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Ben Aidem

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(Ep 84 - "Of Mastodons and Men")

(Kevin is with his new girlfriend, Julie Aidem.)
Let's face it. She was good for me.
(Cut to the Aidem garage. Mr. Aidem is working on a red Triumph sportscar, as Kevin and Julie approach.)
And if that wasn't enough...
Hey, Julie...Hey, Kevin!
She had a great dad, too.
How's the car comin', Mr. Aidem? (Smiles.)
How many times do I have to tell ya to call me Ben? (Smiles.)
Ben!
Well, I finally got that carburetor problem solved...now she's ready for a little spin. (Smiles.)
I admired the guy. He had hobbies...he was funny - a real man's man.
(Mrs. Aidem enters from the house.)
Honey? Did I hear you say...you were going to take the sportscar out for a drive? (Frowns.)
Thought so, yeah.
You remember our agreement - you only drive the sportscar on the weekends?
(Mr. Aidem laughs and gestures with both arms.)
Well, I don't know what got into me. (Smiles.)
A man's man who was surrounded by women.
(Mrs. Aidem nods and smiles at Kevin.)
He'd be off driving it day and night if I let him...wouldn't you, Ben?
*

fork (Kevin is having dinner at the Aidem's.)
The Aidem family was a model of decorum. There may have been a reason for that.
Oh, Ben?
(She holds up a fork.)
The salad-fork.
(Mr. Aidem turns his fork over and looks at it.)
The girls out-numbered the boys by a ratio of four-to-one.
(The dog barks.)
Five-to-one if you counted the pooch.
So, Kev? Who do you like for the World Series?
Uh, I don't know! (Gestures.) I think I like the Tigers - or maybe the Cubs. (Smiles.)
fix (Mr. Aidem puts a forkful of food in his mouth and shakes his head.)
Oakland's gonna knock everyone else on their butts.
Daddy!
(Mrs. Aidem looking offended.)
Ben!
(Mr. Aidem shrugs and looks at the girls.)
Oh...(shrugs)...sorry...(Nods.)
(Mr. Aidem looks at Mrs. Aidem.)
Not at the dinner table.
Still, I had to admit - I liked it there. It was nice being in a civilized home.
(Mrs. Aidem looks at Mr. Aidem and points at her throat.)
Oh. Ben?
(She frowns and whispers.)
Fix your collar.
(Mr. Aidem looks at Mrs. Aidem, sets his fork down, pulls his collar together, nods slightly, then resumes eating.)
*

(In the basement, Kevin and Julie are having milk and cookies as Mr. Aidem comes down the stairs.)
Hello?
(Pooh-Pooh barks at the bottom of the stairs.)
Oh - Daddy must be home.
(Mr. Aidem descends, holding a muffler, and smiling.)
Anybody down here?
Daddy...
Hey, Ben! (Smiles.)
(Julie sighs. Mr. Aidem holding out the muffler.)
Kev, how you doin'? New muffler - check it out! (Smiles.)
Well, it's great, Daddy.
(She nods, then frowns and looks down.)
Oh...yeah...(gestures.) Let me get something out of my toolbox, and I'll get out of your way. (Smiles.)
(The dog barks.)
Hmmm.
(Julie stands up and approaches the dog.)
Daddy! Look what you're doing to Pooh-Pooh!
(The dog barks and hops around.)
You're hurting her feelings!
(Mr. Aidem raises his arms.)
Oh...I don't know what got into me! (Smiles.)
Well...I'll go get her a biscuit.
(Julie exits up the stairs.)
And suddenly, the thought struck me this guy might appreciate a little male-bonding.
So, Ben, this is a...great cellar you got, here. (Smiles.)
(Mr. Aidem looks over his shoulder toward the panty-hose hanging over the washer and dryer in the background.)
Yeah, a few too many nylons for my taste.
Oh. Yeah. (Gestures.) Me, too.
(The dog barks and hops around Mr. Aidem's legs.)
Some dog.
She's no Duke.
Duke?
(Julie approaches down the stairs.)
Got the biscuit...(Smiles.)
(She kneels down next to the dog.)
Pooh-Pooh, I love you so much!
(Mr. Aidem leans closer to Kevin.)
I'll tell you about Duke some other time.
(Mr. Aidem exits past Julie, who is approaching, holding Pooh-Pooh.)
Sorry, honey.
*

(At Kevin's house, Julie tells Kevin she is happy they are going steady.)
And suddenly, somehow...I...
(Kevin frowns, and mouths "steady?")
Was going steady.
(Very loud sound of a slamming door. Cut to night on the street. Kevin approaches up the sidewalk.)
Not that I'd actually agreed to anything, you understand...not technically, anyway. Still, that night outside Julie's house...I knew I didn't have the courage to turn back.
(Kevin flips his collar up on his new striped shirt, then approaches the front door. Mr. Aiden is in the open garage.)
Hey, Kev! I hear there's gonna be a little announcement tonight.
Great. The whole family knew. And not only that...now we were gonna have "the talk". The father-of-the-bride speech, about the birds...about the bees...
(Mr. Aidem looks toward the street.)
Duke loved nights like this.
About...Duke?
Was Duke your dog? (Smiles.)
Duke was a hell of a dog. (Smiles.)
(Pooh-Pooh barks in the background.)
Heh-heh. Not like Pooh-Pooh back there. Duke was a black Lab. Eighty...pounds. He was so full of fun...and so full of spirit. He was a real man's-best-friend kind of dog, ya know? Duke wasn't afraid of anything.
I could tell Duke was more than just a dog to this guy.
What happened to him?
Ran away the day I proposed to June. (Smiles.)
(Mr. Aidem looks off.)
Well, I still think about him, ya know? Every now and then...at night...I swear...I can still hear Duke's howl.
Ben! Dinner!
(Mr. Aidem stands and taps Kevin's shoulder.)
Come on.
*

(Later at the Aidem dinner table. Kevin is supposed to announce he and Julie are going steady.)
It was now or never.
cant Julie - I can't do this. I just...can't! I like wearing my...collar down! And I hate wearing striped shirts! And I don't like cookies! I don't want to spend every minute with you. And I like hanging out with the guys. I'm a hunter. And a warrior. And what about the mastodons?!
OK - maybe I got little carried away about the mastodon thing. But I wasn't just speaking for myself. I was speaking for all man-kind. For Ben. And even...for Duke. Where ever he was.
I just - I can't do it, Julie. We can't go steady.
(Julie looks hurt and frowns at Kevin. She glances away and hurriedly rises and exits. Mrs. Aidem tosses her napkin down and follows Julie, followed by the sisters.)
And then...it was over. Except for one thing.
I think you better go, Kev.
Good idea.
*

(Playing football at the park.)
Over the next few weeks, I rejoined my tribe. And in a lot of ways...I was back where I belonged.
(Kevin gets tackled. Sound of car horn. Mr. Aidem is sitting on his sportscar parked at the curb. Kevin tosses the ball to Paul.)
I'll be right back.
(Kevin approaches Mr. Aidem.)
Still, I guess I knew there was still some unfinished business. Between Ben and me, at least.
Hey, Ben!
Hey, Kevin! I thought that was you. You looked pretty good out there.
Thanks! So! (Smiles.) How's Julie?
She found a new guy...They're goin' steady...
(Kevin snorts and nods.)
No kiddin'...
Yeah, he looks great in stripes.
I bet. (Smiles.)
(Mr. Aidem smiles as Kevin glances at the car.)
Hey! You got the car out on a Thursday, huh?
Yeah, I thought I'd go a little crazy!
And in a way, I couldn't help thinking I had something to do with it.
Well...it was nice seeing you again. (Waves.)
(Kevin turns and trots away. Mr. Aidem stands up.)
Hey, Kevin? One day you're gonna see.
What's that?
It's not that bad! (Smiles.) Having people who care for you, you know?
I guess Ben understood something. Something that I'd learn...in time.
Come on, Kev - let's go!
Thanks! (Smiles.) I'll keep that in mind.
(Mr. Aidem gets in the car as Kevin returns to the guys.)
But me? I was just a sixteen-year-old guy. And the way I saw it...there were still a lot of mastodons yet to be slayed.

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11/28/14 12:06