Saturday, February 14, 2015

Honesty Is Such a Lonely Word

Niles (David Hyde Pierce): Well, I hope you're happy!

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer): Snap out of it! What you were doing was completely dishonest.

Niles: Ooh, said the pot to the kettle!

Frasier: What does that mean?

Niles: I think you know what it means.

Frasier: Oh, don't be ridiculous! Our two situations are totally different.

Niles: Oh, really? How so?

Frasier: Well, for one thing, you've been misleading a woman for your own selfish gain.

Niles: And so are you!

Frasier: Well, I'm not finished. She was also trusting you to tell the truth!

Niles: Oh, and the difference would be?

Frasier: Your woman is English!

Niles: Frasier, you've lost this one.

Frasier: I know, I know. It's just going to take a little while to climb down off of this particular high horse.

Twenty years ago tonight, Frasier took a look at honesty.

Through an odd set of circumstances — was there ever any other kind in Frasier's world? — Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) became acquainted with pop psychologist Dr. Honey Snow (Shannon Tweed). He really didn't think much of her work, especially her best–selling advice books — but he felt an uncontrollable lust for her so, when she asked him to read the manuscript for her latest book and write the foreword for it, he reluctantly agreed.

At the same time, Niles (David Hyde Pierce) was doing some investing in the stock market on behalf of Daphne (Jane Leeves) through his broker. The initial investment paid off with a 40% return following a takeover bid, and Daphne decided to follow the broker's advice and "roll it over" the gain — i.e., re–invest it.

That first big payoff was unexpected, but, when Daphne threw her arms around Niles and kissed him, he realized he had found a sure thing so he kept giving her "profits" even though the stocks had been losing ground. She kept hugging and kissing him each time; Frasier caught on to what he was doing and confronted Niles.

"The first stock really did pay off," Niles told Frasier, "but then the rest all tanked. And what was I supposed to do? Tell that poor, working–class Venus I'd lost her life savings? I had to pay her back and if I threw in a little extra, well, where's the harm in that?"

Frasier was having none of it.

"Niles, you are giving a woman money in order to obtain physical affection!" he told his brother. "We are talking the world's oldest profession. Granted, this is sort of the Walt Disney version, but still. It's wrong, and I insist you stop it."

"No," Niles replied. "It's altruistic, it's noble, it's fun, and you can't make me stop."

Besides, Niles was equipped to return Frasier's fire. Against his personal principles, Frasier had agreed to write the foreword for Honey Snow's book, motivated by the hope that she would sleep with him.

Now, he knew he had to tell Honey that he would not write that foreword — and he expected that she would not want to sleep with him when he told her that.

When he did tell her that he couldn't write the foreword, he started to leave — only to be stunned when he heard her say how attracted she was to him at that moment. Most men would say or do anything to get women to sleep with them, she said. It was refreshing to meet a man who was so honest that he would rather risk rejection than be dishonest.

"I have to be true to my inner voice," Frasier said, clearly sensing that he had stumbled onto Honey's weakness.

Honey confessed that she also felt the book was weak. It had been rushed, she said, to meet a deadline.

And the two started to make out while telling each other their faults. Frasier told Honey her chapter titles were "clumsy and jejune." Honey replied that Frasier used "way too much French in everyday conversation."

Frasier said he thought her sandalwood candle smelled awful. Honey retorted that "When you talk about wine, I wish I had a gun."

But then Frasier overplayed his hand, telling Honey what he really thought of her first three books. Talk about a mood killer.

"I am immensely proud of my first three books," she said.

The petting party was over.