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An Orchid for a Lady

Father Knows Best

An Orchid for a Lady 

Feb 15 1951



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

HUSBAND (1 line)

CHILD (2 lines)

NBC ANNCR (1 line)


JIM, father

MARGARET, mother

BETTY, teenage daughter

BUD, teenage son; not too bright

KATHY, youngest daughter

ED DAVIS, neighbor




KATHY: Mo-ther? Is Maxwell House really the only coffee in the world? 


MARGARET: Well, your father says so and your father knows best.


MUSIC: FANCY HARP GLISSANDO INTO THEME (IRVING BERLIN'S "LET'S HAVE ANOTHER CUP O' COFFEE") ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Yes, it's FATHER KNOWS BEST, transcribed in Hollywood, starring Robert Young as Father -- a half hour visit with your neighbors the Andersons, brought to you by America's favorite coffee: Maxwell House, the coffee that's always good to the last drop. 


MUSIC: UP FOR TAG ... THEN IN BG--


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: UP FOR INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER:

"Come, let us bid the morn awake; 

Sad winter now declines, 

And every bird doth choose a mate:

Today's Saint Valentine's." 


Ah, yes -- the day of love and lovers, St. Valentine's Day. It was quite an event in Springfield this year, especially in a certain white frame house on Maple Street. There, as usual, the day contained its normal quota of confusion. And there, also as usual, it all began with breakfast. Like this--


MARGARET: (CONCERNED) Bud, are you sure your father didn't go back to bed?


BUD: Yes, ma'am. He was almost finished shaving. 


MARGARET: I don't know. Every time I plan anything special for breakfast--


KATHY: (INTERRUPTS) Mommy? Is fifteen valentines a lot? 


MARGARET: Well-- 


BETTY: Who got fifteen valentines? 


KATHY: I'm going to. 


BUD: How do you know? 


KATHY: 'Cause I've got seventy-five cents and I'm gonna buy 'em.


MARGARET: Darling, you don't buy valentines for yourself. 


KATHY: You don't? 


BETTY: Of course not.


KATHY: (BEAT) I'm going to. 


MARGARET: (CHIDES GENTLY) Kathy-- 


KATHY: I'm gonna get more valentines than any girl in my whole class. 


BUD: (MOCKING SINGSONG) "Of all the girls I ever see, / The one I love the best is me." ...


BETTY: And Shakespeare rolled over and died.


MARGARET: Never mind, Betty. 


BETTY: "I ever see"! What grammar!


BUD: Well, it's poetry. Didn't you ever hear of poetic license? 


JIM: (ENTERS) Good grief, do you need a license for that now? 


KATHY: Good morning, Daddy.

BUD: Good morning, Dad.

BETTY: Good morning, Father.


JIM: (GRANDLY) Ah, the gay young Andersons! Bright-eyed and cheerful--


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) Good morning, Jim. 


JIM: (LOW) Hello, honey. (GRAND AGAIN) Getting ready to sally forth into the world for another day of-- (DOUBLE TAKE) Popovers! 


MARGARET: If they aren't burnt to a crisp. 


JIM: Popovers! Well! Why, we haven't had those for breakfast since-- Wait a minute. How come popovers on Wednesday? 


MARGARET: Is there any law that says we can't? 


JIM: No, but-- Is it somebody's birthday?


BETTY: (APPALLED) Father, do you mean to say--? 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS, LOW) All right, Betty, just eat your breakfast.


BETTY: But if he doesn't--


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) I said eat your breakfast. 


BETTY: (LOW, SARDONIC) Jumpin' creepers. 


JIM: (MUSES) Our anniversary's in April. Your birthday's in October-- 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) Jim, will you please eat your popovers before they get cold? 


JIM: I have eaten my last forkful until somebody tells me what today is. 


MARGARET: It's February the fourteenth. 


JIM: Well, that's more like it. May I have my coffee please? 


BETTY: Mother, he still doesn't know! 


MARGARET: (AMUSED) Of course he does, dear. He's just teasing you. Here you are, Jim.


SOUND: COFFEE CUP 


JIM: Thank you, my love. Popovers and coffee! What a wonderful way to start off so auspicious a day as, er, February fourteenth. ... 


BUD: Dad--? 


JIM: (RAMBLING ON) The sun is shining, the snow is glistening, the icicles are icicling-- 


BUD: Dad--? 


JIM: --the coffee is bubbling, the popovers are popping--


BUD: Dad--? 


JIM: (BEAT) I seem to hear the strangest noises. ... 


BUD: Dad--? 


JIM: All right, Bud. It's St. Valentine's Day. Now what do you want? 


BUD: It's St. Valentine's Day.


JIM: Thank you, H. V. Kaltenborn, Jr. ... 


BUD: Well, I just wanted to tell you.


KATHY: Bud forgot to say "you're welcome." 


MARGARET: Never mind, dear.


KATHY: But Daddy said "thank you" and Bud didn't say-- 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) Drink your milk, Kathleen. 


KATHY: Why do you have to say "you're welcome" when you're nine and when you're fifteen--? 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) You heard your mother, Kathy. Drink your milk and stop arguing. ... 


KATHY: Gee whiz. Everybody has somebody and all I have is milk. ... 


BETTY: Father--? 


JIM: Betty, with all the fuss you've been making around here about the Sweetheart Ball tonight, how could anybody in his right mind not know what today was? 


BETTY: You mean you knew


JIM: Of course I knew.


BETTY: Well, if people know what a day is, they generally do something about it.


MARGARET: (MILDLY EMBARRASSED) Betty, I wish you'd just eat your breakfast. 


JIM: Wait a minute, honey. What's this all about? 


MARGARET: It isn't anything really, Jim. 


BETTY: Mr. Davis is giving Mrs. Davis an orchid for a valentine, that's all. 


KATHY: She told Mommy this morning.


JIM: Well?


KATHY: When she came over to borrow an egg. ... 


BETTY: And Mr. Phillips is giving one to Mrs. Phillips. 


JIM: He's giving her an egg? ...


BETTY: He's giving her an orchid. A big purple orchid. 


BUD: And so's Mr. Smith. 


JIM: That's ridiculous. Why would Mr. Smith want to give an orchid to Mrs. Phillips? ... 


KATHY: (HELPFUL) Maybe he likes her! ... 


JIM: Well, he better have a better reason than that. 


MARGARET: (AMUSED) Jim, you're getting the children all confused. 


JIM: I am? I was sitting here very quietly watching the popovers popping over-- 


BETTY: (EXASPERATED) Mother got up an hour earlier this morning just to make a special breakfast for you--


JIM: She didn't have to do that. I'd have been perfectly happy with--


BETTY: --just because it's St. Valentine's Day.


JIM: (TO MARGARET) Is that right, honey?


MARGARET: It isn't anything, dear. I - I just thought you'd like popovers for a change.


JIM: Well, thank you, Margaret. I'm very grateful.


KATHY: Then why don't you buy her an orchid?! ...


MARGARET: (CHIDES) Kathy! 


KATHY: Well, that's what everybody means. Why don't they say it?


MARGARET: Jim, I want you to know I had nothing to do with this.


JIM: I know that, honey, but-- 


MARGARET: Why, it's been so long since I've had an orchid, I - I wouldn't know what to do with it. 


JIM: Just a minute, Margaret-- ... It hasn't been that long. You had an orchid-- Well, it wasn't very long ago. 


MARGARET: When Kathy was born.


JIM: All right. That's only nine years. ... Besides, why the big celebration? St. Valentine's Day is for kids.


BETTY: (CAN'T STAND IT ANY MORE) Um, excuse me.


JIM: Where are you going? 


BETTY: I have to look for my fountain pen. 


MARGARET: Well, don't you think you ought to finish your breakfast first? 


BETTY: (MOVING OFF) Oh, I couldn't eat another thing, Mother -- I'm full! 


MARGARET: I don't know what's gotten into that girl. She doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive.


KATHY: That isn't what Billy Smith says! 


MARGARET: Never mind, Kathy. 


KATHY: He says she eats like a horse! ... 


JIM: (A WARNING) Kathy--


KATHY: I drank my milk!


JIM: Well, drink Betty's. ... 


KATHY: Gee whiz.


JIM: Margaret, you know I love you. And if I knew how to make popovers, I'd get up early and make 'em for you. ... 


BETTY: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Bud! I can't find my pen! 


JIM: But there's no reason why a couple of grown people--


MARGARET: (GENTLY INTERRUPTS) Just a moment, dear. (SWEETLY, TO BUD) Bud, Betty can't find her pen. Why don't you go in and help her look for it?


BUD: Why do I always have--?


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Bud, stop arguing and do as you're told.


BUD: Holy cow. Anything that gets lost around here I have to find. 


JIM: (RESUMES, TO MARGARET) It isn't a question of the orchid, honey. It's the principle of the thing.


SOUND: JIM FADES OUT AS WE FOLLOW BUD WHO MOVES INTO THE NEXT ROOM


BUD: (TO HIMSELF) If I lose anything, nobody helps me find it. You'd think I was a seeing-eye boy or something.


BETTY: (LOW) Psst! I'm in here. 


BUD: What's the big idea, Betty? I don't even know what your pen-- Hey, wait a minute!


BETTY: Bud, stop making so much noise.


BUD: You've got the pen right in your hand. 


BETTY: I know it. 


BUD: Well, then why did I have to--?


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Will ya stop shouting? We've got to do something about the orchid.


BUD: What orchid? 


BETTY: The one mother isn't going to get. ...


BUD: Look, Betty, if you don't want to make sense--


BETTY: Well, you heard Father. He isn't going to buy one.


BUD: How do you know?


BETTY: He practically said so! 


BUD: Well? 


BETTY: Do you want your mother to be the only woman in the neighborhood without an orchid? 


BUD: What's the difference?


BETTY: There's a lot of difference. And if Father won't buy it, we'll have to!


BUD: You're crazy. They cost seven dollars and fifty cents.


BETTY: (CONFLICTED) I know, but-- (REACHES A DECISION) Mm, I don't have to have my hair fixed for the Sweetheart Ball.


BUD: You said you did. 


BETTY: Well, I don't. So I've got five dollars. How much have you got? 


BUD: Oh, now wait a minute, Betty. I've been saving up for months-- 


BETTY: How much? 


BUD: But I have to buy Valentine presents for five girls. ...


BETTY: Bud, how much?


BUD: Well, a dollar seventy-five. ... 


BETTY: That still isn't enough.


BUD: It's all I've got and if you think I'm gonna go out and borrow seventy-five cents like I did last time--


BETTY: (MUSES) Seventy-five cents.


BETTY

& BUD: (PAUSE, CALL LOUDLY) Kathyyyyy! ...


JIM: (OFF) What are you kids doing out there? 


BETTY: (LOUD) We have to talk to Kathy! 


KATHY: (OFF, EXCITED TO BE WANTED) I'll be right in!


JIM: (OFF) Better make it snappy or you'll all be late for school! 


BETTY: (LOUD) It'll only take a minute, Father! 


BUD: (LOUD) What if she--?! (LOW, TO BETTY) I mean, what if she won't give it to us? ...


BETTY: (LOW) She'll give it to us or else. 


KATHY: (APPROACHES) I don't know where your pen is, Betty.


BETTY: Never mind the pen. 


BUD: Where's your money? 


KATHY: I'm not going to tell you because if I tell you--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Kathy, we've got to have seventy-five cents. 


KATHY: I don't care. It's my money and I'm gonna buy valentines, and you don't have any right--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Kathy, this is an emergency.


KATHY: It is? 


BETTY: It certainly is. 


KATHY: What's an emergency? 


BUD: An emergency means that you have to give us seventy-five cents. ... 


KATHY: (CONSIDERS) Well-- (QUIETLY DECISIVE) I won't. 


BETTY: Kathy, I'm giving five dollars and Bud's giving a dollar seventy-five and--


BUD: (INTERRUPTS) Hold it, Dad's coming.


KATHY: But you didn't tell me--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) We'll tell you outside. Come on, Bud. 


BUD: Okay. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY, TO JIM) Hiya, Dad. 


JIM: (APPROACHES) Look, I don't know what you kids are cooking up-- 


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) We aren't cooking anything up, Father.


KATHY: They say I have to--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Goodbye, Father. 


BUD: We have to hurry up or we'll be late.


KATHY: But I want to tell--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Grab her coat, Bud. We'll put it on outside. 


BUD: Okay. 


JIM: Betty, why don't you--?


BETTY: We'll see you later, Father. 


BUD: (MOVING OFF) Come on, Kathy.


KATHY: (MOVING OFF) Well, stop pulling me! Why do ya always have to pull me? 


BUD: (OFF) So long, Dad!


BETTY: (OFF) Bye now!


SOUND: FRONT DOOR SHUTS


JIM: (BEAT, TO HIMSELF) I don't know. They get worse every day. 


MARGARET: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Jim?! Ed Davis is here! 


JIM: (CALLS) Oh! I'll be right in! (TO HIMSELF) Make more noise now than they did when they were infants. The bigger they get, the more trouble they are.


DAVIS: Hiya, Jim. 


JIM: Oh, hello, Ed. What's up? 


DAVIS: Oh, Ethel wanted me to bring back the egg she borrowed from Margaret.


MARGARET: Isn't that silly?


JIM: What's the big rush? 


DAVIS: Well, now she wants a cup of sugar. ...


MARGARET: Jim, while you and Ed settle the affairs of the world, I'll take the sugar over to Ethel.


DAVIS: Oh, Margaret, I'll take it over.


JIM: Put your coat on, honey.


MARGARET: (MOVING OFF) It'll only take a minute.


DAVIS: Hey, wait a minute, Margaret--! 


SOUND: BACK DOOR SHUTS


JIM: Won't do any good, Ed. She's gone. 


DAVIS: Women. Has Margaret heard about the orchid? 


JIM: Oh, yes. I was given the full treatment this morning. 


DAVIS: Never heard anything so cockeyed in my life. One dizzy character orders an orchid for his wife and the whole neighborhood has to go for broke.


JIM: What do you mean? 


DAVIS: Ah, Lucille Hathaway was talking to Joe the florist and this guy calls up and orders an orchid. A seven-fifty orchid! 


JIM: What guy? 


DAVIS: Who knows? But Joe told Lucille and she told Elizabeth Smith -- and that's all it took. Every husband on the street is getting hooked for an orchid.


JIM: Not everybody?


DAVIS: Everybody.


JIM: Well, gosh, Ed. 


DAVIS: Boy, would I like to meet the character who started this. You got yours yet?


JIM: I, er-- I'd better go call the florist right now, huh? 


DAVIS: Well, I was just talking to Sam Woody and he says Joe only has two or three orchids left. I'm going down and get one of 'em now. You want to come along? 


JIM: No, I, er-- I think I'll just call him.


DAVIS: (MOVING OFF) Well, I wouldn't take any chances. You'd better come up with an orchid or you're a dead duck.


JIM: Okay, Ed. I'll take care of it right away, and thanks for the tip!


DAVIS: (OFF) Glad to help, Jim. You know how it is: husbands have to stick together.


SOUND: BACK DOOR SHUTS


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Or get stuck together. Why does everybody have to buy an orchid? 


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP ... PHONE DIALED BEHIND--


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Husbands! They're a bunch of sheep, that's what they are. Leave it to them to find a way to get everything-- (INTO PHONE) Hello, Joe? This is Jim Anderson. --- Fine, thanks. I, er-- --- Yes, I know. Look, Joe, if-- --- I know. Ed Davis just told me. But look, Joe, if, er, anybody wants to know who bought the first orchid-- For cryin' out loud, don't tell them it was me. ...


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: As matters stand now, Father's the only one in the house who knows about that orchid. And so often, that's true: the head of the house is the only one to go to for the right answer. For example, ladies, when it comes to coffee, the world's greatest expert is that man of yours. Yes, your husband is the Number One Coffee Authority. Of course, we have a reputation as experts, too. After all, more families buy our Maxwell House Coffee than any other brand. But when you pour the coffee, why, your husband is the only expert who matters. And if you want to be rewarded with his warmest smile, just serve him our Maxwell House tomorrow. We're sure he'll beam and say--


HUSBAND: Best coffee I ever tasted.


ANNOUNCER: Yes, that's our promise: he'll say that, or we'll give you your money back. You see, only Maxwell House has that wonderful good-to-the-last-drop flavor -- a flavor that can come only from our Maxwell House recipe. It's a very special recipe, demanding certain fine coffees blended just so. No wonder then, no other coffee tastes like Maxwell House. It's because no other coffee's made like Maxwell House. Tomorrow serve your husband our Maxwell House Coffee. If he doesn't say "best coffee ever," we'll gladly refund every penny you paid. Just send us the can and unused portion. Our address is right on every familiar blue tin. Fair enough? Then tomorrow serve your expert -- your husband -- the coffee with the world's most famous flavor: Maxwell House Coffee, always good to the last drop. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN MILDLY SINISTER BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Now it's five o'clock, an hour of mystery and excitement. How do I know? (SUDDENLY ADOPTS THE VOICE OF "THE WHISTLER") Well, I know many things: of men who walk by night, with danger by their side. Of men who walk by eventide with orchids clutched beneath their arms. Ah, yes, Jim. There's a smile on your face and a song in your heart as you stride across the kitchen floor. But how long will this happiness last? You open the refrigerator door and the smile fades, the song disappears. What is it you see, Jim, crisp and cool between a head of lettuce and an old, tired meat loaf? ... That's right, Jim. It's--


MUSIC: QUICK STING ... THEN OUT


ANNOUNCER: --another orchid. ...


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Now, how did that get there? Hmm, I told Joe I was going to pick it up. Why would he--? (CALLS) Margaret?! 


SOUND: KITCHEN DOOR


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Try to surprise anybody around here. (CALLS) Honey?! Marg-a-ret?!


BETTY: (OFF) Is that you, Father? 


JIM: (SARCASTIC) No, it's the iceman. 


BETTY: (BEAT, OFF) Mother isn't home yet.


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Was that for me or the iceman? ... (CALLS, TO BETTY) Where are you


KATHY: (OFF) We're in the living room, Daddy! 


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) Well, at least that worked out all right. (CALLS) Where's your mother?


BETTY: (NEARER) She hasn't gotten back from downtown yet.


KATHY: Daddy, we've got a surprise for you! Guess what! 


JIM: You burned down the school. ...


KATHY: (CHIDES GENTLY) Daddy! 


BETTY: Father, I don't know how to tell you this, but--


JIM: Just a minute. Do you know anything about that orchid in the icebox?


BETTY: Well, that's what I was trying to tell you. 


KATHY: (PROUDLY) We bought it! 


JIM: You bought an orchid? 


KATHY: (YES) Uh huh. 


JIM: What for? 


BETTY: For mother. 


JIM: (BEAT, DISAPPOINTED) Oh, Betty-- 


BETTY: Well, you said you wouldn't, and we didn't want her to be the only mother in Springfield without an orchid. 


JIM: Betty, I never said I wouldn't.


BETTY: Why, Father, when we were having breakfast this morning--


JIM: I never said I wouldn't buy an orchid. If you must know, I was the first-- Well, never mind. ... I ordered an orchid for your mother over a week ago.


KATHY: You did


JIM: Yes, I did.


BETTY: (DISAPPOINTED) Oh, jumpin' creepers! And I didn't even have my hair done. 


KATHY: (THE SAME) And I only got nine valentines.


JIM: Well, that makes sense. (BEAT) Not to me, but it makes sense. I suppose. ... 


BETTY: We gave Bud all our money and he bought the orchid for mother.


JIM: Fine. Now she can have one for each shoulder. 


BETTY: Father, why didn't you tell us? 


JIM: Because I didn't think it was any of your business.


KATHY: (WAILS IN DESPAIR) ...


JIM: What's the matter with you?


KATHY: I want my seventy-five cents back! (WAILS, IN BG)


JIM: Kathy, stop that yowling or I'll give you something to yowl about. 


KATHY: (ABRUPTLY STOPS WAILING, SUDDENLY COMPOSED) Yes, Daddy. ... 


JIM: This isn't just a question of the money involved. The two of you and Bud probably sacrificed a great deal to buy that orchid for your mother -- and it was absolutely unnecessary. 


BETTY: (MISERABLE) I have to go to the dance looking like an old witch.


JIM: Stop worrying about your hair. It looks fine.


KATHY: We only bought the orchid because we love Mommy.


JIM: That's what I mean. Why should you presume that you love her more than I do? 


BETTY: We don't, Father. We just--


JIM: But that's what you said. "Father doesn't love mother enough to buy her an orchid -- so we'll have to."


BETTY: We never thought of it like that.


JIM: Do you think I'd have let your mother down when everybody else was getting an orchid? 


BETTY: No.


JIM: Then why didn't you trust me? 


KATHY: Because we're stupid? ... 


JIM: No. (CHUCKLE, GENTLY) Because you didn't think, that's all.


BETTY: Father--? 


JIM: Yes, Betty? 


BETTY: Does my hair really look all right? 


JIM: That's fine -- I make a big speech about faith and confidence; you want to know if your hair is all right. 


KATHY: Daddy--? 


JIM: What is it, Kathy? 


KATHY: I trust you. 


JIM: That's very nice. 


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS


KATHY: Do you trust me?


JIM: As far as I can throw the piano. ... Doorbell rang.


KATHY: Because if you do, Betty took my seventy-five cents and I'd like to make a deal about my allowance. 


JIM: Answer the door and when you come back we'll sit down and talk about something else.


KATHY: Okay! I'll-- (DOUBLE TAKE) Wha-a-at? ...


JIM: Answer the door. 


KATHY: (MOVING OFF, CONFUSED) I said I'd like to make a deal, and he said--


BETTY: Father--? 


JIM: Yes, Betty?


BETTY: Will it help any if I say I'm sorry?


JIM: Er, how much of this orchid money was yours? 


BETTY: Five dollars.


JIM: Well, I guess you've suffered enough. Suppose we just forget the whole thing.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


DAVIS: (OFF) Hello, Kathy. Is your father home?


KATHY: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Daddy, it's Mr. Davis! 


JIM: Oh, come on in, Ed. 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES


DAVIS: Jim, I'm in an awful jam.


JIM: Oh? What's the matter? 


DAVIS: You don't know what I've been through. I've turned this town upside down and I can't find an orchid. 


JIM: I thought you were getting one from Joe.


DAVIS: He's sold out. Everybody's sold out. I'm afraid to go home.


BETTY: (INSPIRED) Father--? 


JIM: Yes, Betty, I - I had the same idea. ... (CALLS) Kathy?


KATHY: (OFF, EXCITED TO BE WANTED) You want me, Daddy? 


JIM: Be a good girl and bring me those two boxes in the refrigerator.


KATHY: (OFF) Okay.


BETTY: Father, isn't it wonderful?


DAVIS: Isn't what wonderful? 


JIM: Now, sit down, Ed. Take it easy. Relax.


DAVIS: Relax, he says! My wife will probably leave for Reno in the morning and he says relax. ... 


JIM: (AMUSED) Couldn't find any orchids anywhere, huh? 


DAVIS: Orchids! One orchid, that's all I wanted. 


JIM: (MOCKING) You don't say! 


DAVIS: Jim, will you please take that silly-looking grin off your face? You don't seem to understand I'm in trouble. I can't go home. 


JIM: (CALLS) Kath-y?


KATHY: (OFF) I'm coming, Daddy! 


JIM: Ed, whether you know it or not, we are living in an age of miracles: the skyscraper, the airplane, the horseless carriage-- 


DAVIS: Jim--


JIM: --and now miracle of miracles-- 


KATHY: Are these the ones? 


JIM: There you are, Ed. 


DAVIS: What?


JIM: Orchids. 


DAVIS: (STUNNED) You mean real live orchids?


JIM: Just ran 'em up out of a couple of old lampshades. Take your pick. 


DAVIS: Jim, I - I don't know what to say. 


JIM: Well, suppose you start with "Here you are, girls -- here's your seven dollars and fifty cents."


DAVIS: I'll give 'em ten! 


BETTY: (THRILLED) Father! 


KATHY: (LIKEWISE) Daddy!


JIM: Er, seven-fifty'll be fine, Ed. (POINTEDLY) Won't it, girls? 


BETTY: (QUIETLY) Yes, Father. ... 


KATHY: I'll settle for my seventy-five cents back. 


DAVIS: Jim, I - I really don't know what to say. You know you saved my life, don't you?


JIM: Well, you know how it is. We always like to keep a couple of spare orchids floating around the house. ... Gives it that homey touch.


DAVIS: Here you are girls -- seven dollars and fifty cents, and I'll never be able to thank you enough.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


JIM: (CALLS) Margaret--? 


BUD: (OFF) It's me, Dad.


DAVIS: I'm gonna get out of here before you change your mind. (MOVING OFF) Anytime I can do anything for you, Jim, just let me know! 


JIM: See you later, Ed. 


DAVIS: (OFF) How are you, Bud? 


BUD: (OFF) Hello, Mr. Davis. 


DAVIS: (OFF) Oh, what a day, what a day!


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES AS DAVIS EXITS


JIM: (CHUCKLES)


BUD: (APPROACHES) What's he so excited about? 


JIM: Oh, he was just-- Bud, what's in the box? 


BUD: The box? Oh, it's an orchid. ...


JIM: A what?


BETTY: (SURPRISED) Bud! 


BUD: Didn't you tell me to buy an orchid? 


KATHY: I want my seventy-five cents back!


JIM: Wait a minute. Didn't you put an orchid in the icebox before? 


BUD: I just got home, remember? 


JIM: Betty, you told me--


BETTY: Well, I thought that was the orchid we bought! 


BUD: What was? 


BETTY: The one we just sold to Mr. Davis. 


BUD: I didn't put any orchids in the icebox. I bought this one from Joe this morning. 


JIM: There's something very fishy going on around here. 


KATHY: I didn't do anything! 


JIM: We bought two orchids, we sold one, and we've still got two left. It doesn't make sense. ...


BETTY: Maybe the florist made a mistake. 


JIM: I guess the best thing to do is call Joe and find out if he knows anything about it. 


KATHY: Won't I get my seventy-five cents back?


JIM: Stop worrying about your seventy-five cents.


KATHY: But I need it! 


SOUND: RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED BEHIND--


BETTY: Kathy, leave Father alone. He's having enough trouble. 


BUD: Hey, do we get our money back? 


BETTY: Wait until we find out.


BUD: Boy, would that be something. 


JIM: (INTO PHONE) Hello, Joe? 


BUD: Dad, ask him if we get the money back. 


JIM: (INTO PHONE) Just a minute, Joe. (TO BUD) Bud--?  


BUD: Yes, Dad? 


JIM: Go away. 


BUD: But aren't you going to ask him--? 


JIM: I said go away. 


BUD: How would it be if I just shut up? ...


JIM: All right. (INTO PHONE) Hello, Joe? 


BUD: I'll shut up. ...


JIM: (INTO PHONE) Joe, this is Jim Anderson. Did you send an orchid out to my house? --- I know I ordered one, but I picked it up myself less than half an hour ago. --- I see. 


BETTY: What'd he say, Father?


KATHY: Who, Betty?


JIM: (INTO PHONE) Well, I imagine you must be. -- Who? 


BETTY: What'd he say, Father?


KATHY: Who, Betty?


JIM: (INTO PHONE) Er, just a minute, Joe. (TO BETTY) Betty, in just one more minute--


BETTY: Oh, I'm sorry, Father. Go ahead. 


JIM: (TO HIMSELF) This is like trying to out-talk a riveting machine. ... (INTO PHONE) Joe?


BUD: I didn't say anything. 


JIM: Bud, if you don't-- ... (INTO PHONE) No, I was talking to my kids, Joe. --- Bill Poulter? He didn't get one, huh? --- Okay, I'll send Bud over with it right away. --- Not at all, Joe. See you later.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN 


JIM: Well, that takes care of that.


BETTY: What'd he say, Father?


JIM: Joe thinks they made a mistake while he was out to lunch.


KATHY: Who did? 


JIM: They did. 


KATHY: Ohhhhh. 


JIM: Bud, take your orchid across the street to the Poulters. 


BUD: What for?


JIM: For Mr. Poulter to give to Mrs. Poulter.


BUD: What do I want to do that for?


JIM: Because that's what Joe said to do. 


BUD: And then I get my money back?


JIM: Yes. 


BUD: (MOVING OFF) Hot dog! I'll be back in two minutes, Dad. 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


JIM: (IRONIC) See if you can't take a little longer, like an hour. 


BUD: (OFF) Okay. 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES


JIM: Betty, the next time you start anything like this, so help me, I'll-- 


KATHY: Divorce her? 


BETTY: (CHIDES GENTLY) Kathy! 


JIM: That's exactly what I'll do. I'll divorce her.


MARGARET: (ENTERS) You'll divorce who?


KATHY: Mommy!


BETTY: Hello, Mother.


JIM: Hello, honey. We didn't hear you come in.


MARGARET: I came in the back way. Hello, dear.


JIM: Hello, darling.


SOUND: JIM & MARGARET KISS


MARGARET: Who's going to get a divorce?


JIM: Betty and I. ...


MARGARET: Oh, well, you've certainly got a nice day for it. ... 


JIM: Haven't we, though?


KATHY: Daddy! Show her the surprise. 


BETTY: (CHIDES) Kathy! 


KATHY: Well, what are we waiting for? 


JIM: Betty, she's absolutely right. 


KATHY: Just because I'm the littlest one in the family, everybody thinks I-- (DOUBLE TAKE) I am?! ... 


MARGARET: Jim, would you mind telling me what this is all about? I've got to get dinner started. 


JIM: I'll do better than tell you, honey. I'll show you what it's all about. (BEAT, QUIETLY TRIUMPHANT) There you are. 


MARGARET: Jim, did you take that orchid out of the icebox? ... 


JIM: (DEFLATED) Oh. You saw it, huh? 


MARGARET: Of course I saw it. Kathy, put it back where it was, like a good girl.


KATHY: Yes, Mommy.


JIM: Well, aren't you going to say something? 


MARGARET: It'll be absolutely ruined before Betty even has a chance to wear it. 


BETTY: Me? 


JIM: What's Betty got to do with it? 


MARGARET: Why, I thought you knew. That's the orchid Billy Smith brought for Betty to wear to the Sweetheart Ball. ...


JIM: (QUIETLY DISMAYED) Oh, no.


MUSIC: SECOND ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: CHANGES TO THEME ("LET'S HAVE ANOTHER CUP O' COFFEE") ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: Tomorrow or Saturday you'll be buying the coffee you'll serve all next week and for your family's pleasure you'll want the coffee that gives the most in flavor for your money. So take home the one coffee with the world's most famous flavor: our Maxwell House Coffee. Then tomorrow, see the happy reception it gets from the world's greatest coffee expert. Yes, tomorrow serve Maxwell House to your husband. He's your real coffee authority. When he grins and says, "best coffee ever," you'll know why Maxwell House is famous for flavor. And for value? Well, just count all the cups of truly good coffee you get from every pound. At your grocer's, always look for America's sign of good coffee: the big white cup and drop on the friendly blue tin. That's Maxwell House Coffee -- always good to the last drop.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Once again, it's breakfast time in Springfield and once again we find the Andersons engaged in their favorite occupation. Yep! They're eating again! Like this--


BETTY: (DREAMILY) Oh, it was wonderful, Mother. Just the most wonderful dance you've ever seen. May I please have the sugar? 


SOUND: CLINK! OF SUGAR BOWL AND UTENSILS


KATHY: Nine valentines isn't bad, is it, Daddy? 


JIM: I think it's very good.


KATHY: And I've still got my seventy-five cents. That's even better! 


JIM: Margaret, do you suppose Hetty Green looked anything like Kathy when she was a child? ...


MARGARET: I wouldn't know, dear. 


JIM: Before your time?


MARGARET: One or two days. More coffee?


JIM: Why, sure. 


SOUND: COFFEE CUP


MARGARET: There you are.


JIM: Thank you.


BUD: Boy, was Mr. Poulter ever excited about the orchid. He gave me a whole dollar for a tip.


MARGARET: (DISAPPOINTED) Bud, you didn't take money from Mr. Poulter. 


BUD: I didn't? ... I could have sworn I did. ... 


MARGARET: (CHIDES GENTLY) Bud-- 


JIM: Well, it turned out to be a pretty fine Valentine Day after all, didn't it?


MARGARET: It was wonderful, dear, and I certainly think you showed great originality.


JIM: I did, huh?


MARGARET: Mm hm. I'll bet that's the biggest box of candy anyone ever got.


JIM: (UNEASY) Er, may I have the cream, please? ...


BETTY: (KNOWINGLY) Here you are, Father.


JIM: Thank you.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: When you serve a hot cereal at breakfast time, do you hear this--? 


CHILD: I don't want any old cereal! 


ANNOUNCER: --when you'd rather hear this?


CHILD: Mmm! Good, Mommy!


ANNOUNCER: Well, to get your children to eat a hot cereal in the morning, get 'em Post Wheat Meal. Just tell 'em Post Wheat Meal is Hopalong Cassidy's favorite hot cereal and they'll eat it, too. Post Wheat Meal is chock-full of solid whole-wheat nourishment, has a wonderful nut-like flavor, and it cooks in three-and-a-half minutes. You'll see. You'll all agree. It's the best hot cereal you ever ate.


MUSIC: HARP GLISSANDO INTO THEME ("LET'S HAVE ANOTHER CUP O' COFFEE") ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Join us again next week when we'll be back with FATHER KNOWS BEST, starring Robert Young as Jim Anderson with Roy Bargy and the Maxwell House Orchestra. In our cast were Norma Jean Nilsson as Kathy, June Whitley, Rhoda Williams, Ted Donaldson, Barney Phillips and yours truly Bill Forman. So until next Thursday, good night and good luck from the makers of Maxwell House, America's favorite brand of coffee -- always good to the last drop. FATHER KNOWS BEST was transcribed in Hollywood and written by Ed James.


Now stay tuned in for DRAGNET which follows immediately over most of these stations.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


SOUND &

MUSIC: FADES OUT


NBC ANNCR: For authentic police drama, hear DRAGNET on NBC.


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES

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