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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Patsy Presley and the Patron Saints of Swing

 Cast of Characters: 
PATSY PRESLEY        an Elvis impersonator who thinks she has famous parents
BLUES DADDY JACKSON  a Jordanaire who has seen everything
AARON CLINE          a famous broken-hearted musician
THE PATRON SAINTS OF SWING  the house band: a who’s who of dead Rock-n-Roll and Country Western musicians
JIMMY              a rebound
ANNOUNCER

Musical Numbers:
ACT I
Overture - Saints
Patsy Presley Theme I - Saints
Death by Miss Adventure - Patsy
Falling Down the Road - Patsy
Blues Daddy’s Theme I - Blues Daddy
The Truck Song - Patsy
It's Me - Patsy, Saints
ACT II
Enteract - Saints
Patsy Presley Theme II - Saints
Aaron’s Waltz - Aaron
Sadder than Kansas - Aaron
That Radio - Patsy, Aaron
Rock Bottom, Truck Song, Falling Down the Road Reprieve - Patsy
Patsy Presley Theme III - Patsy, Saints
You Got You - Blues Daddy
Aaron’s Waltz reprieve - Aaron
Patsy Cline Medley - Patsy
Take Me Back - Aaron
Rock Me - Patsy, Aaron
You Got You reprieve - Company

ACT I
[The stage is a garage, empty except for a steamer trunk DSR.US, a garage door opens to reveal a bandstand, which travels DS as the SAINTS play the overture and then sing:]

SAINTS
Hello everybody
Welcome, welcome, welcome
Welcome to the Patsy Presley Show
Hello everybody,
Hello everybody
Welcome, welcome, welcome
Come on now it’s time to go
To visit Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
and the King of Rock-N-Roll
Rolled into one at the bottom of her soul
Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
and the King of Rock-N-Roll
This is Patsy’s story so watch it now unfold.
Welcome everybody
Come on in and sit down
Take off your shoes and set a spell
We are going to tell you
A very silly story
And we hope we tell it very well
About Patsy Presley
Drunk, confused and angry
and she don’t know who she is
She’s about to find out and set the record straight
Patsy Presley
The poor little orphan
Who grew up fast and hard
And never had a day
That wasn’t filled with a little hate
But we’re gonna change that
Right here on this stage now
You will see a creature to despise
Patsy who is angry
Drunk, unloved and fearful
She will change before your very eyes
Into Patsy Presley
The Queen of Country Music
And the King of Rock-n-Roll
Rolled into one at the bottom of her soul

[SAINTS play a song that changes into PATSY’s as they exit through the garage door US.PATSY enters L, Punked out, strung out and strumming an electric guitar]


PATSY
Jimmy?Jimmy!I really think we should do this song on the tour.When are we leaving?I know I missed a few meetings and 7, 8? OK nine rehearsals, but this song is good.I’ll play loud so you can hear.[she plugs into an amp behind the trunk and sings]


Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you or I’m gonna’ die
I’m gonna’ love you like thunderheads do
I’m gonna’ love you like rain
I’m gonna love you like the tide rolls in
Again and again and again!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you ‘till I die
I’m all over you like a blanket
I’m gonna mess with your hair
I’m all over you so just look out
Over there, over there, over there!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you till you die
I want to be in your dreams tonight
I’m gonna make you proud
I want to make you scream my name
Out loud, out loud, out loud!
Death by Miss Adventure
Death by Miss Adventure
I don’t care how hard I try
I’m gonna’ love you or I’m gonna’ die
[She finishes by knocking over the amp, which feeds back, then realizes there’s really no one there.]

PATSY
Wasn’t that shit, tits and ass?Hey, where the hell is everyone?Where did everyone… go? [sees the note taped to the trunk]What?Jimmy?

JIMMY v.o.
Patsy, where the hell are you?We waited around for three hours.Today we waited for three hours.Me and the band have been waiting for three days.We finally had to go. Without you!Patsy, you promised me you’d be here at nine.You promised you were through drinking and using and lying to me.Well, I guess you lied again.But Patsy, I’m telling you the truth.I’m not coming back.Consider us divorced.It will be an easy thing to undo.I’m so mad, Patsy.At you but mostly at myself for believing you, for living ½ of a marriage.I wish I could end this with “I love you,” but I don’t think I love you.I’m not sure either of us were capable of giving or receiving love.And I know one thing, I don’t even like you…Love, Jimmy.

[Patsy goes through the seven stages on loss in 15 seconds]

PATSY
Augggh!I knew it!God Dam-Muther F- Agh!Never marry on the rebound.Never marry on the rebound.Never marry on the rebound!I knew I didn’t love him and now he doesn’t love me.I knew it.I knew it when I met that motherfucker…I said…

[As she sings, Patsy opens the trunk, which contains one outfit, several pill bottles and a case of Jack Daniels, and mixes up a suicidal brew.]

Should I be fearful of love?
Or should I fall?
Is loving and loosing another,
Better than never loving at all?
Jumping right back into love,
Putting up my heart.
Will it be left in tact,
Or will it be torn apart?
Chorus:
Falling for another lover,
(Who) might turn out like all the others.
Married, buried or carried away,
Leaving me black, blue and gray.
One more boyfriend down the road,
How many more I just don’t know.
Chorus
II
Living and loving today,
Is a full time thing.
(But) I think its worth the trouble,
When I’m looking at this ring.
Opening my heart up to him,
Letting go my fear.
Hearing him say, “I love you”,
Whispering into my ear.
Chorus
- BreakIII
Once I was fearful of love,
But I took the fall.
Falling with all I had for him,
He left me with nothing at all.
Feeling much older now,
Now that it’s done.
Now that my heart’s been plundered,
No love left for anyone.
Chorus

[As patsy tilts up the suicide potion, a bus pulls up and parks off stage.]

BDJ (offstage)
Hello?

PATSY
The Band’s gone.No one’s here.Go away.
[BLUES DADDY JACKSON enters L]

BDJ
But I just got here.

PATSY
Too bad.The band left me, my husband left me and I’m about to leave.

BDJ
Where are you goin’ with this luggage?

PATSY
Nowhere.

BDJ
Nowhere?Well lookey here little lady, I got a bus full of musicians and we need a band singer. We’re going on tour.I thought I heard a lot of beautiful singin a few minutes ago...Do you, ah, have a sister..?

PATSY
No.This ugly exterior can produce some pretty music, mister.I’m Patsy Presley…who are you?

BDJ
I am John Lee Jackson but everybody calls me Blues Daddy.

PATSY
Blues Daddy Jackson.Have I heard of you?

BDJ
You might have.I have been everywhere, played in about a hundred bands.I know about a thousand songs and I never forget a face.Especially one that shows so much sadness and anger as the one I’m lookin’ at now.

PATSY
Yeah?Well this face is going to be real peaceful in about five minutes.I’ve had it with all the unhappiness and the running.I always hoped to find out who the hell I am and what my purpose in life is, but I guess I never will.And the pain.The pain in my heart and soul are too much!I can’t blot them out with any amount of drugs, drinking, screwing, fighting…

BDJ
You might not know who you are but I do.And you might not know what your purpose in life is but I do again.Patsy Gershwitz-

PATSY
Don’t call me that!

BDJ
Your purpose in life is to make the world a happier place.

PATSY
[erupting in laughter]That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard!Me!Happy!Me, happy enough to spread happiness.[laughs] I’ll have you know I’m a specialist in screwing things up.My own parents left me.My other parents were rendered comatose by me.I can make angels cry when I sing sad songs, and sad songs are all that I sing…I am about the last person in the world to be happy. [continues laughing hysterically]

BDJ
Yeah you look real sad…

PATSY [stops laughing]
Is that what happiness feels like?

BDJ
You have made people happy and you have loved.You have also been loved but you didn’t know it.And I’ve known people to love you too…

PATSY
Oh, right. You know me better than I do and you know all about me. Just who in the hell are you, anyhow?

BDJ
I am a very lucky man. I have seen many wonderful things.I’ve seen a lot of bad and still like the good and I still spread the good.I’ve got news for you, Miss.You are going to learn to be happy and what love is.You have to believe me.I’m your Blues Daddy and I speak the truth.I’ve come to find you. I’ve been everywhere, man, and I’ve seen everything. [sings]

I’ve seen every thing
That a man can see
I’m you’re Blues Daddy
That’s who I be
I’ve seen Lady Day
And I’ve seen Texas Bob
I saw Muddy Waters
Lookin’ for a job
I saw Luke the Drifter
And I saw Kitty Wells
Seen them gates of Heaven
And the gaping jaws of Hell
Chorus
I’ve seen every thing
That a man can see
I’m you’re Blues Daddy
That’s who I be
II
I saw Caledonia
Then I saw Lucille
I saw Hank in a Cadillac
(But) didn’t think it was real
I’ve seen the King a swingin’
I’ve seen his Blue Suede Shoes
Seen him alone at Graceland
Seen up close the Blues
Chorus
III
I saw Carl Perkins
I saw Jerry Lee
Workin’ at Sun Records
Singin’ harmony
I saw Momma Maybelle
And June Carter too
Johnny Cash in the middle
Didn’t know what to do
Chorus
- Break
I knew Patsy Cline
I knew John Lee Hooker
Between the two of them
Patsy was the looker
I saw Loretta Modern
I saw Loretta Lynn
I saw the Grant Ole Opry
But they wouldn’t let me in

PATSY
You know all those people?Did you ever meet the King?

BDJ
The King of what country?I’ve met a mess of royalty.

PATSY
No.The King.Elvis?[BDJ laughs]What are you laughing at?

BDJ
Patsy Presley.I get it.

PATSY
For your information, I am the foremost female Elvis Impersonator… I wear a wig. So did you ever meet him?I wish I knew him.I dream about Elvis Presley every night…

BDJ
Yes.He’s holding you in his arms and singing a lullaby-

PATSY
How did you know that?I’ve never told anyone about that in my life. My, life.

BDJ
Never you mind about that.There’s plenty of time for stories…

PATSY
No.No there’s not.I just took enough booze and pills to kill an elephant.

BDJ
Didja now?

PATSY
Didn’t I?I don’t remember.

BDJ
Girl, you are in a state.Now how did you get to be thinkin’ that you’re not worthy of love-

PATSY
I’ve never told anyone about that ei-

DBJ
Now come on.Nothing can be that bad.Why don’t you tell your Blues Daddy…

PATSY
Well for your information, and you’re not my Blues Daddy, I don’t have a daddy.Or a momma. And now I don’t have a husband, a band and I’m not gonna be bringin’ the King to all the lonely people across the nation.They all left me!The band and Jimmy, we had a contract and everything.I guess it’s because I spent the last nine days drunk, pissed off and violent but that’s no way to treat a lady.I’m Patsy Presley.I’m the act!So I’m jacked up on pills and drunk off my ass. So I miss several rehearsals…

BDJ
No, darlin’ what you missed is the point.You’ve been doing just about everything except what you should be doing.You’ve got some pain and you wash it away with hard livin'.Got no love in you.Now, Ol Blues Daddy gonna take you on the bus...

PATSY
Oh, no.The last time I got on a Bus I-

BDJ
Fell in love!

PATSY
How do you know all these things I’ve never ever told any one, all my secrets?I don’t even remember these things.

For rights and royalty information, please contact W. Simmons & Associates
info@wsimmonsandassociates.com

The Rules of Engagement

a short play in four acts
By Kevin Six

Synopsis: The Rules of Engagement is a study of women in conflict.It takes place alternately in “fantasy” where things are more real and in your face with swordplay, rules of engagement, winners and losers; and “reality” where things are more gray. There is a lot of fighting

Cast of Characters: Seven actresses play 12 roles, five of them appear in fantasy and reality.Two men can be played by actors or the actresses playing Katarina and Mary Ann.
Goddess/Amy/Amorah
Crone/Sam/Vasia
Mother/Stephanie/Vivia
Katarina (Stephanie’s friend)
Lover/Kerry/Sexta
Mary Ann (Libby and Kerry’s friend)
Daughter/Libby/Presta
Jason (Anton’s Son)
Anton (Jason’s Father)

Fights: Each fight features a different type of weapon and the style associated with it.That will be left to those who know more about these things.Each fight is a duel for a prize.Each prize in “fantasy” is one given by Amy in “reality.”They are all pins that symbolize each state of woman.Daughter fights Lover and takes her place.Lover fights Mother and takes her place.Mother fights Crone and takes her place.Crone fights Goddess and by losing, gets her life to do over.But she keeps the trinkets, the prizes and the teachings they represent.

ACT I
Daughter Becomes Lover
Scene 1
The stage is bare except for a fire upstage center. Above it is an Alter to the Goddess with a platform for her to appear upon.There is a communal space center.
PRESTA enters.She is dressed in fantasy garb and carries a very heavy sword.

PRESTA
Hello?Hello?Is anyone here?
There is no answer.

PRESTA
Hello?I was told you might see me.I was also told you might as easily kill me.I do not what to use my arms.I am here to ask you to help me—

VASIA
To help you win a battle.

VASIA has entered unknown to PRESTA.Her dress is very masculine and it is hard to tell her gender at first – until she fights, at which time she removes the masculine outer garments to reveal her figure.VASIA’S entrance has startled PRESTA who tries vainly to bear the sword.VASIA laughs.

VASIA
Careful young one.If you drop that sword you’ll get quite a headache.

PRESTA
I can use it!I’m the best swordsman in my village.

VASIA
Swordsman?

PRESTA
Yes.I am better than all the boys and men.

VASIA
Are all the others in your village dead then?Or do they let you win because you’re beautiful?

PRESTA
I am not—

VASIA
Of course you are!That’s why it’s so funny to me.Young women do not fight in these parts. Sword play is the charge of young men and a select few Crones, like—

PRESTA
You are not!

VASIA
Of course I am.Look around young one, do you see children?A Husband?No, I have grown to maturity alone and I have earned the right to choose what I do with my life.And most of my freedom was earned with the blade.

VASIA unsheathes a much lighter and probably sharper instrument.PRPESTA is scared but stands to arm.

PRESTA
Do you wish to engage me?

VASIA
If only to see if you can really lift that gatepost you carry.

PRESTA takes up a defensive position.

PRESTA
I haven’t used it much but I was told you are the best swordsman in the country.

VASIA
Swordswoman, young one.I am a woman.Are you sure you want to die a maid?

PRESTA’S blush turns to anger and she charges VASIA who parries, and after a few short moves, disarms and stands over PRESTA ready to strike.She laughs the whole time.

PRESTA
I am not afraid to die!It would be an honor to die at your hand… But…

VASIA
But you came to ask me a favor.

PRESTA
Yes.

VASIA
To help you train.

PRESTA
Yes.

VASIA
So that you can kill a rival.

PRESTA
How did you know?

VASIA helps PRESTA up.

VASIA
Every year about this time, just after the thaw, young men have swallowed their pride and come to have me teach them sword work.Some are sincere, others are cocky.The cocky die a most embarrassing death.

PRESTA
So I am sincere?

VASIA
You are a curiosity to me.You are the first young woman I have seen on this kind of quest.Women come to me but they are of an age where innocence has passed and other desires replace those more traditional ones – some of the ones I assume you are here to see me about.

PRESTA
Will you take me on as a pupil?

VASIA
I don’t know.I don’t even know your name…

PRESTA
Presta.And how should I address you?Master?

VASIA
Never call me Master!Call me Vasia.

PRESTA
But I would be such a good student…

VASIA
What?Fighting like you do, with so much emotion, will get you killed.I am surprised that you are alive today…

PRESTA
You were right.The boys in my village let me win.But I did learn a few things.May I show you?

VASIA
There will be time for that.First, I think I need to hear the story.

VASIA puts a kettle on the fire.

PRESTA
What story?

VASIA
About the young man.And the young woman to whom he’s betrothed.

PRESTA
How did you know?

VASIA
I am not a young woman but I was once and not as long ago as you might think.The man.Is he worth dying for?

PRESTA
Oh, completely.I would do anything to—

VASIA
And the young woman.Your sister?

PRESTA
How did—?Yes.

VASIA
You want to kill your own sister over a man?

PRESTA
She didn’t even know him until I told her about him.She has to be married first so I asked her to hurry and choose so I could marry him.He doesn’t even love her but his parents and mine have made an arrangement.

VASIA
He loves you, then?

PRESTA
Yes… No…I don’t know!I hoped that with my sister out of the way he would have to marry me.It is the custom in our village.

VASIA
You want to kill your sister over a young man who might not even love you?Do you know what comes of a loveless marriage?A loveless life.A bitter and disappointing life.Why would you choose this?

PRESTA
He is the only man who—

VASIA
There will be others!You are young and beautiful.Why have no other men talked to your father?

PRESTA
It is only women in my family.My father was a great soldier.

VASIA
And like all great soldiers he is dead.

PRESTA
Yes.Before I even knew him.But my sister remembers him.He taught her to fight.In my house, I am one of many.Me, my sister, mother, aunt and grandmother.

VASIA
That’s why men don’t come to court?Lots of power in that clan I guess.

PRESTA
You don’t know the half of it.

VASIA
What else?

PRESTA
I lied.I am not the best swortsm—swordswoman in the village.My sister is.All the boys and most of the men have tried her.Mainly to win her hand.But she beats them all – and many carry scars that add to their disappointment.The boys…

VASIA
The boys fight you so that they may learn to best your sister.

PRESTA
Yes.But one won’t fight.

VASIA
This is the one you are here about no doubt.

VASIA pours tea.

PRESTA
Are you gifted with second sight Master Vasia?

VASIA
Vasia will do, Presta.No, I am not gifted in that way.I do have a good connection to the Goddess but I do not have second sight.I can tell your story because it is close to my own.

PRESTA
It is?

VASIA
Yes, young Presta.And mine didn’t have a traditional ending…

VASIA gestures to her clothes, the d├ęcor and the weapons all around.

PRESTA
Did you?Well, what happened?

VASIA
There will be time for that.First we must see what The Goddess has in store for you.Are you willing to submit to her will?

PRESTA
What does that mean?

VASIA
The Goddess knows your life’s plan.If you like, I can ask her for you.Might save you a lot of unnecessary trouble.

PRESTA
Can you do that?

VASIA
Yes.But first you must be purified.

VASIA places herbs on the fire, chief among them sage.PRESTA is led through the flame.

PRESTA
It didn’t even—

VASIA
A good sign to be sure.Now sit here and face the Alter.

The women sit as two points of a triangle, the top of which is the Alter.The Goddess AMORAH appears on the Alter, dressed as a war goddess should be.She is wise, old, fit tough as nails and beautiful—with a large capacity for love.

AMORAH
Peace to those who pronounce the incantations properly.Woe to those who misuse the power of the Goddess Amorah.

VASIA
Amorah.Great Mother.

AMORAH
It is my acolyte.Speak, Vasia.

VASIA
I am here with one who petitions.

AMORAH
Who asks of me?

VASIA nods to PRESTA.

PRESTA
It is I, Great Mother.I am Presta.

AMORAH
Ah!Finally have you come to settle the accounts and fulfill the prophesy.

PRESTA
What?No, I just want your advice on—

AMORAH
Be silent, child and listen while I read the words etched on thy heart, the desire of thy being and the woman you may become if you wish to engage the mind, body, soul and spirit.

PRESTA
I…I don’t know.

VASIA
It’s OK. Just listen to the Goddess.

AMORAH
Presta.Thy will is strong.It confuses my great plan for you.The key that unlocks a door to the Universe is thine for the asking.But you would have Presta be the name be of the greatest to wear the armor and brandish the sword.Thy shield will protect the masses.It is you who must decide the path you choose.One is not ordinary and the other is less so.

PRESTA
But, there’s this guy, see…

VASIA
Great Mother.Amorah.What is your will for young Presta?

AMORAH
Her path is divided by that strong will of hers.To love one or many?To protect the very world or be a citizen of it?She will not remember until her choice has been made.

VASIA
When will the choice be made, Amorah?

AMORAH
When it is made.In time.

VASIA
But what, Great Mother, should we do while we await her enlightenment?

AMORAH
Love or glory.It is her choice.

VASIA
What to do, Amorah, in the time before the choice is made?

AMORAH
What you were born to do, Vasia.What you chose to do right here – in your own time.To train your successor.

VASIA
Mistress!

AMORAH
It is time or it is not time.Together will you know. You know thy path and there are variables for all students.Should she choose her own path, Presta’s leads through you.Teach her all you would to help her and protect the self.

VASIA
Thank you Mother Amorah!

AMORAH disappears and PRESTA comes out of a deep trance.

PRESTA
What a dream I had.Did you commune with the Goddess?Did she enlighten you?

VASIA
Don’t you remember?

PRESTA
I remember a dream that even now fades away so fast it’s frustrating!Tell me.What will we do?

VASIA
We will train.

PRESTA
Master!

VASIA
Call me Teacher.

The lights fade down on the cave and…
…up on a modern day living room.

Scene 2

The Alter has become a fireplace and the communal space a couch and coffee table. There is a wedding shower underway.On the couch is KERRY next to her friend MARY ANN.To one side is KERRY’S Grandmother AMY, her Mother STEPHANIE and STEPHANIE’S friend KATARINA.KERRY opens a present.

KERRY
Oh, Grandma Amy!It’s a beautiful pin.Is it one of yours?

AMY
No, Kerry.I got that years ago and have been waiting for one of my granddaughters to get engaged so I could give it to her.

STEPHANIE
Libby will be so jealous.

AMY
She gets one similar when…

For rights and royalty information, please contact W. Simmons & Associates
info@wsimmonsandassociates.com

Love Negotiated


Love Negotiated synopsis

Love Negotiated is a two act comedy about love.  Attorney Richard is so afraid of marriage, and all that goes with it, that he negotiated a non-nuptial agreement with his partner, attorney Veronica.  Veronica chooses the wrong time to bring up a re-negotiation of terms – minutes before an engagement party they’re hosting.  The party features ex-spouses, ex lovers, people moving into and out of relationships for all the right and wrong reasons.

Act one ends with everyone who was in a relationship out of it.  Except Richard and Veronica who must now help their friends come to terms with what everyone calls “The Night.”

Love Negotiated setting and situations

Love Negotiated takes place in modern times and in one location.  It is the home of Richard and Veronica, who seem to have just had sex before most of the scenes begin.  The set, described in the body of the play, can be big or small, expensive or a mere suggestion.  Furniture plays a part in the play but lighting does more to convey locations and draw battle lines. 

Many scenes contain dialogue that others can’t hear, dialogue that plays off many characters at once and a pace that is frenetic, fast and funny.

ACT I


Scene 1 – The Fight

RICHARD enters from the bedroom.

RICHARD
Veronica, why do you always start these things five minutes before the guests arrive?

VERONICA (off stage)
What do you mean?

RICHARD
You know what I mean.  You just said—

VERONICA enters from the bedroom.

VERONICA
I don’t think I love you, Richard.

RICHARD
Here we go again!  And the happy couple will be here any minute.  I just love your timing.

VERONICA
We did just make love.

RICHARD
My point exactly.  Timing!  How you drop a bomb on me like that?

VERONICA
Can you possibly mean that you are connected to your sex organ?  You of the detachable penis theory of love?

RICHARD
How can you say you don’t love me?

VERONICA
I said I don’t think I love you.  There’s a difference.  Now here’s the real question, Richard.  Do you love me?

RICHARD
How can you ask that after what you said?


VERONICA
You don’t think you love me either, Richard.  Don’t be so silly.  You’re the one who goes on ad nauseum about the perils of marriage– 

RICHARD
A-ha!  The real reason for the fight!  The M-Word, Ad nauseum and ad infinitum, “Why won’t you marry me, Richard?”

VERONICA
Argument, dear.  People who love each other don’t fight.  They argue.

RICHARD
Oh, thank God.  We love each other again.

VERONICA
Some day I will get you to say it to my face.  It means a lot to me and that’s why I think I don’t love you.

RICHARD
Love and marriage don’t work, I’ve told you that.  I see it every day.

VERONICA
Yes, I know.  The agreement.

RICHARD
Yes, the agreement.

VERONICA
Whose idea was that anyway?

RICHARD
Yours.

VERONICA (doesn’t hear him)
And who ever heard of a non-nuptial agreement.

RICHARD
It was your idea.  We negotiated it.  It exists.

VERONICA
Because you were scared of getting involved again and I love you, Richard!

RICHARD
But it’s solved more than one disagreement…


VERONICA
An exercise in trust that turned into a 67-page document negotiated by four lawyers.

RICHARD
Trust needed to be exercised.

VERONICA
Some towns have smaller phone books.

RICHARD
I trust you now.

VERONICA
I can’t imagine actually going to court to enforce a non-nuptial agreement.

RICHARD
No, the agreement calls for binding arbitration.

VERONICA
Who would be stupid enough to arbitrate that document?

RICHARD
John, your ex.

VERONICA
Oh, right.  It was a condition of our post-nup.

RICHARD
You mean the divorce agreement.

VERONICA
Yes, for the assets but we have a separate agreement spelling out our relationship after the marriage.

RICHARD
The opposite of a restraining order?  Like a retaining order?

VERONICA
Yes.  We wanted to spell out how to get along.  Everyone says they’ll stay friends…

RICHARD
You have a post-nuptial agreement with your ex-husband!?


VERONICA
Yes, darling and it’s worked out quite well.

RICHARD
I need to get out of law.

VERONICA
Ah, but page 28, subsection 13, paragraph nine clearly states that both parties’ financial participation must be equal and that a change of status—

RICHARD
It’s an exercise in trust!

VERONICA
Then tear it up!

RICHARD
Oh, God no.

VERONICA
You should really get into wills and trusts, like me.

RICHARD
Too much death.

VERONICA
And what of the death of love? 

RICHARD
And what of breach of contract?

VERONICA
Is that what you call lovemaking now a days?

RICHARD
When you do things like that to me…

VERONICA
I just said that it would be nice for you to impregnate me.

RICHARD
How could you say that, at a time like that?

VERONICA
During sex?

RICHARD
Who does something like that?

VERONICA
Um, everyone in the civilized world and many people from California?

RICHARD
Look, sex is not the time to talk about re-negotiating the non-nuptial agreement.

VERONICA
I agree.  Sex is the time to talk about love and spreading that love to children.

RICHARD
Ah!  The C-Word.

VERONICA
Used in conjunction with the L-Word!  You’d better call your attorney and sue me for breach of a ridiculous bullshit document signed under duress by an insane woman. 

RICHARD
Diapers.

VERONICA
The D-Word.

RICHARD
Proms.

VERONICA
The P-word?  New one on me.

RICHARD
Keg-stands!

VERONICA
OK, now you’ve got me scared.  Children are scary, honey, but I want to slowly open up the idea of having them, slowly.

RICHARD
OK, in 50 years, let’s talk about it.

VERONICA
What are you afraid of, Richard?


RICHARD
Haven’t you been listening!?  Everything!  I fear love and marriage—

VERONICA
Ha!  I knew it!

RICHARD
I know you know it because it’s all I’ve preached since my own.

VERONICA
What’s so bad about divorce?  We both lived.  Our exes lived –flourished– after the divorces.

RICHARD
And we get to bring it all up again in about five minutes! 

VERONICA
They’re both coming? 

RICHARD
Yes.  Don’t you remember?  Kate—

VERONICA
Your ex.

RICHARD
—is with Luke who is close to the groom Mark. 

VERONICA
Maybe too close–

RICHARD
Silly theory.  And John—

VERONICA
My ex.

RICHARD
His wife, Ann, is friends with betrothed Maria.

VERONICA
You don’t think Mark is a little.—?

RICHARD
Poofey?  He writes music.  They’re all over-sensitive, but he is a cop.

VERONICA
All the better a husband for over-loving Maria.  But Luke and Mark have a relationship that is more than just two guys being friends.

RICHARD
Mark doesn’t impress me as gay.  Let’s see… He’s engaged—to a woman, he’s a cop.  Well, I guess all that leather…

VERONICA
And you’re homophobic!

RICHARD
I love gay people.  My practice has doubled since gay marriage and, God bless it, gay divorce.  They’re so… transitory.  They move in and out of relationships more than, well, anyone else.  Shit, we could make a fortune on post-nups.

VERONICA
Please stop being an asshole before the guests arrive. 

RICHARD
If anyone’s gay it’s Ann.

VERONICA
You have five more minutes, asshole!

RICHARD
Busybody!

VERONICA
You can’t call me that, it’s in the agreement.

RICHARD
We’re re-negotiating the agreement.

VERONICA
Really?  Oh, Richard, you say the most romantic things.  Silly, stupid, legalistic, bordering on the insane, but romantic.

RICHARD
Let’s get this night of a thousand crazies over with and we can talk about it.  In bed…

VERONICA
Let’s not pass judgment on our friends—


RICHARD
And exes.

VERONICA
And how can you think the cello is a man’s instrument? 

RICHARD
What?

VERONICA
Ann plays the cello and that’s how John fell in love with her.

RICHARD
And you let him.

VERONICA
It was a different time.  We had a different agreement.  Twenty pages, max.  We tried everything to make it work, the three of us.

RICHARD
Do you have any video?

VERONICA
God, that’s cheap.  Sex is a sacred trust.  I don’t think I know you anymore, Richard.  You’re becoming a homophobic, sexist, asshole who is incapable of love! 

RICHARD
And you’re a damned Pollyanna.  Denying that ugly things happen and ugly people do them.  You tie up everything in a pretty pink ribbon and make everything out to be so nice but you can’t control me and my feelings, your ex, my ex, your world and it kill’s you—

VERONICA (hitting Richard)
You’re cruel.

 

The doorbell rings.


RICHARD (grabs and embraces VERONICA)
I, a sexist, homophobic asshole cruel?  How about you punish me after the party?  Look… I’m…

VERONICA
…sorry.

RICHARD
Yes.  That.  I say things because they’re funny.  Stupid, but funny.  And, I’ll…

VERONICA
…be nice.

RICHARD
Yes that too.  And, Ronnie?  I do…

VERONICA
Yes.  I know.

The doorbell rings again.

Scene 2 – The Truth?

VERONICA gets the door. MARK and MARIA enter obviously engaged to be married. RICHARD gives them drinks.

MARIA
Are we early?

VERONICA
Someone has to be first.

RICHARD
Maybe the other guests are all hiding so you’ll be first.  Did you see anyone on stakeout?

MARK
Maria’s the better investigator, aren’t you honey?

MARIA
Mark has a sixth sense about people.  If there were people lurking in the shadows he’d know it.

VERONICA
I hope this party won’t be full of shady characters.

RICHARD
Like musicians, actors and attorneys?  I think we’re in trouble.  Besides you’re not early, Ronnie pla—

VERONICA
I think it’s so romantic how you met.  Richard, do you know how Mark and Maria met? 
MARK
Veronica planned something?

VERONICA shoots a look at RICHARD who nods slightly at MARK.

RICHARD
No.  How did they meet?  I’m always concerned with how couples part.  Who’s fucking who they shouldn’t, whose name the bonds are in.  That kind of stuff.

VERONICA
Richard!  This is an engagement party.  Please!

MARIA
I get a lot of that too, investigating for your firm, Rich.  But, when you find true love, it changes you.  Now work’s just work.  I can hardly wait to get home—

RICHARD
From all the lies, cheating, fraud—

MARIA
--and be with my honey.

VERONICA
It’s all so romantic.  Mark saw Maria singing in a club and wrote a song for her.

MARIA
It’s more romantic than even that.  Mark wrote the song before he even met me.  Talk about fate.  It’s a perfect song for my range and my heart.

MARK
I had this song in my head.  It was obviously about a man.

RICHARD and VERONICA share a look.

MARK (continues)
It was from the woman’s point of view, I guess.  I couldn’t sing it, really.

RICHARD
Not around the police station, certainly.

MARIA
And after he heard me sing, he came right up and said, “I have the perfect song for you.”  It is the perfect song.  We’re going to play it at the wedding.

VERONICA
What’s it called?

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