Lost in America
1 EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT
Sold sign is posted in front of a house. SHOT OF SIGN.
2 INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - SAME NIGHT
The house is empty except for Bekins boxes which are
packed. They are all over the rooms. The CAMERA
SLOWLY MOVES IN AND AROUND the boxes until we REACH
3 INT. BEDROOM
The bed is the only piece of furniture left. The CAM-
ERA STOPS. In front of the bed is a small black-and-
white television. In bed are DAVID and NANCY HOWARD.
Nancy is rolled over on her side. David is lying on
his back with his eyes wide open.
Maybe we shouldn't move.
Oh God. What's the matter now?
Nothing. It's just time to ask
No. We've sold our house and
bought another one. These
questions should have been
Okay, fine. I can't talk to
you. Good night.
David pretends like he's actually going to go to sleep.
(in a monotone; obvi-
ously she's had to
say this many times
Stop it. You're nervous about
tomorrow. You'll get your
promotion, don't worry. We'll
move into our new house and we'll
be happy, okay?
Boy, you should hear yourself.
The excitement in your voice
just fills the room.
Look, I'm tired. Stop questioning.
We made a wise decision. Let's try
and feel good about it, alright?
Nancy tries to go back to sleep. David just lies
But why that house?
I think it's too close to here.
It's going to feel like the same
place. Maybe we really didn't
think about this long enough.
We thought about it forever.
We wanted more space. That
house has more space.
Yes, but the point of a house is
not just space. You can rent
space. Maybe we should've moved
into a completely different
neighborhood, a step up or
something. Maybe we should've
gotten a house with a tennis
Why? We don't play tennis.
Sure we don't play tennis. We
don't have a court. When you
have a court, you learn.
Well, possibly some day, we'll
have a court and then we can
Let me ask you one more question?
Why did we let Bekins do all of
Isn't that a waste of money? We
could've packed ourselves. Maybe
we were too irresponsible.
I don't believe you. One minute
you want a tennis court, the next
minute you're worried about Bekins
packing a box? My God. Sometimes
I wish we really were irresponsible.
What does that mean?
Nothing. Look, get some sleep,
okay? You'll feel better.
Don't assume how I'm feeling.
What do you mean "nothing"? If
you're saying we should be more
irresponsible, I imagine you mean
we're too responsible? Is that
Well, sometimes I think that we
are too controlled, yes.
Oh, I see. Well, tell me
something? How do you go out
and buy a four-hundred-thousand-
dollar house and let a moving
company pack everything and get
maids and servants and live the
good life and not be controlled?
What are you talking about?
It doesn't matter what I'm
David gets up. He takes his pillow with him.
I'm going to sleep in the garage.
Don't do that.
Why not? I'm responsible. I
should be guarding the car.
You're right. I am insane. I
am insane and I'm responsible.
A very, very good combination.
We STAY in the bedroom with Nancy. She lies there.
Her eyes are open. She's staring straight ahead. She
looks sad. After a moment, David reappears at the door.
I am not an animal.
I am not an animal. I will not
sleep in the garage.
Just come to bed. Come on.
(sitting down on
I apologize, okay? But don't
call me names.
You know what names. Calling me
responsible is saying what? That
I'm closed up. I'm old. I'm
stodgy. That's not fair. I
don't like the way things are any
more than anybody else does but
what am I supposed to do? I'm
trying. What about you? You're
as responsible as I am. Personnel
Director for a department store is
not the most irresponsible job in
the world. Go hire anyone you
want. Think you'd be fired fast
if you did that? How much freedom
do you have? We're all in the
same boat. We're trying to make
something of ourselves and it's
You're very upset. I'm sorry I
used that word.
No, I'm glad you used that word.
It's honest but things are going
to get better. They're going to
You always say that.
Yes, but this time it's different.
After tomorrow I'm no longer an
employee, I'm a Vice President.
I'll be my own boss. I'll have
a piece of the company. You see
what I mean? I can be more
irresponsible because I'll be in
a position of responsibility.
That makes sense, doesn't it?
I don't know. I guess it does.
Okay, go to sleep.
Nancy and David both lie down, each facing the oppo-
site direction. After a few seconds...
It does make sense and things
will work out, don't you think
Maybe men are supposed to fall
asleep last. It could be a
4 INT. BATHROOM - NEXT MORNING
David is brushing his teeth. He stops for a minute
and looks in the mirror. He starts talking, pretend-
ing the face he's seeing is the one of his boss.
What can I say? I'd be a liar if
I tell you I'm surprised. I do
feel it's deserved but yes, I
still am flattered... That's very
nice. Thank you... Oh, stop,
please. I've never been good
at taking too many compliments
at once... Well, I feel the
same way about you.
Nancy walks in during this. She watches him for a bit.
What are you doing?
(caught off guard)
Who are you talking to?
I'm not talking to anybody.
What is it?
I'm leaving now. Mr. Taft will
be there in twenty minutes.
Please be on time.
Wait a second. I can't do this
today. I can't choose tiles.
This is my big day. Please?
You do it.
We're trying to do this together.
I think it's important.
I'm very nervous and it's your
kitchen anyway. You'll make
the right choice.
You're in the kitchen more than
But I'm not thinking about
anything when I'm in the kitchen.
I don't really care.
We said we would make these
Come on. It's just today.
ing around and
Please don't be mad.
I'm not mad.
After a moment, she comes back in.
Good luck. You'll get it. You
Thank you. And I trust any
decision you make. You have
There's no answer.
ing after her)
Really, you have great taste.
(turns back around
to the mirror)
I'm sorry. That was my wife...
Yes, she has wonderful taste.
She's going to choose the whole
tile thing herself. Originally,
we were going to do it together
but it's nice to be able to trust
someone, don't you think?...
Well, that's very nice. I trust
you, too. Hey!... When our house
is finished maybe you'd like to
come over and play tennis... No,
but we might put one in.
5 EXT. WILSHIRE BLVD. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
We see David pulling into the garage.
6 INT. MAJOR ADVERTISING AGENCY - DAY
David is walking down the corridor towards his office.
He's saying "Hello"'s to various people. He comes to
his own office. There we see his secretary, SUSAN, on
the telephone. Obviously, she's making a personal call
and she hangs up abnormally fast as soon as she sees
Good morning. Your meeting is
in forty-five minutes.
Oh my God. What time is it now?
Ten-thirty, eleven, eleven-fifteen
... okay. Susan, don't let any
calls in. I don't want to be
bothered. I don't want to do any
business. I just want to prepare.
David walks into his office. After a beat, he sticks
his head out.
Oh yes. Get me Valley Mercedes,
7 INT. ROBINSON'S DEPARTMENT STORE
We FOLLOW Nancy as she's walking through the department
store. She comes to her office. Her office is on the
third floor in the corner with the other business offi-
ces. Her friend, PATTY, who works with her, is in the
office next door. All offices are separated by glass
partitions. Nancy comes in and sits down. Patty sees
her and enters.
Nancy looks up from her desk.
Is it beautiful?
The kitchen. What does it look
I chose an orange tile.
A burnt orange.
Patty, close the door.
Patty closes the door and sits down.
What's the matter?
I'm going to hate this house.
What are you talking about?
When the contractor left this
morning, I was all alone there
and I sat in the middle of the
living room and I got so sad. I
got this preview of the next ten
years, I just started shaking.
Patty just stares at her. She knows that Nancy is
I'm so unhappy. I don't like
anything anymore. I don't like
my job. I don't like my life.
I don't like anything. I feel
What do you mean?
Nothing's changing. I'm not
growing. David's not growing.
We've just stopped. Life is
passing us by.
Listen, you've had a tough week.
With the moving and everything
you're very tired. When you get
tired you feel bad. Things seem
I'm not that tired.
Do you know I've been hiring
girls who are nineteen years
old, who've already had more
experience out of life than I
You don't know that. You
can't tell what a person has
experienced just by interviewing
Okay. Let's forget it. I
really haven't thought this
through enough. I don't want
to discuss it now. Let's get
No. I'm sorry. I didn't mean
to say the wrong thing. Have
you talked this over with
Of course not. That's the
problem. I can't talk anything
over with him. It's hopeless.
Are you thinking of splitting
Well, that's not my first choice
but what's the alternative? And
I'm not blaming David. I know
he genuinely believes that being
made Vice President is going to
change things. But he genuinely
believed that every promotion
would change things. It never
does. Maybe for a few days, but
that's it. Then things are
always the same.
Well, this is vice president.
Maybe this time it will change.
And what if it won't?
Then it won't. Then you get
divorced, I don't know. Whatever
you have to do.
Oh, God. Maybe it will.
It will or it won't.
Okay. I'm starting to feel sick
to my stomach. Thanks for talking
to me. Let's just say maybe it
Good. Because if it won't, it
won't anyway so what can you do?
We said we'd stop on "will."
We did. We've stopped. It will.
Patty hesitantly backs out of Nancy's office.
It will. It will work out.
Nancy stares straight ahead. She looks very depressed.
8 INT. DAVID'S OFFICE
He is writing at his desk talking on the telephone.
He's writing down figures.
Oh, then tax, license, out-the-
door, everything included, what
are we talking about?... Thirty-
six thousand, five hundred and
twelve. Jesus! For a car... No,
I know, a Mercedes. It's still
a car... Well, I don't care. To
me, if it has wheels, it's a car.
But that's not the point. Now,
that's everything, right? That's
it? You don't have to pay that
money and then be told that there
are options? No extras, everything
included... Come on! - For thirty-
seven thousand, leather is extra?
What kind of seats are in there?...
What is Mercedes Leather?... So,
why don't you just say vinyl?...
Okay, thick vinyl, but it's still
vinyl... Okay, these kind of
semantic arguments are silly.
The BUZZER RINGS.
Just a moment.
It's eleven ten.
Thank you. Susan, I have another
one of these Mercedes guys on the
phone, he won't hang up. Would
you do something with him please?
David hangs up. He stands and walks over to a small
mirror. He straightens his tie, fixes his jacket and
carries on one more little conversation with himself
as the boss.
What can I say? I guess, thank
you... Oh, no. I can't take your
office. This is too nice.
Where would you sit?... Well, you
are a very generous man.
He smiles and exits his office.
9 INT. OUTER OFFICE
(still on the phone)
No! We will call you back.
(she hangs up)
What a strange job to be arrogant
Good luck. Don't worry, you've
We FOLLOW David as he rounds the corners of this large
building on the way to Paul Dunn's office. With each step,
he is ready to accept this new responsibility. He stops
at his boss's secretary, MARGARET, a woman in her older
forties, a true executive type.
Well, you look very nice.
Thank you and so do you, Margaret.
Go on in.
10 INT. PAUL DUNN'S OFFICE
PAUL DUNN is one of the heads of the advertising agency.
He certainly holds the top position on the West Coast.
His office is large. It smells of success. Obviously,
this is a man who has made a great deal of money and spent
it where people can see it. As David enters, he sees
Paul sitting behind his desk and a baldheaded gentleman,
BRAD TOOLEY, seated on the couch. Brad Tooley is in his
early forties, very well-dressed in the upper Eastern
advertising establishment manner. As David comes in,
Brad and Paul both get up.
(his hand out-
Hello, David. How are you?
I'm fine. I'm excited.
David, I'd like you to meet Brad
Brad, it's a pleasure.
David and Brad shake hands.
Brad has recently joined the agency
in New York. He was one of the best
men at Doyle, Dane and Bernbach.
We were lucky to get him.
Well, that's exciting.
They all sit down again. David doesn't know quite what
to make of the fact that Brad is in this meeting. He
just assumes this is part of the ceremony of being made
David, I don't have to tell you
what I think of you. You know I
feel you're one of the most
creative people in this company.
I was telling Brad earlier the
accounts you've been responsible
Very impressive. The Knudsen
Orange Juice campaign was one of
the best I've ever seen. Ever.
(he smiles; he's
in his glory)
Well, thank you.
Brad has joined this company for
a very special reason. David,
we're going to get Ford.
David, now thinking of himself as the vice president,
realizes that Ford is an account of such proportion,
that the profit participation could be enormous. His
Oh, my God! That's wonderful!
Well, it finally puts us at the
top of the heap.
I'm stunned. When did this happen?
Just in the last few days. You're
really the first to know out here.
We didn't want to say anything until
it was final.
That's wonderful. Just wonderful.
God, what a week. What a week for
all of us.
It certainly is. Now, David...
Paul, you don't have to say
anything. As the new vice president,
I know what this means to the
company. I'm here twenty-four
hours a day.
David, you're too valuable to
become vice president. I'd like
you to move to New York and work
under Brad. You two are going
to be in charge of Ford. You're
going to have to hurry, though.
You start in three weeks.
David is not quite sure what he's just heard. He thinks
maybe he's heard a compliment. He's heard a name of a
city, a car, some weeks, but he hasn't put it together.
He needs to hear it again.
Wait a second. You gave me too
much information. I'm valuable
and I'm vice president?
No, David. I've hired Paul
Shubano as vice president.
He's giving you quite a compliment,
David. I asked him for the best
man he had and he didn't hesitate
for a moment.
He didn't? Well, I don't want to
move to New York.
I want to be the vice president.
I want to be a stockholder in this
company. It was promised to me.
I don't mind working on Ford.
Don't get me wrong. I think it
would be a joy to work on but I'll
work on it as vice president. I've
been here eight years, Paul. I
don't want to be transferred to
just another account.
This is not "just another" account,
Brad, I know it's Ford. I've owned
Fords, okay? Now, Paul, I feel it's
only fair to keep your promise.
I didn't promise you anything.
Wait a minute. What about these
lunches that we've been having
for the last four years? I believe
we talked about grooming me for
vice president. Phil Shubano's
been here only three years. Why?
Well, first of all, quite frankly,
he's not as clever as you. He's
more of an executive type.
Oh, great. I think that's wonderful.
So, by being extra clever, I get
thrown out of the town that I live
in, with no promotion, no nothing,
and just shifted to another account.
He, on the other hand, because of
his low intelligence and short time
with the company stays here, gets
a large amount of stock and becomes
vice president. Well, that makes
You keep referring to this as
"another account." It's not.
Why don't you stop saying that?
You sound like Dinah Shore. Now,
damn it, look, this isn't fair.
(stops for a minute;
begins to laugh)
Paul, if I'm working myself up and
this is a joke, I'll kill you.
Are they going to burst in here
and say, "Surprise!"? Goddamnit.
You almost had me fooled!
No one's bursting in here, David.
I'm offering you something very big.
No one's bursting in here?
No? Oh God. But, wait a minute,
I'm vice president, right?
Stop saying no! Just a minute.
I can't go to New York. This is
my home. My wife and I live here.
I just bought a four-hundred
thousand dollar house. I'm
picking tile out at this very
moment. What am I going to do?
Burn it down?
Don't worry about that, please?
You won't lose a penny on the house.
We'll take care of it. I think
Ford is more important than a
single family dwelling, anyway.
We'll get you more than you paid
for it. The important thing is
that you and Brad get along.
Me and Brad get along? Are you
I've worked here eight years, for
what? For me and Brad to get
along? I was born in this city.
All my friends are here. I like
it. We're joking, aren't we?
This is a joke.
What do you mean, a joke?
What do you mean, a joke?
I didn't say a joke.
I'm going to New York City?
I'd like you there in three weeks.
Oh, you would?
This can be a stepping stone to
something bigger, David.
What's bigger than being vice
president? That's all I want.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I think I've
already stepped on every stone
we have here, haven't I?
Well, someday you might be vice
Someday? What do you mean? It's
today. I've got it!
You don't have it.
Who has it?
David, I can't say this again.
Well, obviously, I'm blocking this
man's name, aren't I?
David, I don't know all of your
work, but I do know you've got to
be the best here or you wouldn't
be working with me on this account.
Brad, shut up! Don't talk! This
is my day. Paul, look what you're
doing. I've been with this company
a very, very long time. I'm one of
the oldest employees on this coast,
aren't I? Now, I must get what I
deserve. I will be made vice
president and I will get the stock
and I will participate in the
ownership of the company and that's
My God, I thought you'd be thrilled.
You thought I'd be thrilled? I
can't believe it. Why the hell
don't you go to New York? If it's
so thrilling, come on, I'll take
you to the airport. I'll put you
on a plane right now.
Don't talk to me like that. I
came from New York.
Yeah, that's right and you don't
want to go back because as soon
as you land at the airport,
people steal everything you've got.
I resent that. That's a cliché.
New York's the greatest city there
Sit down. Just sit down and shut
David, that's enough.
No. I haven't even started yet.
Now listen, let's say a giant
mistake was made. Pretend none of
this was ever said. I'm the vice
president. Everything will be
fine. I'll stay here. I'll work
on Ford. I'll move into my new
house. You and Brad can come
over for drinks. And now, let's
bring out Allen Funt and everybody
will yell, "Surprise," right?
I'm vice president, right?
David, the position is filled.
Well, then you can go fuck yourself!
Paul, I can't work with this man.
I can't either. David, you're fired.
Fired! How dare you? I can't believe
this! You want to know something?
I was nervous about coming in here
today. I said to my friends, "Maybe
I won't get this." You know what
everyone of them said? "Stop it.
You're being stupid. You're the
best man. There's no one else.
You're the best man." And what does
the best man do? He stands next to
the groom and watches the groom
become vice president!
I can see you're upset. I'll forget
what you said earlier. I don't think
you want to jeopardize eight years
with this company.
That's it. Get out.
I wasted my youth for you and
for what? What do you mean
jeopardize eight years? What
eight years? All I did was live
for the future. Why didn't you
tell me a long time ago that I
was too clever? You should have
told me five years ago, then I
could've gone somewhere else.
I didn't know it five years ago.
Don't say anything else. I'll
(presses a buzzer)
Get me security, please.
Oh, I can't believe it. Security.
Okay, listen to me. I want my
eight years back! Give me my
life back! I want my eight years
back! Give them to me!
Paul stares at him. Brad gets up.
I'm going back to the hotel. David,
you're making a big mistake.
You don't even know me, you
Brad stares at him and then walks out. He turns back to
I can't believe that I almost
wasted my entire life here!
I've been waiting very, very
patiently and I realize now what
would've happened. This would've
gone on for years and years and
years and when I was seventy, I
would've gotten a watch. Actually
you wouldn't even have given me a
watch. You would've told me I was
too clever, that I would instinctively
know the time. You know something,
Paul? I made fun of my friends who
dropped out of college and went to
"find themselves." I told them they
were stupid. I laughed at them.
And what did I do? I went with
you. Good choice, wasn't it? What
did I get for doing that? A transfer.
I could've gotten that from a bus.
You're a human bus, Jesus Christ!
You liar! I don't know where those
drop-outs are today, but I've got
to find them! I owe them a big
apology. 'Cause let me tell you
something. They have more integrity
on their little tab of acid than
you have in your entire body, you
big fucking jerk!
A security guard enters.
Would you escort Mr. Howard out,
He doesn't have to escort me out.
I'm honored to leave.
David opens the office door. He begins to yell so
everyone can hear him. This is reminiscent of the
scene from "Network."
Before I leave, I think it's very
important for everyone in this
company to know what went on in
I don't know how many lunches you've
all had with that man and I don't
know what he's said over salad or
dessert or whatever he buys you,
but you better not believe it!
He's a real smoothie! He'll tell
you about the stepping stones!
That's his favorite expression.
He'll tell you about the stepping
stones and where they lead. Well,
I found out where they lead! To
a baldheaded fat man in New York!
Get out! Get out now! Smell the
roses! Smell anything! Just smell!
Smell before it's too late!!
The office is applauding wildly. We HOLD on them for
11 BEVERLY HILLS ROBINSON'S DEPT. STORE - DAY
David's car enters the parking lot at high speed. The
car screeches to a halt. He jumps out.
12 INT. ROBINSON'S MAIN FLOOR
David walks hurriedly towards the elevators oblivious
to the others.
13 INT. J.W. ROBINSON'S - DAY
David is walking towards the personnel office. We've
never seen him like this before. He's alive. He's got
more than bounce in his step. It's as if he weighs 12
pounds. He's on another planet. He's smiling at every-
body. He has the look of a "Re-born." As he enters
the personnel department, he sees Nancy in her office.
Because Nancy's office is separated from the others by
a thin piece of glass, if you speak too loudly everyone
can hear. David is not about to lower his voice. He
has no concept anymore of volume. He's just too excited.
David bursts in.
Nancy looks up.
God, you scared me.
Nancy, come here.
(he pulls her up
by her shoulders)
Quit. Quit, right now. We're
Now. Come on. I did. Now, you
You did? You quit your job?
Surprised, aren't you? You wouldn't
have believed me. You would've loved
it. No more me. No more waiting.
No more responsible David. Jesus,
they were leading me down a dead-end
street! I've been on the wrong road.
I realize what you meant. I've been
too responsible. So responsible, God!
I've been responsibly blind!
I never would've used the word
responsible if I thought you would
have taken it so literally. It was
just a word. I really didn't mean
anything by it.
Stop. Don't do this. Don't. I'm
giving you the credit. You did mean
it and you were right.
I don't know where the hell I've
been for the last ten years. What
happened to me? I lost the feeling
of life. Jesus, I was being jacked
off. Nancy, they were just jacking
David's voice is a bit loud. We can see people look from
A little lower, please?
Okay. They were jacking me off.
(his voice starts
to rise again)
They were leading me down this road.
You know, this road?
The road to nowhere. You know the
road. The Nowhere Road. I was
being tugged along with this carrot.
"Come here. Come here. Come here."
But no one told me it was a fucking
cul-de-sac! We've been on the
Who was made vice president?
(laughing it off)
Oh, Nancy, that's all over now.
That's kid's stuff.
(in a childlike voice)
Vice President. Class Secretary.
Cloakroom Monitor. Treasurer.
They're all stupid.
If you really want to know who
it was, it was Phil Shubano.
We'll never know. The Lord works
in mysterious ways, but if there
is a God, you know what will happen
to Phil? He'll get his profit
sharing and he'll buy a boat with it
and he'll crash the boat and die.
Stop it. You like Phil. You don't
Of course I like him, the under-
qualified son-of-a-bitch. Okay,
I was harsh. He'll crash the boat.
He'll have a serious injury but
he'll recover. But forget about
Phil! Forget about the vice
presidency! That's the past.
Nancy, it's time to do it. We're
still young. We can change courses.
We can do what we should've done
years ago, what our smart friends
did. We can get out there. We
can get out and see this country.
We can find out what it's about.
We can touch Indians. We can live
in the mountains. We can do
anything we want to do. And we're
still young enough to really
explore. So come on, let's go.
We're late. I'll wait here. Go
quit. Come on. We're leaving.
I can't just quit right now.
(looking at her with
a lust we haven't
Oh, God, I want to fuck you. Come
on. Let's fuck, right here.
Nancy is trying, without success, not to call anymore
attention to this particular discussion.
We can do it later. There's a
lot of people around now.
There's always going to be people
around. That was the problem.
We lived for them, not for us. It's
okay. There are some people you
want to fuck in front of and some
people you don't. Maybe you don't
want to fuck in front of these
people, I don't mind. I'll be
outside. You quit. I'll wait!
I can't quit now, even if I want
to. There is no one I can quit to.
My boss is not here. We'll
talk more about it tonight, please?
Okay, but we're saved. Honey, we're
saved. Somebody up there likes us.
I don't know who it is, but we're
going to find them. We'll find
everybody who likes us. We'll start
finding people who understand what
life is all about. We'll find people
who are really searching. We'll find
people who are willing to take a
chance. Look, I'll just get all
excited and get into it all again.
You go and finish what you have to
do and then I'll see you tonight.
David exits. Nancy watches him go. She's expressionless.
She doesn't quite know what to make of this. You can
sense that part of her thinks that maybe her prayers were
answered, maybe this is how the marriage can be saved.
You can also sense that part of her isn't sure her husband
is sane. Maybe this won't last more than an hour and you
can sense the last part of her is still embarrassed that
the other employees she works with have heard words like
"fuck" and "jacking off." This is a woman of many parts.
14 INT. THE HOWARD'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
David and Nancy are sitting on the floor.
They're surrounded by various maps, atlases and cata-
logues that show different pieces of property around
the United States, property that most people forget
even exist. These places look amazing in their little
pictures and, in fact, they might be amazing. It's
just that almost no one ever gets there to see them for
real. The longer Nancy has a chance to see what her
husband is saying, the more excited she becomes.
(looking in one of
Look at this. This is the cutest
farmhouse I've ever seen. Twenty-
four acres near Darien, Connecticut,
five bedrooms, eighty thousand
dollars? How could that be?
Because it's there. It's not here.
We're used to this city. You know
what our new house would cost, if
it were where this farmhouse was?
Not four hundred thousand, maybe
sixty thousand if we were lucky.
Nancy is still looking at pages in the catalogue. She
stops at one picture. She is fascinated.
My God. Look at this. A converted
lighthouse in Maine, fifty-five
thousand, two bedrooms, a living
room, a kitchen, a playroom. How
do you put this into a lighthouse?
Well, maybe you go to Maine and
find out. Or you don't. You do
anything you want. Nancy, look
He opens a piece of paper, showing her the arithmetic
he has worked on all afternoon.
This seems to make sense to me.
You tell me what you think.
The one good thing about spending
all this time in Los Angeles was
that we got a free ride on this
bullshit inflation train. Don't
ask me how it happened, but we made
a hundred and ninety thousand dollar
profit by staying in this house
for less than five years. Now,
that was money we were never going
to see 'cause we were about to put
it back into another stupid house.
Okay. We pull out of that house,
we lose our fifteen thousand dollars
in Escrow, we take the money from
this house, we liquidate everything
else we have, cars, stocks, bonds,
everything... Nancy, we have two
hundred thousand dollars!
David shows her the figures. As Nancy looks at the piece
of paper, he continues:
All we need to buy is a motor
home and we should get a great
one because we might live there
for the rest of our lives, or
for five years or ten years or
What do you think a motor home
Guess who went motor home shopping?
We can get a great one for twenty-
five thousand dollars. If there's
one thing you can get a deal on
it's a motor home. This is the best
time in history to drop out. It's
a buyer's market!
So that would leave us a hundred
and seventy-five thousand dollars.
I can't believe it!
Yes! On that kind of money we
could ramble across the country
for years! We can paint, we can
explore, we can meet amazing
And if we get to Connecticut and
we like one of these farmhouses,
we'd have enough money to put a
down payment on it, wouldn't we?
Yes! Then if we get sick of that
we could sell it and move on.
I'd like to go to Alaska.
Great! Alaska's great! We can
do anything we want.
This is what we talked about when
we were nineteen!
Yes. We talked about finding
ourselves but we laughed it off
because we had no money. Now
we can do it in comfort. We've
got our nest egg. This is a
dream come true.
Nancy has a tear in her eye. David sees it.
What's wrong? Are you okay?
We really can do whatever we
want to, can't we?
Who's stopping us?
Nancy stares. She thinks about that question. She
can't come up with an answer. Finally, almost in
Nobody's stopping us!
15 INT. PETE HIRSCH'S HOME - NIGHT
PETE HIRSCH is one of David's former associates at the
agency. He and his wife are throwing a party for
David and Nancy, a final farewell gathering. There are
people milling about, talking, general good cheer.
David and Nancy are the heroes of the evening. In the
corner of the room is a huge cake. The CAMERA MOVES
ABOUT, PICKING UP various bits of conversation.
You look very happy. You look
so good. I'm happy for you.
I know you are.
She gives Patty a hug. An older, dignified-looking man,
JACK MARTIN and his wife, CAROL, approach Nancy. Obvi-
ously, he's an executive at Robinson's.
I didn't know you were going to
(he gives her a
One employee we are certainly
going to miss.
I think it sounds wonderful.
16 INT. OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM
A group of men are gathered around David. One of
David's friends at work, JIM, is speaking:
You were great. Man, it was great.
It was like "Network" and "Take
This Job and Shove It," all rolled
into one. When you left, we all
wanted to go with you. Really.
People really had to think for a
minute. They were ready to leave.
Did anyone else leave?
No. I mean after a few minutes,
people just went back to work,
but for the moment, it was real
Well, when the time's right, if
people want to leave, they will.
Of course. I believe that. I
got to be honest with you, though.
I was thinking about my situation
and I don't think I have the guts.
I don't know that it's guts. It
just takes a certain kind of person.
Yeah, maybe it has nothing to do
with guts. 'Cause I think I have
guts. I guess I'm not that kind
of person. Let's say that I like
expensive things and I guess I
need my job to get what I like.
Whatever makes you happy.
Right. I guess expensive things
make me happy. These shoes make
me happy. Do you like them?
He shows David his shoes. They look very expensive.
For a moment, David forgets he will no longer partic-
ipate in this world.
Beauties. What are they? Bally's?
A Bally copy. Bally's would be
three hundred bucks. These were
a hundred and eighty. Can't tell
the difference. The sole's just
as thick. Look, feel the sole.
(starts to touch the
bottom of his shoe
and then stops)
No, I don't know where you've been,
Jim. I don't want to touch your
shoe. They're beautiful. Good
Nancy calls across the room to David.
David walks over and recognizes one of her bosses, Jack
Hello, Jack. How are you?
Daniel Boone, as I live and
breathe. Dan, you know my wife,
So, Mr. Boone, you leave in the
Let's call me David from now on.
Just for old times sake.
Oh, come on, I'm just playing with
you. Listen, I'll tell you
something. What you and your
wife are doing, well, it's wonderful.
Carol and I were driving over here
tonight, and talking seriously
about breaking the mold ourselves.
You bet. We haven't been that
happy lately. Have we, honey?
How can a person respond to this? Carol just stares
I told her, if I can get some time
off, we're going to try to get down
to La Costa for a weekend and just
let it all out.
David now realizes that breaking the "mold" has many
different meanings to different people.
La Costa? For a whole weekend,
huh? That's great.
That's if I can get away. If not,
at least for an afternoon. Just
the idea of getting to San Diego,
maybe take in Sea World. Anyway,
did Nancy tell you what Robinson's
plans to do?
Actually we haven't talked too much
about American business lately.
Well, there is a rumor and I would
appreciate you not telling anyone
this, but our store may just be
buying up the May Company. This is
just the kind of expansion that can
make a man like me very, very
Well, if it's good for you, I'm
Well, let's just say it could make
me a million dollars, minimum. But,
David, please keep this down. God,
I probably shouldn't have said
Jack, we're not going to be around
people who will care. I promise
you. I don't think a guide at
the Grand Canyon knows or cares
too much about the acquisition of
a department store in L.A.
You want a surprise? You want to
know about the Grand Canyon and
business? The 7-Eleven at the
Grand Canyon does more volume
business per year than any other
7-Eleven in the country, especially
around Muscular Dystrophy time.
Well, that's good to know.
I think it has something to do
with the hiking and the tragedy
of the children who can't hike.
I don't know, but last year they
did two million, eight-hundred
thousand. Now, of course, there
are no other quickie stores around
so they have a good one there. A
lot of people moving in and out
of that canyon. Have you seen
these new U-Tote-M stores?
Jack, I don't want to be rude but
I can't talk business anymore. I
hate to sound "sixties" to you
but I'm in a different place.
Hey, I understand. I remember
As a matter of fact, the concept
of U-Tote-M is a sixties concept.
See, the 7-Eleven is a rush-rush
place. U-Tote-M is lay-back. Their
store in Tarzana this year is
going to gross almost...
Pete Hirsch yells from across the room.
I'd like to make a toast.
People mumble, "Great." "Good." "It's about time."
Everybody gathers around. People raise their glasses
To our beautiful friends, David
and Nancy Howard... Good luck!
That's it, huh? What a well thought
out toast. Thank you, Pete.
People laugh. Scattered laughter around the room.
Well, I think it's time for me
to say something right now.
We hear a little applause. "Speech! Speech!"
Sweetheart, would you come here?
David and Nancy stand together, arm-in-arm.
I have a surprise for my wife and
I would like to share it, not only
with her, but with you, who we
consider our closest friends. We
do have some other close friends.
I'm sure they got lost.
When Nancy and I were married we
had dreams and plans and I guess
in the pursuit of those things,
we kind of lost each other.
Tomorrow morning, when we leave
here, we have no destination.
Our only goal is to find out who
we really are and what it is that's
really out there. We're going to
be adventurers in the classic sense
of the word, but there is one place
that we will stop at first.
(reaches into his
pocket and takes
out a little box)
That place is Las Vegas, Nevada.
(her eyes open up
Las Vegas? Really?
Well, if this is to be a new
beginning, I think there's only
one way to really show it to this
woman that I love. So, tomorrow
evening my wife and I are going
to be remarried.
People applaud. Nancy is overwhelmed. She opens the
little box and there is a ruby ring.
Oh, my God! Oh! My!
People are trying to get a glance at the ring. We can
hear OOHING and AAHING.
This is the most beautiful thing
you've ever done.
Well, I'd like to say it was
nothing, but that small little
ruby cost a fortune.
That's okay, it's budgeted for.
A little laughter again.
And now, I would like to propose
Everyone raises their glasses.
To you, our loyal friends, we will
miss you. To my lovely new bride,
I want to know you all over again...
And to America, get ready. Here
Everybody drinks. As they do we...
17 EXT. SAN BERNARDINO FREEWAY - NEXT DAY
We hear MUSIC (possibly the song from "Easy Rider" when
Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda left L.A. on their motor-
cycles). This is the first time we see the motor home.
No expense was spared on this. It's seventy feet long.
From the outside, you can see a roof that doubles as a
little patio where you can sun yourself. The windows
are huge. It looks luxurious, even from a distance.
18 INT. MOTOR HOME
David is driving. Nancy is in the back in the kitchen
Honey, we're two minutes from
crossing the city limits. Come
up front. This is historic.
(from the rear
of the trailer)
Just a second! This microwave
oven browns, did you know that?
The one in our new house couldn't
even do that.
Our new house? No, some poor
sucker's new house. This is our
new house and I love it.
Nancy walks up towards the front with two melted cheese
sandwiches. No matter how horrible the sandwiches looked
or tasted, to David, it would be great. That's his new
Boy, does this smell good. How
long did it take to melt this?
Can you believe it? Boy! I
never really tasted melted cheese
on toast before. I must have
eaten it a million times, but
this is the first time I've really
tasted it. It's good and I bet
it gets better the further we
get from L.A.
We'll actually be breathing clean
air. We haven't done that for --
how many years?
Forever. I hope we can recognize
Nancy smiles. This is certainly the best mood she's
been in for a long time.
Last night was so nice, don't you
think? Those are good people.
We had good friends there.
I know. It's just that we weren't
good friends there.
Every once in a while I can't
believe what we're doing. Are
you scared? Be honest.
No, not at all. Well, let's say
I'm scared in the same way
Columbus was scared.
Columbus must have really been
scared, huh? That took a lot
of guts, didn't it? What if
the world was flat? They really
didn't know anything.
Well, I think he covered himself.
Oh, let's say there was the Pinta,
the Nina and the Santa Maria. I'd
bet everything I have that Columbus
was in the Santa Maria. If the
world was flat, I think he'd watch
the Pinta and the Nina go. Then
he'd tell the Santa Maria to turn
around. He'd probably just go back
and have sex with the Queen again.
I don't think he was a complete
So, actually, we're braver than
Columbus. We don't have two motor
homes in front of us.
That's right. However, we should
keep our eye on that Buick ahead.
If it falls off the earth, it
would be wise to pull over and re-
19 EXT. LAS VEGAS - NIGHT TIME
The town is all lit up. The motor home pulls up in
front of a 24-hour wedding chapel. David stops. He
stares at the chapel through the window.
20 INT. MOTOR HOME - NIGHT
Doesn't it look beautiful? I'm
(opens the door
and starts to get out)
Let me find out what we do. I'll
get all the information.
Wait a second.
Aren't you tired?
You know what we should do? We
should get married tomorrow.
Why? We should get married now
and then drive out to the Grand
Canyon and have our second
honeymoon under the stars. What
could be better than that?
Well, here's what I'd like to do.
I'd like to get married in the
morning. We're trying to start
a new life. We should do it at
the beginning of a new day. We'll
both be fresh. We'll be up. We
can get married at the crack of
That sounds nice. Alright. We'll
camp out some place tonight and
then come back before dawn. As
a matter-of-fact, these places will
be less crowded then. Good idea.
Nancy, you're a genius.
He starts the engine.
Are we sure we want to camp out
Why don't we make tonight a real
old-fashioned honeymoon? Let's
go to the best hotel and get
the honeymoon suite and celebrate
our heads off.
Sweetheart, we don't want to stay
in a Vegas hotel. This is what
we've left, this money-grabbing,
I agree, but one night? We'll
have room service and make love
in a big bed and watch porno
movies. I think it'll be fun.
We want to touch Indians.
We will. Just tonight and then
Don't you want to take a bath
together in one of those big
If you really don't want to, we
don't have to. We can camp out.
No, it's okay. As a matter-of-fact,
it might be very exciting. We
haven't been in a bath together
for a long time.
21 EXT. DESERT INN - NIGHT
David pulls the motor home into the parking lot and
turns over the keys to the young parking attendant.
22 INT. LOBBY OF DESERT INN
David and Nancy are coming through the main doors.
We can see the motor home being driven out of the drive-
way by one of the valet parking attendants. David
looks behind him and watches the home drive off. He's
I don't think they know how to
drive those things. He could
Oh, don't worry. They can drive
anything. Look. Isn't this
wonderful? It's so romantic.
God, I used to come here a lot.
I kind of miss it.
You never told me you came here.
Before we were married. I'll
tell you about it later. Come
They approach the front desk. A CLERK is working at
one of the reservation computers.
My wife and I have dropped out of
society and we're making this
statement, but we want to spend
one last night here. We're
planning to get up at the crack
of dawn and get remarried and...
she whispers to him)
Just ask him for the room.
I'm getting to it. I know what
(to the Clerk)
Anyway, we're going to get up
very early and get remarried
so we want something very special
because we're doing something
special. My point is, we'd
like your finest bridal suite.
Do you have a reservation?
No, I told you, we just dropped
out. We don't do reservation
things anymore. We're living
Well, we're not. We thrive on
reservations and I'm sorry but
the bridal suite is occupied.
What other rooms do you have?
(to the Clerk)
Just a minute, please?
(she pulls David
The bridal suite isn't occupied.
It's not occupied. I can see it
in his face.
What do you mean?
Give him money.
Give him fifty bucks.
We'll get the bridal suite.
How do you know?
David approaches the desk again. He takes out fifty
dollars. He puts it in the Clerk's hand, like he's
shaking hands with him.
(slips him the
Do me a favor? I've worked with
computers. I know what can happen.
Sometimes these things get fouled
up. Would you check one more
Maybe the bridal suite was empty
and the room next to it was occupied
and the computer got mixed up.
(takes a look)
I know what you mean. That can
happen sometimes. Let me check.
(he looks at the
puter for a moment)
Nope. It's occupied. These are
state-of-the-art computers. Very
rarely do we have those kind of
Yes. Says right here, "Bridal
Nancy leans over and whispers to David.
Give him more.
Nancy nods yes. David turns back to the Clerk.
Listen, I'm not very good at this.
I don't get good seats in shows
because of this problem. I don't
get good tables in restaurants.
I've really never been good at
this particular kind of exchange
of money so, how much do you
A hundred dollars.
(hands him more cash)
Here you go. A hundred.
Now, I assume we don't have to
continue this computer talk
again and say that it's working
now and everything?
The Clerk doesn't even bother to answer. He reaches
behind the desk and hands David his key.
Here you are, eight-twenty.
He rings for the porter.
Now, this is the best bridal
Heart-shaped bed. Everything.
You'll love it.
Thank you very much. I'm sure
the hundred doesn't apply towards
the room at all.
You're kidding, right?
Of course. I was kidding all
David and Nancy leave the desk and walk towards the
Tell me we didn't do the right
thing, getting out of this horrible
society? Jesus Christ, I told the
guy we dropped out. Did that make
any difference? No. I said we're
making a statement. What did he do?
Stare at me. I said we're getting
remarried. What does he finally
say? Give me more money. God!
How does a guy like that even live?
Well, think of all the people
checking in here. Everyone giving
him a hundred dollars, he probably
No, I meant with himself. How
does he... Never mind.
23 INT. BEDROOM SUITE - DESERT INN
David and Nancy enter. Apparently, the hundred
dollars was not quite enough. This could not be
Desert Inn's best bridal suite. This looks like the
junior bridal suite, at best. At one end of the room
are two twin heart-shaped beds. Above them, there's a
mirror, heavily-flocked with gold specks. The rest of
the room is decorated in standard red velour. Nancy is
disappointed. David is confused. He can't figure out
how any manufacturer could make a living turning out
twin heart-shaped beds.
I'll go down and get your luggage
for you. Where is it?
That's okay. It's locked in our
house. I'll get it later. Thank
you very much.
David reaches into his pocket and gives the man a dollar.
I haven't been here in years. I
hope this is enough. If it isn't,
take some from the clerk. I gave
him a hundred.
The Porter looks at David and walks out without saying
So? What do you think?
I think if Liberace had children,
this would be their room. Cute
little hearts, aren't they?
We should ask for a bigger bed.
Let's hold onto the cash we have.
I don't want any more favors.
We can try and push these together.
They try but they find very quickly that hearts don't
fit together. After a few attempts, they give up.
Look, we can crawl over the
ventricles when we want to have
sex. It'll be exciting. Why
don't you order something up,
okay? Order up a great meal and
some great champagne. I'll go
run the bath.
David walks into the bathroom. Nancy sits down on the
bed. She picks up the room service menu and starts to
read through it. She calls to David.
How's the bath?
(walking out of
There's no bath in there, honey.
I have no reason to lie to you.
Go look for yourself. There's a
very teeny, heart-shaped
shower and a medium sized, heart-
shaped sink. At best, we can
wash our socks together.
Are you disappointed?
Not at all.
Maybe we shouldn't order room
service. We should get dressed
and go down and check out some
of these restaurants. Hey, do
you want to see a show?
I don't want to leave the room.
I just want to be with you tonight,
here. It's our honeymoon. We
should order up like we planned
and then we can figure out a way
to make love. Somewhere in this
room, there has to be space.
(gets up and walks
toward the bath-
I'm going in to take a nice hot
Good. You get nice and sexy
because when you come out, we'll
pack and leave.
Come on. We're going to have fun.
I'm joking with you. Now, hurry
up, I'm getting horny. When you
come out, I'll be the naked one
on the right heart. I might even
be looking at myself in the mirror
and masturbating. Although, I
don't think I can see myself
through all this gold flock.
24 SHOT OF ALARM CLOCK
It's ringing. The time is five-thirty A.M. As we
PULL BACK we see David reaching over and shutting it
off. He rolls over towards the other heart bed.
Rise and shine, my darling wife.
(singing to the
tune of "My Fair
We're getting married this morning.
He stops singing. She doesn't seem to be in the other
bed. The room's still a little dark. Maybe David isn't
seeing clearly yet. He's patting all over the bed.
He realizes she's not there. He gets up and walks
towards the bathroom.
Honey? Are you in there? Nancy?
There's no answer. Obviously, she's not in the bathroom.
Possibly, she's gone down the hall to get ice. He opens
the door and calls down the hall.
Honey? Nancy? Are you at the
He goes back into the room. He picks up the phone. A
WOMAN'S VOICE answers.
May I help you?
Yes. I'd like to page Nancy
And where would she be? Do you
have any idea?
Probably in the coffee shop.
David sits and waits. After a short pause:
Hi, honey. Had a sex change, huh?
(laughs at his joke)
I think you picked up the wrong
phone. I'm paging my wife.
You're married to Nancy Howard?
Why don't you come down to the
Why? Is there something wrong?
Your wife has been gambling for
quite some time and possibly, you
should speak with her.
What do I have to say to her? Is
Why don't you just come downstairs?
(hangs up the
Oh my God!
25 INT. DESERT INN CASINO
David comes tearing into the casino. He is still in
his bathrobe. A SECURITY GUARD stops him.
I'm sorry, you can't come into
the casino dressed like that.
What are you, crazy? I saw
Electric Horseman. Animals rode
through here. Excuse me.
He pushes past the Guard. He looks frantically around
trying to find Nancy. At this hour of the morning, it's
easy to spot people. There aren't too many of them.
He sees her. She's off in the corner at the roulette
table. There's a small group of people around her. They
seem to be watching, she seems to be gambling. David
walks as fast as he can. He doesn't want to run, his
robe might open up. As he approaches Nancy, he is
frightened by what he sees. She is a maniac. She has
been up for hours. The transformation is scary. It's
like Jekyll and Hyde. She's frantically moving chips all
around the table.
Honey? What are you doing?
(to the Dealer)
Eight! Big chips!
Not now. Get away. Not now.
What's going on?
Stop it. Come on, eight! Come
The DEALER spins the wheel. The ball drops into the
number sixteen slot.
Honey, calm down. Sweetheart?
The Man who spoke to David on the telephone approaches
him at the table.
Could I speak to you for a moment?
What is it?
The Man takes David aside.
Your wife is very distraught.
She's been gambling almost
five hours and she has not been
on a lucky streak. Now, it's
not our place to stop her, but
possibly, you should.
What do you mean she's not been
on a lucky streak? She's losing?
Well, why don't you talk to her?
David runs back to the table.
Honey, I want to talk to you.
(to the Dealer)
Once again! Give me eight!
The Dealer spins the wheel. The ball goes around and
Come on, baby. Come on, lucky
baby. Baby, baby. Baby, baby.
Eight it is.
(now a little
Hey, that is great. You're a
How much was that? How much did
Alright. Nothing wrong with that.
What's wrong with that? Now, what
does this man mean who says you
weren't on a lucky streak?
I was down earlier. Just go away.
But you're up now, right?
I'm still down.
Eight again! And make it happen
David turns to the Man who spoke to him on the phone.
The Man is standing at a distance watching what's
happening with a slight look of pity on his face.
(walking over to him)
Boy, she keeps betting eight, huh?
How down is she exactly?
Oh, she's very, very down. I
don't know how much money you
have, but on the average I'd
say this is what we call "very
What do you mean? A thousand?
At this moment, we hear a GROAN from the roulette table.
The ball has dropped into double zero. David runs back
over. He sees the Dealer taking the chips off of eight.
Dammit! That keeps coming up,
that zero. Jesus Christ!
Now, once again, eight! Come back,
eight! Come back, eight!
Just a minute. Nancy, stop.
Please, David! Please! You're
bringing me bad luck.
Well, according to some people here,
I'm not bringing anything. You're
already having bad luck.
It's changing! Now come on,
eight! Eight's my mate! Take
the bait, number eight.
The Dealer spins the ball. It drops into the number four.
See what you did? Bad luck! Get
This man over here says you're
very down. What does he mean?
Fuck the man! I don't know who
you're talking about.
Try it again! Eight!
Nancy, stop betting eight. There's
hundreds of numbers on this table.
Why the hell do you keep betting
eight? Now, how much have we lost?
Everything. Come on, eight.
What do you mean everything? Did
you say everything?
At this moment, the ball falls into number nine. The
Dealer takes the last of Nancy's chips.
Goddammit! Son-of-a-bitch! You
can't get any closer to eight
Come over here. Come with me.
He drags Nancy away from the roulette table. She turns
around. She's yelling at the Dealer.
Eight again! One more time!
There's nothing on the board.
You're not at the table. You
haven't placed a bet. Stop
yelling eight. He doesn't care
I gotta find some money. Please.
I'm about to hit.
No, you're about to get hit. Come
on. We have some serious talking
David starts to pull Nancy out of the casino. He passes
by a one-dollar progressive slot machine with Nancy in
tow as BELLS START TO RING and LIGHTS FLASH. An OLDER
WOMAN has hit the jackpot and starts to scream.
I won!! I won!!
Look. She won... I want to play!
It's too late. You chose the table.
Let's get out of here.
26 INT. COFFEE SHOP
They sit down at one of the tables. David looks a
little worried. Nancy is still frantic. She's mixed
up. She's also looking around for a Keno girl. She's
obviously in some sort of a daze.
Okay, talk. What's going on?
At two-thirty this morning, I was
up three hundred thousand dollars.
Three hundred thousand dollars?
That's a lot of money!
More chips than you've ever seen
in your life. You wouldn't have
believed it. They were all over
But when I came downstairs they
were all gone. You didn't have any.
Yes, but I can get them back.
Let's wait on that for just a
second. So, everything is gone
and I'm trying to figure out the
word "everything." We had a
little bit of cash with us and
you lost that?
So, what did you do? You got
So, you wrote a check then?
You started drawing cash from our
How much of the nest egg did
you take? What's left?
Oh, my God. By "everything" you
You didn't lose a hundred and
eighty thousand dollars?
Maybe. I don't know. Give or
take a thousand.
Give or take a thousand? Give
or take a thousand?
David is holding on to one of his testicles so as not
to kill this woman. This is the first time in his life,
where he truly can't comprehend what he has heard.
Oh my God! Oh my God! I understand
what we mean now. I understand what
we all mean. Oh my God! My God!
David puts his hand to his forehead. He looks around.
He's thinking. Something must be done. Something must
be done quickly.
Oh my God! Alright. Let's not
David thinks of something. He stands up from the
table and yells as loud as he can.
Bellhop, please. Bellhop, in here,
please. There's an emergency!
He sits down, he's rubbing his head.
What's the matter?
Nothing. Just wait. Oh my God!
Sweetheart, there were these
Persians around me, staring at
all these chips that were on
the table and I've never had
that feeling before, the feeling
that I was completely in control.
I was the one. I didn't need
anything. I didn't care. I
didn't have any problems. Do
you know that feeling?
Not now. I don't know that feeling
The BELLHOP approaches.
First of all, I was speaking to a
gentleman in the casino who seemed
to be in charge there. He's what?
The Pit Boss?
Yes. What's his name?
Fine. Does he have an office?
Yes, it's behind the front desk.
Fine. Alright. Now would you
please do me a favor? My wife
is tired and would you escort
her to 820.
(hands the Bellhop
his room key)
Would you please sit with her,
maybe she'll want to take a shower
or whatever, and just don't leave
the room. I'll be up in a little
while. But please don't leave.
I don't want her to be alone right
Why are you treating me like an
I'll explain it to you later.
They all get up. They exit the coffee shop.
27 INT. LOBBY OUTSIDE COFFEE SHOP
(speaking to Nancy as
if she has just had
a nervous breakdown)
Just relax. Lie down, if you want.
Have some water. I'll be up in a
Stop talking to me this way.
I'm not talking to you in any
particular way. I'm just trying
to keep everything calm and I'm
trying to remain calm. I'm also
trying to think what I can do to
help us out now.
(to the Bellhop)
The man's name again? The Pit Boss?
They are now at the elevators.
David, I'm sorry.
Save it. Just go upstairs.
He leaves her at the elevators.
28 INT. LOBBY
David walks very slowly towards Shuster's office. You
can tell he's thinking. He approaches the front desk
and clears his throat, trying to act dignified. The robe
diminishes this a bit.
(to the Clerk)
Mr. Shuster, the Pit Boss, may I
speak to him, please?
I don't know if he's in. Just a
The Clerk picks up the phone. He buzzes.
Yes. There's a gentleman here
to see you.
What is your name?
I'm David Howard. He knows me,
we spoke on the telephone. My
wife was the one who was up for
David Howard. Yes. Yes.
(hangs up phone)
He'll be right out.
David stands there. He's thinking, staring straight
ahead. Out of an office emerges JACK SHUSTER, the Pit
Boss, the man we saw earlier. Shuster's a large man,
in his early fifties. He's as intimidating as his
job calls for. He looks like he might have killed
somebody once, and actually enjoyed it. He walks
over to David.
Mr. Howard? Come on in.
29 INT. SHUSTER'S OFFICE
David tries to compose himself even more as he follows
Shuster into his office. David's story is now formed.
He knows what he wants to say. He feels confident.
David enters the office. He sits down in front of
First of all, let me say, I've
heard a great deal about you.
What do you mean? From who?
What did you hear?
Oh, I just meant I've heard
wonderful things from everybody
in general, from the whole hotel.
Well, that's very nice. Thank
No, thank you.
Is your wife feeling better?
Yes, she is.
So, what can I do for you?
I have a very interesting idea.
I think you'll be taken by it.
Shuster stares at him.
I was a key executive with a major
advertising agency - one of the
biggest in the world.
Yes, right. So?
Well, I was the Idea Man there.
So, when I say I have an interesting
idea, I'm not speaking like any slob
that walks in off the street.
(clearing his throat,
about to enter into
The Big Story)
My wife and I, we dropped out of
society. She had a very important
position in a department store and
again, I remind you that I was one
of the highest executives in the
world's largest advertising firm.
Shuster just stares at him.
Anyway, we were going to find
ourselves. Then, we thought, maybe
we're too old, it's too late. We
can't find ourselves, that's only
for kids. And then we thought about
it some more and it hit us. Wait a
minute. Who's to say at what age
you stop being a kid?
You gotta have some age. How else
could a court separate rape from
fun? In this state, it's eighteen,
by the way.
Yes. But my point is we wanted
to find ourselves and we did and
we dropped out, just like they
did in "Easy Rider."
The movie, "Easy Rider." Famous
movie. Important movie.
Didn't see that, I'm sorry.
It's a classic. If it comes on
cable here, see it. Anyway, we
did something that no one has done
for a long time. Maybe no one has
ever done it because in the movie
they were movie stars, so they
didn't really do it, even though
they portrayed people that did it.
I'm getting mixed up here. What
is your point?
Well, we did it for real. We
quit our jobs and we sold everything
that we had. The only thing we own
is our little motor home, which is
parked outside. That's all we've
got and we were going to spend
years roaming around this beautiful
country, but we knew we couldn't
do it unless we had our little
nest egg tucked away in the bank.
I'm going off duty in a few minutes.
Now, your point is what?
I'm getting to it. Why did we
come to Las Vegas? Because it was
a new beginning and I wanted to
remarry my lovely wife. That's
nice, don't you think?
I wanted to get remarried but I
wanted to spend our honeymoon in
the Grand Canyon, places like we
intend to spend the rest of our
lives in, but my wife is very fond
of your hotel and all of the
employees and she said, "Oh, come
on, let's spend our honeymoon here."
And we did and the room was very
lovely and everybody was very nice
to us, but my wife lost the nest
Mr. Howard, stop right here. I
think I know what you're getting at.
I realize you've lost a great deal
here and I want you to know that
your room and your meals are comped.
That's very nice but that's not
exactly what I'm saying. I think
I have a multi-million dollar idea.
Now, you have to be very secretive
about what I'm going to tell you
because the other hotels, if they
heard about it, well, they'll grab
it in a minute.
David leans over Shuster's desk and whispers to make
the idea really sound secretive:
I think, as an experiment, you
give us back the money we lost.
I beg your pardon?
Well, imagine the publicity? I
mean, the Hilton, for example,
they have billboards all over L.A.
where they put the faces of the
winners of those slot machines.
Now, those people win a couple
hundred thousand dollars, but the
hotel is getting millions of
dollars of publicity with those
billboards because people drive
by and say, "Gee, the Hilton looks
like a nice place. Look at those
smiling people." So, what about a
billboard with my wife and I on it
and we would be smiling and there
would be a saying, something like,
"These people dropped out of society,
they couldn't take it any longer,
but they made a mistake. They
lost their nest egg at The Desert
Inn, but The Desert Inn gave it
back." And maybe there could be
some kind of a visual with you
handing us an egg or something.
Now I mean, I'm just formulating
this now, as I'm talking, but you
can imagine, when it's worked
out how effective it could be.
(he gets up)
Well, Mr. Howard, nice to meet
What do you mean nice to meet
me? You said this is wonderful.
We're kidding each other here,
I gotta tell you, this is one of
the best things I've ever heard.
What's the board gonna say again?
"Gamblers, come and get your
Great. That's great.
No. No. Wait... Not "Gamblers,
get your money back."
That's wrong. We're not gamblers.
We're the few people in society
that have tried to do something
with our lives. See? We're drop-
outs. We're finding ourselves.
Someone's got to help the few
people like us, because if they
don't, nobody will ever drop out
again. Nobody will ever have
the courage to find themselves.
Well, I understand what you mean,
but I don't think The Desert Inn
can help find you. I'm sorry, but
thank you for the idea and good
He begins to escort David to the door.
Listen, I've experienced this
before. I've had clients that
didn't understand the idea until
they saw it on television and
then they said, "My God! What a
brilliant idea! Why didn't I
understand this?" I might have
used the wrong phrase. Okay,
picture this: maybe, my wife
and I will do a television
commercial for you and there
could be a jingle and it could
(begins to sing)
"The Desert Inn has heart! The
Desert Inn has heart! The Desert
Inn has heart!" Something like
that. See what I mean?
That's a nice jingle. Mr. Howard,
let's assume you're serious here.
What if this caught on? Could you
imagine what would happen? Why,
we would have to return everybody's
losses. The casino would just
crumble. We couldn't pay our bills.
You know the casino accounts for
a great deal of our profits.
I understand. Of course, you don't
pay back everybody's losses. You
make a distinct division between
the bold, who are out there searching,
and all the other schmucks, who come
here to see Wayne Newton.
I see. Now, I like Wayne Newton.
So, I fall into what category?
(realizing this was
not the best example)
Oh, look, I picked a name out of a
hat. I like Wayne Newton, too.
I'm saying a schmuck, representing
the gambler and a bold person,
representing me and my wife and the
one or two others that probably
wouldn't come here anyway. You
wouldn't have to do this more than
once or twice, there's not too many
bold people around. I think it was
a mistake to use entertainers as
the dividing line. We could find
another system. Anyway, what do
you say? We do need that nest egg
I say good luck to you and stay
away from the tables next time.
Oh, that's for sure, but come on?
Half the money, for courage?
Shuster opens up his office door. He escorts David out.
30 INT. LOBBY AT FRONT DESK
Mr. Howard, nice to meet you.
Hold it. What about "Miracle
on 34th Street?"
Christmas picture, right?
(now rambling on very
fast, desperate, rea-
lizing his plan is
about to fail)
More than a Christmas picture. What
happened there? Macy's didn't want
to send their customers to Gimble's
because the president of Macy's
thought they would lose all of their
customers and lose a tremendous
amount of money and it would be taken
wrong. But it wasn't taken wrong.
What happened? Macy's did much better
than they ever did before. And that's
what would happen to you. The Desert
Inn would do much, much better because
you would get Gimble's business and
the casino would be full.
Well, I'm not too familiar with
that picture but didn't Macy's have
Santa Claus to help them out?
(he starts to laugh)
I mean, if they didn't have Santy
Claus there, they might have done
He continues to laugh. David now starts to laugh along
with him, except David's laugh has a pitiful ring to it.
He senses this is not going to work.
Yes. I guess they did have Santy
Claus. Well, thank you. Thank you.
And just so I understand, we can t
get any of our money back, right?
Well, not today, no. But if the
policy ever changes, we'll write
(still chuckling as
he goes back into
That's wonderful. Very good.
He closes the door. The desk Clerk, who has just seen
Shuster laugh, turns to David, who is standing there
looking as bad as he's ever looked.
I think he likes you. He rarely
laughs at anything.
David just nods a sickly "thank you."
31 EXT. MOTOR HOME - DAY
David and Nancy are driving. They are well outside of
Las Vegas. Nancy is staring out of the window. David
is driving in silence. Obviously, they have been driving
for a great deal of time without saying anything. Nancy
finally breaks the silence.
32 INT. MOTOR HOME
I can't take this. Say something.
Yell at me. Hit me. Drive off
the road. Do anything. Just stop
being so silent.
I have nothing to say.
I can't keep apologizing. I'm
sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I feel horrible. I would do
anything to change it.
David says nothing. He just clears his throat.
You're going to make yourself
sick. It's unnatural. I
understand. If I were you, I'd
be furious. Don't hold it in.
(looking at her)
More silent driving. Nancy is desperately uncomfort-
able. Obviously, David is not fine. How could he be?
He's seen ten years of earnings dissipate in less than
three hours and he didn't participate in any of the
dissipation. After a while, Nancy tries a new approach.
Obviously, I can't apologize anymore
for what I did so we should talk
about what we're going to do.
And what would that be?
Well, our dream is still the same.
We just don't have any money.
David clears his throat again.
And, also, we should stop saying
we don't have any money. We do
We have eight hundred and two
It is something. Yes.
Well, look, I think we should
try to make the rest of the day
as pleasant as we can. Since
we're heading towards Hoover Dam
anyway, we should make that our
destination for today. We can
go there, look around, maybe
have a picnic or something, and
maybe just see the dam and just
have a nice day outside. What
do you think?
in a monotone)
Is that what you'd like?
Maybe it would be fun.
in a monotone)
Fine. Hoover Dam.
33 EXT. HOOVER DAM - DAY
There are people walking around, tours going on and
children playing. The motor home pulls up. They park.
Nancy gets out with a bounce in her step, hoping David
might copy her. David gets out like Frankenstein,
walking very slowly, with no expression.
Look at this! Come here. God!
Just think. Men built this!
(still with no
Yes. Men did build this.
What about something to eat?
I don't think you can eat now.
Because with the little bit of
money that we have left, I think
we have to sit down and make up
a new budget. Until we do, maybe
we shouldn't spend it all on
cotton candy and other various
knickknacks here at the dam.
Nancy is beginning to get irritated and frustrated that
he will not talk to her like an adult.
Well, if that's your attitude,
I think you should give me half
the money and let me eat whatever
I want and you can do what you
want with your half. I think
that's the fair thing.
(the release of his
anger now begins)
The fair thing? The fair thing?
That's it! You're right. I've
been controlled! Boy, have I
been controlled! I guess any
doctor could have spotted it.
I was about to die, I was so
controlled. You took all the
money we had!
People can hear this echoing for miles around.
You took our nest egg and you
broke it up! You got yoke all
over the casino! You got the
white all over the coffee shop!
You threw the shells in the
parking lot! Fair? Fair?!
Where was I when you were
playing with the egg? Sleeping.
Good. Get it out.
Shut up! Don't talk to me like
I'm an insane patient!
Let's just go back inside. You
can yell at me. You should, I
think it's right. I just don't
want you to yell out here.
Out where? This is where we're
going to have to live. Why not
yell out here? We're going to have
to do everything else out here.
We'll be sleeping out here and
eating out here and going to the
bathroom out here! Get used to
this cement, baby! This is it!
Out here is it! We found ourselves!
We found ourselves, alright! We
found ourselves with eight hundred
dollars in the middle of nowhere!
Nancy walks away. She sees a crowd that is gathered
around and she does not want to have an argument in
front of these people. David follows her.
34 EXT. SIDE OF ROAD - HOOVER DAM VISITOR AREA
Where are you going?
I don't want to have an argument
in front of those people.
Why not? I think those people
are entitled to know how stupid
This is going to turn into a
personal attack, isn't it?
What else? A general attack? Who
am I going to attack? Nevada? I
can't attack the state. It wasn't
their fault. I can't attack the
motor home. It stayed in the
parking lot. I can't attack me.
I was fast asleep. By process
of elimination, who's left?
I am. I'm left, okay? And I'll
say it one more time - I'm sorry.
They are off by themselves now. They have reasonable
privacy. They are both very upset.
I don't want your apologies. I
want to know why? I want to try
to understand how it happened. Tell
me. How did it happen?
I couldn't sleep.
You couldn't sleep. I see. Now,
I remember nights where I couldn't
sleep. I'm just trying to think
what I did. Let's see. I tried
warm milk or I took a long walk or
I took Nytol and then, if all that
didn't work, I gave away all the
money I ever earned. But you
didn't try any of those things
first. You just gave away the
money first, right? What did you
intend to do? Have warm milk
afterwards? Tell me. I'm mixed
You're not even listening.
I'm sorry. You're right. Go
ahead. You couldn't sleep. Then
I don't remember. I just went
Why didn't you wake me up?
What would you have done?
What would I have done? I would
have followed you.
I would've seen you. I would have
watched you take your money and
begin to lose it and I would have
stopped you at thirty dollars,
maybe thirty-two dollars, at the
most. I would have said,
"Sweetheart, come back to bed.
We don't want to fool with our
nest egg." You know, Nancy, I
think you just considered nest
egg to be a term but to me, it
was a key to this whole experiment.
Why, I considered it like a third
person. It was our best friend,
our guardian angel. It was going
to allow us to do everything we
wanted to do. It was going to
watch over us during bad times
and laugh with us during good times.
It was going to help us roam and
purchase and eat and explore. It
was going to help us make love
and laugh and cry and now, it's
gone and who's got it? The Desert
Inn! They've got our nest egg.
They can sure use it, can't they?
They don't have their own. They're
a poor little organization. They
need our nest egg. Gee, I hope
they use it wisely. I know someday
those mirrors are going to have
to be reflocked and the red velvet
was looking kind of worn. And
those little heart beds are going
to need new sheets. I'm glad we
could help them pay for that. I'm
glad our life savings will go
towards making that room look a
little prettier. I'm glad we
gave it all to them, Nancy. I'm
just going to miss the little nest
egg, that's all. Won't you,
sweetheart? Won't you miss the
nest egg? In the middle of the
night, won't you feel kind of
lonely because little nest egg
is paying for the gas in Frank
Shut up, David!
(begins to cry; she's
Shut up! I don't want to hear nest
egg anymore! I don't want to hear
that word. Let me tell you something.
That's not the way you drop out
anyway. If you're really going to
drop out, you drop out with nothing!
You drop out with nothing? Oh
where did you read that? In the
Las Vegas Guide?
I didn't read that. I know that.
Oh, I see. Who told you?
Friends, people who know. I don't
have to answer you.
No. You don't have to answer me.
You can't answer me because no one
ever told you that. You never
had friends who dropped out. You
don't know anybody who dropped
out except for us. So how the
hell did you know that? Come on,
Alright. The movie you're basing
your whole life on, "Easy Rider,"
they dropped out with nothing.
They had no nest egg.
Bullshit. They had a huge nest
egg. They sold cocaine. They
didn't get on their motorcycles
till their nest egg was giant,
fifty times the size of ours.
That's not true.
Oh, look. I'm not going to stand
here, in front of one of the seven
wonders of the world and argue about
an old movie. I'm going to go now
and get back in the motor home and
maybe you can wander around out here
and figure out something to do. We
have eight hundred dollars left and
an entire lifetime. See what you
can come up with.
David starts to walk away.
We could sell cocaine.
(stops and turns
Well, my God. Why didn't I think
of that? Great idea. As a matter-
of-fact, I remember after seeing
"Midnight Express" I went out of
the theater saying to myself, "That's
for me. Sex with hundreds of
David turns around and walks towards the motor home.
Come on. Let's go.
Nancy doesn't go with him.
No. Forget it.
What are you talking about?
You know, I'll tell you one good
thing that came out of all of this.
We forgot to get remarried. That
was one good thing that happened
and no one has mentioned that yet.
What are you saying?
I'm saying that if we got remarried
it would be much more difficult to
get divorced. Now it's easy. It's
over. I'll just stay in Nevada for
six weeks and then we'll be legally
through. This is how it should
have happened anyway, David. We
were stupid to think it could have
happened any other way.
Do you really believe that?
You bet your life I do. I realize
now, you're never going to let me
forget this. For the rest of our
lives, you'll blame me and I won't
take it. So, goodbye. I'm sorry.
It didn't work out.
35 EXT. SIDE OF ROAD
Nancy walks to the side of the road and sticks out her
thumb. David walks after her.
What do you expect to do? Where
do you think you're going?
I still have my dreams. I'll have
to find somebody else who understands
them a little bit better and then
I'll start over.
Okay. Enough is enough. I
understand your dreams. You said,
"Explode." I exploded. It's done.
Now, come on. Let's not act stupid.
I'm over it.
You'll never be over it. I know
you. You're right. I'm stupid.
You don't want to be with a
stupid person so leave me alone.
What are you doing?
None of your business. Now get
out of here, please.
You told me to be angry. You said
it was unhealthy not to be angry.
You'd be angry, too. God knows
you'd be angry.
We see a car approaching in the distance.
Nancy, there's a car coming and
there's a man in there who looks
like an animal. Now if you don't
put your thumb back, he's going
to pick you up and if he picks
you up, you're going to be in
his car. I don t know him. You
don't know him. We don't know
where we are, so why don't we
stop acting like this?!
What is happening? You said it
fifteen hundred times, "Get
angry." I got angry. I thought
I got angry well. I'm over it.
Sure you're over it. You're
I'm yelling because you're about
to get in someone else's car!
An old Chevy pulls over. A guy in his late thirties,
large, ugly, RED-NECK-looking fellow says to Nancy:
Where ya headin'?
Alright. You got it. Come on.
Nancy gets in the car. David starts to run after them.
This has gotten out of hand. Look
around you, Nancy, you're in another
car! That man is not me! Nancy!
I apologize! I'm sorry!
David stops yelling. He just stands there for a minute.
Listen to what I'm saying. I was
sleeping and I'm yelling I'm sorry.
What's going on? Jesus Christ!
She's going to get killed!
36 EXT. ROAD TO HOOVER - HELICOPTER SHOT - DAY
David runs back to the motor home. He starts the
engine. David tries to catch up to the Chevy. The
Chevy's gotten a large lead. He goes faster but it
doesn't help. He loses the car.
37 INT. MOTOR HOME
I've lost my wife in the desert.
This is just silly. You lose
your wallet or your keys but I've
lost a whole woman.
David continues to drive. After a short while, he spots
a road stop, a gas-food-rest stop.
There's a small restaurant. He spots the Chevy. He
pulls in. David gets out of the motor home. Through
the window, he can see this Red-Neck and Nancy sitting
at a table.
38 INT. ROADSIDE RESTAURANT
David walks in. He approaches the table where Nancy
and the Red-Neck are sitting.
Nancy, I think we should go.
I don't think she wants to speak
to you, buddy.
I've known her for a long time.
I think I would rather have direct
communication with her. Nancy,
I said she don't want to talk to
We're leaving now, okay, honey?
You're not listenin', are you?
I'm listening. This is my wife.
It's between her and me. Nancy?
We're going to work things out
now. Thank this gentleman for
the ride and let's go.
Nancy says nothing. The Red-Neck stands up. He is huge.
Mister, I'm gonna count to three
and I want you out of here. One...
Nancy, this man's counting. Who
Honey, there's one number left.
The Red-Neck takes David by the shoulder and starts to
lead him outside.
Let's go. You and I, we have
some fighting to do.
David is being shoved outside. He looks back at Nancy.
Is this what you want? Is this
what was supposed to happen? I'm
now going to be killed by a gorilla?
David and the Red-Neck are outside. Nancy realizes
David is probably right. He will be killed. She gets
up. She runs after them.
39 EXT. ROADSIDE RESTAURANT
By the time she gets outside, David is already being
punched in the stomach and then in the face. In be-
tween punches, David is yelling to Nancy:
Call him off! He'll obey you!
Tell him it's alright!
The Red-Neck is now really angry.
I hate you. I'm going to kill you.
It's okay. Stop. Please? Thank
you for the ride but we can handle it.
You're out of this now. This is
between him and me.
I haven't hated somebody so much
in a long time. He reminds me
of everything I hate.
David is on the ground. The Red-Neck picks him up.
Come on. Come on. Let's really
go at it.
This is going to disappoint you
but I have really gone at it.
I haven't had a fight since I
was in the third grade. I'm just
not used to it. Nancy, tell him.
Please! It's okay. My husband
and I had a fight but we can handle
I said get out, lady. I'm on a
Nancy, realizing that she can't stop the fight, begins to
Help! Help! Police! Help!
People start to come out of the restaurant. This is more
attention than the Red-Neck wanted.
Well, look at this. A woman has
to help you by yelling for the
police. Well, if I wasn't wanted,
I wouldn't care. I'd stay here
and beat the shit out of you, but
right now I can't afford to see
the police. But I'll get you. I
don't know where or when, but I'll
get you, mister.
The Red-Neck starts to walk back to his car.
Yell "Police!" more. Keep yelling.
We see the Red-Neck hasten a bit. He starts his engine.
More. Yell. Yell. Police!
The Chevy pulls out. The Red-Neck yells back:
I'll get you.
David is holding his jaw.
Are you alright?
That man will spend the rest of
his life trying to find me. I'll
be killed, Nancy.
Nancy helps him towards the motor home.
40 INT. MOTOR HOME
They get inside. David is holding his jaw.
Are you sure you're okay?
Yeah, I'm okay. Next time, if
you're going to hitch, get a ride
with a small woman, will you?
I'm proud of you.
For what? Getting beat up?
For rescuing me.
Well, I had no choice really. I
thought about just forgetting it
and finding someone new, but I
realized I had nothing to offer
David, listen to me... We're going
to be alright.
I hope so. Maybe we will.
David starts the engine. The home slowly begins to
What do you think we should do
First? First, I think we fill this
thing with gas so we can get as far
away as possible from that mental
patient. Then, I guess we'll head
east. We'll drive until we find a
place we both like and that'll be
our new home. We'll start there
and we'll begin to rebuild.
I swear to God I think this is a
blessing in disguise. The whole
idea of going to Las Vegas was to
get remarried so we could have a
new beginning, right? Well, that
would've just been a ceremony. Now,
we really are starting from the
beginning. I think this way is
Well, I hope it is. But since we
really will never know the other
way, let's not compare.
But after all, the whole purpose
was to find ourselves and to be
free and now we really are free.
The other way...
Hold it, honey. Another comparison,
Well, I'm just excited. I think
this is a blessing.
It very well might be. All I'm
saying is let's just let our
original plan rest in peace.
41A EXT. ARIZONA HIGHWAYS
A) We see the motor home driving along. In the
background there is MUSIC. As they head east,
the sun slowly is setting behind them. After
various SHOTS of David and Nancy moving along
B) ... we finally see them pass a sign that says,
"WELCOME TO PRESCOTT, ARIZONA."
C) They drive on further until they pull up to a
trailer park. The sign above the park says,
"PRESCOTT TRAILER PARK." He stops. He pulls
the motor home into this park. He sticks his
head out the window, as if to feel the climate.
It feels right.
42 INT. MOTOR HOME
The sun has set. This is where they've chosen to live.
Nancy is lying on the bed as David is at the kitchen
table, figuring out the money they have left.
Okay, so, gas and the payment
here and the electricity hook-up,
the water hook-up, lunch... Oh my!
Three hundred and twenty dollars.
He takes that amount out of his pocket. He lays it out
in front of then, like a magician doing a card trick.
There it is, sweetheart. That's it.
Okay. Let's call this "emergency"
money. We'll get jobs right away
so we don't have to touch this.
Absolutely. This money we seal away.
We'll both have jobs by tomorrow.
It's going to be good.
We have no choice. We have to
have jobs by tomorrow.
We should celebrate tonight.
This! This is the real beginning!
David sits there. He smiles. He's staring at Nancy.
After a while he feels a little uncomfortable.
What's the matter? What are you
Your legs. They look different.
They look longer.
You're joking, right?
I have long legs, remember?
That was the first thing you
ever said to me. You said I
had sexy long legs. That was
before you even asked me my
My God. You're right. We talked
about your legs for a long time
before your name came up. Was I
You were great.
You didn't think I was so sexy
the first time you saw me, did
Yes I did.
You didn't say anything.
Yes I did.
No you didn't.
Yes. I remember I told you I
thought curly hair was very,
very sexy. I said I liked your
No, sweetheart, you said curly
hair was sexy and then you asked
me if that was my own hair.
Well, I was shy.
Don't worry. I took it as a
Nancy smiles. David walks over and gives her a passionate
kiss, the likes of which we have not yet seen in this film.
They begin to make love. It's the real thing. As they do
43 EXT. MOTOR HOME
We hear MOANING. We see the home rocking gently back
and forth. Older people who live in the trailer park
start to come out and watch this new residence move
from side to side. Some have folding chairs, others
have picnic baskets. This is one trailer park that
hasn't yet put in cable television. So, to these
people, this is entertainment they so badly needed.
44 INT. MOTOR HOME - NEXT MORNING
David is still in bed. Nancy is almost dressed. She has
an extraordinary amount of energy.
David, I love you. That was the
best. It was amazing.
David is a bit dazed. Obviously they've had the best sex
of their lives. It's given her energy. It's made him a
It never happened like that in
L.A. I wonder why?
We stopped having sex in L.A.
That must be it.
Seriously. What do you really
think happened? What did we do
I don't think it had anything to
do with us.
What was it? The air?
Maybe. My guess is extreme poverty.
Well, then I say we should stay poor.
Look, I was just guessing. I think
we have to make some money, we don't
want to starve to death and then find
out it really was the air. We'll
feel so stupid.
I have so much energy. I can't
wait to get out and just explore
this city. I'm going to get a
great job. I know it.
David gets out of bed. He puts on his robe.
Me, too. Now, I think we should
have some kind of a plan. What do
you say we look for work together?
I don't think so. I think we
should go in separate directions.
We'll cover more territory.
Alright. That sounds right. Good.
Let's say we meet back here no
later than five o'clock.
Five o'clock. Good.
I can't wait for five o'clock.
Nancy exits. David stands at the door calling out to
Good luck! Go for the high pay!
And buy a cheap lunch!
I love you.
I love you, too.
I mean it! Cheap lunch!
We see Nancy wave as she walks off into the distance.
45 EXT. PRESCOTT, ARIZONA STREET - MORNING
David is walking down the street staring into various
stores. He stops in front of a pharmacy. There's a
sign that says: "DELIVERY MAN WANTED." David enters
46 INT. PHARMACY
David approaches PHARMACIST.
The delivery job, I'm interested
This is for your son?
No, for me.
For you? Well, you have your own
Gee, I'm sorry, but it's a delivery
job. You would need a car.
Well, I have transportation. I
own a motor home.
A motor home?
I don't really think that would
suit this particular job. I have
just a few small deliveries a
day. Those things aren't too
efficient and you probably wouldn't
be able to pay for gas with what
I'd pay you.
Oh, I didn't know I'd have to pay
for my own gas.
Yes. Actually, my intention was
to get a high school kid with a
Rabbit or something.
I think an older man with a motor
home would be impractical for the
both of us. You understand, I don't
have that many deliveries. Also,
you'd have trouble parking. I
don't think this would work out.
You know what I should do? I should
cross out "man" and put "boy,"
"delivery boy" is more correct.
I guess "delivery man" is misleading.
No, the sign's alright. It looks
fine. You don't know of any
immensely high-paying jobs in the
immediate area, do you?
Um, let me think. No, not in the
What about in the outlying areas?
Uh, no. I don't know of any high-
paying jobs anywhere in the whole
country. Do you?
Um, no. Not now. Well, good day.
Good day to you.
Is there an employment agency in
Yes. Just continue down this
street about half a mile. It's
a small building but you can't
47 INT. EMPLOYMENT OFFICE
It's a small employment agency befitting a small town.
David is just sitting and waiting his turn along with
various other types. David looks a little out of
place in that the others look like they want some job
relating to alcohol. The AGENT steps out of a small
glass cubicle and asks David to step in. David does
and sits down.
So. What can we do for you?
Well, I'm originally from Los
Angeles and I'm now living here.
I need a job.
He takes out a piece of paper and begins to write down
What was your previous working
Well, for the last eight years I
was a major executive with one of
the biggest advertising agencies
in the country.
Oh, I see. And your previous salary?
Seventy thousand dollars.
(looks up; he hasn't
heard this figure
in a long time)
You said seventy thousand?
Over how long a period are we
A year. Seventy thousand a year.
The Agent begins to laugh.
What's so funny?
Nothing. That's very good. So,
what brings you around these parts?
Trying to double up that income?
Agent laughs again.
No. I came here to live. I
wanted to change my life.
You couldn't change your life
on seventy thousand?
Could we just get back to what
we're doing here?
Sure. Uh, I don't think I have
anything at all right now. I
mean the only thing I have, you
wouldn't be interested in. Why
don't you check back with me in
Well, you don't know what I'd be
interested in. Why don't you just
tell me what you have?
I don't think that coming from
your position and your salary
you'd be interested in it.
Well, you don't know me. What is
It's a crossing guard.
A crossing guard? You mean at a
Yes. Where else do you see them
No, I just didn't know if there
were different kinds. Well, what
does that pay?
A hundred thousand dollars.
He starts to laugh. David laughs along with him.
But, really, what does it pay?
It pays three twenty-five an hour,
Benefits meaning what?
Benefits meaning you can get a
ride to and from work if you need
Well, listen, I've just started
looking for work and I don't want
to rule anything out but I think
I probably can find something where
I can use my ability a bit more.
Would you have another kind of
file, like an executive box or
What kind of box would that be?
You know, a box of higher-paying
My goodness, I forgot. Sure.
You mean the hundred thousand
Agent begins to laugh again.
Well, I'm happy I could provide
you with your morning's entertainment.
You can laugh at me but let me
tell you something. I made a
statement. You understand what
I'm saying? I made a statement.
Never mind. Thank you.
Thank you. Good luck.
48 EXT. TRAILER PARK - LATER THAT DAY
David is walking dejectedly towards home. Nancy is
inside fixing dinner.
49 INT. MOTOR HOME
As he enters, she turns around excited. She runs up
and gives him a hug.
(perking up a bit;
at least one of
them sounds like
they had success)
Sure looks like it.
(he sits down)
Tell me everything. What is it?
How much do you get? When do
I won't know anything for sure
until tomorrow. I don't want to
say anything until then.
Oh come on! Tell me? At least
tell me what the job is.
Please. We'll get all excited and
then what if I don't get it? Let's
Just give me a hint!
Well... alright. I would be
an assistant manager.
Jesus! After one day? Assistant
That's all I'm saying. The manager's
thinking it over. He said he'll let
me know tomorrow. I don't want to
jinx it. Now, come on. Let's hear
about you. What happened?
David can't get over the words "Assistant Manager." His
own search hasn't brought him words of that caliber.
Well, I'm not saying anything
either, but I'll also know in
I gave you a hint, you have to
give me one.
I can't. I have too many leads.
I've had many firm offers and
right now I'm just mulling them
What kind of offers?
Listen, I think you're right, we're
going to jinx this thing. Let's
just keep the mystery. It's more
exciting that way.
50 INT. SCHOOL BASEMENT - THE NEXT DAY
David is standing with an older MAN in front of a
locker. The Man takes out a uniform.
Now, this won't fit you exactly
'cause the fellow who had this
before was about eighty and very
heavy, but if you go up to the
nurse's office they'll take it in.
Now, I don't have the sign here,
but do you understand? It's stop
on one side...
Yes. Go on the other.
No. If you're going to interrupt
me I'm not going to be able to
explain it. It's stop an one
side and stop on the other. It's
just a stop sign. So, when you
want people to go you'll have to
hide the sign.
That's right. I remember. You
just put it down so people can't
That's right. Behind your back
is generally the best place.
Yes. I think, basically, this job
hasn't changed since I went to
Aren't you a little young for this
kind of work?
I don't think so. Why?
Well, all the other guards here
have been in their late sixties or
seventies. We had one who was
fifty once but that's as young
as I can remember.
Well, times are changing. I
mean stereotypes have to be
broken sometime, don't they?
I guess they do. I never thought
they did but yeah, I guess they do.
Okay. Happy to have you here and I
guess all you should know is that
some of these children are rude.
Well, all children are rude.
Well, these children are a little
ruder than they used to be. You
see we had this cutback in the
school lunch program and sometimes
they're hungry. And you know what
happens when you're hungry? You
get a little bit ornery. I guess
what I'm saying is you'll need a
little bit of tolerance.
Oh, tolerance is my middle name.
51 EXT. STREET SCENE - DAY
David is at the crosswalk. He's leading a group of
CHILDREN across the street. They are about twelve
years old. Obviously, old enough to cross by them-
selves. David greets them. He wants to make a good
impression. God knows why.
Hello, children. How was school?
Yeah. Mind your own business.
Ah. You must be two of the hungry
The Kids glare at him. David walks back across the
street alone. David is waiting. A bunch of KIDS, a
little older, about six of them, walk up. One of them
OLDER KID #1
Hey, who's the new Retardo?
Oh, my goodness. More hungry
children. You want to cross the
OLDER KID #1
My name is David. I would appreciate
not being called that name. It's an
OLDER KID #2
Ugly name for an ugly face.
I see no reason to walk future
prisoners across the street. Why
don't you get some practice working
on your own right now since you'll
probably be in solitary most of your
life. You can handle it.
OLDER KID #2
No, man. That's what you're paid
for. Come on. Take us across the
No, I can't take you across the
street and, also, I'm allowed to
make judgments. If I think someone
shouldn't be allowed to cross the
street I'm allowed to deny them
that privilege. So, if you want
to cross, you'll have to cross on
OLDER KID #2
Hey, no. No, man. You work for
us. Let's go.
What do you mean let's go? Is
that a threat? Be careful. I've
got a metal sign here.
OLDER KID #2
(takes out a knife)
Yeah? I've got a metal knife.
Knife wins. Come on.
He leads them across the street. David walks back alone,
mumbling. He sits in his little chair. There's no
action and no children. Cars are passing by. A new
black MERCEDES SCREECHES UP. The passenger window is
electrically lowered. A GUY, in his early 30's, calls
Call me David. I'm your age. I
look a little older because I'm
in this uniform.
David, how do I get out of this
place? Actually, what is this
What do you mean?
What town is this?
Jesus Christ. I'm lost. How do
I get to Phoenix?
You have to get on Highway 90. So,
what you do is go down about two
miles, you'll come to a stoplight,
you turn right and keep going and
you'll see a sign.
Two miles down and then right?
David approaches the car. He sticks his head inside and
starts sniffing, rather intensely.
What are you doing? Stop doing
that. Get away.
I'm just smelling the interior.
This is leather, isn't it?
It's Mercedes Leather. They call
it leather but it's vinyl. Smells
like leather, though. Huh?
Yeah it does. You like this car?
What's not to like? Hey, thanks,
man. See ya.
He floors it and tears off into the distance. David
watches the car slowly disappear. He's still sniffing.
It smelled like leather. They
must spray it with something.
Interrupting David's thought is a CHILD'S VOICE coming
from behind him.
Hey, Retardo! Over here!
Without even looking I'm sure he
52 INT. MOTOR HOME - NIGHTTIME
David enters. Nancy is taking off her coat. David can
see that she has on a uniform. It's a candy-striped
short skirt and blouse. Also, she has on a candy-
striped apron and hat. It looks familiar but David
can't quite place it.
Nancy turns around.
My God! You scared me.
They stare at each other, each looking at the other's
You got your job?
Yes. Did you get yours?
Yes. Yes, I did.
Is that a uniform you're wearing?
Of course. What did you think, I
What do you do?
I work at Burger King. I got
it. I'm the assistant manager.
The reason I wasn't sure last
night was because the manager said
he needed time to sleep on it, but
this morning he told me he made his
decision as soon as I left. He just
didn't know how to get hold of me.
Hold it a second. Burger King?
The hamburger place?
Just after David finishes this sentence, we hear the
TOILET FLUSH. Out comes SKIP, a nineteen-year-old boy,
dressed in the male version of the same uniform Nancy
is wearing. Skip is one of those kids who talks like
he's from Torrance, through his nose, blending all syl-
lables into one, a kid whose speech could mask his
intelligence, if there was intelligence to be masked.
Nancy, who's this child?
Oh. This is Skip. He's the
manager. He wanted to see
where we live.
David just stares. His image of the "Manager" was
obviously way off.
Hey, thanks, Nancy. Wow, this is
like a real home. Now, when you
flush the toilet, where does it go?
Before Nancy can answer, Skip sees David.
Oh, wow! Who's the crossing guard?
That's what you are! A crossing
guard! I couldn't place it. That's
wonderful! You're working with
I'm walking with children. There's
a difference, but we'll talk about
it later. Now, tell me again.
This child is who?
This is Skip. He's the manager.
The manager? This is who slept
Skip stretches his hand out eagerly wiping it first
on his pants, just to make sure it's clean.
Hey, it's nice to meet you. Call
me Skippy, though, huh? That's what
my friends call me. Hey, your wife's
really something. Man, I think what
you're both doing is amazing. She
told me all about it. It's really
great. You've got a lot of courage.
It blew my mind. I'll tell ya, man,
when I get old, I sure hope I drop
out. It really sounds neat. Hey,
did she tell ya what happened today?
(a little embarrassed)
David just got home, Skip. I'll
tell him later.
No. Let Skippy tell it. I want
to hear him talk some more.
Hey, thanks. Well, you know the
fry machine? We were never using
it right. See, no one ever told
us. I mean we did everything the
instructions said. You know, we
put the oil in and everything, but
we took the fries out, like, much
too soon and no one knew. And
your wife said, "Hey, these are
frozen in the middle." And then
we took them outside and we looked
at 'em in the sun and she was
right! They were still frozen.
She spotted it on the first day!
Do you believe it?
And how long were you making them
the other way?
Oh, I don't know, a little less
than a year.
Nancy, where are the keys?
They're in the ignition. Why?
53 INT. MOTOR HOME
We are somewhere outside of Prescott. David and Nancy
are driving along. They are still in their Burger King
and crossing guard outfits, but obviously they have left
their first home. Nancy has a map in her hand. She's
looking it over.
You know I think Denver could be
a good place to go.
Well, it's bigger. We do need a
We certainly do. Sweetheart,
let's talk for a second.
I love you very much. You know
that, don't you?
I love you, too.
Well, I think it's wonderful that
we could say this and mean it. Do
you know that ever since we were
married I just was waiting for us
to get divorced? I never thought
we would make it, ever. But now
I know. I feel the same way.
Well, my God, that's wonderful.
I mean the experiences that we
went through in the last two weeks,
it did that. It showed us that
we're going to be married forever.
Nancy, we're together for the rest
of our lives and I'm so grateful
to finally have that peace of
mind. It's wonderful.
I told you this would all be a
I know you did. But now, let's
talk facts. Our nest egg broke.
Forget who did it, no blame.
That's not the point. The point
is we didn't split up.
We stayed together and decided to
rebuild. And it was the best
decision we ever made. Because
for the first time we really know
how to share. Whatever we have we
can enjoy it together.
But we don't have anything.
There! Now we're getting to it.
This afternoon I was guiding some
children across the street and I
realized something. Given our age,
and the years we have left together,
and the way we're going about this
rebuilding program, we will never
have another egg in our lifetime.
I was thinking the same thing.
Yes. As a matter-of-fact, I began
thinking what we might do to speed
That's amazing. So was I. Denver?
Is that what Denver is about?
No. Not exactly. I was just kind
of thinking of a general plan.
Well, you tell me yours first.
No, you go first.
No. I'm almost embarrassed to
tell you, mine's like a last resort.
Don't be embarrassed. What is it?
Okay. I thought we'd just get to
New York as fast as we can...
And you eat shit?
Your plan too, huh?
We really are a team.
We certainly are.
54 EXT./INT. MOTOR HOME - MONTAGE - DAY
It does a fast U-turn away from the northern direction
and begins heading east. They are now on their way
to New York going as fast as they can. As they do the
THEME from the commercial "I LOVE NEW YORK" BEGINS TO
PLAY. It grows and grows in intensity as David and
Nancy cross the United States. Their trip from Arizona
to New York will take place in a space of about thirty
seconds. States whiz by. Signs "ENTERING MISSOURI"
"LEAVING MISSOURI" "ENTERING VIRGINIA," "LEAVING
VIRGINIA," all taking place in a period of seconds. The
MUSIC is getting more intense. It's now filling our
ears. VOICES BEGIN SINGING, "I LOVE NEW YORK."
55 EXT. GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE - NEW YORK CITY -
SNOW - DAY
We see the mobile home approaching the George Washington
Bridge. As it enters the tollbooth we...
56 EXT. MADISON AVENUE - SNOW
It's Monday morning, 8:45. Thousands of New Yorkers
are filing into their offices. We see the motor home
pull up in front of the advertising agency. Hundreds of
people are entering this building. We see that one of
these people is Brad Tooley, the baldheaded man David
was supposed to work under. From a LONG SHOT, we see
David exit the motor home. He's still in his crossing
guard uniform. He's been up for three days, taking No
Doz and drinking hundreds of cups of coffee. He looks
like hell. He runs down the street and corners Brad
near the front entrance. Brad sees David. He's scared.
He can't believe it. He starts to run. He tries to
escape. David turns after him. All this is shown in a
LONG SHOT, with the busy Madison Avenue traffic in the
foreground. We hear David yelling:
Brad, I made it! Three weeks on
the button! Let's go to work.
We got Fords to sell!
Brad looks frightened. He'd like to get away but he
can't. David catches up to him. He grabs him around
the waist. He drops to his knees. He begins to plead.
As New Yorkers pass by going about their business, we
see David begging. Brad just staring down at him.
OVER THIS SCENE the following CRAWL appears on the screen:
"Most people lead their entire lives
without ever having the courage to
break the mold, to find out who they
really are and what life is all about.
Those that do should take Route 16.
This goes through Utah, avoiding the state
of Nevada completely."
Screenplay by Albert Brooks and Monica Johnson