(Ep 83 - "Private Butthead")

In nineteen-sventy-two, the war was still raging in Vietnam. Politicians kept talking. Soldiers kept dying. And no one seemed to know why. But, maybe because the war had gone on too long...or maybe, because it had caused too much pain...whatever the reason...most of us managed to keep it at a distance.
(Cut to evening in the kitchen. Norma and Wayne are at the kitchen table. Norma is flipping through an SAT-prep book. Wayne is sticking a paperclip in his nose.)
And go on, with our everyday, normal lives.
Oh, come on, Wayne - you know this one. "Obsequious".
(Norma reads from the book.)
"A", toxic... "B", easily upset, "C", fawning..."D", ambitious.
My brother, for example, was studying for his college entrance exams.
(Wayne pulls the paperclip out of his nose.)
What's the matter?
I just cut my nose with this paperclip! (Frowns.)
Well, "studying" may have been an overstatement.
Wayne...You have to concentrate, or you're never gonna be ready for your SAT's!
Well, I don't know why I have to take 'em - I already took 'em once. (Gestures.)
I know, honey, but...
(Norma pats Wayne's hand.)
You just...need to do a little bit better.
You know... (gestures)...I don't know what the big deal is about college anyway. It's not like if I don't go...(gestures)...I'm gonna get drafted or somethin'. (Frowns.)
(Wayne shakes his head and wipes his nose. Norma looks at the book.)
Luckily, Wayne's draft lottery number was 312. Unfortunately, that was also his first SAT score.
(She looks at Wayne expectantly, then frowns and nods.)
OK, OK...
I hope this doesn't get infected.
The thing is, the guy wasn't a total idiot.
So, obsequious is...
(Norma nods and looks at Wayne expectantly. Wayne looks at her blankly.)
He was just...unconscious.
Fawning! (Frowns.)
Great! Break my concentration!
But no matter how much of a problem the SAT's were...
(Norma reads from the book as Wayne sticks a pencil in his ear.)
"A", tasty...
Wayne had an even bigger problem.
"B", mournful..."C", unnatural...
A problem of cosmic proportions.
"D", sympathetic.
(Norma looks up at Wayne and pulls the pencil out of his ear.)

You skipped school?
(Wayne looks at Kevin, who is studying.)
Oh, I didn't say anything.
He didn't have to - the principal called. (Frowns.)
Honey? How could you skip school?
Well...(gestures)...we didn't skip...I mean...we were gonna go, but then we just...didn't go, at the last minute.
Well...where did you go? (Nods.)
Nowhere. (Gestures.) We didn't do anything.
Coulda done that at school...
Honey? This is going to go on your permanent record!

(Norma unloads groceries from the car, then looks at Jack who is fixing the roof.)
Jack?! Jack?! Is Wayne home, yet?
Not yet!
Oh, he was so nervous this morning. I hope he remembers what obsequious means...

(Wayne returns, and announces he and Wart have joined the Army.)
This can't be happening! (Frowns.)
Even so, it had. My mother's worst nightmare was coming true.
Honey - you are just in high school!
(Jack and Wayne talk a little, then Jack sends Wart home.)
It was time for the family to talk turkey.
Jack! We can't let this happen.
You didn't take your physical yet, right?
No, but, you know, that's just...(Gestures.)
(Jack looks at Norma.)
He's not in the Army.

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(Ep 84 - "Of Mastodons and Men")

(At breakfast.)
The Arnold house. We were a house of men. A house of slobs.
(Wayne burps. Kevin burps. Jack burps.)
A house of hunters.
(Norma closes the refrigerator and frowns, mildly disgusted. The guys turn toward Norma.)
(All guys) 'Scuse me.
Fortunately, as it happened...there had wandered into our camp one person who did her best to look out for our best interests.
(Norma glances toward Kevin and frowns. She gestures with a knife.)
Kevin, I thought you hated that striped shirt.
Me? No - I saw it in my closet, and I think it suits me.
Well, why is the collar up?
It just so happens that some people like the way this looks, butt-brain.
Oh-oh. What people?
None of your business!
Who's Julie?
No one.
She's got you on a...pretty short leash there, hah, Kev?
This from a guy who's last successful relationship was with a nose-hair clipper.
At least I got a girlfriend.
You're running over to her house every, uh, single day...
(Norma approaches, holding a plate.)
I, for one, think Julie's very good for you, Kevin.
(She stands next to Jack.)
(Jack flips his paper down, mildly surprised, and looks toward Kevin. Norma bends closer and looks toward Kevin.)
Look how nice Kevin looks.
Why's your collar up?
(Kevin sighs and shakes his head.)
I'm outta here.
Hey...no sense explaining myself to these cretins.

(Kevin enters the kitchen door and walks past Norma standing in the kitchen.)
Hey, Mom!
By the time I got home I was a new man.
(Norma smiles and looks down at her cup, then turns to Kevin, who is about to enter the dining room.)
Kevin? You have a visitor.
(Kevin turns to Norma. The camera pans moves in on him as he glances toward the kitchen table in surprise. Some eerie music plays.)
(Julie is at the table, smiling.)
Hi, Kevin!
(Julie smiles. "Ding". Kevin approaches past Norma.)
I wasn't expecting you.
Julie and I were just...(nods)...getting to know one another. (Smiles.)
I was just worried about you, Kevin. (Smiles.)
(Norma smiles at Kevin.)
Isn't that sweet?
(Norma glances toward Julie, then shrugs and smiles at Kevin.)
She was just worried about you...
So, Julie? Julie - what's goin' on?
Oh, nothing. I thought you were coming over today.(Smiles.)
(Norma smiles at Kevin.)
Isn't that sweet?
Mom! (Frowns.)
(Norma smiles and starts to back up.)
I'll just...leave you two together.
(She looks at Kevin, then smiles and waves at Julie.)
Seeya later, Julie.
Hope so, Mrs. Arnold.
(Norma glances over her shoulder as she exits toward the living room.)
Isn't that sweet?

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(Ep 86 - "Hero")

(Bobby has just said goodbye to Kevin at the lockers.)
I was on first-name basis with a superstar. A guy who had the world at his fingertips.
(Cut to the dining room. Norma fixes an Alka-Seltzer for Jack, who is a the table covered with papers.)
As opposed to say...my dad.
Here, honey - maybe this'll help.
The only things at his fingetips were dull pencils and Alka-Seltzer.
I hate these damn reports.
Well, do you have to do them all tonight?
If I don't do it, nobody else will.
Well...I just hope they appreciate all the work you do.
(Jack frowns and nods slightly as Norma rubs his head and kisses his cheek.)
There it was...portrait of the worker ant. His nose to the grindstone...and the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I'll seeya later.
Where the hell are you goin'?
To the game...(Gestures.)
(Jack takes a breath, and looks at Kevin.)
Fact. When you're sixteen...your sense of irony isn't particularly well-developed.
Oh, come on, Dad. (Shrugs.) If we win this one, we'll go to the state tournament! (Gestures and smiles.)
Did you hear a word of what I just said?
Jack, maybe we should let him go...
(Kevin looks over his shoulder as Norma approaches.)
He's only young once.
And there...finally. A blow for the cause of freedom. I owed her my eternal gratitude. My undying respect.
Thanks, Mom! Seeya, Dad!

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(Ep 88 - "Carnal Knowledge")

(Kevin, Ricky and Chuck decided to sneak into a theater to see an R-rated movie. Now, Kevin is eating dinner.)
And with that, we were on our way. The plan was set. The coast was clear.
Jack? Let's go see a movie tonight.
Just one little roadblock.
What's playin'?
I think it's called "Carnal Knowledge".
"Carnal Knowledge"? (Frowns.)
This was bad. If there was one thing could kill a night with the guys, it was a night with the guy's parents.
What's it about?
Oh, it's about...relationships.
I think Ann-Margaret's in it. (Smiles.)
Oh? What time does it start?
It starts really late. Unless ya make the early show - which ya already missed.
OK - I was reaching. I had to do something.
And, and can you believe the tickets? They're up to three bucks a piece. Not to mention popcorn.
What popcorn? (Frowns.)
Fifty cents. Each.
(Jack frowns. Sound of a cash register.)
Kevin! (Frowns.)
Oh - and ya know what I heard, Dad? Uh, there's gonna be a John Wayne film festival on channel nine, tonight. (Smiles.)
(Jack smiles slightly at Kevin.)
(Jack looks thoughtfully at Norma.)
Norma, um...
(He wipes his mouth with a napkin.)
What'd ya say we skip the movie...stay home...make our own popcorn? (Smiles.)
(Norma pauses, slightly disappointed.)
That'd be fine. (Smiles.)
(Norma looks at Kevin with disbelief.)

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(Ep 89 - "The Lost Weekend")

(Morning. Kevin and Wayne are eating cereal as Jack enters the kitchen hurriedly.)
You got the wedding invitation, Norma?
(Norma is at the sink, stirring a bowl. She turns over her shoulder as Jack moves to the opposite counter.)
It's in my beauty-case, honey.
(Norma turns back to the bowl as Jack looks down at a map.)
We should take Route 93 through Hutsonville and avoid the traffic.
(Norma crosses the kitchen with the bowl, toward the refrigerator.)
I can't believe that Iris is finally getting married.
(Norma opens the refrigerator and sets the bowl inside.)
April, 1972. History was being made. For the first time in our lives, our parents were leaving us alone for the weekend. To us it meant freedom, independence.
Boys? The white casserole dish is for tonight, and the cold-cuts are for Saturday.
And, of course, instructions.
Right, Mom. (Nods.)
There's a list of chores on the fridge.
(Norma pours coffee from the percolator.)
I want them done when we get back.
Right, Dad. (Smiles.)
And Wayne...don't leave your towels by the heater while we're gone...(Nods.)
I won't! (Nods.)
You did last week, and look what happened.
W-I put it out!
(Norma turns around holding a thermos, and holds her hand out toward Jack.)
Honey - we better go.
(Norma gathers up the coffee and approaches the table.)
(Norma gets her purse from the table.)
And you have the number where we'll be...
(Norma reaches across the counter for two empty cups.)
Right, Mom.
Right, Mom.

(Jack and Norma are putting things in the car as Kevin and Wayne watch.)
Are you sure you two boys are gonna be alright?
Yeah, Mom. Have a good time. (Gestures.)
Yeah. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. (Laughs.)
(Norma smiles at Jack, then gets into the car. Kevin and Wayne look toward the car as it starts up, and smile and wave.)
And with that...
(Norma leans out her window as the car pulls forward.)
Don't be late for school!
My parents were gone. Leaving us to defend the Arnold family fortress.


(The morning after the party, the house is a mess. Kevin is cleaning it as Wayne is leaving. Kevin follows Wayne outside.)
Hey, I didn't need him. I didn't need anyone.
(Sound of a car horn. Kevin and Wayne look toward the street as Jack's car approaches.)
Except maybe a priest. Or a registered nurse.
Boy...this really isn't your day.
(Wayne raises his arm over his head and waves.)
Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. You guys are home a bit early.
Well, you know your father...
(Norma smiles and turns to Jack, and pats him on the back of the head.)
Yeah, good old Dad.
Everything OK?
Yeah. Everything's fine.
The thing is...I was prepared for the yelling, screaming, the gnashing of teeth.
(Kevin enters and pauses next to Wayne. Norma holds her bag, bends down and picks up a couch cushion and shakes it. Jack looks around.)
But what I wasn't prepared for was...the complete and utter silence.
(Jack holds up a piece of pizza with a cigarette stuck in it. Norma turns toward the boys, frowning.)
What happened?!

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(Ep 90 - "Stormy Weather")

(Karen rings the doorbell in the middle of a rainy night.)
Honey? (Frowns.)
What time is it?
Karen, are you alright? (Frowns.)
I'm fine, Mom. Can I come in?
(Norma and Jack step back as Norma gestures, and Karen enters.)
Of course...
Like I said...we weren't exactly strangers to midnight crises.
Honey, you're soaked...
Yeah. I know, Mom.
How did you get here?
Uh, my friend Robin gave me a ride. Do you have any tea? (Frowns.)
Oh, yeah...(Frowns.)

(In the kitchen.)
Karen, what happened?
Nothing happened. Mom? Do we have any herbal?
Here, honey - I'll get it.
(She reaches up high.)
It's up here.
(Norma open the highest small cupboard and removes a box.)
Well, somethin' must have happened...it's...two o'clock in the morning. (Gestures.)
Did you and Michael have a fight?
Something like that.
A fight - what kind of fight? (Frowns.)
Daddy, I really don't want to talk about it, OK?
Do we have any pretzels?
Wait a minute. What do you mean, you don't want to talk about it? You show up soakin' wet, freezing, in the middle of the night...
Jack...she's upset. (Frowns.)
Thats right. I'm going to bed.
What bed?
What bed?
The one in my room...(gestures)...of course. (Exits.)
She's taking my room! (Gestures.) Mom...
(Norma walks toward the living room.)
Don't worry, you can sleep in Kevin's room.
(Kevin and Wayne follow after Norma.)
Mom! Wait!
(Cut to the living room as they walks toward Karen's room.
And there ya had it.
Can't she sleep in the garage?
(Norma looks over her shoulder as they walk forward.)
In one burst of confusion...Karen had blown back into our house...and completely rearranged our lives.
(Everyone stands in Karen's doorway.)
At least let me get you an extra blanket, honey. (Frowns.)
No, Mom...I'll - I'll be fine.

(Morning in the kitchen.)
Good morning, honey. How'd ya sleep?
So, Karen...what happened last night?
Michael and I got into an argument.
D'you guys have any orange juice? (Frowns.)
Look - It's really very simple...I just decided things weren't working between me and Michael. So, I'm moving out.
Now, considering Karen had been shacking up with the guy for a year...this was no small news.
Honey...does this mean you're gonna be moving back into the college dorms? (Frowns.)
Not exactly. (Frowns.) As a matter of fact...(gestures)...I was thinking of moving back here. (Nods.)
(K & W): What?!
I'm goin' out to the garage. (Exits.)
Needless to say, it was a decision not without repercussions. For all of us.
What's goin' on, here?
I'm not sure she knows what she's doing. (Frowns.)

(Afternoon in the kitchen, the guys return from getting Karen's things from Michael's house.)
Hi, Mom!
Hi, honey!
(Norma smiles at Kevin as she lifts the aluminum foil off a pan of meat.)
Just in time to eat.

(Michael has arrived and invited himself to dinner in the dining room.)
And so, we sat down to sup. The traditional Arnold nuclear family unit...plus...the man who came to dinner.
The meatloaf is delicious, Mr. Arnold. (Gestures.)
(Norma frowns and nods slightly, glances at Kevin, then looks at Michael.)
Thank you.
It was kinda like having a two-ton elephant at the table. Not that we couldn't be hospitable about the whole thing.
(Norma raises her eyebrows and smiles at Michael.)
You know, Michael, I...really wasn't expecting you here. (Smiles.)
Yeah...I guess not. (Snorts.)
So...(smiles)...why are you here? (Nods.)
Simple. Uh, Dad invited him.
What?! (Frowns.)
No, Norma. I, uh...didn't...invite him.
No! (Frowns.) He didn't invite me. (Smiles.)
Yeah. Mom, he just...
(Karen approaches from the kitchen.)
And it was time for another lovebird serenade.
Look, Karen...why don't we take a walk and talk this over?
There's nothing to talk about.
What does that mean? (Frowns.)
Karen...all I did...(frowns)...was ask you to marry me.
(Norma is looking down, then looks at Michael, slighlty surprised.)
I beg your pardon?
Norma, I was gonna...
Fine, Michael. You want to talk about it? (Frowns.) Let's talk about it. Marriage is an antiquated, male-centered institution. And...(frowns)...I don't believe in it!
Institution? (Frowns.) Karen, this is you and me! Not some...(shrugs)...building.
Fine. You can make a joke of it.
Karen - I am not joking.
Yes, you are, Michael.
Wait. (Gestures.) Please.
But if Mom meant to untie...
(Norma lifts a bowl of mashed potatoes.)
The tangle, here...
It seems to me...
Look. It's really very simple...I don't want to spend the rest of my life making meatloaf...(gestures)...and mashed potatoes.
(Norma looks at the potatoes.)
The tangle got worse.
Karen, why do you always have to be like this? (Frowns.)
See? You're already trying to change me!
I am not!
Michael? I want you to leave. Now.
(Michael stands up.)
Fine. (Exits.)
And there ya had it.
(Karen exits.)
It was as if a tornado had blown through our house. And left no survivors.
(Norma sets her napkin down and looks at Jack.)
Would you mind getting the dishes, Jack? (Frowns.)
(She scoots her chair back, stands, and exits after Karen.)

(The Arnold's watch as Michael returns in the middle of the night, and pitches a tent in the front yard.)
He's lost it. (Frowns.)
You're tellin' me.
I think you better do something, Jack.
Me?! (Chuckles.) He's not gonna listen to me.
Alright, then...
(Norma looks down and adjusts the belt on her robe.)
I'll talk to him.
No. I don't want anyone talking to him. This is between Michael, and me. (Gestures.)
Mom? I'll handle this.

(Later, in the kitchen, Norma is on the phone.)
No, Mrs. Litton, he's not one of those...agitators. He's, uh, a friend of the family.....I'm sure he'll be gone in the morning. Yeah. Sorry.
There we were. Prisoners in our own house. Bunkered down at three AM...
(Norma hangs up the phone.)
While some maniac banged tent-poles into our flower patch.
Ya know, this is stupid! (Frowns.) Ya know that, don't ya? I mean, are we just gonna sit here all night? We can't. Right? I mean, that would be idiotic. So, I think we should do something.
There. It was a clear...and bold call for action.
Mom? Is there any more meatloaf? (Frowns.)
(Norma frowns at Wayne, then looks at Jack.)
I'll make some coffee.
(She walks slowly across the kitchen.)

(Everyone joins Karen in the livingroom, watching Michael outside.)
The thing is, she looked almost...frightened. As if there was something out there that scared her to death.
(Michael stands between the tent and the house, facing Karen.)
And maybe there was.
I thought you went back to bed.
I did. I just - I couldn't sleep...This is insane. (Nods.)
And we all knew it was. I guess love always is.
He's just standing there. What is he doing?
Well, for one thing - he's gettin' pretty wet. I'll tell ya somethin', though...any guy who'd go through all this...then stand out there in the rain...must be really crazy about you. (Frowns.)
Daddy, what am I supposed to do?
But the fact was...we'd done just about everything any family could. From now on...it was...out of our hands.
(Norma approaches with a thermos.)
Karen? It's freezing out there. I'm gonna bring him some coffee.
No...I'll do it.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 91 - "The Wedding")

(In Karen and Michael's VW van. Kevin, Norma and Jack are in back, and Wayne is behind them.)
So, what do you think? (Smiles.)
(Norma moves some beads aside as the car backfires.)
It's...nice honey. (Smiles.)
Yeah! We got a real deal on it. Michael's gonna paint it and fix it up. Aren't you, Michael?
Uh, yeah. Sure.

(At a church.)
church91 So...what kind of a ceremony do we have in mind?
Well, we haven't really...(gestures)...talked about it, but...
We thought...(gestures)... something simple. But, traditional. (Smiles.)
(Karen frowns slightly at Norma as Michael looks at Karen.)
We did?
You know...something with flowers, and music, and hymns...
(Norma looks off and frowns.)
Not too formal, but...
(Norma looks at the minister.)
Kind of...elegant. (Smiles.)
Of course the whole thing was still in the planning stages.
Uh, Mom? Uh, Michael and I were actually...thinking of something a little less...(Gestures.)
(Michael smiles slightly as he moves his head back and forth slightly and shrugs.)
Well, that's OK, honey...(gestures)...whatever you want. (Smiles.)
Good...good, good. (Smiles.)
(Norma looks at the minister.)
We don't...(gestures)...have to have the hymns. (Smiles.)
Excellent! Now...when shall we schedule our pre-marital counselling sessions?
(Cut to the church doors as Karen pushes them open. She and Norma exit, followed by Michael and Jack.)
Pre-marital counselling. What is this? The stone-age?
It was a classic case of apples and oranges.
Well, honey...
(Norma taps Karen on the elbow, then gestures.)
Maybe we can find another church.
You don't understand. (Gestures.)
(They all descend toward the sidewalk.)
I don't want my wedding in some musty old chapel.
Well, then...how about something...Unitarian?
(They walk along the sidewalk.)
Trouble was, the oranges seemed to be winning.
I don't believe this. (Frowns.)
But, honey...

(In the livingroom, Norma has made tailoring adjustments to her own wedding dress, which Karen is wearing. Karen looks off uncomfortably.)
There...done. It's beautiful - don't ya think?
(Norma smiles, with her hands on her hips, as Karen looks down, unenthused.)
It's gorgeous, Mom. It's also yours.
(Norma fluffs out the train, then steps next to Karen, and looks at Jack.)
What do you think, Jack? (Smiles.)
(Jack leans back in his chair. Wayne stands up and puts his hand on Jack's arm.)
Don't ask him...(gestures)...he just pays the bills. (Exits.)
And there ya had it. Between Dad's wallet and Mom's good intentions...
Now let's try the veil.
(Michael enters from the kitchen, carrying a beer.)
Things were getting a tad out of hand.
(Norma looks at Michael.)
Michael! (Frowns.)
(She looks at Karen in mild shock, then steps in front of her and holds her arms out slightly.)
You're not supposed to see the bride in her wedding dress. (Smiles.)
(Michael looks off and shrugs slightly, then turns toward the kitchen.)
Mom...he's seen me naked.
(Michael looks off and shrugs, then walks toward the table again, and sits down. Jack frowns at him.)
So, Michael...how are things going up at the house?
Oh. Well, I've just about finished up the carpentry work. So...the owner's gonna try to sell it.
You mean ya gotta move out? (Frowns.) What are ya gonna do for a job?
Well, I've been...looking around. For other work. In fact, we've...actually...(gestures)...we've been meaning to -
Michael! (Frowns.)
Now, it was pretty clear something was up, here. Something big.
(Norma looks Michael.)
Why haven't you told us?
And as usual...Mom nailed it.
Cause if you two need a place to stay...you can stay with us. (Smiles.)
Jack...maybe you could check for openings at NORCOM...
What? (Frowns.)
(Jack looks at Michael, slightly worried, as he stands up.)
And that's when the lid blew off.
Mother, no! (Frowns.) I can't do this! I-I can't wear this dress...and I can't have this kind of wedding! We have to do it our own way. (Frowns.) Can't you understand that?!
And finally...the truth had been told.
This...isn't what you want?
(Karen looks off, shrugging as she shakes her head slightly.)

(In the car.)
That weekend we set off for the first marriage in my family's brief history.
You know, Jack...maybe it's better that Karen's having the kind of wedding she really wants.
I think so.
Little did my parents know their only daughter was about to be whisked away to an igloo, in the land of the midnight sun.
Do you have the check, honey?
(Jack pats his jacket pocket.)
Right here.
(Wayne leans forward.)
Check? What check? (Frowns.)
For Karen and Michael. A little wedding gift.
How much is it?
Never mind. It's for a down payment when they find a house.

maharishi (At Karen and Michael's house as Jack knocks on the door.)
And so, we arrived.
Well? This is it.
I just...hope this whole thing is legal.
Oh, don't worry, honey. (Smiles.) Karen said she found an ordained minister.
(An East Indian maharishi opens the door and raises his arms. He speaks with a heavy accent.)
Ah...welcome, welcome. (Gestures.)
(Jack and Norma frown at him, Norma slightly puzzled, Jack more so.)
To the happiness and joy that was...and is to be. Yes?
(He stands in front of Jack with his eyes closed, holding his arms up and gesturing.)
Ahhhh, yes? Your aura is one of paternal love. It is a very strong vibration. (Gestures.)
Clearly, we were in new territory, here.
(The maharishi stands in front of Norma.)
Karen's mother. So like the fountain springs of *Kalu*.
Thank you.

(Karen is making introductions.)
windrain And these are my friends...Rainbow and Wind. My family. (Gestures.)
We were kinda like strangers in a strange land.
(Norma and Jack look at each other, then Norma looks at the man.)
It's...nice to meet you...Wind.
No, no...(gestures)...I'm Rainbow.
(He smiles and gestures at the woman.)
This is Wind.
(Wind blows some air out, gestures in a rolling motion, and smiles.)

(At the party the night before the wedding.)
The food is wonderful, Michael. (Smiles.)
Oh, thanks, Mrs. Arnold. (Smiles.)
Yep - the grub is great.
You'll have to teach me these recipes, honey.
(Karen looks down.)
Still, I couldn't help noticing the bride looked a little...nervous.
Mom, listen...
(Karen opens her mouth to speak as Jack taps his spoon against his glass and stands up.)
Excuse me...(gestures)...but I have something I have to say. Uh...ya know...this has been a heck of a day. (Smiles.) I mean...seein' the way you live...and meetin' your friends...I guess we never really had the time before...(nods)...but I hope that can change, now. (Smiles.) Ya know...I don't know when you grew up, Karen. (Smiles.) But we're very proud of the way you did. And, Michael...Norma and I both feel lucky...that you're joining our family.
All in all, it may have been the best speech my Dad ever made.
So...we, um...we have a little something...to help you get started.
(Jack reaches into his jacket pocket.)
OK...here it comes...
And that's when it happened.
OK, come on...
(Rainbow approaches, carrying a large white cake with sparklers burning on it, as Wind and other women lead and follow him from the house.)
Of course, it all seemed innocent enough.
(Rainbow sets the cake between Norma and Michael.)
What's this? (Smiles.)
It's homemade.
Oh, Jack! (Smiles.) Isn't that lovely?
And it was.
(Jack looks at the cake and frowns slightly.)
cake91 A work of art. A creation of joy...and celebration. I think we all saw it at about the same moment.
(Norma smiles, then leans over and reads the cake.)
"Alaska or bust"?
(Norma looks at Karen.)
(Norma glances at the cake, then looks at Karen again.)
What's that mean? (Smiles.)
But Karen's face...said it all.
(Norma looks off and frowns.)
I don't understand.
Still...it was pretty clear...she did.
(Norma stands up slowly, looks at Karen, then looks down.)
(Norma turns and exits past Jack.)


(Later, Karen joins Jack and Norma in the kitchen.)
Hi. (Gestures.) I didn't mean for you to find out this way. (Frowns.)
When were you gonna tell us? (Frowns.)
I don't know. (Smiles.) Tonight. (Sighs.) Now. I just...I didn't want to spoil everything.
Karen! We're your parents. (Gestures.) Don't you think we have a right to know? (Nods.)
Mom! This doesn't change anything. Michael and I have a life. You have to let us go.
In a way, it was a plea. From a child who'd grown up...and who's parents could never understand.
Know what I remember? I moved you a thousand miles away from home.
Look, honey...(sighs)...if you have to leave...we're not gonna stop you. But whereever you are...we will never, ever...let you go.

(During the wedding, Norma reads from "The Prophet", by Kahlil Gibron.)
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. You may house their bodies, but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow...for life goes not backward...nor tarries with yesterday.
I watched my mother send her firstborn child out into the world. And felt her sorrow.
(Norma closes the book and holds it against herself.)
And her joy.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 92 - "Back to the Lake")

(Clips at the beach, and street games.)
When I was growing up, summer vacations meant one thing - fun. Two solid months of goofing off, hanging out...and sleeping late. June, July and August were a time when anything was possible, when the hardships of school were over, and the promise of great times lay ahead.
(Cut to the kitchen as Kevin enters.)
Hi, everybody.
Honey, you're late for supper.
Sorry, I was playing ball. Do we have anything to eat?
Yeah, I'll heat you up something.
As for me that summer of 1972, I was sixteen. Still young enough to bask in the pleasures of summer. The real delights...
(Kevin is drinking from a jar of orange juice when he spots Wayne sulkily stirring his food.)
The harbingers of doom.
Wayne, what's the matter with you?
None of your business, dork.
(To Jack): What is he, sick?
He got a job.
Your father found Wayne a position at NORCOM.
On the loading dock. (Frowns.)
You're kidding!
It was grim. Within hours of his graduation, my brother had been Shanghai'd by the American workforce.
Well, congratulations butthead. I'm sure it will be good for you.
Shut up, scrote.
Not that I wasn't sympathetic. Still, it was about time the Wayner got a taste of the old Puritan work ethic.
(Kevin sits at the table.)
Ah, come on Wayne, don't look so miserable. (He taps Wayne.)
One more word, and I swear I'll kill you.
Here you go, honey.
(Norma brings some food.)

(Kevin is squeezing his way out of a closet, arms loaded with boxes.)
Just sort out the junk and throw it in the trash. When you finish with the closet, I want you to start on the garage.
Evidently, there was no end to this.
Kevin, if you're not going to have a job it's only fair that you help with responsibilities around the house, right?
And there you had it. The verdict was in. The courts had ruled.
I don't believe this.
I'd been sentenced to June in hell - two months of hard labor, heavy lifting, chores.
(He opens his shoebox of old letters and notes.)
It didn't seem fair. It's not that I minded work. I just couldn't shake the feeling that out there...the world was full of adventure...romance.
(Kevin is looking at a greeting card.)
(Norma knocks, and whisks in with laundry.)
Kevin? I want you take Wayne's sheets down to the laundry room.
(Norma hurries out. Kevin looks at the sheets and recoils.)
Wayne's sheets?!

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 94 - "Homecoming")

(School parking lot. Winnie has just asked Kevin to pick her up at the baseball field, because she is embarrassed about the "Chong's Chinese" dragon on his car.)
It was my first taste of what they call "the working man's blues". Not that I was complaining, you understand...
(Cut to Jack entering the kitchen after work.)
Hi, honey!
I had my father to do that.
How was work? Everything OK?
(She hands Jack a drink.)
Well, that's nice!
(Norma gestures as Jack sits down. Wayne enters.)
Hey, suckers! What's for dinner?
(Wayne moves the refrigerator.)
Never mind - that's alright. I'll just make somethin' myself!
My brother, Wayne. He'd gone to work in the mail-room at Dad's company, NORCOM.
(Wayne pulls out bread and mustard. Norma, with ther hands on her hips, and Jack, look toward Wayne.)
Eighty-nine-fifty a week, take-home.
Don't forget to unwrap that before ya eat it.
(Wayne takes the milk from Kevin and taps him on the nose with it.)
Vanish, scrote! (Frowns and exits.)
And not only that, he'd moved into new digs. His own personal, customized, rat's nest. He was happy as a clam in mud.
(Norma stands near the table, as she and Jack look at each other. Wayne's music can be heard. Norma turns to Kevin, and gestures with both arms.)
Well, I...guess it's only three for dinner. (Smiles.)

(Wart has returned from Vietnam and is in the Arnold living room.)
David! Look at you!
Wart! Heh-heh.
medals (Jack walks forward smiling. They shake hands.)
It's good to see you!
Thanks. It's good to be back. (Smiles.)
Look at all those medals. Were you wounded?
(Norma touches a medal. Wart shrugs and smiles.)
Ah, it's nothin' really.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 96 - "Scenes From A Wedding")

(At the wedding, as Candy and Peter kiss.)
And with that...Miss Candy Jensen...became Mrs. Peter Rotelli.
cry (Norma starts to cry.)
And my mother...completely lost it.
(Norma cries noisily, then blows her nose. Cut to on the road. Norma is still crying as Jack frowns at her.)
Norma you OK? It's been twenty minutes.
Weddings always do this to me...(Gestures.)
(Norma blows her nose.)
Weddings, bar mitzvahs, detergent-and-fabric-softener in one...
It was just so beautiful. They're so perfect together...

arnolds (At the reception, the bride's father, Arthur, greets them.)
Ar-nolds! Hah-haha.
Art Jensen. When it came to my family...he was all heart.
Norma. Oh, Norma...Look at you.
(Norma looks down. Arthur hugs her.)
And when it came to my mother...
(Norma looks a little surprised.)
He was all hands.
Norma, Norma, Norma...When are you gonna leave this guy and run away with me, huh?
Oh, Arthur...
Jackie-boy, good to see you.
(Jack smiles and shakes his hand.)
Where's Beverly?
Well, she's...(gestures)...crying her eyes out in the bathroom. She's so happy...I spent three month's salary on this wedding - my own wife's not gonna see it.
You remember Kevin, our youngest. (Points.)
I do. Kevin.
(Arthur shakes Kevin's hand and pats him on the shoulder.)
Hi. (Smiles.)

(After the dinner, Kevin is trying to blend into the crowd, and breaks the swan figure made of ice.)
Though while I was blending...
fending (Arthur is pulling Norma by the hand toward the dance floor. Norma slows up.)
Dance with me one time, please? Just one time.
Maybe later, Arthur, I promise.
Later? Why?
Mom was fending.
One dance - awright?
(Arthur pulls Norma by both arms, and she spills a drink on him.)
For all she was worth.
That's OK, it's alright.
(Arthur smiles and takes Norma's glass.)

arthur As afternoon turned in to night...things began to change. The music got slower...champagne flowed... romance took center-stage.
(The camera pans across dancing couples and stops on Norma and Arthur.)
For Arthur Jensen, anyway.
Norma, this dress really flatters you.
Oh, it's nothing.
Nothing? If this is nothing I'd like to see something.
(Arthur pulls Norma toward him.)

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 97 - "Sex and Economics")

(Norma is serving dinner. Kevin has been painting Miss Farmer's house.)
Kevin? Honey, are you alright?
Yeah, I'm fine.
Hey, there's paint in my potatoes! (Frowns.)
Shut up, butthead! (Frowns.)
That night I was in no mood for jokes. Or potatoes.
You sure you're not working too hard?
norma Yeah! Mom, I told ya, I'm fine. Really. Besides...it's my job.
(Jack looks at Kevin and smiles, then looks at his food.)
I know. But you look exhausted. Honey, no one would blame you if you quit.
They wouldn't?
(Norma smiles and shakes her head.)
And there it was - peace with honor.
Quit?! He's not gonna quit.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 98 - "Politics As Usual")

(At dinner, everyone is watching the news on TV.)
People seemed to breathe, sleep, and eat...politics. My family included. My father, for example, weighed all the arguments...and summed it up in one word.
Ya know, most of the kids I run into at the college are gonna vote for McGovern. (Nods.) And, I like his stand on women's rights. He really respects the new position that women are achieving in society.
My mother, on the other hand, had a more personal view.

(Kevin is eating cereal as the other Arnold's leave to go vote.)
Let's get a move on.
(Jack grabs his briefcase and exits. Norma smiles and approaches with a plate of toast, putting it in front of Kevin.)
Don't be late for school, honey.
Right, Mom.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 100 - "Wayne and Bonnie")

(Dinner at the Arnold's, with Bonnie.)
Yeah! It's a great movie! I mean, it's funny, it's romantic...
For Wayne, however, things were different.
I didn't think he was gonna go. I mean...it was a French movie and everything.
No! Hey, I love French movies. They're so - French. (Smiles.)
You obviously had to share in his happiness. After all, it wasn't every day that your brother brought home his previously-married...five-years-older-than-him girlfriend.
Would you like some more meatloaf? (Smiles.)BR> Oh, thank you. This is really great.
I'm so glad we finally got a chance to meet you.
Well, me too. (Frowns.) I'm sorry I was late...I just moved into an apartment...(nods)...and I haven't really unpacked everything yet.
Aw, you should see it - it's a mess.
(Wayne looks at Bonnie and smiles.)
I'll help you unpack, tonight.
(Norma looks at Bonnie critically.)
Something told us...
(Norma glances at Wayne, then Bonnie.)
This was a deeper relationship...
(Norma glances down, then at Jack.)
Than Wayne had ever been involved in.
You know, Dad...I was thinkin'...We can lend Bonnie that portable dishwasher in the garage...Hmm?
(Jack looks at Wayne and raises his eye-brows.)
(Jack smiles suddenly and looks at Bonnie.)
No problem.
Still, chit-chat aside...
(Norma sighs dramatically and smiles. She looks down, then back to Bonnie.)
How long have you been divorced? (Shrugs.)
Seemed there were greater issues at stake, here.
Since last Christmas.
You...(shrugs)...probably don't want to talk about it?
(Norma shakes her head slightly.)
Oh, no-no-no...I don't mind. We were naive, right outta high school, and...(Shrugs.) We didn't realize how serious and important a commitment marriage is.
salad (Norma smiles slightly. Jack looks up.)
I'm not sure if Bonnie realized the significance of her statement...but she came through with flying colors.
D'you know? (Smiles.) I forgot to put out the salad!
It was Norma Arnold's carrot-and-raisin-salad seal of approval.
I also don't think he was ready to handle David.
Who's David? (Smiles.)
He's my-my son.
(Bonnie looks at Wayne.)
I-I didn't mention him?
(Wayne shrugs and smiles.)
(Norma shakes her head and smiles dramatically.)
Well! (Smiles.) How...(shrugs)...old is he?
Six months.
(Jack drops his fork, looks at Norma, and puts his hands together.)
What about that salad, Mom? (Smiles.)
What salad?

(Another night at dinner. Kevin rapidly eats his peas.)
Kevin? Will you slow down?
Sorry, Mom.
By dinner time...the Arnold household was practically buzzing with plans.
(Wayne crosses the kitchen.)
Hi! Bye!
Where're you going?
Well, Bonnie couldn't find a sitter (gestures), so, we're gonna hang out at her place and take care of David.
Just don't forget - the diaper goes on the bottom.
Shut up scrote. (To Norma.) I'll...seeya guys later. (Smiles.)
(Norma looks up and frowns.)
But if Wayne thought he was getting away that easily...
You know, Wayne...
He hadn't counted on Mom.
We'd love to see the baby someday.
Huh? (Smiles.)
(Jack and Norma look at each other.)
Jack - isn't the NORCOM picnic coming up this Sunday?
Huh? (Frowns.)
We could all go together. (Nods.) That would be fun, wouldn't it?
I'll talk to Bonnie. (Exits.)
(Jack turns to Norma. She looks at him uncomfortably and shrugs slightly.)
Whatever Norma Arnold was cooking up...she was obviously on her own.

picnic (At the NORCOM picnic, Norma holds David, who is crying.)
Come here, angel...Oh, look at this beautiful baby...oooh...
(Norma turns to Jack.)
Remember when Kevin and Wayne were this small?
It was a long time ago, Norma. (Smiles.)
(Norma looks at Jack and taps David's butt.)
Wayne had the cutest little behind...
Mom! (Frowns.)
He still does. (Smiles.)
(Jack pauses over his beer. Norma looks at Bonnie.)

(Kevin and Cindy walk to Kevin's car.)
By the end of the picnic, I couldn't wait to get home...make my escape. Face it - this whole thing had been a disaster.
(Kevin sees Wayne and Norma near Jack's car.)
Wayne! You can't do this.
I guess it was a disaster for everybody.
Mom - we already decided.
But you're only eighteen years old.
Don't you understand? We're in love!
How can you be so sure? (Frowns.)
What are you talking about? (Frowns.)
Look - I know that Bonnie needs you...(nods)...and that makes you feel very good. But need isn't love.
I don't believe this. (Gestures.) You don't know anything!
I just don't want you to get hurt!
You...(points)...just don't want to see me grow up! I want you to stay out of this, and I want you to butt out of my life! You got it?

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 102 - "The Test")

Pudding on our pants...metaphors we couldn't mix. Seemed like the stress was getting to us all - my dad included.
(Jack slaps down his work-review on the kitchen table.)
"Competent"? What the hell does "competent" mean?
Probably means you did a good job, Jack.
For my father, the crisis was his annual evaluation from NORCOM.
You know how many weekends I put in there? You know how hard I work?! I don't believe this!
Which isn't to say the old man wasn't graceful at taking constructive criticism.
Now, look, honey - there's "excellent" right here!
Yeah. For "demeanor and appearance". Means the guy liked my haircut.
Honey, they probably didn't even give it much thought - you know how much the appreciate you there!
The hell they do.
Still, in my own way, I kinda...sympathized with the guy.
(Jack takes the spoon and slaps it down.)
After all, this was really none of my business. This was Dad, the great provider - the man with the plan.
Charlie Barratt got a...bad evaluation, too.
Jack, you did not get a bad evaluation!
Well...he decided to leave NORCOM.
Charlie? You're kidding?
Nope. He knows this guy who owns a small furniture factory - wants to retire...He's gonna buy him out. I don't know...maybe he's got the right idea.
But if Dad was looking for advice, he was pretty much on his own.
Twenty years at NORCOM, Norma. What have I been doin' with my life?

(Kevin is studying at the table, and Norma is at the sink, as Jack enters, wearing a suit. Jack spreads his arms.)
How do I look?
You look very handsome.
I'll bet you never thought you'd see me in the furniture business, huh?
After twenty-four hours of constant negotiations...
(Norma fixes his tie.)
Mom had finally accepted Dad's plan.
There ya go.
Not that she was completely happy about it.
I just hope it all works out. (Nods.)
You know, Norma, I'm a lot more than competent.
I know that, honey. Good luck.
(Norma pats Jack's cheek. They kiss. Jack smiles, takes his briefcase, and points at Kevin.)
And there you had it. As my father set out to become a one-man industry...
(Norma is chopping on the cutting board, and looking out the window after Jack.)
My mother became a one-women vegamatic.
Mom - I'm tryin' to study.
Could you keep it down a little?
Oh...Sorry. (Smiles.)
(Norma turns on the blender.)
OK, it was obvious if I was gonna get any studying done at all...
(Kevin gets up from the table and walks off.)
I'd have to do it somewhere else!
(Cut to Kevo's bedroom as he gathers books and paper.)
I was ready. I was focussed. And nothing was gonna sway me from the task at hand.
(Sound of introduction of "Let's Make A Deal" on TV.)
(Announcer: "Let's Make a Deal! and now, here's America's top trader...TV's big dealer - Monty Hall!" Cut to the living room. Kevin is on the couch.)
Hey, I just needed a ten-minute break, OK?
(On TV - Monty: "O-kay...Thank you!")
Honey - you've been watching TV for three hours!
Yeah. Well, uh, I'm gonna turn it off right now.
(Monty on TV: "Our deal is worth ten-thousand-and-thirty four dollars. Is it door number one, door number two, or door number three?")
Your father should have been home an hour ago.
Maybe he got held up.
After all, we were talking about Dad, here. He probably signed the deal, stopped off to buy some Champagne...
(Jack enters the front door.)
And was coming home the conquering hero.
Hi, Dad!
(Jack walks past Kevin and sighs.)
Hi, honey! How'd it go?
Or maybe...just the conquered.
(Jack goes to the kitchen, Norma follows.)
What happened?
I'll tell you what happened. The whole damn thing fell apart.
Well, for one thing, it's gonna cost three times more than I thought. Fifteen thousand bucks! (Frowns.) Can you imagine that?
(Kevin comes to the doorway.)
We can't afford that, Norma. With the mortgage, car payments, Kevin's college...(sighs)...the hell was I thinking?
And in that moment, I'd heard something in his voice I'd never heard before. Regret.
I don't think you should give up on this.
Well, what about the money?
Honey - when we got married...(gestures)...we didn't have two nickles to rub together - and we did alright! Well...we'll do it again.
But if Mom was trying her best to give Dad a future...
Forget it, Norma.
The old man wasn't buying.
I'm stayin' at NORCOM.

(Ice Cream Store)
It was aweful. This one crummy test was poisoning my life. Plaguing my future. So there was only one way to fight back.
I'll have pralines and cream, please.
Go for ice cream with the folks.
(Charlie Barrett enters.)
Yeah, this was some fun.
Jack! Norma!
Heh, Charlie - what are you doin' here?
Well, I-I just stopped by to get the family some ice cream...to, uh, you know - celebrate.
(Jack smiles and laughs softly.)
Charlie Barrett. I hadn't seen him since I was -
barrett Kevin? I-I...I haven't seen you since you were six. What grade are you in now?
So, uh...next year you'll be in...twelfth!
Yep - you couldn't get anything past this guy!
Kevin's taking his SAT's next week. (Smiles.)
Whoa! Hmmm - SAT's...Good luck, pal!
Yeah - same to you.
Uh, let me have a pint of, uh, strawberry - nah-nah-nah, make it a quart. Might as well live on the edge a little. Right?
Yes, Jack told me about your leaving NORCOM and all your plans, it... must be very exciting. (Smiles.)
Exciting?! Hell, Norma...this is long overdue...(taps Jack)...Right, Jack?
(Jack turns, smiling.)
And there was something about that pat on the arm that said -
So - Norma...what do you think about Jack and me going into business together?
(Norma looks at Charlie, stunned.)
(She turns toward Jack.)
Beg your pardon?
Uh...actually, we haven't talked about it yet.
Oh, I see...uh, Norma, Jack and I just had a couple discussions about...(frowns and shakes head)...maybe buying this little factory. But, ya know, it's not really -
(Jack sighs.)
We're meeting with the owner's tomorrow.
(Norma is taken aback.)
I see.
(Norma glances off, then looks at Jack. Jack looks down.)
Yeah, well, anyway...I better get moving, uh, I'll - I'll see you tomorrow, Jack, around three o'clock?
Seeya there. (Exits.)
Unfortunately, my mother's concern didn't disappear as easily as Charlie had.
(Norma shrugs and shakes her head.)
Why didn't you tell me about this, Jack?
Uh...maybe we ought to talk about it at home, OK? Kevin?
(Jack hands two ice cream cones to Kevin.)
I'll...get the car.

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"Full Transcript"


(Ep 103 - "Let Nothing You Dismay")

(At Norma's college graduation.)
December, 1972, was a time of change for my family. A time of strange occurrences. Improbable events. And, a few surprises.
Norma Arnold!
(Norma walks across the stage to get her diploma.)
After a twenty-year sabbatical in the kitchen, my mother was graduating from State College. We were all pretty proud of her.
(Norma looks toward the Arnold's and smiles. Jack smiles and applauds.)
As for my father...after half a lifetime at NORCOM...he decided to invest in the future.
(Cut to the furniture factory. Kevin, Jack and Norma are looking around. The noisy machines are running.)
Well, the future of furniture, anyway.
The place looks wonderful, honey!
I said - it looks wonderful!
Oh! (Smiles.) You think it looks good now...wait'll the deal closes. We're gonna retool the whole place. (Gestures.) Make it completely state-of-the-art! Wait'll ya see it...
Amazing. In three short weeks, the guy had made the transformation from employee to proud almost-owner.
(Charlie Barratt approaches.)
Hey, partner! (Smiles.)
Make that co-proud almost-owner.
Charlie! (Smiles.)
(They shake hands.)
(They shake hands.)
How's the college graduate? Ready to come work for us?
I'm keeping my options open, Charlie...(Smiles.)
How about you, Kevin? You ready to come aboard?
Well, I...figure I'd finish high school first. (Smiles.)
Great idea. Oh, Jack. Uh, by the way, I called the bank - I put off the closing till Friday.
Why - is there a problem?
No, no - I just heard about a real sweet deal we can get on some machinery in Pittsburg...and I want to get right on it.
Oh. Sure. (Smiles.) Good thinkin'.
(Charlie taps Norma's arm and points.)
Norma, Norma - have you seen the dining room sets they've got here?
Well, no, actually, I haven't, we...(Gestures.)
Well, no time like the present. Come on.
Go ahead. (Nods.)
Come on.
(Charlie leads Norma away.)

(Jack and the boys have brought home a large Christmas tree. Norma and Bonnie are getting decorations out.)
Come on - let's get it up. (Gestures) Ya ready? One, two, three!
(The tree jams into the ceiling.)
OK. Maybe it was a little too worthy.
(Jack sighs and looks at Wayne.)
You better get the saw.
Great! (Smiles.) Bonnie and I get the top part. (Exits.)
Don't you think you're going a little overboard, honey? (Smiles.)
What are ya talkin' about? (Smiles.) Besides, it's Christmas. I felt like splurging.
It was incredible. It was like Santa Claus making a house-call.
Uh, Dad?
Yeah, Kev?
And I was gonna be next on his list.
Could I, uh...borrow a couple bucks? (Smiles.)
Like say, ninety-nine, ninety-nine.
It's just, you know, I want to get somethin' for Winnie, and I'm running a little bit short, so...(Shrugs.)
Sure. (Shrugs.) No problem.
(Jack thumbs through $20-dollar bills.)
Down the chimney he came.
Oh, honey...Charlie called while you were out. He said he won't be able to make it over tonight.
And then...
(Wayne enters with the saw and smiles.)
What's he getting - cold-feet?
My Santa went south.
What's that supposed to mean?
It means nothing!
(Jack drops his wallet-arm and frowns at Wayne.)
He said everything was fine - he had a few last-minute things he has to take care of...and he'd see you at the bank on Friday. (Smiles.)

(In the bank on Friday. Jack is pacing as the other sit on a bench.)
Where's Charlie? He's fifteen minutes late!
Honey...just be patient. He's probably stuck in traffic. You know, with everyone out holiday shopping...
(Banker1 is at the office door in the distance.)
Uh, Mr. Arnold? We're ready for you now.
Uh, what about Barratt? (Gestures.) Shouldn't we wait?
Oh, that won't be necessary. We can start on the preliminaries. (Smiles.)
(Jack looks at Norma.)
Uh, well...here goes nothing. (Smiles.)
Good luck, honey.
Yeah, go get 'em, Dad. (Smiles.)
(Jack smiles and gives a thumbs up, then exits.)
Knock 'em dead.
With that, Dad went to lay claim to his corner of the American dream.

(Charlie called the bank and bailed out of the deal. Jack exits the office and hurriedly approaches the Arnods, frowning.)
I don't believe it!
Jack? What happened?
He's not coming - he crapped out! (Frowns.)
Why? (Frowns.)
I'll tell ya why - he doesn't have the money.
It was horrible. And then...
I knew it. (Nods.)
Things got worse.
Let's get the hell outta here. (Frowns.)
I said...let's go! (Gestures.)

(Kevin and Norma are hanging decorations on the tree as Jack talks on the phone in the den.)
I'm tellin' ya, Harv, it's a terrific opportunity. They've got a solid customer base, and a lot of potential........Well, just let me know, there's a lot of people interested in this.........Yeah. Merry Christmas to you, too.
(Jack hangs up the phone and approaches Kevin and Norma.)
Whoever it was that thought holidays were a time for joy and celebration...obviously wasn't hanging around my house that week.
So, how's it going, honey?
Oh...(sighs)...I don't know. I think I've a...(gestures)...couple prospects.
Did ya talk to the bank? Maybe they can help.
I don't have enough collateral to carry the whole loan. You know how conservative banks are. But don't worry. Maybe there's a way we can make this work.

(In the garage, Jack is talking to Kevin.)
Listen! Charlie Barratt did not talk me into this. I did it...because I wanted to. I did it...because I had to. I did it...because it was time. Understand?
Sure, Dad.
Besides, I got better things to do with my life - I gotta untangle these lights. (Chuckles.)
And the funny thing is, standing there, that winter afternoon - I knew things would be alright. Maybe my father would never be his own boss. But in my eyes, he was something more. He was his own man.
(Norma enters.)
Jack? Hi.
I see you got the lights out.
Yeah...how was shopping?
Fine. Honey, I have to talk to you about something. I think I figured a way to make this work.
Norma, I've been over those figures six ways from Sunday. And without a loan, there's no way to make it work. I don't have the collateral.
Actually Jack - you do.
What do you mean?
I just went down to the bank.
You did what?
I talked to that loan officer. I told him about your plans and...projections. But mostly - I told him about you. About the kind of man you are. I told them - they should believe in you, the way that I do. They think that's collateral enough.
You did that?
They want to see you on Monday.
I don't know Norma - it's a helluva risk.
I don't think so, Jack.
I guess some gifts are simple. They come from the heart, with a lifetime guarantee.
Come on - let's get these lights up.
And that afternoon, Christmas finally arrived.

"Full Transcript"


(Ep 104 - "New Year")

(Wayne has gotten some old stuff out of the garage. He shows it to Bonnie and Norma in the driveway.)
bonnie You sure it's alright if we take all this?
Oh, of course it is.
Yeah - of course it is! (Nods.)
(Wayne looks toward Bonnie's baby, David.)
Uh, peekaboo!
(Wayne holds some curtains in front of David, who starts to cry.)
(Norma turns David toward her and makes a face.)
Oh, sweetheart...
Wh-what did I do?
But it wasn't what he'd done that was so perplexing...it was how he was doing it.
Honey...you know, you're looking awfully thin - are you sure you're getting enough rest?
You know, working two shifts at the plant...he doesn't have time to sleep...
(Wayne holds Bonnie around the shoulders and nuzzles closer to her.)
Besides...who says I want to sleep?
(He kisses her on the cheek.)
(Norma smiles, slightly embarrassed, then glances down. Kevin looks at Norma, then shakes his head and frowns at Wayne.)
Wayne? A little help, here...
Oh, yeah. Well...put it in back, and...(gestures)....don't break anything.
Gotchya. (Frowns.)
(Norma looks at David.)
Oh, look at him - he's the cutest little baby. Look at those eyes. What a handsome, handsome boy...
Yeah. Hell of a lot better lookin' than his old man. (Smiles.)
Which, around my house...
(Norma looks slightly surprised.)
Was kind of a sore subject.
Has, uh...James been...(shrugs)...calling again? (Smiles.)
Well, no...a couple times, but, you know...(shrugs)...just to say "hi".
Mom...don't worry. You know, the guy's a jerk.
Oh. (Frowns.)

(At their football game, Jeff has just told everyone about going to a friend's ski-lodge for New Year's. Kevin said he will go.)
The plan was set. A New Year's blowout.
(Chuck postions himself over the ball, and Kevin is quarterback.)
Down. Set. Hut-hut!
(Chuck hikes the ball. Kevin catches the ball, and steps backwards.)
And nothing could stand in my way.
(Kevin pumps the ball, and pauses, looking down field.)
(Kevin gets sacked.)
(V/O): A party?
(Cut to the Arnold kitchen as Norma frowns.)
At a ski-lodge?
Just one little hitch.
(Norma looks skeptical.)
Well...it's not exactly a lodge...and it's not really a party. Just...
The bash of the century.
Just...a get-together, ya know? (Nods.)
They're not gonna have beer, are they?
Mom, come on! (Smiles.) Beer? (Gestures.)
Totally ridiculous.
So, what do you say?
Well...(shrugs)...I guess it would be OK...
Except, we already have plans for New Year's eve. (Smiles.)
We do? (Frowns.)
Your brother's taking us all out to dinner. The whole family. Including Winnie. (Smiles.)
What?! (Frowns.)
Isn't that sweet? He wants it to be his treat.)
Well, that's great, but I'm gonna -
Ya know, I think this is really important to Wayne. He's been working so hard...knocking himself out for Bonnie and the baby.
Yeah, well...thanks but no thanks.
Kevin! (Frowns.)
Mom! (Frowns.)
Hmmm. Clearly, we were at an impasse. So, faced with a tough decision, Mom did what any fair-minded parent would do.
(Jack enters from the living room, carrying his cup and briefcase.)
Why don't you ask your father, honey? (Nods.)
Ask me what?
Dad - about that New Years eve thing...
You're going, and that's that.
So much for fair-mindedness.
Bye, honey!

(Wayne has just shown Kevin the suit he bought to wear to the supper-club.)
So, while the rest of my teenage world was heading off to a New Year's bash in a snow-covered north...I was doomed to a night of...
(Kevin walks to the kitchen and pauses just inside the. Sound of laughter. Norma, Bonnie and Jack are at the table. Norma holds Bonnie's baby on her lap, and Jack is smiling at him.)
I remember the first New Year's eve that Jack and I spent together. I was nineteen and we had dinner with your parents...
You remember?
Yeah, I remember.
Yeah, this was homey.
I just think it's so great what you have here. The two of you...the history you have...how much you love your kids...
(Norma looks at David and leans slightly closer to him.)
Well, that's what we're here for.
(Norma looks at Bonnie.)
Right. (Nods.)
Gimme a break...
(Norma smiles at David and speaks in a higher pitch.)
And David's gonna have his first New Year's eve! (Smiles.) Oooooh...!
(Wayne enters.)
OK! Let's get a move on! Seeya there!
OK. You want to take him?
(Wayne reaches for David as Norma lifts him up.)
Wayne - sure I can't help you out with the bill, tonight?
Sorry, Dad. Tonight's my treat. It'll be a night you never forget. Right, Kev-bo?
Which as it happened...was exactly what I was afraid of.
Seeya there!

See also
"Full Transcript"


(Ep 106 - "Ladies and Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones")

(Kevin has just gotten a speeding ticket.)
Somehow, I was gonna have to explain this to...
(Cut to the Arnold kitchen at dinner. Jack is excitedly gesturing and smiling.)
It was great!
My dad.
This guy, Zeke, comes in, with a cowboy hat, a string tie...and he tells me he needs a truckload...(gestures)...of furniture. (Chuckles.)
That's wonderful, honey. (Smiles.)
It was our biggest order yet!
Still, that night, the furniture gods were smiling on me.
(Kevin slips the ticket out of his pocket.)
Yeah - this was gonna be a piece of cake.
Y-you know that...s-stretch of road on Vine Street? (Smiles.)
Well...yeah, I was driving there this afternoon...(smiles)...and -
(Jack smiles at Norma.)
You know...now it's like the guy wants to be my best friend. (Smiles.)
I know. (Smiles.) His wife called this morning.
She did?
Uh-huh. (Nods.) They want to take us...dancing tomorrow night. (Smiles.)
Square dancing.
(Some square dancing music plays as Kevin frowns.)
(Wayne spits out some food.)
Square dancing? (Laughs.)
(Jack frowns at Wayne, then Norma, and puts his hands together.)
Forget it - we're not going.
Suddenly, I watched his mood change faster than you could say "sons of the pioneers".
Are you sure, honey? (Frowns.) It might be good for business.
(Jack frowns at Norma, then looks off.)
Oh, brother...

(At the diner, Kevin has agreed to drive the guys to find the Rolling Stones.)
There was a certain logic to this whole thing. And what did I have to lose?
(Cut to Kevin getting dressed to go out. Norma knocks and enters, waving Kevin's traffic ticket.)
Kevin? Is this yours?
Except my life.
It went through the wash, and I -
(Jack approaches Norma, holding his tie.)
Honey...Honey, could you, uh...

(After being grounded, Kevin has taken Jack's car - theoretically to get milk for Jack - to drive the guys around, unsuccessfully looking for the Rolling Stones, and dented the rear bumper. He is worried he will get punished, but when Zeke returns with Jack and Norma, Zeke bangs the back of Jack's car. Norma and Kevin stand away from the others.)
You know, I feel a little guilty.
Why? (Frowns.)
It's just that...I know that some of that damage was already there.
You do?
Yeah...I ran into the wall at the market yesterday.
And that's when I realized, there's all kinds of logic in this world.
Why didn't you say anything?
I don't know, I...(shrugs)...guess I just thought nobody would notice.
Norma, we're fixin' to leave, now.
(Norma looks at Kevin then smiles brightly at Zeke's wife off-screen, and approaches the camera.)
We had a wonderful time, Betty Lynn...

See also
"Full Transcript"


(Ep 112 - "The Little Women")

I've decided to get a job.
A job, Norma?
I think it's time. (Nods.)
It is? (Frowns.)
Course the way we saw it Mom already had a job. Not that any of us was crass enough to say it.
You already have a job. (Gestures.) Taking care of us! (Frowns.)
Shut up, butthead.
Yes, I know. But there's not much to take care of around here anymore. Karen is gone, you guys are at the office all day...and Kevin is practically in college. Besides, now that I have my degree, I just thought...(shrugs)...maybe I should do something more...(shrugs)...fulfilling.
It was hard to imagine anything more fulfilling...than taking care of us.
But if you really feel that way...(gestures)...maybe I could find something for ya down at the factory one or two days a week. (Smiles.)
Which sounded reasonable enough.
Well, actually, Jack, I was thinking something a little more...fulltime.
Like what, Mom?
I don't know yet. Just...something that I could really...sink my teeth into.
(She smiles, then chomps a piece of toast).
Um, trust me, Norma...working's a lot different than going to college. (Gestures) A job's a lot of...aggravation and hard work.
I know that, Jack. (Gestures.) But I've decided...to get a job.
To which - given the options - there was really only one response.
On the other hand maybe I can put in a call to Stan Woods. I hear he's expanding.
Thank you, Jack. (Nods.) I appreciate that. (Smiles.)

(In a Chinese restaurant, the waitress sets the check next to Jack.)
Your check, sir. (Exits.)
I'll, uh, take that.
Norma, what are you doing?
Paying the check. I have a little good news of my own. I got a job today.
A job?
What kind of job?
I didn't know you talked with Stan.
Actually I didn't. I just answered an ad in the paper for a job at Micro-Electronics.
Needless to say this was wonderful news.
Never heard of 'em.
Well, it's a new business, Jack - "computer software". I met with the two partners. They're in their twenties - barely Karen's age. And they hired me on the spot.
Well, that's great, Mom. I'm really proud of you.
Norma 112 Yep, no question about it. Definitely cause for celebration.
So, how much are they paying you? One-twenty-five, one-thirty?
Two-twenty-five a week!
(Wayne spits out a mouthful of food.)
That's more than I make!
Hmmph, not for long. (Smiles.) No way they can stay in business paying the secretary two-twenty-five. (Chuckles.)
Oh, actually I'm not a secretary...(nods)...I'm the comptroller! (Big smile.)
It was like finding out Donna Reed had been named starting quarterback for the Jets.


(Norma in business clothes, pulls a pan from the oven, and approaches.)
And the technology these people work with is absolutely fascinating. (Smiles.)
(Norma sets the pan down.)
Did I tell you that we're introducing a whole new product line? (Smiles.)
It wasn't long before my mother began basking in the excitement of her new-found career.
And guess what? I discovered today that I can amortize the cost of development over our entire fiscal year.(Smiles.)
(Jack smiles half-heartedly.)
And as she shared the joys of her new challenge, we reacted like men everywhere.
(Kevin looks uncertainly at Jack, then Wayne.)
That way, we'll be able to expand our base...
(Wayne frowns and pokes at some food.)
We began to feel shortchanged.
That's great. (Frowns.) Now what are the chances that we get some -
(Norma sets a basket of rolls on the table.)
Bread? (Smiles.)
There you are.
(Norma returns to the kitchen for more food.)
Of course, we're still trying to keep the prices down - but, over all...
(Jack sighs and takes a roll.)
And the more we began to feel shortchanged, the more we became...suspicious!
(Kevin frowns and sniffs a roll. Wayne looks at the table.)
So, where the heck is the -
(Norma sets some butter on the table.)
Anyone need butter?
(Norma is in the kitchen for more food.)
Did I tell you I'm working with Pat Banks on this? She's the vice-president.
(Jack smiles, uninterestedly.)
Can you imagine that? Here are the beans.
(Kevin gestures and smiles at Jack.)
(Wayne frowns and gestures quickly.)
Where are the -
(Norma sets a bowl down.)
And the -
(W & N): Potatoes.
Let's see. Um...guess we're all set! (Smiles.)
But no matter how Mom tried to ply us with butter and beans...we weren't fooled. Not us.
Wait a minute! Look!
(Norma frowns as Jack's shoeless foot comes into view, and he noisily drops it on the table, rattling the dishes. His big toe sticks out of his sock.)
I got a hole...(points)...in my sock!
(Jack nods and smiles with satisfaction at the boys.)
Yep - no question about it. The place was going to pot.

(Kevin returns after being frosted by Winnie at the point, and found Jack lying on the couch. Now, Norma approaches from the hallway, wearing a robe.)
(She holds out Jack's socks like a yo-yo.)
Your socks.
(Norma drops the socks on Jack, and bows slightly. Jack smiles at Norma, embarrassed. Norma looks at Kevin, turns around, and exits.)
Good night!

(Kevin decides to humiliate Winnie by taking her to the bowling alley. They meet Jack and Norma.)
What are you doin' here? (Smiles.)
I don't know, I...just felt like bowling.
(He gives Kevin a funny look.)
Hmmm. It seemed Dad must have heard that same primordial scream.
Oh, hi, Mrs. Arnold!
Hi! Well, What a surprise!
(Norma rises and stands next to Jack. Jack puts an arm around her.)
So, you two wanna join us?
Sure! Why not? (Smiles.)
What could be better? A night at the lanes. Guys doing guy-things.
Winnie, I love your outfit! (Smiles.)
Thanks! (Smiles.) Oh, I really like your hair like that.
(Norma smiles self-conciously and touches her hair.)
Chicks talking chick-things. Just the way the big guy upstairs intended it.
I heard about your SAT scores - I am really proud of you!
Wait a minute!
(Kevin frowns as he puts on the other shoe. Winnie smiles.)
Thanks! Oh, and I heard about your job. That sounds wonderful!
Are we gonna bowl, or what?
Yeah, let's get started. Norma? (Points) You go first.
(Norma smiles, pats Jack on the back of the neck, and turns toward the lanes.)
After all, there was no sense wasting time on idle chit-chat.
(Norma picks up a ball. Kevin sits next to Jack at the scoring table.)
There was a game to be played here.
Come on, Mrs. Arnold! Knock 'em all down.
(Norma shakes her head and looks at the others.)
I'm not really very good at this. (Smiles.)
(K & J): That's OK...!
(They smile patronizingly. Norma smiles exaggeratedly, turns, and lifts the ball. Kevin and Jack look at each other and nod.)
Yeah, it was perfect.
(Norma takes a couple steps, and more-or-less tosses the ball out. Kevin smiles and Jack chuckles.)
Until...something happened. Mom's ball began what was to become the longest single trek in the history of bowling.
(Norma stands akimbo, watching the ball.)
Its momentum was relentless.
(Norma, now near the foul-line, smiles with excitement.)
Its progress inexorable.
(Norma frowns and "directs" the ball to the right.)
There was an inevitability to the fate of that roll...that carried a message that resounded across the country.
(Kevin and Jack turn toward each other. Kevin looks surprised, Jack looks angry. They look back toward the ball. The ball rolls through the pins, almost leaving a 7-10 split. Norma is crouched down, making fists in anticipation. The last pin topples over. Norma turns around excitedly, and jumps up and down.)
Yes! Ahhahaahah! I don't believe it!
(Jack sighs in frustration and looks down. Winnie runs over to Norma.)
Good shot - you got 'em all down.
(Norma and Winnie hug and spin around.)
I got a strike, Jack!
(Jack glances at Norma and smiles quickly.)
Did you see that?!
And something cracked.
(Jack looks up and frowns. Kevin is looking off.)
What the hell. Let's make it the men...versus the women.
(The guys cream the girls, but Norma wand Winnie laugh at the guys as they celebrate.)

(Later, in the car.)
See, it's all a matter of form. (Gestures.) You wanna put your whole body into the ball...and let your momentum do the work - then release. (Smiles and gestures.)
That's wonderful, honey. (Smiles.)
I guess the natural order had been restored.

"Full Transcript"


(Ep 113 - "Reunion")

(On an airliner, Norma is looking at an invitation.)
Look, Jack! (Smiles.) Sylvia Miller's chairing the reunion committee. (Smiles.) I haven't seen her in twenty five years! (Smiles broadly.)
You got it - my mother's high school reunion.
pie (Jack looks off and sighs, slightly airsick.)
Oh, look, honey - there's going to be a picnic on Saturday...and a pie-eating contest! (Smiles.)
Norma - please. (Frowns.)
wing (Wayne is terrified as Kevin looks off blandly.)
Hey...was that the wing? (Laughs.)
(Jack holds a barf-bag.)
Yeah, it was gonna be...some fun...
(Norma pats Jack's arm.)
It'll be fine.
Ladies and gentlemen...
The pilot has turned off the seatbelt sign...
After all, this was more than just a trip back in time. We were headed home to family.
Are we there yet?
Mom's family. For better...
(Sound of a doorbell. Cut to Norma's parents' house as Norma knocks on the door.)
Or worse.
(Norma's mother, Jane, opens the door and smiles.)
(Jane steps outside and she and Norma hug.)
Welcome home!
(Norma's father, Karl, appears in the doorway.)
Look at the two of you!

(Norma's parents essentially ignore Jack outside. Now they are in the living room.)
Oh, just look at all this! It's exactly the same! (Sniffs.) The smell even.
Your mother's been cooking for days.
Nothing's too good for my little girl.
(Jane and Norma hug.)
Oh, Mom...
(Norma kisses Jane on the cheek.)
You could say this for the oldsters...they loved their only daughter.
(Jack closes the door with his foot and drops the suitcases onto the floor.)
If not their only son-in-law.
Here we are...
(Jane looks at Norma.)
Well, how was the trip?
Uh, it was...OK.
Except...Dad got a little sick.
Well, uh...it's just that the flight was a little bumpy, Mom.
diarrhea (Jane looks at Jack.)
You're not going to get sick again, are you? (Frowns.)
No, I don't think so. (Nods.)
Because Roger gave us this great antacid. (Nods.)
(Jane leans slightly closer and lowers her voice a little.)
It's good for diarrhea, too. (Nods.)
No, really...(Gestures.)
(Jane turns to Norma.)
I'm just...
Roger's a doctor, you know...(Smiles.)
Mother...(Smiles.) Roger's been a doctor for fifteen years, now. (Nods.)
And a darned good one. (Nods.)
He's just been named...Chief-of-staff...at County General! (Smiles.) Isn't that impressive?
(Norma looks off and shrugs, then smiles and nods.)
And, of course, it was very impressive. Just one little question, here.
Who's Roger? (Gestures and frowns.)
A long time ago...
Mother...we don't have to get into this right now, do we?
I suppose not.
(Norma nods, then gestures.)
Besides, we should probably unpack before dinner. Don't ya think, honey?

(In Norma's old bedroom, Jack sets the suitcases down near the far wall. Jane and Norma follow him in.)
Daddy and I haven't changed it one bit!
(Norma smiles and looks around.)
This was fun. Sorta like visiting a museum.
(Norma picks up a pair of red cheerleader pompoms.)
The Norma Gustafson memorial shrine.
Mother, I can't believe you kept these!
(Norma looks toward the nightstand.)
Oh, Jack, look!
(Norma tosses the pompoms downs and hurries to the nightstand. She picks up...)
My sixth-grade citizenship ribbon.
I was proud of my little girl. Still am...(Nods.)
You should hear him brag to the boys in Kiwanis about that new job.
Always knew she'd end up being something important. (Smiles.)
(Karl looks toward Jack and frowns slightly.)
No matter what got in her way.
All in all, kinda reminded you of the Walton's.
(Norma squeezes a stuffed animal, which squeaks.)
I hope you two are gonna be comfortable here.
(Jane looks concerned.)
We only have the one bed.
(Norma looks down, then at Jack.)

(Around the dinner table, everyone slowly eats in silence.)
And so, here we were.
(Kevin turns toward the growling dog, Princess.)
One big happy family. Plus beast.
(The dog growls at Kevin. Jack looks off, disinterestedly.)
Eagerly catching up on one another's lives.
Furniture, huh?
Oh, I was just telling Daddy how well your furniture business is doing, honey.
Uh...yeah, we've been pretty successful so far. (Smiles.) I don't hold much truck with this new stuff.
(Norma looks toward Jack.)
In my day...people knew how to build furniture.
(Jack smiles uncomfortably and nods.)
Take this table. Solid. Made to last. Had it since we were married. It'll be here for you boys when I'm gone. (Nods.)
(Wayne looks up and frowns.)
What was that again?
Daddy, don't talk like that.
(Norma rubs Karl's hand.)

(Later in the scene, Norma's parent's steer the conversation to Roger. Norma smiles uncomfortably at Jane.)
Mother, we don't have to hear more about Roger. Do we? (Smiles.)
Of course not, dear.
(Jane looks down. Sound of the doorbell. Jane looks up and smiles at Norma.)
There he is now. (Smiles.)
(Norma drops her jaw slightly.)
He can tell you himself.
(Norma glances toward the door, then toward Jack.)
Oh...(Sighs.) Good...(Smirks.)
(Cut to later in the living room.)
roger Those were really some great times we had, Norma. (Smiles.) I can still remember the look on your face, when I gave you my class ring.
(Norma sighs and smiles.)
Roger Baldwin - in the flesh.
Remember how jealous Jerry Yost was when he saw you wearing it for the first time?
Jerry Yost? (Laughs.) I haven't thought about him in years!

(Later in the scene.)
Honey, everybody's going to be so thrilled to see you two at the picnic tomorrow. (Smiles.)
Jack and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
I meant you and Roger, dear. (Smiles.)
You know, sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I hadn't gone away to medical school.
(Jack bangs the table, then stands up.)
(Jack turns around, making a face.)
It was clear the big guy had had his fill of this malarkey.
(Jack yawns and stretches.)
I'm goin' to bed.
Night, honey. Get some rest. (Nods.)
Goodnight, Jack.
And there ya had it. What had begun as a simple trip home...was suddenly turning into...
(Cut to later. From the second-storey window, Kevin sees Roger and Norma below, chatting.)
Nightmare on Gustafson Street. And the worst part was...I was the only one who seemed to notice.
Uh, uh, butthead...this place is a gold mine. (Gestures.) Uh, you should see the stuff they got stashed in the attic. (Nods.) Genuine antiques. We're gonna be rich! (Laughs.)
Maybe so, maybe not.
(Kevin frowns and looks out the window again.)
You're very sweet, Roger. (Smiles.)

(At the reunion picnic, Norma is chatting with female friends.)
The next day, amid pompoms and hairspray and old memories...the class of forty-eight gathered.
Remember when we just sat there on that float, while the parade went by without us? (Laughs.)
It was all pretty...festive.
Now, Norma, weren't you the one that convinced those policeman to tow us the rest of the way?
Yeah...I think I was. (Smiles coyly.)

(At the house, after Jack hurts his back in the sack race. Jack is lying on the couch. Norma adjusts a pillow under Jack's legs.)
Well, I'm afraid this means...no dancing tonight.
Oh...that's too bad.
(Norma rubs Jack's arm. Norma's parents frown.)
Anyway, I'll call ya tomorrow...see how he's feeling. (Nods.)
Thanks, Roger.
And there ya had it. An inglorious end to an even more inglorious weekend.
Not that I was particularly sorry to see this whole charade over with.
Isn't this always the way? (Frowns.)
What do you mean, Mother?
You travel all the way out here. (Frowns.) And just when the good times begin...
(Jane looks toward Jack.)
Somebody ruins it.
(Jack looks at Jane, then rolls his eyes and frowns.)
Our poor little girl's gonna miss her big evening. (Nods.)
(Norma laughs and pats Jane's hand.)
It's a shame, alright.
Jeez - talk about compassion.
Look...it's just a dance, right? (Smiles.) I mean, if he can't go, he can't go.
Norma, I think you should go.
Jack...(Giggles.) You can't even move.
Your mother's right. It's your big night. Ya came all this way...you shouldn't miss it because of me. You should go. (Nods.)
Absolutely not.
Maybe Roger could take you.
What?! (Frowns.)
That's a good idea! (Smiles.)
And with that, the wheels came off.
(Cut to later. Roger pulls up outside.)
The date was made.
(Roger honks the horn. Norma comes down the stairs.)
OK, there he is...(Smiles.) Well, I guess it's time for me to go. (Smiles.)
That evening, while the rest of us stayed home...
(Norma rubs Jack's head.)
Oh, honey, you're sure this is OK?
Absolutely. (Nods.)
Awright, then. Bye.
(Norma leans over the couch and they kiss.)
Don't be too late. (Smiles.)
I watched my mother waltz out the door for the night of her life.

(Later that night, Kevin was chased around the neighborhood by the family dog. Now he's talking to Jack about hating "this place".)
Your mother wanted more from life than what a small town like this had to offer.
So why didn't she tell Grandma and Grandpa about it? She never says a word.
She used to. (Nods.) They couldn't hear her. (Smiles.) Parents are like that sometimes.
And I guess right about then...a few things started to fall into place.
(Norma returns.)
You're home early!
Yeah...I know.
(She pats Kevin on the head.)
How was it?
(Norma hesitates slightly.)
It was...(nods)...fine. (Nods.) But when the time comes for my thirtieth reunion...
(She puts her hand on Jack's shoulder and sits on the arm of the couch.)
Let's tear it up.
(Jack chuckles.)
How was Roger? (Smiles.)
Roger...(Smiles.) Roger's the same old jerk he always was.
(They laugh.)
(Jack grimaces in pain.)
Oooh, honey, sorry!
(Jane pauses on the stairway.)
So how was the dance? (Smiles.)
Actually...it was a little boring. (Nods.)
But you had a good time? (Nods.)
(Norma looks at Jack a moment, then Jane.)
Yeah. (Nods.) I did.
After all, maybe there are some things in life that just can't be changed. A child's hopes. A parent's dreams.
Well, goodnight, everyone. (Exits.)
G'night. (Smiles.)
(Norma looks at Jack.)
So...did you let Dad beat you?
Just enough to make him happy. (Nods.)
(Norma smiles and rubs his head.)
And maybe, when it comes to families...that's all for the best.
Why don't we take a little walk?
Oh, oh, Jack - what about your back?
(Norma rises and helps Jack up.)
Well, I'm down - but I'm not out. Oh...
No. No, I'll bet you're not.
(Norma pats Jack on the back.)
Night, son.

See also
"Full Transcript"


(Ep 114 - "Summer")

(Jeff and Chuck have invited Kevin on a trip.)
And faced with the call of the open road, the song of the highway, the lure of total irresponsibility...
You're dreamin'. Your parents are never gonna let you go.
There was really only one reply.
I'm in. (Smiles.)
(Cut to the dinner table. Jack frowns and points his fork at Kevin.)
You're out!
What do you mean? It'll be a great trip.
Now, where are they going exactly?
New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco.
San Fran-cisco.
Don't forget to put some flowers in your hair.
Dad, I just...don't think you understand. I mean this trip will be good for me - I'll be out on my own.
Forget it.
You wouldn't survive two seconds on your own.
Oh, yeah?
What are you gonna live on? (Gestures.)
Hey, I got money saved up. And besides, we'll be living on our wits. (Gestures.)
Oh, brother.
You know, honey, Karen's gonna be flying in on the Fourth of July weekend, and I...thought it would be a good chance for us all to be together.
Look. There's no sense in discussing this any further. You're not going, and that's final!
Jeez, what was this - a family or a firing squad?

That next morning I took my life savings of one-hundred-and-thirty bucks, and packed my bag.
Honey? I wish you wouldn't do this.
I gotta go.
Well, you really don't, you know. You can just put that bag away...
I gotta be on my own. (Gestures.) I gotta find myself.
I know, but you can find yourself here. People don't realize it, but there's lots of places you can find yourself.
(Norma smiles and nods.)
I mean, you can go into a restaurant, lost, not knowing what you're doing. Then all of a sudden...you can find yourself.
It was wise, and touching, and kind, all at once.
It can happen anywhere. (Nods.)
It came from the heart of the woman who'd loved me, and raised me. And I could only think of one thing to say.
Mom, I gotta get going.
(Kevin zips up his bag, and walks past Norma in the doorway. She moves back slightly and frowns.)
I'll call when I get someplace.

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11/20/11 20:45