Written by Elroy Schwartz
Peter saves a young girl’s life and is hailed as a hero. However, it goes to his head and makes him impossible to live with. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
TINA SPENCER, little girl at toy stop
MRS. SPENCER, Tina’s mother
MR. DRISCOLL, owner of Driscoll’s toy shop
EARL HOPKINS, reporter for Daily Chronicle
DELIVERY MAN who delivers Peter’s gifts to house
STEVE, Peter’s friend
JENNY, another friend
JASON, another friend
(The story begins at Driscoll’s toy shop, where Peter is browsing around and testing some toys. Tina Spencer, a little girl, finds a Kitty-Karry All doll on top of a high shelf. She attempts to climb the shelf and grab hold of it. However, the wall behind the shelf starts to get loose and several toys on the shelf begin to drop. Peter looks up and notices she is about to get crushed.)
Peter: WATCH OUT!
Mrs. Spencer (turning around): Tina!
(Peter rushes over to the girl and pulls her away from the shelf, just as the wall is about to collapse. We hear a scream but Peter has just moved her to safety, as the rest of the customers gather around.)
Peter (to Tina): Are you okay?
Tina: I think so.
Mrs. Spencer: Oh, Tina, are you hurt, sweetheart?
Tina: No, Mommy.
Mr. Driscoll: What happened? How did that wall fall?
Tina: I wanted a doll. I pulled on the shelf. (She points at Peter) He knocked me out of the way.
Mrs. Spencer: That as a very brave to do.
Mr. Driscoll: I’m very sorry about that wall, Mrs. Spencer.
Mrs. Spencer: I’m not worried about that, now that Tina’s safe. (Pause) The newspapers are always full of things kids do that are bad, but you never hear about the good things, like this.
Mr. Driscoll: Well, the newspapers are going to hear about this act of bravery.
(He pets Peter’s head as he smiles. The scene fades out.)
(The next scene has Greg and Bobby in the backyard playing catch.)
Greg: Throw me some grounders, I need to practice them.
(Bobby throws him one but Greg misses it.)
Bobby: You sure do need to practice them.
(Peter rides home on his bike and they notice his clothes are torn.)
Greg: Hey, what happened to you?
Peter: What do you mean?
Greg: Look at your clothes.
(Peter notices some tears in his jacket.)
Peter: Yeah, I guessed they are kinda messed up, I saved a girl.
Greg (sarcastically): Sure, you saved a girl.
Peter: I did. A wall was going to fall on her in Driscoll’s toy store.
Bobby (incredulous): A wall?
Greg: Come on.
Peter: I shoved her out of the way just before she could’ve gotten killed.
Peter: Well, I did.
(Peter walks away while Greg and Bobby are still disbelieving.)
Greg: Man, the stories some kids tell.
(Inside, Peter is telling Carol and Mike about his heroic act. Only, they are more trusting.)
Carol: You mean you really saved her?
Peter: I guess so.
Mike: Hey, Peter, I’m proud of you.
Peter: Then you believe me?
Mike: Of course I believe you.
Carol: You wouldn’t make up a story like that, would you?
Peter: I might, but I didn’t.
Mike: Listen, that girl was very lucky you were around.
(The doorbell rings.)
Peter: I’ll get it.
(Earl Hopkins, a reporter for the Daily Chronicle, is at the door with a photographer.)
Hopkins: Hi, does Peter Brady live here?
Hopkins: May I see him?
Hopkins: Well, would you call him, please.
Peter: I’m him.
Hopkins: Oh, Peter, my name is… (Mike and Carol come to the door) Mr. Brady, Mrs. Brady.
Mike: Yes, can we help you?
Hopkins: We’re with the Daily Chronicle.
Carol: We’ve already subscribed to the Chronicle.
Hopkins: I’m not in sales, I’m a reporter. I’m Earl Hopkins and this is my photographer. We got a call from Driscoll’s toy store about an accident there, and our editor sent us over here to do a story about Peter.
Peter (excited): A story about me?
Hopkins: Well, according to the information we got, you’re a hero.
Peter: Me, a hero? Come on!
Carol: Would you come in, please.
Hopkins: Thank you. (He and the photographer follow them into the house.) Is it okay if he takes some shots of Peter?
Mike: Oh, sure.
Peter: You mean, my picture’s going to be in the paper?
Hopkins: That’s right.
Peter (excited): Wow!
(Later on, Peter is in his room doing homework when the girls come in to congratulate him.)
Marcia: What do you say to a hero?
Jan: I don’t know.
Cindy: Me either.
Jan (to Marcia): You say something first?
Marcia: Why me?
Jan: You’re the oldest.
Marcia: As the oldest, I’m telling you to do it.
Jan (to Cindy): And I’m telling you to do it.
Cindy: That’s not fair, I don’t have anyone to tell. (Jan pushes her over.) Peter.
Peter: Oh, hi.
Cindy: Jan has something she wants to tell you.
(Jan and Marcia come up to him.)
Jan: Hi, I, uh, Marcia has something she wants to say.
Marcia: Well, uh, we wanted to say we think what you did was a real neat thing.
Jan: You know, at the toy store.
Cindy: Saving the girl.
Marcia: And we wanted to tell you that, well, we’re glad that you’re our brother.
Jan: That’s right. If our mother married anyone else but your Dad, our brother wouldn’t be a hero.
(Marcia laughs and Peter smiles.)
Cindy: Our hero.
(Greg and Bobby come inside the house as Peter is walking down the stairs.)
Greg: We were just coming up to see you.
Peter: About what? My being a hero?
Bobby: Yeah, how did you know?
Peter: Everybody’s making a fuss about it, so I figured you were, too.
Greg: We’re sorry wee didn’t believe you this afternoon. we thought you were making it up.
Peter: It’s okay.
Bobby: You feel any different?
Peter: How do you mean?
Bobby: You know, being a hero?
Peter: How am I supposed to feel?
Bobby: I don’t know, you’re the hero.
Peter: It feels okay, I guess.
Greg: Were you scared?
Peter: It happened too fast. I didn’t have time to be scared.
Greg: Well, Pete, I’m proud of you.
(He punches him on the shoulder.)
Bobby: So am I.
(He does the same as Greg.)
Peter: It sure makes a guy feel funny, when his brothers are proud of him. (He smiles.)
(Peter is in the kitchen later on with Alice, who just made him a combination dessert. He’s sitting with his eyes clothes.)
Alice: Open them, now.
Peter (seeing the dessert): WOW!
Alice: You like it?
Peter: I love it. (Pause) What is it?
Alice: What’s your favorite dessert?
Peter: Strawberry shortcake.
Alice: What’s your next favorite?
Peter: Banana split.
Alice: And the one after that?
Peter: Hot fudge sundae.
Alice: Well, that’s what it is, a straw, split, fudge short.
Peter: Did you make it for me because I’m a hero?
Alice: That’s right.
Peter: Boy, if I knew that, I would have become a hero years ago.
Alice (laughing): What are you waiting for,? Dig in.
(Peter is just about finished with his dessert when Carol comes up to him.)
Carol: Strange how quiet it is around here tonight?
Peter: I’m quiet, because I’m stuffed. Alice made me a special surprise, a super duper dessert.
Carol: Well, there’s always a lot of whoop-de-do around celebrities.
Peter: Aw, you’re talking about astronauts and stuff.
Carol: No, I’m not, Peter, I’m talking about you. You know, for a mother who’s only had daughters until a short time ago, I can’t tell you how proud I am that you’re my son.
(She touches him on the cheek.)
Peter: And that’s what you came here for?
Carol: It sure is.
Peter: That’s the best part about being a hero, the good things people say about you.
(The next morning, Alice gets the paper from the front door. She finds Peter’s picture and story on the front page.)
Alice (excited): Leaping caterpillars! We got ourselves a real celebrity. (She takes the paper and runs inside.) Hey, hey everybody! Wait until you see this! Hey!
(She runs into the kitchen.)
Carol: Alice, what’s all the excitement?
Alice: Look on the front page!
Bobby (excited): What’s on the front page?
Carol: Peter! That’s a good picture of him, and the feature story, too.
Cindy: What does the story say?
Bobby: About Peter being a hero, don’t you know anything, dum-dum?
Carol: Bobby, don’t call your sister a dum-dum.
Bobby: Well, that’s what she is.
Cindy: You’re a dum-dum.
Alice: Kids, eat.
Carol: Well, I’ve got to show this to the rest of the family, Alice.
(She runs to the living room, where Greg, Marcia and Jan just came from upstairs.)
Marcia: What’s the rush?
Carol: The morning paper, look!
Jan: Hey, that’s Pete!
Marcia: Wow, a real live celebrity in our family!
Greg: He looks something like me.
Carol: Wait till I show this to Dad and Peter, oh, they’ll flip!
Greg: Maybe he’ll fly to the moon without a spaceship!
(Carol runs upstairs to show Mike and Peter.)
Carol: Mike, Mike, Mike!
Mike (coming out of his room): What is it, honey?
Carol: Peter’s picture and the story about him!
Mike: Hey, say, he looks something like his old man there.
Peter (coming from his room): What’s going on?
Carol: Look, Peter, you’re on the front page of the morning paper.
Mike: Yeah, how does it feel to be famous?
(Later on, Peter is in his room cutting out his picture and puts it in a scrapbook, as Jan and Marcia look on. Then he goes to look himself in the mirror and the girls laugh. Then he flexes his muscles like he’s a superhero.)
Marcia (whispering to Jan): He’s got to be kidding.
(Next, Bobby and Cindy are out in the backyard at the swing set.)
Cindy (to Bobby): Where’s Peter? I thought he was going to play with us.
Bobby: He’s too busy giving orders.
Bobby: Yeah, from now on, I put the garbage out at night instead of him.
Cindy: How come?
Bobby: He doesn’t think heroes should take the garbage out.
(Peter is in the backyard later with his friends. He exaggerates the story his heroic deed.)
Peter: There I was, all by myself. Suddenly, I felt something was going to happen. I’m one of these people that can sense when there’s danger. There was this little girl climbing up the shelves. Then I saw this huge part of the store start to wobble, big enough to crush a car, maybe even a tank.
(Greg and Marcia come by.)
Marcia (to Greg): Yesterday it was one wall.
Peter: I knew if I didn’t do something, the little girl might get killed. I knew if I did do something, I might get killed. But it was a chance I have to take. First, I shouted out warning, then timing it to the split second, I raced toward her, just as everything began to fall.
(Inside, Carol talks to Greg and Marcia.)
Carol: Where’s Peter?
Greg: He’s out in the yard with some of his friends.
Carol: Would you guys do me a favor?
Marcia: What is it?
Carol: Mrs. Spencer, the little girl’s mother called, and she wants to show her appreciation by buying Peter something at Driscoll’s. So, would you mind taking Peter over there, because I have to take Cindy to the dentist.
Greg: Okay, Mom.
Marcia: I don’t know if he’ll wanna go right now. He’s in the middle of telling his friends what a big hero he is.
Carol: That sounded a little sarcastic.
Marcia: I’m sorry, Mom, but okay, he saved her. Does he have to talk about it all the time?
Carol: Well, you gotta admit you were both pretty impressed by that story in the paper.
Greg: Impressed is one thing, but Peter…
Carol: Do you think it’s going to his head?
Greg: Not going, went.
(The scene fades out.)
(In the next scene, Peter is at the toy shop with Mrs. Spencer, along with Greg and Marcia.)
Mrs. Spencer: It’s okay to say thanks, Peter. But I really want to show my gratitude. You saved Tina’s life. Anything you want, anything in this store, name it, and it’s yours.
Peter: Gee, Mrs. Spencer, you don’t have to buy me anything.
Mrs. Spencer: Your mother told you to say that, right?
Marcia (to Greg): That’s what Mom told him.
Greg: Watch the big shot get out of it.
Mrs. Spencer: But you would like something, right?
Peter: My mom said it wasn’t necessary.
Mrs. Spencer: Of course it isn’t necessary, but it’s something I want to do.
Peter: I guess it’ll be all right then.
Mrs. Spencer: Good.
Mrs. Spencer: Now that we got that settled, anything you want, point it out and it’s yours. (She walks over to examine some toys) How about this punching bag, would you like that?
Peter: I’d like a model airplane.
Mrs. Spencer: You can have that too. I’m gonna buy you everything you want.
Peter: Everything I want?
Mrs. Spencer: Right, Mr. Driscoll, get your order pad ready.
Mr. Driscoll: Yes ma’am
(Later on, Greg is in the den hiding from Peter. Jan and Marcia come in to join him.)
Jan: Greg, we’ve been looking all over for you.
Greg: I’m just trying to keep out of the hero’s way.
Marcia: He’s beginning to get to us, too.
Jan: Yeah, what are we gonna do about him?
Greg: Ignore him till he grows out of it.
Jan: That may take 20 or 30 years.
Marcia: He’s way past Alexander the great. He’s Peter the perfect.
(Mike comes in and clears his throat for their attention.)
Mike: Using my off-limits sanctuary for a little family huddle, huh.
Greg: Well, there’s not so much confetti, brass bands or applause in here.
Mike (sternly): Yes, I get the point, Greg. Now listen, don’t worry about Peter. He’s having his first go-around with self-importance, he’s an average normal kid.
Greg: Maybe Dad, but to us he’s an average normal pain in the neck.
(Marcia and Jan nod.)
(Next, Alice goes to answer the door and it’s a delivery man, who’s there to drop off the toys Mrs. Spencer bought for Peter.)
Man: Peter Brady?
Alice: Either you better get your eyes checked or I better get to a beauty parlor.
Man: Well, does he live here? Because I got a delivery for him from Driscoll’s toy store.
Alice: Yes, this is the place. Bring it in. (The man brings in a punching bag.) Oh, so Peter finally got tired of using Bobby.
Man: Listen, my assistant’s off today, and I’ve got an awful lot of stuff outside. Would you give me a hand, sweetheart?
Alice: Yeah, I guess so, as long as your union doesn’t find out. (She takes a couple of boxes in.) Hey, you weren’t kidding. is all this stuff for Peter Brady?
Man: That’s right.
Man: Thanks, cutie.
Alice: You’re welcome. (She examines a box.) What’s in this one?
Man: No idea.
Alice (shaking the box): Well, whatever it is, it sounds unassembled. You know, last Christmas I got a present from my uncle Charlie that was unassembled, and it couldn’t be put together. By the time I got through with the manager of the store that sent it, he was unassembled.
Man: Good for you, gorgeous. There are bigger boxes outside, should we put them in the yard?
Alice: Mister, you keep calling me sweetie, cutie and gorgeous, and I’ll follow you anywhere.
(Mike and Carol arrive home later and discover the toys taking up space in the yard.)
Carol: Well, it looks like somebody delivered us a toy shop.
Mike: Driscoll’s toy shop.
Carol: Well, if he’s gonna take out a branch here, he ought to ask for a permit.
Mike: I suspect the person we should talk to isn’t Mr. Driscoll.
(Later on, Mike and Carol are in the den talking to Peter.)
Mike: Peter, your mother and I think it’s time we exercised a little parental authority.
Carol: Or at least give you a little guidance.
Peter: Okay, go ahead, what are you really trying to say to me?
Mike: Well first, you can keep one of the gifts, but the rest are going to go back.
Peter: But Mrs. Spencer wanted me to have them Dad, she told me to pick out whatever I wanted.
Carol: Mrs. Spencer was being very generous, but that’s not the point.
Mike: You didn’t have to accept everything, Peter.
Carol: We’re not trying to take away from what you did. Saving Tina was a wonderful thing, but you didn’t do it because you expected Mrs. Spencer to give you lots of gifts, did you?
Mike: Then can’t you see that asking for everything insight was wrong?
Peter: There were some things I didn’t take.
Alice (coming in): Excuse me, but Mr. Hopkins and that photographer are here to see Peter.
Mike: We’ll be right there, Alice.
Peter: Maybe they want to do another story about me.
Carol: Just a moment, Peter. We don’t want you to be disappointed. You know, people don’t remember heroes very long.
Peter: Sure they do, look at uh, look at uh, look at George Washington.
Mike: You see that, you had to go back 200 years to find one.
Carol: We just don’t want you to be disappointed.
(Mike, Carol and Peter go out to the living room to see Mr. Hopkins.)
Hopkins: Hi there, I hope we didn’t take you away from anything.
Mike: No, no, not at all.
Hopkins: As subscribers to the Chronicle, you may be aware every month our paper gives an award to some outstanding deserving citizen. And Peter, you have been named our current hero of the month.
(He hands Peter a plaque with his name on it.)
Carol: That’s wonderful, Peter.
Peter: Along with the award is this check for $50.
(The photographer takes a picture of Peter as Mr. Hopkins hands him the check.)
Peter: $50, wow! And thanks!
Hopkins: Our pleasure, Peter. See you later.
(He and the photographer leave.)
Carol: Thank you.
Peter: Mom, Dad, can I do whatever I want with this money?
Mike: Yes, like putting it in the bank.
Peter: No, I mean like having a party with it.
Carol: What kind of a party?
Peter: A swell one, and you don’t have to do nothing.
Peter: I’ll make all the arrangements, okay?
Carol: Well, I don’t see any reason why not, after all, it is your money, Peter.
Mike: Well, I guess I’m outvoted 2 to 1. Who are you going to invite?
Peter: All my friends. Boy, is this ever gonna be a great party. (He runs upstairs to show his check and award to the others) Look what I got, look, you guys, look what I got. Look what I got, you guys. (He comes into the girls’ room) Guess what.
Cindy: I have to take over your paper route.
Peter: No, I’m gonna have a party, tomorrow after school, and you’re all invited.
Jan: Who’s the party for?
Peter: Me. (He then goes into the boys’ room) You guys are both invited to my party tomorrow afternoon. (Greg and Bobby look at each other with disbelief.)
(Peter gets on the phone with some of his friends.)
Peter: Hi Steve, I’d like you to come to a party. Tomorrow after school.
Steve: Who’s the party for?
Steve: Who’s giving it?
Peter: I just wanted to have a party, I’m using the money I got for being a hero.
Steve (hesitant): Well, I’ll try to come, but I’m not sure.
Peter: I know you wouldn’t wanna miss it Steve. I’ll see you here tomorrow.
(Next, he’s on the phone with his friend, Jenny.)
Jenny: Gee, Peter, I’d like yo come, but I think I promised to visit my grandma.
Peter; What time?
Jenny: Well, uh, what time is the party?
Jenny; Well, uh, I think that’s the time I promised to visit my grandma.
Peter: That’s too bad. It’s gonna be a great party. Maybe you can come by after.
Jenny: Well, uh, I don’t know.
Peter: See you tomorrow, Jenny, Bye.
(Next, Peter has his friend Jason on the line.)
Jason: Tomorrow after school
Peter: Yeah, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Jason: hold on a second while I ask my mom. (He sits there and whistles) Sorry Peter, but I got to take a piano lesson.
Peter: I didn’t know you played the piano.
Jason: I don’t, that’s why I need lessons.
Peter: Well, try to make it anyway, Jason. Okay, bye.
(Greg and Marcia are in the family room complaining to Mike and Carol about Peter, and their unwillingness to attend the party.)
Marcia: I can speak for the girls, and none of us wanna go to this party of Peter’s tomorrow.
Greg: And I can speak for the boys, ditto.
Marcia: We’re tired of him being the hero.
Greg: All the ice cream and cake in the world won’t make his story worth listening to again.
Mike: All right, I understand how you feel, it has gone to his head a little.
Marcia: A little?
Greg: Frankenstein never built a monster like the one we built.
Carol: Kids, try to understand, craze is very hard for people to handle, especially an 11 year old boy like Peter.
Marcia: That may be, but we still don’t want to go to his stupid party.
Greg: And listen to that hero drivel any longer.
(Peter comes in.)
Peter: All right, if you don’t want to come to my party, you don’t have to come. I’ve invited a lot other friends, anyway, and it’s gonna be a real swell party whether any of my brothers or sisters are there or not! (He storms out.)
(The next day, Peter is the only guest at his party. He looks at his watch and notices it’s been an hour since the party’s scheduled start. He hears a car horn passing by and mistakes it for the doorbell. He runs to get it but there’s no one out there. He stares at the table, where all his party goods are. Meanwhile, Carol takes a pizza out of the over while discussing the matter with Alice and Mike.)
Carol: Peter’s been wrong, quite wrong. But I still think t’s a shame nobody’s showing up.
Mike: Oh, I’m not so sure, Carol. There are things that are almost impossible to teach kids. Occasionally it’s better if they have to learn for themselves.
Alice: $50 worth of pizza and soda pop.
Carol: Well, I gave the go-ahead for the party, and now I realize I shouldn’t have.
Mike: No, Carol; you gave the go-ahead for Peter learning his lesson. Sometimes that’s a parent’s job.
Carol: Well, I still think it’s a shame.
(Peter comes in the kitchen.)
Peter: I’ll be in my room, if anyone wants me.
Carol: Peter, someone will show up, they’re just late.
Peter: Everybody, an hour? Boy, a guy can sure get messed up patting himself on the back.
(The next scene has Peter in his room, feeling sorry for himself.)
Carol (coming in to see him): Peter.
Peter: Yeah, Mom.
Carol: Don’t sit up here alone. Come on downstairs.
Peter: I’d rather stay here, if you don’t mind.
Carol: Peter, please, we have something special for you.
Peter: Okay, but please don’t ever use the word special about me ever again.
(Peter and Carol head to the staircase. Peter sees his siblings, as well as Mrs. Spencer and Tina. They are all downstairs waiting for him at the table.)
Kids: Surprise, hooray for the hero. Yay.
(He walks downstairs to join them, while Greg shakes his hand and the scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Peter back in room, pondering about his ways. Mike and Carol come in to see him.)
Mike: Driscoll’s picked up those toys you sent back, Peter.
Carol: That was a very nice gesture on your part.
Peter: It would have nicer if I hadn’t taken him in the first place, like you said.
Mike: Yeah, well you did and (He smacks his butt) You learned a lesson. Sorry it had to be hard but, you know, that’s life.
Carol: We’re very proud of you.
Peter: You know, maybe it was a good thing that nobody came to my party.
Carol: A good thing?
Peter: That’s right, Mom. If everyone had come that I invited, I might have gone on for years being a real little stinker.
(Carol hugs him and Mike laughs.)