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"Clerks" by Kevin Smith INT: BEDROOM. EARLY-MORNING HOURS A DOG sleeps on a neatly made bed. A CLOCK reads twenty to six. A SHELF OF BOOKS holds such classics as Dante's Inferno, Beyond Good and Evil, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Dark Knight Returns. A FRAMED DIPLOMA, dusty and unkempt, hangs askew on the wall. A snapshot of a girl is stuck in the corner, and a bra weighs one end down. A PHONE sits quietly atop a bundle of laundry. It suddenly explodes with a resounding ring-once, twice, three times. A CLOSET DOOR swings open, and a half-clad figure falls out. THE PHONE rings yet again, and a hand falls upon the receiver, yanking it off the trash can, O.C. THE RUMPLED FIGURE lays with his back to the camera, phone in hand. FIGURE (groggily) Hello... What?... No, I don't work today... I'm playing hockey at two. THE DOG yawns and shakes its head. FIGURE (O.S.) Why don't you call Randal?... Because I'm fucking tired... I just closed last night... (deep sigh) Jesus... What time are you going to come in?... Twelve... Be there be twelve?... Swear... A PICTURE OF A GIRL leans against a trophy. The picture is decorated with a Play-Doh beard and mustache. FIGURE (O.S.) Swear you'll be in by twelve and I'll do it... Twelve... Twelve or I walk. THE PHONE RECEIVER slams into the cradle. THE RUMPLED FIGURE slowly sits up and remains motionless. He musses his hair and stands. THE DOG stands and wags its tail. A hand pats its head. The Rumpled Figure lays down on the bed. We now see his face. It is the face of DANTE and this is Dante's room; this is Dante's life. DANTE grabs the dog and wrestles it. DANTE Next time, I get the bed. He releases the dog and sits up. DANTE (exhausted) Shit. CUT TO: INT: BATHROOM. MINUTES LATER A steaming shower fills the room. The dog licks water from the toilet. CUT TO: INT: KITCHEN. MINUTES LATER A towel-dressed DANTE opens the fridge and peers inside. He grabs a half-empty gallon of milk and closes the door. CUT TO: INT: KITCHEN. SECONDS LATER Chocolate milk mix is heaped into a tumbler. One scoop, two scoops, three scoops, four scoops. CUT TO: INT: BEDROOM. A MINUTE LATER DANTE gulps his breakfast while feeling inside the closet for some clothes. Some chocolate milk spills on the floor. THE DOG laps at the small puddle of chocolate milk. CUT TO: INT: HALLWAY. MINUTES LATER DANTE'S feet are hastily covered. A hand grabs keys from atop a VCR. CUT TO: EXT: DRIVEWAY. MINUTES LATER A car backs out of the driveway and speeds down the street. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING The car pulls up, with a screech. Feet descend to the ground from the open door. Keys jam into a lock and pop it open. CUT TO: DANTE lifts the metal shutter revealing the door. He opens it and grabs two bundles of papers, throwing them inside the store. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING A very dark room barely lit by the daylight. Suddenly, the lights flick on, revealing the glorious interior of the convenience store. THE CAT looks at DANTE as he passes the camera quickly. THE PAPER BUNDLE is snapped open with a knife. Newspapers slam into the appropriate racks. One rack remains empty. A coffee filter is placed in a metal pot. Ground coffee follows, and the mix is shoved into place in the coffeemaker. The switch is flicked and the machine comes to life. The empty newspaper rack with the heading ASBURY PARK PRESS seems out of place among all the other stacks of papers. DANTE rubs his chin and stares, puzzled. He rolls his eyes as it occurs to him. DANTE Shit. The register pops open, and a hand extracts a quarter. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING POV: NEWSPAPER MACHINE Through murky glass and thin metal grating, we see DANTE approach. He stops and drops a quarter in the slot. He pulls the door down, finally allowing us a clear view as he reaches toward the camera. DANTE pulls a stack of newspapers from the Asbury Park Press vending machine. He struggles to hold them all in one hand as he lets the door slam shut. He turns to walk away, but the sound of the quarter dropping into the change slot stops him. He takes a step back to grab the coin. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING The papers drop into the once-empty rack with a resounding flop. The quarter drops back into the register drawer. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING DANTE tries to jam the key into the window shutter lock. He looks down at it. DANTE Shit! The lock is gummed up with gum or something hard and obtrusive like gum, preventing the key from being inserted. DANTE looks around and kicks the shutter angrily. The car trunk pops open and a hand reaches inside, pulling out a folded white sheet. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING A can of shoe polish is grabbed from the shelf. DANTE dips his fingers into the shoe polish and writes large letters on the unfurled sheet, leaning on the cooler. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING DANTE stands on a garbage can and tucks a corner of the sheet under the awning. He jumps down. The banner reads I ASSURE YOU, WE'RE OPEN. The door sign shifts from CLOSED to OPEN. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. MORNING The clock reads 6:20. DANTE leans behind the counter, the morning routine completed. He stares ahead, catatonic, then drops his head in his hands. The day has begun. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY The store, with its makeshift banner looming in the dim morning hour, just after dawn. A car drives by. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE waits on a customer (ACTIVIST) buying coffee. DANTE Thanks. Have a good one. ACTIVIST Do you mind if I drink this here? DANTE Sure. Go ahead. The ACTIVIST leans on a briefcase and drinks his coffee. Another CUSTOMER leans in the door. CUSTOMER Are you open? DANTE Yeah. CUSTOMER Pack of cigarettes. ACTIVIST Are you sure? CUSTOMER Am I sure? ACTIVIST Are you sure? CUSTOMER Am I sure about what? ACTIVIST Do you really want to buy those cigarettes? CUSTOMER Are you serious? ACTIVIST How long have you been smoking? CUSTOMER (to DANTE) What is this, a poll? DANTE Beats me. ACTIVIST How long have you been a smoker? CUSTOMER Since I was thirteen. The ACTIVIST lifts his briefcase onto the counter. He opens it and extracts a sickly-looking lung model. ACTIVIST I'd say you're about nineteen, twenty, am I right? CUSTOMER What the hell is that? ACTIVIST That's your lung. By this time, your lung looks like this. CUSTOMER You're shittin' me. ACTIVIST You think I'm shitting you... The ACTIVIST hands him something from the briefcase. CUSTOMER What's this? ACTIVIST It's a trach ring. It's what they install in your throat when throat cancer takes your voice box. This one came out of a sixty-year-old man. CUSTOMER (drops ring) Unnhh! ACTIVIST (picks up the ring) He smoked until the day he died. Used to put the cigarette in this thing and smoke it that way. DANTE Excuse me, but... ACTIVIST This is where you're heading. A cruddy lung, smoking through a hole in your throat. Do you really want that? CUSTOMER Well, if it's already too late... ACTIVIST It's never too late. Give those cigarettes back now, and buy some gum instead. (grabs nearby pack, reads) Here. Chewlies Gum. Try this. CUSTOMER It's not the same. ACTIVIST It's cheaper than cigarettes. And it certainly beats this. Hands him a picture. CUSTOMER Jesus! ACTIVIST It's a picture of a cancer-ridden lung. Keep it. CUSTOMER (to DANTE) I'll just take the gum. DANTE Fifty-five. ACTIVIST You've made a wise choice. Keep up the good work. The CUSTOMER exits. DANTE Maybe you should take that coffee outside. ACTIVIST No, I think I'll drink it in here, thanks. DANTE If you're going to drink it in here, I'd appreciate it if you'd not bother the customers. ACTIVIST Okay. I'm sorry about that. Another CUSTOMER comes up to the counter. CUSTOMER Pack of cigarettes. (looks at model) What's that? ACTIVIST This? How long have you been smoking? CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A blank wall. JAY steps into the frame, followed by SILENT BOB. JAY pulls off his coat and swings it into the arms of SILENT BOB. JAY then throws down with a makeshift slam dance, spinning his arm and fake-hitting SILENT BOB. JAY WE NEED SOME TITS AND ASS! YEAH! SILENT BOB lights a smoke. JAY I feel good today, Silent Bob. We're gonna make some money! And then you know what we're going to do? We're going to go to that party and get some pussy! I'm gonna fuck this bitch, that bitch... (Blue Velvet Hopper) I'LL FUCK ANYTHING THAT MOVES! SILENT BOB points to something off-screen. JAY (to O.C.) What you looking at?! I'll kick your fucking ass! (to SILENT BOB) Doesn't that motherfucker still owe me ten bucks? SILENT BOB nods. JAY Tonight, you and me are going off that fucker's head, and take out his fucking soul! Remind me if he tries to buy something from us, to cut it with leafs and twigs... or fucking shit in the motherfucker's bag! Some girls walk past. JAY smiles at them. JAY Wa sup sluts? (to SILENT BOB) Damn Silent Bob! You one rude motherfucker! But you're cute as hell. (slowly drops to knees) I wanna go down on you, and suckle you. (makes blow job neck- jerks) And then, I wanna line up three more guys, and make like a circus seal... JAY makes blow job faces down an imaginary line of guys, looking quite like a performing seal. He throws a little humming sound behind each nod. He then hops up quickly. JAY Ewwww! You fucking faggot! I fucking hate guys! (yelling) I LOVE WOMEN! (calmer) Neh. A GUY comes up to them. GUY You selling? JAY (all business) I got hits, hash, weed, and later on I'll have 'shrooms. We take cash, or stolen MasterCard and Visa. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A SMALL CROWD gathers around the ACTIVIST as he orates. It has become something of a rally. ACTIVIST You're spending what? Twenty, thirty dollars a week on cigarettes. LISTENER 1 Forty. LISTENER 2 Fifty-three. ACTIVIST Fifty-three dollars. Would you pay someone that much money every week to kill you? Because that's what you're doing now, by paying for the so-called privilege to smoke! LISTENER 3 We all gotta go sometime... ACTIVIST It's that kind of mentality that allows this cancer-producing industry to thrive. Of course we're all going to die someday, but do we have to pay for it? Do we have to actually throw hard-earned dollars on a counter and say, "Please, please, Mister Merchant of Death, sir; please sell me something that will give me bad breath, stink up my clothes, and fry my lungs." LISTENER 1 It's not that easy to quit. ACTIVIST Of course it's not; not when you have people like this mindless cretin so happy and willing to sell you nails for your coffin! DANTE Hey, now wait a sec... ACTIVIST Now he's going to launch into his rap about how he's just doing his job; following orders. Friends, let me tell you about another bunch of hate mongers that were just following orders: they were called Nazis, and they practically wiped a nation of people from the Earth... just like cigarettes are doing now! Cigarette smoking is the new Holocaust, and those that partake in the practice of smoking or sell the wares that promote it are the Nazis of the nineties! He doesn't care how many people die from it! He smiles as you pay for your cancer sticks and says, "Have a nice day." DANTE I think you'd better leave now. ACTIVIST You want me to leave? Why? Because somebody is telling it like it is? Somebody's giving these fine people a wake-up call?! DANTE You're loitering in here, and causing a disturbance. ACTIVIST You're the disturbance, pal! And here... (slaps a dollar on the counter) I'm buying some... what's this?... Chewlie's Gum. There. I'm no longer loitering. I'm a customer, a customer engaged in a discussion with other customers. LISTENER 2 (to DANTE) Yeah, now shut up so he can speak! ACTIVIST Oh, he's scared now! He sees the threat we present! He smells the changes coming, and the loss of sales when the nonsmokers finally demand satisfaction. We demand the right to breathe cleaner air! LISTENER 3 Yeah! ACTIVIST We'd rather chew our gum than embrace slow death! Let's abolish this heinous practice of sucking poison, and if it means ruffling the feathers of a convenience store idiot, then so be it! DANTE That's it, everybody out. ACTIVIST We're not moving! We have a right, a constitutional right, to assemble and be heard! DANTE Yeah, but not in here. ACTIVIST What better place than this? To stamp it out, you gotta start at the source! DANTE Like I'm responsible for all the smokers! ACTIVIST The ones in this town, yes! You encourage their growth, their habit. You're the source in this area, and we're going to shut you down for good! For good, cancer-merchant! The small crowd begins to chant and jeer in DANTE's face. CROWD Cancer merchant! Cancer merchant! Cancer merchant! VERONICA enters and surveys the mess. The CROWD throws cigarettes at DANTE, pelting him in the face. Suddenly, a loud blast is heard, and white powder explodes over the throng. Everyone turns to face... VERONICA as she stands in one of the freezer cases, holding a fire extinguisher. VERONICA Who's leading this mob? The CROWD looks among themselves. Someone points to O.C. SOMEONE That guy. The ACTIVIST carries his briefcase surreptitiously toward the door. VERONICA (O.S.) Freeze. VERONICA jumps off the freezer case, training the nozzle of the extinguisher on the ACTIVIST. VERONICA Let's see some credentials. He reaches into his briefcase. She pokes the extinguisher nozzle at him, warningly. VERONICA Slowly... He pulls out a business card and hands it to her. She reads it. VERONICA You're a Chewlie's Gum representative? He nods. VERONICA And you're stirring up all this antismoking sentiment to... what?... sell more gum? He nods again. VERONICA (through gritted teeth) Get out of here. He quickly flees. She blasts him with more chemical as he exits. VERONICA (to the crowd) And you people: Don't you have jobs to go to? Get out of here and go commute. The CROWD sheepishly exits, one by one, offering apologetic glances. DANTE tries to regain his composure. VERONICA watches the crowd disperse, disgusted. VERONICA You oughta be ashamed of yourselves. Easily led automatons. Try thinking for yourself before you pelt and innocent man with cigarettes. The last of the crowd exits. VERONICA sets the fire extinguisher down next to DANTE. DANTE is sitting on the floor, head in his folded arms. VERONICA It looked like Tiananmen Square in here for a second. DANTE is silent. VERONICA "Thank you, Veronica; you saved me from an extremely ugly mob scene." DANTE remains silent. VERONICA (sits beside him) Okay, champ. What's wrong? DANTE lifts his head and shoots her a disgusted look. VERONICA All right, stupid question. But don't you think you're taking this a bit too hard? DANTE Too hard?! I don't have enough indignities in my life-people start throwing cigarettes at me! VERONICA At least they weren't lit. DANTE I hate this fucking place. VERONICA Then quit. You should be going to school anyway... DANTE Please, Veronica. Last thing I need is a lecture at this point. VERONICA All I'm saying is that if you're unhappy you should leave. DANTE I'm not even supposed to be here today! VERONICA I know. I stopped by your house and your mom said you left at like six or something. DANTE The guy got sick and couldn't come in. VERONICA Don't you have a hockey game at two? DANTE Yes! And I'm going to play like shit because I didn't get a good night's sleep! VERONICA Why did you agree to come in then? DANTE I'm only here until twelve, then I'm gone. The boss is coming in. VERONICA Why don't you open the shutters and get some sunlight in here? DANTE Somebody jammed the locks with gum. VERONICA You're kidding. DANTE Bunch of savages in this town. VERONICA You look bushed. What time did you get to bed? DANTE I don't know-like two-thirty, three. VERONICA What were you doing up so late? DANTE (skirting) Hunhh? Nothing. VERONICA (persistent) What were you doing? DANTE Nothing! Jesus! I gotta fight with you now? VERONICA Who's fighting? Why are you so defensive? DANTE Who's defensive? Just... Would you just hug me?! All right? Your boyfriend was accosted by an angry mob, and he needs to be hugged. She stares at him. DANTE What? What is that? VERONICA She called you, didn't she? DANTE Oh, be real! Would you... Would you please hug me? I just went through a very traumatic experience and I haven't been having the best day so far. Now come on. VERONICA stares at him. DANTE What? What's with that look?! I wasn't talking to anyone, especially her! Look at you, being all sort of... I don't know... stand-offish. VERONICA looks away. DANTE Fine. You don't trust me, don't hug me. I see how it is. All right Pissy- pants, you just go on being suspicious and quiet. I don't even want to hug you at this point. VERONICA looks back at him. DANTE (pleadingly) Give you a dollar? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A NOTE on the counter next to a small pile of money reads: PLEASE LEAVE MONEY ON THE COUNTER. TAKE CHANGE WHEN APPLICABLE. BE HONEST. DANTE and VERONICA are slumped on the floor, behind the counter. VERONICA holds DANTE in her arms, his head on her chest. Change is heard hitting the counter. DANTE (to O.C. customer) Thanks. The door is heard opening and closing - a customer leaving. VERONICA How much money did you leave up there? DANTE Like three dollars in mixed change and a couple of singles. People only get the paper of coffee this time of morning. VERONICA You're trusting. DANTE Why do you say that? VERONICA How do you know they're taking the right amount of change? Or even paying for what they take? DANTE Theoretically, people see money on the counter and nobody around, they think they're being watched. VERONICA Honesty through paranoia. Why do you smell like shoe polish? DANTE I had to use shoe polish to make that sign. The smell won't come off. VERONICA Do you think anyone can see us down here? DANTE Why? You wanna have sex or something? VERONICA (sarcastic) Ooh! Can we?! DANTE Really? VERONICA I was kidding. DANTE Yeah, right. You can't get enough of me. VERONICA Typically male point of view. DANTE How do you figure? VERONICA You show some bedroom proficiency, and you think you're gods. What about what we do for you? DANTE Women? Women, as lovers, are all basically the same: they just have to be there. VERONICA "Be there?" DANTE Making a male climax is not all that challenging: insert somewhere close and preferably moist; thrust; repeat. VERONICA How flattering. DANTE Now, making a woman cum... therein lies a challenge. VERONICA Oh, you think so? DANTE A girl makes a guy cum, it's standard. A guy makes a girl cum, it's talent. VERONICA And I actually date you? DANTE Something wrong? VERONICA I'm insulted. Believe me, Don Juan, it takes more than that to get a guy off. Just "being there"-as you put it-is not enough. DANTE I touched a nerve. VERONICA I'm astonished to hear you trivialize my role in our sex life. DANTE It wasn't directed at you. I was making a broad generalization. VERONICA You were making a generalization about "broads!" DANTE These are my opinions based on my experiences with the few women who were good enough to sleep with me. VERONICA How many? DANTE How many what? VERONICA How many girls have you slept with? DANTE How many different girls? Didn't we already have this discussion once? VERONICA We might have; I don't remember. How many? DANTE Including you? VERONICA It better be up to and including me. DANTE (pause to count) Twelve. VERONICA You've slept with twelve different girls? DANTE Including you; yes. Pause. She slaps him. DANTE What the hell was that for? VERONICA You're a pig. DANTE Why'd you hit me? VERONICA Do you know how many different men I've had sex with? DANTE Do I get to hit you after you tell me? VERONICA Three. DANTE Three? VERONICA Three including you. DANTE You've only had sex with three different people? VERONICA I'm not the pig you are. DANTE Who? VERONICA You! DANTE No; who were the three, besides me? VERONICA John Franson and Rob Stanslyk. DANTE (with true admiration) Wow. That's great. That's something to be proud of. VERONICA I am. And that's why you should feel like a pig. You men make me sick. You'll sleep with anything that says yes. DANTE Animal, vegetable, or mineral. VERONICA Vegetable meaning paraplegic. DANTE They put up the least amount of struggle. VERONICA After dropping a bombshell like that, you owe me. Big. DANTE All right. Name it. VERONICA I want you to come with me on Monday. DANTE Where? VERONICA To school. There's a seminar about getting back into a scholastic program after a lapse in enrollment. DANTE Can't we ever have a discussion without that coming up? VERONICA It's important to me, Dante. You have so much potential that just goes to waste in this pit. I wish you'd go back to school. DANTE Jesus, would you stop? You make my head hurt when you talk about this. VERONICA stands, letting DANTE'S head hit the floor. DANTE Shit! Why are we getting up? VERONICA Unlike you, I have a class in forty- five minutes. A handsome young man (WILLAM) is standing at the counter. VERONICA reacts to him. VERONICA (surprised) Willam! WILLAM Ronnie! How are you? You work here now? VERONICA (locks arms with DANTE) No, I'm just visiting my man. (to DANTE) Dante, this is Willam Black. (to WILLAM) This is Dante Hicks, my boyfriend. DANTE How are you? Just the soda? WILLAM And a pack of cigarettes. (to VERONICA; paying) Are you still going to Seton Hall? VERONICA No, I transferred into Monmouth this year. I was tired of missing him. (squeezes DANTE'S arm) WILLAM Do you still talk to Sylvan? VERONICA I just talked to her on Monday. We still hang out on weekends. WILLAM (leaving) That's cool. Well-you two lovebirds take it easy, all right? VERONICA I will. Take it easy. WILLAM Bye. (exits) VERONICA Bye (to DANTE) That was Snowball. DANTE Why do you call him that? VERONICA Sylvan made it up. It's a blow job thing. DANTE What do you mean? VERONICA After he gets a blow job, he likes to have the cum spit back into his mouth while kissing. It's called snowballing. DANTE He requested this? VERONICA He gets off on it. DANTE Sylvan can be talked into anything. VERONICA Why do you say that? DANTE Like you said-she snowballed him. VERONICA Sylvan? No; I snowballed him. DANTE Yeah, right. VERONICA I'm serious... A moment of silence as DANTE'S chuckles fade to comprehension. DANTE You sucked that guy's dick? VERONICA Yeah. How do you think I know he liked... DANTE (panicky) But... but you said you only had sex with three guys! You never mentioned him! VERONICA That's because I never had sex with him! DANTE You sucked his dick! VERONICA We went out a few times. We didn't have sex, but we fooled around. DANTE (massive panic attack) Oh my God! Why did you tell me you only slept with three guys? VERONICA Because I did only sleep with three guys! That doesn't mean I didn't just go with people. DANTE Oh my God-I feel so nauseous... VERONICA I'm sorry, Dante. I thought you understood. DANTE I did understand! I understand that you slept with three different guys, and that's all you said. VERONICA Please calm down. DANTE How many? VERONICA Dante... DANTE How many dicks have you sucked?! VERONICA Let it go... DANTE HOW MANY? VERONICA All right! Shut up a second and I'll tell you! Jesus! I didn't freak like this when you told me how many girls you fucked. DANTE This is different. This is important. How many?! She counts silently, using fingers as marks. DANTE waits on a customer in the interim. VERONICA stops counting. DANTE Well...? VERONICA (half-mumbled) Something like thirty-six. DANTE WHAT? SOMETHING LIKE THIRTY-SIX? VERONICA Lower your voice! DANTE What the hell is that anyway, "something like thirty-six?" Does that include me? VERONICA Um. Thirty-seven. DANTE I'M THIRTY-SEVEN? VERONICA (walking away) I'm going to class. DANTE Thirty-seven?! (to CUSTOMER) My girlfriend sucked thirty-seven dicks! CUSTOMER In a row? DANTE chases VERONICA down and grabs her by the door. DANTE Hey! Where are you going?! VERONICA Hey listen, jerk! Until today you never even knew how many guys I'd slept with, because you never even asked. And then you act all nonchalant about fucking twelve different girls. Well, I never had sex with twelve different guys! DANTE No, but you sucked enough dick! VERONICA Yeah, I went down on a few guys... DANTE A few? VERONICA ...And one of those guys was you! The last one, I might add, which-if you're too stupid to comprehend- means that I've been faithful to you since we met! All the other guys I went with before I met you, so, if you want to have a complex about it, go ahead! But don't look at me like I'm the town whore, because you were plenty busy yourself, before you met me! DANTE (a bit more rational) Well... why did you have to suck their dicks? Why didn't you just sleep with them, like any decent person?! VERONICA Because going down it's a big deal! I used to like a guy, we'd make out, and sooner or later I'd go down on him. But I only had sex with the guys I loved. DANTE I feel sick. VERONICA (holds him) I love you. Don't feel sick. DANTE Every time I kiss you now I'm going to taste thirty-six other guys. VERONICA violently lets go of him. VERONICA I'm going to school. Maybe later you'll be a bit more rational. DANTE (pause) Thirty-seven. I just can't... VERONICA Goodbye, Dante. She exits in a huff. DANTE stands there in silence for a moment. Then he swings the door open and yells out. DANTE Try not to suck any more dicks on your way through the parking lot! Two men who were walking in the opposite direction outside double back and head in the direction. VERONICA went. DANTE HEY! HEY, YOU! GET BACK HERE! CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A videocassette encased in the customary black box flips repeatedly, held by an impatient grasp. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER glares at DANTE. Dante studies a copy of Paradise Lost, making a strong attempt at not noticing the glare. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER (pissed off) I thought that place was supposed to be opened at eleven o'clock? It's twenty after! DANTE I called his house twice already. He should be here soon. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER It's not like it's a demanding job. I'd like to get paid to sit on my ass and watch TV. The other day I walked in there and that sonofabitch was sleeping. DANTE I'm sure he wasn't sleeping. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER You calling me a liar? DANTE No; he was probably just resting his eyes. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER What the hell is that? Resting his eyes! It's not like he's some goddamned air traffic controller! DANTE Actually, that's his night job. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER Such a wiseass. But go ahead. Crack wise. That's why you're jockeying a register in some fucking local convenience store instead of doing an honest day's work. (tosses tape on counter) I got no more time to bullshit around waiting for that sonofabitch. You make sure this gets back. The number's eight-twelve-Wynarski. And I wanted to get a damn movie, too. DANTE If you'll just tell me the title of your rental choice, I'll have him hold it for you. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER (storming out) Don't hurt yourself. I'm going to Big Choice Video instead. He storms out. Dante lifts a ring of keys from the counter. DANTE (in a whisper) You forgot your keys. The half-filled trash can swallows the ring of keys. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY Another VIDEO-ANXIOUS CUSTOMER leans against the video store door. A hapless RANDAL drifts by and stops. He glances at the door, peers inside, and gives the door a tug. V.A. CUSTOMER The guy ain't here yet. RANDAL You're kidding. It's almost eleven- thirty! V.A. CUSTOMER I know. I've been here since eleven. RANDAL (kicks the door) Man! I hate it when I can't rent videos! V.A. CUSTOMER I would've went to Big Choice, but the tape I want is right there on the wall. RANDAL Which one? V.A. CUSTOMER Dental School. RANDAL You came for that too? That's the movie I came for. V.A. CUSTOMER I have first dibs. RANDAL Says who? V.A. CUSTOMER (suddenly snotty) Says me. I've been here for half an hour. I'd call that first dibs. RANDAL Ain't gonna happen, my friend. I'm getting that tape. V.A. CUSTOMER Like hell you are! RANDAL I'll bet you twenty bucks you don't get to rent that tape. V.A. CUSTOMER Twenty bucks? RANDAL Twenty bucks. V.A. CUSTOMER All right, asshole, you're on. RANDAL walks away. The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER stands like a sentry at post. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER storms up. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER You see a pair of keys lying around here somewhere? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY RANDAL dances in, attempting a soft-shoe routine. He sees DANTE and stops dead, midshuffle. DANTE You're late. RANDAL What the hell are you doing here? I thought you were playing hockey at one. DANTE The boss called. Arthur fell ill. RANDAL Why are the shutters closed? DANTE Someone jammed gum in the locks. RANDAL Bunch of savages in this town. DANTE That's what I said. RANDAL Shit, if I'd known you were working, I would've come even later. A pile of videocassettes is plopped onto the counter, with a single key on top. RANDAL balances the pile of tapes on his head. RANDAL What time do you have to stay till? DANTE He assured me that he'd be here by twelve. RANDAL What smells like shoe polish? DANTE Go open the sore. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER stops RANDAL. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER Hey-did you see a set of keys lying around here? RANDAL (as Short-round) No time for love, Doctor Jones! RANDAL marches off. The IMPATIENT CUSTOMER stares after him. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER Fucking kids. The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER now sits on the ground, next to the video store door. RANDAL balances his burden and shoves the key into the lock. The VERY ANXIOUS CUSTOMER stares as RANDAL enters the store. The door closes behind him, only to be held ajar in a gentlemanly fashion a few moments later. RANDAL smiles. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A coffee filter is shoved into the metal pan and someone heaps ground coffee on it. We've seen this same routine before. DANTE crosses back to his post, as RANDAL enters, tossing the key into the air happily and catching it. He picks the cat up. RANDAL Some guy just came in refusing to pay late fees. He said the store was closed for two hours yesterday. I tore up his membership. DANTE Shocking abuse of authority. RANDAL I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule. (furtively) Is the Pelican flying? DANTE Don't screw with it. It makes us look suspicious. RANDAL I can't stand a voyeur. I'll be back. RANDAL heads toward the walk-in door. CUT TO: INT: BACK ROOM. DAY POV: VCR A far-away wall is the only thing we see, but mild gruntings give away an ascension of sorts. RANDAL'S head rises into view, as if he's climbing a ladder. He stops and looks into the lens. POV: RANDAL The PELICAN is a VCR that's hooked up to a surveillance camera. It records quickly. A hand reaches into the frame and shuts it off. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY RANDAL pulls a soda from the cooler. RANDAL Want something to drink? I'm buying. DANTE (O.S.) No, thanks. RANDAL Who was on your phone this morning at about two-thirty? I was trying to call for a half an hour. DANTE (O.S.) Why? RANDAL I wanted to use your car. He walks by a row of snacks and grabs one without looking at it. RANDAL Snake cake? DANTE sits in his seat behind the register. RANDAL grabs a paper and joins him behind the counter. DANTE You don't want to know. RANDAL You called Caitlin again? DANTE She called me. RANDAL Did you tell Veronica? DANTE One fight a day with Veronica is about all I can stomach, thanks. RANDAL What do you two fight about? DANTE I guess it's not really fighting. She just wants me to leave here, go back to school, get some direction. RANDAL (opening paper) I'll bet the most frequent topic of arguments is Caitlin Bree. DANTE You win. RANDAL I'm going to offer you some advice, my friend: let the past be the past. Forget Caitlin Bree. You've been with Veronica for how long now? DANTE Seven months. RANDAL Chick's nuts about you. How long did you date Caitlin? DANTE Five years. RANDAL Chick only made you nuts. She cheated on you how many times? DANTE Eight and a half. RANDAL (looks up from paper) Eight and a half? DANTE Party at John K's-senior year. I get blitzed and pass out in his bedroom. Caitlin comes in and dives all over me. RANDAL That's cheating? DANTE In the middle of it, she calls me Brad. RANDAL She called you Brad? DANTE She called me Brad. RANDAL That's not cheating. People say crazy shit during sex. One time, I called this girl "Mom." DANTE I hit the lights and she freaks. Turns out she thought I was Brad Michaelson. RANDAL What do you mean? DANTE She was supposed to meet Brad Michaelson in a bedroom. She picked the wrong one. She had no idea I was even at the party. RANDAL Oh, my God. DANTE Great story, isn't it? RANDAL That girl was vile to you. DANTE Interesting postscript to that story: Do you know who wound up going with Brad Michaelson in the other dark bedroom? RANDAL Your mother. DANTE Allan Harris. RANDAL Chess team Allan Harris?! DANTE The two moved to Idaho together after graduation. They raise sheep. RANDAL That's frightening. DANTE It takes different strokes to move the world. RANDAL In light of this lurid tale, I don't see how you could even romanticize your relationship with Caitlin-she broke your heart and inadvertently drove men to deviant lifestyles. DANTE Because there was a lot of good in our relationship. RANDAL Oh yeah. DANTE I'm serious. Aside from the cheating, we were a great couple. That's what high school's all about-algebra, bad lunch, and infidelity. RANDAL You think things would be any different now? DANTE They are. When she calls me now, she's a different person-she's frightened and vulnerable. She's about to finish college and enter the real world. That's got to be scary for anyone. RANDAL (suddenly recalling) Oh shit, I've got to place an order. DANTE I'm talking to myself here. RANDAL No, no, I'm listening. She's leaving college, and...? DANTE ...and she's looking to me for support. And I think that this is leading our relationship to a new level. RANDAL What about Veronica? DANTE I think the arguments Veronica and I are having are some kind of manifestation of a subconscious desire to break away from her so that I can pursue the possibility of a more meaningful relationship with Caitlin. RANDAL Caitlin's on the same wave-length? DANTE I think it's safe to say yes. RANDAL Then I think all four of you had better sit down and talk it over. DANTE All four? RANDAL You, Veronica, Caitlin... (lays paper flat) ...and Caitlin's fiancÚ. THE HEADLINE of the engagement announcement reads, BREE TO WED ASIAN DESIGN MAJOR. CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY RANDAL dials the phone. He holds a list in his hand. RANDAL Yes, I'd like to place an order, please... Thank you. A MOTHER and her SMALL CHILD approach the counter. MOTHER Excuse me, but do you sell videotapes? RANDAL What were you looking for? MOTHER (smiling) It's called Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup. SMALL CHILD Happy Scrappy! RANDAL I'm on the phone with the distribution house now. Let me make sure they have it. What's it called again? MOTHER Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup. SMALL CHILD Happy Scrappy! MOTHER (more smiling) She loves the tape. RANDAL Obviously. (to phone) Yes, hello; this is R.S.T. Video calling. Customer number four- three-five-zero-two-nine. I'd like to place an order... Okay... I need one each of the following tapes: Whisper in the Wind, To Each His Own, Put it Where It Doesn't Belong, My Pipes Need Cleaning, All Tit- Fucking, Volume Eight, I Need Your Cock, Ass-Worshipping Rim-Jobbers, My Cunt and Eight Shafts, Cum Clean, Cum-Gargling Naked Sluts, Cum Buns Three, Cumming in a Sock, Cum on Eileen, Huge Black Cocks with Pearly White Cum, Slam It Up My Too-Loose Ass, Ass Blasters in Outer Space, Blowjobs by Betsy, Sucking Cock and Cunt, Finger My Ass, Play with my Puss, Three on a Dildo, Girls Who Crave Cock, Girls Who Crave Cunt, Men Alone Two-The K.Y. Connection, Pink Pussy Lips, and All Holes Filled with Hard Cock. Oh, and... (to MOTHER) What was the name of that movie? MOTHER (nearly dazed) Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup. RANDAL (on phone) And a copy of Happy Scrappy-The Hero Pup... Okay, thanks. (hangs up; to MOTHER) Sixteen forty-nine. It'll be here Monday. Silence. Then... SMALL CHILD Cunt! CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE carries a litter box to be dumped. He pauses midstrike and lays it on the ice cream chest. DANTE picks up the phone and looks at the paper. He dials and waits. _ DANTE Yes, I'd like to check on a misprint in today's edition... Today's edition... It says "Bree to Wed Asian Design Major... No, no; everything's spelled fine. I just wanted to know if the piece was a misprint... I don't know, like a typographical error or something... A CUSTOMER comes to the counter and waits. He looks at the litter box. A black cat suddenly jumps into it and starts pawing around. DANTE (O.S.) Maybe it's supposed to be Caitlin Bray, or Caitlin Bre, with one e... I'm a curious party... A curious party... DANTE ON THE PHONE: DANTE ...I'm an ex-boyfriend... Well, it's just that we talk all the time, and she never mentioned this engagement, which is why I'm thinking maybe it's a misprint... The CUSTOMER watches as the cat takes a huge dump, leaning on its haunches to accommodate the stinky load. DANTE (O.S.) ...Are you sure?... Maybe there's like a vindictive printer working for you... DANTE ON THE PHONE: DANTE Meaning like someone who maybe-I don't know-asked her out once and got shot down, and his revenge is throwing this bogus article in when the paper went to press... Hello?... Hello? DANTE hangs up. He looks at the paper ruefully, shaking his head. He then sniffs the air. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY JAY, SILENT BOB and OLAF lean against wall. JAY "Not in me." That's what she says. I gotta pull out and spank it to get it on. So I blow a nut on her belly, and I get out of there, just as my uncle walks in. It was such a close call. I tell you what, though, I don't care if she is my cousin, I'm gonna knock those boots again tonight. TWO GIRLS join them. JAY Oh shit, look who it is. The human vacuum. GIRL 1 Scumbag. What are you doing? JAY Nothing. Just hanging out with Silent Bob and his cousin. GIRL 1 (to SILENT BOB) He's your cousin? JAY Check this out, he's from Russia. GIRL 1 No way. JAY I swear to God. Silent Bob, am I lying? SILENT BOB SHAKES HIS HEAD: JAY See? And Silent Bob never told a lie in his life. GIRL 2 What part of Russia? JAY I don't fucking know. What am I, his biographer? (to OLAF) Olaf, what part of Russia are you from? OLAF looks quizzically at SILENT BOB. SILENT BOB (in Russian) Home. OLAF (comprehending) Moscow. GIRL 1 He only speaks Russian? JAY He knows some English, but he can't not speak it good like we do. GIRL 2 Is he staying here? JAY He's moving to the big city next week. He wants to be a metal singer. GIRL 1 No way! JAY Swear. (to OLAF) Olaf, metal! OLAF makes a metal face. JAY That's his fucking metal face. (to OLAF) Olaf, girls nice? OLAF looks the girls up and down. OLAF Skrelnick. JAY (laughs) That's fucked up. GIRL 1 What did he say? JAY I don't know, man. He's a fucking character. GIRL 2 He really wants to play metal? JAY He's got his own band in Moscow. It's called "Fuck Your Yankee Blue Jeans" or something like that. GIRL 1 That doesn't sound metal. JAY You gotta hear him sing. (to OLAF) Olaf, "Berserker!" OLAF laughs and shakes his head. JAY Come on, man, "Berserker!" GIRL 2 Does he sing in English or Russian? JAY English. (to OLAF) Come on, "Berserker!" Girls think sexy. OLAF (relents) Da. Da. JAY He's gonna sing it. This is too funny. OLAF (in broken English) MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A TRUCK BERSERKER! WOULD YOU LIKE SOME MAKING FUCK? BERSERKER! JAY (laughing) That's fucking funny, man! GIRL 1 Did he say "making fuck?" JAY Wait, there's more. (to OLAF) Olaf: sing... (makes pot-smoking face) OLAF (nods in understanding) MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A ROCK BERSERKER!WOULD YOU LIKE TO SMOKE SOME POT? BERSERKER! OLAF busts a crimson metal sneer and cackles deeply. CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY RANDAL leans back in his chair, staring up at the TV. The theme to Star Wars plays. He stands, points the remote, clicks the TV off, and ponders. CUT TO: EXT: VIDEO STORE. DAY RANDAL locks the door and walks away, while OLAF sings for the small crowd. OLAF MY LOVE FOR YOU IS TICKING CLOCK BERSERKER!WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUCK MY COCK? BERSERKER! CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE is tugging at a can of Pringles potato chips. The can is stuck on a MAN'S hand. DANTE You hold the counter and I'll pull. MAN Usually I just turn the can upside down. DANTE (pulling) Maybe we should soap your hand or something. MAN (straining) They oughta put some kind of warning on these cans, like they do with cigarettes. DANTE I think it's coming now... The can pops off and DANTE staggers back a few steps. The man rubs his hand. MAN Thanks. I thought I was gonna have to go to the hospital. DANTE I'll throw this out. Precautionary measure. MAN It stings a little. DANTE A word of advice: Sometimes it's best to let those hard to reach chips go. DANTE steps behind the counter. MAN Thanks. The MAN exits as RANDAL enters. DANTE throws the canister away. DANTE Do you know that article is accurate? Caitlin's really getting married! RANDAL You know what I just watched? DANTE Me pulling a can off some moron's fist. RANDAL Return of the Jedi. DANTE Didn't you hear me? Caitlin really is getting married. RANDAL Which did you like better: Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back. DANTE (exasperated) Empire. RANDAL Blasphemy. DANTE Empire had the better ending: Luke gets his hand cut off, and finds out Vader's his father; Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. And that's life-a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets. RANDAL There was something else going on in Jedi. I never noticed it until today. RANDAL follows DANTE as he cleans up around the store. DANTE What's that? RANDAL All right, Vader's boss... DANTE The Emperor. RANDAL Right, the Emperor. Now the Emperor is kind of a spiritual figure, yes? DANTE How do you mean? RANDAL Well, he's like the pope for the dark side of the Force. He's a holy man; a shaman, kind of, albeit an evil one. DANTE I guess. RANDAL Now, he's in charge of the Empire. The Imperial government is under his control. And the entire galaxy is under Imperial rule. DANTE Yeah. RANDAL Then wouldn't that logically mean that it's a theocracy? If the head of the Empire is a priest of some sort, then it stands to reason that the government is therefore one based on religion. DANTE It would stand to reason, yes. RANDAL Hence, the Empire was a fascist theocracy, and the rebel forces were therefore battling religious persecution. DANTE More or less. RANDAL The only problem is that at no point in the series did I ever hear Leia or any of the rebels declare a particular religious belief. DANTE I think they were Catholics. A BLUE-COLLAR MAN half enters the door. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Are you open? DANTE Yeah. Come in. He goes to the coffee machine and makes a cup of joe. RANDAL You know what else I noticed in Jedi? DANTE There's more? RANDAL So they build another Death Star, right? DANTE Yeah. RANDAL Now the first one they built was completed and fully operational before the Rebels destroyed it. DANTE Luke blew it up. Give credit where it's due. RANDAL And the second one was still being built when they blew it up. DANTE Compliments of Lando Calrissian. RANDAL Something just never sat right with me the second time they destroyed it. I could never put my finger on it-something just wasn't right. DANTE And you figured it out? RANDAL Well, the thing is, the first Death Star was manned by the Imperial army- storm troopers, dignitaries-the only people onboard were Imperials. DANTE Basically. RANDAL So when they blew it up, no prob. Evil is punished. DANTE And the second time around...? RANDAL The second time around, it wasn't even finished yet. They were still under construction. DANTE So? RANDAL A construction job of that magnitude would require a helluva lot more manpower than the Imperial army had to offer. I'll bet there were independent contractors working on that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders, roofers. DANTE Not just Imperials, is what you're getting at. RANDAL Exactly. In order to get it built quickly and quietly they'd hire anybody who could do the job. Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main? All they know is killing and white uniforms. DANTE All right, so even if independent contractors are working on the Death Star, why are you uneasy with its destruction? RANDAL All those innocent contractors hired to do a job were killed- casualties of a war they had nothing to do with. (notices Dante's confusion) All right, look-you're a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia-this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living. The BLUE-COLLAR MAN joins them. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt, but what were you talking about? RANDAL The ending of Return of the Jedi. DANTE My friend is trying to convince me that any contractors working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when the space station was destroyed by the rebels. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Well, I'm a contractor myself. I'm a roofer... (digs into pocket and produces business card) Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements. And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer's personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs. RANDAL Like when? BLUE-COLLAR MAN Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was. DANTE Whose house was it? BLUE-COLLAR MAN Dominick Bambino's. RANDAL "Babyface" Bambino? The gangster? BLUE-COLLAR MAN The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine. DANTE Based on personal politics. BLUE-COLLAR MAN Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface's house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn't even finished shingling. RANDAL No way! BLUE-COLLAR MAN (paying for coffee) I'm alive because I knew there were risks involved taking on that particular client. My friend wasn't so lucky. (pauses to reflect) You know, any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks. If they were killed, it was their own fault. A roofer listens to this... (taps his heart) not his wallet. The BLUE-COLLAR MAN exits. DANTE and RANDAL remain respectfully quiet for a moment. An angry WOMAN opens the door and pokes her head in. WOMAN Is that video store open or not? CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY RANDAL reads a newspaper. An INDECISIVE CUSTOMER studies the two rental choices she holds. She looks from one movie to the other repeatedly. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (attempting a solicit help) They say so much, but they never tell you if it's any good. RANDAL hardly stirs and continues to read his paper. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER half turns to see if her comment was even heard. She tries again, but this time with a different approach. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER Are either of these any good? RANDAL continues to read. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER tries harder, then louder and more direct: INDECISIVE CUSTOMER Sir! RANDAL continues to read. RANDAL (flatly) What. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER holds up her rental choices. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (politely) Are either of these any good? RANDAL, as always, reads on. RANDAL (again, flatly) I don't watch movies. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER is a tad flabbergasted, but not put off. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER Well, have you heard anything about either of them? RANDAL does his level best to not get involved. RANDAL (reading) No. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER challenges him. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (in disbelief) You've never heard anybody say anything about either movie? RANDAL (O.S.) I find it's best to stay out of other people's affairs. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (with a new determination) Well, how about these two movies? (holds up the same two) RANDAL continues to read his paper, not looking up. RANDAL They suck. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER smirks smugly at RANDAL and his paper. She has caught him. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER I just held up the same two movies. You're not even paying attention. RANDAL No, I wasn't. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER I don't think your manager would appreciate... RANDAL (turning the page) I don't appreciate your ruse, ma'am. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER I beg your pardon! RANDAL (reading on) Your ruse. Your cunning attempt to trick me. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (defending herself) I only pointed out that you weren't paying any attention to what I was saying. RANDAL (turning page and reading) I hope it feels good. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER You hope what feels good? RANDAL I hope it feels so good to be right. There is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there? The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER wears a face that belies utter disbelief in the audacity of this most lackadaisical video clerk. The unmoving newspaper illustrates the total disinterest of the news-hungry RANDAL. The INDECISIVE CUSTOMER shakes her head in disgust and throws the movies back onto the wall. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (in a huff) Well this is the last time I ever rent here... RANDAL You'll be missed. INDECISIVE CUSTOMER (losing it altogether) Screw you! She storms out. RANDAL is offended. He hops over the counter and whips the door open. RANDAL (calling after her) You're not allowed to rent here anymore! RANDAL closes the door and stands there, momentarily, totally appalled by her exiting remark, then shakes his head. RANDAL Screw me! He reaches behind the counter and grabs a ring of keys. Exiting, he locks the door behind him from the outside, gives it a tug to ensure its security, and storms off in the opposite direction from the woman. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE is staring, open-mouthed, at something O.C. RANDAL hurls the door open and immediately launches into his tirade. RANDAL You'll never believe what this unruly customer just said... DANTE (a hand up to urge him to hush) Wait. RANDAL (looking around) She's in here? DANTE This guy is going through all of the eggs. Look. An ODD MAN sits on the floor, surrounded by cartons of eggs, all opened. He grabs a carton from the cooler case, pops it open, and examines each egg carefully. DANTE (O.S.) This has been going on for twenty minutes. RANDAL and DANTE study the O.C. oddity. RANDAL What's he looking for? DANTE He said he has to find a perfect dozen. RANDAL Perfect dozen. DANTE Each egg has to be perfect. RANDAL The quest isn't going well? DANTE Obviously not. Look at all the cartons that didn't make the grade. The ODD MAN holds an egg up to the light and studies it from several different angles. RANDAL (O.S.) Why doesn't he just mix and match? DANTE I told him that and he yelled at me. RANDAL snickers at his friend. RANDAL What did he say? DANTE He said it was important to have standards. He said nobody has pride anymore. RANDAL It's not like you laid the eggs yourself. DANTE I'll give him five more minutes then I'm calling the cops. I don't need this, man. I'm not even supposed to be here today. A SMOKER steps in. SMOKER Two packs of cigarettes. Dante manages to break his study of the O.C. oddity and searches for the smokes. The smoker glances at RANDAL and then at the O.C. oddity. The ODD MAN is spinning an egg on the floor. The SMOKER looks at RANDAL. RANDAL (Still staring at the ODD MAN) I'm as puzzled as you. SMOKER (paying DANTE) I've actually seen it before. DANTE You know him? SMOKER No, I've seen that behavior before. Looking for the perfect carton of eggs, right? RANDAL (a bit astonished) Yeah. How'd you know? SMOKER I'll bet you a million bucks that the guy's a guidance counselor. DANTE Why do you say that? SMOKER I was in the Food City last year when the same thing happened, different guy though. Stock boy told me that the guy had been looking through the eggs for like half an hour, doing all sorts of endurance tests and shit. I ask the kid how come nobody called the manager, and he says it happens twice a week, sometimes more. RANDAL Get out of here. SMOKER I kid you not. They call it Shell Shock. Only happens with guidance counselors for some reason. The kid said they used to make a big deal about it, but there's no point. The ODD MAN places a handkerchief over an egg on the floor. He quickly whisks the handkerchief away to reveal the egg still sitting on the floor. SMOKER (O.S.) He said they always pay for whatever they break and they never bother anybody. DANTE, RANDAL and the SMOKER stare at the O.C. man. DANTE Why guidance counselors? SMOKER If your job served as little purpose as theirs, wouldn't you lose it, too? RANDAL Come to think of it, my guidance counselor was kind of worthless. SMOKER (grabbing matches) See? It's important to have a job that makes a difference, boys. That's why I kill Chinamen for the railroad. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY POV RANDAL: THE EMPTY COUNTER And then a LITTLE GIRL comes into view, smiling and holding money. She can't be any more than five. LITTLE GIRL (innocently) Can I have a pack of cigarettes? RANDAL, without looking up from his magazine, completes the transaction. THE LITTLE GIRL puts a cigarette in her mouth. RANDAL hands her matches. DANTE returns to the counter as the girl skips away. Dante holds a price gun. DANTE Did you ever notice all the prices end in nine? Damn, that's eerie. RANDAL You know how much money the average jizz-mopper make per hour? DANTE What's a jizz-mopper? RANDAL He's the guy in those nudie-booth joints who cleans up after each guy that jerks off. DANTE Nudie booth? RANDAL Nudie booth. You've never been in a nudie booth? DANTE I guess not. A female CUSTOMER pops items onto the counter. DANTE rings her up. RANDAL Oh, it's great. You step into this little booth and there's this window between you and this naked woman, and she puts on this little show for like ten bucks. DANTE What kind of show? RANDAL Think of the weirdest, craziest shit you'd like to see chicks do. These chicks do it all. They insert things into any opening in their body... any opening. (to customer) He's led a very sheltered life. DANTE (indicating CUSTOMER) Can we talk about this later? RANDAL The jizz-mopper's job is to clean up the booths afterward, because practically everybody shoots a load against the window, and I don't know if you know or not, but cum leaves streaks if you don't clean it right away. CUSTOMER (grabbing her bag, disgusted) This is the last time I come to this place. DANTE Excuse me? CUSTOMER Using filthy language in front of the customers... you should both get fired. DANTE We're sorry, ma'am. We got a little carried away. CUSTOMER Well, I don't know if sorry can make up for it. I found your remarks highly offensive. The CUSTOMER stands silently, awaiting something. RANDAL Well, you think that's offensive... RANDAL flips open the magazine's centerfold-a graphic picture of a woman with her vaginal lips and anus spread wide open. RANDAL ...then check this out. I think you can see her kidneys. RANDAL checks out the centerfold wistfully. DANTE frantically apologizes to the rapidly exiting CUSTOMER. DANTE Ma'am, ma'am, I'm sorry! Please, wait a second, ma'am... The CUSTOMER is gone. DANTE'S pursuit stops at the counter. DANTE turns on RANDAL. DANTE Why do you do things like that? You know she's going to come back and tell the boss. RANDAL Who cares? That lady's an asshole. Everybody that comes in here is way too uptight. This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers. DANTE I'm gonna hear it tomorrow. RANDAL You gotta loosen up, my friend. You'd feel a hell of a lot better if you'd rip into the occasional customer. DANTE What for? They don't bother me if I don't bother them. RANDAL Liar! Tell me there aren't customers that annoy the piss out of you on a daily basis. DANTE There aren't. RANDAL How can you lie like that? Why don't you vent? Vent your frustration. Come on, who pisses you off? DANTE (reluctantly) It's not really anyone per se, it's more of separate groupings. RANDAL Let's hear it. DANTE (pause) The milkmaids. RANDAL The milkmaids? INSERT: MILK HANDLER A WOMAN pulls out gallon after gallon, looking deep into the cooler for that perfect container of milk. DANTE (O.S.) The women that go through every gallon of milk looking for a later date. As if somewhere-beyond all the other gallons-is a container of milk that won't go bad for like a decade. END INSERT RANDAL You know who I can do without? I could do without the people in the video store. DANTE Which ones? RANDAL All of them. MONTAGE INSERT #1/VIDEO JERKS A series of people addressing the camera, asking the dumb questions. FIRST What would you get for a six-year- old boy who chronically wets his bed? SECOND (in front of stocked new release shelf) Do you have any new movies in? THIRD Do you have that one with the guy who was in that movie that was out last year? END INSERT RANDAL And they never rent quality flicks; they always pick the most intellectually devoid movie on the rack. MONTAGE INSERT #2/"Ooooh!..." An identical series of customers finding their ideal choices. FIRST Ooooh! Home Alone! SECOND Ooooh! Hook! THIRD Ooooh! Navy Seals! END INSERT RANDAL It's like in order to join, they have to have an IQ less than their shoe size. DANTE You think you get stupid questions? You should hear the barrage of stupid questions I get. MONTAGE INSERT #3/DUMB QUESTIONS A series of people standing in various locations throughout the convenience store, asking truly dumb questions. FIRST (holding coffee) What do you mean there's no ice? You mean I've gotta drink this coffee hot?! SECOND (holding up item from clearly marked $.99 display) How much? THIRD (peeking in door) Do you sell hubcaps? END INSERT RANDAL See? You vented. Don't you feel better now? DANTE No. RANDAL Why not? DANTE Because my ex-girlfriend is getting married. RANDAL Jesus, you got a one-track mind. It's always Caitlin, Caitlin, Caitlin... DANTE (jerking head toward door) Veronica! DANTE gives RANDAL a shove to shut him up. VERONICA enters the store, carrying books and something covered with aluminum foil. VERONICA What happened to home by twelve? DANTE is suddenly by her side, taking the books from under her arm. DANTE He still hasn't shown up. Why aren't you in class? VERONICA Lit 101 got canceled, so I stopped home and brought you some lunch. DANTE What is it? VERONICA Peanut butter and jelly with the crusts cut off. What do you think it is? It's lasagne. DANTE Really? (kisses her forehead) You're the best. VERONICA I'm glad you've calmed down a bit. (to RANDAL) Hi, Randal. RANDAL (O.S.) (exaggeratively impressed) Thirty-seven! DANTE (to O.C.) Shut up! (to VERONICA) Yes, I've calmed down, I'm still not happy about it, but I've been able to deal. RANDAL makes loud slurping noises from O.C. DANTE (to O.C.) Why don't you go back to the video store? RANDAL walks past the two, and pats VERONICA on the head. He exits. VERONICA You had to tell him. DANTE I had to tell someone. He put it into perspective. VERONICA What did he say? DANTE At least he wasn't thirty-six. VERONICA And that made you feel better? DANTE And he said most of them are college guys, I've never met or seen. VERONICA The ostrich syndrome: if you don't see it... DANTE ...it isn't there. Yes. VERONICA Thank you for being rational. DANTE Thank you for the lasagne. VERONICA You couldn't get these shutters open? DANTE I called a locksmith and he said the earliest he could get here it tomorrow. VERONICA Bummer, Well, I've gotta head back for the one-thirty class. DANTE What time do you get finished? VERONICA Eight. But I have a sorority meeting till nine, so I'll be back before you close. Can we go out and get some coffee? DANTE Sure. VERONICA Good. (kisses him) I'll see you when you close, then. Enjoy the lasagne. She exits. DANTE leans against the magazine rack with his lasagne, contemplative. RANDAL pops his head in and makes the loud slurping noise again. CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. DAY RANDAL is recommending titles to potential customers. RANDAL All right, now if you're really feeling dangerous tonight, then Smokey and the Bandit Three is the movie you must rent. CUSTOMER (studying box) This doesn't even have Burt Reynolds in it. RANDAL Hey, neither did ET; but that was a great movie, right? DANTE opens the door and leans in. DANTE Can you come next door? I gotta make a phone call. RANDAL (to DANTE) Smokey Three: thumbs up, am I right? DANTE The best Burtless movie ever made. DANTE exits. RANDAL gives his customers the what-did-I-tell- you look. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY THE CAT lies on the counter. Pull back to reveal RANDAL as he rings up an order. The CUSTOMER pets the cat, smiling. CUSTOMER Awww, he's so cute. What's his name? RANDAL Lenin's Tomb. Dolly over to DANTE, on the phone. DANTE Hello, is Mr. Synder there? This is Dante... Did he say if he was on his way here?... Here... The convenience store... I know, but the other guy called out this morning and Mr. Synder asked me to cover until he got here. He said he'd be here by noon, but it's one-thirty now, so I... Excuse me... Vermont?!... No, that can't be; I talked to him this morning... He left at what time?... He really went to Vermont?... When the hell was someone going to tell me?... He promised he was coming by noon!... Jesus... When does he get back?!... TUESDAY!... You've gotta be fucking kidding me!... I've got a hockey game at two, and the fucking shutters are jammed closed, and he's in Vermont?... I'm not even supposed to be here today!! (deep sigh) So I'm stuck here till closing?... This is just great... I just can't believe... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you... No... No, I'll be all right... Well, that's all I can do, right?... Thanks. He hangs up. RANDAL joins him. RANDAL Vermont? DANTE Can you believe this?! RANDAL He didn't mention it when he called you this morning? DANTE Not a fucking word! Slippery shit! RANDAL So, what-you're stuck here all day? DANTE FUCK! RANDAL Why'd you apologize? DANTE What? RANDAL I heard you apologize. Why? You have every right in the world to be mad. DANTE I know. RANDAL That seems to be the leitmotif in your life; ever backing down. DANTE I don't back down. RANDAL Yes, you do. You always back down. You assume blame that isn't yours, you come in when called as opposed to enjoying your day off, you buckle like a belt. DANTE You know what pisses me off the most? RANDAL The fact that I'm right about your buckling? DANTE I'm going to miss the game. RANDAL Because you buckled. DANTE Would you shut the hell up with that shit? It's not helping. RANDAL Don't yell at me, pal. DANTE Sorry. RANDAL See? There you go again. DANTE I can't believe I'm going to miss the game! RANDAL At least we're stuck here together. DANTE You've got a customer. RANDAL walks away. RANDAL (O.S.) What? What do you want?! DANTE shakes his head in frustration and picks up the phone again. DANTE Sanford? Dante... I can't play today... I'm stuck at work... I know I'm not scheduled, but-just forget it. I can't play... Neither can Randal... He's working too... RANDAL comes back. DANTE rolls his eyes to the ceiling. DANTE (getting an idea) Wait a second. Do we have to play at the park?... Hold on... (to RANDAL) Do you feel limber? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY TAPE is rolled around the top of a stick. Laces are pulled tightly. An orange ball is slapped back and forth by a blade. The HOCKEY PLAYERS fill the convenience store. Some sit on the floor or lean against the coolers, but all are either preparing or practicing. RANDAL enters, wearing his equipment. DANTE skates to his side. DANTE (lifting his foot) Pull my laces tighter. RANDAL (drops mitt and pulls laces) I've gotta tell you, my friend: this is one of the ballsiest moves I've ever been privy to. I never would have thought you capable of such blatant disregard of store policy. DANTE I told him I had a game today. It's his own fault. RANDAL No argument here. Insubordination rules. DANTE I just want to play hockey like I was scheduled to. SANFORD skates up and skids to a halt. SANFORD Dante, let me grab a Gatorade. DANTE If you grab a Gatorade, then everybody's going to grab one. SANFORD So? DANTE So? So nobody's going to want to pay for these Gatorades. SANFORD What do you care? Hey, what smells like shoe polish? DANTE I've got a responsibility here. I can't let everybody grab free drinks. SANFORD What responsibility? You're closing the fucking store to play hockey. RANDAL He's blunt, but he's got a point. DANTE At least let me maintain some semblance of managerial control here. SANFORD All I'm saying is if you're going to be insubordinate, you should go the full nine and not pussy out when it comes to free refreshments. RANDAL He's right. As if we're suddenly gonna have a run on Gatorade. SANFORD Fuckin-A. DANTE All right. Jesus, you fuckers are pushy. SANFORD Hey man, I hear Caitlin's marrying an Asian drum major. RANDAL Design major. DANTE Can we not talk about this? SANFORD Fine by me. But you're living in denial and suppressing rage. (skating away; to all) Dante said we can all drink free Gatorade. A laid-back hurrah is heard. RANDAL Are you gonna lock the store? DANTE I don't know. You going to lock the video store? RANDAL Look who you're asking here. How're we gonna block off the street? DANTE We're not playing in the street. RANDAL Then where're we gonna play? CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY THE SIGN ON THE DOOR READS: TEMPORARILY CLOSED. BE OPEN AFTER FIRST PERIOD. The PLAYERS ascend a ladder adjacent to the door, one by one. ON THE ROOF they jump off the ladder and skate around. More players join them. From across the street we get the full, odd perspective: a store with many men gliding around on the roof. On the roof DANTE skates and passes with another player. REDDING stretches, leaning against the sign. RANDAL pulls his mask on and slaps his glove, urging a shot. SANFORD skates in and takes a shot, which RANDAL blocks. JAY and SILENT BOB deal to a player: he drops money over the ledge and JAY throws up a dime bag. DANTE holds a ball in the center of the court. DANTE Ready? PLAYERS take positions. SANFORD comes to the center and holds the ball in drop position. DANTE and REDDING face off, and the ball is in play. The game begins as the players engage in a savage ballet. Faces are smashed with sticks, slide tackles are made, shots are taken, CU's of various players included. INACTIVE PLAYERS call out encouragement and slander from the sidelines. More game playing including both goalies getting scored on and more face-offs. Below, a CUSTOMER tugs on the convenience store door. He reads the sign and then backs up into the street, attempting to peer over the ledge. Above, the game continues. Below, the CUSTOMER shifts from one foot to the other impatiently. He grabs the ladder and quickly ascends. Above, from over the ledge of the roof, we see the head of the customer peek. Skating feet pass rapidly before him, and he watches for a moment before calling out. CUSTOMER When's this period over? SOMEONE (O.S.) Eight more minutes! CUSTOMER Are you shitting me? I want to get cigarettes! DANTE skids to the sidelines. DANTE (out of breath) If you can just wait a few more minutes. CUSTOMER Fuck that! I'm gonna break my crazy neck on this ladder! SOMEONE (O.S.) Dante! Where are you?! CUSTOMER He's busy! DANTE starts to skate away. DANTE I'll be right back. It's almost over. He jumps back into the game. CUSTOMER What the fuck is this?! I want some service! DANTE (O.S.) In a second! CUSTOMER Fuck in a second! This is... Look at you! You can't even pass! DANTE (O.S.) I can pass! CUSTOMER How 'bout covering point!? You suck! DANTE skids back to the sidelines to address the CUSTOMER. DANTE Who are you to make assessments? CUSTOMER I'll assess all I want! SOMEONE (O.S.) DANTE! ARE YOU IN OR OUT! CUSTOMER (to O.C. SOMEONE) Don't pass to this guy! He sucks! (to DANTE) You suck! DANTE Like you're better! CUSTOMER I can whip your ass. Below, a WOMAN pulls at the door. She peers into the store, face against the glass. DANTE (O.S.) That's easy to say from over here. CUSTOMER (O.S.) Give me a stick, pretty boy! I'll knock your fucking teeth out and pass all over your ass. The WOMAN backs up and, shielding her eyes, looks toward the roof. WOMAN Is the convenience store open? Above, DANTE and the CUSTOMER shout down at the O.C. WOMAN. DANTE AND CUSTOMER (simultaneously) NO! DANTE (to CUSTOMER) There's a stick over there. You're shooting against the goal. (to the court) REDDING! COME OFF AND LET THIS FUCK ON! A new face-off pits DANTE against the CUSTOMER. The ball drops between the two and DANTE gets flattened. The CUSTOMER winds up and takes a hard shot. The ball sails off the court, through the air, and into a faraway yard. DANTE calls to the sidelines. DANTE Give me another ball. SOMEONE (O.S.) There are no more. DANTE What the fuck are you talking about? How many balls did you bring? SANFORD skates up to him. SANFORD (counting) There was the orange ball... and the orange ball. DANTE scrambles to the edge and calls over. DANTE Are there any balls down there?! JAY (O.S.) 'Bout the biggest pair you ever seen! NYNNE!! DANTE looks around, hyperventilating. DANTE You only brought one ball?! SANFORD I thought Redding had like three balls! REDDING (O.S.) I thought Dante had the balls. DANTE Nobody has another ball? SANFORD Shit! DANTE We get... what... twelve minutes of game, and it's over? Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!! (pause; rubs head) I'm not even supposed to be here today! DANTE skates off. SANFORD We still get free Gatorade, right? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE standing on a ladder, replaces a fluorescent light. An OLD MAN joins him at the foot of the ladder. OLD MAN Be careful. DANTE I'm trying. OLD MAN You know the insides of those are filled with stuff that gives you cancer. DANTE So I'm told. OLD MAN I had a friend that used to chew glass for a living. In the circus. The light in place, DANTE descends the ladder and closes it. DANTE And he got cancer by chewing fluorescent bulb glass...? OLD MAN No, he got hit by a bus. DANTE (confused) Oh... Can I help you? OLD MAN Well, that depends. Do you have a bathroom? DANTE Um... yeah, but it's for employees only. OLD MAN I understand, but can I use it. I'm not that young anymore, so I'm kind of... you know... incontinent. DANTE Uh... sure. Go ahead. It's back through the cooler. OLD MAN Thanks son. Say-what kind of toilet paper you got back there? DANTE The white kind. OLD MAN I'm not asking about the color. I mean is it rough or cottony? DANTE Actually, it is kind of rough. OLD MAN Rough, eh? Oh, that stuff rips hell out of my hemorrhoids. Say, would you mind if I took a roll of the soft stuff back there. I see you sell the soft stuff. DANTE Yeah, but... OLD MAN Aw, c'mon boy. What's the difference? You said yourself the stuff that's there now is rough. DANTE Yeah, okay. Go ahead. OLD MAN Thanks son, you're a lifesaver. The OLD MAN walks off. DANTE heads back to the counter. The OLD MAN returns. OLD MAN Say, young fella, you know I hate to bother you again, but can I take a paper or something back there... to read? It usually takes me a while, and I like to read while it's going on. DANTE Jesus... go ahead. OLD MAN Thanks, young man. You've got a heart of gold. The OLD MAN sifts through some papers and a few magazines. He comes back to the counter. DANTE You know, you probably could've been home, already, in the time it's taken you to get in there. OLD MAN Can I trouble you for one of those magazines? DANTE I said go ahead. OLD MAN No, I mean the ones there. Behind the counter. DANTE glances over and reacts. DANTE The porno mags? OLD MAN Yeah. I like the cartoons. They make me laugh. They draw the biggest titties. DANTE (hands one to him) Here. Now leave me alone. OLD MAN Uh, can I have the other one. The one below this one. They show more in that one. DANTE makes the switch. OLD MAN Thanks son. I appreciate this. The OLD MAN walks off. We hear the back door open and close, then the front door does the same. RANDAL joins DANTE. RANDAL Helluva game! DANTE One ball!! They come all the way here... I close the damn store... for one ball! RANDAL Hockey's hockey. At least we got to play. DANTE Randal, twelve minutes is not a game! Jesus, it's barely a warm-up! RANDAL Bitch, bitch, bitch. You want something to drink? (walking away) DANTE Gatorade. Pause. Then... RANDAL (O.S.) What happened to all the Gatorade? DANTE Exactly. They drank it all. RANDAL (O.S.) After an exhausting game like that I can believe it. DANTE (as RANDAL) "It's not like we're gonna sell out." RANDAL comes back with drinks. RANDAL You know what Sanford told me? (offering drink) DANTE I still can't believe Caitlin's getting married. RANDAL Julie Dwyer died. DANTE Yeah, right. RANDAL No, I'm serious. DANTE is visibly taken aback. DANTE Oh, my god. RANDAL Sanford's brother dates her cousin. He found out this morning. DANTE How? When? RANDAL Embolism in her brain. Yesterday. DANTE Jesus. RANDAL She was swimming at the YMCA pool when it happened. Died mid-backstroke. DANTE I haven't seen her in almost two years. RANDAL Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't she one of the illustrious twelve? DANTE Number six. RANDAL You've had sex with a dead person. DANTE I'm gonna go to her wake. RANDAL No, you're not. DANTE Why not? RANDAL It's today. DANTE What!? RANDAL Paulsen's Funeral Parlor. The next show is at four. DANTE Shit. What about tomorrow? RANDAL One night only. She's buried in the morning. DANTE You've gotta watch the store. I have to go to this. RANDAL Wait, wait, wait. Has it occurred to you that I might bereaved as well? DANTE You hardly knew her! RANDAL True, but do you know how many people are going to be there? All of our old classmates, to say the least. DANTE Stop it. This is beneath even you. RANDAL I'm not missing what's probably going to be the social event of the season. DANTE You hate people. RANDAL But I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic? DANTE Don't be an asshole. Somebody has to stay with the store. RANDAL If you go, I go. DANTE She meant nothing to you! RANDAL She meant nothing to you either until I told you she died. DANTE I'm not taking you to this funeral. RANDAL I'm going with you. DANTE I can't close the store. RANDAL You just closed the store to play hockey on the roof! DANTE Exactly, which means I can't close it for another hour so we can both go to a wake. CUT TO: INT CAR: DAY DANTE drives with passenger RANDAL, their backs to the camera. RANDAL You were saying? DANTE Thanks for putting me in a tough spot. You're a good friend. Silence. Then... RANDAL She was pretty young, hunhh? DANTE Twenty-two; same as us. RANDAL An embolism in a pool. DANTE An embarrassing way to die. RANDAL That's nothing compared to how my cousin Walter died. DANTE How'd he die? RANDAL Broke his neck. DANTE That's embarrassing? RANDAL He broke his neck trying to suck his own dick. Absolute silence. Then... DANTE Shut the hell up. RANDAL Bible truth. DANTE Stop it. RANDAL I swear. DANTE Oh, my god. RANDAL Come on. Haven't you ever tried to suck your own dick? DANTE No! RANDAL Yeah sure. You're so repressed. DANTE Because I never tried to suck my own dick? RANDAL No, because you won't admit to it. As if a guy's a fucking pervert because he tries to go down on himself. You're as curious as the rest of us, pal. You've tried it. DANTE Who found him? RANDAL My cousin? My aunt found him. On his bed, doubled over himself with his legs on top. Dick in his mouth. My aunt freaked out. It was a mess. DANTE His dick was in his mouth? RANDAL Balls resting on his lips. DANTE He made it, hunhh? RANDAL Yeah, but at what a price. Silence. Then... DANTE I could never reach. RANDAL Reach what? DANTE You know. RANDAL What, your dick? DANTE Yeah. Like you said, you know. I guess everyone tries it, sooner of later. RANDAL I never tried it. DANTE glares at RANDAL. Silence. Then... RANDAL Fucking pervert. CUT TO: EXT: FUNERAL PARLOR. DAY DANTE and RANDAL walk up the path to the funeral parlor. DANTE I know it was a bad idea to close the store. RANDAL Listen to you. DANTE I can't help it. At least when we were playing hockey outside, I could see if anyone wanted to go in. RANDAL Nobody's there. It's four o'clock on a Saturday. How many people ever come to the store at four on a Saturday? CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY A MASSIVE CROWD is outside the store. CUT TO: EXT: FUNERAL PARLOR. DAY DANTE and RANDAL run from the front door, closely chased by a small crowd of angry mourners. Car locks are slammed down. The car screams away. The pursuing crowd stands in the middle of the street, shaking their fists, throwing things. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT The car pulls up and RANDAL and DANTE get out. Absolutely nobody is outside. DANTE (furious) I can't fucking believe you!! RANDAL I'm telling you, it wasn't my fault! DANTE You knocked the fucking casket over, for Chrissakes! RANDAL I was just leaning on it! It was an accident! DANTE Does anyone ever knock over a casket on purpose? RANDAL So the casket fell over! Big deal! DANTE Her fucking body fell out! RANDAL So they'll put her back in! It's not like it's gonna matter if she breaks something! DANTE (opening door) Just... go! Go open the video store. JAY (O.S.) (mimicking) Yeah! Open the video store!! RANDAL (to O.C.) Shut the fuck up, junkie! JAY enters the frame, right next to RANDAL. He aims his butt at him and farts. RANDAL lunges for him. DANTE grabs RANDAL. DANTE (to RANDAL) Go open the video store. JAY Yeah, you cock-smoking clerk. DANTE (to JAY) How many times I gotta tell you not to deal outside the store. JAY I'm not dealing. A KID tugs at JAY'S shirt. KID You got anything, man? JAY Yeah, what do you want? RANDAL heads to the video store. DANTE enters the convenience store and slides the sign to OPEN. After a few seconds, the IMPATIENT CUSTOMER (guy who lost his keys) appears, flashlight in hand, scanning the ground. IMPATIENT CUSTOMER (to JAY) Hey, did you see a set of keys lying around here somewhere? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT DANTE rearranges the milk. RANDAL joins him. RANDAL Let me borrow your car. DANTE I don't want to talk to you. RANDAL Fine. Just lend me your car. DANTE Why should I loan you my car? RANDAL I want to rent a movie. DANTE (pause) You want to rent a movie. DANTE walks away, shaking his head. RANDAL What's that for? DANTE You work in a video store! They head back to the counter. RANDAL I work in a shitty video store. I want to go to a good video store so I can rent a good movie. CUSTOMER Are you open? DANTE AND RANDAL (simultaneously) YES! The CUSTOMER comes to the counter. CUSTOMER Pack of cigarettes. (pets cat) Cute cat. What's its name? RANDAL Annoying Customer. The CUSTOMER lets it sink in, and then leaves in a huff. DANTE puts up cigarettes. DANTE Can you imagine being halfway decent to the customers at least some of the time? RANDAL Let me borrow your car. DANTE (calmer) May I be blunt with you? RANDAL If you must. DANTE We are employees of Quick Stop Convenience and RST video, respectively. As such, we have certain responsibilities which-though it may seem cruel and unusual-does include manning our posts until closing. RANDAL I see. So playing hockey and attending wakes-these practices are standard operating procedure. DANTE There's a difference. Those were obligations. Obligations that could not have been met at any later date. Now renting videos-that's just gratuitous, not to mention illogical, considering you work in a video store. Another CUSTOMER leans in. CUSTOMER Are you open? DANTE (rolls his eyes) Yes. RANDAL You know what? I don't think I care for your rationale. DANTE It's going to have to do for now, considering that it's my car that's up for request. (to CUSTOMER) Can I help you? CUSTOMER Pack of cigarettes. RANDAL What's your point? DANTE My point is that you're a clerk, paid to do a job. You can't just do anything you want while you're working. CUSTOMER (reading tabloid) "Space Alien Revealed as Head of Time Warner; Reports Stock Increase." (to DANTE and RANDAL) They print any kind of shit in these papers. DANTE They certainly do. Two fifty-five. RANDAL So your argument is that title dictates behavior? DANTE What? RANDAL The reasons you won't let me borrow your car is because I have a title and a job description, and I'm supposed to follow it, right? DANTE Exactly. CUSTOMER (interjecting) I saw one, one time, that said the world was ending the next week. Then in the next week's paper, they said we were miraculously saved at the zero hour by a Koala-fish mutant bird. Crazy shit. RANDAL (eyes the CUSTOMER, annoyed) So I'm no more responsible for my own decisions while I'm here at work than, say, the Death Squad soldiers in Bosnia? DANTE That's stretching it. You're not being asked to slay children or anything. RANDAL Not yet. (sips water) CUSTOMER (again with the interjections) And I remember this one time the damn paper said... RANDAL spits a mist of water at the customer, drenching him. The man reacts violently, attempting to grab RANDAL from over the counter. RANDAL makes no move, but remains untouched. DANTE plays block. CUSTOMER I'M GONNA BREAK YOUR FUCKING HEAD! YOU FUCKING JERKOFF! DANTE Sir! Sir, I'm sorry! He didn't mean it! He was trying to get me. CUSTOMER Well, he missed! DANTE I know. I'm sorry. Let me refund your cigarette money, and we'll call it even. CUSTOMER (considerably calmer; takes money) This is the last time I ever come here. (to RANDAL) And if I ever see you again, I'm gonna break your fucking head open! The CUSTOMER leaves, wiping water from his face. RANDAL salutes him. DANTE (angrily) What the fuck did you do that for? RANDAL Two reasons: one, I hate when the people can't shut up about the stupid tabloid headlines. DANTE Jesus! RANDAL And two, to make a point: title does not dictate behavior. DANTE What? RANDAL If title dictated my behavior, as a clerk serving the public, I wouldn't be allowed to spit a mouthful of water at that guy. But I did, so my point is that people dictate their own behavior. Hence, even though I'm a clerk in this video store, I choose to go rent videos at Big Choice. (extends opened palm) Agreed? DANTE (shakes his head; hands over keys) You're a danger to both the dead and the living. RANDAL I like to think I'm a master of my own destiny. DANTE Please, get the hell out of here. RANDAL I know I'm your hero. RANDAL exits. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY DANTE waits on a customer (TRAINER). He lifts the gallon of milk into a paper bag, letting out a slight grunt. TRAINER Sounds to me like somebody needs to hit the gym. DANTE Excuse me? TRAINER I heard you strain when you put the milk in the bag. That milk only weighs about seven pounds. DANTE I didn't strain. I sighed. TRAINER I don't think so. That was a grunt; a deep inhalation of oxygen to aid in the stretching of muscles. I'm a trainer. I know what that sound signifies: you're out of shape. DANTE I don't think so. TRAINER Oh, I do. You made the same noise when you reached across the counter for my cash. Your muscles are thin and sadly underutilized. DANTE They are not. TRAINER Yes, they are. You're out of shape. DANTE What are you talking about? There's no fat on this body. TRAINER No fat, but no tone either. You don't get enough exercise. A female customer (HEATHER) leans in the doorway. HEATHER Are you open? DANTE Yes. HEATHER (grabs a paper) Just the paper. DANTE (to HEATHER) Thirty-fire. TRAINER (to HEATHER) Let me ask you a question: Do you think this guy's out of shape? HEATHER (studies DANTE) I don't know. I can't really tell from here. TRAINER He is. DANTE I am not. TRAINER How much can you bench? DANTE I don't know. HEATHER (studying DANTE) I'd say about sixty, seventy-tops. DANTE I know I can bench more than that! TRAINER I think the lady called it. HEATHER My ex-boyfriend was about his height, but he was much bulkier. He could bench two-fifty, three hundred easy. TRAINER I do about three-fifty, four. HEATHER No way! TRAINER (rolling up sleeve) Feel that. HEATHER That's tight. Solid. TRAINER Now feel his. (to DANTE) Roll up your sleeve, chief. DANTE Oh for God's sake! TRAINER See? You're ashamed. You know you're out of shape. Take my card. I can help you tone that body up in no time. Get you on an aerobics and free-weights program. A SUITED MAN carrying a notebook comes to the counter. SUITED MAN You open? DANTE (to MAN) Yes. (to TRAINER) I'm not out of shape. SUITED MAN Excuse me, but have you been here all day? DANTE What? HEATHER (still studying DANTE) He's got those love handles. DANTE (to HEATHER) I don't have love handles. SUITED MAN Were you working here at about four o'clock? DANTE I've been here since six o'clock this morning. Why? TRAINER (to HEATHER) It's probably from being around all this food every day. HEATHER Oh, I know. If I had to work here all day, I'd be bloated and out of shape, too. DANTE I'm not out of shape! SUITED MAN Can I have your name please? DANTE Dante Hicks. Why? What is this about? The SUITED MAN scribbles in his notebook. HEATHER You're Dante Hicks? Oh my God! I didn't even recognize you! TRAINER Because he's out of shape. DANTE Do I know you? HEATHER You remember Alyssa Jones? She hung out with... DANTE Caitlin Bree. Yeah? HEATHER I'm her sister. DANTE You're Alyssa's sister? Heather? HEATHER Yep. I remember you got caught in my parents' room with Caitlin once. TRAINER Did you say Caitlin Bree? DANTE Yeah. TRAINER Pretty girl, about this girl's height- dark hair-gorgeous body? DANTE Yeah? TRAINER And your name is Dante Hicks? You went to high school with her? You played hockey? DANTE How do you know that? TRAINER Oh man! Hey, you still going out with her? DANTE No, she's getting married. TRAINER To you? HEATHER To an Asian design major. TRAINER Shit! (to DANTE) Don't take this the wrong way, but I used to fuck her. DANTE What? TRAINER While you two were dating in high school. We're talking four, five years ago, back when I drove a Trans- Am. HEATHER Oh my God! You're Rick Derris? TRAINER Yeah! DANTE You know him? HEATHER Caitlin used to talk about him all the time. TRAINER Really? HEATHER Oh yeah. You were the built older guy with the black Trans and the big... DANTE Wait a second! (to TRAINER) You used to sleep with Caitlin Bree? While I was dating her? TRAINER All the time. That girl was like a rabbit. DANTE I... I don't believe this... HEATHER (to TRAINER) I still remember Caitlin telling us about that time you two went to that motel-the one with the mirrors and the hot tub in the room. DANTE THE GLADES MOTEL? TRAINER Holy shit! She told you about that! (to DANTE) Buddy of mine worked there. Said he watched the whole thing. They used to film people at that hotel; nobody knew about it. HEATHER She said one time you set up a tent on the beach and you guys did it in the middle of this big rainstorm. DANTE What? When? When did all this shit happen? TRAINER Hey man, that was a long time ago. Don't let it get to you. HEATHER I'm surprised you never found out about it, Dante. Everybody in school knew-even in my class. DANTE Jesus Christ, what next? The SUITED MAN rips a piece of paper out of his notebook and hands it to DANTE. SUITED MAN Here you go. DANTE What's this? SUITED MAN A fine, for five hundred dollars. DANTE WHAT? TRAINER Five hundred bucks? What for? SUITED MAN For violation of New Jersey Statute Section Two A, number one-seventy slash fifty-one: Any person who sells or makes available tobacco or tobacco- related products to persons under the age of eighteen is regarded as disorderly. DANTE What are you talking about? SUITED MAN According to the NJAC-the New Jersey Administrative Code, section eighteen, five, slash twelve point five-a fine of no less than two hundred and fifty dollars is to be leveled against any person reported selling cigarettes to a minor. DANTE I didn't do that! SUITED MAN You said you were here all day? DANTE Yeah, but I didn't sell cigarettes to any kids! SUITED MAN An angry mother called the state division of taxation and complained that the man working at Quick Stop Convenience sold her five-year-old daughter cigarettes today at around four o'clock. Division of taxation calls the State Board of Health, and they send me down here to issue a fine. You say you were working all day, hence the fine is yours. It's doubled due to the incredibly young age of the child. DANTE But I didn't sell cigarettes to any kid! TRAINER To a five-year-old kid? What a scumbag! HEATHER That's sick, Dante. DANTE I didn't sell cigarettes to any kids! I swear! SUITED MAN The due date is on the bottom. This summons cannot be contested in any court of law. Failure to remit before the due date will result in a charge of criminal negligence, and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Have a nice day. The SUITED MAN exits, with DANTE trying to follow. DANTE But I didn't sell cigarettes to any kids! Hey! TRAINER (takes back the card) Forget it. I don't want to deal with a guy that sells cigarettes to a five-year-old. (to HEATHER) Can I offer you a ride somewhere? HEATHER Sure. How about the beach? TRAINER I like the way you think. The two exit. DANTE, alone, studies his summons. He rubs his forehead. DANTE Jesus! What next? VOICE (O.S.) Dante? DANTE spins, angrily. DANTE What? His expression softens. DANTE Caitlin? CUT TO: EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT JAY deals with a customer as SILENT BOB looks on. JAY That's the price, my brother. JOHN Yo, I don't have that kind of cash. JAY For this kind of hash, you need that kind of cash. JOHN How long you gonna be here? JAY Till ten. Then I'm going to John K's party. JOHN You're gonna be at John K's party? JAY (to SILENT BOB) My man is deaf. (yelling) I'M GOING TO JOHN K'S PARTY! (quieter) Neh. JOHN Yo, don't sell all that. 'Cause I'm gonna get the cash and buy it from you at John K's. You're gonna bring it, right? JAY The only place I don't bring my drugs is church. And that ain't till Sunday morning. JOHN Yo. I'll see you at that party. (puts his hand up to be slapped) I'll see you there? JAY (reluctantly slapping hands) I'll see you there. JOHN leaves. JAY turns to SILENT BOB. JAY It's motherfuckers like that who give recreational drug users a bag name. (suddenly spotting someone O.C.) HEY BABY! YOU EVER HAD YOUR ASSHOLE LICKED? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT DANTE and CAITLIN are embracing very tightly. We hold on them for a few seconds, just to let it sink in. Then... DANTE When did you get back? CAITLIN Just now. DANTE My God. I haven't seen you since... (he hugs her again) CAITLIN Dante. You've got a customer. DANTE hops behind the counter. A customer pays for something while DANTE continues to talk. CAITLIN I just saw Alyssa's little sister outside. She was with Rick Derris. DANTE Let's not talk about that. How'd you get home? CAITLIN Train. It took eight hours. DANTE I can't believe you're here. Another customer comes to the counter. CUSTOMER Excuse me, do you have... DANTE (to CUSTOMER) To the back, above the oil. (to CAITLIN) How long are you staying? CAITLIN Until Monday. Then I have to take the train back. Yet another customer comes to the counter. CUSTOMER Pack of cigarettes. (to CAITLIN) Congratulations. I saw that announcement in today's paper. (to DANTE) She's marrying an Asian design major. DANTE So I'm told. CUT TO: EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT JAY and SILENT BOB lean against the wall. JAY Man, it's fucking slow. SILENT BOB walks out of the frame, leaving JAY alone against the wall. He comes back a few seconds later, carrying a mini- Walkman with ten-watt speakers. He sets it down on the ground and turns it on. House music starts playing. Jay-possessed by the beat-breaks into an impromptu dance, in which he makes suggestive and often lewd moves. SILENT BOB leans against the wall. CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT On counter. CAITLIN You're just going to lock the store like that? DANTE I want to talk to you about something, and I don't want to be disturbed. CAITLIN You saw it? DANTE Very dramatic, I thought. CAITLIN It's not what you think. DANTE What, it's worse? You're pregnant with an Asian design major's child? CAITLIN I'm not pregnant. DANTE Were you going to tell me or just send me an invitation? CAITLIN I was going to tell you. But then we were getting along so well, I didn't want to mess it up. DANTE You could've broke it to me gently, you know; at least started by telling me you had a boyfriend. I told you I have a girlfriend. CAITLIN I know, I'm sorry. But when we started talking... it's like I forgot I had a boyfriend. And then he proposed last month... DANTE And you said yes? CAITLIN Well... kind of, sort of? DANTE Is that what they teach you at that school of yours? Kind of, sort of? Everyone knows about this except me! Do you know how humiliating that is? CAITLIN I would've told you, and you would have stopped calling, like a baby. DANTE How do you know that? CAITLIN Because I know you. You prefer drastic measures to rational ones. DANTE So you're really getting married? CAITLIN No. DANTE No, you're not really getting married? CAITLIN The story goes like this: He proposed, and I told him I had to think about it, and he insisted I wear the ring anyway. Then my mother told the paper we were engaged. DANTE How like her. CAITLIN Then my mother called me this morning and told me the announcement was in the paper. That's when I hopped the train to come back here, because I knew you'd be a wreck. DANTE Thanks for the vote of confidence. CAITLIN Was I right? DANTE Wreck is a harsh term. Disturbed is more like it. Mildly disturbed even. CAITLIN I love a macho fašade. It's such a turn-on. (sniffing air) What smells like shoe polish? DANTE And you came here to what? To comfort me? CAITLIN The last thing I needed was for you to think I was hiding something from you. DANTE But you were. CAITLIN No, I wasn't. Not really. I told you'd I'd been seeing other people. DANTE Yeah, but not seriously. Christ, you're ready to walk down the aisle- I'd say that constitutes something more than just seeing somebody. CAITLIN I'm giving him his ring back. DANTE What? CAITLIN I don't want to marry him. I don't want to get married now. I'm on the verge of graduation. I want to go to grad school after this. And then I want to start a career. I don't want to be a wife first, and then have to worry about when I'm going to fit in all of the other stuff. I've come way too far and studied too hard to let my education go to waste as a housewife. And I know that's what I'd become. Sang's already signed with a major firm, and he's going to be pulling a huge salary, which would give me no reason to work, and he's so traditional anyway... DANTE Sang? His name is a past tense? CAITLIN Stop it. He's a nice guy. DANTE If he's so nice, why aren't you going to marry him? CAITLIN I just told you. DANTE There's more, isn't there? CAITLIN Why, Mr. Hicks-whatever do you mean? DANTE Tell me I don't have something to do with it. CAITLIN You don't have anything to do with it. DANTE You lie. CAITLIN Look how full of yourself you are. DANTE I just believe in giving credit where credit is due. And I believe that I'm the impetus behind your failure to wed. CAITLIN If I'm so nuts about you, then why am I having sex with an Asian design major? DANTE Jesus, you're caustic. CAITLIN I had to bring you down from that cloud you were floating on. When I say I don't want to get married, I mean just that. I don't want to marry anybody. Not for years. DANTE So who's asking? I don't want to marry you. CAITLIN Good. Stay in that frame of mind. DANTE But can we date? CAITLIN I'm sure Sang and-Veronica?-would like that. DANTE We could introduce them. They might hit it off. CAITLIN You're serious. You want to date again. DANTE I would like to be your boyfriend, yes. CAITLIN It's just the shock of seeing me after three years. Believe me, you'll get over it. DANTE Give me a bit more credit. I think it's time we got back together, you know. I'm more mature, you're more mature, you're finishing college, I'm already in the job market... CAITLIN You work in a market, all right. DANTE Cute. Tell me you wouldn't want to go out again. After all the talking we've been doing. CAITLIN The key word here is talk, Dante. I think the idea, the conception of us dating is more idyllic than what actually happens when we date. DANTE So... what? So we should just make pretend over the phone that we're dating? CAITLIN I don't know. Maybe we should just see what happens. DANTE Let me take you out tonight. CAITLIN You mean, on a date? DANTE Yes. A real date. Dinner and a movie. CAITLIN The Dante Hicks Dinner and a Movie Date. I think I've been on that one before. DANTE You have a better suggestion? CAITLIN How about the Caitlin Bree Walk on the Boardwalk, Then Get Naked Somewhere Kind of Private Date? DANTE I hear that's a rather popular date. CAITLIN (hits him) Jerk. Here I am, throwing myself at you, succumbing to your wily charms, and you call me a slut, in so many words. DANTE What about Sing? CAITLIN Sang. DANTE Sang. CAITLIN He's not invited. DANTE He's your fiancÚ. CAITLIN I offer you my body and you offer me semantics? He's just a boyfriend, Dante, and in case you haven't gotten the drift of why I came all the way here from Ohio, I'm about to become single again. And yes-let me placate your ego-you are the inspiration for this bold and momentous decision, for which I'll probably be ostracized at both school and home. You ask me who I choose, I choose you. DANTE So what are you saying? CAITLIN You're such an asshole. DANTE I'm just kidding. CAITLIN I can already tell this isn't going to work. DANTE I'll ask Randal to close up for me when he gets back. CAITLIN Where'd he go? I'd have thought he'd be at your side, like an obedient lapdog. DANTE He went to rent a movie, but he hasn't gotten back yet. Ah, screw it; I'll just lock the store up and leave him a note. CAITLIN You're too responsible. But no. I have to go home first. They don't even know I left school. And I should break the disengagement news to my mother, which is going to cause quite a row, considering she loves Sang. DANTE Who doesn't? CAITLIN Well, me I guess. (gathering herself to go) So, I shall take my leave of you, but I will return in a little while, at which time-yes-I would love to go for dinner and a movie with you. DANTE What happened to the walk and the nakedness? CAITLIN I'm easy, but I'm not that easy. (she kisses his cheek) See you later, handsome. DANTE watches her leave. He then explodes in jubilance. DANTE YES! CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT DANTE looks ahead, dreamily, half-spinning in his chair. RANDAL enters carrying videos. RANDAL Get to work. DANTE (takes videos) What'd you rent? (reads) Best of Both Worlds? RANDAL Hermaphroditic porn. Starlets with both organs. You should see the box: Beautiful women with dicks that put mine to shame. DANTE And this is what you rented? RANDAL I like to expand my horizons. DANTE I got fined for selling cigarettes to a minor. RANDAL No way! DANTE Five hundred dollars. RANDAL You're bullshitting. DANTE hands him the summons. RANDAL reads it. RANDAL I didn't think they even enforced this. DANTE (points to himself) Living proof. RANDAL I thought you never sold cigarettes to kids. DANTE I don't; you did. RANDAL (pause) Really? DANTE Little girl. Maybe five years old? RANDAL (taken aback) Holy shit. That girl? DANTE As opposed to the hundreds of other children you let buy cigarettes whenever you work here. RANDAL Then how come you got the fine? DANTE Because I'm here. RANDAL (incredulous) You're lying. DANTE I swear. I couldn't make this kind of hell up. RANDAL Then why aren't you like screaming at me right now? DANTE Because I'm happy. RANDAL You're happy? DANTE I'm happy. RANDAL You're happy to get a fine? DANTE No. I'm happy because Caitlin came to see me. RANDAL Now I know you're lying. DANTE I'm not. She just left. RANDAL What did she say? DANTE She's not going to marry that guy. She went home to tell her mother. RANDAL You're kidding. DANTE I'm not. RANDAL (takes it in for a moment) Wow. You've had quite an evening. DANTE She went home, she's getting ready, and we're going out. RANDAL I feel so ineffectual. Is there anything I can do for you? DANTE Watch the store while I go home and change. RANDAL What happened to title dictates behavior? DANTE This is my way of spitting water at life. RANDAL (suddenly aware) Hey, what about Veronica? DANTE No! Don't bring it up. I don't want to think about that now. Let me enjoy this hour of bliss. I'll think about all of that later. In the meantime, nobody mentions the V word. RANDAL You're a snake. DANTE In my absence, try not to sell cigarettes to any newborns. RANDAL You want me to bring the VCR over here so we can watch this? DANTE I might be leaving early to go out with Caitlin, in which case you'll have to close the store tonight. RANDAL All right, but you're missing out. Chicks with dicks. DANTE (puts cats on counter) I'll read the book. DANTE exits. A CUSTOMER comes back to the counter. He pets the cat. CUSTOMER Cute cat. What's his name. RANDAL Peptic ulcer. CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT JAY and SILENT BOB watch as DANTE passes. A small group of burners are poised around the store door. JAY carefully writes on a large piece of paper, using a thick marker. SILENT BOB hands him the scissors. JAY slowly cuts the large piece of paper. SILENT BOB hands him the tape. JAY snaps off a few pieces, and plasters the sign to the convenience store door. It is a large word balloon, and it reads I EAT COCK! Once in place, he raps on the window. RANDAL looks out, his face adjacent to the word balloon, making it appear as if he is saying he eats cock. The small group laughs hysterically. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT CAITLIN enters, carrying an overnight bag. RANDAL is watching his porno. The porno is loud and lewd. CAITLIN stares. CAITLIN Randal Graves-scourge of the video renter. RANDAL Ladies and gentleman, Mrs. Asian Design Major herself: Caitlin Bree! CAITLIN You saw that article? God, isn't it awful? My mother sent that in. RANDAL I take it she likes the guy. CAITLIN You'd think she was marrying him. What are you watching? RANDAL Children's programming. What did your mom say when you told her you weren't engaged anymore? CAITLIN She said not to come home until graduation. RANDAL Wow, you got thrown out? For Dante? CAITLIN What can I say? He does weird things to me. RANDAL Can I watch? CAITLIN You can hold me down. RANDAL Can I join in? CAITLIN You might be let down. I'm not a hermaphrodite. RANDAL Few are. So what makes you think you can maintain a relationship with Dante this time around? CAITLIN A woman's intuition. Something in me says it's time to give the old boy a serious try. RANDAL Wow. Hey, I was just about to order some dinner. You eat Chinese, right? CAITLIN Dick. RANDAL Exactly. CAITLIN So where is he? RANDAL He went home to change for the big date. CAITLIN God, isn't he great? RANDAL (indicating TV) No, this is great. CAITLIN Can I use the bathroom? RANDAL There's no light back there. CAITLIN Why aren't there any lights? RANDAL Well, there are, but for some reason they stop working at five-fourteen every night. CAITLIN You're kidding. RANDAL Nobody can figure it out. And the boss doesn't want to pay the electrician to fix it, because the electrician owes money to the video store. CAITLIN Such a sordid state of affair. RANDAL And I'm caught in the middle-torn between my loyalty for the boss, and my desire to piss with the light on. CAITLIN I'll try to manage. She heads toward the back. RANDAL Hey Caitlin... (cautionary) Break his heart again this time, and I'll kill you. Nothing personal. CAITLIN You're very protective of him, Randal. You always have been. RANDAL Territoriality. He was mine first. CAITLIN (rubs his head) Awww. That was so cute. She kisses his forehead and walks away. The MOTHER and SMALL CHILD (Happy Scrappy) come to the counter. MOTHER (oblivious of the TV) A pack of cigarettes. The SMALL CHILD points at the TV screen. SMALL CHILD Cunt! CUT TO: EXT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT RANDAL studies the I EAT COCK word balloon. DANTE enters. DANTE Who eats cock? RANDAL Bunch of savages in this town. (recalling) Hey, Caitlin's in the back. You might want to see if she's okay; she's been back there a long time. DANTE There's no lights back there. RANDAL I told her that. She said she didn't need any. Why don't you join her, man. Make a little bathroom bam-bam. DANTE I love your sexy talk. It's so... kindergarten: Poo-poo; wee-wee. RANDAL Fuck you. The cooler door is heard opening. CAITLIN walks lazily down the convenience store aisle. She looks very satisfied. DANTE and RANDAL regard her curiously. She joins them, latching on to DANTE's arm, lovingly. CAITLIN How'd you get here so fast? DANTE I left like an hour ago. CAITLIN (regards him curiously) Do you always talk weird after you violate women? RANDAL and DANTE stare at CAITLIN, confused. RANDAL Maybe the Asian design major slipped her some opium? DANTE Could be. CAITLIN (hugging DANTE) Promise me it'll always be like that. DANTE Like what? CAITLIN When you just lie perfectly still and let me do everything. DANTE Um... okay. RANDAL Am I missing something here? CAITLIN I went back there, and Dante was already waiting for me. RANDAL He was? CAITLIN It was so cool. He didn't say a word. He was just... ready, you know? And we didn't kiss or talk or anything. He just sat there and let me do all the work. RANDAL (to DANTE) You dog! I didn't see you go back there. DANTE is bewildered. CAITLIN And the fact that there weren't any lights made it so... (she lets out a growl and hugs DANTE) God! That was so great! DANTE (quietly) It wasn't me. CAITLIN (laughing it off) Yeah, right. Who was it: Randal? DANTE (to RANDAL) Was it you? RANDAL I was here the whole time. CAITLIN (half-laughing) You two better quit it. DANTE I'm serious. CAITLIN (beat) We didn't just have sex in the bathroom? DANTE No. Everyone is silent. Then... CAITLIN Stop this. This isn't funny. DANTE I'm not kidding. I just got back from outside. CAITLIN (covering her chest) This isn't fucking funny, Dante! DANTE I'm not fooling around! (to RANDAL) Who went back there? RANDAL Nobody! I swear! CAITLIN I feel nauseous. DANTE Are you sure somebody was back there? CAITLIN (hits DANTE) I didn't just fuck myself! Jesus, I'm going to be sick! RANDAL You just fucked a total stranger? DANTE Shut the fuck up! CAITLIN I can't believe this! I feel faint... DANTE (to RANDAL) Call the police. RANDAL Why? CAITLIN No, don't! DANTE There's a strange man in our bathroom, and he just raped Caitlin! CAITLIN (weakly) Oh God... RANDAL She said she did all the work. DANTE WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP? (pause) WHO THE FUCK IS IN THE BATHROOM? CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. LATER THE OLD MAN'S FACE is serene, almost happy, as he lies on a stretcher. (Same OLD MAN who took a porn mag to the bathroom.) CORONER (O.S.) Who is he? The body bag zipper is pulled closed. DANTE, the CORONER, and RANDAL stand around the stretcher-bound body bag. The CORONER takes notes. DANTE I don't know. He just came in and asked to use the bathroom. CORONER What time was this? DANTE Um... I don't know. (to RANDAL) What time did hockey end? RANDAL Around three or something. DANTE What time did we go to the funeral? RANDAL I think four. CORONER Wait a second? Who was working here today? DANTE Just me. CORONER I thought you just said you played hockey and went to a funeral. DANTE We did. CORONER Then who operated the store? DANTE Nobody. It was closed. CORONER With this guy locked in? DANTE Everything happened at once. I guess I forgot he was back there. Ambulance attendants join them. ATTENDANT 1 Can we take this now? CORONER Go ahead. The stretcher is wheeled out. Midway down the body bag, something protrudes, pushing the bag up. It is an erection. RANDAL stares at it. DANTE Was he alive when... Caitlin... CORONER No. I place the time of death at about three-twenty. RANDAL Then how could she... you know... CORONER The body can maintain an erection after expiration. Sometimes for hours. Did he have the adult magazine when he came in? DANTE No. I gave it to him. RANDAL and the CORONER stare in disbelief. DANTE Well he asked me for it! CORONER (continuing) I can't say for certain until we get him back to the lab, but my guess is he was masturbating, his heart seized and he died. That's when the girl found him. (sniffing the air) Something smells like shoe polish. RANDAL (to CORONER) This has gotta be the weirdest thing you've ever been called in on. CORONER (writing) Actually, I once had to tag a kid that broke his neck trying to put his mouth on his penis. RANDAL looks down, anonymously. DANTE What about Caitlin? CORONER Shock trauma. She's going to need years of therapy after this. My question is, How did she come to have sex with the dead man? DANTE She thought it was me. The CORONER stares at DANTE. CORONER What kind of convenience store do you run here? He exits. DANTE and RANDAL stare at the floor. RANDAL (beat) Do you think he was talking about my cousin? CUT TO: EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT CAITLIN sits in the back of the ambulance, a blanket draped over her shoulders. An attendant takes her blood pressure. The doors are closed and the vehicle speeds away. JAY and SILENT BOB lean against the wall. JAY eats sugar out of a box. JAY I knew one of those motherfuckers was gonna kill somebody one day. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT A jar of salsa is invaded by a large corn chip. Once in the condiment, the corn chip resembles a surfacing shark fin. Fingers poke at it, bringing it to life-swimming menacingly to and fro across the jar. RANDAL (O.S.) (mumbling Jaws theme) Da-dum! Da-dum! Da-dum! DA-DUM! DA- DUM! DA-DUM! DANTE and RANDAL are on a freezer case. RANDAL pushes this chip around the jar of salsa. DANTE stares up at the ceiling, oblivious. RANDAL Salsa shark. DANTE says nothing. RANDAL (as Brody) "We're gonna need a bigger boat." DANTE says even less than nothing. RANDAL (as Quint) "Man goes into the cage; cage goes into the salsa; shark's in the salsa; our shark." DANTE... you know. RANDAL (angry) What? What's with you? You haven't said anything for like twenty minutes. What the hell is your problem? DANTE This life. RANDAL This life? DANTE Why do I have this life? RANDAL Have some chips; you'll feel better. DANTE I'm stuck in this pit, earning less than slave wages, working on my day off, dealing with every backward fuck on the planet, the goddamn steel shutters are locked all day, I smell like shoe polish, I've got an ex- girlfriend who's catatonic after fucking a dead guy, and my present girlfriend has sucked thirty-six dicks. RANDAL Thirty-seven. DANTE My life is in the shitter right about now, so if you don't mind, I'd like to stew a bit. CUSTOMER (O.S.) You open? RANDAL Yeah. RANDAL hops off the freezer case and steps O.C. RANDAL (O.S.) That's all bullshit. You know what the real problem here is? DANTE I was born. RANDAL comes back. RANDAL You should shit or get off the pot. DANTE I should shit or get off the pot. RANDAL Yeah, you should shit or get off the pot. DANTE What are you talking about? RANDAL I'm talking about this thing you have... this inability to improve your situation in life. DANTE Fuck you. RANDAL It's true. You'll sit there and blame life for dealing a cruddy hand, never once accepting the responsibility for the way your situation is. DANTE What responsibility? RANDAL All right, if you hate this job and the people, and the fact that you have to come in on your day off, then quit. DANTE As if it's that easy. RANDAL It is. You just up and quit. There are other jobs, and they pay better money. You're bound to be qualified for at least one of them. So what's stopping you? DANTE Leave me alone. RANDAL You're comfortable. This is a life of convenience for you, and any attempt to change it would shatter the pathetic microcosm you've fashioned for yourself. DANTE Oh, like your life's any better? RANDAL I'm satisfied with my situation for now. You don't hear me bitching. You, on the other hand, have been bitching all day. DANTE Thank you. Why don't you go back to the video store? RANDAL It's the same thing with Veronica. DANTE Leave her out of this. RANDAL You date Veronica because she's low maintenance and because it's convenient. Meanwhile, all you ever do is talk about Caitlin. You carry a torch for a girl you dated in high school-in high school for God's sake! You're twenty-two! DANTE Leave me alone. RANDAL If you want Caitlin, then face Veronica, tell her, and be with Caitlin. If you want Veronica, be with Veronica. But don't pine for one and fuck the other. Man, if you weren't such a fucking coward... DANTE ...If I wasn't such a fucking coward. (chuckles) It must be so great to be able to simplify everything the way you do. RANDAL Am I right or what? DANTE You're wrong. Things happened today, okay? Things that probably ruined my chances with Caitlin. RANDAL What? The dead guy? She'll get over fucking the dead guy. Shit, my mom's been fucking a dead guy for thirty years; I call him Dad. DANTE Caitlin and I can't be together. It's impossible. RANDAL Melodrama coming from you seems about as natural as an oral bowel movement. DANTE What do you want me to say? Yes, I suppose some of the things you're saying may be true. But that's the way things are; it's not going to change. RANDAL Make them change. DANTE I can't, all right! Jesus, would you leave me alone? I can't make changes like that in my life. If I could, I would-but I don't have the ability to risk comfortable situations on the big money and the fabulous prizes. RANDAL Who're you kidding? You can so. DANTE Jesus H. Christ, I can't! RANDAL So you'll continue being miserable all the time, just because you don't have the guts to face change? DANTE (sadly) My mother told me once that when I as three, my potty lid was closed, and instead of lifting it, I chose to shit my pants. RANDAL Lovely story. DANTE Point is-I'm not the kind of person that disrupts things in order to shit comfortably. DANTE crosses O.C. RANDAL appears contemplative. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT DANTE repairs ripped dollar bills, taping them back together. JAY enters with SILENT BOB and claps his hands. JAY (singing) Noinch, noinch, noinch-smoking weed, smoking weed! Doing coke! Drinking beers! (to DANTE) A pack of wraps, my good man. It's time to kick back, drink some beers, and smoke some weed! DANTE Done poisoning the youth for the day? JAY Hell yes, whatever that means. Now I'm gonna head over to Atlantic, drink some beers, get ripped, and- please God-get laid. (pulls out money) E-Z Wider, one-and-a-halfs. DANTE One seventy-nine. JAY (to SILENT BOB) Pay the good man. (to DANTE) Don't you close soon? DANTE A half hour. JAY We get off about the same time every night. We should hang out. You get high? DANTE I should start. JAY Wanna come to this party tonight? There's gonna be some pussy there, man! DANTE With you? I don't think so. JAY Listen to you. Oh shit. "Oh, I don't hang out with drug dealers." DANTE Nothing personal. SILENT BOB hands weed to JAY. JAY I work, just like you. You're more of a crook than I am, dude. DANTE How do you figure... HEY! You can't roll a joint in here! JAY (rolling a joint) Relax brother. What I mean is that you sell the stuff in this store at the highest prices around. A dollar seventy-nine for wraps-what's that shit? DANTE It's not my store. JAY And these aren't my drugs-I just sell them. DANTE The difference is you exploit a weakness. JAY What's that mean? DANTE You sell to people that can't stay away from an addiction. JAY All right. How much is Pepsi here? DANTE A dollar sixty-nine, plus tax. JAY At Food City it's ninety-nine cents, plus tax. DANTE So. JAY So why do you sell it for so much more? I'll tell you why-because people come here and they're like "A dollar eighty for soda? I should get it at Food City. But I don't feel like driving there. I'll just buy it here so I don't have to drive up there." That's exploiting a weakness, too, isn't it? DANTE I can't believe you just rolled a joint in here. JAY Hey, man, what happened with that old guy? DANTE He died in the bathroom. JAY That's fucked up. Yo, I heard he was jerkin' off. DANTE I don't know. I wasn't watching. JAY Probably saw that Caitlin chick. I know I felt like beatin' it when I saw her. (pantomimes sex) Come here, bitch! You like this? Is this what you want? Hunhh? DANTE Knock it off. That used to be my girlfriend. JAY You used to go out with her? DANTE We were going to start again, I think. JAY Don't you already have a girlfriend? DANTE Veronica. JAY Is she that girl who's down here all the time? She came here today carrying a plate of food. DANTE Lasagne. JAY And what-you were gonna dump her to date that Caitlin chick? DANTE Maybe. JAY I don't know dude. That Caitlin chick's nice. But I see that Veronica girl doing shit for you all the time. She brings you food, she rubs your back... Didn't I see her change your tire one day? DANTE I jacked the car up. All she did was loosen the nuts and put the tire on. JAY Damn. She sure goes out of her way. DANTE She's my girlfriend. JAY I've had girlfriends, but all they wanted from me was weed and shit. (beat) Shit, my grandma used to say, "Which is better: a good plate with nothing on it..." No, wait. I fucked up. She said "What's a good-looking plate with nothing on it?" DANTE Meaning? JAY I don't know. She was senile and shit. Used to piss herself all the time. C'mon Silent Bob. Exit JAY. SILENT BOB stands there. SILENT BOB You know, there's a million fine- looking women in the world, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you. SILENT BOB leaves. DANTE shuts his eyes tightly and rubs the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger, as if in deep concentration. He suddenly snaps his eyes open. DANTE (nearly surprised) He's right. I love her. CUT TO: INT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT RANDAL has a heart-to-heart with VERONICA. RANDAL So that's it. He doesn't love you anymore. He loves Caitlin. VERONICA stares, dumbfounded. VERONICA And... he told you all of this? RANDAL Pretty much. All except the latent homosexuality part-that's just my theory. VERONICA I... I don't know what to say. RANDAL Don't hold it against him. He just never got Caitlin out of his system. It's not your fault. It's Dante. (beat) I don't know thing one about chicks. Do you want to cry or something? I can leave. VERONICA I'm not sad. RANDAL You're not? VERONICA No, I'm more furious. I'm pissed off. I feel like he's been killing time while he tries to grow the balls to tell me how he really feels, and then he can't even do it! He has his friend do it for him! RANDAL He didn't ask me to... VERONICA After all that I've done for that fuck! And he wants to be with that slut? Fine! He can have his slut! RANDAL Um, do you think you can give me a lift home tonight? VERONICA (oblivious of RANDAL) I'm going to have a word with that asshole. VERONICA storms out. RANDAL Wait! Veronica... I don't think... RANDAL stares after her. A customer stands nearby. RANDAL (to customer) What am I worried about? He'll probably be glad I started the ball rolling. All he ever did was complain about her anyway. I'm just looking out for his best interests. I mean, that's what a friend does, am I right? I did him a favor. CUSTOMER (sees box on counter) Oooh! Navy Seals! CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT DANTE is on the ground holding his knee. VERONICA stands above him. DANTE What the fuck did you do that for? VERONICA If you didn't want to go out with me anymore, why didn't you just say it? Instead, you pussyfoot around and see that slut behind my back! DANTE What're you talking about? VERONICA (kicks him) You've been talking to her on the phone for weeks! DANTE It was only a few times... VERONICA And then you pull that shit this morning, freaking out because I've gone down on a couple guys! DANTE A couple...? VERONICA (throws purse at him) I'm not the one trying to patch things up with my ex, sneaking around behind your back! And if you think that thirty-seven dicks are a lot, then just wait, mister: I'm going to put the hookers in Times Square to shame with all the guys I go down on now! DANTE Would you let me explain... VERONICA Explain what? How you were waiting until the time was right, and then you were going to dump me for her? DANTE (getting up) Veronica... I... it's not like that anymore... I mean, it was never really like that... VERONICA kicks him in the other leg. DANTE goes down, yelling in pain. VERONICA You're damn right it's not like that! Because I won't let it be like that! You want your slut? Fine! The slut is yours! DANTE I don't want Caitlin... VERONICA You don't know what you want, but I'm not going to sit here anymore holding your hand until you figure it out! I've encouraged you to get out of this fucking dump and go back to school, to take charge of your life and find direction. I even transferred so maybe you would be more inclined to go back to college if I was with you. Everyone said it was a stupid move, but I didn't care because I loved you and wanted to see you pull yourself out of this senseless funk you've been in since that whore dumped you, oh so many years ago. And now you want to go back to her so she can fuck you over some more? DANTE I don't want to go back with her... VERONICA Of course not; not now! You're caught, and now you're trying to snake out of doing what you wanted to do. Well, I won't let you. I want you to follow through on this, just so you can find out what a fucking idiot you are. And when she dumps you again- and she will, Dante, I promise you that-when she dumps you again, I want to laugh at you, right in your face, just so you realize that that was what you gave up our relationship for! (grabs her purse) I'm just glad Randal had the balls to tell me, since you couldn't. DANTE (weakly) Randal...? VERONICA And having him tell me... that was just the weakest move ever. You're spineless. DANTE Veronica, I love you... VERONICA Fuck you. VERONICA exits. DANTE lies on the floor alone. CUT TO: EXT: VIDEO STORE. NIGHT RANDAL exits and locks the door behind him. CUT TO: INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. NIGHT Tight on RANDAL'S face as he steps inside. RANDAL Dante? Hands clasp around his throat and yank him out of the frame. DANTE throttles RANDAL, choking him to the ground. RANDAL throws his fists into DANTE'S midriff, throwing him back into the magazine rack. RANDAL jumps to his feet as DANTE comes at him again. RANDAL tumbles into the cakes as Entenman's products scatter beneath and around him. He grabs a pound cake and hits DANTE in the head with it, using the opportunity to scurry down the middle aisle. DANTE leaps at his feet, and RANDAL grabs the shelves, knocking aspirin over until RANDAL-shrieking-sprays something in DANTE'S face. DANTE paws at his eyes. RANDAL grabs Italian bread and smacks it into DANTE'S face as he rushes him blindly. DANTE chases him out of the frame. M&M's scatter wildly across the empty floor, and the ruckus is heard O.C. CUT TO: DANTE and RANDAL later, out of breath, on the floor. RANDAL sits up against the candy rack, rubbing his neck. DANTE lies on the floor, bacon held against a sort of crushed cookies, ripped-open candies, broken bread, and other damaged goods. RANDAL How's your eye? DANTE (reluctantly) The swelling's not so bad. But the FDS stings. (then) How's your neck? RANDAL It's hard to swallow. They are both silent. Then... RANDAL You didn't have to choke me. DANTE Why the fuck did you tell Veronica that I was going to dump her for Caitlin? RANDAL I thought I was doing you a favor. DANTE Thanks. RANDAL You were saying how you couldn't initiate change yourself, so I figured I'd help you out. DANTE Jesus. Silence. Then... RANDAL You still didn't have to choke me. DANTE Oh please! I'm surprised I didn't kill you. RANDAL Why do you say that? DANTE Why do I say that? Randal... forget it. RANDAL No, really. What did I do that was so wrong? DANTE What don't you do? Randal, sometimes it seems like the only reason you come to work is to make my life miserable. RANDAL How do you figure? DANTE What time did you get to work today? RANDAL Like ten after. DANTE You were over half an hour late. Then all you do is come over here. RANDAL To talk to you. DANTE Which means the video store is ostensibly closed. RANDAL It's not like I'm miles away. DANTE Unless you're out renting videos at other video stores. RANDAL Hermaphrodites! I rented it so we could watch it together! DANTE You get my slapped with a fine, you fight with the customers and I have to patch everything up. You get us chased out of a funeral by violating a corpse. To top it all off, you ruin my relationship. What's your encore? Do you anally rape my mother while pouring sugar in my gas tank? (sighs) You know what the real tragedy is? I'm not even supposed to be here today! RANDAL (suddenly outraged) Fuck you. Fuck you, pal. Listen to you trying to pass the buck again. I'm the source of all your misery. Who closed the store to play hockey? Who closed the store to attend a wake? Who tried to win back an ex- girlfriend without even discussing how he felt with his present one? You wanna blame somebody, blame yourself. (beat, as DANTE) "I'm not even supposed to be here today." (whips stuff at DANTE) You sound like an asshole. Whose choice was it to be here today? Nobody twisted your arm. You're here today of your own violation, my friend. But you'd like to believe that the weight of the world rests on your shoulders-that the store would crumble if Dante wasn't here. Well, I got news for you, jerk: This store would survive without you. Without me either. All you do is overcompensate for having what's basically a monkey's job: You push fucking buttons. Any moron can waltz in here and do our jobs, but you're obsessed with making it seem so much more fucking important, so much more epic than it really is. You work in a convenience store, Dante. And badly, I might add. And I work in a shitty video store. Badly, as well. (beat) You know, that guy Jay's got it right- he has no delusions about what he does. Us? We like to make ourselves seem so much better than the people that come in here, just looking to pick up a paper or-God forbid- cigarettes. We look down on them, as it we're so advanced. Well, if we're so fucking advanced, then what are we doing working here? RANDAL gets up, leaving DANTE to contemplate his strong words alone. CUT TO: DANTE and RANDAL silently clean up, backs to each other. CUT TO: DANTE places a mop in the corner. RANDAL pulls on his coat. RANDAL I threw out the stuff that got broken. The floor looks clean. DANTE You need a ride? RANDAL (looks out door) Got one. Just pulled up. They stand in silence. Then... DANTE Do you work tomorrow? RANDAL Same time. What about you? DANTE I'm calling out. Going to hit the hospital-see how Caitlin is. Then try to see Veronica. RANDAL You wanna grab something to eat tomorrow night... after I get out of here? DANTE I'll call you. Let you know. RANDAL All right. Good luck with Veronica. If you want, I can talk to her, you know, and explain... DANTE No thanks. I'll take care of it. We've got a lot of shit to talk about. RANDAL Helluva day. DANTE To say the least. RANDAL Do you need a hug or something? 'Cause I would have no hang-ups about hugging you... you know, you being a guy and all. Just don't knead my ass when you do it. DANTE Get the fuck outta here already. RANDAL I'm gone. I'll talk to you tomorrow. RANDAL exits. A second later, he reenters and tosses DANTE the sheet-sign. RANDAL You're closed. He exits. DANTE pushes the sign over from Open to Closed. DANTE climbs behind the counter. He pops the register open and starts counting the drawer out. The door is heard opening. POV JOHN: DANTE counting out the register, not looking up. DANTE What'd you forget something? (looks up, surprised) Oh. I'm sorry, we're closed. A gunshot blasts out. DANTE flies back, his chest exploding. He stares ahead and slumps to the floor. JOHN walks behind the counter, stepping over DANTE'S body on the floor, and takes the money out of the register. He grabs a paper bag and jams the money in it. He grabs handfuls of change, shoves it in his pocket, and then quickly exits the frame. DANTE continues to lie on the floor. CREDITS Credits end, and the door is heard opening. A customer comes to the counter and stands there. He waits, looks around for a clerk, looks down the aisles. CUSTOMER Hello? Little help? No reply. He looks around again, and glances at the door to make sure nobody's coming in. Then he reaches behind the counter and grabs a pack of cigarettes. He leaves.