Tuesday, November 14, 2017




(DOROTHY’s House.)

Dorothy:  What good luck brings my family to me on this joyous day.  I am very pleased.

George:   Well, not all the family.

Dorothy:  You’re right.  Not poor Aggie, but then, she got what was coming to her.

Martha:  I agree with Mother.  Aggie was warned.

Deborah:  They didn’t have to drown her.

Lucinda:  It was ghastly.

Dorothy:  Drowning witches is never a pretty affair.  My Great-Great Aunt Jane was a witch back in England, and when they drowned her, it took over ten minutes.  At least that’s what my mother used to tell me before she’d sing me to sleep at night.  Would anybody like some yams?

George:  The trial was very short this time around.  I’m not sure all the evidence was properly presented.

Martha:  You don’t need that much evidence to prove somebody is a witch.  You hold a carrot up to their nose, and if they sneeze, they’re a witch.  It’s very cut and dry.

Deborah:  But she was also suffering from allergies.

Lucinda:  It’s true.  Or she could be allergic to carrots.

Deborah:  I just worry that she might have been innocent.

Martha:  Innocent people do not go around sneezing at carrots, Deborah.  Now, she might not have been a witch, but she certainly wasn’t innocent.  I’m sure she did something wrong to deserve drowning.  She was a woman after all.  There are all kinds of sins we can commit without even realizing it.

Dorothy:  Speaking of sin, I saw the Reverend disposing of another body behind his barn this afternoon.

Deborah:  Did you do anything about it?

Dorothy:  I didn’t want to get involved.  Who he buries behind his barn is his business.

Lucinda:  Maybe it was another witch.

Martha:  Maybe it was.  Reverend is a man of god, and it’s his duty to fight immorality and depravity.

George:  But has anyone seen his wife recently?

Martha:  I’m sure she’s fine.

Deborah:  Mother, I feel very strongly that you should have done something.

Dorothy:  Deborah, if you think I was going to ruin the first Thanksgiving by investigating a murder, you’re very mistaken.  Now eat whatever this is.

Lucinda:  It’s white, and very dense.

Dorothy:  The Indians brought it by, and we have to pretend to like it.  I won’t have us looking rude to the savages.

George:  You know who ran away with the savages last week?  John’s eldest.

Deborah:  Margaret?

Lucinda:  Is that why she wasn’t at Bible Study all week?  We thought she perished from the famine!

George:  No, no, no.  Nothing that serious.  Just a forbidden elopement with one of the natives.  Her father is quite upset.

Dorothy:  Wouldn’t you be upset if one of your girls ran away with an Indian?

George:  Dorothy, what’s the point of having eighteen children if you lose your bearings every time one of them abandons you to go live amongst your enemies?

Deborah:  But surely the Indians are our friends now?

Martha:  That’s all nonsense.  We’re not friends.  We’re allies.  There’s a difference.  Nobody knows exactly what it is, but there definitely is one.

Lucinda:  I think the difference is that you like one and the other you just tolerate.

Deborah:  Sort of like how I feel about you and Martha.

Martha:  Very funny.  I’m very pleasant to be around, you two are just ugly.  And ugliness brings out ugliness in others.  That’s what the Bible says.

George:  Where does it say that in the Bible?

Martha:  The Bible says lots of things, father.  If you go around asking ‘Where does it say this’ and ‘Where does it say that?’ you’ll never get anything done.

Dorothy:  Martha is right.  We need to take the good lord into our own hands and wield him like a weapon against those who would try to harm us.  My goodness, these peas are tasty.  I hope the natives didn’t poison them.  Nothing ever tastes this good unless death is right around the corner.

George:  May we not speak of death on a day like this?

Lucinda:  A day like what, father?

George:  Is this not a day of celebration and gratitude?

Martha:  And is being alive not something to be grateful for?  So many people aren’t these days.

Deborah:  You know who is alive?  Bernard Trapperson.

Lucinda:  Bernie the Trap is alive?

Dorothy:  Didn’t he wander off into the forest?  Tempted, no doubt, by John’s daughter Margaret, the Native-Marrying, red-headed harlot.

Deborah:  He did wander off, but they found him on a hunting trip just yesterday!

George:  Tis a Thanksgiving miracle!  We should celebrate with a drink.

Martha:  Is he all right?

Deborah:  Perfectly fine.  Well, he’s missing an arm and both eyebrows, but other than that, he’s fine.  They assume he was attacked by a grizzly, but they can’t know for sure, because he’s also missing his tongue.  I suppose the whole thing will just have to stay a mystery.

George:  Tis a Thanksgiving mystery!  We should ponder it with a drink.

Lucinda:  I always thought Bernard was rather handsome.  Rather strapping.  Husband material, no doubt.  I never thought he fancied me, but perhaps now he’ll reconsider.

Dorothy:  It would be good to have another one of you girls married off before the next winter.  We only have so many blankets to go around, and two of them still smell like smallpox.

Martha:  I’m sure I’ll be married in no time.  Fletcher the Butcher has been making very aggressive overtures regarding my status.

Deborah:  Is that so?

Martha:  Just the other day, he asked me if the goat meat he sold me last week smelled off.  I almost fainted away, the flirtation was so extreme.

Lucinda:  Forgive me, sister, but that doesn’t resemble flirtation at all.

Martha:  Oh Lucinda, you idle-headed pork worm.  You know nothing of courtship.

Lucinda:  I know that I shall soon marry and you will be left an old maid.

Martha:  I expect you’re speaking to Deborah, since I will surely have a husband before the first snowfall.

Deborah:  Actually, I plan on giving myself to the Lord.

Martha:  You’re marrying the Reverend?

Dorothy:  Don’t do it, Deborah.  There’s still plenty of room behind that barn.

Deborah:  I’m going home to England there I shall join a convent.

George:  Tis a Thanksgiving bounty!  One daughter marrying a tongueless forest man, one joining hands with our Great Lord and Savior, and the third—Well, I’m sure something nice will happen to Martha eventually.

Martha:  You’re returning to England?

Deborah:  That’s right.

Martha:  You came all the way here and now you’re going to go all the way back?

Lucinda:  Dear me, sister, I do love you, but to be frank—who feels like it?

Dorothy:  The first thing I said when I got off that boat was ‘This place is vile, and I’m going to die here.’  I was never stepping foot on a ship again.  And I swore it on the Bible.  And then we traded that Bible for a sack of grain.  Where was I going with this?

George:  Deborah moving back to—

Dorothy:  Yes, yes.  Deborah, you’re a grown woman and you can do as you like provided your father approves since you’re still a woman and he makes all your decisions.  But as far as I’m concerned, you’re out of your head going back to England.

Deborah:  What choice do I have?  We don’t have any convents here I can join.

George:  Why don’t you start one?  You could be the first!  My daughter—the owner of the first convent.

Lucinda:  Do convents have owners?

Martha:  Oh, let her go if she wants to go.  The next ship isn’t coming for two years anyway.  It’s not as though we’ll be rid of her anytime soon.

Dorothy:  Ah, you see?  Nothing to worry about.  We’ll all be wiped out by pestilence long before two years comes around.

Deborah:  Father, say a prayer before we continue eating.  We must give thanks to the Lord.

Lucinda:  She’s right, father.

Martha:  Yes, father, but make it quick.  I plan to walk by the butcher’s home later wrapped in my wild deerskin blanket to see if it intrigues him.

Dorothy:  Quickly George, the boiled turtle is getting cold.

George:  Dear Lord, we thank you for getting us this far, and we hope you shall get us a bit further, and that you shall take those who come after us even further than that, and that slowly but surely, those who we shall never see and never meet, but who shall bear our names and carry our blood in their veins, may one day know comfort and peace that we ourselves could only dream of in our deepest slumber.  For all this we thank you, Lord.  Amen.

All, but George:  Amen.

Lucinda:  That was lovely, father.

Deborah:  So lovely.

Martha:  Beautiful.

Dorothy:  Nobody prays like your father.  He may not be much of a hunter, farmer, sailor, merchant, or tradesman, but don’t let anybody accuse him of being bad at prayer.

George:  Thank you, dear.

Dorothy:  Now, who wants the wing?

Martha:  Is that a wing or a leg?

Dorothy:  I don’t know.  Whatever it is crawled into our yard last night and died after what sounded like a particularly bad bout of coughing.  I thought perhaps it was a wild boar, but there were so many feathers.

Deborah:  I think part of it is still breathing.

Lucinda:  Is it safe to eat?

Dorothy:  Oh Lucinda, dear—that’s the least of our worries.

                (End of Play.)




(The Internet.)

Nick:  I just posted online that I’m thrilled to announce I’m moving to France.  This is very sudden.  I made a decision last night to move to a foreign country.  I have no friends or family there, and I don’t know the language.  I quit my job.  I broke my lease.  I broke off my engagement to a wonderful person.  Then I went on social media and posted about all of this.  Here’s what three of my Facebook friends had to say.

Dave:  Good for you, man.

Deirdre:  I believe in you, Nick.

Kate:  Follow your dreams.

Nick:  As soon as they posted those comments, they immediately forgot all about me moving to France and went back to focusing on--

Dave:  Inviting people to my band’s show on Thursday.

Deirdre:  Fighting in a thread with some guy who thinks Republicans want what’s best for America.

Kate:  Shopping for banana holders because it’s my sister’s birthday and I want her to know I’m still mad about what she said to me at Thanksgiving.  And no, I do not think my nephew is advanced for his age, and no I will not apologize for feeling that way.  And why are banana holders so expensive?  I just want to make a passive aggressive statement with a poorly chosen gift.  Why is this so complicated?

Nick:  But if they were being honest with me--

Dave:  You’re moving to France?

Nick:  Yes.

Deirdre:  France?

Nick:  Yup.

Kate:  The country?

Nick:  You don’t know that France is a--

Kate:  I know what France is, but you know how sometimes people are like ‘I’m moving to France...Indiana’ and then you’re supposed to laugh, because you thought they were moving somewhere cool, but they’re really just moving to the middle of nowhere?

Nick:  Well, this isn’t like that.  I’m moving to the real France.

Dave:  And you quit your job?

Deirdre:  You got rid of your apartment?

Kate:  You broke off your engagement?  I liked your engagement announcement.  I used a heart AND I left a comment.  Ugh, what a waste.

Nick:  I thought you guys would unconditionally support me.

Dave:  Why would we do that?

Deirdre:  Yeah, you’ve made a really severe life choice.  Randomly supporting it while only having some of the facts would be like enabling some kind of weird risk addiction you’ve probably got.

Nick:  I’m not a risk addict.  I just wanted a change.

Dave:  So get a tattoo.  Learn to enjoy eating cauliflower.  You know you can make it look like rice now?

Nick:  I hate cauliflower.

Dave:  Yeah, but you don’t have to.  Hey, I just posted this link to an article all about how eating healthier improves your Instagram presence.

Nick:  How would it do that?

Dave:  People really like photos of kale.

Deirdre:  Nick, we barely know each other, but this all seems really abrupt.

Dave:  Weren’t you the one who liked all those photos in California last year?

Deirdre:  Yeah, but that was a vacation, wasn’t it?

Nick:  Yeah, but now I can take photos like that all the time.

Deirdre:  Nick, life isn’t about taking photos.  It’s about having other people take photos of you.

Nick:  What does that mean?

Deirdre:  I don’t know.  I read it in a meme.  I would have shared it, but the person who posted it has their profile set to private, so I couldn’t.

Kate:  Don’t you hate that?  Like, the other day I went to share a photo of this girl I hate with my friend Beth and Beth is like ‘It says Attachment Unavailable’ and I was like ‘Ugh, why does this stupid girl make her profile private so I can’t share photos of her with other people so we can laugh about them?’  Then I had to save the photo onto my desktop and then upload it into a Facebook message, and by then, Beth was already talking to me about how her marriage is falling apart, and honestly, the moment was gone.  I mean, it was just gone.

Dave:  Nick, what are you going to do when you get to France?

Nick:  I was thinking of cheese.

Dave:  Like eating it or making it?

Nick:  I don’t know.  I was just going to walk up to people and say ‘Cheese’ over and over again until somebody told me what to do.

Deirde:  You know you’re not in a movie, right?  Like, a movie, people just do things and everything works out.  In real life, you wind up homeless in France and some documentary crew makes a movie about you, but by then you’re dead so you don’t even get to see it.

Nick:  I’m not going to die or wind up homeless.  I’m an intelligent person.  I’ll find work--or something.

Deirdre:  First of all, the homeless are very intelligent.  In the 90’s, everyone at Harvard was homeless.  That’s why we had so many tv movies.  Second of all, France doesn’t even have homelessness, because they’re a kind and gentle nation full of caring souls.  Not like this jerk Porter Davenport who’s arguing me on my cousin Jennifer’s wall.  Ugh, he and I have six friends in common.  I’m messaging all of them right now.  It’s him or me.

Dave:  Nick, I’m willing to support you unconditionally, but I need you to tell me that it’s cool for me to leave my family and go on the road with my band.

Nick:  Don’t you have kids?

Dave:  Do you want my Like or not?

Nick:  Dave, I didn’t even know you were in a band.

Dave:  It’s a Third Eye Blind cover band.  We’re called Semi-Charmed.

Nick:  And you’re going on tour?

Dave:  We’re going to get in our cars and see what happens.

Nick:  That’s not a tour.

Dave:  God, you sound like my wife.

Nick:  I don’t get it.  Can we do fun crazy stuff or not?  If I move to France, everyone congratulates me, but they don’t really mean it.  If they’re being honest, they think I should just stick with my boring life forever.

Kate:  Why should you get to have an exciting life?  You’re not Italian.

Nick:  So you’re saying I should move to Italy?

Dave, Deirdre, and Kate:  No!

Kate:  You know what you should do?  Have a baby.

Nick:  What?

Kate:  With your fiance.  I mean, obviously, get married first.  Or don’t.  I’m not judging.  But definitely have a baby.  It’ll be a Like bonanza on your wall.

Deirdre:  She’s right.  Plus, you get all the follow-up pics for, like, eighteen years after the baby is born.

Dave:  And then hopefully at some point after that you get grandkids and the whole thing starts all over again.

Nick:  But I don’t love the person I’m engaged to.

Kate:  It’s a baby, Nick, not a bedroom set.  Only one of you needs to love it.

Nick:  Kate!

Kate:  I mean, both of you need to love it, but both of you don’t need to love the idea of it.  And you both get to post the photos, so it’s a win-win--I think.  I don’t know.  Win-win’s always confuse me.  Like, does everybody win?  That seems impossible.

Nick:  Look, I appreciate all your input, but I’ve made my decision.  I’m moving to France.  It’s too late to change my mind now.

Dave:  Because you already announced it on social media and you’ll feel like an idiot if anything changes?

Nick:  Yup.  I guess I could just delete the status--

Deirdre:  I already took a screenshot of it and sent it to--

Dave:  Got it.

Kate:  Just got it.

Nick:  Well then, I’m moving to France.

Dave:  Nick, I can’t endorse this decision, but I also can’t really encourage you to change your mind since, if you do, I’m going to make fun of you for it.

Deirdre:  Yeah, you chasing your dream is really making me feel bad about abandoning my dreams, so even if I did think you moving was a great idea, I would never say so.

Nick:  What’s your dream, Deirdre?

Deirdre:  I want to live on Saturn.

Nick:  Deirdre, it’s made of entirely out of gas.

Deirdre:  And America is made of religion and capitalism, but I still live here, don’t I?

Nick:  What about you Kate?  What’s your dream?

Dave:  Mine is to go on tour with--

Nick/Deirdre/Kate:  We know, we know./On tour with your band.  Got it./We know, Dave.

Kate:  I just want to be happy.  And I want other people to be happy for me when I’m happy.  That’s all.

Nick:  Wow.  That’s...totally impossible, Kate.

Dave:  I can’t even fathom how that would happen.

Deirdre:  Suddenly my Saturn dream seems kind of doable.

Kate:  Okay, I have to hop offline.  I gotta go see if Target sells English Muffin toasters.

Nick:  Your sister likes English Muffins?

Kate:  No, she hates them.  Logging off.

Dave:  I have to go to band practice.  We found an abandoned Discovery Zone and we’re rehearsing in the old ball pit.

Nick:  That doesn’t sound safe.

Dave:  It’s not.  A lot of kids peed in there and never said anything.  Logging off.

Kate:  You really moving, Nick?

Nick:  I just...want to do something instead of just announcing I’m going to do something, you know?

Kate:  I get it.  That’s how I wound up with a five-year Blue Apron subscription.  Do you want a free month?

Nick:  No, I don’t.  And I never will.

Kate:  Fair enough.  Logging off.

Nick:  They didn’t say any of that, but you know what?  It’s probably for the best.  I moved to France and while I was there, I ended up saying ‘Cheese’ to this girl who thought I was a model for Verizon, because I have glasses, I look like I do my own taxes, and everything I say sounds only half-true.  Anyway, we started going out, she let me sleep on her couch, and now we’re renovating a farmhouse outside this town in France whose name I still can’t pronounce.  It’s not exactly how I thought things would work out, but it did work out.  And for that, I’m hashtag grateful.  Logging off.

    (End of Play.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Dead Celebrities


Flip Hendricks

    (A game show.)

Flip:  Hello!  And welcome to America’s highest-rated new game show.  I’m Flip Hendricks, your host, and I’m here with two new players--Kelly and Willa.  How are you two ladies doing?

Kelly:  I’m great, Flip.

Willa:  I’m drowning in sweat and student loan debt, Flip.  Let’s play the game.

Flip:  Sounds good.  Now, in two isolated sound booths, we have both of your mothers.  Isn’t that right?

Willa:  That’s right.

Kelly:  Maybe you could keep her there.  (Laughs.)  Just until Christmas is over so she can stop asking me when I’m getting married.

Flip:  How are you two mom’s doing in there?

Nadine:  Is it just me or is it hot?

Tess:  Do I need a microphone?

Nadine:  I’m very warm.

Tess:  I never received a microphone.

Filp:  Kelly and Willa, we’re going to ask your mom’s a question, and you have to guess whether or not they’re going to get that question right.  It doesn’t matter what they say, since this is all about how well you know what they know.

Kelly:  Got it.

Willa:  This is a descent into madness, and I’m here for it, Flip.

Nadine:  Is Kelly out there?  Is she married yet?

Tess:  Was that hummus in the green room for me?  I was afraid to touch it in case it wasn’t for me.

Flip:  Okay, now let’s get ready to play the game.  America, this is--Does Your Mother Know Whether or Not a Celebrity Is Dead or Alive!

Willa:  I’m ready.

Kelly:  My mother still thinks Rhianna and Beyonce are the same person.

Flip:  Tess, let’s start with you.

Tess:  Hi Flip!

Nadine:  Is it my turn?

Flip:  No Nadine, we’re starting with Tess.

Nadine:  Who’s Tess?

Flip:  The other mom.

Nadine:  It’s very warm in here.

Kelly:  Mom, can you just please wait your turn?

Nadine:  Okay, okay.  Don’t bite my head off.

Flip:  All right!  Tess, I’ll be right with you.

Tess:  I’ll be here, Flip.

Flip:  Okay, kill the sound in both isolation booths, please.  Now Willa, does your mother know whether or not Ginger from Gilligan’s Island is dead or alive?

Willa:  Uh...I don’t even know that.

Kelly:  Really?  She’s totally dead.

Flip:  Kelly, do you want to steal?

Willa:  No!  No.  She does not get to steal.  I’m playing this one.  And you know what?  I...I think she’s alive.

Flip:  But does your mother know that?
Willa:  Not a chance.  She thinks everyone’s dead.

Flip:  Let’s see.  Tess, can you hear me?

Tess:  I can hear you, but I did not receive a microphone.

Flip:  You don’t need a microphone, Tess.  I just need to know if Tina Louise--Ginger from Gilligan’s Island--is dead or alive.

Tess:  I love Gilligan’s Island, and Tina Louise is alive.

Willa:  Mom!

Tess:  What?  Am I wrong?

Willa:  No, but I’m wrong, because I thought you would say she was dead.

Tess:  Why would I think she was dead?  I just saw her on my story the other night.

Willa:  What story?

Tess:  The one with the lawyers.  She played a judge.  She was very good.  You know who else was good on it?  That one with the red hair.

Willa:  Not a clue.

Tess:  I called your Auntie Linda to see if she watched it.  She liked it too.  By the way, your cousin is in a Broadway show.  I’m getting us tickets.  Don’t make any plans in April.

Flip:  Moving right along, please make sure that Nadine’s isolation booth has the sound turned off as we ask Kelly--Does your mother know if Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched is dead or alive?

Kelly:  Okay, um, well--I’m pretty sure she’s dead, and I’m going to say my Mom knows that too.

Flip:  Let’s find out.  Nadine, can you hear me?

Nadine:  Is it over?

Flip:  No Nadine, it’s your turn.

Nadine:  I’ll solve the puzzle.

Flip:  Wrong game, Nadine.  Tell me--is Elizabeth Montgomery dead or alive?

Nadine:  She’s alive.

Kelly:  Mom!  Seriously?

Nadine:  You mean she’s dead?

Kelly:  Yes!  She’s been dead for years.

Nadine:  Oh, that’s too bad.  I loved her on I Dream of Jeannie.

Kelly:  That’s Barbara Eden!

Nadine:  Aren’t they the same person?

Kelly:  No!

Flip:  Time for the Call Out Round!  Where we allow your mothers to call someone in your family and ask them for help figuring out whether or not a celebrity is dead or alive.  Willa, who did your mother choose?

Willa:  My brother Kyle.

Flip:  Let’s call him up.

Kyle:  Hello?

Flip:  Hi Kyle, you’re on national television.

Kyle:  Is this because I pledged all those hours to The Big Help and never did any of the community service?

Flip:  No, but you are a horrible person.

Tess:  Kyle, you need to tell me whether or not someone is dead.

Kyle:  Mom, I told you, Mrs. Hobbes from down the street is fine.  The police checked on her.  She’s just binge-watching The Wire.  You’ll see her again in a few weeks.

Tess:  No, we’re talking about celebrities.

Kyle:  Ohhh, okay.

Flip:  Kyle and Tess, help Willa out--is Kim Novak alive or dead?

Tess and Kyle:  Dead.

Flip:  Willa?

Willa:  She’s definitely dead.

Flip:  Actually, she’s alive, but you’re all wrong, which means Willa gets the point!

Willa:  Yes!

Tess:  She’s alive?

Kyle:  Oh my god, she must be like a thousand years old.

Flip:  Pretty close to it, Kyle.  Thanks for helping out your sister.  Kelly, who do you have helping your mom?

Kelly:  My cousin.

Nadine:  He’s a wonderful boy.  Needs to meet a nice girl.

Flip:  Well lots of nice girls watch this show.  Maybe one of them will like the sound of his voice.  Alan, are you there?

Alan:  Hey Flip, what’s shaking?

Flip:  Oh not much, what’s up with you?

Alan:  I’m currently staying at a Marriott Hotel while a priest blesses my house.

Flip:  Sounds like fun.  You ready to help your aunt?

Alan:  I’m ready.  Hi Auntie Nadine!

Nadine:  Hi Alan!

Flip:  Now Alan, this will win the game for your cousin Kelly.

Kelly:  Don’t screw this up for me, Alan.  I want to go to Turks and Caicos this year, not just Turks.

Flip:  Alan and Nadine, put your heads together and tell me--is Susan Dey from the Patridge Family alive or dead.

Nadine:  Oh, she’s alive.  She’s not even that old.

Alan:  I think it’s a trick question.  Like, she’s not that old, but she died young or something.

Kelly:  I agree with Alan.  I think she probably died young.

Nadine:  No, the other one from the Patridge Family died young.  The little boy with the tambourine.

Kelly:  There was no boy with a tambourine on the Partridge Family.

Nadine:  He had the tambourine and the lisp.

Kelly:  You’re thinking of Cindy from The Brady Bunch.

Nadine:  Cindy never had a tambourine.

Kelly:  Nobody had a tambourine!

Alan:  I think she’s dead.

Kelly:  I agree with Alan.

Nadine:  I say she’s alive.

Flip:  Kelly, you have to match with your mother.  She’s saying Susan Dey is alive.

    (A beat.)

Kelly:  And I say she’s not.  My mom is wrong.

Flip:  Well, let’s see if Willa wins or if we go into a tie-breaker.

Willa:  Oh god, I have no idea whether or not Bob Newhart is alive.

Tess:  He’s dead.

Flip:  No, he’s not.

Willa:  See?  I’m terrible at this!

Flip:  But that doesn’t because Susan Dey isn’t dead!  Willa, you win the game!

Willa:  Yes!

Kelly:  One day I’ll see Caicos.

Flip:  Thanks for playing, everybody.

Nadine:  But when do we find a man for my daughter?

Flip:  Have a good night!

    (End of Play)