The following morning, Jeremy is walking down a busy sidewalk. The warm climate allows most people to go without jackets. Jeremy stops walking, looks up at his building, and then he looks over to the protesters walking in a small oval in front. Jeremy approaches a man holding a protest sign.
Jeremy: Excuse me?
The protester looks over Jeremy and notices his I.D. badge.
Protester 1: Hey, this guy is wearing a CSC badge!
The dozen protesters stop marching and quickly surround Jeremy.
Jeremy: I just want to let you know that I agree with what you stand for.
A bearded man comes to the front of the group.
"Herman Travis. Good to meet you..."
Jeremy and Herman shake hands.
Jeremy: Jeremy Goodwin. I'm a producer with "Sports Night."
Herman: Good to meet you, Jeremy. We are representatives of the Voices Against Animal Cruelty. I am one of the original founders the group, which formed about four years ago. Sammy...
Herman: and Elaine...
Herman: ...are also the original founders.
Sammy Can you deliver a message to the network programmers?
Jeremy: I understand you want "The CSC Outdoorsman" to be pulled off the airwaves.
Johnny: How a network can stand by and watch someone murder an animal in cold blood is beyond reason. The fact they try to cover an illegal act is just uncalled for.
Elaine: We have a petition of over 1500 names, if you would like to deliver it to them.
Jeremy: I don't know if I should get involved in this.
Johnny: I think he's one of them. He'll allow the massacre to continue.
Jeremy: I didn't say that. You have to understand the position I am in. I represent the Continental Sports Channel, and if I were to publicly support your cause, I could get fired.
Herman: You are standing with us right now.
Herman: And we are in a public place. It sounds like you've already put your job in jeopardy.
Jeremy: You're probably right.
Elaine: Would you please help us out?
Jeremy: What can I do?
Herman: Just make sure that reporter gives the whole story. I don't want to hear sound bytes taken out of context.
Elaine: Which reporter?
Herman: One of your reporters was down here earlier. He gave us a card.
Herman pulls out a business card and hands it to Jeremy. Jeremy reads it and quickly looks up.
Herman: Just make sure Marcus does the story correctly, and it hits your airwaves right away.
Jeremy: I need solid evidence before I can go to Marcus about this.
Herman: He did interview J.B. Blackwell, right?
Herman: I'm sure he has some sort of record-
Jeremy: A tape recording or a video tape.
Herman: Bingo. He has to have something like that stashed away. Make sure he uses it in his story.
Sammy: Didn't Marcus say he was heading out-of-town?
Jeremy: Where was he going?
Herman: I believe he said he is going to Boston to talk with their pro football team.
Jeremy: He's working on another story.
Herman: Just make sure he gets the story- our story- right.
Inside of a living room, a group of men are drinking and eating snacks. Music plays throughout the room as Dan and Casey are standing along the wall, each with a bottle in their hand.
Dan: This is a pretty good party, Case.
Casey: How come you didn't throw a bachelor party like this for me?
Dan: When you married Lisa?
Casey: She's the only one I married.
Dan: How could I get a supply of alcohol? I was underage at the time.
Casey: You could have planned it and had someone else get the beer.
Dan: As I recall, you wanted a surprise party. It wouldn't be much of a surprise if I had asked you to get several kegs of beer.
Dan: Plus, you would have ended up in jail if I were to partake in some underage drinking.
Casey: Just blow away all the fun, why don't you?
Chris and Will come over.
Chris: Thanks for coming, guys.
Dan: It's our pleasure.
Casey: Great party, by the way.
Will: Thanks. It took a lot of planning.
Dan: Are you nervous about the big day?
Dan: Because you realize your life is over in a few days? The old ball-and-chain will keep you in line.
Chris: Maybe I'm going to be the one keeping Melanie in line.
Casey, Dan, and Will laugh at Chris.
Jeremy walks over and joins the group.
Jeremy: Isn't the stripper supposed to be here by now?
Will: There's probably a delay.
Chris: Maybe traffic.
Will: Maybe she got lost.
Chris: Elliott gave her directions here.
Casey: I have one question.
The group looks at Casey.
Casey: Is the stripper's name Jenny?
Jeremy: Are you referring to the-
Casey: Porn star? Yes.
Jeremy: Jenny wasn't her stage name.
Casey: But you'll tell me if it is her, right?
Jeremy: I'll tell you if it isn't her.
Casey: But you'll tell me if it is her, right?
Jeremy: Maybe it will be her, maybe it won't.
Elliott joins the group.
Elliott: She's here.
Casey: What's her name?
Jeremy: That isn't her stage name.
Jeremy: It's nothing.
The group of men at the bachelor party are gathered around and seated inside the living room. Dave enters the room.
Dave: She said it's going to be about five more minutes before she's ready.
A chorus of boos ring out.
Dan stands up.
Dan: I know. While we're waiting, let's give Chris some first-hand knowledge.
Chris looks at Dan.
Chris: Y... you... you haven't been with Melanie?
Dan: First-hand knowledge about relationships and marriage.
Chris looks relieved.
Dan: And I haven't been with Melanie.
Dan moves over to the center of the room.
Dan: Chris? I haven't been married, I wanted to get married, and at this pace, I'll probably get married when I'm 80. I'm just glad somebody is getting married so I can hear more stories about it.
Dan goes back over and pushes Casey forward.
Dan: It's your turn. Go and say something.
Casey walks slowly to the center of the room. His hands remain in his pockets.
Casey: Marriage. I've been there. I was married for ten years- ten long and excruciating years. I think those happy marriages you hear about are myths and legends. I'm happy for you in that you want to get married. At the same time, Chris, I think you are extremely stupid.
Casey goes back and stands next to Dan.
Jeremy volunteers to come forward.
Jeremy: Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Love is the master key that opens the gate of happiness."
BOOO!!! A chorus of boos ring out toward Jeremy.
Jeremy: Okay, okay. I can play this game. John Hagee once said-
Jeremy: Let me finish, let me finish! He said, "If love is a dream, then marriage is the alarm clock."
The room cheers Jeremy for the quote and he takes a small bow before moving to the side of the room.
Will steps forward.
Will: I just want to say that Chris is my best friend.
Will: Not only my best friend... well, yeah... only my best friend. Anyway, I wish you and Melanie the best of luck and all the happiness for you both.
Will holds up his beer bottle as the group of men toast Chris.
Will looks over, and Dave gives him a "thumbs up."
Will: And now here's Anita!
The men cheer wildly as Anita comes out dressed as a construction worker. She gyrates and dances in the middle of the living room.
Dan leans over to Casey.
Dan: I wonder what's happening at Melanie's bachelorette party right now.
Casey gives Dan a look of disbelief.
Casey: You're thinking about that right now?
Dan: It's just a thought.
Suddenly, a construction hard hat comes flying over toward Dan, and he catches it with both hands.
Loud music is blasting in a darkened room. A light appears against a wall and five scantily clad muscle men appear in the light. A room full of women scream and yell.
Melanie is seated front-and-center. Kim, JoAnne, and a couple of other women flank her as the parade of men surround them.
Melanie: Oh my god. Five of them.
Kim: Come on! Take it off!
JoAnne: Take it all off!
As three of the men start dancing around Melanie, Kim and JoAnne get up and start dancing with the other two men.
Heavy-bass music is playing as the construction worker/stripper is down to her white tank-top and high-cut denim shorts. She dances around the room and goes over to Chris. She runs both of her hands through his hair. Chris is mesmerized by the dancer. All of the men seem to be enjoying themselves, except for Dan.
Anita rips off her tank-top and reveals a white bikini top. She dances around the room and carries the torn shirt. She goes over to Dan and drapes the shirt around his neck. She turns around and faces the crowd, her back facing directly toward Dan. She tells Dan to grab hold of the string to her top. She tells him a second time, but Dan doesn't do anything. Finally, she tells Casey to grab hold of the string. Casey holds onto the string, and she begins walking forward. The string unloosens the knot holding her bikini together. Just at the top begins to fall off...
Dan: That's it.
Dan stands in front of Anita and holds the torn shirt in front of her breasts. The men start yelling at him.
Dan: Miss, you don't have to do this.
A large security guard, Anita's personal escort, quickly grabs Dan.
Dan: I'm not doing anything. I'm not touching her!
The guard pulls Dan away and shoves him off to the side. The men begin cheering as Anita starts dancing with the torn top still clinging to her chest.
Dan shakes his head and leaves the room.
Dan stands outside on a patio deck. Music and men cheering can be heard inside the house. The patio door slides open and Casey steps out.
Casey: What's up, Danny?
Dan: You're missing the show.
Casey: I'm not missing anything I haven't seen before.
Casey closes the door and as he does, a loud cheer erupts from the house.
Casey: What was with the shirt thing?
Dan: Nothing. It was just something that got into my head yesterday.
Casey: You've suddenly become a proponent against strippers?
Dan: It's just a moral accountability thing.
Casey: Fine time for it to be kicking in.
Casey: What's up?
Dan: She shouldn't have to strip if she doesn't want to.
Casey: And you personally know she doesn't want to dance and get naked?
Dan: Maybe she doesn't know. All the people watching her performances are there to see her do it. Maybe it takes one man to stand up and tell her that she doesn't need to do it.
Casey: Yeah, and her bodyguard looked like he was going to kill you.
Dan: Maybe she just needs to stand up for herself and do what she really wants to do.
Casey: Maybe she really enjoys her profession. It's not our job to judge people's morality by their job. I'm sure there are people who hate us because we talk about something as menial as sports and pay attention to people who do not always act as role models.
Casey: What's going on, Danny?
Dan: A lot has been going on lately.
Dan and Casey lean against a fence.
Dan: It has been causing me to rethink things. You said you had some regrets about how things were turning out between you and Dana.
Dan: Before Hope was... was born. You said that you dreamed about getting married and then having your children. You wished the perception of you and Dana was different- the perception that you and Dana were an item before you and Lisa divorced.
Dan: Plus, I'm going to be giving an address in front of graduating seniors, and I'm wondering about their perception of me.
Casey: You're worried about what they think of you?
Dan: I don't want to be hypocritical in the address. I want to give them a message I would follow myself.
Dan: Doing what you believe in.
Casey: You're not following your own beliefs?
Dan: At least, in relationships.
Casey: You're not talking about you and me...
Dan: Me and Jo.
Dan: And with her... I'm always afraid I'm going to lose her.
Casey: It's just in your head.
Dan: I want to marry her, Case. I'm just afraid if I ask her... she's going to say, "no."
Casey: What if she says "yes"?
Dan: She's afraid to say "yes."
Casey: You're afraid of her saying "no," and she's afraid of saying "yes."
Dan: You got it.
Casey: That's the problem?
Dan: I just wish it was... easier.
Casey: You mean 'obvious.'
Dan: Yeah. I love her. She loves me. I ask her to marry me, she says "yes" and we live happily ever after.
Casey: If it were only that easy.
Dan: I mean, you and Lisa didn't work out. Jeremy still hasn't completely recovered from his parents divorce. Heck, Jo hasn't completely recovered from losing her fiancé. You know, the Jim that came before me.
Casey: You're afraid of taking the chance to love her because you don't want to go through the pain of losing her.
Dan: I already love her.
Casey: Maybe if you are willing to overcome your fears, Jo will be willing to overcome her fear of marriage.
Dan: Would you do me a favor?
Dan: Would you see if Jeremy can find out for me?
Casey: You want me to relay your message to Jeremy so he can relay it to Jo?
Casey: What if the "will you marry me?" message turns into "will you carry me?"
Dan: Don't be stupid.
Casey: Or "will you marry me?" message turns into "you're a hairy bee."
Dan: If you don't want to do it-
Casey: Danny, you're the one who is going to have to do it.
Dan: Yeah. I know.
Casey: Sometimes it takes one man to stand up and let it be known.
Dan nods his head as the noises of cheering men and music can be heard emitting from inside the house.