To Move or Not To Move
Written by Paul West
The Bradys decide to sell their house in favor of buying a bigger one. Let’s see how that turns out . Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
BERT GROSSMAN, real estate agent
MRS. HUNSAKER, Mr. Grossman’s client
(The episode begins with the sound of rock n’ roll music. It is coming from the girls’ room, where Marcia is getting ready for bed. Greg knocks on the door to her room, but she can’t hear because of the loud volume. after a few more knocks, Greg angrily storms in and Marcia screams.)
Marcia: Why don’t you knock before you come in!
Greg: I almost knocked the door down, you’re playing your records so loud, you’re knocking the plaster off the walls!
(They continue shouting at each other until Carol comes in.)
Carol (turning the music off): All right, all right, what happened up here?
Marcia: He came into this room when I was dressing! He didn’t even knock or anything, he just barged in!
Greg: I did so knock, I pounded on the door!
Carol: What did you want?
Greg: To get into the bathroom.
Carol: Through the girls’ room?
Greg: The other door is locked. They always forget and leave it locked on the inside.
Marcia: So do you guys, and then we can’t get in.
Greg: And those girls are always in the bathroom.
Marcia: There are three of us.
Greg: Well, there are three of us too, and they use our closets.
Marcia: Girls have more clothes.
Carol: Kids, please.
Greg: Mom, we need a bigger house.
Marcia: With another bathroom.
(Carol gives a puzzled look as the scene fades out.)
(The next scene has Carol downstairs in the living room with Mike. She tries to discuss the issue with him, but Mike is too preoccupied with some fireplace hardware to take the matter seriously.)
Carol: Well, I think the kids have a point, darling. I mean, after all, you have added a wife and three kids and you still have the same number of rooms.
Mike: I think these threads are worn.
Carol: There are six kids and two bedrooms.
Mike: You know, I may have to have this thing rethreaded.
Carol; And one bathroom.
Mike: I paid a lot of money for these, too.
Carol: Mike, you are not listening to me.
Mike: Oh, of course I’m listening honey, I’m a man of many talents. I can fix andirons and listen to wives at the same time.
Carol: Then what do you think about a bigger house?
Mike: Carol, we talked about this before, and I know we have a problem. But we’ve even looked at other houses and we could never find one that we can agree on or afford. And I think, until we do, we just can’t make a change. We absolutely can’t.
(Meanwhile, upstairs, the bathroom door is locked and Greg and the boys need to get in there.)
Greg: Okay, locked again. (He knocks loudly) Will you please unlock this door? (He knocks angrily some more, then turns to his brothers.) You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna break this door down.
Peter: Dad’ll kill you.
Greg: That’ll still leave five kids and give you a little extra room. (He knocks again) Marcia, will you unlock this door?
Jan: It’s not Marcia, it’s Jan and I’m doing my hair.
Greg (to the guys): Doing her hair? (to Jan) To go to bed? There are three men out here waiting to brush their teeth! (He knocks some more) Open up, open up right now!
Jan: No, Greg, no, just stay out of here!
(Carol and Mike hear it from downstairs.)
Carol: The larger house we haven’t found or can’t afford, did you say absolutely?
Mike: Yes, absolutely. But not positively. (He laughs)
(The next scene has Carol in the kitchen talking to Alice about the prospect of moving.)
Carol: Well, Alice, the kids do need more bedrooms, and we do need another bathroom.
Alice: The old McIntyre house up on the hills has lots of rooms. It’s old but can be fixed up. It’s been for sale for years.
Carol: I wonder why they’ve never been able to sell that house.
Alice: The same reason the McIntyres moved out, it’s haunted.
Carol: Haunted? Oh, Alice.
Alice: I knew the cook, he said a lot of weird things went on up there. Voices in the night, chains rattling, lights going off and on.
Carol: Now, Alice, surely you don’t believe that nonsense.
Alice: The cook did, left the McIntyres flat.
Carol: And you know as well as I do that there are no such things as ghosts.
Alice: Maybe not, but they were never able to explain those voices. Eerie voices, calling, calling, calling.
Mike (shouting): Carol!
Carol: I do wish he wouldn’t do that. (She comes out to the living room) Oh, honey, you scared me. (She gives him a big hug) Oh, I’m glad you’re home.
Mike: Hey, you’re gonna be even gladder when you hear the news. You remember that old house in Woodley Hills, that we had our eye on but hasn’t been on sale?
Carol: The green one with the gables?
Mike: No, the white one with the shutters.
Carol: Oh, that one. yeah, I loved it.
Mike: Yeah, it came on the market. I made an offer this afternoon.
Carol: Oh, who’s going to dig the tunnel into the mint?
Mike: The financing’s all figured out.
Carol: Well, thank goodness we don’t have to knock off your grandfather.
Mike: No, honey, listen, it really isn’t that much. Property values have gone up so much, we ought to make it up in the profit off of this one, see. I talked to Bert Grossman, the real estate broker. He says no problem.
Carol: You, you’re serious about this. I mean…
Carol: This is for real?
Mike: Cross my heart and hope to make the payments. Bert’s coming over tonight to sign some papers about listing this house “For Sale”.
(The next scene has him talking to the kids.)
Mike: And besides the extra room in the other house, it’s gonna be a very exciting experience, because you’re going to be making new friends, you’re going to go to a new school and you’re gonna be closer to the park.
Carol: The real estate man is coming to look at this house tonight, so you better have your rooms picked up.
Mike: Yeah, okay, so what do you say? New home for the Brady bunch, okay?
(All the kids cheer.)
(Next, the girls are in their room discussing the process of moving.)
Jan (to Marcia): Do you think they’ll sell this house right away?
Marcia: Sure, it’s a real nice house.
Jan: It gives me a funny feeling, to think of someone else in our room. Even thought it hasn’t been our room very long.
Marcia: It does sort of, I wonder if it’ll miss us.
Cindy: I feel sorry for it.
Marcia: Don’t, some nice girls will move in.
Cindy: What if it’s a mean old man.
(Cut to the boys’ room, where they are discussing the same situation.)
Bobby: I wonder what it will be like living in the new house.
Peter: That’s a dumb question.
Bobby: Well, we never lived any place else but here.
Greg: It’ll be just like this, only better ’cause there’s more rooms.
Peter: We’ve had some fun times in this house.
Greg: Yeah. (Pause) Hey, Pete, remember the night you ran into the bathroom door and they had to take four stitches on your nose?
Peter: Yeah, and the dent’s still in the door.
Greg: And the time Bobby tried to climb up the television lead in.
Bobby: Yeah, and the antenna came down and hit me right on the head.
Peter: You had a bump on your head for three weeks.
Greg: What about the time I fell off the garage roof.
Peter: Right through the top of Dad’s new convertible.
Greg: I busted three ribs on the gearshift handle.
Peter: Oh, boy.
Greg: Yeah. (laying back ) We’ve had some good times in this house.
(Cut back to the girls’ room.)
Jan: It’s going to be kind of lonesome without the boys.
Cindy: Nobody to talk to.
Marcia: Nobody to fight with, nobody even to pound on the bathroom door.
Jan: if you never had three brothers before, you’d probably miss them more when you don’t have them than if you had three brothers before.
Cindy: She means we’ll feel like orphans.
Marcia: Orphans don’t have mothers and fathers, not brothers.
Cindy: Then what are you when you don’t have brothers?
(Cut back to the boys’ room.)
Peter (to Greg): You know something? I really like this house better than the other one.
Greg: We haven’t even seen the new one yet. Dad says he’s gonna have it renovated.
Bobby: I won’t live in a house that’s renovated.
Greg: You don’t even know what the word means.
Bobby: I don’t care, I like it here.
Peter: So do I.
Greg: it’s unanimous.
Bobby: Good, I know what unanimous means even if I can’t pronounce it too good.
(Next, Mr. Grossman, the real estate agent, comes to discuss the deal with Mike and Carol.)
Carol (hearing the doorbell): Alice, that’s Mr. Grossman, the real estate broker. now, when he comes through, try to look happy. (Alice gives a fake happy look) Happy, not hysterical. (The bell rings again and Carol and Mike go to answer it) Honey, does the house smell like cabbage to you?
Mike: No, honey, the house smells fine, looks great. (They answer the door) Hi, Bert, come on in.
Grossman (shaking Mike’s hand): Hello, Mike, nice to see you.
Mike: You remember my wife, Carol?
Grossman: Why, sure, nice to see you again. (He walks into the living room) Oh, say, this is a beautiful room, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: Thanks, I’m afraid we’re really going to miss it… everything.
Grossman: Well, the other house is nice, too, with a lot more space.
Carol: I know, Mike’s taken me through it.
Mike: Yeah, half a dozen times. No, it’ll be fine.
Grossman: What about this house? Have you talked it over? Shall I find a buyer?
Carol: Yeah, guess so.
Mike: Yeah, we’re ready to sell, Bert.
(The kids look on from upstairs, albeit sadly.)
(Next, Carol is in the kitchen telling Alice about the new house.)
Carol: And in the other house, the kitchen is bigger and yellow, bright yellow.
Alice: How depressing.
Carol: Yellow, depressing?
Alice: This whole thing kind of depresses me, Mrs. Brady. I got my routine all worked out here. I don’t know if I’ll be able to function someplace else.
Carol: But, Alice, you will function, won’t you? I mean, just because we’re leaving, you’re not gonna leave.
Alice: Me, leave the Brady family? You couldn’t get rid of me if you tried. I’m a 120 pound boomerang.
Carol: 120 pounds?
Alice: More or less. I’m going to take some cookies in to Mr. Brady, before the kids get a radar fix on them and it’s good-bye Charlie.
Carol: That’s very thoughtful of you, Alice, but Mr. Brady isn’t home tonight. Remember?
Alice: Come to think of it, there was an empty place at the dinner table.
Carol: You know, he has meetings in town almost every night this week. (She and Alice hear a scary moan) What was that?
Alice: It sounded like a cow died in the driveway. (They hear the noise again) Now it sounds human. Like somebody in agony.
Carol: Alice, that doesn’t sound human.
Alice: Oh no, inhuman.
Carol: Alice, that’s not what I meant. Greg’s in the next room, I’m going to ask him if he heard something.
Alice: Mrs. Brady, you forgot the good-bye Charlies.
(They head into the family room, where Greg is watching television. Carol turns it off.)
Greg: Hey, what gives?
Carol: Greg, Alice and I were just talking in the kitchen.
Alice: We sure were.
Carol: And we heard something.
Alice: We sure did.
Carol: It was something like a moan.
Alice: It sure was.
Carol: Did you hear anything?
Greg: Nope, I was watching TV.
Alice: That’s why he didn’t hear it, Mrs. Brady. That inhuman moaning.
Carol: Alice, will you stop that?
(They hear it again.)
Alice: That’s the inhuman moan.
Greg: That’s Tiger howling at the moon.
Carol (sitting down): Well, thank goodness we still have a man around the house.
(They make one more noise as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has Bobby and Cindy running down the stairs scared out of their minds. They’re screaming Mommy and run up to Carol.)
Cindy: That terrible noise woke us up.
Bobby: What do you suppose it was?
(They hear the sound of a door creaking loudly.)
Alice: Or is?
Carol: Well, sometimes a loose board will make a house creak.
Cindy: You sound just like Daddy.
(They hear the same caking noise accompanied by a loud bang.)
Carol (groping for an answer): It’s, it’s probably the wind, b-banging against the shutters.
Alice: That be a good guess, Mrs. Brady, if there was a wind or we had shutters.
(The scene fades out.)
(The next scene has Carol, Mike and Alice in the kitchen.)
Mike: Hey, nice and steady, Alice? Mrs. Brady told me how upset you were last night.
Alice: When I finally got to sleep, I slept like a rock. A frightened rock. Before I got to sleep, did you hear that strange creaking?
Carol: I certainly did, Alice. Mike, there’s got to be some explanation for all these strange sounds.
Mike: I didn’t hear any strange sounds.
Carol: Yeah, you got home after they stopped.
Alice: Well, there is an explanation, all right. The ghost in the McIntyre house has got tired of living alone, and moved in where there is more action.
Mike: Alice, even if you’re joking, that’s absurd.
Alice: Well if I’m not joking, it’s not absurd. You should have heard those kids this morning before they left for school. They were scared as I was.
Mike: Every house settles a little bit, especially after the rainy season. These odd little noises you heard are probably just that.
Alice: You and I certainly have a different opinion of what are odd little noises, Mr. Brady.
Carol: Mike, when a house is settling, does it kind of, uh, uh, moan and rattle?
Mike: Moan and rattle? Well, every house has a distinctive way of settling honey, yeah.
Alice: All I got to say is I sure hope our new house is settled before we finally get there. (She takes something out of the oven and the lights in there blink) Oh, no.
Mike and Carol: Now what?
Alice: The the light in the oven, it’s blinking something in Morse code. I’ll I’ll bet the word is trouble.
Mike: I’ll bet the word’s defective switch. I’ll check it later.
Alice: How about sooner? There’s something about an oven winking at me that gives me the creeps. (She closes it) Mr. Brady, I sure wish you were going to be here tonight to hear some of those strange little noises for yourself.
Mike: I wish I was, too, but it’s simpler to meet these new clients downtown.
Carol: Well, listen, my friend, if we hear any more of those strange noises, you are going to get an emergency phone call.
(The next scene has Alice watching television in the family room with the kids. Bobby gets up to turn it off.)
Bobby: Boy, did that sheriff have guts.
Alice: Yeah, most sheriffs do.
Bobby: You really got to have them to live around here anymore.
Cindy: All those icky noises.
(They hear a loud bang.)
Jan: That wasn’t an icky noise, that was a crash.
(They hear the same noise again.)
Peter: And that was another.
Alice: Peter, go out on the patio and have a look around and see what happened.
Alice: Yeah, you’re one of the men in this family.
Peter: I’m only the middle boy.
Alice: Okay, I’ll go look.
Peter: Not alone, Alice, I’ll go with you.
Alice: At a boy.
(Alice turns the television back on as she and Peter head outside. Carol comes in.)
Carol: I thought Alice was in here with you.
Jan: She’s out on the patio, with Peter.
Bobby: There was a terrible noise outside, Mom.
Cindy: It sounded like a knight in shining armor fell down.
(Carol goes outside to join them.)
Carol: Alice. (Alice turns around frightened.) Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. Is that McIntyre banshee on the loose again?
Peter: There’s something out here, Mom.
Alice: Three very definite crashes.
(Greg and Marcia come over.)
Greg: I’ll say there were.
Marcia: Greg was helping me with that flat tire on my bike when we heard them.
Carol: Maybe Tiger’s wrestling with those garbage cans again.
Greg: No, it can’t be. Tiger’s sleeping in the house tonight.
Carol: In the house, why?
Marcia: He was getting spooked by those funny noises.
Alice: Just like everyone else.
Peter: After all, he’s only human.
(Another crashing sound occurs and they all yell four.)
Carol: I think we’d better take another look around.
Alice (afraid): All of us?
Carol: There’s safety in numbers. Come on, Alice.
(They all start looking around the outside of the house.)
Carol: Listen, I think the only thing out here are four very vivid imaginations.
Peter: With good ears.
Alice: Remember what you told Mr. Brady, if we heard any strange sounds tonight, he was going to get an emergency call?
Carol: Alice, you have just read my mind.
(The next scene has Mike in the office on the phone with Carol.)
Mike: Darling, I told you there is no possible way that I can keep the house from settling. No, honey, look, just relax, now, my client is a little late but I’ll be home as soon as I can.
Carol (from the house): Okay, honey.
Mike: Okay, good-bye.
(He hangs up.)
Alice: What did he say?
Carol: He said for us to relax. now, Alice, you go on to bed. You were up late last night, and besides, all the kids are tucked in.
Alice: Well, what about you?
Carol: Well, I’ll just ghost sit until Mr. Brady comes home.
Alice: Well, I’ll keep you company.
Carol (laughing): Alice, I’m a big girl and I’m well able to take care of myself. Now, you go on to bed. Scram, get some shut-eye, shoo. (As Alice gets up, they hear another sound of the house settling.) Well, it looks like, here we go again.
Alice: If this house is settling like Mr. Brady says, it is certainly settling for a long stay.
(The next day, Mr. Grossman returns to further discuss the deal with Mike and Carol.)
Mike (hearing the bell ring): I’ll get it, honey. (He answers the door for Mr. Grossman.) Hi Bert, come on in. (He shakes his hand.) What’s the good word?
Grossman: Well, the good word is good, I may have a buyer for you.
Mike: Hey, make any difference to him if the house moans and groans and creeks, and has unexplained slamming doors?
Grossman: Do yo mean to tell me that this house you built and bragged about for so long is beginning to shiver its timbers?
Mike: No, no, all highly exaggerated, Bert. The family thinks its haunted.
Grossman (sarcastically): That’s marvelous.
Mike: Oh, don’t worry about it. Listen, when the man of the house is gone, as I have been for the last few evenings, I’ll tell you, two women and six kids can hear every noise in the world that ever existed.
Grossman: Oh, I am relieved. I mean, haunted houses just aren’t selling well these days.
Mike: Bert, the only thing haunting this house is the last rainy season.
Grossman: You mean it leaks?
Mike: No, no, it’s just settling a little. You know, creaking, like every other house in the neighborhood. Bert, there’s not a crack in this plaster.
Grossman: Well, that’s good, because my one client, Mrs. Hunsaker, who liked the house from the outside, would like to drop by this evening and take a look at the inside. And I’d like them both to be together when she sees them.
Mike: Don’t worry, Bert, they will be.
Grossman: Good, well, I’ll be back with her then about 8:00.
Mike: Well, I’ll try to be here then too, this is the last evening I have to work downtown for a while, but Carol will be here, of course.
Grossman: All right, well, I’ll see you then.
Mike: Okey doke. (He sees him out.) Bye, Bert.
(Peter is at the top of the stairs listening in. All the kids meet in the boys’ room, with Greg instructing them how to further rig the house to scare away the potential buyer.)
Greg: All right, now you’ve all heard Peter’s report. Tonight is going to be the night. Mr. Grossman will be here with his client at 8:00. I’ll handle the tape recorder and play the tape with the unexplained noises. Peter, you’re in charge of white sheets and ghostly appearances. (Peter nods in agreement.) Jan, you’re on slamming doors and windows. Marcia, outside crashes. (Marcia nods.)
Bobby: What about me and Cindy?
Greg: You did a great job of acting scared last night with Mom and Alice. Report to Peter for spectral duty.
Cindy: What does that mean?
Greg: Peter will explain it to you.
Peter: If you explain it to me.
Greg: Ghosts, ghosts!
Marcia: Do you really think we should do it anymore. I mean, Mom and Dad really want to sell the house now.
Greg: And it’s because of us, isn’t it?
Jan: And we’re still us, aren’t we?
(Next, Mr. Grossman is at the house with Carol. They are showing his client. Mrs. Hunsaker, around the house.)
Mrs. Hunsaker: My, it is attractive, isn’t it.
Grossman: A quality house all the way through, Mrs. Hunsaker.
Mrs. Hunsaker: Yes, I can see that. Oh, I love that staircase, and there’s a marvelous place for my grand piano. Of course, I’ll want Mr. Hunsaker to… (They hear another scary moan.) What in the world was that?
Grossman: Oh, maybe some wind through the willow grove.
(There is another crashing sound. Alice is in her room in her robe, doing up her hair and sporting a frightened look.)
Mrs. Hunsaker: That was no wind through a willow grove.
Grossman: Would you believe steeple chimes?
Carol (jokingly): Well, at least you’ll always be able to tell what time it is.
(Alice is in her room and hears another creepy moan, as well as repeated clinking and crashing. She screams and runs out.)
Mrs. Hunsaker: Explain that, Mr. Grossman.
Grossman: All houses settle a little, Mrs. Hunsaker.
Carol: You know, my husband, Mr. Brady, is an architect, and he’s always telling me that houses do settle just a little bit.
(Meanwhile, Alice gets a anti-witchcraft charm and makes a wish.)
Alice: Now look, ghost be gone anti-witchcraft charm, if you ever worked, work now.
(Mike comes in.)
Carol: Oh, Mike, thank goodness you’re home. Mr. Hunsaker, this is my husband, Mr. Brady.
Mike (shaking her hand): Mrs. Hunsaker, hi, Bert. (to Mrs. Hunsaker) Well, have you had the royal tour.
Mrs. Hunsaker: Well, I haven’t seen, but heard, Mr. Brady.
(Alice sees Bobby and Cindy dressed as ghosts and screams in fright.)
Mrs. Hunsaker: That was no house settling.
(She starts to leave.)
Mike: Believe me, Mrs. Hunsaker, there’s a rational explanation for all these noises you apparently heard this evening.
Carol: There is? Oh, yes, there is.
Mike: That sounded like Alice, our housekeeper. She probably saw a, a, a mouse or something.
Grossman: Not a mouse, Mr. Brady. There are no mice in this house, Mrs. Hunsaker.
(Bobby and Cindy come out in their sheets still over them.)
Mike: Excuse me while I catch some ghosts. (He goes up to them and pulls the sheets off them.) Just a second.
Bobby: Hi, Dad.
Cindy: Hi, Mom.
Mike: Well, I might have known.
Mrs. Hunsaker: I must say, you people celebrate Halloween at a strange time of year.
Mike: Mrs. Hunsaker, Mr. Grossman, these are our two youngest ghosts, Cindy and Bobby.
Carol: What are you two doing?
Mike: Listen, what’s behind all this?
Greg (coming out): I guess I’m the head ghost leader.
Carol: Mrs. Hunsaker, this is our oldest son, Greg.
Mike: Who has a little explaining to do.
Greg: You’re not gonna like it.
Mike: That’s right, I’m not, explain anyway.
Greg: When we found out haunted houses weren’t selling so good, we decided to haunt this one.
Mrs. Hunsaker: To, uh, frighten off prospective buyers?
Greg: Yes, ma’am.
Grossman: Well of all the…
Mrs. Hunsaker: No, I think it’s lovely and very touching that children who love their home so much, they’d go to such lengths to protect it.
Carol: You’re very understanding, Mrs. Hunsaker.
Mrs. Hunsaker: Oh, my dear, I raised my own family. Mr. Grossman, I strongly suspect this house is no longer for sale.
Mike: Did you hear that, all you other ghosts? This house is no longer for sale.
(All the other kids cheer but it comes to a halt by a question from Mike.)
Mike: Who put the holes in the sheets?
(The scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Carol coming into Mike’s den with a drink.)
Mike: Oh, num num.
Carol: It certainly is quiet and peaceful now, isn’t it.
Mike: Nothing like putting six spooks to bed to calm a place down. Hey, I just talked to Bert Grossman. You know he took Mrs. Hunsaker over to the other house after they left here. They’re going back tomorrow with her husband. She loves it.
Carol: Oh, honey, that’s great. I’m glad everything worked out so well.
Mike: Those kids…
Carol: Can you imagine them going to all that trouble, haunting the house?
Mike: They had you going there for a while, honey.
Carol: Oh, they did not. Oh, Mike, don’t be silly.
Mike: Yeah, they did. Come on.
Carol: You know I don’t believe in witches and ghosts and all that nonsense.
(They suddenly hear another creaking sound.)
Mike: What was that?
Carol: I didn’t hear a thing. (They hear the sound again) There, I didn’t hear a thing again.
Mike: Don’t worry, honey. That was the house settling.