‘Mel Schwartz, Bounty Hunter’ continued...

Written by Alex Taub; Directed by Todd Pfeiffer; (as "fanscribed" by Janet)

Pictures for "Mel Schwartz, Bounty Hunter"

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RETURN TO PART 1

Scene: Mel is cruising the streets in his van wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses. Two bikers pull away from a bar. Loud rock music is playing over the scene as Mel parks the van. The sign reads End of the Road Bar. Mel takes out a tape and puts it in the player.

Man on Tape: The search for your fugitive may take you to some strange and unusual places. Just keep telling yourself this - - wherever you are, you belong. A bounty hunter is not a tourist. A bounty hunter is a citizen of the world.

Mel: I am a citizen of the world. I am a citizen of the world.

Scene: Mel’s accounting firm offices. Gary enters. The secretary/receptionist is at her desk. Gary enters Mel’s private office.

Linda: Excuse me? What are you doing?

Gary: Oh, uh, I’m going in to see Mr. Schwartz.

Linda: You can’t go in there. You can’t be in here.

Gary: Where is he?

Linda: I don’t know.

Gary: What do you mean, you don’t know?

Linda: Skokie?

Gary: Skokie? Do you have any idea what your boss does for a hobby?

Linda: He’s a very private person. (Gary picks up Mel’s rolodex) What are you doing?

Gary: Your boss is going to get himself killed. I’m going to stop him before he does.

Linda: That is Mr. Schwartz’s private property.

Gary: Let me tell you something about Mr. Schwartz.

(Mrs. Schwartz’s voice is heard in the outer office.)

Mrs. Schwartz: Mel! Mel!

Gary: The wife. (Simultaneously with Linda while they both look at each other startled.)

Linda: The wife. (Returns to the outer office. Gary hides under the desk.)

Linda: Mrs. Schwartz. Is everything –

Mrs. Schwartz: Where is he? W-w-where’s Mel? I need to talk to him right now. The guy from the baby store totally flaked. (Camera shows Gary hiding under the desk, rolodex in hand. (Mrs. Schwartz enters the office crying and breathing hard. Looks faint.) The room’s a mess. I can’t find any of the phone numbers I need. Oh, God!

Linda: I’m sure he’ll be back any minute. (Mrs. Schwartz looks fainter.) Susan? Is everything okay?

Mrs. Schwartz: I haven’t eaten since breakfast.

Linda: (takes Mrs. Schwartz by the arm) Oh, well, let’s get you to the kitchen.

Mrs. Schwartz: Okay.

(Gary comes out from under the desk when they leave. Takes business card for Davlin’s Bail Bonds out of rolodex and puts it in his shirt pocket.)

Scene: Street outside bar. Mel exits the van and approaches the bar.

Mel: I am a citizen of the world. (Rock music playing. Shouting is heard.)

Man: Yeah! You got it!

(Two bikers are arm wrestling. Loser insults the winner.)

Biker One: Your elbow came off the table!

Biker Two: It did not!

Biker One: It did too!

Biker Two: You calling me a cheater?

Biker One: I’m calling you a swine-kissing, sister-stealing, tea-drinking cheater!

Biker Two: I don’t drink tea!

(One hits the other over the head and a fight ensues. Winner snatches bottle. A fight ensues.)

Biker One: Aah!

Biker Two: Uhh!

Biker One: Aah!

(Cheering erupts.)

Mel: I belong here. I’m a bounty hunter.

(Cheering and shouting)

Mel: I’m a citizen of the world. These are my people.

Scene: Mel enters the bar and approaches the bartender.

Man: Aah! Aah!

Mel: Excuse me. Hello? Over here. Hey, bubba.

Bartender: what?

Mel: I’m looking for someone - - Stumpy McNeill-- Big guy. Ponytail. Has he been in here lately?

Bartender: Who are you?

Mel: Look, I’m uh, a bounty hunter.

(Bikers continue their fight. Lots of glass and wood gets broken.)

Bartender: A what?

Mel: A bounty hunter. I’m a bounty hunter, all right?

Bartender: A bounty hunter!

(Music and shouting stop)

Scene: Crowd gathers around Mel as a biker drags him along the bar through bottles and glasses.

Biker: Careful now! Ooh, that’s glass! Whoo! Here we go, baby! (Lands Mel in a chair. Another biker ties him in the chair with rope.

(Laughing)

Woman biker takes his sunglasses off and puts them in Mel’s pocket. Another pats him on the head.

Woman Biker: Let me take those honey. Yeah, yeah! See ya!

(Two bikers shove the chair up against "caging" under the dartboard.)

Mel: I am making a citizen’s arrest. You are all under arrest. I do have that power.

Biker in ECW tee shirt: A little darts?

Mel: I think we’ve all learned an important lesson today. Can’t we just –

Biker: One…Two…Three (Gary’s folded newspaper appears in front of Mel’s face catching the dart.)

Gary: Uh, this is - - this is all a big misunderstanding.

Biker: There’s no misunderstanding. This guy’s a bounty hunter.

Gary: A bounty hunter? No, no, no, no. This guy’s no bounty - - he’s an accountant.

Mel: What are you doing? You’re killing my street cred.

Gary: Have you ever seen a bounty hunter? Look at this guy. Does he look like a bounty hunter?

Biker One: Nah. He don’t look like no bounty hunter…

Gary: Well, good. I’ll just untie him, then. (Starts to untie Mel.)

Biker One: But you do.

Gary: Well that’s a different story. Me? (Biker’s comment gets his attention.) No, no! I’m not a bounty hunter. I’m just a –Mel - - Mel, tell your friends here - - Tell them exac - -

(Biker grabs Gary around the throat with one arm. Mel takes advantage of the situation to crawl away and go out the door to his van.)

Biker One: Meat, you hold him, I’ll check his pockets.

Gary: Meat?

Biker One: Well, what do we got here? Davlin’s Bail Bonds.

Gary: That’s a mistake. You see, that shouldn’t be there. There’s a very funny story behind that actually, though, if you’d like to hear it.

(Mel runs to van and leaves. Distant punching sounds are heard.)

Scene: Psychiatrist’s office. Gary is sitting on the couch facing a group of psychiatrists, including his. His face is badly bruised.

Dr. Sunland: Why don’t you tell us what, uh - - what happened to you?

Gary: Oh, this? It was - - it was just a –just a misunderstanding.

Dr. Sunland: Go on.

Gary: Oh. Well, uh, you see, I had to go to this biker bar. (Looks uncomfortable) I mean, I didn’t want to go to the bar. Believe me, I didn’t want to go, but I had to help out a friend.

Dr. Sunland: Mel Schwartz?

Gary: That’s right. (Dr. Sunland leans back to confer with colleagues.)

Dr. Sunland: Tell us about Mel Schwartz. What’s it like when you see him?

Gary: What’s it like? I’ll tell you what, it’s a pain in the - - pain in the neck, is what it’s like.

(Scene switches back and forth between Gary and the psychiatrists.)

Dr. Sunland: Can’t you make him go away?

Gary: I wish I could, believe me.

Dr. Sunland: Is he, uh, here right now?

Gary: Who? (Starts to get funny look on his face.)

Dr. Sunland: Mel Schwartz.

Gary: Is he what?

Dr. Sunland: Is he in the room?

Gary: Are you Mel Schwartz? (Gets a half smile and starts talking fast. The man psychiatrist writes in his file. Gary points to each one of them in turn.) Are you Mel Schwartz? Are you? I don’t think so. I don’t think Mel Schwartz is in the room. No. The answer would be no. What’s he writing? (Points at man psychiatrist.)

Scene: Motel lobby. Mel is on the phone with Linda at the office. Camera switches back and forth between them. Desk Clerk has television blasting in background.

Mel: Linda, just calm down. Take it easy.

Linda: Don’t tell me to calm down. Every one of your clients has called today, two of the partners stopped by, and your wife is looking for you. I can’t keep telling people you’re in Skokie.

Mel: Just a couple more hours, then I’m back at the office.

Linda: Where are you?

Mel: Acres Motel on Lincoln - - but that’s for emergencies only.

Linda: Mel, this has to stop. You need to come back where you belong.

Mel: Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’ll see you this afternoon. Mel out.

(Mel shows mug shot to desk clerk. Clerk stares at television.)

Mel: So you’re sure this guy’s here?

Desk Clerk: Unit 51 - - Checked in yesterday.

Mel: Thanks, pal. Keep it on the Q.T.

Desk Clerk: Whatever.

Scene: Mel’s office. Mrs. Schwartz is talking to Linda.

Mrs. Schwartz: I need to see my husband.

Linda: He’s not here.

Mrs. Schwartz: Where is he, Linda? And don’t tell me Skokie! Is he having an affair?

Linda: No.

Mrs. Schwartz: Is he seeing someone else? Is he leaving me?

Linda: Oh, no. He’s just - -

Mrs. Schwartz: Linda, I’m begging you. I am 9 months pregnant, but I will get down on my knees and beg. Where is my husband?

Linda: He’s at…

Mrs. Schwartz: (Sees note on Linda’s blotter about where Mel is at) A motel.

Scene: McGinty’s office. Marissa is seated at her desk listening to Gary as he paces and complains about the psychiatrists.

Marissa: Calm down, Gary.

Gary: Calm down? It was a disaster. Ten to one those people are talking about locking me up, and you know the crazy part?

Marissa: Crazy part?

Gary: I might not be a bad idea. A couple of weeks in a psych ward seems like a vacation about now.

Marissa: Oh, yeah - - right up until the point where they give you electroshock therapy.

Gary: They still do that? (Has the "deer trapped in the headlights look" on his face.)

Marissa: (smiling) Oh, yeah.

(Gary looks at his paper. Headline reads Amateur bounty hunter disappears; feared dead)

Gary: Amateur Bounty Hunter disappears. You’re killing me Mel.

Scene: Exterior of the Acres Motel. Mel is retrieving equipment/supplies from his van. Stumpy McNeil is soaking in a bubble bath. Television is airing wrestling match.

Mel: handcuffs…pepper spray, leg irons.

Announcer: Roundhouse - - super-kick on Jenning.

(Stumpy belches.)

Announcer: Reversal by Langstrom, dropped down - - knee to the back.

(Mel outside Stumpy’s door. Tears wrapping off a package with his teeth. Takes out a lock pick. Picks the lock on Stumpy’s door and enters the messy room. Goes through the door to the bathroom. A cigar stub is on the floor by the tub.)

Stumpy: Are you looking for me?

Mel: Aah!

Stumpy: Who sent you? How’d you find me? (Is choking Mel)

Mel: Aah!

Stumpy: Who ratted me out?

(Gary enters the room and confronts Stumpy as he’s drowning Mel.)

Gary: Hey! Let him go.

Stumpy: Who are you?

(Gary enters the room.)

Gary: Me?

Stumpy: I’m going to kill you. (Slips on the wet floor.) Whoa! (Falls and knocks himself out)

Gary: Stumpy?

Mel: I was doing just fine without you. I had the situation…under control

Gary: Oh, right.

Mel: I got here first you know. Leg irons.

(Mrs. Schwartz arrives by cab. Appears to be very angry. Slams car door. Tugs are her purse strap before entering the motel room. The three guys are on the bed. Gary and Stumpy are sitting up and Mel is reclining. Stumpy holds an icepack in one hand.)

Mrs. Schwartz: Oh, my God.

Mel: Susan.

Mrs. Schwartz: Melvin?

Mel: I-it’s not what you think.

Mrs. Schwartz: You’re - - you’re - -

Mel: Honey, love of my life, I’ve got something to tell you.

Mrs. Schwartz: I don’t want to hear this. (Puts her hands over her ears.)

Mel: I’m a bounty hunter.

Gary: If it’s any consolation, Mrs. Schwartz, he’s not very good at it.

Stumpy: No. He’s not.

Mel: Honey, close the door. (She does so.) Just don’t overreact.

Mrs. Schwartz: I go to bed with an accountant, I wake up with a bounty hunter. I don’t think I’m overreacting.

Mel: I’m and accountant and a bounty hunter. (Pours a glass of water for his wife.) I’m a hyphenate.

Mrs. Schwartz: But Why?

Mel: I walk into dinner parties, people ask me what I do for a living. I get the polite nod, and they head for the hors d’oeuvrres. That’s okay. Goes with the territory. But lately, I’ve been boring myself.

Mrs. Schwartz: Oh, Mel.

Mel: When I was 9 years old, I wanted to be an FBI agent. I sent them a letter and everything.

Mrs. Schwartz: Mel, everybody wants to be an FBI agent when they’re 9.

Stumpy: Not me.

Gary: Quiet.

Mel: This is my last chance, Susan. We’re going to have this kid, and when he looks up at me, I want him to see someone he can be proud of, someone who’s had adventure, someone he finds exciting.

Stumpy: That’s just wrong-headed thinking.

Mel: You mind?

Stumpy: You think you had an adventure today? If it wasn’t for this guy, you’d be dead. How’s that for an adventure?

Mel: (To his wife)That’s not true, honey. (To Stumpy) What do you know?

Stumpy: More than you think. I’ve got two kids, and believe me, they don’t want you chasing known felons. They want you home, they want to have dinner with you, and they want to show you the finger painting they did.

Mel: I don’t need this. Where’s my pepper spray? (Pats pockets.)

Gary: I…I’ve got to say, Mel, that I agree with him.

Mel: Not you, too?

Mrs. Schwartz: Mel, forget them. Listen to me. I’m proud of you. I’ve always been proud of you. You’re smart, you’re responsible, you’re loyal.

Mel: Those are just code words for boring.

Mrs. Schwartz: No - - never boring. (Gets up and hugs Mel.) This baby, he’s going to be lucky to have a dad like you. (Stricken look.) Uh, oh.

Mel: What:

Mrs. Schwartz: You want adventure, Mel? You want excitement?

Mel: I do. (Breaks off embrace.)

Mrs. Schwartz: Then get me to the hospital. My water just broke.

Scene: Exterior of motel. Quartet heads for the minivan. Mel is helping his wife while Gary and Stumpy follow.

Mrs. Schwartz: We’re never going to make it!

Stumpy: Let me drive.

Mel: Do you think I’m an idiot?

Stumpy: You know what I did time for. Armed robbery. I was a getaway driver. (Looks at Gary) Tell him.

Gary: Don’t look at me.

Stumpy: We’ve got 15 miles to the hospital, rush hour traffic, a baby on the way. If you want to get there before you become a dad, let me drive!

Mrs. Schwartz: Mel, let him drive!

Mel: Don’t screw around here. I’ve still got the pepper spray.

Stumpy: Get in the car.

Mrs. Schwartz: Mel, hurry up!

(Gary watches anxiously as Mrs. Schwartz gets into back seat of the van.)

Mel: You in, honey?

Stumpy: Come on. Let’s go.

(Horns honk as he pulls out into the traffic.)

Scene: Hospital corridor outside nursery window. Stumpy, Gary & Mel are looking at the babies.

Stumpy: Look at that little guy. Got your eyes bro. Look at that noggin. (Mel and Gary look at Stumpy.) Don’t you see ‘em?

Gary: Oh, uh, uh, yeah.

Stumpy: That’s going to be one smart kid. (Two cops arrive.) Uh, here comes my ride. Hi, fellas.

Mel: Listen, Odessa - -

Stumpy: Call me Stumpy.

Mel: When you get settled, I’m going to come visit, set up that college fund for your kids, Insurance trust - - the works.

Stumpy: I don’t know. I don’t have a lot of savings.

Mel: You’ve go time, and with compounding interest, your boys will be all right.

Stumpy: Hey, thanks. (Turns to Gary.) Keep him out of trouble, will you?

Gary: Well, yeah. I’ll try.

Stumpy: All right, guys. Listen - - if you’ll let me drive, I’ll show you a whole bunch of shortcuts.

(Stumpy and the cops leave.)

(Mel and Gary still standing by nursery window.)

Gary: Congratulations.

Mel: He’s really something, isn’t he?

Gary: Yes, he is. Say, you’re not going to be doing any more of the bounty hunting?

Mel: No.

Gary: Good.

Mel: Somewhere between the motel and the hospital I reclaimed my sanity. In fact, I-I want you to have these - - the bounty hunter course.

Gary: Oh.

Mel: most of them, anyway. My way of saying thanks for saving my life back there…

Gary: Yeah, well, you’re welcome.

Mel: And in the bar…

Gary: Yeah.

Mel: And in the alley.

Gary: Right.

Mel: If there’s ever anything I can do for you - -

Gary: No, that’s all right. Really. You’ve done enough. (Spots Dr. Sunland down the corridor.) Well as a matter of fact there is. Come here. (Pulls Mel down the corridor to Dr. Sunland.) Dr. Sunland?

Dr. Sunland: Mr. Hobson.

Gary: I-I’d like you to meet Mel - - Mel Schwartz.

Dr. Sunland: Mel? This is Mel?

Mel: Mel Schwartz, in the flesh. Pleasure to meet you.

Dr. Sunland: As in Accountant-turned-bounty hunter Mel Schwartz?

Mel: That’s me. I’m just an accountant these days. Your friend convinced me to retire from that craziness.

Gary: Go ahead. Show her some I.D.

Woman: Mr. Schwartz, your wife is asking for you.

Mel: I’ll be right there. What do you need?

Dr. Sunland: Forget it. I believe you. Go on, go on.

Mel: (to Gary) Thanks again. (Runs off down the hall to his wife’s room)

Dr. Sunland: Looks like I owe you an apology.

Gary: Yeah. Why don’t you tell it to the judge?

Dr. Sunland: I’ll file my report as soon as I get back.

Gary: Good. Good.

Dr. Sunland: Are you free Wednesday afternoons?

Gary: How’s that?

Dr. Sunland: I no longer believe you pose a threat to yourself or the society at large, but it’s my professional opinion that you could use some therapy - - lots of therapy.

Gary: Really? (Indignantly)

Dr. Sunland: Look - - in case you change your mind…

Gary: No, thank you. (Starts to leave but turns back and takes her card. Walks down the hall and stops at trash barrel. Drops the tapes Mel gave him in the trash but keeps looking at doctor’s business card. Pauses outside Mrs. Schwartz’s room. Mel is standing on the far side of the bed leaning over toward his wife who is sitting up in bed holding the baby.)

Man on Tape: Chasing fugitives is not for everyone. It may not be the job for you. What’s important in this life is that you’re honest with yourself. It’s like my daddy used to say - - wherever you go, whatever you do, be happy in your work.

THE END


Many thanks to Janet for sharing her fanscription of "Mel Schwartz, Bounty Hunter" – Thank you!


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