The Lost Seinfeld Episode:
“The Cold Shower”
Jerry is in his apartment watching TV. The phone rings.
Jerry: Hello? Oh hi, Melanie. That’s right, it’s tonight. I’m looking forward to it.
He listens with a puzzled look. When he is about to speak he’s thrown off by loud sounds of screaming ("Lord Almighty, that's Cold!") coming from the direction of Kramer’s apartment.
Jerry: Sorry, I just heard a strange noise. Boy, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know they had treatment programs for bad breath. That’s great. (Listens.) Yeah, now I’m really looking forward to it. Okay. Yup, I’ll meet you there at 7:30. Okay, bye.
Jerry hangs up and watches more TV.
Sound from TV: Cure your bad breath in 10 easy steps with “Breathe Again”, now only 19.95…
Jerry: There you go.
Kramer enters in his bathrobe, still toweling off.
Jerry: Hey, what are you doing, you’re dripping everywhere. What’s going on over there? I heard screaming.
Kramer: Oh that’s the cold shower, buddy.
Jerry: Cold shower?
Kramer: Oh yeah. I’ve tried ‘em before but I’m back into ‘em big time.
Kramer: Oh yeah, Jerry, it’s a whole new life I’m living. You know in Brazil they don’t have hot showers.
Jerry: No, I didn’t know that.
Jerry: But that’s Brazil. We have hot shower technology here. This is America. We can afford to heat the water.
Kramer: I’m off the hot.
Jerry: You should be ashamed of yourself. Our ancestors broke their backs working to give us the luxury of the hot shower and here you’re throwing it back in their faces.
Kramer: I want you to try it, Jerry.
Jerry: No way. I’m a hot shower man. I can’t live without the hot shower.
Kramer: See Jerry? You’re too dependent on it. That’s why I got a smile of my face, buddy. I’m free.
The buzzer sounds. George is coming up.
Jerry: You know what? How long have you been taking these cold showers?
Kramer: Two days.
Jerry: Yeah. This isn’t gonna last.
Kramer: Oh you’re mistaken about that.
Jerry: Uh-huh. We’ll see.
George: So what?
Jerry: Well let’s have it, let’s have the performance.
Jerry: Come on, what’s it gonna be? The guy on the elevator, the guy on the sidewalk, the cabdriver? The security guard?
George: I don’t perform Jerry. I have real concerns. Real.
Jerry: Uh-huh. Like having the TV on too loud and waking up your parents.
George: I don't need that today, Jerry.
Jerry: Yeah, uh-huh.
George looks at the bath-robed, now towel-headed Kramer looking through Jerry’s cabinets.
George: What’s going on here?
Jerry: Oh. Kramer’s on a cold shower kick.
Kramer: That’s right, George. And it could work wonders for you too.
George: What does it do?
Jerry: Do you have to ask? Obviously it makes you nosy and cheap.
Kramer: You just have to try it, George. Tomorrow just skip all that fiddling with the knobs and just get in, just jump into the cold and let out a scream. YEAH! Just let it go. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Jerry: Something tells me you won’t be trying it.
George: Are you kidding? Jerry, a hot shower is one of the only things I have left that I truly look forward to.
Jerry: That’s what I said. I can’t live without the hot shower.
George: And I’m not afraid to say it, Jerry. I can’t live!
Jerry: You wonder how they did it before the hot shower.
George: You really do.
Buzzer again. Elaine is coming up.
George: What are you doing later?
Jerry: I’m having dinner with Melanie.
George: Who is this?
Jerry: She’s a writer, comedian, fan. You know, shoptalker?
Enter Elaine, all smiles.
Elaine: Hey guys. Guess who just got looked at?
Jerry: You got looked at?
Jerry: I don’t blame ‘em. You’re looking pretty sharp.
Elaine: Thank you. There’s nothing like getting looked at when you’re ready. I was really ready for it, you know?
George: What kind of look?
Elaine: A good one. Told me a lot.
Jerry: Hey I was just telling George I’m having dinner with Melanie tonight.
Elaine: Oh yeah?
Jerry: Yeah, you know what she was just telling me about on the phone? Her bad breath treatments.
Elaine: Can you believe that George? Jerry told her she had bad breath.
George: What? You did that?
George: What were you thinking? You can’t do that.
Jerry: Why not?
Elaine: Yeah, why not?
George: You just don’t tell somebody something like that. Nothing that mature and honest is ever a good thing. You alter your breathing, you back up, but you definitely don’t say anything.
Jerry: Alter your breathing?
George: Mouth only. You can’t smell through your mouth.
Jerry: No kidding.
Elaine: Why not tell ‘em? Then they can fix it.
George: Have you ever smelled someone with bad breath who tried to fix it? I once knew a man with horrendous halitosis who always chewed big red, thinking that would cover it up. Have you ever smelled the breath of someone with halitosis chewing big red?
Elaine and Jerry: No.
George: Then you haven’t smelled true bad breath.
Jerry: Oh please. Like it smelled worse with big red.
George: Yes, way worse.
Jerry: How could it be worse? It could only be better.
George: Jerry there’s a level that’s so bad, there is no better. And at that level if you try to make it better, you make it worse. You see?
Elaine: Do I ever have bad breath?
George: Elaine, what are you doing?
Elaine: What? I want to know.
George: No you don’t.
Elaine: George, what are you saying? I have bad breath? All the time?
Elaine: I knew it. I brush and floss and floss and brush but it’s never enough. Why do I have to like onions so much?
Jerry: You know, I’ve smelled onion breath. It’s not a bad breath.
Jerry: Oh yeah.
Elaine: Shut up.
Jerry: No, I’m not kidding.
Kramer: Hey Elaine.
Elaine: Hey. Boy you’re looking good.
Jerry: See Jerry, that’s the cold showers, tightens your skin.
Jerry: Yeah right.
They hear a loud scream through the wall. “Holy God, that’s Cold!”
Elaine: What the hell was that?
Kramer: Oh that’s Craig down the hall. I got him taking the cold showers.
Jerry: Oh this is gonna be just great. I’m gonna be hearing these screams all day. How many guys you got doing this?
Kramer: There’s a few of us.
George: I don’t understand the screaming.
Kramer: It distributes the blood.
Jerry: All right that’s enough.
George: And you say it tightens the skin?
Kramer: It’s a like a face-lift. Look at me. And George, it makes you feel right.
Jerry: I feel right already. All right, you guys gotta go I’m going out.
Elaine: Why can’t we stay?
Jerry: You guys can’t all be in here when I’m not here.
George: Why not?
Kramer: I’m in here all the time.
Jerry: Leave! Get your coats, let’s go!
Jerry with Melanie at restaurant.
Jerry: No, I really would rather not smell your breath.
Melanie: come on Jerry, I have to know if the treatment’s working.
Jerry: Can’t you smell it yourself?
Melanie: No. I need you.
Jerry: Oh all right.
She walks over and breathes into his face. He makes a face, to which she makes a face.
Jerry and George at Monk’s
Jerry: So I had to tell her, it’s still bad.
Melanie: What’d she say?
Jerry: She was okay with it.
George: Okay with it?
Jerry: She said she just started on the bad breath program. Evidently, it takes time.
George: She wasn’t embarrassed, ashamed?
Jerry: No. We just went on with dinner.
George: What did she order?
Jerry: Um, the lobster bisque.
George: The lobster bisque. That doesn’t tell me anything. You know what the key is? Never expel breath. To talk, you don’t need a lot of air travel. Keep your distance, keep your breath expulsion to an absolute minimum and we’re living in a better world, Jerry.
Jerry: What about kissing?
George: Now that’s a tough one. That’s really tough.
George: You know I once threw up in a girl’s mouth?
Jerry: What? Yuck!
George: It was her breath. It was so bad I had an instant convulsion.
Flashback: George is a younger man in a car with an attractive young woman. George narrates.
Narration: The girl was gorgeous. She had blue eyes, very blue. Normally I wouldn’t notice eyes, but hers were something. And it wasn’t like I went in for the kiss, we both went in for the kiss together. It was beautiful. Except: she came in with her mouth WIDE open, and like a …a wave of hot, pungent bad breath filled my oral cavity and I vomited. I pulled away as fast as I could but it wasn’t fast enough.
Jerry: And this was after dinner?
Jerry: And you had?
George: The clams.
Jerry: A second ago I was thinking about ordering a tuna sandwich.
Jerry: Wow. That’s quite a story. Why haven’t I ever heard this one?
George: I’ve been saving it.
Jerry: You save?
George: Of course.
Jerry: When you see a beautiful woman, you don’t think about the possibility that she could have bad breath.
George: You don’t.
Jerry’s Apartment, he’s watching TV
Enter Kramer, looking glum.
Kramer: Did it feel a little cold in here this morning? Colder than normal?
Kramer: Are you sure?
Jerry: Yeah, why? What’s wrong?
Kramer: It was cold this morning Jerry. I got up my feet were freezing. I was shivering. But, you know, it’s shower time. I’m already cold I turn that water on it’s like ice, Jerry.
Jerry: Oh big deal, so you broke down.
Kramer: But you can’t do that Jerry. Once you’re on the program you gotta stick with it. You can’t relapse, it’ll ruin you. I thought I could add just a little warm in, just a little, just to take the edge off.
Flashback to Kramer in his shower.
Narration (Kramer): I put one leg in it was still cold, Jerry, WOW it was cold. I thought, oh I can nudge it a little more, but my leg slipped and I nudged it too much. I’m on my back, I almost hit my head on the side, and then I felt it. Hot. It was hot, Jerry. I’ve never felt it so hot. It felt so good, I can’t tell you how good it felt.
Kramer: But now it feels wrong. Look, I’m droopy.
Jerry: No you’re not. You did the right thing. We’re a hot shower people.
Kramer: No, Jerry, no!
Jerry: Accept it, Kramer. It’s who we are.
Kramer: I can’t accept it.
The sound of screaming from another apartment. “Lord my God in Heaven, that’s So Cold!”
Kramer: Hear that? What would they think if they knew their leader broke down?
Jerry: Oh forget them. They’ll all be steaming up their bathrooms by tomorrow.
Kramer: I don’t think so Jerry. These are strong men.
Kramer: Listen to ‘em. They’re real men. They can handle a little cold, and look at me. What am I gonna do, Jerry?
They hear knocking on Kramer’s door, and then knocking on Jerry’s door.
Kramer: Don’t answer that.
Jerry: Oh please.
Jerry opens the door.
Craig: Hey, Jerry. Is Kramer in here?
Jerry: Yeah, come on in.
Craig: Hey, K-man. Seems a little quiet over there today. You’re looking a little droopy.
Kramer: No, had to skip the shower this morning, running late. But I’ll be whooping it up later, that’s for sure. Can’t wait.
Craig: Boy what a shower I just had. I feel amazing Jerry. Look at how good I look. See you guys.
Kramer: Let me try your shower.
Jerry: You want to use my shower?
Kramer: I’m living a lie here, Jerry. I need you to just push me in.
Jerry: No. You’re gonna be naked. I’m not pushing you naked.
Kramer: I’ll leave my shorts on.
Kramer is tearing his clothes off running for the bathroom. We hear the water come on. He calls out, “Okay Jerry, I’m ready!"
Jerry: Oh…all right.
He walks back to the bathroom door. He darts in and out, shoving Kramer into the cold water. A blood-curdling scream from Kramer. “Oh my God that’s So Cold!”
Jerry walks back to the couch shaking his head.
Buzzer. It’s Melanie
Intercom (Melanie): I was in the neighborhood, thought I’d drop off those pictures I was telling you about.
Jerry: Oh okay, come on up.
Kramer walks out of the bathroom in Jerry’s bathrobe, toweling off.
Kramer: Who was that?
Jerry: Melanie. She’s coming up.
Kramer: Did you invite her?
Jerry: No, she’s just kind of popping in.
Kramer: Let me ask you something. Have you ever not answered that buzzer?
Kramer: Have you ever not answered your phone?
Kramer: Dammit Jerry, what are you doing to yourself?
Jerry: Hi Melanie. This is Kramer.
Kramer: See ya.
Jerry: Hey I want my robe back, Kramer, and my towel!
Melanie: Here’s the pictures.
Jerry: Yeah, thanks. Oh look at that. That’s me at the Factory of Laughs, that’s in Wilmington, I remember that. Thanks.
He goes to the couch with the pictures.
Jerry: Oh, can you just press that button by the door?
Melanie: Sure. Who’s that?
Jerry: George. I told you about him.
Melanie: Um, George, George?
Jerry: Yeah, George.
Melanie: George, George…Oh, your friend the little bald guy?
At this last phrase the door opens.
George: Oh, hi! Well, guess who I am? “The little bald guy.” Is that how you described me to her Jerry? Cause from now on guess who you are when somebody asks? You ready? The skinny, effeminate guy. How do you like that? Huh?
Melanie: I’m sorry.
Jerry: George this is one of your best performances yet. Bravo!
George: Thank you. So you’re Melanie?
Jerry: Yeah that’s Melanie. My God these pictures are fantastic.
George: Can ask you something?
George: It’s about the whole bad breath thing.
Melanie: What? Jerry, you told him about my bad breath?
Jerry: Thanks a lot George. Yes, I did.
Melanie: Okay. Yeah, I’m on treatments for it though, but Jerry says it’s still pretty bad.
George: So you do have bad breath.
Melanie: Yes, I do.
George: And yet you still talk as if you don’t. Have you considered limiting your breath expulsion? You know, you don’t need a lot of air movement to talk. And there’s a way of speaking off to the side of people? You know what I mean?
George exaggeratedly enacts his breath limitation, keep-your-distance principles.
George: So tell me about the treatments, the breath treatments.
Melanie: What’s that?
George: The bad breath treatments. What are they like?
Melanie: Why did you back up?
George: No reason.
Melanie: Jerry I gotta go. See you next week.
Jerry: Okay. Hey thanks again.
Jerry: George, look at this.
He hands picture to George.
Jerry: Isn’t that a good one?
George brings the picture to his nose and smells it.
Jerry: What are you doing?
George: Oh my God, do you smell that?
Jerry: Who smells pictures?
Jerry smells it.
Jerry: Oh my God.
George: That’s her bad breath.
Jerry: The pictures smell like her bad breath!
Jerry tosses the pictures on the floor.
George: Hmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
George: Maybe it’s not her breath that you’re smelling Jerry. Maybe it’s her smell.
Jerry: Her smell?
George: People have smells Jerry.
Jerry: I know that. I know all about people having smells. I wrote the book on personal smells. So don’t tell me!
George: Well there it is. How else would the pictures smell like her bad breath?
Jerry: I don’t know. Maybe she licked them.
George: Licked the pictures? Is that possible?
Jerry: No. There would be traces, tongue traces.
Looking through them.
George: There's no trace, no tongue trace.
Jerry: But I’ve never heard of someone having a personal smell that was the equivalent of a bad breath smell. The thought is too terrible.
George: The point is you lied to her. The bad breath treatments aren’t going to help her. She has a bad overall smell. You have to tell her.
Jerry: I’m not telling her that. It’s too devastating.
George: But you’ve led her astray.
Jerry: What are you talking about? You were the one saying I should have never said anything in the first place.
George: But you did, and you were wrong. You were off on the source of the smell. Off-source.
Jerry: I was off-source!
George: Now you have to tell her it’s her overall smell.
Jerry: No. I’ll just cut it off. I’ll cut off the whole friendship.
George: Well now I know Jerry. Now I know what kind of friend you really are.
Jerry: All right, I’ll call her.
He dials Melanie.
Jerry: What am I gonna tell her? “I smelled your pictures and we figured out the bad breath smell was your personal smell?”
George: Overall smell.
Jerry: Overall smell? This is insane…Oh, it’s her machine, she’s not home.
He hangs up.
George: Why didn’t you leave a message?
Jerry: I’ll call her later.
George: You better.
Jerry: Will you knock it off. What do you care?
George: You know what? I changed my mind. You shouldn’t tell her.
Jerry: You are really something.
More cold shower screaming from another apartment.
Jerry: Do you believe this? I’m hearing this screaming and shouting all day.
George: You know what I think? I think they’re faking it.
George: They’re doing the yells, but they’re not taking the cold showers. No way.
Jerry: How do you know?
George: Because I tried it. Yesterday.
Jerry: You took a cold shower?
George: Not exactly.
Flashback: George in his bathrobe by the shower.
Narration: I’m not an attractive man Jerry. I need all the help I can get. If it makes you look better, if it tightens the skin, why not give it a shot, right? So…I just turn the cold on, no hot. Jerry I put my hand in there I thought I saw ice crystals forming, and you don’t get the same pressure, see? The water stream is weaker. I realized, to get into that shower with that ice cold water would be totally crazy. There’s nothing between you and the water, direct cold contact. These are conditions you wouldn’t want to go out in if you had winter clothes on, a trench coat and an umbrella. I reached right down there cranked up the hot and stepped in with a smile on my face, my friend.
Jerry: Good for you. So you think they’re faking the screams?
George: I guarantee it.
Jerry: I gotta tell Kramer about this. He needs to hear this.
Jerry grabs the phone as Kramer enters.
Jerry: Hey. Listen to this.
He motions to George.
George: They’re fakers. Your cold shower friends with their “Oh My God, that’s
So Cold!”-- all that screaming and yelling. That water’s not cold.
Kramer: What are you talking about? Who told you that?
George: I just know.
Kramer: I’m afraid you don’t know what you’re talking about, George. I know these men.
Jerry: Do you?
Kramer: I think so, but…maybe…
George: You’d have to be insane to take these cold showers. You’re insane, but they’re not all insane.
Jerry: I gotta stop you there George. To fake the screams of a cold shower just so whoever happens to be in the listening area will think you’re taking a cold shower is probably a little more insane than actually taking one.
George: Jerry that is not the issue. It’s a good point, but it’s a side issue. The point is they’re fakers.
Kramer: No George, now that I think about it I think you’re right. It would be so much easier to just fake the screams. I never thought of that.
Jerry: Maybe they like the screaming.
Kramer: They aren’t strong men, they’re weaklings, they’re liars.
George: They’re hypocrites.
A knock on the door. It’s Craig.
Craig: Hey Kramer. I heard you cold showering in here. Why are you using Jerry’s shower?
Kramer: He let me use it.
Craig: Why’d you let him use it, Jerry?
Jerry: What does it matter to you?
George speaks to Craig.
George: I think I heard you over there shouting and carrying on. That was pretty good.
Craig: What do you mean?
George: It was a good performance, very…convincing.
George: Yeah. You know, pretending like you were taking a cold shower.
Craig: Pretending? Yeah right. Like I’m going to pretend to take a cold shower. Look at my skin, how tight it is. Look how good I look, and ask yourself: why am I still ruining myself with hot showers? Come on Kramer, when are you going to get through to these guys?
Kramer: I don’t know.
Craig: Jerry, can I use your shower?
Craig: Only Kramer, huh?
Jerry: Nobody! No more shower-sharing, Kramer. I don’t need the suspicion.
George: Because of the effeminacy.
Jerry: Yes, because of the effeminacy.
Craig: Okay, I’m out of here. You guys are stupid.
Jerry: What’s with him?
George: What’s with him? Jerry, he’s insane. You just said so.
Jerry: Yes, I guess I did.
Melanie: Hi, Jerry. It’s Melanie. I just checked my caller ID. You called?
Jerry: Oh yeah. Um…
Makes a face of angry desperation at George. He mouths "Caller ID!"
Jerry: Um, I can’t remember.
Melanie: What? What’s going on Jerry? Is this about my bad breath?
Jerry: Not really. Kinda.
Melanie: What does that mean?
Jerry: George was thinking I might have been…off-source.
Jerry: When I told you you had bad breath, I narrowed things down, and I think the truth is your…overall…smell is what’s bad.
Melanie: Well, to tell you the truth Jerry, maybe you need to get your nose checked. No one has ever complained about my smell before.
Jerry: Are you questioning my sense of smell?
Melanie: Yes, I am.
Jerry: I’ve never heard of a faulty sense of smell.
Melanie: That doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Jerry: Things you have never heard of can happen, that’s true. Ever heard of someome faking a cold shower?
Jerry: Ever heard of a bad breath smell that was the equivalent of a…
Melanie: Jerry, I’m going to the Adirondacks. I’m not going to be around for a while.
Jerry: Okay. Have a nice trip. Bye.
He turns to George and Kramer.
Jerry: She said she’s going to the Adirondacks.
Kramer: Oh yeah! I’ll go!
Jerry: Did you just hear that conversation?
Kramer: You know I knew a guy who lost his sense of smell. He ended up burning his face off.
Jerry: Okay, maybe you could lose it, but it doesn’t go haywire. You don’t pick up a strawberry and smell a banana.
Kramer: But if a strawberry looks like a banana, at first it smells like a banana.
George: What does?
Kramer: The strawberry.
George: How could a strawberry look like a banana?
They hear a snapping sound and turn to the kitchen. Jerry has snapped on a pair of surgical gloves.
George: What are you doing?
Jerry: I’m going to put those pictures in the trash.
Kramer: See, strawberry and banana, they’re similar smells.
George: Similar smells, are you kidding? They’re opposites.
Kramer: No, don’t be fooled by the differences in shape, color and texture between the two fruits, George. Smell is what they have in common.
George: They’re totally different smells. Look at Starburst. The banana is disgusting. No one likes banana. There’s always a banana surplus in the arena of candy. But the strawberry is fantastic. Everybody loves the strawberry.
Kramer: Now you’re talking about taste. I’m talking smell.
George: They taste like what they smell like.
Kramer: How do you know? You see, George…
The conversation continues. Fade Out. The End.
Copyright 2006, by Christopher Duckett