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'A Side Of Chile'

(Jesse is in the kitchen, Little John runs down the stairs)

JESSE: "Little John, you’ve got nine and a half minutes until the bus gets here."

LITTLE JOHN: "What’s for breakfast?"

JESSE: "Eggs." (Her earring falls into the pan) "Eggs and jewelry."

(The door opens and Junior enters)

LITTLE JOHN: "Hey Uncle Junior."

JESSE: "Hey Junior. You want some eggs?"

(Junior shakes his head)

JESSE: "Cereal? French Toast?"

(Junior contemplates the last suggestion)

JESSE: "Okay, you stopped talking like a year ago, right?"

(Junior nods)

JESSE: "Get a pad!"

(John Sr enters the room)

JOHN SR: "Did you know William Shanter’s Jewish?"

JESSE: "You just walked nine blocks to tell me that?"

JOHN SR: "Well I just never pictured those people in space."

JESSE: "Dad, that is so offensive." (Looks at Little John) "Honey, you’re only wearing one shoe. I think you’re going to have a much better day at school if you wear two shoes."

LITTLE JOHN: "I don’t agree."

JESSE: "Go."

LITTLE JOHN: "Fine." (He walks off)

(Someone knocks at the door; Jesse goes to open it)


DIEGO: "Hi, uh, my name is Diego, I just moved into your house next door. I mean, not your house. My house. If I’d moved into your house, we’d be living together and uh...Okay I’m done."

JESSE: "Okay, so hi and welcome. Welcome and hi. Take your pick."

DIEGO: "Thank you. Uh, I don’t mean to bother you, but can I borrow a can-opener?"

JESSE: "Oh, yeah, yeah sure." (Goes to get a can-opener)

JOHN SR: "Don’t let him take it you’ll never see it again."

DIEGO: "I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you through that thick newspaper."

JESSE: "So, um, where are you from?"

DIEGO: "I’m from Chile."

JESSE: "Oh, Chile, wow. That’s um, uh, I know nothing about Chile."

DIEGO: "Oh that’s okay. I know nothing about Buffalo."

JESSE: "Oh, well, last year 28 people here froze to death. It’s a record."

DIEGO: (Laughs) "Oh, I didn’t ask your name."

JESSE: "Oh right. I’m Jesse." (They shake hands) "Hi."

DIEGO: "Hi."

JESSE: "And this is my lovely father John."

JOHN SR: "It may be more familiar to you as Juan."

JESSE: "And that’s my brother, his name’s also John but we call him Junior."

(Junior gets up and walks over to shake Diego’s hand)

DIEGO: "Hello." (Junior says nothing) "How are you?" (Again, Junior says nothing)

JESSE: "Yeah, well he doesn’t talk very much. Sort of this philosophical thing. Says he’s not gonna talk until he can find a way to use language in a more efficient manner." (Diego looks confused) "Yeah I know, blah blah blah blah." (Junior looks hurt and walks away)

*    *    *

(Jesse and Carrie are at Der Biergarten)

CARRIE: "So whatta you got there?"

JESSE: "Oh ah, a brochure for a nursing school."

CARRIE: "You’re going to nursing school? That is so great."

JOHN SR: "What’s so great?"

CARRIE: "Oh, its Jesse became a nurse."

JOHN SR: "Oh no. No daughter of mine is getting mixed up in the medical profession."

JESSE: "Dad, just because you had one bad experience at a hospital-"

JOHN SR: "They took my testicle!"

JESSE: "Yeah well they put it back."

(Diego walks in)

DIEGO: "Hey Jesse."

JESSE: "Hi."

DIEGO: "Hi."

JESSE: "How are you doing?"

DIEGO: "Good, you?"

JESSE: "So, so you’ve seen me in my costume. That’s great."

DIEGO: "No, no I like it. You look like the girl from the Recola commercial."

JESSE: "Oh, oh yeah. Recolaaa. Oh, God."

JOHN SR: "Hey. Chile!"

DIEGO: "Hello Juan. Can I have a beer please?"

JOHN SR: "Did you bring back the can-opener?"

DIEGO: "Oh no no, I traded it for a kilo."

JESSE: "Ah, why don’t we find you a table, okay?"

DIEGO: "Okay."

(Jesse leads Diego to a table)

JESSE: "Have a seat and I’ll go get you that beer."

DIEGO: "Okay. Jesse, Jesse, um, wait. Um, I was just wondering if perhaps you had some time free and-"

(Little John runs across the room and hugs Diego)


JESSE: "Oh, ha, no. Not him, not him. Um, this is my son."

DIEGO: (Surprised) "Oh...and the father is?"

JESSE: "Gone."

DIEGO: "Oh great. Oh, oh that’s too bad."

JESSE: "Diego this is John."

DIEGO: (Offering his hand) "Hi."


DIEGO: "So, your father’s John and your brother’s John."

JESSE: "Yeah, but we call him Little John."

LITTLE JOHN: "I know, it’s not a great system." (He walks off)

JESSE: "Ah. Beer."

DIEGO: "Ah, Jesse. Um, as I was saying, uh, I was just wondering would you like to go dancing sometime?"

JESSE: "Wow, dancing, um. No, I’m sorry, that’s very flattering, but I don’t date."

DIEGO: "Well, you obviously did once."

JESSE: "Yes, true true, but not anymore. See I’m a single mom and-"

DIEGO: "Oh."

JESSE: "...the nights that I don’t work I like to be with my kid."

DIEGO: "Yes."

JESSE: "And then there’s my family, and, you know, I just sorta made this decision that I don’t have room for dancing. I’m sorry, really." (Touches Diego’s arm) "Ohh."

DIEGO: "Okay, well, I guess I’ll just see you around the driveway."

JESSE: "Yeah, I think that’s best. So, I’m sorry." (Touches Diego’s arm again, they part company)

CARRIE: "That was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen."

JESSE: "What?"

CARRIE: "How can you not go out with him? He’s like Antonio Banderas but he wants to have sex with you."

(Jesse rolls her eyes. Darren opens the door to Der Biergarten and walks in)

DARREN: "Hey hey little man!"

LITTLE JOHN: "Hey Uncle Darren!"

DARREN: "How are you doing? Hello Junior. I’m sorry I haven’t called, it’s just not that satisfying for me." (Junior nods)

JESSE: "Hey!"

DARREN: "Hey Jes."

JESSE: "What’s up?"

DARREN: "How are you doing?"

JESSE: "Good."

DARREN: "Look, I’m going to need to crash at your place for a little while okay?"

JESSE: "Why, what’s wrong with your apartment?"

DARREN: "Ah, my landlord and I got into a fight. You burn down one little kitchenette and suddenly you’re the bad boy of the complex. "

(John Sr. walks in)

JOHN SR: "My boy!"

DARREN: "Hey, Dad!"

JOHN SR: "How’s my en-tra-pre-nor?"

DARREN: "I’m on to something very big, and when it hits I’m gonna buy a big house and we’re all gonna live in it together."

JOHN SR: "So what are you working on now?"

DARREN: (Uncovers what he brought in, reveals a garden gnome) "Garden gnomes." (Only Darren pronounces the G)

JESSE: "I think the G is silent."

DARREN: "Arden gnomes?" (Again with the pronounced G) "Point is, I bought 8,000 of these little babies and I got this guy down at Home Depot whose begging to take them off my hands. Cha-ching, I’m gonna make a killing!"

JESSE: "I can’t believe that you bought 8,000 gnomes." (Jesse keeps the G silent)

DARREN: "Gnomes, ah, right!" (He finally gets it) "I know what you’re thinking. If I’m paying ten bucks for these guys like everybody else, I’m an idiot. But when I’m buying 8,000 gnomes at nine bucks a gnome, huh, who’s the idiot?"

*    *    *

(The next day, at Jesse’s house, the phone rings. Junior picks it up and...says nothing. He hands the phone to Darren)

DARREN: "Darren Warner. Okay thanks." (Hangs up the phone) "Gnomes are coming! Hey, yeah!"

JESSE: "Wait a minute. The gnomes are coming here?"

DARREN: "No, they’re gonna stay in the magical glade. Of course they’re coming here! I need to put them in the garage."

JESSE: "Darren, come on!"

DARREN: "Look, look. They’re just gonna be here 24 hours tops, then I ship ‘em off to my guy at Home Depot, okay?"

JESSE: "Okay."

DARREN: (Looking out the kitchen window) "Oh look, there’s that Mr. Chile guy you like so much."

JESSE: "I don’t like him."

(A bus horn blares)

LITTLE JOHN: "Mom, bus is here, gotta go."

JESSE: (Staring at Diego) "Yeah okay whatever."

DARREN: (Laughing) "Just go outside and talk to him."

JESSE: " Will you stop? Well look at that, the trash is ready to go out." (She picks up the garbage bag and carries it outside)

DIEGO: "Jesse!"

JESSE: "Oh!"

DIEGO: "Hi."

JESSE: "Hi, I didn’t see you out there."

DIEGO: "So, busy lady, huh?"

JESSE: "Yup that’s me."

DIEGO: "Yeah, what have you got going tonight?"

JESSE: "Oh, laundry. Laundry night."

DIEGO: "Oh, you know something, uh, why don’t we do our laundry together?"

JESSE: "You wanna do laundry together? Really?"

DIEGO: "Yeah, sure, I mean why not? I have cloths that get dirty; maybe this is exactly what they need."

JESSE: "I don’t know."

DIEGO: "Just as neighbors. Come on."

JESSE: "Okay, but it’s not a date!"

DIEGO: "No no, it’s nothing like a date. Only our underwears will touch."

*    *    *

(That evening, Jesse comes down the stairs)

CARRIE: "Oh, look at you! Here, I brought my mom’s pearls."

JESSE: "Oh no honey, come on, that’s too much."


JESSE: "It’s not a date, we’re just going to the Laundromat and- Oh, I am wearing these." (Jesse saw herself in a mirror) "Are you sure your mom’s not gonna mind?"

CARRIE: "Oh no no no, she’s drunk."

(The doorbell rings, Jesse goes to answer it)

DIEGO: "H-hi."

JESSE: "Hi. Come on in, I’m just getting everything together."

DIEGO: "Okay. Hey Darren."

DARREN: "Hey."

DIEGO: "Hello..Johns."

CARRIE: (Extending her hand) "I’m Carrie."

DIEGO: "Diego. Nice to meet you."

CARRIE: "So, Chile, wow. What’s that about?"

JESSE: "Um, Carrie, you’re late for work."

CARRIE: "Oh, right, right." (Walks out the door, then turns around) "Hey wait, I don’t have to work today!" (Jesse shuts the door on her)

JESSE: "I’m just gonna go get the upstairs’ hamper."

DIEGO: "Okay."

JESSE: " good." (She goes upstairs)

DIEGO: "So?"

(John Sr., Darren, and Junior all stand up and look at Diego)

DARREN: "Look, we really love that girl, okay? So you’d better be nice to her."

DIEGO: "We’re just doing laundry."

JOHN SR: "I don’t know what laundry means in your country, but here it’s just good clean fun."

(Junior points a napkin at Diego)

DARREN: "Look Diego, just so you understand, okay, there’s nobody in the world more important to us than-"

(Someone knocks)

DARREN: "...the gnomes are here!" (He runs to the door) "Gnomes, the gnomes, gnomes?"

DELIVERY GUY: "The gnomes are here."

DARREN: (Goes outside, closing the door behind him) "Wait a sec, what’s that?"

DELIVERY GUY: "That is gnomes."

DARREN: "No no no no, these aren’t my gnomes, they’re not painted."

DELIVERY GUY: "They’re unfinished gnomes."

DARREN: "Well I’m not gonna take them."

DELIVERY GUY: "Refusal of gnomes. There’s no box for that."

DARREN: "Well then I’m just not gonna sign for them then."

DELIVERY GUY: "You don’t have to sign for them they’re gnomes. Can I use your toilet?"

*    *    *

(Back in the house, Jesse is gathering up the laundry in the living room)

JESSE: "Alright, bye you guys, and make sure that Little John is in bed before nine o’clock, all right?"

DIEGO: "Bye bye."

JESSE: "So, did they behave?"

DIEGO: "Oh yes, they behaved. Badly, but they behaved. Did you know Captain Kirk was a Jew?"

*    *    *

(That night, Jesse and Diego are in Jesse’s car)

JESSE: "Now I know this is gonna sound sort of weird, but that was the nicest laundry I think I’ve ever had."

DIEGO: "Yes. This has been the best non-date I’ve ever been on. In fact, I must start non-dating more often."

JESSE: "So."

DIEGO: "Yes."

JESSE: "Thank you. So much. So so so much. Really, so much."

DIEGO: (Mumbles something)

(They kiss)

JESSE: "Oh my, uh!" (She accidentally turns on the windshield wipers) "Oh, oh." (Diego turns them off) "I’d better get inside."

DIEGO: "No no no no no, why?"

JESSE: "Well, you know, Little John likes a bedtime story, and you know, Junior’s gonna be up there with a book in his lap for three hours, going" (She makes a face, imitating Junior)

DIEGO: (Laughs)

JESSE: "So, I’d bet-"

DIEGO: "Jesse, Jesse, sit. I’m sure your son is in good hands. Your brothers seem very capable, and your father, I’m sure he left hours ago."

JESSE: "I don’t know."

DIEGO: "Oh come on, come on. Stay and talk. What can happen to them, there are 8,000 gnomes guarding this house?"

*    *    *

(The next morning, still in the car.   One of the gnomes is tapped against the car window. Jesse wakes up, and sees Junior holding the gnome)

JESSE: "What? Oh my God." (Looks at Diego) "Oh my God!" (Looks around) "Oh my God!"

DIEGO: "What? What’s the matter?"

JESSE: "It’s morning, and, and, I’m still here, and you’re right there, and, oh my God. Oh God." (Opens the door, forcing Junior to stand up) "Oh God."

DIEGO: "Jesse?"

JESSE: "Oh, legs are asleep. Okay, oh, oh hurts oh one hurts." (Stumbles to her door, with Junior’s help) "All right." (Knocks into one of Darren’s unfinished gnomes) "Oh, killed a gnome." (Fumbles with the door before opening it and tumbling in)

*    *    *

(Sometime that day, at Der Biergarten)

DARREN: "Well what do you mean you’re not gonna take them ‘cause they’re unfinished? What am I gonna do with 8,000 gnomes? Well I don’t know if they’re all gonna fit up there!" (Closes his cell phone angrily) "Well, they’re not gonna take the unfinished gnomes at Home Depot."

JESSE: "Did you try Gnome Depot?"

(Darren begins to walk away, and Diego enters, with something behind is back)

DIEGO: "Hey Darren."

DARREN: "Hey. Hey! You want to buy a gnome?"

DIEGO: "Is it finished?"

(Darren looks dejected and leaves)

DIEGO: "Hi."

JESSE: "Hi."

DIEGO: "Is everything okay? You ran out of there so fast this morning."

(Jesse makes a head movement of some sort)

DIEGO: (Presenting the flowers he had behind his back) "These are for you."

JESSE: "Oh, uh, I don’t, I don’t have a vase."

DIEGO: "Oh, oh, you could put them in a stein."

JESSE: "Oh, okay." (Takes the flowers from Diego and puts them into a stein, with an audible plop)

DIEGO: "Well, uh, not one full of beer. That, that would kill them." (Picks up the flowers again) "Ah, so look, maybe I can give these to you later, okay. Perhaps after work, hmm? Perhaps at dinner after work? Perhaps on a long drive after dinner after work? Okay, you know what, I’m just gonna keep perhapsing you until you say something."

JESSE: (Not looking at Diego) "Alright. Um, I was thinking about this this morning, and uh, I don’t think we should continue this."

DIEGO: "I don’t understand, um, could you please turn around Jesse? Please?"

JESSE: "Uh, no, no I don’t think I can. See, when I did this before at home, you weren’t there, and it was Junior, and he’s much easier to break up with, so."

DIEGO: "Jesse?"

JESSE: "Ohhh." (Diego pulls on her arm, and she turns around) "Ohhhh gosh."

DIEGO: "Listen, okay Jesse, Jesse, can you explain this to me please? I know you had a good time last night."

JESSE: "Yeah, well, if I had known I was gonna have that good of time I wouldn’t have gone."

DIEGO: "Well of course, that sense. Jesse."

JESSE: "No no no, look, look. This is, this is exactly why I told you I don’t date. No, no, no, no, listen. See, this morning, I went into my house, and the kitchen was a mess, and, and my dad, he missed a meeting with his beer distributor, and all my son had for breakfast was caramel nuts and Nougat, and, and would you stop it with the blue eyes already?"

DIEGO: "Okay, so we are not going out because of beer and Nougat?"

JESSE: "Yes! Diego I can’t go to dinner, or to movies, or out dancing."

DIEGO: "Okay, you know, we don’t have to go out dancing. We can dance at home. In fact, we don’t have to dance at all!"

JESSE: "No! Please listen to me, okay? It’s not gonna happen. We’re just neighbors. Okay? Just...neighbors."

DIEGO: "Fine. Neighbors." (He leaves the flowers in another stein, and walks out of Der Biergarten)

JESSE: (Looking at her father) "I think that went rather well."

*    *    *

(That evening, Jesse’s house, Jesse walks in and finds Junior)

JESSE: "Hey." (Sees Junior painting a gnome) "Hm, nice nose. So, I’m not gonna see Diego again."

(Junior looks surprised)

JESSE: "Because, just, I mean last night we, you know, we sat in the car and just talked, for hours, and my head was on his shoulder, and I thought, I don’t want this man to leave, like, ever. It was just so...unbelievably terrifying. I just don’t think that I can go through that again. Hmm, it’s an okay reason to stop seeing somebody, right?"

(Junior gets up, walks to the back door, and opens it)

JESSE: "You know, I knew you were gonna say that."

(Jesse gets up, walks to the door, and kisses Junior on the cheek. Outside, she leans into her car and turns on the radio. She looks back at Junior, who closes the door. She then waits for Diego to notice the music and come outside, which doesn’t take long. Diego has a little trouble with the door, but comes over to the driveway, and offers Jesse his hand. She accepts, and the two dance)