[Elaine and Kramer stand in the entryway of her apartment, surveying the scene. Elaine looks miserable while Kramer is flabbergasted.]
KRAMER: I mean it’s uncanny Elaine. Like leftover Chef Boyardee.
[Elaine doesn’t respond, she just stares at him angry at the horrible pun.]
ELAINE: So it really looks the same?
KRAMER: Exactly the same. I mean, the couches are arranged the same, the coffee table in the center, those shelves with the same little picture frames, and – even that picture of the male…anatomy is in the same spot over the TV.
[Elaine cocks her head.]
ELAINE: I thought that was a picture of a lighthouse.
KRAMER: Oh, you’d be wrong.
ELAINE: Why is it striped? And why is it on a beach?
KRAMER: [sighs] Elaine, of course, it’s not actually that it’s meant to be symbolic. To express the duality of man.
ELAINE: What duality?
KRAMER: You know, how man aspires to build both in the world and build his legacy.
ELAINE: You’re talking out of your ass here, aren’t you? You don’t know anything about art.
KRAMER: Oh, you don’t think the great art historian, Charles Van Nostram, knows anything about modern art?
ELAINE: Isn’t Peter Van Nostram the name you gave to one of my ex-boyfriends back when you were trying to get your favorite jacket back?
KRAMER: [looking startled that Elaine remembers this.] Yes, but Charles Van Nostram is different.
KRAMER: He’s an actual person.
ELAINE: Not someone you made up.
ELAINE: Oh great, so if I were to Google “Charles Van Nostram art historian” there would be a bunch of results, right?
KRAMER: Well yes, of course, I mean, there would have been if not for his tragic bout of insanity and subsequent disgraced dismissal from the Columbia University art department.
ELAINE: [with shock that is clearly sarcastic.] My god.
KRAMER: Oh yes, it was quite an emotional time for fans of Dr. Van Nostram.
ELAINE: Well that must have been quite the scandal, surely one significant enough to have been reported somewhere.
[She and Kramer exchange a long look. Each knows Kramer has been lying, but neither is willing to break. Elaine slowly walks towards Kramer, unblinking, until they are chest to chest with her staring up at him. After a moment she jerks her head forward slightly, but quickly, causing Kramer to screech and fall backward over the couch behind him.]
ELAINE: Alright, ya big dumb praying mantis, if you like the painting you can have it. But either way, it’s gone as well.
KRAMER: [after straightening back up with a huff.] Okay, well I will go ahead and add it to the Kramer collection.
ELAINE: I will put it in your pile [she motions to a stack of boxes and a gaudy easy chair off to the side] and once you’ve gotten everything else moved out it’s all yours.
KRAMER: Boy, I really don’t understand why you’re getting rid of all your furniture. I mean just because you’re apartment looks like–
ELAINE: Do not say his name, Kramer. I will not have those two syllables spoken aloud in my house.
KRAMER: I mean, what’s the big deal, Elaine? So your apartment looks just like Newman’s.
[Elaine visibly cringes and unleashes a guttural cry.]
KRAMER: [talking over the cry] That’s no reason to sell all of your stuff.
ELAINE: Kramer, you don’t understand. After I learned that I’ve been getting decorating tips from a man who once continued using a lawn chair in his living room after he broke the seat under his considerable girth everything in my house feels… icky. It’s like my life has been infected by Newman. He’s slithered his weasely mind into my life. Planted some kind of Inception-esque idea that we are actually similar. Kramer if I keep living in this place I fear…I fear one day I may become infatuated with Newman. So everything must go!
KRAMER: But I mean, you’re still keeping most of your furniture.
ELAINE: A lot of that was bought before I even found his page.
KRAMER: You don’t want to throw out this cashmere throw though? I mean, this is Newman all the way, he can’t stop raving about these.
ELAINE: [softly] No, I like the cashmere blanket. It keeps me nice and warm on a chilly fall day.
[Kramer throws his hands up, ready to concede to Elaine’s wishes.]
KRAMER: Okay then, other than that picture and those ones over there you said I could have, what else are you getting rid of?
ELAINE: Well the two end tables, I have a guy at my gym who said he’d buy them, so he’s coming over later. I don’t need you to help move them or anything, the guy just creeps me out. I think he’s buying the tables as an excuse to get into my apartment so if you can just hang out and pretend to be moving your stuff while he’s here.
KRAMER: Okay, uh what else?
ELAINE: The globe is going to my friend Janet. Those small dog figurines are going to Jerry’s mother so I’ll just ship them overnight. The real thing I need your help with is the coffee table. I sold it to a guy off Craigslist and he refuses to drive over and get it unless I knock $50 off the price. So we gotta get it to the Bronx today. Everything else is just small stuff like the curtains, coasters, place settings, and other little knick-knacks that I’ll just give to Goodwill.
KRAMER: Did you know I had a friend, named Nick Knack? He always talked about opening up an antique store. “Nick Knack’s Knick Knacks.”
ELAINE: Did ever open the store?
KRAMER: No, no, uh, unfortunately, the whole 9/11 thing happened and…well.
[Elaine gasps at the realization.]
ELAINE: Oh my God he was in one of the towers?
KRAMER: Yeah, yeah, unfortunately. Just two weeks earlier. I mean if he had been asking that receptionist out a couple of weeks later, he might have been right there to save those people.
ELAINE: [now irritated] So how did 9/11 prevent him from opening this antique store?
KRAMER: Well it was a national tragedy, Elaine. I mean it affected some of us very strongly. Suddenly such petty little fantasies don’t seem so important. I mean, I haven’t worked since that terrible day because I’ve vowed to live life to the fullest as a free and proud American.
ELAINE: And why weren’t you working for the eight years before those attacks?
[Kramer exhales deeply, a bit thrown by Elaine’s accusation. He doesn’t answer, so Elaine decides to move on.]
ELAINE: Anyway, can you help me with the coffee table or not? I’d take it but I have to be here while I wait for Janet to show up. [in a mocking, high-pitched voice] “I’ll be there sometime after noon Elaine.” [scoffs] She’s like the cable guy if the cable guy decides to sleep around with hipster artists who live in studio apartments in Brooklyn.
KRAMER: Yeah, sure Elaine I can take it over there.
ELAINE: Okay, great I got a dolly here [she wheels a small dolly out] you think we can cart the table out on this?
[Kramer gives the dolly a quick look. It’s clearly not large enough to support this heavy table.]
KRAMER: Giddy up!
[Elaine walks to the other side of the table and crouches down, ready to lift it. Kramer follows suit.]
ELAINE: Okay on three. One…two…three.
[Both Elaine and Kramer grunt and strain as they lift the coffee table. Eventually, they shuffle over to the dolly.]
ELAINE: You got it?
[Elaine shifts the weight to Kramer, who was standing over the dolly ready to set it down. However, when he loses his balance, staggering around for a few seconds. Eventually, he regains his footing and drops the table on the dolly with a loud thud. Elaine notices the little care he used in handling the table, but shrugs.]
ELAINE: Okay, the freight elevator is at the end of the hall. I’ll wheel it over there and bring it down while you bring your car around and we can load it in the back–
KRAMER: Oh I didn’t bring my car.
[Elaine looks perplexed and angry. She’s seething as she speaks.]
ELAINE: What. Do. You. Mean? I told you I needed your help moving some furniture, can I use your car? So why didn’t you bring your car?
KRAMER: Well it’s been in the shop, you know. I thought I’d have it back today but, well the mechanic says it’s not ready yet.
ELAINE: How long has it been in the shop?
KRAMER: About eight months.
ELAINE: [half sighing, half groaning] Oh that’s just great! So now what Kramer how am I gonna get this to the Bronx today?
KRAMER: Oh don’t worry about that Elaine, I have a ride on its way in about [he looks at his phone] oh… two minutes. Now don’t worry, I got an XL.
ELAINE: Oh God, Kramer… .