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Diseases & Ailments

Arterial Monochromia - Fictional malady mentioned on episodes of the sitcom THE HONEYMOONERS/CBS/1955-56. The disease debuted on episode No. 68 (10/29/55) "A Matter of Life and Death" when Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) isn't feeling well and goes to the doctor.

Meanwhile, his wife, Alice (Audrey Meadows) takes her mother's collie dog to the veterinarian who later sends a messenger with the news that the dog has only six months to live. The dog is diagnosed with "Arterial Monochromia" (a disease dogs get from scratching fleas).

Unfortunately, Ralph mistakes the medical report sent from the vet as a medical report from his own doctor. Thinking that he is not long for this world, Ralph decides to sell his life story to American Weekly magazine for $5000 to earn some money to bequeath to Alice.

But when he discovers he is not really dying, Ralph concocts a plan to save face by recruiting friend, Ed Norton (Art Carney) to play the role of an eminent Oxford-educated physician and the "only" doctor in the world who can cure Ralph.

Cast of THE HONEYMOONERS
Ralph, Ed, Alice and Trixie

Their plan fails, however, and they get busted. Luckily, the magazine publisher Mr. Gershe (George Petrie) likes the "real" story behind Ralph's predicament better and doesn't press charges.

The storyline for episode No. 68 was recycled on episode No. 144 (11/23/68) "Six Months to Live."

TRIVIA NOTE: In medical-ese, "arterial monochromia" means "one-colored arteries" which, by definition, is a redundancy - all arteries are the same color.

In an earlier "Honeymooners" variety show vignette, Ralph had already suffered from "cerebral monochromia," so the show's writers recycled the idea into episodes No. 68 and No. 144.


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