Becker s03e15 Episode Script

2001 1/2: A Graduation Odyssey

Uh, Linda, would you come out here, please? I have been calling you for ten minutes.
Did you call me all the way out here just to tell me that? Don't you start with me.
These lab reports need to be sorted.
But I'm trying to study.
If you were watching TV, just say so.
No, really.
I decided to go back to school and finish my degree.
Linda, that is wonderful.
What type of degree? Two-year? Four-year? Manicure.
I'll be out by Friday.
That's good too.
I thought it would be a good idea, just as a backup plan.
I mean, what if something happened to Dr.
Becker, like he lost his medical licence or got hit by a truck, or someone poisoned him or clubbed him to death, or put him in a bag in chains in the trunk of a car, or you know what would be cool, they could tie a We'll talk later.
- Good morning, John.
- Oh, yeah, yeah, just great.
Yeah, I got a toilet that won't stop, car that won't go.
I got neighbours that won't shut up and a breakfast that won't stay down.
Like sands through an hourglass, these are the days of my life.
You've got a patient in 2.
Oh, and Mr.
Tipton from Harding High School dropped by.
He's in your office.
You let him in my office? Oh, come on, Margaret, he's such a long-winded gasbag.
Then you two can compare notes.
Go! But he's so boring.
Last time he was here, he went on and on about those nitwits he calls a soccer team.
I mean, they're so bad, their mascot should be some guy beating a dead horse.
Stop it.
All right.
Hey, but actually, you know, give me two minutes then come in, tell me I got a phone call.
No, I'm not gonna do it.
I don't like to lie.
It's wrong.
- Says who? - The Lord.
The Lord? Margaret, this is the Bronx.
Believe me, he's not here.
All right, John, two minutes.
- Now please go.
All right.
- Two minutes, Margaret.
- Oh.
Becker, hello.
Oh, you should've been at last week's soccer game.
The boys came this close to scoring a goal.
Listen, uh, I'm kind of busy today.
- Maybe if you - Then let me get right to the point.
Harding High School would like you to be this year's commencement speaker.
What? It's next week.
And I do apologise for the short notice, but the mayor had a last minute change in his schedule.
The mayor? Really? Sit down, sit down.
Of course, as soon as he dropped out, well, your name immediately came to mind.
We think that you would be an inspiration to the graduates.
Not only are you a respected member of the community, but you graduated at the top of your class, and from Harvard no less.
Well, yes, that's, uh, all true.
In a lot of ways you're more relevant to these kids than some of the so-called big names.
You're one of the quiet heroes John? John, you have a call.
Yeah, Margaret, I'm kind of busy here.
Who is it? What? Who's on the phone? Uh, it's that call.
You know, the call you were expecting.
Oh, uh, yeah, I don't need that call anymore.
I'm in the middle of an important discussion with Mr.
- But I just - Just handle it for me, will you? I'm sorry about this.
I'll just tell the county psych ward that you are on the way.
Oh, hey, Jake, where have you been? Because I was Did you get your hair cut? As a matter of fact, I did.
Just a little trim.
I didn't think you'd notice.
Ha, ha.
Oh, not notice? Everyday for the last three years I've had nothing else to do but stare at you.
All day long.
You stare at me? That's creepy.
I mean, how'd you like it if I stared at you? Jake, I'm over here.
Hey, Reg, coffee, please.
And then leave me alone.
I've gotta make some notes on something.
It's pretty important stuff.
Did you notice? Jake got a haircut.
I tried a new place.
Yeah, yeah, good, good.
Oh, hell, you're gonna find out eventually.
Harding High School asked me to be this year's commencement speaker.
Do I smell oranges? Yeah, they used orange-scented shampoo.
Jake, you've inspired me.
I'm gonna get my hair cut too.
You should.
It will make you feel like a brand new person.
If you two ladies would get out from under the hair dryer for a second, I'm trying to tell you I'm gonna be speaking at a graduation next week.
Wait, hold it.
Next week? Who graduates in the middle of winter? Oh, some of the bigger schools have these midyear graduations.
Don't take this the wrong way, Becker, but why in the world did they pick you? As a matter of fact, the, uh, principal said that I was an inspiration to the people of the community.
In his words, a quiet hero.
You're a hero? Ha-ha-ha.
That must be the part he's trying to keep quiet.
Hello, losers.
Bob is one happy man.
Anyone care to guess why? A truck full of breast implants broke down in front of your building? Like I'd be here.
Bob, we're talking about something here.
So I'll skip ahead.
Bob just won big in Atlantic City.
Picture this, I'm standing out in front of this casino.
Let me guess.
Someone dropped their credit card and you picked it up? No.
They dropped cash.
Anyway, as a man driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, you can imagine my pain as I silently watched the poor schmuck limp away.
But I'm guessing you got over it.
To the tune of 100 clams.
As impressed as we all are, Bob, that basically you stole from a cripple, I was just saying that I've been given the distinct honour of giving the graduation speech at Harding High School this year.
They, uh, called me when they needed someone to fill in for the mayor.
Jake, did you get a haircut? Hey, guys, I think I settled on a theme for my graduation speech.
I'm gonna talk about the future.
- Bold choice.
Now, Linda See? See, future and kids got me thinking about how a lot of the leaders in this country, they started out as kids, but they ended up, uh, as leaders.
So you're saying that a lot of adults used to be children? All right, all right, it's just a first draft.
Okay, Linda, back to your test.
Um, what should you drink to strengthen your nails? A mixture of water and gelatine.
Well, that's close, Linda.
It's orange juice and gelatine.
Orange juice.
Orange juice.
How am I gonna remember that? Well, you need a memory trick.
Uh, for instance, think of Florida.
A lot of orange juice comes from Florida.
Think Florida, remember orange juice.
No, I'm just gonna write it on my hand.
I can't decide if I want a whole new hairstyle, or if I just wanna trim it up a little bit.
Well, let me see.
You know, it does feel a little thick back here.
- John, can you take a look? - No, thanks.
I see enough of her hair in my food.
All you need to do is take out about a quarter of an inch.
Even I could do that for you.
Let's see Blind man, scissors, my head.
I detect a problem.
Okay, okay, okay.
Hey, guys, I just, uh, finished a draft of my speech.
I think it's pretty good.
I wanna try it out on you.
Oh, come on.
All right.
"As I look out over this sea of eager young faces" Well, Bob is back.
Hey, I'm talking here, Bob.
Not anymore.
Bob used his Atlantic City windfall and bought himself a watch.
A Cybertech 3,000.
So you bought a watch.
Big deal.
No, no, no, not just a watch.
It's also a compass, a calculator, a heart monitor, it glows in the dark, and you press this button, it tells you what city you're in.
New York.
Now that's amazing.
How does it know? Beats me.
I don't even know how it glows in the dark.
Hey I hate to break up this Short Bus Science Fair, but I was about to read you my speech here.
Now I want you to be brutally honest, okay? Okay.
I really don't wanna hear your speech.
All right.
Uh "As I look out over this sea of eager young faces, I'm heartened to find a new generation of Americans who will one day" Excuse me.
New generation of Americans? Kennedy kind of did that, didn't he? All right, okay.
Brutally honest.
That's good.
All right, I'll fix it.
Uh "who will one day, uh, reach a point where they must make a choice and" - John, John.
What? This isn't going to a fork in the road, is it? No, it's not going to a fork in the road.
That's good, because I can't think of a bigger cliché.
Yeah, "When you leave these hallowed halls" I stand corrected.
"When you leave these hallowed halls, your education does not end with school.
" You know, thanks a lot for your help.
I'm gonna be standing in front of hundreds of young people tonight, they'll be waiting for me to say something insightful, and all I've got, you know, I've got squat.
Yeah, thanks a lot.
Well, he told us to be honest.
- Yeah, and it honestly did suck.
Oh, well.
Say, Bob, what time you got? I got no idea.
- John? - Yeah.
You have a patient in 1, a follow-up on pneumonia.
Then lunch.
Yeah, order in for me, will you? I gotta work on this speech.
I'm really stuck here.
We're all stuck here.
Hey, Margaret, let me ask you something.
If you were gonna give a speech to a graduating class, what would you say? - Me? - Yeah.
Well, you know, I've thought about this.
Um, I would tell them that a career is about more than just making money.
And then I would tell them to balance their work with a strong spiritual life.
And then I would tell them to imagine that they are telling the story of their life to their grandchildren, and what would they want that story to be.
Ah, I don't see it.
Hi, doc, how you doing? What's going on here? Well, I have to practise for my exam, and Chuck said he wouldn't mind if I gave him a manicure.
I've really been letting my nails go.
Linda, aren't there other things you should be doing? Oh, you're right.
I have a pedicure in Room 2.
Now what am I supposed to do with this pinkie? Yeah, don't make me answer that.
Chuck, let's go take an x-ray of your lungs, see if that pneumonia has cleared up.
I'll be honest, doc.
I feel pretty.
Oh, great, great, you guys are here.
I just finished my speech.
I wanna read it to you.
- Oh, John - Oh, you guys are great.
Nice to know when the chips are down, I have you to ridicule me.
Okay, John, we're sorry.
Let's hear it.
Thank you, Margaret.
Uh All right.
"As I look out over this sea of eager young faces" Could you all turn around, please? Thank you.
"As I look out over this sea" Hey, everyone, I passed my nail test.
I was so nervous at first, but I got the highest grade in my class.
Oh, good girl.
You know, thanks a lot.
You know, I wanted to try this speech out on you guys, and now I have no idea if it works or not.
You know, where does that leave me? New York.
And then after the graduates come in, our valedictorian will speak, and then it's your turn.
Well, here we are.
You know, they say that the two biggest fears people have are death and public speaking.
I guess no one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of hundreds and hundreds of people.
Ha, ha.
Certainly not.
- Uh, your fly's open.
- What? Oh.
This is, uh Oh, I know, this is where we're gonna have coffee before the actual ceremony, right? No, this is the place.
Well, what about the students and the band? Where are you gonna put the band? That is all taken care of.
You see, I recorded the band at last June's graduation.
Man, oh, man, that was something.
A 50-pierce ensemble, Well, how? How many are graduating tonight? Say, we better get this show on the road.
- Pretty small class.
- Hmm.
Any chance these are the honour students? The ones who are getting out early? Early? Ha, ha.
Well, if you consider six years in high school early, then, yeah.
Who's that? Jim Lippman.
Works for the state.
He's handcuffed to Kyle Stemp there.
Hell of a nice guy.
Jim is, I mean.
Kyle, I could drop kick off a speeding train without a second thought.
- Can I speak to you just for a second? - Sure.
Mayor Giuliani was really gonna talk to these kids? Yes, he was.
But then he cancelled as soon as he found out, well, you know, who they were.
Well, better get started.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, and graduates of Harding High School, class of 2001 and a half.
Before we hear from our distinguished keynote speaker this evening, our valedictorian, Gary Lowenhower, is going to say a few words.
Gary? "Today we are leaving high school.
High school was fun.
We learned a lot.
But leaving high school is a scary pro Propo Propo" Sound it out, Gary.
Remember what we said about T-l-O-N.
Oh, you think that's funny, McCall? You think you could do any better? Because I know for a fact you can't! So either keep your mouth shut or get out! Go ahead, Gary.
"After high school, we hope to be very suspect" No, um, "Sucspessful" Successful, you moron.
That's it! McCall, out! But I was trying to help.
Out! Now! Goodbye, kid.
Ha, ha! Anybody else want some of that? Good.
Okay, we're gonna have to hurry things along now, so, Gary, why don't you just, uh, sit down.
Now it is time for our keynote speaker, Dr.
John Becker.
He has a small practise in the Bronx.
John? What about all that quiet hero stuff? Damn, I forgot.
Good evening.
Uh "As I look out over this sea of eager young faces I see that you, the architects of the new millennium" - You suck! Ha-ha-ha! Look, people, I don't wanna be here any more than you do, but the sooner he's done, the sooner we can all leave.
Please continue.
Where was I? "eager young faces.
" Oh, here, here we are.
All right.
It's, uh "It's, uh It's important to realise that every leader in our country's history started out as a kid just like you.
" Excuse me.
Is this gonna be on the test? Dude, there are no more tests.
You know, excuse me, I think that, uh, Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best Who? Ha-ha-ha! You know, I'm just trying to give a speech here.
Yeah, a boring speech.
You know something? I don't need this.
You know, I had better stuff to do today, but this guy showed up at my office and blew a bunch of smoke up my shorts and I believed him.
My own stupid fault, you know, for getting my hopes up.
I broke my number one rule: No expectations, no disappointments.
See, I expected to come here and make a difference.
You know, I expected this would be a dignified occasion, and that I would be talking to intelligent people.
And I expected a big band.
Oh, yeah, and I also expected my friends to support me, but I guess that was too much to ask for.
Oh, what the hell, though.
You know, that's life, right? Here, let me give you some advice here.
You know, don't dream, don't hope, you're never gonna make a difference, and you're never gonna get what you want.
Or who knows? Maybe your life will turn out better than mine.
Oh, and I'll tell you something, Principal Tipton, you show up in my office and ask me for a favour again, I will kick your lying ass right out on the street.
- All right! - Ha, ha! Yeah! Yeah.
Whoo! - Dr.
John Becker.
Whoo! Oh, damn.
We missed it.
What are you guys doing here? John, we felt bad about ignoring you lately.
Yeah, so we came down to hear your speech.
Sorry we missed it, Becker.
Yeah, we wanted to be on time, but my watch stopped.
Sounds like the audience loved it, though.
- I mean, listen to them.
- Yeah.
Well, you know, it's safe to say I made an impression.
Let's Let's split.
Oh, Dr.
Becker, I'm glad I caught you.
Yeah, yeah.
Goodbye, good luck and don't do drugs.
Come on.
That was the greatest speech I ever heard.
What? Hold on, hold on a second.
We thought we're gonna hear one of those boring graduation speeches, but you blew everyone away.
It's so cool that someone like you would come right out and tell us the truth, you know, the things you said.
No one's ever been so honest with us before, so thanks, Dr.
John, I'm really impressed.
Well, you know what they say, Margaret, if you reach one kid, it's all worthwhile.
John, I really am Let's go ahead.