, , , , , , , , , , ,


CEO at the door


(There is a knock at Phil’s office door,

he tells Dick to be quite

and motions for him to stay on

the couch in the anteroom.

Jeff and Joey continue hiding in the executive washroom)




(Phil opens the door

only to find Peter there)


It’s not too late at night?


I’d hoped you’d come.




We couldn’t leave negotiations

where they were.

Ah! I keep looking

for your father in you.


He’s not there.


I’ll miss him.


Has Dick or Eli been here to see you?


Does it matter?

If they haven’t yet, they will.


I want to reach a settlement.

I left you with too little earlier.


Yes. Nothing is too little.


I’m sorry you’re not fonder of me, lad.

Your father always said,

“be fond of stronger men.”


No wonder he loved everyone.


I’ve come to you to offer peace.


Piss on your peace.


Your father would have wept.


My father was a weeper.


Fight me, and you’ll lose.


I can’t lose, Peter. I have time.

Just look at you. Great heavy eyes.

But each year they get a little heavier.

The sand man says you are tired

and the sand slides in the hour glass.


I’m in no hurry, Peter.

I’ve got time.


Suppose I hurry things along.

Suppose I say that I will take over laFrance.


Then laFrance may surrender.

Or – – – it may not.

I don’t have to fight to win.


Take you want… this company, that one.

You won’t keep it long.


What kind of courage have you got?


The tidal kind… it comes and goes.


By God, I’d love to turn you loose on Eli.

Do I smell a Southern Comfort Manhattan?


You recognize it?


They were making them in the office

when they thought I had left for the day.


(Phil mixes a SoCo Manhattan for Peter)


Well, things look a little bleak

for Peter, don’t they?


You’ll say yes to Dick when he comes…

money, lawyers, anything he asks.


I’d be foolish not to.



And then you would withdraw it all

before the battle ever started.


Wouldn’t you, in my place?


Why fight Peter when his sons will do it for you?


Yes, exactly.



You’ve got promise, lad. That’s first-class thinking.


Thank you, sir.


(Peter rattles the ice cubes and

empties his glass)


Good night.


Good night? You’re going?

But we haven’t settled anything.


We open Christmas presents at noon.

Till then.


You can’t be finished with me.


Oh, but I am. It’s been most satisfactory.


What’s so satisfactory?


Winning is. I did just win.

Surely you noticed.


Not a thing.

You haven’t won a damn thing.


Hmm. I found out the way your mind works and

the kind of man you are.

I know your plans and expectations.

You’ve burbled every bit of strategy you’ve got.

I know exactly what you will do and

exactly what you won’t.

And I’ve told you exactly nothing!

To these aged heavy eyes,

boy, that’s what winning looks like!


Sleep well.


You… you turned my father into nothing.

You were always better.

You bullied him,

you beat him down

in every hostile takeover,

you twisted every alliance,

you played ‘mock the CEO’,

and then you made him love you for it.


I was there. His last words went to you.


He was a loving man,

and you’ve learned nothing of it.


I learned how much fathers live in sons.

A CEO like you has policy prepared for everything.


What’s the official line on sodomy?


Where do you stand on boys who do boys?








, , , , , , , , , , ,




(Jeff knocks at the office door

of Phil, the CEO of laFrance)


Phil? Phil!


Yes, come in please


It’s working out.

By morning, I can be

the chosen son.

The CEO chair can be mine.

Are you still with me?


(Phil nods)


We’ll have to fight them all.

They’ll band together once this happens.

Have I got your word?


Do I have yours?

All outstanding shares

of laFrance

if I support you?


Are we allies, then?


We were born to be.


I should say something solemn,

but I haven’t the time.

I’m off to see Peter with news

that Joey is a traitor. After that…


(Suddenly Joey emerges from

the executive bathroom)


You stink! You know that?

You’re a stinker, and you stink.

I’ll kill you!


(Joey reaches for

a heavy lead crystal ashtray,

and stumbles)



If you’re CEO material,

there’s hope for every ape in Africa.

I had you saved.

I wasn’t on my way to Father, but he was.

He would have gone to Peter and betrayed you.

Look, it’s in his face.


It’s true.

I don’t know who my friends are.


(More knocking at the door

Dick has arrived)




(Jeff, indicating the executive bathroom)


May we?


That’s what bathrooms are for.


I’ll never learn. I’ll ruin everything.


Dick? Is that you Dick?


You have company?

I’ll wait for morning.


No, please come in.


Eli sent me.


Come in anyway.


Our executives have stumbled on the art of

mixing Southern Comfort Manhattans.

It turns all troubles into instant happiness.


(Phil fills the tumblers with ice,

adds two shots of SOCO, one capful

of extra dry vermouth,

and carefully measures

one teaspoonful of cherry juice)


I’m Henry’s corporate prisoner.

You find that charming?




Then why the charming welcome?


I thought, I don’t know why,

of why you were last a corporate battle.

Can it be two whole years ago?


It has been.

I need an army of lawyers.


(Phil hands Dick the Manhattan)


It’ll take the misery away.


I must have lawyers.


Have I aged? Do I seem older to you?

They’ve been two hard years. I’ve studied,

and I’ve practiced to be a good CEO.


Can I have your answer… yes or no?


You’ll have it when I give it.


You see? I’ve changed.

I’m not the boy you taught two years ago.


Brokering a hundred shares

here and there,

you buying first,

me scratching for a buy,

all day into dusk…


(Dick turns to leave)


Don’t go.


I must know. Will you help me?


Sit and we’ll discuss it.


(Dick sits)


You never call.


-   – anyone.


Why should I help make you CEO?

I would be better off with Joey or Jeff.

Why have to fight you in the future

when I could have the idiot

or the psychopath?


Would we fight?


We’re fighting now

for God’s sake.


You’re still a boy.


In some ways.

Which way did you have in mind?


You haven’t asked

how much your help is worth.


You’ll tell me.


You can have the shares back.


And what else?


All of the real estate holdings.


That’s Jeff’s.


Does that matter?


Possibly to Jeff.

And what else?


That’s all your help is worth.


And in return,

what do you want from me?


Your connections in the bowels of

the Securities and Exchange Commission.


And what else?


Five hundred thousand dollars.


And what else?


Your IT’s ability to hack

Peter’s computer files.


And what else?


I never called because I thought you’d never


You got married.

 Does that make a difference?


Doesn’t it?

 I’ve spent two years

on every street in hell.


That’s odd;

I never saw you there.


(Phil takes Dick’s hand)


You haven’t said you love me.


When the time comes.


(they move to the

couch in an anteroom)


Tomorrow Next Post:  ENTER; THE OTHER CEO






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(Eli talks to himself

as he sits alone

in his 5th Avenue loft)


How lonely Peter makes me.

What might Elvis have sung

had he seen this?


I can’t sing. I’d turn and run.

I’ve lost again. I’m done for this time.


Well, there’ll be other Christmases.


(Eli picks up a necklace

and speaks to it)


I’d hang you from my nipples,

but you’d shock the step-children.


They kissed sweetly, didn’t they? I’ll have

him next time. I can wait.


(Eli walks over to

a liquor cabinet,

removes a key from his pocket

and unlocks the cabinet

and speaks to something)


Ah, there you are;

my comfort and my company.


(He reaches into the cabinet

and removes

a diamond studded tiara)


We’re locked in

for another year: four seasons more.

What a desolation, what a life’s work.


(Eli puts the tiara on

as Jeff knocks and

enters the loft

without waiting)


Is it too much?

Be sure to squint as you approach.

You may be blinded by my beauty.


Merry Christmas.


Is that why you’re here…

to tell me that?


I thought you might be lonely.


(Eli offers the tiara to Jeff)


Here, Chief Financial Officer.


Try it on for size.


It’s puzzling. I remember my sixth birthday.

Not just memories of the mansion or the gifts,

but who did what to whom and how it felt.


My memory stretches that far back, but never once

can I remember… anything from you or Father

other than indifference.


Why is that?


I don’t know.


That was not an easy question from me,

and I don’t deserve an easy answer.


There are times I think we loved

none of your father’s sons.


Still too easy,

don’t you think?


I’m weary,

and you want a simple answer,

and I haven’t one.


I’m so sick of all of you.


(Joey knocks and enters the loft

without waiting)


I thought I’d come and gloat a little.


Mother’s tired.

Come stick pins tomorrow morning.

I’ll be more responsive then.


It’s no fun goading anyone tonight.


(Dick also knocks and enters

without waiting)


The bastard’s boxed us up.


What’s that, dear?


We’re his prisoners,

if that interests you.


Why should it?

I’m his prisoner anyway.


It was…

correct me if I’m wrong – – – 

but it was my impression

that you wanted Peter’s CEO chair for me.


We can’t win, Dick.

We’ve lost it this time.


You think I’m finished, do you?


I do.

I’ve suffered more defeats

than you have teeth.

I know one when it happens to me.

Take your medicine like a good boy.

Swallow it and go to bed.


I will be CEO.


So you will, but not this year!

Leave it alone, Dick! Let it go for now.


I can’t.


It’s not so hard. Try saying after me:

“Joey wins, I lose.”


And what if Joey died?


(Dick makes

the sign of the mob)


You wouldn’t dare! The mob?


Why wouldn’t I?


He’s connected! Of course he is connected.


He has always been connected.


We all have connections.


Some legal, some not.

It’s 1983 and we’re barbarians.


How clear we make it.

Oh, my three little step-piglets,

we are the origins of corporate war.


Not history’s forces,

not Rome’s legions,

nor the Visigoths,

nor justice,

nor the lack of it,

nor causes,

nor religions,

nor ideas,

nor kinds of government,

nor any other thing.


We are the destructors of souls.


We breed corporate wars.


We breed it, like syphilis, inside.


Wounded bodies rot on wall street,

and main street,

because the living ones are rotting.


For the love of capitalism,

can’t we love one another just a little?


That’s how peace begins.

We have so much to love each other for.


There as so many possibilities,

for my step-children.

We could change the world.


And while we hugged each other,

what would Phil do?


Oh, good God, Phil – – I forgot about Phil!

Are we supposed to start a war?


If father finds out, I’ll be ruined.


Steady, Joey. Don’t panic.


Some adviser you are.


(Joey exits the loft)


Don’t do anything without me.

Let me handle it.


He’s made a pact with Phil.

You advised Joey into making war.

That fearless boy…

he’s disinherited himself.

When Peter finds out…

when I tell him what Joey’s done,

I need a little time.


Can you keep Joey from Phil till I say so?


Anything you say.


(Jeff also runs out of the room)


Dick, I want you out of here

before this news breaks.


And that requires Philip on our side.

Go to him, be desperate, promise anything…

the shares, the company.

Once you’re free and Joey is out of favor,

we’ll make further plans.


You go to see Phil. You’re the diplomat.


You’re a friend of his.

You know him, I don’t.

And Dick! Promise anything.


(Dick leaves and slams the door

behind him.

Eli continues the conversation

with himself)


Oh, I’ve got the old boy this time.

The damn fool thinks he loves Joey.

He believes it.

That’s where the legal knife goes in…




Where is that mirror?


I’m Eli,

and I can look at anything.

My, what a lovely lady I am.

How could her CEO have left him?


Tomorrow Next Post:  PHIL’S TERRITORY






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(Peter, Eli and Pretty Boy

remain alone in the

conference room)


You played it nicely.

You were good.

Made Phil run away and

enraged Dick to the point

where he could not think straight.


And Joey and Jeff are happy as

two loons bobbing up and down,

unaware yet noisy,

on a remote lake.


Yes, I did. I fooled you, didn’t I?

Oh, God,

but I do love being CEO.


Well, Peter, CEO, liege and lord,

what happens now?


I’ve no idea. I know I’m winning,

and I know I’ll win,

but what the next move is…

you were scared, weren’t you?




(Peter speaks to

Pretty Boy)


I think you were.


I was. You mustn’t play

with feelings, Peter.

Not with mine.


It wasn’t possible to lose you. I must hold

you dearer than I thought.


(Peter turns to Eli)


You’ve got your enigmatic face on.

What’s your mood, I wonder?


Pure delight. I’m locked up with my step-sons.

What step-mother does not dream of that?


(Eli moves to go, then stops)


One thing.



May I watch you kiss him?


Can’t you ever stop?


I watch you every night.

I conjure it before I sleep.


Leave it there.


My curiosity is intellectual.

I want to see how accurate I am.


(Peter speaks to Pretty Boy)


Forget the dragon in the doorway.


Come. Believe I love you, for I do.


Believe I’m yours forever, for I am.


Believe in my contentment and the joy you give me.

And believe…


(Peter turns to Eli)


You want more?


(Peter turns back to Pretty Boy)


I’m an old man in an empty place.

Kiss me my dear.


(They kiss

as Eli stands in the doorway,











, , , , , , , , , , ,



(Phil, CEO of laFrance,

enters Peter’s conference room)


Bill, called me,

what’s all this about?


(Peter speaks to Phil)


You’re the CEO of laFrance,

for God’s sake. Speak up.

Do something.


(Dick speaks to Phil)


Make a threat. Come on,

frighten me.




Am I?


He never meant

to have the wedding.




You’re good at rage.

I like the way you play it.


Son, don’t ever call a CEO a liar to his face.


I’m not your son…


Boy, you came here asking for a wedding

or the shares back.

By God, you don’t get either.

It’s NO to both.


You have a contract with laFrance!


Then damn the contract and damn laFrance.

It never marries, not while I’m alive.


Your life and never are two different times.


Not on my watch, boy!


(Philip exits the room)


Ha, ha, ha! Listen to the lion!

Come on,

flash a yellow tooth,

and frighten me.


Don’t spoil it, Richard.

Take it like a good sport.


How’s your bad leg?


Better, thank you.


Your bad back? You’re getting old.

You’ll fool me once too often.


When? I’m over fifty now.

My God, boy, I’m the oldest man I know.

I’ve got a decade on the Good Bishop here.


( Peter glances at the Bishop,

who nods)


What’s it to be? A mafia hit – – -

when I’m eighty-five?


I’m not a second son now.

Your father lies in

the crypt, you know.


I know; I visit him there.


I’ll have the CEO chair.


You’ll have what Daddy gives you.


I am next in line!


To nothing!


Then we’ll only have law suites now.


This minute?


No, in the courtroom!


So we’re at war?


Yes, we’re at war.

I have ten lawyers

and fifteen friends at the

Securities and Exchange Commission.


Will they listen to you?

Call them and see who answers.

You’re as close to the SEC as you’ll get.


You don’t dare contest me

in court.


Until we’re all agreed Joey comes next,

I can and will see you in court.

You’re a CEO’s son,

so I treat you with respect.

You have the freedom to find a job

within the company.


The corporate promises won’t hold me.

Keep your lawyers informed.


(Dick exits

Joey and Jeff

speak with joy

to each other)


My God, I’m CEO again.


Are you happy for me, Jeff?


I’m happy for us both.


(Joey and Jeff exit together.

So does the Bishop)


 Tomorrow Next Post:  THE VOYEUR






, , , , , , , , , , ,

Wedding Dress


(Peter continues hollering from his office door.

It echoes down the corporate hallways.

Eli has a wicked smirk

gracing his countenance.)


Joe, Dick, Jeff!


(Joe, Dick, Jeff and

Bill the administrative assistant



What’s wrong? What’s happened?


Dick’s getting married.


Getting married? Now?

He’s getting

married now?

I never cease to marvel

at the quickness of

your mind.


You can’t hurt me,

you bag of bile.


But you can, Father. Why?


Because I say so.


Peter, the bishop’s waiting

in the conference room.


Good. Let’s get this over with.


(Eli speaks to Pretty Boy)


You’ll make a lovely bride.

I wonder if I’ll cry.


You sound as if you think

it’s going to happen.


I do.


He’s only bluffing.

Can’t you tell when

Peter’s bluffing?


Not this time.


He’ll never give me up.


You think I won’t?


Because you told me so.


You’re not my Helen of Troy.

I won’t fight a proxy war to

save face. We’re done.


I don’t believe you!


Wait ten minutes!


(In the conference room)


Please! Dick, Dick, we’re not…

honestly, we’re not!

Please! Peter and I love each



Come on!


It’s lunacy! I won’t do it! I won’t!

Lunacy! Let me go, Peter. Dick, no!


Come on!


I won’t say the words! Not one of them!

It makes no sense! Why give me up?

What do you get? What are you gaining?


Why, the outstanding shares, of course.


(Dick finally speaks up)


Not that again!


Eli gets freedom, and I get the

outstanding shares.


(Peter speaks to Eli)


That is the

proposition, isn’t it?

You did agree.


Of course she did. I knew it. It was

all pretense. I believed it all.


I meant it all.


No wedding.

There’ll be no wedding.


But, my boy, look. Sheen’s waiting.

Marry it, for my sake.

It isn’t much to ask.




But I promised Phil.

Think of my position.


Damn the wedding

and to hell with your position.


You don’t dare defy me.


Don’t I?



 Tomorrow Next Post:  THE APPEARANCE






, , , , , , , , , , ,

The Wedding


(Peter discusses a deal with Eli)



I have an offer for you, my dear.


A deal? A deal? I give the most valuable stock

on the market to Johnny for what? You tell me,

“mastermind”, for what?


Your freedom.

I will purchase you another loft

in any city and any country you wish.




Once Johnny gets the shares, you’re free.

Think, on the loose in London,

winters in Paris,

impromptu trips to visit

Dick anywhere he’s raiding corporations.

All that for a signature.


You’re good.


I thought it might appeal to you. You always

fancied traveling.


Yes. I even made my ex take me on Christian cruse.

How’s that for blasphemy?

I dressed my friends as amazons.

I laid bare-breasted halfway to San Juan.

My ex had a seizure, and I damn near

died of windburn, but the passengers were dazzled.


Peter, I’m against the wall.

To be a prisoner, to remain in New York City

when you’ve traveled the world…

I’ll never know how I survived.

These ten years, Peter, have been unimaginable.

And now, you offer me the only thing I want…

if I give up… the only thing I treasure.


Sign the paper, and we’ll break the happy news.

The Queen is free, John gets the shares, and

Dick marries Pretty Boy.


Yes, let’s have it done. I’ll sign.

On one condition.


Name it.


Have the wedding now.


What’s that?


Why, I’ve surprised you. Surely it’s not sudden.

They’ve been marching down the aisle

for sixteen years, and that’s a long walk.

Johnny can be best man.

That’s a laugh.

And you can give the bride away.

I want to watch you do it.


Pretty Boy… I can live without it.


And I thought you loved her.

So I do.


Thank God. You frightened me.

I was afraid this wouldn’t hurt.


What a tragedy you are.


I wonder… do you ever wonder… if I slept with

your father?


My father?


It’s a lie. But there are rumors.

Don’t you ever wonder?


Is it fun, despising me? Is it rewarding?




Then stop!


How? It’s what I live for.


I’ll show you.

By Christ, I will.

I’ll do it.


(Peter opens the door

to the hallway

for others to hear)


Where’s a priest?

Somebody dig me up a priest!

You! Bill! Fetch me Bishop Sheen!


Get old Spellman. He’s just down the street.

Ask him to meet us at Saint Patrick’s.


 Tomorrow Next Post:  ELOPE OR COPE






, , , , , , , , , , ,

jaroslaw xmas

(Peter is enjoying

the enclosed outdoor portion

of his penthouse,

he is interrupted

in his thoughts

by Pretty Boy)


Peter! But you don’t understand.


I would appreciate a little quiet confidence.

I’ve enough nits picking at me.


But you’ve promised me to Dick!


Good God, you don’t think I meant it?


So that whole scene, all you said to Joe…


You think I’d ever give him up when I’ve mothered

him and fathered him and babied him?

He’s all I’ve got!

How often do you people have to hear it?

Every supper?

Should we have the appetizer with

who we love and who we don’t?


I think you like passing me from hand to hand.

What am I to you… a collection plate? Or am

I all you’ve got, like Joe?


I’ve got to get the shares for Joe.


I talk people, and you answer back

in securities!


They get mixed up.

What are the shares to Eli?

They are not the world.

It’s a way to torture me.

That’s why he spent the evening

wooing Richard, wheezing on the coals.

He’ll squeeze it out of him.

My God, I’d have loved to eavesdrop.


(Peter imitating Eli)


“I taught you prancing, lamb,

and lute and flute… “


(Eli enters,

carrying a pile of

Christmas boxes)


That’s marvelous;

it’s absolutely me.

I thought

as long as I was

coming down,

I’d bring your gifts.


Who left you out of the loft?

Who let you in here?


Your administrative aid

Bill is easily corruptible – – -

brute that he is.


Whatever are you giving me?


You’re such a child: you always ask.


(reading from a package)

“To Henry.”


Eli, you spoil me.

Heavy. is it my tombstone?



I never could deny you anything.


Pretty Boy, don’t go.

It nettles her to see

how much I need you.


You need me, Henry,

like an electrician needs a

plumber’s wrench.

Oh, I know that look.

You are going to say

you love me.


Like my life.


(Pretty Boy

turns sharply

and exits)


I talk that way to keep his spirits up.

Well, how did you do with Dick?

Did you break his heart?


You think he ought

to give me back

the shares?


I can’t see why he shouldn’t.

After all, I’ve promised him

the CEO position.


The boy keeps wondering

if your promises

are any good.


There’s no sense asking if the air’s good when

there’s nothing else to breathe.


Exactly what I told him.


Have you got them? Will he give them back?


No shares for Joey.


I have to give him something.

Isn’t some agreement possible?


Love, in a world

where carpenters

get resurrected,

anything is possible.


You raised him, damn it.

He’s your son also!


Oh, heavens, yes.

For twelve years I raised him.

I recall them all.

Then you found Rosebud.


Why him so damn particularly?

I’ve found other men.


Countless others.


What’s your count?

Let’s have a tally of the

bed sheets you’ve spread out on.


The ‘Rat Pack’s’ to start with.


That’s a lie.


(Eli laughing)

I know. You still care what I do.


I want the shares for Joey!

I want them,

and I’ll have them.


Is that a threat you’re conveying?

Is it to be torture?

Will you pull out my fingernails

or set me on fire, which?

Or am I to be perforated

with an ice pick?


I have the contracts,

and you will sign.


How will you force me to?


“Sign or I refuse to house you.”


“Oh, sign before my heart goes crack.”

I’m like the

earth, old man;

there isn’t any way around me.


I adore you.


Save your aching groin;

that road is closed.



 Tomorrow Next Post:  THE OFFER






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 Phil Joey and jeff plot


(Joe, Jeff and Phil

hold an evening meeting

in Jeff’s office)


Hello Joe.


Hi Jeff.


Hello you two.

What is this about?

Don’t waste my time.


Check out this business plan

I made it for Peter.

All the pieces work.

It took months. I’m not a fool.


I know. Now, here’s my plan.


I read three languages. I’ve studied law.

What plan?


We’ve got to make a deal

with Phil while he is here.




Because you’re out,

and Richard’s in.


And what kind of deal?


A hostile takeover.

If we three join and fight now,

we can finish Dick off.


You mean break up

the company?


Hmm – – –

Now there is a thought.


And get rid of

Eli also?


And Eli too.

Now, do we do it?

or sit on it?


I’ve got to think.


You haven’t time.

We are overhead now.

We don’t earn our keep.

You know where

executives that are overhead go?



Well, does Joey want a war

or doesn’t he?


Do you Phil?

If Joe asks for

your lawyers and accountants,

will he get them?


If Joey wants a war,

he’s got me on his side.


Joe, you hear that?


I’m still thinking.


Let me help.

It’s either Dick

in the CEO chair

or you.


Do you think we’d win Jeff?


I know we would.


(Jeff, Joe and Philip

enjoy a celebratory

Southern Comfort Manhattan)











, , , , , , , , , , ,

Jeff and Phil


(Peter, to his executive aid,

Bill, over the intercom)


Bill, tell Phil I’ll see him in

my office.


Yes sir.


In half an hour.


Yes sir.



(Phil in another office

is attempting to intimidate Jeff

with macho posturing

and discussion)


Half an hour? Good.

Of course, you know there’s not

a word of truth

to Peter’s terms.


If that’s a warning, thank you.

What if it’s an offer?


“What if” is a game

for scholars?

What if

Attorney Generals were not

political appointees?


What if I were CEO?


It’s your game, Jeff.

You play it.


 Tomorrow Next Post:  UNHOLY ALLIANCE





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