Little Man Tate (1991) Movie Script

My story is much too sad to be told
But practically everything
Leaves me totally cold
The only exception I know is the case
When I'm out on a quiet spree
Fighting vainly the old ennui
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face
I get no kick from champagne
Mere alcohol
Doesn't thrill me at all
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you?
I get no kick in a plane
Flying too high with some guy in the sky
Is my idea of nothing to do
Yet I get a kick out of you
I get a kick
Out of you
It's funny because I think
I can even remember being born.
For the first two weeks of my life,
I didn't have a name.
- Dede couldn't make up her mind.
- Hi, kid.
She finally decided on Fred.
She said she'd never heard of
a little kid named Fred before.
When I'm dancin' at Radio City once a
week, you can have fries when you want.
But right now, you gotta eat this shit.
- Yes, you do.
- No.
- No?
- No.
If you think I'm gonna say "choo-choo"
to get you to open up your mouth,...
- .. you got another think comin'.
- Koffer.
What is with you today, huh?
No koffer. That's food for you to eat, OK?
- Koffer, Mommy.
- No, Fred. That's a plate. No koffer.
Look. All right? No koffer, it's a plate.
By the time I was in first grade, it
was obvious I wasn't like everybody else.
Definitely not like Matt Montini.
He's the kid I admire most.
Matt Montini is always
kickball team captain.
Matt Montini always has
someone to eat lunch with.
- What about Fred?
- Tate's a wuss.
- What a dork!
- Tate's a loser!
What the world needs now
Is love sweet love
At first my teacher,
Miss Nimvel, told Dede...
.. that I never paid attention,
that I was probably retarded...
.. and that I had a very limited future
as a citizen of the United States.
Then, a week later, she said
I should probably skip second grade,...
.. maybe even skip
elementary school altogether.
All I want is someone to eat lunch with.
Ladies and gentlemen, who's next?
Fred Tate?
Fred Tate!
All right. Let's all be good citizens...
.. and be very, very quiet for Fred.
Oh, a visitor.
How lovely to see you, Miss Tate.
Fred and I are just getting
ready to do a little duet.
The kid's got an appointment.
Then we'll just make it one quickie
little verse, if that's all right with you.
- Yeah, whatever.
- Fred.
? What the world needs now
Is love sweet love
It's the only thing
that there's just too little of
- You were playing backwards again.
- It's a stupid song, Dede.
People are always
asking me who my dad is.
Dede says I don't have a dad.
She says I'm the Immaculate Conception.
That's a pretty big responsibility
for a little kid.
His allergies might be getting better,
but I see no improvement in the stomach.
Has he been following the diet?
Fred just doesn't like baby food.
He never liked it.
Does he like havin' an ulcer?
Dede, if he doesn't follow the diet,...
.. he's not gonna get better.
That's as simple as that.
Jeez, drink a little water,
will you, Freddie?
- I spilt some.
- So you did.
Why don't you wait for me at the table?
We're almost through here.
I tell you, Dede,...
.. I've seen cops on the bomb squad
with better stomachs than he's got.
- He does worry a lot.
- About what?
About the world. About me.
The only thing he should be
worrying about is a loose tooth.
He's got his whole adult life
to be miserable.
Hey, you know what day
next Saturday is?
You get your period.
I spend the day alone in the park.
Very funny, lame-o. It's your birthday.
- Oh, my God.
- Come on!
Hey, turn that up. It's a good one.
Wait a minute. Get your shoes on.
There you go.
Getting heavy.
Care to cut a rug, handsome?
Huh? Remember how I showed you?
This one calls himself Joey X
but his real name is Joseph Zimmerman.
12 years old. Experimental painter.
He's currently working
on a $200,000 commission...
.. for Hiroshi Electronics
corporate headquarters in Tokyo.
- What does he call this painting?
- "Irony".
Write him down, please.
Cherry Reynolds. 10 years old. Just
published a volume of feminist poetry.
In the preface, she refers to
the American housewife as, and I quote,...
.. "A pathetic slamhound with
no notion of self-worth whatsoever. "
- Whatever I pay you, it's not enough.
- True.
Fred Tate. Seven years old. Second
grader at Eisenhower Elementary School.
He writes poetry, paints in oils and water,
plays the piano at competition level,...
.. all the while maintaining
unlimited skills in math and physics.
I can't explain it, Jane.
It's not so much what he knows, but...
.. what he understands.
"Death". There stands death,
A bluish distillate
in a cup without a saucer.
Such a strange place to find a cup,
Standing on the back of a hand.
Oh, shooting star that fell
into my eyes and through my body:
Not to forget you. To endure.
- Has this boy been tested?
- Just the Stanford-Binet.
His numbers are here.
This is extraordinary.
- Where's the rest of his stuff?
- Apparently,...
.. the mother refuses
to let him take any other tests.
What about the father?
- I don't know what happened to him.
- She probably doesn't either.
- Did you send them our material?
- Yes, but I don't know if she'll respond.
Well, keep trying.
Stupid woman.
M- A-I T-A-I.
Mai tai. Did I say "margarita"?
I don't think so.
Scotch rocks, vodka tonic and a Bud.
The kid's mind is just somewhere else.
Maybe he's bored or somethin'.
He hasn't said anything, but I can tell.
- Have you heard a word I said?
- Yeah, Dede. I always hear you.
Today your kid's bored.
Yesterday he was having
some funny nightmares.
He woke up inside of some painting
I never even heard of.
Day before that, correct me if I'm wrong,
he wrote you an opera for Mother's Day.
I mean, Jesus, Dede,
if anyone's bored, it's me.
Am I that bad? Sorry.
- What?
- Come here.
- What?
- I got a line on somethin'.
Guy comes in here yesterday.
He owns this big hotel down in Orlando.
They do a show every night
and he says he needs dancers.
Look at this place. It's beautiful.
Oh, come on, Gina. I ain't danced since
I was 19. And even then, I wasn't so hot.
And there is the matter
of my big, fat ass too.
Please, we're talkin' Orlando, honey.
Not Vegas.
Down there, if you can tap your feet,
you're Madonna.
I say we go down there for the summer
and make a vacation out of it.
Hey, you two wanna blab,
go work for the phone company.
Why don't you take a pill, ape-shape?
We're tryin' to talk here.
Well, the place does look really nice.
Fred does like to swim.
Contrary to what
you're saying, Ms Montoya,...
.. welfare is in fact bad for minorities.
As a social worker, every day you must
see people who have simply given up.
And who's to blame them?
I mean, with people like yourself fighting
for bigger and bigger hand-outs,...
.. there's no incentive...
- Dede?
- Mm.
Wake up.
What? What's wrong, kid, huh?
You sick?
You feel OK to me.
This is for you.
Looks like somebody already opened it,
It's from the Grierson School.
They wanna meet us.
Yeah, yeah. I can read, Fred.
Do me a favour. I had a bad night.
Go get your mother a Coke, OK?
Come on, I'd do it for you.
This jerk, he's got all his stuff
separated into whites, off-whites,...
.. whites with stripes,
whites with polka dots.
He's got ten dryers all to himself.
Drivin' me crazy.
So you know what I do?
I go outside and I kick his car
so that his siren goes off.
So the alarm's goin' off. He comes
back in screamin' and he goes...
.. "Hey! What happened to my briefs?"
So you know what I do?
I start talkin' like I don't speak English.
- Hey! Did I hit anybody?
- I'm trying to read.
What are you such
a crabby appleton for, huh?
"The Mathematician". Any good?
"The MatheMagician".
It's Jane Grierson's new book.
Jane Grierson again. Great!
This boy, Damon Wells, can multiply
two columns of 20-digit numbers...
.. in five minutes.
When Jane Grierson found him,
he was living in a foster home.
Now he travels all over the place.
Dr Grierson played the violin for the
Cleveland Philharmonic when she was 11.
Is the book about her or the kid?
Looks like a real bozo in that cape.
Quit it.
You got no sense of humour,
you know that?
All right, you win. Come on, let's go.
Put your shoes on. Come on!
Hi. Garth Emmerick.
I'm Dr Grierson's assistant.
Dede Tate. The place is... It's nice.
You must be Fred. All set?
Dr Grierson likes to meet
the children by themselves.
Feel free to wander around.
The interview should take a while.
It's OK, Fred. I'll meet you right
back down here when you get out.
All right? OK?
Make sure Jake takes
the full course of antibiotics.
We wouldn't want him to come down with
some ear infection and miss the test.
I'm sorry. I realise at some schools letters
of recommendation carry influence,...
.. but here it's really test performance
that determines admission.
Did Garth give you
a copy of our pretest diet?
Well, you have to make sure
he stays on that diet.
We'll see you in two weeks.
Hello, Fred.
I'm Jane Grierson.
Do you know why you're here?
How do you feel about it?
I'm hot.
Dominis. Dominos. Dominis.
- Again.
- Dominus. Domini. Domino.
Dominum. Domino.
Now, Fred. What's wrong in this picture?
- This?
- I wake up in his paintings sometimes.
Van Gogh.
I wonder why he only
painted one iris white.
Because he was lonely.
Let's look at May.
I like Sunflowers best.
I understand you're quite a pianist.
That was lovely.
Thank you very much.
I really enjoyed that.
Hey, Fred. I gotta go to work. Come on.
Ms Tate. I'm Jane Grierson.
Please, come in. Sit down.
- Your son is very talented.
- Yeah, I know.
Every year, I take five students
to compete in "Odyssey of the Mind".
It's a kind of mental Olympics, if you will.
They're going to Disney World.
That's not the first thing
I would have told you, but it's true.
We stop many places along the way,
including my ranch in Virginia.
I like to pack as much learning
experience into the three weeks as I can.
Yeah, well, I gotta go. Gettin' late.
Ms Tate. Ms Tate, please.
I didn't make myself clear.
I'm inviting your son to come with us.
If he enjoys himself, he'll be free
to enrol in my school in the fall.
Wait a minute. Um...
I don't even know you.
Why would I let you take my kid on some
trip, let alone enrol him anywhere, huh?
I see.
Well, in this case,
I'm sorry I wasted your time.
Goodbye, Fred.
You may keep this calendar
since I won't be seeing you again.
That way, you can look at
Sunflowers any time you want.
Come on, kid.
Jesus, Fred!
What do you think you're doin'?
- I was just...
- You were just gonna walk into the street!
You know better than that.
You always look first.
Who can tell me how many of
these numbers are divisible by two?
- Fred!
- Hm?
I know that you can tell me how many
of these numbers are divisible by two.
Um... All of 'em.
Hey, check it out.
I thought we could make
our own invitations, huh?
- Invitations for what?
- For your birthday party.
Why don't we just go to McDonald's
like we did last year? That was fun.
Oh, yeah? Fun for whom?
You threw up all over me, remember?
I had to burn my favourite shirt
cos of you. Stinky!
- The mail's here.
- Let's see if your chain letter paid off.
What have you got?
The phone bill, gas bill, water bill.
- Throw this one away.
- How come?
We left 'em a deposit.
They can just take it out of that.
Fair enough.
So, what do you want
for your birthday this year?
- Nothing.
- Nothing?
How about one of those Lego things?
Hey, what's the matter with the toaster?
Nothing. I was fixing it.
Fixing means to repair
something that is broken.
Not to break something
that works just fine the way it is.
Every little kid should
have a birthday party. It's fun, you'll see.
We'll get some hot dogs. Ice cream and
cake. Pin the tail on the donkey, huh?
It's next Saturday
at 12 o'clock at my apartment.
Give me that. Hey!
Come on, guys!
Scores of gifted youngsters
have been hailed as geniuses.
Many gifted children go through
some period of existential depression.
Pain of the mind can often
be worse than pain of the body.
There is some ground for belief
that genius is touched with madness.
No! Dede! Dede! Dede!
Hey. Hey, hey, hey. Ssh.
It's OK.
Did you wake up in another painting?
- Cortin.
- Cortin, huh?
I don't really know his work. Cortin?
It's a secretion
that comes from some gland.
I forget which one.
It can turn a little kid into an old man,
Oh, yeah? You don't seem
to be secreting anything now.
I tell you what, though.
Tomorrow, after your birthday,...
.. we'll go to the library
and we'll look it up, OK?
What about work?
Don't worry about work.
All right? Try and get some sleep.
You ain't been sleepin' enough lately.
- I can't.
- You can't, huh?
- You wanna do shadows?
- OK.
All right, we'll do shadows here.
All right.
Mm. How about that one right up there?
It's kinda pointy, see that one?
A man and a boy in a clipper ship.
Yeah. How about that one next to it
with the little round circle on the side?
A whale on fire.
Let's try the other side now.
See right there in the corner?
Kind of round things all on the side?
Got three little points. What's that?
I don't want a birthday party, Dede.
Course you do.
Every little kid wants a birthday party.
- Hello.
- Uh... Jane Grierson, please.
Hi. This is Dede Tate. I'm Fred's mom.
Yeah. I was just, uh...
I was wonderin', you know
that trip you were talking about?
Yes. What about it?
Well, it's just for a couple of weeks, right?
Ms Tate, I'm sorry
but I've already selected my students.
Look, um... I don't know how much you
know about Fred, but the kid is amazing.
He writes, he paints, he does everything.
You should see this painting
he made for me. It's like, incredible, so...
Just a minute here. Why are you
suddenly changing your mind? Hm?
Excuse me?
I don't mean to pry but, um...
.. do you need time alone or have you
made plans that don't include your son?
Look, lady. You wanna make me
work for it, that's fine, OK?
But we both know that
Fred's a hundred times smarter...
.. than the plateheads
you got at that school.
Now, you want him or not?
Does he have a suitcase?
Of course, every parent would like
to think of their child as gifted.
- Stop it.
- Tipots!
Jane, he's talking backwards again.
I got some kinda hellacious
booger hangin' out of my nose?
What are you staring at?
You're the mathemagician.
Want an autograph? Go scrounge a pen,
I'll sign your forehead.
Hey, Damon.
How about a game of magic digit?
Check out this magic digit, Garth.
Now, Damon. You're being hostile.
We agreed that you would work on that.
Scusez-moi, Janey-poo.
I've been working on a problem all day.
I haven't slept in a week
cos of that frog nightmare.
And I'm hungry.
I get pissed off when I'm hungry.
Here. Have a fig newton.
Well, it's official, Garth.
You've misnavigated and now we're lost.
Sir, uh... perhaps you would take
a few moments and show the children...
.. how an internal
combustion engine works.
It's said that the genius
learns without study...
.. and knows without learning.
That he is eloquent without preparation,...
.. exact without calculation
and profound without reflection.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,...
.. it is a great pleasure to welcome you all
to the 13th annual "Odyssey of the Mind".
Now, you have been
captured by Polyphemus...
.. and you have 60 seconds
to write or draw graffiti...
.. pertaining to your situation. Go!
Oh, little boy. Don't touch that.
OK, now you have
four minutes to complete your bridge.
Today Goldilocks is on trial.
The charge is breaking and entering.
We're ready for opening remarks.
Just because I'm tired
and hungry and blonde,...
.. it doesn't mean I can waltz on private
property and make myself at home.
Now, our crybaby defence may like to
turn this into an issue on homelessness,...
.. but we can't forget the law,
and the law states,...
.. book three, paragraph 5350875, that
what Goldilocks did was against the law.
It's certainly much quieter out here,
isn't it?
Do you mind if I sit down?
This is beautiful.
Why don't we go show the others?
Nobody's gonna laugh at you.
I'm not gonna let them.
All right, let's begin
with another round of questions.
How many minutes are there in 48 years?
25,228,800 minutes.
151,368,000 seconds.
That's very good. Ready for another one?
How many factors are there of 3,067?
Come on, guys!
There are no factors of 3,067!
The number's prime.
Yeah. Another correct answer
from Damon Wells.
Somebody, for God's sake, challenge me!
How about giving me a number that,
when divided by the product of its digits,...
.. the quotient is three, and if
you were to add 18 to this number,...
.. the digits would be inverted?
24. 24. 24.
- That is correct.
- What's right? I didn't say anything.
- You said 24.
- No, I didn't. I mean, I would have, but...
Open your mouth like that again,
I'll put my foot in it.
- It was an accident!
- I don't give a damn. Don't do it again.
Damon! Damon, what are you doing?
Fred and I were having a little chat.
I wouldn't call ripping
his hair out "chatting".
I was rollin' till the little quark stepped in.
Damon, now contrary
to what you might think,...
.. this is not Caesars Palace
and you are not Wayne Newton.
And you're not Freud, so why don't you
just give it a rest. Get a life, will ya?
Hey, don't cry, lepton. You can do
the math tomorrow. I was bored anyway.
Fred. Fred, are you all right?
Why is he so mean to you?
- 1,008.
- That's correct.
Fred, what's the cube root of 3,796,466?
What number has
the following peculiarity?
That if its cube were added
to five times its square,...
.. and from the result 42 times
the number and 40 is subtracted,...
.. the remainder is nothing.
- You can see all the way to Neptune.
- Wow.
- The telescope moves all by itself.
- Yeah?
Just like the earth does.
- And you know what else?
- What?
- On Friday, we're going to Jane's ranch.
- It sounds like you're having lots of fun.
Miss you, though. Miss you big.
- Me too.
- Go back to sleep.
- OK. Night, Dede.
- Good night.
I won't eat it!
What are you looking at, lepton?
All right, now who has a song?
When I was a girl, we used to sing
Liebesliederwalzer on our car trips. Hm?
"Nein, es ist nicht. "
Nein, es ist nicht
auszukommen mit den Leuten
Alles wissen sie so giftig auszudeuten
Nein, es ist nicht
auszukommen mit den Leuten
Alles wissen sie so giftig auszudeuten
Nein, es ist nicht
auszukommen mit den Leuten
Alles wissen sie so giftig auszudeuten
My great-great-grandparents built
this house after the Civil War.
Now, who can tell me
what style of architecture this is?
Is this Shaker or neoclassical?
Wait for me!
Edward Soloman joins "Live Wire"
tomorrow to answer that...
...and to talk about his current best seller
"Family of One: Today's Career Woman".
I just wanted to put this back.
Tell me, Fred. Why won't your mother
let you take any more tests?
That's wrong of her. You must tell her that
your intelligence is nothing to hide from.
- Are these your parents?
- Mm-hm.
- This is your father?
- Mm-hm.
Yes, he was a terrific music-lover.
In fact, when I was your age
I used to play the violin.
How come you don't play now?
Well, we decided that I would be
happier pursuing my academic career.
How come you're not
in any of these pictures?
Oh, I'm sure I'm in some of them.
No, you're not.
Both my parents were very busy people.
They were both physicians.
They both lectured a lot, travelled a lot.
Sometimes they just needed to be alone.
If they travelled a lot, they were alone.
Well... it's time for bed.
Good night, Fred.
- What are you doing?
- I'm waxing my Buick.
- What the hell does it look like I'm doing?
- What are you so mad at?
I noticed you and Jane are getting
to be as close as a couple of fingers.
I bet back in the slum you got friends
up the ying-yang. Am I right or am I right?
No. I don't have any friends at home.
Well, then boohoo, Fred.
I'm all busted up inside.
What about you?
Come on. Wake up and face north, twink.
I'm an asshole.
Assholes don't have friends.
But then, I don't really care.
- You don't?
- The reasonable man adapts to the world.
The unreasonable man expects
the world to adapt to him.
Therefore all progress is made
by unreasonable men.
- Jane say that?
- It was George Bernard Shaw.
- Like to ride horses?
- I dunno how.
Well, then, today's your lucky day.
When I was a kid, the guy'd grab me
by the neck and shake me and say...
.. "So, shithead, you think
you're smarter than your old man?"
Well, were you?
I'm smarter than everybody...
.. except Jane.
I dunno. Guys like me,...
.. and maybe you, we're different.
I mean, I hate to admit it, but...
.. without Jane I'd be just
another creep in a cape.
The only drag is listening to her give
those same stupid lectures over and over.
- If it weren't for the game, I'd go crazy.
- The game?
Yeah. Sometimes, instead of listening
to her, I just count the words she says.
Actually, I count everything.
Buildings. Dance steps.
Airspace. Trees.
See, Fred. It's not the size
of a guy's IQ that matters.
It's how he uses it.
I like you, Damon.
Come on. I'll race you back.
Damon, how many fingers?
- Orange.
- You'll be fine.
Here's your jacket. Bye-bye, Fred.
I hope I see you soon.
- Bye, Fred.
- Bye, Fred.
See ya around.
Let me take these, OK?
Let's go.
I'm gonna make your favourite dinner.
French toast and fried apples.
Hey, ta-da!
Money's been kinda tight lately, but...
.. I'll think of somethin'.
Don't worry about it, OK, kid?
You didn't paint the right number
of keys on here, lepton.
I ran outta paint. What'd you just call me?
- Lepton.
- What the hell's that?
- You wouldn't understand.
- Whoa, wait a minute. Speak slowly then.
- A lepton is a Z particle.
- So?
Do you know what
protons and electrons are?
OK. What are they?
They're those, uh... those teeny,
tiny things that atoms are made out of.
Well, leptons are even smaller.
So have you looked for a new job yet?
- Hello.
- Hello, is Derf there?
- Derf? You got the wrong number.
- Wait! That's Bob Yee.
- Hi, Bob. What are you doin'?
- Guess what?
- I got that job at TRW this morning.
- Really? Wow.
So what are you doin', huh?
Uh, nothing. Just sitting around.
Do you think Damon'll be OK?
For a second, I thought he was dead.
I thought he was dead, too,
but Jane says it's just a concussion.
Jane knows CPR.
She did? I didn't know that?
She told me she was
gonna teach me sometime.
Did you know Jane speaks
five different languages?
"Clipper Ships" by Matt Montini.
"Me and my dad make
models of clipper ships. "
"I like clipper ships
because they are fast. "
"Clipper ships sail the ocean. "
"Clipper ships never sail
on rivers or lakes. "
"Clipper ships have lots of sails
and are made out of wood. "
Thank you, Matt. That was very nice.
OK. Who's next?
I want to write a book about Fred,...
.. about his formative experiences.
His life story, if you will.
Well... Gonna be a short book.
Ms Tate, over the years, I've met
many math and music prodigies,...
.. but never one with
Fred's kind of intuition,...
.. his, uh...
.. his kind of, um, sensitivity.
This summer, I've been asked
to teach a class at Fieldhurst...
.. and I'd like to use that time
to really observe Fred.
He would take a class and, in return,
I would waive his tuition at the Institute...
.. for as long as he attends.
Wait. Wait a minute.
- You wanna take Fred to college?
- Just for the summer.
Why can't you just wait and,
like, observe him in the fall?
I wouldn't have time.
I'd be busy running the Institute.
Well. As it happens, we already got plans.
Me and a friend got good jobs dancing
at this hotel in Orlando for the summer.
The place is really nice.
It's got a big pool and everything.
- A pool?
- Yeah, so that's that.
Ms Tate, Fred is not a leper.
Intelligence is not a disease
that you have to protect him from.
He's blessed, but he's certainly not alone.
There are many gifted children out there.
Yeah? How many of 'em
are blessed with ulcers, huh?
How many of them go to bed worrying
about the ozone layer, the rain forest...
.. and why innocent people
get murdered all the time?
Fred worries about everything.
He can't help himself.
You wanna send him to college. Jesus.
You hear about kids
ten years older than him...
.. jumping outta windows
on account of the pressure.
Let's not get hysterical. We're talking
about one class for one summer.
I told you. We already made plans.
What I'm trying to tell you is that...
.. your son is starving for stimulation and
challenge, and for some order in his life.
Things that you don't provide
but that I will.
I know that to deny a child's potential
is to smother his true self.
Fred doesn't give a shit
about his potential.
He just wants to be a normal,
happy little kid.
Well, he's not normal, thank God,
and he's certainly not happy.
And you underestimate him greatly...
.. if you think that a summer by the pool
will ever be enough for him.
Fred wants to go to college.
Don't take my word for it. Ask him.
Hey. What are you doin'?
Your rsum.
So, I understand that you and Jane
made some plans, huh?
So, were you just gonna sneak off
to college without saying anything?
Fred, do you wanna go to college?
You know, Jane says you do.
It sure sounds great to me.
Sounds like a great opportunity.
I mean, you hang round here
for too long and you might, uh...
.. you might smother
your potential or somethin'.
I'd sure feel real lousy if that happened.
Course, you know you're
gonna have to live with her.
Which means you'd also miss out
on a real summer vacation.
You wanna go to college
or you wanna go to Disney World?
I've already been to Disney World.
I went with Jane, remember?
Frre Jacques, frre Jacques
Doomay boo, doomay boo
Soma loma neema, soma loma neema
Dim dam dong, dim dam dong
Frre Jacques...
You look crabby.
I'm not crabby.
I'm pensive.
This'll take a couple of minutes,
so why don't you just go park the car?
- Hi, Jane.
- Wait, wait.
Just a minute, Fred. OK, now!
- Hi, Jane.
- Hi, Fred.
- You need a belt, kid.
- No, I don't. I just need to tuck in my shirt.
You need a belt.
Hey, how about if we just say
"See ya tomorrow" instead of "goodbye"?
If you send me the chequebook,
I'll balance it for you.
I think I can take care of that, Freddie.
Who's gonna water the plants?
Hey, forget about the plants, OK?
Forget about the chequebook.
You're gonna have a great time.
So are you.
Every day that I know you, I...
I admire you a little bit more every day.
Every day I say to myself...
.. this little kid is exactly
the kind of person I wanna be.
I mean, let's face it.
You're the best thing
that ever happened to me.
So don't worry so much. OK?
Hey, love you big.
Go get your bag.
Dede, I know this must be difficult for you.
You might wanna keep
an extra telephone around.
- Excuse me?
- He likes to take 'em apart, you know.
Sometimes, uh... sometimes...
I understand.
Listen to me, Jane.
If anything happens to him,
anything at all,...
.. I'll kill you.
Now, I don't mean that I'll just hurt you.
I mean that I'll kill you.
Hey. Give you a call from Orlando, OK?
Hear all about your first day.
Bye, sweetie.
Hands on noses, guys.
See you tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.
Just go.
Bye, Fred.
Now, Fred.
These chores are your responsibilities.
And for every week
that you do them correctly,...
.. we'll do something fun like go to the
symphony, or rent a nice documentary.
These are soup bowls. These are not.
These are my glasses
and these are your glasses.
These are your pens and your pencils.
And, Fred,
these are my pens and my pencils.
It's not your mother's fault.
Most parents are ignorant
to the benefits of macrobiotics.
If your mother had put you
on a diet like this sooner,...
.. you might never have gotten an ulcer.
- Can I have a Coke?
- Absolutely not.
- Sorry.
- That's all right.
Everything that comes
from the body is natural.
- Now can I have a Coke?
- In the fridge.
Fred, I'll meet you outside
on the steps right after class.
- All right?
- Mm.
Good luck.
Come on. Let's sit you down in the front.
Would you mind sitting over there,
All right.
Let's all calm down and shut up...
.. so we can start getting
Dad's money's worth.
Now, for those of you who may be lost,...
.. the name of this class is Phys 105.
Quantum physics. Not physical education.
All right. Everybody in the right place?
Goddamn college kids.
Used to be young people respected other
people's property. You could trust 'em.
Now, they come down here
on vacation and they trash the place.
What do they care?
It's not their house. Damn brats.
Then on top of that I got five
undercover ABC guys circulating.
- The network?
- Alcoholic Beverage Control, Gina.
Half my clientele on this
particular evening is underage.
How am I supposed to know this?
my liquor licence is now toilet paper.
Wait a second.
You sayin' you're not gonna do the show?
Don't tell me we came
all the way down here for nothin'.
Oh, boy.
You two got any waitressing experience?
- Come on!
- Don't dive in the shallow end!
- At least they got water in the pool.
- I could murder you.
- He said it's temporary.
- He said his lawyers were working on it.
We can still make a vacation of it.
When life gives you lemons,
you make lemonade.
Hey, this ain't lemons, Gina.
This is dog shit.
I mean, if I wanted to wait tables,
I coulda stayed in the city.
Did you lose your mommy, sweetie?
Yo, kid! A little help with the Frisbee, huh?
- Whoa! Watch it, kid.
- Sorry.
I have 40. Do I hear 50?
I have 50. Now, come on, people.
Do I hear 60?
- 60!
- I have 60. Do I hear 70?
- Come on, people. This is for charity.
- 70.
- Did I hear 70?
- 1,000!
All right, I have 70. Do I hear 80?
I said 1,000, you racist frat-head.
Come on, mister. This is for charity.
What charity's that?
The Inter-Geek Recreation Center?
That should change a few lives.
Get outta my face, you jughead.
Hey, wait a minute.
Excuse me, fellas.
It's a little boy.
- Eddie, you killed him.
- I wasn't even aimin' for him.
- Besides, what's a kid doin' out here?
- He's not a kid!
Get away from him.
Oh, God. Not again.
Fred! Fred?
Oh, Fred.
- This is called a sphygmomanometer.
- It is?
- Hello.
- Hey, Jane. Let me talk to Fred.
Dede. How are you?
Just peachy. Now where's Fred, huh?
- How many fingers?
- Two.
- He can't talk right now.
- How come?
- He's taking a nap.
- So wake him up.
- I wanna hear about his first day.
- He's very tired, Dede.
Cut the shit, Jane.
Put the kid on the goddamn phone.
Here he is.
Now, Fred. You don't wanna get
your mother all upset over nothing. Hm?
Hi, Dede.
Jane was late picking me up
and I got hit on the head with a globe.
How's Florida?
Bicycle! Ohh!
The spin angular momentum
of the beta particle of one half...
.. must be balanced by
a particle having a spin angular...
That's him.
He looks like a little bookworm.
He's studying real hard.
He must be all of ten.
Yo, Muffy! What the hell you lookin' at?
Get outta here, you punk.
Hey, how's your head?
Remember me?
I'm the guy that took
your lights out the other day.
Well, look. I brought you a present.
Ta-da! Remember this? It's got a little
blood on it, right there on El Salvador.
I think that's pretty cool.
- It's for you. I brought it for you.
- Thanks.
You're welcome. My name's Eddie.
- Fred.
- Nice to meet you, Fred.
- What's your major?
- What's my major?
Damn! Who you been hanging out with?
Jane. What's your major?
Well, let's see.
Russian Lit. Afro-Am. Poly Sci.
French. Swahili. Ooglie booglie.
Toilet trainin'. Eatin' dirt. Nose-pickin'.
One of those. I dunno.
- So who's Jane? That your girlfriend?
- The lady I live with.
The lady you live with?
Say, what are you doing this afternoon?
Just bringing in the mail.
Ooo-wee! That was swingin'!
Was that swingin' or what?
We're gonna go on the road together.
But I can't play the classical stuff.
You have to handle that.
You know what the funniest thing
about Mozart was? His hair.
I'd say to Mozart
"That's the ugliest hairdo I've seen".
I think Mozart should have a big Afro
or a Mohawk, or a something.
Well, Mozart got an Afro
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Swing along!
Yeah, man.
Swing it.
Looks good.
It's funny, Garth.
I'm experiencing a whole
new side of me I've never felt before.
It's just a meat loaf, Jane.
No. To me, it's a lot more than a meat loaf.
It's a milestone.
I mean...
.. who would have thought
that I'd ever cook anything?
Maybe you're turning over a new loaf.
- What do I do about Live Wire?
- Do we have to discuss that now?
If Buckner wants to do
an hour on gifted children...
What does Winston Buckner know
about gifted children?
Why doesn't he do a talk show on
petulant talk show hosts instead?
Oh! I've gotta make the salad.
That's why he needs you.
And he wants to bring Fred on, too.
You could bring
a few examples of his work.
He'd like that.
What time is it?
The object of the game
is to bank the ball,...
.. so that you hit the other one
right where the shadow is.
You wanna try to hit the ball nice and low.
That way you get a lot of backspin on it.
- Like that.
- Hey, Eddie.
- Hey, where the hell y'all been?
- Anna fainted in the parking lot.
Say, everybody. This is my son Fred.
- Fred!
- How ya doin', Fred?
Hey, kid.
What are you doin' with the world?
It was a present.
Never mind, Officer. He's back.
Yes, just now. Thank you.
- Fred!
- Sorry I'm late.
Fred, where have you been?
Fred, you smell like a brewery!
And have you been smoking?
I was in a pool hall.
I'm learning how to play pool!
- Good game.
- Shut up, Garth.
Do you know what time it is?
Do you remember what time
I asked you to be home?
Fred, if I tell you to be home at five
o'clock, you're to be home at five o'clock.
Not six o'clock. Not seven o'clock.
Not 7.01, not 7.02 and certainly not 7.03.
I can't eat this.
No, of course you can't. It's cold.
No. My stomach.
Oh, my God, that's right.
Now, Fred. Let's not whine. There must
be something for you to eat around here.
- I could go pick something up.
- It's OK.
I already ate.
What? You ate without me?
We could have dessert.
No. We cannot.
A rule has been broken.
We don't reward that kind of behaviour.
Now, Fred,
I'm sure if we thought about it,...
.. we'd decide that pool halls
are no place for someone your age.
If you want to play something,
come and talk to me.
And, Fred, when I scold you,
it doesn't mean I don't care about you.
It only means I'm trying
to correct your mistakes.
Now, how about a nice game of Scrabble?
And... go.
Isn't this fun?
Damn it.
- Fred.
- I'll go get you another phone.
- Hello?
- Hey! What's up, huh?
- Nothing. What's up with you?
- I'm gettin' a tan.
Actually, it's more of a burn.
- So?
- So?
So, listen.
What are you doin' next weekend, huh?
Come on, it's 4th July.
What are you doin'?
- How about a barbecue on the beach?
- I'm gonna be on TV.
Let me speak to her.
Hi, Dede. It's Jane.
We were gonna call you. Fred and I have
been invited to appear on "Live Wire".
Isn't that exciting?
I thought, if it's OK with you, we'd stay
overnight to see the fireworks in the park.
Yeah, sure.
Freddie'd love that. He would.
Great. Don't forget to watch.
It's Saturday at 12.30. Here's Fred.
Don't talk too long.
It's costing your mother a fortune.
Hey. Everything's good, huh?
Everything's perfect.
- I'm learning how to play pool.
- Pool?
Yeah. My friend Eddie's teaching me.
Wow. Eddie.
Don't put down too many bets, OK, kiddo?
Look, I gotta go.
Jane's giving me this test.
Yeah, OK. I tell you what. Um...
I'll call ya in a couple of days, OK?
OK. Bye.
Hey, somebody get the door,
would ya?
- Is Eddie here?
- Yeah, he's in the back.
- Oh, man, what time is it?
- Too early for visitors.
Uh, Dave. Where's he goin'?
- Hey, girl.
- Sorry. I didn't mean that.
- Hi, Eddie.
- Fred!
- Fred, what are you doin' here?
- You said we could...
Oh, Fred. Would you get outta here?
Go on, get outta here. Damn.
Very nice, fellas!
Very nice.
Come on, Fred. Wait up, man.
Fred, wait up. Freddie. Wait up, Freddie.
Freddie, Freddie. Wait up, man.
Look, I'm sorry I yelled at you, but
you can't walk in on people like that, man.
You said we were gonna play pool.
- I did?
- You said so.
People say that stuff
to each other all the time.
That don't really mean that they mean it,
you know?
You're a kid and I'm a grown-up.
I love doing stuff with you, but I can't
do stuff with all day every day...
.. cos I gotta do stuff with other grown-ups.
What I'm tryin' to say is that
we can't hang out together all the time.
I'm not your babysitter, Freddie.
I just can't take that kinda responsibility.
But, hey... it's no big deal, is it?
Oh, Fred.
What was the name of that computer
that you raced in Dr Ellis's class?
- Mike.
- Mike. That's it.
Fred, it's two o'clock in the morning.
What are you doing up so late?
I had a bad dream.
Well, why don't you get a drink of water?
What for?
Don't you want a drink of water?
I'm not thirsty.
Well, why don't you leave the light on,
or turn on the radio? Something.
It's really late
and we've got a big day tomorrow.
- Hello?
- Is Dede there?
Uh... I can't hear you.
Hey, is that you, Fred?
How you doin'?
Are you missin' a good party down here.
- Is Dede there?
- Whoo! We're celebrating 4th July early.
Me and Valerie woke up and everyone
was in the pool. Bottle rockets!
Fenton, will you just tell...
A man waving goodbye.
Two cats fighting.
A capsized boat.
A dead body.
See how this tastes.
Well, we can stop on the way
to the city and get something to eat.
Where's your tie?
- I need a belt, Jane.
- Hm?
- I need a belt.
- Oh.
Just tuck in your shirt, you'll be fine.
It seems to me you had
a midterm the other day.
- How do you think you did?
- Fine.
I'm sure you did splendidly.
You think you can tell me
Beaton's refraction formula for the sun?
Mr Buckner might ask you that.
Energy plus parallax equals...
How come you always
ask me about school?
How come you always talk
like you're reading a book?
How come nobody ever comes over?
And... how come you don't
have any kids of your own?
What's wrong with you?
Now, remember, sweetface,...
.. zillions of people all over the world
are gonna be watching you.
And that means no farting,
no pickin' your nose...
.. and no playing with little Mr Peabody.
Close your eyes.
Knock it off, Evan.
You look very handsome.
Is she your mom or what?
She's my...
I dunno.
I'll go see if they're ready for you.
Do you like old pinball machines?
I dunno.
We have one in the basement.
You can come play with me.
- Marco!
- Polo!
Hey, you guys! Keep it down!
Welcome to "Live Wire".
I'm Winston F Buckner.
Today we're gonna be asking
the question "Is your child gifted?"
With me here to answer that
are two distinguished academics...
.. and several bright kids...
.. from the best schools around
the country. Welcome, everybody.
Now, children, do you read books
or watch television like normal kids?
I'm working on experiments involving
lasers, sulphuric acid and butterflies.
I'm designing a summerhouse
for my parents.
- I bring in the mail.
- You bring in the mail?
God, you look like hell, kid.
Well... Fred, we do many things together.
We go to museums, we go to the opera.
He writes letters to his Romanian pen pal.
These books are fake.
Fred, as I understand it,
you're a poet, a painter, a musician...
.. and what I guess one could call a...
- Marco!
- Polo.
Now, with all that under that
tiny little belt of yours,...
.. what would you like
to be when you grow up?
- A fireman.
- A fireman.
That's a pretty normal profession
for such a... how shall I put it...
.. an unusual boy like yourself.
When I was a boy, our mothers all
wanted us to grow up to be doctors.
My mother's dead.
I, uh... I'm very sorry to hear that.
Well, enough small talk, Fred.
What shall we do for our audience?
I thought maybe you could play the piano
for us and do a few quick calculations?
- No.
- No?
- Mr Buckner...
- I'd like to recite a poem.
Ah, a poem by Fred Tate when
we come back, right after this.
Hey, you guys!
Mommy! Mommy!
"Clipper Ships" by Fred Tate.
Go get your mother!
"Me and my dad make
models of clipper ships. "
"Clipper ships sail on the ocean. "
"Clipper ships never sail
on rivers or lakes. "
"I like clipper ships
because they are fast. "
"Clipper ships have lots of sails
and are made of wood. "
- Stand by. We'll be back in 30 seconds.
- Oh, Fred.
Yes. Is Dede Tate there, please?
Where is she? Gone where?
Nice to meet you, too, Fenton.
Which flight is she on?
Fenton? Which flight?
Thank you.
She's on her way.
Oh, what have I done?
Hi, kid.
Come here.
I figured you'd be here.
Sorry for what?
You didn't do anything. Shh.
- I missed you.
- I missed you, too.
I missed my dance partner.
Jane's mad at me.
No. She ain't mad at you.
She was just worried, that's all.
We're all gonna work it out, you'll see.
From now on,
I'm gonna take care of everything.
You. Me.
Even Jane, OK?
Listen, Freddie.
The day you were born, first minute
I saw you, you know what I said?
I said "This kid's special. "
"This kid's gonna be different
and I'm not gonna blow it. "
But, um...
.. sometimes, uh...
Sometimes I don't know what I'm doin'.
Sometimes I just wing it.
I figure that...
I figure... I love this kid so much...
.. it's gonna be OK.
And it will.
You'll see.
I love you, Mom.
I love you too, kiddo.
Hi, I'm sorry I'm late, but the cake
took me longer than I thought to make.
Happy birthday!
Well, that pretty much
sums up my life story.
Come here, birthday boy!
And incredible as it sounds,
when I turned eight,...
.. I had the best birthday party ever.
At least, that's the way I remember it.
- Happy birthday, Fred.
- Ooh, look at that!
Even Jane had a good time.
- Thanks, Jane.
- You're welcome.
- Care to cut the rug with me?
- N-no, thank you.
Come on, dance with the kid, Jane.
I remember we laughed and played
stupid games and danced to old records.
Nobody seemed to worry about anything.
- Hey, yaks. Wanna play a game?
- Yeah.
You two hold your breath until I say stop.
Ha-ha ha ha-ha!
I once got this fortune cookie that said...
.. "Only when all who surround you
are different will you truly belong. "
- Thanks for the dance, Fred.
- Hey, it's a party.
Gotta wear your party hat, Jane.
Well, we were all different, that's for sure.
I'd see Jane every day at the Institute.
And once in a while, Dede'd let her
take us out to fancy restaurants.
Sometimes we even had fun.
For a while, I was the most
famous kid at Jane's school.
But a year later, a six-year-old boy named
Roy Yamaguchi got into law school,...
.. and suddenly I wasn't
such a big deal any more.
But I didn't care...
.. because I was happy.