Henry Warnimont: Punky, this is Saturday, you're supposed to be cleaning the house. Why is Brandon doing your chores?
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: We traded, he's vacuuming, and I'm getting hair on the couch.
Betty Johnson: This is Paula's brother, Bobby.
Bobby: I just threw up.
Henry Warnimont: Well... isn't that special?
Paula: Punky, can you help me fill out this application?
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Sure, we'll do it in the car, come on.
Paula: No, we can't, I don't want Cherie and Aunt Betty to know.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: But they already know about the art contest.
Paula: Yeah, but they don't know I can't fill out this application.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: [looks at the application] But these are simple questions.
Paula: Not for me.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Why, because you're from Rockford?
Paula: No, because I can't read.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: You can't read? But you're in 7th grade!
Paula: I guess I can tell you, Cherie, but you can't tell Aunt Betty.
Cherie Johnson: Tell her what?
Paula: That I can't read.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: And I had to help her fill out the application.
Cherie Johnson: You mean you couldn't read it without Punky's help? How do you get by in school?
Paula: I get other kids to do my homework, I trade them drawings, that works. The school held me back once but then I got too big for my class so they passed me.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Paula, you have to learn how to read.
Cherie Johnson: Yeah, you can't get anywhere if you can't read.
Paula: I just got $200, how much money have you made by reading?
Cherie Johnson: Well, nothing.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: But you wouldn't have made a dime if I hadn't helped you fill out that application.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: What if she waits until her life's almost over, like when she's 30?
Cherie Johnson: Look, she's my cousin, I have to help her.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Yeah, but I don't think we're helping her by hiding the fact that she can't read as well as Brandon.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Sorry, Brandon.
Cherie Johnson: You're not asking me to rat out my own cousin, are you?
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: It's not ratting. Think how confused she'll be if she doesn't know how to read. She won't know the difference between ladies room and Cattle Crossing!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: It's Paula, she can't read.
Henry Warnimont: Not at all?
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Maybe a little, like a second grader.
Henry Warnimont: My goodness, does Betty know about this?
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: No, that's the problem, Cherie doesn't want me to rat on Paula.
Henry Warnimont: You don't have to.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: I don't?
Henry Warnimont: No, I'll do it for you.
Henry Warnimont: [Punky doesn't want him to tell Betty that Paula can't read] Punky, we don't have a choice, we have to do what's best for Paula, and this is something Betty has to know.
Betty Johnson: [hits Henry on the back as he's drinking coffee] Henry, are you telling me my niece can't read?
Henry Warnimont: [choking] Yes!
Betty Johnson: I can't imagine anything worse than that.
Henry Warnimont: Try swallowing hot coffee!
Betty Johnson: I've known that child all her life, why didn't I see it? Why didn't her mom and dad see it?
Henry Warnimont: Maybe they just didn't realize. Paula's artistic talent is so outstanding that they only concentrated on that.
Betty Johnson: I guess you're right. We're all so proud of our children, it's easy for us not to notice their short comings.
Henry Warnimont: Especially if the kid doesn't want you to notice. It happens all the time with kids who are outstanding in sports.
Betty Johnson: Yeah, they only know football, basketball...
Henry Warnimont: And if they don't make it in sports, they don't have an education to fall back on.
Cherie Johnson: You told everybody about Paula.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: I only told Henry.
Paula: And he told Aunt Betty, and she told my parents. Now when I get home I'm going to have a tutor and they're going to put me in some reading school!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: I went to reading school, it's fun.
Cherie Johnson: Yeah, but nobody told on you, Punky!
Paula: You ruined my vacation.
Betty Johnson: No she didn't, Paula, someday you'll realize that this is the best thing that could've happened to you.
Paula: I doubt it.
Betty Johnson: You should be thanking Punky for telling Henry about this, she used a lot of good sense.
Betty Johnson: More than you did.
Paula: You've got to do something fast, he could die!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: Paula!
[runs into the kitchen]
Cherie Johnson: What's the matter?
Paula: Bobby drank this!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: FABRIC SOFTENER?
Paula: Here, read the words on the bottle!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: [takes the phone] Hello? What do you want me to read?
911 Dispatcher: Just read what it says to do after Warning if Swallowed.
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: It says if swallowed, drink large quantities of milk.
Cherie Johnson: Milk! I'll get it!
Bobby: Paula, it hurts.
Paula: Please hurry!
Penelope 'Punky' Brewster: [about Cherie's cousin] I don't know much. Her name's Paula, her brother's name Bobby, her parents are on their second honeymoon, her favorite things are waterskiing, potato chips and freaking out to the Beastie Boys. Oh and by the way she's a terrific artist.
Henry Warnimont: You don't know much. The only thing you missed is her shoe size.
911 Dispatcher: 911, emergency.
Paula: Hello! My brother just drank a bottle of stuff under the sink in the kitchen, I don't know what to do and I...
911 Dispatcher: Calm down, your address registered when you called, I'm sending somebody right now.
Paula: But what do I do? He looks really sick!
911 Dispatcher: Do you have the bottle your brother drank out of?
Paula: Yes, I've got it right here!
911 Dispatcher: There's a label on it that tells you what to do incase someone swallows it, read it to me.
Paula: Read it? I can't read it!
911 Dispatcher: Is the label worn off?
Paula: No, I can't read!
911 Dispatcher: You can't read, at all?
Paula: A little!
911 Dispatcher: You've got to try, it's very important.
Paula: War... ni... ning... it's no use, I can't read!