Ricky Goes Bowling
Ricky … Billy Crystal
[Ricky, dressed for a night at the bowling alley, isdiscovered alone on a darkened Home Base in front of ablack curtain. He holds an imaginary bowling ball,ready to roll it down the lane. He steps forward andlets it go. Sound effect: ball rolls down the lane.Ricky watches it intently, trying to direct the ballwith his body English. Sound effect: pins going down.Ricky jumps up and stares in disbelief.]
Ricky: Noooo! No! Seven-ten split! I can’tBELIEVE it! The impossible split of all time! This isunbelievable, I can’t believe it! This is a-mazing!… [hands on hips, staring down the lane] Theseven-ten! The ball is cursed! Unbelievable, I can’tbelieve this – a-mazing! It’s unbelievable! …Oooooggghhh! [rolls eyes and sighs as he holds hishands over the alley’s blower and wriggles his fingersto dry them – shakes his head] … This is absolutelyunbelievable, this is amazing, ya know what I’mtalkin’ 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 yoursister, by the way? [pause] Oh, no. I am sorry.I didn’t know. I didn’t hear nothin’, didn’t see it inthe papers or nothin’, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Whoa- I’m – I’m like that, ya know? Every time I asksomebody how they are, they’re dead. Ya know what I’mtalkin’ about? … [clutches his head inembarrassment, starts to laugh] So I’m really sorry![stops laughing] I’m not laughin’ now, ya know, I’mjust– … But it always happens to me. It’sunbelievable! 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 meten bucks! [pause, turns back to Eddie] You see? Thisis– [puts fists to his temples, shakes his head,Frankie’s brother is dead] … This is unbelievable. Imean, ya know, unbelievable. But everything’s goin’like that now. It’s unbelievable, ya know? My old manis really, really upset with me. [beat] Well, I quitcollege again, ya know, ya know? I was goin’ throughjunior college, ya know, them two-year schools, yaknow? But I was there six years, I didn’t learnNOTHIN’! I’ll tell ya that right now. … [waves dismissively] It’s ridiculous, it’s reallyridiculous, ya know? [wriggles fingers over blower]And then, my love life is goin’ south, ya know. Ibroke up with Joanie after all this time. Yeah, I hadto get rid of her, ya know. You know, man, you know.[beat] No, she didn’t have no mustache or nothin’, itwasn’t that. It was– … It was, like, the AGEdifference. It was the difference in our ages. Youknow, I’m thirty-seven now. Yeah, you know. I’ve beenaround. I been in Nam, I’ve been around, ya know? Iwas there, ya know? I’ve been around. And I know thatthey say the high school girls are more mature thanthey were – but I didn’t think so, ya know?…
Really stupid. You know what she said to me the othernight when we were sittin’ there smoochin’ and stuff,ya know? She looks up at me and she goes, “Ricky, Ibelieve that professional wrestling is fixed.” Do youbelieve THAT?! … [shakes his head] It wasunbelievable, it was absolutely unbelievable, Icouldn’t believe it, ya know? It was a-mazing! [rollshis eyes] …
Hey, did you vote? [beat] You did? I never vote. Ihave never voted, I’m proud to say. I never vote. …No, I– No, I DO care about who’s, ya know, who’s thepresident and all that stuff. I just don’t wanna havejury 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 knowwhat’s goin’ on, ya know. Yeah, I’ve been unsettled,ya know. Think I’ll maybe go to California. Yeah, I’llgo out to California, ya know. It’s – it’s warm there,it’s really nice, ya know. Chicks’ll be there, yaknow. Maybe I’ll meet Hefner, ya know. … Hang outwith the chicks. ‘Cause I’m a chick guy. The chicksare over me, ya know? They’re all over me. I’m like apest strip, ya know what I’m talkin’ about? I’m like apest strip. It’s unbelievable, ya know?! … Yeah, yaknow, and then, ya know, if I’m in L.A., ya know, Ithink I could do what I really, really wanna do withmy life, ya know? I just didn’t know, it’s beenburnin’, burnin’ up inside o’ me. I really wannadirect a movie. … I really think that’s what mytalents are bent for, ya know. I really think that Icould just go out there and just really– I wouldreally like to direct a movie.
But! You know, too much. Too much. Hey, listen. HappyThanksgiving, man. You gonna be with your parents onThanksgiving? [beat, winces, buries his face in hishand, Eddie’s parents are dead] Ohhhh, no! I– … Ididn’t know! I’m– … This is one of them days, yaknow what I’m talkin’ about? I got two– Oh, boy, atriple! I got a triple, ya know? Oh, well, I gotta getthis [picks up imaginary bowling ball, sings to thetune of “The Impossible Dream”] impossiblespare!
Anyway, take care of yourself, all right? You knowsomethin’? After all this time, my old man’s right. Hesays, “Life is a tough job. And the hours are abitch!” You know what I’m talkin’ about? …[Ricky gets set, then throws his imaginary ball downthe 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] IGOT IT!!![Cheers and applause as Ricky jumps up and downhappily. Dissolve to a wider view of Ricky at HomeBase surrounded by cameras, crew andcrowd.]