An Excerpt from New Millenium Ep.5: A New York Minute

Fran: [in her room getting changed, calling] Guido! You got the keys from Sundance in case we get back late, right?

Guido: Yeah. Hey Fran, why are we getting all dressed up for this? I already agreed to go with you on this thing. Or are you trying to make me even more miserable?

Francine: Bucky said he and Dana wanted to take us someplace nice, so stop complaining!

Guido: I’m not complaining! I just want to get this over with, ‘k? Are you ready yet?

Francine (singsong): Just a minute!

[Guido rolls his eyes impatiently and sits on the bed. In a short while the door opens and he rises to leave, but Ruth enters instead of Fran.]

Ruth: Hey, hot-stuff! Fran told me about your little date tonight. Hope you guys have fun!

Guido: Thanks, but it’s not a date. I’m just doing Fran a favor.

Ruth: Well that’s good to know. Otherwise I’d have to get jealous.

[Guido is about to reply, but is interrupted when Fran walks in. She’s wearing a shimmering green cocktail dress that shows off her figure, a far cry from the outfit she normally wears at the Pizzeria. Along with the make up she’s wearing, she looks like a completely different cat.]

Guido [stunned]: Whoa.

Ruth: Fran, you look terrific!

Francine (grateful): Thanks, Ruth. You really think so?

Ruth: Absolutely. If I were a guy, or even if you liked girls, I’d do you.

Francine [not sure how to take that]: Uhh… Thanks. I guess. I think Guido and I had better leave now.

Ruth: Oh, well then you guys have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Guido [as he and Fran walk out]: Evidently that’s not a whole lot.

Polly [as Guido and Fran are leaving]: Bye guys! Have a nice date!

Guido [annoyed]: It’s not a date!

[Moments later at the Kitty Chateau, an upscale New York nightclub, Francine and Guido are sitting down to dinner with Bucky and Dana. In the background, the band is currently playing Let’s Get it On by the Marvin Gaye.]

Francine [whispering to Guido]: Now remember, we’re supposed to have been dating for a few months, so make it look convincing.

Guido [also whispering]: How am I supposed to do that? The last time I did any acting was in high school. I played a eunuch in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Bucky [interrupting]: Hey, hey! What’s the whispering about?

Francine: Oh, nothing. Just typical couple stuff.

Guido [smiles and puts an arm around Fran’s waist]: Yeah, just telling my girl how wonderful she looks tonight. Isn’t that right, pumpkin?

Francine [slightly surprised, but playing along]: Yeah. Thanks, honey.

Dana: You two seem to really be close. How long have you been dating?

Guido: Oh, we started about a couple months after Bucky left.

Bucky [surprised]: Really? So soon?

Francine: Yeah, well-

Guido: Hey, you know how it is, Bucky my man. She was upset over breaking up with you, I was the consolation guy, one thing led to another and another and-

Francine: And now, here we are.

Dana: Aw, that’s sweet.

Bucky: Well, you two seem very happy together.

Francine: Yes we are. [turns to look at Guido] I can’t imagine being with anyone else right now.

Guido: Yeah, me neither.

[Guido kisses Fran on the cheek. She looks slightly surprised, but goes along with it. Bucky and Dana don’t seem to notice her surprise. Guido breaks away and Fran takes a sip of her soda.]

Guido [with a mischievous grin]: Of course, the sex is fantastic too.

[Francine does a spit take. Bucky and Dana look surprised by the comment, and sweat drops of embarrassment appear beside both their heads.]

Dana [taken aback]: Oh. Uh, is that so?

Guido: Oh yeah, you have no idea. I mean, she must be part wildcat ‘cause we’ll go at it all night sometimes. [turns to Bucky] I’m telling ya, Bucko, you have no idea what you missed out on. She does this one thing where she hooks her claws onto my shoulders and-

[There’s a loud, sharp *thwack!* as Fran kicks Guido’s shin under the table. He stifles a shout of pain.]

Francine (sharply) [angry look]: Guido, can I see you on the dance floor for a second?

Guido [grinning through the pain]: Of course, dear. You command, I obey.

Francine (almost shouting): Move it!

[Fran half-drags Guido on to the dance floor and starts dancing with him. Once she’s sure Bucky and Dana can’t hear, she rips into him.]

Francine (angry whisper): What the hell are you doing?

Guido (innocently): What? You said to make it sound convincing.

Francine: Don’t give me that. You’re just trying to embarrass me. You made me sound like a slut back there.

Guido: Now why would I want to do that?

Francine: Look Guido, I know you’re not happy about being here. And I am sorry I dragged you into this, regardless of what you think. But in the mean time, grow the hell up!

Guido [is about to retort, but instead looks down in defeat]: You’re right.

Francine [a bit surprised]: I am?

Guido: Yeah. I was a real jerk back there. I’m sorry. I’m still upset about having to do this, but that doesn’t excuse what I did back there.

Francine: Um… Thanks. Just, don’t do it again.

Guido [smiles]: I promise I’ll behave.

Francine: [smiles back] You know, I was expecting a lot more of a fight out of you. Maybe you’re not the immature, self centered ass I thought you were.

Guido: Thanks. It’s nice to know you have such a high opinion of me.

[Fran laughs a little, and the song ends. The two of them begin to head back to their seats, when the song Everytime You Go Away by Hall & Oates starts playing.]

Guido: [stops walking] Oh, wait! Wait a sec, this is one of my favorite songs!

Francine: It is?

Guido: Yeah! Come on let’s dance a little more.

Francine: I don’t know. I thought you just wanted to get this over with as soon as possible?

Guido: Oh come on! How convincing a couple would we make if we only danced for half a song?

Francine: [smiles] Well, you have a point there.

[The two of them return to the floor and begin dancing, slowly, to the music. They say nothing, but simply hold each other. The music begins to pick up a bit and they begin to spin around, while Guido dips Fran on occasion. They move in perfect rhythm with the music and each other. Guido is clearly impressed with Fran’s ability. Their dancing quickens slightly as the song reaches its climax. They finally come to a stop as the song ends.]

Francine: [impressed] Wow. That was fun. I had no idea you were such a good dancer.

Guido: [stunned] Yeah, me neither. I mean, you too. I mean-

Francine: [slight giggle] Relax. I know what you mean. Thanks. [She stands on her toes, and kisses him on the cheek. Guido stands in stunned silence for a moment.]

Guido: Fran, I-

Francine: Relax. It’s just for show. Come on, they’re waiting for us.

[Francine makes her way back to the seat. Guido stands there dazed for a moment longer, touching the cheek where she kissed him. Finally, he follows her back.]

[Cut to a couple hours later. Guido and Fran are in a cab, riding home from the date.]

Francine: You know, ironically enough, I think that was the best date I’ve ever been on.

[Guido stares out the window silently, lost in thought.]

Francine: What’s wrong? You’re not still upset about being dragged along, are you?

Guido: Huh? Oh, no. That’s not it.

Francine: Then what?

Guido: Just… stuff. It’s kinda personal, really.

Francine: That’s ok. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.

Guido: Thanks

Francine: But Guido, if you do need to talk to someone, you can always come to me. No matter what it is, I’ll be here for you.

Guido: [silent for a moment, then hugs her appreciatively] Thanks Fran.

[The cab pulls to the side of the street, slowing to a stop in front of the Pizza Parlor.]

Francine: Well, this is our stop. [She pays the driver, then opens the door. Guido doesn’t move] You comin’ Guido?

Guido: Nah, you go in without me. I’ll be back later.

Francine: You sure?

Guido: Yeah, I still need some time to think. I’ll see ya tomorrow, ok?

Francine: [puzzled] Um, ok. Keep the keys then. It’s still fairly early, so I can get in on my own.

Guido: Thanks.

Fran: So… See you tomorrow.

[Guido waves goodbye to her again, then closes the door.]

Cab Drive: Where to buddy?

Guido: Uh, take me to Central Park.

[The car drives on. Guido sits in the back, chin resting on the back of his hand, thinking, looking out the window. The beginning of the song A New York Minute by Don Henley, begins playing.]