Call Me Irresponsible
Written by Bruce Howard
Greg gets his first job working at Mike’s architectural firm in a quest to have enough money to buy a car for his 16th birthday, which is 13 months away. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
RANDI PETERSON, Greg’s girlfriend
MR. PETERSON, Randi’s father
MR. PHILLIPS, Mike’s boss
MAN AT NEWSSTAND
RANDI’S DRAMA COACH
MECHANIC AT GARAGE
(The episode begins with Greg going down the stairs to talk to Mike and Carol about something. He knocks on the door to Mike’s den.)
Greg: Hey, Dad.
Mike: Yeah, Greg.
Greg: Am I, uh, am I disturbing you?
Mike: No. (He puts his drafting tools down) These could use a rest. What’s on your mind, son?
Greg: I’ve, I’ve got something I’d like to talk to you about.
Mike: Shoot, what is it?
Greg: Well, I think Mom ought to hear it too.
Mike: It sounds important.
Greg: It is. It really is.
Mike: Okay. (He gets up and goes to the window) Carol!
Carol: Yes, Mike.
Mike: If you’re free, could you come in here for a second?
Carol: I’ll be right there, just two minutes.
Mike (to Greg); You, uh, you wanna sit down?
Greg: No, I think I’d rather stand.
Mike: That serious, is it?
Greg: This could be the most important thing I’ve ever had to say.
Mike: Maybe I better sit down.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Greg discussing the matter with Mike and Carol. Greg shuts the door while Mike and Carol are sitting down.)
Mike: Greg, come on, what’s the problem?
Greg: I hope you both noticed I haven’t been getting any younger in the last year or so.
Mike: Yes, we have noticed that.
Carol: Especially in the last year or so.
Greg: Good, because I started to think about my future.
Mike: Good, that’s good thinking. I don’t see the problem, however.
Greg: Well, next month, I’m 15. And 16 is coming up pretty quick, practically, just around the corner.
Carol: Greg, 13 months isn’t just around the corner.
Greg: Yeah, but they go pretty fast when you’re trying to save up for…
Carol: For what?
Greg: Well. (Pause) A big thing in a guy’s life.
Mike (sternly): Just how big is this big thing?
Greg: Pretty big.
Mike: Come on, spill it.
Greg: A car.
Carol (getting up): A car? Oh no!
Greg: Not a new one, Mom, just a used one.
Carol: Look, a car is a car, Greg. Now, I was worried enough when you got a bike. Now really.
Mike: Honey, calm down, it had to happen sometime. (He turns to Greg) I suppose you figured out how you’re going to pay for it.
Greg: Sure, that’s how I got to thinking about my future. Now what I want to do is, start working part-time after school.
Carol: Doing what?
Greg: Something that will help me with what I want to be when I’m grown up. I gave it a lot of thought.
Mike: And what did you decide?
Greg: I decided that I want to be an architect, like you, Dad.
Mike (pleased): An architect, like, like, me.
Carol: Well that’s really very nice, Greg.
Greg: When can I start work where you work?
Mike (laughing): Where I work?
Greg: I thought I could get a job there after school. I’d learn a lot about architecture.
Carol: Well yeah, he’s right, Mike. Well, I think that’s a very good idea.
Mike: Yeah, I guess I could talk to Mr. Philips about that.
Greg: Will you, please?
Mike: Yes, yes, I will.
Greg (shaking his hand): Thanks, wow, I can hardly wait to tell Randy.
Carol: Hey, wait, Randy? Who’s Randy?
Greg: A girl at school. I promised to take her to the first drive-in movie I’d drive into. Thanks again.
(He opens the door and leaves the den. Next, Greg is showing Randy a car in a magazine he’s interested in at a news stand.)
Greg: There it is, that’s the kind of car I’m gonna get.
Randi: Those others are super.
Greg: Pick one out you like and I’ll buy it.
Newsman: Could you buy the magazine first? It only costs 50 cents.
Greg: I already have this one at home. I was just showing her something. When do you get the next issue?
Newsman: Tomorrow. Would you like to leave a deposit?
Greg: I’ll pick one up after work. (He turns to Randy) I mean, if I get that architectural job.
Randy: I think architects are out of sight. What are you going to build?
Greg: I don’t know yet, it’s gonna be something important and big.
Greg: Like pyramids maybe, or even bigger.
(He looks at another magazine.)
Greg: Yep, that’s the kind of car I’m gonna get.
Randy: Can you afford it? It’s brand new.
Greg: Well it is now, but by the time I’m allowed to drive it’ll be two years old. I like to do my shopping early.
(They leave while the newsman looks on with amazement.)
(That evening, Mike comes home and is greeted by Greg and Carol.)
Greg: Hi, Dad.
Mike: Hello, Greg.
Mike: Well, I discussed it with Mr. Phillips, and the guys in personnel, and, uh, you start to work tomorrow after school.
Greg (excited): I do? Terrific!
Carol: Remember your promise, Greg, if your school grades begin to suffer because of this…
Greg: They won’t, Mom, I promise. Dad, what do you think we’ll build together first?
Mike (shocked); Build together?
Greg: Will I be your assistant?
Mike: No, Greg, not exactly. I think probably at first, your duties will center mostly around cleaning up the office.
Greg (disappointed): Cleaning up?
Carol: Greg, you can’t expect to start at the top.
Greg: I know, that’s really the bottom.
Mike: Oh, now, listen, you’re going to be making deliveries on your bicycle. Blueprints, drawings, revisions, and that carries with a great deal of responsibility.
Greg: It does?
Mike: Yes it does.
Mike: And you can start by delivering this (his briefcase) to my den. (Greg happily brings it to the den as Mike turns to Carol) Isn’t that something? He wants to be like his old man.
Carol (jokingly): Yeah, cleaning up around the office.
(Later on, Greg is on the telephone to Randy.)
Greg: And I start working tomorrow, Randy, that car is getting closer by the minute. Well, I guess I’ll talk to you tomorrow. All right, so long.
(He hangs up and then Peter, Jan and Bobby come in.)
Peter: You through? We want to watch TV.
Greg: Hey, I was just coming to look for you guys.
Bobby: What for?
Greg: To let you in on a really good deal.
Peter: Like what?
Greg: My new car.
Jan: What new car?
Greg: The one I’m gonna buy next year. I thought maybe you’d like to save up part of your allowance each week.
Peter: To help you buy a car?
Jan: That you’re not even gonna get for a year?
Bobby: What kind of a deal is that?
Greg: You want to ride in it, don’t you?
(The younger kids all look at each other.)
Peter: Sure we do.
Bobby: After you learn to drive it.
Greg: Well driving takes gas, and gas takes money.
Jan: Why don’t we just save up for the gas.
Greg: Well then you wouldn’t be a partner in the car, and you wouldn’t have the pride of ownership.
Bobby: We’d own the gas.
Greg: Okay, if that’s the way you want it. 25 cents a ride.
(They all look at each other again.)
Peter: You’ve got a deal.
(Greg puts his hand out and the other kids put their hands over his as a gesture of pride and partnership.)
(Next, Greg is down in Mike’s office cleaning a garbage can he just emptied.)
Mike: Uh, Gregory.
Greg: Yes, Dad.
Mike: We just empty them, we don’t polish them.
Mike: But I like your enthusiasm.
(Greg picks up a box and pan and brush and leaves the office. He sees Mr. Phillips, who just came in.)
Greg: Oh, hi, Mr. Philips.
Mr. Philips: Hello, Greg. (He sees Mike) Nice boy. Cleans a mean wastebasket.
Mr. Philips: Mike, your revised designs for that low-cost housing developments are excellent.
(He hands them to him.)
Mike: Thanks, Mr. Phillips, let’s hope the planning commission thinks so too.
Mr. Philips: I’m sure they will. Just make sure you make duplicates, and you better put a rush on it. There isn’t much time left.
Mike: I’ll get them copied right away. I think Forest Printing does them as fast as anybody.
Mr. Phillips: Right.
(Mr. Philips leaves the office and Mike calls for Greg.)
Mike: Uh, Greg. Come in here a minute.
(Greg comes back in the office.)
Greg: Yes, Dad.
Mike: You can hang up your dust rag, son. I have something more important for you to do.
Greg: Important? Okay, just name it.
Mike: You get these designs over to Forest Printing, 12th and sunset, right away. And, you can go home come there, okay.
Greg: Got you, Dad.
Mike: Greg, be careful with them, they’re important, okay?
Greg: You can count on me.
(Greg takes the plans and goes to his destination. On the way, however, Greg is on his bicycle and stops at the same newsstand to buy a new magazine.)
Greg (to the news vendor): Hi, did you get that new issue of car sport?
Newsman: Mmm hmm, but I got some new rules. To look or to buy costs the same, 50 cents.
Greg: I’m buying. I got a job.
Newsman: Well, good.
Greg (looking in his pockets): I got a dollar in here someplace. (He finds it) Here.
Newsman: Thank you.
(Greg starts looking at the magazine and unbeknownst to him, the tube on the cylinder he is to deliver gets loose, along with the sketches.)
Newsman: Here’s your change.
Greg: Thank you.
(Greg leaves with what’s left of the cylinder. Meanwhile, several passer byers step on the sketches. The scene fades.)
(The next scene is back at the house. Carol is in the kitchen arranging some flowers when Mike walks in and kisses her from behind.)
Mike: Guess who.
Carol: Who cares, do it again. (She laughs and they kiss each other) Hi, honey, where’s the other half of Brady and son?
Mike: You mean Greg isn’t home yet?
Carol: Was he supposed to be?
Mike: Yeah, an hour ago, he was going to deliver some designs and then come straight home.
Carol: Oh, well, he probably ran into a buddy or something.
Greg (coming in the door): Hi.
(Mike and Carol stand in bewilderment with Greg carrying the empty cylinder with a worried look on his face.)
Carol: What’s wrong, Greg?
Mike: You delivered the designs, didn’t you?
Greg: Well, I got to the place like you told me, and they were gone.
Mike: Who was gone.
Greg: The designs.
Mike (surprised): Gone?
Greg: They must have fallen out someplace when I wasn’t looking.
Carol: You didn’t stop anywhere along the way, did you, Greg?
Greg: No, I mean, only at the newsstand.
Mike (taking the magazine Greg bought): To buy this? You didn’t lose this, did you?
Greg: I’m sorry, Dad.
Mike: So am I, Greg. (He gives back the magazine) I’d better call Ed Phillips.
(Mike goes in his office and Greg sits down. Carol goes to comfort him.)
Greg: I went back to the newsstand, Mom, and I looked everywhere, honest. I guess someone must have picked it up, or a street cleaner came by or something.
Carol: Well, anyone can have an accident, Greg. But I’m afraid this is going to be a costly one for your father and Mr. Phillips.
Greg: You don’t think I’ll lose my job, do you?
Carol: Well, I hope not. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.
Greg: In baseball they’d never kick a guy off the team just because he made one error.
(Mike is in his den talking on the phone with Mr. Philips.)
Mike: No, I’m sure I can, Mr. Phillips. I’ve got the original sketches here at home. (Pause) Yeah, I think if I work all night tonight, I can have them ready by tomorrow for copy. (Carol walks in) Yes. No, no, I understand. No, I’m sorry, too. Yes, I’ll tell him. Thanks, Mr. Philips. (He hangs up and notices Carol) Oh, if you and Alice keep the coffee coming all night long and whack me with a stick occasionally…
Carol: But Mike, what about Greg?
Mike: Well, Mr. Phillips suggested that I make other arrangements for deliveries from now on.
Carol: But it was his first day.
Mike: Carol, you can’t blame Mr. Philips. Greg had a big responsibility and he blew it.
Carol: But, Mike.
Mike: Honey, please, not now. I have a lot of work to do, huh. Coffee, please, plenty of coffee.
Carol: Yeah, plenty of coffee, and a big stick to whack you with. Just remember, Mike Brady, in baseball, they don’t throw a man off the team just because he makes one fumble.
Mike: That’s not fumble, That’s error, and I know all about that.
(He shows her out of the den.)
Carol: Well, how do you want your coffee?
Mike: Black please, and with a smile, hmm.
(He kisses her and gets back to his sketches.)
(Greg is upstairs playing with a car and moping about losing his job. Marcia comes in to see him.)
Marcia: I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am about what happened. (She sits down on his bed) I mean, losing your chance to be an architect and everything.
Greg: That’s okay.
Marcia: What are you gonna do?
Greg: I don’t know. Maybe instead of being an architect, I’ll go into something easier, like politics.
Marcia: I guess that means you won’t be getting your own car. (She gets up) I was talking to Randy Peterson yesterday.
Greg (angry): Oh, great. I suppose you told her all about what happened. Boy, she’ll really think I’m a goof.
Marcia (defensive): I wouldn’t do a thing like that.
Greg (sarcastic): Oh, sure you wouldn’t.
Marcia: Boy, that’s the last time I’ll try to be nice to a goof, even if he is my brother.
(Back in Mike’s den, he takes a sip of coffee and Alice comes in to bring him a sandwich and chips. She knocks and then walks in.)
Mike: Come in.
Alice: I’m in.
(She gives him his sandwich.)
Mike: Oh, thanks, Alice.
Alice: Mrs.. Brady told me what happened to Greg, poor kid.
Mike: Alice, I’m sorry but I don’t have time to discuss Greg right now.
Alice (showing him Greg’s magazine): I found this on top of the trash can. I guess getting his job back is more important to Greg than his car.
Mike: Okay, Alice. Whatever you want to say, say it, but make it fast.
Alice: Remember when I first went to work for you?
Alice: And I got the soap powder mixed up with the starch, and your shirts didn’t wrinkle, they bent.
Mike: Yeah, I think one of them broke.
Alice: You gave me a second chance, Mr. Brady.
Mike: I get the point. Now get out of here, will you? I got work to do.
Alice: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
(Alice walks out of the den and closes the door. Greg is upstairs still moping when Jan, Peter and Bobby come to him with money for gas in advance.)
Greg: What are these for?
Jan: That’s my doll bank, to help save up for the gas for your car.
Peter: And that’s Bobby’s piggy bank.
Bobby: My pig holds more, because it has a bigger stomach.
Jan: Anyway, here. There’s 85 cents worth of rides in your car in there.
Greg: Thanks, but there isn’t going to be any car.
Bobby: Isn’t that why you’re working for Dad after school?
Peter: Hey, it’s after school right now. What are you doing here?
Greg: I thought you all knew, I won’t be with Dad anymore. I was fired.
Greg: I guess our deal’s off.
(He gives them back their money holders and they leave. Meanwhile, Mike is showing Mr. Philips the new designs he made in his office.)
Mr. Phillips: You know, these are even better than your others.
Mike (yawning): Thank you.
Mr. Philips: Maybe we should have you work nights more often. I appreciate it, Mike, and we still got enough time to get them copied.
(Mr. Phillips heads out to the office and Mike calls him.)
Mike: Mr. Philips.
Mr. Philips (stopping): Yes, Mike.
Mike: You know, I’d really like to use my son Greg to deliver these.
Mr. Phillips: Mike, you know I like the boy, but…
Mike: Mr. Phillips, I think it’s important that he knows that I haven’t lost faith in him.
Mr. Phillips: He’s taken it that hard, huh?
Mike: Well, he has. You know, it could have been our fault. The designs fell out of that cylinder, caps have never been too tight.
Mr. Phillips: I refuse to answer on grounds that might incriminate me. All right, Mike. (He goes to leave the office but turns around) I just hope nothing goes wrong this time.
Mike: I’ll accept full responsibility.
(He gets on the phone. Greg is at home on the other end of the phone.)
Greg: No kidding? That’s great, Dad. I’m on my way, bye! (He hands up and tells Carol the news) Dad got Mr. Philips to give me another chance.
Carol: Hey, that’s great.
Greg: Mr. Philips is really out of sight.
Carol: Your Dad is pretty far out too.
Greg: He’s the greatest! Oh, I’ve got to get over there fast! So long, Mom.
(Greg leaves and heads to Mike’s office. Mike gives him another design to deliver.)
Mike: Now, you know where to go.
Greg: Of course, Dad. Forest Painting at 12th and Sunset.
Mike: And remember now, the shortest distance between two points is?
Greg: A straight line.
Mike: A straight line, right.
Greg: Don’t worry, I got a good, tight grip on them.
Mike: Well, not too tight, son. You can leave a little room for a little circulation.
Greg: I won’t let you down, Dad.
Mike: Okay, I’ll see you at home.
(Greg is riding his bike to deliver the plans and the chain on his bicycle breaks.)
Greg (annoyed): Oh, great, just great!
(Randy and her father are getting into their car when Randy sees Greg.)
Randy: Hi, Greg!
Greg: Oh, hi!
Mr. Peterson (to Randy): Greg Brady, isn’t it?
Greg: Hi, Mr. Peterson, Hi Randy.
Mr. Peterson: Hi Greg, I understand you’re in the architect business with your Dad.
Greg: Yes sir, I’m delivering these important designs for him right now, if I ever get there, that is. My chain broke.
Mr. Peterson: Can I give you a lift?
Greg: Gee, would you?
Mr. Peterson: Why don’t we put your bike in the back. You can pick it up later.
Greg: Great. (He goes to put his back in back of their station wagon) Hey thanks a lot, Mr. Peterson, you sure saved the day.
Mr. Peterson: Sure.
Randy: Tell Daddy about the pyramids you’re gonna build, Greg.
Mr. Peterson: Pyramids?
Greg: Well, that was just sort of talk, Mr. Peterson. I just meant something real big like that.
(They drop Greg off at his destination.)
Greg: Thanks for the lift, Mr. Peterson.
Mr. Peterson: You’re welcome, son. Pyramids.
Greg: I’ll pick up my bike at your house later, Randy.
Randy: Okay, bye Greg.
Greg: Bye. (He realizes he left the sketches in the car with his bike) Hey, Mr. Peterson! Randy! Mr. Peterson! Stop, you have me designs! (Greg goes to a phone booth to call Randi’s house) I got to find your husband, Mrs. Peterson, my whole future’s in the back seat of his car. Randy’s drama lesson, where? Campus drama school. Right, campus drama school, thanks a lot. Campus drama school.
(Down at the school, Randy’s teacher is rehearsing a scene with her.)
Drama teacher: Now Randy, let’s try it again. Remember, I’m your mother and I’m very upset that a girl your age is receiving flowers from a total stranger.
Randy: Yes ma’am.
Drama teacher: There you go.
(She hands Randy flowers and she goes outside and come sin the door.)
Randy: Hi, Mom.
Drama teacher: Where did you get those flowers?
Randy: From a boy named Jeff, aren’t they super?
Drama teacher: You are much too young to be receiving flowers from a stranger. (He takes the flowers) Much too young.
(She opens the door to throw them out but they accidentally hit Greg, who is coming in.)
Randy: Greg. What are you doing here?
Greg (to the teacher): Excuse me (to Randy) I’ve got to find your father. He’s got the designs I was delivering in the back of his car.
Randy: Oh, he dropped me off and then he took his car to the garage to have some work done.
Greg: Thanks, thanks a lot. (to the teacher) Sorry.
(He rushes down to the garage and finds a mechanic working on a car.)
Greg: Sir, uh mister.
Mechanic: What is it, kid?
Greg: I’m looking for Mr. Peterson.
Mechanic: Well he ain’t here.
Greg: Sir, mister.
Mechanic: Do you mind, kid? I’m busy.
Greg: But I left something important in the back of Mr. Peterson’s car.
Mechanic: Well he left. He isn’t here.
Greg; Do you know where he went?
Mechanic: No. (Pause) But kid.
Mechanic: His car’s right inside there, around the corner.
Greg: Gee thanks, mister. thanks a lot.
(He shakes the man’s hand but gets it dirty form his grease.)
(Later on, Mike is home pacing back and forth worrying what happened to Greg.)
Mike (looking at his watch): Oh, it’s 6:30. The printing shop was closed half an hour ago, I better call.
(He picks up the phone while Carol is sitting on the couch reading a magazine. Mike decided to hang up the phone.)
Mike: I’m not going to break that promise.
Carol: What promise?
Mike: Well, I promised myself I was going to trust my son, without checking up on him. (Carol starts to look at him) He should have been home by now, right?
Carol: Right, yes, he should have.
Mike: Well, he couldn’t lose those designs again. He couldn’t do that. Would you tell me he couldn’t?
Carol: He couldn’t.
Mike: A little louder, convince me of it.
Carol: Oh, Mike, you’re getting all upset.
Greg (coming in the door): Hi, Dad. Hi, Mom.
Mike: Everything okay?
Mike: The designs, did you, did you deliver those okay?
Greg: Of course, Dad. No problem. I’ve got to go wash up for dinner.
(He goes up the stairs.)
Carol: There, you see, you didn’t have to break your promise.
Mike (laughing): Yeah, it’s kind of funny. He’s a pretty mature kid for 15.
Greg: Yeah, and 16 is just around the corner, with his car.
Mike: So is 40.
Carol; Maybe around your corner, but not my corner.
(The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Carol and Mike in the living room looking at the paper.)
Carol: Hey Mike, how about a movie. There’s a good picture playing at the elite.
Mike: Okay, sounds like a good idea.
(Greg comes out wearing a jacket and tie.)
Greg: Hi, do I look okay?
Carol: Boy, you look groovy.
Mike: I take it you’re going to spend some of your hard earned salary on Randy Peterson, huh?
Greg: No, we’re gonna stay at her house and watch some TV.
Carol: That’s not much of a date for Randy.
Greg: Oh, she understands. She knows I’m saving for a car.
Carol: She must be very understanding.
Greg: She is, and I appreciate it.
Mike: Okay, good night, son.
Greg: Good night.
Carol: Not too late, Greg.
Greg: Yes, Mother.
Carol: Well, should we get going to that movie?
Mike: Listen, why don’t we, uh, stay home and watch television.
Carol: What? But you said…
Mike: Oh, come on, don’t complain. remember, we men appreciate understanding women.
(She hits him on the head with the newspaper and they hug.)