SCENE ONE: IT IS THE NEXT DAY AND JENNIFER ARRIVES AT THE SPECTATOR CARRYING A BOX.
JENNIFER: Good morning.
VERN: Good morning Jenny girl, how are you doing?
JENNIFER: Anything going on that I should know about?
JACK: Just business as usual.
JENNIFER: Good, you're not going to believe this Jack. Look.
SHE HOLDS UP THE BOX AND IT IS A BOARD GAME OF ASK DR. LOVE.
JENNIFER: It's the new home version of Ask Dr. Love.
VERN: You've got to be kidding, that's my favorite TV show. That Dr. Love is really something, isn't he?
JACK: Yes, he certainly is that.
JENNIFER: Well I bought so we could practice playing before we go on the show Jack.
VERN: You guys going on Dr. Love?
JACK: Well we didn't exactly agree to that but....
JENNIFER: I can't believe Jack didn't tell you. We auditioned for it and they picked us. They thought that Jack was great.
VERN: Oh that's terrific. Hey listen, can I go along and maybe be part of the audience?
JENNIFER: Oh Vern that would be great. You know we need all the support we can get, alright. Okay, who goes first? How do we do this?
VERN: Roll the dice.
JENNIFER: Alright. (Beat) Three. Your turn.
JACK: I'm not really going to do that.
JENNIFER: Alright, then I'll roll for you. Maybe I'll use the red one for you.
JACK: No, no, no, hold it.
JENNIFER: What do you mean? Why?
JACK: I don't want to play.
JENNIFER: Jack you don't understand. If we play this, it could increase our chances of winning the game when we go on.JACK: Listen, we don't have to worry about winning, we don't have to worry about playing because I'm not going to go on the Dr. Love Show.
SCENE TWO: STILL AT THE SPECTATOR, JENNIFER CONTINUES TO PLAY THE BOARD GAME VERSION OF ASK DOCTOR LOVE, IN SPITE OF JACK'S RELUCTANCE. SHE KEEPS PRESSING THE BUTTON THAT MAKES A LOUD APPLAUSE AND THEN THE BUZZER THAT INDICATES A WRONG ANSWER.
JENNIFER: Alright. Alright Jack, where's Vern?
JACK: Vern is working with Corned on a transit piece. I'm actually rather busy myself.
JENNIFER: Jack what happened? What made you change your mind?
JACK: Nothing, nothing. I.... never said I was going to go on Ask Dr. Love.
JENNIFER: But they chose us for the show. They chose us to be on it Jack.
JACK: I do not enjoy talking about my private life especially on national television.
JENNIFER: Alright, but that's why I bought the game because we could practice and get comfortable. Come on, just do it for me, okay.
JACK: Not until you tell me why something that's so entirely against every fiber of my being is so important to you.
SHE HANDS HIM A BOOK WITH A PICTURE OF THE AUTHOR ON THE BACK.
JACK: He's a funny looking guy with a beard and glasses.
JENNIFER: He's not a funny looking guy. His name is Dr. Bernard Zaks and he is a very famous child psychologist Jack.
JENNIFER: So he says that children of anti-social emotionally closed off parents, especially fathers, are found to be depressed, withdrawn and unable to interact with others. So now do you see, now do you see why I think it's so important you do this?
JACK: Yes, you think that if I go on a television show and make a total fool of myself, it'll help the child.
JENNIFER: No, not me, Dr. Zaks.
JACK: Oh this is ridiculous.
JENNIFER: Oh, Jack.
VERN: Hey you guys started playing the game yet?
JENNIFER: Ah, we were just about to Vern.
VERN: Hey, you mind if I join, huh?
JACK: Well don't look at me. I'm busy working.
JENNIFER: Come on Jack, just one game.
JACK: Alright, let's make a deal. If you leave me to my work, I'll play with you later.
JENNIFER: Jo's coming over tonight.
JACK: This afternoon.
JENNIFER: I'm getting my hair cut this afternoon Jack.
JACK: I'll.... I'll play with Vern.... this afternoon.
JENNIFER: Really? You promise?
JACK: Yeah, I promise.
JENNIFER: Will you hold him to it?
VERN: Oh sure thing Jenny girl, sure thing.
JENNIFER: I'm going to come back and check. You better be playing with Vern when I get back.
SHE KISSES HIS CHEEK AND WALKS OUT.
VERN: Okay, let's see what we've got here. Hey look at this. Just like on TV.
VERN PICKS UP A SMALL CARDBOARD CUT-OUT OF DR. LOVE THAT CAME WITH THE GAME.
JACK: Yeah that's right, just like on TV.
VERN: What, what are you doing?
JACK: But this.... is just like real life.
JACK PICKS UP A PAIR OF SCISSORS AND CUTS OFF THE HAIR ON THE CARDBOARD FIGURE. HE THEN STARTS TO WALK AWAY.
VERN: Okay, where are you going?
JACK: I'm going back to work Vern.
VERN: Hey listen, you promised Jennifer you'd play the game.
JACK RELUCTANTLY AGREES TO PLAY WITH VERN.
VERN: Maybe this will be an easier one.
VERN PICKS UP A QUESTION CARD.
VERN: Describe your perfect woman.
JACK TAKES THE CARD FROM HIM.
VERN: Alright, we'll try another one.
JACK: You're stranded on a desert island....
JACK TAKES THAT CARD TOO.
VERN: Hey, come on Jack, we'll get one.
JACK: THAT'S IT, THAT'S IT.
JACK: enough questions already.
VERN: What's the matter with you? It's just a game.
JACK: It's not just a game. It's an invasion of privacy.
VERN: Oh come on. I know how you feel about expressing yourself but hey there are no right and wrong answers to these questions.
JACK: No, there's only good and bad.
VERN: Is that it? I mean you don't want your feelings judged?
JACK: That's very good Vern. Go to the head of the class.
VERN: Oh you're afraid of what people might learn about you?
JACK: I never said that.
VERN: Oh come on Jack. You don't have to scared or ashamed. I mean basically you're a decent person. Whatever comes out they'll be good feelings.
JACK: You know the last time I checked this wasn't therapy and you're not my counselor. So why don't we drop all of this including the inner child stuff. But while we're on the subject of good, if I'm so good, why do you keep jumping on me? All I'm trying to do is convince our owners/bankers that we can make a few changes for the good of the newspaper.
VERN: Alright, I admit I don't like some of your choices, most of them. But I mean you know, outside of those trashy headlines, I think that you've come a long way.
JACK: Well maybe those trashy headlines express who I am.
VERN: I don't think so.JACK: Well I do. And who knows, if I go on that TV show maybe I'll be able to show that to the whole world.
SCENE FOUR: A SHORT TIME LATER, VERN CONTINUES TRYING TO GET JACK TO PLAY THE GAME.
VERN: Oh come on Jack, first question alright?
JACK: Alright.... alright.
BRIAN: Hey pop.
VERN: Hey Brian, you're early. Hey listen give me just a few minutes. I got to finish up with Jack here.
BRIAN: That's fine. Take your time. I'm really not that hungry.
JACK IS INTERESTED IN THE FAMILIARITY BETWEEN VERN AND BRIAN. HE LOOKS ENVIOUS.
VERN: Hey you're not going to believe this but Jack and Jennifer are going on the Ask Dr. Love show. BRIAN: Really, that's.... great.
VERN: I thought you liked that show.
BRIAN: Well yeah, I watch it once in a while.
VERN: Well we're working on the home version getting Jack ready for the big day.
BRIAN: Well don't let me get in your way. I'll just go sit up here.
VERN: Okay. Alright, how do you feel when you've been rejected by a woman you're involved with?
JACK: I don't know. It's never happened.
VERN: Oh come on Jack, be serious. Now, let's try it again. How do you feel when you're rejected by a woman you're involved....
BRIAN: You feel like your insides have been ripped open when you let someone get close and they walk all over you.
VERN: Now that's an answer. I mean it was honest and heartfelt and right from the gut. Okay, let's try another one. In your opinion, what are the most important elements of a relationship?
JACK IS ABOUT TO ANSWER WHEN BRIAN BUTTS IN AGAIN.
BRIAN: Honesty and trust. Without those you have nothing.
JACK: I thought that was my question.
BRIAN: When somebody gets close to you and you find out that it's all lies. Nothing kills a relationship faster than lies.
VERN: Okay, another good answer from Brian. Alright, let's give Jack a chance here.
VERN: Is it more acceptable for a woman to cry than a man?
JACK: No.... yes.... yes.
BRIAN STANDS UP.
BRIAN: A man can be hurt just as much as a woman can and he has to express his feelings and open up. It's definitely okay for a man to cry.
AT THAT MOMENT JENNIFER COMES IN AND SHE WALKS OVER AND PRESSES THE APPLAUSE BUTTON. THEY ALL TURN TO LOOK AT HER.
SCENE FIVE: JENNIFER HAS JUST RETURNED, AND IS IMPRESSED WITH BRIAN'S ANSWER.
JENNIFER: I think that was a wonderful answer, Brian. Don't you Jack?
JACK: Well I mean if I'd been given a chance perhaps I....
VERN: Never mind Jack. You'll never be that good. You're the best son. You know you're so good that perhaps you should go on the Ask Dr. Love show instead of Jack.
JENNIFER: You know something, that's not such a bad idea, Vern.
JACK SPINS ROUND TO GLARE AT JENNIFER. HE JUMPS UP AND TAKES HER ASIDE.
JACK: You want Brian Scofield to be on that show with you?
MEANWHILE BRIAN IS TALKING TO VERN.
BRIAN: You know, I've had enough of this. I don't want to be caught in the middle of all this.
JACK DOES NOT LIKE THAT COMMENT AND HE TELLS JENNIFER.
JACK: Of all the nerve. This is my.... that is my game. I'm the one who's asked on that show. If anybody's going to be on that show with you its going to be me.
JENNIFER: Well Jack, he had all the good answers. He's the one who should be on.
JACK: What do you mean? I didn't have a chance. Jennifer, wait a minute.... listen.
JENNIFER: Well we should give him a chance. He's know all the right answers.
JACK: Give me a chance. You give me a chance.
THEY WALK OFF ARGUING AND THEY ARE STILL ARGUING AS THEY COME OUTSIDE.
JACK: Alright, alright, I will go on Ask Dr. Love with you but don't think for a second that I don't know what you were up to back there.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about Jack?
JACK: Listen I read ahead on that book of yours about that child psychology. There's a chapter there that says reverse psychology works very good. It's a clever way to make people do what you want.
JENNIFER: Now Jack, I....
JACK: No, no, no, don't worry. I know you would never humiliate yourself on national television without me.
JENNIFER: You're right, we have to humiliate each other.
[THEY BOTH SMILE AS IF IT IS REALLY MATTHEW AND MELISSA THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.]
JENNIFER: I'm just kidding. We'll be fine.
JACK: Yeah, right.
JENNIFER: We'll be great.
JACK: Why do you scare me?
THEY KISS AGAIN.