3 GUYS IN DRAG SELLING THEIR STUFF
A Play By
Edward Crosby Wells
Nearly 30 productions of this play have been performed world-wide
BEST PLAY 2000 – 2001
For Excellence in Off-Off Broadway Theatre
Spotlight On Productions
Restrictions currently apply on this title,
please inquire for specific details
and licensing availability.
© COPYRIGHT 2000, 2011 EDWARD CROSBY WELLS
All rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in newspaper, magazine, radio or television reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronics or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
This material is fully protected under the Copyright Laws of the United States of America and all other countries of the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions and is subject to royalty. All rights including, but not limited to professional, amateur, recording, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio and television broadcasting, and the right of translation into foreign languages are expressly reserved.
No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright of, or the right to copyright, this play may be impaired.
No one shall make any changes in this play for the purpose of production.
Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance. Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to the author or the author’s agent for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.
All producers of 3 GUYS IN DRAG SELLING THEIR STUFF must give credit to the Author of the Play in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play, and in all instances in which the title of the Play appears for the purposes of advertising, publicizing or otherwise exploiting the Play and/or a production. The name of the Author must appear on a separate line on which no other name appears, immediately following the title and must appear in size of type not less than fifty percent of the size of the title type.
GUYS IN DRAG SELLING THEIR STUFF, produced by Spotlight On Productions, premiered at the Raw Space Theatre in NYC on January 20, 2000 under the direction of Frank Calo with the following cast and crew:
DIVA: Robert C. Boston, Jr.
LILLIAN: Dana Pointe
TINK: Myles Cohen
Director: Frank Calo
Stage Manager: Sue Marticek
Lighting Designer: Louis Lopardi
Sound Designer: Frank Calo
Set Designers: Tom Barz and Sue Marticek
Costume Designer: Steven Thornburg
Publicity: Calthor Productions
“. . . a trashy delight . . . Diva and Lillian hark straight back to Jackie Gleason and Art Carney . . . And finally, a la South Park, results in a police shootout when someone plays with a cap gun. A satisfying result for a laugh-a-minute, hairbrained play. It takes place on a suburban planet of its own.”
—John Chatterton, OOBR
“With the help of some brilliant dialogue, and the clever antics of the three characters, your mind's eye will create the entire neighborhood including an elderly friend who is hit by a truck, a handsome Greek motorcyclist, and Diva's mother in the nursing home across the street. Lillian's punch, made especially for the occasion, is heavily spiked and the plot gets more outrageous as the "girls" imbibe.”
—KDHX, St. Louis
“3 Guys in Drag Selling Their Stuff is side-splitting, to say the least . . . wicked wit . . . hilarious. Wells' script is silly, but structured and sprinkled with sensitive moments that further endear his characters to audience members.”
—Elias Stimac, New York Off-Off Broadway Review
“This play does what Beckett was trying to do, but Beckett was too squeamish to face the facts of the decline of the West. Wells faces them with hilarious completeness, and therefore is able to be both funnier and more tragic than Beckett ever was.”
—Robert Patrick, Drama Desk and OBIE Award Winning Playwright and Author
“3 Guys' provides color coordinated joys and sorrows . . . a surreal but touching comedy by Edward Crosby Wells. Whether you call them drag queens or crossdressers, whether or not you admire their heightened appreciation for the extra dimensions of style in female clothing, these males have all the human emotions ofeveryone else.”
—Chuck Graham, Tucson Citizen
"For two hours, we witness the dysfunctional antics of the trashiest members of the Social Register; it's a sort of ‘Grey Gardens’ garage sale."
James Reel, Tucson Weekly
“A raucous comedy gets unleashed . . . hilarious . . . The unexpected complications create the high humor.”
—Jesse Greenburg, The Desert Leaf, Tucson
“. . . it actually connects to issues that profoundly matter . . . we have a duty to think on these things and do what little we can to make this world a better place.”
—Andrew Eaton, The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Scotland
“ . . . very, very funny. It is also extremely rude, but if you are broad-minded enough then the one-liners come so thick and fast you barely have time to recover from the last joke before the next one slaps you in the face . . . Like any good play,the audience felt drawn to the characters and by the time they finished with a big show tune the fact that they were men in drag seemed to be the most natural thing in the world.”
—David Muncaster, The Knutsford Times, England
Deb Flomberg, Denver Theatre Examiner
“. . . fun, campy, sometimes poignant. It may not change your life but it may make you change your red muumuu. The show is filled with witty one-liners and the expected crass sex jokes and vibrators. If you are looking for an evening ofcampy barbs and drag-queen bitchiness, you’ll get your money’s worth.”
—Susan Zelenka, Daily Loaf, St. Petersburg, FL
“If you're looking for profound insight into the world of gender bending, well, look elsewhere. This show offers a few profound moments where you really 'get' where it's all coming from, but for the most part, it's a frothy, funny and at moments hammy ode to men in dresses and the bitter travails of yard sales. The play is by Edward Crosby Wells who has definitely gone for the silly, but the play has sufficient structure and sensitive intimacy to endear these characters to the audience even as they strut and pose and play their roles with farcical physical comedy and sharply witty lines . . . The simple fact of it is that when you hear of a play called 3 Guys in Drag Selling Their Stuff, you can pretty much figure on something witty and a little out of the mainstream. If you think that means good fun, you would be right on the money . . . profound moments . . . but for the most part, it's a frothy, funny and at moments hammy . . . Go, enjoy a guilty pleasure with an offbeat comedy that lets you put your mind in park and laugh.”
--Lynn Welburn, Daily News, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Internationally acclaimed playwright EDWARD CROSBY WELLS has had his plays produced from coast to coast in the U.S. and in Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, Spain and Australia; including 3 Guys in Drag Selling Their Stuff which has had over two dozen productions worldwide, and counting. He is the winner of several international playwriting awards including the Spotlight On Best Play Award for Excellence in Off-Off Broadway Theatre for three consecutive years. His work is published by Greyridge Press, Cyberpress, StagePlays, Meriwether Publishing Ltd., Production Scripts, Smith & Kraus, Inc., and Samuel French, Inc. Edward is currently working on a novel and a new play.
CHARACTERS: DIVA, LILLIAN and TINK. Three elderly women of means. As the title implies, men in drag should play these characters.
SETTING: The action of the play takes place in Diva’s front yard somewhere in Suburbia, USA. It is summer. The time is the present. Pleasant weather.
NOTE TO THE DIRECTOR: I have seen numerous productions of this play and can say with certainty that those that worked best, received the biggest laughs, were well-received and sold more tickets were played with brash sincerity. Trust the dialogue. “Over-the-top” burlesque will only turn your audience off and do disservice to the script and to the humanity of the characters.
Handcuffs, vibrators, chains and whips mixed in with Tupperware, silver trays, crystal figurines, objets d'art and an endless assortment of odds and ends are piled into a child's red wagon. There are mannequins and dress forms covered with wigs, beads, feathers and fabrics. A card table holds yet more items for sale as well as a bowl of punch and a tray of glasses. There are pillars of marble and plaster supporting statues, busts and Chinese vases. There is more "stuff" scattered around DIVA'S front yard. There is a sign that reads "YARD SALE" and another that reads "FREE PUNCH."
DIVA and LILLIAN are busy sorting through their sale items, marking prices, polishing and admiring. TINK is in a wheelchair with her back to the audience.
DIVA: (Looks up quickly as if someone had just yelled something out to her. Directly to audience – to someone in particular.) What!? What are you? Crazy? Can't you read, you silly shit? Punch! Punch! There's no such thing as a free lunch! Unless, you want Jesus along with your soup. Anyway, that's somewhere else. Another part of town. Certainly not in this neighborhood. No, I am not knocking Jesus. Don't get yourself all puffed up. I was referring to those good Christian missions somewhere down by the railroad tracks. Sir . . . sir, please. Please. Put your finger away. I don't like to be pointed at. . . . Oh . . . well, it looks like a finger. Dear me. . . . Really? With that? I can't imagine it being of much use to anyone. . . . A name? What's that? Pokey? How quaint. . . . It is? You do? With that little. . . ? You want me to what? Sir, the prizes in Cracker Jacks are bigger than that. Sir, please put it away while it's still amusing. . . . Goodbye. Have a nice day. (She waves and we can see her eyes following this unseen man as he retreats down the street.)
LILLIAN: Oh, my! I hardly know what to say.
DIVA: Then stop drooling, Lillian! When one doesn't know what to say it is best to say nothing. It has always been a deterrent to hoof in mouth disease. (She shakes her leg frantically.)
LILLIAN: (Observing DIVA shaking her leg.) Looks more like mad cow disease, Diva.
LILLIAN: Foam in mouth disease?
DIVA: (Still shaking her leg.) Telephone! (Reaches up under her skirt to retrieve her cell phone from under her garter.) I have it on vibrate. (Answering her cell phone.) Diva Hollingsworth here and who might you be? Oh, hello, Carlotta. (To LILLIAN.) Carlotta Bean. (LILLIAN sneers. DIVA speaks into phone.) Back from Greece so soon? . . . Well, we must get together so you can tell me all about it. The splendor. The wine. The food. The . . . what? You did what? A tourist guide at the Acropolis? He what? Behind a pillar? Oh, no, dear. I wouldn't call that discreet at all. Some might, but most wouldn't – certainly not I. Fairly brazen, if the truth be known. . . . What do you mean he doesn't speak English? When did you learn to speak Greek? . . . Oh. Well, a word or two does not a sentence make, now does it, Carlotta? He is? (To LILLIAN.) She brought home some stud she picked up off the streets in Athens. She put him up in the Paisley Room and he's teaching her a little Greek in exchange for rent. (Into phone.) I was sharing the good news with Lillian. Right next to me. We're having a yard sale. (To LILLIAN.) Carlotta says hello. (LILLIAN sneers.) Hello right back at you. I had a little Greek once –a sailor from Crete. A Cretan Greek . . . and a royal pain in the ass, as I recall. Yes. Well, I'm sure this one is the personification of perfection, dear heart. . . . You don't say. Do tell. He's not? He is? In the kitchen? Doing what in the what? Well, you run right along. Yes, yes hurry. Don't let me detain you. One mustn't keep a naked Greek alone for too long with a pound of feta and a dozen grape leaves. . . . I love you, too. Ciao. (Turns off the phone and puts it back under her garter.) She is such a slut!
LILLIAN: I never could stand the bitch.
DIVA: Me either. (Calling out to some passing cars.) Free punch! Free punch over here! (To LILLIAN.) Is it time to turn Tink?
LILLIAN: (Takes a look at TINK.) She's napping. Maybe we ought to let her be. You know how she likes her beauty rest. Although, at her age, beauty isn't really a major concern, is it?
DIVA: How would I know? And, since I cannot project myself that far into the future, it will – for the time being – remain one of life's many unsolved mysteries.
LILLIAN: I meant, that when you reach her age, just continuing to breathe must pretty much occupy one's mind. All those little synapses pulsating in out, in out, in out. . . .
DIVA: Would you spare us the gory details!
LILLIAN: We'll turn Tink when the sun moves along a bit.
DIVA: Good idea. (Looking at building across the street.) That's where I've decided to put her, Lillian.
LILLIAN: Who? Where?
DIVA: Mother. There. (Points.) She's become too much of a burden. Last night she urinated on Uncle Sam.
LILLIAN: I beg your pardon?
DIVA: She wrapped her legs around him and took a whiz.
LILLIAN: On purpose?
DIVA: Does it matter?
LILLIAN: One would like to think so. How did he take it?
DIVA: Well, he wasn't happy, if that is what you mean. I dropped him off at the groomers first thing this morning. They'll fluff him up good as new.
LILLIAN: Poor Uncle Sam.
DIVA: Well, she's going in that home over there. I've already begun making arrangements. I will not have my mother urinating on whomever or whatever strikes her fancy. (Waving downstage to an unseen customer.) Oh, hello there. See anything you like? . . . Well, of course you can browse. Browse all you want. After all, life's just one big yard sale, isn't it? . . . Well, it can be. . . . I guess it's all in how one looks at it, if you look at it that way. . . . No. I suppose one doesn't have to look at it that way. No one is going to force you to. Unless, you live in China. . . . Of course you don't. . . . Of course this isn't China. I was simply making a figure of speech. (To LILLIAN.) Honestly! Dense and literal. Where, pray tell, do people like her come from?
LILLIAN: Just a few blocks over, Diva.
DIVA: She's not quite together, if you ask me. Missing some essential parts, no doubt. (To customer.) Just call me if you want anything, dear. . . . Diva. Diva will do just fine. (To LILLIAN.) I hope she doesn't die in that condition.
LILLIAN: What condition is that?
DIVA: A total eclipse.
LILLIAN: I don't understand.
DIVA: Of course you don't. And that's because you've been doing too much left brain thinking for your own good.
LILLIAN: How can you tell?
DIVA: How can I tell what?
LILLIAN: Left from right.
DIVA: Simple. All I have to do is remember which hand I use for administering my douche.
LILLIAN: No . . . I meant. . . .
DIVA: Oh, I know perfectly well what you meant. . . but, you're becoming quite tedious. (To customer.) What did you say, dear? . . . No. I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Lillian here. I was telling her that it was she who was becoming quite tedious. Too much red meat. Whether you are or are not remains to be determined. (To LILLIAN, referring to customer.) The hearing of a bull elephant. The visage of one, too. (To customer.) What's that, dear? . . . No. Certainly not! My bathroom is off limits. . . . Weak kidneys or not, I'm afraid you'll have to devise some other plan for your bladder. (To LILLIAN.) The nerve of that woman. Who does she think she is?
LILLIAN: Oh, that's Mrs. Something-or-other. You know the one who headed that concerned citizens' group for a better something or other . . . or maybe they were the ones who boycotted grapes. I just can't seem to remember. (To customer.) If you see something you like – anything you can't live without – don't be afraid to haggle. I'm sure we can come to some agreement. . . . Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. We buried our husbands, too. . . . Well, I did. Diva keeps hers in a jar. An old pickle jar, I think. That's why we're having this yard sale. So we can move him out of the pickle jar.
DIVA: And into a proper resting place.
LILLIAN: An egg. We're raising money to put Horace's ashes into a great big egg.
DIVA: By Faberge. Severely expensive. It would be in very bad taste were I to say exactly how much.
DIVA: Oui. Tres gauche. Suffice to say that it is a great deal more than the annual budget of some third world countries. However, due to my wealth and position, only an unremarkable sum in addition to what I've already accumulated is needed. I shouldn't want to dip into my retirement funds, now should I? Of course not. You understand.
LILLIAN: (To customer.) What? No! Why would we joke about a thing like that? He died in his sleep. . . . No, mine did. Diva's husband was doing something else altogether.
DIVA: (To customer.) In the garden . . . doing sit-ups in the cucumber patch. Just keeled over. . . . No. I haven't done any pickling since. . . . You do? That's nice. Bread and butter or dill?
LILLIAN: (Ibid.) They do? Try a half-teaspoon of cloves next time. Oh, yes. That'll brighten them right up. . . . Well, you're very welcome. . . . You, too.
BOTH: (Watching customer leave.) Have a nice day.
DIVA: (Pouring a glass of punch for herself and for LILLIAN.) Cheapskate! Who did she think she was?
LILLIAN: Is that rhetorical? Or do you actually want me to go ahead and take a guess.
DIVA: Don't guess, Lillian. The odds are not in your favor.
LILLIAN: Neither are the planets.
LILLIAN: The planets. According to my horoscope this morning, the planets are not in my favor.
DIVA: What a shame.
LILLIAN: It sure is, Diva. Something terrible will happen if I venture forth into love or business today.
DIVA: Then don't venture forth, dear. Besides, the last time you ventured forth into love Johnny Mathis was on the Victrola and you were on your knees. Anyway, that's a lot of superstitious nonsense and I wouldn't worry about it were I you. You really ought to watch that left brain thinking, Lillian.
LILLIAN: (After a pause to sip punch.) So, who do you think she was?
DIVA: Who what was?
LILLIAN: She was.
DIVA: Who she?
LILLIAN: The woman who wanted to use your bathroom. The cheapskate. Who do you think she was?
DIVA: Someone who is directly responsible for the ruination of the American economy.
DIVA: Most certainly! One cannot go through life browsing without stopping to buy a thing or two. Do you know what makes our system work?
LILLIAN: I can't say that I do, Diva.
DIVA: Buying! Buying makes our system work. If people don't buy – people can't sell. And if people can't sell, guess what?
DIVA: Hello Tokyo! Some concerned citizen she is! She probably drove her husband to his grave.
LILLIAN: Oh, no. He shot himself in the foot, as I recall.
DIVA: You don't die from shooting yourself in the foot, Lillian.
LILLIAN: You do if you're being attacked by a bear in heat.
DIVA: (After an incredulous pause.) Do you make this stuff up as we go along?
LILLIAN (After a pause to earnestly think.) No. Not all the time. Only some of the time. I seem to recall there being some truth to this one though. Yes. It was a hot day in the Catskills and. . . .
DIVA: Lillian! Stop it! I no longer have a reliable sense for reality. I don't know if I am coming or if I am going. The woman in the mirror has abducted what was left of an extremely attractive youth. I am losing what little faith I once felt I had in God – and, I am sure He doesn't pay me the attention I feel He ought to be paying one so dearly in need of Him as I. And, furthermore, eighty milligrams of Prozac, daily, has ceased to do its magic! So, please. . . . Don't complicate my life anymore than need be.
LILLIAN: (After a pause to assimilate.) That hardly has anything to do with me, Diva.
DIVA: It has everything to do with you, Lillian.
LILLIAN: Yeah? Well, I beg to differ.
DIVA: Don't you get it, Lillian? You're beginning to make sense to me and everybody we know knows you don't make one bit of sense to anybody about anything at anytime! So, where does that leave me? Huh?
LILLIAN: I don't know. I thought you were my best friend.
DIVA: I am your best friend.
LILLIAN: Then, what's the problem?
DIVA: Why am I your best friend?
DIVA: Absolutely. I am your best friend because . . . because. . . .
LILLIAN: I'm the only one who puts up with your shit?
DIVA: Well, yes. But, not only that. Because. . . .
LILLIAN: Because I know that under that reptilian exterior is a fragile little girl?
DIVA: I shall take comfort and interpret that as your unique little way of expressing affection.
LILLIAN: Whatever floats your boat, sister.
DIVA: That was totally uncalled for! You know how I hate popular vernacular! I'm suffering anxiety and you're dishing out nautical cliché.
LILLIAN: I was just getting in practice for our next meeting with Carlotta Bean. Sorry. Take deep breaths. That'll make you feel right as rain. In through your nose . . . out through your mouth.
DIVA: (Deep breathing.) Ah. . . .
DIVA: Much. (Hugs LILLIAN.) Thank you. You're such a treasure.
BOTH: (Calling to passing cars.) Free punch! Free punch! Get your free punch here!
(Slowly, the wheelchair turns and we see that TINK is in some sort of distress.)
TINK: (Struggles desperately to speak.) Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
LILLIAN: Oh, hello, Tink. Did you have a nice nappy-wappy?
TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
LILLIAN: Japanese? Are you trying to say Japanese?
DIVA: Why on earth would she be trying to say Japanese?
LILLIAN: Well, how do I know, Diva? Everywhere you look you see something Japanese. Maybe she wants her hibachi – I don't know.
TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja . . . oow . . . ja . . . oow. . . .
DIVA: Zsa Zsa! No, Raul! Oh, Raul. Do you remember Raul, Lillian?
DIVA: Raul. Tink's gardener. The one with the giant bushwhacker.
LILLIAN: Ooh . . . ah . . . oh, yes. He was something, wasn't he? Whatever happened to him . . . and his bushwhacker?
DIVA: They cremated him and it with him.
LILLIAN: He died?
DIVA: Requisite for cremation, Lillian. Of course he died!
LILLIAN: That's too bad. How sad. I think I'm going to cry.
DIVA: Lillian, what is wrong with you? Did you leave home without your head today?
LILLIAN: No. I don't think so.
TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja. . . .
DIVA: Now, don't get yourself excited, Tink. Raul's no longer with us. In fact, he hasn't been with us since Reagan left office. (To LILLIAN.) Now, that was a man after my own heart.
DIVA: Sure. Why not? He could put his shoes under my bed any day. Besides, what did Nancy have that I don't?
LILLIAN: A red dress?
DIVA: I've got a red dress.
LILLIAN: Size two?
DIVA: I hate you!
LILLIAN: (Ignoring the last.) Besides, I never understood a word he said. In fact, I don't really think old Ronnie actually ever said anything . . . just a string of words designed to put you to sleep. Heaven knows he put himself to sleep often enough. Poor thing, couldn't remember himself from one minute to the next. Bless his departed soul.
DIVA: You never liked any of my men, did you?
LILLIAN: Well, let me see. How many of your men did I have?
DIVA: Don't get smart!
LILLIAN: Diva, I hardly think Ronald Reagan qualifies as one of your men. More like an imaginary playmate, I should think. (DIVA "humphs.")
TINK: Sa . . . sa . . . sa. . . .
LILLIAN: Salt! She wants salt!
DIVA: I don't think so, Lillian. Has she had her insulin today?
LILLIAN: Of course. While I was waiting to pick her up, Margie was giving her the injection.
DIVA: Who's Margie?
LILLIAN: The new nurse the agency sent over. She's a bit of a bull, but I guess if she's with the agency she knows what she's doing. She says she's really a lady wrestler.
DIVA: What are you talking about? Who's really a lady wrestler?
LILLIAN: Nurse Margie the bull. She said she was between gigs – or, something like that. Her husband's also a lady wrestler. He's between gigs, too. So, he stays home and cooks.
DIVA: How very perverse.
TINK: Ja . . . ja . . . ja . . . oow . . . sa. Ja . . . oow . . . sa.
LILLIAN: Joust! She wants to see a joust. Now, if you wanted to see a joust, Diva, where would you go?
DIVA: (Exasperated.) For God's sake, Lillian!
TINK: (Obviously in a panic.) Jaoowsa! Jaoowsa!
DIVA: JUICE! She needs juice. Quick! Get her some punch! (LILLIAN goes for the punch.) Quick, quick, quick! Before she goes into shock! Hurry! Her eyes are beginning to roll back! (Takes glass of punch from LILLIAN.) Here you go, Tink. Drink up. (TINK drinks.) That a girl. Drink it all down.
TINK: Mo . . . mo . . . mo. . . .
DIVA: (Hands empty glass to LILLIAN.) Here, Lillian. Get her some more.
LILLIAN: I don't know that this punch is very good for her, Diva.
DIVA: Of course it is. Its got fruit in it, doesn't it?
LILLIAN: Sort of.
DIVA: Sort of?
LILLIAN: Yeah, sort of. Imitation powdered fruit. That's "sort of," isn't it?
TINK: More! More!
DIVA: (To LILLIAN.) Quick, quick, quick! (Takes full glass from LILLIAN.) Here you go. Here's some more.
TINK: (Drinks to the dregs. Directly to the audience.) Would you look at all this junk. What a dump! I think we're having a yard sale – in Appalachia. Shit! I hope they're not selling me. I could demand a pretty penny, you know. I knew somebody who knew somebody who was sold into white slavery once. She was sold as a virgin to a sheik over in one of those Arab countries. I hope he got his money's worth. If she was a virgin I'm ready to be beatified by the Pope. How old am I? How long have I been out here? Are we still on Earth? It's bloody hot out here, I'll tell you that. You can't stick an old lady in a wheelchair made of metal and plastic, cover her up with an old, smelly, blanket, shove her out in the sun, and then expect her to be happy about it. No! I am not one bit happy. Hello. Hello? Is there intelligent life out there? Is my mouth moving? (She smiles, raises her arms heavenward, closes her eyes and drops her head. Her arms stay raised in the air.)
DIVA: Tink? Tink? . . . That's a good girl. Sleep tight.
LILLIAN: She's asleep?
DIVA: And as tight as it gets. Just like a baby.
LILLIAN: Her arms. How can she sleep with her arms up like that?
DIVA: At her age people develop all kinds of curious, if not bizarre, eccentricities.
LILLIAN: Well, I find it rather disconcerting. Shouldn't we put them in her lap?
DIVA: Disconcerted or not, you're such a traditionalist, Lillian. I've always suspected that of you. You have these preconceived ideas of how things ought to be and if the world doesn't conform to your silly little notions of acceptable propriety then look out, Henny Penny, here come the sky!
LILLIAN: That's not true.
DIVA: It most certainly is.
LILLIAN: (Pouring a glass of punch for herself and for DIVA.) No. It isn't true at all. If I'm such a traditionalist, why did I let you talk me into spending last Christmas in an Arab restaurant with you and your mother?
DIVA: Why? Did she pee on something?
LILLIAN: No. I don't think so. What I meant was, an Arab restaurant is not a traditional dining place for Christmas
DIVA: That was an experiment. And, you suffered through it rather nicely, I thought . . . getting snarkered and drooling all over those little Arab busboys.
LILLIAN: They weren't little and you started it by telling them how rich you were. It was like throwing raw meat at starving sharks. Who did you think you were – Liz Taylor in Suddenly Last Summer? Besides, they were Italian busboys.
DIVA: Were not.
DIVA: Not! What would Italian busboys be doing working in an Arab restaurant? (Swigs drink.) And on Christmas?
LILLIAN: I don't see how it being Christmas has anything to do with anything.
DIVA: Lillian, Italians are very religious! Especially on Christmas. They're either praying to the Virgin Mary or they're eating. But they're not going to be bussing tables in an Arab restaurant! You can be sure of that!
LILLIAN: Well, they looked Italian to me. They were cute and they were dark.
DIVA: So are Labrador Retrievers, but I don't throw myself at them like some kind of wanton carnivore in heat every time I pass a pet shop.
LILLIAN: If I knew they were Arabs, I would have kept my hands to myself.
DIVA: Then excuse me. What I meant to say was, "like some kind of discrete, wanton carnivore in heat."
LILLIAN: Have fun at my expense. You always do. (Pours DIVA and herself another drink. Takes a swig. After a pause.) Diva, I'm really having a difficult time adjusting to Tink's arms up in the air like that. I really think we should do something about it.
DIVA: All right, if it will make you happy.
LILLIAN: It will.
DIVA: (DIVA takes hold of TINK'S arms and tries to pull them down without success.) Oh, my! I don't think she wants to cooperate. Lillian, you better take one wing and I'll take the other.
LILLIAN: (Taking one of TINK'S arms.) Okay, Tink. We don't want blood to clog up your armpits, do we? (THEY huff, puff and struggle until THEY finally manage to get TINK'S arms down into her lap.)
DIVA: She's a tough old twat, I'll tell you that.
LILLIAN: (Calling to passing cars.) Free punch! Big yard sale!
DIVA: (Ibid.) Free punch! Big yard sale!
BOTH: Free punch! Free punch!
DIVA: (Spying a customer.) Hello, there. . . . No. We're fresh out of Lord Nelson Dolphin tables. Sorry. No Spode, either. Now, let me think. . . . (To LILLIAN) Have we any Baroque walnut three-drawer commodes left?
LILLIAN: Nope. Not a one.
DIVA: (To customer.) Sorry, fresh out. Did you try K-Mart? . . . Then I don't know what to tell you. Could you use a set of handcuffs? A whip? How about this lovely black leather facial mask? Well, there's certainly no reason for you to take an attitude. You can huff, huff, huff till the cows come home, but it won't change a thing! . . . Don't you stomp your feet at me! Not on my lawn! This is all specially grown blue Bermuda. You can go out in the street and stomp your way to China for all I care! . . . And good day to you, too.
LILLIAN: (Watching her huff off.) Have a nice day.
DIVA: Tight ass phonies! You can spot them a mile away. That bitch is such a tight ass only dogs can hear her fart. (Drinks punch.) This is good. What's in this, Lillian?
LILLIAN: (Drinks punch.) Raspberry Kool Aid, gin, vodka, grain alcohol – one-fifty proof – and a little bit of dry vermouth. (BOTH refill their drinks.) She's in the social register.
DIVA: What who?
LILLIAN: Miss Lord Nelson Dolphin tables . . . the tight ass phony. She's in the social register.
DIVA: Oh, her. She knows the printer.
DIVA: She knows the printer. What other way could the likes of her get into the social register?
LILLIAN: I don't know. How did you get in the social register, Diva?
DIVA: (After a menacing pause.) Lillian, I resent the implication of that question. How do any of us get in the social register?
LILLIAN: My great grandfather, the banker, married my great grandmother, the daughter of my great, great grandfather, the railroad tycoon.
DIVA: Well, that's just great, isn't it? I married Horace Hollingsworth the dentist. (Sips punch.) This is really good. I want you to write down the exact proportions.
LILLIAN: It's easy enough to remember. Prepare one package of raspberry Kool Aid and mix with a fifth of gin, vodka, grain alcohol and about a mouthful of dry vermouth to taste. (Pours them each another glass of punch.) Well . . . being in the social register doesn't really mean anything anyway, does it?
DIVA: Lillian, you're positively jaded. It means everything. What exactly do you mean by "a mouthful of dry vermouth?"
LILLIAN: (After a pause.) About a quarter of a cup. . . . Diva, do you mean "know" in the neighborly sense, or in the Biblical sense?
DIVA: What on Earth are you talking about?
LILLIAN: You said she got herself in the social register because she knew the printer.
DIVA: That's what I said and that's what I meant.
LILLIAN: Well? In the Biblical or in the neighborly sense?
DIVA: Nothing Biblical about it, dear. On her knees for days! I mean, sexual favors. The open-door, good neighbor policy, if you know what I mean. She married Zilinski the printer.
LILLIAN: Oh . . . then she really does know the printer.
DIVA: That's what I said, didn't I. She knew the printer very, very well, if you catch my drift.
LILLIAN: (Sees someone across the street.) Oh, no!
DIVA: (Thinking LILLIAN'S "oh, no!" was in response to what she had said about the printer's wife.) She certainly did! I didn't go to her wedding shower, although I did send her a lovely bouquet of calla lilies with a little note: "May all your showers be golden." Not as much as a word of thanks! The bitch! So, I turned down her wedding invitation. Honestly! Holding the reception in the Egyptian Room of the Holiday Inn was an outrage of tastelessness quite beyond my capacity to endure. An experiment in garishness, at best.
LILLIAN: (In a panic.) No, no, no! Muffy Hughes – across the street. Quick! Get in front of me. (LILLIAN tries to hide behind DIVA.)
DIVA: What is wrong with you?
LILLIAN: I don't want her to see me. Get in front of me! (Holding DIVA in front of her.)
DIVA: (Struggling to get away from LILLIAN.) I'm not getting in front of anybody, Lillian! Are you out of your mind? Me and Mighty Joe Young couldn't block you from her seeing you.
LILLIAN: Too late. She's got the eyes of a rodent.
DIVA: And whiskers to match.
LILLIAN: (Calling over to Muffy.) "Toodles" to you, too, Muffy. Diva and I are just clearing out some old odds and ends. . . . What? . . . No. Not bed pans. Odds and ends. Out with the old — in with the new. . . . New. . . . New. No. No, I'm over here in Diva's yard. That's why I wasn't home. . . . Yes, of course the doorbell works, but I can't hear it from here. . . . Tink? She's over here with us. . . . Well, I don't know. I imagine her doorbell works, too. . . . Sleeping. . . . Like a log. . . . Log. Log. . . . No, dear. I would never call you a hog . . . not to your face, anyway. Here. In Diva's yard. We've got the little darling for the day. . . . Darling. Darling. . . . For the day. Yes. (To DIVA.) She's coming over.
DIVA: (To LILLIAN) Is that a new walker?
LILLIAN: I don't think so. (To Muffy.) Watch both ways. (To DIVA.) It's just the way the sun's reflecting off of it. (Calling out to Muffy.) Watch that car! No, no! The other one. . . .That a girl. You're half way home. . . .Home. Home. . . .No, no! I didn't mean for you to go home. . . (To DIVA) What is she doing?
DIVA: She turned around to go back.
LILLIAN: (Calling out to Muffy.) Muffy! Muffy! I meant like in home free. . . . Free. Free. (To DIVA.) She's coming back. (To Muffy.) Watch that car! The other way, Muffy. Wait!
DIVA: (Rushes downstage with LILLIAN.) Stop!
LILLIAN: (The following dialogue should overlap that of DIVA'S below.) Run! Stay! Your right! Your left! Now! Go! Stay! STOP!
DIVA: Don't run! Go! Your left! Your right! No! Stay! Go! STOP! (End of overlapping dialogue.)
(A very long SILENCE.)
LILLIAN: Oh, dear.
DIVA: Too bad.
LILLIAN: Oh, my.
DIVA: What a shame.
LILLIAN: Oh, Pooh Bear poop.
DIVA: What a mess.
LILLIAN: Is she . . . dead?
DIVA: I don't think so. . . . No. She's moving. . . . Well, she'll need a new walker now.
LILLIAN: I shouldn't be at all surprised. She's had that one a long time. What's happening with that young man on the motorcycle?
DIVA: He's . . . he's . . . ah! He's getting up.
LILLIAN: Good for him. Ooh, isn't he cute! (Pointing.) Who's that?
LILLIAN: In the pickup.
DIVA: What pickup?
LILLIAN: The one backing up from out of Doctor Hall's tri-colored hybrid rose bushes.
DIVA: Oh, dear. The old pouf is not going to like that. You know how he covets those roses. What's he doing now?
LILLIAN: Well . . . it looks like he's pulling up next to the hunk from the motorcycle.
DIVA: He ought to look where he's going. He nearly ran over poor old Muffy.
LILLIAN: If he had, it would hardly be his fault, Diva. She ought to stop rolling around like that.
DIVA: How excruciating! She must be in a lot of pain.
LILLIAN: You never can tell with her. She always was big on playacting. . . . Oh, Look at that! He seems to have gotten the motorcycle stud on the back of his truck. . . . And, now he's pushing Muffy up. . . . (Using her hands to mime pushing Muffy up into the pickup.)
DIVA: Oh, God! Now, that must smart. I didn't know the human body could bounce like that.
LILLIAN: Wait . . . he's trying again. . . . Oops! She should have stayed with Weight Watchers like I told her to at the time. . . . Now what is he doing?
DIVA: I don't know. It looks like . . . it looks like. . . .
LILLIAN: What? What?
DIVA: It looks like. . . . Oh, my God! It is!
LILLIAN: It is? What? What is it?
DIVA: It's . . . it's a chain.
LILLIAN: A chain?
DIVA: A chain . . . he tossed a chain over the roll bar and it looks like he's going to. . . .
LILLIAN: WHAT! Going to what!? What, Diva, What!?
DIVA: Yes! He is!
LILLIAN: Oh, bless us and save us! What is he doing?
DIVA: I hope she's wearing her Depends.
LILLIAN: Diva, what is he doing with her legs? Diva? Diva? I knew it! I just knew it! What's he doing with that chainsaw?
DIVA: Nothing. He's just moving it out of the way.
LILLIAN: This is going to be some kind of kinky, perverted, Jeffery Dahlmer thing, isn't it? Quick! Pull up your skirt!
LILLIAN: (LILLIAN dives for the cell phone. She has her head up under DIVA'S skirt.) Quick! I need it! Give it to me!
DIVA: (Fighting her off.) What are you doing?
LILLIAN: I'm calling 911!
DIVA: There's no need to call 911.
LILLIAN: (Coming out from under DIVA’S skirt.) No need? Then why has he got her legs spread apart like that? Oh, no.
LILLIAN: She's not wearing her Depends.
DIVA: What a mess. . . . Well, he just tied Muffy's ankles with the other end of the chain . . . and now he's starting to pull . . . pull. . . . Mercy! He must be strong!
LILLIAN: There she goes! . . . She's in!
DIVA: Good. It would've been a shame to leave her rolling around like that. She could have rolled right out into the traffic.
LILLIAN: There they go . . . the leather-clad motorcycle man and poor old Muffy . . . hanging on a chain from the roll bar . . . like an old sow on her way to market. What a sight! And dragging half of the old pouf's rose bushes behind them. Too much excitement.
DIVA: (Pours them each another punch.) So . . . why didn't you want Muffy to see you?
LILLIAN: Because every single time she comes around something terrible happens. She is the most accident-prone person I have ever had the misfortune to know.
DIVA: (Raises her glass in a toast.) To Muffy.
LILLIAN: To Muffy. (They clink glasses and drink.)
DIVA: (Filling glasses again.) Better check on Tink.
LILLIAN: Pity she missed all the excitement.
DIVA: Just as well. We'd only have to explain everything in great detail as it was happening and we all know how tiresome that can be.
LILLIAN: I see your point. (Rolls TINK into a patch of sunlight.) Here you go. Follow the sun. Oh, we are getting a bit of color, aren't we?
DIVA: Pull her blanket up a bit. (LILLIAN adjusts TINK'S lap blanket.) Much better. Move her over there.
DIVA: (Pointing) There, there. In that patch of sunlight.
LILLIAN: She's already in a patch of sunlight.
DIVA: But it is not a good one.
LILLIAN: Diva, one patch of sunlight is as good as another.
DIVA: Don't let's argue. That one over there looks warmer.
LILLIAN (Resigned. Mumbling.) I suppose you're right. You always are . . . even when you're wrong, you're right. Bitch, bitch, bitch. . . .
DIVA: What are you on about?
LILLIAN: Nothing . . . nothing. (Rolling TINK into another patch of sunlight.) There you go, Tink. I hope you can tell the difference. I can't. She just has to have her way. Always did . . . always will. Thinks with her twat she does.
DIVA: What? What did you say?
DIVA: Nobody can say nothing. It is not possible. In fact, nobody cannot say nothing. So, tell me what you said because I heard somebody say something.
LILLIAN: What did you hear? What did it sound like?
DIVA: It didn't sound like you . . . that's for certain. No, not at all like the Lillian we've come to know and love. Maybe it wasn't what I heard it was.
LILLIAN: Maybe, what you heard it wasn't didn't come from me.
DIVA: (Pours herself some punch.) Yes. But, maybe, what I heard was and it did. (Swigs punch.)
LILLIAN: (Pours herself some punch.) That's possible. In an uncertain world, that's really quite possible. (Swigs punch.)
DIVA: You're becoming quite tedious, Lillian!
TINK: (Wakes.) Ha . . . ha . . . ha. . . .
DIVA: Now, you went and woke Tink. I hope you're happy.
LILLIAN: It wasn't me, Diva. It was you. It's always you! You boss me around. Do this! Do that! Get this! Get that! You're this! You're that!
DIVA: I do not!
LILLIAN: You do too!
TINK: (Desperate.) Ha . . . ha . . . ha. . . .
LILLIAN: Ha, ha, ha yourself, Tink! I'm not laughing.
TINK: Hos . . . hos . . . hos. . . .
LILLIAN: A horse? (Looking around.) I don't see a horse. Do you see a horse, Diva?
DIVA: (Piqued.) No, Lillian. I don't see a horse. . . . Leave it to you to change the subject.
LILLIAN: And what subject was that?
DIVA: The subject was me!
LILLIAN: It always is.
TINK: Hos . . . hos . . . pit . . . pit . . . pit. . . .
LILLIAN: That's right. Pitty-pat. Horse goes pitty-pat.
DIVA: Horses don't go pitty-pat! They go clip-clop. Pittypat was somebody's aunt in Gone With The Wind.
TINK: Hos . . . pit . . . tul. Hos-pit-tul. . . .
LILLIAN: I know. You're right, Tink. I quite agree. Sometimes, Diva is just not hospitable at all.
TINK: Hos-pit-tul! Hos-pit-tul!
LILLIAN: Oh . . . hospital. I understand. No, no. We're not in the hospital. We're in Diva's front yard. (To DIVA.) Poor thing. She's having hallucinations. She thinks she's in the hospital. Maybe another glass of punch will straighten her right out.
DIVA: (Handing LILLIAN a glass of punch.) I don't know. You think this stuff is good for a diabetic?
LILLIAN: What could it hurt? (Feeds punch to TINK.)
TINK: Na . . . na . . . no!
LILLIAN: Know? Know what?
TINK: No, no, no!
LILLIAN: I know. I know all right. Diva thinks she knows everything there is to know. But you and I know differently, don't we?
TINK: Hos! Hos! Hos!
LILLIAN: Hostile? There's no question about it. She can be quite hostile when she wants to be. (DIVA "humphs!")
TINK: Hospital! Hospital!
LILLIAN: No, no, no. We're in Diva's front yard. Not the hospital. We're having a yard sale. We're raising money for a fabulous egg to put poor dead Dr. Horace in.
TINK: (Gasping for air. Tries to strangle LILLIAN.) No, no, no! You goddamned idiot! You haven't got the brains you were born with! Hospital! Hospital! You sorry-ass sack of shit! (Knocking on LILLIAN'S head.) Knock, knock!
LILLIAN: Who's there?
TINK: Out to lunch!
LILLIAN: I don't get it.
TINK: (Directly to audience.) Are my lips moving? (Her arms shoot straight up into the air. Her eyes shut and her head slumps over.)
LILLIAN: That's gratitude for you! Diva, she did it again! I've a good mind to leave her arms up there this time. No. She'll only end up chasing the customers away. (She tries to get TINK'S arms down, but has no success.)
DIVA: (Sees customer 1.) Oh, hello there. See anything you like? . . . Oh, yes. You missed all the excitement. . . . No, no. That's not for sale. I think that's part of Muffy's walker. If you just sort of prop it up, somebody will be by to pick it up later.
LILLIAN: (Crosses to customer 1.) Oh, yes. I'm sure she'll be just fine. Muff's famous for bouncing back like India rubber . . . Accident? . . . No. That's our friend, Tink. She's taking a nap. . . . I think it's to get rid of the bags under her upper arms. Though I think it's a moot pursuit at this point in her career.
DIVA: (Greets customer 2) Hello. If there is anything I can help you with just let me know. . . . Her? She's doing her impersonation of . . . Superwoman. (To LILLIAN.) Will you help me get her arms down. She's becoming quite the cause celeb.
LILLIAN: Whatever happened to your nonconformist, anti-traditional intolerance for preconceptions?
DIVA: Lillian! Now!
LILLIAN: (To customer 1.) Excuse me. I think I hear someone calling.
(LILLIAN rushes over to TINK and helps DIVA with getting TINK'S arms down. There is a great deal of struggling involved and each end up, at numerous times, in TINK's lap. TINK slips out of the chair and onto the lawn and there is a great deal of schtick involved in getting her back into her chair. Finally, their mission is a success. DIVA and LILLIAN brush themselves off, straighten out their clothes, pat their hair into place and go back to waiting on their customers. The alcohol which DIVA and LILLIAN have consumed has, unmistakably, affected both their speech and their manner.)
DIVA: (To customer 2.) Sorry for the inconvenience. . . . Now, wha-wha-wha we?
LILLIAN: (Enter customer 3.) Hello, there. . . . Yes. That was a piece given me by my late sister-in-law, Blanche Grey-White. . . . Dubious, yes. But she made up for it by being colorful enough for all of us. . . . She was too much the scandal for the hometown crowd. So, she moved to New York City and opened a coffee house in Greenwich Village. It was all the rage. She started the trend, you know. . . . Oh, yes, she did. Café Cornhole, or something like that. Some say she had an affair with Jack Kerouac. Some say she didn't. Others say it was she who inspired him to write. But, I'm inclined to say that if he was going to write he'd have written anyway and that it was just a ruse on her part to help her sell her coffee. What do you say?
DIVA: (To customer 2.) That? That's a wery ware piece of . . . of. . . . (Calls to LILLIAN) Lillian, wha, wha, whass this?
LILLIAN: Let me see. (DIVA holds up object.) That's the lid to a Tupperware bowl. I don't know what happened to the bowl. I think Uncle Sam ate it.
DIVA: (To customer 2) Twupperware.
LILLIAN: (To customer 3.) That is a very strange Pomeranian . . . Uncle Sam. It belongs to the mother of that lady over there. But then, all Pomeranians leave something to be desired, don't you think? (To DIVA) It makes a good coaster for something that isn't very hot.
DIVA: (To customer 2.) It's a . . . twivet. . . . Twivet! You west stuff on it! . . . A fwisbee? A diaphwagm for a buffalo?
LILLIAN: (To customer 3.) No. I'm sorry. I don't know anything about them. Cats have always been a bit too predatory for my taste. A bit too marauding.
DIVA: (To customer 1.) It's punch. . . . Wazberry. . . . Fwee. (Calling out to all in the general vicinity.) Fwee punch! Fwee punch, evweybody!
LILLIAN: (Enter customer 4.) Hi. . . . Oh, yeah. It is good punch. Family recipe. The wagon? No, the wagon's not for sale. . . . Because. . . . Well, because. . . .
DIVA: (Chiming in.) Because then we'd have to carry all this stuff back to the house by hand and that is totally unaccepacable! . . . . Well, it won't be the first time his little heart gets broken. (Swats at child near table.) Sonny, that's sterling! Sterling does not like to be touched by sticky fwingers!
LILLIAN: (To customer 1.) Please don't touch Tink . . . . No, I don't think she'd like it if she awoke to find I've sold her favorite blanket. She brought that back with her from Taos where she was visiting Mabel Dodge Luhan. It has memories—moths, too. I've a nice handmade afghan over here. (To customer 3.) Excuse me? . . . No. I don't believe I have. Are they something like Airedales? . . . This is a kind of blanket, madam. An afghan handmade by yours truly.
DIVA: (To customer 4.) Madam, would you mind keeping your child away from the merchandise. The fat little bugger doesn't seem to respond to my weqwests. (She starts shaking her leg. Removes her cell phone from her garter and answers it.) I know who I am. Do you? Who? Oh, you. How's your Gweek? I'm sworry to hear that.
TINK: (Directly to audience, unheard by DIVA and LILLIAN.) There they are, my friends Diva and Lillian.
LILLIAN: Diva, is there something wrong with your mouth?
DIVA: (To LILLIAN.) Her Gweek took a hike.
TINK: (To audience.) Because of them I no longer have any fear of death.
DIVA: (Into phone.) Well, I'll tell you, Carrotta, easy come easy go. (To child of customer 4.) I never hit a kwid before, but if you don't kweep your hands off the merchandise I'm gonna wip your fwiggin' heart out and swove it up your ugwy mother's ass!
TINK: (To audience.) Because of them death will be a picnic in the park.
LILLIAN: (To DIVA.) There definitely is something wrong with your mouth.
DIVA: (Into phone.) Not your ugwy mother's ass, Carrotta. I was twalking to somebody else. Besides, I didn't know you had a mother.
TINK: (To audience.) And, as far as going to hell, who cares? I've been there. And, it looks a lot like a yard sale.
LILLIAN: (To DIVA.) Your mouth, Diva!
DIVA: (To LILLIAN.) What's wong wid my mouth? (Into phone.) I wasn't twalking to you, Carrotta! Well, I don't like your attitwude, either. Call me back when your swobber! (Puts phone back under her garter. To customer.) What are you wooking at?
TINK: (To audience.) Like I said, I'm not afraid of death. We all have to go sooner or later. But, in the care of these two morons, I'm liable to go sooner than later! Do you want to know what death is like? Well, I'll tell you anyway. It's a lot like waking up . . . looking around . . . and there it is . . . there you are . . . and there you have it. . . . Hello. Hello. Is my mouth moving? (Goes back to sleep.)
LILLIAN: Diva, there's something wrong with your mouth.
DIVA: Wong wid my mouth?
LILLIAN: You've get a tick.
DIVA: A dick?
LILLIAN: A tick.
DIVA: I do?
LILLIAN: (Pours DIVA some punch.) This ought to work it right out. (Hands punch to DIVA.)
DIVA: (Swigs punch. After a pause.) Well? What do you think?
LILLIAN: I think that did it.
DIVA: My tongue went numb.
LILLIAN: That will pass in no time.
DIVA: But, I think it's stuck to the woof of my mouth.
LILLIAN: Say: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
DIVA: What are you? Crazy? I'm not going to say wubber waby wuggy wumpers! (Pulling tongue down from roof of mouth.) Wait. The numbness went. What was that again?
LILLIAN: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
DIVA: Wubber . . . rrr-uuub-er . . . ba-by . . . buggy bumpers. Rugger buby boggy bompers.
LILLIAN: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
DIVA: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
LILLIAN: That's it! You've got it!
DIVA: I've got it!
LILLIAN: (In a panic.) Oh, bless us and save us!
DIVA: I don't got it?
LILLIAN: No. Look. Look who's coming back!
DIVA: (Looking.) Oh, no!
LILLIAN: If he exposes himself now with that little kosher pickle of his, we'll lose all our business. (To customer 2) Have some more punch. it's fwee . . . Free. (To all.) Free punch! Free punch, everybody! Free punch!
DIVA: (To customer 4.) Madam, I'd put a leash on the little juvenile delinquent were I you. (Swatting at the child.) Touch that sterling once more and I'll break every bone in your sickly, sticky little body! (To customer 4.) If you can't control the little bugger, may I suggest you put him back in the car. Roll the window down an inch or so and he'll be fine for hours.
LILLIAN: (To customer 4.) Please . . . she didn't mean it that way. (To customer 3.) She didn't mean it that way.
DIVA: (To LILLIAN) I most certainly did. (To customer 4.) I'm afraid we've taken everything off the market. Nope. Nothing's for sale. . . . No, not a thing. Horace can just make himself to home in that pickle jar! (To the flasher.) Speaking of pickles! Sir? Sir? Please put that away before something dreadful happens to
it. . . . Well, that is not an adage that would apply in your case. One could easily chew all of what little there is to bite off.
LILLIAN: Diva! I'm astonished! Don't talk to him. They thrive on that kind of talk. Leave him alone and maybe he'll go home.
DIVA: Wagging his tail behind him? (To the flasher.) Sir, please take your hands off that little boy. He may be sticky, but he's all his mother's got. (To customer 4.) The Salvation what? My dear misinformed lady, poor people give people like us a reason for being people like us. These are not items one donates to poor people. Why, the silver polish alone would bankrupt them. . . . Well, I am sure that somewhere they must, but I can assure you that nobody in this neighborhood starves.
LILLIAN: (To Diva) Honey Aldridge did.
DIVA: Honey Aldridge was different. She had anorexia. Poor people don't get anorexia.
LILLIAN: I didn't know that.
DIVA: Well, now you do. (To customer 4.) I am well aware of social issues, madam, and I won't be patronized. I know perfectly well to which side of the wine goblet goes the water glass.
LILLIAN: You didn't two weeks ago when you had that luncheon-orgy for that touring gay mime troupe . . . with Tourette's syndrome.
DIVA: Oh, shut up, Lillian! (To customer 4.) Good day to you, too!
LILLIAN: (Calling after customer 4.) Oh, madam! Wait! There's a strange man who crawled into the back seat of your car with your little boy! Oh, madam! . . . You-hoo! (Watching them drive off.) Have a nice day. (To customer 1.) Oh, I see you've discovered poor Aunt Irene's erotic alarm clock. When the alarm rings a little soldier pops out of the top with an erection. . . . That's right. It doesn't stop ringing until you yank on his little peepee. That clock got her up every morning since the day General McArthur came home until the day she died. That was the day Ronald and Nancy Reagan – bless their black little hearts – packed up and went back to the ranch. The thought of their leaving the White House proved to be too much for her. George Bush just wasn't Republican enough for dear old Aunt Irene. It rang and rang and its little erection just stood there waiting to be yanked on that last morning of her pitiful, meaningless life.
DIVA: (To customer 2.) Tupperware. . . . T-P-P-R-W-R-E. Tupperware. It's a kind of plastic. . . . From parties. They give parties. . . . I don't know. Look in the phone book. . . . You have a nice day, too. (She waves "goodbye.")
LILLIAN: (To customer 1.) But, it's a perfectly good clock . . . Well, how about the one next to it? That was a present to me on my birthday last. It's never been used. No. Not for the sum total of one second. It was given to me by someone I thoroughly detest. They couldn't give me the time of day, so to speak.
DIVA: (To customer 3.) Cats? We don't sell cats! What does this look like to you? A pet shop? What are you bothering us for? Are you some kind of lunatic? Go home! Scoot! Scoot! Go home! (To customer 1.) Are you going to buy that stupid, ugly clock or what!? Then, put it back where you found it and go home! That's right! Scat! Get! Make tracks! Get my drift!? (Chases remaining customers.) Go! Go, go, go, go, go! Get! Good riddance! (Her leg starts shaking violently. She reaches under skirt and grabs the phone. Into phone.) I'm Diva and who the hell are you?! . . . Oh, well, I'll pick him up in an hour or so. But, if he still smells like piss your getting the little bastard back. For keeps! (She turns the phone off and replaces it under her garter.)
LILLIAN: Good heavens, Diva. What's gotten into you?
DIVA: People! How can they be so inconsiderate?
LILLIAN: Is that another one of your rhetorical questions?
DIVA: We go through all the trouble to drag all this stuff out of the house and nobody buys a thing. Not one thing. They just pick over the merchandise like a flock of vultures! They pick over this and they pick over that . . . sniffing . . . like a pack of hyenas!
LILLIAN: Well . . . yeah. but, the punch sure was popular.
DIVA: Naturally. It was free punch, wasn't it? People will take anything that's free – whether they need it or not. You could put out a sign that said "FREE URINE SPECIMENS" and you can be sure somebody would come along with their hand out! They came for the free punch, Lillian, that's all. And, that's life. They come. They look. They take.
LILLIAN: (Picks up a figurine.) But, that's all right, Diva. It was fun. It was a nice afternoon, wasn't it?
DIVA: I suppose.
LILLIAN: There was the sun and the warmth and it was nice.
DIVA: I guess.
LILLIAN: (Holding figurine.) Besides, it's hard to let go of things you've been collecting all your life. Isn't it? (While holding up a figurine to admire, it accidentally falls from her hands and breaks.) Oh, no! Oh, no! Look what I went and did.
DIVA: That's too bad, Lillian. Is it a total loss?
LILLIAN: (Picking up the pieces.) What a shame. I think I'm going to cry.
DIVA: What are you talking about? You were going to sell it.
LILLIAN: No. I only brought it out so people could see it. I never intended to sell it. (She wraps the pieces of the figurine into a piece of cloth and carefully places it on the table. She seems quite heartbroken.) I only wanted to show it off.
DIVA: (Hands LILLIAN a glass of punch.) Here. Have some punch. It's fwee. (They chuckle.)
LILLIAN: (Taking glass.) And it's cool. Just what I needed – a glass of something cool. (Crosses to TINK.) Tink, how about a nice glass of something cool? Tink? Tink? She seems to be losing her color. Tink? Tink? How about a glass of something cool? . . . Diva, she's awfully pale for someone who's been out in the sun all day. Would you look at her?
DIVA: Oh, for God's sake. (Crosses to TINK. Holds mirror to her face, Matter-of-factly.) She's dead.
LILLIAN: What? Tink, are you play-acting for us?
DIVA: She's dead, I tell you. Time to let go.
LILLIAN: (Pours herself some punch.) Of all the inconsiderate things one could think to do, she sure came up with a doozy! Didn't she? (Swigs punch.) Well, what now?
DIVA: (Pours herself some punch.) I don't know. Wait. Just wait. (After a pause.) Sometimes I think the whole world is conspiring against us . . . just to make our lives miserable. Why? Why us, Lillian?
LILLIAN: (After a pause.) Do you think it's God?
DIVA: God? What's God got to do with anything?
LILLIAN: Testing us. You know, like Job . . . in the Bible. First, He sends that man to expose himself. And then He sends. . . .
DIVA: (Stopping her) Lillian, God is not going to send anybody around who exposes himself. Especially someone with such shortcomings.
LILLIAN: Then who?
DIVA: Not God.
LILLIAN: (Pours herself some punch.) Well, then how do you explain all this? It can't be anything we've done.
DIVA: I don't know. (After a pause.) Do you believe in karma?
BOTH: (After a pause.) Naah. (They clink glasses and chug down their drinks.)
END ACT ONE
ACT TWO - Two Weeks Later.
MUFFY (a life-sized dummy) is in a wheelchair in a full body cast. She is quite plump. Her arms are outstretched horizontally and have scarves and beads, etc. hanging from them. There is an outrageous wig plopped on her head. Her face is totally wrapped in gauze with two little holes where her eyes ought to be and there is a slit where her mouth ought to be. She really needs to be believable. Next to her chair are the pieces of her broken walker and a large box of Depends. TINK is in a wheelchair with an IV running into her arm from a bag that hangs from an IV pole. All the "stuff" from the last yard sale is still there along with a different sign that reads: "FREE PUNCH WITH PURCHASE!" DIVA is behind the table talking into her cell phone.
DIVA: Yes . . . well, I don't see it that way. Besides, I have no idea what a "junk-a-rama" is – 'though I have a pretty good notion you are fully versed in that regard. Oh, please, don't tell me. Let me chew on it awhile. However, if anybody's turning this neighborhood into a junk-a-rama, as you so quaintly put it, then I am sure it is you and not I. Your mere presence in this neighborhood is an abomination of monumental proportions. Were I you, I'd consider moving to Bora Bora or wherever it is they wear rings and bones and things in their noses! Oh? Body art, is it? Then perhaps you should have yourself shellacked and hung in the nearest museum. Well, I suppose if I were Betty White this is where I would tell you to get spayed or neutered! I should get what!? Thank you, darling. I'll be looking forward to that with the anticipation of a schoolgirl. I would tell you to get the same, but I don't really know you that well. Ciao, Mother! (Turns phone off and puts it under her garter. Waving and shouting across the street.) I see you too! And stop calling me on my cell phone – you're becoming quite expensive!
LILLIAN: (Enters carrying more stuff.) Who are you yelling at?
DIVA: Mother. I knew it was a bad idea putting her in a nursing home just across the street. (Referring to stuff LILLIAN is carrying.) Is that the last of it?
LILLIAN: (Setting down her stuff.) It is as far as I'm concerned. My heart's about to give out. (A pause to catch her breath.) How are the girls?
DIVA: Tink's asleep and Muffy's in a coma.
LILLIAN: I think it's the other way around, Diva.
DIVA: Whatever. They're both quiet. That's all I know.
LILLIAN: Thank heaven for that. A couple weeks ago I was sure poor old Tink had gone to meet her maker.
DIVA: And who would that be . . . Martha Stewart?
LILLIAN: Diva, if one didn't know you better, one could find your sarcasm almost diabolical. (DIVA "humphs.") Anyway, I'm sure glad you were wrong.
DIVA: I? Wrong? About what?
LILIAN: You know, about Tink. You said she was dead. Sometimes it's good to be wrong.
DIVA: Is it?
LILLIAN: Of course it is. We still have our dear old Tink, don't we?
DIVA: (Without much enthusiasm.) Yeah . . . we still have our dear old Tink.
LILLIAN: Alive and well. Well . . . alive.
DIVA: So, she's alive. Don't rub it in, Lillian.
LILLIAN: I'm not rubbing anything in, Diva. Why are you in such a terrible mood?
DIVA: Because I nearly became a murderess and that takes a terrible toll on ones sense of self.
LILLIAN: I'm sure it does.
DIVA: I nearly went to prison for the rest of my tender and precious life and all you think about is dear old Tink.
LILLIAN: That isn't true. I think about you constantly. You're on my mind more than I am on my mind – whatever that means. You're my best friend.
DIVA: I guess the fact that you almost lost your best friend to some unspeakable fate doesn't faze you, does it? You don't care that I was a breath away from becoming some hairy-lipped Amazon's girl toy, do you? Some friend you are!
LILLIAN: For Pete's sake, Diva. If Tink had died we both might have gone to prison. It was my punch you force-fed her. You have the strangest way of looking at things sometimes. All I'm saying is thank God you were wrong in your prognosis because everything turned out for the better in spite of it.
DIVA: And, look what we did to poor Muffy.
LILLIAN: We didn't do anything to Muffy. She did it to herself. After all, she was jaywalking, wasn't she? We did warn her. She ought to be grateful that she's still alive.
DIVA: It's hard to tell about some people nowadays.
LILLIAN: It's hard to tell what?
DIVA: Whether they are dead or alive. Exterior signs of life are no longer any kind of guarantee. They can walk and they can talk, but who knows if there's anybody home.
LILLIAN: You're becoming too deep for conscious appreciation, Diva.
DIVA: The late Dr. Hollingsworth was dead three days before anyone took notice.
LILLIAN: Not even you?
DIVA: No, not even I. He was notorious for spending days on end in that cucumber patch out back. I thought he was involved in yet another of his many eccentricities . . . communing with the cucumbers. Some people have an eye for color and some for texture. Dear old Horace had a thing for cylindrical objects of an agricultural nature. Quite demented, if you ask me. (Her leg shakes. She reaches under her dress to retrieve the cell phone.) My God! It's turning into Grand Central Station down here. (Answers phone.) Diva Hollingsworth here. Who might you be? (To LILLIAN.) Carlotta Bean. (LILLIAN goes about sorting through stuff.) You're sounding particularly well today. Yes, it's another beautiful day in the neighborhood. The girls and I are having another yard sale. . . . Didn't I tell you? I need to raise a bit of cash to purchase one of those jewel encrusted, gold Faberge eggs; much like the one you brought back from Russia a couple years ago. Horace needs a permanent resting-place. . . . Well, they have little snaps on them, darling. Doesn't yours open up? Yes, I thought it did. What do you keep in it? M&M's? Oh, dear, how casual can one get? Seen who? Your Greek? I thought it was over between you two. Oh? Making up is always the best part, isn't it? Gone missing, again, has he? If I see him I'll send him right home. What does he look like? Where? Hold on. (To LILLIAN.) Go over to that telephone pole and see if there's a missing poster.
LILLIAN: How would I know if it were missing?
DIVA: If what were missing?
LILLIAN: The poster.
DIVA: Lillian! See if there is a poster for a missing Greek!
LILLIAN: Oh. (Reading from poster on the telephone pole.) "Missing. One Greek male tourist guide. Large reward for his return. Answers to Laexandros Demosthenes Papadopoulos." (To DIVA.) Now, that's a mouthful.
DIVA: Quite a mouthful. (Into phone.) No, Carlotta, I was talking to Lillian. No, that is not what I meant by a mouthful. Well, bully for you. Let me just stroll over and take a gander for myself. (At poster, gasps and nearly faints.) There is a God! Listen, Carlotta, I'm suddenly feeling faint. Must be the sun. If I see him I'll send him right home. (Aside to LILLIAN.) Over my dead body. (Into phone.) Talk at you later. Ciao, darling. (Replaces phone. Rips down poster and she fans herself with it.) Quick, Lillian! I need a drink. (LILLIAN goes to pour DIVA a drink.) How does she do it?
LILLIAN: I don't know. I've been trying to figure that out for years. Maybe its all that bridgework and all those porcelain crowns Horace did for her. (Hands Diva glass of punch.)
DIVA: (Drinks. Suspiciously.) You don't suppose that the two of them, Carlotta and Horace. . . . Naah. I would have known. A woman knows those things, you know. Besides, I was too much of a woman for him. After all, I am Diva, aren't I? (Finishes the punch. Pours herself another glass.) I hope this is the same recipe you made last time.
DIVA: Better? What could possibly make it better?
LILLIAN: A fifth of absinthe de wormwood smuggled from Morocco in Pansy Parker's private parts.
DIVA: I beg your pardon—
LILLIAN: She's a big girl.
DIVA: She would need to be. (Sips punch.) Oh, it has a slight licorice taste.
LILLIAN: That's the absinthe.
DIVA: Good! I'd hate to think . . . .
LILLIAN: (Spies a potential patron.) Free punch!
DIVA: With purchase!
LILLIAN: Free punch!
DIVA: With purchase! (Taking another sip of punch.) All I can say is, Lillian, you've outdone yourself again.
LILLIAN: Thank you, Diva.
DIVA: What exactly is it?
LILLIAN: Well, it's illegal in America – something to do about hallucinations. Sort of like LSD—not that I ever had LSD, at least, I don't think so, but, that would explain the alien abduction.
LILLIAN: Mexicans. Anyway, Dr. Timothy Leary was a great friend of my cousin Gert.
DIVA: I don't remember your ever talking about a cousin Gert.
LILLIAN: That's because she was the black sheep in the family.
DIVA: And all this time I thought you were.
LILLIAN: Oh, no. Gert took the prize for that. She and her husband Charlie founded a retreat near Lake Titicaca in Peru for clairvoyants, spiritualists, astral projectionists and the like.
LILLIAN: It was Dr. Leary's idea. They called it Porta Nostradamus. It was written up in all the important esoteric journals and, for a short time, enjoyed a fashionable reputation as the favored watering hole for some very influential people. Where do you think Shirley MacLaine got all her ideas?
DIVA: At Gert and Charlie's?
LILLIAN: That's right, in Porta Nostradamus. Anyway, it all ended rather badly.
DIVA: How's that?
LILLIAN: Well, one day while Gert was practicing her astral projection, a herd of llama trampled her body to death. So, when she came back from visiting who-knows-who in who-knows-where, she found Charlie crying over a container of ashes. When she realized the ashes were hers . . . well, you can imagine how traumatic that must have been for her.
DIVA: Lillian, I don't believe a word of this.
LILLIAN: It's true. They say her astral form still haunts the grounds where Porta Nostradamus used to stand.
DIVA: Used to stand?
LILLIAN: Yes. Before Charlie threw himself into Lake Titicaca and drowned, he burned the entire establishment to the ground – llama, natives, and all.
DIVA: Oh, dear!
LILLIAN: Anyway, one little fifth isn't about to hurt anybody.
DIVA: (Looking across the street. Distracted.) What's that, dear?
LILLIAN: The absinthe. One little fifth isn't about to hurt anybody.
DIVA: No, I suppose not. (Raises her cup.) Here's to Gert.
LILLIAN: (Raising her cup.) To Gert – wherever you are. (Cautiously looking around for Gert's specter.)
DIVA: (Calling out to unseen passersby.) Free punch . . . with purchase!
BOTH: Free punch . . . with purchase! Free punch . . . with purchase!
LILLIAN: Diva, do you think we really ought to be hanging things all over Muffy like that?
DIVA: Why not?
LILLIAN: It doesn't seem right somehow.
DIVA: (Yelling into MUFFY'S ear.) Muffy! Muffy, darling! Can you hear me?
LILLIAN: They can hear you in Pittsburgh, Diva.
DIVA: (Ignoring the last. Still yelling into MUFFY'S ear.) You don't mind if we hang a few things from you, do you, Muffy? (Putting her ear to MUFFY'S mouth.) No, no! Not P.U. . . . Do you? Do you mind? (Listening.) No, no, no! Not "do you in the hind!" Do you mind? Do you mind if we hang stuff from you? What? What's that? No. Nobody's going to stuff you from behind. Besides, you're all plastered up. Plastered. Plastered, Muffy, plastered. (Turns to LILLIAN.) Lillian, we seem to have a bad connection.
LILLIAN: (Taking charge.) You're plastered, sweetheart! He'd have to chip away an inch thick of plaster of Paris before he could get his pee-pee even close to you. What? (To DIVA.) She said, "start chipping."
DIVA: Oh, for God's sake! Muffy, go back to sleep! Now! (To LILLIAN.) Lillian, don't egg her on. Go and see if Tink's still in a coma? Her doctor said she could come out of it at any time. (To MUFFY.) Sleep, Muffy, Sleep. Honestly. The things I do for my friends. Florence Nightingale, eat your heart out.
LILLIAN: (To TINK.) Wakey, wakey, Tinky-winky.
DIVA: (Spies a potential customer.) Oh, hello there! See anything you like? Well, maybe something you could learn to like? That is, if you took the trouble to look a little closer. (Crosses to LILLIAN.) Blind as a bat, she is. (To customer.) What's that, darling? No, that's not a mummy. That's a Muffy. You really ought to have your eyes examined. Careful, careful! My, you are blind, aren't you? (Holding up something.) Can you see this? No? (Holding up something else.) What about this? No? (Gives her the "middle finger.") This? Poor thing. Maybe you should get one of those seeing-eye dogs. (Picks up dildo.) What about this? Yes! (To LILLIAN.) Wouldn't you know it? She's cockeyed! (To customer – referring to dildo.) What's that, dear? No, no. Its hardly been used. Practically virginic. Virginic. It's a word of my own divination. What do you mean "fishy?" There's nothing fishy about it. Suit yourself. Well, toodle-loodle to you too.
LILLIAN: (To unseen retreating customer.) Have a nice day. (To Diva.) Poor dear, not only blind but a bit long in the tooth.
DIVA: A bit? Lillian, she's so long in the tooth she could eat corn on the cob through a glory hole.
BOTH: Free punch . . . with purchase! Free punch . . . with purchase!
TINK: Pa . . .pa . . . pa . . .
LILLIAN: Diva! Tink's coming round. It's a miracle.
DIVA: (Blasé.) Well, hallelujah. Will miracles never cease? (Sips punch.)
TINK: Pa . . . pa . . . pa . . .
LILLIAN: (To DIVA.) Poor Tink. She wants her Pa. (To TINK.) Your Pa's dead, Tink. He died a long time ago . . . in the line of duty . . . with the FBI.
DIVA: Oh, for God's sake, Lillian. He had a heart attack in one of J. Edgar Hoover's dresses.
LILLIAN: Well, I would have too. He had terrible taste in clothes.
TINK: Pa . . . pa . . . pa . . . cha. Pa . . . cha—
LILLIAN: Parcheesi? Tink, you're in no condition to play Parcheesi.
TINK: (Smacking her lips.) Pa . . . pa . . . parched. Parched.
LILLIAN: Parched! Diva, she's parched. Quick! Get her some punch.
DIVA: You've got to be kidding.
DIVA: Déjà vu? Hairy-lipped Amazon? Hell-ohhh?
LILLIAN: What are you talking about?
DIVA: This is how we got into trouble last time.
LILLIAN: Then, go up to the house and get her some water.
DIVA: I don't take orders, Lillian.
LILLIAN: Of course not. I don't know what I could have been thinking.
DIVA: I am sure you don't. Besides, you can't really expect me to walk up that hill just to fetch a glass of water, do you? What do I look like, Jack and Jill?
LILLIAN: What do they look like?
DIVA: Servants, Lillian. They look like servants.
LILLIAN: Oh, well, sorry. I'll go.
DIVA: And leave me alone with the cast from Night of the Living Dead. Suppose we had an emergency while you were gone?
LILLIAN: I never thought of that.
DIVA: Well, that's your trouble, isn't it? You never think. Thinking is a strain on the inseam with you, isn't it?
TINK: Parched. Parched. Parched. (To audience.) I'm in hell again, aren't I?
LILLIAN: You're being unfair, Diva. I was thinking of poor old Tink.
DIVA: Pish-posh. You were thinking of yourself. The world is full of people who never think about anybody but themselves. I'm afraid, dearest Lillian, you are just one more in that long chain of thoughtless, selfish-thinking, ne'er-do-wells.
TINK: (To audience.) Why does hell look like K-Mart . . . with Lillian and Diva as checkout girls?
LILLIAN: As far as people who never think about anybody but themselves, dearest Diva, I think we have a case of the pot calling the kettle beige.
DIVA: Stop trying to be clever, Lillian. It doesn't suit you.
TINK (To audience.) I was having this terrible nightmare. I was dreaming that I was. . . . (Looking around.) Oh shit! It's not a dream. One of these days I'm not going to wake up. I hope it's on their watch. Think of all that guilt . . . haunting them for the rest of their, trivial, insignificant, dreary little lives. . . . Is my mouth moving? Is any part of me moving? Anything? Any body part at all? Pa . . . pa . . . pa . . . .
DIVA (Hands LILLIAN cup of punch.) Here. I don't suppose one little cup could hurt. I'm just a martyr to the cause.
LILLIAN: (Holding cup for TINK as she drinks.) There you go. Drinky-drinky, Tinky-winky.
DIVA: Lillian, for God's sake, would you stop talking like some kind of trailer trash breeder.
LILLIAN: Sorry. (To TINK.) Drink up, Tink. Diva's on the rag, again. (To a potential customer.) Oh, hello. I didn't see you coming. You nearly startled me to death. That? No, that's not a jingle bell. It looks like a jingle bell though, doesn't it? It's made of bronze. Sent to me by a dear friend who went to England to write the great American novel. It predates the time of William Shakespeare. He wrote plays. Elizabethan. No, he was much earlier than Neil Simon. (Holding up the blackened jingle bell. It is at least an inch in diameter. She jingles it.) Listen to that. Isn't it beautiful? Well, no, not the thing itself – but, the idea of it. To think that the sound of this little bell has remained the same for hundreds of years; a distinct and audible voice that has spoken with an enduring, everlasting voice since before the Renaissance. Excuse me? The Renaissance? Yes, I've been to the fair. But this was another kind of Renaissance – not a bunch of pathetic geeks in pitiful costumes. I'm talking about a time of reawakening, Madame, a time of joy . . . a blossoming of the human spirit. Two dollars? I'm so sorry. You couldn't buy it for a thousand dollars. I'd sooner give it away to someone who understood the significance of it – someone who understood the beauty of a voice ringing unchanged down the centuries. Goodbye to you, too. And, have a nice day!
DIVA: (Spotting someone across the street.) Over here! We're having a fabulous yard sale! Free punch . . . (Under her breath.) with purchase. (To LILLIAN.) Oh my! Isn't he the cause celeb! I think that's the young leather-clad man who rescued our dear old Muffy. (Looks at poster.) Oh, my god! One and the same!
LILLIAN: Where's he going?
DIVA: Around the side of Dr. Hall's house, I think. Could it be that he's also one of Dr. Hall's tricks? (Calling out.) Oh, hello! Hello! Dr. Hall's away. He's visiting Betty Ford. Can I service you? I mean, be of service? (Turning to LILLIAN.) I don't think he heard me.
LILLIAN: (Looking through binoculars.) That's because he's listening to his Walkman. Oh, my! I think you're right. That is Carlotta's Greek.
DIVA: (Taking the binoculars from LILLIAN.) And Muffy's leather-clad rescuer – one and the same. Would you look at that basket. Talk about a stimulus package!
LILLIAN: What basket? He's not carrying a basket.
DIVA: Lillian, you really have led a sheltered life, haven't you? (Shakes her leg and reaches under her garter for cell phone. Answers phone.) Diva Hollingsworth here, and who might you be? What do you want now, mother? Yes, don't you remember? Shortly after the Muffy fiasco when he lost all his rose bushes. He went on such a bender they hauled him off to the Betty Ford Clinic. And would you please stop eavesdropping on every little thing I say! Keep this up, mother, and I'm shipping you off to Idaho with the rest of the skinheads! (To LILLIAN.) She's got the whole yard wired for sound! Radio Shack should not be allowed to sell surveillance devices to little old ladies!
TINK: More. More. More. . . .
LILLIAN: Not now, Tink. He's on his way over.
DIVA: I've got a man coming, Mother. Over. Coming over! You really need to clean up that act of yours. I've got to go, Mother. Ciao. (Turns off phone and replaces it under her garter. She poses sensuously.) Oh, hello there. See anything you like? (Waving her hands in front of her.) There are butterflies.
DIVA: Butterflies, butterflies! There are millions of butterflies. I'm being attacked by a gaggle of butterflies!
LILLIAN: A gaggle of butterflies?
DIVA: A herd? A swarm? A big bunch? Pretty butterflies. (She waves her hands and fingers in front of her as though they were a swarm of butterflies. She is definitely becoming very stoned on the punch.) I'm a butterfly.
LILLIAN: You're definitely not a butterfly, Diva.
DIVA: I'm not?
LILLIAN: Not in this lifetime.
DIVA: Pity. (Speaking to young man.) Are you a butterfly? Then, who the hell are you? Who? The woman you helped onto the truck? That would be Muffy Hughes. No, no. She doesn't live there. (Finds a sheet and casually throws it over MUFFY.) That's Dr. Hall's house. Muffy lives two doors over – next to the Sundowner Nursing Home for geriatric delinquents. But, she's not home. If you don't mind my asking, what do you want her for?
TINK: More. More. More.
DIVA: Tink, shut up! Lillian, if she wants more give her more.
LILLIAN: (Giving TINK more punch.) Here you go, Tink. Miss Fidgety-twat's got an itch Quasimodo wouldn't scratch.
DIVA: (Ignoring the last.) Well, I will thank her for you the very next time I see her. Where? Umm . . . she went to . . . Lillian, where did Muffy go after she was released from the hospital?
LILLIAN: Into the care of an evil, old hag from hunger!
DIVA: Hungary. Yes. She went to the goulash-scented hills of Hungary to recover in the care of her sweet peasant family.
LILLIAN: (To TINK.) Pig shit.
DIVA: On a pig farm. She needed to get in touch with her roots. It'll help her recovery. Can I offer you some punch? It has absinthe in it. I'm told that it's a lot like LSD. Colored lights, visions, that sort of thing. I never had LSD, but I did see Easy Rider and The Trip with Peter Fonda. Anyway, it's free.
LILLIAN: With purchase.
DIVA: Now, now, dear Lillian. I am sure we could make an exception for this young, young . . . oh, so very young . . . young man.
LILLIAN: (To TINK.) That's more "youngs" than in a Chinese phone book!
DIVA: You'll have to excuse my friend. She had a hysterectomy yesterday. You're going to do what? But, you can't do that! It's a long way off. Besides, how do you expect to find her? You've got to be kidding. Hungary's a big place. It would be like finding a . . . a. . . .
LILLIAN: A very large, plump, dull needle in a haystack.
DIVA: Thank you, Lillian.
LILLIAN: Don't mention it.
DIVA: (To man.) Well, if you've got to go, go. Don't let me keep you from the love of your life. (Waving as he leaves.) Good bye. Good bye, my dear young . . . young . . .
LILLIAN: (Calling after him.) Have a nice day.
DIVA: (Calling after him.) Wait! Come back!
LILLIAN: Diva, Carlotta will kill you.
DIVA: Well, it won't be the first time. (To man whom she signals to come closer.) I'm a filthy rich woman.
LILLIAN: You certainly are.
DIVA: (To LILLIAN.) Don't think I don't know what you meant by that, Lillian. (To man.) Now, you go up to that house. The door is unlocked. Go up the stairs to the second room on the right and wait for me. Make yourself comfortable. Relax. Take your shoes off. Whatever you like. I won't be long. Remember – I'm very, very rich. (Blows him a kiss.) Later.
LILLIAN: Diva, you're no better than Carlotta.
DIVA: Yeah? And your point is? (LILLIAN shakes her head disapprovingly. DIVA removes sheet from MUFFY.) How are we doing, Muffy? Sorry. You'll thank me one day. Thank me. I said thank me, not spank me. You have a one-track mind, Muffy, and I'm afraid it runs right into the sewer. Sewer. Sewer. Oh, screw it!
TINK: (Fully awake. Sings.) I'M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE!
LILLIAN: I think she said. . . .
DIVA I know what she said. But, what does she mean?
TINK: (Sings.) WHEN THE RED, RED ROBIN COMES BOB, BOB, BOBBIN' ALONG!
DIVA: What's gotten into her?
LILLIAN: I think the punch is kicking in.
TINK: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. The Tarantula Arms. That's where I took my victims. Rub-a-dub-dub. Three men in a tub, and what a filthy tub!
DIVA: Is it me or is it her?
LILLIAN: I think its Tennessee Williams.
DIVA: Then, you hear it, too.
LILLIAN: Yes, Diva. I hear it, too.
TINK: (Definitely a man's voice.) Diva Hollingsworth! I'm in the garden . . . playing with my cucumber.
DIVA: No, you're not. You're in my yard . . . rotting in your wheelchair.
TINK: Dumplin', it's me. It's your little Mooky.
DIVA: Horace? Is that you?
TINK: I've come to give you a message from the great beyond.
DIVA: Lillian, come here, quick!
LILLIAN: (Crossing.) What?
DIVA: (In a loud whisper.) I see dead people.
DIVA: (In a louder whisper.) I see dead people.
LILLIAN: Oh, who doesn't? Have you been to Wal-Mart lately? Dead people. Stupid people. People who probably aren't really people. (Gulping punch.) Wow! This stuff has some kick!
DIVA: Teeth? What about teeth?
TINK: They bite.
DIVA: That's it? They bite?
TINK: That and . . . oh, yes . . . you're going to die.
TINK: You're a mean, self-centered, selfish, manipulating, overbearing twit.
DIVA: How can you say such a thing? Who do you think I'm doing all this for? For you, Horace. For you.
TINK: Face the truth, Dumplin’. You only want that Faberge egg for yourself. What do I care? I'm dead! The pickle jar is just fine. In fact, I like my ashes in a pickle jar. It keeps me close to the memory of what I loved most.
DIVA: Thank you, Horace.
TINK: Not you, you great colossal cow! My cucumbers. I want to live in cucumber fields forever!
DIVA: But, you're dead, Horace. You're dead.
TINK: And, you're not?
DIVA: Of course, I'm not.
TINK: But, you're going to.
DIVA: I am not going to!
LILLIAN: You're not going to what, Diva?
DIVA: I am not going to die.
LILLIAN: Of course not. Well, not right away. But, someday . . . someday you will.
DIVA: (Real panic.) I will?
LILLIAN: Most definitely.
TINK: I've got to go now. The great Wisdom Tooth calls.
DIVA: No. You can't go. Come back . . . (Shakes TINK furiously.) Come back, Horace! Come back!
LILLIAN: What are you doing, Diva? You're going to kill Tink again! You can't go around shaking people her age.
DIVA: (Coming to her senses.) What are you talking about?
LILLIAN: Well, you were talking to Carlotta's Greek and then you—
DIVA: Carlotta's Greek?
LILLIAN: The one in the poster. Don't you remember? You nearly molested the poor man. And, telling him all those things before sending him up to your house to wait for you. I could blush. I really could blush.
DIVA: What are you talking about, Lillian? I was talking to that leather-clad man of Muffy's who's off to Hungary to find her and marry her.
LILLIAN: Diva, I think the punch is having its way with you.
TINK: Why not? Everybody else has had their way with her!
DIVA: There! Did you hear that?
LILLIAN: Hear what?
LILLIAN: Horace? Where, Diva? Where is Horace?
DIVA: In Tink. Horace is inside Tink.
LILLIAN: It's the punch, Diva.
TINK: It's the punch, you silly cow!
DIVA: (Screams.) Oh, my God! I remember!
DIVA: I'm going to die. Help me, Lillian. I'm going to die.
LILLIAN: You are not going to die.
DIVA: Not today, no. But, one day I'm going to die. You said so yourself.
LILLIAN: Sweetie, everybody dies sooner or later.
DIVA: It never occurred to me.
LILLIAN: I can't believe that a woman your age never gave any thought to her own mortality.
DIVA: Believe it! I've been a mean, self-centered twit and I'm going to die. Sobbing.)
LILLIAN: (Hugging and comforting her.) There, there. You're not going to die.
DIVA: I've been mean and manipulative and self-centered—
LILLIAN: Like I said, you're not going to die. It's the absinthe in the punch. Think of something nice and it'll pass.
DIVA: (Crying.) I mean, I know people die. People die every day. But, it's not something I ever thought would happen to me.
LILLIAN: Pull yourself together. Think about something nice. Think about the seashore.
DIVA: The seashore?
LILLIAN: You've always liked the seashore. Think about the waves lapping at your toes . . . your feet . . . your ankles . . . (DIVA begins to move slowing, feeling the water lapping her feet and rising upwards. She writhes in slow-motion ecstasy. Her arms fly out as though conducting some heavenly orchestra only she can hear. Slowly we see she is on the verge of an orgasm. LILLIAN continues.) Your legs . . . your knees . . . your thighs . . . your . . . . Diva, what on Earth are you doing?
DIVA: Don't stop! Not now! Oh yes! This is it! Oh God! This is good!
LILLIAN: (Shakes her to her senses.) Stop! Now! Bad girl! Bad. You've got to get hold of yourself. You could get arrested for feeling what you're feeling in a public place.
DIVA: Arrest me! Put me in handcuffs, in chains . . . do with me what you will! I'm free! I'm free! Over here! I'm free. Free.
LILLIAN: Diva, it's the punch talking. Get control of yourself!
(The MUSIC to "Boogie Woogie Diva" begins. This is a simple Boogie Woogie beat that can easily be improvised. You may also cut the following song and use any recording of your choice and have the “ladies” lip-sync to it. Also, TINK should be included. Directly after the song TINK goes back to sleep.)
DIVA: I love the night life!
LILLIAN: Of course you do.
DIVA: I've got to boogie! Boogie Woogie!
LILLIAN: You go girl!
I'M YOUR BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
COME AND GIVE ME A WHIRL
YOUR HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
YOUR COME-AND-GET-IT GIRL
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
THE DISH OF THE HOUR
SWEET AND HOT AND SOUR
SHE'S COOKIN' WITH GAS
YOU BET YOUR ASS!
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
TINK & LILLIAN:
SHE'S A HOT PETUTIE
A REAL GONE CUTIE
A FLAMIN' STAR
COME ON BOYS
BEAT ME EIGHT TO THE BAR
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
FREE AND CHEAP AND SLEEZY
IN FACT SHE'S REALLY EASY
A PENNY, A NICKLE, A DIME
SHE'S GOT THE TIME!
MEET-CHA 'ROUND THE CORNER IN A HALF AN HOUR
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
BOOGIE WOOGIE DIVA
NOTHIN' COULD BE FINER
THAN DIVA IN THE MORNIN'
AFTER SHE'S PUT ON HER FACE
(DANCE and repeat.)
(DIVA starts shaking her leg with uncontrollable fervor. DIVA reaches under her dress and retrieves the cell phone.)
DIVA: (Answers phone.) This better be good, Mother! Oh, Carlotta. What do you want? I haven't got your Greek. No, I haven't. What makes you think that? My mother called you, did she? Saw him going into my house? Well, if that's what she told you, then I guess its true – although, I don't remember a thing. No, I have no intention of giving him back. Finder's keepers. Reward? A finder's fee? What kind of a finder's fee? Really? Really? You've got a deal, girlfriend! (Replaces phone under garter. To LILLIAN.) Lillian, you'll never believe what just happened? (Pours herself some punch.) Carlotta is giving me her Faberge egg in exchange for her Greek. Isn't life wonderful? (Takes a big gulp.) Lillian, this is the best stuff I've ever had. (Spies a potential customer.)
DIVA & LILLIAN: Free punch . . . with purchase. Free punch . . . with purchase.
LILLIAN: Oh, hello there. Can I show you something? That? That . . . oh dear, it looks like a pistol. Diva, what's this pistol doing here?
DIVA: What do you think it is doing, Lillian?
LILLIAN: What's it doing here, Diva?
DIVA: Waiting to be sold.
LILLIAN: Where did you get it?
DIVA: It's Horace's old starter pistol. He used it over at the community theatre when they did those melodramas. I believe the last time he used it was when he played the sheriff in Dirty Dick from Deadwood. It shoots blanks. But, then, so did Horace.
LILLIAN: (To potential customer.) I'm afraid it only shoots blanks. See anything else that interests you? That's a jar of . . . good God! What's in this jar, Diva?
DIVA: Teeth. Molars, bicuspids, canine, wisdom . . . teeth. Horace never could throw anything away. Those represent forty years of extractions. There are probably some contributions from Carlotta Bean in there.
LILLIAN: (Tries to lift large jar.) Holy Christmas, this would give the Tooth Fairy a hernia! (To customer.) Now, here's something you might want to invest in. Can I interest you in a genuine pre-Columbian fertility goddess? It was a wedding present. No. We never did have any children. If you like, I'll take off ten percent for impotence. Tools? I don't think so. Diva, do we have any tools?
DIVA: What do I look like, a mechanic? How about a screw? I've got some loose screws from Muffy's walker. Or a vibrator? (Holds up vibrator – her arms shaking from the vibrations.) Oh my! That's a perky little number.
LILLIAN: (As customer leaves.) Sorry we couldn't help you. Some what? I'm sorry. We don't allow any free punch unless you buy something. Have a nice day.
DIVA: Free loader! My, this vibrator sure has a kick. (Drops it in TINK'S lap.)
TINK: (Wakes. Grabs vibrator and starts to vibrate madly.) Help! Help!
DIVA: For Pete's sake, enjoy it, Tink.
TINK: Diva, if I wasn't in this chair I'd . . . I'd . . .
DIVA: (As Bette Davis.) But you are, Blanche. You are in that chair.
LILLIAN: Diva, you can't leave her vibrating like that. She'll get seasick or something.
DIVA: Let her have her fun. That battery can't have that much juice left in it.
LILLIAN: She's starting to turn blue.
DIVA: She's always had a touch of blue.
LILLIAN: Suppose it's one of those . . . (She hiccups.) . . . bunny batteries?
TINK: (Still vibrating.) Help! Help!
DIVA: What on earth are you talking about, Lillian?
LILLIAN: You know, the kind that keep going and going and going . . . (Hiccups.) . . . and going and going and
DIVA: What is wrong with you, Lillian?
LILLIAN: I got the . . . (Hiccups.) . . . the . . . (Hiccups.) . . . hiccups. You better scare me, Diva.
TINK: (Still vibrating.) Help! Help!
LILLIAN: I said you better . . . scare me. (Hiccups.)
(DIVA picks up the pistol and shoots it into the air. TINK stops vibrating. LILLIAN stops hiccupping. There is a long SILENCE before DIVA'S cell phone RINGS.)
DIVA: (Lays down the pistol and retrieves the phone.) Diva, here. Mother, I asked you not to . . . what? What did you call 911 for? No, mother, nobody's being murdered. It was just Horace's old starter pistol. You know, the one from Dirty Dick from Deadwood.
(There is the SOUND of police SIRENS and the red and blue LIGHTS of squad cars flashing across the yard.)
DIVA: Mother, I need to hang up now.
VOICE OVER BULL HORN: WE HAVE THE PLACE SURROUNDED. PUT DOWN YOUR ARMS AND RAISE YOUR HANDS.
LILLIAN: How do I do that, Diva? How do I put down my arms and raise my hands?
DIVA: Don't be a ninny, Lillian! (Holding out the cell phone.) It's just a cell phone.
VOICE OVER BULL HORN: PUT YOUR ARMS DOWN AND RAISE YOUR HANDS.
TINK: (Holds out vibrator.) It's just a vibrator.
VOICE OVER BULL HORN: THIS IS YOUR LAST WARNING. PUT YOUR ARMS DOWN AND RAISE YOUR HANDS.
LILLIAN: (Picks up pistol and points it toward police.) It's just a starter pistol. It shoots blanks. (The gun accidentally goes off.) Oops.
DIVA: (Into phone.) Mother, I've got to go now . . .
(BLACK OUT. The SOUND of a barrage of gunfire. Slowly, the LIGHTING returns.)
LILLIAN: Thank you, officer, you've been so understanding.
TINK: Holy Tallulah Bankhead! I'm alive.
DIVA: (Holding something tightly to her bosom. To Muffy.) Are you in there, Muffy? You didn't get shot, did you? (Leaning in to listen.) No, dear. I know how you love men in uniform but this would not be a good time to hit on a policeman. (To policeman.) She seems to be fine, officer.
LILLIAN: (To policeman.) Oh, I swear, officer, we'll never do anything like that again. Would you like some punch? Sorry, no donuts. Toodles.
ALL: (Waving "goodbye" to policeman.) Have a nice day.
LILLIAN: Diva, are you okay?
DIVA: (Still holding something clutched to her bosom.) I . . . I . . . I . . .
LILLIAN: You're not having a stroke, are you?
DIVA: NO! LOOK! (Holds out a large jewel encrusted gold Faberge egg.)
LILLIAN: Oh, sweet Liberace! It's a Faberge egg. Where did it come from?
DIVA: I don't know. In all the confusion of the gun fire, somebody ran up and put it in my hands.
LILLIAN: Who was it?
TINK: Don't look at me. I don't do running.
DIVA: (Shaking her leg wildly. to LILLIAN.) Here hold this. (Gives egg to LILLIAN. Retrieves phone and answers it.) Hello. I'm special and you're not. Oh, it's you Carlotta . . . Uh huh . . . Uh huh . . . (Listening. Adding an "uh huh" every so often.)
LILLIAN: (Opening egg.) Oh look. M&Ms. (Offering some to TINK.)
TINK: I'm diabetic. Well, maybe one. Oh, a green one. I love the green ones.
LILLIAN: They're all the same.
TINK: Oh, no, there's something about the green ones.
DIVA: (Into phone.) It's beautiful! It's wonderful! It's marvelous! Horace will fit very nicely in it.
LILLIAN: (To DIVA.) Lose the M&Ms first.
DIVA: So it was you! Well that was fast. (To Lillian.) She broke into my house and kidnapped the Greek. (Into phone.) You’re always welcome in my home . . . whether I am there are not. A Greek for an egg seems a fair exchange. We will, Carlotta. Yes, of course, we will. And may you and your Greek do the same. Ciao to you too, darling. (Replaces phone.) She loves me. She really, really loves me.
LILLIAN: What did she say?
DIVA: Be gay.
LILLIAN: Be gay?
DIVA: She wants to see us be gay. She wants us to sing and dance and be filled with happiness, love and joy. Oh, girls, I have everything . . . the most wonderful friends in the whole wide world . . . and a Faberge egg!
TINK: The loon has changed her tune.
DIVA: Watch it, Tink! You're not the only bitch on wheels around here!
LILLIAN: So much for gaiety, love and joy.
TINK: Do you remember the routine we did at the Firemen's Ball?
LILLIAN: I just love firemen!
DIVA: I don't know if I still remember it.
LILLIAN: Of course you do.
(DIVA and LILLIAN take a few hesitant steps as they slowly work their way into a big, splashy, flag-waving reprise of "Boogie Woogie Diva" or song of your choice. TINK participates.)
END OF PLAY