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COAST HIGHWAY (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) - DAY A green MGB convertible wends its way along, top down and heading fast toward the sinking sun. INT. CONVERTIBLE - DAY (MOVING) Behind the wheel is TOM HANLIN (30s), a natural charmer with casual aplomb. He doesn't bother with any "hands-off" phone. Business for him is hands-on and personal, now more than ever: TOM -- But it's got nothing to do with me. If Peter wants to fire the party people, let Peter pay the party piper. I don't have enough time for proper due diligence as it is. INT. POWERSERVE - AMANDA'S OFFICE - DAY AMANDA MCKINLEY, V.P. Sales and Marketing, tall, beautiful, razor sharp. She paces while talking into her headset. AMANDA So you said in front of the board before throwing your little conniption. We all heard you, Tom. INTERCUT: TOM Position, Amanda, I argued my position with passion and finesse. You used to like that. AMANDA You used to lead with passion and sense. The old you would never have freaked out liked that -TOM -- I did not freak out -AMANDA -- You freaked out while Peter kept his cool and now you -TOM -- Peter wants this merger -AMANDA -- You weren't at the meeting! You're barely ever here anymore. (more)
AMANDA(CONT'D) Even when you are it's like you're someplace else. Where are you, Tom?
TOM Right here, Amanda, and still I'm there for you. Why you doing this? AMANDA Bottom line, you're in charge of the Snork! signing. It's business, strictly and personally. That is what you taught me, isn't it? TOM You're making it sound pretty less personal to me. AMANDA Yeah, and you're being paranoid. BLIP!--Amanda hangs up on him. Tom can't believe it.
TOM Paranoid? How could I be paranoid if I'm not paranoid about my own paranoia? Who said that? On which the cell CHIMES. Tom answers quick.
TOM (CONT'D) I'm not paranoid! INT. CUBICLE - DAY TIGHT SHOTS of a MYSTERY NERD whose face we cannot see--Birkenstocks over socks, Band-Aids on several fingertips. He huddles over the phone, speaks hushedly, disguising his voice: MYSTERY NERD (into phone; heavy voice) Mr. Hanlin? INTERCUT: TOM Who's this? MYSTERY NERD Call me... His eyes dart about, searching--there's nothing but Snork! paraphernalia everywhere. He regards the pliable squeeze-relaxer in his free hand, a colorful chipmunk character.
MYSTERY NERD (CONT'D) Call me, Alvin... ator. TOM What can I do for you, Alvinator? A SNORK! BOSS drops a stack of papers in Alvinator's "In" box SNORK! BOSS On my desk before you leave. ALVINATOR (regular whiney voice) Yes, ma'am, right away. TOM Hellooo? Alvinator gives Boss a mean little finger behind her back, hunches into the phone again: ALVINATOR Tom, you still -- Are you there? TOM I'm thinking I'm not -ALVINATOR -- No, wait! It's about the Snork! deal. TOM What about Snork!? ALVINATOR We're -- they are over-valued. TOM And this would be news to? ALVINATOR Ten times over-valued. EXT. SIDE OF ROAD - CONTINUOUS Tom pulls over and climbs out of his car. makes it hard for him to hear. Traffic whipping past
TOM No way. Two times, definitely, three maybe, not ten. ALVINATOR The books are cooked.
TOM I've reviewed Snork!'s finances. The numbers are solid, it's their projections I have a problem with. ALVINATOR (whispers) Check out the Simmons deal. TOM I can't hear -ALVINATOR The Simmons deal. TOM How do I contact you if -The line goes dead. Tom scrolls the phone's menu, keys for last number received: CALLER ID BLOCKED. TOM (CONT'D) Now who's being paranoid? EXT. BEACH BUNGALOW - DAY An old but well kept place in a row of similar places, with a van out front. Tom climbs out of his car and steps onto the porch. He takes a solemn breath. INT. BEACH BUNGALOW - LIVING ROOM - DAY HELEN (50s) directs two burly packers with the names SAM and CHAD stenciled on their shirts. The place is filled with boxes and wrapped furniture. HELEN Please be careful with that platter, it's quite fragile. Chad tosses it into a box with a THUD. Tom in the doorway. Helen SIGHS, turns to find
HELEN (CONT'D) Tom, hi. You're so quiet, I didn't hear you. She opens the screen door to let him in. TOM Got held up.
HELEN We're almost done. Just a couple more boxes in here and they'll start on your father's den. She leads Tom into -THE DEN A warm, rustic room, full of wood and crammed with the prized possessions acquired over a lifetime. Tom spots a framed photo on the fireplace mantel. It's of a boy on a fishing trip, squished between loving parents holding a marlin. HELEN That was his most favorite one. missed your mother so much. TOM You were a good friend to him, Helen. HELEN I couldn't fill that hole. TOM I don't know if I can do this. HELEN Then don't. I'm happy to stay while the packers finish up. TOM Salvation Army's coming tomorrow. And I need to. Tom forces a smile, resisting tears. give him a hug but holds back. Helen looks like she wants to He
HELEN Tom, remember who he was and carry that with you. You are still your father's son TOM Without him? I wonder. Sam steps in carrying an empty box. SAM Looks like this is it. Shouldn't take more 'an a couple hours.
He sets the box down and starts dumping stuff into it; no regard for sentiment. Tom reacts, moving to stop him with -TOM Yeah -- Great job guys, but I think I'll take it from here. Sam plucks the photo off the mantel. Tom snatches it back.
HELEN Don't do this to yourself, Tom. TOM I don't want people pawing through my dad's stuff. Some of it meant something to him once. It all means something to me. Off Helen's nod, Sam lumbers back into the living room. HELEN But what will you do with it? TOM Put it in storage 'til I figure that out. HELEN Don't suppose you want some help? (off shake) Can I at least arrange the storage? Tom relents and Helen leaves him to pack up a room full of memories. The front door BANGS shut. He loosens his tie and gets to it. INT. BEACH BUNGALOW - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Late. Tom skids a full box out of the den, looking tired. another box and heads back into -IN THE DEN A fire burns in the fireplace, and though lots has been packed into several boxes labelled "storage," there's still much to do. Tom picks up what looks like a stuffed gopher glued to a surf board. Does it go in the new empty box for donations, or the one filled with storage stuff? The gopher is so kitschy, Tom's choice seems obvious. He notices the gopher's smiling and smiles back, chooses the keeper box at the last instant looking like he might cry. TOM Get a hold of yourself, man. (puts it in box; then) (more) He grabs
TOM(CONT'D) Okay, no more stuffed gophers, that's progress.
He opens a large cabinet only to find it stuffed top to bottom with even more gophers. Tom slams it shut, puts his back to it as though they might bust out. He focuses on his father's decanter collection. While most are obviously empty, he quickly finds a white bottle in the back. Tom rubs the grimy label. It's Malibu rum. Malibu? TOM (CONT'D) You bet I bu.
He twists off the top. A syrupy vapor floats from it forming a thick contrail around him. Tom takes a whiff, goes to drink, but only more vapor flows out. He shakes it like a bottle of ketchup. Behind him, an extravagantly bejewelled hand reaches out and taps his shoulder. GENE (O.S.) (flatly) Your wish is my demand. Tom whips around to find GENE GENIE (late 30s to 4000) in full regalia, a blend of Hip Hop meets Old West. Tom YELPS and falls back into the packing box while Gene stands listing woozily. TOM Who are you? What do you want? GENE Cocktail? Extricating himself from the box as Gene yawns, Tom swipes the stuffed marlin off the wall to defend himself. TOM Stay right there. I got this fish - and I do know Tae Bo! GENE No, it's cool. TOM Seriously, I'm not screwing around! He takes a ballpark swing at Gene. Tom whirls around empty-handed. The marlin sticks in mid-air as
GENE Okay. I'm just still, you know, a little woozy. TOM What?
GENE My bottle? Tom regards the suspended marlin, the bottle he still holds, the outrageously dressed being in front of him. TOM What are you, like some kind of genie? GENE I have been described in those terms. TOM You expect me to believe that? GENE Believe whatever you want, I know who I am. TOM Where's the turban and goofy slippers? GENE You see a genie on TV and suddenly you're an expert on Aramaic mythology? You think we don't yearn to break free and assert our own unique style? Typically human. TOM Aren't you supposed to be in a lamp? GENE And you're a rum snob, too? TOM You're a genie? Okay, my mind's a little fried, I'm tired, I'm brandishing a carp. Obviously, this is some post-stress mourning quarter-age-crisis thing -GENE What's your name? TOM Tom? GENE Tom, right. That's nice. (checking things out) (more)
9. I like what GENE(CONT'D) to the you've done place, so old world in a postmodern revisionist kind of way. Got some brown cubist thing going. You just move in? TOM No, it was my dad's. recently. Gene SIGHS. GENE You do need a drink. POOF!--two tall exotic drinks appear in the hands of TWO SUPER MODELS. One rubs Gene's tummy, the other nibbles his ear. Tom reacts. The marlin drops out of the air. GENE (CONT'D) No? POOF!--the Models vanish but Gene retains one drink. GENE (CONT'D) I suppose you wanna skip the pleasantries and get to it, Tom? TOM Shouldn't you be calling me "master"? GENE We no longer use the "m" word. TOM Whatever. I get it. If you're a genie, I got wishes coming, right? Gene hoists himself onto the desk and gets comfortable. good long sip of his drink and SIGHS, regrettably. GENE Wish. TOM You're granting me only one wish? GENE Downsizing. There's only a finite number of wishes left and they must be managed accordingly. TOM You're kidding, right? He has a He died
GENE You've only got yourselves to blame. "I wish my dot-com would IPO and make a gazillion dollars before I develop a viable business plan." "I wish I had the abs of an Olympic gymnast even though I'm allergic to sit-ups." You guys blew through wishes in the Nineties like Brando blows through creampuffs. The well's dry, Tom. Why do you think Nasdaq tanked? TOM Where's that leave me? GENE Well, I just got e-mail from our Grant A Wish Foundation -- it's a nonprofit. I've been selected to bestow a wish to three winners selected in a random drawing. TOM But you said I have only one wish. GENE Exactly. TOM So I still get it. GENE Oh, sure. But in order to grant you your wish you have to help fulfill their wishes. TOM Throw 'em a lamp or bottle or whatever you do, you're the genie. I earned my wish. GENE Tom, you rubbed my bottle. If you rub my belly you'd be earning it. Rub my belly? (off no interest) C'mon, it's a win-win situation. You get a wish, they get a wish. TOM What are we talking, specifically?
GENE Three days, three wishes, three wishers. After the wish of each is fulfilled, you get your wish, but you must figure out what their wishes are first. Tom eyeballs Gene hard, looking for a crack. TOM All right, I'll play along. GENE Then let's meet our contestants -Flabazom. A CRACKLING electric lasso appears. Gene swirls it expertly, snaps it at the bottle Tom still holds and--POOF!--a giant genie home entertainment system is roped out of it, complete with big screen TV. The room erupts into flashy gameshow glitz and canned APPLAUSE. dons a glittering "tuxedo" and gameshow host schtick: GENE (CONT'D) Lucky wisher number one is Mr. Anoop Dubey. ON TV: A slick "Inside Story"-type segment airs on GNN (Genie News Network) -GENE (CONT'D) A Scorpio with a love of naan bread and fear of damp sponges, Anoop owns Casa De India, a local eatery blending traditional meals from his immigrant past with exotic new flavors inspired by the LatinAmerican experience. Anoop is a family man at heart, his beloved wife and children both his greatest joy and constant frustration. ANOOP SEGMENT ON TV: * ANOOP DUBEY presents Customers with "Casa de India" menus; in the kitchen, he adds spice to whatever simmers in a pot; exotic dishes are delivered to happy customers -* In their apartment, Anoop wears a Dodger's cap and watches baseball on TV, really getting into it; POONAM, his wife, gives him a kiss -* At the restaurant, Anoop's daughter, NIDRA (19) has fallen asleep doing the books; Anoop's son, PRANAY (17) arrives dressed in a hiphop waiter's uniform, over-sized pants hanging low to expose his shorts. Exasperated, Anoop just shakes his head. Gene Finally:
GENE (CONT'D) (next intro) Flabazom. And here's lucky wisher number two, Dionne Barboza. A typical pre-adolescent teenager, Dionne enjoys eating fast food with her only friends and trying to stop her enormous feet from growing any larger. Though already an accomplished pianist, deep down Dionne dreams of tickling a different set of ivories. DIONNE SEGMENT ON TV: * DIONNE BARBOZA (14), a redhead with braces and brightly colored beret, at her school locker listening to headphones. She watches the Popular Girls strut past; Dionne with mom (RHONDA) and dad (BILL) at some fast food joint, bored; Dionne in her bedroom, paints her toe nails; wraps her feet with duct tape -* Dionne at piano lessons, playing a solemn piece to the approval of her instructor (PEEBLESNEEP), she rolls her eyes, uninspired -* Dionne at a school dance, watches a COUPLE kiss. her, winks, and Dionne looks away, embarrassed. GENE (CONT'D) (next intro) Flabazom. And last but not least, let's meet wisher number three, the lovely and talented Margaret Frazier. Margaret has a predilection for fresh-plucked daisies, enjoys pancakes for dinner and the smell of newly sharpened pencils. Single and an only child, she runs her own business planning parties and special events, and adores both children and other small animals alike. MAGGIE SEGMENT ON TV: * MAGGIE FRAZIER, late-20s, does a cartwheel in front of her newly opened storefront as KADIJA HORNE snaps a picture; a sign reads: "Maggie's Merry Party & Special Event Planning Perfectionists" -* Maggie picks daisies, hands them to a baffled and somewhat frightened ELDERLY MAN in a walker -* An extravagant outside party; a band plays; Clowns and Acrobats perform; and the 2-YEAR-OLD it's for plunks his cotton candy on Maggie's head while his MOTHER beams proudly. The Boy spies
POOF!--The gameshow glitz vanishes leaving the wishers' faces freezeframed on TV. Gene's back in his regular costume as Tom goes over to the screen and scrutinizes Maggie's radiant face. TOM This one? Savvy, single woman with an entrepreneurial spirit, teetering on the dark side of thirty. Crunch it anyway you like, what she wishes for is a man. GENE You can tell just like that? TOM Reading people is my job. GENE You do non-humans? Tom inflates at the challenge, studies Gene closely. TOM Inherently carefree, fun-loving by nature, you resent being expected to conduct yourself as others expect, but cringe at the thought they may not marvel that you can. You have purpose, power, a pinch of panache, yet would rather slack than assume the responsibility that comes with exercising it... And it's because of humans. Thousands of years spent popping in and out of a bottle just to grant some greedy desire. You offer us a field of dreams, we wish it paved with gold. We're all about me and you don't approve. GENE (a beat; doubtful) Only a pinch of panache? three days.
Gene tornadoes back into the bottle, along with his home entertainment system leaving Tom standing in silence. He looks inside the bottle, sees nothing. Heads into -INT. BEACH BUNGALOW - LIVING ROOM - SAME Nothing here but stacked boxes and wrapped furniture. Tom smirks it off, sits in the big chair. He eyes the shadows. Falls asleep.
EXT. BEACH BUNGALOW - DAY Tom's car still parked out front. highway shoulder. INT. BEACH BUNGALOW - DEN - DAY Tom awakes in the chair looking like a man in need of coffee. He winces at the kink in his neck, then reacts to what he sees -REVEAL entire room packed into neatly stacked boxes. feet, knocks the Malibu bottle rolling. TOM ...That's good rum. There can be no other explanation. He grabs his tie and the photo and heads out, all the while trying to stretch out the kink. THE MALIBU BOTTLE left rocking on the floor, its screwtop long gone. INT. POWERSERVE - JULES' OFFICE - DAY Young accountant JULES VARNAN answers the phone: JULES PowerServe, Jules speaking. INT./EXT. TOM'S CAR - DAY (MOVING) Tom on his cell, driving into the city. change of clothes. TOM Jules, you got a minute? INTERCUT: JULES Hey boss, what's up? TOM I need you to double-check the Snork! financials. JULES Our people have been over it a dozen times. TOM This is something specific, under the name Simmons. He's cleaned up and in a new Tom gathers his A couple of JOGGERS pant along the
JULES (jots it down) You got something? TOM Probably nothing, but I got a call and -A storefront catches Tom's eye and he does a double-take -WHAT TOM SEES - STOREFRONT The sign above it: "Maggie's Merry Party & Special Event Planning Perfectionists," just as it was last night. BACK TO SCENE Tom? JULES You okay? TOM Yeah, I... JULES Hey, been meaning to ask, everything all right with your dad? Haven't seen him in a while. TOM Listen, I gotta go. You're on it?
JULES Like buffalo on a wing. Tom ends the call and parks at a meter. TOM Buffalo on a wing? EXT. MAGGIE'S MERRY SHOP - DAY Stuck between two nondescript businesses in a bland cinder block building, Maggie's is anything but. With colorful signage, awnings and thriving potted ficus, time and attention have been spent where money was not. Kneading his neck, Tom approaches cautiously. INT. MAGGIE'S MERRY SHOP - DAY Half cluttered retail space, half cozy client-planning space, it's just the right balance of balloonage and business. Near the back, Kadija and Maggie confer over a table of swatches and sample binders. Tom enters, startles when the door makes a party favor NOISE.
MAGGIE Good morning, c'mon in and join the party. We'll be right with you. He lingers uncomfortably at the front as they finish up. KADIJA But I thought Mrs. Grant said she wanted the blue pinstriping. MAGGIE She did say that, but what she was really trying to say is that she doesn't, not really. It simply hasn't occurred to her yet. She fishes out a peach-colored linen and lays it on top of the chocolate cake pictured, covering a blue pinstripe swatch. MAGGIE (CONT'D) See the difference? She says she wants blue pinstripes when she really wants warmth and sunshine. KADIJA I see it now. You are so good. A high-five from Kadija and Maggie approaches Tom with vibrant intensity and hand extended. MAGGIE Hi, I'm Maggie. Tom just stares. Maggie has to grab his hand to shake it.
MAGGIE (CONT'D) And you are? TOM Nice to meet you? MAGGIE You look like a man who could use some assistance -TOM -- Yeah, things seem really crazy -MAGGIE -- Planning a special occasion? TOM Right. You own your own business planning parties and special events. You adore small children.
Maggie nods, takes Tom under arm, leads him past her "Wall of Satisfaction," a montage of photos depicting happy clients, mostly involving kids' birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, etc. MAGGIE That's right. Maggie's Merry Party & Special Event Planning Perfectionists will endeavor to keep your event on target, on budget, on time, every time you need us. We can choose a site for your event, facilitate all of your catering requirements, arrange special activities and games for your guests, even provide live entertainment. From birthdays to bar mitzvahs, cakes to clowns, decorations to decorum, we're here to serve so you don't have to. TOM Looks like a lot of happy faces. MAGGIE Aren't they? Tom looks around the room totally bewildered. MAGGIE (CONT'D) So you do have a party to plan? Tom pulls himself together, digs in his pockets for a business card. TOM Yeah, yes, actually I do. A company thing. I'm in charge. could really use some help.
Maggie glances at the card, tries to contain the excitement of what she sees on it. She shakes his hand vigorously. MAGGIE Great. So, how about I give you a call this afternoon and we'll work out the details. TOM Great. That'd be great, Maggie. Just... MAGGIE Great. So I'll call you on the phone when I call.
TOM Okay. I'll answer the call when you call me on the phone. MAGGIE Okay. Tom retrieves his hand and exits. Maggie stands there gazing at his card as Kadija approaches with a bundle of balloons. KADIJA He was cute. Bachelor theme party? MAGGIE I don't think so... She hands over the card. Kadija's eyes pop out.
KADIJA PowerServe Software? This is the one we've been waiting for, girl. This'll buy us at least six months. What do they want us to do? MAGGIE He didn't say. All I know is whatever it is, we're going to make it perfectious -- and I don't care if perfectious isn't a word, it should be. Plus I forgot to ask. KADIJA Honey, it don't matter if it's the opening of a new elevator, it's who they are that's gonna get you out of ready-made. Maggie heads for the phone. MAGGIE I have to call my mother. EXT. POWERSERVE SOFTWARE - DAY - ESTABLISHING A monolithic building in an expansive office park. INT. POWERSERVE - EXECUTIVE LOBBY - DAY Downplayed corporate and all business-casual, except for the receptionist, CINDY, formal in her navy pantsuit. Tom strolls in with his leather Tumi. CINDY Good morning, Tom.
Under which Amanda appears with a sheaf of papers. AMANDA So good of you to show up today. WITH TOM AND AMANDA As they make their way down the hall, Tom puts on a brave face, nodding good-naturedly to everyone they pass. TOM I show up to work everyday, Amanda. It's why Peter and I started this company, so I'd have a place to go each morning when I wake up. AMANDA And I thought you just wanted an excuse to be near me. Spare me a little alone time? TOM I'm sure we can find a few leftover candles here somewhere. They head into -TOM'S OFFICE Spartan but comfortable. Amanda sits as Tom pulls the Yellow Pages out of a drawer. She knits her brow, serious. AMANDA Tom, you're starting to worry me -and Peter. TOM Guess candles are out. AMANDA What is going on with you? Under which Tom flips through the phone book, entirely focused and failing to look up at Amanda. TOM What's going on, Amanda, is I seem to be the only person in this company unwilling to accept Snork!'s claims at face value. AMANDA Give me some credit, okay? You went into that meeting just itching to lift your leg and spray. (more)
AMANDA(CONT'D) This is about loss of autonomy and your ego -- What are you looking for?
TOM A place to eat. I may be hungry after I finish spraying all the neighborhood fire hydrants. THE YELLOW PAGES Under Restaurants, Indian: Casa De India BACK TO SCENE Tom rips the page out and pockets it. He regards Amanda fully.
TOM Clearly I don't seem to know what you want anymore, so tell me. AMANDA This merger's good for all of us. You're either on the boat or you're not. TOM And you've decided I'm not. AMANDA Your call, not mine. I'm throwing a preserver, now you gotta grab it. Tom just stares at her, stone-faced. AMANDA (CONT'D) Okay, fine. The signing party is Friday. This is what the event planners had come up with. She sets the sheaf of documents on his desk. TOM Where we at? AMANDA Pretty much set top to bottom -Barbarella Pavrotia's performing, the media's primed, all you have to do is make a few calls and ensure things happen as planned. So you with me? TOM That's what I'd hoped to hear. Tom's swipes it up.
Before Amanda can respond, PETER MULLIGAN raps at the open door, fit and sunny, but a little awkward in his skin. PETER Hey, you two. Don't mean to interrupt -AMANDA Not at all, I was just bringing Tom up to speed on the party. PETER Thanks for helping out with that, Tom, really. I know you still have reservations. TOM We all jump in where we can. PETER Oh, so Amanda told you about the "Light Your Fire" empowerment retreat we attended last weekend in Sonoma. TOM No, actually she didn't. PETER That was their motto. where you can." "Jump in
AMANDA Peter jumped in and ran barefoot through burning coals. PETER And let me tell you, for those few seconds, time stood still and I became one with nature and all the forces in the universe. TOM With one force in particular, apparently. AMANDA Well, you know how nature abhors a vacuum -- or is it to vacuum? (to Peter) We've got the Quarterline meeting. TOM Quarterline? When'd that happen?
AMANDA Just their network guys. for you to be there.
Tom might as well have been slapped in the face. Too stung to respond, he can't help but notice the white orthopedic shoes Peter wears. By the measured steps he takes exiting, his feet must be pretty blistered. Amanda flashes a smile -Big mwah. AMANDA (CONT'D) Thanks.
-- and closes the door behind her. Gene stands behind it wearing black leather pants and a crop top with two BIKER BABES. GENE I see what you're wishing. TOM You are real. GENE Got that whole I'm-a-woman-withpower-who-likes-the-power-of-beingthe-woman-you-want thing happening. TOM A laser-guided smart bomb is what she is. A good partner. GENE Seeing she doesn't seem to have her sights on you right now, you think maybe I might...? TOM No, I don't think maybe you might. Tom puts his back to Gene and looks out the window, kneading his kink and fuming. The intercom BUZZES. CINDY (on com) Tom, you've got the IDT conference call in five... Meeting with Wallach after... Then the HMO group. TOM (wearily) Got it, Cindy. Thanks. Gene sidles up behind him, the abandoned Babes pout.
GENE Tom, forget about the girl right now. Think of the other things you can wish for when we're done, fame, fortune, fabulous hair -TOM (quietly) What I wish is I were the man I was two weeks ago. Then there'd be no question about the girl. GENE There's always a question about the girl. It's why they're shaped like that. Tom turns to respond, but Gene and the Babes have vanished. CINDY (on com) Tom, there's a Maggie Frazier on the line. Says it's urgent, but IDT's waiting. TOM Tell her I'll call her back in a couple hours and put IDT through. He cracks open his laptop and settles in uncomfortably for the long haul. Still, he can't quite assuage this damn kink. INT. SNORK! - BREAK ROOM - DAY A coffee pot CRACKLES on the warmer. A hand with many Band-Aids on its fingertips pulls it off. Alvinator scowls at the black gunk scalded to the pot's bottom. ALVINATOR Would it kill anybody to just once make a new pot of coffee for the next person? Geez Loueez. He scrubs out the pot as a couple of SNORK! EMPLOYEES hangout nearby, sipping from their filled mugs. SNORK! EMPLOYEE #1 I heard our shares are going to go stratospheric with the PowerServe deal. Even the janitor's gonna be worth a million. They CLINK their mugs in toast, Alvinator's dark cloud has no impact on their sunny day. He's intent only on making coffee.
SNORK! EMPLOYEE #2 Hey, you were here for the startup, you got the stock options. Buy yourself a barista to make the coffee. SNORK! EMPLOYEE #1 No, he's one of those that cashed out early. What was it? "A check in hand is better than ten thousand shares up the tush." They barely contain themselves as Alvinator grabs his empty cup and stalks out. They CLINK mugs again. INT. POWERSERVE - EXECUTIVE LOBBY - DAY Cindy on her headset on, levels a withering look O.S. and stabs a button on the PBX. Tom? TOM'S OFFICE Tom on his computer. Sleeves rolled up, Red Bull in his hand. Put her CINDY Maggie Frazier for you.
TOM Right, party girl. through.
CINDY (on com) No, I mean she's here to see you. MAGGIE (on com) I don't have an appointment, which has been made very clear to me, thank you. Tom can't help but smile at that. TOM You eaten, Maggie? EXT. RESTAURANT ROW - DAY Maggie carries her portfolio while Tom leads them down a busy sidewalk lined by eclectic eateries. MAGGIE Party girl?
TOM I meant it as in party planner, as in a consummate professional. MAGGIE I know, I'm sorry I just showed up, but you said you'd call me back and I trust when people say they're going to do something -TOM -- I was -MAGGIE -- Then when you didn't, it occurred to me that the phone just wouldn't do anyway -Tom brings them to a stop, directly outside Casa De India. TOM Do you like Indian food? MAGGIE Of course. Tom opens the door. INT. CASA DE INDIA - DAY Already seated, scanning the menu, Tom's got water, Maggie, tea. Tom thoughtlessly kneads his neck as Pranay arrives to take their order, instantly gravitating to Maggie like the flirt that he is. PRANAY Good afternoon, almost evening. I'm Pranay at your service. Do you see what you like? MAGGIE It's so hard to choose. I'll have the lamb saagwala, and an order of raita, and -- You like naan? TOM Never met one I didn't. MAGGIE And an order of naan. Excellent. she sees. PRANAY The lady does like what
MAGGIE And some murg soup to start, please. Delicious. PRANAY And for you, sir?
TOM Chicken curry, please. And is the proprietor of your fine establishment here by chance? PRANAY My father, yes. I can get him -TOM No, I just, ah, always like to ask. Pranay gives him a look, then turns his attention back to Maggie. touches the back of her hand, ever so gently. Tom notices. PRANAY And how is your tea, senorita? MAGGIE Wonderful, thank you. Pranay collects their menus then, quite obvious, winks at Maggie and flashes his suave smile before trotting off. TOM Can you believe that? MAGGIE It's sweet of you to get ornery about it, but I'm not offended. TOM Well, I am. MAGGIE I'm sure he thinks you're cute, too. You think? TOM I'm not so sure. He
MAGGIE Assuming Pranay hails from a traditional Hindu upbringing, he's aware that Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, many of their most supreme gods weren't even realized until that defining moment when they first interacted with a woman.
TOM At the end of the day, who is? MAGGIE Exactly, so it stands to reason a young man such as he might feel compelled to validate his sense of spiritual identity in a similar fashion. I mean, think about it. It was the Tantrics, afterall, who believed that true Buddhahood can only be found in the vulva. (off silence) More information than you needed? TOM No, no, maybe you're right, or -MAGGIE Yes? TOM Maybe he just wants to rub his Brahna against your Vishnu. Maggie's eyes flash wide, but she can't help but crack up. MAGGIE He's much too young and unaware of what matters when courting a woman with expectations of what he might one day become. TOM What might that be, exactly? MAGGIE Why, a man, of course. With this, last night's conclusion has been succinctly corroborated. Tom finally relaxes. TOM Of course. They're all the rave in the mosh pit. I'm hoping to become one myself one day. MAGGIE Of that, I have no doubt. Pranay arrives with the food. PRANAY Here you go. Chicken curry for you. And especially for you...
He places Maggie's many plates in front of her and she digs right in. Pranay lingers. MAGGIE Oh my god, this is wonderful. Tom agrees as Anoop approaches. ANOOP Hello, hello, welcome, thank you for coming. How is everything? PRANAY This is my father, Anoop Dubey. Tom Hanlin. here. TOM Great place you got
ANOOP Hello, yes, thank you. MAGGIE This raita is excellent, Anoop. Homemade yogurt, yes? And the saagwala! I haven't tasted mutton this good outside of New Delhi. You used fresh fenugreek and if I'm not mistaken, ground and toasted the cardamom, didn't you? ANOOP Yes, myself. The old fashioned way, none of these modern mixes. MAGGIE Everywhere you go, it's processed powder. What's up with that? But this is resplendent. ANOOP Yes, what is up? It is resplendent, thank you -- Wait, you must try my latest creations. Anoop scrambles into the kitchen as Pranay flashes his "suavy" smile and heads off to another table. TOM I think you've got another fan. Maggie grins, savoring another mouthful. load of several other dishes. Anoop returns with a tray
Here, yes. the house.
ANOOP You must try this. I call it bhunita.
MAGGIE Oh, like a little bhunna burrito. TOM Some Indian-Mexican fusion thing? ANOOP Fusion implies a subtle blending of different flavors. This is more like... MAGGIE Mmm, a collision. ANOOP Like a collision. Exactly. The spices of east and southwest collide into an explosion of... Maggie offers Tom a bite, which he takes. TOM Hari ole' -ANOOP Hari ole', yes. I call this one tacurry -MAGGIE Let me guess, a curry taco? ANOOP No. It is a taco curry. One should not confuse one with the other. You like? Maggie bites into it, loves it. MAGGIE Anoop, it's madness. ANOOP Yes, it is madness. Anoop sits to serve her another bite as Tom quietly checks out the restaurant for the first time, notices the odd sombrero and elephant pinatas. Nidra nods off at the cash register. TOM You're a regular Iron Chef, Anoop. Why isn't this stuff on the menu?
ANOOP People like traditional, but someday they will know there is more to Indian food than missing cow. TOM I'm sure they will. He goes back to kneading his neck. EXT. CASA DE INDIA - DAY Tom and Maggie emerge stuffed. They stroll up the sidewalk. He's got Anoop sussed out.
MAGGIE I think I'm going to explode. TOM So about the thing -MAGGIE Yes, the thing. TOM It's Saturday night at the Abbey. MAGGIE Sounds pretty black tie on pretty short notice. TOM Most of the details are in place. Should be a no-brainer -MAGGIE -- No-brainer, thank you not -TOM -- For someone of your considerable expertise, I was going to add. Under which Dionne Barboza slams out of "Piano Tutelage by Peeblesneep," her mother on her tail. RHONDA Dionne, you stop this right now. DIONNE Stop this what right now? My lessons? Gladly. Thought you'd never ask. RHONDA Watch where you're going --
Dionne nearly plows into Tom and Maggie.
She stomps off to the car, leaving her mother exasperated. I'm sorry. RHONDA (CONT'D) Kids today.
TOM Kids every day. RHONDA You're telling me. She climbs into the car where Dionne sits pouting. pull away, the electric windows go down. RHONDA (CONT'D) I just wish I didn't have to take anymore stupid lessons from him. A grin parts Tom's face. He heads off, hurriedly. Just before they
TOM Listen, Maggie, I gotta go. Drop by the office tomorrow morning and we'll iron out the wrinkles. He's already several yards away from her and gaining speed. seems unsure whether to stay put or chase after. MAGGIE Do I need to make an appointment? WITH TOM nearly running. TOM No. ON MAGGIE MAGGIE Okay, I'll see you tomorrow then -Thank you! TOM (O.S.) Thank you! She stands there a moment, puzzled. She shrugs her shoulders -Maggie
MAGGIE Too many beans in the bhunita?
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