Back in the Day

Back in the Day

By

Hans Freiwald

 

FADE IN:

INT.  POLICE STATION - CUBICLE - FUTURE (MID 21ST CENTURY) - DAY

CHIEF, 50's, gruff, dressed in polyester, navy blue tones.  He has high blood pressure and is only comfortable when in control.

Chief is sitting in his oversized office chair, picking up a MANILA FOLDER off of a metal desk.  He's opening it, closely inspecting inside, then closing and setting it back on the desk. 

He taps his fingers on the desk, grumbling to himself, becoming more and more agitated.  His voice seems forced out from his lower neck.

     CHIEF

I want Lieutenant Mann in here now!

LIETENANT MANN, 30's, greasey hair, clean shaven, meek, aims to please, enters the room flustered. 

Mann has COFFEE in a “to-go” cup filled to the brim.  It spills on his hand as he enters, and the discomfort displays on his face.

     MANN

Um you wanted to see me Chief?

     CHIEF

Take a seat Lieutenant.

[Lieutenant Mann casually walks to take his seat but is hurried along by the Chief’s screaming demands]

    CHIEF

I said move it!  With Wings Lieutenant.  Move it, move it, move it.

[Lieutenant Mann takes a seat and sets his coffee down on the floor next to his feet. The coffee spills, causing the Chief to release a guttural sigh.]

    MANN

Is there a problem...

Lieutenant Mann is interrupted by The Chief who is holding the manila folder to his face.

     CHIEF  

Can it for a long winter Lieutenant!  You wanna tell me what this is?

     MANN

My case file for the month?

     CHIEF  

Your goddamned case file for the month.  This month!

     MANN  

There a problem sir?

    CHIEF

I’ll ask the questions in my office, got it?

    MANN

Got it sir.

   CHIEF  

Now, when I look at this case file, I find myself a little troubled.

   MANN

Troubled sir?  But this month there’s been nothing but...

[Chief interrupts Lieutenant Mann abruptly, with a pop of his mouth and a point of his finger.]

   CHIEF  

Bingo, Bango.  Nothing.

   MANN

Nothing?

   CHIEF  

Plum, nothing.

   MANN  

Plum, nothing?

   CHIEF

Shut up!  Now tell me something, son.  What the hell am I supposed to glean from nothing? 

   MANN  

Sir, there’s just nothing left for us to do out there.

   CHIEF  

What do ya mean nothing left for us to do?  I mean for jim-sakes this is New York City.  Something in this apple’s gotta be rotten.

   MANN

Ooh, good one Chief.

   CHIEF  

Thanks.

   MANN  

Chief I gotta tell ya, there just ain’t nothing left for us to do.

   CHIEF  

What about all them gun-toting spooks, drinkin’ and druggin’ up in Harlem?

   MANN  

You feelin’ OK Chief?

  CHIEF

Like I just had my coffee, why?

  MANN

We sent all them blacks to the moon damn near twenty-five years ago is all.

  CHIEF

Son of a bug, you’re right.  Ha, I must be slipping in my old age.  Boy it feels like yesterday when your only action was with your trusty piece. One wrong look, hell even some queer eye contact and chuck, chuck, bang.  Those were the days.

   MANN

But the paperwork?

  CHIEF

Don’t get me started on paper work, remember back in the day when we was buggin’ them sand monkeys?  Nah, wait you wouldn’t remember.  Ha, kids.  I’m telling ya all it took was one mention of Allah.

   MANN

Allah?

   CHIEF

Jesus you are young.  All you need to know is that "All- Uh" them is safe and secure, locked down at the torture-prison, in the center of the earth.  Thanks to hard workin’ people like me.

   MANN

The only thing I seem to bug... is my wife for some action.

   CHIEF  

Don’t be crass Mann!  You sound like one o’ them queened-out-queers I used to deal with down on Twenty-Third Street.

   MANN

Yeah I remember you telling me something about them.

   CHIEF  

Yep, give the drug companies enough cushion and you knew one of em was gonna fix that little genetic booger.  Any of the damn ones that escaped the gene fix were had by the McCarthy Bot and his trusty Communism Ray.

   MANN

So gays were communists too?

   CHIEF

Hell I don’t know.  They were different.

   MANN  

Different?

   CHIEF

There an echo in here Mann?  Yeah different (he pauses and closes his eyes for a moment.  He opens them back up).  Any way that’ll be all Lieutenant.  Thank you for your time.

[Lieutenant Mann gets up out of his chair to walk away.  He turns back toward Chief.]

    MANN

My coffee?

   CHIEF

What?

   MANN

I spilled my coffee.

   CHIEF

Oh yeah, well.  Just let it dry.  I like the smell anyhow.

[Lieutenant Mann walks away]

FADE OUT: