Jedemi Chronicles SE – The Taming of Viv – 006

The story continues as Frankie approaches Viv and attempts to build trust so the gang can start taking a more active role at the cafe.


Scene 11 – “How clean is clean?”

SUNDAY

INT. JEDEMI CAFE

Sundays are really slow at the cafe. For some reason, the town closes down early and the streets are relatively empty by late afternoon. In a way, Viv is relieved because she can get caught up on paperwork. But when she sits down to do it, she is reminded why she hates this aspect of being a business owner so much. Even though MOLLY, the young business woman who has been so helpful with the ownership transition, had pretty much made it turnkey, there are still certain aspects that seem to cause brain lock. Like the P&L (AKA profit & loss). Viv flips through a report that has a note scribbled on it from Molly. It has a post-it note on a page showing a bar graph — and the picture says everything. Sunday afternoons/evenings are hurting the bottom line. And where fixed costs stand (Molly pretty much optimized everywhere she could) — there’s no other option but to find a way to generate some revenue to put them over the top.

Viv puts the report down and walks back out to the cafe. Whenever she needs to think things out, she takes to cleaning equipment. So she heads over to the $6,000 espresso machine she picked up for a song from the Will & Will auction house, and starts taking it apart.

Viv's auction-house score.

Viv’s auction-house score.

It’s pretty obvious the machine is already in tip-tip shape (it sparkles… even the well-used nozzle looks brand new). As she gets lost in thought, Frankie sees his opening and swoops in.

FRANKIE
So, like how clean is clean?

There’s no response.

FRANKIE
Yo, Viv! Ya ‘wid’ me? So… like how clean is clean anyway?

Viv is still in her zone, not hearing anything. So Frankie does what he does best — makes noise by re-arranging the joint. In this case, he starts pushing things onto the floor — things like the espresso tamper and an empty (as in top off) chocolate shaker… and just as he is about to upset the full cinnamon one, Viv looks up and grabs it before it hits the floor.

FRANKIE
Finally! Thought I’d never get your attention. Hey Viv!

VIV
Oh… hey Frankie. Sorry, have you been waiting long?

There’s silence. An uncomfortable silence…

VIV
Uh… Frankie?

FRANKIE
Sorry… I was actually stopping myself from being a wise ass — because I know that wouldn’t go over well.

VIV
Thanks for your consideration.

FRANKIE
Okay — so where have you been?

VIV
Right here.

FRANKIE
No, ma’ am. I beg to differ. You were about as far away from here as you could get… without sitting in the Stanford watching a movie, that is.

VIV
Oh, don’t be silly.

FRANKIE
I’m not being silly — it’s just that I know that you’re taking apart that fine machine for like the umpteenth time… and look at it! It’s probably cleaner than when it rolled off the production line.

Viv looks over at the espresso machine and smiles.

VIV
Yeah — she’s well-taken care of.

FRANKIE
Well… if you don’t mind me asking… why is it that you are over-tending this fine machine.

VIV
To take my mind off things, I guess.

FRANKIE
Isn’t that what going to the movies is for? At least, that’s what I always believed.

VIV
Funny you should mention that… because I went to the movies Thursday evening…

FRANKIE
And?

VIV
…And I found that it sure was hard to relax when I kept having that nagging feeling that I should be here.

FRANKIE
But when you got back here on Friday, everything was fine, right?

VIV
Yeah. The place looked great. And we’ve had two really good days.

FRANKIE
So taking a break from here didn’t break the cafe. Hallellula!

VIV
Wise guy. So what’s up with this visit. When I wasn’t pestered by you for days, I figured you moved onto another project… or another cafe. What gives?

FRANKIE
Au contrare. I’ve been thinking…

VIV
Ah! That’s what that burning smell is. I thought perhaps the mini-roaster downstairs was acting up.

FRANKIE
Very funny. Anyway, while you were at the movies…I came up with a really nifty idea…

VIV
Wait a minute… are you saying you knew I went to the movies before I mentioned it just now?

FRANKIE
Sure. You were at the Stanford, right? Did you like it?

VIV
The movie itself was quite enjoyable. And that theater is charming. Overall it was a really wonderful experience.

FRANKIE
So I’ve been told…

VIV
Let’s get back to the thinking part.

FRANKIE
I was thinking that you and I would make a great tag-team.

VIV
Oh yeah, doing what? Practical jokes on the patrons. “Now you see it, now you don’t” stuff.

FRANKIE
Come on Viv. This is much better.

VIV
Okay. You’ve got my attention… now shoot.

FRANKIE
Let’s wait until after you’re officially closed. Can you stay a bit?

VIV
Ah. We’re dead. I was thinking of closing early anyway. Didn’t you notice that I already sent the help home?

FRANKIE
Actually, I did.

VIV
So… let’s do it now. Let me just flip the sign, lock the front door and dim the lights.

FRANKIE
Great. That’ll give me time to round up the troops.

VIV
Troops? I thought you said this was about you and me tag-teaming.

FRANKIE
Sure… With an assist from my friends. You were curious about them anyway, so I thought I’d make formal introductions.

Viv walks over to the little sink, runs some cold water and splashes it on her face. She grabs a towel and wipes up the drips and opens her eyes.

FRANKIE
Uh… Viv. Ya wid me? You up for this tonight?

VIV
You’re still here? I thought I was dreaming.

Viv feels a slight pinch on the back of her arm and jumps.

FRANKIE
Very real. Now I promise not to be long.

VIV
Okay. But don’t dawdle. It’s been a tiring day —dealing with the numbers tends to wear me down.

FRANKIE
I’ll be right back!

Viv shuffles off towards the front of the cafe.

FADE OUT.

Scene 12 – “What happened that night”
Sunday

INT. JEDEMI CAFE

The scene opens with a tight shot of the jukebox and then pulls back to see Viv wiping it down (yet again).

It’s pretty quiet. The Jukebox is resting.

Frankie gets Viv’s attention by knocking over a nearby chair.

FRANKIE
Yo, Viv! So, like how clean is clean?

VIV
Ah! You’re back. So did you bring your buddies.

FRANKIE
I rounded up a couple of folks. Here’s Doc …

DOC
Pleasure to formally meet you.

FRANKIE
… and Joey.

JOEY
Likewise. I really admire what you’ve done with the place.

VIV
Thank you. Nice to meet you guys… Now let me in on your secret — how do you keep up with your buddy Frankie and his motor mouth.

JOEY
It’s a challenge… But we found that if he gets locked into a project, he tends to be less Tigger-like.

DOC
Good one. Yeah — I like the Tigger thing.

FRANKIE
Tigger?

JOEY
You can look it up later.

Viv picks up the chair Frankie knocked over, and sits down.

VIV
Okay, guys. It’s been a long slow day, so if you don’t mind, let’s makes this quick so I can get out of here and recharge my batteries.

JOEY
Ah, Viv! Surely you can find the energy to hang on for a story…

VIV
What kind of story?

JOEY
A delightful one. It’s about the birth of a cafe.

DOC
And the arrival of a powerfully enchanted jukebox.

VIV
I’m pretty sure I know that story.

FRANKIE
Not all of it Viv.

VIV
Oh? There’s more?

JOEY
Sure. Like, don’t you want to know what happened to Mr. H?

DOC
Uh… Joey we don’t exactly know what happened to him.

JOEY
You’re right Doc, but we do know what happened that night… what caused him to return the Jukebox and sign over the cafe.

VIV
What? You guys got the scoop or something?

FRANKIE
Viv, it’s better than that … They actually had a hand in it.

VIV
No way.

JOEY
Way.

More on Mary Lou Williams

More on Mary Lou Williams

DOC
What kind of music has been playing in your Jukebox since it came to life?

VIV
Mostly Big Band stuff. The folks here love it. And that Mary Lou Williams music — very powerful keyboards that woman plays!

"Ring dem Bells"

“Ring dem Bells”

JOEY
Doc, how about giving Viv a demo of the Jukebox’s other mode.

DOC
Right on! Okay… you narrate.

JOEY
I certainly will.

FRANKIE
Viv, relax and enjoy this.

JOEY
It all started that evening after you closed up the place. Within 10 minutes, Mr. H. drove up, let himself in and then he snatched the Jukebox.

FRANKIE
And the weird thing was that, on the way out, he tried to make it look like a B&E — but he couldn’t break the window on the door.

VIV
Not surprising. So then what happened?

JOEY
You ready, Doc?

DOC
Yeah.

JOEY
So… he took the Jukebox back to his office — that one in the industrial park off El Camino.

VIV
And?

Star of "One Froggy Evening"

Star of “One Froggy Evening”

JOEY
And it kind of went Michigan J. Frog meets Chuckie. Take a listen.

Just then the Jukebox plays the first song that Mr. H. was slammed with: “UNBELIEVABLE” by EMF.

"Unbelievable" by EMF

“Unbelievable” by EMF

VIV
Whoa! At that volume?

DOC
Yeah.

JOEY
It scared him… but there’s more. Play it Doc.

DOC
Okay… here goes.

A clip of “YOU’RE NOT ALONE” by Olive plays, followed by“CANTALOOP” by US3, and “PUMP UP THE VOLUME by MARRS. And when the last song starts to play, while the Jukebox’s lights begin to pulse.

 

"Pump Up the Volume" by MARRS

“Pump Up the Volume” by MARRS

 

VIV
I’ve NEVER seen it do that before.

JOEY
Nice touch, eh? Tommie’s brilliant!

VIV
Tommie?

FRANKIE
I forgot to tell you. You’ve got a ma…

There’s a pause as Frankie gets pinched by Doc.

FRANKIE
Oww! Doc!

VIV
Huh? You’ve got a what?

FRANKIE
A very talented inventor in your basement. He won’t leave his work for anything, or I would have brought him up here to meet you tonight.

VIV
(hesitantly) Oh–kay.

JOEY
So back to our story.

DOC
Wait… that reminds me. Isn’t it time for a MI check-up?

JOEY
Oh yeah. Hey, Frankie. Mind checking in on our pal downstairs?

FRANKIE
But…

DOC
Remember, you owe me big time, buddy.

FRANKIE
Okay. I’m out of here. Viv, you’re in good hands.

VIV
So it seems. Catch you later Frankie. Okay, Joey and Doc, please continue.

JOEY
As you can figure out by now, the Jukebox basically shocked the hell out of Mr. H.

DOC
And he had no idea how to make it turn off.

JOEY
It was relentless. And that fool thought he was going to get some rest before his big meeting the next day — where he’d make the Jukebox exchange.

VIV
Oh… of course. This is the deal that was mentioned in the USA Today. Something about a big deal with a Korean conglomerate.

DOC
Yeah. He sold the Big Band playing jukebox to a company that makes clones.

JOEY
Anyway, he was pretty determined to complete the deal and there’s no way he was going to let a rambunctious jukebox get in his way…

DOC
… or muck with his mind. So he decided to try to get some shut-eye. — But the tenacious jukebox kept messing with him.

Doc queues up “DA DA DA, I DON’T LOVE YOU, YOU DON’T LOVE ME” by TRIO.

VIV
Ha! Good one.

"Da Da Da " by TRIO

“Da Da Da” by TRIO

JOEY
Needless to say, he finally got worn down to the point where he became properly spooked. And your fine enchanted jukebox kept it up, just to make sure there was no change of mind. So as Mr. H drove it back here, it woke up again — and played…

Doc queues up INFORMATION SOCIETY’S “WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND.

SONG LYRICS

I wanna know What you’re thinking.
There are some things you can’t hide. I wanna know What you’re feeling. Tell me what’s on your mind.
I know I could break you down, But what good would it do? I could surely never know That what you say is true. Here I am in silence, It’s a game I have to play.
You and I in silence. With nothing else to say. I wanna know What you’re thinking. There are some things you can’t hide. I wanna know
What you’re feeling.
Tell me what’s on your mind…

"Pure Energy " by Information Society

“What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)” by Information Society

VIV
Amazing… Perfectly appropriate.

DOC
Yeah? We thought so…

VIV
Well, you guys certainly got the job done. We haven’t seen or heard from him since.

JOEY
That’s what we were hoping for. We really wanted you to have a fresh go of it.

DOC
We didn’t like what was going on. And I thought Frannie was going to pull his tongue out — she was so furious with how he was speaking to you.

VIV
Frannie?

JOEY
Yeah, she’s one of our gang. Been kind of busy these days so she couldn’t join us this evening.

VIV
Well… I’m certainly glad to hear there’s some female influence — to keep you guys in line.

JOEY
Indeed she does.

DOC
And we’re all working double-time to keep our pal Frankie in line.

JOEY
We apologize if he’s been a bit too aggressive.

VIV
I can tell that he means well.

JOEY
Yeah. (pause) Oh look at the time.

DOC
Yeah. Time always seem to fly by when Joey gets into his story telling mode.

JOEY
Sorry for keeping you, Viv.

DOC
Yeah. We better let you go.

VIV
It was nice meeting you. And thanks for taking an interest in the Jedemi Cafe.

JOEY
It’s our pleasure. Seriously… We love it here… and everything you’ve done so far.

DOC
And Frankie feels there’s so much more…

VIV
More?

DOC
He’s kind of pondering helping out folks who hang out here.

VIV
Oh… so that’s what he’s up to.

JOEY
Yeah. (whispers) Just play along. It’s okay.

DOC
Actually, we’ve noticed that you have been playing along very well.

VIV
Thanks. You gentlemen have a wonderful evening…

DOC
You too Viv. Get some rest.

JOEY
We’ll give your regards to Frankie.

DOC
Yeah. And watch for signs this week.

JOEY
Yeah. He’s been working on special signs…

VIV
Oh. The napkin thing?

JOEY
Yeah.

DOC
And he’s got help with the handwriting… so no worries.

VIV
Cool. Okay. Good night guys. Nice meeting you.

JOEY
The pleasure was ours.

Viv checks her pockets for her keys, hits the lights and lets herself out. As the door shuts, Frankie returns.

FRANKIE
Hey guys! What’d I miss?

DOC
Let’s just say, the stage is set.

JOEY
Yeah… but you might want to let her get used to us first before diving right in.

FRANKIE
But…

DOC
Joey’s right. We just laid it out for her. Let’s give her time to digest it.

FRANKIE
You mean to tell me that Operation Burma Shave is on…

JOEY
Hold. Yes.

DOC
Come on, Frankie. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

JOEY
So let’s take our time and make sure the taming phase is complete before jumping into the whole Burma Shave thing happens… alright?

FRANKIE
Oh… alright.

JOEY
Okay, fellas. Let’s call it an evening.

"Jackie Wilson Said " by Van Morrison

“Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven)” by Van Morrison

DOC
It certainly was a productive one.

FRANKIE
I’ll say. It was awesome to see her walk out of here with a smile on her face, you know. She was so down earlier today.

The Jukebox starts playing “JACKIE WILSON SAID…” BY VAN MORRISON. And again the scene closes with dancing shadows — eventually fading out.

FADE OUT.

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