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Open Your Eyes (WIP)
by Lindsay E. Moxley (foxymoxley2002@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

Brief nudity, language.

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.


A bunch of quiet students listen to a boring math lesson.
JIMMY STIRDIVANDT, a skinny 12-year-old boy with a crew cut,
scribbles away on some sketching paper, ignoring the world
around him.
Jimmy! What is the square root of
No response. Jimmy keeps doodling away. The teacher slaps
his ruler on Jimmy's desk and immediately grabs his
attention. Jimmy is red in the face.
I will detain you after class
Jimmy looks horrified. His classmates mock him with a long
"ooooh." Someone tapes a sign on his back, reading, "Poke
me, I'm deaf."
Jimmy runs off the bus with his schoolbag on his back, in
tears. He runs in the house.
A quiet home disturbed by Jimmy's tears. His mother,
Rosemary, a scrawny woman of 36, is crocheting baby clothes
for her unborn child. His stiff, broad-shouldered father,
41-year-old Captain Philip Stirdivandt, glares at Jimmy and
catches him at the stairs before he runs up.
There is no crying in this house.


The Captain grabs Jimmy firmly by the shoulders.
I said "no crying." Big boys
don't cry. Or you'll be gettin' a
Jimmy's eyes alight with fear when he hears his father say
How would you feel if everyone
made fun of you because of you're
hearing? It's not just the people
at school, Dad. People in town
know about it, too. It's
Jimmy's tears keep coming, which irritate the Captain even
more. The Captain slaps Jimmy once, hard enough to make him
red in the face. Jimmy massages his stinging cheek.
I don't want to see anymore crying
from you, Jimmy. In this house,
boys don't cry. You have to be
tough. Or everyone around you
will think you're weak. So be
tough, Jimmy. For your mother's
sake . . . and mine.
Jimmy, now a young man of 22, rolls out of bed. He has a
hearing aid. He still has the crew cut that he has always
had. After throwing on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt,
he sits at his desk and plays loud rock music from his
computer. He stares at his recent semester grades.
Broadcasting: B; TV and Film Scripting: CB; Media Criticism;
B; Specialized Reporting: E. His jaw drops as if he is
about to say: FUCK. No sound comes out. He marches out the
It's nothing special: just a plain old door with the name
"Dr. Schwartz" plastered on it and his class schedule. Jimmy
knocks, panicky and fidgeting. A gruff VOICE calls from


                       DR. SCHWARTZ
Who is it?
Jimmy Stirdivandt, sir!
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
What's that? You sound like you
have a cold.
      (more clearly this
Jimmy Stirdivandt, sir.
Brief silence.
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
Hmm . . . come on in.
Jimmy pushes open the door.
He sees a clutter of books, old marked-up papers, various
students' clipbooks, and a display board of Dr. Schwartz's
printed news articles featured in various famous
publications like "The New York Times" and "Boston Globe."
DR. SCHWARTZ, an old man of at least 65 with silvery hair,
wrinkles, liver spots and all, is still trucking. He
doesn't look too happy to see Jimmy.
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
What is it, boy? I've got things
to do.
Jimmy stands stiff as a board against the closed office
door. He is white as sheets.
You failed me?
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
My boy, your final exam was
I was supposed to graduate! And
now I can't because you failed me.


                       DR. SCHWARTZ
There's a thing called "studying,"
Jimmy. You should try it
I did study. I've been working my
ASS off for you!
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
There's more to journalism than
working your ass off, Jimmy.
Oh yeah? I'd like to know!
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
You don't have the seeing eye.
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
You can't see, my boy. Let me
explain this more clearly: you can
see the sky, but you can't see the
birds flying in it.
I still don't understand.
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
Detail, Jimmy! You can't see no
stinkin' detail.
In other words, not only does my
hearing suck, but you think my
sight sucks?
                       DR. SCHWARTZ
It's not just your sight, Jimmy,
it's your writing. Good luck to
ya, but you'd better pick a
different career. So long.
With a wave of the hand, Dr. Schwartz motions that his time
is up and turns back to his computer. After flipping off
his professor with anger smacked across his face, Jimmy
kicks open the door. His hands buried in his pockets, he
stomps away. CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK.


Jimmy is lying in bed again, staring at the ceiling,
thinking about life. There is a KNOCK at the door. He goes
to open it. Standing there is MICHELLE, a bronze-skinned
blonde babe with shapely breasts and a tight ass. The
bubbly young woman throws her arms about him. He does the
Jimmy - I'm done with school! I
can't believe I'm graduating
tomorrow. Oh, I've missed you so
Michelle, there's something we
need to talk about.
About what?
Michelle, I'm not graduating.
She's not smiling anymore. Now she's very serious.
What are you talking about, Jimmy?
Haven't you been doing well in
all your classes?
Not really. I failed Specialized
Michelle can't speak.
I don't know what to say, Jimmy,
except . . . I'm sorry.
Jimmy grows paler by the second. Now he's speechless.
Wha - what do you have to be sorry
I don't know if I can be with
someone who isn't successful
Jimmy. What are you going to be?
A bum on the streets?


I'm not going to be a bum on the
streets. I don't know how I'm
going to avoid it, but I know I
ain't headed in that direction.
You'll see.
I don't know, Jimmy. I don't
think I can be with you anymore.
And your hearing thing kinda
bothers me too.
It hasn't bothered you before.
With my hearing aid, I can hear
anything you can hear. You just
think it looks weird, is that it?
I'm sorry, Jimmy. I guess this is
Jimmy is sour in the face as she leaves.
      (under his breath)
Jimmy sits in his rusty old Jeep, trying to kill himself. A
HOSE is attached to the exhaust pipe. The other end rests
peacefully inside his car, oozing carbon monoxide.
Thankfully no one is around in the parking lot. Yet. He has
the music blaring, some sad shit like "Wake Me Up When
September Ends" by Green Day.
Fuck you, Dr. Schwartz. No one
tells me I can't write! Burn in
      (he sniffs)
Ahhh, I can feel those noxious
fumes already.
Jimmy rests his head and arms on the steering wheel. It
beeps. Someone comes along, one of his fraternity brothers,
DAVE. Dave comes up the driver's side where we get a clear
view of his protruding beer gut. He taps on the window,
with the look of "What the fuck?" on his face. Jimmy is
forced to roll it down. He stops the music.


Dude, you had that sad-shit on
pretty loud. We could hear it all
the way upstairs!
I don't care.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
And WHY are you trying to kill
I failed my last journalism
requirement. I can't graduate.
What? Why? You're a good writer,
Not according to my hard-ass
journalism prof. I've got nothing
to live for, Dave. Please just go
away and let this noxious gas suck
out my worthless life.
You know what? Peter Jennings
never went to college and he ended
up being an anchor for World News
Tonight. Your life ain't ruined,
Who are you to read my future?
You're no fortune teller.
Get out of that car, Jimmy.
I ain't movin'.
I'm gonna CRSB your ass if you
don't get out of there!
Jimmy holds on to the steering wheel for dear life while
Dave struggles to pull him out of the car.


Come on, Jimmy! Just mull things
over a good beer. You'll feel
better. No one wants to see you
My journalism professor does. And
Michelle dumped me because I can't
graduate - and my hearing problem
doesn't help either. They both
think I'm going to be a bum on the
streets. I'm better off dead.
Dave keeps tugging on Jimmy to pull him out of there. Jimmy
is stubborn as stone.
Look, Jimmy, you can graduate -
you can just repeat the class in
the fall. Get a job over the
summer and work until you
I ain't spendin' another stinkin'
summer at the Munchie Mart, not
when all my friends will be gone.
Let me go!
It won't be forever - just get out
of that car!
Feeling weak, Jimmy looks like he's going to puke. He turns
his head and upchucks on Dave's shoes. Dave cringes in
Uhhhh - maybe we should take you
to a doctor first before the strip
      (in tears)
I'm gonna die, Dave. Just let me
die in here.
Dave helps Jimmy up, grabs his keys, and slams the door
shut. They head toward his car on the other side of the
parking lot.


It's going to be okay, bro. Just
hang on. I'll take you to the
hospital myself if I have to.
Once they arrive, Dave shoves Jimmy in on the passenger
side. He gets in on the driver's side, starts the car with
worried sweat dripping down his face and drives away like a
speed demon. Jimmy moans as if he is about to die.
Kill me....
Dave and Jimmy just got home from the hospital as they walk
in the door. Jimmy looks green and is doubled as if he has
a bad case of heartburn. Some of the other brothers, CLINT
and DENNIS, are playing foosball in the living room and
wave. They see them walk in. Dave and Jimmy stop for a
Hey guys! Jesus, Jimmy, what's
happened to you?
Long story. He's had a bit of
carbon monoxide. He puked on me,
but I still love him.
Oh. That's terrible.
Hey, Jimmy! I'll have the
octabong ready later. You gonna
come downstairs for the
Maybe, Clint.
You'd better not. If you do, I'll
CRSB your ass.


See you boys later. I've gotta
keep my eye on this one.
Later, betch!
Dave leads Jimmy up the stairs. Clint and Dennis return to
their foosball match.
Dude, it's "bitch," not "betch."
Oh, come on, Dennis. "Betch" is
You are so gay.
Clint scores a goal.
Thanks - SCORE, BETCH.
Dennis buries his face in his hands in shame.
Blaring music. Crazy, drunk college kids everywhere.
Everyone is in their beach attire. Half a dozen attendees
are relaxing in the kiddie pool in one corner of the
basement. A large two-level beer-bonging tower sits in the
middle of the basement. It has eight bonging tubes hanging
from it. There are guys bonging beer from all sides. Clint
stands there with Dennis, admiring it. He grabs Dave and
Jimmy in for a "group hug." Jimmy appears to be looking
better than before.
Hey, guys! Can you believe that I
built this thing?
No. What the fuck is it?
It's the octabong I was talking
about earlier. I'm calling it
"the widowmaker."
Jimmy and Dave clutch at their sides, laughing.


Why the fuck did you call it "the
Let's see if any of these suckers
survive this thing tonight!
There'll be lots of heartbroken
chicks in the morning.
That's pretty sweet, dude!
Nice work, bro. I'm goin' next.
      (to Clint)
He's had a rough day, kinda needs
Clint nods as if he understands.
Looks like he's feeling better
from that carbon monoxide
poisoning. You guys have fun with
my new widowmaker - I'm gonna lick
some body shots off a few chicks.
See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!
Clint disappears in a crowd of chicks wearing bikinis.
That dude is nuts.
Someone falls over at a bonging tube after he has had too
much beer.
Whatever. I'm going in for the
You better watch it, bro. Remember
what I said about the CRSB thing.
Jimmy shrugs it off and rushes over to the octabong. He
takes the open bong tube at the widowmaker. He keeps
downing the beer. Someone comes marching down the stairs in
a full-fledged scuba diving outfit. It's HENRY, another
fraternity brother. Most of the attendees burst out in a
gale of LAUGHTER.


Wow, somebody knows how to go
all-out for a beach party! Nice
work, Henry.
Just remember to get a shot of me
with some of the chicks in the
kiddie pool later.
Of course, bro.
Jimmy is really pounding the beer hard on one of the bonging
tubes. Shades of blue tint his skin.
Jimmy, are you okay? You look
really blue. Not like
depressed-blue, but blue-blue.
Jimmy sees his world as if he were looking through a
kaleidoscope. He passes out on the floor.
Jimmy? Jimmy, can you hear me?
Dave smacks Jimmy's face a bit to try to wake him up. Jimmy
won't budge. Dave panics, breaking out in a sweat. Clint
approaches them.
What the hell's going on, Dave?
I dunno. First it's the carbon
monoxide poisoning and now this.
Is there anyone on safe ride
tonight who can take him back to
the hospital?
Uhhhhh, John and Xavier are on
duty tonight, I think. Let's get
him upstairs.
Wanna help me?


Dave grabs Jimmy by the legs while Clint takes him by the
arms. They head upstairs.
Man, he reeks!
That'll be you after a coupla
hours on the widowmaker.
Funny, betch.
Dave and Clint are panting when they finally get up the
stairs with Jimmy. They lay him down on the floor for a
moment. JOHN and XAVIER look alarmed when they see them.
Dude, what happened to Jimmy?
First victim of the widowmaker,
I always thought that was a bad
idea. Does he still have a pulse?
Oh, I forgot to check.
      (he checks Jimmy's
Yup, he's still kickin'.
I'll take him over to the
And make sure he stays there. I
took him there once already today.
I'm gonna CRSB his ass big time
when he gets back.
All right. Let's get him in my
Dave and Clint pick Jimmy back up and follow Xavier.


Jimmy wakes up in the hospital bed, looking like he has had
the flu all week. His vision is still blurred as he sees
STIRDIVANDT, standing there, angry. The Captain looks
handsome in his military uniform.
Good lord, Jimmy. If only you
could see yourself!
      (dazed and
Mom? I . . . what happened?
Alcohol poisoning, Jimmy! I
always knew that joining a
fraternity would be a bad
influence on you.
Mom, you're being stereotypical!
You're mother's right, son. We've
been up all night worrying about
you. You could've killed
yourself, you know.
Aw, jeez!
I knew it was a mistake to send
you over there. I should've made
ya go to military academy. What
do they teach ya over there
anyway? How to be a pussy?
Rosemary slaps the Captain's shoulder. It doesn't seem to
bother him. He just glares her down.
Totally uncalled for, Philip!
      (to Jimmy)
When you get home, Jimmy, you're
going to have to see a doctor,


                       CAPTAIN (cont'd)
someone who will help you clear
your head.
      (nearly shouting)
I don't need no stinkin' shrink! I
need EYES so I can SEE!
What the blazes is he talking
about, Rosemary?
James Owen Stirdivandt, you'd
better come clean with us right
now, or else!
Rosemary shrugs her shoulders.
Okay, okay! First, I failed my
last journalism requirement, so no
graduation for me. Then Michelle
dumped me because of it and
doesn't think a man with lousy
hearing will make her happy.
Excuse me, just a moment-
Jimmy grabs a puke bucket next to him and blows more chunks.
His mother turns around, disgusted.
Ick. How much longer do I have to
be in here, Dad?
Don't ask me, I'm not the doctor!
But I'll tell you this - you're
going to get a good whuppin' from
me when you get home. It'll be
the whuppin' of your life.
Jimmy turns ashen when he hears "whuppin.'" He collapses
back in his bed and falls alseep, snoring like a tractor.


Jimmy follows behind his parents as they enter through the
front door. The Captain turns around and slaps Jimmy's
cheeks a few times. Jimmy cringes. His brother, Stevie,
12, who has a cool mohawk, is reading some comic magazines
on the couch. He perks up when he overhears the
Ow-ow-ow - jeez, Dad! Do you
always have to do that?
Maybe that'll teach ya a thing or
to about trying to kill yourself.
Wow! Did you really try to kill
yourself, Jimmy? How'd you do it?
None of your damn business,
Steven. Trying to commit suicide
is not cool. You go to hell for
Steven GASPS. He looks shocked as if he has failed a test
or something.
Does that mean Jimmy's going to go
to hell?
He probably will for trying.
The Captain GLARES at Jimmy, who turns his head away,
Wow - cool!
      (to Steven)
Go up to your room.
Nothing cool ever happens to me.


Steven does as he is told, grabbing his comic magazine.
Jimmy starts to head for his room too, but the Captain grabs
his collar.
Jimmy, your mother and I are
really worried about you. I'm
going to get you in to see a
doctor first thing tomorrow.
Is that really necessary? I
learned my lesson, Dad.
I don't believe you, son. You
need help. You're in denial.
Whatever, Dad. I'm going to sulk
in my room. See you later.
The Captain only glares at Jimmy as he heads up the stairs.
The clock flips over to 8:30. The Captain enters, marching
like a robot and carrying a bucket of water. Jimmy is
snoring in bed.
Jimmy? It's time to get up, son.
You've been in bed all day.
No response except snoring.
Jimmy? This is ridiculous. I
have no choice, Jimmy.
The Captain pours the bucket of icy water all over Jimmy.
Jimmy jerks awake as if he had been electrocuted.
What the fuck?
The Captain smacks Jimmy's face. Jimmy's head reels back.
He massages his cheek.


I tolerate none of that language
in this house.
Jimmy chokes from shock. He turns blue in the face. He
shakes from the cold.
Are you c-crazy?
You're going to military academy,
Not a chance in hell.
We made a deal, Jimmy. If you
graduated from college, I said I'd
lay off ya. Now you're not.
You're going to military academy.
That's final.
You can't make me.
Then what else are you gonna do
with your life?
I'm going to be a writer no matter
what. You'll see, Dad.
Then your job hunting starts
tomorrow after your doctor
appointment. Good luck, failure.
Jimmy blinks and stares at the Captain in fear as he walks
out the door.
      (low, to himself)
Fuck it! Fuck it all...
He gets up and walks out of the room, dripping everywhere,
and slams the door shut.


Jimmy reads Time Magazine while waiting for his appointment.
There are your average psychos hanging out: coke addicts,
overly sensitive men who can't stop sobbing, etc. Jimmy
takes care to hide his face behind the magazine. He sinks
low in his chair, looking like a bum. A woman emerges from
the office.
                       DR. EGAN
      (reading from a
Jimmy Stirdivandt?
Taking his magazine with him, Jimmy shuffles along to meet
the psychiatrist standing at the door, Dr. Terri Egan, a
fiery, beautiful redhead.
                       DR. EGAN
Hello, Jimmy.
      (as if he cares)
How's it going?
                       DR. EGAN
Hmph. Come on in.
Dr. Egan and Jimmy take a seat across from each other. He
hands her a check, looking bored all the while.
                       DR. EGAN
I'm Dr. Egan.
So I've noticed.
Dr. Egan glares at Jimmy momentarily.
                       DR. EGAN
So, tell me why you're here,
My Dad thinks I tried to kill
                       DR. EGAN
And how did you do that?


Got alcohol poisoning when I mixed
one too many Red Bull and Vodkas
with beer.
                       DR. EGAN
Oh, dear! That must've been
Jimmy SHRUGS his shoulders.
                       DR. EGAN
Tell me why you tried to kill
yourself, Jimmy.
I failed journalism school. I was
doing well until my last class.
Then my grouchy journalism
professor said I "don't have the
seeing eye."
                       DR. EGAN
I'm afraid you've lost me.
He said I can't see no stinkin'
Dr. Egan's eyes WIDEN.
                       DR. EGAN
I suppose that is an important
gift every writer needs to have.
Whatever. I don't know what was
barking up his ass. Everyone up
till now has told me I was a good
writer. I guess the world is full
of liars.
                       DR. EGAN
That's an unfair assumption.
It's an unfair world.
Again, Dr. Egan glares at him.


                       DR. EGAN
I get the feeling that I'm wasting
your time.
That would be a correct
More glares from Dr. Egan.
                       DR. EGAN
You're wasting my time, too.
Jimmy gets up to leave.
Great! Then I'll be on my merry
                       DR. EGAN
Not so fast, Mr. Stirdivandt. I'm
supposed to write you a
Is that really necessary?
Dr. Egan scribbles out a prescription form and hands it to
Jimmy, who takes it.
                       DR. EGAN
It is, Jimmy. You tried to kill
Aww, jeez!
                       DR. EGAN
Just take the prozac. You'll
thank me for it later. In the
meantime, don't do anything
Jimmy heads out the door.
                       DR. EGAN
See you, Jimmy.
A big SLAM of the door as Jimmy shuts it closed.


Depressed as usual, Jimmy heads for his car with his hands
buried in his pockets, his head is down. He just shuffles
along. His cell phone RINGS when he gets in his car. It's
Dave, sounding drunk.
Hey, Dave.
      (through drunken
Dude, it's three o'clock in the
afternoon and I'm totally
You sound like it, bro. When did
you start drinking?
Uhhhhh . . . since noon. Clive
just did a body shot off a coupla
freshmen twins - it was cool.
Really? Sweet.
Yeah, man! He loves that octabong
thing, "the widowmaker." It's
fuckin' awesome.
That all sounds great, Dave, but I
gotta go.
Okay, Jimmy, but the chicks miss
Jimmy hears a bunch of girls screaming on the other end, "WE
LOVE YOU, JIMMY!" He hangs up on him and drives away.
He sits in his car alone, playing music of the heartbreak
genre, puffing smoke with the windows rolled down.


Fuck you, Dr. Egan - fuck it all.
I don't need this.
The Captain marches out of the house, approaching the car.
Jimmy doesn't notice him. He just keeps puffing his
cigarette and staring into space. The captain stands stock
still in front of his window.
Wanna turn that down?
It's not that loud, Dad!
Get out of that car. Someone is
in the house who wants to meet
Jimmy growls at him, turns off his car, puts out his
cigarette, and follows him in the house.
The Captain marches in with Jimmy. Rosemary is entertaining
a business-like 36-year-old casanova by the name of Derrick
Burke who doesn't seem to entertained.
Jimmy, this is Derrick Burke, he's
the police editor for - what
publication, Mr. Burke?
The Pittsburgh Reporter.
Nice to meet you.
Jimmy shakes Burke's hand.
And you. We liked your articles
that you submitted for your
internship application.
Tell that to Dr. Schwartz.


Never mind.
Mr. Burke has some exciting news
for you, Jimmy.
Jimmy's face lights up.
You're the kind of guy the
Pittsburgh Reporter needs, Jimmy.
I'd like to hire you for the
police beat, Jimmy. Salary pays
$27,000 a year. Whaddya say?
Jimmy's jaw drops.
You're shittin' me.
Watch your language, Jimmy!
It's all right, Mrs. Stirdivandt.
You won't believe the things I
said when I finally got hired.
Enlighten us.
Some other time. So . . . when
can you start?
Jimmy's jaw drops yet again. He can't speak.
He starts Monday morning.
The sooner, the better.
The Captain pats Jimmy's back.
Jimmy, do you have something to
say to Mr. Burke?
Thanks. Thanks very much, sir.


Jimmy shakes his hand again.
Anytime. See you tomorrow at nine
o'clock sharp. It's gonna be fun,
Jimmy! Lots and lots of fun....
Burke throws a business card at him and pats his shoulder.
He chuckles to himself as he goes out the door. Jimmy's
eyes widen as if he were suddenly afraid of him.
Jimmy's lying on his bed, his hands folded behind his head,
staring at the ceiling. There's a knock at the door.
The door opens and in walks the Captain. He flashes a wide
grin at Jimmy, who is now sitting up.
What are you so happy about?
Come with me, son. I've got
something for you.
Jimmy leaps off his bed and follows the Captain, wondering
what the hell he could possibly give him besides a good
Jimmy stands there wondering what this is about as the
Captain opens the garage door with his remote.
Feast your eyes on this beauty,
As the garage door opens up, Jimmy's eyes sparkle like a
kid's on Christmas morning as he sees all those presents
piled underneath the tree. The sparkle is gone and replaced
with disappointment as he sees a 1941 Dodge 4-by-4 Army
Commander Car sitting in front of him.


I was saving it for your
graduation present, but since you
didn't graduate, I'm letting you
have it anyway. Here is the key.
The Captain dangles the bright, shiny key to Jimmy. He
takes it from him.
Uhhhh...thanks, Dad. I've never
seen anything like it. Where'd
you get it?
Bought it at an auction a couple
years ago. You don't like it?
You still want me to be in the
army, don't you?
You got a job, Jimmy. That's all
I care about. I thought you would
look cool toolin' around in this
Jimmy scratches his head. He doesn't know what to think.
How many reporters drive an army commander car to work?
Fine, I'll take it. Thanks, Dad.
Jimmy pulls in the Captain for a quick hug, pats his back a
couple times, then goes to inspect his new car. His other
Jeep is a piece of crap. It's going to blow soon, anyway,
as it sits in the driveway all rusty.
Jimmy sits in his car and starts it up. It only sputters
like an old man coughing until his death. He sits there,
Watch your language, boy.
You gonna help me fix it up?


Nope. You've got friends, don't
Jimmy growls at the Captain as he walks away, whistling
Sousa. Jimmy lets his head sink onto his steering wheel. It
It looks like any other office building in Pittsburgh. Jimmy
pulls up with his army commander car, the engine loud and
A couple of reporters are watching out the window as they
watch the army commander car come in the parking lot. They
chuckle as they see Jimmy coming toward the building.
That ain't somethin' you see every
Maurice explodes in laughter, clutching at his sides.
      (after his
       laughter dies)
Looks like we have an ARMY boy on
our hands.
With the DING of an elevator, Jimmy walks in to find an
office busy at work. Mack and Maurice exchange looks and
return to their computers. Many reporters are stressing out
about deadlines at their cubicles. One is completely out of
it, so much so that he SCREAMS. Jimmy walks around to find
Burke in the police section.
Well, hey, Stirdivandt. Let's get
you saddled up.


Saddled? You make this place
sound like a cavalry.
It's a real rodeo around here.
Jimmy catches a wink from Burke, who lets out another
Oh, great.
Relax. It's not so bad.
I thought I heard someone scream
Deadlines make everybody crazy
around here. You'll get used to
Burke's phone rings.
      (laughs his ass
They've got the kids loaded on the
bus and they're taking them away
to jail? What for? Oh, this is
too much. Front page news for
sure. Thanks, we'll send someone
Burke slams the phone down.
What was that about?
Burke pats Jimmy's back.
Well, Stirdivandt. Looks like you
just got your first assignment.
Jimmy's eyes widen as if he has seen a ghost.


Doing what?
The sixth grade class at St.
Mary's Catholic School got
arrested for breaking the dress
code. They're hauling 'em down to
juvie in buses!
Jimmy looks shocked. Burke scribbles something on a post-it
note and hands it to him.
That's the address of the school.
Don't get too excited now.
I'm jumping with joy. See you
Jimmy wanders off, hands in pockets to cover up his
Jimmy comes up the drive of the school. Indeed, there are
two buses loaded with juveniles. Several cops escort the
kids on the buses.
                       KID #1
      (to the cop)
But we just wanna wear normal
clothes like everybody else!
Rules are rules, sonny. Just be
thankful you're not wearing a
dress like the fat kid over there.
Jimmy parks his car and gets out, rushing toward the scene.
He takes his camera and grabs several shots. He sees a FAT
KID being escorted out by a police officer and he is indeed
wearing a dress. Jimmy's jaws drop. He slaps his cheek and
      (low, to himself)
Fuck you, Dr. Schwartz. I know
news when I see it. Kiss my ass.


Jimmy scribbles on his notepad: Overweight kid in a sundress
gets dragged out by police.
He rushes toward the cop dragging the fat kid. He notices
that the kids aren't wearing regular hand cuffs. They're
plastic, but they hurt. The kids are wincing and moaning as
they get escorted away by the cops.
Hey, kid. Why'd you come to
school wearing a sundress?
                       FAT KID
It's so hot. It's the middle of
June and it's already 80 degrees.
We can't wear shorts to school.
What's your name?
                       FAT KID
Spencer Talbot.
      (scribbles name
       and quote down)
Thanks, bud.
      (to cop)
Hey, Officer. Will you let me try
those hand cuffs on?
The cop lets go of Spencer as soon as he is on the bus. He
eyes Jimmy in a strange manner.
This ain't no clothing outlet! You
a reporter or something?
Gee, how could you tell?
All right, boy. I say, you are an
odd one, for a reporter.
Jimmy puts his wrists out in front of the cop. He tightens
the plastic cuffs on him. Jimmy winces like the other kids
when the cops put cuffs on them.
Ow - where's the blood flow?


The cop chuckles.
Pretty tight, ain't it?
The cop removes the plastic cuffs off Jimmy.
You could say that. Hey, where
are you taking these kids?
To the juvenile detention center.
Can I come along?
Sure. What's your name, son?
Jimmy Stirdivandt. I work for the
Pittsburgh Reporter.
Follow us - we've got just about
all the trouble makers. And
that's basically one whole damn
Jimmy goes back to his car while the cop goes back to his.
The police sirens blare. Jimmy follows behind the cop car
which escorts the big yellow bus out of the circle drive.
Burke turns around and sees Jimmy panting as he has just
rushed up the stairwell.
Been runnin' laps on the job?
How'd it go?


I talked to a fat kid in a
Burke's face is blank for a second, then he bursts into
laughter. The rest of the newsroom stops typing to catch
the commotion.
You're kidding me, right?
Standing still as stone, Jimmy shakes his head.
No, sir.
Burke gives him a weird look. He squints, eying Jimmy from
head to toe, trying to make him out.
That's the craziest shit I've ever
heard. You've got a deadline,
Stirdivandt. Chop-chop! Time's
Jimmy goes to his cubicle and sits at his computer, trying
to think of how to start his story. After staring at his
blank word processor for a few minutes, he begins with:
Ten-year-old Spencer Talbot comes out of St. Mary's Catholic
School wearing a bright yellow sundress with pink polkadots,
a dress which he borrowed from his sister. St. Mary's
doesn't allow its students to wear shorts, nor does it allow
boys to wear clothing they're not supposed to wear.
Someone hands Burke a copy of the day's issue with Jimmy's
story smacked across the front page. Burke explodes in
laughter as he sees the picture of the kid in the sundress.
Oh, this is crazy shit INDEED.
Jimmy freezes mid-sentence as he types at his computer,
startled by his boss's voice. His eye brows raised, he
ventures to his boss's desk.


Yes, sir?
Good work on that story.
Uh, thanks, I guess.
If you keep this kinda work up, I
may make you my co-editor.
      (his face lights
Maybe. I'm not sure if we're
allowed to have co-editors at this
newspaper, but it's always a
possibility. Just keep that in
He winks at him, then a sinister smile creeps up on his
Thanks, Mr. Burke.
      (suddenly stern)
Get back to work.
Yes, boss.
Grinning, Jimmy walks back to his cubicle and mouths, "Fuck
you, Dr. Schwartz."
All the family members are seated at the dining table.
Stevie is obnoxious as usual, making farting noises with his
armpits or what-not. The Captain disapproves of Stevie's
behavior and shows it.
Stevie, knock it off or I'm going
to give you a whuppin'.


How can you, when you're across
the table?
I'll do it-
Jimmy gives Stevie a slap on the side of his head.
Ow, jerko!
      (pleasant, but
It's nice to see the family acting
so normal again.
So, Jimmy, when are you going to
start looking for an apartment?
Uhhhh, apartment?
You're not going to be freeloading
off of us anymore now that you've
got a job.
Jimmy got a job? Wow! Did they
promote you to manager at the
munchie mart or something?
Another whack on the head for Stevie courtesy of Jimmy.
No, smart-ass. Jimmy's a new
police reporter at the city
Wow! Do you get to watch people
get killed by other people?
Another whack. Stevie looks as if he is in pain and
massages the sore spot.
That's not funny.


Tell us about the story you did,
Well, it was just about a bunch of
private school kids who got
arrested for breaking the dress
code. They got hauled away to
juvie on a bus.
They all laugh at that.
Imagine that. A boy wearing
women's clothing!
Jimmy blushes.
Jimmy sits at his desk looking up apartments in his area.
Not very promising ones come up except an exotic-sounding
complex called Sunset on the Riviera. His eyes ogle the
picture of the place. It's located by the river, an
enchanting old-looking complex with vines draping on the
A beautiful view of the sun sinking along the horizon. Jimmy
walks in through the wooden door.
The LANDLORD shows Jimmy around. It's not too impressive on
the inside. The paint is chipped here and there with
various iron stains from the water on the walls.
This place is a bit old, but most
of my tenants paint there own
Oh, great. I get to paint after I
just fixed up my new car.


Was that you driving that army car
out there?
Uh, . . . yeah.


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