WHO'S YOUR DADDY
Maria Veltre & Jack Sekowski
EXT. ABOVE THE CLOUDS - DAY
We fly high above heavenly clouds. Beneath a brilliant blue
sky. A TEENAGED BOY'S VOICE greets us...
TED NELSON (V.O.)
On any given day, your life can
change in the blink of an eye.
It's a cliché, I know...
Descending through the clouds, we are caught for a moment in
a dreamy gauze. We emerge to find ourselves gliding above a
small town. Descending lower. And lower. To Xenia, Ohio.
...But a lot of clichés get to be
clichés because they're true. Your
life CAN change in the blink of an
eye. What I mean is, one day
you're a regular chump, a wannabe
something. You're not even totally
sure WHAT you wannabe...
We pass over the town square. A fine spring day in middle
America. Red brick buildings with names like "Miller & Son
Drugs," "Two Sisters Gifts," "Nelson Family Market." You
can almost smell the rosy cheeks and moral fiber.
TED (V.O.) (CONT'D)
...The next day the doorbell rings
and some stranger's holding your
ticket to being SOMEBODY.
Still flying over the town, we focus on a TEENAGED BOY on a
Schwinn. We follow as he pedals his way to...
TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL
A three story building. Older, brick, sturdy. Meticulously
It happens every day. Dreams come
true. And not just for those dim
witted chain-smoking hillbillies
you see on TV. You know, the ones
who win the Super Lotto and spend
their fortune on a truck full of
Goobers and a new set of front
teeth. It could happen to any guy,
any time...even ME.
EXT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
A JANITOR raises the American flag. It flaps proudly as the
teenager chains his bike to a bike rack.
He glances up at the flag, which is reflected in his uber-hip
sunglasses. When he smiles, in SLOW MO, his teeth seem to
Uh, that's not me. I'm over here.
We SWISH PAN to another teenager, locking his bike. Meet our
much less glamorous hero: TED NELSON, 17. A decent looking
kid. Not hip enough to be cool. Not square enough to be
tormented. He joins the other KIDS heading into the school.
TED (V.O.) (CONT'D)
You're disappointed, I know. I
admit, I was hopeless back then.
The 'do, the shades, ugh. But I
always had good taste in women.
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - CORRIDOR - DAY
CHRISTY MALONE, 17, fills her cheerleader uniform in all the
right places. We watch her at her locker. Also in SLOW MO.
Which makes even her most mundane task seem graceful. Wow,
just look at her stack those books.
That's Christy Malone. Head
cheerleader, love of my life, lust
of my loins.
Christy glances off screen and SQUEALS excitedly. Another
cheerleader enters the frame, holding a newspaper called
"EXPOSED!" Christy reads the headline.
"Health Teacher Flunks Her Own
Lesson!" No WAY! It's Miss Pratt,
smoking a doobie!
Christy calls to Ted....
Look at this, Ted! Imagine if we
did THIS in the school paper!
She shows him "Exposed!" Ted gawks. Happy just to be this
close to Christy. But they are quickly interrupted by...
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (O.S.)
Hand them over! Immediately!
PRINCIPAL RICHARD MERKIN, mid-50's, marches down the hallway,
seizing copies of "EXPOSED!" from students' hands. We can see
that it is a "homemade" looking newspaper. And there's
obviously much ado about it. Christy winks at Ted as she
hides the newspaper in her locker.
FREEZE FRAME ON Christy, WINKING.
Look at that smile. That wink.
That's no platonic wink. That's a
wink that says, "I don't just want
you, Ted. I NEED you." So of course
I had to ask her to the prom. I
mean, she was practically begging
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - NEWSROOM - DAY
Ted ambles toward Christy. Struggling for nonchalance. She
limbers up by stretching her leg high against the wall. She
whispers to another CHEERLEADER. They giggle. Then Christy
turns to Ted. Flashing that perfect smile of hers.
Just the guy I've been looking for.
Ted wipes his sweaty palms on his jeans...
I've been looking for you, too.
Christy continues stretching. Driving Ted crazy with her
Wouldn't it be awesome if we were
about to say the exact same thing?
From your lips, to God's ears.
You go first.
Ladies first. I insist.
Well. The prom's coming up.
And I was wondering.
If you don't have...I mean...
She looks up at him with gorgeous blue eyes. Then blurts...
Teddy? Would you please please
please take me to the prom?
SHUT UP! Are you serious? Of
course I will...of course.
Christy joyously jumps into Ted's arms. Wrapping her legs
around him in a passionate embrace. The entire room
You are the most wonderful guy in
the whole wide world, and I love
you madly, Teddy Nelson!
And just as she's about to plant one right on his lips...
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. TED'S OFFICE - NEWSROOM - DAY
The shrill ringing of a TORNADO DRILL ALARM snaps Ted out of
his reverie. A large glass window separates Ted's EDITOR-IN
CHIEF office from the rest of the school newsroom. We
realize now that Ted has only been gazing through the window
at Christy, watching her stretch those gorgeous limbs of
Sorry about that. A cheap trick, I
know. But it's my story and my
fantasy. So cut me some slack.
He follows the other students to...
INT. CORRIDOR - TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Ted joins his schoolmates, lining up on both sides of the
hallway. Far from any windows. They all know the drill.
Christy's just across the hall from Ted. He can't take his
eyes off of her.
CHARLIE DUKE, 17, approaches Ted. He's got a camera around
his neck and so much confidence, it's a wonder he can balance
his head on his shoulders.
Come on, bro. Spare yourself the
humiliation, the degradation...
You and your pep talks.
Don't get me wrong. We can salivate
over all the Christy Malones of our
lives. Wishing we could devour them
like melt-in-your-mouth filet
mignon. But we're strictly
hamburger guys. Ground chuck, sixty
eight percent lean, is about the
best we can hope for.
FREEZE FRAME ON CHARLIE.
That's Charlie. My best friend.
He's into beef analogies, partly
because he's a butcher's son, and
partly because, well, he's just
into beef analogies. What can I
say? He's also a photographer...
INT. BASKETBALL COURT - TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Charlie kneels by the sidelines. Shooting cheerleaders with
his Nikon and an obscenely long lens.
...a very gifted photographer.
THROUGH CHARLIE'S LENS:
A cheerleader's ripe buttocks, peeking out from beneath a
short pleated skirt. As she kicks and jumps, her little red
panties wedge themselves firmly between her cheeks. The
camera skillfully tracks her movements, waiting until...
The cheerleader's hand comes down. In SLOW MO, her finger
slips under her panties and tugs on the fabric, pulling it
over her cheeks. Charlie's motor drive whirls.
RAPID STILL SHOTS OF THE CHEERLEADER'S BOTTOM
The senior class voted him, "Most
Likely To Have A Restraining Order
Filed Against Him." But that's
BACK TO CORRIDOR
Ted and Charlie lean against the wall.
I genuinely think she wants me. I
feel a vibe.
That vibe is from your wrist, pal.
You've been over-tenderizing your
Christy catches Ted's eye and smiles a perfect smile.
See? Did you see that?
She smiles at everyone, Ted. She's
like a newborn with gas.
Charlie secretly shows Ted a nudie magazine. "HEAVEN." A
GORGEOUS WOMAN with perfect breasts graces the cover. A
golden halo over her head. Charlie flips it open. Points to
The only chick more untouchable
than Christy Malone is Miss April.
"Hi, my name's Ginger. I love tofu
burgers, rainy nights, and riding
bareback. My biggest turn-off is
cell phones during sex." Here's a
tip: set it on VIBRATE, honey, and
don't be stingy with the lube.
(winking at Ted)
Don't knock it till you tried it.
Were you always this sick?
One thing for sure, Christy Malone
ain't lookin THAT good naked.
Ted takes a peek at Ginger. Then at Christy.
Someday, I'll find out.
You have a better chance of being
hit by a Mack truck with a
refrigerated cargo bed full of
Ted grabs the magazine and flips through more pages.
Beautiful, naked women. Palm trees. Blue skies. Bubbling
Jacuzzis. Red Ferraris. The stuff that fantasies are made of.
Ted looks determined...
I defy your hamburger theory of
life, and all of the unfulfilled
hopes and dreams it represents.
That's crazy talk.
I defy any and all limits.
Charlie can see the look in Ted's eyes. He's about to do
something bold and daring. Something he'll regret.
Don't do it, Ted. Don't do it.
(walking away; defiantly)
Any time, any day, a man can
completely reinvent himself.
Ted starts to walk across the corridor, ignoring Charlie...
I'm warning you. This is an
official warning. Danger, Will
A quietly attractive teenaged girl, JULIE CONROY, watches
Ted. She seems concerned, too.
There's one more person you should
meet. Someone integral to my story.
FREEZE FRAME ON JULIE.
That's Julie Conroy. Unlike the
rest of these losers, she didn't
grow up in Xenia, Ohio. I just met
her that day. But already, she had
made a difference in my life.
INT. TEACHER'S LOUNGE - TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Teachers mill around. Chatting. Snacking on donuts, coffee.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN bursts in, spilling a stack of "EXPOSED!"
onto a table. Everyone freezes.
Oh, Miss Pratt, Miss Pratt! What
were you thinking? How could you
be so careless?
"Exposing Hypocrisy in the Morons
who Teach Us." That's the little
The teachers turn to MISS PRATT. We recognize her from the
cover of "EXPOSED!"
Principal Merkin, I realize we have
to teach the children that
recreational drugs are the devil's
work, but that doesn't mean we
don't dance with the Prince of
Darkness ourselves, every now and
Ah, well, bravo! That's just what
we'll tell the school board.
Suddenly, an AIR VENT pops open and CRASHES on top of a
coffee machine. THE WHOLE ROOM, IN SHOCKED SILENCE, turns to
JULIE, her head framed by the air duct. She holds a digital
camera in her hand. Her expression says: "Oh, shit."
Principal Merkin narrows his eyes at the "little bastard" who
has been making his life hell.
INT. TED'S OFFICE - NEWSROOM - DAY
Julie sits in a chair in front of Ted's desk. She and Ted
size up one another.
Merk's punishment was cruel.
Expulsion without appeal. Or
working for me on the school paper.
The school paper would be torture
for a gonzo reporter like Julie and
we both knew it. But what choice
did she have?
Julie leans back on the chair, rests her feet on Ted's files,
and blows a huge bubble.
So, William Randolph. Your last big
scoop contrasted the popularity of
Rice Crispie Treats and chocolate
Snickerdoodles at the annual bake
That's just one example. My
reporting has made a difference.
Let me guess: retail sales of
little chocolate sprinkles have
gone through the roof!
The school dumpsters used to
overflow to the point where the
stench was unbearable. My award
winning exposé changed all that.
The city added an extra weekday
Is it true? Is ignorance bliss?
Look, I loved "Exposed!" and I hate
it that you got busted. I know the
school paper sucks in comparison,
but it's really not THAT BAD.
Ted's eyes wander to Christy, who prances around the
newsroom. Julie notices.
Don't even tell me you're hot for
Miss Titty Pom Poms over there.
Christy's a very talented
journalist. I see a Pulitzer in her
I didn't know they gave them for
Best Lip Gloss Retention During a
Go ahead. Ask her to the prom. Get
it over with.
I have absolutely no intention--
--Do it. I triple-dog-dare you.
BACK TO CORRIDOR
Ted nears Christy. Students stare as he passes. They elbow
one another. Whispering.
So you see, this is really about a
triple-dog-dare. I don't even know
what it means. I just know, unless
it's a felony, a triple-dog-dare
pretty much has to be met with
Ted seems unaware that all eyes are upon him. The cacophony
of the corridor settles. He gets down on one knee in front
Christy looks down on Ted. Smiles that smile. Which freezes
as her eyes dart. Realizing that everyone is staring at them
with great anticipation.
Uh, Christy, I was wondering...
WOULD YOU GO TO THE PROM WITH
The corridor explodes with LAUGHTER. Ted flushes with
embarrassment. Christy looks mortified.
(through gritted teeth)
Ted, have you lost your mind?
You like me. I like you. I guess
it's pretty obvious to everyone.
I don't LIKE you. We're JUST
But that smile.
Oh, Ted, DUH. I smile at everyone
since I got my braces off.
So you'll think about it?
Christy laughs derisively.
You really don't get it, do you? I
am genetically programmed to desire
a big, buff, manly man who can
defend and provide for me and my
yet to be conceived offspring!
It's, like, a caveman thing!
So that's a maybe?
The answer is NEVER, Ted, NEVER.
Except maybe in your dreams.
Christy flees. Leaving Ted kneeling there. Alone. Unless you
count the hoards of STUDENTS who are watching and LAUGHING
In my dreams. Of course.
This is a dream. This is only a
Julie approaches. Gives him a hand. Helps him up.
No, Ted. This is an actual
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - MEN'S ROOM - DAY
Ted pukes in the sink.
I tried to warn you, William
Randolph. She's got stiletto heels
hidden in those Keds.
But you triple-dog-dared me.
It was for your own good, in a
twisted sort of publicly
One word, my friend. One word.
Ted lifts his head. Looks in the mirror. Distraught.
There's gotta be more to life than
INT. THE NELSON KITCHEN - EVENING
Not a hair above middle class. Home sweet home nonetheless.
Dinner in progress. MOM, DAD, Ted, younger brother, JIMMY. A
mutt named CORKY curled under the table. A storm brews.
Lightning in the distance. Thunder RUMBLES.
Ted's Mom observes her son with unmistakable Mom-radar. She
slides a slab of - rotten timing! - MEAT LOAF onto his plate
with an unpleasant thud. Ted shudders...
If I never eat another bite of meat
loaf again, it'll be too soon.
Ted's Mom frowns. Jimmy explains matter-of-factly.
Mom, Dad. Meatloaf has come to
represent all that Ted hates about
his mediocre life and the world we
live in. He's what you'd call
Why can't we have pot roast or
stroganoff or even a little London
broil? I mean, for god's sake, we
own a grocery store!
Ted's parents look at one another, shake their heads. His Dad
We heard about Christy, son.
Jimmy tries to stifle a grin.
What is this? Does everybody know
everything I'm about to say or do
every freakin' minute of the day?
No cursing in this house, young
man. Use the strong vocabulary God
I don't have a shred of privacy in
this whole stupid town!
We understand your disappointment,
Teddy. Christy is a pretty, sexy,
We...uh...we understand your
It's my private business! Mine!
Can the tantrum, sweet pea. We're
the good guys, remember?
Mom, Dad. Don't allow this
disturbing behavior to furrow your
collective brow. Ted's just
experiencing some post-adolescent
turmoil, coming to terms with the
whole "small town dynamic."
I hate Xenia! I hate my life!
Ted charges for the front door...
TED (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And until that moment, this was the
worst day of my seventeen and a
half years. And then it happened.
Three, two, one...
EXT. NELSON HOUSE - EVENING
Ted bursts outside and plows straight into MARTY ZUKERMAN, a
short, rotund man in his mid-50s.
Whoa! Sorry, mister.
Zukerman's briefcase and papers are knocked to the ground.
Ted helps to retrieve them.
In a hurry, are we?
I was in the middle of a
melodramatic exit. It wouldn't
really make a statement if I
tiptoed out the door...What are you
People pay good money for that?
I'm just a messenger.
Ted starts to back away. Instinctively knowing the bad news
must be for him.
Oh no. No way. I've had all the bad
news I can take for one day.
It's about your parents.
Ted stops. Puzzled.
My parents? What do you mean?
I'm terrible at this. I blurt. I'm
a blurter. Your parents...They
...well...they exist no further.
(off Ted's confusion)
Skinny-dipping. The Amazon.
Piranhas. It wasn't pretty.
You've got the wrong guy. The
closest my parents have been to the
Amazon is the Brazilian pavilion at
Well kid, I'm speaking of...your
INT. NELSON LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Ted sits on the couch, bewildered. Dad beside him. Mom pours
coffee in her best china. Zukerman regards a wall of family
photos as he takes a sip.
The will reading is next Tuesday.
Naturally all of Ted's expenses
will be taken care of.
Ted's parents look worried. Mom reminds Dad...
We have a truckload of strawberries
arriving on Tuesday morning.
(explaining to Zukerman)
We own a small family grocery
It's spring break. I don't want to
go to a will reading.
That's part of growing up, honey.
What? Having spring break ruined by
You know what your mother means.
All right, I can give you two
tickets, prepaid, but you must be
there. There's no other way.
Mom, Dad. Allow me to accompany
Ted. I can assure you, I'll be the
level-headed sidekick to your angst
I think Ted should take someone
older, more responsible.
What about Charlie? You boys could
make it a little adventure.
Charlie, at a will reading? What
did I do to deserve this?
Lightning strikes again. Thunder rumbles a second later.
The lights flicker. And it's PITCH BLACK.
INT. TED'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Candles light the dark room. Rain pours hard outside.
Journalism mementos all over Ted's walls. News clippings.
Magazine covers. There's even a faux Pulitzer, a Christmas
gift from his parents.
Ted's Dad sits on the edge of his bed.
I remember spring break of my
senior year. Seems like a lifetime
Grandpa was so strong back then.
Working from the crack of dawn. So
proud of his peaches.
Remember how you struggled through
that whole facts of life talk and
then found out I knew more than
You're way ahead of me again?
It was the year of the rhizopus
rot. Grandpa almost lost the farm.
You sacrificed your dream to go to
the prize hog festival. And in the
end you saved the peaches and you
didn't have to slaughter your sow.
The lesson being?
Sometimes you have to do stuff you
don't want to do. It's all part of
growing up. And it usually works
out peachy in the end.
I'm getting so good at this.
Dad chuckles, but Ted's still moping.
You guys are my parents.
Of course we are.
They didn't want me when I was
born. Why should I care...
...if they're dead.
Well, why should I?
They had a rough life. Your father
was a bouncer.
Your mother was, well, a two-bit
stripper. There was no place for a
They did do one great thing. They
gave us our boy.
Be a sport. How bad could spring
break in Los Angeles be?
I guess we could go to Disneyland
Think of it as a rite of passage to
Like one of those "National
Geographic" specials with the
Whatever helps you cope.
I guess it's better than having
tribal patterns carved in my face.
There ya go. Always remember, focus
on the peach...
...not the pit.
Ted's Dad hugs him briefly, laughing...
Always one step ahead of your dear
EXT. LAX - DAY
A 747 lands screaming on the runway.
INT. LAX - DAY
Ted and Charlie exit the plane. They walk tentatively through
the sleeve towards the entry gate.
I wonder if this is what it feels
like to be born?
Ted gives him a look.
Think about it...Long tunnel,
bright lights, it's full of vaginal
Poor Freud, turning in his grave.
Seriously, it's like we're being
reborn. We really could reinvent
ourselves here, just like you said.
Nobody knows about your massive
Nobody knows about your mental
Nobody knows you barfed during
junior high school graduation.
Nobody knows about your constant
And nobody knows you're a virgin!
(after a beat)
Aw, who are we kidding...
Charlie's words echo loudly through the sleeve...
...EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU'RE A VIRGIN!
People stare at Ted as they pass.
I think I'll reinvent a new best
INT. LAX - TERMINAL - DAY
Ted and Charlie enter the terminal. Friends and family wait
for loved ones. A few chauffeurs hold signs with names. One
stands out. Tall. Blonde. Gorgeous. In a short skirt. A
matching low cut jacket. And a cap. She's stunning. And
she's holding a sign that reads: TED NELSON.
What are the odds of there being
ANOTHER Ted Nelson on our flight?
They grin at one another. Then approach the Chauffeur.
Hi, I'm Ted Nelson.
With a sad look, the Chauffeur hugs him, kissing one cheek,
then the other.
I'm so terribly sorry for your
loss. Your father was a great man.
Ted's stunned. Charlie leans in and whispers.
Who the hell was your father?
Well, Dad said...
INT. STRETCH LIMO - DAY
Ted and Charlie sit on opposites ends of the plush interior.
Charlie eyes the control console with its slew of gadgets.
They practically have to shout to hear one another.
...A bouncer? Are you serious?
Maybe he got promoted.
Charlie continues playing with the console switches.
Don't. Touch. Anything.
Too late. Rock music pulsates through the limo.
This is the life, baby. We get
ourselves some tail and we're
talking SPRING BREAK!
Cut it out, before you break
For a guy about to try his first
Dom Perignon, you are extremely
He flips another switch. The bar opens. Revealing a bottle
of Dom Perignon on ice. Charlie grins broadly.
We can't afford that!
Charlie grabs the bottle and starts to open it.
Don't you know anything about limo
etiquette? Everything in here is
included for our pleasure.
Wait a second, I thought we were
And like every hamburger guy knows,
when you get your one big chance at
the good life, you abuse every
second of it until they figure out
you don't belong there and kick
your sorry ass out.
POP! The cork flies through the air. Bounces off the
ceiling. And hits another switch. The sun roof glides open.
Champagne overflows from the bottle. All over Charlie's
Nice. Is that in the limo etiquette
Charlie grabs a bar towel as Ted looks toward the sun roof.
Beautifully blue Southern California sky greets him. With an
occasional palm tree swooshing by. Ted rises.
EXT. LIMO - DAY - MOVING
Ted's head peeks out of the sun roof. Tentatively. Unsure. He
takes in the sights as the limo cruises Sunset Boulevard.
People stare at him. A beautiful BLONDE smiles and waves. He
waves back, very timidly.
Charlie sticks his head out, too. Sun on their faces. Wind in
This is how the other half lives,
bro. Enjoy it while you can.
EXT. ENTRY GATE - DAY
The limo passes through the ornate gate of what could only be
a sprawling mansion. It comes to a sudden halt. The door
swings open to reveal a group of BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMEN. Clad
in very short black dresses and even some black bikinis. Sad
expressions on their faces.
EXT. LIMO - DAY
The MOURNERS embrace Ted.
BEAUTIFUL MOURNER #1
Welcome, Mr. Nelson. You are so
very very welcome here.
BEAUTIFUL MOURNER #2
We feel your pain, so deeply.
Something tells me we're not in
Xenia anymore, Toto.
EXT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - DAY
The beautiful young women guide Ted towards the mansion.
Charlie follows. A particularly VOLUPTUOUS BEAUTY eyes him
I'm Charles. The handsome, devoted
best friend. We're so close, we
feel each other's pain.
The voluptuous beauty notices Charlie's soaked crotch. He
See what you do to me, baby.
Just then, the spry HELEN McDOLE, 60s, emerges from the
mansion. She approaches Ted and hugs him.
Oh my, he would have been so proud.
You're the spitting image of him.
He never spits, ma'am. Ever. He
can't even get a good hocker going.
I've tried to teach him. It comes
from the diaphragm.
(sharply; to Charlie)
You're on the next plane home.
I'm Helen McDole. Your father's
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Ted takes a seat at the spacious conference table. Helen
sits on his right. Charlie sits on his left.
Zukerman and two other IMPATIENT ATTORNEYS wait at the head
of the table. Finally Zukerman checks his watch and rises.
We're running out of time. The
kid's here. We don't need HIM.
Perhaps we could be patient for
just a moment or two longer?
They all watch a WALL CLOCK. Seconds pass, slowly, slowly.
Then suddenly Zukerman rises.
What did the doctor say to the
nurse as they watched something
black and white and red in a
(a wry smile)
No more patients.
Very dramatically, Zukerman slides a copy of "Heaven"
magazine down the conference table. Right to Ted.
Are you familiar with "Heaven?"
I'm seventeen. I know it like the
back of my hand.
Your fathered owned the entire
"Heaven" empire. You own it now.
Ted's stunned, speechless. Charlie gawks.
Everything? The publishing
division, the real estate holdings,
the retail outlets, the theme
As far as the eye can see.
Zukerman presses a remote control. A wall panel slides open
to reveal a large monitor which springs to life. On the
screen is a striking couple. Ted'S BIOLOGICAL PARENTS.
HEATHER and TOM DEEDS. Heather, stunningly sexy and
overflowing from her gold sequined halter top. Tom, very
handsome in a Vegas showman sort of way.
Oh, sweetheart! We wish we could be
right there to hug the living
daylights out of you!
But if you're watching this, then
it means we bit the dust.
But don't worry...we'll be in
heaven. The REAL heaven, I mean.
Not that heaven is an actual place,
but more like a state of being. Or
not being. Who knows. Maybe we know
If you're anything like yours
truly, then you probably figure we
didn't want you when you were born,
so who cares if we're dead? Am I
Ted looks guilty. This is too weird.
But we did want you. It's just that
you don't always get to keep what
you want. We knew you needed a real
mom and dad.
We had no idea the nudie magazine
we started in the garage would turn
into all this.
Heather holds up the first issue of "Heaven." She's on the
cover, wearing nothing but a halo. She looks almost exactly
the same today, with a few extra nips and tucks.
Can you believe that was me?
Before we knew it, we created the
most popular men's magazine in the
entire nation. The rest is history.
So here we are. Dead. But we never
want you to want for anything. That
is, we want you to have everything.
Heather leans forward and blows a kiss into the camera. Her
strongest assets spilling forward.
We love you, Ted. We always did. We
Charlie's practically slobbering. He elbows Ted.
I can't believe that's your mother.
We're talking babe-a-licious chub
fest, right here in the 501's.
At that moment, the doors burst open. WILLIAM G. DEEDS (UNCLE
BILLY) sails into the room. Handsome in an unconventional
way, he exudes passion and eccentricity.
I'm so terribly sorry. Am I too
Ah, Mr. Deeds. You're just in time
to congratulate your nephew. He
inherited the empire.
(a broad smile)
Every morsel of it?
It would appear so.
Uncle Billy hugs Ted with great enthusiasm.
Smashing! Welcome to the family,
Ted. You are going to breathe some
new life into this place. You are
going to set the world on fire! You
are going to...call me Uncle Billy?
Uh, sure. Uncle Billy.
I have only one concern...
Ted waits. Swept up by Uncle Billy's spirit.
UNCLE BILLY (CONT'D)
You do like girls, don't you?
Of course I like girls.
A lot? I mean, a whole lot?
As much as possible.
(to the rescue)
He likes them with the unbridled
enthusiasm of a seventeen-year-old
virgin who's been making mental
beef jerky since he saw the bevy of
tender young skirt steaks at his
Uncle Billy grins broadly.
That's my boy!
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Uncle Billy leads Ted and Charlie through the cavernous room.
Sexy, semi-clad oil paintings of Ted's biological mother
adorn the walls.
The parties are held in here when
the weather dips below seventy.
Which is seldom.
Seldom? No kidding?
You said parties but you meant
(to Ted; quietly)
Stick with me. I know their codes.
Uncle Billy winks at Ted.
The orgies, exactly. Take a deep
breath. You can smell it. Pure
sexuality, oozing from the walls.
Charlie takes a deep breath. Uncle Billy and Ted share a
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - GAME ROOM - DAY
The epitome of every boy's dream arcade. Everything from
classic pinball machines to the most high tech virtual
reality game that has yet to hit the market. Charlie shakes
his head in amazement.
Naked girls, wild sex, video games.
No wonder it's called "Heaven."
This is a fun place...but we don't
usually come here until after the
Ah, in other words, this is the
Indeed it is. During the day,
visitors prefer to be outside, au
naturel. As it were.
Charlie continues to gawk. Ted's equally impressed but
holding it together.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - SWIMMING ROOM - DAY
Uncle Billy leads Ted and Charlie by the indoor pool which is
decorated like a tropical pond, complete with exotic
vegetation, lava rocks, and a waterfall. They pass through a
cave-like entrance and find themselves...
EXT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - SWIMMING POOL - DAY
...coming out by another spectacular waterfall. Which
separates the indoor and outdoor pools. Numerous BEAUTIFUL
WOMEN swim, chat, play water polo. Some topless, some might
as well be. The boys watch in awe as one woman rubs lotion
on another woman's back.
Hello, girls! Have you met Ted?
The women wave, ad-libbing warm greetings. Charlie leans
towards Ted, confiding...
This is like my every wet dream
come true. I don't even care that
you're here, too, bro.
Be cool. Fake it if you have to.
Good advice, Ted. You have your
"His father." The words sound so strange. He never even met
UNCLE BILLY (CONT'D)
Just remember, you're not the man
you were a day ago. And these
girls, let's just say they'd be
eager to please you.
Ted gulps. It's hard to believe this is real.
I wonder how many of them will be
at the orgy tonight?
This isn't some 80's porno film,
you dip shit. There are no wild sex
Oh. Well. Maybe not yet.
Not ever. Never.
Never say never.
Oh, god. Look. Look.
Ted looks. A beautiful woman sensuously rubs tanning lotion
over her OWN breasts. The boys stare, riveted.
I really love your peaches, wanna
shake your tree.
Uncle Billy grins.
Maybe she needs help, Ted. You
should be a gentleman.
I...uh...I think she's doing fine
on her own.
(having a moment)
Oh baby, yes, yes, yes. Fuck me
like you mean it.
Ted elbows Charlie out of his fantasy.
You kiss your mother with that
I'd kiss your mother with this
mouth. I mean, if she wasn't, you
He means dead.
So far away? In Xenia?
INT. THE NELSON HOME - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Mom waits nervously for the phone to ring.
Teddy? Is that you?
Dad hurries out of the bathroom, hiking up his pajamas. Mom
speaks loudly, as if Ted's in Siberia.
How are you, baby? Are you all
INT. TED'S BEDROOM - "HEAVEN" MANSION - NIGHT
A palatial suite. Very Louis XIV. Ted throws a sheet over a
nude sculpture of his biological mother. While holding a
cordless phone in the crook of his neck.
I'm all right, Mom. I'm not in
Siberia, you know.
Did you have a nice flight? Are
they taking good care of you?
Yeah, I'm doing fine. I have so
much to tell you. I don't even
know where to begin.
Save it, honey. We want to hear
every detail when you get back, but
we don't want you to run up Mr.
Zukerman's phone bill.
It's okay, Mom. Trust me.
Mom hands Dad the phone.
Ted, it's your dad. I have a
question for you. I don't know how
to put it tactfully. You know I'm
lousy with words.
Just say it, Dad.
I know they were simple people, but
did this trip help your college
fund at all?
Dad, let's just say I can buy
anything I want in the whole
bookstore. Including the bookstore.
(not getting it)
Well, good. Every little bit helps.
Suddenly, Charlie bursts into the room with a pair of
Check this out. Hurry!
I better go, Dad.
We'll see you soon. Have fun in...
(trying to be hip)
...the land of fruits and nuts.
INT. TED'S BEDROOM - "HEAVEN" MANSION - NIGHT
Charlie flips off the light switch and whispers...
What is it now?
Check it out!
Charlie shoves the binoculars at Ted and guides him toward
the window which overlooks the outdoor pool.
Don't tell me. Another vision of
Beauty? No. We're talking GODDESS.
TED'S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS
A devastatingly PERFECT WOMAN, GINGER, "Miss April," emerges
from the pool, wearing nothing but a g-string. Her skin
shimmers from the reflection of the pool lights. Rivulets of
water stream down her body. She reaches for a towel and pats
her body dry. An incredible aura seems to surround her.
Separating her from the other spectacular beauties we've seen
Ted lowers the binoculars. Entranced.
I get it now. You and me. We're
Our plane crashed. In the Grand
Canyon. A big fiery explosion. We
never made it to L.A. They needed
dental records to identify us. And
this place. This. Actually. Is.
Then there must be a whole room,
made completely of chocolate.
And some really fast cars.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Ted and Charlie move like thieves in the night.
Don't be such a pansy. All of this
It's a lot to digest. Imagine how
I'd feel like staying up all night!
Forever! Or at least till I got the
LAY of the land, SO TO SPEAK.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Ted and Charlie enter. Flip the light switch. It was his
parents' very opulent bedroom. Complete with more risqué
paintings of Ted's biological mother.
I feel like I'm entering a
...where they get all the really
good porno channels on cable.
Charlie pulls open a dresser drawer filled with Ted's
Charlie caresses a pair of red silk panties and inhales their
Oh, how inappropriate is that!
Take a whiff of heaven.
How would you like it if I did that
to your mother's panties?
I'd call you a sick, twisted fuck.
But this is different. She wasn't
your mother mother--
Give me those!
Ted grabs the panties just as Charlie pulls away, ripping
them in half. Just then the door opens to reveal a very
proper ENGLISH BUTLER.
I do apologize, sir. I heard a
Ted and Charlie awkwardly hide the panty halves behind their
We were just--
--I completely understand, sir.
I'll leave you to your business.
The Butler leaves. Ted glares at Charlie. Who shrugs.
A couple of boys fighting over a
pair of red silk panties is nothing
compared to what he's seen.
Yeah, he's probably been serving
cocktails, SO TO SPEAK, at the
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - GARAGE - THE NEXT MORNING
The garage is crowded with two dozen sporty classics. Ted
runs his hands over the hood of a red Ferrari 575M Maranello.
He pulls the door open and slides into the leather seat.
Wanna take me for a ride?
Ted turns around and spots Ginger, the goddess from the pool,
making her way towards him. He gulps.
I-I don't have the keys.
They're in the ignition, silly.
Ted glances down. There they are. She hops in next to him.
He doesn't know what to do.
You do know how to drive?
I don't have much experience with
Want a lesson?
Ted blushes. He needs a lot of lessons.
Press your left foot on the clutch.
And turn the key.
The Ferrari growls to life. Ginger places her hand over
Now release the brake. And slide
the stick into first gear.
Ginger moves her slender fingers on his knees. Showing him
how it's done.
Now very carefully apply some
pressure to the gas pedal with your
right foot as you release the
clutch with your left.
She squeezes his thigh and winks.
EXT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - GARAGE - DAY
The Ferrari jerks out of the garage and promptly stalls.
Ginger giggles. Could Ted be MORE embarrassed?
The first time can be awkward. You
just have to get on and try again.
I don't even know if I should be
doing this. It's a very expensive
It's your car. These are all your
Some of them have to be automatics.
Your father liked shifting. He said
it brought him closer to the
engine. "Like a woman, purring with
Ted feels his temperature rising. He changes the subject.
I'm Ted, by the way. I think I
forgot to say that.
I know. I'm Ginger. Miss April.
The one with the horses.
I almost didn't recognize you
without...you know...that stallion
That sounded so much better in my
Ginger GIGGLES. Ted tries to hide behind his less than cool
shades. Ginger notices.
Hey, Ted. Wanna go shopping?
Shopping, really? I should tell my
Don't worry. He found the
Hi ho, Silver.
He puts the car in gear. The tires scream as they take off.
Gears grind as he shifts. Not exactly purring with ecstasy.
EXT. BEVERLY HILLS - DAY
The Ferrari negotiates its way along Rodeo Drive. Ted seems
to have gotten the hang of it.
Tourists stare. One snaps a photo.
Ted pulls up to...and then over...the curb. Well, he almost
has the hang of it.
INT. CLOTHING STORE - DAY
Ted emerges from a dressing room. Slowly starting to lose
his boy-from-Xenia taint. He glances at the price tag,
dangling from his sleeve. His eyes widen. Ginger strokes his
arm. Whispers seductively in his ear.
Your father always said, "Money
matters only to the man who doesn't
Ted listens. Trying to learn.
INT. A CHIC EYEWEAR BOUTIQUE - DAY
Ted tries on some snazzy sunglasses. Ginger approves. Ted
still checks the price tag.
Ginger looks into his eyes. As if she can see his soul.
Who exactly ARE you?
What do you mean? I'm Ted Nelson.
And who IS Ted Nelson?
Ted's not sure how to respond. He smiles awkwardly.
Is he a small town boy, destined to
live an ordinary life with an
ordinary wife and a tiny house with
a boring old white picket fence?
The hamburger life. Now he can defy it.
Or do you have a taste for the good
life, Ted? It's in your blood.
I always knew there was more. I
Then remember, you are the heir to
a billion dollar empire. You have a
staff of literally thousands.
Multiply everything you ever
imagined by a million and you still
can't even wrap your head around
everything that is yours. ALL
Ted slides on the shades. Slowly, purposefully. He grins at
the SALES CLERK...
I'll take the whole case.
INT. "HEAVEN" HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Ted, Charlie, Helen, and Uncle Billy walk past GRAPHIC
DESIGNERS in cubicles as Helen leads a tour of the "Heaven"
magazine offices. As they pass each cubicle, HEADS pop up to
check them out.
"HEAVEN" WAR ROOM
POLAROIDS OF NAKED WOMEN cover every square inch of wall
space. Ted and Charlie gawk. Who can blame them?
Every one of these women thinks she
should be the next Angel of the
Month. It's your job, Ted, to
decide which of them is right.
Let me get this straight...
If it isn't straight by now, son,
you probably should see a doctor.
These are real, live women?
(winking at Ted)
We don't generally feature blow-up
dolls in our magazine. But hey, if
you think there's a market for it.
God, I love being dead.
Ted focuses on one particular picture. He removes the push
pin that holds it to the wall.
I like her.
We can see the concerned look on Helen's face. Does this kid
have any taste at all?
Nice choice. There's only one
She shows Uncle Billy.
You think she upgraded?
They went in through the belly
Uncle Billy nods. He explains gently...
We don't allow TIPN, Ted.
TIPN. Tattoos, implants, piercings,
nose jobs. Our angels must be pure,
unadultered, completely natural.
Ted looks at the walls again. Carefully. He has a knack for
this. He hands a picture to Helen. She turns to Uncle Billy
You have your father's eye.
His father. He just can't get used to that. Who was this guy?
INT. MASTER BEDROOM CLOSET - "HEAVEN" MANSION - NIGHT
Ted looks at the impressive collection of suits. Runs his
hands along the fabrics. Picks a particularly stylish jacket
and tries it on. It fits poorly. Too big in the chest and
shoulders. Ted looks at himself in the full-length mirror.
He's not half the man his father was.
Suddenly there's a KNOCK on the door. Ted quickly takes off
his father's jacket and puts on his own. He lets Uncle Billy
in. LOUD PARTY SOUNDS momentarily pour into the room.
There you are, Ted-baby. Everything
Yeah. Everything's cool.
Ted's struggling with a silk tie. Uncle Billy helps him.
You ready for your big coming out
party? Everybody's dying to meet
Just a couple of finishing touches.
My parents always said you never
get a second chance to make a good
They said that? Really?
Oh, your parents. The Nelson's.
Right, right. How midwest. I like
Ted wipes his palms on his slacks. Confiding...
Truth is, I'm a little nervous.
YOU? Nervous? Why on earth should
you be nervous?
All those people out there. It's a
lot of pressure.
Huh! You laugh in the face of
You are a multi-media magnate. The
Tycoon of Tits. The Baron of
Ted chuckles. Uncle Billy's calming him...
UNCLE BILLY CONT'D)
You are the Emperor of every little
girl who dreamed of growing up to
see her naughty bits spread eagle,
airbrushed to glossy perfection,
with staples through her ass.
Uncle Billy rubs his shoulders. As if pep-talking him for a
You're the Sultan of Semen. The
Monarch of Masturbation. The
Merchant Prince of Lust. You. Ted.
Are the King of Coitus.
Me? The King of Coitus?
The Supreme Sovereign of Sexuality.
Whoa. But...that's the thing...
I've never even actually...
Why, look who's here.
Uncle Billy swings the door open to reveal. KIKI and KELLY.
Tall, beautiful, leggy IDENTICAL TWINS. They smile warmly at
Ted, each offering an arm. Ted holds his head high. Like the
Sovereign of Sexuality.
LONG DRAMATIC STAIRCASE
With the twins on either side of him, Ted struts down the
stairs and into a sea of people. All so eager to meet him.
Ted acts as if he's been doing this all his life.
The Potentate of Poon has arrived.
And instantly, he's surrounded. People shake his hands.
Women kiss his cheeks. Athletes, movie stars, models.
Charlie watches, beaming proudly.
DANCE FLOOR - LATER
Charlie thinks he's Travolta. Dressed for disco. Twirling a
Super Model. Ted dances among a dozen BEAUTIES. They steal
kisses and hugs, here and there. A thousand Cinderellas, all
after one Prince Charming. Ted's having the time of his
life. Charlie dances up to him. Shouting in his ear...
Ain't life amazing? A week ago, you
couldn't get to second base! Now
you OWN second base!
They high-five one another. An EXOTIC BEAUTY grabs Ted and
starts dirty dancing. Rubbing herself against him. Ted's
clueless. So he improvises. People cheer him on. He thrusts
his pelvis. Feigns various sex acts. Hilarious, goofy, but it
EXT. JACUZZI - NIGHT
The party's over. Ted relaxes in the Jacuzzi, sipping
champagne. Thrilled, elated, blasted. Uncle Billy sits
across from him. Two MASSEUSES tenderize their shoulders.
But as the scene continues the women take an even greater
interest in each other. Stealing a kiss here. A touch there.
Ted attention is distracted as he chats with Uncle Billy.
I told you you could do it.
I was like a different person
You were the new and improved you.
I would have been laughed right out
No one will be laughing at you now,
Ted. You can take that to the bank.
It's really going to be strange
going home in a couple of days.
You ARE home. But go ahead, finish
school, do what you feel you need
to do. In the meantime, I'll be
your point person here on the
Really? You'd do that for me?
I've been very lazy for a long,
You seem like you're anything but
lazy, Uncle Billy.
I never finished school myself.
Never had to. My brother built this
empire from nothing but his wife's
perky tits and a whole lot of
gumption. He gave me a cushy job on
a silver platter. I never struggled
for a second.
My parents always say hard work
It's not like I didn't have ideas,
I had plenty of ideas. But I never
even shared them with your father.
Never had the guts.
What kind of ideas?
Well...for one thing...I think it's
despicable that we exclude so many
women that only fit our western
notion of "classic beauty."
You think we should be more open
The world is a big, beautiful
place. We can open new markets in
Africa and Asia. Imagine the Dali
Lhama reading our magazine.
In other words, our scope is too
At our press conference tomorrow, I
think we should announce our plans
to explore the world. Not just a
few leggy 36D's, with blond hair
upstairs and down.
The Masseuses help Uncle Billy out of the Jacuzzi. They say
their goodnights and Ted closes his eyes. When he opens them,
Ginger stands at the edge of the tub.
Want some company?
Ted can barely nod. She unzips the back of her dress and lets
it fall to her feet. The silhouette of her nude body is
startlingly gorgeous in the moonlight. Ted watches as she
descends, step by step, into the frothy water.
Ted's paralyzed with desire and fear. Ginger descends deeper.
A wash of foam caresses her breasts. She continues. Until
she's completely submerged.
Ted looks startled. The "Jaws" theme echoes through his
ears. He starts to rise. Concerned. When suddenly, he feels
something. Whoa! His swimming trunks land next to him.
He starts to rise out of the Jacuzzi, when suddenly he's
sucked under. He thrashes. His hand grabs the edge of the
Jacuzzi. But his fingers give out. And he slides under. Only
to rise out of the water with Ginger. Attached to his lips.
Kissing him passionately.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - TED'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Ted and Ginger in bed. Morning rays, satin sheets, what a
night. Ted awakens. He stares at Ginger in awe, remembering
what happened. Smiles big.
Ted slides out of bed. Catches his reflection in the mirror.
Takes a good look at himself.
Who's your daddy?
INT. HOTEL BALLROOM - DAY
Press Conference. Lights, cameras, reporters, bedlam. Uncle
Billy, Helen, and Ted sit at a makeshift dais.
...My brilliant, extraordinary
nephew, Ted Nelson, has brought
enough fresh blood to this company
to make all of Transylvania happy
for the next fifty or sixty years.
I'll give him the mike now and
you'll see what I mean. This apple
didn't fall far from the tree.
Ted prepares to speak. A little nervous from the spotlights,
but hell, he's a man now. Uncle Billy gives him a reassuring
UNCLE BILLY (CONT'D)
Don't forget to tell them all your
I'm Ted Nelson. I guess you already
know that part.
(proud of himself)
For two years I've been the editor
of the high school paper in Xenia,
Ohio. I've won some awards, made a
I've always had journalism in my
soul. Now I know why.
He glances at Uncle Billy, who urges him to tell more.
They tell me I've got my father's
taste in women and cars.
The faster, the better.
CHUCKLES from the crowd. Uncle Billy gives him a "thumb's up"
And I'm really looking forward to
the challenge of bringing "Heaven"
magazine into the 21st century.
INT. CHRISTY MALONE'S BATHROOM - SAME
In the middle of waxing her bikini line, Christy jumps up and
He asked me to the prom! ME! We're
INT. JULIE CONROY'S BEDROOM - SAME
Julie watches TV. Stunned.
He reinvented himself into a dick.
INT. PRINCIPAL MERKIN'S DEN - SAME
Principal Merkin watches TV. Simmering.
You don't even have your high
school diploma yet, Mr. Nelson. I'm
still the boss of you.
INT. NELSON FAMILY ROOM - SAME
Ted's parents and little Jimmy stare in amazement at their
old-fashioned console RCA. A geeky high school picture of
Ted appears on screen, as a REPORTER babbles...
BABBLING REPORTER (ON TV)
The big question now remains: Will
success spoil Ted Nelson, the
straight-A journalism student from
Xenia, Ohio, whose life was
transformed overnight when he found
out he was rich, powerful, and
certainly the most eligible
bachelor in the entire nation?
Our Teddy inherited "Heaven?"
He said he was set for book money.
Jimmy turns to his parents.
Mom, Dad. Forget about roller
blades for my birthday. I'd prefer
a DNA test. Can you prove beyond a
shadow of a doubt that I am not,
for example, a Guccione?
The door bell CHIMES. Mom and Dad look at each other. This
can't be good.
Dad opens the front door to reveal
a delivery man, holding a flashy
Delivery for Jimmy Nelson.
EXT. NELSON HOUSE - DAY
Jimmy squeezes past Dad and jumps on the bike as Mom appears
in the doorway.
My goodness, who sent this?
It's from "Heaven," ma'am.
Ted. Of course.
I love you, Ted!
We can't accept it. It's much too
expensive. Right, dear?
Of course, dumpling. Its very nice
of Ted but...
At that moment, ANOTHER DELIVERY MAN and his HELPER unload a
large crate from another truck. They approach Dad and Mom.
DELIVERY MAN #2
Delivery for Robert Nelson.
For me? What is it?
DELIVERY MAN #2
Appears to be tools, sir.
Oh, no. Ted's gone completely
Dad approaches the crate as the Delivery Man opens it to
reveal a large scarlet and gray case of tools. Dad opens one
of the drawers. Runs his fingers over the shiny instruments.
Tears in his eyes.
Sweetheart, what is it?
I always wanted Craftsman tools. He
even got me the limited edition
Oh, honey. We can't accept this
Another delivery truck arrives. Then the local news vans.
Neighbors rush out of their houses. The phone RINGS. Mom
INT. THE NELSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
Mom grabs the phone.
Teddy? Is that you?
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - TED'S ROOM - DAY
Ted wears a cordless headset phone, as if he was born with
it. As he talks, he flexes his muscles in front of a full
What is all this? When are you
Just a few tokens of my affection.
I'll be back soon, don't worry.
Everything is lovely, Ted, but much
Mom. Believe me. I could buy all
that AND the factories they came
Mom looks up as ANOTHER DELIVERY MAN wheels a washing machine
and dryer into the house.
DELIVERY MAN #3
Where do you want them, lady?
Mom's eyes light up.
Oh, good lord. Are those Neptunes?
Only the best for my mother.
You promise you'll finish school?
I'll make you very proud.
EXT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - MORNING
A beautiful spring morning. Cars pull into the school
parking lot. Students mingle in small groups. Making their
way into the building. A group of GUYS look up.
Suddenly, a helicopter swooshes through the air, circling the
school as if to get everyone's attention, then landing on a
grassy knoll. The helicopter is painted heavenly blue with a
pattern of white billowy clouds.
The door slides open and out hops Ted. In SLOW-MO. Looking
seriously cool from the tips of his silver toed boots to his
stylish Persol shades. Until he takes a second step and
stumbles slightly, catching himself from falling face first
into the grass.
Charlie is right behind him. Looking great, too, but vaguely
Mafioso in his efforts to be hip. He turns to the beautiful
blonde PILOT and plants a big wet kiss for everyone to see.
Ted and Charlie strut towards the school as Principal Merkin
bursts through the front doors, shouting...
You cannot land a helicopter in my
school yard! Get that blasted thing
out of here!
Ted raises his hand. The chopper rises as if on cue.
Without a word, Ted and Charlie pass the ruffled Principal
Merkin and strut toward the entrance. Classmates surround
Ted. Congratulating him. Everyone wanting to be Ted's new
best friend. Julie walks up to Charlie.
What gives, Don Corleone?
We reinvented ourselves.
New Hushpuppies don't make a new
You've obviously never had your
dogs nestled in thousand dollar
That explains the emptiness that
Jealousy is so unattractive.
Ted makes eye contact with Julie. Winking like he's Don Juan.
She just stares at him, blankly.
Second only to unfettered arrogance
and the inability to see the irony
Charlie's baffled by that one.
Wanna see my hickey from Miss
INT. PRINCIPAL MERKIN'S OFFICE - DAY
Principal Merkin paces dramatically...
I like you, Ted. You know that. I
liked you before you were filthy
Thanks, Principal Merkin.
I'll be blunt. I know you can take
Yes, sir. I'll brace myself.
Ted, you are the best editor this
school paper ever had. You don't
need to be pandering flesh. It's
nonsense. It's beneath you.
You think I ought to just tell them
thanks but no thanks? I don't want
your silly billion dollar empire?
That's a good start, yes. A very
Are you kidding? This magazine is
my dream. It's every red-blooded,
heterosexual male's dream.
I never figured you for a pimp.
Have you ever even looked at
What kind of sick question is that?
I'll be watching you, young man.
Your money and power mean nothing
I guess you won't be wanting that
Rolex I sent you, then?
Principal Merkin opens his desk drawer sheepishly. Caresses
the watch. It kills him to return it.
No. No, I won't. Thank you. For
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
Flurry of activity. Ted on his cell phone. Julie types
furiously. Taking her job very seriously. Christy Malone
props one leg against the wall. Demonstrating those
contortionist warm-up moves that drove Ted mad with desire.
Great jacket, Teddy Bear.
(hanging up phone)
Yeah? You like?
Makes your shoulders look so big
A few billion bucks and suddenly
he's Cro-Magnon Man of the Year.
It's so nice to have FRIENDS like
Christy pouts. Wishing she never said the "F" word. Julie
snickers. Ted takes Julie's arm and guides her to a private
spot in the corner.
What is it, William Randolph? Your
balls need scratching?
Your article sucked.
In what sense?
In the sense that there is no
"hidden agenda" behind a bake sale
that raised five hundred dollars
for seeing eye dogs.
Ah ha! It was so well hidden, you
didn't even know it was there.
Come on, Julie. Don't screw up. You
have some real talent.
Just because someone died and made
you king of the publishing world
doesn't mean you're even one ounce
smarter than you were a week ago.
I'm trying to help.
I'm still better than you. Nothing
changed except the decimal point in
your savings account.
That's not ENTIRELY true.
Julie snaps her fingers, as if trying to remember...
Oh, right. You're probably not a
virgin anymore. But as far as being
a hack, that much is status quo.
Ted fumes. She really knows how to push his buttons.
What do you want from me? I'm
trying to be fair. But I can't keep
you on staff if you turn every PTA
meeting into an Agent Orange cover
Then I'll write about YOU.
"Local boy inherits more money than
god." Call me crazy, but I smell
Really? You wanna write about me?
INT. NELSON DINING ROOM - DAY
A world class CHEF and his SOUS CHEF serve the Nelson's a
filet mignon dinner. Mom, Dad, Jimmy, Ted, and Julie, sit at
the table. Set with the finest china. The most elegant
linens. A fresh floral arrangement. The best of everything.
Everyone waits for Mom as she takes her first bite.
Goodness...it's delicious. I've
never tasted anything so tender.
The rest of them dig in.
Beats the heck out of meatloaf.
(off Mom's look)
Although your meatloaf is second to
none, love muffin.
Jimmy's eyes widen as he chews.
Mom, Dad. My trembling taste buds
have just been assailed by the
bittersweet knowledge of all
they've been missing these past
The chef turns to Julie...
No offense, Wolfgang Puck, but dead
flesh is dead flesh. This just
happens to be better than most dead
flesh on the planet.
And finally, the Chef waits for Ted...
The Chef wipes a bead of sweat from his brow. Approval, at
last, from the only opinion that mattered.
Why, thank you, sir. Thank you.
Ted has bettered our lives to the
point where I can no longer see
myself as "the old Jimmy" I was but
a day or two past. You may all call
me James. From this moment forward.
Finally, some gratitude.
We're grateful, Ted. It's not that.
Those Craftsman tools...they're a
dream come true.
Your Dad and I were raised with a
certain work ethic, that's all.
Julie listens closely, admiring Ted's parents.
We can't start living like we're
the Rockerfellers or something.
Mom, Dad. The Rockerfellers are
paupers compared to my favorite
You don't have to work another day
in your lives.
But how would we pay our bills?
We just barely have enough for your
college tuition, son.
Ted's frustration mounts.
Don't you get it? In one day I earn
more interest than the store's
entire annual revenue.
You're free. You can do anything
you ever wanted to do!
(after a beat)
Like take that trip to Buckingham
Palace. Go deep sea fishing in the
Gulf of Mexico. Now's your chance.
But those are our dreams, son. We
have to make them come true.
Consider me your fairy godfather,
except without the fairy part. No
more mealy apples and bruised
bananas, ever, for the rest of your
But who would run the store?
Forget the store. Think big.
Dad looks at Mom. Forget the store. That stings.
Ted, we put a lot of love in our
We wanted you and Jimmy to have it
someday. Something real and honest.
We love our lives just the way they
Disappointed, disgusted, Ted looks to Julie for support.
Tears fill her eyes. Mom and Dad moved her. Ted shrugs and
digs into his food.
EXT. ABOVE THE CLOUDS - DAY
A heavenly blue jet with billowy white clouds soars through
INT. THE "HEAVEN" JET - DAY
Beyond first class; the ultimate in posh. Charlie sweet-talks
a sexy FLIGHT ATTENDANT.
Call me Charlie. I'm a photographer
for "Heaven" magazine. And a very
The Flight Attendant pulls him toward the washroom, quickly.
Julie interviews Ted, complete with tape recorder.
I have to admit, I always felt...
Different how? Different like a
dwarf at a basketball game? Or
different like a lesbian in pumps?
I don't get the distinction.
Could everybody else tell you were
different, or were you the only one
I felt limited. I felt confined. I
felt like I was suffocating.
I see. So more like a tight rope
walker who secretly wants to be a
Another FLIGHT ATTENDANT approaches...
No thanks. I prefer my penis at
She said peanuts, you cretin.
You never know around here.
Julie raises her eyebrows. Taking notes.
Don't write that part.
Is this an gritty exposé or a candy
ass press release?
Write what you want. Just try not
to make it so obvious that you're
crazy about me.
Life must be peachy on Planet Ted.
Funny you should say "peachy."
I did my homework. Your grandfather
was a peach farmer.
My adoptive grandfather. Who knows
what my biological grandfather did.
Undoubtedly an aristocratic
bartender of some sort.
Ted loves her spunk. And the chemistry between them.
Considering this is your first time
on a private jet, on which you are
interviewing the world's most
eligible bachelor, you are
I bet there are lots and lots of
mirrors on Planet Ted.
See? You're impertinent, rude,
And this is not my first time on a
private jet, so quit acting like
I'm Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
A little respect would be nice,
Money can't buy respect, Ted.
Saying what you mean. Meaning what
you say. Being an honorable person.
That's how you earn respect.
INT. GREEN ROOM - DAY
Ted waits for his appearance on "The Tonight Show." Ginger
smooths out the imaginary creases in Ted's Armani jacket.
Great jacket, Teddy. It makes your
shoulders look so big and broad.
Julie rolls her eyes. Here we go again. Uncle Billy and
Helen look on approvingly.
You do look smashing.
Sharp as a mashed potato sandwich.
Ted fake-guffaws. Charlie is quickly distracted by the relish
Oh wow, look...they've even got
I have an idea! I'll be right back!
And she dashes out the door. Ted leans towards Julie, who
quietly observes everything.
Well? What do you think of her?
You're so twitterpated you don't
even see the miner's hat and the
You're implying she's, what, a gold
Julie shrugs. Isn't it obvious?
Charlie's right. Jealousy is so
Second only to unbridled,
Why can't you be nice to me?
You've got enough people kissing
Ginger returns with a rose.
Here you go, cutie patootie. Rich
guys always wear flowers.
Julie gives Ted a look. See what I mean.
INT. THE TONIGHT SHOW SET - DAY
Jay Leno seems charmed. Ted behaves as if he does this every
day. The rose from Ginger is pinned to his lapel.
How are the hometown folks treating
you, back in Xenia?
Well, Jay. They've been
Are they hitting you up for
donations? Asking you to sponsor
the local quilting bee?
I'm no stranger to the notion of
philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie has
long been one of my idols.
What about the future? You planning
to rock the boat at all? Stir
things up in "Heaven?"
Ted's so smooth. We know it's still HIM under all that
Armani, but it sure does make him LOOK different.
Matter of fact, Jay, my uncle and I
are planning to rethink the
magazine. To expand the traditional
western notions of "beauty."
I see, so you'd be open to little
ladies from Pasadena, who want to
show you their knickers?
Matter of fact, Jay, I'm planning a
pictorial focusing on the women of
my hometown, "The Girls of Xenia."
Just to show my appreciation.
OFF IN THE WINGS
Julie looks thoroughly disgusted.
The Girls of Xenia? Jesus.
BACK TO STAGE
Now you're talking. What did Andrew
Carnegie ever do? Open a couple of
INT. PRINCIPAL MERKIN'S KITCHEN - MORNING
A Cocker Spaniel, POOCHIE, sits under a breakfast table,
holding a newspaper in his snout.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (O.S.)
Poochie? Where's my poochie? Where
MRS. MERKIN, dressed in a bathrobe and curlers, prepares
breakfast. Their beautiful college-aged daughter, JUDY, eats
cereal at the table, while flipping through a glamour
magazine. Principal Merkin enters. Ready for work. Wife and
daughter don't even look up.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
Is my Poochie in here?
Principal Merkin pretends to look for the dog in the
cupboard. This is obviously a daily ritual.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
Is she in here? No. Where on
earth could she be?
He looks under the table.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
There's my Poochie! There's my
The dog leaps into his arms. Principal Merkin grabs the
paper as Poochie starts to lick his face.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
Poochie loves Daddy, doesn't she?
Breakfast is getting cold.
Thank you, dear.
No dogs at the table.
I know, dear.
Principal Merkin places the dog on the ground, takes a seat,
and bites into a breakfast sausage. He opens the paper and
is confronted by a full page ad.
CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER AD
"GIRLS OF XENIA, GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN!" Details follow.
How, when, where to apply.
BACK TO PRINCIPAL MERKIN
Who chokes on his sausage. Clutches his throat. Signaling to
his wife and daughter. "Help me!" Judy looks up, grossed out.
Mrs. Merkin attempts the Heimlich Maneuver. Rather ineptly.
Principal Merkin turns red, blue, purple. Finally the piece
of sausage flies out of his mouth, past Judy. Poochie catches
it in mid-flight.
INT. PRINCIPAL MERKIN'S HONDA CIVIC - MOVING - DAY
Principal Merkin drives to work, humming along to Liza
Minelli's "New York, New York." The song comes to an end and
a radio spot begins...
RADIO SPOT (V.O.)
How many times have people told
you, "Jeepers, you look swell
naked!" Well now's your chance to
go straight to "Heaven!"
Principal Merkin tries to change the station. But the ad
seems to be on every station...
RADIO SPOT (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Come on down for "The Girls of
Xenia" pictorial. Let's show the
nation our cows aren't the only
ones with great udders.
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - CORRIDOR - DAY
Students hover at the bulletin board, reading a poster
advertising the "Heaven" auditions. Principal Merkin pushes
through the crowd and tears the poster off the board.
INT. CITY COUNCIL HALL - EVENING
Hundreds of Xenia CITIZENS have gathered for this meeting.
Principal Merkin stands in front of the five members of the
city council who sit at a U-shaped table. He holds up
"Heaven" magazine. Preaching with an evangelical passion...
This, my friends, this is not
"Heaven." This flesh rag is a one
way ticket to hell! We must voice
our outrage! To remain passive in
the eye of the devil is like
inviting him to a pot luck in your
own backyard and asking him to
bring the three-bean salad!
His supporters murmur agreement.
For the sake of this community, and
its impressionable young minds, I
propose this publication be banned
from our city!
His POSSE of supporters APPLAUD. His opponents GROAN. Ted
slouches nearby. A lawyer next to him. The MAYOR bangs the
gavel and the commotion settles.
Thank you for that long-winded but
impassioned speech, Mr. Merkin. I
hope you can cut to the chase, Ted.
Principal Merkin takes his seat. Ted rises. Playing the big
shot lawyer. Julie sits in the crowd, taking notes.
With all due respect to Merk, he
doesn't have to read my magazine.
But he has no right to stop others.
(to Principal Merkin)
Ever hear of the First Amendment?
(rising; an outburst)
We cannot afford free speech if it
excises the moral fiber of this
If that were true, this would be
one seriously constipated town.
Most guys in Xenia have been
looking at naked girls in "Heaven"
since they were old enough to
figure out their dads hide it under
A bit of an UPROAR from the crowd. WOMEN eye their HUSBANDS
suspiciously. Julie makes a point...
Isn't it true, Principal Merkin,
that you only care now because
"Heaven" is suddenly too close to
Indeed it is, Miss Conroy! I make
no bones about it! "Heaven" has
gone too far!
MR. NEEDLEMAN, another angry man from Principal Merkin's
posse, jumps on the bandwagon.
Principal Merkin is right! We can't
let "Heaven" violate our own
daughters, wives, sisters, mothers,
Helen motions to Ted. He quickly locates a page in the report
she prepared for him. He handles this like a pro...
I wouldn't want to name names, Mr.
Needleman, or cause any undue
embarrassment. But many members of
this community have been loyal
"Heaven" readers for the better
part of the last two decades. Not
to mention certain charter
subscribers who have developed a
voracious appetite for our video
library as well. I don't suppose,
"Courtney Leaves The Convent" rings
a bell to anyone?
Mr. Needleman dissolves into his seat. Half the men in the
audience seem to evaporate.
Mr. Nelson, you are Beelzebub's
henchman! You are single-handedly
destroying the integrity of our
community, and I will not have it!
I'll gather signatures. I'll
petition the courts.
You do what you have to do, Dick.
But if there's a man among us who
doesn't like to steal a look at
some pretty titty once in a while,
let him cast the first stone.
The room is suddenly SILENT. Principal Merkin gives the Mayor
a hard look. Merkin's face contorts in SLOW MO as he
I. AM. THAT. MAN.
INT. CITY BUILDING CORRIDOR - SAME TIME
Holding a stack of flyers, Charlie chats with Judy, Merkin's
You're like a centerfold waiting to
happen. And let me assure you, I
have some serious pull with the
Judy smiles fetchingly. Stashing Charlie's "Heaven" flyer in
her backpack. Her father suddenly appears.
What the hell are you doing?
I'm an adult. I can do whatever I
My roof, my rules, young lady.
He grabs her arm while knocking the stack of flyers out of
Charlie's hands. As Principal Merkin drags her away, Judy
smiles back at Charlie. He winks.
Send us a picture, sugar. We'll
get back to you.
The stack of flyers FLOATS over the railing and onto the
ground floor, just as a group of LOVELY YOUNG WOMEN enters
the building lobby. They excitedly reach for the flyers.
EXT. DOWNTOWN BUILDING - XENIA - DAY
A line of BEAUTIFUL WOMEN - all shapes and sizes - snakes
around the block and into a doorway. The women are dressed
to impress, in very skimpy clothing. Ted pulls up in his
convertible Ferrari. The women shout greetings as Ted heads
for the door.
INT. BUILDING CORRIDOR - DAY
We follow Ted as he dashes up the stairs, along the line of
women, towards an office.
(greeting the women)
Hello there...Looking great...Very
Charlie looks frazzled.
You're late, bro!
Sorry. Ginger got a little, you
You'll never believe who's in
It better not be my Aunt Trudy.
INT. TED'S OFFICE - DAY
A YOUNG WOMAN sits with her back to the door.
Sorry to keep you waiting...
The woman turns towards Ted, revealing herself to be Christy
Malone. Ted is momentarily stunned.
Hi, Teddy Bear.
Christy? You want to be in
I turned eighteen over spring
break. I'm eligible.
Ted doesn't know what to say. Charlie's equally stunned.
Hell, it seems, has frozen over.
I feel like I've just been hit by a
With a refrigerated cargo bed full
of sirloin tip.
INT. TED'S BEDROOM - DAY
Highly modified since the last time we saw it. A large flat
screen hangs on the wall. A high tech computer system for
video conferences dominates the room. Ted speaks with Uncle
Billy and Helen.
So far, so good. Some of them have
real Angel potential.
Really? So I'm doing OK?
We're impressed but not surprised,
Ted. You have your father's
Dad passes the partially open door. Overhearing. He stops.
My father must've been amazing.
He was in a league of his own.
Suddenly Ted feels his dad's presence, behind him.
It's okay. You need me?
(holding a list)
Your mom said you've been ignoring
Ted takes the list. Gives it a cursory glance. Nods to his
dad, as if dismissing him.
No problem, consider it done.
(to Uncle Billy)
I had this idea of shooting on
location. Outdoors, you know? Maybe
at some famous Xenia landmarks.
You think that would be a problem?
We'll send you the release forms,
Ted. Our staffers will help in any
way they can.
You're the Titan of Tushies, the
General of Jism. Don't you forget
Ted laughs. Completely ignoring his dad. Who backs out of the
room. Unnoticed. Neglected. Hurt.
EXT. THE NELSON HOUSE - DAY
Mom drives up to the house. She stares, aghast.
There are tall, beautiful, ANGELS everywhere. One cuts the
grass. Another pulls weeds. Two others on the roof, cleaning
Still others wash the car...with Jimmy handling the water
hose. Drenching the women, more than the car. Shrieks and
giggles all around. Neighbors gawk.
Ted's dad guiltily enjoys the view, but quickly rushes to his
wife. She gets out of her car and steadies herself on his
INT. NELSON LIVING ROOM - DAY
Ted stands on an ottoman as a TAILOR fits him for a prom
tuxedo. He towers over his parents who try to talk to him. We
feel for them. They've lost control of their kid.
You have to understand. This was a
big shock, for all of us. One
minute you're our little boy, of
whom we could not be more proud.
The next minute you're the owner of
this whole pornographic empire.
But that doesn't make you the boss
of everything, son.
Don't you see how your self
involvement and lack of humility
are affecting the whole family?
Ted looks down at them, literally.
I paid off the mortgage! I ordered
that Winnebago you always wanted!
Now you're ashamed of me?
You ordered a Winnebago?
Mom gives Dad a look. Stick to the script. Don't be swayed by
We're not ashamed of you, Teddy. We
don't approve of the magazine or
the models or the so-called "flesh
parties" you attend. But we can get
past all that.
We miss you. We miss our son.
We miss our family.
I promised I'd finish high school
and that's what I'm doing. What
more do you want from me?
Dad glances at Mom, hesitant. She nods, giving him the
courage to continue.
We think you should give up the
magazine. Sell it. Let someone else
run it. Whatever it takes.
We want you to go to college, find
a career you love, marry a nice
girl from a nice family, and live
happily ever after.
THAT is your dream, not mine. My
dream is so far beyond anything YOU
PEOPLE could even imagine.
Watch your tone, mister.
Why don't you just admit what this
is really all about? I'm not your
real kid and you can't control me
Mom and Dad look stricken. Ted doesn't know when to stop...
No wonder I was so bored. No wonder
I hated this one-horse cow town. I
come from talented people who took
chances and dared to imagine a life
without limits! I was never meant
to be raised by...GROCERS.
Ted storms away, unintentionally CRASHING into a TREASURED
FAMILY PHOTO on the end table. The frame shatters into
smithereens. Breaking Mom and Dad's hearts. STUNNED SILENCE
hangs heavy in the room.
INT. SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - NIGHT
Prom night. Couples slow dance to a Marilyn Manson clone,
singing a rock version of "Precious and Few."
Principal Merkin watches on the sidelines. Surprisingly
calm. Suspiciously happy.
Ted caresses Ginger's bare back as they dance together. His
head nestled against her breasts. Not a care in the world.
He spots Charlie on the dance floor. Making out with one of
his dates, the IDENTICAL TAYLOR TRIPLETS, while the other two
patiently wait their turn.
Teddy? I was thinking.
After graduation...maybe we could
go away together?
Whatever you want.
WE notice Christy Malone dancing with her FOOTBALL CAPTAIN
DATE. The perfect male specimen. Christy gives Ted a
disappointed, longing gaze. But he's oblivious.
I bet St. Tropez in July would be
paradise. For a honeymoon.
Suddenly a FLASH blinds them. It's Julie Conroy, doing her
job. Following her subject.
You could have warned us.
Oops, sorry. Warning: You've got
lipstick on your teeth.
Julie flashes the camera again. Capturing Ginger's panicked
expression. We notice that Julie looks alluring in a deep
purple strapless gown. Not so glamorous as Ginger, but far
more appealing and natural.
Wow...you clean up nice.
Put your eyeballs back in your
head, William Randolph. I'm on
assignment. A girl has to fit in.
Ginger seems testy and jealous. Her true colors emerging.
Teddy, I thought we were having a
Of course we were.
Suddenly the music dies. Everyone turns to the stage where
Principal Merkin stands proudly. Holding a power cord.
I apologize for interrupting the
festivities, but I have some good
news. I've been reviewing the rules
and regulations set forth by the
superintendent of schools. And it
seems quite clear...
(reading from manual)
"Minors may not be accompanied to
school functions by adults unless
they are their parents or legal
A spotlight suddenly finds Ted and Charlie's beautiful dates.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
So long, ladies. Prom's over.
The crowd boos, hisses.
Honestly, Merk. It's like you were
never seventeen and the head of a
Rules are rules.
Come on, it's our only senior prom.
Deaf ears, Mr. Nelson. I answer to
a higher power.
Charlie steps in like a hostage negotiator.
Here's the deal, Merk. Forget the
"rules and regulations" malarkey
and we'll give you seven minutes in
heaven with the Taylor Triplets.
Ted realizes his high school reputation is at stake. He steps
up on stage. Approaches Principal Merkin. Takes out his
What's your price, Merk? How much
will it cost to make you go bye
The crowd CHEERS.
You're crossing the line, Mr.
A statue in front of city hall,
dedicated to Principal Dick Merkin?
I'm warning you.
A new pediatric wing at the
hospital? A presidential campaign?
Name it. Anything.
Principal Merkin trembles from the sheer temptation of it.
Yet he could never succumb in front of so many witnesses. He
has to maintain his dignity...
That's it! You're out of here!
From nowhere, a flock of beefy SECURITY GUARDS emerge to
remove Ted & Co.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
Good-bye, Mr. Nelson. Have a
The Marilyn Manson clone is rapidly whisked away, and
replaced by six GEEZERS in powder blue tuxedoes.
As Security Guards carry them away...
Ted! Do something!
What do you want me to do?
This is humiliating. We're being
ejected from a prom!
Hang in there, I'll think of
As they reach the doors...
I guess...I don't know...I guess we
should leave if we're not wanted.
I hear you, bro. We're Angus men in
a ground round town.
This is what I get for playing den
mother in "Romper Room." Take me to
the airport, Charlie!
Why don't you just hitch a ride on
the horse you rode in on?
Ginger storms away in an angry huff.
(calling after her)
Don't forget your broom!
Ted experiences a moment of loss.
I thought I loved her.
Chicks are like buses. If you miss
one, don't sweat it. There's
another coming 'round the corner.
One of the Taylor Triplets bats her lashes at Ted.
(whispering to Ted)
Take your pick. They're IDENTICAL.
Ted grins broadly. He turns and SHOUTS to his classmates...
Everybody, listen up! This prom
sucks! Let's party at my place!
Responses are mixed. Some cheer, some are undecided. Until
the new band starts playing, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the
Old Oak Tree." And EVERYONE RUSHES for the exit, following
INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT
A muzak version of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak
Tree," continues. A PIZZA DELIVERY GUY watches the numbers
rise to the penthouse. Suddenly the doors open to reveal...
INT. HOTEL PENTHOUSE - NIGHT
All four penthouse suites have been rented by Ted. It's
party central. Very wild. Quickly growing out of control.
Kids dance, play drinking games, Spin the Bottle, and
generally trash the place.
The pizza delivery guy wheels a dolly with a huge stack of
pizzas into the party, only to be attacked by the prom-goers
like starving beasts. Grabbing the pizzas. Devouring them
TED'S LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITE
Ted, Charlie, the Taylor Triplets and several buddies lounge
around, drunkenly watching THE HOME SHOPPING CHANNEL on Ted's
big screen TV. A tacky CERAMIC GNOME rotates on the screen.
Ted swigs Dom Perignon straight from the bottle. He shouts
orders into his cell phone...
Hell yes, all hundred and seventeen
No, leave one. Somebody's
grandmother might want one.
And while you're at it, I'll take
ten dozen of those puppies with the
I love those springy head puppies!
CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER
Ted looks up as the elevator doors open. Principal Merkin
has arrived. Ted confronts him...
You kicked us off your turf, Merk.
Don't rain on our parade.
Mr. Nelson, you disappoint me.
First you break our school board
rules. Then you break the law.
What law, Merk? Having fun? Letting
down our hair on prom night?
Our state has a zero tolerance
policy for underage drinking.
You called the cops on us?
Alcohol does horrible things to a
developing young mind.
Suddenly the whole XENIA POLICE FORCE appears, in full riot
gear. The party's over. Everyone runs for the stairs. Ted
gives Principal Merkin a spiteful look and joins the mass
EXT. HOLIDAY INN - NIGHT
Drunken teenagers pour out of the building. Dashing for
their cars and limos. Ted's among them. Suddenly he's cut
off by a Harley that stops right in front of him. It's
Julie. Still in her purple strapless prom dress. With a
black motorcycle jacket over it.
Need a lift?
Ted jumps on, wrapping his arms around her waist. Julie takes
EXT. STREETS OF XENIA - CONTINUOUS
Julie maneuvers the nighttime streets of Xenia, taking off
down a country road.
Where are we going?
To the best hiding place in the
EXT. JULIE'S BACKYARD - NIGHT
Now we understand. Julie's family comes from major bucks. The
yard is massive. And resting in a sprawling oak tree is the
best hiding place in the world.
INT. JULIE'S TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
A cozy oasis. Books everywhere. A whole series of
flashlights hang upside down like lanterns. Giving the tree
house a warm glow.
I can't believe your dad built this
He didn't. He had it built.
Not "whatever." It's two different
He cared enough to want you to have
He phoned it in.
I doubt it.
Now it makes sense, the whole neo
Bohemian, down with hypocrisy,
fight the power crap. You're a poor
little rich girl.
The ozone must be fully depleted on
You think my dad would have been
like that if I knew him? You think
he would have bought me a stadium,
instead of teaching me how to play
Your dad taught you everything.
I mean my father.
A father is nothing but sperm, Ted.
It takes a real man to be a dad.
It's all so complicated.
It's incredibly simple.
I feel like I'm being drawn and
quartered. Like every part of me is
being pushed and pulled and tugged
in a different direction.
Eventually you'll let go.
And then what?
Then you'll see who's really
holding on to you.
Even when you infuriate me, I still
want to kiss you.
But you never do.
If we were a team, we could do
anything. I mean, anything.
Julie's eyes narrow. She should have known.
Cut to the chase, William Randolph.
Your audience is way ahead of you.
In a word: MERK. EXPOSED.
That's two words. And I'm out of
the "exposed" business, remember? I
need to graduate. Besides, Merk's a
There's gotta be something. We have
to dig deeper.
You forget, I dislike YOU at least
as much as him.
He shut down your paper! You're
stuck writing articles about swap
meets and raffles and PTA brunches!
He's right, but...
A good journalist can take lemons
and make lemonade. I'm honing my
Then you won't mind covering that
watermelon seed spitting contest
INT. OLD FOLK'S HOME - NIGHT
Dressed in a old fashioned barber costume, complete with a
handle bar mustache, Principal Merkin sings as part of a
BARBER SHOP QUARTET. The senior citizens clap
Ted and Julie peek through a crack in the doorway.
Disappointment on their faces.
INT. SOUP KITCHEN - ANOTHER NIGHT
Principal Merkin pours soup into the bowl of a shabbily
dressed HOMELESS MAN. Julie shoots Ted an "I told you so"
EXT. HIGHWAY - SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Principal Merkin supervises a crew of kindergarten CHILDREN,
cleaning up the roadside litter. Julie and Ted watch from...
A BRIDGE ABOVE THE HIGHWAY
See what I mean. He's squeaky
clean. He makes Gandhi look like a
Ted steels himself. Somehow, they'll get him.
EXT. XENIA - WATER TOWER - DAY
In the golden light of sunset, MOLLY, a stunning "Xenia
Girl," stands on the stairs that curve up around a huge water
tower that overlooks the city. Her loose spring dress
billows in the wind. Held on by only one button. Exposing in
quick glimpses that she isn't wearing a bra.
An ASSISTANT holds a portable strobe, attached to a
reflector. Charlie shoots with his Nikon. Motor drive
I have a great idea. Let's lose
the last button.
Molly grins. Then unbuttons. We hear a round of "oohs" from
below. Ted glances down, where...
Hundreds of binoculars, cameras, and camcorders are poised on
the scene. Men of all ages are milling around, gawking,
focusing their long lenses. Women are conspicuously absent.
Except for the gaggle of hardcore FEMINISTS with their
placards, denouncing "Heaven."
One Feminist approaches the Mayor.
The city tower belongs to the city,
not to some pornographer.
The library also belongs to the
city. And guess what? It's going
to have a new Ted Nelson wing with
three thousand children's books.
The Feminist tries to respond, but a helicopter swoops
overhead, drowning out her words. The helicopter rises to the
level of the photo shoot where the door slides open. And
just when we think it must have been hired by some hard core
fans who wanted a closer look, we find Principal Merkin
frowning as he barks through a bullhorn.
You should be ashamed, young lady!
Your body is a sacred temple!
Molly flashes him. Principal Merkin averts his eyes. Missing
the sight of Molly's dress being blown off her body by the
chopper's prop wash. The spectators below APPLAUD. They
watch in amazement as her dress floats down to them.
PRINCIPAL MERKIN (CONT'D)
Young lady, I will pray for god's
mercy upon your soul.
Don't bother, Merk! I'm already
going to "Heaven!"
Get them together.
(eyes lighting up)
Brilliant! Molly, give me all
you've got. For Merk.
Molly gets the idea. She poses provocatively towards
Principal Merkin, who suddenly realizes he's in a
Stop that, stop that this instant!
But Molly pulls off her panties and flings them at him.
INT. TED'S LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITE - DESK AREA - THAT NIGHT
Uncle Billy chortles, his image glowing on a large flat
screen monitor that hangs on the wall. Ted leans back in his
I never saw anybody turn so many
shades of red.
I can't wait to see the pictures.
It was incredible. The light, the
Uncle Billy grins proudly at Ted.
Such enthusiasm. Have I told you
lately how proud I am of you?
Seriously? I'm doing all right?
You're taking this bull of an
empire by the horns, but you're
still keeping your small town
values. You're not letting all this
"stuff" spoil you.
Ted knows it's not true. He looks guilty.
I owe it all to you. Without your
help I'd be lost.
I wish I knew you years ago, when
my brother was alive. I wish he
never gave you up.
Yeah, well, like my Grandpa used to
say...you can't change your
Christmas past, but you sure can
exchange your Christmas presents.
Uncle Billy forces a laugh.
Why don't you come to town this
weekend? We could play some golf,
chase some skirts.
Ted smiles at the appealing offer.
I'd love to, but I really need to
crack the books. Final exams are
coming up and I've been slacking.
You're right. I should work, too.
Our first issue together is almost
ready to print.
Thanks, Uncle Billy. Thanks for
You're a great kid. Don't you
With that, he's gone. The room is completely silent. And Ted
is completely alone.
UNTIL the doorbell CHIMES.
TED'S LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITE - ENTRY WAY - NIGHT
Ted opens the door. It's Jimmy, with his shiny new bike.
James, what are you doing here?
You can call me Jimmy again. Sheryl
Petersen said James sounds too
Sheryl Petersen is, what, nine
years old, what does she know?
She knew exactly where you were
staying, which you neglected to
tell me, your own brother.
It's really late...do your parents
know where you are?
Mom and Dad think I'm tucked safely
in bed and that's all they need to
know. Will this discussion be
continuing in the hallway, or
somewhere slightly more inviting?
TED'S LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITE - LIVING ROOM
Jimmy seems impressed by the opulence. He takes off his bike
helmet, looks around.
Impressive. This is bigger than our
Most places are, Jimmy.
They say money can't buy happiness
but this is a reasonably good
So, what brings you here at his
My new bike.
I came to ask permission to take
custody of your room.
Better view, more spacious, new
carpet. It's a no-brainer.
It's not up to me.
Mom and Dad said it's yours. They
seem to think you're coming home.
You can have it, then. I'm not
going back there.
Jimmy whips out a piece of paper from his pocket.
If you could just sign right there.
You want it in writing?
Just a formality.
Ted signs. Jimmy squirrels away the paper, excitedly. Starts
to zip up his wind breaker.
That's it? I mean, you don't want
to order room service or anything?
We could play games and watch
movies and stuff.
Are you kidding? Mom and Dad
discover I'm gone and I'll be doing
Are they okay?
Aside from the fact that Mom's eyes
are nearly swollen shut from crying
and Dad spends all his time under
the car trying to fix stuff that
isn't broken, things couldn't be
I miss them, too.
You can't come back. That is, you
can, but your things will be in the
room you currently think of as
You're a peach.
Funny you should say that. My
Grandfather was a peach farmer.
Ouch. For the first time, that really smarts.
He was my Grandfather, too.
I meant biologically.
That's a crappy thing to say.
Look Ted. I'm cool with everything.
You've long been dissatisfied with
our mediocre little town. You've
always had an itch for the good
life. I'm happy for you. This
couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
But just for the record, my Mom is
a kick-ass schoolteacher and my Dad
is the best damn auto mechanic this
side of the Himalayas. You seem to
have forgotten they opened Nelson's
FAMILY Market so they could build
something permanent, a legacy, for
us. Their kids.
I didn't forget.
You ever look down on them again
and call them "grocers" like it's a
dirty word, and you'll be sucking
your filet mignon through a straw
for six to eight weeks. Got it?
Ted's stunned. Talk about tough love.
Loud and clear.
Suddenly the phone rings. Ted sheepishly explains...
That's probably my office.
INT. JULIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Well? Where the hell are you?
INTERCUT BETWEEN TED AND JULIE
He's on the move?
I got an anonymous tip and an
address in Cincinnati.
Let's do it.
TED'S LUXURIOUS HOTEL SUITE - LIVING ROOM - THAT MOMENT
Ted hangs up the phone. Looks around. Jimmy's gone. But his
SHINY NEW BIKE is left behind.
INT. CINCINNATI NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT
Not much of a place. A middle-aged TORCH SINGER croons "MY
ROMANCE." Ted and Julie find their way to corner table.
Keeping an eye out for Principal Merkin.
I don't know. This place seems
You expected whips, chains, Merk
being cattle-prodded by some
dominatrix in a leather hood?
At least it's not another 4-H
meeting or a Big Brother barbecue.
Amen to that.
Their heads are very close together. A conspiratorial tête-à
Look at us. It's one o'clock in the
morning, on a school night. We're
in a smoky nightclub, hoping to
catch our principal with some big
I'm trembling with excitement.
That has more to do with your
proximity to me.
My desire betrays me, like
goosebumps on my flesh.
I have a bit of a goosebump fetish.
Not many people know that.
I figured you for more of a hairy
Shoes, if you want to know the
truth. Shoes are my thing.
Wearing them? Or humping them?
My fantasy is a totally naked
woman, wearing nothing but a Timex
and suede clogs.
That's refreshingly deviant.
What about you?
I'm very aural.
Tell me more.
Sounds, voices, music, humming. All
of it can turn me on, or off, like
(feigning a deep voice)
I had a Portuguese boyfriend who
could read the phone book and melt
A Portuguese boyfriend. Sounds very
You live and learn. I realized the
most important thing to me, above
all, is trust.
Turned out to be a scoundrel, eh?
I saw that one coming.
You lose trust in someone and it's
over, done, gone, forever.
At that moment, the TORCH SINGER begins crooning "PEOPLE."
Do you trust me, Julie?
Not a chance.
Trust is something you earn, over
time. You don't just inherit it
overnight like a gazillion dollar
Ted leans even closer. Looking into her eyes. Using his
voice. Being as aurally seductive as he can.
I want you to trust me.
Julie, I'll tell you something that
is the god's honest truth. I've
seen a lot of really beautiful
girls. I mean a lot. But none of
them make me feel like you do.
That's hard to believe.
But absolutely true.
Ted moves closer. Julie doesn't move away. The SINGER seems
to be performing just for them.
..."A feeling deep in your
soul/Says you were half, now you're
Just as Ted and Julie are about to kiss, Julie's eyes widen.
She grabs Ted's hand. Simultaneously, they turn towards THE
JULIE & TED
OH. MY. GOD.
It's the Mother Lode! That's not just any middle-aged torch
singer. That's Principal Merkin. Dressed in drag as Barbra
Streisand. And doing a mighty fine job of it.
Ted pulls out his camera and fires away. Blinded by the stage
lights, Principal Merkin sings and vogues glamorously. He has
no idea his secret is out.
EXT. NIGHTCLUB/CINCINNATI STREET - NIGHT
Ted and Julie rush down the street in the rain, giggling,
totally euphoric. They stop to catch their breath. Their
clothes are drenched, but they couldn't care less. In no time
they've got their arms wrapped around one another, kissing
We just found the ULTIMATE
centerfold for "The Girls of
Suddenly Julie sobers, pulls away.
I have to be honest with you, Ted.
I really despise "The Girls of
I know, their small town mentality
can be maddening.
I mean your pictorial. It bothers
Aw Julie, it's my job. It's like
being a doctor.
Julie eyes him skeptically.
You're telling me you don't get
aroused by a roomful of naked
You've seen one naked breast,
you've seem them all.
Which explains the continued
success of "Heaven" for how many
You're quick. I like that.
You think you're working with
The thing is, I made a commitment.
I said I'd do it and I have to keep
Keeping your word is something I
can actually respect, Ted.
TREMBLING HANDS, STRUGGLING TO LOAD A ROLL OF FILM INTO A
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - GIRL'S LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT
Ted closes the back of his camera. Takes a deep breath. And
forces a confident smile. He then peers into the...
Where Christy Malone limbers up. Stretching her leg against
the wall. Wearing her sexy cheerleader uniform.
I thought I'd be nervous, but you
sure know how to make a girl feel
relaxed, Teddy Bear.
I do? I mean, yeah, I do.
I have to admit, I am so totally
turned on. We should do it. Now.
You know...take the pictures?
Christy does her warm-up contortionist poses for Ted.
Clothes still on. As reflectors bounce strobes into the
Years of being a merciless tease, paying off right here and
now. Christy knows how to make love to the camera.
I remember the first time you
walked into Mrs. Temple's class in
2nd grade. Blue gingham dress.
Which you pulled, hard!
That was code for "I like you."
Wanna unzip me?
Ted slowly unzips Christy's top, catching a glimpse of her
long, sensuous back. She resumes posing. Flashing a bare
shoulder. A coy look. She doesn't need direction. She's a
Remember dress up day? You and
Charlie lifting skirts during
I miss those days, when schoolyard
sexual harassment was without
Things change. Now I'm taking off
my clothes...all by myself.
Christy slips off her cheerleader top. Lowers her skirt.
Flings it aside. She's wearing only panties the size of a
Band-aid. Ted is mute. Staring at her perfect body.
You have changed since second
I mean, what do you think?
You expect me to think at a time
like this? There isn't a drop of
blood in my brain.
Oh, Teddy Bear, you're funny.
Ted steps out of the shower. Out of Christy's sight, he
squirms in his jeans. Trying to hide his enthusiasm.
MUSIC suddenly seems to come from nowhere. Nine Inch Nails.
"I Want to Fuck You Like An Animal."
God help me.
Ted steps back into the shower. Christy rubs an ice cube on
her left nipple.
I heard they do this on photo
shoots. Wanna to do the other one?
She tosses him the ice cube. He fumbles. It lands on the
You're doing just fine, Christy.
Then I'm ready when you are.
Ted looks through the lens. We can see him trembling. Music
blasts as Ted's camera burns through film. They're both
getting into it. Water pulsating over her body. Steam
rising. Christy begins lathering her breasts.
I was always too shy to admit how
much I liked you.
Come on, I was hamburger. You were
Maybe on the outside. But inside,
deep down, I've always been
dripping with special sauces.
(she smiles, sexily)
Are you hungry?
Is he hungry. He's been working up this appetite for ten
years. He can barely contain himself.
God, you are so hot.
Then you better get in the water,
before you get burned.
Ted calls her bluff. He sets aside his camera. Walks right
into the water. Through the steam. Toward Christy. She wraps
a leg around him, sucking face, wanting more.
You and me, finally. This will be
so fantastic, Teddy Bear. Trust me.
Suddenly Ted stops. Remembering what Julie said about trust.
I'm sorry, Christy. I've been crazy
about you forever, and this is
definitely a page right out of my
palm pilot, but I just can't go
through with it.
He turns away, but Christy presses her bare body against his
back. Wrapping her hands around his waist. Caressing his
chest, his stomach...
Sure you can. You're only human.
It's not like you're made of steel.
(she lowers her hand)
Or ARE you?
SMASH CUT TO:
Ted and Christy locked in a steamy embrace. Rolling on the
floor. Hands, arms, lips, tongues, all in motion. As the
shower drenches them.
Suddenly, they roll into a pair of legs. Both look up. The
steam clears to reveal Julie. Arms crossed. Hurt, but not
What's up, doc?
She doesn't wait for an explanation. Christy covers herself.
Ted chases after Julie.
Wait, Julie, wait!
INT. TECUMSEH HIGH SCHOOL - CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Julie dashes out of the girls' locker room, passing a
JANITOR. Ted follows, dripping water.
I'm sorry, Mr. Ted. She pushed
right past me.
(calling after Julie)
At least let me explain!
Julie darts into the girls' restroom. Ted stops at the door.
Then realizes there is no one else around. He heads inside.
INT. GIRLS' RESTROOM - CONTINUOUS
Julie's too proud to let him see her cry. But we can tell
Go away, Ted. Just go.
Ted corners her near a row of sinks.
Please believe me. It was just a
kiss for old time's sake. I've had
a stupid crush on her since I was
seven, but I never got closer to
her than four feet and then there
she was right in front of me,
Julie looks at him, pensively. She unzips the back of her
summery dress. And lets it fall to the floor. She's
completely naked and absolutely gorgeous.
Ted gasps. He's been around dozens of naked women by now, but
this one he can't just gawk at. This one he really cares
Being naked is no big deal. It has
nothing to do with emotion, nothing
to do with love. You can be around
all the naked girls you want and
you won't be even one step closer
to anything meaningful in your
She puts on her dress, gracefully. As if nothing happened.
See that? You don't know me even
one ounce better than you did
before. You and your stupid
magazine. I liked you better when
you were sweet and kind and human,
like the rest of us.
At that moment, Ted's cell phone rings. Julie walks away,
leaving Ted completely alone. He answers, lifelessly...
UNCLE BILLY (O.S.)
We've got a huge problem with the
magazine, Ted-baby. Our readers
hate it. HATE IT. We need to talk.
INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR - DAY
Ted walks down the hallway. Three JOCKS look through the new
issue of "Heaven." Laughing. They taunt Ted.
You got a great sense of humor. I
love the three hundred pound Eskimo
You like Eskimo pie, Teddy?
I like the African chick with the
big lip. You could stash a lot of
weed in there. Maybe even a six
Ted's mortified, depressed. Charlie appears next to him with
"Heaven" in hand.
Holy stinkers, what were you
We wanted to challenge the notions
of classic beauty. We wanted to
showcase women throughout the
Next time, make sure you put a barf
bag in the centerfold.
Principal Merkin approaches. Also holding "Heaven" in his
Ted, I realize I owe you an
apology. You're destroying "Heaven"
much faster from the inside than I
ever could from the outside. Good
Ted could not feel worse.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Ted, Uncle Billy, and Helen. Meeting with the HEADS OF
HEAD OF MARKETING
Our advertisers are wigging out.
Half of them are threatening to
pull their ads for next month. The
other half already did.
It was nothing more than beginner's
folly. Tell everyone to lighten up.
It's a little more serious than
that, Bill. The stockholders have
requested a meeting. They want our
guarantee that this will never
(the words pain her)
Some of them are even calling for
Look, the girls of Xenia are
gorgeous, you'll see. Next month
we'll be back to normal.
HEAD OF FINANCE
Another disaster like this could
sink us. We've got thousands of
subscribers requesting refunds.
The kid came up with something that
sounded good on paper. Who knew our
readers wouldn't dig it?
Ted bristles. THE KID? The kid came up with something?
HEAD OF MARKETING
We tried to warn you.
Sometimes young people need to make
their own mistakes. That's how they
Ted can see that Uncle Billy's playing this out differently
than he imagined. Giving Ted all the "credit."
(firmly; to Uncle Billy)
It won't happen again. It will
never happen again.
INT. "HEAVEN" MANSION - TED'S OFFICE - DAY
Ted sits at his father's desk. Going through paperwork.
Figures. Charts. Reports. CEO work. In the b.g., he hears
the PLAYFUL SOUNDS of women. Which distract him.
Ted approaches the window and watches a group of girls
splashing and playing in the pool. He looks sad. Helen enters
behind him. He turns to her.
I always thought I wanted fame and
fortune and beautiful women. But
sometimes your dreams come true,
and they cause you nothing but
grief. I just want to chuck
everything and sell the stupid
magazine. It's not worth the pain.
Helen takes Ted's hand, comfortingly.
Come, let me show you something.
INT. MANSION ATTIC - DAY
Helen and Ted sit on old trunk. Helen holds a scrapbook in
her arms. Explaining to Ted...
Your parents never wanted to
interfere with your life, Ted. They
knew your Mom and Dad loved you
very much. They knew they did the
right thing. But that doesn't mean
they didn't watch you and miss you,
You mean they knew who I was?
They kept this scrapbook of your
life. It meant the world to them.
CLOSE ON SCRAPBOOK
We see baby pictures of Ted, taken through the glass of a
nursery. A newspaper photo of Ted playing a donkey in a
nativity play. And clippings from Ted's high school
I wondered about them, for so many
years. I wondered if I looked like
them, acted like them. I wondered
why they gave me up.
Giving you up was the most
unselfish thing they ever did. When
they founded "Heaven," they wished
they could take you back but it was
All they could do was build the
empire, knowing that someday it
would all be yours.
Your parents would be crushed to
think you weren't happy with it.
They're not my parents, Helen. My
parents are back in Xenia and I
hurt them very much.
And the girl I love, she hates
"Heaven." If I keep it, she'll
never respect me.
But how can you respect yourself if
INT. NELSON LIVING ROOM - DAY
Ted's parents and Jimmy walk through the front door. They're
stunned to find a huge 24x36 enlarged family portrait,
hanging over the mantle. It's the same picture Ted broke in
his childish tantrum. Mom and Dad are moved. Even more so
when they see Ted. Waiting for them on the couch. Ted rises.
Everything I am is because of you.
Can you ever forgive me?
Oh, Teddy. We missed you so much.
You were always our number one son.
(rolling his eyes)
Mom, Dad. This display of
unconditional love is appalling.
We are a FAMILY.
A family, need I remind you, that
HE ridiculed and left for dead.
Shut your pie hole, Jimmy.
I will not have my boys arguing.
So, when I'm seventeen, can I turn
everyone's life upside-down, behave
like a total piece of canine
excrement, and then wipe the slate
clean with a half-baked apology and
a Kodak moment?
MOM & DAD
Which is precisely why I got the
rights to my new room IN WRITING.
(to his parents)
I need your help. I'm really in
Don't say "shit," honey. Use the
strong vocabulary God gave you.
Besides, there's no problem too
deep or too shitty for us to solve.
INT. NELSON GROCERY STORE - DAY
Dad reaches for a can of peaches from the shelf.
Son, it's a simple fix. The only
difference between my store and
that magazine of yours is a bunch
of zeros. Now, have I ever told you
the story about the can of peaches?
INT. CONFERENCE HALL - DAY
A "Heaven" stockholders' meeting in progress. Uncle Billy
stands at the podium.
Ladies, gentlemen. "Heaven" has
gone to hell.
Behind him are charts, wall graphs. We quickly realize he is
a complete and utter turn-coat.
UNCLE BILLY (CONT'D)
I loved my brother. I stood by his
wishes to let his son run the
company. A son he never knew. A son
that he and his wife gave away at
birth. A son who was raised in a
world quite different from our own.
Nevertheless, I was there for the
lad. I guided him as best I could.
But he's only seventeen, with a
mind of his own and judgment that
is, well, frankly, not a chip off
the old block. There is only one
(gesturing to himself)
And I think we all know what that
--PEACHES! CANNED PEACHES!
Ted bursts into the meeting with his Dad. Holding up a can of
peaches. Suddenly hundreds of eyes are upon him. Curious,
Ted dashes to the podium, with passion in his soul and fire
in his belly.
What are you doing?
My job. Back off, Benedict.
Uncle Billy steps into the shadows as Ted looks out at the
crowd. He's petrified. But he takes a deep breath and finds
the courage to explain...
The only man I called "Dad" owns a
little grocery store in Xenia,
Ohio. He learned a lot of cool
stuff from my Grandpa, who was a
peach farmer in his day. Grandpa
knew the right thing to say in
every situation, and it usually
involved peaches. My dad's a lot
like him. And he taught me, you
have to focus on the peachy side of
life, not the pits.
Dad's eyes are filled with tears. He's never been so proud.
There was a time when canned
peaches were the hottest, greatest
thing ever invented.
It was like a little taste of
summer, anytime you wanted. Grocery
stores couldn't keep them in stock,
they were so popular. And even
though other canned fruits like
pears, plums, and pineapples have
come along, people still need to
know they can get their canned
peaches, on the same shelf,
whenever they want them. It's
comforting, you know? It fulfills
The stockholders are listening. Uncle Billy grins nervously.
Unable to believe Ted is pulling this off.
You're probably wondering if
there's a point to all this and I
guess it's just that I goofed last
month. I not only moved the canned
peaches, I restocked the shelves
with kiwi, guava, and mandarin
oranges in heavy syrup. I
challenged people's expectations.
And you can't do that to your
customers. So, I ask you for one
more chance to fix things and give
our readers back their canned
The stockholders APPLAUD enthusiastically, giving Ted a
standing ovation. Ted turns to Uncle Billy.
Thanks for teaching me an important
lesson. What makes a family is
love, not blood.
All is fair in "Heaven," Ted-baby.
That's right. And guess who's the
new King of the Unemployment Line.
Aw, come on, kid. Throw me a bone.
I'm your uncle for gosh sakes.
INT. "HEAVEN" HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Ted looks at pictures. Layouts. Reads copy. Listens to his
staff. He seems confident. In control. Mature beyond his
years. The magazine goes to press. In VOICE OVER, we hear
Julie, reading the article about Ted that she wrote for the
"It's easy to fall prey to petty
jealousy when considering the young
life of Ted Nelson. But how would
any of us behave if one day all our
dreams came true? Would we handle
it half as well? Would we find
ourselves making the same mistakes
for which we criticize him?"
Someone hands Ted a copy of Julie's article. He reads the
last portion of it aloud...
"One can only hope that Ted Nelson
will find bigger and better dreams
upon which to set his sights as the
years pass. And that he will
remember, always, where he came
EXT. JULIE'S HOUSE - DAY
Julie opens her front door. Charlie grins. He hands her a
copy of "Heaven."
Intrigued, she turns to the page.
CLOSE ON MAGAZINE
We see a special dedication, "To Julie, My Partner in Crime,
With All the Love in the World." Julie's eyes fill with
tears. She flips ahead to "The Girls of Xenia" pictorial,
only to find--
Principal Merkin. Singing his heart out, in drag as Barbra
Streisand. It's a series of shots from the Cincinnati
nightclub. Other shots suggestively include him with Molly in
the foreground, as if they posed together.
Not bad for a hack. He has a future
in yellow journalism.
He kicked major ass and you know
INT. MERKIN'S HONDA CIVIC - MOVING - DAY
Principal Merkin drives. The RADIO plays in the b.g. As one
song ends, we hear the DJ say...
This one's for you Dick Merkin of
Tecumseh High. From all your
students. With hugs and kisses.
The voice of Barbra Streisand fills the car.
BARBRA STREISAND (ON THE RADIO)
"People/People who need People/Are
the luckiest people in the world."
Principal Merkin pales. He turns off the radio. But
somehow, he can still hear the song. As he pulls into the
school parking lot, students wave enthusiastically. He waves
back tentatively. Anxiety rising.
EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - DAY
Principal Merkin swings open his car door to be greeted by
the sound of Barbra singing her heart out through the parking
lot. Every student's car stereo blasts the song. Students
CHEER. Chanting: "BAR-BRA, BAR-BRA, BAR-BRA!" Principal
Merkin turns crimson.
EXT. SCHOOL STADIUM - DAY
Graduation caps fall all around. People hugging, laughing,
overjoyed. Ted searches for Julie, but she's nowhere in
INT./EXT. NELSON'S HOUSE - EVENING
A big graduation party in progress. But Ted sits in the
corner, looking sad, dejected. Julie didn't show up. He blew
it. Jimmy and Charlie approach, with cheering on their minds.
Why so melancholy?
You were born naked, wet, and
hungry. Now you're hip, handsome,
and rich. You are the coxswain on
the ship of life.
Eat, Drink, and Screw Mary!
I taught him that.
From my wise, albeit youthful,
vantage point, the world is your
oyster. You scored big.
You got everything you ever wanted.
Except the girl. The only one that
And who might that be? Miss July?
Ted turns to find Julie. His faces brightens with hope.
Julie, wow. I was afraid you left.
I was afraid I'd never see you
I'm not going anywhere, Ted. You're
the one with the champagne wishes
and caviar dreams.
I decided to let Helen run the
magazine. I need to go to college,
learn a few things, you know.
Julie seems pleased.
And I thought maybe I'd take up
boating. I've always wanted to be a
Very ambitious. I like that.
The thing is, I'll need a first
I know where you can find any
number of naked girls who'd love to
hop on board.
All kidding aside, he speaks from the heart...
Julie, you were right. All the
naked girls in the world mean
It's the one you want to cover up
with your coat that you really
Planet Ted. Five years from now.
I graduated from college. Did
great, summa cum laude and all. And
I'm about to launch a brand new
magazine called "EXPOSED!" An
homage to Miss Julie Conroy of
I know where you can find an
Let your fingers do the walking.
Suddenly the music changes. "People." Ted grins.
They're playing our song.
(extending his hand)
Dare I ask for this dance?
(taking his hand)
Ted and Julie begin dancing and kissing in the b.g.
Charlie and Jimmy feign tears.
I'm a sucker for a happy ending.
And we start to RISE AGAIN, above the NELSON HOUSE, into the
clouds above Xenia...
So, as you can guess, everybody
pretty much lived happily ever
after. My parents didn't give up
the grocery store...
We descend through clouds and quickly find we're...
EXT. LONDON - BUCKINGHAM PALACE - DAY
Mom and Dad take pictures and smooch in front of the palace.
...but they did manage to sneak
away for a second honeymoon.
ON A NEARBY NEWSSTAND
We ZOOM CLOSE on "Heaven Magazine," where pages flip open in
the wind, revealing...
PRINCIPAL MERKIN "EXPOSED" IN THE PAGES OF "HEAVEN."
Merk's appearance in "Heaven"
turned out to be a good thing. He
was spotted by a talent scout...
INT. LONDON DRAG CLUB - NIGHT
Principal Merkin dressed as Barbra, singing "Don't Rain on My
...and went on a European summer
tour, fulfilling his lifelong
dream. Naturally he brought
Poochie, the only girl he ever
IN THE WINGS
Poochie, the Cocker Spaniel, watches. Wagging her tail.
After graduation, Charlie moved to
STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF...
EXT. UTAH FARM - DAY
Charlie wrestling in a haystack with the IDENTICAL TAYLOR
...where he married all three of
the identical Taylor Triplets.
Let's just say, they've been very
Peeking out of the haystack, we spot at least a dozen CHARLIE
TED (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And even Uncle Billy landed on his
INT. TELEMARKETING CUBICLE - DAY
Uncle Billy wears a phone headset. He seems to be swimming in
a sea of "Time-Life" style operators.
...with a two year subscription to
"Heaven," you get a free underwater
And now if you'll excuse me, I
think I'll get back to being the
coxswain on the ship of life.
EXT. SAILBOAT - PACIFIC COAST - DAY
Ted and Julie sail off into, what else but a GLORIOUS SUNSET.