The Most Eligible

Written by Dan Krovich

Written after Wrong Notes

Salinger's Restaurant: A woman walks up to Charlie.

Janet: You're the owner of this restaurant, right? Charlie Salinger, right?

Charlie: Yes I am, was there a problem with your dinner tonight?

Janet: Oh no, it's nothing like that. I'm a reporter for San Francisco Magazine.

Charlie: Oh, are you a food critic or something?

Janet: No, I'm Janet Clifton, I do features. In fact I am currently working on a feature for next month - the 20 most eligible bachelors in San Francisco. I wanted to know if you were interested in being profiled?

Charlie: Me? One of the twenty most eligible bachelors in San Francisco?

Janet: Sure. You're successful, I mean you do own this restaurant right? You're also raising your brothers and sisters - that shows your sensitive side. And besides, you're pretty cute too.

Charlie: Wait a second - How come you know so much about me?

Janet: I did a story on the Grace Wilcox campaign. That's where I got all the background, and also how I know that you're eligible - you are still aren't you?

Charlie: Well, yeah, I'm still eligible. I'm just not so sure that I'm most eligible.

Janet: Let me be the judge of that. Look, we're going to do photo-shoots of more than twenty guys and then pick the final ones after that. Why don't you just do the photo shoot, and you can change your mind after that if you want. Besides, if you get into the magazine, it will be great publicity for the restaurant.

Charlie: Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt.

Janet: Great, we just need to set up a time for the photo-shoot. I was thinking that we could do it right here in the restaurant.

Charlie: You mean the photo-shoot?

Janet: Right, the photo-shoot.

-- Opening Credits --

Salinger's Restaurant: Bailey, Claudia, and Owen are already seated at the table. Julia and Griffin come through the door.

Charlie: Hey guys.

Julia: Sorry, we're a little late.

Charlie: No problem, I'm just getting ready to sit down now anyway. (He pulls Julia aside) So, how are you two doing?

Julia: We're doing great. Things are going great.

Charlie: I'm glad to hear that.

Charlie, Julia, and Griffin join the other three at the table.

Griffin: Does it matter where I sit?

Claudia: No, but you might not want to sit next to Owen. He's a little messy.

Owen: Am Not!

Griffin: That's OK, I can be a little messy too.

Julia: Hey Claude, so how's school?

Claudia: Alright I guess, except I have Mrs. Starbuck for English.

Julia: You mean "Old Lard-butt?" I can't believe she's still teaching. She must be, what, like ninety years old or something by now.

Claudia: She's retiring after this year, but I guess she stuck around long enough so I could have the pleasure of being taught by her. Anyway, the back to school dance is this week.

Julia: Oh, so whom are you going with?

Claudia: No one for sure yet, but I've got a good idea who.

Charlie: His name wouldn't be David, would it?

Claudia: Yes, it's David.

Julia: How come I don't know anything about this David?

Bailey: Just give Claudia a ride to the mall sometime. You'll hear ALL about him then.

Claudia: I'm not that bad.

(Owen knocks over his drink onto Griffin)

Julia: Owen!

Owen: Uh-Oh.

Charlie: I'm really sorry about that Griffin.

Owen: Sorry!

Julia: This is grape juice. It's not going to come out.

Griffin: It's no big deal. I have other shirts.

Charlie: Hey, can someone do me a favor and pick Owen up at preschool tomorrow afternoon?

Bailey: I can't. I'm helping Sarah move into her dorm room tomorrow.

Julia: I can pick him up. What are you going to be doing?

Charlie: Oh, it's nothing really, I just have to meet with this reporter here at the restaurant.

Julia: A reporter? They still can't be asking you questions about City Council.

Charlie: No, San Francisco Magazine is doing a story about the twenty most eligible bachelors in San Francisco.

Julia: So?

Charlie: Well, they want me to be in it.

Claudia: You? One of the twenty most eligible bachelors in San Francisco?

Owen: Whatsa elge-ball backler?

(Everyone, except Charlie, laughs)

Charlie: It's not THAT funny.

Julia: (Holding back laughter) No, I can see it. Really.

Bailey: Yeah, and next month they're going to profile me as one of the twenty best students in the city too.

Charlie throws his napkin at Bailey

Later at night in Griffin and Julia's apartment. They are getting ready for bed.

Julia: So, you survived your first Salinger family dinner. (She holds up Griffin's grape juice stained shirt.) which is more than I can say for this shirt.

Griffin: That's no problem. Usually family get-togethers meant having something thrown at me, so being spilled on was a nice change of pace. Dinner was fun, you're family is really cool.

Julia: I guess they're alright.

Griffin: No, I'm serious, you don't know how lucky you are. Sure I know sometimes you all don't get along, but you always know if you really need them, they'll be there for you. And look how quick they accepted me - and us - even Charlie. Not everyone would do that.

Julia: Well that's because you're so wonderful.

Griffin: I just wish, sometimes, that my family was like that.

Julia: Well, don't forget, they are your family now too, you know.

Sarah's dorm room. Bailey and Sarah are moving her stuff into the room.

Bailey: Is that finally it?

Sarah: Yeah, except for those two boxes in the backseat.

Bailey: It's going to take you all semester just to unpack all this stuff.

Sarah: Well, at least we already have the important stuff unpacked like the stereo.

Sarah puts some music on. A girl comes to the door.

Natalie: Sarah?

Sarah: Yes, you must be Natalie.

Natalie: I guess we're roommates.

Sarah: I guess so. Oh, this is Bailey.

Bailey: Hi.

Natalie: Hi Bailey. Oh, this is a great song. I saw these guys in concert last year, and it was an awesome show. Can I take a look at your CD collection?

Sarah: Sure, they're right over here.

Natalie: (She starts looking at the CDs) You have a cool collection. I think we're going to be great roomies.

Bailey: I guess I should go get those last two boxes. (He leaves the room.)

Natalie: He's cute. Is he your boyfriend?

Sarah: No, he's just a friend. I mean we used to go out, but we're just friends now.

Natalie: So he's available then?

Sarah: Yeah, I guess he is.

At Salinger's restaurant. They are taking some pictures of him behind the bar. Charlie finishes up the photo-shoot and comes over to Janet who is sitting at a table.

Janet: It looks like the photo-shoot went very well. You're a natural in front of the camera.

Charlie: Thanks, but I didn't feel very natural up there.

Janet: I need to ask you the generic questions now. First, describe your ideal woman.

Charlie: Wow, you get right to the big stuff, huh. Let's see, well most important, she would have to care about my family as well as me, so she'd have to be great with kids. She has to be intelligent and giving, but she also has to have independent goals of her own.

Janet: Sounds like a great woman.

Charlie: She was.

Janet: Excuse me?

Charlie: Oh, nothing.

Janet: If you don't mind my asking, why did you and Grace break up?

Charlie: We just had different priorities. I've got two kids that I have to think about. Everything I do affects them, and they have to come first. Grace wasn't ready to live like that.

Janet: It must be really hard raising two kinds and running this restaurant and all.

Charlie: I used to think of it as some kind of burden, but, you know, I really have come to enjoy it. Being involved in Owen's growing up and watch him learn and develop everyday is just incredible. Now, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have him around.

Janet: But still, it doesn't give you much time for a social life.

Charlie: It definitely keeps me busy. So what about you?

Janet: What do you mean, what about me?

Charlie: You've got it easy here, sitting there asking all of these questions, so what about you? Are you an eligible bachelorette?

Janet: Oh, yeah I guess so. I was married once, but that didn't work out.

Charlie: What happened?

Janet: The usual. We got married right out of college. We thought we would have it all - each other, great careers, kids, the whole nine yards. I don't know, I guess we never really thought it through. We were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do go to college, get married, get jobs, have a family, blah, blah, blah. Things didn't work out that way. He's not a bad guy, things just didn't work out.

Charlie: Sorry.

Janet: Let's see, what's next. So what's your idea of the perfect date?

Bailey, Sarah, Natalie, and Brian come out of a club after seeing a concert.

Sarah: That was great.

Natalie: Yeah, but the night's still young. What are we going to do now?

Brian: There's this bar about a block from here. A friend of my brother works the door, so I'm sure he'll let us all in.

Sarah: I'm not sure that's such a great idea. (She looks over at Bailey) Maybe we should go somewhere else.

Bailey: No, that sounds fine. Let's go.

In the bar, all four are laughing.

Waitress: Can I get you guys anything else?

Brian: I'll have another beer. How about you Bailey?

Bailey: No, this soda's fine for me.

Brian: Come on Bailey have a beer. I'll buy this round.

Bailey: No, I still have to drive all the way home tonight, and then I've got to get up early tomorrow.

Brian: Aw, you can have ONE beer.

Sarah: Brian, just leave it alone.

Brian: What? All I'm doing is trying to get the guy to loosen up a little. There's nothing wrong with having one beer. What do you say Bailey?

Sarah: Brian, stop it - he's an alcoholic.

Bailey: Thanks a lot, Sarah. Thanks a lot. (He gets up and walks out of the bar. Sarah follows him outside.)

Sarah: Bailey, wait up. I'm sorry.

Bailey: I hardly know those people; and you go telling them I'm an alcoholic. You know, it's not really the first thing I like people to find out about me.

Sarah: It's just that he was pressuring you. I was only trying to help.

Bailey: I know you were, but I don't need your help. I was doing fine on my own. Look, I'm not mad at you. I'm really not. It's just...I can't go back in there now. Tell Natalie and Brian that I had to go home.

Sarah: Are you going to be OK?

Bailey: Yes, I'll be fine. I'm just going to go home and call my sponsor. I'll be fine.

In school, David and Claudia are sitting on a bench eating lunch.

Claudia: So, what did you think of the first week here at school?

David: It's alright, I guess. It's pretty much the same as any other school.

Claudia: There's a lot of stuff you can do here. They have a lot of sports; I work on the school newspaper, and they have dances sometimes. Like there is the Back to School dance this weekend.

David: I know.

There is a pause.

Claudia: Well, I was thinking that, if you want, maybe we could go together.

David: No, that's OK, I'm going with Melissa Hayworth.

Claudia: Melissa?! You can't go to the dance with her.

David: What do you mean? Why not?

Claudia: Oh, Uh, I just thought she was going out with Jason, that's all.

David: She said she broke up with him over the summer. David: I'll still see you there, right?

Claudia: Of course.

Bailey shows up at Sarah and Natalie's dorm room. Natalie is there, lying on her bed reading a book..

Natalie: (sits up) Oh, hey Bailey. Sarah's not here right now, I think she's off studying somewhere.

Bailey: Oh, that's Ok. About the other night. I just want to say that I'm sorry for bolting on you guys like that.

Natalie: I should be the one apologizing. If I had known...well, we never would have gone to a bar. And don't be mad at Sarah; she was just trying to help.

Bailey: (comes over and sits on her bed next to her) I know, and I'm not mad at her. I just felt really awkward, you know. I hardly knew you guys, and I didn't know how you would react when you found out I'm an alcoholic. I didn't know what you would think of me.

Natalie: I don't think anything less of you if that's what you're worried about. In fact, I think it takes a lot of courage to admit something like that, and plus, you seem to be doing a good job at controlling it.

Bailey: Yeah, I guess that's a pretty good sign - that I was in a bar and I didn't have a drink. By the way, I did really have a good time.

Natalie: I had a really good time too.

(They start to kiss, when Sarah walks into the room.)

Sarah: Whoops. Oh - Hey Bailey. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt.

Bailey: You didn't interrupt. We were just

Sarah: No, that's OK, I just needed to get a book. (She grabs a book off her desk.) I'll talk to you later. (She leaves.)

Natalie: Look Bailey, if this makes you uncomfortable; I mean, I know you and Sarah used to go out, and with me being her roommate and all.

Bailey: No, I'm not uncomfortable. Why should I be uncomfortable? Sarah and I are just friends.

Natalie: I just don't want you to feel weird about this, that's all.

Bailey: I don't feel weird, I don't feel weird at all.

(They begin to kiss again.)

Griffin and Julia's apartment. There is a knock at the door.

Julia: I wonder who that could be. (Answers the door)

Claudia: (stomps in and tosses her bookbag down on the bed) Boys!

Griffin: Well, I know my cue to leave. I've got to get back to the bike shop anyway. See ya later. (He kisses Julia on his way out.)

Julia: (to Griffin) Don't forget to pick up some bread. (to Claudia) So, what's up?

Claudia: Remember that boy I told you about, David? The one that I was going to go to the dance with.

Julia: Uh-huh.

Claudia: Well get this - he's going to the dance with Melissa Hayworth. I mean the whole summer we hung out after violin practice. And he didn't know anyone at school, so I showed him around and we ate lunch together and all. Now he's going to the dance with Melissa Hayworth. I mean he's only been at the school for a week and he's going to the dance with one of the most popular girls in school.

Julia: Oh, so you've liked this boy all summer. Did you ever tell him that you liked him?

Claudia: Are you crazy!?

Julia: No. Look, if you like him, you should let him know. Boys can be really dumb about stuff like this. You can drop all of these hints, these clues, and they still just don't get it.

Claudia: So I'm just supposed to walk up to him and say, "Hi David, I really like you?"

Julia: Not exactly that, but you can't just sit around and wait for him to make the first move. Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Claudia: Go for it, huh.

Charlie is in the laundry room folding some clothes when Bailey comes down the stairs.

Bailey: Is my red shirt down here?

Charlie: I just folded it, it's over on that pile. Are you going out tonight?

Bailey: Yeah, there's this thing over at Berkeley.

Charlie: Oh, so are you meeting Sarah at this thing.

Bailey: No, Natalie.

Charlie: Natalie? You mean Sarah's roommate? Isn't that going to be a little weird?

Bailey: Why would it?

Charlie: Well with you and Sarah and all. I mean I dated roommates before, and I can tell you, things didn't turn out very well.

Bailey: This is different. Sarah and I are just friends. We're supposed to go out with other people. That's what she wants.

Charlie: Is that what you want?

Bailey: Sure. I blew it with Sarah. It's over, there's nothing I can do about it now. Besides, she's taking this guy Brian tonight.

Charlie: OK, I was just saying maybe you shouldn't give up on something if you really want it, that's all.

Claudia is at the school dance. She is sitting on the bleachers with Ryan, the boy she came to the dance with. She is not paying attention to him because she is too busy watching David and Melissa on the dance floor.

Ryan: I'm really glad you asked me to the dance, Claudia. I wasn't going to come at all until you asked me.

Claudia: Uh-huh.

Ryan: I don't usually come to these things. They seem sort of silly if you ask me. But when you asked me, I figured, "Why not? It might be fun." (Pause - Claudia says nothing) You know we are in a lot of the same classes, and we work on the newspaper together and all, but we've never done anything together outside of school. I think you're a really nice person. (Another pause) So, do you want to dance?

Claudia: What? Oh, uh, I'm not really in the mood to dance right now.

The song that's playing ends, and David goes over to the refreshment table.

Claudia: Actually, I'm getting a little thirsty. I think I'll go get some punch.

Claudia gets up and heads over to the refreshment table and pretends to accidentally bump into David.

Claudia: Oh, hey David.

David: Hi Claudia.

Claudia: Are you having fun?

David: Yeah, I'm having a good time. How about you? I see you came with Ryan.

Claudia: Oh, well yeah, we came together, but we're just friends. It's not like it's a date or anything.

The next song starts to play.

Claudia: This is a great song. Do you want to dance?

David: I don't know. I'm supposed to be getting Melissa a drink.

Claudia: Just one dance.

David: I guess it would be alright.

They walk past Ryan, who is still sitting in the bleachers and not looking too happy when Claudia walks by with David, as they go out to the dance floor and start dancing.

Claudia: It was really fun hanging out together this summer after practice.

David: Yeah.

Claudia: And that duet that Ross is thinking about having us do; I think that's a good idea. I think we'd be great together.

David: I think it would sound pretty good too.

Claudia pauses for a second and then kisses him. David pushes her away.

David: What did you do that for?

Claudia: What...Uh...I like you David...I thought you liked me.

David: I do like you, but only as a friend. I'm here with Melissa.

Claudia: But...

David: I've gotta go.

The little argument has drawn attention to Claudia, and the couples around her have stopped dancing and are staring at her. She is left standing alone in the middle of the dance floor. (Fade Out)