Wednesday, September 04, 2013
The Everchild Equation--A One Act Playlet For Your Enjoyment
Nance: Human nature is a funny thing. As adults, we do grow older and taller, but we remain children in the face of many things. I found this out last week, when I was taking care of St. Patsy after one of her minor surgeries.
Curtain draws wide to reveal a sunny, beautiful, pastoral scene of a wide lawn and a fishing dock over a lake. St. Patsy is seated in a padded lawn chair; Bobby, a 50-something man, is standing at the lake's edge, trimming brush. Nance goes to St. Patsy and fusses with her chair.
Nance: Mom, are you sure you're comfy here? Do you need anything? Do you have your sunglasses?
Patsy: I'm fine, Nance. Now go and fish for a while. Go on! Did Bobby fix you a pole?
Nance: Yes. (lifts pole with bobber from beside chair) I'll be right over on the dock. Let me know if you need anything. (walks up and onto dock; tosses line in)
Bobby: (after a moment or two) Any bites?
Nance: Nope. These worms are mostly dead. But I don't really care. I just wanted to fish a little. It's gorgeous out here!
Bobby: We really lucked out. Hey! See that? (points a little to his right) Right there. It's a snake. Mom, see it? That little thing just poking out above the water? Watch. Right there, going toward the dock. Snake!
Nance: (horrified and paralyzed) No it's not. Where? No it's not. Bobby, don't.
Bobby: (casual and oblivious to his sister's trauma, as usual) Yeah! Right there. It's probably gonna come in and sun itself on the rock there, or on the steps to the dock.
Nance: SHUT UP. No it's not. NO IT'S NOT. Mom!
Patsy: Oh, Bobby. It's probably not.
Bobby: I lost sight of it now. It probably went under the dock and will come up--
Nance: (in a major panic) What?! No it can't! There's no way! Bobby, stop it. I mean it now.
Patsy: (calmly, almost disinterested) That snake is already gone. It's under the boat or--
Nance: Mom! The boat is right there! It's right in front of the dock, sitting there! What are you talking about?
Bobby: Mom, remember that huge blacksnake I saw out here that one time? That thing was as big around as--
Nance: Shut up. I have a bite. (begins to reel in and lift pole; screams as she pulls up the snake, which had been briefly attached to the worm) OH MY GOD! WHY? (throws pole down on dock and runs screaming into yard) WHY, MOM? WHY? MOM! WHY? MOM! ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS FISH!
Bobby: What? What happened?
Patsy: (calmly; shading her eyes with her hand) Wow, Nance. I've never seen you run so fast.
Nance: (tearfully) Did you see it? Did you see it? Oh my GOD. That stupid snake! That stupid, stupid snake was on my line! All I wanted to do was fish and that stupid snake had to ruin it. Why?
Bobby: Was it really? Where is it? Is it on there?
Nance: No. It fell off. But not before I saw the whole stupid, awful thing. Its mouth was open! It was disgusting.
Patsy: (conversationally) You should have seen her run, Bobby. She really ran.
(Bobby has walked over to the dock, where he inspects the now empty hook. He picks up the bait container and looks at the worms.)
Bobby: These worms are dead. They're no good anymore. If you're done fishing, then, I'm just gonna dump them out. (leans over; shakes them into lake) Was that snake really on there? Are you sure?
Patsy: (adjusting her visor) You should have seen her run. I'm surprised she didn't throw the pole into the water.
Nance: (indignant) Yes, it was on there! The whole thing was on my line! I didn't know there were snakes down here! Now what will I do?
Bobby: (grins; to Patsy) There's all kinds of snakes down here. Remember when Ken was here and found that huge snakeskin in the yard there? And the one guy down the road said he saw a python out here one time.
Nance: Oh shut the hell up. (gives him The Finger) A python. (glances around) Let's go up.
(End Scene 1)
Scene opens in Rick and Nance's living room. St. Patsy is asleep in the chair, left. Rick and Nance are on the couch, center. Nance is finishing her story about the day's events to her husband, who is exhausted from his first day at his new job.
Nance: (earnestly) He just would not stop yammering away at me about snakes for the rest of the day. It was awful. I think you should call him or send him a text message.
Rick: (stifling a yawn; surprised) What? Your brother? I should call or text your brother? And say what?
Nance: And tell him to quit it. Quit it or you'll...you'll beat him up.
Rick: I should call Bob and say, Quit teasing my wife or I'll beat you up. Is that what I'm supposed to do?
Nance: Well, I feel like you should do something! You weren't there to protect me from the snake!
post header image found here