Ep 79 - "Pfeiffer's Fortune"

Opening Sequence

(Clips of the Arnold and Pfeiffer families at a barbeque. Simon & Garfunkel - "59th Street Bridge" (Feelin' Groovy) starts.)

Whenever I look back on growing up in the suburbs, there's one thing I remember most clearly. Our neighbors, the Pfeiffer's...were always there.

"Slow down, you move too fast"
"You've got to make the morning last"

But we were more than just neighbors.

"Just kickin' down"

We were like one big happy family.

"Lookin' for fun, and feelin' groovy"

And at the heart of it all...were our dads.

"Feelin' groovy"

The men who set the tone.

"Feelin' groovy"

My dad, the athlete...

(Jack tosses a football. Alvin catches the ball on his head and staggers slightly in jest.)

And Paul's dad, the optometrist.

(Little Paul rubs Alvin's forehead.)

Under their watchful eyes...

(Alvin launches little Paul on a bicycle.)

Our families grew, and prospered.

(Little Paul falls onto the grass.)

One for all, and all for one. Until, that is, things started to change.

(School bell rings. Music fades.)

Cut to

Ext. Day - Paul's School

(Shot of the front of a building as boys in blue blazers walk by. Paul exits the building as one boy approaches him from the steps.)

BOY: Hey, it's the Pfeiff - how ya doin'?

PAUL: Great, man.

(Paul approaches the camera and descends the steps.)

Take Paul goin' to prep school, for instance.

(Paul slows up.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: "Pfeiff"? (Smiles.) What - is that like "Barney Fife"?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: Well, actually, it's..."The Pfeiff".

KEVIN: Oh, oh - I'm sorry.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: From now on, you can call me..."The Kev". (Smiles.)

(Wider shot of both as they start walking toward the camera.)

But the changes weren't just about nicknames.

(Paul loosens his tie.)

KEVIN: Man, I got a ton of homework.

PAUL: Ugh - me, too.

(The camera rolls back with them as they approach.)

KEVIN: I have a three page report on "Evangeline" due by tomorrow.

PAUL: I got forty five pages...on economic imperialism. Typed.

(They slow up. Kevin sighs.)

KEVIN: You win. (Nods.)

PAUL: Oh, big prize.

(They continue walking as they camera rolls back.)

And they didn't stop at academic differences, either.

(They start to pass the camera.)

Cut to

Int. Afternoon - Pfeiffer Living Room

(Close shot of a western on TV. A row of men on horses ride toward the camera.)

There were other changes, too.

(The movie cuts to the side of a locomotive as its wheels turn.)

Bigger changes.

(The movie cuts to a closer shot of two galloping horses.)

IDA (V/O): Oh, Alvin!

(The TV cuts to a musical.)

(Shot of Ida, Debbie and Alvin in front of the TV.)

IDA: It's wonderful!

ALVIN: Twenty-five inches diagonal.

The Pfeiffer's had come into money.

(Alvin smiles and looks past the camera toward Paul and Kevin off-screen.)

ALVIN: Isn't she a beaut?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul in the living room entrance.)

KEVIN: I didn't know you guys were getting a new TV. (Gestures.)

(Paul shrugs and looks at Kevin.)

PAUL: Either did I.

(Shot of Ida, Debbie, and Alvin.)

ALVIN: Well, I saw it in the window. And you know me...I'm a spur-of-the-moment kinda guy...(Gestures.) I decided my family...

(Shot of Debbie and Ida smiling at Alvin off-screen.)

ALVIN (V/O): Deserves a little luxury.

(Debbie and Ida turn toward each other and nod dramatically in agreement.)

In this case, "little" being an understatement.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

KEVIN: Looks expensive.

PAUL: Oh, well, you know...(shrugs)...Dad made this investment in some beachfront property.

(Shot of Debbie, Ida and Alvin.)

DEBBIE: Yeah - and he pulled in a truckload of moolah.

ALVIN: Debbie...

(Shot of Debbie and Ida.)

DEBBIE: Well, that's what you said last night...

(Shot from behind Kevin and Paul of Debbie, Ida, Alvin and the TV. Alvin smiles at Kevin embarrassedly.)

ALVIN: It wasn't that much...(Gestures.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

Maybe not.

(Paul smiles at Kevin and approaches the camera.)

ALVIN (V/O): Uh, let's try the remote control.

But it seemed, with his windfall...

(Shot from Kevion's perspective of Debbie, Ida and Alvin at the TV as Paul approaches.)

Alvin Pfeiffer was standing a little taller these days. At least in the eyes of his family.

(The TV shows the western again.)

IDA: Alvin, look! (Gestures.)

(Shot of Alvin smiling at Ida, who is looking at the TV off-screen.)

IDA: They look like they're coming right through the screen! (Smiles.)

(Alvin nods. They put an arm around each other and look at the TV.)

Not that I begrudged the Pfeiffer's their good fortune, ya understand...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the Pfeiffer's at the TV.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

I mean, who would?

Cut to

Int. Evening - Arnold Living Room

(Close shot of Jack jiggling some wires on the back of a TV. Sparks fly and he pulls his hand back.)

JACK: Damn! (Frowns.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin on the couch. Kevin leans forward slightly.)

KEVIN: You OK, Dad?

(Shot past Kevin and Wayne of the TV, which shows moving diagonal lines.)

JACK (V/O): Fine.

(Jack's hand appears from behind the TV.)

That was my dad.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

He had his own way of taking care of his family.

(Close shot of the top of the TV as Jack's hand appears and sets a screwdriver on it.)

More of the "do-it-yourself" approach.

(Jack's hand sets another tool on the TV.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin on the couch.)

Of course, we tried to give him as much support as possible.

(Wayne looks at his watch and frowns.)

WAYNE: Hey! "Get Smart" starts in fifteen minutes. (Frowns.) Maybe we should drop in on the Pfeiffer's. (Nods.)

(Shot of Jack rising behind the TV, taking a tool, frowning at Wayne off-screen, then ducking behind the TV agian.)

After all, billionaire or not...

(Shot past Wayne and Kevin of the TV.)

He was the man we looked up to, and trusted.

(Norma approaches, holding a dish towel. She leans on the TV.)

(Jack's hand sets a tool on the TV.)

NORMA: Jack? Maybe we should call somebody before you electricute yourself.

JACK (V/O): Everything's under control, Norma.

(Sound of electrical noises.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin.)

WAYNE: Hey! (Gestures.) I got an idea. You should buy some land like old man Pfeiffster.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at Wayne off-screen, and smacking his arm.)

KEVIN: Shut up, butthead!

(Close shot of Wayne looking at Kevin off-screen as he smacks his arm.)

WAYNE: You shut up!

NORMA (V/O): Wayne!

(Shot of the TV as Jack rises behind it and scowls at Wayne off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): Your father...

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Takes good care of us. (Nods.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack, Norma, and the TV. Norma looks at Jack and rubs the TV.)

NORMA: Besides, I like this old TV.

(Norma turns toward Kevin off-screen and smiles.)

JACK: Alvin's lucky he didn't lose his shirt.

(Jack disappears behind the TV again.)

WAYNE (V/O): Yeah...

(Close shot of Wayne turning toward Kevin off-screen.)

WAYNE: Instead he got a color TV.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Norma and the TV as Jack rises behind it and scowls at Wayne off-screen. Sound of electrical buzzing.)

(Close shot of Wayne looking slightly worried.)

But the fact was...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack, Norma and the TV.)

When it came to high-finance...

(Jack looks toward Wayne as he sets a tool down, then ducks behind the TV again.)

My dad was just more of a conservative man.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of the top of the TV as Jack slowly appears.)

A man of quiet wisdom.

(Jack holds up a vacuum tube.)

JACK: What the hell is this?

In short...

(Jack looks up at Norma off-screen.)

A man of small parts.

Cut to

Int. day - Lawnmower Shop

(Shot past Jack of his lawnmower and a scruffy repairman examining it.)

REPAIRMAN: Whatcha do to this thing?

(Close shot of Jack looking cooly at the salesman off-screen.)

JACK: I dropped it from the top of my house.

(Shot of the saleman behind the counter, the lawnmower on the counter, and Jack and Kevin standing in front of it. The saleman holds the air cleaner in his hand, and peers at the lawnmower.)

Gene's mower shop. The great suburban leveller.

REPAIRMAN: Yeah - it's the carburetor.

(Shot past Jack of the salesman. Jack sighs.)

JACK: How much?

(The salesman pauses, then gestures.)

REPAIRMAN: Have to look it up, uh...I don't know if they make parts for these things anymore.

(The saleman puts the air cleaner back on.)

(Wide shot as the saleman exits. Jack and Kevin look at each other.)

JACK: Wiseguy. (Frowns.)

KEVIN: Come on, Dad - let's take a look around.

(Jack nods.)

Why not?

(They turn away from the counter.)

In a world where male bonding was at a minimum...

(Shot of Jack cruising up an aisle.)

This place was a treasure-trove of guy-things.

(Kevin follows next to Jack.)


(Jack points at an item.)

Four-pronged widgets. You could find almost anything here.

(The camera pans across a pegboard of hose, trowels and rakes. Paul and Alvin are in the background. Alvin sits on a large John Deere 70 mower and Paul stands next to it.)

ALVIN: There's the clutch.

PAUL: Cool! (Smiles.)
(Shot past Paul of Jack and Kevin approaching then slowing up.)

Including Al Pfeiffer on a tractor the size of a Sherman tank.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul and Alvin. Paul looks toward Kevin off-screen, and stands up straight.)

PAUL: Dad...


(Alvin looks toward Jack and Kevin off-screen.)

ALVIN: Jack!

(Shot past Alvin and Paul of Jack and Kevin. Alvin gets of the mower.)

ALVIN: Hey there.

(Jack and Kevin approach.)

JACK: Alvin - what the hell are ya doin' on that thing? (Frowns.)

(Alvin looks toward the mower and gestures.)

ALVIN: Just checkin' her out.

OK - nothin' wrong with that.

(Alvin, Jack and Kevin look at the mower.)

JACK: That's a lotta mower...(Smiles.)

(Kevin looks toward Paul off-screen and puts his hand on the hood.)

KEVIN: You betcha.

(Paul moves in as everyone bends closer to examine the mower.)

Yep - we were sharing a time-honored tribal tradition here. Eating our guts out over a hunk of big-dollar technology no ordinary mortal could ever -

(Another saleman quickly approaches behind the group.)

SALEMAN: OK, Mr. Pfeiffer!

(The salesman hands a paper to Alvin.)

SALESMAN: We'll have her wrapped up and delivered by this afternoon.

(Sound of a metal pail or something spinning around on the floor.)

(Close shot of Jack pausing.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)


JACK: You bought it, Al?

(Close shot of Alvin turning toward Jack off-screen.)

ALVIN: Well, I figure you only live once. Right Jack? (Smiles.)

(The salesman laughs. Shot of the smiling saleman and Jack. Jack smiles and nods slightly. Jack looks down as the saleman turns toward him.)

SALEMAN: Oh - how about you sir?

(Jack takes a breath and looks at Kevin off-screen.)

SALESMAN: She's got eleven horses...

(Wide shot of all. Alvin and Paul are examing the mower.)

SALESMAN: A forty-seven inch cutting-deck with reversible blades. Interested?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack and the saleman off-screen.)

Now possibly this guy was new on the job.

(Shot of the saleman and Jack. Jack looks down.)

JACK: Uh-uh.

SALESMAN: Oh, come on, sir.

(The salesman puts his arm around Jack's shoulder.)

SALESMAN: You know what they say..."your neighbors will be green with envy". (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Paul off-screen.)

Or maybe he was just looking to start...

(Close shot of Paul glancing towad Kevin off-screen.)

A neighborhood war.

(Close shot of the smiling saleman and Jack. Jack slowly turns toward the salesman.)

JACK: I got a mower.

(The salesman smiles and shrugs.)

JACK: A good one.

(Wide shot of all as the salesman nods and exits.)

In any event...

(Sound of squeaky wheels. All look toward the sound.)

(Shot of the repairman approaching, pushing the lawnmower, then pausing.)

(Shot of Alvin and Jack.)

REPAIRMAN (V/O): OK - I can fix it.

(Shot of the saleman and the lawnmower.)

REPAIRMAN: But I can't promise it's gonna last longer than six weeks.

(Shot of Alvin and Jack.)

JACK: Fine. (Nods slightly.)

(Close shot of the saleman.)


(The salesman starts to wheel the lawnmower back to the shop.)

(Shot of Alvin and Jack.)

JACK: We'll take it someplace else.

(Wider shot of the saleman pausing and looking at Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Alvin, Jack, and Kevin. Jack exits past the camera.)

And at that moment...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

There was really only one thing to say.

(Kevin smiles at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Nice talkin'.

(Wide shot of Alvin, Kevin and Paul.)

PAUL: Uh-huh.

(Kevin exits past the camera.)

Cut to

Ext. Day - Pfeiffer's Street

(Shot of the Arnold car coming up the street. The mower handle sticks out of the open trunk. Snuffy's version of "59th Street Bridge" plays.)

The thing is...it was only a stupid mower.

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin.)

Still, that afternoon, I couldn't shake the feeling...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Alvin riding the mower in his front yard as his family watches.)

That there was more at stake here than just...

ALVIN: Whoa...

Lawn care.

(Paul pauses and looks toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot through the windshield of Jack shaking his head slightly.)

JACK: Show off.

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin.)

As Dad set the tone...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul approaching slowly, and waving slightly.)

Something weird began to happen.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Paul off-screen as they drive past.)

(Shot of Paul turning back toward Debbie and Ida.)

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin turning toward Jack off-screen.)

So I made up my mind.

(Shot through the windshield of Jack shaking his head slightly.)

Whatever was goin' on between my father and Mr. Pfeiffer...

(Shot through the window of Jack and Kevin, as Kevin looks out his window, then forward.)

Cut to

Ext. Day - Paul's School

(Kevin approaches Paul in front of the building.)

I wasn't gonna let it get to me...


And Paul.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin gesturing.)

KEVIN: So why does your dad need that stupid lawnmower anyway?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul, who frowns slightly and glances off.)

Of course Paul wanted to smooth things over, too.

PAUL: What the hell's that supposed to mean?

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Oh, come on - it's bigger than your whole yard!

(Shot past Kevin of Paul shaking his head slightly.)

PAUL: No, it's not bigger than our whole yard.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin hesitating.)

So we discussed it in a calm and mature fashion.

KEVIN: Well, it's bigger than half your yard.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: What is this? (Shrugs.) A math thing?

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: No, but...but how are you gonna turn it around? In your neighbors' yard? (Nods.)

(Closer shot past Kevin of Paul glancing away.)

Admittedly, this was getting off-track.

(Closer shot past Paul of Kevin.)

What I really meant to say in a sensitive and caring manner was...

KEVIN: I mean, what's next? You gonna join some pansy country club? (Frowns.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: Well, actually...

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

PAUL: We already did.

KEVIN: Paul...this is brilliant. (Frowns.) First you go ahead and buy this...huge lawnmower, and then you're gonna join a stupid country club?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul, who frowns.)

PAUL: Hey, you're the one who's being stupid!

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

Yep - we were really workin' this thing out, here.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

KEVIN (V/O): I don't have time for this.

(Wide shot of both at the foot of the steps. Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: I got things to do.

(Kevin walks off.)

PAUL: Yeah, fine - so do I!

(Paul walks off in another direction.)

And with the fences firmly mended...

(High wide shot of Kevin, Paul, and other students walking in the quad in front of the building.)

Between the Arnold's and the Pfeiffer's...we went home with our friendship as solid as ever.

Fade to

Ext. Day - Street

(Long shot of a red truck approaching the camera.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of a white truck labelled "Forrester Pools" pulling a back-hoe. The camera pans with it as it passes the Arnold house. The camera stops on Jack, Wayne and Kevin who are waxing the car. they pause and look after the truck off-screen.)

Over the next few days, as the Pfeiffer's continued to parade their good fortune, the Arnold community spirit began to run a little thin.

JACK: Now he's puttin' in a pool. (Gestures.) Can you believe that guy?

(Close shot of Wayne hesitating and looking at Jack off-screen.)

WAYNE: Why can't we have a pool?

(Close shot of Jack looking toward Wayne of-screen.)

JACK: You want a pool? (Frowns.) Start diggin'!

(Shot past Jack of Kevin who frowns, then looks over his shoulder toward the truck off-screen.)

Goodwill was turning to bad blood.

(Wide shot of all three rubbing on the car as Kevin looks over his shoulder.)

And as we closed ranks around Dad, the gap between him and Paul's dad got...

ALVIN (V/O): Wider...

Cut to

Int. Day - Alvin's Office

(Very close shot of Alvin peering through his optometrist instrument.)

ALVIN: Wider...

With me in the middle.

(Shot of Kevin in the patient chair as Alvin swings an apparatus out of the way.)

ALVIN: OK, Kevirooski.

(Shot past Kevin of alvin.)

ALVIN: Follow the light with those peepers, and don't move your head.

(Shot past Alvin of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yessir.

(Alvin shines a small flashlight at Kevin.)

The thing is...

(Close shot of Alvin as he waves the flashlight slowly.)

Even though I'd known the guy for years...

(Shot of both as Kevin follows the light.)

Suddenly I was seeing him in a whole new light.

(Close shot of Alvin as he switches the light to his other hand and moves it sideways out of the screen.)

(Shot of both as Kevin tries to follow the light, then moves his head.)

ALVIN: Gotcha! (Smiles.) A little optometrist humor.

(Alvin switches on another machine. Kevin looks off and nods slightly.)

Pretty funny.

(Kevin looks at Alvin.)

KEVIN: Are we done now?

ALVIN: Not yet.

(Wide shot of both as Alvin hold up a small paddle, and glances over his shoulder.)

ALVIN: Read that for me.

(Kevin covers one eye with the paddle.)

(Close shot of the chart.)

KEVIN (V/O): "E", "F", "P", "T"...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the chart off-screen, then looking at Alvin off-screen.)

KEVIN: "C"..."Z". (Note, the "C" is actually "O".)

(Close shot of Alvin looking down as he writes something.)

Look at him - Mr. Moneybags. John D. Rockapfeiffer.

(Shot of Kevin holding the paddle over his eye, and glancing away.)

Not a care in the world.

ALVIN (V/O): You know, Kev...

(Kevin looks toward Alvin off-screen.)

(Shot of Alvin looking down.)

ALVIN: I'm worried.

(Close shot of Kevin as he lowers the paddle and perks up.)

KEVIN: Huh? About my eyes?

(Close shot of Alvin shaking his head slightly.)

ALVIN: Uh-uh. About your dad.

(Shot of both.)

KEVIN: What about him?

(Kevin looks off.)

ALVIN: Well, I'm not sure.

(Shot past Kevin as Alvin switches on the room lights.)

ALVIN: He didn't look happy the other day.

(Alvin frowns and looks at Kevin.)

ALVIN: Is he OK?

(Shot of both.)

KEVIN: Well, yeah, he's...

(Kevin looks off, then pauses and looks at Alvin.)

Oh, no.

(Shot past Kevin of Alvin looking at him.)

I wasn't gonna give him that satisfaction.

KEVIN: He works hard. That's all.

(They both nod slightly.)

(Shot of both as Alvin writes something and Kevin looks off.)

Unlike some rich guys I could think of.

ALVIN: That's Jack, alright.

(Alvin looks at Kevin.)

ALVIN: He's a hell of a guy.

(Alvin looks down again.)

ALVIN: Careful man.(Nods). Take that investment thing.

(Close shot of Kevin sighing and looking off.)

Great. I should have known.

(Shot of Alvin looking down.)

This whole thing was just an excuse to crow about -

(Alvin glances at Kevin off-screen.)

ALVIN: He could have come in with me, ya know...

(Alvin looks down again.)

(Close shot of Kevin hesitating.)

KEVIN: What?!

ALVIN (V/O): We talked about it...

KEVIN: You did?

(Shot of Alvin looking down.)

ALVIN: But...he wasn't interested. Too big as risk, I guess...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Alvin off-screen.)

I couldn't believe my ears.

ALVIN (V/O): I don't know.

(Close shot of Alvin looking off.)

ALVIN: Maybe he was right. These land things tend to be complicated.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Alvin off-screen.)

ALVIN (V/O): Unpredictable. Risky. Know what I mean?

But at that moment...

(Shot past Kevin of Alvin frowning as he looks off and taps his chin with his pen.)

I wasn't interested in the greater aspects of real estate.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

I was thinking just one thing.

KEVIN: I can't believe it.

(Wide shot of both as Alvin looks at his paperwork.)

My dad, who grumbled about the Pfeiffer's good fortune, could have had one himself.

(Alvin turns and puts the paper on a small table.)

ALVIN: OK, sport...

(Alvin holds up a pair of glasses.)

ALVIN: Let's test your depth-perception.

(Shot past Alvin of Kevin. Alvin slides the glasses on him, then turns away.)

And suddenly, this whole situation was starting to get kinda...

(Kevin opens his eyes wide and blinks.)

Cut to

Int. Evening - Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of a TV screen showing rapidly moving diagonal lines, and making an electrical sound.)


JACK (V/O): Damn...

WAYNE (V/O): That's great, Dad.

(Wide shot of all at the kitchen table.)

WAYNE: Now it matches the one in the livingroom.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack frowning and shaking his head slightly at Wayne off-screen as he reaches for the TV knob.)

JACK: I don't understand this. (Frowns.)

But Dad wasn't the only one feeling confused.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack and the TV off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O: So...

(Close shot of Norma looking at Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: How was your eye appointment today, honey? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Norma of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Fine. (Nods.) Except...Mr. Pfeiffer said that -

NORMA: Oh - that reminds me.

(Close shot of Norma looking toward Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Jack? Ida called today...she invited us all to the country club on Saturday. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Forget it - we're not goin'.

(Jack looks toward the TV.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen.)

WAYNE: Why not? (Frowns.)

JACK (V/O): Because.

(Close shot of Jack looking at Wayne off-screen.)

JACK: We got other things to do.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toweard Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: What other things? (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen. He still has his hand on the TV.)

JACK: Things.

NORMA (V/O): But Jack...

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: It's just that...(shrugs)...I already accepted. I-I thought it'd be fun...(smiles)... and we haven't spent -

(Close shot of Jack looking at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: I said...we're not going.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Wayne off-screen.)

Of course we all knew what was going on here.

(Kevin looks toward Norma, then Jack, then his food.)

So I guess it was up to me to put it all in perspective.

(Kevin frowns heavily, then turns toward Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: What's your problem, Dad?

(Close shot of Jack slowly looking at Kevin.)

KEVIN (V/O): I mean, it's his money, isn't it?

(Close shot of Kevin gesturing and looking toward Wayne off-screen.)

KEVIN: He earned it.

(Kevin looks toward Norma off-screen and gestures.)

KEVIN: He took the risk!

(Wide shot of all around the table as Kevin glances toward Jack.)

(Close shot of Jack looking off.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

Looking back...

(Kevin looks at his food.)

It was one of those moments that makes you really...

(Close shot of Norma looking at Kevin, then Jack, off-screen.)

Really proud to have been a smart-aleck kid.

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin. Wayne holds the bowl of mashed potatoes up and offers a spoonful to Kevin.)

WAYNE: More potatoes, butthead? (Smiles.)

Cut to

Ext. Day - Country Club

(Shot of Debbie on the diving board. She walks out to the end and turns toward the camera.)

DEBBIE: Hey, everybody! This is my twisting double jack-knife!

(Shot past Debbie of Paul and Ida on chaise longues in the background. Debbie holds her nose and simply jumps off the board feet first.)

Fairlawn country club.

(Debbie bobs to the surface and waves toward Paul and Ida.)

Watering spot of the well-to-do.

(Shot across the pool of the four Arnold's approaching.)

Where the glamourous went to cavort. Not that my family were strangers to the place - we'd driven past the front gates lotsa times.

(They pause at the edge of the pool.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul and Ida across the pool. Ida perks up over her magazine, then smiles and waves.)

IDA: Yoo-hoo! Over here!

(Close shot of Jack and Norma.)

JACK: Oh, brother.

NORMA: Jack...

(Jack smiles woodenly and waves slightly.)

JACK: Let's get this over with.

(Jack starts to walk off.)

Guess you could say...

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and sighing slightly.)

We were all in a festive mood.

(Kevin exits past he camera.)

(Shot of Paul and Ida.)

IDA: I'm so glad you could come!

(Norma enters the shot, followed by Wayne, Kevin and Jack. Norma and Ida kiss cheeks.)

(Closer shot of Norma standing next to Ida.)

NORMA: Oh, it's lovely, here.

(Norma turns toward Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Isn't it lovely Jack?

(Shot of Wayne, Jack, and Kevin.)

JACK: Where's Alvin?

(Shot of Norma standing next to Ida.)

IDA: Oh, he'll be joining us in a while. (Gestures.) He had some business calls to make. (Nods.) Is anyone thirsty.

(Shot of Wayne, Jack, and Kevin.)

WAYNE: Sure.

(Jack looks at Wayne.)


WAYNE: Great. (Frowns.)

(Shot of Debbie on the diving board.)

DEBBIE: Hey, Kevin! Watch my swan dive!

(Debbie runs forward, holds her nose, and simply jumps off the diving board feet first.)

(Shot of Jack and Kevin. Kevin turns forward again.)

Still, as country-clubs go...

(Jack and Kevin look at each other. Jack makes a little face.)

This wasn't so bad. Nice surroundings...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him. Paul makes a little face.)

Pleasant company...

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then back to Paul off-screen.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)


(Close shot of Kevin smiling and nodding slightly at Paul off-screen.)


(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: How's it goin'?

(Close shot of Kevin smiling and nodding slightly at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: OK. (Nods.)

(Wider shot of all.)

And it seemed pretty clear, one of us had to break the ice, here.


(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: You...want to...(shrugs)...do something?

So, when Paul offered the old olive branch...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

I jumped right on.

KEVIN: Like what? Play tennis? (Smirks.)

(Sound of a bouncing tennis ball.)

Cut to

Tennis Court

(Shot of Kevin winding up and serving the ball.)

(On a PA): Service, Arnold.

(High wide shot from behind Kevin as he serves, which goes over the far fence. Paul looks over his shoulder in the background. Sound of splashing water.)

(Shot of Kevin. Sound of startled ducks.)

(Shot of Paul turning forward.)

PAUL: I thought you said you played before. (Gestures.)

(Wider shop of Kevin standing on his baseline.)

KEVIN: Of course I played before.

(Kevin gestures, then starts to take another ball out of his pocket.)

As in...twice.

(Shot of Paul as he holds his hand out.)

PAUL: Lemme serve.

(Closer shot of Kevin. He points with his racket.)

KEVIN: No, don't worry about me...(gestures)...I can serve.

After all, maybe I wasn't Mr. Country Club...

(Kevin winds up to serve.)

But I could hold my own.

(High wide shot as Kevin slices it into the net.)

(Kevin starts to walk toward the ball.)

PAUL: Look - you want a few tips?

(Close shot of Kevin approaching the camera.)

Tips? What did I look like - his personal waiter?

(Kevin picks up the ball and looks at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: I got it. (Nods.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul approaching him at the net.)

PAUL: Here - lemme serve. I've been taking lessons.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Fine. You want to serve?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul as he sticks the ball in Paul's hand.)

KEVIN: Serve.

(Kevin turns and walks close to the camera, which rolls back with him. Paul walks back in the background.)

Lessons. Tips. Tennis. Who'd this guy think he was, anyway?

(Shot from behind Kevin as he turns around.)

The great Gatsby?

(Some waltz music plays. Kevin blinks and frowns slightly.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of a white-glove-and-spats waiter carrying a silver Champagne holder toward Paul, who is dressed in an old-style tennis outfit. Paul nods, and the waiter bows slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly and blinking.)

(Closer shot of Paul as he lifts a glass of Champagne, sips, then sets the glass down again.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly.)

(Shot of Paul taking a yellow tennis ball from a glass, and nodding toward the waiter. The waiter bows slightly and turns away. Paul blows on the ball and rubs it on his sweater.)

(Shot of Kevin frowning slightly, starting to put a ball in his pocket.)

In retrospect...

(Shot of Paul getting ready to serve.)

It was the straw that broke this paupers back.

(Wider shot of Kevin getting ready to return the serve.)

(Shot of Paul as he serves.)

And in that instant, I only wanted one thing.

(Slow motion shot of Kevin winding up and hitting the ball.)

To knock him flat on his ascot.

(Another slow motion shot of Kevin hitting the ball - accompanied by a resounding "whack" sound.)

(Wide shot from directly behind the ball as it approaches Paul - "whoosh".)

(Slow-motion shot of Paul in profile as the ball hits him on the forehead - "boop" - knocking off his glasses. Paul holds his cheek and eye.)

PAUL: Ahhhhhh....

(Wider normal shot of Kevin looking slightly concerned and relaxing his stance.)

KEVIN: Paul?

(Closer shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Paul?!

(Shot of Paul looking disgustedly at Kevin off-screen as he turns and walks away.)

(High wide shot of Kevin in the foreground, and Paul walking away in the background. Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Paul?

Polo, anyone?

Cut to

Ext. Day - Country Club Restaurant Patio

(Shot of Ida looking at Paul off-screen.)

IDA: How's your head, honey?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul holding an ice-pack on his cheek.)

PAUL: Fine, Mom - I'm fine. (Frowns.)

(Paul gestures with the ice-pack, then glances at Kevin.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking down.)

An hour later, the celebration was in full swing.

(Wider shot of all around a dining table.)

And the party was just getting started.

(Shot of Ida as Alvin approaches.)

ALVIN: Sorry I'm late, guys.

(Alvin sits down, then smiles and nods slightly.)

(Wide shot of all around the table.)

It was grim. Here we were, two families who grew up practically next door, with nothing to say to each other but -

(Close shot of Wayne frowning and gesturing, with a mouthful of crackers.)

WAYNE: Anybody got any more saltines, huh?

(Wayne looks at the table and moves things around.)

Face it.

(Shot of Ida and Alvin.)

Money had come between us. Two decades...

(Shot of Jack looking uneasy.)

Of neighborly goodwill...

(Jack looks toward Alvin off-screen and smiles slightly.)

Had run aground on a few measley acres of beachfront investment-property.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma. Jack is looking toward the sky in bordom.)

And there was nothing any of us could do to make it better.

(Jack looks down, and Norma perks up.)

NORMA: I'd like to make a toast.

(Jack and Norma look at each other as Norma starts to rise.)

(Wide shot of all around the table.)

Except, of course...make a toast.

(Norma picks up her glass.)

(Close shot of Norma as she looks toward Jack, then the Pfeiffer's off-screen.)

NORMA: We've known each other for many years. (Nods.) We've...worked together...broken bread together...

(Norma looks toward Wayne and Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: Birthed our children together...

(She looks toward the Pfeiffer's off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): We've seen each other...

(Close shot of Paul.)

NORMA (V/O): Through good and bad.

(Wide shot of all around the table.)

NORMA: So, in a way...

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Your good fortune...is our good fortune. (Smiles.)

(She looks at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack. He looks up to Norma off-screen.)

(Shot of Ida and Alvin.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at the Pfeiffer's emotionally.)

NORMA: And I just wanna say...how proud we are of you. (Nods.)

(Norma looks down and pauses, then raises her glass.)

NORMA: To you, and your success - and all the joy it brings. We hope...it's just the beginning. (Nods.)

(Shot of Ida and Alvin. Ida sighs and smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he looks off. Some Snuffy guitar plays throughout.)

I guess human dignity can be a powerful force.

(Kevin looks toward Paul off-screen.)

(Shot of Paul looking at Kevin.)

Grace untrammelled can move mountains.

(Close shot of Jack looking up toward Norma off-screen. He looks down as he starts to stand up.)

(Wider shot of all around the table as Jack stands up.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma.)

JACK: Congratulations, Alvin. I'm happy for you. (Smiles.)

(Alvin smiles slightly and looks down.)

ALVIN: Uh-huh.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Me, too.

(Kevin hold his glass out and smiles slightly at Alvin off-screen, then looks toward Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul smiling slightly toward Kevin off-screen.)

And in that simple moment...

(Wide shot of all around the table as they clink glasses.)

With those simple gestures...you could feel a burden lift.

(Shot of Jack and Norma smiling at the camera as they clinks glasses.)

It was...wonderful.

(Close shot of Alvin looking down, then starting to cry. Music ends.)

It was...horrible.

(Close shot of Ida pausing, then looking toward Alvin off-screen.)

IDA: Al...

(Wider shot of Ida and alvin as she puts her arm around him.)

IDA: Honey?

ALVIN: It's gone.

IDA: What?

(Alvin looks at Ida.)

ALVIN: I said it's gone.

(Alvin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma.)

ALVIN (V/O): The whole investment.

(Close shot of Ida and Alvin.)

ALVIN: The whole shebang.

(Alvin looks down and sobs again.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma. Norma glances at Jack worriedly.)

NORMA: Oh, God!

(Close shot of Debbie turning toward Alvin off-screen.)

DEBBIE: Not the beach, Dad!

(Shot of Ida and Alvin as he turns to Debbie off-screen.)

ALVIN: Under water. All of it.

(Alvin looks down and sobs again, biting his knuckle.)

His face told the tale.

(Shot of Paul pausing over his glass and looking at Alvin off-screen.)

One phone call...

(Paul frowns slightly and starts to put down his glass.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

And the Pfeiffer fortunes had landed on the continental shelf.

(Sound of a boat horn and bouy bell.)

(Shot of Ida and Alvin.)

(Wide shot of all around the table.)

So of course, being neighbors, there was only one thing we could do.

(Close shot of Wayne looking off.)

WAYNE: Waiter?

(Wayne raises his hand and snaps his fingers.)

WAYNE: Double steak sandwich - make it fast, huh?

(Wayne picks up his glass and nods.)

(Shot of Ida and Alvin as he blows his nose.)

(Wide shot of all around the table as Alvin sobs. Snuffy's guitar starts and plays intermittently through the next scenes.)

Fade to

Ext. Evening - Arnold Driveway

(Shot of the Arnold approaching the driveway.)

Nobody talked much the rest of that afternoon...

(The car turns into the driveway, and the camera rolls back with it.)

Or on the way home. I guess we were all a little sobered...

(Jack stops the car.)

By the knowledge that the fortune of an optometrist could vanish...

(Kevin, Wayne and Norma open their doors.)

In the blink of an eye.

(Kevin and Norma close their doors, and Kevin starts to walk away.)

(Close shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Where are you going, honey?

(Shot of Kevin turning over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: Just for a walk.

(Kevin turns forward again.)

(Wider shot as Kevin walks around the back of the car. The camera rolls sideways after him.)

Not that I needed the exercise. Somehow I knew I couldn't leave things the way they'd ended up.

Fade to

Ext. Evening - Pfeiffer House

(Shot of Kevin walking past the mower in Paul's front yard.)

Not with me and Paul.

(The camera pans with Kevin as he approaches Paul sitting on the steps, tossing blades of grass.)


(Kevin pauses and puts his hands in his jacket pockets. Music ends.)

PAUL: Hey.

KEVIN: How's your head?

PAUL: I'll live.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

Hmmm. Seemed we were just plumb out of olive branches, here.

KEVIN: Look...(gestures)...it was a honest mistake! I mean, you hit the ball to me, and...I hit it back.

(Kevin takes his hands out of his pockets and gestures expansively.)

KEVIN: You didn't -

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: Will you forget about the darn ball?! I don't want to talk about the ball, OK?!

(Paul looks toward Kevin.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: OK. (Nods.)


(Paul looks off.)

PAUL: Tennis is a drag, anyway. (Frowns.)

(Paul angrily flings some grass.)

PAUL: I hate this.

I wasn't sure if he meant me...

(Close shot of Paul looking forward.)

Or the grass-clippings, or...

PAUL: He's a fine optometrist, ya know.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)


(Kevin looks off.)

PAUL (V/O): He's a leader in his field.

(Close shot of Paul looking forward.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

The thing is, I'd been so busy tearing down my own dad...

(Shot of Paul and Kevin.)

I guess I'd forgotten Paul had one to tear down, too.

KEVIN: Sure. (Gestures.) Course. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Paul looking off.)

PAUL: I mean, it's not like he's broke, or anything. He does OK...

(Paul looks at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Right?

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off.)

KEVIN: Well...

(Kevin looks at Paul off-screen.)

I wanted to tell 'em that he had nothing to fear.

(Shot of Paul looking down.)

That any man who could produce a son like Paul...

(Shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Was a giant in my book.

(Kevin looks toward Paul, then turns toward the lawnmower.)

KEVIN: You'll probably have to take the mower back.

(Close shot of Paul looking toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of both.)

KEVIN: But other than that...

(Kevin nods and looks at Paul.)

KEVIN: He's one of the greats.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul on the steps.)

PAUL: You think so?

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

Even if his beach was under water.

(Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Shove over. (Smiles.)

(Wider shot of both as Kevin sits next to Paul. Snuffy's guitar starts again. Paul points at his bruise.)

PAUL: You really knocked me.

At the end of that semester, Paul left his prep school, and came to McKinley with me.

(The camera pulls back very slowly as they continue to talk.)

In a way I think he was happy about it. I know I was. As for the Arnold's and Pfeiffer's...we patched things up. After all, some things are more lasting than real estate. And Mr. Pfeiffer? Think of it this way - nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, you never knew when the tide might go out.

(Sound of waves on the beach.)

Fade to


(Sound of a buoy bell.)

Supporting Cast
Alvin - John C. Moskoff
Ida - Stephanie Satie
Debbie - Torrey Anne Cook

Next Episode
Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

03/18/05 11:38