Alex Gets Burned by an Old Flame (1983)
(theme song playing)
ALEX: Okay, count of three.
One, two, three!
Come on, Tony!
The new champ, that's right!
Now, fork over that championship belt.
Right now, hand it over.
I lost it.
You lost it?
Then give me your belt.
My belt? What are you talking about?
Don't be no sore loser.
Fork it over.
I did it! I did it!
Thank you. Hey, uh, nice sport.
Look at you! Oh, come on.
You're not going to really wear that, are you?
Yeah, I'll have it shortened.
What's left, I'll use to cover my steering wheel.
Are you kidding, man?
I'm proud of this thing.
I had to beat everybody in the garage.
Oh, well, you didn't beat me.
Well, no, he's ducking you.
Oh, I bet.
Well, come on, Elaine. I want to be fair.
Come on, uh, you can use two hands.
Come on. I-I-I'll start from here.
Well, what are you, all talk?
Yeah, all talk?
ALEX: Uh-oh. Oh, I don't believe this.
Yeah. One more match.
Oh, come on. You're not going to really do this.
Here's the belt.
Well, oh, wait, can I stand up?
All right. Stand up?
Alex, this is a girl.
I'm going to tear her arms off.
Well, okay. Just don't break a nail.
Let's go. Two hands, you heard him.
I'm going to count to three. Okay.
Ready? Piece of cake.
One, two, three!
Come on. You can do it.
Alex. ALEX: Come on, Elaine!
Come on, Elaine! Harder! Harder!
All right! I'm the undisputed champ of the garage!
No, no, it wasn't fair.
It wasn't fair, Elaine.
Oh, good, I'm the disputed champ of the garage. (cheering)
Nah, nah-nah, nah-nah, nah.
This isn't funny, Elaine. Aww...
Losing never is, kid.
Alex, you know that wasn't fair, Alex.
No, it wasn't fair.
But then again, life seldom is.
And the most unfair part is about to walk in.
Nardo told me what happened.
Look, don't feel bad about losing the championship.
The most important thing is she didn't hurt you.
No, but she used two hands.
I was tired. I had... Shh, shh, shh, shh.
She might hear you.
If you rile her, she could take you apart.
I, I know what I'll do to cheer you up, Banta.
I'll give you cab 714.
It's got power steering.
Muscle, too, he's got...
A woman beat him. (laughs)
Come on. It's funny.
You have to have a sense of humor about these things.
One of the most important things in this life... just walked into the garage.
Tony, you want a coffee? Nah.
I'll get you one.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... Oh, hello.
Excuse me. Can you help me?
I'll die trying.
I'm looking for a cabbie.
Why settle for a cabbie when you can have the top dog?
Are you the top dog?
I'll settle for a cabbie.
All right, that would be me. I'm a cabbie.
Hi, uh, uh... Can I help you?
Uh, what would you like? (Louie grunts)
Uh, to get as far away from him as possible.
I'll join you.
Want some coffee? Sure.
Oh, uh, I'm Alex Rieger.
Diane McKenna. Nice to see you.
So, uh, what brings you to this private, little hell of ours?
Well, do you know Jim Ignatowski?
Jim Ignatow... sure, I do.
Well, I'm an old friend of his.
Of course, I haven't seen him since we lived on the same commune in the '60s.
You lived on a commune? You?
Of course, a lot of people find that hard to believe.
I guess they can't picture me frolicking naked through the alfalfa sprouts.
I've been doing it ever since you walked in here.
I guess we're not as far away as possible.
I bet you they never had anything like Louie on that commune.
Oh, no, but, uh, when we first got there, we did find something similar living in the barn.
(chuckles): I know what you mean.
That's cute, that's real cute.
Wait a minute.
I haven't seen one of you for 13 years.
It must be her.
Oh, Jim... You haven't changed a bit.
I'm mad at you.
What are you talking about?
You were supposed to meet me at Woodstock
13 years ago, but you never showed up.
I was beginning to worry.
Jim, don't you remember?
Just before you left for the concert, you gave me that speech that convinced me to give up our way of life and go back to school.
Yeah. You told me I didn't fit in and... that I never would.
No, no, I was talking about the Volkswagen.
We already had 12 people.
I assumed you'd find another ride.
Well, maybe you were talking about the Volkswagen at that particular moment, but you always did tell me I should go to law school.
Yeah, but after the concert.
How did you do in law school?
Well, I graduated from Stanford, third in my class.
Well, you always were lazy.
Jim, uh, can I take you some place where I can buy you a drink?
Uh, how about a bar?
Bye, Alex. Nice meeting you.
Yeah, you, too.
How do you like that?
Beauty and the Bean Brain.
You really liked her, didn't you? Huh?
Yeah, I thought she was, uh, pretty attractive.
I mean, I'm not going to, uh, you know, go crazy over a chance encounter.
I mean, I'm just going to take it one step at a time and see what happens.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have her name tattooed on my face.
Will you knock it off?
You know, you're sick. You're really sick.
What are you doing now?
I'm giving you the belt back.
Yeah, well, I ain't taking it back.
Not without a rematch.
You got it. (laughs)
You know, wait, Tony, you know, if you beat me, I mean, all you've done is beaten a woman and nobody around this garage is going to put you on their shoulders.
Yeah, yeah, but I'm going to give you the same advantage I gave you last time, see, Elaine?
I'm going to start from here.
You can use two hands and you can stand up.
Okay, it's a big advantage.
Ah-ah, all right, I still don't think I can beat you.
But just on the outside chance that I can...
(chuckles) you are never going to live it down. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, well, let me tell you something.
I ain't losing this time, What? What?
'Cause last time I was tired. Oh.
You're dead meat. Get over here. Ooh.
You know, you do look a little tired today, too, Tony.
Okay, on three.
One. Well, you know what, uh, uh...
I had, like, a rough night last night.
I didn't get much sleep.
And I skipped lunch.
Three. Keep, keep the belt.
Hey, Tony? Tony?
Jim in yet?
Alex, that's the third time you asked me that. No.
I know. I'm sorry I'm so impatient.
I just wanted to get Diane's number from him.
Welcome to today's episode of As The Loser Turns.
The daily drama that chronicles the sad and frustrating sex life of our lonely hero, Alex Rieger.
Will you knock it off?!
Alex's nerves are frayed after a sleepless night of torment and lust over a woman who wants him as much as she wants ringworm.
Jim, Jim. Uh...
I want to tell you something.
You remember when that girl Diane walked in here yesterday?
You know... (chuckles)
I had this feeling of electricity just run through me, you know?
Electricity, huh? Yeah.
And I-I-I didn't know how to deal with it.
Uh... Have you tried fabric softener?
Jim, Jim... I, um...
I just... I just want to get to know her better.
Oh, you should.
Yeah, she's a wonderful girl.
Yeah, I... I think so.
I'll call her and set it up.
No, no, just give me her number. I'll call.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. My treat.
No, come on, Jim. I couldn't ask you to do that.
I really should.
No, not another word.
Incidentally, I have a simple device for memorizing phone numbers.
I assign each digit a letter and make an easy-to-remember word out of it.
For instance, her number is "fblwrkz."
Uh, are you, uh, free for dinner tonight?
How does burgers and beer sound?
No, no, no, no. Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim.
Uh, something intimate and romantic.
A fine French meal.
Uh-huh. How does a, uh, fine French meal sound?
Chez Robert. 8:00.
Chez Robert. 8:00.
Can't wait to see you. Bye, Diane.
Oh, wait, Diane!
What about me?
What about you?
Jim, I thought this whole thing was for me to have dinner with Diane.
Uh, Diane, do you mind if Alex comes along?
No... You're set. Thanks.
Well, Alex, you got your wish.
An intimate, romantic dinner for three.
Yeah, thanks, Jim.
You owe me one.
Well, at least I'm having dinner with her.
Hey, at least it's a start, right?
Will our lonely, frustrated hero, Alex Reiger, make a fool of himself at the Chez Ptomaine restaurant?
Will he get lucky with the lady lawyer or will he wind up with her heel in his eye?
Tune in tomorrow when we'll hear Reiger say...
How would you like me to shove that microphone right down your throat?
All that and more on tomorrow's episode of As The Loser Turns.
I mean, there's nothing worse than putting all that effort into a case and then losing.
Yeah, I can imagine.
And sometimes my clients blame me for their convictions.
Excusez moi, monsieur, but the other customers are complaining about the noise.
Uh, no problem. I'll turn it down.
No, no, no, it's not the noise of the game, monsieur.
It's the "yahoos," the "yipees," and the "gotchas."
Oh. I'll turn down my volume, too.
You were, uh... You were saying that, uh, your clients blame you when they're convicted.
Yes, in fact, one guy even stood up and said, "I'm gonna get you if it's the last thing I do."
What happened? He got me.
He wasn't a murderer.
He was a flasher.
(whispering): Yahoo! Yippee! Gottcha!
I zapped a Martian mushball.
You know, you know, I was always fascinated by the law.
Yeah, I mean, you get to save people's lives, you know?
The only thing I ever do for my fellow man is get him to the airport on time.
But I have had some, uh, very interesting experiences as a cab driver.
I mean, you have to have interesting experiences as a cab driver. (laughs)
You know, there are some, uh, strange, bizarre characters in the city.
Yeah, that's why I keep my door locked.
You know, just the other day...
Just the other day, this guy gets in my cab...
Uh, no, wait a minute, that's not interesting.
Oh, yeah, there was this woman, she gets in the cab and she tries...
No, no, that wasn't good.
Um, oh, got it! Got it.
There was this couple.
They flagged me down. No, wait a minute.
That didn't happen to me.
Uh, don't worry. I'll think of one.
Excuse me, Alex.
Where is the ladies' room?
To the right of the pay phone.
Will you excuse me?
Oh, I remember one.
I'll be back. It'll keep.
You like Diane, don't you, Alex?
Yeah, I do. I really do.
Hey, listen, Jim, um, you know, when I said that I wanted to get to know Diane better, I was, uh, hoping for an evening with just the two of us.
Well, it's not too late, Alex.
I'll send her home.
I was talking about just her and me.
Oh. You should get to know each other.
I want you two to be friends.
Thanks, Jim. I'll leave.
No, no, no. You can't leave now. It'll...
Not in the middle of dinner. It'll be awkward.
It won't be awkward.
Just tell her I'm sick.
No, no, no. That would sound a little phony.
I mean, I don't think she'd believe that.
She'll believe it if she asks any of these folks here.
Oh, oh, my stomach! Jim.
My guts are going to explode. Oh!
Jim. Jim, please.
What's in the veal?
Oh, I'm going home!
I've got a stomach pump there.
Uh, believe me, everything is fine.
Uh, he left. He wanted us to be alone.
He-He made believe he was sick.
I mean, you should have seen that one.
No. He did everything but make his head revolve and spit up pea soup.
I don't understand.
Don't try to understand it.
I mean, on the Ignatowski scale of weird, it was just a three.
He's all right, he's all right.
I mean, all the guys down at the garage think, you know, he's wonderful.
We all think he's adorable.
Because what he lacks up here, he's got right here.
But listen, you know, I have to admit I'm, uh...
I'm really glad he's not here right now.
What do you mean, "What he lacks up here?"
Well, you know, he's-he's a flake.
He's kind of spacey. I mean, uh...
His porch light has been flickering for years, if you know what I mean.
But let's not talk about Jim.
Listen, Diane, uh, you know, I've known a lot of women, but, uh, I think you're kind of special.
I mean, you're bright, you're beautiful.
I got a... I-I really have to, uh...
You know, when you walked into that garage, I must tell you...
Uh, Alex. Uh, before you go on, I must tell you something.
I am involved with someone.
Oh, how involved?
Emotionally and physically involved.
Anyone I know? (chuckles)
The, uh, flake with the flickering porch light?
Will there be anything else, monsieur?
Yes, I'd like a small glass of poison, please.
Anything for you?
(doorbell ringing repeatedly)
Yeah, yeah. I said, "Wait a minute."
Who is it?
JIM: The flake!
Remember me, the weirdo?
The-The man with the flickering porch lights.
The man you call spacey.
I made a mistake. I made a mistake.
I'll explain it all tomorrow and you'll see that maybe if you told me about you and Diane...
I don't want an explanation.
It doesn't matter why you said those things.
All I know is that you said them and that means you don't love me.
Oh, Jim, it's very late.
Admit, Alex. You don't love me, do you?
Jim, I don't know if I love anybody at 3:00 in the morning.
Look, I'm not going to baby you.
Sometimes I like you, and sometimes you get on my nerves.
I know that I like you, but I don't know if I love you right now.
Well, I know.
You don't love me or you wouldn't call me a flake.
But you are a flake.
And all I mean by that is you've done some strange things.
You lived in a condemned building for four years.
You're confusing flakiness with style.
You burned down Louie's apartment.
It was an accident.
I left something on the stove for too long.
Yeah, a beanbag chair.
And you kept a broken-down racehorse in your own apartment.
That horse had a name.
I know. Gary.
And you let him sleep in your bedroom.
Well, not everybody has a guest room, Alex.
You hung on the wall in a radiation suit for three days, thinking it was a sleeping bag.
Oh, my... Ha! Boy, I'm a lunatic!
Do you remember cutting up your own van?
What did I do with it?
You made a sculpture out of it. That's what you did with it.
(laughing) Oh, no!
You know what my favorite one of all time was?
Uh, no, but I wish I did.
It wasn't something you did, it was something you said.
I mean, it wasn't just funny, it was quotable.
It was so priceless, I repeated it to everybody.
You told me that if you could be anybody in the world, you'd still be yourself, so you wouldn't have to buy new clothes.
You remember that?
You quote me?
You remember little things about me that I don't even remember, myself.
Well... You think I'm a flake, but you love me.
My God, I think I do.
Well, I'm glad that's settled.
I better go back to Diane.
She thinks I'm in the bathroom, brushing my teeth.
Good night. Good night.
(theme song playing)
WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!