INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – SUMMER DAY

Abel, in the back of the car and little brother Rem, sitting passenger side next to Pops. Pops gives Rem a small cup of apple juice with a straw. Rem gradually takes the cup and looks up at Pops with a smile, Pops smiles back.

FROM THE HEAD MIRROR

Pop’s eyes direct at Abel.

Abel leans in towards Rem, and holds the cup for him. Rem drinks.

POPS
You wanna get something to eat before I go to work?

ABEL
Sure, if you got the time.

POPS
(looks at his watch) We’re good. We’ve got thirty minutes.

(snaps his fingers) Sal’s? Chicken Parmigiana sandwich?

Abel smiles, he shakes his head.

POPS (CONT’D)
(smiles, at Casper now) What you think, Rem? Want a chicken parmigiana sandwich, yeah?

Rem looks at Pops, he stares blankly for a moment and then says “si.”

POPS (CONT’D)
Nice… I ain’t crazy about those guys sometimes. (to Abel)

Remember last time? They overcharged by the tax. They’re sneaky, those guys. But their food’s good. It’s fine, I always get them realizing, yeah? (beat)

Rem, want some tunes?

Pops turns on the radio, he switches till he gets to the classic station. The Platters’ ‘‘Harbor Lights’’ plays.

EXT – SAL’S BROOKLYN PIZZERIA – WITHIN COUPLE MINUTES

As Pops is parking the car, another song from The Platters jams in high volume—“Enchanted.”

INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – CONTINUOUS

Pops pats Rem on the head. He looks back at Abel.

POPS
Stay put, I’ll be back.

ABEL
Cool.

Pops gets out of the car. FOLLOWING HIM from Abel’s point of view. Abel leans over to Rem, both boys listening to the music. Abel’s eyes follow his Pops, as Pops enters Sal’s.

ON THE FRONT DOOR OF SAL’S PIZZERIA

Three customers stand by the side, waiting for their orders. Pops, as round and big as he is, makes his entrance.

INT – SAL’S PIZZERIA – CONTINUOUS

Pops, facing the COUNTER MAN, who’s wiping the glass counter with an old, soiled towel. The Counter Man notices Pops.

COUNTER MAN
Yeah, what can I get ya?

POPS
Three chicken parmigiana sandwiches, on the go. (quickly realizes)
Oh, and toast the bun, please.

COUNTER MAN
(as he’s walking) Three chicken parmigiana sandwiches, gotcha.

POPS
Toasted bun, please.
Pops turns himself around, facing the restaurant side of the pizzeria.

FROM POP’S POV
An elegant Italian restaurant. Packed of people, including a cop sitting in, eating veal with lemon squirted penne.

INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – CONTINUOUS
Abel wording the lyrics to “Enchanted.” Rem drinks his juice and rocks himself back and forth.

ABEL
(smiling at Rem)
You like this? It’s a classic.

Rem continues rocking back and forth.

ABEL (CONT’D)
This is my shit Rem, I’m telling ya.
The song comes to an end. Classic hits now plays “It Just Happened that Way” by Dean Martin.

ABEL (CONT’D)
(laughs)

Ah damn, this is a good station.

Abel stares out the driver window, noticing three little boys.

ON THE THREE LITTLE BOYS
One’s leading, dribbling a basketball. The one closest behind him, steals the ball. Two of the boys circle the boy with the ball, trying to grab it from him.

INT – SAL’S PIZZERIA – CONTINUOUS
Counter man brings a bag of the ordered chicken parmigiana sandwiches Pops ordered.

POPS
You toast the bread?

COUNTER MAN
Yeah, it’s toasted.

Counter Man functions with the register.

COUNTER MAN (CONT’D)
All together is $23.97.

POPS
Huh? $23.97 —
(chuckles)
You’re going over by $65 cents —

INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – CONTINUOUS

Suddenly Abel’s attention goes to the front door of Sal’s pizzeria. From what he’s seeing: Pop’s voice rising, his arms waving, his head’s sweaty.

BACK TO POPS and the COUNTER MAN.

POPS
Every time I come here, I swear (kisses his fingers) – to my mother, this always happens. You can’t overcharge me on the tax. You’re raising up $65 cents. Now, if this was the first time this was happening, I wouldn’t give a care in the world. But this is the fifth time this is happening.

COUNTER MAN
Listen guy, I don’t make the rules here –

POPS
Rules? What fuckin’ rules? You’re pressing the buttons, estimating the damn price? Are you not?
(MORE)

POPS (CONT’D)
(beat) Are you not? Are you –

COUNTER MAN
(interrupts) Look man, people want their food too –

POPS
(interrupts) Tell me why you guys always overcharge here? Let me talk to Sal. Bring Sal, alright?
Just bring Sal. (waves his hand at the Counter Man)
Just go. Just go. Bring Sal.

Counter Man goes to the back…. Suddenly SAL CALZZITO, the owner, (middle age, bald Italian and Palestinian mix) emerges from behind the counter.

SAL
Oh, this guy. What’s going on? What’s up? Talk to me.

POPS
I ordered three sandwiches alright. Tax only goes for 58 cents more, I know, I check every time I order here. You raising it up an extra 65 cents. You understand what I’m sayin’?

SAL
You’re busting my guy’s balls over a tax raise? It is what it comes out to. You have to pay it, there’s no raise in that.

Pops moves away, his face pulps red.

POPS
You’re telling me you didn’t just overcharge me by 65 cents extra?

(laughs to himself) You guys rip people off, and you know it. Either it’s a goddamn tax, or it’s the actual price when you have your un-fuckin’ valued specials, which you’re not fooling anybody. You can get a better bargain on the sausages for a side platter than with the caponata dish. You’re con men, you understand?

SAL
We’re no con men asshole, you want to accuse me for being a con man? Then get the fuck out of my restaurant.

POPS
You’re gonna waste my time? I come here and now I’m gonna walk out? You sum the price up again, right in front of me. I know –

Guy from behind interjects.

GUY
Man, it’s just —

POPS
(to the Guy, subtly)
Shut up –
(to Sal)
I know right from wrong. And what you’ve been doing to me every time I come here, is wrong. I just want to pay as it should be paid, the way it’s calculated, without an overcharge.

SAL
Then take the damn sandwiches, don’t pay. I don’t want your money.

POPS
You don’t want my money? (laughs)

You’re something else. Okay, how’s ‘bout then I take these sandwiches, without having to give you a damn dime? And I’m out, and I’m never coming back to this fuckin’ place.

Pops grabs the bag of sandwiches and walks to the car.

Sal shouts:

SAL
He’s taking the food! He hasn’t paid!

INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – CONTINUOUS

Pops aggressively shuts the door. He shuts the station off and starts the car. Mumbling to himself all the curses in the world. Abel backs away, neither he nor Rem make a sound.

Sal runs out the pizzeria with the COP.

SAL
This motherfucker took the food without paying!

POPS
(to himself)
The fuck —

(to Sal and the cop)
No, no, no, no, no.

(MORE)

POPS (CONT’D)
I didn’t steal shit, he just told me to leave with the food, without paying.

Sal yelling from Rem’s side.

SAL
You’re a fuckin’ thief!

POPS
You callin’ me a thief in front of my kid right now? You fuckin’ insane? Back the fuck off!

COP
Sir, you leave with that, I’m going to have no choice but to arrest you. Come on.

POPS
Arrest me? The guy told me to leave with the food without paying!

Abel slightly heads in, and says:

ABEL
Pa, you have to go to work…

Pops doesn’t acknowledge, he continues barking at Sal and the cop.

POPS
I’m sorry officer, but I ain’t paying. He said take the food and don’t pay. He didn’t want my money.

As Pops starts the engine.

COP
Sir, you got your two boys here, you really want to cause a scene in front of them? Come on guy.

Let’s settle this quietly —

POPS
You wanna settle?

Pops gets out of the car, a passing car nearly driving into him. It halts immediately and the driver shouts at Pops. Pops shouts back at the driver and the driver drives away. Pops approaches Sal and the Cop.

Suddenly Rem plays the station and the music roars loudly. Abel reaches to turn it off, and suddenly Rem begins crying.

ABEL
Rem, stop.

Rem is crying, Abel holds him, trying to calm him down.

Pops facing off against Sal.

POPS
You son-of-a-bitch, you’re fucked up. You’re telling him I’m a thief when you’re the one telling me to leave with the food? Fuck you!

SAL
Fuck me?

Sal gets in Pops’ face, the cop emerges.

Pops shoves Sal.

POPS
You gonna try that shit in front of my boys? Motherfucker, I will fuck you up!

SAL
You give me my money!

Pops walks away.

POPS
God damn it!

He walks back to the cop and Sal.

ABEL
Dad, you’re gonna be late!

POPS
(to Abel)
Don’t talk!
(to Sal)
Alright asshole, lemme pay you and get outta here.

The Cop, Pops, and Sal walk into the pizzeria.

FROM ABEL’S POV
Sal going behind the counter. A crowd of people are standing inside too. Pops looks at the Cop.

POPS (CONT’D)
You gotta understand officer, it’s every time I come here, they pull this shit.

SAL
Then why do you come here?!?

POPS
Because I like your sauce!

Pops leans to the counter and pays Sal.

Pops immediately storms out and comes to the car.

He enters. He turns the station off and starts the engine.

Pops pats Rem on the back, calming him. Abel sits in the back, quiet. The cop approaches Pops.

COP
Listen, I couldn’t just let you walk out without paying. Whatever he said, it’s just basic law, man.

POPS
It’s fine, I ain’t coming here again. Good sauce or not, I’ll find another.

COP
Try Romeo’s.

The car drives away.

INT – ‘97 CHEVROLET – CONTINUOUS

Pops is driving and everyone’s quiet.

POPS
(beat)
The guy’s an asshole.

Abel chuckles, so does Pops.

POPS (CONT’D)
People think they can just take extra from you. Without you knowing.
(beat)
People think of each other as idiots when it comes to buying or selling. 65 cents ain’t nothing, but the idea of him tryna pull that shit with me again. Doesn’t work. Not with me.
(beat)
How much time I got?

ABEL
I dunno, I don’t have a watch.

POPS
Oh yeah.

Pops checks his watch.

POPS (CONT’D)
Shit, fifteen minutes. I gotta eat home, I can’t while I’m driving to work. You feed Rem, yeah?

ABEL

POPS
Don’t tell your mom about what just happened, yeah?

ABEL
Got no reason to.

Pops looks out the street and Abel and Rem gaze out their windows.

POPS

Daniel Luis Ennab’s script “Real Hurt Street” won first prize in the Fourth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. Daniel is a Junior majoring in Film/Video at SVA.