The Valley of the Tools Episode 15

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


Rob's father tracks him down and comes to visit, Hannah enrolls in an acting class without Whitney's knowledge and Miles grows frustrated as he continues not to receive credit for bringing in CBS
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Submitted: August 16, 2018

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Submitted: August 16, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“HEART OF GLASS”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“Once I had a love, and it was a gas. Soon found out, I had a heart of glass. Seemed like the real thing, only to find, mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind”

  • Debbie Harry

 

(We open on a jumping night club. Clubgoers gyrate and move to “Strict Machine” by Goldfrapp. Luis Vuitton and Ed Hardy dominate the wardrobe. Pan over to the bar, a 48-year old Brad Lamborn is speaking on his flip phone.  His t-shirt reads “Vote or Die” and the club is festooned with “Kerry/Edwards” and “Nader ‘04” stickers. A bored, 30-something black woman is sitting near Brad as he speaks on the phone)

 

BRAD: HEY! HEY, MAN, I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M AT A CLUB IN BOSTON! YEAH, I’M GETTING MY DICK SUCKED, WHAT YOU THINK? (Brad laughs, turns to the woman and winks. The woman rolls her eyes) I GOTTA GO! (Brad hangs up and turns to the woman) I’m all yours, baby.

 

WOMAN: Why do you say things like that? Just trying to impress your stupid-ass friends?!

 

BRAD: They don’t know you’re the only girl for me, Carla.

 

CARLA: Nigga, please.

 

BRAD: I love you!
 

CARLA: You say that to every girl that comes across your path, you think I don’t know who the fuck you is?

 

BRAD: I’m Brad Lamborn, I have nothing to hide!

CARLA: You’re a hoe-ass nigga.

 

BRAD: I like women, what do you want?

 

CARLA: Nothing, Brad. Nothing.

 

(A 25-year old Rob Altmire, donning a skin-tight black shirt with “BLACKOUT” inscribed into it and lacking a beard, slinks through the crowd with a 28-year old man with a mohawk and the same shirt on)

 

ROB: Let’s head outside for a minute, alright!?

 

MOHAWK: Okay! (Cut to Rob and Mohawk stepping out of the club through a backdoor, into a back alley. Rob hands Mohawk a cigarette and lights one for himself. Mohawk lights his cigarette and exhales) Busy night, tonight.

 

ROB: Yeah. Still, though, Charles, it’s nights like this that I’m glad I’m a bouncer.

 

CHARLES: Why’s that?

 

ROB: The women in there, man, it’s like Ass City. Population: Ass. Main export: Ass. Main import-

 

CHARLES: Don’t, do the import part-

 

ROB: Do you want to know their national bird?

 

CHARLES: Not really.

 

ROB: It’s the Blue-Breasted Warbler.

 

CHARLES: Huh.

 

ROB: I’m just saying, Boston chicks rock.

 

CHARLES: I dig ‘em, too, man. But I don’t want to work here forever just because of the ass.

 

ROB: Where do you want to work forever?

 

CHARLES: I don’t like the idea of working anywhere for very long. Much less forever. I could get on a bike right now, drive to Florida, and just, see some alligators or some shit.

 

ROB: Do you think-

 

(Feminine screaming can be heard inside. Quickly, Rob and Charles put out their cigarettes and rush inside. They see Brad man-handling Carla at the bar)

 

CARLA: LET GO OF ME, ASSHOLE!!

 

BRAD: SHUT UP, BITCH! (Brad slaps Carla) STOP EMBARASSING ME!!

 

(Rob and Charles quickly weave their way through the crowd. Rob and Charles grab Brad from behind)

 

ROB: GET OFF OF HER, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!
 

(Rob punches Brad in the stomach)

 

CHARLES: You NEVER get to come back here again, you got that, motherfucker?

 

BRAD: SHE HIT ME FIRST!
 

(Rob punches Brad in the face)

 

ROB: Sounds like she made the right call, then. (To everyone) HEY, EVERYONE! NEW RULE! THIS MAN IS THE ONLY PERSON YOU’RE ALLOWED TO PUNCH IN THE FACE!

 

CHARLES: Let’s go, lowlife.

 

(Rob and Charles drag Brad from the club as clubgoers stare. They drag him out the door, into the back alley and throw him on the pavement)

 

BRAD: Fuck.

 

CHARLES: Don’t come back. Ever.

 

(Rob kicks Charles in the ribs, and he howls in pain)

 

ROB: YOU HEAR THAT, MOTHERFUCKER!?

 

(Rob kicks him right in the ribs again, and he writhes in pain. Charles holds Rob back)

 

CHARLES: Rob, that’s enough!
 

ROB: IT’S NEVER ENOUGH FOR THIS PRICK!

 

(Rob throws Charles back and kicks Brad again. Close-up on Rob’s face as he seethes with rage. Match cut to Rob’s face in August 2018. He’s sitting in the Altmire-Stone conference room)

 

WHITNEY: (OS) Yelena, we think these pages are the best direction to take AstroManda in the first season. They are daring and bold, they send stark messages to little girls and boys everywhere, and adults could enjoy them, too.

 

(Zoom out to reveal Rob, Whitney and Hannah are sitting across the table from Yelena Chak, Amy Reisenbach and Meghan Lyvers from CBS)

 

AMY: I appreciate the bold direction you want to go in, but wouldn’t a domestic abuser supervillain be a bit much for young girls to take in?

 

HANNAH: I understand your point, but we think it’s important for young girls to learn to identify toxic relationships before it’s too late.

 

ROB: Plus, the fact that the show is willing to touch that issue will get media attention, which is important for attracting an audience.

 

MEGHAN: That’s a fair point. But, maybe we could make it less obvious, I mean, the Supervillain’s name is “Deadbeat”.

 

(Ryan comes in)

 

RYAN: Rob, you have a guest in reception.

 

(Rob turns to Ryan)

 

ROB: Ryan, unless it’s Pearl Jama at reception, tell them to take a walk.

 

RYAN: It’s, uh-

 

ROB: Holy shit, is Pearl Jam at reception?!

 

RYAN: No, it’s a guy named Brad Lamborn.

 

(Rob’s eyes widen)

 

ROB: …Oh.

 

(Whitney looks confused)

 

WHITNEY: …Who the hell is Brad Lamborn?

 

(Rob turns to the CBS executives)

 

ROB: I’m sorry, I need to handle this. Excuse me.

 

(Rob stands up and slips out of the room)

 

RYAN: Do you guys need a water, tea or, like a, Monster? Or a fifth of Hennessey?

 

WHITNEY: Ryan, go.

 

(Ryan nods and leaves, closing the door behind him. Cut to Rob standing in front of Brad Lamborn in the waiting area. Brad’s wearing a tweed fedora, cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt)

 

ROB: …Can I help you?

 

(Brad, now 62, licks his lips nervously)
 

BRAD: …We met in Boston, about a month and a half ago. You’re Tilden Katz.

 

ROB: Right. But I quit the collections business recently-

 

BRAD: I know your real name is Rob Altmire.

 

(Rob furrows his brow)

 

ROB: In the collections business, we sometimes use aliases. Mine used to be “Dick Thunderbolt”.

 

BRAD: I know you were never a collections agent, Rob. (Rob tilts his head) Because a real collections agent came after me, recently. My record store reviewed the video footage, and one of our customers recognized you from TV. I saw your name was “Rob Altmire”, so I connected the dots, and-

 

ROB: Let’s talk outside.

 

(Rob takes Brad by the arm and drags him outside the office, into the hallway)

 

BRAD: (Whispering) Are you my son?

 

(Rob sighs)

 

ROB: …Yeah. My mom told me about you after my step-father died.

 

BRAD: …Why’d you say you were a collections agent, then?

 

ROB: …I guess I wasn’t ready to face you. Oh, and Dick Thunderbolt was just my pen name in High School, by the way.

 

BRAD: Thanks for the info.

 

ROB: …Brad, I’m busy right now-

 

BRAD: Call me “dad”.

 

ROB: Let’s- let’s not go there, just yet.

 

BRAD: “Daddy”?

 

ROB: Brad. I’m in a meeting. Let’s meet up later.

BRAD: Yes. My son works in Hollywood. (Brad smiles) I’m so proud.

 

(Rob smirks)

 

ROB: Ronnie’s diner. It’s on Culver Boulevard. Let’s meet there at six-ish.

 

BRAD: Father-son bonding.

 

ROB: Please take it easy. Okay? I don’t need you to bounce me on your leg and tell me stories about the war.

 

BRAD: Trust me, I never went to no war. You’ll mostly hear about broads I’ve been with.

 

(Rob uneasily nods)

 

ROB: Sounds fun. I’ll see you later.

 

(Rob ducks back inside. Brad smiles and walks away. Cut to Rob re-entering the conference room and sitting down, deeply distracted)

 

AMY: I suppose we could accept Deadbeat if we delayed the reveal about, you know, his relationship with AstroManda for a couple of episodes.

 

HANNAH: Well, with all due respect, that would render the first couple episodes fairly non-sensical, to say the least.

 

AMY: Well, then we change the first couple of episodes. (Rob begins doodling his own face on a piece of paper) Instead of AstroManda flipping through her diary, trying to find clues to Deadbeat’s weakness, she could, flip through the newspaper and laugh at The Funnies. Or something.

 

(Whitney nods, barely masking her confusion)

 

WHITNEY: …What do you think about that, Rob?

 

(Rob looks up, caught off guard)

 

ROB: What?

 

WHITNEY: Amy’s suggestion.

 

ROB: Uh…sounds fine to me.

 

(Hannah glares at Rob)

 

AMY: Great. Send us revised pages soon, and we’ll meet again.

 

(Rob, Hannah, Whitney, Amy, Yelena and Meghan stand up and start shaking hands. Hannah and Whitney are clearly pissed. Cut to Hannah and Whitney standing in Rob’s office as he sits behind his desk)

 

WHITNEY: I called you in for reinforcements, and you threw the grenade back in my face!
 

ROB: I didn’t hear what she said.

 

HANNAH: You weren’t LISTENING!?

 

ROB: I have a lot on my mind, okay?! (Rob stands up and points at his brain) Heavy is the head that wears the crown! And everybody agrees, I’m the King! It’s all laid out plain in my 2007 Rap Album- (Rob takes a CD out of his desk drawer depicting a 28-year old Rob sitting on a throne, wearing a crown, with the words “I’M THE KING: And Other Stories from The Rough Streets” beside him) “I’m The King: And Other Stories from The Rough Streets”. (They stare at Rob in utter disbelief) …Can I put you guys down for one copy each? (Cut to Brad sitting in Ronnie’s diner, sipping on coffee. Rob enters, and Brad shoots up, expecting a hug) Let’s slow down, okay?

 

(Rob sits down in the booth. Brad follows)

 

BRAD: You don’t want to hug your own father?

 

ROB: Brad, the reason I-

 

(Tara, the waitress, walks over)

 

TARA: Could I get you some- (Tara recognizes Rob) oh. Hi, Rob. Have any fresh mayhem to inflict?

 

ROB: No, Tara, I’ll just have a coffee. Thanks.

 

(Tara glares at Rob and walks away)

 

BRAD: Ex-girlfriend?

 

ROB: No, she put my brother in jail. Anyway, what have you been up to the last…your entire life?

 

(Brad shrugs)

 

BRAD: I’ve been around. Slept around. That’s how I ended up with you.

 

(Rob smirks)

 

ROB: Did you know that Kay got pregnant?

 

(Brad shakes his head “no”)

 

BRAD: But I remembered her name. Kay Altmire. And boy, did I remember her.

 

ROB: Okay. Dad. Don’t go into that-

 

BRAD: You called me “dad”.

 

(Brad smiles. Rob smirks)

 

ROB: …I guess you saw my age and my last name and put two-and-two together?

 

(Brad nods)

 

BRAD: But anyway, back to how I screwed your mother-

 

ROB: Dad-

 

BRAD: I’m kidding!
 

(Rob lets out a laugh, despite himself)

 

BRAD: So what has my boy been doing the last forty years, huh?

 

ROB: …Thirty-nine. (Beat) I’ve been, uh, wasting most of it. But, the last four years, I’ve been wasting it while making a lot of money.

 

(Rob is fiddling with a straw wrapper, nervously)

 

BRAD: Ah, yes, the reality shows. Now, you work behind the scenes, huh?

 

ROB: Yeah. Kind of had to. People started to hate me.

 

BRAD: I work at a record shop-

 

ROB: So, I had to do something good to redeem myself. I don’t know if it’s worked. Every single day is like pushing a steel bar through your urethra and hoping it comes out your ass.

 

BRAD: Why would you want it to come out your ass?

 

ROB: It’s hard, is all I’m saying. It doesn’t have the immediate reward that reality television, or cocaine, had.

 

BRAD: Well, what’d you do before reality TV?

 

ROB: I worked as a bouncer in some Boston-area night clubs. (Brad takes this with barely perceptible concern) How long have you worked at the record store?

 

BRAD: …Decades.

 

ROB: Well. Hey. At least you’ve kept it open that long.

 

BRAD: I have heavy incentive to do so, considering I also live there.

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: Yeah, I guess so. (Cut to Rob and Brad walking up to Rob’s front door. Rob unlocks the door and they walk into the foyer. The place is a bit of a mess, Chinese takeout cubes and bottles abound) Sorry, it’s a bit messy.

 

BRAD: Just like your old man.

 

(Lilly comes out of Rob’s bedroom wearing Rob’s robe and looking at her phone)

 

LILLY: Rob, honey, can you just finger me while I work on something for Meghan? I’m feeling pretty drained- (Lilly looks up and sees Brad) oh, my God. I am so sorry.

 

BRAD: That’s alright. I’ve heard worse. I’m glad you two have a healthy sex life.

 

(Rob clears his throat)

 

ROB: This is Lilly, my girlfriend.

 

LILLY: (Nervously) Hi. Whoa. Aren’t you-?

 

ROB: Yes, he is.

 

BRAD: That’s right, I recognize you.

 

ROB: Yes, she’s my collections partner.

 

LILLY: Oh my God, how did you find Rob?

 

BRAD: Good old-fashioned sleuthing. It made me feel like Columbo.

 

(Rob chuckles and pats Brad on the back. Lilly stares blankly)

 

ROB: Christ, we can’t be that old.

 

(Cut to Hannah sitting in the computer room at the Stone-Delaney household. A single lamplight illuminates her desk as she types away on her computer, appearing increasingly stressed. Whitney appears in the doorway. Hannah doesn’t notice. Whitney walks over and begins massaging Hannah’s shoulders. Hannah leans back and takes it in)

 

HANNAH: My God, you’re an angel.

 

WHITNEY: I am. (Hannah smirks) You’ve been working on those pages since noon.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, thanks to Rob.

 

WHITNEY: I know. But you should still take a load off. (Whitney leans down to whisper in Hannah’s ear) Would you like to have sex?

 

(Hannah smiles)

 

HANNAH: Yes, I would.

 

(Hannah stands up and follows Whitney out of the computer room. Cut to Whitney and Hannah, completely naked, making out on their bed. Whitney is on top, cupping Hannah’s breasts as they smother each other with kisses. Whitney stops for a second)

 

WHITNEY: I’ll be right back.

 

(Whitney maneuvers downward so she may eat Hannah out, off-screen. Hannah squirms a bit)

 

HANNAH: Gentler.

 

WHITNEY: (OS) Sorry.

 

(It seems fine for a second, but then Hannah squirms anew)

 

HANNAH: Stop.

 

(Whitney comes up for air)

 

WHITNEY: What?

 

HANNAH: …Sorry. Nothing.

 

WHITNEY: No, tell me.

 

(Hannah sighs)

 

HANNAH: I-I-I think I’ve changed my mind. I’m tired, maybe we could do this another night?

 

(Whitney looks visibly disappointed)

 

WHITNEY: Yeah. Sure. Of course. (Whitney flips over, off Hannah and grabs her phone as Hannah adjusts the covers) Is that Rob’s fault, too?

 

HANNAH: Trust me, the furthest thing from my mind, in this bed, is Rob Altmire.

 

WHITNEY: You just shouldn’t stress out over work so much.

 

HANNAH: I’m not. I just want to sleep.

 

(Hannah turns over and closes her eyes. Whitney moves in and spoons her)

 

WHITNEY: Love you.

 

HANNAH: Love you, too.

 

(Cut to Miles waking up on the ground of his living room. His house/club has been decimated by partiers and is now more comparable to a bando. Junkies sit on newspapers in the corner, their arms littered with track marks. Beer cans, needles and baggie are strewn about. Miles’ eyes are bloodshot. A woman in the corner is huffing paint from a bag as birds chirp outside. Miles groans as he sits up and rubs his aching neck)

 

MILES: …Motherfucker… (Miles stands up and painstakingly maneuvers to the window. He throws the blinds open, causing the junkies to groan and complain. He turns to them) MY CLUB, MY RULES, YOU GOT IT!? (To woman huffing paint) Don’t take all of that, Janessa, I have to repaint my bike later!

 

(Miles walks towards his bathroom, stepping over trash. He walks into his bathroom and sees two junkies in his bathtub, one of them is lighting the others’ crack pipe)

 

JUNKIE: Morning, Miles.

 

MILES: Morning, girls. (Miles takes a toothbrush out of his cupboard and tries desperately to squeeze any remaining toothpaste from an emaciated toothpaste tube) Shit.

 

(He throws the tube in the trash. One of the girls exhales crack smoke and looks at Miles)

 

JUNKIE: You seem stressed out, Grothman, you want a hit?

 

MILES: No, thank you. (Miles turns to them) Girls, can you take it outside, I need to take a shower.

 

JUNKIE 2: Alright, we’ll be in the kitchen, there’s baking soda there anyway, and we’re running low.

 

(The junkies crawl out of the bath tub and allow Miles to step in to the tub. The junkies leave without closing the door)
 

MILES: HEY! COULD YOU CLOSE THE DOOR, PLEASE!?

 

(A few second pass, no response. Miles gives up and draws the curtain back as he turns on the hot water. Cut to Hannah and Luther sitting at their respective desks across from each other, impatiently waiting. Luther is tapping his pen. Hannah is typing on her computer)

 

LUTHER: …Those pages are never gonna be perfect.

 

HANNAH: You can’t believe or else they’re going to be shit.

 

LUTHER: Even if they were perfect, CBS would hate ‘em.

 

(Hannah scoffs)

 

HANNAH: No kidding.

 

LUTHER: Was that a scoff or a laugh?

 

HANNAH: It was a scoff, but it was friendly.

 

LUTHER: A friendly scoff?

 

HANNAH: Yeah.

 

LUTHER: Okay. Where the hell is Miles?! It’s 10:45.

HANNAH: Working out the pitch is not THAT important.

 

(Miles schleps in, clearly exhausted)

 

MILES: Morning, heterosexuals.

 

HANNAH: You know that doesn’t apply to me, right?

 

(Miles sits down)

 

MILES: Doesn’t really apply to Luther either, since robots don’t have a gender.

 

LUTHER: I haven’t seen Evelyn since that night, dude.

 

HANNAH: Robots can have a gender, it’s sex they can’t have.

 

LUTHER: Nah, they can have sex. I’ve seen those Japanese videos and robots get kinky as fuck.

 

HANNAH: No, I mean biological sex.

 

MILES: Phew- let’s focus on the pitch before I get too excited about sex robots.

 

HANNAH: Everything turns you on, doesn’t it?

 

LUTHER: Alright, so- (Luther opens his laptop) it’s a drama about a battered women’s shelter.

 

(Luther takes out a book and throws it on the table. The book is called “Sheltered” by Rose Donovan)

 

HANNAH: We want to buy the rights to this book and make it into a series.

 

MILES: It’s certainly on-brand.

 

HANNAH: It’s about a young woman by the name of “Carolyn Kensington”, whose husband beats the shit out of her daily, and one day, he beats her with a hammer, so she goes to a shelter. Next thing she knows, she befriends a pregnant teenager in the shelter and eventually, they run away together.

 

LUTHER: It’s red meat for the feminists in management.

 

HANNAH: Yes, Rob Altmire, one of my favorite feminists.

 

(Luther smirks)

 

MILES: Don’t you think it’s a little too on-brand?

 

HANNAH: What do you mean?

 

MILES: There should be a twist to it, you know. Maybe they team up to kill their husbands!
 

LUTHER: I mean, they’re not- it’s not really that kind of book-

 

MILES: Well, maybe it should be!

 

HANNAH: Miles, if we bought the rights, we can have creative license, but, the rest of the book is about Carolyn and Donna changing their names and teaching woodshop in Forks, Washington.

 

MILES: FORKS, WASHINGTON!? Are you kidding me!? Let’s get some vampires in this bitch!
 

(Miles slaps the table, leaving Luther and Hannah in stunned silence)

 

HANNAH: …Let’s pick this up later.

 

LUTHER: Cool.

 

(Hannah and Luther stand up, as Miles sighs, exasperated. He feels useless. Cut to Hannah, Luther and Miles walking out of their office into the reception area, just as Rob and Whitney are greeting Amy Reisenbach, Meghan Lyvers and Clark Shaw from CBS Studios. Miles looks at Clark and Clark politely smiles)

 

ROB: Good to see you guys. Excuse me, could everyone gather around? (Rob claps his hands, as Bonnie, Noel and McKenzie come out of their offices) We have very special guests in the house tonight, my best friends, Amy Reisenbach, Meghan Lyvers and Clark Shaw from CBS. Give them a round of applause! (Round of applause, as the CBS people nod politely) Now, can I get a “hell yeah”?

 

WHITNEY: Rob. We’re time-limited.

 

ROB: One wave? Can we do one wave? I’ll start.

 

(Rob does “the wave” with his arms, but no one follows through. Whitney clears her throat)

 

WHITNEY: We are honored to be in business with these three exceptional people. And let’s just take a second to recognize everyone who worked hard to secure our relationship with CBS. (Miles leans forward expectantly) Mr. Rob Altmire and myself! Give us a round of applause!

 

(Everyone but Miles gives them a round of applause. Whitney and Rob bow and curtsy in exaggerated fashion as Miles seethes with rage. Ryan stands up)

 

RYAN: Could I get you guys soda or water, or anything?

 

CLARK: Sure, I’ll take a water.

 

RYAN: I’m actually real busy right now, so, water’s in the fridge.

 

CLARK: Oh. Okay.

 

(Clark walks to the kitchen. Miles follows him, as Rob and Whitney lead the other CBS executives into the conference room. Cut to the break room, where Clark is reaching into the fridge to grab an Evian water)

 

MILES: Hey. Clark.

 

(Clark closes the fridge)

 

CLARK: Can we talk later?

 

MILES: I’ve been calling you for weeks, and you haven’t been to the club-

 

CLARK: Look, I don’t want people to know this happened. I don’t want people to think they can fuck their way into CBS’ good graces.

 

MILES: Clearly, Moonves already thinks that.

 

CLARK: DON’T say the M-word.

 

MILES: Did that night mean nothing to you?

 

CLARK: …Miles, you need to hear this. (Beat) It didn’t mean much. I’m sorry if you misinterpreted. I was just having fun. (Miles is heartbroken. Clark walks towards the door but then turns around) I left a bottle opener at your house, so. (Miles perks up a bit) Go ahead and mail it to me, if you don’t mind. I’ll text you my address.

 

(Clark walks out of the room as Miles deflates. Cut to Whitney sitting in her office, around 6 o’clock in the evening, click-clacking away on her computer. Hannah walks in)

 

HANNAH: Babe. It’s six o’clock.

 

(Whitney looks up)

 

WHITNEY: Shit. Is it really?

 

HANNAH: Yep. What was that meeting with CBS about?

 

WHITNEY: It was about the Susan B. Anthony miniseries. I don’t think it’s gonna happen. People don’t want to watch a series about an old harpy who died fifteen years before women were given the vote.

 

(Hannah shrugs)

 

HANNAH: Well. Then you have less to work on, I guess.

 

WHITNEY: No, I paradoxically have more. (Whitney pulls out a stack of scripts) A ton of writer’s samples for AstroManda, once we open the writer’s room, we need more than just you.

 

HANNAH: You’re staying here?

 

WHITNEY: Just for a couple more hours. I had to spend most of the day pretending I watch The Big Bang Theory, so, I have a lot to catch up on. You go ahead, I’ll be home later.

 

HANNAH: Okay.

 

(Hannah smiles and leaves the office. Cut to Hannah exiting a Panera Bread in Beverly Hills. She notices across the street, there’s an actor’s studio called “Act a Fool” with a sign advertising “ACTING CLASSES NOW- SIGN UP TODAY- BECAME AN LA SUPERSTAR- ONLY 200 DOLLARS A TERM”. Hannah looks intrigued. She crosses the street at a crosswalk and walks into the building. Cut to acting studio’s lobby. It’s empty, save for a coffee table, some chairs and a cheery receptionist in a turtle neck. Hannah walks up to the receptionist)

 

RECEPTIONIST: Welcome to “Act a Fool”, where dreams come true! Are you here for the 7 o’clock class?

 

HANNAH: No, but, I was…curious about signing up.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Oooh! You seem hesitant! Do you have disapproving parents?

 

HANNAH: Yes, but, not because I want to be an actress.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Why, then?

 

HANNAH: My dad resents me because I’m a lesbian.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Good enough for me! Would you like to do the intensive?

 

HANNAH: What’s that?

 

RECEPTIONIST: It’s a straight week of daily classes, and it costs slightly less to do than the seven-week program. It’s like acting boot camp. It starts tonight, actually.

 

HANNAH: I’m sure it’s filled up, though.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Somebody cancelled at the last minute. We could get you in tonight, if you want.

 

(The camera zooms in on Hannah)

 

HANNAH: Okay.

 

(Cut to Miles sitting in his bathtub with his cell phone to his ear and a glass of merlot at his side)

 

MILES: (Bordering on tears) Clark, I don’t- I’m sorry to call you so much, and I’m sorry to call you so much, and I’m especially sorry to leave you voicemails, because it’s 2018 and no one’s done that since 2011, but- (Tears start flowing) I feel- I feel like we shared something special that night, and, maybe I did misinterpret that, but I at least want a final date to have a little closure. (Crying) You have no idea how shitty my life is, Clark, there is a junkie doing whip-its naked in the corner of my bathroom right now.

 

(Pan over to a naked junkie sucking the air out of a whipped cream can in the corner. He finishes)

 

JUNKIE: WOO!

 

(Cut to Whitney working late in her office. The sun has gone down. The office phone rings. Whitney sees that the called ID says “Shaw, Clark”. She looks puzzled, and picks up)

 

WHITNEY: Hello?

 

CLARK: (On the phone) Whitney. I’m glad you’re still there.

 

WHITNEY: Hi, Clark, how can I help you?

 

CLARK: Hi, Whitney, I, uh…I didn’t want to have to make this call.

 

(Whitney tenses up)

 

WHITNEY: Oh God. What’d we do?

 

CLARK: No, relax, we’re not firing you.

 

(Whitney breathes deeply)

 

WHITNEY: Go ahead.

 

CLARK: It’s Miles.

 

WHITNEY: What about him?

 

CLARK: He keeps calling me. Over and over. Leaving messages. It’s bordering on harassment, at this point.

 

WHITNEY: Oh. (Beat) That’s totally unacceptable. Do you want me to fire him?

 

CLARK: No, don’t, that would break his heart. Just, please talk to him, tell him to stop.

 

WHITNEY: Alright. Does this have something to do with-

 

CLARK: I really thought we were gonna go this whole conversation without that coming up. He told you guys?

 

WHITNEY: He tells everyone, everything.

 

CLARK: …Got it. Goodbye.

 

(Clark hangs up. Whitney hangs up too. Cut to Rob walking into his bedroom, speaking at Brad as he holds the door open. Lilly is sitting on the bed, wearing pajamas and glasses while typing on her laptop)

 

ROB: I’m banned from Lakers games, but if we can find a Dodgers game, or maybe if we have to, an Angels game, I’m all for going.

 

BRAD: (OS) Okay, sounds good- oh wait, sorry, I don’t have money for a ticket-

 

ROB: Don’t worry about your ticket, I’ve got you.

 

BRAD: Oh, son, you don’t have to do that-

 

ROB: No, it’s fine-

 

BRAD: Okay, good, you’ll pay for it then. Goodnight!
 

ROB: Night, dad! (Rob closes the door and plops down on his bed, excitedly) My dad’s so cool.

 

(Lilly puts her laptop aside)

 

LILLY: Right.

 

ROB: He’s really strong, I saw him lift two milk cartons all by himself.

 

LILLY: Babe, that’s not that hard-

 

ROB: Yeah, but he was really tired, and he was, like, curling them.

 

LILLY: Rob, I can see what’s going on here. You’re living out your childhood fantasy of having a real dad.

 

ROB: Yeah, so what?

 

LILLY: So, aren’t you a little bit concerned that he may be using you? Notice how you always have to pay for him?

 

ROB: He’s poor. I’m rich. I have something over my old man. I’m taller than him now, can you believe that?

 

LILLY: Rob, you’ve probably than him for, like, twenty years.

 

ROB: I can beat him in arm-wrestling, too.

 

LILLY: Aren’t you a little bit concerned that he’s gonna, ask for money to pay off his debts? Remember when we chased him down in that alley? He would’ve done anything to pay off his debts.

 

ROB: I don’t think he’ll go there. (Lilly looks at Rob skeptically) Good night.

 

(Rob turns off the lights. Cut to Hannah and her fellow students lying on the floor with their eyes closed in an acting class, as their teacher, a middle-aged woman in a turtleneck, walks around them)

 

ACTING INSTRUCTOR: Imagine you’re lying in a meadow. There are cows and deer roaming free- but they’re not trampling you. To be clear.

 

(Hannah smiles. Cut to Whitney walking into her darkened household)

 

WHITNEY: …HELLO?!

 

(Whitney checks her phone and sees a text from Hannah- “out with McKenzie & Kevin at karaoke. Will be home soon”. Whitney shrugs and walks into her bedroom. Cut to Rob and Brad walking into the office the next day) Duh duh duh DAH! Super Dad is in the building!
 

(Ryan looks up, confused)

 

RYAN: What?

 

ROB: Shut up, Ryan! This is my dad, Brad.

 

BRAD: Hey, kiddo.

 

RYAN: Isn’t your dad dead?

 

ROB: Nope! This is my real dad.

 

RYAN: …Hi.

 

ROB: This is my nephew, Ryan.

 

BRAD: I guess that makes me your Great Uncle.

 

RYAN: Half-Great-Uncle.

 

(Whitney comes out of her office)

 

WHITNEY: Rob, we need bodies on AstroManda real quick. My office. (Beat) Who’s this?

 

(Rob and Brad step closer)

 

ROB: This is my dad! He can bend his thumb back REALLY far! (Brad bends his thumb back all the way to the back of his wrist) Isn’t that INSANE!?

 

(Whitney is dumbfounded by Rob’s regression)

 

WHITNEY: …Nice to meet you, sir.

 

BRAD: Call me Brad.

 

WHITNEY: (To Rob) Are you ready for the meeting?

 

ROB: Yeah. (To Brad) Dad, feel free to mingle and introduced yourself, or you can just hang out in my office over there. (Points to his office) I have a ton of booze and gushers in there, so. Enjoy yourself.

 

(Rob hugs Brad)

 

BRAD: Love you, son.

 

ROB: Love you, too, dad.

 

(Rob walks into Whitney’s office, and Whitney hobbles behind, completely stunned by what she’s seeing. Brad walks into the break room and sees Luther, Miles and Noel hanging out and conversing. Brad grabs some water from the fridge)

 

LUTHER: I was so hammered, that I saw a mirror reflecting the other side of the bar, where a dart board was- (Miles and Noel laugh, they already know what’s coming) and man, you know I got cocky and thought I could make it. (Laughter, and Brad joins in) I missed the motherfuckin’ mirror.

 

(They laugh even more)

 

NOEL: That’s hilarious, man.

 

BRAD: That’s great, I was at a bar in the late eighties once-

 

NOEL: Sorry, are you the mail guy?

 

BRAD: No, I’m Brad. Rob’s father.

 

LUTHER: Oh, shit. Nice to meet you.

 

BRAD: Same. So, anyway, I was at this bar in the late eighties, and I was so drunk-

 

NOEL: I love a good “so drunk” story!
 

BRAD: I was downing shot after shot, and the bartender cut me off.

 

MILES: Boo.

 

BRAD: Exactly! So, I challenged him to a staring contest, if I won, I got to stay. If he won, I had to leave, and he would get all the money in my wallet-

 

LUTHER: You were prepared to give that up?

 

BRAD: It was only ten bucks- (They laugh) but little does this motherfucker know, I have NEVER lost a staring contest. (They laugh) And that did not change on that fateful night.

 

(Brad sips his water as the laughing calms down)

 

MILES: That’s hilarious.

 

(Hannah steps in)

 

HANNAH: Hey, guys, we have work to do. Let’s go. (Miles nods, Luther pats Brad on the back and they leave the room) Be there in a second.

 

(Hannah opens the fridge)

 

BRAD: So, they need to work, but you don’t have to?

 

HANNAH: I’m just getting water.

 

(Hannah grabs a water)

 

BRAD: You must be Hannah.

 

HANNAH: How do you know-

 

BRAD: Rob told me about you. (Brad closes the fridge) Let me ask you something. What turned you lesbian?

 

(Hannah furrows her brow)

 

HANNAH: Nothing. I just am.

 

BRAD: What man didn’t treat you right, huh?

 

(Brad steps closer and Hannah steps way back)

 

HANNAH: Fuck off.

 

(Brad smiles)

 

BRAD: Feisty. I like that.

 

HANNAH: Will you like it when I’ve castrated you and I keep your member suspended in dry ice?

 

BRAD: You have a filthy mouth. (Hannah simply stares and walks out of the break room) Fucking dyke.

 

(Cut to McKenzie staring at her computer, totally bored. Brad walks in)

 

MCKENZIE: Oh, hi. You must be Rob’s father. (Brad nods) How are you liking it around here?

 

(Brad takes a step close to McKenzie)

 

BRAD: Everyone’s very nice. Except for that redhead.

 

MCKENZIE: Hannah? What did she do?

 

(Brad sits in front of McKenzie’s desk)

 

BRAD: It doesn’t matter. You’re not like her. I mean, you have the short hair, but Rob tells me you have a boyfriend.

 

MCKENZIE: …Yeah, I do.

 

(Brad grabs a framed picture of McKenzie and Kevin and takes a look)

 

BRAD: What a sad-looking man.

 

MCKENZIE: Excuse me?

 

(Brad puts the picture back on her desk)

 

BRAD: Nothing. I just hope you find a real man someday.

 

MCKENZIE: Get out.

 

(Brad puts his hands up)

 

BRAD: Girls are so touchy these days, my God.

 

(Brad stands up and leaves. McKenzie is shaken. Cut to Whitney and Rob in Whitney’s office. Rob is sitting before Whitney’s desk)

 

WHITNEY: Okay. That should be it as far as AstroManda goes.

 

ROB: What a thorough and productive conversation.

 

WHITNEY: We have one more piece of business to contend with, though.

 

ROB: Is it the wasp’s nest in the copy room?

 

WHITNEY: No, I am not going near that fucking thing.

 

ROB: Then what?

 

WHITNEY: Miles.

 

(Cut to Miles in the creative lounge, staring into space. Bonnie walks in)

 

BONNIE: Miles. Whitney wants to see you.

 

(Miles perks up, nervously)

 

MILES: …What about?

 

BONNIE: She wants to test your grammar knowledge- I have no fucking idea, Miles, just go!
 

(Miles sighs and walks past Bonnie. Cut to Bonnie walking into Whitney’s office. Whitney and Rob are seated on the couch. Miles breathes deeply)

 

MILES: You wanted to see me?

 

WHITNEY: Sit down, Miles.

 

ROB: Relax.

 

(Miles hesitantly walks over and sits down)

 

WHITNEY: I’m gonna cut to the chase, Miles.

 

ROB: In the course of human events-

 

WHITNEY: Shhh. Clark Shaw says you’re harassing him.

 

MILES: So, you’re firing me. Goddamnit. First I get banned from Twitter, Facebook and The Gap and now I’m fired!
 

ROB: We’re not firing you. Well. We will, if you don’t apologize to Mr. Shaw and back off.

 

MILES: …You might as well fire me. Nobody listens to me around here.

 

WHITNEY: Fair point.

 

MILES: You know, what, Whitney? Rob? (Miles slides forward and points at them) I offered my services five months ago when you had NOBODY!

 

(Rob clears throat)
 

ROB: Miles, we had me, one of the biggest reality show stars in the country.

 

MILES: YOU WERE DEAD IN THE WATER A MONTH AGO WHEN MGM DROPPED YOU! Then I came through with CBS and you pretended it was YOUR doing!

 

WHITNEY: It was Clark that didn’t want that information known, Miles. We were respecting his wishes.

 

(Miles shakes his head)

 

MILES: I expect this from a ruthless like Whitney, but you, Rob? We were friends. (Rob stares at Miles) …It’s true what they say about you, Rob. You’re a bad guy. You always will be. (Miles scoots forward) A selfish, disloyal, egomaniacal monster.

 

(Whitney looks to Rob, who is seething with anger)

 

WHITNEY: Go ahead.

 

MILES: No, he won’t do it. He’ll have you do it.

 

(Whitney looks at Rob, who stays silent. Whitney looks down, then looks up at Miles)

 

WHITNEY: You’re fired, Miles. Get out within ten minutes or we’ll call security.

 

MILES: I’ll make it five.

 

(Miles walks over to Whitney’s desk and knocks everything off of it. Then he storms out)

 

WHITNEY: Never cared for that guy.

 

ROB: He was my friend.

 

(Rob stands up and walks out of Whitney’s office. Cut to McKenzie and Hannah, along with the rest of the office, watching as Miles storms out with a box of his things in hand. The door slams behind him)

 

MCKENZIE: …Busy day.

 

HANNAH: …Can I talk to you a second?

 

MCKENZIE: Okay. (Hannah and McKenzie go into McKenzie’s office and close the door. Hannah sits down in front of McKenzie’s desk as McKenzie sits behind it) What do you want to talk about? Omarosa?

 

HANNAH: No. Nobody actually wants to talk about that.

 

MCKENZIE: Then, what?

 

HANNAH: This is going to sound strange, so, hear me out.

 

MCKENZIE: You wouldn’t believe how many people said that to me when I was an actress.

 

HANNAH: If Whitney asks, I was out with you and Kevin at karaoke last night.

 

(McKenzie furrows her brow)

 

MCKENZIE: …Explain.

 

HANNAH: I’m not cheating.

 

MCKENZIE: Well, that’s good to hear.

 

HANNAH: I’m not! I’m taking a one-week acting intensive.

 

MCKENZIE: And this needs to be secret because-?

 

HANNAH: Because, Whitney doesn’t know I still want to be an actress. It’s a sticking point in our relationship.

 

MCKENZIE: You can’t hide your passion forever.

 

HANNAH: I know, but…we need to come to terms with it on our own schedule.

 

MCKENZIE: Tick tock, Miss Bitch.

 

(Hannah smirks)

 

HANNAH: I’m gonna take that as a “yes”.

 

(McKenzie shrugs and Hannah gets up and leaves. Cut to Brad rifling through Rob’s desk. He finds two wedding rings and stuff them in his pocket. Bonnie walks by, but then double-takes and walks into the office to see what Brad is up to)

 

BONNIE: What are you doing!?

 

(Brad looks at Bonnie)

 

BRAD: Nothing, I’m just…aren’t you Bonnie Backlash?

 

BONNIE: Yep.

 

(Brad casually walks over to Bonnie)

 

BRAD: Well, well. Maybe we can forget about this in exchange for-

 

BONNIE: You’re offering me sex in exchange for my silence? YOUR sex in exchange for my silence?

 

BRAD: People say I have the body of a fifty-five-year old, you know. But maybe I’m classier than the trash tier men you prefer, sweetheart-

 

(Bonnie knees Brad in the balls, and he howls in pain. Rob quickly runs in)

 

ROB: Whoa, what the hell is going on!?

 

BRAD: THAT BITCH KNEED ME IN THE BALLS!

 

BONNIE: He was harassing me!
 

(Hannah, Whitney, Noel, Luther and McKenzie rush over)

 

HANNAH: Us too.

 

WHITNEY: He was a real prick.

 

LUTHER: Seemed cool to me. (They glare at him) But, that obviously doesn’t matter.

 

(Brad points at Hannah & Whitney)

 

BRAD: THOSE TWO BITCHES ARE LYING!

 

BONNIE: He was rifling through your desk, too! Check his pockets!

 

BRAD: Rob. Don’t you trust your old man- (Rob aggressively rifles through Brad’s pockets) hey, what the hell are you-

 

(Rob produces two wedding bands)

 

ROB: Are you fucking kidding me?!

 

WHITNEY: Why do you have two wedding ring? Hell, why do you have one wedding ring!?

 

ROB: The first one was Jamie, and the second one… (beat) it’s my step-dad’s.

 

WHITNEY: He handed it down to you?

 

ROB: Well…not exactly.

 

MCKENZIE: You stole it?!

 

ROB: The son of a bitch wouldn’t leave it in the will, so I swiped it at the service! Sue me!
 

BRAD: See, Rob? You’re not so different than I am.

 

ROB: Difference is, dad, I don’t harass innocent women! (Hannah coughs) ANYMORE!

 

HANNAH: Thank you.

 

ROB: Everyone out! Except Brad!

 

(People start funneling out)

 

WHITNEY: Hey, Kenz, how was karaoke last night?

 

MCKENZIE: Fun!

 

(Whitney closes the door as the rest clear out. Rob pushes Brad onto the desk) Dad.

 

BRAD: What?

 

ROB: Why are you really here?

 

BRAD: To see you-

 

ROB: Why. Are. You. Here.

 

(Brad gulps)

 

BRAD: I need money. To pay off my debts. (Rob shakes his head and walks over to his desk drawer) But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a relationship beyond that!
 

(Rob takes a checkbook from his drawer and writes “8-16-2018” in the dateline and “Brad Lamborn” under “Pay to the order of”)

 

ROB: How much?

 

BRAD: Seventy thousand dollars.

 

ROB: Christ. (Rob shakes his head) You’re lucky my royalty checks keep pouring in. (Rob writes “seventy thousand dollars and zero cents” in the amount line, rips the check and hands it to Brad) Take this, and leave town.

 

BRAD: …But, I’ve never…we just got started. I’m sorry about the stealing, and the girls-

 

ROB: I kicked you out of a Boston club in the summer of 2004. For hitting a lady. (Brad is stunned) You really think I would forget that? I recognized you the moment I saw you cowering in that alley.

 

BRAD: I-

 

ROB: It took me a while to accept it. But I know it was you. (Rob sits down) Let’s just say, I’m glad you never again got within a mile of my mom. (Rob throws the check at Brad) Now, get out.

 

(Brad sheepishly picks up the check, and he quivers in hesitancy)

 

BRAD: I love you.

 

(Rob opens his laptop and starts typing away. Brad leaves the room. Rob stops typing and bows his head. He begins quietly sobbing. Cut to Hannah sitting in a booth at some hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a beautiful, tanned model and two other girls)

 

MODEL: I love our instructor. I wish she could be my sister.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, definitely.

 

MODEL: Do you want to be my sister?

 

HANNAH: …Yeah, I could do that-

 

OTHER GIRL: Xandra has parties at her house all the time.

 

OTHER GIRL 2: Her MANSION.

 

XANDRA: It’s a house, don’t freak out, Darla.

 

DARLA: I’m sorry. House, house, house.

 

HANNAH: Sounds fun, I’d love to go.

 

XANDRA: Cool. Because it’s happening tonight.

 

(Cut to Hannah, Xandra, Darla and a ton of other partiers hanging out in swimwear near a massive pool at night. Drinking, drugs and merry is underway. Hannah sits there, awkwardly smiling as a stereo system plays “Heart of Glass” by Blondie. Xandra hands Hannah a bottle of whiskey. She smiles, shrugs and takes a swig)

 

HANNAH: That’s strong!
 

XANDRA: Now that you’re free from your folks, Red, you can do whatever you want before you go swimming.

 

(Xandra dives in the pool. Hannah smiles. She removes her blouse and dives in after her. They smile and splash each other. As “Heart of Glass” by Blondie becomes non-diegetic, we cut to Whitney lying awake in bed. She checks her phone. No texts. It’s 11:20 PM. She sighs and turns over. Cut to Rob bursting into his house, seeing Lilly on his couch reading a book. Rob walks over and quickly starts making out with Lilly. Lilly tosses the book inside and lets herself give in to this. Rob hoists her onto the back of the couch as they quickly remove clothes. Cut to Miles aggressively yelling at junkies to get out of his house. The junkies languidly hobble towards the exit. As the last junkie leaves, Miles places a sign on the door reading “Closed For Renovations” and slams the door as the camera punches in on that sign)

 

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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