Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 4

76d: Karen Black / John Prine

Lunch Counter Reunion

Written by: Marilyn Suzanne Miller

Ralph Bort ... Dan Aykroyd
Patty Rivers ... Jane Curtin
Waitress ... Gilda Radner

[The lunch counter at Woolworth's department store, a little before one o'clock in the afternoon. Two adults sit together, having just eaten: a man and a woman, smoking cigarettes. A waitress removes their plates and brings them coffee. The man is boisterous and enthusiastic. The woman is distinctly uncomfortable. The scene opens in mid-conversation:]

Ralph Bort: [laughing] But - but weren't ya - weren't ya sort of embarrassed, you know, every time your underpants showed when you did a cartwheel? I mean, I mean, I knew they matched your cheerleading skirt and all that but you must've been embarrassed from time to time. Ha!

Patty Rivers: Well, I--

Ralph Bort: Maybe ... you sort of liked it. Yeah, you sort of liked it. Huh! I guess that's it. You sort of liked it. [laughs]

Patty Rivers: I really didn't--

Ralph Bort: That's something, you know? After ten whole years, finding out the captain of the high school cheerleading team really liked her underpants showing. [laughs]

Patty Rivers: They were supposed to show. They matched the outfit. They were supposed to show, okay?

Ralph Bort: Well, okay, okay, Patty Rivers!

Patty Rivers: I wish you wouldn't say my name so much.

Ralph Bort: Oh, I like saying it. It reminds me I'm talkin' to ya. I, Ralph Bort -- "B. O." Bort talking to you, Patty Rivers! And to think in high school, I was scared of you, y'know? I was scared of you -- but now we're just regular people, just adults, just you and me here. [laughs]

Patty Rivers: Yeah. Yeah.

Ralph Bort: You still - you still don't remember me, do ya? [laughs] Here - here's a hint! [covers mouth with hands, imitates a filtered voice] Testing one-two-three! Testing one-two-three!

Patty Rivers: I give up.

Ralph Bort: Captain of the audiovisual squad! Seven guys who really gave a damn if the mikes had feedback in the gym. And in the auditorium.

Patty Rivers: Really?

Ralph Bort: We were the backbone of those pep rallies. You were the underpants! [laughs]

Patty Rivers: Listen, I - I really have to get back. My lunch hour is over. I just can't stay here--

Ralph Bort: Hey! Hey! Relax! I'm tight with the crowd at Fanny Farmer, I'll vouch for ya.

Patty Rivers: Well, okay.

Ralph Bort: After all, how many reunions do you have in your lifetime? Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, forty?

Patty Rivers: I don't know.

Ralph Bort: Running into each other at the lunch counter at Woolworth's! Can you imagine what might not have happened if I didn't ask you for the salt?

Patty Rivers: I'm due back at one.

Ralph Bort: Five minutes! You can talk five minutes about old times! High school!

Patty Rivers: We didn't have any old times.

Ralph Bort: We went to the same high school, didn't we? We went to the same lockers. You know, I forgot to tell you this. I had your old junior year locker in my senior year 'cause I found this, uh, this piece of crepe paper, you know, like from one of your, uh, your pompons, you know, and I saved it.

Patty Rivers: Why?

Ralph Bort: It was something to save! Something to keep! A memory! A souvenir! I couldn't take home any microphones. I couldn't take home those filmstrips on, uh, Guatemala. Imports, exports, bushels of wheat. [imitates narrator] "Guatemala, your downstairs neighbor!" Remember that? I showed that filmstrip about fifty times in four years. Guatemala, Guatemalans -- who cares? You didn't have that problem, though. You probably had lots of souvenirs. You probably took a lot home, didn't ya?

Patty Rivers: Yes, I did.

Ralph Bort: Well, like what?

Patty Rivers: My pompons, my cheerleading letter, my - my Homecoming crown--

Ralph Bort: Homecoming! I - I went to a Homecoming ... after I was in Nam. I was in Nam. Know what I did there?

Patty Rivers: What?

Ralph Bort: Would you believe ... FIGHT?! You know why I said that? I wanted you to ask me that so I could say "Would you believe ...?" Remember? I started that in our high school. I was the one who said, "Would you believe ...?" first! I started "Would you believe ...?" It was all over the country but I started it in our high school. I started "Would you believe ...?" I started that. Heh! You know, those words would've never come out of your mouth, you know, if - if I didn't say "Would you believe ...?" You know? That really gets me sometimes that I started that, you know? I started "Would you believe ...?" And those words would've never come out of your mouth, if I didn't start that! Huh! Damn! [laughs] Nam! I was in Nam. Know what I did in Nam? I ran the movie projector. Showed "Blue Hawaii," "True ..." -- you know -- "... Grit," all those movies, you know? What about you?

Patty Rivers: What about me?

Ralph Bort: Yeah, what have you done since high school? I wanna know. I'm interested.

Patty Rivers: Well, I went to college. I got married. I got divorced. Now, I'm living with my parents--

Ralph Bort: Yeah! I heard about that! Getting divorced -- I heard about that. My mom sent me something over in Nam, a little item in the newspaper, you know? Well, don't worry about it, I mean, they weren't talking about it in Nam, you know. They had other things to worry about.

Patty Rivers: Well, that's it for me. I really--

Ralph Bort: I went to community college for two years. I started the AV squad there. It was sort of my brainchild. "Brainchild" -- there's a word I never used in high school, you know? Some people used that word, I never used that word. Only when I started, uh, you know, managing the tire department over at Sears, I started using "brainchild." I got the job, tire manager over there. It's terrific, you know, I work nine to five, five days a week. I never thought I could get into it, you know, but I do - I do it, you know? I play a lot of poker on weekends, though. A lot of poker! Maybe too much poker, you know?! But I'm real busy.

Patty Rivers: Look, it's been really nice but I have to get back--

Ralph Bort: Hey! You smoke cigarettes! What kind?

Patty Rivers: Menthol.

Ralph Bort: I smoke menthol 100s. I love 'em! I like the taste! I like menthol! Isn't that something? Who ever thought we were gonna grow up like this and I'd be sitting next to you, you smoking cigarettes? It's amazing! It's just amazing! What kind of car you drive? I got a Chevy Nova, you know. A tachometer. I got rally stripes, baby moon. I got, uh, CB radio, tape deck. I got all of that in there. I got, uh, factory air conditioning, too, you know? I wouldn't take it without the air. What kind of car do you drive?

Patty Rivers: Toyota.

Ralph Bort: Ahhh, you worry about pollution, huh?

Patty Rivers: Well, I--

Ralph Bort: I do, too! You know, I worry about pollution, too. But I'm pretty busy, you know. I'm-- When I'm not playing poker or managing the tire department over there, you know-- I - I worry about pollution. Actually, it's not what you'd call, really, like, worrying, you know, it's like - it's like - it's like - it's what you'd call, like, thinking ... about pollution, you know, like-- ? Yeah. Yeah, that's it! It's - it's - it's what you'd call thinking about pollution.

Patty Rivers: Look, I've really got to go.

Ralph Bort: Isn't this something, though? Both of us are adults! Both of us adults, here, equals, you know? It's not like high school. In high school, there were all those levels, you know, groups. Some people were nothing, you know? Some people were something. More something. Right up to the big shots. But, in life, it all evens out! We're adults! We both lived, done things, you know? You've lived! I've lived! You know, like you were married, divorced. I was in Nam. You know, here you are smoking cigarettes, you know? You, in high school with your underpants showing. Me, watching. Things are different! Things are really different now! I could even ask you out now, couldn't I?

Patty Rivers: [gives him a sharp look, after a pause] No.

[She rises, slaps some change down on the counter, takes her receipt, and walks off. He calls after her.]

Ralph Bort: Hey - hey, I'll call 'em at Fanny Farmer. I - I'll explain to them that you're gonna be late. [to the waitress who clears away his coffee cup and wipes the counter with a rag] I - I - I know them there, at Fanny Farmer. I know them.

[The waitress hands him his receipt. He inspects it closely, rises, and reaches into his pocket for money.]

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