Act One

Jason enters the living room, telling Mrs. Pembroke that he is furious with himself for getting a C- on his geography paper about Magellan, and he doesn't know how he'll be able to concentrate on his football game this afternoon. Mrs. Pembroke lets him go to the game. Lila arrives as Jason is leaving. She got an A on her algebra test, but she is upset that Paula Mitchell and Sally Stefanado are best friends, because that means algebra will be replaced as an inner circle subject by field hockey. Mrs. Pembroke is impatient because she is going to a reception with Mr. Pembroke. Douglas arrives upset because he got an F on his book report. Charles and Buddy arrive upset that they have three midterm exams in the same week. Buddy goes home, “intending” to study. Mr. Pembroke arrives, impatient to get to the reception. He tells Mrs. Pembroke to let Charles handle Douglas' problem. Mr. Pembroke wants Charles to call Douglas' teacher, Miss McCoy, to make an appointment so the Pembrokes can meet with her. Charles is nervous; he doesn't know how to talk to teachers like regular people. Lila leaves to play field hockey to ensure that the popular kids will like her. Douglas reveals to Charles that his book report was about TV Guide. On the phone, Miss McCoy informs Charles that the grades have to be recorded today, so if Douglas' grade is going to be changed, Charles will have to go see the teacher himself.

Act Two

Charles arrives at Douglas' school and finds Douglas' teacher is a young, attractive woman. Charles admits that she must have had some good reasons for giving Douglas a failing grade. Douglas is upset that Charles is taking the teacher's side just because she is pretty, and Douglas reminds Charles that teachers are the ones who gave him three midterm exams (in the same week!). Charles defends Douglas' paper to Miss McCoy, saying that it took a lot of imagination. Miss McCoy says she has not denied Douglas' imagination. She pulls out the Douglas' file, which contains essays such as "Where I Spent my Summer Vacation: Venus". Jason arrives in the classroom, upset that he lost the football game. Charles tells Miss McCoy about his three midterm exams, and Miss McCoy tells Charles that his teachers are just trying to teach him discipline. Lila arrives, injured from the field hockey game, but she is happy that she doesn't have to play anymore. Miss McCoy tells Douglas that she failed him because the rest of the class has knowledge of classic literature, and Douglas does not. Miss McCoy agrees to hold Douglas' grade if he writes a report on Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

Back at home, Douglas is reading Walden. Mr. and Mrs. Pembroke tell the kids that the reception went well. Douglas asks Charles about his perfect place. Charles tells Douglas that it would have love, romance, action, adventure, and basketball. Douglas tells Charles he knows where to find it: TV Guide.