Jack Gets Drunk the Night Ryan is Born
(May 1977)

(With much reluctance, Johnny calls Jack on the phone. Jack, who is asleep, wakes up and answers.)

JACK: (angry to have been awakened) Yeah?

JOHNNY: Hello, Fenelli, this is Johnny Ryan. Are you awake?

JACK: Well, I am now.

JOHNNY: Yeah, alright, stay awake, and just listen. Now, I'm making this call against my better judgment, but I know it's what Mary would want me to do, so it's what I'm doing. (screaming) Listen, she's on her way to the hospital right now with her mother to have your baby! So, if you've got one responsible, decent bone in your body - if you care at all for her feelings - you will do what that girl wants more than anything else in the world and get your tail up to that hospital right now!

(He slams the phone down. Jack, on the other end, is terrified. He gets up, turns on the light, and frantically gets dressed. Instead of going to the hospital, however, he finds himself at the door of the Gennaro Social Club, where Jumbo and Lou are playing cards and do not notice him walking in right away.)

JUMBO: Knock on three.

LOU: Oh, come on, Jumbo, I'm sitting here with a pair of queens and two nines! Look at this, nothing to play on. That's it. I'm less three, thirty-two over.

JUMBO: How much do you owe me?

LOU: Tonight, or the big picture?

JUMBO: Everything.

LOU: Tonight, a dollar forty. The big picture, that's a dollar forty plus...oh boy, $1705.60.

JACK: Give that game about ten more years, you could retire.

JUMBO: (shaking his hand) Hi, Giovanni.

LOU: Jack, baby, how you doing!

JUMBO: He's not doing so good.

JACK: Well, that's about it.

LOU: (getting up) Here, sit in my chair! Let me get you a glass!

JACK: Actually, is there any bourben back there?

LOU: (pouring) You know it!

JACK: (sitting down) Skip the ice.

JUMBO: So, what's going on?

JACK: Mary's having the baby.

LOU: Now?

JACK: Yeah.

LOU: Mary's having her kid right this minute?

JACK: Yeah, yeah.

(Lou hands him a shot glass.)

JUMBO: So what are you doing here?

JACK: You know the answer to that as well as I do.

LOU: So tell him again! I mean, I don't get it, Jack.

JACK: Look, look, I'd rather not talk about it. I just want to get drunk.

LOU: (to Jumbo) Does he still love Mary?

JUMBO: (to Lou) Yeah.

LOU: (to Jumbo) Does Mary still love him.

JUMBO: (to Lou) Yeah!

LOU: (to Jumbo) But he don't want the baby, and he doesn't want to be married?

JUMBO: (to Lou) You've got it.

LOU: (to Jack) Just give me a clue.

JACK: I'm the wrong person for Mary. I never should have married her. It was a mistake. I don't like to make mistakes, so when I make a mistake I like to unmake it as quick as I can.

(He finishes a shot and pours another.)

LOU: Hey, how do you unmake a baby?

JACK: (pause) Well, you can't. But I can get out of her life, and make room for someone else who can play husband and daddy and Johnny Ryan's son-in-law and be all the things that she deserves that I'm not and won't ever be.

(Jack downs a shot.)

LOU: There's something wrong with that, I just can't put my finger on it.

JUMBO: What's wrong is Mary wants him.

JACK: Mary doesn't know what's good for her.

LOU: Aah, look who's talking!

JACK: Aah, hey, knock it off, will you, Lou?

(Jack pours another shot.)

JUMBO: (to Lou) You've got to understand, the reason he's upset is because Mary's been asking him to be with her when the baby's born.

LOU: (to Jumbo) And he thinks if he goes up there, it'll just encourage her, to ask for more?

JUMBO: (to Lou) That's it. From his point of view, it's a tough decision to make.

JACK: The decision's already made. I'm not going anywhere near that hospital tonight. I don't want to see Mary, I don't want to see the kid, and maybe with a little luck Mary will finally get the message.

(He downs another shot.)

LOU: (to Jumbo) Hey, he don't really mean that.

JUMBO: Alright, Giovanni, I think you should have one more drink, and then I got something to say to you.

(Jack has had another shot.)

JACK: Okay, go ahead, say what you've got to say and let's get it out of the way.

JUMBO: I think you've got to look at this from Mary's point of view.

JACK: What the hell do you think I've been doing! I'm trying to get Mary out of a disaster that I got her into, and she's fighting me every inch of the way, and I don't like fighting with her, I don't like hurting her, I don't like hurting me, but better now than later! Or, it'll be ten times worse, and what I don't need right now is somebody telling me to think about Mary when I can't think about anything else!

(He downs another glass.)

JUMBO: Why you making it so hard on yourself and so hard on that beautiful girl?

JACK: (mutters) Oh God!

JUMBO: She knows who she married, she knows you're no prize in certain areas, but she knows you're in love with her and she knows you're a fair man.

JACK: Jumbo...

JUMBO: Don't you love her?

JACK: Yeah.

JUMBO: Don't you want to be fair?

(Jack nods.)

JUMBO: So, tell me again why you're not with her tonight?

(Jack shakes his head no in frustration, then pours down another glass.)

LOU: Let me see if I got this straight.

JACK: Why not?

LOU: You want to break up with Mary because you're afraid you're gonna hurt or disappoint her, or do other things that are gonna make her less happy, is that correct?

JACK: That's just about it.

LOU: Only (cough) it's turning out to be that she's not so easy to break up with!

(Jack pours another glass.)

LOU: On account of Mary don't feel that she has or you have done anything to hurt her or disappoint her in any way? So, in order to convince her that you will hurt her and disappoint her in the future, you hurt and disappoint her now, by not going to see the baby?

JUMBO: You've got to admit, it makes you look pretty stupid! That was good thinking, Lou, have some (he names some brand of bourben, which I don't know, not being a bourben drinker).

JACK: (deep in thought) Say that again?

LOU: I don't know if I could. (thinks) What I mean is, who knows and who cares what you will or you won't do later on? What matters is right now. (smiles) Hey, Jack, all we got is right now, and right now, there's no law that says you have to hurt Mary or disappoint her. Hey, you have a couple of cups of coffee, I'll get the car, roll down the windows, you get some fresh air, we drive up to Riverside, and there you can see your baby born. Hey! Don't worry about tomorrow, next week, next year! Mary just wants you with her tonight.

JACK: Yeah, but I won't know what to do! I threw away the book!

LOU: What book?

JACK: The book about the bath! I've got to give the baby a bath!

LOU: Oh, later on! (laughs) I mean, they're so small to begin with! We used to put them in the kitchen sink to give them a bath.

JACK: No, no, no, no, no, not the sink! (gets up) It's something I've gotta do for the kid. See, I've gotta take him and put him in warm water (holds out his hands) and the kid thinks that that's just swell. Only I didn't read the book!

JUMBO: Where are you going?

JACK: I've gotta find the book!

LOU: Hey, Jack come back here!

(He gets up and walks over to Jack.)

LOU: You've gotta have some coffee, Jack! Walk around the block!

JACK: (holding his face) Hey, Lou, you're beautiful, you really are, but you don't understand! See, if I'm gonna do it, I've gotta do it right now! Hey, hey, pray for me, hmm?

(He walks out the door.)

JUMBO: (to Lou) Let him go.

LOU: You sure?

JUMBO: If we try to stop him, he'll get mean. Let's hope for the best.

LOU: You think he'll make it in time?

(Jumbo shrugs. In the next scene, Jack stumbles off the elevator in obstetrics, just near the charge station where a nurse whom Pat has just informed the family is known as "Dunfey the Dictator" is standing.)

JACK: Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find my wife? My wife is having a baby.

NURSE: That's not an unusual situation in obstetrics. The name, please?

JACK: I don't know. She didn't tell me the name.

NURSE: (in disbelief) You don't know your wife's name?

JACK: I don't know the baby's name. I don't know the baby's name cause I wasn't around much! But see, it's okay now, because Mary said that she wants me there cause I'm gonna give the baby a bath.

NURSE: What is your name, sir?

JACK: Fenelli, Jack, not to be confused with Antonio Francelli! You got a Mrs. Francelli here having a baby? Cause, if you do, Mary's in a lot of trouble.

NURSE: Mrs. Fenelli - who is Dr. Wolfe's patient - is in delivery now.

JACK: Where?

(He looks around, frantically.)

NURSE: Mr. Fenelli, stop right where you are!

JACK: You don't understand! See, I've gotta be there. Mary is waiting for me!

NURSE: Dr. Wolfe is conducting a Lamaze/Laboyer delivery for Mrs. Fenelli. Now, usually the baby's father is in attendance, but Mrs. Fenelli's mother is with her and you cannot go in there now!

JACK: But, I've gotta be there! The father's gotta be there! Maeve isn't the father, I'm the father!

NURSE: Mr. Fenelli, you are also drunk. You're obviously unprepared. In your present condition, you'd be a menace, to your wife and the baby. The only place you are going is out into the waiting area or home, where I'm sure someone will call you when your baby's born.

JACK: Who are you, anyway?

NURSE: Marie Dunfey, charge nurse of this station, and I am asking you to leave without further argument!

JACK: Excuse me, Miss Dunfey, but I've gotta find my wife.

NURSE: Oh, that does it! Mr. Fenelli, do you leave now, quietly, or do I call security?

(She picks up the phone.)

JACK: I'm going! I've gotta get some air! But I'll be back! You tell Mary that I'll be back!

NURSE: (after he has gotten on the elevator) I think we can spare her that threat!

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