Little Big Man
Directed by Skip Webster
Bobby is sensitive about his height and becomes obsessed with getting taller. Then he realizes being small has its advantages. I hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
SAM the butcher
(The episode begins with Greg repairing a shutter on the girls’ window. Bobby starts pestering to help him. Greg gets on the ladder but stops to give a jar of screws to Bobby.)
Greg: Hold this!
(He climbs the rest of the ladder to start working on the shutter.)
Bobby: Can I bring you up some extra screws?
Greg: No, I have enough. Thanks, Bobby.
Bobby: Well, I can bring you up a bigger screwdriver.
Greg: No thanks, this one’s fine.
Bobby: Well, can’t I help you hold the shutter in place.
Greg: Bobby, I know you want to help, but there’s only room for one up here.
(The phone rings and Alice calls for Greg.)
Alice: Greg, you got a phone call.
Greg: Thanks, Alice. Tell them I’ll be right there.
(He climbs down the ladder.)
Bobby: I’ll take over while you’re on the phone.
Greg: No, I’ll be right back. Besides, you’re too short to reach the shutter.
Bobby (protesting): I am not!
Greg: Bobby, stay off the ladder.
(Greg goes to take the call and Bobby puts down the jar of screws and climbs the ladder anyway. Meanwhile, Greg is inside on the phone.)
Greg: How much does he want for the surfboard? No, no, I want it, it’s just that I’ll have to raise a little extra cash, that’s all. Okay, I’ll call him right away. Yeah, I got his number up in my room. And thanks for tipping me, Eddie. Right, good-bye.
(He hangs the phone and goes upstairs. Meanwhile, Bobby climbs up to the shutters but accidentally kicks the ladder over and is stuck hanging on. The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Bobby yelling for help as he struggles to hang on to the window.)
Bobby: Help me! Anybody help me!
(Cindy comes running and yells for Alice.)
Cindy: Up there!
Bobby: Help me, please!
Alice (panicking): Hang on, Bobby! Cindy, the ladder!
(They take the ladder and set it back up. Greg hears Bobby from upstairs and comes to rescue him. He pulls him from outside and into the girls’ room.)
Greg: I told you to stay off that ladder!
Bobby: I’m off!
Greg: Are you okay?
Bobby: Yeah, I’m okay.
Greg: You pee-wees, always acting bigger than you are.
Bobby: Greg, Greg, you saved my life. (Greg gloats at the suggestion) I’ll pay you back, sometime.
Greg: That’ll be the day.
(Alice comes up from the ladder.)
Alice: Better late than never. Is Bobby okay?
Greg: He’s fine.
Alice: Good. (She suddenly gets scared of the fact she’s standing on a ladder) Look, now that you saved him, how about saving me.
(Greg and Bobby go to the window to bring her in. They all wind up on the floor.)
(Next, Mike, Carol and Jan come home from buying new clothes.)
Jan: We sure got a lot of stuff.
Carol: My feet are killing me.
Mike: The bills that are killing me.
(Cindy runs down the stairs to meet them.)
Cindy: Mom, Dad, am I glad you’re home.
Carol: What is it, sweetie?
Cindy: Well, first I have to ask you a question.
Cindy: Well, is it tattling if I tell you something that somebody else doesn’t want you to know?
Mike: Yes, I’m afraid it is.
Cindy: Then you’ll just have to find out for yourself.
Cindy (gleefully): That Bobby nearly fell off the house!
(They look at her shockingly. Later, Carol is removing splinters Bobby got in his hand.)
Carol: Well, that’s just what you get, Bobby. You know, you really could’ve been hurt instead of just getting a few splinters.
Mike: What were you doing up there, anyway?
Bobby: Hanging on mostly.
Carol: Well, if Greg told you not to climb the ladder, why did you?
Bobby: I wanted to show him I wasn’t too small to do it. Greg’s right, I’m a pee-wee. I’ll always be a pee-wee.
Carol: Oh, Bobby, there are a lot of boys your age that are just your size.
Bobby: That’s easy for you to say. You know who’s the smallest in my class?
Carol (meekly): You?
Bobby: No, Freddy Hofstetter. I’m second smallest. But only because he got a haircut.
(Bobby starts going into the bathroom.)
Mike: Bob, everybody grows at their own speed. Maybe next year you’ll be one of the tallest.
Bobby: No, I won’t. (He shuts the bathroom then opens it again) And being little is the worst thing in the world.
(Mike and Carol look at each other with concern. Meantime, Greg goes into the kitchen to see Alice.)
Greg: Alice, have you seen the paper?
Alice: It’s in the family room.
Greg: I’ve been looing all over for that thing. I want to look at the want ad section. I got to find a way to make some extra loot.
Alice: You’re not gonna finance another jalopy.
Greg: No, I’m after a 6 inch board that’ll let me do flyways over those gremmies.
Alice: Would you mind repeating that in English?
Greg: That means this stoped up hot diver needs extra bread so he can latch on to a heavy board and hit the lineup.
Alice (sarcastically): Thanks for the translation. (He laughs) Hey, by any chance are you talking about surfing?
Greg: Right on.
(He goes into the family room and passes by Sam, who’s come to make a delivery.)
Greg: Hi, Sam.
Sam: Hi, Greg. (He comes in the kitchen) Hi, Alice. Here’s your meat order.
Alice: Thanks, Sam. Well, I can see the boss himself is making deliveries.
Sam: Alice, it’s because I’m crazy about you, and I like to look at you, and besides, my delivery boy quit.
Alice: Thanks, again.
Sam: 16 years old, and the kid wants fringe benefits.
(Alice puts the meat in the refrigerator/freezer.)
Alice: Well, fringe benefits are the in thing.
Sam: Yeah, but free philly mignons every day. No, sir, I got to try to find a new boy this week.
(Alice comes up with an idea.)
Alice: Sam, what if I were to find you an instant delivery boy?
Sam: I’d hug you.
Alice: An outstanding delivery boy?
Sam: I’d kiss you.
Alice: The greatest delivery boy in the whole world.
Sam: I’d hire him on the spot.
Alice (to herself): Alice, why don’t you quit while you’re ahead? (to Sam) Stay right where you are? (She goes into the family room) Greg.
Greg: Yeah. (she pushes him towards Sam) What do you want?
Alice: It’s what Sam wants, a new delivery boy.
Greg: Really, you do?
Sam: After school and all day Saturday, $1.50 an hour.
Greg: Wow, that’s great.
Sam: What about fringe benefits?
Greg: Fringe benefits, who cares about fringe benefits?
Sam: You’re hired. See you tomorrow at 4 sharp with your bike.
Greg; Out of sight. Thanks, Sam. You too, Alice. I’m gonna go over to Phil’s and take a look at that new surfboard.
Sam: Hey, uh, thanks, Alice. You really did me a favor.
(Bobby comes in the kitchen to wash his hands.)
Bobby: Hi, Sam.
Sam: What do you say shrimpo?
(He runs upstairs to his room.)
Sam: What did I say?
Alice: Bobby’s been going through a thing about being short. That shrimpo kinda hit him.
Sam: Oh, boy, have I got a big mouth. Is it okay if I go say I’m sorry?
Alice: Yes, Sam.
(Bobby goes to his room and gets on his bed. He pulls a handkerchief from his back pocket to wipe tears from his eyes. Sam comes in to talk to him. He grabs a chair and goes over to Bobby, who’s facing the wall.)
Sam: Bobby, look, I’m sorry about the shrimpo remark, pal. (Bobby doesn’t answer) Don’t you think I know how you feel? I had the same hang-up when I was a kid, only worse.
(Bobby turns over to face him.)
Bobby: You did?
Sam: Yeah, I weighed only 4 pounds when I was born. My old man wanted to send me back. (Bobby puts on a weak smile) I even flunked out of kindergarten, you know why?
Sam: I was such a pee-wee, the teacher kept marking me absent. (Bobby sits up on the bed) And then it happened. In one year, I grew six inches.
Bobby: Six inches in one year? (Sam nods) Wow. If I can do that until I’m 21…
Sam: Well, let’s see. You’d dress out at about, 10 feet 2 inches tall.
Bobby: Wow, I’ll make the basketball team.
Sam: Pal, you’ll be the basketball team.
(He pats Bobby’s head. We next see Bobby in the backyard stretching himself because he believes it will help him grow. Peter goes over to him.)
Peter: What are you doing?
Bobby: Stretching myself.
Peter: Stretching yourself?
Bobby: Yeah, I bet I’m getting longer by the minute.
Peter: If it doesn’t work, don’t feel bad. You can always be a jockey.
(Peter laughs and walks away. Bobby sticks his tongue out at him.)
(The next scene has Greg down at the butcher shop with Sam.)
Sam: Well, how do you like the meat business after one day?
Greg: I’m bushed. (He pulls a tray of meat to put in the meat locker) I wish there more vegetarians. I bet I pumped 40 miles on my bike today.
Sam: Just keep thinking about that new surfboard.
Greg: Not new, used. But I’m gonna fix it up.
Sam: I should be doing some fixing up myself. New counters, modernize that meat locker. I got big dreams, trouble is they’re bigger than my wallet.
Greg: Speaking of money, Sam, when’s pay day?
Greg: I can make my first payment on my surfboard.
(Sam hands him another tray of meat to put away. Back home, Bobby is stretching himself some more. Carol watches him as Mike comes to join her.)
Mike: What are you looking at?
Carol: Bobby. You think it’s good for him to stretch himself like that?
Mike: Well, it never hurt Tarzan.
Carol: Think of what it did to Jane.
Mike: Well, honey, he’s not gonna hurt himself.
Carol: He’s at it all the time.
Carol: Well, if his arms grow and his legs don’t he may grow up to look like Cheetah.
(Next, Bobby goes upstairs to measuring himself. He put a mark on the bathroom door. He gets disappointed that he hasn’t grown yet.)
Bobby: Nothing, still the same size.
(Marcia opens the bathroom door.)
Marcia: Bobby, you gotta give yourself a little time.
Bobby: I guess I better stretch some more.
(He goes outside to continue stretching. The girls all look at him with pity.)
Marcia: Poor Bobby, he keeps measuring himself all the time.
Cindy: And he gets grumpier and grumpier.
Jan: No wonder, he’s trying so hard to get tall.
Marcia: If he would just grow a little, even half an inch would encourage him.
(Bobby goes upstairs to measure himself again. He finds he grew a little bit and gets excited. He goes downstairs to stretch some more and finds he grew even more. He stretches and measures himself once again and finds he grew again.)
Bobby: Oh, wow. (He runs downstairs) It worked! Stretching myself really worked! I grew an inch and a half!
Mike: How much?
Bobby: A whole inch and a half.
Carol (laughing): Honey, maybe you grow, but I don’t think an inch and a half.
Mike (laughing): Not since yesterday.
Bobby: But I measured myself three times. It’s half an inch plus one whole inch.
Cindy: No, it’s only half an inch.
Bobby: How do you know it’s only half an inch?
Mike: Yeah, how do you know, Cindy?
Cindy: I made the mark half an inch lower so that Bobby would think he grew.
Mike (sternly): Cindy.
Cindy: I’m sorry.
Bobby: Well, that’s okay. I still grew an inch.
Jan: No, only half an inch.
Carol: You did the same thing too?
(Jan nods yes.)
Bobby: Well, a half inch isn’t bad.
Marcia (sheepishly): Bobby.
(He realizes he hadn’t grown at all.)
Carol: Oh, no.
Marcia: I guess we should have checked with each other.
Bobby (upset): It’s the dirtiest trick I ever heard of.
(He runs back up the stairs.)
Mike: Bobby. (He stops) They weren’t trying to trick you. I don’t think what they did was right.
Carol: They were only trying to help.
Bobby (almost in tears): They did it because they know it’s true!
Carol: Know what’s true?
Bobby: I’m a shrimpo, a pee-wee. I’ll never grow another inch as long as I’ll live.
(Bobby runs up to his room as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has Alice leaving to go to the supermarket.)
Alice: Anything you want form the market, Mrs. Brady?
Carol: Oh, did I leave something off the list?
Alice: No, I just thought I’d do something a little special for Bobby. Sometimes you can help a sad little heart with a happy little tummy.
Carol: Aw, that’s very sweet of you, Alice. What are you going to fix him?
Alice: His favorite dessert. Strawberry tall cake.
Carol: Strawberry tall cake?
Alice: Mrs. Brady, from now on, I’m not using the word short anymore.
(She leaves and Bobby runs inside.)
Carol: Hi, Bobby. Hey, wait a minute, your clothes. (He turns around and she notices he has a black eye) Bobby, your eye, what in the world happened?
Bobby: I got in a fight with Tommy Huxley.
Carol (annoyed): Tommy Huxley? He’s twice as big as you. Why doesn’t he pick on somebody his own size.
Bobby: Well (Pause) I picked on him.
Carol: You started the fight? Why?
Bobby: He was acting like a big shot.
Carol: Oh, and you weren’t by any chance feeling like a little shot, were you?
Bobby: I am a little shot, that’s all I’ll ever be.
Carol: Bobby, listen, you’ve heard about Napoleon Bonaparte, haven’t you?
Bobby: Yeah, he’s that funny guy who always walks around with his hand on his stomach.
(He tries to emulate Bonaparte.)
Carol: He was also a little guy. And he went around trying to prove how big he was by fighting everybody.
Bobby: Did he win?
Carol: Nope. just like you, he got clobbered. So I really don’t think fighting is the answer, do you, Bob?
Bobby: Not if you lose.
Carol: Some of the greatest men in the world were small men who didn’t fight.
Bobby: What did they do?
Carol: They used their brains, not their muscles. (She puts her finger on his head) Brain power. (She gets up) I’ll get some more water.
Bobby (to himself): Brain power, huh.
(The next scene has Bobby coming home on his bike from the library, where he got a bunch of books to give him brain power. Peter is playing basketball and notices him.)
Peter: Want to shoot some baskets?
Bobby: I can’t.
Peter: What are all those big books for?
Bobby: To read.
Peter: I know that, dumbhead, where did you get them?
Bobby: At the library. I’m on my way to brain power.
(He points to his head.)
Peter: Brain power? What do you mean?
Bobby: If you had any, you’d know.
(Later on, Bobby is reading some of his books in the family room, while Marcia and Jan are sitting on the couch cutting things out of newspapers.)
Bobby (turning around): Jan, Marcia, you both like to watch TV?
Marcia: Mmm Hmm.
Bobby: Bet you don’t even know how it works.
Bobby: Television is an electronic system of transmitted images over wire by converting light and sound into electrical waves.
Marcia (sarcastically): You really took a load off my mind.
(Bobby turns some pages in the book, them turns around at her with a hurt look. Next, Greg is showing Mike his new surfboard as he waxes it.)
Greg: Well, Dad, how do you like it?
Mike: Well, I don’t know much about surfboards but it looks great.
(Bobby runs up to them with another trivial question.)
Bobby: I bet you don’t know what the fourth longest river in the world is.
Mike: No, what is the fourth longest river in the world?
Bobby: The Ob in Siberia. It’s 3,200 miles long.
Mike: Well, that’s very interesting.
Greg: Like I was saying, Dad, there’s nothing like surfing in the whole world. First, you take off on a big, thick swell and, once you get it, you crank on a bottom turn and you get out on the nose.
Mike (laughing): That sounds exciting.
Bobby: Hey, Greg, I bet you don’t know…
Greg (looking at his watch): Wow, I’m gonna be late for work. I got to get down to Sam’s quick. I’ll clean that up when I get back.
(He starts to take off.)
Mike: Gosh, I got to go too. Bye, Bob.
(Mike takes off as well. Bobby is left there looking depressed. He goes into the kitchen where Alice is cooking.)
Alice: Hey, I thought you’ve gone with your Mom and the rest of the kids to get new shoes.
Bobby: I don’t need new shoes. Not even my feet are growing bigger.
Alice: Hey, Bobby, do you have any more of those terrific brain power questions.
Bobby (bitterly): No.
Alice: Well, you sure had some real hard ones.
Bobby: Big deal. Knowing a lot is great, but it sure isn’t very fun.
Alice: You know, Bobby, it could be that you’re working too hard on one thing.
Bobby: What do you mean?
Alice: Well, you need a balance. It’s like a recipe. You gotta have the right amount of each ingredient for it to come out right.
Bobby: And I’ve been putting in too much brain power?
Alice: Exactly. (She picks up her recipe to read it) and speaking of recipes, there’s something wrong with my brain power. I forgot to get sausage for my special meat loaf tonight. I’d better call Greg to bring home 2 pounds of sausage.
Bobby: I can do it for you, Alice.
Alice: No thanks, honey, it’s easier for Greg to do it.
Bobby (upset): You probably think I’m too little to go down there by myself.
(Alice dials the phone but stops and hangs up.)
Alice: On second thought, since I’m going out tonight, the sooner I get my sausage, the sooner I’ll get my Sam. Okay, go Bobby.
Bobby: Great. I’ll get back real fast.
(He races to go down to the butcher shop, where Sam is giving Greg deliveries.)
Sam: And porterhouse and the veal go to Mrs. Stevens, at 231 Elm. Got that?
Greg: Got it. Anything else?
Sam: Yeah, don’t get lost. I’m closing the shop at 6:00 sharp tonight. I’m taking Alice to the destruction derby. Last time we almost got destroyed trying to find seats.
Greg: Sam, if you want to get an early start, I can close up.
Sam: Switch? Hey, that’s a good idea. I can make your deliveries on the way home. Real smart, and you close up. You think you can handle it?
Greg: Easy. I take any phone orders that come in. I put the meat in the locker so I can clean the counter. Turn the lights out, and lock the door at 6.
Sam: And, remember what I told you about that meat locker.
Greg: Right. And thanks again for the advance, Sam. Someday I’ll let you ride my surfboard.
Sam: No thanks, I get seasick taking a bath.
(Next, Bobby is down at the butcher shop, just as Greg is closing up.)
Greg: Hi, Bobby. What are you doing here?
Bobby: Alice needs two pounds of sausage.
Greg: Okay, I put all the meat away, I’ll have to get it out of the locker.
(Greg goes in the locker to get the sausage. Bobby follows him in and shuts the door. Greg gets angry.)
Greg: What did you do that for?
Bobby: Do what?
Greg: Close the door. It doesn’t have a two way lock.
Bobby: I didn’t want to let the cold out.
Greg (upset): Bobby, Sam’s got a rule this door’s supposed to be open when anybody’s in here!
Bobby: You mean we’re locked in. (They try forcing the door open) Push. It’s no use, we can’t get out.
(Next, Greg tries to find a way to get them out.)
Bobby: It’s freezing.
Greg: Look, it’s not freezing. it’s not that cold in here. If you want to keep warm, exercise.
(Bobby starts to do jumping jacks.)
Bobby: It must be 10 below in here.
Greg: It’s 10 below in your head. Bobby, I said exercise, not jump around like you had ants in your pants.
Bobby: The air.
Greg: What air?
Bobby: We’ll be breathing it all up pretty soon. We’ll suffocate, I can feel it already.
Greg: Quit pretending like this is a submarine movie. Just sit down and relax. (He finds an ax) Look! Maybe we can open the door with this. (They run over to the door) Stand back, stand back.
(He strikes the doorknob with the ax, but breaks it.)
Greg: Don’t worry, I’ve got another idea.
Bobby: What are you gonna do?
Greg: Just watch. (He tries to use the ax to open the door form the inside) Help me. Come on, push.
(They try to open the door but the ax breaks and the top is stuck in the door. Next, he takes the bottom of the ax to break the glass on the door window.)
Greg: Stand back, Bobby, this is our last chance. (Greg successfully breaks the glass and leaves the window open Bring over those boxes.
(Bobby takes some boxes in the corner for Greg to stand up to get loose. Greg puts his smock under the glassless window, and attempts to climb through.)
Greg: If I could just crawl through and open the door. (He tries to get through but there’s not enough room) It’s no use, I’m too big. It’s up to you to save us, Bobby.
Bobby: I sure hope I’m small enough. Gee, I never thought I’d ever wish I was little.
(Bobby climbs up to get through the window while Greg holds on to his feet.)
Greg: Easy does it. I got your feet. Be careful. Go on.
(Bobby slides through and makes it to the outside.)
Bobby: I made it.
Greg: Okay, open the door. (Bobby tries opening the door but can’t) Come on, Bobby.
Bobby: You broke it when you hit it with the ax.
Greg: Call Sam, quick. He’s over at our house picking up Alice.
(Bobby rushes over to the payphone but realizes he doesn’t have the money to make the call.)
Bobby: I don’t have a dime.
Greg; Wait a minute.
(He takes a dime from his pocket and throws it to Bobby.)
Bobby: Boy, that’s an awfully cold dime.
Greg: You think the dime is cold, how do you think I feel.
(Bobby calls the house.)
Bobby: Hey Greg, you oughtta keep your head sticking out, it’s nice and warm out here.
(Greg frowns at the suggestion. We next have Mike, Sam, Carol and Alice down there.)
Mike: We’ll have you out in a second, son.
Greg: I’m okay. Sam, your meat locker works great.
Carol: Oh, Greg, how do you feel?
(Mike and Sam open the door with a crowbar and free Greg.)
Carol: Oh, thank goodness. You okay?
Mike: Oh, I think he’s all right, honey.
Carol: We better get you home into a hot tub.
Alice: I had to go and forget sausage.
Sam: That settles it. No matter how much it costs, I’m modernizing that meat locker.
Greg: It was our own fault, Sam. (He turns to Bobby) Thanks, Bobby, you saved my life.
(He puts his arm around him.)
Bobby: Remember, you saved mine. Now we’re even. (to the parents) Boy, am I glad I’m little.
Greg: So am I, pal. So am I.
(The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Bobby and Greg playing with Greg’s new surfboard. Bobby is on top of it.)
Greg: Okay, Bobby, now you got your big, thick swell.
Greg: Okay, crank on the bottom turn, get out on the front of the board. Yeah, yeah, that’s good.
Bobby: Now, what do I do?
Greg: You’re locked in. There’s this huge wall of water hanging right over your head. Look out, Bobby, it’s a wipeout. Here comes a wave.
(Peter comes with a large bucket of water and pours it on Greg as Bobby ducks. Peter laughs as an angry Greg takes the bucket and puts it over his head. Greg and Bobby laugh until Peter puts it over Bobby’s head and he laughs.)