Alcohol And Seniors

 

THE INVISIBLE WEB

by Derek West (note)

(*Adult content: some minor suggestive language, small amounts of strong language)

 

A 3 Act play about prescription drugs, alcohol, and relationships amongst seniors

 

CHARACTERS:

 

Norman Martin ...........75 year old retired salesman

 

Dorothy Martin ...............His 75 year old wife.

 

Rose Collins .....................72 year old widow, a neighbour. A call girl for a short period. Has been straight for many years but doesn’t like to remember her past.

 

Bob Armstrong ...............72 year old Pharmacist (Druggist) and widower.

 

Dr. Mary Franklin ......... 69 year old medical doctor.


 

Act 1. The Invisible Web

 

As the curtain opens, Norman is seen hobbling about the kitchen with a large bandage on his foot.

 

He is procuring a glass and a bottle of wine from a cupboard. He puts the glass on the table and the bottle under it. He sets up a footstool to rest his bandaged foot on, finds the newspaper, turns on the TV (radio) and settles in a chair with his foot up on the stool. He begins to read the paper while the TV is on. He is about to reach for the wine bottle when Dorothy comes in from the bedroom. She has an unlit cigarette in her mouth (she’s trying to quit). Norman leaves the bottle where it is and pretends to scratch his foot. Dorothy comes over near him and turns down the TV.

 

DOROTHY: Are you going to sit there all day again?

 

NORMAN: Now don’t get started ..........

 

DOROTHY: There’s jobs to be done.. The lock on the front door needs fixing...I can’t do everything myself!

 

NORMAN: I happen to have a bad foot... Or haven’t you noticed?

 

DOROTHY: Yes and last month it was your back, and before that your shoulder.

 

NORMAN: Will you ever stop nagging? .. Let me just relax ......please!

 

DOROTHY: You? ... Well what about me? I had to bring up the kids by myself.. And now that they’re gone.. I have to pick up after you all the time.

 

NORMAN: It’s not my fault I had to be away so much ... I kept the bunch of you in food and clothing ... And no thanks for that, now ... I’d like to spend some time at home.

 

DOROTHY: Of course you do ... But the whole time ...? We never go anywhere ... We should be doing things together and ... And getting more exercise.

 

NORMAN: Why are you always trying to find new ways to bother me ...? You and me ...exercise ...? ... That’s a laugh......

 

DOROTHY: (getting indignant) If I were that floozy in the other apartment you wouldn’t be saying that.

 

NORMAN: You mean Rose ...? How did she get into this conversation .. ? What are you talking about woman? (he knows)

 

DOROTHY: Let’s just forget it.

 

NORMAN: Suits me.

 

DOROTHY: (a look of dismay comes over her) I shouldn’t have had all that wine last night. I have to see Dr. Franklin today and I feel just terrible. (Coughs) Where is that cough syrup.. ? (looks at Norman) .. Norman. ? Where’s the cough syrup..?

 

NORMAN: Cough syrup?...Oh yeah….I think it’s in the bedroom.. Had to use some myself ...(pretends to cough)… Didn’t help much though.. Say why don’t you try some Ex-Lax? Then you’d be afraid to cough! Ha..ha..ha..

 

DOROTHY: (retrieves cough syrup from bedroom… Takes sip right from bottle) I’m going to ask Dr. Franklin to give me something different for this cough... (then suddenly trying to remember) .. did you see me take my breathing tablet today..?

 

NORMAN: (gruffly) .. How should I know ..? (Then jokingly) Take another one anyway .. You might get better twice as fast. HA.. HA.. HA..

 

DOROTHY: (takes a bottle of pills from medicine on a table, takes one and then swallows it with another swig from the cough syrup bottle.. YUK.. I hate taking pills...look at all this stuff (looks at assortment on table). Why I could start my own drug store.

 

NORMAN: (with sarcastic grin) No wonder they call them wonder drugs. You take them, then you wonder what’s the matter. HA..HA..HA..

 

DOROTHY: (ignoring his remark and then taking a card from her purse).. See this... Everything I take is written down on this. It’s my personal medication card.

 

NORMAN: Let’s see that... (she hands it to him) ... Well,  what do you know,  not bad .. But hold the phone Sapphire. What about your other goodies... Those headache tablets... The cough syrup.... And all that stuff from the health food store..?

 

 DOROTHY: (objecting) The doctor doesn’t need to know about those.. You don’t

 need a prescription for them, so they must be perfectly safe.

 

(Suddenly a knock at the door)

 

NORMAN:  (in a growly voice) It’s open .. Come on in. But if you’re asking for a

 donation get lost ..!

 

(Rose Collins enters, she’s dressed in colourful, but slightly too tight clothing and a little too much

make-up... Norman’s tone suddenly changes.

 

NORMAN Ah.h.h...Rosie...! (she doesn’t like being called  ‘Rosie’). There’s a seat for ya right here.. (Pats his raised knee and ..grins)

 

ROSE  (ignoring him and addressing herself to Dorothy) Hi Dorothy....

 

DOROTHY: (not too happy at her presence, but tries to be nice) Hello Rose ...

 

ROSE. (now looks at Norman. Notices the bandaged foot) What happened to you       Normie ..? (she knows he doesn’t like being called ‘Normie’) Did you stub your little toe or are you trying to keep your brain warm..? (This is their usual kidding banter)

 

NORMAN. Nice try there kiddo .. But the doc says I got the gout and I gotta rest it.

 

ROSE.  Take it easy eh..! You old travelling salesmen are all alike.

 

NORMAN. Oh yeah..! Well you oughta know! . But I was making calls (emphasizes the word ‘call’ as in ‘call girl’) long after your were Toots.. which reminds me.. ha..ha..ha.. how’s your old aching back...?

 

ROSE: (in a more serious mood) Huh...I’m surprised you care.. but a lot better thank you... those new pills the doctor gave me are working just great (then looks toward Dorothy who is picking up her coat) You’re looking real nice.. where are you off to Dorothy?

 

DOROTHY: (dryly)...Doctor’s appointment.. my cold’ worse, my arthritis is killing me and pills just don’t seem to help anymore.

 

ROSIE: (reaching into bra and pulling out a bottle with a small assortment of pills in it) Here...try some of my new ones. They sure cured by back... They could help you too.

 

DOROTHY: Do you think so..? (then looking at Norman) I’d take anything to get rid of this eternal pain (pauses...thinking..) Okay give me one…can’t do any harm..(takes one from Rose and swallows with a glass of water, places glass on table near Norman)

 

NORMAN: (not one to miss an opportunity to get attention) ..Hey.. how about me ..? Give me one of those...this foot is killing me.. nobody knows how much pain I go through..!

 

ROSE: (thinks he’s overdoing it) Sure...why not..? (then in a teasing voice) This will help chase away the naughty pain.

 

DOROTHY: (interrupting deliberately) What do you call these anyway.. They look like jelly beans.

 

ROSE: Yes... (then suddenly) .. But don’t chew them.. (Norman has been chewing his... Rose adjusts glasses to look at label).. It says (slowly) En…Entro..entrophen. Whatever that is.. Why don’t they use decent names like whizzers.. or boomers.. or.. or zappers.. eh Norman.?

  

DOROTHY: Well, I can remember mine by the shapes and the colours.. White ones for breathing. Red ones for loosening... Yellow for sleep.. ??..Or is it the other way around. (Hold up a prescription bottle) Now what are these for?

 

ROSE: (in a low voice directed at Dorothy) Excuse me, I have to use your powder room for a minute... I’m burning up (Rose has recurring bladder infection. She goes into the bathroom. As she walks in front of Norman he gives her a little tap on the behind (Dorothy notices.)

 

DOROTHY: Keep that up ‘Normie boy’ (mimicking Rose) and you won’t be able to walk on either foot.. (Picks up her handbag and waves it menacingly at his foot)

 

NORMAN: (instinctively protecting his foot) hey.. Hey.. Take it ease old girl.. Just joking around. Where’s your sense of humour?

 

DOROTHY: (looks at him.. glaring) If that’s your idea of humour then I don’t have my funny suit on today.. Quit your fooling around and get that (spells it out) b-i-t-c-h out of here...people like her should be locked up..! (ooints to bathroom door. Then there is the sound of a flushing toilet. Rose re-enters the room. Dorothy tries to effect a smile and Norman pretends that nothing has happened)

 

NORMAN. So, Rosie ... A burning feeling... Must have been because of me.. Eh babe?

 

ROSIE: OH sure... But not where you think ‘little man’ ... I forgot to take my bladder medicine last night and now I’m paying the piper.

 

NORMAN (always using her words to get back at her). And not too soon either .. We sure paid you enough times....HA..HA..HA..

 

ROSIE. (looking at Dorothy) Good grief Dorothy, how can you stand it around here..? Can’t you give him a banana and put him back in his cage..?

 

DOROTHY (Ignores the remark.. then sighs) I must get going... I’ll have to wait an hour just to see the doctor for five minutes, and by that time.. I’ll be so nervous.. I’ll forget what i came to see him for (starts to cough again. Takes another swig of cough syrup).. And this stupid cough.. Is it ever going to stop..!

 

NORMAN Listen to me.. I know what you need. Come on. Sit down over here, both of you now.. I’ve got the answer to all your problems. (Rose is already sitting and Dorothy hesitatingly does the same)

  

ROSE. This is a switch...Norman the problem is going to be Norman the problem solver..?

 

NORMAN (takes a part bottle of wine from a paper bag under the table, then holds it up for them to see)

 

  This is an old-fashioned remedy that my grandmother always used. It’s quick..Dorothy (pours her a glass) it’s effective.. .Rose (pours her a glass) and it always works. (Pours himself a glass)

 

DOROTHY Not this stuff.. and in the middle of the day..?

  

NORMAN Don’t get excited. We’re just having one glass.. What harm can one little glass do..? The bottle’s about empty anyway. (there is ¾ of the bottle left)

 

DOROTHY (she is feeling down and could use a pick-up) Wel.l.l.....I could use something... just one though.

  

NORMAN (raising his glass with a grin) To your good health ladies (this remark directed mainly at Rose)

 

DOROTHY (quietly) WHAT’S LEFT OF IT (All drink)

 

ROSE. (reaches for another pill and swallows it) M.m.m.m.....not bad..I’m beginning to feel better already.

 

NORMAN (seeing Dorothy drink) There you are my little Dotty...when you get to the clinic you’ll be Mrs. smooth and relaxed.

 

DOROTHY I sure hope so.. (Honk! Honk! Is heard. It’s her taxi) oh.. there’s my taxi, (puts on coat and heads for door. worried she has to leave Norman and rose alone) Norman!... Don’t you have some chores to do.. like fixing the lock on the door..?

 

NORMAN (in a bored voice) Yes, yes,.. I’ll do it.. but first Rose wants just another small one. Just to finish off the bottle (starts filling her glass again) don’t you, Rose..?

 

ROSE. (feeling uncomfortable at the situation that has developed) Well, no.. not really.. I just want to see the end of the Dona Free show.. It’s about gay people who want to colonize their own planet.

 

NORMAN Hey.. that’s a good cause.. I’ll drink to that.. ha..ha..ha..

(Taxi horn sounds again)

 

DOROTHY (hesitant and frustrated) I’ve got to go now.. but remember Norman. Remember what I  told you (she is referring to getting rid of Rose)

 

NORMAN Yes, yes...I’ll do it...get on your way.

 

ROSE. (trying to be nice) Good luck Dorothy.. see you later.

 

DOROTHY (in a low voice, just enough that the audience can hear) You better not be here when I get back you frumpy tramp (leaves).

 

ROSE. (they are alone now) What was it she told you to do..?

 

NORMAN (standing up on both feet and doing a little dance) .You know..!.. I can’t remember (grins)

 

ROSE. (not too surprised) so.. You’ve been faking a bad foot eh..?

 

NORMAN (going over to her and easing her out of her chair)

 

ROSE. Take it easy there fella.. What are you up to now..?

 

NORMAN Come on Rose.. Just like old times.. Let’s have a little dance. (Music plays and they start shuffling around the room).

 

ROSE. (is enjoying the moment but..) Norman I don’t think we should be doing this. (They keep dancing for a while then slide into their chairs and fall asleep).

 

ACT II, THE INVISIBLE WEB

 

SCENE: DR. FRANKLIN’S OFFICE

 

Dorothy has arrived in the doctor’s office. She is looking blankly at a modern painting. She is feeling irritable and is talking out loud to herself.

 

DOROTHY This is typical…had to wait 30 minutes outside and I’ve been here 15 more already. that drink Norman gave me has made my head ache(then glancing at the examining table)...Well at least I don’t have to stand around half naked and get into those damn stirrups. (she hears the door opening and hurriedly sits down, trying to attempt a smile as Dr. Franklin enters.)

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Hello Dorothy…sorry to keep you waiting…had an emergency at the hospital... (picks up her file to look at it) So then... How have you been feeling...?

 

DOROTHY Oh fine…mostly…but I do need something for this cough. (coughs a little then moves uncomfortably in her chair and here comes the real problem) and, maybe something for my nerves…I haven’t been sleeping all that well.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Stand up for me then and we’ll check this out. (starts to check her back and chest with stethoscope and finger tapping, all the while saying something)…

 

 Yes there’s some congestion all right...cough for me please…ah-ham... Hmmmm. Everything else seems to be okay…all right you can sit down now and I’ll write you out a prescription (as he is writing out the prescription he says) I’m giving you an antibiotic and a cough syrup…make sure you take them exactly as I have directed (Dorothy nods her head in approval) Now...what’s this about your nerves...?

 

DOROTHY: I can’t seem to get to sleep at night. I have no energy.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Are you still smoking...? You said you were trying to quit.

 

DOROTHY (uneasily, because she doesn’t want to lie)...Wel-ll…not exactly…I’ve cut down though. .but Norman…he still smokes like a chimney.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Well you know it’s not helping your cough and congestion (then he tries to zero in on problem) and how is Norman. Is his foot still acting up...? (Norman had seen Dr. Franklin about his foot)

 

DOROTHY He’s fine…You know Norman. Always laughing…always joking...(then lowering her voice as she contemplates)... But then who wouldn’t after sipping from a wine bottle most of the day...

 

DR. FRANKLIN: I thought he was going to quit that stuff…that you both were...?

 

DOROTHY (realizing that she may have said too much) Oh….it’s not really that bad. We have a little one now and again…just to relax.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: (their conversation is interrupted by the phone ringing. Dr. Franklin picks it up) Hello...(pause)...has she settled down yet...? (look of concern comes over his face) yes…of course…I’ll try and make it home early then…don’t worry now…good-by dear. (then to Dorothy)

 Sorry for the intrusion Dorothy but my daughter is going through a bad time with her husband (he has intentionally confided in her to try and open her up…Dr.’s have problems too).

 

DOROTHY That’s all right doctor…I can almost relate to that myself…If Norman would just appreciate me more…and give me some attention. I need that from him And I know he needs me.

 

DR. FRANKLIN:. Have you ever told him that…that you need him...?

 

DOROTHY (abruptly) Of course not. He’d just laugh.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: You might be surprised. We all need appreciation. Even Norman (Dorothy looks a little stunned as she ponders this statement). Now then . I don’t like giving out a bunch of pills that are just crutches... (starts to look through her file again) What are  you taking now...?

 

DOROTHY (taking out her prescription medication card) Here…everything is written on this.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: (takes it from her and studies it) Hm...mI like this idea… Where did you get it?

 

DOROTHY It’s a personal medication card. I got it from the health unit and a nurse helped me fill it out.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Here’s all the prescriptions I gave you and others that you bought on your own. i see there’s also one from dr. white…You won’t need that one though. I’ve already given you one very much like it…It’s just a different colour.

 

DOROTHY What...? Then it’s like I’ve been taking a double dose. No wonder I’ve been feeling strange.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: It can easily happen, especially if you go from one doctor to another.

 

DOROTHY (trying to hide her embarrassment) I had that filled at a different drug store tooI won’t do that again.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Sometimes you can’t avoid it…but try and stick to the same pharmacy…They can often point these things out to you from your prescription profile.

 

DOROTHY Thank goodness for the medication record card.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: That was a wise decision all right. now.(starts writing out another prescription and says while he is doing it)...This will be a much better prescription for your nerves. but this one you don’t get filled at a drug store. (hands it to her to read) See if you can read it.

 

DOROTHY (takes it without looking at it) I can’t read these things. It might as well be written in Chinese.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: You can read this one…try it.

 

DOROTHY (looking at it). There’s a (pause) ‘4'...and ...and…an ‘f’ 4f! I’ve heard of the 4H club but what on earth is 4F!

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Well it’s not exactly a club, but it does mean that you need to start the ‘4F’s of living and loving. The first ‘F’ is for ‘fun’…do your favourite thing… vacation…shopping…dancing...

 

DOROTHY (dreamily)...Dancing. Oh yes...I danced a lot when I was younger but Norman, you can’t get him up on the floor.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: The second is for ‘Friends. ’Look up your old ones and make some new ones...I know that my day is always bright when i can look forward to being with a good friend.

 

DOROTHY The only friend we have is Rose...if you can call her one...

 

DR. FRANKLIN: The third ‘F’ is for ‘fresh air’ that means doing a little walking and exercising…there’s all kinds to choose from…even on television.

 

DOROTHY About the only walking Norman does is from the kitchen to the bathroom and back.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: And the last ‘F’ is for ‘faith’…especially in yourself and in what you can make happen.

 

DOROTHY (overwhelmed)...Heavens.!...What an order...I don’t have time or energy for all that. ...and what about Norman.?

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Don’t worry about him... He’ll be all right... You might just rekindle that old flame you two used to have.

 

DOROTHY (smiles at the suggestion)...That would be nice...but I really don’t believe in miracles.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Practise those ‘4F’s and you may change your mind. They are your only real escape from this invisible web of frustration and despair.

 

DOROTHY I suppose I can always try…but how do I start...? ...I’m too old to change.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: (emphatically) Nonsense!....We are never too old to change or to learn. You don’t have to rush…Practise a different ‘F’ lesson each week and keep repeating.

 

DOROTHY (with resignation and reservation) It’s a strange prescription…But you’re the doctor.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Good...I want to see you in a month. Try and get started by then.

 

DOROTHY Thank you doctor...but I’d better hurry...I want to get to the drug store before it closes...good-bye.

 

DR. FRANKLIN: Good-bye Dorothy.

 

(The curtain closes as Dorothy leaves the office, now she reappears in front of the closed curtain. She pulls out a cigarette but doesn’t light it...then holds up the ‘4F’s prescription the Dr. has given her).

 

DOROTHY What a silly prescription. I ask for a nerve pill and he gives me this...! ‘4F’s...What did he say...?...friends …fresh air...(pause)...what was the third one...?Oh yes,...fun...and the last one was faith. That was it...faith...faith in what i can make happen. Now what kind of a cure is that...well I  suppose I’ll have to try it...

 

(now her mood changes as she remembers Norman and Rose back in the apartment) that rose better be out of there when I get back. (then remembering she has to get her prescription filled)...Oh...!...The drug store...(and hurries off stage.)

 

ACT III, The Invisible Web

 

Scene:         Interlude in front of drug store. Dorothy and the pharmacist named Bob Armstrong are talking in front of the store or curtain. Bob is just locking up and is late because he stayed to fill Dorothy’s prescription. Dorothy has known Bob a long time.

 

BOB:            Well that’s it for another day Dorothy.

 

DOROTHY    Thanks Bob, for staying open and filling my prescription…Sorry I was late.

 

BOB:            Anytime Dorothy, I’m more than happy to do it for an old friend...just part of the job anyway.

 

DOROTHY    (surprised to find herself saying) Well I’d like to return the favour...why don’t you come to our place for supper tonight.?

 

BOB:            (pondering the invitation)...You know, Dorothy, you’ve just made me an offer I can’t refuse...it’s been a little tough batching since Sally died…But what about Norman? Are you sure he wouldn’t object...?

 

DOROTHY    Not at all he loves having company…and you...you’ll be a real surprise.

 

BOB:            (offering her his arm)...Okay...let’s go…I like surprises too. (They exit to back home at the martin’s kitchen when they enter they are stunned to see Rose and Norman asleep. Dorothy is almost speechless)

 

DOROTHY    What on earth...?

 

BOB:  Whoops...(then seeing the liquor glass and pills realizes something serious may have happened. …picks up glass and sniffs it…picks up bottle of pills and examines them...then rushes to Norman)

 

Norman!...Are you all right...? (taps him around the cheeks)

 

NORMAN      Wh...wh…what.? What the hell’s going on.?

 

DOROTHY    Yes...that’s what I’d like to know too...

 

BOB:  (now seeing that Norman is all right directs his attention to rose) (he knows her name because it was on the pill bottle) rose...! Are you all right...? (she starts to come around as he taps her cheeks)

 

ROSE:          Oh.h.h...I feel so tired...and s...sick...where am I?

 

BOB:            Come on….come on. Wake up...you’re going to be all right...just hang on. (gets her a glass of water from jug on table) here...drink this...you’ll feel better…that’s a girl.

 

NORMAN (to Bob) Come off it now...what are you doing here?

 

BOB:  It’s okay Norman…It’s me...an old friend. Bob Armstrong... Dorothy invited me here for supper...are you sure you’re all right?

(Rose has revived by now)

 

NORMAN      Of course I am...and what is she doing here.? (pointing at Rose)

 

ROSE (matching him) You know damn well what I’m doing here… You were pushing all that wine at me...!

 

BOB   (picking up pills) Well...I hope you weren’t taking these at the same time... you could have put yourselves away forever.

 

NORMAN      Mind your own business...don’t tell me what to do. (then to Rose)...you never could drink like a lady...and to think I almost married you instead of Dor...(realizes he just let the cat out of the bag...Rose is an old girl friend)

 

ROSE  (jumping up and moving toward the door). Now you’ve done it...I’m getting out of this place…you’ll never see me again.! (then to Dorothy) I’m sorry Dorothy... this should never have happened.

 

DOROTHY    (gently surprising herself again)...That’s okay Rose...I have some explaining to do myself. I’ll come around and talk to you later (Rose exits)

 

DOROTHY    (now directs herself to Norman) Norman … I never knew that…you and Rose...? You really do like me better after all... you really do care. (she smiles)

 

NORMAN (feeling uncomfortable)...I...I didn’t say that...draw your own conclusions.

 

BOB  (trying to normalize the situation) Norman… You really don’t look too well... you need some good fresh air!

 

NORMAN      Now who do you think you are?...Dr. Kildare...I’ve already got a doctor thank you. (locates his bottle of headache tablets) One of these will fix me up.

 

BOB             (taking bottle from him and examines the label). You should read the labels Norman...these have a drug caution code "A" on them...they shouldn’t be taken with alcohol.

 

NORMAN      (annoyed, retrieves the bottle)...Give me those...the little bit I drink don’t count.

 

BOB.            I have to be careful about any medicine with the letter ‘E’ on it...it tells me that there’s sugar in it and (looking quiet at Dorothy)...anything sweet is a no...no...

 

NORMAN      (sees the gesture)...Then keep your eyes off my wife buster...!

 

DOROTHY    (horrified) Norman!

 

BOB             (acting indifferently…examines the bottles of various medicines on the table)...This is quite a collection you have here...mine used to be scattered around like this but now...I’ve found it best to keep all my medicines in a bedroom drawer...that way nobody sees them... and nobody takes them…but me.

 

NORMAN      (mimicking him) Nobody sees...and nobody takes...doesn’t this guy every quit...?

 

BOB             (continuing on, picks up a bottle and holds it up) And some of these, my dear friends are over two years old...you should bring them into the drug store and I’ll see that they’re destroyed (then looks at watch) Look...it’s getting late…Why don’t I treat you to supper and we’ll go for a walk afterward…You can have me back another time.

 

DOROTHY    (a little embarrassed as it is too late to start supper) I suppose you’re right...but only if you’ll promise to have supper here next week.

 

BOB:            You’ve got a promise (then nicely to Norman)...out of that chair Norman. You’re coming too.

 

NORMAN      (any excuse not to go) You want to poison me...? The air out there is polluted. Anyway my foot is too painful.

 

BOB:            Well sitting there is not going to make it better. (Norman leers at him)

 

DOROTHY    You haven’t eaten yet either.

 

NORMAN      Not hungry...my...my ulcer’s acting up.

 

BOB:            A good sensible meal would hep that too. (Norman is stonewalling him…Bob now begins to feel uncomfortable and doesn’t want the situation to get any more disagreeable). Oh...h..h…Maybe I should just go...and leave you two alone (heads towards the door)

 

NORMAN      Good idea...! then maybe i can get some real peace and quiet.


 

DOROTHY    (has just about had enough)...If that’s the way you feel…fine…fine...! Come on Bob…Let’s go for that walk...(Bob helps Dorothy on with her coat... they are about to leave. Dorothy turns towards Norman with a final try). Maybe you’d like us to bring something back for you...?

 

NORMAN      (holding up the wine bottle)...Don’t bother...I’ve got everything I need right here!

 

DOROTHY    (shakes her head discouragingly as they leave...Bob turns to Norman to say something) Norman…I wouldn’t...(change his mind)...a...a...never mind (they exit)

 

(Curtain closes and Dorothy and Bob appear on stage in front of it)

 

BOB:            Too bad he wouldn’t come with us Dorothy

 

DOROTHY    He’s stubborn that’s all …maybe next time.  (they start walking)

BOB:            Well I do hope you will make walking a regular habit.

 

DOROTHY    (firmly) Yes…I intend to even if I have to go by myself.

(They stop walking)

 

BOB:  (with hesitation)...You won’t have to do that...you can always give me a call.

 

DOROTHY    (looks at him for a moment then looks away again. They start walking again)

Thanks Bob…I’ll wait and see…I know now that I do have choices...and that it’s up to me to make my own happiness.

 

(They exit off the stage)


 

 

 


N O T E S:

 

** The Drug Caution Code is applicable only in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. It is a series of eight letters (six in Quebec), each outlining a different caution. They are meant to draw attention to the detailed warnings on the package. In Provinces such as Ontario where the Drug Caution Code is not in effect, Bob would refer Norman to the directions and warnings labelled on the container.

 

 


Suggestions for interpretation

 


The actors sit at a long table –each person has a microphone (prevents strain of the vocal cords and acts as a buffer for those who may have stage fright) With senior actors, if series of presentations are planned, it is advisable to have two sets of actors…a contingency plan in case of illness.

 

Explain to the audience that this is a radio show-and that they should listen more than look at the actors.

 

Each actor has a copy of the complete text and turns the pages to follow along with the cast.

 

A tape recording of the sounds in the play, door slamming , toilet flushing, cab honking etc are played by the doctor or pharmacist (pharmacist has shorter role at the end of the play.)

 

The two main characters, Dorothy and Norm are seated in the centre, Rose to the left of Norm or Dorothy, the doctor and pharmacist (male or female) are seated at the ends of the table.  Small lapel Microphones are acceptable but the larger table microphones can be decorated to resemble old radio microphones.

 

The groups with which I have worked have enjoyed this play-both as actors and audience. Voice inflection is the key to the success of the radio play. One group did make it into a stage production with much success as well.

 

The text can be varied to incorporate gambling issues as well as medication and alcohol misuse. The author has no problem with adaptations.

 

To contact Derek West: 1473 2nd Ave. NE. Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 6A7. Telephone: 403-526-4512.

 

Please acknowledge Derek West as the author and in brackets (“Inspired by Noreen Foster”) in all promotion. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Blanche Bénéteau, Project Consultant, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Suite #118, 3200 Deziel Drive, Windsor, Ontario Tel: 519-251-0500.  Email: blanche_beneteau@camh.net

 

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