Home » Full Length Plays » Should – Act 1

Should – Act 1

Dr. Bev Eagleman, a psychologist
Daphne, Dr. Eagleman’s secretary
Peace Smith, a harried sleep deprived thirty-something, first time mother.
Dr. Jim Smith

An office with two chairs, a coffee table, a table/desk, a native spirit painting, a painted oar and a native drum, a framed diploma.
SL: a park setting with a hedge row at back, park bench at front, a pop can


JIM: (Puts head through doorway URC.) Hi!

BEV: Oh, good morning, Jim. Come on in. Daphne and I are just changing the decor…I think.

DAPHNE: Good morning, Dr. Smith. I’ll go get some different hangers for this oar, Dr. Eagleman.


JIM: Good morning, Daphne, Bev. This is a step in the right direction. ‘To be or not to be?’ I hope this means you’ve decided who you want to be, and you’re going to go for it.

BEV: What’s that I’m supposed to be going for, now?

JIM: Embracing your heritage, of course.

BEV: We’re decorating.

JIM: I can see that you’re decorating. Nice stuff. So you’ve really decided to put a Native spin on it have you?

BEV: It’s not mine! I’m just storing it for a bit.

JIM: I like it. It sure is different from that other jumble of color that was here.

BEV: Oh, I rented that one. A month was more than enough to live with that shade of red. It really wasn’t helpful to the clients, either.

JIM: Got them excited, did it?

BEV: I had to seat them with their backs to it. Otherwise, all they wanted to talk about was how much they hated it. It was crimson at the gallery, but in this light it was vermillion and I really detest vermillion. So I returned it to the gallery.

JIM: You got these at the gallery, too?

BEV: No. Daphne kept saying that she had gotten just the perfect thing at one of the auction sales. She admits that she’s addicted to auctions, you know. She finally talked me into letting her bring this stuff in. She doesn’t have enough room for it until she gets her new house built.

JIM: Can’t get a better deal than that, can you?

BEV: Well, it’s a change and Daphne is happy. Can’t do any harm. I guess.

JIM: She’s got a new painting by somebody called Cheechoo out in the reception area.. I really like those stylized blue skies.

BEV: (Looks out door.) Not bad. Fits in with the color of the walls okay, I guess.

JIM: You’ve only got one paddle here. You going to be going around in circles, Bev? I bet you do a lot of that.

BEV: I’ve no plans to get that paddle wet.

JIM: Yeah? Your own take in this field could make a real difference. There are more than enough psychologists out there following the mainstream.

BEV: I’ve been trained…

JIM: Right. You need a piece of paper. (Points to diploma.) You’ve got your piece of paper. Now it’s time to start adapting this stuff you learned to your ways.

BEV: My ways? Yeah. Right! How am I supposed to do that?

JIM: Well, you’ve got the question now. Next, you get the answer.

BEV: Sure. I’ll just find a course in Aboriginal Psych and sign up.

JIM: I think you’ll have to go for independent study on that. Speaking of going around in circles, how’s Peace doing? If ever there was someone who went around in circles, it’s my wife. No matter where she starts out lately, she comes right back to my getting my problem fixed.

BEV: She does have expectations.

JIM: I’ve spent maxi bucks on this damned problem and all it ever did was get somebody else’s pocket lined, or get me a sore head for a few days.

BEV: Mmmph.

JIM: If there was anything more I could do, I’d do it, believe me. (Thumps drum.) I like that! It sounds good. Are you into drumming?

BEV: More like dusting…it’s decor…..something to fill up the negative space…..make finite the possibilities. Cut the dreams of what could be.

JIM: If I had that drum, I’d… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve tried to get rid of this rotten problem. And there’s what they all cost. See for yourself.

BEV: It’s not that you haven’t thrown money at it. I didn’t know you’d already had surgery for this. Does she know?

JIM: I’ve told her, but she’s convinced that there is some miracle surgery out there that I haven’t tried. I always tell her I’m going to a conference.

BEV: Do you mind if I ask why?

JIM: I don’t want to disappoint her.

BEV: Really?

JIM: What I really want is my family together and happy. Do anything you have to do, Bev to get this to work. Anything! (Bangs drum.) I can’t take any more sleepless nights either. She had me wiped right out. I’m telling you. It’s not safe to have somebody in the condition I was in loose with a scalpel. And just look at these snapshots of my back! Isn’t that something? She did that! If that’s love, I’m sure glad she doesn’t hate me.

BEV: Good point. (Hands snaps back.)

JIM: Something has to change…..I’m desperate, Bev. I’m really counting on you, here. Whatever it costs, send me the bill. And if you have to use magic, go for it. With my blessing. No offence meant. I’d better be going…..I like that one…Is it a spirit painting?

BEV: Yes. That’s what they call them.

JIM: What do you call them? Aren’t they part of your heritage?

BEV: Like I said, Daphne brought them in. She likes to decorate.

JIM: I see….Good luck, Bev. I’m counting on you. (Exits.)

BEV: Right. Glad you like the new decor…. Let’s just leave it at that, though.
(Daphne enters and hands him a hanger for the oar.)

BEV: Let’s put it here.

DAPHNE: Where do you want my painting? You know, I just brought it in here to use for decoration. We need something on that wall. Right? I wrote my name on the back of it.

BEV: Good idea. You wouldn’t want it getting mixed up in my estate, if I suddenly expired.

DAPHNE: You’d better not expire, or I’m out of a job. Again. Anyway, they won’t fit into my decor right now, but it’s way too valuable to just give it away. Even to you, Bev. Wonderful as you are.

BEV: (Chuckles.) Whatever you say, Daphne. I’m no authority on First Nations art. Let’s put your painting here. I kinda like it…. Yeah. It’s O.K.

DAPHNE: It’s more than O.K. I’ve put a rider on my insurance policy. Now, the drum….That’s a good idea, right here on the table beside the tissue box.

BEV: Did you hear Jim Smith giving it a workout?

DAPHNE: Good! English isn’t everything. It’s a good way to express yourself. I like the sound of it.
(Picks it up and drums on it. Passes it to Bev who sets it back on the table. Daphne shrugs.)

BEV: So?

DAPHNE: Scared of it? Huh?

BEV: Have you got my folder for Peace Smith ready?

DAPHNE: (Shrugs.) On your desk, Dr. Eagleman. (Exits.)

BEV: (Flips through folder, picks up clip board and flips through it as he paces.) Just let me get through this without losing my new friends and my licence. Now, he wants magic! Just like I took Magic 101, any more than he did! Who ever heard of deciding to go to a counselor for only three sessions? Only Peace Smith could come up with a single minded idea like that. I should never have let myself get talked into this. It is going to take every strategy in the book to change her mind about anything. Being professional is more than a little tricky when dealing with colleagues and spouses. I hope she doesn’t start finger pointing at me, next… I just can’t stand to see people suffer like this, though. And I did promise Jim….. I wish he’d just treat me as another person instead of going on about my heritage all the time. My heritage is none of his business. (Takes three explosive deep breaths and leaves…..a door slams.)
DAPHNE: (Enters. Checks tissue box. Looks into reception area.) Hi, Peace, come on in. Dr. Eagleman will be with you in a minute.

PEACE: (Enters, tours room.) Hmm. Something new. Well, it’s a lot better than that horror he had here before. I’m really happy about the new direction in Bev’s life..

DAPHNE: I’m glad you think we’re going in the right direction.

(Phone rings.)

DAPHNE: Excuse me. (Exits)

PEACE: I wonder where he got these things. I wouldn’t mind some of it, myself. And who gets to beat the drum? (Thumps it tentatively, shrugs and sits SC.) I’m here, on time. I have my notes that he asked me to make. I hate being kept waiting. I shouldn’t be here, anyway. I’m not the one with the problem… at least, not the primary problem. The world is nuts. Jim snores and instead of him being on the operating table, in surgery, I’m seeing the shrink. (Yawns.) If Jim were only man enough to get his act together, this whole mess would not be happening. Where is that doctor, anyway? Maybe this will get his attention. (Stands, picks up the drum and taps) I’ll bet you a Toonie he’s late on purpose. (She hesitates momentarily beside the other chair and is just about to sit down.) Now, where am I supposed to sit this time?

BEV: (Enters USR carrying the clipboard and gestures to the SL chair.) Good Morning, Mrs. Smith. Do be seated and let’s get started. Would you mind just fil………

(Puts chair at end of desk/table and sits down.)

PEACE: Good-morning Beverly. Excuse me, but I’ll feel much more comfortable if you call me Peace. I’m having a bit of an identity crisis with Smith.

BEV: By all means. Peace. I’ll call you Peace, if you wish. Please call me Doctor Eagleman during consultations. Now, would you mind bringing me up to speed on where we are.

PEACE: In your office?

BEV: No. Well, yes. We are in my office. But where are we today, in your treatment plan?

PEACE: At the beginning?

BEV: It’s possible. Do you have anything for our agenda in this consultation?

PEACE: Isn’t that your job? You took notes last week. I thought you were keeping track of what I was saying.

BEV: This will work better if you let me in on where you are coming from……. Now….. Today…. Really…..

PEACE: Really?

(Silence while Bev doodles and Peace eyes the drum, plays with her sleeve etc.)

BEV: Okay. Your husband had you referred to me…….. right?

PEACE: (Nods)

BEV: You had attacked him……… right?

PEACE: Sort of….

BEV: Sort of?

PEACE: That’s what he says….

BEV: You have started divorce proceedings?

PEACE: Yes. I had but…

BEV: Your lawyer backed out?

PEACE: Yes. He was on Jim’s side.

BEV: You are upset about your husband’s behavior?

PEACE: Of course!

BEV: I prescribed an activity for you.

PEACE: (Nods)

BEV: Did you do the activity?

PEACE: Yes, but it was a waste of time. Who cares how cars are made! I just want the one that I am driving to go when I want it to. And stop when and where I want it to stop!

BEV: You think that I want you to see how cars are made?

PEACE: (Nods)

BEV: You must have been pretty frustrated about that idea.

PEACE: I was. I still am.

BEV: Of course. I can understand that. I shall read to you what you said you understood when you left with that assignment. (Clears throat.) I am going to see what all the workers are doing so that I can talk about that at our next session. Can you remember tapping your foot while I was writing it down and then I finally handed it to you?

PEACE: Yes, I guess so. I mostly remember leaving and feeling very annoyed at you.

BEV: Anyone else?

PEACE: Everyone else! My husband! The lawyers! You! Mostly you!

BEV: Why?

PEACE: Because, I’ve got enough stubbornness and…and… Oh, whatever, in my life already.

BEV: We’ll come back to this. What did you see at the plant?

PEACE: Lots of robots.

BEV: And?

PEACE: People assembling cars. What are you expecting that I’d find in a car assembly plant?

BEV: To a person, they were all wide awake assembling cars? Welding, testing, screwing?

PEACE: Yes. Welding. Testing. Screwing.

BEV: That’s pretty intense stuff. One of those after another coming at a person. I don’t know
how long I could keep that up.

PEACE: They get breaks.

BEV: That’s good……. I wonder how they use the break…. I guess go to the washroom, get a pop, or something.

PEACE: What is the point?

BEV: Do you think any of them meditate?

PEACE: Meditate? Most of them seemed to be sleeping.

BEV: Sleeping?

PEACE: Yes, sleeping. I did see a couple of them waving their arms and yelling at each other.

BEV: Why would they be yelling?

PEACE: They were yelling because it’s noisy.

BEV: Oh, right. Are you sure those people were asleep?

PEACE: One guy got up and stretched and then went along nudging the others to wake them up.

BEV: So you think that they were asleep, because one person looked like he was waking the others up?

PEACE: The tour guide pointed out that they were asleep.

BEV: Is that difficult to believe?

PEACE: What else could they do? With all that racket going on, talking was out.

BEV: You’d think they’d stay where it wasn’t so noisy and chat a bit.

PEACE: If you’re tired enough, you’ll go to sleep anywhere, I guess.

BEV: In a noisy environment like that though, that is really something. Just fall off to sleep on your break and need to be awakened.

PEACE: If you’re really tired……

BEV: A lot of people are sleep deprived. That is true. With a new baby, I guess you know all about that. My baby had colic. It’s a wonder I didn’t fall asleep behind the wheel. Is little Jason still waking up six times a night?

PEACE: Just twice last night.

BEV: I’m glad to hear that. You’re looking some better.

PEACE: I’m still tired. I’m upset that my marriage is a failure and I’m upset that Jim left me. He’s taken the evening shift and he keeps staying over… at the hospital afterwards. At least, that’s what he said…

BEV: Does that affect your sleep?

PEACE: Yes. He doesn’t come home and I’m too upset to sleep. I guess I must have slept last night, though. I can’t remember seeing the clock after two-thirty.

BEV: Even though you were upset about Jim not coming home, you did manage to fall asleep?

PEACE: (playing with handkerchief ……Nods.)

BEV: I’ll bet you couldn’t fall asleep in that assembly plant, though.

PEACE: Why not? If they could do it, so could I!

BEV: Oh, really!

PEACE: Yes, really. I’m beat.

BEV: So what’s the problem then, if you could go to sleep in all that noise?

PEACE: Sneaky! Well, I got news for you, Bev. Snoring is different.

BEV: How is that? So?

PEACE: (Digging in purse.)

BEV: … .Yes, Peace? Tell me the truth.

PEACE: I’m not impressed. I knew this wouldn’t work. Jim and his cronies just want to save on support payments. I used to think I could be married to him. I even thought that we could have a child together and raise it. Well, I was right about part of that, but only part, I guess. If I hadn’t hit him with the halogen light and if he weren’t threatening to charge me with assault, I would not be here. I’ve retained another lawyer. To hell with this reconciliation nonsense.

BEV: I thought that you were here because you wanted Jason to have a happy family. We were going to work on a way to make that happen.

PEACE: I’ll bet you five bucks, at the rate you’re digressing about cars all the time, nothing is going to happen. Jim still won’t get his operation and I’ll be getting a divor…..

BEV: There is no way I’m going to take you up on that. Last week you wanted Jason to live in a home with two happy parents. That was your goal last week. Do you still want that, Peace?

PEACE: What’s the point of wanting what you can’t have?

BEV: Who is saying you can’t have what you want?

PEACE: (Throws up her hands and sobs.)

BEV: Peace, it’s important to know who is saying no to your wishes……………

PEACE: Jim is. He should stop snoring. I have to be able to hear the baby.

BEV: (Holds up letter.) In this letter Jim writes, “My highest priority is finding a way to have a happy family with my precious son and his beautiful mother, Peace. I am pinning my…..” It doesn’t sound to me like it’s Jim that is saying no to a happy two parent family for Jason. Is Jason talking, yet?

PEACE: He is two month’s old. What do you think?

BEV: I think he isn’t able to say anything. What do you think he’d want to say, if he could?

PEACE: Does it take a rocket scient…

BEV: It’s you that I’m asking. Peace?

PEACE: (Snaps her purse shut with her keys in her hand .)

BEV: You’d like to run away from this, wouldn’t you?

PEACE: Wouldn’t you ?

BEV: Thirty per cent of me would want to run, yes. But that still leaves me seventy percent to work out my problem. Where are you, Peace? Have you got seventy per cent going for your goal? Your family?

PEACE: (Yawns.) Fifty-five per cent.

BEV: Is that enough to get you to put your keys back in your purse and act like you are interested in getting your family back together.

PEACE: I’m listening.

BEV: (Stares at keys until Peace drops them into her purse.)

PEACE: All right!

BEV: You want me to tell you?


BEV: And then you’ll say it can’t be done, or you can’t be expected to do that. If it’s not your solution, it won’t work, Peace. I’m not going to play ‘Yes, But’ with you.

PEACE: (Looks at her purse.) Jim’s the one who should do something about this.

BEV: I’m surprised that you’d say that.

PEACE: I don’t know why.

BEV: I have a list of things that he tried here and what they cost. A lot.

PEACE: So, none of them worked.

BEV: I guess not.

PEACE: He tried that air blowing thing and he used it for half of one night. I’m supposed to take that seriously?

BEV: It was pretty disappointing for him.

PEACE: He won’t use it!

BEV: He had some unacceptable side effects. I thought you….

PEACE: I’d say divorce was an unacceptable side effect. What he needs is an operation!

BEV: What do you think this is doing to his self esteem, Peace?

PEACE: (Shrugs.)

BEV: Maybe that’s why he’s not coming home at night.

PEACE: He said it was his turn in emerge.

BEV: How long are they scheduled for that?

PEACE: Not as long as he’s been there…I told you he’d left me. I’m just not woman enough anymore. (Dabs eyes.)

BEV: What was the most surprising thing you saw at the plant this morning?

PEACE: I expected to see cars being built. I saw cars being built.

BEV: But what did you see that surprised you?

PEACE: The number of robots.

BEV: Anything else?

PEACE: You can’t see noise.

BEV: I’m trying to make a connection. You’ll have…

PEACE: I’m not used to being in a noisy environment like that.

BEV: Noise bothers you?

PEACE: It bothered them, too. They were wearing ear plugs.

BEV: Did they work…the ear plugs?

PEACE: I tried them but I could still hear some sound and I could feel the vibrations.

BEV: I suppose earplugs aren’t everything. Wouldn’t work for a mother with a small baby. You have to be able to hear babies.

PEACE: Thank Goodness, you figured that out. Bet or no bet, I’d already decided that I was walking out, if you suggested that. If he’d just quit his damned snoring, I’d get some sleep. And we’d be a happy family.

BEV: You have a bet on about this?


BEV: (Sighs. Takes a deep breath.) So, Jim is to blame for this whole situation?

PEACE: I’m not the one doing the snoring!

BEV: You are being deprived of your sleep, though.

PEACE: Boy, you can say that again!

BEV: Do you try to stop him from snoring, at all?

PEACE: I’ve tried everything but murder. He’s probably saying I tried that, too.

BEV: Perhaps. What do you want him to do?

PEACE: He should get an operation.

BEV: If you could do something to stop the problem….the sleep deprivation. Would you do it?

PEACE: Of course! I can’t understand why he won’t. I never knew he was so selfish.

BEV: I see at least one problem here, probably more. You have a baby that you need to be able to hear at night, as well as…

PEACE: Right. But that is not the problem.. I just told you my husband snores. And he refuses to get fixed.

BEV: Not all operations are effective. When did he start snoring?

PEACE: When he was twenty, I guess.

BEV: He started to snore when he was twenty?

PEACE: Yes. That’s what he says. The other guys kicked him out of the dorm because he snored. He wound up sharing a house with an uncle that lived near the campus. Uncle Bill was a widower and he had a hearing ear dog, a Boston terrier called Snorts. Both he and the dog snored something awful according to Michelle, Jim’s sister-in-law. Jack and Michelle are divorced now because of all the racket from Jack snoring and his stubbornness. Just too stubborn to get it fixed. Their father snores, too.

BEV: So Jack and Michelle are divorced. What about Jim’s parents? Are they still married?

PEACE: Yes, and she’s still sleeping in the same bed with him. For almost thirty-nine years, now. After the kids left home Mom Smith got earplugs. To protect her hearing, she says.

BEV: Is hearing difficult for her?

PEACE: No. She seems to be okay. But he wears a hearing aid. Isn’t that ironic? I guess he deafened himself.

BEV: Have you heard your mother-in -law complaining about your father-in-law’s snoring?

PEACE: No. No, and when my sister-in-law got divorced, Mom Smith told her that snoring was an IQ test. Then she said, ‘I love you, anyway, Michelle.’ What ever she meant by that.

BEV: The IQ test, thing, puzzles you?

PEACE: It does. What did she mean, I love you, anyway? Did she mean that Michelle was stupid? Michelle is not stupid. She has a masters degree in Physics.

BEV: Michelle is pretty smart in Physics, I guess.

PEACE: If you know what she meant, will you please tell me ? I don’t know. I’m not stupid, either. As soon as Jim started snoring on our wedding night, I used the ear plugs that Michelle packed in with my toothbrush. I can’t believe that I was dumb enough to get pregnant and then have a baby with a racket like Jim. What was I thinking of, anyway? Michelle used ear plugs too, and she’s divorced already. So earplugs affect your brain. They make you stupid and you get pregnant.

BEV: Does the snoring affect the baby, or your nephew?

PEACE: They go to sleep, if that’s what you mean. Otherwise, yes. I think a sleep deprived parent affects a child. But what the mischief does she mean, that snoring is an IQ test?

BEV: What does Jim say? Has he ever mentioned this IQ test idea?

PEACE: I asked him, once. He gave me this really withering look and said something about snoring in the forest and doubting very much if it would matter a pile of sawdust if the complaint bird wasn’t there. The complaint bird? I ask you. What’s the complaint bird? Come to think of it, Jack used to say that Michelle complained so much that he wondered if pouring a whole drum of oil over her would help. To stop her from whining and complaining, I mean….. Jack’s really disappointed with Michelle. He made a crack at me about complaining a couple of weeks ago, too.

BEV: Jim’s brother, Jack said that you complain?

PEACE: I think he’s said more than that, because little Johnny piped up, ‘Can’t get no peace. Just whine, whine, whine. No peace with Peace and no sleep, either!’

BEV: You never know what a child will say.

PEACE: I’ve babysat for years, and I’ve taught for over ten years. Bev, I know what little kids say. They’re just like parrots. Whatever they hear, they repeat.

BEV: What do you think is going on, Peace?

PEACE: I think the family has labeled me a complainer.

BEV: So you complain, and he snores?

PEACE: Nobody should have to listen to that!

BEV: Puts a crimp in your ideals, doesn’t it? Didn’t you know that he snored when you married him?

PEACE: I knew what the words meant. I had no idea what living with it would be like. I think he was put out about my wearing the ear plugs, too.

BEV: People cannot will themselves to stop snoring.

PEACE: I know that. He could get something done about it, though, if he really cares. Like he says he does.

BEV: You want Jim to fix your problem. That is giving your power away, Peace. If you want something changed, change it. If you change, everything else will change, too. But you have to change first.

PEACE: I’d like to change it all right! It would be his last snort.

BEV: That solution would not work well for any of you. Especially Jason.

PEACE: What do you mean by that?

BEV: Think about it, Peace.

PEACE: It would shut him up!

BEV: How would that shut Jason up?

PEACE: Not Jason! Jim!

BEV: And where would you be?

PEACE: ……In jail….. I guess.

BEV: You would not be much good to Jason there, now would you?

PEACE: I guess not.

BEV: You’re not sure? Who would raise Jason?

PEACE: I’m going to raise Jason.

BEV: Not in jail, you’re not…….. How do you think your Mother-in -law manages?

PEACE: She doesn’t have a baby! She can wear ear plugs.

BEV: You told me that she didn’t wear ear plugs until the children left home.

PEACE: Whatever!

BEV: How do you think she managed?

PEACE: I haven’t got a clue how she managed! That was her problem. Not mine.

BEV: What do you think will happen, if you don’t work this out?

PEACE: I’ll get a divorce.

BEV: That’s not what I’m talking about…………………

PEACE: He’ll charge me with assault, won’t he?

BEV: Do you think he really would?

PEACE: I wouldn’t put it past him.

BEV: How come?

PEACE: He says my thinking stinks, too.

BEV: What does he mean by that, I wonder.

PEACE: He says that if I didn’t think all those stinking thoughts, we’d get along fine.

BEV: What stinking thoughts?

PEACE: About him snoring.

BEV: For instance?

PEACE: Oh, I don’t know. It’s just one of his goofy ideas. He’s got stinkin’ thinkin’ on the brain.

BEV: You don’t respect his ideas.

PEACE: I do so!

BEV: I wouldn’t call you goofy.

PEACE: I said his ideas were goofy. I didn’t say he was goofy.

BEV: People’s ideas are pretty personal. Some people would rather die than think a new thought.

PEACE: That is stupid.

BEV: Perhaps. But that is the way things are with people. How about you, Peace? Can you afford a new thought?

PEACE: (Twisting a tissue) My thinking is just fine. Thank you, very much.

BEV: I see. You’re O.K. but Jim is not O.K. Is that how you see it, Peace?

PEACE: I read that book! I’m O.K. You’re O.K. Both people are supposed to be O.K. Right? I mean they’re supposed to be, if things are going to work well. Right?

BEV: Right on! You’re making a breakthrough, Peace.

PEACE: That’s great, but what’s the breakthrough? Jim has not stopped snoring.

BEV: (Deflated.) It’s not Jim that I’m concerned with. It’s you, Peace. You just said that both people were supposed to be O.K. for things to work well in a family.


BEV: You are saying that Jim is not O.K.

PEACE: Jim is fine except for his snoring.

BEV: Are you telling me that you are perfect?

PEACE: Of course not!

BEV: How do you think Jim would complete this sentence? Peace is fine except for……….

PEACE: Burning the toast.

BEV: Let’s be serious. I doubt that Jim is staying over at the hospital because you burn toast on occasion. Peace is fine except for…………

PEACE: Those awful stretch marks.

BEV: I doubt yours are the only stretch marks Jim has ever seen. He snores and you complain.

PEACE: You’d complain too, if you had to sleep next to that.

BEV: I thought you said that he wasn’t sleeping at home now.

PEACE: If he’d just get an operation..

BEV: You want him to change, but you want to stay the same.

PEACE: He’s the one that is doing all the snoring.

BEV: You are the one who is saying that Jim is not OK because he snores.

PEACE: That’s obvious! Are you going to help, or not?

BEV: I am trying to get you to see that if you didn’t complain and demolish Jim’s self esteem…

PEACE: Oh, right! You’re on his side.

BEV: I’m just trying to get to Peace is OK. Jim is OK, too.

PEACE: So talk him into an operation, then. I don’t know why you can’t grasp what the problem is, here.

BEV: So I should change Jim’s mind? How about changing your mind?

PEACE: That is unacceptable.

BEV: Right! So until you stop blaming and trying to control others, things are not going to work well. In fact, they won’t work at all.

PEACE: So what am I doing here, if things aren’t going to work, at all?

BEV: I thought you were trying to avoid an assault charge, among other things.

PEACE: Oh, yes! I forgot about that. Momentarily. It’s not fair. He drives me crazy, makes me grab the torchiere and then blackmails me to go see a shrink …for therapy.

BEV: What do you usually do when he snores?

PEACE: I jab him in the back with my elbow. And one night he hit me!

BEV: It must have really gotten to him when he hit you. What did he say?

PEACE: Nothing! He went right on snoring! BZZZZZZZZ!

BEV: Did it hurt you?

PEACE: I got a black eye!

BEV: Dangerous, eh?

PEACE: I should charge him with assault.

BEV: I don’t think you’d get very far. He was asleep when you hit him and he retaliated.

PEACE: I didn’t hit him!

BEV: You just said that you did.

PEACE: I did not! I said that I jabbed him in the back with my elbow.

BEV: My mistake. Would you have to do that every night?

PEACE: Every night? At least a dozen times a night!

BEV: How did you expect him to get any sleep with you doing that over and over again?

PEACE: Why should he sleep, when I can’t?

BEV: Maybe so he doesn’t cripple some innocent patient on the operating table. When did you start jabbing him in the back, Peace?

PEACE: When I brought the baby home from the hospital.

BEV: So you’re still thinking about divorce?

PEACE: Anything is better than year after year of that racket!

BEV: Hmm. I had hopes, a few minutes ago, that you might actually be able to change enough to have a happy family with two parents together raising little Jason. (Looks at watch.) However, you seem to be more interested in blaming your spouse than in providing a happy home for your child.

PEACE: Oh, really!

BEV: Is there anything more that you wish to say?

PEACE: Anything more I wish to say! My hour isn’t up yet, is it?

BEV: No. But we are getting no where, here.

PEACE: You’re the doctor! What’s your explanation for that?

BEV: As soon as you come near a solution, you start blaming Jim and trying to change him, rather than yourself.

PEACE: So? You just don’t get it, do you? I’ll bet this is a male thing. You guys stick together..

BEV: I think you are not really interested in overcoming the problems that you contribute to the family dysfunction.

PEACE: I’m supposed to overcome this!!!! He’s the one who is snoring!

BEV: You’re the one who is calling it a problem.

PEACE: It is!

BEV: Frankly, I see no point in belaboring this.

PEACE: But he’ll charge me with assault!

BEV: Right. He has photos to show the black and blue marks on his back, too.

PEACE: How do you know?

BEV: I’ve seen them.

PEACE: Oh, oh, oh……Do you think he’ll charge me with abuse?

BEV: He has some pretty impressive bruises.

PEACE: Bruises?

BEV: Yes, bruises. And sore.

PEACE: You don’t think he has cancer, do you?

BEV: No. That is not what I think he has.

PEACE: Is he going to charge me with abuse?

BEV: I’d certainly call it physical abuse.

PEACE: People who snore always get poked in the back.

BEV: Some people poke others in the back. Not everybody.

PEACE: This is so embarrassing! Surely he wouldn’t do that to me.

BEV: I don’t think so, unless he thought it would have a positive outcome.

PEACE: Oh dear me. Oh, no! He’ll pull out all the stops and have me declared an unfit mother too, won’t he?

BEV: (Writing.)

PEACE: Well, won’t he? Will you stop that stupid writing and answer me?

BEV: Stupid?

PEACE: (Sobbing) I’m sorry.

BEV: What makes you think sorry is good enough? (Looks at her.)

PEACE: You’re supposed to say you’re sorry.

BEV: I ’m supposed to say I’m sorry? What am I supposed to be sorry about?

PEACE: Not you. Me. I ’m sorry.

BEV: Oh, as in ‘Say you are sorry, if you hurt people’?


BEV: And what good is that supposed to do?……………..You can’t go on doing the same negative, judgmental stuff and thinking anyone will believe this ‘I’m sorry speech’. As they say in church, ‘You’ve got to repent’. Peace, do you want to repent?

PEACE: Repent? (Bursts into tears.)

BEV: (Annoyed.) In case you are confused, what you are doing is crying . I asked if you wanted to repent ?

PEACE: I’m repenting!

BEV: Good! Let’s get started.

PEACE: I’m finished already. I won’t cry any more. I promise.

BEV: (Grabs own head.) Repenting is not crying. It is learning a new way to act. Still interested?

PEACE: So I’m the one that has to take the blame, here? Right?

BEV: Blame doesn’t work. Only positive action is effective.

PEACE: If I wanted this repentance bit, I’d go to church…

BEV: (Looks at watch and shuffles some papers.) My best to you, Mrs. Smith.

PEACE: You can’t do this!

BEV: (Rises.) As we speak, I am absent from a meeting in order to schedule you into this time slot. I’m not convinced that you value my time.

PEACE: You’re going to testify against me aren’t you? That’s why I was referred here.

BEV: If you refuse to accept help, and refuse to drop your stinkin’ thinkin.’ Yes, I will likely be coerced into testifying against you. I prefer to help you. But the choice, Mrs. Smith, is up to you.

PEACE: They’ll take Jason away on me………..

BEV: Mrs. Smith, do you have what it takes to change one idea?

PEACE: Am I woman enough?

BEV: (Enthusiastically.) Yes. Are you woman enough?

PEACE: So what’s this new thought? I can do it!

BEV: This may make a gambler of me but I bet you a hundred bucks you’re not up for it. (Pulls out bill.)

PEACE: You’re on! Now, what’s this new idea?

BEV: Let’s just clarify what the bet is. All right, if I tape this?

PEACE: Be my guest. You’d better be willing to fork that money over, though.

BEV: (Activates tape recorder.) I bet you one hundred dollars, Mrs. Smith that you don’t have what it takes to think and act consistently and continuously on this one new idea, starting no later than noon tomorrow.

PEACE: Now, that’s going to cost you one hundred dollars! O.K. Bev. What’s my new thought?

BEV: Just let me set the scene. Jason has gone to sleep. You’ve put him down in his crib after feeding him. Jim has put his jacket in the closet and hung his trousers on the valet. You are in the en suite and as you come out, Jim is already in bed. He is asleep and over the sound of the toilet flushing, you hear a roar like a DC10. Faintly, among the snorts, you hear Jason fussing in the nursery. You think, “Maybe I should check….” but the fussing stops before you get there. Nothing new, yet? Right?

PEACE: No! Nothing new, yet.

BEV: Here we go then. Are you ready?

PEACE: (Impatient gestures.) Yes! So?

BEV: Really think you can handle it, do you?

PEACE: Of course!

BEV: Piece of cake, eh?

PEACE: (Gesturing wildly.)

BEV: Just listen to my Jimsie-Wimsie sleep.

PEACE: Just listen to my Jimsie-Wimsie sleep? You’re kidding?

BEV: (Shakes head to indicate that he is serious.)

PEACE: (Shocked.) That’s it?

BEV: (Pushes the button on the tape recorder and nods and he flashes the hundred dollar bill.) I bet you one hundred dollars, Mrs. Smith that you don’t have what it takes to think and act consistently and continuously on this one new idea, starting no later than noon tomorrow.

PEACE: (Grabbing.) It’s mine!

BEV: Not so fast! At your next appointment! I’ll see you the same time next week, Peace.

PEACE: I wouldn’t miss it. (Exits without notebook.)

BEV: That should do it! (Waving bill.) I’ll be billing you for this, Jimsie-Wimsie. Yesss!

PEACE: (Enters.) This is totally off the wall! How can you expect..?

BEV: So I win. (Puts bill into pocket.) You don’t have what it ta….

PEACE: (Jabbing her finger at him) That’s what you think! (Exits with notebook.)

BEV: (Takes a very deep breath. Starts ticking things off in folder.) I’d better write that up before I go walking. I need a walk after her. What a nightmare! I’ll just make some notes here o bill Jim Smith for this one hundred bucks. He did say to use extreme measures if necessary. Everything should be OK unless Peace has a snit. Just don’t go there. You can’t afford that kind of thinking. She could really do me in, if she got go….There. Enough stinkin’ thinkin’. Case closed for today. I’m out of here.

(Exits with folder. Lights fade.)

PEACE: (Seated on a park bench outside using a cell phone Bev is peering over the bushes).

PEACE: Hello. Marnie, it’s Peace. Is Jim there? I need to talk to him. OK. Tell him to call my cell phone then as soon as he is finished. Thanks, Marnie. (Puts phone down.) I wonder if he’ll call. He sneaks into the house when I’m gone. So he can see Jason. Mom Smith tattles on me the minute I’m out the driveway and he drops everything and rushes home. Right in the middle of his rounds yesterday. The other doctors look at me like I’m from Mars. Even their wives are avoiding me. I’ll bet he doesn’t call and I’ll lose this stupid bet with Bev Eagleman. I’ve never had that big a bet before and I’ll be darned if I’m going to lose it. If he doesn’t call I’m going over to that hospital and….That’s crazy, Peace. When I got here today I was going to tell Bev to forget it…That guy can think of more distractions….car making, if you please….sleeping in a factory, dumping me. Nobody dumps Peace Smith! Then he goes and sets up a bet…Just listen to my Jimsie-Wimsie sleep! That is totally crazy. A person wouldn’t even have to register on an IQ test to know that is never going to work. However, just because it’s stupid, is no reason to turn down a hundred dollar bet. I wonder about that Bev. Come on phone. Ring! I’m going to call Jim’s cell phone. I’ll bet the silly turkey is over at the house right now. (Dials.) Hi, Jim. I’m glad I got you. ……Yes. I know you’re in a rush… Well, I have something to say to you. Marnie was to tell you to call me as soon as you were finished….What do you mean, I’m to leave Marnie out of this? I thought part of her job was to give you guys messages… Yes, I do have something to say. I just saw Bev for my appointment and I want to make some changes… Yes! I do want to make some changes!.. You’re coming home tonight to see what these changes are? Oh, good! For dinner? After ten? Just in time for the hot chocolate. I’ll see you then, Jim….. You’d like to stay but if I jab you, you’re out of there? But Jim. I just told you I’d made some changes. I’m not going to jab you in the back!.. No, I threw the torchiere out…. It was dangerous to have such a hot light there by the drapes… Why am I really asking you to come back? I miss you. We got along fine until… O.K. Tonight, then. (Gets up and walks.). Well, Dr. Eagleman, you just may be off the hook for now, but if this bet falls through I’ll be checking your credentials. ( Exits DSL )

BEV: (Enters CS around end of hedge) So, you’re going to check out my credentials. That sure wrecks a good nature walk. I might as well go back in and meditate or do some exercises. Why do I have to find all these credential checkers? (Exits CS.)

DAPHNE: (Enters and places two files on the desk, tries the drum. Exits.)

BEV: (Enters office and checks behind filing cabinet.) Those guys must have taken my ski machine when most of my furniture went to be refurbished. Daphne!

DAPHNE: (Enters) Yes, Dr. Eagleman.

BEV: Did that refinishing place take my exercise machine?

DAPHNE: Part of it was loose. Yes, I told them to fix it. You were out. Remember?
(Phone rings in outer office and Daphne leaves.)

BEV: Yes, Daphne. Lovely! No machine. What is it about me that keeps attracting these credential checkers? I move half way across the continent and within four months, here is another one all set to check me out.

DAPHNE: (Enters) Who is going to check you out?

BEV: Peace is threatening to if she doesn’t win….

DAPHNE: Win what?

BEV: Never mind.

DAPHNE: I see. Something is none of my business. Right?

BEV: I wish I’d never taken her on. I’m always being too accommodating, squeezing people in, missing meetings, even my kid’s birthday party, once after I’d promised her. Leeann was so disappointed. And Sharon gets furious if I mess up one of her dinner parties to help someone who thinks she’s having an emergency.

DAPHNE: It would be nice if people would be more considerate about when they have these emergencies. It’s hard for a five year old like Leeann to understand….

BEV: If they didn’t have emergencies and I didn’t take care of them, the family budget would be challenged. Any way, it is my problem that I choose to develop a client base in a new town this way.

DAPHNE: That is just until you get known, right?

BEV: Or, I get good at saying no. Every time I move I promise Sharon that I’m going to have regular hours and stop compromising the family. I did pretty well here until Jim cornered me in the washroom at a Health Roundtable and persisted until I agreed to take Peace on.

DAPHNE: How can you say no to a colleague?

BEV: Somebody must have, or he wouldn’t have been asking me. I sort of overheard something about her being the client from…well never mind.

DAPHNE: Peace is not known for giving in on anything or saying yes more than absolutely necessary. I don’t envy you. Once she’s in a loop it would take divine intervention to spring her from it. Have you got any plans on how to do that?

BEV: She’s adamant that Jim is going to stop snoring. She just kept circling.

DAPHNE: She’s ticked off. Whatever you did. I saw her when I went out to the mail box. She says she’s going to check your credentials.

BEV: Right! Just what I need.

DAPHNE: So what?

BEV: I don’t need that nonsense!

DAPHNE: Have you got something hidden away somewhere?

BEV: You can see my credentials for yourself. (Waves at wall.)

DAPHNE: That doesn’t exactly answer my question, now, does it?

BEV: I detest the attitude that goes with that credential checking thing.

DAPHNE: Not very pretty! Have you had many of those?

BEV: I know what they’re like. Trouble is the word that best describes it.

DAPHNE: I’ll just bet he wants you to go way out on a limb for him and his precious Peace. Everybody told him to leave her alone. And now he’s got trouble right here in Quinte West. And if you’re smart, Bev, you’ll stay out of it. It’s Jim’s problem.

BEV: Part of it is my problem, now.

DAPHNE: I say he married it. It’s his!

BEV: I’m thinking about Jason as well as Jim and Peace.

DAPHNE: You’d better think about yourself.

BEV: You don’t know me too well, Daphne. If there’s trouble, I’ll jump into it. I damned near drowned when I was twelve. My Auntie Marie had this dippy little squirt of a dog called Porridge. And this day in the spring, the little bugger slid down a bank and into the river. That river wasn’t wasting any time. Luckily there was a tree hanging over and I managed to catch it and hold Georgie Porgie and crawl back out. Whew! My mom was mad! And I felt like an idiot rescuing something with a name like that. It could have been Chief or Prince that I rescued. But Georgie Porgy?

DAPHNE: You’re going to ask the dog its name first?

BEV: You don’t think I should, eh?

DAPHNE: Of course, not!

BEV: It would probably drown while I was waiting for the answer.

DAPHNE: So what did you do to piss Peace off?

BEV: Jim wants me to use magic if I have to….no offence!

DAPHNE: Magic? What’s that got to do with anything?

BEV: I guess I’ll have to read up on it. What does he think Psychologists study anyway?

DAPHNE: Don’t tell me you skipped Magic 101.

BEV: Jim thinks having one paddle is symbolic of going around in circles. And he thinks she goes around in circles…

(Telephone rings and Daphne leaves.)

BEV: Last time it was a lawyer that went after my credentials. Boy, was I taken in by her! I’m sure she told all of Moose Jaw about her silly idea. Until you clear this up, Bev, Old Boy, you’re going to be doing one year stints in city after city. Maybe I’d better look for a post as a lecturer. I certainly don’t seem to be cutting it in practice. And if that isn’t enough, Jim thinks I should put a Native spin on the whole thing. (Walks over to painting and sticks out his tongue and wiggles his fingers.) How the Hell am I supposed to do that? Just tell me that, somebody. No! Don’t bother telling me that. I should have left the Indian stuff in Daphne’s spare room. Let her sister crawl over it when she comes for the weekend. But, no. I had to go and say it was okay to put it up in the office. I wish I’d rented the oil painting of the garden scene, instead. Now this stuff has Jim Smith on my case.

DAPHNE: (Enters) I don’t know what is keeping your next client. She has the answering machine on. Where all have you practiced?

BEV: High River, London, Ontario, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw

DAPHNE: You sure get around. Have I got a short term job here?

BEV: Maybe that’s up to you.

DAPHNE: You’re not planning on going some where else are you?

BEV: With all these threats to check credentials, you never know. If I got a post at a University, it would give me a bit of a rest from at least one patient. If I were going to move, my wife would like to go back to Moose Jaw and that might not be too bad. And I had a good client base.

DAPHNE: And, now?

BEV: What do you mean? And, now?

DAPHNE: What’s with that lawyer that sends you a letter every week?

BEV: That’s been resolved.

DAPHNE: Then how come the mail is always here before the post man goes past?

BEV: Something was missing. I pick the mail up at the Post office so I know what comes and what doesn’t.

DAPHNE: I never took anything.

BEV: I didn’t say you did, Daphne. I don’t want it being delivered.

DAPHNE: So you’re not blaming me?

BEV: Of course not! I just thought about that bill to Jim Smith…No need to send that.

DAPHNE: Now, you tell me!

BEV: You’ve sent it?

DAPHNE: (Speechless. Nods her head.)

BEV: Already? It’s gone? In the mail? Out?


BEV: Oh my God!

DAPHNE: Okay! That’s it! What is going on here? This is driving me nuts, Bev. Where are you coming from and what was that bill for one hundred dollars for anyway?

BEV: I had expenses. He said to bill him. So I billed him, but then I decided maybe I wouldn’t.

DAPHNE: It’s gone. I just got it there in time for pick-up. What was that hundred dollars for?

BEV: To hell with it. I’m out of here.

DAPHNE: Oh no! You’re not! You just sit right here and I’ll sit right there and be you. I’ll listen and you talk until you’re sorted out. You’ve worked hard here and Sharon just got the house fixed up. Now, what’s eating you, Bev? You’re driving your wife crazy…Fix. Paint…Decorate. Move. She never gets to enjoy all the work she does. It’s not fair. And you’re going to take Leeann and Jeffery out of school, too. Now, what’s the matter?

BEV: I don’t know what is the matter.

DAPHNE: What really went on with Peace? Why is she threatening to check your credentials?

BEV: She kept on about betting until I finally lost it and bet her she couldn’t change her attitude to Jim and his snoring.

DAPHNE: A hundred dollars?

BEV: I’m afraid so.

DAPHNE: Whew! I guess it could have been worse. If she doesn’t win you can always get her if the divorce goes to court….

BEV: I really don’t want to do that.

DAPHNE: You must have been desperate.

BEV: Believe me. She has a will of steel.

DAPHNE: She wouldn’t last long in a classroom if just anyone could push her over. They say no one gets …. Any way no point in fussing over it. Where’s your mom live?

BEV: In Saskatchewan. It would be nice to go back there.

DAPHNE: Is the aunt that had Porridge still there?

BEV: I ‘ve got a couple of aunts there. They’re quite the ladies. Mom and her sisters. They’re always helping somebody whether it chewing through red tape of just holding somebody’s hand when they’re scared, or alone. They’re really something.

DAPHNE: I have no doubts at all that you’re related to those ladies. And your father?

BEV: Good Old Dad. I guess I’m related to him, too. He was always going somewhere. I don’t know if my mother even tried to keep up to him. He was here, there, and everywhere. Postcard Poppa. Overnight visits. Once in a while, a letter..there was always a check in the letter. Saw him on TV once at a rodeo. I don’t think any of my letters ever caught up to him. Mom stayed put. We stayed with her, but here I am now, wanting to take off again. I heard my Aunt Marie saying one time that my dad had no gumption, or he’d stay in one place and work stuff out. I’ll bet she’s already wagging her tongue about me….Just like his old man…four moves already….bad pattern….no gumption. Well, nobody can say those aunts of mine have no gumption….If they see people hurting, they help. And my dad had gumption, too. Those rodeo bulls aren’t Lazy Boys. They needn’t waste their breathe on saying I don’t have any gumption. It took a lot of gumption to stick with it and get my PhD once Mom got her Indian status back, so I had funding to finish my education. All I ever visualized though, was getting that stupid diploma and walking through this office door with Dr. Beverly Eagleman on it in gold letters.

DAPHNE: You’ve got that. I wondered why you insisted on gold. So you saw the door with gold letters, what else did you see?

BEV: Once in a while I took a peek at myself sitting, listening and taking notes and I’d see grateful clients shaking my hand, or giving me a hug and it felt so good.

DAPHNE: And then you met somebody ….

BEV: So what really comes through my door? The Peace Smiths of the world. They are ready to attack, jab, check credentials, and generally hang me, or anyone who comes near them out to dehydrate. Wonderful! Why didn’t somebody give me a clue when I was working my tail off to get into this position. Maybe that’s why those guys in the clinic used to say those things to me….. ‘Rainbows don’t happen every time it rains.’ Cripes! I used to wonder what they meant. And they used to give me some real winners too. “Let Bev have her. It’ll be good practice for him…..’ Practice! My foot! This thing lasts a whole lifetime. What am I going to do?

DAPHNE: Scared you picked the wrong career?

BEV: If I’d been a psychiatrist that thing in Moose Jaw would not have happened. At least, not the way it did.

DAPHNE: Oh, yeah?

BEV: I had this client that decided I was supposed to have a medical degree instead of a PhD, and then she went around telling people I wasn’t an M..D. Some lawyer she was. She didn’t even know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

DAPHNE: You’re kidding!

BEV: Would I make something that stupid up?

DAPHNE: So that’s why you left Moose Jaw?

BEV: Well, I’m not running any more. I’m in Trenton and I’m staying in Trenton. And I’m going to stop obsessing about that mess up in Moose Jaw. If my Auntie Marie, wants to see gumption, I’ll show her gumption.

DAPHNE: Sure. How are you going to do that?

BEV: Nobody, not even Peace Smith, is chasing Bev Eagleman out of this town.

(Bev’s phone rings.)

BEV: Bev Eagleman, here…..Yes, Jim….She’s asked you to come home, right?… You’re not taking any guff from her? …..You’ve had all the jabs in the back and sleepless nights you need for the rest of your life?……You don’t think a leopard can change it’s spots. Jim when did this jabbing start?…. When the baby came home….Jim, it seems that there was a change then…..I don’t see any reason change can’t happen now. ….Are you sure you want this marriage to work?… I’m glad to hear that. This case has been somewhat of a challenge for me to fit into my schedule, but I did it to help you…. I wish your family luck tonight. It’s good of you to call, Jim ….She’s scheduled for her third session. I have every confidence you’ll work this out. ‘Bye, Jim.

(Puts phone down.)

DAPHNE: (Standing) Maybe they’ll patch it up before he finds out what magic is.

BEV: He has a lot more inconveniences than I do Just gets to bed and some idiot wraps himself around a tree and Jim is in surgery instead of bed. God! I hope Peace doesn’t blab this thing to Jim. He’s such an idealist. He has no idea how stubborn people can be. And his patients don’t say much…other than “Thanks, Doctor. You saved my life.” If, it doesn’t work out, they don’t say anything at all.

DAPHNE: They always get you prepared by telling you what your chances are, too. Pretty tricky.


BEV: If he found out I had a bet on with Peace, he’d go ballistic. Well, I ’m not telling him.

DAPHNE: (Enters and places file and memo on desk, adjusts painting.)

BEV: O.K. Let’s see. A new client with anorexic symptoms. Thanks for the consultation, Daphne. You’re not bad.

DAPHNE: Does that mean any time you’re late, I can start without you?

BEV: What do you think? Actually, if someone is in consultation a receptionist is very necessary. But then, you already know that we should definitely not be interrupted under any circumstances.

DAPHNE: (At door.) Do come in the doctor will see you.





In the office one week later at 10:25 a.m.

Bev is wearing a suit and tie. Daphne is in matching skirt and fancy Tee shirt. Peace is wearing a martial arts suit. A white belt is dragging artfully from the right side of it. Jim is in a suit and tie. There is a new chair with laced chamois look upholstery for Bev to sit on.

DAPHNE: There. Everything is ready. I kept the last sheet in the drawer of my desk. Just in case.

BEV: Just in case we have an argument over what the bet actually was, I need the tape from last week. Is it in the tape recorder?

DAPHNE: Do you think that is wise?

BEV: None of it is wise. It was stupid right from the first time I got talked into it. Please get the tape out of the safe.

DAPHNE: Do you have a copy of it?

BEV: Just get the damned thing. Please.

DAPHNE: I’m just trying to do the wise thing here.

BEV: Well you’re scaring me shitless! Okay!

DAPHNE: I’m sorry.

BEV: Do you remember what I asked you to do?

DAPHNE: Oh! Yes! Yes! The tape. Do you know what the combination is? I forg..

BEV: Look it up and get the damned thing.

DAPHNE: Yes sir.

BEV: I’ll slip a new tape in there. Just in case. Add tape to props

DAPHNE: Here’s your tape. I actually had it in my purse.

BEV: You listened to it?

DAPHNE: No. I just had it there in case…

BEV: No point in fussing. What is done, is done….have you heard anything? I thought he’d have called and had me run out of town by now.

DAPHNE: Oh, my Goddess!

BEV: What? What now? Daphne, what have you done, now?

DAPHNE: Well, he sent a check the next day after I sent the bill out and I had it deposited in your account.

BEV: You what? Never mind. I heard you.

DAPHNE: I’m so sorry. I always deposit the checks when they come in. What exactly did I do wrong?

BEV: I’m sorry, Daphne. Of course you are supposed to deposit the checks. And bill people, for that matter. It’s just that I feel really…

DAPHNE: Don’t you worry, Bev. The Smiths are not suffering. He can afford a hundred dollars. No sweat, at all!

BEV: That’s not the point. The point is that I billed Jim for a bet I had with Peace. I wished I’d never done it five minutes after it was out of my mouth. But by then I’d left the file on your desk. You were out, and before I got back you’d come back and mailed the stupid bill to Jim…. You’re so efficient it scares me.

DAPHNE: So, as it stands now, who’s winning?

(Phone rings. Bev picks up.)

BEV: Hello. Dr. Eagleman’s office. Weird. Whoever it was hung up.

DAPHNE: If it were Jim and he was ticked off he wouldn’t have hung up.

BEV: Maybe he’s just checking to see if I’m here.

DAPHNE: I doubt it. He’d be expecting me to answer the phone. It’s likely a new client with cold feet. Sometimes they have to call more than once to be sure they really want to go ahead with consultations.

BEV: It’s not easy to decide to do something about it when you’re miserable.

DAPHNE: Right. Anyway, Jim’s car is usually at home at night, now. But, I am sorry about the billing, Bev.

BEV: No need to worry. I’ll think before I scribble next time, and maybe that won’t happen again. Oh, by the way, I picked up a book on spirit paintings for you at the book sale the other day. I hope Peace doesn’t get going about my heritage again…I really could do without that you kno…

PEACE: (Off stage) Hello! Where is everybody? Fire! Rape!

DAPHNE: Here she is. Come on in, Peace. (Exits.)

PEACE: Hi! Big conference, eh? What’s up?

BEV: Hello. So you’re back.

PEACE: Yes. I’m back. You can call me Mrs. Smith today, if you like…that is.

BEV: I would prefer that, Mrs. Smith.

PEACE: Sorry I kept calling you Bev last week when you wanted me to call you Dr. Eagleman. I’m really glad that you agreed to see me for my three appointments. Otherwise, I’d have had to drive way over to Napanee for my sessions. Did Jim talk you into it?

BEV: Yes.

PEACE: Did he say why?

BEV: He said you wouldn’t want to leave the baby to go further away.

PEACE: Hmmmm!

BEV: You’re in a good mood, aren’t you?

PEACE: I’m a winner! And I’ve got to tell you, I’m really impressed with you. I gave you a hard time last week. You really dealt with it all in an amazing way. Michelle is impressed, too.

BEV: Really.

PEACE: Yes. Really. And Mom Smith is ecstatic. Her little Jimmy-boy has his family back.

BEV: I like to see people happy.

PEACE: The Smith’s are certainly happy, Dr. Eagleman. And hopeful, as well.

BEV: Hope is good .

PEACE: Dad Smith wants to know how you did it. He keeps making little conversational digs.
He’s an anthropologist. Even his conversations are like little well planned excavations.

BEV: So, you’ve seen the whole family?

PEACE: We had a barbeque the other night and Michelle didn’t know. She dropped in to return a book I’d lent her and we talked her into staying….so we were all together again.

BEV: Did it go smoothly for you?

PEACE: Everything was fine until Michelle got ready to go home and little Johnny got into a snit.

BEV: Mmhmmm.

PEACE: Johnny had a tantrum…………He curled around Jack’s legs and screamed bloody murder.

BEV: Painful, eh?

PEACE: It was excruciating. We all had tears in our eyes and Dad Smith went over and gave Michelle a hug and told her that it didn’t have to be that way. Maybe she could get some help too, cause he’d sure like her to be happy.

BEV: How did that go ov..

PEACE: That man would be perfect if he just didn’t snore.

BEV: His snoring bothers you?

PEACE: His snoring is none of my business when it comes right down to the bottom line.

BEV: How is that?

PEACE: I don’t have to listen to him. I’ve sort of blamed him I guess, for passing the sound effects on to his sons.

BEV: And, now?

PEACE: Why blame him? It wasn’t like he specified snoring when Jim was conceived. Like something you’d order from Sears in a certain size or color.

BEV: I must admit I can’t picture that as part of the process.

PEACE: So it’s really off the mark to blame him.

BEV: Mmmhm.

PEACE: You’re not going to back out on our bet are you?

BEV: I stand by what I said last week.

PEACE: So when do I get my money?

BEV: Surely you can let me keep it until the end of the session. You can’t spend it here, anyway.

PEACE: I’d just like to see it.

BEV: What happened to little Johnny?

PEACE: Jack took him back to Michelle’s and they put him to bed. Jack is a real smooth talker.

BEV: So…

PEACE: He snored and Michelle couldn’t get to sleep. She was in some state for work the next day and Jack got told that he was welcome during daylight hours.

BEV: Positive

PEACE: Positive doesn’t always cut it.

BEV: How so?

PEACE: Jack is supposed to have had some new treatment that was to stop the snoring. The in-laws descended on her when she said that he still snored. She taped it and he still snores, not as loud as he used to, but he still snores. I put my foot down, when I finally found out that they’d ganged up on her.

BEV: I see.

PEACE: That family is no place for the faint hearted, or soft spoken, but they really do care about others. It’s just that they snore like airports.

BEV: So what happened with you during the week, Mrs. Smith?

PEACE: You’ll be pleased to know that I got rested up and my temper has improved.

BEV: You feel some better, then?

PEACE: Incredibly. Just incredibly.

BEV: Good.

PEACE: I’ve been angry for so long, I’d gotten depressed….

BEV: You never mentioned…

PEACE: I was so tired, that sleep was all I could think of, and I got to hate Jim so much….

BEV: How do you feel about Jim, now?

PEACE: I don’t hate him…….anymore. At least, not at the moment.

BEV: That’s a step..

PEACE: He’s okay and I’m okay, too

BEV: So, you did have a breakthrough?

PEACE: I guess you could call it that. Am I going to at least, get to see that money?

BEV: Of course. But let’s not lose track of what we’re doing here.

PEACE: I’m trying to get to see that hundred dollars you bet me.

BEV: And I’m trying to find out what happened since your appointment last week.

PEACE: You’re not pulling a trick on me, are you?

BEV: No. I’m not playing a trick on you, Peace. If it will make you feel better, here. (Removes bill from pocket and holds it up. Then places it on table)

PEACE: Okay. So it is real! Now where were we?

BEV: You said that you don’t hate Jim any more and that you feel much better now.

PEACE: Yes. True. And I’m finally getting some sleep, again.

BEV: Wonderfu…

DAPHNE: (Loudly, off stage.) Hello, Dr. Smith, there’s a chair. Please don’t interrupt. There’s a client…
Jim: (Flings open door and strides over to Bev. Picks up bill and waves it in the air.) It is you! What’s going on here? What do you plan to do with this?

PEACE: Jim!!!! This is my session! What are you doing here? Bursting in like this? I want an answer. NOW!

BEV: Daphne, please bring Dr. Smith a chair.

PEACE: Don’t bother. If I’m having a joint session, I want to know about it before hand. None of this dramatic stuff.

JIM: What’s with the money, Doc?

BEV: It’s my desk. I can air my money on it if I wish!

JIM: I hear you have a bet on with my wife! Is that true? Well, is it?

PEACE: What’s that to you? Get out of here!

JIM: It’s a hundred dollars to me. My hundred dollars!

PEACE: You’re flipping nuts, you are! Call in the zoo keepers, Daphne, and tell them to bring their tranquilizer guns….Loaded!

JIM: Shut up, Peace!

PEACE: (Trips Jim who drops the money as he threatens Bev.) Ouuuuch!!!!! Smart, aren’t you? Are you trying to kill me?

JIM: You tripped me! First it’s the Halogen light..

PEACE: Right! Poor you. Watch where you’re going. Stay off my foot! Somebody is always beating up on you. Aren’t they Jim?

JIM: You did hit me with that light!

PEACE: What did you think I’d do when you slapped my face? Just stand there and take it? You picked the wrong woman, for that, Jim, Old Pal.

JIM: To hell with you. Nobody treats me like this and gets away with it. I’m gonna get the both of you for this!

BEV: Peace, would you mind taking a walk, until I’ve heard Jim’s side of things, here.

PEACE: I’m not walking anywhere with a sore foot! I’m scheduled here! I’ll throw you out of here, Jim, if you don’t leave by the time I’ve counted to five, or else apologize and sit down like a civilized human being.

JIM: Big talk! And what the hell is that you’re wearing?

PEACE: What’s it look like?

JIM: I’ll take that. (Reaches for money, which fell onto desk. Bev gets it first. Jim socks Bev in the eye and leaves shouting.) Quack. Scoundrel.


PROPS: letter, list of expenses, manilla folder, forms, paper clip, clip board, tape recorder, white 9×12 envelope, jumbo red marker, rawhide drum, box of tissues, snapshots, snap purse small fancy notebook, car keys, plastic grocery bag, eleven hundred-dollar bills, florist’s box with painted paddle, army knife, Painted paddle, hanger

For complete play, please contact me.