Easy Money (3)
on this dump isnít going to make either of us rich. Iíve talked to direct lenders. Iíve talked to sharks. Now, I am talking to you. I want to make you a lot of money. Easy money. (ZACKY takes out a pen and quickly marks out a line here and there in the documents. He signs the last page with a flourish then hands a couple of pages back to MUNNY.) ZACKY Iím not going to blanket this deal with my Vegas land. Iím not going to subordinate the first on this one. I need the cash out now. And I want to keep my kneecaps. (ZACKY throws the rest of the papers on the ground and picks up the shotgun.) ZACKY Get me my money. MUNNY I donít know if we can structure (word catches in his throat) a deal like that. ZACKY (raising his voice) Donít play me boy. Iíve been in this game a lot longer than you have. The cash is flying around out there, you just gotta grab it. (DE RANGER raises herself still out of view of the two men. Sheís alarmed and angry. ZACKYís eye starts closing up, he cocks his head a little, and what looked like stroke before turns out to be an intimidating shooting stance as he brings the shotgun to eye level and points it at MUNNY.) ZACKY I need the cash now. Get me that deal. MUNNY Yes. Sir. Calm down please. Weíll get your deal. (MUNNY stands up overturning the chair. He steps backwards a pace or two then turns and runs. ZACKY moves towards him, and laughs. ZACKY hears something and stops laughing. He ďbreaksĒ open the shotgun, and sees it has no shell in it. He checks his pockets, but theyíre empty too. DE RANGER isnít happy, as she slaps the pipe against the palm of her free hand, and begins to creep forward. Lights fade out. We hear a dull thud.) Scene nine Health club. Same set up as scene 1 (THRUSTER is jogging absentmindedly on treadmill. The other one is not in use. MUNNY enters, upset.) THRUSTER Hey big guy. Where have you been? I havenít seen you for days. Lisa been keeping you busy? I think Iím in love with Lisa. I donít know how I let you take her away from me. MUNNY Lisa. She was sending me E-mails. Five or ten a day at the beginning. Iíve been trying to cool it the last couple of days. She sent me seventeen E-mails yesterday. Three days ago my answering machine broke down, wore out. Iím afraid to pick up the phone. THRUSTER Seventeen E-mails. (dead pans) Iím shocked. Does she ever attach any JPEG photos to those? MUNNY No JPEGs. Chuck, listen to me. You didnít hear about what happened to Zacky? THRUSTER Did you get him signed up? MUNNY Yeah. The papers are all signed. Everything is signed off. THRUSTER Hallelujah kid. Congratulations are in order. Thatís a hell of a commission. I got to take you out to the strip club. MUNNY But Zacky. THRUSTER Donít worry about Zacky. He can take care of himself. He is one of the greatest. MUNNY No. He canít. Not anymore anyway. He was killed. Bludgeoned to death. (THRUSTER switches off the treadmill and gets off. He looks concerned standing by MUNNY.) THRUSTER Oh. Man! When did that happen? MUNNY Ah. Must have been the night, right after I got the loan docs signed off. THRUSTER You got the docs signed off though?. What are you worried about. Weíll get our points.(smiling) You did good. Bludgeoned eh? (GIOVANNI enters. He is looking around the health club. He is wearing a sweat shirt and overly long sweat pants that pile on top of his running shoes.) THRUSTER Thereís Giovanni. Is he okay. Seems like heís gotten attached to you. MUNNY Not me heís after. Heís been obsessing over. . . GIOVANNI Hey guys. Have you seen Lisa around? (GIOVANNI is trying to act casual as he switches the treadmill on and hops onto it, jogging.) GIOVANNI Havenít seen her in a while. THRUSTER (teasing) Think she said she was going to Bermuda or something with her old boyfriend. GIOVANNI Old boyfriend. Ohhhh(becomes an exclamation) (GIOVANNI grabs the handrails to support himself. He runs with one foot while the other is drawn to the motor at the front of the machine.) GIOVANNI My leg. My pants. Itís caught in the motor. (His leg is driven against the front of the machine as he holds on for dear life to one of the rails. His other arm flails as he tries to reach the off switch.) MUNNY Hang on. Iíll turn it off. (MUNNY lunges for the speed control knob. For a moment we hear the machine speed up. GIOVANNI screams. His pants are torn completely off from him as he falls on to the belt then rolls to the side on the floor in his underwear. HEALTH CLUB WOMAN walks by. GIOVANNI gets up and stumbles out in a daze.) Lights fade out. Scene ten Lisa DE RANGERís Apartment GIOVANNI is stalking outside. He can be seen through some of the framing. He comes in squeezing through the framing and tar paper at the back of the stage. He is carrying a big sack, a roll of duct tape and handcuffs. She is working on the weight machine, listening to a Walkman. GIOVANNI creeps up behind her with the sack. She doesnít see him. As heís about to put the bag over her head, he gets tangled in the machine. Somewhere near his belt buckle. He canít free himself. He struggles with the machine moving weights or elastic bands. He just gets more tangled up.. GIOVANNI (stifled) Help me. (DE RANGER gets off the machine and turns slowly toward GIOVANNI.) DE RANGER Ah. We caught another one, didnít we. (Looking up) This should appease Mr. Bobo. (Lights go down. We hear GIOVANNIís familiar scream.) Scene eleven Health Club (THRUSTER is standing next to the treadmill carefully adjusting his clothing and sweat band. PEPPER enters.) THRUSTER Hey Officer Pepper, what are you doing here? This place is about as far away, spiritually speaking, from a donut shop as you can get. PEPPER You know Thruster, those old police stereotypes are not only typically inaccurate, but rarely funny. THRUSTER Well, maybe youíre not the typical cop. So when are you going to complete that thesis? Are they going to promote you from sergeant when you get your Ph.D.? PEPPER Yeah. A sergeant for 17 years. THRUSTER Going to be funny calling you doctor. PEPPER Gonna be awhile yet. Havenít had any time to work on it. Theyíve been bouncing me all around. Jails to recruitment. Now Iím supposed to be back in a car, but Iím working homicide. The detectives got me running down every bogus tip. For some reason when the neighborhood boys whack somebody over a turf dispute the witnesses donít want to talk about it. THRUSTER They donít explain that in those criminology courses youíre taking? Well, the degree should impress the brass. PEPPER Yeah, right. They hate all those young guys that have been coming in to the department recently with advanced degrees. THRUSTER Well you canít really blame those new guys. What else are they going to do with those degrees. Teach. Itís safer to be a cop. PEPPER These days itís hard to find people who understand the importance of the group dynamic vis-a-vis the individual imperative. At least Iím an old timer. The Lieutenant and the Captain donít give me any crap. They know me. They trust me with the sensitive confidential stuff. Iím working on this Zacky Ringer murder. THRUSTER Yeah. I heard. Bludgeoned. PEPPER You and that partner of yours. You were working on a loan for him? THRUSTER Yeah. I saw Zacky a couple of days before he got it. Picture in the paper was ugly. He was one of the greatest. PEPPER They found some of your papers on him. They were dated about the time Zacky got whacked. The day before, or was it the day after? Did you see him that day? THRUSTER No. My boy Munny signed him. PEPPER Probably be a good idea for you to check your calendar and reconstruct where you were that day. THRUSTER Iím cool. And Joey, I think he was going to spend the rest of the day bicycling with his friend Giovanni. PEPPER Giovanni? THRUSTER Giovanni Panettone. Owns Il Duce Sports out in Venice. He says Del Rey. Heíd be a great alibi for Joe. PEPPER Giovanni Panettone. Weíll check that out. Well Thruster, keep your ass close to the ground for awhile man. THRUSTER Semper Fi buddy. Scene twelve Palisades construction site. MUNNY and THRUSTER enter from stage right. MUNNY Man, I have a bad feeling about this. This place gives me the creeps. THRUSTER Zacky was doing deals with those Vegas boys. You take your chances. Relax. Probably better heís not here. Our investor will come up and see the property. Everything will work out. You canít expect an investor to put up that kind of money without seeing the property. MUNNY What if he wants to meet the owner. The dead guy. (They stop dead in their tracks. Someone is reclining in the chaise lounge coca cola can in hand and cycle news magazine open laying against his face covering it.) MUNNY That looks like Giovanni. THRUSTER Whatís he doing here. MUNNY Lately it seems everywhere I go heís there. THRUSTER Get him up and outta here. I think I just heard the investorís car pull up. MUNNY Wake up Giovanni. Rise and shine. (He lifts the magazine from GIOVANNIís face.) Chuck. (THRUSTER comes over.) THRUSTER What is it? MUNNY He doesnít look so good. (MUNNY puts his fingers against GIOVANNIís neck as if to check for a pulse.) THRUSTER He looks dead. (We hear a car pull up offstage. They both look stage right. They look around trying to figure out what to do with the body. As a team they lift GIOVANNI one at the legs, the other his shoulders. They carry him over to the trash can and try to stuff him in. MUNNY folds GIOVANNIís arms in, but he is still hanging out. THRUSTER stands with his back to the trash can, looking out towards stage right and smiling broadly. MUNNY runs to the side and grabs a piece of plasterboard and some crumpled newspaper. He forms the newspaper over GIOVANNIís head and then puts a piece of plasterboard on, then balances the lid on top.) THRUSTER Letís get out of here, and try to intercept Moneybags. (THRUSTER and MUNNY exit. After a beat, Pepper and YOUNG COP enter, and start looking around.) YOUNG COP I donít know what the detectives were thinking, sending us up here after that serial murderer. PEPPER (Carefully eating a donut wrapped in paper.) This dump looks like itís been deserted for years. YOUNG COP Kind-of spooky. I sure wouldnít want to be up here after dark. PEPPER (Having trouble licking the jelly off his fingers.) This is trouble. Keep getting freebie donuts pushed on us. Come on. Weíre certainly not going to find anything up here. (Pepper wraps up the rest of the donut, still a large gooey mess, in the paper and walks over to the trash can. He drops it in the can. He replaces the lid on the can. Then freezes and reopens the can and looks in.) PEPPER Another damn report to write up. Scene thirteen DE RANGERís Apartment DE RANGER is using the weight machine. MUNNY knocks on her door. He is out of view offstage behind the door. MUNNY Lisa, are you there. We have to talk. (DE RANGER looks over to the door with rapt attention. She gets off the machine and beams a smile, but doesnít say anything. MUNNY opens the door and enters tentatively.) DE RANGER (She runs over and embraces him.) Joey. MUNNY Lisa we have to talk. There is a lot of weird stuff going on. DE RANGER Joey. Joey. I am so glad to see you. I am glad you finally came to visit. MUNNY (He pushes her away.) There have been a lot of people dying, around me. DE RANGER Iím sorry Iíve been coming on too strong. I understand. DE RANGER (She steps back to him and puts her hand in his hair.) Youíre not dying are you Joey? MUNNY No. Not me. All the people around me are dying. DE RANGER There arenít any people. Just you. I would never let anyone hurt you. (MUNNY steps back and gets the weight machine between him and DE RANGER.) MUNNY You could get counseling. DE RANGER I donít want counseling. I want you. (She lunges at him and they fall together to the floor behind the machine. MUNNY makes an stifled scream. DE RANGER is on top of him. Loud forceful knocks are heard at the front door.) PEPPER (Off stage) Open up. Los Angeles Police Department. Open the door now! (DE RANGER gets off MUNNY and walks over as Pepper opens the door. She smiles at the cops.) PEPPER Weíre looking for Joe Munny? We have a warrant for him. Is he here? (MUNNY crawls into the shower stall.) DE RANGER Joe Munny, what a nice name! (dreamy) YOUNG COP You mind if we come in and look around, Mam? (The two cops push in past her before she has a chance to answer. They snoop, walking slowly, looking around the room.) PEPPER Sorry to bother you Mam. (He hands her a card) Heís dangerous, if you see him, call us. (They open the door and are about to step out when the shower starts running by itself. A healthy spray. The police think for a moment, then run back in and grab MUNNY. They pull him out of the shower and throw him on the floor. He is like a limp bag of potatoes.) PEPPER Donít resist MUNNY. Donít make this any harder than itís going to be. (YOUNG COP gets MUNNY in a choke hold, his arm around MUNNYís neck.) (The CHAIRMAN and FANNIE & FREDDIE enter. The CHAIRMAN pulls out a cigar. No one on stage reacts to them.) PEPPER Youíre under arrest for the murder of Zacky Ringer, Giovanni Panettone, Dr. Samuel Condyle, David Brown and Henry Gonzalez. (MUNNY does a double take on the two names he has never heard before.) Special circumstances MUNNY. (gleefully) You have the right to an attorney and to stay silent blah, blah, blah. (The YOUNG COP notices that MUNNY is not really choking.) DE RANGER I am sorry Joey. YOUNG COP Am I doing this right. PEPPER Youíre elbow is a little high and your weak hand should come around more. Here let me show you. (PEPPER takes MUNNY from YOUNG COP and chokes him. MUNNY goes unconcious, and then they drag him out.) YOUNG COP Oh yeah. I see now. CHAIRMAN (musing to himself) Sworn officers are opted out of the social security system. 20 years to full vesting. That CPI adjustment. Could renegotiate their plan. Wouldnít even effect Pension Guarantee Trust. DE RANGER (to the unconscious MUNNY). Iím sorry Joey. Iíll write to you everyday. Everyday. Iím sorry. (PEPPER, YOUNG COP and MUNNY exit.) CHAIRMAN Well even those guys will figure it out, eventually. T.V. will love that girl and all those murders. Theyíll probably televise her trial. Docs not going to get his price. On this or any of his other L.A. properties. Itís not much. Thatís the beauty of a chaotic system. A butterfly flaps it wings over Chile and a hurricane starts to form in the Carribean. By our calculations, this should be just enough to prick the bubble. It was as easy as saying irrational exuberance. F & F Thatís your plan? Let a bubble grow out of control then have some random event pop it? That will be dangerous for our industry. We will need massive derivative positions to hedge. . . CHAIRMAN As the housing prices inflated, most large (even non- conforming) mortgages were financed with Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Iíve said that A.R.M.s were a good thing. No threat to the institutions or the carry trade, like the problems caused by a steep hike in interest rates. In California 60% of the loans are interest only. The West Coast, the East Coast, Florida, those assistant managers working in Walmart buying second homes as income property in Iowa, all of it. It will all be ours. Everything. DE RANGER Something crazy is going on here.
Copyright © 2005 Peter E Zuehlke