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Introduction[]

Buster, his mom and Harry Mills are walking past the Sugar Bowl. Buster is holding a balloon.

Buster: Wow! What a great circus! How do they get poodles to dance like that? And that clown on stilts the whole time. How’d he do it?

Bitzi: Ahem.

Harry checks his watch.

Harry Mills: Well I should probably be heading home.

Buster: Why? It's only three-o-clock. Hey, is anybody hungry? I'm starving! I bet you know what I'm gonna have, Harry! Come on!

He runs into the Sugar Bowl.

Harry Mills: Maybe we both should tell him.

He and Bitzi enter the Sugar Bowl.

Buster looks at the menu on the Sugar Bowl’s wall.

Buster: There it is! The Harry Mills Meatball Experience! Three meatballs and four strips of bacon smothered in marinara sauce and melted provolone! How'd you get a sandwich named after you, Harry?

Harry Mills: By living alone and not knowing how to cook, I suppose.

They sit down at a table. Buster looks at a newspaper.

Buster: (whistles)

Mrs. Baxter: Buster, honey, there's something Harry and I would like to talk to you about.

Buster: Hey look! House Wars is playing! You know, it's that new animated movie where the kitchen things battle the cleaning things? And it's starting in fifteen minutes! He runs to the door. Come on! We'll eat later! If we hurry, we can just make it.

He runs out.

Harry Mills: You tried..

Mrs. Baxter: I guess I'll just tell him tonight.

Buster is outside knocking at the window and pointing at his watch. The grown-ups stand up. Buster suddenly looks sad and lets the balloon go.

Title Card: Magnifying Glass[]

That evening, Buster lies in bed. He plays with a baseball signed “Ebos” and glove and looks scared. There is a knock on the door.

Mrs. Baxter: Buster, are you still up?

Buster quickly pretends to be asleep. Bitzi comes in.

Buster: Mmm. Comet is coming.

Bitzi puts the glove away and adjusts Buster’s blanket. Buster smiles and she leaves the room. As soon as she is outside, he plays with the ball again.

Buster: (sad sigh)

***

The next morning, Buster looks into the kitchen with his school bag on his back.

Buster: Morning, mom. I think I'll go right to school. See you! Have a great day!

He rushes out, but Bitzi runs after him in her dressing gown and holds him back.

Mrs. Baxter: Hold on, Buster! It's only 7:30. Sit down and have some breakfast.

Buster: Umm, I'm not hungry.

Mrs. Baxter: Buster, you're always hungry. Besides, there's something I have to tell you.

They go into the kitchen.

Buster: Don't bother. I already know what you're gonna say. Harry's going away and he's not coming back because he's decided to become a pilot or a sponge diver or some other job you can't do in Elwood City.

Mrs. Baxter: No sweety, Harry isn't going anywhere.

Buster: He isn't? That's great! Hahahaha, here I was all upset over nothing! He starts eating cereal. So. What's the big news?

Mrs. Baxter: Harry and I are breaking up.

Buster’s jaw drops.

***

Arthur and Buster sit in the treehouse making paper flyers.

Arthur: So, why are they breaking up?

Buster: I don't know. I didn't feel like asking. But I sure will miss going to Grebe games. Harry and I have been following them all season.

Flashback: The Grebes are playing.

Announcer: Bottom of the ninth and the score is tied. If the Elwood City Green-tailed Grebes make this out then we go to extra innings and they have a shot at breaking a twenty-two game losing streak. Can they do it?

The Grebes pitch. The ball rolls to second base, where the baseman gets the ball, but does nothing with it.

Announcer: Line drive to second! Ebos Shmecter has his glove on it and he has a clear throw to first!

Buster: Throw it, Ebos!

Harry Mills: Get 'im out!

Ebos throws the ball way over the first baseman’s head. It bounces off an exit sign and drops into Harry’s drink. The batter runs into home.

Announcer: Nope. Looks like Ebos just couldn't get a grip on it. That's going to cost the Grebes the game.

Crowd: Booooooooo!

Harry hands the ball to Buster.

Buster: Woohoo! I got the losing ball!

The flashback ends.

Buster: They still haven't won a game. But Harry and I always had a great time going.

Arthur: Can't you go with your mom?

Buster: Nah. She doesn't like baseball.

Arthur: Well, maybe she'll get another boyfriend who does.

Buster: A new boyfriend? Y-you think she's gonna get a new boyfriend?

Arthur: Well... I don't know. She could.

Buster: No! She can't! I-I mean, it took me a long time to get used to Harry. And what if her new boyfriend is really boring?

Buster sees himself and his mom having dinner at home with a man in a suit.

Mrs. Baxter: Martin, I was thinking you could spend some time with Buster tomorrow. Maybe show him where you work.

Martin Spivak: Aww... do I have to?

Buster looks horrified.

Still in the fantasy, Martin leads Buster through a large office and into a cubicle. A phone rings.

Martin Spivak: Sit there, don't touch anything. What time is it?

Buster: Six o’clock.

Martin Spivak: Dinner time... perfect. He puts on headphones. Good evening, Mrs. Abigail Adams, I'm Martin Spivak of Never Better Insurance. Does your homeowner's policy cover mudslides, locusts, and killer mold? He puts down the phone and takes off the headphone while the lady at the other end talks incomprehensibly. Martin opens a book. (yawns) Coffee's past the copy machine. I take it black, five sugars.

Buster looks horrified.

The fantasy ends.

Buster: I hate Martin Spivak!

Arthur: Who?

Buster: Aw, never mind, Arthur. I can't let Harry break up with my mom! She has to win him back!

He climbs down the ladder. Arthur looks down.

Arthur: Buster, you shouldn't get involved! Besides, how on Earth could you change Harry's mind?

Buster: By going to an expert!

He runs off.

***

Muffy sits on her bed and paints her toenails. Buster sits in an armchair.

Muffy: So, let me get this straight, the love of your life just crushed your heart and now you're willing to do anything to get her back.

Buster: No, I told you! This is all about my mother!

Muffy: Oh, I understand. This is your “mother's” problem. She mimics quotation marks. Don't worry, your secret's safe with me.

Buster: What secret? There's no secret!

Muffy: Well I always say, nothing impresses that special someone like a romantic dinner with candles, flowers, the works! Here... You'll find all the ingredients in the February issue of Tween Queen magazine.

She takes the magazine off a shelf.

Buster: A romantic dinner? But I can't cook.

Muffy: So? Have it catered. Try Trattoria Molto Dinaro. They do a divine penne bolognese. Is it Sue Ellen?

Buster: No!

He leaves.

***

Buster sits at his desk with a typewriter in front of him. He reads Tween Magazine.

Buster: “Step One. Surprise him with a mysterious invitation.”

In his mom’s bedroom, Buster sprays some of her perfume on the letter. He sniffs it, then he screws off the lid and pours the whole bottle over it.

***

Buster walks into the Elwood City Times building. His mother walks down the hallways with some colleagues.

Mrs. Baxter: Grant, you're on the Philadelphia story. Russell, you're doing the front page. Parker, get me some photos of the new bug wing at the museum.

Buster hides behind a pillar.

Buster puts on a hat and a fake elephant’s trunk. He sneaks into Harry’s cubicle and puts an envelope on the desk.

A little later Harry opens the envelope which emits a strong smell of perfume.

Harry Mills: (sneezes) "You are invited to a romantic diner tonight. Baxter residence. 7 pm. Big kisses. You know who"?

He smiles.

***

Buster walks down the street reading the magazine.

Buster: “Step Two. Fill your house with fresh cut flowers.” Hey!

He is about to pick a flower from a front yard.

Home Owner: A-hem!

Buster: Heh heh. Nice flower...

He sneaks off.

***

Buster picks wild flowers in the bushes in the park.

Buster: (struggles)

***

Buster stands at the reception desk of the Trattoria Molto Dinaro.

Waiter: May I help you?

Buster: Yes, I'd like an order to go. Two penny balonies. My friend said it was divine.

Waiter: I take it you mean the penne bolognese? It's our specialty. With tax, that comes to 41.50.

Buster: But I only have seven dollars.

Waiter: Then I strongly recommend the breadstick.

***

Buster gets a pizza to go from Nizza Pizza. He sniffs it.

***

That evening, Buster has set the table at home with the flowers, the pizza and a candlestick.

Buster: Now for the final touch! Music! He looks through his mom’s vinyl record collection. Peter, Paul and Mary... Peter, Paul and Mary... Peter, Paul and Mary... Aha! This looks good! Tyrone Bellows: Songs in The Key Of Love.

He puts the record in the record player.

Tyrone Bellows (on record): “Oh, baby...”

Buster: Urgh!

Tyrone Bellows (on record): “Yeah, baby! I will always be here for you!”

The doorknob turns. Buster dims the light and hides. Bitzi comes in.

Mrs. Baxter: (gasps) What's all this?! Buster?!

Harry comes in with a cake.

Harry Mills: Well, hello there!

Mrs. Baxter: Augh! Harry?! Did you do this?

Harry Mills: Huh?! Well, no! Didn't you?!

Buster giggles.

Mrs. Baxter: Why on earth would I?

Harry Mills: Well, I don't know! I mean, you sent me an invitation! What was I to think?

Buster looks worried.

Mrs. Baxter: Harry! You know I wish things were different, but I didn't send you an invitation!

Harry Mills: You can't blame me for showing up. Look, I even bought a pie. Boston Cream Pie, your favorite.

Mrs. Baxter: I asked if you wanted to have coffee on Wednesday. How did you hear dinner in that?

Buster: What's going on? You're not supposed to be fighting! You're supposed to be making up! Bitzi turns off the music. Buster pulls her aside. You're ruining it, Mom! Harry will never take you back if all you do is yell at him. Look, it says right here in Tween Queen magazine.

Mrs. Baxter: Buster, I don't want Harry to take me back.

Buster: (gasps)

Mrs. Baxter: I broke up with him.

Buster looks shocked.

Harry Mills: Ahem! I think that's my cue to go. Here, keep the pie.

He puts the pie on the table and leaves.

Buster: But why? I really like Harry.

He starts walking upstairs.

Mrs. Baxter: So do I, honey, but it's very complicated. You see, we both have very heavy schedules, and... Buster, can't we talk about it?

Buster keeps on walking.

***

Buster and Bitzi sit on Buster’s bed. The pie and the pizza box are lying there.

Mrs. Baxter: So, it has nothing to do with you, dear. I'm just too busy for a relationship right now. Do you understand?

Buster: No, not really. He kisses her. But it's okay. He lies down. (sighs) I'll get over it. Good night, Mom.

Mrs. Baxter: Good night, sweetie.

She goes out with the food.

Buster: Mom? Could you leave the pie?

She puts it on a cupboard.

***

Muffy meets Buster at his locker.

Muffy: So, did Sue Ellen fall for it?

Buster: Once and for all, it wasn't for Sue Ellen!

Muffy: Oh.

Buster: And the whole thing was a complete disaster. Here, you can have your magazine back.

He hands it back. They walk out of school.

Muffy: The heart is mysterious, Buster. Look at me and the Backstreet Boys. First, I thought I loved Nick, then Howie, when all along it was A.J. who was meant for me. Who knew?

She gets in her limo and drives off. A baseball rolls up to Buster’s feet.

Harry Mills: Wow! You're even slower than Ebos Shmecter.

Buster: Hi, Harry. What are you doing here?

Harry Mills: I was just on my way to get a milkshake with your mother, and I thought you might like to join us.

Buster: You're getting a milkshake with her? You mean it worked?

Harry Mills: Um, no, we’re still broken up. But we’re also still friends, just like you and me.

Buster: So, can we still go to Grebes games together?

Harry Mills: Sure. In fact, I have a little project I was wondering if you could help me with.

***

Buster, Bitzi and Harry sit in the Sugar Bowl.

Buster: Go ahead, Mom. She bites into a sandwich. Well, what do you think?

Mrs. Baxter: Who would have ever thought that salami, Swiss cheese and peanut butter could be so...delicious?

Buster: Do you think there should be more mayo on it?

Mrs. Baxter: Oh, no! There's plenty of mayo on it.

Buster: Mm, I guess it's an acquired taste.

Harry Mills: Well, I've acquired it.

Mrs. Baxter: You two better hurry. The game starts in five minutes.

Buster: It's okay if we're a little late. The Grebes usually only give up two runs in the first inning. See you, Mom!

He leaves with Harry.

Mrs. Baxter: Can I get this "Buster" to go, please?

The waitress takes her sandwich. The menu now has a new offering called “The Buster”.

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