The Big Kahuna (1999) Script

No answer?

Must be out shopping. God forbid.

Why do you say that? No reason.

It's just something men say when they talk about their wives.

One guy says, "She must be out shopping."

The other guys says, "God forbid."

It's a joke. Oh.


So what do you make of all this, Bob?

What do you mean? How does it feel to be out on the road?

Well, uh, I can see where it could be tiring.

Yeah, there's a lot to this job.

You'd never know it, but there's a lot to it.

You seem to have been at this a long time.

Tell you the truth, Bob, I feel like I've been shaking somebody's hand one way or another my entire life.

You're very good at it. Well, thank you, Bob.

I mean, judging from what I hear. Don't qualify it, Bob.

What time you got? Quarter to 5:00.

Hmm. Wonder if Larry got in. Don't you carry a watch?

The world is full of clocks, Bob.

Clocks and mirrors.

It's a damn conspiracy.

Not that it matters to me anymore.

All my chances have come and gone a long time ago.

Why do you say that?

I'm not complainin'.

Everybody peaks somewhere. People find their niche.

It's nothing to be ashamed of.

Uh, how old are you?

If you don't mind me asking.

I'm 52.

Your secretary said you looked distinguished. She did?

She said your face had character.

I will give her the benefit of the doubt... and assume she meant that in a favorable vein.

Sometimes I wonder what I'll look like when I get to be your age.

Tear my heart out, Bob.

Oh, no. That's not what I meant. That's okay.

I've heard tell of people living well into their 60s.

I only hope it's true.

A-All I mean is, I wonder how a person attains character.

Whether it's something that you're born with that kind of reveals itself over time, or whether you have to go through certain things.

I never think about it.

For all I know, I could have a face full of character and not even know it.

You think?

It's a two-edged sword, Bob.

So how long you been with the company? Six months.

Straight out of school? Yeah.

Well, a word of advice:

It's never too early to start thinking about where you want to end up.

It's a lot to think about. Yes, it is.

Pretty soon somebody's gonna be handing you a cake with 40 candles on it, maybe 50.

A bunch of people are gonna jump out of a closet and yell, "Surprise!" like it's something you haven't been thinking about every waking moment.

What's that you're reading? Penthouse.

Oh.

Wanna borrow it when I'm done? No, thanks.

You don't want it? No, I don't read magazines like that.

Oh.

Are you one of those that believe that magazines like this shouldn't be published?

I'm one of those who believes they shouldn't be purchased.

That was a very clever answer, Bob.

I just said what I thought.

That's what I mean. You did it without thinking.

Which leads me to believe you could have a career in marketing.

What's your wife say about you reading magazines like that?

It's not my wife's concern.

It's not? No.

We're divorced.

Mind if I ask you what the problem was?

Maybe you better try your wife again, Bob.

S-Sure.

I just have a real hard time imagining what it must be like to get a divorce.

The picture becomes perfectly clear... after a very short period of time.

Believe me, Bob.

Oh. Excuse me.

- How're you doin'? Pretty good. How 'bout yourself?

Can't complain. What floor?

Depends on where you're headed with all this food. Fifteen.

Hospitality suite. Yeah.

Hmm. Me too. On 16.

Oh. Yeah.

This is it? Hi, Larry.

This is fucking it?

What do you mean, "This is fucking it"? Of course it's it.

What'd you expect? Phil, buddy, the operative word was "suite."

Hospitality suite, not hospitality closet.

There's no room in here.

It's the best I could do.

Where do you expect people to stand, out in the hall?

What are you bitching about? It's on the 16th floor. Look at the view.

Phil, man, we're in Wichita, Kansas.

What does it matter whether we're on the first floor or the 500th floor?

It all looks the same.

Next time you make the arrangements.

Murdoch would have had a room four times this size. Oh, yeah?

Murdoch's not here, is he? You can say that again.

At least we have something to jump off of when nobody shows.

Fuck you, Larry. See? That's what I get for having aesthetic values.

Foul language thrown in my face.

You know Bob from Research?

Sure, I know Bob. How you doing there, Bob? Hi.

He's on the phone to his wife.

I only hope his wife does most of the talking.

We've got to conserve what little oxygen we have.

What is this? What does it look like?

You tell me. It's hors d'oeuvres.

You call these hors d'oeuvres? Don't start with me, Larry.

Phil, buddy, these are not hors d'oeuvres.

I don't know what that is.

Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cup of ranch dressing... and an overgrown cheese ball?

This-This whole thing was spur-of-the-moment. You know it.

Do you know what the tool and dye outfit is serving? I don't wanna know.

Shrimp, my friend. Jumbo shrimp on ice.

Oysters on the half shell. All these weird kind of French cheeses.

These little puff pastries. That's hors d'oeuvres, Phil, my friend of many years.

Downstairs they wouldn't let a celery stick near the place. They'd check it at the door.

Then go eat downstairs. I just might have to.

Jesus Christ! Bob, can you believe this?

It looks okay to me. That's exactly my point. You don't know anything.

No offense, but how many of these things have you been to?

Just one. This one, right?

Yeah. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Who knows, Phil? Maybe we'll get lucky... and everyone that walks through the door tonight will be a first-timer like Bob.

Is there a problem?

No. There's no problem.

Oh, catching up on your technical reading there, Phil?

Mind your own business, Larry.

I'm not condemning. I'm just saying I noticed.

You should have seen the girl that sat next to me on the plane.

Pretty? I should say so. And built.

And... wearing a business suit.

That's right. You like 'em in business suits.

There's something about a woman in a business suit that drives me wild.

It's as if they're all tied up in this neat little package...

Just waiting for someone to come along and pull the cord that sets everything free.

A woman in a business suit is my idea of art.

What about you, Bob? What kind of woman's attire gets your motor running?

I'm sure I couldn't tell you. No favorites, huh?

Uh, I try not to think about it.

You try not?

I- I'm married.

Of course you're married. We're all married. Even Phil was married at one time.

I'm just asking you in which direction your tastes run.

I... I don't know.

Oh.

Let me, uh, ask you a question there, Bob, seriously.

What's that? Are you gay?

Larry! What? I'm just asking.

He seems to be missing one of the fundamental characteristics of the American male, which I could understand if you were... you know... but you're not.

Aren't you married?

I just see no reason to let my eyes go wandering when God's... given me a wonderful woman to be my wife.

Oh, I see. You're a spiritual man.

That's a part of it. So do they blind you when you get saved?

Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust, it's the same as committing adultery.

He did?

He must have never seen a woman in a business suit. If He had, who knows?

We might have a different kind of religion, one where lusting is a sacrament.

Hey! I thought you weren't interested in my hors d'oeuvres.

I'm just tasting, Phil. I'm not actually partaking.

I'm just gonna make sure that nobody's gonna gag.

Well, don't eat the whole thing up.

You know why you're here, don't you, Bob? No. Not exactly.

Jesus Christ. No wonder this company is spiralling into the shit can.

You're here for cosmetic purposes. What do you mean?

You're here to represent research.

Technical support. The brains of the company.

Me? Absolutely.

But I don't have that much experience. That doesn't matter.

You, as a person, don't really matter. It's what you represent.

Am I supposed to be doing anything?

Nope. Just stand there and look wise, or sit. It's entirely up to you.

You'll do fine, Bob.

Jeez, I hope so.

You know, when you think about it, to tell the truth, nobody's really here.

You think you see people walkin' around those hallways? You don't.

What you see is functions. That's the nature of a convention.

What Larry means is, um, if you look at it in the standpoint of why we're here, what we are is more important than who we are.

Well, that seems kind of impersonal.

Of course it's impersonal, Bob.

Why do you think they hold conventions in places like this?

Is there anything about this place that smacks of personality to you?

Still, it seems a shame.

It's not a shame, Bob.

So who do they have you working for these days? Uh, Professor Young.

Jim Young? Yeah. You know him?

We've met.

Tremendous guy. Oh, really?

How so?

He's got... what, 20, 30 patents?

I think he's even a deacon in his church.

And all that makes him tremendous?

Well, the patents alone.

Listen, Bob, no offense. I can see that you admire the man and all.

But let me tell you a little something about Jim Young.

- What's that? He's an idiot!

What? He's a moron, Bob.

I wouldn't trust the guy to wax my car. How can you say that?

I've met him, remember? I've gotten an earful of Jim on more than one occasion.

I can tell you for a fact the guy is full of shit.

I don't think so. I work with him every day.

Maybe you just don't know what to look for.

Maybe I just have different standards.

Listen, Bob. You got a minute? I wanna tell you something.

Sure.

There are people in this world, Bob, who look very official while they're doing what they're doing.

And do you know why? Why?

Because they don't know what they're doing.

If you know what you're doing, you don't have to look like you know what you're doing.

It comes naturally. You follow me? Sure.

Okay. So now, do you know how you can tell the difference?

No.

All right, the way you tell is... a little voice pops up in the back of your mind... to say that this guy who's sitting before me, or she, is lying through his teeth and telling me stories.

Now, once you get that little piece of information, what do you do?

Uh... Uh, I don't know.

Here's what I would do.

I would say, "Buddy, I've heard a lot of horseshit in my time, "'cause God knows I'm a salesman...

"and we all have to wade through our share of the snow to get to the cabin, "but you... take the cake.

"I don't believe you have the first idea what you're talking about.

"Your children admire you, I'm sure, "as we all hope they do, "and maybe your wife doesn't know, "but I know, "and my knowledge forces me to call you on the fact... that you are a goddamn cocksucking liar from the word go!"

And then I would sit down and finish my soup.

You would not.

Phil, have you or have you not ever heard or seen me doing what we were just talking about?

Yes.

There. Do you see?

That's why there's hope, Bob, because there's people like me who listen.

When was this? What do you mean, "when"?

Are you doubting a man that sits reading Penthouse to expand his mind?

Are you gonna question that?

It was a couple years ago. We were having lunch with a purchasing agent.

You see?

You actually said that? Word for word.

It was not word for word.

In principle, Phil.

I'm speaking to the boy in principle because, after all, he's a bright young man and he understands the meaning of a concept.

So what happened?

Well, what do you think happened?

What would you expect to have happened?

Well, the guy got angry.

The guy got furious.

He just sat there through the rest of the meal, fuming, not saying a word.

D-Did you lose the account?

Of course we lost the account.

You can't speak to a man like that and expect to keep the account.

And if you do, if you say that to a man and he puts down his fork... and he says, "Bob, "you are absolutely right.

"I have been faking like I know what I'm talking about from the moment I sat down, "and I'm sorry.

"Not to you, because I don't owe you anything, but to myself.

"Because I want to be the best human being I can possibly be, and I want to be honest above all else."

Then you forget about the account, about everything.

You shave your head, put on a saffron robe, you sell pictures of this guy at the airport, because he has no fear and he's just proved it.

He deserves to be worshipped.

Wow.

"Wow" is right, Bob. "Wow" sums it up quite nicely.

I mean, I can't believe you actually said that.

Do yourself a favor, Bob. What's that?

Don't ever become one of those people. No, I wouldn't.

I don't want to have to confront you one day like I did that other guy, but I will, for your own good, because I like you.

Sure.

You all right, Bob? Yeah. I just need to use the restroom.

Want me to fix you something while you're on the throne? - No. I just need to go.

Who wound you up? Nobody wound me up.

I'm just excited, that's all. We're gonna do some business tonight, Phil.

There's business in the air. Do you smell it?

It's the kind of air that makes account ledgers grow.

There's only one account ledger that matters to us tonight.

We're gonna get that one too. You watch.

Fuller's gonna come walking through that door.

He's gonna take one look around.

He will be so overwhelmed... with the fact that he's on the 16th floor overlooking... all of Wichita like some ancient king surveying his fiefdom, Larry predicts, that he will say, "You talk to me about moxie?

"Anybody with the aesthetic wherewithal...

"to pick this, of all places, for a hospitality suite...

"must certainly have the right line of industrial lubricants for my plant in Gary.

"What would it take to get you guys to sell me everything you could make?

"How much can I pay you personally, as a bribe?"

He's gonna say all that, is he? Word for word.

You know what I'm gonna say to him? "Mr. Fuller, you are absolutely right.

"We do have the right line of industrial lubricants for your application, "and I personally would be proud to handle the account myself.

"But there is one thing I ask of you... as a favor, to help us get better acquainted."

What's that? That you take me as your concubine.

Or Phil, if you think he's better looking.

You really think he's gonna go for us?

He has to, Phil. What if he doesn't?

If he doesn't go for us? Yeah.

What we do is we get up tomorrow morning, pack our bags, catch the breakfast flight home, wander into the office around half past 2:00, and then we hang ourselves in the bathroom by our ties.

You... Do you know what he looks like?

No. You? I haven't the foggiest.

What about Bob? Bob.

How's Bob gonna know what he looks like? Oh, yeah.

It doesn't matter. That's one of the great things about conventions.

All God's "chillen" wear name tags, especially a guy like this.

He probably had one especially made in neon. "Dick Fuller, President.

Nickname: El Kahuna Grande."

I'm only hoping he's wearing a ring I can kiss.

Phil, what is that? It's a coat rack.

I know it's a coat rack! What's it doing in here? It's for coats.

Who the hell's gonna bring a coat? We're all in the same damn hotel.

Get it out of here. There's little enough room in here as it is.

I wanted to be prepared.

If I don't have a coat rack, you're gonna say, "Phil, where's the coat rack?"

Now we know where it is. It's out in the hall.

Is he all right in there?

I don't think he's feeling very well. Really? How come?

Maybe it's nerves.

Or maybe he just couldn't take the likes of you. What?

Especially when you come at him with both barrels like that.

What, me? Nah. I was just talkin' to him.

He's a good kid. 'Course he's a good kid.

I wouldn't waste my time with him if he wasn't.

The last thing I need to do is grease another asshole for the lubricant industry.

Besides, he reminds me of you in a lot of ways.

He reminds you of yourself. But I take after you, so it all works out.

I don't want any of these bozos making long-distance calls.

Well, take it off the bill.

Or who knows? Maybe he's just basking in the experience.

Going to the bathroom? Yeah. Have you been in there yet?

No. Why? It's terrific, man.

It's the only thing I like about this place. They got a spotlight over the john.

That and there's mirrors on three sides, so you can actually watch yourself wiping your own ass.

Is that a major goal of yours?

It's something everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime.

Do you realize what the ancient kings of Egypt would have given... if they'd been able to watch themselves wiping their own asses?

Plenty, but they couldn't because the technology was unavailable.

They had mirrors. Oh, hand mirrors, Phil.

Little bitty jobs.

You try watching yourself wiping your own ass with a hand mirror.

You might... You can't see anything.

You might as well be watching somebody else.

No, no, to do it right you need the full-fledged wall-to-wall mirrors.

Then you get the total picture.

Reminds you you're not much different than anybody else when it comes down to it.

Gives you a sense of humility. Whatever you say.

Oh! The door is jammed.

I put a call in. Oh, Christ.

Hey, you feelin' any better, Bob?

Yeah, just, uh, Just a little queasy is all.

Did Phil have you working on the floor all day? Some of it.

Workin' the booth? Uh, yeah.

No wonder. You should've told him to go fuck himself.

I hate workin' the booth.

I thought it was kind of interesting. There's no closet in here.

That's why I got the coat rack.

Anything's interesting for a while, Bob.

Dental surgery is interesting for a while, but some things get old in a hurry.

It's somethin' that has to be done. Ah. Well.

There you are, Bob. Words handed down from on high.

"It's something that has to be done."

Larry, let me bum a cigarette off you.

You could ordinarily, but not anymore.

I gave it up. You did not.

I swear to God. When?

Couple of months ago. And you would, too, if you knew what was good for you.

Fuck you, Larry. You're not my wife.

You're right, Phil. I'm not your wife.

And it's good of you to point that out... because, as close as we are, I sometimes forget.

Bob's got more sense than the two of us put together.

You've never smoked a cigarette in your life, have you? - No, I haven't.

I bet you don't drink either. An occasional beer now and then.

Yeah, but nothin' hard. No.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm willing to bet... I'd even lay money... that never in your life have you walked into a strip joint, walked up on the stage, grabbed the dancer and fucked her brains out in front of everybody.

I never what? Jesus Christ, Larry.

Just answer the question, yes or no.

No. I... I've never even been near a place like that.

See, that's what I'm saying. You oughta apply for sainthood.

Competition's not as stiff as it used to be. You got a good chance of gettin' in.

You Catholic? Episcopalian? No.

Well, what then? Uh, Baptist.

Well, that is a problem.

They must have something for people who go through their lives without doing anything.

Not as far as I know. Damn it. Then it's time to change religions.

Go someplace you're appreciated, where there's a chance to move up.

You let me know if it happens. You'll be the first.

Remember it was my idea. I get dibs on the concessions... little plastic statues.

Where are you going? - I'm gonna run down to the bar. I'll be right back.

I'll go with you.

Uh, no, no. You better stay here.

I have to have somebody keep their eye on Larry, make sure he doesn't sublet the joint.

When you're there, stop on 15, see what it's like with people who know what they're doing.

That is, if you can live with the shame.

And bring me back some shrimp!

What a nut.

Him or you? Him.

The guy cracks me up.

He's not the one I would call a nut around here.

That's just because you don't know him. You want a carrot stick?

How long have you and he worked together? Depends on what you mean.

Do you want a carrot stick? No, thanks.

Well, in geologic time, we just met.

However, in dog years, we go way back.

How 'bout human years?

Human years? Yeah.

We've known each other a while. Why do you ask?

He just strikes me as an interesting guy. That's one hell of a guy.

If you're looking for somebody to admire, pick Phil, not that asshole Jim Young.

How long has he been divorced?

I don't think he is officially, but don't quote me 'cause I don't really know.

I think it's a shame he has to get divorced.

Well, he doesn't have to, Bob.

I mean, he's making a choice to gain something.

Like what? His freedom, I guess.

Still, it seems like an awful lot to give up.

Sometimes, Bob, you gotta chew your leg off to get out of life's traps.

I guess.

Phil's gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, and I don't just mean the divorce.

Really? How so?

Well, he used to be a...

I don't know.

One day he'd be ridin' the clouds, the world was a beautiful place, and he was just happy to be in it, and the next day, you wouldn't even know you were talkin' to the same person.

It was like somebody let the air out of him.

You got the impression that at any moment he could pull out a gun and shoot himself.

And even then, he was real personable.

He just...

I got the feeling that something inside of him had kind of... collapsed.

What can I get you? Change for the cigarette machine.

Crown Royal on the house. Poured one too many.

No, thanks. It's all right, really.

No, no, thank you. Just the change. Thanks.

Hmm. Things you don't know about a person.

That's why God gave us eyes and ears, to find out, except for some things that are none of our goddamn business.

Sure.

Ask me whatever you want about Phil.

I'll be glad to tell you, if I think you're being sincere.

But don't ask him.

He's been through a lot. He doesn't need to be pressed.

How long have you been married, Bob? Six months.

You love your wife? Do I love my wife?

Why wouldn't I?

Well, people get married for a lot of different reasons.

You seem like a real principled guy to me.

So?

Well, I've known people. I'm not saying you're one of them.

It's just I've known them who were real principled, and then they met somebody else who was real principled, and then the two of them got married, only to find out one day... it was their principles that got married.

The two of them Just kind of came along for the ride.

Oh.

Love has a lot of counterfeits, Bob, not to get too deep.

Sure.

Hey, speak of the devil, where's my shrimp?

Eat a carrot if you're so goddamned hungry.

Have a cheese ball.

I don't want any cheese ball. I want some shrimp.

Then call room service and get some.

I would, but I don't want to embarrass you... in front of the boy.

Believe me, Larry, as long as I've known you, nothing you could possibly say or do could ever embarrass me in the least.

You see what I have to put up with? Twelve years now.

But one day, no more. I'm comin'to work with an Uzi!

You're gonna read about us in the newspapers the next day.

You sure I can't fix you something, Bob? Maybe just a cola.

Give me an ashtray. All righty.

How 'bout you, Phil? What'll you have, a Black Russian, martini with a twist?

I'll have a Seven-Up. A Seven-Up?

Seven-Up with a twist of lime.

You feelin' all right there, Phil?

I quit drinking. You did? When?

Recently.

Well, I'll be a son of a bitch.

I don't smoke, you don't drink, and Bob wouldn't think of lusting after a woman.

Between the three of us, we're practically Jesus.

Which reminds me, who's gonna bar tend tonight?

I figured Bob would. Me?

Yeah. You mind? Like I said, I'm not accustomed to drinking hard liquor.

Nobody's asking you to drink it, Bob.

We're asking you to serve it. I won't know what I'm doing.

It doesn't matter. You pour stuff in a glass. Now you know bartending.

What about the formulas?

Formulas? They're called recipes.

We'll send out for a book. That's all.

What if somebody wants something exotic?

The only reason people order exotic drinks is to show how sophisticated they are.

If they have to tell you how to mix it, it's all the better. It makes them feel like experts.

Plus Larry and I are gonna have our hands full.

The brains of the company will try.

That's all we ask for, Bob, is that you try.

Gentlemen, here's to the profound, religious experience... that comes from doing a job well... and being grossly underpaid. Happy days.

Happy Jesus. Happy...

Amen.

What time is this thing supposed to start tonight? - 7:00.

You hungry?

I could probably eat, I guess. - What do you feel like?

Maybe we oughta go on downstairs.

Yeah, that's exactly what we'll do.

We'll go downstairs, fill our bellies full of hotel food.

We'll "oogle" the waitresses a little... or not.

And then we'll come back up here and we'll show Bob the ropes.

We'll teach him what it's like to do business.

I'm looking forward to it. You think you're ready for the big time, Bob?

I guess there's only one way to find out, and that's to throw me in the water, see if I can swim.

You're missing the point. We're about to throw you off a cliff and see if you can fly.

You got a tag on your pants. I just bought it.

Take the little strings off. Jesus Christ. You got any scissors?


The brains of the company will try.

You are saved! You are saved!

There you go!

Be saved with Jesus! Drinks for everyone.

Line 'em up. Line 'em up, boys and girls.

You need a light?

So... Yeah, you want a gin fixer.

Did you say gin buck or gin fix?

It's...

What did you want?

Uh... I'll give you this, some of this.


Phil?

Phil, Phil, Phil! Do you know what time it is?

I'm sure you're gonna tell me. It's 9:30!

So what? We started at 7:00. He's not coming!

He said he'd be here. Well, he's kidding, because he's not here.

What do you want me to do? Act a little concerned.

I'm concerned. Really? Because you hide it really well.

Well... Just... have faith, would ya?

Just once.

Have fa... Ha...

Have faith? Have faith.


Hey, thanks a lot, buddy.

This is the finest champagne.


That son of a bitch... talked to me about basketball for nearly two hours.

All he did was exhibit... that he doesn't know the first thing about the game.

What? You think you can get me a smaller glass?

How 'bout a little thimble or somethin'? They're all dirty.

Give me that bottle.

That's what I love about these things... it kills me about these things... is that you get a guy away from his wife for a couple days.

You pour a couple drinks into him, he, all of a sudden, becomes the world's foremost expert on sports.

That's why God created wives, Bob.

So that they could show men when they're bein' assholes.

You get a guy away from his wife... for any length of time, and he hasn't the first idea how to behave.

Take it from me.

The Bible said God created Eve as a helpmate.

As a what? A helper... suitable to meet his needs.

I don't know anything about that, Bob, but what I do know is this:

God created women to be mirrors... so a man could see what an ass he is.

I mean, you talk to me about souls?

A man does not know what his soul looks like, hasn't any idea what his soul looks like... until he gazes into the eyes of the woman that he's married to.

And then, if he's any kind of decent human being, he spends the next couple days throwin' up.

Because no man... no honest man... can stand that image.

Go ahead, take your shoes off and be comfortable. Everybody's gone.

I thought you said you didn't like being married.

Well, I didn't, but that doesn't mean I don't recommend it.

There's a lot of things in this life, Bob, that are good for you... that are not necessarily pleasant.

Like circumcision.

Well, it's about time. Where the hell have you been?

What do you mean, where the hell have I been?

While you've been sittin' here, strokin' every swingin' dick that walked through that door, I've been in search of the Grand Kahuna!

The what? The savior, Bob.

El presidente.

The man who, with one small utterance, one tiny ejaculation of sound, could make this company big with child.

Did you find him?

Phil, use your intuition here for a second.

Use that God-given gift you have for smelling out the truth of a situation.

Do I look as though I found him? No.

Good. You still have it.

Who are you guys talking about?

We're talking about the Grand Kahuna, Bob. The Great White Wha...

Did you ever read The Old Man and the Sea? No.

Then forget about it.

We're talking about a man who represents, as an entity, the largest single account this company has or probably ever would have seen.

Potential account. It's good of you to point that out.

Potential. What could have been.

Because it was our job, compadres, to turn that potentiality into reality, to have it show up in the coffers, to court this gentleman, to promise him favors, if necessary, to get him on our side.

But did we succeed in this regard or did we fail? Let's see a show of hands.

We'll be all right. Yeah, of course we'll be all right.

Once they drag our bodies from the river and send our spirits to the moon.

Then, sure. It's the intermediate stuff.

It's the actual process of being skinned alive and set fire to.

That's the difficult part. The rest is duck soup.

You had to go searching for this guy?

We had to, Bob. We weren't supposed to.

But yes, we had to.

He was supposed to have shown up here tonight.

Someone was supposed to have lured him up here for a drink.

What are you lookin' at me for?

I done my job.

You phoned him? You're goddamned right I phoned him.

And you spoke to him direct?

I talked to his secretary.

He was on a long-distance call.

She assured me that he'd be here. She assured you?

Guess what. She was joking!

She probably had her secretary friends gathered around the speaker phone, saying, "Watch this."

I bet she does stand-up on the side. Something probably happened.

I think it's rather obvious that something "happened."

Maybe he just pulled up sick at the last minute. Oh, no, he's here.

No, I've heard his name bandied about all night long in the present tense.

He's here, my friends. He just isn't here!

If you get my subtle nuance.

Well... we just have to... figure out some other way, is all.

Phil, are you deaf?

We lost the man. He was invited, but he did not come.

We're like the dinosaurs when the climate changed.

There is no longer any reason for us to roam the Earth.

Why can't you just schedule an appointment... and go and see him?

You don't schedule an appointment with this guy.

He's the president. He refers you to his people.

Why not go see his people? Because they're all dildos, every single one of them.

Sometimes you have to go past the smaller minds.

You have to cozy up to someone a little higher on the ladder who can say, "I would really like to try some of this new product.

Either buy some and try it or get the fuck out because you're fired!"

Gonna put another call into his secretary in the morning.

Phil, are you not hearing a word I'm saying?

I realize it's human nature to think we stand another chance with this guy, but it's fantasy.

We're gonna go back to Chicago tomorrow, and Evans is gonna say, "Hey, Phil, Larry, Bob, "come into my office.

"I have something for you.

Bend over."

So what do you think, Bob? Do you wanna do this for a living?

I don't know. I thought it was kind of interesting. Oh, yeah? How so?

You get to hear a lot of interesting stories. That you do.

They're far outweighed by the horseshit that flies across the room all night, but they're there to listen for if you want.

Are there always this many people?

It just looked like a lot of people 'cause the room's so damn small.

Larry. Sorry, the carrot stick's gone to my head.

I met a guy who started talking to me about dogs.

What about dogs?

Just that he's always owned one.

He told me that one way or the other, he's owned a dog his entire life, most of them German Shepherds.

That's not that unusual. A lot of people have dogs.

Oh, I know, but that got us started on all sorts of things.

Turns out he had to have his last one put to sleep 'cause it bit someone.

So then he started telling me about the one before that... and the one before that.

And before we knew it, we traced his entire life in this series of dogs.

Mostly German Shepherds.

I wish to hell Murdoch was here.

Who's Murdoch?

Dale Murdoch.

The best damn marketing rep this company has ever seen.

God, Jesus, what a talent.

- Successful? - More than just successful.

This guy, he had the gift.

You know how, like, when you're watching athletes do what they're doing.

They're remembering something they've always known, instead of something they had to learn.

That's what it was like with Murdoch, except only with people.

Where is he now? Who, Murdoch?

Yeah. He's gone on to his great reward.

Yeah, I heard he was down in Florida somewhere.

Last I heard, somebody had said that he had a whole chain of Burger Kings.

I wouldn't doubt it if it was the biggest goddamn chain in the state.

But the days of Murdoch are behind us.

Now it's the days of Larry and Phil.

Phil and Larry and Bob, three guys who are about to be royally fucked up the ass.

We'll be all right.

Oh, you think so, huh?

Sure. Well, I hope you're right, for our sake, because letting Mr. Fuller slip through our fingers could be construed... as an act of incompetence.

It makes us look pretty damn bad.

Did you say Fuller? Yeah.

Dick Fuller? Yeah. Dick, Richard.

Why, you know him? That was the guy I was talking to.

What are you... What?

The guy with the dogs! That was Dick Fuller. Oh, get out of here.

I'm serious. Look, he even gave me his card.

- Oh, you son of a bitch! Let me see it.

I thought you checked everybody's name tag. I did.

Anybody that wasn't wearing a name tag, I came right out and said, "What's your name?"

He wasn't wearing his name tag. What?

He wasn't wearing his own. I think it was someone else's.

Why on earth would he be wearing somebody else's name tag, Bob?

Beats me. Looks like he had a couple of drinks before he got here.

Maybe he swapped it. I got the impression he wanted to be left alone.

He was awful broken up about the dog. I do not fuckin' believe this.

We had Dick Fuller right here within our grasp, and we let him slip through our fingers!

Sorry. It's not your fault, Bob.

We had him. He was ours.

Next time you ask people's names, whether they're wearing badges or not.

I'll give you a little piece of information. There will be no next time.

We had Dick Fuller within our sphere of influence, and we let him walk out of here without hearing from us... a word of what we had to say.

We'll be all right.

What did you guys talk about, Bob?

Just... I don't know. Stuff.

Could you be more specific? Sports, weather, what?

Dogs mostly.

That's it? Nothing else?

That and stuff about our families. He asked about my wife.

Your wife? Yeah.

What did he want to know about your wife? Nothing. He just asked.

Did you tell him he could have her, in consideration for throwing business our way?

Larry.

Well, what? What did you talk about?

Just... I don't know. Religion some.

You talked to the president... of one of the largest manufacturing firms in the midwest about religion?

Is that who he is? I didn't know.

Okay, wait, wait. What did you say to him?

What exactly did you tell him about religion?

We just talked.

You didn't contradict him, did you? No.

Thank God. The first rule about talking religion at a convention... is "Do not contradict the client."

I take that back. That's the second rule.

The first rule is "Don't." Don't what?

Don't do it. Well, we seem to have survived.

Did you contradict him? No.

Well, then that's why. That's the reason you survived.

I thought it was a nice chat.

How did you end up talking about religion with Dick Fuller in the first place?

It just came up with the stories of his dogs dying.

You told him his dogs were in heaven? No.

- You told him his dogs were in hell? Of course not.

Well, then what, Bob? What exactly did you say to the man?

We started talking.

The thing about the dogs was just a lead-in.

I mean, it got us talking about life and death.

I-It was a lead-in, Bob?

Sure.

Which implies, does it not, that you were... looking for the opportunity to talk about life and death?

Sure, I-I guess so. Sure.

No, don't say sure. It's not like "sure." How am I supposed to know?

I mean, most people don't go around looking for opportunities... to strike up conversations with total strangers about life and death... and religion and things of that ilk.

Some people do. Some people, yeah.

I guess there's some people, and apparently you're one of them.

But most people, if you ask about life and death, they say, "Hey, life is good. Death is bad. The end."

They don't go looking for opportunities. I guess I'm not most people.

Bob, that's probably true. I would say that's very safe to say.

I think it's important to let people know what you believe.

Oh, Jesus Christ!

If I had known that you were supposed to get in touch with the guy, then I would have told you, I would have alerted you somehow.

It's not your fault, Bob.

Phil!

How was he to know? He was just talkin' to the guy.

Talking to the guy, yes. But listening? I don't think so.

At least not for the opportunities to advance the interests of the company.

Maybe if the conversation had stayed on a more temporal plane, then maybe it might have worked itself around to the subject... of where lubricants might have been mentioned.

You don't know that. Oh, come on.

The odds are a hell of a lot better, but as it was, the conversation was not allowed to have a natural course... because somebody was at the helm directing it, right, Bob?

Sounds like the guy just wanted to be left alone. That is not the point.

Phil's right. He practically came out and said it.

Well, guys, friends, compadres, it was our task at hand... to overcome that desire of his for a little while, to garner his interest, and I submit to you he did not want to be left alone.

If he had, he would have stayed in his hotel room.

He would not have gone cruising the hospitality suites in search of conversation.

I submit to you he did not wish to be left alone, but only not to talk business.

In which case we're out of luck anyway. Now, Phil, come on.

There's ways around that, and you know it.

Not to badger the man but to let him know what we came here to tell him.

That's what I'm saying. I'm sorry.

Does no good to be sorry. It doesn't do us any good now.

What else can I do? There is nothing you can do now at this juncture!

Nothing.

Did he happen to mention where he was staying? Somewhere in the hotel.

This hotel? Yes.

What are you gonna do? Bang on his door after midnight?

I'm just asking. Is there a crime in that?

I'm thinking that maybe tomorrow morning we could run into him... in the coffee shop downstairs accidentally.

We don't know what he looks like. Bob does.

I'd be willing to do that.

What's all this business on the back of his card?

That's where he was going after he left here. What, what, what?

Some kind of private party at the hotel down the street.

What are we doing here? Let's go! We can't.

Why not? It's by invitation only.

So? I think he'd get mad if we all showed up.

He made a big point about how private it was.

That's the least of our worries. If he gets mad, we'll deal with it.

Grab your coats.

Not so fast, Larry. What?

I think Bob may be right. We don't want to barge in on this guy.

Phil! Think about it.

Do you really want to piss this guy off by crashing some exclusive party, not to mention whoever else might be there?

You suggest we stand here while the account of a lifetime slips through our fingers?

No, no.

Well, what then?

I think we send Bob.

What?

Look, he gave you that thing as an invitation, right?

Yeah, he said it would get me in.

Phil, Phil, Phil! Don't do this to me, man.

What choice do we have?

That is our only legitimate way in there.

Besides, he knows Bob.

They talked. Bob's got an in.

You are putting our future in the hands of a kid.

Nah, it's gonna be all right. Give me your card.

Oh, Jesus Christ. Give me your card.

All right.

Now, here's what I want you to do. Sit down.

Listen to me. - I'm listening.

Here's what I want you to do.

I want you to go down the street and see if you can find Mr. Fuller.

If you're fortunate and he is still there, I want you to give him our business cards.

Tell him that we are very anxious... to meet with him as soon as it's humanly possible.

You got that? As soon as humanly possible.

Okay. Tell him we'll be around the hotel all morning tomorrow.

He can reach us here or at the numbers on these cards.

All right, here. Ask him...

Ask him to please get a hold of either Larry or me... because we would like to speak to him very briefly... about business.

Just business. Explain to him we know that he's very busy.

It won't take up much time, but there are a few things that we need to discuss.

Now, do you have that, Bob?

Yeah. I'll try. All you have to do... Listen to me.

All you have to do is give him the cards and leave.

What if he wants to talk? Well, then you talk as long as he wants.

Forty days and forty nights, if you have to, until he tires of it.

Then you come back here and tell us what happened. - You'll wait up?

Till the next fiscal quarter. Beyond that, I can't make any guarantees.

Don't worry about it. You're gonna do fine.

Yeah, you'll do fine, Bob. I'm sorry for doubting you. Of course you'll do fine.

If you follow those instructions to the letter, you'll do great. You understand?

Yes. Okay, good. Now go. Time's a-wasting.

I'll see you guys later. Okay. And hurry.

But not too fast, because you'll work up a sweat and he won't want to come near you.

Okay.

Do I, uh...

Do I strike you as a particularly religious man, Phil?

Not in the slightest.

Then why am I seized with a sudden, overwhelming desire... to pray?


I should let it dry, but I'm a little impatient.

I wonder if he found him.

He found him.

What makes you so sure?

If he hadn't have, he would've been back by now.

Not necessarily.

It'll be all right. Yeah.

Phil, can I ask you something seriously?

Yeah.

Are you on some kind of medication I should know about?

What makes you think I'm taking medication?

Because I've never seen you this relaxed before.

I almost get the impression that you just frankly don't give a shit.

I don't.

No, I know that. We all don't give a shit to a certain extent.

What I'm saying is, it's like you don't care.

I'm tired, Larry.

Well, I recognize that. It's been a very long day.

That's not what I mean.

I get what you're driving at, and I sympathize. I do.

We all know you've been going through a lot lately, Phil.

For a long time I've been meaning to state outright, if you need anything at all, you don't hesitate to call, day or night.

I would've said something sooner, but I thought maybe it was understood.

I assumed as much.

Well, you were right, too, and I hope you know I mean it.

I've been thinkin' about makin' a few changes.

Like what?

I don't know. Just changes.

Are you sure that's wise, Phil?

You've had an awful lot of changes imposed on you in recent days.

Maybe it's time for you to just, you know, let things settle.

I've been toying with the idea... of pursuing a different line of work.

Something other than marketing?

Yeah.

Speaking as your friend, Phil, as one who knows you intimately, as it were, I think that's a bad idea, dare I say an entirely shitty idea.

Why? Because "A," you were born for this.

You have a gift.

I'm not Murdoch.

Well, nobody's Murdoch.

Murdoch doesn't exist. He's what we pumped him up to be.

"B," I don't exactly relish the idea of goin' out on the road with somebody new.

It was gonna happen sooner or later. No, it wasn't.

I was always hoping we'd end in a kind of murder-suicide thing.


I've been thinking about... a lot of other things lately too.

Well, Phil, if something's bothering you, get it out.

It doesn't do any good to let things fester.

What exactly have you been... thinking so much about?

Life. Life?

And death.

Jesus, not you too? What is it with everyone... suddenly thinking about life and death?

Is there something going on that nobody's telling me that I should be told about, like sunspots or something?

Is there a plague coming to wipe us from the globe?

Strange things happen. No, they don't.

Not unless they're printed first in USA Today.

Jesus comes again, He's got to give 'em two days' notice.

Time to work up one of them little graphs.

I've been thinking about God lately too.

Wondering.

About God?

Yeah.

What about Him?

I don't know.

Haven't you just wondered about God, ever?

Yeah. Everybody wonders about God every now and then.

It's just some of us don't dwell on it, you know?

I give it a place. I believe what I believe.

Which is what? How the hell should I know?

When I was a kid, I had a dream about God.

I dreamt...

I found Him hiding in a closet... in the middle of a burnt-out city.

This city was destroyed by fire... or some kind of explosion.

And... there in the middle of it... was a coat closet... standing there all by itself.

And I walked up to the closet and opened the door... and inside was God, hiding.

I remember He had a... a big lion head.

But I knew it wasn't a lion.

It was God.

And He was afraid.

And... I reached out my hand... to lead Him out of the closet,

and I said, "Don't be afraid, God.

I'm on Your side."

And we stood there, the two of us, holding hands, looking out over the destruction.

It was just after sunset.

I don't know why, but I've always had this... haunting feeling...

that I had some kind of mission here on Earth.

A mission?

Yeah.

What kind of mission?

I have no idea.

Well, I'll tell you what your mission is.

Your mission is the same as mine... to be a... a liaison between parties.

Things like that don't bother you, huh?

What do you mean? Dreams? Questions about God.

Well, I figure, you know...

I'm gonna find out sooner or later.

My wondering about it isn't gonna change anything.

In the meantime, why lose sleep? I get precious little as it is.

But you still wonder, don't you?

I'm human, Phil.

I know.

We're all very tired, Phil. It's the nature of the business.

You've been under a lot of stress lately too.

Is that what it is?

Yeah. You're damn right that's what it is.

You need a vacation.

I just had a vacation. It didn't do any good, so you need another one.

You know, maybe just a good, hot date.

Yeah? Yeah.

You need what's-her-name, the blonde.

Susan. Yeah. Susan.

That's exactly what you do. You call her up, you tell her you made reservations in the Dells, you buy yourself a gross or two of condoms, and then the two of you go at it like hamsters in heat.

You forget about work. You forget about everything.

You just go on up there and get your ashes hauled.


Do you love me, Larry?

D-Do I love you?

Yeah.

Well, it depends on what you mean, Phil. I mean...

If you're asking, am I willing to have your children, well, then, no, I probably don't love you.

Why do you ask?

It's just a question.

How could I not love you?

You have good hygiene. You're a snappy dresser.

You don't talk with your mouth full. What's not to love about that?

Forget it.

What brought that on?

Well, when I was a kid, there was a Bible verse that I learned.

And Jesus said,

"Greater love has no man than this: that he lays down his life for his friend."

Are you asking, would I be willing to die for you?

I guess so.

That's pushing things kind of far, Phil.

I mean, what situation could possibly come up... that I would be called upon to die for you?

Beats me.

I mean, what? You're saying, "Hey, hey.

"Larry, take a flying leap off the balcony"? No, I wouldn't.

I wouldn't ask you.

Well, even if you did, I'd say, "Phil, my friend, "we've enjoyed a long and happy relationship...

"these last I-don't-know- how-many years, "but in answer to your request, no, fuck you," and then I would dismiss myself, no hard feelings.

Right. You should.

I don't know who I love.

There's a lot of people I like.

But love?

That's a whole different story.

Don't worry about it.

Yeah.

Oh, he's here.

I told you.

So. What?

How'd it go?

Okay. Did you find him?

Yes, I-I found him.

And? And we talked.

And? And nothing. We just talked.

Well, what'd you talk about, Bob?

Bob, what did you talk about?

We talked about Christ.

You talked about... Jesus.

Did you mention, perhaps, what line of industrial lubricants Jesus would have endorsed?

Larry... What did you say to him, Bob?

We just... discussed things.

Concerning Jesus?

Concerning a lot of things. In relation to...

Jesus. Jesus.

Yes, I see.

So the subject of lubricants didn't come up, I take it.

The nature of the conversation steered itself away from that.

The nature did? All by itself?

Yes.

So, conversation was Just kind of going along, you know, on its own, and then suddenly, out of the blue, and before you knew it, you were just there talking about God... or Jesus... excuse me.

It was just two people talking.

I'm about to say something to you, Bob.

It's not something I say to a lot of people, because I have to truly mean it and believe it.

Because to me, it's like telling somebody to go to hell.

That's what it means to me.

What is it? It's that I don't believe you, Bob.

You don't... Believe you. Yes.

I'm having a hard time convincing myself... that what you Just said is true.

It is true. Perhaps.

But I'm having a hard time. Do you understand?

Come on. Leave me alone!

Will you please...

I'm trying to deal with things here, okay, so just don't interrupt me again.

It's all right, Phil. See? It's all right.

Now, Bob, I'd like to ask you a question, and I'd like a straight answer.

Can you give that? Yes.

Who raised... the subject of Jesus, honestly?

I did. You...

Yes. mentioned Jesus first.

Yes.

Why?

Because it's very important to me... that people hear about Jesus.

You mean, that... that He died for their sins?

Yes.

Okay, Bob. Let me restate the question.

Understanding that it was... very important to our being here... that we meet with and speak to Mr. Fuller... concerning the lubricant situation, why did you instead... choose to talk to him about Jesus?

Because I think it's more important.

Even though we're at a convention where it's more customary... to talk business.

Yes! I understand, Larry.

I just don't see the crime in speaking... to, uh, another human being as another human being.

I didn't mention work or lubricants or anything like that... because I didn't want him to think I was using... the subject of religion to cozy up to him, to get him to sign some contract.

I didn't want him to think I was insincere.

But you were insincere, Bob, in a much greater sense.

If we're nothing but functions here, then why don't they just send robots?

They don't send robots, Bob, for the simple reason, they haven't invented one yet.

The day comes when they can build a robot... to do what we do and make it work, then that's exactly what they'll do, precisely.

But until that day, they send us.

They say, "Hey, Bob, Larry, Phil, "why don't you go on down to Wichita for a couple of days?

Don't worry about your room and board. We'll take care of that."

And for a couple of days, Bob, we lose our identities... here in Wichita, and we become the hands of the company, shaking all the other hands before us.

What you did, the reason you were insincere, is that you cut off that bond.

It would be like the hand Just sort of breaking away from the arm and saying, "Oh, you know what? I have this thing out here to do that has nothing to do with you."

The apostle Paul said... Please don't do that.

I'm trying to have conversation. Please don't bring Paul in. I'm trying to do something else.

I don't see how we can have a conversation like this... if I'm not allowed to bring up the subject of God.

I'm talking about something bigger than God.

Bigger than God? At issue, Bob, is not your belief in God... or your desire to spread that belief.

At issue is what we're here to do.

Which is what, Larry?

We're here to sell lubricants, Bob... industrial lubricants... not to save souls.

We're not here to go chasing women either, but that doesn't stop you.

How dare you throw that back in my face?

How dare you, you little pipsqueak?

There is nothing wrong with admiring the scenery while you're doing business, as long as you're doing business!

And for your information, son, fifteen years, not once have I cheated on my wife.

If you look at a woman with lust, it's the same as...

No, it's not! There's a hell of a difference. That's not what Jesus said.

How do you know what Jesus said, for Christ's sake? Were you there?

No, somebody wrote it down in a book. Larry.

If somebody handed it down, you believe it, sure. Transcriptions are true!

It could mean I'm right or you're right. We weren't there!

The Bible specifically says... Don't you quote Scripture to me, Bob.

Do not do it! I go back to what the apostle Paul...

The apostle Paul was not sent to Wichita to hawk...

Larry. Larry.

Larry!

Larry. Larry!

With or without the account, we'll live.

Come on.

I'm sorry.

Yes.

We'll live.

We'll live.

I believe I just said that.


I'm suddenly very conscious of the lateness of things.

What time do you want to get together in the morning?

Doesn't matter.

What time?

7:30.

Make it 8:00.

Fine. 8:00.

Forgive me, Bob, for... behaving as though I were your father, for trying to give you a little something of... what I am.

It's all right.

Larry.

Good night.


There's somethin' I wanna say to you.

And I want you to listen very closely...

because it's very important.

The man we just chased from here...

We didn't chase anybody.

The man who just left the room... a moment ago... is a very good friend of mine.

Is it because I've known him for a long time?

Well, there are a lot of people... who I've known for quite a while.

And some of them I wouldn't let wipe my dog's ass.

Others I can take or leave. They don't matter to me.

But Larry matters very much, the reason being...

I can trust him.

I know I can trust him.

He's honest.

Is he honest, or is he just blunt?

He's honest, Bob.

He's blunt as well.

That sometimes is part of being honest, because there are a lot of people who are blunt but not honest.

Larry is not one of those.

Larry is an honest man.

You, too, are an honest man.

I believe that somewhere deep down inside of you... is something that strives to be honest.

The question that you have to ask yourself... is, "Has it touched the whole of my life?"

What does that mean?

That means that you preaching Jesus is no different... than Larry or anybody else preaching lubricants.

It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha... or civil rights... or how to make money in real estate with no money down.

That doesn't make you a human being.

It makes you a marketing rep.

If you wanna talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids.

Find out what his dreams are, Just to find out.

For no other reason.

Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation, to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore.

It's a pitch, and you're not a human being.

You're a marketing rep.

Forgive me if I respectfully disagree.

We were talking before about... character.

You were asking me about character.

We were speaking of faces.

But the question is much deeper than that.

The question is... do you have any character at all?

And if you want my honest opinion, Bob, you do not, for the simple reason... that you don't regret anything yet.

You're saying I won't have any character... unless I do something I regret?

No, Bob.

I'm saying you've already done plenty of things to regret.

You just don't know what they are.

It's when you discover them,

when you see the folly in something you've done... and you wish... that you had it to do over, but you know you can't...

'cause it's too late.

So you pick that thing up and you carry it with you... to remind you that life goes on.

The world will spin without you.

You really don't matter in the end.

Then you will attain character.

Because honesty... will reach out from inside...

and tattoo itself all across your face.

Until that day, however,

you cannot expect to go beyond a certain point.

May I go now?

Go ahead.

Thank you.


Good night.


Hello?

No, you just... you just missed him.

What's that?

I love you too.

Yeah.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.

Oh, never mind.

You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth... until they've faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself... and recall in a way you can't grasp now... how much possibility lay before you... and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future, or worry but know that worrying... is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation... by chewing bubble gum.

The real troubles in your life are apt to be things... that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindsides you at 4:00 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.

Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.

Sometimes you're ahead.

Sometimes you're behind.

The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive.

Forget the insults.

If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.

The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22... what they wanted to do with their lives.

Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry. Maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll have children. Maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll divorce at 40.

Maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much... or berate yourself either.

Your choices are half chance.

So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can.

Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it.

It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines.

They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.

You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings.

They're your best link to your past and the people most likely... to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with the precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle.

The older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Life in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Don't mess too much with your hair... or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia.

Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts... and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.