FEEDING GRANDPA - “Pilot” Written by: Diana Orem _____________________________________________________________________________________ ACT ONE FADE IN: 1. INT.

UPSCALE DOCTOR’S OFFICE – MORNING We see CASSANDRA and her brother, PHILIP, seated across from a very serious looking neurologist seated behind an imposing mahogany desk. Credentials and diplomas hang behind him and his name plate reads DR. STERNMAN. CASSANDRA We want to thank you again for seeing us Dr. Sternman. We know that a man of your repute is quite busy. DR. STERNMAN It’s my pleasure. I’m sorry to hear about your father’s condition, it will be a great loss to the community. PHILIP Yes, well Dad came to love Phoenix like a second home. CASSANDRA We tried to talk to him about retiring and moving back to California, but he won’t hear of it. Dad’s become a different person lately. He always said he wanted to move back, live on the beach. But now he’s afraid of anything unfamiliar. Sometimes he even seems confused in his house, with his own family. PHILIP Even simple things upset him. I tried to take him to the store the other day, but he thought we were being followed. It’s sad. CASSANDRA I’m doing my best to see that he is cared for around the clock, but it’s hard. I’m a single working mother, and I just worry that he is going to wander off, or leave the stove on… PHILIP We’re all pitching in. Cass is living in the house full time now, and our younger brother Richard is staying in the guest house. CASSANDRA We’re taking shifts, making sure that Dad is taken care of, getting fed. But I don’t know how much longer we can keep this up. There are a lot of things related to his business and finances that have fallen by the wayside. DR. STERNMAN Do you have any outside help? A nurse, or someone to deal with the business end? CASSANDRA No, it’s just the three of us. I think part of it was just thinking that maybe this would pass, you know, maybe he would get better (tearful). PHILIP But we feel it’s time for professional intervention. You know, Dad raised us to be self-sufficient and try to keep family matters private, but we’ve finally realized we need help. DR. STERNMAN

2. Well this certainly sounds serious. From what you’ve described, it does sound like your father may be showing signs of dementia, probably early to middle stages. CASSANDRA I was afraid you’d say that. I talked to a friend whose father was just diagnosed and she recommended we see a neurologist right away. Then she said we’ll need to talk to a lawyer about his will and something about a ‘declaration of incompetence.’ Honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming and I’m not even sure where to start. DR. STERNMAN Well, you did the right thing by starting here. If your father does meet criteria for dementia I can refer you to a colleague of mine about a competency hearing. But let’s start with your father’s history, so I can establish his baseline level of functioning. Tell me about him – his education, business background, how he handled his personal affairs. Could we start there? CASSANDRA Well, Dad is your classic self-made man. Although he didn’t have as much formal education as you’d think, he made a number of shrewd investments in his early 20s. 2. EXT. KENTUCKY DERBY (1955) – DAY Flashback - we see a drunken young man (GRANDPA/JAMES SR. – age 22) in the stands. He is cheering and holding onto a handful of betting tickets. We can tell by the crowd’s reaction that the race just ended. GRANDPA (Disappointed) Shit. Thanks for nothing, Blue Baby. 3. INT. ANNOUNCER’S BOOTH Flashback (cont’d) – two announcers in 1950’s garb sit side by side in a booth. ANNOUNCER 1 What an upset! The heavy favorite, The Blue Baby, beaten out by The Teal Kid! ANNOUNCER 2 Odds on The Teal Kid listed as 99 to 1 – well whatever lucky son of a gun bet on this one is going to be celebrating tonight! ANNOUNCER 1 Ya’ know, it’s funny because if you didn’t know what the hell you were doin’ you might have accidentally bet on The Teal Kid, you know ‘cause the two names are kinda similar! ANNOUNCER 2 I dunno, that sounds like kind of a stretch, Bill. I mean, you’d have to be a real bozo to mix those two up! I just don’t buy it, buddy. 4. INT. BAR – NIGHT Flashback (cont’d) - later that night, Grandpa is at a fancy bar, surrounding by rich society types and fat cats congratulating him. He is eating it up. FAT CAT #1 Congrats on the big win buddy. (Lowers voice) so tell me, how’d ya do it, how’d ya know it was going to be The Teal Kid? GRANDPA

3. The funny thing is I didn’t! I got mixed up and bet on the wrong damn horse. What’s the difference between “blue” and “teal” anyway? FAT CAT #1 (Beat, followed by knowing smile) Ha, I gotcha buddy. Got an inside tip, didya? From across the room, Grandpa spots a beautiful young southern belle, BUTTERCUP PERCY. GRANDPA Pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m James Norris, at your service. BUTTERCUP (Heavy Southern accent) Oh good, my drink is running low and I am dreadfully bored. Anything you can do about that? GRANDPA (Sly smile) Maybe. BUTTERCUP I’m Buttercup Percy (holds out white gloved hand). 5. INT. DR. STERNMAN’S OFFICE PHILIP He married our mom in 1956 and was named VP at Percy’s Peanuts shortly after. Mom always said the Norris charm definitely comes from Dad (smiles knowingly). CASSANDRA (Shoots him an annoyed look, quickly regains composure). But to be clear, he earned his way to the VP spot. It wasn’t handed to him just because he was Poppy Percy’s son-in-law. 6. EXT. BRIDGE (1957, SOMEWHERE IN GEORGIA) – NIGHT Flashback - scene depicts a very drunk MIDDLE AGE MAN in a three-piece suit swerving dangerously as his 1950’s vehicle approaches a bridge. A YOUNG WOMAN is laughing in the passenger seat. The car hits the guardrail and goes over the bridge. We see the woman has escaped and is swimming away as the car sinks. 7. INT. FUNERAL HOME – DAY Flashback – we see a young Grandpa at a funeral with a large picture of the deceased man draped in a wreath of flowers in the background. Grandpa reaches his hand out as if to shake hands with another man in a suit (MR. PERCY – only seen from behind) who hands him a desk plate which reads “Vice President – Percy Peanuts.” 8. INT. DR. STERNMAN’S OFFICE CASSANDRA Dad continued moving up in the agricultural world, and eventually he decided to branch out. DR. STERNMAN I suppose the business seemed little more than peanuts to a man like your father. CASSANDRA (Beat, followed by forced laughter). Yes, well Dad always dreamed of coming out West and expanding his horizons, so to speak. 9. EXT. CAR RACES DOWN DESERTED HIGHWAY – NIGHT

4. Flashback – Grandpa (hairstyle and car are clearly from 1970s) is speeding down a desert highway smoking a joint and listening to Queen. We see him pull over as his car runs out of gas. GRANDPA Okay, not a problem, just need to figure out where the hell I am. He sees a sign up ahead but it’s too dark to read, so he begins walking toward it. Cut to the sign, which reads ENTERING NAVAJO RESERVATION, U.S. DEPT INTERIOR. A strapping NAVAJO MAN approaches from behind (faint drum beat). NAVAJO MAN Lost? GRANDPA (Startled) no, just ran out of gas. Uh, my car is down the road. NAVAJO MAN Follow me. You can call me Running Horse. GRANDPA Groovy name. I’m James. You want a hit? NAJAVO MAN (Smiles) I don’t smoke your Mecca. GRANDPA (Looks confused – takes another hit) Huh? NAVAJO MAN You know, dirt weed, regs, low grade marijuana. Let me introduce you to the sacred herb. GRANDPA Sounds good, man. 10. INT. SMALL ONE-ROOM HOME Flashback (cont’d) – Grandpa wakes up the next day. He is lying on the floor, shirtless and wrapped in a Navajo blanket. A NAVAJO WOMAN tends to a small cooking fire in the corner. Grandpa notices what appear to be purple tattoos on his arms. GRANDPA Shit, what is this? NAVAJO WOMAN Don’t worry. It’s a special ink; comes off in a few weeks. I told him not to let a white man smoke his stuff, but I think it amuses him. Grandpa sees a large animal head next to him and does a double take. He realizes it’s a bull’s head made into a mask. NAVAJO WOMAN You should have seen yourself last night (chuckles). You had the mask on and you were all painted up, dancing around the yard. It was priceless.

5. Grandpa stands up. There are more ink designs on his chest. He looks in the mirror and holds the mask up to his face. He appears deep in thought. NAVAJO WOMAN My husband went to get some gas for your car. He should be back soon. You hungry? 11. INT. DR. STERNMAN’S OFFICE CASSANDRA I’m not sure of the exact details, but at some point on his way out to California, Dad stumbled upon a recipe for a special ink for meat, you know the kind they stamp on animal carcasses? He made a deal with the USDA and became their exclusive meat ink provider. Then he opened a huge plant near San Diego. PHILIP That’s when he moved us all out to Cali and started playing the stock market pretty much full time. CASSANDRA He was on top until Mom died in the late 80s. Then he got careless. He invested heavily in the Laser Disk, and we all know how that turned out. PHILIP Plus he lost that bet with Reagan over the Berlin Wall. CASSANDRA It was a dark time for Dad. He talked about selling everything off for a while. DR. STERNMAN So, what happened, how’d he come back and get into the tech market? I mean, that’s his claim to fame after all. PHILIP Dad said he needed to go on a “spiritual journey” and reconnect with his “spirit animal.” To be honest I thought he was losing it at the time. CASSANDRA Dad didn’t tell anyone where he was going - he just took off one day. We had no idea what happened until we got a postcard from Arizona. My guess is he went to one of those desert resorts. Or maybe he went to meditate on an energy vortex, either way he turned things around after that. PHILIP After Dad got back we found out that he had put everything he had left into Dell stock. At first it seemed like a huge mistake, but he ended up making a killing. CASSANDRA Then he moved operations out to Phoenix, and of course we stuck by him and followed him out here. We’re an extremely close knit family. DR. STERNMAN Well, it sounds like your father was exceptionally high functioning until recently. He obviously had a great deal of forethought and business acumen. When did you notice a change in his behavior? CASSANDRA Well, I would say it’s been a few years now, but it definitely got worse after our oldest brother disappeared in Africa. That was last year. Since then, Dad’s been lost, almost child-like at times.

6. PHILIP Our brother James worked closely with dad. It’s possible that he was covering up dad’s mistakes. DR. STERNMAN Mistakes? CASSANDRA Little things, related to the businesses and some of dad’s foundations. We’re not sure about the details, but we’ve asked Dad’s personal accountant to take a look. PHILIP It doesn’t look like anything serious, our biggest concern is that dad started giving larger amounts than usual to some of his charities. CASSANDRA Maybe he lost track of how much he was contributing, we just don’t know. That’s why we wanted to ask you about his mental capacity, or competency, whatever the technical term is. We’re just worried that he’s being taken advantage of. DR. STERNMAN That is an unfortunate reality among the elderly, and it would be terrible if that’s the case. I think the next step would be a complete evaluation of your father. CASSANDRA You want to see him here? DR. STERNMAN Well of course. I often rely on family for history and collateral information, but it would be unethical for me to make a diagnosis without evaluating the patient. CASSANDRA I don’t think that’s possible Dr. Sternman, our father is very ill and afraid to leave the house (looks to Philip for back-up). PHILIP Yeah, he’s not really fit for this sort of thing. It would be much easier on dad if we could skip that part. DR. STERNMAN Well, I understand your concern but I’m afraid I’m going to have to stand firm on this point. I have to see the patient, inperson, in this office. CASSANDRA Dr. Sternman, I understand your position and we would of course be willing to pay your complete evaluation fee, including office visits? DR. STERNMAN This is not a matter of money, Ms. Norris, it is a matter of professional ethics and proper patient care. CASSANDRA Of course. We all want what’s best for Dad, and if that’s your policy, we’ll make the appointment. DR. STERNMAN Excellent. Just speak with Theresa on your way out and she’ll let you know when I have an opening.

7. 12. EXT. PARKING LOT OF “NEUROLOGY PROFESSIONALS” (SCOTTSDALE, AZ) – DAY We see Cassandra and Philip from behind as they hurry out of the office and head to Cassandra’s BMW (parked in a handicap space). CASSANDRA Jesus Philip, what the hell was that?! PHILIP I don’t know, this guy is a first class douche bag, right? CASSANDRA Well, there is no fucking way we are bringing Dad here. Where did you find this clown? 13. EXT. CASSANDRA’S CAR – DAY Cassandra climbs into driver’s seat and throws her Coach purse onto Philip as he sits in the passenger seat. PHILIP (Offended) Damn it Cass, I’m not your personal assistant. Listen, I researched this guy, so don’t even try to pin this on me. I checked his credentials - med school at UCLA, one of the best neurologists in Phoenix. He once treated Ronald Reagan. CASSANDRA Philip, are you fucking with me right now? PHILIP Is this a trick question? CASSANDRA Give me my phone (snaps fingers). PHILIP (Digs phone out of her purse) Who are you calling? CASSANDRA (Holds Dr. Sternman’s card and begins to dial) I am calling Dr. Sternman to make an appointment for you. PHILIP Why are you doing that, why would I need an appointment? CASSANDRA To assess for brain trauma, you worthless fucktard. Maybe you had one of those silent strokes and blood has been leaking slowly onto your frontal lobes for weeks. Or maybe your first grade teacher was right and you are, in fact, mildly retarded. Either way, I really think you need a professional assessment. Cassandra stops dialing. She turns to glare at Philip, who appears bewildered. PHILIP Well shit Cass, I still don’t see how this is my fault. CASSANDRA Then allow me to walk you through this little catastrophe you’ve orchestrated. I told you to find someone that would be likely to play ball. We need Dad declared incompetent, Philip. There cannot be an evaluation, do you understand?

8. PHILIP Yeah, I get it. CASSANDRA So forget credentials, degrees, mahogany fucking toilet seats, and especially Ronald Reagan, okay? PHILIP Okay, okay. In my defense, treating a two-term president is pretty impressive. CASSANDRA Are you listening to me? What is the difference between Ronald Reagan and Dad? PHILIP Reagan was at least on speaking terms with Jimmy Carter? CASSANDRA This is not a joke you little shit stain. The difference is that Reagan actually had dementia. PHILIP I thought he had Alzhemier’s Disease. You know, I used to think it was called “Old Timer’s Disease.” You know, because old people get it. CASSANDRA Dementia, Alzheimer’s, it’s the same fucking thing, Philip. Look, you need to take this more seriously, I cannot singlehandedly – Cassandra stops mid-sentence and notices a parking ticket on her windshield. CASSANDRA Oh, that is fucking precious. What kind of warped sociopath would do this? PHILIP What? Give you a ticket or park illegally at a doctor’s office where the majority of the clientele are over 75 and genuinely handicapped? CASSANDRA Don’t talk to me. PHILIP Did they really have mahogany toilet seats, because it is not too late for me to call my reno guy… 14. EXT. GATED ENTRY KIOSK OF POSH NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY Cassandra and Philip pull up to kiosk to check in with a young, sharply dressed Mexican-American ENTRY ATTENDANT. He keys in her license on a handheld device. ENTRY ATTENDANT (DOROTEO) Welcome Ms. Cassandra (pronounces Cass-ANNE-dra), how are you? CASSANDRA (Strained smile). Yeah, it’s pronounced Ca-SAUN-dra. Where is Carlos?

9. DOROTEO Carlos is on vacation, I will be filling in for the next three weeks. CASSANDRA Wow, three weeks. I hope he really relaxes – you know maybe find a nice quiet place where he can sit all day long and exchange brief pleasantries with prominent people. DOROTEO (Oblivious to the insult) Oh, I am sure he will. He is visiting family in Mexico City. CASSANDRA (Stifles a scoff). Listen (glances at name tag), Dorito, we have a bit of a family situation ourselves. Our father is quite ill, and he sometimes gets confused and tries to leave the neighborhood by himself. So if you should see him leaving in this car, please call me right away (hands over her card). DOROTEO Oh, so sorry to hear that. What’s wrong with him? CASSANDRA/PHILIP (Simultaneous) Dementia/Alzheimer’s DOROTEO (Dubious) Sure thing, I will call you if I see him. Cassandra smiles weakly, pulls away. 15. EXT. CASSANDRA’S CAR – DAY Cassandra proceeds through neighborhood, passes ostentatious mansions on either side. CASSANDRA Well this is completely ridiculous. Why does he need three fucking weeks of vacation? I’m gonna call the HOA. I am not paying $380 per month for Carlos to take extravagant trips to exotic locales. PHILIP I thought he said he was going to Mexico City. Besides, you aren’t technically paying anything, Dad is. CASSANDRA Well, Mexico City is pretty fucking extravagant by his standards, and it doesn’t matter if Dad is paying the HOA because that’s our inheritance, isn’t it? Whose side are you on anyway? Plus, now we have to deal with this new guy, who seems like a real dick. PHILIP I would probably be a dick too, if people thought I was named after a chip. CASSANDRA Well, people think you’re named after royalty, so what’s your excuse? Alzheimer’s, Philip? Do you have to be so difficult? PHILIP You said they were the same thing!


Cassandra shoots Philip a disgusted look as she pulls into the driveway. 16. INT. NORRIS HOUSE Cassandra and Philip enter house and hurry to kitchen. Extra security measures are immediately obvious. There is a row of security cameras on the counter. We also see promotional items, such as refrigerator magnets, featuring her face. CASSANDRA Thomas! I need to talk to you; I need a status update on Grandpa. Thomas! Cassandra notices ANGELICA, her niece, standing off to the side. She is holding a smartphone. CASSANDRA Angel, I didn’t see you there, have you seen your cousin? ANGELICA No, but I can give you the update. CASSANDRA (Looks pleased) All right, what have you got for me? ANGELICA He woke up shortly after you left with Uncle Philip (scrolls through phone). Tommy brought him some breakfast shortly before 10. He rejected an initial offering of granola and skim milk, so Tommy made him “Grandpa’s famous pineapple and bacon bowl” (shows Cass digital photo of a disgusting concoction). Then he let him go to the neighbors’. CASSANDRA (Exasperated) Damn it, Thomas. Is it too much to ask to keep him inside until I get back? Thomas! Cassandra’s son, THOMAS, enters the room, looks slightly frightened. Has a phone attached to his belt. THOMAS Hi Mom, how did the appointment go? CASSANDRA Dreadful, your uncle is apparently competing with your father for “Dipshit of the Year Award” in the “Middle Age Male” division. PHILIP You shouldn’t talk like that in front of your son. I am not middle age. Tommy, don’t listen to your mother (winks at Tommy). CASSANDRA Philip it’s probably better if you don’t talk to the children, in case whatever retardation has gripped you is contagious. Philip bites into an apples and stares at Cassandra for a beat. He heads to the couch and turns on the television. CASSANDRA Thomas, I told you to keep your Grandpa inside until I got back.

11. We hear a “Breaking News” bulletin from the adjacent room. Philip beckons from the couch. PHILIP Hey Cass, check this out. 17. TELEVISION SCREEN A FEMALE REPORTER appears to be reporting from a remote location. FEMALE REPORTER According to local sources, a man fitting the description of James Norris Jr. was spotted just a few days ago in this remote village outside the Serengeti region of Tanzania. Mr. Norris has been missing for over a year and was last heard from during a mission to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Cut to newsroom, close-up on FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR. FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR James Norris Jr., son of local Phoenix millionaire James Norris Sr., has dedicated his life to charitable and philanthropic endeavors. He adopted daughters James III and Daisy (photos of two very dark skinned babies flash on screen) from Tanzania 15 years ago and has returned to the African country countless times since. His latest mission to climb Africa’s highest mountain with the National Alliance for Genital Safety (NAGS logo appears), a feminist group, was apparently part of a protest against the practice of female genital mutilation. Cut to wider shot which includes a MALE NEWS ANCHOR at the desk. MALE NEWS ANCHOR Well, it sounds like he went at that problem using an axe instead of a scalpel! FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR (Glares at male counterpart) This is the third such spotting in as many months. Initially thought dead, authorities now speculate that Mr. Norris may be being held hostage as a result of his involvement in this controversial human rights issue. We’ll bring you more details as this story progresses; tonight we leave you with a montage of James Norris Jr., a true American hero. 18. INT. NORRIS HOUSE – FAMILY ROOM CASSANDRA Dear God, where do they find these people? A “true American hero” my ass. He deserted his family to traipse around African with a bunch of dykes while I’m left to feed and clothe his ungrateful children. Cassandra’s nieces, JAIME and DAISY enter the room, both focused intently on smartphones. JAIME Oh my God, did you see that? DAISY They showed us on the news. JAIME I’m posting on Facebook.

12. DAISY I’m updating Twitter. PHILIP You girls should put that up on MySpace (mouth full). CASSANDRA Jesus Philip, this isn’t a refugee camp. Swallow before you open your mouth. PHILIP That’s what she said. DAISY What’s MySpace? JAIME We’re not really into stuff that is for, like, older people… DAISY …or like, you know, the retirement demographic. JAIME No offense Uncle Philip. CASSANDRA You know, you girls shouldn’t get your hopes up because of a silly news story. That could be anybody, and you’re relying on the word of people who live in hutsJAIME (Interrupts) Uh, I am pretty sure, like, everyone in Tanzania is going to recognize Dad. CASSANDRA Why, because he’s the only Caucasian besides Angelina Jolie insane enough to drag their ass through that miserable wasteland? DAISY Uh, no, ‘cause he’s super famous there. JAIME Everyone knows who he is, and now we’re famous too. DAISY And what about Madonna? And the guy from that band that Uncle Philip is obsessed with. They go to Africa all the time. PHILIP Bono is my man! You know we go way back to the early 90s. We were on the same record label. CASSANDRA Yeah, you want to tell them about the time you hid in the production booth for 12 hours and ambushed U2? He was waiting with a demo of him singing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Didn’t the label send you to rehab after that?

13. PHILIP Yeah, they did (looks thoughtful for a moment). CASSANDRA Look, we are losing focus here. Tommy, you need to bring Grandpa back ASAP. I don’t want him talking to that sneaky Towelhead, who knows what those two are planning. PHILIP I don’t think they are the ones that wear turbans, Cass, I think they are the ones with the elephant god with all the arms. THOMAS I don’t think you have anything to worry about Mom, Mr. Sharma seems pretty sick. I think Grandpa is just keeping him company because he feels bad. CASSANDRA Thomas, don’t be so naïve. Besides, he always smells like curry when he gets back and half the time he forgets his shoes. Just go get him. ACT TWO 1. EXT. SHARMA HOUSE – BACK PORCH, DAY We see present-day Grandpa, barefoot, pacing on the back porch and having a heated (albeit one-sided) discussion with an ailing Indian man (MR. SHARMA) in a wheelchair. GRANDPA I don’t know Sanjay, I thought it would be different. What happened to showing respect for your elders? When I was growing up we waited hand and foot on our father even before he lost his feet. Even in the end when he got violent we still took care of the old man. Just look at all these bite marks! Grandpa shows Mr. Sharma his forearm, which is marked by faded teeth marks. Mr. Sharma is indifferent. GRANDPA I don’t know how it is back in your country, but this isn’t right. You shouldn’t be left on this porch, to wither away while your family has the run of the house. See, I made the mistake of letting my daughter move in, and look at me now. They tried to make me eat granola. GRANDPA I don’t even want this gigantic house - I only bought it for the girls, after James went missing. Then Cassie got divorced, and my younger son moved into the guest house… Grandpa glances into the Sharma house where Mr. Sharma’s daughter and son-in-law are looking on from the kitchen. GRANDPA (Lowers voice) Sure I want to help my kids, but don’t you ever feel like a prisoner in your own home. I mean look at you, your daughter thinks she is some kind of doctor and your son-in-law is just counting the days until they can put you in a home. But I’m on to them, and I won’t let them throw you away like an old sack of potatoes. 2. INT. SHARMA HOUSE We see Mr. Sharma’s daughter, AASHA, and son-in-law, DEV, in the kitchen. From their vantage point, Grandpa looks like a crazed man rambling to himself while Mr. Sharma stares out into space. Dev has a bag of potatoes next to him on the counter and is cutting them while Aasha gets ready to leave.


AASHA Do you think we should do something about that man? I mean, I wonder if he is bothering Dad. And why doesn’t his family take care of him? DEV He’s harmless. From what I can tell, he’s just lonely and a bit confused. And always hungry, I don’t think they feed him properly. AASHA Okay, well I’ve got to get back to work (pulls on white doctor’s coat). What are you making? DEV Potato curry. AASHA Will you be home for dinner? DEV No, I’m at the restaurant tonight. AASHA Okay. Listen give the old Gora some curry before he goes, I don’t want him to go hungry. (In Hindi with subtitles) Crazy old white man. 3. EXT. SHARMA HOUSE – BACK PORCH Thomas enters from the side of the yard and approaches Grandpa and Mr. Sharma THOMAS Sorry Grandpa, Mom says you have to come home. Hi Mr. Sharma. No response from Mr. Sharma, just the same vacant stare. GRANDPA But I’m discussing business with Sanpreet. Besides, I think this guy is making lunch, something smells good (looks toward kitchen window). THOMAS Well, she was pretty mad when she found out you were over here, and she says you can’t eat any more curry. Also, don’t forget your shoes again. GRANDPA Fine, but this is an injustice Tommy. We are men, and look at the way they treat us. They tell us what to eat, when to take a piss, Sajir here isn’t even allowed to walk. THOMAS I don’t think he can walk anymore, Grandpa. GRANDPA Of course he can’t, not with a broken spirit. Tommy, a man’s spirit dictates his capabilities. The Indians taught me that. You know, the other Indians.


Grandpa finds his shoes and follows Tommy out the gate. 4. INT. NORRIS HOUSE – KITCHEN/FAMILY ROOM Grandpa and Thomas enter the home and see Jaime and Daisy sitting on the couch, texting. Cassandra is sitting at the counter answering emails on her PDA. JAMIE Hey Grandpa, Dad was on the news. DAISY Another sighting, plus they showed pictures of us. JAIME Do you think anyone can recognize us from the baby pictures? CASSANDRA I don’t think it should be a problem – you’re the only black teenage girls in Scottsdale. I’m sure even the simplest minds will make the connection. GRANDPA Ah, wonderful news! I knew he would make it out. It takes more than the tallest mountain in the world to stop my son! CASSANDRA It’s the second tallest mountain, Dad, and we don’t even know if it was him. For all we know he led those poor misguided lesbians to their deaths. GRANDPA Are they lesbians, I thought they were feminists? CASSANDRA Ugh, same thing. How many of these conversations am I going to have today? GRANDPA Well, I’m not giving up hope, and neither are you, are you girls? The girls are engrossed in their phones. CASSANDRA Does that mean the rest of us will continue to be subjected to your little shrine over there? You know, Dad, it is kind of morbid to plaster pictures of your dead son all over the mantle. You need to take that down. Cut to mantle, which is covered in pictures, clippings, and awards related to JAMES JR., as well as dream catchers and other Native American décor. 5. INT. NORRIS CHILDHOOD FAMILY HOME, CALIFORNIA (1975) – DAY Flashback – we see a younger Grandpa returning home from work. A young James Jr. (11) and Cassandra (9) greet him excitedly. JAMES JR. Look what I made Dad isn’t it great? James Jr. holds up a modest Native American dream-catcher.

16. GRANDPA That’s great son! We’re going to hang this above the fireplace with your trophies. CASSANDRA Dad, I made something too (holds up an odd contraption). GRANDPA What is that? CASSANDRA It’s for the bird feeder. If the bird’s too heavy, it triggers this lever and it’ll get sprayed in the eyes. GRANDPA But why do you want to spray a bird in the eyes? CASSANDRA Because the big fat birds don’t need to be hogging all the bird seed. GRANDPA Cassie, you can’t interfere with the way of nature, the Navajos taught me that. JAMES JR. Yeah Cass, you’ll upset the delicate balance of the natural order. 6. INT. NORRIS CHILDHOOD FAMILY HOME, CALIFORNIA (1975) – NIGHT Flashback - later that night Cassandra enters the darkened living room. She stares at the mantle above the fireplace, which is crowded with symbols of James Jr.’s achievements. She removes the dream-catcher and holds it for a moment, looking hurt. Her expression shifts as she lights it on fire. She laughs as she throws the burning dream-catcher into the fireplace. 7. INT. NORRIS HOUSE – KITCHEN/FAMILY ROOM Present - Cassandra is once again staring at a mantle dedicated to James Jr., with a similar hateful expression on her face. JAIME Our Dad is not dead Aunt Cass, isn’t that obvi’? CASSANDRA What is “obvi” is that the rest of you are as delusional as he was if you think that he’s alive. DAISY Look, wouldn’t we know if our Dad was dead? Haven’t you ever heard of like, the connection between a parent and a child? CASSANDRA He’s not your real father, you’re both adopted. And he thought you were a boy until he was halfway back to the States (referring to Jaime). JAIME Whatevs’, Aunt Cass. OMG, Daisy, ‘Phoenix Live’ just” liked” us on Facebook. Holy shit, they just sent an FBIM. They want to interview us on TV!

17. DAISY OMGBBQ (squeals)! We’re going to be famous like motherfucking Amos! GRANDPA What is Phoenix Live, and who is Amos? JAIME Hello, it’s like a morning show hosted by Phoenix Phillips. DAISY He’s a super hottie who used to be in Uncle Philip’s band. How do you not know about Famous Amos cookies, Grandpa? JAIME This is going to be amaze. CASSANDRA Why can’t either of you girls speak proper English? Is it a genetic thing? DAISY That makes no sense, we’re not even related. CASSANDRA Never mind. The point is that you cannot go on that show, I do not want my name associated with this charade (exaggerated pronunciation) any more than it already has been. DAISY Well, you don’t get to decide. Grandpa is our legal guardian now, so he gets to decide. GRANDPA Of course you girls can go on the show, and I think we should celebrate after. The positive energy will lift your dad’s spirits. CASSANDRA Yeah, I am sure that wherever he is, he has around the clock access to local Phoenix entertainment programs. Daisy, did you say that Phoenix Philips is the host? JAIME I said that. Oh my God, wouldn’t it be totes awesome if he interviewed us?! 8. EXT. NORRIS HOUSE – GUEST WING ABOVE GARAGE, DAY Cassandra walks up stairs onto an outdoor upstairs patio and finds Philip sitting on a lounge chair smoking a joint. CASSANDRA There you are. Are you seriously smoking weed in the middle of the day above your father’s garage? You realize you are approaching 40 years of age. PHILIP Yeah, I found it out here, must be Richard’s. Not very smart leaving this lying around, an animal could eat it or something.

18. CASSANDRA Or, I don’t know, one of the four minors living here might get ahold of it. I need to talk to you about the Black Sheep. You’re not going to like this. PHILIP What, don’t tell me I’m not their biological uncle, I don’t think I could bear the shock. CASSANDRA Nobody likes an aging smartass. No, it seems the little African princesses have been invited to appear on ‘Phoenix Live’ with your favorite ex-band mate. He wants to do a story on JJ. PHILIP Are you shitting me? Phoenix wants to interview them? He is a world class tool. Did you know he actually forgave Jordan Knight for all that shit he pulled? The two of them are friends now, it’s abhorrent. CASSANDRA Wow, that’s an unexpected word choice. I tried to intervene, but of course Dad gave them the go ahead to do the show. PHILIP This is bullshit, first he uses me to get his career off the ground, even though we all know he was the weak link in the band, and now he wants to use my nieces to revive his dying career. That is such a Phoenix move. CASSANDRA Yeah, he is just rising right out of the ashes on the wings of those two jewels of the Nile. Try to dial down the drama. The point of me telling you is that I need you to take the girls to the studio and chaperone this debacle. I’ll talk to Phoenix and make sure things stay contained, but you need to mediate. PHILIP Fuck, Cass, I really don’t want to associate with this asshole. CASSANDRA Well then talk to Dad and convince him to cancel it. Choose the least painful option, just handle it. I need to call Jey and get him on this. 9. EXT. NORRIS HOUSE – POOL AREA, DAY Cassandra dials her assistant, JESUS, as she walks toward a lavish pool area. She stops under the pavilion to talk. CASSANDRA Jey (pronounced “Hey”), we have a problem. Several actually. There was another sighting of JJ. It was on the news and now some second-rate local shit show wants to interview the girls. Cut to Jey sitting at the assistant desk in Cassandra’s real estate office, which is made obvious by promotional pictures of her and a life-size cutout in the corner. JESUS Yeah, I’m on it, I know about the whole thing with ‘Phoenix Live,’ I follow the girls on Twitter, remember? God, they’re so lucky. They’re going to meet Phoenix Phillips! CASSANDRA Why do people give a shit about this bland fuck? I remember him being utterly uninteresting.

19. JESUS Are you kidding, he was the ‘it’ twink of the early 90s. CASSANDRA He’s gay? JESUS You’re too funny! Okay, so your faux-nieces have been asked on the show, and I assume we are worried about stirring up interest in your brother and keeping the situation with Big James under wraps? CASSANDRA Ugh, please do not call him that, it sounds like a brand of diapers for overweight toddlers or a bad porn name, both of which are disgusting. JESUS Sorry. CASSANDRA Do we have any connections over there, besides the dull queer? JESUS Not off the top of my head, but I’ll look into it. Can’t Philip just work things out with Phoenix, they were in “BW Double B” together for like 5 years. CASSANDRA I don’t see that happening, they have some long-standing feud over one of those limp dicks from that band that people actually gave a shit about. JESUS Oh my God, are they still fighting over that Jordan Knight thing? CASSANDRA Yes, while the world around them is utterly devoid of shits to give. Maybe you could talk to Phoenix, gay-to-gay. Is it like being Mexican, I mean will you have an automatic ‘in’ with this guy because you both hate vaginas? JESUS “Hate” is too strong a word, I think we feel the same way about female anatomy as you feel about lawn workers. We acknowledge their necessity, but we’d rather not have any contact. CASSANDRA You didn’t answer my question. Can you talk to him? JESUS Oh right. It doesn’t really work that way among the gays. It would be like you having an ‘in’ with blond women. It might happen if you were all captured by aliens, but short of that, a bitch is on her own in this world. CASSANDRA I’m going to ignore the fact that I think you just called me a bitch. Just get back to me when you get the details. Philip and I are definitely going, so bump whatever else is going on that day.

20. JESUS Oh goody, Philip is coming. Anything else? CASSANDRA Yeah, I need you to have a chat with the new gate-guy. He’s definitely Mexican, so maybe you can actually accomplish something with him. JESUS You know I’m only three quarters Mexican right? Other Mexicans can tell I’m a Bounty Bar right away. CASSANDRA They know you’re gay? JESUS No, a Bounty Bar, its brown on the outside and white on the inside. CASSANDRA Well, wear a fucking Sombrero then. I don’t give a shit about your ethnic identity crisis, Jey, I just need you to talk to him about Dad. We got off on the wrong foot. He thinks I called him Dorito and then Philip opened his mouth and made us look like assholes. Oh, and I need to talk to you about finding another neurologist, this morning was a fiasco. I gotta go; I need to talk to the HOA about something. JESUS ‘K, I’ll text you with any updates. CASSANDRA (Hangs up) I am surrounded by incompetence. Philip approaches. PHILIP Look, I was thinking about the whole incompetence thing. CASSANDRA (Looks perplexed)What? PHILIP You know, with Dad. I have an idea for how we can get someone on board. CASSANDRA Yeah, so do I. It’s called bribery. We need to find someone that we can pay off. Maybe someone that is in debt, owes property taxes. I am going to have Jey look into it. PHILIP I have a similar idea, but it won’t cost us a thing. CASSANDRA (sighs)

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