oldEpisode Three-hundred-ninety-six: Jack
Has his Physical; He Is Worried That His
Hodgkin's Disease Has Come out of Remission;
Marcus Cannot Reassure Him That It Has not.

[Air early April 1992]

 

SCENE ONE: SINCE JACK CONVINCED JENNIFER TO SEE HER FATHER, JACK CHECKS INTO THE HOSPITAL FOR TESTS.

 

MARCUS: Alright, we're going to get to those tests in a few minutes. In the meantime make yourself comfortable.

JACK: Comfortable. I never realized how creepy this place was at night.

MARCUS: Well Jack, you didn't want to run into any of the Hortons, right. And this place is just....

JACK: Crawling with Hortons during the day. I know, I told you that. Thank you very much.

MARCUS: Then why are you complaining then?

JACK: I'm not complaining. (Beat) Alright, perhaps I am. But I just want to make sure that nobody hears about these tests.

MARCUS: Including your wife.

JACK: Especially.... the fact is that Jennifer is out of town. She's in Chicago celebrating her father's birthday.

MARCUS: Oh, okay. Well let's get on these tests. I have a lab tech on overtime but he's not going to be here all night. When was the last time you had a meal Jack?

JACK: Well, 7 AM.

MARCUS: Good.

JACK: I'm really hung....

MARCUS: Good, that'll work, that'll work. No, I'll get the nurse and we'll be right with you.

JACK: I.... no I can hardly wait. Thank you very much.

 

MARCUS LEAVES JACK ALONE IN THE EXAMINING ROOM.

SCENE TWO: JACK IS WAITING ALONE IN THE EXAMING ROOM. HE IS OBVIOUSLY NERVOUS AND WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY WRONG WITH HIM.

 

JACK: I need a bit to eat. I'm starved.

 

HE STARTS TO WANDER AROUND THE ROOM AND FIDDLE WITH ALL THEY MACHINES AND EQUIPMENT THAT IS IN THERE. HE PICKS UP A LUNG CAPACITY MONITOR AND BLOWS INTO IT.

 

JACK: Right, I'll get onto it for you.

 

HE BLOWS INTO IT AGAIN JUST AS LARGE BOSSY NURSE COMES INTO THE ROOM.

 

NURSE: WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?

JACK: Ah, I was just helping Dr. Hunter get on the road with the tests here. How am I doing there?

 

SHE GRABS THE MONITOR FROM HIM AND PUTS IT BACK IN ITS PLACE.

 

NURSE: Take everything off and put this on.

 

SHE HANDS HIM A HOSPITAL GOWN.

 

JACK: Everything?

NURSE: You make keep you socks on if you have cold feet.

JACK: Cold feet. Oh that's good. That's good.

NURSE: I meant it literally. Put your clothes over there. The gown opens in the back.

JACK: You know I'd wear it the other way round if you asked me nice.

 

THE NURSE JUST GLARES AT HIM.

 

JACK: Ah, never mind.

NURSE: Do yourself a favor. Try to relax. It will make things much easier if you can.

JACK: What do you mean, if I can?

NURSE: You are Jack Deveraux, aren't you?

JACK: Well yes, yes I am. So?

NURSE: Dr. Hunter didn't explain the tests he was giving you?

JACK: Well no, not in great detail, no.

NURSE: As I said, it will make it much easier if you relax. You're going to be here for quite a while.

 

SHE WALKS OUT AND LEAVES JACK ALONE.

oldEp396A

SCENE THREE JACK HAS CHANGED INTO THE GOWN AND CONTINUES TO FIDDLE WITH THE EQUIPMENT WITH ONE HAND WHILE HE HOLDS THE GOWN CLOSED AT THE BACK WITH THE OTHER HAND. HE FINDS TWO LONG PROBES AND HE DROPS THEM FAST.

 

JACK: Oh.

 

NEXT HE GOES BACK TO THE LUNG CAPACITY MONITOR AND STARTS BLOWING IN IT AGAIN.

 

JACK: It doesn't work.

 

HE SITS ON THE BED AND WATCHES THE CLOCK. IT IS 7 PM. THE TICKING GETS LOUDER AND LOUDER AS HE WAITS. HE STARTS TO TAP HIS KNEE FOR RESPONSE AND STILL NOBODY COMES BACK. SUDDENLY SOMEBODY IN THE HOSPITAL SCREAMS AND JACK SCREAMS IN RESPONSE. HE STARTS TO CONCENTRATE ON THE CLOCK WHILE HE TAPS OUT A TUNE WITH TONGUE DEPRESSORS. NEXT THING HE HEARS SOME VOICES OUTSIDE THE ROOM.

 

MAN: We better this get this stuff to the guys downstairs before it starts stinking the halls.

 

OUTSIDE TWO MEN WITH FOOD CARTS WALK AROUND THE CORNER. AT THE SAME TIME A MAN PUSHES A GURNEY BY WITH A BODY ON IT. JACK PEEKS AND SEES THE BODY THEN DISAPPEARS BACK INTO HIS ROOM.

 

JACK: It's already cold.

SCENE FOUR: SOME TIME LATER, JACK IS STILL WAITING, HE LOOKS AT THE CLOCK AND IT IS ONLY 7:15 PM. HE CLIMBS ONTO THE BED. HE IS WEARING LONG BLACK SOCKS UNDER THE GOWN. HE LIES BACK.

 

JACK: Relax.... relax.

 

THE DOOR OPENS IN JACK'S MIND AND IN COMES HARPER DRESSED AS A SURGEON WITH A MASK.

 

JACK: Hey who are you? What are you doing here? Where's Dr. Hunter?

HARPER: I am his assistant, here to begin your tests.

 

HARPER USES A HEAVY EUROPEAN ACCENT.

 

HARPER: First we start with the blood work.

 

HARPER REMOVES A HUGE HYPODERMIC FROM HIS BACK.

 

JACK: Blood? (Beat) With that?

HARPER: What's the matter, you've never seen a hypodermic before?

JACK: Let me tell you something, I had all the blood work done with Dr. Hunter before I came in here.

HARPER: He didn't get enough bloooooood!

JACK: Wait.... wait, I'm not going to let you touch me until you talk to Dr. Hunter.

HARPER: Very good.... very good. Then we open you up first to see what's going on.... inside.

JACK: Ah.... no.

 

HARPER REACHES INSIDE HIS BAG AND PULLS OUT A POWER SAW. HE STARTS IT UP IN FRONT OF JACK.

 

JACK: NO.... NO wait WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Get away from me with that.

HARPER: Heheheheheh.

JACK: HELP.... NURSE! HELP, some doctor, nurse.

 

DUKE COMES RUNNING IN THE ROOM. HE IS HUNCHED OVER.

 

DUKE: Did you get enough blood, master?

HARPER: Not yet.

 

THEY BOTH START TO LAUGH AS HARPER PULLS OFF HIS MASK AND JACK REALIZES WHO HE IS TALKING TO. HIS IMAGINATION IS RUNNING WILD AGAIN.

 

HARPER: We had you going there didn't we?

DUKE: That's a cute looking outfit you've got there Jackie boy. Bit drafty in the back there though, ain't it.

JACK: You guys are just trying to scare me to death, aren't you?

HARPER: You should have seen his face when I pulled this thing out?

 

THEY BOTH LAUGH AT JACK AGAIN.

 

JACK: Just cut it alright? Just cut!

DUKE: Never say cut to a saw bones, right Doc?

HARPER: Right nurse.

 

HARPER AIMS THE CIRCULAR SAW AT JACK AGAIN.

 

JACK: NO, NO, NO. That's it. hold it. Come on, that's it. stop. Alright. There's no joking around here. This is very serious business.

DUKE: Take it easy, take it easy Sonny Boy. We know that.

HARPER: Yeah.

JACK: You do?

HARPER: Of course we do. That's why we're here.

DUKE: We're here to help you.

HARPER: Of course.

JACK: Oh. (Beat) Oh you're going to help me into an early grave. That's what you're going to do.

HARPER: Oh we're serious Jack. We know what these tests are like.

 

HARPER PRETENDS TO STRANGLE DUKE AND THEY BOTH LAUGH AGAIN.

 

DUKE: Wait a minute, wait a minute, all kidding aside.

HARPER: What?

DUKE: You're going to need our help. More help than you'll ever know to get you through the night.

JACK: No, I won't need any help tonight because I'm going home.

HARPER: Jack.

JACK: I'm going home. Listen I'm not going to be a laboratory rat for anybody.

DUKE: Let us help you kid.

JACK: No ones going to help me with any....

 

WHOA! AS JACK OPENS THE DOOR TO LEAVE, THE LARGE BOSSY NURSE WALKS IN AND GIVES HIM A FRIGHT.

 

NURSE: Where do you think you're going?

HARPER: Go on Jack, tell her.

 

HARPER AND DUKE THINK IT IS ALL VERY FUNNY BUT JACK SINKS TO THE FLOOR IN A FAINT.

SCENE FIVE: A BIT LATER JACK IS OKAY BUT MARCUS IS MAKING SURE.

 

MARCUS: Are you sure you're alright Jack?

JACK: Of course, I'm alright. I was just faking fainting if you will. I was just trying to see if Nurse Ratchet's face would move if she laughed.

MARCUS: Huh, huh. Well she didn't laugh.

JACK: She didn't laugh, yes, yes. Where did you dig her up from anyway? The House of Wax?

MARCUS: Look for your information, she's a very competent nurse.

JACK: Well I certainly hope so. (Beat) Well alright time's awasting, what's next?

MARCUS: The abdominal ultrasound.

JACK: Ah, and what exactly does that entail?

MARCUS: Don't worry it's painless, it's like an x-ray.

JACK: Good, good, and then what?

MARCUS: Then the fun stuff.

JACK: The fun stuff?

MARCUS: Huh, huh. The upper, then the lower GI.

JACK: Oh, ye old Barium cocktail.

MARCUS: That is for the upper series yes. The lower series calls for a Barium also but.... you can't drink it.

JACK: What.... you're not saying that I have to....

MARCUS: Unfortunately Jack, that is the only way we can check things out and I need your total co-operation alright.

JACK: Of course, you have my total co-operation.... you just don't have to make it sound like it's a matter of life or death.

 

MARCUS IS QUITE SERIOUS ABOUT ALL OF THIS.

 

MARCUS: Alright, I need you here.

 

HE LIES JACK DOWN.

 

MARCUS: Be quiet, lie perfectly still and I'll be through here in just a few minutes.

 

JACK IS STARTING TO GET MORE AND MORE WORRIED.

SCENE SIX: JACK HAD SOME MORE TESTS. MARCUS CATCHES UP WITH HIM AS THE NURSE IS PUSHING HIM IN A WHEELCHAIR.

 

MARCUS: Okay nurse, I'll take him from here okay. So Jack, how are you feeling? Are you feeling any better now?

JACK: No, not really.

MARCUS: Well look the hard part's over, alright. It's all downhill now. All we've got to do is wait for those lab results.

JACK: I thought you said the hard part was over?

MARCUS: Jack, look, look, I know you haven't eaten since about 7:30 this morning. Tell you what, why don't you go ahead, go on out, have a nice meal, invite a friend, make a night of it, huh?

 

JACK GIVES MARCUS A CYNICAL LOOK.

 

MARCUS: Ah.... ah, you know, call your mom. I'm sure she'd like to see you.

JACK: No, listen, I made it perfectly clear. No one's is going to hear about these tests.

MARCUS: Oh that's right, yeah.

JACK: I don't mind eating alone, really. It's good for the digestion. I do it all the time.

MARCUS: I tell you what, you know, I haven't eaten since lunch. I'm starving to death. What do you say? You want some company?

JACK: No really I don't have an appetite.

MARCUS: Jack, I'm not talking about an eight course meal here. I'm just talking about a burger and a beer over at Cheatin' Heart. Now come on.

JACK: Ah thank you very much but I'm not up for it.

MARCUS: Jack it will do you some good. Now doctor's orders.

JACK: Oh if you put it that way I suppose the insurance would cover it.

MARCUS: Yes, the insurance would. Get your bag, get your coat. Hang on.

 

MARCUS TILTS THE WHEELCHAIR BACK AND PUSHES IT REALLY FAST.

 

JACK: Whoa!

 

JACK AND MARCUS HEAD OVER TO CHEATIN' HEART WHERE THEY SEE DESIRŁE AT THE BAR AS THEY ENTER.

 

JACK: I hope I can get it all down.

MARCUS: Desirōe, what are you doing here?

 

IT IS OBVIOUS SHE PLANNED IT SOMEHOW, SHE IS VERY INTERESTED IN MARCUS.

 

DESIRŁE: Marcus Hunter, well this must be my lucky night. Running into you not once but twice. I guess my horoscope meant it when they said something good was coming my way.

MARCUS: Would you like to join us, huh?

 

JACK DOES NOT LOOK AT ALL HAPPY ABOUT THAT.

 

DESIRŁE: Oh I would be delighted, yeah. But first I have to fill out this application.

MARCUS: What, are you trying to get a job here too, huh?

DESIRŁE: Well time's are hard daddy and Jack, you know, you could give me a job. You could help me out if you wanted to.

JACK: I thought I told you before that there really is no need for a fortune teller at The Spectator.

DESIRŁE: But Jack, if you hired me you would get my psychic predictions. Do you know what that means daddy? I mean you would.... you would get the news before it happened okay. You would be able to plan ahead.

 

JACK: You know that almost makes sense. I think I'd best go sit down before it does.

 

MARCUS SMILES AS JACK TAKES A SEAT.

 

DESIRŁE: Ingrate, after all I did for him.

MARCUS: Yeah well he's not feeling too good tonight.

 

DESIRŁE: Yeah well he's not the only one. I saw him that wheelchair. Is he really sick?

MARCUS: No.... no, we're running a few tests. But I wouldn't bring it up if I were you, okay.

DESIRŁE: Whatever you say.

 

MARCUS AND DESIRŁE SIT DOWN WITH JACK AT THE TABLE.

 

DESIRŁE: And then the guy at the front desk says, if you're late with your rent just one more time you're out of here. I tell you I was never so embarrassed in my entire life. I mean I was only late twice.

MARCUS: That's too bad Desirōe.

DESIRŁE: It was awful.

SCENE SEVEN: A SHORT TIME LATER, JACK IS SITTING VERY QUIETLY NOT REALLY CONCENTRATING ON ANYTHING THEY SAY. HE HAS NOT TOUCHED HIS BURGER.

 

DESIRŁE: And then my credit cards are charged to the max so most people are calling me or pressuring me to pay them.

 

JACK IS STARTING TO LOOK VERY NAUSEOUS. JACK IS MORE AND MORE WORRIED THAT SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH HIM, AND DESIRÉE GO ON AND ON ABOUT HER INSIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS IS REALLY ANNOYINT HIM.

 

DESIRŁE: I mean I need a gig right now paying steady every week like I need air to breathe. My heart....

JACK: Would you just ZIP IT?

DESIRŁE: Excuse me?

JACK: Just zip it. We don't need to hear anymore complaining. I'm sick and tired of hearing you crying in your beer. I mean you've got your health, don't you?

DESIRŁE: Yeah, but I....

JACK: Yeah, but there's a lot of people around here who don't. So why don't you just count your lucky stars.

DESIRŁE: Well....

JACK: Well, that's exactly right. You're perfectly well. So stop complaining.

DESIRŁE: Fine Jack, fine, I will not bother you with my problems anymore. Not a minute more.

 

SHE PICKS UP HER BAG AND STANDS UP.

 

DESIRŁE: Goodnight.

 

SHE WALKS OUT.

 

MARCUS: Desirōe, now wait a minute.

JACK: Wait a minute, wait. You didn't pay.... she didn't pay for her burger. You didn't even.... she didn't pay for her burger.

MARCUS: You're pretty hard on her, you know that?

JACK: Yeah, well let her sue me. (Beat) I didn't mean that. I don't want her suing me. I'll apologize at some later point.

MARCUS: What's going on Jack?

JACK: What's.... you don't know what's going on?

MARCUS: No.

JACK: I'll tell you what's going on.

MARCUS: Thank you.

JACK: I got a problem here. I want you to tell me how long it will be till those test results are back.

MARCUS: Ah, that depends on how backed up the lab is.

JACK: (Very worried) Okay. Without the results, I want you to tell me what you think my problem could be.... what you suspect it could be.

MARCUS: Jack, I.... I don't like to make predictions when it comes to diagnosing a patient.

JACK: Look just.... just level with me alright. Just tell me. Do you.... is my Hodgkin's Disease coming back out of remission?

MARCUS: An outside chance, I mean you know....
oldEp396B
JACK: Don't.... Marcus.... is it possible? Just tell me the truth on this.

 

MARCUS DOES NOT WANT TO WORRY JACK, BUT HE SEEMS SOMEWHAT CONCERNED HIMSELF.

 

MARCUS: Yes, it's possible.

 

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