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Margaret Farquhar

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(Ep 21 - "Square Dance")


(Shot of a red 1969 RFK yearbook as a man's hands opens it and thumbs through the pages. The camera pans across a few pages.)
Some people pass through your life and you never think about them. And there are some you think about, and wonder "whatever happened to them?"
(The camera pans across and stops on a boy.)
Dentist, maybe.
(Fade to a close shot of Becky.)
Gossip columnist. No - divorce lawyer.
album (The camera pans down to a large picture of Miss White, who has written across the page: "The love of bringing the **** and all the sweet serenity of books. All best forever. Miss White".)
Some you wonder if they ever wondered what happened to you.
(Fade to shot of another page as the camera moves in on the picture of a smiling girl in pigtails and glasses.)
And then there are thoses...you wish you never had to think about again. But you do.

*

(In gym, Mr. Cutlip and Miss Bruntley are assigning couples for square dancing.)
Pfeiffer...and...
(Shot of a pretty girl.)
Gambowski.
(Paul makes a fist and smiles.)
Yes!
(Heidi rolls her eyes as boys make catcalls and whistle.)
OK. So Paul had hit the jackpot. I wasn't worried. Still plenty of fillies left in this pasture.
Arnold...
Here we go! Lucky, lucky, lucky...
And...Farquhar.
(Kevin looks wide-eyed as the camera zooms in on him, accompanied by a twang of guitar.)
And suddenly, my life was over.
lifeover (Some girls giggle as Margaret steps forward from the back row, smiling. She is wearing glasses and pigtails.)
I'd just been partnered with Margaret Farquhar. The flagship for seventh-grade weirdness. Some people march to the beat of a different drummer...Margaret had her own percussion section.
(Margaret raises her hand.)
Yes?
Are we going to do-si-do?
We'll get to that. (Nods.)
(Margaret raises her hand.)
Yes?! (Frowns.)
Why is it called do-si-do? (Smiles.)
(Some giggling can be heard.)
Because that's what it's called. (Frowns.) Arnold!
(Margaret raises a finger.)
Is that clockwise, or the other way around?
(More kids giggle.)
Did I ask for questions? (Frowns.) I always ask for questions!
That was Margaret. She could get on the nerves of any teacher. Including Gandhi.
Arnold! Step to the center. Now!
Go get 'em, tiger!
(Randy and Mike push Kevin forward. Margaret smiles slightly at him.)
Alright. First things first. The bow...and curtsy.
(Mr. Cutlip and Miss Bruntley demonstrate. Margaret bows forward. Kevin doesn't move. Margaret straightens up, smiling at Kevin.)
It was gonna be a l-o-n-g week.
*

(In the hallway as Kevin comes out of the bathroom door.)
Hi, Kevin!
Uh-oh. Keep going.
(Margaret turns after him in the background.)
I'm standing in the hall...
(Kevin pauses.)
No - don't turn around!
(Kevin starts to back up slowly and frowns.)
Uh...
Miss Billings sent me out here.
(Kevin turns and approaches Margaret.)
She says I ask too many questions. Were you in the bathroom?
Great. I'd said three words to her, now we were gonna have to have a whole conversation.
I have to go a lot, too. (Smiles.) When I drink too much water in the morning. Do you like bats?
Bats? (Frowns.)
I have a fruit bat. (Nods.)
Momma! This chick was weird!
Do you like the name "Mortimer"?
Look...(shrugs)...I have to get to class.
What class?
I gotta go. (Frowns.)
OK. Did you -
(Kevin waves.)
I gotta go, Margaret.
(Kevin frowns and starts walking away. Margaret looks after him.)
Well, I'd learned one thing.
Bye, Kevin!
Never go to the boy's room alone. Stay in groups.
(Cut to the cafeteria as Kevin and Paul find a table.)
Heidi wore perfume today - the kind I'm allergic to. But when I sneezed...she said "gezhundheit". She could have just said "bless you", but she gave it to me...in German. (Smiles)
You're an animal, Paul. (Smiles.)
Yeah...I'm gonna go get an ice-cream sandwich. Gotta keep up that strength!
(Paul exits. Kevin smiles and sits down.)
Amazing. Fate had given Paul Heidi Gambowski. And me...(smiles)...bat-girl. Heck - it was almost funny, you know...
(Margaret hurriedly sits down next to Kevin.)
Hi! (Smiles.)
Margaret! (Frowns.)
Uh-uh. Not acceptable. Not in public. An empty hallway, maybe. But not a cafeteria.
Do you like chili?
(Kevin looks toward Wayne sitting at a table in the distance, and recognizing Kevin and sighing.)
Uh, you can't sit here! (Frowns.)
cafeteria I almost fell down during the grand right-and-lefts today. Did you notice?
The nerve of this kid.
I-I have these seats saved.
I went ice-skating once...and I fell down a lot! (Gestures.) But I always think you gotta get back on that horse and ride!
Jeez - what did I have to do here? Call Western Union?
Margaret! (Frowns.)
(Sound of a bell, and Kevin pauses and looks off.)
(V/O): I expect more of you than that.
(Kevin frowns and looks off.)
OK - so I wouldn't tell her.
(Wayne laughs and points Kevin out to his friends, who turn and laugh. Kevin looks at Wayne, then Margaret, then his food.)
I'd just eat fast - very fast.
(Kevin starts to rapidlt stuff food in his mouth.)
No moral law against that, was there?
I you like to ice-skate?
Uh-guh.
Where were you born?
Uh-wuh.
Don't chew! Swallow! Then get the heck out of there!
Bats don't eat breakfast, either.
Almost home, now.
Do you think "Mortimer" is a good name for a bat?
(Kevin stands up rapidly with his mouth stuffed. Margaret looks at him.)
I'll seeya!
(Kevin waves, takes his tray, and starts to walk off.)
Bye!
But you didn't even answer my -
Bye!
(Kevin walks away, chewing.)
There. I'd made it. No cooties on me. Right?
(Heidi and three other girls approach him, smiling.)
Are you and Margaret going steady now?
(The girls giggle and walk off. Kevin turns away and frowns.)
Uhhhhgh!
*

Well, I was on my own. There was only one way to put the brakes on with Margaret.
(Cut to gym as Kevin approaches Maragaret and stands next to her and looks forward.)
Hi! (Smiles.)
(Kevin looks away.)
Snub her.
(Kevin continues to look off. Margaret looks forward.)
Now take your lady by the...hand.
(Margaret reaches toward Kevin.)
Oh...
(Kevin rubs his wrist and frowns.)
I-I sprained my wrist.
(Kevin and Margaret walk forward.)
Heh-heh-heh. Why hadn't I thought of this before?
All join hands...
(Margaret reaches toward Kevin.)
Circle left.
(Kevin covers his mouth and coughs, then starts to walk around the circle. Margaret follows Kevin as he rubs his arm.)
Yep. It was workin'. Like a charm!
(Fade to "later".)
Circle left around the ring. Braid parade, you're going the right way. Braid parade, you're...going the other way.
This...was gonna be tricky.
(Kevin pauses, then ducks down as Margaret approaches. She stops and looks down at him as he ties his shoelace. Margaret looks at him a moment, then looks off and folds her arms as the others promenade around. She looks at Kevin, then looks up and sighs.)
Alright! Let's try again tomorrow!
(Margaret looks down at Kevin as he looks off and smiles.)
Success!
(He looks over his shoulder at Margaret as she walks past him. He looks after her and smiles.)
She'd finally gotten the message.
(Kevin stands up. Sound of knocking on a door.)
(Cut to the Arnold kitchen.)
I'll get it!
(Kevin opens the door, revealing Margaret.)
Did you know that you only live five streets down and three across?
(She steps inside.)
Maybe one thing that made Margaret a social Pariah...was she didn't know how to take a hint. Subtle or otherwise.
I brought Mortimer.
(She holds out a shoebox.)
He's sleeping - do you want to see?
(Kevin frowns at Margaret.)
No. Don't encourage her.
Margaret...you can't stay. I have, um...
Homework!
Homework! And...
Uh...a doctor's appointment.
Do you have a water tap with water?
Look - I'm really, really busy. Really...really...really...busy.
(V/O): Kevin?
So...
(V/O): Who's that at the door?
(Norma enters from the living room carrying a basket of laundry.)
Margaret? (Smiles.)
Uh-oh. I could see Mom's radar working overtime. In about three seconds, she was gonna fall in love.
She can't stay, Mom! (Frowns.)
Now, I'm sure she can stay for just a little while. Can't you, Margaret?
Well, fine - why don't we just adopt her?
Maybe she'd like to sit down? (Nods.)
(Kevin sighs and steps toward the chair.)
That was it.
(Kevin noisily slides the chair out.)
Margaret was in like Flynn.
bat (Margaret turns around and holds out the shoebox toward Norma.)
This is my bat. (Smiles.)
But hold on here!
(Norma touches her hair and frowns slightly.)
Bat?
He won't go in your hair unless there's bugs there. I would have brought Isabelle, too, but her terrarium's too hard to carry.
Isabelle?
My tarantula.
Holy cow. Bats and spiders? Two of Mom's personal favorites...
I also have a lizard, but he's sick.
Oh...
Did Margaret know what she was doing?
(Norma smiles awkwardly.)
That's too bad.
(Norma backs away.)
I hope he feels better! (Smiles.)
(Norma turns away hurriedly with the laundry toward the basement.)
Amazing. Mrs. Be-Nice-To-Everyone...had been chased out of her own kitchen.
I-I guess your mother doesn't like bats.
No.
(Margaret smiles and looks down at the shoebox.)
Yeah, neither does mine.
(She looks at Kevin. He looks down then back to Margaret. She smiles and looks at the shoebox, then gets serious and looks at Kevin.)
So, uh...you wanna...sit down?
(Margaret smiles broadly, walks to the table, sits down, and smiles at Kevin. Fade to "later" as they eat cookies.)
And so, I spent an hour with the most unpopular girl in school.
Do you know where the word "tarantula" comes from?
Unh-uh.
tarantula Well, they have this disease in Europe...(nods)...that if you got it, it made you jerk around like you were dancing. And they thought it came from spiders...
She was weird, alright. But the funny thing is, she was also interesting. In a weird way.
So, they named the spider after the dance. Tarantella...(nod)...tarantula! (Smiles.)
Margaret? Can I ask you something? Why do you have three pigtails?
Because, you never know when you're gonna need an extra rubber band.
I never met anyone like her. Not that I liked her, ya understand. But still...
(He smiles, then looks toward the shoebox. Fade to Kevin picking up a cookie.)
So, you're Dad was in the Army?
(Margaret nods.)
We travel a lot. Do you know anyone who's been to twelve schools in eight years?
That's a lot of schools.
Bats are good travelers. (Nods.) Dogs you have to leave behind.
(Margaret looks down. Norma returns from the laundry room and smiles at them.)
Kevin? Will you're friend be staying for dinner?
Now, that was a picture. Margaret, Mortimer, Mom, and Dad...
(Kevin looks at Margaret worriedly.)
And...
wayne (Shot of Margaret resting her head on her hand, as Wayne fades into the shot, sitting next to her. He looks from Kevin to Margaret and smiles.)
Wayne!
Margaret!
(Kevin hurries to the door and looks out the window, then turns to Margaret in a panic.)
You gotta go!
(Kevin starts to help her up.)
Now?!
Yes, now!
Can I have another drink of water?
Here! Here's a glass - there's a hose up the street around the corner.
Kevin! (Frowns.)
Sorry, Mom - it was ditch her or die.
Well...
(Margaret gathers Mortimer from the table.)
Maybe you can come over to my house sometime.
Sure!
(Kevin opens the door.)
Sure!
If you come tonight you could meet Isabelle...
(Kevin guides her toward the door.)
I-I'll be there!
Is that a promise? (Smiles.)
(V/O): Mom?!
(Kevin looks over his shoulder, then back to Margaret.)
Yeah, OK! I promise!
Really?! You promise?! (Smiles excitedly.)
(Kevin pushes Margaret outside.)
I promise!
(Kevin slams the door and turns around. Wayne leans into the dining room doorway.)
What'd I miss, here?
Nothing!
Nope. Nothin'. Nothin' at all. Except for one...meaningless...little promise.
(Kevin hangs his head. Cut to outside Margaret's house at night as Kevin walks up the sidewalk.)
That night I went to Margaret's house. But only because I promised. OK - maybe it was more than that. Heck - she did have a tarantula in there. And it was dark. No one would ever see me...
(Kevin rings the doorbell, then puts his hands in his polo shirt pockets.)
Unless of course, someone happened to pass by. Someone I knew...someone who knew Margaret. Someone like...
(V/O): Yoohoo!
(Kevin turns around quickly. Mike and Randy are standing in the street. Randy has a bullhorn.)
Ke-vin! Look, everybody! It's Kevin Arnold!
(Mike takes the bullhorn.)
Hit the floods!
(A bank of floodlights turns on behind them. Kevin shuts his eyes against the glare, then rubs them. Sound of laughing kids.)
(Group): Duhhhh....duhhhh....
(Wide shot of Kevin and the house as a helicopter can be heard, and another spotlight is beamed on him. Kevin looks up and shades his eyes. A helicopter approaches, shining a light into the camera.)
There he is - we see him! Attention, neighborhood! Attention, neighborhood! Kevin Arnold is at Margaret Farquhar's house! I repeat...Kevin Arnold is at Margaret Farquhar's house!
(Kevin frowns at the group in the street as the floodlights dim. Kevin breathes heavily. Shot of the empty dark street.)
(V/O): Coming!
(Kevin looks back toward the door, then runs down the path, then along a hedge, and into another one.)
Ugh...
(He pushes through and falls to his knees. He gets up and hurries off. Margaret opens the door and looks out.)
Hello?
(Kevin runs away down the sidewalk.)
All in all...I guess I lost my nerve.
*

(Kevin sees Margaret approaching the water-fountain.)
I'd made my decision. This couldn't go on. It was time to deal with it once and for all.
Margaret?
Hi, Kevin! (Smiles.) Were you at my house last night? My bell rang. Did you ring my bell?
That's right - pour on the old guilt, why don't ya?
My mother made popcorn.
Margaret...I-I can't talk to you anymore.
(Margaret pauses, then shrugs slightly.)
What? (Smiles.)
And then I had an idea. A great idea.
Well, you know...I like you, and...I think you're really nice.
(Margaret smiles.)
But, so - we can talk to each other. But...not at school.
(Margaret's smiles fades a little.)
hall Or at my house. Or, in front of anybody. But, ya know, we could...still be friends! You know...only...no one would have to know about it.We'd be, um...(shrugs)...secret friends. (Smiles.) OK?
Zowie! Talk about a solution.
(Margaret looks at Kevin a moment, then shakes her head slightly.)
Secret friends?
Well, yeah! (Shrugs.) Kinda.
Funny thing is...I actually believed she'd jump at the opportunity.
(Margaret frowns and shakes her head slightly.)
You don't want to talk to me?
She wasn't jumping.
Why don't you want to talk to me?!
Well, it's not that I don't want to talk to you, ya know...(Shrugs.)
You don't want me to talk to you?
See? She was twisting it all around...
How can you be friends if you don't want to talk to somebody?!
Hey, hey, hey! What's goin' on here?
Uh...
I don't understand this! What's so awful about talking!
Hey, Arnold - looks like honeymoon time! (Smiles.)
Hey, Arnold? You pop the question yet?
Hah-hah. (Frowns.) Very funny.
Hey, uh, Farky? Why do they call these things pigtails?
(Margaret frowns at Randy and slaps his hand away. Kevin and Margaret look at each other.)
It was horrible. I wanted to tell them to knock it off - leave her alone. And Margaret - I wanted to scream at her. Why did she have to be so weird? Why couldn't she just be normal?! I wanted to say something...but I didn't. I couldn't.
(Margaret drops her books on the floor.)
It was Margaret who did the talking.
I thought you were different.
(Margaret walks off.)
*

And so, that last day of square-dancing...
alone (Margaret approaches and puts her hand on Kevin's shoulder, and they spin around as she looks off.)
I danced alone. Maybe if I'd been a little braver, I could have been her friend, but...the truth is...in seventh-grade, who you are is what other seventh-grader's say you are.
(Fade to close, very slow-motion shot of Kevin and Margaret spinning around a few times. Slow fade to the open yearbook superimposed over Kevin and Margaret as they dance.)
The funny thing is...it's hard to remember the names of the kids you spent so much time trying to impress. But you don't forget someone like Margaret Farquhar. Professor of biology. Mother of six. Friend to bats.

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12/05/14 19:55