It Don't Mean a Thing, If She Ain't Got That Ring

Original Release Date: March 19, 2002

Teleplay by:
Jim Hamilton

Excerpts from:
"Fear" by Gemini
"More Than Friends" by Danielle

Estimated Run Time:



Jeremy, Natalie, and Dan sit inside the restaurant, Anthony's. They each have drinks and they are sharing appetizers.

Dan: Now, I trust you will take care of this prized possession.

Jeremy: I'll take care of it.

Dan: It can be a useful tool, but don't misuse it.

Jeremy: I promise I will not blatantly disregard your instructions. I shall not rise to the heavens and fall to the sea like Icarus.

Dan: If you're going to mock me, then maybe I should change my mind about giving this to you.

Jeremy: I apologize.

Natalie: Danny, just give him the damn thing.

Dan takes a moment to look at Natalie.

Natalie: What? It's not like you're offering to help me.

Dan: This wouldn't help you even if you needed help. I'm passing this down to Jeremy.

Jeremy: What is it?

Dan reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a small, tattered black book. The corners are slightly frayed as he hands it to Jeremy.

Dan: I'm not going to need this anymore, so I'm passing this onto you.

Jeremy examines the cover of the book.

Jeremy: Is this what I think it is?

Dan: Open it.

Jeremy opens the book.

Jeremy: You gave me your little black book.

Dan: I think some of the numbers are still correct. It should help you out in the dating world.

Jeremy starts flipping through some of the pages.

Natalie: Men actually keep a record of women to date?

Dan: It's a reference guide.

Natalie: We usually dump men and forget about them. We don't recycle them for other women to use.

Jeremy: I appreciate your concern, but I don't think I'm going to need this.

Dan: I no longer have a use for it, so I want to pass it onto someone who is deserving.

Natalie snatches the book away from Jeremy.

Natalie: I need to see this for myself.

Natalie starts flipping through the book.

Jeremy: So I'm supposed to call these women up and just start talking with them?

Dan: I've left detailed descriptions inside there. You can find some women who may be right for you.

Natalie: Uh-huh. This is what Dan means by detailed descriptions: Maxine, 2 stars; Nicola, 4 stars. Nikki has no stars by her name, Danny.

Dan: Those are restaurants, Natalie. Maxine, Nicola, and Nikki's are restaurants.

Natalie: What kind of restaurants?

Dan: Maxine's has American cuisine, Nicola's specializes in Lebanese, and Nikki's has closed down- thank goodness.

Casey walks up and joins the group.

Casey: Hey, guys.

Dan: It's about time.

Casey: And a good evening to you also, Daniel.

Dan: Hey, Casey. How are you doing?

Casey: I'm doing-

Dan: You're running a little bit behind, aren't you?

Casey: So I'm thirty minutes late. What did I miss?

Natalie: Dan gave Jeremy his little black book.

Casey: I'm being scolded because Danny's passing on a book.

Jeremy takes the book away from Natalie.

Jeremy: Actually, this book possess some sort of power which will make women irresistible to me. Hold on. I can feel the power taking shape and seizing control of my body. There. I am now irresistible.

Natalie wraps her arm around Jeremy.

Natalie: Oh, you great nerdy hunk you.

Natalie starts running her hands through Jeremy's hair. Jeremy pulls away.

Jeremy: That's enough.

Natalie: Kiss me with those luscious lips.

Casey: Jeremy has luscious lips?

Jeremy: I use a moisturizer.

Natalie takes the book back and resumes flipping its pages and scouring for information.

Natalie: This is going to be interesting reading.

Dan: The book is for Jeremy. It's not part of the public domain. It's contents should not be plastered on a billboard for all to see. I'm confident I no longer have a need for it, which is why I've decided to hand it down.

Casey: Is there anything interesting in there, Nat?

Natalie: I'm just reading the reviews of the fellow food critic here.

Casey: Found Danny's restaurant reviews, huh?

Natalie: Supposedly.

Casey: You know, Nikki's has finally closed down.

Jeremy: I'll hold onto the book, Dan, but I don't think I will peruse it.

Dan: That's fine. It isn't something you need to completely rely on.

Natalie: Interesting.

The three men look at Natalie.

Natalie: There's two stars by Dave & Buster's.

Dan leans toward Casey.

Dan: I need to show you something.

Casey: Okay.

Dan waits for Casey to move.

Dan: Not here.

Casey: Okay. (to Natalie and Jeremy) I'm going to get a beer. You guys need anything?

Casey gets up.

Natalie: Beer.

Jeremy: Beer.

Dan: I'll have another one.

Casey: Shall I just get a keg?

Dan: Come on, Case. I'll go with you.

Dan and Casey walk toward the bar.

Once the two reach the bar, Casey grabs the attention of Jack, the bartender.

Casey: Hey, Jack. I'll have four beers. Actually, one beer for me, one for my friends. Each. We'll have one beer each and there's four of us.

Jack: Four beers coming up.

Dan: Hard to believe you anchor a show.

Casey: What did you want to show me?

Dan looks around and pulls something out of his pocket. He hands it over to Casey. It's a small velvet box. Casey opens it up and stares at the engagement ring inside.

Casey: Gosh, Danny. I know we've known each other for thirteen years now, but I'm not ready for us to get married.

Dan: It's not for you.

Casey: So you're saying I'm not good enough for you?

Dan: It's for Jo.

Casey: You're going to propose to her?

Dan: Yeah. It's time.

Casey: Time for what?

Dan: Time for us to take the next logical step.

Casey: I guess congratulations are in order. Let me buy you your beer.

Dan: The proposal isn't official.

Casey: We can still have a pre-proposal celebration, right?

Dan: You know what this ring means?

Casey: That you're going to be making monthly payments for a while?

Dan: Casey.

Casey: I know what it means.

Dan: It means I am finally mature and secure enough in this relationship. It means I am willing to say, "Hey. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Casey: You're not going to use those actual words when you propose.

Dan: I am seeking advice and carefully planning this out. I wanted you to be the first to know.

Casey: You're developing a strategy?

Dan: It's going to be perfect.

Dan takes the ring and box back from Casey. Dan slides it back into his pocket. Jack comes back with four glasses of beer. Dan and Casey each take two glasses and head back to their table.

Casey: That must have set you back a pretty penny.

Dan: It's worth it.

Casey: You two have been talking about marriage?

Dan: I thought I'd surprise her.

Casey: I... I don't know about that.

Dan: What?

Casey: I've been talking about marriage with Dana, and she doesn't want to do it because of the show and the baby.

Dan: Jo's not having a baby, so I don't see why she would say 'no.'

Dan and Casey stand at their table, and they hand over a beer to Natalie and one to Jeremy.

Natalie: Say 'no' to what?

Dan: Nothing.

Dan and Casey sit back down.

Jeremy: I think I'm going to give Stacey a call. Tall, blonde, athletic. Plays volleyball and enjoys intellectual men. Enjoys Oscar Wilder and Jack Clancy.

Dan: There you go. You've found a match.

Jeremy: Have you kept in contact with her?

Dan: Not really, but from what I hear, she's doing very well on the professional tour.

Jeremy: When was the last time you saw her?

Dan: Three years ago.

Jeremy: So you're saying things could have dramatically changed.

Dan: Or they may have stayed boringly the same.

Jeremy: I can't give her a call.

Dan: Sure you can.

Jeremy: I can't call a complete stranger and introduce myself.

Casey: If she's on the volleyball tour, say you want to do a feature on the sport. You'll need to interview her in-person.

Dan: Good idea.

Jeremy: I'm not going to hide ulterior motives by pretending to be interested in her sport.

Dan: So don't pretend. Call her up.

Jeremy: I'm not going to do that.

Casey: I've done it. Danny hooked me up with some of the women in his book. I just gave them a call and they seemed pretty interesting.

Jeremy: Seemed?

Casey: Well, you don't know until you actually go out with them. You've got to try, Jeremy.

Jeremy: I think I'm going to go back and do some work.

Jeremy stands up.

Dan: You'll give her a call?

Jeremy: I'll think about it. Anybody want my beer?

Dan: Casey will have it.

Casey: I haven't even started drinking my first one.

Jeremy: There's an NBA feature I'm trying to finish. I'll see you guys later.

Dan: We'll talk later. And not about the Stacey thing. You call her, and we'll talk about something else.

Jeremy: Okay. Thanks for the book.

Jeremy takes the black book, throws a few dollar bills on the table, and leaves.

Natalie: Why are you guys doing this for Jeremy?

Dan: We're going to eventually set him up on a date.

Natalie: And Casey's used the book before?

Casey: Nah. I'm just trying to give Jeremy some confidence. I'm trying to psych him into doing it.

Natalie: Since when did you two become dating experts?

Dan: Over the years, I think my warmth and charming personality has won over women, and I think my advice will benefit Jeremy.

Natalie: And you Casey?

Casey: Danny said it would be something fun to do.

Natalie: I don't want either of you to set me up on a date.

Casey: I wouldn't dream of it.

Dan: But if I may pass along some advice... you may want to tone down your aggressiveness. It has a tendency to intimidate men.

Casey: Danny, don't encourage-

Natalie: I intimidate men. I intimidate men?

Dan: We got it the first time, but, yeah, there are moments-

Natalie: Cool.

Natalie takes a sip of her beer.

Natalie: What's the ring for?

Dan: What ring?

Natalie: The one you were showing Casey. I had a clear shot of you two at the bar.

Dan: It's an engagement ring... and you can't say anything.

Natalie: When are you going to propose?

Dan: Soon.

Casey: Danny's seeking some advice.

Natalie: Well, I've been down the engagement path before.

Dan: I want to make sure this is perfect.

Natalie: I can tell you what women like. I'm glad you're coming to me.

Natalie looks around and then looks at her lap.

Natalie: Damn it. My beeper's going off.

Natalie looks at the beeper.

Natalie: The Yankees made the trade. It's going to have to wait.

Dan: The trade?

Natalie: Yeah. The message was from Sally, but there are more pressing matters. Here is what you need to do. Try something romantic.

Dan: I already planned on doing something romantic.

Natalie jerks slightly.

Natalie: Damn it, Sally. Stop paging me.

Casey: I don't think she can hear you.

Natalie looks at her pager.

Natalie: It's ten 'til one. I still have time to do the leg work.

Dan: Why not hand it off to somebody else?

Natalie: I've worked especially hard trying to reestablish contacts within the organizations. I'm not going to just simply hand it off when the deal is made. Damn it, Sally!

Natalie tosses her vibrating pager onto the table.

Dan: You better go.

Natalie: I should. Listen, don't do anything until we've had our conversation about this.

Dan: Okay.

Natalie: I have plenty of information which can be helpful to you.

Dan: Good.

Natalie: I'll see you guys later.

Natalie places a few dollars on top of Jeremy's money and leaves the table.

Casey: So it's just you and me. Mano a mano.

Dan: Yeah.

Casey: I'm going to be honest with you right off the bat.

Dan: Okay.

Casey: You may want to slow things down a little.

Dan: I've been dating Jo for over a year.

Casey: But you didn't become serious until recently. I think there is still a little more room for growth before you do something like this.

Dan: I'm ready to do this Casey. I'm committed to following this through. I understand you may be hesitant because you've been down this path before with Lisa. You divorced, but it's different between me and Jo.

Casey: I dated Lisa for four years. Even when we got married, I didn't think we were ready.

Dan: That's the difference. You didn't think you were ready after four years of dating. After one year of dating, I feel we're ready.

Casey: And JoAnne feels ready?

Dan: We haven't talked that much about it.

Casey: You need to be extremely cautious and make sure she's ready to marry you.

Dan: Don't worry. I'm going to have it all planned out.

Casey: If you don't, I don't think you'll have the right to ask Jeremy for your little black book back.

Dan: I won't need my little black blook... back book... black book back.

Casey laughs.

Casey: Okay.

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