All posts by admin

Shuffle

I was 10 or so, another few weeks in summer on The Cape, in a cabin. Mom, Aunt Nancy and Nana there.  Much beach frivolity, but none better than cribbage night.  And I mean none better.

Mom, Nancy and Nana would sit around a formica clad kitchen table and the board would come out and the cards would be dealt.  But not before the shuffle, which was my favorite part.  Mom had the “Bridge” shuffle, a sort of high arc where the cards would cascade down into a pack. It’s complicated and my preferred methodology of the shuffle; split the deck, half in one hand half in the other.   Feather the cards into one another and arc up your hands to make the bridge and they all shuffle down together.  Very deft.  It was like art; unexplainable why you liked it, but beautiful at the same time, cards just dancing.  

Nancy had the “Nudge”, cut, cut and cut, then a semi chop bridge shuffle.  She’d peel up the corners of the cards, feather them, interspersing them and then nudge them all back together and rinse and repeat.  

Nana had the “chop” shuffle like you’ve never seen.  Half the cards in one hand, half in the other and she would chop them together, repeatedly, like she was cutting carrots.  It was so inelegant, but so effective.  Chop, chop, chop.  A deck would succumb and be mixed.

They say it takes 7 shuffles to mix up 52 cards right.  Statistically speaking, Casino wise.  Nana could do it in three chops.  

Hours would go by as the three played for blood and rights.  It was no holds bared.  Deathmatch.  After all, it was cribbage.  Shuffles ensued, one blaming the other for a bad score based upon bad shuffles.  That’s what Cape Cod gamblers do.  As I remember the stakes were high: Who’s cooking breakfast in the morning.  Cigarettes are flying around, wine here and there.  Tense at best.  But it’s the Cape.  It’s hot and damp.  Humid.  If I had one memory of being 10 with my Mom, my Grandmother and my Aunt on the cape, it would be this one and I wouldn’t give it away for anything.

If you ever had one Cape Cod beach moment, this would be the one.

There’s nothing like the shuffle.  

The Boast

Mrs. met Grady on a Sunday morning.  He’s grizzled, certainly rough around the edges, plaid lumberjack shirt with suspenders, looks 80-ish, but perhaps quite older.  Anyone’s guess and nobody really knows.  But everyone knows him.  In a small suburban, almost rural town, in New England, everyone knows everyone.  Mrs. does not.  Newly married and just bought some land with her husband.  It’s 1963.  They want to build a home.  Have the plans, the contractor, but water.  Where is the water going to come from?  Out there there’s no water unless you find it on your own, deep underground.  A well, as it were. A cistern, whatever you want to call it, but a source, a source that will feed for an eternity.

Grady, Grady Gibbous as he’s known, meets Mrs. on the land on Sunday.  Her husband is off traveling the East Coast on a sales junket so it’s up to Mrs. to help oversee the infrastructural nature of building a home starting with water.  Grady finds water.  That’s what he’s done for decades.  They meet, exchange pleasantries, and Grady goes about his dowsing with little to no words.  He removes these two L shaped rods from his back pocket and starts roaming about the property.  Each in a hand, the rods are pointed out in front of him like two slinged guns. Pointing, laterally, at really nothing.  Just trudging about with these two divining rods in his hands, they stay  parallel to each other the entire time.  Mrs. asks him about the “process” if you can call it that.  Grady grumbles, “Ma’am, this is dowsing, dowsing for water.  When these two rods cross, X marks the spot for your water. Mind you, this may take a while.”  Probably the most he’s said in 40 years.  

An hour later as Mrs. followed Grady around, the rods crossed on the lower part of property, by the road and next to where the driveway would be.  Grady stood there for a moment as the rods were vibrating in an X formation and said, “This is it.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the pounder.”  Mrs. said, “What’s a pounder?”  Grady responded, “Ma’am, I don’t drill wells, I pound them.”  And left it that as he walked away.  Mrs. had a slew of questions, but held them each in as Grady rounded the corner and walked out of sight.  

Monday morning Mrs. was there to greet Grady as he drove up with a large truck, a derrick in fact, that looked like it came from the 30’s.  He pulled up to the “spot”, climbed out and began manually cranking a hoist that rose larger and larger, vertically into the sky.  It rose up 30 feet or so and then he fired up a generator of sorts and the woosh of the sound was deafening.  It hurumphed, crumbled, then sparked again and then went full bore, it was running whatever it was.  

Grady grabbed a lawn chair from the back of the truck, unfurled it and placed right next to the derrick.  He then pulled a lever and a large bit of some sort, a 7 inch in diameter, blunt object, slammed into the “spot” from the top of the tower and smashed into the ground.  Then it rose up again to the top and slammed back down into the ground again.  It was violent and constant.  But with each slam it went a few inches deeper.  And Grady was replete in his lawn chair as each hammer went down to strike the earth.  He had another, another lawn chair.  He got up as all the machinations were going on, pulled the other chair off the truck and set it down, open, next to him.  An invitation to have Mrs. sit and see the wonder.  Or at least so we would think.  Mrs. took the invitation and sat down next to Grady as the pounding ensued.  Not a word was spoken until Grady said, “Ma’am, I pound wells, I don’t drill.  If you drill, you go deep, deeper than you should have to.  When I pound I crack and cracking is the best thing, it opens up aquifers that you could never get to by drilling.”  Mrs. was sort of out of her depth, so to speak, and responded, “You drill for water, that’s what I think you do, not to tell you your business.”

Grady was nonplussed by the comment.  The bit on the derrick keeps pounding, shrunck…shrunck…shrunck.  They sat together, not a word spoken and 8 hours later, water, like an oil field strike, started shooting up out of the well.  

Grady got up and capped it as he had done a million times before.  Turned to Mrs. and said, “It’s all about making the cracks, not making the holes.” He brought down the derrick and drove off while Mrs. was still sitting in the lawn chair.  She still has the lawn chair.

A Film Screenplay Start “Juice” – All True

Opening Scene over credits and music (Rushmore-ish music? Graduate-like?)The kid is getting dressed. For now, we’ll call him Aaron.

C.U.’s the tie, jacket, buffs shoes. Don’t directly show the face. Clothing and shoes, etc., are semi-cheapish, slightly “off” style, not sophisticated, as in how a 16 year old would dress themselves up w/out guidance for a job interview.

Runs out of the house all dressed up.

[House is a nice suburban home in nice suburban setting. Think Dover in June.]

Jumps into a 1977 Chevy Malibu station wagon – Silver.

C.U.’s of key turning, engine rattling alive with the deep guttural tones of a 350 4 barrel, black exhaust pours out of the pipe. Then various CU’s from w/in the car, from deep in the back looking forward showing the detail of a late 70’s behemoth and others showing it’s styling; window roll down handle, glove box, radio, dash display, etc. The car is a character.

CU of a newspaper thrown on the passenger seat we can see job listings with one circled titled, “Marketing Opportunity” and then some sort of sale-sy ambiguous description.

Shots of driving through a beautiful small country town quickly montages to a small highway (Route 9) blowing by strip malls, Dunkin Donuts, etc.

He pulls into a parking lot with 2 of those temporary shed/office/trailer structures you see at construction sites. They are unmarked except for the 1 on the left that has a number (corresponding to the address in the ad) and a sign that says “Office”.

Credits and music end right when the car comes to a complete stop.

Aaron gets out of the car and pops up into a Medium CU where we clearly see his face for the first time.

He is young, 16 and looks younger than that. You can tell that he’s confused at the sparse shanty-like locale for a “Marketing” firm.

(Backstory: He’s 16, Alex P Keaton-ish, tired of mowing lawns and painting houses for summer work, thinks an “office” job, whatever that is he doesn’t really know, is the way to go. No more manual labor and something an adult would do.)

Outline:

Secratary Scene

Walks into “Office” trailer finds himself in a small room with a secratary sitting at a desk. There are cheesey motivational posters everywhere, she couldn’t be bothered, very disinterested. She “checks” him in, “…right, you called yesterday…blah, blah, blah…” Hands him some form to fill out. He does so while asking a few questions, possibly engaging her in finding out more about the position upfront. She barely even acknowledges his presence. It’s awkward for him.

The door to the office behind her and the obvious Boss comes out. He’s talking on a cellphone as he comes through the door. He’s very energetic, animated, in a suit. As he wisks thru the secretary’s space, he finishes his call and drops the phone on her desk and before heading out of the trailer, turns back to Aaron and introduces himself as the President of ‘blank’ Global Enterprises [need a name] and begins with his arm around him ranting in sort of a psuedo visionary/motivational speak type of manner as he is leading Aaron out of the trailer. He continues his Used Car salesman meets Gordon Gecko meets Tony Robbins visionary speech about his company and the world of commerce and making money and being powerful across the parking lot to trailer 2.

Classroom Scene

The door to Trailer 2 opens and Aaron is gestured in by the Boss. Inside it’s a small cramped “classroom” like setting. It’s filled w/ 15 people all around Aaron’s age, but looking a little older, from various demographics. (Remember, Aaron looks young-ish and more innocent and buttoned-up for his age)

Aaron is definitely the most dressed up in the room other than the Boss.

A “Direct Marketing” sales pitch is given to the classroom, much like the gibberish we heard from him walking from trailer 1 to 2. He explains that, “…this is a trial run, and assessment of you, the candidates and your place in the future of [blank] Global Enterprises. We want to see if you have what it takes to be an executive, a leader, a visionary, an overwhelmingly successful entrepreneur like me…blah, blah, blah.”

He explains that each candidate will be paired with another then teamed up with, “…our top Sales/Marketing representatives for a day long opportunity to see just how they are so successful and how you can be too.” The Boss then reads off the pairings and teams from a clipboard. Aaron is paired with George [need description of George] and they are teamed with Sales/Marketing Representatives, Patty and Trish (P&T).

Need some sort of death and dismemberment waiver signing right about here.

Everyone exits the classroom and we see 5 cars in the parking lot with a bunch of what look like 18 year olds dressed, mostly, extremely casually. We see P&T for the first time standing in front of an early 80’s white SS Monte Carlo with a T-Top.

P is naturally beautiful, but tough looking. Halter top and short jean cut-offs. T is more the Mary-Ann to P’s Ginger, but very much naturally attractive, Cleavaged tight top mini-skirt. Though both are naturally attractive, they sort of have that slightly trashy, Southie look to them. P smokes constantly. [more description and backstory on P & T needed]

Other Teams (possibly):

  • Another Girl/Girl Team (very competitive, for attention mostly, w/ P&T)
  •  2 Guy stoner Team
  • 2 Guy Jock future real corporate wankers Team
  • Boyfriend and Girlfriend team (They just are doing the job so that they can have sex away from their parents homes and he sort of “pimps” her (not real pimping, mind you) in order to close sales.

Introduction to P & T Scenes

[Descriptions to follow]

Dynamics with other Teams and introduction to them and some other key candidates like Aaron scenes

[Descriptions to follow]

Driving out Route 9 toward Worcester P&T, Aaron and George scenes. We’re finding out about the characters and more and more about their lives and what this job is all about.

[Descriptions to follow]

First “Good Deal” Scene

They wheel into a busy gas station/mini-mart parking lot in a seedier than would prefer area of Worcester.

They screech to a halt and almost mid-sentence, P&T simultaneously exit the car, with P, always the driver, hitting the trunk release button in the process (Maybe this is all slo-mo). We have a low angle Med. shot from behind the car as P&T both exit and make their way toward the trunk that is slowly, automatically raising the lid. We see the long doors of the 2 door Cutlass/Monte Carlo close in unison and P & T arrive at the trunk and each grab the lid precisely at the same time and just as it’s fully open. They strike their “Sales” pose and P shouts to a crowd of guys loitering in front of the mini-mart, “ Hey, you like good deals?”

CU from guys POV as he walks by the car on the passenger side making his way toward the trunk. He sees Aaron, seated on the passenger side in the back, peering out at him through the little square rear seat window. Aaron looks, young, a little scared and confused.

P&T start presenting their wares to the men and mini-mart gas station customers who have gathered at the trunk. This is the first time it is revealed what it is they really do for a living and what it is that they are “marketing “: Cheesey car stereo components, like EQ’s. Pool cues, housewares like pots and pans.

[Need more, think housewares and dumb “guy” stuff, sports memorabelia, etc. ]

More to the story to follow!

Why the film is called “Juice”?  Because Patty and Trish would drive down Route 9 after a sale, and the sales were all dicey at best, and would pump their fists out the t-top and scream “Juice!”  Juice was the  term for making a good sale.