[Lights up on BRAD sitting in front of the TV. He drinks a glass of cider. The sound of the nature show at the top of the play slowly rises coming from the TV.]

ZACH: He was here. [CAT sees him.] Did you leave him? [CAT crosses to BRAD. She watches him.]

CAT: I took the movies.

ZACH: Papillon and Cool Hand Luke?

CAT: First thing I grabbed. Instinct. Seemed like the thing to do.

ZACH: There's more than that in that bag.

[Lights out on ZACH.]

[CAT enters the scene behind BRAD. She pulls out a cigarette and lights it. This gets BRAD'S attention.]

BRAD: How long you been standing there? [No answer. He waves away some smoke.] I wish you wouldn't do that in the house. [She smokes. He watches TV.]

CAT: I got an idea. [No reply.] I said I got an idea.

BRAD: I got an idea too. Put out that cigarette and come over here. This National Geographic is fascinating.

CAT: I said…

BRAD: You want some Thanksgiving cider?

CAT: I got an idea.

BRAD: [Loudly] I heard you! [A thick silence.] What's your idea?

CAT: I think we should switch hats.

BRAD: Hats?

CAT: I want to wear the white hat for a while.

BRAD: [Ignoring her now] Ridiculous.

CAT: Yea. I'm tired of this big black hat and these big black chaps. I want to wear a nice white leisure suit and watch animals have sex. Wouldn't that be fucking nice. [BRAD looks at her.] My son calls me a whore, and my husband; he gives him a brownie button.

BRAD: I did nothing of the kind.

CAT: You might as well. Sitting around here watching a bunch of primates fuck! [She turns off the TV and throws the remote control across the room.] I want to be the good guy! I want to sit around and eat bon-bons while my kids call you an asshole!

BRAD: I want you to calm down right now.

CAT: My own son calls me a whore. That doesn't happen. What kind of parents have we been? [BRAD finds the remote control and sits down on the couch.]

BRAD: You should have just let him go.

CAT: What?

BRAD: He was just going to ride bikes with his friends for Christ's sake. It's natural, to congregate, form clans with his kind… the other children.

CAT: Why do I feel like I'm living in an episode of Mutual of Omaha's wild Kingdom! He can stay with Mama and Papa Bear tonight Brad.

BRAD: It's his Thanksgiving vacation.

CAT: I don't care! I don't know where he goes with his clan-- on those bikes. And I don't like that Jaime. That Jaime he hangs out with.

BRAD: Why?

CAT: He teaches him those words. I'm sure of it. "Oh mommy, Jaime says this and Jaime says that!" I don't like my son's pack leader. His head primate.

BRAD: Is that the little black boy?

CAT: What? No. I don't know.

BRAD: [smiles] Hold on here. Am sniffing a little racism from Miss Flower Power?

CAT: Fuck you.

BRAD: Listen to me. Scenario. Let's say Jaime was white. If Jaime were white would our boy be playing with him right now? If Jaime were white, would we be snuggling on the couch having a little cider instead of fighting right now? If Jaime were white, would I be getting a little peace! [CAT takes a bag and dumps out a large pile of business cards.] What's this? What's going on?

[She dumps out more business cards.]

CAT: These are all the men who attempt to pick me up while buying perfume for their wives.

BRAD: Fascinating.

CAT: Fascinating.

BRAD: Males are programmed to stray. Plant their seed in another males pack. It diversifies the species.

CAT: Is that what it was? [A beat.]

BRAD: That… is over. I don't think there's a need to…

CAT: I am not a whore. You are. You should be called the whore.

BRAD: Are you sure? You're quite a bit older than me ya know. I don't know who you've been with.

CAT: [Dumbfounded] Do you know me?

BRAD: [Apologetically.] Here. Have some cider. [CAT takes the cider and looks at it. BRAD continues quietly, a la Mick Jagger] I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey man!

[He laughs.]

[CAT suddenly cocks her arm and is about to throw the glass of cider, but stops. She puts her cigarette out in it. Then she throws it against the living room wall.]

[Lights up on the bar where ZACH is fishing out two videocassettes from CAT's bag. They're Papillon and Cool Hand Luke.]

ZACH: Well I'll be damned.

CAT: [Sitting at bar] I used to live with a black man. Year and a half. We were almost married.

ZACH: So. What're all these business cards?

CAT: So I guess I used to do a lot of things! They're nice men, with wives. [CAT grabs a KENO ticket out of a plastic holder on the bar.] You ever played this video KENO?

ZACH: Yea. Once. So why did you leave?

CAT: I want to play. How do you play?

ZACH: You pick some numbers-- Is that why you left your husband? Look I'm not some… lying cad.

CAT: Which numbers? These numbers?

ZACH: No. I want to know why you left.

CAT: What do you care? You just want to fuck me right?

[A beat.]

ZACH: [Hurt, but getting even] Yea. Pretty much. But don't you want me to? The fortynothing married broad having the "midlife crisis" flirting with the young kid in a tavern. It's pretty obvious. That is what you want isn't it?

CAT: I want to play KENO. I want to play KENO now. How do I pick ‘em?

ZACH: Well, first you need a pencil.

CAT: Bartender! Bart?

ZACH: There should be a pencil on the bar.

CAT: No, I want the wise ass to get me one. Service please!

BART: [Entering] You bellowed madam?

ZACH: [Finding one] Here's one! Here's a pencil right here.

[CAT snatches the pencil from ZACH.]

CAT: [To BART] Never mind. You may go away.

[CAT begins filling out KENO ticket.]

BART: You sure I can't get a sharpener with your pencil, ma'am?

ZACH: I'll have another beer. Make that two.

CAT: Yea we need another round ‘cause we're gonna fuck!

[BART grabs ZACH by the collar and almost pulls him over the bar.]

BART: Look. I don't know what's going on and I don't care. But I will not have her screaming in this bar- another outburst from Miss Apple Cider and I'm going to stop serving you both.

[BART lets go of ZACH and stomps away.]

CAT: Pick a number. Pick a number between 1 and 80.

ZACH: Ya know, playing video KENO is a pretty sad way to relive your youth.

CAT: I don't want to relive my youth Zach. It was bad enough the first time.

ZACH: Well the next time you get youthful he's going to kick us outta here.

CAT: You never been kicked out of a bar before? [ZACH pauses and starts to respond.] Shut up Zach and pick number.

ZACH: Eight.

CAT: Eight?

ZACH: What-you don't like my number?

CAT: Eight's fine. Eight's great. Eight's a nice… safe number.

ZACH: I've been kicked out of a bar before.

CAT: Sure.

ZACH: I've done crazy things.

CAT: I know you have. Pick another number.

ZACH: Sixty-nine!

CAT: You are one wild and crazy kid Zach.

[The sound of early 80's pop music begins to rise.]

ZACH: I was in a fraternity you know. In college.

CAT: Yea?

ZACH: Yea. And it could get pretty crazy.

[80's song goes full blast.]

[Lights slowly cross fade to MARLENE and JANICE just leaving a dance floor laughing, whooping and hollering. They each hold a lipstick smeared beer cup and are wearing sorority sweaters. They are also wearing ties around their necks that are cut off at the ends.]

MARLENE: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I am so eighty-sixed. No more dancing. I am just too hot girl. I'm sooooooo hot!

JANICE: But Marlene- we just started.

MARLENE: Sssshhhh! Can it woman. I was acting.

[MARLENE freezes. A sign says: "Marlene. Born 1968." MARLENE unfreezes.]

MARLENE: I simply cannot share the dance floor with that bitch Carrie Macintosh. Will you look at her? Oh my God! [JANICE looks.] Well don't look now! She's looking at us. [JANICE turns away. MARLENE looks back.] Okay. Now, you can look now. [Turning away] Stop! Not now! [Turning back] Okay now. [MARLENE and JANICE stare again.] Will you look at what she's wearing? [Seeing JANICE stare] Well don't gawk girl! [Looking back] What a super mega-cunt.

JANICE: Marlene?

MARLENE: Well not you Janice! Carrie Macintosh! [Grabbing her hand] Come on! [They move to another area. Music softens.] Okay, now Janice… now that you are an official Kappa Gam pledge there are a few things that I, being your big sister for practically eternity should let you know. And the first is- I think you are sooo cool and I'm so happy you're my little sister!!

[They scream and hug.]

JANICE: I think I'm really happy I picked you Marlene.

MARLENE: Oh, without a doubt! Without a doubt! You picked the best and I am so happy you did girl because we are going to par-tay! [She smashes her beer into JANICE'S in a wild toast. They drink.] But first I gotta let you in on some things. What every KG should know. First, let me run down the fraternities: Delts are stoners, Betas are jocks, Sigs are drones, and Phis are… Phis are--

JANICE: Phis are what?

MARLENE: I can't remember what Phis are but I'm sure they're dicks. The point is that this is a Chi Delt party and Chi Delts have the coolest parties ever! Whohoo!

JANICE: [Trying hard] Whohoo!

MARLENE: All Kappa Gams date Chi Delts. Except that pudgy little slut Carrie Macintosh. My god her boobs were practically bouncing off her forehead! It's called a bra bitch!

JANICE: What every KG should know number 2: always wear a bra.

MARLENE: You are so funny! I like that. What every Kappa Gam should know number 3: don't ever, and I mean ever, make the mistake I did and sit on the members couch here-- it's only for Chi Delts and if you sit on their couch, they'll shower you in nothing flat.

JANICE: Shower you?

MARLENE: Yea. They throw you in the guys' shower and turn the water on! You get your hair wet, clothes wet, your shirt clings to your boobs and you totally nip out and then you have to run all the way across campus and change!

JANICE: Because you sat on their couch?

MARLENE: Actually its kind of fun. All those strong arms carrying you into a shower…

JANICE: If you say so.

MARLENE: Lighten up missy! It's all fun! Kappa Gams have fun! You gotta have fun now ‘cause what I heard you definitely won't later!

JANICE: What every KG should know!

MARLENE: Whoohoo! We had so much fun here last night. Where were you anyway?

JANICE: [Shrugs] I'm sure I was having fun though!

MARLENE: You should have been here! It was an absolute scream! Someone was playing that Madonna song "Holiday" ya know? And Box, my boyfriend, he was running around hitting everybody on the arm--

JANICE: Wait. His name is Box?

CONTINUE...

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Copyright © 2003 by Nick Zagone

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