"The Wrong Man" continued...


RETURN TO PART 1

{Scene: Gary walking the streets of Chicago...}

CHUCK: You’re making it up.

GARY: Well, its right here in black and white. Partner in brokerage firm found murdered late Tuesday night at the firm of Strauss & Associates....

{We see, in muted colors, how the murder happened while Gary continues to read the article...}

GARY: Vice President Philip Pritchard was shot dead.

{see someone dragging Pritchard’s body out of an elevator}

GARY: The bullet-riddled corpse was discovered early the next morning by his secretary.

{see Pritchard’s body in a chair at his desk. Employees are gathered around.}

GARY: Trading was suspended, as grief-stricken Strauss & Associates employees spent the day in mourning.

{The “grieving employees” are seen drinking champagne and celebrating around Pritchard’s dead body.}

GARY: Based on initial evidence, Police suspect a disgruntled employee is responsible.

CHUCK: Ha, ha, ha. Somebody’s gonna whack Pritchard! I can’t believe it took this long.

GARY: I don’t want to do it.

CHUCK: Excuse me?

GARY: I don’t wanna save him.

CHUCK: You don’t want... You? Gary Hobson? Cub Scout to the world?

GARY: There’s not a reason in the world why I *should.* The guy made *my* life miserable, he makes *everybody’s* life miserable.

CHUCK: Gary, listen...

GARY: He’s marrying my wife.

CHUCK: Your *ex* wife. *Ex.* Look, Gary, Gary. I know, I’m the one who usually says ok, let this person - this angel of mercy - do the world a favor by plugging Pritchard full of lead. But...I know you. I know your style. You’re not gonna want to see Harrison, or any other sap for that matter, go to the chair for offing Pritchard. You got no choice.

{Scene change: Strauss & Associates. Gary and Chuck try to warn Pritchard...}

SAM: Nothing for you today Mr Hobson.

GARY: What?

SAM: No mail. But, about that other thing. Misfiled mail. Nothin’ yet, but I’m on it.

PRITCHARD: Hobson.

{Pritchard starts to run away from Gary, heading to the executive washroom....}

GARY: Pritchard.

PRITCHARD: Stay away from me Hobson!

GARY: Look, Pritchard. Wait a second!

PRITCHARD: Leave me alone! Stay away from me.

GARY: I just need to talk to you a second.

{... where he locks himself in...}

PRITCHARD: Leave me alone, Hobson.

GARY: You need to hear this, it’s important.

PRITCHARD: I mean it!

GARY: You’re gonna get hurt.

{Chuck walks back into the scene...}

GARY: Did you hear me? Someone’s gonna kill ya. Today.

PRITCHARD: Don’t you threaten me in my office, Hobson.

GARY: Did I threaten him?

CHUCK: Well, ah, you know, well, yeah.

PRITCHARD: I got witnesses. Fishman, you out there? You hear this?

CHUCK: Ah, yes, sir, every word.

PRITCHARD: What’s this? Shingles? I’m getting shingles cause of you, Hobson. You’re gonna hear from my lawyer.

{Pritchard pulls out a phone and starts dialing...}

PRITCHARD: Get me building security.

{Scene change: Gary getting tossed out of building by two security guys.}

CHUCK: Excuse me.

SECURITY GUARD#1: You’re excused.

GARY: I’m done. I did everything I could, I give up on the guy.

CHUCK: You did your best.

GARY: You know, I got plenty of people in here. People who *deserve* to be saved. “Food Poisoning strikes Restaurant. Twelve Hospitalized with Salmonella” There’s my afternoon. You want to give him a hand, you go right ahead. But I’m through. I’m finished. If I never see Phil Pritchard again, it’ll be too soon.

{Scene change: Kitchen of French restaurant...}

HENRI: Public is not allowed back here, this is my kitchen. Out.

GARY: Look, I’m telling you, your chicken’s bad, you can’t serve it.

HENRI: You do not tell Henri what to sell. There is *nothing* wrong with my chicken. My chicken is *good* chicken. *Robust* chicken.

GARY: Well, someone left your chicken out, you’re gonna give these people Salmonella.

HENRI: Michel, was the chicken left out today?

{Michel shakes head “no”.}

HENRI: There you go. Now, you excuse me. I have got a full house.

{Gary looks frustrated and accidentally sticks his hand on the hot stove-top while leaning on it...}

{Scene change: Phil, Marcia, and Marcia’s parents (Mr. & Mrs. Roberts) eating dinner at French restaurant...}

MR ROBERTS: Well, I’ll messenger the prospectus over this afternoon, just...look at them.

PRITCHARD: No, it sounds perfect. You know, our company specializes in high-tech companies, so, it might be a good match.

{Phil notices Mrs. Roberts staring at his outbreak of Shingles...}

PRITCHARD: Squash accident.

MRS ROBERTS: Oh, that. I didn’t even notice.

MR ROBERTS: Well, I’m not looking for any special favors. Just know that, if you turn me down, the wedding’s off. Ha, ha, ha, ha....

MARCIA: Dad. No business, remember?

PRITCHARD: No, it’s ok honey, I don’t mind. Your father and I have a lot to talk about. Now, what do you think of the Escargot?

{Scene change: Kitchen. Henri instructs man to take the chicken-ka-bobs out.}

GARY: He’s lying. He left the chicken out, and he doesn’t want you to fire him.

HENRI: Are you from the department of health?

GARY: Well, no, I’m not from the department...

HENRI: Then you leave. Or would you like Michel to show you the door?

GARY: Please. Just *look* at the chicken.

HENRI: Too late. It’s gone.

{Scene change: Dining area. Pritchard is giving a toast. In the background the chicken-ka-bobs are being lighted...}

PRITCHARD: Here’s to my beautiful Fiancee. And, her amazing parents, who have raised such a wonderful kid. Ha, ha, ha.

{In background is Gary struggling with waiter over the chicken...}

GARY: I’ll take that.

WAITER: What are you doing?

PRITCHARD: Today my life is complete.

GARY: They’re *bad.*

PRITCHARD: And I feel truly blessed.

{The flaming Ka-bobs get away from Gary and the Waiter and go flying across the room, stabbing themselves into Pritchard’s table, the last one catching Pritchard’s sleeve, pinning him to the table and catching his sleeve on fire.}

PRITCHARD: Aaaaahhhhh! Help! Help me! Help me! Help! Help me!

MARCIA: Mom...

{Mrs Roberts tosses her glass of Brandy on the fire...}

PRITCHARD: No, not the Brandy! Aaaahhhh. Aaaahhhh. Aaaahhh. Help! Someone! Help me!

{Gary rushes to the rescue, pulling a tablecloth off of someone else’s table and throwing it over the flaming Pritchard, pulling him to the ground. Gary takes the tablecloth off of a stunned Pritchard and realizes, too late, who it is. As Marcia and her parents look at Gary in shock and disbelief, he tries to non-verbally explain that he didn’t know it was Pritchard....cut to commercial.}


{Scene change: Chuck talking to Gary at the visiting area of the jail.}

GARY: That’s what friends do, Chuck. They bail each other out.

CHUCK: I know, Gar, but I’m sorry. It’s just that, I’m not liquid right now. It’s a temporary thing.

GARY: Temporary? How temporary?

CHUCK: A week.

GARY: A week?

CHUCK: I tried to tell them it was your first public disturbance offence, but they wouldn’t budge.

GUARD AT JAIL: Gary Hobson? You made bail.

{Scene change: Gary and Chuck on their way out of police station, meeting Marcia, who has bailed him out.}

MARCIA: It’s over. My engagement. Canceled. Phil called the whole thing off.

{Marcia starts to leave, Gary and Chuck follow...}

GARY: Look, Marcia. I’m sorry, I...

CHUCK: What are you apologizing for? It’s not your fault.

MARCIA: Yes, it is.

GARY: It’s *my* fault?

MARCIA: Phil told me that he didn’t want to get married if it meant he had to spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for you...

{As Marcia goes through a swinging door, she gives it a good push backwards, whacking Gary in the legs.}

MARCIA: ...thank you very much. He’s scared of you, Gary.

CHUCK: It’s those impulses, I’m tellin’ you.

GARY: Look, Marcia. I didn’t mean to hurt the guy. It was a squash court. It’s a game. And that restaurant, I’m tellin’ ya....

CHUCK: And why were you in that restaurant again, Gary?

MARCIA: I don’t know what you were doing there. But I know you, Gary. You would *never* do anything to hurt anybody.

GARY: No, I wouldn’t.

CHUCK: No he wouldn’t.

MARCIA: Go talk to Phil.

GARY: Talk...Marcia, I don’t think the guy wants to see *me.*

MARCIA: You owe me. I just bailed you out. Let him know that you’re not gonna try and come after him.

GARY: Well, you...

MARCIA: He’s a mess, Gary. Please.

GARY: Well...

{Scene change: Strauss & Associates, after hours.}

GARY: Roger? It’s kinda late, you should be getting home, huh?

ROGER: Take it to Pritchard. He keeps me here till ten o’clock every night. Half of this stuff he never even reads.

GARY: Where is he? Is he here?

ROGER: You know, one of these days, someone should really teach him to treat his employees as human beings.

GARY: Roger. Maybe you should go home and get some rest before...something happens. I know what you’re planning on doing, Roger.

ROGER: What? You heard I’m quitting? Wow. No secrets in this place.

GARY: You’re quitting?

ROGER: Yeah. I’m giving my notice tomorrow. You know what convinced me? It was your friend Fishman.

GARY: Chuck?

ROGER: He was right. I found the source of my stress. This *job.* I’m not cut out for it. I’m gonna go get a job in a bookstore. I *like* books.

GARY: So, you’re not planning on...hurting Pritchard?

ROGER: Are you kidding? Pritchard’s not worth it. I mean, you know what the Dalai Lama says?

{Gary checks paper, and it still says Pritchard gets murdered....}

ROGER: All enemies are bound by the mastery of mind.

GARY: Where is he? Where is Pritchard?

ROGER: I think I saw him head down to the parking lot, just before you got here.

{Gary runs off towards parking lot....}

{Scene change: parking lot with Pritchard (who is tied up) and Sam (who is wielding a gun)...}

PRITCHARD: Please, please. Please don’t do this.

SAM: Oh, I see. Suddenly it’s “please,” and it’s “thank you.” *Now* you’re Mr. Polite. Well, now it’s too late.

PRITCHARD: Help me, somebody!!!!! Whatever you want, Sam, it’s yours. Just name it. Anything.

SAM: I want you to die.

PRITCHARD: Uh-huh. Anything else?

GARY: Hey, Sam!

PRITCHARD: Oh, Hobson. I don’t believe this.

SAM: Hi, Mr. Hobson. I hope you’re not here about your mail.

GARY: Hey, Sam? What are you doin’?

PRITCHARD: What does it look like? He’s gonna kill me.

SAM: We’re just having a little chat. Sorry, it’s...kinda private.

PRITCHARD: Don’t let him hurt me.

GARY: Just try and stay calm, would ya?

PRITCHARD: I’m not talking to you. Don’t let Hobson hurt me.

GARY: Hey, Sam? Why don’t you let him go, huh?

SAM: Can’t do it. Can I, Mr Pritchard. Can’t do it. You know, every week I put in for a promotion. *Every week.* All I wanna do is trade stocks.

GARY: Well, Sam, you gotta work your way up.

SAM: I’ve been in the mailroom for *nine* years.

GARY: Really?

SAM: Know what I do in my spare time? I buy and sell stocks. On paper, no money, but I keep track. I made 75 thousand dollars alone this month. On paper.

PRITCHARD: What? I never knew. I had no idea.

SAM: That’s right. You have no idea. *You* have no clue, and I’m still in the mailroom. That’s my life. When’s the last time you didn’t get your Wall Street Journal?

PRITCHARD: I don’t know.

SAM: He doesn’t know. *Never.* You *always* get your Journal. Every day. Even on Thursdays, when I wash your car. Even on Mondays, when I get your *cleaning.* So when’s it my turn, Mr. Pritchard? When’s my shot? You see, don’t you? This is why I gotta kill him.

GARY: Hey, Sam? Why don’t you give me the gun?

SAM: What?

GARY: Well, I’m not saying you gotta let him go, I’m, I’m just saying, give me the gun, huh? Look, if anybody should settle a score with this guy, it should be me.

SAM: Why?

GARY: I worked for this guy two years. *Every single day* he let me know what a lousy job I’m doing. Then my wife leaves me. I’m having a hard time. Pritchard here threatens to *fire* me, so I quit. Then the day before yesterday, you know what I find out? My ex-wife is remarrying. Guess who she’s marrying.

{Gary and Sam look at Pritchard.}

SAM: You’re right. *You* should shoot him.

PRITCHARD: No, don’t do it. It’s a trick. He’s crazy. He’s a lunatic.

SAM: You had to listen to two years of that? That’s verbal abuse. I’m tired.

GARY: Look, Sam. You know, why don’t you take a break. I mean, I’m sure your job will be here when you get back. Won’t it Pritchard?

PRITCHARD: Right. Whatever you want. Take a week, take a month. Paid vacation.

SAM: I could take some classes. Maybe get my broker’s license.

GARY: I don’t see why not. And I’m sure Strauss & Associates, they’d pick up the bill. Wouldn’t they?

PRITCHARD: Yeah, whatever it takes.

{Sam hands the gun to Gary and starts to leave...}

GARY: Hey, Sam. Get some rest. Hey, Sam! Don’t worry about the mail.

PRITCHARD: Oh, leave me alone, Hobson. I promise, I promise I’m not gonna marry Marcia. I’ll never speak to her again.

GARY: Wrong answer, Pritchard. Now, *you’re* gonna get on with *your* life, and *I’m* gonna get on with *mine.* But you *will* marry Marcia.

PRITCHARD: I will?

GARY: You’re gonna *promise* me you’re gonna marry Marcia, or I’m gonna plug ya full of holes.

PRITCHARD: I promise I’ll marry her. Now, can you untie me?

GARY: And you’re gonna treat her well. Promise!

PRITCHARD: I will, I promise.

GARY: And every day, you’re gonna tell yourself that you’re the luckiest man alive, cause you don’t deserve her, and she’s *far* too good for you. Say it!

PRITCHARD: I’m the luckiest man alive and I don’t deserve her.

GARY: All right.

{Gary unties Pritchard}

PRITCHARD: Thank you. Can you help me up, please? So...I can just go?

GARY: Yeah. Go on. Hey, Pritchard, one more thing. Maybe you should treat your employees with a little bit more respect, huh?

PRITCHARD: Don’t you push it, Hobson. I don’t need you to tell me how to run a business. That *stupid* mailroom kid, he was just a bad apple.

GARY: Uh-huh.

PRITCHARD: My employees love me.

{Pritchard pushes his car-alarm remote and his car explodes.}

{Scene change: Pritchard and Marcia’s wedding....with Chuck monologue.}

MONOLOGUE: My good friend, the Dalai Lama, says, that a wise man never feels out of place. Of course, the Dalai Lama never went to his ex-wife’s wedding.....

MR ROBERTS: I’m so proud. You know, I think I might cry.

{Mrs. Roberts looks wistfully back at Gary, who smiles at her....}

MRS ROBERTS: Me too.

{Phil looks around waiting for Marcia to show up. Gary checks his watch...}

CHUCK: So, she’s a little late.

GARY: Marcia’s never late.

MONOLOGUE: People will surprise you. Every single time. They will.

{Scene change: Pritchard on a lakeside bench...}

MONOLOGUE: They’re like the weather that way. They’ll change on you. Give you no warning whatsoever.

{Gary approaches and joins Pritchard on bench.}

PRITCHARD: She wasn’t right for me. She was getting into it for all the wrong reasons. I should have seen it coming.

GARY: You never see it coming.

PRITCHARD: Still, I guess its better I find out now, rather than three or four years down the road.

GARY: Oh, absolutely.

PRITCHARD: In a way, I’m better off. Not as invested.

GARY: That’s right. You get to move on. You get closure.

PRITCHARD: I envy you, though. You had the three or four years.

GARY: Yeah.

PRITCHARD: Did you ever see her dance?

GARY: Oh, yeah. Lots of times. Hey, did she ever take you to that Salsa joint?

PRITCHARD: Yeah, once. I couldn’t keep up with her, I wrenched my back.

GARY: Twisted my knee.

PRITCHARD: I really did love her.

GARY: Yeah, I know.

{Gary spies the flower guy from earlier and motions him over.}

MONOLOGUE: But even the experts can’t predict the weather.

{Scene change: Gary’s apartment. He is putting a rose in a jar and sticks himself with a thorn...}

MONOLOGUE: Ask three different experts, you get three different weather reports. That’s why you gotta give people the benefit of the doubt.

{Gary places rose next to the Meridian, contemplates himself in mirror, then looks at his wedding band...}

MONOLOGUE: Because no one, not even a guy who gets tomorrow’s paper, knows everything that’s gonna happen tomorrow.

{Gary removes the wedding band and places it in the nightstand drawer.}

CAT: Mrowrr....

[THE END]


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