One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 5, Episode 21 - Perils of Plastic - full transcript

Newlyweds Julie and Max have accumulated too much credit card debt.

♪ This is it ♪ This is it

♪ This is life, the one you get

♪ So go and have
a ball ♪ This is it

♪ This is it

♪ Straight ahead
and rest assured

♪ You can't be sure at all

♪ So while you're
here enjoy the view

♪ Keep on doing what you do

♪ So hold on tight
we'll muddle through

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

♪ So up on your
feet ♪ Up on your feet

♪ Somewhere
there's music playing

♪ Don't you worry none

♪ We'll just take
it like it comes

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time

♪ One day at a time

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time

♪ One day at a time
♪ One day at a time

- These escargots
are so delicious?

Anybody want to try one?

- No thanks.

- Come on, Barbara,
eat one, you'll love it.

- No thanks, they
remind me of slugs.

- Barbara, escargots are snails.

- And snails are
nothing, but your common

slug with housing.

I swear it's like eating
your lawn secondhand.

- You know, there
are some people that

claim that these things
are a aphrodisiac.

Actually, I don't
believe a word of it.

I mean, how can
a snail make you.

- Oh, Max.

- Maybe I should
try one of these.

Oh, no I don't think so.

- Anything else?

Coffee, dessert, a bed?

- Just the check, please.

- Oui, monsieur.

- Thank you.

- I keep telling the
chef, more salt in

the escargot.

- Max?

- Huh?

- Max, will you let
me take care of this?

- No no no.

- Mom, no no, this
lunch is our treat.

- Yes, I know you said that,
but this is very expensive

here at this...

- Why can't you
just let us take you

to lunch without
making it so difficult.

- I don't know, you don't
see me trying to pay.

Woah, I'm going to have
more respect for snails.

- Merci, monsieur.

- You guys have
done so much already.

You bought me that
beautiful, new coffee table

and now this expensive lunch...

- Yeah and you carried
us during the pilot

strike when we
had no income at all.

- Right so just let
us take care of the

bill this once, okay?

- Okay.

- Mom?

- Yeah okay, but I
think I'd be a little

more comfortable
if I went to the

powder room while
you're settling up.

- Oh you don't have to go.

- Yes I do.

Excuse me.

Can I at least pay the tip?

- Go!

- That's what I love
about mom, she knows

how to take a hint.

- The door with
the poodle on it.

- Excuse-moi, monsieur,
but there appear to

be a slight problem.

Perhaps you would care to
step over this side with me.

- That's okay you
can tell me here.


- When EF Houghton talks.

- Shh.

- It seemed that your
credit card has been

how you say it rejected.

- Your credit card's
been rejected.

- Would you!

- Sorry.

- I don't understand.

- Say bounce, bounce, bounce.

- I understand,
listen it's probably just

some computer foul-up.

Here, no problem.

Just take this one.

- Escargot on
Sears and rollback?

- What?


Snails in a department store.

Here, I meant to try this one.

- I have not seen so
much plastic since my last

Tupperware party.

- Max, I don't understand.

I mean the only thing I
charged on this card all

month was a set of bedsheets.

That certainly
doesn't cover our limit.

- Well it does if you
add the new tires

I bought for the car.

- I thought you
were gonna put those

on one of the gas cards.

- I used the gas
card to buy the stereo.

- I think you found the problem.

- Shame shame shame.

- Oh no.

- Oh oui.

Perhaps the next
time you care to lunch

at Le Kernel de Kentucky.

- Listen, this is silly, I'm
sure there's something

we can work out.

- Certainly,
monsieur, that in your

case the restaurant is willing

to do something extraordinary.

- Oh, what?

- Take cash.

- Money?

- Oh you have heard of it?

- Awfully, old-fashioned.

- 63.43, huh?

- Plus the customary
20% gratuity.

- Oh, Max, I never
tip more than 10%.

- Young lady, I hope
you are enjoying your

trip to the 20th century.

- Well, I have 42$, you guys.

- Well, will 12.15$ help?

- Sure.

- May I suggest you
pay the gratuity now

and take the worry
from your mind.

- I'm not worried.

- I am.

- Barbara, give
me all your money.

- I'm being mugged
in broad daylight.

All I have is 10$ and
my emergency dime.

- All right, let me
see, 63.43, right?

- Plus tip.

- Let's not rub salt
in the wound, okay?

- Excuse-moi, monsieur.

We have an
expression en Francais.

(speaks in a foreign language)

- Thank you.

- Which mean, you
have the taste of an

aristocrat and the
pocketbook of a peasant.

- You know, we have
an expression here too.

It is better to be a
peasant than to be

a person who waits on a peasant.

(crowd applauds)

- Touche.

- All right, so let me see.

We got 20, 40, 60,
five, 60, one two three.

63.43 and something for you.

- Merci, monsieur,
now I can buy a new

string for my yo-yo.

- Not a word.

- Change my mind, can
I have dessert after all?

- [Both] No!

- Oh, I've got to
tell you something.

I'm really glad we
came back here.

It gives the two of you
a chance to enjoy this

beautiful coffee
table you bought me.

- Nothing's too
good for you, shorty.

- Aww.

You want to know
what I like best about it?

Every time I look
at it, it reminds

me of my favorite couple in the

whole wide world.

- [Both] Aww.

- Hey, we need some
cake, I'll go get some cake.

- Gee, it's really a shame
that Schneider couldn't join us.

- Oh, Ms Biggart had
another emergency.

Schneider kept telling
her not to try and burn

those decorative logs.

- Why not?

- She doesn't have a fireplace.


- I'll get it.

- I'll give mom a hand.

- Hi.

- [Max] Hi.

- Nice day isn't it?

- I think so.

- Good, I'm here to
repossess your coffee table.

- Who is it, Max?- - Nobody.

Listen, this doesn't
make any sense.

- Look, little buddy,
I got my orders.

Three past due notices.

Your money or your table.

- There must be some mistake.

- Well there it is
in plain English.

You see there?

Right there after
the word deadbeat.

Pick up table at
Romano residence.

- Romano?

- What, your name ain't Romano?

- Nah, they moved.

- Oh yeah.

- Yeah, back to Sicily.

- What are you trying
to pull, huh, buddy?

Let me use your phone.

- No no no, listen.

My grandmother
is in there and she's

very, very sick, okay?

I hope you understand.

- Oh, sure sure.

Okay, okay I'll check this out

and I'll be right back.

- Who was that?

- Avon man.

Julie, that was a guy
from the collection agency.

He's here to repossess.

- Our stereo?

- No.

- Oh no the luggage?

- No.

- Our skiis?

- No.

- Not mom's coffee table.

- Yes and you've
got to tell your mother

before this guy comes back.

- Me?

- She's your mother.

- I'd like to keep it that way.

- Here you go.

- Hey, mom, you know,
Julie and I were just

thinking, this
coffee table really

doesn't go with the rest of the

furniture, does it, Julie?

- Oh no no no, not at all.

- Of course it does.

It's beautiful, I love it.

- Nah, it really doesn't.

You just don't want to
hurt our feelings, which

we understand, so
listen I'm gonna call the

store right now
they'll probably have a

man over here in no time...

- Max, put the phone down.

That's ridiculous.

I don't want to
return the table.

- See someone must
have been pulling your leg.

This is the Romano residence.

- I bet your grandmother
here isn't even sick.

- Grandmother?


What do you think you're doing?

- I think I'm taking the table.

- No, you just walk
into people home's

and take their furniture away?

- You got it, granny.

- Granny?

- Look, lady, it's nothing
personal, it's repossession.

- Wait a minute, this
is a gift from my...

- Listen, listen, it's
probably some bookkeeping

error, shorty.

- They claim that we missed
a few itty-bitty payments.

- That's the way
the company is, lady.

Picky, picky.

- Seemed nice
enough in the hall.

Well, I guess I'll go
see if Schneider can

get back our old coffee table.

- What just happened here?

- Well a stranger
came in and made off

with your coffee table.

- Obviously.

What I would like to know is.



- Julie, what she'd
like to know is why.

- Why are you looking at me?

- She's my wife I am
allowed to look at her.

- Of course, Max, but...

- Mother, why are you
always siding with him.

- Don't listen to her.

How was I supposed
to buy you a coffee

table when she goes
out and charges a

202 cubic foot refrigerator?

- It's 20.2 and where
are you supposed to

put your beer?

In the bathtub?

- My beer?

You're the one who went out and

bought six cases on sale.

- You bought those stupid tires.

- Six cases of beer?

- It was light.

- Oh, what am I
supposed to drive on?

Old beer cans?

- Well you didn't
have to get Whitewalls.

- There was a special,
I got two free flares.

- You'd better send one
up now, Max, because

this is an emergency.

We've had enough
expenses lately.

I mean how many
girls marry a guy whose

union goes out on
strike the second week

and then your dumb
airline sent us to

Houston, we had to
furnish an entire apartment.

We certainly can't
sit on Whitewalls.

Mom, you know how
much your generation

charges for a sofa?

- My generation?

- How can you
laugh at this, shorty?

Here I am working my butt off...

- Working your butt off?

You call flying to
Switzerland with six beautiful

working your butt off?

- Listen to this.

You know that
she won't even help

out by getting a job?

- Fat chance I have
of getting a job, Max.

Two weeks here,
three weeks in Houston.

Now we're back here again.

What kind of a job
do want me to get?

Smuggling Jackrabbits
out of Texas?

- Oh, that's a great idea.

At least we would
have something to eat.

Look, let's face it,
Julie, you're lousy

at managing money.

- Well if I had a little
more money coming in

maybe I'd be better
at managing it.

- Where do you
think you're going?

- I am going back to
our hotel to count my

diamonds and rubies.

- This is where she
expects me to come

crawling after her.

- Wrong.

You can stay
here for all I care.

- We're all gonna laugh
about this someday.

(crowd applauds)


Max, come on, wake up, Max.

- Still sleeping?

- Yeah, I think he was
up most of the night.

Um, Max, come on wake up.

- Not again,
Julie, I'm too tired.

(crowd applauds)

- oh, okay, Max,
come on, come on.

- Okay all right, Julie,
only this time I'll be the

pom-pom girl and
you'll be the quarterback.

- Oh my God.

- Had you going there
for a minute, huh?


- A joke, a joke, yeah, well.

At least you haven't
lost your sense of humor.

- No, just our money.

- You want some coffee?

- No thanks.

- It's free.

- Well in that case.

You know?

- What?

- I was thinking a lot last
night about me and Julie.

And I think I know
what the problem is.

It's the world.

It's inflation, it's the
dollar going down.

Everything costs
so much, but you got

to buy it now
because next week it's

gonna be twice as much.

You see, you might
as well spend all your

money now because it's
not gonna be worth anything.

- Max.

- You know, he's right, mom.

Let's go out and buy
me a yacht before we

can't afford it.

Hey, Max, did you and Julie
hear this guy, Friendly Frankie?

- Who?

- Well, he does all
those radio spots, you

know, Friendly Frankie
gets you out of the

red and into the black
with lots of green.

- That's very colorful.

- What does he do?

- Well, he consolidates
all your debts

into one lump sum so
you only have one small

monthly payment.

- Right, for the
next 500 months.

Max, there is no easy
solution to this, you know.

You and Julie are gonna
have to have a serious talk.

- Hmm, she's probably
on her way to court.

Can you charge a divorce?

- You're gonna
find that Julie can

be pretty understanding
when she wants to be.

- I hope you were
awake all night.

- Then again she
doesn't always want to be.

- Talk about spending
money, look at all

these things you charged.

Digital watch, designer
jeans, sport coat.

What made you
buy all that stuff?

- The store did.

See, I went in
there to buy a pair of

socks and they offered
me instant credit.

- Instant poverty
is more like it.

Couldn't you've said no?

- Well I didn't want
to seem ungrateful.

And beside, they were
having a great sale, you

should've seen...

- Brilliant, Max, brilliant.

- What, are you
gonna yell at me for...

- All right, all
right, all right, stop!

Would you like my opinion?

- [Both] No.

- I think you're
gonna get it anyway.

- You're gonna get it anyway.

Julie, sit down.

Max, sit down.

Now, I want you to
calmly and rationally

figure out just exactly
how much you owe.

- Yeah, I can do that.

- And, just exactly how
you're gonna pay for it.

- Max can do that.

- You're all heart, Julie.

Okay, shorty, we'll do it.

- Good!

And watch, you're gonna
find out you're not in

nearly as bad shape
as you thought you were.

Okay, if we look at all of these

bills and we sort them out.

- [Barbara] Well, 50.19$.

- 2,700$?

- and 19 cents.

- You guys haven't been
married that long, how

do you explain it?

- Well, I can
explain the 19 cents.

- Oh thank God for Dan Rather.

- What, is he going
to give them a loan?

- See on 60 Minutes,
he did this entire segment

on people just
like Julie and Max.

- Newly weds?

- Credit card addicts,
plastic junkies.

People who just
keep spending money

that they just don't have.

All right, see what they
do is they send them

to credit counselors
and they teach them

how to handle their finances.

- Mom, I don't want to
discuss our problems with

some stranger.

- Oh, Julie, come on these
guys are professionals.

The worst they'll do is giggle.

(audience laughs)

- Well, I think we
should go to a bank.

- Yeah, at least you
get a free calendar.

- What do you think, Julie?

- We have a calendar.

- Look, we borrow
enough money from the

bank to pay off all
our debts at once.

- Hey, that's a great idea.

You see if we pay
off all of our charge

accounts early we'll
prove we're a good risk

and they'll raise
our credit level.

- Children, children, children.

Would you like to
tell me what bank

is going to loan you 2,700$?

- And 19 cents.

- Citi Security Bank.

- We don't even
have an account there.

They don't even know who we are.

- That could be an advantage.

- We don't have
an account there.

- But mom does.

- Barbara?

- Not only does mom
have an account there.

- But she handles all
their public relations.

- Barbara.

- Ow.

- Mom, if you would
just co-sign a note.

- Julie, I don't want your
mom to get involved in this.

- Listen, to your
husband, Julie.

- We'll pay you
back, I swear it.

- Honey, you still owe me
for the Raggedy Ann doll

you bought in 1969.

- Barbara, flushed
it down the toilet.

- She still owes
me for the plumbing.

- Come on, mom, you know
we've always been honest

with each other.

Just give me one good
reason why you can't sign.

- Julie, you don't know
how to handle money.

You're irresponsible.

You have no self-discipline.

You just are not a good risk.

- I said one.

My own mother turning on
me in my greatest hour of need.

- Julie, you're trying to
make your mother feel guilty.

- That's a switch.

- Mother, if you just put
yourself in our shoes.

- That I paid for?

- Low-blow, shorty.

Listen, Julie, I
don't think it's fair of

you to be pressuring
your mom like this.

Why don't we just
give her some time

and let her think this
thing out carefully.

Is that okay with you, shorty?

- It's a deal.

- Good, we'll be
out in the hall.

- Want to know
what I think, mom?

- Yeah, what?

- I think you got
yourself a real problem.

- Barbara, I could
co-sign this loan.

- Right.

- But I don't want to
let them off too easily.

- Right.

- They must learn
how to be independent.

- Right.

- On the other hand
I want them to know

that I'm there
when they need me.

- Right.

- What do you think?

- I think you got
yourself a real problem.

- Compared to what we came in?

- Right.

- Okay, I'm going to do it.

- Good for you.

Okay, guys come
on in, she folded.

- Mom?

- Yes, I'm gonna help you out.

- Oh, mom, I knew you
wouldn't let us down.

- Hey, that's terrific, shorty.

And you know what
I'm gonna take all you

guys out to dinner to celebrate.

- Mom, you're super.

On to the Citi Bank.

- No no no no.

You are going to be dealing
with the Bank of Annie.

- Come on, shorty, all we
want you to do is co-sign.

- Mom, we don't want you
to lend us your own money.

- Can you afford the
15% interest you'll be

charged at the bank?

- Ma, we want you to
lend us your own money.

- Yeah, that's what I thought.

Now I'm going to
charge you five and a

quarter percent, the
same amount that money

would be earning if I
kept it my savings account.

- Hey, come on we'll
give you seven and a half.

- Max, take the five
and a quarter while

you can still get it.

All right, now we're
gonna do this all legal.

We're gonna sign a
contract and you're

gonna have to agree
to certain terms.

- This is where
she sticks it to you.

- What terms?

- You're gonna have to
agree to see a credit counselor.

- But, mom if we
borrow money from you

what's a credit
counselor going to do?

- He is gonna help you
get your act together.

Put you on a budget.

He'll handle your income.

Approve your expenditure.

Set up a mandatory
savings program.

- Oh you mean he's gonna
put us on a weekly allowance.

- If you're good.

- This is humiliating.

I feel like the board
chairman of Chrysler Motors.

- Max, we have no choice.

- Okay.

Thank you, shorty,
we appreciate it.

- We do.

- Okay, you're welcome.

There is one other condition.

- Roll up your sleeve,
Max, she wants blood.

- I want your credit cards.

- Please, mom, take the blood.

- You mean the cards
we're overdrawn on?

- All your credit cards.

- But, mom, if we're gonna
be on a weekly allowance

we'll need the credit cards.

- Yes, sweetheart
that's why I want them.

Okay, come on
it's part of the deal.

Hand them over.

- Okay okay, here they come.

How long you
gonna keep them for?

- Not long.

Julie, yours too.

- Okay, but you said
you're not gonna keep

them for long.

- That's right.

- Well how long is not long?

- Oh just long enough
to cut them into

little pieces.

- Mom.

- One down.

(crowd applauds)

(lively music)