You Can’t Win ‘Em All
Written by Lois Hire
Cindy and Bobby are selected to take a test to appear on a television brain quiz. Cindy passes but then develops an attitude about it. I hope you like the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MONTY MARSHALL, host of children’s quiz show
5 boys and girls on show
(The episode begins with Cindy coming home in a happy mood. She hops around the doghouse while Carol and Alice are inside putting some groceries away.)
Carol: Alice, how come we buy the same things every week?
Alice: I think because we have the same kids every week.
(Cindy comes running in.)
Cindy: Mother, Alice.
Cindy; Guess what happened at school today?
Cindy: I was picked out of all the kids in school to be on a television show.
Carol: On a television show?
Cindy: Yeah, the one called Question the Kid.
Carol: Oh, that’s the one where kids from different schools compete against one another.
Carol: Oh, that’s wonderful, sweetheart.
Alice: Congratulations, Cindy. When are you going to be on TV?
Cindy: Well, I’m not sure I’m gonna be on television, but I got picked.
Carol: You got picked to do what?
Cindy: Well, you see, there are different tests for different grades. And I got picked to take the test for my grade to see who gets picked to be on television.
Carol (hugging her): Well, that’s still terrific honey.
Bobby (coming in): Big deal. I got picked too, for my grade.
Carol: Both of you got picked?
Alice: That’s terrific.
Carol: Boy, we really got some brains in this family, huh, Alice?
Alice: Yeah, two eggheads in the same nest.
Bobby: Lots of kids get picked to take the test, but only four get to be on television.
Cindy: We’ll have to study real hard, or we won’t even have a chance to win.
Bobby: It’ll be a cinch, for me, anyway.
(He takes a bite out of an apple he took from the refrigerator. He and Cindy leave.)
Carol: Too bad Bobby’s suffering from a lack of confidence, isn’t it.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Bobby outside in the backyard putting up an Indian teepee. Cindy comes over to him.)
Cindy: Hey, Bobby, I got a great idea.
Cindy: We both have to take a test to be on a television show, so why don’t we study together.
Bobby: I haven’t got time.
Cindy: Why not?
Bobby: I’m busy. I’m building a real Indian teepee, like I saw in the movies.
Cindy: What’s so important about building an old teepee?
Bobby: Just ask any old Indian?
(Cindy ignores the comment and walks off. Next, Cindy is in her room studying and her sisters come in.)
Jan (to Marcia): I got to wash my hair today. Awful.
Marcia: I got to study my French. Many of it sounds like pig Latin.
Cindy: Jan, would you help me study?
Jan: I’m sorry, Cindy, I can’t. I got to wash my hair.
Cindy: Can’t you wash it tomorrow?
Jan: What? And take a chance to have it oily follicled?
Cindy: Would you help me study, Marcia?
Marcia: I can’t, Cindy. I got to study this French vocabulary.
Cindy: Then I guess I might as well forget about being on television.
(Jan and Marcia become surprised.)
Jan: You mean you made it?
Marcia: You mean you got picked to take the television test we were talking about?
Jan: Well, sure we’ll help you.
Cindy: You will?
Jan (pointing at two books Cindy has): Gee, you have to learn both those big books?
Cindy: Oh, no. (She takes a few more books out form underneath her bed) All these too.
(Bobby is still working on his teepee and Greg and Peter come by.)
Greg: Hey, Bobby, aren’t you supposed to be studying?
Bobby: What for?
Peter: That test for the television show. Don’t you want to be on TV?
Bobby: Sure, but I know all that stuff.
Greg: Cindy’s really studying for her test.
Bobby: Maybe I’m smarter than she is.
Peter: You’re not too smart about putting up a teepee.
Greg: Come on, let’s help.
(They try to join Bobby in putting it up.)
Bobby: Hold it, I know all about putting up one of these.
Greg (sarcastically): Well, listen to Big Chief Know it all.
(Greg and Peter walk away to play basketball.)
Greg (to Peter): You start.
(They start to play as we cut inside to Carol, who’s on the phone.)
Carol: Uh-huh, just you, the Swansons and the Clarks. No, no, no, just wear something casual. Mike’s gonna barbecue. Okay, right, on Saturday the 3rd. Okay, bye.
(She hangs up and we go back inside, where Bobby finished.)
Bobby: Hey, you guys. Look.
(They rush over to check out the job he did on building the teepee.)
Greg: Not bad!
Bobby: See, I told you, I can do it all by myself. (Suddenly, the teepee collapses) Hey!
(The guys make fun of him. Next, Mike is cleaning the grill with Alice’s help.)
Mike: Hey, Alice, I think the solution is finally getting the rust off the barbecue.
Alice: The Watsons just got some special stuff that I sprayed off the grill and ate the rust right away.
Mike: Well, why don’t we use that.
Alice: Because it ate the grill too.
(Carol comes out.)
Carol: Mike, I just talked to the Clarks and the Bernsteins and they said the 3rd will be just great.
Mike: Hey, good, oh listen, I forgot to tell you I ran into Ross Allen and Don Metzger and they heard about the party from Chuck Swanson so I had to invite them too.
Carol: But, honey, if we invite the Allens and the Metzgers, then we’re gonna have to invite the Kauffmans and the Burkes.
Mike: Well, we’ll ask them too.
Carol: Steaks for 14 people?
Mike: Then I can take a loan on the house.
Alice: Mrs. Brady, why don’t we have a Mexican dinner. It costs a lot less.
Carol: Hey, Alice, that sounds like a great idea.
Mike: Listen, I thought you wanted me to barbecue.
Alice: I got some great Mexican recipes. They come in three degrees, hot, super hot, and, pass the fire extinguisher.
Carol: I think hot will be hot enough. I’ll bet that pass the fire extinguisher one is really something special.
Alice: Automatically makes you a Mexican citizen.
(They laugh and Carol and Alice go inside. Alice shows Carol some recipes. Mike is left outside alone.)
Mike (calling): Carol.
Carol (stopping): Yeah?
Mike: What about my barbecue?
Carol: Oh, it looks just terrific. Adios.
(Mike repeats to himself sarcastically how terrific she thinks it is. He accidentally gets rust on his face.)
(Cut to the boys’ room, Greg and Peter are tutoring Cindy for the test.)
Greg (looking in a book): Ah hah, here’s one. Who gave the famous speech that started, four score and seven years ago?
Cindy: Abraham Lincoln.
Greg: That’s right.
Peter: I’m gonna give you one to test your logic. So listen real carefully, it’s tricky.
Peter: You’re a bus driver, and the bus is empty. At your first stop, 10 people get on. At your second stop, nine people get off but two more get on. Okay?
Peter: Okay, at your next stop, two people get on, and four people get off. You got that?
Cindy: Got it.
Peter: Okay, now here’s your question. What’s the name of the bus driver?
Cindy: The name of the bus driver?
Cindy: How should I know?
Peter: Cindy Brady. I said you were the bus driver. I told you it was tricky.
Cindy: That was real tricky.
Greg: Okay, here’s another one, Cindy. Let’s see if you can get this. It’s tricky now, you ready?
Cindy: I’m ready.
Greg: There’s a rooster and he’s sitting on top of a house, and it has a slanted roof. Now, when he lays an egg, which side will it roll off?
Cindy: It won’t roll off at all, because roosters don’t lay eggs.
Greg (laughing): That’s right.
Peter: That’s using logic.
(The next morning, Mike and Carol are in the kitchen with Alice.)
Alice: Mrs. Brady.
Alice: I found that magazine with the recipes in it.
Carol: Good, we can get started on our smorgasbord menu.
Mike: What smorgasbord menu?
Carol: For our party on the 10th?
Mike: We’re having our party on the 3rd.
Carol: Oh, didn’t I tell you? The Kauffmans and the Burkes couldn’t make it on the 3rd so we switched it to the 10th.
Mike: What about all that Mexican food?
Carol: Oh, honey, you see, the Swansons and the Allens have guests that weekend, and the Metzger’s uncle is visiting them from Seattle. So, they have to bring them along and it’s too many people for a sit down dinner.
Alice: So, instead of Mexican dinner on the 3rd, we’re gonna have smorgasbord on the 10th.
Mike: We not only change dates, we change continents.
(Bobby and Cindy come out, ready for school.)
Mike: Oh, that’s right. Today is the day of the TV test, isn’t it?
Bobby: I got it down cold.
Mike: Yeah, good luck.
Carol: Good luck, honey. (she turns to Cindy) How about you, Cindy? Are you ready for it?
Cindy: Well, I’ll just try to do my best.
Carol: Well, honey, that’s all any of us can do. (She kisses her) Good-bye.
(Cindy kisses Mike good bye.)
Mike: Good luck. (Cindy leaves and Mike starts mumbling to himself) I don’t understand what happened, we got smorgasbord, when we have 40 pounds of Mexican food. The party on the 3rd is on the10th. I wonder how this happened.
(Later on, Alice and Carol are studying all kinds of recipes.)
Carol: Find anytihng interesting for our smorgasbord, Alice?
Alice: Nothing I can pronounce.
Carol: Here’s one that sounds good but it’s complicated. I don’t know if you can make it. It’s a recipe for (smor catula).
Alice: If you can say it, I can make it.
Carol: Here’s some more. Here’s (ravor rag toush), (parish torche), (shmore steak) and an old stand-by (friccadella).
NOTE: If anybody can give me the proper spelling of these dishes, please, I would really appreciate it.
Alice: Such language, I’m glad the children aren’t around.
Carol: I can’t wait to see how this dinner turns out.
Alice: I got some more recipes in that magazine in my room. I’ll get it.
(She gets up and then Cindy comes home.)
Cindy: Mom, Mom, I won, I won, I’m gonna be on television!
Carol: Oh, sweetheart, I’m so proud of you.
Cindy: Me too.
Carol: How did Bobby do?
Cindy: I didn’t even wait to find out. I wanted to come home and tell you about me.
Carol: Oh, congratulations, honey. Why don’t you tell Alice the news. She’s in her room.
(Cindy rushes to see Alice and then Bobby comes in.)
Carol: Hi. (He starts to pass by her) Hey, come here. How did you do on the test?
Bobby: I got wiped out?
Carol: Aww, I’m sorry, honey.
Bobby: It was a tough test.
Carol: Really tough, huh?
Bobby: It was so tough, lots of guys didn’t make it.
Carol: Let’s face it chump, you didn’t make it because you didn’t study.
Bobby: Well, maybe not too much.
Carol: Yeah, maybe not at all.
Bobby: I guess.
(He walks through the kitchen and sees Cindy. She’s coming out of Alice’s room.)
Cindy: Bobby. You’re gonna be on the television show with me, aren’t you?
Bobby: You mean you won?
Cindy: Sure, didn’t you?
Bobby: No. It was a tough test.
Cindy: Tough? It was easy for me. I guess I’m just smarter than you are.
(She walks away with her nose stuck in the air. The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Mike coming home. He sees Bobby in his teepee.)
Bobby: Hi, Dad.
Mike: Well, I heard of a tribe named Blackfoot, never heard of a tribe named sneakerfoot. (Bobby comes out of the teepee) You did a nice job on your teepee.
Bobby: Yeah, better job than I did on that test.
Mike: Well, cheer up, it’s not the end of the world.
Bobby: I guess I was a real dummy for not studying.
Mike: Yeah, well, never make a mistake, never learn a lesson.
Bobby: I guess so.
Mike: Yeah, it’s all water under the bridge. Okay, chief. (He puts his hand up and so does Bobby) How.
(Mike goes inside and Cindy comes by.)
Bobby: Hey, Cindy, you want to play in the teepee.
Cindy (snobbishly): Don’t be silly.
Bobby: What’s silly about it?
Cindy: I might get dirty.
Bobby: So what?
Cindy: Television stars don’t play in teepees, and they don’t get dirty.
Bobby: Who’s the television star?
Cindy: I am, that’s who.
(She goes inside and Bobby makes a face. Alice is in the kitchen making dinner.)
Alice: Hi, Cindy, wanna lick the bowl.
Cindy: No thanks, it’s not ladylike.
Cindy: Yes. What are we having for dinner?
Alice: Swiss steak and spaghetti.
Cindy: Not me.
Alice: Honey, those are two of your favorites.
Cindy: Not anymore they’re not, they’re rich and fattening.
Alice: Sure, all that good stuff is.
Cindy: Just fix me a small salad please.
(She starts walking away.)
Alice: Wait a second, do you mind telling me why the special diet?
Cindy: A star can’t go on television all fat and broken out.
(She leaves and Alice gives a confused look. Cut to the boys’ room. Greg is on his bed reading and Peter comes in. Cindy is in the bathroom, playing with her hair.)
Peter: Cindy’s at it again.
Greg: She’s been in there an hour. (He mimics Cindy) When you’re a TV star, your hair has to be just right.
Peter: How many ways can there be to fix hair?
Greg: She’s tried everything but an Afro.
Peter: If she keeps this up, she won’t have to worry about her hair on TV, she’ll be bald.
(They laugh as Cindy goes into her room, where Marcia and Jan are studying.)
Cindy: I was wondering, do you think I have to have my ears pierced?
Marcia: Cindy, the last thing you need is two more holes in your head.
(Cindy goes over to the closet and takes a few dresses out.)
Jan: Oh, no.
Marcia: Cindy, not again.
Cindy: I have to make sure I wear just the right thing on television, don’t I?
(She places the dresses on her bed.)
Jan: But Cindy, you already tried these dresses on umpteen times.
Cindy: So, I don’t know which one goes best with my hair and my eyes.
Jan: Cindy, you’re really getting to be a drag.
Marcia: You’re acting as if it was a beauty contest instead of a brain quiz.
Jan: Okay then, name me one big television star who isn’t worried about the way she looks.
Cindy (putting her hands up): Arf, arf.
(Marcia and Jan leave the room as Mike and Carol come in with several bags of groceries.)
Mike: Well, (he places a few on the table) 6 shopping carts full. I think that’s a new record.
Carol: Yeah. (She puts some more bags down on the pantry) But you got to admit, this smorgasbord was a pretty good idea. We got enough food to feed all our friends, their relatives, their houseguests, plus any last minute drop-ins.
Mike: Even their drop-ins can bring their drop-ins.
(Alice comes out.)
Seems you got plenty of smorgis for the bord.
Mike: They’re still more smorgis in the car.
Carol: Hey Alice, were there any calls while we were out?
Alice: Just one. The school called to give you the date of Cindy’s television show.
Cindy: Oh, good.
Mike: When is it?
Alice: I’ll give you a hint. You’re gonna be eating this stuff a long, long time.
Carol: Alice, you don’t mean.
Alice: I do mean.
Mike: No, no, no, no, no.
Alice: Yes, yes, yes.
Carol (annoyed): Naturally, the 10th. The night of our party.
Alice: I’ll get the rest of the stuff out of the car.
Mike (dramatically): You know, I don’t believe it. First, we were gonna invite a few friends over for a barbecued steaks. Then we change to a Mexican dinner so we can invite more people. So I cancel the steaks, I run all over town in search of authentic Mexican food. (He gets more dramatic as he goes on) Then, we switch to a smorgasbord so we can have friends and friends of friends and uncles and relatives and assorted drop-ins. But now, I have got enough Mexican food to fed every guitar player in Guatemala. And, I corner the market on haring. Now, I find out that we are having a party on the 10th for 26 people on the 10th and the only people who are not gonna be here are us.
Carol: That was a wonderful silhouette. Are you finished?
Carol: Maybe you better go help Alice get the rest of the things out of the car. (He goes outside) Poor dear.
(Marcia and Jan come downstairs.)
Marcia: Mom, we’re gonna study in the family room.
Carol: Oh, what’s wrong with your own room?
Jan: It’s too full of Cindy (she flashes her hair) the television star.
Marcia: She has her clothes scattered all over and she never stops talking about being on television.
(Meanwhile, Cindy is upstairs trying on earrings. Carol comes in to speak to her.)
Cindy: How do you think these look, Mom?
Carol: Terrible. You are much too young to be wearing Marcia’s earrings. I can see now why Marcia and Jan are complaining.
Cindy: They’re just jealous.
Carol: They are not jealous, and they’re not the only ones complainng.
Cindy: If you mean Bobby, he’s just mad because he was too dumb to win.
Carol: Listen, sweetheart, Bobby is not dumb. He didn’t win it’s just because he didn’t study.
Cindy: Well, that’s dumb. Besides, he’s a bad loser.
Carol: It seems to me that you’re a bad winner. You know, you shouldn’t put down a loser, Cindy, because you might be one yourself someday. (He touches her chin to make her look up) Just remember that.
(She leaves and Cindy tries the earrings on again. Next, she is getting ready to leave for the show.)
Cindy (to Jan and Marcia): Don’t you want to come watch me be on television?
Marcia: No, thanks.
Jan: I’ve had you and TV up to here.
(Pointing to her chin.)
Cindy: Okay then, you’re gonna miss all the excitement.
Marcia (sarcastically): We’ll try to live through it.
Cindy (leaving the room): I never thought my own sisters would be so jealous.
Jan (to Marcia): She’s got a size 10 body and a size 24 head.
(Next, she goes in to see the boys.)
Cindy: I’m leaving for the show now.
(She goes over to Greg and Peter. They are playing checkers.)
Cindy: Would you boys like to be the first to get my autograph?
Peter (laughing): Autograph?
Greg (sarcastically): I’m afraid that’s just too big an honor for us, Cindy.
Cindy: Okay, you had your chance.
(Meanwhile, Mike and Carol are downstairs waiting.)
Carol (calling): Cindy, will you please come on?
Mike: It’s time to leave.
(Alice comes out of the den.)
Alice: You folks all set to go?
Carol: Yeah, hey, Alice, will you try to get the kids to watch Cindy on television?
Cindy (coming down the stairs): I’m coming, I’m coming.
Alice: Good luck, honey.
Cindy: Do you think this dress will look good on color TV? Maybe I better wear my blue one.
(She starts going up the stairs. Her parents stop her and they leave.)
Carol: Good-bye, Alice.
(We take you to the studio. Monty Marshall, the host, is talking to Cindy and all the other kids.)
Marshall: Now, don’t forget, kids. When this little red light goes on, we’re on the air, and we’ll be in everybody’s living room. Now, does everybody have their thinking caps on?
Kids: Yes, sir.
Marshall: Good, take your places.
(Back home, Alice is turning the TV on and all the kids come into the living room.)
Alice: I was just about to call you kids.
Marcia: Alice, we wouldn’t miss Cindy for anything.
Alice: That’s what I call real family spirit.
Bobby: We want to see the smarty pants fall right on her big fat head.
Jan: Yeah, we can’t wait to see her bomb.
Alice: Like I said, real family spirit.
(Bobby goes to adjust the sound.)
Greg: Hey Bobby, turn it up, will you?
(Cut back to the show.)
Marshall: The questions I’ll be asking are based on your regular school test. So when you know the answer, just raise your hand. and remember, when that little red camera goes on, we’re on the air.
(They wait in anticipation for the camera to turn on. As soon as it does, Cindy just sits there and stares.)
Marshall: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the question the kid show. I’m Monty Marshall, your quizmaster, and tonight, it’s Clinton grammar school vs. Woodside, and may the better team win. (Cindy is still sitting there staring) Now, here’s your first question. listen very carefully. Four score and seven years ago, is the beginning of what speech? (A student from Woodside raises his hand) Woodside.
Woodside student: Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.
Marshall: That’s right. How was the word swiftly used in the following sentence? The boy ran swiftly. (One of Cindy’s teammates raises her hand) Clinton.
Clinton student: As an adverb.
Marshall: that’s right.
(Mike and Carol notice Cindy from the audience.)
Carol: What’s the matter with Cindy?
Mike: She’s staring at the camera, she’s got television itis.
Marshall: Spell the word thoroughfare. (A student from Woodside raises her hand) Woodside.
Woodside student #2: t-h-o-r-o-u-g-h-f-a-r-e.
Marshall: That’s right.
(Alice and the kids start to worry.)
Marcia: What’s wrong with Cindy?
Greg: She’s not even raising her hand.
Bobby: Talk about dumb.
Jan: She knows all those answers by heart.
Peter: Then why isn’t she answering them?
Marshall: Now, name the last two states to join the union.
Jan: How come Cindy just sits there?
Peter: She looks scared.
Alice: Come on, Cindy, loosen up.
Woodside student #3: Alaska and Hawaii.
Marcia: Oh, she knew that.
Marshall: Now, name the capitol of Louisiana.
Bobby: Come on, Cindy, I know you know this one.
Jan: Come on, Cindy, raise your hand.
Marcia: Cindy, you know it, Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge.
Woodside student #1: Baton Rouge.
Marshall: That’s correct. Now, how many pecks are in a bushel. (a teammate of Cindy’s raises his hand) Clinton.
Clinton student #2: Four.
(An embarrassed Cindy returns home later with her parents.)
Cindy: I don’t want to see anybody. They’ll all make fun of me.
Mike: It’s not gonna get any easier later.
(All the other kids and Alice come out and praise Cindy.)
Jan: You looked terrific.
Peter: Especially your hair.
Marcia: Your dress was fantastic.
Alice: You were the prettiest girl there.
Greg: Yeah, we all thought so.
Cindy (upset): I didn’t answer a single question. I was a real dumb dumb.
Bobby: Cindy, Cindy, I was the dumb dumb. I didn’t even pass the test. You studied and you got on TV.
Cindy: Bobby, you’re a terrific brother.
(She kisses his cheek and goes upstairs, much to Bobby’s dismay.)
Bobby (bitterly): Women, one nice word and you get all wet!
(They all laugh.)
Carol: Poor baby.
(She hugs him and the rest of the family comforts him. The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Mike is in his den. Carol comes in.)
Carol: Well, honey, I got it all worked out.
Mike: Yeah, what’s that?
Carol: Well, I called the Swansons, the Bernsteins, the Clarks, the Kauffmans, the Burkes, the Metzgers and the Allens. It took a lot of juggling but theyThe 24th, huh?
Carol: Yep, thta’s when we’re gonna have the party.
Mike: Great, I’ll phone you. Let me know if you’re having a good time.
Carol: What do you mean you’ll phone me?
Mike: Because that’s the weekend I’ll be out of town for the convention, remember?
Carol: Catch me.
(She faints into Mike’s arms.)