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ALL SCRIPTS


                                       "BAD SANTA"

                                            by

                                Glenn Ficarra & John Requa

                                       Revisions by

                                  Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

                                        Polish by

                                      Terry Zwigoff

                                     Dimension Films

                        Production Draft - WHITE February 1, 2002

                

               FADE IN:

               Snow flakes falling against a black sky.

               CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM DOWNWARD TO REVEAL

               EXT. MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

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

               CAMERA PUSHES SLOWLY IN

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               INT. MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

               CAMERA CONTINUES MOVEMENT IN SAME DIRECTION

                                       TITLES BEGIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               It is loud, dolorous, and unself-conscious.

               EXT. ALLEYWAY BEHIND THE MILWAUKEE BAR - NIGHT

               Santa staggers out the back door...

               CAMERA FOLLOWS BEHIND HIM still hiding his face.

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

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

               SUPERED TITLE OF THE MOVIE:

                                        BAD SANTA

               INT. SANTA ORIENTATION ROOM - DAY

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

                                 SANTA'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

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

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

               As she talks we

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ANGLE FROM BEHIND

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               WILLIE'S FACE

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

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

                                                               CUT BACK TO:

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

               EXT. DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE SHOPPING DISTRICT - NIGHT

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

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

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - TOP FLOOR - NIGHT

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

                                     OLDER CHILD
                         There! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - MAIN FLOOR - NIGHT

               An imitation BACK STREET BOYS quintet sings Christmas Carols.

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

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

               Purposeful haste eddies the crowd.

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

               C.U. PHOTO PRINTING OUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     BRATTY KID
                         I saw you in another mall.

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

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

                                     SANTA
                              (looks at him)
                         You want magic?

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

                                     SANTA
                         There, I just made you disappear.

               Santa turns to his Elf,

                                     SANTA
                         ...That it?

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

                                     SANTA
                         ...Thank fuckin' Christ.

               He takes a swig.

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - NIGHT - LATER

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - EXIT AREA - NIGHT

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

                                     SECURITY GUARD
                         Merry Christmas, Willie.

                                     SANTA
                         Up your ass.

               The guard chuckles.

                                     SECURITY GUARD
                         Have it your way, Willie.

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

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

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

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

               A large Teddy bear sits under a Christmas tree.

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - DOWNSTAIRS - NIGHT

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

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

               10... 9... 

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

               7... 6... 

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

               5... 4... 

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

               2... 

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

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SHIPPING AREA - NIGHT

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Ready.

               Marcus sneers at him as he lumbers past:

                                     MARCUS
                         Jesus.

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

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - NIGHT

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

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

               INT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - BACK OFFICES - NIGHT

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

                                     MARCUS
                         How's it goin'?

                                     WILLIE
                         I'm finished when I'm finished.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Got it.

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Fuck the loofah, let's go.

               EXT. MILWAUKEE DEPARTMENT STORE - SHIPPING DOCK - NIGHT 

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

               INT. VAN - NIGHT

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

                                     LOIS
                         Marcus, did you get the loofah?

                                     MARCUS
                         Drive.

               EXT. DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE STREET - NIGHT

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

                                                                  FADE OUT:

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

               INT. RATBAG APARTMENT - DAY

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!

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

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

               EXT. KEY BISCAYNE STREET - DAY

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

               EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY

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

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

               He seems dissatisfied until a brand new Cadillac chirps.

               Willie gets in and drives off.

               INT. CADILLAC - MOVING - DAY

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

               INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - HALLWAY - DAY

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

               INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - BATHROOM - DAY 

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

               INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - BATHROOM - MINUTES LATER 

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

               Nothing happens; no whoosh of rushing water.

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

               INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - STUDY - DAY

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

               INT. UPPER-CLASS HOME - MASTER BEDROOM - DAY

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

               A smile, and he pulls out a stethoscope.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               The safe door swings open to reveal stacks of cash.

               INT. STRIP BAR - NIGHT

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Goddamn it!

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah baby!

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

               INT. RATBAG APARTMENT - NIGHT

               Willie and the Stripper stagger into his apartment, drunk.

               As he passes his blinking answering machine:

                                     WILLIE
                         I got messages. Go wash yourself.

                                     STRIPPER
                         I'm a dancer, I sweat.

                                     WILLIE
                         Well you smell like a bum's nutsack.

                                     STRIPPER
                         Fuck you.

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah, yeah.

               As she exits, he activates the machine.

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

               Willie skips to the next message.

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

               Willie skips to the next message.

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

               Willie skips to the next message.

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DAY

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

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

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

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

               He pulls some Tic Tacs out of his pocket.

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - DAY

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

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

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

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

                                     HARRISON
                         Aw, forget it!

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

                                     HARRISON
                         ...Hacks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               Willie's reaction worries Marcus.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Performance. Like sexual?

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Excuse me?

                                     MARCUS
                         Willie no, he --

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Willie...

                                     CHIPESKA
                         I'm sorry. Your gear?

                                     WILLIE
                         You know... fuck stick.

                                     MARCUS
                         OKAY! We're gonna head upstairs now.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Such a card.

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

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

               A long, long, long silence.

                                     MARCUS
                         ...Joke.

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

               He is instantly composed.

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Merry Christmas! Santa's coming!

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         I don't like that guy.

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

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

               Willie just slumps there apologetically.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah, yeah.

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

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

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

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

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

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

                                     KID
                         Loser!

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

               The kid walks on, it seems without noticing.

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

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

                                     WILLIE
                         All right, wuddya want?

                                     HEAVYSET BOY
                         Nintendo Deer Hunter 3.

                                     WILLIE
                         Fine. Next.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         YOWWWCH! Watch the toenails willya?

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Wuddya want?

                                     LITTLE GIRL
                         ...Santa?

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

                                     LITTLE GIRL
                         Um... Barbie?

                                     WILLIE
                         Fine. Next.

               Marcus puts another young boy on his lap.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...What do you want?

                                     BOY
                         Fraggle-stick car.

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

               No one is next.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Next. Next!

               Still nothing.

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         It's okay. C'mon.

               The Kid stays put.

                                     MARCUS
                         What's your name?

               The Kid shakes his head meekly.

                                     MARCUS
                         ...You can tell me...

               No response.

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

               This penetrates the Kid's fear. He moves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     KID
                         It's not real.

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

                                     KID
                         How'd you get sick?

                                     WILLIE
                         I loved a woman who wasn't clean.

                                     KID
                         Mrs. Santa?

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

                                     KID
                         What's it like at the North Pole?

                                     WILLIE
                         Like the suburbs.

                                     KID
                         Which one?

                                     WILLIE
                         Apache Junction. What the fuck do 
                         you care?

               Willie shoves the Kid:

                                     WILLIE
                         Get the hell off my lap.

               The Kid backs away, looking at him.

                                     KID
                         You are really Santa, right?

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

                                     KID
                         Okay.

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

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

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

               EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - NIGHT

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

               The Kid follows from a safe distance.

               EXT. SAGUARO MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

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

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

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

               Willie motions to the Black Angus in the parking lot.

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         You tryin' to say something to me?

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

               INT. BLACK ANGUS BAR - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Well fu-uck you!

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

               Willie gears up for a swing.

                                     WILLIE
                         Up yours, yufff --

               A hand grabs his arm.

                                     VOICE (O.S.)
                         Don't.

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

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

               He stalks off.

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

                                     TROUBLEMAKER
                         WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT!?

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

                                     TROUBLEMAKER
                         ...This is not Flagstaff!

                                     SUE
                         Another Grandad, Santa?

                                     WILLIE
                         Yep.

               She pours him another and slams it on the bar.

                                     SUE
                         Got a name?

                                     WILLIE
                         Oh yeah.

               He pounds the drink.

               She waits. Nothing else is forthcoming.

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

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

                                     SUE
                         ...Another?

                                     WILLIE
                         Why not. Buy you one?

                                     SUE
                         Why not.

               She pours two. They both pound them back.

               Her statement is a question:

                                     SUE
                         ...Not a big talker.

                                     WILLIE
                         Nah.

                                     SUE
                         Buy you one?

                                     WILLIE
                         Why not.

               As she pours:

                                     SUE
                         You're pretty regular, for a Santa.

               He shrugs:

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

                                     SUE
                         Prove it.

               Willie stares at her.

                                     WILLIE
                         Which?

               INT. WILLIE'S CAR - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yes! Yes! Yes!

                                     SUE
                         Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!

               The hat is slipping askew. He reaches for it.

                                     WILLIE
                         At least lemme take off the hat!

                                     SUE
                         NO!

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT 

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

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

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

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

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

               She gets out of the car.

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

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

                                     SUE
                         ...Don't mothball that suit!

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

                                     TROUBLEMAKER
                         I AM NOT GAY!!

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

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

                                     TROUBLEMAKER
                         Buddy? I said, I am not gay!

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

               The man stares at him for a beat.

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

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

               Willie pulls back a fist.

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

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

                                     TROUBLEMAKER
                         Who is the bitch now, fat man?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         You.

               INT. WILLIE'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT 

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

                                     WILLIE
                         This one time I take you home.

                                     KID
                         Uh-huh.

                                     WILLIE
                         I'm not your fuckin' dada.

                                     KID
                         Uh-huh.

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

                                     KID
                         Uh-huh.

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

                                     KID
                         Uh-huh.

                                     WILLIE
                         Right height.

                                     KID
                         Yeah.

               Willie demonstrates with a sharp turn of his hand:

                                     WILLIE
                         Twist 'em.

                                     KID
                         Why do you need a car?

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Fuck you talkin' about?

                                     KID
                         This car.

                                     WILLIE
                         Whuh. Which turn is it?

                                     KID
                         Sage Terrace. Where's your sleigh?

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Repairs. In the shop.

                                     KID
                         Where're the reindeer?

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Next to the shop.

                                     KID
                         How do they sleep?

                                     WILLIE
                         Who -- the reindeer? Standing up.

                                     KID
                         But the noise, how do they sleep?

                                     WILLIE
                         What noise?

                                     KID
                         From the shop.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Not now. Now it's always day.

                                     KID
                         Then how do they sleep?

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

               He makes a hard left.

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

                                     KID
                         On my head?

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

                                     KID
                         How can they drop me onto my own 
                         head?

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

               EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

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

               Willie admires the surroundings.

                                     WILLIE
                         Nice digs. Daddy home?

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Exploring mountains? When's he coming 
                         back?

                                     KID
                         Next year.

                                     WILLIE
                         What about Mommy?

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Who the fuck takes care of you then?

                                     KID
                         Granma.

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

                                     KID
                         Granma.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Uh-huh. Is Granny spry?

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

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

               He watches as the senile old woman innocently putters away.

               He yanks off his mask and turns to the Kid.

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

               The Kid shakes his head.

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

               The Kid shakes his head.

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

                                     KID
                         Nuh-uh.

               This sinks in. Willie looks to the Kid.

                                     WILLIE
                         Daddy got a safe?

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - STUDY - NIGHT

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

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

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

               Nothing of value.

               He puts the folio back, grabs the cash.

                                     KID
                         You need money to fix your sleigh?

                                     WILLIE
                         Huh? Yeah, whateverthefuck...

                                     KID
                         You want milk and cookies?

               Willie bends down and faces the Kid with a smile.

                                     WILLIE
                         Daddy got a car?

               EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

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

                                     KID
                         Bye Santa!

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - NIGHT

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

               ANGLE ON:

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

                                     GIN
                         "Fuck stick"?

               Bob Chipeska sits opposite.

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

                                     GIN
                         Little friend?

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

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

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Ah, yes, right.

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

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

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

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

               They're coming from the dressing room area.

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

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

               A sign reads: "Three Times A Lady".

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

               He goes down a corridor of dressing rooms.

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

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

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

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - NIGHT

               Bob Chipeska holds up one hand.

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

                                     GIN
                         Right.

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

                                     GIN
                         Mm.

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Though I can't fire him for that.

                                     GIN
                         No.

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Sizisra. They'd say.

                                     GIN
                         Sure.

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

                                     GIN
                         Yeah, a big fuckin' fat one.

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

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

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

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

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

                                     GIN
                         Yeah. Yeah. I getcha.

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

                                     GIN
                         Oh shit yeah. There's always 
                         something.

               INT. SAGAURO SQUARE MALL - VIDEO ARCADE - NIGHT

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

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

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

               EXT. SAGOARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

               Willie and Marcus walk to their cars.

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

                                     WILLIE
                              (apologetic)
                         She said she was eighteen.

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

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

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

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         What the fuck is this?!

                                     WILLIE
                         Mind your own fucking business.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         You cocksucker!

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

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

               EXT. RESIDENCE MOTEL - NIGHT

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

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

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

               Someone inside is rifling the room.

               Willie hisses at a nearby hooker:

                                     WILLIE
                         Opal, come here.

               Opal looks at him with disdain.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         No, not that -- come here!

               Reluctantly, she sidles over.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Ah fuck.

               INT. MARCUS' APARTMENT - NIGHT

               Marcus is on the phone with Willie.

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

                                                                  INTERCUT:

               EXT. RESIDENCE MOTEL - NIGHT

               Willie is at a pay phone.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Is there anything in the room? 
                         Anything professional?

                                     WILLIE
                         No. Clothes.

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

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

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

                                     KID
                         Santa!

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah.

                                     KID
                         You're bringing my present early?

                                     WILLIE
                         NO.

                                     KID
                         But I never told you what I wanted.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah, well...

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

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

                                     KID
                         Okay.

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

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

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

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

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

                                     KID
                         Do you and Mrs. Santa have kids?

                                     WILLIE
                         No. Thank the fuck Christ.

                                     KID
                         What about the elves?

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

                                     KID
                         What about the reindeer?

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

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

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

               Finally:

                                     KID
                         ...What're their names?

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

               From under his washcloth:

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Who?

                                     KID
                         The elves.

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

                                     KID
                         That's the Seven Dwarves.

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

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

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

               The Kid looks at him, unperturbed.

                                     KID
                         -- How old are they?

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

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

                                     KID
                         You want cookies?

                                     WILLIE
                         No.

                                     KID
                         Warm milk?

                                     WILLIE
                         No.

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

                                     KID
                         Should I fix you some sandwiches?

                                     WILLIE
                         What is with the fixing sandwiches? 
                         No.

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

                                     KID
                         Okay. You want anything else?

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

                                     KID
                         Okay.

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

               A long beat.

               The ragged breath of drunken sleep.

                                     KID
                         Okay.

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

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

                                     SALESWOMAN
                         Can I help you, ma'am?

                                     LOIS
                         Just looking.

               Across the store, she spies the jewelry counter.

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

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

                                     SALESMAN
                         Help you with anything, ma'am?

               Without bothering to look up:

                                     LOIS
                         Just looking.

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

               INT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - FOOD COURT - NIGHT

               Willie and Marcus nosh on food-court Gyros.

                                     WILLIE
                         Fuck me? Fuck you!

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         You said that last night you stupid 
                         fuck!

                                     WILLIE
                         Ah, shit! Fuck you!

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

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

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

               Marcus thinks a moment.

                                     MARCUS
                         You fuck her?

                                     WILLIE
                         Jesus! Why is everything sex with 
                         you?

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah? Well... fuck you.

               Marcus and Lois get up to leave.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               The silence is deafening. Endless.

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

                                     KID
                         King me.

               Willie stares at the board for a long beat.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         FUCK YOU! YOU FUCKING CHEATER!

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

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

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

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

               Later. The kid lies in bed, sleeping peacefully.

               Distant sounds of the slosh of water.

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

               Churning water.

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

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

                                     SUE
                         YES! YES! YES SANTA YES!

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

               Two tall water glasses are set down on a sideboard.

                                     WILLIE (O.S.)
                         Refill?

                                     SUE (O.S.)
                         Mm.

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         It's okay. Just renting.

               Sue accepts her refilled glass and sits on the sofa.

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

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

                                     SUE
                         ...How long you gonna be here?

                                     WILLIE
                         Through the holidays.

               Sue flips the checker away.

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

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

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

               He sways, looking at her.

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

               Blearily she gazes back. After a moment:

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

               He leans down to kiss her.

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  FADE OUT:

               Faintly, distantly, a blood-curdling scream.

               FADE IN:

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Whuh...

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         What the...

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

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

               Willie follows.

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING

               Willie enters.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         What the fuck did you do?

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

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

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

                                     KID
                         ...I cut myself by mistake.

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Well fuck.

               He calls after the boy, sincerely trying to help:

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

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - MORNING

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

                                     MARCUS
                         You're late.

               VAN DOORS

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

               Willie wears a forbearing smile:

                                     WILLIE
                         Kids, lemmme tell ya...

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...They'll run ya ragged.

               Marcus stares.

               EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - MORNING

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

                                     JESSE
                         Morning boys.

                                     MARCUS
                         Morning Jesse.

                                     JESSE
                              (to Willie)
                         Ho! Ho! Ho!

               Willie pants under the weight of his bag:

                                     WILLIE
                         Up your ass.

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - MORNING

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

               Willie drops the bag with a loud thud.

                                     WILLIE
                         GOD dammit!

                                     MARCUS
                         You tear your ball again?

                                     WILLIE
                         No, it's okay.

               Together they unload the extremely heavy gifts.

                                     MARCUS
                         Let's do the other thing.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         There.

               Willie crouches and Marcus climbs on his shoulders.

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - DAY

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICES - DAY

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

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

               Suddenly, the sounds stop. Everyone returns to work.

               Then...

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

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

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

               EXT. ELECTRONICS STORE - DAY

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

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

               EXT. ARIZONA STATE PRISON - DAY

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

               INT. PRISON - WAITING ROOM - DAY

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

                                     GUARD
                         Alright Gin, come on.

               INT. PRISON - VISITORS' ROOM - DAY

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

                                     PRISONER
                         Who are you?

                                     GIN
                         Your name Roger Merman?

                                     PRISONER
                         Yes, but --

                                     GIN
                         Doing three-to-six for embezzlement?

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

                                     GIN
                         You live at 41 Sage Terrace?

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

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

               The man is bewildered:

                                     PRISONER
                         ...House guests?

                                     GIN
                         Thanks much for your time. God bless.

               He gets up and walks away.

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - SECURITY OFFICE - DAY

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

                                     GIN
                         Well, it's fucked.

                                     CHIPESKA
                              (hopeful)
                         ...Yeah?

                                     GIN
                         Yeah. Fucked. Frankly.

                                     CHIPESKA
                         He's...

                                     GIN
                         Clean.

                                     CHIPESKA
                              (disappointed)
                         Oh.

                                     GIN
                         As a fuckin' whistle.

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Nothing?

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

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Oh.

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

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Yeah.

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

                                     CHIPESKA
                         NO.

                                     GIN
                         Wouldn't want to.

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

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

                                     CHIPESKA
                         Yes.

               Gin turns one palm up.

                                     GIN
                         Fucks large women. What can I say.

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - DAY

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

                                     VOICES
                         Loser! Dipshit!

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

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

                                     VOICE
                         Wedgie!

               Cheering, the six bullies engulf the kid.

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY 

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

                                     CHILD
                         Pokemon.

                                     WILLIE
                         Done.

                                     MARCUS
                         Next!

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

                                     KID
                         Santa here?

                                     MARCUS
                         Oh jeez.

               Marcus unclips the rope and the Kid approaches Willie.

                                     WILLIE
                         Is that your underwear?

                                     KID
                         Part of it.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         What.

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

               Willie stares at him.

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

                                     KID
                         He make it all better?

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

                                     KID
                         You went bathroom on Mommy's dishes?

                                     WILLIE
                         What the fuck? No.

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

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

                                     KID
                         Uh-huh...

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

                                     KID
                         'Kay. Thanks, Santa.

                                     WILLIE
                         Okay, go ahead...

               He slaps the Kid paternally on the ass.

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

                                     KID
                         'Kay...

               As the Kid putters away:

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         What gives? Where's the grandson?

                                     GIN
                         Open the rope there, Marcus.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         I know you?

                                     GIN
                         Not yet.

               Willie is irked by the arrival of an adult:

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

                                     GIN
                         Act natural.

                                     WILLIE
                         Huh? What?

               Gin sits on Willie's knee.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...What the fuck?!

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

               INT. BLACK ANGUS BAR - NIGHT

               Willie, Marcus and Gin sit in a booth.

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

                                     MARCUS
                              (sighs)
                         How much?

                                     GIN
                         Half.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Now you listen here, you --

               Marcus pulls him off.

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

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

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

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         I meant thirty-three.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         And a third.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Thirty-five.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Forty.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Forty-two?

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Forty-two five.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Fooooooorty... eight.

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Forty-nine?

                                     GIN
                         Half.

                                     MARCUS
                         Well...

               Marcus sighs.

                                     MARCUS
                         ...what's one point.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         No! Money's one thing, but --

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Pricks ficks?

                                     MARCUS
                         Ah, he's a fuckin' moron.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Fuck you.

                                     WILLIE
                         Negotiating.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah, and I can get another midget.

               Marcus turns to Willie:

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah, yeah.

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

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

               Willie drags his ass through the front door, dejected.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Ah, fuck it.

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - GARAGE - NIGHT

               IN C.U. CAMERA MOVES ALONG

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

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

               After a long beat, we hear a door opening.

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

                                     KID
                         ...Santa?

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah.

                                     KID
                         What're you doing?

                                     WILLIE
                         Ah, nothin'.

                                     KID
                         You goin' to work today?

                                     WILLIE
                         Not really.

                                     KID
                         You just gonna sit there?

                                     WILLIE
                         Yeah. Lemme alone.

               The Kid turns to go. Willie bestirs himself:

                                     WILLIE
                         -- Kid.

                                     KID
                         Yeah.

               Willie beckons him.

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

               He displays an envelope.

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

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

                                     KID
                         Umm...

                                     WILLIE
                         Well goddamnit...

               EXT. HILL NEAR SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - DAY

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

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

               Finally one in the foreground remarks:

                                     KID
                         I didn't know he did that.

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - LOCKER ROOM -DAY

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

                                     WILLIE
                         I think I've turned a corner.

                                     MARCUS
                              (absent)
                         Yeah? You fucking Petites now?

               Willie, dreamy, refuses to take the bait:

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

               Marcus stares at him.

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

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

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

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

                                     LOIS
                         Just looking...

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NIGHT

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Hello?

               Nothing.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Granma?

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

               Willie finds Grandma in her chair, not moving.

                                     WILLIE
                         Granma...

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Oh jeez.

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

                                     SUE
                         Oh my God...

                                     GRANDMA
                         Roger!

               Willie jumps and screams like a girl.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                              (holding his chest)
                         No thanks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               The Kid stands there, hands behind his back.

                                     SUE
                              (lifting her head up)
                         Hello little boy.

                                     KID
                         Hello. Santa?

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Yes?

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

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                              (mumble)
                         What the fuck is it?

                                     KID
                         A wooden pickle.

               Willie stares at it.

                                     WILLIE
                         Why'd you paint it brown?

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

               Willie stares at it.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Thanks.

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

               He leaves.

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

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

               She goes back to grabbing him passionately.

               Willie has trouble speaking.

                                     WILLIE
                         Hold on a minute.

                                     SUE
                         What?

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

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

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

               Sue hugs him and strokes his hair.

                                     SUE
                         That's okay. That's okay.

               Willie abjectly bawls:

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

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

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING

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

               He fumbles in the refrigerator for some orange juice.

               The Kid comes up behind him clutching a document.

                                     KID
                         SANTA!

               Willie jumps with a start.

                                     KID
                         You wanna see my report card?

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

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

                                     KID
                         Think I did good?

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

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

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

                                     KID
                         Yeah.

                                     WILLIE
                              (incredulous)
                         Thurman Merman?!

                                     KID
                         Yeah.

                                     WILLIE
                         Jesus.

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

               Willie does not want to engage.

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

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

               This is a lot for Willie to hear.

                                     WILLIE
                         Oh...

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

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

               Pause.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Oh...

               An uncomfortable silence. Willie is most uncomfortable.

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, I GOTTA GO TO 
                         WORK!

               Willie runs out of the room very upset,

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - FOYER - MORNING

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DAY

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

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         No.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         You fuckin' spic!

               Children scream in horror as mothers cover their eyes.

               Gin enters the Wonderland and takes in the spectacle.

                                     GIN
                         Sweet Jews for Jesus...

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                              (sobbing)
                         I pissed my pants!

               Marcus pounces on him.

                                     MARCUS
                         You son of a bitch!

               Gin pulls Marcus off.

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

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

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

                                     GIN
                         Take him to his car.

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

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

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

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

                                     GIN
                         Bitch, bitch.

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

                                     GIN
                         What did you call me, thigh-high?

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

                                     GIN
                         I could stick you up my ass, smallfry.

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

                                     GIN
                         You got some lip on you, midget.

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

               INT. MARCUS' VAN - PARKING LOT - DUSK

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - DUSK

               WILLIE sleeps it off behind a flimsy cardboard set.

               INT. MARCUS' VAN - PARKING LOT - DUSK

               Marcus and Lois continue their stake-out.

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

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

               EXT. QUIET ROAD - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                     GIN
                         Jesus Christ, give me those!

                                     MARCUS
                         Thanks.

               Gin attaches the cables.

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

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

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

               ANGLE PROM INSIDE VAN (SLOW MOTION):

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

               A cloud of cigarette smoke escapes his lips.

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

               ANGLE ON: the tires spinning in the gravel.

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Oh my, what a terrible accident!

                                     LOIS
                         Is he dead?

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

               Then, leaning down to Gin.

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

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                              (shaking his head in 
                              dismay)
                         Motherfuck!

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Shit!

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Put it in reverse.

               ANGLE ON: shift level moving into REVERSE.

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

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

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - NEXT DAY

               CLOSE-UP: A large bubble gum bubble pops.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         'Tendo it is.

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

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

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

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

               Willie continues to stare, head swaying.

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         ...Lovely boy.

               INT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - NIGHT

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERAIN'S - WINTER WONDERLAND - NIGHT

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Barbie it is...

               Willie turns to Marcus.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...That it?

               Marcus moves the backdrop to reveal the air vent.

                                     MARCUS
                         Let's go.

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

                                     MARCUS
                         ...Oh Christ.

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MAIN FLOOR - NIGHT

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

               Exhausted employees file out of the store past Jesse.

               Eventually Willie emerges.

                                     JESSE
                         Merry Christmas, Willie.

                                     WILLIE
                         Up your ass.

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - CUSTOMER SERVICE OFFICES - NIGHT

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S ENTRANCE - NIGHT

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - NIGHT

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAN'S - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - NIGHT

               The huge bank of VCRs powers down.

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S ENTRANCE - NIGHT

               ALARM BOX

               19... 18... 

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCT - NIGHT

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

                                     MARCUS
                         All right...

               He dives down the duct.

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - AIR DUCTS - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

               scream grows louder until --

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

               -- Marcus drops from the duct.

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

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

               7... 6...

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

               5... 4... 

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

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

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

               3... 2... 

               He runs up the ramp and --

               1... 

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - OFFICES - NIGHT

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - ACCOUNTING OFFICE - NIGHT

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Oh shit...

                                     MARCUS
                         What? What-What-WHAT-WHAT?

                                     WILLIE
                         It's a Kitnerboy Redoubt.

                                     MARCUS
                         So?

               Willie stares at the safe.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...You know Andy Pitts?

                                     MARCUS
                         Yeah, Andy Pizzarelli?

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

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Yeah? YEAH?

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

               He nods at the safe.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...cannot be cracked.

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

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - MONTAGE - NIGHT

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

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

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

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

               Willie applies the drill to the safe.

               Marcus makes his way through Lingerie.

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

               Marcus is in Shoes picking out pumps for Lois.

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

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

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

               Marcus continues to leap at the mannequin.

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

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

               Willie uses a plasma welder on the safe.

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

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

               Marcus is in Housewares pilfering crock pots.

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

               Marcus is in Home Entertainment grabbing a stereo.

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

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

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

               Marcus enters the room. Willie looks at him.

                                     WILLIE
                         Piece of cake.

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

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

               INT. CHAMBERLAN'S - TOY DEPT. - NIGHT

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Shit... which did he say?

               The hand finally leaves with the purple elephant.

               We hold for a long beat.

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

               Willie turns around holding the stuffed elephant.

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

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

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Store dick don't want shit.

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

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

               He pauses, searching.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...greedier than fuck.

               Marcus and Lois are statues, staring at him.

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

               A long silence.

                                     MARCUS
                         ...Fuck the fuckin' store dick.

               Willie's tone is wooden:

                                     WILLIE
                         Dead, huh...

               Again, he licks his lips.

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

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

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Uh-huh.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Sure. The three B'a.

                                     MARCUS
                         You gotta be able to rely, Willie.

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

                                     WILLIE
                         You're monsters.

               Marcus points the gun.

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

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

               Marcus sneers:

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

               A silence.

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

               Marcus sighs.

                                     MARCUS
                         Good-bye, Willie.

               He aims. Willie squeezes his eyes shut.

               From nowhere:

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

                                     MARCUS
                         Huh? !

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

               Police everywhere.

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

               Willie stares. Marcus looks wildly around.

                                     MARCUS
                         ...Where did you come from?

                                     CHIEF
                         Tipped off.

                                     WILLIE
                         Shit!

               CAMERA TRACKS IN ON HIS FACE

               Willie slaps his forehead.

                                     WILLIE
                         ...Fuckin' kid!

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

                                     LOIS
                         Gevalt.

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

               BANG! BANG! BANG!

               His .45 roars.

               The cops return fire.

                                     WILLIE
                         Fuck me...

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

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

               Gunfire fills the air.

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

               Under the gunfire we hear Marcus's maniacal laughter.

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

               EXT. CHAMBERLAIN'S - LOADING DOCK - NIGHT

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

               EXT. SAGUARO SQUARE MALL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

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

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

               INT. MERCEDES - MOVING - NIGHT

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

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

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

               EXT. THE KID'S HOUSE - NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

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

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

                                     MEGAPHONE VOICE
                         Halt, put your hands up!

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

                                     WILLIE
                         Up your ass!

               He bounds up the stoop.

                                     POLICE VOICE
                         All right, boys -- nail him!

               A ripple of gunfire.

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

               NEARBY WINDOW

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

               HIS HIGH POV:

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

               The six year old draws in his breath and SCREAMS.

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

               Somewhere, a neighborhood dog barks.

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

                                     COP
                         Somebody put a zipper on those fuckin' 
                         kids!

                                                                  FADE OUT:

               INT. THE KID'S HOUSE - DAY

               After a long beat, Willie's voice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               We go out the front door...

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

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

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

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

                                                                  FADE OUT:

                                         THE END

Bad Santa



Writers :   Glenn Ficarra  John Requa
Genres :   Comedy  Crime


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