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Movie treatment


The story opens in 1970 with an impressive gutter flushing scene. Through this we quickly understand what flushing gutters is all about. The scene stars Jake- a large, tough, highly skilled gutter flusher of American Indian descent. He’s fast and furious in his maneuvers and the scene ends as he unclogs a very long, very packed downspout. “Music plays over the downspout’s incessant barfing, the opening credits roll.” From there, the story moves to Dave’s house. Here we meet Dave, the conservative company owner. We also meet his wife Wanda, their ornery twin daughters Jessica and Jennifer, and their older son David. A little introduction to Dave, the writer, is explored in the beginning of the scene. Gutter Central is our next stop and here a few more characters are introduced. Terry is the company’s confident blonde receptionist. Clayton is black, intelligent, down to Earth and he’s Leonard’s flushing partner. And Leonard, arriving in his ragged old GTO, is our star. Leonard has big buck teeth and wiry hair. He’s also kind of dumb, down on his luck and very much in debt. We also meet Greg. Greg is Dave’s younger brother and business partner. After a Monday morning meeting the flushers depart. Leonard and Clayton head to the Handy Shop and stock up on junk food while Jake and Peppy go right to work. Peppy is Jake’s partner. He’s a skinny Mexican character and mainly does clean-up work while Jake performs his flushing magic. In the following scenes we might also notice a cartoon Gutter Flusher guy on the doors of the company’s trucks. From the Handy Shop Leonard and Clayton continue to their jobs. In these next few scenes Leonard’s goofiness is emphasized. His light hearted interactions with others are very entertaining. Leonard and Clayton flush Mrs. Samuels’s gutters. She’s a rich, drunken housewife and ends up falling flat on her face at the end of the scene. Mrs. Samuels’ house, as with most Kansas City homes in this story, is large and impressive. Back at the office, Terry fields phone calls and sets up the weekly routes. A Mr. Schmidt calls for a bid from a bar. He’s with his two drinking buddies and he ruins her day with his nastiness and chauvinistic stabs. Back in the field the Purple Haze Tree Trimmers are introduced. These three dimwitted characters appear often throughout the story. They’re haphazard tree trimmers who dump their tree trimmings wherever they feel like it. Greg and Dave arrive back at the office and Terry expresses her anger toward Schmidt. Greg and Dave are angered too, and they devise a secret retaliation plan. We’ll find out about it later. Out in the field, the Gutter King is introduced. This is our competition. He’s a sneaky, unkempt fat man who always wears a crown. “And remember folks when you call me King, I’ll say thank you.” Later, Jessica and Jennifer, who are extremely rowdy eight year olds, do some mischievous things walking home from their Brownies. They arrive home and go on to harass their brother. Greg and Dave drive to Mr. Schmidt’s house, who’s out of town. They go there to do a secret pre-bid. They’ll gather and add information for their day with Schmidt. As they’re driving, the Gutter King’s commercial comes over the radio. The King has that sales manager appeal. Greg and Dave are not impressed. After work, Leonard goes to the grocery store and visits with a girl he has a crush on. Her name is Bessy Lumas. She’s friendly and simple. It’s a positive encounter and it sets up our first love story. That night, the new Gutter Flusher TV commercial is seen by both families. Greg and Dave have tried something different with this commercial. They’re acting like a couple of morons. “Hello, I’m Gutter Greg.” “And I’m Downspout Dave.” It shows at Greg’s house where we meet Greg’s wife Sandy and their two year old son Joe. A commercial for “ALOHA MOTORS” (the setting for the next real life movie) is also viewed. This commercial ends with the owner of Aloha Motors, Jim Dandy, looking directly at the camera, with his arms cocked like a big crow, and saying “KAW!” This “kaw” thing sticks with the family throughout the story. Next, we observe the Gutter King’s morning meeting. The King encourages his employees to harass the Gutter Flushers, and during this meeting two employees are commended for hassling Leonard and Clayton. Toward the middle of the week the Fourth of July vacation starts out at Gutter Central. The flushers are only working half a day and then joining the company’s Small Business Owners party. At the party we meet Marv, a cocky, uninvited guest who probably experiences the most embarrassing night of his life. Among others, we also meet Bob and Ellen- some snooty architects. There are fifty or so business owners there. After the party, Leonard goes to a bar called Toe Shots. He gambles at foosball, loses his entire paycheck and goes home very depressed. At home, in his broken down house with the power cut off, he decides to do something with his life. Starting with his teeth. ACT 2 The next morning, Greg, Dave and their families are at Leonard’s house to pick him up. He’s overslept and the knocking on the door awakens him. We can see he knocked his teeth out the night before: “where there used to be sizable bucks, there are now quarter inch nubs.” The group drives to Leonard’s Fourth of July family party. It’s in Springfield, MO., and on the way to their lake home. At the party we meet Leonard’s family. Among others, we meet his look alike cousin Ernie, a Navy kid who doesn’t like David or Kaari. Kaari is Ernie’s very cute sister and she and David kick off our second love story. Before lunch most of the kids play a game of softball. Meanwhile, Leonard tells Ernie all his problems while they fish in the creek. Leonard says “I’m a gamlinaholic Ernie!” Leonard gambles and loses at foosball. He’s no good, but Ernie’s an expert. Later, the group indulges in an awesome country feast. After eating, David joins in on some live bluegrass music. He plays guitar and plays very well. Kaari is thrilled with him. Later, the families get ready to leave. David’s driving one of the cars. Kaari leans into him, kisses him and says “Land, sea or air… you better come see me!” As we’ll come to find out, when it comes to love, David can be very obedient. The families exit the property, hit the open highway and head for their lake home. They stop at a gas station so the twins can use the bathroom. Sandy buys some blueberries- a big mistake. The twins, in the back seat of the convertible, and a tub of blueberries spell trouble. They arrive at the lake home and unload. Afterwards, Greg and Dave quickly seclude themselves in the home’s basement. They prepare to get working on their screenplay. It’s their goal to finish it while at the lake. After settling in, they barbeque dinner and discuss their game plan while the others enjoy some time down by the dock. After dinner, the families take off for Bagnall Dam to play skeeball, shop and ride the go-karts. Greg and Dave write. At the dam, David picks up some parts to fix his dad’s dilapidated wooden speedboat. He will be taking it “by sea” to see Kaari on Sunday. The evening ends back at the patio. Greg and Dave are seated, smoking cigars. They’ve written all night. The next morning, the group is eating breakfast at a dock restaurant. Dave gets the shocking bill and starts up with the “kaw” thing, just like Jim Dandy did it. The kids join in, then Greg and Sandy, and we think it’s never going to end. From there, the twins ski back to the dock. They drop off David, who starts to work on the speedboat, and Greg and Dave continue their writing. The twins, Sandy and Wanda keep skiing. David spends the whole day working hard on the speedboat. He turns and old barnacle tub into a thing of beauty. In the early evening, Sandy, Wanda and the twins return from their day of fun and shopping. They cook dinner as David finishes the boat and the writers write. After dinner, the families, minus Greg and Dave, go to view a drive in movie from the water. They steal admission, and so do some others, by tuning in the movie’s sound on a short wave radio. They watch the movie for free while enjoying the comfort of their own boats. The next morning, David sets out in his shiny, reconditioned speedboat to see Kaari. On the way, he cruises through Party Cove, an area of the lake where teenagers frolic. Later in the afternoon, the speedboat arrives at a Springfield dock. Kaari is waiting there with a picnic basket. The two take off for a romantic fun-filled day on the lake. They have lunch and ski. Kaari then joins David back to a small island where the families are having their Fourth of July celebration. On the way back, it’s getting dark as the speedboat zig zags through a barrage of fireworks over a thin channel in the lake. The scene is a bit symbolic of the Vietnam War of the time and it spooks the young couple. Meanwhile, the families are having their own little display on the island’s beach. “Safety first” is enforced as the twins participate in lighting a few displays. David and Kaari arrive and the twins immediately grill Kaari with questions about their new love affair. The group eats as fireworks light the sky from the nearby Four Seasons fireworks display. After the impressive grand finale; David, the twins and Kaari take off for the rock and roll boat. A little later the large paddle boat, filled with kids and blasting rock and roll music, passes in front of the families’ dock. Dave and Greg, who are smoking cigars and discussing the shame of not yet finishing their screenplay, get a little rowdy and launch roman candles toward the boat. In this scene, Greg singes all his hair off. “Safety first” is echoed from the paddle boat as the twins witnessed the whole display. “Kaw!” Late that night David drops off the twins at the families’ dock. He and Kaari float back to the island for a little privacy. It’s raining the next morning as the families are loading up and getting ready to leave. David is driving and drops Kaari off at her home in Springfield and picks up Leonard. Here, Kaari says: “First by land, second by sea, third by air…make it happen David!” In the early evening Greg and his family arrive home. Greg trudges up to his office to finish the screenplay. He works on it past four in the morning as it continues to rain. ACT 3 It’s early Monday morning and Gutter Flushers is back in business. Greg didn’t show up though. He called in “busy.” Leonard gets a collection call from Have a Nice Day Collections. If he doesn’t start sending money he’s going to lose everything. Things can’t get much worse for Leonard. Later in the field, Jake does a tricky installation job around a multi- faceted dormer. His work is very impressive. He’s taken gutter flushing and installation to a new plateau. Still later in the day Greg finishes the screenplay and quietly mails it off. That evening Ernie arrives in town with $3000.00 intended for fixing Leonard’s teeth and paying his bills. He goes to Gutter Central where Jake is working on his Charger. Leonard calls Gutter Central. He’s at Toe Shots and he’s in big trouble. He gambled more money than he had and now he needs to be rescued. Jake starts the Charger and he and Ernie floor it to Toe Shots. There in the parking lot, Ernie duct tapes a baseball bat to Jakes arm. Jake blasts into the bar with Ernie in tow. He goes to the foosball tables where Leonard is being pushed around by the foosball gang. “Walking Tall” Jake puts a stop to the bullying very quickly. Leonard is let go be he’s still in debt to the foosball gang for $300.00. Ernie decides to step up to the plate. Remember, Ernie’s an expert foosball player. Ernie says: “I can beat any one of your slicker butts and I never seen ya play…I can just tell by lookin’ at ya.” Ernie has Leonard’s envelope full of cash and, with Leonard’s blessing, he bets $1500.00 on one game. A bartender comes over to referee. The bartender says: “House gets five percent. No five man shots on face-offs. First player to five takes the pot.” A crowd gathers to watch. The game gets underway and Ernie lets his opponent score the first four points. They play double or nothing. And then, through the miracle of highly skilled foosball trickery, Ernie comes back to win the game. He wins $3000.00! He now has a total of $6000.00 for Ernie’s betterment. Out in the parking lot, Ernie hands over the winnings to Leonard. He snatches back and violently slams Leonard against a wall. He says, “Now Leonard…nothin’s for free, so ya gotta promise me right this minute to never gamble again” he pushers harder…”or I’ll lay ya out.” Leonard breaks down and cries, but manages to choke out a promise. This changes his life. The next day, David is in his room playing guitar. The twins burst in with a letter from Kaari. He reads it and smiles. A few days later, Greg is home and going through the mail. He doesn’t get through it all and in fact, he misses something very important. We’re not quite sure what it is yet. That afternoon, the Purple Haze Tree Trimmers get busted for dumping branches in the middle of a busy street. They’re being handcuffed as Greg and Dave drive by. Greg and Dave arrive at the Schmidt residence to give a bid. This whole scene is fun and games as the two act like a couple of morons (like their characters in the Gutter Flusher commercial). They blow Schmidt away with specific facts and detailed drawings obtained from their pre-bid visit. They get the job. Still later some Gutter King employees pull up to a job site of Leonard and Clayton. Clayton chases them off with his gutter gun. The hard stream of water removes the toes off one’s shoes and the sleeves off the other’s shirt. That evening Jake drives by an Army surplus store and in the window is a jetpack. This gives him an idea. A few days later we discover Ernie has moved in with Leonard. Together they’re fixing up Leonard’s ragged GTO and broken down house. Ernie is finally getting his life together. Later, as Greg and Sandy are about to go to bed, Sandy hands Greg the letter he missed in the mail. A close up reveals the letter is from a literary agent. The next day at Gutter Central, Greg sneaks the letter into a stack of letters Dave is flipping through. Dave looks at it, opens it, reads it, and faints. They sold their screenplay! Greg and Dave go for a joyride and end up at a bar where they have a drink for the first time in the story. At the bar we see some characters from the past. The Purple Haze crew is there washing windows. Mrs. Samuels is there, drunk, with two of her friends. The foosball gang is there. The Gutter King is there. Marv is there, with a client. Bob and Ellen are there pouring over a rendering of an outdoor shed. Mr. Schmidt is also there with his two drinking buddies. The characters don’t notice each other. The next scene plays out in a well maintained home. A good looking unidentifiable man exits the home. He hops into a GTO and drives down the street. At a bus stop stands Bessy Lumas. The GTO passes with the driver suddenly uneasy. He starts talking to himself and quickly we realize it’s the new and improved Leonard! He circles around, picks up Bessy and they head off down the street. Bessy gives Leonard a peck on the cheek which embarrasses them both. A few days later in front of a Kansas City mansion is a shiny new Gutter Flusher truck. The cartoon Gutter Flusher guy is on its door. We quietly observe the beautiful house when Jake loudly flies in front of us flushing in a jetpack. At another home are Clayton and Leonard. Clayton is flying around in his jetpack as the Gutter King watches in awe from his Cadillac. At Leonard’s family farmstead, Kaari steps out, checks her watch and looks up. We hear an approaching buzz and moments later David lowers himself with a jetpack, down to her. He lands, buckles her in, and they fly off together. They get further and further away, become an indistinguishable dot and radically whip across the sky. They rack back at us, throwing caution to the wind, flipping and twisting and turning around. Upon closer inspection we realize it’s no longer David and Kaari, but the cartoon Gutter Flusher guy. He continues to do maneuvers on the screen as the credits roll. THE END