The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005) Movie Script

Win a trip for 12
to anywhere in the free world,
or win a working oil well
and have money flowing in for years.
That's the grand prize
in Dial Soap's big contest.
Write a two line jingle starting,
"I'm glad I use Dial... "
The last word in
both lines must rhyme.
For example: "I'm glad I use Dial... "
How hard is it to put it
across the plate? You idiot.
There once was a time,
believe it or not,
when skill and a
reasonable amount of luck
could actually feed a family of 12.
Come on! Strike 'em out,
you dog-faced bastard! Play ball!
Contesting, if you haven't heard of it,
was a lucrative way for overworked
housewives to use their underused wits.
It wasn't that I was any more gifted
than your average contester,
I was simply more determined.
I was so prolific, in fact,
that I borrowed my children's names
so I could submit
more than one entry.
This was a perfectly legal tactic
in the contesting world,
and as far as I could see, one of
the advantages of having so many kids.
My creative output usually
corresponded directly to our needs.
- Hey, Mom. The toaster's broke.
- Broken.
All right. Hold on.
"Kraft's Parkay
won't tear fresh bread.
Even ice cold,
it will smoothly spread. "
- Here you go, honey.
- Thanks, Mom.
Small household adversities
were my steady inspiration.
But whenever fate handed
one of my kids an unfair blow,
it would set my muse on fire.
- Mom.
- What, honey?
The landlord's here.
Oh, hello, Mr. Stubbs.
Come on in.
- Dad!
- Hey, Dad!
Dad, we're being evicted!
- Come on, let me out.
- Dad!
- We're being evicted.
- Oh, yeah?
The landlord came by.
He wants the house back.
His daughter's getting married.
- How long do we have?
- Three weeks.
- What are we gonna do?
- Don't you worry, sweetheart.
Mom always figures something out.
- Do you know the capital of Alaska?
- No.
- Juneau... get it?
- Oh, yeah. Good one.
- Hello, Mother.
- Hello, Dad. I suppose you heard?
Yep. Can't seem
to catch a break, can we?
Here, I brought you something.
- Thank you.
- Don't choke up so much on the bat.
- All right, Dad.
- Attaboy.
Mom! The men are here to kick us out!
May I help you?
- Mrs. Ryan?
- Yes.
Is your son, Dick, here?
This is Dick.
What is this about?
Congratulations, son.
- You've just won $5,000.
- I did?
I'm Mr. Forrest,
this is Mr. Bravey and Mr. Kramer
of the Western Auto Supply Company.
Out of 65,000 entries
in our national bike contest,
you have won the grand prize.
- Oh, my goodness.
- And that's not all.
You've won a brand new
Western Flyer bicycle
and a Westinghouse washer and dryer.
- A washing machine? Oh, my Lord.
- That's right.
Are you all right?
I just have to sit down
and have myself a happy cry.
I love that bike.
Dad! We won!
We won $5,000!
- No kidding.
- Isn't it marvelous?
- It's awesome!
- I told you everything would be OK.
Congratulations, Kelly.
You got quite a wife there.
Yep, looks like she got lucky.
Mom says she's gonna put
the money down on a new house.
- Yeah?
- Looks like you got lucky.
Oh, now, Kelly was all set to do it,
I just beat him to the punch.
Just need you to sign Dick's check over
to Defiance Home Saving and Loan.
- Does it matter which of us?
- No.
Whoever is over 21.
Although, you don't look
a day over 19, Mrs. Ryan.
Well, in that case, I'd better sign it.
Here you go.
And, now the mortgage papers...
You need both our signatures, correct?
Some married couples do that.
But it's really not necessary.
And, after all, I'm the guy
who has to pay the mortgage,
seems I'm the only one
who needs to sign it.
And since the bank account's
under my name...
Sure, that's how most folks do it.
Well, that seems right to me.
Well, I guess it's all on me then.
Unless Mother here wants to start...
...punching in at the shop.
- Only if you'll do the ironing.
We just need
your John Hancock there.
Well, congratulations, Mr. Ryan.
You are a homeowner, sir.
Thank you.
All right, watch that curb.
- Good, yes.
- Oh, my goodness.
Is that what I won?
- Yes, ma'am.
- They're just beautiful.
- Watch out.
- Excuse me, sir.
Dad, can you believe it?
No more boiling diapers
on top of the stove.
Yep, gonna miss it.
It made a nice soup.
The cost of modern living.
Sir, we're looking for Mrs. E. Ryan.
- There.
- Oh, hello. I'm up here.
This is your new home freezer.
Mikey, honey, get down.
"Ask any Eskimo and they'll say,
frozen keeps
the freshness in every day. "
My gosh. I forgot all about that one.
When it rains, it pours.
Well, bring it on in.
How's it going, Pop?
Don't make your old man
carry this couch.
Come on.
OK, on the count of three.
One, two, three.
Tuff, keep that cat out of the house.
What are you doing?
A little bit of this?
Dad, isn't this the biggest freezer
you ever seen in your life?
It's like the ones in restaurants.
The deliveryman told me
it would hold two sides of beef.
Seems like overkill to me.
Besides, it's dangerous.
A kid could fall in there and suffocate.
- No, we won't.
- I don't want to say I told you so.
- I'd like to keep it.
- What the heck for?
Do you know how much
electricity this will eat?
It inspires me.
It's something to be filled.
Good luck with that.
Even Howard Hughes
couldn't fill that thing.
We got plenty in it already.
- Only dishes, but something's in there.
- Yeah.
That'll take up
some of the room, at least.
The Red Sox, three,
Cleveland, two.
- The Indians have one last out.
- God's sakes!
Bunch of bums, is what you are.
- Bunch of bums.
- The bases are loaded.
Writing a winning entry not only
requires a modicum of wit,
it also requires careful product focus.
Notice I have not one,
but two brand names I need to use.
You want to know
where this is headed?
Niagara Falls, straight down.
Here's what I have so far.
"Wide selections, priced to please her.
Scads of Seabrook's in their freezer.
Warmth that scorns the impersonal trend,
stamps Big Chief
as the housewife's friend. "
Mom, I left my
spelling book in the kitchen.
All right, honey.
- Strike two.
- God damn it.
- Where is it?
- What's the matter?
Take the bat off your shoulder.
- Who's ahead?
- The Red Sox.
All right.
Come on, you moron. Hit the ball!
...gets the sign... on third...'s the pitch...
Cold! Strike three.
God damn it to holy fucking hell!
You're killing us, you stupid bastard!
Hey, shut up over there!
You shut up!
This is a family neighborhood.
Clean your mouth.
I'll clean you up!
Who are you, the Pope?
Oh, for crying out loud.
I can't believe we got...
Goddamn piece of shit!
Where you trying to go with that?
This goddamn thing is too big
for this goddamn house!
You're gonna hurt your back.
Why not wait until morning?
I want this goddamn thing
out of the house right now!
I want it out!
- I never wanted it!
- All right, I'll see what I can do.
You'll enjoy...
The clean, tangy taste of Dr. Pepper.
- Nice try.
- Sorry, Mrs. Bidlack.
Watch it.
Maybe we should talk on the radio.
I can't believe the Indians...
Problem is they got no clean-up batter.
- Clean up what?
- Half the team's in a slump.
Best move to make
is get rid of that manager.
You can't blame him.
Pitching, I'm telling you...
- What a world.
- Yeah. There's always...
- We're gonna take off now.
- Take it easy.
Hey, thanks, Tim.
He won't give you anymore trouble.
Best thing to do
is let him sleep it off.
Hey, Dick, how's the pitching arm?
Going for a no-hitter next season?
- You bet.
- Go get 'em, kiddo.
Here you go. I made this for you.
Thank you, Dad.
I'm tired.
Your pajamas are on the bed.
Thank you.
Father McCague's here.
I don't think that you need to worry.
I'm sure that he's learned his lesson.
This has been going on
for a very long time.
Every night he drinks
a six pack and a pint of whiskey.
By the end of the week
nothing's left of his check.
It's all gone to the liquor store.
Kelly has a big family to take care of.
I'm sure he's carrying around
the weight of the world.
But the more he drinks,
the less he's able to pay the bills,
which is one reason he's so unhappy.
But it's up to you, you see,
- to make him a good home.
- But I do.
Well, you'll have
to try a little harder.
No one says that life is easy.
Thank you for coming by, Father.
Yes, indeed.
Are you being obedient
and saying all your prayers?
Yes, Father.
Good boy. I'll see you in church.
His breath smells like Dad's.
Well, maybe that's why Father
likes to use so much incense.
All right, kids.
Let's go to bed.
I'm tired of this day.
I need a new one.
If I may pause
in the story for a moment,
I'd like to briefly explain my marriage.
As a young scribe, I was a resident wit
for the Sherwood Weekly Chronicle.
Queen Elizabeth
invented ladies' stockings.
Since her time,
they've covered a multitude of shins.
Evelyn, that's top-notch.
I had potential, as they say.
I was also in sore need of adventure.
And Kelly Ryan was loads of fun.
He loved music
as much as I loved words.
And we were just the perfect match.
Then one night, Kelly's career
as a crooner came to a terrible end.
And so, our life in Defiance began...
...where my husband joined
the ranks of ordinary men.
So if he seems unhelpful at times
or selfish or mean,
please remember
that he lost his voice,
while I kept mine.
Here you go, Dick.
There's a soldier on this glass,
look at that.
Who's winning the battle?
Drink your milk, baby.
Morning, Mother. Morning, kids.
Morning, Dad.
What do you say I fix
everyone some pancakes?
You can't. We're out of milk.
I need some money, by the way.
How about coffee?
You guys are old enough.
- No, thanks.
- No.
Who the heck did this?
One of you kids?
You did, Daddy.
No, siree. I think it was...
No, I did not.
Well, you can't sell it now.
Looks like we're stuck with it.
It seems like we are.
How about I take up hunting,
fill that thing full of duck and deer?
No, Daddy!
You don't like that idea, OK.
Well, how about I just go shoot
some squirrels
and little bunny rabbits?
How about you don't spend
so much at the liquor store.
Tell you what.
Every night, when I come home,
I'll bring something
from the grocery store.
I'm gonna fill that to the very top,
even if it takes me a year.
- What do you think of that?
- I think that's a wonderful idea.
I gotta go to work
so I can bring home the bacon.
- And a porterhouse steak.
- Hey, I'm not kidding.
You just watch your old man.
I need money for the milkman.
That's not enough.
That's all I have.
Bye, kids.
How's Dad gonna fill the freezer
when he can't pay for milk?
I have no idea, honey.
But at least he has a goal.
Now the moment is here
when Queen for A Day
makes your wish come true.
We're going to
the Everson-Jennings company
and order one of their sturdy,
folding wheelchairs.
There's a sample.
- Mommy.
- Yes, honey?
Davey messed his diaper
and I tried to change him.
Oh, show me.
Oh, Barbie.
The trick is to hold the baby's legs up
while you take the diaper off.
- I got it on my hands.
- I know you did, sweetheart.
OK, now, here we go. Follow me.
All right, don't touch anything.
Come on, Betsy, you too.
Let's wash your hands.
Yeah. Come on, come on.
All right, everybody. Come on.
OK, put your hands under the faucet.
- Milk delivery!
- Just a minute, I'll be right there.
Come on. I've got deliveries to make.
Just a minute, please.
- I'm leaving.
- No, you aren't.
I'm on my way.
OK, girls. Stay in the kitchen
till I can clean this up.
You know that I got a schedule to keep.
I know you do, Ray.
What a life you lead.
- Three dollars.
- I'm a little short this week.
Can I owe you?
I got three other families
on credit this week.
- You know I'm always good for it.
- I'm not a bank.
You could start charging interest.
Don't get smart with me.
- Smart people know their budget.
- Right.
That's why I don't have
a problem paying bills.
Hello, vernon.
Anything for me today?
You want something in life,
you got to pay for it.
- Here you go.
- Thank you.
Hey, Ray.
Oh, hold on.
How do you like that?
I won two dollars in the poetry
contest for The Toledo Blade.
There you go.
There he goes.
Yeah. You want the money?
I'm sorry I made such a mess, Mommy.
Well, actually, honey,
if I had gotten
the door any sooner,
then the milkman would have
left before the mailman arrived,
and we wouldn't have had
any milk for our dinner tonight.
So, there you go.
It was all meant to be.
This is what happens to one's literary
efforts once placed in the mailbox.
For the big contests, they go sailing
off to New York City to be judged.
The average count
is a million and a half entries.
A million and a half. Imagine that!
Each entry is first checked to make sure
it's accompanied by proof of purchase.
You don't pay, you don't play.
Next they go to the juniorjudges.
College English majors, mind you,
who are instructed
to eliminate the trite,
the obvious and the inept. Oh, dear.
And so, the final judging begins.
Every syllable of every word
is scrutinized and analyzed,
the merits of each debated
until a few of the worthiest remain.
The ballots are cast,
the points are added up
and the grand prize winner is declared.
Oh, my gosh!
- Mommy won a shopping spree!
- Oh, yeah?
They time her as she runs in the store.
She can get whatever she wants.
She's gonna get us a bunch of candy...
And fancy nuts.
I'm gonna eat a cashew.
Can you believe it?
That's terrific, Mother.
Now, I only get
ten minutes and one cart,
so what I did was, I walked
to the market to plot my strategy.
- Wait till you hear this.
- The carts are smaller than at the A&P.
- Mom talked to the butcher.
- He's gonna wrap up bacon and ribs.
- I can build up the cart that way.
- Sounds pretty clever.
I asked him to set aside a prime rib,
a chateaubriand, what do you think?
- We each get our own filet mignon.
- Absolutely.
Tuff, honey, would you set the table?
I had filet mignon once.
It ain't that great.
When have you started saying "ain't"?
Get off your high horse.
It's a perfectly good word.
- Here.
- Oh, thank you.
This is perfect.
I was gonna put on fish sticks,
but now I can make sloppy joes.
Might as well cook it up now.
Looks like hamburger's not gonna be
good enough for this family anymore.
Oh, of course it is.
Itjust won't be the only thing we know.
I asked the kids to make a list
of what they want me to grab.
- What would you like?
- Don't waste any space on me.
Oh, now stop. Think.
What have you always wanted to try?
- I don't know.
- Sure you do.
Shrimp cocktail.
The kind they have in those little jars.
I like the way they look,
kind of elegant.
I always wanted one of those.
You shall have it.
Thank you, Mother.
Proud of the old lady.
- But I think you should...
- Oh, no.
Are all these kids yours?
- Hi, Mom.
- Yes. If it's all right,
they were going to call out the time
so I could stay on schedule.
Oh, I don't know.
I don't see any problem with that.
And any help you happen
to give Mrs. Ryan in filling her cart
won't be seen by me.
So, then, are you ready?
Hold on.
- Didn't like the way that sounded.
- Thank you.
All set?
Go! Faster!
- I think we should split up.
- OK.
I'll take the frozen section,
you take the European food aisle.
- What do you want, hon?
- Oh, caviar, expensive things.
The good stuff, not the ordinary.
Marge, go!
Seven minutes to go!
Three minutes. Come on!
One minute left!
I got you some goose pate.
You ever had that?
- No.
- Let me know what it's like.
I got all the after-dinner mints,
the Swiss chocolate,
two bags of English toffees
and a couple bags of coffee mints.
Grab and move on. Where to?
- Produce!
- What for?
Exotic, anything grown
in a foreign country.
- Does Hawaii count?
- Yes.
Thirty seconds!
I got your shrimp cocktail!
I got your shrimp cocktail!
That was... great.
- We're gonna eat good tonight.
- Yep.
Well done.
Look at all this food
and candy and sugar and sweets!
And lobster!
Let's see, what else?
Anybody want an artichoke heart?
- What do you think?
- This is really good.
- Here, try it.
- Yeah, they're really good.
What's this?
Litchi nuts from China.
- Oh, I see.
- What do they taste like?
Go get the can opener
and let's try one.
Litchi nuts, who the hell
would want to eat that?
What are you looking for?
I'm looking for hamburger.
I have a steak all ready for you.
I don't want steak.
I want hamburger.
Oh, look at this.
Hearts of palm, from a palm tree,
can you believe it?
These are capers.
They come from Spain.
Try one.
No, thank you.
Oh, come on. It's an adventure.
But they're green and yicky.
Please put that food
back in the freezer.
I don't want everything to thaw.
Capers, my ass.
I think it's time we tried some caviar.
...caviar is one...
...of the finest delicacies...
...the Western world.
It comes from Russia.
And we are about to become...
...the very first Ryans... ever taste it.
- What is it?
- Fish eggs.
Dick, Bub, Rog,
would you like to try it?
- No, I'll stick with coconut.
- No, thank you.
- Tuff?
- No, thanks.
Do you know that U.S. Army research
has shown a relationship
between intelligence and a willingness
to eat unfamiliar foods?
Are those really fish eggs?
I just can't.
Oh, well. More for me then.
It's marvelous.
Oh, my goodness.
My sweet goodness.
How is your supper?
Not very good.
Your shrimp cocktail is in the fridge.
They say it's good if you
squeeze a little lemon on top.
Thank you, Mother.
Enjoy it, Dad.
All right, what will we open next?
Anybody here like lobster?
We'll try a little of that.
And... what else do we have?
We have some button mushrooms...
Come on over here.
Sit down with us.
Let's see, what else do we have?
An artichoke heart,
want an artichoke heart?
- Sure.
- Very good.
Come on. You can share my seat.
Sit down.
Oh, yeah. Look at those little pickles.
Look at that.
Dad, you gotta try this. It's amazing.
Should I open the sardines?
Who's gonna eat those?
- I won't.
- All right, these are mine.
Let's see, what else do we have here?
- Can I try this?
- Do try it. It's just delicious.
Put it on the little cracker.
- These are good.
- Aren't they?
Are you sick of candy yet, honey?
- No, I will never be sick of candy.
- Not yet.
- It's good.
- Yes, I know.
That one's mine.
What about these little white thingies?
- Thanks, sweetheart.
- This stuff isn't too cracked.
- Mom, it's yesterday's paper.
- Oh, throw that out.
For the next four years I would win
a steady stream of small prizes
that would keep us functioning,
never flush.
I won two ice buckets,
ten pairs of galoshes,
one sled, which arrived
just in time, I might add,
fifteen ice crushers,
a case of dog food,
a pair of Arthur Murray dancing shoes,
a Brownie camera,
one free window installation,
an outboard motor,
eight pogo sticks,
a palm tree, which promptly died,
a lifetime supply of bird seed...
...and a pony,
which we had to sell
to pay the electric bill.
In the meantime, my eldest, Lea Anne,
left home to go to nursing school.
"Travel handsome, travel light.
Travel always with Samsonite. "
And my sons, Dick and Bub,
both got signed to play
with the Detroit Tigers.
How do you like that?
So far, three of my chicks
have found their wings
and I am so very proud of them.
That is where my prayers went.
That's where they all went.
Give a little back.
Let me get serious.
It's for a good cause.
You know why they left?
'Cause we live in a hole.
A hole without a ladder.
I like Beech-Nut so much,
I'm going to help them
sponsor a contest.
With the folks out there,
they can win all kinds of big prizes.
- Do you want your notebook?
- Yes, thank you.
You want to know
who dug that hole? I did.
Holy moley.
Are you gonna eat that, Jerry?
Nope, but I'm gonna sing about it.
And the folks out there
are gonna fill in the words.
Well, all right.
It's my dum-dee-dum-dee-dum
Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum sandwich
Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum sandwich
Hole in the ground
Don't make a sound sandwich
My stuff it in the mouth
Chomp and swallow south sandwich
- That's a good one, Mom.
- You can have it.
I'm jerk and a dope
and I ain't got a hope sandwich.
My back the deli truck
To the lips and suck sandwich
I'm a moron and a mutt
And I made you a nut sandwich
Good one, Dad.
I'm a chump in a slump
And I live in a dump sandwich
My frisk the Frigidaire
Clean the cupboards bare sandwich
- Are you listening to me?
- Yes, I'm listening.
- You know what your problem is?
- No, I don't.
You're too damn happy.
How do you come up with these things?
I don't know. They just...
come to me, I guess.
That was really funny.
- Hey, kids.
- Hi, Daddy.
- You're home early.
- I don't feel so hot.
My head hurts.
Did they pay you for the full day?
I don't know. I didn't ask.
I felt so lousy
I had to get out of there.
Milk delivery!
I'm glad you're here.
I need four dollars for the milkman.
What's he showing up
so late in the day for?
I don't know.
What difference does it make?
What happened
to the money I gave you?
What do you think happened?
I used it to pay the bills.
- I'm leaving.
- I'll be right there.
We're out of milk,
would you please give me money?
I don't have any.
Of course you don't.
It's all in those bottles.
- I'm sorry. I'll have to owe you.
- I'm not going to leave the milk.
- I always pay you back.
- That's not the point, is it?
Listen, I'm not a rich man,
but I never owed anyone anything.
You're a better person than I am.
We're in the same boat.
But I am not going to do the paddling
while you sit back
with your hand in the water.
You're absolutely right.
But my children need milk.
Please don't make them suffer
because I am delinquent
in my payments.
If you don't pay me next week
I'm cutting you off my route.
I understand.
Thank you.
- That was pleasant.
- Hey.
You think money grows on trees?
I work my ass off in that
stinking sweatshop all day long.
- You get to do whatever you want.
- Whatever I want?
Sit around writing
in your stupid notebooks.
Those notebooks are the only reason
this family isn't living on the street.
Do you want to trade places with me?
- Mommy!
- Jesus!
- What was that?
- What happened?
Oh, Jesus! She slipped.
- Daddy was yelling at her.
- What did you do to her?
It was an accident!
I wouldn't hurt your mother!
I think somebody
should get Mrs. Bidlack.
We don't need Mrs. Bidlack.
Get away from the glass.
Would somebody please help me up?
Sweet Christ, Mother.
- Would somebody help me up?
- Stay back.
For goodness sakes, just move.
Hold on. I'll take you to the hospital.
Let me get my...
No, you are not!
You almost killed her!
I didn't do anything! I swear!
I think it's best
if you just stay put.
Oh, my God!
My sweet God! What?
Would you get a towel
so I don't make a mess in the car?
- I'll get it.
- Where's my purse?
- Would you like me to call the police?
- That won't be necessary.
- Here.
- Honey, could you hook it over my arm?
Thank you.
- Here, Mother.
- For Pete's sake.
What am I supposed to do with that?
If you wouldn't mind mopping
so it doesn't warp the wood,
I'll go over the rest of it later.
- I'll take your mother to the hospital.
- I'm all right.
- You know the worst part?
- What?
A quart of milk got sucked up
inside my girdle.
Oh, my dear.
- Please don't die, Mommy.
- It was an accident.
Everything all right in there?
The question is...
This is a presidential election year.
If a qualified woman
were running for president,
how would you feel about voting for her
and why.
If the men candidates were qualified,
I feel I would vote against her.
My reasons being
that women are very high-strung
and emotional people.
They aren't knowledgeable enough...
- Mom!
- Here we go, special delivery.
- Oh, we missed you so much.
- Be careful of her.
I'm not that fragile.
Thank you for taking me.
- Any time.
- See, it's not so bad.
Hello, Mother. How's it going?
Well, I got lucky.
Doctor said I was half an inch away
from severing a ligament.
Oh, see, kids.
Your mother's as good as new.
I have dinner set, here's a cup of tea.
Why don't you sit down?
First thing I'd like to do
is take off this wet girdle,
if you could help me,
I can't use my hands just yet.
OK. Go on, kids,
supper's on the table.
- Are you OK?
- I'm fine, sweetheart.
'Course she's OK.
It's all right, boys.
Go ahead, get something to eat.
I think what...
...hurt more than anything was
the dig you made about my contesting.
You know, I couldn't be prouder of you.
You know that?
It's just... the thing is...
...the guys at the shop...
Anytime you win something, it's...
..."Oh, we know
who the breadwinner is. "
- It ain't me.
- Goodness.
They're justjealous.
Why do you even listen to them?
All I want in this world
is to make you happy.
I don't need you to make me happy.
I just need you to
leave me alone when I am.
Spilled milk? Don't cry.
Unless, of course, it's hip high.
I don't cry over milk,
spilled or otherwise.
I just wish I had spilled
a smaller other size.
Spilled milk can't be poured,
if it's spreadin' 'cross the floor.
But no need for tears or sorrow.
There's always more to spill tomorrow.
- Hello?
- Hello.
I'm calling on behalf of Beech-Nut Gum
"Name That Sandwich" contest.
May I speak to Mr. Bruce Ryan?
Yes, hold on one moment, please.
My frisk the Frigidaire
Clean the cupboards bare sandwich
Oh, baby
You have won a Triumph TR3 sports car
and an all expenses paid
weekend trip to New York City
for you and one parent.
- Can I bring my mom?
- You sure can, son.
Everyone move in a little.
Enjoy that car.
I think my church dress will do
for our dinner at Sardi's.
But for sightseeing, I'm gonna
need something a little more casual.
Mom, there's a man
on the phone about Rog.
My goodness.
Don't tell me he won something too.
I only took a few dollars
from the purse.
I put the wallet back so she wouldn't
miss her driver's license or nothing.
Stealing is stealing.
Don't you dare try to justify it.
Don't you dare!
Sorry, Mom.
Do we have to tell Dad?
You thieving little bastard!
- Get back here!
- Stop! Calm down.
He's a criminal
and he won't get away with it.
Next time you set foot in this house,
I'll teach you a lesson
you won't forget!
Mommy, please.
Don't go to New York City.
I'm sorry you didn't
get to go to New York.
Let's just get you
through this next week.
I talked to a friend of mine.
He said the judge
gives guys a choice
between jail and joining the Army.
The Army wouldn't be too bad, would it?
At least you'd learn
how to make your bed.
I wonder what it would
be like to drive this thing.
- You want me to teach you?
- No.
Then I couldn't bear to sell it.
Want me to teach you
how to drive Dad's car?
Better not.
Not enough gas in this world
for all the places I'd like to go.
Go inside and eat your dinner.
It's on the table.
Hi, Mr. Quigley.
Lady friend's writin' ya.
I don't have a lady friend.
Give it time.
- I'm gonna tickle you.
- Careful, it's slippery.
Mom, I think this is for you.
Oh, thank you, Bruce.
Dear Bruce,
I saw your name on
the Beech-Nut win list.
Well, what do you know?
My daughter, Mary Kay,
who's also 16, won second prize.
Gee, what clever kids
your mother and I have.
Watch it!
I live in Payne, Ohio,
just 85 miles away from you
and I'm part of a group of
contesting gals called the Affadaisies.
This is probably not of interest
to a strapping teenage boy as yourself,
but perhaps your mother
would like to join us.
I don't care who did it,
just clean it up!
Well, gotta go before
the house comes down.
Hope we hear from one of you soon.
Sincerely, Don'tha Schaefer.
PS. Since they don't
publish the winning entries,
I'd love to know what yours was.
Here's mine, my daughter's, that is:
My stack it thick and quick
Snack until I'm sick sandwich
Dear Don'tha, I love your entry.
You have a true gift
for inner rhyme and alliteration.
I was particularly impressed by your
cross-rhyming with "stack" and "snack. "
Here's my entry, for what it's worth:
My frisk the Frigidaire
Clean the cupboards bare sandwich
Dear Evelyn,
those judges judged right.
No wonder I came in second.
Talk about a gift for imagery.
You have it, gal.
And you must come to my house
for an Affadaisies meeting.
We've got the creme de la creme
of contesters.
Gladys Tierney,
she is smart as a whip
and won two cars in the
Stay-Puft his and hers contest.
Then there's Betty Yearling
and Betty White.
Cooks extraordinaire.
Betty Y. Is a Pillsbury bake-off winner
with her famous party pork barbeque.
Betty W. Won first place
in the Midwest kitchen cook-off
with her double delight strawberry cake.
And Emma Hartzler,
who's won three fridges
and matching stoves
and a trip to Hawaii.
All from her iron lung.
Kleenex is so handy,
I use it every day.
Cost so little, helps so much,
just blow, then throw away.
Now, listen, Evelyn Ryan.
You are the most notable of us all
and you must be at my house
in two weeks for the first meeting
of the spring.
No excuses.
Now strap on those wings
and fly on over here.
Do you remember that group
of contesters I told you about?
They've invited me to their meeting.
- Where is it?
- Over in Payne.
- Payne's a long way.
- It's only 85 miles.
Yeah, but it still takes gas.
I gotta drive to work,
drive you to the grocery store,
drive the garbage to the dump...
How much do you think I'm left
with at the end of the week?
In fact, I had to enter a football pool
at the gas station just
to win myself some extra fuel.
- You're contesting?
- Yeah.
- Why not?
- You need any hints?
I know how to do a pool.
Well, if you win, you'd have
enough gas to drive me to Payne.
I can'tjust sit in the car
while you gab
with a bunch ofjingle writers
and forget I'm even there.
My Saturdays are precious to me.
Well, all right. I won't ask again.
- That was my entry.
- No, it wasn't. It was mine.
Mom, I won 25 gallons
of gas today in a football pool.
- He didn't win. That was my entry.
- I used Barb's name.
- Barb Ryan was the one that won.
- That was my Barb Ryan.
- I had dibs on her name first.
- Says who?
We made an agreement.
I got Barb, Tuff and Mike.
- I never said you could use my name.
- Don't get smart.
- Did you write this down?
- It was a gentlemen's agreement.
You'll have to split the gas.
He didn't know
about the contest until...
What are you talking about? I told you!
Split the gas.
Oh, for Christ's sake.
- I hope you were telling the truth.
- Honest, Dad's just a sore loser.
All right. I'd like to ask you a favor.
I want to go somewhere.
Would you drive me?
Sure, Mom. I'll take you
anywhere you want to go.
Thank you.
There's tuna fish for sandwiches
and you'll find coleslaw in the fridge.
- What are you doing?
- Just checking the radiator.
Come on, Dad.
We're ready to go.
And if your father
decides to make his chili,
make sure he doesn't burn the pot.
Right. Yeah, I got it.
Plenty of water, oil's fine.
Watch the clutch.
- I know, Pop.
- Get your mother back in one piece.
Bye, Mom.
- Bye, sweetie.
- Have fun.
- Thank you.
- Mommy, wait.
- What is it?
- I got a surprise for you.
You did? Show me.
Oh, honey.
Where did you get these?
They grow all over.
I got them from Mrs. Bidlack's yard,
and Mrs. Zitfeld's, and Mrs. Zamone.
Cripes' sakes,
what did you go and go that for?
Jesus. Sorry, Mother.
I'm not good with that woman.
- Turn off the motor.
- Oh, brother.
Oh, my God. My sweet God.
Did you see what your boy did?
I am so sorry.
- Why would you do that?
- He didn't know it was wrong.
He's just a little boy.
Tell me what I can do to make it better.
There is nothing. Do you know how long
I've waited for those tulips to bud?
Tell me what they cost,
I'll reimburse you.
- $40 worth of bulbs.
- Mom, are we going or not?
No, honey, I'm afraid the trip is off.
My gas is already in Dad's car.
How am I going to get that out?
Tell him to use his half now
and you'll use your half later.
I didn't know it was bad.
I thought they were beautiful.
They are beautiful.
They truly are.
All right.
Now let's go make amends.
Good boy.
Give it gas.
OK, put it in first and try again.
Nice and easy.
What are you doing?
- Stop yelling.
- I'm not yelling. You're not listening.
Evelyn, we are all thrilled
and elated to hear
that daughter Tuff
has learned to drive
and she'll be
delivering you to us, at last.
We've moved our meetings
to Emma's in Goshen, Indiana,
which is 100 miles from where you are.
Sorry it's such a hike.
But our gal is eager
to show off her new summer outfit.
Evelyn, I await your arrival...
...with bated breath.
There's bologna for lunch.
If I'm not back for dinner,
heat up some fish sticks,
there's Jell-O in the fridge.
- Yep.
- Mom, we should probably get going.
All right, off we go.
- Don't overuse the brakes.
- You told me.
- No speeding.
- This car barely goes over 40.
- I want your mother back in one piece.
- That's enough.
Miss you already.
- Bye, Mommy.
- Bye, Betsy.
I love you.
Bye, Davey.
- Bye, Mom.
- Bye, Barb.
- You have fun.
- Be good. Listen to your father.
- Be good.
- Bye, Mommy. Bye, Tuff.
More gas.
Well, what do you
want to do now, kids?
Defiance, a nice place to leave.
Honey, you can drive
a little faster now.
Oh, my goodness.
We've crossed the state line.
Doesn't look any different.
The grass is much greener on this side.
It is much greener.
Oh, boy.
You can relax, honey.
You're doing just fine.
Gonna be hot today. The girls will
have to wipe me off the floorboards.
Yeah, I'm starting to broil.
Doesn't feel that hot outside.
- Do we have the heater on?
- No.
Let me put the fan on.
That's even worse. Turn it off.
I think the car's overheated.
- Oh, my Scott.
- Maybe we should pull over.
There's a town in a few miles.
I'm sure there's a gas station.
I don't think we're supposed
to drive when the engine's hot.
I say we keep going.
Car's gonna be just fine.
- Hello?
- Ma'am.
- Overheated?
- Yes.
Fan belt's gone. When's the
last time you had it replaced?
Oh, I don't know.
It's my husband's car.
How long will it take to fix?
Take at least an hour for the radiator
to cool down enough for me to open it.
After that, who knows.
Depends on what the damage is.
Make yourself at home.
Alrighty. Well, come on, Tuff.
I'll buy you a pop.
I bet Dad knew that fan belt was rotten
and didn't replace it on purpose.
Oh, honey,
your father's careless
but he's not mean.
I'm sure he just
didn't bother to check.
Do you ever wish
you'd never married him?
My gosh, Tuff.
Do you?
- No, I don't have any regrets.
- Come on, Mom.
You've been stuck
in a house for 20 years
cooking and cleaning
and taking care of crappy kids.
Don't use that word.
Especially in regards to yourself.
But you could be living in a city,
writing for a newspaper,
having an interesting life.
I do have an interesting life.
Your life stinks.
Gosh, Mom, just look at today.
You finally get a chance to go somewhere
and the lousy car breaks down.
It's not fair.
If I were you,
I'd be angry all the time.
Well, that wouldn't do me
any good now, would it?
For gosh sakes, you're only human.
Oh, sweetheart.
Maybe I'm meant
to make it to the Affadaisies,
and maybe I'm not.
But right now,
I'm sitting here in the shade
having a conversation
with my wonderfully feisty daughter,
and I intend to enjoy
this moment to the fullest.
And I suggest,
for your own well-being,
that you do the same.
Don'tha Schaefer, is that really you?
Oh, honey, get into these arms.
Yes, virginia, there is an Evelyn Ryan!
Oh, look at you.
I can't believe it, hello!
Welcome to Emma's Ranch
for housework escapees!
Oh, God, it's so good to see you.
Thank you for delivering
your mother to us.
- No problem.
- You have no idea what this means.
Now, you come in too.
That was a big, long drive for you.
- Sure was.
- New driver. Congratulations.
Look who we found outside on the curb.
We got a stray bird
back in the nest, girls.
Evelyn Ryan, as I live...
and breathe.
Emma Hartzler, you are a vision.
She looks like a giant corn
on the cob, doesn't she?
I finally found my soul mates
with the Affadaisies.
They were the sharpest
group of gals I'd ever met.
We mostly talked shop,
and critiqued each other's work.
- Evelyn, you get on over here.
- Here I come.
With Pillsbury, rhyme doesn't pay.
Only if it's in verse.
But inner rhyme is still valid,
don't you think?
If you spell Pillsbury flour
like the bud,
and not the baking kind,
then you've got a homophone
and don't... need the rhyme.
Oh, love it!
- What's super potato salad?
- Pickle juice.
What's the consensus on hyphenated words
for 25 words or less?
Technically, it is one word.
Don't trustjudges to know that.
They count a contraction as two words.
I'm in trouble. I'll have
to knock off a couple of articles.
Why waste space on an article?
Use something with zest.
"The" and "antidisestablishmentarianism"
are both one word,
but which one packs the bigger punch?
Did anyone else just hear
that word come out of her mouth?
This is why she wins the big prizes.
Can you sing that?
Let's hear what it sounds like.
We debated whether our days
as contesters were coming to an end.
Did you see this?
No skill involved.
This is the death of literacy, ladies.
I don't want to hear that.
It'll never happen.
This is the last big contest.
Everybody snapped these up.
I got you the last one.
Oh, no, you keep it.
Honey, you've got more kids at home.
Now, you take that.
So, what do you have to do for this one?
Oh, it's a one-liner.
They want you to finish a limerick.
"The time of your life you can win
with Dr. Pepper, the flavor that's in.
It's distinctive and bright,
it's lively and light.
There's no time like now to begin. "
Oh, leave me alone.
I'm just warming up.
- Evening, Rita, Nancy.
- It was a hot one today.
There was a wonderful breeze in Goshen.
Well, it was a hot one here today.
Five minutes to supper, sweetheart.
Oh, for Pete's sake.
Who locked the door?
- Hey, you guys, let us in.
- Honey, let's go around the back.
Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Throw your dad overboard
and listen to him scream
Mom's home!
What are you kids doing outside?
Well, we went
to the movies this afternoon.
When we got back,
Dad locked us out of the house.
He what?
Open the door!
- Where the hell have you been?
- I told you, I might be late.
- Not this late.
- You locked your kids out of the house?
Good grief!
Tuff set the table, please.
You left at the crack of dawn.
You don't come back
until almost dark.
What were you doing all this time?
I was gone for ten hours.
If you can't take care of your kids
for less than half a day,
you might as well leave this house.
You can goddamn be the one to leave.
Get off of my mother!
"For picnic or party, Jell-O's a boon.
Made by nine, all set by noon.
With taste and shimmer-shake appeal,
Jell-O jollies any meal. "
Christ, Mother.
You've killed me.
Death by Jell-O is highly unlikely.
And I want you to know,
I am not cleaning up this mess.
Could you get me some towels?
Not on your life.
She's not cleaning up after you.
Now kids, go ahead
and watch Tv while I make dinner.
Go on.
By the way,
the fan belt fell off the car
and that is why we are so late.
Yeah, I was waiting for that to happen.
What's this?
Steak. I went shopping today.
I wanted to make a dinner for the kids.
Why didn't you feed them?
I was crying
and didn't want them to see me.
Why on earth were you crying?
I thought you decided
to go away and never come back.
For goodness sakes. You know
I'd never leave the kids with you.
I got you something too.
It was supposed to be a surprise.
It's in there.
Here you go.
I found it at a secondhand store.
I paid a guy at the shop to fix it up.
It is the most beautiful thing
I have ever seen.
I thought it was about time
you had a proper desk.
How did you pay for it?
Oh, don't you worry about that.
Thank you.
I love you.
- Hello?
- Hello, Mrs. Ryan?
It's Cutter Murphy, down here
at Defiance Home Saving and Loan.
Just a friendly reminder
to let you know that the second mortgage
is coming due on your house.
Mr. Murphy, we've never
taken out a second mortgage.
Oh yes, you did.
Yes, Mr. Ryan
came down here three years ago
and signed the papers.
How much do we owe?
$4,000, due in 30 days.
See ya, fellas.
Hello, Mother.
What are you doing out here?
When were you gonna tell me
about the second mortgage?
It's due?
I had a feeling that day
might be coming up.
Is there anything left?
I was gonna pay it back
without anyone ever knowing about it.
Is there anything left?
It's all... gone.
They're gonna repossess the house.
Do the kids know?
I told them as soon as I got the call.
I didn't want them
to hear it from anybody else.
Are they angry with me?
Right now they're just scared.
Guess we could
always rent another place.
At least we wouldn't have
to worry about repairs anymore.
This is my house.
My house.
I just...
...felt like a drowning man.
Never being able to catch up...
I just wanted, for once,
to have a few extra
dollars in my pocket.
Well, that's water
under the bridge now, isn't it?
Where you going?
I have to make dinner.
Do you hate me?
I'm still in shock.
I'll have to let you know.
We need to talk about what will happen
if we have to leave this house.
We may not be able to stay together.
What do you mean?
Aunt Lucy said she
could take Betsy and Dave.
You kids like the farm, don't ya?
No, I don't.
What about that old horse of theirs?
You love that horse.
I really don't.
- Where am I gonna go?
- Mrs. Bidlack has an extra room.
There is no way in heck
I am staying with her.
You'll be right next door.
It'll be like living here.
No it won't.
There'll be another family here.
There will be someone
sleeping in my room!
- How's that steak, kids?
- Don't be rude, answer your father.
It's good, Daddy.
Well, it's the last one, eat up.
What are you kids doing?
We're praying that you
win something very big.
All right.
Don't let me disturb you.
Times are hard again?
Yes, they are.
I'll tell you what.
I'll leave you the milk, you don't
have to pay me until next week.
Thank you, Ray.
Thank you so much.
I got a bag of laundry in the truck,
just a couple of shirts.
You know, if you do a good job,
I could even recommend you
to my customers.
I don't take in laundry.
Could somebody please get that?
Hey, I'm just trying
to do you a favor, OK?
- Don't get uppity.
- I have enough for two bottles of milk,
and that will have to suffice.
Mommy, it's the detective from Toledo.
A detective?
There's nothing more I can do for you.
Count out the money
for the milkman, please.
- Hello?
- Mrs. Evelyn Ryan?
Yes, this is she.
I'm interviewing finalists for the
Dr. Pepper "Time of Your Life" contest.
- Of course.
- Will you be in this afternoon?
Yes, certainly.
- 3:00?
- That'll be fine.
- Do you have our address?
- Yes, I do. That's my job.
Right. We'll see you then.
- I look forward to it.
- Thank you.
What? What is it?
- What's going on?
- Get out here!
It's way too soon to be excited,
- but I am a possible winner...
- What is it?
Kelly, a detective is on his way
to Defiance right now.
I'm in the running
for the "Time of Your Life" contest.
- Is this a big one?
- It's very big.
We need to clean up. Pick up your toys.
Get all that stuff off the table.
Give Mike some money, send him
to the store for some Dr. Pepper.
What for?
To show that we're using the product.
This is my last dollar.
What if we don't win?
- That's a problem for another day.
- Go, Mike.
- Get it from the refrigerator case.
- OK, Mom.
Take all this stuff
and put it on the back porch.
Stop crying, honey,
and get me a broom for goodness sake.
Are you employed outside the home?
Goodness, no. I have enough to do here.
And your husband, what does he do?
He's a machinist.
Do you own or... rent your home?
We own it.
One car or a two car family?
One car. A Chevy.
- The one parked out front?
- Yes.
You need to put
some more air into those tires.
OK, final question.
If you were stuck on a desert island
and you only
had one beverage to drink...
...what would the beverage be?
Orange juice.
Orange juice?
To prevent scurvy.
But my beverage of choice
is Dr. Pepper, of course.
- Thanks for the honesty.
- A pleasure, Detective Feeney.
When the final decision's made,
you'll be notified immediately.
- And when might that be?
- Two weeks to a month.
Oh, I see.
- Thank you for coming by.
- The pleasure's all mine.
Orange juice.
What kind of crazy answer was that?
I think your mother did a heck of a job,
what do you think, kids?
- What if we win and it's too late?
- What's with the gloom?
We're halfway there.
Mom, will me and Davey
still have to go to the farm?
We don't know yet, honey.
It's something we have to prepare for.
Don't listen to Mom.
She's being modest.
None of those entries
are as good as hers. She's a shoo-in.
I'm not a shoo-in. There could
be 20 other people up for this.
Don't worry, kids.
Everything is gonna be OK.
No, it isn't.
Even if we do win, so what?
We'll be as poor as we were before
because of all
the money you stole from us.
I didn't steal anything!
I made an error in judgment.
Heck of an error.
You all think this
isn't tearing me apart?
I did it to pay the bills.
I wanted you kids to eat steak.
I wanted your mother to have
one decent piece of furniture
that didn't look like a thrift store.
I don't care!
- I want our house back!
- It isn't gone yet!
So, have a little faith,
for Christ's sake.
Now you've upset your mother.
You OK?
If you don't win this one,
there'll be another...
No, there won't.
In another year, there won't
be any of these contests left.
If we lose this house, that's it.
I can't buy another house with
a three-dollar poetry prize, now can I?
- You'll think of something.
- You think of something!
It's your turn to make things right
because I'm out of ideas.
- Please don't fall apart.
- For God's sakes, I'm not a saint.
If you can't stand
to see me upset, then go away.
Let me do it in peace.
All right.
Mom, there are bugs in the soup.
- I have them too.
- Me too.
- Those aren't bugs. They're spices.
- They have legs.
Don't be silly.
Spices don't have legs.
There are no bugs in the soup.
Listen to your mother, kids.
- Hello?
- Hello. Mrs. Kelly Ryan?
- Yes, yes, this is she.
- Congratulations.
You have won a free offer
from Bright Way Rug Cleaners.
We will give you
our special living room discount.
Plus, we will clean
one area rug, absolutely free.
Hello, ma'am?
We're not interested, thank you.
It's all right.
Mommy, what do we do with this?
Just put it all on the front porch.
Thank you, girls.
Davey, go outside with that.
- Hello?
- Hello.
- Is this Mrs. Evelyn L. Ryan?
- This is she.
Mrs. Ryan, it's my pleasure
to inform you
that you are our first-prize winner
in the Dr. Pepper
"Time of Your Life" contest.
Oh, my word.
You've won a trip
for two to Switzerland,
a Ford Mustang,
his and hers Longines watches
and cash in the amount of $3,440.64.
Goodness, well...
...these prizes couldn't come
at a better time for my large family.
- Kids, get in here!
- I'm glad to hear that.
- Come here.
- You have every reason to be proud.
Your entry beat out 250,000 others.
Thank you for telling me that.
You've brightened my day considerably.
Thank you, Mrs. Ryan. Good day.
We won!
Mom, can we go tell the neighbors?
You can tell whoever you want!
Tuffy, it's OK.
Everything's going to be OK.
We're all going to be OK.
No, we aren't.
- For cripe's sake.
- You go outside, I'll take care of her.
Come on, let's go tell everybody.
Come on.
We won! We won the big contest!
He's never gonna change.
You're absolutely right.
He's not.
Do you know what that man said to me
on the phone just now?
He said that I beat
250,000 other entries.
And do you know what else?
It wasn't even my best one.
Honey, you have your
whole life in front of you,
and you can make
of it whatever you want.
You have a marvelous mind.
And a beautiful heart.
And you can accomplish anything.
Everything is possible.
Do you know that?
Forgive him.
Forgive him so you can embrace this...
...truly remarkable day.
I love you, Mom.
I love you.
I never made it to Switzerland.
Naturally, I cashed in the trip
to pay off the mortgage.
However, I did get my chance to travel.
To Dallas, Texas where Dr. Pepper
made me their own queen for a day.
However, I was annoyed by the hat,
as my hair was flattened
for the rest of the day.
It was the first time I ate
a meal I didn't have to cook,
on a plate that I didn't have to wash.
Or soaked in a tub
that I didn't have to scrub.
Or slept in a bed
that I didn't have to make.
I never won another
major contest after that.
Nor did I ever travel much
beyond the Ohio-Indiana state line.
Drive safely.
But I'm happy to report
that every one of my children
got the chance
to see the world beyond.
I saw them off to California,
Colorado, virginia,
Texas, Florida,
New York.
I've watched them
graduate college, play ball,
practice nursing, practice law.
Bye, Mom.
And yes, some of them
have even written books.
My husband, Kelly, bless his soul,
found his peace, at last.
He left a legacy of atonement
that, frankly, took my breath away.
He deposited his pension
checks in a secret account
that he had opened just for me.
I never had to worry
about earning another nickel again.
- Does anyone want these?
- You can have it.
When it was my time
to take leave of this world,
all my chicks were there to see me off.
It was a lovely day, indeed.
Tuff, you want to take Mom's typewriter?
Oh, my goodness.
I believe this was
the last thing I ever wrote.
"Every time I pass the church,
I stop and make a visit.
So when I'm carried in feet first,
God won't say, 'Who is it?"'
Well, it's not my best.
But the sentiment is right.