Growing Pains 204
Maggie: Oh. Oh honey look! Ben's punishment letter and flowers too.
Jason: Ben who?
Maggie: Wake up!
Jason: Oh, hello Maggie.
Jason: Good morning.
Jason: Aw. "Dear Mom and Dad, here's my punishment you wanted. I hope you like it. Love
Jason: "I don't know if I spelled pornography right or not."
Maggie: Did he?
Jason: He did.
Maggie: I was afraid of that.
Jason: "Dad, you wanted me to write all this stuff down, and to tell how we got to where we
are and what I think about what I did and why it's disgusting. (Jason and Maggie reading the
letter in their heads).
Maggie: Oh sorry.
Jason: "For me the real trouble started yesterday when you were paying the bills."
(The story goes back one day. We see what happened and occasionally Ben narrates from the
Ben: (narrating) Mom's right. Nothing good can happen when you sit down to pay the bills. I
was trying to make sure I wasn't around to hear any of those words you always say on bill
paying day, that I'm not supposed to hear.
Carol: Hi Ben!
Ben: Shhh. It's bill paying day.
Jason: Carol! Fifty five Dollars for a hair-styling from "Blood, Sweat and Shears", come on!!
Carol: How'd he know I was home?
Ben: I know it's weird.
Jason: Carol! Fifty five Dollars!
Carol: Well Mom knew about it. She said I should go ahead and get it done because....I'm
Jason: Well stop! Ben will you pleas explain to your sister how you can have a rich and full life
on four Bucks a week.
Ben: Are you talkin' to me?
Mike: Hey guys.
Jason: And don't you go far Mike, I'm gonna wanna talk to you!
Mike: What did I do?
Jason: I haven't found it yet!
Mike: What's going on?
Ben: It's bill paying day.
Jason: Oh, I don't believe this one!! Halt!! Two hundred and sixteen Dollars for a one month
Mike: Is that high?
Jason: Ok Mike! Sixty seven toll charges, all of the same number, at two Dollars a piece!
Ben: Two Dollars a piece?
Jason: Shocking, isn't it Ben?
Mike: Look, you know, why do you always automatically assume it's me? As if I'm the only guy
in this house who does anything wrong!
Carol and Jason: Oh No!
Jason: Tell you what Mike, I'm gonna call this number, and I'll just bet you that a girl answers!
Ben: I'm sure of it.
Jason: Even a ten year old can see through you!
Ben: Oh oh.
Ben: (narrating) Anyway where was I before I was so rudely interrupted? Oh yeah, Dad you
were dialing that phone number. I was so scared, all I could hope for was a busy signal.
Jason: Hello, this is....it's a recording. Sexual fantasies?!?!
Jason: Yeah, Mike!
Carol: Oh! How gross!!
Jason: You get in my office. We're gonna talk!
Mike: Yeah well I think everyone should get in your office, 'cause I didn't do anything!
Jason: Well then, why don't you get in my office, then we'll all come in my office, and we'll
deduce who the culprit is!!
Carol: This is so unfair.
Ben: She didn't know how unfair.
Maggie: Hi honey! I'm home.
Jason: Listen to this.
Jason: One of our kids has been calling this number!
Ben: (narrating) Mom was a teeny bit upset.
Jason: Sixty seven times in one month!
Jason: Oh he denies it!
Maggie: Oh, if he listened to this with Ben around, I'll....
Jason: I'm gonna have to be very calm and very rational about this.
Maggie: Good idea.
Jason: You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna buy Mike a new car.
Jason: Yeah. Then I'm gonna make him look at it. Then I'm gonna take it away from him, I'm
gonna park it on the front lawn and let it rust!!
Mike: Alright! Now which one of you little weasels did this?
Carol: Come on Mike. Save your outraged act for Mom and Dad.
Mike: Look! I'm telling you I didn't do it!
Carol: Oh what? So now you're gonna try and blame.....little Ben.
Mike: Oh, sure, right, Ben.
Carol: Well it certainly wasn't me.
Mike: Well it had to be somebody in this room.
Carol: Mike, just pretend you aren't you. Now...using the process of elimination, who would
you say the pervert is? Ben, Carol, or Mike.
Mike: Well...no, no I don't wanna pretend that! All I know is, I didn't do it!
Carol: And I also know, I didn't.
Ben: Hey! Maybe a guy broke in and did it.
Mike: Sixty seven times!!
Jason: Alright Mike, here's the deal. You admit what you did, and you only have to wait an
extra year for your driver's license; you confess later and you won't get it for as long as you
Maggie: You have thirty seconds to make up your mind Mike.
Ben: (narrating) Now Mike was in trouble too...real trouble. And it was all my fault. I couldn't
let this happen to him, even if he always does treat me like a sleazy bucket.
Maggie: So, what do you have to say Mike?
Mike: Well if those are my only two choices...
Mike: Ok then, I did it!
Ben: No! I did.
Ben: I didn't know it was wrong.
Mike: Can you believe this little sleazy bucket?
Jason: Ben, I don't care how much Mike is paying you to say this...
Ben: Nothing! I did do it!
Maggie: Honey, it's sweet that you want to protect Mike, but this is not the way to do it.
Mike: Hey, hey, hey look. It says that one of those calls was made on October twentieth. Now,
I couldn’t have done that 'cause that's the day me and Boner cut class to go to Coney Island.
Maggie: You cut school?
Ben: (narrating) That was the convincer.
Jason: These calls were all made before Mike even gets back from school.
Mike: Right! I believe an apology is in order here.
Jason: Carol! Mike! You can leave the room please.
Mike: Apology accepted Dad, thank you.
Jason: We'll talk about Coney Island later.
Mike: Later's good.
Ben: (narrating) I started to know how serious it was, when you looked at me like I was
Maggie: Ah Benny, not you!
Jason: You're not interested in this kind of stuff. Why would you call that number?
Ben: Well, this kid at school was passing it around.
Maggie: I knew it!
Jason: What's the boy's name?
Ben: Dad, I can't rattle on somebody.
Jason: Well, you're not ratting on him Ben, this is a kid with a problem. He's got to be
straightened out. Now you'd be doing him favour.
Ben: Can't we just forget about it?
Maggie: No! Is it the Futterman boy?
Jason: Stinky Sullivan?
Ben: Uh uh.
Jason: Ben, we're not going anywhere until you tell us who it is?
Maggie: Tell us Ben.
Jason: We're waiting Ben.
Maggie: Who is it?
Jason: Now Ben!
Ben: Chris Cussman.
Jason: From next door?
Maggie: Why that little dirt-bag!!
Maggie: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say "dirt-bag", I meant to....
Jason: You did...you did the right thing by telling us; that'll make your punishment easier.
Maggie: Well Jason, it wasn't his fault.
Jason: Well for now, I don't want you playing with Chris.
Ben: But he's my best friend.
Jason: Na, not any more. What's the Cussman's number Maggie? You don't need friends like
Ben: (narrating) Right then, I needed any kind of friend I could find.
Ben: (narrating) Now I did it. I didn't mean to, but I did it. I made it worse. Not only did I rat
on my best friend, I ratted on a friend who was innocent. I decided to go straight to God.
Ben: God! (thunder) It won't mess up the world or anything. Maybe you could turn time back
a month. Just one little month.
Chris: Hi Ben! Wanna play Dodge Ball?
Ben: Err, hi Chris. I Can't.
Chris: My dad says it's alright for you to come on the boat this next weekend.
Ben: I'm sorry, I can't do that either.
Chris: How come?
Ben: Well I...
Bud: Christian Daniel Cussman!!!! You get your tail back home, right now young man!
Chris: Yes sir! I didn't do anything.
Bud: Having fun with the phone huh?
Chris: What do you mean?
Bud: Hey, we're gonna have to go in the house, sit down, and you and I are gonna have a
little talk young man!! And then you ain’t gonna be able to sit down any more!!
Chris: But Dad!!!
Bud: In the house, now!!
Ben: (narrating) Dad, I could have something right then to save Chris, but I didn't. All because
I couldn’t tell you and Mom that the kid who was passing out the number at school, the kid
who was the bad influence on me, was...me.
Ben: (narrating) I knew I had to get out, before you found out that I was even worse than
Ben: Bye room, bye bed, bye chair with the face on it.
Ben: (narrating) I didn't know where I was going. Just some place with no phones...probably
Russia. (phone rings)
Jason: I'll get it.
Maggie: You got it?
Jason: I got it.
Jason: Hello. Yes it is. Ah Mrs. Kavasavich, you’re working late. Principal's job is never done, is
it? Ah, what kind of trouble could Ben be in? Yes, we saw the phone bills...
Maggie: Tell her we called the Cussmans.
Jason: All the parents are angry? Well I guess the Cussman boy spread the number to
everyone. What do you mean? What do you mean, "what do I mean"?
Maggie: What does she mean?
Jason: Ben did it!?!
Maggie: Oh, what?
Jason: No, there must be some mistake. Ben told us he got the number from the Cussman
Maggie: Tell her, he's the dirt-bag.
Jason: Yes, he's the dirt....he's the bad influence. Well so it's Ben's word against some other
child's...fourteen other child's?!? They’re all named Ben.
Jason: I don't know what to say, I...oh, we'll handle it. Yes thank you.
Maggie: She's sure?
Maggie: Then Ben is the...
Maggie: Jason, I'm sure Benny had a very good reason for placing those calls.
Jason: Yes, and for blaming his best friend, for lying to us, and for spreading that number all
over Wendell Wilkie Elementary School!!
Maggie: Ok. Ok, can't you give a mother just a moment of protecting her young?
Jason: Now, either everything we said about Chris Cussman, now applies to Ben, or we're
Maggie: I vote hypocrite.
Maggie: Good, it's settled.
Jason: Oh, come on!
Maggie: Oh, I'm sorry Jason. It's just tough for me to accept that Ben is a purveyor of
Ben: (narrating) Well, the news was out. Now it was time to face the music.
Jason: It seems you've been very busy, passing a dirty number around school.
Ben: Not that busy.
Maggie: Ben, how could you stand there, stare us straight in the eye, and lie to us?
Ben: But I didn't lie, I wanted it to be true.
Maggie: Ben, I am very disappointed in you.
Ben: (narrating) Mom had never said that to me before, things were about as bad as they
could get; then they got worse.
Jason: Bud Cussman. Oh, am I glad to see you!
Bud: Doc, Chris here has something to say.
Jason: Well, err, so do we. Come in. Come in.
Ben: (narrating) I had never seen Chris so mad at me before...and he was walking kind of
Jason: Well what happened was...
Bud: Not you! Him!
Chris: Erm, yeah. I'm sorry. I'm very sorry I gave Ben the dirty phone number...
Jason: Now, I have to interrupt here...
Bud: Oh no no no no Doc, you said it all on phone, when you said that Chris here
was...exerting negative peer pressure.
Jason: I didn't know...
Bud: Me neither until I looked it up! Go ahead Mister.
Chris: And I'll pay for your phone bill out of my allowance until it's all paid off.
Bud: Ok, let's go.
Maggie: Ah wait a minute Bud, there's been a mistake.
Bud: What do you mean a mistake?
Ben: (narrating) All that could save me now was a natural disaster. Like a flood, or a hurricane,
or a tycoon.
Maggie: Please Bud sit.
Chris: Oww! Maybe later.
Jason: Bud, I should not have called you.
Bud: Are you kidding. If it was your kid pulling that malarkey, I'd be knocking at your door
looking to exert negative peer pressure on somebody's face.
Jason: Ah ha?!
Bud: You know Doc. under the circumstances, I think you're being a real gentleman.
Jason: Bud, I'd like to appeal to your sense of irony here.
Jason: Well you know, when you think about it, it's almost kind of funny.
Jason: Well see as a psychiatrist, I understand that a kid can get confused when he gets in a
Bud: Well as a plumber, I know that when my kid stops up on me. I gotta flush the truth out
Ben: (narrating) I couldn't take it any more! I cracked.
Ben: I did it Mr. Cussman, I did it! I passed out the number!
Bud: You lied to me!
Chris: I told you it wasn't me Pop!
Bud: Yeah but then after I tanned your hide, you said it was.
Jason: We're just very sorry about the whole thing, really.
Bud: Ah, It's no sweat. Little buckaroo probably had a spankin' comin' for something I didn't
even know about.
Chris: But Pop I...
Bud: Look look look. Tell you what I'm gonna do. Next time you got a couple of whacks
coming, I'll forget about it. Hah? Come on.
Jason: Now you see, this is a perfect example of how I, for one, have learnt not to jump to
conclusions about my children.
Bud: I don't blame you. Come on let's go.
Maggie: Ben, don't you have something to say to Chris.
Ben: I'm sorry.
Bud: Hey! Hey, that's rude! Right that's your freebie pal, enjoy it!! Why, I don't know what
gets into him, you know. Sometimes he...he acts like a little kid.
Jason: Well Ben, I want you to go to your room. I want you to think about why making those
phone calls was wrong. Why lying about them was even more wrong. And what you're gonna
do about it.
Ben: So I'll be there a long time?
Ben: (narrating) I don't know how long I was there trying to figure out what you wanted to
hear. I must have fell asleep, 'cause it suddenly came to me that it was all a bad dream, that I
never called nobody, and I was the same little kid you loved. Then Carol walked in.
Ben: Is it morning?
Carol: In Australia, but no here. Listen, I wanted to warn you, Dad's coming up here to talk to
you and he's been walking around breathing through his nose.
Ben: Oh no.
Carol: Since this is your first time with the big punishment scene, I thought I'd give you a few
Ben: You never helped Mike?!
Carol: Seeing him squirm is fun. Seeing you suffer is like seeing Merve Griffindon sing.
Carol: First thing you have to know, is that parents blame themselves for every bad thing we
Carol: Yeah, so if you get cornered, say something like..."I didn't know any better." Second,
say you got the idea from rock music lyrics.
Jason: You finished Carol?
Carol: Dad! How long have you been here?
Jason: Long enough.
Ben: (narrating) Carol was right, you were breathing through your nose.
Jason: Ben, I have....
Ben: Dad, I didn't know any better, and I'm through with rock and roll. Better??
Jason: Ben this is gonna go a lot faster if you'll just be straight with me. Ok?
Jason: Where did you get the number?
Ben: From a poster on a tree in the park where the big kids hang out.
Jason: That's the truth?
Ben: Yes. Are we done?
Jason: No. I'll let you know. Did you know that what you were listening to, you shouldn't be
Ben: Kind o'.
Jason: That's yes?
Jason: Then you didn't know?
Ben: Not exactly.
Jason: Ben, we were on a roll here.
Ben: Well, I knew it was dirty but, it didn't make much sense.
Jason: Well then, why did you pass it out?
Ben: Are you kidding? Word spread I had the number, and kids were all over me! Even big
kids! For once I wasn't Mike's little brother, I was Ben, the good time guy.
Jason: That's a dubious distinction Ben.
Ben: Yeah, it was great.
Jason: Look if you're curious about sex you've gotta come to me or your Mom and talk. Don't
let your fingers do the walking.
Ben: I hate the phone. I'm never gonna use the phone again.
Jason: Well, we have to talk about sex here.
Ben: Haven't I heard enough about that?
Jason: Well you haven't heard anything that's right, or healthy, or real. Sex isn't something
that you buy or sell on the street, or at a newsstand, or on the phone.
Jason: Sex is a beautiful thing. It's a private thing that two people share when they care about
each other. It's not between one person and a public utility.
(Back to present time)
Maggie: You actually told him that?
Jason: More or less, yeah. That's when you told me to write all this stuff down. I learnt a lot
from this. I know that sex isn't something you use to make you famous. And I know that I
never should have made those calls, and I'll pay you for them somehow. The one thing I still
don't get, is since I shouldn't hear junk like that, how come it's so easy for a little kid like me
to get the number?
Mike: Alright, I'm sorry! Your little Benny has gone too far this time!
Jason: What's this?
Mike: He hid all the phone chords. Says they only cause heart ache.
Maggie: Oh, I think it's kind o' cute.
Mike: Cute?!?! Now he has got to be punished. You know, I think it's time you guys took a
firmer hand with him....
Jason: Speaking of punishment, there's still that little matter of you cutting school to go to
Mike: On the other hand, what good does punishment really do? What kids need today is
"love." So why not reach out, reach out, and touch someone.
Jason: You gotta admit it.
maggie: Yep. He is good.