John "Jack" Arnold
(Ep 1 - "Pilot")
(Norma greets Jack as he enters after work.)
Hi hon. How's traffic?
Dad had a Spartan sense of language.
(Jack sits down at the kitchen table, takes a sip from his glass, then looks toward Paul.)
(Paul waves his bread.)
Dad always said "hi" to our friends, but it was like he had this understanding with the family. He worked hard for us, he provided for us, and he certainly didn't want to have to talk to us on top of that. My approach was to not make any sudden moves or sounds until he'd finished that first vodka tonic and hope that nobody else did anything that might upset him too much before then.
(Karen looks toward Jack.)
I'm gonna get some birth-control pills. I thought you should know.
(Kevin's eyes get large, and Jack frowns at Karen. Sound of a tea-pot whistle starting, and Jack bangs the table with his fist.)
I didn't hear what I just heard!
(In the Assistant Principal's office.)
Kevin, the question is, what did you hope to achieve by throwing an apple into a cafeteria?
(V/O): No butthead, the question is why do you have a brain the size of a baby pea?
Kevin! Mr. Diperna just asked you a question. What did you hope to achieve by throwing that apple into the cafeteria?
(V/O): World peace.
Well, Kevin, that's exactly what you did achieve - nothing. Now, I'm going to let you go without any further punishment. But I want you to know that I'll be keeping my eye on you. Do you understand that?
Kevin! Do you understand that?
I'd like to take him home now.
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(Ep 2 - "Swingers")
(The Arnold's are getting ready to go to the Cooper's, after Brian's funeral. Norma is poking a bowl of green Jell-O.)
Oh no, the Jell-O salad isn't set. Here Kevin...you take the ham.
Like women all over America my mother confronted tragedy and death with cold ham and Jell-O salad.
The little marshmallows are just swimming in there.
Come on Norma - let's just go.
Let me put some ice cubes in - it'll take five minutes.
You've got the ham. You don't need to bring the Jell-O, too.
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(Ep 3 - "My Father's Office")
(Kevin and Wayne are sitting at the kitchen table, as Norma is fidgeting in the kitchen. Jack's car screeches into the driveway.)
TV SHOW about Gorillas: While the mother remains with the young, the male ventures into a hostile environment to find sustenance. He returns after an unsuccessful foray - aggressive and unpredictable. Notice the reaction of the startled mother...(Norma looks out the window)...as her offspring...(Kevin and Wayne look nervous)...begin to sense the presence of the male.
Your father's had a bad day at work so no noise. (Gestures.)
(Jack comes through the kitchen door.)
Hi hon, how's work?
(Jack walks through the kitchen.)
The irritable male gives out unmistakable signals that tell the young to keep their distance.
Let's go play catch.
(Jack jerks the kitchen door open and walks directly to Kevin, slamming the door behind him and dropping his briefcase onto the table.)
Dammit, Kevin! How many times I tell ya not to leave your bicycle in the driveway?!
You think they grow on trees?! If you don't want to take care of it...(jabs his finger at Kevin)...you don't have to have it!
But I was just going to ride it over to Paul's later.
Now you're not going to ride it over to Paul's. You're going to put it away, and then you're going to go to your room. Now!
And then sometimes, you knew you shouldn't do it, but you just couldn't help yourself.
OK, OK, get a grip on yourself.
You gave him lip.
What did you say?
I asked you a question, dammit, what did you say?
We have certain rules around here, young man, and you're going to follow them. The first one is that you take care of your own stuff!
I guess we really didn't understand why he was so hard on us sometimes. Because sometimes, and I remember these times so distinctly, my dad could be great. He could be so much fun. You never wanted that feeling to end...And then, for some reason, it always would.
(Jack is looking at the TV.)
Dad, what do you do all day?
Aw, man! (Frowns.) I can't believe they lost to the Senators.
Dad, I said - what do you do all day?
What do I do all day? (Frowns.) I shovel other people's crap so you kids can eat.
O-kay... That was pretty specific. No need to press the issue.
No, I mean, what do you do?
Wh- ? I work at NORCOM - you know that.
Yeah, I know, but what do you do there?
Come on, Kevin. I work all day and all I ask now is to sit here and watch this...
("Buckle Up for Safety" commercial plays on TV.)
Great. (Frowns.) Is two minutes peace and quiet too much to ask for around here? Now what do you want?
(Norma and Jack are in the kitchen.)
I couldn't help but overhearing a little bit.
He just wants to know what you do, Jack.
He knows what I do. I work at NORCOM.
Yeah, but he wants to know what that's like. You gotta relax a little, Jack.
Dammit Norma, don't tell me to relax! I mean, what does he want to know? About the seven S-14 forms I gotta fill out every time I turn around? About the whining customers, about the incompetent jackasses in shipping and receiving?
Yeah. Yes, I think that's exactly what he wants to know. He wants to know more about you, Jack! I don't know why that's so hard for you to understand.
(Kevin is sulking in bed as Jack enters.)
Oh no, pal. You think it's going to be that easy. You hurt my feelings, and now you have to pay the piper.
So you want to know what I do at work, huh?
That's it, don't look him in the eye. Don't look him in the eye. Don't look him in the...
(Kevin looks at Jack.)
Oh geez, what are you doin'? You're killin' me here.
It's uh...no big deal, ya know. Mostly pushin' papers from over here to over there. It's...not some...(shrugs)...big glamorous thing.
OK, fine. Look at him...look at him all you want - just no words, OK?
What do the papers say?
What's your office like?
It's an office. Four walls, a ceiling, a door...
Does it have filing cabinets?
Sure, it has filing cabinets. Look, Kevin, uh...why don't you come into the office with me tomorrow and see for yourself? I'll write you a note, OK? OK?!
OK. Good night. Set your alarm for six-thirty. I don't want to be waiting for ya.
(The kitchen in the morning.)
We better go. Traffic's gonna be hell.
(Cut to the NORCOM parking lot.)
And so I went to work with my father. I didn't know exactly what I expected to learn about him here. I guess I was looking for clues. Something to explain why he was the way he was.
(Cut to the office as Jack opens the door. Jack's co-workers approach.)
Everybody, this is my son, Kevin. This is Phyllis and Stan and Betty and Mary.
You look just like your old man.
Oh my goodness, he's adorable.
What an angel. Look at those cheeks.
I got the feeling they didn't see a lot of twelve-year-olds around here.
And what are you gonna be when you grow up?
Are you going to come to work with us at NORCOM?
Of course I knew exactly what I was going to be when I grew up - either centerfielder for the San Francisco Giants, or a crewmember of the first manned spacecraft to Mars.
Are you going to go into distribution like your father, hmmm?
I don't know, maybe.
Uh, come on Kevin, I'll show you my office. (To co-workers): Excuse me.
(Cut to Jack's office.)
Dad's office wasn't impressive the way, say, the Apollo 8 was impressive, but it did have a lot of pretty cool stuff in it. A big executive desk, a phone with lots of flashing lights and buttons, and a swivel chair.
Can I sit in your chair?
(Kevin sits, and "swivels".)
(To intercom): Phyllis, pull the quarterly distribution reports. Oh, and the, uh...West Coast shipping statements from September.
(Kevin starts to rise.)
No, you can sit down...
No, no, it's OK, OK...sit down, sit down. OK!
(He claps his hands together.)
First thing you gotta learn about around here is the S-14 forms. You gotta fill one of these babies out every time -
Jeff Meyers on one.
(He picks up the phone.)
Hello Jeff! How are ya? Good, good. Really? No, look Jeff, I told him the same thing, but he said that NU-Tech wanted those 1018's. Well, Jeff, Jeff! - that's not really my problem. They should know their own system, right? Yeah, OK. Uh, OK, I'll see ya. Uh huh.
(He hangs up the phone.)
Be with ya in just a minute here, Kevin.
Peter Dante on two.
Yeah Phyllis. Thanks. Hello, Pete. Yeah, Jack Arnold. How are ya? Good, good. Listen, Pete, I was just talking with Jeff Meyers over...I don't know. I don't know! I'm checking on it right now. Oh, well hell, Pete! They could just get someone else then!
I had no idea what my father was talking about, but suddenly I fell in love with the rhythm and flow of it all. The way he punched those phone buttons, flipped through papers, gave orders.
Can you give me a minute, please!
He had power, authority, just like at home, only here it was even more mysterious and impressive.
(Wisanski enters and waits for Jack.)
Hello, Pete. Listen, I'm working on it right now. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.
(Jack hangs up the phone.)
(To Wisanski): Call Albuquerque, tell 'em Rusty ordered a...AG Lansford, and you get me the purchase orders from last week. I forgot my briefcase in the car. (Gestures.)
(Jack looks at Kevin and gestures to "stay put".)
(Jack hurries out of the scene. Kevin has a fantasy about doing Jack's job. Jack returns.)
Wisanski! Bring the purchase order. Phyllis - get Pete back for me.
We need these approved by Friday...and we're having a problem with STI Phoenix. The October shipment's late.
What do you mean "late", how late, and when did you find this out?
Well, they called yesterday, but I thought maybe they would get there by today.
You though maybe it would get there by today. What the hell? (To intercom:) Phyllis, get me Southwest Express, please.
Well, actually we're using a new carrier. Maybe they, uh, you know -
You what?! You went with a new carrier? Jesus, Wisanski! You didn't clear that with me. If this screws up the damn account, we're all gonna be...
Look, I'm sorry. Maybe I should go down there.
Look, no...it's OK, I'll handle it. Next time check first with me.
(Jack leans forward on the desk as Wisanski exits. He sighs at Kevin.)
Tell you what, Kevin, it is time you learned about the most important part of the working day. The coffee break. (Gestures.) Come on.
Jack, Mr. Keller's on line one.
Tell 'em I'm not here.
Oh, but he sounds like it's important.
(Jack turns toward Kevin and motions.)
(Jack walks past Phyllis and Kevin follows. Cut to the cafeteria. Jack is filling coffee cups at the vending machine, then hands a cup to Kevin. Kevin takes a seat and Jack follows.)
Sure that's what you want?
Yeah. (Nods.) I like it black.
(Jack raises an eyebrow and nods slowly.)
Uh huh. Learn something new every day.
(Kevin takes a sip of coffee, frowns a little, then smiles a little at Jack.)
When did you decide you wanted to become a manager of distribution and product support services?
(Jack smiles broadly.)
Hah! Sorry. Just a funny sort of a thought - really wanting to be manager of distribution and product support services. I mean it's a good job, but, uh...it's not what I thought I'd be doing with my life.
What did you want to do?
What - are you kiddin' - a professional baseball player.
Really? Well, I...did have a fallback position...
No. Not this job. I never told anybody this before - not even your mother. When I was your age, I wanted to be a captain of a ship.
A captain of a ship?
Yeah. Ya know, one of those big oceanliners...or a freighter...or an oil tanker...Be out there on the ocean in the middle of the night, navigating by the stars. Course, they use instruments for all that now, but...I didn't know that. Yeah, thought it would be the greatest thing in the world.
How come you didn't do it?
(Jack tries not to smile.)
Well, ya know...one thing leads to another...went off to college...Met your mom. Next summer I got a job on a loading dock here at NORCOM. Rest is history.
You'd have made a great ship's captain, Dad.
Nahhhh - probably not. Probably get sea sick. Huh. Ya know, Kevin...you can't do every silly thing you want to in life. You have to make your choices...you have to try and be happy with them. I've think we've done pretty well. Don't you?
But as we walked back to my father's office, I suddenly realized something that made a lot of things make sense. My dad was too good for this place. Sure it was a good job, and we were all lucky he had it and all that...But my Dad had something finer in him than S-14's and distribution reports. I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man.
(Jack's boss approaches, upset.)
What the hell is this, Arnold?! This is incompetence, just plain incompetence!
Look, Al...Wisanski -
Never mind Wisanski! He works for you! Now this is the third major screw up in your department in the last two months. Now if you can't hire competent people, and supervise them, we can find somebody that can!
It's being taken care of.
Well it sure as hell better be! Oh, and one more thing. The next time I try to get you on the phone...you better be there, to take the call. Now do you read me, Arnold? Do you read me?!!
Yeah Al, I read you.
(Jack and Kevin return home, frowning.)
That night my father stood there, looking up at the sky the way he always did. But suddenly I realized I wasn't afraid of him in quite the same way anymore. The funny thing is, I felt like I lost something.
Come here, Kevin. That's Polaris, the North Star. That's how the sailors used to find their way home.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 4 - "Angel")
(At dinner with Karen's boyfriend, Louis.)
Louis doesn't eat meat, Dad.
Hey, just thought I'd mention it.
No meat, Louis?
No. Meat, uh, meat just doesn't turn me on, really.
No meat, huh? Imagine that.
I knew it! Dad would carve through this guy like a butcher carves through a pork loin.
Oh, I heard honey, why the Vandover's didn't go to Brian's funeral. They were in Chicago. Dick's mother had a stroke.
One of the boys on our block was killed in Vietnam several weeks ago.
Oh, I-I know. I mean, uh, Karen told me. Another meaningless death.
I beg you pardon?
I-I just meant that...it's just a shame, uh...a kid has to die for basically no reason.
I don't think it's meaningless when a young man dies for freedom and for his country.
I just have a little trouble...justifying dying for a government that systematically represses its citizens.
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
It means the United States government is responsible for the oppression of blacks, women, free speech...
Well perhaps, little lady, you'd like to go live in Russia for a little while, hah?!
Oh, uh...I think what Karen is saying is that -
Look, buster! I happen to believe that freedom and democracy have certain advantages that Communist dictatorships don't, and that is what Vietnam is all about!
No, man, that's what they brainwash you to believe it's all about. They...(sighs)...they turn people into brainwashed morons.
My hunch was that my father would not let being called a brainwashed moron at his diner table go unremarked.
So...you think I've been brainwashed, do you, Louis?
No, no. Look - I think anyone...who supports the American war effort in Vietnam, is having the wool pulled over his eyes.
Just like they did with Korea.
What the hell do you know about Korea? I was in Korea. I lost a lot of good friends there.
Daddy, that doesn't have anything to do with what we're saying.
And they weren't brainwashed! They were brave men who weren't afraid to fight for what they believed in. Now if you're afraid to fight - why don't you just say so?! Why don't you just admit you're chicken?!
You're damned right! I am chicken. I don't want to die like your friends! What do you think that you achieved over there? Hmm? Do you think that those people are free? They're not free, man. Except to buy Coca-Cola, and...(smirks)...Nestle's Quik...get loans from Chase-Manhattan National Bank...
You were used, man, and your friends were used.
Daddy, you never listen to what we say! Some of what we say is true!
Don't accept all this death and then justify it. It is wrong! Your friends should be alive - they should be...enjoying dinner, and arguing with their kids, just like you are.
What do you know about it?! Who the hell are you to say that?!
You see this, man? This is my draft notice. In two weeks - I can go to jail...I can go to Canada...or I can go get shot full of holes, like your friend Brian Cooper. You keep thinking the way you do, Mr. Arnold, and these two will be next. And I just hope that's what they want.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 5 - "The Phone Call")
Do you remember the first time Dad called you up on the phone?
Um...I don't really remember.
I think it was Macy's.
Oh, that's right, Macy's. I was working at a tie counter at Macy's...and your father called to see if he could return a tie.
(Kevin is sitting at the phone.)
Well, this was it. T minus nineteen and counting. I could just pick up that phone and call her anytime now.
(Kevin tentatively places his hand on the handset, and closes his eyes tightly. He jerks back when Jack enters.)
Norma, where's that damn check book?
(V/O): It's in the drawer!
No, it's not. I looked.
(Jack looks in a drawer. Kevin opens another drawer and takes out the check book.)
Mmh? Oh, thanks.
(Jack takes the check book from Kevin and starts to write a check.)
(To Norma): Never mind!
I was just going to use the phone.
(Jack concentrates on the checkbook.)
So use it.
Well, I was kind of hoping for a little privacy.
(Jack is still busy with the checkbook.)
What do you need privacy for?
I'm calling about returning a tie.
(Jack looks at Kevin.)
As he looked at me, I knew we both sensed the cycle of family history poignantly repeating itself.
Since when do you wear ties? Don't touch my pens.
(Kevin and Wayne are fighting over the phone.)
(V/O, yelling): Hey, what the hell is going on in there?
(Wayne and Kevin bang the phone down.)
Wayne, get out of here and leave him alone. Now!
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 8 - "Our Miss White")
(At the dinner table.)
I thought you hated plays. (Frowns.) Why do you want to be in a play all of a sudden?
I don't know. No reason.
Kevin? What play is it? (Smiles.)
It's called "The Times, They Are a-Changin'". It's about the civil rights movement and stuff like that.
(Jack looks at Norma.)
What the hell ever happened to "My Fair Lady"?
Dad! Theater's supposed to be a form of political expression.
(Jack looks at Karen.)
Not when you're twelve.
Don't you understand? I mean a play like this can raise people's consciousness about racial oppression. (Frowns.) Sheesh.
Watch your tone with your father.
Yeah, and give me that potato if you're not gonna eat it.
Kevin...I think it sounds wonderful.
Um...(frowns)...we have to rehearse until five-thirty everyday. Um, can you pick me up?
Oh, gee, I don't know. (Frowns.) I'm right in the middle of fixing dinner at five-thirty. Jack, do you think, maybe, you could swing by school and pick him up on your way home?
(Jack looks from Norma to Kevin and wipes his hands on his napkin.)
I don't get it. (Frowns.) Why do you want to be in a play?
(Jack gestures with both hands and makes a face.)
What was the matter with the man? Couldn't he see that I was pursuing a mature love relationship with a beautiful twenty-eight year-old woman and all I needed was a ride?
OK, OK. I'll pick you up.
Yes. I mean, thanks.
(After rehearsal, Kevin and Miss White chat.)
Well, it was pretty clear. She didn't see me as any ordinary seventh-grader. She saw me...as a man. A man who understood things like democracy and social injustice. A man who understood her deepest thoughts and feelings. A man. A man...
Kevin? Ready to go?
(Jack is standing near the front of the audience chairs, with his hands in his pockets.)
A man who was getting picked up by his father.
Well, Kevin, is that your father?
(Miss White approaches Jack and they shake hands.)
Jack Arnold. Nice to meet you. (Smiles.)
Hi. Diane White. It's a pleasure. (Smiles.)
Diane White? Didn't seem to fit. To me, she was more of a...Miss White.
Now, I must tell you, Mr. Arnold, that Kevin is an extraordinary young man. It's a pleasure to have him in my class and, of course, in the play.
Yeah. He's a good kid.
(Kevin looks off impatiently.)
Let's face it - I was well-liked. Now-now, let's go.
He's really a natural actor.
Yeah? That's funny cause I always thought he hated acting.
Let's go, let's go.
Yeah. (Laughs.) You see, in fourth grade - Kevin you remember this? (Smiles.) In fourth grade, he had to play Winnie-the-Pooh in his class play. (Laughs.) And right in the middle of his big scene with Piglet...(gestures) - in front of the whole school with all the parents...(gestures) - his little bear suit splits wide open. (Smiles.)
So, Jack - ready to go?
(Miss White looks at Kevin cooly. Jack turns toward Kevin and glares at him. Twang of guitar. Kevin looks timidly at Jack.)
I mean...Dad. Mister...Dad. Sir.
(Fade to the auditorium. Kevin is practicing his lines. He finishes and looks at Miss White, as Jack approaches her.)
Miss White, was that O - ?
(Kevin pauses. Miss White is facing Jack and looks over her shoulder.)
OK, very nice everybody. That's it for today.
(Miss White crosses her arms and turns back to Jack and starts talking.)
Oh, great. Now, he was probably telling her about the time at Ocean City...when that wave knocked my bathing suit off. Or that time at Funland when I threw up on the cup-and-saucer ride. Or that time at the -
Yep, two years in Korea.
Wait a second. I never spent two years in Korea.
Got a small piece of shrapnel in my leg but I didn't think the limp was noticeable anymore. (Smiles.)
Oh, barely. Hardly at all. Just...a little bit, really.
A question to consider...why at that moment did I wish that I had shrapnel in my leg?
Listen, I consider myself lucky. A lot of my buddies never made it out of that place.
War is such a terrible thing. Isn't it?
(Kevin rolls his eyes and nods.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Miss White? (Frowns.) Was I OK today? (Nods.)
(Miss White turns slightly.)
Yes, Kevin. You were fine.
(She turns to face Jack and leans a little closer.)
Does the experience haunt you, at all?
(Jack looks down.)
Well-well sure. Sure, I think about it now and again.
(Jack turns and smiles slightly, then looks off in thought.)
It's only natural. I guess nothing's ever quite the same after going through something like that.
(Miss White looks at Jack, then tilts her head.)
Wait a minute! What was she doing? That was my look. She was looking at him.
(Kevin stands up quickly.)
Dad? Let's go.
(Miss White and Jack turn slightly and look at him. Cut to Jack and Kevin playing catch in the back yard.)
Now, most people don't know this but there are two kinds of logic. There's logic-logic...
(Kevin frowns toward Jack as he winds up to pitch.)
And then there's 12 year-old-in-love logic.
(Jack is in the catchers's squat, as Kevin pitches.)
(Jack catches the ball and throws it back.)
High and inside.
The way I figured it, everything had been going great with Miss White. Until Dad came along.
(Kevin pitches and Jack catches.)
That was not! (Gestures.)
I hated him for it.
(Kevin pitches a hard fastball. Jack catches the ball and frowns.)
Ow. What are you tryin' to do?
(Jack shakes his glove-hand and starts to stand up.)
Break my hand?
(Jack smiles and tosses the ball up slightly. Kevin frowns and throws his glove down and walks forward.)
That was a strike! And so was the last one!
(Kevin kicks his glove, then walks toward Jack.)
What's the matter with you?
(Kevin walks past Jack, who looks after him and frowns.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 9 - "Christmas")
(Christmas tree lot.)
You gotta be joking - eight bucks for a crummy little stick like this?
That's highway robbery.
Not that my father was Scrooge. It's just that...every year around this time, he'd - he'd go into kinda of a...slump.
Next year we're gonna skip the damn tree.
It was a bad time to be hittin' him up for a major appliance. Still, in an emergency, there were ways to the big guy's heart.
Here, let me help you with that, Dad.
Kill him in kindness...drown him in good-will.
Hey, I got it!
All the while, sending him very specific, psychic messages.
TV, TV, TV, TV...
Looks like you got a headache.
Of course, you didn't want to tip your hand. This was a delicate procedure, that required the touch...
So, Dad. You gonna buy us that color TV, or not?
Of a sledgehammer.
He didn't tell you?
What do we need a color TV for?
So you can watch things. In color!
Baseball! (Shrugs.) Football. Uh...baseball!
TV's cost money kids.
And money doesn't grow on trees. Ya know that.
Yeah. We did know that. If there was one thing we knew, it was that money doesn't grow on trees.
Come on, get in.
Still, he hadn't specifically said "no". So there was still hope. After all, Christmas was a time when impossible dreams came true. When the Grinch turned good. So maybe...
"Buck-a-foot"...you believe that? Highway robbery...
Or, maybe not.
(All the Arnold's are in the living room, as Jack is putting up the tree.)
Maybe Paul was right. The great color-TV campaign was sputtering. Dad was a rock. The situation was getting desperate. So was Wayne.
Honey? You haven't been peeking in the closets, have you?
(Wayne frowns and shakes his head.)
(Karen reaches into a box, and pulls an ornament out.)
Ah - look everybody! It's the little bird in the cage!
Uh-oh. Holiday traditions. My family was honey-combed with them.
You know who gave this to us?
(Kevin looks away.)
Your uncle Mike. He used to say that it reminded him...
(Kevin mouths the words as Norma speaks.)
Of the only girl he ever loved.
I hated those old stories. There was a reason.
You know what I'm remembering?
And here it came.
The year Kevin played Santa in the school pageant.
Mom, you don't have to right now. It's -
I know....but you were so cute! The way you came...waddling in, just like a bowl full of jelly.
Yeah, with his pants almost falling off.
Did these people have no mercy?
He was pretty cute.
Wait a minute. Was that a smile on the old man's face? An actual smile? We'd caught him off-guard! Now was our chance. With the right combination of tact and finesse...we might just -
Dad? Are you gonna get us that new color-TV set, or not?
Mom said that we were gonna get one. Didn't you, Mom? (Nods.)
Obviously something critical had malfunctioned in Wayne's brain.
I didn't say definitely...I did say that your father and I might -
Everybody else has one!
(Jack slams the pliers into his toolbox, stands up, and sighs.)
Fact is I like color-TV. Fact is, I bet I like color-TV as much as the next guy. But let me ask you this...does anyone here, have any idea how much one of those sets costs?!
(Jack frowns at Kevin.)
Plus tax...minus the discount...(frowns)...four-thirty-four-forty total.
Looking back, he probably meant that question to be rhetorical.
(Later, Jack and Norma are at the kitchen table, wrapping presents.)
We can't afford it despite what you - what they think.
Well, I think we oughtta -
It's not like I don't work hard for a living, you know. I do what I can.
Honey, I know! It's just that...when I saw it there in the store - TV...I saw the kids looking at it...I saw us here, watching it, together. They've grown up so fast, Jack. Karen's almost leaving us. Honey? What the heck! (Gestures.) Why don't we just go for it? You don't have to give me anything this year...We - We'll eat hotdogs for a month!
(Jack looks off. Norma puts her hand on Jack's hand.)
You know it would make you feel good.
(Jack glances down, then frowns and sits back.)
I think I'm picking up some color, here! Oh, it's beautiful. It's -
Wayne! Will you just give it up?! We're not getting a TV! Just forget it! Well, I gotta go.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Where do you think you're goin'?
I have a date.
On Christmas Eve?
What your father means -
It's Christmas Eve - we spend Christmas Eve together! I can say what I mean.
"Jingle all the way..."
I'm goin' out, Dad. (Nods.)
Nobody...is going anywhere. We're all staying right...here.
(Kevin has gone to Winnie's house to give her a present, but she and her family had gone away to relatives, who are still grieving over Brian's death. Now, Kevin is walking along the sidewalk.)
That night I thought about a lot of things. About Winnie. About Brian. About my family. About how things get lost, or messed up.
(Kevin sees all the Arnolds in a group of carollers in front of a house, singing "Silent Night". Kevin joins them.)
Nothing short of a miracle was gonna make this right. And then it happened. It started...to pour.
(Heavy rain starts to fall and thunder sounds. The group scatters, but the Arnold's linger. Jack frowns.)
The thing was, Dad just stood there. We all wanted to run for cover. But Dad was just standing there. So, we all just stood there with him.
(Jack glances up, then looks at Norma, and starts to laugh. All the Arnold's start to laugh, and huddle together.)
Come on - what are we waiting for?
(They run off.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 12 - "Pottery Will Get You Nowhere")
(Kevin is sitting on the living room couch. Jack and Norma sit at the dining room table, with papers spread out in front of them.)
In all the years I spent growing up at my parents' house, I don't think I ever heard them use the word "relationship". Not once.
Damn taxes are givin' me indigestion.
"Indigestion"..."taxes"..."damn" - these were words you heard a lot.
(Cut to dinner at the kitchen table.)
I guess my mom just expected my dad to be a good man - honest, loyal, a good provider...hopefully possessed of good table manners.
(Jack burps quietly, covers his mouth, and glances at Norma.)
(Jack clears his throat. Norma smiles slightly.)
And my dad expected my mom to be a good woman - honest, loyal, a good mother -
(Jack frowns at the food on his fork.)
What is this?
(Jack eats it slowly.)
And hopefully a good cook.
(Jack cocks his head and smiles at Norma. Norma smiles back.)
And that was about it.
(Cut to a hardware store. Jack and Norma are browsing through samples of kitchen floor tiles.)
But if my parents didn't know much about relationships, they knew a lot about marriage. Like how to make a joint-decision. Mom would choose what she liked...Dad would choose what he liked...then they'd settle on something no one of our species could like.
(Cut to on the road in the Arnold car. Norma holds a map.)
They could completely disagree about something, without directly contradicting each other.
That was twenty-nine.
I told you - I'm stayin' on seventeen till Abbotsville.
(Jack pauses and glances at Norma.)
You think I should have taken twenty-nine.
I didn't say that. You can stay on seventeen.
(Norma pauses and points to the map.)
But that was twenty-nine.
(Kevin and Wayne begin fighting in the back seat.)
One thing my parents would never, ever do...
(The car stops at a barricade in the road. Signs read "Dead End" and "No Entry". Jack and Norma look at each other.)
Is yell at each other in front of the kids.
(Jack and Norma turn to face the back seat, and speak simultaneously.)
Kevin! Wayne! I told you to knock it off!
Boys! That's enough!
Course, they had no problem yelling at the kids in front of each other.
(Norma is getting the dinner table ready.)
Well...I guess that's everything. Oh, uh, Jack - could you lift up that bowl?
Something about a bowl, here?
(Norma slides a trivet under the bowl. Jack sets the bowl down and sighs. He pauses and looks at Norma. Norma looks at Jack.)
Notice anything different? (Smiles.)
You changed your hair. (Smiles.)
I changed my hair three weeks ago...
That's what I meant. (Gestures.) Three weeks ago...(Smiles.)
No...(Smiles.) The bowl.
(Jack looks at the bowl and frowns.)
Didn't anybody notice the new bowl? (Smiles.) I made it!
(Jack looks at the bowl and raises his eye-brows. Wayne looks at the bowl.)
How'd you make it?! (Smiles.)
(Norma is still talking about making the bowl.)
I could tell my mother was waiting for something. Although she wasn't gonna come right out and ask it. She wanted my father to say he liked the bowl. And I'm sure he knew she wanted him to say he liked the bowl. And she knew he knew she wanted to to say he liked the bowl...but for some reason, that I don't think any of us understood, he wasn't saying it.
(Norma approaches Jack with the bowl.)
So what do you think, honey?
A direct question. This was a bold and unexpected move.
(Jack looks at the bowl.)
(Jack glances toward Norma, then the kids and smiles.)
(Norma looks away, then back to Jack, frowning slightly.)
(Jack is looking in kitchen cabinets, as the boys eat breakfast.)
Where's my cup? Where the hell is my cup?!
Uh, I think Kevin used it.
I did not! (Frowns.)
I'm sorry...(gestures)...but in a situation like this, we must explore all avenues.
(Jack turns over his shoulder to yell at Norma in another room.)
Norma?! Where's my cup?!
I guess I should mention, here...that my dad had this cup. It had a picture of fish playing poker on it. And it said "Greetings from Independence, Missouri". He loved that cup.
(Jack sighs as he finds his cup. He rubs his fingers around inside it, dusting it off. Norma enters the kitchen looking concerned, then pauses. Jack looks at his cup.)
What is it doin' way back there?
(Norma holds out a thick, heavy cup.)
I made you a new one. (Smiles.)
(Jack looks apprehensively at the cup.)
See? I made the handle bigger so it's easier to use.
(Jack frowns as Norma takes his old cup, and hands him the new one.)
I just thought this was all stained and chipped...and I just wanted you to have a nice, new cup for a change.
(Jack looks at the cup. Norma puts an arm around his shoulder. Jack looks up at her.)
But I don't wanna change. (Gestures.) I like my old cup.
(Norma looks down at Jack.)
Fine. If you don't like the cup I made...you don't have to use it.
(Jack sticks his hand out and pats the air.)
Oh, OK. Alright, I'll use it.
(Norma tugs on the new cup.)
No, you don't have to! I don't want you to use it if you don't like it, Jack -
(Jack and Norma tug on the cup. Jack wins.)
I want to use it! (Frowns.)
Ya notice he didn't say he liked it.
(Jack moves to the coffee-pot and sighs heavily as he pours a cup.)
Well, maybe you could use both cups, Dad...
(Jack frowns and turns slowly toward Kevin.)
See, that way, you wouldn't have to...get up...and...pour yourself...a...second cup.
(Jack looks at Kevin, then takes his seat at the table. Karen pats another one of Norma's pottery things and looks at Norma.)
This is nice, Mom.
Yeah? You really think so?
Yeah! Yeah I do.
(Jack starts to take a sip from the new cup, then hesitates and looks at it.)
I...I think it's really interesting.
Richard said it has a real feeling of...texturality..(shrugs)...or textuality, or something. (Nods.)
(Jack looks at the newspaper and turns a page.)
Dad's grunt meant "who is this Richard, and why is he talking to my wife about textuality?".
Richard had to teach a blind man, once...how to throw pots...(nods)...so he taught himself how to do it with his eyes closed.
That's really beautiful!
And that meant "I wonder how far I could throw this guy with my eyes closed?"
Now, Richard's teaching himself to pot with his feet. Because there's this man with no hands...
(Jack turns the page of the newspaper, and knocks the cup off the table. The cup hits the floor and breaks. Norma frowns and straightens up, looking at the cup, then Jack. Jack glances from the cup to Norma.)
(Cut to later at dinner.)
That night at dinner, things were quiet.
(Jack frowns as he picks at his food.)
Too quiet. I couldn't even figure out what my parents were so mad about. I just wished they'd say something. I didn't even mind if they yelled at me, at least it would be something they could do together. That was it! If I just did something really, really bad...then Dad would yell at me...then Mom would yell at me, and then both would yell at me...and before ya knew it they'd be thinking and feeling as one!
(Kevin turns toward Wayne and flings mashed potatoes onto him. Jack looks at the boys.)
Kevin, what the hell are you doin'?!
(Kevin looks at Jack and smiles.)
OK. That's great.
(Kevin looks at Norma.)
(Norma looks down as she brushes her hair back. She glances at Kevin as she stands up, then walks off. Kevin frowns slightly. Jack frowns and throws his fork down. He stands up and tosses his napkin down.)
(Another day. The kids are at the kitchen table. Jack is at the open refrigerator, and Norma is at the sink.)
Don't we have any Pepsi?
Oh, no...we're out.
(Jack closes the refrigerator and turns toward Norma.)
You goin' to the store?
I hadn't planned to...
Where are ya goin'?
(Jack stands with his hands on his hips, as Norma puts on her coat.)
I thought you had class on Wednesday...
I have to take my vase out of the kiln.
Well, you gonna stop at the store on the way home?
If you want me to...
I didn't say I wanted you to...
But if you're going to, you can get me some Pepsi.
You want Pepsi? I'll get you Pepsi.
Nah, forget it. (Frowns.) I'll drink the Fresca.
You want Pepsi, I'll get Pepsi.
Nah, forget it.
I said...I'll get it, OK?!
(Norma gets her purse.)
(Later, Jack and Kevin are on the couch watching a football game on TV. Jack reaches toward another of Norma's creations.)
What is this? (Frowns.)
It's an ashtray. (Shrugs.)
It doesn't look like an ashtray. (Frowns.)
Well, uh, I think, um...these are where the cigarettes go, and...the ashes fall down here. See?
What does she think? We're gonna have two-hundred people smokin' here at once?
I don't know...
Why can't she make an ashtray that looks like an ashtray?
I don't know...
I didn't know. I didn't really know why it mattered what her ashtray looked like.
(Jack frowns and sets the ashtray down and spins it gently.)
But something here obviously mattered.
(Jack has his chin on his hands, frowning and looking off.)
Did you know that India...used to be an island?
(Norma has returned with her pottery. Jack enters the kitchen.)
You get the Pepsi?
Oh - I forgot. (Frowns.)
Well, I'm sorry. I just forgot.
I'm sorry...don't get upset! I'll just go get it now. (Gestures.)
I'm not upset. It's just you said you were going to get the Pepsi. If you knew you were going to forget - I would have gotten it myself. (Shrugs.) I mean, you shouldn't say you're gonna get Pepsi for someone...(nods)...if you're just gonna forget to get it.
Oh, I see. (Nods.) I'm just supposed to know when I'm gonna forget something?
Sure. (Nods.) I knew you were going to forget. (Nods.)
Time to check the score on the old ballgame. There really wasn't much I could add to the conversation.
You know, Dad? Sometimes you can be such a male chauvinist pig.
Karen, on the other hand...somehow knew just the right thing to say.
(Karen and Kevin walk toward the living room as Norma puts on her coat.)
Where're you goin'?
(Norma reaches for her purse.)
I better get your Pepsi while it's still fresh on my mind.
Don't bother - I'll get it.
No, that's OK, Jack!
No, I said I'll get it...
(Jack reaches next to the vase.)
Don't break it!
(Norma hurriedly picks up the vase.)
I'm not gonna break it, Norma! (Gestures.)
Just because you hate my pottery is no reason to smash it to pieces!
I don't hate your pottery!
Notice he didn't say he liked it.
Well, you certainly act like you hate it!
Now, what's that supposed to mean?!
It means that from the moment I started doing this - you haven't had one nice thing to say!
Well, maybe I'm not big on pottery! So sue me!
Well, you certainly seem fond of your stupid little fish cup! I've never seen anyone so attached to anything since Kevin had to give up his blankie!
I don't want to talk about this.
Well maybe I do, Jack! It's not fair - you're making me feel like I'm doing something wrong!
You're crazy! I'm not makin' you feel anything! (Gestures.)
Oh, sure - you've been a regular "Mr. Sunshine"! You know, Jack, the kids all say "that's nice, Mom". My friends say "that's nice, Norma". My teacher says "very good, Mrs. Arnold". And you say..."where's the Pepsi?!"
I really don't have time for this.
I spend my time trying to make something nice for the family...(gestures)...and you don't even have the common courtesy to say you like it!
Don't gimme that, Norma! (Gestures.) This family doesn't need an ashtray for two-hundred people! This family needs Pepsi! (Gestures.)
That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life, Jack! You should listen to yourself - "I want my Pepsi! I want my cup!" You sound like an infant!
Don't you ever - ever!...speak to me in that tone of voice!
I'll speak the way I want to...
Fine...don't expect me to listen to it.
(Jack turns and walks out the door. Norma puts her hand on her hip and looks down, then walks into the living room past the kids.)
(That night, Kevin is lying awake in bed.)
The silence that filled our house that night - was like ice. My dad didn't come home till after midnight.
(Kevin puts his hands behind his head. The kitchen door opens, then slams shut. Kevin flinches, and looks at the ceiling. Fade to morning in the kitchen. The kids are at the table as Norma enters from the living room with a basket of laundry, and sets it next to the ironing board. Jack enters from the living room. He pauses and looks at Norma, then moves toward a cabinet. Norma looks at him, then looks down as he gets a cup. Norma reaches for the iron and burns her hand.)
(Norma shakes her hand and frowns, then hurries to the faucet and sticks her hand in the water. Jack takes a step away, looking at her. Norma shakes her hand and looks at it. She leans on the counter and Jack looks at her, as she starts to cry. Jack looks at his cup, then Norma. He sets his cup on the laundry and approaches her, gently putting his hands on her shoulders. Norma turns around, and they hug.)
I know it sounds strange - but that was the first time...I'd ever seen my parents alone together.
Did you burn yourself?
(They separate slightly, and Jack takes her hand and looks at it.)
(They kiss, then hug.)
I guess sometimes the ground can shift beneath your feet. Sometimes your footing slips - you stumble. And sometimes, you grab what's closest to you, and hold on...as tight as you can.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 13 - "Coda)
(At dinner, Norma mentions she ran into Kevin's piano teacher.)
She said you didn't practice enough, but that you have real talent.
Jeez - real talent.
And she said it right in front of Mrs. Hirschmuller, too.
A key bit of information. But there was still one thing I wanted to know.
Well...did she say I'm as good as Ronald Hirschmuller?
Well, no...I-I don't think she said that.
Isn't Ronald Hirschmuller like really, really good?
You as good as Ronald Hirschmuller...(points)...fat chance.
Wayne! Now, no one expects you to be as good as Ronald Hirschmuller, honey...
(Kevin sets his fork down and looks around the table.)
Look - the only reason he's so good is cuz he practices all the time. I never practice, or I'd be better than him.
(Jack looks down at his food, and pauses.)
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Uh...did I just say that?
What do these lessons cost me? (frowns.)
Ten dollars, I think.
Ten dollars? Is that ten dollars a year...(gestures)...or ten dollars a week?
I see. And your teacher says you never practice...
And you say you never practice.
Well...I mean, I don't really mean...never practice...(Gestures.) It's like...
And your teacher says to have talent, but the reason you're no good is because you don't practice. Am I getting that right? Is that what we're saying here?
Well then...I'd say one of two things is possible. Either you're gonna start to practice like this...(gestures)...Ronald Hirschmuller I hear so much about...or you're just gonna quit the damn piano!
(Jack pauses, then nods slightly.)
It's your choice.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 14 - "Hiroshima, Mon Frere")
(In the kitchen.)
Dad! Mom already gave me permission to do my project in here, and Wayne's starting to -
I don't want to hear it.
(Jack turns to Karen.)
Karen? You're in charge.
Can we rely on you, honey? (Smiles.)
Don't worry, Mom. Now, go on, or you'll miss your movie. (Nods.)
It came down to this...my last hope for peaceful co-existence lay in the hands of a seventeen-year-old flower-child. And yet - call it crazy - I felt a sudden rush of faith in my sister.
I'm outta here. You guys are on your own. (Exits.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 15 - "Loosiers")
(Walter Cronkite on TV): Soviet tanks and bombers swept thought the Czech capital of Prague last night...under the dubious guise of restoring order, to the apparently peaceful citizens.
(Kevin and Paul enter after playing basketball.)
You aren't palming, Paul.
I am so! Look!
Pipe down - we're watchin' the news.
Citizens of Prague who were shocked and stunned by the assault, offered no military resistance to the overwhelming forces. By dawn, the city was under Soviet control. More, after this...
(Commercial announcer): Irregularity...
(Jack turns to Karen.)
So...you want to defend your Communists, now?
I happen to be a Socialist.
Oh, Socialist. I see...
Honey, did you say you wanted iced-tea with dinner?
And for your information, that same oppression exists in your own backyard.
Do you see a tank in my backyard? (Gestures.) I don't see a tank in my backyard.
Does anyone not want Brussel sprouts with dinner?
It was funny how those things would go. Dad would argue...Karen would argue...and Mom would get the ulcer.
Oh, Kevin - please refill that ice-tray when you're finished with it.
The news is on, folks...
Talk about Fascism...
Once again, our top story...there is no joy on the streets of Prague, tonight. Soviet forces patrol the city with one purpose in mind - to crush the spirit of the people.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 16 - "Walk Out")
Do you believe that - a dollar-nineteen for a pound of bacon? Just last week it was ninety-nine cents! There's hardly any lean meat on there.
Norma, where are my brown socks?
Oh - they're in the dryer. Wayne! Why don't you have a little toast with your jelly?
Oh, that is so gross.
Kevin, eat your eggs.
Mom, the yokes are runny. I can't eat 'em when the yokes are runny.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 18 - "Fate")
Looks like a huge hickey.
Honey, what is that?
Yeah, what the hell is that?
Who's Eddie Pinetti?
Well he's this guy...in eigth grade who rips tonsils out with his bare hands.
Kevin picked a fight with him.
I did not!
Eh, that's what I heard.
Kevin, he hit you?
Look, Mom, it's no big deal. (He shrugs.)
Kevin, he hit you?!
Kids today! They're animals.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. I want to know what's going on here. I want to know now.
Dad meant business. And the truth is, at that moment, I really needed him.
Go on, tell him. Tell him you're in over you head.
Well, s-see there's this kid...
That's it. There's this guy who's twice your size and you're afraid.
And we got into this fight.
And there's gonna be more of 'em, unless somebody does something to stop it. Go on, tell him.
And, uh...that's all. It's over.
Well...yeah. (He nods.)
I guess I was hopin' he'd see through me. See I was lying through my teeth. See a scared little kid who didn't have a -
Well, then...if it's over, it's over.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 19 - "Birthday Boy")
(Jack is on the phone. Norma and Kevin are preparing green beans at the table.)
You gotta be crazy - I'm not gonna pay that......Well, let me talk to the mechanic........Yeah, yeah - I'll hold.
So what are you and Paul gonna do for your birthday this year?
Nothing, I guess. (Frowns.) Paul's having his bar mitzvah. (Shrugs.)
It's not that I was jealous of Paul. It's not that I was feeling sorry for myself. It's just...maybe there was a mini-bike in this for me somewhere.
That's right - I forgot. Well, what are we gonna do about your birthday?
I don't know.
Well, it has to be something good. You're turning thirteen - it's a big one.
Just not the same without Paul, huh? (Frowns.)
Either that, or it's just not the same without a hundred presents and a live band...
(Norma rubs his head. Kevin looks down.)
OK - good, good. Ya got her right where you want her. Now hit her with the trump card.
Well, I'm not sure I even want to do anything this year.
The martyr routine.
I mean, unless some -
Five hundred dollars? Since when does an alternator cost five-hundred dollars? (Gestures.).......Well, what the hell does a transmission got to do with this?
Like I was saying...unless we could do like a -
Look...just don't touch my car, alright?! Leave it just like you found it! (Gestures.) I'll be right down.
(Jack hangs up and turns to Norma.)
Better grab your coat - I'll need a ride down to the garage.
(Jack takes his jacket off the chair and starts to put it on. Norma looks at Kevin.)
Don't worry, honey. We're gonna do something fun for your birthday. Right, Jack?
(Kevin rests his head on his fist and looks toward Jack. Jack finishes putting on his coat and walks quickly toward the door.)
Yeah. How 'bout we get Kevin a brand new alternator for his birthday.
(Jack is reading car ads at the kitchen table as Norma does dishes. Kevin is looking at them.)
Two-thousand bucks for a '66 Impala? That's a joke. Hnnh.
Maybe it was the glow of the half-glass of Manishewits...but I felt a sudden rush of family pride. I mean, my family had a rich tradition, too. All I had to do was figure out what it was.
(Jack is frowning at the newspaper, and sipping from his cup.)
Where's Grampa Arnold from?
Look at that. Highway robbery. What'd ya say?
I said, um, where did Grampa Arnold come from?
(Jack is frowning at the newspaper.)
(Kevin looks off and frowns. Jack frowns toward Norma.)
Ya know, one of these days I'm just gonna get rid of the damn cars...(Gestures.)
(Jack stands up and frowns as he approaches the camera.)
And we'll all take the damn bus!
(Kevin watches Jack exit to the living room.)
(Jack and Kevin are working on the car.)
(Kevin hands a wrench toward Jack.)
No, not the crescent...the three-quarter.
(Kevin gets another wrench.)
(Norma leans out of the door at the "back" of the kitchen.)
Paul's on the phone...again.
Tell him I'm busy!
It's the third time he called...(Frowns.)
Well, I don't want to talk to him - I'm helping Dad!
(Norma sighs and goes inside. Jack looks at Kevin as he wrenches.)
I guess the old guy must have sensed something was wrong. Go ahead, Dad, ask. "I haven't seen Paul around lately".
(Jack strains as he wrenches.)
"You two having a fight, or something?"
(Jack holds his hand out and wiggles his fingers.)
OK, so he didn't sense it. I mean, what did I expect? The man wasn't a mind-reader. I'd just tell him what was bothering me.
We aren't really talking to each other these days.
(Jack frowns at the motor as he wrenches.)
Paul and me...(shrugs)...we aren't really talking to each other.
So, ya know, I'm not going to be going to his stupid bar mitzvah. (Shrugs.)
Ya don't say...
It's on the same day as my birthday. My thirteenth birthday...can you believe it? Huh - I mean, the whole point of a bar mitvah is so dumb, anyways. I mean, he's only thirteen years old, and everyone's telling him he's a man. (Frowns.) Now that's really stupid. I mean, he's just a little kid, don't you think?
(Jack strains to unloosen a bolt.)
Huh? Oh, yeah, yeah - that's pretty stupid.
When did you first learn to work on cars?
(Jack wipes his hands with a rag.)
I don't know - it's just something I picked up along the way, I guess.
Well, is Grampa good at working on cars?
Oh, sure. (Nods.) I guess I learned most of it from him.
The...fanbelt looks sorta loose.
Huh? Ya know, you're right. It's half rotten. I don't know why I didn't think to check that. Hey, look, there's a...extra fanbelt in the toolbox. Why don't you help me try to put it on?
As I worked on the car with my father...I began to realize what I'd been looking for all along. I just needed...recognition. Something to tell me that I was growing up.
Hey, Wayne! Get out here and start the car!
I-I can do it!
Nah, I don't think so, Kev - you're not tall enough.
(Wayne approaches behind Jack, and Jack hands the keys to him.)
Here, start it up nice and easy.
Yes I am!
(Wayne walks past Kevin and pushes him.)
Step aside, little sprout!
Don't give it too much gas till I tell ya. I don't want to flood the engine.
The story of my twelve-and-three-quarter-year-old life.
(Kevin moves over and rests on the fender as Wayne starts the car.)
As much a man as the next guy, until the cards were on the table.
(Kevin rests his hand near the motor and looks off in thought.)
Then it's a fine "how do you do", a pat-him-on-the-head, and -
(Kevin jerks back in surprise.)
Get the hell away from that engine. (Points.) That thing'll take your hand off!
(The motor pops and dies. Jack looks at the motor and frowns.)
(Jack frowns and throws a rag at the motor.)
(Kevin frowns and hurries inside, slamming the door behind him.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 20 - "Brightwing")
(Jack is looking at Karen's report card.)
A "D" in math?
Don't "mom" your mother.
As far as I could tell, her main function in the family was an on-going battle-of-wills with our parents.
You've always been good at math.
There's gonna be plenty of math on the SAT's, believe me.
Dad, geometry has nothing to do with life! (Frowns.)
"D" in math...
You're not even listening to me! (Frowns.)
(Karen is "explaining" how she was driving around with friends.)
See, Julie's car was sputtering - it does that when it's low on gas - but Julie thought that we could make it to a gas-station.
But then...we saw Kevin and Paul...so Sandy said, "Let's pick 'em up, in case we have to push".
And then...(gestures)...we made it to the gas-station. And there was this really cute guy working the pumps. So we stopped to talk for a while...And then...we dropped Kevin and Paul off at school! Right, Kev?
What was I gonna say? This story wasn't gonna float!
Well...(Frowns.) You were lucky.
You could have been late for school. (Nods.) Both of you!
Mom, they didn't -
Why the hell is Julie drivin' around with no gas. Didn't she ever hear of checkin' the gas-gauge?
(Jack waves his finger.)
That funny little dial on the dashboard.
(Norma approaches Karen in the living room.)
I just got a, uh, call...from a guidance counselor. A George...something.
Did she say "George"?
Do you know him?
Yeah! (Smiles.) Yeah, he's cute. (Nods.) He's young. He looks like a student.
George Finch. He wants me to...come in for a conference, tomorrow.
What kinda conference? (Frowns.)
I'm not sure. He said we'd discuss it tomorrow.
What's this all about?
I have no idea, Dad. Maybe he wants to talk about my future. Maybe he wants to talk about my life. (Frowns.) Isn't that what everyone around here likes to talk about? (Frowns.) What's gonna happen to poor Karen?!
(Karen slams down her notepad and exits.)
Wow! Another great performance. Maybe she could pull it off! Anyway, now was not the time to panic.
(Jack frowns and nods at Norma.)
I'm comin' with you to that conference.
Now was the time to panic.
(Kevin has lied about going to the hill. Norma has just accidentally cut her finger.)
And suddenly I got this...weird feeling. My God - my mother was spilling her own blood, making my dinner...and all I was giving her in return were lies.
Honey? Are you OK? (Nods.)
Uh, s-sure, Mom.
Well, you look all white. (Smiles.) It's just a little cut. It's nothing to worry about. (Smiles.)
(Sound of tapping and Kevin looks over his shoulder. TV Fantasy. Jack and Norma dressed in police uniforms, stand at a closed door.)
- Open it up! We know you're in there! Open up! No use tryin' to hide from us...
- We know all about your secret! Open up, Kevin!
-(Kevin opens the door, wearing a hippie outfit. His nose is painted red.)
- Mom? (Frowns.) Dad? (Frowns.)
- Book 'em, Norma.
-(Norma holds up a pair of hand-cuffs, and lets one drop. They laugh.)
(In the kitchen, Jack is on the phone.)
Now, look. It-it, I know it's two-thirty in the morning...and we're, we're just tryin' to find our daughter. We thought she might be with Julie.
(Kevin enters and rubs his head.)
No - Julie's not here!...Who?....Sandy Potter?
No, I called her first. Maybe they're at Tina's.
(On the phone): Who the hell is Tina...?
Karen had lied to me.
(On the phone): Did you look in your garage?....The garage! Doesn't she keep that bucket of bolts in the damn garage?
It was time to face the music.
(Jack sighs heavily and paces.)
Uh, I-I know where she is.
(On the phone): Well check it, for - !(To Norma): He didn't even check his damn garage...
Uh, I-I've been helping her ditch school, and, and-and...
(On the phone): Look, look, uh, check that Tina...
(Jack's gestures toward Norma.)
(On the phone): What's-her-name's number...
Karen was right - they never listened.
I-I know where she is! She's at the hill. It-it...that's where she goes...with Julie and Sandy and Tina!
(On the phone): Uh, no.
(Jack looks at Norma.)
(To Norma): Julie left an hour ago.
I said she's at the hill! (Frowns.) That's where she goes - that's her big secret! (Frowns.)
(Jack slams the phone down, then looks at Norma.)
They took Julie's car...They've gone to San Francisco.
They've run away?
I'll, uh...put on some clothes.
(Jack touches Norma's arm and exits.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 21 - "Square Dance")
Kevin was square dancing in gym today.
Square dancing? What kinda sport is that? Don't they teach wrestling anymore?
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 22 - "Whose Woods Are These?")
(Kevin is mowing the front yard, and looking at Winnie watering her yard.)
Springtime, 1969. The grass was growin'...all around me buds were popping into bloom. Yeah...The sap was definitely rising.
(Kevin pushes the mower over a baseball. Jack approaches in the driveway.)
Hey! (Points.) Be careful, will ya? I paid twelve bucks to have those blades sharpened!
(Kevin hurries to the doorway, out of breath. Norma and Jack are seated at the kitchen table, relaxing.)
What is it, honey?
(Kevin gestures in front of him with both hands as he catches his breath.)
They're tearing down Harper's Woods.
(Norma and Jack look puzzled.)
Well, they're gonna bring in bulldozers! (Gestures.)
(Norma and Jack still look puzzled.)
They're gonna turn it into a shopping center!
(Norma looks at Kevin and frowns.)
Gee - what was it gonna take, here? Did I have to drop a bomb?
Well, we know that, honey? (Smiles.)
Thought they weren't starting till next week.
You know?! (Frowns.)
Kevin? Will you wash your hands...(frowns)...they're all...(gestures)...muddy or something. (Frowns.)
Do as your mother says.
OK - maybe they hadn't heard me. Maybe they though I said...some other woods.
You know you left the lawnmower out in the middle of the yard?
Dad! I'm talkin' about Harper's Woods! We gotta stop them! (Gestures.) We gotta do something!
Kevin...you haven't played up there since you were children. (Frowns.)
This was incredible. Didn't these people have souls? They were talking about Harper's Woods like it was some kinda -
It's just a vacant lot, Kevin.
(At school, Kevin scratched his initials in Mr. Diperna's desk. Now, he's in his bedroom. Jack is at the open door, and Wayne stands behind him.)
You're grounded, buster! You hear me? No parties...no friends! You're grounded! (Frowns.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 23 - "How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation")
(Kevin is moping at the kitchen table, and doesn't want to go to the Cooper's party.)
Why can't we go on vacation?
Maybe next summer.
Well, it's not fair. I have nothing to do. (Frowns.)
(Jack enters the kitchen behind Kevin.)
What was that?
I'm not exactly sure, but I believe he said, "I have nothing to do."
"Nothing to do"?
(Cut to inside the garage. The shot is black until Jack raises the garage door, holding a broom. Kevin is at his side.)
Alright, start in the corner...you clean out the junk, then you work your way to the center. Then you sweep it out, and hose it down.
(Jack hands Kevin the broom.)
We'll see about the attic.
(Jack and Mr. Ermin corner Kevin at the party.)
Mr. Ermin would like to talk to you. (Smiles.)
Oh my gosh - Mr. Ermin. The Genghis Khan of lawn care.
He had a lawn the size of Wyoming.
I understand you're looking for work, son. (Smiles.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 24 - "Summer Song")
By the end of that summer of 1969, a lot of things had changed. The Mets were headed for first-place. Woodstock was a household word. And Winnie Cooper's dad had moved to Chicago. And it wasn't over yet.
(Arnold driveway. Jack is putting suitcases in the car.)
Is that everything?
The traditional Arnold family vacation.
OK! Let's get started!
What I loved about our vacations...was that it always seemed to rekindle this wonderful sense of family-togetherness.
Do we have to do this? (Frowns.) Dad, I'm seventeen.
Honey? Where's Wayne?
(Norma looks in the car window.)
(Norma knocks on the window.)
The fact was...
(Wayne and Delores are kissing in the car.)
We were starting to outgrow this annual ritual.
Wayne! Honey? It's time for you and Delores to say goodbye, now.
That's what we're doing. (Smiles.)
Outta the car!
My brother was a victim of bad timing. Two weeks before, he had met the girl of his dreams...Only to have her ripped away by a trip to Ocean City.
Hey, Mr. Arnold! Sorry I'm late!
There were other changes, too.
(Paul smiles, showing his braces.)
I can't wait. This is gonna be great! (Nods.)
I'm not comin'! (Shrugs.)
Want to stay home and get a haircut?
I'm comin', I'm comin'...(Frowns.)
Alright - everybody in the car.
Um...Mr. Arnold? My suitcase?
(Jack frowns and walks toward Paul's huge suitcase.)
(Kevin is sitting on the porch.)
I was the only one who didn't seem to care either way. I wasn't exactly looking forward to the trip...but, I was tired of the old neighborhood. And there was nothing keeping me here anymore. Winnie's letter had seen to that.
(Kevin unfolds the letter.)
Kevin, we're almost ready to go!
Winnie wrote about how bored she was in Maine with her mom. About how much she looked forward to coming home. But then...she'd met somebody. His name was Chip. And he was the All-State champ of everything. She deserved it - I guess. And even though I'd never met the guy...I was pretty sure I hated him.
OK. Let's get started.
Yep. Maybe a family vacation would do me some good.
Wayne! Come on...
(On the road. Jack's whistling to "Sentimental Journey". Paul covers his mouth. Jack glances at Paul.)
Everything OK, pal? Paul?
I-I think we better pull over.
What none of us figured on...was the awful reality of actually travelling with Paul.
(Jack pulls over.)
Get him outta the car. Hurry up. Quick! Quick!
(Cut to driving through Ocean City.)
Ocean City. Where mom and dad had spent their honeymoon in 1949. We'd grown up hearing them talk about it. Quaint seaside bungalows...the soft drum of the surf.
(Fade to the noisy motel parking lot.)
Kind of a castaway's paradise.
(Jack approaches the car with room keys.)
Forty-eight bucks for two lousy rooms? What happened to this place?
(Everyone examines the motel room. Sound of the jack-hammer and a dripping faucet. The camera pans from the window, across the beds, to a bathroom sink. Jack turns to Norma, then looks back at the room.)
Think I need a drink.
(Cut to the motel restaurant. An accordion player plays "Drunken Sailor". Jack frowns and looks off.)
The Captain Kidd cod looks kinda fun, honey! (Smiles.)
Four bucks? (Frowns.) For a piece of fish?!
(Jack looks off.)
Um, I think I'll have the Barnacle Bucket.
This place is embarrassing.
Well, it is...it's just so - (Frowns.)
(Jack pounds the table with his drink, spilling some. He frowns and looks down, then gestures.)
Will you please just have fun?! This is costing a damn fortune.
Somehow...Dad's pep-talk had failed to rally the troops.
(At the beach.)
Heck. You don't even know what long is! This is not long! I mean...(gestures)...you should see the guy Karen was talkin' to!
Who was Karen talkin' to?
(At the restaurant. Karen arrives late.)
Where you been?
From now on, I want to know where you go, when you go.
First you tell me that I have to come on this stupid vacation. (Frowns.)
(Jack blinks and looks off.)
And then you tell me to have fun. I try to have fun! (Gestures.) And then you get mad at me all over again. (Frowns.) I hate this! (Exits).
(Jack looks toward her empty seat, then at Norma, looks down, sets his drink down, wipes his mouth with a napkin, and looks at Norma again.)
I'll be right back.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 25 - "Math Class")
Well, I gotta go meet Delores.
Wait a minute. Not on a school night. In this family, we do homework on schoolnights.
What about him? (Frowns.)
What about him?
Well, he's not doing any homework. (Frowns.)
Don't worry about Kevin. When you're getting Kevin's grades, we'll talk. (Gestures.)
(After getting a "D", Kevin is in his room doodling on his knee. He perks up when he hears the door opening.)
We're all goin' out for ice cream - you want to come?
Um, no, thanks. (Gestures.) Gotta study...(Smiles.)
Gonna ace another one, huh?
(Jack starts to exit.)
Don't work too hard.
(Jack smiles, then exits. Kevin looks down.)
Maybe I should have said something then. But for some reason, I didn't. How could I tell him I wasn't the Kevin Arnold he thought I was?
(Kevin has gotten another "D". He is in his room again, one hand resting on the open book and the other holding his head up, as he looks off.)
I felt lost. I felt confused. I felt alone.
You OK, pal? (Smiles.)
(Kevin looks off.)
(Kevin looks off, nearly crying.)
No, Dad. I'm not.
(Jack hesitates and frowns slightly, then walks toward the camera. Kevin looks off as Jack puts his hand on his shoulder. Kevin looks up to him, then to his book.)
And so I began that long climb into the light. Only this time...I wasn't alone.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 26 - "Wayne On Wheels")
(Kevin and Paul watch Wayne driving the Arnold station-wagon, with Jack riding shot-gun. Wayne turns the car sharply into the driveway, and screeches to a stop. Jack grips the window frame and is jerked back in his seat.)
Dammit, Wayne! (Frowns.)
I had my blinker on. (Smiles.)
I don't believe this! Wayne is driving?
Yeah. He got his learner's permit yesterday.
(Jack grips the window frame and frowns, and speaks through clenched teeth.)
OK, Wayne. Slower this time.
(Wayne puts the car in reverse and begins to back up.)
(At the Arnold kitchen table, Wayne is getting scolded for leaving Kevin at the mall.)
Now, anyone with half a brain would have settled for a lecture. But...well...Wayne was Wayne.
Well...(gestures)...what good is having a license if all I get to do is drive Kevin around!
(Jack looks forward as he smacks his cup onto the table.)
No more driving for you. (Frowns.) Privileges suspended. Indefinitely.
(Kevin wants to go to the mall to try to see a girl. He enters the house.)
(He approaches the kitchen.)
Hey, Mom? Can you take me to the...
(Wayne, Norma and Jack are in the kitchen. Jack holds up the car keys in front of Wayne. Sound of squealing tires as the camera zooms in on the keys.)
Mall...(Frowns.) Oh, no...(Sighs.)
Wayne'll drive you.
(Jack looks at Wayne.)
Won't you, Wayne?
Sure...I'd be glad to.
But, I - (Frowns.)
Your brother and I had a little talk. About responsibilty.
(Jack looks at Wayne.)
Right, Wayne? (Nods.)
(Wayne takes the keys.)
(Wayne turns toward Kevin.)
Ready to go, Kev? (Smiles.)
(Wayne drove into a cornfield to avoid a car on the road, as he was teasing Kevin. Now they are standing in the driveway. Jack sighs and slowly walks toward the front of the car with his hands in his back pockets, then takes a long breath and looks at the front of the car. He frowns and looks at the boys.)
What the hell happened?
(Kevin frowns, then glances toward Wayne, then off.)
The...tire blew, Dad.
The spare was flat.
How fast were you goin'?
(Wayne frowns and looks down. He frowns again, shrugs, looks at Kevin, then rubs his hands together.)
Only about thirty.
(Jack frowns and tilts his head. Kevin glances at Wayne, then frowns.)
(Jack frowns heavily at the boys, then turns slightly toward the car and looks down. He hesitates, then leans forward, holds up a corn tassle and looks at it, then frowns at the boys. Kevin looks at Wayne as Wayne looks off, puts his hands behind his back, and glances at Kevin, then at Jack.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 27 - "Mom Wars")
It's a tough time in life when you're struggling for manhood and your mother still outweighs you by fifty pounds. I was left with only one option.
(Jack enters after work, jacket over his shoulder, and carrying his briefcase.)
Call in the heavy artillery.
(Kevin steps in front of Jack.)
Dad? We've gotta talk!
No one had ever actually spoken to my father before he put down his briefcase. But I was going for broke.
Can you think of one good reason why I shouldn't be able to play football with the other guys? I mean I bet you played football without any equipment when you were a little kid and I've been playing for a very long time now...(glances at Norma)...and nothing's ever really happened...
(Jack is listening patiently.)
And the guys are really counting on me to play tonight.
(Jack nods slightly.)
So, can we play or not?!
(Jack tilts his head and raises his eyebrows.)
Sure! Go ahead.
(Jack walks toward the kitchen. Kevin smiles.)
(Jack pauses in front of Norma as she hands a drink to him.)
I don't think it's a good idea, Jack.
(Jack walks toward the living room, holding his finger out.)
You heard your mother.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 28 - "On the Spot")
I think it sounds like fun! I used to love school plays.
What are you playing? A buttercup? Ehh...
(Jack looks at the boys and chuckles.)
"Our Town." That's the one about the girl that falls in love, and then she dies...but she comes back for one last visit to see her family? (Smiles.)
Mom. "Our Town"...is an indictment...of the meaninglessness of bourgeois middle-class existence. (Nods.)
How much is it gonna cost me?
Dad, as always, had his own perspective on the arts.
Just askin'. (Gestures.)
Who else is in it?
Uh, no one. Except...Winnie.
Well, then - we have to go! (Smiles.)
Oh, nice goin', butthead! (Frowns.)
Look, Mom, it's really not -
Kevin, get tickets for all of us! (Smiles.)
(Jack looks at Kevin and frowns, then rips his roll apart.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 30 - "The Family Car")
Where's my wrench?! Dammit, where's my wrench?
At the Arnold household, ownership meant - repairs.
Somebody hand me my wrench, will ya?
Course you have to understand, my dad believed your average car should last, oh...thirty years, or three-hundred-thousand miles - which ever came first.
OK. Start 'er up.
(Wayne cranks it over. It sputters and backfires. Norma watches from the doorway.)
You think you can fix it?
Course I can fix it! Just...needs a little adjustment.
I guess there was more of Jack Arnold under that hood than in all the papers he ever shuffled at NORCOM Enterprises.
(Wayne and Kevin see a nice car.)
Boy, it'd sure be cool to have one of those, hah?
But if we were seeing visions, Dad was seeing -
Tin. That thing's ninety percent tin - it won't last two years. Trust me. They don't make them like this baby anymore.
They sure didn't. Bald tires, half a muffler, and the sleek lines of a rhinoceros. Nothing to be embarrassed about - much.
As for Dad, well...I wasn't worried. He'd come through for us, when the time was right.
(Norma enters the kitchen from outside, carrying a bag of groceries.)
And suddenly, the time was right.
It made sort of a spluttering noise...and then it just quit on me.
Did you pat the gas and count to five before you...(gestures)...turned the key?
Yeah. (Nods.) Just like you showed me.
What about the...(gestures)...coil wire?
It was getting dark, Jack. I couldn't see very well.
Now when Mom used that tone of voice, this was serious business.
Anyway, the man at the service station...said it was the fuel pump.
(Jack looks down.)
(He turns toward Norma suddenly.)
You didn't let him touch the fuel pump, did ya?
He also said the carburetor needs adjustment.
I just rebuilt the damn carburetor. (Nods and frowns.)
Seemed like Dad was missing the point, here.
You've been putting so much time and effort into that car...
I'll take a look at it. (Nods.)
It's just that it's...becoming so unreliable, Jack. Especially now that Wayne and Karen are driving...it's getting so much use. (Shrugs.) Maybe it's time we started looking for a new car.
(Jack looks forward, then at Norma, then forward again.)
OK. (Nods.) We'll look.
(At the car lot.)
And so, at last, we had our shot at the big-leagues. We were in the presence of the American dream, here. In the presence of...
(The saleman approaches with his hand out.)
Marvin Lutz, sales manager.
Jack...Can I tell you somethin'? When I saw you, and your...(gestures)...beautiful family, drive in here, I said to myself..."Now here...is a man who knows cars".
(Jack frowns and glances toward Norma.)
Look, Marvin, let's save ourselves...(gestures)...a lot of time, OK?
You're the customer, Jack.
(Jack frowns and sighs.)
I'm looking for a car, not a sales pitch. I'll tell you...(gestures)...what I'm looking for...you tell me what you've got.
Boy. (Nods.) Am I relieved to hear you say that...I can't tell you how many times I've wished when customers would come in here...they'd be upfront with me. Make my job a heck of a lot easier. Probably sell a lot more cars, too. (Big smile.) Hahahahah!
(Jack looks blankly at Marvin.)
You had to admit - Marv had a certain flair.
(Jack reaches into his inner jacket pocket and pulls out a piece of paper.)
I have your ad right here. Says you have something in a basic Falcon wagon.
Right this way.
(Jack exits with Marvin. Kevin and Karen look at each other.)
(They enter the showroom.)
We should have known better. Dad was gonna be "practical".
Good gas mileage?
You know, Jack, I could put you in this car tonight, and I think you'd be happy...but before you make up your mind...why don't you just take a look at that car?
(Marvin makes a sweeping gesture toward a red Mustang convertible.)
I mean, as long as you're here...
And suddenly, it was a whole new ballgame. It was awesome. It was...gorgeous. It was bright red. It was...
The last 'sixty-nine on the floor, fully-loaded, and ready to go. (Gestures.)
For one brief instant, I imagined my family cruising down our street. The wind in our hair...the neighbors gawking...
Notice I said..."brief" instant.
(Marvin walks past Jack toward Norma.)
Don't you deserve it? It's 1969. You've...(winks)...come a long way, baby. (Smiles.)
Was this guy crazy? Makin' an end-run around Dad?
It's completely impractical. (Nods.)
I suppose so...
Can I say something, Jack?
Great. What damage was he gonna do now?
You got a young lady headin' to college...you got a young fella drivin', and one just about to - right, big guy (Smiles.)
So...it makes ya wonder. How much longer...(frowns)...are ya gonna need a big...(nod)...family...(nod)...station-wagon?
(Jack looks off.)
For some reason, my father...had no reply.
He has a point, Jack.
A point? It was an irrefutable fact! A brilliant and bold last manouever.
(Kevin, Wayne and Karen watch through an office window of Jack and Marvin at a desk.)
My dad...was ready to deal!
What are they saying?
(Marvin hands a notepad to Jack.)
Look! He's smiling, he's actually smiling!
Oh, please - oh, please!
(Jack looks at the notepad and frowns.)
Alright. Dad always says never take the first offer.
What about a second offer?
(Jack's mouthes "What are ya gonna give me on a trade-in?". Marvin hands Jack the notepad. Jack looks at it, then smiles and nods as he holds out his hand and says something.)
Yes! He'd done it! Dad had actually done it! We were going home i a brand-new Mustang convertible! Maybe we could blow past Craig Hobson's house and cut a few donuts in his front yard. It was the kinda night where anything could happen.
(Jack looks at the notepad in shock.)
And then it did.
(Jack mouths "Two hundred fifty dollars?!")
What's he asking? (Frowns.)
(Jack says something, then throws up his hands and stands up and walks across the office.)
What is it?! What's happening?!
(Jack angrily approaches Norma.)
I don't want to talk about it! We're leaving!
(Cut to Jack pulling into the driveway.)
We drove home in silence. So much for the wind in our hair - this was the rain on our parade.
(Jack stops the car and leans back, looking forward.)
What happened back there, Jack? (Frowns.) What did that salesman say?
I don't want to talk about it.
(Jack frowns and looks off.)
The guy was a moron. You know what he offered me for this car?! (Nods.)
Honey? What were you expecting?
I can tell you this car is worth a lot more than he offered, Norma! (Frowns.) A lot more...
The best thing to do was forget about the whole thing.
(Cut to the living room, watching TV. A car commercial comes on.)
Unfortunately, forgetting about it...wasn't gonna be easy.
Ahem...delicious dinner tonight, honey. (Nods.)
(Jack looks at Kevin, then Karen, who looks off and frowns.)
(Jack sighs and resettles in his chair.)
Talk about playin' a tough room!
You know Jack...I've been thinking...(Shrugs.) Maybe that saleman's offer really wasn't that unreasonable.
But hold on, here...
Well, Frank and Betty just got less for their trade-in, and it was a 'sixty-one.
(Jack frowns as he rolls his eyes, then gestures.)
Frank doesn't know how to deal with these guys, Norma.
(Jack raises his eyebrows and nods.)
The man paid sticker price.
I just don't think it was such a bad offer.
Are you kidding? (Gestures.) You know how much I put into that car?! (Frowns.)
Well, let's see...the fuel pump was fourteen dollars...(gestures)...the fanbelt was two dollars, and the points and the plugs were only...
What...(gestures) - are you gonna itemize here? (Frowns.) What about my time? My labor?
But if the old man was looking for allies...he was barkin' up the wrong tree. If he wanted our confidence, he'd have to come up with a new plan.
(Cut to in the kitchen in daylight. Jack sets down a metal pail.)
I've been thinking. We...should wash the car.
This was the new plan?
Then maybe we could slap a new coat of wax on it.
Sure. Slave labor.
Then sell it.
(Wayne and Kevin perk up.)
You promise? (Smiles.)
(Norma raises her hands up, then hugs Jack.)
And suddenly, the long era of bad feelings was broken. A new day was dawning. Dad had finally come around.
(Cut to the driveway as they wash the car and goof around.)
It was fun. Washin' the old wagon for its final send-off...It was fun just being together.
(Cut to Jack taping a "for sale sign" to the rear window.)
And in the end, she looked as clean and shiny as a nine-year-old car could get. Yep, all we needed now was a reasonable offer from a reasonable human being.
(Cut to on the street as different men approach Jack.)
You gotta be kidding.
It's a fair price.
Oh, get real, buddy, where'd you get that figure?
Never mind where I get it...the price stands.
What?! You've gotta be out of your mind.
The question now was...was Dad a reasonable human being?
(Jack look toward Kevin.)
Don't worry. (Gestures) We'll find a buyer.
Maybe. But suddenly, I was starting to get a bad feeling.
(Jack is on the phone.)
I'm nuts? Hey, check the figures in it - hello? Hello?
(Jack lowers the phone and frowns, then hangs up. He sighs and shrugs.)
Everyone's lookin' for a bargain, huh?
(Jack sits down.)
It was horrible. Someone had to do something.
I have an idea. How about we all get in the car and go some ice-cream? Come, on. We'll all pile in and take a ride - how long's it been since we've done that? (Nods.)
Dad, are you gonna sell the car or not? (Frowns.)
Of course I am. (Gestures.) It just...takes a little time. Matter of fact, I've decided we should change the ad in the paper. (Gestures.) Maybe that'll help, huh?
Did he really expect us to buy this?! I mean we'd given Dad every benefit of the doubt...but now this awful feeling was growing in me. Maybe Craig Hobson had been right. Maybe the problem really was -
I swear, Dad...why are you so cheap? (Frowns.)
Well, Mom, I really think it's about time! (Frowns.)
Don't you ever talk like that in this house again! (Frowns.)
(Jack looks toward Karen, then glances toward Norma and then down.)
This was it.
(Jack looks at Karen.)
It was pretty obvious from Dad's expression what was gonna happen. Someone...would have to die.
(Jack stands up and heads toward the door.)
Where are you going, Jack?
(Jack pauses at the door and looks down at Karen.)
For a drive. (Exits.)
I'm not really sure where Dad was planning to drive to. Maybe just around the block. Maybe for ice-cream. Or maybe...he didn't know himself.
(Sound of the car being started.)
In any event...
(Sound of the car spluttering and dying.)
He didn't get far.
(Norma sets her napkin down and exits. Kevin follows her outside. In the driveway, Norma slowly approaches Jack, who has the car hood raised. Kevin pauses at the corner of the house.)
Probably just a gasket.
They have 'em down at the service station. I'll pick one up in the morning.
Jack...I know how much you put into this car. We all know. All the hard work...It's worth ten times what you're asking. But Jack...(nods)...we don't need this car anymore.
(Jack looks at the motor and nods directionally.)
The boys can help me push it into the garage so I'll have a little more light. (Nods.)
You've held it together longer than anyone could have expected, honey. No one could have done more. Now it's time to move on.
(Jack looks at the motor, then at Norma.)
Just let it go. (Nods.)
(Jack looks at her, then at the motor. He nods slightly, then looks at Norma emotionally. He chucks her under the chin and she smiles slightly. Jack quickly looks at the motor, then Norma, then looks off emotionally.)
(Jack looks at the motor, then nods slightly at Norma, then looks at the motor again.)
(He reaches up and lowers the hood. He reaches for Norma's hand, and they put an arm around each other as they slowly walk past Kevin.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 31 - "The Pimple")
(At dinner, Norma is looking at a letter.)
Oh, my Lord - they're coming to visit! (Smiles.)
(Jack looks slightly alarmed.)
The Pruitt's. Phil and Claire. They're gonna be in town next week! It's been eight years.
Actually, it had been nine years.
(Kevin frowns as Wayne smiles at him.)
I remembered the occasion quite distinctly. It was something I'd just as well have forgotten.
(Jack smiles at Kevin.)
Kevin, you remember little Gina, don't you? (Smiles.)
Not that anyone was gonna let me.
(Wayne rubs his hand through Kevin's hair, and leans closer.)
You two were always so cute together. (Smiles.) You were like twins.
A little more than twins. Weren't ya, Kev?
Come on - we were four years old...(Frowns.)
In broad daylight, one little innocent game of Ben Casey, and I was marked for life.
(Karen and Wayne smile at at Kevin.)
Give the kid a break, huh? (Smiles.)
(Norma looks at a photo.)
Phil looks like he's put on weight. And look - Gina's really growing up.
It was hard to imagine. Little Gina Pruitt. Always a scab on her knee, a dirty face...loved to make mud pies...
(Norma smiles and shows the photo to Kevin and Jack.)
What a pretty young girl she turned out to be. (Smiles.)
(Sound of a bell.)
Paging Dr. Arnold, paging Dr. Arnold.
Maybe you can show her a nice time when they're here.
For this girl? I'd swim the deepest ocean, climb the highest mountain.
Well...(frowns)...if-if you really think I should.
Yep - talk about change - this was total metamorphosis.
(Kevin tilts the photo toward Jack. Jack looks at it dreamily.)
(Jack looks at Norma.)
(He gives Norma a funny smile.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 33 - "Rock-n-Roll")
Dad? I need a guitar.
(Jack looks at the TV and chews.)
Great. I'd just made an anouncement that would shape a generation, and what was I getting?
More potatoes,honey? (Smiles.)
What do you want a guitar for?
Well...I was...thinking about joining a rock-and-roll band. (Smiles.)
(Wayne and Karen laugh.)
Something amusing, here?
Look, I just need to borrow the money, OK?
What - you're not serious, are you, honey?
Well, I mean, you paid for my piano lessons. (Frowns.)
Honey...that was different. (Smiles.)BR>
Why? Why was that different? (Gestures.)
There. I had her stumped.
That was...real music.
So, what's rock-and-roll? (Frowns.)
Noise? noise?! OK, maybe that was true. But I wasn't gonna be derailed just by simple logic. I was determined.
So, Dad, can I have a guitar? (Nods.)
(Jack sets his fork down, glances at Norma, and wipes his mouth with a napkin.)
Here it came. There was only one answer I'd accept.
(Jack looks at Kevin and shrugs.)
(Kevin is in the basement, plugging his guitar into the amp.)
As I strapped on that guitar...I felt awed to be in the presence of a rich musical tradition...that was as old...as I was.
(Kevin plugs into the amp.)
I knew something was about to happen. Something extroardinary.
(Kevin adjusts the amp. A red light comes on. The music "My Generation" cuts in and out, and the room light flickers, then goes out. Cut to outside the house at night. All the lights flicker and the music "My Generation" cuts in and out, then both the lights and music turn off.)
(Sound of a howling dog.)
(Kevin has quit the band.)
Well...least you got it out of your system, sweetie.
What's that supposed to mean? (Frowns.)
Well, I...just mean that...it wasn't really you. (Smiles.)
It was pretty dumb, Kevin.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 35 - "The Powers That Be")
(The Arnold's are standing side-by-side on the porch, looking toward the street.)
In every American family there exists a chain of command. From the pawn...through the established ranks...to the lord and master of all things great and small. But one week out of the year, a force would blow into town that even my father could not control.
(Jack is looking toward the street.)
To the left...left...
(Albert is trying to back into the driveway, and singing happily to himself.)
(Jack looks down, as Norma looks at Jack and puts a hand on his chest.)
Why don't you give him a hand, Jack?
He knows what he's doing.
(Albert pulls forward, causing a passing car to slow abruptly. Jack looks down.)
My fault entirely! Sorry!
Within minutes of grampa's arrival...
(Jack watches Albert.)
My father would find some household chore to keep him busy...untill Gramps pulled out again. Not that I understood exactly why.
(Albert backs up again into the Arnold lamp-post. Jack looks at Norma.)
Well, I better get started on the gutters.
(Jack sighs, and starts to walk away.)
I can't believe it. (Smiles.)
You like him?
I love him! (Smiles.)
Well, the last time I was here, that's all you could talk about, so I figured - why not?
"Why not" - two glorious words that separate the men from the boys - the doers from the sayers.
We're not keeping that dog.
The fathers from the grandfathers.
Good afternoon, John. Nice to see you again.
Oh, come on, Dad. Please, please, please let me keep him?
Too much to handle...
I can handle it. I know I can handle it...
The boy's thirteen years old, John.
I know how old he is. And I know what having a dog in the house means.
So did I. It meant stick-throwing...face-licking...romping...
A dog chews things. A dog needs to be walked. And I'm not the one that's gonna be the one walkin' him at six in the morning!
I promise, you'll never have to walk him...
Give the boy a chance, John. A boy needs a dog. Besides...I can't take him back for a week.
(Albert looks at Kevin.)
Maybe by then your old man will have changed his mind, huh?
(Jack and Albert are working on the windows.)
You gotta go easy on these frames.
Dad, the frame's made of maple. One pop isn't gonna crack the frame.
(Jack bangs the window frame.)
Of course when it came to the study of heredity, I was getting a crash course at home.
Patience, son, patience!
And in the midst of it all, something terrible was beginning to happen.
(Kevin picks up Buster and smiles.)
I was falling in love.
Dad, I've been putting these windows in for twenty years. I know what I'm doing.
Sit...sit...sit. Good boy. Hey Dad, Dad! Come here - look!
What do you want?! (Frowns.)
(Buster is in the flower bed.)
Kevin? Will you put the damn dog back on the leash?!
(Albert turns toward Jack.)
Not bad for an old man, hah?
(Albert pokes Jack in the stomach and smiles. Jack frowns. Cut to night in the living room. Everyone is watching "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" on TV.)
-Rowan: Well, I guess you're looking forward to a...good season.
-Martin: Yeah, you bet your sweet bippy I am.
"Bippy"? What is that - "bippy"?
That night, I was noticing a connection.
(Jack is in his chair, looking at a newspaper. He looks up and frowns.)
Everytime Gramps opened his mouth, my father would glare a little harder at the puppy.
That's what people laugh at these days - "bippy"?
Well, it's not funny, like - "hah-hah" funny - it's like *loose, wild* funny.
You want to see funny, you ought to watch some "Honeymooner's" reruns.
But wait a minute. What was this?
Oh...! That's Jack's favorite show.
One of the best.
You ever see the one...where Norton and Ralph bought the hotel?
This was great! By some fantastic coincidence, Gramps had stumbled onto the one thing that made my father really come alive.
Or the one where Ralph forgets Alice's birthday?
I love that one!
Yeah, I saw that one. (Smiles.)
Heh-heh. Little did Gramps know that Dad's Ralph Kramden impersonation was legendary. Around our house, anyway.
Do your "Ralph Kramden". (Smiles.)
Yeah, come on, Dad.
I didn't know you did imitations, John.
Neither did I.
Oh, just once - please.
Come on, let's see it.
(Jack puts the newspaper away, and clears his throat in preparation.)
"One of these days, Alice...one of these days - Bang!-Zoom! - to the moon".
(Albert looks puzzled. Jack gestures.)
Honey...you can do it a little better than that...
Well, to do it right, you a little more elbow-room.
OK, so much for the warm-up.
(Jack stands up.)
Time for Dad to let out all the stops. The patented "Ed Norton double-take".
"Do it! Will you already?!"
(Norma and Karen laugh. Albert looks blank. Jack smiles.)
And just when it seemed like the sun was never gonna shine again...
(Kevin and Wayne laugh. Jack smiles and nods.)
The clouds began to break.
That's Gleason? (Frowns.) That doesn't sound like Gleason.
(Everyone stops laughing.)
And then the rains came.
(Jack stands with his hands in his back pockets, then frowns and looks down. Shot of Buster sitting next to Jack's feet. Buster looks up and whines.)
Oh, I'll get the paper towels, honey.
(Later in the basement. Kevin is on the couch, as Jack paces in front of him.)
I leave the house at seven in the morning. The dog is walked and fed before I come downstairs. Is that understood? The dog stays in the basement at all times. You walk the dog after school and at night when you're through with your homework - any questions?
No...Seemed pretty clear to me. Whatever was going on between Dad and Grampa...it added up to one thing. Genetically speaking...I was definitely getting the raw end of the stick.
(Jack is repairing the lamp-post as Kevin cuts across the lawn toward Albert.)
Working pretty hard are ya?
I guess so.
It's not easy raising a puppy. Toughest job there is.
He's learning, though. (Smiles.)
Tell ya what, nice hard-working lad like you - how about I take you down for a nice big banana split from the ice cream store?
(Kevin smiles and starts to open the car door. Jack approaches.)
Where ya going?
Well, I'm going to take the boy for some ice cream - come along if you like.
Kevin, did you walk your dog?
I was...gonna walk him when I get back.
You're gonna walk him now. (Frowns.)
Cut the boy some slack, John. It can wait twenty minutes.
No, Dad, it can't wait twenty minutes. If the dog has gotta go...he isn't gonna wait twenty minutes. You like to wait twenty minutes?
Not for my ice cream. (Frowns.)
I guess I better walk the dog, Gramps.
Suit yourself. Seems a shame though - can't even take my grandson for a little treat.
(Jack catches up with Kevin.)
Kev, wait up! Look, I know it seems I'm being a little tough on ya...
Tough? Well, no more than say...Ghengis Khan.
Believe me there's a reason.
OK, I was willing to listen to reason.
(Albert starts his car.)
(Jack turns around at the sound of screeching tires. Albert drives over the lamp-post and stops.)
(Albert leans out, and gestures.)
Why do you put this thing so close to the driveway?
Why don't you stay on the damn driveway? (Frowns.)
What were you going to say?
Never mind, you wouldn't understand. (Frowns.)
(Jack looks at Albert.)
It's about fathers and sons.
(Jack walks away.)
(Cut to dinner. There is un uneasy silence as Wayne taps mash potatoes onto his plate.)
So how is everything?
Delicious, Norma - couldn't be better.
Yeah, couldn't be better. "Fathers and sons" - "I wouldn't understand?" What had Dad meant by that?
(Albert tastes his mashed potatoes, and frowns. Jack frowns.)
Now what's wrong?
(Albert looks at Norma.)
Did you, uh...did you put pepper in these spuds?
Oh, Albert! I'm so sorry - I forgot.
Gas. Pepper gives me gas.
Oh, maybe you'd like some corn instead?
No...I think not. Corn sticks in my teeth.
(Jack drops his fork and starts to squirm in his chair.)
Well I'm going shopping tomorrow - maybe I can pick you up some things.
Don't you be foolish, Norma. You buy everything the same way you always do.
Sure...spend another day cooking a meal he won't eat. (Frowns.)
Grampa, why don't you try some biscuits - they should be easy to digest.
He can't eat biscuits. Right, Dad?
Tell 'em why not.
Too much starch, Norma. (Frowns.)
Um, Mom, I've got a...date. (Exits.)
Yeah, me too. (Exits.)
She spent a lot of time cooking this meal. The least you could do -
John! Pepper gives me gas, alright? (Frowns.) The potatoes have pepper in 'em.
(Kevin frowns and sighs.)
Forget the damn potatoes.
(Jack taps the table.)
What I'm talking about is a little respect here.
Can I say something please?
Kevin! Just stay out of this.
It's OK, Mom.
(Kevin stands up, throws his napkin down, frowns over his shoulder and walks off.)
What do you want me to say, son?
What do you want me to say? You waltz in here...(looks toward Norma)...you pick at my wife's food...you run over my lamp-post...(gestures)...and you bring a dog!
The dog was a gift, John. (Frowns.) What do you want from me?
(Cut to Kevin in the basement with Buster. Kevin looks toward the background voices.)
They just kept on arguing. They didn't even notice I'd gone.
(Fade to the kitchen.)
You didn't even bother to ask my permission!
Oh! Now I gotta ask your permission to give my grandson a dog?!
(Kevin enters the kitchen with Buster, and stands next to Albert.)
Yeah, Dad. My permission! Is that too much to ask when you're in my house?! I don't tell you when to come and go.
You want me to go - I'll go!
That's up to you!
I'd go tonight - except I didn't bring my other glasses.
You're driving around without your driving-glasses...
How can you forget your damn driving-glasses?!
I forgot 'em - it's as simple as that!
Listen to me!
I wanted them to tell me why they were fighting. Why they kept hurting each other like this. Why the two men who meant the whole world to me...had to act like - children. But most of all, I just wanted them to stop.
(Kevin hands the dog to Albert. Kevin looks at Jack, then Albert.)
I don't want the dog.
(Morning. Kevin stirs awake and goes to the basement. Buster is gone. Kevin walks out the front door. Jack and Buster are standing on the sidewalk near the leaning lamp-post. Jack is dressed for work, and is holding Buster's leash, looking at him.)
I guess I should have been happy. But I wasn't.
(Jack looks off as Kevin approaches, then turns toward Kevin, and looks at Buster.)
He's not a bad little pup. He's got spirit.
Dad, why did Gramps leave? You didn't send him home, did you?
No one ever sent your grandfather home before he was ready.
Gramps and I had a little talk this morning, Kev...Well, kind of a talk. We kind of agreed that, uh...(nods)...you should keep the puppy.
We thought -
I don't want it. (Frowns.)
And I didn't. I was sick of that puppy. I was tired of being a pawn.
First you tell me I can't have a dog - then you tell me I should keep it! (Gestures.) What about my decision? (Frowns.) Doesn't it count?
Course it counts. (Smiles.)
Well, you sure don't act like it! (Frowns.)
(Jack laughs softly.)
What's so funny?
You remind me of someone I know...
(Jack smiles and nods, then looks down the street.)
I dunno, I guess it runs in the family. (Nods.) I hope you decide to keep it, Kev. I think we need a dog. (Nods) You, me, gramps...I think we need to do this.
And for some reason, maybe the way he said it, I began to understand.
We need a dog, son.
He wasn't giving me an order. My dad...was asking me...for help.
He doesn't have a name...
Well, find him a name. (Smiles.)
That morning, as I stood with the man who was my father...the son of my grandfather, who would one day be the grandfather of my son's...I realized something.
(Jack smiles and hands the leash to Kevin.)
That not all gifts are simple. That some battles are fought out of love.
Come on, lets take him for a walk. (Nods.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 38 - "The Treehouse")
(In the school hallway, Kevin and Paul see Doug appearing stunned.)
Oh, man...when did it happen?
Was it your dad?
He gave you..."The Talk".
"The Talk". The old birds and bees.
I actually had to listen to my father say - "genitals".
It was horrible - too horrible to contemplate. The worst thing was, no one was immune. It could strike any time, any where. The fatal communication.
(Cut to Arnold couch. Kevin is looking at a biology book as Jack approaches.)
(Very close shot of Jack. His voice is changed to very deep.)
It all begins with an egg.
So when a man and a woman get together...
When your mother and I...
No - no, no - don't drag Mom into this!
(Normal voice) Kevin!
Fortunately, my father preferred to communicate with his kids as little as possible. Still you never knew if your luck was gonna run out - or when.
(Cut to the kitchen. Jack is inspecting the molding on the cabinets.)
Looks like it's wearing pretty thin to me.
Day three of my dad's week off. So far, he had tightened every screw on every kitchen cabinet, re-wired all our lamps, and added another layer of insulation to the attic.
In short, he was laying seige to my mom's domain.
Honey, it's just a little crack.
Eh...it's fallin' apart. Where's my glue?
Of course, after years of experience, Mom had learned to play Dad like a matador dealing with a bull.
(Norma holds out a piece of bacon.)
You want this last piece of bacon?
(Jack looks up, then gets up, and takes the bacon.)
(Jack pauses and listens to the sound of a dripping faucet.)
Dammit! I just put a new washer in this thing.
(To Kevin) Did the paper come yet? (To Jack) I know you wanted to look at those tire sales.
Oh...I hope he hit the porch this time.
(Norma sighs as Jack walks off.)
Yep. Mom had all the moves.
What the -
(To Kevin) You want another muffin, honey?
(Norma pauses and frowns as she hears the tinkling of crystal.)
Until, that is...
(Norma runs into the dining room.)
The bull got into the china shop.
These hinges are going, Norma.
Jack...(sighs)...not my good crystal...
Kevin? Get my toolbox from the cellar.
Now this was serious - this was Mom's stemware.
(Norma stops Kevin.)
You could see her reaching back for some way to save the situation. Some way to -
I know...why don't you do something with Kevin?
Stab me in the back.
You could...go to a movie, or...play catch...
(Jack frowns at Kevin.)
Well, I better get going.
No, wait! I've got it. Jack...wouldn't this be the perfect time to build that treehouse that you two have always talked about?
I couldn't believe it. After all I'd done for her - slept in her house, eaten her food!
Why not?! I think it would be fun for both of you!
Come on, Mom. I'm too old for a treehouse. (To Jack) Right, Dad?
I was sorry to bail out on old Mom, but the fact was -
Nonsense. You're never too old for a treehouse. (Smiles.)
I was a dead man.
(Cut to the lumber yard. Jack is talking to the salesman. Kevin is sitting around.)
See, it wasn't just a matter of being too old for a treehouse. Building something - building anything - with my dad didn't really mean "building". It meant sitting around...
(Jack tosses the end of some twine to Kevin.)
(Jack runs around the car and takes the twine, bumping Kevin's head with his elbow.)
Being in the way...
(Cut to the Arnold backyard as Jack saws lumber.)
Eating sawdust. And, watching him build.
Well, startin' to lose the light. Let's knock off for today, eh, Tiger?
"Tiger"? I didn't feel like a tiger. I felt more like...an elf.
We'll pick it up tomorrow.
I can't...I've got school tomorrow.
I'll pick ya up!
(Jack smiles, then pats Kevin's head and walks off.)
It didn't seem fair. I was thirteen years old, and my father was still treating me like...a kid! I mean, what was it gonna take here?
(In the cafeteria with Hobson.)
A treehouse, huh? What are you - the ladder-holder?
Huh, yeah, right.
The nerve of this guy. "Ladder-holder"? I was no ladder-holder. I was...
(Cut to the backyard as Kevin holds a ladder for Jack.)
Holding a ladder.
Damn! I cut it too long. What the hell was I thinking of?
OK - this had gone far enough. It was time to declare my independence.
I'll cut it for you, Dad.
Heck, what did I have to lose?
Nah, I better do it.
Dad! I want to do it. I want to help.
You are helpin'.
Holding a ladder? Come on, Dad - I want to saw.
OK. Either one of two things was gonna happen here. Either Dad was gonna laugh in my face, or...
You think you can shave an inch-and-three-eigths off of that?
He was gonna let me saw! OK...I was on my way! There was just one little problem here...
(Jack demonstrates "how to saw".)
I'd never actually used a power-saw before. It looked...sharp. Saw-like.
Make sure that safety-guard is down - this thing can back up on ya.
Yeah, I know.
"Back up"? "Safety-guard"? OK, no turning back now. It was saw... or be sawed.
(Kevin saws as Jack watches over his shoulder.)
(Jack examines the cut.)
It was a small step. An inch-and-three-eigths, to be exact.
(Jack heads up the ladder.)
But it felt like we'd turned some kind of corner.
(Fade to kitchen table. Jack and Kevin discuss the building plans as Norma watches from the distance.)
My dad and I.
(Fade to the treehouse as Jack and Kevin are hammering.)
And our treehouse, at least the ground-floor, was lookin' pretty darn good!
Feels solid, Dad.
Yeah, it does.
As Dad and I kicked back and hoisted a couple of cool ones, I had the strangest experience. Dad was talking to me - and I was listening.
We were - communicating.
Uh, nah - Mom can't get up a rope-ladder.
That's the idea...(Chuckles.)
It was one of the nicest moments we ever shared, and it lasted...
(Sound of the neighbor lady humming "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" to herself. Jack and Kevin pause, then stand up to look at the neighbor.)
About twelve seconds. Now she was just a woman, working in her garden, weeding her tomatoes - she didn't know we were there.
And we'd certainly never seen her before. It was all just kind of...a coincidence.
(The camera pans from her tomatoes, to the tomatoes in the garden. Jack grins.)
(Jack and Kevin look at each other, then glance away.)
The weird thing was, it was really no big deal.
(Jack is glancing around nervously.)
Except for some reason, at that moment, it was a big deal. It was horrible. We'd been two men at work, and suddenly everything had changed. Suddenly, we were a father and son. And a neighbor. And there didn't seem to be room up there for the three of us.
Down went the lines of communication.
Let's take a break.
And there you had it - one minute we were on top of the world, the next minute...
(Kevin knocks the ladder over.)
We were up a tree - without a ladder.
(Fade to the living room. On TV, a woman asks the scientist man about his green-house plants..."Tell me - is this thing really a strawberry?" Man: "This, we hope, is the future of the American farmer." Jack is reading a newspaper as Kevin watches the TV.)
For the next day or so, Dad and I didn't talk much. Let me amend that - we didn't talk at all.
(Wayne approaches and sits between them. Man on TV - "...freaks of nature.")
Oh, do we have to watch this?
(Shot of the TV. The woman looks at a plant - "How'd they get so big?" Jack glances at the TV, then his newspaper.)
Course...I wasn't really sure if Dad knew that I knew that he saw that I saw what he saw...
(Jack glances sideways at Kevin, then back to his paper.)
Or vice-versa. All we both knew was...we weren't goin' back up that tree.
What's happening with the treehouse?
Uh, we, um...
Well, what's the matter with you two? You were having so much fun up there! I've never seen the two of you work so well together.
(Kevin glances at Jack.)
Dad? You want to take this one?
Well, uh...the forecast said there was a...possibility of rain.
(Norma frowns and looks out the window.)
Yeah. It said zero possibility.
(Jack glances at Kevin.)
Well, as long as I have you two in here...
(Norma holds up some flat packages.)
Maybe you can help me choose a table-setting.
(Jack looks up from his paper.)
We could go with the gingham, or the stripes, or the ducks...or, we could mix-and-match...What do you think?
Looks like it's clearin' up, Kev.
(Jack slaps the paper on the coffee-table. Kevin and Jack stand up and start to walk off.)
Have fun, huh-huh.
Sure - fun!
(Cut to Kevin and Jack at the saw-horse. The neighbor is singing "Que Sera, Sera" throughout the scene.)
We gave it the old college try.
(Jack marks a line on the board.)
We tried to ignore it.
(Kevin starts to saw. Kevin glances toward the neighbor, and the saw bogs down.)
But we were over-matched.
Not like that, Kev.
(Jack takes over the saw from Kevin.)
What's wrong with that?
You're over the line.
No I'm not!
Yes, you are!
(Jack glances toward the neighbor.)
Look, I'll do this. Just go get my hammer.
(Kevin glances at the toolbox in the treehouse. Jack glances over his shoulder, frowns and sighs.)
Never mind - where's your hammer?
I think I left it in the garage.
How many times I tell ya not to leave your tools lying around?
Well I didn't think -
Look - just go get it!
Face it - we needed help. Someone sympathetic. Someone who'd understand.
(Another day, Jack and Kevin tentatively climb up the ladder, watching for the neighbor.)
Well, one thing was clear. Dad and I were in this together, for better or worse.
(They look into the neighbors empty yard.)
But wait a minute -
(They sigh, then smile at each other.)
Awright! Let's get goin' here - we got work to do, huh?
Yeah - let's lap up some studs! Make some noise!
(Various shots of them working.)
Yep - we were rollin' now. Like a smoothly-oiled machine.
(They head toward the kitchen.)
And who knew? We might even finish it by tomorrow if our luck held out. And we didn't get another visit from -
(Cut to the kitchen as Jack and Kevin enter laughing.)
Look at the size of those tomatoes, Jack!
The singing gardener.
(Jack looks uncomfortable.)
This is Donna. My husband, Jack.
(Donna holds her hand out. Jack hesitates.)
Ah, nah, my hands are dirty - I've been working. (Gestures.)
That's OK - my hands have been in the dirt all day.
(Jack smiles and shakes her hand.)
And that's my youngest - Kevin.
Well, hi, Kevin!
(Jack still has a frozen smile, and elbows Kevin.)
Uh...hi. (Shakes her hand.)
Donna and I met at the supermarket. We started talking in the checkout counter and it turns out Donna lives on Oakdale almost right behind us!
Yeah, just a little over from here.
So she told me about her tomatoes and said she'd bring me some.
And I told the checker...just to put mine back! Didn't I? (Laughs.)
Well, then, I guess I just had to bring 'em, huh? (Laughs.)
(Norma and Donna laugh. Jack forces a laugh, and Kevin smiles.)
Well, this was homey! I just sort of stood there, but fortunately, my dad was a little more socially-adept.
(Jack gestures uncomfortably.)
We, um...break. (Smiles.)
Kevin and me.
So, a little small-talk...the Arnold charm...
Let's go Kev.
It was nice to meet you!
(Jack exits. Kevin smiles at Donna and exits.)
And we were out the door.
(Cut to the treehouse. Jack and Kevin are working.)
By mutual unspoken consent, my dad and I fell into a plan. Work as hard as we could, as fast as we could - and get out of that tree. As our hammers rang in the air, bending metal and steel to our wills...an amazing thing happened - we found a common bond.
Yo. I need a, uh...
Yeah, and some, uh...
Dammit! Where's the...
It was almost...heroic. There we were, two men, side-by-side, struggling without words, against the thing we couldn't talk about - running from a common enemy. Running from -
Ready or not - here I come!
(Norma climbs up the ladder.)
Well! This is fun!
(Jack glances toward the neighbor, who has starting singing.)
Uh, Norma, the footing up here is a little tricky.
Yeah - It's not all nailed off! You don't want to fall!
Oh, don't be silly. It feels sturdy to me!
(Jack and Kevin try to act non-chalant.)
Oh! And just look at this view!
(Jack looks in the opposite direction.)
(Norma ducks under Jack's arm.)
(Jack and Kevin look at each other. Jack sighs.)
Now at that moment, it's possible a simple explanation would have helped. But of course we couldn't explain. We couldn't talk about it at all.
(Norma turns toward Jack. Jack smiles sheepishly, then looks down.)
Well, I should start dinner.
(She looks at Jack, then exits.)
And that was that. We'd been accused, tried, and convicted. And suddenly I had an awful feeling that I knew what that sentence would be.
(Jack glances toward the neighbor.)
We have to talk.
There was no escape. It had come down to this. "The Talk".
(Jack claps his hand on Kevin's shoulder. Kevin has a flash-back of Doug saying "genitals".)
Son...I think you're too old for a treehouse.
I'm goin' inside.
(Jack tosses his pencil down, and exits.)
See also "Full Transcript"
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