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#114 : Plaie d'argent n'est pas mortelle

 Charlie a pris l'habitude de dépenser sans compter, jusqu'au jour où il a de sérieux problèmes d'argent. Il ne s'est jamais intéressé à la gestion de son patrimoine. Lorsqu'Alan prend les choses en mains, il suggère à Charlie de réduire ses dépenses de manière drastique, ce qui lui plaît moyennement.



4 - 1 vote

Titre VO
I Can't Afford Hyenas

Titre VF
Plaie d'argent n'est pas mortelle

Première diffusion

Plus de détails

Écrit par: Jeff Abugov, Eddie Gorodetsky.

Réalisé par: Rob Schiller.


Guest: Conchata Ferrell (Berta), Richard Lewis (Stan), J.d. Walsh (Ted), Elena Lyons (Susan), Nick Toth.

[Jake and Charlie are watching the television. Charlie is gesturing at the screen.]

TV announcer: The kick is up, it’s long enough. The kick is no good.

Jake: Yes! Yea!

Charlie: Yes!

[They jump up and high five. Alan enters, looking at the mail.]

Alan: Who won?

Jake: Who cares? We covered the spread.

Alan: Charlie, call me an old-fashioned dad but I was hoping my son wouldn’t start betting on sports until he was old enough to have a drinking problem.

Charlie: He didn’t really make a bet. I just gave him a taste of my action.

Alan: Nor do I want him tasting your action.

Jake: Dad, without action, there’s no juice.

Alan: All of a sudden, he’s Frank Sinatra.

[The doorbell rings.]

Charlie: I bet that’s the pizza.

Jake: What’s the spread?

Charlie: Pepperoni.

[They high five again, and Charlie goes to the door, Alan following.]

Alan: What’s next, Charlie, you gonna teach him how to shoot craps?

Charlie: He already knows how to shoot craps, I just wish I could teach him not to bet the hard eight.

[Charlie opens the door to the pizza delivery guy.]

Pizza guy: Mr Harper, there you go. Nice and hot. I threw in some extra garlic puffs as well.

Charlie: Thanks, pal. [Hands him some money.]

Pizza guy: Thank you, Mr Harper. If there’s anything you ever need, anything at all, please call. You know, pizza, dry-cleaning, pot, women.

[Charlie nods and shuts the door.]

Alan: How much did you tip him?

Charlie: I don’t know, I gave him a fifty.

Alan: That’s like a 300% tip.

Charlie: If you say so, I was never good at math.

Alan: Well, yea, but you can figure out the point spread, the over-under, and the vigorish on every football game in the country.

Charlie: What can I tell you? I’ve got a beautiful mind.


[Alan is in the kitchen in his dressing gown, pouring coffee. Berta enters carrying crammed brown bags.]

Alan: Morning Berta. Need some help?

Berta: Yea, come to my house and explain to my daughter that we don’t put up bail for cute guys with Costa Rican passports.

[Charlie enters.]

Charlie: Morning.

Berta: I got your groceries, Charlie, you owe me $74.

Charlie: Why didn’t you just use my credit card?

Berta: I tried. Funny story.

[She reaches into her pocket and pulls out the credit card. It is cut up into shreds, and she sprinkles it onto the table.]

Charlie: My platinum card! Look what they did to my platinum card. They decapitated my holographic eagle.

Berta: Yea, yea, that’s sad. You owe me 74 bucks.

Charlie: Relax, I’ll write you a cheque.

Berta: Uh-uh.

Charlie: Berta, I’m good for $74.

Berta: Well, there’s an assistant store manager with bad skin and a pair of scissors who begs to differ.

Charlie: Well, he obviously made a mistake. Leave it to me, I’ll straighten it out. [quietly] Alan, what do I do?

Alan: Call the bank that issued the card and figure out what’s going on.

Charlie: Good idea. [Looks round] How do I get the number?

Alan: It’s usually on the back of the card.

Charlie: [looking at the card] Okay, this may take a while.

[Cut to Charlie on the phone, sat at the desk. Alan is sat nearby. Berta is in the kitchen, putting on her coat.]

Charlie: Are you sure? Okay, thanks. [hangs up] I don’t believe it. None of my bills have been paid in four months. My credit is shot, all my cards are dead.

Berta: Well, you don’t have to worry about paying me this week, Charlie.

Charlie: Thank you, Berta.

Berta: I’ll just take this espresso maker and be on my way. Call me when things pick up. [Exits with the espresso machine.]

Alan: Charlie, why haven’t you been paying your bills?

Charlie: Alan, I don’t pay my own bills. I’ve got a guy.

Alan: Do you think you might want to call your guy?

Charlie: Don’t talk down to me, Alan, I’m not stupid. That’s the first call I made.

Alan: And?

Charlie: And his number is not in service at this time.

[Cut to Charlie and Alan stepping out of an elevator.]

Alan: Wonderful building.

Charlie: What’s wrong with it?

Alan: Well, the phrase “reeks of urine” comes to mind.

[They go round the corner and come to a door with bright yellow police tape across it. “Crime Scene. Do Not Cross.”]

Charlie: Here we are.

Alan: That’s seldom a good sign.

[Charlie knocks.]

Charlie: Hello, Stan?

Stan: Who wants to know?

Charlie: It’s Charlie Harper.

Stan: [opens the door and peers through the tape] Charlie! Good to see you, come on in. Just don’t rip the tape, they check.

[Charlie and Alan duck under the tape and enter the office.]

Stan: So, what’s going on? What can I do you for?

Charlie: Well, Stan, I’ve got a problem.

Stan: [checks out the window] Yea, I know the feeling. Well, sit down, talk to me, come on.

Charlie: All of my credit cards are dead. And they tell me the bills haven’t been paid in four months.

Stan: Yea, that sounds about right.

Alan: Uh, excuse me, maybe this is none of my business but, but how does something like that happen?

Stan: Well, in layman’s terms, your brother ran out of money.

Charlie: What? How did I run out of money?

Stan: Oh, I knew you’d ask that. Let me demonstrate. [holds up a water bottle] Think of this water as cash flow, which for you would be royalties from your jingles, right? [holds up a cup] And this cup, your financial well-being. [he pokes a pencil through the bottom of the cup] This little hole would be your expenses. Huh? You dig? [Charlie nods] Now, Charlie, with most people, when money comes in, it drips out and pays their bills with a healthy reserve for emergencies. See? [He pours the water into the cup, and lets it drip out into the bin.] But with you, however, this is what I love about you, Charlie… [he stabs the cup several more times with the pencil] You, you spend it as quick as you get it. You see, you don’t drip, you haemorrhage. [pours the water through the cup and he tumbles out the bottom] Woo, look at that. But when the cash flow starts to slow down… there’s no reserve.

Charlie: Okay. But what happened to my money?

Stan: [laughs] Artists, huh? Where would we be without them?

Alan: What I don’t understand is why you didn’t warn him this was happening.

Stan: Okay, okay, mea culpa. Look, I’ve been a little distracted lately, slight problem with the feds.

Alan: Are you embezzling from my brother?

Stan: Embezzle what? [waves the empty cup at him] Hello! I thought you were the smart one. No, this is a totally unrelated import-export problem, alright? [to himself] I just cannot believe that one of the piñatas actually showed up at a kid’s party. [checks out the window again] Oh boy. This has been a blast, don’t get me wrong, but I have a plane to catch right now. So, hey, I’ll tell you what, just feel free and browse through all your files. Listen, Charlie, I’m running a little short on cash, so maybe you… [slaps his forehead] Look who I’m asking. Look who I’m asking. [to Alan] It was great meeting you, sport. [to Charlie] Ciao.

[He grabs his briefcase, opens the door, peers out, and then sneaks off.]

Charlie: And you were worried.


[Alan is sat at the kitchen table, studying papers. Boxes are stacked up labelled ‘Charlie Harper receipts’. Charlie is pacing.]

Alan: Well, the good news is a substantial amount of royalties is gonna come in in the next couple of months.

Charlie: Great, problem solved, let’s go out to dinner.

Alan: No, problem not solved.

Charlie: But I’m hungry.

Alan: Get used to it. It’s going to take a while to pay off all the bills your [finger quotes] “accountant” ignored, so until then you’re gonna have to cut back.

Charlie: But you said I got money coming.

Alan: Shall I go get the paper cup?

Charlie: Okay, what do we cut?

Alan: Well, let’s look at your expenses. Uh, first thing is, we stop paying your accountant.

Charlie: That’s a little cold, isn’t it? He’s a great guy, I’ve known him for years, he’s just going through a rough patch.

Alan: Charlie, you’re broke.

Charlie: You’re right, screw him. What’s next?

Alan: Um, you have a gardener. Why do you have a gardener?

Charlie: To tend my garden.

Alan: Garden? You mean the two potted palms on the deck? Water them yourself.

Charlie: Okay, but I’m gonna have to buy a hose and one of those watering things so isn’t that kind of a push?

Alan: Gone. Now, Ultimate Premiere Satellite Package?

Charlie: That’s really cool. I get every sporting event in the world. If a kid in Madagascar throws a rock at a tree, I can see it and bet on it.

Alan: It’s gone.

Charlie: Oh man, we can keep the cable though, right?

Alan: You have satellite and cable?

Charlie: Sometimes there’s solar flares.

Alan: Okay, we can cut back to basic cable.

Charlie: Basic cable? That’s what they get in prison.

[Rose knocks on the door from the deck and enters.]

Rose: Hey, what you doing?

Charlie: Bad time Rose?

Rose: Money problems, huh?

Charlie: How did you know?

Rose: I bought your espresso maker from Berta. I got a great deal cos she didn’t want to carry it on the bus.

Charlie: Wonderful.

Alan: Charlie, um, “miscellaneous cash expenses”, what exactly is that?

Charlie: I don’t know, go see a movie, buy a hot dog, stuff like that.

Alan: It was $80,000 last year.

Charlie: Oh, that. That’s women and gambling.

Alan: Gone and gone.

Charlie: Great. Why don’t I just shoot myself?

Alan: You can’t afford a gun.

Rose: You know, I could lend you some money, Charlie.

Charlie: That’s very sweet, Rose, but I don’t really want to shoot myself.

Alan: Charlie, the way I see it, you’re either gonna have to slash expenses or find the money to pay your bills someplace else.

Charlie: Okay. I’ll borrow on the house.
Alan: You’ve already got three mortgages.

Charlie: Is that a lot?

Alan: Not if you have three houses. Let me ask you a tough question. What would you think about going to Mom for a short-term loan?

Charlie: Interesting idea. I think I’d rather have a pack of hyenas tear out and devour my intestines. [Alan starts to say something] Yea, I know, I know, I can’t afford hyenas.

Alan: Look, you know I’d help you if I could but all my money’s going to my former wife, my former house, my former wife’s current lawyers and all their descendants. So, if you don’t want to go to Mom, you’re going to have to drastically change your lifestyle for a few months.

Charlie: Fine, you win.

Alan: I win? What do I win? How is this a win for me?

Charlie: Whatever, I’ll cut back, like you said. Now come on, let’s all go out for a nice dinner, I’m buying.

Rose: Oh great, then after we can stop by my place for espresso.

Charlie: Good idea. [to Alan] That’s a money saver.


[Charlie is in the supermarket comparing foods to coupons.]

Charlie: “Save 50 cents on one regular sized Hamburger Helper when you buy two of the following 10.5 ounce…” Oh screw it.

[He grabs a whole load of the boxes and throws them in the trolley. An attractive brunette is browsing across the aisle. Charlie spots her and approaches.]

Charlie: Hi.

Woman: Hi.

Charlie: [points in her trolley] How do you like that cabernet?

Woman: Oh, it’s very good.

Charlie: I’ll have to try it sometime. And excuse me for saying so, but you really don’t need the Lean Cuisine.

Woman: Well, thank you. So… [searches Charlie’s trolley for something to comment on] how do you like this… [holds up an enormous block that says ‘Cheese’] cheese?

Charlie: Oh, that, well, I do a little volunteer work making sandwiches for a homeless shelter. [The woman holds up an enormous bottle of ‘Vodka’] Yea, I don’t know if you know this but a lot of those homeless fellas like a little snort once in a while.

[The woman puts the bottle back in Charlie’s trolley. Alan rounds the corner of the aisle, happily carrying a bulk pack of toilet rolls.]

Alan: Okay, seek and ye shall find. Twenty-four rolls of toilet paper for $3.99. Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s single-ply but at this price you can double up, triple up, go wild!

[The woman pulls a face and walks off.]

Charlie: [calls after her] Okay, have a nice day! I can’t do this anymore, Alan, I quit.

Alan: You can’t quit poverty, Charlie.

Charlie: I want the good stuff. I want cheese that isn’t air-dropped into third world countries. I want ouchless toilet paper. I want vodka that doesn’t look like Fred Flintstone would drink it. I want my life back.

Alan: Fine, then, swallow your pride, call Mom, and ask her to lend you some money.

[Charlie sighs and unscrews the bottle of vodka.]

Charlie: Yabba dabba do. [takes a swig.]


[Jake and Charlie are watching TV. Alan is in the kitchen.]

Jake: Who’s the favourite?

Charlie: Green Bay.

Jake: Did you bet them?

Charlie: No.

Jake: You took the Redskins?

Charlie: Uh-uh.

Jake: No action?

Charlie: None.

Jake: Then why are we watching?

Charlie: Beats the hell out of me. [Flips off the TV.]

Alan: Anybody want a snack? [holds up a bulk pack of pretzels]

[The doorbell rings.]

Charlie/Jake: [together] Pizza’s here.

Alan: You ordered a pizza? Charlie, you’re supposed to be cutting back on expenses.

Charlie: Alan, it’s a pizza, not a hooker.

[Charlie opens the door to the same delivery guy as earlier.]

Delivery Guy: Hey, Mr Harper, good to see you. I threw in some of those garlic puffs you like. Grabbed a bottle of house red. I don’t think they’ll miss it.

Charlie: Thanks, buddy. [counts out some money] Here’s for the pizza and er…

Alan: Charlie. Can I speak with you for a minute?

Charlie: [to the delivery guy] Hang on a sec.

Alan: What are you planning on tipping him?

Charlie: I don’t know.

Alan: Give him $2, that’s 15%.

Charlie: I can’t do that.
Alan: You have to.

[Charlie sighs and steps back to the door. The delivery guy looks at him expectantly. Charlie tries to count the money but falters, and goes back to Alan.]

Charlie: I can’t. Did you see his face?

Alan: Go.

Charlie: [back to the door] There you go. [hands him the money.]

Delivery Guy: Oh, thank you Mr Harper. [looks at the money] These are ones.

Charlie: Yea.

Delivery Guy: I can break $100.

Charlie: Yea, I’m having kind of a cash flow problem.

Delivery Guy: Oh, yea, well, we had a good run. [exits]

Charlie: Wait. [grabs the wine and holds it out] Here.

Delivery Guy: No, keep it. You need it more than I do.


[Evelyn has just arrived. Charlie is helping her off with her coat. Alan and Jake are reading a book in the armchair.]

Evelyn: So, Deborah said that Julie had an addiction to cosmetic procedures, and I said “Well, then she needs to go to Botox Detox.” Everyone laughed and laughed but of course, you couldn’t tell cause none of their faces were moving.

Charlie: That’s pretty funny, Mom. Uh, listen… uh…

Evelyn: Oh, right, you wanted to tell me something.

Charlie: Yea. Maybe you should sit down.

Evelyn: Oh, what now? You got some girl pregnant? [sits] You’re gay? You’re on drugs?

Jake: $10 says pregnant.

Alan: Jake, go to your room.

Jake: I’m giving odds.

Alan: Go.

Charlie: Okay, here’s the thing. [sits on the coffee table in front of her, but can’t bring himself to say it.] Hey, would you like a drink?

Evelyn: I suppose. A screwdriver might be nice.

[Cut to Charlie mixing bulk ingredients together to make the drink. Alan approaches.]

Charlie: I can’t go through with this, Alan.

Alan: Sure you can. She’ll just make a couple of snide comments about your frivolous lifestyle, which luckily, she doesn’t know the half of. You’ll just suck it up, pay her back in a couple of months and that’ll be that.

Charlie: With Mom, “that” is never “that”. The guilt is always there. To this day, she still reminds me how much she had to sacrifice just so I could get braces. Like I deliberately had crooked teeth so she’d be forced to drive a domestic car.

Alan: Alright, then just drop it.

Charlie: It’s dropped.

Alan: Don’t ask her.
Charlie: I won’t.

Alan: Let it go.

Charlie: It’s gone.

Alan: By the way, they’re about to repossess your Jaguar.

Charlie: [calls] Mommy?

[Cut to Evelyn sipping the drink, with Charlie sitting in front of her again.]

Evelyn: [pulls a face] Very nice. So, how much do you need?

Charlie: I admit that my lifestyle has been a little frivolous and I probably should have been paying closer attention to my expenses.

Evelyn: Alright. [she has got out her cheque book and a pen] How much do you need?

Charlie: This is just a temporary thing, couple of months.

Evelyn: How much?

Charlie: You’ll get it back. This isn’t like the braces and the Mercury Capri.

Evelyn: Charlie, give me a number.

[Charlie looks at Alan, who gets a slip of yellow paper from his pocket and hands it back to Charlie. Charlie looks at it and gawks. He stares at Alan who just nods. Charlie hands the piece of paper to Evelyn who doesn’t even flinch.]

Charlie: I really appreciate this Mom.

Evelyn: No more need be said. [rips out the cheque and gives it to Charlie] You’ll pay it back when you can.

Charlie: Thanks.

Evelyn: Alright, now that that’s taken care of, why don’t I take my boys out to dinner?

Charlie: [stands up, angrily] There it is! Everything’s got a price.

Alan: Charlie, what are you…

Charlie: No, no, no, she can’t just do something nice, there’s got to be strings attached. Nothing’s given out of love, everything’s got a hook in it. [Charlie rips up the cheque] You can keep your money, lady, because I’m a free man and I can’t be bought. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hide my car.

[Charlie exits leaving Alan and Evelyn blinking in disbelief.]


[Charlie is playing piano by candlelight.]

Charlie: [sings] They’re gonna take my Jag away.

[Rose knocks on the window.]

Rose: Charlie, can I talk to you for a minute?

Charlie: I guess. [gets up and lets her in.]

Rose: How come it’s so dark in here?

Charlie: Do you have any idea how much electricity costs?

Rose: No.

Charlie: I didn’t either, but it turns out it’s quite a racket.

Rose: Listen, I know you’re going through a tough time and I really want to help you out. So, please take this… [Holds out a cheque.]

Charlie: [laughs] This is a cashier’s cheque. Where did you get a cashier’s cheque?

Rose: From my Dad’s bank, silly.

Charlie: Your dad owns a bank?

Rose: Well, not all by himself. Me and my brother and sister own 49%.

Charlie: Really? What about your mom?

Rose: She doesn’t have a bank.

Charlie: I see.

Rose: She’s in oil.

Charlie: So, you really have…

Rose: Yep, more than God.

Charlie: Huh.

Rose: Didn’t figure that when you dumped me, did you?

Charlie: Rose, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Rose: I know. That’s one of the things I love about you. You discard women regardless of their financial status.

Charlie: Thanks. But I can’t take this.
Rose: You think I’m crazy, don’t you?

Charlie: Well…

Rose: My dad and brother said I was crazy but I think that was just to form a power block to squeeze me off the Board of Directors.

Charlie: Shame on them.

Rose: I told them that you’d help me if I needed it. I mean, you’re the first guy I’ve ever met who hasn’t cared about my money. Who slept with me because he was drunk, not because I was rich. [tearful] I only wanted to help you because I thought that we were friends. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I am crazy.

Charlie: No, no, Rose, it’s fine. I am your friend. And if it means that much to you, I’ll take the money.

Rose: Oh, thank you Charlie, how can I ever repay you?

Charlie: Don’t worry about it. And I will pay you back.

Rose: I know that.

Charlie: Better I should owe you, than my scheming, manipulative mother.

Rose: That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.

Charlie: Hang on, I’ll grab you a tissue.

Rose: Thank you.

[Charlie exits and Rose suddenly cheers up and smiles to herself.]


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