One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 5, Episode 25 - Pen Pals - full transcript

Schneider's cell mate from a gambling raid shows up at his apartment.

♪ 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

♪ 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

♪ Just take it like it comes

♪ One day at a
time one day at a time

♪ One day at a time

♪ Da da da da one day at a time

♪ One day at a
time one day at a time

♪ Da da da da ♪
One day at a time

(drill whirring, pounding)

- I don't believe
him, Schneider.

- Schneider!

- [Both] Schneider!

- What are you yelling?

I'm standing right here!

(audience laughs)

- Schneider, we're
trying to study.

- Trying to study?

How can you study
with all this noise?

(audience laughs)

You give up?

I give up too, all right?

I mean you spend
your hard earned money

on what you think is first
class equipment right?

Now the bushings
are burning out.

- Then just take it back.

- What are you
kidding, take it back?

Smiling Sammy's Surplus,
they don't take nothing back.

Their motto is at our
prices you want a bag too?

(audience laughs)

(doorbell rings)

- Oh Barbara, I
certainly hope you didn't

invite company over
here, because if we

don't get that homework down
we are going to be in deep...

- Eddie told me
Schneider was here.

- Yes, hello, Schn...
- Hey!

Is that you Schneider?

I'm telling you Schneider it's
so good to see you again huh?

(audience laughs)

- Mom, the guy
from the jail cell.

That's the prisoner that was
locked up with Schneider.

- You got it.

- Hey look at this guy!

He's so happy to see
me he's shaking all over!

(audience laughs)

- It's you!

The crazed kid, the wild
and crazy guy from the jail!

- Yeah that's me
buddy, I just got out

and there you were
in the phone book.

Dwayne F for Flo, ha.

I love that name Flo, Schneider.


- Look.

Parsons... (yelling)

(audience laughs)

- Don't ever pull a
power drill on me, pal.

(audience laughs)


You know what
you're laughing at?

- No I don't.

- Look it ain't even plugged in.


I mean he couldn't have
drilled me if he wanted to!


(laughing nervously)

- Well I tell you
what, it's really good

seeing you again Parsons.

Really, really good.

- What, we're leaving now?

- We?

- Yeah!

Hey come on Flo!

I'm staying at your place.

- My, my place?

- Yeah I just dumped
all my stuff in there.

- My place is locked.

- So what?

(audience laughs)

Hey come on, you
don't look happy.

- Happy, I'm happy.

I'm delirious, it's just that
normally this time of year

I take my vacation
down in Yucatan.

- Hey come on, I'm only
going to spend a few weeks.

- A few weeks?
- Yeah.

- Terrific, that's, let me ask
you a question, why me?

- Because you
make me laugh, Flo.

(audience laughs)

And you're a real standup
guy, you know what I mean?

I'll never forget what
you said the last day

you were in that jail
cell, you remember?

- No.

- You said keep in touch, pal.

I'm telling you, I
had tears in my eyes.

(audience laughs)

- Keep in touch brought
tears to your eyes?

- Yeah.

- Uh Mr. Parsons.

- No no Vince, I mean as long as

I'm going to be your
neighbor you know?

- Yeah, well Vince then.

People don't really
mean it you know

when they say keep in
touch or let's have lunch.

- Or break a leg.
- I do.

Especially when it comes
to breaking a leg, you know?

(audience laughs)

- Well, Parsons, surely
you must have some

family or friends you
know who would love to

be seeing you at this time
and Ms. Romano and I...

- Hold on hold on wait
a minute, wait a minute.

I know a kiss off
when I hear it huh?

See you around pal.

- Now wait a minute Parsons...

- No I mean I had
no right to bust in

on you people like this right?

When you've been living
in a zoo for so many years

you start becoming like a...

- An animal, I know.

- And I mean it's just
going to take a little time

for me to be worthy of
such nice people like you.

You say something Flo?

(audience laughs)

Well, I'll just go
find a place to stay.

Pick out some nice
doorway to check into.

- You really are all
alone aren't you?

- That's nothing new.


- Hey look, can we get
you something to eat?

- Yeah, some bread and water?

Uh, coffee and cake.

- Coffee and cake.

- Yeah that'd be great!
- Good!

- All right good, all right.

- Look, you've done enough
for me already, you know that!

- We haven't done
anything for ya,

I just wish there were
something we could do for ya.

- Get me a job.

- What?

- Anything to do, you know
something I can just start

before the pressure
of this hunger and cold

takes over and I have to
go back to a life of crime.

(audience laughs)

- I tell you something Parsons,

the only job around
here is the one that I have

and it's a highly technical job.

Requires the use of a lot
of sophisticated equipment.

Let me show you I
mean for example see,

I'm putting in this shelf here

and this is solid oak see?

So you have to
pre-drill the screw hole

so you don't split
the oak when you...

- All right well just let me
have a chance, now come on

I can just be your
helper, wait a second.

- That's very complicated,

come on you just
can't pick up a...

- No sweat, now cool it huh?

I mean what is this like
a little tommy gun isn't it?

(drill whirring)
- Hey!

(audience laughs)

- All right let
me try this thing.

- Wait a second, hold it
we need to wait a minute!

Just put it right in
there, yeah just yeah.

That's good.

You're through.

- I never could shoot straight.

(audience laughs)

- An ex-con is living
in Schneider's camper?

- Yeah, Schneider's breaking
him in as his new helper.

- Oh, I think that's wonderful.

I'll go to the hotel, get
Julie and a suitcase,

pick up a can of
mace and a whistle.

We're moving back
in with you guys.

- Don't be silly Max, just
because a man has a record

is no reason to panic.

- What's he in for?

- Assault with a deadly weapon.

(audience laughs)

- Boy did I make a mistake.

- [Max] What happened?

- Oh that Parsons,
he's an incompetent.

Can't mix paint,
can't spackle a wall.

Doesn't know the difference
between a crescent wrench

and a pair of clutch pliers.

- Oh Schneider
he's not that bad.

You see that light
fixture over there?

It was broken, he found
one just like it and replaced it.

- So that's where Mrs.
Caparelli's light fixture went.

(audience laughs)

I'm telling you
the guy's a loser!

I gotta get rid of him.

- Well just tell him to go.

- Are you kidding?

I don't like the food
in intensive care.

(audience laughs)

- Well, I've got a
meeting I've got to get to

but afterwards we'll check
out of the hotel and be...

- No Max, don't you dare!

We're going to be fine!

- Well, all right
we'll phone you later

and see how you're doing.

- Okay.
- I'd better run.

I'd better stay.

- Mr. Parsons I don't think that

you've met my son-in-law Max.

Max is off to an
airline meeting.

- About security.

(audience laughs)

I'm with Interpol,
inspector Horvath.

(audience laughs)

- Eh you've got a classy
mother-in-law there inspector.

Should be nice to her.

- I'll see you later shorty.

- Hey!

I said be nice.

- Nice shorty.

(audience laughs)

- What do you got there?

- Your drill.

- I told you they
wouldn't take it back.

- Your new drill.

I'm telling that
Smiley he's a prince.

Oh here, he also gave
all your money back.

(audience laughs)


With his personal apologies.

(audience laughs)

- Smiley doesn't
give nothing back.

What did you say to him?

- Nothing.

Just talking about
the weather, the river.

(audience laughs)

Cement boots.

- You threatened him?

- I never raised my voice.

I hate people who
raise their voice.

(audience laughs)

- I have to leave now.

(audience laughs)

I have to fix Ms.
Johnson's disposal.

(audience laughs)

- I fixed that yesterday.

- I know, she still
can't get channel 12.

(audience laughs)

- Hey Flo!

I just replaced the
lightbulb in the elevator.

- Taking the stairs.

(audience laughs)

- Looks like I screwed
up again doesn't it huh?

You know I'm
telling you I feel like

I got two left
hands or something.

- Oh there's other
kind of work you can do

besides working with your hands.

- Not for cons.

People think menial labor's
the only thing we can do,

but I don't even
feel qualified for that.

- Tell me what kind of
jobs did you have before?

- Truth is, I've been behind
bars 16 out of my 35 years.

You could say I've not had
too much of an opportunity

to climb up the
corporate ladder.

- Well there must be some
kind of job you'd enjoy.

- Yeah maybe, but
now it's just a dream.

- What is?

- Well you'll laugh.

- [Both] No.

- Yes you will, you'll
probably laugh at me.

- We won't laugh.
- No!

- I've always wanted
to be a salesman.


(audience laughs)

I've always wanted to carry
one of those attache cases

you know and have lunch

while I'm writing up
orders, drinking a martini.

It looks great on TV.

(audience laughs)

- Well that's terrific.

Now my mom is really pretty
big in the business world.

I'm sure she could
find you something.

- No no wait, I understand.

And besides, I'm what
they call incorrigible.

- You're what they
call manipulative.

Don't hurt me.

(audience laughs)

But you know, you
did con Schneider

into letting you use his camper,

and you did persuade old
Smiley to take back his drill,

and you got Barbara
there all ready

to be your personal manager.

- Mom do you know
what you're saying?

You're saying this
man here can sell.

- I am saying that aren't I?

- Hey you really think so?

- Of course you can sell!

- When can I start?

- Hey slow down!

I mean there's more
to being a salesman

than having a martini at lunch.

- But, we can show you
the ropes, what do you say?

- A salesman.

God I'd kill for it.

(audience laughs)


- Okay, now Schneider you ready?

You're going to do
the same thing again.

Right do the interview
and the whole thing.

- I'm the executive!

- Okay your office
here and we've got

the reception desk
down here, same thing.

Vince okay, are you
ready to do it again?

- Yes ma'am.
- Okay here we go!

And action!

- So anyways Thelma
he says to me, he says

I'll call ya if I got nothing

better to do on Thursday night.

Well I said to
him I said look...

- Hey don't you see me
standing here lady or what?

- Vince, cut!

(audience laughs)


You cannot blow up like that

every time someone
is rude to you.

We've been through this before.

- Hey come on she was using

the company phone
for personal phone calls.

Now don't give me
that pretending stuff,

the dame was
ignoring me like I'm

some piece of meat or something!

Why don't you even look at me?


- I understand
your position okay?

But you're gonna be cool.

You're gonna be laid back.

You're gonna be smart,
you're gonna use your head.

Instead you're going to
say something like this.

Excuse me miss, but
I have an appointment

with Mr. Schneider
at 10 o'clock.

- Excuse me
miss, but I have a...

Oh come on it's
all a waste of time.

You know what I'm gonna end up?

I'm gonna end up going in
there shaking the guy's hand,

lifting his watch and leaving.

(audience laughs)

- You can do it
Vince, I know you can.

Come on, let's try it again.

- All right.
- All right, good.

Come on.


You ready?
- Yeah.

- Okay.


- Excuse me, but Mr. Schneider's
expecting me at 10 o'clock.

- I'm gonna put you
on hold, Thelma.


- Eight seven four three...

(audience laughs)

It's Vince Parsons.

I'm from Central
Stationery Supply Company.

- A Mr. Parsons here to see you.

Okay, you can go right in.

So Thelma, anyways...

- And no personal
calls huh lady?

(audience laughs)

- Yes, sell the pork bellies
and buy the cow back.

(audience laughs)


Hello there.

- Hi, how you doing?

- I'm doing, I'm
doing... (yelling)

(audience laughs)

- Hey, is this,

is this the stationery
your company uses here?

- Why yes, that's it.

- Yeah, you know what I think?

I think somebody saw
you coming, buddy.

This is sissy stuff.

You know what I think
of it, this, huh there!

Now if you want to buy
stationery that's worthwhile

you better buy from me, Central!

- Cut!
- Huh?

(audience laughs)

- Vince, two things.

First of all, you don't
even know this man

and already you're
insulting his stationery.

Now he could have been
the person who picked it out!

- No I wouldn't buy
nothing with a flower border.

(audience laughs)

I would probably pick
something that was,

my watch, my watch is gone!

Where'd my, my watch, all right.

(audience laughs)


- All right Vince, second thing.

You're coming on too strong.

You gotta play the game
a little, break the ice.

You could tell him a joke.

- What kind of joke?

- I don't know, don't
you know any jokes?

- Number 35 is funny.

(audience laughs)

- Number 35?

- Yeah in jail you
hear them all so often

we give them
numbers to save time.

- Hey hey!

I got a joke in
school that I heard.

It's really funny,
okay this joke's a riot.

Really, great
story, okay let's see.

Man walks into a restaurant
strange town, okay.

The waitress comes
over to him and he says

I'd like two fried
eggs and a kind word.

Okay, so the waitress
takes his order

and she comes back
with the fried eggs

and the guy goes,
where's my kind word?

And she goes don't eat the eggs!


- I like that one, all right!

All right that's a good one.
- He likes it!

- I know what you want now,

okay let me do
it again all right?

Don't eat the eggs.

Don't eat the eggs is good.

(audience laughs)

- All right, Vince you ready?
- Yeah!

- Here we go again!


- Excuse me, Mr. Schneider's
expecting me at 10 o'clock.

- Go right in.
- Thanks.

Hey how are you Mr. Schneider?

I really like your
stationery there

but I think I got something

that you'll like
a little bit better.

Hey did you hear
the joke about the guy

who walks into the restaurant...

- Don't eat the eggs.

(audience laughs)

- You heard it huh?

- Yeah my
secretary just told it.

- Your secretary?

You're a crackup Flo.


Don't ever interrupt me
again or I'll kill ya, I mean it!

Now I'm trying to tell a joke,
don't you understand that?

(audience laughs)

- That was a lot better.
- Yeah.

(audience laughs)

- Vince, do you think you could

cut down on the
laugh just a little bit?

- Yeah, Vince it's a real
nice laugh, really nice,

but it's just a little
too much, just a little.

- Cut down on the laugh?
- Yeah.

- I've worked a lot of
years on that laugh.

You see when people
think you're wacko,

they don't lean on you so much.

- Oh, well all right.

I understand.

Vince, maybe we
should try it again huh?

'Cause I've got
a surprise for you.

I've set up a job interview.


- For me?
- Ma!

- Yes for you.

- [Both] A job interview!

- Ah thank you, thank you!

I'm telling you,
oh that's great!

(audience laughs)

- You all right?
- I'm fine!

- I didn't mean to...

- Oh Mel, I really appreciate
your coming over here.

Now you do understand that
Parsons is just out of prison

so he may appear a
little strange to you.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- I see what you mean.

(audience laughs)

- Oh, no.

This is Dwayne Schneider,
our superintendent, Mel Berger.

- How are ya, nice to meet ya.

Thanks for getting up.

(audience laughs)

- So where's Vince?

- He's on his way up.

- Good.

- So, you're the
personnel procurer huh?

- I never thought
of it that way.

(audience laughs)

- Let me tell you something boy,

you really lucked out
with this guy Parsons.

He's got character,
he's got personality.

Of course he is a little
bit you know unique,

maybe that's because you
know he's done so much,

spent so much
time working on his...

- Uh look, he knows
that Vince is an ex-con.

- Oh, did I fail
to mention that?

(audience laughs)

- Mr. Berger is it?

Yes, I'm Barbara,
Ann's daughter.

Hi it's nice to meet you.

I certainly hope that
you can help Mr. Parsons.

You see he's such
a nice, sweet...

- He knows he's an ex-con.

- But a nice, sweet ex-con.


- [Ann] Oh Vince.

- Am I late?

- No, you're not late at all.

Mel just got here.

You look terrific.

Mel Berger, I'd like you
to meet Vincent Parsons.

- Hi, glad to know you.
- Hi.

- Sit down, sit down please.

Have a chocolate cluster?

- No no, thanks I
just had breakfast.

Oh and speaking of breakfast,
did you hear about the joke

about the guy that walks
into this restaurant...

- Don't eat the eggs.

I know that joke!

(audience laughs)


Listen Vince, what do you know

about selling office supplies?

- I know not to yell at the
dame at the reception desk.

(audience laughs)

- What he means is you
know he knows to get in good

with the broad, the
woman, the lady in the front.

- Yeah, yeah I know
what he means.

And he's right.

To get to the general you have

to go through the front lines.

Vince, have you
done much selling?

- Only my cigarette rations

and sometimes
my brussels sprouts.

(audience laughs)

I hate brussels sprouts.

(audience laughs)

See this is the first
opportunity I've really had

because well I've been
in jail a lot of years.

- I know, but I wanted
to hear it from you.

Let me ask you something.

If you... (audience laughs)

Ann I wonder if you
and the Greek chorus

could disappear for a while?

- Oh, Mel of course, forgive us.

We'll just take a
walk, Schneider.

- Thank you.
- Oh no.

- Vince, how would you handle

a hypothetical
situation like this?

- Hypothetical?
- Right.

- I gotta get to school,
you gotta get to work

and it seems like they've
been in there for five hours.

- It's been 22 and
a half minutes.

- I hope he doesn't crack.

- Oh poor Vince.

- I'm talking about Mel.

(audience laughs)

- Hey you can come in now.

Well I really enjoyed
our little chat.

- Oh that's nice.
- Oh that's terrific.

- And I'm going to recommend

that we put Vince in our
sales training program.

- Oh that's wonderful!

- [Ann] Mel thank you so much.

- Oh what do you mean thank you?

He's got great potential.

Vince, I'll see you
Monday morning.

- Yes sir, thank you sir.

Do you want a
couple for the road sir?

- Oh well thank you,
don't mind if I do.

Ah hell it's a long ride anyway.

(audience laughs)

- Goodbye!

- Goodbye.
- Goodbye then!


- Beautiful,
beautiful! (knocking)

- Lieutenant Trumble, IPD.

I got a warrant here
for Vincent Parsons.

Could you folks
step back please?

- Warrant?

- Okay Vinny,
assume the position.

- Hi lieutenant, you
know I'm not armed.

- Eh I hope you had a
nice little vacation, enjoy it?

Hey a nice set of
threads you got there.

- What's going on here?

- You know you people could
be in a whole lot of trouble

for harboring an
escaped convict.

- Hey, come on lieutenant.

They thought I
just got released.

- Yeah well we'll
talk about that later.

Right now I'd like
to get you back

to the fellas in
cell block nine,

you know they've missed you?

- Yeah.

- Vincent, what do you mean
they thought I got released?

- I lied.

Just walked out of the
state penn two weeks ago.

Only trouble is I
had three years to go.

I'm sorry.

- I'm sorry too.

- See you kid.

Thanks for one hell
of a pipe dream, huh?

Hey Flo, keep your
nose clean huh?

- Okay Vinny let's move it huh?

- Hey, come on cheer up.

I can serve three
years like that.

And don't forget, I got
something to come back for now.

Hell, after what
you guys taught me,

I can sell 'em on letting
me out a lot quicker.

Thanks again.

See you around huh?

- I feel so stupid!

So angry and so awful.

- Me too.

- It's tough to figure a
guy like that, you know?

I mean he lied to us.

- Yeah, but I still think
he could have made it.

I mean look at the turnaround
he made in just two weeks.

- Yeah.


There is something
we can still do for him.

- What's that?

- Keep in touch.


(jazz music)