Gene the Ex-Con
[ open on Gene the ex-con playing Santa Claus in the mall, with a Kid sitting on his lap ]
Kid: I want a football. But most of all, I want a new bike.
Gene: A new bike? Whoa! Hey, your son has really expensive taste!
Dad: [ chuckles ] Yeah! Well..
Gene: Probably just like his old man, right?
Dad: [ chuckles a little more ] Right, right!
Gene: Only, instead of a bike, you'd probably want, like, a new car or something!
Dad: [ feigns laughter ] Exactly..!
Gene: Pretty son, adults will be sitting here on my lap: "What would you like, sir?" "How 'bout that new Buick Skylark?"
Dad: [ now starting to become aggravated ] Yeah, that would be funny.. Listen.. maybe you could pay a little more attention to the kids, I mean.. it's the kids' day, right?
Gene: Oh. Okay. I was just..
Dad: I mean.. the kids.. that's what you're here for..
Gene: Now, Timmy, what kind of bike would you..? [ stops, chuckles uncomfortably and turns to Dad ] Excuse me. Don't tell me what I'm here for, please?
Dad: No.. I just figured this was a holiday for the kids, and..
Gene: No, I understand that, sir - just do me a favor and don't tell me what I'm here for!
Dad: Listen, I didn't mean anything by it. Why don't you relax?
Gene: Relax? [ stands up and closes in on Dad ]
Dad: [ nervous ] Uh.. Billy, you'd better go look at the bikes..
Gene: My man, you want me to be naughty or nice over here? What's it goin' down?
Dad: What is your problem?! I'm here with my kid, and I'm trying to enjoy the holiday!
Gene: Listen, man, you're right..
Gene: The thing is, I just got out of jail, I'm trying to straighten out and make a good impression over here. It's like my P.O. told me: "Gene, you're crazy! You're the craziest sonofabitch ever came through the system!"
Dad: It's alright, it's alright! You seem like a nice guy at heart..!
Gene: No, no, no. I feel bad, I wanna make it up to you. What do you say we go back to my room at the Y, listen to some Ronnie James Dio, and drink some apple wine?
Gene: Yeah, back at the Y I've got the Christmas issue of "Barely Legal", they got naked elves, they got Santa giving it to broads under the tree..
Kid: Daddy? Who's Ronnie James Dio?
Dad: Nobody, nobody, son! [ to Gene ] Listen! I don't want my kid knowing who Ronnie James Dio is! I'm not even sure I know who she is! I just want him to sit on Santa's lap and tell Santa what he wants, so we can get out of here!
Gene: I'm sorry. I'm a little spacey, you know what it is? I been selling a lot of blood lately. [ takes his seat ] Come on, son.. get up here and tell Santa what you want.
Kid: I want a happy Christmas for my family.
Gene: Yeah. The only family I had in the can was the Aryan Brotherhood. Every Christmas, we drank Pruno and passed around the joke book..
Dad: [ intercedes ] Okay, that's it! Security! Security!
Guard: [ steps up ] Yes? Yes, what's the problem, sir?
Dad: Travis Bickle here is telling prison stories to my son!
Gene: My man! This guy's lying! His kid stole a bike!
Guard: Aw, Gene, this is the 56th complaint we've had in two days. Now, let's go.. [ grabs Gene's sleeve ]
Gene: Whoa, whoa! You wanna keep your hands to yourself, please?
Guard: Come on, Gene, you're bothering the customers, it's bad for business. Time to leave.
Gene: I understand. Just don't touch me!
Guard: What's up with you?
Gene: Nothing's up with me! What's down with you? What's under with him? This kid wants a bike, she wants a dolly, and I want you to get outta my face before I smack you with a stocking full of D-cell batteries!
Dad: You guys should have a better screening process for hiring Santas! You can start with the urine test!
Gene: Sir! Where am I supposed to get work?! Are you gonna hire a man who just did twelve years for home invasion and murder?
Dad: No, of course not!
Gene: Well, see! That's what I'm talking about! I can't find a job!
Kid: Daddy? Is Santa going to jail?
Dad: No, son, no.. he's not really Santa..
Kid: Daddy? Is there no Santa?
Gene: You see that, sir? Now you got a kid who thinks there's no Santa! You happy?
Dad: Well, I'd rather have him beleive in no Santa, than a Santa who does twelve years for home invasion and murder!
Gene: Sir, yes, it's true, I done time! But, when you think about it, what does Santa do every year but commit a form of home invasion? A very loving and generous home invasion, yes.. but still home invasion! And, as for murder, well.. well, I can't think of any good reason to justify that.
Dad: You know, my kid used to love Santa! He saw that Tim Allen movie ten times!
Gene: Kid, I did time with Tim Allen! Let me tell ya something - he's always been real people, Bro, but he ain't no Santa Claus!
Guard: Alright, Gene, come on, let's go.. [ pulls Gene away ]
Dad: Let's go, son. There are other department stores..
[ fade ]
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