footprintsontheceiling

Ben and Jen

In plays on September 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Copyright 2002  Jeff C.

Setting: A hospital room.  Mrs. Walker is laying on a bed, asleep.  The DOCTOR is doing doctortype things.  MRS. WALKER wakes up.

DOCTOR

It’s a boy, Mrs. Walker, it’s a boy.  A son.

MRS. WALKER

Oh…

DOCTOR

Oh?

MRS. WALKER

I was really hoping for twins.

DOCTOR

Hmm…what would you have named them?

MRS. WALKER

I think I would have named them Benjamin and Jennifer – then I could have called them Ben and Jen.

DOCTOR

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

Oh?

DOCTOR

I have a sister named Jen.

MRS. WALKER

Oh?

DOCTOR

And a brother named Ben.

MRS. WALKER

Oh!

DOCTOR

I did have a sister named Jen…is what I should really say.

MRS. WALKER

Oh?

DOCTOR

She died.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

DOCTOR

In a tragic changing table accident when we were just kids.  I may have pushed her, but the authorities never fully decided.  I was just a kid!  I could never have meant to push her, right?

MRS. WALKER

Oh.  Right.

DOCTOR

I mean, really, I loved Jen like she was my sister.  Well, she was my sister, so of course I did.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.  Yeah.

DOCTOR

We did everything together.  It was like we were joined at the hip.  Well, we were joined at the hip, until the operation a few weeks before she died.

MRS. WALKER

Didn’t I see that movie?

DOCTOR

Yes, you probably did – it was on NBC last week.

MRS. WALKER

Starring Patrick Swayze as the hard-luck ex-siamese twin doctor and Meredith Baxter-Birney as his loving, but naïve, wife.  With a special appearance by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen as the hard-luck siamese-twin doctor’s joined-at-the-hip sister.

DOCTOR

Exactly.

MRS. WALKER

So, was that based on you?

DOCTOR

Well, of course.  (Pause)  No, it wasn’t.  I was just making that up.  Actually, I wasn’t even doing that.  I was just borrowing the plot from that movie and making it my own.

MRS. WALKER

And how often do you do this?

DOCTOR

Deliver babies?

MRS. WALKER

Steal plots from Movies Of The Week?

DOCTOR

Well, this week I’m the ex-siamese-twin doctor.  Last week, I was an after-school-special father who lost his daughter to drugs and alcohol – but that doesn’t really count, because it wasn’t a Movie Of The Week.  You did ask about Movies Of The Week, didn’t you?

MRS. WALKER

Uh, yes.

DOCTOR

Well, let’s see, a couple of weeks ago I was a roller-coaster inspector with a drinking problem who spent an afternoon at the local bar instead of checking the roller coaster rails, and the next day the coaster almost went off the track but I saved the day with a well placed Tootsie Roll, redeeming myself and having an epiphany in the same afternoon.  So I guess you could say I do this quite often.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

DOCTOR

Does that bother you?

MRS. WALKER

I was kind of hoping a real doctor would deliver my baby.

DOCTOR

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

Does that bother you?

DOCTOR

Yes.  It hurts my feelings.

MRS. WALKER

Well, it should.

DOCTOR

What is that supposed to mean?

MRS. WALKER

I come in here after hauling this thing around for nine months and I believe I should see a competent, capable, real doctor.  Not some freaky actor who thinks he’s Patrick Swayze.  Have you ever delivered a baby before?

DOCTOR

What does it matter?

MRS. WALKER

What does it matter?  What if you come in here pretending to be a doctor and then I go into labor and you don’t know what to do?

DOCTOR

What if you come in here pretending to be a patient and then I go to deliver the baby and you don’t know what to do?

MRS. WALKER

But I did know what to do.  I was doing the breathing (demonstrates breathing technique), I was pushing (demonstrated pushing technique), and I had an epidural (demonstrates epidural technique, with appropriate drugged-up looks).  Then I had the baby.

DOCTOR

I also knew what to do.  I came in to check on you – (demonstrating checking-up techniques) How are you feeling, Mrs. Walker?

MRS. WALKER

What?

DOCTOR

Play along.  How are you feeling, Mrs. Walker?

MRS. WALKER

Fine?

DOCTOR

No, no, no.  You should say something like, “I’m dilated 5 centimeters, I’m hungrier than an anorexic hippo, and I feel like I’ve got a bowling ball coming out of me.”  Then you’d properly convey to me that you’re ready to have your baby, and we can call in the technicians and fill this room with people and get on with it.  Try again.  How are you feeling, Mrs. Walker?

MRS. WALKER

I’m dilated  5 centimeters, I’m hungrier than….look, we’ve already done this.  I had the baby, right?  Can I see him now?

DOCTOR

If you must.  First, however, you must have a name for him.  Do you have a name for him?

MRS. WALKER

What’s your name?

DOCTOR

I thought you’d ask that.  My name is Hector, and 57% of the babies I deliver are named Hector.  Even some of the girls.  I think it’s a compliment to my skill.

MRS. WALKER

His name will be Tommy.

DOCTOR

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

Does that bother you?

DOCTOR

Well, I would like it very much if you’d name them Hector.

MRS. WALKER

Thomas, if that helps.  Wait – them?

DOCTOR

Did I say them?

MRS. WALKER

Did you?

DOCTOR

I think I said, “if you’d name then,” as in, “name first, then Hector next.”

MRS. WALKER

That doesn’t make any sense at all.

DOCTOR

It doesn’t?

MRS. WALKER

No.

DOCTOR

How do you know?

MRS. WALKER

I have a degree in English.

DOCTOR

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

Does that bother you?

DOCTOR

Well, you’re a highly educated woman, and I’m merely a doctor.

MRS. WALKER

How many children do I have, Doctor  Hector?

DOCTOR

One.

MRS. WALKER

You said “them.”

DOCTOR

Two.

MRS. WALKER

Two?

DOCTOR

Oh, alright, three.

MRS. WALKER

Three?

DOCTOR

Hectors one, two, and three.

MRS. WALKER

Their names are not Hector.

DOCTOR

I already filled out the birth certificate for you.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

DOCTOR

Does that bother you?

MRS. WALKER

I was really I hoping that I would be the one to do that.  Or Mr. Walker.  (beat) My God, it’s snowing outside.  How long have I been out?

DOCTOR

Well, we tried this new super-epidural on you; it’s experimental.  Your HMO wouldn’t pay for the standard epidural – said it wasn’t necessary – so we had to use an alternate.  You’ve been unconscious for a year.

MRS. WALKER

A year?

DOCTOR

Alright, two years.

MRS. WALKER

Two years?

DOCTOR

Okay, three years.

MRS. WALKER

If I’ve been unconscious for three years, how did I know about the movie of the week last week?

DOCTOR

It was a repeat.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

DOCTOR

Does that bother you?

MRS. WALKER

Well, yes, there’s too much crap on television as it is, and to repeat it all the time, it’s like repeating too much crap.  Who wants crap repeated?  I’ll take my crap the first time, thank you very much.

DOCTOR

You really are highly educated, aren’t you?

MRS. WALKER

You really are a doctor, aren’t you?

DOCTOR

How did you know?

MRS. WALKER

Your nametag says “Doctor Hector, M.D.”

DOCTOR

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

It’s sort of a giveaway.

DOCTOR

Oh.  Yeah.

MRS. WALKER

If you don’t want people to know you’re really a doctor, you shouldn’t wear a nametag.

DOCTOR

You’ve got a point.

MRS. WALKER

Can I see the babies now?

DOCTOR

Well, they’re not exactly babies anymore.

MRS. WALKER

What do you mean?

DOCTOR

You have been out for three years.

MRS. WALKER

The experimental super-epidural?

DOCTOR

Exactly.

MRS. WALKER

So can I see the toddlers now?

DOCTOR

You really are highly educated, aren’t you?

MRS. WALKER

Why do you keep saying that?

DOCTOR

Merely because I laid an obvious trap for you, what with the babies-toddlers thing, and you didn’t even fall for it.  You immediately switched from ‘babies’ to ‘toddlers’ in your question, and most women don’t do that.

MRS. WALKER

Most women?  This has happened to other women?

DOCTOR

Three years ago we were paid a whole lot of money by a top-secret pharmaceutical company to try their new super-epidural on the women who were coming in to have their babies.  So we used it on all the women whose HMOs didn’t pay for the standard epidural.

MRS. WALKER

And they’re all just now waking up?

DOCTOR

You really are –

MRS. WALKER

– highly educated?  Yes.

DOCTOR

I love you.

MRS. WALKER

What?

DOCTOR

I love you.

MRS. WALKER

Doctor Hector, these last few minutes have certainly been enjoyable, and you seem like a nice enough man, but I’ve got –

DOCTOR

There’s always a but, isn’t there?

MRS. WALKER

I’m married.

DOCTOR

At least you were three years ago.

MRS. WALKER

What are you saying?

DOCTOR

I’m just saying that the divorce rate among women who’ve been unconscious for three years is slightly higher than among women who’ve been unconscious for less than three years.  (beat)  And I’ve always wanted to love –

MRS. WALKER

– a highly educated woman?

DOCTOR

Yes.  Haven’t you always wanted to love a doctor?

MRS. WALKER

Well, my first husband was a doctor.

DOCTOR

There was a husband before Mr. Walker?

MRS. WALKER

How do you know his name?

DOCTOR

We’re on the same bowling team.

MRS. WALKER

Mr. Walker doesn’t bowl!

DOCTOR

He does now.  I think it’s a way to deal with his wife being unconscious for three years.

MRS. WALKER

So I am still married.

DOCTOR

Wow.  You really are a highly educated –

MRS. WALKER

I know.

DOCTOR

I could be a good father to the three Hectors.

MRS. WALKER

So could Mr. Walker, I bet.  And he’s already got my name.

DOCTOR

But the Hectors already have my name.

MRS. WALKER

Good point.

DOCTOR

Which makes the score Hector 3, Mrs. Walker 1.

MRS. WALKER

We’re keeping score?

DOCTOR

Love is all about keeping score, right?  I mean, you first meet a person, you score their looks, their smell, their grooming habits, their ability to procreate.  That last part is where you score highest.  Nobody’s ever had three Hectors before.

MRS. WALKER

Usually people give their children all different names.

DOCTOR

What’s the point of that?  Look at George Foreman.  All his sons are named George.  There’s an economy there.

MRS. WALKER

It certainly would save breath.

DOCTOR

It certainly would.

MRS. WALKER

Can I see my children?

DOCTOR

Let’s turn on the TV.

MRS. WALKER

Is that movie of the week on?

DOCTOR

Well, being that you’ve been unconscious for three years and you had three children, and the number three seems to be a thing with you – did you know that the abbreviation for “Missus” has three letters, Mrs. Walker?

MRS. WALKER

Yes.

DOCTOR

Your toddlers are all child actors at Channel 3.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

DOCTOR

Does that bother you?

MRS. WALKER

I don’t know.  What kind of things are they acting in?

DOCTOR

Well, they’re doing public service announcements, commercials, and the toddler news.

MRS. WALKER

The toddler news?

DOCTOR

Yeah, it’s a new thing.  For the younger set.  Hector 1 is the sports anchor!

MRS. WALKER

What does Hector 2 do?

DOCTOR

He’s the weatherman, and Hector 3 does a lot of “in the field” stuff.

MRS. WALKER

What kind of ‘in the field’ stuff do toddler journalists do?

DOCTOR

Oh, you know, special reports on the latest toys, interviews with walking experts, explanations of body parts, that sort of thing.

MRS. WALKER

I’m so proud.

DOCTOR

You should be.

MRS. WALKER

I’ve always wanted my own news team.  (NURSE enters)

NURSE

Mrs. Walker – Hector!  What are you doing here?

DOCTOR

I’m delivering the news to Mrs. Walker.

NURSE

Mrs. Walker, I’m sorry.  Hector is a patient in our psych ward, and he comes along once in a while to bring flowers to patients.  Was he bothering you?

MRS. WALKER

No, not really.

NURSE

Hector, go to the lobby and wait for me.  I’ll take you back to your room.  (HECTOR exits with the diploma)  It’s a boy, Mrs. Walker, it’s a boy.

MRS. WALKER

Oh.

NURSE

Oh?

MRS. WALKER

I was really hoping for triplets.

NURSE

What would you have named them?

MRS. WALKER

Hectors 1, 2 and 3.

NURSE

Oh.

MRS. WALKER

Does that bother you?

NURSE

Well, there are a lot of children named Hector born at this hospital.  It’s quite a popular name.

BLACKOUT

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: