The Golden Girls
Season 5- "Sick and Tired Part 1"
(Sophia and Rose are in the kitchen preparing food; Blanche enters carrying a book)
Blanche: Oh girls! Let me tell you this wonderful idea I had! When I was a little girl my momma told me my destiny. She said "Peacock", that was my nickname Peacock, "You are destined for great things."
Sophia: Why peacock?
Blanche: Because I was so beautiful.
(Sophia looks shocked)
Blanche: Anyways, she said-
Rose: I don't find peacocks so beautiful. They've got skinny necks. And they shriek.
Blanche: It doesn't matter Rose.
Rose: And they attack chickens!
Blanche: I don't care about chickens Rose! She didn't call me chicken, she called me peacock!
Rose: You look more like a chicken when you're angry. You're neck sticks out a lot farther.
Blanche: Rose it doesn't matter. I was beautiful. That was the point. I was breathtaking. Even more breathtaking than I am today. But my beauty was not everything my momma said; my destiny was to be more than every man's passion. She said my destiny was to be great!
Sophia: She lied to you so you'd finish high school!
Blanche: Well, now I know what my destiny is Rose! I'm gonna be a novelist. A great romance novelist! That is my destiny. (Pauses) I shall become a great southern writer carrying on the tradition of the other great southern writers like…uh…all those that are so famous they need not be mentioned. Oh girls, it's gonna be so exciting! I am gonna make a fortune. And I won't even have to use my imagination. My life IS a romance novel.
Sophia: Your life is a sports page.
Blanche: Listen; tell me I can't do better than this in my sleep. (Starts quoting from the book she is carrying) "He grabbed her. She could feel his fingers pressing into her moist flesh. Her heart was pounding, her loins on fire. (Pauses and looks around) As he spun her around, her dress ripping open…" You know how many times I've experienced that?
Rose: Your loins have been on fire?
Blanche: Yes! "She melted into-"
Rose: Where exactly are your loins?
Blanche: Rose, it doesn't matter. Just listen. "She melted into his arms, faint now with the animal musk of him."
Rose: I didn't know people had loins. I've heard of loin of pork but…
Sophia: In her case, the same thing.
(Blanche looks at Sophia indignantly; Dorothy enters from the back door)
Blanche: Dorothy! You wanna hear my idea? You won't believe it!
Dorothy: Sorry Blanche, I can't.
Rose: What's the matter Dorothy?
Dorothy: Oh, I dunno what to do. I just don't know. I was in front of the class and I couldn't talk. I was too tired to talk. Not that they would have listened. They were too busy sniffing the white-out they'd stolen from typing class. I had to excuse them early. I mean, I just can not get rid of this flu and it keeps getting worse, not better.
Rose: But it's been months now. Maybe it's not the flu. Flu doesn't last THAT long.
Blanche: You oughta go back to Dr. Raymond.
Dorothy: I did Blanche! He said I'm fine.
Blanche: Get a second opinion.
Sophia: She did. She went to Dr. Slazenger.
Blanche: Well, then you are fine! Now, you wanna hear my idea?
Rose: She is not fine Blanche! Look at her!
Blanche: I didn't say she looks fine. I said she WAS fine. (Pauses) She looks like hell.
Dorothy: Thank you Blanche.
Blanche: Oh, you know, I think in my novel my heroine will be sick! Tragically sick…but snatched back from death…by a doctor with the hands of a peasant and the soul of a poet…Oh my God, I'm writin' already! Somebody take this down!
Dorothy: What is she talking about?
Sophia: Forget her. Dorothy, you gotta see another doctor. Dr. Raymond is not a specialist.
Dorothy: Yeah, but what kind of specialist do I need?
Blanche: Well, just call up Dr. Raymond and ask him. He'll…he'll refer you.
Rose: You have to honey. You're getting sicker and sicker.
Blanche: Just like my heroine, sicker and sicker. Though of course my heroine doesn't look like you! (Gestures to Dorothy) This is a romantic novel not science fiction!
Dorothy: Remind me when I feel better to kick the crap out of her.
(Dorothy is alone in an examination room; the doctor enters)
Doctor: Sorry to keep you waiting… (He checks his chart) …Loraine but there was something I had to take care of.
Dorothy: I'm not Loraine.
Doctor: You're not Lorain Mizlansky?
Doctor: Really? Because I have her chart here.
Dorothy: Hand me my purse, I'll check my driver's license.
Doctor: I'm sorry then you must be… (Looks through his folders)…OH Dorothy! Right…of course. Ok. We have Dorothy here. Right. Sorry to keep you waiting Dorothy but there was something I had to take care of.
Dorothy: Oh that's alright.
Doctor: A famous person. Very, very famous. But I can't tell you who it is. Ethics, you know. We have to be quite careful about that. But if this was "Win, Lose, or Draw" I'd draw a crown.
Doctor: That was a hint.
Dorothy: Oh, oh. Do you have my test results?
Doctor: Sure do.
Doctor: A king but that's it. No more clues. My lips are sealed.
(Dorothy looks away exasperated)
Doctor: Oh c'mon, c'mon. Think about it?
Dorothy: I don't care who it is! I mean, it could be the king of England! I don't care.
Doctor: No, no. England doesn't have a king. Try Saudi Arabia.
Dorothy: Look, all I can think about are my test results and how to keep this gown closed.
Doctor: Don't worry about. You won't be needing it. Dorothy, get dressed. You're fine.
Dorothy: I beg your pardon.
Doctor: We've run every test known to man. They're all normal. You can get dressed, go home, enjoy your life.
Dorothy: But Dr. Stephens. I was always healthy and then I…I came down with this flu. I can't get rid of it. I've been sick for five months now! I have a constant sore throat, swollen glands, fevers, my muscles ache and are weak. I am totally exhausted all the time.
Doctor: I know, I know, you told me.
Dorothy: Well, maybe it bears repeating! Maybe you still think I'm Lorain Mizlansky.
Doctor: Look, uh, Dorothy. Can I ask you a personal question?
Doctor: You're divorced.
Doctor: How's your…uhm…social life? Do you…do you see men?
Dorothy: What in the world does seeing men have to do with anything?
Doctor: Well, Dorothy, we know for a fact that if people are not happy, and lonely people aren't, (Dorothy rolls her eyes and shakes her head) they get all kinds of symptoms. Depression, fatigue, symptoms very much like the ones you've described.
Dorothy: Look Dr. Stephenson, I don't think you understand so I'm gonna tell you again. I am at a point now where I am so exhausted that sometimes I cannot speak. Literally, cannot speak. There are days when I can't get out of bed, raising my arms to wash my hair in the shower is too exhausting for me. I can't even do that. I have heart palpitations, I can't concentrate, I forget things, I…I get confused.
Doctor: Look, Dorothy, I don't believe you're sick. But you do. You wanna pursue this, spend more money, that's fine with me. So go to New York and see the man I studied with. He's the best neurologist there is. I don't know anyone better. If you have anything, anything at all, he'll find it.
(Sophia enters the examination room)
Sophia: Two and a half hours! I thought you died. What's wrong with you?
Sophia: Who're you?
Doctor: I'm the doctor.
Sophia: We'll see about that.
Doctor: Uh look uh Mrs. uh…
Sophia: Petrillo. I'm Dorothy's mother and I want to know what's wrong with her and don't tell me nothing cause I know there's something wrong with her. Mothers know.
Dorothy: Look, ma, I'll talk to you about it later.
Doctor: You're daughter is fine Mrs. Petrillo.
Sophia: Tip top?
Doctor: Tip top.
Sophia: Then Mr. 100% tip top, why the hell does she feel like hell?
Dorothy: Look, ma-
Sophia: Wait, I gotta hear this.
Doctor: It could be functional.
Sophia: Mental? Well, let me tell you something Mr.100% tip top mental. My daughter may be no spring chicken and her jaw might crack when she chews and she may have noticeable trouble digesting raw vegetables, but one thing she's not is mental!
Dorothy (Sarcastically): Thanks ma.
(Dorothy and Rose are out on the lanai; Dorothy is reading and Rose is grilling; Sophia enters)
Sophia: Ribs, great! Why don't you just kick the dentures out of my mouth?
Rose: We never had a barbecue in St. Olaf after the tragedy.
(Dorothy looks up)
Dorothy: I guess we have to ask.
Sophia: No, we don't.
Dorothy: She'll work it in anyway. What tragedy Rose?
Rose: I can't talk about it.
Rose: But it had to do with barbecuing elk, a big fire, and someone who lost his balance.
Dorothy: Got it.
Sophia: Clear as a bell.
Blanche (Sighs): Well, now I know why Hemingway killed himself. Oh girls, I have writer's block! It is the worst feeling in the world!
Sophia: Try ten days without a bowel movement sometime.
Blanche: You just sit there, hour after hour after hour!
Sophia: Tell me about it.
Blanche: I just don't know what to do. I don't think there's any worse feeling in the world than facing that blank piece of paper.
Dorothy: Tell me, how much have you written so far.
Blanche: Well, that's just it. Nothin'. That's how I know I have writer's block.
Dorothy: Blanche, you have to have written to have writer's block! Otherwise, all of us have it.
(Blanche and Rose look confused)
Blanche: Dorothy, maybe I oughta go to New York with you. New York is a writer's city. I can hang out at the Algonquin, talk to my colleagues, get the juices goin'.
Dorothy: Honey, I'm going just for two days to see a doctor. I've asked Rose to go with me.
Blanche: Rose? Why her?
Dorothy: She's comforting.
Blanche: And I'm not?
Sophia: You told me you were having a pedicure when you're husband was dying.
Blanche: Well of course I was Sophia! It was the third Thursday of the month! If I'd cancelled that would have been it for July and August when I'd be wearing open toed sandals.
Sophia: Angel of mercy.
Blanche: Well, I didn't know he was gonna pick that precise hour to die! How could I know that?
Rose: Well, he was in a coma.
Blanche: Oh, he'd been in a coma for days! The fact is I happen to be very good with sick people. I was once a candy stripper.
Dorothy: That's striper.
Blanche: Whatever. You know, volunteer. Oh Dorothy, I wanna go to New York! How come Rose gets to go?
Dorothy: Blanch, whenever I don't feel well, Rose makes me feel ok.
Blanche: What is she? Your best friend?
Dorothy: Rose knows I'm sick.
Blanche: Well I know you're sick. God knows you tell me all the time! (Pauses) What a waste! Rose Nylund in New York.
Rose: It's gonna be a great trip! You wait and see! You're gonna be cured! And I'm gonna get to see the Big Potato!
(Blanche looks knowingly at Dorothy; Dorothy looks around)
Dorothy: I said she was comforting. I didn't say she was smart.
(Dorothy is in the doctor's main office in New York)
Doctor: So what are you doing here? You've seen everybody, nobody found anything wrong with you. And between their workups and mine, there are no more tests to run.
Dorothy: Yeah, but I know how I-
Doctor: Mrs. Zbornak, you're main complaint is that you're tired. I get tired too. It's called getting old.
Dorothy: Dr. Bud, that's not what this is. I am sick. I've had to give up my job because I was too tired to do it.
Doctor: How'd you get here?
Doctor: No, to my office.
Doctor: And from the taxi?
Dorothy: Wait, how'd I get from the taxi to your office?
Doctor: It's not a hard question.
Dorothy: I walked.
Doctor: Right! You walked! You're not sick Dorothy. The people I see can't walk, they can't swallow, some of them can't breathe. Look, don't take this the wrong way, but have you ever thought about seeing psychiatrist?
Dorothy: I have seen two. Here are there letters. They both say there is nothing psychologically wrong with me. They believe it is physical.
Doctor: What the hell do they know? Psychiatry's not a science
Dorothy: Then why did you suggest I see one?
Doctor: Because what you have is not scientific! What else was I going to do? Send you to New Mexico to a shaman. There's nothing wrong with you Dorothy except what happens to all of us. In case you haven't noticed, you're not thirty. Take a cruise Dorothy, go to a hypnotist, change your hair color. My wife became a blonde. She's a new woman!
(Dorothy shakes her head in agreement and leaves the office)
(Rose is in their hotel room on the phone)
Rose: Yes, room service. Hello, this is Rose Nylund and I'm staying here in your lovely hotel…Well I think I need a new menu. Mine seems to be full of mistakes. For example, it says a small glass of tomato juice is $6! (Laughs heartily)…I see. (Dorothy enters) Oh, room service I'll have to call you back. (Rose hangs up) Dorothy, what happened? Tell me. What did he say?
Dorothy: Nothing. He said exactly what everyone else did.
Rose: Oh no! That's terrible! Oh Dorothy I'm so sorry. I thought surely he'd find something so you'd at least have a name for this thing.
Dorothy: Oh, well let's not talk about that. Tell me about your day!
Rose: Oh, forget about my day. He didn't say anything new?
Dorothy: Nothing. Come on now what did you do? You've never been here before. What did you think?
Rose (After a pause): I don't know how people live here, Dorothy. (They both laugh) I mean it's all very interesting and everything in the world is here but it's so tall and so crowded and so noisy and so much. I've never seen so much of everything in my whole life! I went to Bloomingdale's, the store. I swear St. Olaf could fit into it! I went to the top of the Empire State Building. You know what I don't understand? How come the fall didn't kill King Kong instantly? I mean sure he was big but that's a 102 stories! You look down… (Looks over and sees Dorothy crying) I know, it was a sad movie. I cried too. Every time I see it I hope this time it'll be different maybe this time he won't die but he always does… (Dorothy continues to sob uncontrollably) It was only a movie Dorothy! That was really a fake gorilla.
Dorothy (Still crying): Oh…Oh Rose! That's not it.
Rose: What is it Dorothy? What happened?
Dorothy: Oh…Maybe I am crazy. I mean, nobody believes me. Everybody thinks I'm crazy. Maybe I am. Maybe I'm really crazy.
Rose: Oh Dorothy you are not crazy. You are absolutely not crazy. I've seen the way you walk. I've seen how wiped out you get! You're not crazy honey, you're sick!
Dorothy: I think so too. I really do. But nobody believes me.
Rose: Doctors don't know everything Dorothy.
Dorothy: You're right.
Rose: I mean, they think they do but they don't.
Dorothy: You're right.
Rose: I mean after all, Dr. Seuss was a doctor too.
(Dorothy stares at her and Rose shakes her head yes to confirm her point)
(Back at home; Blanche and Rose are in the kitchen cooking dinner)
Blanche: I'm gonna finish it tonight! I don't care if I never sleep a wink! It's just like giving birth Rose! Once you get started, you can't stop!
Rose: Actually, you can Blanche. Ingrid Thurman stopped.
Blanche: What was she writing?
Rose: She wasn't. She was giving birth to Hans and Franz, the twins. And she stopped right in the middle, right after Hans.
Blanche (After a slight pause): Well, what happened to Franz?
Rose: He stayed in.
Blanche: For how long?
Rose: I don't know. A long time. They were a year apart in school.
Blanche (After looking dumbfounded): That's impossible Rose.
Rose: No, it isn't!
(Sophia enters the kitchen; Rose goes over to her)
Rose: How is she?
Sophia: Wiped out and depressed even though she tries to hide it.
Rose: Oh Sophia, she's gonna be ok. I know it.
Blanche: She will be Sophia. Now, she's tough.
Rose: You know there are all sorts of things that people get that they can't diagnose and then they disappear just as mysteriously as they came.
Rose: Gustaf Lungfist got sick from something mysterious and he nearly died. (After a slight pause) Well, he did die in fact. Then at the cemetery, Beatrice Lungfist, his wife, kept screaming 'He's alive! He's alive! I can hear him from the grave!" Well, everybody thought it was the hallucinations of a grieving widow so they sedated her. But when she woke up from her sedation, she told them that he said, from the grave, "We never paid our 78-86 income taxes" and his partner said only Gustaf would know that, he must be alive! So they all raced to the cemetery and the entire town started digging like crazy, kneeling by the grave, using their hands even! Dirt flying and Beatrice screaming. And when they opened that coffin, there he was, dead as a doornail!
(Sophia and Blanche look at each other astonished)
Blanche: What is the point of that ridiculous story Rose?
Rose: The point is Gustaf didn't die from his mysterious disease at all! He lived and recovered! Trouble was, he recovered while he was buried so by the time they got to him, he'd died of suffocation.
(Sophia looks agitated)
Blanche: I just don't believe these stories you tell Rose!
Rose: Another tragic aspect was, the IRS was waiting at the cemetery to arrest Gustav's partner, Bourgestrom. So Bourgestrom killed himself, right then and there by grabbing the gun from Sheriff Tokefist and shooting himself. What they did then was, since the grave was still opened, and everybody was right there, and Gustav and Bourgestrom had been partners, so they put Bourgestrom in with Gustav and had a double burial! (Blanche looks annoyed and Rose smiles nostalgically) Unfortunately they found out later that Bourgestrom wanted to be cremated!
Blanche: OH! Shut up Rose!
Sophia: I think the worst thing in the world is if your child dies before you do.
Rose: Sophia, Dorothy is not going to die.
Sophia: I know that.
Blanche: She'll be fine
Sophia: I know.
Blanche (After a pause): Why do you do that Rose? Why do you make up stories?
Sophia: It wouldn't feel right to live anymore, you know? If a kid dies it wouldn't feel fair to live.
Rose: Sophia, Dorothy's not dying.
Sophia: How do you know Rose?
Rose: I know.
Blanche: Oh, now, honey she's right. I know too and I'm a writer. I see things more clearly than the average person. My perceptions are keener. My eye is-
Rose: Oh knock it off Blanche!
Rose: Sophia, we have all seen our husbands die. We know what that is.
Sophia: Except for her! (Points to Blanche) She was getting a manicure!
Blanche: A pedicure.
Sophia: Well, I'm eighty something and I've seen more death and dying than any of you. Over the past five months, we've seen a perfectly healthy, energetic woman waste away. She can't do anything anymore. So what difference does it make that they don't have a name for it yet? It's still something. There were lots of diseases they didn't have a name for. You think they had a name for the Black Plague when one guy had it! Thousands had to die before they knew what it was! Dorothy could be dying and they just don't know it!
(Sophia starts to cry and Rose and Blanche look at each other)