By Dan Wilson
Crises come in many forms...and so do our responses. What would be your reaction to this domestic situation.
Jan: No, no, I don't want to buy anything. Johnny! Leave the dog alone! No, I'm really not interested. I'm sure your organization is... Johnny! You leave Sparky alone! Don't make me come back there! No! Good bye! (Slams door.) Hello? Hello? (Slams phone down) There should be a law. I hate being called by a recording. Johnny! Upstairs! Now! Don't talk back to me! What's the matter honey, you hungry? Oh no! Your formula's not ready. Sparky, what have you done on the rug?!
Rod: Picture, if you will, Janet Average. Mother of two, devoted wife, Sunday school teacher, tutor, and pet owner. She has unwillingly been forced into... The Crisis Zone.
Jan: I just had the rug shampooed. Ok, sugar, mommy'll get some food for you. Bottles, pan, water, stove, formula, nipples... nipples... oh please don't tell me we're out of clean nipples. I'll have to sterilize one while the formula's warming. Hello? No, I don't want a new long distance company! Argh!!
Den: Hi hon, I'm home. What a day.
Jan: I'm so glad you're home. It's been a zoo around here. Johnny's upstairs. He was trying to shave the dog. Sparky threw up on the rug, there are paw prints all over. Could you get it before it stains? I have to get Mary's formula ready.
Den: I can start, but I have to leave in a minute.
Den: Tonight's the church council meeting. I'm presenting next year's budget.
Rod: Dennis Average. Loving father, committed husband, church treasurer, accountant. In walking through that door, he has entered... The Crisis Zone. You, the audience, control their destiny. (Hold up remote control) There are three options to choose from. Option A:
Jan: But I need you here!
Den: I'm sorry honey, but I have to go. I'm sure you'll be just fine. It just seems bad now. It'll get better. Is dinner ready?
Jan: Dinner? No, I haven't had time. I don't think you realize...
Den: I'd better get a burger on the run then. I shouldn't be late. I'd hate to hold them up. They've got so many responsibilities.
Jan: What about me?
Den: I knew you'd understand. You're such a selfless person. The Langstons were just saying the other day what a wonderful servant you are.
Jan: That's nice. But I'm not up to taking care of all this on my own!
Den: I'm sorry honey, but I have to go. I'll be home late, you know how these things can drag on. Don't wait up. Could you get the phone? Bye, love ya.
Jan: Wait! Hello? No! Honey? Help!!
Rod: or.. Option B:
Jan: But honey, I really need your help.
Den: Its been rough, eh?
Den: I tell you what. Let's go out to eat at your favorite restaurant tonight.
Den: Yeah. And you know, we're about due for a vacation. Let's fly out to Disney World.
Jan: But what about the church budget?
Den: Oh, that's not important. Maybe I'll mail it to them from the airport. They can figure it out on their own.
Jan: But what about Johnny? We really do need to discipline him.
Den: I'm a 90's father, I can reason with him. He's six, I think he's ready to work these things out like an adult. Why don't you take a bubble bath while I clean the rug in a liberated, yet manly way.
Rod: Or, Option C:
Jan: But I need you here!
Den: What am I going to do about tonight? I am the treasurer.
Jan: I know. No, I don't know. I just know that I can't handle this on my own. Every time I turn around either the baby's crying, the phone is ringing...
Den: (Holds her) Ok. first thing, we're going to turn off the ringer. If anyone calls, the machine will get it. Besides, if it's important, they'll call back later. I'll talk to Johnny. He got the dog upset, he can help clean up the mess.
Jan: Thanks for holding me, I needed that.
Den: Let me call the church and tell them I'll be late. They can take care of the rest of the agenda and save the budget for last.
Jan: Will that be all right?
Den: I'm not the only father on that board. They'll understand. By the way, should Mary's formula be bubbling like that?
Rod: A, B, or C. The decision is yours the next time you enter... the Crisis Zone.
© Dan Wilson, all rights reserved.
This play may be performed free of charge, provided no entrance fee is charged. In return for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org