AUGGIE: And how's the working these days, maestro?
PAUL: (Still grinning. Absentmindedly)
(Pause. Pulling himself together)
Or it was until a couple of days ago. A guy from The New York Times called and asked me to write a Christmas story. They want to publish it on Christmas Day.
AUGGIE: That's a feather in your cap, man. The paper of record.
PAUL: Yeah, great. The problem is, I have four days to come up with something, and I don't have a single idea.
You know anything about Christmas stories?
Christmas stories? Sure, I know a ton of 'em.
PAUL: Anything good?
AUGGIE: Good? Of course. Are you kidding?
I'll tell you what. Buy me lunch, my friend, and I'll tell you the best Christmas story you
ever heard. How's that? And I guarantee every word of it is true.
It doesn't have to be true. It just has to be good.
AUGGIE: (Turning to JIMMY ROSE) Take over the register while I'm gone, okay, Jimmy?
(Begins to extricate himself from behind the counter)
So begins one of the best stories you will ever hear in the movies, so you have to see this movie. Then at the end . . .
AUGGIE: And now you've got your Christmas story, don't
PAUL: (Pause. Thinks)
Yes, I suppose I do.
PAUL looks at AUGGIE. A wicked grin is spreading across AUGGIE'S face.
The look in his eyes is so mysterious, so fraught with the glow of some inner delight, that PAUL begins to suspect that AUGGIE has made the whole thing up. He is about to ask AUGGIE if he has been putting him on
-- but then stops, realizing that AUGGIE would never tell him.
Bullshit is a real talent, Auggie. To make up a good story, a person has to know how to push all the right buttons.
I'd say you're up there among the masters.
AUGGIE: What do you mean?
PAUL: I mean, it's a good story.
AUGGIE: Shit. If you can't share your secrets with your
friends, what kind of friend are you?
PAUL: Exactly. Life just wouldn't be worth living,
AUGGIE is still smiling. PAUL smiles back at him. AUGGIE lights a cigarette; PAUL lights a little cigar. They blow smoke into the air,
still smiling at each other.