For Your Entertainment

INT. IAN’S APARTMENT – DAY

We open on a ringing telephone. Much like some scary movie, although instead of being the harbinger of doom for the character who answers, this call will bring forth good repercussions. Sort of.

Ian

Hello?

Voice

(from phone)

Ian?

Ian

Yes?

Voice

Who was the killer in Friday the 13th?

Ian

Mrs. Voorhees, Jason’s mom. Look I have the whole Scream box set on DVD, so don’t go trying to scare me with old material. Be original.

Voice

(changing)

That’s correct. You’re our grand prizewinner.

Ian

Winner of what?

Voice

96.3’s new phone contest. You’ve just won yourself more money than you’ve ever had before.

Ian

Hey, man, I find money in the couch that’s more than I’ve ever had before.

Voice

Then this is going to shock you. You’ve just won, are you sitting down? 10 million dollars!

Ian

No way, man. Who is this really?

Voice

96.3

Ian

No way. Really?

Voice

Really.

Ian

That is so cool!

Voice

I know. It’s just so great to hear you won something. We love helping out people who really deserve it. Have you ever won anything before?

Ian

Oh yeah! I win stuff all the time. In fact, I haven’t paid for most of the stuff in my apartment.

Voice

(disappointed)

Really?

Ian

Yeah, why is that a problem?

Voice

No, not at all. Why don’t you just tell the listeners out there which radio station hooks you up with the best wins, well this win, anyway.

Ian stops to think.

Ian

Ninety something point something.

Voice

Okay then, and we are of course 96.3, Detroit’s Hit Music Leader and giveaway station. Thanks for listening. Now back to the music. Here’s 3 Doors Down’s latest hit.

Music begins to play and over the phone the DJ continues to talk to Ian.

DJ

Just stay on the line and we’ll get all the information we need to give you your check.

Ian

Thank you so much.

Ian begins to jump around doing all sorts of weird kicking and punching moves and the camera pans around to the back to see that on the television on the other side of the room Billy Blanks of Tae-Bo is instructing.

Billy blanks

And four, and five, ect…

title card

int. Video store – day

Two people, Steve and Tony, sit at a register. Steve appears kind, but it is apparent he would like more than this store. Tony is a man in his early twenties, who has worked there the entire time the store has been open and seen and experienced a lot there. Throughout the conversation few customers come to the register.

Steve

No way! They just gave him all that money?

Tony

That’s what he told me on the instant messenger.

Steve

You think he’ll give us any?

Tony

I sure hope so. I could finally get out of this place if I had some money to live off of.

Steve

Hey, I pay you more than minimum wage and it’s not like this is a very difficult job.

Tony

I know. I don’t have to work very hard for my money, but Ian didn’t work for his at all. He just answered some stupid question, a movie question nonetheless. What are the chances? It’s just so unfair.

Steve

(with snide)

I know.

Tony

So, what do you think he’ll do now?

Steve

I imagine he’ll stop working here.

Tony

You think so?

Steve

Yeah.

Tony

It’s not like he needed the money even when he was working here, you know? He still has checks in the back that are almost expired, and still comes in here all the time and buys stuff. Cds, Dvds, video games, everything. The guy is a mad man.

Steve

Yeah, I guess we’ll see, then, won’t we?

Tony

Is he supposed to work today?

Steve

Yeah, at four. He better come in, too, or he won’t have a job here anymore.

Tony

You’re going to fire him if he doesn’t show?

Steve

Yeah, that is how I do things, right?

Tony

Yeah, but I thought…

Steve

You thought I would give him a break? Out of what, friendship? Hey, I can’t let friendship get in the way of how I do my job. Plus it’s not like he wants to work here anymore anyway.

Tony

Don’t assume that. You don’t know Ian as well as the rest of us.

Steve

No, I think I do. I’m calling a backup. He’s not going to show.

Steve picks up the phone and begins to dial.

Int. Ian’s car – day

Ian is in his car with the radio playing at a very loud volume. He is singing loudly as the song ends. The song “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback ends and the announcer’s voice fills the car.

Announcer

(v.o.)

This is 96.3, Detroit’s Hit Music Leader, where we give away all the cash, ten million dollars so far today and growing. Stay tuned later tonight when we do all again. Ian was only the first.

Ian

Yeah!

Ian begins to cheer very loudly. He screams for several seconds.

Ian

(con’t)

Big winner! Big winner. I am a big, big winner! Whooooo! Oh crap!

Ian grabs the wheel and jerks it narrowly missing a car.

Ian

(con’t)

That was close. Maybe I should calm down before I throw myself through the windshield. Thank god I’m here.

Ext. video store – day

Ian pulls up in his nice dark black Chevy Cavalier Z24 very early, like always, and parks in his favorite spot. As he gets out of his car, a beat up, old car pulls in next to him, and Kelly, a very pretty girl, who works at the same video store gets out, sees Ian and runs up to greet him.

Kelly

Hey Ian.

Ian turns around quickly.

Ian

Oh, hey, what’s up?

Kelly

Not too much. Can I walk you in?

Ian

Sure, uh, I guess.

Kelly

Great.

They both begin to walk down the long aisle of cars together.

Kelly

So, what’s been up, lately?

Ian

Oh, you know, not too much.

kelly

Yeah, me too. I know how that is. Everyone here knows how that is.

ian

Hey, I thought you had a date today. What are you doing here?

Kelly

I was going to ask you the same thing. Steve told me you weren’t going to be in today.

Ian

Why would he have thought that? I would have called in if I were going to miss.

Kelly

It’s okay by me. I need the hours. I know you wouldn’t understand what that’s like.

Ian

What’s that supposed to mean?

kelly

Nothing. It’s just that, well, you know…

Ian

No.

Kelly

You just don’t seem to me like you’re living dime to nickel like the rest of us. It’s not really fair, but it’s not really my business. I’m just glad to be here. You can probably go home. I got you covered.

Ian

No, I’m not going home. I have a responsibility to this store and to its patrons. I’m staying. You go home.

kelly

Hey, Steve called me. I’m taking advantage of the situation and making some money today. I don’t care what you do, but I’m not going anywhere. I have to pay for stuff. I have no money in the bank and I am still paying off my car, which still needs new brakes. The brake light’s been on for months now and with this cash I may finally be able to get it the attention it deserves only so that mechanic can rip me off of my hard earned dollars, which are being made even more hard earned by you. So, don’t tell me to go home again or I’ll really tell you where to go, all right?

There is a long pause. By this point, they have both stopped walking even though they have made it to the entrance door to the video store. Kelly is staring Ian down waiting for his compliance with what she has demanded. He stands there blank faced. He forces words out of his mouth.

Ian

Yeah, all right, but I still need to talk to Steve about something, please.

Kelly

Fine, see you inside.

Kelly turns, pulls the door open, and steps outside. Ian stands there a moment before slowly pulling the door open, sticking his head inside, looking both ways, and entering quietly.

int. video store

Steve and Tony are still near the register talking. Ian walks up to them. They both quickly cease communication and pretend not to have been watching him. Steve begins writing on a pad of paper and Tony turns around and begins to straighten items behind him in the display case.

Ian

Hey guys.

Steve and Tony both turn around.

Steve and Tony

Hey!

Steve

You’re early. You don’t work until four, right?

Ian

That’s right, but what isn’t is what you did. Why did you call Kelly in as a replacement for me? I was scheduled at four and am here by four as has been the case everyday since I interviewed.

Steve

Look, don’t get upset by it. It’s just that Tony told me about that money you won and considering the incredibly substantial amount, I wasn’t sure if you still wanted to be on the employee list. I just wanted somebody here, in case you would have, I don’t know, gone to Spain or something.

Ian

Spain?

Steve

Whatever European country. I was simply looking out for the store’s best interest and my own as manager.

Ian

Okay, be that as it may, you still had no right to assume I wouldn’t be in today. I feel as though I’ve proven myself by now as an employee who comes to work everyday no matter what and for you to assume otherwise is insulting.

Steve

I didn’t do anything to insult you, Ian. I just put myself in your shoes and I wouldn’t be at work the same day I won ten million dollars.

Ian

I guess that’s the difference between us then, isn’t it?

There is another long silence as they stare at each other.

Tony

So, Steve, since Ian is here, do you want me to send Kelly home?

Ian

Well, uh, do we have anything she can do here since she’s here? I think she needs to work today.

Steve

Nobody called in as of yet, so I think we’ll be okay. I’ll go tell her she can go home.

Ian

No, that’s all right. I’ll tell her myself.

Steve

You sure?

Ian

Yeah, I think I can handle it.

Steve

Yeah, but I thought…

Ian instantly jumps in to not let Steve finish.

Ian

(insistent)

I can handle it.

Steve

Okay, great. She’s in the back.

Ian

Okay. Talk to you guys later.

Ian stares them both down as he turns away and heads to the backroom.

INT. BACKROOM

Ian opens the door and sees Kelly standing in the middle of the floor tucking in her shirt for work. She shoots Ian a look as he enters.

Ian

Hey Kelly.

Kelly

(Bitterly)

What?

Ian

About what I said, if you really did take offense to it, I apologize. It wasn’t my intent.

Kelly

Yeah, well, I guess you didn’t mean anything by it.

Ian

Can I please make it up to you?

Kelly

(interested)

How?

Ian

Take this.

Ian pulls out his wallet, shuffles out a few bills and holds them out toward her.

Ian

Well, I’m going to stay for my shift, so I thought since you had a date tonight that you could now go to; you’d allow me the privilege of paying for it. Take Aaron someplace nice. You guys deserve it.

Kelly steps closer toward Ian and reaches for the money slowly. As her hand gets to it she begins to push it back toward Ian.

Kelly

Keep your money.

Ian

No, please. I want you to have it.

Kelly

I couldn’t. I don’t deserve it. I just yelled at you in the parking lot, remember? You should be mad at me, not giving me money.

Ian

Let me decide when I should be mad, okay? And let me decide to whom my money goes. It would make me happy to give it to you.

kelly

Can we call it a loan?

Ian

Fine. Whatever you want.

Ian again hands her the money. This time she accepts. They both smile. She looks him in the eye.

Kelly

Thank you.

She lifts herself with her feet and throws her arms around him. She tightens her grip on Ian, lowers her head into his chest and releases. Ian appears lost.

Ian

Why’d you do that?

Kelly

For the same reason you gave me the money, because I wanted to. You deserved it.

Ian

As did you.

kelly

Thank you so much.

Ian

Not a problem. Have a great date.

Kelly

I already have.

With that, Kelly turns and walks away. She turns back at the door, smiles, and waves goodbye.

Ian

Bye.

Ian watches as the door closes behind her. He smiles again as he turns around to get his nametag. He throws it around his neck and hears a voice he immediately recognizes and turns. There stands Doua, an Asian man, who also works at the store, standing with a smile on his face, as if he’d seen something we shouldn’t have.

Ian

(con’t)

Oh no. Hey Doua.

Doua

(laughing)

What the hell was that?

Ian

What are you talking about?

Doua

You just give her all that money?

Ian

Yeah, well, she needed it.

Doua

Not from you she didn’t. I mean, I know you won all this money, but you need to be smart with it. Just handing it all away to Kelly like that was not a smart thing to do.

Ian

Look, Doua, I’ll worry about it, okay?

Doua

Okay, man, but you’ll regret it.

Ian

Why would you say that?

Doua

Just trust me on this one. This will come back to bite you on the ass. I did something like this once. I’ll never do that again.

Ian

Doua, I’ve never known you to ever have any money. In fact, don’t you still owe me money?

Doua

Now when have you ever known me to have money? Besides, you won’t need it anymore with your ten million dollars of newly found wealth unless Kelly has like a marriage or something to pay for.

Ian

That’s not funny, Doua.

Ian stops to think for a moment about he can distance himself from the direction the conversation is heading.

Ian

(con’t)

Don’t you have to clock in or something?

Doua

Clock out. I’m going home.

Ian

(cheerful)

Oh, alright then! Do you work tomorrow?

Doua

Yeah, you know it, all day.

Ian

Ok, I’ll see you then.

Doua

All right, man. See you later. Be wise.

Ian

Uh, okay, you too.

Doua

I’m already wise.

Ian begins to laugh.

Doua

(con’t)

I’m serious, man. I learned my lesson. I wonder how many hardships and friends you’ll go through learning yours? It should be an interesting day for you. I’d like to stick around but I’m freakin’ tired, man. I’m going home, you know?

Ian

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. See you tomorrow then.

Doua

See ya.

Doua turns and heads off never to be seen or heard from again. Ian thinks about what he said for a moment, shrugs it off and heads out to the floor to begin his shift.

INT. MAIN SALES FLOOR

Ian scopes the floor with his eyes. He sees Laura, a very pretty girl, who he has known for years. She is tending to the register at the opposite end of the store from which he entered. He smiles and begins on way in her direction. As he gets there, she smiles at him.

LAura

Hey Ian.

Ian

What’s up, Laura?

Laura

Not too much. You going to the movie tonight?

IAn

I didn’t even know there was a movie tonight. Who’s going?

LAura

I am, uh, you hopefully. I think that might be it.

Ian

Alright. I’ll go. I’ll check with Tony. Maybe he’ll want to come too.

LAura

(quickly)

No, he’s busy tonight. I already asked him.

Ian

Oh, okay. It’ll just be us then. What do you want to see? That new Kevin Smith movie is out.

LAura

I don’t really like his movies that much. I mean I do, but, it’s not the type of thing I’m in the mood for tonight. How about we wait until we get there and see what happens. Maybe you’ll like the choices better when you see them.

Ian

Okay, sounds good to me, but I think you may change your mind on Kevin Smith.

Laura

Why do you say that?

Ian

Because I’m paying, right?

Laura

I don’t know. I guess I hadn’t really thought about it. I guess you could definitely afford it more than me considering…

Laura stops herself and senses an uncomfortable feeling with what she is saying.

Laura

(con’t)

You know… So, um, are you working the floor tonight?

IAn

Of course. You know I’m not trained in cash.

Laura

Yeah, why is that?

Ian

I don’t know, honestly, but I’m not complaining. I like the interaction with the customers.

Laura

What are you talking about? We, as cashiers, interact with every customer.

Ian

Only the customers who choose to purchase anything but we “floor associates” get the people to the register and get to talk to the people who DON’T buy things from us as well. I make other store recommendations, inform on upcoming sales and help out the best I can with getting not only a potential customer, but a person what they are looking at the best price possible. By the time, most customers have reached you at check out they’re far beyond a recommendation or my help. They’ve already decided. You’re just making my work as a helper official. Knowing I’ve made a difference in a purchase of a valued product for a customer really adds to the whole experience of working here.

LAura

Okay, wow, listening to you talk almost makes me forget I work in a video store.

Ian

You say it like that’s a bad thing.

Laura

It is a bad thing!

Ian

No, it’s not. It may not be the most glamorous job, but look at me. I couldn’t have that job if I wanted.

Laura

Yes, you could.

Ian

Laura, please don’t insult my intelligence or inflate my ego any further.

LAura

Fine, what is it about this job that you like so much?

Ian

Truth be told, the people. I come to work everyday and get to work with people I cherish. I love everybody here. The list goes on and on.

Laura

How about Steve?

IAn

Well, there’s always an exception.

Ian looks down to consult his watch, then realizes he never wears one. He looks upset by this. Almost enough so, to actually put one on. I said almost.

Ian

(con’t)

What time is it?

LAura

(consulting watch)

Just about four. Wooohooo! I get to go home.

Ian

And my shift is just beginning. I’ll let you clock out first.

Laura crosses over to the first register and punches out. She then looks over to Ian.

Laura

There you go. It’s all yours.

Ian

Thank you.

Laura begins to walk away, so Ian can punch in for the day.

IAn

(con’t)

I’ll see you tonight then?

LAura

Okay, it’s a date.

Ian’s head snaps to the side very quickly upon hearing that word applied to it, but he can only see Laura as she’s walking away. Ian just stands there for a moment in a daze. He fumbles his fingers over the keypad as he clocks in.

Noel

(o.s.)

Hey Ian!

Ian instantly jumps back to conscious thought. He turns to see NOEL, who also has been with the store since it’s inception. He is in his mid forties and a very fun loving guy who also happens to also be Tony’s dad, but is treated as a dad to most who work for him. He’s obviously the reason Tony got the job.

Ian

What?!?

Noel

Steve mentioned to me that he wanted to speak with you for a moment before you started.

Ian

Oh, okay. I’m going.

Noel looks Ian over in a fatherly manner.

Noel

You okay?

Ian

Uh, yes, actually. I’m doing very well.

NOel

Okay, good.

Ian walks off screen leaving only Noel.

NOEL

(con’t)

I guess money really does change a man.

INT. main sales floor

Ian is walking down the side of the store and he sees Kristy, the person who trained him, step out of the back room and begin to organize products.

Ian

Hey Kristy! How’re you doing?

Kristy

Oh, hi Ian. I think Steve wanted to talk to you.

Ian

Yeah, well, he can wait. If I’ve learned anything so far today, that is it.

Kristy

That is an important thing to learn if you want to work here.

Ian

Yes, it certainly is. With all this money, it’s very difficult to know anything for sure.

Kristy

Money?

Ian

Yeah, you didn’t know? I won the 96.3 Trivia Challenge earlier today, the one right before that Three Doors Down song.

Kristy

I love 3 Doors Down! You know I got that CD for free!

Ian

Did you really?

Kristy

Yeah, it was a promo.

Ian

That’s awesome. I had to pay some insanely high price, but I did get a discount.

Kristy

Why’d you do that? I could’ve burned it for you.

Ian

No, I’m not really into that whole burning thing. I’d really rather have the actual disc. I like the pictures. Now with this newly won fortune, I can buy a few CD’s.

Kristy

What else do you have planned for all that money?

Ian

I don’t know yet. What do you think I should do?

Kristy

I think you should do whatever you want to do with it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s your money. Remember that.

Ian

Really? Wow, that is so refreshing. Everyone else is being so conniving in trying to get it from me. I was hoping coming here to work with me friends, things would be different, but I’ve yet to see how this day will go. I am glad to know you’re not interested in the money, though.

Kristy

I’m not saying that! If you choose, for example, to give all of the money to, oh, I don’t know, the charity of Kristy, I might know how to get it to her.

Ian

Oh really? I guess I’ll have to consider that.

As Ian finishes his sentence, they both stop as Ian’s name is heard over the sound speaker and the voice is that of Steve, who is broadcasting. His voice proves the fact that he’s used to doing so. Perhaps from his summers at Cedar Point.

Announcement

Would Associate Ian, I repeat Associate Ian, please finish his conversation and continue making his way towards the opposite end of the store? I repeat, Associate Ian, make your way to the sound of my voice. Thank you.

The announcement finishes and Steve turns to look toward Ian across the store. They make eye contact and Ian can tell Steve is not kidding. He looks back to Kristy, who is still diligently working on her product placement.

Ian

So, I guess I talk to you later.

Kristy

Yeah, I guess so.

Ian

Okay. I’m going to go over there now.

Ian points toward the register.

Kristy

Good idea.

Ian

Bye.

Ian turns away and continues on his journey.

Ian walks straight to the register, careful not to stop for anything. He sees a customer, who is an elderly woman to his left and looks at Steve. Ian smiles as an idea enters his head. He turns and walks over to her.

Ian

Hi, can I help you find anything?

The customer looks up and smiles.

Elderly Woman

Yes, actually, I’m looking for three things…

The woman pulls out a list.

Steve

(o.s.)

Ian!

Ian glances toward Steve and waves to him and smiles. He then turns back toward the woman.

Elderly Woman

They’re for my grandson. I think they’re movies.

She hands Ian the list. He consults it for a second.

Ian

Yes, I know exactly where these are. Right this way.

Ian gestures toward the other end of the store.

Elderly woman

Why, thank you.

They walk off away from Steve.

INT. REgister

Steve watches as Ian and the woman walk off. We can literally see the fire brewing in his eye. He turns to Tony quickly, who. as Steve does this, quickly bites his tongue. He had obviously been laughing.

STeve

What the hell are you laughing at?

Tony

(struggling not to laugh)

Nothing.

Steve

Whose side are you on, mine or Ian’s?

Tony stops to think.

Steve

(con’t)

Mine or Ian’s? Mine or Ian’s?

Tony

Yours. Yours. I’m on your side, alright?

Steve

Okay then. So, don’t be laughing because here comes Ian.

Ian

(o.s.)

Hey.

Both Steve and Tony jump. Tony quickly, again turns around to straighten the displays behind the register.

Ian

I’m here. What’d you want?

Steve

Hey, there you are. I thought you forgot how to get to this end of the store. I was going to say I hope you aren’t still upset about what I said earlier, but now I hope you are upset. That was complete insubordination, what you just did.

Ian

What did I do?

Steve

You helped that old lady find a product. How dare you?

Ian

Okay, but please let me explain myself. I hate being an enigma.

Steve stops to consider it.

Steve

Okay. I’m listening.

Ian

I understand most people wouldn’t be here today, but I’m not like most people. I’ve never been here for money, so I won’t be absent due to it either. You see to me, this job is interesting. I would miss it if I skipped a day. I mean, what other job can you get such gratification?

Steve

Any job.

Ian

No, not any job. This is a unique occupation. We’re working with the public, a public, which doesn’t follow any rules. Anything can happen. It’s not the same everyday. Doesn’t that excite you?

TONY

You’re just strange.

IAN

Fine, I accept that. Winning this money forced me to have an epiphany. This job is a responsibility of mine, one that I take extremely seriously because when a person buys something from me, they’re really endorsing me before they endorse this franchise. That is one of the rewards of this profession and to negate all of that on the simple fact that I don’t need the money like, as Kelly informed me earlier, everybody else does. I know everybody needs the money for something. I don’t. My dreams have been fulfilled. I’m already happy and I have been for years, even before I won this contest. Maybe I’m just easy to satisfy, but that can only help me in life, right? I honestly, in my whole life can’t think of a single day when I was truly unhappy, even on days when completely tragic and unjustified events transpired in my life, I can remember being very optimistic in my outlook of everything. That’s all that really matters in the end, being happy. It’s certainly a way of life that has benefited me and I know would benefit you, especially. I highly recommend trying it sometime. You never know what may happen. Have you ever tried it?

Steve

Ok, one, this isn’t about me and two, even if it was, I refuse to partake in this singing of Kum-Ba-Ya.

Steve turns and walks off to the other end of the register area. Ian turns to Tony who is again holding back laughter.

Ian

Did he just call me a hippie?

TONY

I think he did.

Ian

Ok, that’s just taking it all too far.

Ian heads briskly to Steve’s side of the register. Tony follows quickly trying not to miss a word.

Ian

(con’t)

Steve, what is your problem?

Steve

You. You are my problem.

Ian

Why? Why, all of a sudden, have I suddenly become this entity you’ve become fixated on destroying?

Steve

Because you just don’t get it.

Ian

What the hell does that mean? Don’t get what?

Steve

You’ve won all this money. Ten million dollars, right?

Ian

Well no, after taxes, I think it’s closer to like five millions.

Steve

Have you even considered what that can do?

Ian

I haven’t actually attained a single cent yet, but I do know exactly what this money can do. This money can only now help in other’s happiness.

Steve

How so?

Ian

If I give it all away, which is what I have planned, a lot more people can benefit from my sudden winnings. Not only that but I’m also no longer seen as the guy who didn’t spread the wealth when he could. I would much rather like to be known as the guy who came through for his friends that always were there for him. There is no better gift to me than to give one, whether it is this money or just my time because not all problems can be solved with money. Sometimes, money can cause more problems than it’s worth, which I personally am praying is not this case, which I know it would be if I kept it all for myself. I couldn’t ever go back to truly being anyone’s friend. Not after that.

Steve

Is that what all this is really about? Being everyone’s friend? Well, sometimes, people don’t like just being given money. Take me for example; I wouldn’t take your money if you offered it to me. I’m not going to be bought like that.

Ian

Bought? I’m not buying anybody. I’m just trying to support my friends now that I have the ability to do so. They’ve all been there for me in the past. I guess this is just my way of paying them back and saying “Thank you.”

Steve

They were never exceptionally nice to you in the first place. Don’t you think it’s odd that the very moment you got here today, Kelly pulled in next to you and walked you in to the store for the first time ever. They all, including Kelly, like your money. Even the ones you called friends. Some of them may not have even known it, but I assure you, it’s true. Now it’s being taken to the next level with all the money you’ve won. They’re all going to begin asking things of you. Just look at Kelly, for example. I know you gave her money. How much did she ask for?

Ian

You can’t use Kelly as an example in this. You called her in to work.

steve

Yes. I did. I called her to come in at four to cover for you. She knew that and she got her early like only you do everyday.

Ian

What are you implying?

Steve

I’m not implying anything. I simply am making notice of a few things. First, It has been known for a long time that you don’t miss a shift.

Ian

Okay. And second?

Steve

Second is the fact that there are too many coincidences here for even you to dismiss as a little less than suspicious.

Ian

I know what you’re doing.

Steve

Oh, and what’s that?

Ian

You’re trying to make me paranoid by insinuating I wouldn’t have friends if not for the money I’ve won.

Steve

No, that’s not what I’m doing, now if you please will let me finish. I promise this will all come full circle if you pay attention and don’t ask any more questions.

Ian

You know what? I said that this job doesn’t have any drawbacks and let me now restate that. Working with you and your attitude is this job’s one and only drawback. I’m not talking to you anymore. I have shipment to put out on the floor.

Ian turns away and begins to walk away.

steve

(o.s.)

I called in Kelly because she had the most to lose.

Upon hearing this, Ian quickly turns back around.

Ian

What?

Steve

Kelly has been making it very apparent to everyone who works here that she has a boyfriend. That’s one fact with which I’m sure even you’ll agree. I like her personally, but sometimes I wish she’d just be quiet. She’s like CNN. Only she never says anything of importance. Anyway, a few days ago, she was going on and on about this date of hers. She mentioned everything. Such as it was on Wednesday, that it was at 6:30, and all this other stuff. I don’t know. I sort of stopped paying attention. I do that sometimes when I’m bored of what someone is saying.

Ian

I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. What’d you say?

Steve

That’s real funny. You want to hear the story or not?

Ian

No, I don’t honestly, but go on. I heard you, date on a Wednesday and all that.

Ian stops to consider what he just said.

Ian

(con’t)

On a Wednesday? Who has a date on a Wednesday, anyway?

Steve

I don’t know. It is strange, isn’t it?

Ian

Yeah, I guess they call it “hump day” for a reason.

Both Steve and Ian begin to laugh. Just as their laughing climaxes, Ian suddenly ceases his laughter.

Ian

(con’t)

Okay, so what’s the point?

Steve stops laughing quickly as well and is fully armed to continue with his side of the argument.

Steve

My point is this. I called her, knowing that she would put aside her date, which she has been looking forward to for weeks now, to cover your shift. I knew she would opt to make some money for herself that she no doubt would say she’d use on her car. She agreed, of course after very little consideration. I then forwent to the trouble of mentioning that she would be covering for you and that you had not actually called in, but I assumed you wouldn’t be coming in because you had just won a substantial amount of money. Arming her with all this information such as I did was all she needed. She used you. Don’t you see?

Ian

No, there is more evidence you did not take into consideration.

Steve

Like what?

Ian

Like she refused to take the money when I offered it to her. I had to force her to take it. She even made of point of telling me it was a loan. That’s just not something I think she’d do.

Steve

Wow, she is better than I thought.

Ian

Yes, she is. She will pay me back. Of that I am sure.

Steve

So, you gave her money for her date. Did you give her anymore?

Ian stops in his track. He is realizes what he has done.

Steve

(overly happy)

Of course with your gullibility, I bet she also got money for her car, which I checked out for myself and guess what? She already has brand new brakes. She completely used you. I bet you feel stupid. You can check it out yourself. You said sometimes money isn’t worth the trouble it can cause. Were you right?

Ian

Screw you!

Steve

Don’t insult me. Right now, I’m your closest friend here. I’m telling you exactly how it is and it’s just not what you want to hear. One of life’s hardest lessons is learning to differentiate between the people that we can trust and the ones we can’t. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Sometimes making a mistake, just one, can throw us down into a hole in life and we may never see solid ground again. Can you dig yourself out before it’s too late? You had better grab a shovel and quickly because there will be no one there to assist you. Time may be running out faster than you think. Most people who become incredibility wealthy in a short period of time, lose it all in an even shorter period of time. Let’s see how long it takes you.

Ian

I’m not going to “lose” it. To be honest, I didn’t even really want it in the first place. You are right, though, I do need to be more careful on choosing who gets my money and who doesn’t. Thank you for helping me see who won’t. Now if you’ll excuse me, Steve…

Steve

I am your superior! You address me as Sir, nothing but.

Ian

All right, fine Sir Nothing Butt, I have a job to get to that I’ve been putting off far to long by talking to you. Tony?

Tony is more than a little surprised that his name is being mentioned. He jumps as he holds back his surprise as well as his laughter. There is a short pause of silence as Tony thinks of a completely neutral, unbiased line he can say.

Tony

Um, yeah?

Ian

Could you help me with this shipment? I would really appreciate it.

Tony realizes what Ian is doing just as quickly as Steve does. Steve turns to Tony and stares him down waiting for his response. Tony is being forced to make a choice he doesn’t like. Does he side with Steve, his boss or does he side with Ian, his friend of years and risk his job.

Tony

Um, sure.

Tony walks over to Ian.

Ian

Thank you. You see, Steve, not everybody is like you nor does everybody like you.

Ian laughs to himself and walks off with Tony leaving Steve by himself to think about what he’s done.

INT. SALES FLOOR

Ian and Tony come to a cart filled with videos just out of range for Steve to either see or hear. Throughout the conversation, they adjust the videos behind them and make room for the ones they are putting away.

Ian

Steve is such an asshole to me sometimes.

tony

He’s an asshole to everybody. You’ve heard the stories.

Ian

No, actually I haven’t.

Tony

You haven’t? Well, there are a lot of them. They all end with perfectly good associates, like, you getting fired or quitting or sometimes just disappearing. Didn’t you ever notice that a lot of the people who get hired in not only never move up in the store but also don’t stay with us for very long?

Ian

Uh, yeah, I guess so, but how come he’s just now starting to be mean to me? I’ve been here over a year. You’ve been here even longer. How have you maintained a solid job under such a black-hearted boss for such a long time? I mean, you had been here a long time when I was hired. What’s your secret?

Tony

I don’t need a secret. My dad works here, remember?

Ian

Yeah, but is that enough?

Tony

Apparently. I’m still here.

Ian

Why do I feel like you’re not being completely forthcoming with information?

Tony

Put your shipment away.

Ian

No, tell me. What don’t I know?

Tony

Nothing. I’ve told you everything. Just leave it alone.

Ian

I’m not buying it.

Tony

Okay, fine, I’ll tell you, but you can’t tell anyone.

Ian

I won’t. I promise. I’ve kept secrets that even I don’t know about.

Tony

Okay, whatever. I think that this whole thing with you and the money is upsetting Steve because Steve, at one point in his life, was very wealthy. He and my dad were friends and I think they had a falling out of some kind because neither of them will discuss any of what happened with each other or anyone else. From what I can gather from talking to Steve and my Dad, however, is that Steve was living the high life and always thought he was better than everybody else, a notion that he still apparently carries with him to this very day. So, anyway, somewhere along the line, Steve lost his money and was forced to take a job doing menial work in a suburban video store. I can tell he resents everything about it, the job, the people, everything. I guess you flew beneath his radar because you weren’t ever causing problems or anything like that until you won a huge contest and gained the life that he lost. Now he is taking all of that aggression he’s pent up within himself over the years and is releasing it on who he wishes he was, you.

Ian

Wow. How much damage to me do you think he’ll do?

Tony

I don’t know. In the past he’d crush people for not doing their job correctly or for little mistakes they would make. I can’t even imagine what he’s capable of now, being as completely jealous of you as he obviously is. What would you do if you thought somebody had wrongly stolen your life?

Ian

But I didn’t steal his life.

Tony

But I think he thinks you did. All he’s done all day is talk about how you’ve won what was his. I don’t know if he means the money, the life style or what? But I do know he is upset about everything that has happened and he is blaming you for it.

Ian

Now that’s just illogical to blame me for this. It was completely random that I won this money.

Tony

He can’t see that. Look, I agree with you. I’m not on his side. If I was, do you think I’d be telling you all of this? I don’t know what his plan is, but so far what I can gather from his senseless blabbering is that he is trying to make you ashamed of your winning, your money, and your generosity with it. That’s the only reason I can think for him to do what he’s done with you and Kelly. He’d go to any extent to upset you. Don’t start second guessing yourself. That’s exactly what he wants. Do whatever you want with the money. That’s the best advice I can give you. Just ignore Steve and his senseless tendencies to destroy everything he wishes was his.

As Tony says this, he puts away the last few videos from the cart.

Tony

(con’t)

Okay, well, I’ll take this cart to the back for you. At least think about what I said.

Ian

Okay, I will.

Tony

Good luck.

Tony pushes the cart away from Ian to the back room. Ian turns around to straighten more videos. He is completely thrown off guard when he hears another familiar voice.

AMY

(O.S.)

Congratulations!

Ian looks up to see Amy, a very cool girl, who has also worked at the store for years. She approaches him and smiles.

Amy

So, you’re like a big time millionaire now.

Ian

Yes, I am. Now I’m representing.

Amy

Okay, so, why are you still here? You came into work on the same day you won ten million dollars?

Ian

Wouldn’t you have?

Amy

Yeah, to quit.

Ian

No, I don’t think you would have.

Amy

No?

Ian

No, I think you’re more rooted in this store than I am.

Amy

(skeptically)

Really?

Ian

Yeah, there’s a reason we keep coming back.

Amy

And you’re claiming to know why?

Ian

Of course. It’s simple really.

Amy

Okay, why?

Ian

We’re addicted.

Amy

To work?

Ian

To being at work, yes.

Amy

And what makes you think that? I enjoy leaving the end of a shift.

Ian

Exactly! At the end of a shift. Because everyone else is leaving as well. There’s no socialization after that.

AMy

What about bowling?

Ian

Well, everyone from here goes usually. Even me, I did get a 200, you know?

Amy

Yeah, yeah, I know, so what you’re saying is that I like the people here.

Ian

Yes.

Amy

They’re my friends.

Ian

Yes.

Amy

So, I like spending time with my friends?

Ian

Doesn’t everybody?

Amy

Yes, they do, obviously. You know, you don’t have to try so hard to be part of the intellectual socialite crowd so quickly. Just be you. I think all of us like that person more anyway.

Ian suddenly becomes rather stunned. He obviously hadn’t thought of it that way.

Ian

Okay. I guess I can try. I am aware that the only thing to create a more intellectually defined individual is certainly without a doubt, more matriculation.

Amy

You see. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. This money makes bigger only your wallet, not your vocabulary or intellect.

Ian

Well, I guess I can attempt to subdue to monosyllabic words if you so desire.

Amy

Yes, “smaller” words would be great. Okay, well, I need to head to the register to do a pick-up. Only a million more of them and I’ll have as much money as you. So, talk to you later, Ian.

Ian

I’ll talk to you in another time and space when the physical sciences converge in a meeting between the two associates at the residential multimedia establishment of purchase.

Amy

(laughing)

Oh, shut up.

Amy turns and walks off. Ian then turns back to his wall of videos and straightens a few more of them. Ian doesn’t notice it, but Steve has made his way around the aisle and is watching him do so. The glare in his eye as he looks at Ian is frightening to even the toughest of us. A customer comes up to him and stops to wait for his attention.

Steve

(noticing him)

Oh, hello. Is there anything I can help you find?

Customer #1

Are you doing staff evaluation?

steve

I’m sorry?

customer #1

It’s just that you’re staring so intently at that employee over there. I feel sorry for him. The only time my boss looks that hard at me is when they’re doing this employment appraisal. Is that what is going on?

Steve

Oh yeah, something like that.

customer #1

Take it easy on him. He seems to be doing a good job.

Steve

I’ll take it under consideration.

Customer #1

You do that. You have to be good people to work in a mall. It’s hard enough working at some little video store next to a crappy convenience store. Try being enough to satisfy hundreds of customers per day. It’s tough man.

Steve

It’s really not that tough and this guy here is not doing that great of a job at pleasing anybody. He’s been real flaky lately and I don’t think he’s going to make the grade necessary to continue being an employee.

customer #1

That’s a real shame for that kid. He helped me find a few DVDs and seemed to know what he was doing. Look at this. I got this guy’s entire series. You know, the guy that made movies a lot like what a day here would be like.

Steve

If he recommended those to you, he’s really got bad taste. I saw that last one he made. What a piece of crap that movie was.

Customer #1

No, I wanted these. I happen to be a huge fan of his and when I mentioned that to him, Ian, I think his nametag read, showed me all of them, told me how much of a fan he was and how he owned the entire series and watches them regularly. He made me feel good about my purchase, which is a hard thing to do when you charge so much. You’ve now insulted my product choice, and me so you know what?

Steve

What?

Customer #1

I’m not going to give you the satisfaction. You can keep these DVDs. I’m going across the highway and buying them cheaper. Make sure you say “Thanks” to that kind associate over there.

Steve

(sarcastically)

Yeah, I’ll get right on that, sir.

Customer #1

What is your manager’s name?

Steve

Actually, I am the manager.

Customer #1

Well, I’ll have to make some calls, then, won’t I?

Steve

No, I’m sorry. Don’t make any calls. I can’t have any more complaints or I’m fired.

Customer #1

(intrigued)

Really? That is interesting and not the least bit surprising.

Ian, in the background, has finished with his aisle and is walking up behind Steve intending to avoid him when he hears a customer is threatening him. We see his wanting to simply laugh and walk away, but his moral fiber fights his mind to a victory. Ian steps in.

Ian

Hi, is there a problem here?

Steve

No, there is no problem. Go back to straightening.

Customer #1

Don’t lie to the boy. Tell him the truth. How you insulted me and when I threatened to call the company on your ass, you got defensive and attempted to beg me not to.

Steve

Shut up, Sir. Let me handle this. Ian, go back now before you get into any trouble.

Ian

No. I’ll handle this, Steve. You go sit and the back and talk on the phone. I think line one misses you.

The customer at this point is holding back laughter.

Steve

That’s it! This is something I’ve waited a long time to say to you. I’m writing you up!

Ian

Fine by me. Go get the forms.

Steve stammers off in anger toward the back room.

Ian

(to customer #1)

Now, you wanted this whole series, right? Let me do you a favor and buy it for you in exchange for you not calling the company on Steve.

Customer #1

Why would you do that? The guy treats you like he’s out to get you. I wouldn’t take that shit from him if I were you.

Ian

It really isn’t his fault. He’s just had a bad day. Truth be told, I feel sorry for him. I think we all do on some level, especially him.

Customer #1

Okay by me. Whatever the motivation, I’m up for free DVDs. Let me just have a word with your manager again. He insulted my movies. That’s personal.

Ian

You act like you wrote and directed them or something.

Customer #1

No, I was in them too. I just didn’t have many lines, didn’t like acting much.

Ian’s face drops as he hears this.

Customer #1

I’m only kidding. What would I be doing in a movie? Ah, here comes that fat sack of shit now.

Ian

How did you know our nickname for him?

Steve comes out fast with the papers. He comes back to Ian and the customer.

Steve

You’re on thin ice with me now, Ian. You know that?

Customer #1

No, he’s not and let me tell you why. He’s been so kind as to buy my selections for me in hopes of rekindling my relationship with the franchise. Now, I accepted  that extraordinary offer, but I would feel the slightest amount of guilt if I did so without doing anything in return, so here’s my offer to you. I’ll agree not to make my calls to see you fired and blacklisted in this town for all eternity if, and only if, you then reciprocate the offer to Ian. I don’t want to witness him being written up, fired, or blacklisted from any establishment in the vicinity of this or any other mall. Do we have a deal?

Steve

Uh, yeah, I think I can agree to that.

Customer #1

Good. I’ll be back at a later date and time to see to it that you followed up with your end of the bargain. So, run your self back in the direction from whence you came, put away your papers, and make some phone calls or something. Stay out of this guy’s hair, okay?

Steve

(defensive)

All right, man. I’m going.

Steve turns and runs off to the back room. Again.

Ian

(amazed)

That was incredible. I can’t thank you enough for that. Maybe now he’ll lie off of me. It’s been like that all day.

Customer #1

I don’t care about your life story, okay? I did something nice, now it’s your turn. I want to buy my movies.

Ian

Yeah, sure. You’re pretty cool, you know that?

Customer #1

No, I’m not. I just know what I want and that is to not have to put up with dicks like that when shopping at the mall. That and DVDs, of course. I really do like the format.

Ian

I believe you.

Ian pulls out his wallet and hands CUSTOMER #1 the necessary funds for his movies.

CUSTOMER #1

Nice doing business with you.

Ian

You too. Enjoy those movies.

CUstomer #1

I will, especially the first and second one. They’re about places not unlike this one. I like it. I like places like this.

Ian

You want an application?

Customer #1

No thanks. I used to have a job like yours. I moved on to bigger and better things. You ever thought about that?

Ian

Once or twice, but I couldn’t leave.

Customer #1

Why not?

Ian

I like this place and most of the people. They’re not all like Steve. Most of them are very nice. Hell, Steve used to be nice.

Customer #1

What happened?

Ian

It’s complicated.

Customer #1

He’s jealous of you, isn’t he?

Ian

Yeah, completely. How did you know?

Customer #1

It’s pretty obvious in the way he talks to you. What’s he jealous of? Money?

Ian

Yeah, I recently won a contest on the radio. Now, I have the life he lost and he blames me for it.

Customer #1

Yeah, I know what that’s like. The secret is to bring all your friends along that crazy ride you’re undertaking. Then when you’re all millionaires, you’re still equals. That was the street I took. It’s seemed to have treated me well. Are you thinking about embarking on your own street soon?

Ian

I don’t know. I’m kind of torn right now on what I want. I know if I don’t, I’ll still be happy working here.

CUSTOMER #1

I was exactly like you when I was your age. I swear I said the exact words that are coming out of your mouth right now, but I took initiative and did something about it to get out. If I didn’t do so, I would still be there to this day, I’m sure of it, but the world is too big of a place to stay trapped in a store. Get out and see it while you’re young. You said you already won the money. It’s obviously a substantial amount of cash or else it wouldn’t have caused this much havoc at work, am I right?

Ian

Yeah, I guess you’re right, but what can I do?

Customer #1

That’s the path you have to take. I don’t know where it will lead you but I know you’re not at the end yet. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ve made it as far as you can in life. You can do better. Look at me. The only thing that separates us is the soul fact that I made that one decision. It was the best thing I ever did. Try it. You may do even better than me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy these videos. Take care.

Ian

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime.

Customer #1

That all depends on you. See you around.

Customer #1 turns and walks away from him.

Ian looks very enlightened as if he now knows what to do. It is a time for action. He knows this now.

Ian

Yes, you will.

Ian snaps from his trance-like state and reevaluates his surroundings and is upset to see his life-altering customer has left.

_________________________________________________

Due to his trance, he doesn’t notice Steve has now stuck his head around the aisle and seeing Ian’s back is turned, he begins to make his way toward him, crossing back and forth as he gets closer. As Steve gets within range, Ian quickly turns around.

Ian

I think you owe me an apology.

Steve

I’m not going to apologize until you apologize.

ian

Fine. I’m sorry for what I did.

Steve

Don’t try to worm your way out of this. What you did was bad. Worse than what I did.

Ian

How do you figure that?

Steve

I just do, okay? Now, I’ll put it in the past under one condition.

Ian

Oh, I can’t wait to hear this!

Steve

You just have to do everything I say.

Ian

Steve, you’re my manager. I already do everything you say.

Steve

Yes, at work.

Ian

That’s not going to work and neither am I.

Steve

What are you saying, Ian?

Ian

I’m saying that I quit.

Steve

You can’t quit!

Ian

Why can’t I quit? I’m an associate who is stating to a manager that I express desire to end the tenure of my relationship with this national conglomerate. What do you have to say to that?

Steve

You have to stay two more weeks. An associate can only terminate his own employment after giving the appropriate notice. You have failed to do so, which limits our time to train a replacement for you. Not doing so is not only unfair to this store, which has treated you well for over a year, it is also unethical. More unethical than I know you to be.

Ian

First off, this store has not treated me well since my initial hiring here. You, over the past hour since I’ve been here, have been more vicious and out for blood than anybody I’ve come across in the previous years of my life. You are the epitome of everything that is evil and you represent the product of training from this store. I cannot any longer in good conscious work for something that would choose you as a representation of it. That is more wrong than my choosing not to be your worker.

Steve

What if I quit?

(a beat)

Ian

Why would you quit?

Steve

Can’t you tell that by my behavior here I don’t enjoy my job?

Ian

Yeah, but don’t you always behave in a fashion that would terrify children?

Steve

No, I don’t. I used to have a much better life than what this place has offered me. I had millions of dollars. Didn’t you ever know that about me?

Ian

Not until very recently.

Steve

Yeah, at one point in my life I was wanted at every job in the world, then something terrible happened and I was forced into taking this job from the only person who has ever helped me out, Noel. He helped me when I was down and out. He’s the only one who ever did. The only true friend I’ve ever had.

Ian

What happened to all of the money you had?

Steve

I lost it. I got sick, really, really sick and as I was dying from the cancer that had all but taken over my entire body, I, for the first time, noticed the people I thought liked me left my side to by other more healthy and more wealthy sides. It’s kind of funny now. I almost lost my life and instead of coming out of it with a newly found respect for life, I came out of it hating the world that shunned me. So, with my fortune tied up in paying medical bills, I was forced to work. I had no experience due to the fact my money was all inherited and I never had a job before. Noel came through for me and got me this job, which, to me, only represents mediocrity, and I loath everything about it. I hate my life, my job, and now with your newly acquired fortune, you.

Ian

Wow, I never knew. You have had it hard. I’m sorry about all of it. I wish there was something I could do.

Steve

There is. Let me quit instead of you. Let me improve one thing in my life by ridding it of this job.

Ian

Where would you go?

Steve

That’s what I want to figure out on my own. Ian, let me go. You’re young. You can still go on to bigger and better things, but for now, stay with your friends here. They do truly like you and I know you like them. I’ve seen you be their friend. That’s something I’ve envied you for. That’s part of why I’ve been tough with the money, but you can’t shelter yourself away from them because of me. Of course others will see that well- being and want it. Greed is a very primal human instinct. Trust me. That’s something I know.  It can infect all of humanity at times, but without it, life wouldn’t be worth living. It’s good to want something, but if that’s the only motivation behind any action, it leads to days like today. Today, I was infected and I shamed myself for the way I’ve acted and I know I need a change of environment to better build a brighter future for myself with out the vengeful greed and envy.

Ian

Yeah, those are two of the seven deadly sins.

Steve

Do you think you can ever forgive me?

Ian

Of course I can forgive you.

Steve

That’s good to know. I don’t understand why you’d forgive so easily though.

Ian

I don’t really know either. Just part of who I am I guess. It can be part of who you are too. I’d like to see that.

Steve

I hope so, maybe someday.

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