THE THINGS MY FATHER NEVER TAUGHT ME
DJANGO REINHARDT'S "TEA FOR TWO".
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT.
ALBERT, a middle-aged man, feeds MELVIN, a two-year-old.
ADULT MELVIN (V.O.)
I loved my father and he taught me
many useful things. But he didn't
teach me anything at all about
women. There was a time when I
resented that. And then, one day,
it occurred to me that perhaps he
didn't know all that much about
the fairer sex.
On the other side of the room, CORINNE, a vulgar,
morbidly obese woman, sits on the couch and devours a
large packet of potato chips.
ADULT MELVIN (V.O.)
One look at my mother and I had
She burps loudly and gives a smile of satisfaction.
EXT. EAST PERTH STREETS - PRESENT DAY.
MELVIN, now thirty-two, walks along with MIKE, three.
Both are bespectacled.
Here's what I'm going to do, son.
I'll give it to you straight. I'm
not going to fill your head with
stories about fictitious characters
like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny
or God. There's only one thing you
need to worry about in this life and
that's women. And I'm going to
teach you everything I know about
the art of meeting, courting and
seducing 'em. Don't worry about
anything else, there's nothing more
important. Reading, writing, toilet
training you can learn later in life.
INT. DEPARTMENT STORE - DAY.
Mike, wearing cute denim overalls with a teddy bear
embroidered on the front, stands on a footstool in front
of Melvin and a TAILOR.
Clothes maketh or unmaketh the man.
What were you thinking when you put
that on this morning? That you were
going to spend the day in the sandpit?
Mike responds with a look of innocence and confusion.
We'll take the best you've got.
The finer the threads, the more
inclined the ladies will be to tear
them off. I know, don't try to make
sense of their logic. They have none.
EXT. CAFE - DAY.
Melvin at a table with Mike, who is now dressed in smart
casual attire and looks more like his father.
Of course, it's not all about clothes.
It's the way you carry yourself too.
You've gotta make a conscious effort
to be relaxed but in control in all
situations. And a little playful.
Go for an expression where you're
suppressing mild amusement. But
don't overdo it. You want to look
dignified at all times.
Melvin glances over to Mike, who is picking his nose.
Damnit, son! Are you not listening
to a word I say?
Mike freezes, unsure what to do, his finger still planted
in his nostril. Melvin yanks it out.
EXT. PRESCHOOL - DAY.
Melvin and Mike approach the entrance.
Now meeting the right person is
really all about spending enough
time in the right places. So we're
going to a new preschool today. One
in a higher socioeconomic suburb.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY.
Melvin and Mike sit on a bench and watch children at play.
Mike looks around then points.
You like the girl over there?
Mike nods. She's MOLLY, three. A shy, bespectacled
girl, she sits on her own and reads a book.
Uh ... yeah. I think there's enough
geek genes in our family. It's time
Elsewhere, BRITTANY, four, is taunting another child.
And avoid that bitchy girl. She may
be pretty but believe me, it's not
worth the trouble. You definitely
don't want to get involved with
someone like your mother.
Melvin keeps looking. He points out AMELIE, three,
well-dressed and eating a baguette.
Stay away from the French girl too.
French women have no morals.
It might be great for a bit of slap
and tickle after midnight when the
only meat your buddies are getting
is at a kebab shop. But there's no
word in French for "fidelity" and
what we're looking for is a serious
relationship. I mean, what you're
SARAH, three, blonde and dressed in pink, sits at a table
nearby. She talks excitedly with a group of girls.
She's popular, good-looking. She
seems friendly enough. I think
Barbie there might be worth a try.
Mike doesn't look so sure.
Go and talk to her.
Intimidated, Mike shakes his head, his eyes pleading.
C'mon! It's better to get shot
down than wonder "What if?"
Melvin gives him a push in Sarah's direction.
Just show an interest in the things
that interest her and you'll have
plenty to talk about.
Mike, looking completely out of place in his flashy
clothes, apprehensively approaches the girls. They stop
talking and watch him.
He picks up Sarah's handbag and admires it, putting it
over his shoulder. Then he tries on her sun hat and
slips into her discarded pink shoes. The girls laugh at
him and run away.
Melvin covers his face in disbelief.
A MOMENT LATER.
Back on the bench, Melvin scolds Mike.
Would you like to go to the toyshop
later on? You can pick out a nice
fairy costume. What are you doing
to me, boy?!
Mike shrugs defensively.
We need to toughen up your image now.
Most girls are attracted to bad boys.
See if you can start some sort of
altercation with her. Understand?
Mike thinks, then nods his head.
A MOMENT LATER.
Mike grabs a handful of sand from the sandpit, marches up
to Sarah and throws it forcefully into her face. Sarah
starts to cry, drawing the attention of everyone in the
playground. Mike smiles and looks to his father for
approval. Melvin is horrified.
INT. FLORIST - DAY.
Mike struggles with a large arrangement of flowers.
Melvin pays the FLORIST.
Well that was over the top but at
least you got her attention. And
it's better to be known as a jerk
rather than a fruitcake. The good
news is you now have the opportunity
to apologise. If you can feign
sincerity and a desperation for
forgiveness, you should be able to
endear yourself to her.
Leave the price tag on. We want
her to know how much we paid.
EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY.
Melvin watches from the other side of the high fence.
Mike carries the flowers across the playground.
He sees Sarah being comforted by her friends. Then he
sees Molly, who is still reading her book.
Melvin gestures for Mike to give the flowers to Sarah.
Mike thinks, then gives them to Molly instead.
Melvin groans and throws his hands up in frustration.
EXT. CARPARK - DAY.
Melvin points his finger in Mike's face.
I'm trying to do the right thing
by you and you mess everything up!
You're as incompetent as ... the
government film funding bodies!
MARY, early thirties and attractive, approaches with
Molly, who carries the flowers.
Molly loves her flowers. Thank you.
Melvin's attitude changes immediately.
Oh. No problem. They were my idea.
Well it was a very nice gesture.
She continues walking, then stops.
We're going to lunch at the cafe on
the corner. Would you and Mike like
to join us?
Absolutely. We'll see you there.
Mary and Molly leave. Melvin turns back to Mike.
Great work my friend! Looks like
we're in for a double date.
He claps a high five with his son.
And the perfect chance for you to
learn from a master at work.
INT. CAFE ON THE CORNER - DAY.
Melvin, Mike, Mary and Molly sit around a table. Before
eating, Mary and Molly bow their heads in prayer. Mike
watches them and does the same.
Unseen by the others, Melvin decides to give thanks too.
And not for the food in front of him.
EXT. PARK - DAY.
Melvin and Mary sit and watch their children laugh as
they chase each other about.
They seem to like each other.
They certainly do.
Molly has a birthday party coming
up. Would you like to come?
I'm thinking about a sleepover?
Or is it too soon?
She smiles at him. Melvin raises an eyebrow seductively.
A "sleepover" would be great. No
such thing as "too soon" when you're
with the right person.
He moves closer to Mary. He puts one hand on her leg and
uses the other to play with her hair. She pulls away
violently and stands.
What are you doing?!
Getting to know you. Before the
I meant Mike coming over to spend
the night. Not his Dad.
Unimpressed, she walks over to Molly, lifts her into her
arms and they leave. Mike stares coldly at his father,
his hands on his hips.
EXT. BUS STOP - DAY.
Mike picks flowers from a nearby garden. Melvin sits
alone, dejected. Mike approaches and whispers in his ear.
It's better to get shot down than
wonder "What if?"?
Mike whispers more.
I now have the opportunity to
apologise and endear myself to her?
Mike presents his father with a small arrangement of
hand-picked flowers. Melvin thinks.
Yeah! Yeah, you're right. I've
taught you well!
He takes the flowers, leans over and kisses his boy
fondly on the head.
Things My Father Never Taught Me, The
Writers : Burleigh Smith
Genres : Short Comedy Romance