A TAXING PROBLEM
Al Bundy...................Ed O'Neill
Peg Bundy..................Katey Sagal
Steve Rhoades..............David Garrison
Marcy Rhoades..............Amanda Bearse
Kelly Bundy................Christina Applegate
Bud Bundy..................David Faustino
Buck.......................Buck the Dog
Leo Privett................Paul Coufos
Marie Privett..............Coleen Maloney
Kelly is sitting at the kitchen table, doing homework.
KELLY Let's see. [reading out loud] Farmer Brown has 50 potatoes and six children. If half
of the potatoes are to be devided among one third of the children, how many potatoes
do each of the [reads the next word with some effort] remaining children get? Oh, God.
Kelly holds her head and tries to think.
KELLY I know! I know! [writing down] Short skirt for Math Monday.
Bud comes in, leading Buck by a leash and holding a scooper. He sighs.
KELLY How'd it go?
BUD Ah, he's still constipated.
Bud holds up the empty scooper.
BUD If he was any tighter you could wear him to the prom.
KELLY You mean to tell me he didn't react at all to the picture of you naked? 'Cause just
the thought of it would work for me. Well, I guess we have to give him his pill.
Kelly gets up and gets a jar of pills from the counter.
BUD Yeah, but he'll spit it out if you don't wrap it in something that tastes good.
KELLY Well, let's see what we've got.
Kelly walks over to the refrigirator and opens it. Inside it we see an empty beer bottle,
a jar of olives and something wrapped in tin foil.
KELLY How 'bout this thing in the tin foil that's moving?
BUD No! Mom said never to touch that. [thinks] I know!
Bud picks up a mousetrap from the counter's lower shelf.
BUD How 'bout this piece of cheese? The mouse wouldn't eat it but maybe Buck will...
KELLY Well, can't be all that old, it's still green.
Bud and Kelly wrap the pill with the piece of cheese. Bud offers it to Buck.
BUD [holding the pill in front of Buck's face] Here Buck. Come on, boy. Yummy fuzzy
Buck ignores Bud. Al comes down the stairs.
AL Ah, I love waking up after your mother's already up and out. The scent of her perfume
still in the air, fifty bucks missing from my wallet... Just like I was single.
Al sees the piece of cheese with the pill in it and picks it up.
AL Hey, breakfast cheese.
Al eats the pill before Kelly and Bud have a chance to stop him.
AL It's not bad. You know, I have a feeling it's gonna be a big day for Daddy today.
BUD The biggest, Dad.
The doorbell rings.
AL Who could that be?
BUD Well, since Mom and Kelly's boyfriends have their own keys, it's probably the mailman.
Al opens the door. The mailman is standing outside, holding several letters.
MAILMAN Bundy, I just want you to know I'm retired after twenty years of faithful service -
Al takes the letters from the mailman and shuts the door in his face.
AL [sifting through the letters] Now let's see. Bill, bill... [tosses these letters
aside] Hello! My tax refund.
Kelly and Bud cheer. Al sits down on the couch, Kelly sits next to him and Bud sits on the
AL I told you it's gonna be a big day. [puts his hand to his stomach] Hmm, my stomach's
Kelly inches away from Al.
AL Maybe that cheese'll settle it. [to the letter] Ah God, I love you.
Al kisses the letter.
KELLY Thanks, Daddy.
AL Not you. Go away.
Kelly starts to get up.
AL Kelly, I'm sorry, no. Come back here. Come back here.
Al takes Kelly's hand.
Al chuckles and then uses Kelly's fingernails to open the envelope.
AL [to Kelly] Now you go away.
Kelly gets up and walks to the kitchen, holding her finger in pain. Bud takes her place next
AL [laughing excitedly] Ho-ho, let's see how much I got. Ho-ho man, I'm gonna be -
Al starts to read the letter and his smile turns into a frown.
AL - audited!
Peggy comes in.
AL Peg, I'm gonna be audited!
Peggy takes off her coat and hangs it.
PEGGY Very nice. I just spent three hours in the beauty parlor, and all you can say is
"I'm being audited". [scoffs]
Peggy sits on the couch.
PEGGY Why do I bother.
KELLY What's "audited"?
BUD Well, basically, it's where they take everything you own and throw you in jail.
KELLY But just Dad, right?
KELLY Then to hell with it.
Kelly sits on the small couch.
AL Peg, get our tax records, 'cause I'm suing the moron that bungled our taxes.
PEGGY Oh. [chuckles] Well gee, that would be me. Oh now don't get that look on your face.
It's a good thing I did the taxes. You see, I had this idea: if claiming two children
as dependants gets you $200, imagine what 23 kids would be worth!
Al stares at Peggy.
AL The gas chamber?
KELLY Dibs on his car!
BUD I want it! I always said I could have it!
KELLY No, it's mine!
AL Uh, kids! Don't fight. There'll be cars for the both of you. 'Cause Mommy's will be up
for grabs, 'cause Mommy will be up the river with me. See, it was a joint return.
BUD [to Kelly] Think they'll be out of here by Valentine's Day? 'Cause I don't know about
you, Kel, but I'm thinking party.
KELLY Imagine. Both Mom and Dad in jail. We'll be the coolest kids in school.
Bud and Kelly high-five.
PEGGY Now kids, stop worrying. Mommy's not going anywhere.
AL And why is that, Peg?
PEGGY Oh, Al. You don't think I'd be stupid enough to sign my name to that return too...
This isn't like a parking ticket. This is what they sent Capone away for!
Al grabs his hair in despair. Peggy gets up.
PEGGY Oh, but don't worry, Honey. I'm gonna go upstairs right now and call my uncle Ephus.
He'll know what to do. He's a pig-farmer!
Peggy starts to head upstairs. Kelly stops her.
KELLY Mom, if Dad does go to jail, can we still have a Valentine's party?
PEGGY Well, let's get him off to jail first, and then we'll talk about it.
Kelly jumps up and down with joy and follows Peggy upstairs.
AL [to Bud] Well Son, we owe five grand to the government. So sometime between now, and,
uh... [looks at the letter] 10am on Thursday I've gotta come up with a small fortune.
Al picks up a newspaper.
AL Well, let's see what we've got here. Uh... [reads] "Free Money For Fools". Nope,
nothing here... Here's something: "Store Toxic Waste At Home". You wouldn't mind
growing a second head for Daddy, would you, Son?
BUD I don't know, Dad. Everything in my closet is sorta built around one head.
AL Yeah. Well, we'll just circle this as a 'maybe'. Hmm... "Desperate woman needs human
hair for wig. Will pay any price. Red preferred."
Al and Bud look at each other. Peggy comes down the stairs and sits on the couch.
PEGGY Al, Honey, great news. Ephus wasn't there, but aunt Inny said if you get her a
blueprint of the courthouse, he'll pull his half-ton under the window, and you're just
a manure ride away from freedom. [chuckles]
Al and Bud look at Peggy's hair thoughtfully.
PEGGY What're you two looking at?
AL Your lovely red hair.
PEGGY [happily] Oh, Al! You noticed. [chuckles] I didn't think you cared.
AL [stroking Peggy's hair] Oh, but I do.
Peggy is sitting at the kitchen table, holding out a pill for Buck, who is ignoring her.
PEGGY Oh, come on, Buck. Take your pill. I put it in this nice bonbon...
Buck continues to ignore her. We hear the toilet flushing and Al comes in from the garage,
shaking his head.
PEGGY Al, you have been in there all morning.
AL I don't know what it is, Peg. I haven't eaten a thing since that piece of cheese
Al notices the bonbon on the table.
AL Oh, bonbon.
Al eats the bonbon.
AL It's nice and crunchy. Gee, I hope it settles my stomach.
PEGGY I don't think it'll be in there long enough.
Al brushes Peggy's hair with a comb.
PEGGY Oh, Al, are you brushing my hair again? You know, to some people you're just a guy who
needs a shower, but beneath it all you really are romantic.
Behind her, Al takes out a tape measure and measures her hair.
AL Yep. Yep, I am.
The doorbell rings.
AL Uh, Peg, bring your hair over here. You can come too, Dear.
Al leads Peggy to the couch.
AL Sit down.
Peggy sits on the couch. Al opens the door. A married couple, Leo and Marie Privett, are
standing outside. Marie Privett has very poor hair.
LEO Hello. We're the Privetts. We're here to see the hair.
AL Of course. Step right into our showroom.
The Privetts come in and walk over to behind the couch.
AL [to Peggy] Uh, Dear, these are our good friends the, uh...
AL The Privetts, yes. [to the Privetts] And this is my lovely wife, the, um...
PEGGY The Peggy.
MARIE [to Peggy] You have lovely hair.
PEGGY Why, thank you.
Marie strokes Peggy's hair and holds it to her cheek.
MARIE Leo, it's perfect.
AL Come on, Leo. You can touch it too.
Leo touches Peggy's hair.
LEO Well, it's very nice.
AL Isn't it though?
Peggy looks at Marie, who is stroking Peggy's hair.
PEGGY Uh, Al, could I speak to you for a minute?
AL [to the Privetts] Excuse us for a second.
Al and Peggy walk over to the kitchen.
PEGGY What's going on here?
AL Well, Peg, I've gotta pay the IRS so I'm selling the, uh... The lawn furniture.
LEO How much are you asking?
AL Um... Ten thousand.
PEGGY Al, it cost 40 bucks 15 years ago.
AL So did you.
LEO Well, ten thousand's a little steep, Bundy, but I might go to, um...
Leo looks at Marie, who looks at him encouragingly.
LEO Two thousand.
PEGGY [whispering excitedly to Al] Two thousand dollars!
Al and Peggy walk back to the Privetts.
PEGGY You know, it's really worth the money. Wny, you can just sit on it for hours, and if
you hose it off, it's good as new.
Peggy laughs. The Privetts look at each other.
LEO Five thousand.
MARIE [to Peggy] You don't mind us taking it from you?
PEGGY [laughing] Oh no-ho-ho-ho. Why, the dog just lies on it, and the birds use it as a
bathroom... You know, I'll be glad to get rid of it.
LEO We'll be back tomorrow with the cheque.
The Privetts start to leave. Peggy follows them.
PEGGY [to Leo] Could you make that cash? [to Al] That way we don't have to report it to the
The Privetts leave. Peggy closes the door after them and turns to Al.
PEGGY [very excitedly] Five thousand dollars! Al, we're rich! Oh, you are the smartest man
in the whole world. Honey, let's just forget about this audit. We'll run from the
government and the kids, we'll set off across the country and we'll sell lawn
furniture! Ho-ho God, I love you!
Peggy hugs Al. Al laughs, then notices a split end in Peggy's hair.
AL Op, split end.
Al plucks the hair from Peggy's head. She cries out in pain.
PEGGY Yow!! Al, what are you doing?
Bud comes down the stairs.
PEGGY Bud, Honey, you'll never guess what your father just sold for $5,000.
Al brushes Peggy's hair.
BUD Sure I would. He sold your hair.
PEGGY No, silly. The lawn furniture. Right, Al?
Al continues to brush Peggy's hair.
AL Well, we'll just dicuss that when you wake up in the morning.
Peggy backs away from Al.
PEGGY Oh no.
AL Oh yes. Oh -
Al doubles over.
AL Oh no.
Bud quickly gets Al a newspaper and Al hurries to the bathroom.
We see an outside shot of the Bundy house at night, and then Peggy sitting on the couch,
trying desperately to stay awake. Al appears at the top of the stairs, sharpening a pair of
scissors on a metal bar.
AL [sing-song-like] Oh Peg... Come to bed...
Peggy holds her eyelids open.
PEGGY I'm not sleepy.
AL I can wait.
Al hums Brahms' Lullaby and disappears upstairs. Kelly comes in wearing a short skirt and a
KELLY Well, I passed Math. French too, and I'm not even taking that... What are you doing
PEGGY I'm waiting for your father to go to sleep. Kelly, he wants to sell my hair! What am
I gonna do?
KELLY Wear a pig-nose and dance in the street for crumbs? [laughs] Just kidding, Mom. Good
Kelly starts to head upstairs.
PEGGY Kelly! Honey, you know, when you were a baby, I used to get up every morning at noon
to feed you. The least you can do is listen to my problems.
Marcy comes in holding a red thermos.
MARCY I've got the coffee if you need it.
Marcy puts the thermos on the coffee table and sits on the couch.
MARCY Is Al asleep?
PEGGY I dunno. Let's see.
Peggy snores. Al comes running down the stairs with his scissors ready. A few steps before
the bottom he notices everyone's awake and stops short.
AL [to Peggy] Hair tease.
Al heads back upstairs.
PEGGY [to Marcy] Can you believe him? With all the hair in his nose, ears and on his back,
and he wants mine.
MARCY It's hair envy, is what it is. It's because they lose theirs and we don't, and they
hate us for it.
KELLY They have no respect for our hair. They only use it to pull us up, to pull us down...
You know, one day I'm just gonna say: "Hey, use your own hair to wax that car."
MARCY Kelly's right. She's got the morals of an alley cat, but she's right. We give men too
much. [gets up] We give them our trust, our love, our support... We give them five
dollars to take us to the prom and not tell anyone they're our cousin. But they do...
And then you're the laughing stock of the entire school, and he winds up in the back
seat of your car with some fat slut named Roberta, and you have to take the bus home.
Some prom, huh?! [calmly again] Anyway, I say we women must draw the line at our hair.
It serves a purpose. Like when you see a guy with really great buns, it's your hair
that says: "Saddle up, cowboy. Rope me, brand me, break my spirit."
KELLY Oh yeah, and I'm the alley cat.
PEGGY Well, there's no reasoning with Al. If I'm gonna keep my hair, I'm just gonna have to
stay awake until that trial. Then I'll have twenty years of peace.
MARCY Don't you worry about a thing. We'll stay up with you, won't we, Kelly?
Marcy sits on the couch.
KELLY Darn right!
Kelly also sits on the couch.
KELLY Our six eyes will be as one.
Marcy and Peggy look at Kelly oddly.
PEGGY Well, good. We'll sleep in shifts. Marcy, you take the first one. Kelly, you take the
second. Marcy, you take the third.
MARCY Right. Just let him try to get past us. For tonight, we are woman.
Peggy, Marcy and Kelly are asleep on the couch. Marcy is hugging herself and Kelly is sucking
her thumb. Al comes down the stairs holding the scissors and a black bag. He places the bag
under Peggy's hair, prepares to start cutting but can't bring himself to do it. He sighs,
pats Kelly's head and starts to head upstairs. After a few steps he turns around, walks over
to behind Marcy, cuts some hair from the back of her head and places it above her upper lip
like a moustache. He picks up the bag and goes upstairs.
Bud and Kelly are on the couch. Bud is writing, and Kelly is putting lipstick on in front of
a handheld mirror. Al comes down the stairs carrying a suitcase.
AL Well, I'm all packed for prison.
KELLY [halfheartedly] Have a nice time, Daddy.
BUD Come on, Dad. You got two more days till the audit.
AL Why wait? I'm guilty. What's my defense? Your mother's an idiot? Besides, I deserve to
be punished. I married your mother. So long, kids. Let me know who wins this year's
BUD Come on. Now surely you can make $5,000 in two days.
Bud bursts out laughing.
AL Thanks, Son. Your love's gonna make those 20 years just fly by. Now I'm gonna need
some toilet paper. Two ply. White. A harmonica. Oh, and a picture of Mommy, in case
thoughts of escape cross my mind.
Bud and Kelly get up and head upstairs.
BUD You know, Kel, maybe I should get Dad something to remind him of me.
KELLY Fine. Pack him some Clearasil and, uh, underwear with holes in it.
Bud and Kelly go upstairs.
Steve comes in, looking dejected.
STEVE Hi, Al. Whatcha doing?
AL I'm headed for prison.
STEVE Oh. Well, I got a problem.
Steve sits on the couch.
STEVE You're probably wondering why I'm not at work.
AL I'm looking at 20 years, Steve.
STEVE Uh-huh. I'll bet you think I was fired. But I wasn't. I quit. I tell you, you wouldn't
believe the politics that goes on backstage at a pet shop.
AL They're putting me in with killers, Steve.
STEVE I mean, there I am, putting down fresh paper under the Macaw - which liked me, by the
way, and don't think that wasn't noticed - when Zeke decides to make a power play. He
wants Birds. Suddenly Fish isn't good enough for him. So he breaks bread with the
owner; next thing I know, he's got his hands on my bird, and I'm up to my patootie in
Al sits down on the couch.
AL Steve, tell you what. What say I make you a nice license plate that says "I'm A Bore"?
Would that make you feel better, buddy?
STEVE No it wouldn't, Al. You know what would make me feel better? To be the outdoorsman I
was born to be. Al, I wanna be a Rodeo clown. Y'know, something with the land. Thing
is, how do I tell Marcy?
AL Well, now, see, that is a thorny one, Steve. What say I give that some thought while
I'm making my marriage vows in a prison chapel to a guy named Rock.
STEVE Okay, okay, this is something a man's gotta work out for himself. I know: I'll call my
Mom. She always told my Dad what to do. 'Til he killed himself...
Steve gets up and heads for the door.
STEVE Oh, and Al, when you're in prison, if you run into James Brown, you tell him for me
there's one white dude out there who thinks he got a raw deal.
AL Is there no one who can ease my pain?
Peggy and thee kids come down the stairs. Bud is carrying two rolls of toilet paper, and
Kelly is holding a harmonica and a picture of Peggy. Peggy sits down next to Al while the
kids go put the stuff in Al's suitcase.
PEGGY Al! Honey! Great news! Uncle Toppy called. He pulled some strings and he got you a
cushy gig in the prison hospital. You're gonna be a guinea pig in the experimental
medicine ward. [scoffs] And you thought he didn't like you.
AL [to Bud and Kelly] Did you get me cigarettes, kids? I need lots of cigarettes. That's
for my new boyfriend.
Al smiles at Peggy.
PEGGY Well, Al, if he only smokes after sex, a half a pack will do ya.
Peggy laughs. Al forces a laugh too.
AL That's a good once. I'm a-miss you, Peg. Well, I - I guess unless you're gonna cut
your hair I'll be gone.
Peggy shrugs. Al gets up. Bud gives him his suitcase, which now has some toilet paper
sticking out of it.
AL Well, I'll see you, I guess, in a - in a decade or two.
BUD Bye, Dad.
KELLY Bye, Dad.
KELLY See ya.
Al gives them a look and leaves slowly. A second afterwards he re-enters.
AL Very nice. Very nice. No "Oh Dad, please don't go"? No "Oh Al, yes I'll cut my hair"?
Not even a "Shane, Shane, come back"?
PEGGY Honey, no one wants you to go to prison, but we're talking about my hair, for God's
Al, Bud and Kelly look at Peggy.
PEGGY Why is everybody staring at me? I'm not the only one in this family with hair. Bud,
what about you?
BUD Yeah, right. I'd be quite the lady killer as a 15-year-old bald kid with no money.
Bud looks at Kelly.
KELLY Well, don't look at me. I've got finals coming up.
PEGGY [whining] I don't wanna cut my hair.
AL We're talking about prison, Peg. Prison!
Al, Peggy and the Privetts are sitting on the couch. Peggy has a towel wrapped around her
head. Leo is counting bills. Marie is holding several chunks of red hair. She holds one to
MARIE Oh, Leo, it's beautiful. With this in my head I can walk proud again and forget all
about that woodpecker incident.
LEO What a day, huh?
Al and the Privetts get up.
LEO Well, that's five thousand. Pleasure doing business with you, Bundy.
Leo hands Al the wad of bills.
AL Any time, Leo.
Leo and Al shake hands.
AL Uh, listen, how's the wife fix her fingernails?
Peggy gives Al a look.
AL Well, maybe now is not the time. Wear it in good health, Marie!
MARIE Thank you.
The Privetts start to leave.
AL And if you ever change your mind about that lawn furniture, y'know...
The Privetts leave. Al closes the door after them and looks out the door to make sure they're
AL [to Peggy] He's gone!
Peggy takes off the towel to reveal she still has all her hair.
PEGGY Oh-ho-ho, we did it! [gets up] Five thousand dollars. Oh Al, that's more than we'd
make if you had an education.
AL Pretty good for a guy stupid enough to marry you, huh? Well, now I go pay my taxes and
then the only prison I'll be in is the one I created for myself.
PEGGY Honey, before you go, I think you'd better walk Buck over by Marcy's roses. He's still
AL Ahh, all right.
Peggy gives Al Buck's leash.
AL He should be eating what I've been eating.
Al walks over to Buck, who is lying in the kitchen.
AL Worthless flea bag...
PEGGY Honey, you think the Privetts will figure this out?
Al attaches the leash to Buck's collar.
AL Well, why should they? It's real hair. [to Buck] Come on, boy.
Al leads Buck to the door and we see a large patch on Buck's lower back where the hair was
Transcribed by Nitzan Gilkis
would you like to contribute a script?
home on the range