The Valley of the Tools Episode 7

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Rob, Whitney and Miles argue over the future of McKenzie at the show, Luther’s friends convince him The Box won’t last and he has to come up with jobs he can have afterwards, Miles, anticipating
impending unemployment, seeks to join the DGA so that he may get a new, more prestigious directing job

Submitted: June 15, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 15, 2018









“I journey through the desert, of the mind, with no hope. I follow. I drift along the ocean, dead life boats in the sun. Pleasantly caving in, I come undone”

-Josh Homme


(We start with a shot of a clock on the wall, ticking away. Then we cut to a shot of McKenzie’s face, patiently waiting. Then, a shot of a front desk receptionist at Palms Middle School click-clacking away on her computer. She looks up at McKenzie)


SECRETARY: And, your last name is spelled?


MCKENZIE: P-A-R-K, just like it sounds.


SECRETARY: Okay. (She enters the name into the computer) Ah, yes, you did go here.




SECRETARY: Well. (She looks up at McKenzie) It is after school hours, so feel free to see if Coach Pingree is in his office.


MCKENZIE: Yes, ma’am. Have a blessed day!


(McKenzie smiles and nods, with a barely concealed sarcasm. She leaves the office, and the secretary’s eyes warily follow her. Cut to a broom closet office with a cheap desk, ancient computer and two IKEA shelves enclosing a balding, overweight man sitting at the desk, typing away. McKenzie’s silhouette enters the frame from the right)


COACH PINGREE: Marsha, is that you with the kolaches? (Coach Pingree turns around and sees McKenzie) Oh. Hello.


MCKENZIE: Hi, Coach Pingree. I see your office is as depressing as I remember it.


COACH PINGREE: Are you the new math teacher? I heard she was hot.


(Pingree lets out a nauseating chuckle. McKenzie grows angrier)


MCKENZIE: Do you seriously not recognize me?


COACH PINGREE: I’m sorry, young lady, I’ve had many students throughout the years.


MCKENZIE: I’m sure you have. Who eats kolaches in the afternoon?


COACH PINGREE: If you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of push-ups to grade-


(McKenzie grabs Pingree by the collar)




COACH PINGREE: I-I-I’m sorry, m-ma’am, I don’t- I don’t know what to tell you, I- I’m gonna- SECURITY!!!



(McKenzie pushes Pingree back)


COACH PINGREE: You’re crazy!


MCKENZIE: Fuck you.


(McKenzie walks out of the broom closet office, as Pingree hyperventilates. Cut to Kevin hurrying out of McKenzie’s bedroom, grabbing her laptop from the dinner table and sitting down on the couch with it. He opens up her laptop, heads to Google, and looks up her search history. He finds “palms middle school directions”)


KEVIN: Shit. (Kevin closes her laptop, places it on the coffee table, and heads for the door. Cut to Kevin parking in a space clearly reserved for “Derek Moriuchi- Principal”. Kevin gets out of the car and heads for the front of the school but runs into McKenzie walking towards her car with an unlit cigarette in her mouth) Kenz! (The cigarette drops out of McKenzie’s mouth as she cries and falls into Kevin’s arms) Shhhh, it’s alright. What happened?


MCKENZIE: (Between sobs) Nothing.


(She continues sobbing. Cut to the offices of Altmire-Stone Productions. Ryan is sitting at reception, listening to his music through his headphones. Miles walks up to reception)


MILES: Hey. (Ryan is rocking out) Hey! HEY, KID!


(Ryan pulls out his ear buds)


RYAN: Who are you?


MILES: I’m Miles, the director, but even if I was a bum who just pissed himself, you should at least fucking greet me. Where’s McKenzie?


RYAN: She hasn’t come in, dude. Relax.


MILES: I WILL NOT! Get Whitney and Rob out here.




(Whitney and Rob walk out of their offices)


ROB: What up?


WHITNEY: No, hold on, don’t do that, Ryan.


RYAN: This blob is here to spit on you.


MILES: McKenzie isn’t here! We can’t shoot without McKenzie!

ROB: I’ve tried calling her, there’s no answer.


WHITNEY: Well, I think I know what’s going on.


MILES: I don’t GIVE a shit! I can’t run my show without-


WHITNEY: Stop. Conference room.


(Miles sighs, and the three of them walk into the conference room, as Ryan takes a swig from a flask and opens his laptop. Cut to Whitney, Rob and Miles sitting around the conference room table)


MILES: We can’t delay this anymore, we have to air Thursday. It’s already Monday, for Christ’s sake!


WHITNEY: McKenzie’s been suffering from crippling depression, it just seems cruel to-


MILES: I don’t care if she has no feeling in her knee! Or a ghost fetish!


ROB: Do you, have those things?


MILES: If she doesn’t come to work, she MUST be fired!

ROB: But audiences love her sassy sweetness. You wouldn’t believe how many “yas girl” captioned fan photos she has on Instagram.


WHITNEY: We can afford to extend shooting into Tuesday-


MILES: We have ZERO guarantee she’s gonna be here Tuesday!


ROB: That’s why we need to get a guarantee.


MILES: And how the hell do you plan on doing that?


ROB: My first thought was “egging her house”, but I don’t know why.


(Ryan pokes his head in)


RYAN: Hey, guys, some randos named Gary Newman and Dana Walden are here to see you.


(Rob’s eyes flash panic)


ROB: Oh?


WHITNEY: Uh-oh. Send them in.


(Dana and Gary enter, with sleek business suits and suitcases. Dana tries to avoid eye contact with Rob as her and Gary sit down)


RYAN: Can I get you a coffee, or soda, or water or something?


GARY: I’ll take a coffee.


RYAN: Ask for something else, I don’t know how to use the dinosaur they have back there.


WHITNEY: Ryan, just leave.


(Ryan nods, and leaves)


WHITNEY: To what do we owe the unexpected pleasure?


ROB: Unexpected pleasure is my favorite type of pleasure.


(Whitney glares at Rob, and then looks back at Gary and Dana)


DANA: We came here because we heard shooting was delayed again.


GARY: And we’ve heard the rumors about Ms. Park. Her “mental breakdown”.


DANA: I’m sure the hospitalization for “exhaustion” will come soon enough.


ROB: Mr. Newman, Mrs. Walden, you don’t understand-


DANA: We understand perfectly well. If you don’t corral McKenzie or replace her within the next forty-eight hours, The Box will be history.




GARY: I’m sorry, but The Box is not exactly on our list of top priorities. Get it together, or risk it all. That’s the choice before you today, and there’s no debate.


DANA: Thank you for understanding, Ms. Stone.


(Dana and Gary stand up, as do Whitney, Miles and Rob. Dana extends her hand and Whitney shakes it)


WHITNEY: Of course.


(Gary shakes Whitney’s hand)


GARY: Let us know what you decide.


(Gary shakes hands with Miles and Rob, and Dana shakes hands with Miles, and begrudgingly with Rob, giving him a nasty glare. The two leave the room)


ROB: Now, the NETWORK is coming in and pushing us around. I should’ve told Ryan to barricade the doors when those fuckers came around.


MILES: They’re right.


(Miles leaves the room)


WHITNEY: You should go and coax McKenzie out of her house when you can. You know her the best.


(Rob sighs and nods)


ROB: I need a cigarette. (Rob exits the conference room. Cut to Rob stepping out a back door with an unlit cigarette in hand. He sees Dana about to get into her car in the parking lot) Dana!


(Dana rolls her eyes and steps away from her car)


DANA: What do you want?


ROB: Come here real quick.


(Dana begrudgingly steps his way)


DANA: Make it quick.


ROB: Is this your revenge? Screwing with my show?


DANA: I GAVE you this show! Also, I broke up with YOU!


ROB: Only after I fake broke up with you. Bet you feel shitty now, huh?


DANA: This has nothing to do with us, and this is telling about how immature you are, Robert.


ROB: This is about me, I just know it. As soon as I found out, you’ll to have already known, you hear?


DANA: Goodbye.


(Dana steps away, gets in her car, and drives off. Lilly walks over with a bag of bagels from “Bagel Emporium”. Rob is slightly startled)




ROB: Ah. Hey. There.


LILLY: I bought these for you, or, I bought these for me but then I realized you probably had whiskey for breakfast.


ROB: And Wheaties. Thanks.


(Rob takes the bag, and puts his cigarette behind his ear)


LILLY: Who was that?


ROB: Just a FOX executive.


(Rob takes a bite out of a cream cheese bagel)


LILLY: Did she leave with your testicles in a jar?


(Rob looks at Lilly, and realizing the joke, smiles)


ROB: Kind of.


LILLY: Well. I can see you have a long day of fucking to get your way ahead, so I’ll leave you to it.


ROB: Okay. See you tomorrow night.


(Rob kisses Lilly)


LILLY: Yeah.


(Lilly walks away, and Rob puts the bag of bagels down. He takes the cigarette back from behind ear, places it between his lips, and lights it. He stares into the distance as the smoke wisps in the wind. Fade to Miles walking angrily to his director chair. He takes a seat on his throne of sorts, surveilling Bonnie, Hannah, Judy and Sidra, who are on stage, looking through their phones)


MILES: Well, that’s a wrap.


(Everybody groans)


HANNAH: Again?!


MILES: Yep! Come back tomorrow, if we’re not all fired.


(Luther pops out of a nearby cake, shirtless and covered in frosting)


LUTHER: Fired?!


MILES: You didn’t hear that from me. (Miles winks) Need help getting that frosting off, by the way?


LUTHER: I’m, good.


MILES: I’d be more than happy to take a crack at it.


(Cut to Miles sitting in his crappy, cramped house. His walls are brick, his couch has holes and tears, and he’s watching MSNBC coverage of President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. The footage of President Trump shaking hands with Kim Jong Un is being played, with Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams commentating)


RACHEL MADDOW: This was just moments ago, the President of the U.S. meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, for denuclearization talks.


BRIAN WILLIAMS: It’s so disgraceful that Trump is legitimizing Kim Jong Un in this fashion.


RACHEL: I know. Now people will think that Kim Jong Un leads North Korea. It’s just so tragic.


BRIAN: Look at those flags! They’re of equal size! Somebody should have poured dirt all over the Korean Flags!


RACHEL: Why isn’t Trump punching Kim Jong Un in the face right now? He tells Trudeau to “go to Hell” after the G7 and now he’s NOT disemboweling Kim Jong Un on live television?


BRIAN: Disgraceful.


RACHEL: Probably because PUTIN told him not to. PUTIN!


BRIAN: Russia.


RACHEL: Putin.


BRIAN: Russia agent.


RACHEL: Putin Russia Agent, Russia Putin.


MILES: I can’t fucking watch this anymore. (Miles turns off the TV and rubs his eyes. A Puerto-Rican gay prostitute with perfect hair comes out of Miles’ bedroom in a robe) What am I going to do, Rojo?


ROJO: I don’t know, honey, but it sounds like your days are numbered.


(Rojo sits on the back of the couch and puts his hand on Miles’ shoulder)


MILES: I need a back-up plan.


ROJO: You can always film me having anal sex with a space demon again.


MILES: No, I can’t just do more exploitation flicks, look at this place! One of my walls is entirely duct tape!


ROJO: Well, then what are you gonna do?


MILES: I could save money by hiring less expensive prostitutes, for one.


ROJO: No way you’ll ever give me up, Grothman.


MILES: Damnit, you’re right. (Rojo licks Miles’ ear, making him giggle) I need to put myself out there. It’s about time I applied to join the Director’s Guild.


(Miles takes his laptop, opens it, and signs onto the DGA website as determined music plays. Cut to DGA President Thomas Schlamme, wearing a suit in his large, regal office. He sees Miles’ request in his email, and starts laughing)



(Vincent Misiano walks over, also wearing a suit)


VINCENT: What is it?


THOMAS: Miles Grothman just requested to join the Guild.


(Vincent and Thomas both start cracking up)


VINCENT: Yeah, I’m sure Warner Brothers is DYING to get him to direct the upcoming Malala biopic!

(The two keep laughing)


THOMAS: We should give him a hearing just for shits and gigs, huh?!

VINCENT: Great idea, tell him that.


(Thomas starts typing. Cut to a hearing room, with a dais comprised of DGA executives. Miles is sitting before them in a cheap brown suit, reading an opening statement)


MILES: I understand why many of you are skeptical about my inclusion in this group of talented men and women. I have been churning out schlock for twenty-five years. But I ask you, what is Hollywood if not a land of second chances? Matthew McConaughey was a drooling fool before he became a serious actor. Jonah Hill’s main selling point was his fatness before he took on dramatic roles. Mel Gibson wants to burn Jews, and all that stuff. My only sin was seeking out the almighty dollar. And who among us isn’t guilty of this? So I ask you to please reconsider your decision. I will now take questions.


(Miles sits back, and the committee members look at one another, and then burst into laughter)


THOMAS: This was fun, Miles, but get the hell outta here!

(Miles angrily stands up)


MILES: YOU ELITISTS! YOU CAN’T KEEP ME OUT OF THIS INDUSTRY! (Miles sticks up a middle finger) I’LL PUT THIS UP YOUR ASS AND TWIST IT AROUND! (Cut to Miles driving that night. He pulls into a Starbucks parking lot, gets out of his dilapidated Camry and heads for the entrance. He opens the door and sees none other than John Waters standing in line for a coffee. He squeals with delight) Oh my God, it’s the King of Trash! (Miles walks over to John) Mr. Waters, it’s such a pleasure to see you! Or, should I say, displeasure? Pull out your dick, it would be in such poor taste!


JOHN WATERS: I’d love to, but I’ve been arrested far too many times.


(John smiles)


MILES: But I thought you lived criminality!

JOHN: Oh, I do. What’s your name, by the way?


MILES: Miles Grothman. I’m a director, and you’re my inspiration.


JOHN: We’ll talk, Miles, just let me get my drink.


MILES: No problem!

(John moves forward in line as the customer in front goes to sit down)


BARISTA: What can I get you?


JOHN: I’ll have a cup full of grounds, soy milk, blood and puss.


MILES: Classic John! (Cut to Miles and John Waters sitting across from each other at a Starbucks table, each enjoying their drinks) So, yeah, the DGA doesn’t want me. The industry shuns me. I’m…nobody, to them.


JOHN: That’s a pity. Good thing you don’t need them.


MILES: I do if I want to make money.


JOHN: No, sir. You’ve got to be so good that they fight over YOU, not the other way around.


MILES: …How do I do that?


JOHN: I made garbage for years, Pink Flamingos, Multiple Maniacs, Female Trouble, etc. Finally, I made Hairspray, and the studios fought over me to direct Cry Baby. Sometimes, you get so good, that they can no longer afford to ignore you.


(Miles furrows his brow)


MILES: …I guess you’re right.


JOHN: Embrace the weird. Make something that would make Alejandro Jodorowsky blush.




JOHN: Did you grow up Catholic?


MILES: Yeah, just like you.


JOHN: Take this- (John pulls out a machete) and dig deep into your repressed psyche. See what gushes out.


(Miles takes the knife and stares at his reflection in the blade. Cut to Luther sitting around his coffee table, playing Poker with Richie and a black guy with dreads. “The Story of O.J.” by Jay-Z plays on a nearby speaker as they play)


RICHIE: A’aight, I’m gonna finish the river.


(Richie flips the fifth communal card. It’s a 10)


LUTHER: Shit. (Luther throws his hands up) I ain’t playing anymore, this shit is ridiculous.


RICHIE: It’s ridiculous because you keep losin’, homie.


(The other black guy chuckles)


LUTHER: That’s exactly fuckin’ it. I’m gonna get a beer, anyone want some? Frank?


(Luther gets up, and Frank nods)


RICHIE: I’ll take one too.


(Luther goes to the fridge and grabs three Blue Moons. He walks them back to the living room and hands them out. They each crack them open as Luther sits back down)


FRANK: Another hand?


LUTHER: Nah, bro, I’m done.


RICHIE: We ain’t even playing for real money.


LUTHER: Dude, we are playing for real dignity, brother.


(Richie laughs)


RICHIE: Bro, you jump outta cakes for a living, yo’ ass is a stripper.


LUTHER: Hey, it’s more honorable than what you do, homie.


RICHIE: Fine, but at least my line of work is steady, dawg. You’re telling me they finna put this shit down?


LUTHER: Maybe.


FRANK: For real?


LUTHER: Yeah. The main girl isn’t coming in.


RICHIE: Dude, you need a plan B bad. This shit gon’ go south, you need to be prepared.


(Luther sighs)


LUTHER: You’re probably right.


FRANK: Send out audition tapes, G.


(Luther nods. Cut to the next day. Eggs are cooking on Luther’s stove as he walks out of his room, wearing but a towel. He spots the mail on the counter, and sorts through it)


LUTHER: Bills, bills, bills- (Luther throws aside a CD labeled “Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child”) thanks Aunt Martha, you finally dug on that song. And- (Luther finds a letter from Amazon. He furrows his brow and opens it. The letter reads “Mr. Moon- We have reviewed your audition tape and would like to invite you to audition in person at our Los Angeles studios on Tuesday, June 12th! Look forward to seeing you. P.S. We do not validate parking and there is no free parking within a twenty-mile radius”) Holy shit. (His eggs start burning) Fuck, I shouldn’t left those on in the shower-


(Luther runs towards the stove. Cut to Luther in an audition room, dressed as a 19th century Englishman. He is standing before three Amazon streaming executives, all white, 2/3rds male, and dressed in business casual attire and holding clipboards)


AMAZON EXECUTIVE: Alright, Mister… (Checks notes) Moon?




AMAZON EXECUTIVE: Sorry for the short notice on this audition, but we are looking to cast this all-black Wuthering Heights mini-series as soon as possible. So, in this scene, you are Heathcliff, and you are prepared to release vicious dogs to prevent Lockwood from entering.


AMAZON EXECUTIVE 2: Yeah, and they’re pitbulls.


LUTHER: Cool. Wait, why do they have to be pitbulls?


AMAZON EXECUTIVE: Very scarred-up pitbulls.


LUTHER: That didn’t-




(Luther composes himself)


LUTHER: (British accent) That will show Lockwood. Entering Wuthering Heights is a privilege, nay, a LUXURY, not befitting simply anyone! Curse him, if he shall-


AMAZON EXECUTIVE: Let me stop you right there. Good, those are the lines we provided you with, but feel free to improvise!

AMAZON EXECUTIVE 2: Yes, absolutely, feel free to be more aggressive! You think Lockwood is a motherfucker-



AMAZON EXECUTIVE 2: Feel free to curse and light a blunt or something-


LUTHER: A blunt?! Where would I get a-



LUTHER: Uh, uh, that will show that, bitch? Lockwood! Entering Wuthering Heights is a privilege, nay, a LUXURY, not befitting simply any…motherfucker!

AMAZON EXECUTIVE 3: We’ll let you know.


(Cut to Luther sitting on his couch, with his head in his hands. Richie is sitting across from him, smoking a blunt)


LUTHER: That couldn’t have gone worse.


RICHIE: Did you shit the bed?


(Luther lifts his head)


LUTHER: No, they just wanted me to conform to all these racist stereotypes, dude! “Angry black man” and all that shit. They even told me to smoke a blunt!



(Richie tokes off his blunt)


LUTHER: You’d think an all-black version of Wuthering Heights would have some black people doing the casting!


RICHIE: Nah, I wouldn’t think that.


(Luther laughs)


LUTHER: Goddamnit, what a mess.


RICHIE: Bro, I got an opportunity for you.


LUTHER: No! No dealing!

RICHIE: it ain’t that, bro, I got friends in the industry too. Come with me.


(Luther sighs and shrugs)


LUTHER: A’ight, let’s go.


(They both stand up. Cut to Rob pulling up to McKenzie’s house, as NPR plays on his radio)


NPR: President Trump and Chairman Kim have now convened for a working lunch in Singapore. The President will be accompanied by John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. No word yet on whether Bolton and Kim will resist the urge to kill each other. In other news, the Administration is planning on building camps to house children separated from immigrant families- is that for real? Is that shit really happening? Jesus Christ.


(Rob turns off his car and gets out. He takes a deep breath and approaches the door. He knocks thrice, and a disheveled and unshaved Kevin answers the door)


KEVIN: Oh. Robert. Are you here to sell me steak knives or something?


ROB: No, I want to see McKenzie. We’re worried about her at The Box.


KEVIN: No need to worry, she’s just losing her fucking mind. Thanks for stopping by.


(Kevin tries to close the door, but Rob stops the door with his hand)


ROB: Please, just let me talk to her. I won’t be long.


KEVIN: …Fine, just come in.


(Rob walks in and Kevin closes the door. Rob observes the dirty, cluttered confines of their house)


ROB: Nice place.


KEVIN: Fuck you. (Kevin takes Rob to their bedroom. Kevin knocks on the door) Babe?


MCKENZIE: (Offscreen) Hmm?


KEVIN: Rob’s here to see you.




KEVIN: No, the much worse one.


MCKENZIE: Hmm. Okay.


(Kevin opens the door, and Rob sees McKenzie sitting in bed watching Netflix on her computer and chain smoking. An overflowing ash tray sits on her bedside table)


ROB: Hey, Kenzie.




(McKenzie takes a drag, as Rob sits down)


ROB: Kenz, let me ask you, do you consider us friends? (McKenzie blankly stares forward) That’s how my stepdad always responded, so I’m going to assume that means “yes”. Now, do you consider everyone at The Box friends? (McKenzie puts her cigarette out in the ashtray) Okay, cool, so, I’ll just cut to the chase. All your friends are gonna get fired if you don’t come back by Wednesday. (McKenzie has no reaction) …Also, we miss you. A lot. Miles hasn’t stopped screaming about how much he misses you. (McKenzie looks at Rob) There you go, that’s progress. (McKenzie crawls towards Rob and starts making out with him, much to his shock. Rob comes up for air) McKenzie, what the hell are you!?


(Kevin sits on the bed)


KEVIN: This is what we wanted from you back in April, Rob.

ROB: I know, but…I, are we at the point, where-


MCKENZIE: Is this what you want, Rob? (Rob looks back at Kevin, and then at McKenzie. He nods. McKenzie continues making out with him. Rob falls on his back. Kevin takes off his grubby USC shirt and closes the door. Kevin gets behind the two of them and pulls McKenzie up and starts kissing her neck. Rob gestures to McKenzie’s shirt. In a rush of confused adrenaline, Rob starts unbuttoning McKenzie’s shirt. Kevin pulls off her shirt and unclasps her brassiere. Rob takes off his Boston Celtics shirt and throws it aside. McKenzie turns to Kevin and starts making out with him. Rob removes his pants and underwear and presses himself up against McKenzie’s body. Fade to later, Rob, McKenzie and Kevin are lying in bed, Kevin and McKenzie are fast asleep, but Rob is wide awake, looking guilty. Rob gets up, pulls his underwear up, and walks into their bathroom. Rob looks at himself, shame deeply imbedded in his eyes, pounds his fist on the counter, and hangs his head. He then exits the bathroom putting his shirt on, and he sees McKenzie up, lighting a cigarette. He starts putting his pants on, as she exhales smoke) I’ll be there tomorrow.


(Rob zips up his pants)


ROB: Is that what this was all about?


(McKenzie shakes her head)


MCKENZIE: Nah, it was just extra. (McKenzie smiles. Rob remains stoic, grabs his shoes, and walks out of the room. McKenzie now looks concerned. She nudges Kevin) He’s single, right?


KEVIN: How could someone like him not be?


(McKenzie playfully hits him)


MCKENZIE: You just had sex with him, Kevin!

KEVIN: I had sex near him.


(McKenzie shakes her head. Cut to Rob taking a shower, washing the shame out of his body. Cut to him driving while smoking a cigarette and listening to “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B on the radio. He finishes his cigarette and throws it out the window. Cut to Rob pulling up to an apartment building. He gets out and treks up the stairs. He knocks on a door, and a few seconds later, Lilly opens up)


LILLY: Rob? What are you doing here?


ROB: I, uh…wanted to see you. Can I come in?


LILLY: What? Are you a vampire? Do you need to be invited?


ROB: I’m on this whole “respecting women” kick, so kind of.


LILLY: Good to hear it’s just a phase.


ROB: Lilly.


LILLY: Rob, I appreciate it, but you caught me just as I was putting dinner on the table.


ROB: What is, dinner?


LILLY: A bowl of cereal and week-old chili.


ROB: Those pare well.


LILLY: Yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow night, okay?


ROB: …Okay.


LILLY: Is everything alright?


ROB: …Yeah. Yes. I’ll see you.


(Rob skulks away, and Lilly is left concerned. Cut to the next day. Rob, Miles and Whitney are sitting in their set chairs, as the set is readied by stage hands. A flurry of activity abounds in the room)


WHITNEY: I’m just glad Trump is getting along with him, Jesus, remember the fire and fury days?


ROB: I remember trying to build a fallout shelter but being so drunk that I passed out before I could start.


(Bonnie, Hannah, Judy and Sidra get on stage)


WHITNEY: …Yeah, exactly?


MILES: If McKenzie doesn’t get here in five minutes, I swear to Christ-


(McKenzie comes over to them)


MCKENZIE: Hey, my precious friends! Where do you want me?


MILES: It’s great to see you again, Kenz, stand right next to Sidra, if you don’t mind.


MCKENZIE: Of course! Wish me luck.


(McKenzie gets on stage as Rob and Whitney smile at her)


WHITNEY: I miss that McKenzie.


ROB: Yeah. She is a very warm person.


WHITNEY: Uh-huh.


ROB: Yeah, she’s warm, but cold in patches too, a world-weary age underlying her natural beauty, that reveals itself only to the most perceptive. (Whitney quizzically stares at Rob) Filled with unwanted yearning, suffocated by melancholy.


(Whitney continues to stare as Miles give the signal)




(The cameras turn on, and Bonnie lifts the microphone to her face)


BONNIE: Welcome. To the hottest new competition show on television. I am Bonnie Backlash, and here we have our three contestants this season, competing, for a $25,000-dollar prize, all of which will go to a woman’s charity of their choice. Please welcome back into your hearts, homes and clits-


WHITNEY: We’re gonna have to bleep that.


BONNIE: Judy Cross, Hannah Delaney, Sidra Seif and McKenzie Park. Judy. How do you feel about your chances in tonight’s competition?


JUDY: I feel hashtag blessed to have been the winner last week, and this week, I’m looking to break skulls. For Jesus.


BONNIE: Damn, girl, you are savage. Quite literally, you nearly scalped Sidra last time.


SIDRA: Yeah!


BONNIE: McKenzie, how do you feel about your chances tonight?


MCKENZIE: I feel great about my chances. Of bringing justice.


(Bonnie is flummoxed)


BONNIE: Justice? How do you know her? We used to work together-


MCKENZIE: No, ma’am. I mean justice for this fucker right here- (McKenzie pulls out a picture of Coach Pingree) that’s right, Palms Middle School PE coach Dan Pingree.


MILES: Oh, Christ.


ROB: Wow.


MCKENZIE: This creep molested me and probably dozens of others throughout the years. And I think it’s time his other victims speak out, so he may be fired and imprisoned for his actions.


(Judy, Sidra, Hannah and Bonnie applaud. Cut to Miles standing in his backyard, speaking with twelve little people wearing spandex. They are standing next to a donkey and an industrial-sized barrel of mayonnaise)


MILES: Ladies and gentlemen-


LITTLE PERSON: We’re all men.


MILES: Thank you all for responding to the Craigslist ad I posted like, an hour ago.


LITTLE PERSON 2: We’re always on the lookout, my friend!


MILES: This is for a little movie I like to call “A Cunt Shits Blood In Auschwitz: Raping Cows One Day at a Time”.


LITTLE PERSON: That sounds, awful.


MILES: IT’S ART! Now, I want you to dump Mayonnaise all over this donkey.


LITTLE PERSON 2: Isn’t that animal abuse?


LITTLE PERSON 3: Yeah, I’m not comfortable with that.


MILES: Fine, then pour the mayonnaise out and let him, stomp around in it. ACTION!

(Miles steps back. One of the little people knocks the barrel over and mayonnaise pours everywhere, making the donkey bray, and step over a little bit)


MILES: Okay, okay. Do some other stuff.


LITTLE PERSON 3: Like, what?


MILES: Like, anything! (Miles gets a call) Hold on. (Miles answers his phone) Hello?


ROB: (On the phone) Miles, we have a problem. We need you to come to the office.


MILES: Ugh, shit. Heavy is the head that wears the dildo on his forehead, I guess. I’ll be right there.


ROB: Dildo on your-


(Miles hangs up and turns to the little people)


MILES: I have to go in to work, but this shouldn’t take long. Stick around, help yourself to my food and drink, and feel free to fuck, too. In fact, that might be exactly what we need for this film! Alright, I’ll be back.


(Miles leaves through his gate. The little people look around)

LITTLE PERSON: Where the hell is the camera?


(Cut to Ryan at reception, resting his head on his hand while surfing the web on his laptop. Miles walks up to the front desk)


MILES: Ryan, are they meeting in the conference room?


(Ryan looks up)


RYAN: …Hm?


(Miles sighs)


MILES: Conference room?


RYAN: No. Rob’s office.


MILES: Great.

(Miles walks to Rob’s office, opens the door, and sees Rob sitting on a communal sofa with a glass of Scotch. Whitney is sitting across from him holding a glass of scotch as well. Miles shuts the door)


ROB: Close the door.


MILES: I did. Who died?


WHITNEY: Our careers, it seems.


MILES: What?


ROB: Gary Newman came by an hour ago. He demanded that we not air McKenzie’s little stunt.


MILES: What? Why!?


(Miles walks over to Rob’s office bar and fixes himself a drink)


WHITNEY: Coach Pingree coached him and coaches his kid. He’s like a father to that guy.


MILES: Yeah, it’s because he has a penis. (Miles finishes making his drink and sits in between Rob and Whitney) And a pretty unimpressive one. (They look at him) I imagine.


WHITNEY: Pingree is seen as a pillar of the community. Taking him down would be worth it, but we’d be cancelled, apparently.


MILES: It’s FOX’s decision to air us or not. He’s one guy.


ROB: He’s THE guy, though. If we submit the tape, unedited, to FOX, they won’t air it, we’ll be cancelled. If we edit it, they’ll air it, but McKenzie will quit, and if they ever find out why, it’ll be a scandal.


MILES: It IS a scandal! We should get public opinion on our side!


WHITNEY: That’s what I was saying, let’s dare them to cancel us for this! Let’s go public!


ROB: …Alright. Just know that this could be the end of The Box.


(Whitney raises he drink)


WHITNEY: To the end!


(Rob and Miles raise their glasses)


ROB & MILES: To the end!

(They clink the glasses and guzzle them down. Cut to Luther and Richie standing outside a dilapidated house in south Compton. Luther turns to Richie)


LUTHER: This is the production company you were talking about?


RICHIE: I may have misled you slightly.


LUTHER: Dude, what the fuck?


RICHIE: Bro, they DO produce things here. I wasn’t lyin’ about that.


LUTHER: Nigga, I am not going to give you a pass on that!


RICHIE: Just check it out, bro, it’s a little operation they got goin’, one of they dealers was picked up for bein’ a fuckin’ dumbass, and they need fresh blood. And someone to clean up that blood, if necessary.


LUTHER: Man, let’s go.


(Luther turns away, and Richie grabs him by the shoulder)


RICHIE: Nigga, wait! (Luther turns back to Richie) You ain’t aggressive enough to be Hollywood’s monkey, alright?


LUTHER: Nigga, what the fuck is that supposed to mean?


RICHIE: They want to make you dance for them. You ain’t gotta do that. Hollywood’s turned you soft, but this is what men do. They do what has to be done.


LUTHER: Fuck you, Richie.


RICHIE: You mad at me? Then do somethin’ about it, prove me wrong.


LUTHER: Dude, I’m not gonna stoop to your level- (Luther hits Richie in the face, and in return, Richie punches Luther in the stomach) Fuck!

RICHIE: Sorry, man, knee jerk reaction. Are you alright?


LUTHER: I’m fine, asshole.


RICHIE: You hit me, it’s a start. You stood up for yourself.


LUTHER: Where are we? The fuckin’ schoolyard?


RICHIE: Come in with me, at least check it out.


LUTHER: What are they making here?

RICHIE: It’s coke, mostly.


LUTHER: Dude, I ain’t that desperate.


RICHIE: If there’s no way you’ll do it, then why not just come in and see what it’s about? It’s not like it’ll change your mind!

LUTHER: …Nigga, just show me this shit so we can go home.


(Richie pats Luther on the back as they enter the bando. Cut to inside the dilapidated structure. A black drug lord and his black and Latino henchmen are sitting around a table, blunts glowing in ash trays, loud trap music playing, a parakeet sitting on a pole, baggies of coke upon the table. One of the Latino henchmen has a shoulder tattoo depicting a bulldog smoking a blunt while he himself is a wrapped in a blunt, against a maple leaf background)


RICHIE: Hey y’all, this is my friend-


LUTHER: Rodney. That’s my name.


(The lead drug lord stands up)


DRUG LORD: What up, Rodney? (He extends his fist, Luther pounds it) How is you, nigga?


LUTHER: I’m a’ight.


HENCHMAN: What is this fool doing here?


RICHIE: Ay, man, don’t be like that, he’s my homie, he wants to learn the ropes.


(Luther glares at Richie)

LUTHER: I’m just visiting.


DRUG LORD: We don’t take visitors, nigga. Unless you get a visitor’s pass from Jenna. But she’s out sick today, so, tell us what you really here for.


RICHIE: I’m tryin’ to convince him to get in the game, he’s undecided. But no need to worry, he know how to keep his trap shut.


HENCHMAN: Yeah, and how we know that?


LUTHER: Well, for one, I haven’t said anything about your ugly-ass shoulder tattoo.


(Richie, the drug lord and all the henchmen stare at Luther in disbelief)


HENCHMAN: FUCK you say to me, nigga?


(The henchman stands up and gets in Luther’s face)


RICHIE: Uh, Luther’s playin-


DRUG LORD: Yo, Ricardo, back off, dude.


(Ricardo turns to the drug lord)


RICARDO: But this motherfucker-


DRUG LORD: Yo, the fuck did I say?


(Ricardo reluctantly backs up and sits down)


DRUG LORD: It’s an ugly-ass tattoo, bro.


RICARDO: It’s my dog, homie.


DRUG LORD: Then why’s he about to get literally smoked, dude? (The Drug Lord, the other henchmen, Richie and Luther start laughing) And that’s a fuckin’ maple leaf, dude, is yo’ dog Canadian, nigga?


RICARDO: Fuck y’all.


(The laughter subsides)


DRUG LORD: (To Luther) We got off on the wrong foot. I’m Jordan, but most people call me Rainstorm. Mostly ‘cause I was conceived and born during a rainstorm.


LUTHER: Huh. Nice to meet you.


RAINSTORM: We had this dumbass white dude named Clay picked up for sellin’ weed to an undercover cop.


HENCHMAN 2: The motherfucker was wearin’ an LAPD hoodie.


(Luther chuckles)




RAINSTORM: Anyway, we could use a new pusher. You in?


LUTHER: …I need to think about it. Let me sleep on it.


RICHIE: Yeah. He’s a thoughtful motherfucker. He like the Jeff Bezos of the hood, and shit.


LUTHER: Bro, chill out.


RICHIE: Sorry, dude, I’m trying to scope out cool nicknames for yo’ ass.


LUTHER: We gotta head. See y’all around.




(Luther fist bumps Rainstorm, and so does Richie. They leave. Cut to Dana Walden’s lush executive office at FOX. The phone is ringing. Dana rushes in, frazzled, chomping on a bagel and holding a briefcase. Her secretary comes through an intercom)


SECRETARY: (Offscreen) Mrs. Walden, I have Robert Altmire on line one.


(Dana hurriedly puts the briefcase down and the bagel aside. She looks nervous)


DANA: Take a message. Actually- no, just put it through.


SECRETARY: Yes, ma’am.


(Dana picks up the phone)


DANA: Rob, I swear, if this is about us-


RYAN: (On the line) Here’s Mr. Altmire.


(Dana mouths “shit”)


ROB: (On the phone) Hello?


DANA: Rob, if this is about us-


ROB: Are you aware of what Gary is doing to us? Did you approve this?


DANA: What? What are you talking about?


ROB: Gary’s pressuring us not to air McKenzie’s emotional plea, outing the PE coach that molested her. Did he not tell you?


DANA: …No, he did not. (Cut to Gary eating a salad in his fancy executive office while looking at his laptop screen. Dana comes in) Gary?


GARY: Dana! (Gary stands up) Have you tried the salads at The Sycamore? Those people are Mozart with lettuce and tomatoes.


DANA: Gary, what you’re doing with The Box is not right.


(Gary’s visage grows sour)


GARY: …Those bastards.


DANA: No. It’s not them. It’s you. Gary, McKenzie Park was hurt. She was a twelve-year old girl.


(Gary bites his lip)


GARY: Now she’s a twenty-four-year-old whose decided it’s her moment to shine.


(Gary puts his hands in his pocket. Dana shakes her head)


DANA: You’re a prick.


GARY: I’m gonna make the call to cancel it.


DANA: No. You’re not. (Dana takes out her phone and shows her an LA Times article entitled “Sources Say FOX Pressured Reality Show to Suppress Molestation Accusation) You picked a bad time in American history to pull this stunt off, Gary.


(Gary chuckles)


GARY: I’m not going to be intimidated by these fucks any longer. They leaked to the press, so they could get more money for their shitty show. We’ve been bullied by them for too long.


DANA: Gary, we’re co-CEOs, you can’t just unilaterally-


GARY: Dana. You don’t want me leaking YOUR dirty laundry to the press, do you?


(Dana’s face brims with anger)

DANA: You fucker.


GARY: I’m pulling the trigger. (Dana furrows her brow) Steve?


(A man in a suit walks over with a suitcase. He opens it, revealing a metallic contraption of some sort. He pulls out a metallic card with a code on it)


DANA: …The fuck is this?


GARY: It’s my cancellation code.


DANA: You have like a, nuclear football for, cancelling stuff?


GARY: Just let me have my fun, okay?


(Gary inserts the code. Cut to Whitney looking out the window of her office, holding a carton of boxed water. Rob sits on her couch, drinking from a carton of his own)


WHITNEY: …You were so right about these.


ROB: Right?! If you put whiskey in a water bottle, everyone’s gonna know you’re getting fucked up. But I think the cardboard hides it or something.


(Whitney smiles and plops down on the couch)


WHITNEY: …Thank you.


ROB: …For what?


WHITNEY: For pushing me to do this. Even if we get cancelled, I’m glad I had this experience.


(Rob shrugs)


ROB: …I’ve never been one to back down from a bad idea.


WHITNEY: Yeah, well, even a broken cock is right twice a day-


(Whitney drunkenly laughs)


ROB: I’m gonna assume that was a slip of the tongue.


WHITNEY: Hmm. Maybe.


(Intercom comes on)


RYAN: (Over intercom) Ms. Stone, I have Dana Walden on line one.


(Rob anxiously stands up)


ROB: Oh, shit.




(Whitney puts the phone on speakerphone)


DANA: (On the phone) Hello? Whitney?


WHITNEY: Dana, this is Whitney Stone, and Rob Altmire is also in here.


ROB: You could probably just tell from my man must, though.


(Whitney glares at Rob. Rob shrugs)


DANA: Charming as always, Robert. Guys, unfortunately, I couldn’t save your show. It’s been cancelled.


(Rob and Whitney’s faces drop. Rob sits on the couch in despair)


WHITNEY: What?! But, Dana, don’t you have a say in this?


DANA: The network overruled me. It’s not just about Gary’s vendetta, it’s also about…oh, who the hell am I kidding? Yes it is.


(Rob shakes his head)


WHITNEY: Is there nothing we can do?


DANA: It’s quite final. I’m sorry it had to end this way. I wish you guys the best.


(Rob makes a jerk-off motion)


WHITNEY: (Despondent) Uh-huh. You too.


DANA: Have a good one.


(Dana hangs up. Whitney turns around, guzzles the rest of her boxed whiskey, and collapses onto the couch)


WHITNEY: …Fuck. We got one episode with decent ratings, and that’s it.


(Rob guzzles his boxed whiskey too, and slams it on the coffee table)


ROB: You know what they say? All good things must be mercilessly smothered in their sleep.


WHITNEY: …I can’t go back to BuzzFeed, not like this.


ROB: What? You mean, drunk at 5pm?


WHITNEY: No, for real, Rob, I don’t want to go back to BuzzFeed.


ROB: Do you think I want to go back to HQ Trivia? I’m getting sued by so many Parental Groups for my hosting gigs on that godforsaken app.


WHITNEY: …Wait. Why do we have to leave?


ROB: What do you mean?


WHITNEY: Altmire-Stone operates independently of FOX, we can move buildings and just, have a production company.


(Rob looks to the side)


ROB: …That’s true.


WHITNEY: We could produce, anything we choose to. Feminist or otherwise.


ROB: Well, we’d need a bigger staff, considering we don’t have FOX to lean on anymore.


WHITNEY: We’d still be partners, I’d be the CEO, you could be the Head of Development. You could have a development team with Miles and Hannah.


ROB: …Yeah. You could make those sugar cookies just like you used to.


WHITNEY: …What are you talking about?

ROB: Sorry, I just started thinking about my mom for some reason. (Rob clears his throat and leans forward) This all sounds amazing, but what about McKenzie? Or Bonnie? They’re getting fucked over the most. Not that I would no anything about fucking, either of them.


(Rob nervously clears his throat)


WHITNEY: Thank God you don’t work for a major TV channel anymore.


ROB: So, what about them?


WHITNEY: Well…every industry executive needs an assistant.


(Rob smiles and leans back. Cut to Miles pulling up to his house. He notices a pounding beat and strobe lights emanating from it. There’s a little person bouncer at the door. He gets out, very confused, and walks up to the bouncer)


BOUNCER: You want in? Five-dollar cover charge.


MILES: I live here!

BOUNCER: Oh? You’re the owner? Come on in, Mr. Grothman.


(The bouncer opens the door, and Miles walks into a makeshift night club full of twinks, little people and druggies. Aphex Twin is very loudly playing as the clubgoers aggressively dance, drink and take drugs. He weaves his way through the crowd until he finds the original Little Person from earlier)




(The donkey, now covered in neon bracelets, walks by, and brays)





(Miles smiles)



(The little person smiles)




(Jack extends his hand. Miles takes his hand and sucks on his finger. Jack smiles)





(Ryan walks by, but Miles stops him)






(Ryan hugs Miles, and then runs away giggling)




(Jack smiles, as Miles hands him a pill. Cut to Whitney and Rob in Whitney’s office, after nightfall. Whitney is waiting on the phone while Rob is sitting on the couch, looking at her)


ROB: Anything?


WHITNEY: No, he’s not answering.


ROB: Okay, well, we can hire Miles tomorrow. He’ll still be alive…. probably. I gotta go meet Lilly.


WHITNEY: Who’s Lilly?


(Rob stands up)


ROB: Just my latest sexual conquest. (Rob smiles) And, also a person I care deeply about. Unfortunately.


WHITNEY: Well, be sure to use protection. (Rob grimaces at her) Sorry, I meant that to be a joke, but I realize now that’s a really sore subject.


(Noel comes in)


NOEL: Mr. Altmire, Ms. Stone, Luther Moon is here to see you.


WHITNEY: Noel, it’s 6:30, you can go home.


NOEL: If you’re working, I’m working! Do I have an internship waiting for me at the new office, by the way?


ROB: Of course.


WHITNEY: Maybe not Ryan-


ROB: Hey! That little shit is family. He’s never going to learn responsibility if he’s not rewarded based on nepotism alone, okay?


WHITNEY: You can let Luther in, Noel.


NOEL: Yes, ma’am!

(Noel walks out and Luther comes in)


LUTHER: Hi. I’m glad y’all are here.


ROB: Not for too much longer though, what’s up?


LUTHER: I deserve an expanded role at The Box. I’ve been loyal, I’ve been consistent, and honestly, Rob, you owe me for the number you did on my finances.


(Rob and Whitney look at one another, and then look back at Luther)


ROB: Luther, we can’t offer you any of those things, but, we can offer you something better.


(Luther looks confused. Cut to black)



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