To Sir, With Love
Original Airdate: February 16, 1987

[Detectives' Squad room]

PETRIE: (with a dead-looking potted plant) I gave it water. I even gave it fertiliser. I don't know what else to do.
CHRISTINE: I think it's time to carry it to the window for one last look at the heavens.
(Petrie takes the plant off. Mary Beth passes him on her way in)
MARY BETH: Good morning, Marcus. Good morning, Christine. I have to have a quick lunch today. I've gotta go out and buy a whole bunch of roses.
CHRISTINE: Wait until this evening and you can have them for nothing.
MARY BETH: I'm gonna sew them on Alice's pinafore. (taking it out her carrier bag) Is this the sweetest thing you've seen in your whole life? It's exactly like Alice in Wonderland's, except that it's gonna have little roses all along the hem. I have to finish it by Thursday. Is seven o'clock all right with you?
CHRISTINE: Seven o'clock?!
MARY BETH: Alice's first birthday. Don't tell me you've forgot her party?!
CHRISTINE: Course I didn't forget. She's my namesake!
MARY BETH: I thought we'd all dress up.
CHRISTINE: I'll wear my tiara!
SAMUELS: (coming out of his office) Everybody listen up! The honour of the Fourteenth has been challenged.
MARY BETH: Something tells me he had dinner with Captain Gomford of the Eighth.
SAMUELS: Last night I had dinner with Captain Gomford of the Eighth. He tells me that they are gonna take, for the third year in a row, the Division trophy for the highest clearance rate.
ISBECKI: Yeah, but we won the football pool.
SAMUELS: (having taken a disparaging glance at Isbecki) For years now we have been in the bottom half of the Division and I'm getting tired of Gomford rubbing my nose in it! We've got until Friday, five o'clock, to up our rate!! We are as good as the Eighth!!! Why haven't we won?! ...Paperwork!!! We have closed a lot of cases but we just have not (banging on a desk) processed the files to prove it!! I've got a fancy lunch riding on this. (stalking back to his office) So let's get up out of the bottom half this year and take first place!!!
(he slams the door of his office)
ESPOSITO: Thank you, Vince Lombardi.
PETRIE: Well, Victor, it's your moment of truth. Now you have to change the level of your blood pressure.
MARY BETH: Sergeant Coleman, could you dig out the file of our outstanding warrants, please?
COLEMAN: Pick a number.
KNELMAN: (coming in) Cagney, Cagney, Cagney!
CHRISTINE: Inspector, Inspector, Inspector.
KNELMAN: Detective Lacey. (she is still holding the pinafore) Official Department business?
MARY BETH: (embarrassed) Yes sir. (waving the pinafore) I mean 'No sir'. I was putting it away, sir.
KNELMAN: (sitting down by Chris's desk) I have here a special assignment that's just popped up, (he is holding a large envelope) and I'm gonna give you first crack at it.
CHRISTINE: I'm listening.
KNELMAN: Yeah. The chairman of the committee for the Division Dinner had to drop out for reasons of health and I need someone with your leadership ability to take over the job.
CHRISTINE: No one else available, Inspector?
KNELMAN: Oh, come on, Cagney, women love to plan parties.
CHRISTINE: Not this one. Besides the man over there in the office has me up to my ...leadership in paperwork!
KNELMAN: You have a great committee. There's Ralph Steer of the First. Now you know him. The Blue Blimp. He and that Nicky Coratis have been doing this dinner for years. All you have to do is breeze in with the last minute details and you walk away with all the credit.
SAMUELS: (coming up just as Chris is about to say something) Good morning, Inspector. Come back to my office. I'll heat you up a Danish.
KNELMAN: Oh, no thanks, Bert, I have to talk to your second whip. (lifting Chris out of her chair and taking her off) If you'll excuse us.
SAMUELS: (to Mary Beth) What's going on?
MARY BETH: He's trying to sweet talk her into organising the Division Dinner, sir.
SAMUELS: Cagney?!!
MARY BETH: I know.
SAMUELS: Ha. When pigs fly!
MARY BETH: Yes sir.

[Precinct House yard]

CHRISTINE: Give it up, Inspector. there's nothing you can say to change my mind.
KNELMAN: Do you want to know the big surprise? The Distinguished Service Award. This year we're giving it to Samuels. The dinner is for him.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Chris comes back in with the envelope and throws it on her desk)
SAMUELS: How did you get rid of him so fast?
CHRISTINE: I gave in!
MARY BETH: You what?!
CHRISTINE: He was very persuasive.
SAMUELS: I know what he's doing! He plays racquetball with Gomford. So he figures he can tie up my second whip and then the Eighth is gonna win again. Well, I'm gonna call Knelman and I'm gonna get you off of this duty.
CHRISTINE: No!!!
SAMUELS: Don't you see? He is trying to sandbag us. I need you on this clearance rate.
CHRISTINE: I can handle it, Lieutenant. I promise you I will not let the dinner interfere with my work.
SAMUELS: You wanna do this dinner?!
CHRISTINE: Yes.
SAMUELS: Oh, yeah, I see. Sure. You are supposed to deploy downtown, (shouting in her face) well do it in your own time!!!
CHRISTINE: (through her teeth after Samuels has stalked off) I hate this dinner already.
MARY BETH: You wanna do this dinner?
CHRISTINE: I would rather swim in a river with a piranha. I've gotta go downtown in a half hour. (shuffling files) I'd rather be getting on with the clearance rate.
(Coleman leads in a woman with long blonde hair and an outfit in orange and black polka dots)
ISBECKI: Oh, would you look at that!
ESPOSITO: Wouldn't you love to connect those thighs?
COLEMAN: Margaret Moeller. Sergeant Cagney, Detective Lacey. This one's a grounder. She wants to report a stolen ring. And she knows who's got it.
MARGARET MOELLER: That's right. It's a diamond and sapphire. (Isbecki has crept up behind her and is looking her up and down) You see, I gave it to my boy friend who had it repaired. And now that we've broken up, he won't give it back.
CHRISTINE: Well, unless it was taken by force, I'm not sure we have a crime, Miss. Moeller.
MARGARET MOELLER: But you don't understand. That ring belonged to my grandmother. (breaking down) She sure was a lovely guy.
ESPOSITO: (handing her a handkerchief) There, there, pretty lady, please don't cry. I have a cousin in jewellery. (getting out a card) Call him at this number. He's gonna fix you right up.
CHRISTINE: (taking the card) That's your number, Esposito.
(she tears the card in two)
MARY BETH: (handing Chris a manual) Sergeant, if we can file this one under the misapplication of property...
MARGARET MOELLER: You're not gonna put him in prison, are you?
MARY BETH: Well, we usually start with a friendly visit before we throw anybody in the Tower. (Margaret Moeller seems distraught) That's a little police humour, ma'am. I'm gonna need some information on the gentleman.
MARGARET MOELLER: His name is Ted ...Delmore. He has beautiful smooth olive skin. Rippling muscles. Sexy moustache. Dark bedroom eyes.
MARY BETH: Really.
MARGARET MOELLER: And he says he's thirty-four but between us (lowering her voice) he's actually a little bit older.
MARY BETH: Well, actually, all I need to know is where to get hold of him.
MARGARET MOELLER: Oh.
(she chuckles. Mary Beth humours her)
CHRISTINE: Bingo! (she picks up the envelope and her handbag and as she walks out) There's a guy who's been flashing a half-a-block from the banquet hall! Is today my lucky day or what?!
MARY BETH: Delmore?
MARGARET MOELLER: D, E, L, M, O, R, E.
MARY BETH: Build.
MARGARET MOELLER: R, I, P, P...
MARY BETH: That's all right.

[Hall for the dinner]

(the hall is in the process of being decorated)
CHRISTINE: Have either of you Detectives made sure this gonna be fixed by Friday night?
RALPH STEER: I don't think we can push 'em too hard, considering that they donated the hall.
(there is a bucket collecting drips from the ceiling. The carpet isn't laid)
CHRISTINE: They donated it?! According to the budget here, it says that we're paying three hundred dollars.
GLADYS BUCKLAND: I don't remember that.
CHRISTINE: Well, it's right here in black and white.
RALPH STEER: (half laughing) Oh, I'll tell you what happened. We budgeted for that amount because that's what they usually charge. Then when they donated the hall we were too busy to check...
GLADYS BUCKLAND: That's right. Ralph, we'll have to send them a thank-you note.
CHRISTINE: Who's in charge of cleaning up?
SP (to Ralph Steer) Ralph, did you tell her about cannoli.
CHRISTINE: Cannoli?
GLADYS BUCKLAND: It's a little Italian pastry. Ralph found out that Samuels loves them.
CHRISTINE: Oh! Yeah. OK, we'll have cannoli. Er, ...I don't see any reason to have to drive all the way to Flatbush, of course, unless somebody's sleeping with the caterer!
RALPH STEER: Hey, hey, that's my sister you're talking about!
CHRISTINE: Your sister?
RALPH STEER: Oh yeah! We're getting the flowers from Gladys's father and he's all the way out on Staten Island.
CHRISTINE: Your own father would charge us double what we normally pay!
GLADYS BUCKLAND: Excuse me, Sergeant, if you're gonna start making changes I'll tell Knelman we're not responsible.

[Ladies room]

CHRISTINE: (coming in with a shopping bag) Hi. Sorry it took so long.
MARY BETH: Must have been some meeting.
CHRISTINE: (handing her the bag) Here. I got you something for Alice's party!
MARY BETH: (looking in the bag and taking out a painted clown's head on a stand) Oh, Christine, this is so thoughtful. I was so busy with other things, I forgot about a centrepiece.
CHRISTINE: Well, sometimes people need help with parties.
MARY BETH: (giving her the gift back) Take it back downtown.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, I need you help. I had to disband the committee. They're trying to rip us off. We even have to get a new banquet hall.
MARY BETH: Christine, I am busy with the baby's birthday.
CHRISTINE: Well, can't you do it next week?! It's not as though she's got a calendar in her crib.
MARY BETH: This is her first birthday and we are gonna celebrate it on her birthday! See, that's how we do things. Christmas on the twenty-fifth, Easters on Sundays and birthdays on birthdays!
CHRISTINE: (stopping Mary Beth leaving) Mary Beth, this really is important! Can't you do both?
MARY BETH: No, I cannot! Not with Samuels breathing down my neck on the clearance rate.
CHRISTINE: (putting her arm round Mary Beth's shoulders) Mary Beth, you are so organised. A full-time job, running a household. This is what I admire about you most. A little thing like this isn't gonna break you. (Mary Beth shakes her head) All right, Mary Beth. I'm not supposed to tell you this because it's a secret. This dinner is for Samuels.
(Chris goes to walk out, opening the door)
MARY BETH: Samuels is getting the Distinguished Service Award! (Chris clamps her hand over Mary Beth's mouth) Aw, that's how come you're doing it. Oh.
CHRISTINE: Right. We've gotta get the banquet hall first.
MARY BETH: Christine, I'm sorry, but every once in a while my family has to come first.
CHRISTINE: Fine. (she walks away and looks in the mirror and then turns back to Mary Beth) I wasn't gonna mention this, Mary Beth, but if you remember, I did what you wanted me to do, to back up Harvey. Not to mention the fact that I got you to hospital on time. If it wasn't for me, Alice Christine would have been born on the Queensboro Bridge!
MARY BETH: This is not fair!
CHRISTINE: I was risking my life flagging down speeding traffic! ...Running this dinner is my baby, Mary Beth. And the due date ...is Friday!

[Delmore Exterminators office]

MARGARET MOELLER: (into phone and still wearing the orange and black outfit) Delmore Exterminators. We kill bugs the American way. (the duo comes in) ...Oh yes, Derek, hold on. Mm hm. ...I'll tell him. Thank you. Bye.
MARY BETH: Miss. Moeller, I'm a little confused. Didn't you tell us that this is where Mr. Delmore works?
MARGARET MOELLER: It is. He's my boss. I'll tell him you're here. One second.
(she goes into the inner office and closes the door)
MARY BETH: That must be rough, huh? Breaking up with your boy friend and he's still your boss. They're right when they say you should never fool around at work.
CHRISTINE: (getting out her mirror) Maybe they've never seen Ted Delmore's rippling muscles and flashing bedroom eyes.
MARY BETH: I didn't think you'd picked up on that.
CHRISTINE: I make a great detective.
MARY BETH: Ah ha.
(Margaret Moeller comes out with a weedy man with heavy horn-rimmed glasses and a moustache) Here ...is Mr. Delmore. Excuse me.
CHRISTINE: Mr. Delmore? (he nods) I'm Sergeant Cagney, this is Detective Lacey.
TED DELMORE: I don't understand. Is something wrong?
MARY BETH: We understand that you're in possession of a ring belonging to Miss. Moeller. (he nods) She wants it back.
TED DELMORE: Oh, for Pete's sake. Did she also happen to mention that she is in possession of my five-piece food processor? And just between us that is worth a heck of a lot more than that that crumby ring!
MARY BETH: That may well be, Mr. Delmore, but she has filed a formal complaint.
CHRISTINE: And by keeping her ring, you're guilty of a class A misdemeanour for which you can serve up to one year in prison.
TED DELMORE: Well, then, I'll give it back.
CHRISTINE: Fine. So will you inform Miss. Moeller you'll be returning her ring tomorrow?
TED DELMORE: Sure. I knew I shouldn't have got involved with her. (as he goes towards the inner office) But there was something about the way she files.

[Ladies room]

MARY BETH: And normally I would say for a departmental function, blue balloons. But in this case ...I think that multicolour is more effective.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, I don't think that balloons are quite what we want.
MARY BETH: Oh, yes they are, Chris. My cousin, Marie, does this party stuff and she used balloons so tastefully at her second wedding.
CHRISTINE: I'm sure they were lovely er, but we haven't got money in the budget for them.
MARY BETH: I'll get her to donate them. She likes to make me feel the poor relation.
CHRISTINE: I think we want to make this thing as elegant as possible.
MARY BETH: That's what I mean. Maybe we could rent one of those swans that spit Champagne.
(Mary Beth goes home)

[Laceys' kitchen]

(Harvey comes in with a brown bag of shopping. Mary Beth is working on the pinafore)
MARY BETH: I decided, Harve, the cake is gonna be pink. And it's gonna have roses and it's gonna say 'Happy First Birthday, Alice Christine'.
HARVEY: It better be a big cake!
MARY BETH: Your mother's coming earlier. Chris is gonna take the pictures. Did you get the Scotch?
HARVEY: Yeah, and the soda. And everything else you asked for.
MARY BETH: Christine's first time here. And you still haven't got the dining room done. Hopefully our sons will grace us with their presence.
HARVEY: Don't count on it, babe.
MARY BETH: Three hundred and sixty-five days in a year, and on their baby sister's birthday, they make other plans.
HARVEY: Well, I'll talk to them, Mary Beth, but remember at their age they're gonna want to be with their friends.
MARY BETH: Harvey Jr. has three hundred and sixty-four other days he can hang on Tiffany Rinaldi.
HARVEY: Well, Alice is gonna have lots of other birthdays.
MARY BETH: Yeah, but ...this is our last first birthday.
HARVEY: Oh, no it isn't, babe. I mean, before you know it, the boys will be off and married and we'll have lots of grandchildren.
MARY BETH: That's not the same.
HARVEY: You'll make a beautiful grandmother.
MARY BETH: I'm talking about my babies, our babies, Harvey. Alice is the last one and this is the last time.
HARVEY: It doesn't have to be.
MARY BETH: Yes it does.
(she walks out of the kitchen)

[Detectives' Squad room]

ISBECKI: (showing a document to Petrie) Now what's this one?
PETRIE: The Delayers' case.
ISBECKI: Found by the aqueduct.
PETRIE: (ticking it off on a list) All right. Solved.
(Petrie goes off)
COLEMAN: (coming in) Playing poker tonight, Cagney?
CHRISTINE: Well, I have got to concentrate on the dinner here. Like for instance, planning the whole thing.
MARY BETH: (coming in with a bag) You wanna see the candles I bought.
CHRISTINE: Candles?
MARY BETH: (opening a box) Nice, huh?
CHRISTINE: I said lime green.
MARY BETH: I thought you said we were short on time. I was in the store. They were on sale. I bought them.
CHRISTINE: Well, they don't go with anything we have.
MARY BETH: (taking two bright green rolls out of the bag) They'll go with this crpe paper.
ESPOSITO: (passing by) I chose that colour once for my ex-wife's birthday.
(Samuels follows a file of officers carrying various items of property)
SAMUELS: Look at this property from years ago. Some of it even dates back to nineteen eighty-one. Let's return 'em to their rightful owners so we can clear some cases here. (seeing the rolls of crpe) Hey, what the hell is this?
MARY BETH: (putting them quickly back in the bag) Nothing, sir.
SAMUELS: Nothing, huh? Look, she might have stuck you with this dinner thing, but that's your problem! But this is my Squad room and I don't wanna see 'em in here!!
MARY BETH: I think he's...
CHRISTINE: Me too. (pointing to a list) Now, look at this.
MARY BETH: Place cards. Pick up trophy. We're gonna need some help with this.
CHRISTINE: From who? All the guys are bogged down with this clearance rate.
MARY BETH: Yes, and some of them may even have lives and children with birthdays.
CHRISTINE: OK. Fine. I'll see if I can get somebody to help. ...As soon as I figure out how!
MARY BETH: (as Chris goes off and Mary Beth prepares to go home) Tuesday night. How's you luck been lately.

[Precinct room]

(the poker game is under way with Chris and Coleman, Petrie and Isbecki, Corassa and Esposito)
CHRISTINE: (dealing) OK. Seven-card stud.
PETRIE: Have you done anything about a hall?
ESPOSITO: Relax, Marcus. Savour your down time.
CHRISTINE: Clean up!
ISBECKI: I'll go a quarter.
(they place their bets)
CORASSA: I'm surprised she's got time to be here.
ISBECKI: I thought she'd be deciding on a some caterer or something.
CHRISTINE: I couldn't resist knowing you'd all be here.
ESPOSITO: Eights goes fifty.
COLEMAN: I'm out.
CHRISTINE: Do you know what I love the best about the Fourteenth? Ooh, two ladies. The way we all band together and work and play like a team, you know? Actually I like to think... Well, I like to think it's more of a family.
ISBECKI: I think these cards are worth a buck.
COLEMAN: What do you want, Cagney?
CHRISTINE: A little help.
CORASSA: How little?
CHRISTINE: Well, the committee's screwed up. Petrie, are you in?!
PETRIE: I'm not sure what to do.
ESPOSITO: Oo! let me help!
PETRIE: (stopping Esposito looking at his cards) I'm not a fool. (looking at Isbecki) I'll see your buck and raise you fifty.
CHRISTINE: (as she looks at her cards) I was kind of hoping you guys would help me with the dinner.
ISBECKI: Are you in?
CHRISTINE: Look, I've done a lot of favours for you guys.
CORASSA: I'm not even going.
CHRISTINE: Yeah, fine. I'll remember that the next time you need some extra coverage. And Esposito, the next time you need a day off, forget it! (as Coleman and Corassa check out she speaks in a very sweet, girly voice) OK, this looks like this will be the last game for me.
ESPOSITO: Cash out now and die!
COLEMAN: You've bitten off more than you can chew.
CHRISTINE: I did it for Samuels.
PETRIE: Samuels?!
CHRISTINE: Bets!
ISBECKI: The ladies are worth another dollar.
PETRIE: I call.
ESPOSITO: I'm out. What about Samuels?
CHRISTINE: He's not supposed to know. This is a secret. ...He's getting the Distinguished Service Award.
COLEMAN: Well, why didn't you just say so, Cagney?
ISBECKI: Sure, we'll help. I'll go on a cruise when I take home all the beans.
PETRIE: (stopping Isbecki taking the pot) Anything for Samuels. (taking the pot) I think my boat left your Queens at the dock!

[Detectives' Squad room]

(Samuels comes in. He hears Petrie on the phone)
PETRIE: (into phone) I don't know what you call it, but the type with marshmallows and coconut. And approximately what time would they be ready?
CHRISTINE: Good morning, Lieutenant!! (Isbecki standing by Chris gives Samuels a stupid smile. Chris pulls him by his jacket over to some filing cabinets) Isbecki, pick up these programmes on your way to work and drop them off at the banquet hall. They have to be there first thing in the morning!
ISBECKI: Uh, huh.
CHRISTINE: (giving him the address) Here's where you go.
ISBECKI: These printers don't open until nine o'clock, I'm gonna be late for work.
CHRISTINE: Victor, you'll have to have a flat tyre.
ISBECKI: Cagney, after what you did for me, I'd love to do you a favour, but I can't lie.
CHRISTINE: Victor, sometimes you're almost human. All right. Petrie'll see the caterer. Here you give me this, I'll give you that. Esposito, you take this. (to Isbecki again) You take the photo-montage. Can you handle that?
ISBECKI: Yeah.
CHRISTINE: Do it!
MARY BETH: (rushing in) Oh, gee, look at this. Three minutes late. Did I miss him?
SAMUELS: (passing her as he goes back out) No, you didn't.
MARY BETH: Here's the receipt. It's beautiful. Black.
CHRISTINE: Right. Charlie brought by Samuel's picture last night.
MARY BETH: Oh, how is he?
CHRISTINE: He looked great! I'm telling ya, Samuels was some hunk when he was younger.
MARY BETH: I'm speaking about Charlie.
CHRISTINE: Great. He's moved down to beer. And he says it's a lot healthier. Mary Beth, I think, honest to God, we're gonna pull this thing off.
(the phone goes)
MARY BETH: (into phone) Detective Lacey, Fourteenth. ...Oh, thank you for calling back. ...Yes, we are trying to return an artificial limb to a Mrs. Judith Teak. ...Do have any idea of her whereabouts? ...Lake Titicaca.
(Chris's phone goes. She is looking into her compact mirror)
CHRISTINE: (into phone) Cagney, Fourteenth.
MARY BETH: (into phone) How do you spell that?
CHRISTINE: (into phone) Inspector Knelman?
MARY BETH: (into phone) ...I, T, I, C, A...
CHRISTINE: (into phone) He didn't say anything about that! ...Yeah, but... ... What do you mean, 'Good bye?'
MARY BETH: (into phone) Thank you.
(they both ring off)
MARY BETH: Lake Titicaca, Peru.
CHRISTINE: Now he wants entertainment! We don't have enough money in the budget for entertainment!!
(she slams the compact down on her desk. After a pause, she looks at the broken mirror)
CHRISTINE: Seven more years of it!!!
(she throws the broken compact up in the air over her shoulder and goes to get a coffee. Mary Beth follows her)
MARY BETH: I remember a Division Dinner where they did this take-off on this Broadway show. They call it "My Fair Precinct".
CHRISTINE: I've got the worst headache.
MARY BETH: There's probably a lot of talent in this Division. I bet we could put on a show!
CHRISTINE: Are you out of your mind?!

[Chris's loft]

(Petrie is reading music and whistling a classical Russian tune. Isbecki is doing the Kazatsky, the Cossack dance, to it. Later Corassa is using a megaphone to sing "Beautiful Dreamer". Chris is drinking white wine. Then Bernice Faverty is singing an operatic aria. An empty wine glass shatters. Even later Mary Beth is helping clear up)
MARY BETH: They have knocked themselves out on this dinner for you. Now they wanna be in it, so I think we have to let them. That's only fair.
CHRISTINE: (pouring some more wine) Hang on, Mary Beth, we're gonna look like "The Gong Show".
MARY BETH: A lot of people like that show, Christine. Maybe the ones that aren't so good could do something else, like ...announce the other acts or something.
CHRISTINE: Bernice Faverty had a nice voice. (picking up the shattered glass) It's a shame she got so nervous.
MARY BETH: I think she used to sing it with her sister. Maybe we could find somebody else for her to sing with.
CHRISTINE: Who?!
MARY BETH: You have a nice voice.
CHRISTINE: Absolutely not!!!
MARY BETH: Oh, come on, Christine. You know what they say.
CHRISTINE: What?
MARY BETH: The show must go on.

[Detectives' Squad room]

(as Chris comes in, Petrie, Coleman and Corassa all converge on her in the corner where Isbecki is)
ISBECKI: Enough suspense, Cagney. Now who's in the show?
CHRISTINE: May I get a cup of coffee first?
(they all offer her theirs)
ISBECKI: We've got two acts you haven't seen yet.
MARY BETH: (seeing him come in, shouts out loudly) Lieutenant Samuels!
SAMUELS: What?!
MARY BETH: Good morning, sir.
SAMUELS: (abruptly, staring at them all) Good morning.
(the others all rush back to their desks leaving the duo standing there. Samuels looks around, puzzled and goes to his office)
CHRISTINE: Do you think he suspects?
MARY BETH: No, I think he's worried about the clearance rate.
CHRISTINE: How many cases have we closed?
MARY BETH: Not enough.
COLEMAN: (coming in with Margaret Moeller dressed in a yellow costume with big black polka spots on it) Look who's here! Our lady of the polka dots.
MARGARET MOELLER: This is my Princess Di look. Cost me a thousand.
MARY BETH: What can we do for you, Miss. Moeller?
MARGARET MOELLER: I've remembered a few more things I left at his place. My "Swinging Lovers" album.
MARY BETH: Please have a seat.
MARGARET MOELLER: Thank you.
MARY BETH: I'll be with you in one minute.
(Mary Beth continues to talk to Margaret Moeller)
COLEMAN: When are you gonna announce who's in the show?
CHRISTINE: As soon as I find someplace where Samuels won't bother us.

[Ladies room]

MARY BETH: ...the opener. Then Petrie, Isbecki, Esposito and Coleman. (they all try to have their say) You've got three minutes. Faverty and Cagney go out and do the announcing.
(the argument continues about the acts and times)
COLEMAN: If you're so short of time, how come you get such a big number?
CHRISTINE: I'm sleeping with the producer!
(they all continue to have their three-pennyworth)
ESPOSITO: And I can't pick up the programmes. Coleman and I have gotta rehearse.
ISBECKI: Are we getting separate dressing rooms?
CHRISTINE: (shouting) I don't believe you people!!! You're all acting like a bunch of babies, and I don't have the time to change your diapers. I personally am down to the wire myself. Tonight I will be spending with the Laceys making cannoli.
ALL: Cannoli?!!
CHRISTINE: (to Mary Beth) I'll speak to you about it later.
ISBECKI: What is cannoli?
CHRISTINE: It happens to be Samuels' favourite dessert.
(everybody has another go)
CHRISTINE: (shouting again) Let me gat this straight!!! If this show interferes with anybody's work on the dinner ...you're out of the show!!! All right?!!
(she exits)

[Corridor outside the toilets]

(as she struts out, Samuels is just about to go into the Mens room opposite. He sees most of them follow Chris out. Mary Beth comes out)
MARY BETH: Oh, hello, sir. The men wanted to have a look in there.
(there is a flushing sound. Samuels opens the door to the Ladies room. Esposito creeps out under his arm)

[Detectives' Squad room]

MARY BETH: Make cannoli? Do you have ant idea what you're talking about?! You're talking about ricotta cheese and pastry dough and pistachio nuts and chocolate fillings and you never even asked me!
CHRISTINE: I forgot! Look, I'm sorry. The only way we can afford it is if we make the cannoli ourselves.
MARY BETH: (shouting) Are you out of your mind?! (a uniformed officer passes by. She sits down and begins to talk quietly) You cannot make two hundred and fifty cannolis.
CHRISTINE: (quietly back) I've bought the shells ready-made. How long could it take?
MARY BETH: It's Alice's birthday tonight!
CHRISTINE: We can do it after the party. We'll have plenty of time.

[Laceys' lounge]

(balloons and funny hats. They are round the table. Muriel Lacey is there. Alice is in her highchair. Mary Beth brings in a pile of presents which she puts in front of Alice. General applause and jollity)
CHRISTINE: (going round to Mary Beth) You open them. I'll go and do the cannoli.
MARY BETH: Christine! Would you relax?!! I want some pictures of Alice Christine's party.
CHRISTINE: I just took the whole roll.
MARY BETH: Well, not of this!!
CHRISTINE: OK. You've got it. All right! All right! (picking up her camera) Everybody sitting down on the other side. Everybody get real close. Michael, ...smile. Where's the baby? (they move some of the presents) There she is! All right, closer together and ....cheese! ...Perfect!
(by now Alice is crying)

[Laceys' kitchen]

(holding a recipe book, Chris is pumping away at a mixer. Mary Beth is holding her head. She goes to the fridge)
CHRISTINE: Can you find a measuring cup?
MARY BETH: After I find an aspirin.
CHRISTINE: (grabbing a box of shells) You have to line up the cannoli shells ...and chop two more bags of nuts.
MARY BETH: Don't push me, Christine. You've been on fast-forward for the whole night.
CHRISTINE: We've got a lot to do, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: It's your first time in my house. The first time you came over and you didn't even see anything.
CHRISTINE: That is not so!
MARY BETH: OK. What is the colour of the tile on my bathroom floor?
CHRISTINE: Blue!
MARY BETH: Ah ha! Linoleum!
CHRISTINE: Trick question! (picking up a bottle) Here! (and giving it to Mary Beth) Measure one quarter cup of hazel nut liqueur.
MARY BETH: Well, you don't wanna be too stingy with this stuff.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, that's what the recipe calls for.
MARY BETH: Are you gonna believe some man who wrote a cookbook, or a person who lived next to an Italian for thirteen years? (Chris puts her hand on her hip and glares at Mary Beth) Fine! One-quarter cup of hazel nut liqueur. (she pours it into the mixing bowl) Check.
(and while Chris's gets another box of shells, she pours in a slug from the bottle)
CHRISTINE: And then take the pastry shells ...and then ...sprinkle them!
MARY BETH: All right, I'll line 'em up over here.
CHRISTINE: No! We'll line 'em up on the Lazy Susan. That way they get an even sprinkle. See. ...Then you (giving Mary Beth a sieve) ...hold the sugar ...and I ...spin it! (the shells go flying off onto the floor. Mary Beth stops the Lazy Susan spinning and comes round to pick up the shells) You can pick up the shells and I'll put the chocolate chips in.
MARY BETH: Oh, you've got chips?!!!
CHRISTINE: What's that supposed to mean?
MARY BETH: Nothing.
CHRISTINE: Don't give me that!! You just said 'Oh, you've got chips'. I wanna know what it means.
MARY BETH: Well, ...it probably doesn't matter, but you know, real Italians always get a big block of chocolate and then they grate it. I mean, chocolate chips'll be OK. Probably taste all right, but they won't be authentic, that's all.
CHRISTINE: (throwing the chips into the mixing bowl) Tough! Because one thing we don't have is ...time.
(Chris starts mixing the chips in)
MARY BETH: (folding her arms) Great.
CHRISTINE: (finishing the mixing) Get stuffing!
MARY BETH: You happen to be in my kitchen, Sergeant!
CHRISTINE: Oh, excuse me. Get stuffing. please. (they try to pass one another, ignore one another and Mary Beth starts stuffing. Taking a shell she starts dripping the mixture in off a spoon. Chris stares at her) Why are you stuffing it with a spoon?
MARY BETH: Because this is the way ...that my old neighbour, ...Jimmy Carmelini, stuffed.
CHRISTINE: We are making ...hundreds. ...Use the pastry bag.
MARY BETH: I prefer a spoon.
CHRISTINE: We don't have the time. ...Here. (Mary Beth finishes the first one and takes the pastry bag) I, ...in the interim, ...will be mixing the food colouring and the peanuts.
MARY BETH: What?!!
CHRISTINE: Pistachios cost too much money. The man at the market told me that it was perfectly sensible to take peanuts and chop 'em up, and brush green food colouring on 'em, and you put 'em on a foil sheet, and you put 'em in the oven, and in about twenty minutes nobody knows the difference!
MARY BETH: You rushed me through my last baby's only first birthday so you could paint peanuts green!
CHRISTINE: The nuts are supposed to be green!
MARY BETH: Well you weren't so crazy about green when I bought those candles and crpe paper!
CHRISTINE: Look, will you drop that about the candles?!! I'm using your tacky balloons!!!
MARY BETH: What do you mean 'Tacky'?! I grovelled on my knees to a woman I can't stand so now you tell me you don't like them!!
CHRISTINE: As a matter of fact ...I don't. ...And I'm seeing it as a reflection ...on me!
MARY BETH: Pardon me. I thought ...that it was a party for Samuels.
(she tries to throw a spoon of mixture into the pastry bag. It misses and lodges in Chris's hair. Chris takes an electric whisk from the mixture, holds it in front of Mary Beth's face and switches it on. it sprays on to her face and down her front. Mary Beth takes the sieve and throws the sugar all over Chris)
MARY BETH: (smiling at Chris's white face) This would not have happened ...if you'd let me do it my way.
CHRISTINE: I didn't mean what I said.
MARY BETH: Yes, you did.
CHRISTINE: I really didn't. ...Only about the balloons.
(she flips a bit more mixture onto Mary Beth's face)

[Precinct House yard]

CHRISTINE: I need something to keep me awake right now.
MARY BETH: Christine!
CHRISTINE: The coffee, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Well, you could always get a nap tonight, during Knelman's speech.
CHRISTINE: As it is, I've gotta get the award with a certified cheque while you go and get the cannoli, all right?
(they get into the Squad car)

[Squad car]

CHRISTINE: And I'll meet you back at the hall at six o'clock.
MARY BETH: It's easy. We give the best tables to the people we like.
CHRISTINE: Aw, you've got the spirit, Mary Beth. Still, I feel like we're letting him down with the damned hall.
MARY BETH: If those places were easy to close, they'd be closed already.
CHRISTINE: Maybe we ought to make some time so you can go over my number with me, huh?
MARY BETH: Shouldn't you be doing that with Faverty?
CHRISTINE: She's trying to get her costume together.
MARY BETH: Well, there is time later. I think we should both get a nap. I didn't get much to sleep last night. Harvey says from now on, instead of perfume, I should dab on a little ricotta.
(Mary Beth backs out)

[Delmore Exterminators office]

MARGARET MOELLER: (in a white dress with multi-coloured polka dots) This has all gotten so awkward.
MARY BETH: I'm surprised you're still working for him.
MARGARET MOELLER: Why?! He's a wonderful boss.
CHRISTINE: Maybe you should give him his five-piece food processor back.
MARY BETH: You file another complaint, Miss. Moeller.
MARGARET MOELLER: Well, then I want my copy of "Swinging Lovers".
TED DELMORE: (coming out of the inner office and shouting) It's an autographed copy and we bought it together!
MARGARET MOELLER: (shouting at Ted Delmore) With my charge card!
CHRISTINE: (ringing a bell on the desk) Time out!! Now we do have more important things to do than to try and unglue your relationship.
MARY BETH: Let's settle this thing once and for all. We'll make a list. 'His' and 'Hers'. Mr. Delmore.
TED DELMORE: She can have everything. I don't care. (looking at Margaret Moeller) All I want is the aroma disc.
MARGARET MOELLER: The aroma disc? (he nods and heads back to the inner office) Oh, no!
(she follows him and the door closes)
CHRISTINE: What's the aroma disc?
MARY BETH: (somewhat embarrassed) Oh, it's a... It's a little thing you plug in the wall. It's kind of like a record player that smells. ...You know, ...to kind of get you in the mood.
(Mary Beth looks towards the closed inner office door)
CHRISTINE: Really? Mary Beth, you never cease to amaze me.
(the duo leaves)

[Precinct House yard]

(the duo gets out of the Squad car)
CHRISTINE: I still can't shake the feeling that I've forgotten something. Microphones, spotlights, podium. Did the ME ever call us up on the Polson suicide?
MARY BETH: We still can't close the case. He was dead before he hit the water. Did you remember to get your shoes dyed.
CHRISTINE: That's what I forgot!!

[Detectives' Squad room]

COLEMAN: (pointing to a list) She should do it.
ISBECKI: (seeing the duo come in) Here she comes. Let's see who's on the list.
SAMUELS: (to the duo) You two! In my office!!
(Chris tucks her list under her coat)

[Samuels' office]

SAMUELS: (closing the door behind them) I don't mind telling ya, I don't know what's going on. You've been sneaking around here trying to involve all my people in this stupid dinner! All I asked was that you try and help me beat Gomford. So far you two have done less work than any other team in this Squad. And frankly ...I am disappointed. (he goes and sits down at his desk. They look blankly at him) That's all. (Mary Beth indicates if she should close the office door behind her) Yeah.

[Detectives' Squad room]

MARY BETH: Disappointed. That's the word. Why couldn't he be furious?
COLEMAN: Caterer called. No black olives.
CHRISTINE: We'll see about that.
MARY BETH: They're gonna get back together. He's gonna let her keep that aroma disc. (to Faverty as she comes past with a brunette wig on a dummy head) Oh, no wonder nobody claimed that.
CHRISTINE: (dialling) Can Faverty remember her words tonight? (into phone) Hello, ...
MARY BETH: (picking up a file) Moeller versus Delmore. All this stuff they fought over. Chris, (Chris holds on the phone) if we do a separate file on each of these items, that's fourteen completed cases right here. We could win the clearance race.
CHRISTINE: This is good, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: (looking round at Samuels' office) This is war, Sergeant.

[Banquet hall]

(the dinner is progress. Knelman is speaking. There is a roar of laughter)
KNELMAN: And the girl said 'You could be arrested. 'For what?' says the cop. 'For disturbing our peace'. (some laughter) And now it's time to present the trophy to the precinct that has achieved the highest rate of cleared cases. Now I instituted this award six years ago so ...I like to think of it as (touching a sliver cup in front of him) The Knelman Award. This year the race was so close, we are announcing the top three precincts.
ISBECKI: Come on, the Polka Dots! Take it home!
KNELMAN: In third place ...the Fifth Precinct! (applause) Second place ...goes to the Fourteenth!! (more applause) And in first place...
(Samuels looks glum)
PETRIE: I was sure we had it.
CHRISTINE: ...second place.
SAMUELS: What's wrong with second place? It's the best we've ever done, and this is a pretty good evening, if you ask me. (picking up his glass) Even if you spent all this time on this dinner, you did your best and I'm real proud of all of ya. (they all toast) Who laughs at Knelman anyway.
GOMFORD: (holding up the cup) Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you, Inspector. I accept this on behalf of all the great guys and gals at the Eighth Precinct! Thank you.
(general applause)
SAMUELS: (as Gomford returns to his table) Hey, Gomford! I owe you a lunch, you lucky son-of-a-gun.
GOMFORD: Better luck next year, Bert.
SAMUELS: (quietly to Chris) Good you stuck him way at the back.
KNELMAN: And now we come to the most important part of the evening. The presentation of the Distinguished Service Award. It is the highest commendation this Division can bestow. And I'm sure you'll agree that this year's recipient is truly deserving of this honour. It gives me great pleasure to present Manhattan South Division's award for distinguished service to Lieutenant Albert Samuels!
(the Fourteenth to a man, and woman, leap to their feet, clapping and cheering and pointing to a more than surprised Samuels. He receives the trophy from Knelman and the applause subsides)
SAMUELS: I don't know what to say. (pointing at The Fourteenth) I knew something was going on! (laughter) I never thought it was this. ...Getting an award for doing a job that you love is... I still can't believe it. I wanna thank the ...Division for this honour. But I've gotta say something. This award belongs ...to a very special group of people that I work with. A group of dedicated and hard working cops. They make it ...real easy for a guy like me to look good. Thank you.
(general applause. The Fourteenth gets to its feet again)
KNELMAN: Now we look forward to the entertainment portion of the evening.
(he detectives gather round Samuels as he comes back to the table. Coleman has the photo-montage. Chris stays at the table watching and smiling)
COLEMAN: Here's some pictures we put together for you, Lieutenant, for a trip down memory lane. Here's a picture of you getting your uniform ripped off.
SAMUELS: Yeah!
COLEMAN: You remember that. (general laughter) But this one here is my favourite.
(more laughter)
MARY BETH: Hey everybody, it's time.
(they gather round Chris and Mary Beth puts something in front of her)
CHRISTINE: What's this?! ...Oh, a compact.
PETRIE: With a steel mirror.
CHRISTINE: I'll bet. How nice of you. Thank you. It's beautiful.
ISBECKI: I made up the inscription. Read it.
CHRISTINE: 'Thanks for kicking our butts when we needed it'. Thank you, Victor. ...Thank you, all of you. I didn't know you guys were into this much.
SAMUELS: You did a hell of a job, Cagney.
CHRISTINE: It was a team effort, believe me.
MARY BETH: We even hand-made your favourite dessert, sir.
SAMUELS: Cheesecake?!
(Mary Beth's jaw drops. Chris leaps to her feet)
CHRISTINE: Cheesecake!! No!!! Cannoli!!! I was told that you liked cannoli!
SAMUELS: Oh, yeah, sure. Cannelloni. Sure. Yeah. Cannelloni, you know, the pasta rolled in a tomato sauce. Oh, but don't worry about it, Cagney. You know me. I'll eat anything.
PETRIE: Excuse me, Lieutenant, they want you for pictures.
SAMUELS: Oh, yeah, sure. Listen, Cagney, the balloons are terrific.
MARY BETH: The balloons actually were Detective Lacey's idea here.
SAMUELS: Oh, (to Mary Beth) ...thanks.
(as Chris sits down, a waiter puts a cannoli in front of her)
COMPERE: May I have your attention, please.
CHRISTINE: May I go home now.
COMPERE: Anyone who is in the entertainment, please report backstage.

[Backstage]

(they are putting the final touches to their costumes and makeup. Chris is in a black sparkly dress with a white boa)
ISBECKI: Where's Faverty?
MARY BETH: She's around. Here she comes now.
CHRISTINE: (leaping up) Where have you been, Bernice?! (Faverty mouths some words) I can't hear a word that you're saying. Would you speak up?
MARY BETH: She's lost her voice.
CHRISTINE: What do you mean, you lost your voice! (Bernice Faverty hands a dress similar to the one Chris is wearing to Chris and walks out) You can't do a thing like that! Come back! I'm not going out there by myself!!
(Chris turns towards Mary Beth)
MARY BETH: Oh no, don't look at me.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, you know the routine.
MARY BETH: No. Not in front of people.
CHRISTINE: Look, at Isbecki. You saw how bad he was. They loved it.
MARY BETH: (as Chris sits her down) No! No.
(later Mary Beth is in the other dress)
CHRISTINE: You look good.
MARY BETH: I can't sing!!
CHRISTINE: (putting a black boa around Mary Beth's neck) Dress ...Lacey ...up!!!
MARY BETH: (pleading) Chris, I'm already doing my part.
CHRISTINE: Anybody can be a stage manager.
MARY BETH: No, Christine!
CHRISTINE: Sit down! ...Thanks.

[Banquet hall]

(there is loud laughter. Coleman has Esposito, in a uniform and with a stomach, moustache and glasses like Coleman's, on his knee as a ventriloquist's dummy)
ESPOSITO: (in a high-pitched voice) You have the right to remain silent. ha, ha, ha.
COLEMAN: If I do, you'll be speechless.

[Backstage]

(the duo appears at the side of the stage while Coleman and Esposito continue)
CHRISTINE: Turn around. ...Perfect!
MARY BETH: My lungs are collapsing.
CHRISTINE: Your lungs are...
MARY BETH: I haven't breathed in five minutes!
CHRISTINE: You don't have to breathe. Just sing!
(Coleman and Esposito finish and leave the stage to loud applause)
COMPERE: And now a warm welcome, please, for Christine Cagney and Bernice Faverty.
CHRISTINE: They'll never know. You look great!
MARY BETH: Well, if that makes you feel better.
CHRISTINE: Shake a leg, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Will that get me out of this?
CHRISTINE: Remember what you said?
MARY BETH: Like 'The show must go on'.
CHRISTINE: That's it! (vamping music starts) Come on.

[Banquet hall]

(Chris pulls Mary Beth on after her and raises her right arm and starts vamping. Mary Beth gets her black boa round her neck)
CHRISTINE: Get it up, honey.
(Mary Beth raises her right arm, starts vamping and smiles to the riotous ovation)

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