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Š 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

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Š 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

How To Train Your Husband By Devon Williamson Do not copy, distribute or perform without permission. All rights reserved. For Australian performance information please contact: David Spicer Productions 274 Military Road Dover Heights NSW 2030 Australia Web: www.davidspicer.com.au PH: 02 9371 8458 Fax: 02 9371 8458

Information on other plays by Devon Williamson is also available at his website: www.dwplays.com

Set... The play is set at Jessica's suburban house, in her lounge and out in her garden near the washing line. A couple of scenes and monologues are set in a neutral area of the stage and amongst the audience. Characters... 1. Kate. Relationships: Wife to Denis. Mother to Sheryl. Grandmother to Jessica. Grandmaster of the Lodge of Wifery Wiles to Gwen and Trudy. Kate is the matriarch of the family. She has been so successful in

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training her husband Denis, that he has become dull and boring. She is the victim of her own success. 2. Sheryl. Relationships: Wife to Richard (does not appear in the play). Daughter to Kate. Mother to Jessica. Sheryl's husband is having a “bro-mance” with her daughter's (Jessica) husband (Wayne). With the advent of the “bro-mance”, her husband training has hit a snag. 3. Jessica.

Relationships: Wife to Wayne (does not appear in the play). Daughter to Sheryl. Granddaughter to Kate. Newly married (perhaps a couple of years) she has made little if any progress in training her husband. 4. Denis. Relationships: Husband to Kate. Father to Sheryl. Grandfather to Jessica. Denis lives to mow his lawns. He has been fully “trained” by his wife Kate. 5. Gwen – One of the “Weird Sisters”. Relationships: Gwen is Trudy's twin sister. She knows Kate through the Lodge of Wifery Wiles of which she is a member. They desperately want to train a man but are not married. 6. Trudy – The other “Weird Sister”. Relationships: Trudy is Gwen's twin sister. She knows Kate through the Lodge of Wifery Wiles of which she is a member. She desperately wants to train a man but is not married.

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7. Pete. Relationships: None at the start of the play. Pete has moved in next door to Jessica. He is a builder. Opening Monologues. Each monologue takes place under a spot light. Kate: (Under spot downstage center) There are three stages to husband training. Toddler, Cat and Dog... It’s not an exact science - it’s a very exact science. My granddaughter, Jessica, is going through the “terrible two’s” with her Wayne. Obviously he's at the Toddler Stage. He has complete run of the house, and she’s not getting any sleep... (Looking at a member of the audience and whispering loudly, excited) I’m talking about sex. All the time. Like rabbits that have mated with (thinks for a moment)... rabbits and bred a Super Mating (thinks) Rabbit that breeds like (thinks) rabbits. They’re at it like there’s no tomorrow! (Realising she has got carried away and trying to play it cool) Anyway, it disgusts me and it’s no wonder he hasn’t finished her kitchen. Then there’s my daughter, Sheryl. Her husband, let’s call him (thinks for a moment) “Dickhead”, he’s in the Cat Stage. House trained, but you know that he’s in charge. He’s also shedding a lot of hair. (To another woman in the audience) And I wouldn’t be surprised if he licks himself. To Sheryl's credit though, she is on track for the Dog Stage. Just another 10 or 15 years. You have to be in this for the long haul to reach Dog Stage. This is the stage that I’m at with my Denis. He is completely under my spell. The poor old coot won’t cross the road without my signal. And he certainly won’t eat without my “allowing nod” (she demonstrates the nod). (With glee) I’ll serve dinner and be just about to nod that he can start and “suddenly-realise-I’ve-left-something-on-in-the4


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

kitchen”. From the kitchen I peer through a crack in the servery and can see him furtively glance towards the door... I've delayed dinner for two hours so he’s absolutely starving. I can see him thinking “can I get away with it? Just one mouthful before she comes back”. There are beads of sweat forming on his brow, the temptation is killing him. Then just as he shovels in a mouthful of spuds I burst through the door and say (pouting) “couldn’t you wait for me? I've spent hours cooking this and you couldn't even wait for me!” He’s wracked with guilt, and he knows I'm going to have a headache tonight! It’s not all bad for Denis. He is lucky to have me. (Cross fade to Spot downstage left where Denis is standing) Denis: I’m lucky to have her. She can be temperamental if you’re not real careful. You don’t take her for granted. You don’t neglect her. She requires tender loving care. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that you get back what you put in. The moment you take her for granted you’re in trouble. Suddenly you’re frustrated and spending money unnecessarily. It might look simple but a lot can go wrong very, very quickly and you’re regretting forgetting the simplest of things. We’ve had almost 40 years together. 40 good years. (smiling and shaking his head with the fond memories) She’s my number one and she knows it. I’m not saying I haven’t considered... well you know... we’re like that. Men. The grass always looks greener... but I’ve been faithful. I’m content. (Looks around to make sure no one is eavesdropping) Actually, lately, lately I’ve begun to get a bit restless. At my age! I know it’s wrong. It all started on the internet. I saw a picture, one of those ads, and I shouldn’t have clicked it. I shouldn’t have. I know that now, but all it takes is one look and you’re hooked and it plays with your mind, you find yourself thinking about it, and you know you shouldn’t and ya tell yourself off and 5


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

promise yourself you won’t - but it’s not as easy as that. I find myself at home, having dinner with Kate and I'm looking out the window, out into the distance and I’m doing it again, I’m thinking about how bloody marvelous it would be... with a younger one, just once, but I know it wouldn’t end there... I could never go back after that, I know it. I know I should be grateful for what we’ve got. But I can’t help myself, I just can’t. (He blurts out his confession) I’d like a mulcher mower! I’ve never mulched. Never! I’ve seen others mulching and they look so happy! No emptying the catcher. No mess. The clean up is a dream... and the mulch, it’s feeding the lawn at the same time. Is that perfect or what?! (Trying to control himself) Pull yourself together man! You’ve got a 1974 Massport Ambassador self propelled, 21" cut, rotary lawn motor mower with a Briggs and Stratton, 4 Horse Power engine. I know that should be enough. I’m lucky to have her. Sheryl: I have a confession. It's my darkest secret. Something I could never share with another soul. No one. But I'll tell you. My daughter Jessica has married a hunk of a man, Wayne. He's impossible to resist. It crept up on me. I should have seen it coming. I've tried to talk about it with my husband Richard but it's no good. Wayne has come between Richard and I. My daughter doesn't know. It all looks innocent to her... but she's young. She's yet to learn how useful suspicion and mistrust can be in a relationship. My mother would kill me if she knew. What a disappointment I'd be. So here's my confession. (Pause as she gathers her inner strength). My daughters husband and my husband are having a Bro-Mance! There it is, it's out. You know my shame. Jessica: All you need is love. The Beatles sang that. Or maybe it was Elvis. I don’t know. But it’s true. We don’t need to play games, twist the truth or try to 6


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

change each other. If you love each other, you’ll do whatever you can to make that person happy. I told that to Mum and Grandma yesterday - they laughed at me. Pete: (At the clothes line, his back to the audience, he is wearing a wig and a dress) Looks can be deceiving. (He turns to the audience) I’m actually a bloke! (Feeling he needs to convince the audience... although there is no question with his stubble, chest hair and deep voice that he is a bloke) No, seriously, I am. If you look carefully you can probably tell. But at first glance you’d never know. (Explaining) I’m what they call a “cross-dresser”. That means I’m a man who likes to wear women's clothes. (Quoting) “It’s a challenge to society's preconceptions about gender rather than related to a mans sexuality”. (pauses, considering) Not really sure what that means. I just like the dresses. Scene 1 Jessica is perched on the edge of a chair looking a little worse for wear. She has been drinking and holds the almost finished wine bottle in her hand. Throughout the conversation Sheryl is behind Jessica (or at least her view of her is obscured) and she does not see the wine bottle or realise that she has been drinking. Sheryl: Where's Wayne? Jessica: Wayne? Sheryl: Wayne. Jessica: Waaaayne. Hmmm. Nope. Sheryl: What do you mean “Waaaayne. Hmmm. Nope.” Jessica: I'm sorry? 7


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Sheryl: Wayne. Your husband, Wayne. Jessica: Oh him! Sheryl: Yeah him. Jessica: He's out. Sheryl: Finally. OK. Where? Jessica: Where? Sheryl: Yeah... where is he? Jessica: Where's....? Sheryl: Wayne! Jessica: Oh I don't know. He was here and... Sheryl: And? Jessica: Now he's not. Sheryl: Brilliant. Listen, the art of conversation... Jessica: Yes? Sheryl: Not something you've practiced, is it? Jessica: I wouldn't say that. Sheryl: What would you say? Jessica: What would I say? Sheryl: Yeah. What would you say? Jessica: About? Sheryl: The art of conversation. Jessica: I wouldn’t say anything. Sheryl: (Finding an empty wine bottle) Have you been drinking? Jessica: No! Fishing. Sheryl: What? Jessica: Fishing. Sheryl: You’ve been fishing? Jessica: He's gone fishing. 8


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Sheryl: Who has? Wayne has? Jessica: (Nodding) Fishing. Sheryl: No he hasn't. Jessica: Yes, he has. With dad. Sheryl: What?! With Richard?! No, he's finishing the kitchen. You said he was finishing the kitchen this weekend. He promised you he’d finish the kitchen. That’s what you said. Jessica: Yeah. That's what I said. That's what he said. Sheryl: Richard never mentioned it. I let Richard go fishing because I knew that Wayne was staying home to finish your kitchen! Jessica: Best laid plans of mice and (spits) men! Sheryl: You sure you haven’t been drinking? Jessica: Nope. Sheryl: (Under her breath) Bloody Richard, I'm going to kill him. (Throwing her hands up in frustration) Men! Jessica: (Saluting with her bottle) Men! (Takes another drink). Sheryl seeing Jessica drinking from the wine bottle. Sheryl: Perhaps I should stay over the weekend. We'll have a mother daughter thing. It'll be nice. Jess? Jessica: I think I'm going to be sick! (She runs out). Sheryl: (Following Jess out) Bloody men! Black out. .......................... Scene 2 Lights up in a neutral area of the stage. Gwen and Trudy enter with a video camera on a tripod. They are both wearing lab coats. They set the video

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camera up to face themselves. Trudy is wearing a construction helmet and has safety glasses in her coat pocket. Gwen: Ready? Trudy: Ready. Gwen: Better put your safety glasses on Trud'. Trudy: Right you are Gwen. (She puts safety glasses on and stands ready for the full impact of a Tsunami. Gives Gwen the thumbs up). Gwen: (To the camera) “The Look” experiment number one. Subject is Trudy Moore, standing in for a husband. (Thumbs up to Trudy) Good one Trud'. (Back to camera) Practitioner is Gwen Moore. (Turns her back to Trudy, takes a couple of deep breaths, focuses all her energy, then swings around to Trudy and gives her “the look”. There is a pause. Trudy shakes her head). No? Trudy: No. Gwen: A little? Trudy: No. But I am wearing industrial quality safety gear so I might not have picked up the vibes. Gwen: Of course. Trudy: I'll try without the glasses. Gwen: You sure? Trudy: Yeah I'm sure. Gwen: OK. At least keep the hard hat on. Trudy: (Rolling her eyes at the obvious nature of Gwen's statement) Of course. I'm not mad. Try again. Gwen: Ready? Trudy: (Braces herself again for the Tsunami, gives the thumbs up) Ready. Gwen: (To the camera) “The Look” experiment number two.

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Gwen turns and goes through her routine again. She gives “The Look”. There is another short, expectant pause. Gwen: And? Trudy: Nothing. Gwen: Really? Nothing? Not even a little bit? Trudy: Not that I could sense. Gwen: Take off the hard hat. Trudy: Hey, hey, hey let's not go crazy here. Gwen: If I see you being overwhelmed I'll abort instantly. Trudy: Promise? Gwen: Promise. Trudy: (Still worried but prepared to take the risk) OK. I'm trusting you though. Gwen: Cross my heart. (She crosses her heart). Hope to die. Trudy: (This promise gives Trudy more confidence) Good. (She takes the helmet off and places it on the floor and prepares for the Tsunami). Ready. Gwen: (To the camera) “The Look” experiment number three. Gwen starts going through her routine. Trudy: (Breaking her stance and blurting out...) At the first sign remember! Gwen: Yes. Trudy: You crossed your heart. Gwen: Trust me, at the first sign I'll pull out. Trudy: OK. Good. Sorry. (goes back to her stance) Ready. Gwen: You sure? Trudy: Yup, ready. Gwen goes through her routine, gives “The Look”. There is an air of expectation. Trudy: No. 11


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Gwen: Anything? Trudy: Sorry, Doll. Nothing. Mind you, I am a woman. I could be immune. Gwen: Immune? Trudy: Maybe we're the carriers. Maybe it has no effect on us. Gwen: We need a man. Trudy: (Agreeing) We need a man. High five. They pick up the camera and exit as the lights fade to black. .......................... Scene 3 Denis is not confrontational in this scene. Rather he is doing his absolute best to understand Kate. Denis and Kate enter talking. Denis has just finished mowing Jessica's lawns. He has ear muffs around his neck and is wearing his favourite lawn mowing hat and overalls. Denis: Of course I'll understand, dear. Tell me. (Glancing out the window and commenting proudly) I've bought Jessica's lawns back from the brink of death. That lawn food and mowing regime is really paying off. Kate: Denis! Denis: Yes? Oh sorry, go on. (He glances back at the lawns, distracted) I'm really pleased with those lawns. Kate: Denis! (There is something in her voice that stops Denis, dead). Denis: (Too afraid to turn and face her) No please. Not “The Look”. Kate: Denis! (We hear Denis whimper. He slowly turns to Kate. Kate gives Denis “The Look” and holds him in her stare. He dare not move an inch. He is

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completely under her power). Heel! (He comes to her. She points to a chair). Sit! (He sits) Stay! Now what do you say? Denis: Sorry, dear. Go on. Please. I'm listening. I promise. You have my complete attention. Kate: I was sitting there looking at the lino Denis: (Denis is now trying too hard to follow her and understand) What were you doing? Kate: Sitting and Denis: What just sitting? Kate: Yeah I was just sitting there looking at the lino and Denis: (Trying desperately not to be drawn back to the window to admire the lawns) Looking at the lino? Why were you looking at the lino? Kate: I wasn't. Denis: Sorry, I thought you said you were looking at the lino. Kate: Well I was! Denis: So why did you say that you weren't? Kate: Stop it. (Under her breath) I think I liked you better distracted. (Back to Denis) You're missing the point Denis: Sorry, what is the point? Kate: If you'll just let me finish without Denis: Interrupting? Kate: Yes. Interrupting. Denis: Sorry. (Kate goes to speak) Very annoying that. Interrupting. (Kate goes to speak again) Drives me mad too. You know Kate: Shut up! For goodness sake! Denis: Sorry. Kate: So, I was sitting there looking at the lino and I'm thinking how much I hate it. 13


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Denis: The lino? Kate: Yeah the lino. Well actually not the lino Denis: (Wagging his finger at her playfully) Here we go again. Do you hate the lino or not? Kate: Yes. No. It's not the lino... Denis: It's not the lino? It is the lino? (Confused) Am I supposed to have any idea what you are talking about? Kate: It represents something. My life. The lino represents my life. Denis: The lino represents your life? Kate: The patterns, the scuffs, the cracks. All of it. Every little detail. Denis: The best description you can come up with, for your life, is your lino? Sorry. Kate: I'm sitting there and thinking, “it's just so predictable”... I could close my eyes and still see it exactly as it is. Denis: (Pretending he understands her fully) You're sitting there, looking at the lino and thinking about your life. Kate: Yes. Denis: Where do we have lino? Kate: That doesn't matter. Denis: Where were you sitting? Kate: That's not important to the story. Denis: Oh, “there”. Kate: Like I said, not important. Denis: Right. Kate: I knew you wouldn't understand. I'm worried about Jessica. I'm sensing a disturbance in the cosmos. Denis: Really?

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Kate: Yes. (Beat) Well she left a message. Trouble with Wayne. That's why she wanted me to call around. Denis: What am I doing? Kate: Your privileges have been restored. Denis: They have?! That's... (he is lost for words). Brilliant. Like a happy child he rubs his hands together, pretends starting a lawnmower, complete with motor noises, and heads to the front door pushing his imaginary mower. Jessica passes him in the doorway. She is obviously upset. Jessica: Wayne's not coming back. Kate. You don't know that. Jessica: Yeah, Grandma, I do. I just couldn't take it any more. Kate: Don't feel guilty. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Jessica: I know. Kate: You've put up with more than you ever should have. Jessica: I know. (Pause) I know. Kate: He'll be back. Jessica: Yeah. (Pause) But what if he doesn't (come back)... ? Kate: He will. Jessica: I wouldn't be so sure. Kate: What exactly did you say to him? Jessica: Before or after I threw the toaster at him? Kate: Errr, let's start with before. Jessica: I said that I hated him. Kate: And after? Jessica: That I wasn't sorry that the toaster had hit him. Kate: OK. Jessica: And that if he came back I'd chuck the fridge at him. Kate: OK 15


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Jessica: Which was pushing reality a bit. Kate: Sure. Jessica: I couldn't lift the fridge. Kate: You tried? Jessica: Yeah, when he came back to say he was sorry. Kate: So he came back and then you threw him out again? Jessica: Yeah. Kate: And you tried to throw a fridge at him. Jessica: Yeah. They're a lot heavier than they look, fridges. Kate: Oh yeah, I can imagine. Jessica: I pushed it over but missed him by miles. He was in the car and gone. I hate that car. The noise, you have no idea the racket that thing makes. He said he was going to fix the hole in the exhaust four months agoKate: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait - you pushed the fridge over? Jessica: Yeah. That was the easy part as it turned out. Picking it back up was damn near impossible. Easier once I emptied everything out. Kate: You tried to push your fridge over, onto, your husband? Jessica: Yeah. Kate: (With admiration) Nice work. Jessica: So you can see why he's not coming back. (Head in her hands) What have I done?! Kate: A helluva of a lot more than I ever thought you were capable of. That's for sure. Jessica: It's not funny. Kate: He'll be back. Just give him some time. Jessica: He won't. I tried to kill him. With a toaster... and a fridge. Kate: No you just tried to throw a fridge at him, that's all. If you had wanted to kill him you'd have taken him around to Delwyn's place for dinner. 16


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Jessica: This isn't a time for jokes. Kate: I'm not joking. Have you ever been over there for dinner? Jessica: What am I going to do? Kate: He'll be back. Have a little faith. Jessica: Faith? Oh, please. I'm a little too desperate for “hocus pocus”. Kate: Honey, “hocus pocus” is all the Desperate have. It will all work out. I'm not saying it will be easy, but it will work out. Have some faith. Jessica: I don't have faith. Kate: Everyone has faith. Jessica: Well not me. Kate: (Thinking) Hmmmm... (has an idea) what happens every time you come to the traffic lights? Jessica: They go red. Kate: And then? Jessica: And then some creep leers at me from the car in the other lane. Kate: You get leered at, at the lights? Jessica: Yeah. Well not all the time. But it happened once. Kate: What did you do? Jessica: Eventually we got married and I tried to throw a fridge at him. Kate: Right. Well, what I was getting at, is that the light changes to green. Right? Eventually? Jessica: Sure. So? Kate: And you know it is going to. Right? Jessica: Eventually. Sure. Kate: But what if it doesn't? Jessica: It does. Kate: You know that? Jessica: Of course. Lights change. Red, orange, green. That's all they do. 17


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Kate: But how do you know that it will? Change to green. How do you know? Jessica: It just does. There's some gizmo that can tell I'm there and that it needs to change for me, eventually. Kate: Have you seen this “gizmo”?. Jessica: No. Kate: Do you know how this gizmo works? Jessica: No. Kate: But you know that it will change the lights for you. Jessica: Sure. Kate: You have faith that it will. Jessica: No Kate: Yes. You don't know what this thing is, or how it works. You can't even prove that it is there. Jessica: ButKate: But it changes the lights anyway. You drive up to the lights, and whether you realise it or not, you have faith that they will change. Jessica: Faith doesn't change them. Some gizmo does. Kate: Of course. But you have faith that the gizmo is going to work. Jessica: Based on past experience. Kate: Take it from me. From past experience, he will be back. I might not have thrown a fridge at a man, but I know men. He'll be back. Have a little faith. Jessica: You really think so? Kate: I do. Jessica: OK, I'll have a little faith. Kate: Good girl. You should come along to one of our women's meetings. Jessica: Maybe. Kate: You could get a lot of support there. 18


Š 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Jessica: I’ll think about it. (Pause) Can I ask you something? Kate: Sure. Jessica: Can I borrow some space in your fridge? Kate: You need a toaster too? Jessica: Got a spare? Mum's over for the weekend. Kate: Come on, let's go see what we can find. They exit. .......................... Scene 4 In a neutral area of the stage. Gwen: Take a look at the video. Kate: (Watching and impressed) That looks fine. Did you visualize? Gwen: Oh yes. I was Darren Lockyer about to kick a goal. Kate: Good. Gwen: I just don't know if it's working. Trudy: I didn't feel a thing. Kate: Of course. You're a woman. Trudy: We wondered that! Kate: You need a man. Gwen: We thought that! Trudy: Can we borrow yours? Kate: Ladies! I'm shocked. You never train another woman's man. You know that. Trudy: We wouldn't be training. Gwen: Just practicing. Kate: You just don't use another woman's man. That's how it works. Imagine the confusion this could cause. One woman, one man. That's it. 19


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Gwen: But Kate: But no! Look, I have full confidence in the progress of your training. You've just got to have faith that when your time comes you'll be ready. Gwen: But shouldn't Trudy have felt something? Kate: (Turning to Trudy) You straight? Trudy: Yes. Kate: (Back to Gwen) Then no, she shouldn't have felt anything. Gwen: Then at least show us your “look”. Kate: You don't want to be on the wrong side of my “look”. Trust me. Trudy: But it won't work on us. Kate: When you're a black belt in husband training you have to be careful. You become stronger than you realise. I've been known to drop a woman or two at Coles (or the supermarket of your choice) when distracted by a coupon special. She bangs into my trolley and whamo! I give her a “look” without realising. Down she goes and it's clean up in aisle 5. Soiled herself and everything. Imagine that power on a man. These are the dark arts, ladies. Tread carefully. Gwen: Just show us a little one. I won't soil myself. I've just been. Trudy: Just one, a quick one! Kate: (Warning) You know not what you ask. Gwen: Yeah, just a quick one! Trudy: Come on! Please? Gwen: Pretty please? Kate: Ladies, be careful what you ask for Trudy: Just a glance! Gwen: A glimpse, a peep! Trudy and Gwen: Please! Kate: OK! OK. A glimpse. That's all. 20


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Trudy and Gwen clap, excited. Kate: Brace yourselves. (Trudy and Gwen brace themselves) Ready? Trudy and Gwen: Ready! Kate turns away from them and quickly glances over her shoulder towards them. Trudy and Gwen scream and then applaud. Gwen: Amazing! That was incredible. Kate: Did you feel it in your bowels? Trudy: Oh yes! Magnificent! Gwen: It was like being face to face with the devil! Kate: (Modestly) Too kind. Trudy: Once more. Gwen: Yes! Once more! Trudy: Again! Again! Kate: Alright. Do you think you could cope with a little longer look? Gwen and Trudy: Yes! Yes! Kate: Brace yourselves. (Warning) Remember this is not for the weak “bowelled”. Gwen: We can take it. Kate: OK. Here I go. Kate turns away, then turns sharply back with a “look”. Gwen and Trudy go weak at the knees and have to cling to each other to stay standing. Gwen and Trudy: Ooooooooo! Gwen: (Farts. Embarrassed) Sorry. Kate: No I'm sorry ladies that may have been a little too much. When you have so much power at your disposal it can be difficult to moderate it. Gwen: That was amazing! Kate: Well I have to go ladies. What I came to tell you was that the meeting will be at Jessica's. See you there. 21


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(Kate exits, the Trudy and Gwen stay where they are and watch her leave). Gwen: Right. Trudy: Right. Gwen: Did you? Trudy: Yes I think so. Did you? Gwen: Definitely. They carefully walk off, they've obviously soiled themselves. .......................... Scene 5 Lights up at Jessica's house. Sheryl enters with an overnight bag, she notices a new toaster on the bench. Sheryl: New toaster? Jessica: Yeah. (Trying to sound “nonchalant”) Fridge is on the blink by the way. Sheryl: Oh? Jessica: Yeah, err, just... stopped. No biggie. I'll sort it out on Monday. Sheryl: OK. (Glancing out window) Is that your new neighbour? Jessica: (Rushing over to the window) I haven’t seen anyone over there yet. Let me see. I've got that same dress. (The two women peer through the net curtains) That is one ugly woman. I hope it looks better on me. Sheryl: Jessica! Jessica: Well look at her. “Ugly” is generous! (receiving a slap on the shoulder from her mother) All right then she’s “unusual”. Sheryl: She is unusual, I’ll give you that.

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Jessica: (Looking in another direction) Speaking of “unusual” here come the Weird Sisters. What are they doing here? (Looking back at the neighbour) Hey, look at that woman run. Sheryl: It’s like Big Foot being spooked by a cameraman. (acts out the lumbering footsteps). Jessica: (Laughing and slapping her in false horror) Mum! That’s my unusual neighbour you’re talking about. (There is knock at the door) Gwen and Trudy: Yoo hoo! Jessica: Get down, we’ll pretend we’re not here. Sheryl: Yes! (Jessica and Sheryl duck down behind the window) Gwen and Trudy: Hello! Kate: Hello ladies, (Kate bursts through the door) in we go. (Seeing Jessica and Sheryl squatting under the window) What are you two doing? Sheryl: (To Jessica, pretending to be instructing her on an exercise) And then up and that’s how it’s done. (Pretending to just notice Kate) Oh hello Mum. Gwen and Trudy (The Weird Sisters) enter behind Kate wearing lodge capes. Gwen and Trudy: (Greeting ) Yoo hoo, you two! Jessica: Hello ladies. What are you all doing here? Kate: (Referring back to Jessica and Sheryl ducking under the window) What was that all about? Sheryl: Oh it’s a new exercise. Good for the thighs. Great for the thighs. It’s called the (thinking hard)... Jessica: (Saving her) “Thigh-in-ator”. Really great for the thighs.

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Kate: Looks a bit queer to me. Ladies sit down. I have a few new points to cover today. The Weird Sisters glance around the room and then head for the couch and sit together... and put on their official lodge hats. Sheryl: What’s going on mum? Kate: We’re meeting here. Your Father's had his mowing privileges restored at home. It would be bad for his mental health if I took them away again this week. The man can only take so much pain. (Evil and pleased with herself) Believe me I’ve tested his limits to breaking point. Sheryl: You certainly have. Sorry Jessica, I didn’t know you were having company. I'll go get my room sorted out. Jessica: (Pointedly) Yeah I didn’t know either. There's clean sheets in the hall cupboard. Kate: Don’t get your knickers in a twist, you can benefit from this too. Take a seat. Sheryl, a cup of tea would be nice. Pronto. Sheryl: All right. Milk ladies? Gwen and Trudy: Yes please. Sheryl: (Under her breath) Eye of newt? (She goes out to make tea). Kate: (Putting her official lodge hat or cape on) I call this meeting of the 1st Chapter of the Lodge Wifery Wiles officially open. Gwen and Trudy: Amen! Jessica: Not much of a Lodge. Three people. Kate: What about them? Jessica: Who? Kate: (As the house lights come up and reveal the audience) Them! The rest of the Lodge. Jessica: Where did they come from?

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Kate: Hush. The sermon is starting. (House lights go down and Kate opens a large book) Today's sermon is taken from the Book of Amanda. Humiliation. It's the key to any good relationship. When he starts to do or say something stupid just make him FEEL stupid, and then he'll eventually learn to stop. (Gesturing to Jessica and The Weird Sisters) Discuss. Jessica: I don’t mean to be rude but I didn’t think you two were married. Gwen and Trudy: We’re not. Jessica: That’s what I thought and that’s why it has always seemed weird to me that you should be in a (thinks for a moment)... whatever this thing is. Kate: Lodge of Wifery Wiles. Jessica: Lodge of Wifery Wiles. The Weird Sisters look unimpressed with Jessica. Kate: Do you believe in the exploitation and isolation of the under privileged Jessica? Jessica: Of course not but Kate: Do you believe that knowledge should be limited to only the elite in our society? Jessica: No. Kate: (Pointedly) Hitler did. Jessica: Well I don’t! I’m not saying that. Kate: Then what are you saying dear? Jessica: (Giving up) I’m not saying anything Grandma. Forget I asked. Kate: Easier said than done. Isn’t that right ladies? Gwen and Trudy: (Folding their arms and pouting) Yes! Jessica: I’m sorry, really, I think it’s wonderful that you have a lodge of... you know. Gwen and Trudy: Wifery Wiles. Jessica: Wifery Wiles. Exactly. 25


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Kate: We hold out hope, don’t we Sisters, that somewhere there is a man that you too will be able to humiliate and bring within an inch of his sanity. (Comforting) There is always hope. (To Jessica) It appears that you have been letting the side down. Gwen and Trudy: (Disapproving) Boooooooh! Kate: (To audience) I can't hear you! Just follow the lead of the Sisters here. Gwen and Trudy: (As they beckon the audience to join in) Boooooooh! Audience: Boooh! Jessica: What? (To audience) Hey! Stop that! Grandma! (Looking for support from Sheryl) Mum! Sheryl: I’m not getting involved. It is more than my membership in the lodge is worth. Look at them (the audience) They could swarm us at any moment. Kate: How’s that wall coming along? Wayne finish it this weekend? Jessica: Grandma you know he didn’t. Gwen and Trudy: Boooo! (Beckon audience to join in) Come on you lot! Boooooo! Kate: (To the Weird Sisters) Not enough humiliation I’d say. Take a note of that. Gwen and Trudy: Not enough humiliation! (Beckon the audience to repeat it). Audience: Not enough Humiliation! Jessica: I don’t need to humiliate Wayne. He’ll do it when he’s ready. (Pause) If he ever comes back. Sheryl: (Enjoying this but not taking it too seriously) What do you suggest mum? What kind of humiliation is in order? Kate: The greatest humiliation. Gwen and Trudy: (With Glee) Castration! (Beckons to audience to join in).

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Gwen and Trudy with Audience: (Chanting) Cas-tra-tion! Cas-tra-tion! Cas-tra-tion! Cas-tra-tion! Jessica: What?! Kate: Oh no, that would be too easy. The greatest humiliation for a man, take this down ladies, is the realisation that he is not needed. That you can do without him. (The Weird Sisters are very impressed with this wisdom) Jessica: I don’t want to do without him. That’s the point of being married! Kate: (Shaking her head) So much to learn. So very much to learn. Sheryl: What are you getting at Mum? Kate: We finish the wall without him. Imagine this... back he comes with his tail between his legs - And in this case a toaster sized bruise on his head Jessica: It was an accident! Kinda. Kate: - (like a Southern Preacher) I say a tail between his legs! Glory! This man, this lowly man, hallelujah, returns like the prodigal, full of remorse and thinking in his puny, I say PUNY mind, that he can make everything better just by finishing the job he had promised to do, but never did. No! Shock! Horror! Glory hallelujah! The wall has already been finished! He is not needed. Glory hallelujah! He is humiliated! Gwen and Trudy: Hallelujah! (beckon audience to repeat it) Audience: Hallelujah! Gwen and Trudy: Preach it sister! (beckon audience to repeat it) Audience: Preach it sister! Gwen and Trudy: Amen! (beckon audience to repeat it) Audience: Amen! Jessica: We finish the wall ourselves? Kate: We do! Jessica: I don’t know the first thing about building a wall. 27


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Sheryl: How hard can it be? You just nail in some (can’t think of the word)... Jessica: Nails? Sheryl: Nails. Yeah, into some (can’t think of the word)... Jessica: Wood? Sheryl: Wood, yeah, and ta-da! Done. We can do this. It’ll be fun. Jessica: (Looking at her finger nails) Fun? I’m not breaking a nail doing a job that Wayne should be doing. That he promised he’d do. Gwen: (Look at each other and say) Your neighbours Trudy: - a builder. Jessica: Is he? I haven’t seen him, just her. Gwen: There’s a builders ute Trudy: - in the drive. Jessica: Is there? Kate: Perfect. If we need some help we’ll use our Wiles to get some help from next door! Weird Sisters clap appreciatively at Kate’s perfect plan and beckon the audience to join in. Kate: And that’s the end of today’s sermon. Lights out on audience an angelic choir sings “Hallelujah”. Black out. .......................... Scene 6 Lights come up on the garden/clothes line. Pete enters, and checks out Jessica's dress on the line. Strips down to his underwear and is about to unpeg the dress from the line when Sheryl starts to enter. He leaps back through the bushes leaving his clothes behind. Sheryl looks back to the house to make sure she is not being watched and dials on her cell phone.

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Sheryl: (Talking on the phone) It's me. (Listens) Sheryl. (Listens) Sheryl! (Listens) Your wife! Yes, Sheryl. That's what I said. (Listens) Richard? (Listens) Richard are you there? (Listens) Who were you talking to? (Listens) No one. Really? No one? (Listens) Not even your boyfriend? (Listens) What do you mean, “what does that mean?”. He's there isn't he? I know he's there. (Listens) The problem? The problem is he's supposed to be here finishing Jessica's kitchen wall not fishing with you. (Listens) Yes I'm sure he didn't get “fishing” mixed up with “finishing”. (Listens) No I didn't let you go fishing because I thought he was staying home. (Listens) I didn't! (Listens) I'm not threatened by him. Don't be ridiculous. (Listens) All right Dick. (Listens) I mean “Dick” as in “Richard”. (Listens) It's a term of endearment. Dick! (Listens) You don't like it? Sorry dear. (Listens) All right go then and play with your boy-friend. (Listens) “Friend”. See you on Sunday. Dick! (Hangs up). Pete's hand reaches out of the bushes and steals a dress off the line. Black out. .......................... Scene 7 It is the next morning. Jessica enters with a vacuum cleaner. Kate bursts through the door. Kate: (Entering) Well he's gone. Jessica: Who? Kate: Your Grandfather. Jessica: What? Kate: Gone. Your Grandfather's gone. Jessica: What do you mean gone? Kate: Gone, gone. 29


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Jessica: Gone, gone? (Dead?). Kate: Yep. Gone, gone. Jessica: Grandma, no, that's terrible... when? Kate: This morning. Couple of final words and that was it. Jessica: Grandad's gone? Kate: Gone Jessica: Oh no, poor Grandad! How are you feeling? Here, sit down. Kate: He had it coming. I need a change. How much can a woman take? He was boring me to death. It was a preemptive strike. He's gone now and I'm starting over. Jessica: Preemptive strike? Kate: Just like fighting the Taliban. Jessica: Grandma are you alright? Kate: Alright? Fighting fit. I got rid of him. Now I'm in the market for a new man. Know anyone? Jessica: What do you mean you got rid of him? Kate: I just couldn't take the boredom. Lawn mower this, lawn mower that. “Bloody invasive weeds”, “the price of petrol”, “the price of smokes”... and he never smoked. Never once, but he could still complain about them. That man had it coming. Jessica: (Struggling to come to terms with it) You “got rid” of Grandad? Kate: Certainly did. Should have done it years ago. You have no idea the relief I'm feeling right now. It's the fart at the checkout that's finally released... and it feels good. Real good. (Reflecting) Actually that's good (takes out a little note book and scribbles a note) I'll see if I can do that this afternoon. You got any baked beans? The look on their smug little “check-outoperator-faces” when I let it rip. (Back to Jessica) You want to come along? Jessica: Grandma can we just back up a little? Where's Grandad now? 30


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Kate: Knowing him? Lawnmower Heaven. “Oohhhh is that a four stroke?” He'll be checking out “mulching capacity” and heaven knows what. Jessica: Grandma. Kate: Yes? Jessica: Are you telling me that you killed Grandad? Kate: What? Jessica: Did you kill Grandad? Kate: What are you talking about? Jessica: “Preemptive strike”, “getting rid of him”. “Taliban”. Grandma? Kate: Good heavens no. What's the matter with you? I told him to clear off. Kicked him out of the house. Jessica: You just kicked him out? Kate: Yes. Jessica: You didn't kill him? Kate: No. Jessica: So he's gone, gone. Not Gone, Gone. Kate: Oh yes, I see. Yes he's gone, gone. Not Gone, Gone. For heavens sake what were you thinking?! I'm 67 years old. Jessica: Wait a second, you kicked Grandad out? Because he was boring? Kate: Yes. Jessica: Because he was boring? Kate: Yes, because he is boring. Jessica: You can't kick Grandad out because he's boring! Kate: Can't? Did! Jessica: Grandma! Kate: What?! He's become a spineless push over. Jessica: What about your faith in men? Kate: I never said I had faith in men 31


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Jessica: Yes you Kate: No, I said I knew men and you should have faith that your man will come back. Jessica: You're splitting hairs Kate: No I'm not. I thought you'd understand. You tried to throw a fridge at your husband. Jessica: That's completely different. And it was a mistake! I want Wayne back. Kate: Well that's where we differ. Now, do you have any baked beans or not? Jessica: Grandma! Black out .......................... Scene 8 At the clothes line. Pete enters through the bushes in Jessica's dress. Takes it off and is about to put his pants on when Sheryl enters the garden talking on her cell phone. Unseen, Pete leaps out through the bushes in his underpants. Sheryl: (Talking on the phone) It's me. (Listens) Sheryl. (Listens) Sheryl! How's it going? (Listens as Richard talks about Wayne... she couldn't be less interested) Oh did he? (Listens) Really? (Listens) He said that? Fascinating. (Listens) How marvelous for you both. (Listens) What a guy. You're so lucky to have each other. (Listens) No I'm not being sarcastic. I reeeaaally mean it. (Listens) Jealous? Oh don't be silly. What could I possibly be jealous about? I think it's wonderful you have a boyfriend. (Correcting herself) Friend. I bet you're wondering how I am? (Listens) No, me! I bet you're wondering how I am. (Listens) What do you mean no?! (Listens) Of course I'm fine. That's not 32


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the point. It wouldn't hurt you to ask. (pause as she waits for him to ask but he doesn't) Well?! (Listens as he asks her how she is) How am I? Oh don't worry about me I'll be fine! (Listens) No I'm not upset! (Talking over him) I. AM. NOT. BLOODY UPSET! (Getting herself under control). Everything's fine. I'm thinking of taking up smoking. (Listens) Because I want to that's why! (Listens) Why did I call? Just to say I - (love you). No reason. Glad you're having a good time. (Hangs up) Dick. Blackout. .......................... Scene 9 Kate and Jessica enter. Jessica is obviously unhappy with her grandmother and is following her around the house with an “I’m angry with you” stare and sighing with disapproval. Kate: Stop doing that. Jessica: I’m not talking to you! Kate: No? Jessica: No! Kate: I’m still your grandmother. Jessica: How convenient for you. Kate: What? Jessica: We’re a family only when it suits you. Maybe I should do to you, what you did to Grandad and decide you’re not family any more! Kate: He is still your grandfather. Jessica: Oh, so he’s my family but not yours? How convenient! Kate: You’re just upset. Jessica: (Dripping with sarcasm) Really? Kate: Look 33


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Jessica: I’m not talking to you. (Turns away, then looks back and glares for a few seconds and then turns away again). Sheryl enters. Sheryl: Hello. Oh you’re here too mum. Jessica: Yeah, she’s here. But Grandads not. Right Grandma? Kate: Yes. Jessica: Yeah, he’s not here! Sheryl: OK what’s going on here? Jessica: Don’t ask me, ask her. The Black Widow. Kate: (Rolling her eyes) The Black Widow? You make it sound like I killed him. Sheryl: Killed who? Dad? Kate: I haven’t killed him. Why does everyone assume that? Sheryl: I know you haven’t killed Dad. Jessica: You’ve broken his heart though, I bet! Sheryl: What’s going on? Where’s Dad? Jessica: Grandma kicked him out. Sheryl: Kicked him out of where? Jessica: The house. Sheryl: Who’s house? Jessica: His house! Kate: Our house actually. Yes I kicked him out. He's become a spineless push over. Sheryl: What do you mean you kicked him out? Kate: I kicked him out. I told him to go live somewhere else. And he did! Sheryl: What?! You kicked Dad out? Where has he gone? Kate: I don’t know. Where do spineless push overs live? Ashbury? (or trendy suburb of your town). 34


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Sheryl: (Who lives in Ashbury) Mum! Kate: Oh I don't know, for goodness sake. He's probably staying with Merv and Delwyn. Jessica: Can you believe it? She kicked him out! Out of his own house! Kate: It is our house. We both own it. Jessica: Then why can’t he live there too? Sheryl: (Gently, with a soothing voice of reason) Jessica, just hold on a minute. Let me talk to Grandma about this. (She calmly walks over to Kate and bends down slowly to her... then screams) You’ve kicked Dad out!? You have actually kicked Dad out?! Kate: Yes, for the millionth time. I have kicked your father out of the house and I don’t know, or care, where he is. Sheryl: But why?! Jessica: Because he was boring. Kate: (Correcting her) Because he is boring. I couldn’t take it any more. Sheryl: You can’t kick him out because he’s boring! Jessica: Can’t? Did! (Glares at her again). Sheryl: What’s going on Mum? Kate: I realised my life is just so predicable. I couldn’t take it any more. I need a change. I need spontaneity. My life is so stale. I’ve started a bucket list. See. (Passes it to Sheryl). Sheryl: (Reading) “Fart loudly at check-out”. This is your bucket list? Kate: (Grabbing it back) I’ve only just started. There is going to be (thinking)... men too! Plenty of men. All kinds of men. I’m going to live. Sheryl: You’re going to have all kinds of men? Jessica: Yuk! Kate: Yes I am. And it is going to be spontaneous and anything could happen. I’m setting myself free! 35


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Jessica: You’ve set Grandad free too! Kate: That’s the whole point you stupid girl. Sheryl: Mum! Kate: Sorry Jessica. I didn’t mean it (she obviously did). Jessica: Don’t apologise to me. I’m not talking to you until you take Grandad back. Sheryl: Where are you going to find these men? Kate: I don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m being spontaneous remember. Sheryl: Right. Kate: The interweb! That’s what everyone does these days right? Sheryl: The internet? You can’t even turn the computer on. Kate: Of course I can. I email people all the time. Sheryl: All the time? Kate: Yes all the time. Sheryl: Who? Kate: People! I email people. OK!? Sheryl: What is this really all about? Kate: I told you. I’m bored. He’s boring. I need a change. Sheryl: But what about Dad? Kate: He’s a grown up. He’ll be all right. Sheryl: Mum! Sheryl and Jessica glare at Kate. Kate couldn't care less. Black out. .......................... Scene 10 36


Š 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Theatre house lights come up just enough to see the The Weird Sisters, Trudy and Gwen enter with torches and a clipboard each. They are going to move through the audience looking for a suitable man to train. Gwen: Right Trud' let's find ourselves a man. Trudy: (Saluting) Aye Aye Captain. They scan the audience with their torches. Gwen: How about him? Trudy: No. Gwen: How about him? Trudy: No. Gwen: How about him? Trudy: No. Gwen: How about him? They approach a man in the audience or question him from the stage Trudy: Yes! This one's worth a look. (Determining which woman he is with) Is he with you? (he is) Good. (To Gwen) This blokes with his mum. Gwen: Perfect. Let's check him out. (Refers to clipboard) Number one. General appearance. Broken bones, bruising, swelling. (To woman) What sort of shape is he in? We're particularly interested in issues of swelling. And stiffness. Anything that swells and is Trudy: Nope, nothing like that here. Looks fine to me. Gwen: Shame. Number two. Check eyes for foreign objects. (To woman) See anything? Trudy: Number three. Hydration: pinch skin behind neck and release. Should return to normal in a couple of seconds. (To woman) Give it a go, would ya? (Wait for woman to do so) He OK? Number four: Abdominal sounds. Any unusual noises? 37


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Gwen: Number five: Stool consistency? Anything you want to share? Trudy: Number six: Temperature (Taking out a huge thermometer, the size of a banana). Bend over, you won't feel a thing. Gwen: (Reading from clipboard notes) Temperature for your horse should beTrudy: What? Gwen: Temperature for your horse should beTrudy: Horse? Gwen: Yeah! Temperature should be (realising they have a list for checking out the health of a horse not a human) Oops! Trudy: (To man) Sorry about that. (To Gwen) Let's get out of here! Gwen: Too right! They scuttle off bickering about whose fault it is as lights fade out. .......................... Scene 11 Jessica is out near the washing line. A hand reaches out from the bushes and wraps around her mouth. Her moment of terror ends when she realises that it is Denis. Denis gestures for her to stay quiet. He looks over towards the house to make sure the coast is clear. Jessica: Grandad! What are you doing?! Denis: Making sure the coast is clear. It's OK. Jessica: Don't do that to me ever again! You scared the crap out of me! Denis: Sorry. I just had to make sure “she” wasn't here. Jessica: I thought I was being abducted! Denis: Sorry Jess. I didn't mean Jessica: It's OK. Just don't, ever, again. OK? 38


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Denis: Absolutely. I promise. (He sits down on the garden seat, his head in his hands). Jessica: OK, Grandad, tell me what happened. Denis: She kicked me out. Jessica: Yes I know. Why? Denis: She didn’t say. Jessica: She didn’t say? Denis: No. Jessica: She gave you no explanation at all? Denis: None whatsoever. Jessica: She didn’t mention anything? Denis: Nope, nothing. Jessica: Nothing? Denis: Nothing. Jessica: Not even a hint of a reason? Denis: Not even a hint. (Pause) Jessica: She said you were boring didn’t she? Denis: Oh yes. She said that. Jessica: She said you were boring and had to get out of the house. Denis: Yes. And not come back. And that she would now have the opportunity to die in some exciting fashion... rather than being bored to death by me. And something about a bucket list. And that she was tempted to throw the toaster at me... which didn’t really make any sense to me at all. She probably had a point with the other things. Jessica: So she actually said quite a bit. Denis: You could say that, yes. Jessica: So Grandad what are you going to do? 39


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Denis: I’m staying with Merv and Delwyn. Jessica: (Sympathetically) Oh Grandad that’s terrible... (being kicked out of your own house). Denis: I know. You should see the state of their lawns. I’ve got my work cut out for me there. “Cut out for me”... little lawn mowing humour. Jessica: (Under her breath) Grandma may have a point. Denis: What? Jessica: Nothing. Be careful what you eat at Delwyn's. Make sure it's not moving. Denis: The food certainly is (looking for the right word)... “different”. Jessica: That's what I hear. Look, we have to get you and Grandma back together. Denis: No, she doesn’t want me. She was quite clear about that. I’m a danger to her health. Jessica: Well she might change her mind. People do you know. (Denis looks at her doubtfully). She might. (beat) OK she’s not going to change her mind. (Thinks and a plan starts to formulate) We can’t change her. Right? Denis: Yes we’ve established that. Jessica: (Pushing her point, expecting Denis to catch on) We can’t change her. Riiiiiight? Denis: (Not following) Riiiiight. Jessica: (Triumphantly) Right! So there’s the plan! Denis: What plan? Jessica: (A little frustrated) Grandad! We can’t change her so we’ll change (gestures to towards Denis)... Denis: We’ll change...? Jessica: You! For goodness sake. We’ll change you! Denis: Me? 40


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Jessica: Yes, you. Denis: Me? Jessica: Yes, we’ll change you. So that Grandma wants you back. We’ll turn you into the man that Grandma can’t resist? Denis: We will? Jessica: Well, I will. Denis: What do I do? Jessica: You’ll do as you’re told. Denis: Yes dear. Jessica: That’s the spirit. (Pause) Actually that’s not the spirit. It’s time to get some big (she gestures “balls”)... er “grit”. (Looking at her hand gesture) Big lumps of grit. Let me hear you say “Hell no!”. Denis: Hell no? Jessica: Yes. Denis: (Meekly) Hell no. Jessica: No, no, no. Like this “Hell no!” Denis: (A little less meek) Hell no! Jessica: (With force) Hell no! Denis: (Getting better) Hell no! Jessica: Louder! Denis: (Yelling and surprising himself) Hell No! Jessica: That’s a good start. You want a cup of coffee? Denis: Hell no! (Beat) Actually, yes please. Jessica: I think we can do better than that. Denis: Hell Yes! Jessica: (Tenderly) I’m very proud of you. Now all we need to do is figure out what Grandma wants in a man and turn you into that man. Denis: (Boldly) Easy! 41


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Jessica: Let’s not get too carried away. (Very pleased with herself and rubbing her hands together in anticipation) Let the training begin! Now off you go. Denis: What about my coffee? Jessica: Go! (She pushes him out through the bushes, lights fade to black). .......................... Scene 12 Spot light up on Kate standing centre stage, she is wearing her official lodge hat (or cape) preaching at her women's lodge. Kate: Welcome ladies to another lecture in the series. This brief message is entitled “Putting the Mutt Down”. It may seem at odds with the philosophy of Husband Training to talk about “termination”, but in many ways it is the pinnacle of the training process. In the past we have talked about the Toddler Stage, the Cat Stage and the Dog Stage but there is one further stage. A stage reached so rarely that it's existence has been thought to be purely mythical. Today ladies, I am going to reveal the secrets of this mythical stage because I, yes I, have recently achieved this zenith of Husband Training. The story has all the bitter-sweet qualities of a Greek Legend. Once a husband has been fully trained, through our many methods of deprivation, guilt, abstinence, nagging, mood swings, etc. eventually his spirit will be broken, and he will be completely under your spell. At this point the truly great can delve deeper into our dark arts, as I have done, and remove his very soul. The result is a pathetic zombie. And we all know that Zombies must be destroyed. This week ladies, I realised I had created one of the “Walking Dead”... and I had no alternative but to put the Mutt Down. 42


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As lights fade a Hallelujah chorus plays, Kate smiles smugly. .......................... Scene 13 On the bench is five empty cans of baked beans. Jessica is on stage, Sheryl enters from front door... Sheryl: (Entering) Where's Mum? Jessica: She's headed down to the supermarket. Should be back soon. Sheryl: I'd have gone with her if I'd known. Jessica: Trust me you don't want to be there with her right now. Sheryl: Why's that? Jessica: “Supermarket”. Remember? Bucket list. “Check-out-operatorfaces”. (Gestures to the cans of beans on bench). Sheryl: Oh dear lord. She didn't eat all those herself? Jessica: Yup. It was... (her stomach is churning at the memory) “ amazing”. You know Grandma, when she's on a mission, she has super human strength... Suddenly the door flings open revealing a disturbed looking Kate. Jessica: How'd it go? Sheryl: Blow them away? Kate: Oh yes. Blew them away. (She walks in, obviously very uncomfortable. There has been “an accident”). Bit more dramatic than I had anticipated. Worth it though. The looks on their faces! A mighty victory. Jessica: (The smell hits Jessica and Sheryl, they take a step away from Kate) Help yourself to the bathroom. Kate: Thanks. Jessica: I'll pop some pants at the door. Sheryl: (Under her breath) Looks like she popped her pants at the supermarket. 43


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Kate: I'm going to need a complete change if it's not too much trouble. What have you got in black leather? Jessica: Complete? Kate: Oh yes. I think I had one can of beans too many. Sheryl: You think?! Kate: (Triumphantly waving her bucket list) Saved the bucket list though. Kate puts the bucket list down on the table and slowly makes her way out to the bathroom, Sheryl and Kate watch her leave and then dive for the list). Jessica: Got it! (She moves so that there is a piece of furniture between her and Sheryl, Sheryl chases her to get the bucket list but can't catch her) Sheryl: What does it say? Jessica: Oh not much... Sheryl: Really? Come on, let me see! Jessica: Pretty straight forward stuff really. Sheryl: (Not sure whether to believe her or not) Really? Jessica: Oh yeah. She wants to “make passionate love with a pirate”. Sheryl: No! Jessica: Oh yes and “cruise the Port Hills in a stolen police car with a gangster”. (*Note: replace “Port Hills” with your local teen cruising location). Sheryl: She's lost her mind! Jessica: And then there's this one... Sheryl: What is it? Jessica: I'd rather not read it out loud. Sheryl: What does it say?! Tell me! Jessica: Take a look. Sheryl: (Going over to Jessica) Let me see! (She reads it, and is stunned). Oh dear lord! 44


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Jessica: She'd never do it. Sheryl: Your Grandmother just came back from “a mighty victory” at the supermarket. Who knows what she's capable of. Jessica: Right. (She folds up the bucket list and puts it in her pocket). I'd better get those clothes for her (she exits). Sheryl: Oh dear lord. Black Out. ........................... ACT TWO ........................... Scene 1 Kate is preaching at the lodge in a spot light. Behind her to one side are the Weird Sisters Gwen and Trudy. The topic of her sermon is Respect. Whenever Kate spells out R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Gwen and Trudy make the shape of that letter with their bodies. This is deadly serious stuff. Kate: Respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me. The immortal words of Aretha Franklin. But how do you get this “Respect”? R.E.S.P.E.C.T. The key is moral high ground. Never raise your voice, never swear or curse. Always stay in control. No matter how frustrated you are. No matter how much pressure you are under you maintain the moral high ground by being better than your man. When you have the moral high ground he has the valley of shame and guilt. Shame and guilt are the keys to respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

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.......................... Scene 2 At the washing line. Kate enters the garden, she is dressed in some of Jessica's clothes (in stark contrast to how Kate normally looks) and a clothes basket. She starts to hang her clothes out (or fetch them in). Denis: (from inside the bushes) Pssssssssssssssssst. Jessica! (Kate looks up and doesn't see anyone, returns to the washing). Pssssssssssssssst! (Kate starts to turn around). Don't turn around! (She stops). Is the coast clear? Nod once for “yes”, twice for “no”... three times for “not sure”... Four times for “yes but we don't have much time”, five for “yes but I'm not sure how much time we have”. Six for “Not now but we will soon”. Seven for “someone is watching”. Eight for “someone is watching and it's Kate”.... eight for, oh no we've just done eight... nine if.. nine if you... damn it where were we? Start again. (By now Kate is being driven mad and is struggling to control herself). Right. Nod once for “yes”, twice for “no”, three times for “not sure”, four times for “yes but we don't have much time”, five for “yes but I'm not sure how much time we have”, six for “Not now but we will soon”, seven for “someone is watching”... Eight for “someone is watching and it's Kate”... eight for... oh no we've done eight. Kate screams in frustration at his dullness. Denis: Sorry. Is it safe? Kate gives him the thumbs up. Denis: Good! (He moves out of the bushes and stands next to Kate. He still doesn't know that it is her). Now Jessica Kate turns around and Denis screams. Kate: Hello Denis! Denis screams again and runs off through the bushes. Kate: (Proudly) I've still got it. (pause) Now what's he doing here? 46


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Lights fade to black. .......................... Scene 3 Sheryl is standing on stage in a builders outfit. She is chewing gum with her mouth open and going the whole nine yards on the builder impersonation. Jessica is standing watching her. Kate is lying on the couch reading “Pirates Weekly” Magazine. Sheryl: Oh yeah, look at that. Uh ha. Yep that's gonna be a big job. Yep. Oh yeah. We're gonna need some serious hardware to get this job done. (She prepares to spit). Jessica: Please don't spit on my floor Mum. Sheryl: (Hitching up her pants). All right little lady. Jessica: So what do you think? Sheryl: Well I'm worried about the “noggings” but we might get away with a couple of new “studs”, we'll need to cut out some “joists”. It looks “load bearing to me” which makes it a little more complicated. There's going to be issues of moisture and insulation. According to the “code” we'll have to sort that. (*Note: feel free to change the building references to suitable terms used in your location if these are not relevant).

Jessica: Which means? Sheryl: No idea. I spent all last night reading the Building Code online. Obviously written by a male. Nice outfit though huh? Jessica: Oh yeah you look fabulous. Sheryl: I wouldn't have spat on your floor. Jessica: Yeah you would have. Sheryl: Maybe you're right. Jessica: Let's just pay someone to do this and pretend we did it. Wayne will never know. 47


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Kate: (Looking up from her magazine) That's dangerous ground honey. Next thing, he's not doing anything. You'd be encouraging him to become a freeloader. Sitting on the couch, scratching his butt, while some other woman's man is running around sorting out your house at your expense. If you don't train that man, he is going think he's something special. And that's dangerous. Very dangerous. Guys like that take off fishing when they should be finishing jobs around the house. (She gets up and leaves the room) Sheryl: She's right you know. (She exits after Kate). Jessica: (As Sheryl leaves) Come on, give me a break. Mum! Jessica looks at her watch and heads out to the washing line. At the washing line Jessica checks back toward the house to make sure no one is watching her. She moves to the hedge. Jessica: Pssssssssssssst! Grandad! (Pause) Grandad! (Pause) Grandad are you there! Denis: I might be. Prove you're Jessica. Jessica: What? Denis: Prove you're not Kate. Jessica: Hmmm. OK. How about this... You can mow the lawns whenever you want. Denis: OK that's definitely not Kate! Jessica: Come through, we're alone... (proudly) look what I've got (she waves the bucket list). Denis: What is it? Jessica: The list. The list. The list. Everything you need to know is on this list. Denis: Really? Jessica: Oh yeah, this list is your ticket back to Grandma. It's everything she wants. 48


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Denis: Brilliant. What does it say? How many items? Jessica: Well there's four. One is done – “Fart loudly at the checkout”. Two – “Make passionate love to a pirate”. Denis: A pirate? (Thinks) Yep, makes sense. Jessica: That doesn't surprise you? Denis: Not really. No. Jessica: (Surprised) Really? OK. Three - “Cruise the Port Hills in a stolen police car with a gangster”. (*Note: replace “Port Hills” with your local teen cruising location).

Denis: Police car? Jessica: Stolen Police car. Denis: Tricky. Jessica: Illegal. Denis: Four? Jessica: Four is... four is... nope, can't tell you. Denis: Why not? Jessica: It's just wrong. Denis: Come on Jessica this is important. Jessica: OK (she struggles to tell him)... well, it says... she wants to... OK, this is hard for me to tell you... she wants to... here you read it (she passes it to him). Denis: (Suddenly wide eyed, He quickly passes the list back). No! (He collapses on the garden seat) No not that! The woman's gone mad! Jessica: Grandad, look don't worry about that now. OK? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Let's just start with an easier one. OK? Come on (She helps him to his feet) I've written down the address of a friend. She'll help you. OK? (She passes a note to him). Go and see her. She has everything ready. (Walking him to the door) Off you go. 49


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Denis: But number four! Jessica: (Sternly) Forget number four! I should never have shown you. Just go to that address. We'll deal with number four later. Let me hear you. Denis: Hell yes? (in response to Jessica's glare) Hell!!! Yes!!!! Jessica: Now go get'em tiger! Denis: Hell yes!!!! Jessica: That's enough (she pushes him out the door, and closes it after him). We're screwed. Kate: (Entering) Hell yes? Jessica: Oh Grandma! Kate: Hell yes? Who were you talking to? Jessica: No one. Kate: No one? Jessica: Just self motivating. Hell yes! Go tiger! You can do it! (There is a long uncomfortable pause as Kate looks at Jessica). Bye! (She runs off). Kate looks through the bushes but doesn't see anyone. She takes out her cell phone and calls the Weird Sisters. Kate: (Talking on phone) Sisters, I've got a job for you. Black out. .......................... Scene 4 The Weird Sisters are wearing full camouflage dress and are hidden in the bushes... Lights come up as Pete enters through the bushes in his underwear. He looks towards the house, feeling safe he takes a dress off the line. The Weird Sisters appear out of the bushes and confront him. Gwen and Trudy: Gotcha! 50


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Pete: Aaaaaaarggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh! Gwen: What are you doing? Pete: Nothing! Trudy: (Pointing to the dress in his hand) Nothing? Pete: Something? Trudy: Something?! Gwen: What-thing?! Trudy: That-thing! Pete: Errr, borrowing a dress? Gwen: In your underpants? Pete: No! (Gwen and Trudy look at his underwear, Pete becomes very self conscious) Actually yes. Gwen: Who are you? Pete: I'm from next door. Just moved in. Trudy: Did you move house and forget to pack your pants? Gwen: Didn't you notice it was a bit chilly around your willy? Trudy: Good one Gwen. The Weird Sisters high five. Pete laughs nervously. Pete: (Putting the dress back on the line) Well I'll be off thenGwen: Wait a minute, why don't you borrow a dress from your wife, rather than go around flogging other people's? Trudy: Doesn't your wife have a pair of pants you could borrow? Gwen: Why doesn't your wife just go get you a pair of pants from Lowes? Trudy: Yeah, what woman lets her husband run around the neighbourhood, in his jocks, stealing dresses? Pete: Well.. umm... Gwen: It's for your wife isn't it?! Pete: What? 51


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Gwen: The dress. It's for your wife! (To Trudy) He's stealing dresses for his wife. In his underpants. Trudy: (Genuinely impressed by Pete) How romantic! You'd strip down to your jocks and run around the neighbourhood stealing clothes for your wife? What a lucky woman, huh Gwen? Gwen: Way to go Tiger. Tru', as romantic as this may be, we can't ignore the fact that he was trying to steal Jessica's dress. Trudy: I'd sure like to meet the woman who can train her man to strip and steal! Gwen: (To Pete) Let's go over to your place and you can introduce us! Trudy: Good plan Gwen! They high five. Pete: No! We can't. (Pete in a panic, lying terribly) My wife is... out! She's out and I'm not sure when she's coming back. So, I can't... take you... home. To meet her. Because she's out and not coming back! Ever. Gwen: Ever? Peter: Gone for good. Trudy: So why are you in your jocks stealing dresses? Pete: Oh. Right. That... Gwen: (Suddenly realising the terrible truth) It's for you! The dress is for you! Trudy: No Gwen. Men don't wear dresses, Silly! (Thinking) Do they? Gwen: Does your wife know about this? Pete: (Cracking under the pressure of the interrogation) I don't have a wife! Weird Sisters eyes light up and look at each other wide eyed. Gwen and Trudy: Unattached? Pete: Errr yeah. Gwen and Trudy: No wife? 52


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Pete: No wife. Gwen and Trudy: (Delighted) Ooooohhhhh! Pete: Why? Gwen: Stay there! Trudy: Have you ever experienced the power of “The Look”? Pete: The what? Gwen: Stand right there and don't move. Gwen and Trudy turn away from Pete and then spin around and give him “the look”. Pete is frozen still. Gwen: Sit! (He does so) Trudy: Lie down! (He does so) Gwen: Roll over! (He does so) Trudy: Play dead! (He does so) Gwen: Shake! (He does so) Trudy: (Pointing into the bushes) I have an idea! Gwen: Oh yes! Gwen and Trudy: (They go into the bushes and call out) Heel! Peter follows the command and goes into the bushes. We hear a giggle from the Sisters and a cry for mercy from Pete. Black out. .......................... Scene 5 In Jessica's lounge. Kate is wearing a pirate wench outfit. Sheryl: We should make a start on that wall. Jessica: (Doubtfully) Right. (Sarcastically) Remind me what the Building Code said again. Tell me about that “load bearing stud” of yours. Kate: I like the sound of him. I wouldn't mind a stud bearing my load. 53


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Sheryl: What does that even mean? Kate: (Pleased with herself) I don't know, but it sounded saucy. Jessica: I'm very uncomfortable with what you have become Grandma. Kate: You'll have to get used to it honey. Sheryl: Anyway, about this wall. Should we have a go? Kate: Sorry ladies no can do. I have a date. Sheryl: You have a date? Kate: Yep. Jessica: (Playing the role of a concerned mother to a daughter going on a date) And who is this young man? What do we know about him? Does he come from a good home? Would your Father approve? Kate: Very funny. Sheryl: (Playing along) I hope you don't think you're going out like that young lady! That hemline is a little high don't you think? You'll be getting a reputation. Kate: (Hopefully) Really? (There is a knock at the door. Kate is beside herself with excitement like a silly teenager). Kate: He's here! He's here! Don't open the door yet! How do I look? Sheryl: You look fine. Kate: Fine? Sheryl: OK, you look fabulous? Kate: You think? Sheryl: No. You look like a tart. Kate: (Pleased) Do I? Fantastic! Jessica: Can I answer the door now? Kate: Wait! (Sorts out her dress, hair etc) OK, go.

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(Jessica opens the door. Standing there is Denis dressed as the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow). Denis: Ahoy there! I be looking for the wench Kate. Where she be? Kate: (Excited) I'm here! I'm here! Sheryl: (Putting her head in her hands) For goodness sake. Denis: That’s some treasure chest you’ve got yourself there. Kate: (Playing along) Is that a hornpipe in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Sheryl: Stop that! Denis: Well they don’t call me Long John because of the length of my sword. Sheryl: I think I'm going to be sick. Denis: Come on then me hearty, let's go trouble the waters! (As they leave he slaps Kate on the bottom). That’s the finest pirate booty I’ve ever laid eyes on. (Kate giggles like a silly teen and they exit. Jessica and Sheryl are stunned). Sheryl: Are you responsible for that? Jessica: (Horrified) I guess I am. Sheryl: I think I got a little sick in my mouth. Jessica: This is really disturbing! I just facilitated my grandmother having an affair with a pirate. My grandmother is a tart. And it's all my fault. Sheryl: It's just your grandfather. Jessica: Is it though? I mean, as far as she is concerned it's not. And you have to admit that was not the man we know. Sheryl: You're thinking too hard about this. Jessica: They're going to make “passion pirate love” aren't they? Sheryl gets a little sick in her mouth again. Black out. .......................... Scene 6 55


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Gwen and Trudy enter with Pete on a dogs leash and walk him to the garden. Pete is in one of Jessica's dresses. He is a very happy boy. Gwen: (As if she is talking to a dog) Good boy. (She pats him on the head). Pete: Woof! Trudy: (Playing along with the whole dog theme) Who's a good boy?! Pete: Woof! Gwen and Trudy: You're a good boy.! Pete: Woof! Woof! Pete leans back on the garden seat and they scratch his tummy and make gooey pet owner noises. Pete is in seventh heaven. Trudy: (Taking out a supermarket plastic bag). Want to do pooh poohs? (Gwen and Pete stop and look at her). Too much? OK. (Loud whisper to Pete) Just let me know if you need to. Trudy pockets the bag and they go back to petting Pete. Gwen: Let's go see how Kate got on with the Pirate. Trudy: Yes! Gwen and Trudy: (To Pete) Stay! Pete: Woof. Gwen and Trudy exit to the house. Pete is very happy, he stands, stretches and looks back towards the house. Denis puts his head through the bushes. His clothes are ripped and torn, he looks like he has been through a tornado. Denis: (Thinking Pete is Jessica) Psssssst Jessica! Don't turn around! (Pete stops dead with a look of panic on his face). I'm coming through. If you don't turn around they won't know I'm here. (Denis staggers through the bushes and sits down on the garden seat. Pete's back is still to him). We made pirate love. It was a lot rougher than I imagined it would be. She seemed to like it though. A lot. Especially “walking the plank”. And “raising the topsail”. And (Pete holds up his hand for Denis to stop). Right you are. You probably don't 56


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need to know the sexual exploits of your grandparents. (Shaking his head at the memory) But that woman can sure haul an anchor. (Another gesture from Pete) Sorry. Pete carefully moves to the bushes, keeping his back to Denis and exits into the bushes. Denis: Jess? (Looks through bushes as Jessica appears from the house with a bag). Jess? Jessica: Grandad? Denis: (getting the fright of his life) How did you do that?! (Very confused) How did you get there so quick? And you've changed clothes! Jessica: What are you talking about? Denis: You were just went through there Jessica: I don't know what you're talking about but we don't have time for it. How did it go with Grandma? (Looks at the state of his clothes) Looks like it was successful. Denis: Like I said. She seemed to like it. A lot. Jessica: Excellent. Denis: Dropped her home about an hour ago. I daren't go back to Merv and Delwyns looking like this. Jessica: I've got a change of clothes for you here, but you may still not be too keen to bump into Merv and Delwyn. This is the stuff you need next. (Passing him the bag). It's all in there. (Showing him the script) Here's the script. You need to learn this. This word is pronounced “fat”... tell you what, I'll help you get into the gear and go over the lines with you. Come on. (She takes him out through the bushes). Lights fade to black. .......................... 57


© 2010 Devon Williamson How To Train Your Husband

Scene 7 Sheryl enters the lounge, looks around to check that no one is in there and dials Richard. Kate enters in a “call girl” outfit and sits reading a magazine called Gangster Weekly. Sheryl: (Talking on the phone) It's me. (Listens) Sheryl. (Listens) Sheryl! (Listens) Yes Sheryl. How's it going? Caught anything from your boyfriend today? (Correcting herself) I mean caught anything with your friend today? (Listens) Yes I meant “did you catch any fish?”. It was a joke. Perhaps not my best work. Dick. (Listens) That's right, a term of endearment. Do you have something to ask me? (Listens) No I haven't started smoking yet. But I still might! Not that. (Listens) No I didn't catch the score on the rugby. Very funny. (Listens) What do you mean you're not joking? (Listens) No I won't ask Dad. (Pointedly) In case you're wondering, I'm fine! (Listens) You were just about to ask me? Of course you were. (Listens) No I'm not going to ask Dad about the rugby. You can text him. (Listens) Yes that would be easier if he had a cell phone. (Wickedly) Wait a second, I did hear the score on the radio... Queensland: twenty three, New South Wales... now what was it... New South Wales... New South Wales: twenty something... New South Wales twenty, that's right New South Wales: twenty-... (She hangs up). New South Wales twenty eight. Dick. (*Note: Use rival sporting teams and code that relate to your local audience).

Kate: Having a bit of trouble with “Dick”. Sheryl: (Getting a fright) I'm dealing with it, thanks Mum. Kate: The rugby score was inspired. Sheryl: (Surprised at Kate's admiration) You like that? Kate: Oh yes. He'll be dying to know. He'll just call someone else though. Sheryl: I used up all his credit before he left. Kate: (Admiring) You wicked woman. Wayne's phone? 58


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Sheryl: (Picking up phone from table) Fortune smiles on the wicked. Kate: It certainly does. You know, there's a particularly good dinner game I'll introduce you to before he gets back. I think you might be ready for it. In the distance we hear a police siren approaching. It stops outside, Jessica runs in. Jessica: (Excited) The police are here Grandma! Denis bursts through the door. He is wearing full American street gang gear including, baggy pants, bling necklaces, bandanas, baseball cap, etc. Denis: (Out of breath) “Yo momma', I'm a hooking yo up wid da phat ride baby!” Kate and Sheryl: What? Denis: “Yo momma', I'm a hooking yo up wid da phat ride baby!” (Kate and Sheryl look at Jessica) Jessica: (To Kate) Your rides here. “Baby”. Sirens are heard in the distance. Denis: (Urgently) “Let's roll momma da honky pigs a comin'” Jessica: Police are coming. Denis: “Let's roll Homey, my low-rider is bitchin', gotsda phat chromes anda phat glow sticks. Stole me a pig wagon. I'm da daady mac, foo'!!” Sheryl and Kate look for interpretation. Jessica: He's got a cool car. It's a stolen police car. And he's “the man”. Fool. Sirens are getting quite loud now. Sheryl: You stole a police car?! Denis: “Yo bitch, I didn't ask for no cup cakes!” Jessica: He didn't ask for any cup cakes. (Shrugging) I have no idea what that means. Denis: “Why yo talkin trash foo?”. “Let's roll momma da honky pigs a comin'” 59


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Jessica: (Interpreting) No time for talking, the police are coming. Kate: Well let's roll! Sheryl: Mum! Kate: (Playing the gangster) Shut yo' cracker-ass up, Jive Turkey! Jessica: (Interpreting) She said to shut Sheryl: (Stopping Jessica) Yes thank you I got that one. Kate grabs Denis's hand and they run outside. The car starts up and they drive off. Police sirens are following them. A police helicopter buzzes low over the house and the lights flicker.. Sheryl: This is getting out of control. What's happening to Grandad? Jessica: (Very pleased with herself) He's being trained. Sheryl: He's being arrested! Jessica: Sure, that too. But Grandma is loving him. Like a pirate. Sheryl: (Feeling sick) Please stop mentioning that. Jessica: Maybe even in the back seat of a police car. Sheryl gets a little sick in her mouth and runs out. Jessica is left feeling smug. Jessica: (Following Sheryl off) Shut yo' cracker-ass up, Jive Turkey! There is a knock at the door. Gwen pops her head in the door. Gwen and Trudy enter and sit on the couch. Trudy and Gwen: Heel! Pete scuttles in, very happy, sits down between the sisters on the couch. Gwen and Trudy “pat” Pete. Sheryl enters, see's them and stops dead in her tracks. Sheryl: Who is this and why is he wearing my daughters dress? Trudy: He's our pet. Gwen: Good one Trud. (They high five and then high five Pete). Gwen and Trudy go back to patting Pete. 60


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Sheryl: Why is your pet wearing my daughters dress? Gwen: We're not having our man running around the neighbourhood in his undies. (Giggling) We don't want him getting a chilly willy. Trudy: Good one Gwen! (They high five and then high five Pete). Sheryl: (Being super patient) I'm going to start again. Who is this and why is he wearing my daughters dress? Pete: I'm Pete from next door. Sheryl: You're Big Foot? From next door? Pete: Errr... yeah I'm from next door. Sheryl: (laughing) Ha! That makes sense now. Pete: Sorry? Sheryl: Jess is going to die! Ha! (Serious) Take it off. Pete: But Sheryl: Take off my daughters dress you pervert! Pete: No, I'm not like that, it's not sexual, I just likeSheryl: I don't want to know the ins and outs “ducky”. I just want you out of my daughters dress and out of my daughters house! Come on, get it off! Trudy: (Excited) Oh yes! Get it off! Gwen: (Joining in) Get it off! Trudy and Gwen start chanting “get it off” like they are at a strip show, Sheryl tries to stop them and help Pete struggle out of the dress, it is chaos, Jessica walks in. Jessica: What the hell is going on?! (Everyone stops dead. Jessica is horrified). Mum! Why are you dressing that man in my dress? What the hell is going on here?! Sheryl: No. It's not what it looks like Jessica: Who are you and what are you doing in my dress? Sheryl: He's their pet. 61


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Jessica: What are you doing putting my dress on their pet? Sheryl: No, you've got it all wrong, its your neighbourJessica: Does dad know about this? Is this what you do when he goes fishing? Sheryl: No! Jessica: Is this why he took Wayne? Because you guys were going to dress my neighbour in one of my dresses. (The penny drops) Oh dear lord this is Big Foot isn't it? Pete: Apparently. Yes. I'm Big Foot from next door. Pete holds out his hand to shake with Jessica, numbly she takes it. Jessica: Pleased to meet you. Pete: (Shaking Sheryl's hand and introducing himself) Big Foot. Pete. Sheryl: Big Foot Pete. Pete: Yes? Sheryl: What the hell are you doing in my daughters house, wearing her dress? With the Weird Sisters? Pete: Weird Sisters? (Looks at Trudy and Gwen) Oh, Trudy and Gwen. I'm their Jessica: Pet. Sheryl: Pet? Gwen: We're training him. Trudy: He's our man. Gwen: (Protecting Pete) Our man, so don't get any ideas! Trudy: Yes! Sheryl: (Struggling to stay in control) The only idea I have, is to throw up. Throw up and then call the police. Only, the police have just spent two hours chasing my mother and her “hip-hop boyfriend” around the Port Hills* in a stolen police car. And the fugitive is now upstairs having a “nana-nap” after 62


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all the excitement, and possible pirate love in the backseat of the car - so calling the police out here is not really on the cards! Is it!! (Now totally losing control) So I have a strange man wearing my daughters dress, in my daughters house, and I can't do anything about it! (she collapses on the couch with her head in her hands in tears). It's all a little overwhelming. (*Note: replace “Port Hills” with your local teen cruising location).

Jessica comforts her mother. Pete: You're right. I'm sorry. It's just that I felt there was something missing in my life. The feminine touch I suppose and so I took to wearing dresses. It's just easier to “borrow” them than suffer the embarrassment of going shopping. But you know what? I have all the woman I could ever want in these two beautiful precious ladies right here! So I'm taking this dress off and I'm giving myself totally to these two angels! (He starts taking off the dress as Trudy and Gwen swoon at the romance of it all). Sheryl: (Suddenly the angry protective mother). Not in my daughters house you're bloody well not! Sheryl chases Pete out. Gwen: We're lucky to have him Trud'. Trudy: We certainly are Gwen. They high five. As the lights fade Gwen and Trudy smile, contentedly. Jessica has no idea how to react to it all. Black out. .......................... Scene 8 Jessica, Sheryl, and the Weird Sisters are waiting expectantly. Jessica is at the window. 63


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Jessica: Here she comes! The others crowd around the window. There are general noises of shock. Sheryl: Act normal! Everyone returns to their respective places looking too normal to be normal. Kate stands in the door way and leans seductively on the on the door frame. She has had a boob-job. It is super sized... super, super sized. They look huge and unrealistic. No one dares to look at her. Kate: I'm back. General welcoming responses are made by the others but no one dares look. Kate: (Extremely proud and doing a terrible job of playing it cool) Oh yeah, I'm back... from you-know-where. (No response) Having had a you-knowwhat. (Still no response) On my you-know-whats. General low key responses from the women. Kate: (Getting a little frustrated at the lack of response) Hey! Look at me! (everyone slowly turns to her, not sure how to react. Kate cups her breasts with her hands) Ta daa! Get a load of these big boys... err girls. Big girls. General positive but uncomfortable responses are made by the others. Kate: Anyone want to touch them? Everyone: No! Kate: It doesn't matter. I can't feel them. I got one caught in the car door when I drove back. Didn't realise what everyone was pointing at. They're still firming up. I can mold them into any shape I want. You want to know how they did it? Everyone: No! Kate: OK. I'll tell you. New method. It's all key-hole surgery now a little nick under the armpit, insert them and pump 'em up. I can go two sizes bigger if I want to. Jessica: Pump them up? 64


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Kate: Oh yeah, with silicone. (Takes a builders tube of silicone and pump out of a bag). See? Just have to be careful not to over do it. Sheryl: You're already there. Kate: I am now an object of sexual desire. I'm a minx. A vamp. A femmefatale. I can get any man I want. Like Hugh Grant. Jessica: Hugh Grant can get any man he wants? Kate: No I can. Men like Hugh Grant. Jessica: You can't get any man you want... but you could probably get Hugh Grant. Sheryl: (Taking the tube of silicone) Where did you get his done, Mitre 10? Kate: (Sarcastically) No, Bunnings. Gwen and Trudy: No?! Kate: No, I'm kidding. (Taking the silicone back from Sheryl) You're just jealous. Maybe you should invest in a pair. Sheryl: No. I am not going to even talk to you about this. You have lost your mind. Kate: Jealous. (To Weird Sisters) Come on and give these a squeeze. (They are unsure) Now! And be impressed. Sheryl: I can't take this. Jessica, let's go and (tries to think of something) poke sharp things in our eyes. Jessica: I'm up for that. Jessica and Sheryl leave as the Weird Sisters each tentatively squeeze a breast and express their approval. Kate: You know, I can pump them up bigger. Black out. .......................... Scene 9

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Sheryl is at the washing line. She makes sure no one is looking and takes out a packet of tobacco, filters and papers. She sets about rolling her first ever cigarette. She makes a terrible job of it. Sheryl: Perfect! (She puts it in her mouth and pretends to smoke it and act “cool” by striking several ridiculous poses). Right let's get this baby lit. (She takes out a BBQ lighter). Now let's see here. (She doesn't put the cigarette in her mouth but instead holds it in one hand and the lighter in the other and attempts to light it like you would a candle). Light, you bugger! Light! Denis: (Popping his head through the bushes) Sheryl! Sheryl: (Getting a fright) Arrgghh! Dad, what are you doing here? Denis: (Looking at her cigarette) What am I doing? Sheryl: Thought I might try smoking. Denis: OK. It's expensive, but OK. Sheryl: Don't you want to know why? Denis: I'm sure you'll have a good reason. Sheryl: Like? Denis: I don't know. World peace? Sheryl: I'm smoking for world peace? Denis: Oh I don't know. I trust you. You wouldn't be doing it to get back at your husband who's gone fishing with his boy friend. Sheryl: You know about that? Denis: Of course. I'm a “spineless push over”, not an idiot. There is a difference. Sheryl: You're not a spineless push over. (Denis obviously doesn't believe her) You're not! Dad you are the sweetest man I know. Denis: Thanks. Actually I'm a pirate, a hip-hop star, and wanted criminal... Sheryl: Well there you go. Denis: …because I'm a spineless push over. 66


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Sheryl: But mum's loving you. Your transformation has been incredible. I think you've done really well. Denis: Well you're doing pretty well yourself. Look at you smoking. I couldn't be happier for you. Sheryl: (Not sure how to take that) Thanks. (Changing subject) How do you like mums new bazookas? Denis: To tell the truth I don't know what I think. Sheryl: Apparently she can make them bigger. Denis: They're already big... and malleable. In preparation for our last date she shaped one of them like the Eiffel Tower and the other like Big Ben... Sheryl: Oh dear. Denis: Yes. And I was the one who felt silly. Mind you I was wearing an eye patch and a wooden leg at Coles. She had to show me her new trick at the Check-out. Sheryl: (Looking at the cigarette in her hand) Is this what we've become? Denis: “Spineless push overs” is the legal term. Sheryl: Yes. Denis: You don't think she'll do it, do you? Sheryl: What? Denis: Make them bigger? Sheryl: She's mad. But she has her limits. Denis: Of course. Black out. .......................... Scene 10 In the dark we hear a pumping sound effect and then an explosion/splat sound effect.

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Lights come up and we see Kate is back to her regular chest size under a top that has been through a bomb blast. She has silicone (hair gel) all over her face and hair. Kate: Bugger. Black out. .......................... Scene 11 Sheryl is entering the lounge from the garden (her previous scene) with her tobacco etc. There is a knock at the door. Sheryl quickly hides her smoking gear and answers it. The Weird Sisters are standing grinning. Gwen: We come in peace. Sheryl: What's this all about? Trudy: We bought Jessica a present. To make up for our pet wearing her dresses. Sheryl: A present? Gwen: A peace offering. Sheryl: (Warily) OK. (Calling out) Hey Jess'. There's a present for you! (To Trudy and Gwen) This had better not be weird. Gwen: Cross my heart and hope to die. Trudy: Me too. Sheryl: (Under her breath) We all live in hope. Jessica: (Coming in) A present? From who? Oh you. Sheryl: Yeah apparently it's to make up for Big Foot wearing your dress. Jessica: Hi ladies. What is it? Gwen: Close your eyes and we'll get it. Jessica: Close my eyes? No, I don't think so. Gwen and Trudy: Pleeeease?! 68


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Jessica: No. Gwen: Don't you trust us? Jessica: No. Trudy: Not even a little bit? Jessica: Nope. Sheryl: Go on Jessica. Lighten up a bit. Jessica: That's great coming from you. Gwen: (Harshly and completely out of character) Close your bloody eyes and do as you're told! Jessica: OK, OK. No need to blow a fuse. (She closes her eyes). Trudy: Good one Gwen. Gwen: Thanks Trud'. Trudy: You too Sheryl. Sheryl: You've got to be joking. Trudy: (Just like Gwen, harshly and completely out of character) Close your bloody eyes and do as you're told! Jessica: Come on mum! Sheryl: (Rolling her eyes) Alright. My eyes are closed. Gwen: Good one Trud'. Trudy: Thanks Gwen. Gwen: OK Trud' get the present. Trudy: OK! (She brings Pete in the door. He is dressed in his builders garb, wearing a tool belt etc and has a huge gift bow and ribbon wrapped around him). Hold out your hands girls. (She puts Jessica and Sheryl’s hands on Pete's tool belt tools). Trudy, Gwen and Pete: Ta daaa! Sheryl and Jessica open their eyes and scream. Sheryl: What the hell?! 69


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Gwen: Pete is your present. He's come to fix your kitchen wall. Pete: It's me! Sheryl: Get this pervert out of my daughter's house! Jessica: No wait Mum. How about you show me how to do it? Pete: Sure. Sheryl: Really? I don't know if this is a good ideaJessica: Come on Mum. I can do this. Wasn't it your idea to fix the wall before Wayne got back? Trudy, Gwen and Pete encourage Sheryl to allow it. Sheryl: OK. (To Pete) But make sure it's to building code standards! There's going to be issues of moisture and insulation. Pete: No problem. We'll take a trip to Bunnings for some bits and pieces. Jessica: (Grabbing keys off the table) We'll take Grandma's car. Pete: We can take my ute. Jessica: She's got Grandads 1968 Ford Mustang. Pete: You win. Jessica: (Excited) Come on. (Calling out) Grandma, taking your car. Back in a bit! Quick before she realises what she just heard! Gwen, Trudy and Pete follow Jessica out as Kate enters dressed as a pirate wench. Kate: The implants were a bad idea. Sheryl: (Rolling her eyes) You're kidding. Kate: Did she say she's taking the car? Sheryl: Yes. Kate: Tart. What was I talking about? Sheryl: The implants were a bad idea.

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Kate: That's right. They were! I know they seemed like a good idea, but Sheryl, take it from me, they were a step too far. I want you to promise me that you'll not go down that road. Tempting as it may be. Sheryl: Promise. Kate: Pirate love and dating a Hip Hop star on the run from the cops is good though. I can personally recommend that. Sheryl: If that's my alternative then I'm happier with Richard than I thought. Kate: Up to you. But the femme fatale business is fraught with danger... and unexpected explosions. Well, I can't sit around and chat all afternoon. I've got Long John Silver picking me up for a rendezvous. We're doing it “Pirate Style” tonight. Sheryl: Stop that! Kate: It's just love Sheryl. Pirate love. Sheryl: But I don't need the details. You're two consenting adults and that's all that matters. Kate: I'm taking him back. He's a new man. Actually he's two new men. Two for the price of one. And fully trained. I suspect that Jessica had a hand in it all. He has her sense of theatricality all over him. And soon my hands! Sheryl: Mum please! Kate: He's late. (Deliciously) I might have to throw him in the brig and get out the cat of nine tails. Sheryl: Stop it! Kate: It's going to be all eye patches and wooden legs tonight if-you-knowwhat-I-mean (she winks knowingly). Sheryl: Actually I have no idea what that means, and I beg you to keep it that way. There is a knock at the door. Kate: (Calling out to Denis outside) Ahoy there my hearty! 71


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Sheryl: This is my cue to be somewhere else. Come on in “Long John”. She rushes off. Denis enters, dressed in his regular attire. Denis: Why was Jessica driving my car down the road with a load of friends? Kate: I have no idea. She'll be back soon. (Noticing how Denis is dressed) Hey where's Long John? Never mind, you can get dressed on the boat. Denis: No boat tonight Kate. I came to say Kate: (Interrupting) No? It won't be the same but we can improvise. Listen Den, if you play your cards right tonight. I'm taking you back. I have to admit what you've done is miraculous. Hardly a hint of the old coot left in ya. Denis: Goodbye Kate. Kate: Where are you going? Denis: (Stopping, standing dead still and looking directly at Kate. He is very, very calm). Goodbye. Kate: What's going on? Denis: You’ll have to find someone else. Kate: What? Denis: Goodbye Kathryn. It was a good 40 years. I don’t regret it. (He takes a house key out of his pocket and gently put it in her hand). I was lucky. Kate: What are you talking about? Denis: I’m leaving you Kate. (Kisses her gently on the cheek and starts walking towards the door. He is leaving). Kate: Denis? You’re leaving me? (Angry) You’re leaving me?! Denis: (Stopping but not turning back to her) Yes. Kate: Oh no you’re bloody well not! I gave you 40 years you ungrateful... (she is lost for words)... bastard! Don’t you dare leave me! (A long pause, Denis doesn’t move. Finally he takes the door handle and opens the door. He is leaving).

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Kate: Stop! Don’t you take another step you... you... not another step! I’m warning you! I’m warning you - I’ll... another step, and I’ll... I’ll... Denis! You ungrateful bastard! (The door is now open and Denis is about to step out. Kate’s bravado is gone) Please. (Denis pauses in the doorway) Please. Denis: (Angry now) You think I don’t know, every single day, that I’m a disappointment to you? I was lucky to have you... you were unlucky to have me. 40 years of being bad luck. That’s what I have been to you. I don’t want to be that person any more. (Bitterly) Go find yourself someone you deserve. Good luck Kate. Kate: That’s not true... I know I said that, but it’s not true. I am lucky to have you. Denis: It’s too late. I could be someone else for you. But what’s the point? Cut out the middleman and get the bloke you want. (Waving his car keys at Kate) And I'm taking my car! Kate: Please don’t leave me. Please... Denis. (Denis leaves.) Denis! She collapses on the couch. After a pause the door opens. Denis: (more a statement than a question) Jessica’s got the car hasn’t she? Kate nods. There is an uncomfortable moment. Denis: What time does she get back? Kate: Don't know. Soon. Denis: (Quickly) Right. (He clearly doesn’t know what to do... ). Kate: Cup of tea? (pause... then gentle, hopeful) While you wait? Denis: That would be nice. Kate: OK then. Sit down. You’re making the place untidy. Black out. Final Monologues

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Each monologue takes place under a spot light, as per the opening monologues. Jessica: Wayne came home and I proudly showed him that we had finished the wall. He took one look at it, smiled warmly, gave me a hug and told me everything we’d done wrong. He said he’d fix it next weekend. I threw the blender at him. Sheryl: When Dickhead, sorry Richard, came home from fishing he was ravenous. I knew he would be and had cooked his favourite dinner. I stalled for two hours. He was almost beside himself with hunger. Finally I served up and then “popped into the kitchen”. I ran around and watched him from the other door. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he fought his desire to plunge in. Finally he sneaked a mouthful and I stepped into the room pouting “Couldn’t you wait for me? You’ve been away all weekend and you can’t even wait to have dinner with me”. It was magic. A victory like that comes once in a life time. I finally understood my mother. Kate: Eventually Jessica came back with the car and Denis did leave. He came back with a new lawn mower half an hour later. It was red. I said that I liked it and asked about its mulching capacity. We mow the lawns together now. I stand out on the deck and watch Denis mow, pointing out bits that he misses... and wearing pink earmuffs he gave me for Mothers Day. And I’m not even his mother. I suppose I’m lucky to have him. The End.

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Props Lectern Cell phone x2 Bottle of wine x2 Wine glass Video camera Tripod Hard hat Safety goggles Clipboards x2 Earmuffs Large book – sermons of Wifery Wiles. Clothes line, washing basket, pegs Vacuum cleaner Note book and pen Torches x2 Overly large thermometer Empty baked bean cans x5 Kate's bucket list Pirates Weekly mag Dog collar and leash Plastic bag Sack Tube of silicone Builders tool belt Large bow and ribbon (around Pete) Car keys

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How To Train Your Husband - Australian Edition