Ricky Goes Bowling

Ricky ... Billy Crystal



[Ricky, dressed for a night at the bowling alley, is discovered alone on a darkened Home Base in front of a black curtain. He holds an imaginary bowling ball, ready to roll it down the lane. He steps forward and lets it go. Sound effect: ball rolls down the lane. Ricky watches it intently, trying to direct the ball with his body English. Sound effect: pins going down. Ricky jumps up and stares in disbelief.]

Ricky: Noooo! No! Seven-ten split! I can't BELIEVE it! The impossible split of all time! This is unbelievable, I can't believe it! This is a-mazing! ... [hands on hips, staring down the lane] The seven-ten! The ball is cursed! Unbelievable, I can't believe this - a-mazing! It's unbelievable! ... Oooooggghhh! [rolls eyes and sighs as he holds his hands over the alley's blower and wriggles his fingers to dry them - shakes his head] ... This is absolutely unbelievable, this is amazing, ya know what I'm talkin' about?

[calls off] Hey, Eddie! How ya doin'? Good. Me? Lousy! I got the seven-ten here. Look at this - unbelievable! ... How good can I be, ya know? Hey, how's your sister, by the way? [pause] Oh, no. I am sorry. I didn't know. I didn't hear nothin', didn't see it in the papers or nothin', I'm sorry. I didn't know. Whoa - I'm - I'm like that, ya know? Every time I ask somebody how they are, they're dead. Ya know what I'm talkin' about? ... [clutches his head in embarrassment, starts to laugh] So I'm really sorry! [stops laughing] I'm not laughin' now, ya know, I'm just-- ... But it always happens to me. It's unbelievable! I mean, this is unbelie-- It's amazing. Unbelievable. ...

[calls off in another direction] Hey, Frankie! Hey, how ya doin'? Hey, where's your brother? He owes me ten bucks! [pause, turns back to Eddie] You see? This is-- [puts fists to his temples, shakes his head, Frankie's brother is dead] ... This is unbelievable. I mean, ya know, unbelievable. But everything's goin' like that now. It's unbelievable, ya know? My old man is really, really upset with me. [beat] Well, I quit college again, ya know, ya know? I was goin' through junior college, ya know, them two-year schools, ya know? But I was there six years, I didn't learn NOTHIN'! I'll tell ya that right now. ...

[waves dismissively] It's ridiculous, it's really ridiculous, ya know? [wriggles fingers over blower] And then, my love life is goin' south, ya know. I broke up with Joanie after all this time. Yeah, I had to get rid of her, ya know. You know, man, you know. [beat] No, she didn't have no mustache or nothin', it wasn't that. It was-- ... It was, like, the AGE difference. It was the difference in our ages. You know, I'm thirty-seven now. Yeah, you know. I've been around. I been in Nam, I've been around, ya know? I was there, ya know? I've been around. And I know that they say the high school girls are more mature than they were - but I didn't think so, ya know? ...

Really stupid. You know what she said to me the other night when we were sittin' there smoochin' and stuff, ya know? She looks up at me and she goes, "Ricky, I believe that professional wrestling is fixed." Do you believe THAT?! ... [shakes his head] It was unbelievable, it was absolutely unbelievable, I couldn't believe it, ya know? It was a-mazing! [rolls his eyes] ...

Hey, did you vote? [beat] You did? I never vote. I have never voted, I'm proud to say. I never vote. ... No, I-- No, I DO care about who's, ya know, who's the president and all that stuff. I just don't wanna have jury duty. Ya know what I'm talkin' about? ...

[waves dismissively, runs hands through his hair] Ooooh-gaaah! Lookin' back there, ya know. Seven-ten! [points, to the bowling pins] Seven-ten, I'm comin' for ya! Ooooh, man. [to Eddie] My whole life is, like, weird now, ya know. I'm thirty-seven, I don't know what's goin' on, ya know. Yeah, I've been unsettled, ya know. Think I'll maybe go to California. Yeah, I'll go out to California, ya know. It's - it's warm there, it's really nice, ya know. Chicks'll be there, ya know. Maybe I'll meet Hefner, ya know. ... Hang out with the chicks. 'Cause I'm a chick guy. The chicks are over me, ya know? They're all over me. I'm like a pest strip, ya know what I'm talkin' about? I'm like a pest strip. It's unbelievable, ya know?! ... Yeah, ya know, and then, ya know, if I'm in L.A., ya know, I think I could do what I really, really wanna do with my life, ya know? I just didn't know, it's been burnin', burnin' up inside o' me. I really wanna direct a movie. ... I really think that's what my talents are bent for, ya know. I really think that I could just go out there and just really-- I would really like to direct a movie.

But! You know, too much. Too much. Hey, listen. Happy Thanksgiving, man. You gonna be with your parents on Thanksgiving? [beat, winces, buries his face in his hand, Eddie's parents are dead] Ohhhh, no! I-- ... I didn't know! I'm-- ... This is one of them days, ya know what I'm talkin' about? I got two-- Oh, boy, a triple! I got a triple, ya know? Oh, well, I gotta get this [picks up imaginary bowling ball, sings to the tune of "The Impossible Dream"] impossible spare!

Anyway, take care of yourself, all right? You know somethin'? After all this time, my old man's right. He says, "Life is a tough job. And the hours are a bitch!" You know what I'm talkin' about? ...

[Ricky gets set, then throws his imaginary ball down the lane, watching it intently, lots of body English. Sound effect: ball rolls down the lane - pins crash. Ricky looks stunned.]

Ricky: I GOT IT!!! [pumps fists in the air] I GOT IT!!!

[Cheers and applause as Ricky jumps up and down happily. Dissolve to a wider view of Ricky at Home Base surrounded by cameras, crew and crowd.]


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