SYNOPSIS BY GUEST WRITER KACKIE L. SAUNDERS
Setting: New York City, USA
A few kids are auditioning at Chapman and Chapman agency.
“When’s Little Mikey getting here?” the kids demand when they’re done auditioning. Ed Chapman shakes his head, really annoyed.
“I wish I knew,” he answers. He looks at the secretary, Geena, who’s wearing headphones and listening to a Walkman.
“What is this?”
“A Walkman,” she says, with a “well duh” look.
“Exactly; it’s for walking. Not for sitting at a desk. What if the phone rang?”
“Did it ring? Was it for me?” she inquires.
“Yes. Harvard Medical: your brain is ready.”
The next scene, Michael “Little Mikey” Chapman is playing street hockey with a group of kids. His clothes are mismatched and rather childish, and it looks cold out. “How can he be so good?” he asks. A boy behind him says, “Maybe because he’s old enough to be my father!” Mikey wrinkles his nose up and skates away. He swings his hockey stick, and the puck bounces off the side of an expensive black car.
A huge guy steps out of the limo, holding a cigar, and shouts, “Come ‘ere!” He walks up to Mikey, who is about four inches shorter then him, and takes him by the collar. “That’s my boss’s car, and he’s not gonna be happy when he sees it. And, if he ain’t happy, I ain’t happy.”
“I’m a bit of a celebrity,” Mikey tries to tell him. “Remember that show, ‘Life With Mikey’? Well… I’m Little Mikey.” The man doesn’t believe him, and looks about ready to beat him up, when Mikey says, “Any chance of time off for good behavior?” The man lets him go, realizing he’s telling the truth, and asks for an autograph. Mikey tells him he got out of the acting business, and is now an agent.
In the next scene, Mikey arrives at the Chapman and Chapman Talent Agency. He jumps on the secretary’s desk and asks her if she wants a kiss. She agrees, and he drops a Hershey kiss into her hands. His brother comes into the room, trying to chase down an angry mother and her twin daughters. They say they’ve waited too long to get an acting job, and they’re going elsewhere.
Ed tells Michael he wants to see him right away. They walk together to the set of a cereal commercial.
A dark-haired boy named Barry is filming the commercial when the woman who plays his mom messes up her lines. “Mom!” the boy shouts irritably. The actress walks to him. “Not you, my real mom. The one who doesn’t need acting lessons.”
His real mom comes to him, and you see that he treats her like dirt. He bosses her around, and tells her to get him something to eat. He then says, “All right, I’m ready for your apology,” to Michael. Barry seems to think that Michael isn’t taking his ‘career’ seriously. In fact, he wants to know why he wasn’t asked to be in Michelle Pfeiffer’s last movie.
Michael apologizes finally, and that night as Ed’s driving him home, the brothers are talking about the agency. Ed’s thinking about quitting and going to work for their uncle. Michael says he only missed a few days here and there.
“You missed October!” Ed corrects, and Michael winces.
Michael’s going to either have to start pulling his weight, or the whole thing is going to go under. Michael promises that he’ll be there in the morning, when they open. Then, he has to stop Ed and ask, “What time do we open?”
In the next scene, Michael is slouched on his couch at home, watching “Life With Mikey” reruns. His apartment is a pigpen. The scene shows scattered video tapes, magazines, candy wrappers, pillows, blankets and stuffed toys laying everywhere. He’s eating a TV dinner, and drinking a beer. Mikey turns the TV off as the “Life With Mikey” episode ends.
The next day, Mikey cuts the ribbon for a little place called The Turkey Shack. The crowd all cheers, walks around him into the restaurant… and leave him outside alone.
Mikey’s walking along the streets, leaving the Turkey Shack, when a little girl with frizzy dark hair runs into him, nearly bowling him over. He bends down to pick up her pack of gum, and she slips his wallet from his pocket. He gives the gum to the girl, and she walks away.
He goes to a stand and picks out a magazine and a couple packs of cigarettes, but when he reaches into his back pocket, he finds his wallet gone.
Mikey looks towards the girl that ran into him, who’s now quite a distance away, and shouts, “Hey!” He starts chasing after her, and she takes off running. The girl runs down to a subway station, and Mikey runs after her.
The girl finds herself at a dead-end as Mikey finally catches up to her. He’s panting and leaning against a wall.
“Come near me, and I’ll scream for a cop!” the girl warns.
“Funny, that’s what I was gonna do,” he retorts, still gasping. She pulls out a pocketknife, and opens it.
“That’s a magnifying glass. What’re you gonna do, wait ‘till sunrise and burn me to death?” he demands sarcastically. She switches it to the knife part. “Okay, now that’s scary.”He tries to walk towards her, but she kicks him in the shin and runs. He cries out and hops around on one foot, and in a few minutes comes limping out of the subway station rather gloomily. Just when he thinks his wallet is gone for good, he hears shouting.
Mikey finds a crowd gathered around the girl that stole his wallet, and she’s crying. She tells the crowd that her little brother, Jimmy, wanted a Batman doll for Christmas, but her family hardly has any money. She goes on to explain the reason why: her dad was on a bike and was hit by a bus. He hadn’t had work since an ‘air-traffic controller’s strike.'”He’s been so depressed,” she tells the crowd.
The people are starting to feel sorry for her. “Sometimes, he just sits in the living room, looking out the window and landing imaginary planes.” The man who’s wallet she had just taken says the wallet she has isn’t his. Michael calls that it’s his. He says that the girl is his daughter (so I guess that makes him the guy landing the imaginary planes!)
“How can she be your daughter?” someone asked.
“What do you mean, how can she be my daughter? Ever heard of adoption?” Michael asks. He tells the girl that if she’ll just apologize and give the nice man his wallet back, he’ll probably let her go.
“Can’t I just apologize?” she begs. He makes her give the wallet to the man, but he stops them and says this one isn’t his wallet either. The girl has a shoulder bag full of wallets, you now see. She digs through them. “What color was yours?” she asks the man, and he says “brown alligator.” Michael helps the girl find it.
“Brown alligator–whoa, bingo, we got a winner,” Mikey says, giving the man the wallet, and hurrying away. He holds the girl’s hand as they leave, and he tells her she could make a lot of money with her acting, in commercials. “Did you know you can win an Emmy for less then that? I know, I did.”
She pulls her hand from his, and he says he wants to get his business card. As he reaches to get it, she takes his wallet again and runs. This time, he decides not to even try to chase her down.
In the next scene, a girl is singing “A Spoonful Of Sugar” and Geena is playing the piano. What’s she’s playing doesn’t sound like what the girl is singing, and Michael and Ed are looking back and forth between them. The song ends, and Geena grins.
“I love that song,” she gushes with her very New York accent.
“So do I,” Michael says. “What were you playing?” She glares at him but doesn’t answer. As other kids audition, Mikey falls asleep at his desk. Geena tells him there’s a girl on the phone who says she has his wallet.
Michael heads to a little diner, and finds the girl waiting for him. The wallet is sitting on the tabletop. A waiter walks to them, and Mikey orders a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake. The girl says she wants coffee.
“Coffee?” the waiter repeats.
“Yeah, comes from beans. Ever heard of it?” she demands. Mikey gives her a shocked look, and then asks her if she wants a burger or something.
“I’m a vegetarian,” she answers quickly.
“Ah, that’s fascinating. How come?”
She tells him she’s not there to talk about herself. She wants to know about this commercial deal he’d told her about.
“I’ve got a few questions for you first,” Michael tells her. She asks why he gets to go first, and when he lights a cigarette she reminds him they’re in the nonsmoking section. He groans, turns the Nonsmoking sign upside down, and puts his cigarette out in it.
“What’s your name?” Michael asks.
“Angie Vega. How much money are we talking?” He tells her somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Her eyes get huge.
“Where are your parents?” Mikey questions.
“They’re dead. What commercial would want me?”
“It’s a commercial for Sunburst Cookies. Who do you live with?”
“My sister Janice and her boyfriend. What do you get out of this?” she asks him suspiciously. He tells her he gets standard agency commission… ten percent of whatever she wants. Angie absolutely hates the idea, and argues with him. Can’t he take five percent? Six? Seven and a half? He tells her it’s going to be ten percent, and there’s no use arguing, and looks really flustered.
Michael brings Angie to meet Ed and Geena. “Nice of you to drop by. Don’t worry, we close in a few hours,” Ed tells Michael. He ignores that comment, and tells his big brother that Angie’s an incredible actress and is dying to act.
Michael takes Angie to meet the founder of Sunburst Cookies: Mr. Corcoran. Michael warns Angie she needs to “de-New York her accent a little.”
“Look man,” she replies, “I’m from Brooklyn. You’re lucky I can even speak English!”
When Angie gets inside, she sits down to wait for Michael to try to sweet-talk his way into getting her into the auditions. A girl is there with her mother and Brian Spiro, a snobby man wearing glasses and an expensive suit. He laughs when he finds out Angie is with Chapman and Chapman. He gets up with the girl he’s representing, and her mother, and Michael comes into the room then.
The lady standing there turns and sees Michael. He shakes her hand and says his name is Michael Chapman, and that she might remember him as–
“Little Mikey!” she interrupts. “You’re Little Mikey! Oh, I was raised on that show!”
He gets a cheeky grin. “So was I–I didn’t see you,” he says, and laughs. She laughs too.
“You were so cute,” she tells him.
“I’m still ‘so cute’,” he tells her, and Angie rolls her eyes. Michael asks the lady to please give them a break and let Angie audition. He sees that it’s not working, and says, “You know, I hadn’t done a thing when I walked into those ‘Life With Mikey’ auditions, but… hey, we all know how that turned out.” The lady sighs, and gives in.
She takes Angie to meet Mr. Corcoran, who is surrounded by hunting trophies. He tells her that all of the animals were taken in accordance to the law.
“I’m sure that’s a big relief for the bear. I bet all of her little cubs are just sitting in their den saying, ‘Mom’s stuffed on a stand in Manhattan! But, that’s the law… so let’s just hibernate and forget about it.'” The man bursts out laughing, telling them they’ve finally gotten a little girl with some spirit.
Back in the waiting room, Brian Spiro is bugging Michael. “You’re just jealous because I found her, and you can’t steal her from me,” Michael tells Spiro as Angie comes back. Spiro tells him it’s hard not to be jealous of someone who peaks at fifteen, does a “Love Boat” episode and a few “Hollywood Squares”… but then has to go work for his dad because he can’t get a job anywhere else.
“I also did a ‘Charlie’s Angels’… and you know that,” Michael tells him, and then leaves. The lady that thought he was so cute chases him down and tells him that Angie got the job. He cheers and jumps all around until she quiets him down.
So, Michael swaggers along the street later, looking for Angie’s house. As he goes, a dog starts barking, and Michael jumps up onto the roof of a car, slides off, and hurries on.
He gets to Angie’s place, and knocks on the door. Lenny, Angie’s sister’s boyfriend, opens the door. Michael introduces himself, and has just asked if he could speak to Angie when the door is slammed in his face. It opens again a few seconds later, and Angie peers out at him.
“What are you doing here?” she demands. He tells her she’s the new Sunburst Cookie girl, and all she wants to know is when she’ll get the money.
“You wanna hold the excitement down a little bit?” he sarcastically asks, starting to get irritated. She asks again when she’ll get paid. “After you shoot the first commercial.” He gives her paperwork for her sister to sign, and then the door is closed in his face again.
Michael goes back to his apartment. His girlfriend, Debbie, is practicing lines from a book. Michael kisses her and she shoves him off. “Michael, are you going to help me practice or not?” she asks. He takes the book, tosses it, and kisses her again. Just then, someone knocks on the door; Michael groans and promises he’ll be right back.
He finds Angie at the door, with a bag and all of the paperwork. “Here’s the paperwork,”she tells him.
“Now?” She nods, and hands him a wallet. “Who’s is this?” he asks, almost like he’d rather not even know.
“Cookieman’s. I admit it wasn’t such a good idea…” she says, walking inside. She looks around at his messy apartment. “This place is disgusting.”
“Tell me about it,” Debbie agrees, still sitting on the couch. “Hi, I’m Debbie.”
“I’m Angie. I thought Michael only represented kids,” Angie recalls, frowning.
“Is that true?” Debbie splutters, looking at Michael with a hurt expression. “Well, no wonder I never get a job–you’re a kids’ agent!” She gathers her coat and her book up and starts towards the door. Michael stops her quickly, giving her his most charming smile.
“Debbie, Debbie–Any chance of time off for good behavior?” he asks. She glares at him, and says,”No!”
Debbie stomps out of the house as Angie makes herself comfortable on Michael’s couch. She picks up his PAC-Man pillow and hugs it to herself.
“Uh, did I come at a bad time?” she questions.
“No, it was perfect,” he mutters, rubbing his forehead.
“I thought I could just stay with you until we’re done shooting the commercials,” she tells him, and he gives her a “oh, really?” look.
“Look, I’m really sorry about your domestic problems, but this is my lucky PAC-Man pillow,” he tells her, taking it away.”This is my house, this is your bag, and that’s the door. I like my privacy.”
“More then your commission?” she replies.
“What–are you threatening me? I don’t respond well to threats–I will not be threatened!” he announces grandly, and then in the next scene, he’s struggling with the pullout part of his couch, and she’s getting settled in his room.
Michael wakes up the next morning under a single sheet haphazardly covering him, and his PAC-Man pillow in his arms. (He slept on the pullout couch). He hears a knock at the door, and gets up, sleepily walking to the door. His hair is sticking up really bad, he looks like he needs to shave, and he’s wearing a blue tee-shirt and red-and-white striped pants. This guy needs some clothing tips.
Angie is at the door, with an old lady standing next to her. “Is this girl with you?” the lady wants to know, glaring at Michael.
“It depends. What did she do?” he counters. The lady says Angie had been throwing out his garbage. Michael pulls Angie into his apartment and closes the door in the old lady’s face. He gets a cigarette pack off of a bookshelf, and goes to his counter.
The kitchen is a wreck. Pots, pans, plates, forks, spoons, knives, pot-holders, magazines, sponges, leftover food, cereal boxes and other things are cluttering the room. Michael lights a cigarette and Angie tells him to get away from her with it; she’s trying to have breakfast.
He puts the cigarette out in a dirty pan sitting on top of a stack of equally dirty dishes by the sink, and gets himself a bowl from the stack. He empties the old contents of it onto the floor and blows on it to get the rest of the stuff out. He opens his refrigerator; he’s got ketchup, syrup, mustard, relish and a few other condiments in there, with an ancient-looking milk carton.
He gets a box of cereal from on top of the fridge, a fork, and carries it all to the counter. Angie watches him pour the stale Fruit Loops into the bowl, and then open the milk carton. He pours the milk into the bowl–lumps and all. Angie groans, covering her face with her hand. He mixes it around with the fork, and then lifts a bite full to his mouth. Angie shakes her head, as he tries to dare himself to eat it. Finally, he puts it into his mouth, chews for a few seconds, and then spits the whole mouthful out with a look of complete disgust.
Later in the day, Michael is at the agency, with his feet propped up on a desk. Ed is furious when he finds out that Angie doesn’t go to school, she’s staying with Michael, and she’s a pickpocket.”Did you check her head for the little 666?” he asks.
“Yeah, there were only two 6’s. We got her just in time,” Michael answers, and laughs. Ed’s not amused.
Barry shows up then, saying he wants to go ice skating. He sees Angie, and asks her if she’ll accompany him to the ice-skating rink. She hits him with a rolled up newspaper and tells him to get lost.
At the ice-skating rink, Angie is playing with her pocketknife while Michael ties Ed’s skates for him. Michael tells his big brother that his apartment is not a good place for a kid–he’s got friends coming over at all hours, he stays up late, listens to his music loud. “It’s a one-bedroom pigsty you share with a 32-inch TV,” Ed corrects. He tells Michael he’s going to have to be responsible for Angie.
That night, Michael tells Angie she’s going to school the next day. They argue back and forth about it, and she starts asking him questions. “What’s the capitol of New Jersey?”
“Trenton,” she corrects. “Who was the sixteenth president?”
“Lincoln. What’s the longest river in the world?”
“Oh yeah,” he finally says, not wanting to be outdone by a ten-year-old, “Who’s the oldest Beatle?”
“Oldest who?” she asks. She tells him he’s the one who needs to go to school. Michael sighs and tells her a little about his “school”; a trailer outside the “Life With Mikey” set. The only other student was the girl who played his sister, who he mentions, happens to be up for parole in a month. Mikey laments that he never really got to know any other kids. He asks her if she can imagine what his prom was like. He lights up a cigarette and she asks him if he’s read what secondhand smoke does to kids.
“Lucky for me I don’t have any kids,” he tells her, though there is some sadness in his voice about that. Angie smiles and tells him that since she’s not his kid, she doesn’t have to do what he tells her; she doesn’t have to go to school.
She corrects him about one more thing, and he finally blows up. He picks his scarf up and puts it around his neck, and slips his grey jacket over his shoulders. “I’m tired of this; tired of you moving stuff around in my bathroom, and eating muffins without giving me any! I’m tired of you sleeping in my bedroom and using my phone and throwing food out just because of the expiration date. It’s not worth it anymore.” She tells him that she won’t be there when he gets back from wherever he’s going. “Good, wanna turn out the lights before you leave?” She says she hates him, and as he leaves the apartment, you can hear him call back, “No you don’t.” When Mikey comes back, it’s to find his apartment completely clean.
The next morning, Mikey walks Angie to school. Right before she goes in, he gives her a lunch box.
“I can’t believe you made me lunch–all you have in your fridge is ketchup!” she accuses. He shrugs and tells her to be careful with the lunch box–it’s a collector’s item. “Really? How much can I get for it?”
“Go to school,” he commands. “And be nice to the other kids, huh? Don’t mug anybody.”
Michael watches more kids doing auditions that afternoon, but Geena interrupts them. “Mr. Chapman? I think you should come and take a look at this,” she tells Michael. Michael and Ed find Angie with a black eye.
“It’s okay; I won,” she announces. “You should see the other guy.” Geena suggests they get a piece of steak, and put it on Angie’s eye. “I don’t want meat on my face!” Angie argues.
“Quick, somebody get some tofu!” Michael jokes.
The next morning, Angie wakes up to find Michael, Ed and Geena all leaning over her. “How does it look?”
“Like the opening scene from ‘Rocky,'” Michael mutters sadly, turning to his brother. When they take Angie in to shoot the commercial, Geena has put make-up over the black eye, but Mr. Corcoran notices anyway. Ed and Michael launch into a mixed-up mess of trying to make something up about what happened when Angie interrupts them. She tells Corcoran that some girl at school tried to say that Sugar Gems, (Sunburst Cookie’s competitor) were the best cookies. Angie says that she had told the girl that Sunburst Cookies were all-naturally made and that the girl then punched her. Corcoran says that’s quite all right, and seems very sorry for Angie now.
The commercial shooting isn’t going well, though. Angie keeps messing up, and everyone’s getting upset. Michael pulls her aside and asks her what’s wrong. She tells him that she wishes she could talk like a normal person, and not how they want her to. “I should have known; my little sunny friends. It sounds like a cookie for manic depressives!”
Michael laughs at that, and encourages her to keep trying and to do her best. Angie finally does better, and they’re able to wrap the commercial. When Michael gets Angie back to his apartment, he unlocks the door, and lets her in. He starts to tell her about something, but when he walks into his room, he finds her sound asleep. Michael smiles and pulls a blanket over her, maybe wishing that he had his own kids to be tucking in.
Michael and Angie set up a Christmas tree as more time goes by, and Christmas gets closer. They put a little dinosaur with a tinfoil halo at the top of their tree, and Angie shoots more commercials. One scene shows Michael sitting by Angie as she does her math homework. He’s slowly counting on his fingers, and when she looks at him, he pretends he hadn’t been doing that. She just smiles and goes back to work.
Michael goes into the school one day to pick Angie up, and finds her sitting next to a boy with a split lip. The teacher asks Angie and the boy, Evan, to leave the room. “They’re so cute at this age!” Michael says, grinning. The teacher very gravely tells him to sit down. He slides into the chair behind one of the desks, and looks at the teacher. She explains to him that Angie’s not good with expressing herself, especially since her mother died. So instead of telling Evan she likes him, she’s going to give him a concussion. Michael laughs at that, but is again faced with someone telling him he’s going to have to be responsible for her.
That evening, Michael and Angie are watching “Life With Mikey” together, and sharing popcorn from a huge bowl. The little girl on the show is crying; Mikey and the family dog are missing. “I miss him!” the girl sobs.
“I know dear, we all miss Mikey,” the mother tries to comfort.
“I was talking about the dog!”
Michael chuckles, but then asks Angie why she didn’t tell him about her mother dying recently. She acts like she doesn’t want to talk about it, so the next morning, Michael surprises Angie with a “birthday” party waiting for her at the agency (even though it’s not her birthday). Evan’s there, too, and Angie runs into a back room to hide. Michael comes after her, and tries to encourage her to talk to Evan.
“I can’t Chapman! I’m ugly, that’s the problem,” she sadly mutters, looking at the floor.
“You’re not ugly! Can you say that? Say ‘I’m not ugly. I’m not ugly!'” She repeats after him after he puts his hand on her shoulder and keeps trying to get her to say it. She smiles a little, but then Barry comes into the room, holding a box. He takes the top off of the box, and pulls a white stole out. “Now that’s ugly,” Michael murmurs in Angie’s ear before leaving the room.
He tells all of the kids that he’s made reservations, just for them, at a very formal place and that all of the kids will have to be on their best behavior.
The very “formal” place ends up being a wrestling match; something Angie hates. But, Michael reminds her, Evan loves it. One wrestler calls for Angie, telling her to come down to him or he’ll come up there and get her. He says he’d like to wish her a “happy birthday” from all the folks at Chapman and Chapman.
Michael walks Angie down to the ring, and the wrestler picks him up, lifts him over his head, and starts spinning him around and around. Michael’s yelling and trying to hold on for dear life while Angie’s shouting at the wrestler to let him go. “Okay, I will!” the wrestler shouts and throws Michael into the other wrestler, knocking him over. The man throws Michael off, and he lands face-down and doesn’t try to get back up. The first wrestler picks Angie up and starts singing “Happy birthday” to her. Michael very dizzily pushes himself up a little and joins in singing to her.
They take a taxi back to the apartment, and Michael asks Angie if he could maybe borrow that stole Barry gave her (so he could give it to one of his girlfriends). Angie agrees, and after Michael unlocks the door, she hugs him. He’s surprised, but when he reaches down to hug her back, she pushes him away and goes inside.
The next day, Michael and Ed go to see Corcoran, who has called for them. The very excited brothers think that they’re going to get good news, but they’re wrong. Corcoran and his lawyer are there, and tell Michael that Janice Vega, Angie’s sister, had signed all of the important documents but Angie’s actual legal guardian is her father, Richard Vega.
“You told me her father was dead!” Ed reminds Michael, starting to look really mad.
“He is… he’s dead!” Michael tries to say.
“What do you do–pick up kids from off the streets?!” Corcoran demands, not knowing how right he actually is. He tells Ed and Michael that if they don’t get the papers signed by Richard Vega, he will sue them. “If you do not comply… I will have your heads.” Michael and Ed look up to the wall and see their heads hanging there as trophies. Corcoran tosses the folder with the documents towards Michael, who falls over backwards in his chair to catch them.
As the brothers leave the building, Ed says that he deserves all this for being so stupid as to trust Michael.
“If it weren’t for me, Ed, there wouldn’t be an agency!” Michael shouts at him as they wait to get in an elevator.
“That’s old news, Michael,” Ed replies, still really mad.
“I’ll tell you what-I’m going to go to Elmira and get these documents signed, and I’m going to do it all by myself!” Michael promises, getting in the elevator. Just before the doors close, he adds, “I’m gonna need your car and money for gas.”
He starts Ed’s car up in the next scene, wincing. “How long has it been since you’ve been behind the wheel?” Ed demands. Michael backs the car into the garage, even as he’s promising he’ll be fine.
“Okay–let me in, I’ll drive!” Ed shouts as Michael puts the window up.
“I’m okay!” he calls.
“Who cares about you–I’m still making payments on this car!”
Michael manages to get down the driveway, but then he pulls right out into traffic and nearly hits a car. The man in the other car honks and then gets out. Michael haltingly drives away while Ed chases after him, shouting for him to come back.
The rehab center where Richard Vega is, is in Elmira. Michael talks to him, telling him about Angie. When Richard wants to know why he hasn’t heard about any of this before, Michael has to admit that he was told that Richard was dead. As Richard talks about his life going downhill, Michael interrupts and says he understands. “At least you have daughters. I have no kids. I have no money, I…have no life.” When he leaves, though, he feels a little better. He drives back to his apartment with the signed documents, and finds Angie waiting with the supper she’s trying to make for them.
He tells her that he went and saw her father that day, and she gets really upset. He relays to her for Richard that once he comes home, Lenny will have to move out. “He’s your father, Ang.” He tells her that she’s got to stop lying.
“Look at you! You lied to Ed, you made a fake resume for me, you lie to all your girlfriends!” Angie reminds.
“Right; it’s okay if you lie. You can’t help me, you can’t help yourself! You think you’re real charming and cute and everybody loves you. You’re thirty-one, you have no life, and you go around telling everyone about some stupid show you were on that no one cares about anymore. You’re a has-been,” she ominously tells him.
“Don’t be mean, Angie. You wanna talk, we’ll talk, but don’t be mean.”
She storms out with her things, and when Michael looks at the refrigerator, he sees a test with a big “92” on it. Angie goes back to her house, and at school, she’s too sad to even talk to Evan.
One day, Barry’s mom comes to Chapman and Chapman to say Barry has decided to leave them, and work for Brian Spiro. She leaves after saying she hopes they can still be friends.
Ed tells Michael he’s going to go work for their uncle, because after they pay Corcoran for delaying the commercials, they’ll be lucky to break even.
Geena comes into the room and tells them that she has to go somewhere, but she can’t tell them more.
“Geena, what?” Michael asks.
“Well, if you’re gonna beat it out of me… Angie was caught shoplifting and needs someone to come get her,” she explains as Michael pulls his coat on and leaves. “You be nice to her, Mr. Chapman!”
Angie isn’t too happy to see Michael; she had wanted Geena to come get her. “This isn’t Geena’s fault. I had to drag it out of her,” he assures her, sitting down. She had tried to steal a bottle of perfume to give her sister, and a silver watch. Michael picks the watch up and looks at it. “What about this–you don’t need a watch!”
He realizes then that she had tried to steal the watch so she could give it to him, and he feels really sad. He puts the watch on, and sighs. “You know how you never know what time it is?,” Angie asks.”Well, I thought that this way you wouldn’t be late to appointments, Ed wouldn’t get mad…and I could stay with you again. Didn’t you like it when I was there?”
“Of course, Angie–you know I did. But, it was a temporary situation. That’s why it was fun.” (Still having that problem with responsibility and commitment, obviously). “I’m not your father.”
Thankfully, the people at the store let Angie go because they see her on a Sunburst Cookie commercial. The watch is taken back from Michael, and when he and Angie get outside, he thanks her for what she was going to get him. She gives him a hug again, and this time sticks around long enough for him to hug her back. He tells her that if she really wants to get him something for Christmas…
In the next scene, Angie nervously is waiting to see her father again. He shakes Michael’s hand, and then walks away with Angie and starts talking to her. He promises that he’ll stop drinking, and then hugs her. Michael watches from a distance, pleased.
When Angie tries calling Chapman and Chapman a few days later, Geena sadly tells her that they’re closing because of Barry.
Angie goes out to lunch with Barry, and she tells him she had something she wanted to talk to him about. “I heard Chapman and Chapman was closing.”
“Toots, is my cologne making you dizzy? Those guys are bums… losers… they couldn’t get Castro a job in Cuba!” She grabs him by the tie and tells him he’s going to just get bigger and uglier, and that when he does, Spiro will drop him like a hot potato. But, she says, Michael and Ed will always be there.
That evening, Angie walks Michael to the agency, and surprises him with a “birthday party.” His present? Barry has decided to come back to Chapman and Chapman. “Angie convinced me to be loyal and nice and… what was that other thing?”
“A human being,” she reminds him.
“Yeah. Whatever,” he mutters. Ed says that he had been hoping it was power tools. He tells Michael that he’s sure that in a few weeks, he’ll call Barry an overgrown munchkin, and Ed will be left with “the children time forgot.”
“Oh come on, Mr. Chapman, it’ll be like old times!” Geena promises.
“Yeah, why do you think I’m leaving?”
A little girl shows up there then, saying she’s been practicing and practicing her singing, and really wants to audition. “Ed–when Dad took me to those ‘Life With Mikey’ auditions, they told me they weren’t seeing any more kids. Dad told them, ‘I’m going to stay here, until you see my kid!’ And, he stayed,” Michael tells Ed, putting on his most sad face.
“Mom took you to those auditions,” Ed corrects.
“Well, do it for Mom! Do it for Mommy.”
The little girl is allowed to audition, and as she sings very quietly, Michael interrupts her. He asks her to pretend there’s some poor old guy in Russia who’s going to die, and just wants to hear her sing before he dies. The girl starts again, and sings much louder.
Ed agrees to come back, and when Barry tells everyone that they need to remember he pays the bills, Angie throws her piece of cake in his face. Everybody starts throwing cake, and the scene fades into darkness.
–Kackie L. Saunders
All original text © Copyright by Kackie L. Saunders