April 10, 2007

A Play A Day #361

Variety Is The Spice Of Wife


Context Specific


Very Vera


Setting: Harold and Vera's home

(lights up, Harold and Vera1 sit on two chairs in the living room, Harold reading a newspaper, Vera1 knitting, the stage is divided into four parts with walls running perpendicular to the audience, the living room is center, kitchen is stage left, bedroom is most of stage right, bathroom is extreme stage right, all rooms are furnished as such, the doors between the kitchen and living room and between the living room and bedroom are open)

Harold: (sniffing the air) Smells delicious, Vera; cherry?

Vera1: Yes, Harold, with just a smidgen of apple. I thought that would liven up the traditional a bit.

H: You always were a daredevil.

V1: (giggling) Oh, Harold...

H: Must be done; do you expect?

V1: Let me check.

(Vera1 gets up, walks into kitchen doorway, she stays hidden from audience behind open door, Vera2, who has been hidden behind the door, is the Vera we see enter the kitchen. This is a completely different woman, no attempt should be made for her to mimic Vera1 in any way. Vera2 wears traditional kitchen garb: apron, oven mitts, house dress. She checks the progress of the pie in the oven.)

Vera2: (calling out) Looking good. I'll just let it cool down in here for a while.

H: Excellent!

(Vera2 pokes some holes in the top of the pie with a fork, starts returning to the living room)

V2: (while in kitchen) You should be in heaven...

(behind door, Vera1 comes into living room finishing the sentence without any real pause or change)

V1: ...in about three minutes.

H: Ahh, does it have to be that long?

V1: Yes, dear; you'd scald your mouth completely.

H: Yes, I suppose you're right.

V1: I know I'm right. What pleasure is a wife's cherry pie if her husband can't taste it from the pain?

H: I had never looked at it that way before. Very little, I guess; very little indeed.

V1: Indeed. And with your birthday tomorrow; you'll be getting many other good things that you'd rather not have colored by a burnt mouth.

H: How true.

V1: Which reminds me, a present... an early present from me to you. I'll be right back.

(Vera1 crosses and stops behind open door separating living room and bedroom, Vera3, who has been behind that door the whole time, enters the bedroom, again, no concern should be taken to to have these women be the same)

Vera3: (calling out, searching for the present) I saw it at that precious shop on the plaza this afternoon, and I just had to have it for you.

(Harold has checked after his wife to see if she has left the room completely, sneaks off quickly into the kitchen, moving to the chery pie)

H: (calling out to his wife) You really shouldn't have, my lovely.

V3: Well, you know how I get... here it is... I see something like...

(door transition to Vera1)

V1: ...that and I just have to have... (realizing Harold is not in the living room any longer) it... (to heself) ohh, that man is scoping out my dangerously hot chery pie... (walks quickly to the kitchen) Put that...

(door transition to Vera2 again)

V2: ...down this instant, Harold! (she puts his present down on the counter behind the open door)

(Harold drops the fork with which he was going to take a bite)

H: Ohh, foul temptress!

V2: Do you think I would not have been able to tell you'd gotten into it?

H: I was going to blame the cat.

V2: The cat hates fruit.

H: You are too good, my cuddlecup.

V2: I ought to be. You know, I did the figures in my head this morning. I've spent one-third of my life with you.

H: Well, then I must have spent one-third of my life with you as well.

V2: Yes.

H: Is that two-thirds all together?

V2: (laughing) Very cute, Harold.

H: Yes, just like you, peachbottom.

V2: Cutesy names will get you no cherry pie.

H: No?

V2: No.

H: Well, it may not be a particularly cherry pie I'm after.

(Harold moves in and starts kissing and fondling V2 suggestively)

H: Hmmm?

V2: (giving in) Oh! Harold... you delicious man.

(more kissing and groping, V2 starts reciprocating)

H: Perhaps, we could carry this quest to the bedroom?

V2: Let's.

(they pass between the kitchen and living room door, when Harold emerges in the living room, he is kissing and groping Vera1)

V1: (while they kiss and move toward bedroom) All these years, Harold, and you still know how to make me so swampy.

H: Well, if the weather's that bad in the southern hemisphere, perhaps I should wear my raincoat for the trip?

V1: Muck away with or without your rubbers, big boy.

H: Too much, snowpea, too much, indeed!

V1: Grope me, grope...

(doorway transition, Harold is nuzzling Vera3 when they emerge in the bedroom)

V3: ...me harder!

H: As you wish.

V3: Rougher!

H: Of course.

(Harold pushes V3 onto bed roughly, takes a running start and dives onto her, V3 rolls to the side, and steps off the bed, to the doorway, saying)

V3: Ooops! Oh, dearest, your...

(doorway transition to V1)

V1: (moving quickly to kitchen) ...present, I do so want you to see it, it is quite...

(doorway trnsition to V2)

V2: (moving to get present) ...possibly the most...

(in her haste, V2 picks up the present off the counter, turns back toward the kitchen / living room door and whacks her head hard on the door, which slams the door onto V1 who is, of course, still hiding in the doorway, V1 stumbles woozily into the living room)

V1: ...delightful...

(but now she is followed by V2, who also staggers, holding the present and her head)

V2: ...delightful...

(Together they make their way to the bedroom, where they do the classic, two people trying to go through a door frame at one time trick, of course, this neatly forces V3, who has been hiding in the doorway, into the bedroom, with V1 and V2 popping in quickly after, all three women collapse at the foot of the bed, unknown to Harold at first, as he is still face down where he had dived seconds earlier at V3)

Harold: (face down) Dearie?

V1, V2, & V3: (from the floor) ...gift I have ever... dis...cov......ered...

(voices slow as they notice each other)

V1: (standing) Who the hell are you? And you?

V2: (standing) Me? Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my bedroom!?

V3: (standing) What's the meaning of this!?

V1: Harold!

(Harold by this time has rolled over, sitting up on foot of bed, he is shaking his head, but doesn't look too upset)

H: (placatingly to V1) Now, Vera...

V2: Harold, you know her!?

H: (placatingly to V2) Now, Vera...

V3: You know both of these!? (dismissive wave of her hand at V1 and V2)

H: (placatingly to V3) Now, Vera...

V1: I'm not sure what's going on here, but you two had better go back to ditches from which you've come and leave me to discuss this matter with my unfortunate husband!

V2: Your husband? He is my husband, and he's far worse than unfortunate!

V3: He belongs to me, and he's beneath even that!

(argument between the three Veras heats up, and becomes an indiscernable roar, it fades to a dull roar and flailing limbs as Harold gets up, and discreetly exits the bedroom for the bathroom, lights fading on the rest of the stage and up in the bathroom. As Harold enters, we hear the shower running briefly, then shutting off)

Vera4: Harold, is that you?

H: Yes, lover.

V4: Be a dear and fetch my robe for me.

H: (handing her the robe) Here you are.

V4: (putting on robe and stepping out of shower) That's my man. (kissing him on the cheek, then hearing the argument in the bedroom) Oh dear? Intruders?

H: No, perhaps worse than that.

V4: (opening the bathroom door and observing the fight) My, my, my. What's all this then?

H: Something has upset them tremendously.

V4: Yes, yes, something has. (shutting bathroom door) Well, this is what can be expected to happen when women forget their proper places.

(V4 embraces Harold and kisses him deeply)

H: Oh, I always knew I loved you most of all, Vera.

(more kissing as argument continues in the other room and lights fade out)


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