A double date

(This really doesnít work. Itís an experiment on how to allude to something in dialogue without saying it openly)



Scene: Mr. Bensen is in his living room when two boys, Charlie and Butch enter. They are very nervous.


BENSEN: Come in, boys. Whatís wrong with you?


CHARLIE: (in an aside to Butch) This is the part I canít stand. We come to see his daughter and we get him.


BUTCH: Shush, Charlie. †Louise will wait.


CHARLIE: ††††† Wait for me, you mean.


BENSEN:† Sit down, boys.

††††††††††††††††††††††† My daughter will be down in a few minutes (he chuckles)

††††††††††††††††††††††† But I canít say as Iíve ever seen this kind of thing before, two boys taking my little girl to the high school prom.

††††††††††††††††††††††† But you two boys are theÖ

††††††††††††††††††††††† Well, you know what they say around town anyway.


CHARLIE: ††††† It wasnít my idea that two of us should taker her.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Itís Butch. He just doesnít take a hint that your daughter might want to go to the prom with me, not him.


BENSEN: †††††† Thatís not how I heard it, Charles.

††††††††††††††††††††††† My daughter talked to me and said she liked the two of you very much.

††††††††††††††††††††††† So when she couldnít make up her mind, I told her to let both of you take her.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Then by the end of the night, she can make up her mind who she wants to bring her home.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Itís like a contest.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Both of you are going to have to be on your best behavior in order to win her hand.


BUTCH: †††††††† †But she promised to go with me first.


CHARLIE: ††††† A girl has a right to change her mind, donít she?


BUTCH: †††††††† And youíre right there to help her change her mind, right Charlie?


BENSEN:† ††††† Boys, please.

††††††††††††††††††††††† I wonít have you fighting.

††††††††††††††††††††††† The rules are set.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Youíll both take her to the prom, and let the best man win.


BUTCH:††††††††† But itís not fair.


CHARLIE: ††††† You can leave right now if you donít like it, Butch. I wonít mind. Honest. And neither will Louise, Iím sure.


BUTCH: †††††††† Like hell, Iím leaving her to you.


CHARLIE: ††††† Well, Iím not leaving her to you either. No matter what youíve done to her already.


BENSEN:††††††† Thatís fine.

††††††††††††††††††††††† So why donít you two relax here until my daughter comes down.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Iíd like to find out a little more about the two of you.

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Both boys sit uneasily on the couch)

††††††††††††††††††††††† Okay, Butch. Tell me a little about yourself.


BUTCH: †††††††† (Glances at Charlie, then shrugs.)

††††††††††††††††††††††† Thereís not a lot to say.


BENSEN: †††††† Well, tell me what you want to be when you graduate


BUTCH: †††††††† Iím not really sure yet.

††††††††††††††††††††††† I got a job down at Jerryís service station.

††††††††††††††††††††††† You know the place; itís down on the highway?


BENSEN: †††††† You mean the place with the rusty sign in front of it?


BUTCH: †††††††† Yeah thatís the one.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Jerry says heís gonna get a new sign any day now.


CHARLIE: ††††† Jerryís been saying that for years, but never does it.


BENSEN: †††††† What about you, Charles?

††††††††††††††††††††††† What are your plans for after graduation?


CHARLIE: ††††† Iím going to business school.

††††††††††††††††††††††† My old man says if I do well enough, heíll let me have the downtown store to run.


BENSEN: †††††† Iíve heard the downtown store has been doing pretty poorly lately.


CHARLIE: ††††† Thatís because of the shopping malls.

††††††††††††††††††††††† But I future I might get some clue how to change that when Iím at business school.


BENSEN: †††††† Thatís very admirable.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Iíve been trying to convince my daughter to continue her education.

††††††††††††††††††††††† But she seems to have other things in mind.

††††††††††††††††††††††† (Bensen glances over at Butch and frowns)

††††††††††††††††††††††† Sheís afraid that if she goes off to school, she may lose what she has here.


CHARLIE: ††††† I think thatís foolish.

††††††††††††††††††††††† It seems to me that sheíll do better if she gets more schooling.


BUTCH:††††††††† Better than what?

††††††††††††††††††††††† You want her to be unhappy?


BENSEN:††††††† Are you saying my daughter is unhappy, Butch?


BUTCH: †††††††† Iím saying she has a mind of her own and ought to be able to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.


BENSEN:††††††† Maybe thatís true, Butch.

††††††††††††††††††††††† But maybe she needs to see all the choices before she goes off and commits herself to something that she might regret later.


BUTCH:††††††††† Are you saying sheíll regret being with me?


CHARLIE† (in an aside to Butch) Donít lose your cool, boy. You open your mouth a little more and you wonít get to take her anywhere tonight or ever.


BUTCH: †††††††† Shut up, Charlie.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Iím talking to him.

††††††††††††††††††††††† (To Bensen) Well, Mr. Bensen? Are you saying that or not?


BENSEN:††††††† Maybe I am, Butch.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Maybe I want something more for my daughter than a future as the wife of a gas station attendant.


BUTCH:††††††††† Iím not always going to work at Jerryís. I just havenít made better plans yet. That doesnít mean I donít love your daughter or I wonít provide for her when the time comes.


BENSEN:††††††† When what time comes?


CHARLIE: ††††† (in an aside to Butch) Now youíre hitting your stride, boy.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Why donít you tell him the whole thing, and then heíll really take a shine knowing what youíve already done to his daughter.


BUTCH: †††††††† I said shut up, Charlie.


BENSEN: †††††† Tell me, Butch.

††††††††††††††††††††††† What did you mean by† ďwhen the time comes.Ē


BUTCH: †††††††† Letís just forget it.

††††††††††††††††††††††† All of this is stupid anyway since me and Louise plan to get married right after graduation.


BENSEN: †††††† Is that so?


BUTCH: †††††††† Ask her yourself.


BENSEN: †††††† I did. She said she didnít know.


BUTCH: †††††††† Thatís not what she told me.


CHARLIE: ††††† A girl has a right to change her mind, Butch.


BUTCH: †††††††† For the last time, Charlie, shut up

††††††††††††††††††††††† (To Bensen)† †† What did she tell you, Mr. Bensen?


BENSEN:††††††† She said she was confused and didnít know what she wanted, and thatís not a good condition for marriage.


CHARLIE: ††††† Maybe sheís not in the condition for marriage now, but she will be after graduation.


BENSEN: †††††† Which means?


BUTCH: †††††††† Charlie! Iím warning youÖ


LOUISE: †††††††† (Enters through the door)† Iím ready.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Hey, whatís wrong with everybody?


BENSEN: †††††† I think, Louise, we need to talk


CHARLIE: ††††† I think maybe none of us are going to the prom tonight, eh Butch?


BUTCH: †††††††† (Glaring at Charlie) I think one of us is going to wind up in the Emergency Room before the night is over.


CHARLIE:† †††† Donít be silly. Louise isnít that far gone yet.


BUTCH:† ††††††† Will you just shut up, Charlie!!!



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