oldEpisode Three-hundred-ninety-five:
Since He Seems to Be Getting Worse,
Jack Visits Marcus; He Schedules a Series
of Tests. Jack Does not Want to Worry
Jennifer, So He Sends Her to Visit Her Father.

[Air mid-March, 1992]

 

SCENE ONE: JENNIFER IS DOWN AT THE SPECTATOR WITH JACK READING THE HEADLINE OF THE SPECTATOR. "BO HAS OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE."

 

JACK: So, so there was Bo, bound and gagged with a big black hood over his face. I mean he couldn't see anything. He was in total darkness for weeks. I mean he must have been thinking he was going to die. He was facing death and sometimes when people are facing death they have.... out-of-body experiences.

 

JENNIFER SIGHS.

 

JACK: Ipso facto or should I say, therefore, he must have had that experience.

JENNIFER: Oh, must have, must have Jack. Did Bo tell you that? Did you bother to interview Bo about that? Did he say as you printed here in paragraph two that while he was having his out-of-body experience he met Elvis?

JACK: We....

JENNIFER: Jack that is bad. That is so bad. That is not even a lie. I mean it is a lie. It's not even original.

JACK: I didn't have time for an indepth interview.

JENNIFER: You didn't even have time for a shallow interview.

JACK: Now wait a minute, if you'd take the time to check with our banker/owners they would be more than happy to tell you that this fine newspaper has outsold every other newspaper within a 200 mile radius. And you don't need to be a banker to figure out how much money we've made in the last week. If you....

JENNIFER: We're back on money again, right Jack. I didn't lose my job, alright. We're going to be doing that television show together and Dan said it's going to be a major hit.

JACK: For which he has agreed to pay us chump change most of which is going right back into the bank. So we're just living one notch above the poverty level.

JENNIFER: At least we're above and not below Jack.

JACK: Don't joke about that. Not even in jest.... not even in jest.

 

JENNIFER SIGHS.

 

JENNIFER: Goodbye.

 

SHE KISSES HIM.

 

JENNIFER: I'm going. My audience is waiting to see some legitimate news.

JACK: Well I....

JENNIFER: And you know what Jack, you should stop worrying so much about the future. If you take care of the present, the future will take care of itself.

 

SHE WALKS OFF.

 

JACK: That's just what I need.... just what I need. More clichōs to live by.

 

JACK TAKES OUT AN ANTACID TABLET AND DROPS IT ONTO A GLASS OF WATER.

SCENE TWO: A BIT LATER HE IS GOING OVER A STORY WHEN DESIRŁE COMES IN TALKING TO VERN.

 

DESIRŁE: But this is just what your paper needs right now.

VERN: But I told you Desirōe, we already have a horoscope column.

DESIRŁE: Oh please, it's syndicated Vern. And it's a complete downer. I'm telling you, whoever's writing it can't have a happy life. I mean everything the guy is writing is guaranteed to make everybody else feel lousy. I'm telling you, I on the other hand, will give your readers a future that they will look forward to.

VERN: Will you do it for free?

DESIRŁE: Excuse me?

VERN: Well our paper is going through a little something called a financial disaster. I can't pay you.

DESIRŁE: Aaah, huh, huh. Yeah, well call me crazy Vern but you know when I'm looking for a job, huh, pay is basically what I try to get.

VERN: I understand that so maybe you should look somewhere else.

 

VERN LEAVES AND DESIRŁE SEES JACK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OFFICE. SHE DECIDES TO APPROACH HIM.

 

DESIRŁE: Ah, you know I didn't just come here on a whim. My horoscope told me to do it. Yeah. The alignment of the planets and what not. It could only mean one thing, that I'm about to be offered a gig in the communications.... um, field. But it didn't say anything about me working for free.

 

JACK IS COMPLETELY IGNORING HER.

 

DESIRŁE: But look, why don't you talk to Vern for me, huh? JACK!

JACK: Ah yes.... oh hello.

DESIRŁE: Oh what.... Jack what is your sign daddy?

JACK: My sign.... ah Gemini.... Gemini.

 

DESIRŁE GETS OUT HER HOROSCOPE BOOK.

 

DESIRŁE: Gemini. Gemini.... huh, huh. Huh, huh, start watching your health. That's what it says. Start watching your health.

 

THIS WORRIES JACK.

 

DESIRŁE: Heed all warning signs or you could be putting your life in jeopardy.

 

JACK IS REALLY GETTING SCARED NOW.

 

DESIRŁE: You don't look like you've been heeding too well.

JACK: Well.... what are you talking about. I feel good , dah, dah, dah, dah.

DESIRŁE: You feel good. Yeah, well you don't look so good Jack. That's what I'm saying. I mean you look just about as good as your flowers here.

 

HE HAS A BUNCH OF WILTED FLOWERS ON HIS DESK WHICH HE PICKS UP AND INSPECTS.

 

DESIRŁE: I think it's time we go to my man Marcus and get you a checkup.

JACK: Wait a minute. I don't need any checkup. If there was something wrong with me I would know it.

DESIRŁE: Yeah and so do the stars and the stars are saying, stop messing with your life. Now come on. We're going to the hospital.

JACK: I can't....

DESIRŁE: Put that down.

JACK: I can't....

DESIRŁE: Put these dead flowers down Jack.

JACK: Alright.

DESIRŁE: Right now.

JACK: I'm going. I'm telling you, really I feel good.

DESIRŁE: And you look bad.

JACK: Deh, deh, dah, deh, dum.

SCENE THREE: MARCUS IS AT THE NURSE'S STATION WHEN JACK AND DESIRŁE GET OFF THE ELEVATOR. JACK IS LIMPING NOW AND OBVIOUSLY IN PAIN. MICKEY HAS JUST INFORMED MARCUS THAT LC GARDNER THE NEW LAWYER IN TOWN IS SUING THE HOSPITAL.

 

DESIRŁE: Well Marcus, my goodness. You don't look too good yourself. Not very encouraging should someone should need a consultation. Well maybe I can help you out now. When's your birthday daddy?

MARCUS: I don't remember.

DESIRŁE: Oh puhleeze!

MARCUS: No really. I don't even remember my name right now, right.

DESIRŁE: Well what's the problem?

MARCUS: The lawsuit, what else? Mickey just informed me that our side is not doing that well and I'm just a little worried that's all.

JACK: Well we'll just leave you to your worries.

DESIRÉE: Eh, eh, eh, no, no, no. (To Marcus) You and I are going to have to have a little tête á tête because I think I can help you but another time because right now, somebody needs your help. A patient.

MARCUS: What, Jack?

DESIRŁE: Yeah, go on Jack, come on. Tell the doctor where it hurts.

JACK: Well Dr. Hunter?

MARCUS: Yeah.

JACK: Marcus?

MARCUS: Yeah.

JACK: Perhaps you could....

 

JACK SIGNALS WITH HIS HEAD THAT HE WOULD RATHER BE ALONE WITH MARCUS.

 

MARCUS: Desirōe, do you mind waiting in the lounge, please?

DESIRŁE: Please, why should I mind?

JACK: Well I appreciate you escorting me here but I really can get home on my own, thank you very much.

DESIRŁE: Huh, huh, yeah well I just figured that I owe you something, you know, but good luck to you. And Marcus, let's have that talk real soon, huh?

MARCUS: We will.

DESIRŁE: Okay.

MARCUS: Bye, bye.

 

DESIRŁE LEAVES.

 

MARCUS: Alright Jack, so you're not feeling very well, huh?

JACK: Yes.

MARCUS: Deveraux. What, is that stomach pain still?

JACK: Oh, it's feeling worse than ever. I'm sorry to bring this up. It's probably.... it's probably the same old morning sickness.

MARCUS: No wait a minute, you said worse than ever. How bad?

JACK: Bad, it's.... well it's not just in the morning anymore. It's morning, noon and night and the strange thing is that Jennifer's still feeling great. She's not sick in the morning, at lunch, at dinner time, not at all.

MARCUS: Alright, we're going to forget about this sympathetic morning sickness here.

JACK: We are?

MARCUS: Yeah, I think it's time we take a closer look at your problem. Follow me, come on.

 

JACK FOLLOWS MARCUS AND IS QUITE WORRIED.

SCENE FOUR: MEANWHILE JENNIFER IS DOWN AT THE HOSPITAL CHECKING UP ON A STORY WHEN SHE BUMPS INTO MICKEY.

 

MICKEY: Jennifer, hi honey.

JENNIFER: Oh Uncle Mickey, hi.

MICKEY: I was just about to give you a call.

JENNIFER: Oh really, what's up?

MICKEY: Well Maggie and I are heading for Chicago for Bill's birthday and we figured that since you and Jack will be going we might just get on the same flight together.

JENNIFER: You know what, Jack and I aren't going to make it to Dad's birthday this year.

MICKEY: Why not?

JENNIFER: You know what we are so busy Uncle Mickey. I mean I am here because I have to interview Raphael Taurus and he's still in really bad shape so I have to wait around until he can talk.

MICKEY: Hey, he's not going anywhere so do the interview when you come back.

JENNIFER: I can't. I mean there is just.... we're going to be doing that television show and Dan has all these production meetings and we have to be there for that and there's just too much going on.

MICKEY: We're only talking about a two day trip here so let's just cut through the nonsense. I mean it's pretty obvious that you and Jack are in financial straights, judging my the headlines he's been printing in The Spectator lately. I mean this morning was a pretty good example of that. I mean he must be desperate to sell newspapers.

JENNIFER: Yeah I know, it's pretty embarrassing isn't it?

MICKEY: So, let me pay the airfare. I mean my brother would skin me alive if I showed up for his birthday party without his daughter.

JENNIFER: Ah, you know what, ah, I really appreciate that Uncle Mickey but I'm going to have to turn you down.

MICKEY: Don't be ashamed to let me help. I don't think of this as charity. You shouldn't either.

JENNIFER: No I understand that. Jack would never understand that. He is very sensitive about our financial position and I.... I don't want to hurt his pride, you know.

MICKEY: Okay, your decision.

JENNIFER: But thank you, thank you Uncle Mickey. I love you very much and don't worry. Jack and I are going to be just fine.

SCENE FIVE: IN AN EXAMINING ROOM AT THE HOSPITAL, MARCUS IS READY TO GIVE JACK A THOROUGH CHECK UP. MARCUS PUTS THE BLOOD PRESSURE SLEEVE ON JACK BUT JACK PICKS UP THE STETHOSCOPE AND LOOKS AT IT.

 

MARCUS: Jack, I.... it's 150 over 90. A little high Jack.

JACK: You know what they say. I mean blood pressure is always a little high when you to the doctor's office.

MARCUS: Yeah, not that high.

 

JACK FROWNS. MARCUS NEXT DECIDES TO CHECK JACK'S EYES.

 

MARCUS: Okay look this way. You notice anything different in the way you focus your eyes Jack?

 

JACK'S EYES ARE SWIVELING FROM SIDE TO SIDE FOLLOWING THE LIGHT IN MARCUS'S HAND.

 

JACK: No, should I?

MARCUS: Well no, not unless you have trouble focusing your eyes. (To nurse) Normal and reactive.

JACK: Wait a minute, there was that one day that we were packing up to move out of the penthouse and I remember being a little.... some spots in eyes.

 

MARCUS IS LOOKING IN JACK'S EARS.

 

MARCUS: Really?

JACK: Yes but you know, now that I think of it, maybe you know I was because I was dizzy from bending over picking up those boxes. That's probably all it was.

MARCUS: (To nurse) Ears normal.

 

JACK SIGHS IN RELIEF.

 

MARCUS: Jack, why don't you tell me about that dizzy spell?

 

JACK STARTS TO PANIC AGAIN. MARCUS NEXT LISTENS TO JACK'S CHEST.

 

MARCUS: Breathe deep.

 

JACK SUCKS IN HIS BREATH.

oldEp395A

JACK: I am. I've noticed that my breathing is a little shallow lately.

MARCUS: Is that during the stomach pains or other times too?

JACK: No, it's only when I have the stomach pains. It's like there's this.... well there's this kind of weight on my chest. (Beat) Is that anything to be worried about?

MARCUS: Breathe.

 

JACK TAKES A FEW DEEP BREATHS.

 

MARCUS: Any pain around the heart Jack?

 

JACK REALLY IS WORRIED WITH THAT COMMENT. MARCUS THEN TAKES A BLOOD SAMPLE.

 

MARCUS: You look a little pale Jack.

JACK: Ah, well, losing blood can do that to a person. So tell me, what's wrong with me?

MARCUS: Well we're going to need a full blood workup report and then I'll have some answers for you.

JACK: But you know something don't you? And whatever it is, it's not good because if it was good, you'd say, Jack get dressed and go home. But you're not saying that so.... (Worried) what's wrong?

MARCUS: Get dressed Jack.

JACK: But he didn't say go home.

 

JACK GETS DRESSED WHILE MARCUS CONFERS WITH THE NURSE.

 

JACK: Alright, what's the damages? What's causing this pain in my gut?

MARCUS: Well we can't say just yet. We have to wait for those blood tests and then we'll have a good idea.

JACK: Right now I would settle for a bad idea.

MARCUS: Jack it could be anything, it could be nothing, right. That's why it's important.... when the symptoms are this persistent it's important that we are very thorough. That's why I'd like you to check into the hospital and we'll do a complete gastro-intestinal exam, okay.

JACK: A gas.... a gas....

MARCUS: Yes.

JACK: Wait a minute, what the hell am I supposed to tell Jennifer?

MARCUS: Why don't you tell her you're checking onto the hospital for a complete gastro-intestinal exam?

JACK: What? Do you understand what that means? I mean I....

MARCUS: I understand what that means.

JACK: I mean I have to....

SCENE SIX: JENNIFER WALKS UP BEHIND JACK AND MARCUS AS THEY LEAVE THE EXAMINING ROOM. JACK HURRIES TO PULL DOWN HIS SLEEVE AND HIDE WHERE HE'S HAD THE BLOOD TEST.

 

JENNIFER: Jack what are you doing here?

 

JACK IS SURPRISED TO HEAR JENNIFER; HE DOES NOT WANT HER TO KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING THERE, AND THAT HE NEEDS TO HAVE FURTHER TESTS, SO HE MAKES UP SOME LAME EXCUSE.

 

JACK: Ah....

JENNIFER: Hi.

JACK: Ah.... ah.... I'm just following your advice, that's all. I was just asking the doctor here a couple of in-depth questions about out-of-body experiences.

JENNIFER: Oh really, and what did you find out?

JACK: Well why don't I take you out for a cup of coffee and I'll tell you all about it. Right this way.

MARCUS: Goodbye Jack.

JACK: Bye.

SCENE SEVEN: SOME TIME LATER, JACK TAKES JENNIFER TO ALICE'S RESTAURANT.

 

JACK: So you can actually see the spiritual body floating over the physical body and some people actually claim that the two halves are connected by a silver cord.

JENNIFER: You know I think I've heard about that. So what happens when the cord breaks?

JACK: Well you.... you cross over.

JENNIFER: You die.... basically.

JACK: Ah, something to that effect. Yes, perhaps we could move onto something more positive like the celebration of life.

JENNIFER: Oh Jack that's so sweet. You want to talk about the birth of our baby.

JACK: Actually I'd rather talk about the birth of your father. I know you've still got that invitation to his big birthday bash up in Chicago. Are you going?

JENNIFER: No, of course I'm not going. I mean I can't.... I can't justify in my mind spending that kind of money on a plane ticket right now.

JACK: Well I can.

JENNIFER: What, what are you saying?

JACK: I'm saying that I can justify it. I can find a cheap flight that gets you up there for that party. I mean I can't go. I have to work at the paper but.... ah, I think it's important for you to be there. It will make your father very happy and it will make you happy too.

JENNIFER: Are you serious?

JACK: Yes.

JENNIFER: Oh, Jack thank you, thank you so much.

 

SHE RUNS AROUND AND SITS ON HIS KNEE.

 

JENNIFER: You know you are so wonderful. You never stop surprising me.

 

JACK LAUGHS.

 

JACK: Well.

JENNIFER: That's one of the reasons why I love you so much. And that's how I know you are going to be a wonderful father because you are going to fill our child's life with a lifetime of beautiful surprises.

 

JACK DOES NOT LOOK SO SURE ABOUT THAT.

oldEp395B

 

[Transcribed by Carol Vaughan
added material by Sally A. Wilson]