Miss Lisa Farmer - Social Studies
(Ep 97 - "Sex and Economics")
Junior year was a time of...exploration. A time for expanding horizons, broadening perspectives, seeking answers to little-known questions. It was an opportunity to grapple with the great issues of our day, which as it happened, boiled down to only two.
(Shot of Miss Farmer's legs as she walks across the classroom.)
...there were only four independent republics, as compared to now. By the end of 1972, there's gonna be forty-one.
(The camera slowly pans up Miss Farmer as she leans against her desk.)
One was sex.
So...now is eveybody paying attention?
Miss Farmer - our social studies teacher.
Who can tell me the names...of three African republics? No one? Let's look at a map.
(Miss Farmer moves to the map and reaches up to pull it down.)
In one of the great cosmic ironies of our time, the board of education had hired her to mold and develop our formative young minds.
Domenick? Can you point out Liberia on the map?
It's, uh, that yellow one. Right there.
(Laughs.) Perhaps you could come up and show us.
Uh, can't...m-my foot's asleep.
Not an uncommon ailment in social studies that year.
Alright. Why doesn't everybody just pass up their assignments...
All in all, if you were sixteen and male, it was agony - no one was immune. Which brings me back to the point. For teenage boys, there were only two great issues - sex...
(At a gas-station.)
That'll be three-sixty-nine.
And, of course, economics.
And let me be clear about this - by "economics", I mean cold, hard, cash. Not that I had any.
(Kevin is looking at job ads on the bulletin board.)
Fact! This cashflow thing was beginning to cloud my judgement. And so, desperation led me to consider once-unthinkable options. In other words - I needed a second job. Preferably one that didn't require a name-tag and a shovel. Or a Baggie and a scoop.
And then, just as luck and money were running out...
(Miss Farmer puts a card up.)
Oh! Hi, Kevin.
Lust and fortune stepped in - and opportunity knocked.
(Cut to Miss Farmer's house. Kevin knocks on the door.)
Hi. I came about the job.
(Laughs) Well, gee! 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.)
Anyway, uh, here I am.
Well, good! Why don't you come on in? I'm making some lemonade.
And the formalities out of the way, negotiations began.
For your lemonade?
So. Don't you even want to know what the job is?
Well, it's, uh, painting, right? 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...maybe I should have it done professionally.
But at that moment I'd have killed to keep professionals from her house.
Hey, why hire them when you got me?
Well...if you really think you can.
Course I can. So...what would I be painting?
The house? The whole house?
(Giggles) No - just the outside. The thing is...I don't have much money.
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 looks at five one-hundred-dollar bills Miss Farmer in holding in front of her chest.)
And that's when it happened. Right then. Right there. Two great forces of nature converged. Beauty...and cash.
Course, you would take care of supplies. Can you start this weekend?
(Kevin and his "crew" show up to paint the house.)
That's a window! Right there! Man, this is gonna cost more. I'd say...at least - fifty.
Fifty!? Yeah, but we agreed on -
Fifty. Up front, and in cash.
It was a holdup worthy of Jesse James. And I wasn't buying.
Oh,no. No way, forget it!
But Arnold -
Donnelly, we had a deal. And a deal's a deal. Period.
Hey, I was no patsy. After all, I had an investment here. Unfortunately, at that moment, the stock market crashed.
I'm so glad you're here! Are you just about ready to get started?
Sure, just about!
OK, Arnold. So we have a deal?
What else could I do? I was stymied. Greed and temptation had conspired against me.
I had to ask Miss Farmer for an extra hundred dollars. It shouldn't be difficult. This was business - simple economics. It had nothing to do with anything else.
(Kevin approaches Miss Farmer, who is wearing a zebra-patterned bathing suit and reclining on a chaise-lounge.)
Nothing to do with long legs, with soft skin, with the way a woman smelled in the morning.
Miss Farmer? You got a second?
I guess it must look kind of silly - me sunbathing here without a pool.
But somehow, "silly" wasn't exactly the word that came to mind.
So? How's it going?
Oh, fine! It's just...actually, uh, what I came to tell ya is I think it's gonna cost more than I thought.
Really? Well, you should have told me! You can always come to me when you have a problem.
(Miss Farmer pulls out a wad of money.)
Holy cow! This was gonna be easier than I thought. I was funded, I was flush! I was back in the chips.
Here! Here's an extra ten dollars.
I was working...for peanuts.
I'm glad I could help.
I was gonna turn a profit from this thing, or die trying. Sure, I'd gotten confused by beauty, by lust, by greed. But no more.
(The next night, Kevin knocks on Miss Farmer's door.)
But no more. Nope. Business was business, was...
(Fantasy scene. Miss Farmer opens the door, all dolled-up. She pulls Kevin toward her.)
I've been waiting for you.
(Back to reality. Miss Farmer opens the door.)
I'm glad you stopped by. Won't you come in? I just made some lemonade. Would you like some?
No thanks. I just came over to tell you something.
At that moment, I noticed something about Miss Farmer that I'd never before seen. She had a large man in her kitchen.
Oh, Kevin. This is Mr. Kaplan. He just...bought my house.
We just signed the papers this morning.
She'd really done this?
Not far...just an apartment across town. I love this house. You know, when I first moved in, I thought one day I'd get married, raise a 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.
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?
Why, Kevin! Of couse 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.
Yeah, that was it - the bottom-line. In anyone's ledger.
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. I just paid fifty-five grand, for a forty-thousand-dollar house.
In a world where everyone was taking advantage of everybody else, sex and economics were facts of life - for all of us.
(Cut to classroom.)
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 "Dave's" house. Kevin is on a ladder, painting.)
After all, in a way, she'd 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...
Hey! You missed a spot!
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.
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