"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"Clerks"

by

Kevin Smith


INT: BEDROOM. EARLY-MORNING HOURS

A DOG sleeps on a neatly made bed.

A CLOCK reads twenty to six.

A SHELF OF BOOKS holds such classics as Dante's Inferno,
Beyond Good and Evil, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Dark
Knight Returns. A FRAMED DIPLOMA, dusty and unkempt, hangs
askew on the wall. A snapshot of a girl is stuck in the
corner, and a bra weighs one end down. A PHONE sits quietly
atop a bundle of laundry. It suddenly explodes with a
resounding ring-once, twice, three times. A CLOSET DOOR swings
open, and a half-clad figure falls out. THE PHONE rings yet
again, and a hand falls upon the receiver, yanking it off
the trash can, O.C. THE RUMPLED FIGURE lays with his back to
the camera, phone in hand.

FIGURE
(groggily)
Hello... What?... No, I don't work
today... I'm playing hockey at two.

THE DOG yawns and shakes its head.

FIGURE (O.S.)
Why don't you call Randal?... Because
I'm fucking tired... I just closed
last night...
(deep sigh)
Jesus... What time are you going to
come in?... Twelve... Be there be
twelve?... Swear...

A PICTURE OF A GIRL leans against a trophy. The picture is
decorated with a Play-Doh beard and mustache.

FIGURE (O.S.)
Swear you'll be in by twelve and
I'll do it... Twelve... Twelve or I
walk.

THE PHONE RECEIVER slams into the cradle. THE RUMPLED FIGURE
slowly sits up and remains motionless. He musses his hair
and stands.

THE DOG stands and wags its tail. A hand pats its head. The
Rumpled Figure lays down on the bed. We now see his face. It
is the face of DANTE and this is Dante's room; this is Dante's
life. DANTE grabs the dog and wrestles it.

DANTE
Next time, I get the bed.

He releases the dog and sits up.

DANTE
(exhausted)
Shit.

CUT TO:

INT: BATHROOM. MINUTES LATER

A steaming shower fills the room. The dog licks water from
the toilet.

CUT TO:

INT: KITCHEN. MINUTES LATER

A towel-dressed DANTE opens the fridge and peers inside. He
grabs a half-empty gallon of milk and closes the door.

CUT TO:

INT: KITCHEN. SECONDS LATER

Chocolate milk mix is heaped into a tumbler. One scoop, two
scoops, three scoops, four scoops.

CUT TO:

INT: BEDROOM. A MINUTE LATER

DANTE gulps his breakfast while feeling inside the closet
for some clothes. Some chocolate milk spills on the floor.
THE DOG laps at the small puddle of chocolate milk.

CUT TO:

INT: HALLWAY. MINUTES LATER

DANTE'S feet are hastily covered. A hand grabs keys from
atop a VCR.

CUT TO:

EXT: DRIVEWAY. MINUTES LATER

A car backs out of the driveway and speeds down the street.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

The car pulls up, with a screech. Feet descend to the ground
from the open door. Keys jam into a lock and pop it open.

CUT TO:

DANTE lifts the metal shutter revealing the door. He opens
it and grabs two bundles of papers, throwing them inside the
store.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

A very dark room barely lit by the daylight. Suddenly, the
lights flick on, revealing the glorious interior of the
convenience store. THE CAT looks at DANTE as he passes the
camera quickly. THE PAPER BUNDLE is snapped open with a knife.
Newspapers slam into the appropriate racks. One rack remains
empty. A coffee filter is placed in a metal pot.

Ground coffee follows, and the mix is shoved into place in
the coffeemaker. The switch is flicked and the machine comes
to life. The empty newspaper rack with the heading ASBURY
PARK PRESS seems out of place among all the other stacks of
papers. DANTE rubs his chin and stares, puzzled. He rolls
his eyes as it occurs to him.

DANTE
Shit.

The register pops open, and a hand extracts a quarter.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

POV: NEWSPAPER MACHINE

Through murky glass and thin metal grating, we see DANTE
approach. He stops and drops a quarter in the slot. He pulls
the door down, finally allowing us a clear view as he reaches
toward the camera.

DANTE pulls a stack of newspapers from the Asbury Park Press
vending machine. He struggles to hold them all in one hand
as he lets the door slam shut. He turns to walk away, but
the sound of the quarter dropping into the change slot stops
him. He takes a step back to grab the coin.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

The papers drop into the once-empty rack with a resounding
flop. The quarter drops back into the register drawer.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

DANTE tries to jam the key into the window shutter lock. He
looks down at it.

DANTE
Shit!

The lock is gummed up with gum or something hard and obtrusive
like gum, preventing the key from being inserted. DANTE
looks around and kicks the shutter angrily. The car trunk
pops open and a hand reaches inside, pulling out a folded
white sheet.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

A can of shoe polish is grabbed from the shelf. DANTE dips
his fingers into the shoe polish and writes large letters on
the unfurled sheet, leaning on the cooler.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

DANTE stands on a garbage can and tucks a corner of the sheet
under the awning. He jumps down. The banner reads I ASSURE
YOU, WE'RE OPEN. The door sign shifts from CLOSED to OPEN.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING

The clock reads 6:20. DANTE leans behind the counter, the
morning routine completed. He stares ahead, catatonic, then
drops his head in his hands. The day has begun.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

The store, with its makeshift banner looming in the dim
morning hour, just after dawn. A car drives by.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE waits on a customer (ACTIVIST) buying coffee.

DANTE
Thanks. Have a good one.

ACTIVIST
Do you mind if I drink this here?

DANTE
Sure. Go ahead.

The ACTIVIST leans on a briefcase and drinks his coffee.

Another CUSTOMER leans in the door.

CUSTOMER
Are you open?

DANTE
Yeah.

CUSTOMER
Pack of cigarettes.

ACTIVIST
Are you sure?

CUSTOMER
Am I sure?

ACTIVIST
Are you sure?

CUSTOMER
Am I sure about what?

ACTIVIST
Do you really want to buy those
cigarettes?

CUSTOMER
Are you serious?

ACTIVIST
How long have you been smoking?

CUSTOMER
(to DANTE)
What is this, a poll?

DANTE
Beats me.

ACTIVIST
How long have you been a smoker?

CUSTOMER
Since I was thirteen.

The ACTIVIST lifts his briefcase onto the counter. He opens
it and extracts a sickly-looking lung model.

ACTIVIST
I'd say you're about nineteen, twenty,
am I right?

CUSTOMER
What the hell is that?

ACTIVIST
That's your lung. By this time, your
lung looks like this.

CUSTOMER
You're shittin' me.

ACTIVIST
You think I'm shitting you...

The ACTIVIST hands him something from the briefcase.

CUSTOMER
What's this?

ACTIVIST
It's a trach ring. It's what they
install in your throat when throat
cancer takes your voice box. This
one came out of a sixty-year-old
man.

CUSTOMER
(drops ring)
Unnhh!

ACTIVIST
(picks up the ring)
He smoked until the day he died.
Used to put the cigarette in this
thing and smoke it that way.

DANTE
Excuse me, but...

ACTIVIST
This is where you're heading. A cruddy
lung, smoking through a hole in your
throat. Do you really want that?

CUSTOMER
Well, if it's already too late...

ACTIVIST
It's never too late. Give those
cigarettes back now, and buy some
gum instead.
(grabs nearby pack,
reads)
Here. Chewlies Gum. Try this.

CUSTOMER
It's not the same.

ACTIVIST
It's cheaper than cigarettes. And it
certainly beats this.

Hands him a picture.

CUSTOMER
Jesus!

ACTIVIST
It's a picture of a cancer-ridden
lung. Keep it.

CUSTOMER
(to DANTE)
I'll just take the gum.

DANTE
Fifty-five.

ACTIVIST
You've made a wise choice. Keep up
the good work.

The CUSTOMER exits.

DANTE
Maybe you should take that coffee
outside.

ACTIVIST
No, I think I'll drink it in here,
thanks.

DANTE
If you're going to drink it in here,
I'd appreciate it if you'd not bother
the customers.

ACTIVIST
Okay. I'm sorry about that.

Another CUSTOMER comes up to the counter.

CUSTOMER
Pack of cigarettes.
(looks at model)
What's that?

ACTIVIST
This? How long have you been smoking?

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A blank wall. JAY steps into the frame, followed by SILENT
BOB. JAY pulls off his coat and swings it into the arms of
SILENT BOB. JAY then throws down with a makeshift slam dance,
spinning his arm and fake-hitting SILENT BOB.

JAY
WE NEED SOME TITS AND ASS! YEAH!

SILENT BOB lights a smoke.

JAY
I feel good today, Silent Bob. We're
gonna make some money! And then you
know what we're going to do? We're
going to go to that party and get
some pussy! I'm gonna fuck this bitch,
that bitch...
(Blue Velvet Hopper)
I'LL FUCK ANYTHING THAT MOVES!

SILENT BOB points to something off-screen.

JAY
(to O.C.)
What you looking at?! I'll kick your
fucking ass!
(to SILENT BOB)
Doesn't that motherfucker still owe
me ten bucks?

SILENT BOB nods.

JAY
Tonight, you and me are going off
that fucker's head, and take out his
fucking soul! Remind me if he tries
to buy something from us, to cut it
with leafs and twigs... or fucking
shit in the motherfucker's bag!

Some girls walk past. JAY smiles at them.

JAY
Wa sup sluts?
(to SILENT BOB)
Damn Silent Bob! You one rude
motherfucker! But you're cute as
hell.
(slowly drops to knees)
I wanna go down on you, and suckle
you.
(makes blow job neck-
jerks)
And then, I wanna line up three more
guys, and make like a circus seal...

JAY makes blow job faces down an imaginary line of guys,
looking quite like a performing seal. He throws a little
humming sound behind each nod. He then hops up quickly.

JAY
Ewwww! You fucking faggot! I fucking
hate guys!
(yelling)
I LOVE WOMEN!
(calmer)
Neh.

A GUY comes up to them.

GUY
You selling?

JAY
(all business)
I got hits, hash, weed, and later on
I'll have 'shrooms. We take cash, or
stolen MasterCard and Visa.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A SMALL CROWD gathers around the ACTIVIST as he orates. It
has become something of a rally.

ACTIVIST
You're spending what? Twenty, thirty
dollars a week on cigarettes.

LISTENER 1
Forty.

LISTENER 2
Fifty-three.

ACTIVIST
Fifty-three dollars. Would you pay
someone that much money every week
to kill you? Because that's what
you're doing now, by paying for the
so-called privilege to smoke!

LISTENER 3
We all gotta go sometime...

ACTIVIST
It's that kind of mentality that
allows this cancer-producing industry
to thrive. Of course we're all going
to die someday, but do we have to
pay for it? Do we have to actually
throw hard-earned dollars on a counter
and say, "Please, please, Mister
Merchant of Death, sir; please sell
me something that will give me bad
breath, stink up my clothes, and fry
my lungs."

LISTENER 1
It's not that easy to quit.

ACTIVIST
Of course it's not; not when you
have people like this mindless cretin
so happy and willing to sell you
nails for your coffin!

DANTE
Hey, now wait a sec...

ACTIVIST
Now he's going to launch into his
rap about how he's just doing his
job; following orders. Friends, let
me tell you about another bunch of
hate mongers that were just following
orders: they were called Nazis, and
they practically wiped a nation of
people from the Earth... just like
cigarettes are doing now! Cigarette
smoking is the new Holocaust, and
those that partake in the practice
of smoking or sell the wares that
promote it are the Nazis of the
nineties! He doesn't care how many
people die from it! He smiles as you
pay for your cancer sticks and says,
"Have a nice day."

DANTE
I think you'd better leave now.

ACTIVIST
You want me to leave? Why? Because
somebody is telling it like it is?
Somebody's giving these fine people
a wake-up call?!

DANTE
You're loitering in here, and causing
a disturbance.

ACTIVIST
You're the disturbance, pal! And
here...
(slaps a dollar on
the counter)
I'm buying some... what's this?...
Chewlie's Gum. There. I'm no longer
loitering. I'm a customer, a customer
engaged in a discussion with other
customers.

LISTENER 2
(to DANTE)
Yeah, now shut up so he can speak!

ACTIVIST
Oh, he's scared now! He sees the
threat we present! He smells the
changes coming, and the loss of sales
when the nonsmokers finally demand
satisfaction. We demand the right to
breathe cleaner air!

LISTENER 3
Yeah!

ACTIVIST
We'd rather chew our gum than embrace
slow death! Let's abolish this heinous
practice of sucking poison, and if
it means ruffling the feathers of a
convenience store idiot, then so be
it!

DANTE
That's it, everybody out.

ACTIVIST
We're not moving! We have a right, a
constitutional right, to assemble
and be heard!

DANTE
Yeah, but not in here.

ACTIVIST
What better place than this? To stamp
it out, you gotta start at the source!

DANTE
Like I'm responsible for all the
smokers!

ACTIVIST
The ones in this town, yes! You
encourage their growth, their habit.
You're the source in this area, and
we're going to shut you down for
good! For good, cancer-merchant!

The small crowd begins to chant and jeer in DANTE's face.

CROWD
Cancer merchant! Cancer merchant!
Cancer merchant!

VERONICA enters and surveys the mess. The CROWD throws
cigarettes at DANTE, pelting him in the face. Suddenly, a
loud blast is heard, and white powder explodes over the
throng. Everyone turns to face...

VERONICA as she stands in one of the freezer cases, holding
a fire extinguisher.

VERONICA
Who's leading this mob?

The CROWD looks among themselves. Someone points to O.C.

SOMEONE
That guy.

The ACTIVIST carries his briefcase surreptitiously toward
the door.

VERONICA (O.S.)
Freeze.

VERONICA jumps off the freezer case, training the nozzle of
the extinguisher on the ACTIVIST.

VERONICA
Let's see some credentials.

He reaches into his briefcase. She pokes the extinguisher
nozzle at him, warningly.

VERONICA
Slowly...

He pulls out a business card and hands it to her. She reads
it.

VERONICA
You're a Chewlie's Gum representative?

He nods.

VERONICA
And you're stirring up all this
antismoking sentiment to... what?...
sell more gum?

He nods again.

VERONICA
(through gritted teeth)
Get out of here.

He quickly flees. She blasts him with more chemical as he
exits.

VERONICA
(to the crowd)
And you people: Don't you have jobs
to go to? Get out of here and go
commute.

The CROWD sheepishly exits, one by one, offering apologetic
glances. DANTE tries to regain his composure.

VERONICA watches the crowd disperse, disgusted.

VERONICA
You oughta be ashamed of yourselves.
Easily led automatons. Try thinking
for yourself before you pelt and
innocent man with cigarettes.

The last of the crowd exits. VERONICA sets the fire
extinguisher down next to DANTE. DANTE is sitting on the
floor, head in his folded arms.

VERONICA
It looked like Tiananmen Square in
here for a second.

DANTE is silent.

VERONICA
"Thank you, Veronica; you saved me
from an extremely ugly mob scene."

DANTE remains silent.

VERONICA
(sits beside him)
Okay, champ. What's wrong?

DANTE lifts his head and shoots her a disgusted look.

VERONICA
All right, stupid question. But don't
you think you're taking this a bit
too hard?

DANTE
Too hard?! I don't have enough
indignities in my life-people start
throwing cigarettes at me!

VERONICA
At least they weren't lit.

DANTE
I hate this fucking place.

VERONICA
Then quit. You should be going to
school anyway...

DANTE
Please, Veronica. Last thing I need
is a lecture at this point.

VERONICA
All I'm saying is that if you're
unhappy you should leave.

DANTE
I'm not even supposed to be here
today!

VERONICA
I know. I stopped by your house and
your mom said you left at like six
or something.

DANTE
The guy got sick and couldn't come
in.

VERONICA
Don't you have a hockey game at two?

DANTE
Yes! And I'm going to play like shit
because I didn't get a good night's
sleep!

VERONICA
Why did you agree to come in then?

DANTE
I'm only here until twelve, then I'm
gone. The boss is coming in.

VERONICA
Why don't you open the shutters and
get some sunlight in here?

DANTE
Somebody jammed the locks with gum.

VERONICA
You're kidding.

DANTE
Bunch of savages in this town.

VERONICA
You look bushed. What time did you
get to bed?

DANTE
I don't know-like two-thirty, three.

VERONICA
What were you doing up so late?

DANTE
(skirting)
Hunhh? Nothing.

VERONICA
(persistent)
What were you doing?

DANTE
Nothing! Jesus! I gotta fight with
you now?

VERONICA
Who's fighting? Why are you so
defensive?

DANTE
Who's defensive? Just... Would you
just hug me?! All right? Your
boyfriend was accosted by an angry
mob, and he needs to be hugged.

She stares at him.

DANTE
What? What is that?

VERONICA
She called you, didn't she?

DANTE
Oh, be real! Would you... Would you
please hug me? I just went through
a very traumatic experience and I
haven't been having the best day so
far. Now come on.

VERONICA stares at him.

DANTE
What? What's with that look?! I wasn't
talking to anyone, especially her!
Look at you, being all sort of... I
don't know... stand-offish.

VERONICA looks away.

DANTE
Fine. You don't trust me, don't hug
me. I see how it is. All right Pissy-
pants, you just go on being suspicious
and quiet. I don't even want to hug
you at this point.

VERONICA looks back at him.

DANTE
(pleadingly)
Give you a dollar?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A NOTE on the counter next to a small pile of money reads:

PLEASE LEAVE MONEY ON THE COUNTER. TAKE CHANGE WHEN
APPLICABLE. BE HONEST.

DANTE and VERONICA are slumped on the floor, behind the
counter. VERONICA holds DANTE in her arms, his head on her
chest. Change is heard hitting the counter.

DANTE
(to O.C. customer)
Thanks.

The door is heard opening and closing - a customer leaving.

VERONICA
How much money did you leave up there?

DANTE
Like three dollars in mixed change
and a couple of singles. People only
get the paper of coffee this time of
morning.

VERONICA
You're trusting.

DANTE
Why do you say that?

VERONICA
How do you know they're taking the
right amount of change? Or even paying
for what they take?

DANTE
Theoretically, people see money on
the counter and nobody around, they
think they're being watched.

VERONICA
Honesty through paranoia. Why do you
smell like shoe polish?

DANTE
I had to use shoe polish to make
that sign. The smell won't come off.

VERONICA
Do you think anyone can see us down
here?

DANTE
Why? You wanna have sex or something?

VERONICA
(sarcastic)
Ooh! Can we?!

DANTE
Really?

VERONICA
I was kidding.

DANTE
Yeah, right. You can't get enough of
me.

VERONICA
Typically male point of view.

DANTE
How do you figure?

VERONICA
You show some bedroom proficiency,
and you think you're gods. What about
what we do for you?

DANTE
Women? Women, as lovers, are all
basically the same: they just have
to be there.

VERONICA
"Be there?"

DANTE
Making a male climax is not all that
challenging: insert somewhere close
and preferably moist; thrust; repeat.

VERONICA
How flattering.

DANTE
Now, making a woman cum... therein
lies a challenge.

VERONICA
Oh, you think so?

DANTE
A girl makes a guy cum, it's standard.
A guy makes a girl cum, it's talent.

VERONICA
And I actually date you?

DANTE
Something wrong?

VERONICA
I'm insulted. Believe me, Don Juan,
it takes more than that to get a guy
off. Just "being there"-as you put
it-is not enough.

DANTE
I touched a nerve.

VERONICA
I'm astonished to hear you trivialize
my role in our sex life.

DANTE
It wasn't directed at you. I was
making a broad generalization.

VERONICA
You were making a generalization
about "broads!"

DANTE
These are my opinions based on my
experiences with the few women who
were good enough to sleep with me.

VERONICA
How many?

DANTE
How many what?

VERONICA
How many girls have you slept with?

DANTE
How many different girls? Didn't we
already have this discussion once?

VERONICA
We might have; I don't remember.
How many?

DANTE
Including you?

VERONICA
It better be up to and including me.

DANTE
(pause to count)
Twelve.

VERONICA
You've slept with twelve different
girls?

DANTE
Including you; yes.

Pause. She slaps him.

DANTE
What the hell was that for?

VERONICA
You're a pig.

DANTE
Why'd you hit me?

VERONICA
Do you know how many different men
I've had sex with?

DANTE
Do I get to hit you after you tell
me?

VERONICA
Three.

DANTE
Three?

VERONICA
Three including you.

DANTE
You've only had sex with three
different people?

VERONICA
I'm not the pig you are.

DANTE
Who?

VERONICA
You!

DANTE
No; who were the three, besides me?

VERONICA
John Franson and Rob Stanslyk.

DANTE
(with true admiration)
Wow. That's great. That's something
to be proud of.

VERONICA
I am. And that's why you should feel
like a pig. You men make me sick.
You'll sleep with anything that says
yes.

DANTE
Animal, vegetable, or mineral.

VERONICA
Vegetable meaning paraplegic.

DANTE
They put up the least amount of
struggle.

VERONICA
After dropping a bombshell like that,
you owe me. Big.

DANTE
All right. Name it.

VERONICA
I want you to come with me on Monday.

DANTE
Where?

VERONICA
To school. There's a seminar about
getting back into a scholastic program
after a lapse in enrollment.

DANTE
Can't we ever have a discussion
without that coming up?

VERONICA
It's important to me, Dante. You
have so much potential that just
goes to waste in this pit. I wish
you'd go back to school.

DANTE
Jesus, would you stop? You make my
head hurt when you talk about this.

VERONICA stands, letting DANTE'S head hit the floor.

DANTE
Shit! Why are we getting up?

VERONICA
Unlike you, I have a class in forty-
five minutes.

A handsome young man (WILLAM) is standing at the counter.
VERONICA reacts to him.

VERONICA
(surprised)
Willam!

WILLAM
Ronnie! How are you? You work here
now?

VERONICA
(locks arms with DANTE)
No, I'm just visiting my man.
(to DANTE)
Dante, this is Willam Black.
(to WILLAM)
This is Dante Hicks, my boyfriend.

DANTE
How are you? Just the soda?

WILLAM
And a pack of cigarettes.
(to VERONICA; paying)
Are you still going to Seton Hall?

VERONICA
No, I transferred into Monmouth this
year. I was tired of missing him.
(squeezes DANTE'S arm)

WILLAM
Do you still talk to Sylvan?

VERONICA
I just talked to her on Monday. We
still hang out on weekends.

WILLAM
(leaving)
That's cool. Well-you two lovebirds
take it easy, all right?

VERONICA
I will. Take it easy.

WILLAM
Bye.
(exits)

VERONICA
Bye
(to DANTE)
That was Snowball.

DANTE
Why do you call him that?

VERONICA
Sylvan made it up. It's a blow job
thing.

DANTE
What do you mean?

VERONICA
After he gets a blow job, he likes
to have the cum spit back into his
mouth while kissing. It's called
snowballing.

DANTE
He requested this?

VERONICA
He gets off on it.

DANTE
Sylvan can be talked into anything.

VERONICA
Why do you say that?

DANTE
Like you said-she snowballed him.

VERONICA
Sylvan? No; I snowballed him.

DANTE
Yeah, right.

VERONICA
I'm serious...

A moment of silence as DANTE'S chuckles fade to comprehension.

DANTE
You sucked that guy's dick?

VERONICA
Yeah. How do you think I know he
liked...

DANTE
(panicky)
But... but you said you only had sex
with three guys! You never mentioned
him!

VERONICA
That's because I never had sex with
him!

DANTE
You sucked his dick!

VERONICA
We went out a few times. We didn't
have sex, but we fooled around.

DANTE
(massive panic attack)
Oh my God! Why did you tell me you
only slept with three guys?

VERONICA
Because I did only sleep with three
guys! That doesn't mean I didn't
just go with people.

DANTE
Oh my God-I feel so nauseous...

VERONICA
I'm sorry, Dante. I thought you
understood.

DANTE
I did understand! I understand that
you slept with three different guys,
and that's all you said.

VERONICA
Please calm down.

DANTE
How many?

VERONICA
Dante...

DANTE
How many dicks have you sucked?!

VERONICA
Let it go...

DANTE
HOW MANY?

VERONICA
All right! Shut up a second and I'll
tell you! Jesus! I didn't freak like
this when you told me how many girls
you fucked.

DANTE
This is different. This is important.
How many?!

She counts silently, using fingers as marks. DANTE waits on
a customer in the interim. VERONICA stops counting.

DANTE
Well...?

VERONICA
(half-mumbled)
Something like thirty-six.

DANTE
WHAT? SOMETHING LIKE THIRTY-SIX?

VERONICA
Lower your voice!

DANTE
What the hell is that anyway,
"something like thirty-six?" Does
that include me?

VERONICA
Um. Thirty-seven.

DANTE
I'M THIRTY-SEVEN?

VERONICA
(walking away)
I'm going to class.

DANTE
Thirty-seven?!
(to CUSTOMER)
My girlfriend sucked thirty-seven
dicks!

CUSTOMER
In a row?

DANTE chases VERONICA down and grabs her by the door.

DANTE
Hey! Where are you going?!

VERONICA
Hey listen, jerk! Until today you
never even knew how many guys I'd
slept with, because you never even
asked. And then you act all nonchalant
about fucking twelve different girls.
Well, I never had sex with twelve
different guys!

DANTE
No, but you sucked enough dick!

VERONICA
Yeah, I went down on a few guys...

DANTE
A few?

VERONICA
...And one of those guys was you!
The last one, I might add, which-if
you're too stupid to comprehend-
means that I've been faithful to you
since we met! All the other guys I
went with before I met you, so, if
you want to have a complex about it,
go ahead! But don't look at me like
I'm the town whore, because you were
plenty busy yourself, before you met
me!

DANTE
(a bit more rational)
Well... why did you have to suck
their dicks? Why didn't you just
sleep with them, like any decent
person?!

VERONICA
Because going down it's a big deal!
I used to like a guy, we'd make out,
and sooner or later I'd go down on
him. But I only had sex with the
guys I loved.

DANTE
I feel sick.

VERONICA
(holds him)
I love you. Don't feel sick.

DANTE
Every time I kiss you now I'm going
to taste thirty-six other guys.

VERONICA violently lets go of him.

VERONICA
I'm going to school. Maybe later
you'll be a bit more rational.

DANTE
(pause)
Thirty-seven. I just can't...

VERONICA
Goodbye, Dante.

She exits in a huff. DANTE stands there in silence for a
moment. Then he swings the door open and yells out.

DANTE
Try not to suck any more dicks on
your way through the parking lot!

Two men who were walking in the opposite direction outside
double back and head in the direction. VERONICA went.

DANTE
HEY! HEY, YOU! GET BACK HERE!

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A videocassette encased in the customary black box flips
repeatedly, held by an impatient grasp. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
glares at DANTE. Dante studies a copy of Paradise Lost, making
a strong attempt at not noticing the glare.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
(pissed off)
I thought that place was supposed to
be opened at eleven o'clock?

It's twenty after!

DANTE
I called his house twice already.

He should be here soon.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
It's not like it's a demanding job.
I'd like to get paid to sit on my
ass and watch TV. The other day I
walked in there and that sonofabitch
was sleeping.

DANTE
I'm sure he wasn't sleeping.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
You calling me a liar?

DANTE
No; he was probably just resting his
eyes.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
What the hell is that? Resting his
eyes! It's not like he's some
goddamned air traffic controller!

DANTE
Actually, that's his night job.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
Such a wiseass. But go ahead. Crack
wise. That's why you're jockeying a
register in some fucking local
convenience store instead of doing
an honest day's work.
(tosses tape on counter)
I got no more time to bullshit around
waiting for that sonofabitch. You
make sure this gets back. The number's
eight-twelve-Wynarski. And I wanted
to get a damn movie, too.

DANTE
If you'll just tell me the title of
your rental choice, I'll have him
hold it for you.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
(storming out)
Don't hurt yourself. I'm going to
Big Choice Video instead.

He storms out. Dante lifts a ring of keys from the counter.

DANTE
(in a whisper)
You forgot your keys.

The half-filled trash can swallows the ring of keys.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

Another VIDEO-ANXIOUS CUSTOMER leans against the video store
door. A hapless RANDAL drifts by and stops. He glances at
the door, peers inside, and gives the door a tug.

V.A. CUSTOMER
The guy ain't here yet.

RANDAL
You're kidding. It's almost eleven-
thirty!

V.A. CUSTOMER
I know. I've been here since eleven.

RANDAL
(kicks the door)
Man! I hate it when I can't rent
videos!

V.A. CUSTOMER
I would've went to Big Choice, but
the tape I want is right there on
the wall.

RANDAL
Which one?

V.A. CUSTOMER
Dental School.

RANDAL
You came for that too? That's the
movie I came for.

V.A. CUSTOMER
I have first dibs.

RANDAL
Says who?

V.A. CUSTOMER
(suddenly snotty)
Says me. I've been here for half an
hour. I'd call that first dibs.

RANDAL
Ain't gonna happen, my friend. I'm
getting that tape.

V.A. CUSTOMER
Like hell you are!

RANDAL
I'll bet you twenty bucks you don't
get to rent that tape.

V.A. CUSTOMER
Twenty bucks?

RANDAL
Twenty bucks.

V.A. CUSTOMER
All right, asshole, you're on.

RANDAL walks away. The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER stands like a
sentry at post. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER storms up.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
You see a pair of keys lying around
here somewhere?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

RANDAL dances in, attempting a soft-shoe routine. He sees
DANTE and stops dead, midshuffle.

DANTE
You're late.

RANDAL
What the hell are you doing here? I
thought you were playing hockey at
one.

DANTE
The boss called. Arthur fell ill.

RANDAL
Why are the shutters closed?

DANTE
Someone jammed gum in the locks.

RANDAL
Bunch of savages in this town.

DANTE
That's what I said.

RANDAL
Shit, if I'd known you were working,
I would've come even later.

A pile of videocassettes is plopped onto the counter, with a
single key on top. RANDAL balances the pile of tapes on his
head.

RANDAL
What time do you have to stay till?

DANTE
He assured me that he'd be here by
twelve.

RANDAL
What smells like shoe polish?

DANTE
Go open the sore.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER stops RANDAL.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
Hey-did you see a set of keys lying
around here?

RANDAL
(as Short-round)
No time for love, Doctor Jones!

RANDAL marches off. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER stares after him.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
Fucking kids.

The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER now sits on the ground, next to
the video store door. RANDAL balances his burden and shoves
the key into the lock. The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER stares as
RANDAL enters the store. The door closes behind him, only to
be held ajar in a gentlemanly fashion a few moments later.
RANDAL smiles.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A coffee filter is shoved into the metal pan and someone
heaps ground coffee on it. We've seen this same routine
before. DANTE crosses back to his post, as RANDAL enters,
tossing the key into the air happily and catching it. He
picks the cat up.

RANDAL
Some guy just came in refusing to
pay late fees. He said the store was
closed for two hours yesterday. I
tore up his membership.

DANTE
Shocking abuse of authority.

RANDAL
I'm a firm believer in the philosophy
of a ruling class, especially since
I rule.
(furtively)
Is the Pelican flying?

DANTE
Don't screw with it. It makes us
look suspicious.

RANDAL
I can't stand a voyeur. I'll be back.

RANDAL heads toward the walk-in door.

CUT TO:

INT: BACK ROOM. DAY

POV: VCR

A far-away wall is the only thing we see, but mild gruntings
give away an ascension of sorts. RANDAL'S head rises into
view, as if he's climbing a ladder. He stops and looks into
the lens.

POV: RANDAL

The PELICAN is a VCR that's hooked up to a surveillance
camera. It records quickly. A hand reaches into the frame
and shuts it off.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

RANDAL pulls a soda from the cooler.

RANDAL
Want something to drink? I'm buying.

DANTE (O.S.)
No, thanks.

RANDAL
Who was on your phone this morning
at about two-thirty? I was trying to
call for a half an hour.

DANTE (O.S.)
Why?

RANDAL
I wanted to use your car.

He walks by a row of snacks and grabs one without looking at
it.

RANDAL
Snake cake?

DANTE sits in his seat behind the register. RANDAL grabs a
paper and joins him behind the counter.

DANTE
You don't want to know.

RANDAL
You called Caitlin again?

DANTE
She called me.

RANDAL
Did you tell Veronica?

DANTE
One fight a day with Veronica is
about all I can stomach, thanks.

RANDAL
What do you two fight about?

DANTE
I guess it's not really fighting.
She just wants me to leave here, go
back to school, get some direction.

RANDAL
(opening paper)
I'll bet the most frequent topic of
arguments is Caitlin Bree.

DANTE
You win.

RANDAL
I'm going to offer you some advice,
my friend: let the past be the past.
Forget Caitlin Bree. You've been
with Veronica for how long now?

DANTE
Seven months.

RANDAL
Chick's nuts about you. How long did
you date Caitlin?

DANTE
Five years.

RANDAL
Chick only made you nuts. She cheated
on you how many times?

DANTE
Eight and a half.

RANDAL
(looks up from paper)
Eight and a half?

DANTE
Party at John K's-senior year. I get
blitzed and pass out in his bedroom.
Caitlin comes in and dives all over
me.

RANDAL
That's cheating?

DANTE
In the middle of it, she calls me
Brad.

RANDAL
She called you Brad?

DANTE
She called me Brad.

RANDAL
That's not cheating. People say crazy
shit during sex. One time, I called
this girl "Mom."

DANTE
I hit the lights and she freaks.
Turns out she thought I was Brad
Michaelson.

RANDAL
What do you mean?

DANTE
She was supposed to meet Brad
Michaelson in a bedroom. She picked
the wrong one. She had no idea I was
even at the party.

RANDAL
Oh, my God.

DANTE
Great story, isn't it?

RANDAL
That girl was vile to you.

DANTE
Interesting postscript to that story:
Do you know who wound up going with
Brad Michaelson in the other dark
bedroom?

RANDAL
Your mother.

DANTE
Allan Harris.

RANDAL
Chess team Allan Harris?!

DANTE
The two moved to Idaho together after
graduation. They raise sheep.

RANDAL
That's frightening.

DANTE
It takes different strokes to move
the world.

RANDAL
In light of this lurid tale, I don't
see how you could even romanticize
your relationship with Caitlin-she
broke your heart and inadvertently
drove men to deviant lifestyles.

DANTE
Because there was a lot of good in
our relationship.

RANDAL
Oh yeah.

DANTE
I'm serious. Aside from the cheating,
we were a great couple. That's what
high school's all about-algebra, bad
lunch, and infidelity.

RANDAL
You think things would be any
different now?

DANTE
They are. When she calls me now,
she's a different person-she's
frightened and vulnerable. She's
about to finish college and enter
the real world. That's got to be
scary for anyone.

RANDAL
(suddenly recalling)
Oh shit, I've got to place an order.

DANTE
I'm talking to myself here.

RANDAL
No, no, I'm listening. She's leaving
college, and...?

DANTE
...and she's looking to me for
support. And I think that this is
leading our relationship to a new
level.

RANDAL
What about Veronica?

DANTE
I think the arguments Veronica and I
are having are some kind of
manifestation of a subconscious desire
to break away from her so that I can
pursue the possibility of a more
meaningful relationship with Caitlin.

RANDAL
Caitlin's on the same wave-length?

DANTE
I think it's safe to say yes.

RANDAL
Then I think all four of you had
better sit down and talk it over.

DANTE
All four?

RANDAL
You, Veronica, Caitlin...
(lays paper flat)
...and Caitlin's fiancÚ.

THE HEADLINE of the engagement announcement reads, BREE TO
WED ASIAN DESIGN MAJOR.

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY

RANDAL dials the phone. He holds a list in his hand.

RANDAL
Yes, I'd like to place an order,
please... Thank you.

A MOTHER and her SMALL CHILD approach the counter.

MOTHER
Excuse me, but do you sell videotapes?

RANDAL
What were you looking for?

MOTHER
(smiling)
It's called Happy Scrappy-The Hero
Pup.

SMALL CHILD
Happy Scrappy!

RANDAL
I'm on the phone with the distribution
house now. Let me make sure they
have it. What's it called again?

MOTHER
Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup.

SMALL CHILD
Happy Scrappy!

MOTHER
(more smiling)
She loves the tape.

RANDAL
Obviously.
(to phone)
Yes, hello; this is R.S.T. Video
calling. Customer number four-
three-five-zero-two-nine. I'd like
to place an order... Okay... I need
one each of the following tapes:
Whisper in the Wind, To Each His
Own, Put it Where It Doesn't Belong,
My Pipes Need Cleaning, All Tit-
Fucking, Volume Eight, I Need Your
Cock, Ass-Worshipping Rim-Jobbers,
My Cunt and Eight Shafts, Cum Clean,
Cum-Gargling Naked Sluts, Cum Buns
Three, Cumming in a Sock, Cum on
Eileen, Huge Black Cocks with Pearly
White Cum, Slam It Up My Too-Loose
Ass, Ass Blasters in Outer Space,
Blowjobs by Betsy, Sucking Cock and
Cunt, Finger My Ass, Play with my
Puss, Three on a Dildo, Girls Who
Crave Cock, Girls Who Crave Cunt,
Men Alone Two-The K.Y. Connection,
Pink Pussy Lips, and All Holes Filled
with Hard Cock. Oh, and...
(to MOTHER)
What was the name of that movie?

MOTHER
(nearly dazed)
Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup.

RANDAL
(on phone)
And a copy of Happy Scrappy-The Hero
Pup... Okay, thanks.
(hangs up; to MOTHER)
Sixteen forty-nine. It'll be here
Monday.

Silence. Then...

SMALL CHILD
Cunt!

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE carries a litter box to be dumped. He pauses midstrike
and lays it on the ice cream chest. DANTE picks up the phone
and looks at the paper. He dials and waits. _

DANTE
Yes, I'd like to check on a misprint
in today's edition... Today's
edition... It says "Bree to Wed Asian
Design Major... No, no; everything's
spelled fine. I just wanted to know
if the piece was a misprint... I
don't know, like a typographical
error or something...

A CUSTOMER comes to the counter and waits. He looks at the
litter box. A black cat suddenly jumps into it and starts
pawing around.

DANTE (O.S.)
Maybe it's supposed to be Caitlin
Bray, or Caitlin Bre, with one e...
I'm a curious party... A curious
party...

DANTE ON THE PHONE:

DANTE
...I'm an ex-boyfriend... Well, it's
just that we talk all the time, and
she never mentioned this engagement,
which is why I'm thinking maybe it's
a misprint...

The CUSTOMER watches as the cat takes a huge dump, leaning
on its haunches to accommodate the stinky load.

DANTE (O.S.)
...Are you sure?... Maybe there's
like a vindictive printer working
for you...

DANTE ON THE PHONE:

DANTE
Meaning like someone who maybe-I
don't know-asked her out once and
got shot down, and his revenge is
throwing this bogus article in when
the paper went to press... Hello?...
Hello?

DANTE hangs up. He looks at the paper ruefully, shaking his
head. He then sniffs the air.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

JAY, SILENT BOB and OLAF lean against wall.

JAY
"Not in me." That's what she says.
I gotta pull out and spank it to get
it on. So I blow a nut on her belly,
and I get out of there, just as my
uncle walks in. It was such a close
call. I tell you what, though, I
don't care if she is my cousin, I'm
gonna knock those boots again tonight.

TWO GIRLS join them.

JAY
Oh shit, look who it is. The human
vacuum.

GIRL 1
Scumbag. What are you doing?

JAY
Nothing. Just hanging out with Silent
Bob and his cousin.

GIRL 1
(to SILENT BOB)
He's your cousin?

JAY
Check this out, he's from Russia.

GIRL 1
No way.

JAY
I swear to God. Silent Bob, am I
lying?

SILENT BOB SHAKES HIS HEAD:

JAY
See? And Silent Bob never told a lie
in his life.

GIRL 2
What part of Russia?

JAY
I don't fucking know. What am I, his
biographer?
(to OLAF)
Olaf, what part of Russia are you
from?

OLAF looks quizzically at SILENT BOB.

SILENT BOB
(in Russian)
Home.

OLAF
(comprehending)
Moscow.

GIRL 1
He only speaks Russian?

JAY
He knows some English, but he can't
not speak it good like we do.

GIRL 2
Is he staying here?

JAY
He's moving to the big city next
week. He wants to be a metal singer.

GIRL 1
No way!

JAY
Swear.
(to OLAF)
Olaf, metal!

OLAF makes a metal face.

JAY
That's his fucking metal face.
(to OLAF)
Olaf, girls nice?

OLAF looks the girls up and down.

OLAF
Skrelnick.

JAY
(laughs)
That's fucked up.

GIRL 1
What did he say?

JAY
I don't know, man. He's a fucking
character.

GIRL 2
He really wants to play metal?

JAY
He's got his own band in Moscow.
It's called "Fuck Your Yankee Blue
Jeans" or something like that.

GIRL 1
That doesn't sound metal.

JAY
You gotta hear him sing.
(to OLAF)
Olaf, "Berserker!"

OLAF laughs and shakes his head.

JAY
Come on, man, "Berserker!"

GIRL 2
Does he sing in English or Russian?

JAY
English.
(to OLAF)
Come on, "Berserker!" Girls think
sexy.

OLAF
(relents)
Da. Da.

JAY
He's gonna sing it. This is too funny.

OLAF
(in broken English)
MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A TRUCK
BERSERKER! WOULD YOU LIKE SOME MAKING
FUCK? BERSERKER!

JAY
(laughing)
That's fucking funny, man!

GIRL 1
Did he say "making fuck?"

JAY
Wait, there's more.
(to OLAF)
Olaf: sing...
(makes pot-smoking
face)

OLAF
(nods in understanding)
MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A ROCK
BERSERKER!WOULD YOU LIKE TO SMOKE
SOME POT? BERSERKER!

OLAF busts a crimson metal sneer and cackles deeply.

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY

RANDAL leans back in his chair, staring up at the TV. The
theme to Star Wars plays. He stands, points the remote, clicks
the TV off, and ponders.

CUT TO:

EXT: VIDEO STORE. DAY

RANDAL locks the door and walks away, while OLAF sings for
the small crowd.

OLAF
MY LOVE FOR YOU IS TICKING CLOCK
BERSERKER!WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUCK MY
COCK? BERSERKER!

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE is tugging at a can of Pringles potato chips. The can
is stuck on a MAN'S hand.

DANTE
You hold the counter and I'll pull.

MAN
Usually I just turn the can upside
down.

DANTE
(pulling)
Maybe we should soap your hand or
something.

MAN
(straining)
They oughta put some kind of warning
on these cans, like they do with
cigarettes.

DANTE
I think it's coming now...

The can pops off and DANTE staggers back a few steps. The
man rubs his hand.

MAN
Thanks. I thought I was gonna have
to go to the hospital.

DANTE
I'll throw this out. Precautionary
measure.

MAN
It stings a little.

DANTE
A word of advice: Sometimes it's
best to let those hard to reach chips
go.

DANTE steps behind the counter.

MAN
Thanks.

The MAN exits as RANDAL enters. DANTE throws the canister
away.

DANTE
Do you know that article is accurate?
Caitlin's really getting married!

RANDAL
You know what I just watched?

DANTE
Me pulling a can off some moron's
fist.

RANDAL
Return of the Jedi.

DANTE
Didn't you hear me? Caitlin really
is getting married.

RANDAL
Which did you like better: Jedi or
The Empire Strikes Back.

DANTE
(exasperated)
Empire.

RANDAL
Blasphemy.

DANTE
Empire had the better ending: Luke
gets his hand cut off, and finds out
Vader's his father; Han gets frozen
and taken away by Boba Fett. It
ends on such a down note. And that's
life-a series of down endings. All
Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.

RANDAL
There was something else going on in
Jedi. I never noticed it until today.

RANDAL follows DANTE as he cleans up around the store.

DANTE
What's that?

RANDAL
All right, Vader's boss...

DANTE
The Emperor.

RANDAL
Right, the Emperor. Now the Emperor
is kind of a spiritual figure, yes?

DANTE
How do you mean?

RANDAL
Well, he's like the pope for the
dark side of the Force. He's a holy
man; a shaman, kind of, albeit an
evil one.

DANTE
I guess.

RANDAL
Now, he's in charge of the Empire.
The Imperial government is under his
control. And the entire galaxy is
under Imperial rule.

DANTE
Yeah.

RANDAL
Then wouldn't that logically mean
that it's a theocracy? If the head
of the Empire is a priest of some
sort, then it stands to reason that
the government is therefore one based
on religion.

DANTE
It would stand to reason, yes.

RANDAL
Hence, the Empire was a fascist
theocracy, and the rebel forces were
therefore battling religious
persecution.

DANTE
More or less.

RANDAL
The only problem is that at no point
in the series did I ever hear Leia
or any of the rebels declare a
particular religious belief.

DANTE
I think they were Catholics.

A BLUE-COLLAR MAN half enters the door.

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Are you open?

DANTE
Yeah. Come in.

He goes to the coffee machine and makes a cup of joe.

RANDAL
You know what else I noticed in Jedi?

DANTE
There's more?

RANDAL
So they build another Death Star,
right?

DANTE
Yeah.

RANDAL
Now the first one they built was
completed and fully operational before
the Rebels destroyed it.

DANTE
Luke blew it up. Give credit where
it's due.

RANDAL
And the second one was still being
built when they blew it up.

DANTE
Compliments of Lando Calrissian.

RANDAL
Something just never sat right with
me the second time they destroyed
it. I could never put my finger on
it-something just wasn't right.

DANTE
And you figured it out?

RANDAL
Well, the thing is, the first Death
Star was manned by the Imperial army-
storm troopers, dignitaries-the only
people onboard were Imperials.

DANTE
Basically.

RANDAL
So when they blew it up, no prob.
Evil is punished.

DANTE
And the second time around...?

RANDAL
The second time around, it wasn't
even finished yet. They were still
under construction.

DANTE
So?

RANDAL
A construction job of that magnitude
would require a helluva lot more
manpower than the Imperial army had
to offer. I'll bet there were
independent contractors working on
that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders,
roofers.

DANTE
Not just Imperials, is what you're
getting at.

RANDAL
Exactly. In order to get it built
quickly and quietly they'd hire
anybody who could do the job. Do you
think the average storm trooper knows
how to install a toilet main? All
they know is killing and white
uniforms.

DANTE
All right, so even if independent
contractors are working on the Death
Star, why are you uneasy with its
destruction?

RANDAL
All those innocent contractors
hired to do a job were killed-
casualties of a war they had nothing
to do with.
(notices Dante's
confusion)
All right, look-you're a roofer, and
some juicy government contract comes
your way; you got the wife and kids
and the two-story in suburbia-this
is a government contract, which means
all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden
these left-wing militants blast you
with lasers and wipe out everyone
within a three-mile radius. You
didn't ask for that. You have no
personal politics. You're just trying
to scrape out a living.

The BLUE-COLLAR MAN joins them.

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt,
but what were you talking about?

RANDAL
The ending of Return of the Jedi.

DANTE
My friend is trying to convince me
that any contractors working on the
uncompleted Death Star were innocent
victims when the space station was
destroyed by the rebels.

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a
roofer...
(digs into pocket and
produces business
card)
Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements.
And speaking as a roofer, I can say
that a roofer's personal politics
come heavily into play when choosing
jobs.

RANDAL
Like when?

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Three months ago I was offered a job
up in the hills. A beautiful house
with tons of property. It was a simple
reshingling job, but I was told that
if it was finished within a day, my
price would be doubled. Then I
realized whose house it was.

DANTE
Whose house was it?

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Dominick Bambino's.

RANDAL
"Babyface" Bambino? The gangster?

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
The same. The money was right, but
the risk was too big. I knew who he
was, and based on that, I passed the
job on to a friend of mine.

DANTE
Based on personal politics.

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Right. And that week, the Foresci
family put a hit on Babyface's house.
My friend was shot and killed. He
wasn't even finished shingling.

RANDAL
No way!

BLUE-COLLAR MAN
(paying for coffee)
I'm alive because I knew there were
risks involved taking on that
particular client. My friend wasn't
so lucky.
(pauses to reflect)
You know, any contractor willing to
work on that Death Star knew the
risks. If they were killed, it was
their own fault. A roofer listens to
this...
(taps his heart)
not his wallet.

The BLUE-COLLAR MAN exits. DANTE and RANDAL remain
respectfully quiet for a moment. An angry WOMAN opens the
door and pokes her head in.

WOMAN
Is that video store open or not?

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY

RANDAL reads a newspaper. An INDECISIVE CUSTOMER studies the
two rental choices she holds. She looks from one movie to
the other repeatedly.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(attempting a solicit
help)
They say so much, but they never
tell you if it's any good.

RANDAL hardly stirs and continues to read his paper. The
INDECISIVE CUSTOMER half turns to see if her comment was
even heard. She tries again, but this time with a different
approach.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
Are either of these any good?

RANDAL continues to read. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER tries
harder, then louder and more direct:

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
Sir!

RANDAL continues to read.

RANDAL
(flatly)
What.

The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER holds up her rental choices.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(politely)
Are either of these any good?

RANDAL, as always, reads on.

RANDAL
(again, flatly)
I don't watch movies.

The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER is a tad flabbergasted, but not put
off.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
Well, have you heard anything about
either of them?

RANDAL does his level best to not get involved.

RANDAL
(reading)
No.

The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER challenges him.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(in disbelief)
You've never heard anybody say
anything about either movie?

RANDAL (O.S.)
I find it's best to stay out of other
people's affairs.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(with a new
determination)
Well, how about these two movies?
(holds up the same
two)

RANDAL continues to read his paper, not looking up.

RANDAL
They suck.

The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER smirks smugly at RANDAL and his paper.
She has caught him.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
I just held up the same two movies.
You're not even paying attention.

RANDAL
No, I wasn't.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
I don't think your manager would
appreciate...

RANDAL
(turning the page)
I don't appreciate your ruse, ma'am.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
I beg your pardon!

RANDAL
(reading on)
Your ruse. Your cunning attempt to
trick me.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(defending herself)
I only pointed out that you weren't
paying any attention to what I was
saying.

RANDAL
(turning page and
reading)
I hope it feels good.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
You hope what feels good?

RANDAL
I hope it feels so good to be right.
There is nothing more exhilarating
than pointing out the shortcomings
of others, is there?

The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER wears a face that belies utter
disbelief in the audacity of this most lackadaisical video
clerk. The unmoving newspaper illustrates the total
disinterest of the news-hungry RANDAL. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
shakes her head in disgust and throws the movies back onto
the wall.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(in a huff)
Well this is the last time I ever
rent here...

RANDAL
You'll be missed.

INDECISIVE CUSTOMER
(losing it altogether)
Screw you!

She storms out. RANDAL is offended. He hops over the counter
and whips the door open.

RANDAL
(calling after her)
You're not allowed to rent here
anymore!

RANDAL closes the door and stands there, momentarily, totally
appalled by her exiting remark, then shakes his head.

RANDAL
Screw me!

He reaches behind the counter and grabs a ring of keys.

Exiting, he locks the door behind him from the outside, gives
it a tug to ensure its security, and storms off in the
opposite direction from the woman.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE is staring, open-mouthed, at something O.C. RANDAL
hurls the door open and immediately launches into his tirade.

RANDAL
You'll never believe what this unruly
customer just said...

DANTE
(a hand up to urge
him to hush)
Wait.

RANDAL
(looking around)
She's in here?

DANTE
This guy is going through all of the
eggs. Look.

An ODD MAN sits on the floor, surrounded by cartons of eggs,
all opened. He grabs a carton from the cooler case, pops it
open, and examines each egg carefully.

DANTE (O.S.)
This has been going on for twenty
minutes.

RANDAL and DANTE study the O.C. oddity.

RANDAL
What's he looking for?

DANTE
He said he has to find a perfect
dozen.

RANDAL
Perfect dozen.

DANTE
Each egg has to be perfect.

RANDAL
The quest isn't going well?

DANTE
Obviously not. Look at all the cartons
that didn't make the grade.

The ODD MAN holds an egg up to the light and studies it from
several different angles.

RANDAL (O.S.)
Why doesn't he just mix and match?

DANTE
I told him that and he yelled at me.

RANDAL snickers at his friend.

RANDAL
What did he say?

DANTE
He said it was important to have
standards. He said nobody has pride
anymore.

RANDAL
It's not like you laid the eggs
yourself.

DANTE
I'll give him five more minutes then
I'm calling the cops. I don't need
this, man. I'm not even supposed to
be here today.

A SMOKER steps in.

SMOKER
Two packs of cigarettes.

Dante manages to break his study of the O.C. oddity and
searches for the smokes. The smoker glances at RANDAL and
then at the O.C. oddity.

The ODD MAN is spinning an egg on the floor. The SMOKER looks
at RANDAL.

RANDAL
(Still staring at the
ODD MAN)
I'm as puzzled as you.

SMOKER
(paying DANTE)
I've actually seen it before.

DANTE
You know him?

SMOKER
No, I've seen that behavior before.
Looking for the perfect carton of
eggs, right?

RANDAL
(a bit astonished)
Yeah. How'd you know?

SMOKER
I'll bet you a million bucks that
the guy's a guidance counselor.

DANTE
Why do you say that?

SMOKER
I was in the Food City last year
when the same thing happened,
different guy though. Stock boy told
me that the guy had been looking
through the eggs for like half an
hour, doing all sorts of endurance
tests and shit. I ask the kid how
come nobody called the manager, and
he says it happens twice a week,
sometimes more.

RANDAL
Get out of here.

SMOKER
I kid you not. They call it Shell
Shock. Only happens with guidance
counselors for some reason. The kid
said they used to make a big deal
about it, but there's no point.

The ODD MAN places a handkerchief over an egg on the floor.
He quickly whisks the handkerchief away to reveal the egg
still sitting on the floor.

SMOKER (O.S.)
He said they always pay for whatever
they break and they never bother
anybody.

DANTE, RANDAL and the SMOKER stare at the O.C. man.

DANTE
Why guidance counselors?

SMOKER
If your job served as little purpose
as theirs, wouldn't you lose it,
too?

RANDAL
Come to think of it, my guidance
counselor was kind of worthless.

SMOKER
(grabbing matches)
See? It's important to have a job
that makes a difference, boys. That's
why I kill Chinamen for the railroad.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

POV RANDAL: THE EMPTY COUNTER

And then a LITTLE GIRL comes into view, smiling and holding
money. She can't be any more than five.

LITTLE GIRL
(innocently)
Can I have a pack of cigarettes?

RANDAL, without looking up from his magazine, completes the
transaction. THE LITTLE GIRL puts a cigarette in her mouth.

RANDAL hands her matches. DANTE returns to the counter as
the girl skips away. Dante holds a price gun.

DANTE
Did you ever notice all the prices
end in nine? Damn, that's eerie.

RANDAL
You know how much money the average
jizz-mopper make per hour?

DANTE
What's a jizz-mopper?

RANDAL
He's the guy in those nudie-booth
joints who cleans up after each guy
that jerks off.

DANTE
Nudie booth?

RANDAL
Nudie booth. You've never been in a
nudie booth?

DANTE
I guess not.

A female CUSTOMER pops items onto the counter. DANTE rings
her up.

RANDAL
Oh, it's great. You step into this
little booth and there's this window
between you and this naked woman,
and she puts on this little show for
like ten bucks.

DANTE
What kind of show?

RANDAL
Think of the weirdest, craziest shit
you'd like to see chicks do. These
chicks do it all. They insert things
into any opening in their body...
any opening.
(to customer)
He's led a very sheltered life.

DANTE
(indicating CUSTOMER)
Can we talk about this later?

RANDAL
The jizz-mopper's job is to clean up
the booths afterward, because
practically everybody shoots a load
against the window, and I don't know
if you know or not, but cum leaves
streaks if you don't clean it right
away.

CUSTOMER
(grabbing her bag,
disgusted)
This is the last time I come to this
place.

DANTE
Excuse me?

CUSTOMER
Using filthy language in front of
the customers... you should both get
fired.

DANTE
We're sorry, ma'am. We got a little
carried away.

CUSTOMER
Well, I don't know if sorry can make
up for it. I found your remarks highly
offensive.

The CUSTOMER stands silently, awaiting something.

RANDAL
Well, you think that's offensive...

RANDAL flips open the magazine's centerfold-a graphic picture
of a woman with her vaginal lips and anus spread wide open.

RANDAL
...then check this out. I think you
can see her kidneys.

RANDAL checks out the centerfold wistfully. DANTE frantically
apologizes to the rapidly exiting CUSTOMER.

DANTE
Ma'am, ma'am, I'm sorry! Please,
wait a second, ma'am...

The CUSTOMER is gone. DANTE'S pursuit stops at the counter.
DANTE turns on RANDAL.

DANTE
Why do you do things like that? You
know she's going to come back and
tell the boss.

RANDAL
Who cares? That lady's an asshole.
Everybody that comes in here is way
too uptight. This job would be great
if it wasn't for the fucking
customers.

DANTE
I'm gonna hear it tomorrow.

RANDAL
You gotta loosen up, my friend.
You'd feel a hell of a lot better if
you'd rip into the occasional
customer.

DANTE
What for? They don't bother me if I
don't bother them.

RANDAL
Liar! Tell me there aren't customers
that annoy the piss out of you on a
daily basis.

DANTE
There aren't.

RANDAL
How can you lie like that? Why don't
you vent? Vent your frustration.
Come on, who pisses you off?

DANTE
(reluctantly)
It's not really anyone per se, it's
more of separate groupings.

RANDAL
Let's hear it.

DANTE
(pause)
The milkmaids.

RANDAL
The milkmaids?

INSERT: MILK HANDLER

A WOMAN pulls out gallon after gallon, looking deep into the
cooler for that perfect container of milk.

DANTE (O.S.)
The women that go through every gallon
of milk looking for a later date. As
if somewhere-beyond all the other
gallons-is a container of milk that
won't go bad for like a decade.

END INSERT

RANDAL
You know who I can do without? I
could do without the people in the
video store.

DANTE
Which ones?

RANDAL
All of them.

MONTAGE INSERT #1/VIDEO JERKS

A series of people addressing the camera, asking the dumb
questions.

FIRST
What would you get for a six-year-
old boy who chronically wets his
bed?

SECOND
(in front of stocked
new release shelf)
Do you have any new movies in?

THIRD
Do you have that one with the guy
who was in that movie that was out
last year?

END INSERT

RANDAL
And they never rent quality flicks;
they always pick the most
intellectually devoid movie on the
rack.

MONTAGE INSERT #2/"Ooooh!..."

An identical series of customers finding their ideal choices.

FIRST
Ooooh! Home Alone!

SECOND
Ooooh! Hook!

THIRD
Ooooh! Navy Seals!

END INSERT

RANDAL
It's like in order to join, they
have to have an IQ less than their
shoe size.

DANTE
You think you get stupid questions?
You should hear the barrage of stupid
questions I get.

MONTAGE INSERT #3/DUMB QUESTIONS

A series of people standing in various locations throughout
the convenience store, asking truly dumb questions.

FIRST
(holding coffee)
What do you mean there's no ice?
You mean I've gotta drink this coffee
hot?!

SECOND
(holding up item from
clearly marked $.99
display)
How much?

THIRD
(peeking in door)
Do you sell hubcaps?

END INSERT

RANDAL
See? You vented. Don't you feel better
now?

DANTE
No.

RANDAL
Why not?

DANTE
Because my ex-girlfriend is getting
married.

RANDAL
Jesus, you got a one-track mind.
It's always Caitlin, Caitlin,
Caitlin...

DANTE
(jerking head toward
door)
Veronica!

DANTE gives RANDAL a shove to shut him up. VERONICA enters
the store, carrying books and something covered with aluminum
foil.

VERONICA
What happened to home by twelve?

DANTE is suddenly by her side, taking the books from under
her arm.

DANTE
He still hasn't shown up. Why aren't
you in class?

VERONICA
Lit 101 got canceled, so I stopped
home and brought you some lunch.

DANTE
What is it?

VERONICA
Peanut butter and jelly with the
crusts cut off. What do you think it
is? It's lasagne.

DANTE
Really?
(kisses her forehead)
You're the best.

VERONICA
I'm glad you've calmed down a bit.
(to RANDAL)
Hi, Randal.

RANDAL (O.S.)
(exaggeratively
impressed)
Thirty-seven!

DANTE
(to O.C.)
Shut up!
(to VERONICA)
Yes, I've calmed down, I'm still not
happy about it, but I've been able
to deal.

RANDAL makes loud slurping noises from O.C.

DANTE
(to O.C.)
Why don't you go back to the video
store?

RANDAL walks past the two, and pats VERONICA on the head. He
exits.

VERONICA
You had to tell him.

DANTE
I had to tell someone. He put it
into perspective.

VERONICA
What did he say?

DANTE
At least he wasn't thirty-six.

VERONICA
And that made you feel better?

DANTE
And he said most of them are college
guys, I've never met or seen.

VERONICA
The ostrich syndrome: if you don't
see it...

DANTE
...it isn't there. Yes.

VERONICA
Thank you for being rational.

DANTE
Thank you for the lasagne.

VERONICA
You couldn't get these shutters open?

DANTE
I called a locksmith and he said the
earliest he could get here it
tomorrow.

VERONICA
Bummer, Well, I've gotta head back
for the one-thirty class.

DANTE
What time do you get finished?

VERONICA
Eight. But I have a sorority meeting
till nine, so I'll be back before
you close. Can we go out and get
some coffee?

DANTE
Sure.

VERONICA
Good.
(kisses him)
I'll see you when you close, then.
Enjoy the lasagne.

She exits. DANTE leans against the magazine rack with his
lasagne, contemplative. RANDAL pops his head in and makes
the loud slurping noise again.

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY

RANDAL is recommending titles to potential customers.

RANDAL
All right, now if you're really
feeling dangerous tonight, then Smokey
and the Bandit Three is the movie
you must rent.

CUSTOMER
(studying box)
This doesn't even have Burt Reynolds
in it.

RANDAL
Hey, neither did ET; but that was a
great movie, right?

DANTE opens the door and leans in.

DANTE
Can you come next door? I gotta make
a phone call.

RANDAL
(to DANTE)
Smokey Three: thumbs up, am I right?

DANTE
The best Burtless movie ever made.

DANTE exits. RANDAL gives his customers the what-did-I-tell-
you look.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

THE CAT lies on the counter. Pull back to reveal RANDAL as
he rings up an order. The CUSTOMER pets the cat, smiling.

CUSTOMER
Awww, he's so cute. What's his name?

RANDAL
Lenin's Tomb.

Dolly over to DANTE, on the phone.

DANTE
Hello, is Mr. Synder there? This is
Dante... Did he say if he was on his
way here?... Here... The convenience
store... I know, but the other guy
called out this morning and Mr.
Synder asked me to cover until he
got here. He said he'd be here by
noon, but it's one-thirty now, so
I... Excuse me... Vermont?!... No,
that can't be; I talked to him this
morning... He left at what time?...
He really went to Vermont?... When
the hell was someone going to tell
me?... He promised he was coming by
noon!... Jesus... When does he get
back?!... TUESDAY!... You've gotta
be fucking kidding me!... I've got a
hockey game at two, and the fucking
shutters are jammed closed, and he's
in Vermont?... I'm not even supposed
to be here today!!
(deep sigh)
So I'm stuck here till closing?...
This is just great... I just can't
believe... I'm sorry, I didn't mean
to yell at you... No... No, I'll be
all right... Well, that's all I can
do, right?... Thanks.

He hangs up. RANDAL joins him.

RANDAL
Vermont?

DANTE
Can you believe this?!

RANDAL
He didn't mention it when he called
you this morning?

DANTE
Not a fucking word! Slippery shit!

RANDAL
So, what-you're stuck here all day?

DANTE
FUCK!

RANDAL
Why'd you apologize?

DANTE
What?

RANDAL
I heard you apologize. Why? You have
every right in the world to be mad.

DANTE
I know.

RANDAL
That seems to be the leitmotif in
your life; ever backing down.

DANTE
I don't back down.

RANDAL
Yes, you do. You always back down.
You assume blame that isn't yours,
you come in when called as opposed
to enjoying your day off, you buckle
like a belt.

DANTE
You know what pisses me off the most?

RANDAL
The fact that I'm right about your
buckling?

DANTE
I'm going to miss the game.

RANDAL
Because you buckled.

DANTE
Would you shut the hell up with that
shit? It's not helping.

RANDAL
Don't yell at me, pal.

DANTE
Sorry.

RANDAL
See? There you go again.

DANTE
I can't believe I'm going to miss
the game!

RANDAL
At least we're stuck here together.

DANTE
You've got a customer.

RANDAL walks away.

RANDAL (O.S.)
What? What do you want?!

DANTE shakes his head in frustration and picks up the phone
again.

DANTE
Sanford? Dante... I can't play
today... I'm stuck at work... I know
I'm not scheduled, but-just forget
it. I can't play... Neither can
Randal... He's working too...

RANDAL comes back. DANTE rolls his eyes to the ceiling.

DANTE
(getting an idea)
Wait a second. Do we have to play at
the park?... Hold on...
(to RANDAL)
Do you feel limber?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

TAPE is rolled around the top of a stick. Laces are pulled
tightly. An orange ball is slapped back and forth by a blade.
The HOCKEY PLAYERS fill the convenience store. Some sit on
the floor or lean against the coolers, but all are either
preparing or practicing. RANDAL enters, wearing his equipment.

DANTE skates to his side.

DANTE
(lifting his foot)
Pull my laces tighter.

RANDAL
(drops mitt and pulls
laces)
I've gotta tell you, my friend: this
is one of the ballsiest moves I've
ever been privy to. I never would
have thought you capable of such
blatant disregard of store policy.

DANTE
I told him I had a game today. It's
his own fault.

RANDAL
No argument here. Insubordination
rules.

DANTE
I just want to play hockey like I
was scheduled to.

SANFORD skates up and skids to a halt.

SANFORD
Dante, let me grab a Gatorade.

DANTE
If you grab a Gatorade, then
everybody's going to grab one.

SANFORD
So?

DANTE
So? So nobody's going to want to pay
for these Gatorades.

SANFORD
What do you care? Hey, what smells
like shoe polish?

DANTE
I've got a responsibility here. I
can't let everybody grab free drinks.

SANFORD
What responsibility? You're closing
the fucking store to play hockey.

RANDAL
He's blunt, but he's got a point.

DANTE
At least let me maintain some
semblance of managerial control here.

SANFORD
All I'm saying is if you're going to
be insubordinate, you should go the
full nine and not pussy out when it
comes to free refreshments.

RANDAL
He's right. As if we're suddenly
gonna have a run on Gatorade.

SANFORD
Fuckin-A.

DANTE
All right. Jesus, you fuckers are
pushy.

SANFORD
Hey man, I hear Caitlin's marrying
an Asian drum major.

RANDAL
Design major.

DANTE
Can we not talk about this?

SANFORD
Fine by me. But you're living in
denial and suppressing rage.
(skating away; to all)
Dante said we can all drink free
Gatorade.

A laid-back hurrah is heard.

RANDAL
Are you gonna lock the store?

DANTE
I don't know. You going to lock the
video store?

RANDAL
Look who you're asking here. How're
we gonna block off the street?

DANTE
We're not playing in the street.

RANDAL
Then where're we gonna play?

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

THE SIGN ON THE DOOR READS: TEMPORARILY CLOSED. BE OPEN AFTER
FIRST PERIOD.

The PLAYERS ascend a ladder adjacent to the door, one by
one. ON THE ROOF they jump off the ladder and skate around.
More players join them.

From across the street we get the full, odd perspective: a
store with many men gliding around on the roof.

On the roof DANTE skates and passes with another player.

REDDING stretches, leaning against the sign. RANDAL pulls
his mask on and slaps his glove, urging a shot. SANFORD skates
in and takes a shot, which RANDAL blocks. JAY and SILENT BOB
deal to a player: he drops money over the ledge and JAY throws
up a dime bag. DANTE holds a ball in the center of the court.

DANTE
Ready?

PLAYERS take positions. SANFORD comes to the center and holds
the ball in drop position. DANTE and REDDING face off, and
the ball is in play.

The game begins as the players engage in a savage ballet.

Faces are smashed with sticks, slide tackles are made, shots
are taken, CU's of various players included.

INACTIVE PLAYERS call out encouragement and slander from the
sidelines. More game playing including both goalies getting
scored on and more face-offs.

Below, a CUSTOMER tugs on the convenience store door. He
reads the sign and then backs up into the street, attempting
to peer over the ledge. Above, the game continues.

Below, the CUSTOMER shifts from one foot to the other
impatiently. He grabs the ladder and quickly ascends.

Above, from over the ledge of the roof, we see the head of
the customer peek. Skating feet pass rapidly before him, and
he watches for a moment before calling out.

CUSTOMER
When's this period over?

SOMEONE (O.S.)
Eight more minutes!

CUSTOMER
Are you shitting me? I want to get
cigarettes!

DANTE skids to the sidelines.

DANTE
(out of breath)
If you can just wait a few more
minutes.

CUSTOMER
Fuck that! I'm gonna break my crazy
neck on this ladder!

SOMEONE (O.S.)
Dante! Where are you?!

CUSTOMER
He's busy!

DANTE starts to skate away.

DANTE
I'll be right back. It's almost over.

He jumps back into the game.

CUSTOMER
What the fuck is this?! I want some
service!

DANTE (O.S.)
In a second!

CUSTOMER
Fuck in a second! This is... Look at
you! You can't even pass!

DANTE (O.S.)
I can pass!

CUSTOMER
How 'bout covering point!? You suck!

DANTE skids back to the sidelines to address the CUSTOMER.

DANTE
Who are you to make assessments?

CUSTOMER
I'll assess all I want!

SOMEONE (O.S.)
DANTE! ARE YOU IN OR OUT!

CUSTOMER
(to O.C. SOMEONE)
Don't pass to this guy! He sucks!
(to DANTE)
You suck!

DANTE
Like you're better!

CUSTOMER
I can whip your ass.

Below, a WOMAN pulls at the door. She peers into the store,
face against the glass.

DANTE (O.S.)
That's easy to say from over here.

CUSTOMER (O.S.)
Give me a stick, pretty boy! I'll
knock your fucking teeth out and
pass all over your ass.

The WOMAN backs up and, shielding her eyes, looks toward the
roof.

WOMAN
Is the convenience store open?

Above, DANTE and the CUSTOMER shout down at the O.C. WOMAN.

DANTE AND CUSTOMER
(simultaneously)
NO!

DANTE
(to CUSTOMER)
There's a stick over there. You're
shooting against the goal.
(to the court)
REDDING! COME OFF AND LET THIS FUCK
ON!

A new face-off pits DANTE against the CUSTOMER. The ball
drops between the two and DANTE gets flattened. The CUSTOMER
winds up and takes a hard shot. The ball sails off the court,
through the air, and into a faraway yard. DANTE calls to the
sidelines.

DANTE
Give me another ball.

SOMEONE (O.S.)
There are no more.

DANTE
What the fuck are you talking about?
How many balls did you bring?

SANFORD skates up to him.

SANFORD
(counting)
There was the orange ball... and the
orange ball.

DANTE scrambles to the edge and calls over.

DANTE
Are there any balls down there?!

JAY (O.S.)
'Bout the biggest pair you ever seen!
NYNNE!!

DANTE looks around, hyperventilating.

DANTE
You only brought one ball?!

SANFORD
I thought Redding had like three
balls!

REDDING (O.S.)
I thought Dante had the balls.

DANTE
Nobody has another ball?

SANFORD
Shit!

DANTE
We get... what... twelve minutes of
game, and it's over? Fuck! Fuck!
Fuck! Fuck!!
(pause; rubs head)
I'm not even supposed to be here
today!

DANTE skates off.

SANFORD
We still get free Gatorade, right?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE standing on a ladder, replaces a fluorescent light. An
OLD MAN joins him at the foot of the ladder.

OLD MAN
Be careful.

DANTE
I'm trying.

OLD MAN
You know the insides of those are
filled with stuff that gives you
cancer.

DANTE
So I'm told.

OLD MAN
I had a friend that used to chew
glass for a living. In the circus.

The light in place, DANTE descends the ladder and closes it.

DANTE
And he got cancer by chewing
fluorescent bulb glass...?

OLD MAN
No, he got hit by a bus.

DANTE
(confused)
Oh... Can I help you?

OLD MAN
Well, that depends. Do you have a
bathroom?

DANTE
Um... yeah, but it's for employees
only.

OLD MAN
I understand, but can I use it. I'm
not that young anymore, so I'm kind
of... you know... incontinent.

DANTE
Uh... sure. Go ahead. It's back
through the cooler.

OLD MAN
Thanks son. Say-what kind of toilet
paper you got back there?

DANTE
The white kind.

OLD MAN
I'm not asking about the color. I
mean is it rough or cottony?

DANTE
Actually, it is kind of rough.

OLD MAN
Rough, eh? Oh, that stuff rips hell
out of my hemorrhoids. Say, would
you mind if I took a roll of the
soft stuff back there. I see you
sell the soft stuff.

DANTE
Yeah, but...

OLD MAN
Aw, c'mon boy. What's the difference?
You said yourself the stuff that's
there now is rough.

DANTE
Yeah, okay. Go ahead.

OLD MAN
Thanks son, you're a lifesaver.

The OLD MAN walks off. DANTE heads back to the counter. The
OLD MAN returns.

OLD MAN
Say, young fella, you know I hate to
bother you again, but can I take a
paper or something back there... to
read? It usually takes me a while,
and I like to read while it's going
on.

DANTE
Jesus... go ahead.

OLD MAN
Thanks, young man. You've got a heart
of gold.

The OLD MAN sifts through some papers and a few magazines.
He comes back to the counter.

DANTE
You know, you probably could've been
home, already, in the time it's taken
you to get in there.

OLD MAN
Can I trouble you for one of those
magazines?

DANTE
I said go ahead.

OLD MAN
No, I mean the ones there. Behind
the counter.

DANTE glances over and reacts.

DANTE
The porno mags?

OLD MAN
Yeah. I like the cartoons. They make
me laugh. They draw the biggest
titties.

DANTE
(hands one to him)
Here. Now leave me alone.

OLD MAN
Uh, can I have the other one. The
one below this one. They show more
in that one.

DANTE makes the switch.

OLD MAN
Thanks son. I appreciate this.

The OLD MAN walks off. We hear the back door open and close,
then the front door does the same. RANDAL joins DANTE.

RANDAL
Helluva game!

DANTE
One ball!! They come all the way
here... I close the damn store...
for one ball!

RANDAL
Hockey's hockey. At least we got to
play.

DANTE
Randal, twelve minutes is not a game!
Jesus, it's barely a warm-up!

RANDAL
Bitch, bitch, bitch. You want
something to drink?
(walking away)

DANTE
Gatorade.

Pause. Then...

RANDAL (O.S.)
What happened to all the Gatorade?

DANTE
Exactly. They drank it all.

RANDAL (O.S.)
After an exhausting game like that I
can believe it.

DANTE
(as RANDAL)
"It's not like we're gonna sell out."

RANDAL comes back with drinks.

RANDAL
You know what Sanford told me?
(offering drink)

DANTE
I still can't believe Caitlin's
getting married.

RANDAL
Julie Dwyer died.

DANTE
Yeah, right.

RANDAL
No, I'm serious.

DANTE is visibly taken aback.

DANTE
Oh, my god.

RANDAL
Sanford's brother dates her cousin.
He found out this morning.

DANTE
How? When?

RANDAL
Embolism in her brain. Yesterday.

DANTE
Jesus.

RANDAL
She was swimming at the YMCA pool
when it happened. Died mid-backstroke.

DANTE
I haven't seen her in almost two
years.

RANDAL
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't
she one of the illustrious twelve?

DANTE
Number six.

RANDAL
You've had sex with a dead person.

DANTE
I'm gonna go to her wake.

RANDAL
No, you're not.

DANTE
Why not?

RANDAL
It's today.

DANTE
What!?

RANDAL
Paulsen's Funeral Parlor. The next
show is at four.

DANTE
Shit. What about tomorrow?

RANDAL
One night only. She's buried in the
morning.

DANTE
You've gotta watch the store. I have
to go to this.

RANDAL
Wait, wait, wait. Has it occurred to
you that I might bereaved as well?

DANTE
You hardly knew her!

RANDAL
True, but do you know how many people
are going to be there? All of our
old classmates, to say the least.

DANTE
Stop it. This is beneath even you.

RANDAL
I'm not missing what's probably going
to be the social event of the season.

DANTE
You hate people.

RANDAL
But I love gatherings. Isn't it
ironic?

DANTE
Don't be an asshole. Somebody has to
stay with the store.

RANDAL
If you go, I go.

DANTE
She meant nothing to you!

RANDAL
She meant nothing to you either until
I told you she died.

DANTE
I'm not taking you to this funeral.

RANDAL
I'm going with you.

DANTE
I can't close the store.

RANDAL
You just closed the store to play
hockey on the roof!

DANTE
Exactly, which means I can't close
it for another hour so we can both
go to a wake.

CUT TO:

INT CAR: DAY

DANTE drives with passenger RANDAL, their backs to the camera.

RANDAL
You were saying?

DANTE
Thanks for putting me in a tough
spot. You're a good friend.

Silence. Then...

RANDAL
She was pretty young, hunhh?

DANTE
Twenty-two; same as us.

RANDAL
An embolism in a pool.

DANTE
An embarrassing way to die.

RANDAL
That's nothing compared to how my
cousin Walter died.

DANTE
How'd he die?

RANDAL
Broke his neck.

DANTE
That's embarrassing?

RANDAL
He broke his neck trying to suck his
own dick.

Absolute silence. Then...

DANTE
Shut the hell up.

RANDAL
Bible truth.

DANTE
Stop it.

RANDAL
I swear.

DANTE
Oh, my god.

RANDAL
Come on. Haven't you ever tried to
suck your own dick?

DANTE
No!

RANDAL
Yeah sure. You're so repressed.

DANTE
Because I never tried to suck my own
dick?

RANDAL
No, because you won't admit to it.
As if a guy's a fucking pervert
because he tries to go down on
himself. You're as curious as the
rest of us, pal. You've tried it.

DANTE
Who found him?

RANDAL
My cousin? My aunt found him. On his
bed, doubled over himself with his
legs on top. Dick in his mouth.
My aunt freaked out. It was a mess.

DANTE
His dick was in his mouth?

RANDAL
Balls resting on his lips.

DANTE
He made it, hunhh?

RANDAL
Yeah, but at what a price.

Silence. Then...

DANTE
I could never reach.

RANDAL
Reach what?

DANTE
You know.

RANDAL
What, your dick?

DANTE
Yeah. Like you said, you know. I
guess everyone tries it, sooner of
later.

RANDAL
I never tried it.

DANTE glares at RANDAL. Silence. Then...

RANDAL
Fucking pervert.

CUT TO:

EXT: FUNERAL PARLOR. DAY

DANTE and RANDAL walk up the path to the funeral parlor.

DANTE
I know it was a bad idea to close
the store.

RANDAL
Listen to you.

DANTE
I can't help it. At least when we
were playing hockey outside, I could
see if anyone wanted to go in.

RANDAL
Nobody's there. It's four o'clock on
a Saturday. How many people ever
come to the store at four on a
Saturday?

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

A MASSIVE CROWD is outside the store.

CUT TO:

EXT: FUNERAL PARLOR. DAY

DANTE and RANDAL run from the front door, closely chased by
a small crowd of angry mourners. Car locks are slammed down.
The car screams away. The pursuing crowd stands in the middle
of the street, shaking their fists, throwing things.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

The car pulls up and RANDAL and DANTE get out. Absolutely
nobody is outside.

DANTE
(furious)
I can't fucking believe you!!

RANDAL
I'm telling you, it wasn't my fault!

DANTE
You knocked the fucking casket over,
for Chrissakes!

RANDAL
I was just leaning on it! It was an
accident!

DANTE
Does anyone ever knock over a casket
on purpose?

RANDAL
So the casket fell over! Big deal!

DANTE
Her fucking body fell out!

RANDAL
So they'll put her back in! It's not
like it's gonna matter if she breaks
something!

DANTE
(opening door)
Just... go! Go open the video store.

JAY (O.S.)
(mimicking)
Yeah! Open the video store!!

RANDAL
(to O.C.)
Shut the fuck up, junkie!

JAY enters the frame, right next to RANDAL. He aims his butt
at him and farts. RANDAL lunges for him. DANTE grabs RANDAL.

DANTE
(to RANDAL)
Go open the video store.

JAY
Yeah, you cock-smoking clerk.

DANTE
(to JAY)
How many times I gotta tell you not
to deal outside the store.

JAY
I'm not dealing.

A KID tugs at JAY'S shirt.

KID
You got anything, man?

JAY
Yeah, what do you want?

RANDAL heads to the video store. DANTE enters the convenience
store and slides the sign to OPEN. After a few seconds, the
IMPATIENT CUSTOMER (guy who lost his keys) appears, flashlight
in hand, scanning the ground.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
(to JAY)
Hey, did you see a set of keys lying
around here somewhere?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

DANTE rearranges the milk. RANDAL joins him.

RANDAL
Let me borrow your car.

DANTE
I don't want to talk to you.

RANDAL
Fine. Just lend me your car.

DANTE
Why should I loan you my car?

RANDAL
I want to rent a movie.

DANTE
(pause)
You want to rent a movie.

DANTE walks away, shaking his head.

RANDAL
What's that for?

DANTE
You work in a video store!

They head back to the counter.

RANDAL
I work in a shitty video store. I
want to go to a good video store so
I can rent a good movie.

CUSTOMER
Are you open?

DANTE AND RANDAL
(simultaneously)
YES!

The CUSTOMER comes to the counter.

CUSTOMER
Pack of cigarettes.
(pets cat)
Cute cat. What's its name?

RANDAL
Annoying Customer.

The CUSTOMER lets it sink in, and then leaves in a huff.
DANTE puts up cigarettes.

DANTE
Can you imagine being halfway decent
to the customers at least some of
the time?

RANDAL
Let me borrow your car.

DANTE
(calmer)
May I be blunt with you?

RANDAL
If you must.

DANTE
We are employees of Quick Stop
Convenience and RST video,
respectively. As such, we have
certain responsibilities which-though
it may seem cruel and unusual-does
include manning our posts until
closing.

RANDAL
I see. So playing hockey and attending
wakes-these practices are standard
operating procedure.

DANTE
There's a difference. Those were
obligations. Obligations that could
not have been met at any later date.
Now renting videos-that's just
gratuitous, not to mention illogical,
considering you work in a video store.

Another CUSTOMER leans in.

CUSTOMER
Are you open?

DANTE
(rolls his eyes)
Yes.

RANDAL
You know what? I don't think I care
for your rationale.

DANTE
It's going to have to do for now,
considering that it's my car that's
up for request.
(to CUSTOMER)
Can I help you?

CUSTOMER
Pack of cigarettes.

RANDAL
What's your point?

DANTE
My point is that you're a clerk,
paid to do a job. You can't just do
anything you want while you're
working.

CUSTOMER
(reading tabloid)
"Space Alien Revealed as Head of
Time Warner; Reports Stock Increase."
(to DANTE and RANDAL)
They print any kind of shit in these
papers.

DANTE
They certainly do. Two fifty-five.

RANDAL
So your argument is that title
dictates behavior?

DANTE
What?

RANDAL
The reasons you won't let me borrow
your car is because I have a title
and a job description, and I'm
supposed to follow it, right?

DANTE
Exactly.

CUSTOMER
(interjecting)
I saw one, one time, that said the
world was ending the next week.
Then in the next week's paper, they
said we were miraculously saved at
the zero hour by a Koala-fish mutant
bird. Crazy shit.

RANDAL
(eyes the CUSTOMER,
annoyed)
So I'm no more responsible for my
own decisions while I'm here at work
than, say, the Death Squad soldiers
in Bosnia?

DANTE
That's stretching it. You're not
being asked to slay children or
anything.

RANDAL
Not yet.
(sips water)

CUSTOMER
(again with the
interjections)
And I remember this one time the
damn paper said...

RANDAL spits a mist of water at the customer, drenching him.
The man reacts violently, attempting to grab RANDAL from
over the counter. RANDAL makes no move, but remains untouched.

DANTE plays block.

CUSTOMER
I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR FUCKING HEAD!
YOU FUCKING JERKOFF!

DANTE
Sir! Sir, I'm sorry! He didn't mean
it! He was trying to get me.

CUSTOMER
Well, he missed!

DANTE
I know. I'm sorry. Let me refund
your cigarette money, and we'll call
it even.

CUSTOMER
(considerably calmer;
takes money)
This is the last time I ever come
here.
(to RANDAL)
And if I ever see you again, I'm
gonna break your fucking head open!

The CUSTOMER leaves, wiping water from his face. RANDAL
salutes him.

DANTE
(angrily)
What the fuck did you do that for?

RANDAL
Two reasons: one, I hate when the
people can't shut up about the stupid
tabloid headlines.

DANTE
Jesus!

RANDAL
And two, to make a point: title does
not dictate behavior.

DANTE
What?

RANDAL
If title dictated my behavior, as a
clerk serving the public, I wouldn't
be allowed to spit a mouthful of
water at that guy. But I did, so my
point is that people dictate their
own behavior. Hence, even though I'm
a clerk in this video store, I choose
to go rent videos at Big Choice.
(extends opened palm)
Agreed?

DANTE
(shakes his head;
hands over keys)
You're a danger to both the dead and
the living.

RANDAL
I like to think I'm a master of my
own destiny.

DANTE
Please, get the hell out of here.

RANDAL
I know I'm your hero.

RANDAL exits.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY

DANTE waits on a customer (TRAINER). He lifts the gallon of
milk into a paper bag, letting out a slight grunt.

TRAINER
Sounds to me like somebody needs to
hit the gym.

DANTE
Excuse me?

TRAINER
I heard you strain when you put the
milk in the bag. That milk only weighs
about seven pounds.

DANTE
I didn't strain. I sighed.

TRAINER
I don't think so. That was a grunt;
a deep inhalation of oxygen to aid
in the stretching of muscles. I'm a
trainer. I know what that sound
signifies: you're out of shape.

DANTE
I don't think so.

TRAINER
Oh, I do. You made the same noise
when you reached across the counter
for my cash. Your muscles are thin
and sadly underutilized.

DANTE
They are not.

TRAINER
Yes, they are. You're out of shape.

DANTE
What are you talking about? There's
no fat on this body.

TRAINER
No fat, but no tone either. You don't
get enough exercise.

A female customer (HEATHER) leans in the doorway.

HEATHER
Are you open?

DANTE
Yes.

HEATHER
(grabs a paper)
Just the paper.

DANTE
(to HEATHER)
Thirty-fire.

TRAINER
(to HEATHER)
Let me ask you a question: Do you
think this guy's out of shape?

HEATHER
(studies DANTE)
I don't know. I can't really tell
from here.

TRAINER
He is.

DANTE
I am not.

TRAINER
How much can you bench?

DANTE
I don't know.

HEATHER
(studying DANTE)
I'd say about sixty, seventy-tops.

DANTE
I know I can bench more than that!

TRAINER
I think the lady called it.

HEATHER
My ex-boyfriend was about his height,
but he was much bulkier. He could
bench two-fifty, three hundred easy.

TRAINER
I do about three-fifty, four.

HEATHER
No way!

TRAINER
(rolling up sleeve)
Feel that.

HEATHER
That's tight. Solid.

TRAINER
Now feel his.
(to DANTE)
Roll up your sleeve, chief.

DANTE
Oh for God's sake!

TRAINER
See? You're ashamed. You know you're
out of shape. Take my card. I can
help you tone that body up in no
time. Get you on an aerobics and
free-weights program.

A SUITED MAN carrying a notebook comes to the counter.

SUITED MAN
You open?

DANTE
(to MAN)
Yes.
(to TRAINER)
I'm not out of shape.

SUITED MAN
Excuse me, but have you been here
all day?

DANTE
What?

HEATHER
(still studying DANTE)
He's got those love handles.

DANTE
(to HEATHER)
I don't have love handles.

SUITED MAN
Were you working here at about four
o'clock?

DANTE
I've been here since six o'clock
this morning. Why?

TRAINER
(to HEATHER)
It's probably from being around all
this food every day.

HEATHER
Oh, I know. If I had to work here
all day, I'd be bloated and out of
shape, too.

DANTE
I'm not out of shape!

SUITED MAN
Can I have your name please?

DANTE
Dante Hicks. Why? What is this about?

The SUITED MAN scribbles in his notebook.

HEATHER
You're Dante Hicks? Oh my God! I
didn't even recognize you!

TRAINER
Because he's out of shape.

DANTE
Do I know you?

HEATHER
You remember Alyssa Jones? She hung
out with...

DANTE
Caitlin Bree. Yeah?

HEATHER
I'm her sister.

DANTE
You're Alyssa's sister? Heather?

HEATHER
Yep. I remember you got caught in my
parents' room with Caitlin once.

TRAINER
Did you say Caitlin Bree?

DANTE
Yeah.

TRAINER
Pretty girl, about this girl's height-
dark hair-gorgeous body?

DANTE
Yeah?

TRAINER
And your name is Dante Hicks? You
went to high school with her? You
played hockey?

DANTE
How do you know that?

TRAINER
Oh man! Hey, you still going out
with her?

DANTE
No, she's getting married.

TRAINER
To you?

HEATHER
To an Asian design major.

TRAINER
Shit!
(to DANTE)
Don't take this the wrong way, but I
used to fuck her.

DANTE
What?

TRAINER
While you two were dating in high
school. We're talking four, five
years ago, back when I drove a Trans-
Am.

HEATHER
Oh my God! You're Rick Derris?

TRAINER
Yeah!

DANTE
You know him?

HEATHER
Caitlin used to talk about him all
the time.

TRAINER
Really?

HEATHER
Oh yeah. You were the built older
guy with the black Trans and the
big...

DANTE
Wait a second!
(to TRAINER)
You used to sleep with Caitlin Bree?
While I was dating her?

TRAINER
All the time. That girl was like a
rabbit.

DANTE
I... I don't believe this...

HEATHER
(to TRAINER)
I still remember Caitlin telling us
about that time you two went to that
motel-the one with the mirrors and
the hot tub in the room.

DANTE
THE GLADES MOTEL?

TRAINER
Holy shit! She told you about that!
(to DANTE)
Buddy of mine worked there. Said he
watched the whole thing. They used
to film people at that hotel; nobody
knew about it.

HEATHER
She said one time you set up a tent
on the beach and you guys did it in
the middle of this big rainstorm.

DANTE
What? When? When did all this shit
happen?

TRAINER
Hey man, that was a long time ago.
Don't let it get to you.

HEATHER
I'm surprised you never found out
about it, Dante. Everybody in school
knew-even in my class.

DANTE
Jesus Christ, what next?

The SUITED MAN rips a piece of paper out of his notebook and
hands it to DANTE.

SUITED MAN
Here you go.

DANTE
What's this?

SUITED MAN
A fine, for five hundred dollars.

DANTE
WHAT?

TRAINER
Five hundred bucks? What for?

SUITED MAN
For violation of New Jersey Statute
Section Two A, number one-seventy
slash fifty-one: Any person who sells
or makes available tobacco or tobacco-
related products to persons under
the age of eighteen is regarded as
disorderly.

DANTE
What are you talking about?

SUITED MAN
According to the NJAC-the New Jersey
Administrative Code, section eighteen,
five, slash twelve point five-a fine
of no less than two hundred and fifty
dollars is to be leveled against any
person reported selling cigarettes
to a minor.

DANTE
I didn't do that!

SUITED MAN
You said you were here all day?

DANTE
Yeah, but I didn't sell cigarettes
to any kids!

SUITED MAN
An angry mother called the state
division of taxation and complained
that the man working at Quick Stop
Convenience sold her five-year-old
daughter cigarettes today at around
four o'clock. Division of taxation
calls the State Board of Health, and
they send me down here to issue a
fine. You say you were working all
day, hence the fine is yours. It's
doubled due to the incredibly young
age of the child.

DANTE
But I didn't sell cigarettes to any
kid!

TRAINER
To a five-year-old kid? What a
scumbag!

HEATHER
That's sick, Dante.

DANTE
I didn't sell cigarettes to any kids!
I swear!

SUITED MAN
The due date is on the bottom. This
summons cannot be contested in any
court of law. Failure to remit before
the due date will result in a charge
of criminal negligence, and a warrant
will be issued for your arrest. Have
a nice day.

The SUITED MAN exits, with DANTE trying to follow.

DANTE
But I didn't sell cigarettes to any
kids! Hey!

TRAINER
(takes back the card)
Forget it. I don't want to deal with
a guy that sells cigarettes to a
five-year-old.
(to HEATHER)
Can I offer you a ride somewhere?

HEATHER
Sure. How about the beach?

TRAINER
I like the way you think.

The two exit. DANTE, alone, studies his summons. He rubs his
forehead.

DANTE
Jesus! What next?

VOICE (O.S.)
Dante?

DANTE spins, angrily.

DANTE
What?

His expression softens.

DANTE
Caitlin?

CUT TO:

EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

JAY deals with a customer as SILENT BOB looks on.

JAY
That's the price, my brother.

JOHN
Yo, I don't have that kind of cash.

JAY
For this kind of hash, you need that
kind of cash.

JOHN
How long you gonna be here?

JAY
Till ten. Then I'm going to John K's
party.

JOHN
You're gonna be at John K's party?

JAY
(to SILENT BOB)
My man is deaf.
(yelling)
I'M GOING TO JOHN K'S PARTY!
(quieter)
Neh.

JOHN
Yo, don't sell all that. 'Cause I'm
gonna get the cash and buy it from
you at John K's. You're gonna bring
it, right?

JAY
The only place I don't bring my drugs
is church. And that ain't till Sunday
morning.

JOHN
Yo. I'll see you at that party.
(puts his hand up to
be slapped)
I'll see you there?

JAY
(reluctantly slapping
hands)
I'll see you there.

JOHN leaves. JAY turns to SILENT BOB.

JAY
It's motherfuckers like that who
give recreational drug users a bag
name.
(suddenly spotting
someone O.C.)
HEY BABY! YOU EVER HAD YOUR ASSHOLE
LICKED?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

DANTE and CAITLIN are embracing very tightly. We hold on
them for a few seconds, just to let it sink in. Then...

DANTE
When did you get back?

CAITLIN
Just now.

DANTE
My God. I haven't seen you since...
(he hugs her again)

CAITLIN
Dante. You've got a customer.

DANTE hops behind the counter. A customer pays for something
while DANTE continues to talk.

CAITLIN
I just saw Alyssa's little sister
outside. She was with Rick Derris.

DANTE
Let's not talk about that. How'd you
get home?

CAITLIN
Train. It took eight hours.

DANTE
I can't believe you're here.

Another customer comes to the counter.

CUSTOMER
Excuse me, do you have...

DANTE
(to CUSTOMER)
To the back, above the oil.
(to CAITLIN)
How long are you staying?

CAITLIN
Until Monday. Then I have to take
the train back.

Yet another customer comes to the counter.

CUSTOMER
Pack of cigarettes.
(to CAITLIN)
Congratulations. I saw that
announcement in today's paper.
(to DANTE)
She's marrying an Asian design major.

DANTE
So I'm told.

CUT TO:

EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

JAY and SILENT BOB lean against the wall.

JAY
Man, it's fucking slow.

SILENT BOB walks out of the frame, leaving JAY alone against
the wall. He comes back a few seconds later, carrying a mini-
Walkman with ten-watt speakers. He sets it down on the ground
and turns it on. House music starts playing. Jay-possessed
by the beat-breaks into an impromptu dance, in which he makes
suggestive and often lewd moves. SILENT BOB leans against
the wall.

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

On counter.

CAITLIN
You're just going to lock the store
like that?

DANTE
I want to talk to you about something,
and I don't want to be disturbed.

CAITLIN
You saw it?

DANTE
Very dramatic, I thought.

CAITLIN
It's not what you think.

DANTE
What, it's worse? You're pregnant
with an Asian design major's child?

CAITLIN
I'm not pregnant.

DANTE
Were you going to tell me or just
send me an invitation?

CAITLIN
I was going to tell you. But then we
were getting along so well, I didn't
want to mess it up.

DANTE
You could've broke it to me gently,
you know; at least started by telling
me you had a boyfriend. I told you I
have a girlfriend.

CAITLIN
I know, I'm sorry. But when we started
talking... it's like I forgot I had
a boyfriend. And then he proposed
last month...

DANTE
And you said yes?

CAITLIN
Well... kind of, sort of?

DANTE
Is that what they teach you at that
school of yours? Kind of, sort of?
Everyone knows about this except me!
Do you know how humiliating that is?

CAITLIN
I would've told you, and you would
have stopped calling, like a baby.

DANTE
How do you know that?

CAITLIN
Because I know you. You prefer drastic
measures to rational ones.

DANTE
So you're really getting married?

CAITLIN
No.

DANTE
No, you're not really getting married?

CAITLIN
The story goes like this: He proposed,
and I told him I had to think about
it, and he insisted I wear the ring
anyway. Then my mother told the paper
we were engaged.

DANTE
How like her.

CAITLIN
Then my mother called me this morning
and told me the announcement was in
the paper. That's when I hopped the
train to come back here, because I
knew you'd be a wreck.

DANTE
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

CAITLIN
Was I right?

DANTE
Wreck is a harsh term. Disturbed is
more like it. Mildly disturbed even.

CAITLIN
I love a macho fašade. It's such a
turn-on.
(sniffing air)
What smells like shoe polish?

DANTE
And you came here to what? To comfort
me?

CAITLIN
The last thing I needed was for you
to think I was hiding something from
you.

DANTE
But you were.

CAITLIN
No, I wasn't. Not really. I told
you'd I'd been seeing other people.

DANTE
Yeah, but not seriously. Christ,
you're ready to walk down the aisle-
I'd say that constitutes something
more than just seeing somebody.

CAITLIN
I'm giving him his ring back.

DANTE
What?

CAITLIN
I don't want to marry him. I don't
want to get married now. I'm on the
verge of graduation. I want to go to
grad school after this. And then I
want to start a career. I don't want
to be a wife first, and then have to
worry about when I'm going to fit in
all of the other stuff. I've come
way too far and studied too hard to
let my education go to waste as a
housewife. And I know that's what
I'd become. Sang's already signed
with a major firm, and he's going to
be pulling a huge salary, which would
give me no reason to work, and he's
so traditional anyway...

DANTE
Sang? His name is a past tense?

CAITLIN
Stop it. He's a nice guy.

DANTE
If he's so nice, why aren't you going
to marry him?

CAITLIN
I just told you.

DANTE
There's more, isn't there?

CAITLIN
Why, Mr. Hicks-whatever do you mean?

DANTE
Tell me I don't have something to do
with it.

CAITLIN
You don't have anything to do with
it.

DANTE
You lie.

CAITLIN
Look how full of yourself you are.

DANTE
I just believe in giving credit where
credit is due. And I believe that
I'm the impetus behind your failure
to wed.

CAITLIN
If I'm so nuts about you, then why
am I having sex with an Asian design
major?

DANTE
Jesus, you're caustic.

CAITLIN
I had to bring you down from that
cloud you were floating on. When I
say I don't want to get married, I
mean just that. I don't want to marry
anybody. Not for years.

DANTE
So who's asking? I don't want to
marry you.

CAITLIN
Good. Stay in that frame of mind.

DANTE
But can we date?

CAITLIN
I'm sure Sang and-Veronica?-would
like that.

DANTE
We could introduce them. They might
hit it off.

CAITLIN
You're serious. You want to date
again.

DANTE
I would like to be your boyfriend,
yes.

CAITLIN
It's just the shock of seeing me
after three years. Believe me, you'll
get over it.

DANTE
Give me a bit more credit. I think
it's time we got back together, you
know. I'm more mature, you're more
mature, you're finishing college,
I'm already in the job market...

CAITLIN
You work in a market, all right.

DANTE
Cute. Tell me you wouldn't want to
go out again. After all the talking
we've been doing.

CAITLIN
The key word here is talk, Dante. I
think the idea, the conception of us
dating is more idyllic than what
actually happens when we date.

DANTE
So... what? So we should just make
pretend over the phone that we're
dating?

CAITLIN
I don't know. Maybe we should just
see what happens.

DANTE
Let me take you out tonight.

CAITLIN
You mean, on a date?

DANTE
Yes. A real date. Dinner and a movie.

CAITLIN
The Dante Hicks Dinner and a Movie
Date. I think I've been on that one
before.

DANTE
You have a better suggestion?

CAITLIN
How about the Caitlin Bree Walk on
the Boardwalk, Then Get Naked
Somewhere Kind of Private Date?

DANTE
I hear that's a rather popular date.

CAITLIN
(hits him)
Jerk. Here I am, throwing myself at
you, succumbing to your wily charms,
and you call me a slut, in so many
words.

DANTE
What about Sing?

CAITLIN
Sang.

DANTE
Sang.

CAITLIN
He's not invited.

DANTE
He's your fiancÚ.

CAITLIN
I offer you my body and you offer me
semantics? He's just a boyfriend,
Dante, and in case you haven't gotten
the drift of why I came all the way
here from Ohio, I'm about to become
single again. And yes-let me placate
your ego-you are the inspiration for
this bold and momentous decision,
for which I'll probably be ostracized
at both school and home. You ask me
who I choose, I choose you.

DANTE
So what are you saying?

CAITLIN
You're such an asshole.

DANTE
I'm just kidding.

CAITLIN
I can already tell this isn't going
to work.

DANTE
I'll ask Randal to close up for me
when he gets back.

CAITLIN
Where'd he go? I'd have thought
he'd be at your side, like an obedient
lapdog.

DANTE
He went to rent a movie, but he hasn't
gotten back yet. Ah, screw it; I'll
just lock the store up and leave him
a note.

CAITLIN
You're too responsible. But no. I
have to go home first. They don't
even know I left school. And I should
break the disengagement news to my
mother, which is going to cause quite
a row, considering she loves Sang.

DANTE
Who doesn't?

CAITLIN
Well, me I guess.
(gathering herself to
go)
So, I shall take my leave of you,
but I will return in a little while,
at which time-yes-I would love to go
for dinner and a movie with you.

DANTE
What happened to the walk and the
nakedness?

CAITLIN
I'm easy, but I'm not that easy.
(she kisses his cheek)
See you later, handsome.

DANTE watches her leave. He then explodes in jubilance.

DANTE
YES!

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

DANTE looks ahead, dreamily, half-spinning in his chair.
RANDAL enters carrying videos.

RANDAL
Get to work.

DANTE
(takes videos)
What'd you rent?
(reads)
Best of Both Worlds?

RANDAL
Hermaphroditic porn. Starlets with
both organs. You should see the box:
Beautiful women with dicks that put
mine to shame.

DANTE
And this is what you rented?

RANDAL
I like to expand my horizons.

DANTE
I got fined for selling cigarettes
to a minor.

RANDAL
No way!

DANTE
Five hundred dollars.

RANDAL
You're bullshitting.

DANTE hands him the summons. RANDAL reads it.

RANDAL
I didn't think they even enforced
this.

DANTE
(points to himself)
Living proof.

RANDAL
I thought you never sold cigarettes
to kids.

DANTE
I don't; you did.

RANDAL
(pause)
Really?

DANTE
Little girl. Maybe five years old?

RANDAL
(taken aback)
Holy shit. That girl?

DANTE
As opposed to the hundreds of other
children you let buy cigarettes
whenever you work here.

RANDAL
Then how come you got the fine?

DANTE
Because I'm here.

RANDAL
(incredulous)
You're lying.

DANTE
I swear. I couldn't make this kind
of hell up.

RANDAL
Then why aren't you like screaming
at me right now?

DANTE
Because I'm happy.

RANDAL
You're happy?

DANTE
I'm happy.

RANDAL
You're happy to get a fine?

DANTE
No. I'm happy because Caitlin came
to see me.

RANDAL
Now I know you're lying.

DANTE
I'm not. She just left.

RANDAL
What did she say?

DANTE
She's not going to marry that guy.
She went home to tell her mother.

RANDAL
You're kidding.

DANTE
I'm not.

RANDAL
(takes it in for a
moment)
Wow. You've had quite an evening.

DANTE
She went home, she's getting ready,
and we're going out.

RANDAL
I feel so ineffectual. Is there
anything I can do for you?

DANTE
Watch the store while I go home and
change.

RANDAL
What happened to title dictates
behavior?

DANTE
This is my way of spitting water at
life.

RANDAL
(suddenly aware)
Hey, what about Veronica?

DANTE
No! Don't bring it up. I don't want
to think about that now. Let me enjoy
this hour of bliss. I'll think about
all of that later. In the meantime,
nobody mentions the V word.

RANDAL
You're a snake.

DANTE
In my absence, try not to sell
cigarettes to any newborns.

RANDAL
You want me to bring the VCR over
here so we can watch this?

DANTE
I might be leaving early to go out
with Caitlin, in which case you'll
have to close the store tonight.

RANDAL
All right, but you're missing out.
Chicks with dicks.

DANTE
(puts cats on counter)
I'll read the book.

DANTE exits. A CUSTOMER comes back to the counter. He pets
the cat.

CUSTOMER
Cute cat. What's his name.

RANDAL
Peptic ulcer.

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

JAY and SILENT BOB watch as DANTE passes. A small group of
burners are poised around the store door. JAY carefully writes
on a large piece of paper, using a thick marker. SILENT BOB
hands him the scissors. JAY slowly cuts the large piece of
paper. SILENT BOB hands him the tape. JAY snaps off a few
pieces, and plasters the sign to the convenience store door.
It is a large word balloon, and it reads I EAT COCK!

Once in place, he raps on the window. RANDAL looks out, his
face adjacent to the word balloon, making it appear as if he
is saying he eats cock. The small group laughs hysterically.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

CAITLIN enters, carrying an overnight bag. RANDAL is watching
his porno. The porno is loud and lewd. CAITLIN stares.

CAITLIN
Randal Graves-scourge of the video
renter.

RANDAL
Ladies and gentleman, Mrs. Asian
Design Major herself: Caitlin Bree!

CAITLIN
You saw that article? God, isn't it
awful? My mother sent that in.

RANDAL
I take it she likes the guy.

CAITLIN
You'd think she was marrying him.
What are you watching?

RANDAL
Children's programming. What did
your mom say when you told her you
weren't engaged anymore?

CAITLIN
She said not to come home until
graduation.

RANDAL
Wow, you got thrown out? For Dante?

CAITLIN
What can I say? He does weird things
to me.

RANDAL
Can I watch?

CAITLIN
You can hold me down.

RANDAL
Can I join in?

CAITLIN
You might be let down. I'm not a
hermaphrodite.

RANDAL
Few are. So what makes you think you
can maintain a relationship with
Dante this time around?

CAITLIN
A woman's intuition. Something in me
says it's time to give the old boy a
serious try.

RANDAL
Wow. Hey, I was just about to order
some dinner. You eat Chinese, right?

CAITLIN
Dick.

RANDAL
Exactly.

CAITLIN
So where is he?

RANDAL
He went home to change for the big
date.

CAITLIN
God, isn't he great?

RANDAL
(indicating TV)
No, this is great.

CAITLIN
Can I use the bathroom?

RANDAL
There's no light back there.

CAITLIN
Why aren't there any lights?

RANDAL
Well, there are, but for some reason
they stop working at five-fourteen
every night.

CAITLIN
You're kidding.

RANDAL
Nobody can figure it out. And the
boss doesn't want to pay the
electrician to fix it, because the
electrician owes money to the video
store.

CAITLIN
Such a sordid state of affair.

RANDAL
And I'm caught in the middle-torn
between my loyalty for the boss, and
my desire to piss with the light on.

CAITLIN
I'll try to manage.

She heads toward the back.

RANDAL
Hey Caitlin...
(cautionary)
Break his heart again this time, and
I'll kill you. Nothing personal.

CAITLIN
You're very protective of him, Randal.
You always have been.

RANDAL
Territoriality. He was mine first.

CAITLIN
(rubs his head)
Awww. That was so cute.

She kisses his forehead and walks away. The MOTHER and SMALL
CHILD (Happy Scrappy) come to the counter.

MOTHER
(oblivious of the TV)
A pack of cigarettes.

The SMALL CHILD points at the TV screen.

SMALL CHILD
Cunt!

CUT TO:

EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

RANDAL studies the I EAT COCK word balloon. DANTE enters.

DANTE
Who eats cock?

RANDAL
Bunch of savages in this town.
(recalling)
Hey, Caitlin's in the back. You might
want to see if she's okay; she's
been back there a long time.

DANTE
There's no lights back there.

RANDAL
I told her that. She said she didn't
need any. Why don't you join her,
man. Make a little bathroom bam-bam.

DANTE
I love your sexy talk. It's so...
kindergarten: Poo-poo; wee-wee.

RANDAL
Fuck you.

The cooler door is heard opening. CAITLIN walks lazily down
the convenience store aisle. She looks very satisfied. DANTE
and RANDAL regard her curiously. She joins them, latching on
to DANTE's arm, lovingly.

CAITLIN
How'd you get here so fast?

DANTE
I left like an hour ago.

CAITLIN
(regards him curiously)
Do you always talk weird after you
violate women?

RANDAL and DANTE stare at CAITLIN, confused.

RANDAL
Maybe the Asian design major slipped
her some opium?

DANTE
Could be.

CAITLIN
(hugging DANTE)
Promise me it'll always be like that.

DANTE
Like what?

CAITLIN
When you just lie perfectly still
and let me do everything.

DANTE
Um... okay.

RANDAL
Am I missing something here?

CAITLIN
I went back there, and Dante was
already waiting for me.

RANDAL
He was?

CAITLIN
It was so cool. He didn't say a word.
He was just... ready, you know? And
we didn't kiss or talk or anything.
He just sat there and let me do all
the work.

RANDAL
(to DANTE)
You dog! I didn't see you go back
there.

DANTE is bewildered.

CAITLIN
And the fact that there weren't any
lights made it so...
(she lets out a growl
and hugs DANTE)
God! That was so great!

DANTE
(quietly)
It wasn't me.

CAITLIN
(laughing it off)
Yeah, right. Who was it: Randal?

DANTE
(to RANDAL)
Was it you?

RANDAL
I was here the whole time.

CAITLIN
(half-laughing)
You two better quit it.

DANTE
I'm serious.

CAITLIN
(beat)
We didn't just have sex in the
bathroom?

DANTE
No.

Everyone is silent. Then...

CAITLIN
Stop this. This isn't funny.

DANTE
I'm not kidding. I just got back
from outside.

CAITLIN
(covering her chest)
This isn't fucking funny, Dante!

DANTE
I'm not fooling around!
(to RANDAL)
Who went back there?

RANDAL
Nobody! I swear!

CAITLIN
I feel nauseous.

DANTE
Are you sure somebody was back there?

CAITLIN
(hits DANTE)
I didn't just fuck myself! Jesus,
I'm going to be sick!

RANDAL
You just fucked a total stranger?

DANTE
Shut the fuck up!

CAITLIN
I can't believe this! I feel faint...

DANTE
(to RANDAL)
Call the police.

RANDAL
Why?

CAITLIN
No, don't!

DANTE
There's a strange man in our bathroom,
and he just raped Caitlin!

CAITLIN
(weakly)
Oh God...

RANDAL
She said she did all the work.

DANTE
WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP?
(pause)
WHO THE FUCK IS IN THE BATHROOM?

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. LATER

THE OLD MAN'S FACE is serene, almost happy, as he lies on a
stretcher. (Same OLD MAN who took a porn mag to the bathroom.)

CORONER (O.S.)
Who is he?

The body bag zipper is pulled closed. DANTE, the CORONER,
and RANDAL stand around the stretcher-bound body bag. The
CORONER takes notes.

DANTE
I don't know. He just came in and
asked to use the bathroom.

CORONER
What time was this?

DANTE
Um... I don't know.
(to RANDAL)
What time did hockey end?

RANDAL
Around three or something.

DANTE
What time did we go to the funeral?

RANDAL
I think four.

CORONER
Wait a second? Who was working here
today?

DANTE
Just me.

CORONER
I thought you just said you played
hockey and went to a funeral.

DANTE
We did.

CORONER
Then who operated the store?

DANTE
Nobody. It was closed.

CORONER
With this guy locked in?

DANTE
Everything happened at once. I guess
I forgot he was back there.

Ambulance attendants join them.

ATTENDANT 1
Can we take this now?

CORONER
Go ahead.

The stretcher is wheeled out. Midway down the body bag,
something protrudes, pushing the bag up. It is an erection.
RANDAL stares at it.

DANTE
Was he alive when... Caitlin...

CORONER
No. I place the time of death at
about three-twenty.

RANDAL
Then how could she... you know...

CORONER
The body can maintain an erection
after expiration. Sometimes for hours.
Did he have the adult magazine when
he came in?

DANTE
No. I gave it to him.

RANDAL and the CORONER stare in disbelief.

DANTE
Well he asked me for it!

CORONER
(continuing)
I can't say for certain until we get
him back to the lab, but my guess is
he was masturbating, his heart seized
and he died. That's when the girl
found him.
(sniffing the air)
Something smells like shoe polish.

RANDAL
(to CORONER)
This has gotta be the weirdest thing
you've ever been called in on.

CORONER
(writing)
Actually, I once had to tag a kid
that broke his neck trying to put
his mouth on his penis.

RANDAL looks down, anonymously.

DANTE
What about Caitlin?

CORONER
Shock trauma. She's going to need
years of therapy after this. My
question is, How did she come to
have sex with the dead man?

DANTE
She thought it was me.

The CORONER stares at DANTE.

CORONER
What kind of convenience store do
you run here?

He exits. DANTE and RANDAL stare at the floor.

RANDAL
(beat)
Do you think he was talking about my
cousin?

CUT TO:

EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

CAITLIN sits in the back of the ambulance, a blanket draped
over her shoulders. An attendant takes her blood pressure.
The doors are closed and the vehicle speeds away. JAY and
SILENT BOB lean against the wall. JAY eats sugar out of a
box.

JAY
I knew one of those motherfuckers
was gonna kill somebody one day.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

A jar of salsa is invaded by a large corn chip. Once in the
condiment, the corn chip resembles a surfacing shark fin.

Fingers poke at it, bringing it to life-swimming menacingly
to and fro across the jar.

RANDAL (O.S.)
(mumbling Jaws theme)
Da-dum! Da-dum! Da-dum! DA-DUM! DA-
DUM! DA-DUM!

DANTE and RANDAL are on a freezer case. RANDAL pushes this
chip around the jar of salsa. DANTE stares up at the ceiling,
oblivious.

RANDAL
Salsa shark.

DANTE says nothing.

RANDAL
(as Brody)
"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

DANTE says even less than nothing.

RANDAL
(as Quint)
"Man goes into the cage; cage goes
into the salsa; shark's in the salsa;
our shark."

DANTE... you know.

RANDAL
(angry)
What? What's with you? You haven't
said anything for like twenty minutes.
What the hell is your problem?

DANTE
This life.

RANDAL
This life?

DANTE
Why do I have this life?

RANDAL
Have some chips; you'll feel better.

DANTE
I'm stuck in this pit, earning less
than slave wages, working on my day
off, dealing with every backward
fuck on the planet, the goddamn steel
shutters are locked all day, I smell
like shoe polish, I've got an ex-
girlfriend who's catatonic after
fucking a dead guy, and my present
girlfriend has sucked thirty-six
dicks.

RANDAL
Thirty-seven.

DANTE
My life is in the shitter right about
now, so if you don't mind, I'd like
to stew a bit.

CUSTOMER (O.S.)
You open?

RANDAL
Yeah.

RANDAL hops off the freezer case and steps O.C.

RANDAL (O.S.)
That's all bullshit. You know what
the real problem here is?

DANTE
I was born.

RANDAL comes back.

RANDAL
You should shit or get off the pot.

DANTE
I should shit or get off the pot.

RANDAL
Yeah, you should shit or get off the
pot.

DANTE
What are you talking about?

RANDAL
I'm talking about this thing you
have... this inability to improve
your situation in life.

DANTE
Fuck you.

RANDAL
It's true. You'll sit there and blame
life for dealing a cruddy hand, never
once accepting the responsibility
for the way your situation is.

DANTE
What responsibility?

RANDAL
All right, if you hate this job and
the people, and the fact that you
have to come in on your day off,
then quit.

DANTE
As if it's that easy.

RANDAL
It is. You just up and quit. There
are other jobs, and they pay better
money. You're bound to be qualified
for at least one of them. So what's
stopping you?

DANTE
Leave me alone.

RANDAL
You're comfortable. This is a life
of convenience for you, and any
attempt to change it would shatter
the pathetic microcosm you've
fashioned for yourself.

DANTE
Oh, like your life's any better?

RANDAL
I'm satisfied with my situation for
now. You don't hear me bitching.
You, on the other hand, have been
bitching all day.

DANTE
Thank you. Why don't you go back to
the video store?

RANDAL
It's the same thing with Veronica.

DANTE
Leave her out of this.

RANDAL
You date Veronica because she's low
maintenance and because it's
convenient. Meanwhile, all you ever
do is talk about Caitlin. You carry
a torch for a girl you dated in high
school-in high school for God's sake!
You're twenty-two!

DANTE
Leave me alone.

RANDAL
If you want Caitlin, then face
Veronica, tell her, and be with
Caitlin. If you want Veronica, be
with Veronica. But don't pine for
one and fuck the other. Man, if you
weren't such a fucking coward...

DANTE
...If I wasn't such a fucking coward.
(chuckles)
It must be so great to be able to
simplify everything the way you do.

RANDAL
Am I right or what?

DANTE
You're wrong. Things happened today,
okay? Things that probably ruined my
chances with Caitlin.

RANDAL
What? The dead guy? She'll get over
fucking the dead guy. Shit, my mom's
been fucking a dead guy for thirty
years; I call him Dad.

DANTE
Caitlin and I can't be together.
It's impossible.

RANDAL
Melodrama coming from you seems about
as natural as an oral bowel movement.

DANTE
What do you want me to say? Yes, I
suppose some of the things you're
saying may be true. But that's the
way things are; it's not going to
change.

RANDAL
Make them change.

DANTE
I can't, all right! Jesus, would you
leave me alone? I can't make changes
like that in my life. If I could, I
would-but I don't have the ability
to risk comfortable situations on
the big money and the fabulous prizes.

RANDAL
Who're you kidding? You can so.

DANTE
Jesus H. Christ, I can't!

RANDAL
So you'll continue being miserable
all the time, just because you don't
have the guts to face change?

DANTE
(sadly)
My mother told me once that when I
as three, my potty lid was closed,
and instead of lifting it, I chose
to shit my pants.

RANDAL
Lovely story.

DANTE
Point is-I'm not the kind of person
that disrupts things in order to
shit comfortably.

DANTE crosses O.C. RANDAL appears contemplative.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

DANTE repairs ripped dollar bills, taping them back together.
JAY enters with SILENT BOB and claps his hands.

JAY
(singing)
Noinch, noinch, noinch-smoking weed,
smoking weed! Doing coke! Drinking
beers!
(to DANTE)
A pack of wraps, my good man. It's
time to kick back, drink some beers,
and smoke some weed!

DANTE
Done poisoning the youth for the
day?

JAY
Hell yes, whatever that means. Now
I'm gonna head over to Atlantic,
drink some beers, get ripped, and-
please God-get laid.
(pulls out money)
E-Z Wider, one-and-a-halfs.

DANTE
One seventy-nine.

JAY
(to SILENT BOB)
Pay the good man.
(to DANTE)
Don't you close soon?

DANTE
A half hour.

JAY
We get off about the same time every
night. We should hang out. You get
high?

DANTE
I should start.

JAY
Wanna come to this party tonight?
There's gonna be some pussy there,
man!

DANTE
With you? I don't think so.

JAY
Listen to you. Oh shit. "Oh, I don't
hang out with drug dealers."

DANTE
Nothing personal.

SILENT BOB hands weed to JAY.

JAY
I work, just like you. You're more
of a crook than I am, dude.

DANTE
How do you figure... HEY! You can't
roll a joint in here!

JAY
(rolling a joint)
Relax brother. What I mean is that
you sell the stuff in this store at
the highest prices around. A dollar
seventy-nine for wraps-what's that
shit?

DANTE
It's not my store.

JAY
And these aren't my drugs-I just
sell them.

DANTE
The difference is you exploit a
weakness.

JAY
What's that mean?

DANTE
You sell to people that can't stay
away from an addiction.

JAY
All right. How much is Pepsi here?

DANTE
A dollar sixty-nine, plus tax.

JAY
At Food City it's ninety-nine cents,
plus tax.

DANTE
So.

JAY
So why do you sell it for so much
more? I'll tell you why-because people
come here and they're like "A dollar
eighty for soda? I should get it at
Food City. But I don't feel like
driving there. I'll just buy it here
so I don't have to drive up there."
That's exploiting a weakness, too,
isn't it?

DANTE
I can't believe you just rolled a
joint in here.

JAY
Hey, man, what happened with that
old guy?

DANTE
He died in the bathroom.

JAY
That's fucked up. Yo, I heard he was
jerkin' off.

DANTE
I don't know. I wasn't watching.

JAY
Probably saw that Caitlin chick. I
know I felt like beatin' it when I
saw her.
(pantomimes sex)
Come here, bitch! You like this? Is
this what you want? Hunhh?

DANTE
Knock it off. That used to be my
girlfriend.

JAY
You used to go out with her?

DANTE
We were going to start again, I think.

JAY
Don't you already have a girlfriend?

DANTE
Veronica.

JAY
Is she that girl who's down here all
the time? She came here today carrying
a plate of food.

DANTE
Lasagne.

JAY
And what-you were gonna dump her to
date that Caitlin chick?

DANTE
Maybe.

JAY
I don't know dude. That Caitlin
chick's nice. But I see that Veronica
girl doing shit for you all the time.
She brings you food, she rubs your
back... Didn't I see her change your
tire one day?

DANTE
I jacked the car up. All she did was
loosen the nuts and put the tire on.

JAY
Damn. She sure goes out of her way.

DANTE
She's my girlfriend.

JAY
I've had girlfriends, but all they
wanted from me was weed and shit.
(beat)
Shit, my grandma used to say, "Which
is better: a good plate with nothing
on it..." No, wait. I fucked up. She
said "What's a good-looking plate
with nothing on it?"

DANTE
Meaning?

JAY
I don't know. She was senile and
shit. Used to piss herself all the
time. C'mon Silent Bob.

Exit JAY. SILENT BOB stands there.

SILENT BOB
You know, there's a million fine-
looking women in the world, but they
don't all bring you lasagne at work.
Most of them just cheat on you.

SILENT BOB leaves. DANTE shuts his eyes tightly and rubs the
bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, as if in
deep concentration. He suddenly snaps his eyes open.

DANTE
(nearly surprised)
He's right. I love her.

CUT TO:

INT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

RANDAL has a heart-to-heart with VERONICA.

RANDAL
So that's it. He doesn't love you
anymore. He loves Caitlin.

VERONICA stares, dumbfounded.

VERONICA
And... he told you all of this?

RANDAL
Pretty much. All except the latent
homosexuality part-that's just my
theory.

VERONICA
I... I don't know what to say.

RANDAL
Don't hold it against him. He just
never got Caitlin out of his system.
It's not your fault. It's Dante.
(beat)
I don't know thing one about chicks.
Do you want to cry or something? I
can leave.

VERONICA
I'm not sad.

RANDAL
You're not?

VERONICA
No, I'm more furious. I'm pissed
off. I feel like he's been killing
time while he tries to grow the balls
to tell me how he really feels, and
then he can't even do it! He has
his friend do it for him!

RANDAL
He didn't ask me to...

VERONICA
After all that I've done for that
fuck! And he wants to be with that
slut? Fine! He can have his slut!

RANDAL
Um, do you think you can give me a
lift home tonight?

VERONICA
(oblivious of RANDAL)
I'm going to have a word with that
asshole.

VERONICA storms out.

RANDAL
Wait! Veronica... I don't think...

RANDAL stares after her. A customer stands nearby.

RANDAL
(to customer)
What am I worried about? He'll
probably be glad I started the ball
rolling. All he ever did was complain
about her anyway. I'm just looking
out for his best interests. I mean,
that's what a friend does, am I right?
I did him a favor.

CUSTOMER
(sees box on counter)
Oooh! Navy Seals!

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

DANTE is on the ground holding his knee. VERONICA stands
above him.

DANTE
What the fuck did you do that for?

VERONICA
If you didn't want to go out with me
anymore, why didn't you just say it?
Instead, you pussyfoot around and
see that slut behind my back!

DANTE
What're you talking about?

VERONICA
(kicks him)
You've been talking to her on the
phone for weeks!

DANTE
It was only a few times...

VERONICA
And then you pull that shit this
morning, freaking out because I've
gone down on a couple guys!

DANTE
A couple...?

VERONICA
(throws purse at him)
I'm not the one trying to patch things
up with my ex, sneaking around behind
your back! And if you think that
thirty-seven dicks are a lot, then
just wait, mister: I'm going to put
the hookers in Times Square to shame
with all the guys I go down on now!

DANTE
Would you let me explain...

VERONICA
Explain what? How you were waiting
until the time was right, and then
you were going to dump me for her?

DANTE
(getting up)
Veronica... I... it's not like that
anymore... I mean, it was never really
like that...

VERONICA kicks him in the other leg. DANTE goes down, yelling
in pain.

VERONICA
You're damn right it's not like that!
Because I won't let it be like that!
You want your slut? Fine! The slut
is yours!

DANTE
I don't want Caitlin...

VERONICA
You don't know what you want, but
I'm not going to sit here anymore
holding your hand until you figure
it out! I've encouraged you to get
out of this fucking dump and go back
to school, to take charge of your
life and find direction. I even
transferred so maybe you would be
more inclined to go back to college
if I was with you. Everyone said it
was a stupid move, but I didn't care
because I loved you and wanted to
see you pull yourself out of this
senseless funk you've been in since
that whore dumped you, oh so many
years ago. And now you want to go
back to her so she can fuck you over
some more?

DANTE
I don't want to go back with her...

VERONICA
Of course not; not now! You're caught,
and now you're trying to snake out
of doing what you wanted to do. Well,
I won't let you. I want you to follow
through on this, just so you can
find out what a fucking idiot you
are. And when she dumps you again-
and she will, Dante, I promise you
that-when she dumps you again, I
want to laugh at you, right in your
face, just so you realize that that
was what you gave up our relationship
for!
(grabs her purse)
I'm just glad Randal had the balls
to tell me, since you couldn't.

DANTE
(weakly)
Randal...?

VERONICA
And having him tell me... that was
just the weakest move ever. You're
spineless.

DANTE
Veronica, I love you...

VERONICA
Fuck you.

VERONICA exits. DANTE lies on the floor alone.

CUT TO:

EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT

RANDAL exits and locks the door behind him.

CUT TO:

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT

Tight on RANDAL'S face as he steps inside.

RANDAL
Dante?

Hands clasp around his throat and yank him out of the frame.
DANTE throttles RANDAL, choking him to the ground. RANDAL
throws his fists into DANTE'S midriff, throwing him back
into the magazine rack. RANDAL jumps to his feet as DANTE
comes at him again. RANDAL tumbles into the cakes as
Entenman's products scatter beneath and around him. He grabs
a pound cake and hits DANTE in the head with it, using the
opportunity to scurry down the middle aisle. DANTE leaps at
his feet, and RANDAL grabs the shelves, knocking aspirin
over until RANDAL-shrieking-sprays something in DANTE'S face.

DANTE paws at his eyes. RANDAL grabs Italian bread and smacks
it into DANTE'S face as he rushes him blindly. DANTE chases
him out of the frame. M&M's scatter wildly across the empty
floor, and the ruckus is heard O.C.

CUT TO:

DANTE and RANDAL later, out of breath, on the floor. RANDAL
sits up against the candy rack, rubbing his neck. DANTE lies
on the floor, bacon held against a sort of crushed cookies,
ripped-open candies, broken bread, and other damaged goods.

RANDAL
How's your eye?

DANTE
(reluctantly)
The swelling's not so bad. But the
FDS stings.
(then)
How's your neck?

RANDAL
It's hard to swallow.

They are both silent. Then...

RANDAL
You didn't have to choke me.

DANTE
Why the fuck did you tell Veronica
that I was going to dump her for
Caitlin?

RANDAL
I thought I was doing you a favor.

DANTE
Thanks.

RANDAL
You were saying how you couldn't
initiate change yourself, so I figured
I'd help you out.

DANTE
Jesus.

Silence. Then...

RANDAL
You still didn't have to choke me.

DANTE
Oh please! I'm surprised I didn't
kill you.

RANDAL
Why do you say that?

DANTE
Why do I say that? Randal... forget
it.

RANDAL
No, really. What did I do that was
so wrong?

DANTE
What don't you do? Randal, sometimes
it seems like the only reason you
come to work is to make my life
miserable.

RANDAL
How do you figure?

DANTE
What time did you get to work today?

RANDAL
Like ten after.

DANTE
You were over half an hour late.
Then all you do is come over here.

RANDAL
To talk to you.

DANTE
Which means the video store is
ostensibly closed.

RANDAL
It's not like I'm miles away.

DANTE
Unless you're out renting videos at
other video stores.

RANDAL
Hermaphrodites! I rented it so we
could watch it together!

DANTE
You get my slapped with a fine, you
fight with the customers and I have
to patch everything up. You get us
chased out of a funeral by violating
a corpse. To top it all off, you
ruin my relationship. What's your
encore? Do you anally rape my mother
while pouring sugar in my gas tank?
(sighs)
You know what the real tragedy is?
I'm not even supposed to be here
today!

RANDAL
(suddenly outraged)
Fuck you. Fuck you, pal. Listen to
you trying to pass the buck again.
I'm the source of all your misery.
Who closed the store to play hockey?
Who closed the store to attend a
wake? Who tried to win back an ex-
girlfriend without even discussing
how he felt with his present one?
You wanna blame somebody, blame
yourself.
(beat, as DANTE)
"I'm not even supposed to be here
today."
(whips stuff at DANTE)
You sound like an asshole. Whose
choice was it to be here today?
Nobody twisted your arm. You're here
today of your own violation, my
friend. But you'd like to believe
that the weight of the world rests
on your shoulders-that the store
would crumble if Dante wasn't here.
Well, I got news for you, jerk: This
store would survive without you.
Without me either. All you do is
overcompensate for having what's
basically a monkey's job:
You push fucking buttons. Any moron
can waltz in here and do our jobs,
but you're obsessed with making it
seem so much more fucking important,
so much more epic than it really is.
You work in a convenience store,
Dante. And badly, I might add. And I
work in a shitty video store. Badly,
as well.
(beat)
You know, that guy Jay's got it right-
he has no delusions about what he
does. Us? We like to make ourselves
seem so much better than the people
that come in here, just looking to
pick up a paper or-God forbid-
cigarettes. We look down on them, as
it we're so advanced. Well, if we're
so fucking advanced, then what are
we doing working here?

RANDAL gets up, leaving DANTE to contemplate his strong words
alone.

CUT TO:

DANTE and RANDAL silently clean up, backs to each other.

CUT TO:

DANTE places a mop in the corner. RANDAL pulls on his coat.

RANDAL
I threw out the stuff that got broken.
The floor looks clean.

DANTE
You need a ride?

RANDAL
(looks out door)
Got one. Just pulled up.

They stand in silence. Then...

DANTE
Do you work tomorrow?

RANDAL
Same time. What about you?

DANTE
I'm calling out. Going to hit the
hospital-see how Caitlin is. Then
try to see Veronica.

RANDAL
You wanna grab something to eat
tomorrow night... after I get out of
here?

DANTE
I'll call you. Let you know.

RANDAL
All right. Good luck with Veronica.
If you want, I can talk to her, you
know, and explain...

DANTE
No thanks. I'll take care of it.
We've got a lot of shit to talk about.

RANDAL
Helluva day.

DANTE
To say the least.

RANDAL
Do you need a hug or something?
'Cause I would have no hang-ups about
hugging you... you know, you being a
guy and all. Just don't knead my ass
when you do it.

DANTE
Get the fuck outta here already.

RANDAL
I'm gone. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

RANDAL exits. A second later, he reenters and tosses DANTE
the sheet-sign.

RANDAL
You're closed.

He exits. DANTE pushes the sign over from Open to Closed.

DANTE climbs behind the counter. He pops the register open
and starts counting the drawer out. The door is heard opening.

POV JOHN: DANTE counting out the register, not looking up.

DANTE
What'd you forget something?
(looks up, surprised)
Oh. I'm sorry, we're closed.

A gunshot blasts out. DANTE flies back, his chest exploding.
He stares ahead and slumps to the floor.

JOHN walks behind the counter, stepping over DANTE'S body on
the floor, and takes the money out of the register. He grabs
a paper bag and jams the money in it. He grabs handfuls of
change, shoves it in his pocket, and then quickly exits the
frame. DANTE continues to lie on the floor.

CREDITS

Credits end, and the door is heard opening. A customer comes
to the counter and stands there. He waits, looks around for
a clerk, looks down the aisles.

CUSTOMER
Hello? Little help?

No reply. He looks around again, and glances at the door to
make sure nobody's coming in. Then he reaches behind the
counter and grabs a pack of cigarettes. He leaves.

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