02x16 - The Lost Boy

Adult Adam: Back in the '80s, my mom forced us to take the most embarrassing family photos in human history.

Did we agree because we loved her?

Oh, God, no. We did it 'cause she guilted us.

This is so brutal.

But one day when you abandon me in an old-age home and never visit, you'll look at these pictures and remember how much I loved you.

Now, everybody say "Mahalo."

All: Mahalo!

And her guilting wasn't just for family photos.

It was for family everything.

Baby, if you don't eat, then I have failed as a mother.

I'm gonna die one day, but have fun with your friends.

When I die, don't have a funeral.

I don't want to take up anybody's time.

And then there was her signature guilt move.

If we were driving and she didn't get her way, she'd jump out of the car and threaten to walk home.

Get back in the car, Mom!

We want to have a picnic with you, okay?

Barry: Yeah!

I'm so stoked to eat chicken salad on the ground!

Well, if that's what you want, then... Yay! Picnic!

Yep. It was her guilt world, and we were just living in it.

Hey, where are the car keys?

We're gonna grab a bite before the movie.

Movie?

I thought we had plans to bedazzle all day.

I... Think you might have dreamed that.

Well, it's possible, but we're all set up, so let's make those drab clothes sparkle, huh?

Oh, no. What is that?!

Oh, my God!

It's a harlequin clown riding a unicorn high-fiving a dolphin.

Duh.

Yeah... I think we're gonna pass on the debazzler.

Okay, now you're just embarrassing yourself.

It's bedazzler, as in regular items become dazzled.

And if you don't want to do that, I'll just join you at the movie.

No way!

Oh, my God!

Come on.

I hardly ever get to see you anymore, and you're both growing up so fast, and... You did promise we'd spend the day together.

Again, that was a dream.

[Sighs] It'll be fun.

Afterwards, we can grab a bite, split a giant cookie, you can ride the little mall train if you're still into it.

Ain't no thang.

Okay, here is the thang.

No.

Wow.

I am being rejected by two people who were tethered to my body for nine months by a food cord.

That's right.

Everything I ate you got a tiny, mushed-up version of.

Everything!

I don't think that's how science works.

You know what? Go.

I'm not even sad. I'm great.

Aw, come on.

Not the little pack of tissues!

Mom tears are the worst tears ever!

Fine. Well, if we have no choice...

Oh, that's so sweet!

And don't you worry.

I promise you won't even notice I'm there.

Hey, check out my new jacket.

Oh, no!

Oh, my God!

♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ But nonetheless I feel the need to say ♪
♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ But the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was may 11, 1980-something, and my dad was pumped to spend the day with his one true love... the Phillies.

Hello, wonderful family, who I'm not gonna be seeing for the next six glorious hours!

Wait. Where are you going?

To the Phillies game with Vic.

You never told me that. Did you mark it in the calendar?

You have a calendar? Where's this calendar?

It's on my desk.

Wait... you've got a desk?

Where's this desk?

You can't go.

Erica and Barry have graciously invited me to see a scary/sexy teen-vampire movie.

Who is gonna watch the baby?

Is that me?

It is.

I told you... I'm not the baby! I'm a grown, adult man!

And could you please start this orange?

Come on, Bevy!

Can't the boy stay home alone for the day?

I mean, he is 11... or 14 or whatever.

No!

The last time I went out power-walking, I came home and found him hiding in the broom closet.

See, that's on you, 'cause you bought a house with a ghost.

Again with the ghost. There are no ghosts!

Sure.

People don't die with unfinished business.

Must be nice to live in your world.

Okay.

We're going to the ballgame. Go get your glove.

My Michael Jackson glove or my Nintendo power glove?

Really?

And so, my dad took me to watch the Phillies play at old Veterans Stadium, a beautiful world-class arena... when it was built.

Now it was falling apart at the seams, but we loved it anyway.

Dad, I got to pee.

Well, the bathroom's right up there.

Go ahead.

You want me to go by myself?

Yeah.

Forget what your mother said. You're not a baby.

Now stop acting like a moron and go!

But I didn't have the guts, so my dad took me, like the little moron baby I was.

The men's room at Veterans Stadium was a nightmarish hellscape of people and pee everywhere.

What's that?

It's a trough.

Aim for a cigarette butt and make a game of it.

But w-where's the dividers?

Where's the handle to flush?!

Where's the dignity, man?!

If you don't like it, use the stall.

Mother of mercy.

What happened in there?

It's on the walls.

It's on the walls.

Please hurry it up.

I feel weird being in here not doing anything.

In that moment, I had what all men experience at one point or another... stage fright.

I couldn't go.

My mind said yes, but my bladder said no.

I'm done.

Let's get the hell out of here so I can breathe through my nose again.

While I was running away from my fears, Barry and Erica were sitting through a real horror show, and I don't mean the movie.

So, which boy is lost?

His poor mother must be going insane.

Shh!

Shh!

Oh! I snuck in some snacks.

Got microwave popcorn, some chips, and a beautiful tomato.

I don't want a tomato!

Well, it's the last day before it turns.

Somebody's gonna eat it.

[Sighs]

This has been the best day.

[Chuckling]: Yeah. It's a real shame it's over.

Oh, it doesn't have to be.

I'm gonna make us a dinner reservation at Red Lobster.

Now, it's not Lobstober or Shrimptember or Clamuary, so you're gonna have to order carefully.

What the hell happened out there?

Mom happened.

Whew. You know, she guilted us into hanging out with her again.

You know, it is seriously not normal for teenagers to spend this much time with their mothers.

I rode the train, Man!

I rode the tiny train!

Look.

She took a picture and everything!

Okay, I can't watch you suffer like this anymore.

Follow me. I'm about to change your lives.

How?

I'm gonna teach you how to defeat your mother.

It's natural for teenagers to separate from their parents.

But your mother loves you so much, she'll never let that happen.

That's why it's my job to... why are you wearing that outfit?

You're gonna teach us how to fight Mom, right?

No! I'm gonna teach you to combat her guilt.

Ohhhh!

That makes more sense.

Should I go change back?

Just focus on me. He'll get what he gets.

If you've noticed, when your mom tries to guilt me, it doesn't work.

That's because of my simple mantra...

"It's not real. Don't feel."

What's not real?

The pain she's in.

Her guilt and tears are just a manipulation.

Don't fall for it.

Pops, if your thing was so easy, we would have done it a long time ago.

Oh, you're right.

I'm just a silly old man.

I-I should just go home, ball up my socks, and go to bed.

No, don't. I'm sorry.

Don't do that! We love you!

It's not real! Don't feel!

Wait. That was just an act?

Yes!

My God, you're weak and soft!

Say it with me. "It's not real. Don't feel."

Both: It's not real. Don't feel.

Louder!

Both: It's not real! Don't feel!

Not that loud.

She'll hear you, and then we're all in trouble.

As my brother and sister were learning to fight back, I was battling the 64 ounces of mountain dew in my bladder!

Dad, I have to pee again.

What? You just went!

All right, I'm not gonna sugarcoat this.

My bladder shut down.

There's too much pressure at the trough.

Well, why don't you use the damn stall?

Don't speak of the stall... ever!

Well, it's too late. The bases are loaded.

I'm not taking you again. So just go!

Isn't there some private executive washroom with scented soaps instead of a giant metal river of whiz?!

When will the hand-holding end, already?!

For once in your life, be a man.

You don't think I'm a man?

All right, let me answer that question with this question.

What Superhero is on your underwear right now?

I outgrew those months ago!

Uh-huh.

I'll show you! I'll go!

Go!

Fine! I'm going!

Good! You're doing what I want you to do!

Sure, I was mad at my dad, but mostly I was mad at myself, 'cause he was right.

So I set out to prove my manhood once and for all, and the first step was going potty by myself!

Nope.

Excuse me. Which way to the upper level?

I'm thinking the higher you go, the fancier it gets.

So I headed up to what I figured was the super-fancy 700 level.

Not fancy. Not fancy.

I finally gave up and headed back to my seats.

Just one problem...

I had no idea where my seats were.

Oh, balls!

Early-bird dinner was over, and Erica and Barry had been with my mom for six straight hours.

She was going for seven.

Wow. I am stuffed. [Chuckles]

What do you say we go home and burn off some of these calories with a little bedazzling?

Ugh! Make it stop!

It's too much time with you!

I'm sorry, but I'm done.

If spending time with your mother is some kind of torture, then I'll just walk home.

Stop the car.

And there it was, her signature guilt move... storming out of the car and making us beg her to come back.

Here I go.

I'll probably get flattened by a truck, not that you'd care.

Aw, man! She's out of the car!

Now what do we do?

Nothing.

Remember what Pops said? "It's not real. Don't feel."

I'm walking!

We should just drive off and let her walk home.

You heard her.

She could be flattened by a truck!

She's not a squirrel!

We're 10 minutes from home. She'll be fine.

I'm walking.

All right, we need to take a stand and drive away.

Are you with me?

I don't know!

Still walking!

I need you to look me in the eye and say you are with me.

I'm with you!

God save my soul, I'm with you!

[Engine revs]

I knew you'd come to your senses.

We're doing it! This is really happening!

I've never felt so alive in my life!

As my brother and sister were flying high, my dad was crashing down to reality.

Damn it. Where is he?

See, back before cellphones, getting lost was a much bigger deal.


I'm fine. It's fine.

It's all gonna be fine.

S-so I'm hungry and alone and may never be rescued.

It's good times.

The only way to actually find someone was to shout their name really loud.

Adam?!

When that didn't work, my dad decided to awkwardly approach anyone who even looked a little like me.

Tiny lady. Sorry.

Meanwhile, the more I ran around, the more lost I got.

Luckily, my dad came up with the perfect plan to track me down.

Whoa, whoa. Slow it down there, boss.

That's a restricted area.

Yeah, yeah... I got separated from my son, and I need to make an announcement to the entire stadium.

Okay, that makes sense.

This kid of yours... what's he look like?

I don't know.

He's a boy. He's normal-looking.

He's got hair, a face.

I-I don't look at him much.

Uh-huh. And, uh, how old is this boy?

11.

Or... 14.

Can I just go make my announcement?!

Oh, yeah, sure.

And after, you want to visit the dugout or shower in the locker room?

Very funny.

Hey, how are your fielding skills?

You want to play shortstop?

Just know I will make it through that door.

Better yet, why don't I have two of my friends escort you to the V.I.P. Section?

[Sighs]

[Lock rattles]

My kid's in there!

While my dad had hit an all-time low, Barry and Erica were riding high.

Dude, we did it!

For once, we didn't give in to her guilt!

I know! We totally drove away!

I feel so exhilarated, like I just killed a man!

Exactly!

Wait. What?

Pops, we did just like you said with Mom.

Way to go, kiddos. I want to hear all about it.

You know that thing mom does when she storms out of the car and then you have to beg her to get back in?

Oh, yeah... the big guns.

Well, we left her on the side of the road like an old mattress!

Boom!

What? Are you nuts?!

You don't leave your mother on the side of the road!

Who does that?

That's exactly what you said to do.

That's not what I said at all!

Why are you making us feel guilty?

I thought you were on our side!

My God! What have you done?!

[Doorbell rings]

Everybody just chill, okay?

That's her. She's fine.

Evening.

It was the old man! He put us up to it!

They misunderstood my rhyme!

It doesn't matter.

Is our mom okay?

She's fine. I gave her a lift.

Lucky for her, I was driving down old York Road and was temporarily blinded by the sunlight reflecting off of her bejeweled jacket.

Where is she?

In the back of my cruiser with a little pack of tissues.

She's pretty certain she failed as a mother.

I know this looks bad, but you have to understand she uses guilt to get her way.

So... She's like every Mom.

Except in this case, you abandoned her on the side of the road.

Shame on you.

Shame.

Thank you for seeing me home safely, Officer.

It was very kind.

You must be a wonderful son.

Mom...

Bup-bup-bup.

I have one thing to say to you.

That was [Bleep] up.

Only one person felt worse than Barry and Erica... my dad.

He was so desperate to find me that he sought help in the most unlikely of places... a parking lot full of Philly tailgaters.

Hey.

You guys got an extra ticket you could sell me?

I-I got tossed out of the Stadium.

I need to get back in.

Why'd you get ejected, Chief?

Um, I got into it with a security guard because I lost my son.

In Veterans Stadium?

Damn, that is just some bad parenting right there.

I never let my little fella out of my sight.

[[Fire whooshes]

Tell you what.

Let me C.B. The other camps around the stadium, see if anybody's seen your kid.

Wow.

You'd do that?

Well, t-thank you.

It's what Phillies fans do.

So, how old is he? What does he look like?

Why's everybody need to know that?!

Hey. I-I'm kind of lost.

Could you please help me find my dad?

Of course we can help you find your dad.

Why don't you step over there with the other lost kids?

As I looked at that line of lost little tykes, I knew I couldn't join them.

I finally had to man up and become the 11- or 14-year-old my dad wanted me to be.

No!

Not today!

I'm lost, I'm starving, and I still haven't peed, but I will survive!

As I was finally confronting the most disgusting bathroom in the world, Erica and Barry were about to face the most emotionally manipulative mother in the universe.

Hey, Mama.

I don't think she heard you. Do it again.

He-e-e-y.

Oh, stop it. I heard you. I'm just not answering.

We feel horrible.

And we made a little peace offering to show you how sorry we are.

It's a picture of you.

See?

You're smiling, like you used to before we ditched you on the side of the road like human trash.

Your shading and tones don't quite capture my loving essence, but I appreciate the effort.

Maybe you could teach us.

How does that sound?

We bedazzle for the rest of the day.

Well, that's a good first step, but it's gonna take a lot more than rhinestones and glitter to make up for what you did.

Name it. Anything.

I want huggies.

Fine.

And snuggies.

On it.

And kissies.

Absolutely.

And nubbies.

Lots and lots of nubbies.

I don't know what that is, and I'm scared to find out, but sure.

We're gonna go set up the bedazzler.

We'll meet you upstairs.

And just like that, my mother realized that getting abandoned on the side of the road was the best thing that could have happened to her.

Mom, are you coming?

I'll be there in a minute.

It was the bottom of the ninth.

I was still lost, but at least I wasn't alone.

I guess I just really want to show my dad what I'm made of, you know?

In here.

Does that make sense?

[Noisemaker blows]

Okay, you've done that three times.

I don't know what that means.

As I was getting annoyed with my new green friend, Barry and Erica were bedazzling with all the colors of the rainbow.

What's all this?

Oh, just a bunch of bedazzmanian devils going crazy!

[As tasmanian devil] Blablaggablagah!

[Chuckles] It's been a fun hour.

You know what? We're out of silver studs.

I'm gonna go get some from my craft drawer.

Yes! We need more.

This is so fun! [Chuckles]

Help us.

I'm sorry. You hurt her for real.

You got to pay the price.

But we bedazzled everything.

Look.

I even bedazzled my flyers Jersey, and, in some weird way, I think it looks amazing.

And what are nubbies?

What are nubbies?!

She said "nubbies"?

Oh, you're way too old for that.

I'll talk to her.

Bevy, listen, the kids don't deserve all the blame for what they did.

I may have taught them how to stand up to your guilt.

That was you?

Thank you so much.

Thank you for this wonderful gift.

W-wait. What's happening? Y-you're not angry?

This is literally my dream come true.

Now they're under my thumb forever.

I get to decide how they live, who they marry, where they take me on vacation, and all because they left me on the side of the road.

Honey, you can't hold them hostage with guilt for the rest of their lives.

They're just gonna end up resenting you.

But... What else am I supposed to do?

I'm their mom.

If it were up to them, they'd never spend time with me.

Have you ever wondered why they love hanging out with me so much?

'Cause I don't force them to.

Also, I'm pretty frickin' delightful.

You are pretty delightful.

And so are you.

[John Hiatt's "have a little faith in me" plays]

Put the stud guns down. You're free to go.

No, really. We're having fun.

You're not.

You've done this long enough, and we're even.

But we're just trying to apologize for what we did.

No, I'm the one who needs to apologize.

I guilt you kids way too much.

It's just, uh...

When you were little, all you wanted to do was spend time with me.

And, you know, a Mom gets used to that.

You two will never understand how much it hurts when that goes away.

I that's just the wathings are right now.

You know, we really meant what we bedazzled.

We do love you.

I know.

Just no nubbies.

Deal.

While my mom had found common ground with Barry and Erica, I still hadn't found my dad.

But we weren't out of options.

Back then, whenever you got lost, the last resort was always the same... meet at the car.

Of course, I had no idea where we were parked, so I had to wait until every single car was gone.

♪ And have a little faith in me ♪
♪ And have a little faith in me ♪
♪ And have a little faith in me ♪

I was ready to give my dad hell.

I wanted to tell him how I survived on my own and proved him wrong.

I wanted to tell him I was a man.

I wanted to tell him that I didn't need him anymore.

But... Instead, I did this.

[Sobs]

[Sniffles] I know.

You're safe.

You're safe.

♪ Just turn around and you... ♪

I spent most of that day lost, but what I remember most is what I found.

I found out that I could do okay on my own, and my dad discovered he didn't want me to grow up too fast.

♪ Just have a little faith in me ♪

Hey, Ma.

Hi.

Back from another normal day.

Well, come into the nook. [Chuckles]

It's "battle of the network stars."

Fonzie sure can throw a javelin.

That's the thing about parents... they always drive you crazy.

Oh. Got a beautiful tomato if you're hungry.

Mom, enough with the tomato.

Someone's gonna eat this thing today.

But in a world where we all get lost sometimes...

Stop! Stop, Mom!

Kissy shark! Kissy shark!

Stop! Stop it!

Rah, rah, rah, rah, rah!

There's nothing better than having people who love you so much, they never want to let you go.

Erica: No! No, no, no! Mom, mom!

Three... Two... Fire!

[Ding!]

Hey !

Hey... Wow! What is that?!

Ohoh! You mean the shirt?

I'm going to the Phillies game later with Dad.

So, I bedazzled this as a joke just to drive him crazy.

I mean, I would never wear this to the game unless you think I can maybe wear it to the game.

You know, you shouldn't just wear it to the game, I would wear it to school!

That's what I thought! Thank you!

I mean this is a joke, but thank you!