The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) Script

Caregiving is not just about feeding and clothing and cleaning.

It is also about understanding how to navigate a complicated relationship between those who give care and those who are in need of it.

If you find yourself lost, frustrated, confused, you can always come back to this helpful mnemonic device:

ALOHA.

Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask again.

The fundamentals of caregiving are to give care... but not care too much.

If you truly want a lasting career in caregiving, you'll need to adhere to the caregiver commandments.

Writ these down. They're important.

I cannot take care of another unless I first take care of myself.

Ben. Ben, come on. I know you're in there.

My needs are equal to the needs of the person to whom I am giving care.

Caregiving is difficult.

All I can do is try my best and maintain a positive attitude.

Congratulations, you're a certified caregiver.

Just always remember:

ALOHA.

Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask again.

Nothing less. Nothing more.

You must be Mr. Benjamin.

Elsa Conklin. Hi.

I was transferred to the States about nine months ago, and we've yet to find a permanent caregiver for Trevor.

The transition's been difficult, to say the least.

The flight over was the first time he'd ever been on a plane and...

Well, let's just say, he's never really been one to relish being outside of his house, let alone 30,000 feet in the air, or here in another country.

So, tell me, why'd you choose to be a caregiver?

I like helping people.

Do you have clients at the moment? This would be full-time.

No.

Can you tell me about some of your previous clients?

Trevor would be my first client.

Oh... I'd asked them to only send people with experience.

Oh, um...

No, I have the certificate. I took the... It's a six-week course.

Yeah, I've taken it. It's all right. It's just that I specified that we...

Hello. I'm sorry. You know, I'm so sorry. Did I do something wrong?

I put on aftershave this morning. That's something I don't normally do.

Is he sensitive to smells?

Trevor, that's enough.

Pick a number between one and 3,500.

Wha...? Huh?

It's a game. Pick a number.

Three. Nope.

Two thousand, four hundred and sixty-four. Sorry, no job.

Trevor, this is Ben. Do you have any actual questions for him?

What kind of aftershave are you wearing?

Trevor. What?

This guy thinks retarded people get upset by aftershave. That's brilliant.

How does that work, exactly?

Is it, like, "Oh, no. The smell.

I don't understand where it's coming from. Please, somebody help."

You're not retarded. And don't use that word.

People worse off than you, you know?

That's true. Like retarded people that are forced to wear aftershave.

Sorry. My child has a unique sense of humor.

Do you have kids?

No. I know I don't have any experience, but I took the course and I'll work very hard. I...

I've been out of work for a while and I could really use this job.

Yeah, but if we're gonna throw down nine bucks an hour for somebody to wipe my ass, we need somebody who knows how to wipe an ass.

Tell me, Ben, given the opportunity, how exactly would you wipe my ass?

You're being rude.

I think it's a reasonable interview question, given the scope of the job.

True or false? This man has to wipe my ass.

I'd wipe it in such a way that when I was done, there would be no shit left on your ass.

He's the one.

Hey. Hi.

Did you bring them?

Ben, did you bring the divorce papers?

Oh, you know what? Uh, I never got them.

I know you got them. I shoved them under your door.

Right, I got your message about that. That's weird. I don't...

Here's a new set. Here's a pen.

All right, well, I'll take these home and, uh, I'll read them.

Why are you doing this to me?

Do I have to get a court order? I mean, is that really what you want me to do?

I'm not ready, Janet.

It's been two-and-a-half years.

What's the magic number where you wake up and you're finally ready?

Six years? Eight? Eighty?

I'm sorry.

I'm just not ready.


Hello. Come in.

Hi. I'll take you on the tour.

What do you know about DMD?

Um...

Uh...

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When you get home tonight, google it.

Yes, I... I work as the office manager in a bank.

It's a big bank, but I work in a small branch, which means if I'm late, they notice.

I have to leave here at 8:40, which means you have to be here at 8:40.

You're late, I'm late. I can't be late. No one else to pay the bills.

Every day we stretch his hamstrings, heel cords, IT-bands, hip flexors, and forearms on the bed. I'll demonstrate that for you.

He sleeps most nights with the C-pap machine to help his breathing.

Trevor's extremely tied to his routine. It cannot be disrupted.

If it's disrupted, he'll have a panic attack.

He wakes at the same time every day, he watches TV at the same time every day.

He eats at the same time every day.

Once a week, he goes to the park on Thursdays.

Always on Thursdays. Always from 1 to 4. Exactly 1 to 4.

He only eats waffles and sausage. Two waffles, one sausage.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Not ideal, but it's a battle I'm done fighting and the vitamins fill in the gap.

Hey. Check her out.

Oldest working family farms in Jerome, Idaho...

Would you tap that? Because I would pound that shit into the ground.

His medications are also on a precise schedule.

It's all in this notebook.

Prescription meds, Deflazacort, Losartan, Eplerenone.

Those you absolutely can't miss.

Then the supplements, Protandim, Haelan, omega fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D, Co Q10, creatine, glutamine, Quercetin, multi-vitamin, and mega green tea.

Why don't you read the notebook and we'll talk more thoroughly later.

Statistically, Trevor probably has another seven to ten years.

So, let's do everything right, okay?

I need to hear you say "okay." Yes. Okay. Absolutely.

Trevor, it's his first day. Please don't make him cry.

You need anything? I do, actually.

Could you call the Make-A-Wish Foundation and tell them I want a blowjob from Katy Perry?

I mean, she kind of has to say yes, right? Think about it.

If she was to reject me, that would a PR nightmare for her.

It'd be a shit storm.

What do we have here? A two-story outhouse.

Aha. Here we go. Idaho Falls, Idaho. Two-story outhouse.

I'm no expert. I definitely think I'd prefer to be on the upper level.

He apparently... What is this gem, you ask?

This is a map of your precious country's lamest roadside attractions, odd museums, bizarre landmarks, and of course anything giant, from farm animals to cherry pie. What's the red star?

That, my friend, is the world's deepest pit. My favorite.

It just sounds so depressing, I love it. Pick a number between one and 3,500.

Go on, Ben. We've got some time to kill. One and 3,500.

Three. One-5-5-5. You're not even trying.

But I have some fantastic news, I need to take a dump.

Why is that fantastic news?

Because it's your time to shine. Let's go.

Ow.

I need to take a shit, come on. Come on, be serious.

Take my legs.

How does it make sense to take my legs?

Are you gonna drag me to the toilet? Put them down.


You all right? Yeah.

Hold on, hold on.

Do you wanna just shit in your chair, maybe?

Maybe.

Ben. Ben, it's jammed. Ben, help!

Who do you think would win in a fight to the death. Me or a bird?

Help me! Help me!

Help!

How about me versus a lot of birds, but all the birds also had muscular dystrophy?

I think a bunch of big birds with muscular dystrophy are fucking you up.

I enjoy this time together. Me too.

Can I ask you a question?

What?

If you woke up and you were totally... fine...

what's the thing you'd wanna do most?

If I could do anything at all?

I'd really like to take a pee standing up.

Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

Bye.

If somebody tries to rob the bank today, don't be a hero.

I can't promise anything once the adrenalin kicks in.

Fair enough.

Did you arrange these to look like large testicles and a small penis?

Yep. Brilliant.

Enjoy your breakfast. Thanks.

You never told me what you did before you got into the ass-wiping business.

I was a writer. No, you weren't. Really?

Yeah. I wrote a couple of novels you've never heard of.

You're right. So, what is this? Is this, like, research for you?

Hardly. I'm retired. You're retired. Right.

Well, man, you should write about me.

Well, that would make for a really interesting read.

Chapter One, Watches TV.

Chapter Two, Eats Waffles.

Chapter Three, Watches TV, Then Eats Waffles.

It writes itself. Seriously, I'm your man.

And when you do write about me, I want you to describe me as handsome and cool.

The best stuff is truthful.

Ben Benjamin?

I have something for you.

Hey, wait!

This is a court order!

I know where you live!

You're just in time. The hot chick is on.

And today I'm going to visit with Rufus, the world's...

If I had one night with her, I swear when I was done, she wouldn't be able to walk properly.

Oh, because you'd give her muscular dystrophy?

Cute.

Rufus weighs 2,100 pounds.

Hey, check it out. World's biggest bovine. Ritzville, Washington.

Ritzville. That's not far from here.

What if we saw some of these places for real?

Have you been working with lead-based paint in an enclosed area?

Come on. Don't you get bored just sitting in this room and going to the park once a week?

I mean, doesn't any part of you want to see the world's deepest pit in person, not just on TV?

I do. But if we're making bucket lists, I'd put that way behind nailing the Seattle Seahawk cheerleaders in a pyramid formation. I do hope that's televised.

Embarrassing.

All right. So, we go to a Seahawks game.

You know, most disabled people don't just sit in their houses all day.

They get out and do things like everybody else. You got a letter.

What are those?

Letters... from my father.

I didn't realize you had a father.

I was born, wasn't I? It means I have a father.

No, I know, but...

He left when I was three. Right when I was diagnosed.

Probably just a silly coincidence. Oh. Sorry.

Can you feel the love tonight? Well, I sure can. It's Valentine's Day.

And what more of a romantic place to spend it than here in Devil's Lake, North Dakota.

So, you don't even read those? Really? We're still going on about this?

Sorry, it's just...

I... I don't know. Aren't you even curious?

I mean, it seems like he's reaching out... I used to read them. They're lame.

Do you ever write back? No, I have not written him back.

Does he say he's sorry for leaving? What's with you today?

He made his choice when I was three. It was his choice, not mine.

He can live with it. Let's leave it at that.

I'm just saying, you know, he is still your father, maybe...

He's not still my father.

Okay? A father is supposed to be there for his kid.

Protect him from harm. That's the only job a father has.

You don't have a kid, so what would you know about it?

This combination of meals is simply...

There we go. Now go get me some juice.

Hey, juice. Come on. We're not paying you to sit on your ass.

Mr. Benjamin!

Mr. Benjamin! Mr. Benjamin, I'm not gonna leave!

Thank you for staying.

Ever since I started, they've been begging me to go to happy hour on Thursday.

I finally relented, just to get them off my back.

I won't be too late. Oh, it's fine. Trev's napping.

Oh, there's another thing.

Work's asked me to go to Atlanta for a week for a training seminar.

Oh. Why don't I stay here with Trev? Thank you.

Um...

There's one more thing.

You know, over the years, Trevor's never become attached to any caregiver.

I'm so pleased you two get on so well, but... you won't be here forever.

I know about your son.

You know, I wouldn't let you be with Trevor without first doing my due diligence.

What do you know exactly?

Everything. So does Trevor.

I'm so sorry, Ben.

I can't even...

Trevor knows what happened? Yeah.

Three years is not a very long time, and I can only guess at your emotional state.

I can't have you getting too close to Trevor.

I can't have you making promises you can't keep.

ALOHA, right?

Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask again.

Nothing more, yeah?

Sounds like my very obnoxious ride.

You knew about my kid and you said all that father bullshit to me? Huh?

You think because you're in a wheelchair that gives you the right to say and do whatever you want?

You ever considered that maybe I'm just a prick, with or without the wheelchair?

Fuck you. And fuck your wheelchair.

And fuck your waffles and your stupid fucking map with all the places that you're never ever gonna fucking see.

Fuck those letters that you'll never reply to

'cause you're such a self-absorbed piece of shit.

Is that the best you can do? That's it? I thought you were a writer.

Fuck this, fuck that. That's really lame. I think you need a second draft.

I don't buy any of your bullshit. You can make jokes all you want, but you are wasting your life by sitting in this house and watching TV.

Yeah? And what the fuck are you doing?

It's been three years, Ben.

Should you really be wiping my ass for $9 an hour?


Sounds like you and Trevor had quite a night last night.

Yeah, sorry about... I specifically warned you about the nature of your relationship, didn't I?

Yeah, you did, but...

What makes you think I would ever let you take my son on a road trip?

And now if I don't let him go see the world's deepest pit or biggest cow or whatever, he's gonna be upset.

But of course I can't actually let him go.

Look, well, whatever. When Ben burst into my room and said we should go on a trip, it just seemed like it would be fun.

You know? So, just forget it. Well, it's not happening.

And I resent being put in this position.

Honestly, what were you thinking?

I was thinking it would be good for him. Good for him?

Do you have any idea what traveling with someone like Trevor entails?

You lose his Deflazacort, then what?

Or the C-pap breaks in the middle of nowhere? That be good for him?

He's never been more than an hour from his house.

Maybe it's time to change that.

Look. It takes three or four days to get to the world's deepest pit. Right?

We can see a lot of these other roadside attractions along the way.

Two days to get back, we're gone for a week.

I chart out all the hospitals along the way.

And they'll lend me the van so we can carry all of Trevor's machines and stuff.

We can go while you're in Atlanta.

You're suggesting I risk my son's life so he can see a hole in the earth?

I'm suggesting that your son gets out of the living room.

Right. When I get back from work, we're gonna sit down and plan this to the T.

Wait. What?

Well done. That was very heroic how you jumped in there without missing a beat.

But I'm sorry, I can't do it. Why? This is your idea.

I know, but I think I was caught up in the moment.

That moment being you telling me to go fuck myself repeatedly.

This is great. The open road.

You know what? I'm gonna call the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I'll get Katy Perry to meet us at a motel in Missoula.

What song do you want her to sing while she's doing you?

"Fireworks."

Did you get the van serviced? The van is serviced and ready to go.

When? Everything's up to date.

Meaning you got it serviced specifically for the trip, or you got it serviced at the normal time it was supposed to be serviced?

I want a text or a phone call every three hours.

Hey, do you know when he got the van serviced?

Let's call this off. Okay.

He needs this.

Do you need this? I don't need this.

He says he doesn't need this.

Elsa, I won't let anything happen to your son.

I love you.

"He died trying to see the world's deepest pit" is a really bad obituary.

Or is it?


Okay.

What are you doing? It's all right.

It's all right. Here. I got you. I got you. I got you. Look.

The road is all about living the dream, my friend.

What are you talking about? What are you doing? What are you doing?

You are gonna pee standing up.

No, no, no. Honestly, it's not gonna work. It's a mistake.

It's gonna work. All right? No, no, no.

It's fine. I got you.

Give me a sec. I've got you. Shh.

Shh. Shh.

It is okay... Oh! Stop for a second. Stop for a second.

I can't stop. Grab your penis!

I am! I've got my penis! That's holding your penis?

Time for a little celebration. What are we celebrating?

This is the farthest you've ever been from home.

What are you talking about? I lived in England.

You know what I mean.

You ever had a Slim Jim? What do you think?

I think it's time. Not happening. No.

We have enough newness going on here.

Dude, were you...? Were you just doing air quotes?

Don't... Don't ever do that again. Trust me.

Come on. This is what road trips are all about.

No.

It's really good.

Mmm!

Mmm!

That's a hell of a meat stick.

Mmm!

Oh.

Try it? Just try it?

Come on, have a bite of the Jim. Bite the Jim.

Nibble on the Jim.

Bite of the James? Hm?

Isn't that what they say in your country? A little bite of the James, shall we?

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.

Mmm! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.

Little bite of James!

Go on! Have a bite of James!

Let me see if there's any food in there I can actually eat.


Cool fucking sneakers.

Mall.


Mall.

What does that even mean? Mall?

It means that's where you get them from.

No, I know, but you didn't get them there. You got them online.

It's where one would get them.

Although, you didn't say that.

I mean, you didn't say, "Oh, you know, I got them at the mall."

You just said, "Mall."

Just one word. One syllable.

Well, I thought it was good to get straight to the point.

Technically, that's the least amount that you could say to a girl and still have it qualify as a conversation.

You know what? I'm wrong.

I'm wrong. There is something shorter. "Ma."

What do you know about girls? Your wife is trying to divorce you.

"Cool sneakers." "Ma." I'm in a fucking wheelchair, okay?

I could spew Shakespeare shit and a girl like that's not gonna be interested in me.

Ma. Fuck you, you're a 45-year-old ass-wiper.

Ma.

♪ Ma, ma, ma ♪

♪ Ma, ma, ma ♪ I think I'm gonna give one of these a go. Yeah?

Yeah. Good.

See, I knew the open road would be good for you.

What do you think? It's good, right?

Nice try.

That's really good. That's really funny.

Would you quit screwing around? I'm driving.

Oh, shit.

Oh, shit.

Come on. Come on.

Goddamn it! Oh, you fucker!

Don't ever do that again! You scared the shit out of me!

I'm just kidding. Jesus Christ!

You know, these are actually not that bad.

Bite of the James? Fuck you.

Whoa. Check it out, man.

Moo!


Hey, we're here to see Rufus, the world's biggest bovine.

Okay, that's gonna be $4 apiece, and what you're gonna do is...

Oh, I'm, uh... I'm sorry. We keep, uh, Rufus on the second floor.

Oh, you don't have handicap access? No. Sorry about that.

It's not a problem. Seriously.

What? No. It is a problem. It's a huge problem.

No, you can go up and take a look at it and then tell me about it.

No!

You're in violation of codes.

Look, why don't you and your son just pick out something from our gift shop.

I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation here.

Wait a sec. You think we're father and son?

We came to see a giant cow. We're going to see a giant cow.

I mean, what about the different accents? Does that not bother you?

Look. Here's a postcard. Postcard?

You think that's gonna solve this? What, are you working with lead-based paint?

Hey, what the fuck? That's mine.

Look, it's just like a regular cow but bigger.

And we wanna see it. And that's your problem.

Because you're the one that went into the giant cow-showing profession, not me.

So, it's you that's gonna figure out how we're gonna see a giant fucking cow, or else I'm gonna call the local news, and I'm gonna have them send down the guy that does that "Shame on You" business-buster thing, and he's gonna come down with multiple cameras... Multiple cameras.

...and ask you why you think it's okay that somebody with disabilities isn't allowed to see a giant cow like everyone else.

What number are you even dialing right now?

Shut up.

It's ringing. What's it gonna be?

Left! And careful, careful, careful. Not that much! Not that much!

I got you, I got you! You're gonna crush us, Mikey!

Take as long as you need.


You good? Yeah, you?

Yeah.

Thank you.

Come on! I'm losing my grip! I'm losing my grip!

No, wait! Okay, okay. No, please don't...

Well, I got good news and bad news.

The good news is I talked to the Make-A-Wish folks, and Katy Perry is all lined up.

The bad news is she's refusing to sing "Fireworks."

Apparently, she's done that with the last four Make-A-Wish kids.

She feels it's played out. I wanna go and see my father.

What?

He owns a car dealership in Salt Lake City.

Your father's in America? He's an American.

They met in the UK. Made me here, then we moved back when he ditched us.

I've been thinking about what you said and I should hear him out.

Oh, I don't... Oh, I don't...

Look, I mean...

I just... Here's the thing. I don't know what I'm talking about.

I have to talk to your mom. No, definitely not.

She isn't gonna let me go. She barely let me go on this.

Well, you should call him first.

No. No, no, no. If we're gonna do it, we just do it.

I wanna see the look on his face.

This was your idea. Don't start pussying out now.

Okay.

What are you gonna say to him?

Isn't it more about what he's gonna say to me?

Dude, look at this.

I just texted this to your mom.

Oh.

What do you suppose her deal is? Obviously, she wants me bad.

What if she's a runaway and her parents are looking for her?

Should we give her a ride?

What?

She's hitchhiking. Maybe we should give her a ride.

Want to? Why, you think we should?

You're probably right. We shouldn't. Well, I didn't said we shouldn't, did I?

I said that, you know, it's just like, whatever. If you want to, then...

Then I guess we can. If you're feeling fatherly and protective and shit.

Nah, forget it.

I'm worried about her parents.

Yeah? Worried about her parents, are you?

Deeply, actually. 'Cause she's out there alone.

And in today's world, there's no telling what could happen.

There's all sorts of sickos out there. And quite possibly in here.

Let's do it.

Seriously? Yeah. Let's give her a ride.

Okay. Yeah, why not, right?

Yeah, okay, yeah. Let's do it. Yeah. Go ask her.

What? Me? Yeah. You.

No, I'm not asking. I can't ask her.

I'm not asking her. Why?

Because I can't, okay? Don't be a dick. You ask her.

Man, if I go ask her, you're gonna be watching it through this window like you were watching TV.

You know, when I get home, I'm gonna put you on the roadside attractions map.

World's biggest dick.

Hey, hey, hey. Let me just give you a little bit of advice, okay?

What? Go with that mall rap again.

I don't know if you remember it. It's just one word. Just "mall."

I'm giving you the finger. Well, not really.


I got it.

Hi there. Who the fuck are you?

Ben. My name's Ben. Oh, shit. Are you a pervert?

What? Look, I'm 21. Full-on adult.

So, if you're into picking up kids on the highway, please just leave me the fuck alone. I'm not a pervert.

That's exactly what a pervert would say.

Right. I just wanna help you out.

Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?

I'm harmless.

Fine. I could use some coffee.

If you're a pervert, I swear, I'll kick your fucking ass.

Here.

You're the kid with the cool sneakers. Yeah.

So, what's wrong with you?

I have, uh... Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Shit. That sounds bad.

Can they fix it? No. Not yet.

That fucking blows. Yeah.

Does it hurt? No. I mean, kind of.

Does it affect your brains? No.

Does your penis work? You want a menu?

Can we have a menu? What would you like? You want a sandwich?

You want some eggs maybe?

The waffles are really good. Right, Trev? Yeah.

Yeah, the waffles are good or, yeah, your penis works?

The waffles suck.

I'm Dot. Trevor.

You two perverts got room for one more?

So, what's in Denver? Starting my life, Mervin.

Maybe go to art school.

My mom always said Denver was a good place because the high altitude makes the air less complicated.

Ah.

Does your mom know you're hitchhiking? No.

Think you should tell her?

She's dead, so that might be a little difficult.

Unless you have psychic powers. Oh, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, too. We're both sorry. Oh, it's okay.

Kathy was so fucking rad.

She would do shit for people, like, without them even asking, she would just do it.

And then, like, three years ago, she gets this random blood disease out of nowhere.

Just bullshit on a stick if you ask me.

Yeah, it's total bullshit. And on a stick. Like the world's least delicious lollipop.

What about your dad? Does he know where you are?

No. I left him a note, though.

What's that? What's wrong? Nothing. It's a... It's a dash light.

Where... Where are we? When's the nearest exit?

No, it's fine, Trevor. I had the engine serviced. It's okay, Trevor.

Maybe we should just pull over and see what's... Check just to...

Just so you can check it over. Trevor, it's fine.

Those lights don't mean shit. Just keep going. Trevor, tell him.

Keep going.

You know what? Trevor, I know you wanna keep going, but maybe we should just pull off, find a place to stay tonight and then I'll get it checked out in the morning.

Look, I told his mom I'd keep him safe. I'm sorry. That's what we're gonna do.

What a fucking pussy. Why are old people such pussies?

Is it gradual, or one day you just wake up and you look in the mirror and you say:

"Today I am a giant fucking pussy"?

Yeah, Ben. Why you are such a giant fucking pussy?

You wanna...? Should we keep going? We can...

I mean, I'm certainly okay to go, and it's a bit...

It's kind of playing with fire... No, no.

You said you wanted stop, so we can stop. Yeah, no, let's pull over.

Such a giant pussy.

So, what's the deal with the deep pit or whatever?

Oh.

In the '70s some scientist dudes made a little tiny hole six miles deep straight down, trying to get to the center of the Earth. Named it The World's Deepest Pit.

I think I just like the name.

So, your dream is to see a big hole in the ground?

I've always been an overachiever. I'm also gonna see my father.

Is your dad a fuck-up, too?

I wouldn't know. He left when I was three, when I was diagnosed.

That's really bullshit on a stick.

Why are you seeing him? His idea.

Thinks I should forgive him.

I wouldn't forgive him.

We're being followed. What do you mean, we're being followed?

There's a car in the parking lot. I noticed it around Ritzville.

I told Janet we were going to Salt Lake.

She must have sent someone with a court order.

Who's Janet? His wife.

Your wife issued a court order against you? That's great.

She's trying to divorce him as well, but he won't sign the divorce papers because he's a... Dude.

Yeah. I can't say. Solemn bond between us.

I'll tell you later. Okay.

If there's a knock on this door, no one answers.

If there's a knock on that door...

I'm going to smoke.

Don't worry, Mervin. I'll hide in the bushes.

Hi, Mervin.

Shut up, or tomorrow I'll put your clothes on inside out.


Morning.

I, uh... took the car to a gas station and it's totally fine.

It's just a fuse.

Where's Dot? She's outside.

You ready?


Hey there, it's Janet. Please leave a message.

Is this really necessary, huh?

To hire some goon to follow me across the country?

It's bullshit, Janet. On a stick.

He does that. He took one of my things the other day.

You know what's bullshit on a stick?

I went 18 years on this planet and no one ever told me about a Slim Jim.

Humans didn't need to invent any other food.

Fuck, yeah.


Right? And it's not just me!

I can't piss for you! Just try it! Concentrate!

What? Put your arm...

I don't wanna pee. Put your arm on the wall.

Pick a number between one and 3,500.

Okay, I want three guesses. You don't get three guesses.

You get one guess, between one and 3,500. Go.

Okay, okay, okay. One thousand, four hundred and fifty-two.

Oh, my God. No one's ever gotten it before.

I can't believe you got it. Oh, you're so lying right now.

I'm not lying. You got it. I am flabbergasted.

Are you serious? Good move.

No, I'm not serious.

Fuck you. Yeah, sorry.

Whoa, look at that.

I'm gonna see if she needs some help.

Hey. Hi.

How's it going there? Not good.

I've been looking at all this, but I don't really know anything about cars.

I think something might be on fire.

You want me to call you a tow truck? Thanks. Um...

Whew! I can't really afford to fix it. I probably shouldn't have driven it.

Where are you headed? Grand Island, Nebraska.

Nebraska? You're driving by yourself to Nebraska?

I'm going to see my mom.

I'm pregnant.

What's your name? Peaches.

I'm Ben.

Hi. Hi.

Just a second. Okay.

Well, her car is shot.

She's heading to Nebraska.

I mean, we could take her all the way to Salt Lake and maybe put her on a bus for the rest of the way.

What is wrong with you?

You don't put a pregnant lady on a bus.

We'll take her the whole way.

Oh, well, we don't really have that kind of time.

Mervin. She's pregnant.

You sure about this?

We don't know her. No, absolutely. Yeah. It's what we do.

We're a taxicab for America.

He's so much cooler than you.

You hear that? Handsome and cool.

I never said handsome. Well, pretty sure you did.

So, how pregnant are you, Peaches?

Uh, just a few more weeks until baby Elton joins the world.

I'm naming him after his father.

Is Elton's father in Nebraska? Afghanistan.

Really? He's a soldier? Yes.

Private First Class, U.S. Army. Second tour.

He just got deployed again. It kind of took us all by surprise.

So, I'm scurrying back to Nebraska to be with my mom.

Did he see any action when he was there the first time?

Oh, yeah. But he wouldn't want me talking about it.

Oh, you have to. It's what you do on the road.

Dot's already bored us with her story. Asshole.

I'm... I'm just kidding.

It's okay. I kind of have a thing for assholes.

Continue, Peaches.

Okay, well, he was on a mission with his buddies, and they got trapped by enemy rebels.

I know he's not one for bragging, so I probably shouldn't brag on him, but he saved everybody.

He ran through enemy fire to get help.

Trev, what would you do in that situation?

Oh, I'd most likely shit myself.

And I most likely would have to clean it up.

Don't worry about them. They're idiots. Oh, okay.

I have to clean him up when he shits himself.

God.

All right.

Two rooms tonight. We're living large.

Man, I am starving.

I think there's an all-night diner across the street.

What do you think?

Oh, well, Peaches said she was too tired.

Oh, all right. Well, I guess it'll be the three of us.

I'm getting a patty melt. I don't give a shit.

Look, maybe, uh...

Maybe you could be too tired as well.

What? Oh.

Oh, okay.

Wow.

Come a long way since, "mall."

Hey, guys, Peaches is already asleep. You guys wanna get something to eat?

You know, um... Do you guys mind maybe just going by yourselves?

I'm pretty beat. I think there's a place across the street.

Oh.

Oh, come on. How obvious is this?

No, it's not... He's totally... It's a long... It's been a long day.

Yeah.

Are you asking me on a date?

Yes, I am.

Pick me up next door when you're ready.

Dude!

You were like James Bond there.

That was the most badass thing I've ever seen in my life.

Come on, man. Give me a... Give me a little sugar. Give it up.

My people don't high-five. Trust me, it's worse than the air quotes.

Come on. Don't leave me hanging.

Yeah, no. That... You're... That was terrible. You were right.

Handsome and cool, Ben. You got it?

Right.

I'm just gonna give you your medicines before you go.

What? Nothing.

What do you mean, nothing? What is it?

Ben, what is it? Nothing.

Uh...

Oh, shit.

What?

Uh...

Shi... Shit.

Ben, what the fuck? What is it?

Um...

I think I left your medicines in the other hotel.

With the C-pap machine. They were all together.

Oh, fuck.

Are you fucking kidding me?

That's not a face cream, okay? I need that shit to live.

I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. It's, um...

Uh... Shit, you know...

Oh, fuck. Listen, it's fine. It's fine, all right?

I'm gonna call a 24-hour pharmacy and I'm gonna...

No, we're in Podunk U.S.A. They're not gonna have shit. Oh, fuck.

I knew one of your spells would kill me. No, it's not...

Oh, shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!

I'm sorry. Look, I'm really sorry, all right?

I don't know what happened. I know what happened. You're an idiot.

You're a fucking idiot. I'm not.

I'm not, all right? I'm not an idiot.

I'm... hilarious.

Oh... Oh, my hands are numb.

Are you kidding me?

This is when you decide to play the prank? When I'm about to go on my first date?

I... It just seemed funnier that way.

Agreed.

I told you, I only date assholes.

Yes. And I'm not an asshole.

And since you want an asshole, my not being an asshole makes me more of an asshole than the assholes that you normally date, because they're giving you exactly what you want, whereas I, by not being an asshole, am not.

Which makes me an asshole.

I can't believe I actually understood that.


Hi. Hi.

I woke up.

May I come in? Yeah, sure.

I was just, uh...

Here.

Thank you.

They're really sweet.

Yeah.

Baby's Elton's kicking. You wanna feel him?

Oh, no, thanks, that's... That's okay... Oh, come on, he wants to say hi.

It's... I don't... I...

Dot told me about you.

She did?

What's it like being a parent?

Every corny thing you've ever heard about having a kid is completely and utterly true.

It's the only reason we're here.

Hey. See you tomorrow. Yeah.

How was it?

She didn't let me eat waffles.

No? What'd you have?

French toast.

Not tonight.

All right.


You ready?


Hi. May I find you a salesman?

Uh, yeah, my friend here is looking for Bob Richardson.

Is he available?

Why don't I get you one of our salesmen. We need Bob.

Tell him it's Trevor.

And if that doesn't jog his memory, say, "He's in a wheelchair."

And if that doesn't jog his memory, say, "He's your son."

And if that doesn't jog his memory, say, "You're an enormous dick."

Actually, just say that anyway.

I will be right back.

Okay.

Just give him a chance.

Right this way.

Bob will be with you in just a minute.

Hey, Trevor. This is a... nice surprise.

Hello.

So, what brings you to town?

Yeah, I'm doing some traveling.

Wow. Great.

How's your mom doing?

She's doing great, actually. She's got a good job at the bank.

Transferred her here, so...

Terrific.

So, what can I do for you today?

I figured it was about time I answered these.

Uh...

"Dear Trevor."

Oh...

What?

Elsa always wanted me to write you, and I didn't think that was a great idea.

So...

I'm... I'm sorry.

Your mom wrote these.

Okay.

I think we better go.

Trevor. Wait.

Let me give you some money.

Here. I got 160 bucks on me.

What do you say?

Take it.

I want you to have it.


Hey. Listen to me.

Why'd I do that?

Remember when you said to me that you'd wipe my ass until there was no more shit left on it?

Well, there is shit. It's all shit.

I'm shit. You're shit. It's everywhere.

It's the Ben Benjamin Traveling Shit Show and you're the star.

I wanna go home.

Look. Stop, stop.

Your father's an asshole, all right? And I'm sorry about that.

And I'm sorry if I pushed you to see him. But I didn't make him an asshole.

He just is one.

Hey, man, look. I'm just a guy, you know, trying to get through the day.

Just like you.

I'm trying to help you. No, you're not.

You're not trying to help me.

This is not about me. It's about you.

It's all been about you.

Look, I know that it was hard in there, but I think you're better off for...

No, you... Listen, you're not my father. Okay? You're not my father.

I know.

Do you?

Let me ask you something. Why'd you become a caregiver?

I needed a job.

Well, there are a lot of jobs out there that don't involve taking care of a kid.

I didn't know you were a kid when I went for the interview.

What do you think...?

You think I'm looking for redemption through you?

You think I want you to fix me? Is that it?

My son died.

You can't fix me.

And I don't want to.

Okay?

So, you keep your problems over there and I'll keep my problems over here.

You wipe my ass, and I'll say thank you. End of fucking story.


Are we still going to the big pit?

No.

Fine. Not fucking fine!

I have exactly one life.

And for reasons I myself don't really understand, I now believe that that life will not be fulfilled unless I am standing at the bottom of the world's deepest pit with you two perverts.

And this beautiful mom-to-be.

Oh, thank you. You're welcome.

So, start the car. We're going to the fucking pit.

Yay.


Holy fuck.

Wow.

I thought I'd like it 'cause it's lame, but it's actually pretty cool.

Let's go to the bottom.


I'll catch up with you guys, all right? I left my phone in the car.

We got Slim Jims, Mervin. We'll be fine.

I know who you are.

What?

Janet didn't send you. Elsa did.

Who's Elsa?

Trevor's mom.

Who's Trevor? What?

Are you following Peaches?

Dorothy.

Dot? Yeah, I'm her father.

I mean, who are you? I mean, why...? Why are you driving my daughter around?

Hey, man, I didn't ask for any of this. I'm just taking a kid to Salt Lake.

I saw your daughter, I bought her a meal, I gave her a ride.

I was just trying to be decent.

Oh.

Well, I guess I owe you a thanks.

You don't owe me anything.

Look, I'm never gonna win Dad of the Year, okay?

But I sure as shit wasn't gonna let my little girl get from Olympia to Denver on her own.

Dorothy and I, we got some issues, but we're connected, you know?

Just... Just trying my best here.

I get it.

Is it okay if I tail you the rest of the way?

I... I won't get in your way, I'm just... I just wanna make sure she's safe.

Yeah, sure thing.

Thanks.

Hello?

Ben! Come downstairs quickly! Hello?

It's me, Dot. It's an emergency!

Come... Now! What's the matter? What's the...?

Can you hear me? Hello? Hello?

Is there a doctor here? How about a nurse?

Anyone here a doctor? With any kind of medical training?

Oh, no! She's having the baby.

Help. I don't... I don't know what to do.

Please.

Ben!

Ben!

She needs your help! Do something!

Call 911! Call 911! Call 911! All right, all right, all right.

Here you go, here you go. I think something is wrong.

Come on, Ben. Do something. Okay, okay. All right, all right.

Something doesn't feel right.


Okay, okay. Ready, ready, ready?

My little baby.

He's here.

Hi.

Mmm.

Thank you, Ben.

It's a boy. Take a Slim.

If you haven't had one, it's the biggest mistake of your life.


Did you steal this, Cash?

Please don't call me that.

Well, how... How did he seem?

I mean, he seemed okay.

I think he means well.

She's... She's coming over. Uh... Look... Look busy.

What? Why? Why do you need to look busy?

Because of... I don't know. Shh.

Hey. Hey.

How is he?

He's a heaping mess, but... he's my heaping mess.

So, are you gonna go back to Olympia with him?

No. I'm going to Denver. I just have to.

But...

Um...

I think he's gonna take me the rest of the way.

Uh, right now? Are you going... Are you going right now?

Yeah.

Cool. Um... Cool.

Okay. That's cool. I mean, yeah...

I'm sure it'll be fine and stuff and...

You know what? I'm just...

I'm gonna go talk to Cash for a second.

You have my number. You're gonna text me, right?

Definitely.

You know what you are?

Handsome and cool.

Don't make fun of me.

I'm not.


What's wrong with him?

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

He'll be lucky if he makes it to 30.

Is it rare?

It affects one out of every 3,500 males.

Man...

Life's a real class-A bitch, isn't it?

Not always.

Well, thanks for the coffee, Mervin.

Well, take care of yourself in Denver. There are a lot of perverts there.

Yeah? And how would you know?

We all keep in touch.


Come on. What the heck are we doing?

Would you just do me a favor and shut the fuck up for once in your life?

We literally... What is that? What... What are you doing?

We're doing something. Come on.


You ready?

Get ready for the most spectacular standing-piss in human history.

It's not gonna work. I promise you. Oh, it's gonna work.

All you gotta do is aim and fire.

I don't know.

Whoa.

It's going. Hang on, I got it, I got it, I got it.

Yeah!

Yes!

Take a look! I'm peeing standing up! Whoo!


Hello.


Trevor Conklin was handsome and cool.

Soon after our trip, I resigned as his caregiver, but continued on as his friend.

Two weeks ago, when I went to visit Trevor on his 21st birthday, I found him lying on the floor of his bedroom, finally at peace.

The new caregiver, a kind woman in her 60s named Anna, was sobbing.

She, like me, knew just how special he was.

He was faking, of course.

Anna quit the next day.