Dad…..Robert De Niro
[ open in Leslie’s bedroom, as Dad peeks his head through the door ]
Dad: You’re all tucked in, little man?
Leslie: Yeah, Dad! I’m glad I got to spend the weekend with you.
Dad: Me, too, buddy! Me, too! See you tomorrow.
Leslie: Hey, wait, Dad! Aren’t you gonna tell me a story?
Dad: I’m kinda watching the game. The Raiders just got the ball back, with two minutes left.
Leslie: [ disappointed ] I understand. Mom told me you’d probably be too busy watching football to spend time with me..
Dad: [ angry at his ex-wife ] Well played, Brenda. [ enters room ] Soooo.. you want me to tell you a story?
Leslie: [ now excited ] Oh, please! Yeah! Please tell me a story, Dad!
Dad: [ sits on bed ] O-kay. Now, what kind of story do you want to hear?
Leslie: Uh.. [ thinking ] Tell me a story about a little boy!
Dad: Okay. Well, let’s see.. there once was a little boy, and his name was.. Leslie!
Leslie: [ super-excited ] Hey, wait a second, that’s my name!
Dad: [ a beat ] Thank your mother for that.
Dad: Nothing. [ continues story ] So, every day, this little boy would leave nuts out on the back porch for the squirrels.
Leslie: That’s what I do!
Dad: You sure do! [ continues ] Then, one day, one of the squirrels came up to him and started to talk. [ imitating squirrel ] “Hello, little boy! I’m Julio, the Magical Squirrel! I’m gonna grant you one wish every day for the next three days.” The little boy stayed up all night thinking about his first wish. Bright and early the next morning, the magical squirrel appeared, and asked Leslie what his first wish was. What do you think he wished for?
Leslie: [ hopeful ] He wished.. his parents would get back together?
Dad: [ quickly ] No, he didn’t!
Leslie: Yes, he did!
Dad: [ gives in ] Okay. so he wished for his parents to get back together, and they did. The father was able to be more understanding with his wife.. and she stopped busting his balls. I mean, really, he caught enough crap from work! He didn’t need to hear it from her the second he walked through the door! He just needs a little down time – have a drink, watch some TV, relax! not have to hear about how he’s not gonna get that boat up and running, and what a waste of money it is!
Leslie: [ losing interest ] Okay.. Dad.. keep going. Get ot the second morning.
Dad: Okay. The next day, Leslie was outside, and Julio came running up and said, “Okay, little boy. It is now time for your second wish.” Leslie thought for a moment, and what did he wish for?
Leslie: [ excited ] He wished that everybody in the world would be friends! And there’d be no more fighting!
Dad: And the little boy wished for world peace, and there were no more wars and no more fighting.
Dad: Everybody was happy, except Leslie’s mom, who gets her kicks by flirting with dirtbags in bars! So she could watch me get angry and pound on them! [ pause ] Honestly, man! I mean, how messed up do you have to be to get off watching guys fight over you?!
Leslie: [ now getting worried ] Dad, just get to the next day.
Dad: Okay. Well, the third morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the boy was on the back porch, and he saw Julio the magical squirrel walking up the driveway, when, all of a sudden, wham! Leslie’s mom runs over Julio with her car.
Dad: Yes! She did! Straight down the back! Crushed the little guy! I mena, she said it was an accident, but, if you ask me, it looked like she was aiming for him.
Leslie: That’s horrible!
Dad: It sure is. She didn’t even say she was sorry. She just goes, “It’s not my fault! He shouldn’t have been in the driveway, he was asking for it!”
Leslie: No, he wasn’t! Julio’s a nice squirrel!
Dad: He sure was. ‘Til Leslie’s mom killed him!
Leslie: [ thinking of a recovery ] Well, wait – the little boy has one more wish. And I know what he wished for!
Dad: Something bad to happen to his mommy?
Leslie: No! He wished that the magical squirrel would ocme back to life.
Dad: That’s a great idea! The little boy wished the squirrel would ocme back to life, and Julio’s eyes opened up, and he began to scream, “My spine! She crushed my spine! She crippled me, and left me to die! She’s evil! The only joy she gets is from other people’s pa-a-ain!” And the magical squirrel passed out.
Leslie: [ upset ] Oh, no!
Dad: And when it looked like there was no hope in sight, Leslie’s dad came running out with a first aid kit, and he made the squirrel better!
Leslie: Way to go, Dad! [ high fives ]
Dad: And little Lslie and his dad nursed the squirrel back to health! And the three of them went out for lots of rides on his dad’s boat!
Leslie: Oh, yay!
Dad: And, from that day on, Leslie never forget what the magical squirrel told him: [ chuckles ] “She gets joy from other people’s pa-a-ain!” The end!
Leslie: [ reeling from the surprise ending ] That was a scary story..
Dad: Yeah, that was almost too real, wasn’t it? how about you come out and watch the rest of the game with me?
Leslie: Okay, yeah! I love you, Dad!
Dad: I love you, too, Leslie! Come on![ they run into the living room, to fade ]