GE 1997-8 Season 4 Episode 16: Pepito and the Wild Man
Note: this is not a transcript, but a working draft of the script, so there may be differences in the aired version.

PAUL:	Interior, night.  The crumbling manager's office of the 
	Cine El Grande, an abandoned movie palace in the busted old 
	heart of Guadalajara.  Blue ghosts projected by an ancient 
	television set illuminate the face of a wildman.  Eyes lost 
	in the shadow of deep sockets, he pulls another mouthful of 
	tequila from his bottle, and draws a blanket tighter against 
	the chill of a Mexican winter night.  A Christmas Eve, to be 
	exact, 1986.

	Something else stirs in the wreckage of the room.  It is a small 
	dog, a chihuahua, his shivering ribs poking through his dull coat.  
	If someone, coming upon this desperate pair, had been told that 
	the mangy dog was the Hispanic world's Lassie, until recently the 
	biggest marquis draw in the Latin American cinema, and that the 
	emaciated dope fiend was one of the most highly-touted directors 
	of his time, they would have laughed disbelievingly.  But it was 
	true: the chihuahua was Pepito El Grande, the wildman was me.

	Bored with the rerun of Cantinflas on the tube, Pepito turns listless, 
	accusing eyes towards me.  For the first time in our five-year relationship, 
	he snarls.  And then it begins.  The bitter yelps and yaps that sting and 
	cut and can never be taken back.  I am responsible for the downfall.  
	My insane financing schemes and uncontrollable substance abuse have 
	wasted the wealth and the image of the continent's greatest film star!

	I cannot hold it in any longer: "and what of the prima donna tantrums on 
	the set, delaying productions for weeks, months even ?  What of the 
	countless paternity suits?  the recurrent rabies ?  the vicious attack 
	on the orphan girl that had to be hushed up at huge expense?!   Perhaps 
	Pepito El Grande was getting a little old.  Perhaps the great star just 
	didn't have it anymore."

	That hit home.  Wounded, he feigned favouring a paw, and limped through 
	a crack in the wall into an obscure alleyway behind the derelict building.  
	I threw the bottle against the wall in a rage, and immediately regretted 
	the impulsive waste of fairly decent, medium-grade booze.

	I went out, to walk off my rage upon the city.  Past bands of beggars 
	and thieves gathered round glowing dustbins, along empty great boulevards 
	pierced now and then by the stench of diesel and the fearsome din of a 
	big rig, into the neighbourhoods where the working people lived.  I found 
	a comedor closing up its doors.  The woman of the house relented and I 
	handed her my last six pesos.  A steaming bowl of pozole (puSOlay) was 
	placed before me by a child who stood back to watch my greedy slurping 
	with curiosity and terror.

	It was over.  I'd squandered the rich holdings of PepitoCo on dubious 
	expenditures after the death of Coco Cabrera.  Then I'd committed the 
	fool's error of taking out a loan with the Gomez Portillo brothers to 
	finance my epic Pepito trilogy.  Consumed by visions of multiplying the 
	loan, I'd put half the mob cash into real-estate flips and money-laundering 
	schemes then being organised by the governor of the state, and the other 
	half up my nose.  The guv fell out of favour with the PRI, and the get-rich 
	quick rackets went bust.  No problem.  I had a guaranteed commercial success 
	in the offing with the Guadalajara International Canine Film Festival.  
	You have to understand, I was doing A LOT of coke.

	I didn't even know how much I owed any more, but I did know that there 
	was a contract out on my life.  Staring into the soup, I saw myself 
	crashing the legendary Gomez Portillo Christmas party, going out with 
	a bit of bravado.  I'd jump the back wall, enter through the patio, and 
	guzzle as much bar booze as I could before the bodyguards took me down.  
	Then, anaesthetized, I'd watch as my guts were replaced with goodies, and 
	I was hung from the lemon tree still kicking, so the little mobsters-in-training 
	could have a real-live piniata to play with.  I'd heard that was the kind 
	of stuff the Gomez Portillo's really got off on.  Merry Christmas, boys.


	I looked up as music wafted into the comedor from a party across the 
	street.  It was a posada.  Mary and Joseph and their retinue of 
	friends and musicians out on the street, in ritual exile, imploring 
	those inside the house to give them refuge from the cold night.  
	From the windows of the humble dwelling, the innkeeper and his guests 
	sang denials until their cold hearts gradually melted at the spectre 
	of new life and salvation in trouble.  And finally the doors were 
	thrown open, fireworks carriages crackled and spun, and the feasting 
	was unleashed.

	A timid movement brought me back to the table.  The child placed before 
	me a packet containing two Christmas tamales and scurried back to his 
	mother, who smiled nervously at me from the door to the kitchen.  
	Thank you, I said, thank you, and stumbled away in shock.

	My feet hurried me back through streets filled with the strains of ten 
	thousand posadas.  I took the broken stairs of the Cine El Grande two at 
	a time and flung open the door to the office.  Pepito lay there in the 
	light of the black and white t.v..  He raised his head, turned to meet 
	my eyes and whimpered.  I looked to the torn mattress in the corner and 
	saw through my tears that he'd killed a rat and placed it delicately on 
	the bed.  I hugged him and petted him and held him close for warmth, and 
	we sat down together to our gift of a Christmas supper.

	I love you, Pepito.  This one's for you, wherever you are.