SCENE ONE: IT IS THE SAME NIGHT AND JACK AND JENNIFER ARE JUST FINISHING CLEANING UP AFTER DINNER WITH HOWARD.
JENNIFER: Well Jack, now that you've met my friend Howard I hope you realize you have nothing to worry about, that he is absolutely no threat.
JACK: I'm not worried about him, at least not per say.
JENNIFER: You know you're still caught up in Desirée's predictions aren't you? I am so sorry that I ever made you go in that place Jack.
JACK: I'm not.
JENNIFER: You're not? Ever since you got that tape you've been obsessed with it.
JACK: So just because I happen to be worried about my wife's well being I'm being attacked and accused, once again, of being superstitious.
JENNIFER: No, I'm just saying that if you're going to take this stuff seriously you should put your energy into something a little more positive.
JACK: Like what?
JENNIFER: Well like our jade plant blooming.
JENNIFER: I mean this is a really good omen. Don't you think?
JACK: Oh I suppose, if you subscribe to that sort of thing.
JENNIFER: Oh you don't?
JACK: Well accusations not withstanding, no.
JENNIFER: Then why did you go so out of your way to make it look like a near miracle happened when we weren't looking?
JACK: What, are you talking about that puny little flower?
JENNIFER: That puny little flower that you glued on.
SHE SLOWLY PULLS OFF THE FLOWER.
JACK: You.... ah, figured that out, huh?
JENNIFER: It didn't take much.
JACK: Well you can't fault a person for trying.
JENNIFER: I'm not. I know you meant well Jack and that means a lot to me. I really appreciate it. But you're going to have to try a little harder if you're going to put something over on me.
JACK: I'll remember that next time.
JENNIFER: Well better yet, when there comes to keeping secrets from me, don't let there be a next time.
JENNIFER WALKS AWAY BUT JACK IS THINKING OF THE BUSINESS LOAN AS WELL.
SCENE TWO: A BIT LATER JENNIFER DECIDES TO BEGIN WRITING HER NEW ARTICLE IMMEDIATELY. SHE SITS AT THE COFFEE TABLE WITH HER LAPTOP. JACK STARTS TO STRETCH AND MAKE GOING TO BED NOISES.
JACK: HUH!.... HMMMM!
JENNIFER: If you want to go to bed don't let me stop you Jack.
JACK: Huh.... aaaaah.
JENNIFER: No, don't make those noises because I'm working on a story and it's a good one.
JENNIFER: The plight of the homeless in our society.
JENNIFER: And I'm going to finish this proposal tonight so I can submit it to Dan first thing in the morning.
JACK: Hmmm. Question. (Beat) Did you talk to Howard about this?
JENNIFER: Of course I haven't. You know that.
JACK: Let me suggest if I may. You better talk to him. I mean he strikes me as the kind of private sort of guy, you know. What if he says he doesn't want to do an interview for your story?
JENNIFER LOOKS ACROSS AT JACK AND REALIZES WHAT THAT WOULD MEAN.
JACK: Yesssss! Now if I were you, this is what I would do. I would put that whole proposal on hold until I got the go ahead from good old How.
JENNIFER: You know what Jack, you're right. I never stopped to consider Howard's feelings. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
JACK: Don't mention it, really.
JENNIFER CLOSES THE LAPTOP AND GRABS HER PURSE.
JACK: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Where are you going? What are you doing?
JENNIFER: I'm going to talk to Howard. That's what you just advised me to do.
JACK: No, not tonight.
JENNIFER: No Jack I have to get this on the air as soon as possible. Making people aware of the problem is the best help people like Howard.
JACK: There's no way I can talk you out of this, is there?
JENNIFER: No, you just talked me into it.
JACK: Very good point. I'm going with you.
JENNIFER: I thought you were going to bed.
JACK: Well somebody's got to help you find homeless people like Howard, don't they?
JENNIFER: You're volunteering to help me?JACK: Well not exactly volunteering. I was roped into it. It's too dark out there. You won't be able to tell any of the trash cans apart. You knock on the wrong one, you might end up interviewing Oscar the Grouch.
SCENE THREE: THEY ARE IN THE ALLEY, GROPING AROUND IN THE DARK.
JACK: Watch your step.
JACK: Careful. There's nothing under there but a rat.
JENNIFER: Well it might be that.
JACK: You know, are you sure this is the right alley? I mean you know what they say once you've seen one, you've seen them all.
JENNIFER: Well he's gotta be here somewhere.
JACK: What's that?
JENNIFER: Don't stop, it's nothing.
JACK: Oooh I don't like it out here.
JENNIFER: There he is. He's right there.
JACK: Careful, where.
JENNIFER: I can recognize his shoes, look.
JENNIFER RUNS OVER TO A MAN COVERED IN NEWSPAPERS.
JENNIFER: Jack, look, he's got The Spectator on him, look.
JACK: Well I suppose that's better than lining bird cages.
JENNIFER: Howard?.... Howard?
JENNIFER: Hi, it's Jennifer.
HOWARD: Jennifer. And Jack.
HOWARD: It's nice to see you again. Oh I was just lying here dreaming about that wonderful dinner you treated me to.
JACK: You were dreaming about it?
HOWARD: Oh my yes, for someone in my place, meals like that are few and far between.
JENNIFER: Well you know Howard, I've been thinking a lot about you too since you left and you see your situation has inspired me to do a story for my TV station about the homeless people of Salem.
HOWARD: Oh yes, well that's a marvelous idea.
JACK: Oh good. You wouldn't mind her interviewing you at some time?
JACK: Later maybe.
HOWARD: I would mind. I would mind very much.
JENNIFER: But Howard, you just said that you thought it was a marvelous....
HOWARD: I said.... I said the story would be a marvelous, marvelous piece but I didn't say I wanted to be a part of it.
JENNIFER: Um, you know if you're nervous about going on camera, I can understand that.
HOWARD: No, no. It's not that. It's just that I.... well look, look, well let's face it. This isn't exactly Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. And to go before the public this way.... some days it's all I can do to hold my head up and face my self.
JENNIFER: Look Howard, I'm sorry. I really assumed too much and I wasn't thinking. I really was trying to help you. (Beat) You know what, I just thought of something.
JACK: I don't like the sound of that.
JENNIFER: There is something that we can do to help you Howard where you don't have to get involved with the story at all.
JACK: I don't know what that could be.
JENNIFER: No, I have a great idea Jack. You and I, we could get Howard a job.
JACK: Oh get him a job. Oh sure that's no problem. I could do that. I could get him a job with the....
JENNIFER: Yes, we could get him a job at The Spectator.
JACK: Well.... wait a minute. No, no, no. You don't mean this. Not The Spectator.
JENNIFER: Yes a job at The Spectator. It would be perfect for Howard.
JACK: No. You don't.... perhaps we could have a little conversation, in private?
JENNIFER: What's there to talk about? I mean you own the paper. You can hire anybody you like, right?
JACK: It's that Howard, no offense Howard, Howard is not qualified to work at the paper.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about? He's.... he's very qualified to work at the paper.
JACK: How is he qualified? What can he do?
JENNIFER: He's qualified because he's a subscriber to your paper, that's why Jack.
SHE PICKS UP THE PAPER AND LAYS IT OVER THE TOP OF HOWARD AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Now you get a good night's sleep Howard, okay, because you're going to be part of the working class tomorrow. And I'm going to make all the arrangements and I'm going to come back and get you, okay? So you just have nice dreams.
HOWARD: Goodnight Jennifer, thank you. And you too Jack.
JACK: Really don't.... don't mention it.
JENNIFER: Okay, goodnight, let's go.
JACK: Careful. Ouch, watch it.
JENNIFER DRAGS JACK AWAY AND HE TRIPS ON SOME TRASH.
SCENE FOUR: THEY GET BACK TO THE PENTHOUSE AND JENNIFER STILL WANTS JACK TO GET HOWARD A JOB.
JACK: I can't believe you. Did you hear me? I said I can't believe you. You put me on a the spot like that. I can't believe it.
JENNIFER: What did I do that was so awful? I thought you were as anxious as me to help the poor Jack.
JACK: I don't want to put them all on.... on.... on my payroll.
JENNIFER: It is one person. It's not like you have the whole homeless population of Salem on your payroll.... which wouldn't be a bad idea.
JACK: No hold it right there. You cannot go out there and.... and change the whole world all by yourself, even if I try to let you.
JENNIFER: I know that. But I can change one man's life.
JACK: Yeah but.... wait a minute.
JACK: Waaaait a minute, that.... that's it!
JENNIFER: That's what?
JACK: You said you wanted to change his life.
JENNIFER: Yes, so?
JACK: So.... so that's.... that's just like that.... that dizzy dame De.... De....
JACK AND JENNIFER: Desirée!
JACK: Yes, that's what she was saying. She said that someone was going to come along and change your life. Now follow me here. I think maybe she got it mixed up. I think we've have to listen to that tape once more.
JENNIFER: No, no, no.
JACK: We'll listen to it backwards, you know.
JENNIFER: No, no, you're putting up a smokescreen....
JACK: You'll see, you know. (Making an allusion to Revolution Number 9 from the Beatles' White Album, which when played backward, you can hear someone repeating "Number 9") Number 9, number 9, number 9....
JENNIFER: ....because you don't want to give Howard a job. We have so much and he has nothing, you know. You should be ashamed of yourself, Jack.
JACK: I am not ready to bow and scrape. I don't happen to like Howard and I don't want to hire him. And if I had a chance, if I could talk you out of it, I would. I'd forbid it.
JACK IS RUMMAGING THROUGH THE DESK DRAWER LOOKING FOR THE TAPE.
JENNIFER: You cannot apply what Desirée said to Howard. If you're jealous of him just admit that you're jealous.
JACK: This has nothing to do with jealousy. I am just worried about you that's all.
JENNIFER: On account of that stupid tape.
JACK: Yes, on account of that stupid.... no, not on account of.... it's not a stupid tape, alright. The predictions are real. JENNIFER: I thought you said you didn't believe in that sort of thing Jack.
JACK: I'm hedging my bets.
JACK IS SEARCHING ALL OVER THE APARTMENT FOR THE TAPE.
JENNIFER: Well stop it. I have never seen you like this.
JACK: Well maybe.... maybe there's a first for everything, you know that. I just.... I don't want to have something bad happen to you.JENNIFER: Jack what is going to happen to me? Howard is a poor homeless old man. There is no way my being around him is going to put me in any kind of danger.
SCENE FIVE: DOWN IN THE ALLEY WE SEE HAWK CARRYING A BRIEFCASE FULL OF MONEY.
SCENE SIX: JACK IS STILL SEARCHING EVERYWHERE FOR THE TAPE WHEN JENNIFER COMES OUT OF THE BEDROOM DRESSED IN A VERY PALE PINK LACE NEGLIGÉE AND MATCHING ROBE.
JENNIFER: Jack could you just....
JENNIFER: .... come here for just one minute? I found this little button and I can't seem to reach it.
JACK TURNS AROUND AND SEES HER STANDING THERE TRYING TO SEDUCE HIM.
JACK: Ah, no. no, no. No, no you don't. It is not that easy and neither am I. I'm not going to give your buddy Howard a job and I.... if I could forbid you from seeing him I would do it. I would....
SHE HAS WALKED UP RIGHT NEXT TO HIM ALMOST TOUCHING AND HE STANDS UP AND TRIES TO LEAN AWAY.
JACK: I would.... do it.
JENNIFER: You know, let's not talk about Howard right now, okay.
SHE STARTS TO UNDO THE BUTTONS ON HIS SHIRT.
JENNIFER: He is the farthest thing from my mind right now.
JACK IS ABOUT TO SPEAK WHEN SHE STARTS TO KISS HIS CHEEK AND ALL OVER HIS FACE.
JACK: Look, this.... this is all very nice but it's still not going to happen.
JENNIFER: Oh, well that's alright Jack. Just lift up your arms for a second.
HE CANNOT RESIST LIFTING HIS ARMS AND SHE PULLS HIS SHIRT UP, TRAPPING HIS ARMS ABOVE HIS HEAD.
JACK: It's.... it's not going to....
SHE GRINS AT HIM.
JENNIFER: It is going to happen.
JACK IS STANDING THERE WITH HIS ARMS STUCK IN HIS SHIRT AND HALF A SMILE ON HIS FACE.
JACK: You think this is really kind of funny don't you?
JENNIFER: Yes I think it's hilarious.
JACK: Yeah, well I don't appreciate being treated first as a sex object and then as a clown.
SHE PULLS THE SHIRT OFF HIS ARMS.
JENNIFER: Oh yeah, well how about as a husband?
JACK: Well that's much nicer. I would think it would be....
SHE THROWS THE SHIRT OVER HIS HEAD AND GRABS IT EACH SIDE OF HIS NECK. SHE PULLS HIM OVER TO THE SOFA.
JACK: What.... wait a minute. I didn't think you were into this sort of thing.
SHE LIES BACK ON THE SOFA AND PULLS HIM DOWN ON TOP OF HER.
JACK: Wait a minute, careful.
JENNIFER: Careful of what?
JACK: Well I.... what's that?
JENNIFER: What's what?
JACK: I think I found it.
JENNIFER: Found what?
JACK PULLS OUT THE TAPE FROM THE BACK OF THE CUSHION. HE SITS UP DELIGHTED.
JACK: I did find it.
JENNIFER: What did you find?
JACK: The cassette. Who would have known it would be stuck down there in the cushions.
JENNIFER LOOKS GUILTY.
JACK: Not you I'm sure. No, no. Never in a million years would you have stuck it down there. I'm sure you would have.... I'm sure you would.... hey!
SHE GRABS THE SLEEVES OF THE SHIRT AROUND HIS NECK AND TIES THEM IN A KNOT OVER HIS MOUTH.
JACK: (Mouth full of shirt) Very funny, very funny!
[Transcribed by Carol Vaughan
added material by Sally A. Wilson]