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April 8th, 2012, 12:39 AM
SCENE II:
THE KITCHEN
JANICE is making a pot of coffee while talking to her mother on the telephone.



JANICE It’s going to be a disaster, Mother. HE’S DRUNK! He’s stinking drunk. I’ve never seen him so pissy. No, you can’t talk to him. He’s passed out in the baby’s crib… Don’t ask, I don’t know. He says he wants everybody to apologize to him. No, I have no idea for what. He just says he won’t come out of the crib ‘til he gets apologies. I’ve been trying all morning to get him out of there.

(Starts to cry)

He’s so mean!
VOS


RICHARD
JANICE!


JANICE
WHAT!


RICHARD
COME HERE.


JANICE(
(To mother on phone)

Mother, he’s calling me.


(Whining)
Mommy, will you please come over early? I need you.

VOS


RICHARDI NEED BICARBONATE! HURRY!

JANICE
(To mother on phone)

See you real quick. Okay? Bye.

(Slams down phone and stomps to the nursery)

JANICE
Up yours!

RICHARD
Oooh…Heartburn…please…uuuuhhh..oooo.


JANICE

Damn it!

(She flounces back to the kitchen. Pulls out drawers. SLAMMING cupboards RATTLING utensils. She finds a large bottle of Maalox and a table spoon and marches back into the nursery. She pours a spoonful of the Maalox and shoves it to Richard’s mouth.)

Here!

RICHARD opens his mouth like a baby bird, and lets JANICE feed him the Maalox. It dribbles down the side s of his mouth. She furiously scoops the dribbles back into his mouth the way you would a baby. She pours another spoonful and repeats the same process.)

RICHARD
Ooh, God…Thanks…

JANICE
Humph. I should just let you suffer. You’d deserve it!

RICHARD
(snarking up again)

Yeah. Right.

(He let’s a loud belch)

Uuh.

JANICE
You’re disgusting! You’d better not ever burp in front of our child!

RICHARD
Hey! Just a minute. I’ve heard you burp. Lots of times!

JANICE
(Demurely)

Well…just small ones…Ones that don’t make a difference.

RICHARD
Says who? One time you offended me.

JANICE
Oh, tch!

JANICE … (continued)
(She tucks her nightgown up into the legs of her panties, gets laboriously down on all fours and begins her pregnant mother exercises.)

I mean it, Richard. When this child is born, we can’t have…THIS…going on in our lives. You can’t get drunk and act like a moron all the time. I can just see it now. Daddy, Daddy…move over, me want to go night, night. JERK!

RICHARD
Yeah, you’re right. This kid will shoot my, whole rip roaring, disgusting life, right down the tubes. Bye life. Bye de bye de bye.

(rhyming in a sing song voice)
I’m an old poop head. Stealin’my baby’s bed. Gettin’ drunk. I’m a skunk. La, la.

JANICE
(Trying to spring to her feet in indignation, forgetting her condition)

How dare you!


RICHARD
No! Now, I’m not good for anything. Bad manners. Stupid. I’m a moron. You’re right. I’m probably going to make a lousy father and even WORSE husband. But you know what? Up until today, I’ve been the perfect one for you, haven’t I? Seven years of perfection. And now…I guess I’m just …to quote you… A stupid- ass drunk.

(He pointedly takes another swig of the Jack Daniels)
How do you like that?

JANICE
(softening)

Richard…

RICHARD
(Interrupts)
Go away. Unless you want to apologize. With sincerity.

JANICE
Not on your life!

(She storms out of the nursery, near tears)

RICHARD arranges himself comfortably in the crib and takes one more slug of his booze.

SCENE III
THE KITCHEN: JANICE sits at the kitchen table, pensively sipping a cup of coffee. We HEAR a light rap at the kitchen door that leads to the garage. The door opens slightly and we see a young woman peeking her head inside kitchen.

ENTER SANDY

SANDY
Pardon me…

JANICE
(Startled)

Oh my god!

SANDY
(jiggling up and down)

Um, sorry, but could I use your rest room? Pleeeze.

JANICE
Wha…I

SANDY
(delicately, pointing toward the garage)

I’m with Doug.

JANICE
(sarcastically)

Oh, with Doug, of course. Sure,
(pointing)
right through there.

SANDY
Thank you.

(She walks delicately toward the bathroom then runs the rest of the way)

JANICE
(dismayed, on the verge of tears)

Oh, my God.

(She holds and stretches her lower back… then screeches.)

RICHARD!

SANDY scampers back into the kitchen, smoothing down her skirt as she runs.

SANDY
Did you call me?

JANICE
No.

SANDY
Oh.

(She tip-toes to the kitchen door and opens it)

Thank you.

JANICE
Excuse me. Where are you going?

SANDY
The garage.

JANICE
(Resigned)

Oh.

SANDY EXITS

JANICE
(Looking to the heavens)

Mother!

We hear a light TAP at the door. SANDY pokes her head in.

SANDY
Excuse me, again. Could I please have a drink of water?

JANICE
Sure, why not. Hey, would you like to join me in a cup of coffee?

SANDY
Oh, that would be real nice. Thank you.

JANICE gets up and gets a cup out of the cupboard and pours a cup for SANDY. She sits back down.

JANICE
So.

SANDY
(Slurps coffee)

Oops…hot… Ha, ha.

JANICE
Sooo…How’s Doug?

SANDY
Oh. Fine.

JANICE
He’s in the garage.

SANDY
Uh, huh.

JANICE
Sleeping.

SANDY
Yes.

JANICE
You were sleeping in my garage, too?

SANDY
Hey, listen, if you think somethin’ was going on in your garage, I wish you wouldn’t think that. Doug was much too drunk.

JANICE
(Laughs)

I wasn’t thinking anything. What’s you’re name anyway?

SANDY
Sandy.

JANICE
I’m Janice. It’s nice to meet you, Sandy. Well, Sandy…did you know that today is my wedding day?

SANDY
Really? Well, congratulations! I was wondering why all the chairs and decorations and stuff.

JANICE
(Feeling sorry for herself. She stretches her back)

Yeah, And I don’t even know if the groom is going to make it.

SANDY
Isn’t that just the way of it? They knock you up---then split. You poor little thing. On your wedding day, too.

JANICE
No, he didn’t split. He’s just being obnoxious.

SANDY
Oh, cold feet, then, huh?

JANICE
Inebriated brain is more like it!

SANDY
Oh no! Is it serious?

JANICE
He’s drunk.

SANDY
Oh.

(A light bulb flashes in her head)

Oh, my gosh! The groom isn’t Ricky, is it?

JANICE
Ricky?

SANDY
Yeah. That’s how I got here. I wondered where he went. He live here?

JANICE
Unfortunately.

SANDY
Look, me and him got along great. He’s really nice. He liked my number a lot.

JANICE
Number?

SANDY
Yes. I’m in show business. A dancer.

JANICE
Oh, really.

SANDY
Yes. I’m just starting, you understand, but I go over really big. I have a fresh kind of act, you know. I call myself Sandy McTavish, The Bagpipe Lady. You know, instead of bag lady. Kind of a play on words. Cute, huh? I play the bagpipes while I strip. Of course, when I do the Highland fling it’s with a bump and grind effect. It’s really a very fresh approach.

JANICE
Uh, yes, I can just picture it…I think. I’ll have to catch your act someday.

SANDY
Would you? You know, ladies might really appreciate it. It has a lot more aesthetic sense than snakes and whips and stuff. Aesthetic means artsy, just in case you don’t know. Lots of people don’t have no idea what I’m talking about when I say aesthetic. It is a big word. But not that you don’t know…. I mean, wow….gee…you’re really a nice person, Janice.

JANICE
Well, thank you Sandy.

SANDY
So where is Ricky, anyways?

JANICE
Ricky is passed out in the baby’s crib. He won’t get out.
SANDY
You’re upset, aren’t you? He’s upset you.

JANICE
I know.

SANDY
You want me to talk to him? I’m real good at handling people, Janice. You know how it is; you don’t always respond too well to the ones you love the most. Men--- Now they are the worst. With them, you have to kinda handle them in just the right way. Almost the same way you do a bagpipe. Kinda squeeze and blow, squeeze and blow. They come around. You know, it’s the same music, the same things you’d say only it’s just played in a different way. Know what I mean?

JANICE
I think so…. I think. But yeah, go talk to him. Anything. Please. Be my guest.

SANDY
Don’t worry. I’ll get him out of there for you.

SANDY exits kitchen. She climbs the stairs to the nursery with purpose.

THE NURSERY

SANDY
(Knocks on nursery door)

Ricky?

RICHARD is SNORING loudly as SANDY enters the room.

SANDY continued...Ricky?

(No response)

(She yells)
RICKY!


RICHARD
(Startled awake, he sits straight up. Wild eyed.)

What?

SANDY
(Meekly)

I’m sorry…I

RICHARD
My first apology! It’s okay, it’s okay. I forgive you.

(Finally focusing on SANDY)

Who are you?

SANDY
Sandy. You know…
(She does a bump and grind with bagpipe effect.)

RICHARD
Jesus! What are you doing here…I didn’t…

SANDY
Janice says get out of there, Ricky. She’s upset.

RICHARD
No!

SANDY meekly tiptoes out of the room, back into the kitchen.

SANDY
He says no.

JANICE
(Pissed)
Oh, great. Wonderful. That’s it? What happened, Sandy…Didn’t you squeeze and blow, squeeze and blow?

SANDY
(defensively)
Well, I tried to get him up but I just couldn’t. I think he’s just too drunk.

JANICE
(She stares blankly at SANDY for a moment, gets tickled and begins to laugh)

BabaYaga
April 16th, 2012, 02:15 PM
Heya Apple,

Thanks for posting more. I think my problem with Janice is that, while I understand this is meant to be a bit of an absurd comedy- she's too unbelievable as a character. And this scene kind of shows how pivotal she is to your story. She 'flounces' a lot- which grates at me. If she really was a heavily pregnant woman dealing with her drunk fiance on the morning of her wedding, I think she'd be burying his mangled corpse by now.

I like the interaction with Sandy and Janice- it makes Janice seem a lot smarter, which as an audience we need in order to like her. If we believe she's okay with getting treated like crap by the man in her life, it makes her seem really shallow and slow or completely psychotic.

I would suggest re-looking at Janice's reactions to Richard coming home drunk and passing out in the crib. Do you need her in the upcoming scenes or could she walk out to her mother's house, disgusted? I just don't feel much for either of these characters because their actions seem so far removed from reality. Right now, Richard seems like a pig and Janice seems like an idiot for indulging him. There needs to be a kernel of likeability in both of your leads, even if we don't agree with their actions.

The only reason I could think that Janice would put up with this bull**** is if she genuinely had something to feel bad about. Is she carrying Richard's baby, or does Richard's demand for an apology instantly stir deep seated guilt inside her that stops her from walking out the door- is this marriage her last chance to redeem herself? I guess your characters just need much stronger motivations to do what they're doing now. Unless there is another twist coming that I don't know about yet?