Synopsis of Boys Town
Written by Jennifer W.
Ling is in her office, working late. Richard comes in and asks her if she wants to play catch. Ling is confused. "Yeah, I've been feeling a little, I don't know, you know, disconnected lately. I thought maybe a little..." "What, we could throw the ball around?" Ling finishes. He tells her it works. John walks in to tell Richard he is leaving. He notices the baseball glove Richard has in his hand. "Hey! That's my glove. You took my glove," John accuses. Richard stammers that is is actually the firm's glove for the league softball game. John says it is his mitt and he wants it back. He yanks the glove from Richard and they start pulling the glove back and forth. Ling looks bored with all this and doesn't say a word as John and Richard struggle on her desk. John wants his glove back. "I don't see your name on it! It says, "Ty Cobb," Richard says. "And it's my special glove. Give it, Richard," John screams. The continue to struggle. Lings says to Richard it is just a glove as Jackson walks in. Jackson wonders what is going on. "This is a partnership dispute," Richard says. John calls Richard a thie as they continue to argue over the glove. "Repugnant!" John says.
A woman all bundled up in a coat, hood, and scarf gets off the elevator. Elaine asks her if she needs any helps. It is Ling, she is sick. Ling growls. Elaine bumps into Jackson who is on his way to a staff meeting. Elaine, doing the Elaine vampy thing, says she won't keep him. Jackson wonders what the heck is wrong with her, says okay, and walks away. Elaine is sweating like crazy. Mark comes up and asks her if she it is hot in there if she is running a fever. "Is there a problem Mark?" Elaine asks, acting like nothing is wrong. Mark looks at her strangley and says he was just concerned.
At the morning meeting, Richard wants to know what the Mackey v. Albright case is all about. Jackson explains, "I just got that. My client, Gloria Albright, a senior partner in a law firm, fired all of her male attorneys. She's being sued for sexual discrimination." Ally realizes that is the same case Renée is working on. She tells him that Renée is representing Mackey, the guy who got fired. Jackson asks if she is good. Richard answers, "Are you kidding? Pretty, smart...You like big knockers? (Ally hits him) I meant as a lawyer. She's very good." Jackson requests perferably a woman lawyer to assist him on the case since he just picked this up two days before the trial. Nelle says she is busy so Ling volunteers since she is free. Richard is not happy about that. He asks for John to help on the case. "He said he wanted a woman. Do I look like a woman, jitwad?" John responds. "Well, perhaps in lieu of a woman he could use a lawn jockey," Richard counters. They start to bicker.
John leaves the meeting and goes to his bathroom room hideaway. Melanie startles him because she is in there. (One question: How did she get in there? Hmmm....) She thought he didn't like to come there during the day. "Melanie, why are you in my hole?" he asks. "Because you were upset about something last night and you wouldn't talk about it. Something's troubling you. Please tell me what it is, John," she pleads. He said his problem is Richard. "What about him?" she asks. "Well, he's my partner and my best friend and I hate him. Well, I find myself really angry at him a lot lately, and last night he took my baseball glove without asking." "You're mad at your best friend because he took your baseball glove?" she wonders. He says Richard took it without asking. Melanie reminds him that he is 35 years old. "But he does these little things to impose and reimpose the idea that he's dominant. I mean, where's it say he gets to run the staff meeting? Why does he get to get in there every day and say "next up...first up...moving on"? All the little things that people in charge say. I'm a better lawyer than he is and he just treats me like a little midget...a minion. I am filled with rancor. That's what I am; I'm filled with rancor," he stammers, very upset. Melanie asks if he ever thought about couple's therapy? "I beg your pardon?" John asks. She says it is not just for romantic relationships, sometimes best friends go. John isn't convinced. "You do love Richard. He loves you. This friendship is deep enough to profoundly upset you like this. Why not try fixing it?" she asks. John is still hesistant. Melanie tells him she knows a good therapist, one who her boyfriend and her used to go to. She says he works wonders. "Melanie, you backed up over your former boyfriend with a truck," he reminds her. She says the guy is good. "If you want to work things out with Richard, what have you got to lose?"
Mr. Mackey, the fired attorney, says Ms. Albright, his boss, called him into her office and said "I'm sorry, this law firm is no longer employing male attorneys" and then fired him. "She said she wanted the place to be free of all sexual currents, that's how she put it, and to accomplish this, she was discharging all the men," he explains. Renée asks if he was given any this was coming. "Well, all the partners were females. So, I guess maybe indication but nothing could've prepared me for the idea that she would just start firing all the male associates," he answers. Jackson cross-examines. He asks Mr. Mackey if he is married or has a girlfriend. He answers no to both. Jackson asks how many times a day do you think about sex. Renée objects. "Your honor, my client was trying to rid her law firm of sexual energy. Whether or not he thinks of sex during the workday is certainly relevant," Jackson argues. Judge Brattle tells him to speed it up. Jackson continues. "Truthfully, do you ever fantasize or wonder what it would be like to kiss my client or perhaps make love to her?" he asks. Renée wonders where this is going. "I promise to show you if you'll just let me finish," he says. Mr. Mackey says he never thinks about that. "You mean a single man working alongside this woman (he points to Ms. Albright), the thought of making love to her has never crossed your mind? That's your truthful testimony?" Jackson questions. Mr. Mackey finally admits he did, but didn't dwell on it. "She's beautiful. What normal man wouldn't?" he says. Jacksoin then asks him how much time have he spent preparing for the trial-by that he means depositions, meeting with counsel, etc. He says six months. "Six months working side-by-side with Ms. Radick (Renée). Have you ever fantasized about her sexually?" Jackson asks. Renée stands up and objects. Mr. Mackey says his relationship has been nothing but professional. "Hey, I understand that, a woman like this. (Jackson points to Renée, who is still standing). You had to at least think about it. Am I wrong?" Mr. Mackey contends he never acted on it. Renée tries to object. Jackson asks Ling to stand-she reluctantly does. Jackson continues, "Mr. Mackey, I'm going to ask your opinion as a normal, red-blooded man, which you stated you were. If Ms. Woo worked in the office with you as a normal single man, might you fantasize about her sexually?" Mr Mackey answers, "Even if I did that wouldn't make me a lesser attorney, Mr. Duper." "So, your answer is yes?" Jacksons asks, for clarification.
Elaine is talking to Ally about Mark. She tells her that he is upset but she doesn't know why. Ally wonders if she asked him what was wrong. Elaine says no. Ally has a tip, "When two people in a relationship are upset with each other, talking is a good thing." Elaine says it doesn't work that way with her. Ally wonders why. Elaine explains, "Because when I get angry, I yell, and, then he yells, and, then, we say things we regret. Then, I say I'm sorry, then, he says he's sorry and, then, I take my clothes off and I really don't want to do that." Ally wonders if after the apologies, could she just not take your clothes off? "Mmm, I don't know how to be neutral. It's always been a problem. When I'm with a man the only time I don't love him is when I hate him and as soon as I stop hating him I'm right back to loving him. I'd just rather hate him right now because there's more dignity in it," Elaine explains. She asks Ally to stay out of it. "Go call Larry or something. Just leave me alone," she says. "Fine. I'll just let you wallow in the dignity of hate, then," Ally responds.
"Is that why you wanted me? As a male-fantasy prop?" Ling asks Jackson. He explains he has a very difficult defense and their client is obviously guilty under under the law. She tells him that he humiliated her. He apologizes saying it wasn't his intention. "Without reducing you to a prop, you got this goddess thing going on and I called you up there to trap the witness," he says. "Trap him?" Ling asks. "Yes. If he answered he would never fantasize about you, then the jury might think of him as a liar. If he said, yes, he might, well, that proves my point. The point that men can't help but think about sex. Whether you believe that or not, our client believes it and I was setting up her testimony." Renée storms in. "How dare you!" she screams at Jackson. He apologizes and says, "The fact that you are beautiful and sexy just played into our case. I took advantage of that. It could've been malpractice, I didn't mean to be inappropriate." Renée tells him he was inappropriate as she turns to leave the room. Judge battle walks in. "Could I step out of my robe for a second?" she asks Jackson. "I'd vomit," Ling says, under her breathe. The judge contintues, "I speak to you not as a judge but as a woman. It's one thing for you to single out one of the female players in this proceeding and identify her as a sexual being. I can live with you identifying two but when you acknowledge players as sex objects excluding only one, I find it rude, as well as bad lawyering. It certainly doesn't help your client to be alienating the judge. And as a footnote, Mr. Duper plenty of boys go for the big girl." The judge turns to leave. Ling tells Jackson he has a lot to learn about the practice of law. He agrees.
Melanie and John are trying to convince Richard to go to therapy with John. Richard is skeptical. "Are you mental? I'd sooner see my proctologist than one of those head shrinkers." Melanie tries to convince him by telling him John would like to work things out with him. Richard still can't agree, "Look, I consider myself a pretty open-minded person but therapists, shrinks, psychologists they're all a bunch of sex pervs. They grow up reading Freud. What does that say? Talk about your auto-wanker. The man died with calluses on both hands." Richard doesn't believe it is right for men to share feelings. "My father, with men-it's a handshake. Stiff upper lip-that's being a man. Men don't walk around saying, "I love you" to other men. That's a gay thing." John and Melanie are in disbelief. Richard says his father never had to say "I Love You", he just said "Mambo Cat". John and Melanie are in disbelief. Richard excuses himself, "Enough touchy-feely."
Mark and Elaine bump into each other in the hallway. Mark says he has been meaning to bring it up. Elaine asks him what he is talking about. He tells her he doesn't it is working out between them. "Sorry," he says. Ally is eavesdropping. "Wait! Wait! Wait! Are you saying that we need to work things out or are you saying that we're done?" Elaine asks. Mark thinks about it and says they are done. Elaine is speechless as Mark walks away. Ally chases after Mark into the unisex. She says, "You just don't just end a relationship like that." Mark wants to know how she should have done it. "Lie? (no) Cheat? (no) Move to Detroit?" Ally says this is his anger talking. "I realize since Larry left you're looking for new projects, Ally. But please don't make me one of them," he asks. "You know, Mark, you are a nice guy. You're a kind person. But what you just did to elaine was cruel and your remarks to me were also cruel. Okay, now, that is my observation. I'm going to leave it at that," she says, and walks away. Richard walks into the unisex and asks Mark does he think if two people fight, they should just waltz off to therapy. Mark, thinking he is referring to him and Elaine, tells Richard to mind his own business and walks away. Richard is confused. Elaine walks into the unisex. Richard asks her if two people come apart, does she think therapy is just a big waste of time. Thinking Richard is talking about her and Mark, she says, "Well, I don't know Richard, but thank you for your encouragement, you insensitive, mean-spirited, pig-headed dope!" Elaine walks away. Richard is confused. He smells his clothes thinking he is giving off an odor.
Jackson is questioning his client, Ms. Albright, on the stand. She says she fired all her male employees, in all positions. Jackson asks why she did that. "Well, you touched on one of the reasons with Mr. Mackey. I find men to be more prone to sexual distraction. It makes them less focused. It may be a bit of generalization, one might say bigotry, but bigotry is a generalization predicated on ignorance. Mine happens to be accurate. Men think about sex all day. And women don't think about it like men," she explains. "What, and women don't?" he asks. "Not like men, no," she continues, "Women can get distracted, too. And just like we're seeing the proliferation of single-sex schools, where both girls and boys can learn better so can they work better in a single-sex private company." Renée cross-examines. "Why not hire and fire on merit? Are you saying all your female employees are better than the male ones?" she asks. Ms. Albright says she is not saying that-she is just choosing to have a single-sex workplace. Renée asks why she chose women. "Well, because I am one. I also happen to believe in balance. Women make for better lawyers." She explains woman are smarter, especially when it comes to dispute resolution. "Men want to fight. Women want to work things out. In law, settling cases is preferable to litigation and women typically do not fall victim to the insipid little warrior instincts that men have." Renée says it seems like Ms. Albright hates men a little. Jackson objects but is overruled. Renée asks her how soon after her husband left her did she fire all her male employees. Jackson objects. "I'm sorry, your honor, that's just my warrior instinct," he says. Ms. Albright sais her husband leaving had nothing to do with the firings. Renée asks if her husband had an affair. Jackson objects, the objection is sustained. "Let's keep it about the case," Judge Brattle says. Renée counters, "The case as I understand it is you fired all the men because women are smarter and you levied this mass boom within months after your husband left you, correct?" Ms. Albright agrees.
John is playing bagpipes in his office. Nelle, Melanie, and Richard are outside of his office. "He hasn't been this upset since his frog died," Nelle says. Melanie tells Richard that John is upset. Nelle says she will go talk to him. Melanie interjects, "Oh, excuse me. But the problem isn't with John, it's with Richard." Nelle counters, "Excuse me, but I've known John a little longer than you." "Yes, he tried to spank you once. I know your history," Melanie informs her. Richard tries to break them up. "Maybe he could spank you. That way, we'd know if you would keep on...Ticking," Nelle says, as she imitates one of Melanie's tics.
Richard goes into John's office. John tells Richard he wrote him a song. He plays this really low pitched, sour sounding song. "It captures you," John explains. "Uh, okay. Let's get therapy," Richard says.
Jackson and Ling suggest Ms. Albright give Mr. Mackey the $50,000 he is asking for. "Why should I give him anything?" she asks. "Because first off, $50,000 really isn't that much to you. And second, the little revelation about your husband, didn't help," Jackson informs her. She says if she pays one, she will have to pay them all. She adds, "Jackson, I think you've done a wonderful job and I think we can win with a verdict. That's what I'd like to do." Ms. Albright leaves. Ling assures him that they can win-he has done a good job. He apologizes to her for the "prop thing" and she apologizes to him for Richard being hostile. She turns to leave, since it is late, and he asks her to dinner. She looks like she really wants to say yes, but instead says it isn't a good idea. They linger a moment longer and he is about to say something but then changes his mind. Instead, he tells her it is nice working with her. "It's nice working with you, too," she agrees.
At their therapy session, Dr. Madison thanks them both for selecting him as their therapist and he congratulates them both for having the courage to confront their problems. He asks to see the baseball glove in question. The doctor yacks on "complimenting" them. Richard asks if they can cut to the problem. "Yes, it is, Richard and let me applaud your willingness to do so. Why don't we start with you first and as we talk, if you don't mind I would like to close my eyes and let your words wash over me," Dr. Madison suggests. Richard starts to talk but John interrupts. "Why does he get to go first? That's my problem is that he always gets to go first. His needs are always prioritized over those of other people and the horror of that is compounded when you consider that the center of his very being is nothing but sex and money, sex and money, sex and money. Imagine being subordinated to such an empty, vapid bag," John complains. The doctor commends him "not only on your feelings but on your ability to articulate them". John wants to know why his eyes weren't closed. "What, my words can't wash over you?", he asks, "This is what I have to deal with." John and Richard start to bicker again-throwing insults back and forth. The doctor congratulates them on their candor. "Balls with the kudos, you hack," John says. The doctor gets upset, "As much as I'm here for you, there is no place for that kind of behavior, John." John apologizes.
In the unisex, Mark is looking at his butt in the mirror. Ally walks out of the stall and stares at him. He feels the need to explain, "When I was in college, I used to do a lot of squats and I had a great, you know...ass. And, now, it's not that it's terrible, but men care about their, um, their...I guess I feel threatened. That's the problem that I have with Elaine. Women shouldn't lust after guys." Ally asks him if he thinks women should lust. "No, they shouldn't. Even allowing for the possibility that women, some women might lust-- they shouldn't do it openly, which Elaine does. It's rude, it's not ladylike," he says. "That's what we should be? Above all else? Ladylike?" she asks. He says yes.
Renée and Jackson give their closing summations. Renée begins, "You heard what she said. Women are smarter than men. Women make for better mediators. And men are more easily sexually distracted than women. They can't control themselves. What is that? Jackson continues, "Here's a tip. Speaking as a man, when we meet a woman for the first time we're not thinking, "hmm, she looks intelligent". No, we go straight for the body parts. The package. The first question we ask when we see any woman is, "would I or wouldn't I?" Are we proud of it? No. But men do get more easily distracted by sex." Renée says, "There's no evidence Mr. Mackey was distracted. Just because Mr. Duper goes around asking, "would I or wouldn't I?" Let's not saddle a whole gender with his neanderthal outlook. Jackson finishes, "What's wrong with single-sex companies? I mean, we're doing it with schools now. Studies have shown that both men and women learn better because there is an increased concentration level. If we're doing it in schools, why can't we do it in businesses and law firms?"
Ally calls Elaine into her office, where mark is waiting. Elaine doesn't want to hear what Mark has to say. He apologizes to her and says, "It's not like I want to stop seeing you, but it bothers me when you overtly grovel over other men. The way you break out into a big sweat every time you simply look at Jackson Duper." Elaine says he doesn't mean to. "And I would never..." she tries to say. "Come on, Elaine," Mark interrupts, "As signals go, sweating puts out a pretty good one." Elaine is shocked this is why he broke up with her. "These are the same old issues, Mark. The Vi-Bra, the..." Mark says this goes beyond that. "Being flamboyant or sexual is one thing. Overtly showing interest in other men is quite another. It's disrespectful. I don't do it to you, I don't want it done to me," he says.
"It's not about a glove. It's not about me. I know this man. It's about Melanie," Richard says. John tries to interrupt but Richard says it is his turn. "Mozambique," John mumbles. "I'm sorry, did you say "mozambique"?" the doctor asks. John explains that is how Richard's father expressed affection. "Mambo Cat! Not mozambique," Richard corrects him, "My favorite pitcher for the Red Sox, Bill, uh, "mambo cat". Also, to my father it was a bonding thing. He didn't have to say "I love you". He'd wink. He'd go, "Mambo Cat", and I got it. It was his way. I got it." John asks if that is why the glove was such an issue to him. "The issue is, you asked Melanie to marry you, she turned you down and you're the one projecting with the glove. He's upset over Melanie West and I'm the fall guy. I know him when and this is lonely John Cage in all his ugliness." The doctor suggests John ask Richard what he was doing with the glove. John says, "He was looking to play catch with Ling because he's jealous of her and an old boyfriend and that's his idea of intimacy-to strike up a game of pickle." They start to bicker again.
Ally asks John if he is lonely. John says it hurts that Melanie turned him down. Ally tells John she didn't reject him. John says Melanie doesn't want to marry him. And then, whenshe brings up couples counseling, it was for him and Richard. "What does that say?" he asks. "It says that she knows you well enough to know that you're upset over your estrangement from Richard. She said she'd work on it. You should just give her time," Ally suggests. "Maybe 'tis the season for melancholy. Mark and Elaine are splitsville," he says. Ally tells him she got them back together. "You think you can just fix everything," Larry says (he appears instead of John). John asks Ally what is wrong. She asks John what he says but he says he didn't say anthing. She tells John he will work it out with Richard because he's his best friend and he will work it out with Melanie because he loves her.
Jackson tells Ling they have a problem. "The jury came back with a question: "How many years was the plaintiff employed at the firm?" Which, to me says they are trying to figure out a damage amount," he says, "I think we're going to need another offer on the table fast." Ling says she will call Ms. Albright and Renée. Jackson asks Elaine to draft me up a settlement agreement. Elaine is doing the Elaine vampy thing until she sees Mark and straightens up.
Back at therapy, the doctor is commending Richard and John on the wonderful session they have had. "You're lives are deepening and with the exploration of your inner world comes growth, and with that growth, pains." "Hey Dr. Happy, I'm going to ask you once more to just cut to it. And please don't commend me for the question," Richard says. The doctor continues, "You both opened yourself to love-you with Ling, Richard and, John, you with Melanie-and with those loves threatened of late, you've regressed into another place of security-that being your mutual friendship with each other. And you've become more demanding you each want the another to fill a void and with this new demand comes frustration and anger. John, you first. If this relationship with Melanie fails, you see Richard becoming a focal point in your life again and this scares you-this materialistic, sex-driven, hollowed-out shell of a person, who locates esteem in his own personal wealth. I mean, who wouldn't be mortified to have him as a best friend? And, Richard, with the loss again to, John, this odd, little, disenfranchised eccentric, and the likelihood of being drawn into his world triggers a fear of becoming aberrant yourself, with perhaps a need of medication. For the first time you've both held this friendship up to real scrutiny and revealed it to be rather pathetic. Go to your women! Repair what's wrong there. This way, you both can remain ancillary to each other's lives allowing you to veer away from, co-dependency. Go, you funny people. Venture out. Live life. Don't be stuck with one another." John and Richard are bewildered as they get up to leave.
Elaine is showing Jackson the standard settlement agreement she drew up for him. He is explaining the changes he would like, so he is leaning over her. She is trying to control herself but one little sweat drip goes down her face. She quickly swipes it. Mark catches her. Ling comes in and tells Jackson to forget the settlement, they turned down the offer and the jury has reached a verdict. Jackson thanks Elaine for her help and him and Ling leave for court. Elaine breathes a sigh of relief. "I saw it! A big giant drip!" Mark swoops in and says. Elaine protests that it was one lousy bead. He says it is not normal. She promises she is working on it. "Look, I've been single since forever so, when I'm around an incredibly attractive...um, maybe my body is just conditioned to giving off big, wet, soppy pheromones. I don't know, this is all new new to me. Look, I cut it down to one lousy bead. That is progress, isn't it?" she asks.
John is in the unisex. Richard comes in and says he comes in peace. "You're my best friend, John. And that's something. I'm even more proud of that than all my money." John asks him if he has plans for the next five minutes. Richard says no. John says he would like to take him somewhere.
The jury reads their verdict. They find in favor of the plaintiff and order the defendant to pay damages in the amount of $10,000. Ms. Albright asks what kind of verdict is that? Ling explains, "Well, it means that they don't believe in gender bias but that their kids probably go to single-sex schools. It's pretty much a victory as far as the money's concerned." Ms. Albright says she was fighting for principle. "Renée, I hope there are no hard feelings," Jackson apologizes. She says she will have to think about it. He asks her out for a drink. She says maybe.
John pulls Richard into the bathroom stall. Richard looks scared. John takes Richard to his secret room. He is amazed. "What? I don't get is, why keep this place a secret? All this time, I thought we had rats," he says. "Well, Richard, you can't escape if you reveal your hideaway," John explains. Richard asks him how Melanie reacted when he showed her. "She squealed," he says. John says he doesn't think it will work out between him and Melanie-he just has a feeling. Richard says he feels the same way about himself and Ling. Richard asks John why he decided to bring him to his special place. "Well, I just didn't like what that doctor said about our friendship being pathetic. I don't think that it is pathetic. I cherish, the, I just, thought it was time to show you my hole," he says. "John...Mambo Cat," Richard says.
Renée is having a drink with Jackson at the bar. She sees him looking at Ling. "So, this thing between you and Ling, is it over or not?" she asks. He says it is over but Renée says he doesn't sound so sure. Ally sits next to Ling at a table. "Looks like Renée finally found somebody," Ling says. Ally says maybe. "That's great," Ling says, unconvincingly. "Hmm, yeah, I can tell you're thrilled," Ally observes. Elaine sits next to Ally. Ally asks if everything is ok between her and Mark. "I don't know. It seems to be a real relationship," Elaine says. "Isn't that a good thing?" Ally wonders. "I guess it is. It's a great thing. If only I knew how to have one. I mean, Ally, my idea of communicating with a man is to stick my breasts out. Besides their need for sex, I don't have a clue about them. What do I do from here?" she asks. "Well, you love him you, be honest with him, be there when he needs, and every now and then, you tell him that he has a really nice...ass."
Ling glances at Jackson from across the room at the bar. He glances back. Mark and Elaine happily dance together. Richard and John play catch at the office-content in their friendship.
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