Part One: Thelma is trying to teach JJ how to dance and it doesn't go well. At one point JJ starts toyell at her and he says that he'spicking up bad habits from his father. Then Thelmagets a call about a part time job as McDonalds. She gets the job, which will help the family out. When Florida hears that she'll be working from 7 to 11 at night, she says that James won't let her take it. Thelma then says she thinks she knows what's wrong with her father, but Florida says he's just under some emotional stress. JJ asks what's for dinner, and Florida says that she's fixing James' favorite meal to cheer him up. When James comes home, Thelma tells him about the job, but when she tells him about the hours, he tells her 'You just got fired.' Thelma says that JJ can walk her home, but James refuses to talk about it. Florida tries to tell him about the dinner, but James says he doesn't want to talk about anything. He tells Florida that he didn't get a window washing job he applied for because it was given to an aircraft engineer. Florida still wants to tell him about the dinner but he yells he doesn't want to talk about anything, storms into the bedroom and slams the door in her face. Michael then comes in from the library and tells Thelma that she was right, that James has all the symptoms of hypertention. She tells Florida she was worried about James, so she sent Michael to the library to look up books and articles about hypertension. She says that James is showing all the signs. Florida says that they are wrong, but then asks what the magazine Michael has says. Thelma reads it, saying that hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause heart attacks, strokes or kidney failure. She also reads that the only way to tell of you have it is to take a physical exam. When Florida says that it doesn't mean that James has it, Michael says that black males are the number one victim of it and Thelma says that it's caused by the stress and frustration of ghetto life. JJ then says that only one of him to go around can cause stress and frustration with the girls. Thelma says that James has been yelling at everyone lately and also complaining about a headache. Willona than comes in with some 'goodies' that she thinks will help lift James' spirits. They include a bottle of cabernet sauvingon wine. When Florida asks why it's in a muscatel bottle, Willona says 'I wanted to lift his spirits, not shock his system.' She also has a perfume she calls 'the husband pepper-upper' and scented candles for a romantic evening. Florida says she told her James was a little upset, but James' problem isn't what she thinks it is. Willona says fine if it isn't but if it is, then 'Light a candle and have a happy.' She leaves and Thelma says that they shouldn't have the soul food dinner beacause she reads in the magazine that soul food is a leading contributor to hypertention, that all the grease and salt used when making it is bad. Florida says one good meal isn't going to hurt him. James then apologizes to Thelma; not for denying her taking the job, but for yelling at her. He also apologizes for yelling at Florida. She tells him about the dinner; then he sits down and asks JJ for aspirin for a headache. Thelma tells him that he should get a checkup, but he asks if they are trying to make him out as being sick. Florida says that he's been uspet and yelling and having headaches, but he starts yelling that he isn't sick. JJ comes out with the aspirin, but James tells him to take them. When he asks why, James yells at him and he takes them. James insists that he isn't sick. Florida tells him to stop upsetting himself, but James yells that he isn't upset, then grabs a chair and flings it at the closet door, breaking it. He then stomps to the bedroom, kicks the door open and slams it shut, leaving Florida sitting at the table shuddering. JJ then says 'I'm sure glad he didn't get upset.'
Part Two: The family has breakfast, but JJ is nodding off. He says that he didn't get much sleep because he had nightmares about flying chairs. Thelma suggests that they don't go to school; JJ jokes that they should protect the furniture. Michael says they should try to convince James again to go see a doctor, but Florida says that she doesn't know how to 'tell Superman he can't fly like he used to.' She says that she'll have to deal with it when he wakes up. She says that he had been laid off for a few days and she let him sleep late because of it. Willona comes in and says that they don't have to bother offering her a chair since they have one less. Florida tells him about James being laid off. She asks if she can help but Florida says that she called the employment agency to get a job for herself in a kitchen . Willona says that James won't like that, and when Florida asks what else she can do, Willona suggests she make out a will. JJ volunteers to make the 'supreme sacrifice': stay home from school 'for Daddy's sake.' When Florida says no, JJ says, 'Well, I tried.' James then comes out saying that he's late for work. Florida tries to tell him about being laid off, but hesitates and tells him to have a cup of coffee. He says he doesn't have time and starts to leave but Florida yells that he's laid off.James throws down his coat and starts to pick up another chair, which startles everyone, but James puts it down and says he won't throw it. The employment agency then calls but James answers the phone and when he finds out why they are calling he tells them that he doesn't want Florida working. She tells James that she decided to take a job. He says that he un-decided for her and that he doesn't want her working in a kitchen. Florida says that there is dignity in all work, that it isn't the type of job you have, but how well you do it that gives you dignity. She says that when she was a maid--she pauses to ask God to forgiver her--she says 'I was the best damn maid their was!' She says that she's only trying to help so he doesn't kill himself. James says that he's the head of the house and he'll bring home the bacon. Florida says that $1.59 a pound it takes more than one person to do it. James then turns to Michael and Thelma and says that if he has hypertension that they gave it to him with their 'nicking and nagging.' He says that JJ is the only one that isn't bugging him. JJ says that's for two reasons:'One, because I respect you, and two,because I fear for my life!' Florida says that James' problem is that he has too much pride. James asks what else does a man have to hold on to, and what is wrong with having pride. Florida then asks what is wrong with a famlily being concerned with his health, and loving him. Thelma asks James to get a physical. JJ says that he heard that if he's good, they may give him a lollipop. Michael says that the magazine article said that most black people don't get physicals. James says that he hopes the article also said that most black people says that most black people can't afford them. Florida says that he get one at the free clinic. Thelma says that people should get one once a year. Michael then says that he may have something wrong with him and not even know it. James then grabs a chair, holds it over his headand yells if it looks like he has hypertension. Everyone cowers and James finally realizes that everyone is right. Later, James and Florida are in the waiting room at the clinic waiting for the results of his exam. He says it was nothing like his exam when he went in the Army; when they saw he was strong enough to open the door, they let him in. The kids then come in for support.Florida asks how they got there and they all stick out their thumbs. The doctor then comes in and asks James to come in his office. Everyone wants to go in, so the doctor says they can talk in the lobby. He says that James does not have hypertension. Everyone celebrates; James says that he's as healthy as a horse, and JJ says he may have hoof-in-mouth disease. The doctor then says that he is in pretty good shape, but he does have high cholesterol. He says to cut down on the fried and greasy foods. He also says that if he relaxed, his headaches would disappear. He then says that he'll see James next year for his annual physical. When James doesn't answer, Florida nudges him and he agrees. James then asks if there's a way to barbecue cottage cheese.
Epilogue: The family is finishing dinner. James says it was a fine meal. JJ says 'Yeah, if you like cottage cheese and black-eyed peas.' James says that the whole family should watch what they eat and he also insists that everyone get physicals. JJ asks what 'agreat physicalspecimen' like him needs a physical for. Thelma says that if he was in any worse condition they'd hang a 'condemned' sign on his nose. JJ retorts that they should put an 'out of order' sign on her mouth. They then start arguing. Florida tries to get them to stop but they don't until James grabs a chair and holds it over his head. Florida gets upset but James says he isn't going to throw it, that it's his new child silencer.