New York Knew Nothing, Part 2
By Michael J. Pfeffer
Scene 1- the George Washington Bridge, 11:20 AM, May 23rd. A Chrysler
Concorde is slowly creeping its way through morning traffic. A tallish guy with glasses
and a flannel shirt is in the driver's seat, an Italian-looking guy with a Navy Baseball
next to him.
Guy 2: We're going where?
Guy1: Brighton Beach. Y'know, Little Odessa.
Guy 2: Oh yeah, that's the place with all the Russian immigrants.
Guy 1: As well as the world's finest smoked salmon.
Guy 2: I'm sure we're not just going for dead fish.
Guy 1: I still have to pick up that Order of Lenin medal from Yuri.
Guy 2: Oh, yeah! That medal guy!
Guy 1: Uh huh. Good thing Dad let me borrow the car. I had to get out of the house.
Y'know, New York'll be cool. Just between us buds. Plus, we need to get to the famous
Spy Store International!
(They high five, one of them puts Combat Rock by The Clash into the CD Player.)
Guy 1: If I had to suffer through more yoga and incense, I swear, I'm going to feed
Mom and the incense into the oven.
Guy 2: Well, you did write about it a while ago.
Guy 1 (Smiling lightly): Yeah. I wonder where I'll send 'em next?
Scene 2- Michael, Mara, Daria, Jane and Trent, all on the Coney Island
Daria: _Where_ are we going again?
Michael: M&I International Foods.
Jane: And why?
Mara: You can't find any better smoked salmon anywhere.
Michael: Plus, there's this guy who sells old Russian military medals. I'm looking for the
Order of Lenin. And on the way out, we have to bop by Manhattan, to the Spy Store. I
need to pick up some more microcameras. We have to hit the boardwalk games first,
though. It's an experience.
Jane: How is it an experience? You give someone two bucks, they give you a bowling
ball to roll up toilet paper, and if you actually succeed, God forbid, they give you a
the size of a cotton ball.
Michael: I used to live in Jersey, remember. It's really hard to explain this, but there's
something about all the humanity... all the people. Besides, you've never lived until
you've had a Nathan's hot dog.
(They split up [Michael and Mara are one group, Daria, Jane and Trent go along
Trent: New York was actually pretty cool. Lots of places...
Daria: Although we could have actually seen more than the Whitney Museum if a
CERTAIN SOMEONE hadn't taken up so much time there!
Jane: Give me a break. I probably won't come back here until I move here, and I want
to get in as much culture as I can.
Trent: By throwing away (starts counting on his fingers) Chinatown, a Broadway show,
and seeing five museums containing paintings that any Kindergarten child could paint
Jane: Yeah. Isn't this a great city?
Scene 3-12:20 PM, Nathan's. They all eventually bust through the crowd and order hot
dogs and fries each. A fat Japanese cook shoves them all over on a tray shouting
something. Michael tosses him ten bucks and they walk off.
Michael: Okay, guys. Dig in!
(They all stare at the hot dogs. They're plump to the point of almost exploding, and
there are gigantic rips on top.)
Michael: Don't be shy. They're the best!
(They look at Michael as if he's crazy.)
Michael: Listen, you gotta trust me on this one! First come, first serve!
(Daria shrugs, picks up a hot dog, takes a bite, and chews tentatively.)
Daria: Hmm... not bad. Really meaty... could use mustard... but overall, it's really good.
(Everyone else follows suit. The cardboard tray is empty within minutes.)
Trent (Licking off his fingers): Very nice.
Jane: I have to agree. How do you know all this?
Michael: When you live in Jersey, you go to New York as much as possible. I've been
everywhere in this city. Besides, it's great to travel.
Mara: Yeah. However else would you have met me?
(They hold hands and move closer.)
Jane: Get a freakin' room, you two!
Trent: Way to go, Janey. You're really getting into the New York mood.
Jane (Brooklyn accent): Fageddaboutit. (Translation: Forget about it.)
Michael: Shall we?
(They walk down the boardwalk and turn onto a long road under elevated train tracks.
There are people in a variety of outfits everywhere, from babushkas to businessmen.)
Everyone but Michael: Wow.
(A fat man with white hair rushes up to the group, waving trinkets and shouting
Michael: No, I don't want any toys. Buzz off.
(He keeps shouting and acts persuasive. Michael withdraws a pistol.)
Michael: I said back off.
(The vendor gets the message.)
Mara: What was that for? He only wanted a few bucks!
Michael: Trust me, people like this haven't even attempted to get a job. All these stores
are usually shortchanged of help. They need money, they can get money.
Daria: Whatever, but I still think it's pretty cold.
Michael: Besides, you give money to one, they all swarm on you.
Jane: I see.
Michael: C'mon, and keep your eyes open. And you'd better keep together, it'll be hell
to find everyone if we get lost.
(They set off on the sidewalks.)
Scene 4- 4:40 PM. They are slumped on a curbside in front of a sunglasses store.
They still haven't found M&I International yet.
Daria: We could always ask for directions again.
Jane: What's the point, unless you know Russian?
Daria: Something close to learning Klingon.
Trent: And I don't think any of us are planning that in the near future.
Michael: I just don't get it!
Mara: Anyone else hungry?
Trent: I could eat.
Daria: Yeah. Those hot dogs are good, but really light.
Michael: Wait a second... (He sniffs the air.) Anyone else smell salt?
Jane: Yeah... kinda smells like smoke too...
(Michael's eyes light up.)
Michael: Smoked salmon! (Stands up and spots a white sign with blue letters: M&I
INTERNATIONAL FOODS.) Yes!!!! Let's get some fish!
Scene 5- inside M&I International. It is a packed market, with cartons of foodstuffs
the center and deli counters on all the other sides.
Daria: How can you find your way around here?
Michael: It's simple. (Points right) That's the fish and meats counter. (Points to the
back) That's the deli foods counter. The chicken Kiev is great here. (Points left) That's
another personal favorite of mine if I ever get enough money- the caviar counter.
(Everyone's face blanches at the mention of "caviar.")
Daria: How do you ever stomach that?
Michael: It actually tastes like chicken.
Mara: I'm not going near there.
Michael: You're right. That stuff costs $80 per ounce. Let's just get some fish and
cream cheese from down here and a few bagels from upstairs, we'll get the medals
outside, and head back to the hotel for some chow.
Mara: What about the plans?
Michael: C'mon, we'll never pull it off.
Trent: What plans?
Jane: Yeah, what plans?
(Mara gives Michael a pleading-eyes look.)
Michael: Okay, fine. We're not just getting stuff for us, we were going to throw a
surprise party for everyone.
Daria: In our rooms?
Michael: They're connecting doors, we can pull it off.
Mara: Yeah. I mean, it's our last night in New York, we've got more than enough
money... (She looks at Michael, who sighs.)
Michael: I was finally able to get Eddie's fake money-maker working again. Only a
couple hundred, though. There's a small market a few doors down, we can get anything
else we need there.
Mara: So who's for a party? We can invite everyone.
Daria: I say we go for it.
Trent: Why not? I can call Max and Nick. Mystik Spiral can perform.
Michael: Remember your promise...
Trent: I haven't forgotten.
Jane: Let's rock!
Michael: Okay! The party's a go! Let's get some chow!
(They all go into M&I.)
(Cut to a few stores down. Guy 1 and Guy 2 are walking in the same direction as M&I.)
Guy 1: It's not too far from here.
Guy 2: Hey, you wanna go clubbing tonight? We'll get a couple of drinks, check out
Guy 1: Listen, I'm still recovering from...
Guy 2: Okay, okay. I forgot that it was touchy.
Guy 1: That's better. I think we turn right here.
(They go right.)
Scene 6- the Darians are walking out of a food store, arms loaded with groceries.
Daria (Shouting blindly): Michael, are you sure this is enough for the whole class?
Mara (Shouting again, in the wrong direction): I'm not Michael, and half the class usually
doesn't show up.
Trent (Shouting): I vote we take a taxi back to the hotel.
Everyone else: I agree!
Michael: Okay, let's put these down. I need to get my bearings.
(They all set down the bags, and they are in front of a store with a sign bearing
NORWEGIAN LAUNDRY in English and Cyrillic.)
Michael: All right! We're here!
Daria: Where's here?
Daria: Where's Yuri?
Voice: Down here!
(They all look down, and there is a tall man with white hair and thin features who
speaks with a heavy Russian accent standing besides a black cloth laden with medals
(Michael and Yuri hug.)
Yuri: Tovarisch, it's been too long!
Michael: Great to see you, Yuri! How's the family?
Yuri: Wonderful, Mr. Michael! Nikita won the scholarship to Harvard!
Michael: Wow! She's going to make you proud, just wait.
Yuri: Ah, you've brought friends?
Michael: Yep. (Introductions all around.)
Yuri: Your friends are mine. I give you Christmas gift, yes?
Michael: Yuri, you don't have to do that! Besides, you already gave me the Christmas
gift. Speaking of which, I found a case for it. I mean, the Hero of the Soviet Union
deserves the best.
Yuri: Nonsense! You help me set up here. I owe you everything! You and friends take
this. (Hands Michael a crudely gift-wrapped box.) Open it when you have time. For
now, Mr. Michael, I have...
(Guy 1 and Guy 2 walk up.)
Guy 1: Yuri, nice to see you!
Yuri: Mr. ... no, wait... there are two Mr. Michaels now! (He laughs.)
Guy 1: Huh?
Guy 2: Two of you, man? Jesus.
Michael: Do I know you?
Guy 1: Do _I_ know _you_?
Daria: I sense some violence.
Mara: Before there's bloodshed, will you just make sure you're not some super
enemies or something?
Michael: Okay, fine. I'm Michael Andrews.
Guy 1: What?
Michael: What's wrong? My name's not good enough for you?
Guy 1: Let me get this straight... you're Michael Andrews? (Starts to snicker.)
(Guy 1 whispers something to Guy 2, and they both snicker. Guy 2 goggles.)
Guy 2: Man. This is too weird.
Guy 1: You can call me MJP.
Guy 1: It's really Michael J. Pfeffer. Call me Pfeff, or Michael, whatever.
MJP: And this is Rich Verde. (Motions to the Italian, Guy 2.)
Rich: It's a pleasure... (Looks at Mara.) Especially a pleasure with you... (gets an
Michael and MJP: Back off, Rich.
Michael: She's my girlfriend already.
MJP: If I have to pick you up at the police station one more time...
Michael: Hey... what're you doing here? I mean, there are so few people who collect
MJP: I'm a tad of a collector myself.
Michael: No kidding?
MJP: I was here to pick up the Order of Victory.
Michael: Cool. I'm looking for the Order of Lenin.
MJP: Order of Lenin, huh?
Daria: Can we knock off the hormone talk? There's a party to plan.
Michael: Hey, are you guys doing anything later? We're having a party back at the hotel
MJP: Sure. We were going to go clubbing, but I just had to end a pretty prosperous
relationship. Forget it. Let's chow down.
Yuri: Ah, Mr. and Mr. Michael, I have your medals. You take, no charge. (Gestures
towards two black velvet boxes with the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union flag on
them. Michael hands Yuri a $100 bill.)
Yuri: No, no, no. You take.
Michael: Yuri, those medals are worth thousands. (Folds the bill, puts it into Yuri's
pocket.) You can keep it.
Yuri: I thank you both. You are welcome here, any time!
Michael: Thanks, Yuri, my man. Let's head on back.
MJP: Taxi's on me, if we can fit.
Scene 7- the Sheraton Midtown, Manhattan. Jodie and Mack's room.
Jodie: Man, if we ever have to go with Kevin and Brittany to the Bronx Zoo ever again,
I'm either going to shoot the penguins, or them.
Mack: Thank God we're going back home tomorrow... where we can suffer through
more of it. (Mock Kevin voice) Hey Mack Daddy, heh... check out the monkeys!
(The phone rings. Jodie picks it up.)
Jodie: Hello? Yeah. Uh huh... yes, we eat smoked salmon... uh huh... sure, I'll pass it
along. (Hangs up.) Things are looking up. We've been invited to a party in Michael and
Mack: Oh, yeah. Commando Boy and his girlfriend.
Jodie: They've got smoked salmon...
Mack (Shrugs): Why not? It's either that or watch previews of satellite movies.
(Kevin and Brittany's room.)
Brittany: Did you see those cute tigers?
Kevin: Yeah. Those monkeys were really cool.
Brittany (Pissed off): Kevin, if you mention those monkeys again, I'm going to get
cranky. And nobody wants that.
Kevin: Whaddaya mean, babe?
(The phone rings. Brittany gets it.)
Brittany: Hello? (Pause.) You bastard! No way! Uchhh! (Throws the phone to Kevin.)
Here, you talk to him! It's some horny Italian guy!
Kevin: Uhhh... hello?
Rich: Hey, you're that quarterback guy, right?
Kevin (Egotistical): Yeah.
Rich: There's a party at seven. Be there. Bring your girlfriend.
Kevin: He hung up. (Shrugs, calls to Brittany who is now in the shower) Hey babe,
there's a party going on tonight. You want to go?
Brittany: Only if that Italian guy isn't going to be there!
Scene 8- at the party. The room is packed.
Michael: Isn't this fish worth the trip?
Daria: Definitely. The bagels aren't bad either.
Mara: As I recall, the last time you ate bagels was on the plane... to Maine.
Michael: Yeah. Bagels are special to me now. I guess they bring me good luck.
Mara: And you're still a romantic.
(Kevin and Brittany arrive, as well as half the football team, hoisting kegs.)
Team: PARTY!!!!!! WOO HOO!
(They start butting heads, a little too hard, and they are all on the floor.)
Brittany: Ooooohhh! Those idiots! (Kicks Kevin's unconscious form.)
Rich (Schmoozing up to Brittany): He doesn't treat you right.
Brittany: No, he doesn't!
Rich: A woman like you deserves the best.
Brittany: You bet I do!
Rich: I'm Richard Verde, but most beautiful women call me Rich.
(A few hours later. Michael and Mara are making out in the bathroom. Bubbles are
forming from a puddle emerging beneath the door. Rich and Brittany are making out.)
Brittany (Between smooches): Rich... why are we doing this?
Rich (Also between kisses): What do you mean?
Brittany: I live in California... you live in New Jersey... we'll probably never see each
Rich: You date the quarterback. How's that for a reason?
(Brittany plasters Rich's face with kisses. He's trying to fight her off.)
Rich: Let me... just... get some air! C'mon, Brittany...
Trent: This is actually really good salmon.
(Even later. Michael and MJP are talking. Everyone else is back in their rooms.)
MJP: And that's the advantage of the MiG-29 over the Su-27.
Michael: I'll agree with you on the maneuverability issue, but range is really limited.
(MJP checks his watch.)
MJP: It's late. I have to get going.
Michael: One last thing... who are you, anyway?
(MJP grins in the shadows.)
MJP: Who am I? Let's just say that I'm your father, but not really.
(MJP steps out, leaving a puzzled Michael in the darkness. MJP turns as if to face the
MJP: I told them they'd meet their maker, didn't I?
(MJP meets up with Rich and they walk out.)
(Back inside, Mara sits down next to Michael and starts massaging his shoulders.)
Mara: So who was he?
Michael: I'm not sure. But I feel as if I've met God.
Mara (Kisses Michael on the cheek.): He seems like a nice guy. It's as if you two are
Michael (Pulls Mara closer): Yeah. It's weird. Almost as if someone's watching over
(A few hours later. MJP is sitting at a computer terminal.)
MJP: I wonder where I'll send them next...