A Different World (1987–1993): Season 3, Episode 22 - Soldier Boy - full transcript

Awaiting an ROTC dinner where Col. Taylor is to be roasted, Ron sweats bullets over the choosing of "Cadet of the Year".

£ I know my parents loved me £

£ stand behind me
come what may £

£ I know now that I'm ready £

£ for I finally heard them say £

£ it's a different world £

£ than where you come from £

£ yes, it is now, yeah £

£ here's our chance to make it £

£ and if we focus on our goal £

£ you can dish it,
we can take it £

£ hey, just remember
that you've been told £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ than where you come from £

£ ooh £

£ than where you come from. £

all right, troops, listen up.

Order of events for
the military dinner

is as follows:

Banquet doors open
precisely at 1800 hours.

1815, presentation of colors,
followed by salutation of same.

Grace and dinner at 1830.

2100, roasting of colonel Taylor
and his post-roast remarks

culminating with

the announcement of
the cadet of the year at 2120.

Any questions?

Yeah, what time
does the thing start?

Ron, at ease.

You're dealing with civilians.

Roastmaster general

what's the word from
the humor department?

Yes, sir, check this out.

The man is such a perfectionist

I caught him
spit-shining his cat.

The man's been
standing at attention so long

his butt fell off.

We're supposed to honor him,
not Bury him.

I owe him.

All the money he stole from me
playing poker.

I've played poker with you.

No one steals your money.

You give it away.


I hope you have
your oven mitts on

'cause I finished my skit,
and it is sizzling with satire.

Every line a live grenade.

"Colonel Taylor,
this is your life."

"When colonel Taylor
went to school

his mom didn't car-pool,
she tank-pooled."

Thanks for playing.

Afternoon, Vernon.

Don't bother me, Brad.

I'm figuring out
my menu for tomorrow night.

I'm looking forward
to that roast.

These health nuts have taken
all the fun out of food.

Everything's got to be
cholesterol-free, calorie-free

which always means taste-free.

You got any idea who my
surprise guest speaker is?

I remember the good old days
when a military dinner

meant a hefty slab of beef,
gristle and all.

You'd have to mix the potatoes
with a cement mixer

and pour the gravy
with a garden hose.

I wonder if it's my old buddy
Colin Powell.

No, he's probably
out of the country.

Al haig?


We met once at a party
at the Pentagon.

He complained about the caviar.

There will be no caviar.

Just deviled eggs
and pigs in a blanket.

Margaret Thatcher.

We were stuck once
in an elevator at the u.N.

You learn a lot about people
under those conditions.

All you'll get from me is
name, rank, serial number.

I'm good with secrets.

To this day, velma don't know
what I put in my meat loaf

and I sleep next to her.

£ colonel Taylor, he's our man £

£ if he can't teach
us, no one can £

read the paper.

That's it.

£ sound off, one, two... £

okay, we are coming along.

Jaleesa, that's solid work.

Keep it up.

Ivy Jean darty.

Pace, dear, pace.

Ever heard of rhythm?



Work on it.

Ernest, you just keep doing
what you're doing

'cause you do it so well.

Thanks, whitley.

Thank you.

I merely wrote the words.

You gave them life.

I was just beginning to feel
so good about my "solid."

People, people, 7:00 P.M.

Don't be late.

Whitley, you are amazing.

You can't talk to a guy
without flirting.

"Ernest, I merely
wrote the words."

"You gave them life."

I wish you'd put that much
energy into your character.

You can't help it.

You've got this
big old flirt gene.

You're mistaking charm
and effervescence for flirting.

You're out of control.

You even flirt with yourself.

I've seen you in your mirror.

I don't have to flirt.

Men hit on me;
I don't hit on them.

You should know.

I'll tell you
something I do know.

You couldn't get through
one night

without charming
and effervescing.

You're on.

All right.

Tomorrow night at
the military dinner.

I'll be watching you.

What else is new?

All right, thanks.

If it isn't Ron Johnson,
cadet of the year.

Don't jinx me, homes.

Your name's already
on the plaque.

You saw it?


It will be Fatima Ford
all over again.

Why are you dubious?

R.o.t.c. Stands for
Ron-o top cadet.

That's true.

My g.P.A. Went up this year.

It couldn't have gone down.

And I do hold the platoon record
for weapons assembly.

Rifles and handguns.

And the entire responsibility
of this military banquet

rests squarely on my shoulders.

You're right.

Fatima's got it.


At ease, men.

Sergeant Johnson

I've been noticing your work
in physical training.

I do my best sit-ups
at 6:00 A.M.

The secret is an empty stomach.

I'll remember that.

What's up, colonel?

Ready to hit that track?

I'll get some roast material.

You'll get dust

'cause that's what
you'll be eating.

Excuse me.

Don't you have a surprise guest
to pick up?

Oh, right.

This surprise guest
wouldn't by any chance

carry a purse
and speak with a British accent?

What is it with you
and Margaret Thatcher?

Margaret Thatcher?!

Man, I'm talking about
downtown Julie brown.

Carry on, sergeant.

People have just
lost their minds.

Whatever happened
to doing a job right?

Look what Patty's printers
did with my napkins.

"R.o.t.c. Dinner,
helium college."

And when the bill comes

I'm making the check out
to pitiful printers.

Let Patty try and cash that.

Ain't nobody wants to do
what they're supposed to do.

It's all clear.

This is the pit, hillman's
version of the mess hall.

Students come for the food,
but they stay for the ambience.

My ambience
is home with the kids.

Oh, really?

Oh, no.

Maybe we should call them.

There's a phone out here...

Spec four frank benning.


Man, it's been a long time.

It's been 23 years.

An khe, Vietnam.

Why are you here?

He was your
surprise guest speaker.

Permission to crawl underneath
a moving vehicle.

That's all right.

Frank benning.

I can't get over this.

It's me, colonel.

Not as quick in
the 40-yard dash.

Life's been good to you.

I can't complain.

You know.

Gee, frank...

I can't get over this.

So, frank, you live
in these parts?

No, no. I live in D.C.

I'm chief of
the vocational rehabilitation

for the veteran's

We help disabled vets
get back to work.

There's nothing better
for a man's self-esteem

than gainful employment.

Well, now a gorgeous woman
don't hurt.

Now you're talking.

Colonel, we should
get together before dinner

have a couple of drinks,
compare old war lies.

I got classes all afternoon.


Well, listen,
I better get a move on.

Getting this peg
into a pair of tuxedo pants...

Well, it could take some time.

See you later.

Don't pay no mind
to the napkins.

You in the right school.

Take it easy.

I'm glad he's speaking
and not Margaret Thatcher.

She'd be beating down my door
for tea and crumpets.

I don't know about you, Brad

but I could use a refill.

What's bothering you, Brad?

Your face looks lower

than the price
of strawberries in June.

I'm the reason frank left
his leg over in Vietnam.

Now what are you talking about?


We were out patrolling the bush.

Diamond formation.

Strictly routine.

We thought the Vietcong

hadn't reached
that part of the sector yet.

In the time it takes
a heart to beat

we found ourselves
in the middle of an ambush.

I knew what to do.

Heck, I'd just gotten out
of officers' training.

I ordered my men to rush.

A lot of platoon leaders
tell that same story.

My story should have started
with taking cover, regrouping.

Benning was my first casualty.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Yeah, well.

He was one of the best
I had in "e" company.

Also one of the youngest.

Eighteen years old.

All-state sprinter.

Full of potential.

You couldn't have been much
older than that yourself.

What were you?

I was 21.

Old enough to know better.

Says who?

At 21

the cat is still licking
the fuzz from your chin.

You expected to make mistakes.

Vernon, when you are in charge,
you only get one chance

when it's a matter
of life and death.


Look at this hole.

That's it.

I'm not going.

Ron, let me look at the sock.

I'm not going.

Ronald, stop it.

This hole is not going
to show through those wing tips.

That's not the point.

The point is
I got the screw-up touch.

All I had to do

was keep the surprise
guest speaker a surprise.

And what do I do?

I lead the man
to colonel Taylor.

What did the colonel say?

"It's all right, Johnson."


Dwayne, in colonel taylorese

"it's all right"
is the equivalent

of "turn in your stripes;
You have no use on the planet."

It also means "Fatima Ford,
you're the cadet of the year."

You have no right to think
she's getting an award.

I'm not getting the award,

Nobody is harder on you
than you.

Remind me
to introduce you to my dad.

If you don't go

you're going to miss
Mr. Gaines's chicken dinner.

He's using real chicken.

It will be
in tomorrow's chicken loaf.

I've had the chance to hang out
with my man colonel Taylor.

My man has a way with women.

They go away when he shows up.

He can do anything
better than you.

We were saying, "I'm going
to run in the marathon."

He had flashbacks.

"I remember I was in Vietnam.

"I ran from Vietnam
to Cleveland"

"to get a sandwich."

He's always talking about
how he was bad in the war.

Look, the man
weighed 90 pounds wet.

One time, I saw him walking
in that same ugly green suit.

The wind was blowing.

The wind went up the bottom
of his pants

and since he has no butt,
it zipped up his back

picked him off the ground

and threw him across campus.

Knocked him upside Gilbert hall

and got up
like nothing happened.

"Okay, okay."

That's all right, man.

We love you, anyway.

Colonel Taylor,
you're my main man.

Ladies and gentlemen

the hillman
not-ready-for-roast-time players

are proud to present our tribute

to our favorite math
and military science professor.

Colonel Bradford Taylor,
this is your life.

Colonel Taylor, he's our man

if he can't teach us,
no one can.

Colonel, we don't mean to boast

but tonight
you're going to roast.

Sound off.

One, two.

Sound off.

Three, four.

Sound off.

One, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four.


Lovely, lovely.

Thank you.

Colonel Taylor was born
on the fourth of July

after a rather protracted labor.

It's a little math joke.

Anyway, it all began
in beaufort, south Carolina.

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.

It's a soldier.

Permission to cry, dear?

There, there.

Once the colonel and I
went bowling.

And he rolled that ball
down the alley.

Haven't seen that ball since.

Why aren't you laughing?

I tell you what's funny.

I've seen this man play poker.

He didn't have nobody
to school him

in the finer points.

I learned my poker in '48
when I was playing semi-pro ball

for the spartanburg senators.

I won a fortune
off Don newcombe.

He had a fast ball,
but I had a full house.

I tell you another thing...

Thank you,
Mr. Gaines.

Well, congratulations, Brad,
and we love you.

Well, now it's time to introduce
our guest de resistance.

He's a former member
of the U.S. army

where he served
under colonel Taylor.

At that time, he was
a little baby colonel.

Let's give a warm
"helium college" welcome

to Mr. Frank benning.

Thank you.

It's been a great evening

because most of it has
been spent honoring a great man

colonel Bradford Taylor.

By your response, I can see that
the colonel is loved and admired

despite the fact

that cadet Johnson says
you all call him Dr. War.

Just take the award, Fatima.

Back at 'nam, we had

a nickname for him.

We called him
lieutenant push-ups

because the man would
give you ten just for waking up.

We joked about him
being a perfectionist

right up until the day that

that perfectionist
saved our lives.

We were in the bush

and under heavy artillery fire
attack by the Vietcong.

For many of us in the company

it was our first
combat experience.

I was terrified.

My first instinct was to run.

But lieutenant Taylor

suffering from
a severe shoulder wound himself

led us in holding down
those ambushes.

If it hadn't been for him

none of us would have
made it out of there.

And I would have lost more

than just a leg.

This man taught us
what it means to be a hero.

So it gives me great pleasure

to present the man that showed
me what courage is all about.

Lieutenant push-ups.

-== [ www.OpenSubtitles.org ] ==-

Thank you.

Well, I don't know what to say.

You know, at 21,
the title "leader"...

That's a heavy weight to bear.

Now, at 44...

You're asking me
to consider myself a hero.

Well, I don't know if I weigh
enough to carry that weight.

And I don't know
if I can accept it

unless I am allowed
to shoulder it

with people like frank benning

and all the guys in "e" company.

You see, a man can make it
to the top of a hill

and plant a flag.

But no one can make it
to the top of that hill alone.

You'll never know what
this night has meant to me.

And for all of those, uh...
Those students

who lent their considerable
theatrical talents

to my unauthorized biography

let me just say

I'll see you come finals time.

I'd like to thank colonel Taylor
for that very moving speech.

For those of you
who missed the good parts

he'll be outside after the show
selling them for $8.95.

He needs cash
to get some new clothes.

Whitley will be selling
her tapes,

"death of a student,"
for $1.95.

Well, enough talking, y'all.

Let's get busy.

Uh, whitley.


You sure look pretty in pink.

Why, thank you.

And you...

Are blocking my view
of the dance floor.

See you around.


See you.

Colonel Taylor:
Take your seats, please.

Take your seats.

It is time for me to announce

this year's distinguished
cadet award winner.

All right, Fatima.

The cadet who has proven
to be an all-around soldier

in the classroom,
a model student.

She cheats, man.

And in the field,
an excellent leader.

This year's cadet

personifies what the army
is all about.

That's it.

Come on.

The winner of this year's
distinguished cadet award

goes to...

Sergeant Ronald Johnson.

You won!
You won!

Ron, you're going the wrong way.

I won?

You won.

I won?

You won!

I won?


Help him, somebody.

You like me.

You really like me.

Yes, we do, partner.

Is it really true...

My name engraved
in gold letters?

Did they spell it right?

Yep, Ronald Marlon Johnson.


Why me, sir?

Why not?

When you first came to r.O.T.C.

You were the one soldier
that uncle Sam did not want.

But in time,
not a whole lot of time

you proved to be a leader.

You even make me look good.

That's what I live for, sir.

This doesn't go
to the perfect soldier.

It goes to the soldier
with the perfect attitude.

Now, come on.
Don't cry.

Come on.

Good to see you.

Whitley, I've been watching you.

Not one eyelash
has batted all night.

You win.

So, what do I get?

Tell you the kind of guy I am.

I will not flirt
nor charm nor effervesce

for the next 24 hours.

Baby, I like the way
that dress is wearing you.

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