MDT's "Hey Arnold!" Fan Fiction

"Beeper Boys"

Written By Shaun Blankenship

SCENE: Enters to the Sunset Arms boarding house, up in Arnold's room. Gerald and Arnold are each sitting around listening to music and reading comic books.

GERALD: Man, we need some new comics. I've read all of these five times over!

ARNOLD: Yeah, but funds are low. You can't buy comics without money.

GERALD: Well, we need jobs then, Arnold. We need to mow lawns or something.

ARNOLD: Hardly anyone in this neighborhood actually has a lawn. And everyone who does already owns a lawnmower.

GERALD: Well, what can we do for money then?

ARNOLD: Well, we can't get an actual paying job because of our age, and nobody in town needs any help.

GERALD: Hey, what about…

ARNOLD: No, we're not selling Wacko watches.

GERALD: What about…

ARNOLD: And we're not selling chocolate turtles for the campfire lasses.

GERALD: Arnold, we're running out of options.

ARNOLD: Well, why don't we stop reading these and find something else? Or maybe sell some of our old ones.

GERALD: Hello, these are collector's items! These are going to be priceless someday!

ARNOLD: Well, priceless or not, they're getting old. We'll find some way of getting money. It can't be that hard.

GERALD: Yeah, but what are we gonna do? None of us really have any talents other than me playing the piano.

ARNOLD: Hey, I can sing!

GERALD: No, you can't. Trust me.

ARNOLD: [Staring blankly.] Thanks?

GERALD: The truth hurts, Arnold.

ARNOLD: Well, maybe we can't legally be hired on payroll, but we could still help out at someplace in the city.

GERALD: Well, it's worth a shot. C'mon, let's go downstairs. [Both walk downstairs and encounter Grandpa.]

GRANDPA: Hey, Arnold. What' ya doin'?

ARNOLD: Me and Gerald are gonna go find some way to make money. Maybe we can help out Miss Vitello again or something.

GRANDPA: Hmm, money problems, eh? Well, good luck, short man.

GRANDMA: [Walks in from an unseen corner wearing a metal helmet with horns.] Thou do not have to make a decent living! Be a Viking like I and pillage any land thou shall see! AY!

GRANDPA: That's nice, Pookie, go play somewhere else now.

Arnold and Gerald leave the boarding house and now are in the street.

GERALD: Man, what is wrong with your Grandma?

ARNOLD: Ah, it's just her past life breaking through again.

GERALD: I don't know how you do it, Arnold. I just don't know.

SCENE: Well, first let's have a montage. Gotta have a montage. First shows Gerald and Arnold asking Miss Vitello but receiving a slow "No" headshake. This repeatedly happens to them with Mr. Green, and any other sort of storeowners in the neighborhood. I don't know any others so they could all be anonymous people. Characters without names, faces without characters, and all that deep T.S. Eliot stuff. Gerald and Arnold walk around town still searching. Yeah, that's a good place to stop the montage. Let's work with that.

GERALD: Man, Arnold, nobody's hiring. Either that or they need someone old enough to work a register.

ARNOLD: Man, I hate the law.

GERALD: Well, where haven't we gone?

ARNOLD: I think there's a party store over on Cheffington, other than that I don't know.

GERALD: Let's have our fingers crossed, buddy.

SCENE: Gerald and Arnold walk into a party store and go up to the counter.

CLERK 1: What can I do for you?

ARNOLD: Hi, is your manager here?

CLERK 1: Yeah, hold on. [Turns back and yells.] Hey, boss, some kids are here for ya.

BOSS: Tell 'em to hold on.

CLERK 1: He'll be out in a minute. [Clerk 2 walks over to Clerk 1.]

CLERK 2: Hey, Dante.

CLERK 1: Hey.

CLERK 2: Aren't you not even supposed to be here today?

BOSS: [Comes out from the back room.] What do you kids want?

ARNOLD: Hi, we wanted to know if there are any jobs available.

GERALD: You know; sweepin', sorting, mopping, that stuff.

BOSS: Are you serious? How old are you two?

ARNOLD: We're nine, sir.

BOSS: Look, even if I could hire you two, there's nothing to do. Dante and Randall already take care of everything.

CLERK 2: That's right.

BOSS: And if I were to hire you, I'd have to lower their pay because they're not doing as much. And if I were to do that, they'd be working under minimum wage and I could be sued.

CLERK 2: And we wouldn't hesitate to do it.

BOSS: I'm sorry, boys.

ARNOLD: It's okay. Thanks for your time.

BOSS: Don't mention it. Now buy something or get out.

SCENE: Gerald and Arnold outside of the party store.

GERALD: Well that bites.

ARNOLD: Yeah, I think that's everywhere.

GERALD: Are you sure that's everywhere? I mean nobody will take us at all?

ARNOLD: Well, we do have one other option, but you're not gonna like it.

GERALD: What is it?

ARNOLD: You're not gonna like it.

GERALD: What is it?

ARNOLD: [Points a finger across the street at Big Bob's Beepers.] There.

GERALD: Oh, no. Not Big Bob Pataki. No way, Arnold. He probably won't even hire us.

ARNOLD: It's our only chance. Besides, he might not even hire us.

GERALD: Yeah, there's always that.

SCENE: In Bob's office.

BOB: So you two want a job, huh?

GERALD: That's right.

BOB: You two don't want minimum wage, do you?

ARNOLD: Whatever you pay is good enough.

BOB: Well that's good. The last thing I need is another slob on payroll.

ARNOLD: Yes or no?

BOB: All right, I can find something for you to do. In fact, there's something you can do right now.

SCENE: Outside Big Bob's Beepers, Arnold and Gerald have sandwich signs around their necks. You know, those wood signs that go around your neck so there's a big flat sign on both sides of you. One side says "Bob's Beepers are better beepers" and the other side says "'Hey! You! Buy A Beeper, Punk!' – Big Bob".

ARNOLD: [Yelling.] Buy Big Bob's beepers, they're the best! The absolutely eliminate all the rest!

GERALD: [Yelling.] Buy Bob's Beeper, they're tons of fun! All rights reserved and no refunds! [Now talking.] Man, this job stinks!

ARNOLD: Yeah, but it's the only paying job in town.

GERALD: It better be. As soon as I find somethin' else, I'm out of here! I did not sign up to walk around with this goofy sign around my neck.

ARNOLD: Just keep going. [Yelling.] Big Bob's Beepers are state of art! Buy our beepers and feel really smart!

GERALD: [Yelling.] Want to be available at any time? Bob's Beepers! Only $9.99! (Said as "nine ninety-nine".)

ARNOLD: When's our shift over?

BOB: [Walks outside from store.] Well, we're closin' up, thanks for your help, here's twenty bucks each, get the heck outta here. [Hands Gerald and Arnold each a twenty.]

ARNOLD: Wow, thanks Mister Pataki.

BOB: Yeah, yeah, now scram! [Gerald and Arnold walk away.]

GERALD: Twenty bucks, man! What are you gonna do with it?

ARNOLD: I might save it. You never know when I might need it.

GERALD: You do that, buddy. My money and me are gonna head right to the comic book store.

ARNOLD: Maybe you shouldn't do that Gerald.

GERALD: Arnold! That was the whole reason I got this job! To get money to blow on unimportant items I won't ever physically need!

ARNOLD: Well, I'm just saying, you should put a little of it away.

GERALD: No way, Arnold. No way.

ARNOLD: Okay, fine. Spend it then, let's just get off the subject.

SCENE: The next day, Gerald and Arnold are waking up at their own separate households, getting out the doors of their houses and walking down to Bob's. They meet outside. Bob comes out.

BOB: Well, I got a different job for you today. I want you to organize my office; it's got some papers and stuff lying around. It shouldn't take you long.

ARNOLD: All right, where is it?

BOB: [Takes them inside and opens the door to his office, which is cluttered with paper and donut boxes everywhere.] Well, here ya go, get to work. [Closes the door to his office leaving Arnold and Gerald inside.]

GERALD: What have you talked me into?

ARNOLD: At least we're getting paid. [Arnold and Gerald begin to pick up the junk; filling trash bags full of garbage, putting papers inside of a filing cabinet but upon opening the cabinet finding it's as cluttered as the rest of the office, opening a closet and having five pigeons fly out and out a window. Eventually the office ends up getting extremely clean. Bob walks back in on them.]

BOB: Eh, not bad. Great, now that you're done with this, you can clean up the storage room.

ARNOLD: The storage room? [Bob walks them over to another room cluttered with empty crates, full crates and paperwork.] You gotta be kidding me.

SCENE: Cuts to nighttime, Arnold and Gerald are walking out of the store.

GERALD: Man, I gotta go to sleep, we got school in the morning!

ARNOLD: Yeah, see you tomorrow, Gerald.

GERALD: See ya.

SCENE: Montage time. The next day in school, Arnold and Gerald both fall asleep in class and are woken up by Mr. Simmons. After that at lunch, they both start dosing off at the table. Then at recess, they both start dosing off on a bench. They leave school with their eyes half shut.

STINKY: Hey, fellers? What's goin' on?

SID: Yeah, you two were just snoring away while we had do take notes. Oh, by the way. Helga spit a bunch of spitballs on your back.

ARNOLD: [Takes a look over his shoulder, sighs, takes off his sweater and shakes it.] Yeah, it's my job.

SID: I thought you had to be thirteen in order to get a job?

ARNOLD: It's fourteen, but yeah. We're just doing little jobs for Bob Pataki.

SID: You work for Big Bob's Beepers? [Helga just so happens to be walking but at the time and freezes. Her jaw drops.]

ARNOLD: We're not on an actual payroll so he can get away with it.

STINKY: What's a payroll?

GERALD: He just gives us money instead of a check.

STINKY: Gee-willikers. I can't wait to get me a job.

ARNOLD: Don't you remember when you had a job?

SID: Yeah, you were the Yahoo Soda boy.

STINKY: [Pauses.] Hmmm, nope, can't remember that one.

SID: I'm no lawyer, but I think it's illegal for someone to put a child to work to the point that it interferes with their social life and their school curriculum.

STINKY: Wait a minute. What?

SID: They can't make you work to where you're tired everyday.

STINKY: Oh…

ARNOLD: We'll be fine. It was just a rough night last night. It'll be fine today.

SCENE: Quick transition to Big Bob's Beepers.

BOB: All right. I want you two to mop all the rooms of the store, clean all the glass, rearrange the beepers, pull out some stock from the back and put it on the shelf, alphabetize all my paperwork, and see if you can take some orders. I'm gonna be in my office if you need me. [Leaves.]

GERALD: [Looks at Arnold.] Arnold?

ARNOLD: It'll pay off. Trust me.

GERALD: Oh, I trust you, buddy. I don't trust Bob over there.

SCENE: The next day at school, Gerald & Arnold are tired out of their minds and falling asleep in class.

SIMMONS: Now, class, I want all of you to go home tonight and ask your parents to sign the permission slip to the planetarium. We don't want any of you special people being left behind. [Bell rings.] Well, I'll see all of you tomorrow! Don't forget to have your parents sign the slips! [Class leaves. Arnold & Gerald are sleeping on their desks.] Um, Arnold? Gerald? Boys? Boys?!

ARNOLD: [Wakes Up.] Huh? What?

GERALD: [Wakes Up.] 1985! [Gasping as if out of breath.]

SIMMONS: Um, boys, you two have been sleeping through class for the last few days. What's going on, don't you two get enough sleep?

ARNOLD: [Still half-awake.] Oh, were fine, we're just [Dozing off] a little… tired…

SIMMONS: Okay, if you two don't want to tell me, I need to tell you that whatever it is it needs to stop. You two have slept through class for the last two days and your work is suffering. I might have to call your parents about this.

GERALD: Please! Don't do that!

ARNOLD: Yeah, we'll stay awake in class from now on!

SIMMONS: Well, I hope so. I just want the best for you two. You can't learn anything if you're asleep.

GERALD: What about subliminal message tapes?

SIMMONS: That's a different story. [Rim shot.]

ARNOLD: All right, we'll get more sleep, we promise.

SIMMONS: Okay, now go home. School's over, you guys.

SCENE: Arnold & Gerald walking towards the beeper shop.

ARNOLD: You know what this means, don't you?

GERALD: What?

ARNOLD: We'll have to quit our jobs, Gerald! We can't keep falling asleep in class!

GERALD: Quit our jobs? Are you crazy! We can't quit, where will we find another job?

ARNOLD: We might find another one. We got are whole life ahead of us to worry about that. Jobs will come and go.

GERALD: But not right now! We might not get another chance like this for six years! Six years, Arnold! What will we do for six years?

ARNOLD: Well, it's either that or talk to Bob about cutting our hours back short.

GERALD: Are you kidding? We'll be fired on the spot! There's no reasoning with Bob!

ARNOLD: Well, we either have to quit or be pulled away from our job. If we keep falling asleep during school, the school's gonna take us away from it. And you never know, maybe Bob will cut our hours back so we won't fall asleep during class. You never know.

GERALD: All right, but I'm telling you, there's no bargaining with Big Bob.

SCENE: Inside Big Bob's Beepers.

BOB: Cut your hours back? I can't cut your hours back! Who will do your jobs? These beepers won't advertise for themselves! My office won't organize automatically!

ARNOLD: But we just cleaned your office a few days ago. [Looks over into Bob's office and it's worse than it was before they cleaned it.] Aw, man!

BOB: Look, I need you two to work the hours I give you. If you can't do that, then I'll find someone who will! Now get out on that sidewalk and make me some money!

SCENE: Arnold and Gerald sitting on the street with Big Bob flyers speaking very bored.

ARNOLD: Big Bob's Beepers are now on sale, prices that are as low as wholesale.

GERALD: Big Bob's Beepers reign supreme. Buy your beeper from the Beeper King.

ARNOLD: [Speaking to Gerald.] Gerald, this job is really bad. I think I like things the old way we had.

GERALD: Are you meaning to speak in rhyme?

ARNOLD: I can't take this anymore, Gerald! We're out here handing out flyers, doing all the dirty work around his shop and coming home tired past our bedtime.

GERALD: Yeah. I'm surprised my parents haven't caught on to it.

ARNOLD: This is terrible! I hate this job! I quit! [Throws down flyers and walks away.]

GERALD: Arnold! Arnold! Where are you going? Don't leave me here alone!

BOB: [Walks out.] Hey, where's he going?

GERALD: He just quit.

BOB: Sheesh, what a baby! If anyone needs me, I'll be inside my office. Do not disturb me. [Walks back in. Gerald is left outside alone.]

GERALD: Big Bob's Beepers are really keen. For this hour only, two for sixteen. You may be a pauper or petty street sweeper but anyone can afford a Big Bob Beeper…

SCENE: It's time for a montage… MONTAGE! Thanks to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for giving me a new word. The next day in school is business as usual but the only person falling asleep is Gerald. Through class, lunch, recess, and back to class again he's sleeping. On the way back to Bob's after school, Gerald is walking with his head down as if in a sleepwalk trance. Arnold tries to come up to him.

ARNOLD: Gerald, face it, you're going to have to quit.

GERALD: I can't quit, Arnold. I need the money.

ARNOLD: What do you mean? Do you even remember what you were saving for? Do you even have enough free time to spend it? Gerald, you have to quit this job, it's ruining you!

GERALD: But I need the money.

ARNOLD: No you don't, Gerald. You need to stay awake. Pretty soon you won't even be able to stay awake long enough to do your job! Gerald, I'm your best friend, you have to listen to me; quit your job, it's for your own good!

GERALD: [Sighing.] Let me have one more day. One more day and I'll quit for sure.

ARNOLD: Fine, Gerald, one more day. I'm only trying to look out for you. I'm your friend. That's what I'm supposed to do…

GERALD: All right, no dramatic speeches, I'm gonna be late.

SCENE: Big Bob's Beepers near closing, Gerald is sweeping the floor that is covered in dirt and Bob is counting the money in the register. Does a beeper shop need a register? I'd expect a big metal box with a padlock, not a register.

GERALD: Hey, Bob, I've been working here for about a week.

BOB: Uh-huh.

GERALD: And I've done a lot of hard work around here.

BOB: Yeah.

GERALD: I've sweeped, organized, picked up, sorted, advertised…

BOB: Does this story have any point to it?

GERALD: …and yet the only payment I've received was the twenty bucks I got when I started.

BOB: So?

GERALD: Aren't I supposed to get twenty dollars every day that I work?

BOB: Every day? Are you nuts? That twenty was your wage for the week!

GERALD: What?!

BOB: Yeah! What, did you think you were gonna get twenty bucks every day?

GERALD: But twenty bucks?

BOB: Hey, I didn't force you to come work here! You came to me! If you don't like it, leave it! No one's forcing you to work here!

GERALD: [Very disgruntled, (Ooh, I like that) Gerald throws his broom down and walks toward the door.]

BOB: Hey, what the heck do you think you're doing?

GERALD: I'm doing what you told me to do. Leave.

BOB: You can't quit! Who's going to clean up this mess?

GERALD: Find some other sap to do it for twenty bucks a week, I'm out of here. [Walks out. Bob chases him out the door and yells to him at the doorway of the beeper shop while Gerald walks down the street.]

BOB: Wait! Come back! I'll give you twenty-two bucks a week! I won't make you mop twice after closing! Come back! Come back! You don't have to yell out embarrassing advertising pitches!

SCENE: The next day at school, Arnold and Gerald are both leaving school on their bikes. Hey, I've seen 'em do it. Sure I have. And Mr. Simmons rides a motorcycle. He does, I'm not kidding! In "Sid's Revenge", there's a spot in the parking lot that says "Simmons" with a motorcycle in it. I find that sort of stuff funny.

ARNOLD: So, you quit?

GERALD: Yup, that job was not worth twenty dollars a week.

ARNOLD: Well, maybe it isn't time for us to have jobs yet. We'll find some other way to get money.

GERALD: Forget it. I'm not wasting my time in some money making scheme. I'm gonna spend this time I have while I'm young being a kid, and I don't see having a job or financial responsibility anywhere on my "To Do" list. I'm taking this time out to do what I want to.

ARNOLD: Yeah, why worry about a job now? [They are now passing by Bob's Beepers and Stinky and Sid are standing in front of it with flyers.]

STINKY: [Yelling.] Bob's got beepers, yes he do!

SID: [Yelling.] Bob's got beepers, for me and you!

ARNOLD: [They both stop on their bikes and look at each other.] Do you think we should tell them?

GERALD: Nah, let 'em find out for themselves. [They bike away.]

SID: [Yelling.] As sure as the sun rises and flowers blossom; Big Bob's Beepers are wicked awesome!

BOB: [Walks out of the beeper store.] Hey, what did I tell you about ad libbing?

SID: Sorry, sir.

FINISH: Well, we fade out on this picture with a nice overhead shot of the beeper store sidewalk. Arnold and Gerald are biking away while Stinky and Sid are about to learn the dangers of working for Big Bob Pataki… the hard way. Ending credits… Snee-Oosh… Nickelodeon Productions… and then a commercial for Darren's Dance Grooves. "I break it down so you can learn the dances at your own speed."

THE END

All rights reserved. ©Shaun Blankenship. Used with permission.