By Gary M. Almeter
Scenes from Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” reimagined to reflect “Sal’s Famous Pizzeria” being replaced with “Sal’s Notorious Eggnogeria,” which sells only eggnog, obviously.
PLACE: A block of Bedford‐Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, N.Y. A host of residents, each with effervescent and colorful personalities mill about the sidewalks. Sal’s Notorious Eggnogeria is a popular, nondescript—though well cared—or hangout at the corner of the block. The colorful scene provides no indication of the hate and bigotry smoldering thereupon.
TIME: Summer 1989
WEATHER: It is the hottest day of the year and it is hot as shit! Even though it is early morning, you can literally see the heat rising form the pavement already. People are in a hurry to get their shit done before it gets too hot.
INTERIOR: SAL’S NOTORIOUS EGGNOGERIA. EARLY MORNING. Mookie, Sal’s nonchalant but loyal longstanding eggnog delivery person, saunters into Sal’s Notorious Eggnogeria as Sal, the owner, is pouring heavy cream into a large crystal bowl. His son Pino separates whites from yolks in dozens of eggs while Vito, Sal’s younger son, replenishes the nutmeg shakers behind the counter.
PINO: Mookie, late again! How many times I gotta tell you?
MOOKIE: Hello Sal. Hello Vito.
MOOKIE: Just coolin’.
PINO: (beating the egg yolks aggressively) You’re still late.
SAL: Pino, relax, will ya.
PINO: Here Mookie, take the broom and sweep the front sidewalk.
MOOKIE: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I just got here. You sweep. I betcha Sal asked you first anyhow.
VITO: (having replenished the nutmeg canisters, has moved over to the range where he combines the milk and heavy cream and waits for it to boil) That’s right.
PINO: Shaddup Vito.
MOOKIE: Fuck that shit. I deliver eggnog. That’s what I get paid for.
PINO: (who, with even more aggression than that with which he beat the egg yolks, beats the egg whites until they form soft peaks) You get paid to do what we say.
INTERIOR: SAL’S NOTORIOUS EGGNOGERIA. EARLY AFTERNOON. Customers are in Sal’s. It’s lunchtime and it’s fairly busy. Sal puts a porcelain cup of his famous eggnog down on the counter in front of Buggin’ Out, an energetic hip‐hop boy.
SAL: You paying now or on layaway?
BUGGIN’ OUT: (looking at the cup of eggnog) How much?
SAL: You come in here at least three times a fucking day. Are you a retard? A buck fifty.
BUGGIN’ OUT: Sal, put some more whipped cream on top of that motherfucker.
SAL: Extra whipped cream is two dollars. You know dat.
BUGGIN’ OUT: Two dollars! Forget it. (Buggin’ Out slams a dollar bill and two quarters down on the counter, takes his cup of eggnog and sits down.)
(All round Buggin’ Out, peering down from the Wall of Fame, are signed, framed, eight by ten glossies of famous eggs. We see Faberge eggs, Easter eggs, Egghead from the Batman television show, and of course, Humpty Dumpty. Buggin’ Out looks at the pictures hovering above him as though for the first time. The expression on his face turns from one of elation to one of anger at the injustice at not having any brothers on the wall.)
INTERIOR: SAL’S NOTORIOUS EGGNOGERIA. LATER THAT AFTERNOON. As we see Radio Raheem walk—more like bop—into Sal’s with the heavy thump thump thump of his boom box. The size of his boom box is tremendous and one has to think how does he carry something that big around with him? It must weigh a ton and it seems like Sal’s is shaking as the rap music blares out. The song we hear, “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy, is the only one Radio Raheem plays.
RADIO RAHEEM: Gimme two cups of eggnog!
SAL: (shouting) No service til you turn dat shit off.
RADIO RAHEEM: Two cups of motherfucking eggnog!!
PINO: (shouting) Turn it off.
SAL: (shouting) Mister Radio Raheem, I can’t even hear myself think. You are disturbing me and you are disturbing my customers.
(Sal grabs his Mickey Mantle bat from underneath the vats of eggnog sitting atop the counter. Everyone—Sal, Vito, Pino, Radio Raheem, and the customers—are poised for something to happen.)
RADIO RAHEEM: (Smiling as he turns off the radio) Two cups of eggnog, both with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.
SAL: (putting the Mickey Mantle bat back into its place) When you come into Sal’s, no music. No rap, no music. Capisce? Understand? This is a place of business. Whipped cream and a cinnamon stick are two dollars.
RADIO RAHEEM: And put some motherfucking sprinkles on that whipped cream.
SAL: (removing the jar of rainbow colored sprinkles from the shelf above his head) Sprinkles are an extra fifty cents.
INTERIOR: SAL’S NOTORIOUS EGGNOGERIA. LATER THAT NIGHT SAL: (taking a seat at one of the tables) I’m beat.
PINO: (sitting down next to his father) Pop, I think we should sell this place, get outta here while we are still ahead…and alive.
SAL: Since when do you know what’s best for us?
PINO: Couldn’t we sell this one and open up a new one in our own neighborhood?
SAL: There’s already too many eggnog shops already there.
PINO: Then we could try something else.
SAL: We don’t know nuthin’ else. All we know is eggnog.
INTERIOR: SAL’S NOTORIOUS EGGNOGERIA. Police Officers Ponte and Long are awaiting their eggnog orders. SAL: (gingerly ladling eggnog from the crystal punch bowl behind him into two porcelain cups) They’re almost ready officers.
OFFICER LONG: What time are you closing tonight?
SAL: (garnishing the two cups of eggnog with nutmeg) Ten o’clock. And here you go officers.
OFFICER PONTE: What do we owe you?
SAL: Three dollars
OFFICER PONTE: Here.
SAL: Thanks. Enjoy.
(The officers leave just as Mookie enters. They look at each other with mutual disdain and distrust.)
MOOKIE: (Tossing his thermal eggnog delivery case onto the counter) Sal, if you want me to deliver any faster, get me a jet rocket or something, cuz I can’t run with eggnog, it ends up sloshing to and fro in the cups and the nutmeg and whipped cream gets all fucked up and shit.
SAL: I didn’t say nuthin’. You must have a guilty conscience. What are you guilty of?
MOOKIE: I’m not guilty of nuthin’.
SAL: You must be guilty of something or you would have never come in saying the things you said.
MOOKIE: Come on Sal.
SAL: Where we goin? (Sal laughs at his own joke. And adds a splash of vanilla extract into the egg nog bowl.)
INTERIOR: SAL’S REFRESHING EGGNOG. NIGHT . Vito, Pino and Mookie are cleaning up the dining area as Sal wipes the residual eggnog out of the punch bowls.
MOOKIE: Sal, it’s almost quitting time so please start counting my pay. I gotta get paid.
SAL: (looking into the cash register happily) We did a good business today. There ain’t nothing like eggnog on a scorching summer day. We got a good thing going. Nothing like a family in business together. One day the both of you will take over…and Mookie there will always be a place here for you at Sal’s. Ya know, it should be Sal & Sons’!
(All three look at each other. The horror is on their faces, with the prospect of working, slaving in Sal & Sons’ Notorious Eggnogeria, trapped for the rest of their lives. Then, four customers enter.)
SAL: We are about to close.
CUSTOMER 1: Just give us four cups, regular cups of egg nog with regular nutmeg and a cinnamon stick garnish. Please! To go!
SAL: (Retrieving his ladle from the sink and going to the walk in cooler.) Ok. But that’s it. It’s been a long day.
MOOKIE: (Talking to the four customers at their table.) Look, I want you to get your eggnog then get outta here. No playing around. We gots to leave.
CUSTOMER 2: You got it.
(From outside we hear the thump thump of Radio Raheem’s boom box. As everyone turns their heads to the door, Buggin’ Out and Radio Raheem come inside. The music is louder than ever.)
SAL: What did I tell you ‘bout dat noise?
BUGGIN’ OUT: What did I tell you bout dem pictures?
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