THE DATING GRIND
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I'm dreaming of...
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin' for love
When I was alone then, no love in sight
And I did everything I could to get me through the night
Don't know where it started or where it might end
I turn to a stranger, just like a friend
As music plays, we see quick shots:
People mingling in a smoky room…a man slides up to a woman, seated at a bar. They smile at each other…
Close-in on a newspaper, filled with rows of tiny print; a man’s hand enters the picture, circling entries in red pen…
A woman sits in a darkened room, in front of a video monitor. On the screen, a man in a cowboy hat talks; “Geoff, Age 35” scrolls across the bottom.
The woman in the bar throws a drink into the man’s face…
A man enters a restaurant, spies someone holding a red rose in the corner, and walks out again…
The woman in the dark room shakes her head, fast-forwards to the next candidate…shakes head…fast-forwards…
I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what.. I'm dreaming of...
Hopin' to find a friend and a lover
God bless the day I discover
Another heart, lookin' for love
The Hayes-Addison Bedroom
Close-in on television screen. A blond woman sits at a news desk, with a backdrop of the Hollywood Hills behind her.
Anchor: Our special report tonight highlights what some people are calling a Brave New World, the Final Frontier for all those lonely hearts out there: dating…on the Internet. Launched last month, a site called ”findlove.com” promises to find your ideal mate with pinpoint accuracy…at a fraction of the cost of a dating service or agency. Findlove.com uses extensive surveys and database technology to—
The camera pulls back, and we see Maddie, resplendent in blue satin, pressing the power button on the remote, rather forcefully. She lays on her side, pillows practically engulfing her; from the way she squirms and sighs, we can tell it is difficult for her to get comfortable.
David burrows under the pillows at her back. She jumps a little as he slides up behind her, kissing the back of her neck.
David: Glad to be out of the rat race, Hayes?
Maddie: “Rat” being the operative word.
David: (chuckling) Aw, c’mon now, Blondie…when I think of the string of broken hearts Miss Blue Moon Shampoo must’ve left behind her—
Maddie: Yeah, right. All those lovelorn millions pining for a magazine cover.
David: So, what? They didn’t like what was behind the gorgeous face?
Maddie: Most of them weren’t even interested in looking that far. No, the truth is—
Maddie trails off as David props himself up on one elbow, interested.
David: The truth is, what?
Maddie turns a little, so she is looking at him.
Maddie: The truth is, David…people aren’t what they seem.
David throws back his head and roars with laughter. Maddie just looks at him.
David: Sorry…but, really—it’s taken you 131 episodes to come to that conclusion? It’s a damn good thing people aren’t what they seem—we would’ve been out of business years ago!
Maddie: (testily) That’s not what I meant, Mr. Marlowe. No, it’s just the whole dating thing…it’s so artificial. You see someone in a bar, or read an ad…and think, ‘Hey, he seems nice.’ You go out once, maybe even twice…but dollars to doughnuts, he turns out to be…
David: A rat?
Maddie: Rat, weasel, reptile…pick your animal comparison.
David nestles in closer to her, still smiling.
David: Well, I’m sorry you had to make face time with so many frogs before your prince showed up.
Maddie: (half-rising; throws off bedclothes) He’s here?
David: Very funny.
Maddie settles back, turning so she faces David. She winces as the weight of the baby shifts.
Maddie: I just think you have to get to know someone…and let them get to know you. That’s the only real foundation for a lasting relationship. I mean, look at us—
David: I’d look at you, all day.
Maddie: (rolls eyes, but is pleased) No—look at all we’d been through together before we got involved. We took our time—
David: No, honey, you took your time. I woulda jumped on that bandwagon as soon as we got rid of the undead DJ. And anyway, I’m pretty sure no couples counselor would recommend the Hayes-Addison path to true love—not unless you ixnay seasons four and five.
Maddie: So maybe our relationship isn’t textbook…but it got us here, didn’t it?
She puts one hand on her belly as the baby kicks. David throws a few pillows out of the way, and covers her hand with his own.
David: Yep, it sure did. (He leans over and kisses her softly) And there’s no place I’d rather be.
Maddie: Me too.
She pulls him to her, the passion between them building as we
FADE TO BLACK
Blue Moon Investigations
David walks up to Blue Moon’s front door, giving it his signature shoulder shove. It doesn’t move—clearly, it’s still locked. David steps back, surprised; an interval of pocket-patting ensues, as he looks for the keys. A small magic-8 ball, several mini Reese’s peanut butter cups…finally! The keys.
He opens the door, stepping into a hushed and barren office. No lights…no freshly-brewed coffee…none of the usual nearly-9:00 sights and sounds. One look at the reception desk and we see why: Agnes’ chair is empty.
David flips on the lights and picks up his messages. He turns to go into his office, but is overtaken by a herd of Wobblies, trading insults and weekend plans as they slowly file to their desks.
He fights his way through the desultory crowd, pushing his office door shut behind him. It rebounds, followed by an anguished “OW!” as Bert stumbles into the room, clutching his nose.
Sitting down at his desk, David spares him a throwaway glance, then stops. Bert looks more disheveled than we’ve ever seen him…which is saying something. Tufts of hair stick out from his head, as though trying to escape. A rash of stubble, thicker than usual, spreads across pale cheeks, and his eyes are bloodshot. His suit…well, let’s just say the wrinkles have wrinkles. In short, the man looks, and (David sniffs delicately) smells like he’s spent some serious time at the bottom of a garbage can.
David: Don’t tell me—Dad’s Night Out gone awry?
Bert slumps into a chair, resting his bewhiskered chin on one hand. Wearily, he shakes his head.
David: Elks Club initiation more than you bargained for?
Another shake…in slow motion.
Bert: Ear infection.
David: (peering at the side of Bert’s head) Ear infection? What are you, five?
Bert: Not me, sir. Mickey.
The dawn of comprehension lights David’s face as Bert runs on…
Bert: Up all night…screaming his head off…(a huge yawn temporarily splits his face)…can’t believe he didn’t deafen himself…
David: Couldn’t you give him…something?
Bert: The doctor wrote us a prescription…but Agnes has been reading all this horrible stuff about antibiotics and resistance and superbacteria…so she tried some garlic oil drops and brought Mickey into our bed. I spent the night (another huge yawn) on the couch.
David: In your suit?
Bert: (looks down) Oh. Well, Agnes couldn’t get to the dry cleaner with Mickey sick. I picked this off the “outgoing” pile.
David wrinkles his nose.
Bert: (sheepish) Yeah…I think it’s the one I was wearing the first time we gave him green beans.
David: Didn’t go over so well, huh?
Bert: (shaking his head) You ever try to get that stuff off ceramic tile, Mr. Addison?
He rises and shuffles to the door.
Bert: I’d better go…promised Agnes I’d water the plants and meet with the Culligan man. She probably won’t be in for awhile.
David: (sympathetic) She sleeping it off?
Bert: No, sir. She hightailed it to the pharmacy as soon as they opened. (He heaves a huge sigh) At least I won’t have to deal with that slacker Magillicuddy.
David: Slacker? Hey, everybody deserves a vacation now and then.
Bert: Ha! “Vacation,” my aunt Fanny. He’s just too mortified to show his face around here after the Landford screwup.
He turns to go, one hand on the doorknob—
David: Hey, Bertie? Be sure to peek in on Ms. Hayes in that getup…maybe it’ll convince her we should switch to Casual Fridays.
Bert looks back. David’s face is frozen in a half-grin; he is nearly weeping with the effort not to laugh.
Bert heads out the door, looking mutinous.
Bert: (muttering darkly) Wait’ll it’s your turn…just wait.
David’s laughter rings out behind him.
Maddie is at her desk. The phone rings, and she picks it up.
Maddie: (absently) Maddie Hayes. (Her expression changes) Agnes! How is Mickey?...Oh, I’m sorry…Hopefully, he’ll feel better soon. Are you OK?...No…absolutely not…you stay home with that baby…Don’t worry, we’ve got it—…Really? Haiku? That’s OK, I’ll take care of it. You just get some rest…
David enters the office, just as Maddie is signing off.
Maddie: All right, Agnes, we’ll see you tomorrow.
Maddie hangs up the phone.
David: Agnes worried that her other baby isn’t going to make it through the day?
Maddie: No, she didn’t say a thing about Bert. (They share a smile.) She did mention that O’Neill was answering the phone with Japanese poetry instead of the “substitute rhymes” she left in her desk drawer. (She shakes her head.) I never realized how much she mothers us all.
David: Well, I think we can muddle through for one day.
Maddie: It must be hard, though, feeling torn between taking care of Mickey, and taking care of Blue Moon…
Maddie’s hand rests lightly on her belly, her expression concerned.
Maddie: You know, David, we really should—
The door opens and Jamie sticks her head in.
Jamie: Excuse me, Ms. Hayes, Mr. Addison? There’s a lady to see you.
David: Just a—
Maddie: No, that’s all right. Send her in, please.
A woman enters. Not much can really be said about her, except that she is rather…nondescript. Brown eyes, wispy brown hair, wearing a beige skirt and white blouse…her face, not so much plain as plainly forgettable. She looks like someone you would walk by twenty times and never notice.
Maddie: Hello, Ms….?
Woman: (seems surprised to be addressed) Oh—I’m Mary. Mary Brown.
David: (under his breath, looking her over) Of course you are.
Maddie: (with look at David) It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Brown. How can we help you?
David shows Ms. Brown to a chair and sits on the corner of Maddie’s desk.
Mary: Well…I guess I should start by saying that I live alone. Except for my cat, that is. And I’d always been happy. I had my routine…go to work—I’m a researcher at the UCLA main library—come home, take a walk, feed the cat, read, in bed by 9:30. But in the last few years, I just felt like something was missing, you know?
David: (smirking at Maddie) Oh, Ms. Hayes can sympathize, I’m sure.
Maddie: (rolling her eyes) Go on, Ms. Brown.
Mary: I’ve never had much luck meeting…anyone. Men, that is. I’m just not the ‘bar’ type, I guess. I tried the personals ads, but I just felt so…exposed. I mean, even my mother could pick up a paper, and read my ad. Besides, the men I met—I had some really awful dates. One man spent the whole evening watching the basketball game on the bar TV…another one tried to give our waitress his phone number, instead of a tip…and then there was Jerry.
David: (Interested in spite of himself) Jerry?
Mary: Oh, I thought I’d found “the one” when I met Jerry, about a year ago. He actually seemed to be everything he’d promised in his ad: he loved cats, camping, and the beach…he was successful and attractive...considerate and romantic. We spent a wonderful few weeks together…until his wife got back from visiting her mother in Australia.
Maddie: That’s terrible, Ms. Brown. But I’m still not sure—
Mary: As you can imagine, Jerry put me off of dating for a long time. I wouldn’t even let my friends introduce me to anyone. I thought I was finished with men for good.
Maddie: What happened?
Mary: My cousin found a wonderful man, and they’re getting married next summer. She met him on one of those online dating sites…and she’s persuaded me to give it a chance, too.
David: (to camera) Saw this one coming a mile away, didn’t you?
Mary: Anyway, I’ve found two men that I’m willing to meet. The problem is, I don’t know if they are who they say they are. I’d like you to observe the dates, and then investigate the men afterward.
David: So, a little surveillance, and a little research? Sounds pretty straightforward.
David raises an eyebrow in Maddie’s direction, cocking his head toward the door. Maddie shakes her head slightly, as though to say “not necessary.” David gives her the thumbs-up.
Maddie: We’ll take the case, Ms. Brown.
Mary: Oh, that’s wonderful! But that’s not…quite…all.
Maddie telegraphs to David: Figures, doesn’t it?
Maddie: What else did you need, Ms. Brown?
Mary: Well, if they both check out okay, then…I want you to help me choose.
Mary: Yes, choose—choose which one I should be with. You see, I’ve made such terrible choices on my own. I need a second opinion.
David: (quietly) You got that right.
Maddie: Will you excuse us for a moment, Ms. Brown?
David: Aaaaaand here we go. (He gets up and heads for the door, muttering.) I thought that once—just once—we could get away with not having the whole “take-the-case, don’t-take-the-case” discussion. But nooooo…
Maddie shuts the door behind them.
Maddie: I don’t think this is a good idea.
Maddie: You agree?
David: No, but I knew you were going to say that.
Maddie: David, we cannot take on this responsibility. Choosing a man for her?
David: Who better to do it? C’mon, Blondie, we’re students of human nature, you and me. We’ve seen it all…we’ve got instincts honed by nine long years of getting bamboozled by clients.
Maddie: If you recall, we did something like this once before. Does the name Tupperman ring a bell? That didn’t work out so well!
David: Maddie, this isn’t like that.
David: No! For starters, Little Miss Muffett in there cannot possibly be conspiring to commit murder.
Maddie: You can’t know that.
David: Did you see her? She’s probably terrified of the curds and whey, much less the spider!
Maddie: Remember what we talked about last night?
David: (sighs) I know…the Great Pretenders.
David: Look, how ‘bout we agree to check the men out, maybe a little shadowing on a few dates. We give her our honest opinion about them and let her pick.
Maddie: What? Like draw the names out of a hat?
Maddie: No, David. She will expect us to choose for her.
David: No, she won’t.
Maddie: Yes! She will.
David: No, she won’t. Maddie, would you ever let someone else make that kind of decision for you? All she’s looking for is a little assurance, another opinion. And an unbiased one.
Maddie: Well…I suppose she does lack a little confidence…considering that Jerry the Jerk…
David: And who better to give her that confidence than the Blue Moon Shampoo girl. Isn’t that what those moonbeams were all about?
Maddie: (sighing) Fiiiine.
David: Fine. (a beat) Good?
Maddie goes back into her office; David hangs back a moment.
David: (turns to camera) Y’know, that whole exchange is not as much fun when she’s not mad at me.
Maddie: (OS) Daaa-vid!
David: (grins) There we go!
He steps into the office, the door shuts, and we
Later that day
Close-in on Bert, who is cheek-down on his desk, eyes closed. Every few seconds, a small snore escapes him, causing giggles amongst the Wobblies who surround him.
David comes out of his office, sees the cluster of employees, and creeps up behind them. Kris uncaps a permanent marker and holds it aloft—
David: I’m thinking maybe a little heart, with “Agnes” across it—
As one, the Wobblies jump. Kris’ arm inscribes a wide circle, drawing a neat black line across O’Neill and Simpson’s chests.
David: OK, kids, playground pranktime is over. Back to your desks.
Kris sulkily hands over the pen, and looks semi-apologetically at O’Neill and Simpson, who flap their ruined ties as they head back to their chairs.
David: (nudging Bert’s shoulder) Mr. Viola.
Bert doesn’t move.
David: (slaps hand down on desk) HERBERT!!
Bert bolts up, the sheet of paper that served as his pillow sticking to his cheek. He shakes his head wildly for a minute, clearly not realizing where he is.
Bert: I did! I did change him!! Just a—wait—what?!
David: It’s OK, Bertie, you’re out of the Baby Zone.
Bert finally comes to and looks up at David. Running a hand over his mouth, he attempts to get himself together.
Bert: Oh—Mr. Addison—I just closed my eyes for a minute, I swear—
David: Yeah, yeah, Sleeping Beauty. C’mon, I need your technical expertise.
Bert: Of course! Of course, sir—right away. My expertise. Indeed!
Bert stands and follows David to his office, directing a superior glance at his fellow employees…oblivious to the small sign, taped to his back, that reads “Will Work for Formula.”
A bit later….
David reclines on his couch tossing and catching a small stuffed moose. Bert, now all bustling energy, taps on David’s computer keyboard, his eyes intent on the screen. Finally, he reclines back in David’s chair.
Bert: Well sir, it looks to me like this site is legitimate, anyway.
David: That’s good. I’d hate to break it to our client that she’s been hoodwinked again.
Bert: I was able to get in and see a few profiles, too—doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary. Some of these guys posting stuff can be downright bizarre…
David: How’d you get in? I tried…but the only way to do it was to—
He stops. Bert’s eyes shift uneasily.
David: You didn’t.
Bert’s silence announces that, indeed, he did.
David: Herbert Quentin Viola, you old dawg, you! What did you list yourself as—6’1”, 190, suave and sophisticated? Likes moonlight walks and rides horses?
Bert: (offended) No sir, of course not! More like 5’10”, 170, blond hair, hazel eyes…
David raises an eyebrow.
Bert: (looking at his nails) Favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day…
David’s jaw drops as he connects the dots.
David: Viola! You can’t do that!
Bert: It was just for research purposes, Mr. Addison! And anyway, Magillicuddy isn’t even here. I’ll take it right down again—he’ll never have to know.
David looks at him sternly. Bert reluctantly starts to type, then stops.
Bert: Damn. The modem kicked me off.
He moves the mouse, clicks, and the high-pitched metallic whine of the modem fills the room for a second…before stopping abruptly.
Bert: (looking at the screen) The connection’s down—I’ll have to do it later.
David: Be sure you do. If the blonde hears about this, she’s gonna give me a mouthful—and not the chocolate-milk kind.
Dr. Weed’s Office
The Next Day
David and Maddie sit in chairs across from Dr. Weed’s desk. David reaches over and plants a soft kiss under Maddie’s ear.
Maddie: What was that for?
David: (still nuzzling) I don’t know…something about you in that paper gown—
Dr. Weed enters.
David: (straightening quickly) Nope, it looks OK to me. No rash—definitely no rash.
Maddie rolls her eyes; Dr. Weed only laughs.
Dr. Weed: Good to see you’re keeping the romance alive.
David: I can’t help it—there’s so much more of her to love!
THWAK! Maddie belts him in the chest with her purse.
David: (patting shirt gingerly) Damn!
Dr. Weed sits down behind her desk.
Dr. Weed: ANYway, the ultrasound went great. The placenta is in a normal position and looks perfectly healthy, and your little bundle put on quite a show—
Maddie: (ruefully rubbing her side) Don’t I know it!
Dr. Weed hands them a black and white photograph. Maddie takes it from her, a smile lighting her face. David peers closely at it.
David: Whoa—that is not my nose. (looks at Maddie) Not your nose, either.
Dr. Weed: (laughing) David, it’s normal for the baby to look a little, well, ‘squished,’ for lack of a better word There’s not a lot of space in there.
Got to, got to
Get me some
Maddie: Funny. Maybe you could tell your child that my kidneys are not available real estate.
Dr. Weed: So, Maddie, since things are looking good, I don’t think we’ll have to put you on complete restriction—more like partial bed rest.
David: Which part? The bed (he leers) or the rest?
Dr. Weed: I think it’s fine for you to go into the office for a few hours every day, but once you get home, I want you prone—in bed, on the sofa, whatever.
David: Couldn’t have asked for a better prescription.
Dr. Weed: We want to make sure that placenta stays right where it is…so no errand-running, grocery shopping, lifting, doing laundry—
Maddie: No laundry? (pats David’s hand) You’re right, dear—I couldn’t have asked for a better prescription.
She smiles beadily at David, whose enthusiasm for the program fades slightly. Maddie tucks the photo into her purse, and they stand up to go.
Dr. Weed: Wait—one last thing.
David: Don’t worry, Doc. I’ll make sure she’s not heaving—or ho-ing…especially that last one.
Dr. Weed: No—it’s just—no sex.
Maddie and David: (stopping in their tracks) WHAT?!?
Dr. Weed: I’m sorry about this, guys, but Maddie, you’re one centimeter dilated already and you’re only 35 weeks. That’s not unusual, particularly in a woman your age—
Maddie glares at David, daring him to comment, but he’s too shell-shocked for quips.
Dr. Weed: …but sometimes sex can speed things up a bit—and we’re not taking any chances.
She looks at their crestfallen faces, and smiles in sympathy.
Dr. Weed: It’s only for a little while. Once you hit 37 weeks, that baby has my permission to come on out and meet the world!
Maddie: (smiles faintly) Of course. Thanks, Janet.
They head out of the doctor’s office, the door shutting behind them. As they walk down the hall, we can hear David grumbling.
David: Only a few weeks, huh? Easy for her to say…
On Century Park East
David squints up at the bright white letters above the gleaming glass storefront. He shakes his head, holding open the door for a much-better-groomed (well, less-rumpled, anyway) Bert.
David: These things are popping up like rabbits.
Bert: I can’t believe you’ve never been to a Starbucks before.
David: Why would I hike four blocks to buy something I can get for free, right in my own office?
They walk in, and David stares at the line of people snaking around the crowded room. He looks at his watch as Bert joins the queue.
David: It’s 4:00! What are all these idiots doing drinking coffee anyway? Don’t they know it’s happy hour? The Cellar has two-for-one longnecks until 6!
Bert: (with sweeping gesture) This is the new happy hour, Mr. Addison.
David looks around and can see that Bert has a point. The place is full of chattering, professional-looking people, leaning on bar-height tables or sunk into comfortable armchairs.
David: Hmph. This wasn’t what I pictured when Mary Brown said she and Bachelor #1 were “meeting for a drink.”
Bert: I believe a coffee date is considered “safer” than meeting at a bar. You know, less date-ish.
David: So…a date that’s not a date?
Bert: (struggling to explain) Well, less chance of one losing one’s inhibitions…less pressure to move things forward…less—
David: Opportunity to end up face-down in pretzel crumbs?
Bert: Or end up face-down somewhere else…
David: Yeah, I guess that’s true. (He holds up an arm to ward off a spear of late-afternoon sunlight.) It’s hard to imagine anything sleazy happening in a place this…bright. Kinda takes the mystery out of it, though.
Bert: It’s the 90s, Mr. Addison. Mystery is out…transparency is in.
David: Guess that’s why they ask 87 questions on that dating profile thing.
They are finally at the front of the line. Bert gives his order in what sounds to David like a foreign language—
Bert: I’ll have a tall skinny blonde macchiato with a double shot.
David: You ordering a drink, or a woman? Should I call Agnes?
Barista: That’ll be $3.95.
David: Almost four bucks? For coffee? You gotta be kidding…that’ll empty Mickey’s college fund in no time!
It’s David’s turn. The barista looks up at him with a 500-watt smile.
Barista: Welcome to Starbucks! How can I help you?
David: What can I have that doesn’t require a second mortgage? (The barista tilts her head at him, confused.) Just give me…a small coffee.
Barista: (brightly) A tall?
David: No…a small.
Barista: The tall is our small.
David: Oh, for God’s sake…
Barista: (still smiling) And would you like caf, decaf, or half caf?
David: I didn’t hear “regular” in there.
Barista: OK, caf. And what blend would you like today? We have Dark French Roast, Jamaica Blue Mountain, and Vanilla Nut.
David: (through gritted teeth) Just give me something black in a small cup.
Barista: (enthusiasm somewhat dimmed) Coming right up.
David: (to camera) And people wonder why China is beating the pants off us when it takes ten minutes to order a simple cup o’ Joe.
A bit later, David and Bert are wedged into a corner, clutching their white cups. Bert has a blissful expression on his face as he takes a long swig, while David sips, still distrustful. He balances his cup on the small round table.
David: And no pretzels, either.
The client (finally!) enters.
David: (looking at door) OK, Bertie, we’re on. Or we will be…once Miss Mary gets her drink and finds her Count of Caffeine.
They wait…and wait. Meanwhile, Mary Brown’s eyes search the room. She checks her watch. The bright smile she’s put on for the occasion fades as the minutes tick by and she edges closer to the front of the line, without finding what she’s looking for.
Bert: (setting cup down) These things go right through me…I’ll just…
He motions to the men’s room, David waving him off. Mary steps up to the counter, and a man walks, or rather stumbles, through the door. His glasses slip down his nose as he bends to retrieve a battered-looking briefcase and a copy of The Shipping News. His polo shirt, in an unfortunate shade of pink, and designer jeans somehow belie his general air of confused untidiness.
David: (to himself) Looks like we found our man.
And, indeed, just at that moment, Mary Brown turns around. She sees the man, peers closely at the book he’s holding, and her smile returns…with a little relief thrown in.
Bert returns from the men’s room and takes another drink. David points to where Mary and the man are now standing together.
Bert chokes mid-sip, spraying coffee everywhere. A tan blob spreads across David’s tie. David grabs a napkin.
David: (dabbing ineffectually) Jesus, Bert!
Bert: Sorry, sir...but that’s…that’s Gil Bates! He invented the RISCy processor! I just saw his picture in Technology Today!
David: You mean The Geek’s Gazette?
Bert: Laugh now, Mr. Addison, but that guy’s worth about 40 million bucks.
David: (with low whistle) Looks like Mary scored in the ol’ database lottery.
Bert: I’ll say. Not only is he richer than Midas, he spends a few million every year on good causes—Children’s Hospital, Shriners, Africa relief, you name it.
David: Then what the hell is he doing looking for love in binary code? He could probably have any babe he wanted…in my experience, if you can flash the cash, you get the girl!
Bert: Well, he’s kind of a recluse…doesn’t do the whole “New Millionaire” party thing. And, anyway, maybe he’s not looking for a “babe.”
David: Ah, Viola…such a romantic.
Bert stops gawking at Bates long enough to chuckle.
Bert: As if you’re not…(at David’s look)…sir.
David: Not as long as I’m with you.
The Hayes-Addison Home
David enters, his tie loosened, his suitcoat wrinkled. He carries two paper bags saturated with grease and redolent of calories and fat.
He enters the living room, where Maddie reclines on the couch, propped up by pillows. A light blanket covers her baby bump, Miss Me curled up at her feet.
David: You’re a sight for sore eyes.
Maddie: (sympathetic) Rough date?
David: No, the date was great—from Mary Brown’s point of view, anyway. But spending two hours in a crowded coffeehouse with an overcaffeinated Viola is pretty much the first circle of Hell, far as I’m concerned.
Maddie: (indicating the bags) What did you bring us?
David: Best antidote to this ridiculous cappuccino craze…good old-fashioned Tommyburgers. (Sniffs his lapel) Still smell like goddamn French Roast.
Maddie: (grabbing at the bag) Well, you’re here now…thank God! I’ve been bored and starving for the past hour.
She takes a bite and hums a little with satisfaction…a thin line of grease drips down her wrist.
David: Oops—watch it!
He catches the grease with a napkin before it can drip onto the cream-colored cashmere of the blanket.
David: Grease never had it so good.
Maddie polishes off half her burger in double-quick time, while David munches tiredly on his.
Maddie: So, what are your thoughts about our first contestant?
David: Well, if Mary Brown rejects him, he’ll always have Bert.
Maddie looks quizzically at him.
David: According to our stubby sleuth, the guy in question is a millionaire hermit. Apparently, he invented…something…that makes…something…go a lot faster. All I know is that Viola spent an hour looking at the dude like he was Farrah Fawcett.
Maddie: Well, at least he’s not a deadbeat. The date, I mean.
David: No…and apparently, he’s the Rockefeller of the rocket scientists—gives away loads of dough each year.
Maddie: So…I guess he’s a nice guy, too?
David: So says Bert, anyway.
Maddie: You’re leaving out the most important part…did they get along?
David: Well, they had their heads pretty close together…and she gave him a nice warm handshake when she left.
Maddie: A handshake, huh? How did he look?
David: Kinda confused…but that might have been because, as soon as she walked out the door, Bert practically jumped on him and begged him for an autograph.
Maddie: Oh no…
David: I tried to stop him, but that polyester suit sure is slippery.
Maddie shakes her head laughing at this picture.
Maddie: Well, at least he’ll have something to show Agnes for his hard night’s work.
David: Speaking of hard night’s work, let’s go upstairs and do something that isn’t near as hard.
Maddie: (swats him off) David, you heard what Dr. Weed said. No hanky panky for two weeks…at least.
David: My, my, your mind is so naughty! I was thinking more along the lines of stretching out on top of about twenty pillows and watching Columbo reruns…But I love the way you think, Goldilocks.
Starbucks, Century Park East
4:00 pm (again)
David and Bert stand in line, in front of a slight young man dressed in black from head to toe. Carrying a reusable mug emblazoned with the Starbucks logo, the young man taps his foot impatiently.
David: Didn’t we just run this scene?
Bert: I guess Mary thought it would be easier if she could see both candidates in the same setting.
David: Maybe so. At least I came prepared today. (He pulls out a deck of cards.)
David: A little poker oughta help make the time pass.
Bert: Weellll, it’s just—
A voice rings out. David and Bert turn to see Agnes coming through the door, preceded by a bulky stroller.
Bert hustles over to help her, As he steps out of line, the young man moves forward, a satisfied smile on his face. David can’t help wondering how many of the people in front of him he’d be willing to knock off to get to the front of the line.
Meanwhile, Bert struggles to maneuver the stroller through the crowd, around the close-set groupings of tables and chairs. He finally pulls even with David. The young man steps even closer to them, as though he’s afraid Bert will try to reclaim his space in line.
David squats down next to little Mickey, who is rhythmically banging a rattle against the buggy’s side wall.
David: Hey there, little buddy! (He tickles Mickey’s toes, then straightens up.) Uh, Bert…
David’s voice trails off as he notices Skinny Guy eyeing him pointedly.
Bert: Why don’t you get the drinks. I’ll just find us a place…
He looks out over the packed room—not a free table in sight. Shrugging his shoulders, he enters the fray.
Meanwhile, David steps up to the counter, and, remembering yesterday, prepares for a battle of his own. The same barista looks up at him with some trepidation.
David: Give me a tall caf. Plain.
Barista: (relieved) Will that be all?
David: (dredging his memory) No…I need a…tall blonde…skinny…with a mock-something.
Skinny Guy rolls his eyes, and resumes his foot-tapping. David glares at him.
Barista: A macchiato?
David: That’s the one.
The Barista smiles encouragingly, but David is practically elbowed aside by Skinny Guy, who launches into his order as though in a race:
Skinny Guy: I need a venti double half-caf soy latte with a shot of…
David turns away, looking for Bert and Mickey. He finally spots them in the very back of the store, next to the hallway leading to the restrooms, and heads over.
David: (handing Bert his drink) And I thought we were squeezed yesterday…our former corner is looking like a penthouse now.
Bert: Sorry, Mr. Addison. It was the only place I could fit the buggy.
David: Which begs the question, what is the buggy doing here? I mean, I’m happy to take Mickey into the family business, but maybe he should try kindergarten first?
Bert: Well, Agnes had an appointment she couldn’t reschedule, and we can’t take Mickey back to daycare until tomorrow, since he had a fever.
David: (runs hand through hair) You know what, Bert? I think I’ve got this one. Why don’t you take him home?
Bert: (Indignant) Oh no, Mr. Addison! I can execute both my parental and investigatory responsibilities…for a few hours, anyway. Besides, Mickey will be fine. As long as he has this—(Bert holds up a purple platypus)—he’s pretty happy.
David reply is cut off by his sight of Mary Brown.
Once again, her eyes scan the room anxiously, this time lighting on a ruggedly handsome dark-haired man, sitting near the window reading Road and Track.
David: Takes all kinds, I guess.
Hesitantly, she approaches him. He smiles and extends a hand. Mary sits down.
David: (to Bert) We have liftoff…don’t suppose you recognize this guy from your nerdie mags.
He turns back. Bert is bent over, retrieving a tiny sock from the floor. He tries…and tries…to get the sock back onto one of Mickey’s kicking feet. Finally successful, he stands up too quickly, smacking his head on the round table.
Bert: OW!! (Eyes watering) I’m fine, just fine…(peering across the room)…That our man?
David: Looks like it.
Bert glances somewhat disparagingly at the man’s rough appearance: flannel shirt, torn jeans, stubble.
Bert: Can’t imagine she’d go for him over Gil Bates.
David: You never know, Bertie.
They settle in to watch. After a few minutes, an insistent-sounding gurgle begins behind them.
Bert: Oh no.
David: What’s wrong?
Bert: (looking down at stroller) That’s his hungry sound.
David: (holding up cup) I can get him another one of these.
Bert: Funny. No…there must be a bottle in here somewhere…
He starts rummaging through the large diaper bag hanging on the back of the buggy.
Bert: Damn. I must’ve forgotten to restock this morning.
Mickey is now energetically slurping on his fist.
David: Looks like he’s found his own snack.
Bert: You don’t understand…we’re at Defcon Two…if I don’t get some food in him soon, he’s gonna—
A keening wail erupts from the buggy. Bert tries to distract the baby with various toys, to no avail. The purple platypus goes flying, Mickey’s cries take on a new urgency, and all eyes in the room suddenly turn on them.
David: Tough to be undercover when everyone is looking at you…I think you’d better—
Bert is already pushing the buggy through the maze of chair legs, muttering apologies as he goes. At this point, however, the crowd is distracted from Bert’s screaming burden by Skinny Guy, who rises out of one of the armchairs clutching at his neck, his face growing an alarming shade of purple.
Mary Brown’s date leaps up from his chair and hurries over to Skinny Guy, grabbing him around the waist and pulling up. He does it once more, and a small piece of scone flies out of Skinny’s mouth. Flopping back into his chair, Skinny holds his hand out to his rescuer.
Mary Brown stands to the side, looking up at her date with admiration.
David: (to himself) I dunno…I woulda let him choke.
As applause erupts all around, David catches sight of Bert, finally getting the stroller through the front door. He smiles back at David, victorious, and the door slams on his suitcoat with an audible riiiiiip.
David: (to the camera) See what I have to look forward to?
The Hayes-Addison Bedroom
Later that night
David is stretched out on the bed, yawning and rubbing a hand across his face.
Maddie is getting ready for bed. Her voice is heard coming from the bathroom.
Maddie: (OS) So, you think Mary Brown has two good ones to choose from, huh?
David mumbles something…we can see he is dozing off.
Maddie: (OS) I sure hope she ends up happy. Seems like she’s been through way too much drama in the romance department, don’t you think?
Not even a mumble…
Maddie: (OS) David? Don’t you th—
She enters the bedroom, washcloth in hand, and sees she’s lost David for the night.
Maddie: (sighs, with a small smile) Just as well, fella…
She slides into bed, shoving pillows here and there as David automatically assumes his position as a sort of bookend against Maddie’s back.
FADE TO BLACK…AND WHITE!
Fireworks erupt on the screen, followed by a city skyline graphic. A bright white moon rises behind it.
Announcer: (VO) Ladies and gentlemen…come spend another night with…The Bluemooners!! Starring Maddie Hayes…David Addison…Richard Addison…and Herbert Vi-ola!!
We are once again in Ralph and Alice Kramden’s kitchen…though it looks a little different than it did in seasons gone by. The chairs and check-covered table are still there, now joined by a wooden high chair. Against the far wall we can see the familiar cast-iron sink, the stove, and the old-fashioned icebox…but the sink is crammed with dirty baby bottles; a bib droops forlornly from the icebox handle; and all manner of splotches and stains decorate the high chair.
Nearly obscured by twin lines of cloth diapers strung like flags across the kitchen, Ralph sits blearily at the table, his hat askew, his jacket unzipped. He looks like a man contemplating his last meal…as in, whether he’s going to get one.
Alice: (OS) Ralph! Do you have that bottle yet?
A thin squall issues from beyond the closed door.
Ralph jumps up, rooting around for a clean bottle. Finding none, he gingerly lifts one from the jumble in the sink, peering inside and sniffing. With a quick glance over his shoulder, he rinses out the bottle, pours in some milk, and sets it in a pan of water on the stove.
Alice: (OS) Ralph!
Ralph: In a minute!
A knock sounds on the door.
Ralph: (putting a nipple on the bottle) Who is it?
Norton: (OS) It’s me, Ralph. Me and Frank.
Ralph opens the door. Norton dwarfs his companion, a stocky, bushy-haired fellow with stubbly cheeks. Both men wear military-looking jackets and fuzzy hats. They step into the room, ducking under the hanging rows of laundry.
Norton: Hey Ralph, this is Frank…Frank Magillicuddy.
Frank: (indignant) WHAT?
Frank pulls a script from his suit pocket, examining it closely.
Frank: Why I oughta—
Norton: Frank’s a new Brother of the Raccoons. (He looks at Ralph, clearly confused by the man’s appearance) Hey, Ralphie—you didn’t forget tonight was Lodge night, didya?
Ralph: What—me? The Grand Poobah? Forget?
A cry, angrier now, interrupts…and Ralph remembers the bottle in his hand.
Ralph: Be right back.
He exits through the left-hand door. Meanwhile, Norton looks around the room, arms folded, shaking his head. Suddenly, the door is flung open again, and Ralph rushes in, carrying his Raccoon Lodge uniform and hat. Slamming the door behind him, he leans back against it, breathing heavily, with the air of the hunted.
Alice: (OS) Ralph! Come back here!
Frank: So, how’s it going?
Ralph is apparently trying to set a land-speed record for putting on his Lodge uniform. In his hurry, the jacket ends up crooked, one fringed epaulet covering his face.
Ralph: (blowing fringe out of his mouth) What?
Alice: (OS) Where are you?
Ralph: Oh jeez…oh jeez...
He snatches at his raccoon hat, shoving it on his head.
Norton: What’s wrong?
Ralph: (whispering) I forgot to tell her it was Lodge night. If she comes in here, I’ll never get out…I’m supposed to be steri-whatsing the bottles, and then I gotta iron these diapers..
Norton: (guffawing) You want I should get you an apron, Ralphie?
Ralph: (snide) You mean you’d let me borrow yours?
Norton: Things sure have changed around here…Never thought I’d see the day…
Ralph: And just what are you insinuating?
Norton: Me? Insinuatin’? I’m not insinuatin’…I’m just sayin’—Where’s the Ralph Kramden I’ve known all these years? The guy whose home was his castle? Who ruled the roost with an iron fist…in a velvet glove, of course. (Wiggles his fingers.) I dunno Ralphie…I’m just afraid you’re goin’ soft.
Ralph: Oh yeah? Well let me tell you where you’re goin’, Norton! (Shakes his fist) To the MOON, that’s where! And there won’t be nothin’ soft about it!
Norton backs away from Ralph’s swinging fist. He slips on a diaper that’s fallen off the line, and his arms windmill through the air…until he lands in a heap on the floor. Ralph brushes his hands together, as if to say “That settles you,” and turns to his other guest.
Frank: (nodding sagely) Lots o’work, kids.
Ralph looks at Frank as though he’s found a…well, a Brother. He forgets his hurry.
Ralph: You said it.
Frank: Yep, things sure are different with a junior around.
Ralph: Too true!
Frank: We used to be footloose and fancy-free…nice dinners, bowling night, even dancing on Saturdays!
Ralph: (mournful) The horizontal mambo….a world gone by…
Norton: (slinging arm around Ralph) Aw, c’mon, boys—don’t get down in the mouth. Tonight, it’s just us men…doing manly things…secret handshakes—poker—cigars!!
He pulls three fat stogies out of his pocket and holds them up, but Ralph and Frank ignore him. Instead, the two of them are looking around the kitchen sadly.
Frank: The missus is just about run off her feet, with the feeding and the bathing and the changing…
He walks over to the sink. Ralph takes the stogies from Norton’s still-outstretched hand and distributes them; he puts his own in his mouth almost absently.
Frank: I know I like to help my little sweetums out from time to time—
Ralph: (to Norton) See?!
Frank turns on the taps; the sink begins to fill.
Frank: …even when I’m darn tuckered out, too.
Ralph: Amen, Brother Frank!
Almost mechanically, Frank starts washing the baby bottles. Ralph watches him for a minute. Then he picks the iron up from its spot on the stove, and pulls a diaper off the line, chewing his cigar the while.
Norton looks from one to the other, horror written all over his face.
Norton: (approaching Ralph) Secret handshakes?
Ralph shakes his head.
Norton: (tries Frank) Poker?
Frank: Not ‘til we’re done, Eddie.
Norton sulkily picks up a dishtowel and starts drying the bottles.
Just as Frank seems to get to the bottom of the sink, however, it magically fills up again. Ralph looks up, noticing that there seem to be just as many diapers on the line as when he started.
He and Frank look at each other, and start frantically ironing and washing…faster and faster…but no matter how fast they go, there are more diapers, more bottles…
Alice: (OS, louder) RALPH! Are you finished in there yet? What d’you think you’re—
The door bursts open. Alice looks wildly around at the manic scene…which dissolves, as David feels a hand shaking his arm.
Maddie: …doing? You were thrashing around, muttering about the moon, and cigars…
David: (scrubbing at his hair) I just think you should know…I don’t do ironing.
Maddie: Well, that’s a relief. My silk blouses thank you.
David: And the Harem Scarem Carpet Cleaners still need me—I can’t let them down!
Maddie: (struggling to sit up) What are you talking about?
David shakes his head as if to clear it. He glances around their bedroom, where there is a conspicuous absence of either diapers or bottles. He looks at Maddie, her eyes shining in the moonlight, her face full of an amused smile.
He leans over and gives her a soft kiss, then snuggles in as close as he can.
David: Baby, you’re the greatest.
David enters Maddie’s office. From behind his back, he pulls a black hat; we can see a few white strips of paper in it. Maddie starts to react, but the phone buzzes.
Agnes: Ms. Brown to see you, Ms. Hayes.
Maddie: Please send her in. (to David, in a whisper) Put that away!
David sends the hat sailing onto the couch. Mary Brown enters, looking a little brighter than she did the first day. David shows her to a seat.
Maddie: So I understand you had two fairly successful dates?
Mary: Oh, yes. They both are…well, they both seemed like very nice men.
Maddie pats two manila files on her desk.
Maddie: Well, we have the background information you asked us to gather. Would you like me to go over it now?
Mary: Yes…but first I have a few general questions. Are either of them married?
Mary: Been married?
Mary: Any arrests?
David: No! You really have been put through the wringer, haven’t you?
She nods, and there is a short pause. Maddie opens a folder.
Maddie: Shall I start, then?
Maddie: OK. First we have Gil Bates. Age 38, bachelor’s degree from MIT, invented a new type of computer chip. Started RISCy Business, but retired three years ago to “pursue other interests.” Gives…wait…is that right, David? Six zeroes?
Maddie: Looks like he gives quite a bit of money away each year.
Mary’s eyes are wide—clearly, she didn’t expect this.
David: So, I guess he didn’t tell you he was listed in the Forbes 500?
Mary shakes her head.
Mary: He told me he worked with computers…”fiddled around” was the term he used…and he mentioned inventing a micro-something, but he didn’t make a big deal out of it. I had no idea he was so wealthy. He just looked…normal.
David: Well, I’m sure he would’ve gotten around to telling you at some point—maybe the next time he took you to lunch. In Paris. Via private jet.
Mary: (excited) Oh—do you really think—
Maddie interrupts before the speculation can get out of hand.
Maddie: Moving on…candidate number two. Jake Marsh, 32, firefighter with LA County; special commendation from the Department of Forestry for “tireless effort” in July’s wildfire; registered Emergency Medical Technician; ambulance training. Also trains rescue dogs and works for Habitat for Humanity.
David: What, no Nobel Peace Prize?
Maddie shoots David a look.
Mary: He was so brave—just jumped right up and helped that man.
David: Pretty easy on the eyes, too.
Mary blushes, but says nothing.
Maddie: So, Ms. Brown…are you leaning one way or another?
Maddie: I know you wanted us to help you choose, but this is such a personal matter…my recommendation would be to make a little list (she hands a sheet of paper with both men’s names on it across the desk)…you know, pros and cons…
David intercepts the paper, tapes it up on the wall.
Maddie: David, what are you doing?
David reaches into his suitcoat pocket, handing Mary a dart.
David: My recommendation is a little more pointed…
Maddie: (glares at David) But ultimately, I think you have to follow your heart.
Mary: (looks between them) Thank you so much, Ms. Hayes, Mr. Addison—but I don’t think I’m ready to choose. I thought I would see them each a few more times…now that I know they’re not scoundrels, I’m much more comfortable.
Maddie: That sounds reasonable. Well, we wish you the best of luck.
Mary: I have one more candidate. Mr. Addison, I was hoping you could observe our date this afternoon.
David: Way to hedge your bets, Ms. Brown. Nothing like putting a little something on the Pass Line.
David smiles tiredly at her, and we
4…aw, you know the drill
David steps up to the counter. The now-friendly face of the barista lights up.
Barista: The usual?
Barista: Here you are.
David finds Bert at a high table tucked discreetly into a niche, which still affords a view of the whole room.
David: Looks like we’re movin’ on up, Bertie.
Bert: Yep, prime real estate. I got here 45 minutes ago…had to wait for a guy to finish doing the entire LA Times crossword. (Takes a sip of his drink) Why are we here, anyway? Is Ms. Brown having options paralysis—can’t choose between a millionaire and a hero?
David: Between you and me, I think she’s leaning toward Mr. Heimlich…
Bert: (shaking head) A missed opportunity, I tell you.
David: But then she told me this morning that she found one more guy she’d like to meet.
Bert: (rolls eyes) Bit of a waste of time, don’t you think? I mean, who’s going to live up to her first two dates?
At that moment, the door opens and in walks…Magillicuddy. Bert, once again, nearly sprays his coffee everywhere. David forestalls him with a napkin clapped over his mouth.
Bert: Magillicuddy! That rat! He’s supposed to be in Mexico!
David: You’d be surprised how many people pretend to go to Mexico.
Magillicuddy looks around the store, obviously searching for someone.
Bert: Get down!
He slides off his chair, crouching under the table. David stays put.
David: Bert—what are you doing?
Bert: We can’t let him see us!
David: Why not? He’s the one who should be hiding. Besides, the man’s just getting a coffee—or looking for the facilities—or…
Bert: (coming back up) You’re right, Mr. Addison.
Just then, David sees Magillicuddy light up with recognition. David follows his gaze to the trim figure of Mary Brown, carrying a yellow carnation.
David puts a hand on Bert’s head, shoving him back down.
They peer through the laddered legs of the chairs, but can see nothing. David turns to Bert.
David: Viola…did you ever erase that profile of Magillicuddy?
Bert: (puzzled) Yes, of course I—oh, wait. I was about to, and then Agnes called, and—
David: Spare me the domestic drama—
Bert: (in a rush) I’ll do it as soon as we get back—
David: Too late.
Bert: Too late?
David: Too late. Apparently, Mary Brown really likes St. Patty’s Day, too.
David rises from his crouch, carefully peeking around the wall.
David: OK, you can get up. They’re at a table over there—they won’t be able to see us as long as we stay put.
Bert: (puts head in hands) This is a disaster!
David: No, Bert. The Storm of the Century was a disaster. Last year’s Dodgers were a disaster. This is just….weird.
Bert: No—don’t you see? Mary is going to think we tried to pull a fast one on her, as soon as Magillicuddy tells her where he works.
David: He won’t.
Bert: How d’you know?
David: Because you’re not supposed to reveal things like your home address and place of business until the third date. (at Bert’s look) According to our client.
Bert: Oh, well, that’s fine, then. It’s not like there’ll be a third date anyway.
David: (raising an eyebrow) You sound awfully confident. What’d you do—stick pins in Magillicuddy’s stuffed Cupid?
Bert: Come on, Mr. Addison. Who would choose Magillicuddy over Bates?
David: Or the Paragon in Plaid?
David: I don’t know…love works in mysterious ways.
Bert: So what do we do now?
David: Just sit tight until they get tired of small talk, I guess.
The theme from Jeopardy! plays as they wait…and wait…and wait…
We see David, chin in hand, trying to get comfortable in the hard wooden chair…
Then Bert, eyes focused on his Venti cup….
David, emptying his pockets and building houses out of the sugar packets…
Bert, fidgeting…a break in the music…
David: Jeez, Viola! What—you got ants in your pants?
Bert: (indicates cup) No—it’s just—I have to—
David: Sorry, Bertie, you’ll have to wait. (Checks watch) Shouldn’t be too much longer.
The music starts up again, quietly, but the other sounds around them escalate, all of them agonizing for Bert—the trickle of coffee percolating, the hiss of milk in the steamer, the squirt of flavored syrups into the cup.
The music winds up, and David risks another look around the corner.
David: They’re gone. You’re all—
Bert doesn’t wait to hear the end of David’s sentence, but shoves his chair back. It hits the wall with a CLANG and he is momentarily entangled in its long legs. He utters some choice curses, scuffles with the chair, and finally frees himself in time to dash to the back of the store, all eyes now upon him.
David: (to the crowd, holding up Bert’s cup) He shoulda had a tall.
Heads everywhere nod in agreement.
The camera pans quickly from Maddie’s door over to her desk, which is empty. Camera stops short, as if in disbelief, then trawls back over to the bathroom door, which opens on to a dark and obviously empty interior.
Maddie: (OS) David! Stop that! It tickles!
David: (OS) C’mon…I feel like I’ve hardly seen you for four days. I haven’t even had the chance to do this—
We hear a small giggle, and then a sigh…
David: (OS) And since we’re not allowed to get horizonty, you could at least let me do this…
Another sigh…the camera finally wises up and pans over to the couch, where Maddie reclines in state, her feet in David’s lap as he kneads her arches and rubs his thumb in slow circles up to her toes.
Maddie: (protesting halfheartedly) Our client will be here in…five minutes.
David: Hey—at least we’re dressed…(looking at her feet)…well, mostly.
Maddie: What are we going to tell Mary Brown about Magillicuddy? And come to that, what are we going to tell Magillicuddy about Mary Brown?
David: Luckily, Magillicuddy won’t be back ‘til tomorrow, so we can put that second question off a little longer. As for Mistress Mary…
Maddie: Do you think she’ll pick him?
David: Maddie. If you had a choice between the Semiconductor King, the cover model for Firehouse Monthly, and Guy Thursday out there—
Maddie: But he’s such a nice man.
David: Nice only counts if you’re in France. Besides, unless Mary wants to change her name to the past tense within the next few days, she’d better avoid Madcap Magillicuddy.
Maddie: (hits David with a pillow) You’re so cynical. I’m sure he learned his lesson last time.
David: I don’t know…(checks his watch) Our client is late. I’m going to take a little look-see…make sure she didn’t get lost…or find yet another swain to swoon over.
Maddie: I’ll come with you—I need to get those invoices from Agnes.
David opens the door to find the front office temporarily struck dumb at the sight of Magillicuddy and Mary Brown in a clinch…à la V-J Day in Times Square.
They break apart and the Wobblies hoot and holler. Mary Brown doesn’t look brown any longer…in fact, she looks positively…rosy.
Magillicuddy catches sight of the bosses.
Magillicuddy: Oh—Ms. Hayes—I’m sorry. I just got carried away…
Maddie: I thought you weren’t coming back until tomorrow.
Magillicuddy: I thought I’d stayed away long enough…that is, I caught an earlier flight back…I mean…OK, the truth is—
David: Say no more, Magillicuddy.
David: (pulling him aside) No—really. Say. No. More. You don’t want to mess it up with the pretty lady, do ya?
Magillicuddy flushes, and looks at Mary with adoration.
M8agillicuddy: No, sir.
Meanwhile, Maddie is talking to Mary Brown.
Mary: And then, I walked in here and saw him, and it was just like…what’s the word I’m looking for?
Maddie: (sighing) Kismet?
Mary: (eyes alight) Yes, exactly! That’s exactly what it was!
All of the Wobblies are crowded around now, slapping Magillicuddy on the back and smiling at Mary.
Jamie: So, how’d you two meet, anyway?
Magillicuddy looks to his new love, as if for permission. She nods. He puts an arm around her.
Magillicuddy: Well, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but we met through one of those Internet dating sites.
The girls ooh and aah; the men look skeptical.
Magillicuddy: The funny thing is, I didn’t even sign myself up for it. But the other day, I got a very nice email…so I sent one back…and she sent one back…and then we met for coffee…and well…here we are! And to think it never would’ve happened if it weren’t for…
Bert puffs out his chest, and moves forward, preparing to be thanked. David yanks him back by the collar of his suitcoat.
Magillicuddy: My dear old mom!
Bert: Your MOM?!
Magillicuddy: It must’ve been my mom. She’s been after me to find someone lately…I had no idea she had such a grasp of the new technology!
David can see that Bert wants to step in and get credit where credit is due. He cuts Bert off at the pass.
David: Well, I think this deserves a celebration. (Holds up cash) Hot dogs on us!
The staff, as one, rush to the door…there is a little pushing and shoving by O’Neill and Simpson as they get wedged against each other, before spilling out into the hallway and racing to the elevator.
Magillicuddy, Mary, Maddie, and David are left behind.
Mary: (to Magillicuddy) You go on, honey. I’ll be right there.
Magillicuddy: I’ll get you one…with sauerkraut…no mustard.
Mary: How did you know?
Mary: Thank you so much, Ms. Hayes, Mr. Addison.
David: I suppose you’d like to know the 411 on Mr. Magillicuddy there.
Mary: Actually? No.
Mary: No…I’ve got a good feeling about this one. (She smiles, handing over a check) It’ll be a great story to tell our grandchildren.
Maddie: Grandchildren? Don’t you think you’re—
David steps in.
David: —missing out on the hot dogs?
Mary gives them one last, brilliant smile and heads out the door.
Maddie turns to David.
Maddie: You’re gonna be a great dad, you know that?
David: Why? ‘Cause I have experience with sausage bribery?
Maddie: Well, that might come in handy sometime…but also, you’re the King of Happy.
David: (with a bow) The Champion of Cheer, the Duke of Delight…scattering joy like manna to the masses…
Maddie: (folds her arms) Don’t overdo it, Duke.
David: Lucky I’ve got the Queen of Quelling to keep me in line.
Maddie rolls her eyes as David takes her into his arms. They kiss…and kiss…and we
As the music comes up:
It's so easy to fall in love
It's so easy to fall in love
People tell me love's for fools
Here I go breaking all the rules
Seems so easy
Yeah, so doggone easy
Oh it seems so easy
Yeah where you're concerned
My heart can learn
It's so easy to fall in love
It's so easy to fall in love
* * *
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
This episode is dedicated to my dear friend Jenna Young, who always followed that advice…and brought so much enjoyment to so many.
* * *
“Lookin’ for Love”… Waylon Jennings
“It’s So Easy (To Fall in Love)”…Linda Ronstadt
First and always, thanks go to Glenn, Cybill, Bruce, Curtis, and Allyce, who created something so enduring that we can still “see” them doing it, 26 years later…
To Diane and Lizzie, for their unending support and great ideas…thanks for letting me join the party!
To Connie, who gives me lines when I need ‘em, and reassurance when I don’t…you rock, girl! How many days ‘til Spring Training?
And to our readers…it’s a privilege to carry on Maddie and David’s adventures for you. Thanks for your feedback, and hope you enjoy!