S3 E20 Sergeant Emma

untitled emma

Sergeant Emma

Written by Harry Winkler

Alice goes away for a week and so her cousin Emma, an army sergeant, takes her place and proceeds to turn the house into an army base. I hope you enjoy the script.












(The episode begins with Alice leaving for a vacation. She says good-bye to Mike and Carol.)

Alice: I made out the shopping list, Mrs. Brady. And I finished the wash and I don’t think…

Carol: Alice, will you please stop worrying? We’ll be fine. Now, just have a nice vacation.

Alice: I will, I really will. (She starts to cry) You know, it just broke my heart saying good-bye to the children this morning. It’s just gonna seem like a year before I see them again.

Mike: Alice, you’re only gonna be gone a week.

Alice: So I’m 358 days off.

(Mike and Carol laugh.)

Carol: Well, they’re gonna miss you too.

Alice: Well, I wouldn’t go if I didn’t know you had a first-rate pitch hitter for me. You’re gonna love my cousin Emma.

Mike: Oh, yeah, I’m sure we will.

Alice: like I said, she’s efficient, well-organized, a born manager.

(We see Emma arriving at the Brady house. One of the kids’ bicycles was on the ground, so she took it and put it back up. She also picked up a football and put it on the patio table. She comes inside the house.)

Alice: Oh, there she is now, hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi there, Alice.

Alice: My, it’s good to see you.

Emma: You too.

Alice: Emma, meet Mr. and Mrs. Brady.

Mike: Hello, Emma.

Carol: Hi. It’s nice to have you with us.

(Emma gives a little smile.)

Mike: We hope you’ll be comfortable.

Emma: Thank you, I just hope I’m able to make you people comfortable.

Alice: There are six more Bradys to meet when they get home from school.

Emma: Good, the more there are, the better I like it.

(They hear a car honking.)

Alice: Oh, that would be Sam to drive me to the airport. Well, adios, aloha, arrivederci.

Carol: Alice, now what kind of a good-bye is that?

Alice: When you get on an airplane nowadays, you never know where you’re gonna end up. (Carol hugs her good-bye) Now you take good care of the Bradys, cousin Emma. (The car horn honks again) I’m coming.

(She leaves.)

Emma: I think I can handle the job, folks. I wasn’t in the wax for 20 years for nothing. Musted out as Master Sergeant.

Carol: Master Sergeant?

Alice: Yes, ma’am. Helped run the mess hall for an entire company.

Mike (amazed): That must have been a very difficult job.

Emma: Not if you’re organized.

(Bobby and Cindy run in the house screaming and leave the door open.)

Emma: Halt! About face! (The kids turn around) Forward march and close the door. Come on, hut 2, hut 2, hut, hut, hut. Move along, hut 2, hut 2. (They close the door and Emma turns to Mike and Carol) Just a question of control.

Bobby (to Cindy): Hut 2?

(The scene fades.)

untitled alice and emma

(Early the next morning, the family is awoken by a loud whistle from Emma.)

Peter (waking up): What’s happening?

Greg (waking up): I don’t know. (Emma blows her whistle off once more) There it is again.

Emma (coming in their room): Up and atom, men.

(She turns their light on.)

Greg: Up and atom who?

Emma: Move it, out of the sack. Hut 2.

Peter: But it’s barely light outside.

Emma: Right, Rise with the sun, get your day’s work done.

Bobby: But we don’t work, we go to school.

Emma: Makes no difference. Good habits start early in life.

Greg (tiredly): Do they have to start so early in the morning?

Emma: Cut the chatter, men. Suit up and fall out in the yard in 15 minutes.

(She leaves the room and shuts the yard.)

Greg: The yard?

Bobby: What are we gonna do in the yard?

(They get out of their beds and follow Emma’s instructions. She is next in the girls’ room.)

Emma: Rise and shine girls. Breakfast is at old 800 hours.

Marcia: But it’s only 6:00 in the morning?

Emma: Right.

Jan: What are we supposed to do until old 800 hours?

Emma: Calisthenics.

Cindy: Calisthenics?

Marcia and Jan: Oh, no.

(They get back under the covers and put them over their heads.)

Emma (pulling the covers off them): and when I say calisthenics, I mean calisthenics.

(Cut to the backyard, where Emma and the kids are doing jumping jacks.)

Emma: Hut 2,3,4, hut 2 and that’s all.

(The kids stop.)

Greg: If that’s all, I think I’ll be going back to bed.

(The other kids agree.)

Emma: As you were. (They stop) Never break formation before you’ve been given the order. Back, back, snap to it. Hut, hut, hut, hut. We’re just getting warmed up.

(She looks something up on her list.)

Jan: How come we had to come out here to get warmed up?

Cindy: Yeah.

Marcia: I was warm right in bed.

(Mike and Carol notice from inside.)

Mike: Boy, she really has the kids hustling.

Carol: You think it might be too much for them, Mike?

Mike: No, a little exercise can’t hurt ’em.

(Cut back outside.)

Emma: All right, what we’re gonna now is deep knee bends. (The kids protest) And I mean deep. (She gives a demonstration) Got it? Ready, set, exercise. Hut 2, hut 2.  Heads up, chests out. Backs straight, looking great.

Peter (to Greg and Bobby): This is for the birds.

Bobby: Yeah, the birds.

Greg: Are you kidding? No bird in his right mind would do knee bends at 6:00 in the morning.

Jan (to Marcia): Can she do this to us?

Marcia: She’s doing it for a treat.

Cindy: My knees been okay before we started.

Emma: Hut 2, hut 2, hut 2, hut 2, and that’s all. Fall out.

Cindy: Can we eat now?

(The other kids cheerfully agree. Emma blows her whistle.)

Emma: Simmer down. There will be no chow until inspection quarters.

(Next, she is upstairs inspecting the boys’ room.)

Emma (to Peter): A little more elbow grease on those shoes.

Peter: Yes sir, ma’am.

(She goes into his drawer and takes out a pair of socks.)

Emma: That’s no way to stow socks. You roll them like this. (She rolls them and hands them to him) That’s a regulation sock roll. (She inspects Greg’s bed) That looks like a mushy bed, soldier. (The guys come closer to the bed and she bounces a quarter on it) Tighten that blanket, that quarter is supposed to jump like a spring.

Greg: Yes, ma’am.

Bobby: Why?

Emma: Why. Regulations, that’s why. (She looks around the room) Well, it’s not too bad for a first inspection. (she pats Peter’s back) At ease.

(She leaves the room.)

Peter: This is like being in the Army.

Greg: I wonder what the punishment is for going over the hill.

(Bobby laughs. Emma is next in the girls’ room.)

Emma: Well, girls. Do you think this room can stand the glove test?

Marcia: What’s the glove test?

(Emma has a white glove on her hand. She taps the desk with a finger of the glove.)

Emma: That’s the glove test. (She shows them dust on the glove) Get rid of that dust.

(She walks out of the room.)

Jan (whispering): Why don’t we keep the dust and get rid of her.

Cindy: Yeah.

Marcia; Uncle Sam had her, why didn’t he keep her?

(Next, Mike comes home form work and he sees Carol sitting on the bottom of the staircase, looking concerned.)

Mike: Hi, honey.

Carol: Hi.

(He notices her worried frown.)

Mike: Uh oh, something’s wrong.

Carol: What makes you say that?

Mike: Because, you have that something is wrong look in your eyes.

(He kisses her cheek.)

Carol: Well, it’s Emma.

Mike: Uh, oh, what’s wrong with Emma?

Carol: Well, I know she means well, honey. But, she’s awfully hard on the kids.

Mike: Oh, you mean the exercises?

Carol: Well, it’s not just the exercises, the room inspections, and the awful hut 2, hut 2, all over the place.

Mike: Honey, she’s just one of those persons who has to have everything organized.

Carol: Oh, you’re not kidding, she’s organized me right out of my own kitchen. (Pause) Oh, by the way, this is for you. (She hands him a piece of paper) she wants you to initial it.

Mike: Oh yeah, what’s this?

Carol: Well, it’s a duty roster?

Mike: A duty roster?

Carol: Yeah, she’s given the kids assignments. There’s KP, laundry detail, trash detail, bathroom detail.

Mike: I’m surprised she didn’t say la treem.

Carol: She did. I had to translate for the kids.

Mike: Oh well, honey, there’s nothing wrong with the kids having duties assigned to them.

Carol: You mean you approve of all this?

Mike: Well, a little discipline can’t hurt.

Carol: Okay, I wonder if you’ll feel the same way at dinner tonight.

Mike: What’s gonna happen at dinner tonight?

Carol: You’ll see.

(That evening, Emma is in the kitchen and the kids all come in.)

Emma: Troops, in here troops, in here. Grab a plate and get in line. Form a line right over here. No pushing. Organization is the order of the day.

Peter: What are we eating?

Emma: Potatoes MacArthur, Beef Eisenhower, Succatosh Pentagon. After you’re finished eating, I want you to rinse off your plate and pile them in the sink. Now who’s got KP on the duty roster?

Jan: I guess I do.

Emma: Then you eat first. Hut 2, hut 2.

Greg (to Marcia): You know what we’re having?

Marcia: Succatosh Pentagon?

Carol (to Mike): Hut 2, hut 4, I don’t like this anymore.

Mike: I get the terrible feeling we’ve all been drafted.

(The next scene has Greg and Marcia coming into the family room to discuss the matter with Mike and Carol.)

Greg: Dad, Mom, can we talk to you for a minute?

Mike: Sure, what’s the trouble?

Marcia: What isn’t the trouble?

Greg: Do we have to go in for that gung ho jazz? Especially the exercises.

Mike: Well son, nothing wrong with building up your body.

Carol: And what better way of exercising every day?

Emma (coming in the room): I’m glad to hear you feel that way, Mr. and Mrs. Brady. People don’t always like what’s good for them.

Mike: Yeah, that’s what I was pointing out. Kids need exercise.

Emma: Adults too, Mr. Brady, if you know what I mean.

(Mike gives her a surprised look.)

Mike: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think I know what you mean.

Emma: You too, Mrs. Brady. You have a nice little figure there, you wouldn’t want it to go to pot.

Carol (sheepishly): No, (she gives Mike a little slap on the wrist) I guess I wouldn’t.

Emma: Good, well I’ll expect you both to join us tomorrow morning, Roger?

Greg (to Carol): Like you said, there’s nothing wrong with building up your body.,

Marcia: And what better way of exercising every day, right?

Emma: Tomorrow morning at old 600 hours.

Carol: Old 600 hours?

Mike: That’s 6:00 in the morning.

(Emma smirks. the next morning, Carol and Mike are participating in the exercise, along with the kids. Emma stands over them with a stick while they do push-ups.)

Emma: Hut 2,3,4. Hut 2,3,4. Hut 2,3,4, make those tummies clear the floor. 5,6,7,8. Lower those backs and keep them straight. Hut 2,3,4. Hut 2,3,4. Hut 2,3,4, and halt.

(They all gladly drop to the ground.)

Mike (to Carol): Well, certainly makes you feel better, doesn’t it?

Carol: I don’t know. Right now, I can’t feel anything.

Emma: All right, troops, may I have your attention? I’d like to make an announcement. Tomorrow morning we will not be doing calisthenics. (They all cheer) Hold it, hold it. Instead, I’ve got a special surprise.

(The next morning, Emma and the family jog around the neighborhood. Carol stops to rest by holding on to a tree to relax. They continue to jog all the way to the house.)

Emma: Hut 2, hut 2, come on in and hut 2, hut 2, hut 2. (She repeats hut 2) All right, fall out. Hut 2, hut 2.

(She jogs inside and the family drops to the ground.)

Mike (to Carol): Oh, honey, I’m sorry I got you into this. Why don’t we just drop it and go home.

Carol: Are you kidding? And face the court marshal?

(Emma comes back out.)

Emma: Chow time.

(They all get up and rush inside. The scene fades out.)

untitled bounce a quarted untitled glove test

(The next scene has Carol and Mike in their room, laying on their beds, exhausted.)

Mike: As Sergeant Emma would say, “Are you A Ok?”

Carol: Oh, no, my A is far from OK, and my B and C are the same.

Mike: You know, if Emma weren’t Alice’s cousin, I’d ship her out for overseas duty.

Carol: Here, here.

(There is a knock on the door.)

Mike (tired): Come in.

(Marcia and Greg enter.)

Marcia: Mom, Dad.

Carol: Yeah.

Greg: On behalf of all the kids, we’d like to put a proposition to you.

Mike: What kind of proposition?

Marcia: Well, if you don’t have to have Emma for the rest of the week, we’ll do all the housework.

Greg: We’ll even get up at old 600 hours and do stuff before we go to school.

Marcia: And we’ll come straight home and do work too.

Greg: What we’re trying to say is, we’d like an honorable discharge from Emma’s Army.

Carol (laughing): Oh, that’s funny, your father and I were just talking about that.

Greg: And.

Mike: Well, it’s not quite that simple. Emma is Alice’s cousin and we’re in a delicate ground.

Carol: We wouldn’t want to hurt Alice’s feelings, would we?

Marcia: I guess not.

Greg: We didn’t think of that.

Mike: Hmm. Well, I guess we’re stuck for the duration.

Greg: I wish we could give her a 3 day pass or something.

Carol: Yeah, that sure would help. (she gets an idea) Hey, why not. (she turns to Mike) Mike, why couldn’t we get her to take a couple of days off.

Marcia: Or even one.

Mike: That’s a good idea, let’s talk to her.

(Carol feels some pain in her back. Mike massages it.)

(The next scene has Mike and Carol coming into the kitchen, where Emma is setting dishes in the cupboard.)

Emma: Oh, just arranging these dishes in G.I. order. Have you ever read the Army manual on mess hole organization?

Carol: No, I’m afraid I haven’t,

Emma: Well, you should, it’s an eye opener.

Mike: Emma, we appreciate you working so hard, but, Mrs. Brady and I are a little concerned about it.

Carol: Yeah, we think you’ve been working a little too hard.

Emma: Nothing wrong with hard work.

Mike: Uh, no, no. But you can overdo it. Um, even in the Army they gave you 3 day passes, didn’t they.

Emma: Oh, sure they did, but, I never took ’em.

Carol (disappointed): You never took them?

Emma: Mr. and Mrs. Brady, I served 20 years in Uncle Sam’s army. Never gold bricked once, I’m not about to start now. No sir, I got a week’s special duty here and you’re gonna get every minute of it. Mr. Brady, that buckle of yours is tarnishing. I got an army rag, it’ll shine that right up.

(Emma goes to get it and Marcia and Greg come in from the living room.)

Marcia: We heard.

Carol: Sorry, kids. Emma’s not going to budge until Alice returns from her vacation.

Marcia: I don’t think I can stand it until Alice gets back.

(Carol and Mike go upstairs.)

Greg (to Marcia): There must be something we can do.

(That evening, they conspire with the other kids.)

Greg: I called you guys together for some good news. Marcia and I have figured out some plans for Sergeant Emma. (The other kids cheer)

Greg (to Bobby and Cindy): You two will have a special mission to knock Emma out of the loop.

Marcia (to Peter and Jan): And you two are gonna help me and Greg.

(The next day, Bobby and Cindy come in the kitchen with a mouse.)

Cindy: You think Emma’s going to be scared?

Bobby: Sure. Remember Alice? She screamed and jumped 10 high.

Cindy: Yeah.

Bobby: Emma will leave here as fast as she can. Now where should we put it?

Cindy: How about the wastebasket?

Bobby: Perfect! (to the mouse) Okay guy, we’re counting on you.

Cindy: It was sure nice of Benji to lend him his pet mouse.

(Bobby puts the mouse in the garbage can.)

Bobby: Ready?

Cindy: Roger. (she laughs) Emma’s got me saying it.

Bobby: Okay, go.

(They start screaming for Emma. She comes in the kitchen.)

Emma (pulling it out): Ahh, this little fellow. (Bobby and Cindy get squeamish) He wouldn’t hurt a fly. (The kids get disappointed) Remember, a good soldier isn’t afraid of anything. He’s cute. Here (she hands it to Bobby) Take a pet out of him.

(She walks away.)

Bobby: She sure wasn’t scared of a mouse.

Cindy: Maybe Benji has a skunk.

Bobby: A skunk? I think we need King Kong.

(Next, Emma is dusting in the family room when Jan and Peter come in.)

Jan: Hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi troops. (He goes back to dusting then notices them staring) Want something?

Jan: We were just wondering why you’re working so hard if you feel so bad.

Emma: Who says I feel bad?

Peter: Well, you’re always telling us to stand up straight like you do. And from the way you’re bent over, you must feel terrible.

Emma: I’m just bent over dusting.

Jan: What about the dark circles?

Emma: What dark circles?

Jan: Under your eyes.

Peter: Yeah, and you look kind of feverish.

Emma: Feverish?

Jan: Maybe we shouldn’t have said anything.

Peter: Yeah, forget it Emma, see you around.

(They walk away and Emma, looking suspicious, feels her head. Greg and Marcia come in.)

Marcia: Hi, Emma.

Emma: Hi.

(They stare at her and she turns around.)

Greg: Emma, are you okay?

Emma: Well, sure I’m feeling okay.

Greg: Your face is so flushed. I thought you might be sick. (Emma looks at them with a straight face.)

Marcia: And what’s the matter with your eyes?

Emma: My eyes, why?

Marcia: Well, they look kind of blazed.

Greg: Maybe she’s getting the pink eye. Emma, now you’re getting pale as a ghost.

Emma: Pale?

Greg: You better sit down (they take her by the arms) You look like you might faint.

Emma: Why I never fainted in my life.

(They sit her down.)

Marcia: I think you’re supposed to put your head between your knees.

Greg: Emma, you oughtta take it easy. Go away for a couple of days rest.

Marcia: Right!

Emma: You know what’s the matter with me? It’s those calisthenics.

Marcia: Why, I bet that’s what it is.

Greg: Too much exercising. Right?

Emma: Wrong. I’ve been too easy on myself. Getting soft as a civilian. Effective  600 hours tomorrow, double calisthenics. We’re really gonna shape up around here.

(She goes back to the dusting, leaving Greg and Marcia plenty upset.)

(We next see her and the whole family doing exercises the next day. She also inspects  the girls room, then the boys room. She has Bobby fold a shirt. Finally, she shows Carol how to sort out her shoes and Mike how to fold socks. She then has the family go around the doghouse on their knees. The next morning, Carol and Mike are in their room sleeping as Carol looks to see what time it is. She elbows Mike.)

Carol: Honey, honey, honey, you know what time it is?

Mike: Time for Emma’s exercises.

Carol: Yeah. (laughing)

Mike (suddenly realizing): Oh! Do you realize what today is?

Carol: Ahh, how could I forget? Alice is coming home, the prisoners of war are about to be liberated.

Mike: Oh boy, she sure will be a sight for sore eyes, and sore back and sore arms and sore legs.

Carol: The kids could hardly wait. Honey, why don’t we give Alice a coming home party?

Mike: Hey yeah, why don’t we.

Carol: Yeah, why don’t we. I’ll order a cake from the bakery and have Greg pick it up on his way home from school.

Mike: Yeah, I’m for that. (Carol sighs in relief) Well, we better get a move-on. You know how Emma is about her old 600 calisthenics.

Carol: Roger, I don’t want to get thrown in the stockade.

(The next scene has Greg and Marcia coming home with the cake.)

Marcia: Hi, Mom.

Carol: Hi.

Greg: Where’s the cake.

(He opens it up.)

Greg: Oh, that looks delicious.

Marcia: Delicious but fattening.

Carol: Yeah. (to Greg) Here, let me help you, careful now.

(She and Greg take it out of the box and set it on the table. Greg goes to throw the box away and runs into Emma, who comes in the kitchen.)

Emma: Hi, mind if I look too.

Carol: Well, it’s just  a cake, Emma.

Emma: Oh, that’s a party cake if I ever saw one.

Carol (sheepishly): Well, let me explain, Emma, you see it’s…

Emma: (interrupting): You don’t have to explain, Mrs. Brady, I understand.

Carol: You do?

Emma: Of course I do, today’s my last day here and you want to give me a going away party. Right?

(They all look at her in astonishment.)

Carol (reluctantly): Right.

(Next, the Bradys are eating cake and drinking milk with Emma, in the living room. She makes a speech.)

Emma: Well, troops, I never really expected anything like this. I want you to know this is the nicest thing that’s happened to me since I got the general Haggerty award for my campaign make your barracks beautiful.

Carol: Oh, Emma, it’s really nothing.

Emma: Oh, yes it is something, folks. The army is a lonely life. You make a friend, you get transferred away. The heaving for me used to be going to PX for extra shoe polish. I loved every single minute I’ve been here. And you all shaped up just great. In my power I give you all good conduct metals with an open cluster.

(She blows her nose and Alice comes in the door.)

Alice: Hi, everybody. I’m back.

(The family gets up and cheers and welcomes Alice with open arms. That makes her pleased as punch.)

Alice: Wow, what a reception. I should just walk out and come in again. (She notices what’s left of the cake) Well, having a little celebration here?

Emma: Cousin Alice, my wonderful platoon has made a farewell party for old Sarge.

Alice: Aww, isn’t that nice. See, I told you the Bradys for something really special. And I guess you all discovered that Cousin Emma is something special too.

Carol: Oh, she’s something special, all right.

Mike: you better believe it.

Alice: Well, that’s great, because I won’t have to feel funny about going away again. We can just ask Cousin Emma to come back.

(The family gets dismayed by that statement as the scene fades out.)

untitled party

(The final scene has Carol and Mike in bed when they hear a whistle blowing. Soon, the whole family is woken up. It turns out Alice woke them up.)

Mike: Alice, it’s 6:00 on the (Pause) morning.

Alice: Yeah, I know.

Carol: What are you doing with that whistle?

Alice: Emma left it for me. She said the whole family just loved getting up at 6 and exercising. (The family looks at her with disgust) Yeah, and she left me as a matter of fact, all these instructions and a whole lot of other things. (The family goes back to bed) First, calisthenics at old 600, then the mess hall, followed immediately by the white glove test, then the inspection of quarters, then if, only if, everyone passes, then… (She looks up and notices they all left) Hey, where did everybody go? Gang.

                                                          THE END

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