Becker s01e16 Episode Script

Limits and Boundaries

( upbeat jazz theme playing ) ( baby crying ) Oh, man.
Easy, John.
Just-- Just let it go.
Be patient.
Excuse me.
Heh-heh, so much for patience.
BECKER: Excuse me, does that have an off switch? What, the baby? Oh, after a while you get used to it.
He's just a little cranky.
Yeah, well, well, so am I.
M-maybe he's trying to tell you to show the rest of us a little consideration and take him home.
Hey, this is a public place, I have every right to bring my baby here.
Yeah, well, I have every right to bring a jackhammer in here, but I don't out of courtesy.
Look, you know, that may be music to your ears, but to the rest of the world, it's about as soothing as a garbage disposal with a fork in it.
I don't have to put up with this.
Huh, good plan.
Teach 'em to hate you when they're little.
Saves time later on.
Hey, if a person comes into here and bothers all the other customers, somebody's gotta tell 'em.
Uh-uh, doesn't work.
Reggie tells you every day.
But-- But this is a first.
I've never heard you curse out a baby before.
I don't have anything against babies.
Hell, I deliver 'em all the time.
But then unfortunately I gotta turn 'em over to stupid parents who don't understand the simple concept of giving their kids limits and boundaries.
And you do? Of course I do.
You know, parents are too permissive.
Today she lets the kid cry.
Ten years from now, he's shakin' down his classmates for milk money.
Next thing you know, he's got a gun in my back at an ATM.
Maybe he's got a gun at your back 'cause he remembered how you yelled at him when he was a baby.
( chuckles ) All I'm saying is kids are more out of control now than they ever have been.
I mean, take today, for example.
Kids are crawling around the neighborhood like cockroaches.
Why aren't they in school? School's closed.
Some sort of teacher's conference.
So they let 'em just hang out on the street? Why don't they teach 'em how to fill their free time like kids in other countries do? Making sneakers for a dollar a day.
( blues theme playing ) ( blues theme playing ) Sorry to keep you waiting, Mr.
It's a little crazy out there this morning.
What seems to be the problem? Well I got this pain.
Started last Tuesday.
No, no, no, uh, I believe it was Monday.
No, it was Tuesday.
Fine, Tuesday.
Uh, no, no, wait a minute.
Uh, it was Wednesday.
Yeah, definitely Wednesday.
Okay, okay, Wednesday it is.
Uh, wh-where is this pain? Well Now, I wanna be very clear.
The pain is in this arm.
No, that's not right.
It's not really my whole arm.
It's really more elbow-y.
You know, put down, uh, "upper arm.
" All right, fine.
Uh, upper arm.
Uh, can you, God help me, describe this pain? Well Actually, it's not a pain.
It's more of a ache.
Or maybe more of a dull throb.
No, it's pain.
You know what I mean by pain? Oh, yes, yes, I think I do.
Um I tell you what, Mr.
Duncan, why--? Why don't you gather all your thoughts, and I'll be back in a minute? Might have been Thursday.
Becker, do you have a minute? No, I definitely don't.
Well, this won't take but a minute.
This friend of mine, she got a tattoo of her boyfriend's name, and since they broke up, she was wondering if you knew anyone who could remove it for her.
Yeah, yeah.
I have-- I have a name for you.
But what--? What kind of idiot meets a guy in a bar, two minutes later tattoos his name on her ass? Well, technically, it's my lower back.
( gasps ) MARGARET: John, John, the waiting room is filling up, and Annette Johnson is in your office with M.
and his sister.
All right, all right.
Uh, are you finished with Mr.
Duncan? N-not even close.
Did he happen to tell you what was wrong with his arm? Well ( mutters ) Mrs.
Johnson, kids, how you doing? Fine, thanks.
Doctor, I'm sorry to barge in like this, but I don't know where else to turn.
Don't worry.
Whatever it is, we'll figure it out.
Do you remember when you said that if I ever needed help that I shouldn't hesitate to ask you? Uh, doesn't sound like me, but you've never lied before.
I wouldn't be here if I hadn't run out of options, but I've asked everyone I know, and, well, could the kids spend the day here with you? Do what? My grandmother is sick, the schools are closed, I have to go take care of her, and I can't take the kids.
Uh, well Uh, yeah, you know, if you're in a jam, I-I-- Sure they can.
Sure they can.
Oh, thank you.
I really appreciate this.
I'd take Keisha, but she just got over a cold, and, of course, I can't expose M.
directly because of the HIV.
Johnson, you've made the sale.
Go on.
Go, go, go.
Thank you.
I'll be back by 6.
And I promise they'll be little angels.
Right? Yes, ma'am.
We'll be good.
Get out.
Go on.
Out, out, everybody out.
Come on.
Oh, uh-- Go play over there.
Okay, Margaret, who's up? In a minute.
Would you mind telling me why Keisha and M.
didn't leave with their mother? Oh, I'm gonna, uh, take care of them today.
You are? All right, all right, fine.
W-we are.
We are? Okay.
You are.
Look, John, I am all for helping Mrs.
Johnson, but today? I mean, we are up to our ears as it is.
She's in a bind.
How hard can it be to take care of a couple of kids? Ha-ha! The mere fact that you said that proves you don't have a clue.
Look, look, all they need is clear limits and boundaries.
It won't be a problem.
It's simple.
Watch-- Watch this.
Watch this.
Hey, Keisha, M.
Margaret's in charge.
Do whatever she says, okay? Yes, sir.
Yes, sir.
See? ( blues theme playing ) Snooze, you lose.
All you have to do is follow the queen.
Find the red lady, and she's your baby.
What do you say? Thank you very much.
Anybody? Young lady, will you just stop that right now? Where did you learn how to do this, anyway? It was on Touched by an Angel.
Just pick up those cards and go do your homework.
And where is your brother? I don't know.
Linda, where's M.
? I don't know.
( groans ) Nobody knows anything.
Go find him.
Did any of you lose any money? Serves you right.
We may have to run more tests.
( knock on door ) There you are.
I'm sorry, Mrs.
It's okay.
This is the quickest I've ever seen a doctor in this office.
( door closes ) M.
, you can't just barge into the exam rooms and bother the patients.
You know how long I worked here before they let me do that? What is he doin' back here? He was examining Mrs.
I don't like the way she looks at all.
Hee-hee! Well, I will make a note of that in her chart.
Look, I want you someplace where I can keep an eye on you.
Just go down there and have a cookie.
Yes, ma'am.
Yes, ma'am.
Tendonitis can be very painful, Mr.
I want you to keep your arm in the sling and try not to move it for a while.
Well J-just go home.
Go to bed.
Don't do anything until you hear from me.
Hey, John.
Hey, Jake.
What're you doin' here, buddy? Listen, I-I was workin', and I felt this bump on the back of my wrist.
And I've never had this before.
I know the back of my hand like I know the back of my hand.
Let me see that.
Ah, it's a small ganglion cyst, Jake.
It's a fluid-filled outpouching of the wrist capsule.
You know what? I-- I could live with that.
Yeah, yeah, whoa, whoa.
Get back here.
Relax, it's no big deal.
Linda? Yeah? Take Jake into my office.
I got a patient before you.
Then I'll take care of it.
Eh, cool.
Okay, just this way.
Go right in here.
Oh, God, I'm so sorry.
So sorry.
Okay, John.
That one was seein' patients, and I found this one in the back hustling Mr.
Ginzburg at pinochle.
I cannot run a daycare center and an office at the same time.
You know, you haven't listened to a word I've said all day.
Come on, kids.
It's very simple.
Limits and boundaries.
Limits and boundaries.
It's okay.
I'll take care of the kids myself.
Jake, take care of these kids for a minute, will you? ( door closes ) What kids? ( blues theme playing ) Mm, it's the middle one.
Wow! How'd you do that? ( chuckles ) Hey, Jake, thanks for helpin' out.
Uh, I'll watch the kids.
Hey, Linda? LINDA: Yeah? Watch the kids for me, will you? What should I do with 'em? Uh, take 'em into the waiting room.
And do what? Wait.
So, what about my wrist? That's what I'm gonna take care of right now.
Sit in this chair.
Here you go.
Yeah, you-- You trust me, right, Jake? Oh, nothing good ever started with those words.
Put your hand right here.
What--? What're you gonna do? I'm gonna hit you with this book.
( laughs ): Oh, the hell you are.
Look, it's an old remedy, but it works.
Now, just put your hand right here.
On three, okay? Okay.
Ouch! Son of-- Oh, hey, what--? What do you know? Yeah.
It's gone.
Of course it is.
I've been tellin' you for years, I'm a brilliant doctor.
All you did was hit me with a book.
Yeah, but now I'm gonna charge you for it.
See how brilliant I am? ( groans ) ( blues theme playing ) Annette Johnson for you.
Johnson? Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
All right, then.
No, that's no problem.
All right, see you then.
She got hung up.
Wants to know if, uh, we can take the kids overnight.
That's not gonna be a problem for you, is it? Nice try.
Louis and I have plans tonight.
All right.
Well Linda? Sorry.
I have a date.
I guess you're on your own.
You know something? I'll take 'em home with me.
No problem.
Ha-ha-ha! Hey, don't "ha" me.
Oh, come on, John.
You haven't looked after these kids all day.
You have been pawning them off on me, on Linda, even Jake.
Well, tonight I guess you are on your own.
You don't think I can do this, do you? ( titters ) You know something, Margaret? Trust me, it's gonna be easy.
After all, they're two little angels.
( screaming ) ( screaming ) Stop it! Stop it! I mean it! Right now! ( blues theme playing ) Okay, kids, we got off to a little bit of a rocky start there, but we're gonna have a good time tonight.
We-- We just need to set clear limits and boundaries.
Okay? What are limits and boundaries? Well, fair question.
Fair question, M.
It's what you can do and what you cannot do.
But don't worry about that.
I've got everything worked out here.
See, I got a little schedule here.
All right, 7 to 8, we have dinner.
All right? Eight to 9, we watch television.
Nine o'clock, you guys go to bed.
But at home we don't have to go to bed until 9:30.
Okay, I'm flexible.
Nine-thirty it is.
Um, can we watch TV until the food gets here? Uh Well, sure, sure, why not? Yeah.
See how well this is working out? ( channels changing ) Th-this-- This is not working out.
Pick a channel and stick to it.
There's nothing on.
Well, then turn it off.
But I'm watching.
No, you're not.
Turn it off.
Anyway, we're-- We're gonna, you know, e-eat in a little while.
Really? 'Cause I see plates, and I see silverware.
But I don't see food.
The food'll be here in a minute.
Now what do we do? Well, uh, we, uh-- We talk.
I mean, that's what people did before television.
We'll get to know each other that way.
So, doc, how come you're not married? None of your business.
W-wait, I'm sorry.
Wait, that's-- That's not fair.
Um Well, I-I-I was married once.
Uh, it just didn't work out.
She probably starved to death.
She did not starve to death.
Yeah, anyway, the food's gonna be here.
Any minute, I know.
( knock on door ) See? See? Don't climb-- Don't-- Ah Yeah, th-thanks.
Just, uh, put it on-- Put it on my tab.
No problem.
Hey, those your kids? Do they look like my kids? Hey, what do I know? My father's Puerto Rican.
What is all this stuff? It's moo shu pork, fried rice and shrimp lo mein.
Can we have pizza instead? I want burgers.
No, pizza.
You're having Chinese food whether you like it or not! Gosh, you don't have to yell at us.
I was-- I wasn't yelling.
I was just-- Just trying to make a point, that's all.
Okay, here we go.
Let's eat.
Aren't we gonna say grace? Yeah, we have to say grace.
Uh, actually, n-no, we don't.
Th-this is Chinese food.
They don't say grace in China.
Why not? Because if you do, they run you over with a tank.
Now, just-- Just eat.
There you go.
Good boy.
What's wrong? My food is touching.
What? If her food touches, she won't eat it.
Well, that-- That's nuts.
That's just the tip of the iceberg.
All right, fine.
Okay? Nothing's touching.
Now, just-- Just-- Just eat it.
Get a life, will you? Is this chicken? Do you like chicken? Yes.
That's chicken then.
What are the white things? Bamboo shoots.
Ew, gross! Oh, what the hell? All right, fine, you know.
Don't eat it.
I'll tell you, there's starving kids in the world who'd be happy to have this food.
Fine, then let's put it in an envelope and send it to them.
Why don't I put you in an envelope and? Guys, th-th-this is what I was talking about.
This is one of those limits.
Now, w-we're having Chinese food.
It's Chinese or nothing.
( blues theme playing ) The burgers will be here in a minute.
You said that an hour ago.
But I'm hungry now.
Asking me a million times and staring at the door is not gonna make the food come any faster.
( knock on door ) Oh, you were wrong Oh, you were Quit singing and answer the door, will you? Mine better have cheese.
( stuttering ) Yeah No, no, don't-- Don't-- D-don't Use a plate.
The hell with it.
It's amazing.
All the things you come to the diner and talk about, and you've never mentioned them.
Well, no, actually, I'm, uh, just doing their mother a favor.
Does she know you hate kids? No, I-- I don't hate-- I don't hate all kids.
Just bad kids.
These aren't bad kids.
Quit it! I didn't do anything! You touched my food.
Did not! Did too! Hey, hey, hey, M.
, d-don't put French fries up your nose.
It's, uh-- It's a little game we're playing here.
Hey, you wanna hang out with us? We're having a hell of a lot of fun.
You know, as much as I'd like to, I can't.
I just remembered everything you said this morning in the diner.
Yeah, what--? What did I say? You remember, all your theories on parenting.
If I were to help you, uh, it would make you look like a big, phony blowhard who didn't know what he was talking about.
Becker, is she your girlfriend? No, no.
You-- You could've just said no.
No, I couldn't.
Have fun, Becker.
( laughing ) ( blues theme playing ) Come on, kids, time to go to sleep.
We-- We had a deal, remember? Eleven o'clock.
Lights out.
: Good night.
Good night.
Oh, my God.
How do people do this? ( grunts ) ( door opens ) Doc? What? What's wrong? What--? What--? What's wrong? Keisha hogs all the covers.
Can I sleep out here? Oh, no, M.
, I really gotta get some sleep.
Oh-- All right, all right, fine.
You gotta go to sleep though.
And this is the line.
Right here.
That's the line.
Don't cross over it.
( sighs ) Doc? What? I think you oughta marry that lady who brought the food.
Reggie? No, that would never work.
Why not? Someday when you're older, I'll explain the concept of "high maintenance.
" Go to sleep.
Good night.
Good night.
Doc? What? Do you think I'll ever get married? Sure, if you want to.
Then you must think I'm going to get better.
You know, from the HIV.
Hey, come here.
Come on up here.
I'll tell you what I do know.
I know that no one, not your mother, not me, not those doctors downtown, no one is gonna give up.
So I don't want you to either, okay? Okay.
I'll try.
( blues theme playing ) ( Keisha screams ) What? I saw a spider.
Well, spiders are fine.
Don't worry about spiders.
They-- They eat all the other bugs.
Other bugs? There's no way I'm going back in there.
Oh, no-- Oh.
All right, all right, all right.
Just w-watch the feet, watch the feet.
( blues theme playing ) ( snoring ) ( snoring stops ) ( mouthed dialogue ) ( blues theme playing ) ( blues theme playing ) ( upbeat blues theme playing ) Okay, I want you two to sit down, read your books quietly and wait for your mom.
And I don't care if the boogie man, Bigfoot or a 50-foot spider comes through that door, you don't move.
Okay? Yes, sir.
Yes, sir.
Good news, Dr.
I don't have to have that tattoo removed.
Oh, good.
Wanna know why? No.
Morning, John.
Morning, kids.
BOTH: Morning.
Morning, Margaret.
Johnson's gonna come pick up the kids in a little while.
Till then they're gonna sit in their chairs, read their books and be very quiet.
Am I right? BOTH: Yes, sir.
Well, John, I guess I owe you an apology.
They certainly do seem to be well-behaved.
Limits and boundaries, Margaret.
It's very simple.
Doc? BECKER: Yeah.
Time's up.
We've been quiet for a whole hour.
Wanna go again? All right.
This buys me another hour of silence.
And that goes for you too.
( upbeat blues theme playing ) ( upbeat blues theme playing )