Roger and Delia Learn About Chinese Cooking
(February 1976)

(Delia has made arrangements for Mrs. Lem to give her a Chinese cooking demonstration, and Delia had hoped Frank would accompany her and they could do this thing together and grow closer. Frank, of course, was busy with a meeting and Delia, of course, blew a gasket when he turned her down, so things only got worse in their already shaky marriage. In the next scene, Delia steps off the hospital elevator just as Roger is reviewing a chart at the nurses' station. Delia comes over to the nurses' station and begins talking to a nurse.)

DELIA: Excuse me, but I'm looking for Dr. Pat Ryan. Is he on the floor?

ROGER: (overhearing) He's up in surgery.

DELIA: (coming over to him) Oh, uh, hi Roger. When is he gonna be through?

ROGER: Well, I expect he'll be up there most of the morning.

DELIA: (sighs) Darn, darn, darn. You know, a doctor really doesn't have his own life to lead. You're really at the beck and call of everybody.

ROGER: (smiles) Well, was Pat supposed to meet you?

DELIA: No, not really. See, I hadn't even told him yet. (Roger laughs.) Oh, I'm awful! Pat is helping some poor sick person and I am mad at that person for needing him when I need him.

ROGER: Delia, that's a very human response. Is there anything that I can do for you?

DELIA: (smiles) You mean that? I mean, you're not just being polite?

ROGER: Oh, no.

DELIA: (laughing it off, but still meaning it) Well, it's very nice to know that someone is interested in what I want.

ROGER: Listen, it's nice to have anyone in your family speaking to me.

DELIA: You and Pat don't talk, huh?

ROGER: Well, to a certain degree, on a professional basis, but that's about it.

DELIA: I feel sorry for you, I mean, if you care about them. You know, except for Maeve, the Ryans are very terrible when it comes to forgetting a grudge. I mean, they forgive, but they don't ever forget. Not anything.

ROGER: In that case, I'm doubly grateful for your kind words.

(The nurse hands him a chart.)

ROGER: Why, yes.

(The nurse walks away when he's through.)

Delia gets an idea

DELIA: (getting an idea) Look, I could ask you one favor.

ROGER: Oh, like what?

DELIA: This is silly, but do you like Chinese cooking?

ROGER: Well, uh, do I like the manner in which the Chinese cook, or do I like to eat that which is cooked?

(They laugh.)

DELIA: Both.

ROGER: Yes, I do.

DELIA: Oh, that's great, because I thought maybe you could do me a huge favor and have lunch with me at Lem's.

ROGER: Well, why would that be a huge favor?

DELIA: Well, you see, Mrs. Lem is getting together this whole big tour of the restaurant and Frank was supposed to go with me, only he wouldn't - or he can't - and Pat's busy, and I really don't want to go by myself, cause it's a special treat. Besides, I think I'd look very silly standing there watching her roll wantons all by myself.

ROGER: Well, you know, that's really incredible, because I've asked her more than once for a cooking lesson and she's always turned me down - politely, but firmly.

DELIA: No kidding. Do you like to cook?

ROGER: Yes I do. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty good at it.

DELIA: Oh look, then you've gotta come with me. Look, you can leave here, can't you? I mean, it's just right around the corner.

ROGER: Well that's not the problem, Dee.

DELIA: Then what?

ROGER: Well, I'm not so sure that your family would like the idea.

DELIA: Well I don't know why they should think anything about it. You know, even Johnny Ryan would say, "You know, you've gotta get your lunch." Oh please, Roger, come with me?

ROGER: (smiles) Alright.

DELIA: (relieved) Oh, God!

ROGER: Thank you very much. Uh, what time?

DELIA: Oh, 11:30, and, uh, we'll meet over there - you know, we'll be a little discreet about it. (laughs)

ROGER: I think that would be a good idea.

DELIA: Okay, let me just check my watch. Okay, I'm gonna go home and I'm gonna do a little reading. I've got this incredible Chinese cookbook. Look, I'll lend it to you sometime. (smiles)

ROGER: Thank you.

DELIA: You know, I'm really excited about this. This is gonna be a great lunch. So I'll, I'll see you later.

ROGER: Okay.

DELIA: Good.

ROGER: 11:30.

(She makes a circle with her fingers, waves, and heads to the elevator thrilled that someone is giving her attention.

(In the next scene, they have finished their cooking lesson and are eating lunch at Lem's and Delia is trying to use chopsticks.)

DELIA: (laughing) You know what I think the trouble is? I think my fingers are too short! Here, let me try again.

(She struggles, but it doesn't work.)

ROGER: Alls you have to do is just keep practicing. It will come. (demonstrating) Now, once you get the knack of it, it's really a lovely way to eat.

DELIA: (joking) Do you know that I think you were probably Oriental in a past life? (He mutters.) See, I can see you sitting in a flowing silk robe, on a tatali(?) mat (he mutters) with burning incense and your bowl and chopsticks.

ROGER: Oh, that doesn't sound bad at all.

DELIA: Mmm, and all your wives are gathered around you, watching you eat.

ROGER: All my wives? Uhmm, how many do I have?

DELIA: Oh, well, you must have at least three, and of course you have a mistress in the next town. (He nods, picks up his bowl and starts eating quickly.) Hmmm...what are you doing?

ROGER: Oh, I've got to keep up all my strength.

DELIA: Oh, but see you're very very rich, so all you do all day long is just sit around and eat and enjoy yourself. See, all the work is just done for you.

ROGER: Oh, don't stop!

DELIA: Well, you know what happens to someone who lives a life like that?

ROGER: I burn myself out, right?

DELIA: (grinning) No, you get fat!

ROGER: (smiles) Well, I think it's worth it.

DELIA: Oh, I'm being silly! I don't know if it's the wine or the company.

ROGER: Whatever it is, Delia, don't stop.

(Mrs. Lem comes over to the table.)

MRS. LEM: Is everything alright?

ROGER: Oh, just fine, Mrs. Lem.

MRS. LEM: Next week, we learn how to make egg rolls. Yes?

ROGER AND DELIA: (in unison) Yes!

(They laugh as Mrs. Lem leaves.)

DELIA: Do you think that we're gonna get to have lunch after every cooking lesson? Because I'm really enjoying myself.

ROGER: I haven't had such a wonderful time in a long time.

DELIA: Uh, you know, I love to watch Mrs. Lem roll wantons. She's so patient, it's amazing.

ROGER: And inscrutable, too.

DELIA: You don't think she thinks it's a little funny that we're taking cooking lessons together, do you?

ROGER: Well I don't see why she should.

DELIA: Well, you know...

ROGER: Well, listen, there's nothing wrong in lifelong friends sharing cooking lessons and lunch, now is there?

DELIA: Hmm...ah, I guess not. (grinning) I wonder why I feel so sinful?

ROGER: Because of me?

DELIA: Maybe. You know, you're not the favorite person of the Ryans. Well, it might not be right, but I am enjoying it.

ROGER: So am I, Dee. You know, I can't remember the last time I had such a frivolous lunch!

DELIA: (smiling) Yeah, me too.

ROGER: Really? That surprises me. I mean, I'd think you'd have lots of fun with all the Ryans around all time.

DELIA: (getting serious) Well, it's really not as much fun as you would imagine.

ROGER: Frank being busy as city councilman, right?

DELIA: Well, Frank is busy all the time, and Maeve and Johnny are always busy in the bar, and I'm always taking care of Little John.

ROGER: I see.

DELIA: And then when Little John finally goes to bed and he's asleep, that's when I feel like singing and partying a little bit.

DELIA: And everybody's either busy or tired.

ROGER: Well it sounds to me like they don't appreciate you.

DELIA: (trying to hide that his statement hit close to home) Look, do I sound like I'm complaining? Because I really think the Ryans are wonderful.

ROGER: No, I just...I don't understand why they fail to appreciate you. I mean, I think that you should be the center of attention.

DELIA: (grinning and loving that idea) Think so?

ROGER: Of course I do. I'm the one who's in disgrace, I'm the black sheep right now, so I can understand the reasons why I'm ignored and left on the outside of things, but you...

DELIA: I always thought you and Jill were very close.

ROGER: Well we have been. But since my late, lamented problems with Frank...

DELIA: Well you know what's funny? See, you were on the losing side of that one and I was on the winning side, but neither of us came out very well.

ROGER: Not exactly, but there's no reason that that has to be a permanent condition.

DELIA: You mean, things may get better?

ROGER: I mean, we had fun today.

DELIA: Yes, we did. (smiles) We had fun.

ROGER: And we're gonna have another cooking lesson next week, right?

DELIA: Yeah, eggrolls. Mmm...I can't wait.

ROGER: And maybe after the lesson, we can have lunch again, together.

DELIA: I don't know, maybe, but even if we don't, I want to thank you for today. (smiles) I really haven't had so much fun in a long time.

(Delia pours some tea as Roger gets a contemplative look on his face. In the next scene, Delia arrives at Frank's office, her spirits soaring and carrying a bag.)

DELIA: (to the secretary) Hello, Georgia!

GEORGIA: Hello, Mrs. Ryan.

DELIA: Well, is the great man busy?

GEORGIA: No, but he does have a rather crowded calendar.

DELIA: Hmm...well, I'll just be a minute.

GEORGIA: Well, could I help? His next appointment's due any second.

DELIA: No, I just want to show him something.

GEORGIA: Well don't you think that...

(She barges in as Frank is going through a filing cabinet.)

DELIA: Yoo-hoo! (closing the door) It was terrific!

FRANK: (less than thrilled to see her) Lunch at Lem's?

DELIA: Yes. And, uh, Frank? I'm really sorry that I upset you this morning.

FRANK: I'm sorry I couldn't go with you.

DELIA: How was your school meeting?

FRANK: Four hours and twenty five minutes. I'm glad you had a good time.

(Throughout the conversation, he continues trying to work, regardless of what Delia says or does.)

DELIA: (smiling) You know, I had such a good time that I kind of felt guilty leaving.

FRANK: Now, you don't need to feel guilty.

DELIA: (smiling) Well, just because you didn't get your lunch today, I am gonna fix you a Chinese dinner!

FRANK: Oh, I'll look forward to that.

DELIA: I'll dress the part too. (taking some kind of silk blouse out of the bag) Tah-dah! How do you like this?

FRANK: Oh, it's very nice, and I know you'll look great in it tonight only...right now Dee, I've got an appointment...

DELIA: (unbuttoning her blouse) Well, I thought I'd give you a little sneak preview so you'd have something to look forward to.

FRANK: Come on, Dee, I've got Charlie Ferris due.

DELIA: (touching his hair) Do you think maybe that you were an Oriental in a past life? (grinning) Cause that would add to it, you know?

FRANK: (laughing without any humor) I've got enough trouble with trying to manage this life without worrying about any other I might have... Dee! Charlie's gonna be here any second!

(She's now only in her slip, trying to seduce him.)

DELIA: Ah, maybe you were a Samurai or something, a warrior. What do you think?

FRANK: That's Japanese.

DELIA: Oh. (having put the blouse on) How do you like it?

FRANK: (annoyed) It's very pretty.

DELIA: (putting her arms around him) Does it make you think of strange, exotic thoughts?

FRANK: It makes me think that Charlie's gonna come in here any second!

DELIA: (pulling away, suddenly snapping) You are so mean to me!

FRANK: Come on, Dee...

DELIA: Look, damn, we used to have fun! The one thing that you said you liked about me was that I made you laugh!

FRANK: Couldn't you make me laugh tonight, when I get home?

DELIA: Oh yeah, sure! Yeah, after you play with the baby and change your clothes and you've visited with your parents and...oh, after you've made 12,000 phone calls, between that time and dinner, yeah, we can have one big laugh!

FRANK: Delia, do we have to do this right this minute? Could we wait until a little later?

DELIA: Oh yeah, we can wait a long time!

FRANK: Just until I get home.

DELIA: And what's gonna happen then? Are we gonna have more fun?

FRANK: I don't know what you mean.

DELIA: Well, are we gonna have more fun? Look, maybe you don't want to come home at all! Maybe not even a little bit!

FRANK: (pleading) We don't have to include Georgia in this conversation...

DELIA: Look, I don't care who's listening! (shouting) Georgia! Just listen all you want.

(In the other room, Georgia, a bit embarassed, adjusts her glasses and goes back to work.)

FRANK: Look, I like the blouse, I like Chinese food, I'll do what I can to make things pleasant.

DELIA: Yeah, sure.

FRANK: Dee, I'm doing the best I can.

DELIA: Look, am I bothering you? Well, I'm sorry if it's so hard for you to, uh, accept me.

FRANK: No, no...

DELIA: Oh what am I, a pest? I'm not gonna go on begging!

FRANK: I'm sorry if I wasn't more enthusiastic about your blouse.

DELIA: Frank it's not just my blouse, it's about a hundred other things ever since you stopped seeing Jill! You're not even aware of what you're doing, you know that? Well maybe it's my turn. Maybe it's time for me to have an outside interest.

FRANK: Well, obviously, Dee, you ought to have some interests outside of Little John and me.

DELIA: (hatching an idea) Well, maybe I'll start to take Chinese cooking lessons a little more seriously.

FRANK: Yeah, if that's what you want to do.

DELIA: Well that might be just the thing, because Chinese cooking would be a lot more fun than being with you. (He ignores her and goes back to writing.) A lot more fun!

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