by Con Chapman
Setting: Bare stage but it is suggested outside a hospital
Time: sometime in the 1970’s
Character: WOMAN, late 20s–early 30s, American Southern or Mid-Western
WOMAN stands with arms folded across her chest, dressed to look pregnant, waiting for someone. She holds a purse in one hand, and on the floor next to her is a bag of toys. The WOMAN appears impatient, exasperated. She turns to one side and looks down, as if at a child.
Tiffany Marie—get down offa that ramp.
Why? Because it’s for handicapped, that’s why.
I know there’s nobody on it but what if a wheelchair came flying out of the hospital right about now. It’d knock you clear into next week, that’s what would happen, so git down offa there right this instant!
Your daddy’s late, sweetheart. Getting later by the minute.
Where is he? He’s playing golf, where do you think?
He should be done by now, though.
Unless they stopped at the “19th hole.”
What’s that? That’s the place where all the daddies go when they’re done playin’ golf to drink dizzy fizzy water.
Ee-yew is right. That stinky stuff that Daddy drinks.
I don’t know why, honey, I guess he likes it.
I know it makes him burp.
Makes him do worse things than that.
I know you’re bored, punkin—Mommy is too.
Well, let’s think of something to keep you entertained.
Why don’t we practice our cheers—does that sound like fun? Tryouts are comin’ up pretty soon! Okay? Okay.
Let’s see—how about “Sittin’ in the grandstand”? Ready? One-two-three four—
Sittin’ in the grandstand,
Beatin’ on a tin can,
Who can? We can—
Nobody else can.
Yaaaaaaaay Grain Valley Middle School!
We may have to shorten that last line a little cause it’s too long.
I know it’s the real name of your school.
How about just “Yaaaaaaaay, Grain Valley!”
Well, everybody’s gonna know what school you’re talking about.
I know a fun one! This is one you do when your team’s ahead, and the other team’s cheerleaders have been snotty to you. Here’s how it goes:
Look up at the scoreboard
See who’s behind!
You like that one? Good—it’s fun.
Although you have to be careful you don’t come off sounding like you’re not a good sport, cause good sportsmanship is the most important thing to remember when you’re a cheerleader.
Where is he, dammit?
I know, it’s a swear.
You’re not allowed to say it, okay?
Mommy’s just feelin’ cranky, honey.
Why? Cause I’ve got another little muffin in the oven, that’s why.
That means you’re gonna have a little baby brother or sister, sweetie.
I hope it’s a baby brother. So maybe your daddy’ll pay a little bit more attention to him than he does to you.
You want a baby sister? Well, that’d be nice, too.
I just think if Daddy had a boy to play with he wouldn’t run off and play golf all weekend.
I’ve got to get dinner on the table, and I sure can’t cook when I’m standin’ here in front of a hospital waiting.
He’s gonna want dinner as soon as he gets home, I know it.
I know you’re getting hungry darlin’. Let me see what I got in my bag.
I got a juice and a Hostess Snowball that got smooshed when you sat down on the bag. You want the Snowball?
I don’t have a napkin.
Okay—well your daddy should be here any minute.
Just don’t get any on you.
You look just as cute as a pea-hen in them pink overalls, sweetie.
Tiffany Marie, you’re getting it all over yourself!
Where is that man?
Yes we have been waiting a long time, precious. Any day now, Jimbo—any day.
Why don’t we work on some of our commercials? There’s gonna be a child actor talent scout at the Lakeside Mall next Saturday. You could be on the TV if you’re good enough. Let’s try “Shake ‘n Bake.” You remember how that goes? I’ll start—
“Friday—isn’t ‘fry day’—anymore!”
Then you say “Get it?”
“With Shake ‘n Bake!”
Then you say “And I helped!”
Good! That was excellent, sweetie. I think you’re a born actress! We can do that for the talent scout next Saturday. Maybe Mommy and you can become Hollywood starlets. Instead of the miserable excuse for a life I’m stuck with now.
I’m getting a little peeved with your father, Missy. Well, sometimes mommies and daddies get mad at each other—it’s part of being married.
Who’s your boyfriend these days, sweetie?
Donnie Vincent? That’s nice.
I know why you like him!
Cause his daddy owns a candy company!
Every Peanut Butter Log and Sugar Poke you see at the store, his daddy made it in that big factory of his!
Isn’t that a nice thing for a boyfriend to have goin’ for him?
Nice for his daddy, too.
A real sugar daddy.
And how many cars they have.
We wouldn’t be standin’ here waiting for your daddy if we could afford a second car.
Then mommy could drive you around while daddy plays golf.
That would be nice.
Honey, I cain’t help it—I know you’re antsy.
You just need a little exercise.
Not on that handicapped ramp!
Why don’t you practice your promenade for the beauty pageant? You need to learn how to be graceful and gracious. You could just walk over there to the stop sign and back like you was walking up and down the stage when you win. Put your left hand on your hip like this, and with your right hand you wave to the people in the audience, like this.
Wonderful, honey! That was really good!
I think you’re gonna win this year, I really do!
Well, even if you don’t win you’re my little princess—okay sweetie? Mommy loves you, sugar bell.
I have just about had it with that man.
Is that him comin’? Finally!
Hop in honey.
Yes, that’s Daddy’s girl—give Daddy a big kiss.
Now buckle up.
Where in the hell have you been?
copyright © 2010 Con Chapman. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________
Con Chapman is the author of ten published plays, including The Little Theatre (Eldridge Publishing); The Undertakers Club (Brooklyn Publishers); and The Hockey Plays, A Guy Walks Into a Bar, and West of Boston (JAC Publishing).