FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
MAIN TITLES As presentation credits begin, we hear Johnny Cash's "Home of the Blues." Then we see Allison's name, under it Alex's, under that Robert's, under that Quentin's, then under that the title logo for Four Rooms, followed by "Starring Tim Roth as the Bellboy." Then "The Guests" listed in alphabetical order of all the actors playing guests. After the actors' names, we . . . FADE UP ON A WALL The camera pans down a weathered wall covered with postcards from Miami Beach, Florida, the Copacabana, N.Y.C., "Wish You Were Here" from Niagara Falls, rickshaws and babes on beaches, etc . . . . The camera comes to rest on an old photograph of a 1930s hotel, the "Mon Signor," in its heyday, with a full staff of 30 people posed on the lawn in front. An old guy with a staccato voice delivers a monologue: VOICE-OVER There used to be a staff of fifty in this place. I'm the only one left from those days. It all comes down to one sap: the night-shift bellhop, that's me. What the hell is a bellhop? You know where the name comes from? (silence) Of course not. . . . It's so simple it's stupid. They ring a bell and you hop. You hop to front and center. No heroes in this line, kid. Just men doing a job. No questions asked, none answered. I try to keep it simple, kid, not too personal. . . . Another voice of a young man interrupts. TED You met any of those old stars? THE OLD GUY Stars! Are you kidding me? I took Rin Tin Tin out for a shit, for Christ's sakes. I taught Shirley Temple how to roller-skate. I saw Fatty Arbuckle regurgitate three cheese sandwiches right on the spot you're sitting, kid. What did you say your name was? TED Ted. THE OLD GUY Ted, right. I remember Marilyn used to come down at night and doze off in the kitchen. She liked the sound of the fans out back spinning around. Sure, these were stars, kid. Errol Flynn used to call me "Alibi." You'll pick up a few stories yourself, kid. TED I don't think so, not like yours. THE OLD GUY What do you think a star does when he goes to the bathroom, kid? TED Beats me. THE OLD GUY He pulls his pants down and takes a crap just like you and me. Take my word for it. A wisp of smoke passes over a napkin pinned to the wall with a lip print on it signed "Marilyn." The camera pulls back to reveal Ted and the Old Guy sitting on a foldout cot in a small back room of the Hotel Mon Signor. The old man is dressed in a striped T-shirt with a bellhop's cap on. He looks like an old pirate. Next to him on the bed sits Ted, a young guy with a bellhop jacket draped over his knees. The old bellhop takes a long drag off a big cigar. THE OLD GUY Camacho! TED Who? THE OLD GUY The cigar. Cuban. A good cigar, wrapped in Miami. I get a box of them every Christmas from the chairman of the board. I think he sends them to me to keep my mouth shut. It's tough not to get a little personal in this business. The old bellhop takes a hit off his cigar and stares down at his cap, lost in thought. TED What do you mean? The old guy passes the cap over to Ted. THE OLD GUY Put it on. Ted puts the cap on. THE OLD GUY Frankly, you look stupid . . . like the Philip Morris guy. I can't believe I wore that thing for fifty years. You keep it. The Old Guy gets up from the bed and throws a jacket on. Pulls a few postcards off the wall, throws them in an old straw suitcase, and slams the lid down. He heads for the door. Ted follows. THE OLD GUY Stay away from night clerks, kids, hookers, and marital disputes. The Old Guy pauses for a second and looks Ted dead in the eye. THE OLD GUY Never have sex with the clientele. TED No way, not me. You got any other advice. THE OLD GUY Always get a tip. The door slams shut on the back room. INT. HOTEL LOBBY--TWILIGHT The big empty lobby of the Mon Signor. You can tell that at one point this used to be a swank place. It still is, kinda. It's also kinda decrepit. The concierge--a snappy, fast-talking, red-haired young woman in a blue blazer named Betty--stands behind the reception desk. The old man, suitcase in hand, makes a beeline through the lobby, heading toward the front door. Betty sees him. BETTY Sam! Hey, Sam, wait a minute! The Old Guy stops in his tracks and turns around. THE OLD GUY What? Betty comes from behind the desk. BETTY I just want to say good-bye. THE OLD GUY Who are you? BETTY Uhhh, Betty. The concierge. Your boss. The Old Guy squints his eyes at the young gal. THE OLD GUY Oh yeah. Gotta light, sister? Goddam cigar went out. BETTY Yeah, sure. She speaks to the Old Guy as she lights his cigar and he puffs away. BETTY I just want you to know, from the owner and all the staff, your fifty years of service have been an inspiration to us all. You're a legend in your own time, and the Mon Signor will never be the-- THE OLD GUY Just forward my cigars, Red. (He turns around the walks out, saying over his shoulder) Aufwiedersehen! Betty is left standing in the lobby. Ted appears behind her in his bellbody uniform, sans cap. TED Sam the bellboy. Now there was a man. BETTY Yeah. Oh, hi, Teddy. Ready to start the night shift? TED Yeah. BETTY Well, let me buy you a drink. TED You wanna buy me a drink? I'm starting my shift. BETTY You're not an alcoholic, are you; one drink won't kill you. TED Yeah, sure. They walk out of frame. In the empty frame we SUPER: NEW YEAR'S EVE 7:00 P.M. INT. BACK ROOM--NIGHT Betty and Ted sit in the back room, both with drinks in their hand. This dialogue is to be delivered rapid fire, Howard Hawks style. BETTY After fifty years, Sam retires, and you're taking over the night shift. TED Correct. BETTY You're filling some mighty big shoes. TED Oh, I know. BETTY Sam was a legend in the hotel business. TED Oh, I know . . . BETTY A bellhop's bellhop. TED An inspiration to us all. BETTY He ran the night desk for fifty years, all by himself. TED An amazing man. BETTY No desk clerk. No night man. No help. Just fuckin' Sam, and his wits. TED A man alone. BETTY And you're gonna do the same. TED I know. BETTY Tonight. Ted spews his drink. TED Tonight! BETTY Yes, tonight. TED I can't. BETTY Yes, you can. TED No, I can't. I never worked the night shift before. BETTY Oh night shift--smight shift. TED We were supposed to work it together. BETTY I know, but I can't. TED Why not? BETTY I'm having a New Year's Eve party. TED Since when? BETTY Actually, I'm not having it. My roommate is. And there's this guy. German guy. He's gonna be there. And so am I. TED I can't run this place by myself. BETTY Oh, sure ya can. TED No, I can't. BETTY Sam ran this place by himself for fifty years. TED Yeah, and he had fifty years of fuckin' practice, too. I haven't had a day. BETTY Look, Teddy, calm down-- TED --Don't call me Teddy. BETTY Ted, the night's cake. It's easy. The day's when it's busy. During the night there's nothing to do. TED It's New Year's Eve. BETTY Which'll make it less busy than normal. Ever worked on Christmas? Unless you sell turkeys, business is dead. You just got butterflies, that's all. TED What I have ain't butterflies. I can't handle this hotel all by myself. Betty slows the scene down. BETTY Okay, let's calm down a minute. Slow it down, cool it off. Let's just talk. TED You can say any goddamn thing you want-- BETTY --Ted? I thought we were calming down? I thought we were cooling off? No hostility. Say good-bye to hostility. We're just talking. TED Okay . . . okay . . . okay . . . I'm calm, I'm cool, let's talk. BETTY Ted, in a nutshell, all you have to do is hold the fort. It's New Year's Eve. Most of the guests are going out. You'll just be giving them a little nod as they come staggering in at three . . . four . . . five . . . in the morning. Nobody's having any parties, a few get-togethers, but no parties. You got about three people checking in tonight, that's it. The only variable is Chester Rush in the penthouse. TED Chester Rush? The guy from The Wacky Detective? BETTY Yeah, him and his entourage checked in last night. They're in the penthouse. The only reason I refer to it as a variable is that he's a movie star. Ya never know about movie stars. I'm tellin' ya, Ted, it's cake. Betty takes a piece of paper and writes her number down. BETTY (continuing) And look, if you have any problems, call me at the party. Ted thinks about it for a moment. TED Okay. BETTY Great-- TED --For fifty bucks. BETTY Fifty bucks! TED You're shirking your duties for this Nazi. For that you pay a price, and the price is fifty bucks. BETTY One, Horst is not a Nazi. Two, that's not a fair price. You're taking advantage of the situation. Twenty bucks. Now, twenty bucks is a fair price. TED Yeah, but what you're doin' to me ain't fair. And, you are completely and totally taking advantage of me and your position. So fifty bucks is the perfect price. Betty begrudgingly digs in her purse. BETTY Okay, but don't be a pussy. You don't bother me unless it's an emergency. In fact, for fifty bucks, you better not call me unless the fuckin' building's burning down. She gives him the money. BETTY Get ready to take the desk. Betty leaves. Ted sits in the chair, takes another drink, and prepares himself for the night. FADE TO BLACK STORY TITLE CARD: room 321 "STRANGE BREW" FADE IN: EXT. THE MON SIGNOR HOTEL--DUSK Ted, the bellboy, meets his first guest of the evening, as a taxi unloads her luggage. To his warm surprise, the guest is a Beautiful Mediterranean Goddess (actually, we will come to see she is not technically a goddess, but a High Priestess). She is about 25 years old, speaks with an Italian accent and is dressed in Gypsy garb. She is Athena. Ted takes Athena's luggage onto his cart. But one item in a woven Moroccan bag proves to be unbearably heavy. Athena is concerned as he attempts to lift it. ATHENA Pleeze be careful--my God. You have no idea . . . Ted strains as he uses all his cojones to lift the insanely heavy bag onto the cart. Athena tips the cab driver, stingily. The driver winces and gets in the cab. Ted has now managed with grunts and groans and strained blood vessels to put this thing on the cart. The cab skids away. Athena looks at Ted, who is out of breath. ATHENA I'm usually a good tipper, but this one--this cab driver--he had green all around him. I don't like that in a man. Ted wheezes and pounds on his chest. TED Green? Is that bad? Like you read auras or something like that? ATHENA Something like that. TED Yeah, well what color are you seein' around me . . . how's the tip lookin? ATHENA I see purple . . . in your face, and . . . As if she can't help herself, Athena's eyes are strangely drawn to his crotch. She frowns, confused by this impulse. Ted appears to be charmingly oblivious. Athena looks back into his face. ATHENA . . . you're okay. Ted touches his face--as if searching for the "purple" in it--and moves the cart inside, discreetly checking out his crotch and giving her a confused side glance. INT. FRONT DESK--DUSK Ted shifts hats to check the girl in. He checks her reservation. ATHENA Athena Z. TED (scratching his head--weird name, okay) You're booked in the Honeymoon Suite--just one night? With all this luggage? ATHENA I will only need to stay till sunrise. TED Okay . . . and how will you be paying? ATHENA With gold. He looks at this wacky Gypsy chick numbly--she pulls out her Gold Card and smiles. EXT. ELEVATOR--DUSK The doors open and Ted and Athena emerge upon the third floor. Ted follows Athena with the cart down the hallway to her room. AT THE HONEYMOON SUITE DOOR Ted opens the door, then lifts the easiest bags first. In the center of the room is a Jacuzzi with hokey plastic cupids poised with urns on each side. A dormant fireplace looms beyond the still hot tub. Ted stares at the heavy bag with anxiety--then looks in front of him to Athena as she rubs the round plastic head of a little Cupid and mumbles, "Perfect." Then, arms open wide, chin lifted to heaven, eyes closed, she mumbles a faint incantation. Then she does a belly-dance wiggle and turns to Ted, who is truly perplexed. ATHENA Well--the other bag--I need it. TED Right. He starts to lift it, again straining and turning purple. He laughs sickly. TED What the hell you got in here, lady? Nuclear weapons? She relieves him of the task and effortlessly picks up the bag. ATHENA (dryly) The White Cliffs of Dover. Ted is stunned as she slings the bag over her shoulder and pauses to pull a 10 spot out of her cleavage. She hands it to him. Ted is grateful and disoriented. ATHENA The others will be coming soon. Send them, pleeze. Ted nods, confused by "the others," and walks off with the cart. Then he turns from outside the doorway. TED Oh--I forgot to show you how to turn on the Jacuzzi. But Athena is ahead of him--she flips a switch and water begins to flow from the baby cupids' urns into the hot tub. ATHENA I been in dis' place many New Year's. So . . . you send the others to me, huh. Go now. As she says this, the door closes with a strange force, shutting Ted out. Athena takes the bag to the bedroom of the suite. IN THE SUITE BEDROOM A round bed with pink tuck'n'roll headboard. It's impossible to imagine having an orgasm in this room--unless it were achieved by laughing. Athena carefully removes a large, beautiful white slab of stone from her tapestry bag. She caresses it and carries it like a baby to the bed and places it in the very center, the head of the rock resting on dusty heart-shaped pillows. Then she removes from her bag a pink negligee and matching high-heeled slippers. And these she places with reverance on the bed. ATHENA On this night, oh great goddess Diana, we restore your virgin flesh and bring you back to real life. CLOSE ON the rock slab. We hold the artifact. ATHENA Soon--I take you to the pond for a cleansing. Well, it's a swimming pool, but it will be under the setting sun, okay? INT. FRONT DESK--DUSK FALLS Just as Ted is recovering from the mystery of this first guest, Elspeth arrives. She has skin like marble, the body of Venus, piercing blue eyes, blond hair and is dressed all in black clothing, like Honey West in a rubber dress. She carries several bags, and a silver sword on her shoulder. TED May I help you? ELSPETH I . . . we . . . have a reservation. Then she snaps, irritated, behind her. ELSPETH Kiva! ANGLE ON a young punk rocker chick with long orange hair, a long leather coat, wearing a tight T-shirt with studs spelling "PUSSY" across her breasts. This is Kiva. Kiva is kicking the tar and nicotine outta the cigarette machine. Just as Ted's eyes grow wide with anxiety, several packs of smokes drop into the juvenile delinquent's hands. KIVA Wait up, gawd! I had to get supplies for this boring ass night. ELSPETH (to Ted) We have a reservation in the Honeymoon Suite. TED Oh yeah . . . you must be one of "the others." And what're you carrying--the Rock of Gibraltar? She stares at him without humor. He fumbles for the key. He walks around the desk to help her with her black crocodile luggage. Jars clang inside. He is ready to go, but Elspeth turns to lecture Kiva on the hazards of smoking, as Kiva lights up. ELSPETH What'd I tell you about smoking? KIVA You smoke. ELSPETH That's right--I smoke, and I'm addicted to it, and I don't want the same thing to happen to you. KIVA (in game-show host voice) "Hello--welcome to this week's edition of the Hypocrite of the Year Award--" As Kiva goes off on her impression of a game-show host, Elspeth is growing increasingly rageful, like a mother with an unruly child. Ted waits, luggage in hand. ELSPETH Kiva! That's enough-- She cuts Kiva's ramble off. Kiva blows smoke defiantly. KIVA You're not my mother! ELSPETH Yes I am. KIVA Then why're we sleeping together? Ted looks on uneasily at the relationship that is beginning to unfold here. Elspeth checks his reaction and becomes self-conscious at his scrutiny. ELSPETH Well . . . I didn't mean it . . . literally. I . . . I happen to be the only one who . . . cares about you-- But her wild child looks off, bored. Elspeth turns to Ted, flustered. ELSPETH Please--take us to our room! Ted smiles uneasily and reaches to relieve her of her sword, but Elspeth quickly slams her palm on the sword and shoots him a piercing glare. He jumps back with a light nervous laugh. He leads the way to the elevator. AT THE HONEYMOON SUITE DOOR The couch has been set out here in the hall, as well as coffee tables, lamps, and the TV. Elspeth and Kiva enter the room. Athena is gone. As Ted stumbles around the furniture in the hall, he peers in the room and see a transformation. With most of the furniture removed, candles and incense and flowers are beginning to form an altar around the fireplace. But oddest of all is the pink-tinged water swirling in the Jacuzzi and pouring from the cupid urns. A sprinkle of white powder on the carpet encircles the hot tub. Elspeth hands him a tip as he gawks at the circle. ELSPETH Flea powder. One of the others is bringing her cat. Ted starts away again, perplexed. He turns for one last look to see Elspeth kneeling before Kiva, who sprawls on the floor. He shakes his head and leaves. ELSPETH You're gonna have to wait in the other room. KIVA Why? ELSPETH Because I said so. KIVA I'll watch TV. ELSPETH You can't watch TV because the noise will interfere with our ritual. Kiva looks around the room and spies the TV in the hallway. She turns to Elspeth with sarcastic concession. KIVA Okay . . . Mommy. Elspeth bristles as the brat saunters off to the bedroom. Elspeth enters the sacred circle, stands before the altar, whips out her sword, and makes a ceremonial gesture pointing the sword upward, perfectly centered between her breasts. Kiva, behind Elspeth's back, exits from the bedroom doorway into the hall and comes back in, lugging the TV into the honeymoon bedroom. Elspeth kneels before the altar. Athena enters the room with the "cleansed" artifact and lays the slab in the center of the altar upon the heart-shaped pillows as Elspeth lays her sword next to the rock. The women look upon the union with tender affection. ATHENA Soon--our goddess will come. I will go get her negligee. Athena stands up but her reverie is dispelled as she shrieks! Loud TV suddenly blasts from the bedroom and Kiva the brat is trying on the pink negligee over her clothes. Athena takes the negligee off the irrepressible youth. ATHENA What are you doing! Have you no respect--who--who is dis girl? ELSPETH Kiva. My friend. Kiva, turn off the TV! I can't leave her at home--she's on probation and I gotta keep an eye on her. ATHENA Well, Elspeth, your friend cannot stay here during the ritual. She may be one of your kind, but she is not one of us. ELSPETH She stays!! Or I go--along with my offering! The women have a stare-down. Then Athena calls out-- ATHENA TURN OF THE FUCKING TV, MAN! KIVA (in a seductive pout) Make me . . . Elspeth becomes anxious with jealousy. Athena is exasperated as she firmly demands from Elspeth-- ATHENA Let's not forget--I am the High Fucking Priestess. Deal with dis girl! Elspeth defers to Athena with remembered reverance and respect. She bows apologetic and scurries to the bedroom. ATHENA (eyes lifted to heaven, wearily) Tell me--did we have these problems in Salem? I don't think so . . . IN THE BEDROOM Elspeth swallows her rage and approaches the brat with a soft touch. ELSPETH Kiva . . . you know what I love about you? Kiva smirks . . . yeah, she knows. ELSPETH Your sweet side. KIVA And what do I get if I'm sweet? ELSPETH You get whatever you want. And you know what else I love about you? KIVA (seduced now) What? ELSPETH Your nose. And saying this, she kisses Kiva's nose and leaves the room. Kiva is quieted now. As Elspeth closes the bedroom door, she has the last word. ELSPETH And I saw you checking her out. Kiva slinks back on the bed, put in her place--for now. IN THE HALLWAY/EXT. ELEVATOR--DUSK The doors open and Ted pushes a cart of expensive designer luggage--and lots of it--behind yet another Gorgeous Gal. This one is Jezebel, a Southern beauty, fawning over her cat, as she carries nothing else, and proceeds down the hall like a Southern princess. JEZEBEL (talking to her cat in baby talk) Oh you little stinker . . . oh you sweet little muffin. Yes . . . Mama loves the baby. AT THE DOOR Jezebel bursts in, chattering. JEZEBEL Well, this is just darlin'! Just darlin' Hi-dee, girls . . . Ted carries all her bags inside awkwardly. Again, the place has become all the more tranformed with wild canopies of exotic cloths and fixings. Elspeth and Athena are hard at work on a strange nature sculpture as Jezebel enters. She stands inside the powdered circle and before the hot tub, which now has dark blue water swirling inside. She presents her cat--upward toward heaven--frees the cat, bares her breasts and sucks in the vibes: "Ahhhh." Ted settles the bags down, hoping for a peek at her charms, but her back is to him. The kitty rubs on her leg. She picks it up and presses it against her bare breasts, petting it sweetly. She winks and hands him a tip. JEZEBEL Toodle-loo. And saying this, she shoos him away. Through the glass doors to the bedroom, she sees Kiva sprawled on the bed, writing on herself. JEZEBEL Well--I see Elspeth has herself a new lil' fool--what the hell is she doin' here on our night of annual ritual? ATHENA (wearily) I have sanctioned her presence, as long as she behaves. Come on--there is more work to be done to welcome our great Diana. KIVA I WANT ROOM SERVICE!! ELSPETH Why do I always attract girls who are looking for a babysitter? JEZEBEL Well now, honey, maybe Juvenile Hall ain't the best place to find serious relationship material. Elspeth seethes at her. Jezebel acts blithely innocent. IN THE HALLWAY Ted is walking from the room with the cart. His face is etched in a mask of perpetual frown as he looks at the tip in his hand--at least these lunachicks tip well. Waking him out of his deep mood is Raven. Another female intoxication, she wears a short skirt, all done up in Native American, Southwestern themes. No shoes. But she carries a small, old handmade broom. She moves down the hall, blissed-out. Ted makes eye contact, despite himself. RAVEN I'm looking for the room for making love. TED You might be referring to the Honeymoon Suite. Straight thata way . . . you can't miss it--see all that furniture in the hallway-- RAVEN Oh I know the way. I just wanted you to know that I knew where I was going and that you needn't bother yourself with me. The others are here--great! TED (wearily) Oh yeah--it's so great--it's fantastic. RAVEN (in deep empathy) Ohhh . . . I know it all seems very strange but you're coping with us much better than the bellboys of past New Year's. TED Past New Year's? RAVEN Oh yes--we've been coming here every New Year . . . for a long time. Thanks for your patience. TED Oh hey--no problem--wreck the place. Bring in cats. Ruin the carpet with flea powder, pour paint in the Jacuzzi. Throw the furniture out the . . . where're your bags? RAVEN I travel very light. Ted looks down at the broom at her side, her bare feets, her thick dark hair. It keeps getting weirder. She wanders off. INT. FRONT DESK--NIGHT The last of the lovely girls arrives. She is different from the others. She looks like a farm girl, very Earth Mother, with a tablecloth halter top and skirt, sandals, and a simple scarf over her long dark curls. She carries two bags by herself and holds a small black pot under her arm. She is Eva. TED (already weary of these girls) Yeah, yeah, Honeymoon Suite. EVA Oh . . . yes . . . I'm late. She lowers her eyes, worried. TED All right--lemme give ya a hand. EVA Oh . . . no, that's all right. I can carry them by myself. She is so sweet and sincere that he feels like a heel to have been irritated with her. He picks up her bags. TED I'm a man doin' a job--no hero. Eva smiles, beautifully. EVA Well gosh--thank you! IN THE ELEVATOR Ted holds Eva's hippy sacks as she holds her black pot. There is a shy quiet tension here. EVA Tell me, how long have the others been here? TED About an hour. Eva's heart sinks. They arrive at the door. He carries her bags in. IN THE SUITE The room is entirely transformed into a beautiful glowing palace with an elaborate altar, both earthly and the other-earthly. The other four girls are arranging the altar as Eva enters. ATHENA You are very late, Eva. EVA I'm sorry, Athena. I was attending a birth and the placenta was late in coming. Ted is slightly queasy. She hands him a tip and smiles, then takes it back. EVA Oh, wait, lemme give you a little more than that . . . Ted's no fool, he waits while Eva looks through her change purse. ELSPETH Which birth is more important to you, that of a mortal or that of a goddess? EVA All life is precious . . . but I do apologize for being late, Elspeth. JEZEBEL Back home, they jist yank on the umbilical cord, do a Karate chop on the mama's belly, and them things come right out. EVA They do that here, too, Jezebel, in the hospitals, but it causes hemorrhages. I fed the mother a bowl of comfrey tea and it brought the afterbirth down perfectly. The couple are going to use it for fertilizer to plant a lovely tree for their baby. KIVA Oh wow--if they were really back-to-nature, they'd eat it, like other mammals do. CLOSE ON Ted's face as he gets thoroughly grossed out. RAVEN In some Native American cultures, they dry the umbilical cord, grind it to a fine powder, and put it in a leather pouch that the baby wears to ward off evil. But burying the placenta is also a very sound ecological practice--'cause of the oxygen it carries. EVA (cheerfully to the others) Yes--because you see when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall . . . TED (wincing in disgust) Uh, thank you, ladies--I'll be going now. If you need anything-- Eva places a nice tip in his palm. ATHENA Wait. We do need a few things. Ted sighs as Eva enters the circle with her black pot. She kneels softly, holds her hands in piety before the altar, and softly incants as she offers her pot and places it on the altar. The stone and sword and flowers now rest here on pillows covered in chiffon scarves. The negligee hangs from the mantel, the slippers underneath as if expecting someone to materialize into the garments. ATHENA We need fresh rosemary from the kitchen. Mostly what we need is from the kitchen. Hey, are you listening? Ted is watching Eva, enchanted. TED Yeah, yeah, rosemary. ATHENA And a little bit of sea salt or Kosher salt if you don't got no sea salt. A bottle of spring water--Italian please, not French shit. KIVA And some french fries! ELSPETH Kiva, shut up. ATHENA (irritated) And some ginger, two of the eyes of a trout fish, and a piece of raw meat, liver if you have it. KIVA (whining) I want fries--you dumb jerks with your stupid fucking ritual! ATHENA Shut up, you little shit. ELSPETH Don't talk to her that way! Ted has scribbled down the items as she speaks. He looks at this list and these girls and shudders as he walks away. He turns, points at Eva. Ted smiles at this angel of a girl. She smiles back. But, as she looks him in the eyes, he feels a strange buzzing connection happening. He holds his head, almost swooning with dizziness. Athena smirks. ATHENA Get to work, man. Ted comes out of his daze, looks at the list again and huffs off. After he goes, the girls begin to bring forth their most treasured offerings in ornate ancient bottles, vases or vials. Jezebel folds her arms and clears her throat in the direction of Kiva, sitting idly on the edge of the blue water Jacuzzi, with her feet dipping irreverently in the water. ELSPETH Kiva . . . KIVA What? ELSPETH You have to go in the next room now. KIVA Oh, wow, like I'm bummed out that I can't watch. (whining at Elspeth) I'm bored! ELSPETH UP! She climbs up the stairs, trying to pull the brat to her feet. KIVA Don't put me in there by myself. I'll miss you way too much. ELSPETH Kiva, don't do this to me. Kiva sees a bit of weakening here; she takes her feet out of the Jacuzzi. She begins to speak softly. KIVA Please . . . if you just lemme . . . I'll play dress-up with you, the way you like it . . . you know what I mean . . . remember . . . ? Elspeth begins to weaken. But continues to pull the brat up. Kiva pours on softer seduction. KIVA We can pretend and I'll do it exactly . . . the way you want it . . . with the egg whites and the kilt. Elspeth is now fully seduced. Kiva takes Elspeth's hand and presses it lightly on her face. ELSPETH You mean . . . like last week? Kiva nods. Elspeth is enthralled, but from a disgusted "ick" sound from Jezebel, Elspeth realizes she's revealing this side of her life--in front of her coven. She nervously looks around and see all the coven looking at her: a disgusted Jezebel, an understanding Raven, a preoccupied Eva and an impatient and stern Athena. Elspeth comes to her senses, straightens her posture. ELSPETH We'll talk about this later, Kiva. KIVA (angrily) No! She turns on Elspeth and bites her hand. Elspeth pulls her arm away and grabs Kiva by the hair. JEZEBEL Aw, really now--child abuse? ELSPETH You stay outta this! ATHENA I demand this stop now, Elspeth! Elspeth lets go of Kiva's hair. Kiva jerks away from her. KIVA I'm running away from you! ELSPETH Fine. Go ahead. And I'll call your parole officer and she'll find you and send you back to Eastlake! Kiva stomps off into the bedroom. ATHENA Now that the fucking melodrama is over, can we start the goddamn ritual--pleeze? Elspeth enters the powered circle. Each girl takes off her shoes. They anoint themselves with oils. ATHENA We are communing here on New Year's Eve to bring to life the great goddess Diana, who was turned to stone in this very room forty years ago today. The girls moan in sleepy, eerie agreement as they begin to sway within the circle. ATHENA Diana, great beautiful one, we make these offerings to you, that we may undo the wicked spell which deprived you of the seed of your lover, your virginal blood, of your very life. We now form the symbolic rock with our bodies. And saying this, the girls all form a "rock" with their bodies gracefully draped one upon the other. Music begins, and slowly they start to unfold from the rock. The girls each find their place in a semicircle around the Jacuzzi. Some bare their breasts, other strip off a layer of clothes. They anoint their arms with water from the Jacuzzi. They begin a lovely dance, snaking their way around the semicircle. The first one to go from one end to the other is Athena. She then proceeds up the stairs and positions herself between the altar and the Jacuzzi. She steps forth with a bottle to the altar and pours it into the Jacuzzi. ATHENA On this night, in this hour, we Call upon the Ancient Power O Goddess bride, I offer thee Milk from a mother's sweet titty! Each of the girls moans eerily. Athena places the bottle on the altar and bows away. She joins the circle as Elspeth now steps forward with her offering in a vial. ELSPETH To reverse the evil which has been done I make this offering to the Divine One A whore not, an innocent was, For whom I seized a virgin's blood. JEZEBEL Goddess of Light, Goddess of Lust, To undo this awful spell is a real must. To bring you life and get you high I offer the sweat of five men's thighs. The girls moan loudly as they sway. Jezebel places her offering in the hot tub and bows out, returning to the circle. Now Raven comes forth with a small leather canteen. She unscrews the lid as she offers in her opiate stupor. RAVEN Diana, oh great one, we live without sun Until this wicked curse is undone. In hope that you live, and to us appear, I have collected a year's worth of tears. She pours liquid into the mix, as the witches moan. Now it's Eva's turn. Eva continues to sway, not moving forth to the altar. The girls keep their eyes closed as they sway, waiting for Eva's offering. Athena finally gives her a push and she goes. Eva kneels before the altar. She produces a silver bottle with a chain on its cap and neck. She timidly begins to incant. EVA Great Goddess Diana, fail you I will, I was to bring fresh sperm from my Bill. I had him erect, and his semen would follow But alas I was hot, so hot that I swallowed. The moans turn to wails as the girls GASP and SHRIEK! Athena opens her eyes, wildly. ATHENA You stupid little witch! You swallowed the sperm! Aye-yi--yi! Elspeth opens her eyes and folds her arms, smirking bitterly. ELSPETH It just shows what an amazing lack of control you have over yourself, Eva! JEZEBEL Honey, why didn't you just use your hands? Didn't your mama teach you not to put them things in your mouth? RAVEN I understand though . . . Eva bursts into tears. Athena is firm. ATHENA There is no time to cry over swallowed sperms. You're gonna have to get some, baby. You have one hour to prove what kind of witch you really are. Just then: a knock at the door. ATHENA (calling out) What do you want?! TED Ted . . . the bellboy. Athena smiles and turns to Eva. ATHENA Mr. Bellboy, come right in! Ted opens the door. His eyes bulge out as he looks upon the fleshly feast. He steps back. They giggle seductively, all except Eva, who sniffles, red-eyed. Amazingly, Ted's attention is captivated by Eva's sorrow, not by the naked charms of the other witches. She shyly covers her breasts. Sensitive to her shame and sorrow, he looks away and steps from the door to fetch the room-service cart. Athena directs the others to put on their shirts. Ted wheels in the cart. TED Here's the things you asked for. Oh, and uhh, sorry, but I'm not gonna pick the eyes outta this dead fish. He points to the trout. Elspeth picks it up, flings the eyes into the Jacuzzi, and tosses the trout out of the window. She smirks at him comtemptuously. ATHENA (handing Ted 50 bucks) Okay, mister, here's your fifty-dollar tip, only, you have to do one more thing . . . make our little Eva smile. Can you? We'll leave you alone. (to Eva, firmly) And don't your mouth! The girls step out. Athena turns to Eva and points to her watch, then holds up one finger. Eva looks up, worried. The door closes on her and Ted. She looks at Ted and sighs. He covers her with a shawl. IN THE HALLWAY The other witches listen at the door. ELSPETH If she doesn't get his goop in ten minutes, I'm going to take him myself. JEZEBEL Ha! That'll be a first for you. ELSPETH Oh shit--Kiva! She runs back in for her bratty girlfriend, who is already sneaking out the bedroom door. ELSPETH And just where do you think you're going? KIVA Well, gawd--I need a candy bar or something--you haven't fed me all day. I'm getting all shaky. My blood sugar's really low. JEZEBEL Elspeth--honestly now--some babysitter you're turnin' out ta be! ATHENA Enough, girls. I will collect fresh earth. Jezebel, I want you to gather damp moss. Raven, you bring me a birch branch. Elspeth, you go feed your terrible girlfriend. We meet back here in one hour and let's all have faith that Eva can get this guy off. The witches disperse. INT. HONEYMOON SUITE--NIGHT Eva sits among pillows before the altar as Ted stands in front of her. Ted is trying his best to make poor Eva smile. But no matter what his antics, she looks off sadly. TED Help me out, lady. I gotta earn this fifty bucks! EVA Oh look, they don't care if I smile or not! All they want is . . . Ted waits; she sighs and rest her chin in her hand. EVA You won't understand, believe me. She begins to cry tearfully again. TED Try me. I've been around, y'know. He postures proudly, all puffed out. Eva looks at him helplessly. And he paternally encourages her to explain. EVA Well . . . okay. The five of us--Elspeth, Jezebel, Athena, Raven and me--are a coven. TED Ha, like a coven of witches? EVA Yes. TED (stunned) Oh. He looks around the room: QUICK CUTS of candles, iconography, jars of lurid substances, unknown body parts of animals woven into the nature sculpture . . . and are those tongues in that can? Ted's getting the creeps, but again puffs himself up. TED I knew that! EVA (getting calmer) And you see, our coven has spent forty years trying to perfect a ritual to undo a wicked curse put on our goddess Diana. TED Gee, you don't look a day over twenty! EVA Oh . . . ha ha . . . I mean the witches before us tried and failed. But Athena, our High Priestess, discovered a great potion to reverse the evil spell which turned our beautiful goddess into an old rock. TED (looking at the rock) Yeah? Is . . . is that her? Eva nods, looking lovingly at the stone. EVA She was a beautiful virgin. An entertainer by trade, but a great sorceress by design. It was here in this very room, on her wedding night, a jealous rival placed the curse on Diana. TED She turned to--that--here? EVA Yes . . . and her young husband turned into a pink fish! They found him swimming in the pool in circles. While our dear goddess: a stone in her honeymoon bed. Ted frowns as he ponders all this. Eva takes a photo from the altar and hands it to Ted. EVA This was Diana. CLOSE ON photo: a Blond Bombshell in full-on Betty Page attire, a bare-tittied pinup girl, playfully spanking a girl in bondage with a spiked high heel. TED This girl here? This is the goddess Diana? The photograph slowly comes alive. Diana stops spanking the girl and unties her. She pulls the girl (in the black satin mask) up off her lap and makes the girl stand. The women face each other and break into a cheek-to-cheek tango. CLOSE ON Ted as he shakes his head. Are his eyes playing tricks on him? TED I hate to tell you this, but I kinda doubt she was a virgin. EVA Oh, but she was! She had lovers, but she saved that for marriage. Which is the example I've tried to follow: to do everything but that till I marry . . . She begins to sob again. Ted comforts her. TED Hey, don't cry . . . a virgin is a rare and beautiful thing. If you say she was a virgin, I'll believe it. EVA Well, it doesn't matter now . . . and she won't be resurrected tonight 'cause I failed her. I let my whole coven down! TED Wait a sec--that rock was gonna turn back into this? He holds up the photo. Eva nods. TED Now, that would be something worth seeing! EVA Only, not now--we were each supposed to bring something--a life fluid. TED (wincing in disgust) If this is gonna be like one of those afterbirth conversations, I don't think I wanna hear this. EVA Only . . . I swallowed it . . . TED You swallowed what? Eva looks off. Ted searches his brains, thoroughly sickened now. TED You mean, you were supposed to bring . . . like . . . like a guy's . . . and you . . . ? She nods; he winces, queasy. Eva looks at him, helpless. EVA And now, you're my last chance! TED (laughing) Yeah, sure. TED (then--panic) Whoa, what? You want my--for the--witchy poo--ahh no--no way--nope. Besides, it's against hotel policy. I was warned: "No sex with the clientele"! Eva sobs, pleading. She throws off her shawl, baring her lovely breasts, and reaches her arms around his neck. He keeps backing off. Unbeknownst to him, he is already doing a ritualistic shuffle. TED Ha, c'mon now, joke's over. (seeing this is no joke) Hey, we're gonna step in the flea powder. EVA That's not flea powder, that's sacred dust ground from the horns of Albino goats. TED Right! I knew that! He is backing away, into the circle, as she comes for him, soft and sweet. Her eyes are again putting the magic hex on him, as he tries to resist her gaze. TED What's a nice girl like you doing in a coven, anyway? EVA Well, see, what I really want to do is be a midwife. I've attended four births already! I can prevent vaginal tears and everything. TED (trying to dodge her hexing eyes) Well, that's a good thing! A guy doesn't like surprises down there. All the while she is stepping toward him into the circle. EVA I joined the coven to attain greater understanding of my feminine power so I could become a truly great midwife! TED (the hex working now) Oh, well, I see you've been gaining a lot of insight into your . . . girl powers . . . Eva sweetly takes his hand and places it on her breast. EVA Do you really think so? TED (buckling under the temptation) Well, yeah, I'd say that seems to be the case . . . . (she licks his neck; his eyes roll back heavenly) Ohhh, God! Betty's gonna kill me! EVA Who's Betty--your girlfriend? TED No. My boss. EVA Oh good! TED Oh no! They fall into a kiss, as she begins to remove his cap. She moves him toward the Jacuzzi, closer and closer. DISSOLVE TO: INT. HALLWAY--NIGHT Ted pushes his room-service cart. He is flushed. Puffed up. Lights a cigarette, takes a great big, satisfied drag. Eva runs to the door dreamily, her naked body wrapped in her shawl. She passes him a card. EVA My phone number in Topanga. Call me? TED (cocky) Sure, baby. Yeah, I'll give ya a call. She smiles and shuts the door. The other witches are arriving with supplies from the garden. Kiva, now having raised her blood sugar, sucks on a lollipop, a sunny girl. She talks to Raven, who carries a birch limb. KIVA What's that used for? RAVEN It's a birch branch, symbolizing eternal life. You can also use the bark for a tea which assists in astral travel. KIVA Hey--I wanna be a witch! The other girls roll their eyes as Elspeth smiles proudly. Ted blows smoke at them and pushes his cart off down the hall. The witches run inside the room. IN THE SUITE Eva sits, blissed-out, in the center of the circle, smiles. EVA I'm a woman now! ATHENA But where is his "stuff"? EVA (pointing to the Jacuzzi) We did it right there, in the big cauldron! JEZEBEL Ooohhh honey, you're gonna be sore tomorra! Didn't your mama teach you that water strips a girl's lubrication? RAVEN Sex in water is great in the movies, not in real life . . . but you will learn. As we all did. JEZEBEL Yeah, when she can't walk . . . (to Elspeth) I guess you wouldn't have those kinds of problems-- without penetration. ELSPETH No. And virtually no cervical cancer, either. ATHENA Okay, girls, enough Sex Education 101, let's get going with our ritual, goddammit. Athena regally leads the ritual as they all bare their breasts again. Kiva throws off her shirt to join in. As she does, we see black bondage tape on her nipples. Elspeth darts a quick look at the tape, looks at the other witches--not sure she likes this--but she goes with it. The witches sway in a circle, eyes closed, as Eva makes her offering. EVA Goddess Diana, I offer you The jism of one I wooed for you That you may live and know such bliss Of getting laid by a guy like this. The witches all incant. ALL OF THE WITCHES So must it be. Three times three times three. They march half-naked as they moan and revel in eerie cries. The Jacuzzi begins to bubble and boil. Their cries heighten; the potion bubbles over. DISSOLVE TO: HOURS LATER Athena reads from a huge leatherbound book, The Book of Shadows, full of potions and spells. Four discouraged witches pack their bags. The room has been restored to its worldly under-splendor. Kiva uses the remote on the TV . . . so much for witchcraft. The slab of rock remains a slab. ATHENA I don't understand what went wrong. ELSPETH I say Eva pulled one over on us. EVA What? JEZEBEL Honey--Eva was wearing the face of someone just fucked good . . . and the best actress in this world, or any other, can't fake a thing like that! ELSPETH Exactly--if she was fucked so good, how could she save his come? RAVEN It could be done . . . ATHENA Girls, knock it off. (she looks up from the book) Maybe . . . maybe it needed to be the sperm of a virgin male. EVA (dreamily) He was no virgin! The witches sadly collect their things. Athena, deep in thought, strokes the slab. ATHENA Let's leave her here, with the sword, until dawn. I will come back for her before checkout time. I just . . . feel too sad to carry her away before the sun comes up to warm her. They all agree. They pick up their bags and head out. JEZEBEL (cuddling her cat) I can't believe we have to carry our own bags out! My mama would have a hissy fit! KIVA (flirtatiously) I'll carry your bags. ELSPETH (firmly) You're carrying my bags! They leave the room. Jezebel's cat leaps from her arms as she hoists her luggage. Eva walks out satisfied, thought perhaps a little sore--"ouch," she says, and smiles. Athena takes one last look at their goddess slab. ATHENA Next year, we try again--with virgin sperm. She closes the door on the Honeymoon Suite (till next New Year's Eve!). FADE TO BLACK. four rooms FADE UP ON: INT. MON SIGNOR LOBBY--NIGHT Ted behind the desk, on the phone. We only hear his side. TED Oh, Jesus, what did I tell you? Do you want milk and cookies, or do you not? (pause) I can't turn on an adult station without permission from your parents. (pause, he checks his computer) That's not what the machine tells me. (pause) You be good and you'll get milk and cookies, but for now leave me alone, please. I'll be up later to put you both to sleep. He hangs up. TED (to himself) Goddamn kids. SUPER: 1:00 a.m. The phone rings again. TED Room Service. INT. ROOM 404--NIGHT A small party is going on. A long-haired Yuppie Scum type in on the line. Music BLARES. People dance in background. YUPPIE SCUM What room am I in? INT. FRONT DESK--NIGHT BACK AND FORTH TED This is the front desk, sir. The Yuppie turns away from the phone and speaks to Real Theodore. YUPPIE SCUM What room are we in? REAL THEODORE How should I know? I just got here. YUPPIE SCUM (into phone) You know, don't you have one of those light things? TED If you care to go to the door and look on the other side, you'll find the room number. YUPPIE SCUM (to Real Theodore) Call my assistant and ask her what floor we're on. REAL THEODORE Who's your assistant? YUPPIE SCUM The girl you party with every night. REAL THEODORE (to himself) Who? TED I'm here alone, sir. REAL THEODORE It's room 404, I think. YUPPIE SCUM I could have sworn we were on the fifth floor. REAL THEODORE Right. 404. YUPPIE SCUM (into phone) Right. 404. TED What do you need, sir? YUPPIE SCUM (to Real Theodore) What do we need? REAL THEODORE Ice. YUPPIE SCUM Ice? REAL THEODORE Ice. YUPPIE SCUM (into phone) Ice. TED Ice. YUPPIE SCUM Yeah. Ice. TED Right, sir. Ice. 404. I'll be with you momentarily. CUT TO: STORY TITLE CARD: room 404 "THE WRONG MAN" INT. DARK HALLWAY Ted saunters down a hallway with a butt hanging out the corner of his mouth and a bucket of ice swinging at his side. He pulls up at a door on which the faded numbers read something like "Room 404." Ted knocks on the door. After a moment, the latch is thrown and the door swings open. Ted cautiously steps into the dark room. INT. ROOM 404 TED Anybody home? A DEMONIC CACKLE cuts through the darkness. MAN'S VOICE No one here but us chickens. TED Say, it's pretty dark in here, sir. MAN'S VOICE What do you expect, Theodore, a fuckin' floor show? TED Do I know you? MAN'S VOICE I don't know. Do you? In a flash the lights switch on and Ted finds himself staring down the barrel of a pretty intense-looking .357 Magnum, cocked and ready to fire. At the other end of the gun stands a 50-year-old man, Sigfried, who sports a Cheshire Cat smile and a "just try fuckin' with me" look on his face. Sigfried isn't the only person in the room. Directly behind him sits a beautiful young woman, Angela, gagged and bound to a chair. Ted drops the bucket to the floor. TED I brought your ice. SIGFRIED That's cute. In fact, the whole getup's kind of cute. The monkey suit's a nice touch, honey puss. TED This has to be a mistake. Is this room 404? SIGFRIED Theodore? What do you take me for, Theodore? TED A very upset man? Sigfried reaches in his pocket and throws a handful of assorted stimulants into his mouth, chewing on them like they were breath mints. Sigfried thrusts his hand forward, gripping Ted by the throat, and leads him to Angela. SIGFRIED (to Angela) I am an upset man, Theodore. TED How do you know my name, sir? SIGFRIED I'm psychic, Theodore. TED Look my name is Ted, actually, and I have no idea what's going on here, but I've obviously come at a bad time. SIGFRIED Let's not belabor the fact that you have no sense of timing, Theodore. The fact is you're here. Sigfried turns to Angela. SIGFRIED (continuing) And I couldn't think of a better time for you to introduce me to your beau than on New Year's Eve. TED Oh fuck, there's a mistake. You're fucking wrong here. My name is Theodore, yes! My mother named me that and I hate the name. But I'm a fucking bellhop. People call me Ted. I work here. Suddenly, with great force, Sigfried slams the butt of his pistol smack into Ted's temple, sending him to the floor. Ted looks up at Sigfried in shock. SIGFRIED Look, I'd love to sit here all night with you talking about things like when you broke in your first mitt-- (pause) That was insensitive of me, wasn't it, T H E O D O R E? But let's cut to the chase, okay? TED Okay. SIGFRIED So apologize! A tense silence fills the room. All eyes are on Ted, who can't figure out what the fuck this guy wants. TED For what? Sigfried looks hard with disbelief at Ted, who winces back. SIGFRIED You are really beginning to annoy me, Theodore. Sigfried throws another handful of pills into his mouth. TED Look, obviously you two are working something out and if I could help you with your problem I would. SIGFRIED What are you saying? Are you saying I got a problem? Are you trying to say I don't give her what she needs? That I'm FUCKING INSENSITIVE!! TED Look, is this about another man? Or something? Ted has struck a raw nerve. Sigfried's mood swings drastically; he bends down next to Ted. SIGFRIED Let's get our ABC's right, here, Theodore. Theodore, right? TED Ted's better. SIGFRIED Ted, okay . . . Are you saying my wife cheats on me? TED I didn't say that . . . I . . . SIGFRIED Oh, for Christ's sake, Theodore, this is about as intimate a situation as you can get, you, me, and Angela here. It's pretty cozy. To say nothing of how stupid an idea it is to lie to a man with a loaded gun without considering the possible response. I demand an apology! The phone rings. SIGFRIED Don't move. I've got to take this. Sigfried glances at it. Then to Angela. He picks up the phone. SIGFRIED (into phone) What? (pause) We ain't got any needles here, kid. Just a big fucking gun. He listens to the other line, says good-bye, and hangs up. SIGFRIED (to Ted) Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I remember. Sigfried kneels next to Ted and assumes a prayer position. SIGFRIED I want you to pray for forgiveness, Theodore. Sigfried, hands clasped together, signals for Ted to do the same. The gun lies at his side. Ted considers a bold move, but thinks better of it. Sigfried's eyes pop open. He cuts a look to Ted, signaling him to assume the pose. SIGFRIED (continuing) Now say after me, "I apologize . . ." TED I apologize . . . SIGFRIED For what? Ted looks to Angela for help. She can only stare back with intense, wide-open eyes. SIGFRIED For fucking what? TED That I said you might have been unfaithful? SIGFRIED "That I said you might have been unfaithful?" Listen, Theodore, you're in church here . . . you're kneeling in front of an altar. Truth . . . truth is all it hears. Say the following, "I, Theodore, must humbly and sincerely apologize for saying that you fucked another man!" Ted repeats what Sigfried has told him. This appears to have a calming effect on Sigfried, who gets up off the floor, turning his face to Angela. SIGFRIED (continuing) Satisfied? Angela nods. SIGFRIED (continuing) Do you accept the fucking apology? Naturally, Angela says nothing. SIGFRIED (continuing) You always gotta get the last word, don't you? It's one way with you, Angela, isn't it? I give and I give and I get nothing back. Sigfried turns to Ted. SIGFRIED (continuing) She just sits there waiting for me to jump through hoops . . . . Angela attempts to speak through the gag. Both men wait with bated breath for a response. Sigfried's had enough. SIGFRIED (continuing) Stupid me, for a second I thought you were going to say something . . . something like, "I'm sorry." HA! "I'm sorry." You're absolutely right, love cakes, I wouldn't want it that way. That's one thing you can say about Angela. She'll never do anything she doesn't want to do. If the feeling ain't there, she just isn't going to do it. There is nothing in this world as fucked as a woman who gives when she doesn't want to. Never let that happen to you, Theodore. It makes you feel very little indeed. Ted beckons Sigfried. TED You mind if I . . . ? SIGFRIED Go ahead. Spit it out. TED I don't mean to upset you further, sir, but I think she was trying to say yes. SIGFRIED Are you condescending to me, Theodore? TED Absolutely not, I would never do that. SIGFRIED Why don't you just say it? TED Say what? SIGFRIED That you think I'm an idiot. TED I would never say that. SIGFRIED You think you're superior to me, don't ya, Theodore? You don't think I notice there is a gag in the woman's mouth. TED Of course you do. SIGFRIED Naturally "of course." And do you know how I know that? TED How, sir? SIGFRIED Because I PUT THE GAG IN HER MOUTH! I'm gonna let you in on a little secret about communication, Theodore. It's all in the eyes . . . (points the gun at Ted) Him? (turns the gun on himself) Or me? Him or me? No one? Okay. Let's drag it out. Sigfried empties the last of the pills into his mouth, heaving the empty bottle over his shoulder. He takes off, disappearing into the bathroom. INT. ROOM 404 Ted finds himself alone with Angela. They lock eyes. Angela implores Ted to lean forward. Ted sizes up the situation: His chances of making it to the door are slim due to the fact that he would have to pass by the bathroom door. Ted paces back and forth in front of Angela, who struggles to get his attention. He whips around and they face off in what appears to be a game of charades. Ted finally gets the point and cautiously removes the gag from Angela's mouth. Angela spits an old sock out. TED What! ANGELA We don't have time to play charades here, asshole! Untie me quick. TED Listen, lady, I don't know what in the hell is going on here, but I'd appreciate it if you would explain to that nutcase that he's making a big mistake. ANGELA Look, whether you like it or not, you're in the middle of a situation here you can't just wish your way out of. TED But I've never seen you people before, we're complete strangers. ANGELA Everyone starts out strangers, Ted, it's where we end up that counts. Hurry up. Ted wrestles with the idea of whether to untie Angela or not. TED I don't know if I can do this. It's too hard. ANGELA Life is hard, Ted. You ever stopped to consider how many times you change your underwear in a lifetime? On nervous impulse, Ted begins the calculations. ANGELA I don't mean literally, you ignoramus. TED What? ANGELA Forget it, listen to me. There's a gun in my suitcase behind the bed, it's loaded . . . TED I'm not going to shoot anybody. ANGELA Fine. Get the gun and I'll shoot "anybody." TED And make me an accessory in the murder of your husband? Ted collapses to his knees in front of Angela. TED That's not fair. It just isn't fair. ANGELA Get a fucking grip on yourself. First off, who says he's my husband? And second, we are a long way from fair here, fair is back in jolly old England eatin' crumpets and sipping on tea. Ted collects himself. TED Tut. Tut. Tut. Not so fast. Well, maybe there are two sides to this thing. ANGELA There are two sides to a plate, still you only eat off of one. Now GET THE GUN! TED So why's he got you tied up? ANGELA I'm a werewolf, Ted! Get the gun! Ted is at a loss as to what to do. Angela turns on the charm. ANGELA Come on, Ted. Come over here just for a minute. You can do it. Come on, Ted. You look like a good guy. Ted creeps towards her. ANGELA That's it, Teddy. You look so much more attractive when you're self-assured. Sigfried suddenly comes to life . . . . He's heard from the bathroom belting out "Life is but a dream . . . she-boom, she-boom." ANGELA (she panics) Quick, he's coming back. Put the gag back in, and remember the gun! Ted hurries to replace the sock in her mouth. TED Nine thousand, three hundred and twenty-two times, to the best of my estimation. INT. ROOM 404 Sigfried coughs, sending a chill up Ted's spine. Ted whips around to discover Sigfried leaning up against the door to the bathroom. SIGFRIED I was just beginning to think I could trust you, Theodore. Silly me. Ted's fingers are frozen over Angela's lips. TED I was just trying to help her breathe a little. SIGFRIED Don't let me stop you, Teddy. You don't mind me calling you Teddy, do you? TED That's fine. SIGFRIED I used to have a little bunny rabbit named Teddy, it looked real cute nibbling on Angela's ear. Only problem here is you're no bunny rabbit, Theodore, and it really fuckin' razzes me to picture you doin' it. But don't let me stop you, Teddy . . . no need to play sneaky-poo. Ted starts to back toward the door. TED Look, man, if this is some kind of Voodoo thing and you want me to have sex with your wife, there is absolutely no way. SIGFRIED (shouts at the top of his lungs) I said, nibble, asshole! Now! The directness of Sigfried's command, coupled with the SOUND of a trigger being cocked, forces Ted to approach Angela. Angela is a stunning beauty, and Ted being kind of a shy guy makes for an awkward situation. Ted leans forward. As he closes in, Angela's eyes close. TED (whispers) Sorry, lady. Ted pulls up short of actually nibbling on Angela. SIGFRIED What's the matter, no whiz left in the cheese? I'm not cramping your style, am I? TED Look, I'm not playing this game anymore. Sigfried yanks Ted backwards. He wraps his arms around him. SIGFRIED It's almost all over, Theodore, and soon you can go home to Mommy. Ted struggles to free himself from Sigfried's powerful bear hug and blasts out the following monologue. TED My name is not Theodore, it's TED, TED, TED, T . . . E . . . D . . . . TED . . . . NOT TEDDY, NOT THEODORE . . . TED . . . . Yes, my mother did me the service of naming me Theodore and I haven't a clue as to how you know that because everyone who knows that lives a long way away from here. Do you have any idea what it's like to go to school where all the other kids' parents are in jail doing time for crimes like grand larceny, aggravated assault, burglary and murder, and you get stuck with a mother who names you Theodore and dressed you up in little matching pink outfits with, get this, a little blue bow fucking tie! Well, I'll tell you what happens. Pretty soon Theodore becomes "Theo the Thumper," and when Theo the Thumper gets old enough, he packs his bags and goes thousands of miles away where he can put the whole bloody mess behind him. So, if you don't mind, shoot me now, because no one is going to call me that again. My name is Ted, okay? Got it? TED! Sigfried has followed the entire tirade in stunned silence. He takes a step toward Ted and offers him his hand. SIGFRIED Sigfried. TED What? SIGFRIED My name is Sigfried. TED Sigfried? Sigfried cuts a "Something wrong with that?" look at Ted. SIGFRIED Yah, Sigfried. TED Nice to meet you, Sigfried. Ted cautiously takes Sigfried's hand. SIGFRIED Very impressive, Ted. "Theo the Thumper?" . . . Ouch. It's a deal, kid. Ted it will be. TED Thanks. Sigfried holds onto Ted's hand. The soft sound of distant fireworks pops in the background. Car horns and a muffled countdown signal that it's New Year's. Sigfried moves uncomfortably close to Ted and from out of nowhere bolts forward, planting a wet kiss right on Ted's mouth. Something snaps in Sigfried. He is either really getting off on this or he is caught in the grips of a seizure. He doubles back on the floors. Ted and Angela watch as he flops around like a flounder with the cocked gun waving all over the place. Ted wipes his mouth with his jacket sleeve while trying to dodge the barrel of the gun. TED You okay, mister? I'll get help! Sigfried manages to steady the gun and point it directly at Ted. He signals for Ted to go to the bathroom. TED (continuing) That's the wrong door, sir. Sigfried grabs Ted by the leg and shove the barrel of the gun into his crotch. Sigfried pulls Ted's face closer to his. SIGFRIED Get me the nitro . . . it's in the bathroom cabinet. Now! Ted rushes into the bathroom, leaving Sigfried a babbling mess behind. CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM--SAME TIME Ted enters the bathroom, which appears shaken by an earthquake. Towels and wet clothes are all over the place. An evening gown is flushed halfway down the toilet and pills are everywhere. Sigfried is shouting from the other room to hurry. Ted checks the cabinet, searching for a bottle marked "Nitro." No luck. Ted spots a small window set above the toilet. He figures this is the best chance he's got to make a break. Ted goes for it. He manages to get his head and one arm through the window before he gets stuck. His legs dangle in the bathroom. Struggle as he may, he can only hit the toilet-bowl lever, which sends a loud FLUSH SOUND out through the apartment. SIGFRIED (OS) (shouting in the distance) It's no time to take a leak, Teddy, I'm fucking dying here! EXT. BATHROOM WINDOW--NIGHT Outside the window, Ted's in another world. He's almost safe. It's a strange feeling, kind of like bathing in warm water in paradise, knowing a huge shark is ready to rip his ass off. He can see the flickering red glowing light from the witches' room from the floor below. EXT. BATHROOM WINDOW AND BELOW--NIGHT Ted sees Eva bopping naked past the window. He shouts her name out, to no avail. The MUSIC drowns out his voice and they ignore his calls for help. The blood rushes to his head. He lets himself hang there for a moment. He wonders how many other people have found themselves in situations like this before him. Probably everyone. Right next to his face, Ted recognizes a bloody hand print. It's not his blood. EXT. BATHROOM WINDOW AND ABOVE--NIGHT Ted hears a sound from above and twists himself around, spotting a young man (previously seen as the Yuppie Scumbag on the phone) leaning out of the window directly above him. After a quick moment of sizing him up, Ted gathers himself. TED Hi . . . No answer. Something's wrong with the guy, all the blood is drained from his face and he is mumbling something. TED Listen, I'm stuck here in a situation that I can't even begin to explain, but would you be so kind as to get help? Could you call the police, please? Silence. TED (continuing) You okay? The young man manages to belt out the word "ice" just before hurling a mouthful of vomit toward Ted. It takes all Ted's strength to dodge the puke and pull himself back into the bathroom. He falls back on the floor. He props himself up and checks for damage. He notices something odd . . . the room is silent. No Sigfried. He walks into the bedroom. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL BEDROOM--MOMENTS LATER Ted looks around the still room. No one's there. TED Sigfried? He heads toward the door and, from out of the corner of his eye, he spots Sigfried's hairy leg. Sigfried has passed out on the floor. Angela's chair has been knocked on its side. Ted races over to help lift her back up. He pulls the gag from her mouth. Angela jumps all over him. ANGELA Where's the fucking nitro? TED I couldn't find it! ANGELA You took long enough. Untie me, for Christ's sake, you fucking upset him and he's dying. Ted struggles to untie Angela. TED I thought you wanted to kill him. ANGELA You'd make a great cop, Theodore. The knots are all over the place and a real bitch to untie. TED I can't handle this alone, I'd better get help. Ted turns on a dime and runs smack into Sigfried, who's been taking in the whole conversation. SIGFRIED I tie a pretty good knot, don't I, Ted? TED Thank God you're okay . . . SIGFRIED Never felt better. Angela hears Sigfried's voice from behind her back. ANGELA You bastard! SIGFRIED (to Angela) Come on, honey, don't get mad. It was just a little test, and I'm glad I did it because now I'll know forever that you really do love me. Truly and deeply. ANGELA If the simple fact that I didn't want your bloated, dead body lying out on the floor is love, then no wonder we find ourselves as we are at this very fucking moment. SIGFRIED Oh, no. I heard you and there was genuine care in that voice. Can't be denied. Can it, Ted? TED I think you're right and, if you just keep this kind of open dialogue going, you'll go a long way to resolving this misunderstanding. Ted edges his way toward the door. TED (continuing) You'd be surprised what happens when people just listen to each other without succumbing to all that pain and anger. ANGELA You heard shit, monkey boy. Easy for you to say after you fuck another man's wife. You should at least have the guts to stand by your convictions. Sigfried turns an icy eye on Ted, who has given up all hope of ever getting out of the room. TED That's a lie, Sigfried. I swear to God. Angela continues her tirade. ANGELA When I think of all the times you were inside me promising me a better life, it makes me want to puke. Sigfried slowly raises his gun, pointing it directly at Ted's chest. TED Why are you doing this? What have I ever done to you people? ANGELA What didn't you do, stick man? Unfortunately, you don't have the balls to back up the actions of your huge cock. The words hit Sigfried like bullets to the chest . . . his legs weaken. SIGFRIED (whimpering) He's got a huge cock? TED She's lying again, mister. It's not that big. SIGFRIED Show it to me. TED Come on, man, she's lying. Can't you see she's fucking with you? ANGELA Put it this way, God made up for what he did to Gumby with Ted here. SIGFRIED Show it to me. ANGELA Show him your cock, Theodore. Sigfried runs over to Angela and kneels in front of her. SIGFRIED Stop talking about his cock, will you?! ANGELA It's hard to stop talking about something so huge. I could go on and on about his cock, bone, nob, bishop, wang, thang, hotrod. Hump mobile, Oscar, dong, dagger, banana, cucumber, salami. Sausage, kielbasa, schlong, dink, tool, Big Ben, Mister Happy, prick, disk, pecker, peter, pee-pee, wee-wee, weiner, pisser, pistol, joint, hose, horn, middle- leg, third-leg, meat, stick, joystick, dipstick. Angela is on a roll. She fires the words at Sigfried, hitting him pointblank. He staggers. He pleads with her to stop, covering his ears. Ted watches the man crumble. ANGELA (continuing) Junior, the little head, little guy, Rumple Foreskin, Tootsie Roll. Snake, one-eyed monster, one-eyed wonder, shaft, sword, meat whistle, skin flute, love muscle, Roto-Rooter, instrument, banger, rammer, ramrod, cherrypicker, log, pole. Sigfried tries jamming the sock back in her mouth to stop the flow; she manages to give him a "fuck of a bite" in the process. Meanwhile, Ted figures this to be his moment to make a move and bolts for the door, only to be tackled by Sigfried at the one-yard line. After a struggle, the two men rest on the floor, catching their breath in a relaxed embrace. SIGFRIED Please, don't leave me. I'll call you Ted from now on. TED It's not me, mister, I swear. SIGFRIED Personally, I don't give a fuck, Ted, it's just I don't want to be alone right now. I'm feeling a little vulnerable. Sigfried heaves the gun over his shoulder, grabs a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel's, and passes it to Ted, who takes a hit. SIGFRIED (continuing) No guns, okay? Just you and me, Ted. You know my father used to say that forgiveness is the only thing that evil can't sink its teeth into. TED That's beautiful. SIGFRIED Kind of nice down here on the floor, isn't it, Ted? TED Yes, actually. SIGFRIED Things take on a whole new perspective . . . . You'd like my trust, wouldn't you, Ted? TED Yes I would. SIGFRIED I just got one thing to ask you and I'll let you go. TED Okay. Okay. SIGFRIED Tell me straight now. TED What? SIGFRIED What was it like? TED What was what like? SIGFRIED You know, you and her. TED Oh, for fuck sake, Sigfried, what do you want me to say? SIGFRIED Either way you're fucked, right? You ever gonna see her again, Theodore? TED If I ever saw her again, I'd run the other way. SIGFRIED Promise? TED I promise. Sigfried releases Ted and stands up. SIGFRIED You're lying, but I can respect that, Ted. If you told me, it would no longer be a secret, and secrets have a power, kid. You open that box and they disappear forever. A bad secret will rip you apart, but the good one are all you got. In the end, when all the people you knew are dead and gone, all you'll have left are you secrets. And when you die, the box is open and it all blows away--dust to dust--all the anger, jealousy, desire and love just blow away. Sigfried throws his hand out to help Ted up. SIGFRIED (continuing) So you know what I say, let's call it a truce, kiddo. Sigfried takes Ted by the hand and leads him to an open window. Ted is overcome by the sweetness in Sigfried's voice and follows him to the window willingly. The two men look out into the dark Los Angeles night. SIGFRIED (continuing) I'm a man of love, Theodore. Love is all I live for. TED I can see that. SIGFRIED Maybe to a fault. TED Don't beat yourself up over it. SIGFRIED That's nice of you to say, Ted, but I probably should make a clean break of it, cut her loose and get my own place. I just can't imagine living without her. Do you think I should seek professional help? TED It's not for everyone, but maybe in your case it could help. SIGFRIED You ever been out on the ocean at night? Ted shakes his head. SIGFRIED (continuing) I have . . . scary as a motherfucker, all that darkness around you. It's like a big black carpet rolled out as far as the eye can see. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll see a light. It could be as small as a little spark, but it will cut a path straight through all that blackness, straight to you. It could be another boat, or some distant fire on an island, but that light will shed a shining path of diamonds cutting through mile after mile of darkness to lie at your feet. That's love, Ted, it's like a path of light in an ocean of darkness. Ted and Sigfried stare out of the window in peace, transfixed by the glimmering lights of the city. A loud SHOT rings out, shattering the still moment. The two men spin around. Angela stands there with a smoking gun hanging at her side. Sigfried drops to his knees. Ted checks him out, no blood. Angela has fired the gun into the floor below. Ted looks up at Angela. Angela opens the chamber of the pistol and hands the bullets to Ted. ANGELA (to Ted) You'd better go check to see if I killed anybody downstairs. Sigfried is bent over, silently weeping on the floor. TED You people gonna be okay? Angela sits next to Sigfried and gently strokes his back. ANGELA We're fine, Ted. Ted points to a tray with half-eaten food on it. TED Would you like me to . . . ? ANGELA Another time, Ted. Ted slowly walks toward the door and takes one last look at the strange couple at rest in the corner of the room before closing the door behind him. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY--MOMENTS LATER Ted walks down the hallway, lost in thought. An energetic Young Guy with a bouquet of flowers plows into him. YOUNG GUY Happy New Year, buddy. TED Happy New Year. YOUNG GUY I was just in room 404, what a party! You know where room 409 is at? TED Beats me. It's somewhere around here. The guy takes off in the direction Ted's walking from. Ted suddenly realizes who this guy is and whips around, shouting to the Young Guy. TED (continuing) Hey, what's your name? The door SLAMS on room 409. FADE OUT FADE TO BLACK STORY TITLE CARD: room 716 "THE MISBEHAVERS" FADE UP THE FRONT DESK SUPER: 10:30 p.m. Ted is relaxing at the front desk. He breathes slowly. He finally has one moment's peace after an already long night. He even has a chance to straighten his tie. The phone RINGS. TED Front desk. CUT TO: ROOM 716 CLOSE-UP of a cigarette hanging out of a Man's mouth as he speaks into the telephone. MAN Bottle of Moet et Chandon. Fast. Man hangs up the phone and stubs out his cigarette into an already overstuffed ashtray by the bed. Man turns around to face the camera. He is a dark and handsome Latin male in his mid-30s. Dangerous. Impatient. He walks toward the camera as he continues straightening his tie. He stops at the door of the bathroom and watches his Wife and two kids get ready for the party. Wife seems to be a beautiful woman in her mid-30s. The children are Sarah, nine, and Juancho, six. Man strikes up another cigarette and finishes his tie. He watches his Wife comb Juancho's hair down and to the side like an idiot. Not being able to stand it anymore, Man tears Juancho away from his Wife and snatches the comb. MAN Give me that . . . Man begins to slick Juancho's hair back. MAN There . . . see? You look cool with your hair up like this. Like me . . . . Juancho is smiling now. He's happy he's going to look like his dad. MAN Not down and to the side, all stupid like your mom likes to comb it. Juancho looks over at Sarah, who is going through the tortuous ritual of having her mother brush the tangles out of her long, unmanageable hair. Wife seems to be taking out her aggressions on the tangled mess. Man is starting to have problems of his own with Juancho's hair. Juancho's hair is thinner than Man's, so it won't stay up. Man puts down his cigarette in order to get a better handle on it. We see the frustration growing in his face. Juancho picks up the cigarette and pretends he's smoking too, just like his dad. Man tears the cigarette away from Juancho and smokes it down to the filter. He looks at his own cool hair, and then down at Juancho's, which won't stay up. Man flicks the cigarette butt into the toilet in frustration. MAN You've got your mother's hair. In anger, Man starts messing up Juancho's hair. MAN I can't do anything with it. Furious, Man simply swipes Juancho's hair back down and to the side, the way Wife had it before. Juancho looks like an idiot again. MAN There. Go. Juancho slouches past everyone as he exits the bathroom. Sarah watches him leave as her own hair is finished. WIFE (putting a plastic clip in Sarah's hair) There. Go. Sarah exits. Wife then finishes her own gorgeous hair. Man lights up a new cigarette. WIFE (mocking) So, are we gonna have fun tonight? Man blows smoke in Wife's face as he walks out of the bathroom. WIFE I didn't think so. Sarah has joined Juancho in watching television. Man watches the children watch TV. We can see the wheels turning in Man's head. He turns back to the bathroom. He watches Wife now. Wheels turning. Practically burning rubber. MAN Hey. Wife puts the lipstick down and turns to her husband. She is beautiful. MAN (shrugs) Let's just leave the kids here. Wife glances out at the children, eyes glued to the tube. WIFE Here in the room? By themselves? MAN No . . . with the television. Wife thinks about it for a second. She shrugs a "sure." MAN You want to have fun tonight, don't you? WIFE Yes. MAN They'll be fine. He kisses Wife's face and exits the bathroom. She covers the wet spot with more cake makeup. MAN Hey. The children turn to face him. MAN You guys are going to stay here and watch TV. The children look at each other. MAN I want you to be in bed asleep before twelve. Your mother and I will be back later on. Wife goes straight for the door. MAN Okay? He blows one kiss. One for both of them. As Man and his Wife walk out the door, Man turns back to the children . . . . MAN Don't misbehave. He closes the door. Sarah stands in the middle of the room. She's looking at the door Man and Wife just disappeared through. Stunned. Her dress looks frilly and beautifully uncomfortable. She touches the edges of the fabric. SARAH Why did we have to get all dressed up if we weren't going with them? CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY Man and Wife are walking down the hall. Man stops in his tracks. Wife stops too and looks at Man. They wait. CUT TO: ROOM 716 Juancho shuts off the television. He drops the remote to the floor. His attention is on the fireworks outside. He leaps to the window and begins unlatching it. SARAH What are you doing? JUANCHO Escaping. Stinks in here, anyway. Man bursts through the door of the hotel room and stands in the doorway, glaring at the mischievous Juancho. Juancho bangs his head on the window trying to get back inside. He leaps to the floor and tries to turn on the TV with the remote. MAN (stern) What did I say? Juancho turns to Man as if he'd been sitting there watching television the whole time. MAN Behave. JUANCHO Yes, Papa. Ted appears at the door with Man's champagne. TED The champagne you ordered, sir. MAN No time for this. Leave it on ice. Ted proceeds to place the champagne in the room. WIFE But I want some now . . . Ted is torn. Man pushes him into the room. MAN There'll be plenty for you and the party, baby, you can bomb yourself all you want at the party. WIFE What a waste. Ted places the bucket near the bed. After setting up the bottle, he turns to leave, but now Man closes the door, trapping Ted inside with them. MAN (to Ted) Hey. Ted looks around, bewildered. Now what? Man is reaching into his coat pocket. MAN You want five hundred bucks? TED Sure! Man hesitates a moment, then pulls out his wallet. That was too easy. MAN How about three? TED Three hundred? MAN Yeah. TED Three's good. MAN My children are staying here tonight watching TV. I want you to check up on them every thirty minutes. TED Check up on 'em? MAN Make sure they're all right, make sure they're fed, make sure they go to bed. TED We can call out and hire a babysitter. MAN I don't trust babysitters. My children are safer alone than with some fucked-up pedophile babysitter I don't know from the man in the fucking moon. WIFE What about him? What makes you think you can trust him? Man grabs Ted's face and tilts it torward Wife. MAN Tell me that's not a face you can trust. Man lets go of Ted's face. He feels his jaw. It's still there. TED Look, sir, I'd like to help you out, but I really can't. I'm all alone here tonight. Man whips out his wallet and counts out money in Ted's face. MAN One hundred . . . two hundred . . . three hundred . . . TED I thought you said five hundred. Man glares at Ted. MAN I said three hundred. Ted doesn't back down. TED No, you distinctly said five hundred. The angrier Man gets, the quieter he talks. MAN You calling me a liar? Ted, while not backing down, massages the situation. TED No, I'm not saying you're lying. I'm saying you accidentally forgot that what you first said was five hundred. Man has never been challenged like this by a fuckin' bellboy. MAN I don't do anything accidentally, jerk. I might've first said five hundred, but what I last said was three hundred, and what you say last is what counts. Ted not only doesn't back down, but psychologically pokes his finger in the scary Man's chest. TED Well then, if you say five hundred one last time, we got a deal. Man's eyes narrow. He physically pokes his finger in Ted's chest. MAN You fuckin' with me, Pendejo? Now Ted takes a step backwards. TED No, not at all. It's New Year's Eve and I'm here alone. If there was somebody else here, no problem, but I'm by myself. And looking after your kids is a pain in the ass I don't need-- MAN You callin' my kids a pain in the ass? TED --No, they're not a pain in the ass, it's the situation that's a pain in the ass. Man drops the tenseness. MAN No, you were right the first time. You win, tough guy, five hundred. Man respects Ted for not backing down, but not insulting him either. A skill Man never learned. Wife shoots a look at the children. WIFE (disgusted) You kids are getting expensive. Juancho turns back to the TV. Sarah stares down Wife. MAN (looking at name tag) What's your name? Ted? CLOSE-UP of name tag. TED Yeah. It's Ted. Man tears off Ted's name tag and throws it to children. MAN (to the children) His name is Ted. If you need anything, dial 0 and ask for Ted. Sarah catches the name tag and reads the name on it: "TED--BELLHOP." Sarah looks up at Ted. She clips the pin to her dress and smiles shyly at him. Man puts the money in Ted's pocket and then grabs his ear, pulling him close. MAN (deadly whisper) If something happens to my children, I wouldn't want to be you. WIFE Make sure they're in bed before midnight. TED (thinking) Before midnight? Then should I wake them up for the countdown to the New Year? Wife looks disgusted. WIFE No . . . As Man and Wife exit, he turns to the kids and says: MAN Don't misbehave. Man closes the door. INT. HALLWAY Man and Wife book it down the hall before Ted can change his mind. ROOM 716 Ted is standing facing the door the Man and Wife just disappeared through. He turns around slowly to face the children. His eyes are wide. His face is quiet. Stern. The children are staring at him. TED Okay. These are the rules. Don't break the rules and I won't break your necks. The kids look at each other. TED (smiling) I always wanted to say that. Someone said that to me when I was a kid. Sarah laughs at his joke. TED Except they were joking. I'm not. Ted goes to the door. TED The rules are simple. Don't do anything you wouldn't do if your parents were here. If there's an emergency, call me on the phone, like your dad said. SARAH That's not what he said. Ted's surprised by a challenge this early in the game. SARAH He said to call if we need anything. TED Well, I've got a lot of work to do and I can't have you calling me every time you want a drink of water, so please limit your calls to emergencies only. SARAH We paid you five hundred dollars. We'll call you if we need anything. You don't want to upset my dad. TED Okay. Please. Try to call only when necessary. Watch TV, and if you're good, I'll bring up some milk and cookies. Bye. Ted leaves. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY Ted walks briskly down the hall, counting his money the whole way. CUT TO: INT. ROOM 716 Juancho takes off his socks and shoes and throws them onto the floor. Sarah looks at the discarded shoes and socks. CLOSE ON the shoes and socks. Sarah looks over at Juancho's bare feet. Her nose twitches. SARAH Your feet stink. Juancho smells his feet. JUANCHO They don't stink. Sarah throws his shoes and socks behind her. They land on the bed. Juancho is flipping channels and finds an interesting show. JUANCHO Check it out. T & A. Sarah realizes he found a Nudie station. SARAH Change it. You're not supposed to watch this. JUANCHO We're supposed to watch TV. SARAH Not this kind of TV. Change it. Juancho rolls up in a ball, the remote tucked in some recess of his stomach. Sarah hits him, then goes to the phone. She punches 0, sits on the bed, and checks the name on the name tag pinned to her shirt. CUT TO: FRONT DESK Ted walks up to the front desk just as the phone rings. TED Front desk. INT. ROOM 716 Sarah is taking off her white winter tights. SARAH Ted? Hi. It's me, Sarah. You're our sitter for tonight. TED Oh, Jesus, what did I tell you? I said if you don't bother me, you'll get milk and cookies. Now, do you want them or do you not? SARAH I want you to turn off the Nudie station in our room. Ted checks the computer. TED (reading stats on room 716) I can't turn on an adult station without permission from your parents. SARAH No. (struggling with winter tights) Not turn it on, turn it off. It's already on. TED That's not what the machine tells me. SARAH Well, stop listening to the machine and listen to me. There's naked ladies dancing on my TV and I want 'em off. TED If you're good, you'll get milk and cookies, so leave me alone, please. I'll be up later to put you both to sleep. He hangs up. ROOM 716 Angry, Sarah slams down the phone. She has an unusually adult temper. We know where she gets it from. She looks up and sees that the nudies are still in full force. SARAH Change the channel, now! Juancho turns around. He has a face like someone just laid a fart in his nose. JUANCHO Man, you're the one with the stinky feet. Sarah smells her feet. Twice. SARAH They don't stink. JUANCHO Yeah, they do. SARAH Here, smell for yourself. She sticks her foot out for Juancho to smell. He's reluctant. Fearful. SARAH Go ahead. He slowly, very slowly . . . climbs onto the bed and lowers his head to her foot. Very slowly. Sarah waits until he's close enough to her foot before she kicks him in the face, sending him somersaulting off the bed and crashing to the floor. She grabs the remote control he left behind and changes the channel to a cartoon. Juancho gets up and realizes his defeat. He decides to wander about. Looking for something to do . . . Sarah tries to ignore him as he stalks the room. It's only a matter of time before he finds mischief. Juancho sees the champagne bucket and Bingo!, he goes for the bottle. JUANCHO (holding up the bottle) Hey, get a bottle opener! Sarah opens her mouth, as if about to tell him to leave the champagne alone. She stops herself when she realizes she wants some champagne too. She quickly scrambles about for a bottle opener while Juancho unwraps the bottle top. Sarah opens the dresser drawer with such force that a few hidden contents long forgotten in the back of the drawer slide forward. Some coins, a paperclip, and a hypodermic needle. She looks down at the needle that lays beside the Gideon Bible and casually picks the phone back up and punches 0. The phone rings. FRONT DESK Ted, bucket of ice in his hand, gets ready to go to room 404. As he crosses the desk, the phone rings. He looks at the board and see room 716's light blinking. He sighs in exasperation. INT. ROOM 716 Sarah sees Juancho shaking the champagne bottle violently. SARAH Don't shake it! (into phone) Ted? Hi. It's me. Sarah. TED Yeah. Who died? No one? Then don't call me. SARAH I thought I'd tell you that your cleaning ladies are doing a bum job. There's all kinds of leftover stuff around here. Sarah picks up the needle and rolls it over in her hand several times. SARAH Needles and things. We're not supposed to have needles here, are we? I mean, they don't come with the room, do they? Send someone up here to clean this place up right. The champagne bottle explodes all over Juancho. He looks surprised. SARAH (to Juancho) I TOLD YOU NOT TO SHAKE IT! (to Ted) I gotta go. My brother just exploded the champagne all over the room. Oh, and bring us a couple of toothbrushes. There's a card in the bathroom that says you'll bring free toothbrushes if we ask for them. She hangs up. A frustrated Ted hangs up the phone. He walks briskly to the elevator. Sarah and Juancho are pouring themselves champagne. They turn up the television and drink. Juancho shudders at the taste, but tries to drink as much as Sarah. Sarah clearly doesn't like it, but tries to pretend she does. Sarah picks up an instruction card near the phone to see how to make room-to-room calls. SARAH I'm calling another room, give me three numbers. JUANCHO 4-0-9. Sarah punches in the room number. The phone rings. She holds the needle up to the light to examine it. SARAH Hello? Hi. You don't know me, and I don't know you, but . . . do you have any needles? We've got needles here and I was wondering if they come with the room or not. Don't have any? Thanks. Just checking. She hangs up. Juancho puts down his champagne glass and searches his father's coat pocket. He finds a pack of cigarettes and takes one out. He puts it in his mouth and pretends to smoke. Sarah checks out the hypodermic needle carefully. She has an idea. MONTAGE: In the bathroom, Sarah seeks out her mother's lipstick. ROOM 716 Sarah stands atop the chest of drawers and uses the lipstick to draw a bull's-eye on one of the hotel art paintings. She writes numbers next to each circle representing points. Juancho is standing at the foot of the bed, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, as he practices his dart-throwing technique. SARAH (pointing out the rules) The center is the bull's eye, 100 points, this one's 10 points, this one's 20 points. WHACK! The needle lands an inch from her face in the 20-point slot. SARAH Hey, wait a minute. Let me get out of the way! Sarah, a little tipsy now, grabs the needle and staggers to the bed. She hears the key in the doorway and throws the needle into the curtain to hide it. Ted enters the room, somewhat disheveled from his encounter with Sigfried. He has a tray and a new bottle of champagne. He puts the champagne bottle into the empty bucket. He spots the original bottle lying on the floor half empty and dripping into the carpet. TED I brought you some milk and cookies. If you want some you have to eat them now, because you're going to sleep. SARAH We're going to sleep now? TED Your parents said put you to bed before midnight. Well, it's before midnight. Maybe that way you'll leave me alone. SARAH Those aren't milk and cookies. TED We were out of cookies, so I brought you milk and Saltines. Don't complain! Now hurry up and eat. You're going to bed right now. Juancho bites into a Saltine. Sarah simply examines one. JUANCHO These are old. SARAH They're stale. TED (impatient) Dip 'em in the milk! The milk will make them soft. Sarah gives up and throws the cracker back onto the tray. She's a little drunk. Ted picks up the ruined champagne bottle. Juancho dips his crackers and eats them. He makes a face and drops a soggy cracker onto the tray. TED No crackers? Okay, fine. Sleepy time. Now, I don't want you guys wandering around, so if you need to go to the restroom, go now. They go to the bathroom. Ted sits on the bed. Waits. He sees the painting on the wall but can't figure out what's different about it. The red lipstick blends right into the aesthetic value of the painting. Ted smells something funny. He looks down and sees the socks on the bed. He grabs a fork from the tray and uses it to throw the socks across the room. The kids come back out. JUANCHO What about our pajamas? TED You wanna look nice in case there's an earthquake, don'tcha? The children nod. TED Okay. Then stay in those clothes. The kids lie on the bed. Sarah notices a jar of Mentholatum ointment on the dinner tray. SARAH What's that? TED Oh, this is just some Mentholatum ointment. Come on, under the covers. Close your eyes and I'll tell you a story. The children close their eyes. Ted opens the jar of the ointment and sniffs it. Strong stuff by the look on his face. TED Your dad says he doesn't trust babysitters. I don't blame him. You know what my babysitter did to me once? (confiding) I never told my parents, either. The children lie in the bed, eyes closed, listening intently. Tep dips his fingers in the jar of vaporous ointment. TED I hated going to sleep. You know, it's nighttime and you wanna run around and act crazy. So what my babysitter did to make sure I'd go to sleep and not be tempted to get up, was, she'd take some of this vapor rub stuff . . . Can you smell this? Eyes closed, the kids inhale. They smell the ointment and nod yes. TED Well, she'd just dab a little of this over each eyelid, so that I would be sure and keep my eyes closed all night. Ted is spreading the ointment over their eyelids as he says this. TED There. Now you've got some, too! Don't open your eyes or it'll burrrn, burn, burn. The smell helps clear your sinuses too, so it's doing double duty. JUANCHO What happens when it's morning? TED If you keep your eyes closed all night, it will wear off by morning. But DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES BEFORE THAT . . . . SARAH Did you ever open your eyes? Extreme CLOSE-UP on Ted's eyes. TED Yes . . . I did. The children are quiet. TED And now look at me. CHILDREN (in unison) We can't. TED Good. You'll do just fine. Sleep well and I won't tell your parents about the champagne. Ted leaves. CUT TO: AFTER A MOMENT OF DARKNESS After a moment of darkness, the night is disturbed by the loud crashing of fireworks outside the window. Sarah sits up, eyes closed. Her face feels the warmth coming from the window and she tilts her head toward it. The light of the fireworks dances its reflections off her face. She inhales deeply . . . then makes a sour face. She goes for the bathroom, arms outstretched like a blind girl. She gets to the bathroom, turns on the light, and searches for the sink. She begins to wash the ointment off her eyes very carefully. She dries her eyes thoroughly and opens them . . . checks them in the mirror. A little red, but otherwise fine. She goes back into the bedroom, turns on the television and grabs the new champagne bottle. She shakes it violently. Juancho wakes. He turns his head to her. His eyes are still closed. JUANCHO Are you watching TV? The champagne bottle explodes. She pours herself a glass. SARAH Yep. If you wanna watch too, you have to go wash your face. Juancho gets up smiling and tries to run to the bathroom. He slams into the wall, hard. SARAH Be careful . . . Juancho walks into the bathroom a little slower, more cautious. Sarah pours herself another glass. She downs the glass and shudders. She smells the bad smell again. Only now she really smells it. She smells her feet. Nothing. She smells the champagne. Nothing. Juancho enters the room and sits on the bed. Sarah grabs his foot and smells it. She drops his foot. Juancho stares blankly at her. Sarah looks down at the mattress. She smells the mattress. Juancho looks at her as if she's drunk. Sarah leaps off the bed and turns on the room lights. She takes a huge swig from the champagne bottle, then stalks toward the mattress. Juancho leaps off the bed as well and stands back. Sarah pulls the mattress off of the bedsprings enough to see what is underneath it. Juancho screams. Sarah is too stunned to scream. Stuffed into the bedsprings is a woman's dead and beaten corpse. CUT TO: CLOSE ON Ted's phone ringing. Ted looks at the phone as if pondering whether or not to answer it. He taps his fingers. Finally he answers the phone. ROOM 716 SARAH Ted! TED What do you want now, for Christ's sake! Who died? SARAH (near tears) I don't know, but she's in my bed! TED What? SARAH There's a dead body in my bed! TED That's just your brother. Sound asleep. SARAH No, there's a woman's dead body inside the bed, in the mattress. TED You saw the body? SARAH Yes! TED Impossible. You've got ointment on your eyes! You can't see shit! Now go to sleep! Ted hangs up the phone. Sarah redials. Ted answers. TED Godammit, go to sleep! SARAH (crying now) I washed it off . . . TED You washed off the ointment? SARAH (pissed, drunk) Yeah, didn't you ever think to do that? Ted is quiet on the line. Thinking. Juancho lights up a cigarette for real and takes nervous puffs. Sarah carries the phone over to Juancho and snatches the cigarette away from him. She stuffs it in her own mouth and nervously takes a long drag on it. SARAH (through cigarette) You never tried it, did you? Then you agree I'm smarter than you . . . TED All right. Now you listen to me . . . SARAH Get your ass up here and call the police, because there's a dead body in my bed and it smells like shit and it looks even worse, and if you don't help us, my dad is gonna lay you down right next to her, I swear to fucking God! She drinks from her champagne bottle. She's pulling the mattress back over the corpse again. JUANCHO Go, sis. She's drunk all right. TED (incensed) I'm coming up and if there isn't a dead body by the time I get there, I'll make one myself. You! FRONT DESK Ted slams down the phone. As he walks away from the counter, he spots the children's parents driving up to the valet out front. TED Oh shit! Ted breaks into a sprint and dives into a closing elevator. CUT TO: ROOM 716 Sarah continues to cover the body with the mattress. ELEVATOR Close on Ted's face as the elevator car races up seven floors. LOBBY The Man is carrying his drunk Wife through the lobby. Not happy. ROOM 716 Ted bursts into the room. He sees the disarray. Ted pushes the champagne out of Sarah's hand, spilling it onto the floor. TED What the fuck is going on??!! He sees Juancho with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth and rips it away from him. The butt goes flying onto the carpet near the spreading champagne spill. TED Your parents are on their way up and I'm not taking responsibility for this mess! SARAH Check under the mattress! TED For what? SARAH (crying) For the body, can't you smell it? TED It's your feet! Sarah grabs the mattress and pulls it off herself. Ted sees the rotting corpse. Vomit spews out of Ted's mouth. TED (gurgles through vomit-spewing lips) Jesus fucking Christ! What the fuck is this? He tears at the phone. TED (into the phone) Police, it's an emergency! (pause) Hello, Police, this is the Mon Signor Hotel, get someone up here right fucking now, there's a DEAD WHORE stuffed under the mattress! Tears well in Sarah's eyes as she looks at the body. SARAH Don't call her that . . . TED (into the phone) I'm dead fucking serious, there's a dead fucking Whore stuffed in the bedsprings of the fucking bed! SARAH Stop calling her that!! Sarah grabs the hypodermic needle from under the curtain and stabs it into Ted's leg. TED FUCK!! Sarah steps back, almost tripping over the champagne bottle. She picks up the bottle and holds it defensively in case Ted tries to retaliate. Ted spins around, now noticing the needle sticking out of his leg. TED Jesus!! Juancho lights up another cigarette. The champagne spill has spread to the fallen cigarette butt. The carpet bursts into flames around the spill. CUT OUTSIDE TO: EXT. ROOM 716 CLOSE ON a key going into the keyhole outside. BACK TO: ROOM 716 Ted tries to pull the syringe out of his leg, but yanking it makes it break in two, the plunger in his hand, and the needle still stuck in his leg. Ted staggers and grabs hold of the dead woman's foot for support as he steps on the remote control, flipping the TV on to the Nudie channel, just as . . . Man opens the door. Man stands at the door, drunk Wife unconscious on one arm, the door knob in the other hand. He's looking mean. Man's POV: focused on the dead woman in the bedsprings. We pan up the dead woman's leg to find Ted holding her foot. We pan down Ted's leg to find the hypodermic needle jutting out . . . then pan over to the other hand holding the broken syringe plunger. We pan over to the Nudie channel, then down to the fire blazing behind the children. Pan up to the dripping champagne bottle in Sarah's hand, then over to the cigarette hanging out of Juancho's mouth. Juancho tosses his cigarette out of his mouth to an area behind him. Another blaze starts immediately. Man drops his Wife to the floor. In the WIDE SHOT of Ted and the children, we see that the fireworks are bursting big and bright outside the window behind them. Almost as bright as the flames eating through the room. Man simply glares at Ted. Finally Man speaks . . . MAN Did they misbehave? Ted stares blankly at Man (the camera) as the sprinklers burst on . . . drenching the room as the picture FADES TO BLACK four rooms FADE UP ON INT. HOTEL LOBBY--NIGHT SUPER: ONE MINUTE AFTER ROBERT'S STORY. TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE DAWN. The elevator rides down to the lobby. The doors open and a wet, disheveled, and frantic Ted steps out. He staggers across the lobby to the reception desk. He grabs the phone. INT. BETTY'S APT--ALMOST DAWN The wild New Year's Eve party is winding down. Some Guests are passed out, some are asleep, some are making out, two guys are playing Nintendo, a Girl watches them. The phone RINGS. The Girl, who wears a "Guinness Stout" T-shirt, answers the phone. GUINNESS GIRL Happy New Year! BACK TO TED: BACK AND FORTH TED Let me speak to Betty. GUINNESS GIRL Party's over, she probably went home. TED She lives there. GUINNESS GIRL Oh, well, I haven't seen 'em in a while. TED Do you even know who I'm talking about? GUINNESS GIRL Yeah . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . I know 'em, I know Eddy. TED Betty, not Eddy. GUINNESS GIRL Yeah . . . yeah . . . I know Betty too . . . Tall . . . TED No, not particularly. She's got curly red hair. GUINNESS GIRL No, no, no, no, no, I know, I know. Japanese girl. TED She's not Japanese! I just said she had red hair. GUINNESS GIRL Yeah . . . yeah . . . yeah . . . I know her. TED Well, then get her on the phone, it's an emergency. GUINNESS GIRL Who--who should I say's calling? TED Tell 'em Teddy from work's on the phone, and it's a major fuckin' emergency. GUINNESS GIRL Gotcha, Betty from work. TED Not Betty from work, I'm calling Betty! I'm Teddy. Just say Ted. GUINNESS GIRL Hi, Ted, I'm Margaret. You sound down. Has this not been the happiest of New Year's? TED (resigning himself to talking with Margaret) No Margaret, this hasn't been my best New Year. This year's starting off pretty badly. MARGARET Awww, how come? TED Well, Betty--the chick whose house you're at, even though you don't know her--leaves me here all by myself on New Year's Eve. And first thing right off the bat, I'm fucked by a coven of witches. MARGARET An oven full of witches fucked you? Is that like at the circus when they stick all those clowns in an itty-bitty car? TED A coven. A coven of witches. Well, one witch in particular. MARGARET Was she an old hag with a mole, with hair growing out of it? TED No-no-no, she was . . . quite beautiful. Margaret thinks for a moment. MARGARET Ted? TED Yes. MARGARET What's the problem? TED Well, admittedly, that was the best part of the night. It was pretty fuckin' cool, actually. But it was still an unnerving way to start off the night. MARGARET Sounds to me like a pretty great way to start off the night. TED Okay, let's just skip over the witches. MARGARET --Skipping over the witches. TED So, later, in another room, some crazy sucking maniac sticks a gun in my face and forces me to play out some psychosexual drama with his wife. MARGARET He made you have psycho sex with his wife? TED No, he didn't make me fuck his wife, he thought I'd fucked his wife! He held me at gunpoint with a loaded gun! MARGARET What kinda gun? TED I don't know, I'm not a gun guy. It was big. MARGARET Like Dirty Harry's gun. TED Yeah, something like that. MARGARET Did it have a real long barrel or a short barrel? TED What difference does it make? MARGARET Well, for one thing it's the difference between a .44 Magnum and a Magnum .357. TED Who cares if it was a .44 or a .392, it was a fuckin' loaded gun, pointed at my fuckin' head! Margaret takes this in. MARGARET You wanna skip over this part, too? TED I want you to get Betty on the phone! MARGARET Hold on. (yelling to the room) Anybody live here named . . . (to Ted) What's her name again? TED Betty. MARGARET Betty! The sleepy room stirs. Betty wakes up from the floor. BETTY Yeah, whatcha screamin' about? MARGARET You're Betty? BETTY Yeah, I'm Betty, it's my fuckin' place, who the fuck are you? MARGARET I'm Margaret (hands her the phone) And this is Ted. Betty takes the phone. BETTY Ted, what's the problem? TED What's the problem? I don't got a problem, I got fuckin' problems! Wanna hear? BETTY (yawning, wiping sleep from her eyes) Sure. TED Well, most recently, there's room 716. There's a scary Mexican gangster dude pokin' his finger in my chest. There's his hooligan kids snapping their fingers at me. There's the putrid rotting corpse of a dead whore stuffed in the springs of a bed. There're rooms blazing afire . . . . There's a needle from God knows where stuck in my leg, infecting me with God knows what, and finally, there's me walking out the fuckin' door right now! Buenas noches. A RINGING SOUND happens that we haven't heard before. Ted's head turns toward it. It's the guest board. And the top light, the penthouse, is ringing. It rings where all the others buzzed. Betty can hear it distinctly on her side of the line. The sound fully wakes her up. They start talking Howard Hawks style again. BETTY (suddenly alert) Is that the penthouse? TED Yeah. BETTY That's the Chester Rush party, they want something. TED Yeah, well, tough tity. They're just gonna have to wait, 'cause I'm out the door. BETTY (panicking) Now, Ted, wait a minute. I know you're freaked, I know you're stressed. You've had a real bad night-- TED Yes, Betty, I've had-a-real-bad-night-- BETTY --You say there's a dead body in a room? TED Yes, I did. BETTY No problem, this is a hotel, we've had dead bodies before, it's just the price of doing business. You said the hotel was on fire. Is it still on fire? TED No, it's out. BETTY Good, sprinkler system worked like a charm. Now, you wanna leave, you've had enough. Perfectly understandable. I'll take care of everything else. The only thing I ask is that you take care of Chester Rush. Then you can leave. TED Now, look-- BETTY Ted, he's a very important guest of this hotel. In fact, he is the most important guest at the hotel. The Mon Signor used to be a haven for movie stars. Through the thirties and forties, and the first half of the fifties, more movie stars--if you break it down on a night-by-night basis--stayed at the Mon Signor than any other hotel in Hollywood. Now, we had some hard time in the eighties, even though we were the official hotel of Cannon Pictures, but we're coming back strong in the nineties. And a movie star clientele is important to that comeback. If we can keep stars of his magnitude happy, we're on our way. So, Ted, just take care of him, then you can leave. TED Look, I don't feel like-- BETTY He probably just wants some champagne! You can do that, can't you? Please just take care of him, the entire staff of the Mon Signor is begging you! Ted crumbles. TED Okay. But get your ass here pronto. BETTY You're a good man, Ted. Thanks. Ted hangs up the phone. And picks up the board phone. TED Hello, Mr. Rush. Sorry for the delay. How can I help you? FADE TO BLACK STORY TITLE CARD: the penthouse "THE MAN FROM HOLLYWOOD" EXT. HALLWAY TO PENTHOUSE--NIGHT The elevator door opens and Ted wheels out his tray into the hallway. There's been a bit of an effort to make himself appear a bit less disheveled than in the last scene. He's only minorly successful in the attempt. His uniform still looks like shit, his hair looks tousled, and he walks with a limp. He wheels the cart up to the penthouse door and KNOCKS at the door. A woman opens the door, it's Angela from Alex's story. ANGELA Hi, Theodore. TED What the hell are you doing here? She holds up the drink she has in her hand. ANGELA Having a drink. TED Is that crazy husband of yours in there? ANGELA Are you kidding, he'll be asleep till Christmas. From behind her we hear: VOICE (OS) Entrez, entrez. Angela steps aside and Ted wheels in the tray. INT. PENTHOUSE--NIGHT The penthouse is huge, far and away the best suite in the house. And standing in the middle of the biggest room in the hotel is the hottest, newest comedy star to burst onto the Hollywood scene in nearly a decade: Chester Rush. At this moment in time, he's the king, and he has the swagger of a new king. After only one movie, he's pulled the sword out of the stone. And the look on his face says, "King's good." Surrounding him is his entourage. They all look like once upon a time this evening they were dressed sharp; however, at this late hour, everybody looks about as disheveled as Ted. One of the lads, Norman, has planted roots in a comfy chair with his leg thrown over the arm and a bottle of Jim Beam in his hand. The second guy, Leo, is in the back of the room pacing back and forth on the telephone. He is completely oblivious to the rest of the room's activity. In Chester's hand is an ever present glass of champagne, which he constantly spills as he gestures wildly. Around the room are the leftovers: pizza boxes, fast-food hamburgers, and empty bottles of Cristal Champagne. CHESTER (still sitting) Entrez, entrez, come in, come in. TED (wheeling in the tray) Hi, sorry I took so long, but I got everything you asked for-- CHESTER --Not a problem, my friend Mr. Bellboy. ANGELA (closing the door) His name's Theodore. TED Actually, it's not Theodore, (he throws a look at Angela) It's Ted. Chester rises from the couch. CHESTER So, Ted the Bellboy, as I was saying--would you care for some champagne? That's not what I was saying, but would you care for some champagne? TED No, thank you. CHESTER Ya sure? Cristal. It's the best. I never liked champagne before I had Cristal, now I love it. TED Okay, yeah, sure. As Chester goes and pours Ted a glass: CHESTER --As I was saying, Ted, don't worry about being late. For our purposes, promptness is far behind thoroughness. On "thoroughness," he hands Ted the glass. CHESTER Chin-chin. They clink glasses and drink. CHESTER Whadya say, Ted? TED Thank you? CHESTER No, not thank you. Whadya say about the tasty beverage? TED It's good. CHESTER Fuckin' good, Ted. It's fuckin' good. Let's try it again, shall we? So, Ted, whadya think about the beverage. TED It's fuckin' good. CHESTER You bet your sweet bippy, Ted. It's fuckin' Cristal, everything else is piss. Norman in the chair starts yelling at Ted. NORMAN Bellboy! Bellboy! Bellboy! Ted knows he's being laughed at, but not why. CHESTER (to Norman) Knock it off, you're making my friend Ted here uneasy. (to Ted) Pay no attention to Norman here, Ted, he's just fuckin' wit' ya, that's all. That's from Quadrophenia. Now me, myself, when I think of bellboys I think of--"bellboy" isn't an insult, is it? Is there another name for what you do that I'm ignorant of? Bellman, bellperson-- TED Bellboy's fine. CHESTER Good. I'm glad they haven't changed that. There's a friendliness to "bellboy." As I was saying, Ted, when Norman thinks of bellboys, he thinks of Quadrophenia. But me, when I think of bellboys, I think of The Bellboy, with Jerry Lewis. Didja ever see The Bellboy? TED No. CHESTER You should, it's one of Jerry's better movies. He never says a word through the entire film. A completely silent performance. How many actors can pull that off? And he has to go to France to get respect. That says it all about America right there. The minute Jerry Lewis dies, every paper in this fuckin' country gonna write articles calling the man a genius. It's not right. It's not right and it's not fair. But why should that surprise anybody? When has America ever been fair? We might be right every once in a while, but we're very rarely fair. TED Where do you want this? CHESTER You in a hurry, Ted? TED (he is, but doesn't want to rush the movie star) No, not particularly. CHESTER Good, then stop playing "Beat the Clock." Now let me introduce you to everybody. He puts his arm around Ted and leads him around the room. Angela crosses frame, drink in hand. CHESTER Our friend from downstairs you already seem to be acquainted with. As she snuggles up in a big comfy chair: ANGELA Oh, me and Theodore go way back. Don't we, Theodore? TED The name's Ted, Angela. I only let people with loaded guns at my head call me Theodore. CHESTER Angela's like you, Ted, a newfound friend. ANGELA We met at the pool. CHESTER (to Ted) Have you ever seen Angela in a one-piece? TED No. CHESTER Well, it's somethin' to see. CHESTER (arm around Ted) The Man sitting in the chair, with the bottle of Jim Bean in his hand and the sense of humor, is Norman. Norman, say hello to Ted. NORMAN What's up? Norman shakes his hand. CHESTER The sociable son of a bitch on the telephone is Leo. And the person on the other end of the phone is his lovely wife Ellen. (to Leo) Leo, say hello to Ted. Leo breaks away from his phone conversation for two seconds. LEO Hi, Ted, glad you could make it. (back to phone) What? (pause) What does punctuality have to do with love? CHESTER Which brings me to me, Chester Rush, Ted. Pleased to meetcha. Chester shakes Ted's hand. TED I know. I'm sorry I haven't seen your movie. Chester stops. Ted wonders if he should have said that. Chester walks over to the table and pours himself some more champagne. When he talks now it's slower and somewhat distracted. The tone of the scene starts changing. CHESTER It's quite all right, Ted, nothing to feel sorry about. That's why God invented video. But you know, Ted, a lot of people did see it. Chester takes a drink of champagne, a disgusted look crosses his face, and he slowly puts it down. His manner gives the room a chill. When he talks, he addresses the room. CHESTER Who drank out of this bottle last? No answer. Chester walks over to Ted and fills his glass. CHESTER Who drank out of this bottle--not the other bottles--this bottle last? NORMAN What's wrong, Chester? He spills the champagne from his glass onto the floor. CHESTER It's fuckin' flat, Norman, that's what's wrong. The champagne--the fuckin' Cristal's fuckin' flat. Chester improvises a temper tantrum about the flat Cristal. Everyone looks at him, not knowing what to say. Even Leo walks over to witness. The whole room is uneasy and a little frightened. When Chester finishes his tantrum, he turns his attention back to Ted. As he talks to him, he opens up another bottle. But it's not the rapid-pace delivery Chester has done so far. It's more troubled and distracted. CHESTER I was saying, Ted, a lot of people did see it. And not just on video, either. Leo, what was the final take on domestic? Leo is still in the doorway making sure his boy's cool. LEO 72.1 million. (worried tone) You okay, champ? CHESTER (struggling with bottle) I'm cool, so talk to your wife. Leo turns his attention back to the phone and goes inside the room. CHESTER (to Ted) 72.1 million dollars. That's before video and before foreign, and before pay-TV and before free TV. We're talking fuckin' asses in fuckin' seats. (he pops the cork) Before all that other shit, The Wacky Detective made 72.1 million dollars. Chester walks over to Ted and fills his glass. CHESTER And my new one, The Dog Catcher, it's projected to break a hundred. (he clinks Ted's glass with his) The Dog Catcher. TED The Dog Catcher. They both drink. The tantrum's over, and Chester's back to his fast-talking, good-natured self. CHESTER Now let's stroll over here and see what goodies you brought us. TED Do you mind me asking what's all this stuff for? CHESTER One thing at a time, Ted. I'm not a frog and you're not a bunny, so let's not jump ahead. C'mon, Norman, you should be interested in this. NORMAN Damn Skippy! (pause) Tell it. Ted produces the things they called for. TED A block of wood. Chester knocks on it. CHESTER Good. TED Three nails. NORMAN Why three nails? CHESTER That's how many Peter Lorre asked for. Continue, Ted. Ted is completely bewildered. TED A roll of twine. CHESTER That's definitely a roll of twine. Continue. TED A bucket of ice. CHESTER (to Norman) You into it? NORMAN (to Chester) I'm into it. CHESTER (to Ted) Go on. TED A donut. Chester takes it and eats it. CHESTER That's for me. Continue. TED And a hatchet. CHESTER A hatchet as sharp as the devil himself is what I asked for. TED Well, you be the judge. Ted holds the hatchet out for Chester to take. Norman snatches it instead. NORMAN I'll be the judge. Norman touches the end of the blade with his thumb. CHESTER Whadya think? NORMAN That's a sharp motherfucker. Bring all this bullshit over to the bar. CHESTER You heard him, Ted. Ted is completely confused and starting to get a little scared, but he does what he's told. Leo slams down the phone. LEO Bitch! NORMAN You still married? LEO Maybe, maybe not, but I don't give a flyin' fuck either way. I've had it with that Machiavellian bitch! I'm too drunk to drive home. I'm sorry about that, I'm real sorry about that. I got drunk on New Year's Eve, cut my fuckin' head off . . . (noticing Ted at the bar) What's going on here? CHESTER We now return you to The Man from Rio, already in progress. LEO (surprised) Noooo, you're gonna do it? NORMAN Looks like. LEO You guys ain't bullshittin', you're gonna really go for it? Angela is still curled up. ANGELA After talkin' about it all night, they better. I wanna see a show. CHESTER When we do it, you'll have something to see. Leo walks up to Norman and throws his arm around him. LEO You are one radical dude. Ted doesn't know what anybody's talking about, which is just fine with him. He finishes laying out everything on the bar and says: TED Well, that's everything, so if you don't need me for anything else, I'll go back downstairs. CHESTER Not so fast, Ted. We ain't quite done yet. Why don't you take a seat at the bar, get comfortable, and have an open mind when we explain the festivities of the evening to you. TED Look, guys, you paid for the room. As long as you don't break up the furniture, you can do whatever the fuck you want. And me personally, I don't care if you break up the furniture. You don't have to explain anything to me. Whatever constitutes a good time as far as you guys are concerned is your business. CHESTER Well, it's your business, Ted. 'Cause we want you to take part. TED Take part in what? LEO Chester, your way of breaking the news to him gently is scarin' the shit outta him. ANGELA Look at the poor guy. Just spit it out. Little by little everybody has gathered around Ted. CHESTER First off, let me say that there's nothing homosexual about what we're going to ask you to do. There's nothing sexual at all about what we want. But I was thinkin' you might be thinkin' we want you to do some sex thing. Pee on us, suck us off, shit like that. Let me assure you nothing could be farther from what we want-- Angela interrupts: ANGELA Can I jump in here? CHESTER No, you can't jump in here, this is my story. ANGELA Theodore's been here fifteen minutes and you've talked about everything but. CHESTER Hey, if you don't like it, you can get the fuck out. Leo taps his champagne glass with a tiny spoon, shutting everybody up. LEO If it'll please the court, let me explain to Ted our intentions. NORMAN (yelling) I second the nomination! CHESTER (yelling) Move the nomination be closed! Chester takes the hatchet and brings it down on the bar like a hatchet. CHESTER (calmly) Leo, the floor is yours. LEO Thank you. (to Ted) Ted, did you ever watch the old "Alfred Hitchcok Show"? TED (totally bewildered at this point) Yeah. LEO Did you ever see the episode The Man from Rio, with Peter Lorre and Steve McQueen? TED I don't think so. LEO Oh, you'd remember it all right. In the show, Peter Lorre makes a bet that Steve McQueen can't light his cigarette lighter ten times in a row. Now if Steve McQueen can light his cigarette lighter ten times in a row, he wins Peter Lorre's new car. If he can't he loses his little finger. (pause) Norman and Chester just made the same bet. (pause) Norman's putting up his pinky against Chester's mint convertible, 1964 red convertible Chevy Corvelle that he can light his Zippo ten times in a row. Pause. Ted looks at all of them, taking in the information, before saying: TED You guys are drunk. CHESTER Well, that goes without saying, but that doesn't mean we don't know what we're doing. NORMAN I'll tell ya what I'm doin'. Norman lays an issue of Hot Classic Cars in front of Ted on the bar. On the cover is a picture of Chester smiling, standing next to a beautiful 1964 red convertible Chevy Corvelle. The headline reads: "Hollywood's Hottest New Star Next to America's Hottest Old Car." NORMAN I drive a motherfuckin' Honda my sister sold me. You hear what I'm sayin'? A little white motherfuckin' Honda Civic. (he holds up the magazine) You see this shit?! (reading the magazine) "Hollywood's hottest new star, next to America's hottest old car." (he hands Ted the magazine) Now you take a good look at that machine that this motherfucker over here is standing next to. That's a 1964 nigger-red, rag-top Chevy Corvelle. And I love that car more'n I love hips, lips, and fingertips. Cut to we sittin' here celebrating, gettin' high, drinkin' champagne-- CHESTER --Cristal. When you're drinkin' anything else, you're drinking champagne. When you're drinkin' Cristal, you say you're drinkin' Cristal. NORMAN --drinkin' Cristal. Watchin' TV. "Rockin' New Year's Eve." When all of a sudden we flip on Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre bein' fuckin' badass. And I look at this funny motherfucker over here, and I say, "I'd do that for the Chevelle." LEO And Chester replies . . . CHESTER ". . . Oh, really?" TED You guys wouldn't be doin' something this stupid unless you were drunk. Everybody breaks into a "here, here" murmur. NORMAN I think that pretty much goes without sayin'. We'd probably chicken out. But when you're fucked-up, you don't lie. You tell the fuckin' truth. And the fuckin' truth is, my lucky Zippo's gonna win me Chester's car. TED (to Chester) Why are you doing this? CHESTER Thrill of the bet. I'm the one with something to lose here. 'Cause I can pretty near guarantee that I love my car more'n Norman loves his pinky. TED (to Leo) How 'bout you guys, you're just gonna sit back and let your friends mutilate each other? LEO Why not? Life don't get much more exciting than this. I mean if Norman was puttin' his dick on the choppin' block, I'd step in, 'cause, ya know in the morning, we'd really regret that. But his pinky? Who gives a fuck? I mean theoretically, he could lose that choppin' onions tomorrow. Life still goes on. TED (to Angela) How 'bout you? ANGELA (to Ted) I don't care. CHESTER Which brings us to your part in this little wager. TED I don't have a part. CHESTER Now, Ted, my old granddaddy used ta say: "The less a man makes declarative statements, the less he's apt to look foolish in retrospect." Now there're some inherent obstacles in this undertaking. First of all, I'm not some sick fuck like Peter Lorre on that show, travelin' the countryside collecting fingers. We're all buddies, here. Nobody wants Norman to lose his finger. We just wanna chop it off. So if fate doesn't smile on ol' Norman, we'll put his finger on ice and rush 'im to a hospital, where in all likelihood be able to sew it back on. TED Hopefully. LEO Eighty percent. NORMAN Our side. CHESTER So Norman's protected. His interests have been looked after. My interests, on the other hand, have not. I am as emotionally attached to my car as Norman is physically to his finger. I'm putting up a very expensive piece of machinery on this wager. Now, if I lose, I lose, I have no problem with that. I'm a big boy, I knew what I was doing. However, if I win, I wanna win. If Norman lights his lighter ten times in a row, he's gonna have no emotional problems about taking my car keys whatsoever. But if I win, it's not inconceivable that Leo or myself, at the last minute, might not be able to wield the ax. Which brings us full circle to you, Ted. Sober Ted. Clear-eyed Ted. We want you to be the diceman. Pause as they all look at him. Angela breaks it. ANGELA Helluva night, huh, Ted? TED I gotta get out of here. Ted abruptly gets up and makes a beeline for the door. Chester whips out a hundred-dollar bill and quickly calls to Ted from his position at the bar. CHESTER Ted, I got a hundred-dollar bill here with your name on it, whether you do what we ask or not, just to sit back down in the chair for one minute more. Ted spins in his direction. TED I'm not gonna cut off his finger! CHESTER Maybe you will and maybe you won't, but that has nothing to do with this hundred-dollar bill in my hand. You can tell us all to go fuck off and walk right out that door. But if you sit back down and wait sixty seconds before you do it, you'll be a hundred dollars richer. Ted just stands across the room, thinking. ANGELA Ted. Take the money. LEO Ted, you're gonna do whatever you want to do. We're just askin' you to indulge us for another minute more. And Chester's willin' to pay for it. Ted thinks. TED I'll take your money, and I'll sit back down. But a minute from now, I'm gonna walk out the door, and when I do, there'll be no hard feelings? CHESTER Well, I want you to have a bit more of an open mind than that, but, yeah, we'll either convince you or we won't. No hard feelings. Right, guys? Everybody agrees. Ted wearily sits back down. Chester positions himself in front of Ted at the bar. CHESTER Okay, Leo, you be the timekeeper. Let us know when one minute begins and when it ends. LEO You got it. (he checks his watch) Gentlemen, start your engines. Chester jumps up and down, loosening up. LEO Begin! Chester, who talks fast anyway, starts his pitch. It's Chester who now plays "Beat the Clock." CHESTER Okay, pay attention here, Ted, I ain't got much time. Now I'm gonna make two piles here on the bar. (he takes the hundred-dollar bill and lays it out on the bar) One pile, (pointing at the hundred-dollar bill) which is yours. And another pile, (Chester whips out a money roll fat enough to choke a horse to death) which could be yours. (he lays a matching hundred-dollar bill on the bar, starting a second pile) Now, what you have to be aware of is we're gonna do this bet, one way, (he lays another hundred on the end pile) or the other. (he lays another hundred on the pile) Whether it's you who holds the ax, (he lays another hundred on the pile) or the desk clerk downstairs, (he lays another hundred on the pile) or some bum we yank off the street. (he lays another hundred on the pile) . . . NORMAN You can buy a lot of soup with that pile. CHESTER (to Norman) Shhhh, I'm the closer. (to the group) How much is on the bar already? I lost count. ANGELA Six hundred. CHESTER Six hundred. Ted, do you know how long it takes the average American to count to six hundred? TED No. CHESTER (laying another bill on the pile) One minute less than it takes to count to seven hundred. You know, Ted, a person's life is made up of a zillion little experiences. (he lays another bill on the pile) Some, which have no meaning, are insignificant and you forget them. And some that stick with you for the rest of your natural life-- (he lays another bill on the pile) --barring Alzheimer's of course. Now, what we're proposing is so unusual, so outside the norm, that I think it would be a pretty good guess that this will be one of those experiences that sticks. So, since you're gonna be stuck remembering this moment for the rest of your life, you gotta decide what that memory will be. (he lays down the last bill on the pile) So, are you gonna remember for the next forty years, give or take a decade, how you refused a thousand dollars for one second's worth of work, or how you made a thousand dollars for one second's worth of work? LEO Time! CHESTER Well, Ted, what's it gonna be? Ted looks at the pile, then looks up. We dolly into his face. FLASHBACK We see a quick MONTAGE of horrendous moments from all the other stories. INT. PENTHOUSE--NIGHT Back to Ted. TED Okay. The group cheers. TED But when it's over, no matter what happens, I get the money? CHESTER As long as you do your part, you can take the pile, walk out the door, and not say another word. TED Let's do it right now, before I change my mind. NORMAN Here, here. Everybody gets in their position by the bar. Norman lays his left hand on the block of wood with his pinky sticking out. In his right hand is his Zippo lighter, poised and ready to strike. Chester hands Ted the meat cleaver. Ted takes it, raises it up above Norman's finger, in position. CHESTER Perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect! This is great! This is a moment in time none of us will ever forget. Everybody is crowded around the scene, on pins and needles. CHESTER Norman, you ready? NORMAN Ready! CHESTER Ted, you ready? TED Ready. CHESTER Okeydoke. Norman, begin. Norman looks hard at the Zippo in his hand. Ted, holding the cleaver, stares focused on Norman's pinky. Norman readies himself. Places his thumb on the wheel in the Zippo. Takes a breath. And strikes. It sparks, but doesn't light. Without missing a beat, Ted brings down the cleaver, slicing off Norman's pinky. Norman lets out a scream. Ted, in one move, lays down the cleaver, scoops up the money and walks out the door. INT. HALLWAY--AFTER DAWN CAMERA is positioned at far end of hallway, looking down it at the elevator at the other end. Ted walks out of the penthouse in the f.g. In a MEDIUM SHOT, he takes the thousand dollars in his hand, looks at it, smiles, and sticks it in his pocket. It might've been a bad night, but it's been a profitable one. He chuckles at the irony, and, whistling a happy tune, turns his back on the camera and walks down the hall to the elevator. All the while we hear PANDEMONIUM breaking out behind the door. As Ted walks to the elevator, the CREDITS ROLL. He waits for the elevator, it arrives, he gets in, the doors close. As CREDITS CONTINUE TO ROLL, we hold for about two beats . . . then . . . The door BURSTS open and everybody comes piling out. Everybody's screaming, yelling different things to one another. Norman has a bloody towel wrapped around his hand, he's screaming and crying. NORMAN My finger, my fucking finger!! Chester has the bucket of ice with the finger in it. Leo's trying to direct everything. Everybody's in frantic activity, except for Angela, who stands back, drinks her drink, and watches the show. They all run down the hall, toward the elevator. Somebody trips and they all hit the ground. The bucket of ice with the finger goes spilling. They run around like crazy, looking for the finger and picking up ice cubes. Norman lies on the floor and screams. They pick it all up, get to the elevator, and push the button. When it arrives, they all dive in except for Angela. ANGELA You know, I'm gonna call it a night and go back to my room. It's been fun. The doors close on the screaming maniacs. Angela walks through a door marked "Stairway." INT. 4TH FLOOR HALLWAY--AFTER DAWN MEDIUM STAIRWAY DOOR CREDIT ROLL continues Angela comes through the door; we STEADICAM in front of her as she walks the halls, looking for her room. She finds it . . . WE STOP CREDITS four rooms Angela sticks her key in the door, then stops when she sees something approaching. The look on her face combines strange awe and mild shock. Almost floating ethereally, a mysterious Blond Bombshell, wearing Diana's see-through negligee and slippers, armed with Elspeth's sword slung over her shoulder, wanders toward her. She is in a daze, perhaps lost or drunk. ANGELA You okay, lady? The bombshell looks up at her dizzily. ANGELA I said--you looking for someone? DIANA (disoriented) Uhhh . . . yes . . . my husband . . . I think. Have you seen him? Angela and the girl have a strange moment as they connect through the eyes. Having had enough emotional intensity tonight, Angela breaks their eye contact. ANGELA Lady, I haven't seen anybody. Diana quietly says, "Ohhh," as she drifts on down the hall in a daze. Angela puts her hand to her temples before opening her hotel door. She does a double-take on the hallway--empty. She pauses a beat, then walks into her room. After the door closes, we hear Sigfried on the other side. SIGFRIED Where the hell have you been?