01x20 - Fortysomething

Act One.

Scene One: The Frasier Crane Show.
Frasier is at his console.

Frasier: [on-air] Hello, Rachel. I'm listening.
Rachel: [v.o.] Oh, thanks for taking my call, Dr. Crane. Um, I'm
involved in sort of a strange love triangle.
Frasier: [off-air, to Roz] Oh goody, this is sweeps week! [on-air]
Rachel: You see, I recently married a widower. Now, Phil's a real
good man, he's a kind man. But there's just one little
problem. He insists on keeping an urn with his late wife's
ashes on the dresser in our bedroom.
Frasier: That is a definite “Yikes.”
Rachel: See, I knew that wasn't normal. He says it is, but I knew
it wasn't!
Frasier: All right, Rachel, Rachel, now listen. Before you go off
half-cocked, let's try to remember this is a very sensitive
issue for your husband. Obviously those ashes mean a very
great deal to him. And although I don't believe it's
appropriate that he keep them in the bedroom, I suppose you
could maybe move them to another room?
Rachel: Well, I guess I could try that. Maybe I'll move them into
the guest room. [sound of crockery breaking] Oops.
Frasier: Rachel, what happened?
Rachel: Oh... oh, nothing. I gotta run, Dr. Crane. I've got some
vacuuming to do.

The line goes dead.

Frasier: Well, as Rachel helps Phil's wife off the floor, we have
reached the end of our second hour. Now, we'll be right back
after the news, so please join me again, Frasier Crane and my
invaluable producer... ah... [ohmygod, what's her name? It's,
it's...]
Roz: ROZ!
Frasier: Roz! KACL Talk radio, 780 AM.

He goes off the air, and goes into Roz's area.

Frasier: Roz, I'm so sorry. Your name was right there in front of me
and I just couldn't put my finger on it.
Roz: Oh, forget about it. I already have.
Frasier: Well, it's been happening to me a lot lately. Last night I
walked into the kitchen and I just stood there. I couldn't
remember what I'd gone in there for.
Roz: Don't make yourself crazy over it, it's completely normal.
Oh, by the way, you hair stylist called to confirm your
appointment.
Frasier: I made an appointment with Timo? I don't remember that.
Roz: That's 'cause you didn't, I was just gas-lighting you.
Frasier: That is not funny!
Roz: Oh, lighten up. Here, sign these. [hand him some forms] So
aren't you gonna say it, or are you going to make me wait 'til
the end of the day?
Frasier: Say what?
Roz: Happy birthday.
Frasier: It is not your birthday. [sees her stricken face] Oh, God.
Oh God, it is. Oh, oh Roz, I'm so sorry! Let me take you
out to lunch after work, okay?
Roz: [laughing] You are so easy!
Frasier: That's it. I'm outta here! [exits into corridor]
Roz: Hey, wait, wait, wait. Aren't you forgetting something?
Frasier: No, I am not forgetting anything, thank you, Roz.

He walks away.

Roz: Okay. Well, can't blame a girl for trying. Five, four,
three...

Frasier rushes back to his console.

Roz: Two...
Frasier: [on air] We're back.

FADE OUT

THE SHORT BLONDE MAN
WITH ONE WET SHOE

Scene Two: Frasier's apartment.
Martin and Niles are playing Canasta. Eddie is worrying Niles's shoe.

Niles: Ten.
Martin: Fifteen-two.
Niles: No! [then] Dad, would you ask your dog to stop burrowing
at my shoes? I'll have you know I had to wait six months
to have these shipped for a little blind cobbler in Seville.
Martin: He won't stop until you scratch him behind the ear.
Niles: Oh, all right Eddie, all right.

He wraps a finger in his handkerchief and scratches Eddie's ear.
Eddie runs off, contented.

Niles: You know, I'm beginning to this I have an affinity towards
animals.

He goes to throw the handkerchief away. Frasier enters from his bedroom.

Frasier: Would either of you mind if I noodled at the piano for a bit?
Niles: Would it really stop you if we said “Yes?”
Frasier: Point well taken.

He sits at the piano and starts to play, but loses the tune at around
the sixth bar.

Frasier: That's strange. For the life of me, I can't remember what the
next note is. [tries again, but stumbles at the same point] I
know this piece backwards and forwards.
Niles: Perhaps if you start at the end you'll have better luck.

Frasier tries again, but is still stuck.

Martin: Oh, come on Frasier. You know how it goes. It goes, “da dada
da da, da dada...”
Frasier: Oh, thank you dad. Now it's perfectly clear. [tries once
more, then gives up in disgust]
Martin: That was very nice, son. Now how about something from “South
Pacific?”
Frasier: I'm sorry. Just getting fed up with this nonsense. I'm
forgetting names all the time. You know, last week, twice
I forgot where I parked my car.
Martin: Join the club, pal. You're getting older.
Frasier: Oh, well of course I'm getting older. We're all getting
older. But I'm not that old.
Niles: Oh, I'm afraid dad may have a point. I know you'd like to
believe we're still the same devilish sprigs we always were.
Sitting on mother's davenport in our tweeds and tans, listening
to the Texaco symphonic hour. The cold-hearted reality is,
you're middle-aged.
Frasier: Niles, I'm forty-one. That's hardly middle-aged. Middle age
is more like fifty, fifty-five.
Niles: Only if you live to be one hundred and ten.

Daphne enters from bedroom, putting on her coat.

Daphne: I'm all ready to go, Dr. Crane.
Frasier: Niles, where are you two off to?
Niles: I'm giving Daphne a lift.
Daphne: I'm meeting some of my girlfriends for darts and a couple of
pints. Oh, it's best to do it in that order. Just ask Blind
Willie, the bartender.
Frasier: Listen Daphne, before you go, I'd like to ask you a little
question here. When you look at me, um, do you see me as a
young man, or as an older man?
Daphne: Oh, no. No, you don't. You're not getting me into that
Vietnam. I learned a long time ago there are three questions
you never answer honestly. “How old do I look?” “Do you like
my hair?” and “Was it good for you too?” [to Niles] Coming,
Dr. Crane? ...Dr. Crane?
Niles: I'm sorry, I was someplace else. [to Frasier] It was a warm
and friendly place.

He and Daphne leave.

Frasier: Big surprise, I got a headache. Let me get an aspirin. The
very suggestion that I'm descending into old age just because
I can't remember a couple of names, or a tune on the piano.

He takes a medicine bottle out of the cupboard, but has trouble
reading the label.

Martin: Your arm's not quite long enough for that, is it? Let me ask
you a few questions. Can you get through the night without
getting up to go to the john? Can you get in and out of a
chair without going “Mmmm?” Can you eat a slice of pizza less
than twelve hours before you go to bed?
Frasier: [after a beat] What's on the pizza?
Martin: A-ha. I thought so. Alright, well now we've established
you're middle-aged. Take some advice: don't fight it, it'll
go a lot easier.
Frasier: Good lord, dad, what are you suggesting? I'm gonna rush off
to a plastic surgeon to get an eye lift and a chin tuck?
[examines his face in a silver plate] Oh, dear god!
Martin: [looking in family album] I'm just telling you, when guys get
to this stage they do some squirrelly things that they never
would have done when they were younger.
Frasier: Dad, please spare me, I am a psychiatrist, I know the routine.
[notices the photograph Martin is pointing to] Good lord, who
is that?
Martin: That's me. In '74. Going through my own little stage. I'd
dyed my hair jet black and bought a leather jacket and a
Harley Davidson.
Frasier: My God, dad. You look like one of the Village People.
Martin: Well, fortunately I came to my senses before you got back from
Harvard that summer.
Frasier: Are those love beads?
Martin: All right, that's enough. Just do me a favour, will ya? Keep
your guard up, and don't do something stupid, all right?
Frasier: Okay, dad.
Martin: You may think it's tough being middle-aged, but think about
me. I got a son who's middle-aged.

He exits to his bedroom as Frasier settles onto the couch.

Frasier: Ahhhh...
Martin: [o.s.] I heard that!

End Of Act One.

Act Two.

IT'S THIS OR AN ALFA ROMEO

Scene One: Department store, gents casual.
Frasier and Martin enter.

Martin: Say, didn't this used to be Pinski's department store?
Frasier: I have no idea.
Martin: Sure it was. we used to bring you kids here all the time.
Man, it was a great store. You could buy lingerie, a bag of
popcorn and transmission fluid, all under the same roof.
Frasier: Finally, something I'm glad I forgot.

Daphne enters.

Daphne: Well, Mr. Crane, I believe I came here on a mission.
Martin: Alright, but remember, I don't want anything fancy or that
comes in tubes. I want them white, I want them plain, and
I want them boxers.
Daphne: That's the exactly the kind of lack of imagination that sunk
the British Empire.

She goes off to look at underwear.

Martin: Hey, Frasier. Check out these dress pants. They got elastic
panels in the waist. You could eat all you want, and never
worry about cutting off your circulation.
Frasier: Milan must be beside itself. What an innovative use of
synthetic fibres. I believe if you recycle these, you can
turn them into milk containers.
Martin: Are you gonna get them or not?
Frasier: You brought these over for me?!
Martin: Hey, the sands of time are shifting, buddy - mostly south!
Listen, if you don't want to go with elastic, maybe you could
go with suspenders. That way, if you keep your jacket closed,
that little gut of yours can hang down to here and nobody’s
any the wiser.
Frasier: I do not have a gut! [looks at himself sideways in the mirror]
I have... contours.

A salesgirl (Carrie) comes over.

Carrie: Excuse me. I was wondering if anyone was helping you?
Martin: [seeing Daphne] Oh, no. She's looking at something with
stripes! [goes over] Daphne! Daphne, get away from there!
Carrie: [to Frasier, indicating elastic pants] You're not thinking
of getting those, are you?
Frasier: Oh, no.
Carrie: I have something much better over here. [gets another pair]
What do you think of these? They don't do much on the hanger
but, they could really work on a nice, tall guy like you.
Frasier: Oh, you really think so?
Carrie: Yeah. You've got a great build.
Frasier: Oh, well. Thank you very much, ah...?
Carrie: Carrie.
Frasier: Ah, Carrie.
Carrie: Let's see what we can get working here. Um, [picks up sweater]
This is kind of a young look, but you could really pull it off.
Frasier: ...I don't really think it's me.
Carrie: Are you sure? I think this would look really good on you.
Frasier: Well, I suppose I could try it on. But you know, just out of
curiosity, how old do you think I am?
Carrie: Oh, I don't want to do that.
Frasier: No, no, no, please go ahead.
Carrie: I don't know. Um... thirty-six?
Frasier: Are you serious?
Carrie: Oh, God. I'm sorry. You're probably more like thirty-four.
Now you don't want to buy anything from me.
Frasier: Are those Armani shirts expensive?
Carrie: Yeah.
Frasier: I'll take two!
Carrie: Great! Changing room's right this way. You know, I love to
guess what my customers do by what they wear. Let me guess.
You're an architect, right?
Frasier: No, I'm a psychiatrist.
Carrie: Oh. I've taken some psychiatry courses. What are you,
Freudian? Reichian?
Frasier: Well actually, lately I've been leaning more towards Jung.
Guess that's because I'm “Jung at heart.”

They both laugh.

[N.B. This episode was apparently written before the establishment of
the Freud/Jung rivalry between Frasier and Niles.]

Frasier: Gotta be the oldest joke in the psychiatrist's joke book.
Can't believe I said it. [goes into changing booth]
Carrie: I can't believe I laughed at that.
Frasier: I bet you laugh at all of your customer’s jokes.
Carrie: No. Just the cute ones.
Frasier: ...Cute jokes or customers?
Carrie: You figure it out. [leaves]

Time lapse.

Carrie points Martin to Frasier's changing booth. He goes over.

Martin: Hey, you about ready?
Frasier: Oh, just a second, dad, I'm trying on a pair of pants. Hey,
did you notice that girl who came over and asked to help us
earlier?
Martin: Sure I noticed her. I'm not dead.
Frasier: Well you know, we just had a little conversation a minute ago
and uh, I could swear she was flirting with me.
Martin: [taking a good look at Carrie] Trust me son, she's on
commission.
Frasier: Oh no, I know a sales pitch when I hear one, and that was no
sales pitch. She's definitely interested in me. Think I may
have to see where this may lead.
Martin: I know you're forgetting things lately, but don't you remember
the little talk we had last night?
Frasier: [realizing] Oh, dear. It sneaks right up on you, doesn't it?
What am I thinking about? A forty-one year-old man going out
with a girl that's twenty-two, twenty-three?
Martin: Yeah. Young enough to be your daughter.
Frasier: Yes, thank you for pointing that out, dad.

FADE TO:

Scene Two: KACL radio station.
Frasier is doing his show.

Frasier: [on air] This is Dr Frasier Crane, KACL 780 talk radio,
thanking you for joining us today. Up next, Bob “Bulldog”
Briscoe and the “Gonzo Sports Show.” Until tomorrow, here's
wishing you good mental health. [off air]

Bulldog enters with his effects trolley.

Bulldog: Hey, doc. Hear the great news? Ken Griffey Junior's groin
pull is completely healed.
Frasier: Thank goodness. I'm sure years from now we'll all remember
where we were the moment we heard the joyful news.

Carrie enters, carrying a garment bag.

Carrie: Excuse me, Dr. Crane?
Frasier: Hi, Carrie.
Carrie: Hi. I have your pants.
Bulldog: Whoa, doc! [honks horn] Where'd you leave them?
Frasier: They're new, Bulldog. Some of the finer department stores
deliver garments to their busier customers.
Carrie: Actually, we don't. I just thought it would be nice to see
you again.
Bulldog: [to Carrie] Excuse me. You look very familiar. Didn't I let
you pour a flaming tequila shooter down my throat at Sloppy
Nick’s during ah, last year’s Indy 500?
Carrie: Ah, no.
Bulldog: Well, what are you doing next Memorial Day?
Frasier: Bulldog, as certain as I am that any young lady in the world
would love to set your face on fire, Carrie, I believe, is
here to see me.
Bulldog: Okay. Hey, you can't blame a dog for trying. [going into Roz's
booth] Just on the off chance it might make a difference, I ah,
drive a '94 Camaro.

He exits.

Carrie: Is he gay? [Frasier looks at her, surprised] Well, I've been
studying about this in school, and it seems like he's really
overcompensating.
Frasier: Yes, well, I'm not sure. [smiles] But I certainly look forward
to running that theory by him. Well um, thank you for the
pants, Carrie, and uh, do I owe you anything?
Carrie: Oh, no. I really enjoyed meeting you yesterday, and it seemed
like we had a few laughs together and, maybe we could, you
know, go out and have a cup of coffee sometime?
Frasier: I'm very flattered that you'd like to go out with me, and uh,
jeez, I think you're a beautiful young woman..
Carrie: But?
Frasier: Well it's, it's our ages. I mean, how old are you?
Carrie: Twenty-two. How old are you?
Frasier: That's not polite. I just don't think it would be appropriate
for us to date.
Carrie: How about we just live together? [then] I'm just trying to
lighten an uncomfortable moment.
Frasier: Right. Ha-ha. Well done.
Carrie: Well, I'm sorry. But if you change your mind you know where I
am. Enjoy your pants.
Frasier: Same to you.

Carrie leaves. Bulldog comes back.

Bulldog: I only got a second here, but... [raps on Frasier's forehead,
hard] HELLO? ANYONE THERE? [Roz enters] She wanted to go out
with you. You didn't have to chase her. You didn't have to
harass her. You didn't have to pay her! It was like, a
miracle.
Frasier: She's too young.
Bulldog: [to Roz] Are you following any of this?
Frasier: I don't expect you to understand.
Bulldog: Great. 'Cause I don't. So you're not going out with her?
Frasier: No, I'm not.
Bulldog: Good. I'm going to see if I can catch up with her at the
elevator. Maybe she's never dated a former professional
hockey player before.
Frasier: You never played hockey.
Bulldog: [bewildered] It's like we're from different planets! [exits]
Roz: Talk about pathetic.
Frasier: Yes, isn't he though?
Roz: I meant you.
Frasier: Me? What, are you saying I should go out with her?
Roz: Frasier, take it from me. It's hard enough to find somebody.
So when an opportunity like this comes along, you gotta grab
it.
Frasier: Roz, what about the age thing?
Roz: Well, what about it?
Frasier: Oh, come on! You see an old man walking down the street arm
in arm with a beautiful young girl, what do you think?
Roz: I think he must be really rich. Then I try to make eye
contact.


FADE TO:

STANLEY BARRISTER MUST
BE REALLY, REALLY RICH

Scene Three: Cafe Nervosa.
Niles joins Frasier.

Niles: There you are, Frasier. I'm so glad you called me.
Frasier: Well, thanks for coming, Niles.
Niles: Some of Maris's friends introduced me to the most delightful
party game last night. I can't wait to share it with you.
Frasier: Well Niles, I'd really like to talk...
Niles: No, no. Shh. This first, it's a hoot. If you were stranded
on a desert island with one meal, one aria, and one bottle of
wine, what would they be?
Frasier: Niles, I really don't...
Niles: Frasier, please.
Frasier: Okay... A Big Mac, “I'm your Venus,” and Ripple.
Niles: ...If you're going to mock the game, then don't play.
Frasier: Gladly.
Niles: Are you still crabbed up about this middle-aged business?
Frasier: No. No-no-no, I'm fine there. By the way, you were
absolutely right, Niles.
Niles: Ooh! I love to hear you say that.
Frasier: Yes. But I do have a problem. You see, the other day I was
asked out by a... this twenty-two year old girl that I met in
a mall.
Niles: That is alarming.
Frasier: Well, I turned her down.
Niles: No no, you were in a mall. Did anyone see you?
Frasier: Niles! No, I'm just wondering if I made the right decision.
You see, I would, I would love to go out with this girl.
She's fantastic. I’m just afraid of looking like some old
fool chasing after a young girl. Becoming a walking mid-life
crisis cliché. Running around like that buffoon Stanley
Barrister.

Touched off, they start talking over each other.

Niles: Oh, Stanley Barrister. That is embarrassing, isn't it?
Frasier: Oh, is that not beyond the pale? I mean, that girl - how old
can she be?
Niles: Twenty-one, if she's a day.
Frasier: I saw them, it was last Tuesday night, together.
Niles: Well, and I saw them together Wednesday morning.

They stop as they realize.

Both: Eww!
Niles: That's disgusting.
Frasier: That's what's so frightening. Well, this is what I'm afraid
of. People will have the same conversation about me.
Niles: Stanley Barrister is a sixty-year-old man who wears a toupee
that looks like something he pulled out of a shower drain.
You are forty-one, and obviously not wearing a toupee.
Frasier: Thank you, Niles. So you think it would be okay to go out
with this woman?
Niles: Doesn't matter what I think.
Frasier: Well, it does to me. You're my brother, I value your opinion.
Niles: My opinion isn't relevant.
Frasier: Don't be coy, Niles. And will you please stop pursing your
lips? It makes you look like one of those old women they
carve out of dried apples.
Niles: [purses his lips once more, then] Don't you see? What I think
about you dating a younger woman is immaterial. What we think
about Stanley Barrister is immaterial. The only thing that
matters is what you think. Ask yourself, if you went out with
her, would you be doing it because you were running away from
your age, or because you think this has the potential of
becoming a meaningful relationship?
Frasier: I don't know.
Niles: Find out. And then to hell with what people think.
Frasier: Niles, you are absolutely right.
Niles: Oh! There it is again, I never tire of hearing that. Let the
tongues of the doubting nabobs wag. If it feels right, make
yourself happy.
Frasier: Thank you, thank you. [gets up] Oh, by the way Niles, if you
were stranded on a desert island, what would you choose as
your favorite meal, aria and wine?
Niles: The Coulibiliac of salmon at Guy Savoy, “Vissi d’Arte” from
Tosca, and the [Coutre Roune Château] Neuf du Pape '47.
Frasier: You are SO predictable.

He walks out, leaving Niles gobsmacked.

FADE TO:

I WONDER IF THAT ALFA ROMEO
SHOWROOM IS STILL OPEN?

Scene Four: The Department Store.
Carrie is sorting some sweaters when Frasier comes in.

Frasier: Carrie, hi.
Carrie: Hi. I didn't expect to see you here.
Frasier: Well um, I could lie to you and tell you I came here to shop,
but actually I came here to see you.
Carrie: That's great. I've been thinking about you a lot.
Frasier: Well, I've been thinking a lot about you too, and I just
wanted to chat a little bit about why I thought we shouldn't
go out.
Carrie: Okay.
Frasier: Well, you see, I thought I was going through a phase. You
know, well, a mid-life crisis to be frank. And ah, I was
afraid if I went out with you I would be trying to recapture
my youth or something.
Carrie: Oh my God. I can't believe you're saying this. I was afraid
that I asked you out only because I was trying to work out
some stuff of my own. You know, some unresolved issues about
my father or something.
Frasier: Oh no, no. Because I went back and forth, you know? I felt
like a fool, and then I didn't...
Carrie: Me, too. Back and forth.
Frasier: And then I thought maybe you just came along because, to fill
some sort of a need or something.
Carrie: Or, or maybe this could be something serious.
Frasier: Exactly. So... well. All right, I asked myself a few tough
questions..
Carrie: Me too.
Frasier: And well, I finally came to a decision.
Carrie: Me too. I think us going out would have been really stupid.
Frasier: [forced enthusiasm] Me too!
Carrie: It would have completely clouded things with my father, and
you and I would never have been on a very firm footing. But
you knew all that. You could have told me, but you just let
me figure it out for myself.
Frasier: Yes, I'm sort of like the Wizard of Oz.
Carrie: It's no wonder everybody listens to your radio show. You're
so smart.
Frasier: ...Actually, I am full of crap. I had no idea that you
might have been grappling with some personal issues here.
Some psychiatrist, huh? The truth is, I came down here to
talk you into going out with me. I guess it's still a
pretty bad idea.
Carrie: You're being so honest with me... that is such an attractive
quality in a man. [she hugs him]
Frasier: ...Well, you know, let's not go down that road again.
Carrie: Okay.
Frasier: See you around.

Carrie turns back to her work. As Frasier leaves, he punches
a mannequin with great force. She looks around at the noise, but
he’s already gone.

End Of Act Two.

Credits:

Daphne is folding Martin's boring white laundry as Eddie watches.
With a flourish, she pulls a pair of striped boxers from a bag.