Northern Exposure s05e14 Episode Script

A Bolt from the Blue

Ranger Burns is takin' the layoff real hard.
I mean, I only treated him for a migraine.
I don't see why he'd want me to talk him down.
Why is he getting the ax? Well, fact is, we don't need that many fire lookouts anymore.
Not with all the tourists we get up here with those cellular phones.
They can call in a flash point hours before one of our boys is likely to see it.
Hey, you don't think he's, uh- he's really violent, by any chance, do you? Who, Burns? Yeah.
He's a little eccentric.
Any change, gentlemen? Sergeant Petievich, why don't you give it one more shot? State police.
Hostage negotiator.
Stan, this is Ben Petievich.
I'm gonna ask you one more time, Stan.
You comin' down? No! I'm disappointed, Stan.
That's it? That's your negotiation? Stan, I've got Dr.
Fleischman here, like you asked for.
- Send him up! - He's on his way.
Good luck.
Let- Let me just make sure of something.
This is the best idea, right? I mean,you know, this guy's not gonna- I don't know- take me as a hostage or anything, is he? Stan, we trust each other, don't we? Yes.
Fleischman comes and goes as he pleases, right? You're not gonna use him as a human shield? - I got your word on that? - Right.
- Yeah.
- Thanks.
All right, Stan, what's the problem? I don't think it's fair, what they're doing to me.
Do you, Dr.
Fleischman? Well, you know, I always think that- that fair's kind of a- a relative term, you know? I've walked this platform every quarter hour of every business day for the last 16 years.
I think I've been a good soldier.
How many fires have you actually spotted from up here? Well, three.
Uh, not counting the vehicle fire in '86 which was self-contained.
Well, come on, Stan.
I mean, you- you work out the math, it's not hard to see how- how someone could- could make an argument that your time might be spent better elsewhere.
I mean, Superintendent Walsh tells me he's got a great new job for you.
Did he tell you what it is? No.
Tour guide at the Alexander Hamilton House.
You're kidding.
You-You mean the one- the Hamilton Grange in Manhattan? I devote my life to protecting national parkland, and they want me to usher school kids through the Hamilton Grange? Well, not that Hamilton wasn't a seminal character in American history.
George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War, major author of the Federalist Papers, first secretary of the treasury of the United States, president of the American Philosophical Society.
Wow, listen to you.
You're, uh, quite the historian, huh? Well, I read a lot.
Hey, Stan, I think that this- I mean, this- this could possibly be a- a mixed blessing, you know? This-This is-This could be the perfect match for you.
Don't you see? Dr.
Fleischman, I came here the day after Jimmy Carter took office.
This is all I know.
I don't know what to tell you, Stan.
I guess, uh- I guess the fire towers are- are goin' the way of the dodo bird, huh? Attention, K-Bear shoppers.
Don't pass up the special Presidents'Day sale now goin'on at Leo's Auto Parts.
Man, what would old George think of this hoopla? Poor guy doesn't even get a chance to celebrate his birthday alone anymore.
He has to blow out the candles with Abe.
Why is that, huh? So we can get a long weekend and go to the shopping mall and buy things? George Washington had a dream for this country.
Was it three days of uninterrupted shopping? Anyway, Ed Chigliak and meself are gonna celebrate the holidays in our own special way.
We're goin' up to the, uh, Frying Pan River for a little pre-dawn fishing.
Hey, I got a community reminder here.
"Maurice's First Annual Presidents' Day Fireworks Gala "takes place on the east lawn, Sunday evening at 9:00 P.
Recreational vehicles use the service road, please.
" Mm-hmm.
I figure we'll put the podium right over here.
People can park their fannies all along this area.
That might not be enough room for the setups.
I'm thinkin' fire lanes, fuses.
Mind if we cut down some of these trees? It might not be necessary, but just in case, you know? You're the maestro.
My last words are gonna be "Rockets' red glare.
" When I say that, I want one of those screamin' meemies to come up right behind my head.
Can you do that? Oh, yeah.
A number four red burst chrysanthemum, Pop? With annunciator and silver tiger's tail.
What else? When you did Liz Taylor's wedding, didn't you have some of those, uh, red spidery things? Palm tree star mines with varied core and green flash.
Got it.
Carmine, let's talk mortar emplacements, huh? So if we give you the two years, do we have a deal? Yeah.
Okay, I got it.
I will.
All right.
Okay, Stan, we got everything, all right? You go down tonight, you report to the Hamilton Grange first of the month, government agrees that they will not press charges, and they will not mark this incident on your record, okay? You know, any one of those strikes could trigger a major conflagration.
Stan, also they say after no more than two years' time in New York, they promise to reassign you to the Painted Desert, or, at- at- at the least, Yellowstone Glacier.
You know, lightning restores electrical equilibrium to the earth.
Did you know that? Stan, why don't we talk about the lightning later? I don't want to leave here.
Stan, I just spent seven hours on the phone getting you everything I possibly could, okay? It's a- It's a maximum of- of two years, the Painted Desert.
I mean, I don't understand.
What-What is the-What is the problem? I don't want to go down there.
Why not? People don't like me.
What do you mean, people don't like you? People just don't like me.
I'm, uh- I'm not good at making friends.
Look, I like you.
I'm your friend.
You'vejust been stuck in this tower too long.
You come down, you get back in the swing, I guarantee, in- in a week, we're gonna be laughing about this over beers at the Brick.
What's the Brick? It's this bar in town.
They have an excellent jukebox, and they have- they have pool, and darts.
And-And, really, I mean, I- I think you'd like it.
Okay? As your friend, I'm urging you to take it.
- Okay.
- Okay.
Who's there? I, uh, took the liberty of, uh, opening your '61 Lafite, Minnifield.
It's only good for a few more months, you know.
How'd you get past my security system? Oh, you mean the, uh, tin cans and the string? This is state-of-the-art.
Motion sensitive, infrared.
Save yourself the trouble and order a flock of geese next time.
Just for the sake of argument, what's to keep me from taking you by the scruff of the neck and throwin' you out the door? Only a, uh, fifth-degree black belt in Shotokan karate.
Or would you care for a demonstration? Your arm would be broken in three places before you hit the ground.
We have a bone to pick, Minnifield.
Pick away, Adam.
You know that, uh, fireworks company you hired- the D'Angelos? What about 'em? Do you know who they are? Only the best pyrotechs in the business.
It's a cover.
What? Mosquito Coast,January '86.
A small team of Contra rebels waits for an arms shipment before delivering a series of panther-like blows to the Sandinistas.
Only the brave band is betrayed and has to fight their way back to the Honduran border.
Here we go.
A group of Contra rebels, huh? Are they any relation to the Cuban nationals you led at the second Bay of Pigs? It didn't take long to find the quisling.
A mob-connected arms dealer known in company circles as Dexter R.
Ward, a.
Carlo " The Weasel" Fusco, a.
Salvatore D'Angelo.
Salvatore D'Angelo was given a personal commendation by the White House for his part in the inauguration.
Hey, I tried to get the goods to Casey, but the old man's tumor exploded before I could reach him.
Next thing I know, everyone at D.
has a sudden case of amnesia.
I'm left twistin' in the wind.
Now, you look, Adam- Ever since then, I've dreaded the day that old man D'Angelo or some mechanic from Covert Action will come and hunt me down like a dog.
But little did I suspect that someone that I knew would be the source of my betrayal.
You stay away from those people, Adam.
You can think anything you want to in the sanctity of your own loony bin, but if you raise one hand against those people- Get rid of'em, Minnifield, or I will.
Well, what do you think, man? You want to bag it? Right.
You all right, man? You seem a little quiet.
Oh, yeah.
I was talkin' to Dr.
Fleischman about Maurice's party.
He told me George Washington never cut down that cherry tree.
Well, he's right.
Total fiction.
Another icon shattered.
Yeah, this preacher man from Maryland, right- Mason Weems- wrote this biography about Washington back in 1800's, and it wasn't exactly flyin' off the shelves, so he made it up, you know? The rest is history, sort of.
Like Pretty Woman.
What? Well, see, the original script for that movie was supposed to be this dark look, the seamy side of prostitution.
Only then they go and castJulia Roberts, and they let her go shopping, take a bubble bath, and they made a cool 150 million.
Yeah, I see the connection.
I guess we haveJeffrey Katzen- Ed! Ed! Ed, man! Ed, you okay? What happened? You-You got hit by lightning, man.
Are you all right? I think so.
See if you can get up, man.
Your shoes, man.
Oh, Ed.
Oh, man.
Forest Service may not be pressing any charges, but I'll be watching you, Burns.
Disturbing the peace is a serious offense.
Keep your nose clean, we won't have a problem.
Step out of line, you answer to me.
Clear? Yes, ma'am.
Good luck.
- How about breakfast? - Uh, breakfast? At that Brick place? Yeah breakfast.
You see, the- the only thing is, I- I really should catch up on some of this work.
- Oh.
- Um, well, what about lunch though? How- How does that sound? All right.
All right, why don't I have Marilyn check the book, and she can pencil somethin'in.
- Hey,Joel, you have to take a look at Ed.
- Hey, what happened? He got hit by lightning.
Lightning? Excuse me.
Well, your heartbeat is regular and your pupils are normal.
I feel kind of achy.
Yeah, well, you got zapped by thirty million volts.
I expect you'll be sore for a few days.
Hey, man, it was like he got shot with a shotgun blast,you know.
Let's see if your eardrums are intact.
Is there any ringing? No.
Well, looks clear to me.
There's no feathering burns or lacerations.
But, boy, this is interesting.
Is it bad? Well, your manicurist may not like it.
You feel this? Uh-huh.
It's what they call the flashover effect.
See, when lightning flashes over the body, it'll, uh, vaporize sweat and blow away clothing, and- and in your case, apparently, uh, caramelized your fingers and your toenails.
I guess I'd like you to take it easy for a few days, but, basically, I think you're fine.
All right, man! You can put your shirt on.
I'm sorry to barge in- Yeah, it's all right, Maurice.
He's okay.
Who? Ed.
- What happened to Ed? - Got whacked by lightning.
Uh, listen, Fleischman, I need to talk to you in private, okay? Yeah.
Yeah, sure.
I'll see you before you leave.
What's the problem? It's Adam.
He's back.
So? So, he's threatened to kill my fireworks crew.
What? Why? Well, who knows why? Some paranoid ravings about the Iran-Contra.
The point is, the man is off his tether.
He's a walking time bomb ready to explode.
Yeah, well, I mean, the guy's always been borderline delusional.
Look,Joel, I know the signs.
I saw 'em in Korea.
Now, I want that guy off the streets.
Well, look, I'm afraid it's not that simple, you know? I mean, there are legal provisions.
Yeah, I've checked that out.
If you certify that Adam is a danger to himself or to other people, the police can hold him for 72 hours.
We can whisk him off to Anchorage, put him in the psychiatric institute for a full evaluation.
That's a little extreme, don't you think? I mean, I- I know he's a walking pathology, but, I mean, the guy's never hurt anybody.
Not that I know of.
I mean, threats of imminent danger are just his way of saying good morning.
Now, you listen to me,Joel.
This is not New York City.
It's not Santa Monica.
This is Cicely.
This is a special place.
It's a place where we want to maintain the quality of life.
We do not want refugees from the psycho ward pushing shopping carts up and down the street.
You comprende? I comprende.
Ed, what are you doing? Hi, Ruth-Anne.
Well, I was just thinking about that lightning thing, you know, and how if it'd been in a movie or on TV, well, it'd probably lead to extraordinary powers, you know.
Like the Incredible Hulk or the Amazing Colossal Man.
Well, so, I thought I might be experiencing a little ion reversal or temporary magnetism maybe.
I guess not.
Are you okay? Oh, yeah, Ruth-Anne.
It's just the old, you know, "why me?" thing.
I mean, Chris was standing there right beside me.
Why'd the lightning hit me and not him? Just one of those things, I guess.
Yeah, but Ruth-Anne, statistically, that's a 10 million to one shot.
I'd say you're lucky to be alive.
Just seems like there'd be more to it than that.
It's open, Fleischman.
Now, how could you possibly know it was me out there? Minnifield send you? Maurice? - Why do you ask that? - Because he's an idiot.
Been a while, huh? How's, uh, Eve and, um- What's your son's name, again? Aldridge.
That's right.
I don't know where my head is today.
All morning, I've been running around thinking it's- it's Tuesday, and- and, in fact, it's Monday.
Isn't it? It is Monday.
What's the date today? I- I left my watch at home.
You, uh, doin' a little assessment, Doctor? A little Title 47 action? Humor me.
Forget it.
I'm perfectly lucid.
My actions are determined by self-defense, which, unless I'm mistaken, is still one of the rights protected by our so-called criminal justice system.
No, you're not mistaken.
Adam, I'm concerned, okay.
I mean, here you are in- in what should be a- a relatively stable chapter in your admittedly bizarre existence.
But, I mean, you have a wife and a new baby- Oh, please.
You presume to lecture me on the state of my familial happiness? No.
There is no way to describe to you, Fleischman, the bliss that courses through my veins, the- the unbridled rapture I feel every time I think about my beautiful wife and son.
It's a feeling you'll never experience in your emotionally impoverished life.
Well, but, you'd jeopardize this with some psychotic behavior that could truly get you in serious trouble? Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Suddenly I'm the problem, huh? What about the D'Angelos? What about those double-dealing assassins workin' for Minnifield, huh? - They make fireworks.
- Oh, oh, please.
One peek at me from one of those stooges, just one little peek, and the next thing I'll feel is a soft-nosed.
45 slug as it enters my brain pan at twice the speed of sound.
Just relax, okay? Just-Just a few questions.
In any of your past medical workups, has anyone, by any chance, ever suggested Prozac? Now- Is that all that you A.
drones can think about? Drugs? Someone doesn't fit into your little Marcus Welby view of the universe, you just reach for the medicine cabinet, huh? No.
We don't kill the messenger anymore, do we, Fleischman? We medicate him.
Adam, this is not just an anti-depressant.
Go home, Dottore.
Your mission here has failed.
If I was prone to violence, your neck would be wrapped around one of those trees out there like a piece of rotelli pasta.
Hey! Get out.
Out! Pigmy.
Of course,you fly a Cessna.
Now, that has your Lycoming engine in there, anywhere from 180 to 225 horses.
I'm more of Beechcraft man myself.
F33, uh, Bonanza.
Now, that uses the Continental IO-520, unlike the A36 model, which carries the 550.
You're right.
What do you say, Stan? Hi.
Hey, Fleischman.
Good to see ya! The " I" in the designation refers to fuel injection, of course.
And the " 0" stands for " opposed," as in, uh, horizontally opposed.
Listen, I'll talk to you a little bit later, okay? Okay.
Okay, bye.
Thank God you're here.
Yesterday, this guy was clinically depressed.
Now look at him.
It's amazing.
Yeah, well, I have been, Fleischman, for the past 20 minutes.
All I did was say, " Hi," and suddenly I'm subjected to the- the history of the internal combustion engine.
Give him a break.
The man's been alone for 15 years.
Well, he's just kind of boring, Fleischman.
Well,you know, perhaps he's overcompensating.
But I've seen you when you're nervous, and, I mean, you twist your hair.
So he talks.
How about a little sympathy, huh? I don't twist my hair.
Well, yeah, you do, actually.
Did the new Atlantic come in, by any chance? Yeah, it's back there.
He worked for the copper mines.
Until they shut down, that is.
Uh, oh, you can still see some operators working there though.
But employment's gone down in that sector some, uh, 80% since the, uh, late '50s.
This makes me so mad, though.
Let's get back to civilization.
I can't believe it.
Hey, hold your horses! What's going on over here? We're outta here! What? What about the show? No show.
What are you talking about? See this? Somebody's tampered with the fuses.
They're all useless.
Far niente! Master control board.
Someone clipped the connections.
Well, surely you carry backups, Signor.
I mean, some-somebody's playin' a prank here.
What prank? Like this? That was here this morning.
It's an aluminum bolt from a crossbow.
Hey, I don't know who your friends are or what games they think they're playin', Mr.
Minnifield, but we're gone.
Let's go.
Wait a minute! What about the contract? Read the fine print.
We can back out anytime due to improper security.
We'll bill you.
Andiamo! Wait a minute, fellas.
"British Colonel Washington and his men "surrounded a smaller party of Frenchmen caught napping by their fires.
"'I heard the bullets whistle, ' Washington later wrote, 'and believe me, there is something charming in the sound.
"' The year was 1754, folks, and what young Colonel George Washington had just done was open fire on a peaceful diplomatic mission, killing 10 Frenchmen and an ambassador, leading France and England to the brink of global war.
The French later caught up to Washington's men at Fort Necessity, beat the pants off of'em, causing Washington to surrender.
That's wild, huh? I mean, we think of George Washington, and we see this old geezer just starin' at us from the front of a dollar bill, you know? Calm, wise, father of our country.
But young George- he was out there, man.
Original loose cannon.
Twenty-two years old, and brought the wrath of two countries down on him.
Whoa, George.
You better have a good attorney, Adam, because you're gonna need his services.
I'll take care of it.
By the time I'm through with you, I'll have your wife's inheritance in my hip pocket.
Hey, hey! I save myself from a team of hit men, spare this town a federal inquest, all you can whine about is some lousy fireworks? - I said I'd take care of it! - Take care of what? The fireworks.
What the hell do you know about fireworks? Does the name Nishiyama mean anything to you? Leading family in Japanese pyrotechnics going back 400 years? I'm the only round-eye they ever let in their factory.
That does it.
Fleischman may be too spineless to have you committed, but I've got other cards I can play.
I'm bringing charges against you, Adam.
Criminal trespass, vandalism.
I'll see you behind bars.
And then I got tired of African violets, and I don't know why exactly.
So I switched to orchids.
Joel, come join us.
Well, that's very nice of you, Ruth-Anne.
I certainly will.
We were just talking gardening.
Ruth-Anne's a gardener, you know.
Oh, I didn't know that.
But after a couple of years of orchids, I'd had enough of ornamentals altogether.
I thought it was time to give something back, you know, turn to something productive.
Suddenly, of all things, I got hooked on tubers.
Tubers? Potatoes are the most common example, but there's actually a wide variety, including cassava, arrowroot, taro, yams.
Will you guys excuse me? I'm gonna go order at the bar.
Otherwise, I'll be sitting here all day.
All right.
Have you ever looked into tubers? Hey, Holling.
I give her another 40 seconds.
Who's that? Ruth-Anne.
It's been 10 minutes already.
She's the current record holder.
What, you-you talking about Ranger Burns? South America.
Incas have been eating them for centuries.
Yeah, I guess he does tend to run on a bit, huh? There she goes.
You know, I think he's just getting used to people again.
That's all.
Joel, I have been a bartender for 20 years.
I have a pretty high tolerance for drivel.
But when that man started in on fermentation processes in medieval Europe, well, I was just grateful to have a grease fire in the kitchen to attend to.
Hey, babe.
Ruth-Anne finally bit it.
Ten minutes, 36 seconds.
You really should talk to him,Joel.
Me? What are you talking about? Why should I? Well, it's like if your best friend had B.
or something.
You're not doing him a favor by letting him stink out the room.
Hold on.
This is not my best friend.
This is a patient, you know? I mean, there's a difference.
- You didn't offer to buy him drinks at the Brick? - Absolutely not.
I mean, I may have said something, but I was helping a troubled person in a- in a difficult situation.
First words out of his mouth: "My friend, Dr.
Joel Fleischman, sent me.
" That's why we rented him the spare room.
You're kidding me.
He's staying here? Mm-hmm.
Yeah, well, we've been talking about renting that attic room for months now.
So when your friend said he needed a place for a few weeks before he moved on- I wish you would stop saying that.
He's not my friend.
I mean, if I were responsible for every patient I treated, I- I couldn't begin to function.
You got any detonating cord? Well, if you don't see it on the shelf- Here's a fax for you, Ed.
From Leonard.
Oh, great.
Where's my potassium nitrate? I'm still looking.
And they wonder what's killing retail.
What's the matter, Chigliak? Didn't get into the college of your choice? No.
I just asked Leonard what it meant, me bein' hit by lightning.
- And? - Oh.
Uh, well.
" Don't carry metal objects in a thunderstorm.
" Sound advice from the rattlemeister.
So what'd you expect? A message from the prophet? Words from on high? You're supposed to lead your people out of Egypt? I don't know.
You want to know what it means, huh? I'll tell you what it means.
The universe is a hostile place, Chigliak.
It is? Yeah.
You think nature is some Disney movie? Nature is a killer, pal.
Nature is a bitch.
It's feeding time out there Every step that you take is a gamble with death.
If it isn't getting hit by lightning today, it's an earthquake tomorrow, or some deer tick carrying Lyme disease.
Either way, you're ending up on the wrong end of the food chain.
Well, that's, uh, rather upsetting.
Well, it's supposed to be upsetting, you moron.
Check out the Declaration of Independence.
You think it promises happiness? No, no, no.
It talks about " the pursuit of happiness.
" The pursuit! We've become a nation of wimps.
We think we're entitled to everything.
We want to legislate ourselves into some cozy little cocoon.
Well, forget it, nature boy.
There are no guarantees.
Life is nasty, brutish and short.
Ecce homo.
Hi, Dr.
Hey, Stan.
Um, yeah, here- here's the thing.
These-These lab reports came in, and, um, I was wondering if- if we could do it tomorrow.
Oh, sure.
I just dropped by to chat.
Yeah, I'm- I'm just catching up on some back reading actually.
Why don't you go over to the Brick? I- I heard they're having a dart tournament.
Um, I don't- I don't think so.
Things aren't going well? - Little tip? - Hmm? Why don't you have a seat.
Um, here's the thing.
I've noticed that, um, you tend to monopolize conversations.
I do? Well, yeah.
The thing is, people don't really like it when someone runs on about something that they're not particularly interested in.
It could come off as, uh, well, babbling.
Babbling? Oh, you mean glossolalia, from the Greek, meaning " to speak with tongues.
" You know, it's interesting how that comes about- Stop.
See, you're doing it right now.
I didn't ask for an explanation about speech disorders.
You understand? It's like, Ruth-Anne didn't ask about the- the taxonomy of, uh- of tubers, and Maggie didn't ask about turbine engines.
I just think that people don't always want to know that stuff,you know? Not all at once, anyway.
You could possibly get better results if you-you just- you turn off the- the spigot a bit, you know? But you said I was, uh, likable.
You are.
You are very likable.
It's just this habit, I think, might be getting in the way of your likability.
Did you mean it? - What? - That we're friends.
We're friends.
I mean, I- I- I should point out that first and foremost, though, I think, I'm- I'm your physician.
I'm your friendly physician.
Uh, to me, it's- it's- it's a rule not to get drawn into personal relationships that- that just, you know, might make it difficult for me to- to provide professional care.
You know what I'm sayin'.
Hey, Ed? Hey, Ed, how you doin', buddy? Oh, not so good, Chris.
I think I'm depressed.
Why? Why? What's the matter? Well, mostly because all I want to do is just lie around and sleep.
Why don't you pop in a video or somethin'? Yeah.
I put in Singin'In The Rain.
That just made me really depressed.
You know, it's all about when silent movies were on the way out.
People couldn't adjust, whole careers were ruined.
This that have anything to do with gettin' toasted out there? Oh, everything, Chris.
You know, the universe is out to get me.
I used to think nature was my friend.
But now I know.
At any given moment-Wham! You can be squashed like a bug.
Conventional, but interesting.
- What do you mean? - Nature as the boogie man.
You know, it's very 17 th century, Calvinist New England, you know? No.
This whole fear trip, Ed.
You know, man in the woods, uh, hostile world.
It's very in keeping with the male-dominated, Protestant, capitalist ethic of the colonial fathers.
Oh, yeah, those guys.
Of course, there's other ways to go, you know, like the whole Gaia approach.
You know, Mother Earth viewing the world as a single organism, you know? You should be familiar with this, Ed.
It's the whole weltanschauung of most Native Americans.
It just doesn't get as much air play as Calvinism.
Wait, Chris.
What does this mean about me gettin' hit by lightning though? Well, under Gaia rules, I'd say, uh, you were spared by a loving hand, and you know, it's to remind you that the world is a precious place,you know? Go in peace.
Is that what you think? Me? I don't know.
Hey,Joel, take my hand.
I've got to check on my Mulligan stew.
All right.
Um, what's the deal here? Seven card stud.
High spade in the hole.
Hey, has anyone seen Burns, by any chance? It's quiet in here, isn't it? We owe you a debt,Joel.
Me? Marilyn says you read him the riot act yesterday.
No, I didn't.
That's ridiculous.
I mean, I- I- I talked to the guy.
Don't apologize.
It's finally safe to wear your earflaps up again.
Amen to that.
Well, crack it for a nickel.
I'll call.
Fleischman? What? What's up? Um, I guess I'll just call.
Dealer calls.
Here we go.
Well, where is Burns? Who knows? Who cares? - I think Holling said he's been in his room all day.
- Still worth a nickel.
You're kidding me.
The guy hasn't even been down for meals, or anything? Make it a dime.
Fleischman? Uh, I'll put in a nickel.
It's a dime.
I- I-I'm sorry.
You know what? Excuse me.
Hey, Stan.
Look, um, I thought maybe we could have a talk, huh? Can I come in? Back at the- at the fire tower, some things were said, and not that I- I- I take back anything necessarily, but I- I can see how certain remarks might have been misconstrued.
You see, my main concern was getting you out of that tower.
Really, I believe that that was in your best interest.
The fact is, I lied about the friend thing.
I'm sorry.
Stan, you're really not a bad guy, you know.
You just-You gotta work on the social skills a bit.
You know what? I- I want you to tell me something.
And not from a book, or something you've read or heard, okay? I- I- I want you to just tell me something about your life, would you? I'll tell you something about me, and then we'll try to have a conversation.
Okay? Go ahead.
Favorite food or sports.
Well, I like Franco-American spaghetti.
I actually have a- a special fondness for Chef Boyardee Ravioli.
Where were you born? Uh, Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Yeah? Home of the Zippo lighter.
I was born in Flushing, New York, home of Herb and Nadine Fleischman.
My father, uh, was a truck driver.
He delivered oil.
Quaker State.
Oh, that's a good product.
Oh, um, what did your father do? Well, my father was in the concrete business.
Still is, actually.
My mother's a bookkeeper.
My mother pretty much had to raise the four of us herself.
Four, huh? Wow.
Tommy, Karen, Dave and me.
Uh, Tommy joined the army when, uh-when I was six.
I never really knew him.
You were the youngest? Mm-hmm.
Boy, Marilyn, I've been thinkin' about this lightning thing so much I've gone and given myself a headache.
Maybe you shouldn't think about it.
I tried that too.
When I try not thinking about it, the only thing that goes through my head is still it.
Who do you think is right? Is it a nihilistic universe with no meaning- well, other than survival- or does the Enlightenment view prevail? Does the Creator have a master plan? And if so, what is it? My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion.
Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse.
"Maybe," he said.
One day, the stallion ran off.
The people said the warrior was unlucky.
"Maybe," he said.
Next day the stallion returned leading a string of fine ponies.
The people said it was very lucky.
"Maybe," the warrior said.
Later, the warrior's son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg.
The people said it was unlucky.
"Maybe," the warrior said.
The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe.
Many young men were killed.
But because of his broken leg, the warrior's son was left behind and so was spared.
You people will have to clean this litter up here.
Have a lovely evening.
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
Welcome to the First Annual Presidents' Day Celebration.
Now, due to, uh, circumstances that are beyond my control, there will be no fireworks tonight.
Well, come on, people.
I'll make it up to you the Fourth of July, okay? Now, I'd like to take time to make a few comments about, uh, America's leadership position in the post-Cold War era.
Oh, what? No.
Give me a break.
Come on.
Ah, hell, I don't feel like talkin' about that either.
Maybe we ought to reflect on Washington and Lincoln.
I mean, they're the reason we're here anyway, right? What occurs to me this evening is, in spite of their many achievements, they were far from perfect people.
Maybe you've been listening to " Chris in the Morning," talking about Washington's failures as a military commander.
Or maybe Lincoln's melancholia springs to mind.
He'd go into a blue funk for days at a time.
I guess we all have our demons- I'll be damned.
Awfully close to the trees.
Fireworks originated in China, you know.
Some say it was during the Tang Dynasty.
Others say it was during the Southern Sung.
Uh, not that it matters.
It's all right, Stan.
One spark'll set something on fire, and that'd be a catastrophe.