Felix is Gay?
General Disclaimer: Okay, I don't own any of these characters, not even those office buddies of Oscar's I made up (not that I'd really want to own those guys, anyway). Actually, I don't even know offhand who does own The Odd Couple. Maybe Neil Simon does, maybe Garry Marshall does. Probably some production company owns it. Anyway, I just want to give whoever it is proper respects, since I'm stealing their characters. (All right, I know this is a pathetic "proper respects," but what are ya gonna do?)
Oh, and by the way, if you haven't read it, you really must read Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. This is where it all began! It's a lot different in tone from the tv show (more dark humor), but it's still hilarious, a very good play.
Okay, on to the story. I admit that I don't know how good I am at humor, especially the type that comes in a sitcom (which is very bad as far as humor goes anyway). Let me know how that comes off. Try to picture Tony Randall and Jack Klugman acting this out. That's what I did when I wrote it. And, this is not slash, not by any means. It's very innocent in nature, just a few mild curses. I do not intend to offend anyone by my writing this, particularly gays or, for that matter, Tony Randall.
Here we go:
Scene 1: Oscar's office. It is just after lunchtime; Oscar, as usual, is a few minutes late. His secretary, Myrna, is standing by her desk, apparently waiting for Oscar to return. She is looking at a box of chocolates with a little red ribbon around it, sitting on the corner of her desk. She looks disappointed.
Just then, Oscar walks past the open window just outside his office, and into the room. He takes off his coat, exposing a yellow stain on his shirt. He glances at Myrna.
OSCAR: Hey, what are you doing just standing there?
MYRNA [as always, in a nasally voice]: Good afternoon, Mr. Madison. What's that on your shirt?
OSCAR [looks down at shirt]: Huh? Oh, it's just mustard. I had a messy sandwich for lunch.
MYRNA: Mr. Madison, your roommate Mr. Unger was here earlier.
OSCAR [looks up, surprised, and slightly annoyed]: What? Felix was here? Why, what did he want?
MYRNA [picks up box of chocolates and hands it to Oscar]: Oh, well, he just dropped this off for you. He said to tell you hi and that he's sorry he missed you.
OSCAR: I'm not sorry I missed him. [takes package] What's this?
MYRNA: Looks like a box of chocolates to me.
OSCAR [exasperated]: I know what it is! I'd like to know what's it for?
MYRNA: Well, you asked, "what's this?"
OSCAR [arms flying up in the air]: Just answer me, willya?
MYRNA: I don't know what it's for. I thought maybe it was your birthday and I forgot.
OSCAR [sarcastically]: No, it's not my birthday. There is absolutely nothing special about today! [pauses] What is today, anyway?
OSCAR: See! There's nothing special about a Tuesday! [Oscar walks over to his desk, mumbling] Now, what am I gonna do with this thing?
MYRNA [sits down at her desk and sighs]: I wish I had someone to give me a box of chocolates.
OSCAR [walks over and hands the box to Myrna]: Here. Happy birthday from Felix.
* * * * *
Scene 2: In the hallway near Oscar's office, a little later the same day. There is a small group of Oscar's co-workers standing around a water cooler, talking and laughing. Oscar is not present.
JOE: I shouldn't be standing around here, I got a deadline coming up for a story I haven't even started yet!
CHUCK: Hey, didja hear? While Oscar was at lunch, his nutcase roommate came in and brought him a box of chocolates!
All the guys laugh loudly.
FRED [still laughing]: My wife doesn't even bring me presents at work!
JOE [thoughtfully]: Hey, Oscar and his roommate aren't, you know…
CHUCK: What, you mean like, like that? [they all look at each other for a minute]
JACK [looks around, confused]: Hey, what are we talkin' about? Oscar's what?
JOE [ignoring Jack, shaking his head]: Nah, not Oscar. I don't know about that roommate of his, though. Maybe he's a little on the funny side.
Just then, Oscar joins the group. They all look at him strangely, almost suspiciously. Oscar returns the strange look, glancing around him with a confused expression.
OSCAR: What's going on here? You're not talking about me, are you?
FRED [reassuringly, but not very believably]: No, no, of course not. We wouldn't talk about you behind your back.
JACK: I don't know what anyone's talking about here.
CHUCK: Hey, uh, Oscar, you know your roommate?
OSCAR [getting a drink from the water cooler]: No, I don't know him. What's his name?
CHUCK [ignoring the wisecrack]: Well, I hear he stopped by today.
OSCAR [obviously upset]: Oh, don't get started with that! I don't know what Felix does—I don't think he knows what he's doing half the time!
FRED: Oscar, how long have you known Felix?
OSCAR [not following him at all]: What? I don't know, years. Why?
FRED: Well, he hasn't ever acted…funny around you, has he?
OSCAR: Felix always acts "funny." He's like his own personal barrel of monkeys.
JOE [hesitant]: I don't know how to say this, Oscar, but… We think your roommate might be, you know…gay.
OSCAR [a little too quickly to sound flippant]: Oh, yeah, Felix is a very happy guy.
JOE: Oscar, that's not what I mean.
JACK: What do you mean?
OSCAR [shouting at the same time as Jack]: I know what you mean!!
They all pause for a second. Oscar looks around, a little bit embarrassed, and a little bit angry.
OSCAR [continues]: My roommate is not gay!
CHUCK: Well, how do you know for sure?
OSCAR: I've been living with him for three years! He was married for eight years; he has two kids! Don't you think I would have noticed by now if he was gay?
JOE [feeling he's onto something here]: I dunno, maybe he's hiding it well. Maybe he didn't want you to know when he moved in with you. Maybe that's why he broke up with his wife!
OSCAR: No, he broke up with his wife because he's a pest!
CHUCK [almost like he's accusing Oscar]: Then why do you still live with him?
OSCAR [pauses just a little too long]: I don't why I live with him. He's my best friend, I can't just kick him out. Besides, nobody else can stand him enough to live with him.
Nobody looks very convinced. Oscar, holding the little paper cup of water, starts to drink. Jack just looks around at everybody. It suddenly seems to sink in.
JACK: Your roommate is gay, Oscar?
OSCAR [spitting out water]: No! Felix is not gay! [he can't take it anymore, and walks out on the guys]
They all stare after him.
CHUCK and JOE [both nodding in unison]: Oh, yeah, he must be gay.
* * * * *
Scene 3: Oscar and Felix's apartment. The workday is over. Felix is home, in the kitchen, cooking dinner. Oscar is just about to arrive.
Oscar quietly opens the door and enters the apartment, closing the door carefully behind him. He looks around, but doesn't see Felix. He takes off his coat and tosses it onto the couch. He heads for the hallway leading to his room, taking off his blazer and loosening his tie.
Felix enters, carrying a platter with plates and silverware. He is wearing an apron over a pink-striped workshirt and plaid tie. He glances over and notices Oscar's coat on the couch.
FELIX: Oscar? Are you home? That's strange, I didn't hear him tromping in here like a wild elephant, complaining about his day. Oscar?
He puts the platter on the table, neatly setting the pieces in place. He then walks back into the hallway.
We see Oscar's bedroom. Oscar is reclining on his bed, smoking a cigar and trying to relax. He has removed his shoes, blazer, and tie.
OSCAR [tiredly]: Yeah, Felix, I'm home.
FELIX [concerned]: Are you sick? You haven't made as much of a mess as you usually do.
OSCAR: No, Felix, I'm fine.
FELIX [smiling widely]: Did Myrna mention anything interesting today?
OSCAR [wryly]: Yeah, she said it was Tuesday.
FELIX [not to be dissuaded]: That's not what I meant. Did she happen to give you anything? A small wrapped box, perhaps?
OSCAR [deciding to play along]: No, she didn't. Why, do you think maybe she thought it was my birthday today?
FELIX [disappointed]: She didn't give you a small wrapped box! I gave her distinct directions to give you that box of chocolates.
OSCAR: Felix, why are you telling my secretary to give me boxes of chocolate?
FELIX: Oh, it was just one. I was just trying to do something nice for—
OSCAR [finally losing his temper]: Why the hell are you giving me boxes of chocolate at work?!
FELIX [taken aback]: I wouldn't have gone over there if I had known you'd have a problem with it.
OSCAR: All right, I'm sorry, Felix, I was just…surprised, that's all. Thanks, anyway.
FELIX [accepting the apology as quickly as he had been offended]: Well, did you enjoy them?
OSCAR: Enjoy what? Oh, chocolates! You say that like you expect me to've eaten them all right away. What am I, a pig?
FELIX: We won't get into a debate over that now. [insistent] But you tried them, didn't you?
OSCAR: No, I gave them to Myrna.
FELIX [offended]: You gave them to Myrna! Why?
OSCAR [flippantly]: It was Myrna's birthday.
FELIX [suddenly panicked]: Oh, no!! I forgot about dinner! [he rushes out of the room]
Oscar stands up and follows him out of the room. We now see the kitchen, just as Felix opens the oven door frantically. He almost grabs the pan without mitts, then suddenly remembers. Oscar walks in, opens the fridge, and takes out a beer. He pops it open and takes a gulp.
FELIX: Oh, good, it's not ruined. Of course, I couldn't have ruined it, anyway.
OSCAR [trying to make amends and show he's not still angry]: So, Felix, what's for dinner?
FELIX [with an overemphasized Italian accent on the meal's name]: I'm making your favorite, Chicken Parmiagiana with linguini.
OSCAR: That's not my favorite. I like steak and potatoes.
FELIX: Oh, but you'll love this. This'll be your new favorite.
OSCAR [mildly annoyed]: I don't want a new favorite.
Felix gets the dish ready, putting linguini on a platter and covering it with a piece of chicken.
FELIX: Just go sit down—have you washed your hands? And do you have to drink beer with a dish like this? Why can't you have a nice wine?
OSCAR: I can't have wine.
FELIX: Why not?
OSCAR: It's chicken—which do you have, red or white wine?
* * * * *
Scene 4: Felix's bathroom, not long before bedtime. Felix is wearing blue pajamas under an orange robe, neatly tied at the waist. He puts a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on his toothbrush (just as they recommend for children), then begins to brush. He does so very precisely, one tooth at a time.
Oscar walks in and taps a couple times on the door. He is still dressed in the clothes he was wearing earlier, only they look more wrinkled. Felix glances at him in the mirror, continues to brush.
OSCAR: Listen, Felix... [pauses and watches him brush] Jeez, you're even neat about brushing your teeth!
FELIX [mouth full of spit]: Mwy wike hubbe hneet!
FELIX [carefully spits out]: I said, I like to be neat!
OSCAR: Well, if you're so neat, why don't you swallow that instead of spitting it out?
FELIX [wiping his mouth]: I've tried that. It makes me violently ill. [puts toothbrush and towel away] What is it, Oscar? [turns to face Oscar, suddenly surprised] What are you doing, still dressed?
OSCAR [shocked]: What did you say, Felix?
FELIX: Aren't you getting up early tomorrow? You should be ready to go to bed.
OSCAR [pushing the matter aside]: C'mon, Felix, I'm not a pansy... [breaks off, slightly embarrassed]
FELIX [oblivious]: You need your beauty rest, Oscar. A man cannot be truly healthy without sufficient sleep!
OSCAR [getting a bit worried]: My beauty rest?
FELIX: Trust me, Oscar, you need all the beauty rest you can get.
He walks out. Oscar just stands there a moment, staring after him. Felix comes back in.
FELIX: Was there something you wanted to ask me?
OSCAR: Uh, no, Felix. I was just wishing you good night. Good night, Felix.
FELIX [cheerfully]: Sweet dreams! [he walks out]
Oscar just looks after him.
* * * * *
Scene 5: Oscar and Felix's apartment, the next day. It's afternoon, Oscar is home, working at his desk, typing away on his typewriter. He doesn't seem to be having much luck: suddenly, he stops, rereads what he's just written, yanks the paper out of the typewriter, and crumples it up. He curses and tosses it as far across the room as possible. It lands in the middle of the room, joining a small group of crumpled paper.
The doorbell buzzes.
OSCAR: Come in!
The door opens. Murray looks around, then walks in. He, as usual, is in his police uniform. Oscar puts another piece of paper in the typewriter and starts to type again.
MURRAY: Hi, Oscar.
OSCAR: Oh, hey, Murray. Listen, I'm really busy right now, I've got a story due.
MURRAY: That's okay, I just stopped by.
OSCAR: Aren't you on duty?
MURRAY [defensively]: I'm taking a break. Police work is hard, you know!
OSCAR [sarcastically]: Yeah, it must be tough to drive around in your cruiser all day, making sure you don't spill the coffee and donuts. And I bet it's exhausting, fighting all that boredom.
MURRAY: That's not very funny, Oscar. It's a lot more dangerous than you think it is. I'm faced with thieves and murderers every day.
OSCAR: You're gonna be faced with a murderer if you don't let me finish my story here!
MURRAY: I'm sorry. I'm not here to see you, anyway.
OSCAR: You track a thief or murderer up here?
MURRAY [abruptly]: Where's Felix?
OSCAR: He's not here. Why, what'd he steal?
MURRAY: Well, he told me he had tickets to a ballet tomorrow night, and offered to take me.
OSCAR: To the ballet?
MURRAY [interestedly, almost excitedly]: Oh, it's a really good one, put on by the New York Ballet Company.
OSCAR: What an original name.
MURRAY: Felix's been trying to get tickets to it for weeks! And he's going to take me!
OSCAR [trying to bring up the topic tastefully]: Murray, you know, yesterday at work, some of my co-workers were talking about Felix. They think he's, uh, gay.
MURRAY: Huh? Yeah, he's pretty happy. Now that he's got his life back together after—
OSCAR: No, they mean that he's gay, like homosexual gay.
MURRAY [apparently the thought never once crossed his mind]: Felix? Why?
OSCAR: Why? I don't know why. Maybe because he gave me a box of chocolates at work yesterday.
MURRAY: Aww, that's sweet!
OSCAR: It's not sweet! It's creepy! It's strange—normal people don't give other normal people chocolates for no good reason!
MURRAY: Maybe he was just showing his appreciation for you or something.
OSCAR: Murray, you're too much of a romantic. Why does Felix like ballet?
MURRAY: You know Felix. He's the edgy, artistic type.
OSCAR: The "edgy, artistic" type? What the hell does that mean?
MURRAY: You know Felix better than I do. He likes that side of life, the ballet, the arts, that kind of stuff. That's just the way he is—and you like the sports and all that.
OSCAR: I don't know. Why would he give me chocolates? What's he trying to prove? Is he telling me something here, or what?
MURRAY: He's telling you what a great friend you are! Oh, and speaking of telling things, could you remind Felix he promised to take me tomorrow to the ballet? I got a criminal in the backseat of my cruiser.
OSCAR: You mean he's been sitting there the entire time?
MURRAY: Well, he's handcuffed. And I think the doors are locked. Unless I left the keys in the car.
OSCAR: So what am I gonna tell Felix? How do I find out if he's really gay?
MURRAY [matter of fact]: Just ask him. And don't forget to ask him about the ballet tickets while you're at it. [he slips out the door]
OSCAR [calling after him]: Murray! Great. [shuts the door when Murray doesn't respond] So now I gotta ask Felix if he's gay, then tell him to go to a ballet with Murray.
* * * * *
Scene 6: Oscar and Felix's apartment, later the same day. It is late evening now, Felix has returned. They have eaten dinner, and are settling down for the night.
Oscar is sitting in the middle of the couch, watching television. Felix is in the kitchen, probably washing dishes or cleaning the floor tiles with Oscar's toothbrush.
FELIX [shouting]: Oscar! Is the show on yet?
OSCAR [in a normal, quiet voice]: Huh? I don't know.
FELIX: I'll be right out! Let me know if it starts!
A few minutes later, Felix comes out into the living room. He glances at the television.
FELIX: Oscar! I told you to tell me when Carson came on.
OSCAR: Oh, I thought you were talking about something else.
FELIX: Why would I be talking about something else? We watch Carson every night.
OSCAR: Okay, so you missed some of it tonight. Big deal.
Felix sits down next to Oscar on the couch, a little too close for comfort. Oscar glances down, then tries to edge away without being too noticeable. Felix immediately shifts just a little bit closer.
FELIX [cheerfully]: So, how was your day?
OSCAR: Fantastic. I didn't get a damn thing done.
FELIX: Really? Why? You had the whole place to yourself all day!
OSCAR: Yeah, well, Murray stopped by.
FELIX: Did he? And what did he say?
OSCAR: He asked me about going to a ballet tomorrow night.
FELIX [disappointed]: You're going to a ballet tomorrow night?
OSCAR: No, you are!
FELIX: I knew that. Why did Murray ask you?
OSCAR [exasperated]: Because you weren't here! Listen, Murray wants to go to that ballet with you tomorrow night. He said you had a ticket for him.
FELIX: For Murray? Oh. I forgot about that.
OSCAR [not really caring, but asking anyway]: What?
FELIX: I forgot I asked Murray to go with me.
OSCAR: Why? You going with someone else?
FELIX: Yes. I'm going with you.
FELIX: That is, assuming you're free…
OSCAR: What do you wanna take me for? Why not take Murray?
FELIX: Well, to be frank… Murray talks too much.
OSCAR: You're saying Murray talks too much?
FELIX: Yes, he disrupts the entire show for me. He's always asking me questions throughout the entire show. "What's he doing now? Why did that one just fall down? What ever happened to the one with the orange codpiece?" It really can get on one's nerves.
OSCAR: So what do you wanna take me for?
FELIX [matter of fact]: Well, you don't care about it enough to wonder what's going on.
OSCAR: Then why do you think I'd want to go!
FELIX: Because we're buddies. We don't do things together enough. I just wanted to give us an opportunity to spend some quality time together.
OSCAR: Felix, we see each other every day. We live together, remember?
FELIX: No, but that's not the same thing. We should do things together.
OSCAR [suspiciously]: What kind of "things?"
FELIX: All sorts of things. Like this ballet tomorrow. Are you free?
OSCAR: No, I'm not free!
FELIX: Why? Do you have an article?
OSCAR: I'm not free 'cause I'm not going!
FELIX [in a whining, childish tone]: But why?
OSCAR: Felix, my office buddies are gonna think I'm gay, too!
EFLIX [entirely confused]: What?
OSCAR: Felix, listen to me. My office buddies heard about you bringing me chocolates yesterday, so they think you're gay.
FELIX: They think I'm Gay Williams from down the hall? Why? How do they even know her?
OSCAR: No, Felix, they think you're gay, homosexual.
FELIX [completely surprised, and taken aback]: What? What are they talking about! [starts honking in distress] How could they think- [honk] that I'm- [honk]
OSCAR: All right, Felix, just calm down—
FELIX: Calm down! He asks me to calm down right after he tells me I'm gay! [honk]
OSCAR: Okay, I didn't mean to break the news to you like that—
FELIX: He didn't mean to break the news like that! Oh, Oscar, Oscar, Oscar!
OSCAR [annoyed]: Will you cut it out with the "Oscar, Oscar, Oscar?"
FELIX: Oh, and how did you plan on breaking the news? By writing a little note that said, "Dear Felix, I'm sorry you're gay, please get out my house!"
OSCAR: No, Felix, I'm not going to kick you out—
FELIX: Well, that's just terrific!
OSCAR: Felix, I was just telling you what somebody else thought, not what I—
FEILX: Well, if you didn't think it, why did you bring it up?
OSCAR [angry]: Okay, I brought it up because I believed them!
FELIX [after a pause, a little calmer now]: So what makes you think I'm gay?
OSCAR: I don't know—
FELIX [quickly interrupts]: Because I go to ballets? Because of the way I cook? Because of my clothes? Because of my profession?
OSCAR: Huh? No, Felix, I just—
FELIX [angry now himself]: You just thought, "hey, maybe my roommate's gay, isn't that a nice way to get rid of him!"
OSCAR: If you're not gonna bother listening to me, then forget it! [he tramps off to his bedroom]
Felix pauses and looks after him. He brings his hand up to his forehead, honks a little, then goes off into the kitchen to find his nose spray.
A few minutes later, he re-enters the living room, then walks off to follow Oscar into his bedroom. Oscar is sitting on his bed, facing away from the door. He is just staring blankly at the floor when Felix appears in the doorway.
FELIX: Oscar? You're not worried about me being in your room, are you?
OSCAR: What is it, Felix?
FELIX: I don't understand why you think I'm gay?
OSCAR: It's nothing, Felix. Don't worry about it.
FELIX: I just want to spend some time with you because we're friends, Oscar. Are we still friends?
OSCAR: Sure, Felix. You wanna sit down?
FELIX [after looking around distastefully at the messy room]: No, thanks. I don't see an uncontaminated place to sit.
OSCAR: So, you want me to go to the ballet tomorrow night with you?
FELIX: I don't want you to go if you don't want to.
OSCAR: That's okay, Felix. I'll make it up to you.
FELIX [starting to get excited]: And then maybe we could do some other things together? We could go catch a ball game, just be a couple of boys on the town…
OSCAR: All right, Felix, let's not go overboard.
FELIX: I'm sorry I brought you the box of chocolates if it embarrassed you.
OSCAR: It's okay, Felix. I forgive you.
FELIX [happily]: Good. Now, what was that you were saying about Mrs. Williams down the hall?
Oscar turns around and looks at Felix strangely.
I just want to note that this is not the original final scene I wrote, and this sounds way too sappy and not as funny to me. Unfortunately, I lost the original in a stupid maneuver due to my lack of computer skills. If I find a way to fix this, I will. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed it.