[Everybody is seated at the Bunker dinner table for Christmas Eve.]
Archie: Whenever I ask him what he's doing up in Canada, they're acting like he's a deserter from the Army or something, is that right?
David: No, sir, I'm not a deserter.
Archie: Well, I didn't think you was.
David: I'm a draft dodger.
Archie: [to Edith after a long pause] What did he say?
Edith: He said he was a draft dodger. Well, c'mon everybody, eat, eat!
Archie: [to David after the others resume eating] You mean a draft dodger from the Selective Service of the U. S. of A.?
David: Yes, sir!
Archie: Edith, uh, hey Edith, hey, hey Edith, uh, I mean, before you start eating over there, Edith, did you hear this over here? [Edith looks at him.] Draft dodger? Fugitive of justice, you know? FBI? How would you like the FBI to have dinner over here?
Edith: [almost absent-mindedly] Oh Archie, we ain't got enough turkey.
Archie: Wait a minute! Hey!! I don't want nobody to touch no food here 'til I get a explanation of this!
Gloria: Daddy, David doesn't owe you or anyone at this table any explanations!
Archie: He owes explanations to the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. of A., the President!
Mike: [vehemently] Will you put the flag away? It's Christmas, not the 4th of July!!
David: I wrote to the President about it, Mr. Bunker! He just couldn't come up with as many reasons for killing people as I could for not killing them.
Archie: What do you know about that? [to Pinky after long pause] How do you like that Pinky? Huh? We got a draft dodger here who writes a snotty letter to the Commander-in-Chief. I mean, what the hell do you do with that?
David: Look, Mr. Bunker, I don't want to spoil your Christmas dinner, so maybe I should go.
Edith: Oh no, David!
Gloria: You're not spoiling anything! [to Archie as Archie gets up and walks toward David at the other end of the table] Don't let him go, don't make him go!!
Archie: Certainly he's gotta go, what are you talkin' about? If the FBI was to find him here, we could all be having Christmas dinner in the hooscow!
Gloria: Daddy it's Christmas Eve! Now don't go making a big crisis out of this!
Mike: [slams his napkin on the table and gets up] Look! Arch!! What David did took a lot of guts!!
Archie: [to Mike] What do you mean a lot of guts?
David: [in frustration] My own father doesn't understand, why should he?
Mike: [very loudly to Archie] When the hell are you going to admit that the war was wrong?
Archie: [as lividly, vehemently and loudly as he can get] I ain't talking about that war - I don't wanna talk about that ROTTEN DAMN WAR NO MORE!! I'M TALKIN' ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!!! And what he done was WRONG! CERTAINLY he will go! What do you think, the whole people of this country can say whether or not they wanna go to war?? You couldn't get a decent war off the ground that way! All the young people would say no, sure they would, 'cause they don't want to get killed! And that's why we leave it to the Congress, 'cause them old crocks ain't gonna get killed?? And they're gonna do the right thing and get behind the President, and vote Yes!
Pinky: Arch, if my opinion is of any importance. . .
Archie: Certainly your opinion has importance. Gold Star Father! Your opinion has more importance than anybody else in this room, and I wanna hear that opinion, and I want these young people here to hear that opinion! Now you tell them, Pinky, you tell them!
Pinky: I understand how you feel, Arch. My kid hated the war, too. But he did what he thought he had to do, and David here did what he thought he had to do. But David's alive to share Christmas dinner with us! And if Steve were here, he'd want to sit down with him. And that's what I want to do. [Audience applauds.] Merry Christmas, David. [They shake hands.]
David: Merry Christmas, sir.
[Audience applauds as everybody sits back down while Archie is stunned.]
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