Brian, Contra Episode 12

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

Spencer attempts to sabotage Annex in the wake of recent success. Brian is confused as to what to do. After Thomas Loveman is incapacitated and Brian and Lindsay see an opportunity to use that to save Annex. Lindsay becomes frustrated while managing Jack as it feels like raising a child, making Savannah’s revelation all the more distressing. The Mafia tries to draw Brent out of hiding, and Brent struggles to resist.

BRIAN, CONTRA

 

“NES”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends. So, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz”

  • Janis Joplin

 

(We open on Brian Sarandon, waking up alone in his bed. He rubs the crust out of his eyes and lethargically turns onto his side. His leg sticks out of the bed and he places it firmly on the ground as he sleep-walks out of bed. He shuffles toward the bathroom, enters, closes the door behind him and starts the shower. He flips on the transistor radio on the bathroom counter and it plays “Here Comes The Summer” by The Undertones. Brian steps into the shower)

 

BRIAN: OW!

 

(Cut to Savannah and Lindsay in Lindsay’s bedroom asleep in each other’s arms as the song continues to play. Savannah suddenly shoots up with a distressed look on her face. She clutches her stomach and runs to the bathroom. This awakes Lindsay and he squints after her. Cut to Savannah worshipping the porcelain throne in Lindsay’s bathroom, vomiting violently into the toilet. Lindsay walks in, looking confused and concerned. He kneels down and holds her hair back for her. Cut to Spencer running down the stairs in the lobby of his apartment building with a pair of aviators on, and a blinding white smile. He nods at the doorman, who gives him a slice of cake in a plastic container, which he gladly accepts as he opens the door for him and he departs. Cut to Brian stepping out of the shower and wrapping himself in a towel. He walks into his bedroom, undoes his towel, and uses it to dry off. He casually whips the towel against the bed several times. Cut to Nina pulling up to Jason and Jillian’s school in Brian’s car and letting them out. They run off merrily and she looks after them lovingly. She closes the door and drives off. Cut to Brian walking out of his apartment building as Nina pulls up and opens the door for him. Brian gets in and kisses Nina passionately. After they’re done, Nina starts up the car, but Brian grabs the steering wheel and looks at Nina expectantly. Nina sighs, shuts off the car, and gets out of the driver’s seat. Brian takes the driver’s seat and Nina gets on the passenger’s side, he starts up the car and drives off. Cut to Spencer walking into an alley with his hands in his pockets. A black guy with a fade emerges from behind a dumpster. Spencer hands the guy twenty bucks and the black guy hands Spencer a plastic container full of cockroaches with little airholes in it. Spencer walks briskly past him, but then the black guy grabs Spencer on the shoulder. Spencer turns around and the black guy hands Spencer a pamphlet with a smile. Spencer looks at the pamphlet. “New York City Center for Entomology- free for kids on Sundays!” along with illustrations of ants, praying mantises, and lady bugs. Spencer smirks awkwardly and walks away.  He throws the pamphlet into the dumpster, and the black guy scowls and walks away. Cut to Spencer sneaking up behind Annex at around 7am with the container of cockroaches. He climbs on top of the dumpster and props open the transom.  He opens the container and turns it over, allowing the cockroaches to crawl out into the building. He then takes the cake out of his jacket and dumps the cake into the bathroom on the other side. He closes the transom behind them, jumps down from the dumpster, stuffs the containers in his jacket and walks away, as the song ends. Cut to Lindsay driving his Mazda with Savannah in the passenger’s seat. “Fallen Angel” by King Crimson is playing faintly on Lindsay’s stereo. Savannah looks uncomfortable as she looks out the window)

 

LINDSAY: …I guess I can tell why you weren’t in the mood last night.

 

SAVANNAH: Sorry, it must’ve been something I ate. I haven’t been eating great, lately.

 

LINDSAY: You’ve been eating a lot, lately.

 

SAVANNAH: I know, it’s strange.

 

LINDSAY: Can’t believe you’re still going to work.

 

SAVANNAH: All I have to do is get naked and water plants.

 

LINDSAY: I thought Bertha said you didn’t have to get naked?!

 

SAVANNAH:  Eh. It grew on me.

 

LINDSAY: Something’s growing on me, right now. (Savannah punches Lindsay in the shoulder and he grasps his shoulder in exaggerated anguish, as they both laugh. Cut to Lindsay walking into Annex. There are about three dozen customers dancing, drinking, and wearing red, white, and blue, while Winslow DJs a remix of Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”. There are patriotic streamers hanging everywhere, Nina is cleaning glasses in the back and Jack is serving Brian a red, white, and blue cocktail with a lit sparkler sticking out of it. Brian is about to take a sip, when Lindsay rushes over and takes the drink from Brian’s hand) Jack, what the hell!?

 

JACK: What?!

 

(Lindsay takes the sparkler and dips it in a nearby woman’s glass of water)

 

WOMAN: Hey!

 

LINDSAY: Sorry, ma’am- (Lindsay takes the wet sparkler out and brandishes it in front of Jack) What the fuck made you think this was a good idea?!

 

JACK: What?! It’s The Fourth of July!

 

BRIAN: Yeah, Lindsay, I know you hate America and everything, but the rest of us have pride in our country. Jack, make me another sparkler cocktail.

 

JACK: Yes, sir-

 

LINDSAY: Jack, STOP! (Jack freezes) Putting a lit sparkler into a cup that people are going to be DRINKING OUT OF, is dangerous, believe it or not.

 

JACK: Nuh-uh!

 

LINDSAY: Yeah-huh- did you seriously just say “nuh-uh” at me!?

 

(Jack groans and stomps his feet)

 

JACK: I never get to do anything FUN!

 

LINDSAY: Oh my God, Jack, you’re thirty-seven years old!

 

JACK: No! I just turned thirty-eight!

 

LINDSAY: Yeah, and we just threw you a Looney Tunes-themed party!

 

BRIAN: The Looney Tunes are hilarious, what’s wrong with that, you commie?

 

LINDSAY: Jack. You’ve been really acting out lately. Just check yourself, right? No more sparklers in drinks.

 

(Lindsay walks away. Jack pouts and takes out his pack of sparklers and lifts up a trash can, but Brian grabs his arm)

 

BRIAN: Give ‘em here, bud.

 

(Jack smirks and gives them to Brian, who sticks them in his coat pocket. Cut to Savannah walking into the center of Monika’s Botanical Garden, with its towering orchids and splendid flora. Savannah is of course, naked, along with Bertha, Walter and other assorted old, middle-aged, and younger people tending to the plants and flowers. Savannah picks up a watering can and pours water onto a sunflower. Bertha walks over and pats Savannah on the shoulder. She feels a sudden pang of pain and drops her watering can on the ground)

 

SAVANNAH: Aggghh! Shit!
 

BERTHA: Whoa! Are you alright?

 

SAVANNAH: Yeah, I’m fine, I just have a stomachache or something.

 

BERTHA: Excuse me for saying this, honey, but it looks like you’ve got a little stomach on you, these days.

 

(Savannah looks down at her stomach, which is a bit distended)

 

SAVANNAH: Yeah, I noticed it too, but I thought it was just because Lindsay and I have been eating more fast food lately.

 

BERTHA: Why have you been doing that, honey?

 

SAVANNAH: I don’t know, I’ve had all these strange cravings, recently.

 

BERTHA: Tyler, get over here!

 

(Tyler, a white guy with a thick black bush, thick dark chest hair, a gold chain around his neck and curly hair on his head, walks over)

 

TYLER: What’s up? (Savannah vomits into the garden) Oh my God, is she okay?

 

BERTHA: Is that new cologne, Tyler?

 

TYLER:  Uh, no- it’s the same I’ve always had, why?

 

SAVANNAH: GO AWAY!

 

(Bertha waves him off, and he walks away, very confused)

 

BERTHA: You’re pregnant, honey.

 

(Savannah stands up straight and grips her head)

 

SAVANNAH: Jesus Christ, you think so!?

 

BERTHA: Does Lindsay use protection?

 

SAVANNAH: Yes! (Savannah shrugs) Unless he’s out of condoms, and then he just pulls out. If he can.

 

BERTHA: You can go home for the day. Take a pregnancy test, okay? If you need time off, we provide paid leave, we’ve got you, alright?

 

(Bertha holds Savannah’s hand. She wipes tears away and nods)

 

SAVANNAH: Thank you, Bertha. You can be my child’s Godmother if you want.

 

BERTHA: Oh, wow. I, uh-

 

SAVANNAH: Sorry. Ignore that, I’m just very hormonal right now-

 

BERTHA: Right. No worries.

 

SAVANNAH: Please call me a cab.

 

BERTHA:  Yep. 

 

(Bertha walks away as Savannah takes a seat against the wooden garden enclosure. Cut to Lindsay in his office, smoking a cigarette and writing a grocery list, that includes “cigarettes, cocaine, pills, booze, and bread”. Jack walks in and Lindsay looks up inquisitively)

 

LINDSAY: What is it?

 

(Jack closes the door and clasps his hands behind him)

 

JACK: Can I take off early to go hang out with Lance?

 

(Lindsay squints with disbelief)

 

LINDSAY: Are you kidding me? It’s Independence Day, the place is jumping-

 

JACK: Nina’s here!

 

LINDSAY:  She can’t handle this all on her own, and you don’t get off for another six hours! You’re not getting off “early”, you’d just be skipping the whole day!

 

(Jack pouts and slams the wall with his fist)

 

JACK: WHY CAN’T I EVER DO WHAT I WANT?!

 

(Lindsay stands up and gets in Jack’s face)

 

LINDSAY: LISTEN! I won’t have anymore goddamn tantrums! Go do your job.

 

(Lindsay brushes past Jack and walks over to the bar, where Nina is serving red, white and blue cocktails to numerous patrons. Lindsay sits next to Brian and puffs on his cigarette)

 

BRIAN: You alright?

 

LINDSAY: I’m worried about Jack. He’s acting like a little brat recently. He hasn’t acted this since the early 80s, you know, those terrible thirty-twos.

 

(Brian furrows his brow and glares at Lindsay)

 

BRIAN: …What?

(Jack walks back behind the bar and lethargically cleans glasses with an angry look in his eyes. Lindsay sighs and shakes his head. Nina opens up the cash register and starts counting up money to give someone in change. She counts up ten dollars and hands it to someone offscreen)

 

NINA: Thanks, honey, remember, stay away from that guy in the corner who carries a rose everywhere. (Nina smiles as the woman walks away. Nina turns to Lindsay and Savannah) I gotta say, boys, we’ve really ridden out the storm. It’s 1PM and we’re pulling in hella cash.

 

BRIAN: Yeah, and even when it’s not a holiday, people have been pouring in every night.

 

LINDSAY:  I mean, it’s summer, that’s usually how it goes.

 

BRIAN: Well, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Jack, four glasses of your finest champagne!

 

(Jack shrugs)

 

JACK: Fine.

 

(Jack kneels down behind the bar, but then screams and backs up into the back counter)

 

LINDSAY: What is it!?

 

(Nina screams and jumps up on the bar)

 

NINA: COCKROACHES!

 

(Lindsay and Brian look down and see cockroaches swarming under them)

 

BRIAN: HOLY SHIT!

 

(Brian and Lindsay retract their legs up onto the seat, and all the patrons in the place start screaming and heading for the exits as cockroaches skitter along the floor. Jack is cowering in the fetal position on the back counter)

 

LINDSAY: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, HOW’D THIS HAPPEN!?

 

BRIAN: …Spencer.

 

NINA: LET’S GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, BEFORE WE’RE EATEN ALIVE, INDIANA JONES-STYLE!

 

(They all jump on the ground and run for the exits. Cut to Brian and Lindsay seated in front of James Foghat’s desk in his law office)

 

BRIAN: We’ve never had a cockroach  problem, before.

 

LINDSAY: We’ve never even had a bug problem, before! I mean, besides this pretty bad ladybug infestation in the summer of ’83, but that was just adorable!

 

BRIAN:  I KNOW it was my dad! You know him, Jim, this is his last-ditch attempt to ruin us and take the building for himself!
 

JAMES: But do you guys have any evidence, beyond a motive? Do you have cameras around the property?

 

LINDSAY: Cameras?! Do we look like snitches to you!?

 

BRIAN: Honestly, cameras are a good idea-

 

LINDSAY: We’re not gonna help you put some public masturbator behinds bars, PIG!
 

BRIAN: He’s not a cop! He’s our lawyer!

 

JAMES: Listen, it looks like O’Halleran’s gonna kick you to the curb. This building is probably a lost cause. It’s time to find a new building.

 

(Brian and Lindsay trade looks)

 

BRIAN:  Have you kept an eye on the market?

 

(Lindsay takes a gulp)

 

LINDSAY: Not really. You know what this means?

 

BRIAN: No!

 

LINDSAY: We’re gonna have to talk to the Daves.

 

(Brian slams his fist on the desk)

 

BRIAN: Goddamnit!

 

JAMES: Relax! This is mahogany!

 

(Cut to Brian and Lindsay in a conference room, sitting at a table watching their three identical bald accountants David, Davie and Dave, present potential locations for lease on an easel. The first one, displayed on a big piece of cardstock, is a picture of a 19th century debtor’s prison. Above the photo it reads “ABANDONED DEBTOR’S PRISON FOR LEASE” and below, it reads “ONLY $22.50 PER SQUARE FOOT PER YEAR”)

 

DAVE: This used to be Framingham Debtor’s Prison in the 19th century, but now it’s a big, abandoned building populated only by rats, teenagers making skate videos, the homeless and ghosts.

 

DAVID: Only $22.50 per square foot per year!
 

LINDSAY: But it’s a whole prison, what’s the square footage?

 

DAVID: It’s, uh, 28,000 square feet.

 

LINDSAY: So, that’s something like-

 

DAVID: 630,000 dollars a year.

 

LINDSAY: Right. Next.

 

(David removes the cardstock and reveals another one. It’s an exterior shot of a tiny bodega with boarded up windows. Above it says “800 square feet former Bodega in The Bronx”)

 

DAVIE: This one might be more in your price range. This bodega was the scene of a recent triple-murder, or quadruple murder if you want to count the bodega cat that gave his life.

 

DAVID: It’s dirt cheap, but the problem is, it’s also dirt small.

 

BRIAN: Dirt small?

 

DAVID: Like, small as dirt.

 

BRIAN: How much?

 

DAVID: Ten bucks per square foot.

 

BRIAN: I mean, it definitely can’t be a dance club, so why are we even seeing it?

 

DAVID: Fair.

 

(David removes the cardstock, revealing a luxurious two-story club with a “FOR LEASE” sign on it. The text above it says “4,000 Square Foot, two-story club for $16.50 per square foot per year”)

 

DAVE: This one was a two-story club called “PARIAH” that recently went out of business. It’s very affordable and very few renovations are required.

 

BRIAN: Perfect!
 

LINDSAY: Let’s go for it-

 

DAVIE: It’s in Staten Island.

 

BRIAN: Goddamnit.

 

LINDSAY: Never mind, then.

 

(Dave takes off the cardstock and breaks it over his knee)

 

DAVE:  That’s all we had. The rest are shit.

 

LINDSAY: Those first two were shit!

 

DAVE:  Yeah, but we needed three.

 

DAVID: It’s the rule of three, you know.

 

(Lindsay sighs and hastily lights a cigarette)

 

BRIAN: …We had a good run, Lindsay.

 

(Lindsay exhales smoke and puts his hand up)

 

LINDSAY: I’m not there, yet.

 

BRIAN: Don’t look at it as my dad winning. Look at it…as…love persevering…

 

(Lindsay furrows his brow)

 

LINDSAY: What?

 

BRIAN: I don’t know, that just sort of came out of me.

 

(Cut to Brent sitting outside Mayor Cardova’s office in his disguise. He is jotting something down when the phone rings. He picks it up)

 

BRENT: Mayor Cardova’s office, this is Kelly.

 

GIOVANNI: (On the phone) Hey, sexy, is the Mayor around?

 

(Muffled laughter over the phone)

 

BRENT: …The Mayor’s at lunch, he should be back any minute, would you like to leave a message?

 

GIOVANNI: No, no, no, I’m not done with you yet! What are you wearing?

 

BRENT: I’m wearing fucking men’s clothes, does that turn you on?

 

GIOVANNI: WHOA! Chill out, fruitcake!

 

BRENT: YOU ASKED ME WHAT I WAS-

 

GIOVANNI: Watch out, I don’t wanna get AIDs over the phone. Jesus.

 

BRENT:  You were JUST flirting with me!

 

GIOVANNI: Jut call me when Cardova’s in, homo.

 

BRENT: Great. (Brent hangs up and buries his face in his hands. He whispers) …I gotta get the fuck out of here…

 

(Mayor Cardova walks in)

 

MAYOR CARDOVA: What was that, Kelly?

 

(Brent stands up)

 

BRENT: Nothing, sir. Giovanni called, should I set up a call?

 

MAYOR CARDOVA: Yeah, in about five minutes, go ahead. Also, bring me a coffee when you have a chance.

 

BRENT: Yes, sir.

 

(Cardova goes toward his office but stops short. Cardova reaches over and caresses Brent’s cheek)

 

MAYOR CARDOVA: …You’re beautiful, you know that?

 

(Brent squints)

 

BRENT: …What?

 

MAYOR CARDOVA: Let’s have dinner some time. Soon.

 

(Cardova pats Brent on the shoulder and walks into his office)

 

BRENT: …They didn’t even dress me up like a woman…

 

(Brent eases back down into his seat. Cut to Thomas Loveman in his office, sitting on a couch across from Jeff and Kate, the flirting co-workers from BCEP8, and Thomas’ secretary, a young brunette woman with horn-rimmed glasses, taking notes on a notepad. Thomas is nodding off as Jeff speaks)

 

JEFF: Five-Alarm Cabaret has experienced a steady decline in profitability since the winter, and we suspect this has something to do with incompetent management.

 

KATE: The gentleman who runs the establishment spends most of his day-

 

(Thomas’ head fully falls forward)

 

JEFF: Sir? Mr. Loveman?

 

(Thomas perks up and shakes his head)

 

THOMAS: What do you want?!

 

JEFF: Sorry, sir, I think you nodded off.

 

THOMAS: Then stop being so fucking boring! (To secretary) Beth, get me a coffee.

 

BETH: Yes, sir.

 

(Beth stands up and creeps out of the room)

 

JEFF: As I was saying, Hunter spends most of his day reading Playboy-

 

(Thomas nods off again)

 

KATE: Just let him sleep, so we can make out.

 

JEFF: Alright, babe.

 

(Jeff and Kate start making out. Cut to Beth in the break room in front of the Coffee Mate as it dispenses coffee into a white coffee cup that reads “WORLD’S BEST BOSS”. Beth takes the cup when it’s done and reaches for the basket of sugar packets- only to find it empty. Patrizio, wearing a janitor’s outfit, walks in pushing a broom)

 

PATRIZIO: You need sugar?

 

(Beth turns to Patrizio)

 

BETH: Yeah, do you know where it is?

 

PATRIZIO: I always save some packets from the diner.  Here.

 

(Patrizio takes out a sugar packet and hands it to Beth. She smiles)

 

BETH: Thanks.

 

(Beth pours the “sugar” into the coffee and mixes it up. She walks away as Patrizio pushes the broom and smiles deviously. Cut to Lindsay and Brian sitting at the bar in an empty Annex. Empty, save for O’Halleran and Spencer, who enter the club and walk forward in slow motion as “Tell All the People” by The Doors plays. O’Halleran stops in the middle of the dancefloor and points to the DJ perch.  We get a close-up shot of O’Halleran’s hand patting Spencer’s back.  Then a shot of Lindsay and Brian seething. Spencer turns to them and smirks deviously. Lindsay snarls and Brian grips the bar while holding back immense rage. Spencer turns away from Brian and Lindsay and shakes O’Halleran’s hand. They then walk toward Lindsay’s office, and Lindsay and Brian follow them with their eyes. The song fades as we cut to Jack in the passenger’s seat of Lindsay’s Mazda. Brian is sitting in the back. Lindsay is parked outside of an office building. Lindsay turns to Jack)

 

LINDSAY: You know why we’re here?

 

JACK: You said this building sells ice cream.

 

LINDSAY: No, I didn’t.

 

BRIAN: I did.

 

LINDSAY: The whole building sells ice cream?

 

BRIAN: I don’t know!
 

LINDSAY: We made you an appointment with a shrink.

 

JACK: Why?

 

LINDSAY: Your behavior has been out-of-control recently. Dr. Litten will help you.

 

JACK: I don’t want Dr. Litten, I want MY dad!

 

LINDSAY: Doctor- nobody said this guy was gonna replace your dad! Your dad’s been dead a long time, just go to the fucking appointment! Jesus!

 

(Lindsay turns away and leans his head against his arm. Jack shrugs)

 

JACK: Fine, whatever. What suite?

 

LINDSAY: 412.

 

(Jack gets out, closes the door, and walks toward the building)

 

BRIAN: This guy good?

 

LINDSAY: Best child psychologist in the city, that I can afford, anyway.

 

BRIAN: Child psychologist?

 

LINDSAY: Don’t act shocked.

 

(Lindsay starts up the car and drives off. Cut to Savannah in her bathroom, peeing into a pregnancy test while situated over a toilet. Cut to Savannah sitting on her couch, nervously eating chips. Then cut to Savannah walking into her bathroom and finding the pregnancy test on the counter, showing one line for negative- not pregnant. Savannah looks confused, but relieved. Cut to Savannah at the botanical garden, naked, planting a seed in the soil right next to the big sunflowers. She pats the soil and stands up, and suddenly Walter appears next to her)

 

WALTER: Mornin’!

 

(Savannah flinches)

 

SAVANNAH: Jesus! Please announce yourself next time!

 

WALTER: Sorry about that. (Savannah walks over and grabs a watering can, starts watering the hydrangeas) Next time, I’ll say “hi, hi, hello, Walter’s here!”

 

SAVANNAH: What do you want, Walter?

 

WALTER: I heard you had a pregnancy scare.

 

SAVANNAH: Yeah, well, I’m not pregnant, so. That was close.

 

WALTER:  But you’ve had the symptoms?

 

SAVANNAH: I mean, I vomited the last two mornings, but it’s probably just a stomach thing.

 

WALTER: Did you know I’m a cancer survivor?

 

SAVANNAH: No, you had cancer?

 

WALTER: Yes, I had stomach cancer twice. I’ve been in remission for three years.

 

SAVANNAH: Why are you saying this to me?

 

WALTER: I’m just saying, vomiting in the mornings was one of the first signs-

 

SAVANNAH: Oh my God, you asshole! Stop talking!

 

WALTER: I’m not saying it’s that, I’m just saying if you’re not pregnant-

 

(Savannah sinks to the ground and rubs her temples)

 

SAVANNAH: I hate you.

 

WALTER: …You sound like my ex and current wife.

 

SAVANNAH: You mean “wives”?

 

WALTER: No, my ex-wife is also my current wife. For now, we’re getting divorced again.

 

(Savannah exhales sharply)

 

SAVANNAH: Holy shit.

 

(Walter sits next to Savannah)

 

WALTER: Listen, Savannah, before you go to some quack Doctor in Westchester, I have a concoction that put me into my second remission when surgery couldn’t.

 

(Walter takes out a jar of green liquid)

 

SAVANNAH: Where were you keeping that?!

 

WALTER: My shaman in Soho gave me this stuff rectally, suddenly, I felt better than ever.

 

SAVANNAH: It has to be taken rectally?

 

WALTER: No, that’s just a “me” thing.

 

SAVANNAH: Ugh. What’s in it?

 

WALTER: Don’t worry about that, it’s alternative medicine, so it’s gonna be a hell of a lot more natural than that crap big pharma pumps out. You want a pull?

 

SAVANNAH: …Fine, but not from that one.

 

WALTER: That’s cool, I have a few more in my car-

 

(Walter gets up and walks off)

 

SAVANNAH: REMEMBER TO GET DRESSED BEFORE YOU GO OUT THERE THIS TIME!

 

(Cut to Jack sitting on a red beanbag on the floor of Dr. Litten’s office. Dr. Litten is seated on a bean bag across from him. The room is filled with toys, stuffed animals and the wallpaper is decorated with fire trucks, bulldozers, and superheroes. Dr. Litten is a kind-eyed man of about 40 with dark black hair, a white collared shirt, green pants, and brown boots)

 

JACK: …Why are there so many toys in here?

 

DR. LITTEN: I, uh…also see child patients.

 

JACK: …You don’t have a separate office for adults?

 

DR. LITTEN: It’s being renovated right now.

 

JACK: What’s being added? A foosball table?

 

(Dr. Litten nods unconvincingly)

 

DR. LITTEN: Yes. So, listen, Jack, Lindsay paid me a LOT of money to see you, because he says you’ve been misbehaving at work.

 

(Jack shrugs)

 

JACK: …I’m just getting tired of taking orders all the time. I want to do something for me.

 

DR. LITTEN: What do you do when you’re off work?

 

JACK: …I used to like to watch movies with my mom, but now MIKE is always over there. So, I’ve been hanging out with my friend Lance.

 

DR. LITTEN: Okay, so it sounds like you have something for yourself already, bud.

 

JACK: Yeah, but I work a lot.  For some reason, we only have one full-time bartender and one part-time barback. So I think I deserve a little more say around Annex.

 

DR. LITTEN: Listen, Jack. Part of adulthood is realizing that you shouldn’t question authority, especially your boss. Look. (Dr. Litten picks up a plush Spiderman and an Optimus Prime Action Figure) Say Spiderman here is the employee and Optimus Prime is the employer. Optimus Prime says “Spiderman, I need you to work  on Christmas, because the Jews in Brooklyn are gonna need somewhere to go so they can drink Manischewitz and complain”, and Spiderman says “Oh, but, sir,  I have a newborn and it’s his first Christmas and I broke my leg last week and blah, blah, blah”- well, you know what Optimus Prime is gonna say to all those excuses? “Well, I guess you can’t buy anything for your newborn now, because you’re fired. Good luck treating that broken leg without insurance, fuckwad”. So then, what does Spiderman do?

 

JACK: He finds another job-

 

DR. LITTEN: Wrong. He ends it all. (Dr. Litten gets up and puts Spiderman on top of a toy chest) “Goodbye, cruel world!”

 

(Dr. Litten lets go of Spiderman and he falls  to the ground)

 

JACK: NO!

 

(Jack rushes over to Spiderman and puts his ear to his chest)

 

DR. LITTEN: There’s no heartbeat, is there?

 

(Jack wipes tears from his eyes)

 

JACK: No, there isn’t…

 

(Dr. Litten puts his hand on Jack’s shoulder)

 

DR. LITTEN: Now, do you see? (Jack nods and embraces Dr. Litten in a hug, while crying into his shoulder) Shhhh…it’s okay, Jackie. It’s okay. Let it out.

 

(Cut to Brian and Lindsay sitting in a booth at Five-Alarm Cabaret. They look miserable and are surrounded by empty glasses and empty beer cans. Lindsay has an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts. He’s propping up his head with his palm and his eyes are glazed over. Brian’s collar is undone and he’s rubbing his eyes. He finishes rubbing and finishes off a glass of whiskey. Lindsay lights another cigarette. Brian stares at Lindsay with glassy eyes)

 

BRIAN: Can I have one of those?

 

(Lindsay chuckles and exhales smoke)

 

LINDSAY: Really?

 

BRIAN: Why the fuck not, at this point? (Lindsay shrugs and hands Brian a cigarette. Brian puts it in his mouth and Lindsay lights it. Brian inhales and then hacks profusely) UGH! I hate it! (Lindsay laughs and takes a puff of his cigarette. Brian puts it out in the ashtray) It’s like sucking on a tailpipe.

 

LINDSAY: It almost literally is that.

 

(Brian rubs his forehead)

 

BRIAN: …You had a good run.

 

LINDSAY: Yeah. It was a decent six years.

 

BRIAN: 50% of new businesses end in bankruptcy, so. Lasting this long is still impressive-

 

LINDSAY: You’re thinking of marriages.

 

BRIAN: Hmm?

 

LINDSAY: 50% of marriages end in divorce, the statistic you mean to say is most small businesses fail within one year.

 

BRIAN: Either way, you had a pretty good run.

 

(Lindsay shakes his head and scoffs)

 

LINDSAY: Fuck that. (Lindsay slams his fist on the table) Fuck this, man, I’m sick of all this face-saving bullshit. This fucking sucks.

 

(Brian nods)

 

BRIAN: I know.

 

LINDSAY: There’s nothing redeemable about this situation. Spencer won. EVIL won. That’s all there is to it.

 

(Lindsay takes a swig of his whiskey. Brian does the same. Nina walks over)

 

NINA: You want refills?

 

BRIAN: Absolutely.

 

LINDSAY: Yep.

 

(Nina takes a tray and gathers the glasses and cans and slides them onto the tray)

 

NINA: (Whispering) You guys hear about Loveman?

 

BRIAN: Which Loveman?

 

NINA: (Whispering) The elder Loveman. He’s in the hospital, suspected poisoning.

 

BRIAN: Oh, my God!

 

(Lindsay laughs)

 

LINDSAY: How poetic. 

 

NINA: (Whispering) He might not make it. Since Brent is a “missing person” right now, Jeff Clements, that total flirt that I squeezed for info when I was spying on the Loveman corporation, he’s in charge of the company right now. Which basically means the company and this fucking club is a rudderless ship.

 

LINDSAY: Why? Is he incompetent?

 

NINA: (Whispering) Yes! I hear he’s spending most of his day in Loveman’s office making out with Kate. Not even having sex- just making out! And apparently every decision he makes has to get Kate’s stamp of approval. Everybody’s freaking out that they’re gonna tank the business- Five-Alarm’s already struggling under that shit-for-brains Hunter, as it is!

 

(Brian gives Lindsay a look)

 

BRIAN: You know what I’m thinking?

 

LINDSAY: I think so.

 

BRIAN: If these two are as moronic as we’ve been led to believe, we could easily convince them to sell Five-Alarm to US!

 

LINDSAY: Oh! I was thinking Jeff is probably a bottom, but that’s a much more productive thought!
 

NINA: Holy shit. That might work. Five-Alarm has been flagging in the wind, because Hunter just reads girly magazines all day. 

 

LINDSAY: We need to move quick, just in case Brent does something stupid, like coming out of hiding just to claim his crown. Because then we’re fucked.

 

(Brian stands up)

 

BRIAN: Alright, let’s go somewhere quiet, we have a pitch to work on.

 

NINA: I get off in about thirty minutes, where are you guys going?

 

BRIAN:  Don’t worry, Nina, we’ve got this. Finally, you’ll be able to actually enjoy working here.

 

(Brian smiles and kisses Nina, and he leaves with Lindsay coming right behind. Nina looks pissed and walks away in a huff. Cut to Brent carrying a stack of phone books up the stairs at City Hall. He painstakingly carries them to the second-floor landing. He puts the books down and starts panting. Giovanni runs up the stairs behind him with a paper under his arm and pushes Brent over, and he faceplants onto the ground)

 

BRENT: FUCK!
 

(Giovanni stops and laughs)

 

GIOVANNI: Sorry, Kelly, I couldn’t resist, here, I’ll help you up. (Giovanni offers a hand, and Brent tries to take it, but Giovanni retracts it. Brent groans and Giovanni laughs his ass off) I’m sorry, man, it’s just too easy. (Brent rises to his feet and dusts himself off) You still bringing those phone books to the Mayor, one-by-one? Hey, it’s important work, he needs to know people’s numbers and shit.

 

BRENT: What do you want?

 

GIOVANNI: Hey, man, I actually really need to talk to you. (Giovanni hands Brent a copy of the New York Times, with the headline “Miss Liberty Reopens Amid Gaiety in the Harbor” and a photo of Lady Liberty’s face) Flip to the business section. Near the middle. (Brent flips to the business section and finds a headline- “Strip Club Mogul in Hospital for Suspected Poisoning”. Brent’s eyes widen) Apparently, he’s in critical condition.

 

BRENT: Why would-?

 

GIOVANNI: I think they’re trying to lure you out of hiding. But you can’t take the bait!

 

(Brent takes a gulp and nods)

 

BRENT: …You’re right, they’re just gonna kill me if I show up, now.

 

GIOVANNI: Exactly. Smart man. Why would you wanna leave us anyway? (Giovanni walks past Brent and pats him on the back. But then he pushes him to the ground again, and Brent lands flat on his face and farts loudly. Giovanni laughs his ass off) HA! Oh my God, that was even better than I expected!

 

(Brent sits up and eyes Giovanni furiously. Cut to Jeff sitting behind Thomas’ desk with Kate on his lap. They’re making out when a frumpy blonde woman wearing a cardigan walks in)

 

SECRETARY: Mr. Clements, your 2 o’clock is here.  (Jeff holds out a finger) …Um. Sir, they’ve been waiting for twenty minutes already. (Jeff pushes the finger forward even further) Should I just reschedule?

 

(Jeff sighs and pulls away from Kate)

 

JEFF: Fine. Send them in, Holly.

 

(Holly nods and walks out. Brian and Lindsay walk in. Brian is wearing a business suit and carrying an easel and some cardstock, while Lindsay is wearing his usual getup of a jean jacket, ripped acid wash jeans and Vans, except with no baseball cap, and he’s wearing a collared red shirt)

 

BRIAN: Thanks for agreeing to see us, Mr. Clements.

 

LINDSAY: And Ms. Willamette.

 

KATE: Nice to meet you.

 

JEFF: Sorry about my secretary, she’s new, Thomas’ old secretary was arrested on suspicion of poisoning him. Anyway, whenever you’re ready.

 

(Brian sets up the easel and places a graph upon it. It shows earnings at Five-Alarm Cabaret stagnating for the past year and dipping in the last three months)

 

BRIAN: This, we think, says it all. Five-Alarm Cabaret has some of the hottest and most talented strippers in the city, a luxurious venue far beyond your average two-bit NYC strip joint, and it has an ATM ON SITE!

 

LINDSAY: So why isn’t this beautiful dove soaring high? It’s all because of this fucking guy. (Lindsay puts a blown-up mugshot of a clearly wasted Hunter on the easel) From everything we’ve heard, he does nothing but read porno all day- and God knows what else.

 

BRIAN: Probably jacking off to said porno.

 

LINDSAY: Yes, Brian, thanks.

 

KATE: Then why don’t we just fire him? Get someone else?

 

BRIAN: Because we’ve been running our own night club for six years. We have experience.

 

LINDSAY: I introduced a ball pit at our club several months ago, and it was a massive hit. Entirely my idea, by the way.

 

JEFF: Ooh, I remember ball pits. You remember those, babe?

 

KATE: Yeah, but Loveman always talked shit about you, Brian. Why should we trust you?

 

JEFF: Yeah, good point.

 

(Brian steps forward)

 

BRIAN: Jeff, who are you gonna take your marching orders from? Some half-dead old man? Or yourself?

 

JEFF: …Me-

 

KATE: Loveman!

 

JEFF: Loveman.

 

KATE: He could survive, and then come back. If we sold one of his clubs to his sworn enemy, we’d be fired. Not to mention, what if Brent comes back?

 

JEFF: That’s a good point.

 

BRIAN: What if frogs rain down on our heads?! ANYTHING could happen!
 

JEFF: That’s also a good point-

 

KATE: No, it’s not!
 

(Jeff shakes his head “no”)

 

JEFF: Incredibly nonsensical point.

 

(Lindsay sighs)

 

KATE: We’re gonna have to pass.

 

(Brian and Lindsay look at one another. Brian shrugs and grabs the easel and cardstock)

 

LINDSAY: Thank you for listening.

 

(Brian and Lindsay shuffle out of the room and close the doors behind them. Jeff goes to unbutton Kate’s shirt, but Kate slaps his hand)

 

KATE: What fucking world do you live in? (Kate points to her lips) Right here!

 

(Jeff goes in for a kiss and they start making out. Cut to a shot of a medical degree hanging upon a white wall. It reads “The Regents of the University of California, on the nomination of faculty of the school of physical sciences have conferred upon Henry Jay Aultman, The Degree of Doctor of Medicine, together with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities appertaining thereto. In testimony whereof, the corporate seal and signatures as authorized by the Regents are hereunto affixed. Given at Irvine, California, on the fifteenth day of June, nineteen-hundred and Sixty-One”. Cut to Savannah in a medical gown, sitting on the examining table in a patient’s room. There’s a knock at the door)

 

SAVANNAH: Come in.

 

(A bald man in his mid-50s walks in, looking down at his clipboard)

 

DR. AULTMAN: Ms. Scanlon, looking at the results of your work-up, everything seems to be normal, except unusually high levels of titanium in your bloodstream. Have you ever drunk any mysterious concoctions?

 

(Savannah nods)

 

SAVANNAH: Yes, I have. Fucking Walter. Listen, does this mean I don’t have cancer?

 

DR. AULTMAN: I think I would’ve mentioned it if you had.

 

(Savannah breathes a sigh of relief)

 

SAVANNAH: Thank God. Then what’s wrong with me?

 

DR. AULTMAN: Well, you’re pregnant.

 

SAVANNAH: What?!

 

DR. AULTMAN:  You weren’t aware of this?

 

SAVANNAH: I took a pregnancy test! It was negative!

 

DR. AULTMAN: Those are wrong about 5% of the time. Looks like you got unlucky. (Savannah holds her head in her hands) …You’re about two months pregnant, did you not notice your period was a month late?

 

(Savannah lifts her head from her hands and stares at Aultman)

 

SAVANNAH: …I guess I didn’t want to think about it…

 

DR. AULTMAN: Well, the good news is, you don’t have cancer.  The bad news is you have another kind of malignant tissue growing inside you. (Savannah squints at him) What do you want to do?

 

(Savannah casts her eyes downward. Cut to Brian rapping upon Nina’s door. Nina opens the door, and in the background, we see Jason and Jillian watching TV)

 

NINA: How’d it go? (Brian shakes her head and walks through the threshold. Nina sighs and rubs Brian’s back) I’m sorry, Brian. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

 

(Brian walks over to Jason and Jillian)

 

BRIAN: How are you guys doing? 

 

(Jason and Jillian stay silent as they watch. Brian nods his head and turns to Nina)

 

NINA: Guys, don’t be rude. Say “hi”.

 

BRIAN: No, Nina, it’s fine. Let’s talk in your room. (Nina nods and she follows Brian into her room. Cut to Brian and Nina in each other’s arms, sitting on the bed) …I don’t know, maybe I’ll send my resume to other S&L places around the city.

 

NINA: Do you really want to do that, though?

 

BRIAN: Fuck no. I’d rather drink glass.

 

NINA: Then what?

 

BRIAN: …Maybe I’ll get into politics.

 

(Nina chuckles. But then Brian looks at her seriously)

 

NINA: …What do you mean?

 

BRIAN: …What you said a month ago, about the political culture back home. It got to me, someone does need to change it.

 

NINA: But, you? A politician?

 

BRIAN: Why not? Brent Loveman’s a powerful man’s son, and he made a political career out of it.

 

NINA: And he lost! And he’s in hiding, right now!
 

BRIAN: Yeah, but I’m smarter than him.

 

NINA: So, what? You’re gonna move back home and run for City Council? 

 

(Brian shrugs)

 

BRIAN: Probably not, I’m just thinking out loud.

 

(Nina grasps Brian’s hand)

 

NINA: I want you here.

 

BRIAN: I’m not going anywhere.

 

NINA: No, I mean. I want you here. In this apartment. 

 

(Brian looks shocked)

 

BRIAN: …You mean?

 

NINA: I mean.

 

(Brian smiles. He goes in for a kiss and they neck passionately. Brian pulls away)

 

BRIAN: Wait.

 

NINA: What is it?

 

BRIAN: If I’m gonna live here, I need to satisfy a particular constituency.

 

NINA: You’re not a politician but go ahead.

 

(Brian gets up and walks into the living room. Brian walks over toward Jason and Jillian. Nina leans against the threshold and watches)

 

BRIAN: Hey guys, listen, I’m sorry I yelled at your mom that one night. It was totally uncool of me. I hope you can forgive me. (Jason and Jillian remain silent) …Can I watch TV with you?

 

JILLIAN: No.

 

(Brian looks over at Nina. Nina shrugs. Brian looks back at Jason and Jillian)

 

BRIAN: …Do you want to play video games, then?

 

JASON: No, we had to give the NES back to Riley.

 

BRIAN: Okay, then, I’ll buy you an NES!

 

(Jason and Jillian perk up)

 

JILLIAN: REALLY?!

 

JASON: NO WAY!

 

BRIAN: Yes way! Money! (Brian looks back at Nina) Works every time! (Nina rolls her eyes. Brian looks back at Jason and Jillian) Pretty soon, you won’t need to steal Reilly’s NES!

 

JASON: YES!

 

JILLIAN: WE LOVE YOU, UNCLE BRIAN!

 

(Jason and Jillian run over and wrap their arms around Brian’s waist. Brian kneels down and hugs them lovingly)

 

BRIAN: Aw, I love you guys, too.

 

(Nina smiles. Cut to Brent sitting at his desk, reading the business section of the New York Times. There’s an article reading “LOVEMAN INVESTORS SPOOKED BY PERCEIVED INCOMPETENCE IN NEW MANAGEMENT”. Brent slams his fist on the desk, balls up the newspaper and tosses it in the waste basket. Mayor Cardova and Giovanni walk out of Cardova’s office, shaking hands)

 

MAYOR CARDOVA: That’s a grand idea, Gio.

 

GIOVANNI: A whole wing of the library named after me. I don’t know where I come up with this, it’s just my muse talking. (The Mayor chuckles and pats him on the back. Giovanni walks over to Brent) Would you like to put that on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting, sweetheart?

 

(Mayor Cardova and Giovanni laugh. Brent suddenly has a hint of inspiration in his eyes)

 

BRENT: …Yes, yes, I will, sweetie. (Brent jots down the idea down, as Giovanni and Cardova look confused) You know, since I’m such a luscious piece of coos- (Brent arches his leg on the table and caresses it) I think I deserve to be dressed like a little SLUT, don’t you?

 

(Giovanni and Cardova trade confused looks)

 

GIOVANNI: …Oh, you think I won’t? I’ll be back in fifteen minutes with the tightest little black dress, the heaviest makeup and, and, a WIG! How’s that sound?

 

(Brent leans forward, licks his lips and smacks them together)

 

BRENT: …That sounds PERFECT, daddy.

 

(Anger flashes in Giovanni’s eyes, and he storms off.  Mayor Cardova shakes his head and walks back into his office. Brent smiles and sits back down. Cut to Brent, now wearing a black dress, blonde wig, and horn-rimmed glasses climbing over a fence and into a small backyard. He rushes toward the back door, unlocks it and walks inside. Cut to Brent in a shitty little living room, peeking through the curtains at a car across the street. Cut to that car across the street. Two mobsters- Rizzo and a gaunt-looking guy named Tony are sitting in it, each with a coffee in hand)

 

RIZZO: …Did you see him come home, Tony?

 

TONY: No, he should be home by now.

 

RIZZO: Didn’t we have a tail on him?

 

TONY: They said he hasn’t left City Hall yet.

 

(The garage door opens all of a sudden)

 

RIZZO: Whoa, who the hell is home? (Rizzo takes out his binoculars. He sees a Camry back out of the garage. The Camry straightens itself out on the street and the mobster notices that it appears to be a woman driving the car) It’s some kinda broad!

 

TONY: Look at that, it is!

 

(The Camry drives away)

 

RIZZO: Should we go after her?

 

TONY: You kidding? It’s probably just some whore Brent slept with last night. If we go now, Brent will come home and try to escape!

 

(Rizzo nods)

 

RIZZO: You’re right. We’ll hold down the fort.

 

(Rizzo takes a sip of his coffee)

 

TONY: She was a looker, let me tell ya.

 

RIZZO: Oh man, I’d tap that in a second.

 

(Cut to Thomas Loveman lying in a hospital bed, unconscious. A doctor and a nurse are by his side, their faces unseen to us. The Doctor is performing chest compressions as the beep, beep, beep of a heart rate monitor sounds in the background. The beeps grow further apart, as Thomas’ head slumps over. Then we hear a flatline. Further chest compressions grow futile and the doctor relents)

 

DOCTOR: Call it.

 

(The nurse picks up a clipboard and starts writing)

 

NURSE: 10:47 PM, Tuesday, July 8th, 1986, Mount Sinai Hospital, Thomas Jonathan Loveman expired due to complications from suspected arsenic poisoning.

 

(The Doctor drapes Thomas with his bedsheet. Cut to Lindsay throwing down the business section of the New York Times in front of Brent as he’s eating cereal in his underwear on the couch in their apartment. The headline reads “STRIP CLUB MOGUL THOMAS LOVEMAN DIES AGED 82”. Brent’s jaw drops, sending a cascade of Lucky Charms back into his bowl)

 

LINDSAY: Gross!

 

BRIAN: This gives us a second chance!

 

LINDSAY: As long as Brent stays missing, it does.

 

BRIAN: We better hurry.

 

(Brian pours the rest of his cereal down his gullet and slurps up all that’s left. Lindsay recoils in disgust)

 

LINDSAY: Jesus Christ, man!

 

(Cut to Lindsay and Brian sitting at their dinner table, each with a notepad and pen)

 

BRIAN: This time, I should begin.

 

LINDSAY: You began last time!
 

BRIAN: I know, I’m just saying, I should begin this time as well.

 

(Lindsay scoffs)

 

LINDSAY: We need something flashier than graphs, this time.

 

(Brian claps his hand and points)

 

BRIAN: We could bring in a pole and Nina could do her routine!

 

LINDSAY: I love it! Write that down. (Brian jots it down. There’s a knock at the door) Who is it?

 

SAVANNAH: (OS) Lindsay, it’s me.

 

LINDSAY: Oh. (Lindsay gets up, unlocks the door, and opens it to see Savannah) Savannah, we’re kind of busy working out the fresh pitch for Jeff and Kate. Can we talk later?

 

SAVANNAH: No, Lindsay, we really need to talk.

 

LINDSAY: Savannah, I really can’t have distractions, I’m working out this pitch, and plus, I have to get Jack ready to work in a big-boy bar, I just don’t have the capacity for anymore-

 

SAVANNAH: (Whispering) Lindsay, I’m two months pregnant.

 

(Lindsay’s eyes widen)

 

BRIAN: Lindsay, what’s going on?

 

LINDSAY: Nothing, Brian, just hold on. (Lindsay walks out into the hallway and closes the door behind him) Are you serious?

 

SAVANNAH: Does it sound like the kind of thing I would make a gag of?

 

LINDSAY: When did this happen?!

 

SAVANNAH: My guess is, it was the night before we went to the Cro-Mags concert. You know. Where we met up with the Mormon fundamentalists who tried to kill those cops-

 

LINDSAY: YES! I remember, for Christ’s sake, keep your voice down.

 

SAVANNAH: Remember, you had forgotten to buy condoms and assured me you won commendations in high school for your “pull-out skills”?

 

LINDSAY: Yes! Thank you, I recall it perfectly well. (Lindsay rubs his eyes) …So what are you gonna do?

 

SAVANNAH: …I’m gonna keep it. (Lindsay removes his hands from his eyes) I think I’d be good at raising a kid. Plus, the nearest abortion clinic is a real drive.

 

LINDSAY: You’re gonna raise a kid because aborting it would be a real schlep?

 

SAVANNAH: Well, I’m assuming I’ll have help. Right?

 

(Lindsay sighs and looks down)

 

LINDSAY: …I’ll have to see what my financial situation will be like, Savannah. (Lindsay looks back up) If the Five-Alarm thing doesn’t work out, I don’t know where I’m gonna get the money to raise a child with you. Something tells me nudist botanical garden cash alone won’t keep you in silk sheets. (Savannah glares at Lindsay and walks away. Lindsay looks after her) Savannah, I’m just being practical!

 

(Cut to Brian on the phone with Nina in the apartment)

 

BRIAN: Would you be willing to do your act for Jeff and Kate? We could wheel in a pole.

 

(Cut to Nina on the phone at Five-Alarm. Nina sighs. Intercut between Brian and Nina)

 

NINA: …Are you kidding me?

 

BRIAN: What?

 

NINA: I haven’t been involved in this shit AT ALL. Now you ask me to be involved so I can shake my ass for an admittedly lovely couple, and win you the business?

 

BRIAN: I didn’t even know you wanted to be involved-

 

NINA: I SAID IT, you just dismissed me!

 

BRIAN: Fine, if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to.

 

NINA: Oh, really, I didn’t know that, thanks for the heads-up.

 

(Nina hangs up. Brian sighs and hangs up as well. Lindsay comes back in from the hallway. Brian turns to him)

 

BRIAN: What did Savannah want?

 

LINDSAY: Nothing. Let’s get back to it.

 

BRIAN: Forget about Nina’s dance.

 

LINDSAY: It’s fine, we’ll just get Ruth to do it.

 

(Brian and Lindsay sit down)

 

BRIAN: She’s a bit of a ditz.

 

LINDSAY: I think it’s charming.

 

(Brian shrugs and he crosses out Nina’s name and writes “Ruth”. Cut to Ruth working a pole mounted on a wheeled cart in Jeff and Kate’s office, as generic techno music plays on a boombox. Brian and Lindsay are standing behind Ruth as she slides down the poll with her legs outstretched. Kate is once again sitting on Jeff’s lap. Kate holds up her hand)

 

KATE: Cut it.

 

BRIAN: What’s that?

 

KATE: Cut the music.

 

(Brian leans down and turns off the boombox. Ruth stands up and leans against the poll)

 

RUTH: I can dance to silence if you prefer.

 

KATE: We appreciate the pageantry, Mr. Sarandon, Mr. Royce, but we’d like to know your concrete plan to deal with pest control.

 

RUTH: Usually, I just use a shoe, but then the shoe gets all gross with bug guts, and I throw it away, and then sometimes I run out of shoes. I went a few months one time without shoes, just walking to work in socks-

 

BRIAN: Ruth, we’ll take it from here.

 

RUTH: Okay, cool. (Ruth gets down and bows to Jeff and Kate) It’s been a terrible honor.

 

(Ruth walks out of the room. Brian clears his throat)

 

BRIAN: We can have a detailed proposal regarding pest control by tomorrow-

 

JEFF: We got a call from Spencer Sarandon, you son of a bitch. He told us you lost Annex because of a widespread cockroach infestation- you think you can just keep that from us?

 

LINDSAY: That asshole CAUSED the infestation to screw us!

 

JEFF: Right! And Stanley Kubrick helped NASA fake the moon landing!

 

LINDSAY: HE DID!

 

(Lindsay bites his tongue and backs off)

 

BRIAN: Should we even bother finishing the presentation?

 

KATE: Nope. Please leave.

 

(Brian and Lindsay begin to wheel the stripper pole away, when suddenly, Brent busts in wearing the black dress and blonde wig)

 

BRENT: Don’t move an inch, boys.

 

(Brian and Lindsay stop in their tracks and appear confused)

 

JEFF: Who’s this bodacious babe?

 

KATE: Jeff!

 

BRIAN: Oh, my God.

 

BRENT: I’m no hot girl. In fact- (Brent takes off his wig and unzips his dress, sending it the ground, revealing Brent in panties) I’m a hot MAN.

 

JEFF: Holy shit.

 

LINDSAY: Why?

 

JEFF: Brent?!

 

BRENT: I probably should’ve worn normal clothes under this, but yes, I am Brent. (Brent puts the dress and wig back on) And honestly, I could get used to this look. 

 

BRIAN: What?!

 

JEFF: Where have you been and why are you wearing women’s clothes?!

 

BRENT: I’ve been in hiding, and I couldn’t let the Gambinos recognize me. (Brent walks over to the desk) According to the company charter, upon the death, resignation or incapacitation of the CEO and founder, Thomas J. Loveman, the son of the founder takes his place. So, Mr. Clements and Ms. Willamette, thanks for holding down the fort, but I’m here to claim my rightful position. (Jeff and Kate trade looks, and Kate hops down from Jeff’s lap, and Jeff gets up and backs nervously away with her. Brent sits down behind the desk and takes a deep breath) …This feels right.

 

BRIAN: …Well this, has been a hell of a twist, but this doesn’t change anything for us, visa vi, leasing Five-Alarm, so. So long.

 

BRENT: Don’t move an inch. I will NOT be denying your bid for Five-Alarm.

 

(Brian and Lindsay squint)

 

LINDSAY: What?!

 

BRIAN: You can’t be serious, we’re sworn enemies.

 

BRENT: Quite the contrary. You saved my life. And I don’t just mean you kept me from being murdered by the Gambinos. I mean, you saved me from living the rest of my life in my father’s shadow. (Brian and Lindsay look dumbfounded) The fact that that dead bastard would’ve opposed this agreement only bolsters my confidence that it’s the right thing to do.

 

BRIAN: No way, don’t try to sell me on this “I’ve changed” bullshit, this is just your way of trying to control us! Trying to keep us under your thumb!

 

BRENT: Honestly, I get that suspicion. But I’m not. Let’s just say, I would never let someone like Spencer Sarandon have the last laugh. I will let you have near-complete autonomy, with limited oversight.

 

(Lindsay takes Brian aside)

 

LINDSAY: (Whispering) What do you think?

 

BRIAN: (Whispering) …I think it could work.

 

LINDSAY: (Whispering) We’re really gonna trust this guy?

 

BRIAN: (Whispering) Do we have a choice? It’s either this or nothing. But I do have one condition.

 

LINDSAY: (Whispering) Okay, so we do have a choice-

 

(Brian turns around and Lindsay throws up his hands)

 

BRIAN: I have one condition.

 

BRENT: Yes?

 

BRIAN: Nina Bonaccorsi gets to be a partner.

 

LINDSAY: What?!

 

BRIAN: 25% stake in the business, the same as all three of us.

 

(Brent shrugs)

 

BRENT: Hey, I’m all for female empowerment. After all, I’m one of them, now.

 

LINDSAY: Are you really becoming a transvestite?

 

 BRENT: The term is “transgender”, thank you very much. Now, shake my hand.

 

(Brent extends his hand, and both Brian and Lindsay enthusiastically shake it. They giddily embrace in a hug right after)

 

BRIAN: WE FUCKIN’ DID IT!
 

LINDSAY: YES!

 

BRENT: We did it!

 

(Lindsay turns to Brent)

 

LINDSAY: Please, this is our moment.

 

BRENT: Okay.

 

(Cut to Brian, Lindsay, Nina, Savannah, Jack, Winslow, James Foghat, the Daves, Bertha, Ruth, Brent, and Emily all gathered at an otherwise empty Five-Alarm Cabaret. They’re all holding flutes filled with champagne. Everyone is excitedly engaged in simultaneous chatter, until Lindsay taps his glass with a fork, and everyone pays him their attention)

 

LINDSAY: Attention, everybody. I’d like to propose a toast to Annex. Raise your glasses high. (Everyone raises their glasses) Annex served midtown Manhattan for six years- setting records for attendance, drinks consumed per person, birthrates, police raids, and venereal diseases contracted. That’s a legacy that will leave a mark, for many years to come. Cheers.

 

(Everyone takes a drink)

 

BRIAN: But now, we look forward. Five-Alarm Cabaret is now under new management, thanks to our unlikely alliance with Mr. Brent Loveman.

 

BRENT: Brenda Loveman. Thank you.

 

(Murmurs among the crowd. Brian clears his throat)

 

BRIAN; Excuse me, Brenda Loveman, then. We will endeavor to make this strip club the best it can possibly be. Luckily, we have someone on our side that knows the business better than anyone. Nina Bonaccorsi, who has officially become a partner in this business.

 

(Emily and Ruth squeal, and everyone else applauds)

 

EMILY: Oh my God, I’m so proud of you!

 

RUTH: Nina, you’re my hero. I can’t wait to be managed by you.

 

NINA: Thanks, guys.

 

BRIAN: Cheers.

 

(Everyone drinks again. Lindsay puts his arm around Savannah)

 

LINDSAY: I tried to convince Lindsay to join us here, too, but she said “no”.

 

SAVANNAH: I’ll be a fixture here, but I get enough nudity at the job I already have.

 

LINDSAY: But we do have an announcement, nonetheless. Savannah is pregnant.

 

(Gasps and applause fill the room)

 

BRIAN: AMAZING!
 

NINA: Congratulations, you guys! Oh my God!

 

(Nina runs over and hugs Savannah. Everyone is applauding, except for Jack, who is standing in the corner looking aggrieved)

 

SAVANNAH: Thank you, guys. (Nina lets go of Savannah and covers her mouth excitedly) He or she is due in January or February.

 

LINDSAY: Who knows? Maybe someday he or she will work here.

 

SAVANNAH: As a male stripper.

 

(Everyone laughs)

 

LINDSAY: Cheers to our child! I can’t wait to raise them- (Lindsay turns to Savannah) with my partner in crime. Sometimes literal crime.

 

(Savannah smiles, and they kiss one another. Everyone takes a drink)

 

NINA: I think it goes without saying that any stripper who works at Five-Alarm right now is allowed to stay if they’d like. And that goes for all of them, not just the three that are in this room.

 

(Emily and Ruth raise their hands)

 

EMILY: I’m staying, no doubt about it.

 

RUTH: I’m staying, Nina. But, real quick, Lindsay, have we met before?

 

LINDSAY: (Nervously) I don’t think so- cheers to the strippers, they make this place what it is!

 

(Everyone drinks again, pretty much draining their glasses. Suddenly, we hear a slow clap. Spencer walks into the club, clapping slowly and looking smug. Everyone stares at him, and Brian rolls his eyes)

 

BRIAN: Seriously, dad? A slow clap? That’s cliché even today, in 1986.

 

LINDSAY: What do you mean, “even today”? We all know it’s 1986.

 

BRIAN: I’m just saying it’ll likely get even more cliché later on.

 

(Spencer gives up clapping)

 

SPENCER: “Later on” is what you have to worry about. Because you might feel good now, since you’ve taken control of a smaller, seedier venue than the one you left behind, and now that your boss is a fucking tranny.

 

BRENDA: How dare you.

 

SPENCER: But pretty soon, reality will set in. The invisible hand of the market will punch you directly in the balls, wash off the blood, then hover over and give me a handy.

 

BRIAN: Ew.

 

SPENCER: You know it’s true. Because remember, I have a rather powerful New York institution on my side. So, let the games begin.

 

(Spencer smirks, pulls the fire alarm and leaves. The ceiling sprinklers come on and soak everyone attendance. Some people recoil and try to find cover under tables, but Brian, Lindsay, Savannah, and Nina stand still, expressionless. Cut to a close-up of Brian’s face as water rains down on him. He blinks several times and wipes what may or may not be a tear from his eye. “Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin comes in as we cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: April 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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