All the Wrong Reasons

FIVE KNUCKLE PRODUCTIONS

Reuben J. Strayer

April 2002

 

Scene 1

 

White screen. Music starts [Everloving by Moby]  and plays for 10-20 seconds without video. At appropriate time the scene slowly fades in, replacing the white.

 

(Mid Afternoon)  With all the pomp and circumstance that is medical school graduation, the distorted voice of the dean can be heard, through the reverberating loud speakers above the crowd of nervous and excited family and friends.   As the camera pans across the crowd, the campus police (4 of them) are marching down a hall toward the graduation and then move meticulously through the audience looking for Richard.  The scene switches between the crowd and the campus police as the dean is heard speaking intermittently.

 

Dean Whitlow

speaking slowly and clearly

Welcome parents, friends, and assorted admirers. We are here because the 196 men and women before you have with their limitless dedication and effort over the past four years earned the right to call themselves ...... physicians. They came here with the dream to serve those in need, to heal the sick, to wrestle health from the hands of death and disease. With their sites set on the oath of Hippocrates...

 

The campus police grab Richard and throw him to the ground. Mayhem ensues, and they cuff him and take him off as the astounded crowd looks on.  In the middle of it all Richard looks at the camera and the scene is frozen - he then starts to narrate. This narration is done all together with no breaks, and the scenes change accordingly.

 

Richard Cartwright

You can take any given situation and trace the path you took to get there. I mean, there are things that happen, but then there are the reasons that things happen.

 

Cut to earlier in the day: Richard and Taylor sitting proudly during the preliminary graduation activities.

 

Richard

Look at me.  I was 23 minutes and 51 seconds from graduating from medical school, the crown jewel of graduate education. 

 

Cut to Richard being dragged down a long hall by several policemen, with Richard still narrating. You can tell by the way the cops mouths are moving, they are yelling at him.

 

Richard

23 minutes and 51 seconds away from giving my parents reason to go to dinner parties, long after they’ve ended up hating each other.

 

Scene changes to a dinner party, with middle-aged people milling around a punch bowl obviously chatting and laughing at an older man with the sweetest comb-over anyone has ever seen.

 

Richard

You know what I mean.  Everything they wanted for themselves but never achieved is played out again and again around the punch bowl with their so-called friends.

 

Cut to scene of Mr. Cartwright in cubicle, pushing papers.

 

They get to work at nine and wait for the clock to hit five...

 

Cut to scene of Mr. Cartwright on his knees, kissing a banker's ass.

 

They kiss ass and jump through the appropriate hoops,

 

Cut back to punch bowl.

 

To create for themselves a piece of themselves who is a doctor...a physician.  A piece of themselves who will serve those in need, heal the sick, wrestle health from the hands of death and disease but most of all save me from the thought that I'm an old man with a miserable job, a failing marriage, and a garden of unplanted dreams.

 

Cut to dark smoky room with same middle aged people playing poker around a poker table. Music changes to saxophone jazz.

 

Middle age becomes some sick competition between bored parents.

 

Close up of Ms. Beck putting down three of a kind.

 

Cut back to punch bowl.

 

Ms. Beck

smiling contentedly

Jack is about to start his final year of business school.

 

The group of middle agers hoo and haw in approval.

 

Cut back to poker game, Mr. Johnson puts down four of a kind and a pair.

 

Mr. Johnson

Holly is about to graduate from law school. She's leaning toward contracts and grants, but we’re trying to encourage her to pursue corporate law.

 

Richard Cartwright

Law school. I question the motives of many of my medical school colleagues but law school is a different story altogether. I mean does anyone really want to practice law?

 

Cut to Ethan in the middle of a law school interview / music dies down to a whisper.

 

Law school interviewer

Well, Ethan I see you took the MCAT and the LSAT.

 

Interviewer pauses and looks at Ethan with suspicion, inwardly questioning the authenticity of the applicant before him. Ethan does not seem the least bit uncomfortable with this scrutiny.

 

Why do you want to go to law school?

 

Ethan

Well I'm about to graduate from college, and I need to make at least as much money as my dad, and I have no marketable skills, and, well, by process of elimination it's either law school or med school. And law school is only three years...

 

Cut back to poker game, Mr. Cartwright puts down a straight flush.

 

Mr. Cartwright

Richard was recently accepted into medical school.

 

Cut back to punch bowl. At this the crowd of middle aged parents, though they are insanely jealous, can not hide their enthusiasm. They are very impressed.

 

Richard

without stressing the curse words

Anyway, the straight flush is your child in medical school. Parent of the fucking year.

 

Cut back to poker scene. Richard enters and sits down as Mr. Cartwright slowly collects all the money in the pot. The adults don't see him. Richard is narrating - not talking.

 

Now, I know what you’re thinking: if you could see through your parents' bullshit then why go? Well, we all have our reasons...

 

Scene 2

 

Black screen with recognizable 1970s song playing [eg Give Me One More Chance by the Jackson Five] for 5-10 seconds. Cut to spartan hallway in a professional building. Camera shows young Richard Cartright [7-10 years old] with mom, hair and makeup overdone with tight-fitting fashionable 70's habiliments. Richard is bouncing off the walls with mom attempting to control him enough to keep them moving forward toward a door with the prosaic shingle "Dr. J. MacDonald, Family Medicine."

 

Slow motion from the perspective of young Richard: Mom and Richard's hand turn doorknob and open the door and the camera slowly surveys the room. Closest to Richard and looking at him with a repulsive family reunion smile is an overweight middle aged woman with a fulminant viral upper respiratory infection.  The rest of the small waiting room is littered with sick kids and their exhausted parents, a couple of wheelchair-bound amputees and at least one person scratching a explosive rash on his face and neck. As the camera pans across the room, it incidentally passes by a prominently displayed hairy teratoma, encased in a clear plastic container and preserved in formalin.

 

Back to real time, still from Richard's viewpoint. Mom pulls Richard to the sliding glass window, which from Richard's perspective is too high to see anything but the two foot high afro of the receptionist on the other side. Mom slides open the glass door and grasps the clipboard, signs in, hands back the clipboard.

 

Receptionist

we hear but do not see

Have a seat, we'll call your name when Dr. Mack is ready to see you.

 

Receptionist leans over the divider to look at Richard. Wow is his afro huge. Gold chains, enormous collar, shirt unbuttoned to midabdomen, etc.

 

Receptionist

Wasssup Richie - gimme five little man.

 

Enormous hand comes to Richard, nearly covering the entire screen as it approaches from Richard’s POV. Cut to full-room view, Richard slaps receptionist’s hand.

 

Camera pans to normal view of room, Mom drags Richard to two empty seats next to overweight URI. They sit down, mom grabs a plastic-covered People magazine with some beautiful actress on the cover. Richard sits next to overweight URI who wipes her nose with her hand and then fondles Richard's head and cheeks.

 

Overweight URI

Oh you are just so cute!

 

Mom

Not looking up from her magazine

What do you say, Richard.

 

Richard

Thank you.

 

Back to Richard's view. He is looking around the room, observing the tired poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The camera shows Richard contemplating this sight - he is intrigued. Back and forth the camera goes, until it lands back on mom reading the magazine.

 

Mom

oblivious, reading magazine

That Goldie Hawn is such a doll.

 

she looks up, to the distance, daydreaming

 

I could have been actress.

 

She closes her eyes, plays with hair, obviously imagining fame and fortune. She is coming out of her reverie, and addresses Richard, smiling and thinking aloud.

 

Richard, I had to take my silly job because daddy is a postman. I'll bet Dr. Mack’s wife can do whatever she wants. I would have been an actress.

 

She is looking at Richard, nostalgic, thinking about the life that could have been.

 

Nurse

Richard Cartwright?

 

Mom gathers her belongings.  Richard takes another look at the overweight URI, who is still looking at him, snot coming out of one of her nostrils. She reaches out to touch Richard again and he shocks her by taking her hand in his own, caressing it in a paternal almost doctorly way.

 

Richard

He looks into her eyes with a maturity well beyond his years

Hope you feel better ma'am.

 

Overweight URI stares at him, touched and impressed.

 

Richard and mom follow nurse into the back hallway; nurse gives Richard a urine cup.

 

Nurse

smiling in that way only nurses can

Do you know how to use this, Richard?

 

Richard stares at the nurse, holding the cup, and is led to a bathroom. Camera cuts to floor level with the cup on the ground occupying most of the screen. Music changes to something rowdy and virile. Urine starts falling all around the cup, hitting the sides and a little actually filling the cup. Camera pans to a shot of the bathroom door and a nurse outside. Richard opens the door and emerges holding the cup, one quarter filled with urine and the entire exterior of the cup soaked in fluid, dripping onto the floor. The nurse puts on her biggest smile yet takes the disgusting cup with bare hands fully aware but not bothered that it’s covered in urine.

 

Cut to patient room #6, with Richard in tighties sitting on the examining table, making noises with his behind by sliding around on the paper. Mom is in a chair with another magazine. Dr. Mack walks in.

 

Dr. Mack

Good Morning! Hi, Julie.

Dr. Mack lets his gaze linger on Julie. He then puts on his fake child/excited face

Hey there-

Dr. Mack has forgotten the name of the patient, he glances down at the chart

Richard!!

 

Dr. Mack gives Richard a high five. Mom’s eyes light up when Dr. Mack walks in the room. Though he is one dorky doc, She gazes longingly at him.

 

Dr. Mack

So I hear you’ve got some belly pain, eh Richie?

 

Richard

Not really.

 

Mom

Yes you do honey.

 

Mom smiles at Dr. Mack.

 

Dr. Mack

Bragging to Mom while he performs an abdominal exam on Richard

You know I can tell what’s wrong with most kids just by smelling them.

 

Mom

Smitten, wishing she were getting examined

I know you can, Dr. Mack.

 

Silence as Dr. Mack fondles Richard while his head is turned mom, looking seductively at her. Mom is still seated but is so turned on she’s having trouble containing herself. More silence. Richard looks at the camera, wondering what’s going on.

 

Mom

Breathing heavily

You know it’s funny Dr. Mack. I haven’t been feeling so well myself lately.

 

Dr. Mack

Of course a good physician is concerned not only with his patients' health, but must always look after the well-being of family members.

 

Dr. Mack is now caressing Richard’s lips with his fingers as he continues to gaze at Mom.

 

mom

Still seated, staring at Dr. Mack, nearly panting

Yes I’m really in quite a bit of pain.

 

Dr. Mack

Perfectly straight-faced

Of course you are. I think you are going to need a very thorough physical examination. Luckily through that door we have a room specially equipped to handle patients in quite a bit of pain.

 

Mom walks into the next room and Dr. Mack follows, both of them utterly ignoring Richard. View of Richard sitting there, expressionless.

 

Dr. Mack

From the other room

So you have pain everywhere, do you?

 

Mom giggles.

 

Richard is looking around the room, and suddenly his gaze lands on Dr. Mack’s stethoscope on the counter. Music changes. He is mesmerized. He hops off the table and over to the stethoscope. He approaches it cautiously, with awe. He picks it up, handles it, looks at it from all angles.

 

Dr. Mack

From the other room

Do you have any tenderness here?

 

Mom giggles. Richard is momentarily distracted, and glances in the direction of the other room. He then notices the otoscope/ophthalmascope and walks over, amazed by these contraptions that heal. He examines the otoscope/ophthalmascope.

 

Dr. Mack

From the other room

I better examine that.

 

Mom giggles. Richard is again distracted, and begins walking toward the other room, but then notices the sphygmomanometer. He examines it with a very satisfied look on his face.

 

Dr. Mack

From the other room

We’re going to need to get you into a hospital gown.

 

Mom giggles with special vigor. Richard walks away from the sphygmomanometer and slowly approaches the door to the next room, which is partially open. Richard is now at the cusp of seeing through the aperture. As the room comes into view, the volume of the music increases and he sees Dr. Mack standing with his eyes closed and shirt unbuttoned, mom with shirt hiked up making her way down Dr. Mack’s bared chest with her mouth.

 

Cut to black,  music continuing.

 

 

SCENE 3

 

 

Scene opens in the kitchen of the Cartwright’s lower middle class home.  There was recently a going-away party, and the walls are adorned with posters that say “GOOD LUCK DOC” “WE LOVE YOU, DR. RICHARD” etc. Ms. Cartwright’s (somewhat older looking than in the previous scene) mascara is running from her crying.

 

mom

sobbing

Oh Richie, we’re so proud of you.

 

Mom gives Richard a big hug.

 

Richard

Thanks, mom.

 

Mom won’t release her bear hug. She’s crying.

 

richard

I’m, uh, real proud of myself, too.

 

Mom is still hugging Richard, crying, she uncaps a medicine bottle in the midst of her embrace and pops a few pills.

 

mom

Your father doesn’t deserve a son like you, that rat bastard.

 

Richard

Used to being put in this position, still hugging mom

Pop’s not so bad, mom.

 

mom

Still embracing Richard, sobbing

Next time you talk to him tell him to go fuck himself.

 

Cut to mom in front door vestibule waving to Richard, who is pulling away in an overstuffed early eightees station wagon with wooden paneling, decorated with a hand-painted sign showing through the rear window that says MED SCHOOL OR BUST.

 

 

SCENE 4

 

Scene opens with Richard pulling into visitor parking lot. He gets out of the car and stretches, after what has been an obviously long journey. He looks around, smiling, obviously awed and excited by all that is the Southwestern campus. He is startled out of this much-anticipated moment by a voice right next to him.

 

cop

Stern

Excuse me, young man.

 

Richard wheels around.

 

Richard

Yes, sir?

 

COP

As he writes the ticket

You don’t have a student sticker.

 

Richard

Confused

A student sticker?

 

COP

He hands Richard the ticket

You need a student sticker to park in this lot.

 

Richard

But I just arrived from Oregon!

 

Cop

They have students in Oregon, too.

 

Richard

What?

 

COP

Don’t play stupid with me, young man. You can take care of that at the cashier.

 

Cop walks away. Richard stares at the ticket.

 

Cut to Richard walking in the courtyard toward the buildings. He has a stethoscope around his neck and is wearing a huge backpack overflowing with everything you don’t need on the first day of medical school. A sign on the courtyard says “Welcome First Year Medical Students” and has an arrow that points down the stairs. He stops and looks around the courtyard, taking in his new home as a stream of first year students file down the stairs. Richard walks down the stairs and just inside the door, on the way to the MS1 lecture hall, Taylor is handing out fliers. The other students grab one and walk by, but Richard takes one and stops to talk to Taylor even though Taylor doesn’t seem particularly interested in having a conversation at the moment. Richard looks at the flier.

 

Richard

A party! Cool.

 

Richard nods expectantly. Taylor looks at nodding Richard for a moment, then slowly nods in agreement.

There’s nothing better than a good party.

 

Richard nods expectantly, Taylor has no choice but to speak.

 

Taylor

Nothing better.

 

Richard

Cool. Will there be, um, alcohol?

 

Taylor

Alcohol isn’t allowed at University-affiliated events.

 

Richard looks confused.

 

Of course there will be alcohol. There’s no point in having a party without alcohol.

 

Richard

Cool.

 

Taylor

We’ll see you there.

 

Richard

Oh, I wouldn’t miss it.

 

Richard stands there nodding. Taylor looks at him with a bit of disgust.

 

Taylor

Terrific.

 

Taylor hands out the last flier and leaves Richard standing there nodding.  Cut to Richard walking into the first year auditorium, buzzing with eager students. He slowly walks to toward the first open seat, overwhelmed by what’s going on around him. He sees two students who just sat next to each other introducing themselves. Cut to two students’ conversation.

 

Socially Inept #1 (male)

Very eager, with a big smile, to student#2

Hi! I’m Mike.

 

Socially Inept #2 (female)

Equally excited, she extends her hand to student#1, who is never sure how to introduce himself to a girl

I’m Hilery.

 

Socially Inept #1

So where did you go to undergrad?

 

Socially Inept #2

Texas A&M, you?

 

Socially Inept #1

Texas Tech.

 

They nod at each other.

 

Socially Inept #2

Cool.

 

Socially Inept #1

Yeah……um, this is pretty exciting!!

 

Socially Inept #2

Laughing nervously, smiling

Yeah.

 

Cut back to Richard making his way to his seat. He sees two skinny spectacled asian dudes introducing themselves. Cut to two skinny asian dudes.

 

Skinny asian dude#1

Hi, I’m ching-tzeu-ki, but you can call me Bob.

 

skinny asian dude#2

Hi Bob, I’m Alan. Where are you from?

 

skinny asian dude#1

I went to Rice.

 

skinny asian dude#2

I went to Rice, too! What was your major?

 

skinny asian dude#1

Chemical engineering.

 

skinny asian dude#2

Me too! It’s strange that I never met you in class.

 

skinny asian dude#1

There are a lot of chemical engineers that look like me.

 

skinny asian dude#2

Yeah, I guess you’re right.

 

Cut back to Richard approaching his seat, scanning the room. He sees a guy dressed in rodeo gear sit next to a clean-cut girl prominently wearing a cross around her neck. Cut to these two.

 

cowboy

Takes off his Stetson hat to her. They do not shake hands.

Howdy. I’m Kyle.

 

biblethumper

Hello, I’m Mary. Blessed to meet you.

 

cowboy

A bit confused, not sure he heard her right

How ya’ doin.

 

Biblethumper

I’m blessed.

 

cowboy

Now realizing he heard her right

Is that right.

 

biblethumper

How are you?

 

cowboy

Better than a pig in shit. Where’d you go to school?

 

biblethumper

I was home-schooled.

cowboy

No, I mean college, where did you go to college?

 

biblethumper

At home.

 

Cowboy stares at her blankly. Cut to older student and younger student.

 

Younger student

Hi, how are you, I’m Chad.

 

older student

I’m an unconventional student.

 

younger student

Not expecting that response, pauses for a moment

I’m sorry about that.

 

Cut to Richard taking his seat. He puts his overstuffed backpack on the ground and takes out a dozen pencils, and takes some time lining them up on his desk. A voice comes from the row behind him.

 

Becker

Way to come prepared.

 

Richard

Well, I thought we would be filling out some paperwork.

 

Becker

You’re going to fill out all of our paperwork, too?

 

Jasper, sitting nearby, starts laughing his ear-splitting laugh.

 

Richard

No, it’s just that –

 

Becker

And it’s a good thing you brought a stethoscope. No doubt that will come in handy today.

 

Another laugh from Jasper. A beautiful Indian girl, who is sitting next to Richard but whose face we haven’t seen until now, wheels around in her seat and faces Becker with an angry expression.

 

Shoopa

Why do you have to be so rude all the time?

 

Becker

Oh give me a break Shoopa.

 

Shoopa

Turns to Richard

Ignore that prick. We used to date in college and he’s probably jealous that you’re sitting next to me. I’m Shoopa.

 

Richard

embarrassed

I’m Richard.

 

Shoopa

Are you from around here?

 

Richard

No, I’m from Oregon!

 

Shoopa

Straight-faced

Well welcome to the Dallas, the fake-titty capital of the world.

 

Richard

Momementarily dumbfounded

Thanks.

 

Shoopa

How do you like the big city?

 

Richard

Actually I just arrived this morning, haven’t even seen to my new place. I’m a little nervous.

 

Shoopa

I’m sure you’ll love it.

 

Richard

Oh it’s not the place I’m worried about, it’s my new roommate, found him on an internet roommate service. His name is Skeeter.

 

Shoopa

Skeeter?

 

Richard

Skeeter.

 

 

SCENE 5

 

Richard pulls up to his home. He gets out of his car, scans the slum that is his neighborhood, and he sees a lady chasing her lover with a frying pan screaming obscenities regarding how she’ll make sure he never cheats again. Richard turns his attention to his house and walks toward the front door. He steps onto the porch, sets down two suitcases, and motions to knock on the door. In the middle of this motion a chainsaw suddenly breaks through the door; most of it falls away to reveal Skeeter, wearing nothing but overalls and covered in Sawdust. Skeeter sees Richard and smiles excitedly; he motions to shake hands or embrace Richard but ends up accidentally attacking him with the chainsaw, which is still on. Richard jumps back to avoid being cut in two. Skeeter starts laughing, turns off the chainsaw and puts it down.

 

Skeeter

Howdy! You must be Richard. I’m Skeeter. Let me show you to your room.

The place is a pigpen. They walk to Richard’s room.

You know, it’s funny, the guy who lived here last just didn’t came home one day. Never came back for his stuff.

 

Richard’s room is gross, and Skeeter pins up a poster (The Onion poster with the “Drugs Win Drug War” headline) that had mostly fallen down to reveal a large hole in the wall. Richard is standing in a daze, and Skeeter grabs the flier that Richard is holding.

 

Skeeter

Hey! There’s a party going on tonight?

 

Richard

No. No party tonight.

 

Skeeter is undeterred.

 

Skeeter

Awesome. I can’t wait to meet some new chicks and just spank them all night long in my love den.

 

Skeeter, imagining this, starts slowly, romantically humping furniture. He snaps out of his reverie.

 

Skeeter

Hey you’re in doctor school, right?

 

Richard

Well-

 

Skeeter

Let me show you this rash on my ass crack.

 

Skeeter spins around and begins to pull down his overalls.

 

Richard

Wait-

 

Overalls are coming down, and just as we start to see Skeeter’s ass cut to black.

 

 

Music changes to soft and smooth. Fade into survey of Richard’s room, cleaned up now and with Richard’s stuff replacing all of the previous tenant’s (the poster is still covering the wall). Camera comes to Richard in front of a mirror. He’s wearing a “nice” outfit and practicing his introductions in front of the mirror, big fake smile. Cut to Richard in a different outfit practicing his introductions. Cut to Richard in a third outfit practicing his introductions. He then points to his reflection and winks and walks out of his room; Skeeter is ready to go.

 

 

SCENE 6

 

Richard and Skeeter pull up to the house. Skeeter excitedly jumps out of the car and sprints inside. Richard approaches the front door, stops just short of it, takes a deep breath, and enters. Party scene: music pumping, lots of people inside holding a cup of beer, talking in well-defined groups, laughter, fun fun. Many glance at Richard as he closes the door behind him, but immediately resume their previous conversation. Richard takes a step to join Skeeter, but he sees that Skeeter is talking to Becker; they clearly know each other, are laughing about something, and do not notice that Richard is listening to their conversation. Cut to Becker and Skeeter.

 

Becker

All smiles

Whatever happened to Trevor? I haven’t seen him at the Grapevine.

 

Skeeter

Yeah, he didn’t come home one day a few months ago.

 

Becker

Why?

 

Skeeter

A little uncomfortable

Thin skin.

 

Becker starts laughing.

 

Becker

Shit Skeeter what did you do?

 

Skeeter

I told him that if his cat shit on the floor again I was going to kill it.

 

Becker

Oh come on, that’s no big deal.

 

Skeeter

Well..it shit on the floor again.

 

Becker really starts laughing now.

 

Becker

You killed his cat?!?

 

Skeeter

I euthenized his cat. It was very humane.

 

Cut back to Richard, who on hearing this takes another deep breath, refocuses his attention on the party in front of him, and moves on. He walks forward, past a group of indian guys who show no interest in him all speaking english with a thick indian accent.

 

indian stud 1

I interviewed all over but ultimately it came down to cost. You just can’t beat this school when it comes to value.

 

The others agree.

 

Indian stud 2

I had my choice of schools but my family lives here; my dad said if I leave the state he would choose for me an ugly wife.

To Indian stud 3

Speaking of family, isn’t all your family still across the ocean?

 

indian stud 3

Yes all my family is in India and the training there is quite good, but I have lived there all my life and it was a priority for me to surround myself with a diverse group of students.

 

Cut to shot of all the indian guys nodding in agreement. Richard moves on and sees a straight-laced guy talking to Bogac, who is smoking a cigarette and looks like he hasn’t showered in a while.

 

straight-laced stud

Yeah, I came to medical school because I want to help people.

 

Straight-laced stud nods at this, looking at Bogac, waiting for a response. Bogac takes a long drag of his cigarette, and nods slowly, faintly. A few seconds pass with both of them nodding.

 

Bogac

Is that right.

 

straight-laced stud

nodding

Yep. Help people.

 

Cut to Richard refocusing to the party in front of him. He walks on and sees a drunk girl flirting with a dorky stud.

 

debbie

Well aren’t you just the cutest? At my office all the guys are so boring.

 

dorky stud

Laughing nervously

Uh, really?

 

Debbie casually puts her hand on dorky stud’s chest, and as she starts speaking dorky stud glances at her hand and takes a deep breath, clearly not too many girls have put their hands on his chest.

 

Debbie

Really. So what kind of doctor do you want to be?

 

Cut back to Richard refocusing on the rest of the party, as he walks we hear dorky stud’s voice fade.

 

dorky stud (OS)

I want to be a surgeon.

 

Richard continues on and sees a group of normal-looking studs.  One of the studs is there with his wife, and is introducing her to the rest of the group.

 

Christie’s stud husband

This is my wife, Christie.

The rest of the group all wave a greeting wave.

 

stud #1

Are you are you in medicine, too?

 

Christie

No.

 

rest of group

In unison, very disappointed.

Oh.

 

Back to Richard moving through the party. He’s becoming uncomfortable now, as he has nobody to talk to. He looks back to see Becker and Skeeter continuing to hoot it up. He refocuses in front of him, scanning. Suddenly he sees the keg. The keg has a large sign just behind it that says in large letters “RICHARD YOU ARE SAFE HERE” with a large arrow that points directly at the keg. Cut to Richard breathing a sigh of relief as he walks with new purpose toward the keg. He arrives at the keg (the sign is gone), grabs one of the cups sitting on top. He hasn’t used a keg before. He grabs the spout and looks at it closely for a few seconds before activating the lever and squirting beer all over his face. He looks around to see if anyone saw that, and as suavely as possible starts to fill his cup. Camera closeup to Richard’s face. He looks around, confidently now that he’s busy, until something catches his attention and his gaze snaps into line with the vision in front of him. Cut to slow motion of Shoopa walking toward the keg and Richard with simultaneous change to Neil Diamond’s “Summer Love” at high volume. Shoopa takes a number of steps toward Richard and then as she nears him she (still in slow-mo) looks down at Richard’s shoe with wide eyes and points to them with an expression of alarm. Back to real-time, cut to full-body shot of Richard, he’s spilling beer onto his shoes. Richard struggles to regroup, laughing nervously.

 

Richard

Yep, just cleaning off the ol’ shoes.

 

Shoopa

Yeah, I was going to mention that your shoes looked a little dry earlier.

 

Richard laughs, is staring at her, he’s utterly taken. A few seconds of silence.

 

Shoopa

Are you finished with that keg, or, actually I think you missed a spot..

She points to an imaginary spot on his shoes and laughs

 

Richard realizes she wants to use the keg and hastily gets out of the way, embarrassed.

 

Richard

Here you go. Hey, um, do you think this place has got a bathroom?

 

Shoopa gives him a blank stare for a moment to mark the fact that he just asked a stupid question.

 

Shoopa

Yes, I would imagine this house comes with a bathroom.

 

Richard

Realizing what an idiot he is making of himself

Right. Well, I’ll see you later.

 

Shoopa waves goodbye as she fills her cup. Richard makes his way toward the stairs and passes the group of students + Christie. They are talking shop and Christie is obviously excluded from the conversation and uninterested, looking around the room and trying to conceal her boredom. The rest of the group is very much enjoying themselves, however, including Christie’s husband.

 

stud 1

Oh yeah, dermatology is the way to go.. your patients never get better, they never die, they just keep coming back for checkups to the tune of a hundred and fifty bucks for a ten minute appointment. What a racket.

 

Everyone (except Christie) nods and agrees, laughing.

 

stud 2

That’s nothing! Ophthalmologists press a button on one of those laser machines and make five thousand dollars in thirty minutes!! And they don’t have to pop zits all day!!

 

Everyone (except Christie) nods and agrees, laughing.

 

stud 3

No, the best is psychiatry – big bucks to sit around all day and chat!! And no one even expects you to do anything for your patients! What a life!

 

Everyone has suddenly gone silent and is looking at Student#3.

 

Stud 4

Naw, dude. Psychiatry sucks.

Pause. Suddenly his expression changes back to excitement.

But radiology!!

 

Everyone resumes their previous agreement and laughter. Richard approaches Christie.

 

Richard

Do you know where the bathroom is?

 

christie

Without any change of expression

No I don’t, but if you find it will you bring me a razor blade so I can kill myself?

 

Richard stares blankly at Christie for a moment and departs for the staircase, then ascends. At the top he looks around and sees a bunch of closed doors. He opens one of them an inside is a group of chinese med students crowded around a single computer with one of them playing a computer game. They are jumping around and gesticulating wildly while yelling in chinese.

 

chinese stud 1 (in chinese)

Yelling and pointing at the computer

I prefer prepubescent girls!!

 

chinese stud 2 (in chinese)

Yelling and pointing at the computer

If there’s grass in the playing field, play ball!! If not, scrimmage!!

 

Richard slams the door shut and shakes off that sight. He moves to another closed door and opens it. Inside is a dozen well-dressed students sitting cross-legged in a circle with bibles in their laps.

thumper 1

To the group

In this section Joshua, who has journeyed from the other side of Palestine, is approaching his destination but trips on a rock and nearly falls. In my view this is clearly representative of god’s condemnation of homosexuality.

He sees Richard and extends his hand

Welcome. Please join our circle.

 

Richard slams the door and moves on. Another closed door. He cracks open the door and is immediately overwhelmed by the ecstatic screams of a woman about to have the climax of her life.

 

Liam (OS)

YES, YES!!! OH GOD YES!!

 

Richard slams the door. He comes to the last closed door, opposite the stairwell. He stares at it for a moment. Cut to view of door from the other side of the room, including a group of barely-clothed students playing strip poker and smoking cigs. A huge blue water pipe sits off to the side. Female student lays down three of a kind.

 

studette in bra

Three of a kind, Taylor! Drop those shorts!

 

Group laughs and encourages Taylor. As Taylor stands, cut to view from between his legs – which is the rest of the group and the closed door. Richard barges in just as the boxers fall.

 

Taylor

Shut that fucking door!

 

Richard slams the door and retreats backward, then falls down the stairs. He tumbles down to the bottom, and the camera shows him opening his eyes to a silent room full of people staring at him. Immediately they all simultaneously return to their previous conversations, ignoring him. Richard closes his eyes again and sighs. With the camera on Richard’s face, we hear a voice from a few feet away.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Richard? Richard Cartwright?

 

Richard, still crumpled up at the bottom of the stairs, slowly opens his eyes and smiles.

 

Richard

Very calm. He has given up trying to make a good impression.

Carolyn. Wow, I haven’t seen you since..

 

Cut to Carolyn standing over the laid-out Richard, near his feet.

 

Carolyn

High school! Are you okay?

 

Carolyn stoops so that she can be closer to Richard’s eye level. She smells something and her face reacts to it.

 

Carolyn

Your shoes reek of beer.

Her face softens, what a sweetheart.

Get up and give me a hug!

 

They both rise and embrace.

 

Carolyn

My goodness. Did you start med school today?

Richard nods.

Me too. Wow! How have you been? I’ll bet we’re the only Oregonians here. Have you noticed that all the girls in this town have fake tits? Oh lord, my roommate is getting sloppy, I better intervene.

 

Cut to Debbie, now thoroughly inebriated, hanging on another stud. She has her hands all over him and is whispering in his ear and laughing. The stud is enjoying himself. Cut to Richard and Carolyn watching this.

 

Richard

That’s your roommate?

Carolyn

Yeah. Do you have a roommate?

 

Richard nods to another point in front of them. Cut to Skeeter assisting one of the chinese studs perform a keg stand while the other chinese studs cheer them on. Cut back to Richard and Carolyn.

 

Carolyn

Let’s get lunch tomorrow, Rich.

 

Carolyn grabs both of Richard’s hands and faces him. She is really glad to see him.

 

Richard

That would be super.

 

Carolyn looks at Richard for a moment longer with a big smile on her face, and then heads off to attend to Debbie. Richard stands alone, smiling, scratches his head contentedly. After a few moments he realizes he still needs to piss.

 

Richard

To himself

Bathroom.

 

He heads off toward the bathroom and passes the group of studs that include Christie, who is still visibly bored but putting up with it. As Richard passes by, the camera stays with the group. They are still laughing and having a good time.

 

 

stud 1

..so then he asks her, he’s like, “so do you treat all your guests like this?” and she goes, “well, only those that catch my eye!”

 

Everyone laughs heartily at the punch line for a bit, and then the laughter fades. Stud 1 takes advantage of this light moment to ask a serious question as casually as he can.

 

stud 1

So how have you guys been preparing yourselves for med school? I mean there are so many horror stories..

 

Stud 1 looks around but everyone is quiet and looking at everyone else, not wanting to set a precedent. Finally someone speaks up.

 

Christie’s stud husband

You believe all that? Don’t you remember they said the same thing about college, and was college hard?

 

Stud Husband laughs at the thought of college being hard. All the others in the group start laughing a laugh of questionable sincerity while shaking their heads.

 

stud 2

College? What a joke.

 

STUd 3

Man that was some easy shit, college.

 

While the group continues their nervous laughter, Christie shoots a look at her husband, she is shocked by something she just heard. Cut to bathroom mirror, reflecting Richard washing his face. He dries off and hears a voice on the other side of the bathroom door.

 

Becker (OS)

Mom did you get that book? Great. Thanks, I’m going to get a few hours of studying in tonight – I’ll be by in a sec. Bye.

 

Richard wonders softly to his reflection.

 

Richard

Study what?

 

Richard opens the door and Becker is waiting to use the john.

 

Becker

Hey dude, you bring your stethoscope?

 

Richard

You never know when you might need one.

 

Richard walks back to the living room, up to Skeeter.

 

Skeeter

Rockin party, man! I dig these doctor chicks.

 

Richard

Yeah, as long as they don’t shit on the floor.

 

Skeeter

Huh?

 

Becker walks by and extends his hand to Skeeter.

 

Skeeter

You outta here?

 

Becker

To Skeeter, he ignores Richard.

Yeah dude, I’m meeting some other buddies out. Hasta.

 

Skeeter salutes Becker goodbye. Becker hastily disappears.

 

Richard

You about ready to get movin? It seems like things are winding down.

 

Skeeter

5000 dude.

 

Richard

What?

 

Skeeter

Let’s bail.

 

The two of them walk out, just behind Christie and her husband. As Richard and Skeeter pass the couple, Richard and Christie’s husband make eye contact. Camera close on Christie’s husband.

 

Christie’s STud husband

Enthusiastically, to Richard

See you tomorrow!

 

Richard (OS)

See you tomorrow.

 

Richard and Skeeter walk off. Christie’s husband expression changes to one of pleading.

 

Christie’s stud husband

Honey I’m sorry. I know you had a terrible time.

 

Christie

Listen, I know that doctors are by and large social misfits so I expected to have a terrible time. What I did not expect was to have to put on my waders.

 

Christie’s stud husband

Half-heartedly

Whaddya mean?

 

Christie

So I could wade through all your bullshit! How could you do that with a straight face, in front of me?

 

Stud husband is ashamed. He knew it was coming.

 

Christie

This morning you told me you didn’t know if you were qualified, that you’re gonna be the dumbest guy in the class, and oh college!!

She is beside herself

That was just a breeze, except that you got so stressed out you became clinically depressed and had to take a semester off! You’ve been stressing about med school ever since you got in! Where do you get off?

 

Christie’s stud husband

Resigned

You’re only as smart as you look.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 7

 

The following afternoon. Scene opens at restaurant table. Carolyn is sitting alone, contemplative, faintly smiling. Her eyes light up as Richard approaches. Richard sits down as he addresses her.

 

Richard

warmly

Hey.

 

Carolyn

Even more warmly, with a big smile

Hi.

 

Richard

Sorry I’m late. I was applying some sort of cream to a rash my roommate couldn’t reach himself.

 

Carolyn

How did you meet, um..

 

Richard

Skeeter? I did a roommate hunt on the internet. He described himself as “Gentle nonsmoker.”

 

Carolyn

Wow.

 

Richard

How was Debbie feeling this morning?

 

Carolyn

She had an awful headache.

 

Richard

Yeah, she looked like she had more than her share of drinks last night.

 

Carolyn

That had nothing to do with it. She always has a headache the morning after she doesn’t meet any “nice people.”

Carolyn make rabbit-ear quotes with her hands

 

Richard

Confused, makes the quotes with his fingers, too

“nice people?”

 

Carolyn

Never mind. Richard Cartwright, what have you been doing with yourself? What happened to you after high school?

 

Richard

Well I went to college and everything.

 

Carolyn

You always talked about medicine.

 

Richard

I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.

 

Carolyn

Why?

 

Richard

I dunno.

 

Carolyn waits for a better answer.

 

Richard

It’s such a great profession.

 

Carolyn is still not satisfied.

 

Richard

I don’t know, there’s something about doctors, I mean..I don’t know.

 

Carolyn

That’s what you told your interviewers?

 

Richard

chuckles

I told them I want to help people.

 

Carolyn

You don’t want to help people?

 

Richard

Of course I want to help people.

Richard wants to redirect the conversation, he mocks the interviewers:

“What attracts you to medicine, Ms. Kensington?”

 

Cut to interview scene, Carolyn and her interviewer in the interviewer’s office.

 

Carolyn

She contemplates for a moment and is sincere in her answer

I’m attracted to medicine because I’m capable of pursuing medicine.

 

The interviewer looks at her expectantly, as if to say, “please go on.”

 

Carolyn

Life has treated me well, Dr. Cox, and I resent that. I spend a lot of energy coping with upper class guilt. I’ve volunteered all my free time away, worked for a dozen nonprofits, rallied, campaigned..

 

Dr. Cox holds up her application.

 

Dr. cox

So I’ve noticed.

 

Carolyn

Medicine is for me.

 

Dr. Cox

For you.

 

Carolyn

Health is the primary good, it is the asset upon which all other assets are built. What could possibly be more interesting, more fulfilling, than learning to preserve it?

 

Dr. cox

Nothing.

 

 

Cut back to restaurant scene.

 

Carolyn

resigned

I told them I want to help people.

 

Richard

What else is there to say?

Pause

I suppose everyone’s got their own reasons for going to med school, but none of them are going to get you into med school.

 

Carolyn

Well I definitely agree that the process of getting into medical school is sickening.

 

Richard

It’s a game.

 

Carolyn

Such a game.

 

Richard

But you have to look at it from their perspective.

 

Carolyn

Who are “they?”

 

Richard

You know, them, not us. The admissions people. There are a lot more applicants than spots, so how do you deal with that?

 

Carolyn

You reduce a person to a number.

 

Richard

You’re not being fair.

 

Carolyn

You’re right: you reduce a person to two numbers. Richard, did you try to socialize with our new classmates last night?

 

Richard

I spent most of the evening trying to find a bathroom.

 

Carolyn

I understand that we need surgeons, but lord have mercy, I mean I thought the whole point of the interview was to verify that an applicant is capable of communicating.

 

Richard

You have to wonder what goes on behind those closed doors.

 

Cut to behind those closed doors: a conference room with a dozen faculty members around a large table with large stacks of folders that represent applications.

 

Dr. kerman

Presenting to the rest of the group

This applicant is a 24 year old white female, with a history of two years in the peace corps, two first-author papers and proficiency in four languages, who presents to this committee for the second time in two years. She was in her usual state of career indecision until three years prior to presentation, when she reports that during her tenure in the corps, where she built houses and improved sanitation for an indigenous central american village, she was inspired by the native faith healers to devote her life to the care of the sick. She has a family history remarkable for a maternal pathologist. She denies bad habits including having a personality and consorting with lawyers. She is positive for volunteer experience, alpha epsilon delta honor society, and basic science research.

 

Her vital signs are remarkable for an GPA of 3.6 and an MCAT 27. Physical exam is remarkable for a well-developed caucasian woman without obvious physical deformities or deficits.

 

Dr. Kopel

Any history of previous MCAT scores?

 

Dr. kerman

She scored a 27 in August of last year as well.

 

dr. blumberg

Hmmm. Therapy, which I’m sure consisted of a broad-spectrum review coarse, was ineffective at raising her score.

 

dr. kerman

She may have been noncompliant with her therapeutic regimen.

 

dr. funk

 

That’s an important point Dr. Kerman.

 

Dr. wolf

There was an issue in her region, I’m not sure if it was at her testing site, regarding a very noisy test-taker that was shown to be statistically significant in lowering the scores of the other examinees.

 

Dr. Seldin

The senior faculty member, in charge

Let us focus our attention on horses and not zebras, Dr. Wolf.

 

Dr. funk

This is an unfortunate case. Her vital signs are unresponsive to therapy, which is predictive of a poor outcome. Did we uncover her mother’s MCAT score?

 

Dr. Wolf

Twenty-eight.

 

The committee members shake their head disappointedly. Dr. Kerman puts the file in a large stack of rejects. He picks up the next file.

 

Dr. Seldin

Dr. Kerman, I know this is your first time on the committee, but if you could please abbreviate your presentation to include only the aspects of the case that will change our management we would all be grateful.

 

Dr. Kerman

Yessir. This applicant is a 42 year old male who, after discovering and implementing the vaccine, eradicated a rare filavirus that threatened to wipe out an entire African tribe. GPA 3.8 and MCAT 26.

 

The group grumbles, moans, and shakes their heads on hearing this MCAT score.

 

Dr. Kerman

I would like to remind the committee that an MCAT of 26 is at the upper limit of normal for this age group.

 

Dr. Funk

An important consideration. How many nontraditional students did our lawyers mandate?

 

Dr. Blumberg

Twelve.

 

DR. kopel

Don’t forget that 34 year old with one arm – they said he counts as two nontraditional students.

 

Dr. Blumberg

We’re capped.

 

Dr. Kerman puts the folder into the reject stack. He picks up the next folder and addresses the group.

 

dr. kerman

This is a 22 year old who presents with an MCAT of 37.

 

The group nods and voices their unified approval. The folder goes in a much smaller accept stack. Next folder.

 

Dr. kerman

Slowly and clearly

This is a 24 year old female who in middle school chemistry class devised a proof for a fifth state of matter and later verified its existence on one of the moons of Saturn. She also discovered a new element and named it after her cat, who survives to this day at the age of 29 due to our applicant’s harvesting the organs of recently deceased cats in her neighborhood and successfully transplanting them using immunosuppressants derived from plants in her aunt’s garden. Additionally she runs a homeless shelter, is a top-ranked chess player, an olympic decathlete,

 

As Dr. Kerman continues the committee is visibly bored. Dr. Funk motions to speed things up.

 

Dr. Kerman

..and a virtuoso of the quamabeh, an instrument played only by Australian aborigines. She was selected as a youth ambassador to the United Nations and in 1997 brokered an agreement between three Mongolian factions that had been at war for over four thousand years. Her college thesis proved that greenhouse gasses cause small cosmic pressure zones that shift the axis of planetary orbits by one tenth of one degree every six thousand years; based on this discovery, starting in the year 2010, there will be an extra day added to November. She invented a perpetual motion machine and since the age of 11, after the tragic death of both her parents in a hot air balloon accident, has supported her four retarded siblings by working full time as a cocktail waitress-

 

Dr. Seldin

Sternly

Dr. Kerman!

 

Dr. Kerman

Earlier this year she walked on the moon.

 

Dr. Seldin

Vital signs Dr. Kerman!!

 

Dr. kerman

GPA 3.94 MCAT 29.

 

The committee members shake their heads, obviously frustrated. They want to accept her, but they just can’t.

 

Dr. Kerman

She is documented to have very severe dyslexia but refused to take an untimed MCAT.

 

Dr. Funk

Andy, what is the average MCAT score Baylor is reporting for this year’s acceptees?

 

Dr. Kopel

33.42

 

Dr. Funk loses it.

 

Dr. Funk

Impossible!!

He pounds on the table

Thirty-three point four two! That’s fully twenty-two one hundredths of a point over last year!

He stands

They must be falsifying data!

He turns to Dr. Seldin

Don, can you imagine any way they could have achieved that kind of MCATtage?

 

Dr. Seldin motions for Dr. Funk to calm down. Dr. Funk sits back down, exasperated.

 

Dr. Funk

Shaking his head

Thirty three point four two.

 

Dr. Seldin

I’m afraid she’s simply not Southwestern material.

 

Cut back to restaurant scene. Time has passed, and their table is littered with used dishes. They are laughing and shaking their heads. Carolyn gazes longingly at Richard.

 

Carolyn

Whatever happened to that guy who was talking about medicine in 8th grade..from Mrs. Buxbaum’s homeroom?

 

Richard

Brian Randolph?

 

Carolyn

Yes. He’s the one who wouldn’t play sports because he wanted to be a surgeon and wouldn’t risk injuring his hands. He went to Eugene with you, right?

 

Richard

Yeah. He’s back in Portland. He’s a manager at the Gap.

 

Carolyn

Drastic career shift.

 

Richard

He was a great student, too. I have no idea why he couldn’t get in.

 

Carolyn

I know tons people like that. Tons of super people who were totally qualified and can have a conversation at a party.

 

Richard

Tons of people who were better qualified than me. I have no idea why I got in.

 

Carolyn

It makes you want to be a totally stellar med student, sort of as a tribute to them.

 

Richard

Speak for yourself, it makes me insecure.

 

They both laugh at this remark. Richard laughs sheepishly, Carolyn is falling in love but conceals it save that glint in her eyes.

 

Carolyn

You have survivor guilt.

 

Richard

I have imposter guilt.

 

 

Pause.

 

Carolyn

Gross anatomy starts tomorrow.

 

Richard

Nodding

It sure does.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 8

 

Scene opens with a survey of a the anatomy lab, vacant of living people, all tanks closed. Cut to lecture hall, Dr. Botterman is finishing his introduction to anatomy.

 

Dr. Botterman

So.. today you will just be getting the feel for how things work: getting used to the scalpel and the smell of formaldehyde, but by the end of the week you should have dissected out the entire eyeball.

 

random med student in audience

Whispering to neighbor

That’s disgusting.

 

Dr. botterman

All right well I’ll meet you guys in the anatomy lab. Dale Langone, who is in charge of preparing and maintaining the cadavers for your dissection, has a few words to say about appropriate handling of the bodies. So I’ll turn it over to him.

 

Dale approaches the front of the lecture hall.

 

Dr. Botterman

I’ll be walking around the lab for most of the afternoon; you guys let me know if you have any questions. Here you go Dale.

 

Cut to anatomy lab as audio from auditorium continues, nervous students filing in, looking around, looking at the closed tanks. Cut back to auditorium. Dr. Botterman hands the mic to Dale.

 

Dale

A little spookily

Thank you Dr. Botterman.

 

Dr. Botterman leaves.

 

Dale

Addresses the class in a slightly vampire voice

Good Evening.

Less vampire, smiling

I know it’s before noon, but I just like saying that. For the next 3 months you all will be cutting on my cadavers.

Pause. He sits on a table.

I am an only child. I never knew my father. I was supposed to have a sister, Elizabeth, but my mother went into labor while the three of us -that’s me, my mom, and unborn Elizabeth - were vacationing in those caves outside of San Antonio. I was eleven years old, but there was nobody else around so I tried to deliver her myself..in a cave. There was a lot of blood, and a few minutes after Elizabeth came out, mom fell asleep, and never did wake up. Elizabeth couldn’t seem to breathe and she died in my arms, as I rocked her gently.

He’s staring into space recalling this, rocking an imaginary baby

So beautiful she was, even in death.

He snaps out of it

These bodies, whose limbs you will dismember and whose organs you will rip away from their proper place and carve up like an old tomato, these bodies are my family.

 

Cut to lab (again, we hear sound from the auditorium ie Dale’s speech). Students are taking their places around tanks in groups of four, nervously looking at each other and the tank. Becker is shown standing above his closed tank, a determined look on his face, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. This flash to the lab happens quickly, so as not to pull attention away from Dale’s speech. Cut back to auditorium.

 

dale

I expect you to treat these bodies like you would treat my family. You will not know the name your cadaver carried in life but I fully expect you and your tankmates to come up with a suitable postmortem appellation. At first your cadaver will seem a stranger to you, but I can assure you that over the next three months you will become more intimate with him or her than anyone you have known in life.  As you uncover your cadaver’s anatomic secrets

Dale closes his eyes, heading into never-never land

his personality will bloom as a flower emerges after a cold winter. As you cut through your cadaver’s skin

Dale wields an imaginary scalpel, and his breathing becomes progressively heavy

and into the body cavities that breathed air and pumped blood you will feel his life force unmitigated by death, you will confront and embrace your own mortality, you will realize the long-suppressed cannibal inside you and you will know finally that the line between life and death is imaginary.

 

Dale falls silent, his eyes remained closed. He is breathing slow, deep breaths, his hands and lips quivering slightly. The audience stares blankly at Dale. Dale lets out a deep sigh, drained from his speech, and opens his eyes.

 

dale

It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to meet your cadavers.

 

The class rises from their seats. Cut to lab, most of the students are at their places around their respective tanks, anxiously waiting. Cut to Richard and another random stud waiting at their tank. Shoopa walks up and stands next to Richard.

 

Richard

excited

Are you at tank #23?

 

Shoopa

I sure am.

 

Richard

Me too!

 

Becker (os)

I’ll be right here to catch you when you faint, Shoopa.

 

Cut to view that includes Shoopa and Becker. Shoopa wheels around to see Becker right behind her, he’s at the adjacent tank. Becker winks at her.

 

Shoopa

I don’t mind cold, lifeless bodies – don’t forget I dated you for two years.

 

Shoopa turns back around. Richard and Shoopa are facing the tank but are glancing at each other. From offscreen, Becker hisses and meows. Shoopa rolls her eyes without turning back around. Richard smiles.

 

dr. botterman

Okay guys, open your tanks.

 

Cut to group number one, opening their tank. Everyone looks queasy, one girl covers her mouth and nose with her hand. Cut to group number two, one guy says “cool” while another one says, “man, he smells terrible.” Cut to group number three, with a flamboyantly gay man becoming hysterical on seeing the cadaver. Cut to black, we are inside Richard and Shoopa’s tank, cadaver perspective. We see the tank opening and as the four sets of eyes peering in come into view, they are illuminated by a light emanating from the tank. The lights in the lab are off. The tank is opened, Richard, Shoopa, and two other studs are looking at the camera (from the cadaver’s POV) in silence, wide-eyed.

 

Richard, Shoopa, and two other studs

amazed

Wow.

 

They stare in silence a few moments longer.

 

Richard

She’s definitely dead.

 

Shoopa

I’ve never seen a dead person before.

 

 

They stare in silence a few moments longer.

 

Shoopa

How can we just start cutting on her? I mean we don’t know what happens when you die, because know one ever lives to tell about it. What if she’s still in there?

 

One of the other studs looks at Shoopa, confused.

 

Richard

What if we throw up on our cadaver?

 

Cut to Becker’s tank. We now see Carolyn is in Becker’s group. Becker addresses his tank.

 

Becker

You guys mind if I make the first cut?

 

Carolyn

Shouldn’t we think of a name for him first?

 

Becker

Let’s cut now and think later.

 

Cut to Richard’s tank. Richard is holding a dissector with one hand and some scissors with the other.

 

Richard

Says here the first thing to do on the eyeball approach is to peel away all the skin on your cadaver’s face.

 

Richard looks up at Shoopa. She shakes her head, as if to say “I’m not going to do that.”

 

Cut back to Becker and Carolyn’s tank. Becker hands Carolyn a pair of gloves.

 

Becker

Okay, now you have to hold the glove open like this

He shows her

so I can get my hand in without touching the outside of the glove.

 

Carolyn

Why?

 

Becker

It’s the right way.

 

Carolyn is confused but is too nonconfrontational to argue, she holds open each glove as Becker puts his hand through each of them in an exaggerated way, then holds his hands up in front of him as to maintain a sterile environment.

 

Becker

Carolyn, scalpel please.

 

Carolyn glares at Becker. Cut to Richard’s tank. Richard takes a deep breath and since he has no hands free starts raising the cadaver by pressing down on the lever with his foot.

 

Richard

Reading

Start your incision on the superior aspect of the forehead at the midline and incise to the bridge of the nose.

 

Shoopa

You want some help with that?

 

Richard

I got it. Once you’ve exposed the frontal bone of the skull-

 

Richard’s foot slips, the cadaver falls, Shoopa takes a huge step backward but Richard is pinned and gets a bath of formaldehyde. Everyone is looking at him. Dr. Botterman scratches his forehead.

 

Shoopa

You’re going to need at least a case of beer to get that smell off your clothes.

 

 

SCENE 9

 

Scene opens in hallway outside carrels. Richard and Taylor coincidentally exit their carrels so that they end up right next to each other in the hall. Richard lights up a bit when he recognizes Taylor.

 

Richard

Hey! Great party the other night.

 

It takes Taylor a moment to recognize Richard.

 

Taylor

Glad you had a good time. Didn’t mean to yell at you – you sort of caught me with my pants down.

 

Richard

Hey, no problem.

 

Taylor catches a whiff of Richard and grimaces.

 

Taylor

Man, did you jump in the tank or something?

 

Cut to wide shot outside that includes the door Richard and Taylor are about to come out of and a Willed Body Program van parked at the loading dock. Though we can’t see details, Dale is manipulating a cadaver’s foot, which is on a stretcher sticking out of the back of the van. A few moments pass, then the doors to the carrels open, Richard and Taylor emerge, laughing about something – they have developed some rapport in the intervening offscreen minutes. Cut to Taylor and Richard.

 

Richard

Yeah, I’m not sure I’m going to like anatomy but I’m looking forward to embryology.

They stop on the platform, Taylor is looking at Dale

Doesn’t that start tomorrow?

 

Taylor has lost track of Richard because he’s distracted by what Dale is doing.

 

Richard

Taylor?

 

Richard catches on that Taylor is staring at Dale and the van and so he takes a look. They’re both looking now, Richard squints the “what in the fuck?” squint. Cut to Dale and the van. The lower extremities of a cadaver are protruding from the back of the van, and Dale is painting the cadaver’s toenails a brilliant shade of red. Cut back to Richard and Taylor. They’re both still staring.

 

Taylor

That is one weird dude.

 

They start walking again, toward the parking lot.

 

Richard

Do you think he took a job working with dead people because he’s a weirdo or is he a weirdo because he took a job working with dead people?

 

Taylor

No no, people migrate to where they belong.

 

Richard

Well the job doesn’t help any.

 

Taylor

No doubt, but society funneled that man to his work, and you’re going to watch society do the same thing to your classmates. In a few months people are going to start talking about where they’re going in medicine.

 

Richard looks at Taylor as if to say, "how do you know?"

 

Taylor

I was a first year student last year.

 

Richard

embarrassed

sorry.

 

Taylor

It’s okay. I definitely need to do it again.

 

Richard

hesitatingly

Aren’t you worried about your residency chances?

 

Taylor

What do you mean?

 

Richard

You know, don’t you want to get a good residency?

 

Taylor

What constitutes a "good residency?"

 

Richard

thinks for a moment

I have no idea.

 

Taylor

Do you find it funny that you just finished your third day of medical school and already you're worried about getting a "good" residency, which you can't even describe?

 

Richard

Hey, I just feel lucky as gravy to be here. And I don't have to describe a good residency to know how to get one.

 

Taylor

laughing, impressed

True enough. So you feel lucky to be here, eh?

 

Richard

Shoot, I can't compete with these braniacs, I'm just a normal guy the admissions committee took pity on. I think they have a normal guy quota to fill or something.

 

Taylor

I'm sure you're right, but you'd do best to keep that sort of honesty to yourself.

 

Richard

Why?

 

Taylor

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. When you openly doubt your abilities, those around you doubt your abilities. Then they treat you like someone of doubtful ability, which reinforces your perception of yourself.

 

Richard

So if I pretend to be a genius...

Taylor

chuckles at this

You would think that would work but turns out that bragging makes you look like an idiot, too. Not that that stops anyone.

 

Richard and Taylor have arrived at Taylor's car. Taylor rests on it and they continue their conversation in the parking lot.

 

Richard

so...

 

Taylor

So don't say anything. Med students are so insecure about their  intelligence, if you don't give them any clues they will assume you're smarter than they are.

 

Richard

I don't want anyone to think I'm smarter than they are, I just want to be a doctor.

 

Taylor

Why?

 

Richard

Richard thinks a moment

I want to help people?

 

Richard looks at Taylor expectantly, halfway hoping he'll buy it. Taylor closes his eyes and shakes his head.

 

Taylor

No.

 

Richard

It's plausible.

 

Taylor

Yes, it's plausible.

 

Richard

So how do you know it's not true?

 

Taylor

It doesn't matter if it's true, it's still a load of shit.

Richard looks at Taylor, a bit annoyed at his philosophy

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a handsome prince and a beautiful princess, and after dating for a few months the prince tried to convince the princess to get on the pill. The prince's obstetrician father had given the prince all these reasons to present to the princess as to why going on the pill was a smart idea - decreased cancer risk, lighter periods, the thoughtful prince had a dozen reasons. The princess, however, was unmoved. Though she could not dispute the prince's arguments,  she didn't have to: she knew that the prince did not want to use a condom.

pause

The same can be said of all med students.

 

A campus policeman pulls up in his car and rolls down his window.

 

cop

Move along, gentlemen.

 

Taylor

a bit confused

This is my car.

 

Cop

There's nothing to see here.

 

The campus policeman rolls up his window and drives off.

 

Taylor

Where was I?

 

Richard

Condoms.

 

Taylor

Right. The point is that medicine satisfies too many non-altruistic motives to credit the altruistic motives. If physicians weren't so glorified and well-paid, that you want to help people would matter. But they are, so it doesn't.

 

 Richard

I don't think everyone here is so cynical.

 

Taylor

There's no doubt about that. You going to happy hour?

 

Richard

I don't know.

 

Taylor

You should go; in a few weeks no one will be going out anymore so you have limited opportunity to socialize with your exciting new classmates.

 

Richard

 

I have to come up with some excuse to tell my roommate so he won't come with me.

 

Taylor

Hey buddy, you're in med school now, and that gives you access to the world's most failsafe alibi.

Richard

And that is...

 

Taylor pops off his car, slaps Richard on the shoulder, and opens up his door.

 

Taylor

I'll see you later man, I've gotta go study...

 

Taylor closes the door and drives off. Cut to Richard staring at Taylor driving off. Cut to black.

 

SCENE 10

 

Scene opens at Richard's house, the evening of Richard and Taylor's conversation. Richard is at his desk, unloading his backpack. He pulls out a new embryology textbook, unwraps it, looks inside, pages through it. Gives us a "whatever" look, closes it and puts it down. Takes out the biochemical pathways poster, pins it on his wall to cover the hole. Stares at the poster for a few moments, scratching his head. He starts to walk out of his room, realizes he's forgetting something, then goes back to grab his backpack. He walks out and bumps into Skeeter, who is wearing a gas mask and closing a door out of which is coming thick black smoke. After he closes the door, he locks it with a key. Richard starts to speak with an expression on his face that says, "what's going on in there?" Skeeter whips off his mask and cuts Richard off.

 

Skeeter

Don't worry about the smoke.

 

Skeeter disappears down the hall. Richard stares at the door, cautiously tries to open it, it's locked. He shakes it off and walks down the hall, to the living room. Cut to living room, where Skeeter is reading porn.

 

Richard

Well, I'm going to study.

 

Richard walks toward the exit. Skeeter turns the magazine lengthwise, and speaks to Richard without looking up.

 

Skeeter

Yeah, right. Where are you off to?

 

Richard looks blankly at Skeeter. Skeeter is looking at the centerfold from several angles.

 

Skeeter

I lived with a med student last year; that shit doesn't work on me.

 

Cut to happy hour. Richard and Skeeter walk in. As they walk into the bar, Skeeter clothes-lines Richard, almost knocking him down.

 

Skeeter

Whoa. Look at that.

 

View of hot chick alone at bar.

 

Skeeter

Am I money?

 

Richard

What?

 

Skeeter

I am so money.

 

 

Skeeter heads right for her, leaving Richard standing there. Richard looks are around for a bit and walks up to group of med students awkwardly holding drinks. He takes a deep breath (obviously uncomfortable joining a conversation he hasn't been invited to join) and timidly approaches. The group of six guys is standing in silence, some of them gently bobbing their heads to the background music, some of them taking tiny sips of their drinks to fill the silence. One of them sees Richard approaching.

 

studork 1

Hey, aren't you in our class?

 

Richard

forcing a smile

Yeah, I am.

 

studork 1

I haven't met you yet.

extends a hand

I'm Allen.

 

Richard and Allen shake hands, and all the other studorks introduce themselves to Richard, now they're in one huge circle. Richard's hands are folded, then in his pockets, then folded again. Silence.

 

studork 2

So, have you guys started studying yet?

 

A moment's hesitation, as the six of them furtively glance at each other, then the studdorks all shake their heads and chant "no!" and "no way!" in unison, one of them making the "safe" sign with his hands, all of this as if it were a preposterous question. Richard watches them blankly. A few more moments of silence pass. Closeup on Richard.

 

Richard

smiles

I need a drink-

 

Richard's thought

 heard as if it was said as a complete sentence

-or ten.

 

 

Richard heads for the bar and stands there a few moments, looks at Skeeter who is getting along famously with hot chick at bar. Richard turns back to the bar, and an attractive, tough bartender chick is waiting for him to place an order.

 

Richard

Hi.

 

Samantha fox

What can I get you.

 

Richard

contemplates this question for a moment

What's good?

 

Samantha stares at him blankly, wondering if he's kidding. After a few moments it becomes clear that Richard is not kidding, and that he expects her to answer.

 

Samantha

The Coors Lite is particularly good today.

 

Richard

Great. One of those, please.

 

Samantha

smiling

Coming right up.

 

 

Richard looks around the bar, and sees Carolyn and Shoopa talking to each other, next to a larger group of various med students listening to Becker talk about himself.

 

Taylor (OS)

Wow your roommate seems to be getting along well with the clientele.

 

Cut to Richard and Taylor.

 

Richard

Do you think she's in our class?

 

Cut to Skeeter taking a shot off hot chick's neck.

 

Taylor (OS)

No chance that girl is a med student.

 

Cut back to Richard and Taylor.

 

Samantha

Hey Taylor.

 

Taylor

Hey Sam, can I get a Dos Equis?

 

Samantha walks away. Taylor looks around the bar. Cut to Becker's group.

 

Becker

Surgeons are the only doctors that do anything. Nothing heals like cold steel, my friends.

 

Taylor (OS)

Lord. Don your flak jacket.

 

Cut back to Taylor and Richard. Samantha delivers a beer.

 

Samantha

A gunner, hmmm?

 

Taylor

You're getting good.

 

Samantha winks and walks away.

 

Richard

What's a gunner?

 

Taylor

Gunner. As in gun you down if you stand in his way.

 

Richard

Stand in the way of what?

Taylor

In the way of his being better than you and everybody else.

 

Richard digests this for a moment, but doesn't really understand it.

 

Richard

Why does the bartender know more about medical school than I do?

 

Taylor

Sam and I had a brief but passionate relationship last year. This guy will not shut up.

 

Cut to Becker's group.

 

Becker

Nothing better than opening up somebody's belly, fixing what's wrong, closing him up.

 

stud 1

The thought of messing with someone's insides makes me ill.

 

Becker

If you can't handle a little blood, why did you come to med school?

 

stud 1

I'm Jewish.

 

Entire group, including Becker

in unison, understanding

Oh.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

Well I'm here to help people, and I don't mind getting my hands dirty if that's what it takes.

 

Cut to Shoopa and Carolyn.

 

Shoopa

reacting to Becker, glaring at Carolyn

I'm not sure how much more of this I can stand.

 

Carolyn laughs. Cut back to Becker's group.

 

 

Becker

And I want to help out my classmates, too. That's why I'm running for class president.

 

Cut back to Shoopa and Carolyn.

 

Shoopa

shaking her head, angry at what she's hearing

You want another drink?

 

Carolyn

Sure.

 

Cut back to Becker.

 

Becker

I have a lot of experience in positions of authority, so I know how to delegate responsibilities.

 

Shoopa walks to the bar in disgust. Carolyn waves to Richard and walks over to Richard and Taylor. Cut to Richard and Taylor, Carolyn joins them, puts her hand on Richard, greets both of them warmly.

 

Carolyn

Hey guys.

 

Richard

Hey Carolyn.

 

Taylor

extends his hand

I'm Taylor.

 

Carolyn

I'm Carolyn. I went to your party the other night. Love your place.

 

Richard

Where's your roommate?

 

Carolyn

Debbie had some other party to go to.

 

Taylor

Is she one of us?

 

Carolyn

No, she's some sort of consultant, I'm not sure exactly what she does. I just met her last week.

 

Richard

How'd you meet her?

 

Carolyn

Friend of a friend.

 

Shoopa walks up with a drink for Carolyn. Richard's eyes light up.

 

Richard

Hey Shoopa!

 

Shoopa

Richard, are you going to run for class president?

 

Richard

Class president?

 

Shoopa

I think you should run.

 

Richard

Me? President?

 

Carolyn

tugging on Richard's arm

You'd be great, Rich!!

 

Shoopa

We need to come up with a slogan. You can't win without a slogan.

 

Taylor

He's running on the normal guy platform.

 

Shoopa

Elect Richard, A NORMAL GUY for class president! I love it!

 

Cut to Richard.

 

Richard

What does the class president do?

 

Cut to auditorium filled with screaming fans. Richard is at the podium, on stage, waving at the crowd. A girl in the crowd on top of somebody's shoulder's yells "RICHARD!!" and rips open her shirt. Cut back to bar.

 

Taylor

Nothing. The class president is totally useless, people run to pad their résumé. But you should totally run, I mean you've got three votes right here.

 

Cut to shot of Shoopa, Carolyn, and Taylor all smiling big "you've got my vote" smiles at Richard.   Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 11

 

Scene opens in Carolyn and Debbie's apartment, several hours after the end of the previous scene (she is wearing what we saw at the happy hour, a brightly-colored button-down). She is studying in her living room, taking notes on a textbook. She has obviously been at this for some time, as the table is littered with papers, snacks, coffee, etc. Carolyn looks quite studious here; after a few moments of her studying she yawns, stretches a bit, then resumes studying. Morph to several hours later, her shirt is unbuttoned a bit now, she's a bit more frazzled and the table has more papers, garbage, etc.

 

Suddenly the door bursts open, Debbie and a beau she obviously picked up this evening literally stumble in, laughing. They are both quite intoxicated, so they fall to the ground in full view of Carolyn (but they don't see her) and then start making out - the guy is on his back while Debbie is on top of him, smooching him all over the place. Carolyn, pen still in hand, watches them wearily. After a few moments of this he opens his eyes to Carolyn staring at them. As he has stopped responding to Debbie, Debbie turns to see Carolyn at the table and laughs, she's not particularly embarrassed.

 

Debbie

This is my roommate Carolyn.

 

Darren

Hi.

 

Debbie

This is Darren.

 

Carolyn

Hi Darren, how are you?

 

Darren glances at Debbie, who is sitting on him, bent over so that her tits are right in his face. His gaze returns to Carolyn.

 

Darren

Doing well, thanks. You?

 

Carolyn

Very well. Did you two have a pleasant evening?

 

Debbie pushes off of Darren, helps him, up, and starts to pull him down the hall into her bedroom, laughing, drunk.

 

Debbie

Evening's not over yet.

 

Darren winks at Carolyn as they disappear from view into Debbie's bedroom. Carolyn, unimpressed by this spectacle, returns to her books. Morph to a few hours later, huge stack of papers on the table, Carolyn's got a sweatshirt over her outfit now, still studying, exhausted, yawning. She slowly succumbs to her fatigue, and rests her head on her desk. Fade slowly to black. Black continues for a few moments until we hear the sound of shattering ceramic. Fade in to Carolyn's eye view of a dimly lit room. Carolyn has been sleeping on her books for several hours, it's the middle of the night. Darren, barely dressed, was trying to sneak out quietly but knocked over a vase and is now on the ground trying to collect the pieces. He looks up at her guiltily.

 

Carolyn

rubbing her eyes

Don't worry about it.

 

Darren rises and quietly, humbly walks out the door. Carolyn falls back to sleep, fade to black. With black screen, we hear the sound of egg frying. Fade in to morning, Carolyn freshly showered in a new outfit, cooking up an egg. After a few moments Debbie shuffles in, looking as though she's paying the price for last night's excesses. She's wearing a bathrobe, with the remnants of the evening's makeup on her face.

 

Carolyn

chipper

Good morning.

 

Debbie

Let's not exaggerate.

 

As Carolyn cooks her egg Debbie chugs a glass of water, grabs a bottle of aspirin, and takes a handful of tablets with another entire glass of water. She stands there a few moments, collecting herself as Carolyn cooks.

 

Debbie

I hate Saturdays.

 

Carolyn

You hate Saturdays? Nobody hates Saturdays.

 

Debbie

You know what comes after Saturday?

 

Carolyn

Sunday.

 

Debbie

Exactly.

 

Carolyn digests this, nodding, while she finishes cooking her egg.

 

Carolyn

So you hate the whole week.

 

Debbie

Not at all. I live for the period between Friday lunch and going to bed Friday night.

 

Carolyn

jokingly

Those twelve hours...

 

Debbie

Almost make the other six and a half days worthwhile.

pause. big smile.

Coming back to work after lunch on Friday, everyone's in such a great mood,

she closes her eyes, takes a deep breath

thinking about the weekend, no work gets done. And at five o'clock you turn off your computer and you just feel the work week slide off you, you shed it like skin you've outgrown.  Walking out of the office on Friday is just majestic.

 

Debbie is in a bit of a trance. Carolyn finishes off her egg in silence, then rises.

 

Carolyn

You want an english muffin?

 

Debbie

Do you know what I do?

 

Carolyn halts, sits back down.

 

Carolyn

You're a consultant.

 

Debbie

That's what I do, but do you know what I do?

 

Carolyn

looks compassionately at Debbie for a moment

No.

 

Debbie

I help companies make more money.

 

Pause.

 

Carolyn

I'll bet your recruiters described it more glamorously.

 

Debbie

chuckles

Yeah.

 

Cut to Debbie's overstuffed cubicle at work. She's dressed in a work suit with mountains of papers on her desk. She's stares at a computer, then a thick account ledger on her lap, then back at the computer. We hear Debbie continue her conversation with Carolyn as we see her do monotonous chores in her cubicle (e.g. hunting through files, comparing two ledgers, paging through nearly-identical forms)

 

Debbie (os)

Whether you are an experienced professional or just embarking on your career, you owe it to yourself to consider PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s leading professional services firm. You will have unparalleled opportunities here. You’ll team with the best in the business to assist companies from our unrivaled client list – from start-ups to the world’s leading companies.

 

With offices in 150 countries, your opportunities with us are virtually unlimited. Your career can be locally oriented or international, focused on a key industry or on a client service. Whatever your career goals, we have the global reach to embrace them.

 

Throughout your career, you will be challenged by the work, by the people on your team and by the clients we serve. You will be constantly learning. Your ideas will be welcomed in an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork. Your individuality will be recognized. You will be encouraged to be yourself.

 

Silence for a few moments, as Debbie continues to be bored by the boring things she's doing in her cubicle. An older, quite unattractive man walks up to her desk.

 

Mr. rosenblatt

Good morning, Debbie.

 

Debbie

disgusted, puts on a fake smile

Mr. Rosenblatt.

 

Mr. Rosenblatt

Any progress on the Greenfield account?

 

Debbie

Slow but steady, Mr. Rosenblatt.

 

Mr. Rosenblatt

There's a lot of gruntwork on this one, but as you know we're paid well - you're paid well - to find the smallest inefficiencies in their process management.

 

Debbie

I know.

 

Mr. Rosenblatt

You have to walk before you run, Debbie.

 

Debbie, who has been avoiding making eye contact with her boss, now turns to look at him, doing her best to hide her contempt.  Mr. Rosenblatt smiles, and squats down so that the top of his head is at Debbie's level. Debbie closes her eyes and tenses up her face, overcome by hatred. After a few moments she reaches out and rubs the top of his head as he makes sighs of pleasure. He rises, straightens out his jacket.

 

Mr. Rosenblatt

Keep up the good work.

 

Debbie stares blankly at her computer screen as Mr. Rosenblatt walks away. Cut back to Carolyn and Debbie's conversation at their flat. They're both eating english muffins now, chuckling.

 

Carolyn

Oh, but the Friday afternoons!

 

Debbie

Thank god for Friday afternoons.

 

A cell phone rings, confusing Carolyn and Debbie. After exchanging confused looks with Carolyn, Debbie gets up and walks over to near where the vase used to be, and picks up the ringing cell phone.

 

Debbie

This isn't yours, is it?

 

Carolyn shakes her head.

 

Debbie

Oh, this must be Darren's.

 

They both stare at the ringing cell phone, not sure what to do with it.

 

Carolyn

Answer it!

 

Debbie

Where's the vase?

 

Debbie answers the phone.

Debbie

Hello?

Pause, as she listens.

No, he left his phone here last night.

Debbie tries to restrain herself from laughing, Carolyn shakes her head and laughs

I'm sorry about that. If I ever see him again, which I probably won't, I'll let him know.

 

Carolyn

You're terrible.

 

Debbie

Okay, bye-bye.

 

Debbie hangs up the phone, laughing.

 

Carolyn

Wife?

 

Debbie

Mom. She wants her car back.

more laughter

Of course he had to leave in the middle of the night last night because his company sent him to Switzerland this morning - he's an investment banker - but apparently he forgot to ask permission to take mom's car to the airport.

 

More laughter, as Debbie sits back down. Laughter quiets down.

 

 Debbie

You know I've been out of school almost five years now. I hate my job. And all my friends hate their jobs.

 

Carolyn

Why do you stick with it?

 

Debbie

Quit? And do what?

 

Carolyn

You could do anything you wanted, you've told me how overpaid you are, you must have some money set aside.

 

Debbie

They pay me huge amounts of money to be miserable. More and more each year, so as you become more and more miserable, it becomes more and more worth it to be miserable. Conniving bastards.

 

Carolyn

I don't think anybody ever knows for sure what they want to do, you just guess.

 

Debbie

I guessed wrong. All my friends guessed wrong.

 

Carolyn

So guess again. Now you can make an educated guess.

 

Debbie

Well, I guess I'll be a movie star.

 

Carolyn

You're going to need an agent.

 

At that moment, Darren bursts in breathing heavily as though he's been running. Debbie and Carolyn don't flinch at this intrusion, and Carolyn with her hand offers Darren as a potential agent.

 

Debbie

to Carolyn, ignoring Darren

No, I need an agent who can hold an erection.

 

Darren

contemplates this, but gives up after a few moments

I left my cell phone.

 

Debbie

holds out the cell phone

Somebody's secretary called from Switzerland. They want to know what's taking you so long.

 

Darren ignores this comment and grabs the phone. He starts to walk out but stops and looks at Carolyn.

 

Darren

to Carolyn

Hey um,

 

He's pointing at Debbie, wants to say "Debbie" but can't remember her name. He struggles for a few moments.

 

Debbie

not surprised

Debbie.

 

Darren

Debbie told me you're a med student.

 

Carolyn

Yeah, I started last week.

 

Darren

Hey listen, my urine has been a real strange color lately.

 

Debbie buries her face in her hands. Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 12

 

Some days have passed since scene 11. Scene opens with Richard pulling up to a nice, suburban house. As he stops the car he glances at the directions he's holding, and, satisfied, gets out of the car and rings the doorbell. The door is opened by an indian lady wearing a sari, looking very traditional. She greets Richard with a very thick accent.

 

Shoopa's mom

Hello, you must be Richard.

 

Despite her knowing who he is, Richard is confused, and looks down at his directions, wondering if he has the right place.

 

Richard

Hi, I'm looking for Shoopa?

 

Shoopa's mom

smiles warmly

Yes. I am Shoopa's mother.

 

Richard is dumbfounded. He just stands there.

 

Shoopa's mom

Would you like to come in?

 

Richard hesitatingly nods and steps in, looking around, mystified, as if he just landed on a different planet. He slowly moves into the house.

 

Shoopa's mom

smiles warmly

Please take off your shoes.

 

Richard stops in his tracks, looks at Shoopa's mom surprised, then peers at the ground in front of him.

 

Richard

Oh, is your floor really dirty? Don't worry about it, these are really old shoes.

 

Shoopa's mom is confused, and stares blankly at Richard. Cut to Shoopa's room: Carolyn and Shoopa are sitting on the floor, busy making Richard's election posters. Note the following dialogue is said with completely flat affect, as you should assume for all dialogue unless I call for laughter.

 

Shoopa

So I come home after anatomy, and you know how that smell doesn't come off you.

 

Carolyn

I'm getting used to it. Except when I eat. These days I only eat things that can be consumed through a straw, because I refuse to let my hands near my mouth.

 

Shoopa

Yeah, so I come home, and everyone smells me and is just disgusted, right? But they think medical school is this heroic thing to do, and coming home smelling like formaldehyde is somehow a symbol of that, so not only do they not tell me to take a shower, they seem to revel in the stench, like the worse I smell the prouder of me they are.

 

Pause; they're working on the posters.

 

Carolyn

Like you walk in carrying a baby you've rescued from a burning building, and the baby smells.

 

Shoopa

Exactly.

 

At that moment Richard appears in the doorway, without shoes, his big toe protruding through a huge whole in one of his socks. Carolyn and Shoopa greet him simultaneously.

 

Carolyn

big smile, lingering gaze

Hey Richie!

 

Shoopa

looks up, looks back down at the poster she's working on

Hey Richard, what's going on.

 

Richard smiles and gazes at Shoopa.

 

Richard

Hey guys!

 

Carolyn

still looking at him, smiling

What's going on?

 

Richard

Have you guys looked at biochem yet? That shit sucks!

 

Carolyn

It does.

 

Shoopa

still working on a poster

I can't believe our first test is in a week. I hear how you do on the first test is basically how you're going to do all through medical school. 

 

Richard assumes a horrified expression.

 

Carolyn

Oh, come on Shoopa.

 

Richard shakes off that comment, and sits down between Carolyn and Shoopa, not ignoring but not really noticing Carolyn. Carolyn is not at all oblivious to Richard's infatuation with Shoopa, and she's not hurt by it - she's above it.  She knows Richard's attraction to Shoopa is childlike, and she loves the child (and knows Shoopa wouldn't date him anyway).

 

Richard

So, your parents...seem...um...kinda...

 

Carolyn and Shoopa stop working and look at Richard, waiting for him to complete his sentence.

 

Richard

...ethnic.

 

Shoopa

looks back down, continues to work

I'm adopted.

 

This obvious fact had not occurred to Richard. He's taken aback.

 

Richard

Adopted.

Richard nods

That's cool.

 

Pause.

 

Shoopa

concentrating on her poster

Fucking awesome.

 

Shoopa holds up the poster she'd been working on. "ELECT RICHARD CARTRIGHT - A NORMAL GUY FOR CLASS PRESIDENT" The poster is very feminine, with flowers and adorned letters.

 

Shoopa

Whaddya think?

 

Carolyn

It looks great!

 

Richard

It's perfect. There's no way I can lose.

 

Shoopa

Campaign speeches are coming up in a few days. Though I admit these posters are impressive, you're going to have deliver a strong message to the class. Have you ironed out your platform?

 

Richard

I have no platform.

 

Shoopa considers this.

 

Shoopa

Well, whatever. I can't imagine that anyone really has a platform for med school class president. Just whatever you say, say it with confidence.

 

Richard

I have no confidence.

 

Shoopa smiles faintly, while pulling out another posterboard to work on. Carolyn absolutely beams at Richard, she is simply taken by him. Shoopa's younger sister walks in and sits down.

 

Shoopa

Richard and Carolyn, this is my sister.

 

Boopha (Purvi)

Hi, I'm Boopha.

 

Boopha waves at Carolyn and Richard and grabs a posterboard, starts working on it along with Carolyn and Shoopa.

 

Carolyn

Hi Boopha. What are you up to this evening?

 

Boopha

Trying to avoid doing my homework.

 

Richard

Homework sucks. What grade are you in?

 

Boopha

I just started high school.

 

Carolyn

No more middle school for you.

 

Richard

You're done with that.

 

 

Both parents appear in the doorway.

 

Shoopa and boopha

Hey dad.

 

Mr. patel (Dr. Raja)

in the thickest of all indian accents

Hello girls.

 

Shoopa

Dad, these are my classmates Richard and Carolyn.

 

mr. patel

Hello Richard and Carolyn.

 

Richard and Carolyn wave.

 

mr. patel

What are you doing?

 

Shoopa

Richard is running for class president, and we're helping him make election posters.

 

Richard

It's hard to find good help nowadays.

 

Mr. Patel is not amused.

 

Mr. Patel

Class president?  Boopha when you go to medical school maybe you will be class president.

 

Boopha and Shoopa look at each other, wondering if they should bring this up now. Boopha looks down at the poster she's making.

 

Boopha

I don't want to go to medical school, dad.

 

Mr. and Ms. Patel, very composed and understated, look blankly at Boopha for a moment, and then, suddenly, simultaneously, burst into convulsions and waves of laughter. They are doubling over with laughter, having trouble keeping their balance. After some time they settle down.

 

mr. patel

still amused

Of course you're going to medical school, Boopha.

 

boopha

still working on her poster

No dad, I'm not. I don't like science. I don't even like ER.

 

Mr. Patel isn't playing around anymore.

 

mr. Patel

Boopha, your mother and I fully support you in whatever you want to do, as long as that is medicine. We did not leave our family in India so that you could become an actress or a lawyer. Shoopa has been a good role model for you Boopha and you will make us proud as she has. I'm sorry Shoopa but -

 

Ms. Patel

softly

Boopha.

 

Mr. patel

 

Boopha we have already decided what we are going to do with your life, and it is not open for discussion.

 

Boopha gets up, upset, and runs out.

 

Boopha

No! Medicine is stupid! You can't make me!

 

mr. patel

calling after her

Boopha! You listen to me Boopha!

to Shoopa

Shoopa go talk to Boopha! Boopha listens to Shoopa!

 

Shoopa

She won't listen to me, dad.

 

Mr. patel

exasperated, yells after her

OK, you can be an engineer!

 

Cut to black. 

 

 

SCENE 13

 

Scene 13 is filmed in montage fashion. Music starts to a black screen, and the same song will play through the entire scene. Gradually fade in to Richard trying to study biochemistry. After a few moments Skeeter walks in, bored. He circles Richard's room; Richard glances at him but tries to ignore it and continue studying.

 

Cut to Carolyn trying to study at the table in the living room at night. Debbie stumbles in drunk, alone, pulls up a chair facing Carolyn, and starts talking exuberantly to her.

 

Cut to biochemistry class. Dr. Peterson is lecturing, and on the screen is a computer model of an enormous molecule, slowly spinning.

 

dr. peterson

This is a-beta-lipoprotein lipase.

He turns to face the screen, reverently

Is it not beautiful?

 


Cut to Becker studying. He works efficiently. Mom walks in and leaves a plate of piping hot spaghetti and meatballs next to him. He completely ignores her and the food, continuing to study.

 

Cut back to biochem class and Dr. Peterson staring at a-beta-lipoprotein lipase.

 

Dr. peterson

Soon you all will be prescribing drugs that affect the way this protein behaves.

He turns back to the class

Now who here would feel comfortable doing that, without knowing which bonds lie in which planes?

 

Dr. Peterson stares out over the audience for a few moments.

 

Cut to empty podium in front of auditorium. Dallasized hot chick confidently walks up and displays her election poster, "HEATHER VAN NOSS FOR CLASS PRESIDENT" She speaks like a cheerleader.

 

HEATHER van noss

Hello everybody! I'm Heather Van Noss and I want to be YOUR class president!! Woooo-hoooo!

 

Cut to stud studying. He's drawing in his biochem book. Close-up to biochem book. He was underlining sentences, when one of his underlines became an elaborate, beautiful doodle that he continues to work on.

 

Cut to Meredith Bylington studying. After a few moments, three tiny kids run in and distract her.

 

Cut to studette studying. After a few moments, the phone rings, and without her eyes leaving the book, she answers it. A moment after she says hello, her eyes light up and a big smile comes over her face. She has received a call from some guy she's interested in. She greets him sheepishly and kicks her feet onto her desk, work forgotten.

 

Cut to podium occupied by Becker. In front of the podium is a typeset "BECKER STEVENSON: THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR CLASS PRESIDENT"

 

Becker

This class needs leadership that will lead us into the twenty-first century. Bold leadership. Confident leadership.

 

Cut to stud studying. We hear a bird tweeting while he tries to study. After a few moments, he looks up at the bird outside. As the bird chirps, he stares at it and falls into a daydream. [[how on earth we're going to get a bird to stay on a branch, I have no idea.]]

 

Cut to Shoopa studying.

 

Cut to embryology. Playboy-like mustached professor is drawing on the overhead. As he draws a freeform blob, he identifies what he's drawing.

 

playboy prof

This structure here will fuse with this structure to form the spinal cord. Now this midline structure here will, in the right chemotactic milieu, migrate cephalad and form the brain.

He draws an enormous blob.

This structure will become the female clitoris.

 

Cut to Richard studying.

 

Cut to stud studying, with bare feet up on his desk. After a few moments of reading he notices some hair on his toes, and begins to pluck it.

 

Cut to podium, on the ground is one of Richard's election posters. Richard is obviously intimidated by the crowd.

 

Richard

We need a president who understands you guys.

 

Cut to stud studying, highlighting. After a highlight he tries to balance his highlighter on its end, and is totally distracted by this challenge.

 

Cut to Carolyn studying.

 

Cut to stud studying. After a few moments, he looks at his plant, distracted. He gets up and goes offscreen as camera hold the plant. He comes back and waters the plant.

 

Cut to podium, chinese guy finishing his election speech.

 

Chinese guy

with requisite accent

Vote Chen for president!!!

 

Single Chinese guy in the back of class jumps up and down, screaming support. In response, speaker jumps up and down, screaming.

 

Cut to biochem class. Dr. Slaughter is lecturing; on the board in huge letters is "EXAM TOMORROW  8:00AM" On a table in front of the class is a beaker filled with something making a lot smoke.

 

Cut to rapid-fire sequence of everyone seen so far cramming furiously. Cups of coffee abound.

 

Cut to Carolyn studying, then suddenly slamming the book closed, she's done. She closes her eyes, pulls her hands through her hair, and breathes deeply.

 

Cut to Richard studying, stressed out.

 

Cut to Becker studying, with Wally, late. Mom, in nightgown, brings in cookies.

 

Cut to outside of Gooch, morning of the test. A dozen students who clearly haven't slept are cramming in some last bits of information just outside the door.

 

Cut to students filing in and sitting down.

 

Cut to students taking test, pencils on scantrons. Andy Boyd sneezes heroically and startles everyone. Richard's Coke bottle is nearly full.

 

Cut to hours later, Coke bottle nearly empty, everyone still taking the test. Dan Kim is looking at his neighbor's test.

 

Cut to Richard taking the test, looking stressed. He bubbles in the last answer and puts his pencil down. Cut to black, music stops. 

 

 

 

SCENE 14

 

Scene 14 opens to a silent, black screen. After a few moments of silent blackness, we hear a key being inserted into a lock and then, from the mailman side of the mailbox, we see the school mailbox door open away from us, revealing a piece of paper in the mailbox and Taylor's face on the other side. Music starts. Taylor quickly and with a look of determination snatches the paper on the inside, which is a test score report. Note there is no need to see a grade on the test report. On looking at the sheet, Taylor's face becomes a bit dejected and he breathes a sigh of disappointment. He reads the paper for a few moments and closes the box. Black screen. Still on the mailman's view, the camera moves to across a few closed mailboxes to another closed mailbox and stops, black screen. Key into lock, door opens to reveal Wally's face. He closes his eyes, eagerly grabs the paper, holds it in front of him, and opens his eyes. He screams in jubilation at this score and we see him jumping up and down, away from the mailbox, so that we have a wider view. Enter Taylor, who tells Wally that the last time he scored that high he went home and pleasured himself.  The camera goes down a few boxes to another box, which opens to Carolyn's face; she takes the paper, gives a half-smile/half-shrug (she could have done better, but oh well) and closes the box.  Across to mailbox number four, Shoopa is visibly irritated with her score. Mailbox number five is Becker, who grabs the paper, looks at it, smiles, looks into the mailbox (at us) and winks. Mailbox six is Failure Stud, who takes a deep breath and stares down the mailbox before he takes out the paper. When he looks at his score he is silently devastated - his worst fears have been realized. He puts his hand on his mouth, horrified. Last is Richard. When he looks at the paper he sighs and shakes his head. A random student walks by.

 

conciliatory stud

Hey man, sorry about the election. I voted for you.

 

Richard

Hey, thanks, no big deal.

 

Coniciliatory stud

I think that guy Becker's a prick.

 

Richard

I'm sure he'll do a great job.

 

conciliatory stud

Like hell he will. I know his kind. Luckily, I hear the class president doesn't do a damn thing anyway.

 

Cut to Richard walking into his room. On Richard's bed Skeeter is shaving a dog. Richard isn't surprised; he slouches down in a chair, discouraged and in a bit of a daze, still holding his test score.

 

Skeeter

shaving the dog

You look down, dude.

 

Richard

Remember when I came home from the test last week and told you I bombed and you said "I'm sure you did fine."?

 

Skeeter

Yeah.

 

Richard shows him the test. We don't see the score.

 

Skeeter

Hm. Misjudgment on my part.

 

Skeeter goes back to shaving the dog.

 

Richard

Where'd you get the dog?

 

Skeeter

She was wandering around outside, and looked like she needed a good shave.

 

This seems to satisfy Richard. He nods.

 

Richard

I really wonder if I'm cut out for this.

 

Richard looks at Skeeter for some encouragement, but Skeeter is really into shaving this dog.

 

Richard

I'm not a robot like some of these other guys. I can only study so much, you know?

 

Skeeter

I'm sure you'll do fine.

 

Richard digests this for a moment, then the phone rings. It's right next to Skeeter, and Richard looks at Skeeter expecting him to answer it, but Skeeter doesn't notice as he's shaving the dog. Richard gets up and answers the phone.

 

Richard

talking to phone as Skeeter shaves the dog

 

Hello?

 

Hey, Carolyn.

 

OK I guess.

 

Study group? 

 

Well it definitely couldn't hurt.

 

Wednesday?

 

Definitely. Hey, um, you wanna invite Shoopa?

 

Skeeter has finished shaving the dog and is now giving it big, wet kisses. The dog is licking Skeeter's face all over the place, disgusting.

 

Richard

into phone

I can bring Taylor.

 

Excellent. See you there.

 

Richard hangs up the phone. Cut to Skeeter and the dog.

 

Skeeter

in doggie voice

Yes...you're a shaved dog now aren't you?

 

 

More disgusting licks and kisses.

 

Cut to Carolyn's apartment study table. Shoopa and Carolyn are sitting next to each other, books and papers piled neatly, unopened. There's an easel with a blank pad of poster-sized paper, ready to be marked up. Carolyn is snacking on some pretzels.

 

 Carolyn

So what happened with you and Becker?

 

Shoopa

I was madly in love with him, and then fell out of love with him.

 

Carolyn

Sounds reasonable.

 

Shoopa

It wasn't.

 

Carolyn wants more, but Shoopa needs bait.

 

Carolyn

I can see why you were attracted to him.

 

Shoopa

Really? Why was I attracted to him?

 

Carolyn

laughing

That was my way of asking. He is good looking...

 

Shoopa

He was better looking when his head was smaller.  But I'll tell you - there were no games with Becker; it was always clear who was number one and that was the books. He is so driven.

 

Carolyn

That's sexy.

 

 

Shoopa

Guys that put everything into a relationship bore me.

she's getting nostalgic

Becker has his own life going on, and it goes on with or without you, and I loved that. I was swept up by it.

 

Carolyn

So what happened?

 

Shoopa

pauses

Well, it's like I have my rational mind and my love mind. When I get lured out of my rational shell I start thinking with this other brain, a brain that paints the world beautiful.

 

Carolyn smiles a big smile and leans forward a bit. Love is so great.

 

Shoopa

For better or for worse, that brain at some point runs out of paint.

 

Carolyn

It's for worse!

 

Shoopa

Maybe. If I didn't run out of paint I'd still be dating Becker.

 

She's got a point there. Carolyn nods in acknowledgment.

 

The door opens; Richard and Taylor stride in laughing about something.

 

Taylor

accusingly, jokingly

All right, now don’t get in front of us, what are you two talking about?

 

Shoopa

We just finished discussing coronary circulation. Sorry, but you're five minutes late.

 

Richard and Taylor have a seat at the study table.

 

Taylor

Cutthroat, dude.

 

Richard

How'd you guys do on the biochem test? I bombed.

 

Carolyn

I could have done better.

 

Shoopa

I bombed, too.

 

Taylor

jaded

So we all "bombed," but I'll bet we each have different ideas of bombed.

pause

You guys can be sure that when I say I bombed, I fucking bombed.

 

Shoopa

Well let's get to work so don't all fucking bomb the next test.

 

Carolyn

Do you think we'll have to know the names of all twelve cranial nerves?

 

Richard

No way.

 

Everyone looks at Taylor. Taylor nods the nod that says "Yep, you're going to have to know'em."

 

Shoopa

Christ.

 

Richard

exasperated

Why?? Who cares?? Is my patient going ask me if I know the name of the eighth cranial nerve?

 

Taylor motions to calm down.

 

Taylor

Relax. It's not a problem.

 

Carolyn

It's a huge problem. We have 113 nerves to memorize by next friday. I've counted.

 

She picks up a paper and reads from it.

 

Carolyn

113 nerves, 82 arteries, 44 muscles, 31 bones, and two chains of lymph nodes.

 

Taylor

Let me ask you guys a question. How would you characterize the sensation of touching and feeling very good vagina?

 

The group stares at him.

 

Taylor

Would you call it...heavenly?

 

Cut to fifteen minutes later.

 

Taylor

OK your turn Carolyn.

 

Carolyn

OK. The twelve cranial nerves.

she thinks for a moment, and recites the mnemonic haltingly

Oh oh oh to touch and feel very good vagina. Ah, heavenly. Olfactory, Optic, Occulomotor-

 

Taylor interrupts her.

 

Taylor

No no, you have say it with feeling.

 

Carolyn rolls her eyes.

 

Taylor

You need to have an emotional investment in your mnemonics, or you'll forget them.

Taylor recites the mnemonic melodramatically.

Oh oh oh to touch and feel very good vagina.

Taylor closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. A wave of calm euphoria overcomes him, and he smiles as though heroine is flowing into his veins.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....heavenly.

 

Cut to a couple hours later, full-screen shot of the easel, now with several pages turned over. Richard is at the easel, writing at the bottom of the page, "Maxillary." Written at the top of the page is the title, "BRANCHES OF THE EXTERNAL CAROTID ARTERY." The page is in two columns. In the left column, running down the page (one word per line) is "Some Anatomists Like Fellatio, Others Prefer S & M." In the right column, paralleling the mnemonic is "Superior thyroid artery; Ascending pharyngeal; Lingual; Facial; Occipital; Posterior auricular; Superficial temporal; Maxillary." Hold this shot long enough for audience to read it.

 

Cut to full view of the room. The table has aged considerably - chips, books and papers strewn everywhere, etc. The participants are tired. Richard finishes writing the mnemonic and looks at it for a few seconds.

 

Taylor

Do you think some anatomists like fellatio?

 

Carolyn

I'm sure some do.

 

Richard

Are you suggesting that some don't?

 

Taylor

At this point I've run into quite a few, and I'm not sure any of them like fellatio.

 

Carolyn

Did you have a bad experience trying to fellate an anatomist?

 

Shoopa

irritated

Guys, I have to go. I'm sorry but we have our practical in a week and I don't know a god damn thing.

 

Shoopa packs up her stuff and walks off. The group watches her leave silently.

 

Richard

dejected

Why'd she leave?

 

Carolyn

Maybe she used to work as an anatomist and got offended.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

 

SCENE 15

 

Scene 15 opens with Richard studying at his desk, late night before the anatomy exam. Hold for a few moments as Richard studies quietly, both his hands in his hair.

 

Cut to Carolyn's table. She is studying with both her hands in her hair. Hold for a few moments. Carolyn looks up and stares out into space, pensive. Hold for a few seconds. Carolyn picks up the phone and dials a number.

 

Cut back to Richard's room. The phone rings. We hear both voices throughout this conversation. Richard looks at the clock before answering the phone, it's 2:50.

 

Richard

Hello?

 

Carolyn (OS)

How did I know you'd be up.

 

Richard

smiles

Lucky guess.

 

Carolyn (OS)

We can't learn all of this, you know.

 

Cut to Carolyn.

 

Richard (oS)

 

I know.

 

Carolyn

So how do we know when to stop studying, then?

 

Richard (OS)

I don't know.

 

Morph to an hour later. Carolyn is now lying on the ground, still talking to Richard, the phone cord is stretched all the way from her desk.

 

Richard (OS)

And when we got to the bottom of the canyon, it was thirty degrees warmer. We stayed in this bungalow for like 40 pesos, and it was Christmas eve and at midnight there was this procession of children carrying effigies and candles. I wanted to stay there for the rest of my life.

 

Carolyn

Well I'm glad you didn't.

 

Richard (OS)

If I did, you would have learned the origin and insertion of at least five more muscles instead of talking to me.

 

Carolyn closes her eyes, serene. Hold for a few seconds. Cut to Richard, on the floor, phone cord stretched from his desk, staring off into space in silence. Hold for a few seconds. Richard yawns.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Well our test is in four hours. We should spend at least some of that time sleeping, don't you think?

 

Richard

yawns again

Will you call me at seven to make sure I'm awake?

 

Carolyn (OS)

Yeah. Will you call me at five till seven to wake me up so I can call you at seven?

 

Richard

OK.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Good night.

 

Richard

Good night.

 

Richard is too far away from the phone to hang it up. He lies there, arms outstretched, and closes his eyes.

 

Cut to the next morning, anatomy lab practical. Students move around with clipboards, the bell rings, next station. Richard is staring at the specimen, can't make any sense of it. The bell rings and he just stands there staring at it. The next student walks up and stands next to Richard, patiently. Richard examines the specimen for few more moments and then looks at the stud waiting and gives her a look of "whatever. good luck."

 

Cut to student mailboxes, again from mailman perspective. Rapid-fire sequence of our characters pulling out anatomy scores. Carolyn has no reaction, Richard sheepish, Becker nods, Taylor crumples up the paper. Linger on Shoopa, the last person, she is disappointed and stands there, shaking her head.

 

Cut to library entrance. Carolyn walks in and sees Taylor and Shoopa studying at a table across the way. She waves and heads over. Becker and Wally pass by her on their way out of the library, discussing biochemistry. They are so engrossed in conversation they don’t even see Carolyn.

 

Wally

The carbon skeleton of arginine is derived from alpha-ketoglutarate.

 

Becker

But the nitrogen and carbon atoms composing the guanidino group of the arginine side chain come from ammonium and bicarbonate ions.

 

Carolyn

Hey guys!

 

They both looks up briefly but resume their conversation as they pass by.

 

Becker and Wally

Hey Carolyn.

 

Becker

The urea cycle is closed when ornithine is regenerated from arginine...

 

 

Failure Stud is walking out of the library, and passes by her.

 

Carolyn

Hey Johnny!

 

Johnny looks depressed. He tries to force out a smile and pass by Carolyn without responding, but Carolyn puts her hand on his shoulder to stop him.

 

Carolyn

concerned

How are you?

 

Johnny looks at her with droopy eyes, and shakes his head.

 

Carolyn

What's the matter?

 

failure stud

makes a weak attempt to look around to see if anyone's listening

These tests are killing me.

 

Carolyn

We all feel that way.

 

Failure stud

knows that the tests are REALLY killing him, but doesn't want to be a burden

Okay.

He smiles.

 

Carolyn

Try to keep some perspective. In a few years you'll look back on all this and laugh.

 

Failure stud

I hope so. Seeya.

 

Carolyn waves goodbye and sits down with Taylor and Shoopa, who have some books open.

 

Carolyn

What are you guys up to?

 

Taylor

Shoopa is trying to explain how we make pee.

 

Carolyn

Good. I don't understand it, either.

 

Richard walks up.

 

Richard

Good news, guys. After we finish biochem on Thursday we start Genetics, and get to learn this

 

Richard plops down a hefty syllabus.

 

in three weeks.

 

Taylor

dismayed

Oh, god.

 

Shoopa

Oh come on Taylor, it can't be that bad - you already learned it last year.

 

Taylor

It is that bad, which is why I didn't learn it last year.

He puts his hand on the syllabus

400 pages, and the only thing I remember is that you shouldn't have kids with your sister.

 

Carolyn

So it wasn't a complete waste of time...

 

Taylor

You know, before I came to this godforsaken city I could make A's and enjoy myself. Now it seems that every additional point I get on an exam is one fewer episode of SportsCenter I get to watch.

 

Richard

One fewer hour of sleep.

 

Taylor

One fewer beer with a friend.

 

Shoopa

You guys are breaking my heart. If you want to sleep, drink beers with your friends, and watch SportsCenter all day then don't be a doc. Go dig ditches.

 

Taylor

Here we go. Now tell me how much smarter, harder-working, and more benevolent doctors are than everyone else.

 

Carolyn

She didn't say that Taylor, just that they have to learn Genetics.

 

Taylor

At what cost? Do you think I can live like them?

 

Taylor points at a table of three chinese students studying.

 

Shoopa

How do they live?

 

Cut to chinese table. The three chinese students speak in Chinese, with English subtitles.

 

CHinese stud 1 (In chinese with english subtitles)

looking at Taylor,Shoopa,Richard,Carolyn

Every time I come to the library those guys are here, studying.

 

CHINESE STUD 2 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

They're like machines.

 

Cut back to white table.

 

Shoopa

Of course they have a life.

 

Taylor

They do not get laid.

 

Cut back to Chinese table.

 

CHINESE STUD 1 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

Are you suggesting that white people don't have sex?

 

CHINESE STUD 2 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

I've never seen it.

 

CHINESE STUD 1 (IN CHINESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

How do they continue the species?

 

Cut to a few days later, Richard's room, late night. He's studying, and after a few moments we hear an explosion. Richard is startled and irritated, and walks out into the hallway. He tries to open Skeeter's room but it's locked as usual. He pounds on the door.

 

Richard

angry

Hey!

 

Skeeter (OS)

No worries!

 

Richard

I have an exam tomorrow!

 

Skeeter (OS)

Everything's under control in here!

 

Richard walks back to his room, frustrated.

 

Richard

to himself

Gentle nonsmoker.

 

Cut to biochem test the next morning for a few moments.

 

Cut to mailboxes, film like previous mailbox scenes. Carolyn, Taylor, and Richard are disappointed with their grades, but receive the news with more resignation. Shoopa can not accept her grade, and curses the score report as she slams her box, giving us a black screen.

 

 

SCENE 16

 

Scene 16 opens with Richard opening the front door to his home. In the living room are Skeeter and three well-dressed Asian guys sitting in a circle, smoking pot and listening to Bon Jovi. As Richard enters Skeeter is getting ready to take a hit from a beautiful, tall, blue water pipe.

 

Skeeter

to guests

This is Richard, my wayward medical student roommate.

 

The three asian guys greet him with "hello," and "how do you do" spoken in exaggerated chinese accents. Richard waves at the crowd.

 

Richard

Hey fellas.

 

Skeeter takes a hit.

 

Skeeter

holding in the smoke, in high-pitched voice

Richard this is Mike, John, and Bob.

 

Richard is a confused but doesn't show it. The guests are smiling at him.

 

Richard

Really.

 

The phone rings. Skeeter answers it as he exhales all the smoke, and begins to cough like mad. He picks up the phone in the middle of his coughing fit and addresses the crowd before speaking into the phone, so that the caller hears him.

 

Skeeter

to crowd, coughing

God damn, that is some harsh shit.

into phone

Hello?

pause, Skeeter looks at Richard

It's your mom.

 

Richard

I'll take it in my room.

 

Cut to Richard's room. Richard picks up the phone in his rooms and yells at Skeeter to hang up.

 

Richard

Hey mom.

 

Richard sits down at his desk. On his desk is the anatomy coloring book, open to the cardiovascular section with some colored pencils in the spine. Richard subconsciously picks up one of the pencils and throughout the conversation is coloring the book without paying any attention to it. Camera to Richard coloring the book.

 

mom (OS)

Richard this is your mother.

 

Richard

How ya doin, mom.

 

mom (OS)

I have your father on the phone.

 

dad (OS)

Hey Richie.

 

Richard

Wow, a three way call. Since when do you know how to make three-way calls, mom?

 

dad (OS)

She doesn't. I had to explain it to her.

 

mom (OS)

Oh fuck off Ray. Honey, we're concerned.

 

Pause.

 

Richard

About what?

 

Mom (OS)

About you, Richard. You don't sound like yourself lately.

 

Richard

I sound fine, mom.

 

Dad (OS)

Now listen to your mother, Richie.

 

MOM (OS)

You've only been there for a few months and frankly honey you sound malnourished. Are you eating enough?

 

Richard

Come on, mom.

 

DAD (OS)

Listen to your mother, Richie.

 

Richard

Guys, don't worry. There's a Frullati in the school cafeteria.

 

Mom & Dad(OS)

Oh thank god. [MOM]

Thank goodness for that. [DAD]

 

MOM (OS)

Are you not meeting any girls, Richard? I'm sure there are lots of nice girls in your class.

 

Richard

Well it seems that the exam schedule keeps the girls perpetually pre-menstrual.

 

MOM (OS)

Richard!

 

dad (OS)

Richard you're not to use that sort of language in front of your mother.

 

Richard

Sorry. Anyway I'm meeting lots of girls. Can't keep them off me.

 

Dad (OS)

Richard, this is not the time for sarcasm. Are you having that problem we talked about?

 

richard

No, Dad.

 

dad (OS)

Because all of us go through it Rich...

 

Richard

My dick works fine, dad.

 

MOM (OS)

Oh my god!

 

DAD (OS)

angry

Now that's quite enough young man!

 

Richard

Listen I'm sorry guys, but I'm pretty stressed out these days.

 

MOM (OS)

It's all right Ray. Honey, are they working you too hard? Are they making you take too many tests? Do you want me to call the dean?

 

Richard

Guys, I used to make A's. I don't make A's anymore.

 

Silence.

 

Richard

I'm not even making all B's.

 

Silence.

 

MOM (OS)

Well, honey, there's more to life than making A's.

 

Richard

You know I keep telling myself that. But it's a lot easier to believe when you're making A's.

 

Silence. More silence.

 

MOM (OS)

You're still going to be a doctor, right?

 

Richard

What?

 

MOM (OS)

I mean they're not going to kick you out or anything, right?

 

DAD (OS)

Don't pressure him Margaret. The last thing he needs right now is pressure.

 

MOM (OS)

defensive

I'm not pressuring him!

 

DAd (OS)

He's about to fail out of medical school, and what he needs right now is our support.

 

Richard and MOM (OS)

I'm not about to fail out of medical school. [Richard]

 

I do support him you slime!! [MOM]

 

Mom is getting hysterical.

 

MOM (OS)

And what do you know about support, you two-timing cocksucker!!

 

DAD (OS)

defensive

Margaret you know as well as I do that if a man's not getting what he needs at home...

 

MOM (OS)

screaming

Oh is that right?

 

DAD (OS)

That's right!

 

MOM (OS)

Well if you knew how to please a woman, maybe I would have wanted to do something in bed other than listen to you fart.

 

Richard starts to hang up the phone, and though the camera is still to the anatomy coloring book, we know he's hanging up because mom and dad's voices quickly become distant.

 

DAD (OS)

You wouldn't know the first thing about passion, you heartless bitch!

 

MOM (OS)

I hope you die a slow, painful death you...

 

<click>

 

Music continues, louder, as we see Richard's other hand on the book after he hangs up the phone. Hold on Richard coloring the heart for a few seconds.

 

Cut to anatomy lab, almost vacant save a few teams scattered throughout the lab, cramming for the exam. Richard and Taylor are reviewing.  Richard holds up a heart.

 

Richard

amazed

This heart beat for 91 years. For 91 years this heart pumped blood to the farthest corners of his body. Without pause, without fail, without complaint.

 

Pause as Richard marvels at this heart, assuming Taylor is equally incredulous.

 

Taylor

That's amazing Richard. What's even more amazing is that we are going to have to identify every vessel and nerve that supplies this heart on a practical exam.

 

Richard

time to get serious

Okay.

 

Taylor

points to some structure

What's this?

 

Richard

Circumflex branch of the left coronary.

 

Taylor

points to some other structure

Right. What about this?

 

Richard

confused

Um. Where's it going?

 

After a few moments, Richard looks up at Taylor.

 

Taylor

The only one who will hear you ask that question tomorrow is the cadaver, and since their mouths have been ripped away from their faces they won't be able to answer.

 

Richard

looks back down, tries to figure it out

I can't tell. What is it?

 

Taylor

dismayed

I don't know.

 

Richard

Great.

 

They both stare at it a few moments in silence.

 

Richard

Hey, this guy's got a uterus!

 

Taylor

Unlikely.

 

He stares at whatever Richard's looking at.

 

Taylor

I think that's the bladder.

 

Richard

Oh yeah. What's the fancy name for the bladder?

 

Taylor

Detrusor muscle.

 

Richard

Detrusor muscle.

 

Richard closes his eyes, tries to memorize it.

 

Richard

Detrusor muscle. How am I going to remember that?

 

Taylor

You want to remember it forever?

 

Richard

Until the day I die.

 

Taylor recites the mnemonic with great fervor, acting out the parts as necessary.

 

Taylor

I would like you to imagine two neighboring nations at war. After years of rape, plunder and carnage their respective economies fall into such dysfunction that they become unsuitable as a source of cheap labor for American industry, so the United States sends an envoy of diplomats to construct a cease-fire, along with an economic stimulus package. A line is drawn in the sand, with both sides agreeing not to cross that line, in exchange for peace. There is a man, however, who lived in one of these war-torn countries, and who was in love with Brittany Spears. He wrote her a poem every week for much of his adolescence, without reply. Imagine checking your mailbox every day, waiting for a letter from Brittany Spears, a letter that never came. Needless to say he became an anti-american militant, and on the day the war ended he decided he would rather see his country go down in flames than submit to an American-brokered truce. He stealthily made his way to that line in the sand, unzipped his pants, cursed his enemy, and peed across that line. Before he was blown to bits by hostile forces, before he reignited the war, he focused every bit of remaining strength on squeezing his bladder - squeezing his bladder to piss across enemy lines and break the truce. He was the de-trusor.

 

Becker walks by.

 

Richard

Hey Becker, what is this?

 

Richard points back into the tank, presumably at the structure he and Taylor couldn't identify. Becker glances into the tank and knows immediately.

 

Becker

That's the left recurrent laryngeal nerve.

 

Richard and Taylor nod in understanding. Becker pauses, but decides to seize the moment.

 

Becker

What happens if you accidentally cut the recurrent laryngeal nerve?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Vocal cord paralysis. And why would someone accidentally cut the recurrent laryngeal nerve? In other words, in what procedures is the nerve at risk?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Carotid endarterectomy and thyroidectomy.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

The recurrent laryngeal nerve innervates all of the muscles of the larynx except one. Which one?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

The cricothyroid.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

The recurrent laryngeal nerve can also be damaged by involvement either with an expanding bronchogenic carcinoma, or by aneurysm of this structure...

 

He points to something.

 

Becker

Which is what?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

That's the arch of the aorta, guys.

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Don't worry - the test isn't until tomorrow.

 

Becker walks off. Richard and Taylor stare at each other for a few moments.

 

Richard

We should have gotten the aortic arch.

 

Taylor

Keep in mind, that we're better at parties than he is.

 

Richard

Yeah we are.

 

Taylor

We have a more diverse set of interests.

 

Richard

No doubt.

 

Taylor

We're balanced.

 

Richard

0h we're balanced all right.

 

Taylor

So balanced.

 

Richard

We're a god-damned high-wire act.

 

Taylor

We just might fail the practical tomorrow.

 

Richard

Let's go home.

 

Taylor throws the scalpel into the tank. Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 17

 

Scene 17 opens in the area outside the testing auditorium. The post-test crowd is divided into a few groups. Richard wanders out in a daze, beat down by the exam. He happens to be walking next to a random med student who also just finished the exam. After Richard being in a daze is established, they talk as they walk.

 

Random Stud

Wow, feels good to be done.

 

Richard

in a daze

Yeah.

 

Random stud

Hey, is the forearm muscle present only in 80% of people the palmaris longus or the flexor carpi ulnaris?

 

Richard looks at him in a daze for a moment. Finally the question registers.

 

Richard

Um, oh. Yeah I think I put flexor digitorum profundus for that one.

 

Random stud

grimaces, as if he were just exposed to an awful smell

Oh that's definitely wrong. Hey, have a great break!

 

Richard

smiling sarcastically

You too.

 

Random stud walks off. Richard sees Taylor saying goodbye to a few studs, wishing them a great break. Richard passes a stud who is looking up answers in a textbook and walks up to Taylor.

 

Taylor

Hey dude.

 

Richard

How do you think you did on that test?

 

Taylor

Who cares, man. It's over. We're done.

Richard

Does that mean you did okay?

 

Taylor

No. It doesn't mean that. Let's get drinks.

 

Richard

Drinks?

 

Taylor

Drinks. Malty beverages.

 

Richard

looks at his watch

It's a bit early, isn't it? I try not to drink before noon.

 

Taylor

Well it's noon somewhere. I'm going to drown the prospect of doing anatomy for a third time in Mexican beer.

 

Becker and Shoopa are walking together, talking. They pass Richard and Taylor.

 

Richard

Hey guys. What did you think of that test?

 

Shoopa

It was...

she nods, considers her answer

a fair test.

 

Richard

stares at her for a moment, and speaks a little disbelievingly

You think it was a fair test.

 

Becker

to Shoopa

That question on where the spinal accessory nerve re-enters the skull was not fair.

 

Shoopa

That's true. It enters the skull in two places, and both of them were listed, right.

 

Richard

bewildered

Two places.

 

Becker

Hey, you fellas have a great break!

 

Richard and Taylor return the comment and Richard waves goodbye to Shoopa, who is already walking away from him, with Becker. Richard looks at Taylor expectantly.

Taylor

Hey dude, my blood alcohol level is subtherapeutic. Are you coming to the Loon, or what.

 

Richard

I'm going to chat with the dean. I'll meet you there in a bit.

 

Cut to Richard walking out of school, toward his car. He passes campus police officer Cooter talking to his nightstick.

 

Cut to the Loon. Richard and Taylor have been drinking in a booth for a few hours, they're laughing about something.

 

Taylor

Dude, after the salamander incident, I'm not getting near your place.

 

Richard

Yeah, if I end up doing the year again I can always blame Skeeter.

 

Taylor

Oh right, how was your meeting with the dean?

 

Richard

I'm in the middle of the third quarter.

 

Taylor

I feel terrible for you.

 

Richard

It's unacceptable.

 

Taylor

Think of the low-lifes you're beating out.

 

Carolyn appears and sits down with Taylor and Richard.

 

Carolyn

all smiles

Sorry it took me so long to get here fellas, I was busy planning my cruise.

 

Taylor and richard

Nice.

 

Carolyn

nodding, as if she's bragging

Going to St. Martin with the sis.  Leaving on Monday.

 

Waitress appears.

 

Carolyn

I'll have your favorite martini.

 

Richard and Taylor are impressed with the drink selection, they ooh and ahh.

 

Carolyn

Come on guys, we're one eighth done with med school!

 

Bartender appears again with Carolyn's drink.

 

Taylor

raises his glass

To being one eighth - or in my case three tenths - done with medical school.

 

They knock glasses.

 

Carolyn

What were you guys talking about?

 

Taylor

Richard doesn't like competing with his fellow students.

 

Carolyn

I don't like it either!

 

Richard

I don't mind competing, as long as I come out on top.

 

Carolyn

All my life I've studied until I mastered the material, and did well. Now I study until I master the material and get a C.

 

Taylor

So the way it works is that everyone masters the material, but they can't give 200 A's.

 

Richard

I don't master the material.

 

Carolyn

ignores Richard's comment, speaks to Taylor

Right! So they test us on the details.

 

Taylor

Whoever memorizes the most details wins.

 

Pause.

 

Richard raises his glass.

 

Richard

To losing.

 

They knock glasses.

 

Richard

How am I going to get along without you guys for three weeks?

 

Taylor

smiles

With difficulty.

 

 

Carolyn

Don't worry, we have three semesters' worth of details to memorize together when we get back.

 

Taylor raises his glass.

 

Taylor

To details.

 

They knock glasses. Fade to black. Music continues for a while, to mark the end of Part I.

 

SCENE 18

 

Scene 18 opens to a black screen. Music fades out, as the caption "EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER" appears. When the music is almost faded to silent we hear, loudly, the sound of a beeper going off. The screen is illuminated by the light of the beeper display from Richard's perspective, on his scrub-bottom waist, revealing a time of 04:15. The pager backlight goes out, black screen again. Richard takes some deep breaths and moans as he just went to bed 90 minutes ago.

 

Cut to outside call room door. Door opens, Richard emerges and recoils from the light. He is wearing scrubs, a stethoscope, and a white coat stuffed with shit. He looks completely asleep, with sheet marks all over his face. Squinting as his pupils adjust, he lumbers down the hall, yawning.

 

Cut to the inside of a patient room. Richard opens the door and walks into the dimly lit room, fighting to keep his eyes open, and losing the fight.

 

CLL patient

obviously awake and alert, speaking with a  Mexican accent

Doctor?

 

Richard

asleep, pulls out a notecard

I'm not a doctor. How do you feel this morning?

 

Cll patient

desperate, breathing heavily

Doctor am I going to live?

 

Richard looks at the patient for a moment, and then, assuming he's still in semi-dream state and hearing things, blinks hard a few times, as if shaking away an hallucination. He takes a step closer to the patient and is now at the bedside, holding his notecard in one hand and his pen in the other, ready to write down the patient's complaints.

 

Richard

How do you feel this morning, sir?

 

The patient grabs Richard's arm and pulls him closer, clings to him and looks up at him with a wide-eyed despair, as though Richard were about to execute him and he is begging for mercy.

 

Cll patient

dramatic

Doctor I have a wife and four young children. Am I going to make it through this?

 

Cut to close-up of Richard's face. Now he's got to wake up. He looks at his patient for a few seconds and blinks, having not a clue as to how to respond to this distressed man. We hear Richard's thoughts as we focus on his expressionless, motionless face.

 

Richard'S thoughts

Am I going to make it through this.     Is he going to live?     OK. What disease does he have.

Richard squints at his notecard, can't read it, looks back at patient

 

Pause as Richard contemplates this question without any expression.

 

Richard's thoughts

Who is this guy?

 

Richard squints again at his notecard without success.

 

Richard

Sir, how do you pronounce your last name?

 

CLL patient

still clutching our hero, enunciates

Jones.

 

Richard's thoughts

Mr. Jones...Mr. Jones...what does he have? Fuck.

 

Richard

One moment Mr. Jones.

 

Richard tries to get away from Mr. Jones, but Mr. Jones won't let go. On his second, more forceful attempt, Richard breaks free and walks outside. A nurse is right outside, writing on the vital signs log.

 

Richard

softly

Why is Mr. Jones in the hospital?

 

Nurse

New diagnosis chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

 

Richard inhales and exhales slowly, trying recall any knowledge of this disease.

 

Richard

Thanks.

 

Richard starts back inside the room, and stops, turns around.

 

Richard

Did you just take vital signs?

 

Nurse

still writing on the clipboard

No.

 

Richard

But you're writing on the vital signs chart.

 

Nurse

The vital signs never change.

 

Richard walks back in.

 

Richard's thoughts

CLL...god damn I don't remember anything about this disease.

 

He approaches the patient, who is now crying.

 

CLL patient

Doctor, what's going to come of me?

 

Richard looks sternly at the patient and presses his lips together, frustrated. He takes a breath before replying.

 

Richard

measured

I don't know.

 

The patient starts to sob uncontrollably while speaking to god in spanish.

 

Richard

Wait! Listen. I'm sure we have really good treatments for your disease. Don't worry. Everything's going to be fine.

 

Patient quiets down, and a hopeful smile comes across his face.

 

CLL patient

Really?

 

He wipes away his tears.

 

Thank you doctor.

 

Richard

smiles warmly

Sure. How do you feel this morning?

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 19

 

Scene 19 opens with Dr. Waller sitting on the table in front of 200 very eager just-turned-third year students in the auditorium. She is in the middle of her speech.

 

dr. waller

You all will find that things operate very differently during the third year. Most of you have been classroom students your entire lives; that ends tomorrow morning.

 

Cut to Richard, dressed in slacks, shirt and tie, nametag prominently pinned on, wearing an immaculately pressed white coat with all sorts of accoutrements neatly organized in the pockets, he looks totally put together, exactly the opposite of what we just saw post-call. Richard is standing outside in front of Parkland Hospital, the main entrance, camera pans around to accentuate the grandeur of the third year student on his first day, walking in to the hospital for the first time. Several gowned patients are outside, one of them is smoking while taking oxygen by nasal cannula.  We continue to hear Dr. Waller offscreen, along a background of street noises and patients chatting outside.

 

Dr. waller (OS)

Tomorrow morning you will wake earlier than you're accustomed to and go to the hospital. In so doing you will have completed the transition from the lecture hall to the wards, from multiple choice exams to patients, from the #2 pencil to the stethoscope.

 

Cut back to Dr. Waller.

 

dr. waller

During the first two years you all have been the center of attention - the lectures, labs, and mock patients have been coordinated solely for your benefit. You will soon realize that as a medical student on the wards you serve a more peripheral role. In fact, third year students are generally regarded as more of an annoying appendage than a contributor, like a mosquito attached to that place in your back you just can't reach.

 

Cut back to Richard, walking into the hospital, looking up and around, taking in the sites of the chaotic Parkland ACC/first floor foyer.

 

Dr. Waller (OS)

Or really more like a leech than a mosquito, because you will find that all the information you've been dutifully memorizing for the past two years is completely useless on the wards, and you will constantly feel in need of advice and direction. No, no, not a leech either, because a leech can effectively draw blood. The third year student is just a god damned pain in the ass for patients, resident physicians, and hospital support staff.

 

Cut back to Dr. Waller.

 

Dr. waller

We didn't teach you anything about how to take care of patients, how a hospital works, or how to succeed in your new roles, so for the next year you'll be a nuisance to the entire campus trying to figure it out.

 

Cut back to Richard, who finishes up being awed by the hospital and realizes he's got somewhere to be. He takes out a sheet of paper that tells him where to report and starts to walk with some purpose, though he has obviously has no idea where he's going.

 

Dr. waller (OS)

But don't worry, you will be tolerated because everyone knows that in order to be a doctor you must first be a third year student. So go forth and heal, young physicians, but more importantly stay the hell out of the way while real doctors try to get their patients out of the hospital.

 

As Dr. Waller recites this last sentence Richard, who while walking aimlessly starts to read the directions on his paper, then trips on a huge garbage bag sitting in the middle of the hall and falls dramatically, spilling most of the contents of his lab coat on the ground. A janitor, who was standing nearby talking to a friend, turns around.

 

janitor

You okay, guy?

 

Richard

Oh yeah, no problem. Today's my first day in the hospital.

 

Richard gets up and gathers his belongings. Janitor looks at his watch.

 

Janitor

Shit, it's July first. For the next month I'm going to have to put up with you third years tripping all over my garbage. Why don't you spread the word: I LEAVE GARBAGE BAGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALL WHILE I CHAT WITH MY BUDDIES. WATCH OUT FOR THEM.

 

Richard finishes straightening up and walks away.

 

Richard

I'll do that.

 

Janitor

Hey, you missing something?

 

Janitor pulls out Richard's stethoscope from the garbage bag. It's dripping with slime. Richard hurries back and grabs it, then walks away.

 

Richard

Thanks.

 

Camera stays with janitor and garbage bag. Janitor picks up the bag, throws it over his back. It's slowly dripping yucky garbage drip. Music changes to fast-paced funky garbage bag montage music. As we follow the janitor down the hall, he passes a man who is hemorrhaging from his head. Hemorrhage man asks janitor where the ER is, and the janitor, without breaking stride or even looking at this man, points down another hall.

 

Continuing on, he passes a drunkard who asks him if he could spare some change. He passes a grossly obese lady who asks him where McDonalds is. Fast forward down the hall, some stairs, out into a ward, where the nursing station is vacant. Across the hall, behind a closed door, all the nurses are in the break room playing cards. They are excited to see the janitor, and he sits down and plays a hand (all in fast forward). Out he goes, up to another floor.

 

As he approaches the crossroads he passes two young men crouched up against the wall wielding a guns, obviously scared about what's around the corner. The janitor puts the garbage bag in front of him and turns the corner. Halfway down the hall two guys are lying on their stomachs wielding guns, with a third creeping along the wall toward the two other guys around the corner. They all fire at the janitor, but he is shielded by the garbage. After a few rounds of ammunition are emptied into the bag they stop firing, and apologize as he passes them.

 

Continuing on for a bit, janitor runs into three pregnant hispanic ladies with their husbands. One of them says, "señor," and the janitor know immediately what's going on. He puts down the garbage bag, and walks up to the first lady. He lifts up her shirt, pulls the elastic waistband of her pants, and looks down at her pelvis. After evaluating the perineum, he sends her to the fourth floor, using hand signals to signify elevator and fourth floor. He repeats this for primagravid #2. When he examines #3, however, he notes that she is too far along to make it up to the fourth floor so he quickly delivers her and sends her up to the fourth floor, along with her newborn and grateful husband.

 

Continuing on, janitor walks into Medical Records (display Medical Records sign). There are no workers in sight, and he walks past the desk, up and down and around miles of records, and ends up in the back of the storeroom, where a dozen medical records staff are playing Twister.

 

Back out into the hall, a man is slumped down against the wall, unconscious. Janitor stops and takes a carotid pulse. He's dead. Janitor pulls out another very large bag from his toolpouch belt and puts the corpse in it. He picks up the garbage bag and throws it over his back, and starts down the hall, carrying the garbage and dragging the corpse. At the next intersection Richard appears, he's still lost, carrying the same paper. Richard is excited to see somebody he knows.

 

Richard

Hey! Are we in the Y building?

 

Janitor nods.

 

Richard

Finally. Do you know where nine south is?

 

Janitor nods him in the right direction. Richard thanks him and runs down the hall, camera follows.

 

End scene 19.

 

 

SCENE 20

 

Scene 20 opens with Richard running up to the doctor's work area next to a nursing station. He opens the door to reveal his resident and the other student on his team, Becker. They are reclined, laughing at something they were just discussing, and have obviously been waiting for Richard.

 

Richard

Hey Becker.

 

Becker waves with a smirk that says, "You're late, dumbass."

 

DR. mehta

You must be Richard.

 

Richard

Yeah.

 

dr. mehta

Glad you could make it. I'm Sam.

 

Richard

Hi. Sorry I'm late, I got really lost.

 

dr. mehta

Right. Today's your first day in the hospital?

 

Richard nods.

 

dr. mehta

Yeah. Make sure to leave lots of extra time to get places until you figure out where you're going.

 

Richard

Sorry.

 

dr. mehta

Right. I'm your resident, which means I run the service. Steve Lewitton is the intern, so he's the guy who does all the work. He's busy at the moment but you'll meet him later. I report to our attending, Dr. Toto, who writes your evaluation.

 

A patient down the hall starts moaning in agony. Cut to Richard, who is obviously bothered by this but doesn't want to lead on that he's not devoting all his attention to Dr. Mehta.

 

Dr. mehta

Let me repeat that: Dr. Toto evaluates you, so kiss his ass, please do not kiss my ass. You'll see him in the mornings. The way this works is that we're on call every fourth day, when we admit patients. You'll carry five patients, and manage them with Steve. Anything that comes up regarding your patients, take it to Steve, not me. In fact, anything that comes up at all, take it to Steve and not me.

 

Richard

Should we go see if that guy's okay?

 

Dr. Mehta has worked in a hospital too long to even hear the patient moaning at the top of his lungs.

 

dr. mehta

a little irritated - he wasn't finished

What guy?

 

Richard

The guy moaning.

 

Dr. Mehta concentrates for a moment to listen, meanwhile the patient sounds like someone's pouring battery acid all over his eyeballs. Finally Dr. Mehta hears him.

 

Dr. mehta

He's fine. Anyway we're actually admitting today, and Steve and I already worked up our first four patients. You each have two, I've told Becker about his. Get out a notecard. Mr. Shilling is on nine east. He is a 66 year old intravenous drug abuser who prostitutes himself in order to support his habit; he's here with disseminated gonorrhea. Mr. Jones is on seven west. He's a 34 year old guy who was just diagnosed with CLL, will probably be dead in a year, we're just going to try to keep him as comfortable as we can while all his organs fail over the next few months.

 

A nurse appears.

 

nurse

Dr. Mehta, are you taking care of Mr. Vandismal?

 

Dr. Mehta

thinks about if for a moment

Yeah, I think that's one of ours.

 

nurse

His blood pressure is 240 over 155, and he's bleeding out of every orifice.

 

Dr. Mehta

irritated

Okay, so page Dr. Lewitton.

 

Nurse

He's also been seizing for about 40 minutes.

 

Dr. mehta

Do I look like an intern?

 

Nurse disappears.

 

Dr. mehta

Okay so you two familiarize yourselves with your two patients. We also have two more patients in the ER we need to admit.

 

Dr. Mehta takes out his list.

 

dr. mehta

Becker take Ms. Silver and Richard take Ms. Roberts. Do a complete history and physical exam, and we'll discuss them after lunch, say 1:30. All right?

 

Richard and Becker rise, get ready to move.

 

Dr. Mehta

Soon you're going to think, "Why is Dr. Mehta such an ass hole? Doesn't he remember what it's like to be a third year student?" Well I just want to let you know that I actually don't remember what it's like to be a third year student.

 

Pause.

dr. mehta

We'll see you in an a few hours.

 

Richard and Becker move.

 

Dr. Mehta

Oh, Richard - the nurses couldn't get blood off of Mr. Shilling, so I told them you'd get it. Do that before you go downstairs to see Ms. Roberts. And don't get stuck, he's HIV and HEP-C positive.

 

Richard blinks. Moaning patient cries out at the top of his lungs for someone to make it end, that human beings weren't meant to live like this.

 

Cut to Richard walking into Mr. Shilling's room, he begins setting up the blood draw stuff on a table.

 

Richard

Good morning, Mr. Shilling. I'm just going to draw some blood from you.

 

Mr. shilling (dr. foster)

Like hell you are.

 

Richard stops in his tracks. He turns to looks at Mr. Shilling.

 

Richard

Excuse me?

 

Mr. Shilling

I'm scared of needles.

 

Richard

Don't you use IV drugs?

 

Mr. shilling

Yeah. Weird, huh?

 

Cut to ER. Becker is walking out as Richard is walking in.

 

Becker

You just now getting here? We're supposed to meet Sam in twenty minutes.

 

Richard

Yeah, I got a needle stick trying to take blood from one of my patients, so I had to go to employee health. Now I have to take like ten HIV medicines for a few weeks.

 

Becker

Man. I know a guy who had to do that, and he had terrible diarrhea the whole time.

 

Pause. Cut to Richard looking a bit dejected at this news.

 

Becker

And he still got HIV.

 

Cut to patient room. Ms. Roberts is sitting in a chair with her husband, a body-builder wearing the skimpiest possible shirt.

 

Richard

Good afternoon Ms. Roberts, how are-

 

Ms. Roberts

Are you my doctor?

 

Richard

I'm a medical student.

 

Husband gets angry, and punches his hand while cursing.

 

husband (John phelan)

angry

Motherfucker.

 

ms. roberts

angry

I want a doctor. Do you understand me?

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 21

 

Scene 21 opens with Richard running down the hall. Cut to rounding room, where Becker and Sam are sitting there quietly. Pan to view from rounding room, Richard flies by at full speed. Sam and Becker see him run by, but do not react. They sit calmly, and a few seconds later, Richard pokes his head into the room and then walks in, a bit short of breath.

 

Richard

Sorry I'm late.

 

dr. mehta

Richard, it's 1:45. Do you know what happens at 2:00?

 

Richard hesitates, then shakes his head.

 

dr. mehta

The Weakest Link comes on.

 

Sam stares sternly at Richard, who doesn't know how to respond to this. A few seconds pass.

 

dr. mehta

Richard, do you want me to miss The Weakest Link?

 

Richard

shakes his head

No sir.

 

dr. mehta

Okay then. Let's make these presentations short and sweet. Becker, tell me about Ms. Silver.

 

Becker

Ms. Silver is a 29 year old female who presents in status asthmaticus. I reviewed her old records and noted that she has had over 20 emergency room visits this year. When I asked her about this, she reported that she suffers a life-threatening asthma exacerbation every time she smokes crack.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

She got three breathing treatments and intravenous steroids in the emergency room, but is still wheezing diffusely and putting out about one third of her expected peak flow.

 

dr. mehta

Great. We'll continue scheduled breathing treatments until the steroids kick in. She'll go home tomorrow. What's Mr. Roberts' story, Richard?

 

Richard

Ms. Roberts' chief complaint is chest pain. Her heart sounded okay to me.

 

Dr. Mehta puts out his hand to stop Richard from continuing.

 

Dr. Mehta

History before physical exam.

 

Richard

Um, I didn't get a chance to take a history.

 

Dr. Mehta

contemplates this for a moment

You didn't get a chance.

 

Richard shakes his head.

 

dr. mehta

Okay. What were your physical exam findings?

 

Richard

Well like I said her heart sounded great. Her lungs and abdomen were normal, too. Her skin, eyes, ears, nose and throat all seemed normal. I didn't see anything wrong with her arms, legs, or her back.

 

dr. mehta

Richard did you find anything abnormal on exam?

 

Richard gets gravely serious.

 

Richard

Yes, I did.

 

Dr. Mehta stares at Richard, blinking, waiting. A few seconds pass.

 

dr. mehta

Ten minutes to The Weakest Link, Richard.

 

Richard

She has a two millimeter healing ulcer on her cervix.

 

Dr. Mehta stares at Richard, incredulous.

 

dr. mehta

Ms. Roberts came in with chest pain, and you did a pelvic exam?

 

Richard smiles proudly at himself.

 

Richard

I leave no stone unturned.

 

Dr. Mehta

How thorough of you.

 

Richard

Thank you.

 

dr. mehta

irritated

Did you get blood from Mr. Shilling?

 

Richard

dejected

No, I tried, but I couldn't get it.

 

dr. mehta

Well you've had a very productive morning, Richard. How about you reevaluate Ms. Roberts with Steve. I'll find somebody to draw Mr. Shilling's blood after the show.  Becker, I'll page you when we get our next patient.   Okay, guys?

 

Richard and Becker motion to leave.

 

DR. Mehta

to Richard

Steve is on seven west.

 

Sam walks out of the room. Cut to seven west nursing station. Richard walks up to a doc writing in the chart. Richard taps him on the shoulder.

 

Richard

Are you Steve?

 

Doctor turns around, looks at Richard's face, and then very conspicuously looks at Richard's name tag, which says "Medical Student." As soon as he sees the name tag, his face becomes twisted by disgust and irritation at being interrupted. He looks at Richard with unmasked contempt.

 

Dr. vile

Steve Lewitton?

 

Richard nods. Dr. Vile points to the other side of the nursing station and begins to turn around to continue what he was doing.

 

dr. vile

He's on the phone.

 

Cut to closeup of Richard looking across the station; he walks up to a doctor whose back is to him, with a phone in his ear and writing in a chart.

 

Richard

Dr. Lewitton?

 

Steve wheels around.

 

Steve

Yeah.

 

Richard

I'm Richard, one of your third year students.

 

Steve smiles and extends his hand.

 

Steve

How are ya. I'm Steve.

 

Richard

Great. Hey listen we're supposed to go see Ms. Roberts -

 

Steve extends a "one moment" finger as someone's talking him to him on the phone now.

 

Steve

This is Steve Lewitton, I was paged.

 

Yeah, Mr. Vincent. He's in four-point restraints, right? All his limbs are tied down?

 

Good. Yeah, we're just waiting on surgery to amputate it.

 

OK give him twenty more haldol, ten more ativan.

 

Mm-hmm, then check on him in twenty minutes. If he hasn't shut up just hold his meals and tell him he's not going to get any food until he stops complaining about his leg.

 

Great, thanks.

 

Steve hangs up. He starts talking to Richard.

 

Steve

Yeah I just spoke with Ms. Roberts. I hear you did a pelvic exam.

 

Richard

Yeah, my first one.

 

Steve

a bit bewildered

Yeah.

 

A nurse walks up to talk to Steve, and waits patiently for him to finish his conversation with Richard.

 

Richard

Sam said we need to reevaluate her. Something about taking a history?

 

Steve

Right. I just finished working her up, actually. After talking to Ms. Roberts and, um, Mr. Roberts I think it's probably best that you not follow her. I'll square it up with Sam, and just manage her by myself, so don't worry about it.

 

Steve turns to the nurse, who's staring off into space.

 

Steve

to nurse

What's going on?

 

No response. Nurse is in la-la land.

 

Steve

Ma'am?

 

Nurse comes to. Then tries to remember why she came to talk to Steve.

 

Nurse

Oh yeah. Are you taking care of Mr. Coleman?

 

Steve

Yes.

 

Nurse

He's choking on a chicken bone.

 

Steve

Okay. Is he able to breathe?

 

nurse

shakes her head

No.

 

Steve

nods patiently

Okay. Did you do anything for him?

 

Pause.

 

Steve

Heimlich maneuver or anything?

 

Nurse

I gave him some insulin.

 

Steve

nods encouragingly

Okay. Um, I don't remember him being diabetic. So, uh, why insulin?

 

NUrse

as though this were a silly question

Well I had to do something. I mean he's not breathing.

 

Steve

All right, great. Thanks. I'll go see him in a minute.

 

Nurse smiles and walks away leisurely. Steve returns his attention to Richard.

 

Steve

So, today's your first day of third year?

 

Richard

Yeah, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

 

Steve

Sure. You'll get the swing of things in no time. Actually that's not true. The length of the rotations is measured so that as soon as you figure out how to be productive you change services. Anyway are you familiar with the chart? Let me show you the chart.

 

Steve presents the chart he's been working on.

 

Steve

There are really only two sections that concern you: progress notes and orders. The progress notes section is where everyone taking care of the patient writes their assessment. You'll be writing your daily notes here, even though no one reads med student notes. This is how physicians communicate with each other.

 

Steve shows Richard a note in the chart that is completely illegible, just scribbles.

 

Steve

This is a typical surgeon's note. Surgeons spend most of their time trying to appear busy, and the prevailing feeling among surgeons is that the less legible your notes are, the busier you appear. I happen to recognize this particular variant of chicken scratch as belonging to Dr. Miller. Unreadable notes compromise patient care, so it's important to address this problem when it arises, which brings me to the other part of the chart you need to know about - the orders section.

 

Cut back to chart, Steve flips to physician orders, hold camera on orders as Steve speaks. As he speaks, he starts writing the date and time on a new order.

 

Steve

Anything you want done for the patient, you put here. I say "you" but of course as a student your orders will be ignored, so don't bother writing any.

 

The last order is reasonably well-written, signed by Dr. Miller. It says "Patient's bed is dangerously high. Please consult medicine to adjust bed height."

 

Notice how Dr. Miller writes somewhat more legibly here. Anyway you can read back over previous orders to get an idea of what's been going on with your patient.

 

As he speaks he writes a new order: "Tell Dr. Miller to go fuck himself."

 

Cut back to Richard and Steve, Steve closes the chart and puts it in the new orders rack.

 

Steve

Okay so tomorrow we're going to round with Dr. Toto. He tends to pimp you guys on stuff that has nothing to do with your patients, so in the few hours until you get your next admission you can just read on any topic, and there's about a one in five hundred chance it will come up tomorrow and you'll look good. Don't confine yourself to just internal medicine diseases - Dr. Toto draws his questions from all specialties. All right? And try to get an hour or two of sleep.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 22

 

Scene 22 opens the following morning with Richard on the phone in a nursing station. He's wearing the same outfit we saw in the CLL patient scene, as this is a few hours later. Richard looks like he's been on hold for a while and is falling asleep. We hear the voice of the medical records clerk.

 

Medical records clerk (OS)

Medical records.

 

Richard is startled.

 

Richard

Hello?

 

Medical records clerk (OS)

with attitude

This is medical records. What do you need.

 

Richard

Hi I need an old chart, because my patient can't give us any-

 

Medical records clerk (OS)

interrupting

Medical record number.

 

Richard starts hunting through some papers.

 

Richard

It's, uh, okay it's 746459.

 

medical records clerk (OS)

Thank you for calling medical records.

 

Richard

Wait! How am I going to know when it's ready?

 

Medical records clerk (OS)

We'll page you.

 

Richard

Do you want my-

 

<click> medical records clerk hangs up.

 

Richard

pager number?

 

Richard stares at the receiver. Only the second day of medicine, and he's feeling beat down. Dr. Mehta walks up, sees Richard staring at the phone. He takes the phone out of Richard's hand, looks at it to see if there's something interesting to note about the phone. There's not, so he hangs it up.

 

dr. mehta

You need to change before attending rounds.

 

He starts to walk away, turns around to say one more thing.

 

Dr. mehta

Don't be late.

 

Cut to Richard walking quickly down the ward hall as he adjusts his tie. He has changed into the outfit we saw as he approached the hospital yesterday, but now all wrinkled and disheveled. Cut to shot of the hallway from Richard's POV, the entire team is standing outside a patient room in a circle waiting for him, all watching him walk quickly down the hall.

 

dr. toto

You must be Richard.

 

They do not shake hands. Richard takes his place in the circle.

 

dr. toto

I'm Dr. Toto, your attending.

 

Richard

How do you do.

 

Dr. toto

I write your evaluation.

 

Everyone stares at Richard, waiting for him to respond to this. Richard has no response.

 

Dr. toto

You missed most of your colleague's excellent presentation. Please continue Becker, sorry for the interruption.

 

Becker

That's okay Dr. Toto, I'm sure Richard has a good reason to be late. In summary, this is a 44 year old Hispanic female with sharp nonradiating flank pain of three days duration. Her heart rate has been in the high 90s since admission, with other vital signs within normal limits. Physical exam is notable for a nondistressed patient with mild left lower quadrant tenderness and without costovertebral angle or cervical motion tenderness. Laboratory examination is notable for a negative urine HCG, small urine red blood cells, a mild anemia and borderline leukocytosis without a left shift.

 

Camera to Richard, who is both impressed and disgusted. Camera slowly pans across the group as Becker finishes his presentation.

 

The differential diagnosis for a perimenopausal woman with flank pain and this constellation of nonspecific findings includes appendicitis, gastroenteritis, nephrolithiasis, pelvic inflammatory disease, urinary tract infection, ovarian pathology such as a ruptured cyst, and a left lower lobe pneumonia. Less likely possibilities include pancreatitis, a GI malignancy, pyelonephritis, aortic aneurysm, endometriosis, and irritable bowel syndrome. I would like to continue the workup of this patient with diagnostic imaging studies such as a supine and upright abdominal plain film, a transabdominal ultrasound or perhaps a pelvic CT.

 

dr. toto

Thank you Becker.

 

Dr. Toto turns to Richard.

 

dr. toto

Richard, I hear you did a pelvic exam on our lady with chest pain. Seeing how enthusiastic you are about obstetrics, tell me: how do we know this patient is not pregnant?

 

Richard

Well the urine HCG is negative.

 

Dr. toto

The urine HCG is negative, you say. Does a negative HCG rule out pregnancy?

 

Richard

hesitates

I guess not.

 

dr. toto

You guess not?

 

Richard

Well-

 

Dr. toto

In almost all cases a negative urine HCG does rule out pregnancy.

 

Richard’s face says: why is this ass hole doing this to me?

 

Dr. Toto

I have an intern-level question.

 

Steve perks up.

 

Dr. toto

When does a negative urine HCG not rule out pregnancy?

 

steve

Very soon after conception - before embryonic trophoblasts make enough hormone to be detectable in urine.

 

Dr. toto

True. If we suspect this to be the case, are there any tests we can use to verify or rule out pregnancy?

 

Steve

Serum beta HCG.

 

Dr. toto

Correct. Richard if this patient had been beta HCG positive, would that change our management?

 

Richard looks at Dr. Toto, pausing, thinking. He opens his mouth to speak but it’s too late.

 

dr. toto

Becker?

 

Becker

confident, business-like

In a pregnant patient with abdominal, flank, or pelvic pain we must consider an ectopic pregnancy.

 

dr. toto

Richard, what is the triad of ectopic pregnancy?

 

Richard doesn't know.

 

Richard

slowly

The triad of ectopic pregnancy.

 

Toto doesn’t wait around.

 

Dr. toto

 Becker?

 

Becker

Vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and an adnexal mass in a sexually active patient.

 

As Becker says this, the camera slowly zooms in on Richard’s face and holds his face front and center while Toto begins to speak. This cut to Richard's face must be sufficiently unusual as to indicate to the audience that something bizarre is about to happen.

 

Dr. toto

Richard what is the most common site of an ectopic pregnancy?

 

As Toto speaks, the camera zooms out, revealing Richard to be completely naked, his hands covering his genitals.

 

Richard

The fallopian tubes?

 

No shit, Dr. Toto thinks.

 

Dr. toto

Yes Richard. Where in the fallopian tube do most ectopic pregnancies occur?

 

Richard didn’t realize that there were different parts to the fallopian tubes. He looks hopeless.

 

Richard

Where?

 

Dr. Toto

Becker?

 

 

The camera shift to Becker, who as before looks confidently at Dr. Toto.

 

Becker

The ampulla.

 

Dr. toto (OS)

That's right.

 

Becker punches the air in front of him, overly satisfied with himself. He turns to Richard and starts dancing wildly saying "Yeah, baby – the ampulla, uh-huh, the ampulla, uh-huh." He dances over to Richard and starts twisting on both of Richard’s exposed nipples while continuing to sing and dance. Richard stands there placidly, hands on genitals. As Becker dances circles around Richard, The camera goes back to Toto (we hear Becker singing in the background).

 

Dr. toto

Richard, please tell us the three parts of the fallopian tube.

 

Richard

obviously frustrated

I haven’t the slightest fucking idea.

 

Camera to Toto, who looks at Richard and shakes his head. He responds calmly.

 

Dr. toto

Richard, please show us your penis.

 

View from behind Toto, we see Richard taking his hands off his genitals. The team all stares at Richard's crotch, shaking their heads in disapproval. Toto speaks to Richard while staring at his groin and shaking his head.

 

Dr. toto

Your performance disappoints us Richard.

 

Dr. Toto continues to gaze at and motions to Richard's penis, then looks Richard in the eye.

 

Dr. toto

You're going to have to do better than that.

 

He shakes his head one more time disappointedly.

 

Where were we? Yes, the ampulla of the fallopian tube is the most common site of an ectopic.

 

The camera is now slowly zooming in on Becker’s face, who is back in his original position, impossibly recovered from the antics of five seconds ago (i.e. we're back to reality for a moment, before we shift to Becker's perspective-world).

 

Becker’s face held front and center as Toto talks.

 

Dr. toto

Richard what are the risk factors for ectopic pregnancy?

 

Camera to Richard, who is dressed as he was before.

 

Richard

I don’t know, but that's okay because my only role here is to make Becker look good.

 

Camera to Richard as Dr. Toto speaks.

 

Dr. toto

And you’re doing a marvelous job. So, Becker...

 

Camera back to Toto, who is now on a pitcher’s mound in an empty stadium. We hear Toto continue his sentence but the camera shows him in the classic pitcher’s pose, glaring at the batter, lips unmoving.

 

Dr. toto (OS)

Tell me the risk factors for ectopic pregnancy.

 

Toto winds for the pitch and the camera pans to Becker at the plate, waving the bat around like Mark McGuire about to slug the shit out of whatever comes his way. From the catcher’s view we see Toto after his windup pitch the slowest, easiest underhand lob. Becker speaks just before he crushes the pitch into the stands.

 

Becker

Previous tubal surgery.

 

Repeat the windup and home run as Becker says, "history of diethylstilbesterol exposure" and "history of pelvic inflammatory disease."

 

During the last half of Becker saying "history of pelvic inflammatory disease," cut back to Becker standing normally at rounds. He finishes the answer and stands there, satisfied.

 

Camera slowly zooms in on Toto, front and center. After freezing on Toto’s face front and center long enough to make clear we are shifting to his perspective, the camera continues to zoom it so that ultimately his moving mouth takes up the entire screen.

 

Dr. toto

slowly, authoritatively

Excellent, Becker. An extrauterine gestational sac is one of the obstetric emergencies; the astute clinician must be able to promptly recognize and manage the possible ectopic pregnancy. In any female of reproductive age with a presenting complaint between the chest and the knees, the most important test is the qualitative urine pregnancy. In the setting of a positive urine HCG, the patient’s vital signs and general appearance must be assessed for stability. If she is unstable, it is presumed the tube has ruptured and must be managed surgically.

 

The camera slowly zooms out as Toto's lips stop moving though we hear him continue speaking, to reveal Dr. Toto dressed as Moses. He is walking through some natural setting, carrying two enormous stone tablets.

 

Dr. toto (OS)

In the stable patient, the next step is a transvaginal ultrasound examination to look for an intrauterine pregnancy. If a gestational sac is found in the uterus, it may be safely presumed that there is not an additional ectopic pregnancy as the risk of a heterotopic pregnancy is classically estimated at one in 30,000.

 

As he says this, he comes upon the team, dressed in biblical attire, kneeling in a semicircle facing him.

 

Dr. toto (OS)

The exception is the patient on fertility-enhancing drugs, in which case you must have a much lower threshold for presuming an ectopic pregnancy if the clinical scenario is suggestive.

 

Toto approaches Steve and as the rest of the team demonstrates their reverence, bowing, kneeling, worshiping Dr. Toto, Steve humbly receives the tablets. Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 23

 

Scene 23 opens at the bar. Richard and Taylor are having a drink. They've been talking for a while, Richard has been unloading his internal medicine woes.

 

Taylor

Yeah, it's really a bummer that you've spent 12 weeks on the same team as Becker.

 

Richard

Oh I haven't even told you the worst of it. Last week I asked Becker the drugs we use to treat tuberculosis.

 

Taylor

You don't know the mnemonic? I Shrank Reuben's Erect Penis. Isoniazid, Streptomycin, Rifampin-

 

Richard

Anyway, he told me the drugs. But listen: a few hours later we were in attending rounds, and I'm presenting my TB patient to Dr. Toto, and Becker asks me the antituberculous medications!

 

Taylor

Whoa. Interesting variation of lateral pimping. It's not like him to try to make you look good, I mean he knows that you know the answer-

 

Richard

Exactly. So I answered his question-

 

Taylor

shocked

And they were all the wrong drugs.

 

Richard

One of them was that new abortion pill.

 

Taylor

Ooof. That hurts.

 

They take a swig of beer.

 

Taylor

Johnny dropped out.

 

Richard

He's gone?

 

Taylor

Gone.

 

Richard

God. I might be next. Why is this so easy for some people and so hard for other people?

 

Taylor

There are a few geniuses who can ace the tests and be happy at the same time, fuck them. I think most of us have to choose how much life we're willing to give up to improve our class rank.

 

Richard

And then there are those of us who have no life and bomb the tests.

 

Taylor

You're miserable because you're still competing.

 

Richard

You're not competing?

 

Taylor

Nope. I study until I get sick of it, which is at least enough to pass, and I let the chips fall where they may.

 

Richard

You won't have any residency choices.

 

Taylor

You know, it's funny. The people that work their balls off in medical school all fight for the most competitive residencies, which happen to be the programs that require their residents to work their balls off. Then these guys land faculty positions and work their balls off trying to climb the administrative ladder. When does it end? I'm stepping aside now, and letting the Beckers of the world cut somebody else's throat.

 

Richard

I have too much pride for that. And I don't have much pride.

 

Taylor

My ego is protected by the knowledge that I could do better if I worked harder. It's a beautiful system.

 

Richard

And your patients? What would they think of your beautiful system?

 

Taylor

We're all going to be competent physicians. All the minutia separates us out, but that's only useful to residency program directors. And there's more to taking care of patients than memorizing a textbook. I live a little bit, and understand them better.

 

Richard

What a cop-out. You've brainwashed yourself to justify your laziness. I'm going to go down fighting.

 

Taylor

Suit yourself.

 

At that convenient moment a tiny, cute young lady approaches the two of them. I wish I had this much control over my real life conversations.

 

Lacy

Taylor.

 

Taylor

surprised

Lacy! How are you? Have you met Richard? Richard, Lacy. Lacy, Richard.

 

Lacy glances at Richard but immediately refocuses her attention to Taylor.

 

Lacy

without emotion

Hi Richard. Taylor you stopped returning my calls after we had sex.

 

Richard looks at the camera with an expression that says, "Do I have to be part of this?" and takes a sip of beer.

 

Taylor

Well, yeah. I mean you know how busy I am. I'm a medical student.

 

Lacy

 gestures to the surroundings

You look overwhelmed. Listen, you can't end this relationship, you have too much earning potential.

 

Pause, as Taylor stares at her blankly.

 

lacy

If you won't take me back, I'll start crying and make a big scene.

 

Taylor

Don't get upset, Lacy.

 

Lacy

matter of factly

I might take your beer and pour it all over you.

 

Taylor

Lacy I know this is difficult for you, but listen: it's not me, it's you. You drool when you sleep.

 

Lacy

dry as bone

I'll stalk you Taylor. I'll burn your fucking house down.

 

Taylor contemplates this for a moment.

 

Taylor

OK, would you be satisfied if I pawned you off on one of my classmates?

 

Lacy is totally satisfied by this offer, and smiles.

 

Lacy

excitedly

Yeah! That'd be great.

 

Taylor

Excellent. Richard's pillows are far too dry. Let me give you his number.

 

Richard puts his hands through his hair and stares down at the bar. Taylor writes down Richard's phone number on a napkin.

 

Lacy

Great! I'll give you a call later on, Richard!

 

Richard smiles weakly at Lacy. Lacy walks off.

 

Taylor

So tomorrow's your last day of internal medicine.

 

Richard

Yeah. The pain is over.

 

The kind of music that lets the audience know that the pain is most definitely not over starts up, cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 24

 

Scene 24 opens with Richard at a nurse's station on the phone, on hold once again. Hold Richard, sick of being on hold, for a few moments.

 

Radiology (OS)

Radiology.

 

Richard is startled.

 

Richard

Hey, I need a CT of the abdomen for my patient.

 

radiology (OS)

We'll be the judge of what you need and what you don't need.

 

Pause. Richard stares blankly, he has no idea how to respond to this.

 

radiology (OS)

assertive

Who is this?

 

Richard

This is Richard with Medicine 3A.

 

Radiology (OS)

Are you a doctor, Richard?

 

Richard

I'm a medical student.

 

Radiology (OS)

Is that right. Well Richard, why don't you call us back when you get a degree.

 

<click> Radiology hangs up.

 

After 3 months Richard is not surprised by this. He hangs up the phone and walks out of the nursing station into the hall without any emotion. Carolyn happens to be walking by. They are very familiar to each other - it is obvious that they have been spending time together over the intervening months. They start walking down the hall together, and stop in front of a patient's room.

 

Carolyn

Hey Richard!

 

Richard

with a warm but weary smile

Hey Carolyn, what's going on.

 

Carolyn

Can you believe it's the last day of our first rotation?

 

Richard

Can I believe it? I've lived six lifetimes in the past three months.

 

Carolyn

You're done with internal medicine!!

 

A male patient in a room near where Richard and Carolyn are standing starts his incantation: "Nurse...Nurse...NNNNNUUUUUUUURRRRRRRSSSSSSSEEEEEEEE." He is obviously shouting at Carolyn. Richard and Carolyn try to ignore him, but continues his chant until they address it.

 

Richard

Well I still have to make it through today. You must be excited to finish surgery.

 

Carolyn

Yeah, it's been a lot of work. But it's been fun.

 

Richard

I can't believe I have surgery last. It's going to kill me.

 

Carolyn

upbeat

You know, you'd be amazed at what you can get used to. After a few weeks you don't even notice you're not sleeping.

 

Richard

Carolyn I've really had enough of your positive attitude.

 

Carolyn

laughing, gives Richard an affectionate push

A little caffeine goes a long way.

 

Richard

chuckling

Yeah.

 

Richard and Carolyn stand there a few seconds, semi-laughing, trying to ignore the patient, but his cries are becoming unbearable.

 

Richard

I think he's calling you.

 

Carolyn glares at Richard.

 

Carolyn

How do you know he's not calling you?

 

Pause. Richard gives a Carolyn an "I don't know" look.

 

Richard

Just a hunch.

 

Carolyn

Well don't assume.

 

Richard speaks to the patient.

 

Richard

What can I do for you, sir?

 

texan

thick accent

Oh I'm sorry doctor, I was trying to get the attention of that cute little thing standing next to you.

 

Carolyn, whose back had been to the patient, wheels around and screams at him, very uncharacteristically.

 

Carolyn

shouts

I am not a nurse!!!

 

texan

Oh I'm sorry honey. Hey listen it looks like I've shit all over myself again, could you get your boss over here to clean me up, sweetheart?

 

Carolyn growls and pulls Richard down the hall. They talk as they walk.

 

Carolyn

So did you ever convince Dr. Toto to like you?

 

Richard

Not at all. I feel like when he writes his evaluation, he'll be thinking of his most recent encounters with me, so I'm counting on leaving him with a good impression this afternoon.

 

Cut to patient's room, Richard performing a physical exam. The patient is watching TV and eating, totally ignoring Richard, who finishes auscultating the heart and starts mashing down on his belly with exaggerated force; the patient doesn't even notice. While Richard mashes, he asks some questions.

 

Richard

So you have some belly pain?

 

Patient continues to watch TV and eat as he nods in response to Richard's question.

 

Richard

Do you have any medical problems? Diabetes? Hypertension? Asthma? Seizures? Heart problems? Anything? Ever been hospitalized?

 

Patient barely acknowledges the questions, as he is engrossed in the show he's watching. He shakes his head weakly.

 

Richard

How long have you had belly pain?

 

acute abdomen

About a month.

 

Richard

Where is it? What does it feel like?

 

Mr. Abdomen motions around his naval. He's still watching TV and eating McDonalds.

 

acute abdomen

Kinda burning-like.

 

Richard

Okay. Is your pain relieved by eating?

 

acute abdomen

Yeah, I have to eat all the time.

 

Richard

Great. I'll be back with my boss in a couple hours. We'll get you better and you'll probably go home tomorrow.

 

Acute abdomen

Cool.

 

Richard walks out of the room, and as he turns out of the door, he slams into Dr. Toto, causing Dr. Toto to spill coffee all over himself. That's for you Billy.

 

Richard

Oh hi Dr. Toto.

 

Dr. toto

glaring at Richard for causing him to make a mess

Richard, is this your patient?

 

Richard

Yes, but I just-

 

dr. toto

So you've performed an exhaustive history and physical examination, yes?

 

Richard nods weakly.

 

Dr. toto

And you've formed your assessment, including differential diagnosis and plan?

 

Richard

Um, yeah.

 

They both stand there staring at each other for a few moments. Dr. Toto is waiting, Richard is oblivious.

 

Dr. toto

Well are you going to present this patient, or are you waiting for me to do a little dance first?

 

Richard

Yes, but-

 

Dr. toto

Excellent. Go ahead then.

 

Richard takes a deep breath.

 

Richard

This is a 32 year old male without any past medical history who presents with one month of abdominal pain. The pain is described as burning and localized to the epigastric region. He reports that the pain is relieved by food. Physical exam is unremark-

 

dr. toto

Vitals!!

 

Richard

Oh yes, um, vital signs are stable.

 

dr. toto

glaring at Richard

Oh are they?

 

Richard

Yes. Physical exam is unremarkable. Abdomen is completely benign.  My assessment is that this man has an ulcer, and I would like to start him on a proton pump inhibitor and discharge him tomorrow morning.

 

Richard has finished, but Dr. Toto is waiting for more.

 

Dr. toto

Anything else?

 

Richard

Nope.

 

dr. toto

It's always nice to work with a medical student who casts a wide diagnostic net, who refuses to be lured by the siren song of common symptoms and signs and leaves no stone unturned in the formulation of his differential diagnosis.

 

Dr. Toto walks into the room, drum-heavy music starts up.

 

Mr. Abdomen is now in obvious distress, sweating profusely, motionless and rigid as a board, breathing rapid shallow breaths. Dr. Toto calmly walks up to the bed and for a few moments sizes up this patient, who looks like he's about to become a statistic. He turns his head to Richard, who somehow is not surprised by this turn of events.

 

dr. toto

Good afternoon, sir. I'm Dr. Toto. Where is your pain?

 

Mr. Abdomen is too sick to answer, but glances down at his naval.

 

dr. toto

Is it your belly?

 

Mr. Abdomen nods quickly. Dr. Toto attempts to palpate the belly, but as soon as he touches the patient Mr. Abdomen lets out the yell of his life. Cut to black, audience hears yell continuing for a few seconds with black screen.

 

 

SCENE 25

 

Scene 25 opens with a black screen, we still hear Mr. Abdomen's yell against the black screen, and as the yell fades out, a newborn's cry fades in. Fade in to the face of a newborn, pan out to Richard, gowned and gloved, wrapping the baby in a blanket and presenting her to mommy.

 

Richard

Esta niña!

 

Cut to mom's exhausted, smiling face for a moment. Cut to Richard ripping off his gown and walking into the crit room. Carolyn, in scrubs, is leaning against the wall as the centrifuge spins, looking sour.

 

Richard

Hey.

 

Carolyn

I'm in a bad mood.

 

Richard

Oh thank god. This shit sucks, right?

 

Carolyn

A few years ago I was helping my friend move into this apartment complex, and my job was to hold this spring-loaded gate open, and that's what I did. While everyone unloaded boxes I stood there, holding the gate, and it was a heavy gate, and I was getting tired.

 

 

As Carolyn speaks the centrifuge stops, and Carolyn unloads the pipettes and puts them in that slide-rule device, but she stops what she's doing to look at Richard and make her point.

 

Carolyn

And then someone came up with this big cinder block and put it down, and it stopped the gate from closing. And I remember walking away, thinking, "I've just been replaced by a cinder block."

 

Pause. Richard stares at her expectantly.

 

Carolyn

"And that cinder block is doing a better job."

 

Richard

I'm sure you did every bit as good a job as that cinder block.

 

Carolyn

No, I resented my friend for asking me to hold the gate open. The cinder block didn't mind it at all.

 

Richard

You're feeling resentful.

 

Carolyn

Do you ever get the feeling a monkey could do what we do?

 

Richard frowns.

 

Richard

It would have to be a really well-trained monkey. Hey listen, we're meeting with the attending.

 

Carolyn

bitter

Well I have to breathe with Ms. Martinez, so tell Dr. Werner I'll join you guys in a bit.

 

Carolyn is scowling. Richard looks at her with empathy. He then makes some monkey sounds and scratches himself like a monkey. Carolyn tries not to laugh but can't help it. She loses hold of her aggravation, grabs a speculum out of a pail filled with disinfectant, wields it like a gun, and shoots Richard.

 

Cut to resident's room on L&D west. Two female residents are sitting in the reclining chairs and Dr. Werner is sitting right next to them, sipping on a drink. They are gossiping among themselves, ignoring Richard, who walks up with a big smile on his face, holding Pap smear instruments.

 

ob resident 1

Oh my god she is such a bitch. She left me with a postpartum hemorrhage last night so she wouldn't be late for her date with that medicine resident with the big nose.

 

ob resident 2

She went out with that guy? She is so desperate.

 

Dr. werner

The other night I saw her browsing through the clearance section at Nieman's.

 

ob res 1 and 2

horrified

Oh my god.

 

Finally they notice Richard, and all the animation leaves their face. They are conspicuously disappointed to see him.

 

dr. werner

disgusted

Hello Richard.

 

Richard

How are you Dr. Werner.

 

dr. werner

Richard we tend not to perform Pap smears on our patients in labor.

 

Richard realizes he's holding the Pap instruments and laughs.

 

Richard

Oh these? Oh, yeah, uh, well Carolyn was shooting me with a speculum and I had to defend myself.

 

Richard is laughing at this, hoping they'll laugh too, but they just stare at him with contempt. After a few seconds Richard's laughing trails off, and he sticks the instruments in his pocket.

 

Richard

Anyway Carolyn's delivering Ms. Martinez, so, uh, she'll join us when she's through.

 

dr. werner

mocking him

Richard we're going to talk about vaginal bleeding for a few minutes. How does that sound to you?

 

Richard

Sounds great.

 

Richard motions to sit down in a nearby vacant chair.

 

dr. werner

Don't sit down.

 

Richard stops in his tracks. Dr. Werner points to a spot in front of the three physicians.

 

dr. werner

You can stand here.

 

Richard assumes a position front and center.

 

dr. werner

Tell me Richard, what is the most important question you can ask a woman who complains of vaginal bleeding?

 

Richard

thinks for a moment

Um, how long have you been bleeding?

 

dr. werner

Nice thought Richard but wrong. Any other ideas?

 

Richard

Ummm...

 

Dr. werner

That's right Richard: When was your last menstrual period. Let's say she claims not to have had a period in two months. What does that mean to you?

 

Richard

Well, it could mean a lot of things.

 

The residents shake their heads at Richard.

 

dr. werner

impatiently

Okay Richard. What is the most common reason for a woman to miss her period?

 

Richard doesn’t know. He takes a deep breath and thinks about it.

 

Richard

Polycystic Ovarian Disease?

 

ob res 1

Ppppppffffffff.

 

Richard, startled, looks over at resident one, but Dr. Werner doesn't give him time to dwell on this ejaculation.

 

dr. werner

Pregnancy, Richard. Pregnancy.

 

ob res 2

disgusted

Jesus.

 

dr. werner

Let me ask you another question, Richard. Why are men so stupid?

 

Richard

Uhh...it's genetic?

 

Though Dr. Werner remains calm throughout, the residents become increasingly agitated over the course of this conversation.

 

Res 1

You got that right.

 

dr. werner

And what about lazy, insensitive, and self-centered? Is that genetic too?

 

Richard

Uhh, I don't know about those.

 

dr. werner

And tell me Richard, why is it that men can only treat women as sex objects? Huh?

 

res 2

shouting angrily

Don't answer that you prick!!

 

As Dr. Werner asks her next question, the women slowly rise from their seated positions and approach Richard. Music volume rises.

 

dr. werner

Do you think that every square inch of uncovered flesh is an invitation for you to look?

 

Richard shakes is head, and slowly begins to retreat, walking backwards, as the women approach him with threatening expressions on their faces.

 

res 1

shouting angrily

You pig!!

 

dr. werner

Are my breasts big enough for you, Richard?

 

res 2

shouting angrily

Do we do it for you, Richard?

 

dr. werner

You make me sick.

 

Dr. Werner flings the contents of her drink all over Richard. Richard is stunned.

 

res 1

Asshole!

 

Resident one lunges forward, cocks her hand, and unloads a slap to Richard's face that nearly connects before we cut to black, the sound of the slap exaggerated on the black screen.

 

 

 

SCENE 26

 

Scene 26 opens with a white sheet taking up the entire screen, so that it is not recognizable as a sheet. Slowly pan out so that just as the outline of a woman's legs in lithotomy position comes into view, Richard's head pops up from above the sheet. He's performing a pelvic exam.

 

Richard

Okay you're going to feel my hand on your thigh.

 

Richard ducks beneath the sheet.

 

Richard

Okay, now you're going to feel my fingers manipulating your vestibule.

 

What's a vestibule? Pelvic patient appears confused.

 

Richard

Okay, now you're going to feel my fingers inside of you.

 

Okay, now you're going to hear me unwrap the speculum.

 

Richard unwraps the speculum from its package (packaged speculums available in the ICC).

 

Richard

Okay, now you're going to feel me put in the speculum. Remember, the speculum is cold.

 

The patient is getting visibly annoyed and is uncomfortable as Richard tries to find the cervix.

 

Richard

Okay, now you're going to experience quite a bit of unnecessary discomfort because I don't really know how to find your cervix but I'm going to try anyway.

 

Patient squirms in discomfort.

 

pelvic patient

Oooh. Ouch.

 

Richard

Okay, now you're going to feel my stare as I inspect your anatomy. Remember, my stare is cold.

 

Pause for a few seconds as Richard presumably examines the patient's cervix. The patient is irritated.

 

Richard

Nice vagina.

 

A moment after Richard says this, his pager goes off. Richard pokes his head above the sheet, confused.

 

Richard

Hmmm, my pager won't turn off.

 

The lights flash on and off. We hear the voice of an overhead announcement.

 

overhead announcer

Alarm. Unchaperoned medical student, floor six, room nineteen.

   

Richard

scared

Shit!! Let me get this speculum out.

 

Richard ducks down to get the speculum. His pager is still going off.

 

overhead announcer

Alarm. Unchaperoned medical student, floor six, room nineteen.

 

The patient snaps shut her legs, catching Richard's head between her knees. He can't break free.

 

Richard

Hey!

 

pelvic patient

You're not going anywhere Richard.

 

Richard

Let me go!!

 

Pelvic patient

You're the guy who did a pelvic exam on a woman who came in with chest pain, you sick bastard.

 

Richard

his head still stuck between her knees

I leave no stone unturned!! Let me go!!

 

The pager beeping gets louder, cut to black, beeping continues.

 

Just as before, we see the light on Richard's pager. We hear Richard stirring, then fumbling with the phone, dialing a number, and the phone ringing, all to a black screen. The phone is picked up and we hear the conversation, screen still black.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Richard.

 

Richard (OS)

Hey.

 

Carolyn (OS)

Wake up. We're in operating room five.

 

Cut to Richard walking out of the call room with a raging erection. As he walks he looks down and, startled, buttons up his white coat to cover it. Cut to OR 5: A patient is draped, unconscious. The OB residents from the previous scene are about to scrub. Richard walks in as one of the residents is talking to Carolyn.

 

ob res 1

Hello Richard. I was just telling Carolyn that we're going to do a transabdominal hysterectomy.

 

Richard

Sounds good.

 

ob res 1

I'm glad you think so. It's going to be pretty crowded around the table, so why don't you two just stand here.

 

Resident points to a spot a few feet away from the table.

 

Richard

Um, last time we couldn't see anything.

 

ob res 1

That's okay, we want you to stand there for a few hours anyway.

 

Resident one walks away.

 

ob res 2

Okay, she's ready! Line up!

 

All the people in the room head toward the pelvic exam line, holding up their two exam fingers. Resident two sticks her head out the OR door, shouting into the hall.

 

ob res 2

shouting

HEY!!! We've got a woman under anesthesia in here!! Anybody need a pelvic?

 

Students, doctors, nurses, and all variety of support staff (including a custodian) come pouring out into the hall, into OR 5, with two exam fingers up. Resident two lubes their fingers as they come in.

 

Cut to Richard walking off campus, in a daze. He's crossing the street, and we hear the ring-ring of a bicycle bell.

 

Cop

Hey!

 

Richard slowly turns his head, too tired to care. He sees the cop riding a little girl's bicycle with training wheels.

 

COp

The crosswalk's there for a reason, young man.

 

Richard looks down, he's a few feet wide of the crosswalk.

 

Cut to Richard opening his house door, to reveal Skeeter getting his ass waxed by a cute Asian chick. Rather than go inside, Richard turns around and drives off.

 

Cut to bar. Taylor and Richard are having a drink. Richard is dressed in the same scrubs he's been wearing all day. Taylor's beer is half-full; Richard's is half-empty.

 

Richard

And so the baby's about halfway out, right? And I'm about to catch it. And there's shit everywhere. Mom is shitting all over me, all over the baby, all over the room, everywhere.  And I'm about to catch the baby, and my goggles are about to fall off, so I nudge them back into place, and the resident freaks.

 

Taylor

Your goggles are not sterile, Richard.

 

Richard is more upset than we've ever seen him.

 

Richard

exasperated

You would have thought I dropped the baby, I mean Dr. Rollins was screaming  at me because I touched my goggles, meanwhile the baby is covered in shit!!

 

 Taylor

Hey buddy, relax. It's okay, Taylor's here.

 

Taylor puts his arm around Richard.

 

Richard

frustrated

Doctors hate me.

 

Taylor

Well good news: you're about to start psychiatry, and they're not real doctors.

 

Richard

That's true. Maybe I'll like psychiatry.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 27

 

Scene 27 opens with a close-up of a woman crying hysterically, uncontrollably. We zoom out as this woman sobs and sobs and sobs, blows her nose, she can't stop crying. After 10-15 seconds of zooming out, we see Richard seated across the interview table from her, his hands folded on the table. He stares at her calmly, breathing evenly. She continues to wail without pause. After a few more moments Richard speaks without emotion.

 

Richard

You appear tearful.

 

This seems to upset her more, and she sobs with increased intensity, if that were possible. Richard nods acceptingly. He pulls out a sheet of paper and reads from it while the patient weeps.

 

Richard

Ms. Keller, would you say you've experienced depressed mood in the past six months?

 

Ms. Keller tries to speak, but at first is unable to get anything out she's crying so hard. Finally she achieves a measure of composure that allows her to communicate, though she's still hysterical.

 

Ms. Keller

hysterical

My life is worthless.

 

That utterance was too much for her, and she cries with renewed vigor. Richard nods, as if this is what he expected. Richard waits another few moments.

 

Richard

Ms. Keller, can you spell WORLD backwards?

 

Ms. Keller lets out a high-pitched scream.

 

Ms. keller

hysterical

I want to end it all!!!!

 

Pan closer to Ms. Keller. Right in the middle of one of Ms. Keller's screams, cut to the next person sitting in that chair, across from Richard though we don't see him in this shot. The patient is a flaming transvestite dressed and made up to the nines, sitting with his arms folded across his chest, eyes closed but posture completely erect, serene, with a bit of a pout on his face. Let the audience digest this for a few moments. Patient's eyes remain closed, though he is obviously not sleeping.

 

Richard (OS)

Ms. Dreamweaver?

 

Ms. Dreamweaver does not respond. He sits with eyes closed. Camera starts to zoom out, ultimately revealing Richard seated across the table, leaned a bit forward to get closer to this electively mute patient.

 

Richard

Ms. Dreamweaver? Can you hear me Ms. Dreamweaver?

 

Ms. Dreamweaver does not respond. After a few moments he slowly opens his eyes, looking placidly at Richard.

 

Richard

Ms. Dreamweaver are you feeling like yourself lately?

 

Ms. Dreamweaver looks around the room, purposefully ignoring Richard.

 

Richard

Ms. Dreamweaver you were found fellating a statue.

 

This gets to him. He quickly looks at Richard and speaks in a flambouyantly gay manner.

 

ms. dreamweaver

I know you're not talking to me. There must be another Ms. Dreamweaver in here because I know you're not talking to me.

 

He sits back in his chair and stares around the room, avoiding looking at Richard.

 

Richard

Ms. Dreamweaver, do you carry any psychiatric diagnoses?

 

Ms. Dreamweaver is repulsed. He glares and then snaps at Richard.

 

Ms. dreamweaver

You are disgusting. I am not talking to you, and I hate you.

 

Ms. Dreamweaver leans back, and purposefully stares into space. Hold for a few moments, then cut to next patient: a thin, well-groomed man in a button-up in the middle of a manic monologue. He speaks a million miles a minute, with gradiosity of expression and content.

 

Mr. president

excessively animated, pressured

-and so there I was surrounded by gooks and I should have fled but three of my men were down so I put them all on my back and carried them to safety through enemy fire.

 

Richard

Mr.-

 

mr. president

excessively animated, pressured

-speaking of fire that reminds me of this time I fired my whole staff at the secret service boy were they mad.

 

Richard

bu-

 

mr. president

excessively animated, pressured

-they were as mad as this guy I busted who ran the biggest cocaine cartel in all of Columbia

 

Richard slowly get up and starts to walk out of the room. Mr. President doesn't miss a beat, just keeps blabbering at Richard, turning his body to continue to address Richard as he walks out.

 

mr. president

excessively animated, pressured

-Columbia wow that's a crazy place one time I was trapped in a Columbian prison and the guard wouldn't give me food or drink for weeks on end how was he to know he was starving the future president of the United States?

 

<click> Richard closes the door behind him. He starts to walk down a hall and runs into a plainly dressed man whose eyes are bulging out of his head. He is breathing rapid, shallow breaths through a mouth that's open way too wide, spittle coming out the corners. His hands are in front of him, shaking. This man looks as psychotic as they come. He just stands there, looking psycho. Richard calmly stops in front of him, and looks at him for a few seconds silently, as the audience digests this grotesque site. Finally Richard, who shows no reaction to this, addresses the scary man. He gets a sheet of paper out of his coat pocket as he talks.

 

Richard

I have a patient to present to you, Dr. Dixon.

 

The music, which just came to an apex, stops dramatically as we cut to the patient's perspective in the interview room. The remainder of scene 27 is shot from the perspective of the patient - we never see the patient's face. We see a vacant chair that will be occupied by the interviewer, and the hands of the patient on the table. He's very fidgety, and we hear him breathing. We hear the door open, which frightens the patient, and he jumps. Richard walks to his chair and sits down. He's breathing more rapidly now, and the audience can hear him breathe with uncomfortable clarity, as if the audience is inside his head. As Richard approaches his chair, he greets the patient.

 

Richard

Mr. Robert Hamilton?

 

Mr. Hamilton does not allow the normal pause after the question.

 

Mr. Hamilton

psychotic

Yes.

 

This gives Mr. Hamilton away as a weirdo. Richard, who was in the process of sitting down, balks at this and examines the patient nervously. Richard reluctantly sits down after assessing for an escape route. He stares at Mr. Hamilton for a few moments, sizing him up, as the patient continues to fidget and breathe. Richard slowly, guardedly takes out a pad of paper and a pen. He puts the pen down on the table and reads from the pad for a moment, then looks back at the patient.

 

Richard

How are you today, Mr. Hamilton?

 

Again Mr. Hamilton does not allow for the usual space between question and answer.

 

 

Mr. Hamilton

Fine.

 

More heavy breathing. Richard tries to calm the patient with a calm nod. They sit in silence a few moments as Richard nods.

 

Richard

Do you know today's date, Mr. Hamilton?

 

Richard looks at the patient expectantly. Mr. Hamilton does answer at first.

 

Mr. Hamilton

Today's date?

 

Richard nods, trying not to upset this already agitated patient. We now hear the two voices, spoken only as whispers by two different people. Voice one, Harry, is heard only from the right channel. Voice two, Betsy, is heard only through the left channel.

 

harry

He's out to get you.

 

Mr. Hamilton is startled by the voice and gasps as he looks to his right. Of course nothing is there, and Richard, a little frightened by all of this, sneaks a peak to the area Mr. Hamilton was looking at it. A few seconds pass.

 

Richard

Do you know the month...or the year?

 

betsy

Don't trust him.

 

HARRY

Don't tell him anything.

 

Mr. Hamilton

No. I don't know.

 

Richard

Okay.

 

Pause.

 

Richard

Do you know where you are, right now?

 

betsy

The pen.

 

harry

That pen!!

 

Mr. Hamilton glances nervously but conspicuously at Richard's pen, on the table in front of him.  Richard allows a few seconds to pass before sneaking a peak at the pen himself, then immediately looking back at the patient.

 

betsy

That pen is a video camera.

 

harry

He's recording you!!

 

Mr. Hamilton becomes more anxious.

 

Richard

carefully

Do you know where we are, Mr. Hamilton? Are we at the library?

 

betsy

You've got to get that pen.

 

harry

Get the pen!!!

 

Mr. Hamilton

looking to his right

Okay! Okay!!

 

Richard backs up in his chair, becoming frightened of this patient who is screaming at nobody. Mr. Hamilton glances nervously at the pen, again, then back to Richard. Richard, about as far away from the patient as possible while sitting in his chair, folds his arms across his chest. A few seconds pass. Mr. Hamilton glances at the pen again, and then Richard glances at it again.

 

betsy

Grab it!!

 

At this the patient lunges across the table and grabs the pen, scaring the shit out of Richard, who screams and pushes his chair back against the wall. Mr. Hamilton shoves the pen into his pocket.

 

Mr. Hamilton

I'm going to keep this pen.

 

Richard

reassuringly, scared

Okay. No problem.

 

After a few more seconds, Richard tries to compose himself and regroup.

 

Richard

Never mind where we are. Let me ask you a question.

 

Mr. Hamilton

Okay.

 

Richard

If I told you that a man who lives in a glass house doesn’t throw stones, what would that mean to you?

 

harry

He's fucking with you!!

 

betsy

He's trying to drive you crazy.

 

 

harry

Don't stand for it.

 

betsy

You're going to have to kill him, Bobby.

 

Slowly zoom in on Richard, wide-eyed, trying to assess the patient.

 

Harry

You have to destroy him. Tear him apart.

 

betsy

He's one of them. Kill him.

 

Cut to black.

 

SCENE 28

 

Scene 28 opens with a light musical interlude. Fade in to closeup of a bookshelf, camera slowly panning over surgery book after surgery book. [Use surgery section at Major's, but don't show the "Surgery" sign, just the books] Down to the row below, more surgery books - linger on this for a while to give the audience the sense that we are in a transition. After some suitable time, a hand shoots into the shot and grabs one of the books. Cut to shot of Dr. Jackson walking down an aisle, wearing scrubs and holding the surgery book he just grabbed. Pan to Dr. Jackson's POV as he scans the length of the aisles perpendicular to him. In the middle of one of these aisles is an attractive lady. He passes by that aisle then stops, backs up, looks again. He then walks around to approach the attractive lady from the other side of the aisle. She's scanning a section of books, and he comes up behind her and looks over her shoulder. She doesn't pay much attention. Dr. Jackson stands there for a moment, sizing her up, and then "accidentally" drops his surgery book, face up, right in front of her. He waits for her to notice the book, then reaches down to pick it up.

 

Dr. Jackson

Excuse me.

 

After seeing the book, she shows more interest.

 

heather

That's okay.

 

She takes a look at Dr. Jackson as he pretends to look at the books in front of him.

 

heather

Are you a surgeon?

 

Dr. Jackson

Yes, yes I am.

 

Heather has stopped what she's doing in an attempt to engage him in conversation, but Dr. Jackson continues to peruse the bookshelf in front of him.

 

heather

Wow.

 

Dr. Jackson

affected modesty

Oh, it's nothing. You could do it too.

 

heather

No way! All that blood!

 

Dr. Jackson

dramatic

Yeah, well there is a lot of blood. It can be difficult to keep your cool when you get one of those big daddy bleeders just spraying blood all over the place, and you know you only have a minute to fix it before the patient dies right there in front of you.

 

heather

impressed

Man! That's crazy. I could never do that.

 

Dr. Jackson

Yeah, you're right. You probably couldn't. But someone's got to. Someone's got to put in the 120 hour weeks. Someone's got to be there when your aorta explodes and you have 15 minutes to live.

 

heather

I hope when my aorta explodes you're there to save me.

 

Dr. Jackson

dead serious

I'll be there.

 

Just as he says that, his pager goes off.

 

Dr. Jackson

with exhaustion, as if he gets paged every twenty minutes

I'm sorry. Just one moment.

 

Heather

beaming

Of course. No problem.

 

Dr. Jackson checks his pager, then whips out his cell phone and dials a number.

 

Dr. Jackson

into phone

This is Doctor Jackson.

 

Yes Dr. Cox, of course.

 

Adult circumcision at two, laparoscopic appendectomy at three, cholecystectomy at four.

 

Oh, really?

 

I'm sorry about that Dr. Cox, that shouldn't be your concern. We'll take care of it.

 

Okay.

 

 

Dr. Jackson hangs up.

 

Dr. Jackson

 Sorry about that, that was my boss.

 

heather

Dr. Cox.

 

Dr. Jackson

Yes, he operated on President Kennedy after he was shot.

 

heather

amazed

Wow, and you get to work with him!

 

Dr. Jackson dials a number on his cell phone.

 

Dr. Jackson

It seems my excuse for a med student isn't pulling his weight, once again. Let me page him.

 

heather

I'm sure he's doing his best.

 

Dr. Jackson finishes dialing and hangs up.

 

Dr. Jackson

Oh he's definitely doing his best, it's just not good enough. Some people don't have what it takes to contribute to a surgical team.

 

Cut to face shot of Richard asleep, but sitting down. His head is tilted back in an obviously uncomfortable position that could only be made tolerable by extreme exhaustion. Slowly pan out, and we see that the setting is a bathroom stall, and Richard has fallen asleep on the pot. After giving the audience time to digest this, Richard's pager goes off.

 

At first Richard does not respond, but slowly he is roused and opens his eyes. He looks at his watch, and realizing how late it is, curses. He stands up, pulls his pants up, and quiets his pager. He attempts to pull his pager off his scrub bottoms but after a little bit of a struggle we hear a KERPLUNK and Richard's eyes open wide. He goes after his pager in the toilet.

 

Cut back to bookstore. Dr. Jackson and Heather are now in line to pay for their books, continuing to chat.

 

Dr. Jackson

Right. This guy's got an infection of his glans and now has a penile abscess, so we've got to drain it and take off the foreskin.

 

Heather, horrified, gasps and covers her mouth with her hand.

 

Dr. Jackson

So remember: if you're not circumcised, you have to clean the glans regularly.

 

Heather

laughing

I'll keep that in mind.

 

A man walks up, presumably a stranger.

 

stranger

to Dr. Jackson

Hey doc, is this cancer?

 

He extends his wrist to Dr. Jackson, who looks at the skin for a moment, brushes it with his hand, examines it closely.

 

Dr. Jackson

No.

 

stranger

relieved

Whew. Thanks, doc.

 

Dr. Jackson

No problem.

 

Stranger walks away.

 

heather

smitten

So, have you always wanted to be a doctor?

 

Dr. Jackson

I've wanted to be a surgeon since middle school.

 

Cut to middle school. Younger Dr. Jackson (wearing corduroys and an Izod top, hair slicked to one side) is standing next to young lady, dressed and made up in typical eighties fashion. They are in the school hallway.

 

little schoolgirl

amicable but firm

Joe, I'm sorry but I can't go out with you.

 

young Dr. Jackson

But I love you.

 

little schoolgirl

I know, but you're a dork.

 

They stand there looking at each other, and we hear a cell phone ring, and as Little Schoolgirl speaks the cell phone rings again.

 

little schoolgirl

I'm sorry Joe but sometimes you've got to tough it out.

 

Cut back to bookstore. Dr. Jackson is on his cell phone.

 

Dr. Jackson

Oh you haven't gotten to Ms. Fester yet? Well the nurses are harassing the big boss about her wound that you were supposed to have cleaned and wrapped hours ago.

 

Pause. Dr. Jackson looks at Heather and shakes his head in disgust at whatever Richard is saying.

 

Dr. Jackson

Richard, don't complain to me about how many patients you have. When I was in your position I carried twice as many and knew them all twice as well. Sometimes you've got to tough it out. I'll be up there in ten minutes.

 

Dr. Jackson doesn't wait for Richard to respond to this; he just hangs up and puts away his cell phone.

 

Dr. Jackson

to Heather, irritated

Nothing better than useless, whining medical students.

 

heather

Don't be so hard on him.

 

Dr. Jackson

Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?

 

heather

I would love to.

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 29

 

Scene 29 opens with Richard pushing the chart cart, filled with 20 charts, down the hall. He pulls up to a room, whips out the vital signs clipboard, and starts scribbling down some numbers as he screams at his patient from the doorway.

 

Richard

Ms. Randolph! Any problems overnight?

 

ms. randolph (OS)

Nah.

 

Richard

 

Pooping and peeing?

 

ms. randolph (OS)

Yep.

 

Richard

Good. Are you hungry today?

 

 

ms. randolph (OS)

Yep.

 

Richard

Great. Hey check out that big ol wound on your belly for me. What's it look like?

 

ms. randolph (OS)

Looks okay to me.

 

Richard

Excellent.

 

Richard turns his attention to the patient in the near bed.

 

Richard

Hey Ms. Fester, how are you?

 

ms. fester (OS)

Well actually I've been vomiting and-

 

Richard

Great. Hey listen, I need you to pull off all those old bandages on your neck, clean out that big hole we made with this-

 

Richard tosses some betadine at her.

 

Richard

And wrap it up with some fresh bandages. Okay?

 

Richard tosses some bandages at her.

 

Richard

Thanks.

 

He scribbles something in a chart as pushes on to the next room, then shoves it back into the cart, arrives at the next room, and grabs the vitals clipboard.

 

Richard

Mr. Nelley! How are you.

 

Cut to view of rounding room door, which Richard pushes open to reveal Dr. Jackson, the senior resident, sitting down with two junior surgery residents.

 

Dr. Jackson

All right! Our star student is here.

 

Richard smiles a big, facetious smile. The team stands up, preparing to round. They talk as they walk out the door and into the hall.

 

Dr. Jackson

And how are our patients doing, Richard? You keeping them alive?

 

Richard

Everyone is fine. Ms. Laughing Horse was very upset and demanded to have surgery today.

 

Dr. Jackson

to resident one

Ms. Laughing Horse? Let me guess: gallstones.

 

surg res 1

She's our four o'clock gall bladder.

 

Dr. Jackson

to  Richard

Richard, tell me about the epidemiology of gallstones.

 

Richard clears his throat.

 

Richard

Well, um gallstones are very common, especially in older women, especially if they're overweight.

 

Dr. Jackson

That's an excellent answer, Richard.

 

Pause. Richard shows the slightest bit of hope on his face.

 

Dr. Jackson

If you're a nurse. But you're wanting to be a doctor, god help us. Shelly?

 

surg res 2

25% of women older than 50 have gall bladder disease. Incidence increases with obesity, family history, native american decent, multiparity, rapid weight loss and prolonged parenteral nutrition.

 

Dr. Jackson

Excellent. Well she'll get her surgery today.

 

Richard

She asked to speak with the senior doctor on the team, and I told her you would be in to see her later.

 

Dr. Jackson stops walking, and the team stops with him. He's disgusted.

 

Dr. Jackson

Did you mention my name?

 

Richard

Yes.

 

Dr. Jackson

to surgery resident one

Mike, does he have to see patients?

 

surg res 1

I'm afraid so.

 

Dr. Jackson

We can't just pass him, and send him home for the last few weeks of the rotation?

 

Mike shakes his head.

 

Surg res 1

Sorry.

 

Dr. Jackson

Listen Richard. I understand that you don't want to be a surgeon, and patients all over the world are thankful for that, but you still have to recognize the surgical hierarchy. You are on the bottom. Above you are the surgical clerks, technicians, and custodial staff. Then nurses,

 

He points to his two junior residents.

 

Dr. Jackson

junior residents, and me. I report to the attending.  When something comes up that you can't handle, I want you to refer it to one of the janitors. If he needs to pass it on, he'll tell a nurse, who can consult Shelly, and so on. Do you understand?

 

Richard

I think so, but where do patients fit into this hierarchy?

 

Dr. Jackson ignores the question.

 

Dr. Jackson

Okay, we have to be in the OR at two. Mike you're cutting today?

 

Mike nods.

 

Dr. Jackson

Richard go study something, and I'll have anesthesia page you when the patient's ready to move.

 

The three physicians start to walk away from Richard.

 

Richard

Dr. Jackson?

 

Dr. Jackson

What.

 

Richard

My pager is, uh, broken.

 

Dr. Jackson

Broken.

 

Richard

It got wet.

 

Dr. Jackson

angry

Okay, well, Shelly, this makes me think you need the rest of the day off. Give your pager to Richard. Now take this one off before you shower, okay, buddy?

 

Dr. Jackson tosses the pager at Richard's chest.

 

Dr. Jackson

And you can pick up Shelly's patients until tomorrow, lunch.

 

Richard

But I already have seventeen p-

 

Dr. Jackson

angry

So you're picking up a few more. We'll see you in preop.

 

Dr. Jackson and two junior residents walk away; cut to Richard standing there, alone, as we hear Dr. Jackson's parting shot.

 

Dr. Jackson (OS)

to his two juniors

Can you believe who they let into med school these days?

 

 

Cut to black.

 

 

SCENE 30

 

Scene 30 opens with a patient taking his meal from the cashier at McDonald's, and pushing his IV pole across the seating area. As we follow this patient, we see Richard at a table, his head down, he has actually fallen asleep in his food. Close in on this, and we see a pager on the table, vibrating but not beeping. Hold for a few moments, then Carolyn walks by, chipper. She stops when she sees Richard, and shakes him, laughing.

 

Carolyn

Richard! Wake up! Your pager's going off!

 

Richard rouses, and lifts his head from his meal. One side of his face is covered in ketchup and mayonnaise, and he's sleep-deprived-delirious enough not to care. He stares at Carolyn, trying to orient himself. When Carolyn sees this disgusting mess on his face she laughs harder, grabs a pile of napkins from the tabletop, and wipes him off as she talks.

 

Richard

confused, looking around

Shit.

 

Carolyn

Rise and shine Rich! Surgery calls! 3 weeks left of third year!

 

Richard finally notices the vibrating pager, grabs it, looks at the display, curses and bolts out of McDonalds, leaving Carolyn standing there, laughing. She looks at his meal, which is more or less uneaten. She sits down and starts eating it.

 

Cut to Richard on hallway phone.

 

Richard

nervous, adrenalinized

Dr. Jackson!

 

Dr. Jackson (OS)

furious

Richard I don't give a god damn if you show up for the surgeries but we need the fucking patient! There are six doctors waiting on your sorry ass, and if the circumcision in room 412 isn't down here in three minutes I'm going to cut your dick off!!

 

<click>

 

Dr. Jackson hangs up on Richard. Richard puts the phone on the cradle and runs down the hall.

 

Cut to Richard sitting at the bar with a half-empty beer. He looks the worst we've seen, huge circles under his eyes, hair disheveled, with a listless expression. Taylor sits down next to him.

 

Taylor

Sorry I'm late. Man you look like shit.

 

Richard

Don't worry about it. I have to be back at the hospital in a few hours anyway, and I'm too tired to sleep.

 

Taylor

Tough day at the office?

 

Cut to Richard sprinting down the hall and bursting into room 412. He sees two men, and looks at each of them for a moment, so that it is clear to the audience that he's trying to decide which one to take down. Patient one is a normal white guy; patient two is an indian man, complete with turbine on head.

 

Richard

desperate

Okay which one of you is going down for surgery today?

 

Both men speak at the same time. The white guy speaks at a normal volume and matter-of-fact tone, while the indian patient is obviously frustrated and speaks loudly and impatiently, with a thick accent (of course).

 

white surgery patient

I think I'm supposed to get my surgery today.

 

indian surgery patient

I have been waiting for three days!! I am in pain doctor!

 

Richard is obviously so distracted by the indian man that he never even considered the white guy. He moves toward the indian patient.

 

Richard

to indian patient

I'm not a doctor.

 

indian surgery patient

My family has been waiting!

 

Richard starts pushing the indian patient out of the room.

 

indian surgery patient

Three days I have been away from work! How am I to feed my family, doctor?

 

Richard

I'm not a doctor.

 

Cut back to bar. Taylor now has a beer.

 

Taylor

Okay, so you got him down there, and your R5 was pissed because you were late. No big deal, senior residents are always pissed.

 

Richard looks at Taylor with hopeless eyes. He looks back at his beer and exhales deeply as he closes his eyes, about to recount a painful experience.

 

Cut back to room 412.  Richard is standing there, expressionless. The indian man is pacing around with nothing on but a huge penis bandage, which takes the form of a diaper. He is in a tornado of a rage, screaming, hysterical.  He is joined now by his wife, a traditionally dressed indian lady, who sits in a chair, sobbing. The white patient placidly rests in his bed.

 

indian surgery patient

livid, with thick accent

How could you do this to me! I have been disgraced! I will be rejected by my community and it is your fault!

 

He points squarely at Richard.

 

indian wife

crying

My religion forbids me to make love to a circumcised man.

 

indian surgery patient

I can not have more babies, and I only have nine! What kind of man only has nine children? You have ruined my life!!

 

Indian man doubles over in pain.

 

indian surgery patient

in obvious pain

And my belly! Oooh it is worse than ever! I will have my wife place a curse on you!!

 

He addresses his wife in his native dialect.

 

indian surgery patient [in native dialect]

to wife

Put a hex on this stupid motherfucker.

 

Wife rises, and lifts her arms as she begins to chant a fierce chant directed at Richard. Richard tries to sneak to the door. The indian patient, who has fallen to the ground in pain, crawls toward Richard in an attempt to restrain him. Wife continues to hex Richard.

 

indian surgery patient

Oh no you don't! Come back here!!

 

white patient

Hey, my dick still hurts! Am I going to get my surgery?

 

Richard exits as indian patient rises and approaches the door. From the outside, we see Richard close the door on the indian patient's penis cast. He wails in pain, which we hear overlapping the cut to Dr. Cox's reception.

 

Cut to Dr. Cox's reception. Richard is seated in a chair along the wall, and we can see the closed door to Dr. Cox's office. We hear Dr. Cox screaming at Dr. Jackson from behind the closed door.

 

dr. cox (OS)

muffled screams

God dammit Jackson!

 

We hear something crashing, breaking, inside Dr. Cox's office as we see Richard sit there placidly.

 

dr. cox (OS)

muffled screams

You want me to get my license revoked?

 

Another crashing, breaking object.

 

DR. cox (OS)

muffled screams

Is that what you want? Get out of here! God dammit!

 

The door opens, and we see Dr. Jackson walk out with head down. We hear Dr. Cox more clearly now.

 

dr. cox (OS)

more clearly, starts at low volume and gets angrier, louder

If you don't see me in the OR tomorrow morning it's because THEY FIRED ME!! GOD DAMMIT!!

 

Dr. Jackson passes Richard and shoots him a brief, scornful look.

 

dr. cox (OS)

bellowing

Cartwright! Get in here!

 

Cut back to bar, Richard's and Taylor's beer nearly empty. Taylor is laughing, slapping Richard on the back. Richard has his elbow on the bar, and his hand covering half of his fatigued face.

 

Taylor

Shit Richard, that's funny.

 

Richard

Taylor I'm not sure I can make it another three weeks.

 

Cut back to rounding room door, presumably just after Dr. Cox's floggings. Richard, who is holding a white styrofoam cup, pushes open the door, and the team is sitting there, solemnly, obviously affected by the mistake.  Richard approaches cautiously, and hands Dr. Jackson the cup. Dr. Jackson holds his gaze on Richard, then smells the coffee.

 

Dr. Jackson

with measured, patronizing calm

Nope. Sorry Richard, but this is not my coffee, though I admit this cup does look like the one I described. I'm going to have to ask you to go back down to the second floor and find my coffee.

 

Richard

This is the only coffee in the lounge, Dr. Jackson. I'd be happy to buy you a new cup of coffee.

 

Dr. Jackson

No, I want that particular cup of coffee. If it's not in the surgery lounge, it must be in the cafeteria.  Check there.

 

Cut back to bar. Richard's beer is empty, Taylor has a few gulps left.

 

Richard

I don't like the hospital. I don't like the patients and I don't like the doctors, lord knows they don't like me.

 

Taylor

Everyone feels that way Richard.

 

Richard

I've been telling myself that for months, and it's just not true. There's being stressed out and then there's hating - really hating - your life.

 

Silence. Richard and Taylor stare straight ahead for a few moments. Taylor finishes off his beer. Richard speaks after a suitable pause.

 

Richard

Have you noticed that every doctor in the hospital over the age of forty claims to have tried to save President Kennedy?

 

Taylor

smiles

Yeah. There must have been 400 people in that operating room.

 

Pause.

 

Taylor

You need to get home and get some sleep. How many patients are you carrying?

 

Richard

Well I got to pick up my intern's patients, which brings my total to 29.

 

Taylor tries to suppress a laugh, but can't, and starts laughing. Richard starts laughing too. 

 

Cut to Richard climbing into bed. He switches off the light and after a few seconds of silence, we hear impossibly loud clanging noises from above. Richard puts the pillow on his head, to no avail.

 

Cut to Richard knocking on the forbidden door. Skeeter pokes his head out.

 

Skeeter

Yeah?

 

Richard

Hey man, I haven't slept in two days and have to be back in the hospital in less than three hours.

 

Skeeter

Hey, no problem dude.

 

Skeeter slams the door. Cut back to Richard climbing into bed, settling down, and the clanging begins again. Cut to black. 

 

SCENE 31

 

Scene 31 opens with the cop talking to two trainee cops, Jimmy and Maryanne, in the hallway outside the library.

 

cop

pointing to glass doors

Okay Jimmy now this door here, when do we lock it?

 

Jimmy

flustered, can't remember

Um...ten o'clock.

 

cop

Right. And what if you catch someone trying to open this door after ten o'clock?

 

jimmy

flustered, can't recall

Um....damn....I know this.

 

Cop

Maryanne?

 

maryanne

We give him a ticket for trying to force an entry.

 

cop

Excellent Maryanne. Jimmy, what if the vandal trying to open the locked door is a student?

 

jimmy

trying to remember

Um...shoot...

 

cop

No, we don't shoot him. Maryanne?

 

Maryanne

Check to make sure he has a parking decal on his car. If not, ticket him.

 

Jimmy shoots a glare at Maryanne, who sticks her tongue out at Jimmy. Cop points to the next door over.

 

cop

Great. When do we lock this door?

 

Silence.

 

cop

Anybody?

 

Silence.

 

Cop

Trick question. We don't lock this door, it stays open 24 hours.

 

As the cop is saying this, we see Richard outside trying to open the 24 hour door, but it's  locked. The cops do nothing. Richard walks to the next door down, with camera following, opens it up, walks inside and down the hall. He's eating a hamburger.

 

Cut to Richard in Parkland, on his way to the ED. A large black lady, in scrubs, is standing next to a janitor cart that has a big garbage receptacle in it. Richard finishes his burger and crumples up the wrapping paper. He walks up to the black lady, and motions to throw away his wrapper in the garbage receptacle.

 

Richard

Um, can I toss this here?

 

scrubbed black lady

Excuse me?

 

Richard

Oh sorry, I was just wondering if I could throw this away in your cart.

 

scrubbed black lady

offended

I'm an attending surgeon...

 

Pause as she looks at Richard's name tag.

 

scrubbed black lady

Richard.

 

Hold Richard staring blankly at the scrubbed black lady for a few moments. Cut to ER, Richard interviewing a normal, unremarkable and very healthy-appearing young man. Richard breaks out a sheet of paper and a clipboard.

 

Richard

Hi, I'm Richard, one of the third year medical students. Are you Mr. Stein?

 

mr. stein

Yes, how do you do.

 

Richard

Fine, thanks. Do you have any allergies to any medications, Mr. Stein?

 

mr. stein

None that I know of.

 

Richard

Any medical problems? Diabetes, asthma?

 

mr. stein

Nope, nothing.

 

Richard

Previous surgeries?

 

mr. stein

Never.

 

Richard

Medications?

 

mr. stein

No medications.

 

Richard

Wow you're just the picture of health. Are you a drinker or smoker?

 

mr. stein

I drink occasionally, don't smoke.

 

Richard

Other drugs? Marijuana, cocaine?

 

mr. stein

offended

What? No!

 

Richard

Sorry, sir, I ask everyone.

 

mr. stein

shocked, can't believe Richard asked him that

What kind of guy do you think I am?

 

Richard

I'm sorry.

 

mr. stein

Jeez.

 

Richard

What brings you to the hospital today, Mr. Stein?

 

mr. stein

matter of factly

I have a Barbie doll stuck in my ass hole.

 

Richard had been writing, and he conspicuously stops midstroke, but tries to appear composed and unmoved by this information.

 

Richard

A Barbie doll.

 

mr. stein

Yeah, you see what happened is I was cleaning, right? And I was vacuuming, and I slipped.

 

Pause. Richard is staring at the patient, not writing anything.

 

mr. stein

as if taken by surprise

 And she went right up my butt.

 

Closeup on Mr. Stein nodding. Cut to rounding room, Dr. Jackson and Richard.

 

Dr. Jackson

Lemme guess, his first name is Ken, right?

 

Richard looks at his paper, surprised, he's just now drawing the connection.

 

Richard

Uh, yeah, it is. He says that he was cleaning and-

 

Dr. Jackson

annoyed

Save it, I've heard'em all. Here's what we're going to do. I want you to go back down there and get that sucker out. Get a couple pairs of gloves, a lot of lube and the biggest speculum you can find and get in there and get that thing. If you can't do it, we're going to take him to surgery, simple as that.

 

Cut to face shot of Richard, who's about to reach into Mr. Stein's ass. We see Mr. Stein's legs in lithotomy position on either side of Richard.

 

Richard

Okay, now just relax Mr. Stein. You're going to feel a lot of pressure-

 

Richard was going in carefully but much to his surprise basically falls into Mr. Stein's anus. Richard pauses for a moment to digest how loose this guy's ass is.

 

mr. stein

It's way up in there.

 

Richard starts digging deeper.

 

mr. stein

ambiguously pain/pleasure

Oooh.

 

Richard doesn't notice, keeps digging.

 

mr. stein

Deeper!

 

Richard digs.

 

mr. stein

Oh yeah!!

 

Richard stops, his arms halfway in this guy's ass. A suspicious look comes over his face.

 

Mr. stein

Wow.

 

Cut to OR. Dr. Cox is scrubbed in, along with a nurse, Richard, Dr. Jackson and a junior resident or two. Richard is retracting as the physicians operate. Dr. Cox is operating and speaks without taking his eyes off the field.

 

dr. cox

So let me get this straight. This guy was cleaning, naked.  God dammit who the hell cleans naked? Pam do you clean naked?

 

scrub nurse

No sir.

 

dr. cox

So he was cleaning naked when he slipped and fell onto a Barbie doll, which happened to be standing up in the middle of the room, and the doll is now two feet up his ass. Richard pull on that a little harder, give us some more room.

 

Richard

Okay Dr. Cock.

 

Dr. Cox, who had been operating, stops, looks up, and stares at Richard.

 

dr. cox

It's Doctor Cox. C. O. X. Cox.

 

Richard

surprised, as if he doesn't get the meaning of cock

Oh really? This whole time I thought it was Dr. Cock! Hmm.

 

Dr. Cox stares at Richard for a few more seconds, then puts his instruments down.

 

Dr. cox

Today's your last day, right Richard?

 

Richard

Yessir.

 

Dr. Cox

Why don't you go ahead and take the rest of the day off. I think I speak for the whole team when I say it's been a real pleasure working with you.

 

Dr. Jackson

We'll miss you Richard.

 

Cut to the outside of Parkland. Richard pushes through the doors and walks away. He stops, looks back at the hospital, and then continues. He takes a deep breath and smiles. This marks the end of third year.

 

SCENE 32

 

Scene 31 fades out to the sound of the street, hold black screen, slowly fade in sound of swimming pool water hitting the side of the pool as street sounds fade out. Slowly fade in to surface of swimming pool on a sunny Dallas day.  Pan to Richard and Taylor lying down in pool chairs, wearing only swim trunks and sunglasses. Without raising his head, Taylor picks up a beer, sips from it, and replaces it on the poolside cement. The two of them lie there, tanning in silence for a few more moments.

 

Taylor

I'm really getting into fourth year.

 

They lie there for a bit longer, then Richard rises, stretches, and takes off his sunglasses. He stands and dives into the pool. We follow Richard's dive until his feet are submerged, then start fourth year montage music.

 

Cut to Richard at his desk, filling out an application.

 

Cut to Taylor in a suit, getting a headshot picture taken.

 

Cut to Carolyn reading Iserson's book, "Getting Into a Residency: A Guide for Medical Students." [We have a copy]

 

Cut to Richard sitting in an attending's office.

 

Richard

uncomfortable

Dr. Black, I'm hoping you can, um, support my residency application with a favorable letter of reference.

 

Dr. Black stares at Richard for a few moments.

 

dr. black

Favorable letter of reference?

 

richard

Um...

 

dr. black

How about just a letter of reference.

 

Richard jumps on it. He stands up, and shakes Dr. Black's hand.

 

Richard

Sounds good. Thank you Dr. Black.

 

 

Cut to Richard lifting weights with Taylor.

 

Cut to Richard filling out more applications.

 

Cut to Richard, Carolyn and Taylor in a bar.

 

Carolyn

to Richard

I've always thought of you as an internist.

 

Richard

dreading the thought of it

Uch, those patients...

 

Carolyn

How about anesthesia? They don't deal with patients.

 

Richard

You know it's not really the patients, it's the doctors I can't stand. Besides, I didn't come to medical school to learn how to put people to sleep.

 

Carolyn

frustrated, but not overdone

Okay Richard, then why did you come to medical school?

 

Richard contemplates this question for the first time in a few years.

 

Richard

I don't know. For the wrong reasons.

 

Taylor

Hey - the only people pathologists deal with are dead! How about pathology?

 

Richard doesn't even hear the question, he's still thinking about all the wrong reasons he came to med school. Hold Richard, pensive, for a few moments.

 

Cut to Becker interviewing. He's wearing a sharp suit and sitting with his legs crossed, obviously very comfortable in this environment.

 

interviewer 1

Well Becker, your academic record is impressive.

 

The interviewer reviews the papers on his desk, presumably Becker's application, visibly impressed.

 

Interviewer 1

Your board scores in particular set you apart from other applicants.

 

Becker

I agree. I suppose I did manage to squeeze in a few study sessions while I was doing the bench work for my research project on bedside troponin assays, which was published in last month's Journal of Cardiology.

 

Interviewer raises his eyebrows; Becker pulls out a paper from his inside coat pocket.

 

Becker

I know that you've been busy putting the finishing touches on your ARB dosing study protocol, so in case you let that issue slip past you I brought a reprint.

 

Interviewer, smiling, takes the paper.

 

Cut to Richard interviewing. His suit is more than a few sizes too small, and he leans up on his knees, fidgeting, looking down at the ground, visibly uncomfortable. Interviewer looks at Richard for a few moments, silently trying to figure out why he's being a weirdo. He writes on his pad.

 

interviewer 2

How are you today, Richard?

 

Richard does not look up from the ground. He is miserable, and unconsciously sabotaging the interview. He speaks as if he doesn't have complete command of the language.

 

Richard

Fine, thanks.

 

That's all we get. The interviewer looks at him with eyes of pity, and continues to write on his pad.

 

interviewer 2

I see you only applied to transitional programs. Have you not decided on a specialty?

 

Richard fidgets for a bit and finally looks up at the interviewer, who tries to hold Richard's gaze, but Richard looks down again.

 

Richard

Well you know how it goes. The baggage people lost my suit.

 

Pan to Interviewer 2's confused face.

 

Cut to match day celebration. Two exuberant female fourth-years, Josie and Elsie, holding both of the other's hands, trade match day info. Josie's eyes are wide with excitement.

 

josie

Well?

 

Elsie pauses for effect, looking like she's about to explode.

 

elsie

I'm going to Portland!!!!

 

Both girls shriek at the top of their lungs and jump up and down, not letting go of the other's hands. After a few moments of this, Elsie dutifully returns the favor.

 

elsie

What about you?

 

Another pause. Josie is panting with pent-up enthusiasm.

 

josie

Seattle!!!

 

They freak out, again, jumping up and down, exclaiming how they're going to be neighbors and how amazing that is. While this is happening, pan to Richard and Taylor. They're sitting down, talking calmly.

 

Taylor

So what are you going to do?

 

Richard

I don't know. For some reason I feel kinda relieved I didn't match. Maybe I'll take the year off.

 

Fourth year montage music stops, cut to swimming pool and Richard's head emerging from the water at the other end of the pool, as if he dove in and swam the length of the pool underwater. He slowly wades toward the edge of the pool, revealing Carolyn, who is standing in the pool, reading a magazine on the poolside. Richard wades up next to her, friendly-close but not romantic-close.  Carolyn keeps reading. Richard turns around so that he's facing the opposite direction as Carolyn (facing the length of the pool), puts his elbows up on the poolside, and arches his back so as to absorb as much sun as one can while standing in a pool. They both stand in silence, Carolyn reading, Richard sunning.

 

Fade in the sounds of graduation and leave the audience with these sounds and the image of Richard and Carolyn in the pool for a few seconds before cutting to scene 33. Cut to black.

 

SCENE 33

 

Scene 33 opens with Dean Whitlow reciting his speech. The audio is exactly the same as scene one, but whereas in scene one we cut between Dean Whitlow and the cops searching for Richard, this time we cut between face shots of Dean Whitlow, Richard, Taylor, Carolyn (the three of them together), Becker, and Shoopa (the two of them together). On this take, we don't see the cops until just before they nab Richard.

 

Dean Whitlow

speaking slowly and clearly

Welcome parents, friends, and assorted admirers. We are here because the 196 men and women before you have with their limitless dedication and effort over the past four years earned the right to call themselves ...... physicians. They came here with the dream to serve those in need, to heal the sick, to wrestle health from the hands of death and disease. With their sites set on the oath of Hippocrates...

 

The cops grab Richard, handcuff him, and escort him away from the ceremony with undue force. Against the background of shocked onlookers, Richard is dragged through the courtyard.

 

Richard

shocked

Hey! What's going on?

 

The sunglasses-wearing policemen do not at first answer him.

 

Richard

Listen, I'm trying to graduate here! Where are you taking me?

 

Away from the crowd now, Richard is being escorted to the street, where two police cars are parked.

 

Richard

You can't just kidnap me! I know my rights!

 

The policeman stop for a moment, one of them addresses Richard.

 

DPd

stern

Fifty kilograms of refined methamphetamine were found in your possession, Mr. Cartwright.

 

Face shot of confused Richard, as he's dragged toward frontmost police car. He looks at the second police car.

 

Cut to closeup of second police car. Skeeter is in the backseat, handcuffed, looking at Richard with a blank expression. Cut back to Richard, who closes his eyes in realization of what's happened.

 

Cut to DPD breaking into Richard and Skeeter's house; assorted druggies who had been hanging out in the living room scatter.

 

Cut back to graduation, Richard and two cops on final approach to the police car. Campus policeman is writing a ticket and placing it under the police car's windshield wiper.

 

Cut to DPD tossing over Richard's mattress to reveal numerous large ziplock bags filled with white powder.

 

Cut to Richard being pushed into the police car, dazed look on his face, still putting the pieces together.

 

Cut to DPD breaking into Skeeter's secret room, to reveal a laboratory replete with copious organic chemistry equipment and Skeeter brewing up a fresh batch, wearing a gas mask. He offers no resistance, merely pulls off his mask as he is cuffed and dragged out, smug expression on his face.

 

Cut to Richard being dragged down a long hall by several policemen. The cops are yelling at him.

 

Cut to jail cell, policemen throw Richard in, music stops. Richard paces a bit, then sits down, takes a deep breath, looks around. Hold Richard digesting his new surroundings for a few moments. He's sharing a cell with some dude and Dale, who is cowering in the corner, sobbing softly.

 

Richard

surprised

Dale?

 

Dale doesn't respond, he's too busy whimpering.

 

Richard

Dale is that you? What are you doing here?

 

some dude

Oh don't worry about him, he just fucks dead people.

 

Cut to shot of Richard, who looks down and scratches his head at the hand dealt to him today. Freeze on Richard, as the narration picks up.

 

Richard narrating

After Skeeter spoke with his lawyer, he claimed responsibility for all the drugs and I was released, but not before I spent ten very interesting hours in jail.

 

Cut to pizza parlor. We see the usual goings on: customers, waitresses, kitchen staff, all doing what they normally do, and we hear them doing it under Richard's continued narration. (Richard does not appear yet)

 

richard narrating

I recommend incarceration to anyone. During those ten hours I realized I didn't want to be a doctor. Of course I knew all along that I hated the science, and that I hated the hospital, and the patients, and the physicians, and the hours - hell, going to med school wasn't my idea in the first place, it was my mother's - but it took the worst roommate in history to add it up for me. It all came together in that jail cell, and I have Skeeter to thank.

 

A much older Richard walks into the restaurant kitchen. Mike, a cook, is spinning a pizza dough. Richard has lost all of his awkwardness and deals with people comfortably, confidently.

 

Richard

Hey Mike, can you close up tonight? I have some important family business.

 

mike

Yeah Richie, no problem. Hey Jimmy's covering for me tomorrow, is that cool?

 

Richard

Yeah, just make sure he washes his hands after he takes a leak, OK? Customers see that shit.

 

Mike

Right Richie.

 

As Richard resumes narrating, Mike goes back to what he was doing; Richard shakes his head at the memory of the customer complaining that he saw Jimmy not wash his hands, and then walks out with a pizza. On his way out he sees a child customer pouring crushed red pepper on the floor, and hesitates to do something about it, but decides against it and gets into his car, it's late afternoon.

 

richard narrating

Anyway I started working for my uncle, and eventually took over this place. I can't stand the smell of onions, but I'm very happy here. Of course I have a lot to be happy about these days.

 

Cut to a pediatrician's office. Richard walks in and all the staff is glad to see him. He places the pizza on the counter.

 

staff A

smiling

Richard!

 

Richard

Guess what I brought.

 

staff B

from the back

Pizza! Hurray!!

 

staff C

Thanks Richard!

 

A little girl and her mom walk up behind Richard and the little girl speaks in his direction, so that the audience would think she's talking to Richard.

 

mia

Dr. Cartwright!

 

An older, more beautiful Carolyn emerges, dressed as a pediatrician.

 

Carolyn

I'm coming Mia!!

 

Carolyn walks up to the little girl, and kneels down. Richard turns around to face them.

 

Carolyn

Mia you were a super duper patient today.

 

 

mia

sulking a bit

You promised-

 

Carolyn pulls out a lollipop and presents it to Mia, who on seeing the sucker is suddenly beaming with happiness.

Carolyn

Have a fentanyl lollipop.

 

mia'S mom

What do you say, Mia?

 

Mia

sucking on fentanyl lollipop

Thank you Dr. Cartwright.

 

Carolyn affectionately plays with Mia's hair, and stands up.

 

Carolyn

We'll see you in six months, Mia.

 

Carolyn

to mom

If she spikes another fever, call me.

 

mia's mom

smiling, appreciative

Okay, thanks Dr. Cartwright.

 

They all wave at each other; Mia and her mom walk out.

 

Richard

We've gotta move.

 

Carolyn

Let's go.

 

Carolyn

to one of the staff

We're done, right?

 

Carolyn give Richard a short, sweet kiss on the lips. Richard puts his arm around her waist.

 

staff a

That's everybody. Get outta here.

 

Carolyn

to all the staff

Have a great weekend guys! See you Monday!

 

Staff shouts goodbye to Richard and Carolyn, and the two of them walk out. Richard resumes narration as they walk out, get into her car, and start driving.

 

Richard narrating

Carolyn and I moved back to Oregon, and she has a booming pediatrics practice right next to best known lawyer in town.

 

Cut to decked-out lawyer's office. An older Johnny, the guy who failed out, is dressed in a superb business suit, feet on the desk, talking on the phone.

 

johnny

arrogant

Now hold on a second, Eric. Just because she lives by herself doesn't necessarily make her an emancipated minor, and even if she were, she still can't consent to have sex with you until she's eighteen. You have no case, and I don't have time for this. When you're ready to pay the price for thinking with the wrong head, we'll talk.

 

Johnny hangs up on Eric with emphasis. Cut to Carolyn and Richard standing on the side of a soccer field, arm in arm, watching a little league soccer game. A beautiful little girl, playing midfield, smiles at them, and they wave.

 

Richard

We love you Zoë!

 

ZoË

embarrassed

Dad!! Stop!!!

 

Richard narrating

It's hard to believe I was in such a fog during medical school I didn't see the most beautiful girl in the world standing right in front of me.

 

Richard the narrator sighs. Cut to an older Taylor, dressed as a doctor, in a clinic in Thailand. How you guys are going to turn a clinic into a Thai clinic is beyond me, good luck - this is Billy's idea. Taylor is joined by a hot nurse and a young backpacker patient.

 

richard narrating

Taylor did a family practice residency and opened up a clinic for backpackers on one of the islands off the coast of Thailand.

 

backpacker

very nervous, embarrassed

So I met this uh, girl, and, well I thought she was a girl, and, um, well now there's this thing on my dick, and-

 

Taylor extends a hand to calm his patient.

 

Taylor

I think I can help you with that.

 

An expression of relief comes over the backpacker.

 

Richard narrator

We visit him at least twice a year; this year we're going to take Zoë.

 

 Cut to an older Skeeter, dressed in a business suit, sitting on the couch, reading The Wall Street Journal.

 

Richard narrator

Skeeter spent some time in the big house, but jail was good for him, too. When he got out he went back to school and found a job in, wouldn't you know it, Debbie's office.

 

Pan to an older Debbie taking a hit off of a large, beautiful purple water pipe, and then passing it to Skeeter, who puts down the paper and takes a hit. Cut to an enormous Highland Park house, and an expensive car pulling into the driveway.

 

Richard narrator

Becker and Shoopa stayed in Dallas; Becker is a cardiologist and Shoopa an obstetrician.

 

Mom and little boy walk down the sidewalk, boy is pulling a red wagon. They stop in front of the house.

 

tommy'S mom

Do you know who lives there, Tommy?

 

Tommy looks at mom inquisitively.

 

tommy's mom

That's the Doctors Stevenson's house.

 

Richard narrator

They are both very successful...professionally successful.

 

Cut to older Becker in doctor gear walking into his mansion, exhausted. He puts down his bag and sees an older Shoopa sitting at the table, obviously waiting for him.

 

Becker

exhausted

Hi.

 

shoopa

angry

Nice of you to come home.

 

Becker

Don't start, Shoopa.

 

shoopa

suddenly very upset

Don't start? You know I have to go to work in 45 minutes.

 

Becker

It's not my fault you work nights.

 

Shoopa loses it. She pushes against the table, knocking down everything on the table, and stands up.

 

shoopa

furious

You said you'd be home by dinner!! How am I supposed to get pregnant if we never see each other?

 

Becker

closes his eyes

Not this again.

 

shoopa

almost tearful with rage

You don't even care if we have a baby!! I work my ass off so you can have your house and your car and all I want is a baby! And you don't care!

 

Shoopa grabs a punch bowl and is about to smash it on the ground.

 

Becker

NO Shoopa!

 

Shoopa balks, holding the punch bowl above her head.

 

Becker

You know that's my mother's punch bowl. Put it down, Shoopa. Put it down.

 

Shoopa, hysterical, puts it down slowly. They stare at each other for a few moments. Then Shoopa with as much animosity as she can muster spits in the punch bowl and storms out of the room.

 

Cut back to outside the house. Mom is talking to Tommy.

 

Tommy'S mom

Doctors are very happy, Tommy. Everyone loves doctors. You're a smart boy...maybe when you grow up you can be a doctor and you'll be happy too.

 

Cut to far shot of Tommy and his mom walking away.

 

tommy

Okay, mommy.

 

Fade to black. Roll credits.