Now and Again
Lizzard's Tale

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Alex Richmond: D | Grade It Now!
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Doctors Playing God and Fishcakes

A.G. has his head thrown back and is full-on snoring at the now-deserted medical conference. Dr. M. comes up, wearing his glare. A.G. wakes up and says, "You were riveting." Zing! Then, over the PA, someone begins paging a "Dr. Stein, Sr. Frank N. Stein...I mean you, your tallness." Dr. M. squints and says, "Freddie?" It's a short, weaselly-looking guy. He's balding and wears glasses. "Theodore?" Dr. M. goes over and they do that very male hug-pat thing. Oh, and this is A.G. They explain to A.G. that they were college roommates over twenty years ago and were "singing buddies; the Simon and Garfunkel of Johns Hopkins." Okay, is this like the Newsradio episode where Dave's barbershop quartet buddies come back and want to start up the band again? If so, why isn't Freddie being played by David Cross? And writers, if you mention that they were singing buddies, there had better be some singing. A.G. says as a premonition, "Scary."

Now A.G., Freddie and Dr. M. are all walking by the river -- a perfect place for a musical number. Freddie opens his mouth and...asks a question. "So, do you guys work together?" Dr. M. lies and says, "We have the same boss. Newman is with the IRS." A.G. says, "It's not what I would have chosen for myself." Har. Freddie says he has his own business: He's in tongue depressors. You know, those things that make you gag? Like this show? Then Freddie says he's just kidding and that he wants to take them out to dinner. A.G. starts salivating and Dr. M. says A.G.'s on a "special diet." Freddie laughs and says, "What are you, his mother? If we talk business, I can deduct this, right?" A.G. takes his arm and says, "As long as you declare it."

A piano tinkles as a giant steak is delivered on a silver platter to A.G. Freddie hoists his huge glass of wine and says, "Here's to old friends." Okay, everybody: TONIGHT IS KIND OF SPECIAL. A.G. drains his enormous glass. Dr. M. asks what line of work Freddie is really in, since he was kidding about the tongue depressor thing. Freddie says he's a headhunter, and is recruiting Dr. M.: "I run a biotech company. Our generation spends a lot of time watching TV and eating peanut butter. As a result, we have a whole generation of people with a lot of disposable income and internal organs doomed to fail." Okay, so since when does sitting around watching TV and eating peanut butter equal disposable income and bad health? If that were really the case I should be rich and sickly. ["Me too! I'm watching TV and eating peanut butter right now!" -- Wing Chun] A.G. takes a huge bite of his steak and Freddie continues. "If you want a liver by 3 PM tomorrow, I'm your man." A.G. says, "Wow." Yeah, it's good to work for the rich and sickly -- lucrative, anyway. And who cares about the sick and less fortunate anyway? No one, really. And the sad thing is I'm not making a joke! Dr. M. asks what any of this has to do with him, and Freddie says, "It's expensive keeping abreast of every orphaned organ..." Okay, that's just gross -- to personify an organ and to not even refer to its host body as a person? Gross. "...The demand outweighs the supply. I want to synthesize organs. I heard your paper -- you're still trying to grow skin in a petri dish. You know why? Your funding is inadequate. The folks that use my service are rich. You could do what you've been talking about since college and we could both be rich. There's nothing wrong with rich, is there, Mr. Newman?" A.G. takes a huge bite of his colossal steak and says, "As long as you declare it." Wuss. Dr. M. says he has to think about it, and Freddie gets all excited, saying, "This is like Sears pitching Roebuck." Or some greedy bastard pitching a smart unethical bastard -- like some kind of asshole merger.

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