The Honeymooners (1955) s04e05 Episode Script

A Matter of Life and Death

With the stars and Oh, hi, Alice.
Hi, Trix.
Hey, where have you been all day? I came down twice and couldn't find you.
Oh, don't ask, Trix.
What a day I've had.
I left the house right after Ralph this morning.
You know that dog my mom has? Oh.
you mean Ginger, the big collie? Yeah, that's the one.
Well, the poor dog's been very sick, you know, and it's worried my mom something terrible.
Oh So, she asked me the first thing this morning if I'd take the dog down to the veterinarian's and see what was wrong with him.
Mm-hmm.
Well, what'd the vet say? Well, he said I'd have to leave her there and he'd send me the report later.
I told him to send it by messenger, not by mail.
I don't want Ralph finding it in the mailbox.
Why? Well, you know how he feels about that dog always snapping at him and everything.
Oh, yeah.
So I don't want him to know I'm spending any money on it.
Trixie, don't breathe this to a soul, not even to Ed.
Guess how much it's costing me? How much? Ten dollars.
Ten dollars! To examine a dog? Isn't that something? I went with Ralph the other day when he had a checkup at the doctor's, and it only cost him three dollars.
Hey, is there anything wrong with Ralph? Oh, no, you know, just the regular checkup.
Oh, yeah.
RALPH: Oh, hiya, hon.
What's the matter with me, Trixie? Don't I get nothing? I'm too tired.
That's another reason.
( laughs sardonically ) Very comical.
Save your jokes for the butcher.
My dinner ready yet? On the stove.
It'll be ready in just a few minutes.
Look, Alice, I'll see you later, honey.
Wait a minute, Trix, I'll go with you.
I wanna go up on the roof and get some wash off the line.
Ralph, don't let the soup boil over.
I'll be down in a minute.
Okay, hon.
I tell you, Ralph.
You got a sweet kid there, a sweet kid.
She's a doozy.
Hey, what do you say we do a little bowling tonight? Get a little practice shots in there before the match? Nah I don't feel like bowling.
You know, I didn't say anything, but I haven't been feeling well lately.
As a matter of fact, Alice took me over to see the doctor the other day and he gave me an examination.
He's a very good doctor, that Dr.
, uh? What's his name? Uh, well, I don't know his name, but did you hear what he did for Callahan, the plumber? No, what'd he do? He kept Callahan alive until his wife caught up on the insurance payments.
Very fine doctor.
Gave me an examination, you know.
Well, what seems to be the trouble? Where does it hurt? Oh, there's no pain or anything.
I'm just tired.
I don't know, I don't feel like doing anything.
I sit around and mope ( knocking on door ) Yeah? Does Mrs.
Kramden live here? Yeah.
The doctor told me to deliver this report here.
Oh, I'll take that.
The doctor told me to give it to nobody else but Mrs.
Kramden.
I'm Mr.
Kramden! Your hand is very dirty.
Well, there it is, Norton, the doctor's report.
I sure hope it's good news, Ralph.
Well, I hope there's a little something wrong with me.
I'd like to lay off for a couple weeks.
What's the matter, Ralph? What's the matter? Get a load of this: "Dear Mrs.
Kramden, "in compliance with your request, "I am sending this report by messenger rather than mail, "because you said you didn't want your husband to see it.
"I'm afraid it's bad news.
"A condition of arterial monochromia exists.
"This is a rare disease that usually affects only boxers.
"The first visible signs of the disease "will be a falling out of the hair and irritability.
"There is a tendency for the tongue to turn blue, "and he'll tire easily.
"This will be accompanied by chills and he'll spend most of his time near the stove.
"I have enclosed some pills.
"Give him one a day in a saucer of warm milk.
"Be affectionate.
"Make him comfortable, "and he may live for as long as six months.
" Well, that's it, Norton.
Six months I'll be dead.
Listen, don't get excited, will you? Doctors can be wrong, too, you know.
How about a friend of mine.
Doctor examined him, gave him only six months to live, too.
Boy, he made a monkey out of that doctor.
What happened? He lived for almost eight months! What difference does it make? Six or eight months?! Look, Norton, you got to promise me one thing.
I don't want you to tell Alice anything about this.
I don't want her to find out a thing about it.
All right, all right.
But what's gonna happen after six months? She's gonna notice you're not coming home nights.
You know, I never thought I'd go out like this.
I haven't even tasted life yet.
My whole life has been a struggle, ever since I was a kid.
I started out delivering newspapers.
Then I got a job with the A & P, delivering groceries.
Then the depression came.
I got a job with the W.
P.
A.
, shoveling snow to eat.
That's how I met Alice-- she used to hand out the shovels.
One thing led to another and we got married.
Got a job on a bus and I've been struggling ever since.
still struggling! ( chuckles wryly ) I come into this world with pink cheeks and a healthy pair of lungs and a lot of big ideas.
How am I going out of it? A bald head blue tongue, and a saucer of warm milk with a pill in it.
( blows loudly ) Well You know, when I think of poor Alice.
In six months she's gonna be left all alone.
Six months, left alone to fend for herself.
That reminds me, Norton.
Do you know I've never made out a will? If I only got six months to go, the first thing I gotta do is make out a will.
Oh, yeah.
Hey, making out a will is pretty important.
I mean, you wouldn't want all this stuff put in escrow.
And by the way, Norton, I won't forget you in my will.
I'm leaving you my bowling shoes.
Boy, thanks, pal.
You know, I was just gonna go out and buy myself a new pair of bowling shoes.
This couldn't happen at a better time.
"To whom it may concern, "I, Ralph Kramden, "leave my wife, Alice Kramden, "all of my worldly possessions.
I leave her my" I leave her my, uh Norton, I haven't got any worldly possessions.
I'm going in six months and I've nothing to leave her.
Not a cent.
I gotta leave her something.
Hey.
Hey, wait a minute.
I just got an idea.
Look, as long as you're going anyway, why don't you sell your body to science? If they pay by the pound, she'll be left a millionaire! Why don't you shut up? Hey, I just thought of something else.
You know, you got a very interesting story there.
A story of a man doomed to six months to live.
Why don't you do like a friend of mine did? He had the hiccups for three weeks, and he sold his story to a magazine, you know, The American Weekly.
Got $5,000 for it! $5,000 for a story about hiccups? Yeah.
I ought to be a cinch to get $10,000 dying! This is a real human interest story.
People want to read about this! Everybody'll read it.
I can see it now, the first installment.
The title of it: "Doomed Man Has Only Six Months to Go.
" Uh, I think that's a little lengthy for the title.
They'll probably chop it down, make it shorter, like, uh "In Six Months, Blimp Takes Off.
" Mr.
Parrish, there's a man outside and I can't get rid of him.
What man? He's a nut! Says he's got a story for you and he won't go away till he tells it to you.
Well, just tell him I can't see him.
No, wait a minute, Dick.
You said you need a new lead story.
Maybe this guy has got something.
All right, Shirley, send him in.
All right, Mr.
Kramden.
You can come in now.
Thank you very much.
All right, we haven't got much time.
What's your story? ( clears throat ) This may come as a terrible shock to you gentlemen, but you're looking at a man that has only six months to live.
All right, but what's your story? That's it.
I'm gonna die in six months.
You could put the story in your magazine.
Be a riot.
Be better than the one you got in there now about "I Was a Mambo Dancer for the FBI.
" Believe me.
Look, I'm sorry for your trouble.
We can't use it.
But you gotta use it.
I don't want the money for myself.
I want to give it to my wife.
I'm gonna die in six months and I got nothing to leave her.
I told you, I'm sorry.
We can't use it.
Yes, sir.
Uh, ah, wait a minute.
Dick, this may be just what we're looking for.
What do you mean? The heart angle.
"Doomed man finds out he's only got six months to live.
Not concerned about himself.
Thinks only of his wife.
" We'll play it up big.
Run the story every week for six months.
Everybody'll be waiting for him to drop dead.
Sure, this is a natural.
Think of the pictures we could run.
Look at that face-- it's pitiful.
I tell you, we can make this guy a national hero.
He'll be another Davey Crockett.
Are you sure you only have six months to live? Oh, yes, sir.
Honest.
You know, if you were just making this up to collect some money, that would be a pretty serious offense.
And if we printed this story, and you didn't die in six months, we could be laughed out of the business.
You know what we'd do then? We'd have you thrown in jail 20 years for fraud.
I wouldn't lie to you about anything like this.
Not about dying.
Here, I got the proof of it here.
Here's the doctor's report.
Hey, Dick, there's a great angle there.
When his tongue starts turning blue, we'll do a color spread on him.
Shirley, call the shop.
Tell them to get set up.
We got a new lead story for the next issue.
Well, we're gonna do your story, Mr.
Kramden.
Thank you.
Right up to the minute you drop dead.
Ralph? Ralph? What's the matter? What's the matter? What is the meaning of this, Ralph? And what is this crazy story about you having six months to live? It's not crazy, Alice.
I got less than six months to live.
That's why I sold the story to them.
I didn't have any money to leave you after I was gone.
I sold them the story, they gave me $5,000 for it, and I put it in the bank under your name.
I don't know what you're talking about, Ralph.
All I know is that you are not dying.
Gotta be convinced, huh? All right.
Here's the doctor's report.
( laughing ) Well, aren't you the merry widow? You'll probably be hysterical at my funeral.
I was wondering what happened to this report, Ralph.
The doctor said he sent it over.
"Blue tongue, bald head, saucer of milk" Oh, Ralph, this is a riot! This is a riot! We'll see how much of a riot it is when you've got to finish the payments on the ice box.
Ralph, you're not dying.
This report happens to be from Dr.
Morton, the veterinarian.
This is about Mom's dog, Ginger.
You mean I'm not dying? Of course not.
"Arterial monochromia" happens to be a disease that comes from scratching for fleas.
I'm not gonna die.
Alice, this is like being born again! You don't know what it is to think you're gonna die in six months.
I'm gonna live.
Alice, we're gonna celebrate.
We're going to every Chinese restaurant in town! I want you to know money is no object.
You know the $5,000 I got for the story? We're gonna spend every cent of it celebrating! I'll be right out.
( yelling ): Ralph! What's the matter, Ralph? The $5,000 that I got for the story! I told them I was gonna die in six months.
Now I ain't gonna die.
I got the money under false pretenses.
That's fraud.
But, Ralph I can get 20 years.
Ee-yaah! Oh, what'd I do with those smelling salts? Hi, Ralph.
Hey, Ralph, I got this here article Boy, what a surprise Ralph? Hey! Ralph! Ralphy, boy Ralph, speak to me.
You hear me? ( sobbing ) He's gone.
He didn't even last the six months.
He didn't last the six months! The poor little kid.
The poor little fat kid! Well, you won't be driving the bus anymore, Ralph.
( sobbing ) Not the Madison Avenue bus, anyway.
From now on it'll be, "step to the rear of the paradise express!" ( moaning ) Never again will you wear these little socks.
Never again will you wear this little cap.
Never again will you wear these little pants.
Boy, I'm glad you're here.
You hold his head while I put this under his nose.
It's no use, Alice.
It's no use.
He must be approaching the pearly gates right now.
At this time, they're probably tearing down part of the fence to let him in.
All right, Alice.
( sobbing ) Eeeey! Ralph, you're alive.
Just a moment ago, you were stone cold dead on the floor! I wasn't dead! I fainted.
I'm not going to die! You mean, never? I don't mean never! If I don't die in six months, they'll see that I do.
It was all a mistake.
There's nothing wrong with me.
That report was about a dog.
Well, that's wonderful, Ralph.
That's good news.
What are you so glum about? I just told ya.
Now that I ain't gonna die, they're gonna kill me.
Ralph, there's only one thing you can do.
Only one thing.
You just gotta go down there, give them back the $5,000 and tell them the truth.
They don't care about the $5,000.
This installment is on the stands now.
They'll be laughed out of the business.
What are they gonna put in the next installment? "Bus Driver Won't Die from Scratching Fleas"? ( laughs ) Shut up! I gotta think of something, Alice.
I gotta think.
Oh, don't think, Ralph.
Don't think.
Because if you think, Ralph, you're only gonna get into trouble.
Oh, you gonna get yours.
Leave me alone! "I'm gonna get in trouble.
" I got a choice of dying in six months or getting twenty years, and she says I'm gonna get in trouble.
There must be some way out of this.
Wait a minute.
What, what? Suppose a doctor saw this story in a magazine, see, and flew into New York, and was the only doctor could cure arterial monochromia? That ought to satisfy them down at the magazine office.
Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute! Where you gonna find a doctor that can cure arterial monocrumnanee? You haven't even got it! I don't mean a real doctor.
I mean a guy who pretends to be a doctor.
If I could get some friend of mine, somebody I know real well, that could do this for me.
Somebody I trust.
Norton? Would you do this for me? Don't touch me, Ralph.
I'm sterile.
If you'll just wait in here.
Mr.
Gersh will be right with you, Doctor.
Please don't touch me, nurse, I'm sterile.
Will you stop that sterile stuff? For once in your life, will you be sensible? Do you realize if they think this is a hoax, I can get 20 years?! Well, Mr.
Kramden! Mr.
Kramden, this story of yours is certainly selling magazines.
The whole country is Kramden conscious.
Wait'll they see the next installment.
That's what I come down to see you about.
There's not gonna be any next installment.
What do you mean? ( clears throat ) Well, you see, I'm not gonna die in six months.
What?! ( stammers ) I want you to meet a friend of mine.
This is Dr.
Norton.
Dr.
Norton, this is Mr.
Gersh.
He's a doctor.
How do you do, Doctor? Ah, please, sterile.
Will you stop that.
Ah, you see, here's what happened.
Dr.
Norton is the only doctor in the country who can cure arterial monochromia.
So he saw the story in the magazine, and he flew into New York and he's gonna take care of me and I'm gonna be cured, so I'll just return this check to you.
Thank you very much, we have to go now.
Wait a minute! Come back here.
Anything wrong? Anything wrong? ( laughs ) Kramden, I'm certainly glad that you don't work on my magazine.
Here you've got a great story right under your nose, and you can't see it.
Don't you realize what this means? This doctor here reads your story in our magazine and flies in to save your life.
What a follow-up this is going to make.
" American Weekly Saves Man's Life.
" Next week we're going to do a story on Dr.
Norton and his cure for arterial, uh, monochromia.
You can't do that.
We'll do the whole thing.
A spread with pictures.
Oh, you couldn't use any pictures-- he's very modest.
Oh, I wouldn't mind a few pictures.
Will you stop?! You'll see, Mr.
Kramden.
You'll stay out of this, please? Thank you very much.
Now, if you'll come here, Dr.
Norton.
I'd like to ask you a few questions about your life.
Now, tell me, what school did you attend? Uh, P.
S.
31, Oyster Bay.
No, I, uh I mean what medical school? Oh.
Uh, Oxford.
Oh, in England.
Is that where it is? You mean you went to school at Oxford and you don't know it's in England? Well, tell you the truth, it's so foggy over there, I don't know where it was! Dr.
Norton, just exactly where do you practice medicine? Oh, I don't have to practice it, I know it.
Dr.
Norton, you know what I think? I think that you're no doctor.
You're a phony! Mr.
Kramden, this whole thing is a hoax! It's bad enough for you to come here and try to dupe this magazine with your phony story.
But to give false hope to poor Mr.
Kramden here, who has only six months to live is unforgivable.
You know where you belong? You belong in prison! And I'm going to see that you're sent there for the rest of your life, if possible! I don't want to spend the rest of my life in jail! Oh, will you shut up? Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.
Mr.
Gersh, if there's anyone pulling a hoax, it's me.
What are you talking about? Well, it's a long story.
You'd better sit down.
You better sit down, too, Norton.
I can't, it's not sterile.
Will you stop with that sterile?! Well, it's like this.
See, my wife had a dog.
That is, her mother had a dog.
And they took this dog to the hospital the same time they took me.
Ralph, will you stop eating the blueberry pie and finish telling me what happened? I finished telling you what happened.
I told him it was all a mistake.
That was your mother's dog the doctor's report about.
I didn't have arterial monochromia.
I know, but after that, what did he say then? He didn't say nothing.
He just sat there and stared at me.
Well, then what did he say, Ralph? Well, he said that he wouldn't press charges if I'd let him use the story as it turned out.
He said that the public would like this story even better than the one about me dying.
I wanna tell you something, Alice-- you don't know what I been through.
Every night, taking a saucer of milk with a pill in it.
Wasn't able to sleep at night, thinking my hair was gonna fall out in the morning.
Looking at my tongue in this mirror all the time.
Ha! Did you have to give me blueberry pie?!