ext. Metro west mall - late morning
A helicopter flies overhead looking down on the outside of a suburban mall.
It's a beautiful summer day except for the heat. A man sitting on a curb outside the mall begins to wipe a bit of sweat off his brow.
A sign reads "Metro West Shopping Center".
A tall chain link fence with barbed wire on top of it surrounds the mall.
Cars pass through the two entrances that have electronically controlled gates. A passenger waves at the security guard who sits in a small booth near one of the entrances.
There are people putting up signs and banners with the name "Wheat for Senate", "Wheat-- grown in America", and "Wheat-- fostered to lead" on them.
MATT a young man in his mid twenties directs the people.
No, no. Put that up higher. And I want each sign or banner no less than thirty-five feet from each other. Got it? Are you guys listening to me?
Near one of the mall entrances a line of young people stretches out through an open door and onto the sidewalk. The kids are subdued as if all of them are unusually hungover.
Two black kids around eleven years old, Kenneth and DEE, ride on the same bike through the open door.
int. metro west mall - late morning
Many of the shops in the mall are just opening, raising their overhead gates and are turning on their lighted signs.
All the usual suspects are present: B.Dalton's, Waldenbooks, A Dillard's outlet store, J.C.Penny, Montgomery-Ward, Shoe Stores, Record Stores, lots of women's clothiers, and many vacant areas. By the looks of it, recently, about one in every six shops are vacant.
The line of young people stretches around a corner and into the Grapefruit Records store.
Several old people walk briskly by on their morning constitution.
DEZ, a record store employee, wearing the yellow Grapefruit Records standard issue Polo shirt with a white long sleeve shirt underneath walks down the line of kids. He holds a box full of plastic cards upon which there are numbers.
He stops and begins speaking loudly.
OK. Like I told the group up in front, the tickets this morning are going to be sold in a lottery system. Everyone draws a number. Then we'll call the number and you come up towards the counter to buy the tickets.
Dez looks to his right and sees LORI and her friend standing in line. The girls are attractive, but ditzy looking. A little bit too made up and overdressed for this particular crowd.
Lori approaches Dez and whispers.
Hi! Wow, I just had to come over and ask you something.
What could that be?
My friend over there thinks you are super hot and cute and...
I'll see what I can do.
Lori scans him up and down.
His sleeve has crept up his arm a bit, revealing an intricate pattern tattoo.
Is that a tattoo?
A GUY yells at Dez from the line of people.
C'mon, buddy, let's go!
Dez pulls his sleeve down.
Just draw a number.
Are you a secret rocker guy?
Dez holds the box with the numbers in them up to her face.
Lori looks disappointed but then draws a number.
Dez moves on.
Lori walks back to her friend.
Her friend grabs the number.
An old man in a jogging suit and running shoes, SYDNEY, bumps into the back of them.
Lori and her friend don't move.
Sydney pushes at them so he can get by.
Excuse me, young ladies.
He walks past them.
Hey. I know that old guy.
Her friend taps Lori on the shoulder and points towards a mall cop, HENRY, that is standing a ways down the hallway near a wishing well.
There's your man.
Lori sees Henry.
I can't talk to him right now.
int. metro weST MALL, near wishing well - LATE MORNING
The mall is beginning to fill with the usual customers about whom half of them are black. Henry is walking towards Lori and her friend when Kenneth and Dee come speeding by on their bike and almost run into Henry.
Kenneth brakes the bike to avoid Henry but Dee falls off.
Henry jumps out the way and yells at the kids.
Hey, you kids.
Henry runs over to them.
You put your bike in the bike rack where it belongs.
I don't gotta lock.
Just put the bike up now. Hey, you got anything on you?
Empty your pockets.
int. stage setup- in center of the mall - late morning
There are several PEOPLE rustling about erecting a stage area and putting up various banners and bunting.
Matt sits in a chair in front of the stage area looking at his Palm Pilot (personal organizer mini-computer).
He is looking at a mock-up design of the stage area.
Whoa. The microphone...
A WORKER looks at Matt as he places a microphone stand on the stage.
Over to the rightÉa little more. Good. No, wait a second. Just a little more...
Matt becomes frustrated and puts his Palm Pilot down and jumps up to the stage and adjusts the mic stand six inches to the right.
An older man, George, a senior advisor to candidate Wheat walks to where Matt was just sitting. He is holding a Styrofoam cup of coffee.
Matt! Would you come down here for just a moment?
Sir, can it wait just a second? I, uh...
Matt looks at George with the mic stand in his hand. He sees that George is staring intently at him.
I'll be right down.
Matt jumps off the stage and heads over to George.
Things are shaping up. It's not perfect but it's getting there.
George hands the Palm Pilot to Matt.
Can you assure me things will go smoothly here?
Yeah, I mean, that thing in Bakersfield-- Candidate Wheat can tell you himself that none of that was my fault.
He takes a long sip of coffee.
There are donuts backstage.
I realize you have a special relationship with the candidate but if anything goes wrong it's my reputation that's on the line.
Maybe I could avert any misgivings that you might have...
I'm a little worried about the security in this social environment.
I understand this isn't a country club type area but it isn't the ghetto either and that's what Arthur, uh, Mr. Wheat and I agreed was so special about coming here. It hits our target audience without looking like we're pandering to blacks.
I'm aware of the polling, Matt, and I'm sure you're doing a fine job.
The worker on stage drops a big banner.
Kenneth and Dee set the bike along the backside of the stage.
They nod at each other.
int. record store - late morning
Lori and her friend stand near the mall entrance of the record store.
Lori holds the tickets in her hand.
I guess the seats aren't bad.
They're not great.
Dez walks in front of the girls.
Thanks a lot.
Dez moves quickly along and says nothing. He does grin devilishly.
I'm breaking up with Henry.
They walk out of the store and into the mall.
int. mall hallway - late morning
So what are you gonna do with the extra ticket.
I'm gonna, I'm gonna tell him I'm pregnant.
I could bring my friend, Bobby. He's wanted to fuck Michael Stipe for years.
If I tell him he'll never let me get an abortion.
You're breaking up with Henry?
int. ReCORD STORE - LATE MORNING
Dez is unpacking some Backstreet Boys CD's when three young Junior high age teenagers approach Dez.
The two boys, Animal and B.O., are dressed in punk and thrasher gear. B.O. has a really crappy looking Mohawk hairdo and wears a leather jacket in the middle of the summer. You can make a guess of his intelligence.
The girl, P. J., has one half of her head shaved and whatever hair is left over is dyed jet black. She wears a tank top cut out of a Rush T-shirt which she has taken a marker to and X-ed out the Rush logo, Johnny Rotten style. She is attractive although gangly in only the way a thirteen year old girl can be.
Dez, I found your old band's seven inch.
Dez looks up and sees his minions.
Can you not scream, please?
P. J. puts her hands on Dez's butt.
It was so good, Dez. It made me want to suck your dick so much.
Guys, please! Not so loud.
He looks around and shoves the box of CD's against a display.
Let's go over there.
They all head towards the poster section.
What record are you talking about?
Kill your pets.
Dez's eyes light up.
I remember that one. We played at the Hurricane the night that was released. That was the first night I played with my amp.
I thought I told you guys about the amp I made from two old speakers and a Fender head.
You made it yourself?
Pretty much. I used to be pretty kick ass with electronics.
The minions draw closer.
Check this out.
Dez pulls up his shirt and reveals a back full of tattoos. He points to a particular tattoo.
See this one?
The tattoo is a foot smashing a kitty cat that is dressed in a businessman's suit.
That's the picture on the cover.
Dez puts his shirt back down.
I designed it.
That shit rocks.
Dez looks around towards the front of the store.
Say, I don't mean to be a dick but I've got a lot of work to do.
Dez walks back over to the box of CD's.
The minions walk past him.
P. J. leans in a whispers in his ear.
I'll be back soon.
She licks his ear.
Dez pulls back.
P. J. puckers her lips and blows a kiss.
They all walk off.
Dez takes his shirt and stretches it up to his ear and wipes out the ear that was licked.
int. poster shop - late morning
Kenneth and Dee are looking through the posters on display in a poster shop called, "The Poster Shop". The shop contains posters all over the walls and has several accordian-like browsing areas where someone can look through many posters. They are not categorized in any particular order.
They got it?
At the checkout counter is the Pakistani owner, ALI, and his good-looking young daughter, MIRA.
Ali speaks with a considerable accent while his daughter's accent could pass for someone born and bred in this country which, of course, she was.
They come in here and they just hang around. They don't buy anything.
They're just kids. Maybe they just want to beat the heat.
Well, they are not going to beat it in this place.
Ali heads over to the boys who are loudly making fun of some of the posters.
Look at this ho. Madonna's tired.
Are you boys going to purchase anything?
Hey, did you get that Biggie poster I asked you guys to order?
What are you talking about? Biggie?
The girl said she'd hook us up.
He's a rapper.
Rapper? No, there will be no rappers in this store. You can forget about it.
Why don't you got any black folks in this bitch?
This shop is not racist, Mr. Spike Lee. We have Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and uh...
And the Tyra Banks.
We just wanted to give you all some green.
This is fucked up man.
Kenneth and Dee leave.
Ali turns to his daughter.
This mall is changing, Mira.
So are you.
int. Dillard's department store - late morning
Lori is working in the fragrance section at the Dillard's department store. Her boss Marsha also sits behind the counter.
Marsha is an older woman in her sixties. It is apparent she was once good looking with high cheek bones and a svelte figure.
Marsha holds a clipboard and is marking off inventory in her section.
Lori is arranging a Calvin Klein display.
Goodness, sweetie, you were late again.
Lori glares at Marsha immediately after that she knocks over the display and starts over.
You know, Honey, I don't like to pry but you can't keep a man by drinking all night.
Lori picks up the cardboard display and sees that a bottle of perfume has broken and spilled on the floor.
Goodness! I'll call the custodian.
Lori reaches for the phone but Marsha grabs the phone first.
We need a clean-up in fragrance.
Honey, we can't have the cursing during business hours.
(back into the phone)
Would you please just get off my ass.
Marsha points her head to the front of the counter.
Lori turns and sees and older lady customer.
Can I help you?
I don't think so.
The customer leaves.
This is why you're unhappy.
Marsha finally puts down the clipboard.
These confrontations you enjoy so much. Men don't like ladies to be so, so...
That's what you call it? How's Henry doing?
Lori appears more agitated.
He probably will be doing better when I break up with him.
Marsha starts to adjust the display.
I knew it. No matter what year it is ladies should not ask a young man on a date. They will misread your intentions.
Listen, can I get the third off?
Why? You're scheduled?
Yes, but I have tickets to a concert.
You'll have to ask Jennifer to fill in.
She's going with me to the show.
Can you please finish my inventory? I'm going to find the custodian.
Lori looks around and makes sure Marsha is gone and begins to write on the clipboard.
Her friend walks up to Lori.
How's it going?
I'm just screwing up her majesty's inventory and signing her name.
She signs it with a flourish and looks up at her friend.
She's still not retiring, is she?
Lori shakes her head no.
int. near baCKSTAGE - LATE MORNING
Matt walks around the back of the stage and trips over a bicycle almost dropping his prized Palm Pilot.
He looks around to find someone but there is no one around at this moment.
What's this thing doing here?
Matt walks the bike out of frame.
ext. near mall entrance - late morning
Henry approaches three state troopers who are congregating near the mall entrance. They are smoking and laughing at some joke that was told minutes before.
Henry is dressed in full mall cop regalia except that instead of wearing the traditional footwear he sports ridiculously new Air Jordan's.
Henry rubs the handle of his gun as he watches the troopers.
One of the troopers shakes his head as Henry approaches.
Henry plays with a rock with his foot.
What are you boys doing out here this fine morning?
The other troopers look at Trooper #1.
Uh, well, hasn't mall security been briefed about the senator's visit?
Henry looks up at the trooper.
Oh, yeah, sure. I just wondered if you are with that outfit or with something else.
The plan is no one comes in after fourteen hundred hours.
Right! We don't want anyone dangerous disrupting things.
As far as danger goes this assignment's a cupcake.
I don't know about that. This mall's getting pretty rough. Over the past year or so a lot more African Americans have been frequenting the shopping center. You know what I mean?
Have you ever been shot at? Uhh...
You ever been shot at Henry?
Not exactly, but...
Trooper #1 interrupts.
Ever had a gun pointed directly at your face?
Other than my dad, not really.
Trooper #1 flicks his cigarette butt on the ground.
Your mission is respectable, son, but there is little tangible danger.
He stomps out the burning butt.
Respectfully, sir, I might disagree. The other day there were some teenagers that came running straight at me. Well, from behind...
The troopers motion to each other and they re-enter the mall.
...and I thought they might have a gun but it turned out not to be. Hmm.
int. recorD STORE - LATE MORNING
WEDGE, a young record store employee who appears to be around eighteen years old yells at Dez from across the store.
Hey, Dez. Telephone.
Dez hears Wedge and runs into a woman who is holding several CD's. He knocks them out of her hands.
I'm sorry. Jeez.
He bends down and frantically picks up the CD's.
Here you go! It's my fault.
Dez yells at Wedge.
I'll get it in the back.
int. record Store, Back office - late morning
Dez enters the back office of the record store. No one is in the office that is cluttered with all kinds of artist promotional materials, posters, papers, etc...
Dez takes a deep breath and picks up the phone. He appears very nervous.
Hello! Hang up, Wedge. Cool. This is Dez speaking.
A voice on the other line sounds menacing in it's clinical-ness.
Look, we know about the political thing and we're going anyway.
We're keeping the time at three o'clock. You trip the bank's power.
You sound nervous. Everything'll be fine as long as you don't muck it up.
Wedge busts in the room. He looks exasperated and speaks quickly.
Dez, man. It's a nightmare out there. The register's fucked up again.
Who's that? What's going on?
Nothing. Just the normal shit. Everything will be cool.
Dez hangs up and takes another deep breath. He has dry mouth.
Thank god, you're off. You gotta help me man.
Dez scratches his arm and reveals his densely layered tattooed arm.
Look, I'll help you but then I'm taking a break.
int. near the wishing well - late morning
Matt sees Henry from behind and taps him on the shoulder.
Henry, startled, turns around quickly reaching for his gun.
Sorry, sir, but you shouldn't sneak up on a guy with a gun.
Matt not missing a beat reaches out his hand.
Matt Robinson -- aide to future senator Wheat.
Henry slowly reaches out and grabs his hand and they shake. Henry tries to out-squeeze Matt.
Nice grip. Can I help you?
Matt almost crying shakes his hand.
You look familiar. We might have gone to school together. I graduated Bishop in ninety-one.
I'm not Catholic.
Well, maybe we played sports against each other.
I'd remember you.
So, anyway, I was told I needed to speak to a Henry. Uh, Henry...
Matt sits on the bench next to him and pulls out his Palm Pilot.
I've got space age batteries in here. They last practically all day. Here we go, Henry Mustaine.
That would be me.
You're in charge of policing the mall?
The shopping center.
Well, good. I'm going to need you or someone in your office to cut the fountains behind the stage.
That's really sort of a custodial matter.
They told me to talk to you.
I'll get back to you about that.
Matt begins typing on his Palm Pilot.
All right. Here take this walkie. I'll be on eleven. You call me when you find out.
Henry adjusts his genitals.
So, who is this Wheat guy?
Matt leans in towards Henry.
Mr. Wheat is a neo-progessive inclusive populist who shuns big money special interests while always keeping an eye on what matters to people the most.
Well, the polling indicates that it's lower taxes, crime, and insuring personal freedoms.
I like that.
Well, then, I'm sure you'll like what Mr. Wheat says today even more.
Maybe I'll poke my head in.
We're hoping a lot of people like yourself do. I've got to go but see about turning off that fountain. Call me ASAP! OK?
int. near the music store - late morning
Dez is walking down the mall but stops to take a bite out of his cookie sandwich.
He looks around the corner towards the Lowery's music store and sees AMY playing the organ in front of the music store.
No one is patronizing this almost all but forgotten cubby hole in this large shopping mall.
Amy is an attractive young woman who wears a conservative pants suit with black Dr. Martens shoes.
He watches intently as she breaks into "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.
Dez bobs his head up and down as she plays the proto-metal tune.
After a moment or two Dez starts to walk up to Amy.
He looks down at his hand and sees his cookie sandwich.
He throws the cookie in a trash can and begins again to walk over to the intriguing female.
Before Dez reaches her she turns and sees him.
She stops playing the Black Sabbath immediately. She begins to play the whirling Muzak that is traditional in these types of shops.
Dez tries to speak to her and raises his voice to be heard over her playing.
Hey, I really dig the Sabbath.
She acts as if he wasn't there.
Dez moves around so he is directly in front of her.
She looks down and refuses to look up.
What's your name? Mine's Dez.
He stops for a second trying to take another tact.
Uh, You seem pretty cool. I, uh, used to play in some bands. You heard of The Strangers?
She gives no acknowledgement of his existence.
Maybe not, then. It's been a long time, I guess.
She plays louder.
Maybe we can talk later.
int. near backstage - late morning
Kenneth and Dee walk towards the back of the stage.
Let's get my bike outta there.
They approach the space where he put his bike.
The bike isn't there.
Kenneth starts looking everywhere around the area for the bike. Dee looks as well but only in one little spot.
It ain't here. Shit! It ain't here.
Kenneth looks up and sees a worker.
Hey, mister! Did you see my bike here?
The worker shrugs.
Damn. This is not a good day. Say, man, are you sure you didn't see a bike?
The worker shrugs again.
Today ain't gonna get much better, man.
int. diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - LATE MORNING
Henry walks into Dillard's and heads for the fragrance section.
He approaches the fragrance section. Marsha is the only one there.
Henry, so good to see you. I take it you are looking for our Lori?
Yeah! Where is she?
She stepped into the powder room. She's mad at me. Seems she wants to go to a rock concert when she's already scheduled to work.
At that moment Lori arrives back at her post.
You wouldn't like them.
She addresses Marsha.
So what're you doin'?
We need to talk privately.
You just took a break.
Lori walks from behind the counter and pushes Henry away from her station.
Let's get together at lunch so we can talk. OK?
No, you can tell me now. I know I've haven't been spending enough time with you lately.
This stuff isn't easy to say.
Since I got my promotion I've been a little obsessed with my career but I'm ready now to let my hair down a bit.
You and I, we're never on the same page.
You're always right. That irks me but, I admit, I think we have what it takes.
The sound of Henry's walkie appears.
Henry,come in, Henry. We need you to take a look at some lights that need to be moved. Over.
I just think we ought to break up.
Henry shakes his head and picks up his walkie talkie.
I'm starting to hate this guy.
He talks into the walkie.
I'll be right there.
Duty calls! Sorry.
He leans to kiss her.
She backs away.
What's the matter?
Did you hear what I said?
Henry grabs her with both hands on her shoulders.
I'll spend more time with you.
He turns to leave.
She starts to go after him but Marsha yells at her.
Lori, dear, we need you over here.
Lori walks past the fragrance counter.
I've got to go to the bathroom.
int. near the stage - late morning
Man is standing next to a volunteer who is holding a box with a bunch of "Wheat" signs. The volunteer is a middle-aged black woman.
Matt is frantically searching through them.
None of these are the new ones are they?
They just sent me over with these.
We have to have the new ones.
Matt picks up the sign.
You see how "for senate" is script.
The volunteer nods her head.
The new ones are block letters which are specifically designed to appeal to working class males. Males-- these are the rotary club signs!
The volunteer replies sharply.
What do you want me to do then?
Matt physically tries to calm himself down.
He takes a deep breath and pulls open his Palm Pilot and begins typing.
There is enough time for you to get back to the north office. There are new signs there. I saw them myself yesterday. 123rd and Mitchell.
She starts to pick up the old signs.
Leave 'em. I'll think of something to do with them.
He closes his Palm Pilot and sets it on the stage behind him.
Dez walks by.
int. near main electric breakers - late morning
Dez walks over to a cubby hole which leads to a door reading "private".
He opens the door a crack to see if anyone is there.
He looks in and the room is empty. The room contains some janitorial equipment and several main breaker boxes.
He opens the door a crack from inside and spies the bank that is visible, partly, around the corner.
He opens a couple. He starts frantically searching for something on the boxes.
Where's that mark I left?
He looks some more but no luck.
He grabs some masking tape, takes a deep breath and puts some tape on a particular breaker.
I think that's it.
int. diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - LATE MORNING
Marsha is impatiently waiting for Lori to return to her post by tapping her fingernails on the glass counter. It makes a horrible noise.
Marsha looks off towards the direction of the bathroom.
Out of seemingly nowhere, Sydney appears. He wears the same jogging outfit as earlier in the morning.
Good morning, Beautiful.
She turns and sees that it's Sydney.
Hi. Well, it's about time you came by today.
Well, I, uh...
I was beginning to worry that you had lost your crush over me.
Sydney puts his head down a bit in discouragement.
Sure. I hope you mean "sure you didn't."
Because, I don't know what I'd do without your delightful visits every day.
You workin' hard today.
No. But tell me when are you going to take me up on that dinner invitation?
Sometime soon. IÉI've got to meet my friend Earl over in men's wears. I'll see you real soon.
Marsha slumps back onto her stool looking like she just lost the World Series.
int. reCORD STORE - LATE MORNING
Dez walks back into the record store.
Wedge greets him with a wild look in his eyes.
Gee,thanks for leaving pal. I got it together, though.
I knew it.
Yeah, well. Now I've got a different problem.
Yeah, me too. I saw the most interesting girl at the music shop.
I've seen her. Jimbo comes in and bets me twenty bucks that I won't know what the Sandpeople's weapons are.
They walk behind the counter.
Wedge starts to check a YOUNG WOMAN out.
She's so cool, into herself. Almost like she's meditating.
What are the Sandpeople's weapons called?
She wouldn't talk to me, man. Wouldn't even tell me to fuck off.
Wedge finishes checking out the woman and turns to Dez.
Star Wars, episode 3. What are the Sandpeople's weapons called?
Do you know the answer?
I've never seen Star Wars.
Let's not get into it. I've been hiding it from you for this long. Let's pretend this conversation never happened.
That movie was a turning point in cinema history-- leading us directly into a digital age from which we never return.
Dez leans his back against the counter.
You don't know the answer.
It's killing me.
You let me take a break at two-thirty and I'll let you in on a dude who probably knows the answer
OK. But I'm breaking before you do.
Fine. Spencer's gifts.
Leo used to run a head shop out of there. You know what a head shop is?
No, you don't. In the early eighties head shops sold all kinds of dope paraphernalia and it was all legal. I bought my first bong from Leo.
All he talked about for two years was Star Wars.
Then nothing. The cops shut him down. He opened up Spencer's and no more Star Wars.
int. arcade - late morning
Kenneth and Dee walk from one game to another. The place is sparsely populated with various minority kids.
Say, man. gimme that five. I'm getting hungry.
Dee looks down at the floor.
Motherfuck! Where is it?
Maybe on the Mortal Kombat.
They rush to that machine.
No five dollar bill anywhere to be found.
This ain't my day, shit.
Kenneth goes up to every KID in the arcade.
He sees an older kid.
Say, did you see a five on the Kombat?
The kid shakes his head.
Kenneth approaches a group of several kids.
Look, if any you all found a five on the Kombat machine it's mine. I really need it to eat.
So. Fuck you.
Kenneth shoves him.
Kid #1 shoves back and the other kids try to jump in but Dee fends them off.
The ARCADE WORKER sees the fight and runs over to them.
I'm gonna call security if you boys don't stop!
The older kid walks over and pushes Kenneth off kid #1.
Everyone starts to disperse.
Kenneth and Dee walk to the mall entrance.
The group of kids is already walking down the hallway.
You got lucky, bitch!
He turns to Dee.
This ain't our day.
int. dillard's department store - LATE MORNING
Marsha sits back on her stool and sighs.
Lori walks behind the counter.
Marsha doesn't react to Lori's presence.
Lori makes some loud noises with the register. The register doesn't seem to be cooperating. Lori keeps hitting the same button and continues to get the same annoying beep.
Marsha still has no reaction.
Lori finally tries another button and the register opens.
Hey, I'm sorry I left you here alone.
Is something the matter?
Marsha turns towards Lori.
Oh, everything is fine now that you're back, dear.
Lori begins looking at some of the perfume boxes on the counter.
You do know why you're having man problems?
Actually, I do know.
You always tell Henry everything. You've got to be more mysterious.
Lori puts down the perfume box she is holding.
That's exactly why I'm not telling him that I'm pregnant.
Marsha looks a bit sick.
I'm just going to get an abortion and be done with it. I mean, I can't even make my car payment.
Marsha falls to the ground.
Lori looks and sees Marsha lying unconscious on the ground.
A WOMAN working at the jewelry counters yells over at Lori.
Oh, my God! What happened?
Lori just stares at Marsha.
You better call an ambulance.
Lori looks over at the woman at the jewelry counter.
You call. You call.
Lori leaves her counter.
Sydney rounds the corner. He address Lori as she walks past him.
Lori doesn't answer him as she continues walking.
int. NEAR BACKSTAGE - LATE MORNING
Water from the fountains near the stage is audible.
Matt is sitting on a folding table with his Palm Pilot on his lap. Henry stands near him.
So, do you want to go over your role when the candidate arrives again?
I've been trying to tell you that mall security are not supposed to leave their rounds, no matter what.
Suddenly, Kenneth and Dee run in between Matt and Henry.
Give it up, bro. It's mine.
Kenneth has a glow in the dark yo-yo and is holding it out in front of himself as he runs by.
Dee follows Kenneth. But he accidentally steps on Henry's toe.
Ow! God damn!
Henry looks at Matt.
We do have the authority to override your typical protocol.
Henry looks over the kids as they run away.
Boys, hold up! I wanna talk to you. They probably stole that toy.
Henry starts to walk away.
Matt puts down his Palm Pilot and grabs Henry's shirt.
Look, Henry. It's just kids.
Matt stands and looks Henry in the eye.
Two E.M.T.'s rush down the mall in the background.
But I need your people at the entrances so the State Police can handle crowd control. The candidate's due here at three and we've already got news people crawling around that I've got to entertain.
It's not...Can I count you?
Yeah, OK, but I'm gonna need confirmation from the Metro West security director.
Matt rubs his face with his hand.
Henry relaxes his shoulders.
Now, I still need those fountains turned off.
int. record store - LATE MORNING
P. J., B.O. and Animal are hanging around the hard-core section.
P. J. and Animal are standing and shoving each other back and forth.
B.O. sits between them. He leans against a CD rack
You're such an asshole!
He shoves her.
At least mine's not as wide as yours.
You could drive a truck through hers.
P. J. leaps at B.O..
I hate you, too!
She starts hitting him.
B.O. gets in a couple of good blows.
Dez runs over to them.
Dude, punching girls ain't cool.
B.O. leaps at Animal.
Dez intercepts B.O..
B.O. continues to try to flail at Animal but to no avail.
Guys, c'mon. You can't do this in here.
Why? There's no customers.
There's a few.
Dez lets go of B.O..
You know? You're right. Who gives a shit?
P. J. rubs Dez's crotch area.
Come have lunch with me.
Mira approaches Dez.
Dez turns and faces Mira forcing P. J. to drop her hand off his crotch.
Can I help you?
What do you want, Punjab?
Mira looks past Dez over to P. J..
Fuck off, dog-breath.
Don't mind them.
B.O. grabs Animal.
Let's get some lunch.
B.O. and Animal walk away to leave but P. J. stands staring at Dez and Mira.
B.O. grabs P. J..
C'mon. I'm hungry.
Dez walks with Mira down the aisle.
Nothing. I just wanted to thank you for recommending that Firehose CD.
It's some good shit. Hey, don't you work at the..
Poster shop. Yeah, my parents run it.
The two of them look at each other for a few seconds. It is only a moment but it's one of those moments.
Do you want to grab some lunch?
Yeah, I could go for a burger. Oh, I'm sorry. We could get some chicken or something.
Hindu's don't eat cows. I was born in Pakistan. We're Muslim so we don't eat pigs.
So, we'll get a burger.
int. near main electric breakers - noontime
A custodian surveys the breaker room. He sees some tape that is half-fallen off on one of the breakers.
He rips the tape off
int. dillarD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - noontime
Marsha sits leaning up against the counter. Two emergency technicians are leaning over her. Sydney and the jewelry counter woman stand behind them.
We need to take you to the hospital.
I told you I'm fine. It's my co-worker, Lori, you should talk to. She's pregnant and she won't even bother to tell the father.
E.M.T. #1 sighs.
OK, ma'am. But we need to take you to see a doctor so they can run some tests.
No. I'm not going.
She looks up and sees Sydney.
Sydney, ohmages. I hope you didn't see me fall.
I think you should go see a doctor, dear.
You'll have to sign some papers, ma'am.
Did you hear about Lori? Dreadful.
E.M.T. #2 hands Marsha some papers and a pen.
Marsha takes them.
Maybe we can get some lunch, Sydney?
Sydney suddenly looks down at his tennis shoes.
Uh, I'm supposed to meet my wife at the Cracker Barrel.
Marsha swallows hard.
Oh. OK. Well, you have a fine day.
She turns away from the people.
The papers, ma'am.
Oh yes, OK.
Marsha just stares at the papers.
E.M.T. #2 points at the bottom of the papers.
Right there, ma'am.
A tear rolls down Marsha's cheek.
int. neAR THE MUSIC STORE - noontime
Lori walks by the music store.
Suddenly the bouncing beat of Muzak breaks into "Cherry Pie" by Warrant.
Lori takes a step or two.
Lori stops and looks over at Amy who immediately returns to playing the Muzak.
Lori shrugs and starts walking again.
"Cherry Pie" returns to the air.
Lori immediately stops.
She turns towards Amy.
Wedge, walking with head down, runs into Lori.
Wedge looks up at her eyeing her expansive breasts and smelling her perfume.
Lori pushes the young man away.
You could be my queen. We could rule the galaxy together.
Lori walks quickly away.
int. in front of the stage - noontime
Volunteers scurry on the stage and around the stage putting up signs, bunting, and various dressings.
In front of the stage Matt sits clacking away at his Palm Pilot.
Kenneth and Dee play at war against each other in between the rows of folding chairs.
Kenneth and Dee both sport identical plastic imitation ray guns.
You're dead, motherfucker.
Dee pokes his head up from behind a chair.
Matt is humming "Hail to the Chief" to himself.
His spell is broken when George tugs at his shirt sleeve.
I need to talk with you for a second.
Bam, motherfuckin'! Bam!
Matt doesn't even look up at George.
George clears his throat.
Walk with me.
Matt looks around for his Palm Pilot case. He sees the boys out of the corner of his eye.
Kenneth speaks to Dee.
Shit, dude, mine don't work.
It ain't your day.
Matt continues to look around for the case as George speaks.
Would you just set that damn thing down.
George walks towards a quiet corner of the stage area.
A young man, VOLUNTEER #2, approaches Matt.
Uh, I can't talk right now.
Matt tries to push past the young man.
George stops and turns around looking at Matt and the vivacious young man.
I have a plane to catch.
George points at his wrist where a watch would be but George wears no watch.
Matt puts his attention on the volunteer.
What is it?
The volunteer gazes at his shoe-tops.
Uh, well, I, uh, the other guys...
Matt puts his hand on the volunteer's shoulder.
Tell everyone to take a lunch break but remind them all to keep their receipts. Can you do that?
Matt walks with George.
Sorry about that. I almost forgot the time.
You may need to cut snack-time short. Mr. Wheat will be arriving an hour early.
That doesn't give us much time.
Did you alert the media?
George opens up his briefcase and pulls out a sheet of paper.
That's your job.
George hands Matt the paper.
I've got to appear on Inside Politics this afternoon but you'll be able to handle all this OK.
Better put the new info that little contraption of yours.
Matt folds the paper.
Matt looks around for his Palm Pilot.
It is nowhere to be found.
int. pOSTER SHOP - noontime
Mira stands behind the register as her father. Ali stands in front of the counter with his back to Mira.
Ali flips through a Car and Driver magazine.
Mira leans forward.
He flips a page.
So am I, Mira.
He flips several pages at once.
That it is.
Mira looks towards the mall entrance and sees Dez.
He ducks back behind the corner.
Mira sighs determinedly.
He pulls the magazine closer to his eyes.
Someday I will buy a Porsche.
Possibly, I could rent a Porsche.
Dez looks in from around the corner.
Mira waves at Dez.
Can I please go to lunch now?
He turns around and faces her.
You may go. Half an hour.
Mira rushes out of the store.
Half an hour!
int. Mall, outside poster shop - noontime
Mira walks into the mall turning her head and looking for Dez.
Dez sneaks up behind her and squeezes her hip.
Ma'am, would you like to dine on the right side of the food court or the left side today?
int. STAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - noontime
A circle of state patrolmen including sergeant brophy surrounds Matt.
It was right here.
Matt points to a an empty folding chair.
Matt's hand scrounges through his hair.
He turns around and looks in the opposite direction towards the stage.
Somebody took it, Sergeant!
Henry approaches the crew. A taco in one hand and a cup of pop in the other.
A smile crosses Matt's face and he makes room for Henry to enter the circle.
There he is! Did you get it back?
Henry seems puzzled. He takes a deep sip through his extra-wide straw.
Didn't you get my message?
Henry looks down at the taco in his hand.
The other officers disperse.
So, what'd you want?
Matt looks around and turns his body so that he rotates 360û.
He stops turning and looks up at Henry.
...my Palm Pilot was stolen.
My little computer notebook...
What does Palm Pilot stand for?
...it was stolen! Stolen, Henry!
Personal Disk Computer?
It's a personal, personal, uh, I don't know.
Was anyone hanging around before you noticed it was missing?
Well, no one, until one those boys, uh, no.
Boys? Those two little black kids?
Yeah, but they ran through. I don't think they could've taken anything.
You want your PD-thing back?
I have to.
Well, this shit stops now.
Matt sits down in a folding chair.
Henry tosses the taco onto Matt's lap.
Henry walks away.
Matt picks up the taco and unwraps it a bit.
He smells the taco and cringes.
int. outskirts of the food court area - noontime
The food court is just beginning to mill with activity. With customers, workers from other stores in the mall and elderly people in sweat-suits standing in line, eating, etc...
The crowd is populated by a majority of black folks with some newspeople and political volunteers mixed in with the usual mall workers.
The food court is populated by fast-food chain restaurants like Orange Julius, McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Long John Silver's.
There are also a few mom-and-pop joints like Mario's Pizzeria and The Golden Boar Chinese restaurant.
At several tables, various newspaper and television journalists sit and eat. They are identifiable by their cheap suits and various insignias.
At a group of tables that have been pushed together sit the Wheat volunteers every one of which wears more than one button or shirt with the "Wheat for senate" logo on it.
Kenneth and Dee walk to an empty table and crash.
Several empty tables away Sydney and his wife, IRENE, eat and talk.
Where were you?
Just the coin shop.
I hope you didn't buy anything this time.
Irene takes a bite of her broiled flounder.
Do you think we should stay for the senator?
If you want to, dear.
Kenneth searches his pants pockets.
You got any cash?
What happened to your Mom's?
Kenneth continues the search.
I guess I forgot to snatch it.
Fuck, dude! You're one dumb motherfucker.
Kenneth kicks a chair.
It ain't my day, bro.
int. down the hall from the food court - noontime
Henry walks purposefully towards the food court. He carries his cup of pop in his right hand.
From quite a distance he spots the two young men, Kenneth and Dee, sitting at a table.
He takes a long sip from cup and wipes his lips with the back of his wrist.
In one motion he tosses the cup to a nearby trash can.
The cup rattles around the rim of the can before coming to rest at the bottom of the trash can.
int. doWN THE HALL FROM THE FOOD COURT - NOONTIME
Kenneth gets up and starts to pace in front of Dee.
What are we gonna do now?
Kenneth paces back and forth.
It's hot as fuck outside.
Kenneth continues to pace.
We'll just jack it.
I dunno. Some old bitch.
Kenneth motions for Dee to come with him.
The both head away from the food court.
int. doWN THE HALL FROM THE FOOD COURT - NOONTIME
Henry quickens his pace a bit.
Dez and Mira, eyes fixated on each other, don't see Henry. Mira blind sides Henry and he has to catch himself from falling.
Sorry, man, we didn't see ya there.
You two take your jungle fever on out of here.
Mira stops and turns towards Henry.
Dez grabs Mira and gently nudges her away from Henry.
Dez glances at his watch and head motions for Mira to come with him quickly.
Henry turns around and sees Lori sitting at a table in a far corner away from the crowd.
Mira walks a few steps and looks at Dez.
I don't like that guy.
Dez looks straight ahead.
Henry looks back in the direction where the boys took off but he instead heads towards Lori.
Int. Spencer's gifts - noontime
LEO leans back in a super cheap looking easy chair behind the counter in Spencer's Gift Shop.
He is sleeping and not hiding it.
In, confidently, walks Wedge.
He heads straight for the counter until something catches his eye.
He looks at it quizzically for a moment.
He then picks up the green round-shaped rubber whoopee cushion looking thing. It has painted on black eyes and a smile.
He nudges a box beside where he grabbed the thing from.
It says, "Phineas P. Phart".
Wedge squeezes the thing.
It makes a LOUD FARTING noise.
All of a sudden Leo begins to awaken.
Leo lets out a series of moans and groans and noises that would make your Aunt Kathy blush.
Wedge puts down Phineas.
Son of a bitch.
Wedge walks towards Leo.
Leo yawns and picks his nose wiping the excess on his ridiculously old-looking jeans.
The Sand People.
Leo rolls his eyes.
All you new narcs are the same. Why don't you just leave me alone.
Uh, I just have a bet with my friend about some Star Wars trivia-- dealing with the Sand People.
Whatever. And I'm happily married. Buy something or get the fuck out.
Wedge blurts the sentence out quickly.
What were the Sand People's weapons called?
Show me your badge.
Wedge's fingers fiddle with the counter edge for a second.
He leans over the counter towards Leo.
You know the answer, don't you?
A pimply faced, tall, skinny, geeky-looking teenager, JEFF, walks in and heads behind the counter.
Leo heads to the back of the store.
Gotta stuff my pie-hole.
Leo continues walking through a door labeled office/storage.
The geeky kid looks at Wedge and laughs and laughs.
int. food court - noontime
Henry sits at the table where Lori is sitting.
A MIDDLE-AGED BLONDE WOMAN walks by Lori's table and places a Wheat flyer in front of her.
Why don't I buy us a Chicago dog?
Lori picks up the flyer.
Do you know anything about politics?
Right. What am I always talking about?
Henry scans the assortment of restaurants from his seat.
I don't have any idea.
Henry's attention turns back to Lori.
Henry starts to say something, stops, then speaks.
Lori continues looking through the pamphlet.
Henry pauses for a second and scratches his arm.
It's OK. I mean, we both have jobs. We love each other.
Lori puts the pamphlet in her purse.
I hate you.
Henry shakes his head.
I'm having an abortion.
I'm going to break up with you and then kill your baby.
Henry's radio begins to buzz with noise.
MALL Cop voice
Henry, over, Henry. The director wants you at the stage. Immediately. Repeat, at the stage-- immediately.
Henry sits motionless.
You better go.
We can work this out, Baby.
Lori rubs her nose.
malL COP VOICE
We need Henry to the stage area immediately!
Dez and Mira walk past the seated Henry and Lori.
Mira carries a full tray of fast food remains.
Let me carry the damn thing.
Now, you're chivalrous.
They approach the trash can and she sends the disposable contents down the chute.
You're cool as shit.
They both stand on either side of the lone trash receptacle.
You ever listen to Nick Cave?
That's all I listened to when I had a crush on my sixth grade teacher. Why am I telling you this stuff?
Because, Baby, I'm your man.
Mira shakes her head.
Who are you?
Just some guy trying to get by.
No, seriously. Who are you?
Who are you?
He points to his watch.
I've gotta get back.
Mira takes a step back.
But I can walk with you.
Int. half-empty corridor of the mall - noontime
Kenneth and Dee sit on a bench in the part of the mall that has only a few stores in it. The rest of the area are empty stalls.
Only periodically do people walk by.
Wedge sits on the bench across from them.
Wedge frantically flips through a Star Wars book that still has the B.Dalton's sticker on it.
What a shitty bookstore.
He flips through for a few seconds more stopping only on a close-up of Princess Leia.
An older woman, HELENE, decked out in a polyester dress and gloves walks slowly in between the boys and Wedge.
He puts the book into a plastic store bag, gets up and walks away.
Dee whispers in Kenneth's ear.
Dee gets up and heads towards Helene.
Dee looks around for passers-by.
Kenneth walks up to Helene so that he approaches her head on.
He stops fifteen in front of her.
She keeps walking towards him.
Dee leans towards the action.
She gets a few feet in front of him and looks up to see Kenneth.
Dee shuffles over to Kenneth.
Kenneth doesn't move and Helene has to contort herself to miss running into him.
Kenneth doesn't move and Helene walks past him.
Dee runs over to Kenneth.
What a fuckin' pussy!
This was your shit and you pussed out, bro.
Kenneth shoves the much bigger Dee.
Dee doesn't budge a whole lot.
Kenneth attempts to shove Dee again but Dee grabs Kenneth and they begin wrestling on the ground.
int. mall, in front of a fountain - afternoon
Henry walks from right to left down the mall corridor heading towards the stage area.
Matt walks away from the stage area towards Henry.
They meet in front of a wishing well fountain.
Did you get it back?
A young nattily dressed man walks by them and throws a coin into the fountain.
Uh, as soon as I find those kids, you'll have your thing.
I've got Mr. Wheat's speech on my thing.
What's so funny?
No, what's so damn funny?
Henry shakes his head.
Just get my Palm Pilot back and maybe I can help you with a job come January.
A little seven year old girl comes running up to the fountain in between Henry and Matt.
She throws a coin into the fountain.
Her mother claps off screen.
Just find the Palm Pilot.
Dez and Mira walk by Matt.
I think every channel's here today.
What's this Wheat thing?
I don't know, some politician.
Dez looks at his watch.
int. HALF-EMPTY CORRIDOR OF THE MALL - afternoon
Kenneth and Dee are out of breath from fighting.
Sydney's wife, Irene, is walking down the corridor.
I said I'd do it.
Then do it, pussy!
You heard me.
I got your back.
Kenneth starts to approach Irene.
Irene shakes her head at Kenneth.
Shouldn't you young men be in school?
There are so many things for young people to be doing that could contribute to your community.
Irene begins walking again.
Kenneth sees her walk away and runs up to her.
He punches her in the back and grabs her purse.
She doesn't let go. They both tug at the purse.
Kenneth braces himself and gives a large tug and rips the purse from her hands, ripping a strap off the purse and sending her wedding ring flying.
Kenneth grabs the purse but the contents all fall out on the ground.
Kenneth grabs the wallet and starts to make a getaway.
Dee starts picking up other contents of the purse-- compact, candy, Kleenex.
Kenneth pulls Dee by his shirt.
int. sTAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afternoon
Matt stands near the side of the stage.
He holds a file folder containing a bunch of papers that protrude out of the edges.
Several Television and news reporters surround him.
OK. Just a little update. The candidate has moved his speech up an...
He starts to fumble with the folder while reaching for a piece of paper.
Uh, at two, at two oh-three he will be introduced and uh...
A print reporter who is constantly scribbling into a notebook raises his hand.
Who are you again?
...and we'll have, Oh me. I'm the deputy communications director.
Matt Robertson. Now the candidate will, I mean the school choir will sing, at well, it was gonna be three twelve.
What is the candidate's position on his opponent's plan on re-urbanization?
He unveiled it today.
Right. Well, Mr. Wheat is a neo-progessive inclusive populist who shuns big money special interests while always keeping an eye on what matters most to the people. And, that's always been our position.
int. RECORD STORE - afternoon
Dez stands behind the checkout counter with Wedge at his side. The store is less than busy.
Wedge stares off into space ignoring everything.
Look, you promised you'd let me off now.
Dez looks away and doodles with the register. He sneaks a peak at his watch.
Hey, did you ever get that trivia question answered?
That Star Wars thing?
Wedge perks up and looks at Dez.
I think I'll get tanked over at Henry's.
They card hard over there, man.
Hey do you know what the Sandpeople's weapons were called?
Dez shakes his head.
I don't know shit like that. I'm a punk rocker.
Were a punk rocker.
Look, I need to take a break now.
Dez looks at his watch.
Give me a couple of minutes.
Where are you going?
Wedge looks at the line of about seven people that has formed.
Hold the fort for a sec.
Dez walks off to the storage room/office of the store.
A middle-aged man with a Wheat for Senate pin puts his hand on the counter.
Son, I'd appreciate it if you didn't use that kind of language in front of children.
Sir, what artists are you purchasing today?
What CD's are you buying?
Just ring me up.
The man puts his CD's on the counter.
Several kids behind him rubberneck their way around the man to try to see what CD's he is buying.
Wedge picks up the CD's.
Celine Dion, Celine Dion, and Madonna. Sir, are you gay?
There are giggles from the line behind.
I've about had enough of you, young man.
I've about had enough of your suppressed Brad Pitt obsessing gay ass, sir.
Fuck you, you little punk.
Sir, I'd appreciate it if you didn't use that kind of language in front of children.
Where's your manager, kid?
That's a good question.
int. dILLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - afternoon
A middle-aged woman stands at the perfume counter. Marsha is ringing up her purchase. The middle-age woman wears larger than average jewelry and a huge gold broach on her purple blouse.
I'm sorry, sweetie, but I just wanted to ask you if you were all right.
Oh, I'm doing just fine, dear.
She takes the woman's credit card and swipes it on the machine.
I mean, I saw you there with the emergency team.
Oh yeah, I'm OK. OK. I'll be OK but my doctor told me last week that I have a tumor. A brain tumor. They're not sure if it's malignant.
Yes. And the worst part is that they tell me it's inoperable.
Marsha hands the woman back her credit card with the slip to sign.
Marsha points where to sign and hands her a pen.
middLE-AGED woman (cont'd)
If you ask me, what do they know? I feel fine. Sometimes I get tired and I faint, big deal.
What does your husband say?
He doesn't. I mean, a man is just not signing the cards for me any more. Have a good day.
The woman turns to leave.
int. recORD STORE - AFTERNOON
P. J. barges her way to the front of the check out line. She pushes a much larger teenage boy.
The Boy looks at her and starts to make a move like he might push back but he immediately recoils.
P. J. looks at him and frowns.
C'mon, Penny. Don't abuse the clientèle.
It's P. J.! Now, where is he?
You know your mother told me that she wants you to stay away from Dez.
Your mother is a drunken cunt.
And how is that any different from you?
Where is he?
Where do you think he is? In the back.
Wedge looks at the teenage boy.
What are you lookin' at?
int. rECORD STORE, BACK OFFICE - afternoon
Dez stands behind the office desk nervously shifting his weight back and forth. He looks at his watch. It says two-thirty.
P. J. storms through the door.
Dez points at her.
The phone RINGS.
Would you get out of here?
She takes a few steps towards Dez.
Dez looks at her and then looks at his watch.
He shakes his head.
Dez answers the phone.
What do you think you're doing with her?
Yeah. Yeah I know. Three O'clock. Just like we planned.
She doesn't even know who Mike Watt is, Dez.
Dez turns around so he is facing opposite P. J..
No, don't come down early. That's what I've been trying to tell you. There's cops everywhere.
You can't ignore me. You're my fucking man!
No, no it's nothing. Three, then I'm gone on the first plane. Look, I told you this shit a hundred times.
Ha. You're leaving and she thinks she's got ya.
P. J., I don't have to leave. Well, I might. Well, I can come back maybe.
As long as you're sure.
Dez walks out from behind the desk and puts his hand on P. J.'s hip.
Go tell Wedge he can take his break now.
She turns quickly to leave.
But he's gotta be back by three. No, ten till three.
Dez rubs his cat tatoo.
int. STAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afternoon
Matt is handed a cell phone by a female volunteer.
Lori wanders in front of the stage area looking lost.
He picks it up.
Yeah. Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Wheat. Right, Jefferson. Uh, Jeff. You're on the tarmac. Great! Everything's fine...Uh, let me get back to you on that. No, it's just that I understand...Twenty minutes. Great, everything's ready.
Matt hits the end button on the cell phone.
He looks at the female volunteer.
If I had my Palm Pilot I might know what the heck is going on.
Lori stares at Matt's chest.
Nothing's even close to ready. Does everyone have their schedules?
The female volunteer nods.
Matt's attention is drawn to the psycho-type stare of Lori.
May I help you, ma'am?
Lori doesn't acknowledge him.
Lori is broken from her spell.
Oh, I'm sorry. No one has ever called me ma'am before.
Well, I was just being polite.
Lori strikes a sexy pose.
So, what's with this Wheat thing?
Are you interested in the election?
What's it about?
What's what about?
The election thing.
Lori flicks her hair back and sticks out her ample chest.
Oh, well, if I had more time we could discuss it but the candidate, senatorial candidate, will be here soon and then I have to go to work.
You've convinced me.
Convinced you of what?
To get involved.
But I haven't even told you anything. Really.
It was your smile.
I like your smile, too.
Lori playfully tugs at Matt's tie.
int. inside Henry's bar in metro west mall - afternoon
Wedge walks into the bar cautiously.
He first heads towards a table but they are all filled by mostly single Older people in their mid thirties and above sitting alone.
There is no music playing in the bar. Only the sound of a television playing softly rises above the quiet hum of the air conditioning.
Wedge takes a deep breath, sucks it up and heads towards the bar.
He tries not to make eye contact with anyone and sits at an empty end of the bar.
As Wedge sits down the bar stool starts to squeak.
He tries to ignore it but as he adjust himself it just makes more noise.
Wedge is the only one sitting at the bar.
The bartender is around his late forties, early fifties. He is a short, portly, burly man who has probably tended bar his whole life.
The bartender looks over to a table with two rather boisterous black females. They both wear bright yellow orange and pink jumpsuits.
The bartender heads over to where Wedge is sitting. He points to the noisy women.
They're taking over.
Wedge nods his head with the look that he hopes the bartender will just leave him alone.
I'll take a light beer, draft.
The barkeep immediately turns and pours him the beer.
The bartender says nothing.
He sets the glass in front of Wedge.
Wedge, becoming nervous, fumbles his words a bit.
Uh, I've got an I.D. here somewhere.
I do have it somewhere, I swear.
The bartender leans forward toward Wedge.
No, you don't. You don't have to lie.
Wedge takes a sip of his beer. He looks around and immediately gains fortitude.
Have you ever seen Star Wars? The movie.
Yeah, it's that dog friend of Harrison Ford, uh...
Yeah, it's every man's fantasy to have a dog that walks, talks, and helps you kick the shit out of your enemies.
They might have been a little too close though.
Well, there was a little more...
The bartender tilts his head.
Wedge takes a big gulp of his beer.
Yeah, you're probably right.
The bartender starts to wipe the bar area in front of Wedge with a bar towel
Do you know what the Sandpeople's weapons were called?
The bartender shakes his head as he wipes.
There is an extended pause while Wedge looks around and sighs.
Doesn't this mall get to you after a while? It's just so confining. It's like an Alcatraz on top of the hill or something.
The bartender adopts a serious pose and leans towards him.
But it's not just the mall, is it?
You feel confined at school, at home, at church, with your friends, by this town, by most everything, don't you?
It's not structure or edifice, friend. It's you. Because you allow it.
Wedge, getting flustered, shakes his head.
What if I told you I was gay?
The bartender rolls his eyes.
I'd kick your ass right the hell out of here.
OK, I'm gay.
The bartender, getting a little impatient, begins wiping the bar with his towel a little quicker.
No, you're not.
Yes, I am. I swear I'm gay. I find men attractive.
No, you're not.
Wedge leans back in his stool and takes a big gulp of beer.
Wedge reluctantly mutters.
The bartender turns his back and raises his voice slightly.
Three fifty for the beer.
Almost forgetting Wedge reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ratty looking five dollar bill that must have been in his pocket for months and sets it on the bar.
Wedge quickly leaves.
The bartender stops wiping the bar.
He walks to the other end of the bar and starts wiping it with his bar towel.
int. near MALL ENTRANCE - afternoon
Kenneth and Dee sit outside the record store on a cement bench. Kenneth is gorging some M&M's.
Good going! We got no money, no food, no bike.
It ain't my day, bro.
No shit! Hey, give me some. I snatched 'em.
It was my idea.
With that, Dee snatches the M&M's from Kenneth's hand.
That ain't cool.
You ain't cool.
Dez walks past them.
Kenneth sees him.
Hey, that's that punk rock dude.
Kenneth points at Dez.
Over there-- the record store, dude.
He ain't no punk rock dude.
No, bro. I've seen his tatoos. He's got the Sex Pistols and all that shit on him.
What are you gonna tell your moms about your bike?
We'll just have to find the bitch.
Dee spots Henry who is walking towards them from them in the opposite direction of Dez.
Shit, it's that fake cop.
Kenneth gets up.
Dee gets up.
Kenneth snatches the M&M's back from Dee.
They walk away from Henry.
Henry sees them and hollers.
Hey, kids, I need to talk to you.
They take off running.
Henry starts to run, but he slips on a Wheat poster that someone has dropped on the ground.
Several older mall patrons stop and stare at Henry.
int. iN FRONT OF THE STAGE - afternoon
Matt is showing Lori around the stage area.
Well, here is where Mr. Wheat will be speaking as well as other notables, like our esteemed mayor, etc...
Lori is only paying half-attention to Matt and half-attention to something under the stage.
Hey, what's that?
She points to the bottom of the stage.
Matt looks quizzically. He bends over and searches around just underneath the bunting in front of the stage.
Yes, Baby! Whoo!
What is it?
Matt gets up and shows the Palm Pilot to Lori.
It's my Palm Pilot computer thing. I've got my whole life on this thing. I thought I'd lost it.
Well, you found it.
Matt starts punching buttons on the Palm Pilot.
He looks up at Lori.
He returns hitting the small keys at a rapid pace.
I'm getting really excited about this election thing. I'm thinking I'd like to volunteer.
Good. The first thing you'll have to do is register to vote if you're not registered.
Oh, I think I am. We all registered at my high school. I voted for Dole. I really liked him.
Matt leans back retracting from her.
That other guy just wanted to raise all of our taxes.
Look, I've got to go. We've got a lot of work to do.
Matt starts to walk away.
Lori grabs his arm.
Wait! Who do I talk to about volunteering?
Well, I mean, let me get back to you. We've had some personnel changes around here.
I thought you liked my smile.
I, uh, you know?-- The candidate.
int. pOSTER SHOP - afternoon
Dez walks up to the entrance of the poster shop. He hides behind a display.
He pops his head to try and see Mira. He spots her and tries to get her attention without her father seeing him. He waves at her.
Mira stands behind the counter with her father by her side. An older Pakistani woman, PARAMITA, stands with them
Mira sees him and shakes her head no at him. She does this one too many times and her father notices it.
What is it?
Ali looks over and sees Dez.
Who is this?
Is this him, Mira?
Ali motion at Dez to come towards him.
Come here. Come here.
Dez tries to make eye contact with Mira but she remains expressionless.
I want to talk to you, boy.
Dez reluctantly walks over to Ali.
Dez, this is my mother and father.
Hello, sir, ma'am.
I have been speaking with my daughter, Mr. Dez, and my wife and I agree that you are not to see her anymore.
What? We just went to lunch.
Don't make me angry, mister. I will knock you out.
What? Are you joking?
I've said all I that I am going to say to you. Now go.
Mira closes her eyes.
He leaves the store.
Ali turns to Mira.
Your mother and I are taking you out of the public schools.
C'mon guys, this is getting ridiculous.
You are getting ridiculous.
That's right. It's done. Now let's get back to work.
You can't do this.
She leaves the counter and heads off in Dez's direction.
Ali chases after her.
She gets to poster shop entrance and looks out in the mall for Dez.
He is no where to be found.
Ali tugs at her arm and pulls her back into the store.
You will obey me.
She struggles with him.
He slaps her on the face.
She reacts only by weeping.
Ali lets go.
She heads back to behind the counter, crying.
Ali walks back into the store.
Paramita looks at him and opens her mouth to speak.
Ali shakes his head at her.
Paramita mutes herself.
int. Near the mall entrance next to the montgomery ward - afternoon
This a part of the mall where there are few occupied shops that lead up to the department store, Montgomery Ward.
Dez is waiting with his back to the outside entrance.
A SHADY LOOKING CHARACTER approaches Dez. He wears a leather jacket in the summer and seventies looking sunglasses. He wears a thick mustache and chews on a toothpick.
He taps Dez on the shoulder.
shady looking character
I'm your man.
Dez rolls his eyes.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)
Dez checks his watch.
The Shady Looking Character takes the toothpick out of his mouth with his right hand. With that hand he bangs Dez's shoulder.
The toothpick breaks.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER
It's a silent job don't worry about it.
Dez points to the shady character's hand.
You, uh, you broke your toothpick.
The Shady Looking Character looks at his right hand.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER
He drops the stub and reaches into his coat pocket.
The Shady Looking Character pulls a plastic zip-lock bag filled with toothpicks.
He pulls out a fresh one and pops it into his mouth.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)
Mint flavor. Good for fresh breath.
The Shady Looking Character walks off.
Yeah, good for fresh breath.
Dez looks at his watch one last time.
Dez walks down the mall hallway.
He passes a pile of "Wheat for Senate" signs. Behind them a children's bicycle sticks out.
Dez stops and pushes the signs back a bit.
He pulls the bike out halfway and inspects it.
He looks at his watch.
It says two fifty-six.
Dez pushes the bike against the wall and hurries off.
int. near stage area - afternoon
Matt, CANDIDATE WHEAT, and SEVERAL STAFFERS walk quickly towards the stage area. Candidate Wheat wears the standard politician's uniform-- dark blue suit, red power tie and a white shirt. He is middle-aged with closely cropped hair designed to offend no one. Hair's not long but not too short either.
A THRONG OF REPORTERS surrounds the candidate and his people but several STATE TROOPERS keep them more than an arm's distance from the politicians.
Sir, everything's been going pretty smoothly here. We should have you on to the next stop on time.
Wheat stops and looks at Matt.
Everyone else suddenly stops. A FEMALE STAFFER steps on Matt's foot with her heel.
So, where's my speech?
Yeah, we uh, you'll have it in three minutes.
Everyone else falls silent waiting for Wheat's reaction.
This won't happen again but I guess I can deal with it. Are there some snacks? I'm famished.
Yes, right over here, sir.
The TV Reporter from before gets close enough to shout a question.
Is your re-urbanization plan going to raise the working person's taxes, Mr. Wheat?
ANOTHER PRINT REPORTER pushes the TV reporter out of the way.
another print reporter
How do you respond to your opponent's allegations of money laundering at your law office?
Wheat grabs Matt's arm and leans into him.
We've some new money so after this dog and pony show we're going to have a prompter at every stop.
He waits for Matt's reaction.
It's gonna be neat, Matthew.
Who recommended that?
Oh, it was George. He's got more campaign experience than any other person with us combined.
Matt points Wheat to the food.
They duck behind a curtain separating the pols from the wolves.
int. nEAR THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - AFTERNOON
Kenneth and Dee, looking dejected, walk out of the Montgomery Ward.
Those new bikes are fuckin' expensive.
I heard that.
Dee sees the bike behind some Wheat signs that were stacked against it. He nudges Kenneth.
Kenneth continues to walk slowly without raising his head.
Dee pushes him really hard this time.
Dee can't speak. He merely points towards the bike.
Kenneth and raises his head to see the bike.
No fuckin' way. No fuckin' way.
He rushes to the bike and stands it up, looking it over, smiling.
It's yours, dude.
Kenneth flashes Dee an evil look.
Maybe it is your day.
Are you nuts?
ext. outside mall, poster shop BACK-DOOR - afternoon
Mira sits on the curb smoking a cigarette.
Behind her is the delivery door to the poster shop.
She watches several TV news remote trucks set up which amounts to some FAT TEAMSTER-LOOKING GUYS standing around.
Mira takes a long drag on her cigarette.
She pulls the butt out of her mouth and slowly exhales.
A news helicopter flies overhead.
She calmly takes the cigarette and rams the hot end into her forearm.
Her body crinkles up in horrible pain but she does not make a sound.
She pulls her forearm to her face and looks at it.
She flicks away the cigarette and stomps it out.
Lori walks past Mira and gets cat calls from the FAT TEAMSTER-LOOKING GUYS.
A teamster-looking guy in an Aerosmith T-shirt is the loudest.
Baby, where you been all my life?
Lori, zombie-esque, ignores their advances.
Mira shakes her head.
int. Near THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - AFTERNOON
Kenneth sits on his bike in the mall silhouetted in front of the doors to the outside.
Dee stands beside him.
What the fuck's up with this?
Man, how would I know.
Out of nowhere a flashlight shines on them.
Henry walks out of the shadows.
There you boys are.
Kenneth continues to sit balancing on his bike.
What do you want, copper?
I guarantee you know what I want, boy. A little computer ring a bell?
You got the wrong dude, dude.
I don't think I do.
Kenneth starts to ride towards Henry.
Henry grabs Kenneth and pulls him off the bike.
No, no. You're not going anywhere.
Watch it, dude!
Henry pushes Kenneth.
Where's that politician guy's computer? Uh, what's your name, kid?
Dee giggles but tries to conceal it to no avail.
Really. You've lied to me four times now, Rakim.
Kenneth sees Dee and smiles.
Just three times.
I'm not kidding.
Kenneth picks up his bike and tries to walk away.
Henry grabs him.
Kenneth pushes back.
Henry attempts to grab Kenneth again but he grabs a wad of Kenneth's hair.
Get off me.
Kenneth hits Henry in the face.
Henry takes his nightstick and whacks Kenneth on his head.
Dee rushes at Henry but Henry throws him back.
Henry continues to whack Kenneth with the nightstick three more times.
This enrages Henry and he starts kicking Kenneth as he lies on the ground, again and again and again and again.
Dee lunges at Henry again and manages to push him away a little bit.
Henry kicks Kenneth one last time in the back.
Henry walks away.
Dee watches Henry.
Dee tries to help Kenneth up but he doesn't move.
Shit, man. I'm gonna go get some help, bro.
Dee runs off.
Kenneth lies on the floor with his bike at his side.
int. near main electric breakers - afternoon
Dez rushes into the breaker room and sees the custodian sleeping on two folding chairs.
Dez takes a deep breath.
He reaches over and nudges the custodian trying to wake him up.
The custodian just shifts his head.
Dez looks at his watch. It says three o'clock.
Dez rolls up his sleeves revealing his heavily tattooed arms.
Dez pushes the custodian hard. He falls off his perch.
Sorry, man, a little girl just threw up all over my register at Spencer's.
Shit. Hey, I dig the ink.
Dez pulls his sleeves back down.
You gotta clean that shit up now or I'm gonna get canned!
All right! All right!
The janitor walks to leave and he takes one last look at Dez.
Dez turns away.
The janitor leaves.
Dez hurriedly looks for his taped marker.
He can't find it.
He kicks the breaker board.
Dez regains control long enough to put his hand on the very breaker he had marked before.
He moves his hand one breaker over and trips it.
He opens the door a crack.
The bank's lights are still on.
Dez looks shocked.
He goes back over to the board and hits the breaker below the one he just pulled.
Going back over to the door he sees that the bank's lights are still on.
Dez jerks his head.
He goes back and flips another breaker.
Everything goes dark.
Dez tries to find his way to the door but he runs into it and it closes. It won't open.
ext. outside the mall, gate - afternoon
The electric gates slowly swing shut.
ext. outside the MALL, other GATE - AFTERNOON
The electric gate shuts.
A car waits but the gate doesn't open.
A MAN IN BERMUDA SHORTS gets out of his car and tries to pry the gate open but he can't.
Several cars wait on the other side. They are prevented from getting in.
int. stage SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afterNOON
SEVERAL REPORTERS, VOLUNTEERS, and BYSTANDERS are standing around in a panic.
A baby CRIES loudly.
A MALE TV REPORTER trips over a chair.
male tv reporter
This is ridiculous!
int. backstage area - afternoon
Matt stands next to candidate Wheat. Wheat sits at a card table.
Matt holds a lighter near the Wheat.
Oh, my god. Oh, my god. This could be an assassination attempt!
Sir, I'm sure it's just a temporary outage.
Jesus Christ! I never should have let George's wife give me that head job yesterday.
OK. Hey, wait a minute. Our sound system has a backup battery.
I'm ruined, Matt, and it's your fault.
Matt walks away from Wheat.
Hold on a second, sir.
Matt makes his way to the microphone on the podium.
He stands on the stage and bangs the mic.
Attention! Can I have your attention?
The BUZZ of the crowd does not dissipate.
Can I have your fucking attention?
The crowd noise dissipates a bit.
OK. Does anyone out there have any flashlights or lights of any kind?
There is no response.
A CONSTRUCTION WORKER shines a mag light into the air.
OK. Just shine that thing over here.
Leo stumbles his way to the front.
Hold on a second, friend. I'll get us some lights.
Great! Nobody panic. This'll all be over in a second.
int. organ shop - afternoon
Amy sits in the dark at her organ that sits in front of the store.
She pounds the organ keys with her fists with no sound coming forth from the instrument.
Dee runs up to her.
Hey, can you help my friend? Some cop just beat the shit out of him?
Amy just shakes her quickly.
She throws some sheet music at him.
int. diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - afterNOON
A few emergency lights are on in the store giving the store and the rest of the mall an almost moonlit quality.
Everyone has vacated the perfume/jewelry area of the store except for Marsha.
She sits with several lit candles while humming an old Cole Porter tune.
int. pOSTER SHOP - afternoon
Ali stands outside his shop wielding a 9mm automatic handgun a his side.
He sees some YOUNG KIDS walk by.
Get away from here you, bastards. I will shoot.
Dee rushes up to Ali from the side not seeing the gun.
Mister! Hey man, you gotta call someone. Kenneth is hurt real bad.
Ali waves the gun around in a circular motion.
You get out of here, young man. I know your tricks and you will not steal my stuff. Understand?
Dude, just call for some help, dude.
I am not a dude. Go away.
He points the gun at Dee.
ext. mall fence - afternoon
Lori stands by the fence away from the two gates. There is no one around.
The fence is chain-link with a strips of barbed-wire at the top.
She sets her purse on the ground removing only her concert tickets.
She puts the tickets in the pocket of her blouse.
She starts to climb the fence shedding her high heels in the process. Barefooted and bare-legged, she makes her way up the fence.
She gets to the top and tries to straddle the barbed-wire. Her dress gets caught.
Lori struggles to untangle her self only tangling herself more.
She begins to flounder about cutting herself until she slips.
The tickets fall out her pocket and onto the ground--on non-mall property.
She is so entangled that she just hangs from the barbed-wire unable to free herself.
int. Kay-Bee Toys - afternoon
Animal and B.O. are rummaging about in the nearly dark abandoned toy store. B.O. is rooting through the Playstation games. He holds about thirty of them.
Dude, this is awesome!
Animal runs up and down the aisles knocking everything over in his path.
Yeah, this is freedom, man.
He finds some Pokemon stuff.
I hate this shit.
He takes out a lighter and sets it on fire.
It bursts into flames as Animal drops the toy.
That's safe for the kids.
The fire starts to spread.
The sprinklers go off.
They run out of the store with a bunch of Playstation games with Animal carrying a Rubik's cube.
What the fuck?
I've always wanted one of these.
Dee stands in the boy's way and tries to talk to them.
Hey! You guys got a quarter?
They run past him dropping a few games near Dee.
He picks one up, shakes his head and sees the fire that is now smoldering.
He heads inside the toy store and picks up the phone.
He hears nothing.
He tosses the phone and runs off.
int. stage SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afteRNOON
Leo is handing flashlights to a group of peoplE below the stage.
The TV reporter takes one from Leo.
Where did you get all of these?
They were for Y2K.
The TV reporter nods.
Matt, on the stage, taps the mic.
Every body just stay calm...
Wheat taps Matt on the shoulder.
I'll take over now, son.
(into the mic)
Everybody, my name is Jackson Wheat, your candidate for U.S. senate. I just want everyone to stay calm and we'll ride this little crisis out together. Just shine those lights up here and we'll try to restore some order to this place.
A YOUNG ASIAN MAN raises his hand.
young asian man
I heard that no one can get in or out of here, sir.
Well, now is not a time for spreading unsubstantiated rumors. All that's going to do is give us all unnecessary stress.
Dee enters the crowd.
He tugs on the TV reporter's blouse.
She turns around and faces Dee.
Not now, kid.
He nudges an OLD REPORTER.
Hey, my friend needs help.
The Old reporter pushes Dee aside and moves further to the front of the stage.
Dee turns around.
He addresses people as he walks.
Hey, I need some help.
A GRAY HAIRED WOMAN responds.
gray haired woman
Isn't it a school day?
Dee leaves the crowd.
This may be a crisis but it pales in comparison to the state of ourÉ
Dee heads back down the mall hallway, into the darkness.
communities, our streets, our nation. But the answer is simple, my fellow citizens, we just need to work together. Common goals help everyone. Even you, sir.
Smattering of LAUGHTER.
Int. car in mall parking lot - afternoon
The Shady Looking Character sits behind the wheel of a van marked "Sarah's Catering".
They sit in a traffic jam waiting for the gate to open.
Beside him sits a bearded man holding a flash light.
The Bearded Man keeps shining the flashlight at the Shady Looking Character.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER
You wanna quit it?
This isn't good.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER
It's a perfect diversion.
int. near main electric breakers - afternoon
Dez sits slumped against the door that won't open. He holds his cigarette lighter up to his face.
He scratches his arm.
int. caR IN MALL PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON
The Shady Looking Character slowly chews on his toothpick as traffic has yet to move.
You haven't thanked me for bringing the flash light.
shaDY LOOKING CHARACTER
I told you, there's an extra ten grand in it for you.
He spits his toothpick out the window.
The gate opens and cars begin to move through.
shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)
You did save the day.
The van moves towards the exit.
ext. outside mall, tv news remote truck - early evening
A reporter gives a stand-up in the parking lot as a CAMERAMAN stands and shoots her.
Henry watches from the side as he munches on a corn dog.
The crisis is nearly over but we may have seen Wheat's candidacy take off after his sterling performance at calming the crowd this afternoon. It was as one aid put it, "his shining moment".
int. THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - early evening
Some emergency lights have come on giving the mall a dim glow.
Dee sits, Indian style, next to Kenneth. He holds Kenneth's hand as a pool of blood slowly grows larger around Kenneth.
fade to black.