the one about abortion
Joey and Chandler are throwing peanuts at each other in the kitchen of Monica’s apartment. Chandler accidentally hits Joey in the crotch with a peanut. Joey freezes, looks down at his wiener, and then grins at Chandler and says, “How you doin?”
Chandler dives under the coffee table, yelling, “No homo! No homo! No homo!”
Monica and Phoebe enter the apartment. Phoebe is wearing a broomstick skirt and twitching. Monica is carrying bags and bags of lemons, just an unreasonable amount of lemons.
Chandler pokes his head out from under the coffee table. “I know things have been slow at work, Mon, but don’t you think it’s a little cold for a lemonade stand?”
Monica shoots back, “Aren’t you a little old for hide and seek?”
Ross is being his best self, which is to say that Ross is absent.
Chandler: “So what’s the story with the lemons, Monica?”
Monica: “I got a catering gig for this huge record producer at the launch of a new girl group called Lemon Tart. If it goes well, my business will really take off!”
Phoebe tries to catch a butterfly that only she can see. Joey pokes himself in the eye, then sneezes.
Monica: “Hey, has anyone seen Rachel? She said she would help me zest these lemons.” Monica holds up a lemon in each hand in front of her chest.
Chandler: “Can I watch?”
Joey, trying unsuccessfully to tie his shoes: “No, I haven’t seen her. Darnit, Phoebs, what happens after the rabbit goes around the tree again?”
Phoebe, staring out the window: “Hm? Oh, the rabbit eats its father. It’s been a long winter. Choices must be made.”
Joey nods. “That’s it. Thanks, Phoebs.” He finishes tying his shoes.
Rachel enters from the bathroom. She looks distracted and pale.
Monica: “Oh hi! There you are. So, I don’t know if you noticed but I got the lemons.” She holds up two lemons in front of her chest again, shoots a look at Chandler, and then quickly moves them away from her chest.
Chandler: “It doesn’t even matter.” He taps his temple. “It’s in here now.”
Rachel: “Oh honey, the lemons.”
Monica: “You forgot.”
Rachel: “I’m just… I’m a little under the weather.” She pauses. “Do you remember that date I went on last month?”
Monica: “The insurance broker?”
Chandler: “The bartender?”
Phoebe: “The matador?”
Rachel: “That’s the one! Antonio. Well, he had to go home to Barthelona.”
Chandler: “Oh, thweetie. That’th tho thad.”
Rachel: “I know. And I think he was the one. He was really kinda special. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel that way about someone again.”
Monica: “My sous chef just broke up with his girlfriend.”
Rachel: “Oh, Marcus? Is he ready to date again?”
Phoebe: “Hey, do you want to hear a joke? What do you call a matador with an eyepatch?”
Phoebe: “Older. Wiser. More respectful.”
Monica: “I really need your help, Rach. I have to get 40 pounds of lemons zested, juiced, and prepped before 6 pm tonight, or I might as well just call and quit right now. I don’t need to tell you how hard I’ve worked for this kind of opportunity.”
Rachel: “Oh, I don’t know…”
Monica: “I asked Marcus to come help, too.”
Rachel: “Give me five minutes!” She dashes into the bedroom, then pokes her head back out. “Is Marcus more of a boob man, or…?”
Chandler: “You know who’s a boob man. Me. I love em. Can’t get enough a dem boobies.”
Marcus, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are in the kitchen. Operation Lemon is underway. Monica and Phoebe are zesting. Rachel and Marcus are juicing. Rachel is wearing a low-cut top, really squeezing the hell out of those lemons.
Phoebe, to Monica: “Is it me, or do Rachel’s lemons look… extra ripe?”
Monica: “I noticed that too! She must be wearing a water bra.”
Phoebe: “A water bra? Please, Monica. Everyone knows that bras are a fire sign.”
Monica: “Let’s pick up the pace people! I’ve gotta be out that door at 6 pm with this work done!”
Rachel, to Marcus: “Does she always ride you this hard in the kitchen?”
Marcus: “Yeah, but I like it. I love when the boss takes charge.”
Rachel squeezes a lemon to death and a fountain of lemon juice spurts all over the counter.
Rachel: “Oh! Goodness!”
Marcus: “Looks like you’re the boss.”
Monica: “Rachel, can I see you over here for a second?”
Rachel, looking thirstily into Marcus’s eyes: “No.”
Monica, loudly: “Phoebe, do you remember when we went on spring break to Galveston and Rachel decided she could win the all you can eat shrimp contest? After about 37 dozen shrimp, she turned this really interesting color…”
Rachel, to Marcus: “Excuse me.” She spins around to slap a hand over Monica’s mouth. “Don’t you dare.”
Phoebe: “… Oh! Oh! Oh! And she ralphed all over that child’s birthday cake!”
Marcus: “That’s funny.”
Phoebe: “Yes. It would have been funny. But the child was an orphan. And she was allergic to shellfish. I’ll never forget the sounds she made…”
Monica, to Rachel: “I really need you to focus. Flirt all you want and by all means have fun, but I also need this work done by 6. At this rate, you’ll be a mother before these lemons get juiced.”
Rachel: “Nag nag nag.”
Monica: “I have a lot more stories, Rachel. Mardi Gras. The Disney Cruise. The filthy, glorious things you did with Chip and Dale…”
Rachel: “Say no more. You got it, boss. Eyes on the prize.” She spins around, then snaps to Marcus, “Enough with the chit chat, let’s get squeezing.” She juices the lemons with renewed vigor.
Marcus: “So. Chip and Dale, huh?”
Everyone is in the apartment playing Poker at the coffee table. Everyone, that is, except Ross. Because Gone Ross is Best Ross.
Phoebe: “Full house!”
Chandler: “That’s a jack, a 3, a queen, an ace, and a 7.”
Phoebe: “And with the addition of that surprise number 7, that house is now full. Nobody was expecting it, but sometimes blessings arrive unannounced.”
Chandler: “Well, in that case, I have a straight.”
He lays his cards down one by one in one straight line.
Phoebe points at the two Jacks in his hand, one on top of the other. “Oh honey, no, that’s not straight.”
Chandler kicks over the coffee table, runs into the bathroom, and stands under the shower spray, sucking his thumb and chanting: “NO HOMO! NO HOMO! NO HOMO!”
Phoebe glides over to the bathroom door, leans against the frame, and murmurs lovingly into the bathroom, “We’ll accept you no matter what, my lovely, darling, lost little love. We already love you just as you are. What do you have to lose but your chains?”
Monica enters, wearing her catering getup.
Rachel: “Well? How’d it the big launch go? Did they love the lemon tarts?”
Monica: “I have good news and bad news.”
Joey: “Hey, that’s what the doctor said when I was born! Woah, what’s that?” He points to a book.
Rachel: “It’s a book, Joey.”
Joey picks it up. “Huh!”
Monica: “The good news is that the lemon tarts were a raging success and I have seven more gigs booked for next month.”
Rachel: “What’s the bad news?”
Monica, turns to Rachel, serious: “Marcus met someone at the launch.”
Chandler emerges from the bathroom in fresh clothes, his hair tousled and still wet, his goofball mask reaffixed.
Rachel, very high: “Oh? He did?”
Monica: “Yeah. A model.”
Rachel, even higher: “Oh? A model?”
Chandler: “I love models!”
Monica: “A swimsuit model.”
Rachel, barely making any sound now: “A swimsuit model?”
Chandler: “I LOVE SWIMSUIT MODELS.”
Monica: “Named Ashton.”
Chandler: “Wait, are you talking about Ashton Wakefield? I saw him walk in Grayson Boyd’s show in New York Fashion Week. I dream about his calves.”
Phoebe: “I love you. And I’m so proud.”
Chandler: “I mean… um… I guess… I mean what I said.”
Monica: “Marcus and Ashton left together. They went back to Marcus’s place. I’m so sorry—”
Rachel looks at her watch. “I better get over there! I wonder if I’m too late for round one. Chandler? You want to come with me? You know what they say — three’s a crowd but four’s a rumpus!”
Chandler: “You know what? Yeah. I do want to come with you.”
Phoebe squeezes Chandler’s hand. “Fly, little sparrow. You’re free.”
Chandler and Rachel start to exit. On the way out the door, Chandler says: “So glad I wore my good undies today.”
Rachel: “Honey, same!”
Phoebe turns to Monica.
Phoebe: “What do you want to do tonight to celebrate? We could go to the park and meditate with the pigeons. Or, oh! We could rollerblade down the Brooklyn Bridge!”
Monica: “You know, I’m gonna take a shower and go to bed. I have to get up early in the morning.”
Monica: “No, I’m 8 weeks pregnant. I have to get an abortion.”
Monica: “Max-very-well. Max-a-little-too-well.”
Ross enters. Ross sputters.
Ross: “Monica, I don’t think you know what you’re doing here. You’re about to sacrifice the precious gift of parenthood for what, for your professional ambition? For a dream that you’ve worked your entire life to realize, and is just now within your grasp? It’s not even like you have a good reason to do it, like incest or child marriage. I mean, if you were the victim of a violent crime maybe — maybe — I could understand this, but just for you? For your life? For your dreams? Who do you even think you are? What about the dream of motherhood, Monica? What about my dreams? What about the dream of unclehood? What about Uncle Ross? Doesn’t Uncle Ross get a say in this—”
Monica taps the handle of the lemon zester, making it spin off the counter and into her hand. She hurls the zester across the room in a perfect spinning knife throw and the blade buries itself in Ross’s right eye.
He falls to the ground, screaming. “It burns! It burns! Oh, god, is this covered in lemon juice?”
Monica, “If you don’t want one, Ross, then you don’t have to have one. And if I don’t want one, then I don’t have to have one. Got it?”
Ross whimpers and flaps his hands. Classic.
Monica, to Phoebe: “So hey, will you pick me up at 10 from the clinic in midtown?”
Monica goes into her bedroom and closes the door.
Phoebe stands over Ross, braiding her long hair: “What do you call a mansplainer with an eyepatch? Older. Wiser. More respectful.”
Phoebe leans down to whisper in his ear. “FYI, Rachel and Chandler are double-teaming a swimsuit model named Ashton, and Joey is reading Margaret Atwood.”
Joey is, in fact, sitting by the large wall of windows. He’s wearing a green cardigan and reads a hardback copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” A steaming mug of chammomile tea rests on the table at his side. He looks up and comments, “The idea of a theonomy is only chilling because I know it could happen. Now more than ever we need engaged citizenship to preserve our personal freedoms.”
He shakes his head, sips his tea, and returns to the book.
Phoebe continues. “You don’t hold up, Geller. You shoulda stayed gone. Gone Ross is Best Ross.”
If hope you laughed, fist-pumped, or screamed at the full moon while reading about ‘Ol Sputterface Ross Eustace Geller taking a lemon zester to the eye.
I’m a working writer who made the choice to be accountable to readers, not advertisers. My site is ad-free and spam-free, and I count on you to show me when you find a post valuable.
Contributions, support, feedback, and shares from readers keep this page going, so thank you for being here. I appreciate you!