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 Posted: Sat Dec 30th, 2006 08:16 pm
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Paddy
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I LOVE YOU TO DEATH


©2006 Paddy Gillard-Bentley


 

 

 

 

Reggie – The Bickerson’s lazy good for nothing son – late thirties.

Doris – Mom…a wee bit bitchy, sixties.

Max – Dad…a bit of an asshole, sixties

 

 

SCENE:  I

 

The Bickerson’s condo living room.  French doors in the background.

 

Reggie walks into an empty condo.  He is in stealth mode.  He looks around the room, sees it empty, and smiles.  He walks to a place he knows his father keeps his shotgun. Out of the pocket of his baggy pants, he pulls a bullet and loads it into the gun.  He chuckles to himself. 

Reggie


This’ll teach the ol’ hag!

Reggie replaces the gun and exits the apartment.

 

SCENE II:  Moments later.

 

Doris and Max enter with several shopping bags.

Max


Sixty dollars on caviar!  Don’t you think that’s a bit fancy?

Doris


Of course not, dear…we’re celebrating!

Max


Bah!  Stupid celebration if you ask me.  Expensive champagne, jumbo shrimp, there weren’t nothin’ wrong with cheep beer and pork rinds.

Doris


I think I fell in love with you because of the eloquent way you cut a phrase.

Max


Piss off!

Doris


Like that.  (beat)  Reggies all your side, you know.  Why are the strongest genes always in the wading pool?

Max


Just cause you come from money, Doris, don’t make you a better person.

Doris


No…it doesn’t.  It makes me a better person that I have money.

Max


(muttering)  Yeah, stashed away.  (like a bird)  Cheap.  Cheap.  Cheap.

Doris


There it is!

Max


There is what?

Doris


That passive aggressive thing I saw on Oprah.  First thing, I spend too much money, next minute, I’m cheap.  You’re too stupid to make up your mind.

Max


(making a fist)  I’ll show you stupid.

Doris


Oh…that’s much more intelligent.

Max


Grrrr….you are impossible.

Doris


It’s part of my charm.

Max


Keep saying that, and you’ll believe it.

She blows a raspberry at him.

Doris


Shall we have our little feast on the terrace?

Max


It’s a balcony, Doris, a fucking balcony!

Doris


You get the glasses.

From here, they are setting up the feast on the table on the balcony.

Max


Shouldn’t we invite Reggie?

Doris


How utterly stupid can you get?  (beat)  Don’t answer that…I don’t want to know.  Why in God’s name would we invite Reggie, when he is the very reason we are celebrating?

Max


Well, it would seem right, if the celebration where in his…

Doris


Honour?  Jesus, Max…smarten up.  All these years he’s sponged off my estate.  My money.

Doris looks over the balcony.

Max


(under his breath)  Your mother’s money.

Doris


Some fuss going on.  There are firemen with a net down there.   (she looks up)  I think we have a jumper.  How exciting.  Doesn’t it really matter?

Max


That someone wants to jump?

Doris


No, the money.

Max


Well, it does if it was your mother’s, and you’ve gone and taken it away from Reggie.

Doris


Reggie is thirty nine years old.  He’s never had a job longer than two months.  He’s never had a girlfriend.  I don’t think he’s ever been laid.

Max


Nice fucking thing to say about your own son.  I heard he’s been very depressed about the whole thing.

Doris


Boo fucking hoo.  He’s a louse!  The farthest he’s gotten from my apron strings is six floors, straight up.  (she indicates)  He’s lazy, dependant, whiny…  There are days I can’t believe I birthed him from these loins.  And oh, the pain in giving birth to that child.  Your family has very big heads.

Max


You were unconscious, Doris.

Doris


It wasn’t my fault!  It was the knock ‘em out drag ‘em out era of childbirth.  You don’t think it hurt afterward?

Max


Blah blah blah.  That’s what I hear, Doris.  Blah blah blah.

Doris


Well, it’s a damn good think men don’t have babies…we’d never hear the end of it.

Max


I never hear the end of it.

Doris


Oh, poor you.  Five minutes…that’s all it took you…if even…you had that premature ejaculate problem back then.  God, I’d give anything for you to have that problem now.

Max


Are you insulting my manhood?

Doris


Of course not, dear.  I’m certain it wouldn’t answer back.

She laughs to herself.  Max goes to get the shot gun.  He holds it up toward Doris, getting her in his scope.  She turns and sees him.  She feigns a scream.

Doris


(feign)  Oh, No!  Someone help.  He’s got a gun and it’s pointed right at me.  (straight)  If I could have a dollar for every time you pointed that gun at me, I’d be… (laugh)  Well, richer.

Max


It’s a fucking rifle…and this time, I’m really gonna do it.  Bam!  Right between you’re beady eyes.

Doris


Well, at least there’ll be one thing that actually fires in this house.

Doris laughs.  Max screams.  At the same time a scream is heard from above the balcony. 

Doris


Fire away.

Max fires.  They both look shocked when it does fire.  The bullet misses Doris, but hits Reggie on the way down to the ground.  They rush over to the balcony to look down. 

Oh, my.  That’s Reggie, Max, I recognize the pink shirt.

Max


Oh, shit.

 

EPILOGUE

 

Doris and Max enter the apartment.  Weeks later.

Doris


You are a lucky son of a bitch.

Max


Don’t know if I’d call that luck.

Doris


Well, Reggie certainly didn’t get his luck from you.

Max


Seems not. 

Doris


The look on the judge’s face was priceless.  (imitating a gruff judge)  Ahem, well, seems…this is an odd case, in all my years…never have I seen anything…well, so…outrageous.  As the gun was loaded by your son, apparent in his suicide not, you are not culpable for his murder.  As he would have failed his attempt at suicide, given the net and all…well, but for the gun, and as he loaded it himself, with malevolent intentions…well…cause of death is murder…um…by his own hand.  Case dismissed.

Max


His face was beat red.

Doris


Yes…like a nice merlot.  Oh!  Wine?  Would you like some wine?

Max


Love some.

Doris


On the terrace perhaps?

Max


Jesus, it’s a fucking balcony!

 

Blackout.


 

Note...I know the ending is all exposition...but I was rushing to be done...only started at 17 minutes past.  I'll fix it...and for the sake of interest...this was based on an absolutely true story.  Ha.

 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 30th, 2006 08:48 pm
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Edd
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Paddy,

Firstly, mine was NOT based on a true story (thank God). 

I loved reading your play.  It chugged nicely right along.  What kind of struck me, however, was how we both reached into a similar part of the brain.  Death, deception. hatred.  I love it!

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 Posted: Sat Dec 30th, 2006 10:20 pm
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Mick Somatosis
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Mana: 
Nice one Paddy.
Laughed at the 
'knock ‘em out,  drag ‘em out era of childbirth'.  Kind of came into the world that way myself.  You're right about the exposition at end.   A little less would be better.  Exactly how much of this was true?

Mick.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2006 01:19 am
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Paddy
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Here you go.

http://www.tummyfluff.co.uk/news/suicide.htm

It's a short story...but having read it again, I see I made an error.

Paddy

 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2006 05:37 am
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ohdear
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Mana: 
An interesting verdict. Self murder rather than suicide...LOL

I too loved the child birth reference.

Also the irony of the mothers money, my money thing.
How soon we forget.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 31st, 2006 08:10 am
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BrianRobertNeal
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Mana: 
Hi Paddy,

               Had echoes of "Who's aftraid of Virginia Woolf". As for the verdict I'd believe anything of that nature if it came from an NA court.

Thanks for all your time and comment, and in anticipation Happy New Year.

My entry for Oxymoron of the year-Gun Culture.

Brian.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 10th, 2007 03:53 pm
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mac
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Mana: 
just now getting round to reading this. funny in that oh-so-paddy way. i smiled more than once.

couple of thoughts...

the first part reminded me very, very much of the slovenly couple from the old BBC show, Keeping Up Appearances, but then something shifted, and they felt far more like The Honeymooners on meth.

i'd like to see how you'd clean this up. i've seen the way you prune and augment before, and i can see this going several different possible directions. curious to know which path you choose. you could, perhaps, develop several different versions of this same story ... which would be an interesting exercise all its own.

anyway, you made me laugh, and i do so very much appreciate that.

mac

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