The Going Pizza screenplay. The formatting got screwed up. I'll fix it later.

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Disgruntled common mope fired by corporate wights fills in vacant hours flirting with Hollywood. Some screenplays got optioned. Some didn't

Going Pizza is pretty darn funny, but it has some debits. It's about letter carriers. Previous films about the USPS have flopped. Must be the uniform. The script pokes fun at rich people. So thin skinned. And then there's the premise. The Post Office partnering with a pizza chain.

The US Postal Service, undercut by the Internet, and hemorrhaging money, partners with a pizza chain.  

EXT. URBAN STREET DAY

 

A late model tricked out low rider convertible rolls through a decayed neighborhood. 

 

Perhaps this isn't the most squalid ghetto in America, but it is grimy urban blight.  No greenery, except for a week-choked lot, alleviates the bleak vista of pavement and concrete.  The other vehicular traffic consists of rattletrap beaters and graffiti-speckled city buses spewing fumes.

 

The corner groceries and liquor stores have barred windows and all seem to specialize in cheap fortified wines and ales. Garbage spills from overturned cans along the curbside.  Many businesses are boarded and vacant.  The few residences look rundown and shabby.  The only color on the street is on the palings, thick with bright, rococo spray-painted gang sign. 

 

Listless men slouching in doorways hardly look up as the convertible passes.

 

The convertible slows down and stops at a light, under a line of elevated billboards. 

 

CU on the occupants, four muscular young bad dudes dressed in tank tops showing off gym beef crawling with gang tats.  The four are ethnically diverse: a scowling white skinhead; a Hispanic with a tear tattooed under his eye and prison scroll on his neck; a hyper-muscular black; and a mustachioed, mean-looking Asian.  Their hard faces bespeak the insolence of youth and the arrogance of animal strength untouched by compassion.

 

 They are driving their heads in unison to a rap cadence on the radio.

 

A billboard  overhead advertises a skin lotion.  "Chill with Sun Ban." 

 

A large thermometer  at the upper right of the billboard shows that today's temperature is 103 degrees.  The hazy air above the asphalt shimmers in the relentless heat.  Wilting pedestrians waiting at the intersection guard themselves against implacable ultraviolet by wearing  Kepi-style do-rags under baseball caps.

                                   

As the convertible pauses at the light we notice that this run-down block is ethnically diverse, with blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and whites sharing a depressing panorama of inner-city decay

 In b.g., sweating, sloppy youths in baggy trousers, oversized tank tops, and reversed ball caps, lean against a paling plastered with ads for Prybar Ale.

The hoarding also displays a poster for the rap artists Lavese Las Manos and their new CD, “Fuck the Losers.” 

CU on driver of convertible as he pushes a CD into the dashboard player.

 

As the music starts, the light changes, the convertible lurches forward with the four thugs inside bobbing their heads in time with the hypnotic rhythm.

 

Roll credits

 

CUT TO:  An MTV style video, with a Rapper at a Rave Party, surrounded by throngs of delirious swaying youths.  A banner in b.g. alerts us that the rapper is the lead singer for Lavese Las Manos.  He smilingly steps forward on the stage for the title tract from the new CD.

 

RAPPER

Wha you say you wahn a handout?

(wild applause and shouting from audience)

Why? I ain’t no Boy Scout,

Got no time for losers...

 

CUT TO:  A backup chorus of three smiling vapid teenage Valley girls in halter tops and short-shorts.

 

CHORUS (nasally)

 Fuck the losers.

 

CUT TO:  The four bobbing thugs in the convertible listening to the tune.

 

RAPPER (o.s.)

Tha’s righ’, bitch, fuck the losers.

Noblese oblige?  Puh-leese.

                                    My wallet done bleedin’

I’m sick ah whinin’

The cryin,’ anna jivin’

 

CUT TO:  A montage of images along the street that illustrate the song.

A derelict lying beside the curb; a tattered beggar soliciting coins.

 

RAPPER (o.s.)

Every cripple in the gutter,

Every dumb motherfucker

Wants a helpin’ hand,

I can’t be no sucker…

 

 CUT TO:  Smiling girl chorus

CHORUS

Fuck the losers 

CUT TO: Montage.  Dope addicts in an alley.  Fry cook at a hotdog stand.  Pimply pizza delivery boy. Fat trailer trash white woman.  Panhandlers.

 

RAPPER (o.s.)

Sniffin’ glue from a sack,

Fools  suckin’ crack

Junkie witta  monkey onna back.

Low-pay burger flipper,

Flunkies who deliver

White trash in the trailers

Panhanders, moochers,’

Washed-up failures

 

CUT TO: Smiling Bad Dudes singing along.

 

BAD DUDES

 Fuck the losers. 

CUT TO:  Rapper at the Rave, to tumultuous applause.

 

RAPPER

Fuck the losers.

  

CUT TO:  Montage.  A group of angry welfare moms and their swarming children are gathered around the postal gang box outside a dilapidated apartment building. They’re soundlessly yelling at a female mail carrier.

 

RAPPER (o.s.)

Fuckin’ welfare slut,

Coolin’ at the mailbox,

Get a check for doin’ nothin,’

Bitch, keep your knees shut.

 

CUT TO:  Valley Girl chorus

 

CHORUS

                                    Fuck the losers.

 

CUT TO:  Montage.  Bums and derelicts standing outside the Salvation Army.  A crazy bag lady, silently sobbing, is pushing a shopping cart piled high with her filthy possessions.

 

RAPPER (o.s.)

All the lame old geeks,

Boozers anna freaks,

Bums wit no teeth

Standin’ by the Sally

It’s your own folly

Oh stop your bellyachin’

I know that you be fakin’

Crazy old lady…

I hate a cry baby.

 

CUT TO:  Girl chorus

 

CHORUS

 Fuck the losers

  

CUT TO:  Montage. A thirty-ish unshaven veteran with one leg missing below the knee, on crutches, dressed in a dirty Army jacket with sergeants’ stripes.  He’s looking straight at the camera, with the expressionless thousand yard stare. 

 

RAPPER (o.s)

 

Yo vet on a stump 

Thanks a bunch, chump.

Some hajii pop a cap?

Can’t help it you’re a sap

Ain’t my problem, Sarge.

 

CUT TO: Girl chorus

 

CHORUS

 Fuck the losers.

 

CUT TO:  Rapper, surrounded by happy dancing couples

 

RAPPER

Fuck the losers.

I wash my hands of ‘em

   

End credits

 

EXT URBAN STREET DAY

In the center of the block is a take-out pizza joint, somewhat in the manner of franchises such as Pizza Hut or Roundtable, but far grittier.  The marketing, as typified by the sign over the door, seems geared to the ghetto:

 

                                    Malboca’s Bad Ass Pizza 

You Want Some? 

Anytime Anyplace

 

The logo on the sign features a cartoon of a pizza delivery boy, a muscular, pierced, tattooed, skinhead, with a truculent face and a box of Bad Ass pizza under his arm.

 

The convertible pulls into a reserved parking space in front of the pizzeria.

 

INT. BAD ASS PIZZA

 

The full-blast air conditioner is blowing colored streamers straight out.  Several floor fans circulate the sluggish, humid air.  At the counter, a scrimmage of lowlife thugs, mostly wearing tank tops, are drinking beer and watching sports on TV.  Passing behind them is a Bas Ass Pizza delivery boy, a tough young Hispanic balancing a pile of pizzas in insulated bags.

 

The four bad dudes from the convertible enter and pull up stools along the bar.

 

Camera pans along the simian faces wolfing pizza and guzzling brew, and comes to rest on the television set.

 

CU  TV SET

 

The game is interrupted by a commercial. 

 

COMMERCIAL:  A very attractive young woman, dressed in a sexy version of the U.S. Postal Service uniform, with tight blouse and short skirt, is fighting her way out of a mail truck during what appears to be a monsoon.  The wind drives her skirt higher up her thighs, while the drenching rain plasters the blouse to her well-developed bosom.

 

ANNOUNCER o.s.

“…neither rain…

 

The same well-endowed woman now is fighting her way through a blizzard, knee-deep in a snow bank, wearing a very tight-fitting postal snowsuit.

 o.s.  the howling of a wolf. 

ANNOUNCER:  o.s.  

“…nor snow…”

 

The same woman, her leather mail bag over her shoulder, again in her mini-skirt, is taking a frightened glance over her shoulder as she tip-toes in the dead of night through a gothic graveyard

 

o .s.  eerie organ music and sepulchral laughter

 

ANNOUNCER: o.s.

“..nor gloom of night stays this carrier

 from her appointed round…

 

An upscale, white bread suburban neighborhood.  In the b.g. a two-story house and well-tended lawn and garden. The female mail carrier stands by mailbox next to the gate of a white picket fence.  She is joined by Mom, a smiling, well-groomed matronly blonde.

The mail carrier reaches in her pouch and brings out a flat red/white/and blue box, which Mom opens.

CU on pizza inside the box.

 

MOM (brightly)

“It’s round, all right. And piping hot.

 

                                                            ANNOUNCER

                                    Yes, the US Mail is going…pizza…

We’re partnering with PizzaMart to bring

 you on-time priority delivery of mouth-watering,

 oven-baked pizza…the way you like it….

as close as your mailbox

 

Cartoon character of a demented mail carrier, with saucer eyes, cap askew, arms flapping,

 

                                                            CARTOON (laughing manically)

                                    We’re going pizza…   END COMMERCIAL 

INT. BAD ASS PIZZA

A pizza chef, dressed in dingy white apron, is tossing a round of dough as he yells as the TV

 

CHEF

Whadda those assholes know about pizza?

 They don’t know shit about pizza. 

Deliver the mail!  Deliver the

goddamn mail….  Boss, am I right?

 

CU  The boss, Malboca, standing in the doorway of the office.   He’s a thin, wiry coil of viciousness, with his flashy silk shirt open to the navel, the slicked hair and etched mustache, and sporting half a pound of gold bling.

MALBOCA

One thing I can’t stand: Government

interference with private enterprise. 

The bastards can’t compete with the internet

so they want to horn in on my territory.  I’ll tell you this. 

The federales ain’t gonna peddle

their pies in this neighborhood.

(to men at bar)  Huh?               

 

CU of bad dudes at bar.

 

BAD DUDES (in unison)

Fuckin’ ‘a’ Malboca.  Damn straight, Malboca.

  

EXT URBAN STREET DAY

 

A semi truck and trailer bearing the markings of the US Postal Service passes in front of the pizzeria and slows for the light at the corner.

 CU on side of truck shows a corporate logo has joined the postal eagle:  PizzaMart, along with the slogan, “We’re going pizza,” and the cartoon of the maniacal mailman. 

The light changes and as the truck begins to move a billboard in b.g. reveals a political message.

 

  "All Together for a Republican America." 

  In colors as garish as a Chinese wall poster, the billboard depicts a rippling American flag held aloft by a middle-aged, slightly cherubic and bespectacled CEO-type in business suit.  He strides forward with determination in his eyes, followed by a smiling troop of the proletariat, a Latina maid, a fast-food clerk, a Persian service station attendant.   "Americans Demand Values." 

The truck passes another billboard, this one depicting a large Christian fish with open mouth and shark-like teeth, about to devour a Darwin amphibian. To the side is the picture of a smiling politician somewhat resembling the late Sonny Bono.

God, Guns, Guts, Family  Paid for by the Committee to Reelect Fred Bonnet." 

The postal truck turns into a huge parking lot crammed with beat-up work cars, and edges toward a huge grim cement building, cracked and blackened with soot, where other postal trucks already are backed against a long loading dock. 

 

Next to the postal trucks are several PizzaMart trucks delivering sacks of flour and tins of tomato paste.

  

EXT. LOADING DOCK

 

The noise is deafening.  Shouting men in blue jumpsuits are wrestling sacks of mail and flour out of the various trucks and throwing them aboard tall metal carts.  In the background a high decibel conveyor belt moves other sacks of mail through canvas flaps and into the bowels of the building.  Another belt brings sacks of mail out onto the dock.

 

The camera follows a mail bag as it enters the building.

 

INT.  POSTAL ANNEX 

 

This is a mail factory.  It isn't a post office, but a gigantic postal annex that processes the tons of mail that flow through an American city daily.  Although the building itself is begrimed and shabby, much of the equipment inside is new and high-tech, bespeaking recent efforts to automate mail handling.  The roar of machinery is continuous. 

 

Workmen throw the sacks of flour onto a conveyor belt leading past a bank of huge brick ovens, creepily reminiscent of a crematorium, where soot-blackened gnomes are feeding flat rounds of dough into the maw of the furnace.  Obviously, the building is servicing two functions:  mail sorting and pizza making.

 

(A complete description of postal annex is in appendix)

  

It is evident that the mail is being sorted by vastly complicated and sophisticated machines, served by human automatons of very low wattage.

           

ON:  A postal Drone, mindlessly feeding trays of mail by rote into the maw of the scanner.  He is slack-jawed, glassy eyed, and numbed beyond normal human understanding by the repetitious meaningless task.

 As the mail quickly moves through the huge factory we get peripheral glimpses of the walls, all painted a dull institutional green.  Bulletin boards are thick with sheaves of union posters, job announcements, pay differentials, job bids, holiday schedules.  Red-lettered slogans read:  "No More Cuts," and "Save Health Care,”  and “No Take Backs.”   

Above the management bulletin board in bold letters are the words, "Protect the Sanctity of the Mail"   In smaller type below:  "Disciplinary Proceedings."

  

An air of oppressive gloom pervades the cavernous building, and on the faces of the scurrying drones one reads either the downcast mien of fear or the glittering eye of barely suppressed rage.  Bosses, identified by their white short-sleeved shirts and clipboards, patrol the perimeters of the building.  There is a palpable, simmering tension.  Worker and supervisor glare at one another with contempt.

 

This is a grim workplace, soul-less, cheerless, barren of comfort or warmth.  Everywhere the human drones are pushing large steel two-tier cars crammed with bundles of junk mail down narrow dingy aisles of dirty linoleum. 

 

Over the clangor of the machinery and the metallic rumbling of the carts, we hear a far-off, wailing human voice:

 

                                                           

  

                                                            VOICE (o.s.)

                                                  Fuck, fuck, fuck.  

As the letters stream past an operator they are sorted at impossible speed into twenty different bins.  Every so often one of the letters suddenly flips into the air and sails across the room, glides across the floor and disappears under a cabinet.

 

           

 The camera is undercranking a little and the scanner is speeding up.  The operators are more frantic in their movements, as they attempt to key in the six characters for each piece of mail.

 

Slow zoom away.  The sorting machine suddenly malfunctions.  There is a high-pitched electronic buzzing, then a loud bang, and thousands of letters erupt into the air in a blizzard of white.  The operator begins to scream.

 

                                                            OPERATOR.

 

                                                 Fuck, fuck, fuck.

    

INTERIOR.  CAGES 

 

Computers can only do so much.  Much of the mail for a carrier's route still has to be sorted by hand, in a three-sided case, or cage, made up of hundreds of pigeon holes

 

As the camera slowly roams this hive we see the letter carriers inside sorting the mail.

 

Generally, the carriers are better postal specimens, more comely and healthier than the misshapen drones who push the carts or who feed the maws of the machines.  Most of them are wearing shorts, and their legs show some muscularity and definition.  They wear a hodgepodge of uniforms but mostly blue shirts with the postal shoulder patch and blue shorts with maroon stripe.  All of them are wearing iPod ear buds.  The carriers comprise every nationality and ethnic persuasion, and about a third are women.

 

Shelly, an attractive slim young woman in her mid-twenties, is inside her cage, throwing mail rapidly into the pigeon holes and bobbing her head and humming in time to the unheard tune coming through her iPod.

 

In the next cage is Postal, a middle-aged, wiry, grizzled madman, with unkempt beard, a tangle of gray hair springing from beneath his postal cap.  Clearly he is demented.  His wild rolling eyes, the spittle at the corner of his lips, the gnashing of his teeth, reveal a personality under much internal stress.  He adjusts his earphones.  He is listening to talk radio.

    

                                                            POSTAL (screaming): 

                                                 Yeah?  What about the Club of Rome? What about immigration?  What     about Area 51?  Is it supposed to be a coincidence?  

In the next cage is Jim, about thirty, good-looking, muscular, obviously of a humorous bent, yet at the same time having a wary, street-wise maturity.  He has the set mouth of an adult, and the skeptical eyes that confront the world with good-natured forbearance.  He’s the sort who’s hard to ruffle.

 

He is flipping mail into the pigeon holes with an amazing dexterity.

 

                                                            JIM (to himself)

 

                                                Garbage, garbage, garbage…

 

In the next cage is Marlene, tall, voluptuous, with torpedo breasts.  She is forty-something, but very sensual, favoring a tight-fitting, revealing uniform.  She has a mirror hanging in her cage, and frequently consults the condition of her makeup as she cases the mail.

 

Ramsey  approaches the cages, pushing a postal cart.

 

RAMSEY  is late fifty-ish, portly, with pony tail and walrus mustache.  Tied around his forehead is an American flag bandanna..  He wears Harley togs, the leather vest with the motorcycle logo.  His black longshoreman's trousers are held up with a military webbed belt, on which dangles a sheathed hunting knife.  Most prominent of the dozens of ribbons and medals pinned to his chest are the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the yellow-and-red Vietnam service medal, and the Purple Heart.  He has the semi-stricken expression of a man permanently amazed at the incompetence of others.

 

                                                            RAMSEY (to Marlene)

                                                Yo, Marlene.  Party.  Driscoll’s.  Tonight. BYOB.

 

                                                            MARLENE (lifting an earphone)

                                                What?  Oh yeah.  Driscoll’s.  Bring your own beef?

 

                                                            RAMSEY

                                               
                                                Bottle, Marlene.  Bring your own bottle.

 

                                                            MARLENE

                                                Speak for yourself.

 

Ramsey pushes the cart past Marlene.

 

                                                            RAMSEY (to Jim)

                                                You got your relays?

 

                                                           

JIM

                                                That’s affirm, herr colonel.

 

                                                            RAMSEY

                                                I was only corporal yesterday.

 

                                                            JIM

                                                Promotions are quick at the front.

 

Ramsey glances over the stacks of relay mail neatly arranged on trays and clumped together with rubber bands.

 

                                                            RAMSEY

                                                You got bumps here?  Wanna put in for a swing?

 

                                                            JIM

                                                That’s a negative on that, general.

 

                                                            RAMSEY (smiling)

                                                Next I’ll be the fucking commander-in-chief. 

(picking up the sacks)                                                   I’m outta here.  Party on Driscoll’s, p.m.,

you commie-loving, tree-hugging traitor                                     to the fatherland.

 

                                                            JIM

                                                There he goes, ladies and gentlemen. 

Napalm Ned Ramsey.  Yo, Zippo.

 

Ramsey, after heaving a mail sack on the cart, flicks his Zippo lighter as weaves down the cluttered aisle.

 

INT.  CATWALKS

 

High above, overlooking the sorting machinery and the cages, are steel walkways, which at strategic points are covered by elongated rooms dotted with downward facing spy ports with one-way glass, in the manner of those positioned above the gaming tables in casinos.  This is the domain of the Postal Inspectors who monitor the activities of the employees on the floor, ostensibly to prevent theft and drug dealing, but also lending another dark touch to the Orwellian atmosphere of the postal factory.

 

A shadowy figure, difficult to discern in the gloom, wearing badge and pistol, skulks along the catwalk and disappears into one of the observation rooms.

 

INT. OBSERVATION ROOM

 

Shrouded in shadow, JUDD alternately turns from one spy port to another.

 ON spy port.  On the floor below, partly hidden by an impromptu barricade of mail carts, two postal employees engage in a furtive sex act. 

Another spy port.  In a dark corner two figures conclude a drug deal.

 

The postal inspector continues watching, but does not pick up the phone hanging on the wall nearby.

INT  AISLE

It's heavy traffic around the cases, as drones and carriers push carts stacked high with mail through a labyrinthine welter of cabinets, machinery and bins.  A mail cart rushes past a large hand-lettered poster on the wall that reads:

PARTY ON TONITE

Driscoll's Place

BYOB & etc.

No Host  Pot Luck

Two mail carts collide and one, pushed by a middle-aged letter CARRIER wearing uniform shorts, tips over, spilling his trays of cased mail.  The driver of the other cart is a tiny non-descript ASIAN WOMAN.

                                                            CARRIER (enraged)

Fuck.  Fuck.  I can't believe it. 

I spent three hours casing that mail...

 (to the woman) You fuckin' idiot. I'm gonna kill                                               you.  I'm fuckin' gonna kill you...

The tiny Asian woman, hands to her cheeks, bows her head in humble apology.

Suddenly, the enraged Carrier goes postal, throwing a wild, roundhouse punch at the woman's head.

Asian Woman deftly sidesteps the punch, then karate kicks him twice in the groin.  As he doubles in pain, she raps him in the nose, and sweeps him with a turn kick.

Carrier lands hard in his pile of spilled mail, and becomes completely distraught.

                                                            CARRIER (weeping)

                                                I can't take it.  I can't fucking take it.

A SUPERVISOR arrives.  They all look alike in the annex.  K-Mart slacks, utilitarian black shoes, white short-sleeved shirt, clip-on tie, buzz haircuts and tortoise shell glasses.

                                                            SUPERVISOR (into hand-held radio)

We've got a 459 situation at the 07 case.

 We're gonna need three swings and a sub

 to recase route nine.  (To Carrier,                                                                     who is still blubbering on the floor)

 This is gonna count as a sick day.

                                                            CARRIER (quickly collecting himself)

                                    No.  No.  (scrambling to his feet)  I'm okay.

           

                                                            SUPERVISOR

                                    You're gonna lose two hours recasing this.  That's                                                                     one swing.  It's either a sick day or two hours vacay.

                                                            CARRIER

                                    Jesus Christ.  Okay, okay.  Two hours vacay.

                                                            SUPERVISOR

                                    I'll tell the timekeeper.  (to Asian woman)

You waitin' for lunch?

Asian Woman, after bowing to the supervisor, pushes her cart down the aisle, while the still-tearful Carrier begins to pick up the spilled mail.  The Supervisor, with one more look around, exits.

ON:  A Sad Sack mail drone, MOPE, approaches the cases pushing a parcel cart, which has canvas sides and is loaded with packages.    The mope appears to be severely retarded, or at least deficient.  He has bulging eyes, protruding wet lips curved in an imbecile smile.  He stops the cart in front of Jim's case.

                                                            MOPE (holding up a package)

                                                Hey, Jim.  Look at this one.

The package  is about the size and shape of a breadbox, wrapped in brown paper and silver duct tape, with several cylindrical bulges underneath the tape.  The address is made up on multi-colored letters clipped from magazines.

The Mope shakes the package violently.

                                                            MOPE (cont)

                                                It's for Congressman Bonnet.

There's a faint hiss, a slight burr of activated machinery, and a thin ribbon of black smoke  begins issuing from beneath the wrapper.

Jim drops the letters he's casing, leaps toward the Mope and tears the package from his hand.  Then he dashes down the aisle, the package at arm's length.  By this time puffs of smoke are issuing from the package like a choo-choo and it's making a much louder buzzing.

At the end of the aisle is a large round steel canister, the size of a trash can, but much sturdier, and painted black and stenciled with yellow triangles.  Jim lifts the heavy steel lid of the canister, throws the package inside, slams the lid and locks it.

A second later there is a dull thud, the canister leaps up and rocks from one end to the other, and then black smoke pours from the vent holes.

JIM wipes his brow and returns to his case.

ON:  Shelly, who removes her ear phones and looks at Jim questioningly.

                                                            JIM

                                                Letter bomb.

Shelly nods her head and replaces the phones.

                                                            SHELLY

                                                Oh.

                                                            MOPE (scratching his head)

                                                Gol-durn.  There was another one just like it for                                                                        Assemblyman....

From the other side of the building there's a tremendous explosion.

ON:  The far end of building:  A cloud of dense smoke rises, around which flutter several thousand suspended letters, many of them half-burned or charred.  A tremendous commotion of yelling and profanity.

The Supervisor rushes by Jim's case.

                                                            SUPERVISOR (into hand-held radio)

There's a 311 at bin-sort twenty. 

We'll need more subs...

ANOTHER ANGLE

The water fountain, and soda machine, against the wall by a bulletin board covered with notices.  One large sign says, "Party Tonight, Driscoll's."  On the wall are several posters.  An ancient one, besmirched with grime, advises:  "THE MAIL MUST GO THROUGH    NO LOITERING."   A newer one nearby says:

THE US POSTAL SERVICE FORBIDS SEXUAL HARASSMENT

IT'S THE LAW

Shelly and Marlene, pushing carts, approach and meet Jim and Ramsey, carrying trays of flats, and engage in good-natured bantering.

                                                            SHELLY

                                                Studmuffins. All quadrants. Cute pecs and buns.

                                                            MARLENE

                                                Hunk city. Beef-a-rama.

                                                            RAMSEY

                                                Damn!  Those torpedos.

                                                            JIM (giving Shelly's shapely bottom a glance)

                                                Hey, Shelly.  You ride that scooter?

The couples pass like ships at sea.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Shelly and Marlene pass by another cart, the Accountables Cage, pushed by several armed postal inspectors.  The inspectors are macho types, in shades, with police stars on their gun belts.  The Accountables Cage is like a small mobile jail cell, barred all around, inside which a WOMAN CLERK sits behind a low desk.

                                                            WOMAN CLERK

                                                Accountables.

Jim and Shelly come forward while the woman clerk opens a small window in the cage.  Jim approaches the window.

                                                            WOMAN CLERK (cont)

                                    Route seven.  Four certs.  One registered. 

One postage due.

She passes the letters to Jim.  Then she portentously draws from a shelf of pigeon holes a large key on a golden chain.

                                                            WOMAN CLERK (cont)

                                                And the arrow key.  Sign here.

Jim signs for the accountable letters and the arrow key.

                                                            SHELLY (to Jim)

                                    Can you put some pepper in that shaker?  All day. 

Don't have.

                                                            JIM

                                    Your guff.  Don't need.

ON:  One of the postal inspectors is JUDD, a Germanic clean-shaven muscular bully, with piercing eyes and a sadistic mien, the same person we saw earlier voyeuristically spying on other employees.  He interposes at the window, putting his hand over the arrow key just as Jim is about to pick it up.

                                                            JUDD

                                    You're accountable for that key, hot shot.

                                                            JIM (evenly)

                                    You're accountable for where you put your mitt, asshhole.

                                                            JUDD (examining key)

                                    (to Woman Clerk)  Okay.  Number seven.  (To Jim)  Better                                                      not lose this, boy.  Automatic dismissal.

JIM     

                                    Judd, gimme the damn key or it's gonna

be part of your dental work.

                                                            JUDD (smiling suggestively at Shelly)

                                    Oooh.  Him's a tough guy.

Jim grabs the key chain and yanks hard.  Judd yelps as he pulls away his hand.

                                                            JUDD (angry, squaring his shoulders)

                                    Ouch.!  You dipshit.  You want trouble with a postal inspector?

                                                            JIM

                                    Here I am.

                                                            JUDD

                                    I'm a sworn officer.

                                                            JIM

                                    I don't live in Topeka.

Judd bulls forward, and it looks like a fight, when Shelly intervenes.

                                                            SHELLY

                                    Would you two clowns get away from the counter.  I'd like to do my route today.

Jim and Judd back away from each other.

                                                            SHELLY (cont., singing)

                                    Macho, macho, macho man... (cont. speaking) Testosterone spill, cleanup, aisle four. 

At this moment the Supervisor, stop watch and clipboard in hand, passes the cage.

                                                            SUPERVISOR

                                    Let's get accountables moving.  (to Jim and Shelly)  Is it break time?  Is it ten o'clock?

Jim and Shelly, smiling at each other, return to the cases.

ON:  Judd, glaring at Jim, as he moves off with the Accountables Cage.

INT.  LOCKER ROOM

Dingy and oppressive.  Gunmetal gray lockers line every wall, while a couple of wooden benches with peeling green paint make up the furniture.  Jim is seated in his shorts on a bench, his duffel bag open in front of him, as he suits up for the street.

Jim is solidly built and well-muscled, with short-cropped hair, in appearance more like a soldier than a letter carrier.  He is strapping on a forearm protector, a sheath of ribbed steel held in place by Velcro straps.  Already on both legs are armored shin guards.   Around his torso he wears a lightweight model of a Kevlar vest. 

He pulls on a pair of loose trousers, postal gray with the maroon leg stripe.  Finally , heavy black steel-toed boots.

Postal enters.

Postal has the eyes of a true lunatic, along with a crazed, tortured smile.  He is laughing demonically to himself as he opens his locker.

                                                            JIM (shifting his seat)

                                    What's happenin', Cray?

                                                            POSTAL (muttering)

                                    Bastards of the world.  Bastards of the fuckin' world.  (he                                                          suddenly turns on Jim)  Don't let them ruin you, Jim.                                                     I'm damaged.  They ruined me. But don't let 'em ruin you.

                                                            JIM (warily)

                                    Okay.

                                                            POSTAL

                                    I'm damaged.  I've been damaged.  That fuckin' Ralston...                                                        The fuckin' bastard.  (He slams his hand on the locker.)  He                                                             changed my tour.  I'm Tour One now.  After fifteen fuckin'                                                   years.  Ralston, you scum.  It isn't over....

Postal pulls open the locker door and wildly begins throwing out a miscellany of articles that don't seem particularly related to postal work, books, pizza wrappers, baseball trophies, tennis balls, cooking mitts, all of which pile up around his feet.

ON:   locker door.  Pasted inside are several pictures of light assault weapons, an Uzi, and an AK47.  Also, an article clipped from Slug Gun News, with an attached photo that appears to show the remains of a shattered cranium.

                                                            POSTAL (screaming at the ceiling)

It isn't over, Ralston.  Blood will flow.  Widows will

weep and wear black.  Ralston!  Oh, the fuckin'

bastards of the world, Jim.

INT.  ANNEX

Shelly is pulling down her mail from the cases and putting it into trays when Judd approaches.

                                                            JUDD

                                    That guy Jim is headed for trouble.

                                                            SHELLY (indifferently)

                                    Yup, yup.  The hand basket to hell express.

                                                            JUDD

                                    He'd better wise up if he wants to keep workin' here.

                                                            SHELLY

                                    Workin' here.  What a joy it is.

                                                            JUDD (hesitatingly)

                                    Say Shelly.  You know the party tonight? 

Ya need a ride?

                                                            SHELLY (not concealing her disdain)

                                    You mean, like, with you?

                                                            JUDD

                                    I could pick you up after work.  Maybe have a drink before                                                      we go over.

                                                            SHELLY

                                    Here's the deal, Judd.  You can pick me up when the

Lake of Fire is an ice rink and the post office delivers SnoKones.  That won't be until at least January.

                                                            JUDD

                                                Um.  Is that a No?

                                   

                                                            SHELLY

                                                No, nada, nyet, negative, never, not in your wildest                                                        dreams.  And please.  Take no for an answer.

EXT.  STREET 

The street in front of the postal annex.  Jim has what is called a walking route, which means he begins work directly from the annex, carrying his canvas mail pouch, which boasts the new slogan, "We're going pizza".  During the day he will stop at relay boxes along the way to pick up additional mail.

The side door opens, and after warily looking both ways, Jim emerges.  He is wearing what appears to be a standard issue gray post office pith helmet, with the strap running under his chin.   With his loose fitting postal uniform shirt and slacks it isn't obvious that he wears body armor.  He appears self-confident and easy in his quick movements but he is obviously alert as he crosses the street.  In the crook of his arm he carries some flats, while in his hand he has a batch of letters.

EXT.  ROW HOUSES

The residences in this neighborhood are shabby and dilapidated.  Many of the windows are broken and boarded with slabs of plywood.  All the rest are guarded by steel bars.  Each doorway is protected by iron grillwork.  Slouching on each street corner despondent young men of all cultures and races who combat the oppressive heat by drinking ale from cans still wrapped in brown paper bags.

In this neighborhood at least the usual cultural and racial animus seemingly has been suspended under the weight of a hopeless and general poverty.

Jim walks under the political billboard on the corner.

 ON billboard.  An aggressive  young CEO,  in suspenders and designer eyeglasses, has his pinstriped sleeves rolled up and a can-do look of resolution on his cherubic face.  The subscripted slogan:

America's Entrepreneurs Make It Happen. 

One County.  One Party.  A Republican America."

On the corner is a parking garage.  A huge sign is painted on the wall next to the entranceway:

THIS CONTRACT LIMITS OUR LIABILITY
READ IT!

Underneath, from roof to sidewalk, run 2,000 words of dense text.  Somebody has crudely spray-painted across the face of the sign, Fuck This Shit.

Jim approaches a despondent teenage KID sitting on a stoop with a wastebasket beside him.

                                                            JIM

                                    Yo, Bates.  What's happenin,' dude? Ya workin'?

                                                            KID

                                    Nope.

                                                            JIM

                                    Any prospects?

                                                            KID

                                    I'm thinkin' ‘bout a career in pizza cargo.

                                                            JIM (laughing)

                                    That's wide open.

                                                            KID

                                    ‘Cept I got no car, an' no license.

                                                            JIM

                                    You may have to give up the dream.  Why aren't  you  dealin' crank?

                                                            KID

                                                            Wrong credentials. 

(he pulls out a handkerchief from his back pocket) 

                                                             I got a red hankie.  You need a blue hankie.

                                                            JIM

                                                           It's a tough world when you're screwed.

The Kid, smiling, holds out the waste basket and Jim deposits a handful of junk mail.

 As Jim continues along the sidewalk, an elderly Pervert, hammer in hand, is atop a stepladder on his stoop attaching a sign to the window next to his door.  The pervert has the haunted fixed stare, the loose wet lips, of the aging sexual obsessive.

Close on the sign.   This depicts a large yellow flower with symmetric petals and a happy face in the center.  Underneath the flower, in orange letters:  "Safe House."

                                                            JIM

                                    Morning, Mr. Jakes.

The Pervert starts guiltily and wobbles a moment on his step ladder. 

                                                            PERVERT

                                    Oh.  It's you.  (sarcastically) Cliff Clavin.  Yeah?

Jim thumbs through the letters in his hand.

           

                                                            JIM (reading)

                                    Publisher's Clearing House,

                                                            PERVERT

                                    Refused.

                                                            JIM

                                    Canadian Sweepstakes.

                                                            PERVERT

                                    Refused.

                                                            JIM

                                    "Tom Jakes you are a winner..."

           

                                                            PERVERT

                                    Refused.

                                                            JIM

                                    The Man-Boy Love Catalog.

                                                            PERVERT

                                    I'll take that one.

Jim hands up the catalog.  A few steps away Jim notices two adolescent BOYS watching Pervert install the sign.

                                                            JIM (to the boys)

                                    Ah, you guys.  If I were you I wouldn't...

                                                            BOY ONE.

                                    Duh.

                                                            BOY TWO.

                                    Doy.

These street-wise kids obviously don't need anybody to explain Tom Jakes' predilections.

Jim turns the corner, under a billboard.

ON:  Billboard.  A picture of a snarling Rottweiler.  The copy reads:

ROTTWEILERS IN THE US, 1970 -- 500

ROTTWEILERS IN THE US, 2007 - 5 Million

CALL ROTS 'R' RUCK

AND DON'T FACE CRIME ALONE

Jim crosses to the intersection divider, where a BEGGAR has installed himself to hit up passing motorists as they stop at the light.  Set on the divider in front of the beggar is a mailbox in a bucket, with the red flag up.

ON:  Beggar.    Wearing a luau shirt, white ducks, sandals and a wide-brimmed straw hat, he is reclining in a chaise lounge, watching MTV on a portable TV set on a crate.  An umbrella shades his head, with a cell phone dangling from the stand.  A small table at his elbow supports an ice chest.  Next to it is an open soda and a half-consumed Hoagie. 

A hand-lettered sign propped up against the mailbox says, "Disabled Veteran. Will Work for Food.  God Bless."    In one hand he idly holds a tin bucket at the end of a stick, which he holds out to passing motorists.

The TV is blasting out the latest hit from the hip-hop group Aorta, CEO Killer.

                                                            TV (music o.s.)

                                    They  polluted New Jersey

                                    So I'm in a big hurry

                                    I show no fuckin' mercy

                                    'Cause I'm cozy with my Uzi.

                                    Motherfucker  do my home like that!

                                    Gonna kill a plutocrat...

                                                            BEGGAR

                                    Yo, Jim.  My quarterly tax return  (indicating the mailbox). 

                                    Don't lose it, bro.  The IRS's already on my case...

Loud, angry honking . A carload of blue collar HARDHAT types pulls up, with the windows rolled down.

                                                            HARDHAT

                                    Ya fuckin' bum. Whydoncha get a job.

The Beggar picks up another stick, at the end of which is a carved wooden human hand with the middle digit extended.  He calmly displays the finger to the hardhats.

                                                            HARDHATS (in chorus)

                                    Fuck you.

The light changes and they screech away.

                                                            BEGGAR (to Jim)

                                    Cretins.  They think it's easy out here.  The heat.                                                                                               Pollution. The ozone layer has fallen, Jim. 

It's right here at ground level.  It's no picnic.

                                                            JIM (reaching in his bag)

                                    Here's your pizza.

                                                            BEGGAR (opening box)

                                    Alright.  Hey, wait a minute.  Man, this is stone fuckin' cold.  Hey.  What is this shit.  This is an anchovy.  I'm on a salt-restricted diet, Jim.  I ordered pineapple.

                                                            JIM

                                                         Did you tell that to the...

                                                       BEGGAR (testy)

                                                       Yeah, well it would help a lot if your order takers could

                                                        speak English.  Not Swahili.  I don't know how to say pineapple in Swahili.

                                                          JIM

                                                    Pineapple-stan, I think.

                                                         BEGGAR

                                                    I ain't payin' for this.  You can delete if from my debit card...

Jim is about to walk away.

                                                        BEGGAR

                                                    Hey bro, hold up.  I heard somethin' Tomorrow be the fifteenth?

                                                            JIM

                                    Today's the fourteenth, so you heard right.

                                                            BEGGAR

                                    Welfare checks, bro.  Social security checks. 

(he points his wooden finger across the street, toward Malboca's Bad Ass Pizza)

                                           I hear some bad somebodies  lookin' to boost 'em.

philgarlington@yahoo.com

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