The Cost of Living
(Ep 23 - "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation")
(At the Cooper's party, Kevin gets cornered by Jack.)
Mr. Ermin would like to speak to you.
Oh, my gosh, Mr. Ermin! - the Genghis Khan of lawncare.
I understand you're looking for work, son.
Also see "Full Transcript"
(Ep 50 - "Cost of Living")
(Jack is handing out Wayne's allowance.)
Four beans? I can't believe this. (Exits.)
Still, no sense looking a gift horse in the mouth. Especially one the size of my father.
(Kevin smiles and holds out his hand.)
(Jack closes his wallet, accompanied by the sound of a slamming vault door.)
No gettin' around it...
Thanks, Dad! (Smiles.)
The buck stopped here. I mean, hey...you can't squeeze sympathy from a stone.
(Cut to cafeteria with Doug and Paul.)
Twenty cents for a Nutty-Buddy? (Frowns.)
Sympathy from those in my tax-bracket, however, was easy to come by.
I'm barely getting by as it is!
By the fall of ninth-grade, poverty was making paupers of us all. Most of us, anyway.
Whoa! Check out Kovinsky!
(Kovinsky is standing next to a couple of girls, as he holds his jacket open.)
Mark Kovinsky. The Howard Hughes of RFK.
(Kovinsky lifts a girl's hand and kisses it.)
He had more money than General Motors. Naturally, we all admired him.
I hate him.
(A girl touches Kovinsky's jacket sleeve.)
That jacket must have cost a fortune.
What I wouldn't give for that wardrobe. (Nods.)
On our allowances? Forget it!
Facts were facts. In macro-economic terms.
Five bucks a week just doesn't go as far as it used to.
Wait a minute. Did he say -?
(Cut to hallway. Kevin and Paul walk toward their lockers.)
Five bucks a week?
Pretty disgusting, huh?
Yeah - I'll say.
Pretty soon...(gestures)...I'll have to dip into my savings account.
Paul was building an investment portfolio, while I was living on cold beans.
Five bucks a week...
(They stop at their lockers.)
Why? (Frowns.) What are you getting? (Gestures.)
Well...it's in the five-dollar ballpark.
Uh-huh. If the ballpark was the size of Kansas.
It's almost embarrassing! Oh, but...don't tell anyone, OK? I don't want them to think my father's cheap.
(Sound of a bank vault closing and slamming shut.)
Oh. No, not a word.
But suddenly...one thing was clear...
(Cut to the Arnold kitchen as Jack enters.)
Dad and I had business to conduct. Right here. Right now.
(Jack slams his briefcase on the table.)
Or, maybe it can wait.
Hi, honey. Why so late?
Ken Stein. New fool in management. He's bustin' my hump, Norma. (Frowns.)
He's workin' me like a dog. (Frowns.) What does he think I am - his own personal lackey?! (Frowns.)
But hold on! Maybe this wasn't gonna be so hard.
Maybe Dad and I were thinking along the same lines, here. Maybe he'd be sympathetic to the plight of the down-trodden.
It-it's about my allowance. You know...I was thinking...I'm in ninth-grade, now...and, uh, well...
OK...Time for a clincher. Something telling...something tactful.
Paul's father gives him five dollars a week.
(Jack glares at Kevin. Sound of penalty buzzer.)
Uh-oh! I'd just broken the cardinal rule of child-parent negotiations. Never compare them to their peers.
You want a raise in your allowance?
But you're gonna have to do some more chores.
Chores? I can do chores. (Smiles.)
I work hard for my paycheck. You can work hard for yours.
Hard work? No problem!
(Cut to Arnold yard. Kevin pulls weeds, dumps trash, and cleans dusty filters.)
Nope - hard work never hurt anybody. Hard work - good for the body.
(Kevin trims a bush.)
Good for the soul.
(Kevin clean the trash can.)
It's what this country was founded on.
(Kevin cleans the rain-gutter, and beats the rug.)
But beyond all the blood, sweat, and back-breaking labor...there was a sense of satisfaction...
(Jack approaches and takes out his wallet.)
(Jack drops some coins in Kevin's hand.)
(Jack walks past Kevin and pats his shoulder.)
(Cut to hallway with Paul.)
I can't believe it! I practically rebuilt the whole house!
Well, how much did he pay you?
That's not the point! The point is...the guy's bustin' my hump! (Nods.)The point is, that -
(Kovinsky approaches behind Kevin, smiling.)
You're working for your dad, huh?
Great - Diamond Jim Kovinsky himself.
Kovinsky - what do you know about it?
(Kovinsky looks at Kevin.)
I started out the same way you did...buckin' for allowance, workin' for peanuts...and then one day, I woke up.
What's your dad do?
None of your business. (Frowns.)
A workin' man...(Nods)...Mine too.
Yeah. So? (Shrugs.)
So...(Smiles.) Who says you have to be like your dad?
Adolescence is filled with great moments of revelation. This...was one of them.
(Kovinsky snaps a $20-bill open in front of Kevin.)
Where'd you get that?
On the eighteenth green at the Whispering Grass golf course. (Smiles.)
You made twenty bucks caddying? (Frowns.)
Cash tip. Not bad for four hours in the fresh air. You've got two choices, Arnold. Be like your dad...or be your own man. Seeya.
I had only one question.
(Cut to Arnold kitchen table.)
Dad? Can I be a caddy?
Well, see...there's this guy at school, who -
What do you know about golf? (Frowns.)
Seemed to me, he was missing the point, here.
Well, uh...maybe I-I could learn.
Caddy? (Laughs.) A wuss like you?
Shut up, Wayne.
Honey? Don't caddies have to carry around all those heavy bags? (Frowns.)
Seemed like everyone was missing the point.
Look, Mark Kovinsky makes twenty buck a round, OK?!
There. 'Nuff said. The old bottom-line. Try sayin' no to that!
I don't think so...(Frowns.)
(The phone rings.)
(On the phone): Hello?
I couldn't believe it!
Jack? It's Ken.
I had a plan for total lifetime solvency, and he turns me down?
(On the phone): Yeah, Ken. No, no, don't worry about it - that's what I'm here for. Whatever you say...yeah, yeah. Bye.
(Jack throws down his napkin and frowns.)
Kovinsky was right. I had two choices. Be like my dad...or...
(Cut to golf course. Kevin walks up the the caddy boss.)
Be my own man.
Where do I sign up?
A man of wealth. A caddy.
(Fade to kitchen. Jack's on the phone.)
Behold - the working man.
(On the phone): Whatever you say, Ken.
(Kevin is tying his shoes.)
Behold - the future millionaire.
(On the phone): Saturday? You sure we need to work on...OK, fine. Where?
By the next weekend, this much was obvious. My Dad and I were headed in opposite directions.
(On the phone): Fine! Yeah. Bye.
Wish me luck, Dad?
Not that I didn't want his blessings.
Don't fall in the lake.
But, if that's the way he wanted it - I could handle it. I was my own man, now.
(Fade to golf course. Kevin sits with other caddies.)
A man among...many more-experienced men.
Tanner! Meet your golfer at the first tee.
Still, I wasn't worried. I was a dedicated professional.
Culver! You're up!
A highly trained specialist.
(Fade to fewer caddies.)
(Fade to Kevin and Norklen.)
(Norklen rises, then Fowler, leaving only Kevin.)
An obvious unemployable.
(Kevin is at a vending machine, repeatedly pressing the button.)
It was beginning to look like I was gonna lose money on the day.
Arnold! What are you doing here?
Oh! I, uh...
I get it. (Smiles.) You're waiting for the big one, aren't ya? Remember that twenty-dollar tip I told ya about? Well...(points)...that's the bag.
(Shot of the bag. Sound of a singing chorus, and five notes of "We're in the Money" plays as a glints of light beams off the clubs.)
And suddenly, I knew. That bag was destined for just one pair of shoulders.
(Kevin picks up the bag, and approaches the owner.)
Yep! My fortune was made. Thanks to patience, tenacity, and of course...
Ken Stein. (Smiles.) Looks like we're together for eighteen.
(They shake hands.)
Got a firm grip there, Kevin - I like a man with a firm grip! (Smiles.)
Let's see...Firm grip? That'd probably be worth at least three-seventy-five right there!
Thank, Mr. Stein. (Smiles.)
Call me Ken! (Smiles.)
"Ken". It was a good name...a golfer's name. The name...
(Kevin follows Ken over to Ken's golf partner - Jack.)
Son? We're gonna have a little working session. You don't mind a little shop-talk, do you?
Of my father's boss.
Jack - come over here and meet young Kevin!
(Jack approaches Kevin.)
It was a critical juncture.
(Jack glares at Kevin.)
But we handled it well. Like total strangers. Live, and let live.
Isn't he a little small to be a caddy?
Make that - every man for himself.
Hey! I carry my weight.
That's the spirit I like to see. Arnold, you want to do the honors?
So, the prelims were over. We were on our way. Me, headin' for easy street...and Dad...
(Jack hits the ball.)
Heading for the rough.
Tough way to start, Arnold. You wouldn't mind if I kept score, would you?
Whatever you say, Ken.
Let's play golf!
Over the first few holes, it became apparent this wasn't my father's day. I, on the other hand, was basking in the sunlight of future riches.
(Ken hits the ball.)
Nice shot, sir!
(He hands Kevin the club.)
Call me Ken.
Yep! Twenty bucks a loop, four loops a week - carry the four...easy money.
(Ken misses a putt.)
Dag nab it!
For a guy who knew how to smooth out the rough spots.
You know, they don't clip these greens very well.
You're darn right.
Face it. When it came to management problems, I had a certain...flair.
(Ken sinks a short putt.)
I believe that puts us two ahead, Ken. (Smiles.)
You know, I got my start as a caddy.
(Ken nods and smiles.)
Yep. I felt kind of a kinship to this guy. He reminded me of...me - a real winner.
(Jack hits the ball into the lake.)
In contrast to my previous role model.
(Fade to walking on the fairway.)
In fact, by the time we reached the half-way point, I was almost feeling sorry for the old man.
I figure you about seven strokes off the pace, Arnold. Tell ya what - maybe I oughta play left-handed a few holes? (Chuckles.)
Whatever you say, Ken.
Hey, tell ya what...what say I buy us all a soda, huh?
That's the spirit.
(Ken slaps Kevin on the shoulder and walks off. Jack and Kevin sit on a bench.)
A-ha. Spirit, I had. Plus a shoulder that was killing me.
How ya holding up?
It's a big bag - must be heavy.
You don't have to kill yourself, ya know...he can finish with another caddy.
Another caddy?! So that was his game.
Hey, you don't have to worry about me, alright?!
And I would. I didn't need his help!
Here we go...
Say, Jack...I've been thinking...
And then upper-management made one little mistake.
Maybe it's your clubs. They're too old...cheap, ya know? If you put a little money in your bag...you might...give us more of a match, huh?
And suddenly, all bets were off.
(Jack sighs and picks up his bags.)
Let's just see what these old clubs can do...
(Jack drives a long ball.)
(Jack drives again.)
(Jack drives three more times.)
Not bad there, Arnold!
Not bad? Not bad?! Those old clubs had banged out some of the best shots in the annals of golf.
(Ken slices a drive, hitting a tree.)
And as Dad's game turned into gold, Mr. Stein turned into...Mr. Hyde.
Ah, it-it was a-a difficult shot. (Frowns.)
When I want your advice...(gestures)...I'll ask for it. Just keep the clubs clean, will ya?
(Ken walks away.)
The funny thing is...the smaller my tip began to look, the heavier that bag got.
(Kevin walks away, carrying the bag. Fade to shot of the sun. Some "Lost in the Desert" - type music plays. Fade to long shot of Ken, and Kevin far behind him, walking toward the camera.)
By the eighteenth fairway, I'd learned something interesting. The Whispering Grass back nine measures exactly four-thousand miles, tee to green.
Caddy! Let's hustle it up, huh?!
But I wasn't giving up. I was gonna make that easy money or die trying. Which ever came first.
(Ken's ball is in the sand-trap.)
Tough lie, Ken.
Still, there was no reason to panic. It was the last hole. And Dad was three strokes behind.
(Jack sinks a putt.)
(In the sand-trap, Ken swings and muffs the ball.)
Make that - two.
(Ken swings and muffs again.)
Make that one.
(The ball bounces and heads for the hole.)
(The ball curves around the lip of the cup, and away.)
Damn it all!
(Ken throws his club in the lake.)
But it was more than just a fifty-one-dollar, copper-faced Billy Casper All-Pro sand-wedge that disappeared into that lake.
It was my dignity.
You heard me! Bring it...to me.
(Jack looks at Kevin, and turns his back.)
And suddenly, I felt very alone.
It was up to me. I didn't have to go fetch. I could tell this guy what I thought of him...right there, right then.
But for some reason...at that moment, I heard myself utter four words I'd heard somewhere before.
Whatever you say, Ken.
(Jack turns slightly in the distance.)
(Kevin tentatively wades into the lake.)
After eighteen holes counting future riches...it all came down to this.
Also see "Full Transcript"
(Ep 72 - "The Hardware Store")
Two days a week after school, Saturday's till six, I hauled, packed and loaded my life away for a grand total of eighteen bucks and change. Not that money was my only reason for being there. I had a bigger reason. A more compelling reason.
So...how was work today?
My father had gotten me the job.
Old man's runnin' your tail off, huh?
For some reason, my father saw humor in seeing his youngest child doing time at hard labor. Come to think of it - so did my entire family.
So how was your day, hon-ey?
Shut up, butthead!
I think it sounds like fun - working in a store...meeting people, talking to customers...
Well...see, Mom, that's part of the problem. No one -
Old Man Harris - he's one-of-a-kind. Nobody knows hardware like he does. Do you know, he sold me my first full set of tools I ever owned.
Yes. I do, Dad. But -
That was before either of you were even born.
Look! It's boring, it's hard work, and it's no fun, OK? OK?!
Just to set the record straight, here.
Who the hell ever said a job is supposed to be fun?
Well, I didn't mean -
Let me just give you a piece of advice. Listen to the old guy - pay attention. He just might teach you something.
(At the hardware store.)
Let's face it...the old man's idea of salemanship was a little outmoded. So, it was up to me to bring him in to the twentieth century.
Well...I was just thinking. Do I really have to wear this tie? I mean, 'cause if it's OK with you, I'd just as soon -
Let me tell you something. When you're outside playing, you can wear what you want. But when you're in here working, you'll wear the tie. Am I understood?
Needless to say, the whole thing hadn't gone as well as I'd hoped.
(Kevin has learned a mall job pays more.)
A buck sixty an hour? Even Dad couldn't argue with economic reality.
Dad? I've been thinkin'.
You work hard for your money, right?
So say you workin' somewhere, and you thought you deserved more. You'd do somethin' about it, right?
Even if it meant...makin' your boss mad?
Buck's a buck.
There. Sounded like a clear mandate to me.
Thinkin' about asking Old Man Harris for a raise?
And, with that ringing endorsement in hand, I made up my mind.
(Cut to outside the hardware store.)
I don't think I'm gonna be able to make it on Saturday.
Yeah. Actually, I don't think I'll be able to come in at all anymore.
Yeah. Well, see there's this other job I might be taking.
And where is this new place of employment?
In the mall.
The mall? That's where you want to go to work - selling crap that doesn't work to people that don't need it in the first place? What would you be doing?
Working. In a restaurant. "Food service management".
Ah, what the hell.
It's a burger-joint.
And this is how you want to spend your time - flipping hamburgers and watching the girls walk by?
Bingo. He finally understood.
Then why would you do a thing like this?
Because they pay fifteen cents more an hour.
Oh...(Smiles.) So that's it. I see. (Sighs.) Fifteen cents an hour...
Sure it was a bitter pill, but what else could the guy do?
I'll pay you twenty.
Just prove to me that you're worth it - sweep! (Points.)
I was wondering if I could have the day off, Saturday?
Why - I have this...appointment.
Well then, uh, certainly.
Of course, anytime you have a social engagement, and work interferes...(gestures)...you just let me know. We'll close the store. (Nods.)
Hey, all I'm asking for here is a just -
We have an agreement. You work here - Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. And I pay you - what now? - one dollar and sixty five cents an hour. Maybe now you would like me to pay you double-time for the days you don't work.
And that's when it hit me - the guys had been right. I wasn't an employee, here. I was in bondage. A slave.
(Kevin played hookey at the mall, then goes to work.)
I know...Mr. Harris, can I talk to you?
Very well. You were late today. I understand - you needed to prove something. It's alright, it's forgotten. I'll see you Tuesday.
Well, I'm not going to be coming in anymore. You see, I took the job at the mall - I start Monday.
Don't be foolish. You work here.
But I don't want to work here anymore. Don't you understand that?
You're a bright boy! You could make something better of yourself!
I wouldn't call stocking hardware something better!
Oh, I see.
Mr. Harris, all I do here is move cartons from one shelf to the other and listen to you talk about hardware. No one even comes in here anymore - no one wants to.
(Mrs. Harris approaches from the office.)
Is that so! Let me tell you something...
The hardware business -
Sam, the boy wants to go.
You don't even need me here most of the time.
I know that. I would like you to keep working here, but I won't try to make you stay. I've made my offer - I stand by it.
I felt him watching me. And somehow, I knew what he was thinking. How much I learned, how much he taught me. I was fifteen. I lived in a world that was new - and alive, and exciting. And everything here was old. Maybe it was stupid - that's also part of being fifteen. I traded in my tie for a stupid hat and a plastic nametag at the mall. When I left a month later - no one cared. But every time I pick up a flat-head screw, I think of old man Harris, and how those cowbells clanged as I walked out that door. And though I can't say exactly what I learned...I know I can't measure...what I lost.
Also see "Full Transcript"
(Ep 92 - "Back to the Lake")
Paul, this is totally unacceptable.
Look, Kev. I didn't have a choice. My father knows the owner of this Chinese restaurant, Mr. Chong.
Wait. You're working at a Chinese restaurant. What are you going to be doing - chopping onions?
Well actually I'll be functioning as Assistant Manager.
If you want, maybe I can get you a job with me at Mr. Chong's!
What did he say?
I think he said the onions need to be chopped a little finer.
Also see Full Transcript
(Ep 97 - "Sex and Economics")
Face it, poverty was ruining my good name, my reputation. Not to mention my my credit-rating.
(Cut to the point with Winnie.)
What's that sound?
Not to mention my love-life.
(Kevin looks around and frowns.)
There it is again.
It's...my stomach. It's growling.
Not to mention my girlfriend's digestive tract.
I thought you said you were taking me out to dinner tonight.
Kevin, I'm really hungry. Can't we just...get something?
Well, uh, yeah I think...eating out is over-rated. And you know, the service is always slow. (Frowns.) Plus the food is never that good.
(Winnie frowns slightly.)
You know, I read somewhere that anything ya eat after nine o'clock goes right to your hips. Didn't you read that?
(Winnie turns forward, and slides away from Kevin.)
I think I'd like to go home now.
Fact. This cashflow thing was beginning to cloud my judgement.
(Cut to Kevin walking up the crowded hallway.)
And so, desperation led me to consider once-unthinkable options.
(Kevin pauses and looks at a bulletin board.)
In other words...
(Shot of a small sign reading "Jobs" and many small cards with ads.)
I needed a second job. Preferably something that didn't require a name-tag...
(Close shot of an ad for construction work.)
And a shovel.
(Shot of an ad for a dog-walker.)
Or a Baggie and a scoop.
(Miss Farmer approaches and pins up a card.)
And then, just as luck and money were running out...
Oh! Hi, Kevin.
(Miss Farmer walks away as Kevin looks after her.)
Lust and fortune stepped in.
(Kevin looks at Miss Farmer's card. "Students wanted for painting project. 123 Dixon St. After school")
And opportunity knocked.
(Cut to Miss Farmer's house as Kevin bangs the door-knocker. Miss Farmer opens the door, slightly surprised.)
Kevin! Hi! (Smiles.)
Hi. I, uh, came about the job.
Well, gee...(smiles)...you certainly got here fast!
Yeah, well, it's right on the way.
Besides, you know what they say - "the early worm gets the bird".
(Miss Farmer looks slightly puzzled as the sound of a howling wolf is heard.)
Anyway, uh...here I am.
Well, good! Why don't you come on in? I'm making some lemonade. (Smiles.)
And the formalities out of the way...
(Cut to the kitchen. Kevin is seated at a table and Miss Farmer at the counter.)
For your lemonade?
So? Don't you even want to know what the job is?
Well, it's, uh...painting, right? (Shrugs.) I've mean I've done lots of painting - all over the place.
Two storm-windows for Dad, and Wayne's forehead when I was six. But who was counting?
Oh, I don't know...(sighs)...maybe I should have it done professionally.
(She reaches up into a cupboard.)
But at that moment...I'd have killed to keep professionals from her house.
Hey, why hire them when you got me? (Smiles.)
(Miss Farmer approaches with the lemonade and glasses.)
Well...if you really think you can.
(She pours Kevin a glass.)
Course I can. So...
(He takes a sip and looks around the kitchen.)
What would I be painting?
The house. (Smiles.)
The house? The whole house? (Frowns.)
(Giggles): No - just the outside. The thing is...I don't have much money. (Frowns.)
And of course, right then...I should have known I was in over my head. I should have known. I should have known, but...
How does...five-hundred dollars sound?
(Kevin perking up slightly.)
And that's when it happened. Right then. Right there. Two great forces of nature converged. Beauty...and cash.
(Kevin has spent a lot of time painting, and spending money to get three guys to help. Now he's in Miss Farmer's kitchen.)
Oh, Kevin. This is Mr. Kaplan. He just...bought my house.
We just signed the papers this morning.
I couldn't believe it. She'd really done this?
You're moving? (Frowns.)
Not far...it's just a little apartment across town. I love this house. You know, when I first moved in, I thought one day I'd get married, and raise my family here...I just don't know what it is about this neighborhood. The mailman, my next-door neighbor with his lawn-mower...seems these guys see a single girl and all they want to do is take advantage of her.
(Mr. Kaplan gestures with the papers.)
And somehow, right then, I began to get an inkling of what was really going on here.
Well, uh...I guess you won't want me to finish painting the house, then, right? (Smiles.)
Why, Kevin! (Smiles.) Of course I do! After all, we made a deal, didn't we?
I guess I already knew what came next.
And a deal's a deal. (Smiles.)
Yeah, that was it - the bottom-line. In anyone's ledger.
(Kevin approaches Mr. Kaplan.)
Mr. Kaplan...ya know, this painting is getting pretty expensive. I'm gonna need some extra money to finish it.
Don't look at me kid. (Frowns.) I just paid fifty-five grand, for a forty-thousand-dollar house.
(Mr. Kaplan nods, and looks past Kevin. Kevin looks over his shoulder toward Miss Farmer.)
In a world where everyone was taking advantage of everybody else...
(Miss Farmer reaches up into a cabinet.)
Sex and economics were facts of life. For all of us.
(Cut to class.)
The teenagers in Africa have a life that's very much different than yours...
I continued to see Miss Farmer every day, but, somehow, it wasn't the same after that.
They usually spend their time working...
(Cut to Mr. Kaplan's house. Kevin is on a ladder, painting.)
After all, in a way, she had done me a favor - taught me a lesson in "life". To wit, when it came to beautiful women and money, it would always end like this - some guy would get stuck on a ladder in November...
(Mr. Kaplan steps outside and examines Kevin's work.)
Hey! You missed a spot! (Gestures.)
And some guy would end up alone. All I know for sure is, it took me six weeks to finish painting that house. It cost me two-hundred-and-fourteen dollars of my own hard-earned money. And the next spring, Mr. Kaplan put up aluminum siding.
Also seeFull Transcript
(Ep 101 - "Kevin Delivers")
For most kids I went to high school with, Tuesday and Friday nights meant homework, hanging out, dating - the usual agonies and ecstasies of teenage life. For me, those nights meant something else - my high school job. I was "Kevin Arnold - Chinese food delivery boy".
(In the restaurant kitchen.)
Chong's Chinese restaurant. Where you found harried waiters, agile cooks, Peking ducks, and of course...
After four months on the job, we'd finally learned how to communicate.
Well, traffic was a little rough.
Yessir. I'm sorry, sir.
And I made up excuses.
Not that the guy was Simon LeGree, or anything.
(Mr. Chong answers the telephone.)
Hello! Chong's Chinese....Oh, yes, we certainly do have reservations for this evening. Hnnn.
(He hangs up.)
Yeah. Funny, isn't it?
Can I go now?
(Mr. Chong points to his watch and gestures.)
Still, in his own way, I think he valued me. Hey, he didn't have a choice. Who else was gonna work for eight bucks a week, plus tips?
(Kevin dials the phone.)
Winnie? Hi, it's me. Uh, listen, these first deliveries aren't much, so, I figured it'll be a pretty easy night, and I'll be over at your house around nine-thirty, or so? Yeah...I love you -
(Mr. Chong approaches and takes the phone, holding it out.)
(Mr. Chong hangs up the phone.)
I'm going. I'm, I'm going.
And so, twice a week, rain or shine, with egg foo yung and chicken chow mein by my side, I entered a world unlike anything I knew at home.
(Later, Kevin is on the phone again.)
Winnie! Hi, it's me. Uh, listen. I'm running a little later than I thought.
The second phone call of the night.
Right. I had to talk to some lady's cat.
In some ways, it was pivotal.
Yeah...Yeah, I miss you, too.
(The kitchen workers are looking at Kevin.)
Unfortunately, privacy was at a minimum.
Yeah, yeah...Winnie, I can't say it right now...
What the hell...
I love you, too!
(The workers laugh and gesture. Kevin hangs up and smiles.)
(Mr. Chong enters.)
And with those words of encouragement, I was back on the road - ready for anything.
Eight o'clock - the mid-point of the evening. The restaurant was in high-gear. People coming in, orders going out...
(Kevin is on the phone again.)
Yeah, Winnie, I know. I'm just running a little later than I thought. Well...Well, I had this problem with the last delivery. I'll tell ya about it later! Yeah, but -
(Mr. Chong takes the phone.)
I'm sorry, Kevin can't talk to you right now - he's very busy! But he loves you.
Yeah. The guy was all heart.
I'm going...I'm going! (Exits.) Butthead!
*(^%&. (Subtitles: Butthead!)
So, I headed out again.
(Kevin has just set up the Pizza guy with the cat woman.)
Heck, after an evening of bad luck and bad tips, of towed cars and rabid dogs, and unsympathetic girlfriends, it only seemed fair to go out on a high-note.
(Back at the restaurant.)
^%*$(%(%#%#. 216 Maple.
But it's ten o'clock - the restaurant's closed!
*%$*#^#^&. 216 Maple.
But enough was enough.
No more. No way, no how! My day's over. You know, I have my rights - I'm not a slave!
(Subtitle over Mr. Chong: "Incrutible silence.")
Alright - if that's how you feel about it.
I wasn't just standing up for myself. I was standing up for oppressed workers everywhere. The down-trodden, the disadvantaged - the totally-without-guts.
One more. But that's it!
What the hey. After a night like this, what else did I have to do?
(Kevin pulls up at the curb.)
216 Maple. Which in this case, turned out to be...a deserted park.
I don't believe this.
(A car honks.)
And to add Pepperoni to insult...
I should have known.
I dunno...maybe it was my destiny to end up on a lonely street, in a dead-end job, no one to share my sorrows with but -
(Winnie appears at the passenger window and knocks.)
Hi! Did you get my message?
This is your order?
I knew it was the only way I was gonna get to see you tonight. So, we still on for dinner?
(On a park bench.)
Got some plum sauce?
You got it.
And there you had it.
This is nice, isn't it?
Working for Mr. Chong certainly wasn't the best job I ever had. The hours were long, the money was poor, and employee-management relations left a lot to be desired. But in it's way, each night held a promise - of riches.
You want some chow mein?
Uh, no thanks. I'm kinda sick of Chinese.
Well, maybe we could order some pizza!
Also seeFull Transcript
(Ep 103 - "Let Nothing You Dismay")
(Jack and the boys are bringing in a large Christmas tree.)
Don't you think you're going a little overboard, honey?
What are you talking about? Besides, it Christmas - felt like splurging.
It was incredible. It was like Santa Claus making a house-call.
And I was gonna be next on his list.
Could I, uh...borrow a couple bucks?
Like say, ninety-nine, ninety-nine.
It's just, you know, I want to get somethin' for Winnie, and I'm running a little bit short, so...
Sure. No problem.
Bingo. Down the chimney he came.
Oh, honey...Charlie called while you were out. He said he won't be able to make it over tonight.
What's he getting - cold feet?
My Santa went south.
What's that supposed to mean?
It means nothing! He said everything was fine - he had a few last-minute things he has to take care of, and he'd see you at the bank on Friday.
(Jack gives Kevin five dollars.)
Buy her somethin' special.
Right. Thanks, Dad.
Well, like they say - if at first you don't succeed...
(Cut to Chong's Chinese restaurant.)
Ask Mr. Chong.
I've been thinking. And, you know, I've been working here for about six months. And, I've done...a pretty good job - wouldn't you say?
(Mr. Chong laughs and walks away.)
All-in-all, a promising start.
Well, what I mean is...I like it.
You're a great guy.
Yeah, I...I learn a lot here.
And, you know, this being Christmas and all.
So what do you say?
You don't have to give me a gift.
No. No, I meant me!
I'm not giving you a gift either.
(Mr. Chong walks away.)
Hmmm. Seems what we had here was a failure to communicate.
I dont think you understood what I meant!
At least in English.
I need a raise!
There! The universal language.
And what else could the guy say, but -
Get back to work.
(Cafeteria with Paul, Jeff and Chuck.)
Come on, you gotta be joking! I mean, a hundred bucks?! For a sweater?!
Well, it-it's cashmere.
The fabric of royalty.
So? Ninety-nine bucks is too much to spend for any woman.
What am I supposed to do? I think she's gonna buy me something really expensive.
Well, maybe you should go for it. Last year, I spent eighty-seven bucks on a gift - and she loved it!
Who was that for?
Uh, just someone I know.
Oh, come on, Chuck. It was for your mother, wasn't?
I was just wondering - are you coming over Christmas Eve?
Oh, good...I can't wait till you see what I got you. It's really neat.
Well, listen, Winnie. I hope you didn't go overboard, or anything. I mean, I would love anything you got me. And, besides, it's just the thought that counts.
Don't be silly. It's Christmas. I can't wait! (Exits.)
Man, are you in trouble.
It boiled down to this - my goose was cooked.
(Cut to Chong's Chinese restaurant.)
Mr. Chong! I know we talked about this - but I gotta have that raise!
Look, look, I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't really important.
Hey, I just thought -
You got it.
Fifty cents more an hour.
It was like discovering Scrooge had a heart.
Wow! Thank you!
Tomorrow? But, that's Christmas Eve.
So...no one works on Christmas Eve.
(Mr. Chong puts a Santa hat on Kevin.)
Congratulations. Now you're one of Santa's little helpers. Ho-ho-ho.
Also see Full Transcript
(Ep 114 - "Summer")
Me? That July, I was working in my dad's furniture factory. Sanding the edges off about 500,000 pieces of wood a day.
Hey, scrote! Pick up the slack, will ya?
Shut up, Wayne.
That's no way to talk to your supervisor!
You're not my supervisor.
If I'm not your supervisor, why am I wearing a jacket and a tie?
(Wayne makes notes and walks away. Kevin resumes his work.)
In what has to rate as the dumbest career move in history, I'd traded my job at Chong's Chinese for a future in sawdust.
Kevin? Your checking the machine after every load, right?
(Jack is inspecting the machine and Kevin's work.)
And you're being careful?
The worst part was, for some inexplicably reason, everything my father did irritated the heck out of me.
Also see Full Transcript
Wonder Years Menu