[3.17]High Crane Drifter

High Crane Drifter               Written by Jack Burditt
                                 Directed by Philip Charles MacKenzie
Production Code: 3.17
Episode Number In Production Order: 65
Original Airdate on NBC: 12th March 1996
Episode filmed on: 
Transcript written on 23rd August 2000
Transcript revised on 22nd December 2002

Transcript {andrea day}

Act One

Scene One - KACL
Frasier's show is on the air, but Frasier is nowhere to be seen. 
A nervous Roz is filling in.

    Roz: Well, it's uh... 2:07, here on the Dr. Frasier Crane Show.  
         As I said, I'm Roz Doyle, Frasier's producer, [looks to see 
         if Frasier is coming] filling in for the temporarily detained 
         Dr. Crane. [picks up a copy] It's cloudy and 62 degrees outside 
         coming up on 2:08... [looks at clock] right... there.  Well, 
         let's take a call.  Hello, Lydia.  What seems to be the 
  Lydia: [v.o.] I already told you.
    Roz: Yeah, that was when I was the call screener, now I'm the host. 
         So, tell me your problem, and take your time.
  Lydia: Well, it started about two weeks ago.  I got this terrible 
         obscene phone call.  It's happened several times since then 
         and now it's to the point where I'm afraid to answer my own 

Roz notices Frasier running by the window.

    Roz: Well, obscene phone calls can be very disturbing. [Frasier 
         bursts in] But luckily, Dr. Frasier Crane has just arrived and 
         I'm sure he knows exactly what soothing things to say. 

Roz hands the headphones to Frasier.  He is out of breath from 
running and can only pant into the microphone, causing Lydia to 
scream in fear and hang up.

    Roz: [into microphone] Maybe now would be a good time to take a 
         break.  We'll be right back after this. [pushes in a cart]
Frasier: What the hell was that all about?!
    Roz: Oh, never mind that, where were you? 
Frasier: Oh, god.  Somebody'd parked in my space again.  I had to park 
         six blocks from here and sprint the whole way.  By the end, 
         my tweed pants were throwing off so many sparks I almost 
         caught myself on fire!  I tell you what - the minute we go 
         to a news break I'm going to rush down there and put this 
         withering note on his windshield. [writing] "Dear discourteous 
    Roz: Whoa!  I think you've said enough right there! [snatches his 
         note] Come on, Frasier.  This isn't gonna do any good!  You 
         want to make an impression on him?  Get tough.  You go right 
         down there and let the air out of his tires.
Frasier: Oh, I wouldn't do something like that.
    Roz: Why?  It's just inconveniencing him like he inconvenienced 
Frasier: Roz, listen, the world has become uncivilized enough without 
         me stooping to that level.  Of course I was sorely tempted 
         last night.  I went to the movies to see "How Green Was My 
         Valley."  Lady Luck seated me in front of two elderly women 
         who said with the arrival of each new actor, "My God, doesn't 
         he look young; he's dead, you know."  Finally I had to just 
         walk out.
    Roz: Oh, you're on in five seconds.  And Brenda is on line one. 
         [enters her booth]
Frasier: [on air] Hello, Seattle.  We're back, and I would like to 
         start by apologizing for being tardy.  Nothing quite so 
         inconsiderate as making someone wait.  Now without further 
         ado let's get to Brenda.  Hello, Brenda.
 Brenda: [v.o.] Hi, Dr. Crane. I'm having a problem with my sister. 
         She's always... [her phone clicks] Oh, wait a second.  That's 
         my other line. [clicks over]
Frasier: [annoyed] Something tells me I'm going to be siding with 
         Brenda's sister.


Scene Two - A video rental shop Frasier enters the shop and holds the door open for an outgoing customer. She doesn't say a word. Frasier: You're welcome! [walks up to the counter] Excuse me, I was wondering if you could direct me to... The phone rings; the clerk ignores Frasier and answers the phone. Clerk: Friendly Video. Yeah, I think we got that one. Hang on a second, I'll check. Frasier: [to a customer behind him] Don't you hate that? You come all the way down here yourself to the store, wait patiently, and somebody who calls in from home gets preferential treatment. A second clerk opens up another line. Clerk: I can help the next person in line. The other customers rush to the next lane ahead of Frasier. Clerk: Hey, do we have "The Invisible Man?" Frasier: Right here! Clerk: Thanks. [in phone] Yeah, we got it. [hangs up] Frasier: Excuse me. I was looking for... [the phone rings again; the clerk reaches for the phone, but Frasier places his hand on top of it] Don't even think about it! I'm looking for "How Green Was My Valley." Clerk: Huh? Frasier: It is a beautifully acted depiction of life in a small town in Wales. It won five Academy Awards! It's a classic! Clerk: Oh. Well, uh, this is a shot in the dark, but you might try looking in the Classics section. Frasier rolls his eyes and heads toward the Classics section, only to find a woman who had been behind him in line picking up the same video. Frasier: Uh... you're taking "How Green Was My Valley?" Woman: I heard it was great. Frasier: Yes, but you heard it from me! You were standing next to me in the line! [she says nothing and takes her place in line; Frasier, frustrated, goes back to the clerk] Excuse me, is there another copy? Clerk: Oh yeah, that would be across the street in our "How Green Was My Valley" annex. Frasier stalks out of the store in annoyance. FADE TO: Scene Three - Frasier's apartment Martin is in his chair watching television. Daphne enters with a basket of laundry. Martin: [chuckling] Hey Daphne. Come on, you're just in time. It's starting. Daphne: I don't get this show. People send in videos of themselves having the most embarrassing and painful accidents. They add cartoon noises and music and everyone laughs themselves silly. Martin: [laughing at the TV show] Boy, I bet that hurt! Daphne shakes her head and exits to her bedroom as Frasier storms in. Martin: Well, what's wrong with you? Frasier: Frankly, I have had it with the whole boorish, ill-mannered world. Look, Dad, would you mind terribly if I used the TV tonight? I went to three video stores to get this tape. I'm just dying to see it. Martin: Sure, go ahead. How many times can you watch a dog get hit with a swinging door? Frasier: [staring at Eddie] Depends upon the dog. Eddie jumps down from the couch and follows Martin into the kitchen. Frasier walks over to put the tape in just as loud, piercing rock music begins playing from upstairs. Frasier: What the hell is that?! The windows are rattling, the walls are shaking, and I am talking to no one!! Daphne: [entering] Well, I see our neighbor's at it again. Frasier: [grabs the phone] Not for long! Martin: [entering] I'm gonna take a nap. Frasier: Dad, you can't possibly expect to sleep in this racket. Martin: Are you kidding? I've slept through worse than this. In Korea I dropped off in a foxhole right outside P'Anmunjom. By the time I woke up the cease-fire was over and I was the only one who didn't know about it. Talk about having egg on your face. [exits] Frasier: [in phone] Yes. Yes, would you please connect me with the young man who's just moved into the penthouse upstairs. No, I don't know his name! He's in the penthouse! He has shaggy hair, tattoos all over him, his body is pierced. Oh, and I don't know if I mentioned this but he's in the penthouse! The music stops suddenly. Frasier and Daphne look up at the ceiling. Frasier: [into phone] Never mind. [hangs up; to Daphne] Has the world completely lost the concept of common courtesy? Am I the only one who is resisting this tide?! [walks out onto the balcony and bellows:] People of Seattle, listen to me! We are not barbarians! We are not Neanderthals and we are not French! Do you hear that, you up there?! [walks back in and gets a glass of sherry] Daphne: That's his own music he's listening to, you know. His name is Freddie Chainsaw. Frasier: Chainsaw? Of the Newport Chainsaws? How does an arrested adolescent who barely knows two chords get a penthouse? Daphne: His last album sold five million copies. Frasier: Oh. Well, then, I'll just add that to my list of reasons to die. Daphne: You know, personally, I like it. But then, we Brits have always been on the cutting edge. You should have heard the punk rockers who rented the flat below me a few years back. They'd play the same song over and over again: [singing] Flesh is burning... nana nana nana. Flesh is burning... nana nana nana. [sighs] Oh no. I'm gonna have that tune in me head all day now. Frasier: Yes, well, thank you for that, Daphne. But I've been waiting all day to watch my movie. He pushes play on the remote control. The movie begins, but is suddenly undercut by Mr. Chainsaw's loud music again. Frasier angrily jumps to his feet. Frasier: Doesn't he ever stop for sex and drugs?! [he grabs for the phone again and dials the operator] Hello. Yes. Please, I insist on being connected with the young man in the penthouse. [the music stops as Mr. Chainsaw answers his phone] Yes, hello, Mr. Chainsaw? Yes, how do you do? I'm Dr. Frasier Crane. I am your neighbor; I live right below you. Yes, do you have any idea how loud your music is? Oh. You do? Well... thank you. [he hangs up the phone, pleasantly surprised] Well, that wasn't so bad. The young man seemed quite amiable in his way. The peace is short-lived however, as the music starts up again. Frasier has had enough. Frasier: I'm going out! Daphne: What? Frasier: I'm going out! Daphne: What? Frasier: [just as the music stops] I AM GOING OUT! Martin: [o.s.] Hey, Frasier, will you keep it down out there. I'm trying to take a nap! FADE TO:
Scene Four — Café Nervosa The café is crowded and no tables are available. Frasier and Niles are standing at the counter. Frasier: Smell me, Niles. Niles: [sniffs] Grandpa! Frasier: Exactly! On my way down in the elevator today a woman thinks nothing of lighting up a cigarette. Has the world gone mad? Niles: I know exactly how you feel. This morning I discovered a ding in the door of my car. Frasier: Let me guess - no note on the windshield? Niles: No. And even worse, after I'd left the car off at the body shop, the rental agency didn't have a single luxury car left. They stuck me with some vehicle I believe they call a Hunchback. Frasier: No. I think that would be a Hatchback, Niles. Niles: It's painted panic-button red, with a large rear window that pops open. Frasier: Oh, that would be the Hatchback. Niles: Well, there's a novel idea: name the car after its most hideous feature. I presume it was a toss-up between "Hatchback" and "What's that odor coming from the floor?" Frasier: [points] Oh, look, Niles - free table! Go, go, go, go! Niles: Oh, the biscotti! Frasier: Leave it! Niles: Oh, no - go on without me! Frasier reaches the table just as a couple sits down at it. He spots another empty one in the back. Frasier: Oh, there! Niles: Oh! They maneuver their way through a crowd of customers just in time to see that that table has already been taken as well. Niles: Oh, check on table one! Frasier: All right, fine. They reach the table, but the couple hasn't left yet. Frasier and Niles stand awkwardly above them, waiting for them to leave. Frasier: Oh, we're not hovering, believe me. It's just that there... well, there's really no place else to stand. Oh, just take your time, please. There's no rush. Waiter: Is the owner of a red Hatchback here? It's about to be towed. Frasier: Niles, isn't that your car? Niles: [whispering] Shh! Someone will hear you! Frasier: Niles, it's about to be towed! Niles: I'm not owning up to that car. I don't care if it's careening toward a baby carriage! The couple leaves the table. Frasier: Oh. Oh, thank you so much. Take care, have a lovely day. As Frasier says this, a man sneaks in behind him and sits down at the table. Frasier: Excuse me, but we were waiting for this table. Man: So get another one. Frasier: [irritated] Well, there aren't any. Look, you knew that we were waiting for it. We politely stood back and let those people leave and then you just jumped right in here! Man: Well, you won't make that mistake again. Frasier's eyes bug out. Niles: Frasier, Frasier... forget it. We'll just... we'll wait for another table. Frasier: No, we won't! This isn't about the table anymore! This is about the erosion of common decency. [places his coffee on the table] Sir, when you treat me this way you encourage me to be discourteous to another. And so on and so on. [the man doesn't acknowledge him] You don't have any manners, do you? [the man continues sipping his coffee] Then perhaps what you need is an etiquette lesson!! Frasier lifts the man up from his chair and roughly shoves him out the door. He returns to find all eyes upon him in shock. Frasier: SIT DOWN, NILES! [they sit] Niles: [to a waiter] My brother will have a decaf. Niles moves Frasier's coffee away from reach. End of Act One Act Two Scene One - Frasier's apartment The next morning. Daphne enters with a basket of laundry, singing to herself. Daphne: Flesh is burning, nana nana nana... Martin: [entering from the kitchen and singing to himself] Nana nana nana... flesh is burning... nana nana nana... [sees Frasier enter] Oh, hi, Fras. How you feeling? Frasier: [sits at table] Fine. Martin: I didn't ask you yesterday how your day went. Frasier: What did Niles tell you? Martin: Nothing! Geez, can't I ask you how your day went? How was work? [grins] How's your bad-ass self? [laughs] Frasier: Dammit! Niles blabbed! Martin: No, he didn't. You made the people of Seattle column. [presents a paper] Right here, under "The Crane Mutiny." [laughs] Frasier: [reads] "Three cheers for Dr. Frasier Crane, who struck a blow against rudeness yesterday in a coffeehouse melee." [throws paper down] Perfect! Now all of Seattle knows about my loutish behavior! Martin: What are you talking about? This guy had it coming. [doorbell rings] I can just picture it. He probably looked at you and he thought, "This guy's a creampuff, you know. A wuss... a wimp... a cupcake..." Frasier: [as he reaches the door] Dad! Martin: I'm sorry, I'm just so proud of you! Frasier opens the door to Niles. Niles: Ah, there he is, the man who floats like a lepidoptera and stings like a hymenoptera. Martin: Niles, I think you're just jealous. Niles: Jealous? Don't be ridiculous! Martin: This is my favorite part. [reading] "With one swift move the good doctor hoisted the miscreant out on his ear, declaring, 'What you need is an etiquette lesson.'" [laughs] I love that! You got your own tough-guy catchphrase! Niles: It's perfect for you, Frasier. Dirty Harry meets Emily Post. Martin: Come on. Show me how you grabbed him. Use Niles. Frasier: No, no Dad. I will not toss Niles about the room. Niles: Oh no, go ahead. Rough me up, Mr. Big Hero Bully Bouncer! [pause] Did that sound jealous? Frasier: A tad. Niles: Well, all right, I'm jealous. Why shouldn't I be? All my life I've backed out of fights and watching you leap into the fray like that, I... it made me think just once I'd like to experience what you felt - go nose to nose. [sits at table] Martin: Oh, your day will come, son. Niles: I don't know. I tried it this morning with my dry cleaner, Mr. Kim. I decided to give him a good tongue-lashing because he'd shattered the mother-of-pearl buttons on my best waistcoat. Unfortunately, due to his tenuous grasp of English and the fact that his mother's name is Pearl I was forced to flee his establishment amid a shower of coat hangers. Daphne: [entering from her room; to Niles] Good morning, Dr. Crane. [to Frasier] And to you, Dr. Crane, our very own knight in shining armor... Niles: Oh, great. Daphne: I want you to know that your assertiveness inspired me. For weeks now, some louse has been removing my wet clothes from the washer and leaving them on the table in a soggy mess. This morning, I decided to get my revenge. So I took off my new red panties and I popped them in with his whites. Niles: Bravo, Daphne. Good for you. God, I wish I'd been there. [sighs] Frasier: Daphne, don't you think you were overreacting just a bit? Daphne: Absolutely not. Those were my panties and I wasn't afraid to use them. [Niles bites down on his fist] Martin: Fras, why do you keep backing away from this? I mean, you should be proud of yourself. We all think you did the right thing. The newspaper does too. Daphne: That's right. And I'm going to fix you a proper hero's breakfast. [starts for kitchen] Frasier: No. No, no... Daphne. Please, really. It's not necessary. Thank you all. It's just that this isn't sitting well with me. I find it hard to believe any good can come of violence. The loud rock music starts up again. Frasier angrily throws down his napkin and grabs the phone. Frasier: That's it again! [in phone] Mr. Chainsaw. This is Dr. Frasier Crane... The music stops abruptly. Frasier and the others look up at the ceiling with amazement. Frasier hangs up the phone with an air of bravado. Frasier: Go ahead, Daphne. Make my eggs. FADE TO: Scene Two - KACL Frasier walks down the hall on the way to work. He encounters several coworkers who give him a thumbs up or a voice of approval. A few back away in mock fear. He chuckles and waves them off. Frasier: [as he enters his booth] You know, I do wish people would stop making such a fuss. Roz: They will, if you quit walking up and down the hall. You're on in five seconds. [enters her booth] Frasier: Oh yes, all right. [puts on headphones and pushes on air button] Hello, this is Dr. Frasier Crane. Who's on the line, Roz? Roz: We have Mitch on line three. He's having trouble with his neighbors. Frasier: Hello, Mitch. Mitch: [v.o.] Make that had trouble. This idiot next door had his leaf-blower going at 7:00am, again. Frasier: Oh, that's very inconsiderate. Mitch: I'll say. That's why I decided to give him an "etiquette lesson." I grabbed that leaf-blower and smashed it against a tree. Frasier: [gasps] Mitch, I must say I'm stunned. I can't imagine a more extreme response to such a minor infraction. DISSOLVE TO: another caller. Frasier's jacket is off and he is slumped over the desk. Chris: [v.o.] ...so I snuck into his backyard and shoved a whole pound of rotten shrimp into his air conditioner! Come on summer! DISSOLVE: another caller goes on... Frasier's sleeves are now rolled up. He listens, horrified. Chuck: [v.o] ...hey, he asked for it. So I put 100 scorpions in a FedEx package. Frasier: Look, I'm sorry, but no matter how provoked you may have been, there is no earthly justification for... [dissolve] SETTING SOMEONE'S LAWN ON FIRE!! Rochelle: [v.o.] But she doesn't curb her dogs! Frasier: Oh... [buries his face in his hand] Rochelle: You don't take any guff. Why should I? Frasier: Rochelle... all of you... look, don't you realize that your behavior is just a bit extreme?! I displayed a minor bit of force in order to just make a point. I didn't go around smashing windows or torching lawns! Where does it end? Rochelle: Are you saying that what I did was wrong? Frasier: Of course I am! Rochelle: But what you did was okay? Frasier: No, no! I... come to think of it, what I did was just as wrong. I mean, who am I to draw the line at the acceptable level of force? Because the next person moves a little farther, and the next person, a little farther still until we finally end up with scorpions flying through the mail like Christmas bundt cakes! What we must all agree to do is to resolve our differences with discussion and reason. As a matter of fact, I'm going to call the gentleman that I manhandled and... and apologize to him for not having worked out our dispute in the right way in the first place- through words. The key here is restraint. And I do hope you'll follow my lead... Becky with the nail gun. FADE TO:
Scene Three — Café Nervosa. Frasier and Niles enter the café. The customers applaud as they see Frasier. Frasier: Oh... people. People, please. There's no need for that. I'm no hero. A woman walks by and gives him a thumbs up. He chuckles and returns the gesture. Niles: No one's ever given me the thumbs up. Frasier: Well, Niles, I've driven on the freeway with you. The rest of the hand has been well-represented. [They sit just as the man Frasier shoved walks in the door.] Oh, look, there he is. Mr. Harvey, I'm so glad you could come. [stands] You remember my brother, Niles, and uh... we're at "our" table. Harvey: Look, I'm here, so say what's on your mind. Frasier: Well, there's no need for any hostility. I just came to talk. Harvey: Talk? You're not gonna take another shot at me? Frasier: No! [shouts of contention from the crowd of customers] No, they'll be nothing like that here today! Now, listen, I could try to explain my behavior by saying that these are stressful times we live in, that I had reached the end of my tether. But I won't do that, because you see, I was 100% wrong. I had absolutely no right to touch you and I accept full responsibility. Harvey: Well, I'm glad to hear you say that. [to crowd] And I hope you all heard that too. Frasier: So, then you accept my apology? Harvey: No, I'm suing you. And I've got a lot of witnesses that just heard you admit you were wrong. [hands him papers] Frasier: But, but... these are stressful times we live in and I'd reached the end of my tether! Harvey: Tough! I'm nailing you for assault! Frasier: But I hardly touched you! Niles: Oh, Frasier, I'm not surprised he's hiding behind lawyers. What other behavior would you expect... from a chicken? Harvey: What did you say? Niles: I was speaking to my brother. [stands] But, to put it in language you can understand... [clucking] bawk bawk bawk bawk! Frasier: Niles! This is no time for you to assert yourself! Harvey: [to Frasier] Hey, your brother's making trouble here... Niles: Oh, oh, oh... what are you gonna do? Flap me with one of your big fluffy wings? Frasier: Niles, stop it! Please excuse him! Niles: Oh, for god's sake, Frasier don't waste your breath on this hairy, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodyte who's probably the only male in existence who suffers from penis envy! [excitedly hops up and down on his heels] Harvey: You look here, buddy... Words cannot do this justice - you have to see it. Mr. Harvey lightly pokes Niles on the shoulder. Niles acts as if he were punched. He begins reeling backward - laying waste to chairs and the coat hanger - finally landing atop a table and sending it and he crashing to the floor. The entire café gapes at the scene as Frasier rushes to his aid. Frasier: Niles!! Niles... are you all right?! Niles: [pulling Frasier close to him and whispering] Counter suit! Frasier: [jumping up] Oh, my god!! Nobody move him! Harvey: I barely touched him! Frasier: Then you admit you touched him! [to crowd] He admits it! [Niles groans] Oh, Niles. Niles, I'm here for you. I promise we're going to get you the best care that THIS MAN'S MONEY CAN BUY! [out of earshot] My god, Niles, that was brilliant. You even got a tear in your eye! Niles: I landed on a fork. End of Act Two Credits: Daphne is in the elevator with a basket of laundry. The doors open and two men get on and stand behind Daphne. They both have tennis rackets and outfits, but while one man's outfit is white, the other man's is a light pink. Daphne tries to suppress a laugh as she looks back at the man in pink. The men soon get off on their floor. When the doors close, Daphne whips out her red panties from her basket and flings them high in the air. She then "blows" them out--as if they were a smoking gun. She finally puts them back in her basket with a satisfied grin.

Guest Appearances

 Guest Starring
 JOHN CYGAN as Doug Harvey
 NAOMI as Woman in Video Store

 Guest Callers
 JOAN ALLEN as Lydia
 ERIC IDLE as Chuck
 JANE PAULEY as Rochelle

Thanks To...

Transcript written by ANDREA DAY
Revised by MICHAEL LEE

Legal Stuff

 This episode capsule is copyright 2000 by "The Frasier Files".
 This episode summary remains property of Frasier, Copyright 
 of Paramount Productions and NBC. Printed without permission. 

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