Bill DeMarco Rates the Top 50 Starbucks in LA: This Week: #8

bill demarco#8: the Starbucks in the Brentwood Village Court

INTRO–EXT. DAY: a CRUISE MISSILE skims the earth sinisterly toward its target. CUT TO–Control Room: SOLDIERS with head sets, faces underlit by radar screens. CUT TO–lone helmeted FIGURE standing atop HOOVER DAM swathed in black neoprene. CUT TO–data, numbers, sine waves, math. Are we looking through the eyes of the FIGURE. . .or through the eyes of the CRUISE MISSILE? CUT TO–Control Room:



Eight seconds to impact sir.

GENERAL leans forward, his face underlit by radar screens. CUT TO–CRUISE MISSILE, we track it from behind closing in on dam, blue iris of thrust digitally blazes in foreground.


. . .5,4,3. . .

Hoover Dam

MISSILE draws within mere yards. FIGURE leaps into the air and in swift roundhouse motion kicks MISSILE. The warhead snaps off and hurtles tumbling flaming into lake, detonates underwater. Scalding mist abounds. Fuselage flies onward and smashes explosively into mountain side. FIGURE falls back to earth. CUT TO–Control Room. SOLDIER removes headset and looks uneasily at GENERAL.


Our weapon. . .

[SOLDIER takes deep breath]


. . .is quite lethal.

There is MUFFLED cheering in background. CUT TO–FIGURE on top of dam standing in “iron panther”. A little the worse for wear. Looks at glove. It’s burnt-off at the tips, revealing a set of long fingernails. . .painted white.



[inspects hand]

I just got these done.

CUT TO–Bill DeMarco sitting alone in a Starbucks.

It’s a rainy night in the Brentwood Village Court. I think this strip mall used to be a brewery. Ye Olde Brentwoode Brewerye I believe. The German settlers of West LA brought their work ethic but they also brought their traditions. That’s why you can’t walk a block in this part of town without running into a bratwurst stand. Or waltz music blaring out of pickup trucks. I turn on my cell phone. A cube revolves slowly and trisects itself. No messages.

What are you going to do? What am I going to do? Nothing. A box of PerfectSmart cards are burning a hole in my trunk and no one has the “time” to write some ockcscuknig anagrams. No anagrams, no cards. No cards, no points. No points, no dice. No dice, no anagrams. And forget about the scripts. Great scripts, a tantalizing smattering of which same above reads.

A man offers something. What is it that he offers? He offers something of himself. He offers nothing whatever. He has scripts. He says, They are of a quality. Do you wish to see the scripts? Do you wish it? A man says, Rewrite something I wrote using the same letters with which I wrote it. That is all. It is the same. It is different. A man does or does not do it. He does or does not. Bill DeMarco gives the man a draft of a screenplay called “BurgerTime.” What is a thing?

I walk outside. The rain’s stopped. Brentwood Village Court, huh. And where are the courtiers? Procuring foxes for the royal hunt no doubt. Gimme a barbican, something. I’d light a cigarette but I don’t have a lighter and I don’t smoke. At that moment something not quite flickers in the corner of my eye. It is a gossamer leaf of iceberg lettuce, borne aloft by desultory gusts. It lands on my head. Well there’s news. And then something solider, spongy brushes my ear before splatting on the wet street. It’s a hamburger bun. In Brentwood?

Wait a second.

CUT TO–Bill DeMarco runs back inside Starbucks, whips out pad of legal paper and starts writing furiously.


[takes lettuce leaf from hair, looks to sky]

BurgerTime. . . .is that you?