Easy Money (2)
Peter E Zuehlke

 



a construction loan like this, Chuck.  Can we?

THRUSTER
So why are you dressed like a dork?

MUNNY
I rode my bike up here.  Well, except for the last one
hundred feet.

THRUSTER
Man.  My car couldnít make it up here.

MUNNY
I am going to meet Lisa up here.  We are going to ride
together.  I called her.  Sheís very friendly.  
Itís unreal.

THRUSTER
Lisa rides?  Bicycles?

MUNNY
Yeah.

THRUSTER
Take it easy on her, donít do one of those epic, marathon
rides.  Maybe she just said she bicycles to impress you. 





MUNNY
No, really.  She goes out every Sunday with the 
Pina Farina Riding Club.  Theyíre hard core.  20 year old
velodrome racers.  Some of them are animals.  I rode with
them last year, and I was in the third group.  Could catch
them on the hills.  But I couldnít stay up with them for
long.  I hope I can keep up with her.

THRUSTER
			(wistfully)
Lisa.  A girl like that riding! 
			(seriously) 
Thatís not right.

			(They walk over to the edge of 
			the ďlotĒ stage left.)

MUNNY
Itís got a great view.

			(THRUSTER grabs MUNNYíS arm.)

THRUSTER
Wow, thatís a long way down.  Donít get so close to the
edge of the cliff. You know Iíve got a thing about
heights.


		  (They walk back in front of the framing.
		We hear ZACKY trying to unlock the 
		front door.  He can be seen through the framing. ZACKY gives up and squeezes 
		through the framing.  As ZACKY speaks 
		his right eye has a tendency to close 
		slowly.  He shakes THRUSTERís hand enthusiastically.)

ZACKY
Hey Chuck!

THRUSTER
Good to see you ZACKY.  Joe here.  Meet ZACKY Ringer.  
One of the greatest.  ZACKY, Joe Munny.  Iíll never forget
that fight you had with Homes.  He was on the ropes,
seemed like ten minutes.  With your left and then your
right, your left again.
 		(He shadow boxes low punches)
  
A decision but a hell of a fight.

ZACKY
Homes, Homes (trying to remember) I was the Greatest.
Wasnít I?  Hey kid.  Nice to meet you.  Joe Munny thatís a
funny name.

MUNNY
Actually itís Czech.  My grandparents were from Prague.
Itís really pronounced ďYoĒ

THRUSTER
So Yo Moneyís a check (he laughs)

		(ZACKY doesnít get it, but seems to 
		get momentarily confused glancing 
		around the area.  He refocuses.)
					
ZACKY 
Ah. You guys have any trouble finding the place?

THRUSTER
No.

MUNNY
No problem.

ZACKY
Really?  (to himself) Maybe you come up a different way.

MUNNY
Mr. Ringer.  We thought that your house was completed.
Construction loanís a different thing.  I donít know what
the investors are going to say.  If theyíll go along with
that much cash out.

ZACKY
Hey, call me Zacky.  Got to get the cash.  Iím in
promoting a rematch between Tyson and Hollyfield.  Gonna
be at the Tropicana in Vegas.  250 thousand in, Iím gonna
make half a mil.  Completed.  Yeah itís completed.  It was
finished last month.  August.  But you know the land.
Itís not that together on the bluff here. There is some
slippage. There was a lot in 03.   But we got it all
together finished later that year.

MUNNY
So you finished construction three years ago in 2002.
Youíre not going to use any of the loan for the building?

ZACKY
Yeah.  Yeah.  No.  This stuff.  This is just cosmetic.
Had to get rid of that door.  

ZACKY
Cheezy glass in it looked like a bar in Gary.  The house
is sound.  Itís all on a steel frame foundation now.
Plumbingís in the attic.  Cables into the hill back over
there.  Big cables man.  Itís cool.  Look at them.

THRUSTER
Yeah.  And it got a great view from up here.  I love the
hills. Man! I think you can see Catalina today.
Hey, do fighters have groupies?

ZACKY
Say what?  Oh yeah groupies.  Yeah.  Lotta girls.  
Hey guys I need this money.  I gotta get these funds by
next month.  Thatís real important.  You gonna help me out
here or what?

		(THRUSTER and Munny step away from 
		ZACKY and whisper together.)

ZACKY
(aside)
Man, these guys are rubes!

MUNNY(stepping back to ZACKY) 
We have to talk with our investors.

ZACKY
When can you let me know.  I got to get the show on the
road.  This is a once in a lifetime thing.  Iíve got some
of my own people, investors in Vegas, that Iíve worked
with in the past.  Got financing for my property next to
the ah (hesitates) Luxor.

MUNNY
Probably later this week.

ZACKY
Okay.  Okay.  I know youíre trying.  Thanks man.

		

		(They shake hands.  ZACKY smiles a 
		big selling smile and heads back to 
		his door.  Heís locked himself out.  
		He struggles with the knob a bit 
		then walks towards the back of the 
		stage behind the house out of view.)

THRUSTER
Well that went pretty well.

MUNNY
Itís a construction site Chuck.  With no road to it.
Whatís left of it.  The investors arenít oing to go for
this.  Rich people donít stay rich buying trust deeds like
this.  Where are we going to find someone to go out on a
limb like this.

THRUSTER
Hey.  Easy with the height imagery.  Iím still a little
dizzy.  Itís not a bad property. Itís got a great address.

MUNNY
The address is going to be on the Coast Highway before the
end of the year.  The only question will it be in
foreclosure first.  At least this wonít have to be torn
down.  Itís not going to perform.  Our investors will get
burnt.

THRUSTER
Youíre overestimating the intelligence of people with
money.  Itís really a good deal with the proper handling.
Weíre gonna be able to add a lot of points to it.  It will
be very tempting for a certain kind of investor.  Weíll
find our pigeon.  And WHEN, I mean IF it doesnít perform.
We take it off our investors hands for a song. It will be
worth four million next year!

			(GIOVANNI rolls in on his bicycle.  
		He is also dressed in bicycling 
		clothes.  He takes one foot out of 
		the pedal clip and puts his foot on 
		the ground to steady himself.)

GIOVANNI
Hey Joey.  Are you riding with the club today?



MUNNY
Hi GIOVANNI.  No.  I am meeting a girl up here.  
Weíre going to ride up the coast and then take Encinal
Canyon back to the Valley.   Had to see a property up
here.  What are you doing here?

		GIOVANNI
I was riding with Annie and Francois.  Iím out of shape.
They said they were going to wait for me at the top of
Temescal.  I thought they might have come across this way.
Think I took a wrong turn. I wasnít following you.  
Howís that shaft I gave you.

MUNNY
Real good.  Works a lot better with the new Campy hubs.
				
GIOVANNI
Well take it easy.  Iím going to head down to the store.
Annieís friend Nicole was going to watch the counter while
we do this ride.  You going to be around this weekend to
help with the move.

MUNNY
You signed that lease?

GIOVANNI
Yeah.  I need that space.  Another 2000 square feet.
Right by the 3rd street promenade. Always wanted a
storefront in downtown Santa Monica.

MUNNY
Most of your business is mail order.

GIOVANNI
Yeah.  But I got a great deal.  The agent got me five
percent off for signing.

MUNNY
You could buy it for much less, lower monthly payments.

GIOVANNI
Yeah, thatís weird isnít it? (Shaking his head) Donít
believe in debt.  My family always been in business.
Always real careful about debt.

		(LISA DE RANGER enters on her bike, 
		dressed to kill in spandex glory.)



DE RANGER
Hi.

GIOVANNI
Wow.

		(GIOVANNI falls over with the bicycle  on top of his clipped in foot.  He struggles to free himself but as he tries to crawl away from the bike it follows him sliding  along.  He manages to get back up on the one free foot, balancing on it.  Then Munny grabs the bike to steady it, and GIOVANNI falls over again.  
		He finally gets back up and coasts off stage without looking back.)

DE RANGER

Who was your friend?

MUNNY
That was GIOVANNI.  He owns Il Duce Sports over in 
Marina Del Rey.

DE RANGER
Is he okay?  Gosh I hope you werenít waiting for me long. 
They had problems with the water in my apartment again. 
The pipes were leaking in the unit above me.  I was
cleaning up some of the plaster that came down.

MUNNY
How oldís that building?

DE RANGER
Itís about 10 years old.  Itís a real cool building.
Itís one of the best apartment buildings in Brentwood.

MUNNY
Have you complained to the owner?  

DE RANGER
Iíve talked with the managers.  They are an older couple.
They really canít do too much.


MUNNY
What about the owner?

DE RANGER
Thatís Dr. Grindinger.  Heís a partner with Dr. Condyle.
They put together the medical corporation.  Iíve never
seen Dr. Grindinger, but Iím sure heís too busy to deal
with repairs Ďspecially since he wants to sell it real
soon.  Wow!  You have that new Campy axle set.  Hey after
we ride letís stop at the Barrington Starbucks.  
Iíll buy you a Latte.

Lights fade out.


					


					Scene five

					CHAIRMAN, FANNIE & FREDDIE isolated on bare stage.

CHAIRMAN
(reviewing report) 
For release June 9. Draft: Z1 Flow of Funds Accounts of
the United States.  Foreign Investors absorbed 98.5% of
treasuries issued.  44.7% of corporate.  We bought back
51.2 billion.  112.7% of total treasury issues taken off
the market. Thatíll keep the long rates down.

		(He hands the sheets to FANNIE & Freddy 
		then ignores them.)

Happy Lending!

F & F
(Studying the sheets) 
Total foreign liabilities. . . Net foreign claims on the
U.S. of 5.089 trillion. Trillion!

FANNIE
(Concerned)
Is this wise?

FREDDIE
We better not piss anybody off.


					Scene six

					DE RANGERís Apartment, the unfinished bathroom.

					A finished wall section with the door is at stage left.  The far side of the wall at the back is draped with tar paper.  There is a rough framed bathroom with a shower stall to the right of the wall with the door.  It consists of two by four framing with plastic sheets stretched in between.  Plastic sheeting also forms a shower pan at the floor.  Practical showerhead and valves are on the back frame wall. (Water effect could be done with sound and fiber-optic light wands for spray.)  To stage right is a commode and a small sink/vanity.  A weight machine is stage right.

					DE RANGER sits on the floor in the center of the area just inside the ďbathroomĒ.  She is dressed in a bathrobe.  There is a telephone, a bottle of wine and a half full glass on the floor next to her.  There is some construction debris, pieces of plaster board and short sections of pipe.  There are quite a few stuffed animals around the room, on the vanity, commode and floor.  They all are carefully arranged facing DE RANGER on the floor.  DE RANGER picks up the phone, dials it deliberately.  Then slams the handset down before it has a chance to ring.  She does this again, not in anger, but anxiety.  The third time she lets it ring.


DE RANGER
Hi,  Joe.  How are you?  Sorry to bother you so late.  
I just had to tell you what a great time I had today.
Hope you did too.  Oh you got my E-mails.  I am sorry
there were so many of them.  

No. No. Everythingís okay.  I just had a rough day at
work.  There was this creepy guy. This patient.  Yeah.
He was just way too into the therapy. No.  He didnít sa
or do anything really.  Some of it is just me.  Iím
probably over-reacting.  Made me think about my 
ex-boyfriend.  Yeah him.	I didnít tell you this before but
he turned out to be a stalker.

For two years my life was Hell.  There was a restraining
order.  But he always seemed to be able to run into me
away from my apartment.  

No one was ever around when he managed to corner me.  
I really wasnít able to get a full nightís sleep for two
years.  I am so glad that is finally over.  Finally. 
Yeah.  Thanks.  I am looking forward to seeing you
soon too.  Real soon.  Bye.

		(DE RANGER hangs up the phone 
		and sighs.  She stands up and 
		opens the hot water shower valve.  
		Some water comes out.  Three 
		chords of string instrument music 
		a la Psycho in the background. 
		She turns her back to the audience 
		and loosens the terry cloth tie on 
		her bathrobe.  She lets the robe 
		slip down revealing her bare 
		shoulders.  The water stops.  
		She pulls the robe back up, and 
		steps into shower and stares up 
		at the shower head. Face inches 
		from the head.  She taps the head 
		and nothing comes out.  She steps 
		to the side and hits the pipe 
		leading to the head with the palm 
		of her hand.  A stream comes out 
		for a second.  She looks around 
		and sees a length of iron pipe, 
		about 3 feet long.)
			
		(DE RANGER taps the plumbing in 
		the wall with the pipe.  
		Water runs for a short time.  
		She tries to hit the shower 
		plumbing with the pipe, but 
		the wall framing minimal though 
		it is, is in the way.  She finds 
		that she has to back her way into 
		the shower to get a swing at the 
		plumbing.  She winds up like a 
		batter and swings.

		She slips on the plastic sheeting 
		on the floor.  As she falls she 
		brings the pipe firmly down on 
		one of the larger stuffed animals.  
		Its head is severed.  She looks 
		at it.  Gathers it in her arms, 
		and after a beat releases a 
		blood curdling scream.)  

DE RANGER
NOOOOO.    Mr. Bobo.  What have I done.  Iím Sorry.  Iím sorry Mr. Bobo.  I killed him.

			(She hangs her head sobbing, 
			despondent.  There is a creaking 
			noise outside.  She hears it, and 
			becomes rapt.  She secures the 
			terry belt on the bathrobe, puts 
			on a bicycle helmet from somewhere 
			nearby.  She picks up a pipe from 
			the floor.  She grasps the pipe and 
			swings it against her other hand 
			police baton style.  A queer 
			expression comes over her face 
			and she exits.)



						Scene seven
						Road

			(Munny rolls in on his bicycle.  
			He gets off and drinks from a sports 
			bottle.  He looks at the view.  
			From offstage we hear:)

GIOVANNI
	Joe.  Hey Joe.  Wait up.

			(GIOVANNI runs on stage pushing 
			his bicycle alongside him.  
			He is out of breath.)

GIOVANNI
	I just got a flat.  Do you have a spare inner tube on you?

MUNNY
	Yeah.  Sure.

			(MUNNY walks over to his bike 
			and takes the inner tube out 
			from the small bag below 
			the seat.)

GIOVANNI
	Thanks.  Great.  Itís a long way back to Marina Del Rey.

MUNNY
	I didnít see you back there.

GIOVANNI
	Yeah. (taking the tube) I was about a quarter mile back.  I wasnít following you.

MUNNY
	All the way from Venice?

GIOVANNI
	Yeah.  So, are you riding with Lisa today?

MUNNY
	No.  She had to work today.

GIOVANNI
Man.  Youíre lucky.  Not many girls like Lisa.  
Iíd like to hook up with someone like her.

MUNNY
I thought your parents wanted you to get together with a
nice Korean girl?

GIOVANNI
Theyíre real old fashioned.  You know how upset they were
after I changed my name.

MUNNY
Not too many Koreans named Panettone.

GIOVANNI
I want, well, I got the car, the Ferrari 328 you know.
Saved every nickel I got for eleven years to get it.  
I thought it would attract the girls. 

MUNNY
Like Lisa?

GIOVANNI
Yeah.  ĎCept the ones that look like Lisa usually turned
out to be hookers.  But Lisa, she seems so nice too.
Youíd think that by now sheíd be married off to one of the
wealthy doctors in that orthopedic group she works at.

MUNNY
Those doctors.  They are so cheap.  Buying a golf tee is a
stressful experience for them. They treat Lisa like dirt.
Lucky for me.

GIOVANNI
Yeah.  Lucky you.  So are you going to meet Lisa later,
somewhere?




					Scene eight
					Palisades construction site

					ZACKY is reclining on a chaise lounge in his front yard. The door to the house is wide open. There is a small T.V. on a cart in front of him with a shotgun propped up against another piece of lawn furniture.  Munny enters dressed for business carrying a sheaf of papers.  ZACKY jumps up when he sees MUNNY.

ZACKY
Hey.  Thereís the man.  

MUNNY
How are you doing Mr. Ringer.

ZACKY
Have a seat over here. (pointing to the chair by the
 shotgun)
		(ZACKY picks up the shotgun and 
		gingerly carries it over and props 
		it up against the T.V.)


ZACKY
Last night ah had the ah. . . biggest rattlesnake in the
yard.  Must have been eight feet long.  Those things give
me the creeps.  But to have a view like this you got to
pay for it, right?  

		(MUNNY sits down in the chair.  
		ZACKY sits on the edge of the chaise.)

ZACKY
You want a beer?

MUNNY
No, thanks.

ZACKY
(dropping the stupid act)  
So letís get to it.  What kind of package can you put
together for me?

	MUNNY hands ZACKY a stack of papers.

MUNNY
Well, as we mentioned to you, the investors donít fund
loans of this size on projects in construction.  There is
one investor.  Weíve worked with him for eight years now.
Heís done a lot of deals with us through the years.  
He knows us so heís willing to put up more money for a
real estate loan like this than anyone else in town.  

But the deal would have to be a bridge loan for one year,
giving you a chance to complete the house.  There would be
twelve points on that but that would only be a three
hundred thousand dollar loan.  So at completion weíd refi
and you could get your cash out for the fight promotion
financing.

		


		(DE RANGER enters, unseen by ZACKY and 
		MUNNY at the side of the construction 
		framing.  She is dressed in casual street clothes, carrying a length of pipe.  
		She hides behind the trash can.  
		ZACKY gets up.  He seems a little spaced 
		but then focuses.  He walks around and 
		gets more agitated as he speaks.)

ZACKY
Friend, thatís the biggest load of bullshit Iíve heard in
a long time.  Sticking up a bunch of sheetrock and stucco


 

 

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Copyright © 2005 Peter E Zuehlke
Published on the World Wide Web by "www.storymania.com"