Brad Donovan and Richard Brautigan
Reproduced here by permission of Brad Donovan, 2008.
NOTE: The following material may be protected under copyright. It is
used here for archival, educational, and research purposes, not for
commercial gain or public distribution. Individuals using this material
should respect the author's rights in any use of this material.
TRAILER is a comedy that takes place in an old park, where both the
trailers and their inhabitants have settled in for the duration. The
residents are a group that you would never invite for dinner: a quiet
veteran who makes mechanical fish (real fish make him nervous); a cranky
Art Deco Dwarf, a Ma and Pa couple who dress in tin foil whil awaiting
the UFOs; Borrower who has elevated mooching to a kind of sainthood; a
beautiful repossession agent (who would repo a cemetary for the back
rent); an All-American girl with a fondness for losers; plus an
assortment of outcasts that would showcase character actors or cameo
TRAILER has romance, slapstick sight gags, outer space, conflicts
between the "haves" and the "have-nots"—and a landlady whose hobby is
collecting Third Reich souvenirs (for instance, panzer teapots). In
addition, this film would be cheap toMAke, using second unit shots of a
trailer park, and some dozen interiors.
TRAILER pays tribute to the ordinary people who maintain a sense of
humor, or dignity while reduced to living in metal boxes—by laughing at
them, we can see ourselves.
Lee and Borrower stroll through a dumpy trailer park. Lee is a gritty,
aging cowboy, while Borrower is a zany, distracted-looking eccentric.
(SO): Music from the trailers they pass: tacky love songs, western themes, ad jingles
A newspaper delivery boy rides past on a bike. He smiles and waves to Borrower, then launches a paper toward a porch.
MS—Newspaper shatters window in a trailer.
Good arm too.
You know, I was a paperboy.
Really? I can't see you getting rid of all those papers.
That wasn't a problem. On collection day, I got them all back.
Instead of money?
Have you ever read a dollar bill? It just doesn't hold my interest.
TRACK—Lee and Borrower pass a series of people greeting the day in a
chaotic way. A woman watering flowers turns and soaks a jogger. A Fed-Ex
driver delivers a watermelon. An old-fashioned spinning clothes line
takes flight then crashes. As a car starts, a cat runs out, followed by
an alligator, and other beasts. Lee glowers, spits.
MS—Trailer window opens. A Lassie-type dog comes flying out.
VO: You let the damn dog out. It's your turn!
CU: Lee squints.
CU: Borrower waves at dog.
LS: Dog flying through space.
BORROWER: I always wanted a dog. Maybe I'll get one . . . cheer up. Today's my birthday.
(Lee squints, even more menacingly)
Yep! Today I'm one year behind in my rent.
(Lee squints. Lee begins walking in a gun-fighterish way, and he is
carrying a chain-saw. Borrower changes his style of walking to mimic
Lee's. As they walk past one trailer, we hear . . .)
(VO): I won't work with large birds. That's it!
I'm going over to Fraiser's to borrow something—anything—it's my birthday.
Nice chain saw. Can I have a look at it?
It's brand new.
I'll handle it with a mother's love.
(Lee squints. Then his eyes openwide for a moment as a Lassie-type dog goes flying by. He squints again.)
They walk past a trailer with a telescope sticking out of the roof. The
telescope scans silently back and forth. Then the telescope retracts
back into the trailer and a panel covers the opening that it came out
of. Borrower doesn't seem to notice.
Got a smoke?
Then you don't mind.
(Borrower removes a cigar, puts it in his mouth, bites it, and spits.)
Sure you don't mind? Got this from an old friend of yours.
(Lee squints. The afore-mentioned trailer roof opens again, the telescope emerges and tracks back and forth.)
Let's go borrow something from Fraiser. He should be awake by now.
From Fraiser—borrow what—a mechanical fish?
No, I only borrow things that . . . ah . . . people think they can part with, you know.
A typical mix of old furniture, book shelves, posters, etc. One wall
features an aquarium. Against another is a workkbench covered with tools
and small electronic devices. Toward the back of the trailer, of
course, there is a bedroom. In bed are Janet, the all-American girl, and
Fraiser, the protagonist. Fraiser is a Vietnam-era veteran who seldom
looses his temper. He is the trailer park handyman. At this moment he is
tossing and turning and having a nightmare.
That dream. It must be that awful dream about the war again.
(Janet sits up in bed.)
Fraiser, wake up! You're having that dream again.
INTERIOR OF A BOMBED-OUT OFFICE BUILDING
Fraiser in combat gear is running around the corner of a large counter
that has been shot full of holes. There is broken glass, shredded tape
and paper everywhere. Fraiser runs from behind the counter and there is
the sound of gunfire. He crouches behind a xerox machine and rolls a
hand grenade across the floor from behind the machine.
The next few motions are repeats of the previous ones, Fraiser leaning
out from behind the machine to roll a grenade across the floor over and
over three or four times.
INTERIOR FRAISER'S TRAILER
Janet cuddles Fraiser. There is a distant clanging noise. When the noise
gets close enough to be a clanging roar, Janet finally wakeks up
What's that? Fraiser! Fraiser!
(She says while shaking him.)
Fraiser, wake up!
(Opening his eyes.)
What is it?
You mean you don't hear that?
Of course I hear it. I hear it every morning—so what?
(Now the noise is shaking objects on the wall in the trailer.)
That's what I said, so what! That's how we start off the day here in the trailer park.
What is that noise?
It's a bulldozer. The landlady here drives it around the park every morning. Don't get excited. Go back to sleep.
Go back to sleep you say.
(Sitting up in bed.)
Well . . . yeah sure . . . go back to sleep.
(The clanging noise of the bulldozer receeds into the distance.)
EXTERIOR—TRAILER PARK—CLOSE-UP OF LANDLADY
As the bulldozer moves away one sees an iron cross painted on the back
of the driver's seat. The landlady, her face in profile, stares to the
left as she passes Borrower and Lee. Borrower salutes with an Heil
There is the sound of running water. Janet is fixing her hair in the bathroom mirror. We hear Fraiser's voice in the background.
I wonder . . . I wonder where it is. I don't know. I left it around here a minute ago. It couldn't just wander off somewhere.
Where is your toothbrush? I'd like to freshen up some. Say, are you the
sort that gets nervous it a girl wants to share your toothbrush?
No, not nervous at all, but I don't have a toothbrush. I've never had a
cavity. You don't need a toothbrush if you've never had a cavity.
(Speaking to herself.)
No cavities. Never! What am I getting myself into?
Fraiser enters carrying a mechanical fish that flaps and buzzes. He deposits the fish in the bathtub and looks satisfied.
There, that's my newest, and best I'd say.
Tell me if this is none of my business, but why do you make mechanical fish?
I don't like cats.
(With quick looks of surprise and grand self-assurance.)
Oh, I had in mind something more homey. Say real fish.
I used to have real fish. They kept me awake.
After a moment, there is a knock at the door. Janet opens the door and
in come Borrower and Lee. Borrower goes to the stove behind the counter
and begins making a pot of coffee. Lee sits down. Fraiser comes out
holding a mechanical fish.
How's it going, Fraiser?
Oh, Oh, OK.
Sleep OK with the landlady starting us off the same as usual this morning?
Oh, I slept OK. Some bad dreams.
Oh yes, the war. Always the war.
It ain't no picnic, war ain't. I have to say I was a bit scared during
the big one following old Blood and Guts through Italy. But in some ways
the war was good for me.
Yes, but you have to admit in some ways the war was bad for you too.
And it sure was ugly.
(Looking at camera.)
Some of the things a man goes through don't mske much sense.
Fraiser walks over to the fish tank and looks into it. The aquarium
emits a greenish light that makes Fraiser's face look eerie as he turns
his head and shadows pass over it. He is lost—and looking at a
mechanical fish that paddles around in the aquarium. The only sound is a
tiny whirring noise coming from the fish. He taps at the glass and
probes at the fish tentatively and continues staring. Gradually a proud
look comes over him. The fish quits circling and settles to the bottom
of the tank.
I hate that dream.
(Without knocking, into Fraiser's trailer enters Dwarf. He dresses always with a Liberace flare. He is angry.)
Anybody got a gun? I'm going to shoot my agent.
You should take the long view. It's a job and you get work.
But I don't work with large birds.
(At this remark everyone looks at Dwarf with an air of understanding.
Borrower serenely rests a hand on Dwarf's shoulder. Janet looks around
the trailer at Fraiser who is starting at his fish, at Lee who is
squinting at Borrower who is holding a cup of coffee, and at Dwarf who
keeps saying, "I won't work with large birds." Janet looks troubled.)
Come on folks. Let's leave Janet and Fraiser here alone for a moment. Let's go borrow something.
(Then with a series of nods Borrower, Lee and Dwarf exit the trailer. As
they walk away from the trailer the three of them march with an
identical gun-slingerish stride.)
FADE. CUT TO
Dwarf's trailer is a minature 1930s Art Deco world complete with
knickknacks, furniture, wall hangings, everything. It is a production
designer's dream. Borrower is visiting dwarf who is very unhappy.
So tell me: What's got you down these days?
I hate it when people say that.
Just trying to cheer you up.
That's not one of my favorite sayings either.
I'm only trying to help. Is it money? I'll borrow some.
You don't have to go to the trouble.
No trouble, really.
It's not money. It's not love. It's not having to buy my clothes in the
children's department. Now I just tell them to go fuck themselves.
Then what is it?
It's the new neighbors.
But they haven't moved in yet.
Exactly. Now you see my point! And what do you think they'll say when they find out someone like me lives next door?
(Surveying the bizarreINTERIOR of the trailer.)
Who's going to notice?
Borrower is in bed with an extraordinarily beautiful woman. She is so
beautiful that she looks unreal. It is a very delicate beauty. She
answers to the nickname Gripper. She is a troubleshooter for a
collection agency. She is a leged among collection agencies for her
zealous dedication and the fierce energy she applies to repossessing
things. Borrower andGripper are naked under the covers and obviously
have just finished making love. There are shadowy piles of borrowed
objects all over the trailer.
That was nice.
Yeah, what kind of work do you do again?
I already told you.
But I want to hear it again.
I reposses things. It's fun. People don't keep up on their payments, and then I visit them.
You like to do that for a living?
I love it. I haven't had a vacation in years because my work is my
vacation. Though I did go to Hawaii last year to repossess some hula
skirts. You should have seen the expression on those girl's faces. That
was one luau that will never be forgotten.
You don't look the part.
Neither did they without their skirts.
It's just hard to believe that a beautiful woman like you reposses things.
I know. It helps. They don't call me Gripper for nothing.
Still . . .
I mean . . .
I'llMAke it easier for you.
(Gripper gets out of bed and finds her way through the piles of objects
in the trailer, including a mound of toasters. She locates her purse and
takes out a small fancy leather folder, and gets back into bed next to a
very interested Borrower. She takes six Polaroid photographs out of the
Now, let's see here. All right. Now . . .
She arranges the Polaroids in order.
All right. That's it.
What do you have there?
My six favorite repossesions.
(Having nothing to lose.)
(Gripper starts showing the Polaroids to Borrower. The first one she
shows him is a washing machine. There is a pile of wet clothes lying on
the floor beside the washing machine.)
I got this from a one-legged female divorce lawyer down on her luck. Her
husband divorced her and got everything but her wooden leg and the
washing machine. She had a very bad attitude in court. She thought the
wooden leg gave her an edge, but the judge gave her husband the dryer.
Anyway, she was good at stalling everybody, the appliance store, the
other collection agency, but when I came into the picture, it was a
different picture. Halfway through the rinse cycle, things had gone far
(Gripper laughs. It's a beautifully musical laughter. She has a lovely
voice. Borrower stares at her, interested. She goes onto the next
Polaroid. It's an empty baby bassinet.)
(Continuing to laugh softly, very delighted.)
The parents thought they were safe. Right up to the moment I handed them
the baby. "What will we do?" they asked me and I said, "Why don't you
try The Pill next time?"
(Borrower is at a loss for words. Gripper goes onto another Polaroid of some false teeth, still very delighted.)
From a seventy-year-old music teacher. I snatched them right out of her mouth at recess. It's hard to gum the Star-Spangled Banner.
How long have we known each other?
(Gripper shows him a Polaroid of marching band instruments. There are no band members in the picture.)
They should have baked more cookies.
Three hours, love.
(Borrower knows now that somehow something has started. Gripper goes
onto the Polaroid of a wheelchair. She starts laughing hysterically.)
I bought him some roller skates when I took the chair away.
(To say the least, curious.)
What's the last one about?
(Gripper still laughing beautifully shows him the Polaroid of a very
barren field covered with large oblong holes. She hands it to him.)
(Carefully studying the picture.)
I don't get it.
(Laughs even louder, tears running down her cheeks, she's such a beautiful woman.)
That's right. Because it's gone. I took it.
Borrower and Gripper are going out the door of the trailer. Gripper
looks curiously about at all the piles of stuff in the trailer.
Is this stuff all paid for?
As far as I know.
(Gripper's repossession vehicle, a hearse-black pickup truck, is parked
in front of the trailer. There is black and white lettering on the door
of the truck. The lettering says, "Pay Up or Weep, Jerk.")
I'm glad that we met by accident.
Who said it was an accident? I'll see you soon. I think we've got something in common.
FADE. CUT TO
INTERIOR—DAY—MA & BILLY PA'S TRAILER
They are dressed in a Norman Rockwell style. Their trailer walls are
covered with Norman Rockwall prints. The ceiling, however, is plastered
with tin foil stars. Borrower is inside and has come to borrow
You sure you are done with the Inquirer? I could borrow a Time magazine somewhere else.
MA & BILLY PA
We're quite done, thank you. It's a fascinating issue. There is even an article about your friends.
(Ma hands Borrower a magazine.)
Magazine cover featuring picture of flying saucer.
(Shrugging it off.)
I don't have any friends like that. Well, thanks anyway for the magazine.
MA & BILLY PA
No, thank you! And your secret is safe.
Ah . . . Yeh . . . Well, I'll read this soon.
MA & BILLY PA
Good night, Mr. Spaceman.
He is in a chair reading a magazine and on the cover are several headlines about outer space.
What weird shit. I guess some folks will believe anything. Well, they're
certainly harmless enough. Yep, I guess old Ma and Billy Pa are just
the folks next door.
(The camera pulls back to reveal a large pile of Inquirers beside the chair.)
A panel slides open in MA and Billy Pa's trailer and a huge telescope emerges and begins to track from side to side.
Borrower is in the chair still reading a magazine. The pile of magazines next to his chair is visibly larger.
Outer space, ETs, flying saucers—what nonsense. Some people will do anything for attention.
Fraiser, Janet, Borrower and GRIPPER are having a barbecue behind
Fraiser's trailer. There is a picnic table and portable barbecue. It is a
perfect, informal American afternoon. Fraiser is cooking up some
hamburgers. The others are sitting, casually, around the table.
(His back to the table.)
Nothing like a hamburger.
There were never truer words spoken.
(Turning to Borrower.)
How do you like your hamburger?
One very rare hamburger. How about the rest of you?
(Concentrating of cooking. Then chanting.)
A hamburger, a hamburger, my kingdom for a hamburger.
(Nobody pays any attention to Fraiser.)
I'm told you are writing an anthropology paper on this trailer park.
What do you think about this place so far?
You could say that.
(Borrower gets up from the table, and joins Fraiser.)
How's my burger coming?
It's got a temperature of 99.6 degrees, what do you think?
Give it a few more degrees.
(At the table, Janet speaking to Gripper.)
I hear that you work for a collection agency.
I'm the best!
I'm told that you are sort of a legend. How did you get into that line
of work. It's a little unusual. I mean, you don't look the part. I don't
want to offend you, but you could be a model.
Yes, I am good looking, but I still like repossessing things better. I
got into this line of work because my family has always been in it. My
great grandfather started it by repossessing a canon in the Civil War
from a Confederate general who didn't keep up the payments. One
shouldn't go into war if they can't afford them. That was the beginning.
Gripper flashes a perfect smile.
And here I am.
(Fraiser and Borrower at the barbecue.)
(Picking up a hamburger with his spatula.)
How does this look to you?
(Fraiser takes it over to the table and puts it on a plate. Gripper follows, but looks unhappily at the table.)
Where's the catsup. I can't eat a hamburger without catsup.
I don't see any.
Hey, Fraiser, got any in your trailer?
Oh hell, I ran out of catsup yesterday.
(Starting to leave the barbecue.)
What are you up to?
I'll go borrow some catsup.
(Gripper flashes a beautiful smile. Janet stares at the table adn shakes her head slowly. Fraiser scratches his ear.)
FADE. CUT TO
Borrower trudges toward a trailer shinning with extremely white light. Borrower knocks on the door.
A skinny man wrappred in a white robe standing in the doorway.
Mr. Ghandi, could you spare some food?
Come in, Borrower, I knew you would some day visit.
Dramatically lit, Ghandi settles in a rocking chair. To one side is a
spinning wheel and above it a poster of ET surrounded by soft light.
Borrower, what can I give you in this world of illusions?
Well, I was hungry, kind of, do you have any food?
I'm afraid I am out of food. In fact I haven't eaten in 57 days.
No problem. I'll try next door.
FADE. CUT TO
Fraiser and Janet are taking an evening stroll through the trailer park.
They pass Dwarf's trailer and hear 1930s ballroom dance music.
(Putting her arm around Fraiser.)
This trailer park isn't really such a strange place. That music sounds
like something peaceful. Something out of the 1930s. Something—well,
it's beautiful, romantic.
Dwarf and a lady dwarf are dancing in his front room which looks like a
miniature 1930s ballroom, complete with reflecting crystal ball. The
dwarfs are dressed in formal evening clothes appropriate to the period.
(VO to Fraiser.)
Do you mind if I kiss you?
At the same time the dwarfs kiss each other while dancing.
FADE. CUT TO
EXTERIOR— TRAILER PARK
It is daybreak. The paperboy rides by on a bicycle, and with a toss hits
the porch of Ma and Billy Pa, who wave at the camera. Birds chirp at a
feeder. The entire scene is calm.
Front of a semi-tractor with "Wide Load" sign across the cab pulling a huge trailer.
Interior of cab where burly driver is drinking a can of Coors beer.
A tracking shot of the tractor and trailer as they knock over light
poles, a row of mailboxes, a dog house, a row of shrubs, etc. This is a a
nice scene of good old chaos that Americans love to watch at the
Repeats of first scenes of calm. Ma and Billy Pa move slowly into their trailer.
The driver of the semi-tractor backs into another trailer, shoving it
off of its blocks. The occupants of the tipped over trailer climb from
Close up of paperboy's freckled, all-American face. He tosses a newspaper with a sweeping motion.
Medium shot of the paper smashing the glass in the windshield of the semi.
Fraiser is building a mechanical fish at his workbench. Janet is
watching him. She is unhappy. Fraiser doesn't notice it. They don't say
anything for a moment. This is a very detailed scene cutting back and
forth between closeups of Fraiser building the fish and Janet's obvious,
growing unhappiness. Then there is a very tight closeup of Fraiser's
hands delicately assembling the part of the fish.
I can't stand it any more. Stop building that stupd, ridiculous fish. I want to talk to you.
(Fraiser's hands are startled and stop building the fish. He looks up at Janet.)
What? What's happening? What's wrong?
(Janet storms away from the workbench and then turns and faces Fraiser.)
It's not the fish.
(Janet walks over and puts her arms gently on Fraiser who is not impressed.)
Yeah, twice you've mentioned my fish. If you're not talking about my
fish, why are you talking about my fish. Come on. Make sense. You're a
bright girl. Be bright. Act the part.
It's not the fish.
(Gently taking her hands off him and stepping back.)
(Dropping her arms heavily to her sides for effect.)
Fraiser . . . Fraiser, I want yo to reconnect yourself to the real
world. I want you to assume responsibility for your genius. I mean, you
are a genius and . . . it's not the fish . . . it's just . . . just you
could be doing something else.
For instance. Give me a for instance.
I like your fish. They're cute.
(Even more serious.)
Cute . . . What do you have that's cuter?
I'll tell you what's cuter: watching an intelligent, wonderfulMAn
wasting his life building mechanical fish. I love you and I want you to
stop this crap. You're letting your life fall through the cracks in a
What in the hell are you talking about? I don't understand. What is this?
(At this exact moment a mechanical fish is staring at them from inside a
ghostly green aquarium. Fraiser likes to paint the faces of celebrities
on his mechanical fish. The fish in this scene looks like Marlene
Fraiser, my love, you're a genius and you're just wasting your talent among these backwater metal boxes.
(She walks over and puts her arms around him. He is still confused. He doesn't know what's happening.)
What's this all about? I was just putting one of my fish together. What's the problem?
(Pointing at Marlene Dietrich.)
That's the problem. The God-damn fish! I want you to do something better with yourself. I care!
(Reaching into the tank and taking our Marlene Dietrich. Her fins are still swimming in his hands.)
I care! She cares! We all care! What am I supposed to do? I don't understand.
I just want you to use this incredible genius you have. You should be
applying it to something better than making silly fish in a trailer.
OK. Tell me. But first, what's this about my fish?
There's a position open at my father's company. I've talked to him about
you. He's very interested. It's a wonderful opportunity. Your talent
could be fully utilized and appreciated. You'd be happy.
Fraiser walks over to an aquarium. He winds up all of the fish and
watches them swim around. Janet stands quietly at the opposite end of
the trailer. She is getting very, very angry. The camera cuts back and
forth between Fraiser's obvious pleasure watching the mechanical fish
swim about and the growing anger of Janet.
(Smiling at the fish with his back to JANET.)
These little guys are my friends. No. Your father should get a robot to
build other robots. Maybe they can learn how to fuck and then nobody
will be bored.
What about me, pervert? Am I just another God-damn mechanical fish in your life?
(Janet storms out of the trailer.)
I didn't say you were a fish.
You might as well have.
I'm not a fish!
(Reaching into the tank takes out a fish that looks like Babe Ruth.)
I never said she was a fish and you're going to hit sixty home runs this year.
Janet angrily leaves Fraiser's trailer, slamming the door. She walks
over to her parked car. Borrower is sitting on the grass, in the shade,
under a tree nearby. Janet gets into the car, and reaches for the
ignition to start the car, but the keys are gone. Borrower holds them up
and jingles them.
Looking for these?
(Getting out of the car.)
(Walking over to him.)
You get around.
What's the problem?
What do you mean, what's the problem?
I heard you arguing with Fraiser, that's why I took the keys. I don't
want you to do something that you'll be sorry for. Did he call you a
So you took my car keys. No, he didn't call me a fish, but he might as well have.
You are in love with Fraiser. Sit down. Let's talk this over.
Why anthropology? I should have majored in home economics. That way I could have just stayed in the kitchen.
(She sits down beside Borrower.)
Then what's the problem?
You really want to know?
I'm not the car thief . . . yes, I want to know.
He's just wasting away in this wilderness of trailers. He is so talented
. . . so he just sits around and makes mechanical fish. I don't know
what to do.
So what do you want him to do?
I want him to be responsible for his genius. My father has an electronic corporation.
You want him to go to work for your Dad?
I wouldn't word it that way.
What way would you word it? Come on.
(Looking down while Borrower stares at her.)
I love him. I like this place. I like you, I mean all of you . . . but . . .
You don't understand the way we live . . . our life-style.
Is that what you call it . . . life-style?
It's not Fraiser's problem. It's your problem. Fraiser has been out
there. He doesn't like it. He's happy here. Just because you love him
doesn't mean that he has to work for your father.
(Looking up at Borrower. Starting to say something, bu then looking suddenly away.)
(Janet shakes her head slowly and stares quietly at the ground.)
Let me tell you about it . . . this place . . . the way we live . . . why Fraiser is happy here.
(Glances at Borrower.)
But what, what do you mean?
No, listen, I want you to hear this.
(Dropping her eyes again.)
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, millions of years in the
future, there was a trailer park. And in this trailer park there lived a
(Shaking her head and smiling.)
When the prince was a very young man, he was caught up in a war that
didn't make any sense to him. Then he finished his education and became
an electronic whiz. He got married and had . . .
Married, and had two children, but one night he came home from the
laboratory to find his wife gone, and the children gone also. There was a
note from his wife saying he would never see her of the children again,
and not to waste his time looking for them. And she was right about
never seeing them again. They just disappeared. But he didn't follow her
advice about not looking. He had to look for them. He had to know why
they left. He was madly in love with her, and thought she felt the same
way. He spent ten years looking for them. Then he came across a trailer
part, and somehow he just knew that it was his home, and he gave up
looking for his family and slowly started being happy again, and he
built mechanical fish.
(Borrower finishes talking and sits beside Janet, who is now softly crying.)
(Wiping her tears from her eyes.)
He didn't tell me.
It's not a pretty story until the prince started making mechanical fish.
I suppose you're right.
It's up to you. He's been hurt enough.
(Taking a deep breath.)
I sure like that man. I love that man.
(Janet stands up, stretches and then almost whispering.)
I'll take care of it.
(Flips her the car keys. She deftly catches them and smiles.)
I guess I better go borrow something.
What are you going to borrow?
What difference does it make?
(Janet laughs and walks over to Fraiser's trailer and knocks on the door.)
Borrower knocks on a trailer door. There is a NRA sticker on the door
that says, "Guns Don't Kill, People Do." An old spinster opens the door.
She looks as though she has never gotten a marriage proposal.
Sorry to bother you, mam, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts today and I was wondering if you had something I might borrow?
I am a quiet, old woman who is all alone and nobody ever wanted to marry, but you're welcome to take a look.
INTERIOR OF SPINSTER'S TRAILER
It looks like a gun store with racks of shot guns, a rifle, a bench for
reloading ammunition, life-sized human targets, tear gas masks and a
John Wayne poster.
As you can see, I don't get out much.
I see that. You should join an organization, meet some people who share your interestss.
The only things I've ever belonged to are the National Rifle Association and the Daughters of Library Patrons.
Do you have a library card? They won't give me one.
Could I borrow you library card?
I guess so but you must take these books back for me.
(She hands him a large pile of books. They all have pictures of guns on the covers.)
The library is a privilege, not a right.
My feelings exactly.
As he enters, Borrower settles into a chair with an armload of books. He
tosses the card at a desk where it lands on a pile of cards. Then he
heaves the pile of books to the side where they land on an even larger
pile of books.
Gripper is visiting Borrower at his trailer. The bed of her truck is filled with stuffed animals repossed fom a taxidermist.
I'll bet you never reposssed a zoo before.
Not this kind of zoo. It's sad. And taxidermists are usually such good risks.
Mind if I borrow one of these critters for a souvenir?
Really, I thought you'd be bored with my work.
Not at all. I've found the whole experience quite moving.
(Handing him a stuffed owl.)
Will this do?
How splendid. The owl is a noble bird. Well, good night.
What's the matter, can't a working girl get a drink around here?
Absolutely nothing is theMAtter. I'm just a bit tired and the place is a mess.
(Gripper smiles, waves, drives away in her truck on which is the sign "Pay Up or Weep, Jerk!")
INTERIOR OFBORROWER'S TRAILER
He stares at the owl.
Yes, a noble bird. I should be such a noble bird.
(Borrower turns and tosses the owl onto an identical pile of stuffed owls.)
Borrower, barefoot, knocks on the door of Lee's trailer. Lee answers the door. He is holding a chain saw.
Good morning. Nice chain saw. You seem to like that chain saw. Well,
sorry to bother you so early, would you have a spare pair of boots I
Any special kind? I have work boots, fishing waders, golf boots and of course cowboy boots.
Golf boots . . . what are golf boots?
Yeah, I got golf boots.
How about some nice cowboy boots if you're not into golf?
(Lee handsBORROWER a fancy pair of cowboy boots.)
These here Tony Lama's are just the ticket.
Thanks, I'll take good care of them. Yeah, cowboy boots will do just nicely.
As he enters the door with books in hand, Borrower settles in large chair.
They sure don't make them like they used to.
(Borrower drops the cowboy boots onto a huge pile of identical boots.)
Fraiser andJANET are doing the dishes after dinner. Fraiser is washing
and Janet is wiping. Fraiser has a calm expression, his head tilted as
he is listening to the TV news. The newscaster is an over-aged Preppie
who clutches the microphone and delivers absolute nonesense with a Ted
Mack sort of enthusiasm.
The Dow Jones average spurted 16 points for its biggest gain in a while.
Market analysts attributed the optimism to the recent news of
successful Chinese attempts to refine rice into rocket fuel which in
turn fuels speculation of successful breakthroughs in the Mongolian
space program heavily subsidized by American investors.
(Fraiser adds some dish water. Turns off the faucet. Then resumes
washing while whistling, "Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder.")
(Janet looks to Fraiser with warmth and a little resignation. She moves a stack of dishes.)
Say, Fraiser, do you belive in reincarnation?
You mean like, "Hey, baby, haven't we met before?"
Come on, I'm serious, Fraiser.
I know you are serious. I'm not serious. You're the one with the brains.
I'm just some pretty air-head. Reincarnation—sure, why not.MAybe I'll
come back as a Model T.
(Frowning, but amused despite herself.)
It's been done. Anyway I was just thinking, you seem pretty normal for a Vet and all.
We have our days.
(At this moment both of them turn toward the TV. The announcer is juggling oranges.)
Congressional sources predicted a compromise breakthrough on efforts to
sell all federal buildings to an international cement conglomerate. The
administration cited high maintenance costs as the reason for the move.
(The announcer lets the oranges fall and pulls a paper noise-maker from
his pocket. Fraiser turns, takes a skip towards the TV as if to kick it
but only pushes the on-off switch with his stocking foot. The screen
goes dark but we hear a few more seconds of kazoo music.)
I hate personality news.
I like it. It's fresh. You're just not comfortable with personalities.
What do you mean? I work for a Nazi; my best friend borrows everything
in sight; I'm surrounded byDWARFs, chain saw freaks and a schizoid Ma
and Pa Kettle. They have personality.
And Attila the Hun liked to party. We're talking about open, healthy personality, a way of believing that life has meaning.
(Snaps at Janet.)
Meaning, sure life has a meaning—when you're dead, you're dead. That's what it means!
(Stunned by Fraiser's anger, Janet collapses on a nearby sofa. Her breath is loud and rapid, but she doesn't cry.)
(Fraiser looks hurt too. He walks to the aquarium and stares into it.
His face appears blue. Then with a watery dissolve we flash back to the
bombed-out office building. Fraiser, in combat gear, is crouched behind
the xerox machine. Again he rolls a grenade across the floor. Two or
three times we see a grenade leave his hand. From off camera a Budweiser
can rolls toward Fraiser's outstretched hand. Similarly we see the
rolling beer can two times, but with the third repetition it has become
an incendiary grenade hissing like a sparkler. With an incredible flash
we cut back to:
Fraiser is standing upright turning his hands to and fro in the fish
tank. Tears are running down his face. Janet rises from the couch, goes
to Fraiser and comforts him. He removes his hands from the fish tank
and, drying them on his shirt tails, is led by Janet to the couch. He
flexes his hands. Janet continues to comfort him and he comes around.)
You're too nice to me. That means something too. Do you like to fish?
Fish, sure. Ah . . . are you alright, Fraiser? Do you feel OK?
I'm OK. Stay with me for a minute. We were talking about how I seem to
have it together, right? That's because I have a trained memory. It's
smarter than a trained dog. You bet! I don't remember say Fred, or Dave,
or Jimmy without also remembering something normal. Like once on leave,
there was a warm rain all afternoon when we had nowhere to go. We took a
taxi here; we took a taxi there; got drunk. But aimlessly as if we were
just tourists on some wet, green, cheap tour waiting for a bus. Or I
remember when we were on a forward interdiction . . . that means you
wander around and look for shit . . . and we came to this village.
Everyone was starving. That wasn't unusual. All their dams had been
bombed out and rebuilt three times. That wasn't unusual either. But
nearly everyone who could still stand up was standing by this muddy pond
fishing for carp. You don't want to know what they were using for bait.
So I tossed a grenade into the pond. It sank. There was a concussion.
Then the fish began floating to the surface. Lots of fish. I remember
those fish when I think about Fred, Dave and Jimmy, those wonderful
life-saving carp floating to the surface of the pond. They looked like
(Fraiser pauses. Janet is misty-eyed, enthralled.)
You know, Janet, if those footballs could talk, you'd have talking footballs.
(Shrieking and laughing.)
(She hits Fraiser with a sofa pillow. He retreats.)
That's twisted. A horrible twist. I don't know where you got your sense of humor.
(ThenJANET gets the point. She smiles at Fraiser who has moved to the aquarium.)
Now I know where you got your sense of humor. Over there.
(Fraiser regards Janet with surprise and pleasure.)
Well, I ain't Bob Hope.
It helps, doesn't it . . . this humor?
Yes, it helps. You help a lot too. And this . . .
(He pulls a flapping mechanical fish from the tank. Returns it. Points to the aquarium and leers.)
And this . . . this is just a little bit of heaven.
Lee approaches his trailer carrying his chain saw. He moves stealthily looking from side to side.
Repo my trailer? No way man! No big city finance company is going to take away my mobile home.
Lee advances to his trailer. The low camera angle suggests a gun fighter
approaching his opponent. Lee's motion is choreographed to resemble the
fight scene in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
(SO): The music from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." The sound of a chain saw starting.
The driver who earlier delivered the trailer is driving his semi-tractor
through the park drinking beer. The windshield of the tractor is
broken. On the seat next to him is a newspaper.
Lee beginning to saw into the side of his trailer.
The driver of the tractor, sitting in the truck, drinking beer.
Lee, who has chain-sawed a large gash in the side of his trailer.
The driver of the tractor completes hooking Lee's trailer to his
tractor. He wipes his hands on his pants and climbs into the cab. The
truck pulls away. It pulls only the front half of the trailer.
Unconcerned, the driver keeps going.
Gripper, driving a pickup truck, arrives at Borrower's. In the back of
the truck is a coffin with dirt on it. She is wearking a work shirt and
jeans. Her hair is messed and her cheeks smudged.
Howdy, Darling. I thought you might like some lunch. I'm buying.
What in the hell's that?
What do you think it is? It's a coffin.
You didn't. You wouldn't. No, you couldn't.
One can't play favorites in my line of work. He thought when he died he wouldn't have to pay his bills. Imagine!
Borrower moves toward the truck and delicately lifts the coffin lid, looking aside then finally, after grimacing, at the coffin.
Where's the body?
Back at the funeral parlor. I don't have time for freeloaders.
You must have a strong stomach.
A contract is a contract.
Fraiser and Borrower are smoking and talking. Borrower is sitting on the hood of an old car. The effect is peaceful.
You know life doesn't get much better than this.
Are you kidding? This here?
Borrower laughs, tosses Fraiser a lighter and pulls a can of beer from his pocket.
It's just such a nice evening, and they're getting shorter.
(With mock seriousness.)
At this moment there is the sound of breaking glass and the scene goes
dark. A second or two later we see two cigarettes being lit, and first
Borrower's face, then Fraiser's face, each surrounded by a halo. The
yard lights come on.
We've known each other a long time . . . the politics, the parties, bumming around. Right?
(Fraiser nods and engages Borrower in some affectionate piece of business.)
And I've never asked you for anything.
Not true, you once borrowed five books.
(From off camera there is the sound of a high scoring run on a pinball machine. Fraiser and Borrower nod appreciatively.)
Books? What kind of books?
Philosophy and two Playboy calendars, used.
And I didn't bring them back?
What are you getting at? This is the longest conversation we've had in seven or eight years.
Not true! Two years ago when we were doing the timing chain on your last piece of junk we talked for nearly an hour.
Was it about cam gears?
I still don't see what you're getting at?
The girl . . . she's a nice girl and I think you should treat her that way.
(A bit shocked but tolerant.)
And, humane pal of mine, why do you think I'd treat her un-nicely?
Well, for your information, I've just come from trying to be nice as you put it.
(Borrower leaps up, spilling beer cans from his coat pockets.)
She turned me down.
Oh, she's just being fickle . . . secretly she's thrilled. There's plenty of time.
(Borrower sits back down, momentarily at a loss. We hear a few seconds of pinball noise.)
It will work out. Like the song says, it's all in the game of love.
(From off camera we hear violins and a sappy rendition of "All in the
Game." Both Fraiser and Borrower look around for the source of the
music, staggering in circles until it stops.)
So, if love's the game, smart guy, what are the rest of the rules?
(Seriously stupid, like the Oz Scarecrow.)
Ah, rules. A tie goes to the dealer; a card laid is a card played; if
you break the plane of the goal line it's a touchdown, even if you
fumble; let faster players play through; three strikes and you're out,
unless the catcher drops the last one; replace all divots . . . wanna
hear some more?
(Over pinball noise.)
Hell no, the only rule I know about love is
(More pinball noise.)
. . . if you wanna play
(Noise stops and with a triumphant note in his voice.)
. . . you've gotta play!
Trailer park skyline of flat roofs and TV antennas as the moon rises in a
huge way. Then the moon appears to settle on the roof-line and we hear
pinball noise. The moon bounces straight up and settles with more
pinball dinging and clanging.
A delivery boy is bringing groceries to Ma and Billy Pa's trailer. They
are all on the trailer porch. He sets the grocery bags on the porch.
Let's see . . . that's 2 loaves of bread, 1 can of tuna fish, 1 quart of
milk, some onions, 6 TV dinners, and 40 boxes of aluminum foil. I
brought you foil last week and the week before that. That's a lot of
aluminum foil. Do you have an hibachi?
Hibachi, we don't believe in the Hibachis. We just use a lot of that foil, it's handy stuff.
(Confused and eager to leave.)
I guess so . . . ah . . . have a nice day.
Delivery boy gets in his Volkswagon and drives away slowly. He looks
back over his shoulder at Ma and Billy Pa going into the trailer with
their groceries and aluminum foil.
A portion of the wall of Ma and Billy Pa's trailer slides upward. A telescope emerges, then scans from side to side.
Closeup of Ma and Billy Pa bent over the eyepiece of a telescope.
Do you see them yet?
Not yet, here, you take a whack at it, Pa.
Shot of telescope in a room full of electronic equipment. Ma and Billy Pa are wrapped up mummy fashion in aluminum foil.
FADE. CUT TO
Borrower and Dwarf are chain sawing wood. It is a supernaturally large
stack of wood. Borrower is sweating and straining but Dwarf handles even
the largest pieces of wood as if they were made out of styrofoam.
Borrower and Dwarf take turns running the chain saw or stacking the
wood. They work at a feverish pace for perhaps 20 or 30 seconds.
(Turning off the chain saw, to Borrower.)
It's that special time of day. How about a break for a beer?
(From off camera two cans of beer fly through the air. Dwarf catches one and opens it as does Borrower the other can of beer.)
(With great relish.)
Ah . . . it's the water.
No, I think it's the beer.
(Borrower and Dwarf finish their beer. Borrower crunches his can with
some difficulty but thoroughly. Dwarf crushes his can into a pile of
dust that falls from his fingers.DWARF then picks up a large piece of
wood, smells it, and says to Borrower, beaming:)
Ah . . . weekends are made for cutting wood.
(Borrower and Dwarf cut wood for perhaps another 10-15 seconds. Dwarf
picks up a large log, flips it over his shoulder in the direction of the
pile. It sails up in the air and, after a few seconds, we hear the
sound of breaking glass and dogs barking.)
Well, what do you think, time for another beer break? This chopping wood works up a powerful thirst.
Sure, what the heck.
(Borrower and Dwarf turn to face off camera and this time they each
catch two cans of beer, open them and drink them down fast as they can.)
(After a satisfied belch.)
It's sure nice of you to supply the beer for this wood. I never knew you
to be such a beer drinker . . . I mean for a little guy.
Size has nothing to do with it. It's a quesetion of having the proper attitude.
What do you mean attitude?
Well, everybody I know, except for you, works . . . and there's a time to work and there's a time to relax.
Yeah, you're right. Well, still time to work. Let's get back to work.
And by the way I'm not working except to pay off my back rent to the
landlady. I wouldn't want the word to get out that I was actually
working. You might say that here at the trailer park I've been living on
Well, I'm not crazy about working for that Nazi landlady either. I'm just working to pay off my bar bill.
Yeah, what's the old bag paying you?
Well, she's not paying me in money that is, she's paying me all the beer I can drink.
How can you pay off your bar bill if you are being paid with beer?
Oh, they can wait.
(Throughout this exchange Borrower and Dwarf have been stacking some of the already chain-sawed wood.)
(Turning to Borrower.)
Well, do you think that's enough work for a few minutes?
Well, what do you know, I guess so. Do you think it's time after work to relax?
(Then Borrower and Dwarf look skyward as an immense Orson Welles type voice announces: "When it's time to relax.")
(Immediately following the voice there is a shower of cans of beer,
perhaps a case or two of beer cans, which land all around Dwarf and
Dwarf and Borrower sitting in a knee-deep pile of beer cans. The wood
pile has been reduced by about half. That is there is maybe two cords of
chopped and split wood and an equal amount of wood waiting to be cut.
(By now obviously drunk.)
Well, we better get back to work. I've got to work off some more of that borrowed time.
Well, OK. Are you sure you feel alright?
Sure . . .
(Borrower woosily picks up the chain saw.)
I think I better run that. Why don't you stack the wood.
Sure, I could use a good workout. I have to sober up tonight before my dinner date.
That sure is a cute lady that I see you hanging around with.
That's no lady. That's my repossesser.
Ah ha, mixing business with pleasure.
No, I don't believe in business, strictly pleasure. The only business that brings Gripper here is the cemetery.
Cemetery? What can she do with a cemetery?
The same thing that she does with everything else, repossess it.
I don't get it. Why would anyone want to repossess a cemetery? It's full of dead people. What have they done wrong?
They must be late.
Oh, that's crazy.
(Pausing, Dwarf picks up a can of beer, takes a pen out of his pocket
and autographs the can. He hands the autographed can of beer to
Here, this one's for you.
Borrower and Dwarf standing in front of finished wood pile. There is an equally large stack of beer cans.
(Mumbling and quite drunk.)
Well, when you're out of wood, you're out of beer.
(Borrower falls over in a coma.)
(To himself as he picks up the tools.)
Well, it beats working with large birds.
Ever radiant, the Gripper directs the repossession of an entire
cemetery, There is no dialogue although we hear tractors, chains
rattling, and weird howlings. This scene features goulish laborers—say, a
casket being carried by a bored looking Dracula and an equally bored
"normal" looking worker. The movement in this scene can be dreamlike but
the effect should be of monumental effort. This scene is where Trailer spends its money.
Fraiser is sitting on his front steps, tinkering with a mechanical fish.
A grotesque chromed limosine pulls up. Three furtive guys wearing
trench coats pile out of the car and snoop around. Next out is Janet's
father, the obnoxious epitome of gaudy wealth.
(To trench coats.)
Beat it, fellas! The dropout here and I have got to talk. I'm Janet's father.
Surely, just don't start calling me "Dad."
Little danger of that.
You two had a little spat? Good! But I'm a man who leaves nothing to chance. How much do you want?
Want? For what?
He puts down the fish. It flaps and buzzes. The fish looks like Beethoven.
(Distracted, he points to the fish.)
What the hell's that creature?
Beethoven's fish, dum dum dum daa.
You really are wasting what's left of your brain but you'll understand
this. I'm offering you whatever it takes to make you split, vamoose,
take a hike, exit, flee. Get the point . . . for say . . . ten grand?
You can take a hike.
(Janet's father tries to bid up the price. He offers Fraiser the moon.
The two characters haggling and circling each other using business of
the actor's invention.)
This is my last offer . . . fifty thousand dollars . . . in cash.
(Pleading, wanting to be understood.)
But I love your daughter.
I know you love her, that's why I offered cash. Do you think I'd offer
some cheap opportunist cash? We're talking cash! Cash! Cash!
Janet's father, now somewhat hysterical, is led by his aides to the limo yelling "Cash" as the car pulls away.
Janet and Gripper are sitting on a couch. An overturned crate functions
as a coffee table. Janet has been crying. Gripper looks pensive. Between
intermittent sobs from Janet, we hear the gurgling of aquarium pumps
and the whir of mechanical fish. Janet stops crying and stares at the
aquarium. She laughs, somewhat sarcastically, rolls up a cocktail napkin
and tosses it into the fish tank. Gripper tears up a Vogue
magazine, takes up the game and both women lurch around the trailer
feinting and scoring "baskets" until the tanks are covered by floating,
soggy lumps of paper.
(Breathing hard, but smiling.)
Whew, it helps to blow off steam with someone. Thanks.
Someone who's crazy, you mean.
I'm the one who's crazy, I turned him down. First I begged him to straighten up his act, get myself pregnant . . .
You had some help there.
(With a Grouch Marx flair.)
Less help than you might think, Dearie!
And he finally proposes and I turned cold fish. That's funny.
I'm afraid I can't say anything more original than you must follow your heart.
Yes, well, your heart wouldn't take you all the dumb places mine wants to go.
Once, well let's just say I was scandalously young, he was rich in a
fairy tale princedom by the sea. I couldn't decide . . . couldn't decide
anything except what to wear. And one morning I woke up to the sure
feeling that I was pregnant and his note saying the hotel bill had been
paid. I had a little girl.
Really and does she stay with your folks?
In a manner of speaking. The angels, they claim, took her away.
Oh, I'm so sorry. I had no idea. I get so selfish when I think about my problems.
Nonsense, and you don't have any problems. You want the baby . . . have the baby.
But he needs a father.
He has a father. He will continue to have a father. Fraiser loves you
and you two can work things out in your own way. It's like this, Janet,
maybe you can't live without him but you don't have to live with him.
(After a moment.)
I like that. I like that idea a lot. Damn it, that's a pretty good plan.
Let's drink to that. I can't live without him, but I won't live with
(Janet goes to a cupboard and takes out a red and white coffee tin of "Coffee Macho.")
You want some of this instant coffee for snobs?
No, that's what depressed broads are supposed to drink. Got any booze?
(Looking through the cupboards.)
Like Scotch maybe?
How about bourbon, with a little water.
(Finding a bottle, standing up and beaming.)
Bourbon, right on!
Borrower walks over to Ma and Billy Pa's trailer to borrow something. He knocks on the door. They answer.
Hello,Ma and Billy Pa.
MA & BILLY PA
Hello, Mr. Spaceman.
Do you have some aluminum foil I could borrow?
(Ma Pa looks at Billy Pa with a look of child-like wonderment. Billy
returns the same expression. Borrower acts as if everything is normal.)
MA & BILLY PA
I think we might have some extra. Be back in a minute.
(They go, child-like, into the kitchen. Ma Pa opens up a cabinet that has enough aluminum foil to put a roof on a small town.)
We see Fraiser, carrying a tool box and trudging toward an old car.
Close up of Fraiser's face from inside the engine compartment as he
leans over the car. He is serious and perplexed. He is trying to get a
wrench on some bolt but it isn't working. Janet's face appears next to
Try an offset wrench.
(Surprised, but not pleased.)
When I need your advice, I'll ask for it. Offset wrench, huh?
And back out the top screw. Slide in the shim to steady the thing and drop it from the bottom.
Seems to be there. Almost. Good! Say, you do know something about cars. Where did you learn that trick?
That's just one of the mysteries you'll have to figure out.
You mean you've changed yoru mind, you'll say "yes"?
(Fraiser straightens up and smashes his head on the hood of the car. He doubles over and Janet comforts him.)
I'm saying yes to the baby; yes to you; but "no" to marriage.
(Recovering, going back to work on the car.)
Fine. Saves on the tuxedo rental. We'll be living in sin?
As neighbors. We'll be neighbors.
(Fraiser and Janet kiss. When they separate their faces are grease
smudged. Fraiser resumes working on the car. Janet points and passes
Fraiser tools, including some outlandish ones—a pipe wrench, a toy
trumpet, a calvery sword. The rest of this scene mimics "The pretty girl
who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty" bit. We hear twinkly,
Disney-type music as the work proceeds at a speeded up pace. Finally
Fraiser throws down the last tool, beams with satisfaction and shakes
Janet's hand. As they stroll together toward Fraiser's trailer we see
half a ton of auto parts strewn about.)
Fraiser and Janet are huddled in bed. Fraiser begins to toss and turn.
A repeat of Fraiser's war dream. He is sneaking around the xerox machine
as before. He rolls a grenade across the floor. This time a small baby
carriage comes gliding back. Fraiser backs slowly away from the carriage
and crouches, half hidden by the copying machine. Fraiser startles at a
click and a flash, but it is only the machine, running normally.
Fraiser pulls the paper from the machine and we see it is a baby
picture. The machine continues to run, spitting out baby pictures, as
Fraiser, holding a fist full of paper, trudges away.
Dwarf is talking on the telephone. He is very upset. He listens for about twenty seconds, getting angrier with each second.
(Yelling on the telephone.)
God-damn it! Don't call me up about it. Feed the fucking dog! You know how to use a can opener, don't you?
( He hangs up and walks over to the refrigerator and starts banging his head on the door.)
Anybody can feed a dog.
Anybody can feed a dog. This is getting close to the last straw.
(He stops banging his head on the refrigerator.)
I think I'll make myself a martini. A martini will help.
(Just then the telephone starts ringing again and Dwarf goes back to banging his head on the refrigerator door.)
EXTERIOR—NIGHT—MA & BILLY PA'S TRAILER
Borrower enters Ma and Billy Pa's trailer. He is dressed "normally" and carrying a stainless steel bowl.
MA & BILLY PA
(In unison, happy as children.)
Come in, Mr. Spaceman.
Yeah, spaceman. I guess we're all spacemen, right? You folks seem a little spacey to me too.
Oh, thank you! Can I take your hat?
(Billy Pa takes the bowl from Borrower's hand and hangs it on a coat rack.)
(After a double take.)
Ice, that's an ice . . . I mean I came over to borrow some ice. We're
having a drink next door. We're going to party later. Why don't you
folks join us?
Thank you, but we can't. Pa and I are going to be sharp as tacks
tomorrow. That bulldozer riding witch won't take us without a flght.
(Billy Pa concurs and pulls a rickety looking bow and arrow set from behind the couch.)
I had no idea you two were so excitable. What's the fight about?
MA & BILLY PA
The telescope. She says no telescope.
You have a telescope?
(They nod, then lead Borrower into a backroom. There is the eye-piece of
a huge telescope and some crude boxes covered with tin foil and
homemade dials. Shrouds of tin foil hang from the walls.)
Why do you have this telescope?
Do you sometimes get the feeling you won't live forever?
(Borrower stares at Ma, then Billy Pa with new fascination. He smiles a
bit and walks back into the living room of the trailer. He inspects all
of the American kitsch hung on their walls.)
(As Ma and Billy Pa return to the living room Gripper enters. She is
dressed in a tight space suit, some left-over Flash Gordon number.)
What a dazzling outfit.
(Billy Pa looks from Gripper to Borrower with growing awe.)
It's really them! They're here!
Of course it's us, Darling, but we can't stay. We're on our way to a party.
MA & BILLY PA
(In unison. Practically cheering.)
(Then Billy Pa motions to Borrower and GRIPPER and tiptoes into the
kitchen returning with a microwave oven. Billy Pa gives a knowing wink
to the others, then, with a magician's flourish, tips the microwave from
side to side. On its glass door we see fragments of old TV programs:
"Sky King," Japanese sci-fi, "Leave It to Beaver." Then Billy Pa sets
down the microwave, points skyward with one finger, and smiles
Gee, that's neat folks, but we should be going.
(Gripper walks to the coat rack, checks out the stainless steel bowl, and there are some short cuts between her and Borrower.)
MA & BILLY PA
Please, just a minute.
(They exit toward the telescope room.)
I like these folks, and you know, the landlady is trying to get rid of them.
Who cares what for? Something about a telescope, but the point is Ma and Billy Pa belong here.
They're what America is all about!
(Enter Ma and Billy Pa, wrapped mummy fashion in tin foil.)
MA & BILLY PA
(Borrower goes to stand between Ma and Billy Pa. He puts an arm around
each, accompanied by much crinkling of tin foil. Gripper moves closer to
them and smiles.)
You're all very brave.
We attack at dawn
A sympathetic mob has assembled, incuding Dwarf, Ma and Billy Pa, Lee
and all the main characters. They are rallying together against Ma and
Billy Pa's potential eviction from the trailer park. Dwarf is wearing a
football helmet and carrying an American flag. Lee has his chain saw.
Fraiser is their leader. Ma and Billy Pa are wrapped in aluminum foil.
A VOICE FROM THE MOB
What are we going to do?
We are going to do it. That's what we are going to do!
We're going to do it.
(Led by Fraiser, they start marching on the Nazi trailer park's owner's
trailer. They are an odd looking bunch of protesters. Gripper is
marching right beside Borrower. He is wearing a State Trooper's hat.
This is a little out of your way, isn't it? Aren't you one of the Black Shirts?
Not really. The telescope is paid for, isn't it?
(Smiling in return . . . takes off his hat and puts it on Gripper's head.)
INTERIOR—NAZI LANDLADY'S TRAILER
She is wearing a Nazi uniform. The interior of the trailer is an
extension of the Third Reich—flags, momentos, and etc. She is looking
out the window of the trailer at the approaching mob. The Nazi's husband
is standing beside her. He is not wearing a uniform. He just looks like
a heavy equipment operator.
What the hell???
HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
(Now looking out of the window.)
Looks like a mob.
It is a mob!
The mob marches to the Nazi Landlady's trailer. She steps outside onto a little porch.
Have you lost your minds?
(Then Ma and Billy Pa give her the finger. And also another shot of the beautiful Gripper giving the Nazi Landlady the finger.)
I want to talk to you about Ma and Billy Pa.
There's nothing to talk about. Those aluminum foil freaks are going.
That there telescope they have is in violation of the park's lease
agreement, and that's all there is to it. You can't have a telescope in
this trailer park, and there's nothing to talk about; so go back to your
We beg to differ.
(Reaching into a uniform pocket and taking out a lease.)
No exceptions . . . see right here, Section 7: No pets, no telescopes.
It's in black and white. So scram. Go back to your trailers and try to
figure out how to pay your back rent. That will keep you busy for a
Now that you've got that out of your system, let's get down to the serious business of the telescope.
Are you deaf, Fraiser? Do you want to continue working here? Do you want to continue here at all?
Have you ever heard of the American Civil Liberties Union?
Borrower stands at the edge of the mob. Borrower has an idea. It is written all over his face. He's coming up with something.
(Softly, but audible in the mob.)
No pets, no telescopes, no exceptions.
(Standing beside him.)
Not what . . . but what.
I don't get it.
Don't worry. I will get it.
(Borrower heads for his trailer. Gripper watches him leave, shrugs her shoulders and goes back to being a part of the mob.)
(Yells at the landlady.)
Power to the people!
Power to what?
Borrower is sorting through a pile of telescopes. He rejects three or
four of them before arriving at one of them that seems to suit his
This should do it.
(Borrower leaves his trailer with a telescope.)
EXTERIOR—NAZI LANDLADY'S TRAILER
Borrower is slipping around behind the trailer. He has the telescope
with him. There is a voice-over of mob noises. They are chanting . . .
Heil Hitler! Borrower opens up a bedroom window and drops the telescope
to a bed. He closes the window.
Borrower is rejoining the mob that has just finished chanting Heil Hitler. He slips in beside Gripper.
(Turning to look at him.)
Did you get what you want?
I wanted it, mama.
Nazi Landlady is now very, very upset. She is almost foaming at the mouth.
I'll call the police.
You are the police.
(Borrower makes his way up to the front of the crowd and stands beside
Fraiser. It is obvious that he wants to say something. He has captured
the attention of both Fraiser and the Nazi Landlady.)
What is it? Do you want to say something?
What does he want?
What do you want?
No pets, no telescopes, no exceptions?
Yes! Section 7. OK, so what"
No exceptions, that's what it says. Yep, what's the point.
The point is . . . what about the telescope on your bed?
(The Nazi Landlady's Heavy Equipment Operator husband steps outside the
trailer, where he has been listening to everything, and joins his wife.)
HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
What's that about a telescope?
(Turning to him.)
(Then to Borrower.)
What's that about a telescope?
On your bed.
You've really flipped out.
Section 7 . . . no pets, no telescopes, no exceptions. You're going to
have to evict yourself because you are in violation of the lease and
there are no exceptions so you're going to have to go. If you don't
evict yourself, you'll never be able to wear the Nazi uniform again with
I don't have a telescope!
Yes, you do!
No, I don't! I've never had a telescope. I hate telescopes.
So, go in and look for yourself on the bed.
(Nazi Landlady and Heavy Equipment Operator go inside the trailer. The
mob waits quietly outside. Lee strokes the chain saw blade as if it were
SLOW MOB FADE. CUT TO
One by one, telescopes emerge from the rooftops of trailers.
SO: "When You Wish Upon A Star"
INTERIORS of trailers. The dwarves are dancing. Frasier and Janet cuddle
up. Lee and Borrower look out their windows, astonished to see . . .
LS: The UFOs descend. They are vintage trailers: Airstreams, popup campers, food carts, etc.
MS: Ma and Pa on their porch, are wrapped in tinfoil, celebrating.
CU: Nazi Landlady with an awestruck look.
I guess there are some things we are not meant to understand.
CU: Borrower is grinning like an idiot. He gives a "thumbs up."
CU: Lee has a peaceful look. He flashes a peace sign.
CU: Frasier and Janet, kissing.
LS: More trailers seem to fill the entire skys.
LS: The trailer park, now stretching from horizon to horizon.