The Driver’s Seat
Written by George Tibbles
Marcia and Greg bet who could get the higher driver’s ed score. I hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(The episode begins with Alice coming down the stairs. She is dusting the rails and then picks up some newspapers at the bottom of the staircase.. Then she joined Carol in the living room.)
Alice (showing the paper to Carol): Mrs. Brady, look at this, my horoscope for today. You will find yourself involved in a new romance. That kind of creates a problem.
Carol: Why, Alice?
Alice: Because no one’s got me involved in an old romance.
(Marcia comes in the front door.)
Marcia (excited): Mom, Alice, ta dah. Behold a celebrity.
Alice (jokingly): I hate to see the kids come dragging in from school in all that blue mood.
Carol: Don’t tell me, you passed your driver’s education test.
Marcia: Not only did I pass. I got the highest score in the class.
Carol (hugging her); Oh, Marcia, that’s wonderful. I’m so proud of you.
Marcia: I’m proud of me too. I’ve got to tell Greg the good news.
(Greg is outside working on the car when Marcia tells him. He is none too pleased to hear the news.)
Greg: You’ve got to be kidding.
Marcia: I’m not kidding.
Greg: You outscored everybody in driver’s ed? Even the guys?
Marcia: Now that’s a typical male chauvinist reaction. You’re prejudiced against women drivers.
Greg: No, I’m not. Not as long as they stay off the road.
Marcia: Boy, are you prejudiced.
Greg: It’s not prejudice. It’s just that men are naturally superior drivers.
Marcia: Would you like to back that statement up with a bet, Mr. male chauvinist?
Greg: Any time.
Marcia: Okay, I’ll bet you that I get a higher score on my driver’s license exam than you got.
Greg: You’re funnier than Lucille Ball. What do you wanna bet?
Marcia: Well, the winner does the loser’s household chores for a whole month.
Greg: Well, I’ll say this. You’ll be the prettiest trash man in the neighborhood.
Marcia: And you’ll look cute in an apron. I’ll beat you easy.
Greg: Okay, we got a bet, and no backing out. A whole month.
(Marcia gives herself a worried look as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has Marcia and Mike driving home, with Marcia at the wheel. He gives her a congratulatory pat on the shoulder before they come home. Meanwhile, Peter gets up to use the bathroom after he gets paint on his hands. The door is locked, however.)
Peter: Who’s in there?
Peter: Well, how long are you gonna be?
(She opens the door.)
Jan: Resolved. A girl can spend as much time in the bathroom as she likes. Yes or no? Pick a side.
Peter: You can have both sides. I just want to wash this paint off my hands.
Jan: Not until you debate me. Subject is, who has the right to the bathroom?
Peter: Jan, you’ve been in the shower too long. Your brain is water logged.
(He goes in and Jan comes out. Bobby and Cindy are playing checkers in the girls’room. Bobby beats Cindy.)
Bobby: I win.
(Cindy gets bummed.)
Jan: Maybe Bobby cheated.
Cindy (to Bobby): Did you cheat?
Bobby: No. Jan’s just got a big mouth and bad eyes.
Jan: he didn’t really cheat, Cindy.
Cindy: Then why did you say that?
Jan: It’s a debating tactic. I force Bobby into defending himself by accusing him of something.
Bobby: I get enough accusing around here from Mom and Dad.
Jan: Hey, you two accuse me of something and I’ll defend myself.
Bobby: Okay, I accuse you of being weird.
(He leaves the room.)
Jan (to Cindy): I’m on the debating team at school, and I really need practice. Choose a subject and pick a side.
Cindy: Okay, I pick Bobby’s side. You are weird.
(She leaves as well.)
Jan (to herself): Won’t anyone around here debate me? (she picks up Cindy’s doll, Kitty-Karry-All) You, pick a side.
(Marcia and Mike come in from after her driving lesson.)
Carol: Well, Mike, how did she do? is she gonna be a great driver?
(Greg comes in the kitchen.)
Greg: Hey Dad, can I borrow the car? I’m late for a date.
Mike: The answer to questions 1 and 2 are great, honey. And the answer to question 3, ask Marcia, she’s got the keys.
Greg: Uh-oh. Did you leave the fenders on the car, woman driver?
Marcia: Dad said I did great.
Carol: And just what have you got against women drivers, young man?
Greg: No offense, Mom, but it’s an established fact that men are better drivers. They’re always in control, women are too emotional. Right, Dad?
Mike: Listen, it so happens that your mother and your sister are excellent drivers.
Greg: Boy, marriage really takes all the nerve out of a guy. (He grabs the keys) See you later.
(Next, all the kids are going down the stairs, leaving for school. Alice and Carol are passing out their lunch bags.)
Alice: Good luck on your debate today, Jan.
Jan: Thank you. Do I look okay, Mom?
Carol: Oh, sweetheart, you look lovely. Now, don’t be nervous about a thing.
Jan: Who’s nervous?
Carol: I am.
Alice: Don’t worry. I put something in your lunch every debater can use.
(They all laugh and Jan and Marcia leave for school.)
Marcia (to Jan): When I get my driver’s license, I can drive you to school.
Jan: Yeah, that’ll be super. I can’t wait until I get my driver’s license.
Marcia: It won’t be that long.
Jan: Yeah. (to Carol) Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll clobber them.
(Next, we show her coming home in a depressed mood. Carol is on the phone with a friend.)
Carol: Look, Liz, I’ll have to call you back, okay. Bye.
(She hangs up and goes to comfort Jan.)
Carol: You don’t have to tell me. Your team lost the debate.
Jan: I lost it for them. Me. personally.
Carol: What happened?
Jan: I’d have nightmares about it forever. I knew exactly what I was gonna say, then I got up there, and my tongue felt three sizes too big for my mouth, and the teachers were staring at me, and some boys snickered and, I made some dumb noises.
Carol (hugging her): Oh, poor baby.
Jan: I froze, Mother. They had to replace me. I’ve never been so humiliated in all my life.
(The next scene has Greg and Marcia sitting at the table in the kitchen.)
Greg: I know what would solve the problem. If they had a separate lane for women drivers.
Marcia (annoyed): Why do you keep insisting that men are better drivers than women?
Greg: Because they are.
Alice: Don’t drag me into this, Marcia. I’m strictly middle of the road.
Greg: Which is where you’ll find 90% of the women drivers blocking traffic. (Marcia and Alice refuse to laugh) I thought that was funny.
Marcia (bitterly): There’s nothing humorous about prejudice.
Greg: Well, let’s look at it another way. What’s an overhead cam?
(Marcia ponders a little bit.)
Marcia: How should I know?
Greg: It’s part of the engine. Every driver should know all the parts of his car.
Marcia: Well, look. I don’t know how to build a clock, but I can tell time.
Alice: Hey, that’s a good point, Marcia.
Greg: I thought you were middle of the road, Alice.
Alice: Well, I just ran into a detour sign.
Greg: You think you’re so hot on wheels, Marcia? How about sweetening our bet a little. The loser does the winner’s chores for 6 months.
Marcia: 6 months?
Greg: Unless you’re afraid of losing, of course.
Marcia: Who’s afraid? It’s a bet.
Greg (laughing): A sucker bet.
(He gets up and leaves.)
Marcia: I’ll show him, Alice. Women can be better drivers than men.
Alice: You said it.
Marcia: Men are egotistical, arrogant, smug and conceited. Right, Alice?
Alice: Right. Just don’t quote me to Sam on that.
(Marcia goes up to her room, where Jan is still moping.)
Marcia: That Greg with his superior male attitude.
Jan: I’ll trade problems with you anytime.
Marcia: You just lost one debate. Big deal.
Jan: It was to me.
Marcia: Resolved. Now you could sit there full of self-pity, or you could be mature, and do something about it. Pick a side.
Jan: I don’t want to pick a side.
Marcia: Jan, you were just scared because it was your first face-to-face debate.
Jan: And boy, did I ever lose face.
Marcia: But now that you know what to expect, you’re past the problem.
Jan: You make it sound easy.
Marcia: It is. It’s all up here (the brain) Just psyche yourself up before your next debate and you got it made.
Jan: If only I could.
Marcia: You can. Money back guarantee.
Jan: Can you give me a better guarantee. You know what money’s worth these days.
(Mike and Carol are having coffee in the kitchen. Alice is serving them.)
Alice: Well, today is the big day.
Mike: Yeah, we got a double header going. Listen, I predict Marcia is gonna pass her driver’s test with flying colors.
Carol: Right, and I predict that Jan is gonna do just great in today’s debate.
Alice: And I predict that you two are great predictors.
(Marcia, Jan and Greg come in the kitchen.)
Marcia: Hi, Alice.
Marcia: Now, remember what I said about psyching yourself up, Jan.
Jan: Yeah, but I’m still nervous.
Greg: Oh, relax, Jan. Women can’t be great at everything, but they make wonderful debaters. (Marcia gets disgusted.)
Mike (to Jan): Listen, do you mind if I offer you a suggestion?
Jan: Oh, I’ll take any advice I can get, Dad.
Mike: There is a famous old story about a man who had to get up and speak in front of some very important people, and he was petrified.
Jan: I’m with him.
Mike: Yeah, but a friend gave him some advice and says ‘look, when you get up in front of those V.I.P.’s, you picture them sitting there in their underwear’.
Jan (laughing): In their underwear?
(Everyone else laughs.)
Carol: Oh, Mike. Is that true?
Mike: Sure it is. It worked like a charm, too. Because it made him realize that his audience was only human. I mean, you can’t be very frightening in your underwear.
Alice: Oh, I don’t know. You should see me in mine.
Jan: I’ll remember that, Dad. Thnaks, bye.
Carol: Bye, honey. Marcia, are you gonna meet your father after school.
Marcia: Yeah, Dad’s gonna drive me to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and I’m gonna drive him home with my new license. Then we’ll have another driver in the family.
Greg: Then you’ll start doing my chores.
(He starts to leave.)
Marcia: No way, Mr. Man driver. (to Carol and Mike) Good-bye.
(She leaves as well.)
Carol: No fighting.
(We take you to the department of Motor Vehicles. Mike and Marcia are in the car waiting for the instructor.)
Mike: You feel okay, honey?
Marcia: Terrific, Dad. Especially after I scored 98 points on the written exam. That’s four points better than Greg got.
Mike: Good girl.
(He gets out of the car as the driving instructor comes.)
Examiner: How are you, sir?
Mike: Prety good. Thank you.
Examiner: Good. (He gets in the car) Marcia Brady?
Marcia: Yes, sir.
Examiner: All set, Ms. Brady? You can start the car now.
Marcia: Not until you fasten your seat belt.
(He does so.)
Examiner: All right, Ms. Brady, you can start the car now. (Suddenly, she starts to freeze) Start the car now, please. (She tries but can’t seem to start the car) You nervous, miss? Turn the ignition on, please.
(She tries and the car moves only an inch. Everything else goes wrong. The trunk moves up and the windshield wipers start up. The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Bobby and Cindy playing on the seesaw as Mike and Marcia come home.)
Cindy: Hey, look, they’re here!
(They run up to the car.)
Bobby: Marcia, we’ve been waiting.
Cindy: Yeah, take us for a ride.
Mike: Not now, kids.
Bobby: But she promised to drive us when she got her license.
Marcia: By then, I’ll be too old to drive.
(She gets out of the car and goes inside.)
Cindy (to Mike): What’s wrong with her?
Mike: Well, she did what a lot of other new drivers have done.
Bobby: You mean she already got a ticket?
(Marcia is inside telling Carol about her disaster.)
Marcia: I’ve never been so humiliated in my whole life. I froze at the wheel.
Carol: Oh, I’m sorry, Marcia. But I’m sure that next time…
Marcia: I’d rather hitchhike through life than go through that again.
(She walks in through the kitchen and sees Greg.)
Greg: Well, you actually found your way home from your driver’s exam. How did you do?
Marcia (angry): Okay, so you won the bet. Go ahead, make jokes, rub it in.
Greg: Hey, I was just teasing you. What happened? (She storms off) Women.
(bobby and Cindy go to Mike and Carol in the living room to talk about Marcia.)
Bobby: Mom, Dad, can we say something?
Carol: About what?
Cindy: About Marcia’s problem.
Bobby: Yeah, See, we got some fantastic ideas on how to handle it.
Mike: Good. How wouild you handle it?
Cindy: If she were my daughter, I’d make her write out 500 times, I flunked the driver’s test.
Carol: Oh, well, that’s a thought.
Bobby: If she were my daughter, I’d stop her allowance for a whole year.
Mike: If you should flunk your driving test, is that what you would like me to do with you?
Bobby: Come on, Cindy, let’s think of something else.
(Alice comes in the living room.)
Alice: Mrs. Brady, do you figure that Marcia will be joining you for dinner, or should I fix up a tray for her room?
Carol: Maybe you better make that two trays, Alice.
Alice: Two trays?
Mike: Depending on how Jan does today on her big debate.
Alice: Just to be on the safe side, why don’t we move the dining room table up in the girls’ room.
(Carol and Mike laugh. Jan comes home.)
Jan (happily): Alice! (She notices the parents on the couch) Oh, Mom and Dad, We won the debate. I really clobbered my opponent. (They cheer her on) First, I psyched myself up like Marcia said, and then your idea really worked, Dad. When I imagined the audience and all the teachers in their underwear, I could hardly keep from laughing. You should see my principal in boxer shorts.
(They all laugh.)
Mike: Well, I’m glad it helped.
Jan: How did Marcia’s driver’s test go?
Carol: I’m afraid it didn’t go as well as your debate, honey.
(She goes upstairs to see Marcia, who is still sulking.)
Marcia: (smiling) Hi.
Jan: I heard about what happened.
Marcia: I’d rather not talk about it. How did your debate go?
Jan: Fine, thanks to you.
Marcia: Yeah, boy I am really great.
Jan: Resolved. You can sit there full of self-pity or you can be mature and do something about it. Pick a side.
Marcia: Jan, I don’t want to pick a side and stop throwing my own words at me.
Jan: Well, they happened to be good words. You were just scared because it was your first try.
Marcia: Well, from now on I’m gonna be a devout pedestrian.
Jan: You can dish it out but you can’t take it.
Marcia: What’s that supposed to mean?
Jan: Well, at least I had the courage to try your advice and Dad’s too. About the audience and their underwear.
Marcia: Well, my situation’s different and maybe even worse.
Marcia: Because it happened to me.
(She realizes what she said and they laugh. We take you to the attic room, where Greg is studying. Marcia comes in to see him.)
Greg: Yeah, come in.
Marcia: About our bet.
Greg: Look, forget about that. It was just a fun bet, that’s all.
Marcia: No, I lost and I have to do your house chores for 6 months. How about a new bet. (He gives her a stern look) I’m gonna take my driver’s exam again.
Greg: Just pass the test, that’s enough. )He laughs) No bet, it’s too much pressure for a girl.
Marcia: Are you chicken, Gregory?
Greg: Me? Chicken?
Marcia: The loser does the winner’s chores for a whole year.
Greg: Marcia, sit down. I think you’re having a dizzy spell.
Marcia: Is it a bet or not? And this time, I’m gonna beat your exam score.
Greg: Okay, woman driver, it’s a bet.
(They shake on it and Marcia retakes the test.)
Mike: She’s all yours, honey. Just relax and try to remember all the things we talked about. Okay?
Marcia: I’ll be fine, Dad.
(The examiner comes.)
Examiner (to Mike): How are you today, sir?
Mike: Once we got out of the garage, it was all right.
Examiner (getting in the car): Well, I hope you’re better prepared this time, Ms. Brady.
Marcia: Yes, sir. I think I am.
Examiner: Well, let’s find out for sure. and my seatbelt is fastened so you can start the car now.
Marcia: Yes, sir.
(She goes to start the car but is still a bit nervous.)
Examiner: Start the car, please. (She imagines him in his underwear and starts to laugh) Is anything funny, Ms. Brady?
Marcia: If only you knew.
(She starts the car and drives. Next, we see her at home with her license.)
Greg: Congratulations. A temporary driver’s license. What kind of score did you get?
Greg: 4 points less than I got.
Marcia: But I got a 98 on a written exam. That’s 4 points higher than you got.
Mike: So you both scored 190.
Greg: Well, I guess that sort of cancels our bet. Doesn’t it? You’re lucked out.
Mike: I don’t think it was luck. Marcia’s a good driver.
Marcia: I just wish we could settle this someway. I’d prove I’m as good a driver as you are.
Greg (laughing): That’ll be the day. You’ll fold under pressure like before.
Mike: Maybe there is a way we can settle this.
Greg: I’d love that.
Marcia: Me too. How?
Mike: Truck driver style. They have a big contest every year to find the best driver. Right?
Greg: I saw it on television.
Mike: So did I. They set up regular obstacle courses for the drivers. We can make up one of our own.
(Next, the Bradys go to a parking lot to settle the bet. Mike and the guys set up some cones.)
Mike: All right, everybody. Now, the parking lot is empty so there’s no problem with other cars. Now, the idea is, to drive through the obstacle course without hitting any of the pylons.
Greg: And whoever hits the least wins. Right?
Marcia: Suppose we end up in another tie.
Carol: Oh, your father already thought of that.
Mike: After you complete the course, keep on going until you get to that pylon. (He points to it and they all look) And if you’re tied, the one who stops closest to it without touching it, wins.
Marcia: We can still be tied.
Peter: Hey, Dad, how if someone barely touches that pylon.
Carol: Oh, your father already thought of that, too.
Mike: Yeah, the truck drivers contest has an electronic beeper. We have something a little more primitive. Alice.
(She takes out an egg and make the sound of a chicken cackling. She hands it to Mike.)
Mike: Okay. Now. (He places it on the pylon) Anyone who knocks the egg off the pylon is a loser.
(Marcia gets in the car and drives around with the rest of the family cheering her on. She finally stops and parks in front of the pylon.)
Mike: All right, fantastic.
Greg: How close is she?
Alice (measuring): An inch and a half.
Marcia (surprised): An inch and a half?
Greg: Talk about lucky.
Peter: Can you get any closer than that?
Greg: Oh yeah, sure.
Bobby: You’ll show ’em.
Carol: Your turn, Greg.
(He gets in the car and drives around, with everyone cheering for him as well.)
Greg (to himself): I got to get it closer than an inch and a half. I got to win, I got to beat Marcia. (He is getting closer) I got to do it, I got to do it.
(He knocks the egg and over and loses. Marcia starts to cheer that she won. She then goes to Greg to comfort him.)
Marcia: Greg, you can forget about the bet. You don’t have to do my chores.
Greg: I lost. I’ll pay.
Marcia: the important thing is, we’re both good, safe drivers. Not who knocked off the egg.
Greg: Yeah, sure. (Carol and Mike come over to him) You don’t have to say it. This time I folded under pressure.
Mike: Well, it can happen to anybody.
Carol: Excuse me, can I say a few words? Somebody around here owes me an egg.
(They laugh as the scene fades.)
(The final scene has Peter reading a magazine in the backyard. Bobby and Cindy come riding up to them on their bikes.)
Bobby: Peter, will you be our judge?
Peter: For what?
Cindy: Bobby and I made a bet on who’s the best bike rider.
Peter: What did you bet?
Bobby: The same thing as Greg and Marcia. Whoever comes closest to the stop line without going over, wins.
Cindy: And the loser does the winner’s chores for a whole year.
Peter: Well, first you better look at something, Bobby.
(They look inside and see Greg doing some ironing for Marcia.)
Bobby: Be too easy to beat a dumb old girl anyway.
(He rides off.)