold-making issues to him.

 

 

TRISH

You guys busy?  Bulba needs a 30 ft extension cord.

 

TIM

I’m showing them my class project – it’s our lay-down schedule for April Fools. 

 

WARD

[running in] WHAT!?  A review?  There better NOT be one! 

 

TRISH

[turns to Ward] So, how do you know you won’t get some new restaurant reviewer this time? 

 

WARD

 [relaxes] Don’t give me a heart attack! I’m glad you just thought of that.  It’ll never happen because Ginnie across the street and Morris ARE the restaurant reviewers, and we’ve got everyone else covered.

 

TIM

Besides, … as soon as we’re caught Ward’ll be automatically the next hot chef at le restaurant foo-foo!  And his parents won’t be able to do a thing about it.

 

WARD

When did that pole appear?

 

TRISH

I put it up last week

[Trish leaves and we follow her out, TIM and the artists are in the foreground with laptop in a mess of giant wire armatures for sculpture]

 

TIM

Soltan you’ve gotta sit down and go over all the armature shit and casting with me so I can load the front end of this schedule.  I don’t know shit about materials, or final casting.…

 

WARD

What’s with this dancing business all of a sudden?

 

SOLTAN

OK. Each of these is gonna take about 160 pounds plaster and resin.  We got twelve of them…

 

TIM

160 lbs resin EACH?

 

SOLTAN

And plaster.

 

TIM

Whoah!

Shit… … can we clear that much with the Dutchman?  Resin’s gotta cost a grand

 

 

SOLTAN

That’s why the girls decided to dance. It’s for us. For the sculpture of the GREAT SOLTAN!

 

Ward begins setting up a cold-bar salad on the bar.  The extra TVs are just plugged in on chairs and the floor.  Not put up.  CHRISTINE is standing conspicuously  inconspicuous, looking out of place.

 

LAURIE

CHRISTINE, get some food

 

CHRISTINE

I have a very delicate stomach.  I’ll stand.

 

TIM

You know, if this were real life all those TV sets would be installed already.  Or everyone would be working simultaneously to make things look perfect. 

 

WARD

Don’t get olive oil on that big set, it might have to go back tomorrow, OK?

 

TIM

And if this were real life, Trish and Ange would have perfect make-up on and their hair would fall in gorgeous waves as they tossed clever lines back at me.

 

TRISH

Would you shut up, I wanted Soltan to tell us about that dog last night.  I really thought we were going to blow it.

 

WARD

I didn’t know you were there last night.  When did THAT happen?

 

BULBA

My friends chickened out.

 

YESHIC

Your FRIENDS, eh?

 

TRISH

Ange was in the truck and …

 

ANGE

I was in the truck

 

TRISH

and I was at the wall by the gate.

 

WARD

Damn, you girls are into everything, aren’t you?  Go-go dancing, break-ins… I never would’ve believed it in the 6th grade!

 

LAURIE

……. And I passed them the pieces.

 

YESHIC

 And then you all left

 

TIM

You know, in real life, in “[some other film name]”, we’d all be sitting together eating a picture perfect meal that arrived from nowhere, without actually chewing anything, swapping stories about how we just pulled off the greatest gag in art history.

 

MEGAN

TIM. Relax.  It’s real life now.

 

TIM

CHRISTINE, SEE?  IT IS REAL LIFE!!  WE ARE LIVING IT! WE ACTUALLY DID IT! ! !  I can’t believe it!  TOAST!!! [he’s spitting food all over]

 

YESHIC

Chew before you toast.

 

LAURIE

Toast it before you spit it

 

TIM

That didn’t make any sense

 

WARD

Why are Trish and you go-go dancing?

 

LAURIE

Me too

 

WARD

I don’t get it.  Back in high school we were all about the environment, and patient rights and shit.  You were even worse than ME! This is NOT you guys!  You realize what the sex industry represents?

 

TIM

In real li…

 

MEGAN

real life… what movie are you going to take this one from?

 

TRISH

 “name of a film”

 

ANGE

 “name of a film”

 

SOLTAN

 “name of a film” (which Bulba can metamorph into the name of a drink)

 

BULBA

Bloody Metaxa Mary

 

SOLTAN

 Applejack Daniels

 

YESHIC

Rum an’ Popcorn

 

TIM

Why do you guys always blow the film game into a drink?

 

YESHIC

We prefer drink

 

WARD

Do you realize what the SEX industry represents?

 

CHRISTINE

YOU?  You are the biggest film creeps in this city!  Talk about The Big Labowsky!  Or [name of film] or The Blues Brothers

 

TIM

  “Ghostbusters”

 

TRISH

 “name of a film”

 

ANGE

 “name of a film”

 

SOLTAN

 “name of a film” (which Bulba can metamorph into the name of a drink)

 

BULBA

Dickels n’ Cream

 

YESHIC

Rum an’ Popcorn

 

LESHIC

It’s six!  Turn on that set over there!

 

WARD

 Do you guys ever drink this shit?

 

News coverage

 

NEWS SUMMARY 1

Violence erupts again in Palestine…blah

 

NEWS SUMMARY 2

The President today announced blah blah.blah. and in Philadelphia, the new parking zones went into effect this week,  Coming up NEXT, on FOX!!

 

NEWS SUMMARY 3

Today is actor Steve Martins’ birthday, and blah blah.  Up Next

 

NEWS SUMMARY 4

etc. 

 

[general disgust, all]

 

CHRISTINE

[apparently she is just learning about the heist, walking back and forth talking to herself] 

I know they’re going to catch you.  I just know they know who did it and they are going to break in any moment.  We’re cooked!  We’re cooked!  And they’ll send me back!

 

SOLTAN

What are you talking about Christine, they don’t even know anything happened yet!

 

[NEWS continues, sound is lowered some…person with the remote is leaning close to their TV to catch the story]

 

YESHIC

They still haven’t found out.  I don’t believe it!

 

SOLTAN

SH IIIIT!

 

 

pacing.talking it out to himself:

WARD

It’s not like it’s just the mob in the old days… now it’s corporate multi-million dollar flows all through the publishing industry, film, internet, technology.  Don’t you see?  They use it in our ads, on billboards… they suck you into it!  And YOU are going to work for THEM!  You’re idiots!  How can you make a better more humane, fun world working for the enemy? 

 

LAURIE

 Ward, will you shut up?

 

TRISH

Who cares, like I mean, we’ve got to pay attention .

 

TV ANNOUNCER

 …and talking about strange things happening, Michele Garavano, our roving reporter just called in. Michel?

 

NEWSCASTER MICHEL

This morning, the Directors

 

LAURIE

… SHUT UP  SHUT UP it’s on!  [pointing a remote at one of the 4 TV sets, raising the volume]

 

TV ANNOUNCER

….at the Philadelphia Museum of Art were perplexed to discover several works of art that had never been seen before! It is not clear how long these 18th and 19th century works have been there, since museum attendants have testified that they’ve seen these paintings on the walls for weeks

ALL:  exclamations of laughter/disgust/disbelief, etc

Authorities are checking museum records to identify the works, which are apparently all forgeries of little known classical masters. I have museum Director David Anthony standing here with me to tell us more…

 

BULBA

Stupid Prick

 

ART DIRECTOR

Hello Michel.

 

NEWSCASTER MICHEL

Director Anthony, is it true that no paintings were stolen from the museum?

 

ART DIRECTOR

Yes, Michel.  We cannot attribute any motive to this other than a practical joke of rather immense proportions.  These works belong to several of the classical schools of painting from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries but have been attributed to artists who, as far as anyone can determine, never existed.  Our museum specialists have been busy analyzing the pigments used, and are fairly certain that they’ve found paints with commercial American origin as recent as 1952.

 

YESHIC

Asshole.  There’s not an American brushstroke..

 

BULBA

Yes… 18th century pigments, Milanese and Flemish oils…yes we all know how they know their business!!

 

NEWSCASTER MICHEL

Does it look to you like an inside job?  And do you have any idea how long these paintings have been in the museum?

 

ART DIRECTOR

 

We are fairly certain now that the pieces were hung overnight, and yes, are sorry to say, we have had to begin a very close background investigation of all current and past museum staff.

 

TIM

I told you.  It has to be an inside job.

 

NEWSCASTER MICHEL

Well, Jim – there you have it.  A Channel 10 Exclusive!  No motives have been established for the crime, which just seems to be an elaborate practical joke of some kind.

 

NEWSCASTER.

Congratulations Michel!! You always give our viewers another reason to always stay tuned to Channel 10 News!  And now Terry will update us on sports….

 

 

Congratulating each other for the coverage, but pissed that the same footage of Yeshic’s worst painting was shown, with no notice of framing work, and no mention of the sculpture pieces at all.

 

TIM

It has to be an inside job.  They’ll know immediately it was you.

 

YESHIC

Of course they will.  Of course.  And I’ll be able to sell my paintings for a fortune  the advertising is worth everything.  I just wish they would’ve shown a better painting of mine.

 

CHRISTINE

They’re going to arrest us all this time!  They could be here any moment!!

 

SOLTAN

Maybe we’ll get jailed and fined for illegal trespassing, breaking and entering. But not for stealing, or defacing property… because they were wire hung from the ceiling struts just like all the rest of the paintings.  And we’ll get the kind of fines frat kids get for pranks. 

 

LESHIC

There’s no one else that can do this stuff so cheap. 

 

BULBA

And I will have finally gotten back at that prick David Anthony. I should have been chief of restoration at the Met when he was Curator.

 

LAURIE

We did it!

 

LESHIC

YESHIC

  We DID it!

[everyone shakes hands

 

ACT 2 Scene 1–

 

MEGAN’S INTRIGUE

Megan and Muftic Flame in their truck driving out to see a museum in her home town –. Enter the town and it looks pretty normal, cute, yuppified   

 

 

MEGAN

  It hasn’t been an hour.  We’re almost there

 

YESHIC

 So why are we here?

 

MEGAN

  You’ve gotta SEE this place.  We all practically grew UP here!

 

LESHIC

Yeh, you practically grew up, but not altogether…

 

MEGAN

I meant at the museum.  There’s our high school.  Trish and Ange and Laura and me were the yearbook committee. 

 

SOLTAN

What did TIM and Ward do. 

 

MEGAN

Ward was almost class president.  TIM was fat and read comic books

 

YESHIC

 .and lived at your house

    

MEGAN

Timmie was my teddie-bear…

 

Inside the Mercer Museum the Muftic Flame are mesmerized with the interiors, wandering around staring at everything like little kids…The museum is a guadiesque 1916 free-form concrete castle with a maze of steps and halls and atriums and inner windows packed with odd artifacts and grilleworks.  Megan is luring them into secluded areas,and beginning her own hypnotic induction, seducing them, one at a time, in little stairwells, secret hallways, making out with them all for the first time, exulting as if she’d been planning this coup for years. (should be 4-5 mins)

 

 

 ACT 2 Scene 2 – BACKGROUND DEVELOPMENTS

Fishtown. Industrial backstreet.  6 AM next morning. Leshec and Soltan are leaving their row house with Sue and Fran

SUE

 Great sausage and eggs!

 

SOLTAN

 I like my sausage, too.

 

FRAN

 I do too

 

LESHIC

 I prefer fish, thank you

 

FRAN

 alright mister

 

LESHIC

 two fish steaks any time!  (sticks out his tongue and pats Sue’s rump)

 

SHOT 2. Drive through a deserted Head House square and South Street to Queens Village stable in their Art Restauration van.  During the drive we hear them trying briefing the girls on the Flying Dutchman scam, coming up in several nights.  They deposit the girls at work, which they find out is a horse stable.

 

LESHIC

 We’re all getting together Monday night at their place.

 

SUE

 The restaurant?

 

LESHIC

 Yeh.  The most important thing is to MAKE SURE these people are from out of town, and won’t be back in the city soon.

 

SOLTAN

 Yeh.  If they come back in a year or two and ask, they’ll figure it just closed or changed names, and nobody’ll make the connection to us. 

 

SUE

 So how do we make sure they find it?

 

LESHIC

 Can’t you drop them off? 

FRAN

 

 No, we’ve pretty much got to stick to our regular route

 

SUE

 Where’s the place again?  Fran, we could.

 

LESHIC

 13th and Camac.

 

SUE

We can make a detour for one night.  Frank’s not going to make a big deal if he finds out.  Especially if we explain the gag. 

 

SOLTAN

 Super

 

LESHIC

 Got my number?  See you Monday.

 

SUE

How bout tonite?

 

SOLTAN

 I’ll call you

 

LESHIC

 I’ll call you

SHOT 3. Shot of Boat House Row, with sculls and eights being lifted from morning mist by the college teams.  Pan to the Art Museum, where the two Muftic Flame guys are just finishing  spec’ing out the grounds, taking pictures of the heroic sculptures for their next big project.  They pull down a ladder and jump in their van.which we notice for the first time is labeled “Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts” 

 

The van drives up parkway past Rodin’s THINKER, through Logan circle to Academy of Fine Arts.  We are watching through their windshield.

 

LESHIC

 Can we get three stabilizer hooks on that goofy Pole? 

 

SOLTAN

 It’ll be tough.  But I’m more worried about the shrink time on the big mold.  It’s going to be close.

 

LESHIC

 Maybe we should change his instrument.  Like a sax.

 

SOLTAN

 I’ll look at the pictures.

 

SHOT 5  We see the van pull up around the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.  As they get out, we hear a car start with a cough or two.  As they get out of the van we will catch a quick glimpse of a limo pulling out.

 

SHOT 6. …., and we see them proceed into their job in the basement of the Academy where they meet Yeshic and Bulba. Megan is working on a frame.  Soltan is a master sculpture,  Leshic is a master framer, Yeshic is a master painter. Bulba is their supervisor, a master restorer and framer.

 

BULBA

I ordered the pigments from Milan this morning.

 

LESHIC

[just coming in and straightening up his workbench alongside Megan] We need Gold leaf

 

YESHIC

I hope you only ordered the cadmiums.  I get my chromates from Cardoza now.

 

BULBA

You’re using Schiappini’s chromates, they take lacquers better.  I like those girls even more in those go-go outfits.  We’re gonna haveta see how they dance sometime

 

YESHIC

Givem’ a week.  We don’t want them to think you’re a horny bastard, BULBA

 

MEGAN

  Should I prime this filler again?  The surface doesn’t look right.

 

LESHIC

Thin it.

 

BULBA

{Bulba comes over to inspect with a lens and walks away] Change your brush.

If the film’s title cannot be “Cliché” for some reason, the following lines should be slipped in here, and the film’s title “Movie All Along”…otherwise drop these lines.

 

BULBA

Let’s stop talking and movie it along!  Rhythm. good work is like a good song or good film, --rhythmic!… so movie it along.  I want to get 6 frames in the oven tonite.

 

YESHIC

Skilled labor taking such pride in their work!

 

LESHIC

Shaddap

 

NEW SCENE. Megan is continuing her hypnotic induction of the Flame. We see how she gets Yeshic to lie down, then calmly sit on his neck, relaxing him and suggesting his breathing as he stares longingly, blankly up at her eyes, through her legs, crotch and tits.  When she takes him back into the room he is visibly changed, and tells Leshic to go out with her.  At the end, we see Soltan and Bulba also have glazed-over looks in their eyes.

 

SHOT 7.  Italian Markets. 7AM.  Ward introduces his project idea to the owners of Claudio’s market…. The Claudio brothers already know him as a customer and agree to explain their ordering schedules, product shelf lifes, etc to the Penn student.  They invite him to observe the business throughout several days, making a place for him and his laptop alongside the anchovy barrel….The morning’s restaurant business is already brisk as Ward settles in.

 

CHEESEBRO 1

        Ward old friend!  How can we help you today?  Provolone?  Olives?

         

CHEESEBRO 2

How’s the restaurant business?  You’re going to invite us next time, right?

 

WARD

 You know I’m at the business school at Penn. I wondered if I could do a model of your business – watch you serve customers, fill the shelves… that kind of thing

CHEESEBRO 1

 

 – You know how busy we are here.

 

WARD

 I got my laptop, I’ll just sit in the corner

[other people are lining up]

 

CHEESE C

  – Better move aside.  See if you can fit back there, my friend [hands him a slice of

cheese and a hunk of bread]

 

WARD

– THANKS!!! 

 

CHEESEBRO 1

 – Peter old friend!  How can we help you today?  Provolone?  Olives?

 

CHEESEBRO 2

 – How’s your restaurant business?  Still overflowing after the theatre?

 

CHEESEBRO 3

 -  Try this new locatelli we just got in!

 

CHEESEBRO 1

-  Mrs.Giardello, good morning!  How are your daughters doing in college?

Etc.

 

SHOT 8.  The Carriage-House Club. 8 or 9AM.  Laurie, Megan, Trish and Angeline.  Talking about their new go-go jobs. She is more interested in Megan’s decision to split up with TIM. 

 

TRISH

You feel like you’re in control of their eyes, and their bodies, and their feelings.  It’s really stupid, but I really like the feeling.

 

ANGE

There’s this older girl there I really like.  Her name’s Angel, I mean MY name is “Roxy” do you believe that?  From Chicago.  Anyway, Angel always says we’re social maintenance engineers, like she’s always talking about doing tune-ups, and giving guys’ heads a system check, ….

 

LAURIE

… an allova sudden we hear her yelling “Call in Sanitation!!!”  she’s a scream.!

 

ANGE

I’m really having a good time.  D’you believe, I actually feel USEFUL!

 

MEGAN

Don’t you get frustrated ?  Like always turned on and turned off at the same time? 

 

LAURIE

It’s just like high school, but all the way.

 

MEGAN

working the guys with your eyes and your tits your talk, the whole works.  And during your period, when you’d rather be home throwing up?

 

LAURIE

Like high school. . you don’t even notice, Megan.

 

MEGAN

I can’t imagine spending seven or eight hours always at it. I’d be a wreck if I couldn’t actually do anything.

 

LAURIE

ten hours, with make-up and close-out…

 

TRISH

You got Tim.  In fact, you’ve always had Tim, whenever you wanted.

 

MEGAN

I need to have things under control.  Like clockwork.  I couldn’t exist.

 

TRISH

You’re not breaking up, then?

 

MEGAN

Did TIM tell you?  No.  We’re breaking up.

 

ANGE

But….

 

MEGAN

TIM needs to grow.  He’s so immature, still.  He needs to experience other girls to understand love. He talks and talks like he knows something. 

 

ANGE

But you guys enjoy it so much!  You’re like, like the perfect couple!  He’s like so completely in love with you.  I mean, like you guys are unbelievable. 

 

TRISH

Like we’ve been getting off on you two for the last two years, Megan.  TIM HAS to be HOT!!  How can you just let him go?

 

MEGAN

You don’t understand.  I taught him everything he knows since Junior High.  It’s right out of a book!  And frankly, I don’t believe in any perfect love. Life is about continuing to expand and reach for perfection.  Nobody can GET there.  It’s about adventures in an imperfect world.  It’s imperfect and both of us have to go on.

 

ANGE

What book?  What BOOK did you use, Megan!!  After all these years, and you never told us?  . 

 

SHOT 9.  Megan starts picking up coffee cups and they move to the kitchen.

 

MEGAN

Y’know my mom’s a professor? I copped her translation of an old medieval Arab sex manual and we read it together.  The ‘Something’ Garden. I don’t remember now.  Anyway, it was so much fun.  I realized how to take control of the guy’s organ, and make it mine.  That was great and all, but TIM’s like a trained horse.  I want to experience a real man some time in my life.

 

LAURIE

I’d stick with a horse, if I were you.  You guys are MY dream of sex after forty!

 

MEGAN

What do you mean, ‘after forty’?

 

LAURIE

Cause you’ve been doing it three times a day since middle school.  That many times once a week would keep me going strong to about 55.  I lay awake at night thinking about it.

 

TRISH

So do I, when you’re at it.  Wowwww.  You gotta find out the name of that book.

 

ANGE

I’ve always had a crush on TIM.  But he’s known us forever.  I got no chance. But Megan, he’ll never leave you.  He’s so devoted.  He’s a dream.

 

MEGAN

He’s so devoted, he’ll do anything I tell him.  No questions.  I really don’t think he’ll feel a thing.  It’s not like he’s in love with me.  I told you, he’s just immature. 

 

LAURIE

Megan, this is really sick, but it’s like getting rid of a devoted cocker spaniel.

 

TRISH

That’s awful

 

MEGAN

Believe me.  It’s for his own good.  I just need to get him curious about other girls.  After that, there’ll be no problem.  Help me think about how we can do it.  I’m in no rush.

 

SHOT 10.  3 PM.  A go-go joint off the riverfront. Exterior. Ward, TIM and some college buddies drive up and go in, just as a stretch limo with a hacking cough drives off.

[pan of the club, the guys getting out of the car, and the limo leaving… We follow Ward’s eyes glancing up at the stretch limo, just when it coughs]

 

 

WARD

[he smiles, like it’s a joke] I love it.  So this is where our buddies are dancing, eh?

 

TIM

You never been here before? 

 

WARD

Are you kidding?

 

TIM

We came here a bunch during the Southeaster finals for wrestling.  I guess it’s interesting enough.  I’d prefer watching a movie.

[paying their entrance]

 

BUDDY 2.

I don’t get off on porn, much

 

TIM

No.  I mean like a FILM movie.  Scorcese, Terri Gilliam, Disney.

BUDDY 1.  Your room-mates dance HERE?  I never saw them.

 

TIM

They just started two weeks ago.

 

BUDDY 2.

Did they ever dance before?  I thought you had to be pretty good to get in here.

[they enter]

 

SHOT 11.  Inside the club.

 

Inside, TIM wearing his bright ballcap, apparently is not especially interested in the girls, except for the interior décor. TIM really has no idea what he’s had all these years, and doesn’t think of himself as sexual in any way.  He and Megan are just best friends; but when prodded by the other guys, he merely repeats he can’t imagine being in any girl but Megan.  He admits if that’s what she wants him to learn, he figures he’ll tackle it like any other ‘engineering’ job, and eventually be successful at it.  Ward has his doubts. Ange comes over and is excited like old friends, then quickly becomes curteous and acts overly cute.  As the guys sit and talk, it’s apparent the girls are pointing out TIM to the other dancers…. None of whom can seem to get his attention. At the same time, however, it is clear that subconsciously he is losing his grip, for he keeps taking peanuts from the bowl that his buddy is absent-mindedly using as an ashtray. 

 

TIM

They just put in another stage, and one of the regulars here is in class with Laurie. She got 50 bucks for every hot chick she brought in.

BUDDY 1.  YOUR roommates, hot?

 

TIM

Wait til you see them all made up.  They can be hot enough.

 

WARD

Wait til they hear you said that!

 

TIM

Wait til you see them.  Megan and I came last week.  They’re hot.

 

WARD

There’s Ange.

[Ange sees them, stands up without seeming to make any motion in their direction, starts slithering around the room past men, working her way to the guys, who have just found themselves a table, and are getting served]

BUDDY 2.  Man, that one’s cute

BUDDY 1.  Whoah….catch a load of them!  [flicks his cigarette ash into the peanut bowl]

 

TIM

It’s not like you’ve never seen tits before.  Those are like basketballs.  That’s disgusting. [takes some peanuts from the peanut bowl]

 

WARD

You’re disgusting  [Buddy 2 and Buddy 1 flick their cigarettes into the peanut bowl]

 

TIM

I just can’t get excited about anybody but Megan.  And she doesn’t even get me hot except when she wants to make love.  Then she gets me hot.  Otherwise, I can’t see getting excited if you’re not going to be with that person forever.  It’s like fertilizing a basketball court. [eats some more peanuts]

 

BUDDY 1.

They got popcorn here? [;looking around at the other tables]

 

WARD

[Ward looks at their table and sees the peanuts but not the ashes] Well, at least I know you’re still thinking basketballs! [takes some peanuts]

 

TIM

Sheeit man. 

 

WARD

Ueuch.  Don’t bother with the peanuts.

 

BUDDY 2.

Wow, that’s Ange!?  Man, I hardly recognized her!  [flicks another ash]

 

ANGE

I didn’t think you’d ever come in here.  What a surprise!!

 

WARD

What are you talking about?  When I wasn’t out drinking with you guys last year, where did you think I was?  With TIM and Megan watching films and fucking all night?

 

TIM

Lay off.  It wasn’t that bad….

 

WARD

Are Laurie and Trish on break or doing couches?

 

ANGE

Trish is on break.  Laurie’s over there, and my manager’s watching. See ya. [she leaves and says a word to each of the girls she passes, after which they look directly at TIM’s ballcap and at TIM, and start moving in his direction]

 

BUDDY 2.

Yeh, she is pretty hot

 

BUDDY 1.

So is Laurie.  Whoah!  Does she have an ass! [grinds his butt into the peanut bowl]

 

TIM

It’s pleasant looking, I guess.  I mean looking around. 

 

WARD

You’re going to say it’s like looking at pretty birds in a tropical garden, right?  I’ve known you too long, TIM.

 

TIM

Well, it’s a lot better than strolling through a nude beach, but neither gets me very excited.

 

GIRL 1.

[comes directly up to TIM and starts brushing against him] How would you like my pussy brushing up against that big cock of yours?

 

TIM

Thanks, but I was discussing tropical foliage with my friends, here.  I’d prefer sitting right here.  Thanks.

[puts a dollar in her garter… she puts her boobs in his face and then leaves]

 

BUDDY 1.

Whoah!  Why didn’t she come over here?

 

GIRL 2.

[comes right up to TIM and starts blowing in his ear and whispering something]

 

TIM

[puts two dollars in her garter] That was wonderful, but thanks.  I’ll keep mine.  Why don’t you ask one of my friends here.

 

GIRL 1.

[sidles up to Buddy 1 and says like a vamp] I’m so hot you won’t just get one hard-on, you’ll get three on at the same time!!”

 

GIRL 2

[goes over to buddy 2  and starts whispering in his ear]

 

TIM

Goddamned Ange.  What is she doing?  I gotta get out of here, it’s is going to cost me fifty bucks in fifteen minutes

 

JENNA

[“Basketballs” has come down from the stage and is taking TIM by the hand and leading him up to the stage.  Come on.  This is not going to cost you a thing.  You’re coming up to the stage with me.

 

TIM

WHAT?! 

 

JENNA

Come on.  This will be fun, and it won’t cost you a thing.

 

WARD

[laughing like he was in on the joke]  Looks like at least one of your room-mates is trying to get you hooked up, to me!

 

[TIM is forceably pulled from his chair, but goes along at the “no cost” proposal]

 

BUDDY 1.

mouth agog and panting] Ooooooooh.  Yeaaah.  I’d like that a lot.  [then to the guys] Aw man. Shit this woman is whoah hot.  You gotta excuse me, guys  [he gets up to leave with Girl 2]

 

 

Segue pan to show that several days have gone by

 

Claudio’s Cheese Shop.  Ward is alone, waiting on customers.  All the brothers are out for some reason.  We hear the familiar cough of a stretch limo. A well-dressed little Italian man walks in with the words “Laundry!”, says a few words to Ward in Italian, opens the register and swaps several large packs of bills.  Ward doesn’t move a muscle.

 

CHEESEBRO 1

  You can cut cheese.  You know  the prices.

 

CHEESEBRO 2

 will be in in a second, and I’ve got to do an inventory.

 

WARD

 No problem. 

 

[just as he sits down he hears a familiar coughing and a stretch limo is seen through the front window.  A short man gets out and is immediately greeted by a passerby who says very loudly, “Hello Sal, how is Mrs. Milano doing?” hurries in, looks around and sees Ward, says “laundry” to Ward in Italian, and walks around the counter.  Takes a key from his pocket and opens the register, and gives Ward a pile of bills. 

 

SAL MILANO

Here, count it if you want. Five thousand. [as he lifts up the drawer and takes five counted packages of fifties, hundreds, and twenties] Tell

Angelo we had to do the laundry early this week. [then he leaves without giving Ward chance to count]

 

The Carriage-House, mid-day.  Megan is talking to TIM in bed about their options. TIM  vows his perpetual love for Megan  She tells him the same bit about life being exploration in an imperfect world, reaching for our potential.  He doesn’t understand. She ends by changing the subject, turning him on and we assume, screwing him.

 

MEGAN

TIM, TIMothy-bear, life is an exploration of an imperfect world.  You have to keep exploring, or you’ll wither and die.

 

TIM

But Megan, I have so much else to explore.  I can’t imagine any other body but yours next to me.  Besides, you’re not perfect.  Why can’t I keep exploring you?

 

MEGAN

No, TIM.  You don’t understand.  You’re still the same boy to me that you were in 8th grade when we started exploring each other.

 

TIM

It was 9th grade.  So I think I understand.  I’m perfect, and you don’t want to believe that everything can be just natural and all that two bodies need for sex.  I mean, it’s so simple and casual and I feel so natural in you.  Like we just stop everything and play a game of ping-pong getting faster and faster.  Then we go back to whatever we were doing.  THAT’S HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE, isn’t it?

 

MEGAN

 Well, yes and no…

 

TIM

It’s YOU who need to explore an imperfect world of other men, am I right?

 

MEGAN

Aw TIMmy.  [she starts pouting] We know each other so well.  Look at me.

They look in each others eyes and he lets out a sigh that tells us he’s gone in another world.

 

MEGAN

I’ll serve, alright?

 

TIM

Oh Megan, you make me forget

 

MEGAN

relax…

 

TIM

 ….everything.

8PM.  Claudio’s Cheese Store.  The brothers are closing up.

 

WARD

This has been really great Angelo,I’m glad you let me do my project here.

 

CHEESEBRO 1

Any time I can help you, Ward.  You helped us, too. Watching the store – helping with the inventories.  Maybe you can help my daughter get into Penn next year.  She wants to study literature, I think.  Maybe she should talk to you and you can talk sense to her.

 

WARD

Shit, I almost forgot.  Sal Milano stopped in while I was minding the store.  He told me to apologize, but he had to come by early this week.  Everything’s in order.

 

Cheesebro 1

 [quite sincerely and without a trace of anything being wrong] That’s no problem.  I’m glad you met Sal.  He’s a wonderful man, and has taken good care of us ever since my father came from Napoli.

 

WARD

 That’s good.  Uh. I’ll probably stop by for my  order on Friday morning early, but I’m pretty much gotten all my project data.  I’ll send you a copy of the finished project, OK?

 

CHEESEBRO 1

No problem. 

CHEESEBRO 2

 I’m sure he won’t understand a word of it.  Good night.

 

CHEESEBRO 1

I’ll have your order ready at 9:30

 

WARD

No rush.  I won’t be by until around eleven.  See ya. 

 

As Ward leaves the shop he hears sirens around the corner, on Washington.  Fire trucks are arriving.  He walks down to see what’s going on, and goes into a pizza place to watch and get some dinner.

 

8:30 PM.  The Carriage-House Club.  A planning meeting for the scam.  Everyone is arriving, including Sue & Fran, Jenna.  We hear sirens start up and see two firetrucks whiz by (indicating how close 13th & Camac is to 9th and Washington).  They don’t know where Ward is…  Meanwhile, Megan takes Jenna aside and explains how to seduce TIM.  Everyone splits after waiting around for Ward. 

 

YESHIC

What’s the tie for?

 

TIM

 I was in a presentation for freshmen on corporate careers, and they wanted us in ties.  Where the hell is Ward?  He’s gotta brief us on the menu.

 

SUE

Why do you brief on the menu?

 

LAURIE

Because he only buys exactly what we’ll need that night, and we’ve got to do learn this whole song and dance about what to recommend, when. He’ll have signs up in the kitchen as the night goes on.  It’s a real scream by the end of the night. I mean, the fun is, what the hell do we care whether they get what they ordered, anyway?

 

SOLTAN

Laurie, lemme introduce Sue and Fran.  They drive carriages in front of Independence Hall.  They’re going to help out and do the bar scene after they bring us some early customers.

 

LAURIE

 Glad to meet you

 

SUE

The guys have been telling us about this.  I can’t wait.

 

FRAN

This can’t be the restaurant?

 

LAURIE

No, no.  Let me show you

 

[Fran, Sue, Laurie and Soltan go into the restaurant area, leaving Megan, Jenna, Trish, Yeshic, TIM, and some cabbies discussing how they schedule an even flow of customers.  Megan takes Jenna aside, Trish hangs along]

 

MEGAN

So you’re the emotional engineer that Trish was telling me about.  Should I explain the experiment?

 

JENNA

They said he’s a stallion…. But I couldn’t turn him on at all at the club.

 

MEGAN

That’s not what Laurie said.

 

JENNA

Not like I’M USED to.  He never glazed over.  His jaw didn’t go slack. I mean.

 

MEGAN

No problem.  I’ve been doing this to him for years.  He’ll snap right into your fingers.

 

TRISH

I told you Jen [as if to say, I told you she’s crazy and wants to dump him]

 

MEGAN

You have to tell him exactly what he’s feeling, and use the word ‘tongue.’  That’s one of the words we’ve been using forever that’ll turn his mind to mush.  The other thing is to look him straight in the eyes and suck your breath in so he hears it.  He loves when he can’t do anything but what you tell him he’s thinking.  That’s all there is to it, and he’s yours.  It’s a very handy arrangement, don’t you think?

 

TRISH

Damn Megan, you never let on!!

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR: Hotel cab stand

 

CHRISTINE

This Friday night.  I’ll be by to remind you.

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR: Another hotel lobbie

 

CHRISTINE

Friday night.  I’ll remind you.

CUT TO EXTERIOR: Cab-stand in front of another hotel

 

CHRISTINE

Friday night.  I’ll remind you.

 

CUT TO INTERIOR, Carriage House.  Megan talks TIM into leaving with the girls, and Jenna, instead of studying, and keeps Yeshic back with her. Leshic and Soltan are flirting with Fran and Sue, and Bulba and Yeshic are eyeing Jenna’s cleavage

 

MEGAN

[to Yeshic, like a smart hipster but more like a spoiled child]  Don’t purge the urge. We’ve got a date to procreate.

 

YESHIC

Oh yeh.  Lookin at those I almost forgot.

 

SOLTAN

So what are we doing here?

 

TRISH

We’re all going out down to the Grille Haus for drinks on us.  We got paid today!

 

TIM

I’ve really got to start my fluid dynamics homework tonite, I’m a week behind and we’ve got a test Wednesday.

 

Jenna grabs him by the tie, stares him in the eyes and sucks in her breath seductively, then and starts pulling him along with them.

 

JENNA

Come on, Timmie.  Lemme grab this corporate leash, here…. Or is it your tongue hanging out? That TONGUE that wants to LICK some burgers up?

 

TIM

[getting visibly excited and going semi-blank and starting to pant] 

I’m, uhm … uh I’m uhm…with you girls.  Where are we going?

 

CUT TO: Pizza parlor on Washington Ave.  10PM.  Ward packs up his laptop, and leaves the pizza place as they are clearing up after the fire in the corner shoe store.  He walks back down the now-deserted 9th street market district.  He notices two men hunched over in a corner down a side-street, trying to light a fire.  Curious and naïve, but foolish, he walks that way, and notices they are at another shoe store.  They see him and run towards him.  He is quickly outrun and beaten up.  As they are busy kicking him in the head and stomach, a cop appears.  But instead of the thugs running off, the cop walks calmly up and asks them, by name, what’s going on. 

 

COP.

Tommy!  Frank.  What the fuck is going on!

 

THUG 1

We caught this turkey defacing the property!

 

THUG 2

Yeh, he was doin’ that graffiti there, Cap.

 

COP.

Let him go and let me take care of this.

 

THUG 2.

Thanks Pete.  We love ya!

[thugs take off down the street]

 

WARD

Officer, uh. I did. .I lost my contacts, I can…

 

COP.

Shut up and lemme see you’re driver’s license!

 

WARD

uh… uh, they took my wallet, officer, and my watch

 

COP.

What’s your name and what are you doing around here at this hour!

 

WARD

I was doing a paper for my class at Wharton on Claudio’s …I helped them close up, and then had a pizza, and stopped and saw those guys lighting a fire over there…and then they saw me and jumped me

 

COP.

What the FUCK!  Those ASS-HOLES at it again.  high flying fuckn’ bastards.  This is going to get SOMEbody in trouble.  An’ I hope it ain’t me!

 

     Listen.  You can come by the station house tomorrow when it opens.  You know where we are?  10th and Fitzwater.  I’ll have your wallet back, and you can press charges if you want.  Fuckers.  You need a lift home?   I’ll call you a car.

 

WARD

No.  I got friends around the block.  I’ll go there.

[Fade on Ward wobbling off]

 

CUT INTERIOR, CARRIAGE HOUSE.  Megan wakes up in the morning.  Yeshic is gone.  TIM never came home.  She is pissed at herself, pissed at the girls who let TIM go home with Jenna.

 

TRISH

So how was it?  Does he beat the stallion?

 

MEGAN

TIM never came home

 

LAURIE

Well of course.  You told Jenna the magic words.  You got just what you asked for, and I bet you’ll never see your childhood sweetheart again.

 

MEGAN

You bitch!

 

ANGE

Well, Megan, what do you want? 

 

TRISH

You’re the bitch, MEGAN

 

LAURIE

You were the know-it-all, and you got everything exactly right.  Except for your emotions. You’ve got so much going on in your head…

 

MEGAN

[Megan loses it, starts screaming at the top of her register]

Leave me alone!  You’re all stupid fuckn’ asshole bitches!!!  Get out of here!

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR, LOCAL POLICE PRECINCT.  Ward arrives at the local precinct.  There is a large crowd in front of the station.  We see Ward get out of a taxi, and the crowd all lines up and makes way for him.  Christine is on the corner with her shopping cart of books, and pushes between him and the crowd, holds out her hand as if she’s a bag-lady looking for a hand-out.

 

CHRISTINE

Relax.  Look for some change in your pocket.  You’ve just got the bail bondsman, his brother, and the head of the whole Baldini tribe in your hands.  They will owe you big.  Just relax.  And give me a quarter, at least.

 

Ward shoves a bill at Christine and tries, rather foolishly, to walk nonchalantely between the aunts, the uncles, and some scary-looking relatives of the two thugs - who all smile politely at Ward as he goes into the station.  He comes right out, so it’s clear he hasn’t pressed charges.  We see the little laundry man there, who apparently recognizes Ward as well; he begins to look frantic, and is suddenly in motion asking questions about who Ward is.  As he comes back out, Ward is addressed by the two thugs,

THUG 1

You’re a good kid. I want you to know.  You got anybody you need beat up?

 

THUG 2

Yeh, anybody you want.  We discudd it this morning with my brothers.

 

THUG 1

 We’ll do it for you.  We owe it to you for last night, ya see. 

 

THUG 2

Yeh, we already disgusted it.  You’re a real good kid.

 

Ward shakes his head and walks off confused and nervous.  Christine is nowhere to be seen.

 

CUT TO EXTERIOR – In front of fancy hotel,  CHRISTINE is giving the nod to several cabbies and hotel people. Visual gag reprise- we see the same low car making a fast turn with a cup of coffee and pile of books on the roof (it is clear it is glued on).

 

Setting up The Flying Dutchman. CHRISTINE arrives in the middle and prods them all about their lives and motives.

 

TRISH

 I don’t know WHY we have to read some of the shit they give us.  Classics!  WHAT are CLASSICS anyway?

 

WARD

 Don’t complain. I had a whole class where we had to read Adam Smith and Hume’s Politics and Economics, and John Maynard Keynes and all this shit from before my grandfather was born.  I mean, the classics aren’t with it.  There was no e-commerce, or currency stats [I need some Wall St. lingo here]

 

CHRISTINE When I went to college we read classic authors in order to learn to have conversations with people from other centuries.  But sometimes it takes a great mind to appreciate talking to another great mind.  I never appreciated them then and I still don’t, even in the original Italian or Greek.

 

WARD

 CHRISTINE, don’t tell me you read Greek?

 

CHRISTINE I was brought up Greek and I majored in Italian, so I did classical languages, and I never understood the classics.  Not until I started picking up books like I do now.  All the mediocre forgotten trash books on the curb.  You know, everybody’s trash is different.  A gay couple’s trash, and invalid’s trash, an old married couple… yuppies’ trash.  Yuppy books are all the same ones.  When old gays’ break up their old books are the best. You get whole bookcases from the last twelve relationships, back to when somebody was living with Nowell Coward. I’m glad I have enough food and don’t have to go into trash bags for my trash.  I got to reading all those nobody authors.and BOY! Did I find people I could relate to!  Authors who repeat themselves endlessly.  Cliches from every century in English literature.  People just like you and me. 

 

TRISH

THAT’s who they should make us read.  18th century garbage.  It would be just as good as this.

 

CHRISTINESome of them are very very good.  I feel they’re talking to me and I’m talking to them

 

WARD

 YOU are hardly a cliché, CHRISTINE!

 

 

CHRISTINEYes, but YOU are.  And I’d prefer to be like you than like me, always petrified of something, hating everybody I can’t trust and not trusting anybody not even my neighbors.  You know, I shouldn’t tell you this but I feel very guilty and if I don’t tell you you’ll probably figure it out anyway and hate me, and then you’d talk about me [Laurie stops what she is doing and listens to

CHRISTINE  ] behind my back and everyone will know everything all about me and look at me with disgust and sympathy and I absolutely HATE sympathy from assholes who think they have it all together when they are just imitations of the assholes they see on TV being imitations of the assholes that the fucking TV writers figured people would understand because they’re all caricatures and clichés.  People just like my neighbors. YOU!

 

TRISH

 CHRISTINE, have you ever thought about getting yourself locked up?

 

CHRISTINE All the time.  I really should one of these days.  Do you think I should? 

 

WARD

 CHRISTINE. You’re having dinner at the waiter’s table tonite.  I DON’T think I we are imitating anyone, CHRISTINE, anyway.  You can relax with us. 

 

CHRISTINE I know I can.  I’m really fortunate to have cliché people that look after me and let me into their home and make-believe restaurant and bar and sculpture studio and girls dormitory.  I am very very fortunate.

 

LAURIE

 Ward, I think CHRISTINE is good for a few hours.  Don’t let anyone wind her up again today

 

Liberty Bell National Monument.  We see Sue and Fran on their carriages in line to pick up tourists

We see how tourists are pointed to the Carriage House from a fancy hotel around the corner.  And how several taxi drivers we’ve never seen before recommend the restaurant.

Hotel cab-stand.

Academy of Music. Schubert theatre, Kimmel Centre.

Hotel Lobby

Hotel front

Hotel cab-stand.  An African cabbie opens the door for a couple and we hear him recommend the Flying Dutchman.  They get in, and as we see them driving off, he’s saying – “Believe me, you can trust me.  I know what I’m talking about when it comes to good food.  Laughing. I used to be the Head Surgeon at the biggest Hospital in Angola.  They join him, rather half-heartedly and say

     “OK.  I think we’ll trust your recommendation, right hun?”

The camera zooms in on one couple leaving a hotel and being escorted into a cab.  It is the newswoman from Channel 10, Michel Garavano.

 

We see Yeshic and Leshic and Soltan in tuxes.  Soltan behind the bar, Yeshic is the Maitre D’hote  The girls are waitresses, bustling here and there, Leshic is doubling as bar-tender and bus.  TIM is bussing tables.  We should see the Flame, at opportune moments, pulling off the restaurant’s signature gag –their sleeve are velcro’d at the shoulder to come off.  They make a big deal of pulling off their sleeve to wipe tables, offer them to guests who spill something, or sneeze, etc.  They’ve got several baskets of extra sleeves which they ceremoniously put on whenever they run out.  One of them may also take it one step further, with a Harpo scizzors, so they cut their sleeve to fit.  As we see and hear the guests arriving, from the Dutchman’s kitchen we see Bulba and Ward cooking. Ward is telling Bulba about what he saw.

 

WARD

 I don’t think the Claudio brothers realized how much you could infer from stock movements. Laundering explains the pricing gaps in my model … in anybody’s model for that matter.  By why do they have to launder money from the go-go club. 

Bulba gets very tense for Ward, maybe too tense for his sake, and then makes a very sad face, as if he is talking about his own daughter,

 

BULBA

–girls in some of these clubs get free drugs in exchange for being pimped to business bigshots for stock deals, and that’s the money that has to get cleaned quick.

 

WARD

That just doesn’t sound right, Bulba.  I don’t believe that’s happening anymore today.

 

BULBA

 the business bigshots today are the 30 year old smart-alecks who don’t think they are being bought.  Don’t kid yourself…. It’s been going on since before my Greek forefathers  came over on the Mayflower with Odys’seus and his crew.  [winks] Believe me.

 

WARD

But the girls….

 

LAURIE

Will you hurry up on those oysters?

 

WARD

 SOMEDAY when you’re not looking I'm gonna give YOU diarrhea!!!

 

LAURIE

Someday when you’re not looking I’m gonna give you gonnorhea!

 

BULBA

 Does anybody think they’re a whore anymore?  Drugs can be a powerful boon to business… gets a whole lot of girls started in the business.  Stay out of it Ward, my boy. Stay out of it.

 

SHOT 4. We watch guests being seated and served.  TIM and Ward and Megan are schmoozing with neighborhood bigwigs, who as neighbors, had to be brought in to participate in the scam.  We learn that in fact, it was one of the big politico neighbors’ idea to bring out-of-town guests and scam them, as an innocent joke, meanwhile helping the girls pay their rent.  When we meet this neighbor and hear this story he loves telling, we get the feeling he likes college girls.

N1.

[to his date, in between people making their way to his table to shake hands and make small talk] Ward was such a good cook that the whole neighborhood started making reservations to bring their friends.  So I said they should charge, and help pay their rent.  Now they do it every couple months.Isn’t it unbelieveable?  They do a great job.

 

We see Michel Garavano and her date seated next to him, and nodding politely.  He suddenly turns rather blue and motions to Megan. 

 

N1.

Should we let her in on this?

 

MEGAN

  That’s entirely up to you.  What could you lose? We could only lose a make-believe restaurant.

 

N1.

Uh, I guess I will

 

MEGAN

  I’m glad you were here to introduce us to Channel 10….ooooh my. [to Trish] I’m glad you’re already dancing, cause Jeff here is gonna start in a minute!!

[we see politico neighbor going over to Michelle Garavano]

 

SHOT 5. Outside the fake front of The Flying Dutchman.  Guests are leaving and complimenting Ward, in Chef’s apron. Bulba comes down with a lady friend. 

 

BULBA

 Don’t worry too much my friend. 

 

WARD

 I wasn’t

 

BULBA

But if someone is paranoid for some reason, like that fire you saw… well then I would count my fingers and toes every morning when I woke up.if you know what I mean.

 

ACT 3 Scene 2 – DENOUEMENT BEGUN

Sometime that week, we watch Ward leave class an cross South St. to the dorms. A limo with muffler problems is double-parked up the street, but Ward is oblivious. As Ward comes out, he is met under the gargoyles and escorted to the limo.  When the limo takes off, it now has definite muffler problems.

 

The Victor Opera Café, South Philadelphia.  Ward is being treated to a very elegant dinner in a crowded restaurant, wall-to-wall with 19th and 20th century opera memorablia. His hosts are the small Italian man, and an old Ivy League looking gentleman.  Ward looks very uneasy.  Opera is playing.

 

     The Victor Opera Café, South Philadelphia.  CHEESEBRO 1 & 2 are at a table in the back.  Sal Milano is explaining Ward’s current options to him.  The chauffeur and Peter the accountant are also at the table.  He could either move to one of several locations, such as Sicily, for several years, where he could “live peaceably” but basically, in custody – or he could apprentice to the trade of Mafia accountant under Peter, another WASP Penn graduate.  “Others” have vouched for his trustworthiness. (others? Not just the Claudio brothers? it was actually Bulba)  If he chose the latter, his college would be paid for, in fact, a wife and everything would be nicely taken care of.  He nods towards a family in the corner with a very hot 16-yr-old daughter, and to Claudio’s table where HIS daughter is merely beautiful, to make their point.  He could live a good life.  As if to emphasize this statement, one of the waiters clinks a chime, the restaurant gets quiet, and she begins an aria to piped-in piano accompaniment in a voice to thrill any aficionado.  Notwithstanding, the food, Ward is in heaven. During the action, we see a couple at the adjoining table pick an expensive bottle of wine,  as the scene ends and he delivers it and pops the cork, she takes extra long curly childrens’ straws from her pocketbook, puts them in the bottle and they sip it like a milkshake.  Throughout the action, Peter is fastidiously wiping his mouth with his tie.

SAL MILANO

 

 

 

WARD

 

SAL MILANO

 

 

PATRICK

 

 

 

WARD

 

PATRICK

 

 

 

WARD

 

SAL MILANO

 

 

 

 

SINGER

 

[must find an aria with some connection to the plot… with the heroine singing either of an unhappy fixed marriage, or of accepting one’s fate, etc.]

 

Morning.  Pan to Jenna’s Richmond St. rowhouse. TIM and Jenna washing up in her apartment, immaculate and antiseptic, with lots of mirrors, suggestive photos and posters, and many fluffy stuffed animals. It is clearly NOT the same kind of relationship, but rather vacant and sexual.  We see this, but TIM seems oblivious, and caught up in the newness of breakfast with a bombshell.  He is in heaven, and Jenna is radiant.  (Apparently TIM is better than the girls had led her to expect.)

TO BE WRITTEN

JENNA

 

 

TIM

 

JENNA

 

 

TIM

 

JENNA

 

 

TIM and Megan.  Megan probes, and TIM protects his guilty heart.  She comforts him “in her wisdom,” and he pours out his thoughts about love and sex and love and Jenna and roleplaying and happiness, and “constructed play-school happiness.”  Last night he had a revelation, and is ready for real life!

TO BE WRITTEN

 

MEGAN

So

 

TIM

Life is a WONDORGASM!

 

MEGAN

 

 

TIM

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

TIM

 

 

SHOT 4. Megan and Leshec.  She is a bit stunned that TIM is overwhelmed by Jenna, but consoles herself that he is merely in the highest state of a crush. It can’t be love. Leshec tries to be physically consoling, and Megan realizes, in his clumsiness, that his ‘closeness’ is not the simple inTIMacy she is used to.  She sort of winces, and says – “oh boy, I’ve got a long way to go with you, Lech.”

TO BE WRITTEN

 

MEGAN

 

 

LESHIC

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

LESHIC

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

LESHIC

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

SHOT 5 Carriage House.  TIM and Megan and Jenna and everyone.  TIM lets everyone know of his absolute love for Jenna.TIM and Jenna end the scene in a long kiss, behind which we watch the cat going in the litter box.

 

TIM

  Megan was so right about how much I needed to learn about life!

 

ANGE

 You’re learning about life I presume?

 

LAURIE

 TIM, I knew you and Jenna were a couple as soon as I saw you on stage that time.  You looked so absolutely foolish, trying to stay uninterested in her!

 

TIM

That wasn’t it at all.  We got to talking and I found out she had real ambitions like mine.  When she started talking about social engineering, she got me real curious.

 

TRISH

Yeh, that’s what sold us on her.  We told her about you.

 

TIM

I thought so.  I mean, I knew it.

 

JENNA

They just said what a good lay you were. 

[Megan shoots Trish a look that Jenna reads right]…

 

I meant, they could HEAR what a good lay you were.

 

MEGAN

I’m sure that’s all you’re interested in.

 

JENNA

TIM’s the most wonderful guy I’ve ever met, and I’ve got you to thank!  You’re wonderfully smart, Megan.

 

CHRISTINE

[spoken half to Jenna and half to the wall, events having made CHRISTINE begin to feel a bit alienated]  I bet you didn’t know Megan is the daughter of two professors.  She had better be smart growing up with all those book bindings around her.

 

MEGAN

  TIM, you really are more of a child than I ever thought possible, I mean.

 

TIM

Baloney

 

MEGAN

[thinks he said ‘Blow me’] 

 

Ohmygod!  You didn’t say that. You wouldn’t say that to me after all these years!  Ohmygod! 

 

[she slugs him and storms out]

 

CHRISTINE

What did you say to her?

 

TIM

 “Baloe-ney” [he is clueless and emphasizes it, only to have it sound more like ‘blow me.’]

JENNA

You know what she thinks you just said?

 

CHRISTINE

I thought you said ‘blow me’ too.

[TIM says ‘baloney’ to himself, realizes it, laughs, and embraces Jenna.  They end up in a long powerful kiss, in the middle of which we see the cat come up to the litter box, poise himself, and take a long shit]

 

TIM and Yeshec. Can be shot anywhere. For us it should be a very revealing and poignant talk. TIM, is obviously still without a clue.  He is also committing himself to a  tawdry real world, rather than the constructed world of a film or opera romance.  For some reason he is excited about this change, and sees it for the better.  As if Megan was right, he can’t wait to take on the challenge of ideals in an imperfect world.  Yechec came from a factory rowhouse.  He warns TIM of having a string of kids.

 

YESHIC

 How many years older than you is she?

 

TIM

eight or nine.  That doesn’t make any difference.

 

YESHIC

Man.  I can tell you that girl is looking to make babies.  She’s going to have as much sex as she can, and then have you take care of her. 

 

TIM

You’re nuts.  She wants to start a career as a parole officer. 

 

YESHIC

She’s 36 if she’s a day.

 

TIM

I’m in love, Leck.  I’m like all dizzy and excited all day in class, I can’t stop thinking about her.  Megan TOLD me it would be like this.

 

YESHIC

Better to get off than to get involved.

 

TIM

That’s shallow, Leck

 

YESHIC

What's the first thing that comes out of a man's wrinkles when he gets a hard on?

 

TIM

Don’t get gross.  I know that joke, and you got it backwards.  Wrinkles is the ANSWER.

 

YESHIC

Nope, you guessed wrong.  It’s what makes a man different from the animals.

 

TIM

Aw shit….lemme see.  Where are you taking me?

 

YESHIC

His hair.  Can you imagine a cat with a shiny bald head?  You’re going to get bald and shiny, Tim.  You’re asking for it.  All you’re gonna be is shiny head.

 

TIM looks at the cat walking by and he suddenly goes bald.

 

CUT to INTERIOR, CARRIAGE HOUSE.  TIM is moving his stuff out of Megan’s room.  Jenna appears, and he leaves everything in the middle of the floor and takes off with her.  Mentions that there are some news trucks setting up in the parking lot across the street.

TO BE WRITTEN

 

TIM

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

TIM

 

JENNA

 

 

TIM

 

 

MEGAN

 

JENNA

 

 

MEGAN

 

 

SHOT 8. Watching TV, there is an expose on the Channel 10 News on the Flying Dutchman. “Live” from Camac St. – they look out the window to see themselves and wave. 

 

 

SHOT 9. Police putting up signs, and serving a warrant.  Meanwhile, the Flame is carting their April Fool pieces down the old elevator, and off to the stables

 

 

ACT 4 Scene 1 – DENOUEMENT Part 2

SHOT 1. Several weeks later.  We hear the limo’s muffler, but it’s a different limo this time, and  we are at the go-go club at night.  Ward gets out of the limo with some goon, and has to act as if he doesn’t know anyone, though he passes Ange and Laurie as he comes in.  TIM is at a table in the back, Jenna is just getting up from the table as they come by.  Ward is cordial, but brushes him off as if he’s part of the real action now.

 

     We see that Laurie and Ange and Trish have all pal’d up with other hot numbers and seem to be rather overly-close, as if they haven’t been successful protecting each other from the sex-gaming that goes on in the clubs, and Trish has ended up shacking up with the lead dancer.

 

SHOT 2.       TIM meets Ward in the Men’s Room and tells him that Bulba and the Flame got picked up.  Not for the reverse heist, but for a frame theft racket they’d been running for years.Ward seems to know all about it (since they used containers the mob provided, and they’d wanted some of the action and Bulba wouldn’t give in).  Ward swears he was not part of any of it.,,. and TIM believes him, since none of the kids knew anything about the actual racket.TIM tells Ward not to worry about April 1st, and winks.  Ward nods knowingly, and like in a gangster film says “I’m workin on it.”

 

     TIM walks in and sees all the urinals filled.  Ward is in the middle urinal. 

 

TIM

  Can we talk?

 

WARD

 Yeh.

 

TIM

  Wait a second [he’s lean over to check under the doors of the stalls to see if anyone is in them, then kicks open the door and goes in, continuing to talk]

 

TIM

  The Flame got arrested last night.  It turns out that after the Reverse Heist that art museum director was so pissed he wanted to get something on Bulba, and it turns out he’d actually been substituting frames on the museum for years.  He was shipping the originals to Turkey and selling them for a fortune, and he was paying the Flame to do junk paintings to ship them with.  So they were considered part of the conspiracy, even though they stayed dumb on purpose.

[Ward stops him at the stall door as he comes out.  Holds the door and as if it’s a standard gangster move, steps in with him and whispers]

 

WARD

 I knew a while back.  Bulba was using our return containers to ship in, and wouldn’t cut the guys in on the racket. Maybe somebody blew his cover?

[a big jolly man in his seventies man comes in, hot and happy, as he opens the door breaks out singing]

MAN

 

  Oh, to find rest in a restroom!  I do try my best in that best room!  Goin' out west in the west-woom….[sees the two guys coming out of the stall together]

 

WARD

 I swear it wasn’t me.  Come on.

 

TIM

  But WHAT about April FOOLS?

 

WARD

 [nods knowingly, and says like in a gangster film] I’m workin on it.

Give me a couple minutes out before you leave.

They leave the men’s room one at a time with some other guys in-between, while the big jolly man is shaking his head watching with a disappointed rubber-face, like Ed Wynn’s,as if to say “I come to these clubs to get away from those types!”

MAN

 

  It’s a go-go club, too!

SOMEBODY AT THE URINAL.  Whadid ya think it was, the XXXXX?  [fill in something like ‘geriatric home’ or ‘the Rittenhouse Swim Club’ appropriate to the man]

 

ACT 4 Scene 2 –CLIMAX - the APRIL FOOL’S JOKE

SHOT 1  Rodin Museum on the Parkway. 4AM.  TIM and we believe, the Muftic Flame are up on ladders taking measurements, and spraying a fast-drying latex rubber mold around the back of the statue.  They have watchers up and down the parkway in the shadows, on cell-phones, warning them when a police car (or any car) is within 5 blocks on any side-street.  3

 

30-4

 

30 AM.  The Ben Franklin Parkway and Art Museum grounds.  Everyone is involved.  We see the Parkway bustling with activity until the headlights of a car appear anywhere.  Pan of the parkway and it is empty.  We hear some whispers as the car passes, and suddenly it is alive again.  The group moves from statue to statue.

 

[we realize it is not the Flame when we hear Laurie’s voice]

 

LAURIE

 Like Bulba used to say, we seem to be ‘movie’ right along!

 

TIM

  Hey, is Trish here filming this?

 

TRISH

 Right behind you. Would’t want the Flame to miss this for the world!

As they are preparing to pull the mold dawn is breaking and cars keep coming around the drive.  As we follow the cars we see the statues

Gen. Kosciusko with a trumpet under his arm

Gen. Lafayette holding a violin aloft

Gen. WhoKnowsWho as a drum major

Gen. SomebodyElse inside a tuba

 

A police car slows down around the fountain, and turns on its lights. The watcher in the van screams POLICE - PULL THE MOLD!!,  and the van slowly drives off .  The kids leave the mold on the grass and scatter into the park 

SHOT 3. And from the policeman’s view we see Rodin’s THINKER is on a bronze toilet seat.

 

 

 

 ACT 4 Scene 3 –The UN-CLICHÉ’D CONCLUSION

We hear police sirens and see them strolling down the street with books and out from between cars… looking like college students and not like anyone involved in a heist.  Each of them getting into their cars.The police pour out of the local station and drive right by.  The van gets left in a parking lot, and they pull the equipment into TIM’s car. 

 

We follow them all down Spring Garden St., down under the El as they are talking on their phones rather cryptically.  “Meet you at K&A Diner, call Sue for me”  “Sue, see you at the diner.”  “Who’s in Trish’s car? Alright.”  “TIM, everybody’s together for breakfast.”

 

All meet at a diner near K&A(Kensington & Allegheny, well known crossroads of white trash and ghetto) under the elevated tracks.  We find out it has taken them 2 years to pull this off.  The Flame is getting out of jail soon.  They complain about Ward not helping any.  Tell about their jobs and life. Jenna is pregnant.  TIM looks haggard and somewhat browbeaten.  Megan is bitter, suspicious, professional.  Trish is with her girlfriend, who gets up and leaves for a smoke, and Laurie is somewhat distant.  Ange is blossomed into what Trish used to be.  Jenna is home with the kids, they comment she was real good during the scam.  Fran and Sue haven’t changed a bit.They reminisce about CHRISTINE.  Ange says she thought to tell her.  They don’t even bother to wait for the morning news, but get up to pay their bills.

Trish’s girlfriend, who we’ve never seen before, is getting up to have a smoke.

 

TRISH

 You can smoke in here, Nance

GIRLFRIEND

 

  I rather step outside. Used to the fresh air,

 

MEGAN

  So where’s the sex goddess tonight?

 

TIM

  Lay off Megan, I’m happy.  That’s all that matters.

 

TRISH

 She had to stay home and take care of the kids.  #3 is coming, too.

 

LAURIE

 Congratulations!

 

SOLTAN

& FRAN

 

come in together. 

 

LAURIE

 Hey guys!  We were worried you mighta got caught!

 

MEGAN

  You saw them behind us!

 

SOLTAN

 We needed gas. 

FRAN

 

 Well, we really did it!  Did you film it, Trish?  I promised Soltan I’d get him a DV before they got out.

 

TRISH

[he’s been watching it on the monitor.] Here’s where we split.  There’s just got a back shot of the Thinker, when you pulled the molds.  Shit! 

 

SOLTAN

 They’ll see that on the News, don’t worry.

FRAN

 

 So what have you been up to Megan?  We haven’t seen you since you dropped out of school.

 

MEGAN

  I’ve been exploring an imperfect world.

 

LAURIE

 …and you don’t know-it-all anymore, right.

 

MEGAN

  Yeh, I still know what I always knew.  It’s just that it smells more.  Exis-STENCH

 

TIM

  Whoah, that’s coming from you Megan, I always thought you had such a, well, opTIMistic view of things. 

 

MEGAN

  No mountain unconquerable, no oil well too remote…

 

TIM

  Yeh, that’s what you used to say.

 

TRISH

 Here.  Here’s the shots of all the generals.[hands the camera to TIM, as her girlfriend comes back in, and puts her arm around Trish dumbly, territorially]

 

TIM

  Oh, that’s awesome. 

 

TRISH

 With available light.

 

ANGE

 TIM!  You’re going to have another baby!  You must be a wonderful father.

 

TIM

  [brightening up when his kids are mentioned] Oh those kids are everything, Ange.  We really have so much fun.  TIMmy is just learning to make sentences and Megan took her first steps on Monday

 

ANGE

 Aww.

 

MEGAN

  Where do you work, now?

 

TIM

  At old Rohm & Haas plant.  Night-shift maintenance.

 

ANGE

 It’s engineering, though, right?

 

TIM

  Of a sort.  I guess that’s what engineering really is.  I punch clocks and read meters.  It’s OK.  I get to be with the kids all evening before they go to sleep.

 

MEGAN

  And your queen?  Does she get her pumps checked three times a day like she always wanted?

 

TIM

  Maybe you know what she always wanted, Megan. Not me. I don’t know. But it’s OK.  What time is it?  I don’t need to see the news.  I know what it looked like.

 

ANGE

 Congratulations, guys!  It was a job well done.

 

SOLTAN

 To the Artists of the Muftic Flame!

ALL

 

  TO the Artists of the Muftic Flame! [they clink coffee cups]

 

TIM

  May they get out of jail for many many more! [TIM gets up to pay, and motions at the register he’s covering it all.]

 

We fade on a few of them getting into their cars, turning on the radio to hear the news

SHOT 5 & 6.  TIM, Megan, Laurie and Trish are getting into the Frankford El.  They get into a car without saying anything, and sit down on a row of seats next to each other. An old lady makes it in the door just as it is closing.  She looks uncannily like Megan.  She sits down across from them, and we notice several people in their 50’s and 60’s on their way to work.  It is TIM, Megan, Laurie and Trish and Ward as they will be one day but the kids of course are oblivious.

 

MEGAN

  It’s really a shame what happened to Ward.  I miss him.

 

LAURIE

 So do I

 

TIM

  …yeh.

SHOT 7.  We fade on the boathouses, and up the parkway, as we see CHRISTINE hobbling past the museum to inspect the work.

 

LOCATIONS in order of Viewing

Location

Scene

Philadelphia Museum of Art – interior

 

Drexel Great Court – architectural interior

 

Drexel Campus to Penn Campus walkway

 

Penn Campus dorms – architectural exterior

 

Penn Campus to South Street Bridge

 

Phila College of Art (Univ. of the Arts)– Exterior

 

Carriage House  - 4 interiors [loft, fake restaurant, studio, kitchen]

 

Carriage House  - front & back exteriors day and night

 

Doylestown – highway and Main street shot to Mercer Museum parking lot

 

Mercer Museum, Doylestown  - multiple interior sequence

 

Quince St Alley – exteriors day & night

 

Fishtown streets – Richmond

 

Headhouse square (drive past)

 

Philadelphia Museum of Art – exterior shots

 

Rodin Museum , Ben Franklin Pkwy - exterior

 

Pennsyvania Academy – basement & exterior

 

Go-Go Club – interior, exterior

 

Italian Market Cheese Shop – exterior with street scene

 

Italian Market Cheese Shop – interior 

 

South Phila. Police station – exterior

 

Independence Hall – exterior day

 

Jenna’s apartment interior (studio)

 

Victor Café Restaurant – interior 

 

Warwick Hotel Lobby

 

Broad St. Hotel cab stand

 

Latham Hotel entrance

 

Diner, K&A under the El.

 

Frankford El platform

 

Frankford El car interior