DANA. …I don’t mean any disrespect, but I think dad is just a bit of a miser, that’s all. I mean he’s got all that property and all those stocks and bonds and trust funds and every thing all socked away where it isn’t doing anybody any good. We’ll be inheriting everything anyway, so why can’t we have it now? While we’re still alive? I just hooked up with this great investment broker, he’s got some ideas on real estate development.
SARA. Dana, listen to yourself! Don’t be so greedy. Dad has given us plenty, sometimes too much, I think. And he brings us up here every year for his birthday, and he always gives each of us some phenomenal present. I think that’s pretty generous. Did you even bring him a present today? Did you even wish him a happy birthday?
DAN. Of course I did. I just wish we could get on with this. I know what he’s giving me anyway, and I’d like to try to make a meeting in Chicago this afternoon. Where is he? He left an hour and a half ago.
SARA. He went for ice cream.
DANA. Oh yeah. Him and his tutti frutti.
SARA. So what do you think you’re getting?
DANA. The plot of land next door. The whole end of the block. I’ve been talking to dad about it for months. (She walks over to the window) I’ve got this idea for a set of condos; we could develop this whole area eventually. (Looks out window) Oh, now look at that. It’s the kids from that youth center across the street. I can’t believe dad lets them play baseball in my lot.
SARA. His lot.
DANA. Whatever. That youth center is destroying the property values around here. But you know, once we develop this block, and buy up the property across the street, we could push out the youth center, and then this neighborhood could really be something.
SARA. And what would the kids do?
DANA. I don’t know. That’s what public parks are for. Look at those little monsters.
SARA. That looks like fun. I think I’ll go over and play.
DANA. You’ve got to be kidding.
SARA. I play ball with my kids all the time! When you and I were in grade school, we went over there every day with dad and played five-hundred, or two-base, or soccer…
DANA. I was a kid. I didn’t know I was wasting my time. I should have been networking with the older kids.
SARA. Networking…You’re so stuffy. I’m going to go play ball and have some fun. You stay here and be a stick in the mud. (she exits)
DANA. (By herself) Stuffy? I’m not stuffy. I’m not a stick in the mud. I play Trivial Pursuit for an hour and fifteen minutes every Tuesday night. Unless I have a meeting. (CHARLIE, her father, enters). I’m a very fun person.
CHARLIE. Did you want a second opinion on that?
DANA. Oh, hi dad. You’ll never guess where your other daughter just went.
CHARLIE. I just passed her. She went next door to play baseball with the kids.
DANA. Can you believe it?
CHARLIE. Yeah, if she’d have been there half an hour ago, she would’ve seen me hit a home run like you wouldn’t believe.
DANA. You were over there?
CHARLIE. Sure, I love those kids. We play ball over there all the time, just like I used to with you and your sister. Those kids are great. In fact, last week I decided to donate that land to the youth center. We’re gonna build it up real nice with a batting cage, and a regulation size diamond, the whole bit.
DANA. You’re donating it? But…dad, we… I mean it’s your land, but…
CHARLIE. Now, I know you’re disappointed, Dana, but I just don’t want to wake up and look out my window and see a bunch of condos sitting there. When I look out the window, I want to see kids playing ball and having fun. I mean, that’s where you kids played when you were growing up, I don’t want to see it spoiled like that. And the kids need a nice place where they can play. You understand don’t you?
DANA. (looking out the window at the kids) I guess so, dad. It’s your decision. (sees her sister). Just look at her. A woman her age running around like that. She’s making a fool of herself.
CHARLIE. Oh, she’s just having fun, You could learn a thing or two from her.
DANA. Excuse me! I could learn from her? Dad, she’s a housewife. I’m an assistant vice president. I have 342 people under me, and I vacation in Europe every year. I am a success.
CHARLIE. Is that so?
CHARLIE. So, when’s the last time you smiled?
DANA. (Pause) Last New Year’s Eve. I think there was something in the punch.
CHARLIE. What am I going to do with you? (Gets up and give her her present) Maybe this will make you smile. I know, it isn’t a lot of land. (Hands it to her) Happy my birthday.
DANA. (Opens it) A…baseball glove. Um dad… I think I’ve got a couple of these in my basement somewhere. They’re not hard to come by.
CHARLIE. Not like this one. This is your glove, from when you were a kid. Remember?
DANA. (Her eyes slowly light up as she studies the glove) Oh, yeah… this is the string I used to chew on. Oh! And here’s your signature, when I asked you for your autograph because you hit that one across the street! And that ink spot… (She puts her hand to her face)…uh-oh..
CHARLIE. What’s the matter?
DANA. I’m smiling.
CHARLIE. Don’t hurt yourself.
DANA. This is a wonderful present. Thank you, daddy (she hugs him)
CHARLIE. Sure, sure (pause) Well, your sister said you wanted to get to your meeting in Chicago, so…
DANA. Well, actually… (She laughs at the glove) If could find a change of clothes, I think I’d rather go over and play a couple of innings.
CHARLIE. (He smiles) That sounds like fun.
(Their lines trail off as they exit)
DANA. I’m not a stick in the mud.
CHARLIE. I know.
DANA. I’m not stuffy.
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