INT. FRONT STREET
GARCIA AND BOBBY SIT AT A TABLE.
“Hops are in there, Jer.”
“If you say so. I haven’t had a beer in years, man.”
“Not much of a beer guy, either.
“Water, I suppose.”
“Hey, man, you’ll know–”
“About the hitchhiker that vanished? I don’t know anything about that.”
“–what’s in beer.”
“Oh, beer? Four ingredients: water, brown, bubbles, alcohol.”
“Hops is German for bubbles.”
“Are you stealing hitchhikers’ organs again?”
“Never mind that: I have huge news.”
SUPER: “THE DEAD INHERIT A NEWSPAPER”
(Stock music plays.)
Anyway, all joshing aside: this is true. Back in the 70’s or 80’s, depending on which keyboardist shows up a few paragraphs from now, the Grateful Dead inherited a local paper, The Marin County Muckraker. For almost forty years, the daily kept the powerful in fear, the the citizenry informed, and local boobie models employed. (Much like the English papers, the Muckraker featured topless women on page 3. Also pages 5-12 on most days, with a pull-out on Thursdays. Sundays had full-color boobies.)
Phil’s uncle, William Randolph Lesh, had left the paper to his favorite nephew, who refused it, so it went to Phil.
Garcia was issued the largest fedora anyone’s ever seen: it blotted out the sky, and the press pass stuck in the brim was the size of Oklahoma. A pad was procured, along with several pencils; he also got a roll of dimes, so he could call the Copy Desk on a pay phone if there was breaking news.
“Get out there, Scoop,” Phil cheered and Garcia beamed at the name and got in his car and drove home, stopping only to trade the hat and dimes for Persian and start several small fires. (To Garcia’s credit, one of the fires got large enough to warrant a story in the paper, so in that sense, he did fill up a few inches.)
Mickey tried to help, as always. What if, he asked, someone broke into the Mt. Tamalpais Seminary and started whipping baby priests with a belt? Phil answered that it would certainly be a story, and then he realized what was happening and tried to restrain Mickey, but he had already removed his belt and begun running towards the seminary grounds.
Keith stumbled into the printing press.
“Fine! I’ll do it myself!” Phil muttered, and walked out into the street, where he realized he didn’t know what a reporter did. All the reporters he had met were the kind of reporters that talked to rock stars, which makes them not reporters at all, really.
But, Phil was full of water, brown, bubbles, and alcohol and couldn’t find his car, so he went back inside and interviewed Bobby for a while and took a nap. When he woke up, he wrote an Op-Ed about how supermarket carts should have engines, and then completely lost interest in owning a newspaper.
“Yeah, it’s the 70’s.”
“You want to own a newspaper?”
“Yeah, why not.”
Phil tossed Billy the keys and then went off in search of another nap.
Billy walked over to the newspaper office and looked up with enthusiasm. Then, he shoved Benjy down the basement steps and lit the place on fire.
“WHY? I WASN’T EVEN IN THIS!”
“We all have our roles to play, Benj. Don’t come back as Freddy Krueger.”