Joe steps out of his office.
Joe: Fay, this phone number you wrote down for me, I can’t tell if that’s a 5 or an 9.
Fay: You know, I’ve always had this problem. People are always telling me that my 5s look like 8s. They say, “Fay, your 5s look like 8s.” And they do.
Joe: W-well, is this a 5 or an 8?
Fay puts on her glasses and looks at the paper Joe is holding.
Fay: Um, a 7.
Joe: Thank you.
Fay speaks on the PA.
Fay: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We are about to begin pre-boarding Sandpiper Air Flight 14 to Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, and Calcutta.
Passengers look at Fay.
Fay: Just checking to see if you were listening.
A passenger approaches Fay.
Passenger: Excuse me. Can you direct me to the ladies’ room?
Fay: Oh, uh, certainly. Up the stairs and to your right.
Passenger: Thank you.
The lady makes her way up the stairs to the ladies room.
Brian: Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Battle stations, everyone. We got a live one on the stairs.
One of Helen’s customer’s approach Brian. Helen hurriedly follows him.
Rudy: What’s goin’ on?
Brian: What that unsuspecting woman doesn’t know is that the signs on the men’s and ladies’ rooms have been switched.
Brian: Because if you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at somebody else.
The lady makes her way to the restroom area.
Brian: Now, let’s watch.
The guy, Helen, Lowell and Brian look up.
Brian: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Joe comes out.
Joe: Hey, somebody switched the signs up here. If I hadn’t stopped that lady she would’ve gone right in the men’s room.
Helen: What’re we gonna do with him?
Brian: I don’t know. As a child, they took him to have his tonsils removed, but in a tragic mix-up gave him a humorectomy.
Joe walks down the stairs.
Joe: Hey, Lowell, you wanna switch those signs back the right way?
Lowell: Okay, but it won’t be half as funny.
Roy: Hey, Hackett, did you see today’s sports page?
Roy points to his newspaper.
Helen: How’d the Celtics do yesterday? They cover?
Roy: Yeah. They covered their faces when they left the floor. Played like a bunch of jackasses.
Helen: Shoot! There goes 2 days’ tips. No clams in the chowder this week.
Brian: No clams in the chowder last week.
Brian takes a sip at the chowder.
Helen: Is it my fault the Celts are in a slump?
Roy hands Joe the newspaper.
Roy: There’s an article about my boy, R.J. He’s gonna be starting defensive tackle for Siasconset High this fall.
Joe: Oh, really? I played some ball in high school, too.
Roy: Played semi-pro myself. Had guys like you for lunch.
Joe: Must’ve had quite a few of them.
Roy: Anyway, R.J. played his first spring scrimmage yesterday. Made 7 unassisted tackles and knocked out the startin’ halfback. That kid didn’t come to for 5 minutes.
Roy chuckles then leaves.
Joe: There’s a Kodak moment.
Roy is now sitting at the counter.
Roy: 17 years old, got a 19-inch neck.
Brian: Uh, does it actually look like a neck, or does his head grow directly into his shoulders?
Brian demonstrates what a neckless person looks like.
Roy: I had that kid pumpin’ iron by the time he was 8 years old. His mother used to hate it. But what the hell, she’s dead now. See, the thing is these kids are not naturally aggressive. You’ve gotta teach it to ‘em. Well, I taught R.J. I taught him, anybody tries to get past you, anybody tries to move in on your territory, move in on your business—
Roy angrily looks at Joe.
Roy: A business you started from nothin’—
Roy gets off his chair and approaches Joe.
Roy: Poured your heart and soul into for 10 years, they you got every right to crush him like a squirrel in a compactor.
Helen: More coffee, Roy?
Roy: No, thanks. That second cup makes me a little edgy.
Roy takes the newspaper from Joe.
Brian: Is it just me or did the veins in Roy’s neck just form a goat’s head?
Helen: Well, I should’ve known.
Joe: Known what?
Helen: I got this really weird phone call last night.
Joe: Oh, Brian!
Brian: Wasn’t me!
Helen: He’s right. There were no wet sucking sounds.
Brian: Yeah. That’s just an icebreaker, and if you’d quit hangin’ up, you’d realize that.
Helen: It was Roy’s kid R.J. He wants to start taking cello lessons from me.
Joe: Ho, Roy’s gonna hate that.
Helen: That’s why I told him he better clear it with his dad first.
Brian sprays whip cream into his mouth.
Helen: Oh, Brian.
Joe: Do you think he asked him?
Helen: Well, you guys were sitting here. He didn’t mention a thing about cello lessons. My guess is, the kid chickened out. It’s a shame. It’s really a shame.
Joe: Guess it would have made you feel pretty good to give a kid like that a little culture and refinement.
Helen: Oh, get real. I got gambling debts to pay off.
Roy steps out of the Aeromass office.
Roy: Hey, Helen, did R.J. call you and talk about takin’ some, uh, cello lessons?
Helen: Uh, yes, Roy, I was gonna—
Roy: No, no. I think it’s a good idea.
Helen: You do?
Roy: Yeah, yeah.
Helen: Roy, that’s great!
Roy: So when’s he start?
Helen: Uh, he can start tonight. Uh, tell him to come here after work.
Roy: Here? You give the cello lessons here?
Helen: Yeah, my landlady’s giving me grief again. She says the noise is making her cat sterile.
Lowell: I wish you’d play for my sister.
Helen: 7:00 sharp.
Roy walks away laughing.
Joe: Roy, you surprise me. Cello lessons?
Roy: I’ve got my reasons. Come here, guys. You all gotta hear this. Come here. Hey, Lowell. Lowell, get your butt over here.
Lowell: Well, I gotta change the plugs on a Cessna out here, Roy.
Roy: But, Lowell, I have an anecdote for you.
Lowell: Plugs, anecdote.
Lowell weighs the two things with his hands.
Lowell: Plugs, anecdote. Uh, color me curious, Roy.
Roy: Hey, Rudy, come here, come here. Now get this.
Lowell, Brian, Rudy, Brian gather around Roy.
Roy: When R.J. told me he wanted to take cello lessons I thought I was gonna puke, but then he gave me a reason so sweet that it touched this father’s heart.
Joe: And that reason was?
Roy: “Dad, I’m horny for Helen”.
Roy and the others laugh. Well, except Joe.
Joe: Helen is gonna try and teach my kid the cello while he’s hugging her leg like a lovesick poodle.
Everybody laughs. Helen comes out of the kitchen. Roy shushes the guys.
Roy: Here she comes. Here she comes. Watch this.
Roy makes his way to the lunch counter.
Roy: Helen, uh, I’m curious about, uh, your teaching methods. Do you, uh, lecture the students or do you prefer the hands-on technique?
Helen: Oh, definitely the hands-on. I like the personal contact.
Roy and Brian laugh their hearts out.
Helen: Am I missing something, guys?
Roy: No, no, no, no.
Brian: No, no, no, no, no. Lowell just made a silly face. Cut it out, Lowell.
Roy: See, I think R.J.’s gonna get a lot out of this. He’s—he’s been awful shy about performing.
Helen: Don’t you worry, Roy. When I get through with him, he’ll be takin’ out that instrument and entertainin’ the whole family.
Roy, Brian and Joe laugh their hearts out.
Helen approaches Roy.
Helen: Hey, Roy, do you know where RJ is? He should’ve been here 20 minutes ago for his lesson.
Roy: You’ll have to forgive him, Helen, he’s always late. He takes after me.
Helen: You and R.J. are real close, aren’t you?
Roy: Ever since his mother died, he’s all I got. God! I love that kid.
Brian and Fay listen to Roy and Helen’s conversation.
Brian: And unless I miss my guess, yonder cometh the young maestro now.
RJ, a young huge boy arrives.
Roy: There he is. Here’s my boy. Lookin’ more like his mother everyday.
RJ shakes hands with Lowell. Roy exclaims.
Roy: She was a handsome woman.
RJ: Hey, sorry I’m late. Dad, guess what?
RJ: I benched pressed 350 pounds today.
Roy: I could have done that, but in my day they didn’t have benches that heavy.
Roy and RJ laugh.
RJ: That’s a good one, dad. I’ll have to remember that one.
Roy and RJ grunt like gorillas. Helen turns to Brian and Fay.
Helen: Mom and I used to do that after shopping.
Helen turns to RJ.
Helen: Hey, why don’t we go on out to the hangar and get started.
RJ: Ok, but, I gotta tell you, I don’t know anything about this. I mean, I don’t even know where to put my hands.
Helen: Oh, don’t worry. I have his really good book that shows you all the different positions.
Roy buries his face in his hand and snickers. Brian covers his face with a clipboard and walks past Helen and RJ.
Brian: “Shows you all the different positions.”
Roy: “Where to put my hands.”
Brian and Roy guffaw.
At the hangar, RJ sits on a chair with the cello. Helen comes over with a cello book.
Helen: I take it you don’t read music?
RJ: Uh, no.
Helen: Ok, I want you to know that all of my beginning students are really young, so these books are geared towards them. Please don’t think I’m insulting your intelligence.
Helen places the cello book on the stand.
Helen: Ok. Now. The mama hen is the whole note and all the little baby chicks are the 8th notes.
RJ: Look a rabbit.
Helen: Good, I’m not going too fast for you. This string is the “G”.
Helen plucks the G string. Haha! That didn’t come out right.
Helen: And we will play it by bowing…
Helen wraps her arms around RJ to guide him.
Helen: Just above the bridge like so.
Helen guides RJ with his bowing.
Joe taps on the door. Helen is annoyed and confused with Joe and mouths “what?”.
Helen: Ok, you’re gonna keep playing that note and we’re gonna master just that one.
Helen enters the Sandpiper Air office.
Helen: Bow. Joe, what do you want? We’re in the middle of a lesson.
Joe: Uh, well, the guys didn’t want you to know this, but the only reason RJ’s takin’ cello is he’s got the hots for you. Now, I—I just didn’t want them laughing at your expense.
Helen: Oh, Joe, that’s so sweet.
Joe: Yeah, well. I just thought you should know.
Helen: Oh, not you, RJ. The big lug’s so smitten, he’s taking lessons just to be near me.
Joe: You’re not upset?
Helen: Oh, no. But the guys might be. You spoiled a pretty good gag.
Helen returns to the hangar.
RJ: I think I’m getting’ better.
Helen: Listen, RJ. I know this is a confusing time for you. The boy becoming a man…
RJ continues with his bowing.
Helen: Stop that! That boy becoming a man. Your hormones are blitzing your brains out. Therefore you’re drawn to an older woman for her experience and for her wisdom. Who could blame you? But you should be taking the cello because you love it, not because you have some schoolboy crush on me.
RJ: I don’t have a crush on you. I just told that to my dad so I could take the lessons.
Helen: It’s ok, R.J. you don’t have to be embarrassed about it. I know you’re attracted to me.
RJ: I’m not attracted to you, I swear. I just wanna take the lessons.
Helen: You don’t have to lie, honey.
RJ: I’m not lying.
Helen: Am I getting’ chunky again?
RJ: No, you look nice.
Helen: Is it my hair? Oh, I knew I shouldn’t have let that lady cut it.
RJ: No. That’s not it.
Helen: Oh, so it is something. What is it? Is it my personality? It’s these clothes. Oh, it’s the accent. All of the above.
RJ shakes his head.
Helen: Well, what is it? Tell me!
Helen grabs RJs t-shirt and shakes him.
Helen: For crying out loud, you tell me!
RJ: It’s not you, it’s me. I’m gay.
Helen let’s go of RJ.
Helen: Oh, thank God!
Helen: Uh, run that by me again. It sounded like you said that you were gay.
RJ: I am. Can I learn another note?
Helen: In a minute. Are you sure about this gay thing? I mean, you’re a young guy. Have you actually done anything about it yet?
RJ: Well, not really. I mean—
RJ stands up.
RJ: I haven’t found anybody to be gay with.
RJ hands Helen the cello and the bow.
RJ: I think you need someone.
Helen: It helps. Well, then, how do you know you are?
RJ: Well, I’ve had these feelings for a long time and I’ve gone to the library and read a lot, and Donahue did a whole week on it. You know, you’re the first person I’ve told, but, now that I’ve told you, I feel good. Matter of fact, I feel real good. I—I feel free. I feel like telling everyone.
Fay enters the hangar.
Fay: Just came in to say good night.
RJ: Fay, I’m gay.
Fay: Oh! Of course you are, dear. You’re young and healthy. Your whole life’s ahead of you. Who wouldn’t be gay? Well, good night.
RJ: That was really easy. You know Donahue said it could be like this.
Joe arrives at the hangar.
Joe: Hey, R.J. lesson’s over?
RJ: Hey, Joe, guess what. I’m gay.
Joe: Uh, why not?
Joe turns to Helen.
Joe: Helen, 5 minutes ago this kid had a crush on you, now he’s gay. What on earth did you do to him?
Lowell and Brian enter covering their eyes.
Brian: Excuse us, excuse us. Just getting’ a soda. We don’t wanna interrupt God knows what.
RJ: You guys aren’t interrupting anything. I was just tellin’ Joe I’m gay.
Brian: Check please. Look, Joe—
Brian runs over to Joe.
Joe: I know you’re desperate to prove what a wacky guy you are, but puttin’ a kid up to this?
Helen: Joe didn’t put him up to it, it’s true. RJ just told Roy that he was interested in me so he could take these lessons.
Lowell: So, you say you’re gay, huh?
Lowell: Gay? Really? No.
RJ: What do I have to do to prove it to you?
Lowell: Nothing! Absolutely, nothing!
Brian: R.J., have you told your father about this?
RJ: No, not yet, but—
Brian: Wait right here.
Brian goes over to Joe, Lowell and Helen.
Brian: He hasn’t told Roy yet that he’s gay. Please, you guys, you’ve got to let me tell him that he’s gay. Please, oh, please, oh, please, oh, please, oh, please.
Helen: Brian. Do you have any idea what that would do to Roy?
Brian: Yeah. Please, oh, please, oh, please oh, please—
Helen: Forget it, Brian. A lot of people could handle this information, but we’re talking about Roy Biggins here. So, we’ve all agreed. He can’t know, ok?
Joe, Lowell and Brian mumble in agreement.
RJ: Ok, guys, I’ll see you later. I’m gonna go tell dad.
Helen: Whoa, whoa, whoa, RJ. Look, I know that sharing this news makes you feel real good. And we’re all glad for you, and I want you to know that you have our support in telling anyone you want, but I don’t think your dad should be one of them.
RJ: But dad’s my best friend. He said I could talk to him about anything.
Helen: Did he specifically mention this?
RJ: Well, no. M-maybe you guys are right. I mean, I went this long without telling him. I guess, I can go a little longer.
Joe: Yeah, of course you can.
Brian: But remember, if you change your mind about telling your dad, please call me. I’m available 24 hours a day. I’m even thinking of getting a beeper.
Joe returns from his flight.
Fay: Joe? Uh, Joe, I was wondering. Would it be a problem if I left a little early, today? I have my modern dance class at the seniors’ center.
Joe: Oh, yeah, sure, Fay. Go ahead. Have fun.
Fay: I—I wouldn’t ask, but if I’m late I get stuck with Mr. Hoffman as my partner. He has trouble lifting me over his head.
Joe: Fay, does your dance group ever give recitals?
Fay: Yes, they do.
Joe: Next time, invite me.
Fay: Will do.
Joe enters his office. Helen makes her way to the hangar. Brian jumps behind Helen and startles her.
Brian: Helen, where you going?
Helen: I’m going to give RJ his lesson.
Brian: I’m begging you, you got to let me tell Roy about his kid.
Helen: Absolutely, not.
Brian: Oh, but you don’t understand. I got all this information building up inside of me. I’m gonna hurt something internally.
Helen: Well, if you tell him, I’ll hurt something externally.
Brian: All right, yeah, well, he’s gonna find out soon enough.
Brian sits on the counter.
Helen: Ok, what do you mean by that?
Brian: Words out all around town.
Helen: Oh, you’re exaggerating.
Brian: Helen, RJ’s organizing a Nantucket Gay Pride Parade.
Helen’s jaw drops.
Brian: If I don’t tell Roy, he’s gonna learn it from a float.
Helen: You stay out of this.
Brian: Well, if I can’t tell Roy, can I at least take him to the parade?
Helen gives Brian a look of contempt. Helen enters the hangar and approaches RJ who is practicing playing the cello.
Helen: RJ, we have to talk.
Helen grabs the bow from RJ.
Helen: Look, I know we told you that it would be bad for you to tell your father. But do you know what would be worse?
RJ shakes his head.
Helen: Him finding out from someone else. And that is a distinct possibility. Because you have been a busy little fellow, haven’t you?
RJ stands and punches his fist in the air.
RJ: I’m gay and I’m proud.
Helen: Save it for the parade.
RJ: Oh, you know about that? I’m the grand marshal.
Helen dials the phone.
Helen: Listen, Roy, you better get in here. Your son has something pretty important to tell you and it can’t wait. Ok.
Helen hangs up.
Helen: Everything’s gonna be all right. Why don’t you take a deep breath? That usually helps me relax.
Helen and RJ take a deep breath. Helen silently exhales. RJ is still holding his breath. Helen sees him.
Helen: You can let it out now.
RJ exhales. Roy enters the hangar.
Helen: Listen Roy, just remember, no matter what you’re about to hear, your son loves you.
Roy: RJ, I—I don’t know what’s going on here, but I gotta tell you I’m kinda scared. The way she’s talkin’, sounds like you got some bad news. Don’t worry, son, your old man can take it. Just give it to me straight. Don’t hold back.
RJ: Dad, I’m gay.
Roy groans then faints.
RJ: Dad? Dad!
RJ gets some water from the water cooler and sprinkles it on Roy’s face.
RJ pats Roy’s face. Roy grabs RJ by the collar.
Roy: What did you say?
RJ: I said I’m—
Roy groans and puts his hand on RJ’s mouth.
Roy: Stop right there. You—you go on home.
Roy stands up.
Roy: I’m going back to the office. This whole thing never happened.
RJ: Dad, it’s true.
Roy: Look, I don’t know what kind of artsy-fartsy ideas Helen’s puttin’ in your head, but you are not…
RJ: Let me explain.
Roy: I don’t want any explanations. You are not…
RJ: Am, too.
Roy: Are not.
RJ: Am too. Damn it.
Roy: All right. All right.
Roy takes off his suit.
Roy: We are gonna settle this like men.
Roy: Gimme a minute. I’ll think of somethin’.
Roy removes his tie. He sees a basketball and walks towards it.
Roy: You and me. One-on-one.
Roy passes RJ the ball.
Roy: What do you mean? If you win, you can be gay, if not, you can’t.
Roy folds his leaves.
RJ: Dad, this is really weird.
Roy: Don’t talk to me about weird.
RJ: Let’s do it.
Roy and RJ grunt. RJ passes the ball to Roy. Roy dribbles, but RJ steals and dunks.
Roy: I let you do that.
RJ passes the ball to Roy. He dribbles, but RJ steals again and dunks.
RJ: Give it up, dad, I’m younger than you, I’m quicker than you—
Roy grabs the ball from RJ and shoots.
Roy: In your face.
Both are tired and panting. Joe and Brian arrive at the hangar.
Joe: Hey, guys, what’s up?
Roy: Nothing. It’s—it’s none of your business.
RJ: Dad, it’s—it’s ok. They know.
Roy: For the love of Mike, RJ, that’s just a figure of speech.
Brian: You told him?
Brian: That just tears it. What happened?
RJ: He fainted.
Brian: He fainted. Ah, Joe…
Joe: Brian, Brian, it’s—it’s ok. You’ll get over it. Isn’t this sort of a strange time to be playing basketball?
RJ: It’s a contest. If I win, I’m gay, if dad wins, I’m not.
Joe: Well, have fun.
Joe and Brian walk away.
Brian: That sort of puts a whole new slant on the NBA, doesn’t it?
Roy and RJ resume their contest. RJ runs with the ball and shoots.
RJ: That’s it, I win. I’m gay!
Roy passes RJ the ball.
Roy: 2 out of 3.
Roy: Come on.
RJ: No way.
Roy: 2 out of 3.
RJ: No way, dad. You said if I won, I could be gay. And I won fair and square, so I’m gay!
Roy: Yeah, well, I’m your father. 2 out of 3. Come on!
Roy and RJ continue playing. Hours later, Roy and RJ lie on the floor.
Roy: 26 out of 51.
RJ: No. It’s over.
Roy: But I’m just getting’ warmed up.
RJ pants and sits up.
RJ: We could play all night and even if by some miracle you were to beat me…
Roy grunts and sits up.
RJ: It wouldn’t change anything.
Roy: Are you sure you won’t ever change your mind?
Roy: But you don’t understand, R.J. I got plans for you. College ball. The pros.
RJ: Those are my plans, too, dad.
Roy: But you’re my son. You’re my only child.
RJ: And I always will be.
Roy: Are you sure there’s no chance you’ll…you’ll change your mind, huh? What do you say? Say, one in a million?
Roy: Ok, ok, ok. One in a billion? That’s next to nothin’. It’s practically nonexistent, come on. What do you say? One in a billion. Just so I can sleep at night, huh? Huh?
RJ: Well, ok, maybe one in a billion.
Roy: I knew it. You’re not sure. Come on.
Roy stands up.
Roy: Let’s start over. Best 2 out of 3.
RJ gets up. Roy dribbles and taunts RJ. They resume their game.
Joe and Brian eat popcorn while they watch the two.
Brian: Looks like Roy’s gonna fight this one till he drops, huh?
Joe and Brian get off their chairs.
Joe: Yeah, well, it’s a tough thing for both of ‘em.
Brian: I wonder how you’d feel if I told you I was gay, huh?
Joe: You’re kiddin’. You are. Aren’t you?
Brian: Come on.
Joe: Be serious. Everyone knows.
Joe: Come on, Brian, look at the way you walk.
Brian: Yeah, very funny, very funny.
Joe: Well, I’d stay away from the wharf if I were you. Some of those guys have been out to sea a pretty long time.
Brian: Hey, listen, Joe, if you’re trying to prove that you’ve got a sense of humor, I’m not bitin’.
Brian grabs a handful of popcorn and walks his way to the door. Brian checks himself.
Brian: What’s wrong with the way I walk?
Joe: Nothin’ really. It’s hardly noticeable.
Joe makes his way out.
Joe: You were right, guys. Brian does walk funny.
Brian speaks in a deeper voice.
Brian: I mean, what?
This is not the actual script. This is my own transcription of the episode. The “There’s Always Room for Cello” episode was written by Peter Casey and David Lee. Wings is owned by CBS Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures and Grub Street Productions.
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