Working Titles I:1

A play in three acts.

Act I

Scene 1

[Lights come up on Charlie’s living room. Sofa and tables slightly right of center, bookended by two well worn recliners. Upstage left we see an overweight Duggy wearing workout clothes and working out on an elliptical machine, sweating and breathing heavily. Charlie enters up stage right from kitchen, dressed in casual workplace clothing, with cup of coffee and morning paper and sits in stage right recliner. He nods at Duggy who continues his regimen.]

Charlie: Carol got you on the elliptical again?

Duggy: [Between panting breaths] She says [stops to pant] she wants me to have the [stops to pant] body of Matthew McCono….McCono…

Charlie: McConaughey?

Duggy: [Panting] That one!

[Charlie sips coffee and reads silently while Duggy continues his workout.]

Richard: [Entering DSR, wearing pajamas and robe, with a clear headache and weary for the new day] Duggy! What are you doing?

Duggy: Carol says [pant] the early bird catches [pant]…

Richard: A heart attack. [He collapses on the sofa]

Charlie: Carol wants Duggy to look “All right, all right, all riiiight.”

Richard: McConaughey, huh?

Charlie: Yup.

Richard: Tell Carol she needs to set her hopes on a more reasonable target.

Duggy: Like [pant] Matt Damon?

Richard: I was going to say Chris Farley.

Duggy: [Stops his workout, still panting heavily] All right, Richard. [Grabs towel]

Richard: I think you mean “All right, all right, all riiight.”

Duggy: Just because you’re dating the hottest girl [pants, crosses US of Richard] ]in the apartment building, does not mean [pants] you get to lord it all over the rest of us.

Richard: I just don’t understand why you keep trying to please that woman. A woman who probably cares more about that little dog than you.

Charlie: Richard.

Duggy: She does love that dog. I go through more pairs of shoes than any other time in my life. That dog sure does love shoes.

Charlie: Richard, why can’t you just let Duggy be happy.

Richard: If he can be happy with a Shih Tzu-holding, order-barking, Matthew McConaughey-loving…

Charlie: Richard!

Richard: …woman. Then more power to him.

Duggy: Pekingese.

Richard: What?

Duggy: It’s not a Shih Tzu. It’s a Pekingese.

[Duggy exits USR into kitchen. ]

Richard: How is that better?

Charlie: Leave him alone.

Richard: Anything interesting in that paper?

Charlie: Same old stuff. It does say Pastor Joe was cast in “Guys and Dolls.”

Richard: Does it ever bother you that your pastor is an actor?

Charlie: I thought he did a great job as Harold Hill.

[Duggy returns, drinking bottle of water.]

Duggy: Which one was Harold Hill?

Charlie: Music Man.

Richard: The salesman who tried to swindle the high school band?

Charlie: Yeah.

Richard: And that doesn’t bother you?

Duggy: “Ya got Trouble…with a capital T…”

Charlie: Why would that bother me?

Richard: Your Pastor plays a great, swindling salesman.

Charlie: He’s a good actor.

Richard: Isn’t there something in the Bible about being an actor? Hypocrite! That’s the word.

Charlie: We are all actors.

Duggy: Ooh, Pastor Joe was great in Fiddler On the Roof. He played the Russian guy.

Richard: Which one?

Duggy: The drunk guy in the bar.

[Richard gives Charlie a look. Charlie returns to reading his paper.]

Duggy: Yeah. He played a great, old drunk guy.

[Charlie folds paper and starts exit to his home office, USL]

Charlie: I need to get to work.

Richard: What are you writing today?

Charlie: A Human Resources manual addressing harassment in the workplace.

Richard: For or against it?

[Charlie exits USL]

Duggy: Why do you keep trying to get under his skin like that?

Richard: It’s fun.

Duggy: But he’s our landlord. He can kick us out any time he wants.

Richard: Charlie? He doesn’t have what it takes to do that. He’s a wuss.

Duggy: It’s your funeral, dude.

[Carol’s dog is heard barking offstage.]

Duggy: Oh no! I promised I would take Carol to the vet today.

Richard: You have to take Carol…to the vet?

Duggy: Her dog. Her dog. [Duggy heads DSR to exit to bedrooms.] Please tell her I’ll be right out!

Richard: Carol? Or the mutt?

[Doorbell. Richard ignores it. Doorbell again. Charlie enters USL to open door USC, revealing Carol holding her dog. They have on matching outfits.]

Carol: [In deprecated tone] What took so long? Where’s my Douglas?

Richard: Obedience Training. You’ve been replaced.

Carol: I heard that, Mr. Phelps.

Charlie: I’m sure he’s getting dressed Carol. Come on in.

Carol: We have a 9:00 appointment with Dr. Landers. We can’t be late. [Carol sits in SL recliner then cups hands over her dogs ears.] Ms. Emma doesn’t know it’s the V.E.T…

Richard: Time to get wormed?

Charlie: Richard, be nice. I have to get back to work. [Exits To Office USL]

Richard: [To Carol] Did you get my message last night?

[Duggy enters DSR wearing jeans and a t-shirt]

Carol: We won’t talk about that, Mr. Phelps.

Duggy: What message?

Carol: [Embarrassed.] It’s Nothing Douglas. Oh, is that what you are wearing?

Duggy: Uh…

Carol: Why don’t you wear the shirt I gave you for Christmas, dear.

Duggy: [Exiting DSR] Which one?

Carol: The blue one.

[He exits to change]

Carol: [To Richard] I would kindly ask you to refrain from such messages in the future.

Richard: Sure. [Richard’s cell rings. He checks caller ID and answers.] Hello Sugar. What are you doing? [Beat] On your way? Sure. Come right over. [He exits DSR]

Carol: Douglas! We are going to be late!

Duggy: Coming dear. [He enters wearing blue button-down, untucked.]

Carol: Tuck in your shirt dear. [He complies]

Richard: [Offstage] Wuss! [Duggy looks at Richard as Carol pulls him out the door USC]

[Richard enters, combing hair, he has removed shirt and robe and put in a t-shirt. He is still wearing pajama bottoms. He sits on sofa as doorbell rings.]

Richard: Coming Kelly!

[Richard swings door open to reveal Pastor Joe]

Pastor Joe: Good morning and God’s blessings!

[Richard slams door in Joe’s face]

Richard: Charlie! The drunk hypocrite is here to see you!

[to be continued]


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