Taxi S1E14 Script

Sugar Mama (1979)

( Theme music playing )


Mr. De Palma, my name's Goodwin.

I'm starting today.

Oh, yeah?

Okay, Mr. Goodwin, let me give you a couple of tips here.

You'll get cab 607 when it's ready.

All right? Now, you listen to me.

We can get along very nicely if you remember these three things.

One: Keep your bookings high.

Two: Call me at least 24 hours ahead of time if you're going to miss work and three, and most importantly:

There is a certain word that I never want to hear around here.

What word is that, Mr. De Palma?

This is a certain word that I hate more than any word in the entire English language and it is a word that I never want to hear around here.

What's the word I never want to hear around here?

You see how well they know I don't want to hear that word?

The word is "accident."

You got that?

Got it.

Now, you can do whatever you want.

You want to peddle dope, you want to be a white slaver...

Anything you want, that's your business.

If you ever come up to me and say to me that you had a you-know-what in one of my cabs, I'm going to rip your head off and use it as a radiator cap.

You got that?

I understand.

Nice to have you aboard.


Hi, everybody.

ELAINE: TONY: Hi, John. Hey, John.

How you doing, man? Fine.

Hi, Louie.


Where's the rest?

Uh, that's all there is, Louie.

You drove around for ten hours and that's all you got to show for it?

What do you do, put a quarantine sign in the window?

I'm... I'm sorry, uh...

I'll try harder next time, okay?

You know something, Burns?

You are, without a doubt, the worst cabby I ever had.

One more night... Just one more time...

You come dragging in here with that Howdy Doody face of yours and change for a quarter in your booking envelope and I'm telling you, so help me...

What? Ow!

ELAINE: Louie, what's wrong?

ALEX: Get him a glass of water.

Hey, you want to sit down?

It's okay, it's okay.

It's that heartburn again.

BOB: You sure it's only heartburn, Louie?

Ow! Whatever it is, I don't like it.

Hey, you want to go upstairs and lie down?

( Exhales sharply )

No, I'm all right. It's going away.

Have you been getting these pains a lot?

Yeah, for about a month now.

Hey, Louie, don't you think you ought to see a doctor?

What, see a doctor for a simple... gut-wrenching pain?

Yeah. Maybe I'd better, I'd better go see one now.

ALEX: Yeah, I think you should.

Here, let me help you.

That's okay, you guys.

I can take care of him.

I'll get your coat, Louie.

I hope you feel better, Louie.

Take it easy.


Here you go, Louie.

Thanks, Burns.

Sure you're okay?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm okay, I'm okay.

Hey, you want me to drive you?

No, no, no. Listen, Burns.

Huh? Thanks for your concern.

Oh, that's all right.

And, you know, about what I was saying before, you know, about your bookings and about how I was going to fire you if you had another bad night...

Yeah, Louie.

Don't forget it.

( Sighing )

I really appreciate you guys coming in to visit me.

Aw, how could we not come after you sent us that cute little note?

"Please come and see me before I die."

Louie, Louie, Louie, look, it's just an exploratory operation.

I mean, they just want to take a look and see if everything's okay.

Call it whatever you want, they're cutting me up and going inside.

Once they're in there, who knows what's gonna happen?

Louie, I can understand what you're worried about, but the way the doctor explained it to us, it's just routine, that's all.

Maybe for them it is, but not for me.

I'm scared... I never been in a hospital before.

Sure you have.

You were born, weren't you?

As a matter of fact, I was delivered on a kitchen table by a midwife.

It was the only room that had any heat.

JOHN: Wow, a kitchen table!

Well, half the kitchen table.

Dad was eating dinner on the other half.

TONY: Hey, Louie.

How come your mother's not here?

I didn't want to worry her, so I didn't tell her about it.

She thinks I'm out of town, seeing you fight.

No kidding.

Who'd I fight?

Some kid from Mexico.

How'd I do?

He knocks you out in the second round.

Yeah, them Mexican guys are tough.

Anybody want some chocolates?

No, no, thanks. No.

Oh, no, thanks, I don't eat sugar.

I try to eat only natural things.

How'd you like a sack of dirt?

Louie, did you say chocolate candy?

Yeah, have one.

Thank you very much.

I said, "Have one."

Oh, you said, "Have one"?

I thought you said, "Leave one."

I'm afraid you'll all have to leave now.

Oh, hey, listen, Louie, take it easy now.

Everything's gonna be fine.

Louie, if you don't make it back to the garage, we'll understand.


Hey, Lou, I hope you feel better.

See you in a day or two, all right?


Good-bye, Louie.

( Mutters )

Alex? Yeah.

Can I speak to you for a second, please?

Well, the nurse did ask us to leave, Louie.

I know, but this is something really important.

It won't take long.


I just want to talk to you about life and death and God.

Good, then I won't have to sit down.


Alex... Yeah.

Now that the others are gone, I got to be honest with you.

I'm not just scared, I'm terrified.

Louie, Louie, Louie, now look, you got to try to relax. You understand?

How can I relax?

This could be the end for me.

Tell me something, Alex.

Are you... are you a religious man?

Yeah, in a way I am, yeah.


Then you'll understand what I'm about to do.


It's Louie... Louie De Palma.

I know it's been a long time since you heard from me.

I'm kind of out of practice at praying, but I just thought I... I felt like I had to talk to you now.

By the way, this is Alex Rieger.

He's a friend of mine.

Say hello to God, Alex.

No, Louie, listen, I don't think, I...

Say hello.

He hasn't got all day.

Hello, there.

Listen, I-I just wanted Alex here as a witness to what I'm about to say.

Look, God... I know I ain't been no saint and I've done some pretty rotten things in my life.

Alex can back me up on that.

Tell him, Alex.

Huh? Oh, Louie, I don't think I... Go on, tell him the truth.

Well, um... he's not your best work.


Look, God, I want to make a deal with you.

If you can arrange it so that I live through this operation, I'll be the best person I can be...

A whole new Louie De Palma... kind... generous... honest.

What do you say, God?

Is it a deal?

Look... I tell you what.

You send me a sign.

Let me see... I got it.

Unless a bolt of lightning shoots through that window in the next five seconds, I'll consider it a deal.

Well, I guess you got yourself a deal, huh?

Yeah, and I'm going to stick by it.

Time to go, Mr. De Palma.

Oh, hey, listen, Louie, just take it easy now.

Everything is gonna be all right.

Don't worry about a thing. You...

I hope so. I hope so.

Alex. What?


Whatever happens, Yeah.

I want you to know that you've been a good friend.

ALEX: Yeah, okay, Louie. Come on...

I mean it.

Take care of yourself.

And I hope the world is kind to you.

Thanks, Lou.

And, and listen, if I don't make it, don't tell Ma that I died.

Tell her that I'm on a mission for the government.

She'll believe you.

She's a little funny in the head.

Hey, guys.

Hi, Tony. Hi, Tony.

I thought Louie was coming back today.

Yeah, he is. He should be in any minute.

I am so proud of Louie.

I can't believe how he bounced back ALEX: Yeah. from that operation so fast.

Isn't it great that it was only gallstones?

How many gallstones did they have to remove?

Just one.

Aw, man, that's good.

As long as you still got one, he could still have kids.

You know, I-I still can't get over that story Alex told us about Louie's deal with God.

Hey, do you think he's gonna keep it?

Well, I think he's gonna try.

Yeah, for about ten minutes.

No, no, no, I mean it, Bobby.

Make that five minutes.

Yeah, well, I think he's gonna make it.


I got $50 that says he can't make it through one day without yelling, screaming and generally abusing at least one person in this garage.

Wait a minute, Bob, are you really serious?

I mean, you're gonna make a bet about a man keeping his faithful oath with his God?

I'll give you two to one.

You're on.

All right.

Hey! Hey, Louie! Hey!

ALL: Hey!

Wow, you look terrific, you know?

( Others oohing and ahhing )

Well, it's great to be back.

How do you feel?

Oh, oh, I feel great.

I feel terrific.

How's everybody been?

Oh, everybody's fine. Everybody's fine.

Yeah. Rock 'n' roll.

John, how are the bookings?

Oh, not so good, I'm afraid.

Last night I had my worst night ever.

I'm sorry.

It's only money.

LOUIE: Oh, Elaine...

How are your kids?

They're fine.

Why don't you bring them down to the garage someday for a visit?

I'd love to see them.

After all, a man is never taller than when he stoops to help a child.

And nobody can stoop lower than you, De Palma.

Thank you, my friend.


Latka, Latka, Latka.


Always working, Yeah. Never resting.

That's right.

Come... let's have a cup of coffee.


My treat.


( Speaking native language )

Two lumps?

So, tell me, Latka, what's been new in your life?

Oh, what's new?


Well, uh, this morning I heard a very good joke from my cousin Baji.

Oh, from Baji!

Oh, let's hear it.

I love a good joke.


Eh... ( speaking native language )

( Speaking in gruff voice )

( Continues speaking native language animatedly )

( Speaking in falsetto )

( Continues speaking native language )

( laughing )

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

Ah! Ah!

Yeah? Yeah, yeah?

( Still speaking native language )

( laughing )

( Repeating punch line in Latka's language )

( Repeating punch line )

( Guffawing )

Hey, Louie?

What's so funny?

( Repeating punch line )


What's the matter, you heard it already?

Would you like to pay up right now, Bob?

Hey, it's just the beginning of the day.

Give him time, Alex.

He'll revert to form.

No way, Bob, believe me.

Just watch.

Come to turn in your bookings, Bob?

Uh, uh, actually, I don't, I don't have any bookings.

Uh, you see...

When I left the garage this morning...


Well, I had, I had a little, uh...


Well, in fact, it wasn't all that little.

Uh, I... I had this really big...


In fact, "big" isn't even the right word.


I-I have to say "total." I...

What-what is it you're trying to tell me, Bob?

Louie, I had an accident.

You had an ac-ac... You had an acc...

An accident?

Yeah... an accident.

I'll be darned.

Well, I don't want you to worry, Bob.

Some careless drunk just rams into your car, what can you do?

Um... it wasn't any careless drunk.

See, it was my fault.

I... I ran a stop sign.

You ran a stop sign?

Yeah. You see, uh... I couldn't see it.

I forgot to turn on my headlights.

Oh... Excuse me.

( Growling )

Oh, well, accidents happen.

Sorry, Bob.

You win, Alex.

You-you win.

I don't believe it. You...

ALEX: I told you.

BOB: Yeah, but I don't believe it.

I... I... Wow.

What's that you're saying, Bob?

Well, I got to hand it to you, Louie.

I didn't really think you could change.

I mean... but you did.

I mean, I even bet Alex that you couldn't be a nice guy for one whole day.

( Chuckling )

Oh... Oh, I see.

Then there wasn't any accident after all.

( laughing )

Yeah, that's right.

( laughing harder )

You were just testing me.

Playing a little game with me.


You were testing me to see if I could break my pact with God.

Ye-Yeah, I-I guess so.

I guess it was like that, but, uh, man, you wouldn't crack.

You're great. I... Well... Alex?

10, 20... 40, 50, 60, 70...

80, 90... 5... 6...

Louie, what, what are you doing?

Louie, what are you... Louie, what are you...

Louie, what the heck are you doing?!

Stop it now!

Stop it right now!


Louie, what are you doing?

You scum!

You lowlife!

You cretin!

I'm going to make you regret the day you were born!

I'm gonna make sure that every night you get the dirtiest smelliest cab in the garage, and if there isn't one that's dirty and smelly, then I'm gonna get in and smelly and dirty it up myself.

In the wintertime, your cab will have no heater.

In the summertime, your windows won't roll down.

I'm gonna make you the second most miserable cab driver in all of New York City.

The most miserable cab driver in all of New York City is whoever lets him down or feeds him.

Looks like you won the bet, Bob.

What are you doing?


Hey, come on.

Hi, Louie.

You believe in hell, Alex?

Believe in it?

I work there.

I broke a promise, Alex.

And I don't mean I broke a promise to some clown like yourself.

I broke a promise with Him.

I don't do nothing halfway, do I?

Oh, come on, Louie.

Will you stop being so hard on yourself?

Anybody could see you tried.

Now, come on, it's time to go home.

I ain't leaving here, Alex.

Why not?

'Cause God's waiting for me outside.

He's rolled up His sleeves.

He's got His brass knuckles on.

He's getting ready for me.

Come on, Louie, I didn't see anybody outside.

Let's go home, huh?

It's no use, Alex.

I committed the biggest sin in the book.

I welshed on God.

You know, Louie...

I don't think you really did.

What are you talking about?

You heard the promise I made to Him.

Yeah, that's just what I mean.

I mean, do you remember the exact words you said?

I mean, what exactly did you say?

I promised I'd be a good person.

No. I think your exact words were

"I'm going to be the best person I can possibly be."

So what?

Well, Louie, maybe the best person that you can possibly be is a rat.

What are you talking about?

Well, you can't be something you're not.

I mean God made you what you are.

And if God made you the way you are, then He must have had a reason.

But we can be sure that just as He had a reason for creating snakes and lice and vermin...

He had a reason for creating you, too.

That's a beautiful thought, Alex.


You... you really think He could forgive me for what I did?

Well, I-I think you got a good shot, Louie.

And you really think that He understands me being the way I am:

Mean and nasty and rotten... and that... in some way, maybe it's part of His scheme of things?

Yeah, I think so.

Thank you, Alex.

Excuse me.

Where are you going?

Back to the garage so that I may continue fulfilling His divine purpose.


( coins clinking )

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters.

( Walters grunts )