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Guess What

Setting: Dining room with partly eaten birthday cake on table
Cast: 1F (mature) 1M (30) 1M (21)


JANE: Just wait til that stupid religious freak brother of mine finds out about this business with the Twins. I’m embarrassed enough by Brother John already.

ELM: Uncle John will go on about it. You’re right about that, Mother.

JANE: I just wish he’d take a powder. Mommy and Daddy really have a struggle with him.

ELM: A powder?

JANE: I was just thinking that your great granny would be rotating in her grave…..

ELM: And?………..So???

JANE: She used to say that. It embarrassed your grandmother silly.

ELM: You think she did it on purpose?

JANE: My Granny Prunella wasn’t nearly as prim as she might have been. She couldn’t stand stuffed shirts and never failed to let the stuffing out any way she could.

ELM: She did that to her kids?

JANE: Granny couldn’t stand snobbery. And when John, her first grandson came along and pulled some of his stunts, well, Granny was in her element.

ELM: You’re making it up.

JANE: Sure I am. Remember that extended trip John took when you were little?

ELM: He went to Europe, didn’t he?

JANE: He was on his way, but I think Granny pulled the plug on him.

ELM: Where was he?

JANE: Off having revival meetings.

ELM: Where?

JANE: At the request of the State of New Hampshire.

ELM: That sounds fishy to me.

(Phone rings)

JANE: (Sniffs)

ELM: Hello. Yes. Dr. Logan here. Thanks, Daphne. Put him on then. Hello, Jim. Oh well, I’m glad of that. Thank you for calling. The whole million, you say? It is such a relief. Yes. Yes. I’m anxious to get back at it. Any new results develop? You let them know? You couldn’t get through to me and they called there and asked? Oh my God! Yeah. Yeah. Great then. We’re all set. I’ll see you Monday if I get through this Press onslaught and this blasted blizzard ever stops. Only the Press could get through a storm like this. Take care then.

JANE: What was that all about? I wish you’d use the speaker phone. I feel so left out.

ELM: Mom, I’ve got the most wonderful thing to tell you.

JANE: You’d have probably had the news long ago. Whatever it was, if the Twins would just stop playing Trivial Pursuit on the Internet and play it face to face. That phone is always busy.

ELM: Right. They sure like to play that Trivial Pursuit game on the Internet.

JANE: First the phone is tied up and then someone answers it and has a private conversation. If you’re going to talk on the phone, you could at least include the rest of us in the room.

ELM: The call was for me.

JANE: Be that as it may….


ELM: You get it then. (Exits)

JANE: Let me get my glasses on here. Oh well, I’ll answer it anyway.

JOHN: Praise the Lord and happy birthday to Hart and Saul. Happy birthday, boys. Can you put them on, Jane?

JANE: Sorry. They went out.

JOHN: Yeah. Every time I call they’re gone. Are they psychic, or something, Sis?

JANE: What do you mean, ‘or something’?

JOHN: They’re never in. They’re either out to lunch, or you’ve stuffed them in the closet, or something.

JANE: You’d better explain yourself.

JOHN: It’s their birthday, Sis. Twenty-one! They’re real men now. Any day they’ll be getting married. Now, won’t they?

JANE: Is this some kind of social pressure?

JOHN: Now, that’s a queer thing to say.

JANE: I’ll tell them you called.

JOHN: This the old brush off, eh Janie?

JANE: Someone is coming. I’ve got to go.

JOHN: Go let ‘em in. I’ll save their souls.

JANE: Are you stealing this phone call?

JOHN: NO! Now, what the mischief has gotten into you, Sis? Do you think I’m going to let you and those three boys go straight to Hell if something happens? No! I’m going to save your precious souls. I’m going to see that you get found. Praise the Lord! There is no need for you to be lost.

JANE: Just so long as I don’t wind up where you are.

JOHN: You’re bluffing. Or is there really someone there?

JANE: Good-bye!

ELM: (Sticks his head in) I’ll go back out.There’s no room for that lot in here.

JANE: Look at all those people out there! Where are those boys? This is terrible! It’s nobody’s business but ours. Why can’t people mind their own darned business? (Closes drapes.)

ELM: There’s no problem. I’ll go talk to them out there. We can’t ask all of them in here. That’s for sure.

JANE: How dare you go out there and tell on your brothers!

ELM: Tell what on my brothers?

JANE: I don’t care whether they’re gay or straight. Have you got that, Elm?

ELM: That has nothing to do with those reporters.

JANE: Who are you kidding?

ELM: You’re the only one who is kidding anyone.

JANE: Hmmph! Well, I for one, love them anyway. So, there! And I’m proud of them, too! If you must know!

ELM: This is very difficult for you, Mom.

JANE: Don’t patronize me, Elm. I’ll have you know I’m proud of them. Proud of them! Have you got that?

ELM: You need to listen to me, Mother.

JANE: Don’t you dare disgrace your brothers!

ELM: You’re kidding yourself. You’re not proud of them at all, or you’d be out there, talking to those reporters, telling them about your wonderful sons.

JANE: How dare you!

ELM: You’re ashamed of Hart and Saul and you don’t give a tinker’s dam about me. You don’t even know…

JANE: How dare you come into my house and talk to me like that!

ELM: You call yourself a mother. You’re more interested in doing the right thing than in caring for your family. You and Uncle John could just as well be twins.

JANE: Shut up!

ELM: Take a powder! Take an enlightenment pill….whatever you need! You’re way out of character for anyone I’d care to call my mother.

SAUL: Elm, Old Man! Congratulations! God! You make me proud. To think I’d have a big brother like you. Hart and I are two lucky guys, I tell you. Get out there and talk to them, Man. It’s not every day that someone gets a million dollar grant to look into anything. But this! I’m freaking amazed. I’ll look after Mom, here, until she rejoins the straight laced human race. Go talk to ‘em. Heck! Get a dog sled and go down town and get interviewed. Milk it for all it’s worth. My brother! You go, Man! Now, Mom, hang in there! We’re gonna live. I know your world fell apart, but you’ll adjust to it. You’re gonna be OK.

JANE: I’m proud of you.

SAUL: Shush! You and Uncle John. I can’t stand this kind of crap.

JANE: What do you mean? Me and Uncle John? I’m not like him!

SAUL: I can’t stand hypocrisy like this. You are totally ashamed of me. You are not proud! You’re proud of Elm. That’s who you’re proud of, Mom!

JANE: What are you talking about?

SAUL: He told you, didn’t he?

JANE: Told me what?

SAUL: Now, I wonder why that was.

JANE: (Goes to door.) Elm, why didn’t you tell me?

SAUL: Come back in here, Mom!

JANE: No! I’m going out and tell him I’m proud of him.

SAUL: Yeah! Right! No, you’re not! I’m going out and move a few things so they can get some pictures on the porch. There’s a whole freaking crowd of them out there. (Exits)

JANE: I wonder what he did. Saul seems to be excited about it. The nerve of that Elm. Not telling me!

HART: (Enters) Heh, Mom. The day turned out pretty well after all. You know, the shock and all. But this is good. Get your coat on and get out there. Saul is out there already.

JANE: What specifically is this grant for, do you know?

HART: Of course. Sexuality.

JANE: Oh, no! I’ve had enough sex for today. Thank you very much.

HART: Mother! You know I’m not interested.

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