Pussycat

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Screenplays

FADE IN:

INT. PHOENIX CONCERT HALL – NIGHT

The sound of a rich MALE VOICE CROONING is nearly drowned out by the sound of FEMALE VOICES SCREAMING. Slowly, the camera pans up a dimly lit stage, which is intermittently rained upon by pairs of women’s UNDERWEAR. From the bottom up, FLOYD GALLAGHER enters the frame. He is a surprisingly nimble man of 50, with a thick paunch, luxurious perm and Welsh accent.

FLOYD

Goodnight, Phoenix! You’ve been wonderful!

He finishes an Engelbert Humperdinck cover with a flourish and disappears offstage.

INT. GREEN ROOM – NIGHT

STANLEY HARE, 53, a Londoner and Floyd’s manager of 35 years, is waiting with a fresh shirt. Floyd tears out of his sweaty spangled costume. Behind him is a poster with his face on it that reads

AN EVENING WITH FLOYD GALAGHER

FEBRUARY 12 EMPIRE BALLROOM

FLOYD

Sixteen pairs.

STANLEY

Not bad.

FLOYD

Up from Thursday’s show anyway.

STANLEY

(Absently)

Well, that’s good news, isn’t it?

FLOYD

A year ago I was averaging 30, 40 a night.

STANLEY

You do realize you’re not actually paid in underwear, don’t you? Pants.

Stanley throws Floyd a pair of worn jeans, which he puts on.

STANLEY (CONT’D)

Of course, you have to consider their age.

FLOYD

Mm?

STANLEY

I mean, look at them, they’re not exactly spring chickens, are they? They’re probably all wearing huge bloomers by now – more difficult to remove rapidly and subtly than a thong, say.

Floyd’s frowns, apparently not comforted.

FLOYD

I suppose. When have you been testing the removability of women’s underwear, again?

STANLEY

(Shrugs)

I have diverse hobbies.

FLOYD

I’m going for a smoke.

He heads out the back door.

EXT. REAR PARKING LOT – NIGHT

Floyd finishes his smoke, puts it out against the brick wall behind him and starts to unwrap a Twinkie. He hears a RUSTLING from behind the garbage container, and a mangy grey and black CAT emerges, her huge belly dragging on the ground. Floyd nods to her. The cat acknowledges Floyd’s greeting by winding her way around his feet and MEOWLING.

FLOYD

Hello there. Hungry, are you?

He splits his Twinkie in half and throws one half to the cat. They toast each other and share the meal.

EXT. PHOENIX CONCERT HALL – NIGHT

Floyd and Stanley step out into the warm night. A chauffeured car is waiting for Floyd.

STANLEY

We should be flying out by three at the latest if you’re going to rest up before you go onstage.

FLOYD

I’ll probably just sleep on the plane.

STANLEY

Well, I’d still like to leave early enough so that if the weight of all the underwear you’ve amassed on tour makes us crash into the ocean, the rescue team will have time to search for us before the show.

FLOYD

Stan, why do you make fun of me when you know I’m fragile and insecure?

He slaps Stanley lightly on the cheek before climbing into the car.

STANLEY

Three o’clock.

FLOYD

(Closing the door)

Righto.

INT. CAR – NIGHT

Floyd leans his head against the window and stares blearily out at the passing streets. Before he can properly drop off, there is a sudden THUMP and an accompanying inhuman SCREECH.

DRIVER

Shit!

The driver pulls over and jumps out of the car to look for what he hit. Through the open car door comes a soft, pained MEWLING.

FLOYD

(Softly)

Oh no.

INT. PRIVATE JET – DAY

Floyd and Stanley look down at the cat at their feet, who is now sporting a raw-looking bald patch where the car caught her on the shoulder.

STANLEY

What did you do to get it to follow you?

FLOYD

Not sure.

He thinks for a moment.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

I did split a Twinkie with it.

STANLEY

No, Floyd, that’s what I’m always telling you, you can’t feed strays! That’s incredibly irresponsible! How can you expect to keep a pet? You can barely take care of yourself.

FLOYD

That’s not true. I’ve been so good the last little while. You said it yourself when we started the tour, you said I’ve really shaped up.

STANLEY

I more meant I was glad you’re not constantly off your gourd and I don’t have to help you to the toilet anymore. Listen –

FLOYD

Come on, I’ll take care of it and feed it and everything.

Stanley sighs and watches the cat, who is unconcernedly writhing about in the shag carpet. Floyd watches Stanley expectantly.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

I’ve started calling it Stan, after you.

STANLEY

I think it’s a girl.

FLOYD

Really?

STANLEY

Looks like she might be pregnant, actually. It’s a miracle she’s survived the hit.

FLOYD

You think I’m responsible for nearly killing a pregnant cat?

STANLEY

Floyd, come on –

FLOYD

And you still want me to get rid of it?

Stanley is about to protest again, but Floyd raises a threatening finger.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

Fragile and insecure, Stan!

STANLEY

Bugger. Fine, we’ll take it with us, but you have to promise me you’ll take her to the vet and have her looked at as soon as we get to London.

Floyd silently raises a fist in victory.

INT. LONDON CONCERT HALL – NIGHT

FLOYD

London! You’re beautiful!

The crowd screams louder. Floyd blows a kiss.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

Goodnight!

A pair of underwear flies out of the crowd and hits him in the side of the head. He grabs it and winks.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

Thank you, darling!

A final crescendo of lights and music, and he disappears offstage.

INT. DRESSING ROOM HALLWAY – NIGHT

Floyd comes out of his dressing room to greet the crowd fans and well-wishers gathered around the door. He signs several autographs before a stocky middle-aged woman approaches him, blushing.

FLOYD

(Getting a fresh press photo)

Hello darling, and what’s your name?

MARJORIE

Marjorie Wilkins. This is actually a bit embarrassing, but do you think I could get my underwear back?

Floyd’s smile fades just a touch; he’s momentarily stunned.

MARJORIE (CONT’D)

Only, my son is picking me up and I don’t fancy riding in his car with no undroos on.

She laughs, a bit nervously. Floyd chuckles also.

FLOYD

Sure, yeah. Absolutely.

He heads into the dressing room and calls back to her over his shoulder.

FLOYD (O.S.)

What do they look like?

MARJORIE

Pink with white flowers.

Floyd rummages for a moment and then emerges holding the underwear.

FLOYD

But I’m a little curious – why would you throw a pair of underwear onstage if you were hoping to get them back?

MARJORIE

It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I wasn’t really thinking.

She holds out her hand for the underwear, but Floyd is still holding them loosely at his side.

FLOYD

Well, apparently. What if I had thrown them away? What would you have done?

MARJORIE

(Flustered)

I’m not sure. Anyway, you did have them, so.

FLOYD

Yes, I did, because I care about my fans.

He smiles and the woman holds out her hand for the underwear again.

FLOYD (CONT’D)

And I know how to honour the audience-performer contract.

MARJORIE

Sorry?

FLOYD

It’s just, when you threw them at me you relinquished your right to them.

Some of the people from the dispersing crowd of well-wishers look around curiously.

MARJORIE

Excuse me?

FLOYD

It’s like taking back a gift. It’s just a bit rude is all. You can have them, of course, but, yeah. Anyway, you’ll know in future.

MARJORIE

Well what do you want them for anyway? Taking home a middle-aged woman’s underwear, what kind of dirty old pervert are you?

FLOYD

All right, you know what? I’m not sure you’ve earned these.

MARJORIE

They’re mine!

FLOYD

Like hell they are, you threw them at my head!

MARJORIE

Give me those!

She grabs onto the underwear and tugs, but Floyd refuses to let go. They struggle for a while, until the woman finally yanks the underwear hard out of Floyd’s grasp and they both stumble backwards. She gives him one final glare before stomping away.

INT. DRESSING ROOM – NIGHT

Floyd and Stanley are sitting in chairs facing each other, looking grave.

FLOYD

It was a point of principle.

STANLEY

How so?

FLOYD

Throwing your underwear at the stage is like throwing flowers. You’re giving a gift. You’re honouring the special time that you’ve shared together. If you retract that gift, it’s like saying, “What you’ve given me, this special time we’ve shared, is not worth paying for.”

STANLEY

Except that they’ve already paid. With their money.

FLOYD

(Heated)

It’s an insult to the integrity of the performer. It flies in the face of all logic and defiles the relationship between musician and music-lover.

STANLEY

(Standing up)

Well, Floyd, I’m not sure what to tell you. We’re in something of a pickle because of this.

FLOYD

I know. I’m sorry.

STANLEY

An international pop icon just got into a physical fight with a middle-aged woman from Kent after refusing to relinquish her knickers, in front of several fans. It’s possible she’ll want a settlement. I would.

FLOYD

But what if I explain about the contract between the audience and the performer?

STANLEY

The rules of stage etiquette you made up in your head probably won’t hold up in a court of law, I’m afraid.

FLOYD

Well, what do you propose we do about it tonight?

EXT. FLOYD’S HOUSE, HAMPSTEAD, LONDON – LATER

The chauffeured car rolls up to Floyd’s house. It’s almost dawn. Everything is quiet except for muffled laughter coming from inside the car. Floyd tumbles out of the back seat, several empties nearly rolling out after him. Stanley shouts his goodnights as the car pulls away.

INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT

Floyd stumbles into the house, and after washing his mouth and face in the kitchen sink, trudges sleepily in the direction of his bedroom.

INT. HALL OUTSIDE BEDROOM – NIGHT

At the door, he hears a soft SHUFFLING AND MOANING and freezes. Flicking on the light, he finds that Little Stan is giving birth to kittens in an open drawer containing women’s underwear.

He gently pulls out the drawer and sets it on the bed. He sits down on the floor and watches them with utter love and wonder, drunken tears filling his eyes.

INT. BEDROOM – DAWN

Floyd is in exactly the same position, except that he has fallen asleep with only his head resting on the bed.

INT. LONDON CLUB STAGE – NIGHT

SUPER: TWO MONTHS LATER

Floyd wails with vigour to a smallish and subdued crowd. A pair of underwear hurtles from the back towards his head; he catches it and tosses it offstage to Little Stan, who is curled up contentedly in her drawer with the now adolescent litter.

FLOYD

(To O.S.)

How’d you like that one, darling?

INT. OFFSTAGE – NIGHT

CLOSE UP: LITTLE STAN’S DRAWER

lined with, in addition to underwear, several gossip rags with just-visible headlines like GALAGHER ON THE EDGE? and FLOYD GALAGHER LOSES MIND AT LONDON SHOW. Kittens climb over their mother.

INT. LONDON CLUB STAGE – NIGHT

FLOYD

(Into mic, to audience)

Alright, I’m gonna try a cover for my last song tonight. You’ve been absolutely wonderful.

Floyd begins “What’s New Pussycat,” to much applause. Little Stan seems to like it.

                                                                                          FADE OUT.

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