By Hugh Holub
We see Mayor Alfredo Confetti’s office. The walls are tastelessly decorated with pictures of the Mayor in the company of every state and national politician who has accepted bribes from the Confetti Family. The Mayor has his Wastewater Department Director, Joe Confetti, and his City Attorney Roberto Confetti in the office. The Mayor is reading a Notice of Violation that has just been served on him by the EPA.
“...And therefore, the Mayor and the City of Slideback, New Jersey are hereby ordered to design and construct a new wastewater treatment facility to eliminate the discharge of untreated wastewater into the waters of the United States, or be fined $25,000 a day for each day of continuing violations. Criminal prosecution may result for failure to comply....”
MAYOR: “So whadadis mean? We got no wastewater treatment plant now?”
JOE: “Nope. The shit just goes into the river.”
MAYOR: “Roberto....are they serious? They could throw us in jail if we don’t do this?”
ROBERTO: “I don’t think we’ve ever bought anyone at EPA.”
MAYOR: “So how much is this gonna cost us?”
JOE: “Fifty million.”
MAYOR: ”FIFTY MILLION! We don’t got that kinda money. No fucking way!”
ROBERTO: “Either we get the money, or go to jail.”
MAYOR: “All these years. All these FBI investigations. All these indictments, and we beat all the raps. And now we’re gonna get nailed over shit?”
JOE: “Maybe we could get a grant.”
MAYOR: “What’s a grant?”
JOE: “The EPA, they give away money.”
MAYOR: “And whadda we godda do to get their money?”
JOE: “Ask for it.”
MAYOR: “So fucking do it guys.”
We next see the Mayor and the boys meeting with EPA Officials by the banks of the river. A pipe is pouring toxic waste into the river. Dead fish can be seen floating on the surface of the river.
FRANCIS is the ranking EPA official at the scene. She is dressed in blue jeans and a tee-shirt. The Boys are all dressed in snappy black suits with flowers in their lapels.
FRANCIS: “The waste from your City is killing endangered species fish. Under the Endangered Species Act you could be fined $25,000 per fish that you kill, and imprisoned for up to 5 years for each dead fish.”
JOE pulls out a gun and shoots a fish that is swimming lethargically near the surface.
FRANCIS screams: “You just violated federal law!”
MAYOR: “You mean, we could get more time killing these fish than if we offed some wife beater?”
ROBERTO: “Shows you what the priorities of the federal government are these days.”
MAYOR: “So you’ll give us the money to build the wastewater plant?”
FRANCIS: “But you have to comply with federal law in doing it.”
We next see the City’s Competitive Bidding Process. Each bidder is delivering a suitcase filled with cash to the Mayor’s Office. The Mayor’s staff is counting the money.
MAYOR: “So the winning bidder is...”
JOE: “Confetti Engineering and Construction Company... $145 grand.”
We next see the meeting wherein the City and EPA is discussing the project with the City’s engineering and construction team.
MAYOR: “You guys know the rules. Fuck up the project and we bury you in the foundation of the treatment plant.”
FRANCIS: “You can’t threaten to kill these people if they don’t do the project right.?
MAYOR: “So you want us to hire lawyers and sue them if it don’t work? It’s a lot cheaper to shoot them.”
FRANCIS: “You can’t use any federal grant money to kill anyone.”
MAYOR: “How about some money for a Motivational Speaker?”
MAYOR: “We pay one of the boys to threaten to kill the bastards if they fuck up.”
EPA then schedules a Public Hearing on the project to determine community support. The EPA officials are seated at the Mayor and Council dias. The audience is filled with gangsters. FRANCIS is explaining the need to adopt and enforce a Sewer User Fee to pay for the operation of the new wastewater treatment plant.
FRANCIS: “And, the City will have to adopt a Sewer User Fee to pay for the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant.”
One of the gangsters in the audience stands up and asks: “You mean we gotta pay to poop?”
FRANCIS: “Well...I wouldn’t put it exactly that way.”
GANGSTER: “We make the whole City a pay toilet.”
FRANCIS: “It is very important that your sewer user fee be structured to charge more depending on the strength of the wastewater discharge.”
2ND GANGSTER: “You mean you test the shit and charge more for bigger turds?”
FRANCIS: “No. It is the chemical strength of the discharge. Like industrial facilities will pay more than homes. And it is really important that the City enforce the Sewer User Fee and make sure everyone pays.”
1ST GANGSTER: “No problem. We just have Louie collect the Fee the same time he collects the protection money.” The audience laughs.
We then see a plush
office of the Acme Chemical Company in
PRESIDENT: “So that goddamned EPA has ordered the goddamned City government to build a wastewater treatment plant in Slideback that we’ve got to goddamned pay for.”
FLUNKY 1: “Yessir. We have our major
PRESIDENT: “So lets just shut the fucker down.”
FLUNKY 2: “We employ 4,000 people and 90% of our product comes out of that plant. We’ll go broke if we shut it down.”
run over EPA and the City and stop this project. Right? We’re big. No body can
fuck with us. We own
FLUNKY 1: “What are our instructions?”
PRESIDENT: “You know I can’t give you any details. Just take care of the problem.”
FLUNKY 2: “What’s the budget?”
PRESIDENT: “Do what you have to. If they win here, they’ll up our butts all over the country. This stops in Slideback. Understand. Do what you have to. Extreme Action is necessary.”
We then see the Mayor and Roberto in the Mayor’s Office. The Mayor is reading a letter from Acme.
MAYOR: “If you do not cease and desist at once from constructing the excessively costly wastewater project, we will commence litigation that will bankrupt your City... Roberto...AREN’T we already bankrupt?”
ROBERTO: “Officially, we’ve always been bankrupt. That doesn’t mean we don’t have cash to operate.”
MAYOR: “If I read this right, the sons of bitches are threatening us. Who the fuck are they anyway?”
ROBERTO: “Acme Chemical. One of the largest corporations on the planet. Gross revenue around $50 billion a year.”
MAYOR: “How much have we been charging them for ignoring all the stupid city code shit?”
ROBERTO: “$100 grand a year.”
MAYOR: “Write them a letter. We charge them $200 grand a year. And the wastewater project stays on. I’m not doing time because of some goddamned dead fish.”
We are back at Acme headquarters. The President throws down the letter from Slideback on his desk.
PRESIDENT: “Fuck em.”
We then move into
the Project Implementation phase. The problem is Slideback
has two major problems. The first problem is that while EPA is demanding they
move expeditiously with constructing the new wastewater plant, their site ...an
abandoned warehouse complex, is vetoed by US Fish & Wildlife because
endangered mice live on the property and by
The Mayor organizes a project to catch all the mice in the building and relocate them. Then there is a mysterious fire which burns the site to the ground.
Meanwhile, Acme has declared war on Slideback. Slideback’s Mayor realizes that he is up against something the Mob has never faced before...an enormous international corporation with more resources than the Mob...and which is just as ruthless in the pursuit of its corporate goals.
We thus have a Gang War going on between the Confetti Family and Acme, and at the time time Slideback is being frustrated at every turn by other federal agencies who are blocking progress on the wastewater treatment plant project.
FRANCIS, the EPA official in charge of the Slideback project, starts showing frustration with the lack of cooperation and coordination with other federal agencies, and with the growing harrassment of the project by goons from Acme.
FRANCIS is meeting with the Mayor’s son, SEAN, who is the project manager.
FRANCIS: “I must confess, I haven’t got a clue how to get this project back on track with the Justice Department shutting the construction down because all your workers were illegal aliens.”
SEAN: “That’s no
problem. They all just joined the
FRANCIS: “While your methods are a little unconventional, I am impressed with your determination to protect the environment.”
SEAN: “We’re not bad guys. We have a code of honor. Compared to those Acme scum, we’re positively saints. I bet those Acme people divorce their wives and don’t go to church.”
FRANCIS: “I probably don’t want to know what your family is going to do next to keep this project going forward.”
SEAN: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
As the conflict between Slideback, other federal agencies, and Acme escalates, FRANCIS and SEAN get closer and closer. While FRANCIS is a died-in-the-wool federal bureaucrat, and with obviously vast differences in her cultural background and that of the Confetti family, she starts falling for SEAN. We see SEAN and FRANCIS having a drink one night where they are comparing their backgrounds. Both graduated from Yale. SEAN is a “multicultural” sort...the new generation of the Mob in that he functions well in the old world way of doing things, but is also just as slick and functional in FRANCIS’ world.
FRANCIS begins to actively participate in the strategies of the Confettis to move forward. At one point, she helps SEAN deliver a box of dead fish to the Acme offices....the message from the Confettis to the President of Acme that he will be sleeping with the fishes if he doesn’t stop trying to kill the wastewater project.
Acme goes after FRANCIS, and the Acme goons try and kill her....prompting the Confettis to put a hit out on the President of Acme.
The war between Slideback and Acme escalates into a full-blown shooting war.
Slideback goes to the mattresses. We see the Slideback bunch and FRANCIS in a boarded up building, guns everywhere.
FRANCIS: “I just can’t believe this. We’re at war with a corporation!”
MAYOR: “Funny thing.
They’re tough. They got resources even we don’t have. We’ve been asleep at the
wheel here, worrying about the Columbians moving in on the dope and the
Russians on the docks and here we got this giant outfit sitting on
FRANCIS: “And we always thought you guys were the real criminals.”
MAYOR: “Now you know. The real crooks in this country get invited to dinner at the White House.”
ROBERTO: “I wish it was like the old days.”
MAYOR: “Yeah. My
father Guido, God rest his soul, spent the night in the
The Confettis counterattack Acme. We see the Acme executives in their “war room”, filled with tv screens showing spy camera scenes, computers, bustling with people coming in and out of the room.
PRESIDENT: “We’re up against a bunch of local yokels. So what if they claim to be mafioso. That’s old stuff. We’re the power now. How come we haven’t exterminated the vermin?”
FUNKY 1: “They shoot back.”
The sound of a bomb exploding is heard. A man in a chauffeur’s outfit, who was obviously caught in the blast, rushes in.
CHAUFFEUR: “Boss, they just blew up your limo.”
PRESIDENT: “That’s it. No holds barred. I want that goddamned City destroyed.”
FRANCIS: “I think we’re going to have to bring the FBI into this.”
MAYOR: “No fucking way. We don’t work with them.”
FRANCIS: “Its the only way we can stop Acme.”
MAYOR: “Then you gotta be the go between. We’re dead if anyone sees us talking to the feds.”
FRANCIS; “I’m a fed.”
MAYOR: “You’re an ok fed. You and SEAN should come over for dinner soon. Meet SEAN’s mother. Important.”
FRANCIS: “I’ll set up the meet with the FBI.”
We then see the Confettis meeting with FBI agents. The FBI agents are extremely uncomfortable.
FBI AGENT 1: “And we’re supposed to look the other way while you take bribes to hire your engineers and contractors, you pay off INS officials to keep your workers on the job, and a mysterious fire occurs at the site of your project...”
FRANCIS: “It is all in the name of environmental protection.”
FBI AGENT 2: “Oh. OK.”
FBI AGENT 1: “And the real problem here is Acme is trying to shut the project down and is threatening to kill all of you?”
MAYOR: “That’s about it.”
FBI AGENT 1: “You realize if Acme succeeded, it would save us a lot of time and effort with regards to our perpetual investigations of your family?”
MAYOR: “Yeah. I know. But, we’re outgunned here. We’re just as uneasy about this as you are. Like, when was the last time anyone from the Family cooperated with youse guys, and lived to tell about it?”
FBI AGENT 2: “What was his name, the guy who wrote the best seller...Joe Banannas?”
MAYOR: “Things are changing. We all got agents now. I get a residual from the Sopranos show, you know.”
FBI AGENT 1: “So what do you want us to do?”
MAYOR: “Sic the
FBI AGENT 2: “But the President of the Company gave a million bucks to the Party National Committee.”
MAYOR: “So fucking what. We only gave half a mil. They gotta bigger gross than we do. Can we help it if we’re being put out of business. The goddamned government took away our loan sharking business and gave it to the credit card companies. 21% interest! And they took away the numbers racket and gave it to the state lottery. We’re just small business people now.”
FBI AGENT 1: “You should be in the lethal care business.”
FBI AGENT 1: “That’s what we mostly work on. Medicare and medicade fraud. Health companies that bill $8 per aspirin to the federal government, doctors who send phony bills for reimbursement. Stuff like that. Billions of dollars in fraud every year.”
MAYOR: “I heard about that stuff. Eight bucks for an aspirin. Billions a year?”
FBI AGENT 2: “You should have sent your son to medical school.”
MAYOR: “How do they do this?”
FBI AGENT 1: “They set up a Health Insurance Company...”
MAYOR: “Sean, I gottan idea.”
We are in the Acme office when the President starts having a heart attack. They rush him to the emergency room. As the President writhes on the table, clutching his chest, the er attendants search for his wallet, one joking about the “wallet biopsy” going on.
They find his wallet and his health insurance card, and it is rushed out of the room. A few seconds later it comes back, cut in pieces.
ER 1: “Sir, your health insurance plan has been canceled. You have no medical insurance. We can’t treat you.”
PRESIDENT: “But I’m the president of one of the richest and most powerful corporations on earth, gasp.”
ER 1: “So what. Your health plan is void. Did you know your health insurance company was bought by some outfit called Confetti Corporation?”
We see the President start to raise his fist in anger, “Those mother fu....” as he dies.
The final scene is the dedication of the new wastewater treatment plant and the wedding reception at the plant for SEAN and FRANCIS.