Written by evan keliher
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Saturday, 7 August 2010

image for Grandpa Ganja's Emporium (Scientology) #2


FADE
IN:

EXT. NIGHT. View of Grandpa Ganja's Emporium. It's nearly dark and tokers lounge about in front of the club just before closing.

INT. CLUB.

Usual scene. CHESS PLAYERS in place, EARL and BETH sit at the table with coffee, GG sells pot to client. Several others have coffee, smoke, etc. GUTARIST plays softly.

GG
(holds baggie open
for client who sniffs pot)
…a hint of chocolate. It's a special
blend from Jamaica. They say a
hit of this stuff can make a blind
man walk or a crippled man see.

CLIENT
(pointing to blind EARL)
Does he smoke this pot?

GG
Earl doesn't have to; he can already walk.

CLIENT
I've got a bad prostate. Damn thing's
the size of an orange. Is this pot
good for prostate trouble?

GG
Guaranteed. You smoke enough of
this stuff and you won't even know
you have a prostate.

CLIENT
That good, eh? Okay, I'll take an
ounce - and throw in some of
that hash there.
(points)

GG
A wise choice, sir. You'll be right
as rain within a fortnight.

GG puts the baggie on the table and takes small plastic bag from a large glass jar.

GG (cont'd)
There you go. That'll be $300
for the pot and a $100 more for
the hash.

CLIENT
(counts cash)
How do you decide what to charge
for pot?

GG
Same way every business does:
we charge whatever the traffic will
bear-then we cut it by 50% because
we're secular humanists.

CLIENT
Secular humanists?

GG
It means we're not assholes.
(beat, takes money)
Remember, you have to be stoned
24/7 with this pot. If you come
down the pot loses its power and
it won't work.

CLIENT
24/7, eh?
(looks at baggie,
grins happily)
I'm 76 years old but I think
I can handle it.

GG
That's the spirit!
(CLIENT starts out,
GG calls)
Come back when you need a refill.

GG goes into the backroom as the NUNS appear at the front door.

BETH
It's the sisters, Earl.

EARL
They back already? They got
enough pot last week for all
the sisters and the choir, too.

NUNS at table.

BETH
Good evening, ladies. How are
things at the parish?

1st NUN
Very busy. We've had a huge influx
of sinners this week.

2nd NUN
They were mostly politicians.
The Republicans held a big rally
at the Civic Center and they all
came in for confession.

1st NUN
We burned up a pound of pot trying
to raise their levels of consciousness
before confessing but it was hopeless.

2nd NUN
Two senators and a judge reached the
level of a lab rat for a minute but
they couldn't maintain it.

1st NUN
And you never saw such a bunch! Liars
and thieves, bribe takers, grafters,
knaves and blackguards…!

2nd NUN
…the bishop thinks one of them
stole his watch…

EARL
Why didn't you give 'em a good whipping?

2nd NUN
We did. I wore out my whip and
had to borrow one from a dominatrix
in another parish.

1st NUN
And it doesn't help, anyway. We're
supposed to save souls but the only
soul a politician has is on his shoes.

BETH
I'm not surprised. The average
politician is so crooked
he could hide behind a corkscrew.

EARL
I say you're wasting good pot.
Let 'em lie in confession and
they'll go to hell where they belong.

1st NUN
(sighs)
I'm afraid hell is just a metaphor
nowadays; nobody believes in it anymore.

2nd NUN
If people stop believing in
something, it doesn't exist, you
know.

1st NUN
(nods)
The same with Purgatory. People won't
pay for prayers and masses to get
out of it since they found out we
made it all up.

2nd NUN
And Limbo. What do they do with all
the unbaptized babies now?

1st NUN
We have to run bingo games and
sell dispensations just to pay the rent.

2nd NUN
Shades of Martin Luther!

BETH
(pointing to the
poor box)
Well, you've still got the money
from the poor box.

1st NUN
Sure, but it's never enough. Poor
people don't have a lot of money,
you know. There's hardly enough
here to keep us in, uh, medicine.

2nd NUN
That's right. The bad economy has
been hard on the Church. The pope
even might sell some of his jewels.
That would raise $100 billion right
there.

1st NUN
(aghast)
Surely, he wouldn't sell all of them!

2nd NUN
No, no, he'll still have lots of
jewels left. Just the ones in the
small warehouse.

EARL
The pope has a warehouse full of jewels?

1st NUN
(smugly)
The pope has three warehouses full of
jewels.

All are stunned and look it.

2nd NUN
(box on table)
Anyway, we need to restock our supplies.
We've got a used-car salesmen's
convention coming up next week.

BETH
Your timing is perfect; it must
have been divinely inspired.

2nd NUN
Gee, you think so? I mean,
it just came out of the blue.
Sr. Mary Martyr finished
off a bong of Wowie Mauwie and she got
this kind of funny look on her
face and she said, "I think we need
more pot."
(to 1st NUN)
Didn't she say that, Sr. Dolorosa?

1st NUN
(nods)
Those very words.

EARL
(piously)
That sounds like God's work to me,
all right.

BETH
We're having a sale on some
chocolate-flavored Jamaican pot
for just $300 an ounce. They say
this was Bob Marley's favorite.

1st NUN
Oh, I love his music!

2nd NUN
We'll take eight ounces.

1st NUN
And six ounces of the Mexican.

BETH
(getting pot)
That comes to $2880.

1st NUN
(dumps poor box, counts)
Eight, nine, ten…

GG emerges from the backroom.

GG
Good afternoon, ladies. How are the
bishop's heebie-jeebies doing?

2nd NUN
Very well, thank you.
In fact, he's already 50% cured.

1st NUN
Yes, the pot cured the heebies and
now he just has the jeebies.

EARL
(thinking)
Are jeebies always plural? Or can
you have just one jeebie?

GG
Good question. If you cure 'em,
won't you finally have a single
jeebie left just before the cure kicks in?

BETH
Or can you have the heebies
without the jeebies?

1st NUN
I never heard of anyone having
just the heebies.

2nd NUN
Or just the jeebies.

EARL
(shudders)
You know, I think I'm getting the
heebie-jeebies just by talking
about 'em.

GG
(shudders)
Me, too. I'm sorry I brought it up.

1st NUN
(picking up pot)
Well, we have to be getting
back. The bishop gets all jittery
if he starts to come down.

EARL
Doesn't everybody?

CAMERA on the NUNS as they start out. Both shudder.
RICO, JASON, JACK and EDDIE come in as the NUNS leave.

GG
Ah, here's my panel now.

BETH
(calling)
Last call, folks, We close in five
minutes.

Customers look up, stand, begin to move door ward.

EARL
(looks around)
Yeah, it's getting dark, all right.

BETH
You can see the light?

EARL
Beth, I saw the light a long time
ago. You don't need eyes to see the light.

BETH
No, but you do need a brain. Too
many people have eyes and no brains.

BETH is at the door and she locks it as the last man leaves. The new arrivals stand about. EARL approaches them.

RICO
(to EARL)
Hey, man, how's it going?

EARL
I'm good. Whose ass we kick tonight?

RICO
I heard its Rush Limbaugh.

JACK
Isn't that asshole in jail yet?

EDDIE
Jail's too good for him. He said
drug addicts should be shot and
now he is one. So we should shoot his ass.

JASON
It's not Rush; he's old news. Nobody takes that
asshole seriously.

RICO
Maybe it's Bush's military record?

EDDIE
It can't be, they can't even find most
of it.

EARL
And what they have found looks like
Jesse James' scratchpad.

JACK
Maybe the subject is philosophy. Kant's
Critique of Pure Reason or…

JASON
Philosophy's boring. Ambrose
Bierce said philosophy is "a
route of many roads leading from
nowhere to nothing."

RICO
Brilliant man, Bierce.

GG puts a mike and tape recorder on the table and draws up a chair. BETH puts down a glass with several joints standing upright in it as GG lays a yellow legal pad down with questions e-mailed in from previous panel shows.

BETH
(dramatically).
The world awaits with bated breath.

GG
I detect a note of scorn. Our audience
may be small but it's only because
we're highly selective. We don't allow morons
to tune in.

EDDIE
In fact, we blacked out the entire
state of Utah to make sure they
wouldn't listen.

GG
That's morons, Eddie, not Mormons.
We don't care if Mormons listen.

JACK
As long as they don't move in
and lower property values.

When all are settled, GG turns the recorder on.

GG
(formally)
Welcome to the further adventures
of the Boys in the Backroom, episode
#8, Grandpa Ganja presiding. This is a
public service educational program
aimed at exposing lies and hypocrisies
promulgated by liars and hypocrites.

RICO
That's us!

EDDIE
Let's do it, man!

GG
But first we have our customary
ritual smoke to make sure everybody
is properly stoned.
(points to joints)
Gentlemen, help your selves.

EARL
(to anyone)
Help myself to what?

RICO
A joint. Here, I'll get you one.

RICO takes a joint, hands it to EARL, and lights it.

JASON
Man, this has got to be the coolest
goddamn club there ever was!

EDDIE
That's because we use pot instead of
Robert's Rules of Order.

GG
You know, every time I've seen
somebody invoke Robert's Rules the
leaders used it to silence the
opposition. Everyone was out of order
except the guys in charge.

JASON
So we get stoned and nobody's in
charge.

RICO
Yeah, fuck Bob and his Rules.

All raise joints in salute.

GG
Gentlemen, I give you the magical
curative powers of the noble marijuana
bush. To your good health!

RICO
The medicine that works even when
it doesn't!

EARL
Hear, hear!

All smoke and exhale clouds of life-giving pot smoke.

GG
Good. Now, it's time for our panel
of experts, regular guys from
the neighborhood and experienced
pot smokers with opinions on everything.
(camera on motley panel.
All wear eye patches, tattoos,
scars, hair, etc.)
Jack and Rico are community college grads…
(they nod)
…they're our resident intellectuals.
(beat)
Eddie has his electricians license…
(EDDIE nods)
and Jason got his GED last year.
(JASON nods)
Okay, so it's not a Meet the Press-type panel.
But remember, pot makes you smarter.
One hit will raise your IQ by 20 points and
these guys have been smoking all afternoon.
So expect a lot of intellectual hi-jinks.
(all nod and touch fists,
etc. GG checks legal pad)
All right, let's start with a question
from our last show. This is from JC
in Omaha. "Which religion is the
most idiotic and what should we
do about it?

JACK
Jesus Christ, that's a tough call.

EARL
Maybe we should start with one
of the dumbest ones.

JASON
That would mean Scientology, then.

GG
Good choice. That's fertile ground
if you're studying idiots.

EDDIE
You're right there. Did you know the
average Scientologist has an IQ of 74?

RICO
Are you sure? Sounds high to me.

EDDIE
I'm sure. I saw it on the Internet.

RICO
Oh, well, if you saw it on the Internet…

JASON
I could have told 'em that without
any fancy study. Being a Scientologist
is one of the criteria for diagnosing imbecility.

RICO
Tom Cruise is a Scientologist.

JACK
So is John Travolta.

GG
Well, that settles it, then.

EARL
It's not even a real religion;
it's just a cult with money.

EDDIE
You could say that about the Catholic
Church.

JASON
Sure, but it wasn't invented 50 years
ago by a sci-fi writer.

RICO
Yeah, L. Ron Hubbard made it all
up, for Christ's sake.

GG
And that's the definition of a
cult. A guy dreams up a new way to
bamboozle the ignorant, buys a tent
and some sawdust, and bango!
you've got a brand-new religion.

JASON
Scientology never had any miracles,
did it?

GG
It's a miracle they haven't been run
out of town, if you ask me.

RICO
I say, no miracles, no religion.

JACK
Yeah, if a religion doesn't have
any miracles, how do we know it's
legit?

GG
He's right. If Travolta could
raise up a dead man or two, why, I'd
sign up with 'em on the spot.

EARL
They don't have any miracles
because they can't work any.

RICO
Why don't they just fake miracles
like the Catholics?

JACK
Yeah, they could claim Tom Cruise walks
on water. Nobody has to see him do it;
they just say he does.

JASON
Would people believe that?

RICO
Sure. Nobody ever saw Jesus walk on any
water, did they?

EDDIE
They could use Photoshop to
make fake pictures of Cruise walking
across Lake Michigan.

GG
Maybe the Scientologists could
find a rust spot that looks
like Travolta and claim it's a miracle.
The Catholics have used that one for
centuries.

JASON
Or maybe Hubbard could rise from
the dead like Lazarus in the Bible…

GG
That wasn't a miracle. Scholars
found out there was a field of
burning marijuana bushes next to
Lazarus' tomb and it was the smoke
from the pot that woke him up.

EDDIE
Well, that's a lot more plausible than
this miracle bullshit.

RICO
Maybe somebody could find a Scientologist
with an IQ over 74-that would be a miracle.

JACK
That's all it would take. Tom
Cruise walking on water would
legitimize Scientology so it could
be taught in place of evolution in
our schools.

JASON
Scientologists are good at raising money
and bullshit, though.

GG
That's right. They recruit rich
guys and brainwash 'em to get their
money.

EDDIE
That's what they did to Travolta and
Cruise.

EARL
They didn't brainwash Travolta and
Cruise; all they needed was a light
rinsing. Neither of 'em had any sense
to start with.

JACK
It pays off, though. I heard they took
Travolta for ten million bucks and
two of his airplanes.

RICO
Are there any poor Scientologists?

GG
No. Poor people can't sign up; it's
in their Constitution. You have to
be a Republican and believe in
Creationism.

RICO
But let's be fair. Scientologists
do a lot of good things, too.

JACK
Yeah, like polygamy. Those guys can
have 10 or 15 wives each.

GG
Those are Mormons and you have to
live in Utah.

EDDIE
What?

GG
The Mormons are the ones who can
have extra wives.

JASON
And the Muslims, too. Osama Bin Laden
has 20 or 30 wives.

EARL
Maybe that's why he's so fucked
up. Most guys are fucked up and
they only have one wife.

GG
Christians can have a lot of wives
but only one at a time. We call
that serial monogamy.

EDDIE
Okay, so we know Scientologists are
idiots. The question is, what do we
do about 'em?

JASON
I say we send out 10,000 roving
bands of nuns armed with sticks to
beat 'em back into shape.

GG
(shaking head)
We can't do that. Roving bands of
armed nuns are against the Geneva Convention.
We'd be tried for war crimes.

EARL
If nuns are illegal, why not send
thousands of guys out wearing white
shirts and riding bikes to convert
'em to secular humanism? They could
trick their way into a house and
refuse to leave until the assholes sign up.

GG
No good. People would think they're
Mormons; they'd never let 'em in the house.

RICO
We could infiltrate their covens
and undermine 'em from within.
Sow seeds of unbelief. Hint that
L. Ron Hubbard failed science in
school and may have been a pedophile.

EDDIE
We could round 'em up like we did the
Japanese-Americans in WWII. Just ship
their asses out to Manzanar.

JASON
Can we still do that?

RICO
Sure, you can do anything under
the Patriot Act. Just call 'em
terrorists and give 'em all life
without parole. No trial, no
lawyers, no evidence, no witnesses.

GG
And not much justice, either.

JACK
Why don't we blackmail 'em? Threaten
to tell everybody how the Scientologists
dressed up as Indians and killed
a wagon train load of settlers in the
Mountain Meadows Massacre?

GG
That was the Mormons who did that.

JASON
Are you sure?

GG
Yep. 1857. Mormons killed 120 settlers
and blamed the Indians. Brigham Young
ran the whole operation but he framed
another guy and had him shot.

JACK
Okay, then, let's blackmail the Mormons.

GG
We can't. Blackmail is against the law.

EARL
So is murdering settlers.

EDDIE
Well, Christians killed a lot of Indians, too.

RICO
But that's different. The Indians were
on land that we needed. Congress said
it's okay to kill Indians if they're
in your way.

JACK
Is that in the Constitution?

JASON
Gen. Custer thought so.

EARL
But Sitting Bull didn't agree.

GG
Nobody's killing Indians these days,
not even Republicans. I mean, who
would run the casinos? We'd have to
drive to Vegas to play a slot machine.

EDDIE
Okay, but if we don't stop the Scientologists
they'll overrun the country and our
national IQ will fall below sea level.

JASON
That can't happen. If people get any
dumber even the Scientologists won't
want 'em.

GG
We haven't answered our question yet.
What do we do about Scientologists?

JACK
Put their pictures up in the post
office and offer a reward dead or
alive.

EDDIE
Arm the citizenry with torches and
pitchforks and chase the bastards
out of town.

GG
Germany just convicted 'em for fraud
and hit 'em with a heavy fine.

EARL
That's it. Pass a law against being
a Scientologist. Drive 'em underground
and make 'em live in caves like the early Christians.

JASON
Or we could just build a wall around
Utah and turn the whole goddamn state
into a big prison and never let anybody
in or out.

RICO
You can't lock up over a million people
in one place and get away with it
nowadays.

JASON
Sure, you can. Look at Gaza.

BETH
(interrupting)
Anybody want more coffee? Or a cookie?

GG
Good idea. Give everybody a cookie.

BETH goes to fetch the cookie box.

GG (cont'd)
(checks time)
We're out of time, boys, and no
solution in sight, but at least
we've warned people about what
the Scientologists are up to.
(to camera)
If one of 'em moves into your
neighborhood, alert the authorities.

EARL
(to camera)
And don't watch movies with Travolta
or Cruise in 'em. They might be
contagious.

GG
(to camera)
And if you know any Scientologists, try
to turn 'em on to some pot, as pot is
an antidote for ignorance.
(beat)
So that's all for this segment of the Boys
in the Backroom. We'll tackle another
controversial topic next time so be sure
to tune in.
(camera on Boys as
they raise fists, etc)
And remember, you can get a recording of
this show by sending two fat joints
to Grandpa Ganja. I'm in the book.
Allow six months for delivery as I'm
often stoned and tend to put things off.

GG turns the mike off and all relax, light up roaches, etc.
BETH comes from backroom.

BETH
(shakes head)
You're going to have 500 pissed-off
Scientologists show up here at
any moment.

GG
Oh, yeah? Well, they can't intimidate
Grandpa Ganja, by God. Isn't that right,
boys?

EDDIE
Damn right!

JASON
You bet your ass!

JACK
One for all and all for one!

RICO
You can count on us, Gramps!

EDDIE
(waffling, checks watch)
Hey, I just remembered! I'm late for an
appointment. I've got to get going.

RICO
Uh, yeah, me, too. Uh, I've got some
stops to make and, uh…

JASON
Wow! Is it that time already?

JACK
Is this Thursday?! Oh, no! I'm
supposed to take my brother to the
airport tonight!

GG
You don't have a brother, Jack.

JACK
I do too! His name is Jim and he
lives in, uh, Texas. His plane leaves at,
uh, 10:15.

JASON
I'd like to stay and help you with
those 500 pissed-off Scientologists,
Gramps, but…

GG
Hey, what happened to that one for
all crap? You can't leave me here to
face 500 pissed-off Scientologists
with just Beth and Earl!

EARL
Who said anything about Earl?
I've got to pick my car up at the
shop.

GG
(sarcastic)
So it's just me and Beth, is it?

BETH
No, it's just you and 500 pissed-
off Scientologists. Tell Travolta I said hi.

The boys are at the front door.

EDDIE
If those Scientologists give you
any trouble, Gramps, you let us
know and we'll, uh…

JASON
Damn right!

RICO
You said it, buddy!

EDDIE opens the door a crack and peers cautiously out to see if the coast is clear. They crowd through the door in a bunch and scurry off.

GG
Go on, run for your lives. See if I
care. Grandpa Ganja doesn't need any
help. Any Scientologists show up
around here and I'll knock 'em out.
They'll rue the day they came
after me, by God!

EARL
They gone?

GG
Yeah.

BETH
(at door)
If they do show up, make a run for
it. Maybe you can get out the back way
before they break the door down.

GG
Impossible! Grandpa Ganja never runs
from danger! I'll meet 'em one at
a time or all in a bunch.

EARL
I don't know about you guys, but as
a black American I have a special
aversion to mob scenes. Guys wearing
sheets or pissed-off Scientologists all
mean the same thing: It's time for a black
man to be moving on.

BETH
Let's go, Earl. See you tomorrow, Gramps.
I hope.

EARL
I'll drive.

They leave.

GG
Humph! No balls. Got to stand tall and
look 'em in the eye and let 'em know
who's in charge.
(moves to the door and
peeks out. Headlights flash,
brakes squeal. GG slams
the door closed, locks it)
On the other hand, discretion is the
better part of valor! I'll just duck
out the back way and go for help.

GG hurries from the room without a backward glance, as the GUTARIST plays retreat music.


THE END

Evan Keliher ©2006

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

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