" Family Values"
A. A. Roberts
Copyright©1993 by A. A. Roberts, All rights Reserved
9 Lakeside Dr.
Ashford, CT 06278
INT. KARATE DOJO - DAY
Twenty members of the Academy of Karate are lined up
in the center of the dojo. Master Beaudoin stands at the front
of the room. Seated behind Master Beaudoin, at a long table are
ten stoned faced black belts.
On the wall behind the board of black belts are the
American and Korean flags.
Master Beaudoin barks orders at his students who
respond with the techniques he's calling out. It is obvious by
the the Master's intensity that this is a black belt test.
The Weirding family is spread amoung the twenty
hopefuls. JACK WEIRDING stands in the front row. Jack stands
about five ten, looks to be in his late thirties, and is of
His wife ELIZABETH stands next to him. She also is
in excellent shape, a brunette, in her middle thirties. She is
only a couple of inches shorter then her husband.
Their son Johnny stands in the line just behind them.
Johnny, is fourteen years old, of medium build, and has dark
His sister, the only blonde in the family, stands in
the last row. Susie is ten years old, slight and has piercing
Master Beaudoin runs his students through the basic
hand and foot techniques and then on to jumping kicks. From
there the candidates move on to their forms.
Next the students demonstrate their prowess at one
step fighting and self defense. Finally all students must spar
at least ten of the other students. It is evident that the
Weirding family are star pupils.
The test is over. The students are lined up as they
began in the center of the room. He confers with the judges for
a few seconds and then returns to his spot before his students.
One of the judges joins Master Beaudoin and they call
up the various students to award them their black belts and
We focus in on the Weirding family as each one of
them gets their belt. Finally, after he has awarded all the
belts, Master Beaudoin addresses the class.
It seems every test brings me something different. Often
I will learn a new technique from watching you. Sometimes I
learn what not to do.
The class laughs.
Today is a first
for me in my twenty five years as a martial artist, maybe even a
first in the country, I don't know.
Master Beaudoin smiles at the beaming weirding family.
For the first time I
have an entire family getting their black belt at the same time.
Let's hear it for the Weirdings.
The entire room breaks out in joyous chorus of
applause for the Weirdings who smile sheepishly.
INT. WEIRDING'S KITCHEN
Susie sits in her winter coat and boots at the
breakfast table in the Weirding's compact, middle class kitchen.
She is sips a glass of milk, nibbles on an English muffin and
colors in a book.
Johnny rushes into the room and slams a pile of books
down on the table. Susie gives him a dirty look for jostling
her coloring. Johnny dives into the refrigerator and pulls out
Jack comes into the room adjusting his tie while holding a
briefcase under one arm. He drops the briefcase on the table
and gets a dirty look from Susie.
Sorry, Sweets. Johnny, can
you throw me in a poptart?
Johnny does as he is bid. Jack grabs a banana as
well and picks up the morning paper that is lying on the
counter. He peruses it while munching on his banana.
Elizabeth rushes into the kitchen and grabs a
steaming cup of coffee out of the microwave. She turns to her
Can you zip me up,
Now remember, Johnny,
I have to pick you up at 12:30 sharp, in front of the school for
your immunization shot. And I have to pick you up at noon,
Susie, so don't forget. If you guys want to go on this trip,
you have to have your shots... Don't forget Johnny.
Elizabeth grabs a banana off of the counter and
stuffs it into her purse.
Are you all set at
work, Dear? Did they reschedule that project you were telling
Jack smiles behind his paper.
Elizabeth looks at her watch.
You better get going
honey, it's twenty five of.
Jack starts and looks at his watch.
Jack runs around the room picking up his things.
Elizabeth does the same and Johnny packs up a knapsack. A
people tornado explodes in the kitchen. Johnny is first out the
Jack and Elizabeth are hot on his heels out the
You have a nice day at
school, Dear, and you at work, Honey.
You too, Sweets.
The door closes and Susie sits in silence at the
table coloring in her book. After a few seconds Elizabeth comes
running back in the house.
Elizabeth grabs a smiling Susie's hand and rushes her
out the door.
EXT. OUTSIDE THE THOMAS JEFFERSON PUBLIC HIGH
Johnny walks with his best friend ED along the
sidewalk in front of the school. Ed is the same height as
Johnny but very gawky.
I still can't believe you're
going for two whole weeks to Africa! That is so cool.
My parents have been
saving up for this vacation all of their lives, I swear.
Do you think you'll see any
Of course! And elephants
and Zebras and Wildebeests and all that kind of stuff. Except
we'll be in the cage.
You mean the car.
Ed notices three bigger kids headed for them. They
are your typical punky high schoolers looking for trouble.
Uh-oh, here comes Nelson and
Johnny and Ed come to a stop before Nelson and his
two cronies. Johnny slams Nelson with an intense stare.
So I heard you got your
black belt this weekend, Weirdo, I mean Weirding.
Nelson and company laugh at his sophomoric humor.
Nelson, that joke is so
old. You've been using it since kindergarten. Don't you think
you can expand your feeble little brain and come up with an
insult that's a little more original?
(the smile disappears)
calling me stupid!?
I don't think that's
fair. Stupid doesn't do you justice.
Ed starts to giggle, and Nelson shoots him an icy
Nelson starts to poke Johnny in the chest with a
I don't care if you're a
black belt or not Butt Wipe. You dis me and I'll sweep the sidewalk with you!
Johnny sighs and puts his knapsack down. He opens it
up while the four puzzled boys look on. He pulls an inch thick
piece of pine out of his knapsack and holds it with two hands in
front of him.
He looks at the board intently for a second and with
a scream breaks it over his forehead. He neatly puts the pieces
back in his knapsack while the four awed boys watch.
Nelson, my master tells
me to refrain from violent behavior. He says to be better than
those about me and to travel the path of peace and harmony.
But! If you touch me again, I'm going to make you EAT the
Nelson looks at the sidewalk, at Johnny's knapsack
and finally at Johnny.
Come on, Guys.
Nelson motions to his buddies and they leave headed
toward the school.
That was so cool,
Johnny. I thought Nelson was going to mess in his
Nelson's a jerk. Let's
INT. WORKSTATION/CUBICLE IN AN OFFICE
Jack is pounding away at a PC in a workstation that
is lined with computer manuals. Jack is intent on his work and
does not notice GEORGE who has come up behind him.
GEORGE stands about six feet, is a dirty blonde,
wears a three piece suit, is in so-so shape and sports a well
So, one more week and
you're out a here.
Jack starts and spins around a look of surprise on
his face. George chuckles.
George! I told you not to
sneak up on me like that. You're going to get your head taken
off one of these days.
I thought you had great
control? At least that's what you're always telling me. So did
you get it?
Of course I got
Congratulations, Man. I
owe you a drink. How about the rest of the fam?
Master Beaudoin said we were
the first family to ever get all of our black belts at the same
time. It was nice.
Nice! Nice! I thought
you had to like fight each other for hours in a bloody pit? I
thought you had to have like a car drive over you while lying on
a bed of nails. Or fight deadly sword wielding ninjas?
Nah, we already did
that for our red belt test.
So I guess you and
Elizabeth are going to have some real interesting fights from
Elizabeth and I don't fight.
We work out the issues.
I know. You two are
disgusting. Lonnie threw the butter at me last night. The kids
thought it was hilarious.
method of communication, but high in cholesterol.
So are you pschyed about
the trip? Ready to play Jungle Jack?
Considering I have been waiting
for this trip all of my life I don't think the word psyched
adequately describes what I feel.
Well, I'm happy for you
guys. It will be a trip you'll never forget. Do you want to
grab a beer after work to celebrate your promotion to black
Thanks, but I can't. It's
family night at the rifle range, and I promised Johnny I
wouldn't miss it.
Gonna do some hunting on
Come on, George, you know I
don't hunt. We love animals. Our hunting is restricted to
Well, good thing because
from what you've been telling me about your family's ability
there wouldn't be any little furry animals left... I gotta get
back to work. Don't forget our meeting with production control
INT. SMALL OFFICE
Elizabeth sits behind a well kept desk in a small
office on the second floor of a modern building. She is staring
at a PC off to one side of the desk when CELESTE walks in.
Celeste is in her late thirties, a petite blonde and
conservatively dressed. Elizabeth looks up when she walks into
you get it?
You know what! Your black
Oh that. Yes.
Celeste, obviously excited, grabs a chair and sits.
Oh that! I don't believe
it! You got it! Was it torture? Did you have to break flaming
boards and bricks!? Did you have to do any flipping flying
leaping kicks!? Did you get to fight any gorgeous men with
Do you mean other than my
Oh Elizabeth you're so good,
It's easy to be good when
you're married to a hunk... with talented hands.
Please!? So what was it
Oh it was nice. We got to
spar a whole bunch of people and do a lot of one steps.
Nice!? Nice?! You're the
only women in the world who would describe a black belt test as
nice... So are you going to ask Richard for a promotion? I'll
bet the little coward gives it to you.
Celeste! You're so bad.
I like being a manager right now just fine thank you. Of course
V.P. and then on to
So, you guys are taking off
Sunday for deepest, darkest Africa.
That's the plan. I bought
fifty rolls of film. I can't wait. It'll be so
With the kids? In Africa?
You have a very twisted idea of romantic, Elizabeth.
To each her own.
The phone rings.
Ooops gotta go. I'll talk
to you later, Celeste.
INT. FIFTH GRADE CLASSROOM
Three ten year old boys have Susie surrounded at the
back of the room. The teacher is out of the classroom and the
rest of the students work at their desk. The ignore what is
Billy is a ratty looking little kid as are his
friends Timmy and Duane. They are obviously having fun with
You're so full of it Susie! I
bet you're just going to New Britain for a two weeks so you can
get out of school.
Na, she's going to Bridgeport
to play on Mt. Trashmore.
Am not! I'm going to Africa
with my family. You guys are just jealous!
Why should I be jealous? We
went to France last summer. A real country!
Billy pushes Susie and she ignores the assault.
And I know he went cause I got
They don't have postcards in
They don't even have
Billy pushes Susie again.
Billy goes to push Susie again and she grabs Billy's
hand to throw it into a wrist lock.
Billy crashes to his knees with a cry. Timmy and
Duane back off. Susie reverses the wrist lock and slams Billy
into the wall. She folds his arm up behind his back and grabs a
hunk of his hair while pushing him into the wall.
you please stop pushing me?
All right! All
MR. AVERY, the teacher, walks into the room. In
horror he spies at the confrontation going on in the back of the
What's going on!!!
Timmy and Duane rush back to their seats. Susie lets
Billy go and he falls to his knees. Susie turns to Mr. Avery
and puts on her cutest smile. Mr. Avery rushes to the back of
Susie, what are you
doing!? Billy, get up off of the floor. Well!
wanted to know what I'd do if a lion attacked me while I was on
vacation. So I showed him.
Mr. Avery looks at Billy who looks at Susie and then
at Mr. Avery again. Billy shakes his head vigorously agreeing
doubt very much you'll have a wall to throw the lion up
I could use
Susie, go back
to your desk. You too, Billy.
INT. THE WEIRDING'S KITCHEN
Jack reads the mail. Susie screams upstairs as if
Johnny were beating the hell out of her. Thumps reverberate off
of the ceiling. Jack throws the mail down and runs out of the
INT. SUSIE'S BEDROOM
Susie watches in horror as Johnny does all sorts of
jump spinning flying kicks on her Barbie doll. Tears stream
down her face as she stands by helplessly watching this vicious
Johnny falls on the floor by the sheer force of Jack's yell.
What are you doing!!!!!!
Johnny looks desperately at Susie.
She keeps going in my room, Dad! I told her to stay
out of my stuff.
Jack looks at the doll and tries to hold back a smile.
Beating up her Barbie doll going to keep her out of
What are you
Susie, what did you go in his room for?
I needed the scissors and tape, and he had 'em in his
I didn't know that's what she wanted.
Maybe you should have asked before you started doing
the terminator on her doll.
Susie picks up her doll, kissing it and fixes
Is it broke, Susie?
No, his kicks always miss.
Johnny!! Maybe you don't want to go shooting
Ahh, Dad, come on. I just don't want her going in my
room. Is it too much to ask for a little privacy?
Not at all, and I give you a lot of leeway as far as
that goes, but if Susie needs to borrow tape and scissors she
shouldn't have to worry about the revenge of the ninja, right?
What happened to refraining from violent behavior and
only using your skills to defend yourself?
It's only a stupid doll.
She is not!! She's my best friend, and she doesn't
like being kicked.
What she is is irrelevant Johnny. Was that a proper
use of your Karate?
To be fair, I should let Susie decide. Susie, should
I let Johnny go shooting tonight?
Johnny looks at Susie with pleading in his eyes. She
strokes her Barbies hair and thinks about it for a second.
Only if he promises never to beat up Barbie again.
Jack looks at Johnny.
All right. I promise never to beat up Barbie
And he has to kiss her to make her feel better.
Jack does his best to surpress a laugh.
Johnny looks as though he is being forced to take
poison. He kisses Susie's doll.
Good. Now go get ready. We're going to leave as
soon as your mother gets home.
EXT. BLUE TRAILS RIFLE RANGE
The Weirdings are out for a nice family shoot. It is
obviously cold out. The kids are target shooting with a pair of
.22 rifles while the adults use bigger bore weapons.
The Weirdings, dressed in regulation safety
equipment, look like a NRA family advertisement.
We focus in on Elizabeth as she brings the scope of
her rifle to her eye. As we look through the scope and it comes
EXT. OUTSIDE BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Weirding family comes into focus in the
crosshairs of a viewfinder. There is a distinctive click as a
shutter is released on a camera and a flash goes off.
O.K. Everybody. Thank you!!
Elizabeth goes over to the taxi cab driver who took
their picture and thanks him again. Jack directs the baggage
handler who stands off to one side with a veritable mountain of
EXT. THE AIRPORT
The Weirdings make their way through the airport to
the ticket counter. After their luggage is checked, the excited
family moves on to the metal detectors.
Jack and Elizabeth empty their pockets and put their
bags on the belt to go through the scanner. Johnny goes through
the scanner last and sets it off.
Jack looks at Johnny incredulously as the security
guard waves the metal detecting wand over Johnny's body.
The wand beepss at one of Johnny's pockets. Johnny
hands the guard what looks to be a small bicycle handle. The
guard flips the handle with his wrist and two feet of steel
snaps out to form a hard metal rod.
The guard looks at Jack who is turning ten shades of
Where did you get that!?!?
Through the mail.
Johnny what did you bring that for!?
Well what if we run into terrorists or something?
I don't think this is going to be much help.
The guard folds up weapon and hands it to
Please put this in your bag, Mam. I don't think we
have to worry about you taking over the plane with it.
Jack grabs johnny's shoulder.
I can't believe you sometimes. I swear you're trying
to give me a heart attack.
Elizabeth packs up the weapon. They grab their carry
on luggage and exit the security station.
EXT. LUFTHANSA AIRLINER TAKING OFF DOWN THE RUNWAY -
EXT. THE SAFARI PARK HOTEL IN NAIROBI - EVENING
The Weirding's pile out of a Range Rover. ARTHUR,
the Weirding's Safari Director, directs a couple of bellhops to
the Weirdings luggage. Arthur escorts the Weirdings into the
EXT. THE STREETS OF NAIROBI
Arthur drives slowly through the streets of Nairobi
pointing out various buildings of interest to the Weirdings.
INT. THE NATIONAL AVIARY
Arthur escorts the Weirdings into the National
EXT. THE MAIN GATES OF THE KAREN ESTATES
Arthur drives the Weirdings through the main gates of
the Karen Estates, the former home of Isak Dinesen (the Baroness
von Blixen) about whom the film "Out of Africa" was
EXT. GIRAFFE MANOR
The Weirdings feed the giraffes from the windows of
the Manor house.
EXT. THE MARKETS OF NAIROBI
The Weirdings explore the various exotic wares of the
street venders as Arthur escorts them through the streets of
Nairobi. The Weirdings joke with the vendors and occasionally
walk away with an item or two.
Jack has to take a Maasai tribal spear away from
Johnny after he almost accidentally skewers a passing tourist.
He apologizes profusely to the tourist and the vendor.
EXT. THE DOOR MARKET
Arthur's Range Rover is almost bursting with items
the Weirdings have bought. They stand in front of a market that
sells ornately carved Arabian doors. Eventually they settle on
two and direct the vendor to their Range Rover.
EXT. PLANE OVER AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK - MORNING
The Weirdings have begun their safari. They are in a
small twin engine plane over the national park. Arthur smiles
as they stare in wonder at the scenic Athi plains and the bush
country of the park.
EXT. AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK - LATE AFTERNOON
Arthur drives their minibus through the park and the
Weirdings wonder at the herds of elephant, antelope, zebra,
wildebeest buffalo and the rare black rhino. There are also
prides of lion, leopard and cheetah.
EXT. MOUNTAIN LODGE TREE HOTEL - MORNING
Arthur escorts the Weirdings from the hotel to a
EXT. NEAR THE UASO NYIRO RIVER - LATE MORNING
The Weirdings stand near the Range Rover and pass
binoculars back and forth as they watch an assortment of Somali
ostrich, Grevy's zebra, the reticulated giraffe and the gerenuk
gazelle. Jack has his camera out and clicks away.
EXT. SHAMBURU/SHABA GAME RESERVE - LATE AFTERNOON
Arthur has picked out a large tree on the northern
edge of the reserve as a campsite. There is now another Range
Rover with the Weirdings group that carries two other guides.
Everyone unloads and they begin to set up camp.
EXT. BASE CAMP
Two four man tents are set up at the base of a large
tree. The two range rovers are parked to protect either side of
the camp. A fifty-five gallon drum has been cut in half and a
grill placed on top of it.
Arthur cooks the evening meal on top of the grill amongst various pots and pans while humming to himself. The other two guides have their guns nearby and keep a watchful eye around the perimeter.
The Weirdings lounge on their cots while Arthur prepares the meal. A small folding card table sits nearby with paperware and condiments.
Are there a lot of snakes around here?
There are always snakes, Missy, but that is why you zip your tent up at night and whenever you are not in it. Then the snakes they leave you alone.
Johnny, did you zip the tent up the last time you were in there?
(Like she's an idiot)
So what's for dinner, Arthur, I'm starved.
Ah, it is a local delicacy. It is caterpillar, with pig entrails and Savannah grass.
Click here for PART II