Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: X Minus One
Show: Bad Medicine
Date: Jul 10 1956

CAST:

The Drama:
NARRATOR
ELWOOD CASWELL, homicidal maniac
PASSERBY (1 line)
MARTY, Elwood's co-worker
HASKINS, store clerk
FOLLANSBY, store manager
MAGNESSEN, Elwood's friend and obsession
GLOOP, the mechanical therapist
RATH, of Planetary Motors security

The NBC Team:
ANNOUNCER
2ND ANNCR
STEVE ALLEN, American TV comedian
AIR FORCE CHORUS

SOUND:

HIGH-PITCHED ELECTRONIC HUM ... JOINED BY ELECTRONIC BEEPING IN AGREEMENT WITH COUNTDOWN

ANNOUNCER:

Countdown for blast-off. X minus five, four, three, two. X minus one. Fire.

SOUND:

A MOMENT'S SILENCE ... THEN ROCKET SHIP BLASTS OFF

MUSIC:

BUILDS VERTIGINOUSLY TO A CLIMAX ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future, adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, presents -- (HEAVY ECHO) X Minus One!

MUSIC:

TO A CLIMAX ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, "Bad Medicine" by Finn O'Donnevan. But first--

Farmers know they can't stop storms, floods or droughts from ruining a crop. But they can make sure things like that can't ruin them, by investing in United States Savings Bonds. Not only farmers but over forty million Americans in all sorts of jobs own forty billions of savings bonds. And why? Because savings bonds are the easy way to start saving and to keep saving. And the money you invest in savings bonds mean protection now and ready cash when you need it in the future -- improving the farm, sending the youngsters to college, or planning your own retirement. These are the big things you can be ready for with savings bonds. And, besides offering you a safe investment, each Series E savings bond pays you back four dollars at maturity for every three you invest. Yes, you earn extra dollars while you save, so start saving now. For the big things in your life, be ready -- with United States Savings Bonds.

And now, on with our story.

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

On May second, Twenty-One Oh-Three, Elwood Caswell walked rapidly down Broadway. It was a gentle, misty spring day, and the air held the smell of rain and blossoming trees. But Elwood Caswell didn't smell the rain and the trees. He just gripped the loaded gun he had in his pocket. He didn't want to use the weapon, but he was certain that he would. This was justifiable. You see, Elwood Caswell was a homicidal maniac.

MUSIC:

BIG ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SOUND:

CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS ON PAVEMENT

ELWOOD:

(LOW, TO HIMSELF, IN THE GRIP OF MANIA) Why shouldn't I kill him?

SOUND:

CASWELL'S FOOTSTEPS OUT BRIEFLY WITH--

PASSERBY:

Hey! Look out, will ya?!

ELWOOD:

(SUDDENLY SANE, PLEASANT) Oh, sorry, sir!

SOUND:

ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS RESUME

ELWOOD: (LOW, TO HIMSELF, MANIA) Only the other day, he said, "Elwood, you're looking very well." What business is it of his how I look?

MARTY:

(CALLS) Hey, there, Elwood! Elwood!

SOUND:

ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS OUT

ELWOOD:

(SUDDENLY SANE) Huh?

MARTY:

It's me, Marty Klein! I work on the jetbuses with ya, remember?

ELWOOD:

(VERY FRIENDLY) Oh, yeah, of course. Hello, Marty. Forgive me, my mind was - was on other things.

MARTY:

Yeah, I know how it is. A couple of weeks ago, I was walkin' around in a fog so thick you could cut it.

ELWOOD:

Yeah? Really?

MARTY:

Sure. Preoccupied. You know. I had this idea in my mind--

ELWOOD:

(EXCITED) You, too?!

MARTY:

Yeah.

ELWOOD:

The same person?!

MARTY:

Huh?

ELWOOD:

Were you - troubled by the same person?!

MARTY:

My wife. Hey, you okay?

ELWOOD:

(CALMS DOWN) Oh, oh, oh, yes. Yes, yes, of course.

MARTY:

Well, I had this idea, see, I was gonna get rid of my wife.

ELWOOD:

Kill her?

MARTY:

Kill her?! I mean, send her to the country for a week.

ELWOOD:

Ohhhhh.

MARTY:

You sure you ain't sick?

ELWOOD:

No, I never felt better.

MARTY:

Well, anyway, I was gonna take a week off, quit the jetbuses-- Yeah, can you imagine? I've been a jetbus operator for ten years now, and all of sudden, I feel like I can't take it for another minute.

ELWOOD:

I know how you feel.

MARTY:

I was gonna take a trip. All by myself.

ELWOOD:

A trip? To where?

MARTY:

To the farthest place I could think. To Mars. I was just gonna pick up and take a vacation to Mars. Silly, huh?

ELWOOD:

I don't know. What happened?

MARTY:

Well, I talked it over with Ethel.

ELWOOD:

Your wife?

MARTY:

Yeah. Ethel, she's a real sensible girl. You know what she did?

ELWOOD:

No. Am I supposed to?

MARTY:

Ethel went right down to that Home Therapy Appliance store and she says, "You got a home therapy machine that'll cure my husband of this idea he can't stay on the jetbuses?"

ELWOOD:

I've heard that those machines aren't perfected.

MARTY:

They got 'em licked now. So, okay, she describes the trouble and next day they deliver this thing and - and boom! I plugged it in, see? And--

ELWOOD:

And?

MARTY:

And a voice talks to me. It starts askin' me questions.

ELWOOD:

Yeah? What kind of questions?

MARTY:

All kinds. Things I - I wouldn't even tell my own mother.

ELWOOD:

You told the machine?

MARTY:

Why not? It's only a machine.

ELWOOD:

Yeah, I see your point.

MARTY:

Well, then the machine starts to tell me a few things. And before I knew it, inside a week, I'm cured! Now, I - I can't wait to go back drivin' the jetbuses.

ELWOOD:

(IMPRESSED) You don't say?

MARTY:

So that's why I say I know how it is to have one thing on your mind all the time like that.

ELWOOD:

This machine. What did it cost you?

MARTY:

That's the beauty part of it. (CHUCKLES) My Ethel -- boy, she's a smart girl. After a week she sends it back, see? She says it don't work. So all we lose is the deposit.

ELWOOD:

Yeah, I see.

MARTY:

Well, I gotta get back to work now. Hey, ain't you workin' the jetbuses today?

ELWOOD:

Huh? No, I'm off today.

MARTY:

Well, I'll see ya, Elwood.

ELWOOD:

Yeah, see ya, Marty. Uh, what was the name of that place?

MARTY:

Where they sell the home therapy machine?

ELWOOD:

Yeah.

MARTY:

Uh, Home Therapy Appliances. It's right down Broadway, about two blocks from here. So long, Elwood.

MUSIC:

EDGY, IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Perspiring freely, Elwood Caswell continued down Broadway toward Forty-Third Street. His friend Magnessen would be finishing work soon, returning to his apartment less than a block from Caswell's. Elwood gripped the gun tighter. How pleasant it would be to saunter in, exchange a word with him, and then-- [X]

ELWOOD:

(LOW, TO HIMSELF) No.

SOUND:

ELWOOD'S SLOW FOOTSTEPS, IN BG

ELWOOD:

(TO HIMSELF, MOSTLY SANE) No, I won't do it. I don't really want to kill anybody. It isn't right. Think what'll happen. The authorities'll lock me up. My friends won't understand and-- Mother! Mother would never approve. (MANIA) Still, if I see Magnessen-- If I see his hateful, accusing face in front of me--

SOUND:

ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS OUT

ELWOOD:

(TO HIMSELF, SANE) Oh. This must be the store. Yeah. (READS SIGN) "Home Therapy Appliances."

SOUND:

ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS TO STORE DOOR WHICH OPENS ... A LITTLE BELL RINGS ... DOOR CLOSES

HASKINS:

Good afternoon, sir. Can I show you some of our home therapy appliances?

ELWOOD:

(DESPERATE) I - I want therapy! Quick!

HASKINS:

Of course, sir. This way, please.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS BRIEFLY

HASKINS:

Now then, this is our new Alcoholic Reliever, built by International Combustion Motors and advertised in leading magazines. A handsome piece of furniture, I think you will agree, and not out of place in any home. It also opens into a television set.

ELWOOD:

Now, look, what I need--

HASKINS:

Therapy. Of course. I just wanted to point out, this model need never cause embarrassment to you, your friends or your loved ones. Notice, if you will, the recessed dial which controls the desired degree of alcoholism. You see? Heavy, moderate, social, light and -- (CHUCKLES) -- teetotal! A new feature, unique in mechanotherapy.

ELWOOD:

I'm not alcoholic! The New York Jetbus Authority does not hire alcoholics.

HASKINS:

Oh, sorry. You seemed the type. No offense.

ELWOOD:

I--! Please--!

HASKINS:

You seem rather nervous. Perhaps the portable Anxiety Reducer?

ELWOOD:

No!

HASKINS:

Well, sir, perhaps if you told me just what you feel is bothering you--

ELWOOD:

What have you got for homicidal mania?!

HASKINS:

I beg your pardon?

ELWOOD:

Homicide! The urge to kill someone!

HASKINS:

Oh. Oh, of course. (DITHERS) Well, let's see now--

ELWOOD:

(CALMLY) Uh, pardon me, have you worked here very long?

HASKINS:

A week. Oh, yes, here's the ticket. This black job with the chrome trim.

ELWOOD:

What is it?

HASKINS:

This, sir, is a Rex Regenerator, built by Planetary Motors Corporation. Handsome, hm? Goes with any decor. Opens up into a well-stocked little bar ...

SOUND:

PANEL SLIDES OPEN

HASKINS:

... so your family, friends, loved ones need never know--

ELWOOD:

Will it cure a homicidal urge? A strong one?

HASKINS:

Oh, absolutely. Don't confuse this with the little ten amp neurosis model. This is a hefty, heavy-duty, twenty-five amp machine for really deep-rooted conditions.

ELWOOD:

That's what I've got.

HASKINS:

Well, this baby'll jolt you out of it. Big, heavy-duty thrust bearings! Oversized heat absorbers! Completely insulated! Sensitivity range over--

ELWOOD:

I'll take it.

HASKINS:

Yes, sir.

ELWOOD:

With me. Right now.

HASKINS:

Now?

ELWOOD:

Before it's too late. I'll pay cash.

HASKINS:

Well, yes, sir. It'll be a few hours before the warehouse can--

ELWOOD:

I'll take this one here!

HASKINS:

Well, that's a floor demonstrator.

ELWOOD:

Does it work?!

HASKINS:

All of our demonstrators work, sir.

ELWOOD:

Then I'll take it! I can't wait for a warehouse! I can't wait for anything! Have it put in a taxi for me.

HASKINS:

Yes, sir.

ELWOOD:

Tell them to hurry! I - I want to kill my friend Magnessen, you know.

HASKINS:

Who?

ELWOOD:

My friend Magnessen!

HASKINS:

Oh, of course. That'll be four hundred dollars and fifty-nine cents, sales tax included.

MUSIC:

CHEERY BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

After Elwood Caswell left the store, the clerk -- whose name was Haskins -- smiled to himself and lighted a cigarette. He had made his first sale. He inhaled. [X]

FOLLANSBY:

Haskins?

HASKINS:

Yes, Mr. Follansby?

FOLLANSBY:

Smoking? Smoking? I asked you to rid yourself of that filthy habit.

HASKINS:

Immediately, Mr. Follansby. I'll - I'll use one of the display model Denicotinizers at once. By the way, I-- (CHUCKLES) I just made a rather good sale, sir.

FOLLANSBY:

Oh, really?

HASKINS:

Yes, sir. One of our big Rex Regenerators.

FOLLANSBY:

Well, now, it isn't often we-- Wait a minute! Where's the floor model?

HASKINS:

Well, sir, the customer was in an awful hurry. He was going to kill his friend--

FOLLANSBY:

You gave him the floor model?!

HASKINS:

Yes, sir. Was there any reason why--?

FOLLANSBY:

Good grief, Haskins! Didn't I inform you? We never sell the floor models!

HASKINS:

But, sir--

FOLLANSBY:

Good heavens! I've got to get to him! What was his address?

HASKINS:

Address?

FOLLANSBY:

His name, then.

HASKINS:

Why, he didn't say.

FOLLANSBY:

Then his check--?

HASKINS:

He paid cash.

FOLLANSBY:

You mean you just let him pick up the machine and walk out?!

HASKINS:

Well, sir, he paid cash.

FOLLANSBY:

He was - homicidal, you say?

HASKINS:

Yes, sir. His friend--

FOLLANSBY:

I don't care about his friend! Get the police! No, no, no, no. Call the Planetary Motors Security Division! Quick!

HASKINS:

Yes, sir, at once.

FOLLANSBY:

(BEAT) Well, well--?

HASKINS:

Excuse me, Mr. Follansby. What will I tell them?

FOLLANSBY:

Tell them? You fool! Tell them that one of our customers has accidentally got that display Regenerator they sent us. The one they shipped by accident. They were going to replace it tomorrow.

HASKINS:

Yes, sir. The one they shipped by accident. Will they know--?

FOLLANSBY:

If they don't, be more explicit. Tell them we've sold the Martian model. The one for treating psychotic Martians!

MUSIC:

WRY ... IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Meanwhile, Elwood Caswell had returned to his apartment and lugged the big black Rex Regenerator into his living room. He put it down near the couch and studied it carefully. [X]

ELWOOD:

(TO HIMSELF, SANE) He was right. It does go with the room. Now, then, let's see those instructions.

SOUND:

OPENS INSTRUCTION BOOK, FLIPS PAGES

ELWOOD:

(READS) "Place Regenerator near a comfortable couch."

SOUND:

MACHINE PLACED NEAR COUCH

ELWOOD:

All right. (READS) "Plug in machine."

SOUND:

MACHINE PLUGGED IN

ELWOOD:

There. (READS) "Affix contact-band to your forehead. That's all there is to it. Just turn on the machine and it will do the rest. There will be no language problem, since your Regenerator communicates with you by Direct Sensory Contact, Patent Pending." Well, it seems easy enough. Now, I'll just put the contact on my head. (BEAT) And--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

ELWOOD:

Blast it!

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP ... MAGNESSEN'S VOICE IS FILTERED

ELWOOD:

Hello?

MAGNESSEN:

Elwood?

ELWOOD:

Yes?

MAGNESSEN:

This is Henry! Henry Magnessen! How are you, old boy?

ELWOOD:

(FIGHTING THE MANIA) I'm - fine.

MAGNESSEN:

I wonder if you're doing anything tonight? Thought you might like to drop over for a game of chess.

ELWOOD:

Game of chess, huh? (LOW) You stupid oaf.

MAGNESSEN:

What?

ELWOOD:

Nothing!

MAGNESSEN:

(AMUSED) I thought you called me a stupid oaf! (LAUGHS)

ELWOOD:

Yeah, I was just talking to my cat! (LAUGHS)

MAGNESSEN:

Oh. I didn't remember you had a cat. I thought you hated cats.

ELWOOD:

Oh, I do! Uh, this isn't really mine. It's a neighbor's. Uh, keeps coming in.

MAGNESSEN:

Oh. What about tonight?

ELWOOD:

Will you be alone?

MAGNESSEN:

Well, yeah.

ELWOOD:

You haven't mentioned to anyone that you're inviting me over?

MAGNESSEN:

Not a soul. Why?

ELWOOD:

Someone's looking for me. Uh, a process server.

MAGNESSEN:

Ohhhh.

ELWOOD:

Yeah, I've been avoiding him for days. I don't even leave word where I'll be when I go out.

MAGNESSEN:

You can trust me, Elwood. I'm your best friend.

ELWOOD:

Yes, you are. (LOW) But not for long.

MAGNESSEN:

Huh?

ELWOOD:

Just talking to the cat again.

MAGNESSEN:

Oh. Will you be over?

ELWOOD:

Yeah.

MAGNESSEN:

In about an hour, okay?

ELWOOD:

Yeah, an hour'll be fine. There are a few things I have to do first.

MAGNESSEN:

I've just gotten some new laugh records from the boys at the office. I got somethin' here that'll really kill ya! So long, Elwood.

ELWOOD:

So long!

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

ELWOOD:

(LOW) I've got something here that'll kill you, too.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS, TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

"X Minus One" will continue in one minute.

2ND ANNCR:

Each of us has a personal reason for wanting to see cancer conquered. Steve Allen would like to tell you his.

STEVE ALLEN:

I have a wife and three wonderful kids, and when I think about cancer going to strike one American in every four-- Well, that's more than enough reason for wanting to see it conquered. I know that some people don't even want to think about cancer. But pretending it's not a threat -- doing an ostrich routine -- isn't going to get us anywhere. We've got to stand up to it and fight. And we can fight, each and every one of us. Through the American Cancer Society, we can be part of the battle that someday will beat cancer once and for all. That day will come, but you and I have got to help. How 'bout it?

2ND ANNCR:

Thank you, Steve Allen. Remember, fight cancer with a check-up and a check. See your doctor once a year for a check-up. It's your best cancer insurance. And to help conquer cancer, send a check to your unit of the American Cancer Society.

ANNOUNCER:

Now, on with our story.

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

Taking the revolver from his pocket, Elwood laid it on the table in front of him. His face became suffused with hatred at the thought of Magnessen. He poked at the gun with a stiff forefinger. [X]

ELWOOD:

(LOW, MANIA, TO HIMSELF) Magnessen -- you no-good, shifty-eyed enemy of all that's decent in the world. The man who ruined my sister Irene. The man who-- (SANE) Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Elwood. You have no sister, remember? No sister! Now, before you go off and commit murder, why not just try that machine? Just once, huh? Turn it on. Okay, now, reach over and--

SOUND:

CLICK! OF SWITCH ... MACHINE HUMS IN BG FOR A WHILE, THEN GENTLY FADES OUT

GLOOP:

Good afternoon, Elwood. I am your mechanical therapist. You may call me Gloop.

ELWOOD:

Gloop?

GLOOP:

You seem surprised. It is a perfectly common name here on this planet.

ELWOOD:

Gloop? (HUMORING GLOOP) Of course. I've heard it many times.

GLOOP:

Now, then. I am scanning the material in your preconscious with the intent of synthesis, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

ELWOOD:

Yes?

GLOOP:

I find-- (BEAT) Hmm. This is a most unusual case.

ELWOOD:

Really? I thought it was simple homicidal mania.

GLOOP:

There is, of course, no such thing. You are obviously hallucinating a set of symptoms. Nonsense syllables to enable you to avoid the real problem.

ELWOOD:

Oh?

GLOOP:

Hmm. A most unusual set of symptoms, I must say.

ELWOOD:

Your pilot light seems to be fading.

GLOOP:

My light is not fading. I am merely trying to relate your symptoms to proven theory.

ELWOOD:

Well, as long as you know what you're doing.

GLOOP:

Mechanotherapy is an exact science, Elwood. It admits of no significant errors. We will proceed.

ELWOOD:

Good.

GLOOP:

First, the word-association test.

ELWOOD:

Fire away.

GLOOP:

I will proceed to give a word. You answer with the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready?

ELWOOD:

Ready.

GLOOP:

House?

ELWOOD:

Home.

GLOOP:

Planet?

ELWOOD:

Earth.

GLOOP:

Hmm.

ELWOOD:

Hm?

GLOOP:

Uh, just musing. Now -- Fleefl?

ELWOOD:

Fleefl?

GLOOP:

Fleefl!

ELWOOD:

That sounds like a Martian word.

GLOOP:

Just give me a response.

ELWOOD:

Fleefl, hm? Okay. I can make 'em up, too. (GRANDLY) Marfoosh! (PLEASED) That's a pretty good one, huh? Made it up on the spur of the moment.

GLOOP:

Marfoosh is very significant. It is a corruption of the Martian concept of "foosh klib." Very significant.

ELWOOD:

I don't know any Martian words.

GLOOP:

Aha! Noteworthy. We will proceed. Loud?

ELWOOD:

Soft.

GLOOP:

Green?

ELWOOD:

Mother.

GLOOP:

Thanagoyes?

ELWOOD:

(BEAT, GRANDLY) Pathamathonga! (LAUGHS) How's that one?

GLOOP:

(UNIMPRESSED) Arrides? (PRONOUNCED ÁR-uh-DEES)

ELWOOD:

(GRANDLY) Nexothesmodrastica! Top that.

GLOOP:

Chtheesnohelgnopteces? (PRONOUNCED ka-TEETH-ah-snow-hel-guh-NOP-tuh-sees)

ELWOOD:

Okay. Rigamaroo kalamazoo iggity-bibbity boo!

GLOOP:

Good. It fits the pattern.

ELWOOD:

Pattern?

GLOOP:

Your neurosis. I can diagnose it now.

ELWOOD:

Go on.

GLOOP:

You have a classic case of feem desire, complicated by strong dwarkish intentions.

ELWOOD:

I could have sworn I was homicidal.

GLOOP:

The term has no referent. It must be rejected as nonsense. Now, if you'll just settle back on the couch, we'll proceed.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

NARRATOR:

At precisely this moment, a tall, gnarled, ugly man pushed his way through the doors of Home Therapy Appliances. His clothing, unpressed and uncaring, hung on him like corrugated iron. When the clerk, Haskins approached him, he flipped back his lapel to show a small silver badge underneath. [X]

HASKINS:

Sir?

RATH:

John Rath, Planetary Motors Security Division.

HASKINS:

Oh, yes, sir. (CALLS) Mr. Follansby? Mr. Follansby?

SOUND:

FOLLANSBY'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS IN

RATH:

Hello, Follansby.

FOLLANSBY:

Mr. Rath.

RATH:

Well?

FOLLANSBY:

So far we haven't a single lead.

RATH:

You're certain he never mentioned his name?

HASKINS:

Oh, yes, sir.

RATH:

Now, think! Is there anything significant?

FOLLANSBY:

Is it serious, Mr. Rath?

RATH:

Mr. Follansby, this man is homicidal.

FOLLANSBY:

Won't it treat him?

RATH:

Homicide is unknown on Mars. It'll treat him for the most likely Martian sickness.

FOLLANSBY:

What would that be?

RATH:

Feem desire, Mr. Follansby.

FOLLANSBY:

Feem desire?

RATH:

It's a Martian illness in which the victim feels cursed by the tree-like nourishing parent -- although, of course, Martians don't have parents in the ordinary sense. Well, Haskins?

HASKINS:

I - I remember one thing. He mentioned he was a jetbus operator for the New York Jetbus Authority.

RATH:

Ah!

HASKINS:

One other thing.

RATH:

Yes?

HASKINS:

I believe, uh-- Yes! He was alcoholic.

RATH:

An alcoholic jetbus operator? Excellent. It'll be on his records. Get the Jetbus Authority at once!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

GLOOP:

But surely, Elwood, you remember your goricae?

ELWOOD:

(WEARILY) No.

GLOOP:

Tell me, then, about your juvenile experiences with the thorastrian fleep.

ELWOOD:

Never had one.

GLOOP:

Hmm. Complete blockage.

ELWOOD:

My father--

GLOOP:

There's no such thing, of course.

ELWOOD:

But--

GLOOP:

I thought we'd finally agreed on that.

ELWOOD:

Okay, if you say so!

GLOOP:

Now, then. Since you claim you don't even know what a goricae is, tell me what you imagine it to be.

ELWOOD:

Um-- A forest fire! Uh-- A salt tablet? (BEAT) A small screwdriver? Am I getting warm? A revolver?

GLOOP:

(NO) Uh uh.

ELWOOD:

What the heck is a goricae?!

GLOOP:

(REVERENT) Why, the tree that nourished you into puberty.

ELWOOD:

No tree nourished me.

GLOOP:

You have completely repressed the experience.

ELWOOD:

No tree ever nourished me!

GLOOP:

Mr. Caswell, let me try to explain your case as best I can. Somewhere in your childhood, your goricae -- or parent tree -- stifled your feem desire. Now, this gave rise to your present urge to dwark someone in a vlendish manner.

ELWOOD:

To what?!

GLOOP:

To dwark someone in a vlendish manner.

ELWOOD:

(EXPLODES) Listen, you crummy piece of hardware! I have never had a goricae! I have no desire to dwark someone in a vlendish manner! Or any other manner! All I want to do is put a bullet into Herbert Magnessen! Understand?! All I want to do is kill Magnessen!

GLOOP:

(PATIENTLY) Lie down, Mr. Caswell. We'll go over it again.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

RATH:

(INTO PHONE) My dear man, I'm not trying to insinuate that the Jetbus Authority hires alcoholics. If you will just-- (PAUSE)

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

FOLLANSBY:

Any luck?

RATH:

It's a dead end. Now, Haskins--?

HASKINS:

Yes, sir?

RATH:

A man's life may be at stake here. Now, think! Was there anything else this fellow said to you? Anything?

HASKINS:

Well, he did mention the name of his friend.

RATH:

Of which friend?

HASKINS:

The one he was going to kill.

RATH:

The one he-- Why didn't you say so?! Now, what was it?

HASKINS:

Uhhhh-- Magnessen.

RATH:

You sure?

HASKINS:

That's it. He said, "I'm going to kill Magnessen." You know, just casually, like that.

RATH:

Follansby, see if there's a Magnessen in the Manhattan Phone Book. Now, hurry it up!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

GLOOP:

(COAXING) Yes, Mr. Caswell? You were saying?

ELWOOD:

Well--

GLOOP:

Something about your goricae?

ELWOOD:

Yes, I was saying I - I think perhaps you're right.

GLOOP:

Naturally. But right about what, Mr. Caswell?

ELWOOD:

Well, I think perhaps-- Yes, I think perhaps I do remember my goricae!

GLOOP:

(PLEASED) Ah! Now, Mr. Caswell, we're on the road to a cure!

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE

SOUND:

KNOCK AT DOOR ... DOOR OPENS

RATH:

Mr. Magnessen?

MAGNESSEN:

Yes?

RATH:

Do you know a short, angry-looking, red-haired man?

MAGNESSEN:

I might.

RATH:

Oh, thank heavens.

MAGNESSEN:

Or I might not.

RATH:

Can you tell us where to locate him?

MAGNESSEN:

You're a process server, huh?

RATH:

Certainly not.

MAGNESSEN:

Don't kid me.

RATH:

Mr. Magnessen, this man is trying to kill you.

MAGNESSEN:

Go on! You're full of happy pills. Elwood's my best friend.

RATH:

Elwood?

MAGNESSEN:

He loves me like a brother. And if you think I'm gonna sic some process server onto him--

RATH:

Mr. Magnessen, I'm not a process server. Your friend Elwood is a psychopathic killer! You're his intended victim! Can you get that through your thick skull? I'm trying to save your life!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

KNOCK AT DOOR ... DOOR OPENS

ELWOOD:

Yes?

RATH:

(WARY) You're Elwood Caswell?

ELWOOD:

Yes.

RATH:

The Elwood Caswell who bought a Rex Regenerator early this afternoon?

ELWOOD:

(VERY FRIENDLY) Yes! Won't you come in?

RATH:

Thank you.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES

RATH:

My name is Rath, Planetary Motors.

ELWOOD:

Nice to meet you.

RATH:

Uh, have you, uh, used the machine?

ELWOOD:

Oh, yes.

RATH:

I see. Mr. Caswell, I, uh-- I don't know how to explain this, but we made a terrible mistake. The Regenerator you took was a Martian model -- for giving therapy to Martians.

ELWOOD:

I know.

RATH:

You do?

ELWOOD:

Yes, it became pretty obvious after a while.

RATH:

It was a dangerous situation. Especially for a man in - your condition.

ELWOOD:

Yes. The poor thing tried its best, but, of course, it couldn't cure what wasn't there.

RATH:

Well, then, the company will, of course, reimburse you for your lost time and your-- Well, mental anguish.

ELWOOD:

Naturally.

RATH:

And we will substitute a regular, uh, human-type Regenerator.

ELWOOD:

Oh, that won't be necessary. You see--

RATH:

Uh, Mr. Caswell -- will you put down that gun? I warn you--

ELWOOD:

I'm not going to shoot you. I merely want to turn this gun over to you.

RATH:

You do?

ELWOOD:

Yes, I'm not going to shoot anybody.

RATH:

You mean that--?

ELWOOD:

The machine's attempt at therapy forced me to reappraise my whole self. There was an insight, during which I was able to get rid of my obsession.

RATH:

You no longer want to kill your friend Magnessen?

ELWOOD:

Kill Magnessen? Why, I haven't the faintest urge.

RATH:

Well, I-- I must say, then, that -- it worked out for the best. I, uh-- I'll get back to the store and have 'em pick up this machine in an hour and-- Well, sir--

ELWOOD:

Oh, don't forget to take this gun. I - I won't need it. (CHUCKLES)

RATH:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, of course. Well, nice to have met you, sir.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

RATH:

Good evening.

ELWOOD:

Good evening.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS ... ELWOOD'S FOOTSTEPS TO ANOTHER WEAPON WHICH CLICKS!

ELWOOD:

(INCREASINGLY MANIACAL) Did you hear that? He asked me if I still intended to kill Magnessen. Magnessen! That inhuman monster who cut down my goricae! Magnessen! The man who, even now, is secretly planning to infect New York with abhorrent feem desire! Am I going to kill him?! Oh ho, noooo! I wish him a long life! A life filled with the torture I can now inflict on him! Kill Magnessen?! Oh, noooo! I'm going to start right now -- to dwark him in a vlendish manner!

MUSIC:

A QUICK, COMICAL ACCENT FOR A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

You have just heard "X Minus One," presented by the National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine which this month features "Honorable Opponent" by Clifford D. Simak, the story of an Earth general with a distasteful assignment of meeting a delegation of unmilitary clowns who arrive as conquerors. Galaxy Magazine, on your newsstand today.

In a moment, tonight's cast and a preview of next week's exciting drama.

COMMERCIAL:

CHORUS SINGS AN UNOFFICIAL 1956 AIR FORCE SONG, "AIR FORCE BLUE" BY MARILYN SCOTT AND KEITH TEXTOR

CHORUS:

(SINGS)
They took the blue from the skies and a pretty girl's eyes
And a touch of Old Glory's hue,
And gave it to the men who proudly wear the U.S. Air Force Blue.
The U.S. Air Force Blue!

Oh, we are men with a dream on America's team.
We're a rugged and ready crew.
And you can bet your boots the world looks up to U.S. Air Force Blue.
To U.S. Air Force Blue!

We know where we're goin', we've set our course.
The sky's no limit in the Air Force.

They took the blue from the skies and a pretty girl's eyes
And a touch of Old Glory's hue,
And gave it to the men who proudly wear the U.S. Air Force Blue.
We proudly wear the Blue.
The U.S. Air Force Blue!

MUSIC:

SONG ENDS ... CLOSING THEME SNEAKS IN UNDER FOLLOWING--

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, by transcription, "X Minus One" has brought you "Bad Medicine," a story from the pages of Galaxy written by Finn O'Donnevan and adapted for radio by George Lefferts. Featured in the cast were Cliff Carpenter, Bill Britton, Allen Manson, Charles Webster, Karl Weber, and Joseph Julian. Norman Rose was heard as the machine. Your announcer, Fred Collins. "X Minus One" was directed by Bob Mauer and is an NBC Radio Network production.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH