Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I Dig A Pony

Yesterday my son, my brother, and my son's friend played the massive "Axis and Allies" board game campaign we had wanted to try over the holidays. Germany took a curiously passive stance after an aggressive campaign against the Russians and rallied their forces acround the capital. Thus Britain was able to make a dangerous landing in Poland and charged with the Soviets across the landscape. But the Japanese, in trying to shore up their Nazi allies, made a surprise back door invasion of Russia and terrorized Moscow until the U.S. broke their back in the Pacific and the Communists chucked them back into the steppes. Then the U.S. and Britain had to bomb Germany into submission. A close call, but after six hours of dice-rolling another parallel universe can rest easy.

Today we'll go to dinner with my family and go to an easygoing party with family and friends. I have been going over some pages for THE PAYBACK MAN and will really need to hit that over the weekend.

What are my New Years' resolutions? See my kids through another year safe and sound. Lose 20 pounds. Stay disciplined and focused with my writing. Get a couple of movies on the video shelf or in the theater. Maybe even start my own project.

Good luck in 2004, everybody!

Give me a shout at

Monday, December 29, 2003

A Boy Named Sue

Started a Washington State Merlot wine today in a big ol' trash can (was never used for trash, though). Getting ready to frost cookies (better late than never). Talked to AMONG US co-star and general b-movie icon Jon McBride last night, who encouraged me to try to take it easy for a while. Talked to director Ivan Rogers today about THE PAYBACK MAN script and may end up polishing up a few scenes on that over break.

I completely goofed off yesterday and Saturday, a strange feeling. I usually am going full-bore, so I feel somewhat at loose ends. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hard to tell yet.

I went to see RETURN OF THE KING with my family last night and didn't have the heart to reveal that I actually dozed off a bit and apparently missed some sort of powerful torch-lighting scene. It was a good movie, but it's the holidays, and I'm tired. I remember years ago I fell asleep during THE LION KING and missed the dad getting killed, them woke up later and wondered, where was Simba's dad during the whole thing? Also missed the entrance of Gaston during BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and wondered later, who's that dude?

Let me give a holiday shout-out to my friends over at Scott Phillips' Exhilarated Despair site, who have been checking my site a lot lately. Howdy!

Give me a yell at

Sunday, December 28, 2003

The Long and Winding Road

Post Christmas at the dawn of a new century. My wife is listening to the CHICAGO soundtrack downstairs (both versions, stage and screen); my daughter is playing THE SIMS while listening to LET IT BE (NAKED), given to her by a hopeful beau yesterday. She is a whimsical god, in a world prone to kitchen fires. My son is playing VICE CITY in his room, and I am trying not to think about the moral implications. I am reading some rewrites on THE PAYBACK MAN and listening to Johnny Cash, while dabbling in a video game my brother bought me called FREEDOM FORCE. Maybe tonight, Scrabble or Tripoli or Euchre and a movie.

The Sunday morning paper is a recap of all the happy and sad and funny and tragic shit that happened in 2003. This time next year we will be reading more of the same that happened in 2004. And so it goes.

Give me a yell at

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting

The post-Christmas fugue has set in here. The holiday passed pleasantly enough, and the weather held out, which is all you can hope for. I got some good swag--clothes and tools and winemaking equipment and some fun CDs and games. I puttered around a bit yesterday and today, somewhat at loose ends. It is the longest I have been off of work for a while.

My son and brother and I will play a big Axis and Allies marathon and take in RETURN OF THE KING. And my daughter will play some basketball. It's nice to not have more complex plans. It's been a long time since that was the case.

Yesterday I got a couple of 'zines in the mail from my pal Joe Sherlock, a pleasant surprise. Definitely capture a cool Oregon scene that I am far removed from here at the Crossroads of America. So my thoughts turn again to something I might be able to cook out over the break. One good thing about migraines--my mind always starts brimming with ideas afterwards. I love zines and homebrewed comics--just like microcinema, it is more in the doing; telling the world: I exist.

Give me a holler at

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Wichita Lineman

When I had a migraine Sunday I was at my mother-in-law's Christmas open house, so I crawled upstairs and crashed into a bed. I felt like the bed was rocking, and I had the clearest vision that I was on a boat watching the sunset in Panama City, Florida. I felt so sick that when I met a guy who was a big comics collector my brain started misfiring so much I could hardly talk to him.

Today is one of those shadowy post-days, compounded with a sore throat and some other lingering malaise. But as is often the case after a migraine, my mind is percolating with all of the writing I would like to do over the break.

Which probably won't include much from my blog. My dial-up from home is pretty much a tin can on a string. I will try, but I suspect I will be back in action around January 5 or so.

All I hope for the holidays is the same as always; peace, sanity, safety.

Give me a shout at

Monday, December 22, 2003

Serpentine Fire

I've been sick, with a migraine to cap it off, so I think I'll go right to more from my rewrite of PETER ROTTENTAIL for the Polonia Brothers, in the waning days of post-production even as we speak:

Peter Rottentail hops down the sidewalk.
Peter spies SCOTT talking at a payphone.
I'm sorry, baby, I got to pick up a second shift tonight. I'll be home late. Real late.
No, I'm not out drinking with the guys. I'm at work. Only the phones are busted so I had to go outside to a pay phone. You know how it is with technology, baby, you can't trust none of it.
Peter hops up and stares at the man.
That's why I got to do this double shift, otherwise they'll build some terminator robot to take my place and my ass will be on the street.
No, I'm not drunk, baby, it's this bad connection. You know the phones ain't the same since they busted up Ma Bell.
Scott notices Peter staring at him.
Hey, buddy, do you mind?
Peter reaches into his coat and removes his horn. He HONKS it at Scott.
Hit the pavement, asshole!
(into the phone)
No, I'm not talking to a stripper, it's some joker in a rabbit costume.
Peter lets a few horn BLASTS into his face again.
I'll call you back later, baby, I got somebody here just ordered up a heapin' plate a whipass.
Scott SLAMS the phone down and turns on Peter.
Hey, man, I got a pissed-off wife on the phone and a lap dance waiting across the street, so I don't got time for this shit, you hear me?
That's funny, I just had a pissed-off stripper on the phone and a lap dance from your wife!
Nobody talks that line of shit about my old lady but me! Let's dance, rabbit!
Peter grabs him and pretends to dance as Scott pushes him away.
What, are you one of them funny boys?
Peter HONKS the horn in his face. Scott shoves him.
Chill, asshole!
Your wife liked it fine when I honked my horn in her face!
Scott swats the horn from his hand.
It hits the ground and SQUEAKS.
Peter looks at it, his teeth gritting.
You shouldn't have done that!
Peter takes off his hat and pulls an oversized machete from it.
In one swift move, he splits Scott's head like a ripe melon.
Peter watches him fall and twitch as he slips his machete back into his hat.
Never piss off a dead rabbit!
Peter hops off.

Yeah, it's pretty weird stuff. Give me a yell at

Friday, December 19, 2003

Afternoon Delight

Here's this week's FridayFive (web link to the left).

Answer the following five questions in your weblog or journal. Please leave a comment here with a link to your post (or just leave your answers in the comments section)!

These are all off the top of my head, and I will probably think of something better later.

1. List your five favorite beverages.

Irish Breakfast tea, Vanilla Pepsi, A&W Root Beer in a frosty mug, Starbucks Cafe Verona coffee, my homemade wine.

2. List your five favorite websites.,,,,

3. List your five favorite snack foods.

chocolate-chip cookies, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Little Debbie's Fudge Rounds, M&Ms, sweet potato fries

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.

Euchre, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Axis and Allies: Pacific, Settlers of Cataan.

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.

I've never owned that many, but here goes: Civilization 2, The Sims, Neverwinter Nights, Alpha Centauri, NBA Live

Give me a yell at

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The Night Chicago Died

Once more ancestral memory reached out and grabbed somebody, when my pal Scott Phillips wrote and mentioned that the song "Fox on the Run" got stuck in his head after reading my blog. The ironic truth is I posted it after reading his blog, which mentioned "Ballroom Blitz," also by the somewhat forgotten band Sweet.

Somebody more clever than me should write a script about how scraps of music go back and forth and "infect" different people; much like Joe "Dr. Squid" Sherlock got sent down an unwelcome memory lane when I mentioned Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" here awhile back.

How do you like this title, fellas?

If you knew right away the band was Paper Lace, and that they also sang the mind-sticking "Billy Don't Be A Hero," I bow at your mastery.

I even had it on eight-track!

I got some good news yesterday--my PETER ROTTENTAIL cowriter John Polonia and wife had a son this weekend, and contrary to popular belief he was not born with bat-wings and horns. Best wishes to the parents, and sorry, kid, but all your birthdays are going to suck because they're too close to Christmas.

Of course, Mark sent me an email that mentioned they were finishing the audio mix on PETER ROTTENTAIL, and oh yeah, his brother's wife had a baby.

That's a b-movie king for you!


Abby is watching a romantic film with tears rolling down her face. She has a bottle in one hand and the remote in the other. She shuts off the TV and takes a hearty slug.
Yeah, only in the movies.
She gets up to stagger off to bed.
A shadowy figure moves alongside her house, creeping up to the warm light painting a square in the yard.
It is Peter, watching her wash up and get ready for bed.
Nice carrot patch!
From Peter's POV, we see Abby slip into her nightie and exit the bathroom.
Abby is tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable, dozing fitfully.
A door CREAKS open, and a hairy hand curls around its frame.
Peter begins to stalk down the long hallway to Abby's bedroom.
Peter peers around her bedroom door, and eyes the sleeping beauty.
I'd like to show her my magic wand...but there's still work left to do.
Suddenly, Abby sits upright, eyes wide, hearing the raspy VOICE.
She grabs a sculpture off of her nightstand and gets to her feet.
She pads towards the door, the heavy artwork at the ready.
She pushes the door suddenly, revealing nothing but blackness beyond.
She expels a long SIGH, and shakes her head.
I need a man.

Give me a yell at

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Fox on the Run

Old age creeps up on you day the barber is shaving your earlobes, then you find a white nose hair, then somebody at work says "you could play Santa!" during the Christmas carry-in, and you realize that maybe you are old and fat enough to play Santa.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Speaking of seasonal horror, here's a bit more from PETER ROTTENTAIL:

Feature an extreme close-up of Peter turning the tiny metal handle on a tin jack-in-the-box. It PLAYS a strange tune.
James picks up the faint, haunting melody. He follows it over to a window.
Is that music? Lenny, do you hear that?
Lenny just SNORTS in his drunken stupor.
James moves towards the door.
Peter abruptly stops turning the little toy and starts hopping away.
James emerges on the porch and starts looking around.
Hello? Is anyone there?
James takes a few tentative steps out into the yard.
His foot brushes against the jack-in-the-box. He reaches down to pick it up, then scrutinizes it closely.
Instinctively, James begins to turn the little crank.
The music LURCHES to life.
Suddenly, an ugly Jack pops up, scaring James.
He scans the area again.
Peter disappears in the darkness behind the garage.
James notices something out of the corner of his eye.
Who's there?
James slowly sets the box down in the grass and begins creeping down the side of the house.
As he inches his head around the corner, Lenny suddenly appears behind him, scaring James.
Damn, you scared the shit out of me!
If you were going to go on a Peeping Tom mission, you shoulda woke me up!
I wasn't peeping in anyone's windows!
Lenny scratches himself.
Ah, there's mostly old people around here anyway...I heard.
I heard some weird music, and came out to find a jack-in-the-box in the yard.
Lenny looks around.
What did you do with it?
James looks around himself.
Let's call it a night, dream date.
James trails off. Then he follows his cousin back into the house.

Give me a yell at

Monday, December 15, 2003

Tequila Sunrise

I love, which is responsible for my web counter and provides some pretty interesting details as well. This is how I found out somebody found my site by typing "spanking in Hopalong Cassidy movies" into Google.

Can you really find anything on the Internet?

Did I also mention that I am not the Jon Dalton from "Survivor" either?

At any rate, here's more from my rewrite of John and Mark Polonia's PETER ROTTENTAIL, now in post-production:

The two come down the back steps and look at the overgrown yard. A garage is to the left.
Lenny cups his hands over his eyes and looks into the garage windows.
Yeah, had some good times in this garage. Grandpa's old caddy. Yeah, baby. My first time was right in there.
It must have been hard for you when Spot died.
Lenny shoots him a look.
Lenny heads back to the house.
Wonder if there's any foil up in a kitchen cabinet somewheres. Maybe we can get some cable.
You with the cable again!
James follows.
At the top of the back steps, he stops and looks back.
After a long moment, he shuts the door behind him.
The camera slowly pans across the yard, coming to rest on the dark garage window.
Suddenly, Peter's twisted face rises into view, evil eyes gleaming.
These two little pellets will be too easy!
Feature footage from some third-rate b-movie. The camera slowly pans away and tracks along the carpeted floor. A TV remote has been dropped carelessly. Several empty beer and wine bottles are scattered around. A few moments later, it is revealed that they came from Lennie's limp hand, hanging over the edge of the couch.
The camera finds Lennie sleeping. On the other end of the couch, James tosses and turns.
(murmuring) away!
Freeze-frame flashes of the small child being pursued by the shadowy magician. Lightning FLASHES, thunder ROLLS.
The magician draws closer, his killing blade ready to strike.
James JOLTS awake and looks around, GASPING.
Jesus. Just another dream.
James wipes sweat off of his brow and looks at his cousin.
Lenny moves a little in his sleep and FARTS.

Give me a shout at

Friday, December 12, 2003

I thought I would try this FridayFive blog phenomenon and see what I think (you can follow the link to your left). Here's this week's entry:

Answer the following five questions in your weblog or journal. Make sure you leave a comment here with a link to your post (or just leave your answers in the comments section here).

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?

God, no, but it's all relative. When I lived in Minnesota, two feet of snow and subzero temperatures would be a lovely spring day. Indiana weather ain't great in the winter, but it's not that bad. But when I visited San Jose or Orlando in the winter, then yeah, it seemed bad. But at least we have more seasons than "rain" and "sun."

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?

My extended family, in a cabin in the woods. A convenient BBQ place or a bar nearby would also be nice.

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?

I have to go downstairs first to prepare to take pictures of the kids coming down and showing their mock surprise, as they usually have already sniffed out all of their presents.

4. Do you do anything to help the needy?
I have worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of East Central Indiana for quite a few years and helped out at the recent Christmas party. It is a great organization.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself?
Honestly the first thing that came to mind was a new six-foot fiberglass ladder.

Give me a shout at

Thursday, December 11, 2003


Well, I might have had a setback or two on some upcoming projects, so I think for now I am going to just post some PETER ROTTENTAIL and reflect another day.

I have decided there is one good thing about taking a cowriting credit with somebody. If there's a part you don't think turned out that well, you can blame it on the other guy.


James hesitates. Lenny notices.
I'm getting a...weird vibe off this place.
Uh, yeah. 'Cause our grandma? She croaked here, cuz. Let's go.
The pair go inside.
Lenny drops his bag on a sheet-covered couch.
What do you say? Party time!
James starts walking around the room, remembering.
James looks through the kitchen. There are a few boxes stacked around, and dust over everything.
Lenny pokes his head around.
I don't know what the hell my dad was talking about, this place is in great shape.
Good thing there's a lot of obsessive-compulsive disorder in our family.
James notices something, and points.
Look, there's a puddle of water on the floor. Hope it's not from the half-bath.
Nah, there ain't any brown trout on the floor. Hell, the water heater must be leaking. Got to get somebody to fix that.
We could do it ourselves and save the money.
Nah, I got an old buddy that will do it for weed.
Now that's how to find a professional.
You know him...Bill Mooney. He was at the "scary party."
Lenny wiggles his fingers menacingly.
You mean Billy the glue eater? I guess it does lead to harder stuff.
He walks out. Lenny follows.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Telephone Line

After I was crowing about winning those two NFL hats somebody at work said that I should check out the Pepsi website. Sure enough, all one million hats have already been given away.

Well, life's a roller coaster.

They are offering phone cards, though. Not as much fun as an NFL hat.

I think another hole in my life has formed since the local Sunday paper dropped PRINCE VALIANT a few weeks ago. I've been reading that thing since I was a kid. Great art, leisurely, intelligent storytelling...I guess it's a wonder it has hung on this long.

I heard the new mix of the theme song from THE PAYBACK MAN (which I wrote the screenplay for director Ivan Rogers) last night after getting it in the mail from the director. It's by Big Prodeje and the South Central Cartel. It's a real knockout, a great rap. If the movie turns out as tough and edgy as this song we will be in business.

Give me a yell at

Monday, December 08, 2003

Funky Town

Hey, I won another NFL hat today drinking Pepsi! Strange, since I just posted my last win on my blog Friday. 1 in 36 chances, indeed.

The power of blogging!

My pal Joe Sherlock (Dr. Squid) wrote to tell me that my post featuring my dream about Barry Manilow made "Copacabana" get stuck in his head. Then he passed it back to me, damn him. Of course, me titling this post "Funky Town" is in no way meant to be payback by sticking the words to that song back into his head, nor in the heads of any other persons living or dead.

In some more self-referential news, I used to find out some interesting things about who is hitting the site, and how often, and so on. So here's a shout out to all my homeboys from, who seem to be visiting regularly.

One other thing I found is that a lot of high schools seem to be hitting my site. I suspect I am getting confused with the scientist, who is of course long dead, or the fomer Secretary of the Navy, who I believe is alive.

I believe there are at least two more writing John Daltons out there that I have been confused with. One went to the University of Iowa and now teaches writing workshops all over and publishes literature, and the other (I believe) went to UCLA and now is in tech writing in Silicon Valley(as has been reported to me by people wanting them and finding me).

I have an affinity for the first one. Years ago I had to rush my wife to the hospital in the dead of night and rather dazedly opened a STORY magazine while I was waiting for the outcome and found my own name staring out at me; just one of many strange things in that long horrible night.

I stand before you as their shabby doppelganger, to warn about the perils of reading comics and watching b-movies and playing D&D; one path leads to the Iowa Writer's Workshop and Silicon Valley, the other leads to a basement office and scripts about sasquatches and ghost pirates and killer piranha.

But which, indeed, is the road less traveled?

Give me a yell at, or use the feedback button to the left.

Friday, December 05, 2003

The first gentle snow of an Indiana winter started falling this morning. I like it far.

I drank a Pepsi for lunch and won an NFL hat. It says the odds are 1 in 36, and I didn't even drink 36 Pepsis to get it! A little good karma today.

I need some stitchin' up time this weekend. I've been going full tilt with work and the holidays. Being somewhat out of steam, I'll go right to more from PETER ROTTENTAIL:

Lenny's rattletrap car threads its way through a quiet neighborhood.
James watches the neighborhood out of the passenger side.
The old neighborhood. Wonder what happened to a lot of those kids we used to run with back then.
You're not going back to that birthday party again, are you? 'Cause I don't want to hear about how that magician let you pet his magic bunny or whatever.
James just looks out the window.
Lenny pulls into the driveway of a small, neatly-kept house.
Both men pile out and look at the place.
Across the street is ABBY COHEN, a pretty young woman, watching them out of the window of her home and talking on the phone.
We see James and Lenny from her POV.
Hey, Claire, guess what, two guys just pulled up to that vacant house across the street.
What are they doing there?
Abby watches them grab out overnight bags.
Moving in, looks like.
Sounds like "Steely Dan" might have to go back in the old underwear drawer.
Abby watches them unload a trunkload of cleaning gear.
Don't know about that...they might be gay.
Lenny stretches his back and notices Abby watching from her window. He smiles and waves.
Her curtain snaps shut.
James clasps his shoulder.
Another day, another restraining order.
Abby peeps around the curtain.
I'll keep you up to date. Bye.
Abby clicks off.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Gabba Gabba Hey

I put some junk in the sidebar; check it out, so I don't seem like a completely friendless doofus. At least on the Internet, I can create a false persona.

The Lady Bears won last night!

Tonight I'm going to do a few microcinema reviews, and help work up a game review with my pal the Caveman for an online journal, so though I haven't typed a stroke on GIZZARD GUTS since before Thanksgiving I'll at least be honing my craft, such as it is.

Speaking of which, here's some PETER ROTTENTAIL:

The young boy is running, running.
Behind him, his unseen tormentor, in top hat and tails and lit with an uncanny light, is in hot pursuit.
A cruel-edged machete glints in the gloom.
The boy keeps running.
The backlit figure seems to be gliding forward under some mysterious power.
The machete WHISTLES through the air.
James wakes up YELLING, scattering empty bottles of beer.
Lenny, slouched in a nearby chair, raises his head sleepily.
Keep it down, man!
Sorry. Bad dreams.
Don't buy the cheap stuff next time.
James rubs his face.
Lenny, do you remember that birthday party I had at grandma's house that one time?
Man, I don't remember who I woke up next to last weekend!
James runs his fingers through his hair.
Sure you do. I saw her in the hall closet, next to your bicycle pump. What's that, the Bambi 2000?
Lenny looks sullen.
Her name is Amber, if you must know.
Lenny scratches himself.
Yeah, okay. So you're talking about that party where that crappy magician went apeshit and tried to do a Helter Skelter number on everyone.
Yeah. I've been dreaming about that a lot lately. I saw some weird shit going on that day.
Lenny sits up straight.
What, did he wave his "magic wand" at you?
James just stares off into space.
Never mind.
Look, you have a dream where you're in a train going into, like, a big tunnel, that I can tell you about. You have a dream you're eating a big freakin' marshmallow, then you wake up and your pillow is gone, that shit I understand.
James just stares and thinks.
So are we gonna party or what?
James comes around.
Let's do it.
Rock on!
They start getting ready.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Rock and Roll Part 2

Tonight my daughter has a basketball game against the mighty Wapahani Raiders (called, in common high school lingo even back in my day, the Wipe-your-heinie Raiders) and I am going to keep the stats for JV and Varsity again. I started doing this because I thought the girls deserved as much care and attention as the boys in sports; you would never see the boys varsity coach go up in the stands to find someone to keep stats, like my daughter's coach had to do. I kept the stats for my daughter's offseason and AAU teams, so I offered to do it.

I think I have a knack for it; I contribute my multitasking ability to my time spent directing newscasts early in my media career; my son contributes it to my many years spent DMing "Dungeons and Dragons."

D&D pays off again!

I love women's sports now. I remember a couple of years ago my daughter's middle-school basketball team was having just an okay season but was able to get to the county championships against hated rival Winchester. I was kicking back deciding I was going to be a progressive, liberal parent and just enjoy all the girls' successes and abilities.

Until my daughter stole the ball and got a layup, and then did it again right after, and then one of the other parents said, "How do you like that, dad?" which I didn't respond to as I was standing on my bleacher seat baying for blood.

Go Bears!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Indian Giver

A long Thanksgiving weekend. We spent about 10 hours Wednesday getting ready to host 15 people Thursday. We had a full day on Thanksgiving and a good meal. That night my two nephews (9 and 6) slept over, then went shopping with us the next day. That night we went to see ELF (just so-so) and out to eat.
Saturday morning my daughter played basketball, then my brother and son and a few friends played "Axis and Allies" into the wee hours. Once again my brother, with his disquieting affinity for Germany, knocked off my son's defense of Moscow even as I was trying to bring the British through Finland to shore up their defenses. Every time I play "Axis and Allies" I'm afraid that somewhere in a parallel universe this scenario is getting acted out.
Then Sunday I finished cleaning and winterizing post-Thanksgiving and graded a ton of papers for my screenwriting class.

Not the restful time off that I was hoping for, but the upside is that I feel like I've been off for a couple of months instead of a few days, with all that was packed in there.

On the professional front, I learned the Polonia Brothers knocked out the edit of PETER ROTTENTAIL and are finishing up the audio post as we speak. I hope to be doing a commentary track for the DVD on this one as well. I also got an update from director Bob Dennis that DEATH LAKE is about 50% done as well.

Jason Santo from sent my a big box of screeners this weekend, so I'll be checking those out in the days to come to review for his site.

And now, back to PETER ROTTENTAIL:

ROSCOE, a ragged homeless man about James' age, staggers around the corner of a restaurant and casts an expert eye on the garbage cans stacked there.
He takes a swig of whiskey from a paper bag.
Well, let's see what's on the menu!
Roscoe begins to rummage through the trash. After a few moments, he gives up.
Nopey nope! Let's go see what the three-star restaurants have tonight.
Roscoe begins staggering away, slurping booze.
A CHATTERING NOISE gets his attention. He looks around.
Who's there?
A figure stands backlit in the alley. Roscoe squints.
The pickin's are slim tonight, buddy.
The figure doesn't move.
Roscoe staggers forward.
Hey, buddy, got some change for a homeless veteran? I fought me a mess of towel heads back in Kuwait the first time around.
The CHATTERING NOISE starts up again.
Slowly, the figure's hand extends.
Rottentail is holding chattering teeth.
Roscoe inches closer, fascinated.
Then he gets the full view of Peter.
Damn, you're Fugly! That's one step above ugly. Fuckin' ugly. Looks like you got messed up in some Agent Orange or something yourself there, buddy.
Peter stares. Roscoe finishes off the bottle, and tosses it away with a CLINK into the trash. He wipes his mouth, and examines Peter again.
Wait a second. I remember you from somewhere.
A party, when I was a kid. Back before the sauce. You were a mime, or some shit like that.
Peter grits his teeth.
Hey, grubby, I'm a magician!
Roscoe loses interest, and looks around.
How 'bout you presto-chango me another drink, then?
Peter slowly pulls out his magic wand.
You got booze in there?
Sure. Want some? Open wide!
Roscoe obediently does so, and Peter squirts a slug into his waiting maw.
I've had better. What is it?
Witch's piss! Taste good?
Roscoe thinks, shrugs.
Suddenly Roscoe grabs his stomach, SCREAMING as blood and smoke run from his mouth.
Remember, don't drink and drive...on the way to hell!
Roscoe falls, as his life spills out into the dirty alley.
Peter hops away.
Lenny is concentrating on pushing a wedge of foil into a cable box when the doorbell RINGS.
It's open!
James comes in, swinging a six-pack.
Are you still trying to steal cable?
I'm not stealing anything. This is America, dammit. Porn should be free.
You're going to have to settle for free beer.
James underhands him a bottle. Lennie deftly snags it out of midair.
So my dad, and your favorite uncle, thinks that if I start doing honest work with my hands I'll stop fucking around and smoking dope and going to the gambling boats and get a real job.
That's not news.
So his new angle is that he finally thinks it's time to clean out grandma's old house and get it ready to sell. He said he'd pay me a hundred to go over there and do it.
What, you want to split it fifty-fifty?
No, I want to find some little snot-nose to do it for twenty-five bucks, and me and you spend the weekend there getting wasted on the other seventy-five.
James just looks.
Like the old days, James.
Not sure I want to go back there.
Grandma's been dead a long time.
It's not just that.
Don't wuss out, cuz!
Lenny holds out his beer.
Cowboy up!
Reluctantly, James CLINKS his beer against his cousin's.

Give me a yell at