Northern Exposure s06e04 Episode Script

The Letter

By the time you read this, you'll be 30.
A card-carrying adult, living a life I can only dream about.
Sometimes I picture it, there you are, fresh from a courtroom triumph.
You tuck in the kids, step onto the veranda, the city lights strung like diamonds across your forever view.
Your husband hands you a glass of French champagne, not that he has to be John Travolta, or anything.
One lingering kiss says it all.
It's a long way from Grosse Pointe, isn't it? I'm really jealous of all the important things you've done, the glamorous places you've been.
Know this, I never doubted you for a minute.
Let's get a move on, young lady! You're going to be late for your tennis lesson.
I'm doing something, okay? Give me a second! I told you 10 minutes ago we had to leave.
Maggie? I'm coming, Mom, I'm coming.
Second time in a month I've gotten stuck in the mud.
With all the traffic there is on the Strayhorn, you'd think we could get it paved.
I know.
Hey, why don't you write a letter to the mayor? What good would that do? Edna's in Costa Rica.
Oh, I have a letter for you.
I think it's from your dad.
What does Edna do down there, anyway? Well, beside drinking Cuba Libres and avoiding winter, I'm sure I can't tell you.
Oh, Shelly, I believe you got some mail, too.
Oh.
Okay, what do we have here? Let's see.
Two cans of chili.
What's this? $1.
79.
And this is 99 cents By the time you read this, you'll be 30.
A card-carrying adult, living a life I can only dream about.
Oh, my God.
No bad news, I hope.
No, it's a letter that I wrote to myself when I was 15.
Kind of as a goof, you know, not to open until I was 30.
My dad said he found it when he was throwing out the NationaI Geographics.
Listen to this.
"You hold in your hand a link to the spirit world of ancient Mesopotamia.
"If you make five copies of this letter and promptly send them to five friends, "you will be showered with good fortune.
" Chain letter.
Haven't seen one of those for a while.
"Ignore this letter at your own peril.
" Yeah, right.
It's a long way from Grosse Pointe, isn't it? I'm really jealous of all the important things you've done See ya.
the glamorous places you've been.
Maggie? Know this, I never doubted you for a minute.
Maggie? Hmm? Whoever it was that said, "Give me a head with hair," neglected to add, "and a barber who knows what to do with it.
" Chris Stevens with a message of hope, citizens.
Lay down your Flowbees.
What's it been? Two years since the good barber, Earl, hit us below the sunbelt and split for Tampa? Well, the bad hair days are behind us.
'Cause I'm pleased to welcome Cicely's newest tradesman, Angelo Maxwell.
Bartenders and headshrinkers notwithstanding, nothing's more conducive to a good conversation than a visit to the pomade-scented bastion of civility, the neighborhood clip joint.
Early reviews feature superlatives usually reserved for the art of the pre-Raphaelites.
What price genius? Haircuts start at nine bones.
Oh, yeah, sure.
Well, I'm sorry, too.
I don't believe it.
What's wrong, H? That was the Edgecombe Lodge in Fairbanks.
I sent that deposit in two weeks ago.
They say they didn't receive it till yesterday.
What? We're too late.
They're booked to the rafters.
So much for the tavern owner's convention.
Well, it's not just that.
That was our one getaway weekend.
I don't care how great a parent you are, if you don't get a break once in a while, you can go majorly filbert.
What about another hotel? Well, according to this gentleman, every room in Fairbanks is booked through the 18th.
It just so happens that the All-Alaskan Logging Championship is the same week.
Oh, mega-bummer.
What luck.
Two thousand members in our association, it has to be our reservation that gets lost.
So, just a tad off the sides.
I mean if you have to err, err on the side of the length.
You know what I mean? Not a clue.
That's good.
I like that.
A little levity to make your customers feel at ease.
Unless you're willing to pay for the service, Mr.
Fleischman It's Dr.
Fleischman, actually.
Dr.
Fleischman, I'd appreciate a thorough shampooing before you show up.
Okay, well, I happen to have washed my hair yesterday, but, please, I'm serious, just an inch at the most, tops.
I'll give you the haircut you need.
If that's not acceptable, I got a customer waiting.
It's just Easy, you know, come on, I happen to be a little particular about my hair, if you don't mind.
So, tell me, why Cicely? And don't tell me you think haircuts are a growth industry up here.
No pun intended.
I needed a change.
Yeah? Chin down.
Change from what? Where are you from? I said, chin down.
Okay, sorry, I thought barbers liked to chat.
Hmm.
What? Hit your head? Hey, what is that? That's weird.
I hadn't noticed that.
That's like a bump.
Feels like a meningeal cyst.
What did you say? Meningeal cyst.
Meningeal cyst? Look, I'll tell you what, you don't play doctor and I won't do any marcels within 100 yards of your storefront, all right? Could be some tiny perforation or scar tissue letting it through the bone.
I'm very impressed.
You got yourself a barbershop and an HMO, all under one roof.
You don't want my opinion.
Fine.
Great.
Three years ago, Baton Rouge, I caught a cerebral aneurysm in a customer.
Guy drags his left foot a little, but he's alive today, thanks to me.
Look, no offense, but all I really want from this relationship is not to have hair down the back of my shirt when we're done, okay? So, have you ever gotten a bump somewhere and not known how you got it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all do.
So, Fleischman, look Okay, let me ask you this.
Your 15-year-old Fleischman, if he were to see you today, would he consider you a disappointment? I mean, on a good day, no.
I guess when I was 15, I just had all these grandiose visions.
Not very original.
I mean, conventional when you get right down to it, but what did you expect? I mean, you have to realize where I was growing up.
I mean, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, was never exactly the mecca for alternative lifestyle.
And I guess that's why I had to rebel.
But you know, I never wanted to be a lawyer.
I was doing that for other people.
You know, it just wasn't me.
Law? Wait a minute.
What are you talking about? You're telling me you studied law? You know, I did two semesters at Michigan.
So, wait a minute, what? How come I don't know anything about this? The point is, Fleischman, I just don't think that my teenage Maggie O'Connell would be impressed how things turned out, you know.
She expected me to be some kind of heavy hitter by now, ensconced in a penthouse with a rich husband and 2.
3 children.
She thought life was one long romance.
God, H.
Are you going to cook all night? No, but this oxtail stew is, just as soon as I add a little liquid.
Jesus! Holling? I'll get some ice.
Oh! I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry, Holling.
You? You didn't do anything.
Oh, wow.
Finally, I thought you were going to sleep all day.
What did you do with all the Doobie Brothers albums? It's you.
It's me.
Yeah, well, I've had a few surprises myself.
Like finding out this is where you live.
What the heck are these things? Compact disks.
Who are these people? Queen Latifah, Concrete Blonde, Yanni Live At The Acropolis? Tell me.
The eyelashes are yours, right? Why am I doing this? I shouldn't be doing this to myself.
What's the matter with your hair? What do you mean? It's kind of flat or something.
Okay, this isn't healthy.
Right? This kind of self-introspection is obsessive.
I like the place.
It's rustic.
Kind of reminds me of the place on Lake Huron.
Oh, yeah.
You know, it does, doesn't it? Duh.
That was a summer house.
This is where you live.
Well, wait a minute, let's not just run the house down.
I mean, I think we've been rather happy here.
And who was that dork you were with last night? Tell me that's not your guy.
Fleischman? Well, my guy.
No, I don't think I'd use that terminology.
That's a relief.
But I wouldn't call him a dork, either.
All right, all right, he's not exactly the kind of guy, you, we, I would have gone for in high school.
Hey, you in there? Yeah.
Hi, come on in! Hey.
Hey.
Who's here? Well, nobody.
Actually, nobody.
I was just kind of talking to myself.
All right, well, I just wanted to bring this back.
Oh, thanks.
Okay, you can just put that right there.
Wow, I tell you this pottery's not what it's cracked up to be.
My best piece imploded right before reaching orbital velocity.
Hmm.
He's hot.
I might break down and buy one, you know, 'cause, spinning wheel, very meditative.
Kind of weird, but a real fox.
You okay? Yeah.
All right.
Hang by your thumbs.
What? Hang By Your Thumbs, Bob and Ray, old radio heroes.
Oh.
Never mind, you all right? Yeah.
Okay, see you later.
Okay, bye.
Why didn't you ask him to stay? He's righteous.
No.
He's just a nice guy.
That doesn't hurt, either.
So, what's the road less trod upon like? You must be the only lawyer within 100 miles.
You did become a lawyer, didn't you? Not exactly.
What exactly do you do? Well, I'm a bush pilot.
No, I mean your real job.
Chris in the Morning? Hey, all the live long day.
You're Angelo, right? I'd like to run an ad on your show.
Well, weren't you listening? I practically ran one for you.
All I heard was a lot of incoherent babble.
That's why I want my own ad.
Okay.
All right, I can do that.
Angelo, everybody's really excited to see that pole spinning again.
No, hey, I'm serious.
You know, you're the talk of the town.
Dexterity like yours, that goes a long way around here.
You got nothing better to do than follow me? Time was, when being a good barber meant something.
Hasn't been that way for ages.
You'd know all about that, Mr.
DJ.
Bet you're a big fan of that David Crosby.
"Almost cut my hair.
"Almost cut my hair.
It happened just the other day.
" Yeah, yeah.
Crosby, Stills and Nash, right.
It was really those damn teabags from over in England.
The Beatles, The Stones, Cream.
The '60s.
Yeah.
I can see how a barber would have a real slack period.
Slack period? It was the battle of Chancellorsville.
Twenty thousand men dead after the first hour.
I should have gotten out after A Hard Day's Night.
Well, I never thought of the destruction of the barber profession as a byproduct of counterculture.
I mean, long hair.
It's come and it's gone, I don't know, a dozen times.
Don't you think? It's not just hair length, it's the wholesale breakdown of values.
The decline of goods and services.
The death of personal accountability.
Yeah, but you can't blame all that on John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Why am I wasting my breath? Look at you.
You're exactly what I'm talking about.
Forget the ad.
You're the last person I'd want promoting my shop.
You You make me want to throw up.
Hey, Shelly.
You know, you don't have to go down in there.
You can just come to the edge and dump stuff.
Oh, I'm not dumping, Ed.
I'm looking for something I threw away by mistake while I was at Ruth-Anne's.
Oh.
Well, what is it? I'll help you.
It's a letter.
You know, one of those year-end tax dealies.
Only I used it for hoops.
It's okay, Ed.
You don't have to help me.
Oh, I don't mind, Shelly.
Tell you the truth, I kind of like the dump.
Any identifying features? Well, it's a paper ball about yea big.
Actually, Ed, it's not a tax thing, it's a chain letter.
Since I deep-sixed it, we lost our Fairbanks reservations, Holling's gotten a second-degree burn and this morning I had to jump-start the truck.
Whoa.
Why did I have to dis fate? Eugene's suspenders.
I wonder why he threw these away? Oh.
Clip's broken.
I hate freaky things like this.
In junior high, everybody was into ouija boards.
Freaked me out.
I mean, maybe it's all moose caca, but what if it isn't? Maurice's Weapons of Moroland display.
I must have asked him four different times if he wanted this.
Bingo! A bunch of gnarly old deli meats.
These are from Ruth-Anne's store.
We gotta be close.
"Ignore this letter at your own peril.
" That's it! Ed, you found it! Cool.
See, right here.
Where the bulge is.
Does it look like broken skin? Your hand's in the way.
All right.
Well, just take a close look and first tell me if there's any discoloration.
And then tell me, does it look like a bruise? It's flesh-colored.
All right, feel it, will you? Marilyn.
I don't want to touch it.
It's not going to hurt you, believe me.
Okay, I just I really I need to know, does it seem like you can pull it away from the bone, or does it seem stuck there? It's stuck.
And the morphology is oval, would you say? Octagon.
What? Well, kind of oval-octagon.
All right, look.
Look at these drawings here.
Does it remotely look like any of these? No.
You're sure? This is great, this is just If this were anyone else's noggin, I could walk in there, take a number 10 scalpel, excise it and I'd be done with it.
Now I'm gonna have to fly to Anchorage to see a doctor for probably nothing more than a sebaceous buildup.
An innocuous growth, I gotta fly to Anchorage.
Angelo says it's a meningeal cyst.
Angelo? I don't believe this, he told you that? I had a cut and a hot oil treatment.
You know, I just, I I don't believe this.
That, you know, that confirms every single cliché about blabbermouth barbers.
Please tell me, what gives that man the right to think he can just shoot his mouth off like that? He knows heads.
I did it! I finally got my letters off.
Uh-huh.
My chain letters, H.
It wasn't easy getting my picks down to five.
Mmm-hmm.
Hey.
Oh, you again.
Is this yours? Mmm-hmm.
Hey, did you know I have That's like 20 times around the world.
That's pretty impressive, huh? Oh, yeah, real impressive.
Oh, what? You know, what? What's wrong? It's just that it's not the same as going around the world.
Look, I'll tell you something.
Anybody can pony up a ticket on a jumbo, but I fly this plane.
Do you know, just like you always dreamed you would.
I know, I know.
I just I mean, I thought I would have gotten this stuff out of my system by now.
What stuff? You know, the tomboy thing.
I don't really see this as a masculine-feminine issue.
Look, I don't think you understand what an important job you I have.
Do you know? Hundreds of people rely on us every day for vital services.
Their economic lives are at stake.
Hey, Maggie.
For your Anchorage run.
Sixty-one issues of Cahiers du Cinéma.
A book dealer down there is gonna take them on consignment for me.
Vital services? I thought I'd keep the Godard interviews.
Well, you know, sentimental purposes.
Right.
Whoa.
What is it? Maggie.
What? You know.
You see something? Really? Kind of a luminous egg.
Wow.
Oh, I'm sorry.
You probably want to be alone with your manifestation.
No.
See you later.
Bye.
Cool jacket.
Uh-huh.
Well, yeah.
Any idea when we can get a copy? You will? Bitching.
Thanks.
Oh, yeah.
Thanks again for calling.
Hey.
Have you ever heard of the Gault Mille, Mille Something or other guide? A tour book? Yeah, the Gault Millau.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
That's sounds right.
Well, that's a good guidebook.
It saved my ass once in Aix-en-Provence.
I had to find a brasserie that would feed Guess what? We're gonna be in it.
The Brick? The newest Alaskan edition.
That was the editor on the phone.
Traditional Alaskan cuisine amidst a setting of antiques.
How about that? It's about time we got a little press attention around here.
Oh, wow.
It's the chain letter, it's got to be.
I just sent them out! Don't give up on those Fairbanks rez's yet, H.
Could be we have the whole Babylonian empire on our side.
Hey, Angelo.
You know, I was thinking about what you were saying earlier about the trashing of Western civilization.
Yeah, and I was thinking maybe you and I, we just need to view this in a broader, historical context.
You know, like post-war boom, or You know, the decline of agricultural economy.
You know, US involvement in foreign conflicts.
What do you think about that? Morning, Chris.
Morning.
There we go.
A little sailor's double hitch.
Yeah, yeah.
We're done.
It didn't come off the bone very easily, did it? No.
It was pretty stubborn, which pretty much rules out a sebaceous cyst.
Yeah.
I think we're dealing with a neurofibroma, you know.
I mean, possibly extradural tissue fiber, something with the external lining, obviously, right? Possibly.
Well, let's just have a look and see.
Okay.
Harvard Medical School? Mmm-hmm.
What brings you to Alaska? It's one of these trade-off programs.
They pay for my education, and I work it off here.
Yeah, I've heard of those.
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, though.
I've heard of guys getting stuck here three and four years.
Somehow, Massachusetts General struck a deal to get me back next fall.
MGH? You're going there? Uh-huh.
They're holding a residency.
Works out perfectly with my fiancée at Tufts next semester.
Oh, that's great.
I mean, no offense, but you seem a little young for a residency.
Twenty-three.
No Doogie Howser jokes, please.
I've heard them all.
What? Was it an accelerated program? Two years undergrad and three years med school.
Not that I recommend it.
Didn't leave much time for a social life.
Signing bonus does take the sting away, I gotta say.
Signing bonus? All right, Dr.
Rojas, Rudy I have to apologize for taking so much time for something that's obviously so minor but I'm not sure I'd call this minor, Joel.
I'll need a biopsy to be sure, but every indication is that this is a malignancy.
It's a boy, Mrs.
Fleischman.
A beautiful baby boy.
Give your Aunt Doreen a big kiss, bar mitzvah boy.
We expect big things from you, Joel.
Very big things.
You're reading a book? So what? It's Saturday night.
You're going to tell me that has no significance in the 1990s? Listen, I am sick of listening to you.
I have had it! I'm sick of listening to you, to me, to us.
You know, you act like I'm some kind of underachiever who does what she does 'cause she couldn't cut it doing anything really challenging.
You call it doing your own thing.
I call it compromising yourself into nonexistence.
I am not listening to this.
I am not gonna drive myself crazy because I haven't lived up to some Town & Country image of what you think success is.
How do you think I feel? I expected to be somebody, you know? Meaning what? Billing somebody in five-minute increments? Driving an E-Class Mercedes? At least you could have had a family.
Like that's the be-all and end-all of everything.
I have had it! I am not gonna listen to you anymore! Hey, I'm not finished with you! Hello, Mr.
Maxwell.
Oh, Ruth-Anne sent me over.
This coupon you used to purchase that wintergreen air freshener, well, it turns out it's expired.
So you owe us 56 cents, but you don't have to pay us now.
You can come by and pay us anytime.
That's all right.
I don't like to be beholden to anybody.
Thanks.
That's some head of hair you've got there.
I'm real sorry.
What are you apologizing for? Well, Chris told me you don't approve of long hair and it ruined your life.
But I just want you to know that I have this for professional reasons, on account of I'm a shaman in training.
I don't disapprove of all long hair.
And yours is resplendent.
Have a seat.
Well, what for? I'll take care of those split ends for you.
On the house.
Oh, well.
Sit down.
Right.
So, you're a friend of Chris Stevens, huh? Chris, yeah.
He might even be my best friend.
What do you know about him? Well, Chris likes poetry.
Shoots a mean game of eight ball.
He's got high blood pressure.
He's on some kind of medication.
Oh, of course, you realize I'm only telling you this in case he fainted or something, and you were around, you could help him.
Don't feel bad about talking.
People tend to open up in the barber's chair.
Oh, okay.
Well, he was in prison.
Is that so? Yep.
Armed robbery.
Convenience store.
I guess he planned the whole job.
Well, if the shoe fits.
Hi, Marilyn.
Sorry I'm late.
I got stuck on hold with my medical insurer.
I hope I didn't keep him waiting.
He's not here.
Who, Joel? Uh-huh.
I had a 2:15, right? He missed his 1:30, too.
Any idea where he is? Maybe he's gone out on the ice.
Hmm? He thinks it's his time.
Pull your vehicle to the side of the road and turn off the engine.
Can I see your driver's license and registration, please? Yeah.
The registration is over here, so It's a friend of mine, Chris Stevens.
He let me borrow it.
You can check.
I clocked you going All right, I'd like you to step away from the bike, please, over here to the white line.
I want you to spread your arms out and walk along the white line.
Hey, I haven't been drinking.
Okay.
You know, you can You can write me the tickets if you want, but I got to tell you I'm probably not gonna show up.
Turn around, please.
I'm not trying to be a wiseass or anything.
I just I know you fellows have to schedule these court appearances on your days off, and I'm just trying to save you the trouble, you know.
You can spend some quality time with your loved ones.
God knows that's important.
You ever seen anybody who's ridden on their skull for 300 feet? Hey, Officer, I'm a doctor.
I've seen it all.
And not enough.
Look, can I ask you a question? Mmm-hmm.
How old are you? Twenty-seven.
You got your whole life ahead of you.
You be careful now.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I mean it.
Hey, Ed.
Can I get some quarters? The change machine in the laundromat's on the fritz.
Sure thing.
Actually, I just cracked open a new roll.
Why don't you give me a box of Snow Caps? We'll make it legit.
All righty.
You know, it's a good thing you're here, Shelly.
You were short on postage for those letters you dropped off the other day.
Well, what do you mean, short on postage? Well, you used postcard stamps.
So you were short on all five.
What are you telling me, Ed? You sent them out anyway, didn't you? Sorry, Shelly.
The post office is pretty strict about insufficient postage.
My chain letters.
They never went out? You can still make the 4:00 pickup.
But we got the news about the guidebook, Randi stopped teething, and my chain letters never went out.
Would you like to buy some more stamps? What does it all mean, Ed? Hey, Angelo.
Anybody home? Hey? Did a little baking here.
Got some crowberry tarts, six pack of Heine.
Hey, there's the man, Angelo.
Hands on top of your head, Mr.
DJ.
Oh, man, come Look, will you please just put that piece down, okay? You don't fool me, Stevens.
You're a con.
Now get back out there in the light and empty your pockets.
So somebody told you I did time.
So? It's not like somebody had to tell me.
It reeks out of you.
I've been running from people like you all my life.
Hoodlums, punks, torpedoes! Well, that's going to stop.
Enough.
Basta! I'm not running anymore.
Please, Angelo, can I just get up? Youngest barber in the history of the Park Sheraton.
People said I had scissor technique that comes along once in a lifetime.
Did a trim on Arthur Godfrey that would make you cry.
And just like that, it was all over.
Look, what did that have to do with me, man? I wasn't even born yet.
One of our customers at the shop was Mr.
Albert Anastasia.
The Albert Anastasia? Capo di tutti capi of murder, incorporated.
I'll never forget it.
October 25, 1957.
Mr.
Anastasia was the next chair over.
Two of Vito Genovese's guys walk in and blow him away.
I looked one of them right in the eye.
Wow, man.
I was one of the first in the Barber Protection Program.
They got a relocation program for barbers, huh? As if you didn't know a lot of those goombahs got whacked in the chair? Aside from waiters, barber's seen more gangland murders than anybody.
They hit Brenda, the manicurist, on an outcall.
Jimmy, the shoeshine boy, took a header off the Triborough Bridge, Christmas day, 1961.
Man, that's That's grievous.
You have no conception.
Never putting down roots.
Always looking over your shoulder.
Well, you dish out a lot of greenstick fractures to everybody who brings you baked goods? You put this witch hazel on your shins.
You got any contacts in the life, you tell them Angelo's not afraid.
They stole my future.
There's nothing they can do to me worse than that.
Hi.
I thought you weren't gonna deal with me anymore.
Yeah, well, I changed my mind.
How did you know where to find me? Hey, you know, who do you think invented these stakeouts? Huh? I'm waiting for Chris to come home.
I just want one more look.
Yeah, you know I can just see you trying to fit all that Ethan Allen furniture into that trailer.
You don't know me as well as you think you do.
And you know me? Look, do you think all my aspirations stopped at 15? I know you didn't become a lawyer.
Well, I didn't shrivel up and die.
God, look, there are a thousand things I want to do with my life.
I had ambitions that make yours pale.
You didn't accomplish any of those things, either.
Maybe not 100%.
I think I hear his motorcycle.
Look, I didn't come here to argue with you.
I didn't.
I came here to tell you that I actually think you're right about some things.
My job, flying.
It's great, but it's not enough anymore.
Here he comes.
It's the dork.
What's he doing on Chris' bike? Fleischman? Fleischman! Hey.
What are you doing? Just out for a little ride.
You're hurt.
What happened to you? Oh, nothing.
Everything.
I don't know, I don't think I've ever felt this alive in my life.
Look at his face.
Yeah, yeah, Fleischman, you look terrible.
I know.
It's so amazing.
I actually laid it down in a curve, right, and then I hit a pile of moose droppings, believe it or not.
The back wheel goes out of course, and, I don't know, I'm okay.
Chris here? No, I don't think so.
All right, well, look, obviously I'm sorry, tell him, you know, and I'll pay for any damages.
Can I give you a ride? No.
No, thanks.
I have a truck.
Are you sure you're okay, Fleischman? Yeah, yeah.
I'll see you tomorrow? Yeah, yeah, night.
Do you want some more coffee, Walt? No, thanks, I'm good.
Something wrong, Shelly? I guess what happens when life really isn't in our hands.
There's nothing we can do.
That's a little fatalistic, isn't it? I don't know about that, but it sure is a drag.
I mean, things are gonna go their own way no matter what you do.
Predetermination.
It's been debated for centuries.
Hey, if Calvin was right, if everything is preordained, why make plans? Go to the doctor, go to work.
Hell, why do anything? Well, if the deck isn't stacked, then why do things happen the way they do? Destiny is not a matter of chance, it's a matter of choice.
It isn't something to be waited for.
It's something to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan.
Sensible man, although he was pretty atavistic on Darwin.
Huh? I'm talking about free will.
Descartes, Locke.
That crowd.
Let me tell you, on Wall Street, if you convince yourself that fate rules, you're going to be hocking your wingtips in a hurry.
Of course, it never hurts to carry a lucky bottle cap.
I've had my Nehi for years.
Hey, Marilyn, what do you say? What do you know? Gorgeous day, huh? You ever noticed how the light is this time of year? It's almost like clear, like cut crystal.
You know? Even sounds are sharper.
They're crisper.
It's like the whole world is in bold relief.
Like Like we're all just here for a moment, but, boy, what a beautiful moment it is.
What's this? From Dr.
Rojas.
Dr.
Rojas? Extradural meningioma.
Unusual, but benign.
Result of excretion of meninges from skull.
Nothing to worry about.
Yes! Yes! Why didn't you tell me he called? It's in your box.
Marilyn, a message of this magnitude.
What You don't just put it in the inbox.
Don't you realize that I've been taking S-curves, do you know this? At 70 miles an hour without my helmet.
I mean, I could have been creamed, I could have been I could have been roadkill on the Alcan, Marilyn.
Right.
You're right.
Got it.
Morning.
I was wondering if you had time to squeeze in a haircut.
You? Yeah, maybe a shave.
What do you say? I don't take instructions.
Okay.
Hey, Wilbur, Earl.
Chris.
Nice day.
Not too hot.
Yeah, it is.
Shelly? Hey, babe.
I've got our stuff packed.
Maybe I overdid it? Wait a minute? Did those people from Edgecombe call back? Nope, I just decided we ought to go anyway.
Randi's already settled in with Doris.
Oh, Shelly, we can't drive all the way to Fairbanks to just show up without reservations.
You think the pioneers who came to Alaska made reservations first? No way.
They went out there and made their own manifold destiny.
How's that? You know.
Wagons ho! We've got to get looser, Holling.
Take some risks.
What happens to the goalie who always guesses left? I don't know, but I do know that no vacancy generally means no vacancy.
So, maybe there'll be a cancellation, maybe we'll sleep in the car.
This time of year? In Fairbanks? Shelly, a cold front moves in, ice and fog, we'd freeze to death.
Well, you never know.
Shelly, honey.
That's what makes it so slamming, H.
Come on, I want to hit the road.
All right.
Give me a minute.
Fleischman, hey.
Hey.
Congratulations on your head.
Thanks.
Yeah.
Boy, you're cheery.
Just happy I'm alive, are you? Well, of course, but there's something else.
I've decided to run for mayor.
Mayor? Yes.
Of Cicely? No, Fleischman, of Buenos Aires.
Of course, Cicely.
And you can be the first to sign the petition.
I have to have 50 names to get on the ballot.
Well, it's a bit sudden, isn't it? No, actually, actually, I've been doing a lot of reevaluating, a lot of reflecting.
Don't you ever do that? Oh, yeah, I'd say, from time to time.
Yeah, well, I guess you can say I sat myself down and had a good long talk.
Yeah, well, you couldn't be any worse than Edna.
Well, there are a lot of things I want to do.
I mean, there are no bike paths, the electrical grid is obsolete, and Strayhorn should've have been paved three years ago.
Well, allow me to be the first to wish you the best of luck.
Thank you.
So? Okay, do I print or write my name? Print and then you write.
Chris in the Morning here, fresh from the chair of maestro Angelo Maxwell.
All clipped and combed, smooth and scented.
I'm primed and ready to face the first day of the rest of my life.
What a journey it is.
You never know what's going to be in that bend in the road.
Will it be the tiger or the lady? Ali Baba's treasure or a cement overcoat? You know that signpost up ahead just might be a barber's pole.
But take heart, 'cause I'm gonna paraphrase the words of Joe Campbell who said, "Nothing is exciting if you know what the outcome is going to be.
" The next time you read this you will be 45.
I hope I didn't catch you during a midlife crisis.
You'll be 45.
That's almost half a century.
Dear Maggie, I'm not even going to guess about where you are, who you're with, what you're doing.
In fact, I don't even want those answers.