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Published May 18, 2011
1
GRANDPA GANJA’S EMPORIUM
(1st Day)
Evan Keliher ©2006
EXT. DAY. SHOT OF POT CLUB.
A legal medical marijuana dispensary in a L.A. storefront
building in a rundown part of the city. There’s a Hells
Angels club on one side with bikes in front, a bar on the
other side, etc. The window has posters of pot leaves,
tokers, etc., and a large sign overhead reads Grandpa
Ganja’s Emporium.
INT. CLUB.
The place is adorned with pot stuff including posters, lots
of pot leaves, brochures, smoking paraphernalia, T-shirts
and mugs, etc. The furniture consists of a table laden with
baggies, scales, an opened kilo of pot, and assorted
doodads. There are display cases with various pot products
for sale, cash register, etc. Several small tables and
straight-backed chairs are scattered about and a few easy
chairs and a couch are in evidence. A small table with
coffee fixings and a box of cookies on it and a computer,
printer, fax, TV set, etc., complete the furnishings.
Clouds of pot smoke fill the ambient air as scattered
patients relax with coffee and joints. Two regulars share a
large hookah and becloud the air. The air is always smokefilled;
passersby often stick their heads in the door and
inhale several gulps of pot smoke to catch a contact high
before staff can catch them.
BETH, a brunet in her late thirties and wheelchair bound
with MS, is at the long table where she’s filling eighthand
quarter-ounce baggies with pot from a kilo on the
table. Blind EARL eats a cookie with coffee and two
unmoving chess players sit motionless in background; they
never move.
BETH
Grandpa’s late.
EARL
Late for what?
2
BETH
Not for, from. The hearing.
EARL
Oh. Maybe that’s good news.
BETH
How is that good news?
EARL
Because if it’s bad news we haven’t
heard it yet.
BETH
Then that means if we never see him
again it’s even better news?
EARL
(shrugs)
At least it wouldn’t be bad news.
BETH
(shakes head)
We’re going to have to cut back on
our pot, Earl. That almost makes sense.
EARL
(finishes coffee)
No can do. If I cut back on my
pot I could go blind, you know.
BETH
(dryly)
Yeah, right. We wouldn’t want that
to happen.
EARL
(suspicious)
Is that sardonic?
BETH
No, it’s . . . Hey, there’s Grandpa!
EARL
(mutters)
Not a minute too soon, either.
3
GRANDPA enters carrying briefcase and nods and waves to
patrons as he moves to the table.
BETH
(apprehensively)
What’s the verdict?
EARL
If it’s not good news we’ll have to
shoot your ass, Gramps.
GG
(grimly)
It’s D-Day. If we don’t make the cut
we’re out on the first.
BETH
That’s not good news.
EARL
(gropes for place
to put cup)
I’ll get my gun.
BETH
That’s only sixteen approved clubs in the
whole city. Are the fascists winning?
GG
Naw. It’s just a skirmish. They close us
down and we’ll go underground. Never
give our real names, work only at night,
sign a distribution deal with the Hells
Angels…
BETH
And end up in the slammer for life
without parole when the feds show up.
EARL
You need three strikes to get life
without parole.
BETH
I do but you don’t. Look how they
handled that crack cocaine law.
They gave white coke users a pass and
sent black crack users away forever.
4
GG
Nobody’s going to jail…
(sees NUNS approaching
outside)
Ah, we have two Sisters visiting
us, Earl.
EARL
How can you tell they’re sisters
just by looking at ‘em?
GG
By their habits.
EARL
Man, they must have some mean
habits if you can see ‘em with the
naked eye.
The NUNS enter. They peer about apprehensively. Organ music
swells. 1st nun carries a metal Poor Box under one arm.
GG
(to NUNS)
Good afternoon, ladies. And how
are we today?
1st NUN
Well, that’s what we wanted to see you
about because…
2nd NUN
…the bishop isn’t doing all that well…
1st NUN
…or the Mother Superior, for that
matter…
2nd NUN
…and some of the Sisters have been
under the weather lately, as well…
1st NUN
(thrusts papers at GG)
…so these are doctors’ letters for
everybody at the Blessed Bleeding
Stigmata parish. It seems we all have
5
1st NUN (cont’d)
some health problem that’s covered
by the state medical marijuana law.
GG
How fortunate.
(takes letters,
riffles them, mutters)
And quite a coincidence, too, I
might add. I mean, that you should
all be sick at once.
1st NUN
We think it’s the Devil’s work…
2nd NUN
…or those Republican bastards.
GG
(reading)
These letters are all signed
by the bishop. Isn’t he a doctor
of theology?
1st NUN
Yes.
GG
Okay, that’s close enough. What do
you need?
2nd NUN
(reads list)
A pound of Mexican, six ounces
of Panama Red, four ounces of
sinsemilla and six ounces of
Kentucky Blue Grass.
EARL
Man, that’s two pounds of grass! You
guys must be partying down over there.
1st NUN
Oh, it’s not all for us. We pipe
it into the confessionals to put
the sinners at ease.
6
EARL
You give free pot to sinners?!
Hey, I’ll confess to anything.
Where do I sign up, Sis?
GG
How does it help to turn the sinners on?
2nd NUN
It’s hard for stoned people to
lie, that’s how. Get a sinner
stoned and he’ll confess to sins
he didn’t even know he committed.
GG
I still don’t see…
1st NUN
It’s simple. We’re an order of flagellant
nuns. If one’s sins are truly
egregious, we work him over with…
2nd NUN
…this!
She produces a multi-lash whip from her habit and snaps it
with a flourish.
EARL
(impressed)
You give away free pot and
free whipping’s?
GG
Forget it, Earl. You have to be
Catholic.
(to NUNS)
Two pounds of life-saving pot
coming up.
(takes pre-wrapped
baggies from stock
behind him)
Mexican weed straight from
Guadeloupe. Good stuff. Only 200
bucks an ounce.
(counts)
Four sinsemilla, 6 Kentucky,
7
GG (cont’d)
6 Panama Red.
(punches keypad)
That comes to an even $4800.
1st NUN
(box on table; letters
POOR BOX on it. Takes
out roll of cash)
BETH
Uh, isn’t that money supposed to
go to the poor?
1st NUN
Only 10%. The rest is overhead.
2nd NUN
(piously)
Jesus said you’ll always have the poor
with you.
EARL
If you didn’t your poor box deal
would go belly up.
1st NUN
(counting)
Forty-five, six, seven, eight.
GG
On the nose. Tell the bishop I
said hi and I hope the pot
cures his, uh…
(looks at letters)
…heebie-jeebies.
2nd NUN
(hopefully)
We can have him say a mass for
you for another baggie of Kung
Pao, if you like.
GG
Uh, no, that’s okay. I’d rather
smoke it myself and take my chances.
8
1st NUN
Smart move.
(starts out)
We’ll be back when we run low
on, uh, medicine.
2nd NUN
(with a smile)
She means next week.
The NUNS leave as organ music rises and fills the air.
Music fades with next lines.
BETH
There must be an epidemic over at
the parish.
EARL
Remind me not to go to go there
for confession.
GG
Yeah, somebody should tell those guys
about the 5th Amendment. I say if you
can’t remember a sin, it doesn’t count.
EARL
It works for Wall Street. Nobody
laid a glove on any of ‘em.
BETH
What about the panel? We need a plan.
GG
I’ve got a plan. I invited the panel
to come here this afternoon to
see our operation. We’ll stack the
deck on ‘em, claim we’re something
we’re not, rig it so we look
better than we are.
EARL
So we copy the Republicans, then?
BETH
Do you think they’ll fall for it?
9
GG
They’re average Americans; they’ll
buy anything. Over half of ‘em
voted for Bush, didn’t they?
EARL
(shakes head)
You need an angle, Gramps. Stupid
alone can’t cut it.
BETH
He’s right. These guys are politicians.
They’ve seen more angles than a
diamond cutter.
GG
You know me. I’ve always got an angle.
(checks time)
Look, I’ve got some stops to make. Can
you guys handle the lunch hour crowd?
BETH
No problem. We just need a few more
eighths and quarters and we’re set.
GG
Good.
(paper out)
Call these people and have ‘em here at
three. Tell ‘em we’re giving out free
samples.
(starts out)
I’ll be back by 2:30.
EARL
Don’t hurry, man. I could run this
place blindfolded.
BETH
I’d like to see that.
EARL
(ruefully)
So would I—or anything else.
GG leaves and BETH moves to the table and starts weighing
baggies as EARL pulls pot from a kilo and stuffs it into
baggies.
10
The music is softer now, the guitarist silhouetted against
the sun-emblazoned window as BETH speaks.
BETH
Is it true what they say? That
blind people have extra senses
to make up for being blind?
EARL
Oh, sure. We sense all kinds of stuff.
(beat)
Take you, now. I see a blonde
girl with blue eyes. And a pretty
smile. Tall like a model. And all
natural; no makeup.
(she’s brunette with
brown eyes, plump,
and nicely made up)
A pretty girl with a soft voice.
Close?
BETH
(laughs)
Pretty close.
EARL
I knew it!
(beat)
What about me? How do I look
to you?
BETH
I see a tall, good-looking man
with a nice smile and a good
sense of humor.
EARL
And a good friend.
BETH
(reaches out and puts
her hand on his)
For almost a year now.
They hold the pose for a long moment and then both draw
back and assume a more businesslike mien.
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BETH (cont’d)
We’ve got baggies to fill. The
lunch crowd is on its way.
EARL
Pot for lunch.
(laughs)
That’s what they mean by high noon.
(feeling for roach
in the ashtray)
But first I need my vitamins.
A man can’t be too careful when it
comes to his health, you know.
BETH
(picks up roach)
Pot’s better than vitamins; nobody
ever got high on beta carotene.
BETH applies clip, lights the roach, hits it and hands it
to EARL. He takes a hit and smoke eddies in the air around
them as music rises. CAMERA on 2/3 baggies of pot. DISSOLVE
and back on pile of 20 or so baqgies. The door opens and
DOC enters wearing scrubs.
BETH
Hi, Doc.
DOC
No time to parley, Beth.
(trembling hands up)
My Parkinson’s kicked in again and
I’m in the middle of a tricky heart
operation. I need to steady down here.
EARL
Pot will make you steady, Doc.
I know lots of long-term smokers
who are so steady they can hardly
move at all.
CAMERA angle on chess players in background.
DOC
(an epiphany)
Hey, maybe that’s the cause of a
catatonic state. You smoke too much
pot and all your parts seize up.
12
GG
Can’t be, Doc. Earl here hasn’t
come down since 1993. He’s smoked
enough pot to keep Rip Van Winkle
in that coma.
DOC
What’s the matter with you, Earl?
You ruined my theory. Now we’ll
never learn the truth about catatonia.
BETH
(reaching for baggie)
Here, try some Panama Red. A hit
of this will stop rigor mortis
from setting in.
DOC
Good, good.
(fills pipe with
trembling hands)
Got the heart out. Got to be careful
I don’t drop it again.
EARL
Again?!
DOC
(defensively)
Well, a bloody heart is pretty
slippery, you know.
(pipe up)
Besides, it didn’t hurt it any.
(beat)
‘Course, it didn’t help it much
when the nurse went to pick it up
and kicked it across the room.
(match readied)
But it’s okay. We rinsed it off.
DOC lights his pipe and takes a mighty hit, holds his
breath, and slowly puts a trembling hand out and we watch
it steady down in seconds.
BETH
There. You saved yourself a trip to
Lourdes, Doc.
13
DOC
(counting out bills)
It’s a miracle of modern medicine—
4,000 years old.
(starts out)
Gotta run.
DOC grabs his baggie of weed, hurries out, and almost runs
over incoming crowd. A SERIES OF SHOTS of crowded room,
smoking, chatting, laughter. People at tables with coffee,
cookies, brownies. Several have canes, bandaged heads, etc.
LATER. Crowd is gone, hookah smokers puff away, smoke
eddies. EARL sits at the table with coffee when GG enters.
GG
I’m back, Earl.
EARL
(checking time on wrist)
Two-thirty sharp! You may be a stoner
but you’re punctual, Gramps.
GG
(gets cup of coffee,
last cookie)
You make those calls?
EARL
They’re on the way right now.
What’d you want all those people for,
anyway?
GG
Dressing. We have to dress the stage.
(baggie up, fills pipe)
Beth still here?
EARL
We ran out of cookies so she’s baking
some more.
Mailman BOB enters.
BOB
Mail call, boys.
(looks in bag, inhales
pot smoke covertly)
14
GG
How you doing, Bob?
BOB
I’m good. Can’t complain.
(looks around)
You’re doin’ a great job, Grandpa.
A real public service.
(inhales covert breaths)
EARL
Somebody should tell our asshole
drug czar.
GG
Doesn’t work. You can’t tell assholes
anything.
BOB
(doling out mail)
They closed most of the clubs
around here. Used to be three of
‘em on my route ‘n now there’s only
you guys left.
(sneaks another hit)
GG
(sorting mail)
Nope, it’s not here.
EARL
What are you looking for?
GG
My MacArthur Foundation grant. They
give ‘em out this time of year.
EARL
They do? Maybe I should go home and
check my mail.
BOB
(spots hookah)
Say, that’s a hookah, isn’t it?
(approaches it, stands
in cloud of smoke)
15
1st SMOKER
(exhaling smoke)
Also called a hubble-bubble, a narghile,
and a water pipe. Want a hit?
BOB
Uh, no, thanks. They won’t let mailmen
smoke pot, you know.
2nd SMOKER
Go ahead, man. We won’t tell anybody.
BOB
(fanning smoke into his
face & taking deep breaths)
No, I better not. Thanks, anyway.
(opens bag and fans
smoke into it)
BOB backs toward the door and he takes big gulps of smoke
as he goes. Smokers watch him go.
1st SMOKER
Can they do that?
2nd SMOKER
Do what?
1st SMOKER
Tell a guy he can’t smoke pot?
2nd SMOKER
Only in a totalitarian state.
1st SMOKER
So that means…?
2nd SMOKER
Yeah.
1st SMOKER
(mutters)
Assholes.
They resume smoking.
BETH enters from backroom with boxes of cookies on her lap.
Both boxes are identical; one has regular cookies and the
16
other pot-filled cookies.
BETH
Fresh from the oven.
(boxes up)
Plain ones and designer cookies
for those with discriminating taste.
EARL
I have discriminating taste.
GG
(takes boxes)
So you have, Earl. And I’m going to
reward you with a free cookie.
(opens box, gives
it to him)
EARL
(takes cookie,
suspicious)
You gave me a plain cookie, didn’t
you?
GG
(puts box on coffee
table, other on shelf behind
table)
Yes, I did. I figured you wouldn’t know
the difference and I could save 10
bucks.
EARL
What about when I eat the cookie
and don’t get high? You ever
think of that?
BETH
But you’re high all the time, Earl.
The only way you’d notice any
difference is if you came down for
five minutes.
GG
(shrugs)
And that’s why I gave you a plain
cookie.
17
EARL
(shakes head)
Now this is some shit. Tricking a
blind man. I’ll bet you’re
not gonna give me my 40 acres and a
mule, either, are you?
GG
Are you still carping about that?
It’s a 150 years ago. We thought
you’d forget about it by now.
EARL
(resigned)
You’re right. If we ever get 40
acres they’ll be in the goddam
desert—and they’ll give us a used
mule, too.
The door opens and two guys enter carrying boxes of
foodstuffs.
GG
Ah, the caterers are here.
BETH
Caterers?
GG
It’s for our guests. I told you I
had an angle and this is it.
(to caterers)
Set ‘er up right here, boys.
1st Caterer
Got more coming. Shrimp, crab cakes,
Chablis…
EARL
So that’s your plan. You’re gonna
wine ‘em and dine ‘em, eh?
GG
More than that. We’re talking chemical
warfare here.
18
BETH
Isn’t chemical warfare against
the Geneva Convention?
GG
Naw, it’s the same as torture. Bush
said it’s all right as long as
we don’t kill anybody.
EARL
I thought Bush was a Christian.
GG
He is—and that’s the problem.
Torture has always been very
popular with Christians.
According to Bush, the Inquisition
was a grand idea and perfectly legal.
(to 1st Caterer)
You brought the shrimp sauce, did you?
1st CATERER
Coming up, Jefe.
An attractive spread adorns the table now with food
artfully displayed.
BETH
You’ve outdone yourself,
Grandpa. It’s a meal fit for
a panel of pot judges.
GG
It’s bait for our trap is what
it is.
The door opens and invitees begin arriving. One guy has a
bloody bandage around his head, another has a neck brace,
another is in a wheelchair, one on crutches, etc.
GG (cont’d)
We’re having a party! Come on
in! Fred! How’s it going? Hey,
Marsha, thanks for coming!
19
EARL
(to BETH)
Sneak me some of the shrimp
before these freeloaders get at ‘em.
BETH
Good idea. Come on.
She and EARL close in on the table while others socialize.
After a minute, GG calls for their attention and outlines
the plan.
GG
Folks, this is two events in
one. A party for our friends—
that’s you guys—and a scheme
to get city approval for our
club. The panel is due any
minute and we have to convince
‘em to choose us for the last
permit.
(beat)
Now, when they get here act like
this is a regular thing, like
we’re one big, happy family—and
smoke lots of pot. I want clouds
of smoke so thick you can cut it
up in chunks and carry it home
in a paper sack. I want…
(a VOICE sings out,
They’re coming!)
Okay, look like you’re having fun!
People mill about, talk, laugh, smoke, etc. The PANEL
members enter and stagger back from the onslaught of highgrade
pot smoke. GG grabs Councilman PLOTT by an elbow and
steers him into the club before he can duck back outside.
Council members HAZARD and SLOOTER fan smoke away as they
follow GG.
In the party scene smokers blow puffs of smoke at the
unsuspecting panelists so they’re inhaling great gulps of
smoke from the start.
PLOTT
(near panic)
Fire! Somebody call 911!
20
GG
There’s no fire, Mr. Plott.
A little fog seeped in here,
that’s all.
PLOTT
Fog? I’ve never seen fog so thick
you could cut it into chunks and
carry it home in a paper sack.
HAZARD
(fans smoke away)
I should have worn a mask.
GG
(aside to BETH)
That or plastic surgery.
(aloud)
It’s nothing, a little pot smoke,
is all. Breathe all you like,
there’s no charge for ambient smoke.
It’s just medicine, after all.
SLOOTER
(looking around)
You do seem to have lots of sick people
here.
BETH
They’re all patients, Ms. Slooter.
Each one has a doctor’s letter
on file here. We stay completely
within the law.
GG
(big ledger on table)
Our books are open for inspection,
sir.
(opens book, slams shut
as Plott leans in to
check it out)
Yes, sir, we run an up-front operation
here. Nothing to hide.
HAZARD
(eyeing food)
Are you having a party?
21
GG
Oh, no. We do this every week
for our patients. We figure it
helps morale, you know, gives
‘em a lift. Isn’t that right, Jack?
JACK
(juggling plate)
Yep, every Thursday like clockwork.
SLOOPER
How long have you been doing this?
JACK
(perplexed. Looks
at GG)
What’s this? One in a row?
PLOTT
(eyeing JACK’S plate)
Say, all of a sudden I’m starving!
Mind if I have a few of those shrimp?
BETH
Please, help yourselves. We love
to share.
Panelists move to the table and begin eating everything in
sight as the pot kicks in.
SLOOPER
My, the crab cakes look…
(stops, looks
right & left)
What was that?
EARL
What was what?
SLOOPER
I thought I saw something.
GG
You did but it wasn’t what you
thought it was.
22
PLOTT
(on fourth shrimp)
This is the best shrimp I’ve
ever tasted! And the sauce!
Superb!
CAMERA on bottle of popular shrimp sauce on end of table as
BETH covertly picks up the bottle and hides it.
HAZARD
I feel…funny. Like I’m in a strange
place…
GG
(offering wine)
Have a glass of Chablis, Ms.
Hazard. It goes well with the crab
cakes.
PLOTT laughs and others laugh with him and thoroughly
stoned heads come together under the unifying influences of
the noble marijuana bush. All eat and inhale smoke and have
a wonderful time. The panelists join in and a real party
breaks out with all the usual attendant features.
By three-thirty the panelists are utterly stoned and unable
to do enough for their gracious hosts. PLOTT has just
finished telling an inane anecdote that everyone finds
totally amusing and GG figures the time is ripe to lock in
that last permit.
GG
(to PLOTT)
Say, Tom…
(they’re on first
name basis now)
…about that permit for the club…
PLOTT
Permit?
BETH
For the club. Remember?
PLOTT
Oh, we gave all those out.
23
GG
Uh, no, there was one more left.
Remember? I spoke to you this morning…
SLOOPER
He’s right, Tom. We were going to
it to those gypsies but we couldn’t
find where they live.
HAZARD
Go on, Tom, give it to ‘em.
Maybe they’ll let us come back
for the parties.
PLOTT
Sure, why not? I like your style,
Grandpa. You’ve got a good heart
and I like the way you treat your
patients. You get the last permit.
GG
That’s great, Tom!
(to others)
You hear that everybody? The
panel has voted to give us the
last permit! We’re still in business!
Crowd cheers and high-fives each other and all light fresh
joints and further becloud the air and their minds.
SLOOPER
(looking around)
Have you got a paper sack?
I want to take some of this fog
home with me.
GG
Get the lady a paper sack.
BETH looks on the shelf behind the table and finds a paper
sack some of the food came in. She gives it to Slooper.
BETH
Here you go, Ms. Slooper.
SLOOPER takes the sack, opens it, and proceeds to catch
smoke in it. Helpful others obligingly blow smoke in the
24
sack as she holds it open and she closes it and twists the
top shut. Everyone applauds and she grins broadly.
GG
(aside to PLOTT)
Tom, I think some of the ladies
have had too much Chablis. Let’s
have Jack drive you guys back to
City Hall.
PLOTT
(grinning)
Sure, Grandpa. Better safe than
sorry, right?
CAMERA on trio as they leave stoned out of their minds. All
wear wide grins and appear stoned. JACK guides them toward
their van.
GG, et al, raise a mighty shout, clench fists, high-fives
all around.
GG
We did it, boys! Grandpa Ganja’s
Emporium is risen like the Phoenix!
Beth, give everybody an eighth
of Panama Red on the house!
All cheer and CAMERA draws back on a scene of joy and
exuberance.
The End
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