December 20, 2006

A Play A Day #251

Divorce And So Much More


Setting: A living room, one couch, one loveseat at a ninety-degree angle to each other.

Sue: Are you ready?

Tad: Yeah, I think I am. (long exhale) Wow... I can't believe we're actually doing this.

Sue: It's time... you know we're just living a lie.

Tad: But, for the children, don't you think we could...

Sue: Tad. No. We've been over this and over this. We can't just go on like this for the kids. It's not helping anyone. This is the best solution.

Tad: But...

Sue: Let's do it. Get the kids.

(Tad yells offstage for the kids)

Tad: Kids! Come here for a moment! We're in the living room.

(Sue sits on the loveseat, Tad joins her, they look at each other for a while, try to comfort each other and then turn away, the kids filter in, first Ellen, age 12)

Ellen: What's up? (she sits on the sofa)

Sue: Mom and Dad just want to say a few things, Ellen.

(then Iyla, age 10)

Iyla: (to Ellen) I wanna sit there! Get up!

Tad: Iyla, just sit down... please. (she does)

(then David, age 7)

David: Mom, can I have more cookies? Please?

Sue: Sit down with your sisters, David.

David: Pleeeeease!!?

Sue: David, sit.

David: Pleeeease!!?

Sue: Sit down!

David: (sitting) Pleeeease!

Ellen: Shut up, David!

Tad: Ellen!

Iyla: Yeah, something's wrong with Mom and Dad. Can't you see Mom's holding her knee?

Tad: Iyla...

David: Oh, crap.

Tad: David!

David: Oh, crap.

Sue: David!

David: Crap.

Ellen: Shut up, David!

Sue: Ellen!

Tad: Shut up!! Listen!

(long pause)

Tad: (small) Sorry.

Sue: Listen, kids... your father and I need to talk to you.

Iyla: It's serious?

Sue: Yes.

(Iyla vomits on the floor, Tad exits)

Sue: Jesus!

Ellen: Uggghhhh!!

David: Cool.

Iyla: Sorry.

Sue: It's alright. (Tad returns with a towel and a plastic bag, begins cleaning)

Iyla: Like, really serious?

(Tad looks up quickly, Sue starts to speak "y...", Tad snaps his head to her, Iyla retches, Tad snaps his head back, opens bag, Iyla vomits into it quickly)

David: That smells real bad!

(David retches, vomits, Tad catches his vomit in the bag too)

Ellen: Ahhh!!!

(Ellen retches and vomits, David isn't done yet, so Tad pushes David's head into Ellen's and they puke into the bag together)

Sue: (very shaky) Can we please stop with the vomiting!? Please!

Tad: (standing up, vomits into the bag, and walks out) Sorry.

Sue: (long pause as she collects herself) Your father and I need to talk to you. (Tad returns)

Tad: It's no secret that we've been having a very hard time being nice to each other ove the last year. You've heard us fighting, I'm sure.

David: One time, Mom wasn't yelling though... she was just saying wooo... wooo... a lot.

Ellen: (slapping David's head) Shut up, stupid. You're so embarassing.

Sue: Yes, well... uh...

Tad: Anyway. Your mother and I have talked about it for a long time, and we have been trying to keep this family together.

Sue: Yes, in fact, we didn't want it to come to this, because we were trying to do it for you kids. So you wouldn't have to come from a broken home.

Tad: But trying to keep the family together for the kids would probably do you more harm in the end.

Sue: The fighting would continue; there would be so much anger.

Tad: So we've come to a decision.

Ellen: You're getting a divorce.

Iyla: A divorce?

Tad: Yes.

Sue: We need to live our lives again; we can't go on kidding ourselves.

Tad: We are getting a divorce from you.

Ellen: From us?

Sue: We were so much happier before you three came along.

Tad: A clean house.

Sue: Peaceful nights.

Tad: Reading books.

Sue: Taking walks.

Tad: Lots more "woo-ing".

Sue: Now, here's the hard part. We are keeping the house. You three will have to move out.

Iyla: Where?

Tad: That's up to you now. We won't be your parents anymore. You are free to go where you choose.

Sue: But you'll need to leave soon.

Tad: By tomorrow morning, actually.

Sue: Or be in violation of a court restraining order.

Tad: The good news is that you won't have any bed times, or rules.

David: Awesome!

Sue: The good news for us is that we won't have to put up with your fighting, whining and messes.

Tad: Of course, the bad news is that you won't have any food.

Iyla: But, Mom! Dad!

Tad: Please, please, I think it will be easier for everyone if you call us Sue and Tad from now on.

Sue: Tad is right. Makes a cleaner break for all of us.

Tad: Now, in order to help us feel a part of society as parents, we have made another decision.

Sue: Oh yes, this is very exciting!

Tad: We have a certain function to fill as parents. We've met some very influential people in this town through our roles as parents. But, we asked ourselves: "Can we have the advantages of parenthood, without all the fuss and bother?"

Sue: As a human resource professional, I knew the answer was "yes", immediately! (beat, excitement) Outsourcing!!

Ellen: What?

Tad: For just twenty dollars a month, we are sponsoring a live link-up to a poor child in India. Anytime we want to be Arijit's - or just Ari as we like to call him - parents, we just text message him and give him some parental advice.

Iyla: You're already doing this?

Sue: Well, of course, we didn't want to just jump right into this parenting thing without practice.

Ellen: So your his parents now?

Tad: Yep. He's a good kid.

Sue: He's a pleasing caramel color; not all pale and splotchy pink like you three.

Tad: A nice evening-beige... not too dark to be scary.

Sue: And such a good listener! I told him to clean his room yesterday, and he didn't whine or complain at all. He was back online in a half minute with a picture of the dirt floor of the tiny room he shares with fourteeen other children. It was spotless.

Tad: Oh... tell them why!

Sue: He said it was because he didn't have anything to pick up.... and he meant it! (laughs)

Tad: He's quite a little comedian!

David: What about Gramma and Poppa?

Sue: (little wince) Oohhhh... yeah... well, good news and bad news there.

Tad: First the good news: They both died in their sleep last night when a horrible fire destroyed them and their home!

Sue: The bad news: Evidence may have been left at the scene.

Tad: But, more good news: As their only child, all their money will come directly to me.

Sue: But, more bad news: Since you are no longer our children, you will never see a cent of that money.

Tad: But, look at it positively, you're not their grandkids anymore, so you don't have to feel bad about any of that death stuff.

Sue: Well, thanks for listening, (standing up, shaking their hands formally) Ellen. Iyla. David.

(Tad does the same right behind her, they both start heading out)

Tad: I'm sure we will see you around from time to time.

Sue: Oh, and you can pack up whatever you want from your rooms, but remember that you'll have to carry it.

Tad: Whatever you don't want or can't carry, just leave. We're having the place professionally cleaned as soon as you've all gone. Everything we don't want gets tossed... or burned. (they share a small laugh)

(a phone rings)

Sue: Oh, honey, that's little Ari!

Tad: (hurriedly pushing her out of the room to get to the phone) I love his funny accent!

Sue: So adorable!

(lights fade on the kids staring blankly at the audience)


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