The Valley of the Tools Episode 43

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

Rob tries to appeal to the Christmas spirit of Trey Goodlatte and Colleen Diamond in the wake of their lawsuit against him. McKenzie tries to stand up for her dad when Sheila is mean to him as they gather for Christmas with her and Kevin. Whitney finally appears on Xandra and Hannah’s podcast.

THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“RUINS”

 

TV-MA DLSV

 

“I don't wanna give up on you. I don't wanna, don't wanna, I don't wanna have to. Well, we both have nights. Waking up in strangers' beds. But I don't wanna, don't wanna, I don't wanna give up yet”

  • Alana, Este & Danielle Haim

 

(We open on a shot of a dead bird on the gravelly pavement, near a pool to the right and a ladder to the left. We see Imogen’s feet descend the ladder, and nearly step on the bird. We zoom out to reveal the ladder is right in front of Imogen’s tall bird feeder, and there’s a bag of feed right next to the feeder. Imogen kneels down and takes a close look at the bird- which is a little sparrow)

 

IMOGEN: …What happened here… (Imogen gets up and steps over the bird and walks into the Altmire household, which is currently decorated for the Christmas season. She finds Rob pouring chocolate milk into a bowl of Cookie Crisp in the kitchen) Hey, there’s a dead bird out there, by the feeder.

 

(Rob screws the cap on the chocolate milk and puts it back in the fridge)

 

ROB: Yeah, I’ve seen a couple of them out there recently. You think it’s like a suicide pact?

 

(Rob closes the fridge door, and grabs a spoon from the silverware drawer)

 

IMOGEN: I don’t think birds are necessarily that advanced…

 

(Rob scoops some cereal into his mouth)

 

ROB: Then what?

 

IMOGEN: I don’t know. I guess I’ll just throw it out.

 

(Imogen walks over to the paper towel roll and tears off a few. Rob walks into the living room, then turns around)

 

ROB: Oh, the internet keeps going out. We might want to call a technician.

 

IMOGEN: Jesus! We just had a plumber over here- what else can go wrong?

 

ROB: Well, we knew the reason for that.

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, we do, you order goddamn 1500 thread count toilet paper and clog that shit.

 

ROB: My ass is very sensitive, Imogen, you know that.

 

IMOGEN: Maybe because you’re eating chocolate milk-drenched Cookie Crisp.

 

ROB: HEY! You took smoking and drinking away from me, I have to keep SOMETHING! (Rob whispers to the bowl) Don’t listen to her, my crispy friends. She doesn’t understand. (Rob walks away, then looks back) She’ll never understand.

 

(Rob quickly scurries away. Imogen rolls her eyes, brings the paper towels outside, scoops up the bird, and then we cut to her dumping the bird in the trash. Cut to Rob emerging from his front door and walking into his driveway. He spots paparazzi milling outside his driveway’s front gate, some of them masked, though many of them have pulled their masks down. As soon as one spots him, they all turn and start taking photos)

 

PAPARAZZI: THERE HE IS!

 

(Rob rolls his eyes, and gets in his car, as the cameras flash. He starts the car, clicks the gate opener, and the photographers give way as the gate opens. Rob backs out, as cameras click, and questions are yelled)

 

GOATEED PAPARAZZI: COLLEEN DIAMOND CALLED YOU A “CREEP” ON THE INSTA TODAY, HOW DO YOU RESPOND!?

 

FEDORA PAPARAZZI: #ROBERTALTMIREISOVERPARTY IS TRENDING ON TWITTER, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?!
 

(Rob honks on his horn, as he backs into the street and flips off the assembled photographers)

 

HAWAIIAN SHIRT PAPPARAZI: The President of the Senegal called you a real “piece of work” the other day, how- (Rob speeds away) do you…respond…

 

(Cut to an establishing shot of the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter. We see Rob pulling up into the parking lot and exiting the car while putting his mask on. Cut to the animal shelter lobby. There is a masked woman at the front desk, looking at her computer, and a few customers sitting in the waiting area- including a 20-year-old woman with strawberry blonde hair and bangs. We can hear yelps and barks from the back room as Rob walks up to reception)

 

ROB: Hi, we spoke on the phone? I’m here to pick up a beagle named- (Rob takes out a piece of paper and looks at it) “Salmon”. Yikes. Gotta change that name.

 

RECEPTIONIST: It’s actually a funny story, he was named that because after he got lost in the forest, an Eagle picked him up by the nape of the neck and carried him for several miles before we rescued him.

 

ROB: Interesting.

 

RECEPTIONIST: What’s your name, sir?

 

ROB: It’s uh- (Rob looks around, leans in and whispers) Robert Altmire.

 

(The strawberry blonde girl jumps to her feet, pulls out her iPhone and starts filming Rob)

 

WOMAN: WHOA! DID I JUST HEAR THAT CORRECTLY?!

 

(Rob puts his hand out to block the camera, as she gets closer)

 

ROB: Please. I’m just trying to-

 

WOMAN: JUST TRYING TO WHAT?! THIS is the CREEP that walked in on Colleen Diamond while she was SHOWERING- and he had his DICK out!
 

(Everyone in the room gasps. Rob turns to the receptionist)

 

ROB: I assure you guys, it was an ambush, the shower wasn’t even running when I came in!

 

WOMAN: Oh, SURE!

 

ROB: Please, just give me the papers so I can sign them, get the dog, and get the hell out of here.

 

WOMAN: DON’T GIVE HIM A DOG! He’s probably gonna MOLEST IT!

 

ROB: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!??

 

WOMAN: I DON’T HAVE A BLUE CHECKMARK YET, THAT’S WHAT’S WRONG!

 

(Cut to Rob pulling up to Whitney’s place in Brentwood. He gets out of his car and pulls a kennel out of the back seat and brings it up to the front door and rings the doorbell. He pulls up his mask. Whitney opens the door, wearing her mask, a tank top and a pair of sweats)

 

WHITNEY: Is that the pup?

 

(The beagle barks)

 

ROB: His name is Salmon. Don’t ask why.

 

(Rob walks in, and Whitney clears the way, and closes the door. Cut to Whitney’s living room. Rob walks in, sets the kennel down, opens the cage door and lets an adorable six-month-old Beagle puppy wander out. He begins sniffing around curiously. Whitney walks in)

 

WHITNEY: How long do I have to keep him for?

 

ROB: I’ll pick him up the night of Christmas Eve, or maybe Christmas morning, while Imogen is still asleep. So just be awake at around 5am so I can pick him up.

 

(Whitney nods, a little irritated)
 

WHITNEY: Yes, well, thank you for that.

 

ROB: You look great, by the way.

 

WHITNEY: Fuck off. It’s Christmas, I’m estranged from my family, and I have no girlfriend.

 

ROB: Yes- but now you have a puppy! (Rob kneels down and pets Salmon) For, a few days.

 

WHITNEY: Great.

 

ROB: I think Imogen’s gonna love him. She didn’t have pets growing up- well, she did have one, it was a one-eyed cat that her father sold tickets for people to see.

 

WHITNEY: I hesitate to ask what happened to its eye.

 

ROB: Me too.

 

(Whitney clears some half-empty chip bags off her couches, and Rob and Whitney sit down)

 

WHITNEY: How long can you stay before the paparazzo arrive?

 

(Rob pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs)

 

ROB: The whole city hates me again. And I can’t say jack shit about it.

 

WHITNEY: Because of Mr. Cordic?

 

(Rob throws up his hands)

 

ROB: He’s muzzling me. I’m a dog that wasn’t meant to be muzzled. (Salmon jumps onto the couch, and Rob starts petting him) I’m like a bulldog, you can’t chain me-

 

(Rob barks, and Salmon jumps off the couch and wanders away)

 

WHITNEY: Please don’t bark at me.

 

(Rob grips the arm rest of the couch)

 

ROB: Sorry, I’m just insanely stressed, and I can’t smoke.

 

WHITNEY: Listen, I know how frustrating it is to have to stay silent, on the advice of counsel. I couldn’t speak publicly about the John Whitney case, remember? (Rob nods) It’s not in your nature to hold back- I get that. But you have to. Otherwise, the media will think you “doth protest too much”.

 

ROB: So, what do I do?!

 

WHITNEY: It’s the Holidays, focus on that. It’s the perfect thing to distract yourself with. What are you doing for the Holidays, by the way-?

 

(Rob snaps at points at Whitney)

 

ROB: By God, you’re right. It’s the Christmas season. It’s a time of reconciliation and joy! If I could just reason with Trey and Colleen-

 

WHITNEY: Um, Rob, no-

 

ROB: No, Whitney, you’ve touched on something good here.

 

(Rob stands up, followed quickly by Whitney)

 

WHITNEY: No- don’t put this on me! This is your insane brain child! Abort it, right now!

 

ROB: If I come to them and appeal to their Christmas spirit, maybe I can get the suit dropped!

 

WHITNEY: Rob, please don’t do this-

 

ROB: Call me if Salmon goes missing. Goodbye.

 

(Rob walks out of the living room, and Whitney turns around)

 

WHITNEY: ROB! (We hear the front door close) Goddamnit.

 

(Whitney walks over to her couch and collapses onto it. She stretches, expanding her body across the length of the couch. She puts her legs up on the coffee table, grabs a bag of Lays, stuffs some in her mouth. She turns on the smart TV and brings up Netflix. She starts sorting through shows, and winces a little bit as she lets out a fart)

(Cut to Hannah standing on her porch at the run-down former crack house where she now resides in Compton. Intercut between them)

 

HANNAH: Hey Whitney, we had a cancellation- do you want to push your appearance on the podcast up to today?

 

WHITNEY: YES! I mean. (Whitney clears her throat) Uh, yeah, today should be good.

 

HANNAH: Great. (A black kid on a bike drives by) Hi, Gerald!

 

GERALD: Hey, Ms. D.

 

WHITNEY: I heard you live in Compton now.

 

HANNAH: Yeah. I’m a fixture of the community already! (Hannah chuckles) Great, well, I’m about to drive to WeHo, meet you there.

 

WHITNEY: Okay, see you soon.

 

(Whitney hangs up and rises to her feet. She rushes into the bedroom. Cut to an establishing shot of Xandra’s apartment building. Cut to inside. We see the room Xandra renovated into a recording studio, with soundproofing on the walls, three mics, a laptop to record it all, and plastic COVID shields set up on the table. Xandra and Hannah are sitting across from each other)

 

XANDRA: Okay, go ahead and finish the ad read.

 

(Hannah clears her throat)

 

HANNAH: “Sick of regular electrical outlet covers from the store? They’re all plain and white, they totally lack imagination. Well, with ‘Outlet Connect’ you’re in luck, sign up for fifty bucks a month, and you’ll get fifteen outlet covers in the mail every month-“ God, that’s so many, who would need that many?!

 

XANDRA: Okay, it’s not your job to editorialize, just read the copy.

 

HANNAH: Still, why would anyone do this?

 

XANDRA: This is what we can get right now, okay!?

 

(Whitney walks in, dressed in jeans and a button-up shirt now, and of course a mask)

 

WHITNEY: Hey, sorry, your door was open.

 

XANDRA: It airs out the COVID. And the bad vibes.

 

WHITNEY: Well, I bring only good vibes. Oh, and I’m taking care of Rob’s puppy right now, so he’s in a kennel in the living room, I hope that’s okay.

 

XANDRA: Awww, I love puppies.

 

(Whitney puts them on the table. Hannah gets up)

 

HANNAH: Hi, Whitney, how are you?

 

WHITNEY: I’m good, Hannah. Thanks.

 

XANDRA: It’s honestly so good to have you, I know we’ve had a lot of differences, but it’s nice to rise above all that drama.

 

WHITNEY: I know, it really is.

 

HANNAH: Have a seat!

 

(Whitney nods and sits down next to Hannah)

 

XANDRA: Let’s just get levels. Everybody say whatever you want. 

 

HANNAH: What do you mean, like what should we say?

 

WHITNEY: I didn’t prepare anything-

 

XANDRA: This, is fine.

 

HANNAH: This is fine?

 

XANDRA: Yeah, what you’re saying is fine, you just had to say something.

 

WHITNEY: Should we start now? Saying whatever?

 

HANNAH: Can you give us an example of what to say?

 

XANDRA: No- we- we got it, okay? Christ. Here we go. (Xandra presses “record”) Heeeeeyyy, bitches, welcome to “Closure”, I’m Xandra.

 

HANNAH: And I’m Hannah.

 

XANDRA: Thanks so much for joining us, I know there are a lot of heartsick bitches and bitchettes out there, and we hope we can bring you some peace of heart, ‘cause that is literally so important for mental health.

 

HANNAH: Yeah-

 

XANDRA: Along with responsible use of drugs.

 

HANNAH: …Right, our mission  here at “Closure” is to make our viewers feel like they’re not alone. If you’re going through a break-up, or if you’ve ever gone through a break-up, we’re here for you. We should know, we’re exes, ourselves.

 

XANDRA: Exactly- beautifully put, Hannah. If you go to Patreon.com/closurepodcast, you can get bonus episodes where we talk about celebrity break-ups, it’s just $5 a month at our “friends-with-benefits” tier, and for $69 a month at our “Dying Old on the Titanic” tier, you can watch a sex tape Hannah and I made a year ago.

 

HANNAH: I have not agreed to that.

 

XANDRA: Yet! But for now, you can listen to an argument we had a year ago that I secretly recorded just in case she said anything fucked up that I could give to the press.

 

HANNAH: Truly insane.

 

XANDRA: I’m such a cunt. Anyway, today’s guest is someone I probably would’ve called a cunt just a year ago, but now I call her, our guest. Whitney Stone.

 

WHITNEY: Hi. Thanks for having me.

 

HANNAH: So, Whitney, we’ve mentioned you on the podcast before, but can you refresh our listeners’ memories?

 

WHITNEY: Well, I’m the Head of Acquisitions at Stone Productions in Van Nuys, and I was Hannah’s girlfriend for two years.

 

XANDRA: Before I SLID into those DMs thooooough!

 

(Whitney, Hannah and Xandra laugh)

 

WHITNEY: Yes. I was the upset girlfriend in the famous meme, as it were.

 

HANNAH: So, I started going to an acting class in the summer of 2018, that’s where I met Xandra, that’s where we became friends.

 

XANDRA: Hannah was this innocent little dyke that I couldn’t help but corrupt.

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, that was sort of the point of contention. She was staying late at your parties and doing drugs. Which, to be honest, I never saw you ever getting into, Hannah.

 

HANNAH: You’re telling me. I never saw myself doing hard drugs either, but- and you’re not gonna like this, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: Uh-oh.

 

(Hannah chuckles)

 

HANNAH: You’re a bit of a control freak. Is that fair to say?

 

WHITNEY: Let’s cut this part out, okay?

 

(Hannah and Xandra laugh)

 

XANDRA: Oh my God, I didn’t know you were so funny!

 

HANNAH: I thought that Xandra’s free spirit attitude was a bit of reprieve from your very uptight, disposition. If that makes sense.

 

XANDRA: Exactly, I was the snake in the garden. And that makes Whitney…

 

WHITNEY: …God?

 

XANDRA: …Right…because you can’t be that cis-het scum Adam.

 

WHITNEY: Exactly. So, um, once I read that article in the Hollywood Reporter-

 

(Xandra takes out a framed copy of the December 2018 edition of The Hollywood Reporter- it shows a picture of John Lithgow with the headline “John Lithgow is great- Shouldn’t He Be in Something Again?”)

 

XANDRA: I have it right here.

 

WHITNEY: Wow, it’s framed, that’s…great.

 

HANNAH: Read the quote that, tipped Whitney off.

 

WHITNEY: it’s fine, I have it committed to memory. “I can’t remember the last time I had a party that didn’t end with me making out with an adorable ginger”.

 

HANNAH: Thanks for that, Xandra.

 

XANDRA: Oh my God, I’m such a BITCH!

 

(Cut to McKenzie sitting on the couch in her living room, smoking a cigarette and reading “The Savage Detectives” by Roberto Bolano. She ashes the cigarette into an ashtray on the coffee table. Kevin walks in, wearing a button-up shirt and slacks)

 

KEVIN: Did you need a coffee, Ms. Park?

 

MCKENZIE: Kevin, we are off for the year. You can stop being my assistant.

 

(Kevin takes a deep breath)

 

KEVIN: Okay. Sorry.

 

(Kevin sheds his slacks, revealing a pair of sweats underneath, and unbuttons his shirt, revealing a “Santa Barbara High Class of 2011” shirt featuring an illustration of a man wearing a hat astride a horse- with “Home of the Dons” written under him)

 

MCKENZIE: …Great. Good. (McKenzie’s phone rings, and she jumps to answer it immediately) Hello? (Beat) Yes, this is her. Go ahead. (Beat) Awesome! Thank you. Have a nice holiday. (McKenzie hangs up) We’re both negative for COVID.

 

KEVIN: And your parents are, too?

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, we can head to Tarzana right now, if we want.

 

KEVIN: Fuck.

 

(Kevin sheds his sweatpants, revealing a crisp pair of dark jeans, and sheds his t-shirt, revealing a sweater with a collared shirt underneath)

 

MCKENZIE: How the fuck are you doing this.

 

(Cut to McKenzie driving Kevin’s truck on the highway. Kevin is looking out the window forlornly, as NPR broadcasts on the radio)

 

NPR: After the Electoral College officially confirmed President-elect Biden’s victory last Monday, the Trump campaign has not given up their desperate fight to overturn the Presidential election. Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville has pledged to back efforts to contest electoral votes as they are counted in Congress come early January, despite Majority Leader McConnell’s insistence that his conference do no such thing. Even more startlingly, former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn broached the idea of declaring martial law during a heated Oval Office meeting on Saturday, which prompted swift backlash from the White House counsel and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Trump tweeted this story was “fake news” on Sunday, however.

 

MCKENZIE: Martial law, huh. Goddamnit, I don’t feel like standing in front of a tank.

 

(Kevin shrugs)

 

NPR: Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader McConnell have struck a deal for a $900 billion COVID relief bill, including $600 in direct payments to qualifying Americans, an extension of unemployment benefits, state and local aid, and for some reason, border wall money and $500 million for Israel.

 

MCKENZIE: Awesome, we can pay a quarter of our rent with that $600. Can I pay you under the table so we can keep getting that unemployment insurance? (McKenzie looks over at Kevin, who’s not paying attention. She turns the radio down) Come on, I usually leave the snappy comments to you! What’s up?

 

KEVIN: You know how your mom feels about me.

 

MCKENZIE: She feels the same way about everyone. Nobody is good enough and everyone is impertinent. We met Meghan Markle once, my mom told her to stand up straight.

 

KEVIN: She’s gonna make comments about my career. How I’m not the President’s pilot, yet.

 

MCKENZIE: I’m pretty successful, and she still judges my career! There’s nothing you can do! Just let me deal with her, okay?

 

(Kevin shrugs)

 

KEVIN: So, Camille and Troy aren’t coming?

 

MCKENZIE: Camille is too busy with this big case at her law firm, and my brother went to way too many college parties over the last few months for us to feel comfortable inviting him.

 

KEVIN: But he hasn’t gotten COVID?

 

MCKENZIE: No, he hasn’t and honestly, that’s kind of frustrating.

 

(Cut to Kevin’s truck pulling up to a two-story suburban household in Tarzana. Kevin and McKenzie emerge from the truck and walk toward the house. Sheila and Cory walk out to greet them)

 

CORY: McKenzie!

 

MCKENZIE: Hi, daddy.

 

(McKenzie and Cory hug. McKenzie turns to Sheila and gives her an awkward side hug)

 

SHEILA: Good to see you, McKenzie.

 

MCKENZIE: Likewise.

 

(Kevin nods at Sheila and Cory)

 

KEVIN: Good to see you again.

 

CORY: How are you, Kevin? Come in!

 

(Kevin and McKenzie walk in with Cory and Sheila)

 

SHEILA: Nice of you to shave for the occasion, Kevin.

 

(Kevin glares at McKenzie, his eyes screaming. McKenzie pats him on the shoulder. Cut to Cory leading Kevin, McKenzie and Sheila into his art studio, where he has an easel with an abstract painting featuring streaks of gray, green, red and magenta)

 

CORY: So, this is what I’ve been spending the pandemic working on- this one, so far, I call “Phosphenes”. It’s what I see when I press my eyes too hard.

 

MCKENZIE: Oh, that’s cool! I haven’t done that in a long time.

 

KEVIN: Do you press them when they’re still open?

 

CORY: No, they’re uh, they’re closed.

 

MCKENZIE: He’s not poking his eyes out, Kevin.

 

KEVIN: Right, just saying, that would be a cool painting.

 

SHEILA: I don’t get it at all. It’s just a bunch of colors!
 

MCKENZIE: Yes, mom, otherwise known as a, painting.

 

CORY: Anyway. Enough of that.

 

(Cory knocks over the easel, and the painting falls on the ground)

 

MCKENZIE: Dad!

 

SHEILA: Don’t worry, he’s started that thing over eight times now. It’s a part of his “process”!

 

CORY: Let’s go have dinner.

 

(Cory walks out. Cut to all of them sitting at the dinner table, eating homemade ramen)

 

KEVIN: So, uh, forgive my ignorance, Mr. Park, but “Park” is usually a Korean surname, how did your family end up with it?

 

CORY: It’s interesting that you ask- it’s a funny story.

 

MCKENZIE: It’s actually pretty embarrassing.

 

CORY: My father wanted to go to law school, but he wasn’t very good at, law or school. So. He removed the “E-R” from Parker and said his name was Dan Park, so they’d think he’s Korean and he could get in based on affirmative laws at the time.

 

(Kevin looks over at McKenzie)

 

MCKENZIE: …Now do you get why I’ve never told you?

 

CORY: He later changed the name legally to fit the fiction, and it stuck.

 

KEVIN: A name born of cultural appropriation. McKenzie, prepare to be cancelled on Twitter.

 

(Kevin takes out his phone, and McKenzie shoves him playfully as he puts it away)

 

SHEILA: Enough of that. McKenzie, how is business at Stone Productions going?

 

MCKENZIE: Well, considering the pandemic, it could be a lot worse. We did just lose a major source of financing, because a prominent scientologist pulled his considerable investment in us, but-

 

SHEILA: A prominent scientologist invested in you?

 

(McKenzie twists some noodles on her fork and nods)

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, but now he’s not, but we still managed to shoot a movie this year, and I’m even in it.

 

SHEILA: What’s the movie called?

 

KEVIN: Oh, dear.

 

(McKenzie shoots a look at Kevin, who bows his head. She then looks back over at Sheila)

 

MCKENZIE: It’s called, uh. (She clears her throat, and speaks very low) “Alien AIDs and Human Slaves”…

 

(Sheila cups her hand over her ear)
 

SHEILA: Pardon?

 

CORY: Yeah, actually, I couldn’t follow that either.

 

MCKENZIE: …”Alien AIDs and Human Slaves”.

 

(Sheila shakes her head)

 

SHEILA: …Well, I’ll look forward to the Oscar buzz for that one. And who do you play in this feature?

 

MCKENZIE: I’M A HORNY ALIEN, OKAY?! I’M A PEASANT ALIEN WHO LIKES TO FUCK!

 

SHEILA: QUIET! (McKenzie looks down, fishes a pack of cigarettes from her purse and walks outside) That’s right, go smoke your cigarette! Never have to listen to your mother, just run away!

 

(Sheila stabs her noodles and returns to eating with great frustration. Cory gulps)

 

CORY: So, Kevin, how have job prospects been for you lately?

 

KEVIN: Oh, McKenzie hired me as her assistant.

 

CORY: Ah.

 

(Sheila guffaws and takes a sip of her glass of wine)

 

KEVIN: I guess you could say I “slept my way to the top”.

 

(Kevin chuckles, to dead silence in the room. He then averts both of their gazes and twists some noodles around his fork and takes a bite, all while their searing stares burn into him. Cut to Rob speaking with his lawyer on his car’s Bluetooth as he’s driving on the highway)

 

ROB: Come on, there’s no merit to the idea?

 

JAMES: (OS) Absolutely none, Robert! Please! Do not attempt this!

 

ROB: God, you naysayers have no imagination.

 

JAMES: (OS) Promise me you won’t do this!

 

ROB: Sure thing, James.

 

JAMES: (OS) Please-

 

(Rob hangs up)

 

ROB: Siri, call Trey Goodlatte.

 

(Cut to Trey Goodlatte driving his shitty Nissan Sentra along the streets of Los Feliz that night. Nu metal is playing on the radio, as a red-faced Trey Goodlatte vapes on a juul and Colleen Diamond sits there, scrolling listlessly through her phone)

 

COLLEEN: Why are we even doing this?

 

TREY: He has a shit ton of money, babe! Maybe he’s offering us twenty million dollars cash, just under the table! I at least want to hear him out.

 

COLLEEN: We don’t even know how much the court would give us. Remember, I asked the judge for one of those pink limos you get on prom.

 

TREY: Yeah, but he said “NO”! He was totally rude about it, too, I was about to knock his ass out. (Trey pounds on his steering wheel) FUCK! MAKES ME SO MAD!

 

COLLEEN: The parking garage is right here, babe.

 

(Trey takes a deep breath and turns into a parking garage. He encounters a ticketing kiosk)

 

TICKETING KIOSK: (Robotic voice) Please press the button to take a ticket. (Trey punches the red button, cracking it a little. The machine coughs the ticket out of the slot. The kiosk now has a shaky, scared voice) Thank you, sir. You may go forward.

 

(The gate arm makes way for Trey, and he rockets ahead with one big jolt on the gas. He makes a hairpin turn around the next corner, going up. Then again at the next corner and the next, until he arrives at the third floor. Colleen and Trey have to squint to make sense of what they’re seeing as they pull up. They see Rob Altmire wearing a Christmas sweater, sitting on an armchair and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa in front of a prop fireplace and a Christmas tree. Rob is reading “A Christmas Carol” as well)

 

TREY: …What the fuck…

 

COLLEEN: Ooh, I smell hot cocoa!

 

(Trey and Colleen get out of the car and walk up to Rob. He looks up and smiles as they approach)

 

ROB: Oh! I didn’t see you come in.

 

TREY: Rob, what the fuck is this.

 

(Rob puts the book aside and stands up)

 

ROB: Welcome to my humble abode-

 

TREY: This is a parking garage in Los Feliz.

 

ROB: But wherever we meet feels like home, Trey. You know why? Because we’re much more similar than I think you realize.

 

(Trey scoffs)

 

COLLEEN: I can kind of see that.

 

TREY: Shut up, Colleen.

 

ROB: Would you like some hot cocoa?

 

COLLEEN: Sure!

 

TREY: NO! Neither of us would.

 

COLLEEN: Never mind. Trey always knows what’s best.

 

(Colleen smiles. Rob chuckles as he walks over to the tree and starts toying with the ornaments)

 

ROB: See, that’s beautiful right there. Romantic cooperation. That’s the spirit of togetherness the Holidays engenders, isn’t it?

 

TREY: It’s called CHRISTMAS, you cuck!

 

(Rob puts his hands up)

 

ROB: Fair enough. So, how about in the spirit of Christmas, we put all this aside. The lawsuits, the threats, the acrimony-

 

TREY: Are you fucking kidding me? You’re trying to appeal to my better angles right now? (Trey laughs) This is such a snowflake move. What are you gonna do, care about me to death?

 

(Rob shakes his head “no”)

 

ROB: No, Trey, I just know that you two can find it in your hearts to let all of this go. (Rob puts on a mask with a felt Christmas tree on it, as he walks up to Colleen. She looks up at him, perplexed) I know, deep down in your heart, Colleen, that you know what you did to me was wrong. No matter how much I took advantage of you three years ago, that nothing could justify the way you framed. I know you know that.

 

(Trey positions himself between Colleen and Rob, as Colleen looks down, clearly cracking a bit)

 

TREY: Back the FUCK off, dude!

 

ROB: I know you’re entangled in his web and you can’t get out of it. But there’s a good heart in there.

 

(Trey grabs Rob by the collar and pushes him away from Colleen)

 

TREY: STOP POLLUTING HER MIND, YOU CREEP!

 

(Colleen wipes away some stray tears that have dampened her face)

 

ROB: Come on, Trey, it’s CHRISTMAS!

 

TREY: YOU WALKED IN ON MY GIRLFRIEND SHOWERING WITH YOUR DICK OUT! THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED! (Trey pushes him away) Never appeal to my girlfriend’s sense of decency ever again, you son of a bitch! Colleen, let’s go. (Trey walks over to his car and gets in. Colleen and Rob share a long stare. Colleen looks consumed by doubt and guilt. Trey honks the horn) LET’S GO!

 

(Colleen looks down and walks away, ducking into the Nissan Centra. Trey backs up, as Rob stares at Colleen, and drives away. Rob drops his head, gets angry and kicks over the Christmas tree. He walks over to an SUV, clicks a door opener and the hatchback pops open. He starts dragging the fake fireplace across the cement, which makes a really obnoxious noise. Cut to Imogen walking into her backyard with a handful of bird seed, only to find several dead birds at the foot of her birdfeeder. She drops the bird feed on the ground)

 

IMOGEN: What the fuck?

 

(Imogen walks back inside, and sees Rob walking in, holding his Christmas sweater in his hand and tossing it on the couch)

 

ROB: Hey.

 

IMOGEN: There’s like five dead birds out there!

 

(Rob collapses onto the couch)

 

ROB: Just take the birdfeeder down for now, there’s something wrong with the feed.

 

(Imogen growls)

 

IMOGEN: This is bullshit, I should call the feed company. First bird crack, now this?!

 

ROB: I think maybe I took the wrong tack.

 

IMOGEN: What?

 

ROB: Do you know any fat people?

 

(Imogen squints)

 

IMOGEN: What?!

 

ROB: Never mind, I know some.

 

(Rob gets up, takes out his cell phone and walks toward his office. Imogen rolls her eyes, tears off a bunch of paper towels and heads outside. Cut to Rob sitting in his car with Miles in the backseat, who’s dressed up as Santa. They’re parked outside the Sway House in Bel Air. Rob takes a sip of coffee)

 

MILES: So, you want me to go and stick coal in their stockings?

 

(Miles holds up a bag of coal)

 

ROB: That’s right. Then maybe they’ll get the picture.

 

MILES: What is the picture? I’m not sure I get it?

 

ROB: That they’re being Grinches. And worse than that, binches. If TikTok has told me anything, that’s the worst thing a Zoomer can be.

 

MILES: Why did you insist that I do this?!

 

ROB: Luther said no, that’s why! Now, get in there! (Miles sighs and gets out of the car. Rob holds up a piece of paper) Remember the script!!

 

(Miles sighs and grabs the script from Rob’s hand and closes the door. Cut to Miles walking up to the big white barrier blocking entrance to the backyard. He looks back at Rob for reassurance, and Rob puts his thumbs up. He hoists himself onto the barrier, and painstakingly climbs over it and drops off on the other side. He slides down a grassy slope leading up to a concrete barrier overlooking a pool. He hops off the barrier, bringing his bag of coal and script along with him as he quietly tiptoes past the pool and up to a glass door leading to the living room. He crouches down and takes out a lock pick. We can see Blake Grey creep up behind him in pajamas, wielding an empty vodka bottle. He strikes Miles about the head with it, and Miles recoils and holds his head in pain)

 

MILES: FUCK!

 

BLAKE: WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!

 

(Miles stands up and puts his hands up)

 

MILES: RELAX! I’M NOT HERE TO HURT YOU!

 

(Bryce Hall and Trey quickly run out to join Blake)

 

BRYCE: Who the fuck is this!?

 

MILES: (Jolly Santa voice) Can’t you see? I’m Santa! Ho, ho- (Normal voice) FUCK, that hurt, man!

 

BRYCE: Listen, I’ve known Santa isn’t real since I was sixteen, so you better tell me who the fuck you are dude- and FAST!

 

MILES: (Santa voice) Well, I’ve heard you boys have been very bad this year!

 

BRYCE: Hey! We got tested before ONE of our parties, okay?!

 

MILES: No, no, no, little boys and, presumably, somewhere around here, little girls! I’m talking about- (Miles looks at his script) “how you put Robert Altmire in an awful jam this year-“

 

TREY: Oh, for fuck’s sake!
 

(Trey snatches the script from him)

 

MILES: Hey! That’s Santa’s Naughty and Nice List, how dare you!

 

TREY: “So unless you want coal in your stocking, you will drop the lawsuit against Robert Altmire and admit you framed him”- this is bullshit, Santa!

 

BLAKE: Dude, he’s not Santa.

 

TREY: (Defensive) I KNOW THT!

 

MILES: Oh, fresh child, it’s just the way things are if you want presents!

 

BRYCE: Get the fuck out of here before we call the police, dude.

 

(Miles holds his head)

 

MILES: (Regular voice) Can someone drive me to the minor ER, I feel like you gave me a concussion…

 

(Cut to Hannah, Xandra and Whitney sitting in Xandra’s living room, each with a beer in hand, as distanced as they can be. Salmon is out of his kennel and his resting next to Whitney, who is petting him)

 

XANDRA: This puppy is my liiiife, right now.

 

WHITNEY: Isn’t he cute? I wish I could keep him.

 

HANNAH: But you’d have to marry Rob, to do that.

 

(Whitney laughs)

 

WHITNEY: Right.

 

XANDRA: I thought that went really well, what do you guys think?

 

HANNAH: For sure.

 

WHITNEY: Definitely. It even passed the Bechdel test because we were talking about exclusively about women.

 

XANDRA: Except for that forty-minute chunk we devoted to shitting on Tory Lanez.

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, well, fuck him, he deserved it.

 

HANNAH: So, Luther has called me about potentially getting us signed at Stone Productions’ talent division.

 

WHITNEY: Yes, I was actually the last to hear about this, believe it or not.

 

XANDRA: We could’ve gone to CAA or ICM, but I’ve had bad experiences with those motherfuckers.

 

HANNAH: More accurately, they’ve had bad experiences with her.

 

WHITNEY: I’ve heard. You doxed one of the agents’ parents?

 

XANDRA: This is TOTAL spin! I thought he was lying about having parents, so I tweeted out the location of their nursing home and told people to go pay their respects. Turns out, they did exist, and startled easily.

 

WHITNEY: Why did you think they would lie about having parents?

 

XANDRA: …I was on a lot of drugs, okay?! I promise I’ll be good!

 

WHITNEY: Are you off drugs now?

 

(Hannah shakes her head “no”)

 

XANDRA: Absolutely.

 

WHITNEY: …Well. Assuming we can expect good behavior from you, I think a yearlong exclusive contract would be the starting point in negotiations.

 

HANNAH: We already have a niched audience for our podcast, and dozens of fans who still stan AstroManda. So, an exclusive contract makes no sense, considering  we operate in two very different realms.

 

WHITNEY: I see your point there, but Luther actually represents a wide variety of talents-

 

XANDRA: OH MY GOD, this is so boring. Who wants to play beer pong? (Xandra gets up and heads over to a long fold-out table, with cups already set up. Hannah and Whitney give her a perplexed look) Come ON! It’s the holidays! (Xandra takes a ball out of one of the cups. Whitney and McKenzie trade looks. Salmon jumps down and barks at them both) Listen to Salmon, you sluts!

 

(Whitney and Hannah shrug and get up to join her. Cut to Cory walking McKenzie and Kevin to the far end of the Park backyard. They come upon what can only be described as some “fake ruins”. There appears to be an iron door encased in a threshold made of rock, with trails of small rocks plastered together, winging out of each side)

 

CORY: So this is what I call  the “Park Family Ruins”.

 

KEVIN: Was there a medieval pub back here at some point?

 

CORY: No, sir. I made this.

 

MCKENZIE: This is so cool! You could trick an archaeologist one day with this.

 

KEVIN: Kind of begs the question, what do you call of a ruin of a ruin?

 

CORY: Well. Unfortunately, it won’t be around long enough to be discovered by archaeologists.

 

MCKENZIE: Why’s that?

 

CORY: Your mom thinks it’s an eyesore. So, I’ll get some pictures, and then relegate it to the dustbin of history.

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: Dad, why don’t you ever stand up to her?!

 

CORY: I do! We’ve nearly gotten divorced like three times since this pandemic began!

 

KEVIN: (Mumbles) And why didn’t you...

 

CORY: Pardon?

 

(Kevin fakes a cough)

 

KEVIN: Sorry, I had something in my throat.

 

MCKENZIE: He asked you why you didn’t.

 

(Cory opens the iron barred door, closes it and stands behind the bars)

 

CORY: I don’t know. I guess it’s just easier to stay together than not. It’s habit. (Kevin and McKenzie trade looks) You guys want to come in my imaginary pub?

 

(Kevin shrugs)

 

KEVIN: …Sure.

 

(Cut to the next morning. Kevin, McKenzie, Cory and Sheila are enjoying bacon, eggs and Keurig coffee. But no one is speaking. Kevin is inhaling eggs, as Cory picks at his food and Sheila sits back, drinking coffee thoughtfully. McKenzie has her eye on Sheila. She picks up her coffee and takes a big sip. She clears her throat. Sheila looks over)

 

SHEILA: …Do you mind clearing your throat more quietly, McKenzie?

 

(McKenzie glares at Sheila with disdain in her eyes)

 

MCKENZIE: …I hear you’re planning on tearing down dad’s ruins, mom.

 

(Sheila shrugs)

 

SHEILA: Yes, and?

 

MCKENZIE: I think dad worked hard on it, and I don’t think you should tear it down.

 

SHEILA: He has pictures of it.

 

MCKENZIE: You have no respect for dad, at all. They have pictures of Stonehenge, are they gonna tear that down?

 

CORY: Oh, I don’t think my ruins are at THAT level-

 

MCKENZIE: Shut up, dad.

 

SHEILA: It’s bad for resale value, sweetie. We don’t wanna live in Tarzana forever.

 

MCKENZIE: THAT’S IT!

 

(McKenzie takes out a pair of handcuffs and slams them on the table)

 

KEVIN: Are you gonna arrest your mom?

 

(Sheila stands up)

 

SHEILA: I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD ARREST YOUR OWN MOTHER!

 

MCKENZIE: I’m not gonna- how could I even do that?! Sit down!

 

(Sheila sits down)

 

SHEILA: What is the meaning of this tantrum, then?!

 

MCKENZIE: I’m going to CUFF myself to that iron gate until you agree to let it stand!

 

CORY: McKenzie, please!

 

SHEILA: You most certainly will NOT!

 

MCKENZIE: I WILL! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a store that sells handcuffs that’s open on Christmas eve?!

 

KEVIN: You could’ve just looked in your parents’ closet-

 

(Sheila grabs a steak knife and points it at Kevin)

 

SHEILA: I WILL KILL YOU!

 

(Kevin backs up)

 

KEVIN: Sorry.

 

(McKenzie slaps the handcuff around his wrist and walks toward the back door)

 

MCKENZIE: Here I go!
 

(Cory stands up)

 

CORY: McKenzie, you don’t have to do this!

 

(The back door slams behind her. Sheila drops the steak knife and sighs)

 

SHEILA: She’s always been such a drama queen. (Kevin, clearly annoyed, grabs his plate and his coffee and brings it upstairs. Sheila and Cory return to eating in total silence. Cut to McKenzie cuffed to the iron gate in the backyard. She’s sitting down, scrolling through her phone. Sheila emerges from the house and walks over to her) I can just wait you out, you know.

 

MCKENZIE: I’ll be here as long as it takes.

 

SHEILA: You’ll miss work for this?

 

MCKENZIE: I’ll quit my job for this if that’s what it takes. Dad MADE this. Dad CARES about this. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?!

 

(Sheila stares at McKenzie. She rolls her eyes and walks away. McKenzie returns to looking at her phone. Cut to Xandra, Hannah and Whitney playing Mario Kart 8 for Switch. Whitney and Xandra, as Toad and Koopa Troopa respectively, are neck-and-neck while racing on Mario Circuit. They keep bumping against each other as they race for the finish line, each trading the lead)

 

WHITNEY: No, no, no-

 

XANDRA: Fuck you, IT’S MINE!

 

WHITNEY: COME ON, I JUST NEED A STAR!

 

(Xandra crosses first)

 

WHITNEY: AHHH!

 

(Whitney falls onto her side in mock despair. Xandra stands straight up and thrusts her crotch forward)

 

XANDRA: YES! SUCK MY DICK!

 

(Hannah and Whitney laugh, as Xandra plops back down on the couch. Whitney sits back up)

 

WHITNEY: That banana peel fucked me, early on.

 

HANNAH: Oh yes, Whitney, it’s ALWAYS the banana peel.

 

WHITNEY: Should we play again?

 

(Xandra and Hannah trade looks)

 

XANDRA: Actually, we wanted to pitch you something.

 

HANNAH: I know you guys generally do movies these days, but it’s a TV show.

 

WHITNEY: As long as it’s not…actually, we pretty much have no standards. Go ahead.

 

(Hannah and Xandra jump up and stand in front of the TV)

 

HANNAH: Okay, you’ve heard of the Closure Podcast, right?

 

XANDRA: Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and anywhere podcasts are offered?

 

WHITNEY: You mean the podcast I was just on? Yeah, I’ve heard of it.

 

XANDRA: This is like Closure, but it’s a talk show, starring the two of us, speaking with celebrity couples who have broken up. Brangelina, Mileysworth, Camelton, Kylis Scott, Pete Davariana, Pete Dabeckinsale-

 

WHITNEY: I hate that I know exactly which couples you’re talking about.

 

HANNAH: Basically, it’s a dissection of what went wrong with each of these couples. Imagine the RATINGS of something like that!

 

XANDRA: Maybe we could have a segment called, maybe, “In The Ring”, where we put each of the exes in their own glass box, facing the other, and they get to just SCREAM at one another, taking out all of their frustrations!

 

HANNAH: Then we all hug each other and heal together.

 

(Xandra nods. Whitney skews her mouth to one side, and tilts her head)

 

WHITNEY: I don’t know.

 

XANDRA: You don’t know?!

 

WHITNEY: I don’t really think many celebrities would want to air their dirty laundry like that.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, but for the ones that DO-

 

WHITNEY: Plus, guys, podcasting is the medium you want to stay in, for this, I think. TV is dying.

 

XANDRA: TV’s not dying, there are more shows than ever!

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, but talk shows are dying. Fallon’s average viewer age is 60 and Colbert’s is probably, 105. Conan’s is still 30, weirdly enough.

 

(Xandra scoffs)

 

XANDRA: I see how it is.

 

(Xandra folds her arms)

 

WHITNEY: What?

 

HANNAH: Xandra.

 

XANDRA: No, no, I get it. You think if we get a TV show, we’ll get too big for our britches, and we won’t need your little company anymore.

 

WHITNEY: No! I just-

 

XANDRA: You’re JEALOUS of us! Still!
 

HANNAH: Xandra, we’re not even dating!

 

(Whitney stands up)

 

WHITNEY: Listen, you misunderstand my intention-

 

XANDRA: No, I don’t. You’ve been acting like you’re my friend, but you fake. Straight-up.

 

WHITNEY: You wanna do the show?! We can pitch it! I’ll get Luther over here right now, if you want!

 

HANNAH: No! Whitney, I agree with you, the show is not a good idea right now, let’s work on the podcast!

 

XANDRA: Get out, Whitney. Get out.

 

(They hear a knock at the door. They all eye it. Xandra walks over and looks through the peephole. She opens the door and Rob walks in with his mask on)

 

WHITNEY: Jesus- it’s Christmas Eve?! How long have I been here?!

 

(Rob crouches down)

 

ROB: Come here, Salmon!

 

(Salmon runs over and Rob pets him)

 

XANDRA: Hi, Rob.

 

HANNAH: What’s up, Rob.

 

ROB: Was he good?

 

WHITNEY: Were YOU? Were you able to appeal to Trey and Colleen’s Christmas spirit?

 

ROB: No, and my lawyer told me to knock it off. Looks like I’ll have to do it the hard way. Come on, Salmon. (Rob throws a dog treat into the kennel, he happily chases after it, and Rob closes the kennel door. He lifts it up by the handle and nods to everyone) Have a lovely Christmas eve, ladies. I don’t know what you’ve been doing in here the past 24 hours, but. I’ll let my imagination decide.

 

(Rob smiles and leaves. They all roll their eyes)

 

WHITNEY: I can get Luther on the phone, and he can be over with the papers in fifteen minutes.

 

HANNAH: On Christmas Eve?

 

WHITNEY: On Christmas Eve. We can pitch your show, whatever you want. I don’t want to let go of this. (Xandra fold her arms and looks away) …Please. (Xandra shoots a look at Whitney. Then Hannah. Hannah nods. Then Whitney again. Xandra nods. Whitney takes out her phone and starts dialing. She puts the phone to her ear) …Luther, can you come to WeHo with the papers for Hannah and Xandra? (Beat) Yes, I know what day it is. (Beat) No, I didn’t know or NEED to know how sexually ravenous Evelyn is during the Holidays- just come over!
 

(Whitney hangs up. Cut to McKenzie handcuffed to the gate, as the sun begins to set. She’s lazily smoking a cigarette and staring into the middle distance. Kevin walks out with his hands in his pockets)

 

KEVIN: It’s gonna get cold.

 

(McKenzie blows smoke in Kevin’s direction)

 

MCKENZIE: I’m keeping myself warm.

 

KEVIN: By doing what? Pissing yourself?

 

(McKenzie shrugs)

 

MCKENZIE: I’ve been pissing through the gate.

 

KEVIN: That’s one way to mark your territory. (Kevin sits down next to McKenzie, who offers him her cigarette. He takes a puff and hands it back to her) What are you trying to accomplish here?

 

MCKENZIE: …I want him to leave her. They shouldn’t be together anymore.

 

KEVIN: Astronauts on the ISS can see that. But how does this accomplish that? (McKenzie looks at Kevin) Even if Sheila caves, it doesn’t the overall problem. In fact, it delays their divorce, doesn’t it?

 

(McKenzie stares forward, thoughtfully. She then closes her eyes)

 

MCKENZIE: Fuck, you’re right. (Beat) He takes this little victory, and then marches forward out of habit.

 

KEVIN: The fundamental problems remain.

 

(McKenzie takes a look at Kevin. Kevin looks back, but quickly looks away. McKenzie looks down. Just then, Cory excitedly runs out of the house)

 

CORY: She caved! THE RUINS REMAIN! (Cory jumps up with his fist high. He lands and claps his hands together) You did it, Kenz! (McKenzie and Kevin offer a muted response. McKenzie gestures to the cuffs with her head. Kevin uncuffs her from the gate. Cory is confused) We, uh…did you hear me? We did it?

 

(McKenzie and Kevin walk past Cory without a word. Though, Kevin does pat him on the back. Cut to Xandra’s apartment. Xandra and Hannah are seated, masked, across from Whitney and Luther who are also masked. Xandra has a pen in hand, and is studying the talent management agreement, which is lying on the coffee table. She flips the page over, skims it, and flips to the front)

 

XANDRA: Sorry, I’m used to signing NDAs, not talent management agreements.

 

LUTHER: Take your time. It’s Christmas Eve, and my girlfriend was clawing at my back when I left, so I have time. (Xandra signs the agreement, and hands it off to Hannah. She signs under Xandra’s name and hands it to Luther) Great. Goodbye.

 

(Luther literally runs out of the apartment and slams the door behind him. Whitney stands up)

 

WHITNEY: Fantastic! Come on, let’s break out the champagne, let’s celebrate!

 

(Xandra and Hannah stand up)

 

XANDRA: I’ve literally never said this before, but I don’t really feel like it.

 

HANNAH: Yeah, I think I’m gonna head back to Compton. I’m tired.

 

(Whitney deflates, and so does Xandra, upon hearing that Hannah is leaving)

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Well. Congratulations, guys.

 

(They nod)

 

XANDRA: Thanks for coming on the show.

 

(Whitney smirks, and makes her way out of the apartment. Hannah touches Xandra tenderly on the shoulder, and then leaves as well. Xandra plops down onto the couch and rubs her eyes vigorously. Cut to Rob, with his hands over Imogen’s eyes, leading Imogen out of their bedroom and into the living room, where numerous presents lie below the Christmas tree, including a kennel with a bow on it with Salmon panting inside)

 

ROB: Okay, we’re here, are you ready?

 

IMOGEN: YES! Bloody hell, what is it?!

 

(Rob unmasks her, and she sees the puppy and squeals with glee)

 

ROB: Imogen, meet Salmon!
 

(Imogen drops to her knees and opens the cage and starts petting him)

 

IMOGEN: Oh my God, he’s so adorable! Oh, I love him! (Salmon licks her face) Oh God, and he loves me already!

 

(Rob sits next to Imogen)

 

ROB: Love at first sight, that’s what Salmon and I have in common.

 

(Imogen smiles and kisses Rob on the mouth. She then goes back to petting Salmon)

 

IMOGEN: …Does he have to be named Salmon?

 

ROB: No, not at all.

 

IMOGEN: Thank God.

 

(Time lapse as we Rob and Imogen unwrap all the presents, and then have cocoa and eat breakfast. We see them set up a food and water bowl for Salmon, and he happily munches and slurps up it all up. Rob and Imogen end up in the bedroom, as the time lapse slows down. We see a naked Rob, thrusting himself into a naked Imogen, as he wipes the sweat from his brow, and his thrusts and their moans grow quicker each time. Smash cut to Rob and Imogen relaxing in bed, basking in the afterglow. Imogen is resting her head on Rob’s chest, and Rob has his hand wrapped around her shoulder and is playing with her hair)

 

ROB: …I can’t believe you got me pube trimmers.

 

(Imogen chuckles)

 

IMOGEN: It’s not my fault that it’s like the Amazon down there.

 

ROB: I got you a dog, you got me a pube trimmer.

 

(Imogen laughs some more)

 

IMOGEN: …Still the best Christmas in years, right?

 

ROB: …Miraculously, yes.

 

(Rob smirks and kisses Imogen on the head)

 

IMOGEN: By the way, the internet technician is coming tomorrow.

 

ROB: Okay, I’ll stay in the attic, because those guys must be going everywhere and touching everything.

 

IMOGEN: You stayed downstairs for the plumber?

 

(Rob shrugs)

 

ROB: I like plumbers.

 

(Cut to Sheila, Cory, McKenzie and Kevin on Christmas morning at the Park household, all gathered in front of the Christmas tree in their pajamas)

 

CORY: Okay, so, should we go oldest to youngest?

 

SHEILA: Why would we START with ourselves, Cory? Why the hell would we do that?!

 

CORY: OKAY! OKAY! Jesus! Youngest to oldest! How old are you, Kevin?

 

KEVIN: I’m-

 

SHEILA: He’s obviously older than McKenzie, don’t you know how old your daughter is, Cory!?

 

(Kevin and McKenzie give one another a knowing look)

 

CORY: FINE! YOU DECIDE! I DON’T EVEN CARE!

 

(Cory throws his hands up. Cut to Rob sitting in his office, scrolling through Twitter on his computer. Imogen peeks her head in)

 

IMOGEN: Hey, internet still working?

 

ROB: Like a charm.

 

IMOGEN: Guess we hired the right guy. Are you talking to your lawyer?

 

(Rob exits out of Twitter, and goes back to his Gmail account and turns to Imogen)

 

ROB: For sure. Yep.

 

IMOGEN: Thanks for being so diligent.

 

(Imogen leaves, and Rob turns back to his computer and brings Twitter back up. He scrolls through several posts about COVID-19 stimulus negotiations when he hears a blood-curdling scream. Rob jumps to his feet)

 

ROB: IMOGEN!?

 

IMOGEN: ROB, COME, QUICK!

 

(Rob darts out of the room and into the living room, where he finds Imogen on her knees in front of Salmon, who is passed out with foam coming out of his mouth)

 

ROB: HOLY SHIT!
 

IMOGEN: WHAT HAPPENED?! FUCKING DO SOMETHING!

 

(Rob puts his ear to Salmon’s chest)

 

ROB: I don’t hear anything!

 

(Imogen is crying)

 

IMOGEN: LET’S BRING HIM TO THE VET!

 

(Rob picks him up, cradles him in his arms)

 

ROB: BRING THE CAR AROUND!
 

(Imogen rushes into the garage and Rob makes his way to the front door. Cut to Rob and Imogen, wearing masks and sitting in the waiting area of a vet’s office. Their faces are wet with tears and consumed with worry. A veterinarian walks in, wearing a mask and surgical gloves and looking dejected. Rob and Imogen stand up)

 

VET: I’m so sorry. He didn’t make it.

 

(Imogen breaks down in sobs. Rob holds her)

 

ROB: What the hell happened?!

 

VET: It seems like he was poisoned. (Rob’s brow furrows and his eyes widen) Maybe he got into the cabinet under your sink. We don’t know yet what it was.

 

(Rob shakes his head “no” bitterly)

 

ROB: No, I know exactly who did this.

 

(Cut to Trey and Bryce smoking weed in the driveway of the Sway House, right in front of the garage door. They’re laughing and talking)

 

TREY: One time I fucked this bitch from San Diego, Colleen came home and caught us, I convinced her she was the fucking plumber.

 

(Trey laughs and takes a hit, which he then hands to Bryce)

 

BRYCE: Bro, that’s not very feminist.

 

TREY: Are you a feminist?

 

BRYCE: I don’t know, my publicist says I am.

 

(Rob’s car pulls up with a loud screech)

 

TREY: The fuck!?

 

(Rob gets out and starts marching toward Trey with hatred in his eyes. Imogen gets out of the car, sobbing)

 

IMOGEN: ROB, DON’T!

 

(Bryce gets in Rob’s way)

 

BRYCE: WHAT THE FUCK’S GOIN’ ON-?!

 

(Rob pushes Bryce out of the way, grabs Trey and slams him up against the garage door)

 

TREY: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU-?!

 

(Rob rears his fist back and lands knocks the shit out of Trey, sending a tooth and a torrent of blood across the pavement. Imogen screams as she leans against the car)

 

BRYCE: HOLY SHIT!

 

(Bryce runs toward Rob, but he kicks Bryce in the chest, sending him to the ground)

 

ROB: YOU MOTHERFUCKER!

 

TREY: MOMMY, HELP ME!
 

(Rob lands another meaty punch, and another, and another, and another- and at this point Trey is fully knocked out, and Rob is so distracted that Bryce manages put Rob in a headlock, pulling Rob away from Trey and sending Trey to the ground like a ton of bricks, his head just barely propped up by the garage door)

 

ROB: GET THE FUCK OFF ME!

 

BRYCE: I’M GONNA KEEP YOU HERE UNTIL THE POLICE COME, MOTHERFUCKER!

 

ROB: HE KILLED OUR FUCKIN’ DOG! HE KILLED OUR FUCKIN’ DOG!
 

BRYCE: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

 

(Suddenly, Sway House members Blake Grey, Noah Beck, Anthony Reeves and Kio Cyr- all handsome social media stars in their late teens or early twenties, emerge from the house, joined by Colleen Diamond- who immediately spots Trey bloodied and beaten on the ground)

 

COLLEEN: TREY!!

 

NOAH: GET THAT MOTHERFUCKER!

 

(Rob arches his leg forward and slams his foot into Bryce’s kneecap)

 

BRYCE: FUCK!

 

(Rob wriggles free of Bryce’s grasp as he writhes in pain, and as the Sway House start running towards him, and Colleen tends to Trey’s wounds)

 

ROB: GET THE FUCK IN THE CAR!

 

(Rob and a sobbing Imogen quickly get in the car, as Blake and Noah try to jump on the hood. They speed off, making Blake and Noah to slip off the hood and eat shit on the pavement. We see a bird’s eye view of this scene, which is a mess of blood, howling pain, writhing and grievous injury, as we hear Rob’s motor roar in the distance. Cut to the Altmire-Deckland living room. Imogen is in the borderline fetal position, sobbing on the couch. Rob is sitting next to her, his head buried in his hands, his knuckles red and perforated. They hear a loud knock at the door)

 

LAPD OFFICER: (OS) LAPD, open the door!

 

IMOGEN: Oh my GOD!

 

(Rob puts his hand up, and he gets on his feet)

 

ROB: It’s fine, Imogen. I’M COMING!

 

(Rob walks to the door, unlocks it and opens it. He sees two male LAPD officers- Clements and Movsesian, walk in. Imogen walks over, wiping tears from her eyes. Rob looks numb)

 

OFFICER MOVSESIAN: Are you Robert Altmire?

 

ROB: (Numbly) Yes.

 

OFFICER MOVSESIAN: You’re under arrest for assault. (Clements slaps handcuffs on Rob as Imogen keeps crying) You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used you against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you by the state.

 

ROB: Trust me, I can afford one.

 

OFFICER MOVSESIAN: Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?

 

ROB: Yes.

 

OFFICER MOVSESIAN: Let’s go.

 

(The officer escort Rob out of the house)

 

IMOGEN: ROB!

 

(Imogen collapses onto the couch, sobbing. Cut to McKenzie driving Kevin’s truck on the highway that evening. NPR is on, and McKenzie and Kevin look to be in a bad mood)

 

NPR: The FBI and the ATF raided the home of a 63-year-old man in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, in connection to the Christmas morning bombing of a recreational vehicle near the AT&T building in Nashville’s downtown, that resulted in three injuries and caused extensive damage to nearby buildings. The leading theory right now, according to sources, is that the perpetrator of the bombing perished in the explosion. The explosion could be felt for miles. Witnesses report a recorded message coming from the RV warning of an impending explosion. President Trump and President-elect Biden have been briefed on the matter, but sources say Trump is hesitant to comment on the matter until, quote, “they find out which Muslim did it”.  In local news, Los Angeles Police confirm there was an altercation at the Bel Air home of several social media stars-

 

(McKenzie turns the radio off)

 

MCKENZIE: Do you love Evelyn!?

 

KEVIN: Why did you steal my phone at the election night party!?

 

MCKENZIE: ANSWER MY QUESTION FIRST!

 

KEVIN: NO! SHE’S A FRIEND! WHY DID YOU STEAL MY PHONE?! WHY DON’T YOU TRUST ME!?!

 

MCKENZIE: WHY DO YOU THINK!?

 

(Kevin and McKenzie turn away from one another and return to silence. Cut to Hannah’s place in Compton. She’s spruced it up a bit, with a few plants out front and a Christmas wreath on the door. Whitney pulls up in her sedan and steps out of the car. She sadly walks up to the door and lightly raps on the door. Hannah eventually opens the door)

 

HANNAH: Whitney? What are you doing here? Is this about Rob getting arrested? (Whitney shakes her head “no”) Then, what’s the deal?

 

(Whitney looks up at Hannah, desperately)

 

WHITNEY: Christmas was torture. (Hannah looks at Whitney with deep empathy) Can I come in?

 

(Hannah bites her top lip and nods her head. She makes way for Whitney, who sadly lurches in. Hannah closes the door behind her. Cut to Rob sitting in a jail cell at L.A. County Jailhouse. James Cordic and Imogen stand outside the cell, and they’re flanked by two police officers. Rob is rubbing his eyes)

 

ROB: …ARE YOU SURE?!

 

JAMES: Yes! Rob, we’re sure. Garamendi owns the plumbing company AND the internet technician company. We think it was him, not Trey.

 

(Rob takes a deep breath and pounds the bench he’s sitting on loudly)

 

ROB: FUCK, you can’t be serious.

 

IMOGEN: Babe, I think maybe we can plead temporary insanity-

 

JAMES: No, it’s best to stick to the sympathy angle. You’re really sorry, you just lost your head because of what happened to your dog. You’re John Wick, essentially! People love John Wick!

 

(Rob nods his head)

 

ROB: …I’m John Wick, that actually fuckin’ rules.

 

IMOGEN: Babe.

 

ROB: I have to tell everyone about the misunderstanding! Or else, I’m fuckin’ ruined.

 

JAMES: Again, I have to caution against saying anything publicly right now-

 

IMOGEN: I’ll write the statement, Rob.

 

(Rob looks lovingly at Imogen. She wipes tears from her eyes)

 

JAMES: …At least let me help you.

 

IMOGEN: Sure thing.

 

JAMES: But right now, Rob, you gotta go plead. Let’s get you into a suit.

 

(One of the officers picks up a swanky purple striped suit on a hanger from the ground. Rob squints)

 

IMOGEN: Sorry, the rest of your suits are at the cleaners.

 

(Rob sighs heavily. Cut to Rob, wearing that suit, flanked by James, standing before an older female Judge named Krasinski in a Los Angeles court of law. The prosecution has two lawyers sitting at their desk as well)

 

JUDGE KRASINSKI: Mr. Altmire, you are being charged with two counts of simple assault, in violation of section 240 of the California penal code. How do you plead?

 

(Rob clears his throat, as the camera moves in on him)

 

ROB: …I plead guilty, your honor.

 

(“I Don’t Wanna” by HAIM begins playing as we cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: December 24, 2020

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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