54-40 And Fight
Written by Burt Styler
The Bradys have 94 books of trading stamps. However, they can’t agree on what to get for it. What will they end up getting and how will they decide how to get it? Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
CLERK AT DEPARTMENT STORE
(The episode begins with Greg, Marcia, Peter and Jan sitting at the kitchen table drinking milk. Greg puts what’s left of it in his glass.)
Marcia: No more milk?
Greg: No, there’s never anything to eat around here.
(Alice comes in with two big shopping bags.)
Alice: How about some help. I’m running the supply train.
(The kids all run to help her out.)
Peter: Got any cookies?
Alice: That’s like asking Garcia if he got any messages.
(The kids take the bags and go through them:)
Peter (frustrated): Tomatoes?
Jan: That’s for grownups
Greg: The good stuff is always at the bottom.
Marcia: Not always, look what I got. Checkered trading stamps.
(Marcia gives them to Greg to see.)
Greg: There must be two pages worth here.
Marcia (taking them back): What do you think you’re doing there?
Greg: We’re saving them.
Jan: So are we. We’ve been saving them ever since we were little kids.
Peter: Listen, we only got about 40 books to go to get a rowboat.
Marcia: We’re getting something sensible, a sewing machine.
Greg: A sewing machine? Ha, that’s for girls!
Jan: Well, what do you think we are?
Alice: All right, everybody, hold it. I’ve been afraid of this. But, as long as the moment has come. (She shows them a bunch of other stamps she has in a drawer) Who gets custody of these?
(The kids all go through hem as the scene fades.)
(In the next scene, Carol comes in with Bobby and Cindy. They are returning form the department store.)
Carol: Come on, kids. (They walk in through the door while Carol shuts it, while carrying a few boxes) Uhh, my feet hurt. (They walk into the living room) Listen, the next time I take you two to the department store on bargain day, would you remind me of something?
Cindy: What, Mommy?
Carol: Not to. (She goes to sit down) Oh, the peace and quiet of home.
(The other kids are in the kitchen arguing over the stamps.)
Bobby: That doesn’t sound very quiet.
Cindy: And not very peace.
Carol: The word is peaceful. You two go on upstairs, hurry up.
(Bobby and Cindy go up the stairs. Carol sets the boxes down and goes to the kitchen.)
Greg: Go ahead, give one logical, intelligent reason why you should have all those stamps.
Marcia: Well, they come from groceries and taking care of groceries is a woman’s job.
Greg: Yeah, well eating them is a man’s job.
Alice: I think maybe I should’ve kept my big drawer shut.
Carol (coming in the kitchen): Greg, have you boys been saving up for something too?
Marcia: A silly old rowboat.
Carol: Now, Marcia, I don’t think a rowboat is silly.
Greg: You’re darn right. It’s not like a dumb old sewing machine.
Mike (coming in): A sewing machine is certainly not anything that can be called dumb.
Marcia: Hi, Dad.
Greg: Hi, Dad.
Alice: Excuse me, I got to see the dog about a bath.
Marcia: But Mom, we’ve always been getting…
Greg: Dad, you know how long we’ve been saving.
Mike: There’s a simple answer to this that will make everybody happy, split them up.
Carol: Of course.
Greg: Okay, but I’ll do it.
Marcia: Oh no you won’t, I will.
Greg: Okay, we’ll both do it.
Carol: Come on, for goodness sake, smile. The problem’s solved.
(Greg and Marcia put on fake smiles.)
Mike: Oh, see, one big happy family.
(The next scene has Alice bathing Tiger in the laundry room.)
Alice: Now, where did I put that brush? (Tiger starts to walk away) Come back here, you’re getting the floor all wet. (She picks him up and puts him back) What’s the matter with you, Tiger? You usually enjoy a bath. Believe me, this is going to be a good one.
(Meanwhile, the girls are in the family room sorting out their stamps while the boys are outside doing likewise. Greg notices some of their stamps are missing.)
Greg: Who took those two batches of stamps I had?
Peter: Not me.
Greg: Did you see them, Bobby?
Bobby (bitterly): No.
Greg: What’s the matter?
Bobby: I gotta spit.
(Bobby runs to spit from licking too many stamps. Greg suspects the girls took them and goes inside.)
Jan: This is boring.
Cindy: Not if you make pictures. See, a horse.
(She shows Jan a horse she made out of the stamps.)
Marcia: I can’t find those stamps. They were just here.
(She looks under the table while Jan and Cindy look as well. Greg comes in.)
Greg: Okay, who took them.
Jan: Who took what?
Greg: A whole bunch of our stamps just disappeared.
Marcia: That’s very interesting. A bunch of our stamps are missing.
Greg: You putting me on?
Marcia: Did you see them, Jan?
(Jan and Cindy shake their heads no.)
Greg: Pulling that one, huh, trying to make it look like we did what you did.
Marcia: Well, if you wanna know what I think, I think you did what you just said we did.
Jan: Boys are tricky.
(Cindy nods. Mike comes in.)
Mike: Okay, I think we had about enough of this. One thing to be selfish about these stamps, but to start accusing each other of swiping them is something else.
Greg: But Dad, they were right out there on the patio.
Mike: Maybe the wind blew them away.
Greg: It wasn’t windy.
Marcia: And there’s no breeze in here. Someone must have taken them.
Greg: Right. They didn’t just walk away.
Mike: You want to bet.
(Tiger comes in with a bunch of stamps on him.)
Greg: Hey, that’s right. He was out on the patio.
Marcia: He was in here too.
(They take the stamps off him.)
Greg: Hey, those are my stamps.
Marcia: They are not.
Greg: Yes they are.
(They struggle to get the stamps from each other while Mike watches in amazement. Later, Mike and Carol are in the living room discussing the situation about the stamps.)
Mike: Oh, what are we gonna do about the kids honey? The way they were grabbing those stamps from each other.
Carol: Well, Mike, didn’t you ever want trading stamps when you were a boy?
Mike: When I was a boy, I didn’t know what trading stamps were. Money either, for that matter.
Carol: Well, I must admit, it does bother me that they’re taking sides, like enemy camps.
Mike (looking at a picture of the kids): Look at them, underneath those friendly smiles, lurk the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Carol: Mike. (Pause) Yes!
Mike: Mike, yes, what?
Carol: I think I have an idea but…
Mike: But what?
Carol: Well, sorry, before it’s official, I have to get some approval.
(Carol is outside talking to the kids.)
Carol: All right, let’s start with the girls first. You couldn’t care less about a rowboat, right?
Marcia: Who wants a rowboat?
Cindy: Yeah, yuck!
Carol: Well I’m sure the boys feel the same way about a sewing machine, right?
Peter: A sewing machine is not good for nothing.
Jan (angrily): It is so good for something.
Peter: That’s nothing.
Cindy: Not as nothing as a rowboat.
Carol: Thank you very much, you have just proved my point. Now wouldn’t it be nicer if we started treating each other as one family, instead of we, they, you or us?
Marcia: I guess so.
Carol: All right, now let’s all pitch in and put all of our books together and get one gift for the benefit of the entire family.
Marcia: Hey, we can get something right away. We already got 40 books.
Greg: And we got 54.
Cindy: That makes (She tries doing the math with her fingers) 78 books.
Bobby: No it doesn’t, it makes (Pause) 87.
Peter: 94. Now why don’t you both keep quiet and let Mom talk.
Carol: Thank you, Peter. Well, now that we’re all in agreement, here are the catalogues. (She hands the girls, then the boys, a catalogue) One for you, and one for you.
Greg: Great, we can pick out the best thing for all of us.
Marcia: We can get something wonderful for 94 books.
(The kids all go inside. Mike and Carol go down the stairs and further discuss the issue.)
Mike: Honey, it’s a great idea.
Carol: Well the important thing is they’re picking it out together.
Mike: Well, at least they’re on the same side for a change.
(Greg and Marcia come to see them.)
Mike: Well, has the jury reached a decision?
Greg: You know, I’ll bet you we went through this catalogue five times.
Marcia: Every time they wanted something, we wanted something else.
Greg: Until we finally agreed on one thing.
Mike: Well, that’s great.
Carol: Right. What did you agree on?
Greg: To let Mom choose.
(Carol gives a surprised look.)
Greg: Is that okay, Dad?
Mike: Oh, sure.
Carol: What do you mean, Mom?
Marcia: Good, now we don’t have to argue anymore.
(The kids hand them the catalogues.)
Carol (to Mike): Thanks a lot.
Mike (laughing): Well, now you solved their problem. All you have to do is worry about solving your problem.
Carol: What do you mean “your problem”? Listen, you heard the minister say “for better or for worse”. It’s our problem.
(Mike gets a worried look. That evening, Mike and Carol are in their room. Carol is in bed looking at the catalogue when Mike comes out of the bathroom.)
Carol: Mike, I found it. The ideal thing for everyone.
Mike: Great, what is it?
Carol: A grandfather clock.
Mike: A what?
Carol: A grandfather clock.
Mike: Yeah, I heard you. I just don’t believe it.
Carol: It’s perfect.
Mike: I could just imagine telling the boys we’re getting a grandfather clock.
Carol: We could put it in the hall and everyone can see it.
Mike: The boys don’t look at clocks. They say “Dad, what time is it?”. This is not gonna be easy. There are (Pause) Hey, here’s the perfect thing, perfect for everybody. Boys and girls.
Carol: What is it?
Mike: A pool table.
Carol: What? For girls?
Mike: Listen, when I was in college, I went out with a girl who was a very good pool player.
(He laughs and so does she.)
Carol: I am not interested in the lurid women of your past. Besides, I don’t know how to play pool and neither do the girls.
Mike: Well, no sense of staying up half the night.
Carol: You’re right. Let’s get some sleep.
Mike: Good night, honey.
(They kiss and turn the lights out.)
Carol: Good night. After all, what difference can a day make.
(The next morning, Alice is reading the paper with an advertisement announcing the checker trading stamps are going out of business in 30 days. She sets the paper on the kitchen table when Carol and Mike come in.)
Carol: Good morning, Alice.
Mike: Might even say it’s a beautiful morning.
Alice (unhappy): Morning. something there you oughtta see.
Mike (sitting down): From your tone, some kind of bad news. Right?
Mike : Don’t wanna hear it, I’m in too good a mood.
Carol: We decided to take our time about those premiums for the trading stamps.
Mike: Yes, if we take long enough, they may each have 94 books, right?
Mike (looking at the paper): Oh, oh. Wrong it is.
Carol: What? What is it? (He shows her the paper) Oh no. this family better make up its mind and quick. Or they’ll be out of premiums.
Mike: Better break the bad news to the kids.
(The kids sadly come in with the radio announcing the news.)
Alice: I have the feeling the bad news had already been broken.
(The next scene has the boys in the room, trying in vain to decide what to get.)
Greg: Come on, you guys. We got to pick out something. Before that checker stamp place runs out of merchandise.
Peter: Girls! That’s what’s making it rough. It’s easy to figure out what boys want.
Bobby: Maybe that’s because we’re boys.
Greg: Now look, you guys. Whether we like it or not, Mom and Dad said we have to pick out something we all want. And that includes the girls.
Bobby: Hey, how about a diving board.
Greg: We don’t even have a swimming pool, dummy.
Bobby: I know. That’s what makes it just as good for the girls as it is for us.
Greg: Forget it.
Peter: Hey, how about a set of electric trains. You know, with switches, and tracks that crisscross.
Greg: For girls?
Peter: We can put curtains on the windows.
Bobby (taking hos robe off): Boy, Santa Claus sure must have it rough when he’s got to go to a girl’s house.
(Cut to the girls’ room, where they are having the same dilemma.)
Cindy: Hey, how about a nice big hair dryer.
Marcia: Cindy, boys don’t use hair dryers.
Jan: They should. Boys have longer hair than girls these days. (She gets a thought) Hey, wait a minute. (She looks in the catalogue) How about?
Jan (thinking twice): No. Forget it.
(Next, Mike is in his den and Carol comes in.)
Mike: Huh, anything?
Carol: Not yet. I sure wish they’d hurry up and agree on something.
Mike: Well they better, or they’re gonna be redoing their rooms with checker stamped wallpaper.
Alice (coming in the den): Excuse me, folks, I thought you’d like to know I just saw the boys go into the girls’ room.
Mike: Well, let’s hope they arrived at a settlement.
Alice: Well, at least they’re having a meaningful dialogue. Hey, it sounds like the platoon leaders are coming. Good luck.
(Greg and Marcia enter and Alice leaves.)
Marcia: Mom, Dad, we’ve got the answer.
Greg: I got it.
Marcia: All right, he got it. But I agreed to it.
Carol: Well come on, tell us. What is it?
Greg: We decided on the rowboat or the sewing machine.
Mike: That we know, but which one.
Marcia: Either one.
Carol: Either? Well, you know it has to be one or the other.
Greg: That’s where the contest comes in.
Marcia: Boys against the girls. Winner take all.
Carol: Don’t you realize that’s gonna leave somebody out in the cold?
Marcia: We know that.
Mike: Well, if both sides are willing to take the risk. I guess it’s okay.
Greg: Now the only problem we got is, what kind of contest?
Marcia: That’s fair to both of us.
Mike: Well, that shouldn’t be to hard, should it.
Carol: I have it. Ping pong.
Mike: No. That wouldn’t be fair to the girls, Peter’s a champ.
Marcia: How about a swimming contest.
Greg: Real fair, huh. After you won the 100 meter free style last year.
Marcia: Oh, that’s right. I did, didn’t I.
Alice (coming back in): Excuse me, I have some dusting to do.
Carol: At this time of night?
Alice: Well, you won’t be having this conversation tomorrow morning.
(They all laugh.)
Greg: Here’s one. A relay race.
Marcia: Oh, sure. Why don’t you just offer to run against Cindy. Hopscotch?
Carol: Now Marcia, that would be like challenging your father to a embroidery contest.
Greg: Weightlifting. Now that’s a great one.
Marcia: For who?
Mike (correcting her): Whom.
Carol: Well, I guess there’s no such thing as fair competition between boys and girls.
Alice: How about that game with the cards? Building houses.
Mike: Now, that’s perfect. Why didn’t anybody think of that?
Alice: You just did, Mr. Brady.
(The next scene has the kids all by a table in the living room with all the cards. Carol and Mike are refereeing them.)
Mike: Remember kids, mother and I are the umpires. Right?
Greg: Yeah, right.
Bobby: I guess so.
Carol: Whatever we say goes. Well, I think that Bobby and Cindy should start. Okay, everybody ready?
Mike: Uh, just a minute. Stand away from the table kids, because any little movement is gonna knock them down.
Carol: Ready. Go.
Cindy (to Bobby): Me first.
Bobby: Why you?
Cindy: Because I’m a lady.
Cindy: I am a lady, and if you say I’m not, I’ll bop you.
Greg: Let her go first. Come on.
Cindy (putting her first card on the table): There.
(Bobby sets down his card.)
Carol: Be careful.
Bobby: How’s that?
Carol: That’s very good, Bobby.
Cindy (whining): Nobody said mine was very good.
Mike: Honey, yours was sensational.
(Jan sets one down, then does Peter.)
Greg (to Marcia): You’re next, come on.
Marcia; You’re making me nervous, stop acting so jumpy.
Greg: Who’s acting? I am jumpy.
(Marcia sets her down and we move in the next scene, with Greg putting his card in with a bunch of others. They move back down to Cindy and Bobby.)
Mike: Take a deep breath next time.
(The kids continue with Jan, Peter and Marcia. Carol notices Marcia may knock some cards down with her bracelet.)
Carol: Oh Marcia, Marcia, be careful, your bracelet.
Peter: If she knocks it over, that’s it.
Jan: Shh, be quiet.
(Marcia sets her card down without incident. They all sigh relief.)
Jan: It wouldn’t have counted anyway if she knocked it over.
Peter: It sure would. Everything counts.
Jan: Would it, Mom?
Carol: I’m afraid so, honey.
Cindy: That’s not fair. Boys don’t wear bracelets.
(We move into another scene, with the house of cards getting bigger. Marcia is about to put a card up.)
Carol: Oh, Mike. I think this is too nerve racking for them.
Mike: Honey, I agree. I think we better call it off and find some other way. (He turns to the kids) Listen you kids, why don’t you toss a coin or something.
(The kids protest that they want to finish.)
Greg (to Marcia): Go ahead.
Mike: Talk any louder and you’ll knock it all down.
(Marcia sets her card down and sighs relief. Tiger comes running inside and heads for the living room.)
Alice: No, Tiger, stay outside.
Bobby: There’s Tiger.
Greg: Keep away from me, keep away!
(The house collapses and Tiger runs off. Everybody groans.)
Peter: That was an accident.
Jan: Everything counts. You said it yourself.
Mike: I’m sorry fellas, those were the rules.
Carol: Oh, too bad boys. (She turns to the girls) Isn’t it, girls.
Marcia: Oh yes.
Jan: Oh yeah, it’s too bad.
Cindy: It’s awful
(She starts giggling.)
Jan: Hey, Mom, you better take us down to get our sewing machine.
Marcia: We better hurry up or the store will close.
Jan: Or they might run out of sewing machines.
Carol: Well, uh, go up and get your sweaters.
(The girls go upstairs.)
Mike: Well, I’ll guess you’ll just have to remember, like the fella said, it isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.
Carol: Yeah, but that fellow didn’t lose his rowboat to a bunch of girls.
(Carol goes upstairs and we move to the next scene. They arrive at the store, which has just closed.)
Marcia: Oh, mother, the store is closed.
Carol: Well I see a man in there. perhaps he’ll take care of us.
(Carol knocks on the door and the store clerk, who is sweeping the floor, shakes his head no.)
Clerk: I’m sorry, lady.
Carol: Please, mister.
Clerk: It’s been murder today, we’re closed. (Carol and the girls continue tapping on the door) No, no, no more premiums. I’ve got to clean up.
Carol: Look mister, I know it’s late. But you’ve just got to let us in. You see, we’ve been building this house of cards and, well, it took over an hour.
Marcia: We won, because everything counts when you’re building a house.
Jan: And we can get a sewing machine.
Cindy: Even if it was Tiger’s fault. (The man shakes his head no again) Oh, please, mister.
(The clerk drops the broom and goes to let them in.)
Clerk: All right, hurry it up, will you, please. Because I don’t want everybody on the street dropping in.
Carol: Thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
Clerk: I’m sure you do. (Carol and the girls come in to look around) It’s been like this ever since they announced checkered stamps was going out of business. All day long. Coffee makers, toasters, heaters, blankets. Doesn’t anybody buy anything any more?
Carol: Don’t you save trading stamps?
Clerk: Who do you think was my first customer today?
Marcia: We’ve been saving stamps a long time. Our brothers were saving them too.
Jan: And that’s why we were building a house. And we won because.
Clerk: I know, because everything counts when you’re building a house, and you won because it was Tiger’s fault. Whatever that means.
Carol: Well we do have 94 books, and that is enough for a sewing machine. Right?
Clerk: Right. Somewhere in here, I got two different models. Let’s see if I could find ’em. Oh, I think they’re right over (Pause) No, that’s our home beauty salon. Hair dryers, make-up table, three way mirrors.
Marcia: Hey, yeah!
Carol: No. We came here to get a sewing machine, and that’s what we’re gonna get.
Marcia: Mom’s right. We can make some groovy dresses.
Clerk (pointing); I think they’re right, come on over with me. I think they’re over there. So much stock here, excuse me, I can’t remember. Please, will you hurry up , because I haven’t had even lunch yet today. (His voice turns confused) They were, uh, oh here they are, here they are, right here, I knew they were. This model has an automatic button, all our push buttons, etc., and a solid maple cabinet. (He shows them another model) And this one has a walnut cabinet, an automatic bobbin, separate thread compartments and an illuminated sewing area. All right ladies, which one will it be? (Marcia and Carol point to one and Cindy points to the other, making the clerk more agitated) Oh no, not that.
(Later on, Mike and the boys are sitting at home and Carol and the girls return. they have a box and are rolling it in the living room, with Alice’s help.)
Carol: Okay, let’s put it right about here.
Greg: Ah, dad, what do we have to look at it for?
Mike: Because it’s what they call being a good sport. Now you might have won and they might be sitting here. Right?
Bobby: That’s the way I wish it was.
Carol: Okay, Cindy.
(Cindy goes in front of them and makes an announcement.)
Cindy: All us girls wanna thank all you guys on account of, if you didn’t lose, we wouldn’t have this.
(Carol and the girls open the box and take out a new television set.)
Greg: A TV set, a color TV set.
(All the boys go up to check it out.)
Mike: What happened to the sewing machine?
Carol: Well, when we got to the redemption store, and the girls saw the rowboat just a few feet away from the sewing machine, well, they decided to get something the entire family could use.
Mike: Oh ho, hey, what do you say, fellas.
Greg: That’s sure nice of you girls.
Peter: That’s great.
Mike (to Carol): You sure you didn’t nudge the girls a little?
Carol: Well, maybe just, that much. (Putting her thumb and index finger up)
(All the kids are hanging around and enjoying the TV.)
Mike: Whose room is it gonna go into?
(The whole family laughs and the scene fades.)
(In the final scene, Mike and Carol are sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a cake Alice had just bought.)
Carol: Mmm, Alice, this cake is positively out of this world.
Mike: Sure is. New recipe?
Alice: New bakery.
Carol: Boy, if they turn out cakes like this, they’re gonna have customers waiting in line.
Alice: They do, but it’s not just because they bake so well.
Mike: What else would you go to a bakery for?
Alice: Oh, they got a very special attraction in there. Something new. Golden circle trading stamps.
(She shows them a couple she got and Mike and Carol laugh.)