Growing Pains 503
Carol: Is that the mail man? Was that the mail man leaving?
Mike: What! Not even a hello, for your dear sweet brother?
Carol: Hello! Was that the mail man leaving?
Mike: Carol, your lack in sincerity wounds me.
Carol: Mike, where's the stinking mail?
Mike: It's right over there on the counter!
Carol: It's not here again! It's not here!
Mike: Well don't worry, Carol. Maybe tomorrow you'll get that letter from err...a hundred and
sixteenth on Broadway, New York City, One double O two seven.
Carol: You have it.
Mike: A lot of women say that.
Carol: Mike, give me my letter from Columbia!
Mike: Wait, you mean Columbia School of Broadcasting? Not affiliated with the CBS network or
its own unoperated stations!
Carol: Where's the letter, head louse?
Mike: Oh, you're talking about Columbia University! The only college that you applied to! The
place you have your over-worked heart set on, right?
Carol: I'm getting a knife!
Mike: OK, OK. OK, what if I have seen this alleged letter...
Carol: Thick or thin?
Mike: You or the letter?
Carol: Mike! Was the letter thin, like a thanks but no thanks rejection, or thick, like we'll see
you in the fall acceptance? Ha!
Mike: What, not even a thank you?
Carol: Thank goodness; thick like your head, like an acceptance to a real school. Wanna smell
it Mike, I mean this is the closest you'll get to the Ivy League. (Reading from the letter)
"Welcome, Carol Seaver, to the Columbia University Class of nineteen ninety three and a half.
Your freshman orientation begins December twenty third, nineteen eighty nine." December
twenty third? Oh no!! It's not fall, that's winter.
Mike: And that's a real school?
Jason: (Reading from the letter) "So, due to high enrollment we're forced to defer a certain
amount of freshman, until the winter semester."
Maggie: How dare they defer my brightest child?
Mike: I...I am in the room here.
Jason: We know that, Mike. Maggie, don't worry about it. It's only for one semester and it's
not the end of the world.
Mike: It's not what your brightest child said. If you want me out of here, just say the word.
Jason and Maggie: The word.
Mike: Alright, oh and look, by the way, if you're gonna go upstairs to cheer up Carol, I advise
you not to use words like, "reject", "loser" or "belly up." Kitchen, right.
Maggie: Poor Carol.
Jason: Honey, I think the important thing for Carol, is to understand here, is that this little
hitch here, is just one of those bumps in the rocky road of life, which over the long haul makes
us a better driver- confident we can handle our rig.
Maggie: Jason, I don't think Carol's gonna have any use for truck talk. What Carol needs is
good old-fashioned straight-talking logic, from a sensible parent. I'll talk to Carol. Why don't
you grab a cup o' Joe and gas up your rig.
Maggie: Carol, this is no time for emotion. You must force yourself to look at this analytically,
so just dry your eyes... They're dry!
Carol: You sound disappointed.
Maggie: Ye... I mean, no. I mean, with you being rejec...
Carol: Rejected. You can say it Mom, let's not run from it. I mean, it's time for good
old-fashioned, straight-forward logic, don't you think?
Maggie: Whi...which is why I want to remind you that you have been accepted to Columbia.
Carol: Which is no small achievement.
Maggie: Which is no small achievement.
Carol: Which is just one of those bumps in the rocky road of life, that'll make me a better
Maggie: Confident that you can handle your rig.
Carol: What rig?
Maggie: Sweetheart. What's important here is that you don't feel like a reject, and a loser who
went belly up. Not that anyone else is thinking that.
Carol: Mom, everything's gonna be fine.
Maggie: You're not just saying that?
Carol: Wait till you hear how I'm gonna spend the next three months! Matriculating at Alf
Landen Junior College. And I'll take a double course load, 'cause the work couldn't be very
challenging...Mike goes there. And that way, even if only half my As are transferable, I'm
doing just fine.
Maggie: So, you don't need me at all to...comfort you.
Carol: Oh Mom, is that why you came up here?
Maggie: Kind of.
Carol: Well, wanna lay on the bed and kick our feet like Debra Winger and Shirley McLean in
"Terms of Endearment"?
Maggie: No!...maybe just for a minute.
Ben: I just don't see what the big deal is. I mean, Carol should be glad she's getting an extra
long summer vacation.
Jason: Well Ben, it all comes down to expectations. I mean, there's Carol, a straight A student,
and when she doesn't get welcomed, with open arms, to the college of her choice, well it's
surprising. Mike on the other hand; suppose Mike had been turned down by an Ivy League
college, well nobody would... Could you pass the mustard there.
Carol: Hello Seaver men...Mike.
Jason: Carol, I didn't expect to see you so bubbly.
Ben: Hell of a tub!
Carol: Well, what can I say? I'm resilient.
Jason: Well, I see you talked to her.
Carol: This is just part of my journey down life's rocky road.
Jason: I see my advice worked out.
Maggie: Really, I didn't use a word of it.
Jason: Yeah, right.
Carol: Mike, do you have the new Landen course catalogue?
Mike: Yeah. But I'm using it.
Carol: For what, to keep your table legs even?
Mike: Err...well why?
Carol: Well, I've decided to take some courses there this semester.
Mike: Yeah, right.
Carol: I'm serious Mike. You and I will both be matriculating at Alf Landen this fall.
Mike: Shh! Carol.
Carol: It means, going there.
Maggie: She's not kidding, Mike.
Jason: She's not? Carol, why would you go there? Mi...I'm sorry, Mike. I didn't mean to insult
Carol: It means, your school.
Mike: Oh. Oh!
Carol: Mike, don't worry. I'll only be there for a few months, and then you'll have your seven
or eight years there to yourself.
Mike: Well, I don't feel like having you matriculating all over my ????
Carol: Dad, I'll grant you I won't learn much, but I'll pile up some credits for next semester.
Jason: Well, that makes a lot of sense...as usual.
Ben: I just want someone to explain to me, how come after all those years of Mike doing
nothing and Carol working her...working hard, how they could both end up at the same school?
I mean, this isn't giving me much of an incentive.
Maggie: Well Ben, there really is a very simple answer, and it's one that...errm...your father
would be happy to explain.
Jason: Yes, well, I think that once again, this just comes down to expectations.
And...err...frankly I...err...wasn't expecting to answer this question. I think what your mother
wanted to say here, and she would have said it, if she had the thoughts...not...not...and she
thinks, and she thinks that there is a college for everyone. And Alf Landen is certainly a
great...you know...get ready for college, kind of college.
Mike: A "get ready for college, kind of college?!"
Jason: Mike, Mike, I'm not saying that it's not a real college; it is credited, it has free standing
buildings, but err...
Ben: So, you're saying, all Carol's hard work got her nowhere.
Jason: No, I'm not! Carol's hard work got her into Columbia University...eventually. And Mike,
if you had worked just a little bit harder, you wouldn't be going to that...fine institution.
Ben: So, you're saying that both Mike and Carol are going there because they're desperate.
Jason: Yes!! No!! No, I'm not saying that. I'm not, I'm saying that Alf Landen is a...it's a place
that's suitable for many of the travelers down life's rocky road.
Maggie: Nice, Jason!! Whip out the rocky road thing again.
Jason: Maggie, come on!! I'm just saying that our kids, each of them, knows inside them self,
deep down, exactly why they're there, right?
Mike: Well, you said if I didn't, you'd raise my rent.
Carol: I can't go to that bozo place! I've been kidding myself! What am I gonna do?
Mike: Oh fine. Fine, no-one stay here and console me.
Ben: I stayed.
Carol: I don't wanna talk about it.
Jason: Well, we want to talk to you about it.
Carol: Even though I'm a reject, a loser who went belly up!
Jason: Who said that to you?
Maggie: Carol, let me communicate a sense of perspective here and...
Jason: I think what your Mom is trying to say Carol...
Carol: You too Dad. There is nothing that anybody can say or do for me right now.
Maggie: Can I bring you up your lunch.
Carol: Yes...and a Salt lake Soda.
Maggie: With a lemon?
Carol: Oh Mom.
Jason: Carol, on the interstate of life...
Carol: You're so right about what you said downstairs. I mean, how could I go to a school that
has an exchange program with a prison?
Jason: Look here, that's a work-study program, and from what your brother tells me, a lot of
those girls have been able to turn their lives around.
Carol: But I got good grades, Dad! Perfect grades! I mean, this isn't fair, I feel like there is
nothing I can do with my life right now! It's over! Finished! The end of the line...for Carol Anne
Seaver! All my plans, gone with the wind!
Jason: Sweetheart, aren't you being a tad, over dramatic?
Carol: Over dramatic! Over dramatic! Well excuse me, I mean, what is the acceptable
response to when one's life has been snuffed out?
Jason: Oh come on honey! I mean, it's only for three months!
Carol: For three months without papers or tests or homework; without the jealousy of my
Jason: You know there is a life, outside of school.
Carol: Dad, stop talking crazy!
Jason: Well, Carol, you know, there's gonna come a time in your life, when school isn't part of
Jason: Well, what do you plan to do after Columbia?
Carol: Go to graduate school.
Jason: Yeah, and after that?
Carol: Get my doctorate.
Jason: And then what?
Carol: A doctorate's not enough for you?
Jason: I have an idea, Carol. I think I know exactly the best way for you to spend the next
three months! You should be going to the biggest university in the world!
Carol: Ohio, State?
Jason: No, the work place!
Carol: Where's that?
Jason: It's all around you, Carol.
Carol: Dad, you're talking crazy again.
Jason: Carol, no, I'm talking about the University of Life.
Carol: Is this a religious institution?
Jason: Carol, get a job!
Carol: A job?
Jason: Yes! Come on! It's time you learnt a little bit about the world outside the classroom;
there is one, you know!
Carol: I'd rather go to Alf Landen.
Jason: Hey, what are you afraid of? It's only for one semester. Have some guts! Be a quitter!
Drop out of school!! Come on! The mind can be a beautiful thing to waste!
Maggie: I missed an awful lot, didn't I?
Employment Agent: So, Miss Seaver, to sum up, you've never had a part-time job, you've
never had a summer job and you have no job skills at all, is that right?
Carol: Well, I did some baby sitting once...twice, really.
Employment Agent: Twice.
Carol: OK. Once. Twice is not really true. I mean, they didn't pay me 'cause the kid took off.
He was fine though, once they got the paint off.
Employment Agent: Let me check the unskilled, miscellaneous jobs.
Carol: What's the matter?
Employment Agent: Oh, I always have trouble getting back to the main menu.
Employment Agent: Are you familiar with this program?
Carol: No, but this is a simple, binary language.
Employment Agent: Aha. Now could you punch up, skilled jobs?
Employment Agent: Another subheading, word processing.
Carol: Sure. What are we looking for?
Employment Agent: A job for someone very skilled with computers.
Carol: But, I thought we were looking for a job for me. Oh!
Jason: Oh, you're gonna love it, you're gonna love it!
Ben: Did you have to do that with me too, Dad?
Mike: No Ben, we had to stop you from gnawing your foot off.
Maggie: Carol's on her way down, and I want you boys to be very supportive.
Mike: Give me a C! Give me an A!
Jason: Subtler, Mike.
Mike: Give me an R.
Maggie: Wait till you see the outfit, I bought Carol.
Jason: I've never seen anything like it.
Maggie: Carol, I can just tell that you are gonna hit that company like a ton of bricks and
know the publishing world on its ear.
Mike: Benny, I got the best joke right now and I can't do a thing about it.
Carol: Mom, it's not even an entry level job.
Jason: Well, just remember, from little acorns do the mighty oaks grow.
Carol: Well, before anybody says anything else supportive, let's just see if I get through one
Jason: You bet.
Maggie: Absolutely. You're father and I are so proud of you.
Carol: Yeah. But you're proud of Mike too. Let's go.
Ben: She's got a point.
Boss: As I said before, I'm only gonna say this once- I like my page endings, neat and clean.
Carol: Neat and clean.
Boss: Split a word, lose your job. Welcome aboard.
Carol: Yes sir. And what about the punctuation?
Boss: Ah. That is not our job. That belongs to those punks in the punctuation
department...period. Forget I said that. Now, you will sit here with our other page breaking
persons; They don't like me saying ladies anymore, since Big Al joined the group...
Big Al: Yo!
Boss: This is your work station; no decorations, no photographs, no mementos, nothing of
wonder or beauty whatsoever.
Carol: Gee, he's tough. Is he as mean as he seems?
Big Al: He doesn't scare me.
Carol: (in her head) My hands are shaking; why do I care about this job? If the worst comes
to worst, I'll get fired, then I'll just go to... I can't go anywhere. I've got no place to go.
Boss: Page fifty two? Three hours and you're only on page fifty two?
Carol: I'm sorry, I'm reading as fast as I can.
Boss: Reading?! What have I told you page breakers a hundred times?
Page breakers: ????17 No reading!!
Big Al: Ever since you got here, this place has gotten really tense.
Carol: (in her head) This is the first time in twelve years of school, I've ever had a teacher yell
at me. wait a minute, he's not my teacher, he's my boss. Oh, if this keeps up he's gonna fail
me for sure.
Worker: Lunch, dear, lunch.
Carol: Oh, sorry.
Big Al: Wanna have lunch with me?
Carol: Oh, I promised my Mom, we'd have lunch.
Big Al: Great, let's go.
Carol: No, I mean, my mom, not you.
Big Al: Oh. See you in half an hour.
Carol: Good, right. Wait, we only get a half hour for lunch?
Big Al: Oui oui.
Maggie: (on the phone) Hello, Maggie Malone.
Carol: Hi Mom.
Maggie: Oh, Carol, great! I've been waiting for you to call. How's it going?
Carol: Fine, just fine. I mean, so I work for a tyrant! So I stare at words I'm not aloud to read!
So I'm sitting next to a guy named, Big Al...who's waving his egg at me!
Maggie: Big Al?
Carol: Mom, I gotta go, I only got twenty eight more minutes of my lunch hour. Make that
Maggie: Somebody's waving his egg at my baby.
Carol: (in her head) One more hour, and I'm through my first miserable day. Only eighty nine
more to go.
Big Al: Are you insane? You're reading!
Carol: Well, I found a mistake! Read it.
Big Al: I dare not.
Carol: Who cares if the page break is right and the text is wrong?
Boss: I do!
Big Al: We could have been so damn good together.
Boss: You're standing. You're not supposed to be standing. Is there a problem?
Carol: No problem.
Big Al: Smart move.
Carol: Yes, there is a problem. I don't care if you fire me, but yes I've been reading. Well it's
hard to stop when you've been doing it since you've been four years old.
Boss: Like I always say- I'm only gonna say this...
Carol: Look at this! Right here; the term "macroeconomics" is being misused. The author's
writing about the buying power of senior citizens, and everybody knows that's microeconomics.
And he's a very intelligent writer, so it has to be a typo. Oh, right, maybe not very intelligent;
I mean, the supply side theory was supported with very weak...
Boss: I'm calling the proof reading room.
Big Al: You're dead.
Boss: I've been wanting to rub their noses in something like this, ever since the Colin Incident.
What's your name?
Big Al: Big Al!
Boss: Not you. Her.
Carol: Seaver. Carol Seaver.
Boss: Nice catch, Seaver. You could all learn something from her.
Big Al: Teach me.
Jason: Hey, honey, you're home.
Maggie: Don't "honey you're home" me!
Maggie: Well, you stand there so poised and so proper in your apron...
Maggie: Attend the university of life! The mind can be a beautiful thing to waste! Ha!
Maggie: So, off she goes to some sweat shop where some guy, named Big Al, is waving his
egg at her.
Jason: Honey, I'm not following...
Maggie: Oh Jason, just do me one favour; when Carol comes home broken and battered, let
me be the one who puts her back together.
Jason: Fine, fine, yes.
Maggie: Oh Carol...
Carol: Today was the best day of my life. Daddy you were so right. Thank you. I made a nice
Maggie: Hi honey, I'm home!