Sunday, January 31, 2010

Removed by Author

This post was a rewrite of a play I saw entitled "Say Goodbye Toto" by Amy Heidish. By request of Ms. Heidish, I have removed this post. If anyone cares to read it, you may email me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blue Tie Samuel


Blue Tie Samuel
Bedroom. 1930. Los Angeles.
SAMUEL GRAHAM, a man once great, sits on the bed. His tie is loose and his jacket off.
LILLIAN GRAHAM, his nearly-ex-wife, enters.
LILLIAN
I hope you don’t believe you’re sleeping there tonight.
SAMUEL
I bought it babe.
LILLIAN
But it’s no longer yours. Out of the goodness of my heart I put a quilt and a pillow on the couch. I started us a stew.
SAMUEL
Is it my favorite?
LILLIAN
It’s my favorite.
SAMUEL
Same thing. Then again you are my wife.
LILLIAN
Ex-wife. Almost.
SAMUEL
I cannot thank you enough for what you’re doing for me.
LILLIAN
No, you can’t. I ad half a mind to let you… Well, if you’re going to be here you might as well help pack up some of the things you didn’t take with you on your trip to Mexico. You left them here to taunt me and I want them gone. Now. Gone. You can start with the wardrobe.
SAMUEL
Now how am I supposed to take a whole wardrobe?
LILLIAN
The things in it! Samuel. The things in it. Three ties, eight shirts, a belt. Four pairs of pants. A box containing one pair of cufflinks. And eight pairs of socks.
SAMUEL
You kept a careful inventory.
LILLIAN
I needed something to do. Those first few days. Counting was comfortable. And I thought, Sam wouldn’t leave this all behind. Sam would not leave, three ties, eight shirts, one belt, four pairs of pants, a pair of cufflinks and sixteen socks. Sam – Samuel loves this tie. He loves it. He wears it every time he delivers an opening statement. I gave it to him. He loves it because I gave it to him. His blue tie. And he would not leave them. Because he doesn’t leave things he loves.
SAMUEL
I came back.
LILLIAN
On hands and knees and handcuffs you did. And how are you to pay for your trial? I drained my savings for your bail—
SAMUEL
What about our savings?
LILLIAN
We have no savings. I had savings. From my year and a half as a secretary to your former employee. Funny, that money was going to go to a private detective to hunt you down and hand you the divorce papers. I guess the result was just the same. Half of me just wanted to hand you the papers through the bars and say sayonara. I suppose I am just too Christian an individual.
SAMUEL
Thank you.
She suddenly embraces him.
LILLIAN
Samuel I missed you so much. I cried, every night, for a year. And every other for another half.
SAMUEL
I missed you too.
LILLIAN
All I wanted was for you to come back to me. Hands, knees, handcuffs, I didn’t care.
SAMUEL
I’m back.
LILLIAN
And now all I want is for you to be gone.
SAMUEL
What?
LILLIAN
Please take your ties and your pants and set up camp on the couch. You can help yourself to some stew. Your attorney will be here in the morning and we can’t have you looking so disheveled.
SAMUEL
Lilli—
LILLIAN
Downstairs Samuel. I think it’s the proper place.
Reluctantly, SAMUEL stands. He slowly goes to the wardrobe: removes his ties. He takes the blue one and puts it on.
SAMUEL
I’ll get the rest later.
LILLIAN
That you will.
Pause.
LILLIAN
This time, I think you did. I legitimately do.
SAMUEL
Thank you for the confidence babe.
SAMUEL exits.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Disaster Part 1


Beautiful Disaster, Part 1
The majority of the stage is dark. MARISSA HARTLEY-JONES, 17 going on 18, sits on a rolling chair in the middle of he stage, wearing a black suit and a cranberry shirt. Directly opposite on the wall is a picture of a glamorous blonde pin-up model.
MARISSA
When most people think of my mother, they think of the glamorous movie star, the sultry singer, the tragic damsel who passed before her time. Her voice, face and body have been immortalized on film, records, CDs, TV appearances, books, photographs, tabloids. Not bad for a woman who died before the age of forty.
I too think of the story of my mother as a tragedy: a tragedy of society. How tragic is it, that society found themselves obsessed with a gold-digging bimbo who happened to marry a billionaire. My mother made not one single contribution to mankind and yet there she is, a modern legend. Great decision world!
(Beat)
Oh wait, I lied. She did make one contribution. She hawked this special diet treatment, something about eating just broccoli soup for three weeks to “cleanse the system.” A couple insecure suckers fasted themselves to death. Thank you Mom for knocking a couple off for us.
She wasn’t fabulous or beautiful or wonderful or glamorous. She was crass, brash, crude... She was loud-mouthed and whiny and coarse. I’d go as far as saying that she was white trash. She didn’t smell like lilies and peppermint, just nicotine and whiskey and pot. She’d yell profanity at the house staff and the dogs and my half-brother Timothy. In the eight short years that I knew her, nothing ever pleased her. She was unhappy until the day she died those ten years ago. The only person who could ever keep her calm was my father Jeffrey.
But, whether I liked it or not, my mother was my mother. And as her daughter, it is my duty to tell her story. My name is Marissa Hartley, and this is the tragic story of love, sex and scandal: The story of Naomi Hartley.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dumb Show




Dumb Show
Early 19th century. Dressing room of a theatre.
CAROLINE SHAW, dressed in caricature American Indian garb, barges in, incensed. She sits at her boudoir and struggles to remove her headdress, before throwing it to the floor. She looks into the mirror, and angrily attempts to smear off her make.
JACOB ARTHUR, dressed as a gentleman, enters.
JACOB
Caroline?
CAROLINE
Did you see them Jacob? Did you see them?
JACOB
See what?
CAROLINE
Four rows. Four whole rows in the pit singing Yankee Doodle as I mourned over the death of my brother. Four whole rows!
JACOB
I saw nothing more than business as usual.
CAROLINE
And there were people throwing peanuts – throwing peanuts! – during the war scene.
JACOB
At least it wasn’t meat pies.
CAROLINE
And right as I was delivering a speech defending and proclaiming my chastity, I saw, in the gallery, not one, not two, but three concurrent solicitations occurring. Three. All at once. That’s not counting the couple dozen or so that happened during the other parts of the play. It was disgusting.
JACOB
I don’t see how this performance was different from any.
CAROLINE
It wasn’t. Which is what infuriates me about it all! On any given night, I would bet that there are only three, maybe four people legitimately watching the performance.
JACOB
I’m sure that for the three, maybe four people, your performance was lovely.
CAROLINE
No it wasn’t. My performances never are.
JACOB
What are you talking about? You’re one of the finest actresses this company has ever seen—
CAROLINE
Well that doesn’t say much. And what are we doing anyway? We aren’t playing people. We’re playing stereotypes. Two-dimensional characters. I’m the virginal, naïve Indian princess. You’re the stuffy gentleman. We just gesticulate in exaggerated manners, screaming stiff and unconvincing lines, competing with folk songs and prostitutes in order to make any difference! It just what makes me want to scream!
JACOB
Why don’t you?
She puts her head in her arms and screams.
JACOB
Do you feel better?
CAROLINE
No at all!
JACOB
Perhaps if you screamed again?
CAROLINE
I want to create delicate and intimate characters. I want to emulate realism. I want a quiet and captive audience. I want beautiful lines that express truth and emotion, not two-bit morals and cheap advice. I want to be good.
MRS. HILLION enters.
MRS. HILLION
Miss Shaw, Mr. Denton is here to see you.
CAROLINE
Thank you Mrs. Hillion.
MRS. HILLION exits.
JACOB
Your wealthy patron?
CAROLINE
Now Jacob, you are about to see some real acting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marshmallow Malaise


Marshmallow Malaise
ALEXANDER BOBBIN, 12, sits on a school bench. He holds a lunch box and wears a PETA shirt.
MURIEL, 12, comes and sits next to him.
MURIEL
Whatcha eating?
ALEXANDER
A sandwich.
MURIEL
What kind? Turkey?
ALEXANDER
Peanut butter and jelly.
MURIEL
Oh right. You’re a vegetarian.
ALEXANDER
Yup. No beef, no chicken, no lamb, no pork – especially no pork. I mean, pigs are freaking brilliant creatures. Eating a pig is like, eating a dog.
MURIEL
Ew, that’s gross.
ALEXANDER
Exactly. Ergo, no pork. Never pork. No, no pork. I can’t believe people who eat pork. Or meat. I mean, would you eat your little brother?
MURIEL
Sometimes I’d like to fry him on a spit.
ALEXANDER
No, you would not.
MURIEL
Do you eat cheese?
ALEXANDER
Oh yeah. I do dairy products. I eat a lot of cereal. I love cereal. I am totally cool with drinking milk. Totally cool with it. I mean, if I were really hard core, I’d go vegan, but honestly, I like cereal, so I allow myself a slight moral lapse.
MURIEL
Indeed.
ALEXANDER
Every day, my mom packs me a mystery cereal. Let’s see what it is today.
He takes out a bag of Lucky Charms.
MURIEL
Lucky Charms.
ALEXANDER
Lucky Charms! Oh, I love Lucky Charms. Those marshmallows? Mm mm good.
He starts munching on them.
MURIEL
Do you know what they make marshmallows out of?
ALEXANDER
Sugar and orgasms.
MURIEL
Animal bones.
Beat.
ALEXANDER
What?
MURIEL
They’re stuck together with gelatin. Animal bones. Bones and part of their intestines.
ALEXANDER
What animals?
MURIEL
Cows. Horses. Pigs.
ALEXANDER
No.
MURIEL
Yes.
ALEXANDER
No!
MURIEL
Did I just rock your world?
ALEXANDER
No!
MURIEL
Happy lunchtime.
She exits, ALEXANDER sitting there hopeless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Epic Adventures of Bagel Boy #5


Bagel Boy #5
Outside Benny’s Bagel Bakery. Just after closing. ABIGAIL sits at one of the tables. BAGEL BOY mans the counter.
ABIGAIL
It’s really sweet of you to do this for me.
BAGEL BOY
It’s not every day I pelt a pretty girl with coffee. Might as well remedy it properly. What would you like?
ABIGAIL
Just a small decaf is fine.
BAGEL BOY
That is so boring.
ABIGAIL
I get chocolate chip bagels. I have to balance it with something dull.
BAGEL BOY
Well you’re not having a bagel now. So let’s add some spice to this.
He fixes something up and brings it over to her.
ABIGAIL
What is this?
BAGEL BOY
Just a regular coffee. I added a shot of espresso and some chocolate, but nothing major. If you’re used to decaf, I don’t want to send too big a shock to your system.
ABIGAIL
Thank you so much.
BAGEL BOY
So, Miss Toasted Chocolate Chip and Small Decaf, who are you?
ABIGAIL
Who am I?
BAGEL BOY
Shoot.
ABIGAIL
My name is Abigail. I’m a med student.
BAGEL BOY
Smart stuff.
ABIGAIL
Yeah. What about you?
BAGEL BOY
I—
ABIGAIL
Are you in an indie band?
BAGEL BOY
A what?
ABIGAIL
Are you in an indie band? Because that’s so awe—
BAGEL BOY
I’m not in an indie band.
ABIGAIL
Oh, I—
BAGEL BOY
Yeah.
ABIGAIL
I’m sorry. I just kind of assumed.
BAGEL BOY
You—
ABIGAIL
It’s the scruff.
BAGEL BOY
The—
ABIGAIL
You’re—It just kind of screams, you know, singer-songwriter, guitar-crooning…
BAGEL BOY
(rubs face)
I’ve never heard that one before.
ABIGAIL
I just… I make up… stuff, like that. For people I meet.
BAGEL BOY
Really.
ABIGAIL
Yeah…
BAGEL BOY
What else have you made up for me.
ABIGAIL
Oh god.
BAGEL BOY
Yeah?
ABIGAIL
You’re going to think I’m so creepy.
BAGEL BOY
Try me.
ABIGAIL
I made up a name for you.
BAGEL BOY
A na—
ABIGAIL
You guys don’t wear nametags, so I made up a name.
BAGEL BOY
So what’s my name?
ABIGAIL
It’s probably wrong.
BAGEL BOY
It might be right.
ABIGAIL
Drew.
BAGEL BOY
Drew?
ABIGAIL
Or Jake. Or James. Or if I’m lucky I could get the whole thing with Andrew Jacob James, or James Andrew Jacobs, or—
BAGEL BOY
I’m none of those.
ABIGAIL
Yeah, I—
BAGEL BOY
It’s Chris.
Beat.
ABIGAIL
Are you sure?
CHRIS
Yup.
ABIGAIL
So I wasn’t close at all.
CHRIS
Well…
ABIGAIL
Ai.
CHRIS
This is—
ABIGAIL
This is embarrassing.
CHRIS
I have a cousin named Jake. And a high school friend named Drew.
ABIGAIL
It’s—
CHRIS
So you were kind of close.
ABIGAIL
I wasn’t close at all.
CHRIS
It’s okay. What—what else did you make up for me?
ABIGAIL
Well there’s the indie band thing.
CHRIS
Like I said, I’m—
ABIGAIL
So I’m at a loss, zero for two.
To be continued.
Note: I don't think I like the name Chris. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was toying with Benji, but it sounded too... right. So I'm not sure.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Epic Adventures of Bagel Boy #4



The Epic Adventures of Bagel Boy #4
January 25, 2010
Dreamworld. Everything is cheesy, fake – and somehow wonderful.
ABIGAIL stands alone, in pure and utter bliss.
SUPERTITLES
Abigail knew exactly how coffee would go.
BAGEL BOY walks over, wearing a dapper suit. He holds a tray with two coffees in one hand, the other concealing a red rose behind his back. Delightedly, she takes the coffee. He hands her the rose, giving a little delightful bow.
She takes a sip of her coffee. It’s hot. She smiles apologetically, and he grins back.
They start walking, pantomiming conversation.
SUPERTITLES
They would talk of everything and nothing.
She smiles – he smiles back – it’s adorable.
SUPERTITLES
Sparkling stars would dot the sky.
As if by magic, the sky begins to twinkle.
SUPERTITLES
Serenading violin notes would fill the air.
A waltz begins to play, crescendoing in.
SUPERTITLES
And snow would fall.
Snow begins to fall in an erratic pattern – someone is obviously throwing it on.
ABIGAIL looks at BAGEL BOY and smiles. He smiles back, and sweeps her off her feet.
They begin to dance!
He sweeps her this way and that, holding her close and spinning her deftly. There are lifts involved. They seem to dance on air!
A number of neon signs light up: True Love. Perfect Match. Meant to Be.
The song begins to slow, and BAGEL BOY puts her down from her latest lift. He drops to one knee and pulls out a ring. She gasps happily, and puts the ring on her finger. BAGEL BOY smiles and stands up. They kiss.
SUPERTITLES
Oh it was going to be a lovely evening.
To be continued:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Epic Adventures of Bagel Boy #3


See earlier segments: 1 and 2
The Epic Adventures of Bagel Boy #3
January 24, 2010
Outside of Benny’s Bagel Bakery.
ABIGAIL stands there, sopping in coffee. BAGEL BOY runs out with napkins.
BAGEL BOY
Here, here you go.
ABIGAIL
Thank you.
BAGEL BOY
Here, uh, lemme help you with that.
He awkwardly tries to help her sop it off.
SUPERTITLES
Bagel Boy’s efforts at sopping off the coffee were completely futile. That doesn’t mean that Abigail tried to stop him.
BAGEL BOY
Sorry this… this doesn’t look like it’s coming off.
SUPERTITLES
Abigail immediately thought: That is so not what she said.
BAGEL BOY
I’m so sorry.
ABIGAIL
I can go home and change and just throw this in the washing machine. It’s… it’s no big deal.
BAGEL BOY
Yes it is, it—coffee. I owe you a coffee. Let me go get you a coffee. Or better yet, let me take you out for coffee. Real coffee.
SUPERTITLES
On the inside Abigail was dancing. On the inside Abigail was singing. But on the outside, the most Abigail could muster was:
ABIGAIL
That sounds great.
SNAGGLE TOOTH walks out.
SNAGGLE TOOTH
You’re shift is starting.
BAGEL BOY
My shift ends at four thirty. I’ll see you then?
ABIGAIL
See you then!
BAGEL BOY goes inside.
SNAGGLE TOOTH
God what a spaz. I can’t believe he ran into you like that. Jerk.
SUPERTITLES
Abigail wasn’t listening to what Snaggle Tooth said. She was too busy concentrating on what the ensuing evening would entail:
Next part coming soon.
Note: I’m thinking of changing the Supertitles to a voiceover. Which would be cooler?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mustache Villain


Mustache Villain
Teenage girl’s room, November.
ELIZABETH sits with her back to the audience.
Her boyfriend ZEKE walks in. He has beast Manuary set of facial hair.
ELIZABETH
Welcome back Zeke.
ZEKE
(heading over to kiss her)
Hey babe, how are—
ELIZABETH
I hear you’re participating in Manuary. Did I not expressly forbid this?
ZEKE
No, you forbade No Shave November.
ELIZABETH
But it’s the same principal, is it not?
ZEKE
They’re… similar…
ELIZABETH
They’re exactly the same. It’s the exact same activity; I expressly forbade it.
ZEKE
Listen, Elizabeth—
ELIZABETH
Don’t you Listen, Elizabeth me Ezekiel Farmer!
ZEKE
And don’t you try to boss me around Elizabeth Kinnerman! I am my own person, you cannot force—
ELIZABETH
I’m not trying to force you to do anything.
ZEKE
I am Manuary-ing, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.
ELIZABETH
I could participate as well.
ZEKE
I’ve been in Europe for a month: hairy chick legs don’t scare me.
ELIZABETH
Whoever said anything about legs?
She turns around: a sweet handlebar moustache adorns her face.
ZEKE
Holy shit!
ELIZABETH
Yes babe?
ZEKE
Haha, very funny. You can take it off now.
ELIZABETH
Try.
ZEKE tries to take it.
ZEKE
Holy-shit-it’s-real!
ELIZABETH
I’m participating in Manuary.
ZEKE
Holy-shit-that’s-gross!
ELIZABETH
I think you’re just jealous that your girly little girlfriend can make you look like a prepubescent.
ZEKE
Holy-shit-no!
ELIZABETH
I think I quite like this. I see why you boys are so gung-ho about growing these.
ZEKE
I’ve gotta go—
ELIZABETH
You hold it right there Mister!
(ZEKE halts)
Good boy. Now, now that I am officially a bigger man than you, it’s time for a few changes to be made. For one, you will stop wearing T-shirts three sizes too big for you – they are unflattering an attractive. Secondly, you will eliminate boy-only Tuesdays. Instead, you will take me to the movies.
ZEKE
I refuse to take orders from a… from a freak!
ELIZABETH
You will not refer to me in such a tone Mister! Now, go get me a Starbucks and come straight back and tell me all about your adventures in Europe. I’m terribly interested.
ZEKE
Yes ma’am.
ELIZABETH
Give me a kiss before you leave.
Attempting to disguise his disgust. ZEKE gives her a peck on the cheek before running out. ELIZABETH settles in her chair.
ELIZABETH
This seems like the start of something wonderful.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Lamentations of Zeus




The Lamentations of Zeus
A bear pit.
ZEUS the zoologist scoops poop next to THOR the bear.
ZEUS
Hello Thor. How are you today?
(The bear growls noncommittally)
Hmm. That’s good. Always nice to have a fine and dandy day. I’m not having a fine and dandy day. I’m not having a fine and dandy week. Or year. Or life really. What do you care, you’re a bear. All you have to do is eat and shit and look scary.
(The bear roars)
Yeah yeah yeah, that’s all fine and dandy. Yesiree. What I wouldn’t give to be a bear.
(Beat)
You know Bear: I think we have a lot in common. I mean, I’m named Zeus, you’re named Thor, we both have big namesakes to live up to. My parents were wacko into Greek mythology, yours Norse. I think we both know who got the better end of that deal.
(The bear growls)
Yeah, you definitely did.I mean, you’d think with a name like Zeus, you’d have some pull with the ladies. I mean, what chick wouldn’t like to brag that they bagged a guy named Zeus? You know, no matter how terrible he is or awkward or… this… God, teased all throughout junior high and it won’t even help me with women. I mean, if my name were Rodrigo or Antonio or some other romantic nonsense I would get women all the time! I mean, all the time. What chick wouldn’t want to sleep with a Rodrigo? But be named after the most prolific romancer in the history of the world and it’s like you’re a social leper. You go into a bar, meet a hot chick, try and throw a line and you get a coke in the face.
(Bear growls)
I told, “Hey, my name’s Zeus. Yeah, my parent’s were way into Greek mythology. You look like Aphrodite. Wanna see my lightning bolt?”
(Bear growls)
It sounded suave in my head. I mean it, it combined my intellectual side – you know the, Greek mythology bit – with some sexual banter, and I hoped—
(Bear growls)
At one point I thought I could make it work. I really thought I could.
(Bear growls)
I had a date last night. Yup. Blind date. My cousin’s sister-in-law’s coworker’s niece. Yup. That is the degree of separation I’m pulling these days. So I thought it was going well. We had dinner. Saw a movie. You know the whole romantic shit. She said she was into animals and I replied, you know, that’s great, I’m a zookeeper and she was like, that is awesome, and we had this great conversation going and I was like, I have a bunch of really cool pets and she said, awesome, and I was like do you wanna come up to my apartment and see them and then she said no. And I was sad.
(Beat)
I have never had sex with a woman. I’m thirty-five years old and named Zeus and I’ve never slept with a woman.
(Bear growls)
No, I’ve never had sex with a man either. Or a bear. Though I might try.
(Bear growls defensively)
I’m just kidding Thor. I’m sure you never have problems like this. I bet you’re getting with all the she-bears in this joint.
(Bear growls satisfactorily)
Yeah I figure. Oh my god look at me. I’m scooping poop at a second-rate zoo, I can’t get with any women and to top it all off the only person I feel comfortable telling all this to is a bear named Thor. The only person I feel comfortable telling to is a bear. (Bear growls pathetically, then wobbles over and gives ZEUS a hug)
I don’t need your pity bear.
(Bear is steadfast)
Okay maybe I do.
They sit in the embrace for a second. A SHE-BEAR enters. THOR’s eyes light up, and he drops ZEUS to go after her. As ZEUS speaks, THOR nuzzles her; she nuzzles back; this is the start of something beautiful.
ZEUS
Oh, I see how it is man. Just leave me for the next pretty lady that walks by. Yup. Yup, I see how it is. I think it was chicks before dicks man! Chicks before dicks! Aye, who am kidding. If a woman came up to me like that I’d ditch you in the half the time it took you to ditch me. That I would.
(Returns to scooping poop)
That I would.

Today's blog topic was suggested by the lovely gentleman to the right.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Perfect Gentleman, Scene 2 Part 1



The Perfect Gentleman, Scene 2 Part 1
Watson household garden. Very airy, very flowery, very lacy.
EMMALINE WATSON, a pretty young girl in a wheelchair, sits by a table, adjusting the flowers in the vase. A pensive, serene look engulf her face.
MRS. KITTSON, her motherly nurse, enters.
MRS. KITTSON
Emmaline? Emmaline!
EMMALINE
Yes Mrs. Kittson?
MRS. KITTSON
Ah, Emmaline, there you are my dear. I thought I’d already lost you and the guests aren’t even here yet.
EMMALINE
How much longer until they arrive?
MRS. KITTSON
The party was supposed to start, five minutes ago, so I’d put it at ten, fifteen minutes. Twenty, if they’re really fashionable. Oh look here, I’ve marked all seating arrangements with the most darling cards.
EMMALINE
Am I next to Mr. Hendrickson?
MRS. KITTSON
On your right hand side.
EMMALINE
Thank you Mrs. Kittson.
MRS. KITTSON
You’re welcome my dear.
EMMALINE
I see you put Bethany Dawson on my left.
MRS. KITTSON
Yes. Her and her plus one.
EMMALINE
Sherman Grey?
MRS. KITTSON
No: Mr. Grey submitted a separate RSVP. This is a mysterious stranger.
EMMALINE
Bethany has such a penchant for making friends. She’s so vivacious. Gregarious. Confident. I’ve always been so jealous.
MRS. KITTSON
You are a perfectly lovely young lady and you have no reason to be jealous of anyone. Though you could always pick up a few of Miss Dawson’s conversational skills. Which is why I put you next to her.
EMMALINE
Is everything a learning experience Mrs. Kittson?
MRS. KITTSON
As long as I have my way.
EMMALINE
And I suppose you must always have your way.
MRS. KITTSON
Someday my dear, I will be saying the same to you.
CHARLES enters.
CHARLES
Miss Watson?
MRS. KITTSON
Mr. Hendrickson! You’re so early!
CHARLES
I thought the party started eight minutes ago; I’m late.
MRS. KITTSON
Yes, but all the best sort arrive at least fifteen minutes late.
CHARLES
Oh… I wasn’t aware…
MRS. KITTSON
That they do, and you would do best to go outside and not ring for another seven minutes. Propriety must be observed.
EMMALINE
Mrs. Kittson, don’t you think we could bend the rules of propriety for one occasion? Mr. Hendrickson simply didn’t know better: we can’t expect him to wait outside like a misbehaved child.
MRS. KITTSON
Yes, I suppose you’re right Emmaline. You’re a lucky man, Mr. Hendrickson, to be so in Miss Watson’s favor.
CHARLES
I know it.
To be continued

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Perfect Gentleman

So, what was once entitled "The Trials and Tribulations of Miss Bethany Dawson" will be renamed "The Perfect Gentleman." Additionally, the tea party will be moved from "tomorrow" to "next week."
See earlier installments: Scene 1, Part 1 and Scene 1, Part 2


The Perfect Gentleman, Scene 1 Part 3
Continued.
BETHANY sits primly. LIZBET looks at her, worried.
LIZBET
Are you sure you won’t be offin’ yourself Miss?
BETHANY
Why yes Lizbet I’m quite sure. I wish to be buried in my blue satin gown, which has not been pressed, and I know no one in this household would have the decent courtesy to press it in time for my funeral. No, suicide is completely out of the question. I have no idea what could have come over me a few minutes ago.
LIZBET
Perhaps it was love Miss.
BETHANY
It was the crushing of expectations. And the utter humiliation of rejection. Oh, I was made a fool of! And I’ll just be made a fool of again next week at Emmaline’s tea party. I’ll have to waltz in all alone and watch them compact their utter bliss – which ought to have been mine! – while I sip what will in all likelihood be lukewarm tea with far too much honey in it. No one in the Watson household can make a decent cup of tea, and they always insist on doing it for you. Pft. (Beat) Of course, I could always go with Mr. Sherman Grey; I’m sure I have an invitation from him somewhere in the garbage heap.
LIZBET
Oh no Miss, you don’t want to go with him! He’s a bloody tool!
BETHANY
Lizbet!
LIZBET
Pardon my slang Miss, but absolutely every time you return from an engagement with him, you’re always in the foulest of moods and complain for hours about what a row you had!
BETHANY
But I can’t just walk in alone! Mr. Hendrickson will see how pathetic I am and I don’t want him thinking me pathetic and the only way not to be pathetic is to come on the arm of a richer man. No, I must take Mr. Grey: it’s the only way to avoid complete and utter humiliation.
LIZBET
But would it be worth it Miss? Better walk in alone with your head up high and be miserable with yourself than walk in with your tail between your legs and miserable with yourself and your escort.
LIZBET begins to dust.
BETHANY
Perhaps he won’t be that miserable.
LIZBET
Oh yes he will be. He always is! What with his strutting around ways, his arrogant airs – every time he comes over here, acting like the all-powerful master, saying, (voice deepens) “You ought to do this” and “You ought not do that” and “In my humble opinion” – although you know it’s not humble at all, and it drive me bugging mad and I don’t get how you—
BETHANY
Lizbet!
LIZBET
Yes Miss?
BETHANY
Do that again!
LIZBET
Do what again?
BETHANY
That, that thing you just did.
LIZBET
Dust the mantelpiece?
BETHANY
No—
LIZBET
It’s clean enough with one dusting.
BETHANY
No no no, the way you, strutted about and talked like Mr. Grey.
LIZBET
I’d rather not be a parading monkey if you don’t mind it much Miss.
BETHANY
You’re not a parading monkey at all Lizbet! You are a gifted imitator!
LIZBET
Why thank you Miss! I always wanted to be an actress! I mean, (deepens voice) Why, ‘twas nothing Miss Dawson, just one of my, many charming and exemplary talents that no one else could ever possibly aspire to attaining. No pithy stage could hold my talents!
BETHANY
This, this is lovely! This – (revelation) Lizbet, I think I’ve struck upon a brilliant idea.
LIZBET
Miss?
BETHANY
You are a brilliant imitator. I am a brilliant dresser. I have an eye for fashion – for women and men.
LIZBET
I don’t—
BETHANY
Tonight, I will teach you the manners of a gentleman, and next week, I shall dress you in a man’s clothing. Then, we shall take you to Emmaline Watson’s tea party, and introduce you as a newly arrived gentleman!
LIZBET
This does not sound like a good idea at all.
BETHANY
It’s an excellent idea! A marvelous pretense! A brilliant stratagem! Under those circumstances, I will retain my dignity and refrain from misery!
LIZBET
Don’t I get a say in this?
BETHANY
Of course not Lizbet – whatever made you think you would?
LIZBET
But Miss!
BETHANY
Of course you have a say. But I have a say too, and what I say is this: Think of this brilliant chance you’ll have to mingle with the upper crust. Think of the wonderful implementation of your talents. And think of the all the tea and crumpets you’ll be eating – not serving. You’ll finally get to experience a tea party from the point of view of the guest, not the maid. (Pause) And besides, I am your employer and I order it so. Unless you wish me to terminate your employment you will comply.
LIZBET
I’ll do it.
BETHANY
Oh excellent! Now, I’ve a whole host of manners and terms of etiquette to teach you before next week if we’re ever to pass you off as an English gentleman – stand up straight girl! Straighter!
LIZBET
I’m standing as straight as I can Miss!
BETHANY
Oh we have quite a bit of work. This time next week Lizbet, you will be a perfect gentleman!
Blackout.