Northern Exposure s05e02 Episode Script

The Mystery of the Old Curio Shop

Easter.
My cousins came down.
Mmm.
Isn't that fun? Mm-hmm.
Oh, and here's a picture of me and my dad.
Ah.
Yeah.
I don't wanna bore you with this, though.
Besides, I'm just stalling on the real problem.
Well, look.
There's some beautiful crystal in this catalog.
But- Ruth-Anne, I don't know if I really wanna do mail order.
You know, it's kind of impersonal.
I wanna do something unique, something that says it's from me.
What's the occasion? My father's getting married on Saturday, so I'm looking for that perfect wedding gift.
Oh, no, O'Connell.
Wait till you get back to civilization.
Get something nice there.
Or at least Fairbanks.
Well, I'm not going to be going back home where their favorite stores are.
You're not going to your own father's wedding? No biggie.
I wasn't invited.
What? Ooh! Boy, that WASP blood'll give you the shivers.
Fleischman, you are way off.
It's actually wonderful.
They sent out announcements, not invitations.
They're getting married in Venice.
Just a priest.
That is romantic.
Yeah.
I mean, what a start.
I'm very happy for my father.
I mean, is this gonna be a great marriage or what? And, uh, who's the lucky bride? Well, her name's Jennifer Elgin.
Lovely lady, talented composer.
I had the opportunity of meeting her last Easter at a performance of her third operetta.
All right, just go ahead and say it.
What? That I can go to her operetta but not her wedding.
O'Connell, I wasn't going to say that.
Yes, you were, Fleischman.
I could tell by your smug body language.
What? You know, believe it or not, there are people in this world to whom their wedding day means something richer and more profound than just the dreary obligation of putting on a display for 200 of their closest relatives, most of them they can't even stand, you know.
What body language? What am I doing? For the developing.
Put away your calfskin, son.
It's on me.
Whoa, Maurice.
Yeah, the movie, the dinner, the whole shebang, tonight, it's on the company tab.
Wow.
Well, you've been with me now, Ed, for three years, and you've done a pretty good job.
Ifigure it's good company policy to make an employee know how valued and important he is to the company.
Well, thanks, Maurice.
My whole directive for coming down here tonight is to show you a good time.
So pick it, son.
Well, Menace to Society starts in 10 minutes.
You're still determined to see that? Well, the Kodiak Chronicle calls it "a harrowing portrait of the nihilism brought on by neglect of the inner cities.
" Yeah, well, what about this Homeward Bound over here? What's that? "Homeward Bound: the IncredibleJourney is grand family fare, "far superior to the 1963 original.
Don Ameche, Sally Field, MichaelJ.
Fox provide voices for the irresistible pets.
" Pets? Two for Menace, please.
Uh, wait a minute, honey.
You, uh-You shortchanged yourself here.
You'll never get rich that way.
Your ticket is only five dollars, sir, with the senior citizen discount.
The who? Your senior citizen discount, sir.
Well, why would you give me a senior citizen discount? If you don't have your card with you, it's okay.
You're damn right I don't have a card.
And I don't need a discount.
It's two bucks, Maurice.
Popcorn.
I don't want their two bucks, and I don't want a discount.
And I'm not a senior citizen! Is there something I can show you? Oh, hi.
Hello.
I must have traveled down this road a dozen times, and I never noticed your sign before.
How long have you been here? Almost a year now.
Are you looking for something in particular? Yes, a wedding present.
But, I mean, I don't have anything specific in mind.
Tell me about the bride.
The bride? Her taste.
Perhaps I can make a suggestion.
Well, I don't know.
Her taste is very similar to my father's, I suppose.
You know, they're very compatible.
Then it's your father's wedding? Mm-hmm.
Hey, what's this? Anubis.
The mortuary god of ancient Egypt.
He's the one who devoured the dead.
My dad would love this.
Really? Mm-hmm.
He loves Egypt.
How much is it? I don't know what we're asking.
If you're seriously interested, I can find out.
Mm-hmm.
Thanks.
There's a woman out there who wants to buy the Anubis thatjust came in.
Don't you listen to me when I speak to you? Just give me a simple answer.
She's out there waiting.
You say you want a simple answer.
I give you a simple answer, but you never listen.
I do listen! I don't want to sell it! I completely disagree with you! I'm sorry.
It's not for sale.
But I don't understand.
I mean, it's on the display.
We have many items on display that aren't for sale.
I guess I forgot to label it.
Excellent film.
Sure, it was violent, but I think that was the point.
After all, violence is ultimately self-destructive.
What do you think, Maurice? That girl wouldn't last 15 minutes in my box office with that attitude.
The customer is always right.
That's the first rule that should be stamped on the back of the retina of any idiot with any kind of a sales position.
She thought I was 60 years old without even asking.
Well, you are, aren't you? Shelly says I look at least 10 years younger.
Touching up your hair helps.
I do not touch up my hair.
Must just be gettin' darker.
It looks real good, Maurice.
Look, Ed, I do not color my hair.
I won't have you saying that even in joke or in passing! People tend to misinterpret that kind of thing, you understand me? Okay, Maurice.
Say, that wine looks good.
I wish I drank.
A man's in his prime, some rude kid comes along, messes with his brain.
Thanks for buying me dinner, Maurice.
I'm calling the theater management on this.
"Senior citizen discount.
" I'm having a really good time.
Why don't you, uh, grab a seat over there and wait for your mom.
And tell her if you keep getting that cast wet, I'm not only gonna charge you for replacements, I'm gonna add a surtax for having to cope with that smell.
Hi.
Shipment.
Hey, how you doin'? Put it right there.
Hey.
Whew! Marilyn, have you heard of someone named Le Fleur? They own that antique shop out there by you.
I bought an escritoire.
Well, do they ever come in here as patients? Why? It's just weird.
I went to their shop to buy a wedding gift for my dad and his fiancée.
And I found the perfect thing, by the way.
Congratulations.
A breakthrough.
What'd you get? Well, it was a statue of- of Anubis, the Egyptian funerary deity.
He had the body of a man, but the head of a jackal.
It was very striking.
But then all of a sudden, the woman decided she didn't wanna sell it to me.
- Maybe they wanted to keep it.
- Oh, great.
No Riopan.
But they're in the business of selling things.
And you know what's even weirder? They had a poodle in a cage.
Marilyn, you're gonna have to fax these morons right away.
Hey, Fleischman, a poodle in a cage? Yeah.
Wait.
What's strange about that? A dog in a cage.
Put an animal in a cage, he doesn't eat your antiques.
She said something about her husband.
That must have been the man in the back.
You should have heard him readin' her the riot act.
Will you stop with this Le Fleur nonsense? Then he does come in here.
What is going on with you, O'Connell? He's probably protecting you from yourself.
What do you mean? Well, a coyote-headed death god as a wedding gift? I mean, it's a little hostile, don't you think? If I ever tie the knot, please, Calphalon will do just fine.
It could have been stolen from a pharaoh's tomb.
That's what it would be in here- a Nancy Drew book.
You too? You know, I flew Mary Patterson and her family back this week from Ketchikan.
We spent the entire trip talking about The Scarlet Slipper Mystery.
Talk about a flood of memories.
- I read the whole series.
- You did? She was competent.
Yeah.
The feeling of a good mystery.
It swoops you up.
Did you read The Message in Hollow Oak? That was the best one, I thought.
No.
I like Nancy's Mysterious Letter better, where George used judo to flip the bad guy over his shoulder.
Right.
And her father, Carson Drew, saves her from the falling ladder.
When those two were in danger, they made a great team.
It was a stable, single-parent household.
Excuse me.
Would you ladies mind postponing your trenchant literary critique so we can continue with our little medical practice here? I believe you were going to Ruth-Anne's to fax the MedPro rep,yes? Thank you.
Hey, Stevens? Yeah? What are you doin' tonight? You got any plans? Yeah, I'm gonna go help Gary Phelps fix the jug on his rice burner.
Forget about that.
Come on out to the house about 7:00 for dinner and drinks.
What, are you all loaded for bear here? Single malt scotch.
Haitian rum? Bombay Sapphire? Ay, ay, ay, ay! Sauza Conmemorativo- I can't believe Ruth-Anne was out of limones.
It's a good thing I had that dwarf lime in my hothouse.
You're all set to party hearty.
What's the excuse? Sun under the yardarm? Nah.
No, flyboy reunion.
Ricky Dorset and his wife Ellen are stopping by on their way to Hong Kong.
Fellow astronaut? No.
The Rick man? No, he's an X-rated test pilot.
He's never happy unless he's pushing the envelope at Mach 3.
Well, sorry I can't make that.
Let me change this record.
I remember when he and Ellen got married.
I've seen some blowouts in my time, but this took the cake.
Ellen got sideways in the " O" Club, took off her clothes and started dancing on top of a table.
Everybody in the place was swellin' for Ellen.
Talk about your hard body.
Ricky used to say that you could bend nails on her behind.
Dang, man.
I promised Gary.
Kimberly's gonna be there.
Who? Kimberly? Yeah.
You remember the coed I was telling you about that I flew down to Bimini? Oh, oh, oh, the little- the little huskyette.
Yeah.
You play your cards right, maybe she'll fix you up with one of the girls on the pep squad.
Whoo! Well, that's tempting to me, Maurice, but, you know, Gary's countin' on me.
So I gotta take a rain check.
Suit yourself.
I think you got your priorities skewed, though.
Well, maybe.
Hey, Marilyn, did Lynette Rathburn ever come in and pay that bill? - Uh-huh.
- She did? Yesterday.
You're kidding.
There were no hysterics? No threats to sue? For a while.
I had to shmeichel her.
Wait a minute.
What did you just say? Did you say shmeichel? What, did you pick that up from me? No.
What do you mean, no? That's Yiddish.
Come on.
Where- Where did you hear that? What does it mean? Coax.
That's-Well, I'm flattered.
Don't be.
What do you mean, don't be? Where did you hear it if not from me? In a lullaby.
What lullaby? What, you don't wanna give me credit? You're trying to tell me you know a Yiddish lullaby? A Tlinkit lullaby.
Oh, I gotta hear this.
Come on.
How does it go? Sing it.
Come on- Marilyn,you started it.
Let's hear this lullaby.
Right.
That's what I thought.
Nice try.
You had me going there for a minute.
No.
You're putting me on.
You're not putting me on.
All right, I'm- I'm sorry.
What does that mean? The owl of sleep calls out to coax you to his tree of dreams.
That's pretty wild.
Maurice! Ellen? Ellen! It's so good to see you.
Ellen.
You look great.
It's been a long time.
Yeah.
Where's Ricky? Oh, he's moving kind of slow.
It was a bumpy flight.
Semper Fi,jarhead! Hoorah.
Oh, God, Maurice.
You wouldn't believe the turbulence.
Ricky, you're really a- a sight.
Can you get our luggage? Don't forget my ditty bag, will you? I have it right here, honey.
Is this sweater warm enough? Yes, yes, damn it.
Can you bring the car around? He shouldn't walk any farther than he has to.
- Yeah, I'll drive it around.
- Mercy bucket, gyrene.
Boy, Maurice sure looks good- Listen, watch that black suitcase.
There you go, my love.
Sure you won't have some of this Saintsbury chard, Ricky? It's real butterball.
Just a skosh? Can't risk it.
Alcohol plays hell with my blood sugar anymore.
Am I running out of gas? No, it's just a crimp in the line, honey.
You must have twisted it when you sat down.
Anybody mind if I smoke? Oh, sorry.
I'll wait till after dinner.
So, Ricky, what do you got? A lawsuit? A class action again with this emphysema thing? I wouldn't have much of a case.
I quit smoking 15 years ago.
Wish I could.
Half a day, and I'm jonesin: Shall we go in? Well, how did you contract it, Ricky? Well, chalk it up to time and the river.
Maurice, you're only a year older than Ricky, right? Well, it's not the years.
It's the mileage.
And even in the old days, I couldn't keep up with this guy.
Ricky, you remember that time in Okinawa when those six Aussies tried to jam us outside that bar? Well, I held my own, all right, but Ricky, he was kicking gonads up between their eyes.
Aw, Maurice! Ew.
I'm ruded.
We had no conception of what we were doing.
Yeah.
God.
How'd we ever survive it all? It's like when I graduated from high school.
I'm all, like, wow! I made it.
Kimberly and I are taking a trip.
Next spring break, we're gonna take a trek up the Nile to Lake Victoria.
Africa? Mosquito-borne Al DS? Oh, we wouldn't be taking this trip to Hong Kong if it wasn't for the Gray Eagles.
That's right.
You should really look into it.
Just for the travel club.
Thirty percent off all fares.
Thirty percent? That's unreal! It's only open to retired combat pilots over 60.
It's a shame Kyle couldn't be here.
- Kyle? - Our son.
He's studying for midterms at Harvard Law School.
With Gray Eagles, it's all tied into this incredible safety net.
No matter where you go in the world, you're never more than an hour away from an American doctor.
Wow.
He's a little hottie.
Is he going with anyone? No.
Great health insurance too.
As companion care to Blue Cross, it really can't be beat.
Mm-hmm.
- May I help you? - Yes, hi.
Hi.
I was in here the other day, and I spoke to your wife about the statue of Anubis.
- Anubis? - Mm-hmm.
And then she said it wasn't for sale.
You must be mistaken.
We've never had a statue like that.
Yes, you did.
No, I saw it.
She even went and spoke to you about it.
I'm at a loss.
Maybe you're confusing it with another piece.
No.
No, no, no.
She went to the office and asked you or somebody how much it cost.
Excuse me.
Damn it! Damn! I'm sorry.
You were saying? Well, I was saying that I would love to buy the statue of Anubis, and I'm willing to pay more than a fair price.
I'm sorry.
I can't sell you merchandise I don't have.
Look If you'll excuse me, I can't deal with this just now.
If you could come back another time- In fact, we're getting in some beautiful old Rosenthal later this week.
Elk brisket Reuben, side of slaw? Yeah, that's me.
Enjoy.
Hey, did you ever hear of a word, uh, shmeichel? Sure.
Old Indian word.
What does that mean? Kind of like schmear.
"Schmear"? Mm-hmm.
You're telling me " schmear" is an Indian word? No, it's Yiddish.
Yeah? Are there any other Indian words that sound similar? Like shmendrick or shtarker? Mmm, no.
Excuse me, Dr.
Fleischman.
Now that you mention it, one time I was watching Buddy Hackett on Carson.
Yeah? And he used a word, sounded like altakoka.
Yeah.
Which is one of our words.
I've thought about this from time to time.
- Alter Kucker? - Altakoka.
That's amazing.
There's a Yiddish word that sounds exactly the same, but Alter Kucker.
Means " ancient venerated one"? Well, not exactly, but it's certainly enough to make you wonder, you know? I mean, it can'tjust be a coincidence.
Hmm.
Interesting.
I got burgers burning.
Yeah.
Ned.
Come on in.
Hiya, George.
Is Nancy home? She'll be ready in a few minutes.
Thanks.
What's taking our detective so long to get ready? Hi, Ned.
Sorry I'm not ready yet.
But I'm worried about Dad.
Your father the attorney, Carson Drew? Yes.
He said he'd be home in an hour, and he hasn't called.
I'm getting concerned.
- Me too.
- I don't blame you.
What are you going to do? I don't know, but I'll think of something.
What's that? No one's there.
- Oh, my gosh.
- What? My father's been kidnapped.
One thing that makes you so interesting, Nancy, is that I never know when I come to take you out what mystery will come our way.
- We have to call the police.
- No.
No, we can't chance it.
He's in too much jeopardy.
It says here he'll meet with harm unless I cease the investigation.
Which investigation? I don't know.
It doesn't say.
- The mystery of Crocodile Island? - No.
I solved that one.
What about the whispering statue? Basswood, using the alias Thomas Mott, has a sizable bank account in New York City.
Where your father has been known to go.
Yes.
And there's the question of the old antique store.
Antique store? I don't remember us ever going to any antique store.
And the missing canisters of nitrous oxide.
What nitrous oxide? You're not done, Ed.
Come on.
Let's move this Médoc over with the haute Burgundies.
But, Maurice, Letterman's having Isabella Rossellini on tonight.
These cases here.
Come on.
Chop, chop.
Let's get this place squared away.
No! Damn it, Ed.
You remember how we do the case wine.
You pass it off to me, and then I stack it.
All right, Maurice.
Maurice! You okay? Yeah.
I just, uh, felt a little weird there for a second.
Indigestion.
Let's knock off for- for tonight.
We'll finish this up tomorrow.
I don't know, Ed.
I feel funny.
My- My fingers are tingling.
Thanks for taking the call this late at night, Dr.
Fleischman.
Oh, it goes with the territory, Ed.
As someone thinking of becoming a shaman, this has come as quite an eye-opener to me commitment-wise.
There you go.
How long will it take to evaluate that tape? Oh, not too long.
Mm-hmm.
Well, Maurice, this indicates that you've had a mild coronary event.
Event? Mild.
What that hell does that mean? Stop the double-talk, Fleischman.
You sound like I went to a pancake breakfast.
It's a euphemism.
The phrase " heart attack" tends to disturb most of my patients.
Just like Godfather I.
Vito Corleone in the garden.
Now, are you positive about this? I mean, I've- I've had indigestion that was worse than this.
Let's think of the pain as a sign, okay? A signal.
I mean, the important thing is that we found out about your condition, and now what we have to do is take appropriate measures.
Like what measures? Well, the first step is to assess the damage.
Damage? Possible myocardial infarction.
Although, I don't think it's anything major.
I mean, there's no evidence of arrhythmia, and there's no recrudescence of your dyspnea.
I would like, though, to get you down to Valdez A.
S.
A.
P for a complete series.
What's the next step? Well, when I get the test results, I'll know better how to proceed.
Meanwhile, you just relax and try not to worry.
What are you touching me for? You've never touched me like that before.
You never touch anybody.
Whoa, whoa.
What are you trying to tell me, Fleischman? Let's get out of here.
You sure you didn't just space out and leave it open? No, because it's been so chilly, I haven't opened a window in two weeks.
Was anything missing? No, I don't think so.
But I do know my coffee mug was moved.
How do you know? Because I keep it in the same spot by the stove every day.
And when I came back, it was in a different place entirely.
Creep me out.
Why would they do that? I don't know.
But someone's been in my cabin, and I think it's because they're looking for somethin'.
But, listen, Shelly, last night, I had the weirdest dream.
I dreamt about nitrous oxide.
I did some of that at a Leafs game once.
It made me feel really stupid.
But then I thought about Dr.
Summer.
Our dentist.
Yeah.
He would be a freak.
Maybe like a satanist.
I don't mean he's involved.
But, see, two weeks ago, he had two tanks of nitrous oxide delivered into town for when he comes, and it was stolen off of Ruth-Anne's loading dock.
I'd read about that in crime blotters, then I'd forgotten all about it.
It's amazing how the subconscious will steer you in the right direction.
Mm-hmm.
Shelly, I'm really worried about Mrs.
Le Fleur.
You are? Why? Because the way her husband's acting.
He lied about that statue.
A lot of things.
What's that got to do with the nitrous oxide? When I know that, I'll figure the whole thing out.
Oh.
What? Nada.
Hey, Ruth-Anne.
Good morning,Joel.
How are you? Fine, thank you.
Let me ask you something.
In your memory, right, or maybe even in the town's records, do you recall a Jew, or even a group ofJews, who were here to such a degree that they could have actually had a linguistic influence on the native dialect? I heard that the Ritz Brothers came through on their way to entertain the troops in the Aleutians in World War II.
I think that's a little too casual a contact.
Anything else? I thought this rang a bell.
"March 3, 1956.
"Hunters here are still searching for the wreckage of a plane belonging to Saul Kupfer, "real estate tycoon and developer of Kupfertown, Long Island.
His plans for Kup City, a development of $12,000 homes outside Anchorage"- I think it's a little too recent, you know? I mean, you gotta figure at least two, three generations before words would make their way into children's songs, don't you think? Yeah.
I wonder if this has something to do with Paul Berman.
Who's that? AJewish man who supposedly lived with a local tribe in the 18th century.
AJewish man in Alaska in the 1700s? Mm-hmm.
Wow.
What was he, like, a Russian fur trader? I can't really recall.
You're welcome to borrow any of these books, though.
I've got to go.
I've got customers upstairs.
All right.
I'll get the lights.
Okay, thanks.
Thanks, Ruth-Anne.
Maurice.
I bought you some organic soup.
Low sodium, less than two grams of fat.
What'll it be, barley or lentil? Whatever.
Lentil it is.
You want me to help you pack for the hospital, Maurice? No.
Well, you want I should move your bed downstairs? What the hell for? Well, when Ruth-Anne's cousin had a heart attack, they had to move all his furniture down to the first floor on account of, well, he couldn't get up and down the stairs anymore.
Just fix the soup, Ed.
Sure thing, Maurice.
Houston, go.
You're clear to launch.
Fifteen.
Minus 10, nine, eight- Seven, six, five, four, three- One, zero.
We have liftoff.
Minnifield, an Oklahoma native, has a distinguished record of aerial combat in Korea.
He's been in training for this space flight for six years.
Roger.
You're looking good from here.
Roger.
Hello, Dr.
Fleischman.
What do you say there, Ed? I brought back your Cotton Comes to Harlem.
Thank you.
Actually, you're just the guy I wanna see.
You ever hear of this book? Nope.
It's absolutely fascinating, right? All these native Alaskan legends.
Like, there's one in particular, this guy Paul Berman.
You ever hear of him? Nope.
Was he some kind of legend or something? Yes and no.
I mean, he's an actual historical figure.
But- But listen to this.
It gets- It's really exciting.
"There's a fable among the peoples along Kuskokwim Bay "of a warrior god called Bear Man that came from the sea to bring the tribe knowledge and light.
" Who else could that be but this guy Berman? Well, George Lucas says that that's a common myth among early cultures around the world.
Right.
Well- "The clans of Nunivak Island also tell of a god with a hairy face "who came to them in human form, took at least three wives, fathered a slew of kids, and in general had just an incredible influence on their society.
" Now, I think it's clear that this Bear Man and this bearded man is this Franco-Jewish explorer who vanished around 1800.
I mean, you gotta think about it.
This man is probably responsible for placing Yiddish-sounding cognates into the local dialect.
Well, that's all very interesting, Dr.
Fleischman.
Interesting? Ed, this is astounding.
It's like there's no history of circumcision in any Alaskan tribe prior to the 19th century.
It's entirely possible that this guy introduced the ritual.
This is a Jew 200 years ago having this kind of influence here.
It absolutely blows me away.
Well, I guess you and him have something in common then.
Well, I mean, I wasn't gonna say anything, but, in point and fact, his saga is not unlike mine.
I don't wanna jump megalomaniacal on you here, but the corollaries are irrefutable.
I mean,you gotta admit it.
Ow! Oh! That hurt.
Mmm.
That is a nice corneal scratch you gave yourself, O'Connell.
Give you a chance to try out a whole new look for yourself.
No way, Fleischman.
Oh, yes way.
Now what exactly were you trying to accomplish prowling around out there in the middle of the night anyway? I was trying to see what Mr.
Le Fleur was up to and if his wife was involved at all.
What do you mean, " up to"? What-What could the man possibly be up to? I don't know.
But I still think there's something suspicious going on with that store.
Hold this.
Did you remember to pack your roscoe when you went out there? My what? You know, your gat, your heater, in case you had to swap lead.
You know, Fleischman, go ahead and laugh, but I still think she might be in some sort of danger.
This is ludicrous.
I don't know why you are spinning this scenario, but there is no case to be solved, okay? You're obsessing.
Your behavior is compulsive, and you really oughta begin to examine it already.
Well, all right.
Why don't you give me one good reason why he wouldn't sell me that statue of Anubis? You see, there's that ridiculous Anubis.
This is exactly what I'm talking about.
All right.
See? You can't.
O'Connell, I could give you a half a dozen reasons.
I mean, my Aunt Belle, she's in retail, okay? Collectible watches.
She has her special customers, and she puts particular stuff aside for them.
He probably sold it out from under you.
Two drops every four hours.
So then who was in the speeding car? Look, they have a teenage son, okay? He's kind of a troubled kid.
He just reached driving age.
Why would he be so cold and terse with me if he didn't have anything to hide? O'Connell, who knows? Maybe his cat died or his back went out or- I don't know.
Maybe he got peyronie's disease.
What's that? A painful erection.
I know I'd be cold and terse.
Is that what he's got? O'Connell, I'm saying suppose.
Is that what you're treating him for, Fleischman? This conversation is over.
Py-what disease? Over.
Look, I can't breach patient confidentiality, okay? But take my word for it.
We're dealing with a very unhappy dysfunctional family, and that is all there is to it.
But- There is no mystery.
At least, not the kind you want, all right? In real life, there are no fogbound moors, there are no clues on matchbooks or- or fifth columnists waiting to be unmasked.
I mean, it would be nice if there were, because there would be solutions to things in life.
But it doesn't work that way.
So you thought about this too, huh? I mean, everyone likes a good detective story.
I went though my Hammett phase in college.
I think the attraction is- in life, our mysteries aren't exciting, you know? They're just intractable and depressing and enervating.
Like, why do we always hurt the ones we love? Where does the money go? Why can't the Russians find a way to govern themselves and let the rest of us off of this perpetual, gnawing anxiety? Yeah.
See, in a detective story, at least the universe makes sense.
You know, "It was him.
He did it!" The natural order is disturbed, but the beauty of it is that it's restored again.
Yeah.
You know, I've wanted to brain my father all week.
That wedding thing, you know? Oh.
Yeah.
You look tired.
Why don't you go home and get some rest for that eye? Good morning, Maurice.
Come on in, Holling.
You all packed? Yeah.
I'll just clear the decks here and I'll be right with you.
I'll put this in the car.
Good.
What the hell? J.
L.
MacDennet Accountancy Corporation.
Give me MacDennet.
This is Maurice Minnifield.
One moment, please.
Hey, Maurice.
MacDennet, I have a check here from the Social Security Admini-damn-stration.
Did you put in for that? A belated happy birthday to you.
$284? What the hell am I supposed to do with $284? Endorse, deposit and credit it to your account.
I'm not ready to collect social security.
I don't need it.
Hell, I don't even believe in it! Look,you got it coming.
Golden years, Maurice.
Golden years, my ass! I don't need your old-age benefits! You people are trying to kill me! What are you talking about? All of you with your special benefits and your bonuses and- and your old- You're stickin' pins in my doll! - You ready to go? - No.
You okay? I'm not goin' anywhere.
Maurice, you just had a heart attack.
They're expecting you at the hospital.
You have to go.
The hell I do.
Okay.
I'll take these.
Good.
Good choice.
Do you think so? I mean, do you think they're elegant enough? Sure.
And they won't find these on the Piazza San Marco.
You want them gift-wrapped? Okay.
The problem will be finding a box so they won't wrinkle.
What happened to your eye? Oh, nothing.
It was stupid.
Well, it must of hurt.
Yeah, it did.
Your dad will like getting something that comes from the place you now call home.
Ruth-Anne, did you ever read Nancy Drew when you were a kid? Well, thanks for the compliment, but she came along slightly after my time.
My sons read the Hardy Boys, though.
Why? Oh, I don't know.
I've just been thinking.
She had a big influence on me.
She was a pilot, you know? Oh, was she? Yeah.
She lived alone with her dad, the dashing attorney Carson Drew.
Sometimes, she'd help him with his cases, and he'd rescue her just in the nick of time.
What a wonderful dream.
Yeah.
What do you mean? Oh, the absent mother.
Having Dad all to yourself.
You know, this may sound stupid, but I used to have these daydreams, and- My mother was far away, somewhere else, and my father and I would go on these thrilling adventures.
Just the two of us.
And we'd help each other and we'd make each other laugh when times were dark, and better yet, you know, when times were good.
Anyway, that's in the past.
It is.
Oh.
Here's your card.
There you are.
Thanks.
Hey, did you send Cy Fogarty another " past due" notice? - Uh-huh.
- You're kidding.
And he still hasn't made the payment? Uh-uh.
Oh, boy.
What a gozlin, you know? After I schlepped out to his cabin in the middle of that hailstorm to set his broken leg.
You're not gonna believe this, but Saturday night, I'm at The Brick with Chris, right? We're schmoozing, and that chazzer has the chutzpah to come up to me and try to mooch a beer.
- You know what I mean? - Uh-huh.
I thought maybe you didn't, you know, because chazzer means pig, and in this case, I was using it in the sense of someone who's ungrateful, who takes advantage- a ganef.
What? Don't.
Don't? Don't what? Talk like that.
What, you mean the Yiddish words? Is that it? - Uh-huh.
- Why not? You're no Paul Berman.