That's What I Am (2011) Movie Script

Dallas police arrested Lee Harvey Os...
- solemn moment that marks
the continuity of the president's office.
Jet pilots wear them.
Skydivers wear them.
Joined in nonviolent protest...
...of the widespread discrimination
throughout the country...
How does a train go?
Miss America contest.
From 54 lovely hopefuls, down to 10.
Train track.
- Terrific.
- The Army-Navy game.
Grassy setting for...
You can both have the glasses.
They come in Duz.
- In Duz?
- In Duz?
Gerry and the Pacemakers.
- Powered big shot comes complete
with three rubber- tip missiles.
Protests against the war persisted.
A growing voice however
call the demonstrations treachery.
As the year began, the quarter million
Americans face the communists in...
"Joan looked at the generals and said:
'My business is not with you.
You have not craved a council of war.'
Then she turned toward the king's
privy council and continued.
'No, it is with you. A council of war.'
It is amazing.
Councils of war have no value...
...but to decide between two
or several doubtful courses.
But a council of war
when there is only one course?"'
Big G had a head of flaming red...
No, make that orange hair.
The G stood for ginger.
A derogatory term for redheads.
Big G was easily a foot taller
than anyone else in the school.
Even so, his head was still too big
for his body.
And his ears too big for his head.
One might think
in order to compensate...
... Big G might have been blessed
with a handsome face.
After all, Clark Gable had big ears.
Lucille Ball had orange hair, yet for them,
there was compensation.
Not so for Big G.
"...the march upon Paris."
Did I say children were cruel?
even God has his moments.
"She replied, 'Indeed?
And will Your Excellency
be good enough to utter them?
Cowardice and treachery,'
said Joan scornfully."
That's where we'll finish today.
Okay, so the last few minutes of class,
I wanna talk to you about your final project.
You'll be working in teams of two.
To make it fair and so each of you
won't be picking your friend to work with...
...I have decided to pair you up myself.
Each team will receive one grade.
So you must work together.
Discover each other's strengths
and capitalize on them.
All right? Here we go.
Miss Tyler will be working
with Mr. Wiley.
Miss Archer will be working
with Mr. Valero.
Miss Katzman will be working
with Miss Franz.
Mr. Nichol will be working
with Mr. Minor.
All right, class, I would like to have it
absolutely quiet. Please.
There's no reason
for that kind of behavior.
I'll put this list up on the board so the rest
can see who you're teamed with.
The assignment will be due
at the end of the semester.
And I will see you tomorrow.
Thank you.
Good luck.
Mr. Nichol?
I want you to know
I paired you with Stanley for a reason.
You're very fortunate,
so please don't disappoint me.
Your thoughts?
Well, Mr. Simon, I just don't think
I'm the right partner for Big...
- I mean, Stanley.
- And why is that?
Well, he's a lot smarter than I am.
And I'm not a very good writer.
I could screw him up.
Well, I beg to differ from you, Andrew.
I find your writing fascinating.
You're a keen observer
with a colorful perspective.
In fact, underneath the poor grammar
and the atrocious spelling...
...I believe there lies the heart and soul
of a great writer.
- Really?
- Really.
Do you enjoy writing?
Sort of. Sometimes.
The making-up-the-story part at least.
Well, if you enjoy something
and you're good at it...
...then first you must define yourself
as what you wanna be.
- I don't...
- Repeat after me.
I am a writer, that's what I am.
I am a writer, that's what I am?
Let's try that again. Stand up straight.
Shoulders back.
Deep breath.
I am a writer, that's what I am.
I am a writer, that's what I am.
Excellent. Now go, Andrew.
- And write.
- Yeah. Yes, sir.
Despite all that was so painful
and humiliating in his life...
... Big G seemed to command respect.
No matter what, he maintained
a certain nobility about him.
At least in the eyes of those few
sensitive enough to look.
I was not one of those few.
It looks like he wet his pants.
Oh, my God.
Everybody, Big G wet his pants.
- I want a sandwich.
- Sam, look at me.
If I ask my mom for an extra sandwich,
she's gonna know something's up.
- She gives me two as it is.
- Sandwich and candy bar.
Candy bar? Candy bar. Are you nuts?
My mom won't give me a candy bar no
matter how many times you beat me up.
Hello? My dad's a dentist, remember?
Why don't you just cut off my arm
and snack on that, Sam?
Go ahead, cut it off.
What are you doing?
Please, Sam, easy.
You've gotta work with me here.
This is counter-productive.
I'll do your homework.
- Hinkle does my homework. I'll take cash.
- Okay. Okay.
Cash is not a problem. Cash will work.
There you go.
- Hey, Nichol.
- Hey, Sam.
- Can't believe you paid him money,
- What part didn't you believe?
Part where I handed him money?
Or the part where he had my underwear
around my neck?
Sam's all bluff.
I mean, he's not actually gonna hurt you.
- Not like Ricky Brown.
- Is that right?
So I guess you were sick that day...
...Sam shoved my head into a toilet
and broke my tooth.
Wait. Norman, hold on.
- Do you know where Big G is?
- Why? A little low on cooties?
Or you just wanna see
if he really did wet his pants?
We're partners on a project
for Mr. Simon's fourth period English.
We've gotta work together.
- Bet your friends got a big kick out of that.
- Shut up.
You don't even know how lucky you are,
Stanley's the smartest in the school,
next to me.
Do you know where he is or not?
He's down in the corner
waiting for his crotch to dry.
Hey, Nichol.
Stanley's my best friend.
He's not like anyone else.
Never mind.
Geek Corner. No Man's Land.
The Grand Canyon of Cooties.
It was referred to by many names.
One step into this dreaded ground
and there would be no going back.
Big G.
- What is that?
- What?
My God, they're talking.
- When do you wanna work on the report?
- What is he doing?
I don't have much time.
I go home right after school.
- I have stuff I have to do.
- We've gotta get it done somehow.
I know you don't wanna work
on the report with me.
I can do the work and you can turn it in.
- Your friends don't have to know.
- My God.
I have a strong feeling
Mr. Simon would know.
We have to do it together.
My father was a good man.
He just wasn't very user- friendly.
He worked in computers and everything
had to be done a certain way.
He was very good at computers.
But then again,
computers came with a handbook.
Yo, hey. Andy, shut it off. Shut it off.
Shut it off.
Come here. A little quicker please?
I don't have all day.
Come here. Come here.
Look at this. Look at this.
You telling me you can't see this?
- I was gonna go back over it.
- You know what you are?
Know what you are? You're a jughead.
You know what a jughead is?
- Someone who's really stupid?
- No, buddy. You're not stupid.
A jughead is someone
who just doesn't pay attention.
- Oh, okay.
- Now you can concentrate.
Do it right the first time, you don't have to
again. Does that make sense to you?
- Yeah, but I was gonna...
- No. There's no but.
Either makes sense
or doesn't make sense.
- There's no buts about it.
- Okay.
You watch me. I'll mow the lawn.
I'll show you
what a lawn's supposed to look like.
He won't study after school, in the library,
he works for his dad on the weekends.
The only place he'll study
is in Geek Corner at lunch hour.
Geek Corner?
Yeah, that's where they hang out.
Who are they exactly?
You know, Big G and his friends.
Norman Grunmeyer, Karen Connor,
Stuart Hoffstetter.
Geek Corner?
Yeah, that's what they call it.
"They" again, Andy?
Isn't that what you just called it?
Yeah, but I didn't mean... I didn't...
Did it occur to you that Stanley
studies there...
...because that's the only place
he feels comfortable?
How would you feel if everywhere people
made fun of you and played tricks on you?
Ricky Brown makes fun of him
every day.
He was squirting him with a water pistol
so it made him look like he wet his pants.
Ricky Brown is a very cruel boy.
Stanley has suffered his whole life.
Why would God do that, Mom?
Make someone look like Big G?
So that everyone makes fun of him?
Maybe because God didn't see
anything wrong with him in the first place.
And, Andy...
...his name is Stanley.
So how are you gonna get around
the Big G thing?
There is no way around it.
There's always a way. Quit school.
Yeah, I could also kill myself.
Any other brilliant ideas?
- Could be worse, you know?
- How is that?
Ricky Brown could wanna kick your butt
or something.
- True.
- Oh, hey.
Did you hear about Simon
winning that car?
- What? No. A car?
- Yeah, there was a contest in the paper.
He had to write in 25 words how to save
the world, or make peace, or whatever.
- Simon won.
- Cool.
Mr. Simon's a genius.
- What kind of car?
- Pontiac GTO.
Most bitching car ever made.
There she is.
Give it up, Nichol.
Hey, I can dream.
Mary Clear was a legend
in her own time.
She had established herself as the
make- out artist in the eighth-grade class.
Everybody who was anybody
had made out with Mary Clear.
Everybody, that is, except me.
If Mary Clear was the most attractive girl
in the school...
... then Karen Connor, one could argue,
was the homeliest.
And the homeliest girl always had it worse
than her male counterpart.
It's like, if the Elephant Man
had an identical twin sister...
... somehow she would seem homelier.
Oh, God.
Oh, my God.
It's Cootie Connor.
Cootie Connor. I'm gonna die.
I'm gonna die.
I'm gonna die.
Oh, God. Oh, God.
Cootie Connor.
There was one and only one kid
you would go to...
... if you contracted the dreaded cooties.
And that kid was Myron Stort.
The Stort was the resident expert
on all things concerning cooties.
- Stort.
- Jason Freel needed Stort in a bad way.
Stort, you gotta help me, man.
I just ran right into Cootie Connor
in the hallway. Full body contact.
Keep your distance.
Everybody out of here.
For your own protection.
Freel was like a leper
crashing a hot tub party.
The only one who stood his ground
was the Stort.
Knowing full well, he was the only one
that could save Freel now.
- I need you, man. You gotta help me.
- Shut up, man.
This isn't gonna be easy, man.
Here's what you gotta do.
- You gotta touch her again.
- No, man. No way. I won't. I can't.
- There's gotta be another way.
- Shut up. Shut up.
There's only one way.
Touch her again and say the words:
From this, the cooties came
With this, the cooties shall remain
Freel, I'm losing you, man.
Stay focused.
Okay, okay.
- With this, the cooties came...
- From this.
From this, the cooties came
With this, the cooties shall remain
Okay, okay.
From this. From this. From this...
- All right, I got it. Thanks. I owe you one.
- Hey, Freel. One last thing.
You gotta do it on her territory.
- Geek Corner?
- Yeah, Geek Corner.
Why don't you give Ricky Brown
your lunch? Or do his homework?
- Cut some deal with him.
- Because it's not right.
Right? What does that have to do
with getting our asses kicked?
Damn it, Stanley.
Why do you have to make things tough?
You shouldn't swear, Norman.
Do you mind? I'd like to get going.
Right, sorry. Didn't wanna keep you here
any longer than you have to be.
I mean, it's pretty courageous
of you risking terminal cooties.
- What are your buddies gonna think?
- I got news for you, Normie.
Even if you weren't a complete geek,
people would beat the crap out of you.
Stanley, Jason Freel's got Karen.
From this, the cooties...
Freel recited the absolving incantation
as he whipped Karen with his jacket.
He could not bring himself to actually
touch her, but then who would know?
He could always say he did.
With this, they shall remain
With his feet dangling a foot off
the ground, Jason Freel found religion.
- And prayed to the Lord Big G.
- Break his neck. No, no, wait.
Let me get some of his friends to watch,
then break his neck.
Are you completely insane?
You had him.
You could have broken him in two.
I mean, you could have at least held him
and I hit him with a brick or something.
Do you wanna work some more
on the project?
Norman's right. I don't get it.
Why do you let guys like Freel and Ricky
always make fun of you all the time?
I can't make them be nice people.
And even if I did, there'd be others
that take their place.
If I had Big G's body,
I'd have kicked Freel's ass.
Then I'd have kicked Ricky Brown's ass
just to cool down.
You probably thought it was funny.
I didn't.
Screw it. So Freel beats me up.
He was probably gonna do that anyway.
I'm telling Mr. Simon.
Karen, it's Mr. Simon.
Karen, I'm coming in, honey.
Please go away, Mr. Simon.
I'll be okay.
I'm gonna open the door, sweetheart.
Please go away.
No, I'm gonna open the door. It's okay.
Here. Give me your hand, sweetheart.
Come on.
Don't let them see you like this.
It's okay.
What happened to you?
Who did this to you?
The word had spread quickly
that Mr. Simon was extremely upset.
And that it was quite possible
Jason Freel...
... would receive his final report card
in federal prison.
Some of the cuts
on Karen's arms and neck...
...made by the zipper
from Mr. Freel's jacket...
...are deeper than first thought.
And she has been...
...sent to the doctors.
For anyone interested...
...this is how I won the car.
The newspaper contest
to win the new car...
... asked contestants
to find a solution to world peace...
... using 25 words or less.
Mr. Simon won it with just four.
I really don't feel much like teaching
It's a rather strange feeling.
I suggest if you have a book... would be a good time to read.
And if you don't, well...
Well, you should always have a book
with you.
Can I help you with something, bud?
Sir, sorry. I kind of missed your porch.
- And I was just gonna put it on...
- You know, it's funny.
I've been watching you deliver
your papers there.
- You've got a hell of an arm, by the way.
- Thank you.
But somehow you just seem
to hit everybody's porch but mine.
You got any theories on that?
I don't know.
Maybe I'm just a little tired
by the time I get here or...
Daddy, dinner's ready.
Even in eighth grade, there was a lot
more woman in Mary Clear...
... than any eighth grade boy
could possibly know what to do with.
And I'm convinced she knew it.
Maybe that was part of the fun.
Hi, Mary. I just threw the paper
and your dad was just...
Well, I'll just give it...
You know, there you go. Look...
I promise I won't miss next time,
Mr. Clear.
- You gotta pace yourself, bud.
- Yeah.
Every Friday, I worked in the office
during study hall.
I'd run copies of flyers to parents
announcing an open house...
...or reminders about the up-coming
car wash to raise money for the library.
Generally, whatever annoying little job
Mrs. Cranby, the assistant principal...
... affectionately known
as Old Tuna Breath...
...didn't feel like doing herself.
- Andrew.
Wait till you see the talent show program
I've designed.
I've never had so much fun in my life.
If you could just run off 600 copies,
we'll be all set.
We certainly have an interesting turnout
this year.
It looks really nice, Mrs. Cranby.
Doris Gebben plays the upright bass?
Isn't that the huge one?
She's like 3 feet tall.
Yes, indeed. Tiny, but top notch.
I understand she's very good.
Wait. Mrs. Cranby, this can't be right.
What? Is something misspelled?
Big G is gonna?
- He's gonna sing?
- Yes.
I don't get it.
Your life isn't miserable enough as it is?
You're gonna get up in front
of the whole student body and sing?
- I love to sing.
- I've known you my whole life.
Never heard you sing. Not once.
- Since when do you love to sing?
- Ever since I can remember.
Look, maybe...
I don't know. Maybe Norman's right.
I have a right to sing,
just like anybody else.
Don't you ever watch cop shows?
You have the right to remain silent.
You wanna sing? Do it in the shower.
Why don't you sing with a band?
Why sing by yourself?
I sing a cappella.
My voice is my instrument.
Oh, my God.
Why not just buy a gun
and let Ricky Brown shoot you in the eye?
I knew you wouldn't understand.
That's why I didn't tell you.
What about us?
You sing in that stupid show...
...and it's gonna make it worse
for the rest of us.
It doesn't matter what they do to us.
You said it yourself, Norman.
They'll probably just do it anyway.
I think you should sing if you want to.
I'm sorry, Norman,
but I'm going to sing.
Damn it. Why do you have
to make everything harder than it is?
- You shouldn't swear, Norman.
- Go to hell.
You deserve whatever you get.
I think he's just worried about you.
Come on. There's a few more minutes
before the bell rings.
Hey, Andy.
Mary Clear likes you.
Mary Clear likes me?
That's what I said.
- Why?
- Why?
I don't know. She's pretty much
gone steady with everybody else, so...
She told you that she wanted
to go steady with me?
Of course. She's my best friend.
She said she thinks you're cute
and don't ask me why.
Let's just say that selection
by process of elimination...
... lacked a certain romance... might otherwise
have found exciting...
...even at the age of 13.
At the end of every month,
I had to collect money...
... from all the customers on my route.
It was a task I relished
for its simplicity...
... in what was becoming
an increasingly complicated world.
Hit the porch
and the customer was satisfied.
And a satisfied customer
meant payoffs.
Ranging anywhere from cash tips
to assorted snack foods.
Next stop, Mary Clear's house.
Regardless of her sudden
and mysterious interest in me...
... coupled by the fact
that I had yet to hit her porch...
... I wasn't expecting much.
Oh, hi, Andy. How's it going?
- Good. How's it going with you?
- Great.
So how's it going?
You asked me that already.
Oh, yeah.
- You said great, right?
- Yeah.
Okay, so is your mom or dad home?
I'm collecting for the paper.
Oh, yeah, here you go.
Okay, thanks.
- Here you go.
- Thanks.
- All right, well, I gotta get going.
- Yeah, I'll see you at school.
Yeah. Yeah, okay.
I'll see you.
Hey, Nichol.
You're collecting for the paper.
Why'd you have to do that, Ricky?
I didn't have to.
It was my treat. What's in the bag?
Don't get up. I'll just have to knock you
back down again.
Chocolate chip.
My favorite. See you in school, Nichol.
So she paid you the money?
Yeah, which means Mary had to ask
for the money in advance. It was a setup.
Barbara Foss wasn't blowing smoke.
Mary likes me.
And this is a bad thing?
I don't know. It's weird.
I'm no different than I was
at the beginning of the year and...
I just...
I mean, I've never even talked to her.
What does that have to do
with anything?
I don't know.
It just seems like it should.
You gonna kiss her?
Yeah. Of course, I'm gonna kiss her.
- Idiot.
- You know, she's a real good kisser.
How would you know? You're the only guy
in the school that hasn't kissed her.
Yeah, right.
Like she made out with Big G.
I doubt it.
- He's probably up before you are.
- Shut up, Andy.
You and Big G
are real bosom buddies now, huh?
You shut up.
I bet you never kissed a girl
in your life, have you, Nichol?
Hey, Freel's back from suspension.
- I ran out, though.
- We'll find something.
Hey, Nichol.
How's that paper coming
in Simon's class?
Remember you told me Mr. Simon
was your favorite teacher?
- Yeah.
- Still think so?
After he stuck you with Big G?
I don't know. I guess so.
I don't get you, Andy.
You know, my dad says Simon's a homo.
I had no idea what Modak meant.
But I sensed from his tone
that this homo thing...
... was not something Mr. Simon
should include on his rsum.
- Tell me something I don't know.
- So you're saying you like homos?
Yeah, right.
Take it easy, Andy.
Another thing you never do
is believe a guy like Bruce Modak.
I decided to investigate
the allegation myself.
- Hey, Dyer.
- Yeah.
You knew Mr. Simon was a homo,
Where you been, Nichol?
I hear Simon's a homo?
Nichol, seriously? What's it like to go
around with your head up your butt?
- Good afternoon, everyone.
- Good afternoon, Mr. Simon.
I have an announcement to make.
The car I won in the newspaper contest
has arrived.
And I've asked Principal Kelner
if I could give each of you a ride.
And she said yes.
The world I dream where black and white
Whatever race you be
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl
Attends the needs of all mankind
Of such a world, I dream
So the poem's
about not being prejudiced?
Well, Mr. Simon says
we can pick only one word.
- It has to mean the same to us.
- What's wrong with prejudice?
- The poem's about being prejudiced.
- Yeah...
...but prejudice can mean different things
to people.
- No, it can't.
- Sure, it can.
It would change depending if you...
No one's prejudiced against you,
so it's different for you than others.
So you're saying I'd have to be a Negro
to understand it?
No, people are prejudiced
for all kinds of reasons.
Negroes just happen
to be one of the majors.
Okay, so you got a better word?
How about tolerance?
Okay. Now, why does that work?
I looked it up.
"Sympathy or indulgence...
...for beliefs or practices differing from
or conflicting with one's own.
Or the act of allowing something
to be different."
So the guy in the poem
dreams of a world...
...where people let each other
be different?
Yeah, that's why tolerance
is such a great word.
It's not even saying
you have to like the other person.
It's just saying leave them alone.
Okay. So now we write a short story
about being tolerant?
I told you never to come
in my room again, you little freak.
No, no, no.
No, no, no. I forgot. I swear.
I swear I forgot.
I wanna ask a question.
I'll clean your room for a week.
Could a teacher get fired
if he's a homo?
Definitely. Now get out.
- One more question.
- One more week, freak.
What exactly is a homo?
The whole house
smells like a glue factory.
You're using too much glue again,
aren't you?
Well, I want it to stick.
It'll stick with less glue.
Come here, I'll do it. You watch.
Come on, move over. Move.
I almost had it, Dad.
You did not. You did not have it.
Just watch and learn.
- Where are the directions? Right here?
- Yeah.
Have you read these?
- Beginning to end before you started?
- Yeah.
See, look at that.
You were using too much glue.
The directions say you can take off
extra glue with a razor blade.
Or you could just do it right the first time
then you don't have that trouble.
Come on, pal.
You'll end up cutting your finger off.
That'd be bad, right?
Look, you got a mess here.
I have some homework to finish.
If you have homework to finish,
you shouldn't even be doing this.
You know better.
The holiday was tapped
a Lunar New Year.
For the first time,
the Vietcong invaded the cities in force...
...including Saigon...
- Did you finish homework?
- Yeah.
- A suicide attack into the grounds...
...of the American Embassy.
- Mom?
Did kids go steady
when you were in the eighth grade?
Yeah, Andy.
Even in the old days.
What was it like?
It's pretty much always been the same.
I think the only things that really change
are the clothes and the music.
American Marines were surrounded
and under siege.
- Are you thinking about going steady?
- No.
No, I'm just, you know, wondering
if it ever comes up.
So was it fun
or did it make you nervous?
I seem to remember it
as being pretty fun.
I mean, and a little nerve-racking.
It doesn't last long, though.
At least not in eighth grade.
Yeah, I've noticed that.
I'm gonna go see if Dad's finished
my model yet.
Make sure you wear that deodorant
I bought you every day, okay?
- Why? Do I smell?
- Oh, no, no. I just...
You never know when it's gonna start.
And you just don't want it to start
at the wrong time, right?
Yeah. Sure, Mom.
One more question.
What's a homo?
The other kids know about this?
Yeah, they do.
I was afraid to talk about it at first.
Then I heard other kids talking about it,
and I thought I better say something.
You did right telling me this.
- Hey, you didn't tell him, did you?
- Of course.
Did you want him to find out
from the other kids?
That's how everyone else finds out.
Why should our kid be different?
He asked me.
What else was I supposed to do?
You could tell him
he's not old enough to know.
The kids at school are talking about it.
Hey, do we know if it's true?
You know how kids start these rumors.
Well, do we know if it's not true?
I don't know that we want someone
like that teaching our kid.
He's the best teacher that school has.
People talk about it
like it's a contagious disease.
Stop it, you don't know how someone
becomes something like that.
The whole country is going to hell
in a handbasket.
Hippies protesting the Vietnam War.
And now, what now?
Now we got homosexuals
teaching our kids.
Teachers are role models, Sherri.
They look up to him.
Have you thought about that?
They look up to him
because he's a wonderful teacher.
Not because of what he does
in his bedroom at night.
Why do you even gotta talk like that?
Oh, the whole thing is absurd.
Fine, fine. Okay, it's absurd.
I tell you, I, for one,
am gonna monitor the situation...
...until I know exactly
what the hell is going on.
May I have the pillow please?
Thank you.
Good night.
When my mother explained to me
what a homosexual was...
... she thankfully spared me
the technicalities.
My father was right.
I wasn't ready.
The more conventional male- female
approach was still relatively new to me.
She said a homosexual was capable
of a deeper love...
... for another man than a woman.
And she assured me that it had absolutely
nothing to do with Mr. Simon's character.
And insisted he was still the best teacher
I would probably ever have.
And that was all that mattered.
Count is now one and one with two outs.
Runner at first.
Swings at the first pitch, and fouls it
deep back into the stands behind...
Turn the game off, Ed. We need to talk.
- How about later?
- No.
Now, Ed.
Okay, kids. Once around the block.
Mr. Simon?
This is the coolest car ever made.
- Yeah, it is pretty cool, isn't it?
- Yes.
Hey, Nichol. Where have you been?
- Sorry.
- The car is unbelievable.
Yeah. Maybe you can get in line
with your pal pumpkin head over there.
Looks like you two just can't get enough
of each other.
Good Simon has a convertible.
- I don't think freako's head would fit.
- Shut up, Ricky.
Maybe you wanna ride with them, Mary.
You, Nichol, Cro-Magnon man.
- Maybe I will.
- Look, Dan...
...I can't go anyway.
That's what I came to tell you.
Old Tuna Breath's got me doing work
in the office... I'll see you later.
With all due respect, Mr. Freel,
that is a very dangerous accusation.
A man's reputation is at stake.
I hope you have some proof.
I've got my boy's word.
He says it's all over school.
You've got a real problem with a teacher.
You need to do something about that.
You are talking about a man
who was voted...
...the California Teacher of the Year
last year...
...and nominated many years
before that.
Just because he's won some awards
doesn't mean that he's not some pervert.
That thing is a sickness...
...and sooner or later,
it's gonna take over other parts of his life.
It's human nature.
That assumption
is completely unfounded.
Mr. Freel, sir.
I have known Mr. Simon
for 12 years now...
...and there has never been so much
as a hint of an impropriety.
Sometimes these things take a while
to fester.
Mr. Simon is a widower.
His wife passed away many years ago.
Now, I heard that they can sometimes
get married to cover their tracks.
It might explain
why he never remarried.
I'll tell you what I'm gonna do for you.
I am gonna talk to Mr. Simon...
...and see if there was some kind
of misunderstanding...
...that can make sense
of Jason's claims.
And I can guaran-damn-tee
that if this guy isn't dealt with in a hurry...
...there will not be a parent in this school
that doesn't know about what's going on.
- I'll go to the papers if I have to.
- Please, sir.
Please don't do anything until I
have had a chance to look into it myself.
You've got 48 hours.
And excuse me if my son...
...isn't in this guy Simon's class
in the meanwhile.
That's your prerogative, Mr. Freel.
Meanwhile, back on my march...
... toward understanding the mysteries
of impending manhood...
... it occurred to me
going steady with Mary Clear...
... could provide
some much-needed insight.
Hey, anybody seen Modak?
That's if I could bluff my way through it
without totally humiliating myself.
I needed an ID bracelet.
And I needed it fast.
Among his many other talents, Modak
was also known as the school hustler.
Every school and prisoner of war camp
has one.
A guy who knows the angles
and can get anything you want.
For the right price, of course.
- Modak?
- Nichol.
- I need an ID bracelet.
- I can help you with that.
Look, I don't have anything
with Andy on it, but I got a couple blanks.
Get your name on it at Sears
for five bucks.
Blank's okay.
It's the thought that counts.
I don't have the money anyway.
- Then why am I talking to you?
- I thought maybe you'd trade.
- That can work. What you thinking?
- Baseball cards?
- Vintage?
- '52 Mantle rookie card.
- Condition?
- Excellent. Still smells like bubblegum.
I'll take three and we're done.
What? Modak, that's ridiculous.
Three's all I got.
- That's way too many. Are you kidding?
- Hey, relax. I don't make the rules.
Actually, I guess I do make the rules.
So take it or leave it.
Okay. I'll bring them tomorrow.
I trust you.
So who's the lucky girl?
Mary Clear.
You might have a problem with that.
Because that's the one I gave her
when we went steady.
I'll have to take my chances.
- Pleasure doing business.
- That was maybe a 10-dollar bracelet.
Hey, give Mary my best.
She's a good kid.
And today, those Mantle rookie cards
are worth about $100,000.
The trip through that dark tunnel
from boy to man...
... does not come
without great expense.
- Stephen?
- Evelyn, hi. What's up?
Well, I'm sorry to interrupt
your free period, but something came up...
...and I thought we should deal with it
as soon as possible.
PTA drive fall short again
for the 12th year?
No, it's...
It is awkward.
Frankly, I'm embarrassed to come to you
with this, but I don't have any choice.
Ev? What are we talking about here?
...Jason Freel.
You know how children are.
And, actually, he insists...
Apparently, there's a rumor...
...that's going around the school
that you're...
...a homosexual.
This is so embarrassing for me
to come to a man of your...
Well, you know
how much I respect you.
- A homosexual?
- Yes.
This whole misunderstanding stems
from the Karen Connor incident.
Some active revenge on Jason's part.
But, unfortunately, he's already gone
to his mother and father.
Ev, it's okay. Just take a breath.
Mr. Freel insists,
unless something is done...
...he is going to tell the other parents
and the papers.
According to him, this is a fact.
It's funny.
Suddenly I feel a great deal of empathy
for young Jason.
As soon as I can say that you deny it,
well, that's good enough for me.
And when you do deny it,
if that's not enough for him...
...then I will stand right beside you
and fight.
They see a man like you.
Unmarried, single all these years.
You know how people are...
...and they just take a situation
and they blow it up for no reason.
I guess...
I guess I just don't know
how my private life has any bearing...
...on my ability as a teacher.
Shouldn't the work just stand for itself?
Yes, of course.
But this isn't about that.
I think it is.
No, it isn't.
This would be so much easier...
...if you would just deny it
and we could move forward.
Are you denying
that you're a homosexual?
I'm not going to justify that question
with an answer.
I am 57 years old, Ev.
I have been a teacher most of my life.
I will not compromise
who or what I am...
...for the likes of Jason Freel.
Or his parents.
I'm sorry.
It took maybe 30 seconds for word
of Mary Clear and my impending union...
... to cover the school grounds
like a suffocating fog.
If only our fire drills
were that organized.
Andy Nichol is gonna ask Mary Clear
to go steady.
Even the Blue Angels don't fly
with that kind of precision anymore.
There would be no turning back now.
Hey, Nichol.
Come here.
I'll be back in a second.
- Hey. You a geek now?
- Back off, Taylor.
Make me.
- What?
- It's all over school, man.
- What?
- What do you mean "what?"
You and Mary Clear.
Ricky Brown's looking for you, man.
He's pissed. He still likes her.
- Then why did he break up with her?
- You didn't know?
She actually broke up with him.
Did I neglect to mention
Mary's last and longest relationship...
... was with Ricky Brown?
Of course, I had assumed
he broke up with her.
Nobody would be crazy enough
to stand up to Ricky Brown.
I did not know that.
- Mrs. Freel?
- Lf you're selling something...
...we're not interested.
- Oh, no.
I'm the principal from Jason's school,
Evelyn Kelner.
- You wanna talk to my husband?
- Yes, please.
He's out back. Come on in.
Thank you.
I'm just not sure that you understand
the kind of man that Stephen Simon is.
I mean, I have never ever worked
with a better person...
...or a better teacher
in my entire career.
Did he deny it?
Well, he felt...
And actually, I support him on this.
He couldn't understand...
...why his record as a teacher
wouldn't stand on its own.
Fancy way of saying he didn't deny it.
What did you expect him to do? Admit it?
This isn't about his teaching ability.
We'll give him that.
It's about kids looking up to him
like he's some kind of example...
...on how to live.
We have a moral obligation.
It's in the Bible.
You know he was taking kids for rides
in his car?
I gave him permission.
He had won a new car.
He was just treating the children.
I guess we'll know who to point
the finger at on that one, won't we?
Now, you listen to me.
Your son brutally whipped
a defenseless young girl...
...because he thought
that she was ugly.
He thought by touching her,
it would rub off on him.
Now you're afraid he might look up to a
kind, wonderful man like Stephen Simon?
I'm not saying
what my boy did to that girl was right.
I whipped his ass real good
for what he did.
But that's all he is. He is just a boy.
He doesn't know any better.
I am not sure
what I have accomplished coming here.
But I am begging you,
please, reconsider.
You would be doing the children
of this community a great disservice.
You know better, don't you?
You know he's a homo.
No. I don't know if he's homosexual or not.
And frankly, I don't care.
My guess is this community will care...
...and they won't appreciate
you condoning it.
I'll see myself out.
Thank you, Mrs. Freel.
What if they don't let Mr. Simon teach
Oh, I certainly hope
that doesn't happen.
Listen, I don't think
we should get wound up over this...
...until we know exactly what's going on.
Your father's right, Andy.
They had a thing in the old days
called Salem witch hunt...
...where people got all wound up
before they knew what the facts were.
Oh, and let's not forget Joe McCarthy.
He got so wound up he's still spinning.
What about you, Andy?
You ever see Mr. Simon
do anything weird?
- What do you mean by weird?
- Look, Jim, he's a little young.
No. Sure he's gonna hear this stuff,
just like you said.
Better we deal with it here and now.
...did you ever see Mr. Simon...
...touch a boy... a place...
...that he should not?
Jim, what are you doing?
Just answer the question, son.
No. Never.
Dinner was good.
I'm gonna go to the garage.
He is not gonna let go of this.
They feel they have a moral obligation.
He even went so far as to threaten me.
To think this man can ruin reputations...
...that we have spent years building
with absolutely no evidence.
My God.
I'm the first woman principal
in the county.
I'm trying to put two kids
through college.
- I just don't think that...
- Evelyn. Evelyn, please.
I won't let this happen.
Please, Stephen. Just deny it.
For the children's sake.
I don't care if it's true or not.
Please, just deny it.
It's for the sake of the children
that I won't deny it.
True or not.
Mr. Nichol.
You missed your chance for a ride.
Mr. Simon, you're gonna sell it?
- I'm afraid so.
- Why?
- This is the coolest car I've ever seen.
- Unfortunately, teaching's a labor of love...
...not of economic reward.
Couldn't you, like, rent it out or something
when you're not using it?
Very entrepreneurial of you, Andrew.
But, you know,
I don't really think this car is my style.
It would be better if I sold it
to someone a little hipper, perhaps.
Here, let me help you.
What are the boxes for?
It's not long before summer vacation.
Thought I'd get a head start.
Don't you keep most of the stuff
in the classroom?
Normally, yeah. But as it turns out,
I won't be here next year.
- Why?
- Well, I have a sister in Florida...
...and I haven't been able
to spend time with her.
I thought I might enjoy the change.
You better hurry up.
Don't wanna be late for homeroom.
Mr. Simon's not coming back next year.
So? We won't be here anyway.
It seems weird that somebody like
Jason Freel could get Mr. Simon to quit.
They're both freaks if you ask me.
There's no proof Mr. Simon's a homo.
Then why is he leaving?
Maybe the class could pitch in
and get him a present or something.
Like what?
I don't know. I don't know what he likes.
My dad says they're like women.
They like flowers and crap like that.
We should've known Simon was a homo
when he told us about that ballet.
He might as well just stamp
a big homo sign on his forehead.
All I know is, homo or not...
...if you ask anyone in class
who their favorite teacher is... would be Mr. Simon.
Except Freel, maybe.
Yeah, I guess you're right.
At least he was until this homo thing.
Get up, Nichol. Take a walk, Rains.
See you after school, Andy.
- Look, Ricky, whatever...
- You're gonna ask Mary Clear... go steady with you?
Not if you don't want me to.
I don't want you to.
After I pound your face in,
Mary's gonna think you're too ugly... go steady with.
- Hey, leave him alone.
Who's gonna make me, freak?
No one can see us, Ricky.
Just walk away and nobody will know.
Nobody will believe it.
- What about you, Nichol?
- Nothing. It never happened.
You tell anybody about this
or go near Mary, I'll kill you.
I'm gonna get you real bad for this.
With the clock ticking down
to the end of school year...
... I figured if I could just keep a low profile,
I could get out with my dignity intact.
But Mary Clear would not be denied.
It had begun.
And as far as I knew, nothing,
short of running for your life, could stop it.
Mary was in the preliminary phase of what
was referred to as the hover ritual.
This was a technique
in which the female...
... would travel in ever tightening circles
around her prey, enticing him to strike...
... so that he would actually think
that he was the aggressor...
... thereby insuring his delicate male ego
would remain intact.
I wasn't fooled.
I had to get out and get out fast.
Hi, Andy. I didn't see you.
Yeah. Sorry.
I instantly started to sweat like a pig.
She noticed,
but mercifully pretended not to.
So... you doing?
- Good.
So how are you doing?
She noticed I was making an idiot
out of myself again...
... but, forgiving beyond all reason,
pretended not to.
- Barbara said you wanted to see me.
- She did?
She said you wanted
to ask me something.
It was at that moment that I realized
just how bad I wanted to kiss Mary Clear.
So bad, in fact,
that I forgot about Ricky Brown...
... and the cruel ways he might kill me
if I did.
- You wanna go steady?
- You got an ID bracelet?
She studied the bracelet as if trying
to estimate its fair market value.
You bought this from Bruce Modak,
didn't you?
- It cost me three Mantle rookie cards.
- She wasn't impressed then.
But I'll bet she's reeling now.
How many women
possess a $100,000 ID bracelet...
- ... in their junk drawer?
- Okay.
Meet me at the end of the tunnel at 3.
Don't be late. My bus leaves at 3:15.
"When only the dwarf and the paladin
were left, they would not give up...
...but stood their ground stoutly.
A pair of steel towers
streaked and splashed with blood...
...and where the axe of one fell,
and the sword of the other... enemy gasped and died.
And so fighting, loyal to their duty to Joan,
good simple souls..."
As Mr. Simon read from Joan of Arc,
I, unfortunately, could not enjoy it.
Instead, I spent the time
trying desperately to remember...
... all the great kissing scenes
I had watched in movies.
Focusing on fundamentals, I imagined
how Cary Grant might kiss Mary Clear.
That turned out to be discouraging...
... because Cary Grant and Mary Clear
looked really good together.
And I suddenly felt more inadequate
than I did before.
"'The Maid of Orleans taken.
Joan of Arc a prisoner.
The savior of France lost to us.'
And would keep saying that over as if
they couldn't understand how it could be.
Or how God could permit it,
poor creatures."
Perfect. We'll finish the last chapter
on the last day of class. Class dismissed.
Oh, I almost forgot.
I will need all of the final team projects
on my desk before you leave.
And remember,
tonight is the talent show.
I want complete attendance.
No excuses to the contrary.
Thank you.
Mr. Nichol.
I look forward to your
and Stanley's report.
Yes, sir.
I spent sixth period P.E. Class
trying desperately not to sweat...
- ... for Mary's sake.
- Come on, Nichol, hustle up, would you?
This whole body odor issue
had begun to consume me.
It occurred to me
if God created man in his own image...
... did that mean
that he too used deodorant?
Or did he simply add sweat
and body odor to us...
... so he'd be the only guy
without sweat rings...
... when the world
was coming to an end.
It was time.
I moved with purpose and yet it was clear
that my mind was not in control.
My body, governed by some force,
previously unknown to me...
... was calling the shots.
This, despite the fact that it was my body
and not my mind...
... that Ricky Brown
would ultimately beat unmercifully.
Hey, Nichol.
We running workups after school today?
- No.
- We've been planning this for a week.
Seriously? Nichol.
I walked quickly.
Not because I was anxious so much
as I was extremely intimidated by Mary...
... and didn't want to upset her.
She commanded respect.
After all, at a time
when every move a young boy makes...
... breaks some personal sexual boundary,
Mary Clear was like a beacon of light.
Even the other girls respected her.
After a boy made out with Mary
they could rest easy...
... in that boy's firm embrace, knowing
one of them knew what he was doing.
Where you going?
Bike rack's the other way.
Thanks for all the help today, Dan.
Now I know who my friends are.
I'm your friend, Andy,
but I'm not a moron.
What was I supposed to do?
Get beat up with you?
That makes no sense at all.
Would you be friends with a moron?
Forget it. I'll see you later.
Where are you going?
To meet Mary Clear.
Are you insane?
Ricky Brown will kill you.
I know. But I can't stop myself.
Finally, up ahead,
I approached the tunnel.
Mary would be waiting
on the other side.
You lost, Nichol?
They say your life flashes
before your eyes prior to death...
... but that didn't happen to me.
I took it as a good sign.
All I could think was how painful it felt
when Ricky punched me in the stomach.
And that was just a warning.
- Let him go, Ricky.
- Shut up, Mary. This ain't your business.
You let him go or I'll tell Principal Kelner
who stole $32 in quarters...
...out of the Pepsi machine.
You're the luckiest butt wipe, Nichol.
First, a freak bails you out. Now a girl?
Am I gonna have to fight your mother
I bet the house on my mother, Ricky.
You'll be alone next time, Nichol.
I promise.
Having cheated death once more,
I marched on.
At this point, I wasn't sure
who I feared most...
... Ricky Brown or Mary Clear.
Whoever chose this particular spot
to make out...
... knew a lot more about symbolism
than most eighth graders.
Although no one knew the origin
of said tradition...
... my guess is that
it was Mary Clear herself.
She alone would understand
its meaning.
We're gonna have to do this after the
talent show. Bus is leaving in one minute.
Meet me back here.
Doris, have you seen Big G?
Yeah, I passed him
sitting out in the parking lot.
Thank you.
You know that time Ricky Brown
was squirting you with a water pistol?
I should have done something.
I should have tried to help you...
...and I'm sorry.
That's okay.
Are you scared?
I think you may be
the bravest guy I know.
Or the craziest.
Did Norman come?
I don't know, but I'm sure he will.
Yeah. It's funny.
The smallest kid in school
protecting the biggest.
I'll see you after the show.
See you after the show.
I wanna thank everyone
for this marvelous turnout.
The children have worked very hard.
And I think you'll be surprised
at the wonderful variety...
...of different acts
that we have for you tonight.
Our first act is Doris Gebben...
...who will play a lovely Beethoven piece
on the standup bass.
Wait, wait. Sorry.
As Doris droned on...
... I searched the crowd for Norman,
but he was nowhere to be found.
I knew how much it meant to Stanley
for him to be there, so...
Let's hurry.
- Collecting for the paper?
- How come you're not at the show?
- Why aren't you?
- He wanted to know if you were there.
When I didn't see you, I just came here.
You know those western movies where
bad guys are gonna hang the good guy?
But the posse shows up
to save the good guy just in time?
- Yeah.
- Well, I guarantee you...
...there's no posse out looking
to save Stanley.
He'll feel bad if you're not there.
I don't know why he does it.
He just won't give in,
no matter what they do to him.
He'll be on soon.
I just don't wanna see their faces.
I don't wanna hear them laugh.
Look, If he's brave enough to do it... should be brave enough
to be there for him.
I mean, maybe...
- Maybe we're the posse.
- You don't know what it's like.
No, but I do know you and Stanley
are best friends.
- Besides, maybe he can really sing.
- Yeah, sure.
And maybe
they'll vote me king of the prom.
You know, you were right about him.
He's not like anyone else.
My mom says Stanley has something
most people will never have.
Stanley has dignity.
Well, I gotta get back.
Next up is Janet Piccolo
who will twirl her baton... the stirring
"Stars and Stripes Forever."
There you go.
Hello, Norman.
Good luck.
Thanks for coming.
You okay?
Yeah, I think so.
- I'll see you after the show.
- Okay.
Just... Can you tell me
why you think you have to do all this?
Because, Norman, I'm a singer.
That's what I am.
Well, that was certainly interesting.
For our next act...
...please welcome Tommy Kenner
and his swinging drum solo.
He's after Kenner.
I didn't know he played drums. Gotta be
doing something in his spare time.
- He doesn't study.
- The guy can hardly walk and chew gum.
Maybe he'll stink and Stanley
won't seem so bad in comparison.
Holy crap. If Kenner could read as well
as he plays drums, he'd be president.
He doesn't stink nearly enough.
Let the hanging begin.
My goodness gracious.
That certainly was something.
All right. All right. All right, folks.
Calm down.
Our show isn't over yet.
For our last act of the show...
...Stanley Minor will sing a composition,
which he wrote himself.
He wrote his own song?
"Go Ahead and Dream."
If I was really his friend,
I would've killed him by now.
Despite Norman's passionate prayers,
Big G walked out on the stage.
Tall, straight and proud.
Like a man
who had every right to be there.
Excuse me, everyone.
Excuse me.
If we could all give Stanley
our undivided attention, please?
He will be singing
without accompaniment.
And we need it to be absolutely quiet.
You try and throw that tomato, Ricky,
I'm gonna stop you.
You don't have the balls, Nichol.
Now you don't have the balls.
Have you had a bowel movement
you're suffering from gas pains.
Tomatoes will do that to you.
Boys, would you help Ricky
out of the gym?
He's not feeling well and, you know,
the show must go on.
Everything's fine, folks.
Let us all keep quiet, please...
...and give Mr. Minor
our undivided attention.
Thank you.
Good job.
Stanley, go.
He's not bad.
He's no Tommy Kenner,
but he's not bad.
No, he's just...
Big G had a very nice voice.
If his voice had been great,
it would have made it all so easy.
The crowd would have stood
and cheered him, a thundering ovation.
But such was not Stanley Minor's lot
in life.
Look at his face. Look how happy he is.
But, oh, did he sing with passion.
The joy freedom brings.
Damn, he's got guts.
You shouldn't swear, Norman.
With all the excitement, I had almost
forgotten about my date with Mary.
Postponing destiny had only managed
to drive my anxiety even higher.
There was one distinct advantage,
This time, I would enter the tunnel,
not under the protection of Mary Clear...
... but after having dealt
with Ricky Brown on my own.
Hi, Andy.
Hi, Mary.
She stood still,
allowing me the first advance.
She held the faint wisps
of my tender male ego in her hand...
... and I could only hope
that she would caress them gently.
So how are you doing?
No, no.
Let's forget that.
So can I kiss you?
Finally. I leaned in and kissed.
Oh, no. The last moment, I chickened out
and kissed her on the cheek.
Appalling display of cowardice,
she would've been right...
... to run around the school
laughing her head off.
You've never made out before,
have you?
Male ego being what it is,
I might have lied to save face...
... but Mary seemed all-knowing
- Besides, who was I kidding?
- No.
Would you like me to teach you?
Yes. I'd like that very much.
And so she did.
Slowly, carefully...
... handling me
as if I were a mound of clay...
... molded by the artist's tender touch.
She turned what might have been
a scarring boyhood memory...
... into the sweetest of recollections.
And for that, I would always be grateful.
What's with the stopwatch?
Oh, I like to time each kiss.
The record is one minute and 16 seconds.
- Can I ask who holds the record?
- Ricky Brown.
Well, if it helps, I can hold my breath
underwater for a minute and a half.
That should help.
"I have finished my story
of Joan of Arc...
...that wonderful child,
that sublime personality...
...that spirit which, in one regard,
has had no peer and will have none.
With Joan of Arc, love of country
was more than a sentiment.
It was a passion.
She was the genius of patriotism.
Love, mercy, charity, fortitude,
war, peace, poetry, music.
These may be symbolized
as any shall prefer.
By figures of either sex
and of any age...
...but a slender girl
in her first young bloom...
...with the martyr's crown
upon her head...
...and in her hand the sword
that severed her country's bonds.
Shall not this, and no other,
stand for patriotism...
...through all the ages
until time shall end?"
It really is a beautiful book, isn't it?
I hope you've all enjoyed it.
All right, I have your papers here.
Your final team papers.
And I would like to say, all in all...
...that each team did a marvelous job.
Congratulations to all of you.
I would like each team to pick up
your paper on the way out.
But before that, I just wanna tell you...
...I have very much enjoyed
our time together this year.
And I wish each and every one of you
all the best of luck... you enter high school next fall.
Class dismissed.
Here you go.
- Very nice.
- Thank you.
In case you're wondering...
... Mary Clear and I went steady
for five weeks.
Her longest relationship to that point.
It was a torrid affair.
Kissing became even more enjoyable...
... when I discovered
it was all right to breathe.
This was just wonderful.
Boys, you did a good job.
- Thank you, Mr. Simon.
- Thank you.
And as for Mr. Simon...
Wow, thank you, sir.
Thank you, sir.
I am as proud of you two boys
as any students I've ever had.
And I mean that.
And I wish you both
a wonderful summer...
...and a wonderful life.
What are you gonna do now,
Mr. Simon?
Well, I'll find someplace to teach,
of course.
I am a teacher.
That's what I am.
- Goodbye, sir.
- Goodbye, Stanley.
- Goodbye, Andrew.
- Goodbye, sir. Thank you.
Stanley and I lost touch...
... when he moved away
in our sophomore year in high school.
I can assure you, his suffering
did not end in the eighth grade.
Nevertheless, I know whatever hardships
were thrust upon him...
... he handled them with dignity.
He's coming.
As for me, well, I am a writer.
That's what I am.
Against the wall. Against the wall.
And with my pen, I can create a world
where brave men like Stanley Minor...
... are exalted as the standard
by which we all measure ourselves.
A world where Karen Connor
will fit the glass slipper.
And Norman Grunmeyer
is voted King of the Prom.
A world where the equation
human dignity plus compassion...
...equals peace.
All right, all right, one, two, three.
Goodbye, Mr. Simon.
Thank you.
Thank you. Yeah.
Best teacher ever. Yeah.
Thank you.
Mr. Simon, you're the best. The best.
Hey, Stanley.
See you around.
See you around, Andy.
The last week of eighth grade
was memorable for many reasons...
... not the least of which were those
glorious make- out sessions with Mary.
But knowing
I would never see Mr. Simon again...
... haunted me.
There was still one question
that had to be answered.
Mr. Simon?
Hello? Mr. Simon?
Can I help you, Mr. Nichol?
- I'm so sorry, sir.
- It's okay.
I'm glad you dropped by.
- Would you like a cup of tea?
- No, sir, thank you.
I just wanted to ask you a question.
My wife, yes.
Mystery solved?
Oh, no, sir.
Well, yeah, I guess that too.
Here, have a seat.
So where is she?
She passed away.
Nineteen years ago today, in fact.
- I'm sorry.
- Yeah, well, a little sappy, I'm afraid.
As a writer, it would do you well
to avoid melodrama in your work.
I suppose I loved her too much.
- Does that help you, Andrew?
- No.
Well, I mean, I don't care about that.
That's not why I came.
Oh, really?
Well, you've got me intrigued.
What is it?
I just wanted to know.
When you assigned me to work
with Stanley, why'd you pick me?
You said there was a reason.
...I believe that life is about timing,
opportunity, and choices.
It was an opportunity at the right time...
...for a wonderful young man like you
to make the right choice.
And I knew you weren't ready to do that.
But I didn't want you to miss it.
But how did you know it would work?
How did you know that I could do it?
I didn't.
But sometimes, you just need someone
to tell you that you can.
I'm not sure that I fully understood it then,
but it did occur to me...
... that somewhere in that marvelous pile
of books Mr. Simon cherished...
... there was a manual
called How to Be a Teacher...
... written by Mr. Simon.
Andy, Andy. Shut it off. Come on.
Shut it off. Shut it off.
Come on.
Now, how many times have I told you?
You have to use the wheel grooves
as a guide to show where you left off.
- Here, I'll show you.
- No, no, no.
What do you mean no?
I'm mean,
I'm gonna finish the lawn, Dad.
I'll go over it again
and catch anything I missed.
That's just the way I do it.
Once one way
and another against the grain.
Like at the ballpark
or like a checkerboard.
Look, I like to do it, Dad.
I like to mow the lawn.
I like the way it looks and smells.
And I'm gonna finish it, my way.
Then once I'm done, if I've still left a spot
you can call me a jughead.
But, please, just let me finish.
Fair enough.