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Restaurant Pollutia
by Robert Lyon (roblyon@indiana.edu)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A Short Film. America has fallen into another depression and is now a third world country. The nation is a landfill for the world's waste. Spencer and Carter are cooks at Restaurant Pollutia, where the food is concocted from the pollution of a nearby lake. Carter is sick of their boss' management style and tries to poison his reputation, literally. Yet, this takes a turn for the worst.

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.


As an old rusty thermometer floats down the shoreline, it's
suddenly snatched out of the water by the hand of Carter
It's getting to a point where I
don't think I'm going to be able
to put up with him much longer.
I know, I know.
Spencer and Carter are standing on the edge of the
disgustingly polluted lake tossing their nets out into the
water, fishing for trash. They are grabbing wet cardboard,
string, soggy food and whatever they think will be useful,
and throwing it in a wheelbarrow.
Remember, I took that two day trip
up to Forteville, for Sal, to buy
some of that plastic from those
two guys who had found some in
their landfill? Sal told me he
would double my pay for everyday I
was gone on the business.
He told me he had paid you.
Ha-ha, He hasn't given me
anything. Not even a free meal.
It's great plastic though...
Carter pulls in his net and throws a couple more items of
trash into the pile and flicks water from his wet hands on
Spencer's back. Spencer turns around.
I think this is enough. And if the
bastard says it's not, I won't
mind coming back to get more, it
just wastes more time.


It's plenty.
Rolling up their nets and tossing them in the wheelbarrow,
Spencer grabs the handles and starts pushing it away from
the lake as they head back into town towards Restaurant
...And remember when I covered his
ass from that "food safety
specialist" while he was out one
Yeah, I remember. Didn't she come
because they heard about some old
guy in town puking blood or
whatever...from our food?
No, no. That was just a rumor.
This girl came for the obvious
reason. She had heard about
Restaurant Pollutia, and how we
serve food concocted from Lake
Monroy's pollution, right.
Ha-ha. Of course.
That's it, pure suspicion. She
wondered, when every individual
was just as capable of retrieving
their own food and taking the such
unhealthy risk of eating it as he
was, why did Sal feel the need,
under such terrible environmental
conditions, to continue working in
the restaurant business.
As Spencer and Carter walked down the street pushing their
loaded wheelbarrow along, many others hiked it as well,
flooding around the two from all directions, heading to
various destinations. Some were riding horses, some were
just walking, and dogs were wandering around aimlessly.


And you said what? No worries, our
food made from pollution is now
considered a delicacy around
God. No. I just told him that Sal
is a careful guy and we make sure
that nothing we produce will be
the least bit harmful. I said the
concept may be slightly
indimidating, but he understands
his responsibility and that he can
be held accountable in the future
if any health issues may arise.
We do serve great food though.
That's not the point Spencer, it's
that Sal's business would be shut
down right now if I wouldn't have
talked it up so appropriately.
I know, I know. I get the point
that your not so fond of our boss.
And I agree with you more than
anybody that his management style
is terrible and nearly
intollerable. I just get tired of
your constant complaining.
All right. Sorry. But one last
thing...Would you say that we both agree
on not wanting to deal with him
Yeah, sure.
The town is dark and eerie. All of the buildings and living
spaces are run down. Everyone is very weak and dirty and


dressed in tattered clothing. No cars or motors are seen or
heard, and no electricity is available for heat or light.
In the distance a wooden sign hangs from a filthy green
awning that reads "Restaurant Pollutia" in chalk. Spencer
and Carter continue to push towards the restaurant. When
they are within about ten feet of the front door, they rest
the wheelbarrow on the ground as the fairly stout figure,
Sal, bursts through the front door with his arms up the air
in an angered frenzy. He then grabs Carter's arm ferociously
and pulls him to the wheelbarrow while screaming back and
forth at the two. When he finishes his howling he stomps
back into the restaurant displeased, leaving his two
employees standing astonished outside.
      (Stunned and
...So was he saying...this isn't
Spencer points down at the full wheelbarrow and looks over
at Carter who is blankly staring at him with rage.
Come on Carter. It's all right,
did you expect the man to praise
our scrounging job for the day?
'Course Not. But didn't you hear
him, he took at crack at my family
...and I'm bleeding.
Your taking him seriously?
Yeah, I am. People don't make
those kind of stabbing remarks
concerning things they don't think
about. He means it.
Sal once again popped his head through the front door.
Yes sir?


Your staying after hours tonight.
What for sir? I don't recall any
extra work needing to be done.
I don't know yet, I'll think of
something. Probably the kitchen or
the outhouses!
Carter just nodded his head slowly and turned his face
towards the ground as Sal slipped back inside, the door
falling shut behind him.
      (Under his breathe)
Spencer takes a few steps over towards Carter and pats him
on the back.
Let's just get this stuff inside.
Spencer again picks up the wheelbarrow and steers it towards
the doors of the restaurant. He, along with Carter proceed
to walk under the shade of the awning, inside the restaurant
to unload their findings.
After a couple of hours the restaurant is packed. Spencer
and Carter are darting back and forth, frantically fixing
the various plates the customers have ordered. Sal is the
lone waiter, retrieving the completed orders from the
kitchen counter and posting new ones on the order log.
You guys should take longer. We
have at least twenty famished
customers who haven't eaten all
day. J-just take your time, I know
you don't want a pay check or
      (Under breathe)
Fuck off...asshole


As Sal is turning to deliver the dishes, he immediately
spins back around and glares at Carter.
What was that Carter!?
S-Sir. We're doing the best we
can. Sorry.
All right...well that doesn't
change my opinion. Your still
slow. Work!
Sal finally walks away with plates in hand and Spencer
stares over at Carter in amazement.
      (Sarcastic Sigh)
Jesus... What the hell is wrong
with you?
I told you Spencer, I've had
enough. I wasn't messing arou-
Suddenly Spencer's wife, Victoria, and his six year old
daughter, Claire-Beth, pop their heads over the counter
where Sal was just previously standing, waving over to
Hi Daddy!
Spencer drops the knife and pot he was holding and races
over to the counter where they are standing. He leans over
it to hug Victoria and give her a kiss on a cheek. Then he
leans down and pecks Claire-Beth on top of the head.
I thought you guys weren't getting
back until tomorrow! This is so
great. How was the trip? How's
your mom?
It was just fine Spence. We'll
tell you all about it when you get
home tonight. You should get to
work though hunny, right?


Ok, Sounds great. Yeah, Yeah I
Look what grandmommy gave me
daddy! She made it from the trash!
Let me see sweetheart.
Claire-Beth pulls a gold necklace with a cross on it that's
wrapped around her throat, out of her dirty t-shirt. She
holds it up high towards Spencer's face.
That's beautiful Claire.
Grandmommy said no matter what
happens in our life, there's a
purpose. A purpose for everything.
That's what she said this gold
cross means!
Well Grandma is right Claire!
That's a very special necklace.
Spencer pats Claire-Beth on the head as he looks up at
Victoria with a proud smile.
Hey Claire, let's go sit down, our
food should be coming soon. Say
goodbye to daddy.
Bye daddy, me and mom have to go
Bye sweetie.
As Claire-Beth tries to drag her mother quickly back to
their seat, Victoria glances over her shoulder back at
Hey, I'm glad I'm back. I'll see
you tonight. Right?


Um, yes. I'll see you tonight.
Victoria nods and turns as she is finally drug back to her
booth. Spencer turns back around as well and returns to his
cooking station next to Carter, picking up where he left
off. Carter's cooking remained in full stride with no
interruptions while he works eerily silent.
      (Under breathe)
What's going on? What's wrong?
I told you Spencer, I'm absolutely
sick of this shit.
Carter hasn't looked Spencer in the eye, yet he is still
tediously fixing the dish in front of him. As he is working
with his left hand, his right one slowly reaches into his
back pant pocket and pulls out the thermometer that he had
retrieved from the lake just earlier.
W-What are you doing with that?
You told me. That we both agree,
that we don't want Sal around
As Carter finishes his statement, he puts the knife in his
left hand down and grabs the other end of the thermometer.
He begins to pull both ends down, trying to snap it in
Wait. Are you fucking kidding me
Carter!? You can't-


Sure I can. We both want him gone,
that's what you said.
I didn't-
Carter breaks the thermometer and pours the mercury into the
soup and dish that will soon belong to one customer. When
all the mercury is poured in, Carter throws the broken
thermometer in the waste basket. Spencer tries to grab the
plate and the bowl away from Carter, but Carter blocks
Spencer with his arm.
O God. What is wrong with you!?
We're going to get the blame you
Sal is approaching the kitchen counter quickly, yelling at
Carter and Spencer for some orders.
      (Whispering to
O shut it. You and I both know Sal
will get all the blame for this.
He'll be gone.
      (In the distance)
I'm coming right now, for the Sand
Bobby Soup and Caesar Rye Leaves!
Is it ready?!
      (Yelling back)
Yeah Sal, I got it right here for
Spencer attempts one more time at grabbing the plates, yet
is blocked again by Carter. When Sal approaches the counter,
Carter reaches out to pass the plate and bowl on to him. As
he steadily reaches, he turns his head slightly towards
Spencer and gives him a wink with his left eye. Spencer
begins to breathe heavily.

Sal takes the food and turns to deliver it to the customer.
Carter and Spencer proceed to work with their heads down in
suspense and in silence.


After a short period of time, a little girl's scream is
heard from the dining room. Both Spencer's and Carter's head
immediately jerk up from their work to the horrifying sound.
They shoot a glance at each other and then one back out into
the dining room. Spencer quickly realizes that it is his
Claire-Beth screaming and rushes out of the kitchen into the
dining room.
Claire-Beth! What's wrong Claire?!
As Spencer runs around one of the corners separating the
kitchen from the dining room, he immediately sees Victoria
lying on the ground unconscious, while Claire-Beth is
kneeling beside her crying. Other customers begin to gather
around the exciting spectacle. Spencer falls down on the
ground next to his wife, staring into her face.
She threw up daddy, first. And
then she just fell off the chair!
Spencer puts his hands on Victoria's face and checks her
pulse. He is shaking frantically.
O my God. Victoria! Victoria! Wake
up hunny!
      (Under breathe)
...She's still breathing.
Somebody get a doctor! Is anybody
here a doctor?!
Spencer raises his head and begins to look around the room
for any volunteer help. No one seemed to have any medical
experience. Sal dropped his serving tray and apron and ran
out the front door in fear of prosecution, but no one

Spencer then bends down and cradles his wife to pick her up.
As he raises her off the ground into his arms, he stands up
and makes enraged eye contact with Carter, who is standing
in the door way, terrified.


Victoria lies in a hospital bed, while Spencer and
Claire-Beth sit beside her in a pale peach-colored room.
Spencer is holding her hand and looking sadly, deep into her
eyes. An Asian doctor occupies the far corner of the room
taking notes.
...It's been a week baby. Y-Your
in a coma.
Wait, What? But I'm awake, I feel
Spencer looks down at his feet as he points over to the
Asian doctor in the corner.
Dr. Yiu. He's a medical missionary
from China. He's a volunteer at
this hospital. There's a medicine
that can wake you up for a certain
amount of minutes each day. ...But
you'll just fall back into sleep
when your time is up.
Claire and I have been coming
Claire nods her head as tears drip from her eyes.
      (Talking to Claire)
Is that right hunny?
You also have something called
anterograde amnesia. You don't
have the ability to form long term
memories anymore. So... you've
just forgotten that we came.
Victoria has a stunned look on her face. She turns to look
at Doctor Yiu for confirmation. Doctor Yiu just nods


And that's how I got sick? I. I
don't remember it. I went to my
mother's for a trip?
Spencer and Claire-Beth just kept nodding their heads as
they stared at the fear stricken Victoria.
You and me went mommy. Together.
      (Loss of words)
Oh God...
The three of them sat silently for a while holding hands,
looking at each other and around the room.
So what now, you guys...Carter's
in jail, are you still working at
Actually Sal, he was accused
so Carter and I were thinking
about starting our own restaurant
Victoria's eyes open wide to Spencer's last comment.
So you let Carter get away,
...with poisoning me?
I was only thinking of us! Now the
pay will be better, days will go
by easier. ...Y-You were poisoned
either way.
You were thinking of yourself. I'm
glad that days will go by easier
while I'm in a coma...
Where's your dignity Spencer?


      (Under breathe)
Spencer's face falls into his sweaty palms in
      (Under breathe to
Everyday...she says the same
thing. She's right...
While Spencer is holding his head in his hand, Claire-Beth
taps him on the shoulder from the seat next to him. Spencer
easily rotates his head on top of his palms and looks down
at his daughter. As he makes eye contact with the big,
sweet, six year old eyes, Claire-Beth again, pulls out the
gold cross from underneath the same dirty t-shirt she was
wearing the day she showed Spencer, and holds up the symbol
him proudly.
As Spencer is looking at his daughter and realizing the
message she is trying to convey with her necklace,
Victoria's hand loosens her grip to Spencer's. He looks over
at her immediately to see that her time was up, and she had
fallen back into a coma. The Asian doctor stands up out of
his chair and sets down his clipboard.
                       DOCTOR YIU
All right, guys. Sorry we're
closing up for the day.
Ok, well that's fine doctor. I'll
see you.
                       DOCTOR YIU
Spencer and Claire-Beth ease up out of their chairs and wave
goodbye to an unconscious Victoria. They slowly walk towards
the door, slide it open, and proceed to exit the room.
Spencer and Claire-Beth are holding hands as they walk down
one of the deteriorating streets toward the police station.
They pass a couple buildings and numerous people until they
approach the steps of the once elegant marble steps of the
Monroy's State House, which now serves partially as a law


enforcement station. Spencer and Claire-Beth both cease
progress at the foot of the stair case and turn to look at
each other, Spencer kneels down to Claire's eye level.
You've seen America change,
haven't you baby?
Claire-Beth jerks her head in a rapid nod.
All these terrible smells, our
tattered clothes, no more cars.
Nobody respects us Claire. This
depression has rewound American
civilization while every other
nation continues to thrive. Don't
you see how the roles have been
Claire's face begins to get sad with confusion.
Daddy, I don't know.
I'm sorry Claire, you don't have
to know. But if you remember
anything, our prosperous nation,
the one we both used to remember,
in the past didn't do near enough
as we should have to help out the
world, we just minded our own
business and kept to ourselves.
      (A little more
I kind of know.
Look at us now, we're just as in
need as those people we weren't
helping. We're a third world
country Claire. Our country is a
deathly landfill for the earth's
waste. No one is going to take the
time to care for someone who
didn't care for them.
Who's not caring for us?


Spencer now realizes that everything he said was far too
intelligent for his young daughter to understand. He lets
out a large sigh.
Clair-Beth. More bad things will
happen in life. If anything
though, respect those who deserve
it and be honest.
Spencer releases his right hand from the side of Claire-Beth
and gently pokes her heart with his grimy finger.
Don't only be concerned with
yourself. That little girl in
Ok daddy, I promise.
Spencer stands up again, takes Claire-Beth's hand and turns
towards the building.
Let's go make a different story to
tell mommy.
Spencer and Claire-Beth make their way up the aging


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