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Title: Smoking

First season, third episode

Written by: Josh Lieb, Brad Isaacs & Paul Simms

Directed by: James Burrows

Transcribed by: Sruti Bhaumik

Scene: Conference table

Matthew: Then at approximately 1:15 A.M., the police took the husband in to examine the damage and that was when the husband realized that wife was the one who set the fire.

Bill: Fascinating story, Matthew.

Dave: Yes it is Matthew, but in interest in keeping these meetings short, why don't we save your dream analysis for another time. Okay, well I guess that is it now. Oh wait I'm sorry except for this, I have to read this: In accordance with ordinance 435A regarding second hand smoke, this is now officially a non-smoking office.

Matthew: Hallelujah!

Dave: Now, I know this is going to be hard for some of us. Iím sorry Bill.

Bill: Whatever.

Dave: But I think this is going to be healthier for all of us because as the ordinance states, "second hand smoke has been proven to carcinogenic effects--"

Matthew: Well duh. Who didn't know that? Wake up people!

Dave: Well I am gonna go post this over here so you can all read it at your leisure. Uh Bill, can I talk to you about the station promos? (He walks toward the bulletin board; Bill joins him)

Bill: What do we got Chief?

Dave: Uh, well we're going to do three five-second station IDs and then the three full 15-second promos over an audio bed.

(Bill lights up a cigarette)

Bill: Sounds good. We should also try to do a clean 30-second spot without the audio clip.

Dave: Bill, what are you doing?

Bill: Oh I'm sorry, how rude of me. (Offers Dave a cigarette)

Dave: No, no thank you Bill. Did you hear the announcement I made at the meeting just now?

Bill: To tell you the truth Dave, I tend to zone out unless my name is mentioned. Why, was it something important?

Dave: Well Bill, it was kinda important--

(Matthew quickly walks by and coughs loudly)

Dave: I'm on it Matthew!

(Matthew walks by the other side and coughs loudly)

Dave: Iím on it Matthew! Bill, we are now officially a non-smoking office. What you are doing can be punishable by a 100 dollar fine.

Bill: You're kidding.

Dave: No, I am not kidding.

(Bill hands Dave a $100 bill) Bill thatís not how it's supposed to work. Now put that out.

Bill: Is that decaf?

Dave: No, it's regular.

(Bill drops his cigarette into the coffee mug)

Commercial Break

Scene: Dave's office

Dave: The caps lock just won't come off, so everything I type is in all caps.

Joe: I've seen this before, just have to go like that. (Hits the side of the laptop) Now try it.

Dave: Well thanks Fonzie, I think the caps lock did come off before the screen went blank.

Joe: Anytime.

Dave: Uh that's great.

(Lisa enters)

Lisa: Hey Joe.

Joe: Hey, Hey, Hey (he exits)

Lisa (to Dave): Can we talk? Can I close this?

(Dave nods)

Dave: Oh sure.

Lisa: Hi.

Dave: Hi.

(They kiss)

Lisa: We have to have a real talk.

Dave: Okay, uh then I better open this then, I don't want people to think we're doing anything in here, especially if we're not. (Opens the door)

Lisa: Dave, I'm telling you Joe saw us at the movies last night, he's been acting like that all morning.

Dave: Well, like what?

Lisa: Like, "hey hey hey"

Dave: Well I've been with him for fifteen minutes and he hasn't "hey-heyed" me. I think maybe you're just being paranoid.

Lisa: Oh, I'm paranoid?

Dave: Yes.

Lisa: Well I'm not the one who wears the same stupid hat every time he goes out so he won't be recognized.

Dave: Look, there's nothing stupid about that hat, a lot of people wear hats like that.

Lisa: Like who?

Dave: Like Woody Allen for one.

Lisa: So what I'm like Soon Yi to you?

Dave: No!

(Bill comes in smoking a cigarette and holding a clipboard)

Bill: Here you go Chief, I got those promos.

Lisa: Well I consider this situation a potentially volatile one and I suggest you do the same. (exits)

Bill: College girls.

Dave: Look Bill I hope you're enjoying that cigarette because it is your last.

Bill: No, I got a full pack right here.

(Matthew comes in with the turtleneck of his shirt covering his mouth)

Bill: Nice look, is that from J. Crew?

Scene: Near the production booth

Lisa: Hi Joe.

Joe: Hey, hey, hey.

Lisa: How was your weekend?

Joe (quickly): Good.

Lisa: You know, I saw a really good movie, did you see any movies Joe?

Joe: No, I don't like movies, I don't go to movies, most movies suck. So when someone asks me to go to a movie you know what I say? "I don't like movies, I don't go to movies, most movies suck." Gotta go.

(Lisa meets up with Dave by the stairs to the news booth)

Lisa: Dave, he knows everything.

Dave: You're paranoid.

Matthew: I need to talk to David.

(Lisa groans and quickly walks off)

Matthew: David, you gotta tell Bill to stop smoking. It's in my clothes; it's in my hair. Would you smell my hair?

Dave: Matthew, I am not going to smell your hair!

Matthew: Then smell my hand.

Dave: No!

Matthew: Smell something.

Dave: Matthew! Look if it's really bothering you that much then maybe you should talk to Bill.

Bill: Dave, why don't you come over here. I want you to take a look at this.

(Dave walks to the bulletin board where Bill is standing)

Dave: Yeah, what is it?

Bill: It's says here article four paragraph two that "in an office with more than twenty employees you have to set up a special smoking area."

Dave: Oh, I guess I didn't see that.

Bill: Maybe you didn't want to see it Dave.

Dave: Allright Bill, where do you suggest we setup this smoking area?

Bill: How about a mobile ten-foot radius around me?

Dave: No, I donít think so Bill.

Bill: Then how about over by Matthew's desk. Huh, Matthew would you like that?

Matthew: What, Iím sorry I wasn't listening, what?

Bill: You figure it out, Dave because at the end of my news report, the smoking lamp will be lit.

(Matthew looks at Dave)

Dave: Matthew, you go talk to him.

Matthew: Fine.

(Matthew follows Bill up the stairs to the news booth)

Bill: Matthew turn around and go back to your desk.

(Matthew obediently follows Bill's directions)

Scene: Smoking area

Dave: Did you tell Bill about the new smoking area?

Beth: Yes. (Garbled) But if you want to have a smoking area it might as well be airy. (Puts a small Bonsai tree on a table)

Dave: What?

Beth: (takes the big wad of chewing gum out of her mouth) Oh, gum. (Shows the gum to Dave) So I wouldn't smoke.

Dave: Oh that's attractive. Could you put it back?

Beth: Oh yeah. (Does so)

(Bill comes in)

Dave: Oh.

(Bill sits down)

Bill: I think that should-- (pointing to the large ashtray on the other side of the room)

(Dave puts the ashtray next to Bill)

Bill: I guess this will do but lose the salad huh?

(Beth takes away the plant)

Dave: Bill we all appreciate your cooperation in this. (Opens window behind Bill and a strong gust of wind blows in causing the papers on the table to fly everywhere)

Bill: This will work out just fine.

Dave: What?

Bill: This is very pleasant thank you.

Dave: Okay Bill just close this window when you're done.

Scene: Dave and Beth walk into the office

Beth: (garbled) Mr. James.

Dave: What?

Beth: (garbled) Mr. James.

Dave: What?

Mr. James: Mr. James.

Dave: Oh Mr. James, I didn't see you come in.

Mr. James: Yeah that's the way I like it. I'm like that magician guy, what's his name?

Dave: David Copperfield?

Mr. James: No.

Dave: Sigfried?

Mr. James: Uh-uh.

Dave: Roy?

Mr. James: That's the one.

(Beth walks in with a coffee mug)

Beth: (garbled) here you go Mr. James. (Takes the piece of gum out) Here you go Mr. James.

Mr. James: Thanks I think I'll just have the coffee for now, I'm trying to cut down on other people's saliva.

(Beth walks off)

Dave: Well Sir, what brings you here today?

Mr. James: Well I heard about you little smoking problem and I think I have a solution.

Dave: Oh great maybe it will help if you talk to Bill.

Mr. James: No, I don't want that hassle, I have a friend at City Hall.

Dave: Well Sir it's a state ordinance.

Mr. James: --And in Albany. Yes, and in Washington.

Dave: But Sir, I would rather you didn't bribe anyone because I support this non-smoking ordinance.

Mr. James: And I support fire safety. But you see those sprinklers up there? They're not hooked up to anything. I paid a guy off and had my nephew come in and superglue them to the ceiling. New York, New York it's a hell of a town!

(Bill walks in)

Bill: Hello Jimmy.

Mr. James: Hello Bill! You know I thank God everyday that we're not a TV station.

Scene: Near the bulletin board where Bill is standing alone, with his mouth closed

Dave: Hey Bill you're still here?

(Bill nods)

Dave: Something wrong?

(Bill shakes his head)

Dave: Are you sure there's nothing the matter?

(Since Bill can't hold his breath any longer he exhales and smoke comes out of his mouth)

Dave: Bill! As much as I'm enjoying this little battle of wills we're having wouldn't it be easier if you just quit?

Bill: I can't quit it's too hard.

Dave: I know it's hard.

Bill: You don't know how can you know? I bet you never smoked a single cigarette in your life.

Dave: Yeah, I did once.

Bill: And you threw up.

Dave: How'd you know?

Bill: You seem like the type.

Dave: I may not smoke cigarettes, but I am addicted to caffeine.

Bill: You got a coffee problem? How bad is your habit?

Dave: Oh about two, three pots a day. Four on a Monday.

Bill: Thatís just sick.

Dave: I can't even cut down.

Bill: But these cigarettes are my friends, my reliable little buddies.

Dave: Hey Bill, I'm your friend.

Bill: Oh yeah? Where were you last night at 3. A.M. when I was watching Steel Magnolias and crying my eyes out?

Dave: Hey I have an idea. I'll give up coffee, if you give up cigarettes. Huh, we'll go through this together.

Bill: But you should have to give up something of equal difficulty. Like going to the bathroom.

Dave: Bill, this is the best I can do. Come on.

Bill: Okay Chief, you and me.

(They shake hands)

Dave: Great Bill. This is a great moment. Should we hug?

Bill: We shook hands.

Dave: Yeah that should be plenty. When you do want to start, five minutes?

Bill: Letís make it ten.

Dave: Good idea.

(Dave quickly drinks out of his coffee mug and Bill starts smoking his cigarettes)

Commercial Break

Scene: Dave's office

(Bill walks in with a coffee mug)

Bill: Morning Chief.

Dave: Morning Bill.

Bill: So?

Dave: Nope, haven't had a drop of coffee. You? Have you smoked?

Bill: No, not at all. How are you feeling?

Dave: Well, I have a pounding headache and my arms feel about twelve feet long. But other than that, I'm fine. You?

Bill: I've been better. Coughed up something that looked like escargot this morning. I guess that's a good sign. (Holds up his coffee mug) You don't mind, do you?

Dave: Oh no, gosh no. Bill, please enjoy.

Bill: Ah, the old Java jive. Chock full of nuts? They should call it chock full of flavor!

Dave: Okay, what the hell are you doing Bill?

Bill: Oh come on Dave, we went a good nine and a half hours, must we continue this little charade?

Dave: Come on Bill, I am doing this for you. We had an agreement.

Bill: If you crack first Dave, it won't make you any less of a man.

Dave: I'm nowhere near cracking.

Bill: Neither am I my friend.

(Matthew enters)

Matthew: Dave--

Dave: (angrily) Oh Matthew, what is it now, for God sakes no one is smoking okay!

Matthew: But--

Bill: But nothing!

Dave: You know what we need around here is an anti-whining ordinance!

Bill: (shouting) So just zip your sniveling little lip and haul your skinny ass outta here!

(Matthew runs out of the office)

Bill: (turns to Dave) I don't think qualifies as cracking do you?

Dave: No no no.

(Lisa enters)

Lisa: I brought you some aspirin.

Dave: Oh thank you Lisa. (Drinks out of his juice box) You know, I don't know what caffeine does for you but I'm pretty sure without it, your head caves in. (has intense look on his face)

Lisa: Yeah. But did Joe say anything about seeing us at the movies the other night?

Dave: Oh, Lisa.

Lisa: Oh I'm sorry. Do you want to get some lunch?

Dave: Oh yeah, oh I didn't bring my hat.

Lisa: You know, Dave I am really starting to hate that hat. (Exits)

(Beth enters)

Beth: Dave, have you been listening to what Bill is doing?

Dave: No.

(Beth turns on the radio)

(Bill reporting the news in a very monotone voice): The Federal Reserve announced today that the prime interest rate will be the focus of discussion at next week's economic summit in Washington. President Clinton and his advisors will be in attendance as well as leaders in the Senate and House banking committees. Talks expected to be heated in light of last November's elections--

(Beth turns off the radio)

Beth: (mechanically) Don't listen too closely or you'll fall into a trance.

Dave: Oh give the guy a break Beth. He's going through withdrawals you know and it's not easy. It's hard, it's very very hard.

Beth: Oh no, Mr. James is here and he doesn't look happy.

Dave: (exhales) Oh, how do I look? (meets up with Mr. James) Yes, Mr. James.

Mr. James: What the hell are you running here, a radio station or a rehab clinic?

Dave: Well--

Mr. James: Okay fine, you just take a few minutes to think up a comeback meanwhile I'll get up there and do your job. (Walks up the stairs to the news booth, lights up a cigarette and gives it to Bill)

(Bill deeply inhales the cigarette smoke)

Bill: (lively) In Albany today reaction of the news was mixed. Governor Pataki applauded the announcement of citing the city's industrial base, which is sorely in need of a lift.

Mr. James: Dave let him smoke all he wants but tell him to be careful. I don't want this place catching fire.

(Dave takes the cigarette away from Bill causing the news report to be read in a very sluggish manner)

Catherine: At least let the man smoke while he's on the air.

Dave: Catherine, I can't do that.

Catherine: I don't mind, really. I used to be a smoker myself and quite honestly I miss the smell Dave.

Dave: Catherine I don't know what to tell you. You can always go smell Matthew's head.

Matthew: Bill here maybe you should try a carrot stick.

Bill: Why?

Matthew: Well they're supposed to help you quit smoking.

Bill: How?

Matthew: Well you put it in your mouth like a cigarette. Yeah, like that.

Bill: You're playing with me aren't you Matthew. (Pounds the carrot stick into his ashtray)

Beth: Here you go boss. (Hands Dave a paper bag)

Dave: Oh thank you Beth. Here Bill I want you to put one of these on your back. (Takes a nicotine patch out of the paper bag)

Bill: What is it?

Dave: It's the patch.

Lisa: Don't you need a prescription for those?

Dave: Yeah, I went to my doctor this morning and had him prescribe them for me.

Lisa: But you don't smoke.

Dave: Yeah, but I told him that I was thinking about starting. You know, I don't think he's a very good doctor.

Bill: (rubbing the patch) Hey that feels nice. It's real nice. Thank you Dave.

Dave: Oh my pleasure Bill.

Bill: No, the pleasures mine! (Laughs up the stairs to the news booth)

Matthew: Dave, you should try some cauliflower. It's good for caffeine addiction.

Dave: What is with you and that?

Matthew: Well there's a vegetable for every addiction.

Dave: Oh yeah, what are you addicted to?

Matthew: Vegetables!

Scene: Dave's office. Dave is lying on the couch and Beth is at the door.

Beth: Dave, I think you better get out here it looks like Bill is in some sort of trouble.

Dave: Oh no, he didn't take off the patch did he?

Beth: Not that I know of.

(Bill is sitting on the conference table)

Matthew: Here Bill eat this. (Offers him a carrot stick)

Bill: No, ugh.

Dave: Bill, where does it hurt?

Bill: It doesn't hurt to much as it tingles. All through my arms and chest.

Matthew: Please Bill, eat a carrot stick.

(Bill refuses)

Dave: Matthew, forget the carrot sticks!

Bill: I think it's the patch.

Dave: Oh don't be ridiculous. I'm sure you'll be just fine. You just need to relax. (Starts rubbing Bill's back)

There, do you feel better?

(Stock footage of ambulance)

Scene: Near the conference table with Dave, Beth and an EMS worker

EMS Worker: Your friend should be on his feet in a few days. He just had a bad reaction to something.

Dave: You know, there was just a chance that he was on the nicotine patch. That wouldn't have had an effect on anything right?

EMS Worker: No, I seriously doubt that.

Dave: Oh good.

EMS Worker: You see, doctors are really careful about handing those out. That's why you can't get one without a prescription.

Dave: You don't--you don't say. Well thanks for your help.

Beth: Hey Dave maybe you could help me out too. I was wondering if you could go to your doctor and have me fitted for a diaphragm.

Dave: Why don't you just use your gum?

Scene: Near the news booth

Beth: Is Bill coming in today?

Dave: Yeah, they're just kept him overnight for observation. But, he's fine.

(Bill enters)

Catherine: Here he is, everybody!

Mr. James: Hey Bill, welcome back!

(Bill hugs Catherine and Beth)

Bill: Thanks Jimmy, it's good to be back.

Dave: Here's your copy Bill. (Hands him a clipboard)

Mr. James: How are you feeling Bill?

Bill: A little shaky, but good.

Mr. James: Feel like suing the station?

Bill: No, of course not.

Mr. James: Good! I gotta go.

Dave: Look, I'm really sorry Bill.

Bill: That's okay, you're heart was in the right place.

Dave: But I had no idea that the patch could have side effects.

Bill: And I had no idea that you're only supposed to wear one at a time.

Dave: Well, how many were you wearing?

Bill: Fifteen, sixteen. I stuck them all around my waist like a belt.

Dave: Well the important thing is that you're feeling okay now.

Bill: Yeah, but there are a few lingering effects. But you shouldn't worry about that.

Dave: Oh, what is it?

Bill: I'd rather not say.

Dave: Anything I can do to help.

Bill: It smells like an ashtray when I pee. Anything you can do to help me with that?

Dave: Gosh I hope not.

Bill: I haven't smoked a cigarette in 38 hours and I'm actually kind of enjoying it. Amen to that.

Dave: Yeah.

(Joe walks towards Lisa's desk with a computer monitor)

Lisa: Joe, Joe?

Joe: Allright, I can't take this anymore. You want to talk about it?

Lisa: Yes.

Joe: You wanna discuss it?

Lisa: Yes.

Joe: Allright.

(They walk toward the production booth)

Lisa: I know we saw each other at the movies the other night.

Joe: This is just how rumors get started, and I don't want to be part of a big rumor.

Lisa: Well, me neither so I think we should talk about it.

Joe: Okay, look, just because you see me at the movies with a friend who happens to be flamboyantly gay, doesn't mean I'm gay too. You just assumed that. But it isn't true.

Lisa: What?

Joe: I'm not gay.

Lisa: Allright, but even if you were--

Joe: I'm not.

Lisa: Okay. Did you see who I was with at the movies?

Joe: Just some dork with a stupid hat.

Lisa: Did that dork look familiar to you?

Joe: He looked like any other dork in the city, with a stupid hat.

Lisa: Okay thanks Joe. (Turns around and gives Dave the A-OK sign while Joe looks at her suspiciously)

Joe: I'm not gay.

Lisa: Right.

(Bill walks in)

Dave: Oh, Bill you didn't.

Bill: Yes, I did.

Dave: Well, before work this morning, I had a double espresso.

Bill: We're failures.

Dave: Yeah.

(They hug and start laughing)

Bill: If you tell anyone about Steel Magnolias, I'll kill you.

Dave: (nods) Oh yeah.

Bill: It takes a robot not to cry at that movie.

Scene: Dave's office

(Bill is reading the news in a very lively manner)

Matthew: Sounds like Bill is back on his game.

Dave: Sure does, and are you happy with the solution.

Matthew: Oh yes, very happy.

(They walk out of Dave's office to see the news booth fogged up with cigarette smoke)

Dave: How's it coming Joe?

Joe: I got it completely pneumatically sealed Chief.

Dave: Have you figured out a way to ventilate it yet?

Joe: Nope, not yet. I could figure out something on the weekend.

Dave: No rush, good work.

Joe: Okay take care.

Bill: (reading from his news report) --would have to find new ways to raise tuition-- (lights up a cigarette)

End Credits