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The Feeding Tube

“The Feeding Tube”

March 21, 2005

By Rob Holecko


Int. Comedy Club Stage – Jerry doing his act

Jerry: “So how come the most common things to do on a first date are movies and dinner? A movie is not really a good first date, because you can’t talk to each other that much – you have to be quiet in a movie. On a first date you really want to talk to each other to get to know each other. If you talk in a movie, you’ll get thrown out. You have to be quiet. You might as well take her to a library. ‘You know that Shakespeare was quite a character,’ ‘Shhhhhh!!!’”

“And dinner? That’s another bad one. You’re trying to be romantic, suave, cool, and what are you doing, you’re stuffing your face with food!? And there’s always so much drama in trying to pick the right kind of food. How about Italian? Will she like Italian? Do I like Italian? How about Greek? How about Thai? How about a burger at a sports bar? There are just too many choices. At this point we’ve all decided what kind of food we like anyway. It’d be a lot easier if we all just had feeding tubes stuck in our sides. We could actually do something on a date, instead of worrying about what to eat: ‘How’s your tube? Good? So is mine. Let’s go play some racquetball.’ ”

Audience laughter and applause. “Thank you, thank you”

A woman walks up and hands Jerry a slip of paper. “And thank you!”

Scene One – Jerry’s Apartment. Jerry and George. George is eating from a box of Milk Duds.

George: “So you’re doing your bit up in Albany and she walked right up to the stage and just gave you her phone number?”

Jerry: “Yeah.”

George: “Which bit was it? Did you do that feeding tube joke?”

Jerry: “Yeah.” George: “How’d it go?”

Jerry: “Well, they laughed, but I think I might have offended some people with that feeding tube line.”

George: “Jerry, that’s what the people want nowadays. Pushing the envelope. Crossing the line. Going just a little too far.”

Jerry: “When was the last time you ‘crossed the line’?”

George: “That’s different, I’m not in showbiz. Just look at that Janet Jackson thing at the Super Bowl.”

Jerry: “Yeah that worked out well.”

George: “How about NYPD Blue? That Nicolette Sheridan promo before the Monday Night Football game? Howard Stern?”

Jerry: “You’re really making your case, Georgie-boy”

George: “It’s all about publicity! Jerry, pub-lic-i-ty!”

Jerry: “That kind of publicity, I don’t need.”

George: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Milk dud?”

Jerry: “No thanks.”

Kramer flies in the doorway.

Kramer: “You guys been following this Terri Schiavo case?”

George: “That the woman down in Florida who’s been brain dead for years and they want to starve her to death?”

Jerry: “That’s the feeding tube lady. She’s in a ‘persistant vegetative state’ and they’re keeping the poor woman alive because she didn’t have a Living Will that stated whether or not she’d want to live like that.”

Kramer: “She’s not brain dead, Jerry, she’s alive! I’ve looked into her eyes.”

Jerry: “When did you go to Florida?”

Kramer: “I didn’t. They had her on MSNBC.”

Jerry: “Oh.”

Kramer: “So anyway Congress met yesterday, on Palm Sunday, and the Senate passed a law saying that her parents could appeal in federal court and in the mean time they’d have to put the tube back in to decide. So the senate passed it, they rushed it over to the House, after midnight they passed it and the drove it to the White House” – makes motion like a race car driver – “where the President had just flown back from Texas to sign the bill this morning at 1 A.M."

George: “I didn’t realize it was that dramatic.”

Kramer: “Oh yeah! So here’s the thing, the bill was signed into law, but it means nothing.”

Jerry: “Do tell.”

Kramer: “That’s right – nothing, until her parents or whoever make an appeal.”

Jerry: “Whoever, meaning…”

Kramer: “That’s right, it doesn’t have to be her parents, Jerry, it could be anybody.”

Jerry: “You mean..”

Kramer: “In loco parentis, Jerry, that’s Latin, for friend of the court.”

Jerry: “You got the loco part right.”

Kramer: “Let me see the phone, Jerry,”

Jerry tosses Kramer the phone. Kramer dials a few numbers.

Kramer: “Hello, Miss Information…how are you today?”

Jerry: “It’s a recording, you idiot.” To George: “So how’re things going with you with that girl, Beth, that you work with?”

George: “Oh, fine. I went out with her and her boyfriend on St. Patrick’s Day. We had fun.”

Jerry: “Her boyfriend?”

George: “Yeah, they’re back together. He’s a nice guy. It’s just as well. If she’s happy, if that’s what she wants then great, I’m happy for her.”

Jerry: “I thought this was the guy that was a scumbag?”

(Meanwhile: Kramer on the phone: “That’s right Federal Courts, in Tampa, Florida”)

George: “Yeah, well, yeah, but she loves him. Besides no woman is ever gonna love me, so I guess I’m just happy being her friend. Jerry, I can really talk to her, I feel like we really connected. It’s good to have someone I can really talk to. I’ve never had that.”

Jerry: “What about with Susan, you know, the woman you married?”

George: “Not so much.”

(Meanwhile: Kramer on the phone: “That’s no, no, just Kramer….that’s right…in loco parentis…huh?...yeah…no, that’s Latin….standing?....that’s right I’m standing, do I need to sit down?”)

Jerry: “Well, George, if you’re happy, then I’m happy for you. Someday, you’ll find your true love. I’m sure of it.”

George: “Nah! That true love crap is for saps. It’s all completely random, anyway. Beth could love me; in fact, deep inside I think she wants to love me. I’m just too clingy and needy to ever have, or deserve to have, a woman really love me.”

Jerry: “That’s not true. You’re a great guy…you’re just a little, uh, emotionally under-developed, is all…”

George: “See! Needy and clingy! Its okay, Jerry, I am who I am. We all get what we deserve. She deserves him, and she’ll be with him as long as she believes she deserves him, and I deserve…nothing.”

(Meanwhile: Kramer on the phone: “My standing in this matter is as a concerned citizen…..uh huh….that’s right I want you to put the feeding tube back in, until we can get this whole thing figured out…that’s right….uh-huh….”)

Jerry: “Why are you so hard on yourself?”

George: “It’s just frustrating because I know she’d be better off with me than him, but it’s just as well, what if someday, she’d dump him for me, and we’d probably wind up miserable because I’m such a loser, anyway. Some guy would come along someday who’s got some of the good qualities that I have and also be good-looking and cool, you know a real ‘Marlboro Man’ type.

Jerry: “You’re not a loser.”

Kramer: (hangs up the phone) “Okay it’s done. They’re gonna put the tube back in.”

Jerry: “Just like that?”

Kramer: “Yep!”

End of scene one.

Scene two – lunch counter

Jerry and George sitting at the booth

Jerry: “So did you talk to Beth last night?”

George: “Yeah, she’s mad at me.”

Jerry: “What did you do?”

George: “Nothing. It was a misunderstanding.”

Jerry: “I told you; never get involved with a girl you work with.”

George: “We’re not involved, we’re just friends.”

Jerry: “So are you going out with her again?”

George: “I don’t know, we’ll see. So did you call the girl?”

Jerry: “Ivy, the girl from Albany? Yeah, she’s a little strange.”

George: “Yeah, well, that’s Albany. It’s probably just as well; those long distance relationships never work. Albany’s what? A three hour drive? And her name is Ivy?”

Jerry: “She actually works in Yonkers. And she lives a little south of Albany, so it’s closer to two hours.”

George: “She commutes two hours each day? I don’t know, that’s a rough commute. Spend four hours a day in traffic?”

Jerry: “You spend two hours a day in traffic and you live in the city. But anyway, I think this girl is a stalker. I told her I might call her, but…I …don’t know.”

George (laughs) “You, Jerry? A stalker? You’re not big enough to have a stalker. That’s for people like Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone, Brad and Jen.”

Jerry: “They broke up.”

George: “They still have stalkers.”

Jerry: “No seriously. She ran into me at the dry cleaners.”

George: “What was she doing there?”

Jerry: “I don’t know. I think just looking for me.”

George: “I’m sure that’s all in your head. You said she works…”

Jerry: “...uptown. But she lives in Albany, and get this, it was her day off!”

George: “So?”

Jerry: “well, I mentioned in my act that I go to the dry cleaners on Tuesday mornings. I may have even said which one I go to, I figured I could mention it, after all I was 150 miles away!”

George: “Still, it’s probably all in your head.”

Jerry: “Yeah, you’d know about that.”

Elaine enters and sits down next to Jerry

Elaine: “You guys aren’t going to believe this! Guess what I just heard on the news? You know that lady in Florida with the feeding tube? They’re going to put the tube back in, but guess who got them to do it?”

Jerry and George in unison: “Kramer”

George: “Elaine, I want to ask you something.”

Elaine: (rolls her eyes) “For the last time, George, I’m not going out with you!”

George: “Not that. Elaine, what’s wrong with me? Why don’t women want me?”

Elaine: “Simple. You’re needy and clingy. Women hate that.”

George: (to Jerry :) “See what’d I tell you?” (to Elaine :) “So if you had a choice of going out with a guy like me, (uses air quotes) ‘needy and clingy’ who you knew was dependable, honest, trustworthy or a guy who was rugged, who looked like the Marlboro Man, but had no job, no car, was a liar, stole money from you, and cheated on you, which one would you go out with?”

Elaine: “How tall is this Marlboro Man?”

George: “See what’d I tell you?”

Elaine: “Nah, I’d probably just stay home and watch Sex and the City. George, no, wait!” (hits Jerry in the shoulder)

Jerry: “Ow!”

Elaine: “I know this girl that’d be perfect for you!”

George: “Great. A fix-up. I’m getting fixed-up”

Elaine: “Well, how do you think people get together? You don’t go out. You don’t meet anybody. You’re too shy to approach anybody at a club or a bar. You rely on your job and your daily hum-drum existence to provide the few random social interactions that you have and then every now and then you fall head over heels in love with some girl you meet and barely know and you think it is love at first sight and you scare the poor girl off.”

George: “That’s not me at all!” (he looks at Jerry)

Jerry: “No, she… pretty much nailed it on the head.”

Elaine: “Come on, we’ll go on a double date…you and her and me and….” (looks at Jerry)

Jerry: “Oh, no, leave me out of this…”

Elaine: “…Jerry. Come on, Jerry, it’ll be like old your cards right and you might get lucky.”

Jerry: “Well, all right sir.”

Elaine: “You won’t, but you might.” (Whispers across table to George :) “He won’t.” (She pulls out her cell phone, and starts to dial) “We’ll take her out to dinner? What do you guys think? Italian? Thai?” (Jerry rolls his eyes and shrugs) (Into phone:) “Hi. Diane? It’s Elaine…”

End of scene two.

Scene three – Jerry’s apartment

Jerry, George and Elaine walk into Jerry’s apartment…Elaine looks unhappy, George is so-so and Jerry looks thrilled. Jerry tosses his keys down on the counter. Elaine sits down on the couch, George sits down next to her…

Jerry: “I can’t believe it; two phone numbers in a week…it’s been a good week.”

Elaine: “So do you think you’ll call Diane?”

Jerry: “I don’t know in a couple of days, maybe. She was nice.”

Elaine: “I don’t know what happened. I guess I was talking George up to her so much she thought I was going out with him.”

Jerry: (smiles) “Worked out okay for me!”

George: “Yeah, when she kept saying how much of a friend you were to not feel awkward taking her out on a double-date with your ex-, that’s when we should have realized that the signals were crossed somewhere.”

Elaine: “And then when she asked how long me and you had been going out…”

George: “Yeah, that was funny…I, uh, Elaine, I, uh, did have a great time tonight, though….and…uh…”

Elaine: “Can it – needy-boy!”

George: “Right.”

Jerry plays messages on his machine: (“You have six new messages. Beeeep. Hi Jerry it’s Ivy, I, uh, wondered why you didn’t call me cause you said you might call me and you didn’t call me, so, uh, well, okay, uh, call me. Beeeep. Jerry it’s Ivy again, where are you tonight, I thought you’d be home, but you’re not home, I guess, and you didn’t call me. Beeeep. Jerry (crying) I thought you wanted to call me, but I guess you don’t want to call. So fine don’t ever call me again! Beeeep. Jerry, I’m sorry, please call me any time, in fact just call me. Beeeep. I guess you don’t want your dry cleaning back safe and sound, do you? I’d recommend you call me. You don’t know what you’re passing up. Beeeeep. Jerry, it’s Ivy again, listen let’s just forget about the fact that you didn’t call me, in fact let’s just start over. I saw your act at the club last Saturday and I thought it was great, please give me a call sometime and we’ll talk. Bye now.”)

Jerry: “Yeah, I’ll call Diane….”

(Commotion in the hallway)

Jerry: “What is going on out there?” (he goes to peep-hole…turns to Elaine) “Quick, put CNN on!”

Elaine reaches for the remote, turns TV on….

From TV: “and let’s go now to our reporter Sara Stephens, who is outside the upper Manhattan apartment…..thank you, Kyra, I’m here outside the apartment of one Cosmo Kramer, a man who some are calling a hero, who a few days ago in a federal court a thousand miles away filed a motion by telephone that got the ball rolling to begin the proceeding to re-insert the feeding tube in the case of Terri Schiavo…”

Kramer (from Jerry’s window) “Psssssst….over here.”

Jerry: “it’s Kramer!”

Kramer: (climbing in the window) “Jerry, you got to help me, man…..they’re vultures, they’re everywhere, Jerry…”

Jerry: “Who?”

Kramer: “The paparazzi, Jerry, the paparazzi! They follow me everywhere. I haven’t eaten in three days. I’m starving!”

TV: “Let’s try across the hall at the door of his neighbor and stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld.”

Jerry: “Quick! Hide in the bedroom!”

Elaine grabs a box of cereal from the kitchen and hands it to Kramer as Jerry whisks him into the bedroom…

George: (on the couch) “I’m telling you Jerry, you can’t buy this kind of publicity!”



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