INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - WAITING ROOM - DAY

MRS. DRISKEL (60s and played by Scott) enters, walking across to the receptionist's desk. The waiting room and receptionists station are both empty which strikes Mrs. Driskel as being strange.

MRS. DRISKEL

(calls out)

Hello? I'm here for my physical...

Mrs. Driskel nervously grips her purse waiting for an answer before taking the liberty of peering through the open glass portion.

MRS. DRISKEL

Well, what do ya make of that... They must have all gone for lunch.

SOUND: DOOR OPENING

MRS. DRISKEL

(continuing; calls out)

Hello? I'm here for my appointment.

A look of relief washes over Mrs. Driskel's face as the NURSE (Mark) enters.

MRS. DRISKEL

Oh, thank heaven. I thought you'd all gone to lunch.

NURSE

I'm sorry Mrs. Driskel, the doctor wanted to see everyone in the back today. Someone should have called you.

MRS. DRISKEL

I don't under-- I'm here for my check-up.

NURSE

Yes, of course. The doctor wanted to have a patient conference. It won't take long.

Mrs. Driskle looks at her watch then back at the polite nurse.

MRS. DRISKEL

Well, I suppose if it doesn't take too long -- I did plan on doing some shopping later.

NURSE

Of course. If you just follow me.

Mrs. Driskel follows the nurse into the back.

INT. DOCTOR'S LECTURE HALL - CONTINUING

The lecture hall is full of patients (mostly senior citizens) filling the air with a nervous chatter (I.e. "What's this all about?", "I'm totally in the dark." etc.) The nurse leads Mrs. Driskel to a chair with her name on it.

Mrs. Driskel eavesdrops on the conversation of the two WOMEN (Bruce is #1, Kevin is #2) sitting in the row in front of her.

WOMAN #1

I blame those damn HMO's.

WOMAN #2

I don't understand this -- maybe he's going to announce a cure for cancer or lime disease.

WOMAN #1

Get real -- We would have heard something on 60 Minutes by now.

WOMAN #2

All I know is I hate these young doctors. Especially, this new doctor who replaced Brown.

WOMAN #1

(shaking her head)

There's no telling what type of education he's had.

DOCTOR (Dave) enters the lecture hall carrying a large folder and without much more than a polite smile and hello walks directly to the podium. The doctor opens the folder, only pretending to go through it, then abruptly shuts it looking up at the throng of puzzled patients.

DOCTOR

You're probably all wondering why I've called you here today -- especially when given this rather unusual fashion.

WOMAN #1

(perturbed)

You can say that again, doc!

The comment is followed by laughter from the other patients.

DOCTOR

(smiles)

Well, you see... I've never been really great, not even marginally good at the whole -- doctor/patient relationship thing. Some of you would even say how I'm "wet behind behind the ears" or how, "I'm just a walking malpractice suit waiting to happen" or "That guy's the doctor? I thought he was the guy cleaning my bed pan."

The doctor chuckles, no one in the room is smiling.

DOCTOR

Anyway, you see I'm just not good at a few things, like for example -- delivering horrible news to a patient.

A collective GASP of fear follows from the patients.

DOCTOR

That got your attention. So, what I've done is taken out the whole element of confrontation for you as well as for me. I thought as a group we could comfort and yes, even learn from each other's horrid horrid pain and suffering. See, one of you is actually dying in this room at this very moment.

Everyone looks around at each other. A woman stands in the back and just as suddenly faints back down. The nurse rushes over to her.

DOCTOR

But since I'm such a filthy coward I just don't have the heart to tell you.

The doctor looks through his folder.

DOCTOR

Oops, I'm sorry... I seem to have made a slight error.

A collective SIGH of relief goes up from the patients.

DOCTOR

Actually, four of you are dying from a brain tumor.

The ear of man sitting in the front row falls off. Neither the man or any of the others seem to notice.

DOCTOR

And the other is dying from a vicious attack from an anaconda.

A young man sitting rather relaxed in his seat has a snake slowly wrapping itself around his body.

DOCTOR

So, what I've done is written a number on small piece of paper and stuck them to the bottom of your seats. So if you all wouldn't mind just reaching under and grabbing your numbers we can get this show on the road.

The patients comply with the doctor, each reaching under their seat to pull off the piece of paper.

INTERCUT BETWEEN - MRS. DRISKEL AND THE DOCTOR

MRS. DRISKEL

Oh, jeez. I got 13, I got the bad mojo number.

DOCTOR

Okay, so now that number directly corresponds with the number written up here on one of these neat little folders which will in turn contain your -- possible terminal diagnosis. Now if you could all just form an orderly line in front of the table, Nurse Helen and Nurse May will be glad to help you make any needed follow-up appointments. In the meantime, I'll be under my podium having a smoke.

One of the nurses helps a man in a wheelchair over to the table. The doctor crawls under his podium, a cigarette already in his mouth. The first person to read from the folder is a YOUNG WOMAN.

YOUNG WOMAN

(elated)

I'm not sick -- I don't have a brain tumor. I'm IMMORTAL! In your face death! In your faaaace!

The young woman suddenly starts doing this hyper victory dance, like the kind a football player would make after completing a touchdown. Suddenly, the young women collapses. The doctor pops out from under his podium.

DOCTOR

(smiling)

She may have not had the tumor but she did suffer from a rare disease to the myocardium.

The doctor goes back under his podium.

NURSE

Next.

Mrs. Driskle who is in line, suddenly steps out marching up to the podium.

MRS. DRISKEL

I can't take this anymore.

Mrs. Driskel starts knocking heavily on the podium.

MRS. DRISKEL

Doctor! Doctor!

DOCTOR (O.S.)

Yes?

MRS. DRISKEL

Doctor, for the love of all that is holy -- would you please come out from under your podium?

DOCTOR (O.S.)

Now?

MRS. DRISKEL

Yes! Now!

DOCTOR (O.S.)

I can hear you perfectly clear from under here.

MRS. DRISKEL

That isn't the point, doctor. The point is that you should be acting like a doctor, a professional. You should be taking some responsibility for your actions.

DOCTOR

Can I just finish my cigarette?

MRS. DRISKEL

No.

The doctor with a sheepish expression rises from underneath the podium.

MRS. DRISKEL

That's better. Now I'm ready to hear my diagnosis. All I ask is a for a little dignity in the process.

DOCTOR

You have...

The patients and nurses ease in to hear...

DOCTOR

Osteoporosis.

MRS. DRISKEL

What?

DOCTOR

It's a condition that sometimes will follow menopause.

MRS. DRISKEL

No, I know.

(relieved)

Are you saying I don't have a brain tumor?

DOCTOR

Uh, yeah.

Mrs. Driskel suddenly lunges at the doctor grabbing him in a bear hug.

MRS. DRISKEL

Glory be! I don't have a brain tumor?

DOCTOR

No... you're breaking my ribs.

Mrs. Driskel releases the doctor.

MRS. DRISKEL

Oh, I know how Walter my husband hates redoing are wills, we cut the kids out twice last year. Well, thank you, doctor. Thank you.

(giddy)

I'm off to shop.

Mrs. Driskel exits the lecture hall with a renewed confidence. The doctor and nurses go back to handing out the folders.

DOCTOR

(to nurse)

You know -- that actually wasn't that difficult.

NURSE

See, I told you so.

DOCTOR

You know, I should really call Mrs. Davidson later and thank her.

NURSE

Davidson? That was Mrs. Driskel.

DOCTOR

(beat)

I'll be under the podium...