Written by evan keliher
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

image for Grandpa Ganja's Emporium (Ist. Day) #1

Evan Keliher (A sitcom in 7 episodes. Looking for a production deal.)


EXT. DAY. SHOT OF POT CLUB.

A legal medical marijuana dispensary in a L.A. storefront building in a rundown part of the city. There's a Hells Angels club on one side with bikes in front, a bar on the other side, etc. The window has posters of pot leaves, tokers, etc., and a large sign overhead reads Grandpa Ganja's Emporium.

INT. CLUB.

The place is adorned with pot stuff including posters, lots of pot leaves, brochures, smoking paraphernalia, T-shirts and mugs, etc. The furniture consists of a table laden with baggies, scales, an opened kilo of pot, and assorted doodads. There are display cases with various pot products for sale, cash register, etc. Several small tables and straight-backed chairs are scattered about and a few easy chairs and a couch are in evidence. A small table with coffee fixings and a box of cookies on it and a computer, printer, fax, TV set, etc., complete the furnishings.

Clouds of pot smoke fill the ambient air as scattered patients relax with coffee and joints. Two regulars share a large hookah and becloud the air. The air is always smoke-filled; passersby often stick their heads in the door and inhale several gulps of pot smoke to catch a contact high before staff can catch them.

BETH, a brunet in her late thirties and wheelchair bound with MS, is at the long table where she's filling eighth- and quarter-ounce baggies with pot from a kilo on the table. Blind EARL eats a cookie with coffee and two unmoving chess players sit motionless in background; they never move.

BETH

Grandpa's late.

EARL

Late for what?

BETH

Not for, from. The hearing.

EARL

Oh. Maybe that's good news.

BETH

How is that good news?

EARL

Because if it's bad news we haven't

heard it yet.

BETH

Then that means if we never see him

again it's even better news?

EARL

(shrugs)

At least it wouldn't be bad news.

BETH

(shakes head)

We're going to have to cut back on

our pot, Earl. That almost makes sense.

EARL

(finishes coffee)

No can do. If I cut back on my

pot I could go blind, you know.

BETH

(dryly)

Yeah, right. We wouldn't want that

to happen.

EARL

(suspicious)

Is that sardonic?

BETH

No, it's . . . Hey, there's Grandpa!

EARL

(mutters)

Not a minute too soon, either.

GRANDPA enters carrying briefcase and nods and waves to patrons as he moves to the table.

BETH

(apprehensively)

What's the verdict?

EARL

If it's not good news we'll have to

shoot your ass, Gramps.

GG

(grimly)

It's D-Day. If we don't make the cut

we're out on the first.

BETH

That's not good news.

EARL

(gropes for place

to put cup)

I'll get my gun.

BETH

That's only sixteen approved clubs in the

whole city. Are the fascists winning?

GG

Naw. It's just a skirmish. They close us

down and we'll go underground. Never

give our real names, work only at night,

sign distribution deal with the Hells Angels…

BETH

And end up in the slammer for life

without parole when the feds show up.

EARL

You need three strikes to get life

without parole.

BETH

I do but you don't. Look how they

handled that crack cocaine law.

They gave white coke users a pass and

sent black crack users away forever.

GG

Nobody's going to jail…

(sees NUNS approaching

outside)

Ah, we have two Sisters visiting

us, Earl.

EARL

How can you tell they're sisters

just by looking at 'em?

GG

By their habits.

EARL

Man, they must have some mean

habits if you can see 'em with the

naked eye.

The NUNS enter. They peer about apprehensively. Organ music swells. 1st nun carries a metal Poor Box under one arm.

GG

(to NUNS)

Good afternoon, ladies. And how

are we today?

1st NUN

Well, that's what we wanted to see you

about because…

2nd NUN

…the bishop isn't doing all that well…

1st NUN

…or the Mother Superior, for that

matter…

2nd NUN

…and some of the Sisters have been

under the weather lately, as well…

1st NUN

(thrusts papers at GG)

…so these are doctors' letters for

everybody at the Blessed Bleeding

Stigmata parish. It seems we all have

some health problem that's covered by the

state medical marijuana law.

GG

How fortunate.

(takes letters,

riffles them, mutters)

And quite a coincidence, too, I

might add. I mean, that you should

all be sick at once.

1st NUN

We think it's the Devil's work…

2nd NUN

…or those Republican bastards.

GG

(reading)

These letters are all signed

by the bishop. Isn't he a doctor

of theology?

1st NUN

Yes.

GG

Okay, that's close enough. What do

you need?

2nd NUN

(reads list)

A pound of Mexican, six ounces

of Panama Red, four ounces of

sinsemilla and six ounces of

Kentucky Blue Grass.

EARL

Man, that's two pounds of grass! You

guys must be partying down over there.

1st NUN

Oh, it's not all for us. We pipe

it into the confessionals to put

the sinners at ease.

EARL

You give free pot to sinners?!

Hey, I'll confess to anything.

Where do I sign up, Sis?

GG

How does it help to turn the sinners on?

2nd NUN

It's hard for stoned people to

lie, that's how. Get a sinner

stoned and he'll confess to sins

he didn't even know he committed.

GG

I still don't see…

1st NUN

It's simple. We're an order of flagellant

nuns. If one's sins are truly

egregious, we work him over with…

2nd NUN

…this!

She produces a multi-lash whip from her habit and snaps it with a flourish.

EARL

(impressed)

You give away free pot and

free whipping's?

GG

Forget it, Earl. You have to be

Catholic.

(to NUNS)

Two pounds of life-saving pot

coming up.

(takes pre-wrapped

baggies from stock

behind him)

Mexican weed straight from

Guadeloupe. Good stuff. Only 200

bucks an ounce.

(counts)

Four sinsemilla, 6 Kentucky,

6 Panama Red.

(punches keypad)

That comes to an even $4800.

1st NUN

(box on table; letters

POOR BOX on it. Takes

out roll of cash)

BETH

Uh, isn't that money supposed to

go to the poor?

1st NUN

Only 10%. The rest is overhead.

2nd NUN

(piously)

Jesus said you'll always have the poor

with you.

EARL

If you didn't your poor box deal

would go belly up.

1st NUN

(counting)

Forty-five, six, seven, eight.

GG

On the nose. Tell the bishop I

said hi and I hope the pot

cures his, uh…

(looks at letters)

…heebie-jeebies.

2nd NUN

(hopefully)

We can have him say a mass for

you for another baggie of Kung

Pao, if you like.

GG

Uh, no, that's okay. I'd rather

smoke it myself and take my chances.

1st NUN

Smart move.

(starts out)

We'll be back when we run low

on, uh, medicine.

2nd NUN

(with a smile)

She means next week.

The NUNS leave as organ music rises and fills the air. Music fades with next lines.

BETH

There must be an epidemic over at

the parish.

EARL

Remind me not to go to go there

for confession.

GG

Yeah, somebody should tell those guys

about the 5th Amendment. I say if you

can't remember a sin, it doesn't count.

EARL

It works for Wall Street. Nobody

laid a glove on any of 'em.

BETH

What about the panel? We need a plan.

GG

I've got a plan. I invited the panel

to come here this afternoon to

see our operation. We'll stack the

deck on 'em, claim we're something

we're not, rig it so we look

better than we are.

EARL

So we copy the Republicans, then?

BETH

Do you think they'll fall for it?

GG

They're average Americans; they'll

buy anything. Over half of 'em

voted for Bush, didn't they?

EARL

(shakes head)

You need an angle, Gramps. Stupid

alone can't cut it.

BETH

He's right. These guys are politicians.

They've seen more angles than a

diamond cutter.

GG

You know me. I've always got an angle.

(checks time)

Look, I've got some stops to make. Can

you guys handle the lunch hour crowd?

BETH

No problem. We just need a few more

eighths and quarters and we're set.

GG

Good.

(paper out)

Call these people and have 'em here at

two. Tell 'em we're giving out free

samples.

(starts out)

BETH

Don't forget the Boys in the Backroom

are coming tonight.

GG

(snaps fingers)

That's right. Jason's coming back. He

finally got off parole.

EARL

(shakes head)

Maybe we should have a cake.

GG

Hey, I gotta go. I'll be back at one-

thirty.

EARL

Don't hurry, man. I could run this

place blindfolded.

GG leaves.

BETH

I'd like to see that.

EARL

(ruefully)

So would I-or anything else.

BETH moves to the table and starts weighing baggies as EARL pulls pot from a kilo and stuffs it into baggies.

The music is softer now, the guitarist silhouetted against the sun-emblazoned window as BETH speaks.

BETH

Is it true what they say? That

blind people have extra senses

to make up for being blind?

EARL

Oh, sure. We sense all kinds of stuff.

(beat)

Take you, now. I see a blonde

girl with blue eyes. And a pretty

smile. Tall like a model. And all

natural; no makeup.

(she's brunette with

brown eyes, plump,

and nicely made up)

A pretty girl with a soft voice.

Close?

BETH

(laughs)

Pretty close.

EARL

I knew it!

(beat)

What about me? How do I look

to you?

BETH

I see a tall, good-looking man

with a nice smile and a good

sense of humor.

EARL

And a good friend.

BETH

(reaches out and puts

her hand on his)

For almost a year now.

They hold the pose for a long moment and then both draw back and assume a more businesslike mien.

BETH (cont'd)

We've got baggies to fill. The

lunch crowd is on its way.

EARL

Pot for lunch.

(laughs)

That's what they mean by high noon.

(feeling for roach

in the ashtray)

But first I need my vitamins.

A man can't be too careful when it

comes to his health, you know.

BETH

(picks up roach)

Pot's better than vitamins; nobody

ever got high on beta carotene.

BETH applies clip, lights the roach, hits it and hands it to EARL. He takes a hit and smoke eddies in the air around them as music rises. CAMERA on 2/3 baggies of pot. DISSOLVE and back on pile of 20 or so baqgies. The door opens and DOC enters wearing scrubs.

BETH

Hi, Doc.

DOC

No time to parley, Beth.

(trembling hands up)

My Parkinson's kicked in again and

I'm in the middle of a tricky heart

operation. I need to steady down here.

EARL

Pot will make you steady, Doc.

I know lots of long-term smokers

who are so steady they can hardly

move at all.

CAMERA angle on chess players in background.

DOC

(an epiphany)

Hey, maybe that's the cause of a

catatonic state. You smoke too much

pot and all your parts seize up.

GG

Can't be, Doc. Earl here hasn't

come down since 1993. He's smoked

enough pot to keep Rip Van Winkle

in that coma.

DOC

What's the matter with you, Earl?

You ruined my theory. Now we'll

never learn the truth about catatonia.

BETH

(reaching for baggie)

Here, try some Panama Red. A hit

of this will stop rigor mortis

from setting in.

DOC

Good, good.

(fills pipe with

trembling hands)

Got the heart out. Got to be careful

I don't drop it again.

EARL

Again?!

DOC

(defensively)

Well, a bloody heart is pretty

slippery, you know.

(pipe up)

Besides, it didn't hurt it any.

(beat)

'Course, it didn't help it much

when the nurse went to pick it up

and kicked it across the room.

(match readied)

But it's okay. We rinsed it off.

DOC lights his pipe and takes a mighty hit, holds his breath, and slowly puts a trembling hand out and we watch it steady down in seconds.

BETH

There. You saved yourself a trip to

Lourdes, Doc.

DOC

(counting out bills)

It's a miracle of modern medicine-

4,000 years old.

(starts out)

Gotta run.

GG

(calling)

The Boys in the Backroom are on

tonight, Doc. Jason's back.

DOC

Has it been ten years already?

EARL

Man, he only got ten months not ten years.

BETH

Jason only grew a little pot. The

other acre belonged to somebody else.

DOC

I'll check it out. Gotta go.

DOC grabs his baggie of weed, hurries out, and almost runs over incoming crowd. A SERIES OF SHOTS of crowded room, smoking, chatting, laughter. People at tables with coffee, cookies, brownies. Several have canes, bandaged heads, etc.

LATER. Crowd is gone, hookah smokers puff away, smoke eddies. EARL sits at the table with coffee when GG enters.

GG

I'm back, Earl.

EARL

(checking time on wrist)

One-thirty sharp! You may be a stoner

but you're punctual, Gramps.

GG

(gets cup of coffee,

last cookie)

You make those calls?

EARL

They're on the way right now.

What'd you want all those people for,

anyway?

GG

Dressing. We have to dress the stage.

(baggie up, fills pipe)

Beth still here?

EARL

We ran out of cookies so she's baking

some more.

Mailman BOB enters.

BOB

Mail call, boys.

(looks in bag, inhales

pot smoke covertly)

GG

How you doing, Bob?

BOB

I'm good. Can't complain.

(looks around)

You're doin' a great job, Grandpa.

A real public service.

(inhales covert breaths)

EARL

Somebody should tell our asshole

drug czar.

GG

You can't tell assholes anything.

BOB

(doling out mail)

They closed most of the clubs

around here. Used to be three of

'em on my route 'n now there's only

you guys left.

(sneaks another hit)

GG

(sorting mail)

Nope, it's not here.

EARL

What are you looking for?

GG

My MacArthur Foundation grant. They

give 'em out this time of year.

EARL

They do? Maybe I should go home and

check my mail.

BOB

(spots hookah)

Say, that's a hookah, isn't it?

(approaches it, stands

in cloud of smoke)

1st SMOKER

(exhaling smoke)

Also called a hubble-bubble, a narghile,

and a water pipe. Want a hit?

BOB

Uh, no, thanks. They won't let mailmen

smoke pot, you know.

2nd SMOKER

Go ahead, man. We won't tell anybody.

BOB

(fanning smoke into his

face & taking deep breaths)

No, I better not. Thanks, anyway.

(opens bag and fans

smoke into it)

BOB backs toward the door and he takes big gulps of smoke as he goes. Smokers watch him go.

1st SMOKER

Can they do that?

2nd SMOKER

Do what?

1st SMOKER

Tell a guy he can't smoke pot?

2nd SMOKER

Only in a totalitarian state.

1st SMOKER

So that means…?

2nd SMOKER

Yeah.

1st SMOKER

(mutters)

Assholes.

They resume smoking.

BETH enters from backroom with boxes of cookies on her lap. Both boxes are identical; one has regular cookies and the

other pot-filled cookies.

BETH

Fresh from the oven.

(boxes up)

Plain ones and designer cookies

for those with discriminating taste.

EARL

I have discriminating taste.

GG

(takes boxes)

So you have, Earl. And I'm going to

reward you with a free cookie.

(opens box, gives

it to him)

EARL

(takes cookie,

suspicious)

You gave me a plain cookie, didn't

you?

GG

(puts box on coffee

table, other on shelf behind

table)

Yes, I did. I figured you wouldn't know

the difference and I could save 10

bucks.

EARL

What about when I eat the cookie

and don't get high? You ever

think of that?

BETH

But you're high all the time, Earl.

The only way you'd notice any

difference is if you came down for

five minutes.

GG

(shrugs)

And that's why I gave you a plain

cookie.

EARL

(shakes head)

Now this is some shit. Tricking a

blind man. I'll bet you're

not gonna give me my 40 acres and a

mule, either, are you?

GG

Are you still carping about that?

It's a 150 years ago. We thought

you'd forget about it by now.

EARL

(resigned)

You're right. If we ever get 40

acres they'll be in the goddamn

desert-and they'll give us a used mule, too.

The door opens and two guys enter carrying boxes of foodstuffs.

GG

Ah, the caterers are here.

BETH

Caterers?

GG

It's for our guests. I told you I

had an angle and this is it.

(to caterers)

Set 'er up right here, boys.

1st Caterer

Got more coming. Shrimp, crab cakes,

Chablis…

EARL

So that's your plan. You're gonna

wine 'em and dine 'em, eh?

GG

More than that. We're talking chemical warfare here.

BETH

Isn't chemical warfare against

the Geneva Convention?

GG

Naw, it's the same as torture. Bush

said it's all right as long as

we don't kill anybody.

EARL

I thought Bush was a Christian.

GG

He is-and that's the problem.

Torture has always been very

popular with Christians.

According to Bush, the Inquisition

was a grand idea and perfectly legal.

(to 1st Caterer)

You brought the shrimp sauce, did you?

1st CATERER

Coming up, Jefe.

An attractive spread adorns the table now with food artfully displayed.

BETH

You've outdone yourself,

Grandpa. It's a meal fit for

a panel of pot judges.

GG

It's bait for our trap is what it is.

The door opens and invitees begin arriving. One guy has a bloody bandage around his head, another has a neck brace, another is in a wheelchair, one on crutches, etc.

GG (cont'd)

We're having a party! Come on

in! Fred! How's it going? Hey,

Marsha, thanks for coming!

EARL

(to BETH)

Sneak me some of the shrimp

before these freeloaders get at 'em.

BETH

Good idea. Come on.

She and EARL close in on the table while others socialize.

After a minute, GG calls for their attention and outlines the plan.

GG

Folks, this is two events in

one. A party for our friends-

that's you guys-and a scheme

to get city approval for our

club. The panel is due any

minute and we have to convince

'em to choose us for the last permit.

(beat)

Now, when they get here act like

this is a regular thing, like

we're one big, happy family-and

smoke lots of pot. I want clouds

of smoke so thick you can cut it

up in chunks and carry it home

in a paper sack. I want…

(a VOICE sings out,

They're coming!)

Okay, look like you're having fun!

People mill about, talk, laugh, smoke, etc. The PANEL

members enter and stagger back from the onslaught of high-grade pot smoke. GG grabs Councilman PLOTT by an elbow and steers him into the club before he can duck back outside. Council members HAZARD and SLOOTER fan smoke away as they follow GG.

In the party scene smokers blow puffs of smoke at the unsuspecting panelists so they're inhaling great gulps of smoke from the start.

PLOTT

(near panic)

Fire! Somebody call 911!

GG

There's no fire, Mr. Plott.

A little fog seeped in here,

that's all.

PLOTT

Fog? I've never seen fog so thick

you could cut it into chunks and

carry it home in a paper sack.

HAZARD

(fans smoke away)

I should have worn a mask.

GG

(aside to BETH)

That or plastic surgery.

(aloud)

It's nothing, a little pot smoke,

is all. Breathe all you like,

there's no charge for ambient smoke.

It's just medicine, after all.

SLOOTER

(looking around)

You do seem to have lots of sick people here.

BETH

They're all patients, Ms. Slooter.

Each one has a doctor's letter

on file here. We stay completely

within the law.

GG

(big ledger on table)

Our books are open for inspection,

sir.

(opens book, slams shut

as Plott leans in to

check it out)

Yes, sir, we run an up-front operation

here. Nothing to hide.

HAZARD

(eyeing food)

Are you having a party?

GG

Oh, no. We do this every week

for our patients. We figure it

helps morale, you know, gives

'em a lift. Isn't that right, Jack?

JACK

(juggling plate)

Yep, every Thursday like clockwork.

SLOOPER

How long have you been doing this?

JACK

(perplexed. Looks at GG)

What's this? One in a row?

PLOTT

(eyeing JACK'S plate)

Say, all of a sudden I'm starving!

Mind if I have a few of those shrimp?

BETH

Please, help yourselves. We love

to share.

Panelists move to the table and begin eating everything in sight as the pot kicks in.

SLOOPER

My, the crab cakes look…

(stops, looks

right & left)

What was that?

EARL

What was what?

SLOOPER

I thought I saw something.

GG

You did but it wasn't what you

thought it was.

PLOTT

(on fourth shrimp)

This is the best shrimp I've

ever tasted! And the sauce! Superb!

CAMERA on bottle of popular shrimp sauce on end of table as BETH covertly picks up the bottle and hides it.

HAZARD

I feel…funny. Like I'm in a strange place…

GG

(offering wine)

Have a glass of Chablis, Ms.

Hazard. It goes well with the crab cakes.

PLOTT laughs and others laugh with him and thoroughly stoned heads come together under the unifying influences of the noble marijuana bush. All eat and inhale smoke and have a wonderful time. The panelists join in and a real party breaks out with all the usual attendant features.

By two-thirty the panelists are utterly stoned and unable to do enough for their gracious hosts. PLOTT has just finished telling an inane anecdote that everyone finds totally amusing and GG figures the time is ripe to lock in that last permit.

GG

(to PLOTT)

Say, Tom…

(they're on first

name basis now)

…about that permit for the club…

PLOTT

Permit?

BETH

For the club. Remember?

PLOTT

Oh, we gave all those out.

GG

Uh, no, there was one more left.

Remember? I spoke to you this morning…

SLOOPER

He's right, Tom. We were going to

it to those gypsies but we couldn't

find where they live.

HAZARD

Go on, Tom, give it to 'em.

Maybe they'll let us come back

for the parties.

PLOTT

Sure, why not? I like your style,

Grandpa. You've got a good heart

and I like the way you treat your

patients. You get the last permit.

GG

That's great, Tom!

(to others)

You hear that everybody? The

panel has voted to give us the

last permit! We're still in business!

Crowd cheers and high-fives each other and all light fresh joints and further becloud the air and their minds.

SLOOPER

(looking around)

Have you got a paper sack?

I want to take some of this fog

home with me.

GG

Get the lady a paper sack.

BETH looks on the shelf behind the table and finds a paper sack some of the food came in. She gives it to Slooper.

BETH

Here you go, Ms. Slooper.

SLOOPER takes the sack, opens it, and proceeds to catch smoke in it. Helpful others obligingly blow smoke in the sack as she holds it open and she closes it and twists the top shut. Everyone applauds and she grins broadly.

GG

(aside to PLOTT)

Tom, I think some of the ladies

have had too much Chablis. Let's

have Jack drive you guys back to

City Hall.

PLOTT

(grinning)

Sure, Grandpa. Better safe than

sorry, right?

CAMERA on trio as they leave stoned out of their minds. All wear wide grins and appear stoned. JACK guides them toward their van.

GG, et al, raise a mighty shout, clench fists, high-fives all around.

GG

We did it, boys! Grandpa Ganja's

Emporium is risen like the Phoenix!

Beth, give everybody an eighth

of Panama Red on the house!

All cheer and CAMERA draws back on a scene of joy and exuberance.

The End

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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