The Impractical Joker
Written by Burt Styler
Jan plays a practical joke that causes trouble for the family. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(The episode begins in the kitchen, where the girls are having cookies and Carol helping. Alice comes out and is ready to leave.)
Alice (to Carol): The ironing’s all put away and I fixed the knees on Greg’s blue jeans.
Carol: Alice, your day off started hours ago.
Alice: Oh, it was easy, I just put a patch on the patch. (Carol helps Alice put her coat on) Well, now you’re all going to have to just struggle along without me until tomorrow.
Carol: Well, you be sure to give our best to your aunt.
Alice: I will.
(Carol notices an ink spot on Alice’s coat.)
Carol: Alice, what happened?
Alice: Oh no, my new coat. oh, it’s ruined.
Marcia: It’s ink!
(Jan starts to laugh.)
Carol: Well Jan, I don’t think this is anything to laugh about.
(Jan gets up to show Alice something.)
Jan: It’s only a plastic ink spot.
Alice (relieved): Oh, thank goodness.
Carol: Jan, you and your jokes.
Jan: Didn’t you think it was funny, Alice?
Alice: Oh, sure, sure, lucky I’ve got a strong heart. Good-bye, all.
Carol: Good-bye, Alice. have a nice day.
Marcia: Have a good time.
Marcia: Honestly Jan, that shows how immature you are.
Jan: Oh, really.
(Marcia reaches for a cookie and screams.)
Carol: What is the matter?
Marcia: A spider! (Jan laughs) What’s so funny?
Jan: You are.
(She picks it up.)
Marcia: It’s fake.
Jan: That came in my box of jokes too.
Cindy: I wasn’t scared.
Jan: I’ll bet.
(She flings the spider to her and Cindy screams.)
Carol: Jan, Jan now stop that. (She sits down) Listen Jan, everybody likes a good gag, but some practical jokes just aren’t funny. One of these days you’re gonna cause someone trouble, real trouble.
(Jan smiles devilishly as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has Greg out back with the other boys, showing them a mouse.)
Peter: How come they let you bring them home?
Greg: He’s my science project. (He points to a maze) I have to teach him to run that maze by Monday.
Peter: What do you call him?
Greg: Muridae Mus Musculus
Bobby: He looks just like a mouse to me.
Greg: That’s his scientific name, dummy. His real name is Myron.
(Jan comes in.)
Jan: Can I hold Myron? Please Greg, just for a couple of minutes?
Greg (handing the mouse to Jan): Sure. Be careful.
Jan: Be right back.
(She goes out to the kitchen, where Marcia and Cindy are sitting on the couch reading.)
Jan: Guess who Greg’s got helping him in science.
Jan (putting the mouse in their faces): Myron!
(Marcia and Cindy scream. Carol runs down the stairs and goes to them.)
Carol: What’s the matter?
Marcia: Jan’s up to her tricks again and this one’s alive!
Carol: Jan, this time you’ve gone too far. Now where did you get that, that, thing?
Greg (coming out): It’s not a thing, Mom. It’s a muridae mus musculus.
Cindy: It’s icky.
Marcia: We’re not gonna live with that in this house, Greg!
Cindy: No, get it out!
Marcia: Make him Mom.
Carol: Look Greg, I’m with them. You can’t keep your muridae m whatever thing around here. I’m sorry.
Jan: I like Myron.
Marcia: You’re weird.
(Greg put Myron back in his cage and set it on the floor. Tiger barks at it.)
Cindy: See, Tiger doesn’t like him either.
Marcia: Now, there’s an intelligent animal.
(Greg picks his cage up while Tiger sniffs the floor.)
Greg; Myron is harmless Mom, really.
Jan: And he’s cute.
(Mike walks in.)
Marcia: Make him take it away mom, please.
Carol: Look Greg, I don’t want to seem unfair, even to mice, but…
Mike: What’s the trouble here.
Greg (pointing to Myron): It’s him. He’s my science project over the weekend and I have to train him.
Mike: Oh, and you girls are making a little fuss, is that it?
Carol: Not a little, a lot.
Mike: Well, that doesn’t seem very fair to Greg, does it?
Marcia: Well, what about us girls.
Mike: Well, it seems to me that I remember about 14 girls in this house for a slumber party, and that wasn’t easy on the boys.
Carol: That’s right, girls.
Mike: Mmm hmm. How about a compromise here. Let him keep his mouse and his project out in the garage.
Carol: The garage. (Pause) Well, that sounds like a pretty good idea. (She turns to Marcia and Cindy) What do you say girls? Is it a deal?
(Marcia and Cindy nod.)
(He and Jan walk away and head to the garage.)
Mike (to Carol): See how a little thing makes a boy happy?
Carol: Well, I wish the little thing didn’t have beady eyes and a long tail.
(The next scene has Mike and Greg in the garage, training Myron.)
Mike: Okay, Greg, stick in the cheese. (Greg does so) Yeah, now, you ready?
Greg: Just a minute.
Mike: Okay. Get him set so he knows which way to go, and, they’re at the gate. Go.
Greg: Go Myron! Come on Myron.
Greg: Go fella.
Mike: Wait a second. (He starts blowing for Myron to go faster.)
Greg: Go Myron, go fella.
Mike: Go on, Myron. Go. You can do it. Come on, there’s the door. No, take a left.
Greg: Ah, he’s not doing so well. I wonder if it’s because he’s not so intelligent.
Mike: Greg, I think it’s because he’s not too hungry.
Greg: Tomorrow I won’t let Peter and Bobby feed him so much. maybe we’ll have more luck.
Mike (taking his whistle off his neck): Oh, I won’t be able to help him tomorrow. I’ve got to go to one of those Saturday breakfast meetings.
Jan (coming out): I’ll help you, Greg.
Mike: Listen, don’t forget to turn out the lights.
Greg: Gotcha. Good night, Dad.
Jan: I think it’s mean of Marcia and Cindy to make you keep him out here all night.
Greg: That’s okay, Jan. He’ll be perfectly safe out here. Let’s go
(He puts Myron back in his cage and puts a rag over it. He sets the cage on a shelf in the garage as he and Jan turn the lights out and leave.)
Jan: Good night, Myron.
Greg: Good night, Myron.
(That night, the boys are asleep in their room but Greg wakes up and turns the light on. He calls to Peter and Bobby.)
(Peter and Bobby wake up.)
Bobby: What’s the matter?
Peter: It’s the middle of the night.
Greg; I just remembered the neighbor’s cat, Guinevere.
Peter: Hey, yeah.
Greg: And Myron’s out in the garage. She can get to him.
Peter: And that’s her favorite meal.
Bobby: Myron’s a goner.
(They all get out of bed and put on their slippers and robes. Greg grabs a flashlight from the drawer and they head out to the garage. Jan sees this through her bedroom window. Greg turns the flashlight on and sees Myron in his cage.)
Greg: He’s okay.
Bobby: Yeah, okay.
Greg: Don’t worry, Myron, we’ll take you right up to our room.
Peter: But Dad says you have to keep him out of the house.
Greg: He didn’t mean to leave him out here to be eaten, huh?
Peter: I guess not.
Greg: Okay. (Pause) I’m sure not going to get him up in the middle of the night just to remind him of Guinevere.
Bobby: Me neither.
Greg: We’ll just keep Myron in our room tonight, and take him out in the morning, before anybody wakes up.
Peter: Sure, Myron will be safe then because we’ll be with him.
Bobby: You guys think of everything.
(Jan is still watching from the upstairs window.)
Greg: Just don’t make any noise and wake anybody up.
(They take Myron and go inside and up the stairs to their room. Jan sneaks in their room and takes Myron out of his cage. She then returns to her room and drops Myron in a hamper, then goes back to bed. Myron, however, gnaws a hole in the bottom of the hamper and gets away. The scene fades out.)
(The next day, Greg wakes up and finds Myron missing from his cage.)
(Peter and Bobby wake up.)
Peter: What’s the matter?
Greg: Myron’s gone!
Peter: Are you kidding? (He and Bobby get out of bed to check) Gee, he is.
Greg: How could he have gotten out of there?
Bobby: Maybe we watched how you opened the cage.
(Greg and Peter give him a stupid look.)
Greg: We’ve got to find him before Mom and Dad find out. Suit up, quick.
Peter: Yeah, suit up, quick.
(The guys next go out in the hallway fully clothed, looking for Myron.)
Bobby: I bet Tom Tannenbaum could find him.
Peter: Who’s Tom Tannenbaum.
(NOTE: Thomas D. Tannenbaum was one of the show’s producers.)
Bobby: He’s in my class. He always wins when we have Easter egg hunts.
Jan (coming by): What are you looking for?
Greg (to the guys): I don’t think it’s up here. let’s look downstairs.
Bobby: Yeah. Maybe he’s downstairs.
Peter: It’s downstairs.
Bobby: Yeah, it’s.
(Greg grabs Bobby’s arm and they go down the stairs with Peter. Jan laughs to herself.)
(Meanwhile, Mike and Carol are in their room getting dressed as we see Myron, seeking refuge in the closet and on top of one of Carol’s shoes.)
Mike (sarcastically): Well, if there’s one thing I love, it’s giving up a dreary Saturday morning golf game for an invigorating business meeting.
Carol: Well, I promised Marge I’d go downtown and do some shopping with her. There’s a sale. (She grabs the shoe that Myron was on top of, but he moves. She turns to Mike) How do you think these go with my outfit?
(Myron is on the other shoe.)
Carol: Oh, they don’t. (She puts it back but Myron moves out of the way) Well. (She takes out another pair) How about these? Think They’re better?
Carol: Oh, but I don’t think they go with this bag. (She goes back to the closet) Let me see. (She takes another purse out, unaware Myron is behind it. then she takes the one next to it, then looks in the mirror) No, I think the straw one would go better, don’t you?
Carol: You’re absolutely right. (Myron runs across the room but is missed by Carol and Mike) Oh, but then I’ll have to change my belt. (They miss Myron again) No, I think I’ll just use this one, huh?
(The next scene has Mike down in the kitchen and Alice comes home.)
Alice: Oh, hi.
Mike: Hey, hi, Alice.
Alice: Where’s Mrs. Brady?
Mike: Oh, there’s a big sale on downtown. What else would get her out of the house at this hour of the morning? Hey, did you enjoy your day off?
Alice: Well, I took my aunt to the dentist, and then to the hospital to visit her next door neighbor, then we went home and played mahjong until 10:00, and then we went to bed. It may not have been exciting, but on the other hand, it sure was dull.
Mike: You didn’t miss anything exciting around here either. (He takes one last sip of his coffee, then walks away) I’ll see you later, Alice.
Alice: Bye, Mr. Brady.
(Mike is about to put his jacket on in the living room when he sees the boys, looking for Myron.)
Mike: What’s up, fellows.
Peter: Gee, Dad, where are you going so early?
Bobby: Yeah, it’s awful early.
Mike: I have a breakfast meeting and what are you looking for?
Greg: Looking for?
Greg (to Peter): Were we looking for something?
(Peter and Bobby shrug.)
Mike: Okay fellas, look, if it’s private and you’d rather not talk about it, just say Dad, there is something we would rather not talk about.
(The boys repeat that in unison, only Bobby says it a little slower.)
Greg: Wait a minute, Dad. The truth is we’re looking for Myron.
Greg: My mouse.
Mike: I know that. What would he be doing in here?
Peter: That’s what we’re trying to figure out.
Bobby: Yeah, he got away.
Mike: Why are you looking for Myron in the house?
Greg: Good question.
Mike: Yes, I thought so. What’s a good answer?
Greg (sheepishly): I brought him inside last night.
Mike (sternly): Greg, you did that after what you were told?
Peter: We only wanted to save him from Guinevere, the neighbor’s cat.
Greg: And we were gonna take him right out this morning, honest.
Peter: And we didn’t want to wake you up in the middle of the night to ask you?
Bobby: Wasn’t that nice of us?
Mike: Okay, okay, I guess I get the picture. Where was Myron when you last saw him?
Peter: In his cage in our room when we went back to sleep. The cage is still there.
Bobby: But Myron isn’t.
Mike: You guy had better find Myron before your mother gets home, and that’s an order.
Greg: I hope we can, dad.
Mike: You better. I got to go.
(He turns around and leaves.)
Greg: So long.
(The guys stay behind.)
Greg: We searched upstairs, and we searched downstairs.
Peter: The attic! Sometimes mice go up there!
Bobby: That’s where I’d go if I were a mouse.
Greg: Okay, let’s look.
(They go upstairs to search as we move on to the next scene. Alice is in the kitchen making a cake when she encounters Myron. She gets frightened and climbs up on a chair. The girls hear her scream and run to her.)
Marcia: What’s the matter?
Jan: What happened, Alice?
Alice: Oh, oh, it’s nothing. I was getting a clean spot up here on the ceiling and I almost slipped.
Cindy: Golly, she even cleans ceilings.
Alice: Well, we got to keep things tidy around here.
Marcia: You better be careful.
(She and the girls walk away. Alice walks over the chairs to the phone, where she calls the exterminator.)
Alice (on the phone): Zap-it exterminator company? This is the Brady residence. You did a termite inspection for us a while back and now we’ve got another problem. Mice. Do you suppose you could have somebody come out here in the next hour? We got a household full of children and women that are scared to death of mice, particularly the one that is talking to you. Oh, thank you. I’ll be waiting. Sitting right up here. (The counter between the kitchen and the family room.)
(The next scene has the exterminator coming from Alice’s room.)
Exterminator: Well, that’s it, ma’am.
Alice: That’s all you have to do, squirt under the house?
Exterminator: This is powerful stuff.
(The boys come down the stairs, lamenting they hadn’t found Myron yet.)
Greg: He’s gotta be someplace.
Peter: Gee, if he’s not in the house, or in the attic…
Greg: Maybe he’s under it.
Bobby: Yeah, under it.
(The boys rush to look.)
Alice: My compliments to the Zap-it Exterminator Company, you sure came fast.
Exterminator: We know how you ladies feel about these things. Bye, now. (The boys come out to the kitchen) Bye, boys.
Alice (to the boys): Hey, how about some milk.
Greg (to the exterminator): Bye. (He turns to Alice) Alice.
Greg: What was that exterminator doing here?
Alice: I just thought I’d have him spray. You never know what’s under a house.
Greg (upset): Under a house?
Alice: Well now, don’t get upset. It’s nothing terrible, just mice.
Alice: Well, mouse, but I’m sure he had friends.
Greg: What did it look like?
Alice: If you insist on the repulsive details, it was white, about that long, and about that thick.
Peter and Bobby: Myron.
Greg: He was my science project and his name was Myron.
Alice: His name was Myron? (Greg nods) I’m a murderess.
(The guys walk away, leaving Alice to feel plenty guilty. Jan sees them and fesses up to what she did. The guys are sulking at the bottom of the staircase.)
Jan: Greg, I think you’re going to be mad at me for what I’m going to say, but it will make you very happy.
Greg: What do you mean?
Jan: Myron wasn’t exterminated. He’s in a hamper upstairs in my room.
Greg: He is? Who put him up there?
Jan: I did. Come on, I’ll show you.
Peter: Oh boy, let’s get him.
(They run upstairs excitedly to the girls’ room.)
Jan: I took him out of his cage in your room last night just to play a joke.
Greg (impatiently): Okay, okay, let’s see Myron.
Jan (opening the hamper): Okay, he’s right here where I…
Peter: All I see is a big hole.
Bobby: Me too.
Jan: Oh no, he must have gnawed his way out.
(The boys get upset and Jan starts to feel bad.)
(The next scene has Carol coming home, seeing the boys in the living room moping over Myron.)
Carol: Well, I haven’t seen such sad faces since the last day of summer vacation. What’s the matter?
Greg (glumly): Myron’s gone.
Carol: What happened?
Peter: He’s been exterminated.
Bobby: Rubbed out.
Carol: Greg, I’m sorry. When did it happen?
Greg: it doesn’t matter now.
(Tiger starts howling and whimpering.)
Peter: Even Tiger’s sad about it.
Carol: I’m really sorry.
(Carol sets down a few things she bought on the table and walks to the kitchen. Tiger continues to howl and Carol sees a despondent Alice.)
Carol: Hello, Alice.
Alice: Hello, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: Myron? What happened?
Alice: Well, I did it to him. I had no idea he was Greg’s science project and I called the exterminator. I saw that little pink nose twitching at me and I panicked.
Carol: Oh no.
Alice: Oh yes.
(Next, Carol goes into the family room, where the girls are equally upset.)
Carol: I heard about Myron.
(Jan goes up to her crying.)
Jan (in tears): Oh mom, it’s all my fault. I was playing one of those dumb jokes. That’s how Myron got away, and now…
Carol: Oh, honey.
Jan: I’ll never do it again. I’ll never play another joke as long as I live.
Carol: Oh, we know you didn’t mean it.
(She hugs Jan to console her as Greg and Mike walk in.)
Carol: We’re in mourning.
Mike: Yeah, Greg told me.
(Tiger starts howling and whimpering some more.)
Carol: now what’s the matter with Tiger?
(He keeps howling.)
Mike: Something’s bothering him all right.
(Mike, Carol, Greg and the girls all go outside to see what’s causing Tiger to howl.)
Carol: Well we all miss Myron but it’s hard to believe Tiger’s this upset.
Greg: Tiger was scared of Myron.
(Tiger turns to his doghouse and Mike looks inside.)
Mike: Aha! I think it’s mutual.
Greg: What do you mean, dad?
Mike: Take a look.
(Greg goes inside the doghouse and finds his rodent friend.)
Greg: Oh, it’s Myron! (Greg takes him out and the girls, for unexplained reasons, start musing over it) He was too smart for the exterminator.
Jan: May I hold him Greg, please?
Greg: Well, okay, if you promise not to drop him in any more clothes hampers.
(The girls continue gushing over Myron.)
Mike: Looks like the girls have had a change of heart about Myron.
Carol: Well, why not. I mean, have you ever seen anything as gorgeous as this (her voice starts to tremble) little guy with the beady eyes and the long tail. Greg, quick.
(Greg takes Myron from Carol and the scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Carol and Jan peeling bananas in the kitchen.)
Jan: It’s sure a lot easier to peel a banana than it is a potato.
Carol: You’re right. You know, one of these nights we might even try French fried bananas.
Alice: Have you two got any more towels for the laundry?
(Carol notices Alice’s uniform.)
Carol: Alice, your uniform, you got an ink stain on the pocket.
Alice (to Jan): Oh, you just couldn’t resist playing one more trick, could you?
Jan: Alice, I didn’t…
Alice: That looks really real, but you can’t fool me. I know how to take care of ink spots like this. (She tries pulling it off but rips her uniform, finding a pen inside the pocket) Like you said, Mrs. Brady, there’s an ink spot on my uniform.
Jan (to Carol): She thought I did it.
Carol (laughing): Yeah, I know.
(They continue peeling.)