BUD IS SITTING AT THE COMPUTER, TYPING FEVERISHLY. KELLY ENTERS IN HER DRESSING GOWN).

BUD: (To Himself) Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!

KELLY: What are you doing?

BUD: Good morning Kelly, haven't you got something to say to me?

KELLY: Only that an inflatable ex is pressing charges. So what are you doing?

BUD: Doing something you can't. I'm reading and writing!

KELLY: Listen, I can write, and I'm learning to read. So there! Anyway, the most reading you usually do is: "blow into air nozzle. Your rubber friend is now ready for use".

BUD: That's probably true, but I don't write with a crayon, and my reading ability stretches beyond that in speech bubbles.

(AL AND PEGGY ENTER)

PEGGY: Well Al, you are a pig! You cannot honestly say that you'd rather read "Big Uns" than play around with me?

AL: Peg, you cook, I'll play!

PEGGY: We tried the food for sex plan before, Al, but your currency continues to drop in value.

AL: I don't understand your "Big Uns" problem, Peg. Why do you object to me indulging myself in some harmless entertainment?

PEGGY: It's insulting to me. Anyway, I've got "Big Uns" of my own and they're always on offer.

AL: "Big Uns" they may be Peg, but they live in a bad neighbourhood.

BUD: Morning mom, dad. Have you got something to say to me?

AL: Yeah Bud put the trash out!

(AL WALKS OVER TO THE DINNER TABLE AND SITS GAZING AT A JAR OF TANG)

KELLY: But why would a computer interest you, Bud?

BUD: Ssshhh! I just got a message from Candice! Boy is she hot! And she wants sex over the Internet! Oh man! And better still, it's about the only place you haven't had it, Kel.

KELLY: I didn't know you had a rubber computer. But it does explain why you type with only one hand!

PEGGY: Now Kelly! Sex over the Internet you say? Hmmm sounds fun!

AL: How can any normal person enjoy sex with a machine?

(LOOKS AT PEGGY, WHO HAS A SMUG SMILE)

PEGGY: Well Al, I think with you it would be more a case of floppy disk than hard drive.

(AL LOOKS MISERABLE AND LICKS A FINGER AND DIPS IT INTO THE TANG JAR, BEFORE LICKING OFF THE POWDER)

KELLY: Don't worry Daddy, Bud's just the same. He gets laughed at for his software all the time.

RUN OPENING CREDITS

ACT ONE. SCENE TWO: THE LIVING ROOM

BUD IS STILL SITTING AT THE COMPUTER, TYPING AWAY. KELLY AND PEGGY ARE SITTING ON THE SOFA, WATCHING TELEVISION. PEGGY IS SWITCHING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN CHANNELS MUMBLING TO HERSELF. HER HAIR IS A MESS, AND HER MASCARA IS RUNNING DOWN HER FACE.

BUD: Ooh, pound those keys, baby!

PEGGY: It's at times like this I realise I'm not a very good person.

BUD: (Louder) Enter! Colon! Tab!

PEGGY: Maybe its time for me to re-evaluate myself and my treatment of others...

BUD: (Screaming) Boy, what a download!

(HE RELAXES, AND MOPS HIS BROW)

KELLY: And you had Lucky neutered!

PEGGY: I know now that I truly am a dreadful person! If only I could put everything right.

BUD: Look mom, Kelly was a lost cause ever since you fed her asbestos. And I'll find the right girl some day...

KELLY: Yeah, attached to a foot-pump...

PEGGY: Bud, I haven't time for your problems... this is the fifth week Oprah's been pre-empted...and I feel partially to blame...

BUD: (Annoyed) And why is that?

PEGGY: I never paid her enough attention... never considered her feelings... and last fall, during an episode, I turned over to Geraldo! She knows, and that's why she's gone.

BUD: Maybe... Mom, don't you think you've kind of forgotten something? Today?

PEGGY: Oh yes, of course, oh Bud I feel so bad.

(BUD SMILES AND HOLDS OUT HIS HAND)

Oprah needs a holiday just as much as I do! Thank you Bud! You've shown me how important it is to think about others! But the pain won't go away.

(SHE BEGINS TO CRY)

BUD: Gee Mom, I guess that your Oprah dilemma really puts our mediocre problems into perspective...

PEGGY: She knows! She knows of my sin, I tell you!

BUD: Mom, hasn't it occurred to you that the reason we're all so screwed up is that you never pay us any attention to us?

PEGGY: I will hear no more of this! There are greater issues at stake...

BUD: But that's not fair!

PEGGY: Bud face facts. You're a foot short for your age and look like a cartoon. Accept it, life isn't fair. Honestly, you kids are so selfish! I mean, I have problems, but you don't see me bothering you... Don't you think I yearn for romance, affection? However, I married daddy and you stopped growing. So, you start wearing platform shoes and a paper bag on your head, and I'll make do with that seatbelt I attached to the washing machine!

KELLY: You know what the washing machine is?

PEGGY: Of course, but you don't think I'd tell your father, now do you?

(BUD, DISBELEIVING, POINTS TO THE REFRIGERATOR)

BUD: All right then, what's this?

PEGGY: It's the refrigerator.

BUD: And what's that?

(POINTS TO IRONING BOARD)

PEGGY: The ironing board...

BUD: I've got one you'll never get... What's this?

(HE POINTS TO THE OVEN)

PEGGY: Oh that's easy.

(SHE TAKES A CIGARETTE, WALKS OVER TO THE OVEN, IGNITES THE GAS, AND LIGHTS HER CIGARETTE)

PEGGY: What else could it be for? Now, I have work to do... I must prove myself to Oprah...

(PEGGY FLOUNCES UPSTAIRS. AL ENTERS, SLAMMING THE DOOR BEHIND HIM)

AL: A fat woman came into the shoe store today, buttocks dragging along obscenely behind her... She asked for a petite accessory to go with her new set of hooves. I told her to try a nosebag... She then told me that she couldn't understand why I should think that she was fat... Jokingly, I replied that she had to be hiding her udders somewhere... But still, the vast riches of minimum wage make it all worthwhile. Anyway, rather than just taking the blows in a mature way as I do, she beat me mercilessly with an empty Twinkie box.

BUD: Have you got something to say to me now, Dad. I mean this morning was a joke and all?

AL: No Bud, you were the joke!

(DOOR RINGS. AL OPENS IT AND LETS IN JEFFERSON AND MARCY)

MARCY: Happy birthday Bud!

BUD: Thanks Mrs D'Arcy. I'm glad to see that someone remembered!

AL: Bud, I do hope you're not trying to say that we forgot your anniversary!

BUD: Birthday!

AL: Whatever!

MARCY: Well Bud, we got you a gift!

JEFFERSON: And I just know you're gonna love it!

(MARCY PRODUCES A PARCEL, WHICH BUD RIPS OPEN. IT CONTAINS A PENCIL POUCH)

BUD: Gee, a pencil pouch. Just what I wanted.

MARCY: If it's not the right colour, I can always take it back and change it.

BUD: No, it's great.

MARCY: Al, where is Peggy?

AL: Who cares? I think she must be upstairs.

MARCY: You think... this is your wife, you evil shoe-goblin... you should always know where she is.

AL: In my defence, Oprah was pre-empted for the fifth week in a row... Peg is praying for her to return...

MARCY: Like you pray for your hair and lost youth to return...

(AL LOOKS A MARCY'S CLEAVAGE)

AL: True, but at least I had something to lose. Marcy... You're a fool for tolerating her!

MARCY: Try treating her properly, for a change!

AL: I couldn't treat that woman any better! Why only last week, Peg said she wanted something nice for the bathroom. So I, loving husband that I am, went out and got Peg her own personalised bath towels.

MARCY: And since when has Peggy's name been Howard Johnson? Well, I'm going upstairs to comfort her!

(SHE GOES UPSTAIRS)

JEFFERSON: Do you like it Bud?

BUD: (Sarcastically) Sure, coz' as they say, Every Romeo will vouch for a pencil pouch!

JEFFERSON: My gift's inside.

(BUD LOOKS INSIDE AND SMILES)

BUD: Two tickets to see Twin Peaks at the Jiggly Room! Boy, I've always wanted to explore a mountain pass! Thanks Mr D'Arcy!

AL: Ooh, can I have one of those, son!

BUD: I'd love to Dad, but it's not our anniversary.

(BUD EXITS)

AL: Are you okay, Jefferson?

JEFFERSON: (Depressed) Yeah, Al.

AL: Is something wrong?

JEFFERSON: Yes, it's Marcy.

AL: That would be right!

JEFFERSON: No! I mean that I'm worried about our marriage... We haven't done it in weeks. She never wants to, and the longer it goes on, the less I want to. Face it Al, we're turning into you and Peggy. I might as well sell women's shoes.

AL: Well if you did Jefferson, you'd realise that when the holiday season comes, you don't go looking for overtime.

JEFFERSON: I mean sure it was duty, but what's the point in me avoiding sex now? You know what Al, I think I might have rendered myself obsolete.

AL: Hmmm, sex with Colonel Sander's plaything, or the bliss of watching a ball game with the comforting touch of your fingers inside your pants. The agony of choice!

JEFFERSON: Well I want Marcy!

AL: And I want Janet Reno to start shaving but face it, it ain't gonna happen! Look Jefferson, I can see you're upset but look on the bright side. Your wife, the scariest woman you will ever meet doesn't want sex any more. Celebrate!

JEFFERSON: You think I am afraid of her?

AL: Well, I am!

JEFFERSON: Really?

AL: Yeah, my worse nightmare is waking up one morning, finding Marcy in the bed beside me, and feathers in my mouth!

JEFFERSON: I can't make do forever and I intend to find out what's doing this!

(HE STORMS OUT)

AL: If you do, get Peg a double!

KELLY: By the way Daddy, I really think you should talk to mom...

AL: Why Pumpkin? She might talk back... Anyway, what could be wrong with her?

KELLY: You'd better go see for yourself.

SCENE THREE: AL AND PEGGY'S BEDROOM

(PEGGY HAS ERECTED A SHRINE DEDICATED TO OPRAH, CREATED FROM NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS, ETC. AND SURROUNDED BY CANDLES AND FAIRY LIGHTS. SHE IS KNEELING AT ITS BASE PRAYING. MARCY IS STANDING NEARBY. AL ENTERS, CLEARLY AMAZED)

MARCY: You know what you have to do Al.

AL: Don't you think that if I owned a shotgun, I'd have dealt with myself first?

MARCY: No, console her!

(MARCY EXITS)

PEGGY: Oh mighty Oprah... forgive this one who has sinned... I knew not of the evils I was evoking... Return... Please...

(SHE BREAKS DOWN INTO TEARS)

AL: Peg, are you okay?

PEGGY: Oh Al, I can't reach her... Life just isn't the same without her... I need your support...

AL: Peg, is it necessary? Marcy thinks that it might be Bud's birthday.

PEGGY: Shut up Al! Should I have stigmata? Oprah once said that you should indulge your husband. I thought that meant to let you keep your pants on during sex... How could I have missed the sub-text, so?

AL: Do you think we should give him something?

PEGGY: I'm giving him the greatest gift I can. The benefits of a life with Oprah. Now leave me, I must purge myself of my sin...

(AL NODS AND LEAVES)

AL: (OOV) Peg, can I have a divorce?

PEGGY: (Vacant) Sure Al, now where is my "I love Oprah - even the wobbly parts" bumper sticker?

AL: (OOV) And will you cook me a farewell meal?

PEGGY: Sure. Hail Oprah, who art in pre-emption...

AL: (OOV) Yee-hah! In that case, I'm going to Disneyland!

FADE OUT.

ACT TWO: SCENE FOUR - THE KITCHEN

(PEGGY AND MARCY ARE SITTING AT THE DINNER TABLE. PEGGY IS SHAKING AND A HALF-EMPTY BOTTLE OF WHISKY IS NEARBY)

MARCY: Now Peggy, Oprah doesn't hate you...

PEGGY: But she does... She hates me! Last season, I forgot to buy an Oprah "TV Guide" holder... the shame... Marcy, you know what you have to do...

MARCY: Do I have to?

PEGGY: I think it would allow me to be more open in my grief... I can't bottle it up forever... Now hurry up. In two minutes I have to sprinkle fresh holy water on her shrine.

MARCY: All right then...

(SHE REACHES UNDER THE TABLE, AND GETS OUT AN OPRAH MASK, MADE BY CUTTING OUT A LIFE SIZE PHOTOGRAPH. SHE PUTS IT ON)

MARCY: Hi Peggy.

PEGGY: Oprah, you've come back! Oh joy! Oprah, I have sinned...

MARCY: Now Peggy, tell our studio audience all about it...

PEGGY: I didn't appreciate you... and then you went away... I'm so very ashamed...

MARCY: Well I'm here to stay. Now what do we say to that?

(PEGGY PRODUCES A TAPE RECORDER AND PRESSES PLAY... AN AUDIENCE ARE HEARD CHEERING)

AUDIENCE: Oprah, Oprah, Oprah!

PEGGY: And Al said that the "Oprah Audiences Through The Ages" CD was a waste of money. Now who looks the fool?

(MARCY REMOVES HER MASK)

MARCY: Well Peggy, I better be going.

PEGGY: Wait a minute, you're not Oprah!

MARCY: Well of course I'm not.

PEGGY: And you'll admit to it?

MARCY: Well yeah!

(PEGGY GETS OUT A KNIFE AND BEGINS TO ADVANCE ON MARCY, WHO WATCHES AND HURRIEDLY PUTS THE MASK BACK ON)

Look it's me, Oprah!

PEGGY: You are not worthy to bear the might of Oprah!

(AL IS SITTING ON THE SOFA)

AL: Peg, the Earth's crust can hardly bear the might of Oprah!

(PEGGY BEGINS TO ADVANCE ON MARCY, WHO RUNS OUT OF THE HOUSE, SCREAMING, PASSING BUD, WHO IS JUST ENTERING)

BUD: Oprah?

AL: No, it was Marcy, and her undersized nuggets. Now that's fast food. And buy the looks of things, it's sped clear past the sell-by date.

PEGGY: Oh Al, I can't believe the nerve of that woman. Hold me!

AL: Put the knife down first, Peg.

(PEGGY PUTS THE KNIFE DOWN)

PEGGY: It's at times like this that I'm glad to have a loving husband.

AL: And it's a times like this that I'm glad we have Doctor Kervorkian.

(KELLY ENTERS, WITH SOMETHING BEHIND HER BACK)

KELLY: Hi Bud. I didn't want you to think that I forgot your birthday, so I got you this!

(SHE PRODUCES A LARGE BIRTHDAY CARD FROM BEHIND HER BACK, WHICH IS COVERED IN TINSEL, TIN FOIL, ETC. AS SHE HANDS IT TO BUD, A BAUBLE FALLS OFF, SMASHING ON THE FLOOR)

BUD: (Sarcastically) Thanks Kel! Where did you buy it?

KELLY: Well, although you'd never guess, I made it all by myself!

BUD: (Mock Surprise) You didn't?

KELLY: No, it's true! And it's got a special message inside!

BUD: Yes, I see you finger-painted it! Let's see. "Dear Bud, merry birthday and a happy New Year, from your loving sister Kelly, who would like Brad Pitt for her birthday on Decembuary the 42th." Well thanks for that. I guess it proves just how much the thought does count.

KELLY: Yeah, and remember, Decembuary the 42th.

BUD: I don't think we'll be forgetting that in a hurry.

AL: Bud, I hope you're not still whining over all that happy birthday crap! You see I am a wonderful father, because I had something to help me along the way that my dad didn't.

BUD: And what was that?

AL: Cable television!

(AL PICKS UP THE REMOTE CONTROL AND SWITCHES THE TELEVISION ON)

TV ANNOUNCER: It's ten o' clock, do know where your kids... oh what the hell, watch NFL on Fox, instead. Oh sorry, that's on CBS now... Coming next, the premiere episode of a brand new sitcom, "Married Wi..." I'm sorry, due to a perceived low interest amongst viewers, our new sitcom will not be seen. Instead we bring you a Fox special event... "When Goldfish Attack"!

AL: Now there's the voice of sanity. I don't know how you can accuse me and your mom of not bringing you up properly. Honestly Bud, you're a fine figure of man. Stand up and let's take a look at you.

BUD: Dad, I am standing up.

AL: You are? Oh... Are you meant to be that size?

BUD: No!

AL: Well, don't worry... that growth spurt will come along when you least expect it... It did for me.

PEGGY: So you keep saying Al, but I'm still left with a Weenie Tott for the main course!

AL: Yeah, and I'm left with something stale to put it between...

BUD: You see? You two are so involved in your own stupid arguments that I'm always ignored! Well I'm moving out of here! I've watched you all vegetating. Rotting away in this bon-bon stained plaid palace that you all call home! Well, not me! I intend doing something with my life!

AL: How do you intend to move out?

BUD: This is how!

(BUD PRODUCES A HUGE WAD OF NOTES)

AL: Where did you get all that money?

BUD: I saved it.

AL: Peg, I thought you were meant to go through the boy's wallet!

PEGGY: Al, I didn't even realise he was still living here!

AL: Bud, how could you save all that?

KELLY: Well in an effort to save on those expensive rubber playmates, Bud's started using a puncture repair kit!

BUD: I have not! Erm, got any rubber... things...

AL: So that's what they were!

(EVERYONE LOOKS AROUND AT AL, BUT HE IS COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS)

I thought it had measles!

(AL REALISES THAT HE IS BEING STARED AT)

Erm, I was looking for a... pencil and well... anyway that's not important! What's important is that you are hurting your mother, young man!

BUD: Who are you to lecture me? You two can't say you're really in love!

AL: How dare you! Your mother and I are blissfully happy!

BUD: Come on Dad, you even tie your shoelaces into nooses!

PEGGY: Now there I must object! Your father used to write me beautiful letters when we were courting. And I treasure them even now.

AL: As did your Mother... Where are those?

PEGGY: I put them in a safe place. Now where was that?

(LOOKS AROUND, AND FISHES A WAD OF LETTERS OUT OF THE TRASHCAN)

Here they are! God, I must remember to take out the trash some day...

(AL TAKES ONE AND ADMIRES IT)

AL: Look your Mother even put little hearts above the 'I's...

PEGGY: And Daddy dotted his with little hooters.

AL: Money or no money, where are you moving?

BUD: With Hot Lips, the girl I've been e-mailing. And that's not the only offer I've had. Obviously, when it comes to computer loving, I press the right buttons.

KELLY: Which is interesting, because when people see you, they usually want to pull the plug!

AL: Well son, I'm not sure I approve! You're gonna move in with someone you've never even seen before. Trust me son. Never buy a car before giving it a test ride!

PEGGY: Says a guy who owns a Dodge!

AL: Says a woman who test drove the entire football team yet married the guy who owned the Dodge!

(BUD IS TYPING AT THE COMPUTER AGAIN)

BUD: Listen, this is the description she gives... six foot, blonde, stunningly attractive, and feminine in every way.

AL: That's the same description your grandpa gave me about your mother.

BUD: But I can't still believe that you forgot my birthday!

AL: Well, while you were at the Jiggly Room, we got you this.

(AL PRODUCES A VERY SMALL, COLOURLESS CARD, WHICH HE GIVES TO BUD)

BUD: "To Budrick, Sincerely, Mr and Mrs Bundy." At least Kelly tries.

KELLY: Yeah, you don't see me forgetting...

(SHE IS STRUGGLING TO REMEMBER)

I'm sorry, what was your name, again?

AL: Bud, how dare you criticise us after all your Mother and I have done for you!

PEGGY: Yes! Your father had to get me down to the hospital.

AL: I walked her all the way to the bus stop! And the minute you were born, I fitted a baby seat for you in the Dodge!

BUD: You tied me to the bumper.

AL: And you only fell off once.

PEGGY: Are you sure this person is just going to welcome you into their life?

BUD: Well, she says I can come live with her. She wants to ditch her husband, but until then I'm to be her butler. She's e-mailing me her address... That's odd, I've never heard of another Jeopardy Lane before.

(PEGGY WALKS OVER TO THE COMPUTER SCREEN)

PEGGY: Let me look at that.

BUD: It's just as well it's not our Jeopardy Lane, 'coz that would be... No, it couldn't.

(PEGGY IS OBVIOUSLY NOT SO SURE)

I know! I'll finally reveal my real identity and address.

(HE TYPES SOMETHING QUICKLY. OFFSCREEN, WE HEAR SCREAMING)

MARCY: (OOV) Oh my God! No!

(AL BURSTS OUT LAUGHING)

BUD: All right then, I'll e-mail Candice, my other computer lover!

(BUD TYPES SOMETHING. OFFSCREEN WE HEAR MORE SCREAMING)

JEFFERSON: (OOV) Oh my God! It's a guy! Oh no, it's worse! It's Bud!

BUD: Oh my God! And I preferred her!

AL: Bud, there's a closet over there. Go inside, turn around and then you can come out!

(AL IS CONSUMED BY LAUGHTER)

BUD: What's that meant to mean?!

AL: Well apparently you've been dating Marcy, you know Marcy. She's the little boy who lives next door, and her husband, who obviously plays ball on both sides of the field!

BUD: So that means I'm staying here... Just like every other Bundy.

(BUD WALKS OVER TO THE SOFA. THERE ARE TEARS IN HIS EYES. PEGGY RUSHES OVER AND HUGS HIM)

PEGGY: Oh my poor little man.

BUD: And to think, I really thought that I was about to escape the Bundy curse.

PEGGY: Oh, don't worry Bud. Your father and I never got out of here, and we're just... well, we're alive. I mean, so what if daddy has a bush growing out of each nostril?

AL: And so what if your mother's breasts are losing altitude?

BUD: So this IS how it ends.

(AL PATS BUD ON THE BACK)

AL: Well son, I guess you are staying. And if you are moving, you're not gonna be far away!

PEGGY: Al!

BUD: (Sniffing back tears) Well I don't care what you say.

AL: Course you don't, son.

BUD: Because I'm going. I'm not staying here the rest of my life.

(BUD'S HEAD IS BURIED IN HIS HANDS. AL APPEARS TO PAT HIM ON THE BACK, BUT INSTEAD TAKES HIS WALLET)

AL: Don't worry son, you can go tomorrow.

BUD: And you're not gonna stop me. I'm gonna be that Bundy.

AL: How could I stop you, son?

(AL TAKES BUD'S MONEY FROM THE WALLET AND GRABS IT IN HIS FIST. HE SMILES)

After all, you've got the one thing you need to get out of here Bud.

(AL GRINS INSANELY AT HIS FIST)

Money!

PEGGY: I know. How about I cook you a birthday meal?

AL: Peg, we've been married for over twenty-five years, and the nearest you've ever come to cooking for me was that time your cigarette dropped down into your cleavage.

PEGGY: Don't listen to your Daddy. I'm going to cook you a nice takeout pizza.

BUD: (Beginning to cheer up) Do I get a big slice of the box?

PEGGY: Nothing's too much trouble for my baby. Why, I'll even puree the plastic fork.

BUD: Oh boy!

(AL OPENS HIS FIST AND REMOVES ONE BILL FROM THE HUGE ROLL)

AL: And as it's gonna be your last meal here, and my first, let old Dad pay for it. Happy birthday Bud.

(RUN CREDITS)

EPILOGUE: SCENE FIVE - A BEDROOM

(THE SHOT OPENS WITH A BARE WOMAN'S FOOT TYPING ON A KEYBOARD. THE CAMERA PANS OUT TO REVEAL MARCY, LAYING ON HER BED IN HER UNDERWEAR. IN HER HAND IS A CIGARETTE. AS SHE EXHALES SMOKE, SMOKE COMES OUT OF THE COMPUTER)

MARCY: Credit where credit's due... that Bill is a mega-byte.

(A MESSAGE FLASHES UP ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN. IT READS: "THAT WAS GREAT. DON'T PRESS CHARGES, AND YOU'LL BE BETTER THAN PAULA JONES." MARCY LOOKS SHOCKED)

It couldn't be... Oh, what do I care? It's the first time I've seen this government deliver!

(SHE RECLINES, AND RETURNS TO HER CIGARETTE)

(FADE TO BLACK. RUN CLOSING CREDITS)