One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 9, Episode 4 - The Bedtime Story - full transcript

♪ 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

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

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

(typewriter keys clicking)

- Hey, you guys, tell
me what you think, okay.

Now, remember, this is the
story of a very emotional mother

living next to a toxic dump.

She turns to her
husband, and she says,

"Thomas, we could be
murdered by our own cucumbers".



You're right.

It doesn't get you at
that gut level, does it?

- The cucumbers might.


- Thanks a lot.

- I'm glad I'm going
to be a dentist.

Me too.

- Finally got Annie asleep.

- Who?

- Your daughter, Annie,
little person, tiny feet.

- Oh, Annie.

- Right.
- Yeah, Annie.

- Wait a minute.

I don't get this.

The defendant claimed he
had been misled by the IRS.

- What?

- How do you misle someone?


- The IRS can do anything
it wants to do, honey.


- Barbara, look, that's misled.

- Misled!


Does it bother you that
I'm starting to lose my mind?

- Not at all.

I only married you
for your body anyway.


- You know, we used to sing
this hymn in Sunday school

called Gladly the Cross I Bear.

For years, I thought
it was a song

about a cross-eyed
bear named Gladly.


- And I always
thought the prayer was,

"Our father who art in Heaven,
Hollywood be thy name".



- Max, we did not
marry into a bright family.

- Yeah, look, excuse
me, everybody.

Could you do me a favor?

- He wants us to be quiet.

- I want you to leave.

- Aw, come on, now.
- Max, come on.

- That's spoken like a
guy who needs a break.

What do you say? A movie, guys?

- [Barbara] Great idea.

- [Julie] I'd love to see it.

- Come on. We'll drop
the baby at your mother's.

In fact, if we leave
right now, we can see

Attack of the Incredible
Sewer Things 2.


- Look, you guys go ahead.

I've got some work to do.

- [Julie] Now, Max, come on.

- [Mark] Come on, Max.

- Honey, we haven't
been to a movie in months.

- I would just rather not, okay?

- Come on, it'll be my treat.

Barbara got paid today.


- Thanks a lot, you guys,
but, if Max needs to write,

he should write.

Besides, I'll probably
sleep better not knowing

what incredible
sewer things look like.

- That's it.

I've got it!


Max, you're a genius.


(baby crying)

Julie, would you please?

I had an idea.

I had it!

- [Julie] I'm sorry, Max.

Honey, don't cry.

- I am not crying!


I had it!

What the hell was it?

- I'd love to help you, but
I gotta go dust my truck.


- Max is impossible,
lately, Barbara.

He can't seem to get
anywhere with his writing,

and I can't seem to help him.

- Look, you're patient,
you're supportive, you work.

That helps.

- Yeah, well, we're
really short on money.

I had to borrow 200
bucks from mom,

but don't tell Max, okay?

- You got it.

- [Julie] And don't you
tell him either, okay?

- You might as well know
by now: us girls have secrets.

- Come on, baby.

Let's go to sleep now.


- [Barbara] No.

- Okay, okay, mommy
will tell you a bedtime story.

- [Barbara] At her age?

- Just because she can't talk

doesn't mean she
can't understand.

- Yeah, well, in any case,
stay away from fairytales;

ogres, wicked witches,
poison apples, looms.

- Oh yeah, all that
stuff I used to love.

- Used to scare me to death.

Once upon a time, there
lived a wicked, old witch

in a gingerbread house, and
she used to bake little children

in her oven.


Now, sleep well, dear.


- Okay, I'll be careful.

Let's see.

Once upon a time, in an
enchanted land far, far away,

there lived a little girl named
Little Miss Nancy Pants.

- Little Miss Nancy Pants?

- Yeah, she was
named after her mommy,

Big Mrs. Nancy Pants.


Anyway, her home
was in a hollow tree.

- Did she rent or own?

- Her home was a hollow
tree beside a sparkling brook,

and all the little forest
creatures were her friends,

but one sunny day, Little
Miss Nancy Pants awoke

feeling very, very sad.

What is it, sweetheart?

- She said, "Why
was she so sad".

- Oh, well, because she was
thinking about all the things

that her little forest friends
could do that she couldn't.

Yeah, so first she came
upon the home of Mr. Sparrow.

Mr. Sparrow, she said, I'm
very, very, very sad today.

"Why is that,"
Mr. Sparrow replied.

Well, Little Miss Nancy
Pants said, "You can fly

"and soar through the
air, but I'm stuck down here

"on the ground".

Mr. Sparrow said, "Well, I
admit, it is very, very nice

"to fly, but I've often watched
you skip and jump rope

"and play with all
your little friends

"and do all those things
that sparrows can't".

She thought about
this for a few minutes,

and, finally, she said, "You
know something? You're right,"

and she headed off down
the path until she came

to the home of Mr. Giraffe.

- Mr. Giraffe in a forest?

- Well, it's enchanted,


Well, anyway, this giraffe
had this big, old long neck,

and he could eat
the berries that grew

on the highest
branches of the trees,

and Miss Nancy Pants
could eat the ones that grew

close to the ground.

Come on.

Giraffes can't sit at
tables and have dinner

like people can.

Barb, I think she's
gonna go to sleep.

- I'm not.


- [Julie] What?

- How does it end?

- Next, she went to visit
Mr. Field Mouse, Miss Bunny,

the raccoon twins, and she
found out that she could do

so many things
that they couldn't do.

Finally, Little Miss
Nancy Pants returned

to her hollow tree, and
she was very, very happy,

because she's found out
that she was the best thing

in the whole, wide
world, a little girl.

- Julie, that is wonderful.

That is a terrific story.

Where did you hear that?

- I made it up.

- [Barbara] You're kidding.

- Don't sound so
surprised, Barb.

- No, no, I'm serious.

I mean, you should
do something with it.

- I am.

I'm putting my baby to sleep.

- No, no, take it to a
publisher so that he can sell it

to a children's magazine.

- Barbara, I can't write,

but Max can.
- But Max can.

Julie, this is perfect.

This is a perfect way
for you to help him.

You two can write it together.

- I don't think
he'll go for that.

- [Barbara] Sure he will.

- Are you sure?

- [Barbara] Sure, I'm sure.

- Will you go out
and suggest it to him?

- I'm not that sure.


- Little Miss Nancy Pants
learned that being a little girl

was the best thing in
the whole, wide world.

Well, what do you think?

- Sounds sexist to me.


But I loved it.


- [Julie] Max.

- It's very cute.

- [Julie] You really think so?

- Yeah, I do.

- See, I told you.

- That's great. This is
gonna be so much fun.

Let's get started.

- Now wait, wait,
wait, wait, wait.

First of all, writing
is hard work.

It's not fun, okay, and,
second of all, at the moment,

I happen to be working
on a story about living

with toxic waste, a problem
of international importance,

not Little Miss Antsy Pants.


- Nancy Pants.

Now, look, honey, I know
it's not your goal of a lifetime

to write a children's story,
but, well, a sale is a sale.

We could use the
money, and, besides,

you're a very talented writer.

You know that.

I mean, I don't know the
first thing about writing, honey.

I couldn't do it without you.

- Well.

- And what could be more
fulfilling than a husband and wife

working together, side by side?

- Well, there's...
- Mark, shut up.


- Please, Max, could
we at least try it?

- All right, we'll try it.

- Great, great! (cheering)

- Now, now, now, look.

If we're gonna write
together, we've gotta be open

to each other's ideas.

- Open to your ideas?

I am dying to hear your ideas.

I mean, you're the
writer in the family.

I need your help.

- I'm glad to hear you feel
that way, because that story

needs a lot of work.

- Of course it does.

What's wrong with it?


- Mark, let's go to the market.

- Are you kidding?

They're just starting
to get fired up here.


- Mark.

- Listen, Barbara,
I'm in charge here.

We're going to the market.


- Where were we?

- You just told me
that you love me.

- [Max] No, I didn't.

- You would have
if you were smart.


- Okay, I love you.

- [Julie] Good.

- Well.

- I love you too.

- [Max] Okay, come over here.

- Let's get to work.

You are crazy!

You wanna turn my
giraffe into a chipmunk?

That is stupid!

- Giraffes don't
live in the forest.

How will they survive?

What would they eat?

- I told you; berries that
grow high in the trees.

- What kind of berries
are these, again?

- I don't know.

High tree berries.

Max, we are writing a
fairytale, not a documentary.

- Oh great, so then
we'll just lie to children.

Look, if you wanna
make it a giraffe,

then let's make it
an enchanted jungle.

- I want it to be a forest.


- K, then let's stick to
animals that live in the forest.

- All right, we'll
just compromise.

Make it a long neck chipmunk.


- Long neck chipmunk?

- [Julie] Yeah.

- You got it.

Long-necked chip, you
know, this is all wrong, anyway.

We should not be telling
children to live in a hollow tree.

- That is stupid.

- [Max] That's the second
time you've called me stupid.

- I am not calling you stupid.

I'm calling your
stupid ideas stupid.

- I think they're
having a disagreement.

- [Max] Would you
get off my back?

- Or they're making love.


- I'll tell you what
the problem really is.

You know, you're just afraid
this thing just might sell,

and you hate that,
because it's my idea.

- No, no, no, that's
not the problem.

The problem is that
you don't want a writer.

You want a typist.

All right, I'll type.

You just tell me anything
that comes into your head,

and I'll put it right down
here on paper, okay?

Anything; just give me a word.

- Giraffe.

- Giraffe.

There's a nice, dumb word, okay.

Tell me where to put it.


- I've got to go in.

I'm freezing to death.

- Mark, we can't,
because, if we go in,

they're gonna stop arguing,
and they can't stop arguing,

because it is not
psychologically rewarding.

- Where did you
come up with that idea?

- My mother.


- Sometimes she's really boring.


- All right, Max, I apologize.

- [Max] Thank you.

- What do you mean, thank you?

You're supposed
to apologize too.

- Okay, I don't know
what for, but I apologize.

Now, can we get on with this?

- I'd love to.

- [Max] Wonderful.

- Good.

- Now, with all due respect
to you and Miss Nancy Pants,

which is not the brightest
name I've ever heard,

I would like to change
the central character

in this story to a boy.

- A boy?

- [Barbara] Well,
here we are, honey.

We're home.

- Yes, dear, let's go right in.

- [Barbara] Hi.

- What's new?

- I'll tell you what's new.

You wanna know what's new?

Max wants to turn Little Miss
Nancy Pants here into a boy.

- Little Mr. Nancy Pants.


- Look, it's a well-known
fact that little girls

read stories about
little boys and little girls,

but little boys only read
stories about little boys.

- This is a brilliant
team effort, you know?

I make up a lovely
bedtime story,

and you make up known facts.

- Mark, you're a dentist.

What do you think?

(laughs) Boy or girl?

- I'd just as soon
not get into this...

- No, Mark, please.

We value your opinion.

We would like to
know what you think.

- You wanna know what I think?

- Yeah.

- Barbara, what do I think?


- You think they're both right.

- Thank you. I
love the way I think.

- Oh, you got the
groceries, great.

How much do we
owe you for our half?

- Oh, no, that's okay...

- Tell me. I wanna know.

- About 16 bucks.

- 16 bucks.

Max, you got the money for
our, you know, diapers, 16 bucks?

- Let me see here.

How much was it?
- 16 bucks.

- 16.

You got any extra cash on you?

- You know I don't,
and you know you don't.

Face it; we're broke.

Okay, you guys, we are broke.

- It doesn't matter.
- Oh, really...

- It does matter, Barbara.

We can't afford to
go to the movies.

We can't even afford to
pay for our own groceries.

- [Max] Julie, Julie,
calm down, okay?

- I'm not gonna calm down!

I am sick and tired
of living like this,

and we wouldn't be having
all of these money problems

in the first place if you'd
stop pretending to be a writer

and go out and get a real job.


- Look at the time.


I didn't realize it was so late.

- Yes, it's time to
go dust the bed.

- Good idea. (laughs)

- Oh, listen, Max, Julie, I
don't wanna make you throw up

or anything, but, you
know, we're sharing our lives

here together, and you just
can't do this to each other.

- What Mark is
trying to say is that

we love you both very much.


- All right, Max, I'm
sorry, but I had to say it.

- You had to say it, huh?

Right in front of
the whole world.

- I am upset about us.

I hate the way we're living.

- What about it?

- You think I enjoy telling
my kid sister we can't afford

to pay for our food?

- And I suppose
that's all my fault.

- Well, one of us has a
job, and one of us doesn't.

- Writing is a job.

This is what I do.

Julie, I thought we
both agreed together that

I would try this
out for a while.

- We did, for six months.

That was eight months ago, Max.

Now, tell me, what do
we have to show for it?

- Is that what's
really important?

I mean, does
selling make a writer,

or does writing make a writer?

- I don't know, Max, but
eating makes a family.


- I wonder if
Shakespeare had a wife.

- [Barbara] Well, here
we come down the stairs.

- Yes, darling, down the stairs.

- Groceries.

We seemed to have
taken them upstairs.

- And, all the time, the
kitchen was downstairs.

- It's right through here.

- She's a regular homing pigeon.

She's my wife. I love her.


- Just for the record, which
you've conveniently forgotten,

I have sold a few things,
not much, but some.

You know, it's a tough
business to break into.

- That excuse is
wearing very thin.

- This is what I wanna do.

I wanna be a writer.

- Well, what if you're
not good enough?

- What did you say?

- What if you're
not good enough?

- Julie, I gotta tell you,
you really put one over

on me this time.

Gotta hand it to you,
you really had me fooled.

- [Julie] What?

- I have been killing myself
here, because I thought

you and I both
believed I could make it,

so now you tell me you
don't think I'm good enough?

- I didn't say
that, Max. I said...

- It doesn't matter
what you say.

It all comes out
the same way: quit.

Is that it?

Fine, I guess I stink.

All this stuff has no value,
so let me just tear it up...

- Max, no, don't do it!
- 'Cause that's garbage.

- Are you crazy, Max?

Stop it.

- This must really be
bad, 'cause if you don't...

- Max, that's a
lot of work there.

- You really had
me fooled, okay?

- Max, don't.

- I don't wanna
talk about it, okay?

Just forget it.

- Well, here we come
outta the kitchen.

- Shut up!


- You want some help?

- No.

- Is Max back yet?

- No, go back to bed.

- No.

He sure did make a
mess of his manuscript.

- Should have seen
the mess I made.

In one small conversation,
I managed to ruin

all the confidence that
my husband has in himself.

That's pretty good, huh?

- You can work it out.

- Barbara, I said some
really terrible things to him.

Get a job!

I'm sick of being broke,
and then, to top it all off,

I said, "Maybe you're
not even a good writer".

- Ouch.

- He is a good writer I hope.

- Look, Julie, it's tough.

I know.

Mark used to feel touchy
about me helping him

through dental school, but,
at least, in a few months,

we knew he'd be
doing something decent.

I mean, useful.

I mean, you know, Max is a
writer, and Mark is a dentist.

When you're a writer,
you don't graduate

like a normal...


Do you have any idea
what I'm trying to say?

- Yes, I do.

Lousy writers don't work,
but lousy dentists do.

- Exactly.



- Oh, Barb, I don't
know what to do.

- Well, here's a great idea.

Talk to him.

- I did.

He left.

Do you know that my
husband could spend

his entire life fooling himself?

I mean, at some time,
he's gotta take responsibility

for his life and mine
and certainly Annie's.

- Look, Julie, I
know how you feel,

but Max really has tried very
hard, and maybe, just maybe,

he was this close to
becoming a great writer.

- I hope he is.

Maybe I don't hope he is.

I don't even know
what I hope anymore.

- Look, let's just
do this, okay?

- Okay, okay.

- Sally decided
to write a letter

to the First Lady, Mrs. Nancy...

- Pants emerged
from her hollow tree.


We should put these two together

with these two, right?

- [Barbara] Mrs.
Nancy Pants, oh,

and Mrs. Nancy Pants...

- Well, glad to see
somebody's having a good time.

- [Julie] Max.

- You want a real laugh?

Wait 'til you hear
where I've been.

- I'd like to know
where you've been.

I've been worried about you.

- Barney's Tavern.

- [Julie] You got drunk?

- Worse than that.

I got a job.

Isn't that a riot?

Yeah, old Max actually
went out and got himself

a job as a waiter.

I just hope it's not too
much of a stretch for me.

You see, the kid I'm
replacing quit the job

so he could finish high school.

- Hi, can I come in?

- It's a free bedroom.


- Max, listen, I'm really
sorry about all those things

I said to you before.

- Why be sorry?

You got exactly what you wanted.

Got a nice, predictable husband
with a nice, predictable job

and a nice,
predictable paycheck.

- [Julie] Max.

- Oh hey, it'll be great.

I'll work nights.

You'll work days.

Perfect marriage: we'll
never see each other.

- Honey, what
about your writing?

- [Max] My writing?

Come on, Julie, I can't write.

- Max, don't do
that to me, okay?

Now, I'm gonna
be honest with you.

I don't know if you're
a good writer or not,

but I like your stuff.

I really do, but it's not
selling, and I'm scared.

I'm worried about money.

I'm worried about the future.

I'm worried about Annie.

You're under so much pressure.


- What's this?

- It's your toxic waste story.

We taped it back together.


- You didn't have to do this.

- Well, of course I did.

It's my fault it got torn
up in the first place.

- Well, that's true,

but I knew something you didn't.

I have a copy.

- Oh, you phony.

- Pretty dramatic,
though, isn't it?

- Rotten is a better word if
I'm allowed to suggest a word.

- That seems to fit.

- Max, I really want
you to finish that story.

- I will.

I'll always be writing, Julie.

Come here, whether I'm painting
a house or mowing the lawn

or making love
or waiting tables.

- Whoa, whoa,
whoa, back up there.


- All right, but
first thing's first,

and my family comes first,
then a best-selling novel,

or own my own restaurant.

- Oh, no, I must've
married a weirdo.

- Yeah.

I'll tell you, I hate to admit
it, but it really felt good

to hear somebody
say, "You're hired".

- Can I have a kiss?

- I'm sorry, you're
not at my station.



I'm sorry.

It must be late.

- Yeah, but I'm not even sleepy.

- You're not, huh?

Well, maybe I can help.

- [Julie] That sounds
like a nice idea.


- [Max] Once upon a
time, there was a girl

named Little Miss Nancy Pants.

(laughter drowns out speech)

(upbeat music)