I had this fantasy as I dozed off last night:
Episode title: Gas bagging
Scene: The Emergency Department of All Saints Hospital, New York (fictional setting of Nurse Jackie). The usual crew are hanging around the nurses station.
Zoey (mustering courage): Umm. Jackie? How come we’re a major metropolitan hospital and umm….there’s only like…you know…like..there’s only the same two doctors working here…every episode?
Jackie: (exasperated). Jesus Zoey! (gestures towards crowded waiting room)There are people are out there – people with no private health insurance – watching re-runs of Married with Children right now, and you’re asking me a question like that?
Zoey: Sorry Jackie, I was just…
(Zoey is cut off by commotion as paramedics rush in dramatically with man on stretcher, drips etc)
Mo Mo: (shouts!) Hey, can we get some help here? This man fell down a credit sequence!
Jackie: Oh crap! (digs into pocket, pops an Oxy)
Jackie, Zoey, Mo Mo, and Thor gather around semi-conscious man and perform urgent looking stabilising procedures.
Jackie (leaning over man, reassuringly): Its OK honey, you’re gonna be alright, ok?
(quietly to Mo Mo). How far down the credit sequence? Was it from unit production manager to assistant unit production manager, or worse?
Mo Mo: No, no. I mean he literally fell down a title sequence, from a high rise window, past a whole bunch of ’50s advertisements.
Jackie: (Shouts) Where’s the doctor? Can we get a doctor in here please? (briefly turns away and puffs something up her nose)
Zoey: (mutters).. and they’re never in surgery…
Dr Cooper brushes in: Never fear, Coop is here. Ha ha!
(Man on stretcher stirs). Where am I? I need a bourbon.
Jackie: You’re in hospital sweetie, you’re gonna be alright. What’s your name?
Draper: Dick Whitman. (looking terrified) NO! I’m not Dick Whitman. No WAY am I Dick Whitman. Ha, ha, ha – what a thing to say? Why would I be Dick Whitman? I don’t know why I said that.
The crew stare at Draper expectantly.
Jackie surreptitiously injects something into her buttocks.
Draper: I don’t even know who Dick Whitman is.
Thor: Weeelll, then – who are you?
Draper: (wide-eyed). I’m….I’m…. Crockodile Dundee.
Zoey: (squeals and claps) Wowee!
Dr Cooper: (shakes his head). No way! Now, I recognise you. You’re the genius that did the ad campaign for All Saints, the one featuring me. You’re the legendary Donald Draper the adman! Or should I say madman, eh? (winks ingratiatingly at Draper).
Draper: (coughs) Yes, of course, I’m Donald Draper, but you can call me Mr Draper. I was just having a bit of fun there, thinking out loud about our next big campaign- to promote coal seam gas mining interests in Australia.
Mo Mo and Thor exchange glances mouthing ‘Where’s Australia?’
Draper: (Looking around). Hey doesn’t anyone here find me irresistibly attractive? I haven’t had sex for at least three hours I think.
Thor: I do!
Zoey (suggestively). Let me take your catheter out Mr Draper, sounds like you won’t be needing it for a while.
Dr Cooper: (sucking up). Hey Don! I think I’ve heard of that coal seam gas mining stuff.
(Lights dim in the emergency cubicle, close up of Dr Cooper as he looks off camera in a dreamy daze)
“You know, just the other day I was having a beer at the local lesbian bar with my Mommy number two, when said to me: ‘Son, fracking, involves a poorly regulated process of injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and hundreds of chemicals, many of them toxic, into the earth at high pressures to break up rock formations and release natural gas trapped inside. There have been a wave of groundwater-contamination incidents and mysterious health problems out West, in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, where hydraulic fracturing has been going on for years as part of a massive oil-and-gas boom. Thousands of reports of aquifer/ watershed contamination, locals made sick from drinking water, even gas coming out of home taps, has not stopped the ‘gas rush’ East and now even my cute ole Pennsylvanian hometown of Dimmock has become a stinking worthless sludgeheap.’
And then she kind of teared up and took a handkerchief from her Gucci handbag and blew her nose, and I said “Yetch, Mom! Use tissues, they’re much more hygienic!” and she snapped “Shut up, Coop!” and continued:
“Coal seam gas (CSG) extraction and the gas that comes from shales (through fracking) are chemically very similar. They generate the same amount of heat and CO₂ when burned in your heater or at an electricity power plant. Probably about half of coal seam gas reserves discovered in Australia will require fracking.
The Australia Federal government has already approved 4,000 CSG wells in Queensland, many of them sitting right on prime agricultural land, with 40,000 planned across Australia in the next 20 years. The risks to Australia’s ground water are enormous – this in the driest country on earth! And many of the wells will be sunk in prime agricultural land, when only 1-2% of Australian soil is arable!
“And you know what the darndest thing is? Australian farmers can’t even refuse mining companies the right to undertake coal seam gas mining on their land! Does that woman look like Ellen to you?”
Cubicle lights up again.
Draper: (with admiration and grudging respect). You’re a man, Coop. I’ll give you that. I didn’t know you had it in you. But well, I guess I just have to admit I was wrong about you. You do have a penis.
Jackie scowls at Cooper, makes the drooping weenie sign with her little finger, Coop smirks.
Jackie: Doctors always get the damn credit.
Cooper: But you didn’t say anything!
Jackie: I don’t have to, asshole, I’m a nurse. I’m busy healing, right? while you’re busy gas bagging.
Draper sits up, lights a cigarette. Jackie pulls out a joint and lights it.
Cooper (more agitated): No, you’re not, you’re just getting stoned off your tits! (suddenly bites his lip, and twitches)
Draper: And when they dredge 46 million cubic meters of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier reef to build coal seam gas export facilities, Australians can feel proud of the progress they have made as a nation, just like those Appalachian hillbillies feel proud when they see the tops of their heritage mountains blown up for coal.
Thats why I’ve called this campaign “Coal Seam Gas Mining? Its A Crock!“* Featuring Paul Hogan barbecuing a whole crocodile on a giant gas powered BBQ!
Whistles of admiration from the crew.
Suddenly a stunning redheaded woman with rocket sized breasts runs into the cubicle:
Joan: Oh, Mr Draper! There you are! We all thought you’d just nicked out to seduce the nodding bird sales team. Mr Sterling needs to see you urgently!
Jackie suddenly passes out head first into Draper‘s crotch.
Cooper screams, stares at Joan‘s breasts. Camera cut to slow motion as his arms start to come up and we all know what’s going to happen next.
Next week on If Nurse Jackie met Madmen:
Draper unexpectedly loses the Australian coal seam gas account and takes revenge by producing viral protest videos for Get-Up and The Greens. Both of Cooper‘s mothers take a sentimental journey to Pennsylvania and organise a ‘lesbians against Marcellus Shale’ action group and video collective. And after having an affair with her for a year, Eddie suddenly realises he’s never been to Jackie‘s place or ever asked her any personal questions. D’oh!
*’It’s a crock’ is an Australian colloquialism, short for ‘Its a crock of shit.’