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Of Marrital Bliss  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Aug 5th, 2010 01:01 pm
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Darkja
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Joined: Fri Jan 29th, 2010
Location: Monroe, North Carolina USA
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Mana: 
Having caused much disrutpion and dismay with opinions of people re-writing my piece I submit this with much trepidation. The piece which caused so much of anger (or actually it was a statement\request I made) "The Last Time" was present at "Just Do It" and was very well received. It planted the seed of an idea to create a play that is a series of brief vinettes showing common marital situations. The first, which is not quite complete, involves their adventures in a parking lot. Please let me know what you think (what was funny, what didn't work, etc.)

 

Darkja

 

Parking Lot


By Todd Ford


© 2010


 


At Rise: Harold and Katherine sit in two chairs. Their hand motions, sound effects, whatever you wish indicate they are in a car. Occasionally Katherine points to a place Harold stops Katherine shakes her head no and they continue. This happens several time Harold growing angrier with each stop. He finally slams on his brakes and stops completely.

 

Katherine


Harold?

 

Harold


Yes, Katherine?

 

Katherine


We’re stopped dear.

 

Harold


I know.

 

Katherine


Well we’re not going to find a parking place if we’re stopped.

 

Harold


We weren’t going to find one if we were moving either.

 

Katherine


Of course we would.

 

Harold


We’ve been driving for twenty minutes.

 

Katherine


I’m just looking for a good spot but if you want to park just anywhere go ahead.

 

(Harold starts to pull into a parking place)


 


Katherine (yelling)


STOP!

 

Harold


What? You said I could park wherever I want.

 

Katherine


You can it just…uhm…could wherever you want be in the shade?

 

Harold


What?

 

Katherine


Well if you park there it will be in the sun and then the car will get all hot.

 

Harold


We have air conditioning.

 

Katherine


The air conditioning will make me cold.

 

Harold


Enough. You said I could park wherever I want. This is where I want.

 

Katherine


Now you’re just being unreasonable.

 

Harold


I’m being unreasonable.

 

Katherine


I’m glad you can admit it.

 

Harold


I’m being unreasonable. We’ve passes ten open spot and I’m being unreasonable.

 

Katherine


But none of them were good spots.

 

Harold


What was wrong with the first one? It was right next to the store.

 

Katherine


It had a shopping cart near it.

 

Harold


It was four rows away.

 

Katherine


It could have blown into the car.

 

Harold


By what gale force winds?

 

 

Katherine


It could happen.

 

Harold


Enough, I don’t want to argue. (he drives). Here we go the perfect spot.

 

Katherine


It’s awfully far away.

 

Harold


We can walk Katherine. We could use the walk.

 

Katherine (suddenly angry)


What did you just say?

 

Harold


I said we could use the walk.

 

Katherine


What’s that supposed to mean Harold?

 

Harold (a little scared)


That we could use the exercise?

 

Katherine


Why Harold? Why could we use the exercise? Are you calling me fat?

 

Harold


No. No, of course not. I meant I. I could use the exercise.

 

Katherine


No, Harold, you didn’t mean I. You said we. You distinctly said we.

 

Harold


How ‘bout I drop you off at the front.

 

Katherine


What? You don’t think I could make it. You think my fat ass may pass out on the way?

 

Harold


No it’s just (realizing its hopeless) You know what? You’re right. This is an awful parking place. I can’t believe I even suggested parking here.

 

(Harold drive for a bit)


 


 


Harold


How about here? This is a perfect parking place.

 

Katherine


Yeah, it’s good but…

 

Harold


But?

 

Katherine


There’s a better one over there now. Why don’t you go there?

 

Harold


Because I’m already here that it only space closer.

 

Katherine


Which makes it close to the store.

 

Harold


But it’s a one way row I’ll have to drive all the way around.

 

Katherine


I think it’s worth it.

 

Harold


But it will take longer to do that than to walk to the store.

 

Katherine


Harold, are you calling me fat again?

 

Harold (resigned)


No.

 

(Harold drives)


 


Harold (angry)


Now both spaces are gone.

 

Katherine


Well I guess you weren’t fast enough.

 

Harold (angry)


Are you seriously inferring this is my fault?

 

Katherine


You’re the one driving.

Harold


You told me to change spaces.

 

Katherine


You didn’t have to listen to me.

 

Harold


You were demanding not asking.

 

Katherine


You have free will.

 

Harold


You know what why don’t I just circle the lot a few times and pick you up when you’re done?

 

Katherine


Typical you never want to spend time with me.

 

Harold


I think I’ve spent quite enough time with you lately.

 

Katherine


What exactly is that supposed to mean?

 

Harold


Katherine, we’ve been in this car for nearly an hour now. Circling a parking lot. Doesn’t that seem a little crazy to you.

 

Katherine


Well I’m just protecting my investment. You know a car is your second biggest investment next to your house.

 

Harold


What Katherine? What exactly are you protecting it from?

 

Katherine


Shopping carts, car doors, heat, bird poo. I’m just doing just doing what any rational person would do to make sure their vehicle stays in good shape.

 

Harold


No your not. Changing the oil, washing the car, watching where you are going that’s what a rational person does to keep their car in good shape.

 

 


 


Katherine


I knew it. I knew you bring up the oil thing again. How was I supposed to know to change the oil?

 

Harold


You had driven the car three thousand miles past when the sticker said.

 

Katherine


Those stickers are merely suggestions.

 

Harold


No they’re not. They’re there so you will change the god damn oil.

 

Katherine


Nobody looks at those things.

 

Harold


And when the light came on.

 

Katherine


I thought it was like the gas light you could ride with it on for a while.

 

Harold


It’s a warning light when it comes on you pay attention to it.

 

Katherine


Well you ignore danger all the time.

 

Harold


No, I don’t.

 

Katherine


Yes, you do.

 

Harold


When. When have I ever ignored danger?

 

Katherine


Here. In this parking lot.

 

Harold


There is no danger in this parking lot.

 

Katherine


There is you just don’t see it. It’s everywhere. Take that space for instance.

 

Harold


That one over there it seems like a prime parking place. Its close to the store, no shopping carts, it’s in the shade.

 

Katherine


Harold you’re missing the bigger picture. IT’S UNDER A TREE.

 

Harold


That sapling. So what it offers at least a little shade.

 

Katherine


Sure it offer shade now but if a rain storm comes up. Lighting strikes. Bam no more car.

 

Harold


Fine I know the perfect place the safest place.

 

(Harold drives)


 


Katherine


It’s not near shopping car is it?

 

Harold


Nope.

 

Katherine


I hope it’s close to the store.

 

Harold


Oh it’s the closest.

 

(Harold stops the car)


 


Katherine


But Harold this is a handicap space neither of us it handicapped.

 

Harold


That’s a matter of opinion.

 

(Harold leaves the car)


 

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 Posted: Thu Aug 5th, 2010 07:09 pm
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Mana: 
Absolutely hilarious. I laughed out loud.

Keep going.

IMR

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 Posted: Thu Aug 5th, 2010 07:12 pm
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Darkja
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Mana: 
Thank you media res. In response I will post another one of the sectins I was working on entitle ""The Ring". This is actually based off of a somewhat real converstaion between my wife and I. If you have not read parking lot please read it first.

 

The Ring


by Todd Ford


copywright 2010


 


At Rise: Katherine and Harold are at a condo. You can clearly here the sound of beach waves in the background. Katherine is packing Harold is frantically unpacking everything she packs clearly looking for something.

 

Katherine (horrified)


Harold, what are you doing?

 

Harold


I’m looking for something.

 

Katherine


But Harold I just packed that.

 

Harold


It’s important. It’s my ring I can’t find my wedding ring.

 

Katherine


Did you look on the nightstand?

 

Harold


No Katherine I didn’t look on the nightstand. I looked every place but the place where I normally put my ring and my wallet.

 

Katherine


No need to be sarcastic I was just asking.

 

Harold


Wait. You had it last. When we went swimming I gave it to you. You never gave it back.

 

Katherine


Yes, I did.

 

Harold


No you didn’t. You said you wanted to make sure I didn’t lose it.

 

Katherine


Well, obviously I had a good reason.

 

Harold


Fine talk from a woman who lost her ring at a bowling alley.

 

Katherine


I told you I took it off to bowl and you must have knocked it off the table.

 

Harold


No, Katherine you lost it. You’re always losing things.

 

Katherine


No Harold I’m not.

 

Harold


Like last week with my car keys.

 

Katherine


They were on the back of the door Harold.

 

Harold


Who would look on the back of the damn door?

 

Katherine


They were hanging on a key rack.

 

Harold


But that’s not where I left them.

 

Katherine


That’s right because I put them away for you.

 

Harold


Did I ask you to Katherine? That’s the problem you’re always cleaning up then I can never find anything.

 

Katherine


Because you never look.

 

Harold (motioning to the mess around him)


Oh I look Katherine I look.

 

Katherine


No you don’t look. You cuss. You throw things around. You don’t look.

 

Harold (yelling)


I don’t fucking yell and cuss.

 

Katherine (deadpan)


You’re right Harold how could I have been so mistaken. Now just calm down. Let’s go through where you’ve been this morning.

 

 

 

Harold


Well first I went to take a leak. Oh my God do you think I. (Harold runs off and returns with a wrench)

 

Katherine


Harold calm down. Before we do any major plumbing renovations lets go through the rest of your morning.

 

Harold


Well then I had breakfast. (pause) Wait you don’t think I ate it do you?

 

Katherine


Knowing you that’s a distinct possibility but I think you probably would have noticed.

 

Harold


Then I took a shower and got dressed.

 

Katherine


That’s it.

 

Harold


Yes, that’s why I’m saying you must have kept it. Katherine. What the hell did you do with my ring?

 

Katherine


I didn’t do anything with it Harold.

 

Harold


Did you put it up someplace weird? You’re always doing it.

 

Katherine


What makes you so sure I had anything to do with it?

 

Harold


Because I gave the ring to you Katherine. If I had it back Katherine I’d be wearing it. I get up I get dressed and I put my ring on Katherine I always do the same thing. If I had it it would be right here on my god damned hand (points to the ring that has been on his hand the whole time). It would be right here.

 

Katherine


Uhm Harold.

 

Harold


Not now Katherine. I don’t want to hear any of your excuses.

 

 

Katherine


But Harold.

 

Harold


No. If I had it I would be wearing it.

 

Katherine


You are.

 

Harold


I am what?

 

Katherine


Wearing it.

 

Harold (looks at his hand)


Oh…well if you hadn’t taken it earlier I wouldn’t have had to worry about it.

 

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 Posted: Thu Aug 5th, 2010 08:43 pm
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Mana: 
This reminds me somewhat of "You Know I Can't hear You When The Water's Running" by the wonderful writer, Robert Anderson, who also wrote "I Never Sang for My Father and Solitaire, Double Solitaire."

Keep Going.

So human. And funny.

You gotta have one about looking for his or her glasses.

I even have a working title for you that I will PM. I give it to you for this play.

best,

in media res

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 Posted: Thu Aug 12th, 2010 02:28 pm
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Darkja
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Joined: Fri Jan 29th, 2010
Location: Monroe, North Carolina USA
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Mana: 
the begining of yet another section

 


Money is the Root of All Evil


By Todd Ford


© 2010


 


At Rise: Katherine is at a computer doing the bills. Harold walks in.

 

Katherine (irritated)


Harold…we have to talk.

 

Harold


Katherine if this is about the toilet seat again I said I was…

 

Katherine


No, Harold, this has nothing to do with the toilet seat but I would appreciate not having to take a bath every time I pee. It’s about your…

 

Harold


Honey I told you I didn’t mean to ruin your dress in the wash. I didn’t realize it was dry clean only.

 

Katherine


Well that was (deep sigh) inconvenient but I was referring to your…

 

Harold


Why do you keep bringing it up? I was stressed it happens to a lot of men.

 

Katherine


Harold, focus. It’s not about that. It’s about your spending.

 

Harold (genuinely confused)


My spending?

 

Katherine


Yes, your spending.

 

Harold


I didn’t realize I had a spending problem.

 

Katherine


Well, I found an unusual charge on the bank statement today.

 

Harold


I mean I barely have time with working two jobs.

 

Katherine


And you know we are on a budget.

 

 

Harold


And you do usually take the tip money out of my wallet before I even wake up in the morning.

 

Katherine


It wasn’t much just fifteen dollars.

 

Harold


I did stop and get a soda once is that it?

 

Katherine


Harold have you been buying weapons?

 

Harold (suddenly paying attention)


What?

 

Katherine


Weapons Harold. Have you been buying weapons?

 

Harold (sarcastic)


Yes, Katherine, its all part of my secret plot to kill you.

 

Katherine


There’s no reason to be snide. It’s just the billing statement did say “World of Warcraft”.

 

Harold (laughing)


Oh that. Honey it’s a video game. An online video game. They charge a monthly fee to play it.

 

Katherine


You pay a monthly fee to play a video game.

 

Harold


Yeah, it’s kinda my monthly treat.

 

Katherine


And what do you do in this video game?

 

Harold


You know quest, kill goblins, get loot the usual only with people from around the world.

 

Katherine


So you pay a monthly fee to pretend.

 

Harold


No I pay the money to play a video game.

Katherine


Where you pretend you are someone else.

 

Harold


Yes.

 

Katherine


And you kill imaginary things.

 

Harold


Yes.

 

Katherine


And you pay money for this?

 

Harold


It’s just an outlet and escape.

 

Katherine


Really what are you escaping from?

 

Harold


You know work, bills, life.

 

Katherine


Me Harold? Are you tying to escape from me?

 

Harold


No, Katherine. I would never try to escape from me.

 

Katherine


Then why not talk to me Harold? Why not interact with me?

 

Harold


You’re overreacting. Its just something I do for fun.

 

Katherine


What about me Harold? I work, I pay bills. When do I get an escape? When do I get to have fun? When do I get a god damned treat?

 

Harold


You do Katherine. You go shopping all the time.

 

Katherine


For necessities Harold.

 

Harold


Three pair of shoes are not necessities.

 

Katherine


I need shoes Harold. I need something to put on my feet.

 

Harold


But three pairs?

 

Katherine


One for work, one for home and one for when we go to a nice dinner. Wait you’re right I don’t need three because you’ll never take me out. You’re too busy playing with your pretend friends.

 

Harold


Well what about the clothes Katherine?

 

Katherine


What about the clothes Harold?

 

Harold


Don’t you think you could spend less?

 

Katherine


You’re right Harold I never thought of that.

 

Harold


I’m glad you see my point.

 

Katherine


I could just make a dress out of burlap sacks.

 

Harold


I didn’t mean….

 

Katherine


Or better yet I could GO AROUND NAKED.

 

Harold


Now, Katherine calm down.

 

Katherine


I’m sure my clients would love that.

 

Harold (slyly)


I know I would.

Katherine


What was that?

 

Harold (nervously)


I…said…um…I know I would.

 

Katherine


Did you just try to come on to me in the middle of a fight?

 

Harold


Yes…I mean no.

 

Katherine


Is this something you learned in your “pretend world”.

 

Harold


Would you stop?

 

Katherine


Did your pretend wife teach you that? How much did she cost?

 

Harold


Katherine it was just fifteen dollars.

 

Katherine


You’re right why use it to go to a movie with me. Just blow it on your virtual skank.

 

Harold


I just figured with working two jobs I could spend some money.

 

Katherine


Oh here we go again.

 

Harold


I mean in order to pay for those shoes and clothes of yours somebody has to work.

 

Katherine


Well maybe if I had the fifteen dollars.

 

Harold


And all the going out to eat with your “girlfriends”.

 

Katherine


What am I supposed to stay at home like a hermit.

 

 

Harold


And don’t forget the hour long massages.

 

Katherine


I’ve always told you…

 

Harold


Yeah I know that you would get a second. That’s a laugh.

 

Katherine


What do you think I couldn’t do it?

 

Harold


Working thirteen hours a day. Slaving away in a restaurant. The heat, carrying the plates, staying on your feet. It would kill you.

 

Katherine


I put up with you I think I could handle it.

 

Harold


And the bitching.

 

Katherine


You mean like you’re doing right now.

 

Harold


The constant bitching.

 

Katherine


God knows I have enough experience with it.

 

Harold


One bad customer and you’d snap like a twig.

 

Katherine


No I wouldn’t.

 

Harold


Then go ahead.

 

Katherine


What?

 

Harold


Go ahead. Get a job.

 

Katherine


I’ve tried. I’ve put applications in.

 

Harold


You put in two.

 

Katherine


Well that’s still trying.

 

Harold


One for a job as a nuclear engineer.

 

Katherine


What’s wrong with that?

 

Harold


You’re not qualified.

 

Katherine


A woman can do anything they put their mind to.

 

Harold (muttering)


A woman who finished school could.

 

Katherine


I’m sorry Harold, what did you say?

 

Harold


Nothing.

 

Katherine


You do remember I quit school to marry you right?

 

Harold


I did not make you quit school.

 

Katherine


You said that you wanted me to stay home so you could treat me like a queen.

 

Harold


And I meant what I said.

 

Katherine


I didn’t realize your definition of queen meant “she who breaks back doing dishes”.

 

 


Harold


Well I didn’t realize you thought a queen was “she who holds money with an iron fist”.

 

Last edited on Thu Aug 12th, 2010 06:27 pm by Darkja

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