Плохой Санта Bad Santa

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    		"BAD SANTA"


by

Glenn Ficarra & John Requa

Revisions by

Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

Polish by

Terry Zwigoff

Dimension Films

Production Draft - WHITE February 1, 2002



FADE IN:

Snow flakes falling against a black sky.

CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM DOWNWARD TO REVEAL

EXT. MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

It looks like a warm cozy place out of "It's A Wonderful
Life". The window is flocked with fake snow, and hung with
colorful Christmas lights, wreaths and ornaments.

CAMERA PUSHES SLOWLY IN

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

CAMERA CONTINUES MOVEMENT IN SAME DIRECTION

TITLES BEGIN

The barman, wiping down the counter, gives an occasional
semi-furtive glance toward the far end of the bar.

Other patrons chat near the bartender and also give occasional
glances toward the far end of the bar. It is early evening --
happy hour -- and the clientele is well-heeled and sociable.

A customer says something interrogative to the bartender,
who looks down the bar and shrugs.

REVERSE - CAMERA CONTINUES MOVEMENT (Notes the combination
of the HIGH ANGLE and the tilt of Santa's head keep his face
from being clearly revealed in this scene).

Sitting alone at the far end of the bar, given a wide berth
by the other customers, a man (WILLIE) stares morosely into
his drink. The drink is clearly not his first.

He wears a red velvet suit and red velvet hat with a white
pom-pom. He has shiny black boots with red velvet trim. His
long white beard is not real and is in fact pulled down below
his chin to facilitate drinking. It exposes heavy black
stubble.

Swaying slightly, he raises the drink to the vicinity of his
lips. Once it gets close he must navigate it in with some
effortful coordination. He takes a sip and sets the drink
carefully back down.

After another long, staring, morose beat, he starts weeping.

It is loud, dolorous, and unself-conscious.

EXT. ALLEYWAY BEHIND THE MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

Santa staggers out the back door...

CAMERA FOLLOWS BEHIND HIM still hiding his face.

Santa gets about ten feet, then pauses and leans with one
hand against the alley wall, uses the other to hold his pom-
pom out of the way, and vomits.

Having vomited, and spit, he staggers off toward the street.

SUPERED TITLE OF THE MOVIE:

BAD SANTA

INT. SANTA ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

An upbeat woman TRAINER presides over a half-dozen SANTAS
sitting at school desks. On the blackboard the Trainer is
writing out the sixth "Santa Commandment".

SANTA'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

1) No alcoholic beverages before or during your shift.
2) Know the names of your reindeer.
3) Do not smoke in your costume.
4) No swearing.
5) Absolutely no flirting.
6) Coax a smile from the child.
7)
8)
9)

TRAINER
(as she writes)
Coax... a... smile... from... the
child.
(turning to face them)
Remember, parents don't want photos
where their child isn't smiling.
Some children may not want to smile.
It is your job to coax a smile out
of them. A good line to remember is:
"Santa thinks everybody should be
happy. Can you smile for Santa?" A
camera can only copy a child's smile --
it will take you to put it there.

As she talks we

CUT TO:

ANGLE FROM BEHIND

one of the Santas (WILLIE). His HAND reaches into a boot and
pulls out a pint of Smirnoff. We FOLLOW UP IN C.U. to see
this hand pour a few ounces into a can of Coke he holds behind
his desk.

TRAINER
If the child will not smile, the
Photo Elf will go ahead and take the
picture anyway. Now, it is a good
Santa's job to smile as well -- I
know with the big white beard your
smile will be partially hidden, so
you must learn to smile with your
eyes. They show warmth and can be
very expressive.

CUT TO:

WILLIE'S FACE

as he finishes off the can of Coke to REVEAL: his eyes colder
than those of a dead fish.

TRAINER
Remember you have been chosen for
the starring role of Santa Claus.
Your portrayal of this beloved
character will have a major impact
on every child you meet. Keep in
mind at all times that to them, you
aren't a man dressed up like Santa,
you are Santa.

CUT BACK TO:

WILLIE'S FACE. His expression reads: "Please kill me".

EXT. DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE SHOPPING DISTRICT - NIGHT

Wintry night. Ray Coniff's "Jolly Ole Saint Nicholas" scores
views of the downtown blanketed in snow and decorated for
the holiday. It is Christmas Eve, and the sidewalks throng
with people rushing to do their last-minute shopping.

A MOTHER and her two absurdly bundled CHILDREN emerge from
the crowd.

MOTHER
Hurry boys, we're gonna miss Santa!
She drags them across the street
toward the looming art-deco monolith
that is the big-city department store.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - TOP FLOOR - NIGHT

Mother and children crest the escalator to emerge on the top
floor.

OLDER CHILD
There!

The older child is pointing at a prop gate with a candy-cane
letter sign: TO SANTA'S WORKSHOP.

He runs and Mom shoos her younger child to join him.

The boys cross the threshold of the gate and their eyes filled
with wonder.

A winding path cuts through a flocked and candy-striped
forest, past a workshop filled with mannequin-elves busily
cobbling Christmas toys, and finally arriving at...

Santa, seated on his throne like a scarlet Messiah. The
younger child staggers forward to join the line of a hundred
other leaky-nosed worshippers awaiting an audience.

At the head of the line the next waiting child is escorted
to Santa's chair by a smiling tiny man (MARCUS) dressed as
an elf.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - MAIN FLOOR - NIGHT

An imitation BACK STREET BOYS quintet sings Christmas Carols.

Grown-ups busy themselves draining their wallets as a VOICE
comes over the intercom:

INTERCOM (V.O.)
Attention shoppers: the store will
be closing in five minutes. We hope
tomorrow is a pleasant Christmas and
thank you for shopping with us, your
friends.

Purposeful haste eddies the crowd.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SANTA'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

C.U. PHOTO PRINTING OUT

The Photo Elf takes the digital photo and presents it to a
MOM.

PHOTO ELF
(dutifully reciting
his spiel)
My, what a darling picture! Are you
certain you only want the single?
Additional photos come in handy as
gifts for grandma and grandpa or a
wonderful remembrance for friends.

MOM
That's all right, I'll just take the
single.

He takes her credit card as CAMERA MOVES OVER TO SANTA. On
his knee is a YOUNG BOY who whispers excitedly in his ear.

SANTA
(disinterested)
Uh-huh... yeah... done.

Young Boy climbs off and runs away, A BRATTY KID jumps up on
Santa's lap.

BRATTY KID
I saw you in another mall.

SANTA
(not even looking at
him)
Right... Good for you.

BRATTY KID
You're not really Santa. If you were
Santa you could do magic.

SANTA
(looks at him)
You want magic?

Santa pushes him off his lap and shoves him on his way.

SANTA
There, I just made you disappear.

Santa turns to his Elf,

SANTA
...That it?

The Elf nods as he peels off a pointed prosthetic ear. Santa
pulls a fifth of Old Grandad from the cushions of his throne.

SANTA
...Thank fuckin' Christ.

He takes a swig.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - NIGHT - LATER

With the sound of closing circuits, banks of lights
systematically shut down in the various departments of the
now empty store.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - EXIT AREA - NIGHT

Downstairs the last of the store employees file out the door
past an old SECURITY GUARD. Eventually Santa emerges.

SECURITY GUARD
Merry Christmas, Willie.

SANTA
Up your ass.

The guard chuckles.

SECURITY GUARD
Have it your way, Willie.

SANTA
Don't tell me which way to have it.

The Security Guard heads for a panel near the doorway and
punches a key labeled ARM. An L.E.D. readout labeled "ARMING"
counts down from 30 seconds.

The guard exits the store, locks the door and heads home.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SANTA'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

A large Teddy bear sits under a Christmas tree.

Suddenly -— it moves, bolting upright and sprinting from the
room.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - DOWNSTAIRS - NIGHT

The alarm continues to count down -- 15... 14...

The Teddy bear slides down the space between the railing of
the escalators. Landing on its feet, it barrels toward the
door.

10... 9...

The Teddy bear scrambles for the door, crashing into
everything in its path.

7... 6...

Running past a clothing display, it rips the arm off a
mannequin without breaking stride.

5... 4...

It skids to a stop at the base of the alarm box, too short
to reach the controls.

2...

It raises the mannequin arm, using the pointed finger on its
hand to press the "CANCEL" key on the keypad.

Mission accomplished, the teddy bear rips off its head to
reveal his true identity: Santa's Elf -- in civilian life
known as MARCUS SKIDMORE. He is covered in sweat and panting
like an asthmatic.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SHIPPING AREA - NIGHT

A hasp flips open and Marcus swings the door wide to reveal
a beer-guzzling Santa-in-the-off-season known as WILLIE T.
SOKE. He finishes the beer, crushes the can and drops it to
his feet next to eight more empties.

WILLIE
Ready.

Marcus sneers at him as he lumbers past:

MARCUS
Jesus.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SANTA'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

Marcus and Willie tear open the prop presents on the workshop
set and remove several tools.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - NIGHT

Marcus reaches into jewelry cases and removes a few particular
items. He drops them into a stock cart then checks a typed
list before moving on.

Marcus pushes the cart through the store, gathering an odd
array of items that range from furs to gowns to shoes to
makeup.

INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - BACK OFFICES - NIGHT

Marcus arrives outside a doorway and looks in to see Willie
manning a large water drill and putting it to work on the
store's vault.

MARCUS
How's it goin'?

WILLIE
I'm finished when I'm finished.

MARCUS
I'm goin' downstairs...
(referring to list)
I need a melon-bailer and a loofah.

The drill suddenly revs higher, getting Willie's attention.

WILLIE
Got it.

Marcus moves closer as Willie pulls back the drill on the
track. He places a screwdriver into the exposed lock assembly
and hits it with a sledgehammer.

Suddenly, the door swings open and bundled cash spills to
the floor. Both men are impressed.

MARCUS
Fuck the loofah, let's go.

EXT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SHIPPING DOCK - NIGHT

Marcus and Willie wheel out two carts and roll them through
the open doors of a waiting van. As they slam the doors --

INT. VAN - NIGHT

Willie settles on the rear bench as Marcus gets into the
passenger seat next to his Pillipina Mail-order wife of
several years, LOIS, who is dressed in expensively ugly
clothes, and whose mouth is ever down-turned in pruney
distaste.

LOIS
Marcus, did you get the loofah?

MARCUS
Drive.

EXT. DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE STREET - NIGHT

The van speeds away through the Christmas Eve night and
disappears into the distance, like the down of a thistle.

FADE OUT:

CAMERA ROCKETS INTO C.U. of An alarm clock ringing with a
jolt.

INT. RATBAG APARTMENT - DAY

Willie, in bed, blearily wakes to the insistent alarm. He
tries to turn it off, but his fingers are still clotted with
sleep.

In a series of frustrated grunts and groans he becomes more
and more aggravated until, finally --

WILLIE
FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!

He bolts out of bed and throws the clock into the wall.

He stoops for some beer bottle empties and hurls them at the
clock debris.

WILLIE
Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!

One final scream and it's out of his system. He finds one
last bottle in his hand, half-full with a cigarette butt
floating in it.

He downs the beer and steps into the adjoining bathroom to
brush his teeth.

EXT. KEY BISCAYNE STREET - DAY

Willie, sipping a cup of coffee, meanders down the street
scratching his ass.

EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY

Willie's walk brings him to a fancy eatery at lunchtime. As
he passes, he casually snatches a handful of car keys from
the parking valet key-box and moves on.

As he rounds the corner into the lot he pushes on the various
key fobs, identifying various cars when their alarms chirp.

He seems dissatisfied until a brand new Cadillac chirps.

Willie gets in and drives off.

INT. CADILLAC - MOVING - DAY

Willie drives. He reaches over into the glove compartment
and pulls out the registration. He focuses on the car owner's
address.

INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - HALLWAY - DAY

Willie, eating a corn dog, saunters down an opulent hallway,
a beer swinging in one hand.

INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - BATHROOM - DAY

In long shot, through the open door of an extravagant marble
bathroom, we see Willie sitting on the toilet, leafing through
a magazine, beer bottle on the counter next to him. Pants
around his ankles.

INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - BATHROOM - MINUTES LATER

Willie, standing by the toilet, finishes buckling his belt
and flips the flush lever.

Nothing happens; no whoosh of rushing water.

Willie, looking down into the toilet, gives the lever a couple
more clanking tries, and then grabs his beer and ambles off.

INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - STUDY - DAY

Sucking on his beer, Willie paces the periphery of the room,
methodically knocking painting after painting off the walls.

INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY

Willie arrives in the bedroom still knocking down paintings
until, finally, he exposes a wall safe.

A smile, and he pulls out a stethoscope.

CUT TO:

The safe door swings open to reveal stacks of cash.

INT. STRIP BAR - NIGHT

Willie scratches a lottery ticket. He's now wearing a Rolex
and some gaudy ring.

WILLIE
Goddamn it!

He reaches for another one and we see that on the bartop in
front of him are neat stacks of lottery tickets as yet
unscratched, and an untidy jumble of scratched ones.

On the other side of the bar a MIDDLE-AGED STRIPPER vies for
his attention. Willie's ticket hits for $5.00.

WILLIE
Yeah baby!

He tucks it into the Stripper's G-string, swigs a drink, and
resumes scratching.

INT. RATBAG APARTMENT - NIGHT

Willie and the Stripper stagger into his apartment, drunk.

As he passes his blinking answering machine:

WILLIE
I got messages. Go wash yourself.

STRIPPER
I'm a dancer, I sweat.

WILLIE
Well you smell like a bum's nutsack.

STRIPPER
Fuck you.

WILLIE
Yeah, yeah.

As she exits, he activates the machine.

VOICE (V.O.)
Mr. Soke, this is Andrew Kaplan again
from the collection agency -- BOOP!

Willie skips to the next message.

ANOTHER VOICE (V.O.)
Willie, I don't care man, I'm not
looking to blame anyone, but that
diamond isn't a real stone, man. I
took it to -- BOOP!

Willie skips to the next message.

WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
Uh, hello, this is Helen Axelrod --
you ran into my car last week? Well
I called State Farm but they have no
record of any insurance policy for
you and -- BOOP!

Willie skips to the next message.

MARCUS' VOICE (V.O.)
Willie, it's Marcus. It's that time
of year again. Pack your shit.
Phoenix.

CUT TO:

EXT. PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DAY

To the chimey chords of "Sleigh Ride," we see Phoenix, Arizona
in MONTAGE / dressed for Christmas but sweltering under its
oppressive winter heat.

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

Through the heat ripples rising off the pavement two mirage-
like figures cross the infinite asphalt of the Saguaro Square
Mall parking lot -- Willie and Marcus in Santa and Elf
regalia, sweating and panting in the heat. Willie polishes
off a pint of Smirnoff's and flips it towards a nearby trash
can. It misses and breaks loudly on the pavement.

MARCUS
Jesus Christ! Can you maybe keep it
together for just ten minutes?!

He pulls some Tic Tacs out of his pocket.

MARCUS
For crying out loud, chew a few of
these... you drunken, fuckin'
imbecile!

Anchoring the huge mall complex is the large and upscale
Chamberlain's Department Store.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - DAY

Amid the bustle of holiday shopping, an angry heavy-set man
with a Grizzly Adams beard stomps away from the pursuing
store manager, Bob Chipeska.

CHIPESKA
Harrison, please I Just let me
explain. Financially, the --

HARRISON
You get what you pay for, Chipeska!
Five Christmases I've given my heart --
my soul -- my love to these kids,
and now what? Now you flip me for
some stranger who'll do it for peanuts
and happens to work with a real
midget! Lemme tell you something:
nobody cares! Nobody comes here for
the elf, Santa's the attraction! I
do Burl Ives songs; does this schmoe
even play guitar?

CHIPESKA
Harrison, it's not the money or the
midget. Believe me, if it was, I --
I don't think they like "midget". I
think you're supposed to call them --

HARRISON
Aw, forget it!

Harrison stomps away and right toward Marcus and Willie as
they enter the store.

HARRISON
...Hacks!

Willie and Marcus stop in their tracks and watch the burly
man storm out. Bob Chipeska watches with them.

CHIPESKA
Hi. Bob Chipeska. I, please, I, uh --
please don't listen to him. Great
resume and photo by the way.

MARCUS
Thanks... you know, we been at this
a long time an' all, so we like to
think we do a good job...

A Beautiful Girl wearing skin-tight pants walks by, catching
Willie's eye. He stares wantonly at her ass, off in his own
little world.

CHIPESKA
You two are the best men for the
job. Truly. So do not let his...
unpleasantness affect your performance
in any way.

MARCUS
Oh no, we're fine, w --

WILLIE
(irked, snapping out
of his daydream)
Performance?

Willie's reaction worries Marcus.

CHIPESKA
Yea. Your performance... you know,
the...

WILLIE
Performance. Like sexual?

CHIPESKA
Excuse me?

MARCUS
Willie no, he --

WILLIE
You saying there's something wrong
with my gear?

MARCUS
Willie...

CHIPESKA
I'm sorry. Your gear?

WILLIE
You know... fuck stick.

MARCUS
OKAY! We're gonna head upstairs now.

Marcus shoves Willie, who stalks off. Marcus lingers to smooth
things over. He forces a grin and shakes his head.

MARCUS
Such a card.

CHIPESKA
He's not gonna say "fuck stick" in
front of the children, is he?

MARCUS
No, no, no. Joke. Adult joke. For
us. Adults.

A long, long, long silence.

MARCUS
...Joke.

Another beat. Marcus pantomimes helpless laughter, noiselessly
throwing his head back and holding his gut as it heaves with
mirth.

He is instantly composed.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

On an upper floor of Chamberlain's the theme is "The Desert
as Winter Wonderland." Cacti and tumbleweeds are wrapped
with lights and flocked with snow, and a team of nine stuffed
burros are hitched to a sleigh. Rudolfo the Red Nosed Burro
is tended by several Santa's elf mannequins. One in cowboy
wear and another in a poncho and sombrero.

Again there is a line of waiting children. Marcus makes his
way through the line as kids gasp and cheer. He plays to the
crowd.

MARCUS
Merry Christmas! Santa's coming!

Yayyyyyy! Marcus gets to the head of the line, ducks under
the velvet rope and goes behind the flimsy cardboard set.

Willie sits there morosely, head slumped, forearms on knees,
red velvet hanging limply from one hand.

MARCUS
What the fuck you doing, "fuck stick"
in front of the boss?

WILLIE
I don't like that guy.

He takes a bottle from the floor by his feet and swigs off
it. Marcus stares at him.

MARCUS
You don't like any guy. You think I
can't find another portly motherfuck
can run a water drill?

Willie just slumps there apologetically.

MARCUS
Don't tempt my hand. You blow this
and we're broke for the year. So
stop acting like you know something
because, pal of mine, you don't know
squat. You're gum on my shoe.

WILLIE
Yeah, yeah.

MARCUS
Now put on your fuckin' hat and get
out there.

He grabs the hat, slams it into Willie's chest and, as Willie
rises, kicks him in the ass. Willie just takes it, shambling
off.

MARCUS (CONT'D
...And try to act professional. For
Chrissake!

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

On the outskirts of the Saguaro Square Mall's parking lot a
city bus stops with a hiss. The doors swing open to reveal a
pathetic EIGHT-YEAR-OLD KID, overweight, snot-nosed, badly
dressed and probably smelling of pee.

As the kid nears the mall entrance he passes a group of older
children doing skateboard stunts. They notice him.

KID
Loser!

One of them throws an empty can that hits him in the head.

The kid walks on, it seems without noticing.

The bullies, disheartened by the lack of reaction, go back
to their skateboarding.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

Marcus leads a LARGE HEAVYSET BOY over to the throne. The
boy eats a chocolate ice cream cone which is smeared all
over his mouth and T-shirt. Marcus lifts him with effort and
a groan onto Willie's lap.

WILLIE
All right, wuddya want?

HEAVYSET BOY
Nintendo Deer Hunter 3.

WILLIE
Fine. Next.

The HEAVYSET BOY hops off onto Willie's foot by mistake.

WILLIE
YOWWWCH! Watch the toenails willya?

Marcus puts a young girl on his lap. She looks up at him in
awe.

WILLIE
...Wuddya want?

LITTLE GIRL
...Santa?

WILLIE
Yeah, c'mon, c'mon, wuddya want?

LITTLE GIRL
Um... Barbie?

WILLIE
Fine. Next.

Marcus puts another young boy on his lap.

WILLIE
...What do you want?

BOY
Fraggle-stick car.

WILLIE
(to himself)
Fuck is that?
(back to the kid)
Fine, whatever, next.

No one is next.

WILLIE
...Next. Next!

Still nothing.

WILLIE
...Next, goddamnit! Let's move it
along -- this is not the DMV!

Marcus walks over to the rope. The snot-nosed Kid is next in
line, frozen by fear. Marcus pulls on his hand.

MARCUS
It's okay. C'mon.

The Kid stays put.

MARCUS
What's your name?

The Kid shakes his head meekly.

MARCUS
...You can tell me...

No response.

MARCUS
...How about Santa? If you don't
tell him, you won't get a present.

This penetrates the Kid's fear. He moves.

MARCUS
...That's right. Let's tell Santa.

Marcus leads the Kid up to the throne and places him on
Willie's lap.

WILLIE
What do you want? C'mon, wuddya want?
A snot rag?

The Kid just stares, motionless except for the flowing rivulet
of snot. Willie can't help but stare at it.

WILLIE
(to himself)
...Another fuckin' mongoloid.
(shouts)
Marcus I get him outta here before
he pisses on me.

Suddenly the Kid is moved to yank Willie's beard. He holds
it stretched below Willie's chin.

WILLIE
(whispered to the kid)
...Let it go, you little bastard.

KID
It's not real.

WILLIE
It was real. The hair fell out when
I got sick.

KID
How'd you get sick?

WILLIE
I loved a woman who wasn't clean.

KID
Mrs. Santa?

WILLIE
No, her sister.
(whispers through
clenched teeth)
Let the fucking thing go.

KID
What's it like at the North Pole?

WILLIE
Like the suburbs.

KID
Which one?

WILLIE
Apache Junction. What the fuck do
you care?

Willie shoves the Kid:

WILLIE
Get the hell off my lap.

The Kid backs away, looking at him.

KID
You are really Santa, right?

WILLIE
No. No, I'm an accountant. I wear
this as a fucking fashion thing.

KID
Okay.

The Kid backs away in awe, never breaking his reverent stare.

As Marcus helps the next child onto Santa's lap Willie hisses
at him:

WILLIE
Get that kid out of here, he's
freaking me out.

EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - NIGHT

The Kid sits on a bench watching the entrance to
Chamberlain's. After a beat Willie and Marcus walk out in
costume and cross toward the parking lot.

The Kid follows from a safe distance.

EXT. SAGUARO MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Willie and Marcus walk across the huge empty parking lot,
followed at a great distance by the Kid.

They arrive at their cars -- Marcus' van and a beat-up old
Chrysler that is Willie's -- parked next to each other.

As the Kid creeps closer, he is able to hear their
conversation.

Willie motions to the Black Angus in the parking lot.

WILLIE
I gotta get a drink on. See ya
tomorrow.

MARCUS
Just don't come in to work stinkin'
of booze again.

WILLIE
Don't worry about me. Get going,
you'll be late for your Wizard of Oz
Candy Bar Guild thing.

MARCUS
Lollipop Guild, asshole. Jesus, two
year olds flip me shit better'n you.

WILLIE
You tryin' to say something to me?

MARCUS
(pauses, then
deliberately)
Yeah. I'm gonna stick my whole fist
up your ass.

INT. BLACK ANGUS BAR - NIGHT

A large faux rustic bar filled to capacity with loosened-tie
middle-management.

Crammed at the far end of the bar, Willie stands out like a
sore thumb in this thirty-ish crowd.

We follow his gaze all around the perimeter of the room until
it connects with the drunken, glowering face of a HINDUSTANI
TROUBLEMAKER, sitting right across from him, startling Willie
for a moment.

Willie regains his composure, then gives the guy a puzzled
look back, and amused by the guy's unflinching anger, raises
his glass in a toast to him as if to say, "whatever... cheers,
you nutcase", and turns back to his drink.

The man stands up and, never releasing his stare, moves right
up to Willie, two inches from his face. Willie looks up.

TROUBLEMAKER
(Hindi accent)
Listen here buddy, let me make
yourself perfectly clear. We don't
like your kind coming around here in
your red silk and satin clothes with
your hunger for same-sex
relationships. Consider yourself
warned.

WILLIE
Well fu-uck you!

TROUBLEMAKER
I know that's what you'd like to do!

Willie gears up for a swing.

WILLIE
Up yours, yufff --

A hand grabs his arm.

VOICE (O.S.)
Don't.

Willie follows the hand to find a mature but attractive
BARMAID (SUE), an outdoorsy western beauty. Her eyes and
Willie's lock -- a source of sardonic amusement for the
troublemaker.

TROUBLEMAKER
Oh saved by a woman, mister No-Pussy-
Please man!

He stalks off.

SUE
He ain't worth it, sugar. He got hit
on last week. Didn't sit too well.

TROUBLEMAKER
WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT!?

By the bathroom, the troublemaker is in another man's face:

TROUBLEMAKER
...This is not Flagstaff!

SUE
Another Grandad, Santa?

WILLIE
Yep.

She pours him another and slams it on the bar.

SUE
Got a name?

WILLIE
Oh yeah.

He pounds the drink.

She waits. Nothing else is forthcoming.

SUE
What do you do? I mean, after the
holidays?

WILLIE
Nothing 'til March. Then I'm the
Easter Bunny.

SUE
...Another?

WILLIE
Why not. Buy you one?

SUE
Why not.

She pours two. They both pound them back.

Her statement is a question:

SUE
...Not a big talker.

WILLIE
Nah.

SUE
Buy you one?

WILLIE
Why not.

As she pours:

SUE
You're pretty regular, for a Santa.

He shrugs:

WILLIE
It's my job, no big deal. I'm an
eating, drinking, shitting, fucking
Santa Claus.

SUE
Prove it.

Willie stares at her.

WILLIE
Which?

INT. WILLIE'S CAR - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Willie is on top of the barmaid, humping her, still in his
Santa suit. His pom-pom bobs in rhythm with his thrusts.

WILLIE
Yes! Yes! Yes!

SUE
Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!

The hat is slipping askew. He reaches for it.

WILLIE
At least lemme take off the hat!

SUE
NO!

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

In the parking lot the barmaid finishes straightening her
clothes and touching up her lipstick in the rearview mirror.

Willie, leaning against his car, still in his Santa suit,
fires up a post-coital cigarette.

SUE
I got a thing for Santa Claus, I
don't know, I guess it's from early
childhood.

WILLIE
(taking a swig)
Yeah, so's my thing for tits.

SUE
Maybe because my parents were Jewish
and never celebrated Christmas. Santa
was sort of forbidden, you know?

She gets out of the car.

SUE
I like you. Most of the people around
here are pretty uptight. My name is
Sue. Here's my number.

She hands him the slip of paper and ambles off, calling back
over her shoulder:

SUE
...Don't mothball that suit!

Willie, nodding understanding, turns to reach for his car
door and --

TROUBLEMAKER
I AM NOT GAY!!

-- the accompanying PAN OVER brings in the screaming
homophobe.

WILLIE
Whoa-Jesus! All right buddy, that's
it...

TROUBLEMAKER
Buddy? I said, I am not gay!

WILLIE
Look, what's the problem pal, you go
off your meds?

The man stares at him for a beat.

TROUBLEMAKER
...Yes, but this isn't about that!
You are queer as a ten dollar bill.

WILLIE
Now you listen. My brother lost an
arm fighting you people in Vietnam,
so I want you to take a good hard
look at this face...

Willie pulls back a fist.

WILLIE
...'cause it's the last fuckin' thing
you're gonna see before I knock your
head off and sh --

WHACK-WHACK-WHACK-WHACK-WHACK! The man surprises Willie with
a flurry of effective punches. In moments, Willie is on the
losing end of homosexual panic.

TROUBLEMAKER
Who is the bitch now, fat man?!

PIPING VOICE (O.S.)
Leave Santa alone!

The Troublemaker stops and looks down to find the Kid beating
on his legs.

TROUBLEMAKER
Please little boy, I am doing this
for all of us!

Willie gets a chance to regain composure. He wipes the blood
from his mouth, raises his fists and... promptly collapses.

TROUBLEMAKER
I think he has finished his cruising
for tonight, hm?

The Hindustani hothead wanders off. The Kid shuffles over to
the prone Willie.

WILLIE
You.

INT. WILLIE'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT

The Kid sits in the front seat next to Willie who drives,
stewing.

WILLIE
This one time I take you home.

KID
Uh-huh.

WILLIE
I'm not your fuckin' dada.

KID
Uh-huh.

WILLIE
It's not as if you helped out with
that nut-job.

KID
Uh-huh.

WILLIE
And you're right there to grab his
fuckin' balls.

KID
Uh-huh.

WILLIE
Right height.

KID
Yeah.

Willie demonstrates with a sharp turn of his hand:

WILLIE
Twist 'em.

KID
Why do you need a car?

WILLIE
...Fuck you talkin' about?

KID
This car.

WILLIE
Whuh. Which turn is it?

KID
Sage Terrace. Where's your sleigh?

Willie answers absently, his head slightly ducked and his
eyes darting side to side, checking for road signs:

WILLIE
Repairs. In the shop.

KID
Where're the reindeer?

WILLIE
I stable 'em. Is it gonna be left or
right?

KID
(pointing left)
That way. Where's the stable?

WILLIE
Next to the shop.

KID
How do they sleep?

WILLIE
Who -- the reindeer? Standing up.

KID
But the noise, how do they sleep?

WILLIE
What noise?

KID
From the shop.

WILLIE
They, uh, they only work during the
day.

KID
I thought it was always night at the
North Pole.

WILLIE
Not now. Now it's always day.

KID
Then how do they sleep?

WILLIE
Well, they -- WILL YOU PUH-LEEEZ
SHUT THE FUCK UP! HOW THE FUCK DO
KNOW?! I'M GONNA -- Whoa! Sage
Terrace!

He makes a hard left.

WILLIE
...What is it with you? Somebody
drop you on your fucking head?

KID
On my head?

WILLIE
What, are they gonna drop you on
somebody else's head?

KID
How can they drop me onto my own
head?

WILLIE
Not onto your own h -- ARE YOU FUCKING
WITH ME?

EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Willie escorts the Kid along a long walkway that leads to
the front door of a large, opulent, new-money Southwestern
home.

Willie admires the surroundings.

WILLIE
Nice digs. Daddy home?

KID
He's on a adventure 'sploring
mountains. He been gone a long time.

WILLIE
Exploring mountains? When's he coming
back?

KID
Next year.

WILLIE
What about Mommy?

KID
She lives in God's house with Jesus
and Mary and the Ghost and the long-
eared donkey and Joseph and the
talking walnut.

WILLIE
Who the fuck takes care of you then?

KID
Granma.

WILLIE
(hatching an idea)
Really... What's her name?

KID
Granma.

As the Kid lets himself in Willie pulls out a black ski mask
and puts it on his head like a stocking cap.

WILLIE
Uh-huh. Is Granny spry?

He unrolls the mask to cover his face and takes out a
blackjack.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Willie enters the foyer as the Kid walks into the adjoining
room. He approaches a figure in a La-Z-Boy watching TV.

KID
Granma, Santa's here. Are you spry?

Grandma rises from her chair with the assistance of her walker
and begins to move toward Willie. She wears a bathrobe and
thick glasses and has another pair of glasses on a chain
around her neck.

GRANDMA
Roger! You're home. Let me fix you
some sandwiches.

He watches as the senile old woman innocently putters away.

He yanks off his mask and turns to the Kid.

WILLIE
So you're tellin' me no one else is
here?

The Kid shakes his head.

WILLIE
...No aunts, no uncles, no cousins?

The Kid shakes his head.

WILLIE
...Butler, security guard? Nothin'?

KID
Nuh-uh.

This sinks in. Willie looks to the Kid.

WILLIE
Daddy got a safe?

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - STUDY - NIGHT

The sound of a tumbler tripping and, suddenly, light sweeps
in as the safe door opens to reveal a smiling Willie with
his stethoscope in his ears.

In the foreground a few stacks of cash and a folio. Willie
reaches in.

Willie grabs the folio and flips through it. Insurance forms,
deeds, Social Security cards, birth certificates, etc., all
bear the name of the Kid's father, Roger Merman.

Nothing of value.

He puts the folio back, grabs the cash.

KID
You need money to fix your sleigh?

WILLIE
Huh? Yeah, whateverthefuck...

KID
You want milk and cookies?

Willie bends down and faces the Kid with a smile.

WILLIE
Daddy got a car?

EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

At the cut a new Mercedes screeches through the frame and,
as we hear it recede, we are left looking at the kid, who
stands at the curb, waving happily.

KID
Bye Santa!

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - NIGHT

CLOSE-UP: the glowing ash of a cigarette burning down. The
inhale lasts as long as comic timing will allow -- about six
or seven seconds.

ANGLE ON:

A wiry, hard-bitten, sun-baked saddlebag of a man, GIN SLAGEL
sits behind his cluttered desk sucking on a filterless Pall
Mall. We can hear his in-taken breath rattling over and around
the phlegm, growths, and polyps that line his embattled
trachea. His words come out on an exhaled cloud chamber's
worth of smoke:

GIN
"Fuck stick"?

Bob Chipeska sits opposite.

CHIPESKA
Yes, I thought it was strange too,
but you know, I, I, I, I, uh, I, his
little friend promised he wouldn't
say it in front of the children.
Which is fine because, you know,
urn, there's an adult world and a
child's world and that's okay. I'm
not a censor.

GIN
Little friend?

CHIPESKA
Yes, a, a, a dwarf. Or midget... a,
a, I don't know what he's called
exactly but... a little guy. Little.
Billy Barty. God rest. But thin
fingers. Not the fat sausage fingers.

GIN
"Little people," that's what they
like.

CHIPESKA
Ah, yes, right.

GIN
So "fuck stick," that's all?

CHIPESKA
Well, no, there was something else...

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WOMEN'S BIG AND TALL - (EARLIER)

Chipeska walks by a cashier station carrying some paperwork
he's absorbed in, but hears some FAINT GROANS that make him
pause. Curious, he heads in the direction of the sounds.

They're coming from the dressing room area.

Chipeska curiously makes his way towards a corridor of
dressing rooms.

CHIPESKA (V.O.)
...A couple of days ago I was in
Women's Big & Tall? --

A sign reads: "Three Times A Lady".

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - DRESSING ROOM AREA - (EARLIER)

He goes down a corridor of dressing rooms.

CHIPESKA (V.O.)
and I heard these, urn, you know,
these... noises.

The sound of throttling lust builds in volume. He follows
his ears until he arrives at a dressing room door. A Big or
Tall woman within screams with pleasure:

FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

WILLIE'S VOICE (O.S.)
Yeah! Yeah! You ain't gonna shit
right for a week!

He looks underneath and spots black Santa boots with red
velvet pants around the ankles.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - NIGHT

Bob Chipeska holds up one hand.

CHIPESKA
Now don't get me wrong. I was against
the Clinton impeachment. What a man
does with his penis -- Oval Office,
Women's Big & Tall -- it's not for
the American people to say.

GIN
Right.

CHIPESKA
But when you're dealing with children,
a tender sensibility, a position of
trust -- then perhaps, someone who
has screaming orgasms with large
women --

GIN
Mm.

CHIPESKA
Though I can't fire him for that.

GIN
No.

CHIPESKA
Sizisra. They'd say.

GIN
Sure.

CHIPESKA
Not true. I am no siziat. But I can
see the picket line now.

GIN
Yeah, a big fuckin' fat one.

CHIPESKA
They'd all say, If it had been a
supermodel or, uh...

GIN
Heeyeah. Unfair practices. A lot of
special pleading. Bitch, bitch, bitch.
Fuckin' broads.

CHIPESKA
But -- I can't help it -- the guy
makes me uneasy.

GIN
Well sure. Santa fuckin' someone in
the ass.

CHIPESKA
So maybe there's something I could
fire him for.

GIN
Yeah. Yeah. I getcha.

CHIPESKA
Do you? Do you think you could find
something?

GIN
Oh shit yeah. There's always
something.

INT. SAGAURO SQUARE MALL - VIDEO ARCADE - NIGHT

POV through the arcade's window shows Willie talking in
pantomime to a young girl -- a very young girl -- at one of
the pinball machines. Willie has his hands out to either
side and is either demonstrating the kind of body English to
apply to the machine, or else is describing an elaborate
sexual encounter -- either recalled or prospective. The girl,
giggles.

A REVERSE shows Marcus halted at the arcade window staring
in with disbelief that gives way to jaw-grinding anger:

MARCUS
...Motherfucker... Oh, you lousy
fucking motherfuck...

EXT. SAGOARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Willie and Marcus walk to their cars.

MARCUS
That's just the kinda shit that's
gonna get us pinched!

WILLIE
(apologetic)
She said she was eighteen.

MARCUS
You promised no arcades! You said
you'd only hustle Big & Tall!

WILLIE
Ah, it's like shooting fish in a
barrel -- there's no sport,

MARCUS
How many times, you fuck? "The bigger
the store, the bigger the take."
Well, we can't work the big stores
with your big fucking train wrecks!

WILLIE
(pulling out his keys)
You got some nerve you little shit
ya! You my mom now?! You shat me out
your womb, is that it? You gotta
take care of me!? Well I can take
care of myself and I don't need no
lectures! I know how to keep a low
profile!

BOOP-BOOP! Willie uses his key fob to deactivate the car
alarm to the Mercedes.

MARCUS
What the fuck is this?!

WILLIE
Mind your own fucking business.

Willie opens the door and an avalanche of beer bottle empties
tumbles out, rolling everywhere.

MARCUS
You cocksucker!

Willie starts the engine and pulls out, and Marcus yells to
the receding car:

MARCUS
...EVER HEAR OF THE OPEN-BOTTLE LAW?!
(then, to himself)
-- You dumb Dipshit Motherfucker!

EXT. RESIDENCE MOTEL - NIGHT

Willie parks the Mercedes in the front of a rundown motel
complex. He walks past hookers and junkies until he gets to
his unit.

He pulls out his key and just as he's about to insert it in
the lock he sees a flashlight beam shining inside the window.

Surprised, he backs off cautiously and presses up against
the wall.

Someone inside is rifling the room.

Willie hisses at a nearby hooker:

WILLIE
Opal, come here.

Opal looks at him with disdain.

OPAL
Screw you, Willie -- last time I
didn't shit right for a week.

WILLIE
No, not that -- come here!

Reluctantly, she sidles over.

WILLIE
Who the fuck's in my room, did you
see someone go into my fuckin' room?

OPAL
Yeah some guy askin' 'boutcha --
looked like a cop.

WILLIE
Ah fuck.

INT. MARCUS' APARTMENT - NIGHT

Marcus is on the phone with Willie.

MARCUS
What guy?! You get a look at him?

INTERCUT:

EXT. RESIDENCE MOTEL - NIGHT

Willie is at a pay phone.

WILLIE
No, I think it's a cop though. You
think someone's onto us?

MARCUS
Is there anything in the room?
Anything professional?

WILLIE
No. Clothes.

MARCUS
Just ditch. You got anywhere to sack
out for a while?

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

The Kid swings the door open to Willie, who stands on the
stoop holding a small grip.

KID
Santa!

WILLIE
Yeah.

KID
You're bringing my present early?

WILLIE
NO.

KID
But I never told you what I wanted.

WILLIE
I said I didn't bring it, dipshit.

KID
Okay. Good. I want a stuffed elephant.
A pink one.

WILLIE
Yeah, well...

He brushes past the kid into the house, eyes darting this
way and that.

WILLIE
...wish in one hand and shit in the
other, see which fills up faster.

KID
Okay.

The Kid follows Willie like a puppy dog as Willie checks out
the house, bumping open doors, looking around.

WILLIE
I'm gonna be staying here a while.
Things are all fucked up at the North
Pole. Mrs. Santa, she... she walked
in on me fuckin' her sister. So I'm
out on my fuckin' ass. She's taking
half of everything... This'll do.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Willie has discovered the master bedroom, by appearances
long unused. He tosses his grip onto the double bed.

WILLIE
...I'm gonna crash here. You and me,
like, you know, bachelors.

KID
Do you and Mrs. Santa have kids?

WILLIE
No. Thank the fuck Christ.

KID
What about the elves?

WILLIE
Yeah, well, them. They stay with
Mrs. Santa. I get 'em on weekends.
Run me a bath, will ya?

KID
What about the reindeer?

WILLIE
(pleading)
Don't start with the fucking reindeer.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - MASTER BATHROOM - NIGHT

The Kid sits on a stool, hands on his knees, staring,
motionless.

Finally:

KID
...What're their names?

Willie lies in the tub, also motionless, a wet washcloth
over his face, fingers of one hand resting against a tumbler
filled with ice and amber liquid that sits on the edge of
the tub.

From under his washcloth:

WILLIE
...Who?

KID
The elves.

WILLIE
(to himself)
Oh, fuck...
(then, to the Kid)
I -- I can't remember... Sneezy, and
Dopey --

KID
That's the Seven Dwarves.

WILLIE
Shit, is that not...? I just -- fuck,
I don't know, I'll just say, Hey,
Bub -- Look, I...

He drags the washcloth off his face and looks at the kid.

WILLIE
...FUCK ME! I DON'T KNOW THIS FUCKING
SHIT! WHY IS EVERYTHING A FUCKING
TEST WITH YOU?!

The Kid looks at him, unperturbed.

KID
-- How old are they?

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Willie staggers in, a towel around his waist, the empty rock
glass in one hand, a bottle tucked under the other arm, the
Kid trotting after.

KID
You want cookies?

WILLIE
No.

KID
Warm milk?

WILLIE
No.

Willie carefully, carefully puts glass and bottle down on
the nightstand and slowly raises both hands in a "Don't...
Move" gesture to keep them from flying off.

KID
Should I fix you some sandwiches?

WILLIE
What is with the fixing sandwiches?
No.

Satisfied that the bottle and glass are not going anywhere,
Willie climbs unsteadily onto the bed and stares at the
ceiling.

KID
Okay. You want anything else?

WILLIE
No. As soon as the bed stops moving
I'm going to sleep...

KID
Okay.

WILLIE
...Wake me up... when the little
hand is on the...

A long beat.

The ragged breath of drunken sleep.

KID
Okay.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - SCARF AREA - DAY

Marcus's wife Lois stands in front of a mirror, trying on a
cashmere scarf. Her look of pruney disapproval is in place,
as ever. She takes off the scarf and writes something in a
small spiral notebook...

SALESWOMAN
Can I help you, ma'am?

LOIS
Just looking.

Across the store, she spies the jewelry counter.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - JEWELRY AREA - DAY

Lois stands looking intently down through the glass case in
pruney disapproval.

SALESMAN
Help you with anything, ma'am?

Without bothering to look up:

LOIS
Just looking.

As he drifts away she takes out her spiral notebook and makes
more notes.

INT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - FOOD COURT - NIGHT

Willie and Marcus nosh on food-court Gyros.

WILLIE
Fuck me? Fuck you!

MARCUS
You can't just take up with some
kid! You don't know who's around,
what they do!

WILLIE
You got some nerve you little shit
ya. You my mom now?! You shat me out
your --

MARCUS
You said that last night you stupid
fuck!

WILLIE
Ah, shit! Fuck you!

Lois appears with a salad on a tray and a look of pruney
disapproval. She sits next to Marcus and, in the way of old
couples comfortable with each other, he rests a hand on her
knee and continues to talk, ignoring her, while she picks
through her salad, ignoring him.

MARCUS
You are by far the dumbest most
pathetic piece of maggot-eaten shit
that has ever slid from God's gilded
ass! What if the kid has one of those
fucking play-dates they have now?

WILLIE
You shittin' me?! He doesn't have
fucking friends! Not even an imaginary
one! Unless he got ditched by him!
He's just a fuckin' misfit! Lives
with his grandma who sits drooling
in front of the TV! Every once in a
while she gets up to play soccer
with her tits! What, she's gon' rat
me out? She don't know her ass from
last Tuesday!

Marcus thinks a moment.

MARCUS
You fuck her?

WILLIE
Jesus! Why is everything sex with
you?

MARCUS
With me? I fuck one person, I ain't
out there serial fornicating, trying
to float my liver! Drinkin' myself
silly 'cause I can't stand what a
piece of shit I am!

Lois, chewing on her salad, notices someone walking by with
a Chamberlain's bag. She glances in as the person passes
and, still chewing, gets out her notebook and jots something
down.

WILLIE
What're you, fuckin' Sigmund Sawed-
Off Freud? The shrunken fuckin'
shrink?

MARCUS
Yeah, that's right, shit-for-brains,
talk about my height. Make it about
something safe. 'Cause you're an
emotional fucking cripple. Your soul
is dog shit. Every single fuckin'
thing about you is ugly.

WILLIE
Yeah? Well... fuck you.

Marcus and Lois get up to leave.

MARCUS
I've seen anal warts more attractive
than you.

They walk off. Willie sits there for a moment. Goes back to
eating his hamburger. A WOMAN comes up with her TODDLER in
tow.

WOMAN
Oh, look who's here Jimmy! It's Santa!
Let's tell him what you want for
Christmas.

WILLIE
(shouting, food flying
out of his mouth)
I'M ON MY FUCKING LUNCH BREAK HERE!

WOMAN
(putting her hands
over the Toddler's
ears)
Are you insane?!! How dare you talk
like that in front of a child! The
management is going to hear about
this... I'm going to have you fired!

WILLIE
That's a threat? You think you can
make my life any worse, you go ahead,
be my fucking guest!

He throws his hamburger back down on his tray and storms
off, leaving the woman shocked.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Willie and the Kid sit opposite each other over a game of
checkers. Willie scowls as the Kid thinks for an eternity
about his next move.

The silence is deafening. Endless.

Then... CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!

KID
King me.

Willie stares at the board for a long beat.

He leaps up screaming and flings the board across the room.

WILLIE
FUCK YOU! YOU FUCKING CHEATER!

Willie throws checkers one by one against the wall,
punctuating each throw with an insult.

WILLIE
Son of a BITCH! ...you LOUSY...
STINKEN... ROTTEN... CHEATING... NO
GOOD...

ANGLE ON Kid's face, unfazed, still smiling.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KID'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Later. The kid lies in bed, sleeping peacefully.

Distant sounds of the slosh of water.

EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - NIGHT

Churning water.

The sloshing of water is now accompanied by a rhythmic
slapping sound.

Willie bangs Sue in the Jacuzzi. He is wearing his Santa
hat.

SUE
YES! YES! YES SANTA YES!

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Two tall water glasses are set down on a sideboard.

WILLIE (O.S.)
Refill?

SUE (O.S.)
Mm.

A splash of orange juice is dolloped into each of the glasses,
and then both are filled to the top with vodka.

WIDER on the living room reveals Sue looking around. Her
speech -- and Willie's -- is somewhat impaired:

SUE
Nice place you got. Needs a bit of a
woman's touch, but it's really nice.

WILLIE
It's okay. Just renting.

Sue accepts her refilled glass and sits on the sofa.

SUE
Thanks... So how long will you --
urn...

She reaches down to fish under her ass in the sofa cushion,
and pulls out a red checker. She dully inspects it.

SUE
...How long you gonna be here?

WILLIE
Through the holidays.

Sue flips the checker away.

SUE
So what's the thing, you like kids?

WILLIE
Fuck no! Whaddya think I'm some kind
of pervert?

SUE
Wha? I'm talking about you being
Santa.

He sways, looking at her.

WILLIE
Oh. No, see, the thing is... I'm not
really Santa.

Blearily she gazes back. After a moment:

SUE
Oh.
(pause)
...Well -- still -- I gotta thing
for you anyway -- c'mere...

He leans down to kiss her.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

The door opens to reveal Sue on her way out. Willie sways in
the foyer, a three-quarters-empty bottle of Old Grandad in
hand.

SUE
So I'll see you soon I guess, right?

WILLIE
Yeah, I'm gonna send you some flowers.
Real good expensive ones.

He closes the door. He then tips back the bottle and polishes
it off with a series of quick gulps.

Ever so daintily, he puts the bottle down. A beat later --

WHAM! He faints dead away, hitting the floor like a felled
tree.

FADE OUT:

Faintly, distantly, a blood-curdling scream.

FADE IN:

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER/HALLWAY - MORNING

Willie wakes on the floor to the sound of the scream.

WILLIE
Whuh...

He looks blearily up and immediately grabs his head, feeling
his hangover.

Following his ears he heads toward the hall. He passes
Grandma.

GRANDMA
Roger! You're home! Let me fix you
some sandwiches.

A bedroom door crashes open and the Kid emerges screaming
and runs right into Willie. He immediately caroms off and
goes screaming down the hall.

WILLIE
What the...

He looks down at his T-shirt. There is a bloody palm-print
on his stomach.

He turns the corner to the hall, There is a row of fresh,
bloody palm-prints down one side of the hall. The Kid,
screaming, is just disappearing at the far end.

Willie follows.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING

Willie enters.

The Kid is screaming, jumping up and down and clutching one
hand -- the bloody one -- with the other.

WILLIE
What the fuck did you do?

He goes up and tries to yank the hand, which the hysterical
Kid yanks away.

WILLIE
...Lemme look at it. What the fuck
happened?

As Willie drags him to the sink and runs water over the cut,
the Kid takes great gulping breaths and finally manages to
say:

KID
...I cut myself by mistake.

Willie grabs a vodka bottle standing open on the counter and
liberally pours some on the hand. The Kid shrieks.

WILLIE
I forgot to tell ya, that'll sting.
Okay now!

The Kid yanks his hand away and runs off screaming. Willie
is left alone in the middle of the kitchen.

WILLIE
...Well fuck.

He calls after the boy, sincerely trying to help:

WILLIE
...Don' t you want me to wrap it in
a T-shirt or something?

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - MORNING

It is early morning and the parking lot is empty except for
Marcus' van. The Mercedes eventually pulls in, parking beside
him. Windows roll down. In the driver's seat, Marcus looks
up from his watch with a scowl.

MARCUS
You're late.

VAN DOORS

Marcus throws open the back of the van, revealing the
components of the water drill in various prop gift boxes.

Willie wears a forbearing smile:

WILLIE
Kids, lemmme tell ya...

He shakes his head and chuckles as Marcus tosses him an empty
red Santa sack.

WILLIE
...They'll run ya ragged.

Marcus stares.

EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - MORNING

Jesse, the security guard unlocks the door and opens up for
Willie and Marcus. They enter in costume. Willie lugs the
filled sack and seems to be straining.

JESSE
Morning boys.

MARCUS
Morning Jesse.

JESSE
(to Willie)
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Willie pants under the weight of his bag:

WILLIE
Up your ass.

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - MORNING

As Willie and Marcus enter the store Gin Slagel drives by
their cars, carefully noting their tags.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

Willie drops the bag with a loud thud.

WILLIE
GOD dammit!

MARCUS
You tear your ball again?

WILLIE
No, it's okay.

Together they unload the extremely heavy gifts.

MARCUS
Let's do the other thing.

Willie follows Marcus behind the Wonderland backdrop. Marcus
points to an air duct in the ceiling.

MARCUS
There.

Willie crouches and Marcus climbs on his shoulders.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - DAY

The duct pops open and Marcus climbs in, shimmying down to a
junction and continuing on.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICES - DAY

A long row of cubicles, each one occupied with Customer
Service Operators. As they work, the loud squeaks and popping
metal sounds of a dwarf crawling through a duct are heard
above them.

Each operator in succession notes the racket, looking up
curiously as the sounds pass overhead.

Suddenly, the sounds stop. Everyone returns to work.

Then...

SQUEAK! POP! SQUEAK! The sounds resume. The operators look
up again as the noises fade away.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

The sounds continue until Marcus' face appears at the ceiling
duct of an unmanned surveillance room.

He focuses on the wall of a hundred identical VCRs and squints
to see the brand name: SONY HVR-3200.

EXT. ELECTRONICS STORE - DAY

Lois exits an electronics store with a box slung under her
arm, her mouth turned down in pruney disapproval. She places
the box on the hood of her car and we see its printings SONY
HVR-3200.

She opens the box, fishes out the remote, then tosses the
box and VCR into a nearby trash can.

EXT. ARIZONA STATE PRISON - DAY

Gin Slagel walks through the main gate of the heavily
fortified penitentiary, leaving a huge trail of cigarette
smoke.

INT. PRISON - WAITING ROOM - DAY

Gin Slagel sits, smoking and waiting with family members and
lawyers. A guard enters and motions.

GUARD
Alright Gin, come on.

INT. PRISON - VISITORS' ROOM - DAY

Gin sits down in one of the booths across from a middle-aged
prisoner.

PRISONER
Who are you?

GIN
Your name Roger Merman?

PRISONER
Yes, but --

GIN
Doing three-to-six for embezzlement?

PRISONER
...Many accounting questions are not
cut-and-dried --

GIN
You live at 41 Sage Terrace?

PRISONER
(suddenly tense)
Is it Granma? Is my son alright?

GIN
They're fine. Do you have any house
guests?

The man is bewildered:

PRISONER
...House guests?

GIN
Thanks much for your time. God bless.

He gets up and walks away.

PRISONER
...Who are you? WHO ARE YOU?

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - DAY

Gin sits at his desk sucking in a Pall Mall filterless. Bob
Chipeska sits opposite. Finally Gin exhales like a
crematorium.

GIN
Well, it's fucked.

CHIPESKA
(hopeful)
...Yeah?

GIN
Yeah. Fucked. Frankly.

CHIPESKA
He's...

GIN
Clean.

CHIPESKA
(disappointed)
Oh.

GIN
As a fuckin' whistle.

CHIPESKA
Nothing?

GIN
No. Nothing. I mean, shit, he curses,
yeah. But never around children.

CHIPESKA
Oh.

GIN
No criminal record, no parking tickets
f'Christ's sake, no bad habits, even.
Sex, yeah. But man is a sexual being.

CHIPESKA
Yeah.

GIN
Fuckin' Darwinian. Can't do shit
about that, Jack.

CHIPESKA
NO.

GIN
Wouldn't want to.

CHIPESKA
Yeah. No. Of course not. I'm not
advocating celibacy.

GIN
Hope not. End of the human fuckin'
race.

CHIPESKA
Yes.

Gin turns one palm up.

GIN
Fucks large women. What can I say.

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

A bus clears frame, revealing the kid as he walks toward the
mall.

VOICES
Loser! Dipshit!

CLANG! The kid is hit in the head with a can again. Again,
no reaction.

Someone in the group of frustrated bullies has a fresh idea:

VOICE
Wedgie!

Cheering, the six bullies engulf the kid.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

Marcus and Willie go about the business of being a Santa-Elf
team. Willie sees off another child,

CHILD
Pokemon.

WILLIE
Done.

MARCUS
Next!

Marcus heads to the velvet rope to find the Kid, mussed up
and dirty, the band of his underwear around his chest.

KID
Santa here?

MARCUS
Oh jeez.

Marcus unclips the rope and the Kid approaches Willie.

WILLIE
Is that your underwear?

KID
Part of it.

WILLIE
Where's the rest? Never mind. What
do you want?

KID
I was thinking I wanted a purple
stuffed elephant, not pink, but now
I changed my mind.

WILLIE
What.

KID
Now I don't want an elephant at all.
I want a gorilla named Davy for
beating up the skateboard kids who
pull on my underwear and he could
take his orders from the talking
walnut so it wouldn't be my bad thing.

Willie stares at him.

WILLIE
...You know when I was your age, I
didn't need no fuckin' gorilla, and
I wasn't any bigger than you. One
day I came crying home to Dad because
four kids had beat me up, and you
know what he did?'

KID
He make it all better?

WILLIE
No. He kicked my ass. You know why?

KID
You went bathroom on Mommy's dishes?

WILLIE
What the fuck? No.

KID
He try to teach you not to cry and
be a man.

WILLIE
Nope, it was because he was a mean,
drunk son of a bitch. When he wasn't
busy busting my ass, he was puttin'
out cigarettes on my neck.

KID
Uh-huh...

WILLIE
The world's fuckin' unfair -- it
don't give ya nothing. You can wish
all you want but you gotta take what
you need. Stand up for yourself...
stop being such a pussy and kick
those kids in the balls or something.
(pause)
Or don't, I don't give a shit. Just
leave me the hell out of it.

KID
'Kay. Thanks, Santa.

WILLIE
Okay, go ahead...

He slaps the Kid paternally on the ass.

WILLIE
...Get the fuck outta here...

KID
'Kay...

As the Kid putters away:

MARCUS
(happy again)
Time for the next lucky boy or girl
to --

Marcus returns to the velvet rope to find Gin Slagel waiting
stone-faced.

MARCUS
What gives? Where's the grandson?

GIN
Open the rope there, Marcus.

Marcus, wary, hesitates but then lets him through. As they
walk toward Willie:

MARCUS
I know you?

GIN
Not yet.

Willie is irked by the arrival of an adult:

WILLIE
Santa don't do grab-ass, cowboy.

GIN
Act natural.

WILLIE
Huh? What?

Gin sits on Willie's knee.

WILLIE
...What the fuck?!

GIN
You are Willie Tugboat Soke and you
are Marcus "The Prince" Skidmore. On
Christmas Eve, you're gonna rob this
store blind. What say we go somewhere
private?

INT. BLACK ANGUS BAR - NIGHT

Willie, Marcus and Gin sit in a booth.

GIN
Research, that's how. I'm a department
store detective Sherlock, that's
what I do. Seven cities in seven
years. Pretty impressive. The stores
change, your names change. You always
get away clean. Yeah, pretty darn
impressive. But let's face facts --
you all are a couple of half-bucket
small-timers. Because of your physical
attributes you've found a niche. I
respect that. But you've also been
caught. By me. So this is the way
how we gonna do things. I don't want
to take over, I don't even want to
change your scam. Whatever you guys
do, it works. All I want is a taste.
When the deed is done, we part ways.
I buy a ranch in Havasu, you take
your little medicine show back on
the road.

MARCUS
(sighs)
How much?

GIN
Half.

Willie bolts out of his chair and grabs Gin by the neck.

WILLIE
Now you listen here, you --

Marcus pulls him off.

MARCUS
Easy! Easy! Just back off, Willie. I
can handle this.

After a hard stare Willie settles back into his seat. Marcus
turns his attention to Gin:

MARCUS
Okay. Thirty percent. There's three
of us. Thirty percent. That's fair.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
I meant thirty-three.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
And a third.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Thirty-five.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Forty.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Forty-two?

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Forty-two five.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Fooooooorty... eight.

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Forty-nine?

GIN
Half.

MARCUS
Well...

Marcus sighs.

MARCUS
...what's one point.

GIN
Down the middle on the dough, and
any merchandise you take I look over
and cherry-pick.

MARCUS
No! Money's one thing, but —--

GIN
It ain't Chinese menu, jagoff. I
tell yea how the way it's gonna be.
This is pricks ficks.

Gin leaves. Marcus and Willie stare at his retreating back
as they talk:

WILLIE
...Pricks ficks?

MARCUS
Ah, he's a fuckin' moron.

WILLIE
Yeah, well I guess that's how you
got the upper hand.

MARCUS
Fuck you.

WILLIE
Negotiating.

MARCUS
Fuck you -- you don't like it, next
year, fuck off. I can always get
another box jockey.

WILLIE
Yeah, and I can get another midget.

Marcus turns to Willie:

MARCUS
Yeah? Where? You see us hangin' off
of fuckin' trees? Like fuckin' crab
apples? And even if we did, you'd
never front your own racket. 'Cause
you got no discipline and zero fuckin'
initiative. You'd fall apart without
me. You're just too fuckin' pathetic --

WILLIE
Yeah, yeah.

MARCUS
-- too fuckin' pathetic for words,
you fuckin' loser. And you fuckin'
know it.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Willie drags his ass through the front door, dejected.

GRANDMA
Roger! You're home. Let me fix you
some sandwiches.

He stares at her. His gaze is far away. Finally, he seems to
rouse himself:

WILLIE
Ah, fuck it.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - GARAGE - NIGHT

IN C.U. CAMERA MOVES ALONG

a hose snaking from an exhaust pipe to the driver's window
which is open just far enough to admit it.

In his Santa suit, Willie sits in the driver's seat of the
idling car, staring through the windshield.

After a long beat, we hear a door opening.

The kid stands in the doorway from the house. He looks at
Willie, motionless in the car.

KID
...Santa?

Willie's eyes do not leave the spot in space:

WILLIE
Yeah.

KID
What're you doing?

WILLIE
Ah, nothin'.

KID
You goin' to work today?

WILLIE
Not really.

KID
You just gonna sit there?

WILLIE
Yeah. Lemme alone.

The Kid turns to go. Willie bestirs himself:

WILLIE
-- Kid.

KID
Yeah.

Willie beckons him.

WILLIE
Later today, when the paramedics
come and bag up Santa...

He displays an envelope.

WILLIE
...make sure the cops get this letter.
It tells about all the bad things
that -- that -- what the fuck happened
to your eye?

The Kid's eye is indeed black and blue. He reaches self-
consciously up to it.

KID
Umm...

WILLIE
Well goddamnit...

EXT. HILL NEAR SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - DAY

We are pulling an eight-year-old child who rides his bicycle
along the sidewalk, looking off, struck by what he sees.

He slows and then comes to a stop having pulled even with a
group of other children gathered on the sidewalk also looking
off at the same spot. They stare for a good long beat,
expressions rather neutral. But the sight, whatever it is,
holds their attention.

Finally one in the foreground remarks:

KID
I didn't know he did that.

Their POV: rather distant, on a grassy hill a man in a Santa
suit is pounding the shit out of the bullies. One of the
bullies throws a punch, but Santa grabs his fist and pushes
him down. Santa puts his foot on another bully's butt and
sends him flying. After more wrestling and flinging about,
the bullies wind up in a heap on the ground.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - LOCKER ROOM -DAY

Willie, a faraway look in his eye, sits on a bench near
Marcus, who is finishing putting on his elf outfit.

WILLIE
I think I've turned a corner.

MARCUS
(absent)
Yeah? You fucking Petites now?

Willie, dreamy, refuses to take the bait:

WILLIE
No no. No; I beat the crap out of
some kids today -- but, you know,
for a purpose. It really made me
feel pretty good about myself --
like I did something constructive
for a change. Accomplished somethin'.

Marcus stares at him.

MARCUS
...You need many years of therapy.
Many, many, many, many, many... many
fucking years of therapy.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - FURS - DAY

Lois, her face set in pruney disapproval, flips slowly through
a rack of furs.

A salesman approaches from behind her. She somehow senses
his presence; without bothering to look around she murmurs:

LOIS
Just looking...

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Willie and Sue come in, carrying a few bottles of liquor.

Willie closes the door, and freezes, realizing that something
is wrong.

WILLIE
...Hello?

Nothing.

WILLIE
...Granma?

He hears the TV and heads for the living room. Sue follows a
few steps behind.

Willie finds Grandma in her chair, not moving.

WILLIE
Granma...

He strains through the dim light for any evidence of life.

WILLIE
...Oh jeez.

He lets out a sigh and leans in close to listen to her heart.

SUE
Oh my God...

GRANDMA
Roger!

Willie jumps and screams like a girl.

GRANDMA
...You're home. Let me fix you some
sandwiches.

She gets up and heads for the kitchen as Willie tries to
compose himself.

WILLIE
(holding his chest)
No thanks.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KID'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The Kid sleeps. He is awakened by the sounds of stumbling
and CLANKING BOTTLES. He hears GIGGLING, more STUMBLING. He
gets up.

INT. THE'KID'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

The Kid discovers some clothes. Then some more. He follows
the trail of clothes towards the sounds coming from the Master
Bedroom.

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Facing the CAMERA, Willie's in his underpants and Santa hat
lying on the floor on top of Sue. He's gripping her panties
with his teeth -- stretching the elastic while he starts
pulling them down. Sue's giggling.

The bedroom door opens behind them and the Kid walks in. He
comes up and stands over them, a few steps behind Willie.

Willie freezes, panty elastic waistband still stretched out
in his teeth. He senses something, and his eyes look up from
under his Santa hat, his wolfish smile fades.

The Kid stands there, hands behind his back.

SUE
(lifting her head up)
Hello little boy.

KID
Hello. Santa?

WILLIE
(frozen; teeth still
gripping panties)
...yes?

KID
I know that Christmas Eve is in a
couple days and you have to fly around
and give presents to the world and
after that you won't be around no
more.

WILLIE
...Yes?

KID
So I thought I'd give you your present
now.

The Kid takes his hands from behind his back and extends a
small present in crudely taped-up wrapping paper.

This forces Willie to let go of the panties. They SNAP back.

He sits up. He takes the gift and opens it. Inside is a
roughly whittled crescent of brown wood.

WILLIE
(mumble)
What the fuck is it?

KID
A wooden pickle.

Willie stares at it.

WILLIE
Why'd you paint it brown?

KID
Not paint. It's blood from when I
cut my hand when I was making it for
you.

Willie stares at it.

WILLIE
...Thanks.

KID
You're welcome. Good night Santa.
Good night Mrs. Santa's sister.

He leaves.

Willie still stares at the gift. Sue is looking where the
Kid exited.

SUE
That was very nice. He's really a
nice kid, isn't he?

She goes back to grabbing him passionately.

Willie has trouble speaking.

WILLIE
Hold on a minute.

SUE
What?

WILLIE
Nothin'... it's just... I'm... well...
I'm sorta... fucking... touched.

He looks from the wooden pickle up to Sue, his eyes brim,
and he starts weeping.

WILLIE
...I don't know if I can fuck...

Sue hugs him and strokes his hair.

SUE
That's okay. That's okay.

Willie abjectly bawls:

WILLIE
BABY, I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN FUCK!

SUE
There, there... There, there...

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING

Willie, hungover, half-dressed in his Santa outfit for work.

He fumbles in the refrigerator for some orange juice.

The Kid comes up behind him clutching a document.

KID
SANTA!

Willie jumps with a start.

KID
You wanna see my report card?

Willie takes the report card as he tries to compose himself.

He looks at it. All C's and one B.

KID
Think I did good?

Willie's eyes drift back to the card and settle on COMMENTS.

They read, "Thurman has an active, inquiring mind. And no
friends."

WILLIE
Who the fuck is Thurman? This is
you? Your name's Thurman?

KID
Yeah.

WILLIE
(incredulous)
Thurman Merman?!

KID
Yeah.

WILLIE
Jesus.

KID
(back to the report
card)
You think I did good?

Willie does not want to engage.

WILLIE
Whaddya you care what I think, anyway?
(pause, relenting a
bit)
What do I fuckin' know? Better than
I ever did. I never got any B's,

KID
I thought maybe since at least I did
good in school, you'll bring me a
present this year. 'Cause last
Christmas and the one before that
you didn't bring no presents...

This is a lot for Willie to hear.

WILLIE
Oh...

KID
...Even though I'm a dipshit loser.

WILLIE
(a beat, then explodes)
Jesus Fucking Christ, Kid! Why do
talk about yourself like that? What
the fuck is that about?! What's with
you anyway? I ain't Fucking Santa
Claus! Look at me, I am living fucking
proof that there ain't no Santa Claus!

Pause.

KID
I know there's no Santa. I just
thought maybe you'd wanna give me a
present 'cause we're friends.

WILLIE
Oh...

An uncomfortable silence. Willie is most uncomfortable.

WILLIE
(pause, then sincerely
to the kid)
Look, kicking the shit out of those
kids, that's as generous as I can
get.

The Kid just nods and doesn't say anything. Willie can't
take it.

WILLIE
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, I GOTTA GO TO
WORK!

Willie runs out of the room very upset,

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - MORNING

Willie grabs a bottle of whiskey off the counter and hurries
out, slamming the door.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

Marcus checks his watch impatiently as the endless line of
excited children and their parents impatiently murmurs.

The tension is suffocating Marcus. Finally, a gasp goes up
from the crowd.

Marcus looks up to see Willie, totally shit-faced. His costume
is half on, his undergarments are showing, and his hand
clutches the neck of a broken bottle.

MARCUS
No.

Willie stumbles over a burro and falls into a pile of fake
snow. He rises to his feet and begins to pummel the statue.

WILLIE
You fuckin' spic!

Children scream in horror as mothers cover their eyes.

Gin enters the Wonderland and takes in the spectacle.

GIN
Sweet Jews for Jesus...

Willie finishes dispatching the burro and stumbles to his
Santa chair. Marcus stomps up to him.

MARCUS
Holy motherfuck. What do you think
you're doing?

WILLIE
(sobbing)
I pissed my pants!

Marcus pounces on him.

MARCUS
You son of a bitch!

Gin pulls Marcus off.

GIN
Alright, let's get him out of here.
I'll go smooth this over with
Chipeska. Food poisoning, something.

The two men face each other, their voices rising. Beyond
them we see the line of children staring at them.

MARCUS
What do you mean, get him out of
here?

GIN
Take him to his car.

MARCUS
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a
motherfuckin' dwarf. So unless you
got a forklift handy, maybe you should
lend a hand.

GIN
That figures, you wantin' all kinds
of set-asides and special treatment
'cause of your handicap. You're all
the same.

MARCUS
Special treatment? I'm three fucking
feet tall, asshole -- it's a matter
of physics! Draw me a sketch how I
get him to the car!

Gin notices the line of kids staring. He puts up a sign that
reads: "Santa Has Gone To Feed His Reindeer. He'll be back
soon".

GIN
Bitch, bitch.

MARCUS
Sketch it up, fuckin' moron. Fuckin'
Leonardo da Vinci.

GIN
What did you call me, thigh-high?

MARCUS
I called you a fuckin' guinea Homo.
From the fifteenth fuckin' century.

GIN
I could stick you up my ass, smallfry.

MARCUS
Yeah? You sure it ain't too sore
from last night?

GIN
You got some lip on you, midget.

MARCUS
Well it was on your wife's pussy
last night. Why don't you dust that
thing once in a while. Asshole.

INT. MARCUS' VAN - PARKING LOT - DUSK

Marcus sits with Lois in the van staking out the door to
Chamberlain's, waiting for Gin to leave.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DUSK

WILLIE sleeps it off behind a flimsy cardboard set.

INT. MARCUS' VAN - PARKING LOT - DUSK

Marcus and Lois continue their stake-out.

We see Gin exit the store and head for his car.

MARCUS
There he is... that lousy,
leatherfaced, dago motherfucker...

EXT. QUIET ROAD - NIGHT

Marcus stands by the side of his van. It's parked on the
shoulder with the hood up, jumper cables attached and hanging.
Lois is in the driver's seat.

Gin's Ford 4 X 4 speeds around the corner and Marcus flags
him down.

SCREEEEECH! Gin slams on the brakes, then backs up and pulls
over. He emerges from the 4 X 4 with road rage on full brew,
and strides over to the van.

GIN
Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph! What
in the name of the holy lord Fuck is
the problem now?

MARCUS
Sorry, the van stalled. Give us a
jump will ya?

GIN
Well, I'll be dipped in dogshit!...
What am I, your auto mechanic now?

He shakes his head in disgust. Grumbling, he goes back to
the 4 X 4 and drives it into position. He gets out and raises
the hood.

The two vehicles face each other nose-to-nose, several feet
apart as Gin opens the hood.

GIN
(motions to his battery)
Help yourself, small fry.

Marcus seems to have a little difficulty reaching the battery
terminals.

MARCUS
It's hard for me to reach...

Gin grabs the cables from him. Marcus takes a few steps back.

GIN
Jesus Christ, give me those!

MARCUS
Thanks.

Gin attaches the cables.

GIN
(then, to Lois)
Alright, TRY IT!

Lois turns the key and the van starts right up. Gin takes
the cables off the van and closes the hood. He lights up a
Pall Mall.

Marcus signals to Lois. She puts the car into gear and stomps
her foot on the accelerator, squashing Gin between the two
vehicles.

ANGLE PROM INSIDE VAN (SLOW MOTION):

Gin's face as it's squooshed up against the van's windshield.

A cloud of cigarette smoke escapes his lips.

Lois continues to step on the gas, trying to crush him.

ANGLE ON: the tires spinning in the gravel.

Finally, she takes her foot off the gas. The van eases back.

Gin falls to the ground with a groan. Marcus steps up and
leans over him.

MARCUS
Oh my, what a terrible accident!

LOIS
Is he dead?

MARCUS
No, but it looks like you broke most
of his ribs.

Then, leaning down to Gin.

MARCUS
(for Gin's benefit)
I'd say maybe... fifty percent of
them? Or do you think thirty percent?

LOIS
I needed more of a running start --
I couldn't build up any speed.

Marcus paces around trying to figure out what to do next.

MARCUS
(shaking his head in
dismay)
Motherfuck!

He grabs the jumper cables still connected to Gin's 4 X 4
and clamps the other ends on Gin's ears. A small jolt and a
spark or two. Only a minor shock.

MARCUS
Shit!

He grabs Gin's arm and with great effort drags him over a
few feet so that his head is positioned behind the front
tire of the van. Gin tries to crawl out of the way.

ANGLE ON: Gin's feet slipping on the gravel.

MARCUS
Put it in reverse.

ANGLE ON: shift level moving into REVERSE.

ANGLE ON: Lois' foot stepping on the gas pedal.

WIDER: Lois drives backwards. There's a bump and the sound
of a dull POP.

CUT TO:

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - NEXT DAY

CLOSE-UP: A large bubble gum bubble pops.

Willie, in a self-medicated stupor, barely managing to hold
a wailing toddler on his lap. Bubble gum is all over the
Kid's face.

WILLIE
'Tendo it is.

He passes the child off to Marcus, who holds it as Willie
gazes off and murmurs;

WILLIE
...Everything I touch turns to shit
and dies.

Marcus, still holding the child, quickly glances around, and
then hisses into Willie's ear:

MARCUS
What are you, drinking Sterno now?
'Cause you're sounding like my Aunt
Tilly right before she smeared her
own shit on the bedroom walls and we
had to lock her up and she spent the
rest of her life with a shaved head
and eating lunch through a tube up
her nose...

Willie continues to stare, head swaying.

MARCUS
...You better be in shape by this
evening, fat man. After tonight, I
don't give a shit. But this is the
time to reach deep down and suck it
up.

Marcus hands the kid to his Mother. He smiles warmly.

MARCUS
...Lovely boy.

INT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - NIGHT

"Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" plays as a buzzing throng of people
crams the mall.

One current in this sea of humanity flows into the bedecked
entrance of Chamberlain's Department Store.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Jesse the security guard is at his post near the doors to
the parking lot. He smiles and waves farewell to departing
shoppers.

INTERCOM (V.O.)
Attention shoppers, the store will
be closing in five minutes. We wish
you all a Merry Christmas, Happy
Chanukah and a joyous Kwanza.

Behind Jesse, in Men's Wear, is Lois, wearing a frown of
pruney disapproval. Seeing that he's not looking, she
inexplicably nudges a table of sweaters a few feet over.

SQUEEEEEEEAK! The table makes a loud noise, but it's too
chaotic on the floor for anyone to notice. Satisfied with
her placement of the table, Lois heads out the door.

INT. CHAMBERAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - NIGHT

Bleary-eyed Willie puts down a little girl and she happily
scampers off.

WILLIE
Barbie it is...

Willie turns to Marcus.

WILLIE
...That it?

Marcus moves the backdrop to reveal the air vent.

MARCUS
Let's go.

Willie cracks open an ampule of Amyl Nitrate and inhales
deeply. Marcus grimaces:

MARCUS
...Oh Christ.

WILLIE
(red-faced, holding
breath)
Let's do it.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - NIGHT

With the sound of closing circuits, banks of light
systematically shut down in the various departments of the
now empty.store.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Exhausted employees file out of the store past Jesse.

Eventually Willie emerges.

JESSE
Merry Christmas, Willie.

WILLIE
Up your ass.

Jesse heads for the alarm panel near the doorway and punches
the key labeled ARM. An LED readout labeled ARMING counts
down from 30 seconds.

Jesse exits the store, locking the door and heading home.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICES - NIGHT

The cubicles are now empty and the office is still, but we
hear dwarf-shimmy in the ducts overhead.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S ENTRANCE - NIGHT

By the front door, the alarm continues to count down -- 25...
24...

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - NIGHT

Marcus arrives at the vent above the surveillance room. He
reaches in his pocket, pulls out the remote control Lois
bought, and aims it down into the room.

INT. CHAMBERLAN'S - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - NIGHT

The huge bank of VCRs powers down.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S ENTRANCE - NIGHT

ALARM BOX

19... 18...

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - NIGHT

Marcus arrives at the precipice of a descending duct. He
snaps on a biking helmet and takes a deep breath.

MARCUS
All right...

He dives down the duct.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCTS - NIGHT

We PAN and WHIP-PIVOT along the outside of several lengths
of ductwork, following the muffled SCREAM of a thousand
girlies echoing inside.

The ductwork dimples out along the bottom with the WUBBA
sound of flopping aluminum as Marcus's weight travels its
length; at turns, Marcus's inertial force makes one side of
the duct momentarily dent out.

We thus follow Marcus's progress as he slides, bumps,
ricochets and barrels through the department store.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

As the alarm continues to count down, 12... 11... a distant

scream grows louder until --

-- in nearby Men's Wear, the vent in the 30-foot ceiling
bursts open and --

-- Marcus drops from the duct.

THUD! He lands on the table of sweaters placed by Lois.

In a split-second, he sits up and looks at the alarm box.

7... 6...

He hops off the table and pushes it toward the alarm box.

5... 4...

The far side of the table smashes into the wall beneath the
alarm box.

Marcus kicks out the collapsible legs on the near side, making
that edge of the table crash to the ground, creating a ramp.

He sprints away from the table spins, and runs back towards
it...

3... 2...

He runs up the ramp and --

1...

-- leaps and slaps the CANCEL button -- just in time.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - OFFICES - NIGHT

DING! Elevator doors open to reveal Willie and Marcus holding
sections of the disassembled water drill.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ACCOUNTING OFFICE - NIGHT

The lights flicker on in the accounting office as Willie and
Marcus wheel the water drill over to the safe. Once they get
it there:

WILLIE
Oh shit...

MARCUS
What? What-What-WHAT-WHAT?

WILLIE
It's a Kitnerboy Redoubt.

MARCUS
So?

Willie stares at the safe.

WILLIE
...You know Andy Pitts?

MARCUS
Yeah, Andy Pizzarelli?

WILLIE
No, Andy Lapitski. Andy Pizzarelli
is Andy Blue Balls.

MARCUS
Huh-uh, since he got married they
call him An -- WHAT'S YOUR FUCKING
POINT?

WILLIE
Andy Lapitski can get into anything.
Anything. They say he's been in
Margaret Thatcher's pussy.

MARCUS
Yeah? YEAH?

WILLIE
In the joint he told me that the
Kitnerboy...

He nods at the safe.

WILLIE
...cannot be cracked.

MARCUS
ARE YOU FUCKIN' SHITTIN' ME?! Are
you tellin' me after I've propped
you up and held you together and
smiled for all those kids and danced
for all those fucking housewives in
a fucking lime-green fucking velvet
elf costume YOU CANNOT GET IN THAT
FUCKING SAFE? ARE YOU FUCKING TELLING
ME THAT?

Willie continues to stare at the safe. He licks his lips.

WILLIE
No... I'm saying it's gonna take me
a minute.

INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MONTAGE - NIGHT

Willie stares at the safe while rubbing sandpaper to his
fingertips.

Meanwhile, Marcus emerges from a stockroom with a cart to
begin his shopping spree.

Willie applies a stethoscope to the safe, tapping with one
hand and listening intently.

Marcus starts in Ladies' Accessories, finding the cashmere
scarf.

Willie applies the drill to the safe.

Marcus makes his way through Lingerie.

Willie pulls back the drill. The bit is trashed, the safe is
completely unscathed.

Marcus is in Shoes picking out pumps for Lois.

Willie is in Home Improvement, flipping tools off the shelves
into a cart of his own.

Marcus is in Evening Wear, jumping to try to pull a stole
off a mannequin.

Willie batters a chisel into the seam of the safe door.

Marcus continues to leap at the mannequin.

Willie is atop the safe, swinging a sledgehammer at the lock.

Marcus swings at the mannequin's knees with a golf club.

Willie uses a plasma welder on the safe.

Marcus, having chopped down the mannequin, drags off its
stole.

Willie is back over the safe, battering it with the
sledgehammer, roaring with each swing.

Marcus is in Housewares pilfering crock pots.

Willie, sweating, drops the sledgehammer clanking to the
floor. Wiping his forehead, he circles the safe. When he
gets to the back of the safe he stops, thinks.

Marcus is in Home Entertainment grabbing a stereo.

Willie is hunched at the back of the safe, stethoscope to
its surface, giving exploratory taps with two knuckles.

Sound perspective through the stethoscope: hollow THUNKS
followed by an unnaturally loud and present CREEEEEEEEAK.

Willie reacts quizzically. After a considering moment he
rises. we can see, on the far side of the safe, its door as
it finishes creaking open.

Marcus enters the room. Willie looks at him.

WILLIE
Piece of cake.

Marcus starts removing stacks of cash and loading them into
the Santa sack. Willie wipes sweat off his forehead.

WILLIE
...I'll be right back. I gotta grab
one thing.

INT. CHAMBERLAN'S - TOY DEPT. - NIGHT

We are looking at a big, fuzzy, smiling, pink stuffed
elephant.

Willie's hand hesitates between this elephant and the one
behind, which is purple. We hear him muttering:

WILLIE
Shit... which did he say?

The hand finally leaves with the purple elephant.

We hold for a long beat.

The hand reenters to put back the purple and take the pink.

Willie turns around holding the stuffed elephant.

Marcus and Lois are standing there presenting a grotesque
picture: Lois has a shopping cart filled with shoes, scarves,
jewels, a salad spinner, purses, a block of Ginsu knives, an
abdomen exerciser. She wears a pair of sunglasses from which
a price tag dangles, and a long ermine stole.

Next to her Marcus holds the Santa bag bulging with -- indeed,
sprouting -- cash.

WILLIE
Well, I don't think that store dick
is gonna want this.

MARCUS
Store dick don't want shit.

Something in this picture makes Willie uneasy. He licks his
lips.

WILLIE
Wuddya mean, fucking guy's greedier
than...

He pauses, searching.

WILLIE
...greedier than fuck.

Marcus and Lois are statues, staring at him.

MARCUS
Store dick dead. Store dick don't
want shit.

A long silence.

MARCUS
...Fuck the fuckin' store dick.

Willie's tone is wooden:

WILLIE
Dead, huh...

Again, he licks his lips.

WILLIE
...I didn't even know he was sick.

Marcus flicks his coat front away and pulls a .45 out of his
waistband.

MARCUS
Willie. This has been a long time
comin'.

WILLIE
Uh-huh.

MARCUS
Every year you're worse. Every year,
less reliable. More booze. More
bullshit. More butt-fucking.

WILLIE
Sure. The three B'a.

MARCUS
You gotta be able to rely, Willie.

He primes the gun. Willie murmurs, more in sadness than in
fear:

WILLIE
You're monsters.

Marcus points the gun.

MARCUS
Believe me, Willie: there's no joy
in this for me.

WILLIE
Oh, I don't mean layin' me out. I
understand that. But just look at
ya. All the shit... grabbin' all
this shit -- do you really need all
this junk? ...This is Christmas?

Marcus sneers:

MARCUS
Oh please. Don't gimme that trite
"commercialism" crap. This is what
we do, Willie. We get the shit.
Christmas time, we get the shit.
Because we are men. And Lois. It is
Christmas, Willie, and we are men,
and Lois.

A silence.

LOIS
...Wuddya waitin' for, honey? Plug
him.

Marcus sighs.

MARCUS
Good-bye, Willie.

He aims. Willie squeezes his eyes shut.

From nowhere:

MEGAPHONE VOICE (O.S.)
Drop the gun, munchkin!

MARCUS
Huh? !

CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK -- the sound of many guns
priming.

Police everywhere.

MEGAPHONE VOICE
And you, Santa! -- drop the elephant!

Willie stares. Marcus looks wildly around.

MARCUS
...Where did you come from?

CHIEF
Tipped off.

WILLIE
Shit!

CAMERA TRACKS IN ON HIS FACE

Willie slaps his forehead.

WILLIE
...Fuckin' kid!

CHIEF
All three of you are in so much shit
it's almost unbelievable.

LOIS
Gevalt.

MARCUS
Oh yeah? Well come'n get us, coppers!
Ha-ha-ha-ha!

BANG! BANG! BANG!

His .45 roars.

The cops return fire.

WILLIE
Fuck me...

He ducks, clutching the elephant to his chest, and scurries
behind a counter.

WILLIE
...fuck me fuck me fuck me...

Gunfire fills the air.

Exploding merchandise chases along the counter behind Willie
as the cops seek to put him down.

Under the gunfire we hear Marcus's maniacal laughter.

Willie reaches the end of the counter. A brief open space
separates him from a stairwell; he dashes across as gunfire
redoubles and plunges down the stairs.

EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - LOADING DOCK - NIGHT

Willie bursts out onto the loading dock still holding the
elephant. He dives into his Mercedes and peels out.

EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Rounding the corner of the loading dock, Willie comes upon a
fleet of squad cars idling in the street. Cops yell, draw
their guns and fire as Willie clips a couple cars, skids and
slues, and finally is clear of the pack.

He roars up the road as policemen leap for their vehicles,
crank up their sirens and pursue.

INT. MERCEDES - MOVING - NIGHT

Willie drives, his jaw set, a desperate man in a Santa suit.

He glances up at the rearview which shows many flashing light
bars.

WILLIE
...It's Christmas... and the fucking
kid is getting his present.

EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

Willie's car corners onto Sage Terrace on two wheels, slams
back down onto four, fishtails up to the kid's house and
squeals braking into its driveway.

The police vehicles, in hot pursuit, squeal, skid, and slew
around in a jumble at the foot of the lawn. Cops leap out of
their cars just as Willie jumps from his.

MEGAPHONE VOICE
Halt, put your hands up!

Willie is sprinting up the walk toward the front door. His
voice echoes lone and weak after the boom of the megaphone:

WILLIE
Up your ass!

He bounds up the stoop.

POLICE VOICE
All right, boys -- nail him!

A ripple of gunfire.

At the top of the stoop, facing the door, Willie staggers,
rolls his eyes, and -- drops.

NEARBY WINDOW

Drawn by the noise, an adorable six-year-old in a nearby
house slides open his second-story bedroom window to look.

HIS HIGH POV:

Frozen in a semi-circle at the foot of the neighboring lawn,
an army of cops has guns trained on the felled Santa Claus,
who is sprawled on the neighbor's stoop, motionless. His
hand stretches toward the front door holding a fluffy pink
elephant un-delivered...

The six year old draws in his breath and SCREAMS.

He is joined by his equally adorable little brother and sister
who look, and SCREAM, with him.

Somewhere, a neighborhood dog barks.

A Cop looks up at the window and the three shrieking children.

COP
Somebody put a zipper on those fuckin'
kids!

FADE OUT:

INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - DAY

After a long beat, Willie's voice:

WILLIE (V.O.)
Dear kid. I hope that you got my
present and that there wasn't too
much blood on it, although there was
blood on the present you gave me
which didn't keep me from enjoying
it, so maybe the blood doesn't matter
so much I guess.

We are FADING IN on a shelf in the Kid's bedroom where the
stuffed elephant sits, in a place of honor, its fur indeed
stiff and stained with dried blood. The Kid's bedroom is no
longer in disarray, things are neat and comfy. We PAN OFF of
it to find this letter, crudely handwritten, tacked up on a
little bulletin board.

WILLIE (V.O.)
...Anyway, just in case they took it
as evidence I am also sending you a
T-shirt. I hope it's the right size.
I am healing up good and they tell
me that I will soon be one hundred
percent even with eight bullets dug
out of me because they didn't hit
any vital organs, just my liver which
is fucked anyway, ha-ha-ha. Anyways...

Our CONTINUING PAN brings us to the open door of the bedroom
and we hear the sound of the TV in the living room. We TRACK
toward it.

WILLIE (V.O.)
...Thank you for giving that letter
to the cops. I forgot I asked you to
do it but it's a good thing you did
or Santa's little helper would've
plugged his ass. And now the cops
know I wrote it, which is gonna keep
my ass out of jail. That, plus
everyone agreeing that the Phoenix
police department shooting an unarmed
Santa was even more fucked-up than
Rodney King. The cops are treating
me like fucking royalty now which is
new in my experience. They are gonna
make me a sensitivity counselor so
that tragedies like this will never
again embarrass the whole fucking
department. Whatever.

Grandma is in the living room watching TV. We TRACK past her
towards the Jacuzzi area.

WILLIE
...As for my little helper, I am
sorry to have to tell you that him
and his prune-faced mail-order-wife
are gonna be exploring mountains
with your dad. I hope your dad doesn't
go sucking shit from them like I
did. Meanwhile, I told the cops you
had no one to take the fuck care of
you, so they set it up with Mrs.
Santa's sister watching you till
your Dad gets back in one year and
three months. They made her a Guardian
Pro-Temp or some such shit... anyway,
she makes better money than bartending
and seems to like you and your house
and Jacuzzi.

Sue is in a towel, holding a highball as she climbs out of
the Jacuzzi. The Kid walks by her carrying a bucket. She
tousles his hair affectionately as he goes by. He's never
looked better.

WE TRACK TOWARDS THE FOYER. It's empty but the front door is
open. We TRACK towards it.

We go out the front door...

WILLIE (V.O.)
...So I'll be staying in Phoenix
now, telling the police how screwed-
up they are which is not a bad job
as jobs go. They're supposed to let
me out of this hospital room soon so
I'll see you when I come over to
fuck Mrs. Santa's sister in the
Jacuzzi. Until then, don't take no
shit from nobody. Least of all
yourself. Anyways... see ya soon...

The Kid is dipping a toilet-bowl brush into a bucket of soapy
water on the front stoop.

WILLIE (V.O.)
...Santa.

As the Kid turns and hunkers down to scrub the dried blood
off the stoop, we see the back of his T-shirt. SHIT HAPPENS
WHEN YOU PARTY NAKED.

FADE OUT:

THE END