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Comatose Joe
by Brian Bara (Prospero761@gmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Comedy   User Review: ****
A madcap buddy comedy in which a young playwright, having just awoken from a two year coma, is car-jacked by a magician's assistant on the run, leading everyone the playwright knows on a mad chase across Pennsylvania, towards a destiny none of them could forsee.


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



FADE IN:

EXT. A COLLEGE CAMPUS - DAY
                                                            
A crisp day in late fall. Students scurry across the quad;
books under their arms and in backpacks. A clock tower plays
Westminster chimes.

STEVE WARNER, 22, and JOE LANAHAN, 22, are walking; talking
intently. Both are under-dressed for the weather, wearing
t-shirts, shorts and sandals. The camera pulls in to a tight
CU of JOE and freezes to a still shot.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
Thatís me, Joe Lanahan. Young,
naÔve and out to change the world.
Boy, was I stupid. Anyway, you are
about to see the start of what be-
came the second strangest thing
that ever happened to me.
                                                            
The camera pans to still CU of Steve
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O. cont'd)
Thatís Steve. One of my best
friends since we were freshmen
roommates. He was there for most
of what happened. Well, some of
what happened. Youíll see.
                                                            
The camera pulls back out to include both young men and the
action resumes.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Youíre not actually nervous, are
you?
                                                            
                       JOE
A little. I hear Isaacsí personal
critiques can be pretty brutal.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Dude, you got nothing to worry a-
bout. Itís a funny play.
                                                            
                       JOE
Well, WE think itís funny.
                                                            

2.

Steve stops walking and turns to Joe.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Arenít you supposed to write for
yourself, first?
                                                            
                       JOE
In theory and principal, yes...
                                                            
                       STEVE
Joey, Iíve been in enough of your
plays to know the good ones from
the bad ones. Remember ďIíll Be
Home for Ramadan?Ē
                                                            
                       JOE
Iíd rather not, thank you.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Thatís what Iím saying. After that
you wrote ďCarel Kapek in Hell.Ē
I was the only one who A: got it,
and B: thought it was funny.
                                                            
                       JOE
That's because you're the only
person I know who has actually
been in a production of "R.U.R."
                                                            
                       STEVE
So I guess youíve forgotten all
about ďThrough the Looking Glass,
DarklyĒ or ďVirgin Sacrifice.Ē
                                                            
                       JOE
People hated ďVirgin Sacrifice.Ē
                                                            
                       STEVE
Your mother hated ďVirgin Sac-
rifice,Ē because you used it to
come out. Everyone else loved it.
They were both great plays. Look,
all Iím saying is, youíre a damned
good playwright, when you set your
mind to it. This is... well,
different, from your other stuff.
But that doesnít make it any less
valid.
                                                            

3.

                       JOE
Thank you, Doctor Phil.
                                                            
In the distance, DONNY MARX, 21, is yelling at them, running
toward them.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Calling out)
Yo, guys! Wait up!
                                                            
Still shot on Donny.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
Thatís Donny Marx. He and his
brother Dean were part of it, too.
Or rather, they will be. Okay, I
promise to stop confusing you.
Just watch.
                                                            
The action resumes
                                                            
                       JOE
      (To Steve)
Great, here comes Flo Ziegfeld,
himself.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Laughing)
Dude, keep your analogies up to
date, would you? What, were you
born in nineteen-oh-two or some-
thing? Besides, Donny may be
stupid, but his family has money,
so be nice to him.
                                                            
Donny has caught up with them. He is flashily overdressed.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Hey.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Hey.
                                                            
                       JOE
Hey.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Whatís up?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Joeís on his way to Isaacsí pri-
vate critique of the new play.
                                                            

4.

                       DONNY
The one about the TV station?
Funny shit, man.
                                                            
                       JOE
Whatever. Maybe.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Where were you guys, last night?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Last night?
                                                            
                       DONNY
My place? Me and Dean had some
kick-ass weed and a case. You
were supposed to come over and
bring that Peter Jackson DVD.
                                                            
                       JOE
I had to finish a paper.
                                                            
                       STEVE
I had my own weed and a better TV.
Besides, your brother is a pig. It
makes me sick to be around him.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Defensively)
Dude, I told you; heís got issues
with the whole showering thing.
Heís workin on it.

                                                            
                       STEVE
And does he have issues with chew-
ing with his mouth shut, too? Or
changing his underwear once in a
while?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (The Diplomat)
I gotta go. If youíre more than
three minutes late for an appoint-
ment, Isaacs locks his door and
you have to reschedule.
                                                            

5.

                       STEVE
Iíll catch you at home, bro.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Later.
                                                            
Joe heads off.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (To Steve)
So what are you up to, now?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Iím finished for the day. Iím
going home to get high and watch
cartoons with the sound off while
I listen to Pink Floyd.
                                                            
Steve begins to walk away.
                                                            
                       DONNY
You are fuckin weird, man.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Under his breath)
Yeah, but at least Iím not stupid,
Dude.
                                                            
 
EXT. A SUBURBAN BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
A childrenís birthday party is taking place. The yard is
festooned with streamers, balloons and banners. A dozen or
so children run about the yard as parents take photos and
chase after them.

The Birthday Boy, TAYLOR, is playing Pin the Tail on the
Donkey. After Taylor places his tail, TAYLORíS DAD, calls
them all to attention.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR'S DAD
Okay, everybody! Gather around.
The magicianís here!
                                                            
                       KIDS
Yay!
                                                            

6.

The children all gather in a semi-circle in front of a small
platform that has been set up with a curtained backdrop.
There is a puff of smoke and... nothing. Everyone laughs.

Behind the backdrop, SZANDOR, 30's, is tangled up in a rope
of scarves, quietly cursing.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR'S DAD
Um... hello?
                                                            
The curtain moves violently as Szandor struggles to free
himself. Suddenly, he falls through the curtain onto the
stage. Everyone laughs.

Finally untangling the mess, Szandor stands and tries to
recover, laughing nervously.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
And who says I donít know how to
make an entrance?
                                                            
He straightens his tux and clears his throat.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR (cnt'd)
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and
girls, prepare to be amazed. I am
Szandor the Great and I am here to
demonstrate feats of prestidigi-
tation, legerdemain, and fakir
levitation! I give you, ĎThe Ghost
Ball.í
                                                            
He produces a silver ball and a red silk handkerchief and
proceeds to perform the old routine, quite well. The
children and parents all applaud.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR (cont'd)
Thank you. And now, a little some-
thing I like to call ĎOn the Wings
of the Dove.í
                                                            
He raises his arms and in his right hand produces a dove. He
reaches into his pocket and removes a silk, which he shakes
to reveal a birdcage, into which he places the dove. He
raises his arms again, but nothing happens.

He looks puzzled. He repeats the gesture, placing more
emphasis on his hand movement.

This time he produces a dove which apparently had been
crushed during his fall. Its bloodied, mangled body falls to

7.

the stage with a THUD and the children and women scream.

CU on Szandor's puzzled face.
                                                            
 
INT. A SUBURBAN KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Taylorís Dad and Szandor are arguing.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR'S DAD
If you think Iím paying you any-
thing after you traumatized those
poor kids and ruined my sonís
birthday, you got another think
coming, pal!
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Look, I drove for forty-five min-
utes to get here. I spent another
hour setting up. I lost one of my
best birds out there. You think I
wanted to traumatize those kids? I
could have kept going. I could
have fixed it! You were the one
who rushed to get me inside. We
had a contract, PAL!
                                                            
Szandor jabs his finger into Taylorís Dadís chest.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR'S DAD
So fuckiní sue me for it! Now get
you and your shit outta my house,
before I call the cops! And if you
ever touch me again, Iíll break
your fuckin finger off and shove
it up your ass, pal!
                                                            
Taylor's Dad storms off. Szandor stares at him, his face
hardening.

We hear a door open and the sounds of crying children being
comforted.

With a cry of rage and frustration, Szandor spins around and
bangs his fist on the counter. He slowly realizes that his
fist has come down in front of a knife block. He pulls out
the butcher knife and examines his reflection in it. He
notices the reflection of the birthday cake on the table
behind him. He turns and plunges the knife into the cake,
again and again, destroying it.
                                                            
 

8.

INT. A PROFESSOR'S OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Books; a desk and two chairs; film and theatre posters; a
Dali print; shelves of video cassettes, DVDs and film
canisters.

Joe is seated across from PROFESSOR ISAACS, 60ís, trying to
defend his latest assignment: the script which Isaacs holds
in his hands.
                                                            
                       ISAACS
I am deeply disappointed, Mr.
Lanahan. This play is garbage!
Peurile, unfunny garbage!
                                                            
                       JOE
How can you say this is garbage,
Dr. Isaacs? I really worked very
hard on this piece.
                                                            
                       ISAACS
I can say itís garbage, because it
is. No one writes this kind of
play and expects it to be taken
seriously.
                                                            
                       JOE
But itís a comedy, for cripeís
sake.
                                                            
                       ISAACS
Not a very funny one, Mr. Lanahan.
This is just a series of black-
out sketches, tied loosely togeth-
er by a cheap gimmick. No one does
television parodies on stage, 'for
cripeís sake!'
                                                            
                       JOE
Maybe itís time they did. I just
think that if you gave it a second
look...
                                                            
                       ISAACS
I have already looked at it too
many times, thank you! Here...
                                                            

9.

Isaacs takes the script from Joe and skims through it, until
he finds what he wants. Joe looks on, anxiously.
                                                            
                       ISAACS (cont'd)
What's this? This commercial paro-
dy for a restaurant called 'Barna-
by's Trout Shoot...'
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Quoting, proudly)
'Where the elite meet to shoot
trout in a tank!
                                                            
                       ISAACS
Itís stupid!
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Defensively)
It's funny!
                                                            
                       ISAACS
And this reality game show...
                                                            
                       JOE
ĎWho Wants to Be a Hollywood Ho?í
                                                            
                       ISAACS
Not only is this lesbian character
named Miss Fishbreath...
                                                            
Joe laughs, in spite of himself. Isaacs glares at him.
                                                            
                       ISAACS (cont'd)
Sheís auditioning for the lead in
a biography of John Wayne!
                                                            
                       JOE
She thinks he used to be a woman
because his name was Marion. It's
absurdist.
                                                            
                       ISAACS
It's offensive!
                                                            
                       JOE
John Cleese and Graham Chapman got
rich on this kind of stuff!
                                                            

10.

                       ISAACS
Sadly, Mr. Lanahan, you are nei-
ther John Cleese nor Graham Chap-
man. Youíre not even a Zucker
brother...
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Stunned)
But...
                                                            
                       ISAACS
The critique remains the same. I
do hope you have better work ahead
of you, Mr. Lanahan. Especially if
you expect to actually earn a
Mastersí degree in this program.
                                                            
Isaacs tosses the script back at Joe, who catches it and
leaves, morosely, as Isaacs disgustedly picks up another
script to read.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE AND STEVE'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
A standard grad studentís apartment living room, filled with
miss-matched furniture; a TV; stereo; video game system and
computer.

Steve sits on a tatty old sofa, smoking from an enormous
bong and watching cartoons.

The door opens and Joe enters, carrying the script. He flops
down on the couch next to Steve. Without taking his eyes off
the TV, Steve hands the bong to Joe, who takes a long, deep
hit and immediately expels it, choking.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Yeah, thatís some primo smoke,
bro.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Still coughing)
Tastes like dirty, wet socks, dip-
ped in creosote!
                                                            
They sit in silence for a moment. Joe takes another hit,
coughing less this time.


11.

Quick cut to a bizarre and violent cartoon from the 30ís on
the TV.
                                                            
                       STEVE (O.S.)
So?
                                                            
                       JOE (O.S.)
So what?
                                                            
                       STEVE (O.S.)
So Iím guessing he didnít like the
play.
                                                            
Quick cut back to Joe and Steve on the couch, surrounded by
a wreath of smoke. They continue to stare at the screen
without looking at each other.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Morosely)
He said it was Ďpuerile, unfunny
garbage.í He said he expected my
work to improve if I wanted my de-
gree. That old fuck!
                                                            
                       STEVE
That ancient fossil wouldnít know
funny if it bit him in the ass!
                                                            
                       JOE
No, heís only got a PhD....
                                                            
                       STEVE
That play is a riot, man. Iím not
the only one that thinks so, eith-
er. Donny and Dean loved it.
                                                            
                       JOE
Donny and Dean are half-retarded.
And you're my best friend; you're
SUPPOSED to say you liked it.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Come on. You know Iíd be honest a-
bout it. I think itís fuckiní hil-
arious!
                                                            
Joe takes another hit off the bong, passes it back to Steve
and stands.

Steve finally looks at him.
                                                            

12.

                       STEVE
Where you goiní?
                                                            
                       JOE
To get drunk. Alone.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Have fun, dude.
                                                            
Joe leaves as Steve takes another hit, and turns up the
volume, snorting and giggling at the cartoon.
                                                            
 
INT. A NEIGHBORHOOD BAR - DAY
                                                            
There are few patrons. Joe sits at the end of the bar,
nursing a beer and leafing through the script.

Every once in a while, Joe stops to look at Isaacsí red,
felt-penned notes. Huge passages are circled with comments
such as ďNauseating!Ē ďRepulsiveĒ ďNOT Funny!!Ē ďChildishĒ
and ďStupidĒ written in large, block letters.

The man sitting next to him, ORIEL DESTIN, leans in.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
I hope you wrote the comments and
not the play.
                                                            
                       JOE
I wish. Itís my first full-length
play as a graduate student and the
professor hated it.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Guess thatís as good a reason to
drink as any. Bottoms up. Iíll buy
the next round.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh, thanks, but...
                                                            
                       ORIEL
But nothing! Come on. I insist
that you let me buy you a drink. I
hate drinking alone.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (After a beat)
What the hell? So do I!
                                                            

13.

                       ORIEL
There ya go! Nameís Oriel, by the
way. Oriel Destin.
                                                            
                       JOE
Joe. Joe Lanahan.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Pleased to meet you, Joe Lanahan.
                                                            
They shake hands and Oriel signals the bartender for another
round.
                                                            
                       JOE
That's quite an interesting name,
you got there. I have to warn you
that it may end up in one of my
plays, some day.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
That would be fun, I think. What
kinds of plays do you write?
                                                            
 
EXT. A CITY STREET CORNER - NIGHT
                                                            
A seedy neighborhood. Two thugs, DARIUS and SWEET, stand on
the corner, talking. Darius carries a briefcase.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Sweet, you sure dis stuff is good?
                                                            
                       SWEET
Man, I tole you, dis shit is da
bomb! Wait Ďtil you taste it, D.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Well, where the fuck he be?
                                                            
                       SWEET
He late, I guess.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
No shit!
                                                            
Down the street, a dark van turns the corner and makes its
way toward the two men.
                                                            
                       SWEET
Here comes míman, now.
                                                            

14.

The van pulls up alongside them. Szandor is driving.

Sweet approaches the driverís side window as Szandor rolls
down the window.
                                                            
                       SWEET
      (To Szandor)
You late, man.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Had a little problem with a guy
who owed me some money.
                                                            
                       SWEET
You got it?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Yeah. You got the cash?
                                                            
Sweet signals to Darius, who comes over and opens the
briefcase for Szandor. It is filled with cash. Darius closes
the case and hands it to Sweet, who passes it through the
window to Szandor.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
      (Gesturing w/thumb)
In the back.
                                                            
Darius and Sweet move to the back of the van. Szandor opens
the door from the inside to reveal that the van is filled
with an assortment of weapons and several boxes. He lifts
one of the boxes to the two men.

Suddenly, Sweet stands and pulls a gun out of one pocket and
a badge out of the other.
                                                            
                       SWEET
      (In full cop mode)
Police. Youíre under arrest, ass-
hole.
                                                            
Darius takes off, running.

Szandor throws the box, knocking Sweet back. The box breaks
open, spilling several kilos of marijuana onto the street.

Without closing the door, Szandor races up front and throws
the van into gear, taking off with a great SQUEAL of tires.

Sweet pulls out a radio.
                                                            

15.

                       SWEET
      (Into radio)
Suspect is headed north on Spring
Street. Black van with rear doors
open. I repeat, suspect is headed
north on Spring.
                                                            
From around the corner come several patrol cars, sirens and
lights blazing. They begin to chase after the van.
                                                            
 
INT. A NEIGHBORHOOD BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
As before, Oriel and Joe sit at the bar, talking.

Joe is quite drunk, while Oriel appears completely sober,
despite the number of empties in front of him.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
So, you want to be rich and famous
like Neil Simon?
                                                            
                       JOE
That would be nice, yeah. I mean,
thatís not why I write, though.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
So why do you?
                                                            
                       JOE
I just want to tell stories. En-
tertain some people. Get stuff off
my chest. I want to make art.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Ah... the ever-elusive Ďart.í
                                                            
                       JOE
Ever-elusive? No, artís not e-
lusive. You have to dig a little
to find it sometimes, but itís
there if youíre willing to look
for it.
                                                            
Joe moves to make an emphatic gesture and nearly falls off
his stool.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Whoa! You alright there, Joe?
                                                            

16.

                       JOE
Yeah, Iím okay. Guess Iíve had e-
nough. I should get going.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
You want me to call you a cab?
                                                            
                       JOE
Nah, I walked here. I'm sure I can
walk back. Sir, itís been a plea-
sure!
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Here too, son. Here too.
                                                            
They shake hands and Joe staggers toward the door. Oriel
watches him go, smiling.

The camera follows Joe as he leaves the bar and goes out
into the street, the wind pulling the door open for him.
                                                            
 
EXT. A STREETCORNER - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe stops to light a cigarette. In the distance, we can hear
a siren and tires shrieking.

The wind tears the cigarette from Joe's lips, and without
thinking, he steps off the curb after it, just as the black
van comes screeching around the corner.

Cut to a woman coming out of the bar and screaming as tires
squeal and a thud is heard.

Blackout

Whiteout

Slowly the bright white softens into an ECU of Joe's eyes.
Joe's eyes open, blinking twice and then slowly look left,
right, up and down. The camera pulls back to slowly reveal
the rest of Joe's face... on a pillow... on a hospital
bed...
                                                            
 
INT. A HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
                                                            
The room is cheery and brightly decorated. Joe wears
pajamas, rather than a hospital gown.

Joe's hand gropes for the call button. He can find none. He
tries to sit up, but gets dizzy and falls back. He takes a

17.

few breaths and tries again, slowly. He scans the room.

No TV; no phone; no flowers, balloons or cards. An IV stand
is next to the bed and a heart monitor BEEPS softly.

Joe tries to call out, but all he can manage is a hoarse
croak at first.

Finally:
                                                            
                       JOE
Hello? Hello, Nurse? Hello?!
                                                            
 
INT. A SUBURBAN KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
CU of a wall phone, ringing. An immaculately and elaborately
manicured womanís hand, wearing many rings, picks up the
receiver. The camera stays on the phone as we hear the woman
speaking.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (O.S.)
Hello?... Yes, this is she...
What? What? When? Oh my God! Iíll
be right there!
                                                            
 
INT. A HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Joe is seated up in bed, a NURSE taking his blood pressure
and temperature.

DR. TANNER enters the room, and takes the chart from the
foot of the bed. The Nurse leaves.
                                                            
                       TANNER
      (Looking at chart)
Hello, Joe. Iím Dr. Tanner.
                                                            
                       JOE
What happened?
                                                            
                       TANNER
Weíll get to that. I just have a
few questions for you, first.
Whatís your full name?
                                                            
Tanner shines a penlight in Joe's eyes.
                                                            

18.

                       JOE
Joseph Aaron Michael Lanahan.
                                                            
                       TANNER
And your date of birth?
                                                            
Tanner writes on Joe's chart and then takes his pulse.
                                                            
                       JOE
January eighteenth, nineteen
eighty-two.
                                                            
                       TANNER
Motherís maiden name?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Impatient)
Maxwell. Look, whatís all this got
to do with what happened?
                                                            
                       TANNER
Joe, whatís the last thing you re-
member?
                                                            
                       JOE
I remember... I remember that Pro-
fessor Isaacs hated my play and I
was mad. I went home... and then I
think I went to a bar...
                                                            
                       TANNER
Is that all?
                                                            
                       JOE
Jesus! Did I drink that much?
                                                            
                       TANNER
No, no. Nothing like that. Joe,
there was an accident. You were
hurt.
                                                            
                       JOE
Hurt? How bad? I donít feel...
                                                            
                       TANNER
Joe. Youíve got to listen very
carefully to what Iím about to
say. Now, this may difficult for
you to understand at first, but
            (MORE)

19.

                       TANNER (cont'd)
Iím afraid youíve been in a coma
for almost two years.
                                                            
                       JOE
WHAT!?!
                                                            
LORRAINE LANAHAN bursts into the room. She is a smartly
dressed woman in her late forties. Her hair is precisely
coiffed and her makeup is perfect. Her shoes, nails, bag and
jewelry all match her tailored outfit.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Joe? Joe! Oh, itís true!
                                                            
                       JOE
Mom?
                                                            
Lorraine rushes to the bed and embraces Joe.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Oh, Joe! I thought weíd lost you,
forever, son.
                                                            
                       TANNER
      (To Lorraine)
Mrs. Lanahan, please. Heís just
now taking all this in.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (To Tanner)
What happened?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (To ceiling)
Thank You, God. Thank You.
                                                            
                       JOE
Mom, please. Iím trying to talk to
the doctor, here.
                                                            
                       TANNER
      (To Joe)
You were hit by a van. It was a
high speed chase. You had seven-
teen broken bones, a punctured
lung and a severe concussion. We
don't know why you took so long to
wake up. Your brain healed a long
time ago, along with the rest of
            (MORE)

20.

                       TANNER (cont'd)
your body.
                                                            
                       JOE
So I was just... unconscious for
two years? Why didnít someone just
throw some cold water on my face,
for Godís sake?!
                                                            
                       TANNER
It wasnít that simple, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
And the driver? The one that hit
me?
                                                            
                       TANNER
They never got him.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
It doesnít matter, Joe. Youíre a-
wake now. And youíll be coming
home!
                                                            
                       TANNER
Well, eventually. We have some
tests weíll want to run; and Joeís
going to need some physical ther-
apy to get those muscles used to
working again.
                                                            
CU on Joe. Tanner and Lorraine continue to talk, but their
voices have dropped to the background as we hear Joeís
thoughts.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
Two years? I wonder what the hell
has been happening?
                                                            
 
INT. A THEATRE OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Seated at the desk is Donny Marx. He is reviewing a spread
sheet of box-office receipts.

Across from Donny is DEAN MARX, his younger brother and
business partner, reading a copy of BACKSTAGE.


21.

The phone RINGS. Both of them ignore it.

Donny peers over his spreadsheet and clears his throat,
noisily. Dean folds down the paper and peers back at his
brother. The phone RINGS again. Donny sets down the
spreadsheet and stares at Dean. Dean folds the paper up and
goes back to reading. Donny picks up a pen off the desk and
hurls it hard enough to break the paper.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Hey, asshole! What the hell did
you do that for?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Hey, asshole! Why the hell donít
you answer the phone?
                                                            
                       DEAN
Alright, already!
                                                            
Dean answers the phone.
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (Into phone)
MBE Productions. How can I help
you?
                                                            
He listens, his eyes widening.
                                                            
                       DEAN (cont'd)
      (Into phone)
Holy shit! You kiddin me? Holy
shit! When? Yeah, Iíll tell him.
Holy shit!
                                                            
Dean hangs up the phone and looks at Donny, who is now
leaning across the desk in anticipation. Dean grins broadly.
                                                            
                       DONNY
WHAT!?!
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (Grinning)
Joe woke up.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Stunned)
Holy shit! You kiddin me?
                                                            

22.

                       DEAN
Swear to God.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Holy shit! When?
                                                            
                       DEAN
This morning. Steve says heís
talkin and everything. Ainít it
great?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Holy shit! No, Dean, it ain't all
that great.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Course, it is, Donny. Joeís awake.
                                                            
                       DONNY
It may be great for Joe, but itís
shit for us, Dean.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Whadda ya mean?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Joe woke up. Heíll be gettin outta
the hospital.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Yeah?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Heís gonna want his royalties,
now. All of them. We wonít be
able to skim no more...
                                                            
                       DEAN
No more money...?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Exactly! We gotta think, fast!
                                                            
                       DEAN
Yeah, but shouldnít we go see him?

                                                            

23.

                       DONNY
For once, youíre right, little
brother. We should go see him.
                                                            
 
EXT. ST VINCENT'S REHAB CENTER - DAY
                                                            
An attractively landscaped physical rehab center.
                                                            
 
INT. A REHAB CENTER WORKROOM - DAY
                                                            
SUBTITLE: Two Days Later

Joe sits at a table, flexing a rubber ball in his hand,
while CARTER, a physical therapist, takes notes.
                                                            
                       CARTER
Iím impressed. For someone whoís
been completely inactive for al-
most two years, youíre doing quite
well.
                                                            
                       JOE
Thanks. But will I be able to play
the violin?
                                                            
                       CARTER
Huh?
                                                            
                       JOE
Old joke. Bad, old joke.
                                                            
Carter produces a pen and a pad.
                                                            
                       CARTER
Think youíre up to trying some
handwriting?
                                                            
                       JOE
I guess. What would you like me to
write?
                                                            
                       CARTER
How about just your signature?
                                                            
Joe takes the pen and pad.
                                                            

24.

                       JOE
Uh... sure. Okay.
                                                            
He signs the first blank page and hands the pad back to
Carter.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
How's that?
                                                            
                       CARTER
Great. Now could you add ďTo my
good friend, Carter,Ē above it?

                                                            
                       JOE
What?
                                                            
                       CARTER
Well, Iím a big fan.
                                                            
                       JOE
What the hell are you talking
about?
                                                            
                       CARTER
My wife and I have seen your play,
twice now. Itís really very funny.
                                                            
                       JOE
What play? What are you talking
about?
                                                            
                       CARTER
'Channel Sixty-Nine.' You ARE Joe
Lanahan, arenít you?
                                                            
Joe sits, stunned.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah, that's... that's me, al-
right.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
                                                            
The room is now filled with flowers, cards, balloons and
stuffed animals. A TV plays silently in a corner.


25.

Joe sits in bed, Donny & Dean on either side of him. Dean
awkwardly holds a vase of flowers, a bouquet of balloons, a
heart-shaped box of candy and a large stuffed animal. Every
now and then he adjusts the items in his arms, trying not to
drop them.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (In mid-sentence)
...so, when we heard your in-
surance was runnin out, we called
Steve and asked him what he
thought we should do to raise some
money to help pay your expenses.
                                                            
                       JOE
Iím guessing Steve thought it was
a fine idea to use 'Channel Sixty-
Nine' as a fund raiser.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Everybody did. We thought weíd
maybe make a couple a thou. No
one really expected what happen-
ed.
                                                            
                       JOE
Sixteen MONTHS?
                                                            
                       DONNY
And countin. There are three dif-
ferent groups of producers that
want to bring it to New York. You
are a big hit, Joey.
                                                            
                       JOE
Iíve been awake for a week. You
think someone would have told me.
                                                            
                       DONNY
I guess your Mom was too caught up
in the fact that you were finally
awake. We all were. Anyway, we're
awful glad you are awake. Ain't
we, Dean?
                                                            
In a final, last attempt to keep hold of everything, Dean
loses his grip. The balloons spring up to the ceiling as the
vase, candy and stuffed animal CRASH to the floor. Dean of
course, reaches for the balloons, first. He slowly realizes
that Donny and Joe are staring at him.
                                                            

26.

                       DEAN
Oops! Sorry.
                                                            
Dean bends down to pick the items up off the floor.
                                                            
                       JOE
I canít wait to see it.
                                                            
                       DONNY
And we canít wait for you to.
                                                            
Dean, rising up from picking up the items on the floor,
strikes his head against the bed rail.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Oops! Sorry,
                                                            
 
EXT. ST VINCENT'S - DAY
                                                            
SUBTITLE: Six Weeks Later

Joe is in a wheelchair. Lorraine stands beside him as an
ORDERLY wheels him toward the car waiting at the curb.

Lorraine is dressed, as always, to the nines. She lights a
a cigarette and opens the door to the car, as the Orderly
helps Joe get in.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE LANAHAN HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Lorraineís car comes to a stop in the driveway.

Joe gets out of the car and stares at the house like heís
never seen it before.
                                                            
 
INT. LORRAINE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Whatís a matter, Joe?
                                                            
                       JOE
Nothing. Itís just... weird, going
home. I mean... well, not weird,
just... I donít know. A few weeks
ago, it was fall of Two Thousand
and Five. Now... well... now...
                                                            

27.

                       LORRAINE
Donít obsess on time. Remember
what the doctors said. Itís not
like you were out for decades. Not
all that much has changed.
                                                            
She opens her door and starts to climb out of the car.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (cont'd)
I got your room all fixed up nice
for you.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Joe opens the door into the room. A crowd yells ďSurprise!Ē
There are balloons and confetti, gifts and a giant banner
that reads: ďWelcome Home, Joe!Ē Joeís friends and
supporters surround him.

Later...

The party continues on.

Joe is seated on the sofa between Donny and Dean,
uncomfortably listening to Donnyís rantings. Donny smokes
incessantly, blowing smoke in Joeís face. Dean clumsily
holds a mug and a pitcher of beer, desperately trying not to
spill the beer as he pours glass after glass for himself and
his brother.

Joe canít decide whether to be amused or disgusted by their
behavior and nods politely, as though talking to a child.
                                                            
                       DONNY
So I said to Isaacs, 'Of course
itís a hit; itís funny, jackass!'
                                                            
Donny and Dean both bray in delight.

Joe looks up and sees Steve across the room, watching and
shaking his head.
                                                            
                       JOE
Uh, excuse me, boys. I gotta see a
man about a horse
                                                            
Joe stands and moves toward Steve.
                                                            

28.

                       DEAN
      (To Joe)
Yer gettiní a horse?
                                                            
Joe crosses to Steve, who is smirking at him.

Out of the corner of his eye, Joe sees a man who looks
familiar. It is Oriel Destin, but just as Joe sees him,
PENNY, an attractive young woman of about 25, steps in front
of Joe.
                                                            
                       PENNY
Hi. I just wanted to thank you.
                                                            
                       JOE
Excuse me?
                                                            
                       PENNY
Oh, duh! Of course. Iím Penny.
Penny Dandridge. Iím in the show.
                                                            
                       JOE
The show?
                                                            
                       PENNY
Your show. 'Channel Sixty-Nine.'
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh. Yeah.
                                                            
                       PENNY
I play Miss Fishbreath, Enid Duo-
denum, Mrs. Pachyderm and Sally
Winfrey Williams.
                                                            
                       JOE
How Ďbout that?
                                                            
                       PENNY
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you
thanks for writing such a funny
show.
                                                            
                       JOE
Um... yeah. Sure. Youíre wel-
come...I guess.
                                                            
He looks around uncomfortably and sees Steve practically
crying in laughter.
                                                            

29.

                       JOE (cont'd)
      (Forgetting her
       name)
Look... um...
                                                            
                       PENNY
Penny. Like the Beatles song?
                                                            
Joe stares helplessly at her, shaking his head and squinting
his eyes uncomprehendingly.
                                                            
                       PENNY (cont'd)
ĎPenny Lane?í Hello...?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Desperate to get
       away)
Oh. Yeah. Penny. Look, Penny, I...
uh... really have to talk to my,
uh, friend right now. Nice meeting
you.
                                                            
                       PENNY
Yeah. Real nice. Say, I hear that
yer gay. That true? ĎCause I bet I
can fix that for ya.
                                                            
Horrified, Joe pulls away from a confused Penny and finally
reaches Steve.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Laughing)
She wants you, dude.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah, along with every other syco-
phant and leech in the place.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Tweedledee and Tweedledumber have
anything interesting to say?
                                                            
                       JOE
No, but I bet you have plenty.
                                                            
                       STEVE
What makes you say that, boy-o?
                                                            
                       JOE
Because Iíve been awake for al-
most two months, and this is the
first time Iíve seen your face.
            (MORE)

30.

                       JOE (cont'd)
                                                            
                       STEVE
I know. And Iím sorry. And the
truth is, I feel guilty as hell.
                                                            
                       JOE
What?
                                                            
                       STEVE
I shouldnít have let you go drink-
ing by yourself, man. I should've
made you stay home, get stoned and
watch 'Forbidden Planet' or 'Plan
Nine from Outer Space' while we
smoked our brains out and ate Dor-
itos until we puked.
                                                            
                       JOE
Steve... it was fate. So I was a-
sleep for almost two years. What
did I miss? Let's see...
"Spider-Man Three" and Paris
Hilton's jail term; Michael
Jackson's trial; last year's
Oscars and Tonys. hmmm... what
else? Oh, yeah! My play is a major
hit, on its way to a New York
venue! And my best friend couldn't
visit me once while I was in the
hospital.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Hey! That's not fair! I visited. I
visited plenty! The first few
weeks, I was there every fucking
day, man! Ask your Mom!
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh? Oh, fine! I was only worth a
few weeks of concern?
                                                            
                       STEVE
No, no! Youíve got it wrong, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
Do I? You hurt me, man. I thought
you were my best friend.
                                                            

31.

                       STEVE
Damnit! Listen to me!
                                                            
Joe, knowing heís being hard on his friend, lets up.
                                                            
                       STEVE (cont'd)
It was... it was so hard, man,
just sitting there and watching.
The machines beeped. You breathed.
You sighed. Once in a while, you
moved. The first time you did, we
all got excited; me, your mom, the
doctors... Then you did it a hun-
dred more times, without any
change. I came and read plays to
you. You didnít blink. You slept.
I played you your favorite CDs. I
read both ĎAliceí books to you.
You never changed. You never...
woke up. I... I lost faith, Joey.
Iím so sorry, man. So sorry. I
hope you can forgive me.
                                                            
Joe looks at Steve, taking in everything he has said. After
a moment, he smiles.
                                                            
                       JOE
Who put the Brainiac Brothers in
charge of running 'Channel Sixty-
Nine?'
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Grinning)
I think they did that on their
own. I may have suggested the
whole idea, though. I told you I
thought it was funny. I just had
no idea how funny it really was...
is.
                                                            
                       JOE
Weíre going.
                                                            
                       STEVE
What? When?
                                                            
                       JOE
Tomorrow.
                                                            
                       STEVE
But it's sold out for weeks...
                                                            

32.

                       JOE
Iím guessing the author should be
able to get seats to his own
show...
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Suddenly nervous)
Yeah, sure... sure. I'll have
Donny arrange for tickets.
                                                            
 
INT. A THEATRE - NIGHT
                                                            
On stage, actors are doing a scene from "Channel 69." One
actor is dressed as a DOCTOR. The other is Penny, as MRS.
PACHYDERM, wearing a rubber elephant's trunk strapped over
her nose. Soap opera music plays under.

The audience HOWLS uproarisously at every joke.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
Do you honestly feel that breast
enhancement will improve your
self-esteem, Missus Pachyderm?
                                                            
The audience ROARS.
                                                            
                       MRS. PACHYDERM
Well, do you have any other sug-
gestions, Doctor?
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
Well, have you considered rhino-
plasty? Itís all the rage these
days.
                                                            
                       MRS. PACHYDERM
Rhinoplasty?!? I already have an
elephantís trunk for a nose! And
now you want to put a horn in the
middle of my forehead?
                                                            
The audience SCREAMS in hysterics.

Joe sits, watching stone-faced as Steve watches him,
nervously. The audience ROARS again and Joe squirms
uncomfortably in his seat.
                                                            

33.

                       JOE
I really wrote this piece of shit?
                                                            
                       STEVE
ĎFraid so, Bud.
                                                            
                       JOE
And people really think this piece
of shit is funny?
                                                            
                       STEVE
I told you...
                                                            
Cut to:
                                                            
 
INT. A DINER - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe and Steve are seated opposite each other in a booth.
Steve voraciously devours an omlette. Joe stirs a French
fry, absently tracing patterns in a puddle of ketchup.
                                                            
                       JOE
I know what you told me, Steve.
Itís funny. Okay. Big deal! But
what does it mean?
                                                            
                       STEVE
It doesnít have to mean anything,
Joe. Itís just supposed to make
people laugh. Nonsense for the
sake of nonsense? Lewis Carroll?
Monty Python? Any of this ringing
a bell in that damaged brain of
yours?
                                                            
                       JOE
I know. I understand that. But
what if I never woke up? What
if I had been killed in that acci-
dent? 'Channel Sixty-Nine' would
be all I left behind. My entire
legacy left in a mindless, medi-
ocre TV parody.
                                                            
                       STEVE
So... what? Your biological clock
is going off and you want kids?
                                                            

34.

                       JOE
Yes, thatís it! Thatís it exactly!
No, moron! I have to write a new
play. A better play. A serious
play.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Ooh... Be afraid... be very a-
fraid.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN'S HOME OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Joe sits at the desk and turns on the PC, cracking his
knuckles and flexing his hands as it boots up. He opens
a file and stares for a moment at the blank screen. His
fingers skim the keyboard.

He frowns. He stands up, stretches his back and shoulders
and takes a few deep breaths.

He sits again and looks at the screen. He reduces the window
and opens "Solitaire." He begins to play a hand, feels
guilty and closes it, restoring the other file.

Montage:

Joe sits in the chair with his back to the PC, throwing
wadded paper balls into a trashcan in the corner. Joe plays
air guitar to a Pink Floyd song. Joe types away at the
keyboard. CU of the monitor screen. The first stanza of
"Jabberwocky" is typed over and over again.

Joe stands up in disgust, dismissing the PC with a wave of
his hand. He leaves the room, shutting off the light.
The glow of the monitor lights the room.

The camera slowly moves in to a CU of the cursor blinking at
the top of a blank document.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Lorraine is bustling about the kitchen, preparing dinner.
The kitchenette is set for two. She tastes her sauce one
last time and calls out.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Joe, honey! Dinnerís ready!
                                                            
Joe enters and sits with little enthusiasm.
                                                            

35.

                       LORRAINE
I made your favorite; spaghetti.
                                                            
                       JOE
Gee, thanks. I love your spa-
ghetti, Mom.
                                                            
She sets a plateful down in front of him. Two gigantic
meatballs stare up at him from a plate of linguine marinara.
Lorraine sets down a plate for herself and sits.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Brightly)
So, how was your day?
                                                            
                       JOE
It sucked.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Aww, sweetie! I'm sorry. It'll
get better.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah.
                                                            
They eat in silence for a moment.
                                                            
                       JOE
Got any cheese?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
What?
                                                            
                       JOE
Cheese. You know. Parmesan or Ro-
mano? Grated cheese?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Oh. I donít know. Look in the
fridge. I didnít... well I didnít
do much grocery shopping while...
while you were... I guess I ate
out a lot...
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh. Thatís okay.
                                                            
They eat in silence again.
                                                            

36.

                       LORRAINE
So, I forgot to tell you. I got a
call the other day...
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
It was from the producers of 'Live
with Regis and Kelly...'
                                                            
                       JOE
NO!!!
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
But you havenít even heard...
                                                            
                       JOE
No, Mom. I donít need to hear. Iím
not going to trot myself out on
television like some kind of a
freak.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
No one ever said you were a freak,
Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
I know that. But it seems kind
of... shameless, you know?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
I just thought it would be good
publicity for the show.
                                                            
                       JOE
The show doesnít need publicity,
Mom.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Okay, okay. Iím just trying to
help you out.
                                                            

37.

                       JOE
I know you are, Mom. And I appre-
ciate it, really. But, no! No talk
shows, thank you.
                                                            
They continue to eat in silence.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN'S HOME OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe sits at the PC, staring at the blank screen.

A cigarette smolders in the ashtray on the desk.

There is a knock at the door and Lorraine enters.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Howís it going?
                                                            
                       JOE
Okay.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Iím going to bed.
                                                            
                       JOE
Okay.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
You need anything before I do?
                                                            
                       JOE
No thanks, Mom.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Joe, honey...
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah...?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Donít push, Joe. Itíll come. Give
it time. And when did you start
smoking again, young man?
                                                            
                       JOE
Last night. After I saw the show.
                                                            

38.

Lorraine comes over and kisses him on the head, then hugs
him tightly.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Youíve only been home a few days,
Joe. I know you want to write, but
if you push, it isnít going to
happen. Get some rest.
                                                            
                       JOE
I will.
                                                            
Lorraine turns to leave.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Mom?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Turning to him)
Yes, Joe?
                                                            
                       JOE
Thanks.
                                                            
She smiles and leaves.

Joe turns back to the PC and begins to type. He yawns
deeply. His head begins to nod.

Dissolve to:
                                                            
 
INT. A TV SOUNDSTAGE - DAY
                                                            
A morning talk show set. Two co-hosts sit in silhouette as
the announcer speaks.

Theme MUSIC plays.
                                                            
                       ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
And now, itís time for 'Wake Up!'
with your hosts, Steve and Penny!
                                                            
Lights up to reveal Steve and Penny sitting in the chairs,
as talk show hosts, looking very artificial and plastic. The
set is garish and bizarre.

The camera moves in. Steve wears a plastic suit and wig,
while Penny is dressed in a pink sweater set and pearls. Her
hair is shellacked into an enormous bouffant. They both grin

39.

mindlessly into the camera.

MUSIC fades out.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Good morning everyone and welcome
to 'Wake Up! with Steve and Pen-
ny.' We have quite a show for you
today, donít we, Penny?
                                                            
                       PENNY
You bet we do, Steve. Alan Thicke
is here, all the way from Holly-
wood, to tell us all about his
latest movie, on Lifetime TV, 'Who
Ate Mom?'
                                                            
                       STEVE
And, just when you thought it was
safe to go back into the kitchen,
Martha Stewart is here to share
some composting tips with us.
                                                            
                       PENNY
Plus, wildlife expert Joan Embry
is here to show us all how to
whelp a wild dingo!
                                                            
The audience laughs and applauds, as Steve and Penny smile,
mindlessly.
                                                            
                       STEVE
But first, we have a special
guest. He's written a hit play,
survived a nasty accident and just
woken up from a two-year coma!
Please welcome the 'Wake Up!'
Freak of the Week, Joe Lanahan!
                                                            
Music. Joe is pushed on stage, looking uncomfortable and
confused.

A stage hand comes on and pushes Joe toward the chair that
has appeared between Steve and Penny. Joe sits, and
immediately begins to sweat bullets.

Music out.
                                                            

40.

                       PENNY
Welcome, Joe Lanahan. You donít
know me, but do you wanna see my
tits, anyway?
                                                            
The audience laughs as Joe looks at her like a deer caught
in headlights.
                                                            
                       STEVE
So, Joe. I hear you came back from
the dead to find you had a hit
play on your hands.
                                                            
CU on Joe, looking terrified, his face covered in sweat.
                                                            
Penny begins to unbutton her sweater.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Laughing
       nervously)
Gee, is it... is it hot in here?
                                                            
                       PENNY
      (Lasciviuosly)
No, but it's hot in here!
                                                            
                       STEVE
So, what unfunny piece of shit
have you got for us next, Joe?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Indicating Penny)
What... what is she doing?
                                                            
                       PENNY
      (Seductively)
I can make you like girls, Joe. I
promise I can...
                                                            
                       STEVE
Well, before you give Penny your
answer, Joe, letís bring out your
sainted mother, Lorraine.
                                                            
There is a burst of MUSIC and APPLAUSE. Joe looks out, but
sees no one in the audience.

Lorraine enters, grotesquely made up, her blood-red nails
freakishly long and curled; her hair a wild mane.


41.

She takes a seat next to Joe and begins to paw at him with
the nails. Joe tries to escape, but finds that his wrists
and ankles are manacled to his seat.

Penny has completely removed her sweater to reveal a lacy
bra which barely contains her breasts.
                                                            
                       PENNY
So Lorraine, do you think I can
change Joeyís mind about boinking
boys?
                                                            
Penny stands and begins to wriggle out of her skirt.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Harsh and boorish)
If you canít, honey, I donít know
who can! Ha!
                                                            
                       STEVE
Any plans for more kids, Lorraine,
or is one freak enough?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Well, Steve, after we had Joe, his
Dad and I called it quits in the
marriage. So unless I find some-
one to give me some lovin, there
wonít be nuthin in the oven! Ha!
      (To Joe)
Hey, Joe! Why donít you give Penny
there, a twirl? Come on, make me a
grandma! Ha-ha-ha-ha!
                                                            
Steve, Penny and the audience all laugh maniacally.

Penny continues to disrobe while Lorraine waves her wild
nails in Joeís face and Steve holds up a big sign that says
ďFREAK!!!Ē with an arrow pointing at Joe.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN'S HOME OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe wakes up gasping, the imprint of the keyboard on his
face.

He looks around, orients himself and then focuses on
a pack of cigarettes on the desk. Reaching for it, he finds

42.

it empty.
                                                            
                       JOE
Shit.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN GARAGE - NIGHT
                                                            
The light comes on and the door to the house opens. Joe
enters the garage, JINGLING his keys. He opens the car, gets
in and starts it up as the garage door opens.
                                                            
 
EXT. A CONVENIENCE STORE PARKING LOT - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe pulls up, parks and gets out of the car.
                                                            
 
INT. A CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe waits at the counter as very bad Muzak plays.

In front of Joe, Oriel is buying several porn magazines, but
Joe doesnít recognize him.

Behind Joe, an attractive blonde woman (CANDI) in a trench
coat, nervously shifts her weight from foot to foot.

Joe pays for his cigarettes and leaves. The camera follows
him out.
                                                            
 
EXT. A CONVENIENCE STORE PARKING LOT - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe stops by the trash can, opens his cigarettes and
disposes of the wrappers. He takes out his keys. He is just
about to open the car when GUNFIRE is heard from inside.
                                                            
                       JOE
Holy shit!
                                                            
Candi comes out of the store, brandishing a gun, a paper
sack and a coffee. She sees Joe and points the gun at him.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Open the car!
                                                            
                       JOE
Please, donít shoot.
                                                            

43.

                       CANDI
Open the car, let me in and drive.
Then I wonít have to shoot you.
                                                            
Joe opens the car, and gets in behind the wheel. Candi gets
into the passengerís side.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
                       CANDI
Now drive!
                                                            
                       JOE
Where?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Anywhere! Just go!
                                                            
Joe starts the car, throws it into gear and peels out of the
parking lot.

Joe is driving, trying to keep his eyes on the road, the
mirrors and the gun.
                                                            
                       JOE
Look, why donít I just pull over
and you take the car, okay?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Did I say you could talk to me?
                                                            
                       JOE
Sorry.
                                                            
                       CANDI
What's your name?
                                                            
                       JOE
Joe.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Joe, huh? Yeah. You look like you
could be a Joe.
                                                            
She looks out through the rear window to see if they are
being followed.
                                                            

44.

                       JOE
Listen... you didnít... uh...
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Mocking his tone)
Didnít... uh, what?
                                                            
                       JOE
You didnít shoot that clerk, did
you?
                                                            
                       CANDI
And so what if I did?
                                                            
                       JOE
I mean, what if he has a family?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Look, Joe. We all got problems.
But if itíll make you feel better,
no, I didnít. I shot the surveil-
lance camera.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh. Good.
                                                            
They drive on in silence for a moment.
                                                            
                       CANDI
So what do you care about the
clerk, anyway? I think Iíd be
worried about getting shot,
myself.
                                                            
                       JOE
Iím not afraid of you. Iíve been
dead, already.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Oh great! I car-jacked a looney!
                                                            
                       JOE
No. I mean... Well, until about
two months ago, I was in a coma.
                                                            
                       CANDI
No shit?
                                                            

45.

                       JOE
No shit.
                                                            
Candi shifts in her seat, and her coat falls open, exposing
a sequined leotard underneath.

Joe looks at her shoes; elaborate stiletto heels.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Fancy outfit to wear to a robbery,
donít you think?
                                                            
Candi looks down and pulls the coat tight around her again.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Gesturing w/gun)
You never mind about that! Just
drive!
                                                            
                       JOE
      (After a moment)
I may need gas, if you plan on go-
ing far.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Weíll cross that bridge when we
get to it.
                                                            
 
EXT. A GAS STATION - NIGHT
                                                            
Joeís car pulls up to a pump.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
                       CANDI
If I even think youíre trying to
ask for help...
                                                            
She pulls the hammer back on the gun with a loud CLICK.
                                                            
The ATTENDANT makes his way to Joeís car. Joe rolls down his
window.
                                                            
                       ATTENDANT
Yes, sir?
                                                            

46.

                       JOE
Fill it with regular, please.
                                                            
                       ATTENDANT
Cash or credit?
                                                            
                       JOE
Credit, please.
                                                            
                       CANDI
NO! Cash, please. Iíll pay for it,
honey.
                                                            
The Attendant walks back and begins to pump the gas.
                                                            
                       CANDI (cont'd)
Pretty slick, Slick!
                                                            
                       JOE
What do you mean?
                                                            
                       CANDI
If you use your credit card, they
can track our movements. Iím not
as stupid as I look.
                                                            
                       JOE
In fact, youíre smarter than I
am, because that never even cross-
ed my mind. I just knew I only had
ten bucks on me.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Yeah, like I believe you.
                                                            
                       JOE
Really. Itís true. I told you, Iím
not afraid of you. I just donít
get you.
                                                            
                       CANDI
What do you mean?
                                                            
                       JOE
I mean, why is an attractive,
obviously intelligent woman
robbing convenience stores and
car-jacking people?
                                                            

47.

                       CANDI
Itís a long story, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
Looks like Iím going to have some
time on my hands.
                                                            
                       CANDI
I donít even know where to start.
                                                            
                       JOE
How about with your name?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Itís Candi. With an i.
                                                            
                       JOE
Okay, Candi with an i. And now
maybe youíd like to explain why
Iíve been car-jacked by a woman in
a sequined leotard. I donít think
Iíve ever heard of anyone running
AWAY from the circus.
                                                            
Candi laughs and then starts to cry.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Oh, hey. I... I didnít mean to up-
set you. Iím sorry.
                                                            
                       CANDI
No, itís not your fault. I... Iím
in a terrible mess, and I have no
idea how to get myself out of it.
                                                            
                       JOE
Two heads are better than one, as
they say. Why donít you try and
tell me about your terrible mess?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Ever hear of Szandor the Great?
                                                            
Joe shakes his head.
                                                            
                       CANDI (cont)
His real name is Barry Schlitz-
stein, but who's going to
hire Schlitzstein the Great,
right? Anyway, he's... he WAS...
            (MORE)

48.

                       CANDI (cont'd)
my husband. We were working the
Taj in A.C....
                                                            
Dissolve to:
                                                            
 
INT. A CASINO THEATRE - NIGHT
                                                            
Szandor and Candi are on stage. Szandor wears an elaborate
magicianís costume. Candi is dressed in her sequined
leotard, fishnet stockings and a feathered head dress.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O.)
Barryís a magician. A good one,
too. Not a great one, but a good
one. Sometimes he gets frustrated
and I guess he has a temper. Weíd
been playing a lot of birthday
parties, just to make ends meet,
ya know?
                                                            
Szandor throws hundreds of cards into the air, seemingly
from nowhere. The audience applauds politely.

A large, elaborately painted cabinet is brought on stage.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O. cont'd)
Anyway, it was the last show of
our third night in AC. Everything
had gone pretty well and I was
thinking things might actually be
turning around. Then... it happen-
ed.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
What happened?
                                                            
Onstage, Szandor has placed Candi inside the cabinet. A
gigantic circular saw has been brought on.

Szandor starts the blade spinning and throws a cabbage at
it, chopping the cabbage to pieces. Szandor begins to lower
the blade toward the box.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O.)
I couldnít help it. I didnít
have a chance to warm up before
the show...
                                                            

49.

The blade draws closer to the box.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
WHAT happened?
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O.)
I got a very painful cramp in my
calf.
                                                            
Candiís leg springs out, knocking a hole through the side of
the box, revealing that her legs are not the same as those
hanging out of the other end.

Cut to:
                                                            
 
INT. A CASINO HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Szandor is seen, slapping Candi around. We can hear cursing
and threats and the sound of his SLAPS over Candi's CRIES of
pain.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O. cont'd)
He wouldnít listen. He wouldnít
let me explain... He just kept
hitting me and calling me names!
                                                            
Szandor hits Candi hard enough to send her flying across the
room.

Candi picks a gun up from on top of a nearby trunk.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O. cont'd)
I picked up the gun he always has
with him. He laughed at me.
                                                            
Szandor laughs. Candi fires and Szandor falls, striking the
back of his head against the corner of the nightstand.
                                                            
                       CANDI (V.O. cont'd)
I... I fired at him. He fell. I
ran. End of story.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 

50.

INT. A BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Candi and Joe sit in a booth, a mostly devoured pizza and
two half-empty mugs of beer in front of them.

Joe looks at her, thinking.
                                                            
                       JOE
Did you check to see if he was
really dead?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I just ran. I got in the car and
drove until I ran out of gas. Then
I walked.
                                                            
                       JOE
When was this?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Yesterday... No... The day before.
I think... It's all kind of
fuzzy...
                                                            
                       JOE
Letís assume heís dead, then. Itís
justifiable homicide. Or self-
defense, at least. I think you
should go to the police, Candi.
                                                            
                       CANDI
I can't. They'd never believe me.
I have a bit of a past.
                                                            
                       JOE
We all have a past. How bad can it
be?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I didnít always run with the best
of crowds, you know? Before I met
Barry, I was sort of a biker
chick.
                                                            
Behind the bar, the BARTENDER turns on the TV. A news report
is on.
                                                            
                       TV REPORTER
Police in Bucks County are looking
for this woman in connection with
a convenience store robbery and
            (MORE)

51.

                       TV REPORTER (cont'd)
possible car-jacking earlier this
evening.
                                                            
A video still from the convenience store shows a blurry
image of Candi waiting in line behind Joe. Candiís head has
been digitally highlighted.
                                                            
                       TV REPORTER (cont'd)
The woman is described as blonde,
five foot ten, about one hundred
and twenty pounds. She is con-
sidered armed and dangerous.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Insulted)
A hundred and fifteen pounds,
thank you!
                                                            
                       JOE
Damn! We'd better get out of here
before someone recognizes you.
                                                            
 
INT. A CASINO HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Szandor sits in his room, watching TV and drinking whiskey
from a bottle, nursing a lump on the back of his head with
an ice bag.

The same news report we have seen in the bar comes on.

Szandor stands up grinning, and switches off the TV.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
Joeís car drives past the camera.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
                       JOE
So, where to?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I have sister in Cleveland.
                                                            
                       JOE
Ohio? Look, thatís a bit...
                                                            

52.

There is a loud THUMP from the right side of the car.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
What the hell was that?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I think we hit something.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
Joeís car slows and turns around, slowly heading back
towards the camera.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
                       JOE
I donít see anything. If it was
an animal, it couldnít have been
hurt too badly. Come on, letís go.
We need a place to stay tonight.
And we have to find you something
else to wear.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Sliding closer)
Youíve been so nice to me, Joe.
Iíd like to be nice to you, too.
                                                            
                       JOE
Um... Candi... thereís something
you should know...
                                                            
                       CANDI
Aw, shit! Youíre gay, arenít you?
                                                            
                       JOE
Sorry.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Damnit! The nice ones are always
gay! Or married... or both!
                                                            
                       JOE
Gee, never heard that before...
                                                            
                       CANDI
Yeah. Whatever. Sorry. Stress
makes me a little crazy, ya know?
                                                            

53.

                       JOE
Yeah. I know. Me too. Friends?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Friends. Yeah. I'd like that. I
could use a friend right about
now.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
Joeís car turns back around and heads down the road.

Fade to:
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Lorraine is making breakfast. She sets the table and calls
out.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Calling out)
Joe! Breakfast!
                                                            
She places the food on the table and calls Joe again.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (cont'd)
Come on, sleepy! Letís go! Your
eggs are getting cold.
                                                            
After a moment, she rises; the camera following her upstairs
to Joeís room. She knocks on the door.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (cont'd)
Joe? Are you getting up? Are you
okay? Do you feel alright? Joe?
                                                            
She opens the door to find the bed empty.
                                                            
 
EXT. A MOTEL - DAY
                                                            
Joe and Candi come out of their room. Candi notices
something on the car.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Pointing at car)
Joe, what is that?
                                                            
Joe gets closer to find that a bat has impaled itself on the
car's radio antenna.
                                                            

54.

                       JOE
      (Examining it)
It looks like a bat. Thatís what
we must have hit last night.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Itís disgusting!
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah, it is.
                                                            
Joe unlocks the car and opens the door to let Candi get in.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Aren't you going to get rid of it?
                                                            
                       JOE
Iím not touching that thing! Bats
carry all kinds of diseases.
                                                            
                       CANDI
So youíre just going to leave it
there?
                                                            
                       JOE
Itíll come off eventually. Letís
go. Thereís gotta be a Walmart
around here, somewhere.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Oh, thatís real inconspicuous,
driving around with a bat impaled
on your antenna.
                                                            
                       JOE
So, take it off.
                                                            
Candi approaches the bat, trepidatiously.

She looks around and finds a stick on the ground.

She wedges the end of the stick between the bat and the car
when Joe grabs her from behind.
                                                            
                       JOE
Look out!!
                                                            
Candi screams and jumps, dropping the stick.
                                                            

55.

                       CANDI
You asshole! And I thought you
were a nice guy.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Laughing)
And I thought you were a bad
girl.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Oh, screw it! Leave the damned
thing where it is.
                                                            
They get in the car and pull out of the parking lot.
                                                            
 
INT. STEVE'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
The phone RINGS and Steve appears, rumpled and still half
asleep. He stumbles to the phone and answers it.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Into phone)
Yeah? What? No, Mrs. Lanahan, Joe
isn't here. Why? No. No. Look,
donít panic. Iím sure heís fine.
Yes, if I hear from him, Iíll tell
him to call you. Alright. Bye.
                                                            
He hangs up and sleepily turns on the TV. The news is on.
                                                            
                       TV REPORTER
      (On television)
And police are still looking for
this woman in connection with a
robbery at a Bucks County con-
venience store last night.
                                                            
Candi's picture is shown.
                                                            
                       TV REPORTER (cont'd)
      (On television)
She has been identified as Candi
Schlitzstein, wife and assistant
to missing magician, Szandor the
Great.
                                                            
Steve laughs and changes the channel to Cartoon Network.
                                                            

56.

                       STEVE
Now magiciansí assistants are rob-
bing Seven-Elevens? The world is
going to hell.
                                                            
The phone RINGS again.
                                                            
                       STEVE (con't)
Two calls before nine? Donít
people have any sense of decency
anymore?
                                                            
He lets the answering machine pick up. We hear his message.
                                                            
                       STEVE (V.O.)
      (On machine)
Hey, loser! I canít get to the
phone. If Iím not ducking you,
Iíll call you back. If you hang up
without leaving a message, I will
hunt you down and gut you like a
de...
                                                            
The machine BEEPS. We hear Joe's voice.
                                                            
                       JOE (V.O.)
      (On machine)
Dude, wake up!
                                                            
Steve grabs the receiver and turns off the answering
machine.

The screen splits to show both Joe and Steve. Joe is on his
cell-phone, driving.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Into phone)
Where the hell are you, man? Your
Momís freakin out.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Into phone)
Iím fine. And I want you to tell
her that, too.
                                                            

57.

                       STEVE
      (Into phone)
So why donít you call her your-
self?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Into phone)
Itís complicated. Just tell her
that Iím fine and Iíll be back in
a few days.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Into phone)
Youíre sure?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Into phone)
Iím sure.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Into phone)
Okay, man. Whatever you say.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Into phone)
I gotta go. Bye.
                                                            
Joeís half of the screen closes. Steve hangs up and begins
to dial.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Great. Now Iím a goddamned messen-
ger service!
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Joe closes his cell-phone and puts it back in his pocket.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (To Candi)
Alright, letís go get you some new
clothes and a new hair color. The
motel manager said thereís a Wal-
mart about three miles...
                                                            
Suddenly, Candi screams.
                                                            
                       JOE
What?!?!
                                                            

58.

He looks at Candi who is pointing out the windshield, her
mouth open in horror.

The camera follows her finger to look through the
windshield.

The bat, its wings caught in the updraft of the carís
movement, has begun slide up the antenna.

Joe laughs hysterically.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Now thereís something you donít
see every day.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Thatís disgusting!
                                                            
                       JOE
Itís funny! You canít make this
kind of stuff up.
                                                            
                       CANDI
I thought... I thought maybe it...
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Laughing harder)
Came back to life?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Silly, huh?
                                                            
                       JOE
Trust me, dead is dead.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Well, I guess you should know.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE ATLANTIC CITY EXPRESSWAY - DAY
                                                            
Cars rush by an Atlantic City Expressway sign.
                                                            
 
INT. SZANDOR'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Szandor is driving, grimly clutching the steering wheel and
watching the road signs.
                                                            
 

59.

EXT. THE ATLANTIC CITY EXPRESSWAY - DAY
                                                            
Szandor's car exits the highway. The exit sign reads " To
I-195 West, Trenton."
                                                            
 
INT. A THEATRE OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
As before, Donny sits behind the desk while Dean sits
opposite. Donny is busily shredding documents while Dean
reads a comic book.

Donny finishes shredding and looks at his brother in
disgust. Finally, he picks up a paper-clip and rubber band
and shoots Dean in the forehead with it.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Hey! What the hellíd you do that
for? You coulda taken my eye out!
                                                            
                       DONNY
How the hell old are you?
                                                            
                       DEAN
What?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Look at you. Youíre one of the
producers of the hottest ticket in
town, and you sit around the off-
ice, reading comic books!
                                                            
                       DEAN
So? I like comics. If Ang Lee can
direct ďHulk,Ē thereís no reason I
canít read ďThe Magnificent Meph-
isto!Ē
                                                            
                       DONNY
And a lame comic, to boot! Why
canít you read ďBladeĒ or ďX-Men,Ē
at least? What the hell kind of
superhero is a magician? What does
he do, throw bunnies and little
paper bouquets at his enemies?
                                                            
                       DEAN
No, stupid. He creates elaborate
illusions that lure the villains
into his ďLabyrinth of Justice.Ē
            (MORE)

60.

                       DEAN (cont'd)
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Unimpressed)
Uh-huh. Ooh... Iím scared!
                                                            
The phone RINGS and they stare at one another in a showdown.
After the third RING, Donny can't take any more and he
answers, glaring at Dean as he speaks.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Into phone)
Marx Brothers Entertainment.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (V.O.)
Donny, itís Lorraine Lanahan.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Into phone)
Hey there! I was just going to
call you.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (V.O.)
You havenít heard from Joe, by any
chance, have you?
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Into phone)
Today? No. Why?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (V.O.)
I... I donít know, Donny. I think
he... well, I donít what to think.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Into phone)
Whoa. What's wrong? Start from the
beginning.
                                                            
 
EXT. A GAS STATION - DAY
                                                            
Joe sits in the car, waiting.
                                                            
 
INT. A GAS STATION REST ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Candi is bent over, drying her hair under a hand dryer. She
wears jeans and a black tank top.

61.


CU of the trash can, where pieces of long blonde hair lie.

Candi stands and shakes out her hair.

The camera angle changes to show her from the front. Her
hair is now a short, black bob. The front of her tank top is
studded with rhinestone stars, moons and suns.
                                                            
 
EXT. A GAS STATION - DAY
                                                            
Candi comes out of the restroom, walks to the car and gets
in.
                                                            
 
INT. JOE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
                       JOE
Wow! You look like Catherine Zeta
Jones in ďChicago.Ē
                                                            
                       CANDI
That cinches it. You are most def-
initely gay!
                                                            
Joe laughs and starts the car.
                                                            
 
INT. STEVE'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Steve sits on the sofa, smoking a bong and watching a
vampire movie on TV.

Steve laughs as the hero explains how vampires are actually
the undead.

There is a POUNDING at the door.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Go away, Mrs. Wertman! There is
nothing on fire! Iím just making
Thai food again!
                                                            
The POUNDING continues. Steve sighs, sets down the bong and
goes to the door. The pounding goes on.
                                                            
                       STEVE (cont'd)
Alright, already! Who is it?
                                                            

62.

                       MCKAY
      (Through the door)
Mister Warner? FBI. Open the door,
please.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (To himself)
Oh, shit!
                                                            
He frantically runs to hide the bong and sprays
air-freshener about the room.
                                                            
                       STEVE (con't)
      (To the door)
Just a minute! Iím not dressed!
                                                            
Steve pulls off his t-shirt and goes to the door. He begins
to pull it back over his head as he opens the door, making
it look like he was just finishing dressing.

DAN MCKAY, 40ís, a typical G-MAN, stands at the door,
displaying his badge.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Nonchalantly)
Is there a problem, Officer...?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Agent. Special Agent Dan McKay.
Iím looking for Joe Lanahan.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Heís not here.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
      (Putting badge
       away)
Have you seen or heard from him
recently?
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (A bit confused)
He called me this morning. Look,
whatís this about?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Did he say where he was?
                                                            

63.

                       STEVE
No. He just said he was fine and
heíd be back in a few days
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Did he say if anyone was with him
or why he left?
                                                            
                       STEVE
No. Please, whatís going on?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Did he mention where he might be
headed?
                                                            
                       STEVE
No! Listen, are you going to tell
me what...
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Mr. Lanahanís car was identified
by a convenience store clerk. A
woman robbed the store, then took
off with someone who fits your
friendís description, in a car
registered to his mother.
                                                            
                       STEVE
No. Thereís some kind of mistake.
IF Joe did something like that,
and thatís VERY unlikely, itís be-
cause he was forced to.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Frankly, Mr. Warner, thatís exact-
ly what weíre worried about.
                                                            
McKay hands Steve a business card. It reads: Special Agent
D. McKay. FBI. 215-555-8282
                                                            
                       MCKAY (cont'd)
If you hear from him, Iíd appre-
ciate it if youíd give me a call.
                                                            

64.

                       STEVE
Sure.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Oh, and Mister Warner?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Yes?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Mountain Spring doesnít really
work. You should try an air fil-
ter or maybe even burn some in-
cense.
                                                            
Steve is stunned for a moment, but then recovers.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Uh... thanks. Iíll call you if I
hear from Joe.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
You do that, Mister Warner. And
keep yourself out of trouble, as
well. Bye now.
                                                            
McKay turns to leave as Steve closes the door. Steve leans
his back against the door and heaves a sigh of relief.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Aw, shit! What the hell have you
gotten yourself into this time,
Joe?
                                                            
He goes back to the sofa, pulls the bong from its hiding
place, and continues to smoke.
                                                            
 
INT. A PROFESSORíS OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
We are in an office very similar to the one we have seen,
though there are quite a few obvious differences.

The perspective seems to be off-kilter, as though everything
were tilted in different directions.

The film posters have become ads for pornographic films; the
books have been replaced with TV Guides and bound copies of
comic books and Mad magazines; the Dali print shows

65.

perfectly normal watches and clocks.

Oriel Destin sits in the professor's chair.

Joe, his hair slicked back, his shirt collar buttoned and a
pocket protector full of pens, sits sheepishly across from
Oriel.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Now this is real drama, Mister
Lanahan. I can actually relate to
this.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Nasal, nerdy
       voice)
Really? I'm glad you like it. I
spent two years researching.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
And it shows... it shows. But I
have to ask you one question.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yes, sir?
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Do you really expect anyone to pay
money to see this drivel?
                                                            
Joe shrinks back into his seat as Oriel morphs into a
five-headed monster. Monstrous parody heads of Lorraine,
Steve, Isaacs, Penny and Tanner all speak at once, repeating
their lines over and over until they become a roar.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Monster voice)
Regis and Kelly. Regis and Kelly.
Regis and Kelly...
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Monster voice)
Itís my fault, dude. Itís my
fault, dude. Itís my fault...
                                                            
                       ISAACS
      (Monster voice)
Puerile, unfunny garbage! Puerile,
unfunny garbage! Puerile, unfunny
garbage...
            (MORE)

66.

                       ISAACS (cont'd)
                                                            
                       PENNY
      (Monster voice)
Bet I can fix that for ya! Bet I
can fix that for ya! Bet I can fix
that for ya...
                                                            
                       TANNER
      (Monster voice)
Youíve been in a coma for almost
two years. Youíve been in a coma
for almost two years. Youíve been
in a coma...
                                                            
Joe holds his hands against his ears and is about to scream
when the voices stop and Szandor enters in full magicianís
regalia, a mask covering most of his face.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
      (A cartoon
       superhero)
By the powers of the Old Ones, I
bid you be gone, dragon!
                                                            
Szandor waves his wand and the monster dissolves into a
cloud of smoke which dissipates into space.

The camera pulls back to find Joe, looking normal, and
Szandor; both apparently standing on nothing, surrounded by
millions of stars.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Normal voice)
Youíre supposed to be dead.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
So are you. Things are never what
they seem to be and rarely what
they are supposed to be.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh, how original. The magician
in a dream speaks in riddles. Iíd
get an ďFĒ if put that in one of
my plays.
                                                            

67.

                       SZANDOR
That wasnít a riddle. It was an
ironic turn of phrase.
                                                            
                       JOE
It was a cheap clichť. No wonder
she shot you. And why are you
wearing that stupid mask? Afraid
Iíll be able to identify you?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
This is your dream. You've never
seen me, so your subconscious gave
me the mask. Besides, don't you
know anything about Freud? Every-
one in your dreams is really just
a manifestation of yourself.
                                                            
                       JOE
I was never a big fan of Freud.
Jung! Now there was a psychol-
ogist!
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
You donít get it, do you?
                                                            
                       JOE
Get what?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
And you never will. Not unless you
wake up, boy!
                                                            
                       JOE
What the hell are you talking a-
bout?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Wake up, Joe. Wake up! Wake up
Joe. Wake up... wake up...
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. JOEíS CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Candi is in the driverís seat, shaking a sleeping Joe,
desperately trying to wake him.
                                                            

68.

                       CANDI
Wake up, Joe! Wake up!
                                                            
She grabs a bottle of water and splashes his face with it.
He wakes with a sputter.
                                                            
                       JOE
What the hell did you do that for?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Weíre stuck, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
Stuck?
                                                            
                       CANDI
The car, Joe. Itís stalled and I
canít get it started.
                                                            
                       JOE
Well, you probably flooded it. Let
it sit for a few minutes.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Well, thatís the other problem.
                                                            
                       JOE
Whatís the other problem?
                                                            
Close by, a train WHISTLE blows. Joe looks out the side
window.

Joeís POV Ė train tracks stretch out from under the car to
the horizon. In the distance, a cyclopean headlight grows as
the train gets closer.
                                                            
                       CANDI
We donít exactly have a few min-
utes...
                                                            
                       JOE
Fuck me! Get out of the car!
                                                            
He begins to unbuckle his seatbelt and frantically claw at
the door handle.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Candi, get out of the car!
                                                            

69.

Candi scrambles out of the car, but Joeís door wonít open.
The train gets closer and the whistle louder.

Joe struggles with the door. Finally, he slides across the
seat and out the driverís side door.
                                                            
 
EXT. A FIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe and Candi run away from the tracks and stand to watch as
the freight train smashes into the car, pushing it along
until it reaches a nearby bridge, where the wreckage falls
off into the river below.
                                                            
                       JOE
Great! Thatís just fucking terri-
fic! How the hell did that happen?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I kind of... got lost. The roads
are real dark around here. I
thought I was following the
tracks. Next thing I knew, we
were stalled out ON the tracks.
                                                            
                       JOE
Well, I hope youíre ready to walk.
                                                            
They begin to trudge off in the dark, toward the road.
                                                            
 
INT. THE LANAHAN LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Lorraine sits on the sofa, nervously watching the news,
Donny and Dean on either side of her. Donny holds Lorraineís
hand, comfortingly, while Dean eats noisily from a huge bowl
of popcorn, shoveling handfuls at a time into his mouth.

The camera moves in to a CU of the TV screen.
                                                            
                       NEWS ANCHOR
More information now on the
so-called 'Lady Robber.'
                                                            
Candiís photo appears behind the Anchor.
                                                            
                       NEWS ANCHOR (cont'd)
Police are now searching for this
man...
                                                            

70.

Joeís photo takes Candiís place.
                                                            
                       NEWS ANCHOR (cont'd)
...playwright Joe Lanahan, who,
you may remember, made a miracle
recovery from a coma just a few
months ago. Lanahanís car was i-
dentified by convenience store
manager, Ahmed Bhat...
                                                            
A photo of the CLERK takes the place of Joeís photo.
                                                            
                       NEWS ANCHOR (cont'd)
...as the vehicle Candi Schlitz-
stein used to make her getaway.
It is not known if Lanahan...
                                                            
Joeís photo again.
                                                            
                       NEWS ANCHOR (cont'd)
...whose play, ďChannel Sixty-
Nine,Ē has become a cult favorite
here in town, is working with
Schlitzstein, or was taken by
force. Schlitzsteinís husband,
magician ĎSzandor the Great,í has
not been seen since the coupleís
last performance in Atlantic City
earlier this week. Authorities
fear the worst.
                                                            
The TV is shut off and the picture reduces to a white dot in
the middle of the screen. The camera pulls out to reveal...
                                                            
 
INT. A MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Szandor lies on the bed, the TV remote in his hand. He
smiles evilly and then rises, heading for the door.
                                                            
 
EXT. AN AMISH FARM - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe and Candi are sneaking into the barn.
                                                            
                       JOE
Iím not so sure this is a good i-
dea, Candi.
                                                            

71.

Candi shushes him as she steps inside the barn.
                                                            
 
INT. A BARN - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe and Candi are very quietly moving about the dark barn,
trying to steal a horse and buggy.

They have just gotten the horse out of its stall when the
far door opens, revealing a very large AMISH MAN, holding a
lantern above his head.

Joe and Candi stand, looking like two children who just got
caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Panicked, Joe screams and SLAPS the horse's rump, sending
the horse charging at the Amish Man.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE BARN - NIGHT
                                                            
Joe and Candi run from out of one end of the barn, while the
Amish Man, chased by the horse, runs out of the other.

Cut to:
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Breathing hard)
Do you... see... him?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Breathing hard)
No... I think... heís too busy...
trying... to catch... his horse.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Thatís... good.
                                                            
                       JOE
Heíll... call... the police.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Catching her
       breath)
No phone.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Catching his
       breath)
How... how do you know that?
                                                            

72.

                       CANDI
Amish... No phones... Heíll have
to go in to file a report. But I
bet he doesnít.
                                                            
                       JOE
Why not?
                                                            
                       CANDI
That's a working farm, Joe. He has
too much to do to waste time fill-
ing out police reports when no
real harm was done.
                                                            
                       JOE
I hope... youíre right.
                                                            
                       CANDI
It wouldnít be the first time.
                                                            
Joe extends his elbow to Candi.
                                                            
                       JOE
Well... shall we?
                                                            
Candi loops her arm through his.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Letís.
                                                            
They begin to walk and after a few steps, break out into the
ďWeíre Off to See the WizardĒ dance.

Dissolve to:
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
                                                            
Joe and Candi are slowly dragging their feet as they walk.
Suddenly, Candi sits down on the blacktop.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Thatís it! Iím not walking another
step!
                                                            
                       JOE
We canít just sit here and wait
for a bus. I donít think they run
out here. And take those damned
heels off, for Godís sake! Itís a
miracle you havenít broken an an-
kle in those things.
            (MORE)

73.

                       JOE (cont'd)
                                                            
                       CANDI
We have been walking for three
hours. My feet hurt; my back
hurts; I'm tired; I'm hungry and
I need a shower so badly I would
kick a baby to get one. But right
now, all I want is ten minutes to
sit here on the side of the road
and not walk!
                                                            
She takes off her shoes and throws them into the weeds along
side the road, rubbing her feet.

Joe sighs heavily and sits beside her. They are quiet for a
moment, looking up and down the empty road.
                                                            
                       CANDI (cont'd)
I'm sorry I wrecked the car.
                                                            
                       JOE
Itís just a thing.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Unfortunately, a necessary thing.
                                                            
They sit in silence for a moment again. Joe looks down the
road and sees the glint of the sun in a windshield.
                                                            
                       JOE
Somebodyís coming.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Where?
                                                            
Joe points and they watch the car approach, standing when it
gets near.

It's a junker, driven by a man (POPE) with a dog sitting in
the front seat.

Joe waves him down and the car stops. Joe leans in to talk
to the driver and we see that the dog is stuffed.
                                                            
                       JOE
Do you think you can you help us
out with a ride, sir?
                                                            

74.

                       POPE
      (Eyeing them over)
You two look like you been in some
kinda trouble.
                                                            
                       JOE
We were... robbed. Our car and our
money were stolen.
                                                            
                       POPE
Well, poop in a monkeyís hat!
Thatís terrible!
                                                            
                       JOE
If you could find it in your heart
to give us a lift to the nearest
town, weíd appreciate it.
                                                            
                       POPE
Dunno. Have to see what Cooter
thinks.
                                                            
                       JOE
Cooter?
                                                            
Pope pulls the stuffed dog close to him and whispers in his
ear. He then "listens" to what the dog has to "say."

Joe looks back at Candi who shakes her head and spins her
finger around her ear.
                                                            
                       POPE
Cooter thinks yer safe. Says ya
smell safe, anyway. I guess itís
alright, sílong as ya donít mind
sittin in the back.
                                                            
Joe looks at Candi again, who shrugs as if to say ďWhy not?Ē
and they both climb in the back.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Whispering to Joe)
Poop in a monkeyís hat?!
                                                            
Joe shrugs, mystified.
                                                            
 

75.

INT. POPE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
                       JOE
Thanks, mister. Iím Jo... Jonah.
And this is... Carrie.
                                                            
                       POPE
Ya kin call me Pope. Most folks
do.
                                                            
                       CANDI
We really appreciate it, sir.
                                                            
                       POPE
So where was you folks headed when
you was robbed?
                                                            
Candi and Joe answer simultaneously.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Phoenix.
                                                            
                       JOE
San Francisco.
                                                            
They glance at one another, then simultaneously again:
                                                            
                       CANDI
San Francisco.
                                                            
                       JOE
Phoenix.
                                                            
Pope looks at them, confused.
                                                            
                       JOE
Phoenix to visit her folks and
then San Francisco to visit mine.
                                                            
Pope smiles and nods, winking.
                                                            
                       POPE
You two eloped, din'cha?
                                                            
Candi stifles a laugh.
                                                            
                       JOE
Uh... something like that, yeah.
                                                            

76.

                       POPE
My first wife an me eloped. We was
seventeen. Got married in Vegas.
Iím headed west, míself, ya know.
Be happy ta take ya with me. Most
a yer way, anyway. Iím takin
Cooter here ta see the Grand Can-
yon! Ainít that right, boy? Whoís
a good boy? You are! Yes, you are!
                                                            
He degenerates into baby talk as he rubs the dogís ears and
blows kisses at it.

Joe and Candi, though not exactly frightened, are a bit
alarmed.
                                                            
                       JOE
Really, that wonít be necessary,
sir... uh... Pope. The next town
will be fine.
                                                            
                       POPE
Nonsense! Me an Cooter kin use the
compíny.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Do you mind if I ask you a ques-
tion?
                                                            
                       POPE
      (Smiling)
Seein as ya jest did, I sípose
not.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Why are you taking Cooter to see
the Grand Canyon?
                                                            
                       POPE
ĎCause he ainít never seen it!
Everbody ought ta see the Grand
Canyon, Miss. Even if heís a dog!
                                                            
He cackles, puts the car in gear and drives off.
                                                            
 

77.

EXT. A RAILROAD BRIDGE - DAY
                                                            
The remains of Joeís car are being hauled out of the river
as a team of police divers stands by.

The camera pans to where a field reporter, RHEA ST. JAMES,
is standing with a microphone, talking to a TV camera.
                                                            
                       RHEA
Authorities are refusing to
confirm or deny whether the car
you see being pulled from the
Susquehanna behind me, actually
belongs to playwright Joe Lanahan,
who it is now believed has been
kidnapped by 'Lady Robber,' Candi
Schlitzstein.
                                                            
 
INT. A RURAL DINER - DAY
                                                            
Szandor sits at the counter, eating breakfast and watching
the news report.
                                                            
                       RHEA (cont'd)
      (On TV)
Earlier, I managed to speak with
the engineer of the train that hit
this car last night.
                                                            
The live feed switches to a taped interview with the
ENGINEER.
                                                            
                       ENGINEER
I blew the whistle long before I
even saw the car. I guess it was
stalled. Next thing I know, I see
two people get out and run and
then... blammo!
                                                            
Back to live feed.
                                                            
                       RHEA
Weíll have more on this continuing
story at noon. Reporting live,
this is Rhea Saint James, for
Channel Eight News.
                                                            
Szandor smiles, throws money on the counter and leaves.
                                                            
 

78.

INT. A THEATRE OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Donny and Dean occupy their usual seats, while Lorraine sits
in a third chair and Steve stands. Dean is chewing gum,
popping it loudly.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Steven, if you had any idea where
Joe was, you would tell us, right?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Mrs. Lanahan, I already told you
and the FBI, I donít know where
he is. He called me yesterday
morning and asked me to tell you
that he was fine and he'd be home
soon. Thatís all I know.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Thatís funny, you bein his best
friend and all. I would think he
wouldíve told you where he was
goin, at least.
                                                            
                       STEVE
And exactly what is your role in
this interrogation, Donny?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Letís just say that Dean and I
have a vested interest in Joeís
well-being.
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (Popping his gum)
Yeah.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Look, you two morons can sit
there and play 'Sopranos' all
you want. I donít know where Joe
is. And even if I did, I would
tell the FBI before I told you two
mooks.
                                                            
Dean pops his gum again. Donny shoots him a look of
annoyance.


79.

Steve looks at the two of them, shaking his head in
disbelief. He starts to leave and turns to Lorraine.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Mrs. Lanahan, I am sorry. I really
donít know where Joe is. But heís
a big boy. He can take care of
himself. I have a feeling this
whole thing is just a big misun-
derstanding.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Thank you, Steven.
                                                            
                       STEVE
And Iíd suggest that you stay as
far away from Larry and Curly
here, as you can.
                                                            
Steve exits.

Dean looks at Donny.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Hey! Was he talkin about us?
                                                            
                       DONNY
What do you think, ass?
                                                            
                       DEAN
Hope Iím Curly.
                                                            
Dean pops the gum again and Donny throws a stapler at him.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
                                                            
Popeís car is parked at the side of the road. Joe and Candi
lean against the trunk, sharing a cigarette.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Do you think weíll be okay?
                                                            
                       JOE
What, with Pope? Sure. Heís harm-
less. A little weird -- okay, a
lot weird -- but heís harmless.
                                                            

80.

                       CANDI
No, I meant... do you think weíll
get to Cleveland without...
                                                            
                       JOE
Getting caught?
                                                            
Candi nods.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
I have no idea. But you know what?
I am having the time of my life.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Really?
                                                            
                       JOE
Iím a writer. I live vicariously
through the characters I create.
Now, Iím actually having a real
adventure of my own. Who wouldnít
be having a great time?
                                                            
Pope emerges from the woods at the side of road, carrying
the dog in his arms.
                                                            
                       POPE
Wooo-eee! Poor ole Cooter had ta
go real bad!
                                                            
Candi looks at Joe, who winks in response.

Pope tosses his keys at Joe, who catches them.
                                                            
                       POPE (con't)
Jonah, you wouldnít mind drivin
fer a while, soís me and Cooter
kin get a nap, would ya?
                                                            
                       JOE
Not at all.
                                                            
                       POPE
      (To Candi)
You donít mind movin up front, do
ya Missy?
                                                            

81.

                       CANDI
Oh, no. Thatís fine. The back seat
makes me carsick, anyway.
                                                            
They climb into the car and Joe drives off down the road.
                                                            
 
EXT. END OF A DRIVEWAY - DAY
                                                            
An OLD WOMAN stands at the side of the road, next to a
mailbox. On a leash wrapped tightly around her hand, an
enormous Great Dane sits beside her.

Szandor drives up and rolls down his window.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Excuse me, maíam...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
You ainít Jesse.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
      (Slightly confused)
No ma'am, I'm not.
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Then whereís ma mail?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Excuse me?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Been waitin all mornin fer ma
mail. You got it?
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
No maíam, I don't. I just stopped
to ask some direc...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
      (Interrupting)
Then get the hell outta here!
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
But I just wanted to ask some...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
      (Interrupting)
If you ainít got ma mail, I donít
you want ya here! Now get out or
            (MORE)

82.

                       OLD WOMAN (cont'd)
Iíll call the cops!
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
Hey, fuck you, bitch!
                                                            
Szandor peels out down the road.

With a loud bark, the Great Dane chases after the car,
pulling the Old Woman up into the air, perpendicular to the
ground, and out of the frame.
                                                            
 
EXT. A RAILROAD BRIDGE - DAY
                                                            
The wreckage has been cleared. Policemen and reporters mill
about. McKay and a STATE TROOPER are walking away from the
bridge.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
If your car was hit by a train,
whatís the first thing youíd do?
                                                            
                       TROOPER
Call the police.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
No, I mean if you were Candi
Schlitzstein, whatís the first
thing you would do?
                                                            
                       TROOPER
Find another ride?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Exactly!
                                                            
 
INT. STEVE'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Steve is smoking a joint and packing clothes and toiletries
into a backpack. He picks up the bong and is about to place
it into the backpack when he realizes there is still water
in it. He looks around and spots a sickly looking rubber
plant on top of the TV. He shrugs and dumps the bong water
into the plant.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (To plant)
Bon appetite!
                                                            

83.

He shoves the bong into the backpack and heads for the door.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Donít worry, Joe. I wonít let you
down again!
                                                            
He looks about to see if he has forgotten anything and then
leaves, locking the door behind him.
                                                            
 
EXT. THE LANAHAN HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Donny comes out of the front door, holding it open for
Lorraine. As she passes, he lets go and it closes on Dean,
who is carrying a pile of suitcases. We hear the crash as
the suitcases fall.
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (Behind door)
Aw, crap!
                                                            
Donny follows Lorraine to her car.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Really Donny, itís awfully nice of
you boys to offer to come with me.
I wouldíve hated to make this trip
all alone.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Our pleasure, Missus Lanahan.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Lorraine, please. My mother-in-law
was Missus Lanahan.
                                                            
                       DONNY
Alright... Lorraine.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Smiling)
Much better.
      (Opening trunk)
You can put those right in here,
Dean.
                                                            
They both turn to where they assume Dean is standing.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE (cont'd)
Dean?
                                                            

84.

                       DONNY
That moron!
                                                            
Donny storms back to the house and opens the door where he
finds Dean trying to pick up the suitcases and failing
miserably. Donny reaches down and grabs one.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (To Dean)
What is your problem?
                                                            
                       DEAN
I was tryin to pick Ďem up, but
they kep fallin.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Mocking)
"I was tryin to pick Ďem up, but
they kep fallin." Letís go, bone-
head!
                                                            
They carry the bags to the car and put them in the trunk.

Lorraine unlocks the doors and gets in the driverís side.

Both Donny and Dean try to get into the front passengerís
seat. Donny gives Dean a look, and Dean backs down, getting
in the back.

Lorraine starts the car and backs down the drive.
                                                            
 
INT. POPE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Pope is asleep in the back seat, his arms wrapped around the
dog. Joe is driving with Candi in the seat next to him,
trying to decipher a map.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Who the hell drew this map, Moses?
                                                            
                       JOE
What makes you say that?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I-Ninety-Five isnít on it, for one
thing.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh man, that is not good.
                                                            

85.

                       CANDI
Well, there's supposed to be a
small town a couple of miles a-
head. We can probably get some-
thing to eat, at least.
                                                            
                       JOE
Whatís it called?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Manning.
                                                            
                       JOE
Okay then. Manning, here we come.
                                                            
There is a loud BANG and Joe loses control of the wheel. The
car skids into a ditch and Joe hits his head on the steering
wheel, bloodying his forehead.

Joe turns to Candi, who has somehow managed to tear her tank
top.
                                                            
                       JOE
You okay?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I think so. Youíre bleeding,
though.
                                                            
They look in the back seat, where Pope snores away. The dog,
however, has broken a leg which hangs, literally, by a
thread; stuffing pouring out onto the seat.
                                                            
                       CANDI (cont'd)
What happened, anyway?
                                                            
                       JOE
A blowout, I think. These tires
are probably originals.
                                                            
They carefully get out of the car to examine the situation.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
                                                            
The front left tire has practically disintegrated.

Joe opens the trunk only to find it filled with bags of
Purina Monkey Chow.


86.

Joe and Candi look at one another.
                                                            
                       CANDI
I donít really think I want to
know.
                                                            
                       JOE
Me neither.
                                                            
Joe lifts out the bags of Monkey Chow, to find that the
spare tire is missing.
                                                            
                       JOE
Guess weíre walking again. Do you
want to wake him up, or should I?
                                                            
 
EXT. THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE - DAY
                                                            
State police are setting up a roadblock. McKay stands by,
talking into a cell phone.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
      (Into phone)
I donít care, Frank. I said, I
donít care. I have the situation
firmly in hand... I know that,
Frank. Nothing has changed, Frank.
Things may have taken an unexpect-
ed little turn or two, but the
goal remains the same. You leave
that all up to me.
                                                            
The TROOPER approaches.
                                                            
                       MCKAY (cont'd)
      (Into phone)
Hang on, Frank.
      (To Trooper)
Yeah?
                                                            
                       TROOPER
The last of the road blocks are
up. If theyíre on any major state
roads, weíll catch em.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Thanks, Trooper.
      (Into phone)
Frank, you still there? Listen, I
            (MORE)

87.

                       MCKAY (cont'd)
gotta go. Iíll check in with you
when I get to Manning.
                                                            
McKay closes the phone and puts it in his pocket.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
      (To Trooper)
Trooper, do you know where I can I
get a decent cup of real coffee?
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
                                                            
Szandorís car slows to a stop. Szandor gets out and walks to
the side of the road where he bends down to pick something
up. He stands and we see that he holds one of Candiís shoes
in his hands. He looks down the road, grinning.
                                                            
 
EXT. END OF A DRIVEWAY - DAY
                                                            
The Old Woman stands by her mailbox, her arm in a cast and
sling. In her other hand, she clutches a leash with a
miniature Doberman at the end.

Steveís car approaches and stops. Steve rolls his window
down.

The dog begins to bark frantically, jumping and running
about.
                                                            
                       STEVE
ĎScuse me, maíam...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Did ya bring ma mail?
                                                            
                       STEVE
What?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Did ya bring ma mail?
                                                            
                       STEVE
Well, no maíam. I just...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
      (Interrupting)
Then git the hell outta here!
                                                            

88.

                       STEVE
But I just wanted to ask...
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
      (Interrupting)
What the hell do I look like, the
Shell Answer Man? Now git the hell
out or Iíll call the cops on ya!
                                                            
                       STEVE
Okay, okay! Take a pill, lady!
                                                            
He pulls away.

The Old Lady turns to leave, but the dog has wrapped its
leash around her legs and she falls flat on her face with a
loud THUD.
                                                            
 
EXT. MANNING TOWN LIMITS - DAY
                                                            
A large wooden sign reads: ďWELCOME TO MANNING Ė THE NICEST
TOWN JUST NORTH OF THE MASON-DIXON. POP. 5,513Ē

Joe, Candi and Pope walk wearily past the sign.

The camera follows them into the town, which has obviously
seen better days.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Looking about)
Ever read any Stephen King?
                                                            
                       CANDI
I love his stuff.
                                                            
                       JOE
This look a little like ďChildren
of the CornĒ to you?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Eww. Now that you mention it...
                                                            
                       POPE
Whatís ďChildren of the Corn?Ē
                                                            

89.

                       JOE
Itís a short story about a town
where all the kids become members
of a cult and kill all the adults.
                                                            
                       POPE
I think I seen something like that
in a movie once.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah, it was a movie, too.
                                                            
                       POPE
Iíd have bashed the little bug-
gersí heads in an fed Ďem to the
monkeys.
                                                            
Joe and Candi look at one another wide-eyed, but say
nothing.

Joe takes another look at the deserted town.
                                                            
                       JOE
Where the hell is everyone?
                                                            
They walk a little further and in the distance, they can
hear the sounds of a crowd.

They turn the corner and find themselves in the middle of a
parade.

The lead float has a large banner that reads: 'MANNING
HERITAGE DAYS. 1858 Ė 2008: 150 YEARS OF PENNSYLVANIA
PRIDE.'

Everyone in town is either in the parade or watching it.

A CHILD in the crowd notices them standing there and points.
                                                            
                       CHILD
Hey! Look, everybody!
                                                            
Everyone turns to look at the three of them as the parade
comes to a dead halt.

There is an awkward silence as the camera pans over the
amazed faces of the residents of Manning.

Finally, the camera comes around to Joe, Candi and Pope.
                                                            

90.

                       JOE
      (Very casual)
Uh... hi.
                                                            
 
INT. LORRAINE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Lorraine is driving, with Donny in the seat beside her and
Dean in the back.

Dean is playing with a hand-held video game which gets
increasingly louder as the scene progresses.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (To Donny)
What makes you think theyíre head-
ed for West Virginia?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Iíve been monitoring the police
bands. It seems like everyone is
concentrating on this small town
just north of the West Virginia
border. I think sheís making him
go to Mexico with her.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Mexico?!?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Well, sure. If you were on the run
from the FBI, where would you go?
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
I'm sure I have no idea. First of
all, I would never be on the run
from the FBI. Secondly, I think I
would be hiding in the last place
anyone would be looking for me.
                                                            
Deanís video game is getting louder.

Donny shoots an annoyed glance his way.

Dean, caught up in the game, doesnít see it and continues
playing, laughing and whooping as he does so.
                                                            

91.

                       DONNY
Well, maybe not, but all I kept
hearing said theyíre headed to
Manning.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
And if they donít show up there?
                                                            
                       DONNY
I still say theyíre going to Mexi-
ico.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Isnít Canada closer?
                                                            
Deanís game begins to emit high pitched RINGS and WHISTLES.
                                                            
                       VIDEO GAME
Warning! Danger Level Five! Warn-
ing! Warning! Danger Level Five!
Warning! Warning!
                                                            
Donny reaches back, grabs the game from Dean and hurls it
out the window without missing a beat.

It is smashed into a million pieces on the road before Dean
even realizes what has happened
                                                            
                       DONNY
Harder to extradite people from
Mexico.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
And you know this because...?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Half the people in the show have
been on ĎLaw and Orderí at least
once.
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (To Donny)
You owe me fifty bucks, asshole!
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Dismissively)
Ah, yer muthah!
                                                            

92.

                       LORRAINE
Wouldnít that be your mother, too,
Donny?
                                                            
                       DONNY
What? Oh. Yeah. I never thought
about it like that. Shit.
      (To Dean)
I take it back.
                                                            
Lorraine rolls her eyes.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN STREET, MANNING - DAY
                                                            
The crowd continues to stare at Joe, Candi and Pope.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Smiling)
We, uh... we had a flat.
                                                            
The crowd stares.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
I donít suppose thereís a gas sta-
tion open today, Is there?
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Whispering to Joe)
Whatís their problem?
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Whispering back)
Youíre not helping.
                                                            
The crowd begins to part and a man in mechanicís overalls
steps forward. The embroidered name above his pocket reads
ďLuke.Ē His face is dirty and unshaven; he wears his hair in
a messy mullet; his overalls are spotted and greasy; black
dirt cakes his fingernails and he speaks with an almost
Southern drawl. It is, however, Oriel Destin. He grins
broadly.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
If yaíll kin wait Ďtill after the
pírade, Ahíll be happy ta replace
yer tahre fer ya.
                                                            

93.

                       JOE
Guess we donít really have much of
a choice, do we?
                                                            
Oriel turns to the crowd.
                                                            
                       ORIEL
Well, whatíre yaíll waitin on,
Christmas?
                                                            
The festivities resume as Joe, Candi and Pope move up onto
the sidewalk.

The high school marching band strikes up a horrendously bad
arrangement of a pop song and then proceeds to mangle it,
even more.
                                                            
                       POPE
Wished I brought Cooter. One thing
that dog loves, itís a parade.
                                                            
Joe and Candi try not to laugh.
                                                            
 
INT. MCKAY'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
McKay is talking into his cell phone as he drives.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Yeah, Frank, I got it. I heard...
Yes. About another half hour, I
think. Damned GPS canít get a
decent signal out here. As soon
as I get there. I will.
                                                            
He puts the phone away and sees something at the far end of
the road.
                                                            
 
EXT. END OF A DRIVEWAY - DAY
                                                            
The Old Woman, her arm still in cast and sling but now
sporting a black eye and tape across the bridge of her nose,
stands at the side of the road, holding a cat in her good
arm.

McKayís car pulls up along side of her. He rolls down the

94.

window and shows her his badge.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Afternoon, Maíam. Special Agent
Dan McKay, FBI.
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
You here about the mail?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Why, yes. Yes I am. What seems to
be the problem with your mail?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Ainít got it fer three days.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
I see. Tell me, have you seen any
suspicious looking types around
here lately?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Two other fellers come through
just today. They wasnít here ta
bring ma mail, though.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Really? Can you describe them for
me?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
One was a older fella. Black hair
an one oí them Billy goat beards.
Grey hair by his ears. Looked like
'The Magnificent Mephisto.'
                                                            
                       MCKAY
I see. And the other one?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
A hippie type, younger fella. His
whole car stank like when ma
grandson says heís makin Thai
food.
                                                            

95.

                       MCKAY
Did you happen to notice which way
they were headed?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
They both took tíward Manning.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Thank you, maíam.
                                                            
He pulls away as the Old Woman yells after him.
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
Hey!! Whereís ma goddamn mail?!
                                                            
The cat, startled by her scream, leaps from her arms and
onto her head. Flailing her good arm, the Old Woman runs
about, both she and the cat screaming, until she runs into a
tree. She immediately falls flat on her back and the cat
nonchalantly wanders away.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN STREET, MANNING - DAY
                                                            
The parade continues, ridiculously long for such a small
town. Shriners drive by in tiny cars; another horribly
out-of-tune marching band performs a Sousa march; a float
with the high school Homecoming Queen and her court.

A clown is approaching where Joe, Candi and Pope are
standing.

Suddenly, a squirrel monkey climbs up from the clownís back,
onto his shoulder.

Pope gets quite excited and nearly knocks Joe down to get to
the clown.

Joe watches as Pope talks excitedly to the monkey, and then
Joe looks at Candi.
                                                            
                       JOE
Well, Iíll be a monkeyís uncle!
                                                            
                       CANDI
Yeah, but will you poop in its
hat?
                                                            
They both laugh and go back to watching the parade. Pope
follows the clown, who is now trying to avoid Pope.


96.

Two men in the parade carry a banner which reads: ďManning
Volunteer Fire Company Number 1,Ē followed by a fire truck.
Sitting high up on the truck is a particularly good-looking
young FIREMAN.

Joe nudges Candi and nods toward the truck.
                                                            
                       JOE
Now he could put my fire out any-
time heíd like.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Bet he knows how to use his hose,
too.
                                                            
The Fireman looks directly at Joe, smiles broadly and then
winks.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Did you see that? He was checking
you out!
                                                            
                       JOE
No way, He was winking at you.
                                                            
                       CANDI
I wish. He definitely gave you the
once over, Shakespeare.
                                                            
                       JOE
Now I KNOW youíre crazy.
                                                            
They laugh again and continue watching the parade.

The camera pans past them and into the crowd of onlookers,
finally coming to a stop on Szandor who wears a pair of dark
glasses and is looking directly at Joe and Candi.
                                                            
 
EXT. END OF A DRIVEWAY - DAY
                                                            
Lorraineís car pulls up to where the Old Woman is sitting in
a wheelchair.

The Old Woman now has two black eyes and a bandage over a
huge purple lump on her forehead. The Great Dane, miniature
Doberman and cat sit beside her.


97.

Lorraine rolls her window down.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Can you tell me where...
                                                            
When the Old Woman speaks, we see that she is also now
missing a tooth.
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
      (Interrupting)
NO!
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
What?
                                                            
                       OLD WOMAN
NO! Yíainít got ma mail, I ainít
tellin ya nuthin!
                                                            
Lorraine looks at Donny who shrugs and spins his finger
around his ear.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Okay, then.
                                                            
Lorraine pulls away and the Old Woman watches as the car
drives off. A bird swoops down and defecates copiously on
the Old Womanís head.
                                                            
 
EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
                                                            
McKayís car approaches Popeís abandoned wreck.

McKay stops and gets out to examine it. He looks in the
trunk, puzzled by the bags of Monkey Chow.

He checks out the back seat and pulls the stuffed dog out.
He pulls the dogís collar off and examines the tag,
revealing the following information: ďNAME: Cooter. OWNER:
Carl W. Pope. ADDRESS: RD #4, Meyers, PA.Ē
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Aw, shit.
                                                            
He throws the collar to the ground and gets back in his car,
pulling out and heading toward Manning.
                                                            
 

98.

EXT. MAIN STREET, MANNING - DAY
                                                            
Szandor slowly makes his way through the crowd, making sure
that Candi doesnít see him.

Pope is still occupied by the monkey, while Candi and Joe
watch the parade.
                                                            
 
EXT. MANNING TOWN LIMITS - DAY
                                                            
Steveís car pulls up next to the sign. Steve looks about,
then hears the sound of the parade. He parks the car and
begins to make his way toward the parade.
                                                            
                       STEVE
Iím coming, bud!
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN STREET, MANNING - DAY
                                                            
Szandor is about 20 yards away when Candi notices him
skulking through the crowd. She squints and looks closely.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Oh my God!
                                                            
                       JOE
What?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Itís Barry. Heís not dead.
                                                            
                       JOE
Where?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Right over...
                                                            
She points, but has lost Szandor in the crowd again.
                                                            
                       CANDI (cont'd)
      (Puzzled)
Iím sure it was him.
                                                            
                       JOE
Come on.
                                                            
Joe takes her hand and pulls her into the crowd, which has
begun to follow the parade down the street and around the
corner.
                                                            
 

99.

EXT. MANNING TOWN LIMITS - DAY
                                                            
Lorraineís car pulls into town.
                                                            
 
INT. LORRAINE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Pointing)
Hey, isnít that Steveís car?
                                                            
                       DEAN
I think so.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Whatís HE doing here?
                                                            
                       DONNY
Same thing we are, I guess.
                                                            
As they watch, the parade turns the corner and comes into
view.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Come on, boys.
                                                            
She parks the car and gets out, walking toward the parade.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Whyíre we goin to a parade?
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Smacks Dean's
       head)
Letís go, numb-nuts!
                                                            
 
EXT. FAIR GROUNDS - DAY
                                                            
CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Steve searches the crowd for Joe.

Szandor searches the crowd for Candi.

Candi and Joe search the crowd for Szandor.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (To Candi)
Whatís he look like?
                                                            

100.

                       CANDI
Um... Six feet tall, dark hair.
Heís wearing sunglasses and a
bright blue shirt.
                                                            
Joe scans the crowd and realizes that almost everyone is
wearing sunglasses and red, white and blue, or combinations
thereof.
                                                            
                       JOE
Okay. Letís just keep moving. If
you see him, holler.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Oh, donít worry about that. Iíll
scream bloody murder.
                                                            
Szandor skulks through the crowd. He now wears his full
magicianís regalia. He reaches into his waistband and pulls
out a gun, then does a hand maneuver, dropping a dagger from
his sleeve into his other palm.

The parade turns another corner into an open field where a
carnival has been set up. The crowd begins to disperse into
the carnival.

Joe looks at the rides on the midway and has an idea.
                                                            
                       JOE
Come on, I have an idea.
                                                            
Joe grabs Candiís hand and they run to get in line for the
double Skywheel.

Lorraine, Donny and Dean have now caught up with the crowd.
                                                            
                       DONNY
How are we going to find them in
a crowd like this?
                                                            
Lorraine looks about the midway and then grabs Donnyís hand.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Come on, I have an idea.
                                                            
Lorraine pulls Donny away.

Dean is purchasing a hot dog, and just as he is about to
bite into it, Donny returns to pull him along and Deanís hot

101.

dog falls to the ground.
                                                            
                       DEAN
Hey, ass! Iím hungry!
                                                            
Donny drags Dean away.

Pope, now carrying the monkey on his shoulder, scans the
crowd.

Steve walks the midway and seeing the Skywheel, gets an
idea.

Szandor walks the midway, scanning the crowd. He looks up
and sees Joe and Candi getting on the Skywheel.

The CARNY closes and locks the safety bar on the Skywheel
gondola where Joe and Candi are now seated.

The camera stays on them as the wheel goes up to allow the
next passengers on.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Anxious)
I donít know about this, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
Why? Whatís wrong?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Iíve just never really been good
with heights.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh, now you tell me...
                                                            
The wheel moves up again and Candi gives a little shriek.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Well, just... just close your
eyes.
                                                            
                       CANDI
Then how will I be able to look
for Barry?
                                                            
Lorraine, Donny, Dean and Steve all arrive at the Skywheel;
Dean and Steve practically bumping into one another.
                                                            

102.

                       LORRAINE
Steven?!
                                                            
                       STEVE
What the... what are you doing
here? And what are you still doing
hanging around with the Brothers
Dim?
                                                            
The Skywheel begins to move full-tilt and Candi screams in a
particularly piercing hysterical pitch, causing everyone
around to look up.

CU on Steve as he looks up.

CU on Lorraine as she looks up.

CU on Pope as he looks up.

Two Shot on Donny and Dean as they look up.

CU on Szandor as he looks up.

The rest of the crowd laughs and goes back to whatever they
were doing.

Lorraine begins to wave frantically at Joe.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
      (Calling out)
Joe! Joe! Mommyís here, Joe!
                                                            
CU of Joe, staring down in horror.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Mortified)
Oh my God!
                                                            
Candi, who has her eyes firmly squeezed shut, gets an even
more panicked look on face.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Starting to panic)
What?! Whatís ĎOh my God?í
                                                            
                       JOE
Itís... my mother.
                                                            
Pope walks the midway, feeding funnel cake to the monkey
which is now perched on his shoulder, as he watches the
crowd closely.

Steve turns to Donny, smacking the back of his head.
                                                            

103.

                       STEVE
      (Angry)
What kind of an idiot are you,
bringing his mother here? This
Candi woman is supposed to be arm-
ed and dangerous.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Steven! I was coming with or with-
out the boys. Donny thought that I
would be safer if they came along.
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (To Lorraine)
Youíd be safer in a tank of starv-
ing pirhana.
                                                            
A shot rings out, but the noise of the carnival all but
covers it and most people ignore it.

CU on Szandor, grinning madly. The camera pulls back to show
him putting the smoking gun back into his pocket.

Suddenly the screams from the Skywheel become hysterical.

The camera turns around and dollies to the Carny, who lies
slumped over the control box, a small hole soaking blood
into his t-shirt.

The camera pans up to the Skywheel, which is moving
unusually fast.

Joe and Candi clutch each other and the safety bar in
terror.

CU on Lorraine, screaming.

CU on Steve, agape.

Two Shot on Donny and Dean. Donny stares in horror. Dean has
been shoveling handfuls of popcorn into his mouth, but he
now stares as well, popcorn spilling from his open mouth.

Szandor begins running toward the Skywheel.

CU on a bolt that is holding Joe and Candiís gondola onto
the Skywheel. We hear the CREAKING stress of the metal as
the Skywheel spins. The bolt is beginning to bend and come
loose.

Another CARNY has reached the control panel. Pulling Carny

104.

#1 out of the way, he presses a series of buttons and the
Skywheel begins to slow down.

Other carnies arrive and take Carny #1 away.

CU on the bolt which is just about to snap.

The Skywheel slows and stops, almost perpendicular to the
ground, with Joe and Candi suspended out over the crowd.

Many riders are still screaming. Candi is shaking and
literally too scared to scream, her face pressed tightly
into Joeís chest. Joe cradles her head with his free hand.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (Soothingly)
Shh. Itís alright. It stopped.
Weíre going to be fine.
                                                            
Szandor has reached the Skywheel and has begun to climb it,
the dagger clutched in his teeth.

CU on the bolt, which slips out about half way, jolting the
gondola. Both Joe and Candi scream, as does the horrified
crowd below.

Pope is talking earnestly to the monkey, though we cannot
hear what he is saying.

The monkey suddenly scampers down off his shoulder and along
the midway, leaping from booth to booth; onto peopleís heads
and swinging from the lights and banners strung about;
heading for the Skywheel.

An ambulance and fire truck have begun to press through the
crowd.

The fire truck maneuvers under the Skywheel so its ladder
can be extended to Joe and Candiís gondola.

Szandor has reached the arm of the Skywheel and begins to
climb out, towards Joe and Candi.

The Skywheel has begun to shake as Szandor climbs across.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Eyes still closed)
Whatís that? Why are we shaking?
                                                            
Joe looks back and sees Szandor moving toward them.
                                                            

105.

                       JOE
Aw, shit! I think... Candi, your
husband is climbing on the Sky-
wheel.
                                                            
                       CANDI
That asshole never had any damned
common sense!
                                                            
Lorraine grabs Donny.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Donny, do something!
                                                            
                       STEVE
      (Sarcastically)
Yeah, Donny, do something!
                                                            
Dean sees Szandor climbing on the Skywheel and points
excitedly.
                                                            
                       DEAN
      (Excitedly)
Look! Look! Itís Mephisto! Donít
worry, Missus Lanahan. Joeís safe,
now! Mephisto will save him.
                                                            
Donny, Steve and Lorraine look up at Szandor.
                                                            
                       DONNY
      (Very confused)
What the fuck...?
                                                            
Szandor steps off the arm and onto the wheel.

CU on the bolt, which slides a bit more.

A news helicopter and a police helicopter have begun to
circle overhead.

The fire truckís ladder has come to rest just below the
gondola.
                                                            
                       JOE
The ladderís here, Candi. Theyíre
coming to get us off.
                                                            
Two firemen begin to climb up the ladder.

The bolt SNAPS and the gondola jerks again and bangs into

106.

the ladder, causing the Firemen to grab on tightly.

Candi shrieks.

The crowd screams.

CU on Pope as he watches intently.

The gondola hangs by one side. Szandor is almost at the
gondola.

Desperately, Joe looks about for something with which to
defend himself.

Joe sees the butt of the gun sticking out of Candiís purse
and reaches for it, just as Szandor makes his way onto the
gondola.

The bolt breaks off and the gondola jerks hard, nearly
sending Szandor off.

Joe cocks the pistol and takes aim.
                                                            
                       SZANDOR
      (To Joe, laughing)
You donít have the balls, boy!
                                                            
Joe aims the gun at Szandor and closes his eyes.

Just as Joe is about to fire, the monkey jumps onto
Szandorís head, covering Szandor's eyes with its paws.

CU on Pope as he grins triumphantly.

Szandor panics and, trying to pull the monkey off his head,
lets got of the gondola.

The monkey leaps onto the wheel as Szandor plummets to the
ground, screaming.

CU on Joe as he looks down, grimacing.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Eyes still closed)
What was that?! What happened?!
                                                            
                       JOE
He... Szandor fell.
                                                            
The firemen arrive at the top of the ladder.

Joe helps Candi out of the gondola and into the arms of one
of them, who carries her down.

107.


The remaining Fireman extends his hand to Joe. It is the
Fireman from the parade, who is smiling broadly at him.
                                                            
                       FIREMAN
Donít worry, Iíve got you.
                                                            
                       JOE
Oh, Iím not worried about that at
all.
                                                            
Below, McKay pushes his way through the crowd, flashing his
badge at the police to join other agents and the EMS crew
working on Szandor.

An FBI AGENT looks up at McKay.
                                                            
                       FBI AGENT
Nice of you to join us, Agent
McKay.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Better late than never. Is it him?
                                                            
An EMT looks up at McKay and shakes his head.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Great. Just great.
                                                            
As Candi is led off the fire truck, the Trooper places her
in handcuffs.

Joe and the Fireman come off next, both smiling happily.
Lorraine rushes to Joe and crushes him against her.
                                                            
                       LORRAINE
Oh my God! Thank God! I thought
Iíd lost you again!
                                                            
                       FIREMAN
      (Pulling her away)
Please, maíam. Give him some air.
                                                            
The Fireman pries Lorraine off of Joe and leads Joe away
toward the ambulance.

108.


Speechless, Lorraine can only watch them walk away.

McKay approaches the Trooper who is about to place Candi
into his car.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Iíll take over, Trooper.
                                                            
McKay leads Candi to where the Fireman is administering
oxygen to Joe. He takes out his badge and shows it to Joe.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
      (To Joe)
Glad you're okay, Joe.
                                                            
                       JOE
Me too. But... why is the FBI...?
                                                            
                       CANDI
They were following me.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
      (Shaking Joe's
       hand)
Special Agent Dan McKay. Weíve
been after Barry Schlitzstein for
some time now.
                                                            
                       JOE
You mean... wait, Iím confused.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
When Candi went off the deep end,
we knew he would try to follow
her. You were an unfortunate addi-
tion to the equation that none of
us could have forseen.
                                                            
                       JOE
What were you after him for?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
You name it. Arms, drugs, illegal
aliens. A magician's equipment
is particularly well-suited for
smuggling any number of things.
                                                            

109.

                       JOE
And Candi? Whatís going to happen
to her? Was she part of this?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
She had no idea. Weíll cut her a
deal on the robbery charges. She
wonít serve more than a year or
two in a minimum security facil-
ity.
                                                            
                       JOE
Thereíre a couple of things that I
donít understand.
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Such as...?
                                                            
                       JOE
Why did Szandor... um, Barry,
fall?
                                                            
                       MCKAY
Letís just say you have friends in
high places.
                                                            
Lorraine, Steve, Donny and Dean have gotten as close as the
police will let them to Joe.
                                                            
                       MCKAY (cont'd)
Go tell your Mom that youíre okay.
Oh, and, Iíd get this firemanís
number, if I were you.
                                                            
McKay starts to lead Candi away.
                                                            
                       JOE
      (To McKay)
Wait!
                                                            
They stop and turn to look at him.
                                                            
                       JOE (cont'd)
Candi, I want to tell your story.
                                                            
                       CANDI
What do you mean?
                                                            

110.

                       JOE
A movie. Youíve had a hell of a
life. Especially this last week.
What do you say?
                                                            
                       CANDI
Do I get a cut?
                                                            
                       JOE
Iíll make sure you get a very nice
paycheck out of it.
                                                            
                       CANDI
      (Grinning)
Youíre on.
                                                            
McKay leads Candi away as Pope approaches Joe.
                                                            
                       POPE
You alright, boy?
                                                            
                       JOE
Fine. No, Iím lying. Iím not fine.
But Iíll live.
                                                            
                       POPE
That magician was one bad monkey.
                                                            
                       JOE
Yeah, he sure was.
                                                            
                       POPE
Glad you and the lady are okay.
                                                            
                       JOE
Me too.
                                                            
                       POPE
Still headin fer Phoenix?
                                                            
                       JOE
Actually, I think Iíll be heading
home now.