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April Fools (Comedy/Drama Play Script)

1

April Fools

By

Daris Howard

 

 

Drama Source

a

Publishing Inspiration

company

 

April Fools

Copyright 2003

by Daris Howard

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that APRIL FOOLS is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union. All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved.

The amateur live stage performance rights to APRIL FOOLS are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation. PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances. When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production. Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made.

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged. For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

 

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To produce this play you must purchase a script for each performer and a performance royalty for each performance desired. For more information see:

 

http://dramasource.com/itempage.php?script=AAF

 

 

Dramatist Personae

 

Sherrie Miller – Pretty girl, wears glasses and doesn’t make herself up much. A waitress.

 

Dixie – Girl about 18. Flirtatious.

 

Chelsea – Another girl about 18, a bit more serious.

 

Camille – Third of the four roommates. Playful, but has a good heart.

 

Samuel – Old man and wise.

 

Carl (David) – Good looking boy about late teens to early twenties.

 

Jack Miller – Sherrie’s cousin. A mechanic. Late teens to early twenties.

 

James Miller – Sherrie’s Uncle, Jack’s dad.

 

Mayor Rosch – Rich man (or woman) from out of state that has somewhat of taken over the town. (If using a woman change references of him to her and he to she.)

 

Police Officer: Could be man or woman.

 

Mrs. Tanner: Carl’s (David’s) mother.

 

There could be lots of extras in the restaurant, at the campaign scenes, putting up signs, etc. and also Mr. Tanner if he is available.

 

Dedication

I dedicate this play to my oldest daughter, Celese. I have seen her grow from my little girl who used to help me feed the horses and liked to go everywhere with me, to a beautiful, talented young lady. As she graduates from high school and prepares to make her own way in the world I am proud of her accomplishments and what she has become. Though we don’t always see eye to eye I hope she always knows and remembers how much her mother, father, sisters, and brothers love her. We will miss her when she is gone and look forward to her visits when she can come home.

Act I Scene 1

{The stage is set up like a café with a counter to eat at with bar stools and tables with chairs. Along one side, facing the audience, is a wall that has lover’s initials on it. Samuel is at the counter eating and Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille are entering as the lights come up in regular girl talk. As they move to their normal table the conversation below begins.}

Dixie: So what are we going to do for April Fools’ this year?

Chelsea: I am fresh out of ideas.

 

Camille: Do you remember that one we played on Jake McIntire last year? We got the whole town to think he was engaged.

 

Dixie: Poor, shy Jake. Everyone stopped him to congratulate him.

 

Chelsea: Do you remember when his mom came in here and chewed him out because she had to hear secondhand?

 

Dixie: And then I thought he was going to kill us when he found out who did it!

 

Camille: That one is going to be hard to top.

 

Dixie: There’s got to be something we can do, but what?

 

Chelsea: I think the first thing we have to decide is to who.

 

{As they speak, Sherrie comes in for their order.}

 

Sherrie: The regular ladies?

 

Girls: (ad libbed) Sure.

 

{Sherrie leaves.}

 

Camille: How about Sherrie?

 

Dixie: How about sherry what?

 

Camille: No. How about Sherrie for our April Fools’ joke?

 

Chelsea: But she’s our roommate.

 

Camille: That will make it all the more fun.

 

Dixie: What can we do?

 

Camille: I don’t know. What does she need?

 

Chelsea: She needs a man.

 

Dixie: {With a sigh.} Don’t we all.

 

Chelsea: But the only decent bachelor in the whole town is off limits to her because he’s her cousin.

 

Dixie: He’s off limits to everyone because he’s mine.

 

Camille: In your dreams. He wouldn’t take you to the pig calling contest even if you were the pig.

Dixie: Funny.

 

Camille: He wouldn’t take you to a dog show if you were the…

 

Dixie: All right! All right! At least I’ve been out with him and you haven’t.

 

Camille: Only because you talked Sherrie into setting him up on a blind date with you. I thought a blind date was supposed to be with someone you don’t know.

 

Chelsea: Well, that works. He sure acts like he doesn’t know her any more.

 

Dixie: How was I supposed to know that calling his big pickup truck a car in public would offend him?

 

Chelsea: Actually, I think it was your wearing that rose colored chiffon formal when he was taking you to the crash-up derby that turned him off.

 

Dixie: Actually, I think he secretly likes me.

 

Chelsea: It would have to be secret because he sure doesn’t seem to want anyone to know it.

 

Camille: And what I think, Dixie, is you’ve been hit over the head by a monkey-wrench.

 

{Camille whacks Dixie in a friendly way. Dixie jumps up and glares in fun. Dixie can stand and move back and forth a little to break up the monotony of being at the table.}

 

Chelsea: We’re getting off of the subject. What can we do to April Fools’ Sherrie?

 

Dixie: We could set her up on a blind date.

 

Camille: Are you crazy? Sherrie hasn’t gone on a single date in her whole life.

 

Chelsea: Besides, where would we find a man?

 

Dixie: We’ll make up one. That will be the fun of it.

 

Camille: You know she’ll turn us down flat.

 

Dixie: Not if we make him appealing enough.

 

Camille: What kind of man would be that appealing to Sherrie? We’re talking about the national wall-flower of the year winner.

 

Dixie: It would have to be someone that needs her.

 

Chelsea: Someone that needs her? She’s a waitress, for heaven sake.

 

Dixie: You know how she is always dragging home some poor dog or cat. We can just make up someone whom she feels needs to be taken care of.

 

Chelsea: Great. Let’s just go to some city and stop at the homeless shelter to ask for resumes.

 

Dixie: Get serious.

 

Chelsea: I am serious.

 

Camille: Dixie’s right. There has got to be some way to appeal to her soft side.

 

Chelsea: How?

 

Camille: We make up a guy with the kind of characteristics that would appeal to her.

 

Chelsea: What kind of characteristics?

 

Camille: I don’t know. Let’s make a list. Grab a napkin. I’ll get a pen.

 

{Camille gets up and goes to the counter and asks for a pen. Samuel, who is sitting there, very interested gives her his.}

 

Samuel: Here, I have one. Use mine.

 

{Camille goes back to the table. Samuel keeps an eye on them and seems greatly interested in what they are doing.}

 

Camille: All right, let’s list his features.

 

{The features can be changed somewhat to match whoever is available for the part.}

 

Dixie: He’s tall.

 

Camille: {Writing} Tall.

 

Dixie: Dark.

 

Camille: {Writing} Dark.

 

Dixie: Handsome.

 

Camille: {Writing} Handsome.

 

Chelsea: Oh, I feel sorry for him already. Maybe I can go out with him.

 

Dixie: You would want him to be good looking, wouldn’t you?

 

Camille: How about his apartment just caught fire and he lost everything he owns?

 

Chelsea: Oh, that’s good.

 

{Camille writes it down.}

 

Dixie: I got one. What if he were an orphan like she is?

 

Chelsea: She is only kind of an orphan since her uncle adopted her when her parents died.

 

Dixie: I know. That makes Jack more like her brother than her cousin.

 

Camille: Would you forget about Jack for a minute?

 

Chelsea: An orphan is a good idea. It will also make it so we don’t have to try and explain his family.

 

Camille: All right. I’ll write it down.

 

Dixie: Where should we say he’s from?

 

Camille: How about Weston? I usually spend a month or so over there every summer so I can handle any questions she asks on that one.

 

Dixie: That would work.

 

{Camille writes it down.}

 

Camille: Anything else we’re missing?

 

Chelsea: What about his age? She’s sure to ask his age.

 

Dixie: How about 19, but he looks 25.

 

Camille: {Writing} That sounds good.

 

Dixie: What should we say he drives?

 

Chelsea: How about a Corvette?

 

Dixie: I could go for a Mercedes.

 

Camille: Right. He’s an orphan, his house burned and he has nothing left, and he is supposed to drive a Mercedes. Then how is she supposed to feel sorry for him?

 

Dixie: You’re right. Can the car.

 

Camille: Ok. Anything else?

 

Dixie: I can’t think of anything.

 

Chelsea: Me either.

 

Dixie: When are we going to supposedly set them up?

 

Chelsea: April Fools’ Day is three days away. Let’s tell her he’s going to pick her up for dinner.

 

Camille: That would never work. She has to work dinner.

 

Dixie: How about if we say he will pick her up after work?

 

Camille: After work would be after one in the morning so it wouldn’t be April Fools’ Day anymore.

 

Dixie: Let’s just move it up a day.

 

Camille: Where would he take her that time of night?

 

Chelsea: We could say he was taking her to Bend where they have that all night movie theater.

 

Camille: And how is he going to get her there? We just said he doesn’t have a car.

 

Chelsea: You’re right.

 

Dixie: I’ve got an idea. The only thing open here after 1:00 is the dancing over at Wagon Wheel skating rink. They have dancing that goes to 2:00.

 

Camille: Who is going to take someone out for only one hour of dancing?

 

Dixie: You got any better ideas?

{They all look at each other and shrug.}

 

Chelsea: The bar is open, but she won’t go there.

 

Dixie: We’ll just say he wanted to start out slow and only do an hour of dancing because he’s shy.

 

Chelsea: I suppose that would work.

 

Camille: Anything else?

 

Chelsea: Yea, one thing. What are we going to do to let her know she’s been April Fooled? We really don’t want to hurt her feelings.

 

Dixie: What if we show up as the date and bring a cake and ice-cream? She surely can’t be mad or hurt at that.

 

Camille: You’re not planning on making the cake, are you?

 

Chelsea: Yea. We want it to be a surprise, not a murder.

 

Dixie: Very funny. I just thought we’d pick it up at the grocery store bakery.

 

Camille: Sounds good. Ok. Everyone read the items one last time before we do it.

 

{They pass the napkin around as they eat their food. Sherrie comes in from the kitchen.}

 

Dixie: Here she comes.

 

{Sherrie comes over. They almost forget the napkin and Dixie grabs it and hides it as they all smile innocently.}

 

Sherrie: Dixie, here is your root beer float. Cherry seven-up for you, Camille. And last but not least, cheese on rye with an orange soda for you, Chelsea. Is there anything else I can get for any of you?

 

Dixie: Sure, how about Jack. I could go for him in a tux over easy.

 

{The girls giggle.}

 

Sherrie: Sorry, I don’t interfere in his love life.

 

{The girls giggle.}

 

Sherrie: Is there anything else I can get for you?

 

Dixie: No, but there’s something we want you to do.

 

Sherrie: What’s that?

 

Dixie: We want you to go out with a guy.

 

Sherrie: I don’t really think…

 

{She jumps up to take off and two of them drag her back and sit her in the middle chair where she can’t get away, taking her tray away and setting it on the counter. Dixie positions herself behind Sherrie hold up the napkin as cue when needed.}

 

Camille: Now, don’t say no until you know more about him.

 

Chelsea: You can’t judge a book by its cover you know.

 

Sherrie: But I’ve never been out with a guy before.

 

Dixie: That’s why you should do it now.

 

Camille: Yes, this is the perfect guy for your first date.

 

Sherrie: What’s his name?

 

Together: Camille: Carl

Dixie: Fred

Sherrie: Carl and Fred?

 

Camille: Yes his name is Fred Carl Howard. You see, he is Dixie’s cousin and his family always calls him Fred, but he prefers to go by Carl. Isn’t that right, Dixie?

 

Dixie: Oh, yeah! That’s right.

 

Sherrie: And why do you think he would be perfect for me?

 

Dixie: Because he’s tall, dark, and handsome. {Chelsea kicks her.} Ow. I mean he’s really shy and needs a good friend.

 

Sherrie: Why’s that?

 

Chelsea: {Taking a quick glance at the napkin.} You see, his home just caught fire and he lost everything he owns.

 

Camille: It’s especially tragic since he is an orphan and everything he had about his family was in that house.

 

Chelsea: Not a thing left.

 

Dixie: Nope. He’s got nothing but the clothes on his back.

 

Sherrie: How old is he?

 

Camille: He’s 19 but I would have to say he looks about 25. Wouldn’t you say, girls?

 

Dixie and Chelsea (ad libbed): Oh yes. Definitely.

 

Dixie: I would have to say being an orphan and all he’s been through has matured him.

 

Sherrie: What does he do?

 

Together Camille: He’s a mechanic.

Dixie: He’s a waiter.

 

Sherrie: He’s a waiter and a mechanic?

 

Camille: Not exactly. You see, he was a mechanic, but the garage on the side of his house burned when the house burned. He’s been working as a waiter lately, but I think he really wants to get back to being a mechanic. Wouldn’t you say so, Dixie?

 

Dixie: Oh, yes. Absolutely.

 

Sherrie: Is he from around here?

 

Camille: Oh no. He’s from over in Weston.

 

Sherrie: What is he doing over here?

 

Dixie: Looking for a job as a mechanic. He just got tired of being a waiter and is trying to get back to mechanic work.

 

Sherrie: I wonder if Jack would know him. He knows just about all of the mechanics between here and Livermore.

 

Camille: I don’t think he would know Carl. Carl just did it out of his small garage. Anyway, would you like to go out with him?

 

Sherrie: I don’t know. Really, I just…

 

Dixie: Oh, come on. He really could use a friend right now.

 

Sherrie: When would the date be?

 

Camille: The day after tomorrow, right after work. He would take you dancing at the wagon wheel skating for an hour. Nothing big, just something to introduce you.

 

Sherrie: I suppose just for an hour would be ok.

 

Dixie: Great!

 

Camille: Let us tell you how you will recognize him.

 

Dixie: He’s tall, about six foot with black curly hair and blue eyes. He…. {This could be adjusted so it somewhat fits the person playing Carl.}

 

{The lights fade as their voices trail off.}

 

 

Act I Scene 2

 

{As the lights come up Samuel is at the counter and Sherrie is cleaning tables. Samuel is reading the paper. Samuel hollers as if yelling back into the kitchen.}

 

Samuel: James! James!

 

James: {Hurrying in at the counter} What is it, Samuel? Is something on fire?

 

Samuel: The Mayor intends to implement that law he got passed last year. What are you going to do about it?

 

James: What can I do? According to the city charter, any law passed can only take effect one year later. So to get rid of it would take a year.

 

Samuel: But you know he only passed the law to force your gas station out of business. He’s targeting you directly so he will have the only gas station in town.

 

James: I know, but what can I do?

Samuel: Take it to court. Challenge him on it.

 

James: I don’t have the money.

 

Samuel: So you’re going to just let him shut down your gas station?

 

James: Actually, I’ve been thinking I might have to shut down my restaurant, too. I can’t make ends meet without the gas station.

 

Samuel: And just where do you think I am going to eat? I’m not about to go to the Night Spot. I wouldn’t eat in the mayor’s joint if you paid me.

 

James: I don’t know what to tell you. You’ve been a loyal customer and a good friend.

 

Samuel: And what about the garage?

 

James: Jack is doing such a good job in the garage that he should be able to keep it open.

 

Samuel: I still think you should fight it. I don’t like the idea of someone from out of town coming in with lots of money and thinking he owns the place.

 

James: Well, he was elected mayor.

 

Samuel: Only because he had so much money he bought up every ad space in the town.

James: What day did the paper say the law took effect?

 

Samuel: April 15th, which would be two weeks from tomorrow.

 

James: Wow. That year went by fast.

 

Sherrie: {Coming up.} What law are you two jabbering about?

 

Samuel: That one the mayor got railroaded through the city council last year.

 

Sherrie: What law is that?

 

Samuel: The one that says there cannot be a gas station within 117 feet of the river. It’s obvious why he chose 117 feet. Your uncle’s gas station is at 112 feet from the river and the mayor’s is at 130 feet. It is a low down move to eliminate competition.

 

Sherrie: He can’t do that, can he?

 

James: I am afraid he already has.

 

Sherrie: We’ve got to get it repealed.

 

Samuel: A repeal takes a year. By then your uncle would be out of business.

 

Sherrie: But Uncle Jim, the gas station is what brings customers into the restaurant.

 

James: I know, and I was just telling Samuel we may have to close it too.

 

Sherrie: But Uncle Jim, how could we. We’ve always…

 

James: {Coming around the counter.} Sherrie, let me explain something. {Turning to Samuel.} Would you excuse us a minute Samuel? {He leads Sherrie to a table.} When your parents were killed your Aunt Edna and I adopted you. When your Aunt Edna died I was concerned about raising a little girl. I thought I could raise Jack all right, I mean, a boy is cars and trucks and such, but what did I know about pony tails and bows? But I knew I loved you and have done my best. The reason I insisted you get an apartment when you graduated was so you could be with other girls. Girls that could help you learn to dress and act like the beautiful young lady I know you are. But you still pretty well live here at the restaurant.

 

Sherrie: But Uncle Jim, you and Jack are my family. The restaurant is my home.

 

James: But I want more for you. I want you to find a nice guy and raise a family. Maybe even go to college. Jack is about the only eligible guy in town and you can’t marry him.

 

Sherrie: What are you trying to say?

 

James: I’ve thought maybe I should close the gas station and restaurant so you can go on to college and have the best of life. You’ve always wanted to go to college, haven’t you?

 

Sherrie: Yes, but, Uncle Jim, I could still stay here and just commute to college. And what about you and Jack?

 

James: We’ll be ok. Jack could have his pick of any of the girls in the town. The garage will get us by.

 

Sherrie: Do you really want to shut down the gas station and restaurant?

 

James: Not really. But the restaurant can’t make it without the gas station.

 

Sherrie: It’s just not fair that the mayor can do this!

 

James: Fair or not, that’s the way it is. Now, I want you to knock off a bit early and get ready for that date of yours.

 

Sherrie: Uncle Jim, I’m so nervous about this. I was thinking maybe you could just tell him I’m sick.

 

James: Oh no you don’t. You have a chance to meet a nice young man and you need to take it.

 

Sherrie: But the very thought makes my stomach all twisted in knots.

 

James: Maybe Jack could go with you as your chaperone?

 

Jack: {Coming in right then, still in mechanic clothes.} Go where, Dad?

 

James: Go as a chaperone with Sherrie to the dance with her blind date.

 

Jack: Not getting cold feet, are you, Sis?

 

Sherrie: More like frozen. I don’t know why I ever let them talk me into it.

 

Jack: I wouldn’t mind taggin’ along as long as you don’t try to set me up with one of your roommates.

 

Sherrie: But all of my roommates are cute.

 

Jack: I suppose, but I don’t like being thought of as a catch, like I’m a sucker and they’re the fishermen.

 

Sherrie: I’d be very grateful if you would go.

 

Jack: I’ve got an errand to run and then I’ll get cleaned up.

 

{Jack leaves.}

 

James: You better get yourself cleaned up too.

 

Sherrie: All right. Just let me finish the last tables.

 

James: {Heading back to the counter and addressing Samuel.} So, where were we?

 

Samuel: Actually, we were just about to mention Sherrie’s date.

 

James: I’m very happy that she has a date. She needs to have a chance to meet some young men.

 

Samuel: I suppose. I just hope it all turns out well. I stuck around a bit late tonight to see.

 

{James exits back into the kitchen and Samuel goes back to his paper. Carl comes stumbling in, almost running into Sherrie. He is in a suit that is torn as if he were in a fight. He is bleeding and dazed.}

 

Sherrie: Sir, are you all right?

 

Carl: Where… Where am I?

 

Sherrie: You are at the Gas-n-Grill. {Then noticing he is bleeding.} You’re bleeding. Here sit down. {She helps him to a seat. Then she yells for Jim.} Uncle Jim! Uncle Jim! Come quick!

 

Jim: {Running up.} What the matter?

 

Sherrie: {Pointing at Carl.} He’s hurt.

 

Jim: You look like you’ve taken a nasty blow to the head. What happened?

 

Carl: I don’t know. I woke up on the side of the road and saw your light.

 

Jim: Can you remember anything?

 

Carl: Not really.

 

Sherrie: What’s your name?

 

Carl: I’m not sure.

 

Jim: Do you have a wallet or anything?

 

{Carl reaches in his pockets and finds nothing.}

 

Jim: It looks like you’ve been robbed too.

 

Sherrie: You’re name doesn’t happen to be Carl does it?

 

Carl: I’m not sure. That sounds right.

 

{Samuel has come over to and has a shocked look as he realizes what Sherrie is thinking.}

 

Sherrie: It’s obvious what happened.

 

Jim: What?

 

Sherrie: He got robbed on his way over here.

 

Carl: I feel so dizzy.

 

Jim: We need to get him to the hospital. Run get Jack and have him bring his truck around.

 

{Sherrie runs out. Momentarily she comes in again.}

 

Sherrie: I can’t find Jack. I’ll pull the car around.

 

{Sherrie exits again.}

 

Jim: Jack must have run somewhere for a minute. I need him to help you so I can stay and watch the restaurant.

 

Samuel: What if I stay here and wait on customers?

 

Jim: I hate to be any trouble.

 

Samuel: It’s no trouble. I wanted to be here for the blind date anyway.

 

Jim: All right. {Sherrie comes back in.} Sherrie, let’s get him in the car. Samuel, it’s almost midnight. {Handing Samuel some keys} You could probably just lock up if you want.

 

{They take Carl off stage. There is a sound of a car taking off. Samuel stares at the keys a second then with a determined look sets up a table with three glasses of water, then sits down at the counter. Presently in comes Chelsea, Camille, and Dixie carrying a cake.}

 

Dixie: Sherrie! Sherrie! We have a surprise for you.

 

Samuel: And I have a surprise for you. I have your table ready. Why don’t you have a seat?

 

{The girls look at him suspiciously.}

 

Chelsea: {Sitting down.} Where’s Sherrie?

 

Samuel: She is with the blind date you set her up with.

 

Camille: What!? There was no date. We made it up as an April Fools’ joke.

 

Samuel: You know that and I know that, but Sherrie doesn’t know that.

 

Dixie: What are you talking about?

 

Samuel: I heard you girls plan this April Fools’ trick. Though I didn’t agree with it, I stuck around to see how it went.

 

Dixie: All right! All right! So you knew! But what do you mean she went with her blind date?

 

Samuel: A young man stumbled in a little while ago. He had been mugged and beaten. He couldn’t remember anything. Sherrie was sure he was this Carl you set her up with.

 

Camille: Where are they right now?

 

Samuel: Jim and Sherrie took Carl to the hospital.

 

Dixie: But he isn’t Carl. Carl doesn’t exist.

 

Samuel: You know that, and I know that, but Sherrie doesn’t know that.

 

Camille: Is there an echo in here or what?

 

Chelsea: So what are we going to do?

 

Samuel: Considering this is the first boy Sherrie has ever gone out with, maybe we should wait and see how things turn out.

 

Dixie: Going to the hospital isn’t exactly going out.

 

Samuel: Are you going to be the ones to tell her that this guy that she thinks needs her is a fraud because you wanted to play an April Fools’ joke?

 

{The girls all look at each other.}

 

Camille: Are you sure you’re not trying to pull a fast one on us?

 

Samuel: What do you mean?

 

Camille: I mean, how do we know you’re not pulling an April Fools’ joke on us?

 

Samuel: At my age, I have learned that we could never come up with better jokes than the ones life plays on us. You just wait until you meet him.

 

{Samuel goes into the kitchen.}

 

Chelsea: Let’s wait to tell Sherrie this was an April Fools’ joke until we can sort this whole thing out. Maybe this guy will turn out to be good for Sherrie.

 

Dixie: If there is any guy. Maybe Camille was right. Maybe they are playing a joke on us.

 

Chelsea: I suppose we can wait and see. I kind of felt bad about the whole thing since Sherrie is so shy. If there is really a guy and she likes him I couldn’t stand to ruin it.

 

Camille: If he is fake, it might turn out interesting to play along anyway.

 

Chelsea: We’ll know soon anyway. I vote that we don’t tell her unless all of us vote to do so. Is it a deal?

 

Camille: All right.

 

Dixie: Ok by me.

 

Camille: We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 

{The lights fade out.}

 

 

Act I Scene 3

 

{It is the next day. Sherrie is wiping the tables. Camille, Dixie, and Chelsea come in. They slide into some seats.}

 

Dixie: Sherrie, when do we get to meet your date? {Camille whacks her.} I mean when do we get to hear all about it?

Sherrie: {Coming over.} I hardly know where to begin. Everything happened so fast.

 

Dixie: Just start when he came.

 

Sherrie: I was getting nervous about going so Jack agreed to go with us.

 

Dixie: Why didn’t you invite us?

 

Sherrie: Jack thought it might be best not to. Anyway, Jack left to get cleaned up, I thought, but he must have gone somewhere. Before he got back Carl showed up.

 

Camille: Did he look just like we described him?

 

Sherrie: Well, pretty much. I think he was a bit blonder and maybe a bit taller. {Or ad lib this as needed.} But he seemed confused and his head was bleeding. He didn’t even know who he was. We figured he had been mugged and beaten. Uncle Jim decided we needed to take him to the hospital. Since we couldn’t find Jack, Uncle Jim helped me take him and Samuel said he’d stay and watch the restaurant.

 

Dixie: Yeah. We came and talked to Samuel.

 

Sherrie: He never told me that.

 

{The other girls flash Dixie a “be quiet” look.}

 

Dixie: So when do we get to meet him? {Chelsea whacks her from behind so Sherrie can’t see it, but the audience can.} I mean, when does he get out of the hospital?

 

Sherrie: When the doctor checked him this morning before I left, the doctor said Carl had a bad concussion and they wanted to watch him a little longer, but he should be able to go home today.

 

Chelsea: You stayed all night?

 

Sherrie: What else was I to do? He was so confused and sick.

 

Dixie: So what did you do all night?

 

Sherrie: I held his hand and answered his questions as best I could.

 

Chelsea: What kind of questions?

 

Sherrie: Things like what his family was like, what he did, where he lived. It’s a good thing you told me so much about him.

 

Chelsea: You told him the stuff we told you?

 

Sherrie: Sure. What else could I tell him? You might be able to tell him more yourselves, but I did the best I could. {Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille just look at each other.} Anyway, Jack is with him this morning so I could come help Uncle Jim. Jack said he’d come get me when the doctor said Carl could be released so I could go help get him.

 

Chelsea: Where is he going to stay?

 

Sherrie: Jack and Uncle Jim said he could stay at their place since his house burned down. I know he is your cousin, Dixie, but where your parents are out of town I thought you wouldn’t mind. Jack said he was way behind at the shop and Carl could help him there, since Carl used to be a mechanic.

 

Camille: We would like to see him. I mean, he is Dixie’s cousin and all.

 

Sherrie: How long are you going to be sticking around here?

 

Dixie: We could stay for as long as needed.

 

Sherrie: I’ll tell you what. When Carl’s ready to get out of the hospital I’ll see how he’s doing and if he feels up to it we’ll stop back here.

 

Jack: {Comes in.} Hey, Sis. He’s ready to go home. Can you take a break for a minute?

 

Sherrie: Sure. {Turning to the other girls.} We’ll be back in just a bit.

 

{She starts to take off her apron and waitress things.}

 

Dixie: {Going up to Jack, flirting, blocking his way.} Hey, Jack. There’s this girl I know that would love to go out with you.

 

Jack: Oh, really? What’s she like?

 

Dixie: She’s cute.

 

Jack: Cute, huh?

 

Dixie: And smart.

 

Jack: {Nodding as if thinking.} Smart?

 

Dixie: And lots of fun to be around.

 

Jack: {Again thoughtfully.} Fun?

 

Dixie: Yes.

 

Jack: That sounds like no girl I’ve ever gone out with before. Why don’t you introduce me some time?

 

{Jack and Sherrie leave. The other girls burst into laughter, saying things like “Oh, Jack.” Dixie looks a bit put out. After they stop laughing Camille starts to get up.}

 

Chelsea: Where are you going?

 

Dixie: Don’t you want to meet Carl?

 

Camille: I doubt there is any Carl. I think we are the ones being suckered into an April Fools’ joke.

 

Dixie: So what are you going to do?

 

Camille: I’m going to call the hospital and find out if a, what did we say his name was?

 

Chelsea: Fred Carl Howard.

 

Camille: I’m going to see if a Fred Carl Howard was checked into the hospital. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go use the pay phone.

 

{She exits.}

 

Chelsea: That’s pretty smart. I should have thought of that.

 

Dixie: I did. Camille just beat me to the punch.

 

Chelsea: {Sarcastically.}Right.

 

{The girls could ad lib a bit here until Camille comes back. Dixie could say Jack needs to learn some manners or such. Finally Camille comes back.}

 

Chelsea: Well?

 

Camille: It all checks out. The hospital information desk said a Fred Carl Howard was checked in last night by Jim and Sherrie and he was just getting released. He came in with a concussion and some other abrasions. He apparently took a pretty bad beating.

 

Samuel: {Coming over from the counter.} Didn’t believe me, huh?

 

Chelsea: We just wouldn’t put it past you to try to play an April Fools’ joke on us.

 

Samuel: As I see it, it would be hard to top the joke you’ve played on yourselves.

 

Dixie: And just what is that supposed to mean?

 

Samuel: I just can’t wait to see how this one plays out.

 

{Sherrie comes in holding Carl’s arm with Jack on the other side. His head has a small bandage. They help him to a booth. Dixie knocks one of the other girls off a chair trying to scoot over and motion to her chair for Carl. Jack pointedly ignores her shaking his head for Carl not to sit there as they move to another table. The other girls just stare.}

 

Sherrie: You just sit there and rest and I will get you a glass of cold water.

 

{Sherrie goes to get the water.}

 

Jack: {To Carl} Would you like something to eat? If you’ll be staying with us you’ll want to eat here. Dad and I always do before we go home. That way we don’t have to cook.

 

Carl: Sure. What do you suggest?

 

Jack: Anything on the menu is better than hospital food, not that that is saying much. But Freda, our cook, is pretty awesome. I, myself, usually just go for a hamburger and fry with a cold milk shake.

 

Carl: That sounds good.

 

{Sherrie comes back with the water.}

 

Jack: Sherrie, Carl will have the Gas-n-Grill Super Special with a milkshake.

 

Sherrie: Great choice. What flavor of milkshake?

 

Carl: How about chocolate?

 

Sherrie: Coming right up.

 

Carl: I don’t have any money to pay for this.

 

Jack: Don’t worry. You can work it off.

 

Carl: I’d be glad to. I really appreciate all you have done for me.

 

Jack: To be honest, I see a new sparkle in Sherrie’s eye. It might be you we have to thank.

 

Carl: She’s really nice. I don’t think I’ve met a girl that is as kind as she is.

 

Sherrie: {Coming back in.} Your meal will be ready in just a minute. {The other girls have followed Sherrie over to the table. Dixie clears her throat.} Oh, I’m sorry. How rude of me. Carl this is Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille, and this is Carl. Of course you already know each other.

 

Carl: Actually I can’t remember.

 

Dixie: {Sliding in by Carl and being quite flirtatious.} I’m Dixie.

 

{Carl leans away from her.}

 

Chelsea: {Pulling Dixie away from Carl.} Dixie’s your cousin, you know.

 

Carl: Oh.

 

{Dixie shoots Chelsea a look of “How dare you.”}

 

Jack: {Looking at Carl and shaking his head} Oh, I’m sorry.

 

Chelsea: We just wanted to see how you are doing, but we best be on our way so you can rest. Right, girls? {The other two are still staring at Carl.} I said right, girls?

 

Camille: Oh yes. Absolutely.

 

Dixie: I suppose.

 

{They come down stage as if to talk alone.}

 

Chelsea: Dixie, what is your problem?

 

Dixie: What are you talking about?

 

Chelsea: I saw you putting the moves on him.

 

Dixie: When a good looking guy like that comes to town, I say it’s every girl for herself.

 

Chelsea: And I say he’s Sherrie’s guy and you should leave him alone.

 

Dixie: Sherrie’s guy. Ha. What does she know about catching a guy?

 

Chelsea: She may not be as outgoing as you, but she has as much right to have a boyfriend as you do. Besides, she’s our roommate and you’re his cousin.

 

Dixie: I’m no more his cousin than I am Elvis Presley.

 

Chelsea: Well, Elvis, you better not ruin it for Sherrie or else.

 

Dixie: Or else what? You’ll tell her that we all made up the date thing? That would suit me fine.

 

Chelsea: Or else I’ll make your life miserable like only a roommate can.

Camille: Chelsea’s right. We’ve got to all leave him alone as long as he shows any interest in Sherrie. Everyone agreed?

 

Chelsea: Agreed.

 

{Dixie looks like she will pout.}

 

Camille: {Looking at Dixie} Agreed, Carl’s cousin? His cousin really can’t flirt with him, now, can she?

 

Dixie: {In a mad tone.} Oh all right. Agreed.

 

{The lights fade.}

 

 

Act I Scene 4

 

{As the lights come up Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille are at one of the tables. Samuel is at the counter.}

 

Chelsea: So, what do we do now?

 

Dixie: I don’t know.

 

Camille: I think we all agree this is one April Fools’ joke that has gotten out of hand.

 

{Samuel has come up and sits by the girls.}

 

Samuel: Excuse me, ladies, but I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation. What seems to be the problem?

 

Chelsea: Oh, Samuel. It’s just we didn’t mean this joke to go this far. Carl doesn’t know anything about himself except what Sherrie tells him and Sherrie doesn’t tell him anything except what we’ve told her. And we made it all up.

 

Samuel: I kind of wondered when your consciences would bother you a bit.

 

Camille: It’s been almost two weeks and Carl doesn’t remember anything. He still thinks he’s Carl.

 

Dixie: And so does Sherrie.

 

Samuel: So what do you think you should do?

 

Dixie: I think we should just tell them it was all fake.

 

Camille: And especially that Carl isn’t your cousin?

 

Dixie: That too.

 

Samuel: And then what about Carl?

 

Chelsea: What do you mean?

 

Samuel: If he thinks he’s Carl then he obviously can’t remember who he is. If you tell him he’s not Carl then who’s he supposed to think he is?

 

Camille: Samuel’s right. That might really confuse him.

Chelsea: What else can we do?

 

Samuel: You should really have all of the facts before you make a decision.

 

Dixie: We do have all of the facts. The fact is he’s not Carl. Carl doesn’t exist.

 

Samuel: The fact is we don’t know who he is and neither does he.

 

Chelsea: Then what do you suggest?

 

Samuel: I suggest you find out who he is.

 

Chelsea: How?

 

Samuel: By looking through newspapers about the time he showed up here. Possibly searching through missing persons bulletins, etc.

 

Camille: That’s a good idea. Let’s split up our search. I will take the library and go through old newspapers.

 

Chelsea: I will check with the police for missing persons bulletins.

 

Dixie: I will check the post office.

 

Camille: The post office?

 

Dixie: You know, where they post the board with the help wanted people.

 

Camille: That is most wanted and those are criminals, not dates.

 

Dixie: Oh. I thought some of them were kind of cute.

 

Chelsea: You are desperate, aren’t you?

 

Camille: We’ll work on it. Thanks for the advice, Samuel.

 

Samuel: Not at all.

 

Chelsea: And thanks for keeping our secret.

 

Samuel: You’re welcome. Let me know what you find out.

 

{The girls scurry from the table and go off stage. Samuel goes back to the counter. Jack and Carl come in dressed in mechanic clothes talking cars. Carl holds back a bit.}

 

Jack: {Motioning to Carl} Come on in.

 

Carl: Is that, you know, girl gone?

 

Jack: Oh, the female piranha? Yes, Dixie’s gone. I thought you would be safe from her advances, being her cousin and all, but I suppose no one is.

 

Carl: {Comes in, looks around.} I’ll just go wash up.

 

{Jack goes to a table and sits down. Sherrie brings over some glasses of water.}

Sherrie: So, how’s it going, Jack?

 

Jack: Better every day. For someone who was a mechanic he must have forgotten everything he ever knew along with his memory. It’s like we’re starting from scratch.

 

Sherrie: He’s not a great mechanic, huh?

 

Jack: I’m not saying that. I teach him something and it takes him just a bit to get it, but once he does, he doesn’t forget. And he’s learning faster and faster every day. I’ll tell you, he’s one great guy and he’s going to be a good mechanic too. It’s just you can’t learn it all overnight.

 

{Carl comes back in and sits at the table with Jack.}

 

Sherrie: So, what can I get you guys?

 

Carl: I’ll take the Gas-N-Grill Super Special with a chocolate milkshake.

 

Jack: I’ll take the same with a caramel milkshake.

 

{Sherrie leaves with the order and Carl’s eyes follow her. Jack notices.}

 

Jack: Do you like her?

 

Carl: {A bit embarrassed that Jack noticed.} Yes.

 

Jack: Why don’t you ask her out?

 

Carl: Because then I have to go to her apartment and my cousin makes me uncomfortable.

 

Jack: Tell me about it. Just pick her up from here.

 

Carl: From here?

 

Jack: Just take her on a walk down by the river. Walk her home at night, but take the scenic route. You don’t have to go anyplace special to have a wonderful time. She might be more comfortable with that anyway.

 

Carl: That sounds like a good idea.

 

{Sherrie comes back with their food.}

 

Sherrie: Two Gas-N-Grill Super Specials, one with a chocolate shake and one with a caramel shake.

 

Carl: {Touching Sherrie’s arm, shyly as she is about to leave.} Uh, Sherrie. Would you mind if I, um you know, um if I walked you home tonight. Um, maybe by way of the river.

 

Sherrie: {Really embarrassed.} I would like that.

 

{She turns and hurries off stage to the kitchen.}

 

Jack: Boy, you two are a pair. Shy and shyer.

 

{A police officer comes in. It could be a man or a woman.}

 

Officer: {Coming up to the counter and calling.} Mr. Miller, I need to visit with you.

 

Jim: {Coming over to the counter.} What is it, Tom? {or Susan if female.}

 

Officer: I have this for you, signed by Mayor Rosch.

 

Jim: What is it?

 

Officer: It’s an order requiring you shut down your gas station within two days or face fines. I’m really sorry. I don’t agree with the order, but I have to do it as part of my job.

 

Jim: I understand. {The officer leaves. Jim turns to Samuel.} Somehow I didn’t think he would go through with it.

 

Sherrie: {Coming in.} What is it, Uncle Jim?

 

Jim: We just got the order to shut down within two days.

 

Samuel: That mayor didn’t let the grass grow under his feet. I really think you should fight it.

 

Jim: I don’t have the money to fight.

 

{Jack and Carl come over.}

 

Jack: What’s going on, Dad?

 

Jim: Oh that law the mayor passed.

 

Jack: What law?

 

Samuel: The one that says there cannot be a gas station within 117 feet of the river. He chose 117 feet since your uncle’s gas station is at 112 feet and the mayor’s is at 130 feet. It’s a lowdown, underhanded, sneakin’ weasel move to try to eliminate competition! Why, I saw his employees out measuring the distances to the river before the law was passed.

 

Jim: Without the gas station I will have to close the restaurant.

 

Carl: It’s illegal to pass a law that targets one entity over another.

 

{They all stare at him.}

 

Jim: How do you know that?

 

Carl: {Looking like he’s trying to remember, yet startled at himself.} I don’t know. I just know that is the law.

 

Jim: What can I do?

 

Carl: Have you cross referenced the laws in the state law library? State law trumps city law.

 

{They all stare at him again.}

 

Jack: How do you know all that?

 

Carl: {Looking as if some memory is coming back.} I don’t know how I know. I just remember it from somewhere.

 

Jim: What do I do? I don’t have the money to hire a lawyer.

 

Carl: What if I went to the library every day for a few hours and researched it? I could get copies of the law books through interlibrary loan, and check out the measurements.

 

Sherrie: Can I help?

 

Carl: Sure. I could use some help doing the measuring and looking through the law books.

 

Sherrie: When do we start?

 

Carl: I’ll get started right after work.

 

Jack: If you think it will do any good why don’t you take a bit of time off work.

 

Samuel: And I know someone that can work for Sherrie so she can help you.

 

Everyone: {Ad libbed} Who?

 

{Samuel smiles as the lights fade.}

 

 

Act I Scene 5

 

{When the lights come up Samuel is dressed with an apron and other waitress items and is waiting on tables. Dixie, Camille, and Chelsea come in. They slide into a booth and start giggling at Samuel.}

 

Dixie: Why Sherrie, you’ve changed!

 

Chelsea: If it weren’t for the apron I wouldn’t have recognized you at all.

 

Camille: Is this the new you?

 

Samuel: All right, all right. Laugh all you want. Just make sure you leave an extra tip for the side show humor.

 

{The girls all laugh.}

 

Camille: That’s what I like about you, Samuel. You’ve never grown old.

 

Samuel: You mean I’ve never grown up. {The girls all laugh.} Maybe being high school janitor all those years around you young people kept me young too.

 

Chelsea: Well, you make a good waiter, {Then, looking at the apron.} or waitress, or whatever.

 

Samuel: Let’s see how good I am. Dixie, you’ll want a root beer float? Cherry seven-up for Camille? And last but not least, cheese on rye with an orange soda for you, Chelsea?

 

{The girls all look shocked.}

 

Camille: How did you know?

 

Samuel: You order the same thing every time you come in. I think you have almost since kindergarten.

 

Chelsea: Make mine cheese on cracked wheat then.

 

{They all laugh as Samuel goes off for their order.}

 

Samuel: {Yelling into the back} Freda, the three stooges will have their regular but on cracked wheat instead of rye. {Then coming back down by the girls} Any luck on finding out who Carl really is?

 

Camille: Nothing in the newspapers at the library.

Dixie: Nothing at the post office.

 

Chelsea: One thing in the police report. It seems there was an escape of three prisoners from the regional penitentiary.

 

Samuel: Yes?

 

Chelsea: They captured two of them, but the third is still missing.

 

Samuel: Where were they captured?

 

Chelsea: Almost 500 miles from here.

 

Samuel: Any word on the third one?

 

Chelsea: The other two said they got in a fight and left him by the side of the road.

 

Camille: Do you think that maybe Carl really knows who he is, but is just playing along to avoid his past?

 

Dixie: {Starting to panic.} Maybe he staged the whole thing.

 

Samuel: Calm down, girls. How easy is it to beat yourself into a concussion?

 

{The girls all look at each other feeling a bit silly.}

 

Dixie: But you don’t think, you know, that we…

 

Camille: You don’t think Sherrie is in danger with Carl, do you?

 

Samuel: You know, girls, I think a person is what he is no matter what environment you put him in. I don’t think there are any criminal tendencies in Carl’s nature. I think we’ll find that Carl was not the third criminal. I may be wrong, but if I thought Sherrie was in any danger I would put a stop to this right now.

 

Camille: What do we do?

 

Samuel: First we need to get a picture of that escaped convict for our own peace of mind, plus a little more about him and what he did.

 

Chelsea: The picture’s on its way. They said they’d get a picture of him in at the police station for me, but they’re getting very curious as to why I’m asking.

 

Samuel: As for continuing our search, I think our focus is too small. We need to look in newspapers that have statewide or regional readership. Have any of you searched that Internet thing? How about that? And at the police station, did you ask for nationwide missing persons or just regional?

 

Chelsea: I never even thought to ask for a difference.

 

Samuel: I would bet money they only gave you a regional listing.

 

Chelsea: We’ll try again.

 

{Samuel goes off to get their order. Sherrie and Carl come in carrying a lot of books and plop down at one of the tables and start thumbing through them.}

 

Dixie: Hey, I thought you’d already graduated.

 

Sherrie: Very funny.

 

Camille: What are you doing?

 

Carl: We are trying to find a way that Mr. Miller can turn his gas pumps back on.

 

{Samuel comes back in with the order and joins the conversation.}

Samuel: One thing about it, since the law kicked in a week ago the mayor has shown his true colors. He already jacked the price on his gas pumps up 30 cents a gallon. But did you see the signs I put over James’s pumps? They’ll tell people whose fault…

 

Mayor: {Coming in carrying a big sign that says “These gas pumps shut off by law passed by city council under Mayor Rosch. Call 315-7124 to complain.} Who put these signs up that say, “These gas pumps shut off by law passed by city council under Mayor Rosch. Call 315-7124.”

 

Samuel: That would be me.

 

Mayor: How dare you put my phone number on these?

 

Samuel: Are you not the one that got the law passed?

 

Mayor: Well, yes, kind of.

 

Samuel: Then if someone has a complaint who should they call?

 

Mayor: Not me!

 

Samuel: Why not you?

 

Mayor: You’re missing the point here.

 

Samuel: And what point is that?

 

Mayor: These signs make it look like it’s my fault.

 

Samuel: And it isn’t?

 

Mayor: You are the ones that have your gas station so close to the river. I am just trying to fulfil my job as Mayor and protect this city. One of my jobs is to watch over the environment. I want to be known as the environment mayor.

 

Samuel: With that much bull you could run a hundred thousand acre cattle ranch. It hasn’t hurt you any being the only station in town, has it? And why didn’t you make the law so it was say, 130, feet? Were you afraid your pumps might be shut down?

 

Mayor: The point is that you cannot legally put my phone number up.

 

Carl: There is nothing illegal about putting your phone number up when it’s listed and it’s you people should call. However, there is something illegal about coming onto someone’s property and taking down signs that don’t belong to you. I think the legal term is vandalism.

 

Mayor: I don’t deal with punk kids.

 

{The mayor storms out pushing by Carl.}

 

Carl: We’ll see.

 

Samuel: That mayor makes me so mad I almost feel like running against him for mayor. If I wasn’t so old I would.

 

Carl: Is he up for election this year?

 

Samuel: Yes, but no one is running against him.

 

Carl: I think I might.

 

Samuel: I’d vote for you.

 

Sherrie: Me too. And I’d help you campaign.

 

Dixie: {Flirtatiously} Me too.

 

Carl: {A bit embarrassed.} Let’s get back at it.

 

{Carl and Sherrie go back to their table and go to work. Samuel joins them.}

 

Samuel: Any luck yet?

 

Carl: Not yet. I got these copies from the state law library on laws regarding rivers and streams and the environment. I’m hoping they will give us something to go on.

 

Sherrie: It just seems so unfair since Uncle Jim just put in that new set of pumps on the south with those new government approved tanks.

 

Carl: What did you say?

 

Sherrie: I said it doesn’t seem fair.

 

Carl: No the other part.

 

Sherrie: Oh. Only about two years ago Uncle Jim put new pumps on the south side of the restaurant and put in new government approved tanks to meet the new regulations.

 

Carl: But that would mean the tanks and pumps on the south and the tanks and pumps on the north are on different systems.

 

Sherrie: Yes.

 

Carl: That’s it.

 

Samuel: I’m not following you.

 

Carl: When Sherrie and I did the measurement the 117 foot mark ran right through the middle of the restaurant. We could shut down all of the pumps on the north and leave the pumps on the south on and still be within the law.

 

Samuel: I’ll go tell Jim. Let’s get them turned back on.

 

{Samuel exits.}

 

Sherrie: Then we don’t need to go through these books.

 

Carl: I’d still like to go through them to see if we can find anything else.

 

Camille: Can I help?

 

Dixie and Chelsea: {Ad libbed.} I can help too.

 

Carl: Sure. Each of you take a book.

 

{He could hand the books to Camille and Chelsea and then use the one for Dixie to push her away.}

 

Chelsea: What are we looking for?

 

Carl: I’m not sure. Anything that will tell us something about the river laws, petroleum products, etc.

 

{They start to study the books. Samuel even comes over to get one to study. They study them some of them flipping pages quite rapidly, others reading a bit more intent. They study for just a minute when the mayor comes in with the police officer and Samuel gets up to greet them.}

 

Mayor: I want to talk to Mr. Miller.

 

Samuel: What about?

 

Mayor: That is between me, Mr. Miller, and the police.

 

{Samuel goes off stage and yells into the kitchen.}

 

Samuel: James, Mayor Dipwad is back.

 

{James comes on.}

 

James: Can I help you Mayor?

 

Mayor: We have a writ here to have you shut down since I noticed you turned your pumps back on in opposition to the law.

 

Samuel: And the cars are already lined up out there for a block, considering you raised your gas prices 30 cents per gallon.

 

Mayor: The point is you are breaking the law.

 

Carl: No, we aren’t. You see, the 117 foot mark runs right through the middle of the restaurant so the pumps on the south are outside the 117 foot mark.

 

Mayor: But the ones on the north aren’t.

 

Carl: No, but they are tied to a different pump and a different system. That’s why they are shut down.

 

Mayor: The law says any station within 117 feet of the river can’t be running.

 

Carl: The law says any gas pumps within 117 feet of the river.

 

Mayor: I don’t deal with punk kids. {To the police officer.} I expect you to do something.

 

Police Officer: Ok. {He/she rips up the writ and tosses it.} I guess we won’t need this. {Tipping his/her hat.} Have a nice day folks. {He/She smiles and exits.}

 

Mayor: But, but…

 

{Mayor starts to leave and is stopped by Carl.}

 

Carl: By the way. I’ll be stopping by later today. I’d like to pick up a form to run for mayor.

 

Mayor: Ooh. Scary.

 

{The mayor exits. Everyone gathers around Carl.}

 

Samuel: Are you really going to do it?

 

Carl: Sure. Why not? I’ve got a feeling I’ve always wanted to do something like this. I think it would be fun.

 

Samuel: Let’s hear it for Carl Howard. Next mayor of Middleton. Hip, hip…

 

Everyone: Hooray!

 

Samuel: Hip, hip…

 

Everyone: Hooray!

 

Samuel: Hip, hip…

 

Everyone: Hooray!

 

{Dixie gets up putting her arm on his shoulder like she is flirting again.}

 

Carl: {Embarrassed.} All right, enough already. Let’s get back to the books.

 

Dixie: I think I need another book. This one is just full of stupid definitions.

 

Carl: Like what?

 

Dixie: What constitutes a river or a stream. That kind of stuff. All useless things.

 

Carl: {Getting excited.} Can I see that?

 

Dixie: Sure, be my guest.

 

Carl: {Scanning and then reading.} Yes! Yes! This is it! This is what I was looking for! “A river’s boundary is defined to be the point of average high water, with the average being based on the previous five years.” I thought that might be the case. {Thinking momentarily then turning to James. He goes to walk past Dixie who sits up and smiles. He stops and goes around the other side of the table and goes up to the counter to talk to James.} Mr. Miller, you know how the river swings a bit to the south by that pasture that runs to the base of the hill near where the mayor’s gas station is?

 

James: Yes.

 

Carl: Does the water ever flood into that field?

 

James: Every spring.

 

Carl: Do you know where I can get hold of a surveyor?

James: I have one that owes us money for a car repair. I’m sure he’d be glad to trade some work for the bill.

 

Samuel: What scheme are you hatching?

 

Carl: It’s not a scheme, but I have an idea based on facts. I will have to check the past five years’ water levels in the state statistics and have a survey done, but I think the mayor’s gas station might be breaking the law.

 

{Everyone starts to laugh and chatter among themselves as if this is an interesting turn of events. Carl rubs his head. Sherrie and Samuel notice.}

 

Sherrie: Another headache?

 

Carl: Yes, but I’ll be ok.

 

{Lights fade.}

 

 

Act I Scene 6

 

{Samuel is putting up a sign that says: Vote “Carl Howard for an HONEST Mayor.” Sherrie is waiting tables. Carl comes in.}

 

Carl: That looks good, Samuel.

 

Samuel: Thanks.

 

Sherrie: How did it go at the police station?

 

Carl: I went down and filed the complaint about the mayor’s gas station breaking the law and explained it all to them and you should’ve heard the laughter. They said they would go tell him right away. I saw an officer walk in over at the mayor’s gas station and if my calculations are correct the mayor should be coming over here any…

 

{The mayor comes storming in carrying the writ.}

 

Mayor: Whose idea was this?

 

Samuel: What are you talking about?

 

Mayor: The police just came and informed me my gas station was breaking the law.

 

Carl: Yes. You see the definition of a river is the high water mark, determined by the average high water of the last five years. In checking that out we found out the high water mark is in that field just below where your station is. Why, did you know that every bit of the land where your station sits is at least 20 feet within the 117 foot distance from the river?

 

Samuel: {in a very sarcastic tone.} Now mayor, aren’t you glad we found out you were so close to the river so you can shut off your pumps to protect the environment? That way you can be known as the environment mayor. Stupid mayor but environment mayor.

 

Mayor: Very funny. I will not stand for this. You cannot shut me down.

 

Samuel: We didn’t. You shut yourself down.

 

Mayor: The law will be repealed.

 

Samuel: You know a repeal takes a full year.

 

Mayor: Then I’ll take it to court.

 

Samuel: Oh, that will look good. You’re going to court to fight a law you introduced and railroaded through. The media will love this.

 

Mayor: I’ll find a way. {To Carl.} And let me tell you one more thing. I’m going to kick your tail in this election.

 

Carl: {Imitating mayor.} Ooh. Scary.

 

{The mayor storms out.}

 

Samuel: He will find a way to get his pumps back on you know.

 

Carl: I’m sure.

 

{Carl rubs his head.}

 

Sherrie: Still having the headaches?

 

Carl: Yes. But it’s not anything I can’t handle. Right now we need to concentrate on the election.

 

Samuel: Speaking of the election. I hope you won’t mind, but I have set up an opportunity for you to speak at the Elks Club Dinner and Dance.

 

Carl: What’s that?

 

Samuel: It’s about the most lavish affair in the area. Very formal, for Elks club members and their wives.

 

Carl: Can I take a date?

 

Samuel: It would be expected.

 

Carl: Sherrie will you go with me?

 

Sherrie: But Carl, I’ve never been to anything that formal. I’m not sure I would know how to act.

 

Carl: As far as I can remember, I haven’t been, either. I’m just not sure I can do all of this without you.

 

Sherrie: But I…

 

Carl: You see, Sherrie, I…

 

{He pauses and looks at Samuel, who is enjoying this and has been coming up closer to hear the conversation, and then Carl clears his throat. Samuel realizes what he’s saying.}

 

Samuel: You know, I really need to go visit with James a minute.

 

{Samuel exits.}

 

Carl: {Leads her to a booth by the lover’s Wall.} Sherrie, I really need you. When you’re with me I really feel I can do anything. That’s why I ran for mayor. Having you with me helps me think I can win, and even if I don’t, there’s more important things than that.

 

Sherrie: {Eyeing the wall.} You know, over the years I have watched those in love come in and put their initials on this wall. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have someone like that in my life.

 

Carl: This wall?

 

Sherrie: Yes. Uncle James put up this wall and has invited every couple to put their initials on it. Over the years I’ve seen everyone’s up there but mine. It’s fun to see some of these couples went on to get married. See, this one is Ed Hale and Mary Jensen, E H and M J. They are now married and have two little children. Even Uncle Jim put his and Aunt Edna. See, J M and E M. They were already married at the time. Oh, and look at this one crossed out.

 

Carl: Who is that?

 

Sherrie: {laughing} It’s Dixie and Jack.

 

Carl: Jack put him and Dixie up there?

 

Sherrie: No, Dixie did. Jack found out. That’s why it’s erased.

 

{They both laugh.}

 

Carl: Maybe it can be us up there some day.

 

Sherrie: Maybe. But I don’t want my initials up there until I know they won’t be erased.

 

Carl: Then go with me to the Elks Club dinner and be with me through this campaign.

 

Sherrie: {Smiles.} All right.

 

{He takes her hand and they smile shyly at each other as the lights fade.}

 

 

Act I Scene 7

 

{The first part of this scene is to give Carl and Sherrie time to get dressed. Samuel is sitting at the counter. Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille come in and sit at a table. Samuel goes over to the table where they are. }

 

Samuel: Still haven’t found out anything?

 

Chelsea: Nothing for sure.

 

Samuel: Sooner or later we’ve got to find out. We’ve got to know who he is.

 

Dixie: He and Sherrie are getting very serious.

 

Samuel: Chelsea, did you ever get a picture from the police on the missing convict?

 

Chelsea: Yes, and it was a fax and you can’t tell a thing from it, but I don’t think it’s Carl. I’m not getting a whole lot of cooperation from the police and they are beginning to ask me more questions than I’m asking them.

 

Samuel: What about the missing persons on the Internet?

 

Dixie: We’ve been searching that, but do you know how many people are listed?

 

Samuel: Can’t you do some sort of search to narrow it down by age or something?

 

Dixie: I searched for all nineteen year olds and he wasn’t among them.

 

Samuel: Why nineteen year olds?

 

Dixie: Because he’s nineteen.

 

Samuel: Who told you that?

 

Camille: We heard Carl tell Jack.

 

Samuel: Oh, and what else have you heard that will help us?

 

Dixie: His birthday is December 15th.

 

Camille: He was born in Stokerville.

 

Chelsea: He grew up most of his life in…

 

Samuel: {Laughing and interrupting.} Weston. His parents were killed in an automobile accident when he was sixteen so he got his own apartment and started fixing cars for a living.

 

{The girls looked stunned as Samuel laughs harder so he can’t continue.}

 

Dixie: You’re right. How did you know?

 

{Samuel laughs harder.}

 

Chelsea: And what’s so funny?

 

Samuel: Girls. Girls. Listen to me. Carl can’t remember anything about his past. Where do you think he got all of this?

 

Dixie: We’re not sure, but…

 

Samuel: He got it from Sherrie and where did Sherrie get it?

 

Chelsea: {Embarrassed} From us.

 

Samuel: Yes. That means the facts you have been using to search for him have been facts you made up. It’s no wonder some of you got D’s in your math class.

 

Chelsea: D plus.

 

Camille: C minus.

 

Samuel: {Mocking the Mayor} Ooh, scary. We really need to know what his past life was. I would suppose he is between 18 and 30 and that’s about all you can suppose.

 

Chelsea: I did find out some more about that escaped convict.

 

Samuel: Go on.

 

Chelsea: He was an accountant and…

Samuel: And?

 

Chelsea: {Looking around to make sure no one is listening.} And a lawyer!

 

Samuel: {Loudly} A lawyer?

 

Chelsea: {Trying to hush him.} Shh. Yes.

 

Samuel: So you think that might be why Carl seems to understand the law and had an idea where to look in the law books?

 

Camille: We just think it might be a possibility.

 

Samuel: What was he convicted of?

 

Chelsea: Embezzlement.

 

Samuel: Even if Carl was the convict I still don’t feel he would hurt anyone. And embezzlement is just theft, nothing dangerous.

 

Dixie: But it is still stealing.

 

Samuel: But we don’t know anything for sure.

 

Camille: No. But perhaps it’s time we told somebody.

 

Samuel: Like who?

 

Dixie: Sherrie, Jack, the police. We don’t know.

 

Samuel: But what if he isn’t the convict?

 

Chelsea: But what if he is the convict?

 

Samuel: Let’s suppose Carl does steal something. Let’s suppose he steals my wallet with every bit of money I own. It’s just money. But if you get people to thinking Carl is an escaped convict and it’s false you will have stolen something more important. You will have stolen his good name. That is something you can never return.

 

Camille: Samuel’s right. We can’t say anything unless we know for sure.

 

{All nod in agreement.}

 

Chelsea: There is one other thing.

 

Samuel: Yes.

 

Chelsea: Some guy came around our apartment the other day asking questions about Carl.

 

Samuel: Who was he?

 

Dixie: We asked him and he was reluctant to tell us. We eventually found out he was a private investigator hired by the mayor.

 

Samuel: So the mayor’s trying to dig up stuff on Carl, is he? That’s good. That means he’s getting scared.

 

Dixie: Remember how he’s supposed to be my cousin? The investigator is planning to visit with my parents. They won’t even know who Carl is.

 

Samuel: That’s not good.

 

Dixie: If the investigator finds out who Carl is at least we’ll all know.

 

Samuel: But if the mayor finds out before we do we will have lost control of the situation. We don’t have any idea how he would break the news to Carl. We’ve got to find out first. Do you know how much he knows?

 

Chelsea: While I was down at the police station the investigator came in asking some of the same questions I was. When he noticed me he asked what I was doing at the police station.

 

Samuel: What did you tell him?

 

Chelsea: I said I was renewing my driver’s license and I left.

 

Samuel: He’s bound to find out that was a lie since the police and the driver’s license bureau are not even in the same building. He probably already knows by now that we are also trying to find out about Carl.

 

{Carl comes in with Jack. Carl is dressed in a nice suit. He looks good and Dixie just stares.}

 

Carl: Well, how do I look?

 

Samuel: Like a million dollars, wouldn’t you say, girls? {The girls just stare. Samuel clears his throat.} Wouldn’t you say Carl looks great?

 

Girls (ad libbed): Oh yes!

 

Jack: Where’s Sherrie?

 

Dixie: She’s almost ready.

 

Camille: We’ll go see if she needs any more help.

 

{The girls slip off stage. They might have to drag Dixie.}

 

Samuel: Do you have a ride to the dinner?

 

Carl: Yes. Jack loaned me his truck.

 

Jack: It’s the least I could do.

 

Samuel: That’s nice, Jack. I know how much that truck means to you.

 

{Sherrie comes in wearing a beautiful dress, minus the glasses, hair fixed up and is gorgeous. All the men pause to stare. She is followed by the others. Finally Samuel or Jack nudge Carl. Carl steps forward and gives her some flowers Jack hands to him.}

 

Carl: You look beautiful.

 

Sherrie: {Shyly} Thank you. You’re very handsome.

 

Carl: Thank you.

 

Jack: Hey, let’s get a picture. Dad, can you grab the camera? Let’s have Sherrie sit and Carl stand behind her.

 

{Jack reaches for a chair that is by him just as Dixie goes to sit in it so she can be next to Jack. Jack doesn’t see she is going to sit in it and pulls it over for Sherrie to sit in. Dixie falls flat on the floor. Everyone turns to stare at Dixie who jumps up in a bit of a snit.}

 

Dixie: You did that on purpose.

 

Jack: Did what?

 

Dixie: You took my chair and you moved it over there.

 

Jack: No, but if I had thought of it I would have.

 

Dixie: That is no way to talk to a lady.

 

Jack: The next time I’m talking to one I’ll remember that.

 

{Dixie throws back her head and gives Jack a shove. The other girls are giggling. Jim comes over with the camera and gets ready to take the picture while Jack is posing them. The two of them act a bit shy.}

 

Jim: All right you two, act like you know each other.

 

{Carl puts his arm around Sherrie and she responds by putting her hand on his or something that shows she likes him. Jim snaps the picture. Carl gets Sherrie’s coat and helps her put it on. Carl rubs his head.}

 

Sherrie: Are you ok?

 

Carl: Yes. It’s just these darn headaches I keep getting. It’s not a big deal. Anyway, should we be off.

 

Samuel: Good luck on your talk. {As they are exiting} They a cute couple. A real cute couple.

 

{They exit as the lights fade.}

 

Act I Scene 8

 

{When the lights come up Samuel and Camille are sitting there.}

 

Samuel: Where’s Dixie and Chelsea? It’s election night.

 

Camille: Dixie said her parents called her. She said she had to get back hold of them and Chelsea got a call from the police station.

 

Samuel: I hope nothing is wrong.

 

Camille: I think it might have something to do with Carl.

 

Samuel: I’ll tell you, he’s acted like a real gentleman throughout this whole campaign, both in the ads and to Sherrie.

 

{Carl comes in with Sherrie. Jack and James have a radio on the counter and are listening to it.}

 

Carl: Hello, everyone. I guess this is the big day. Win or lose, we find out tonight.

 

Samuel: Let’s hear it for Carl Howard, the next mayor of Middleton.

 

{Everyone cheers.}

 

Carl: We’ll see. The polls were showing a fairly tight race.

 

Jim: I hear the polls were paid for by the mayor.

 

Samuel: That would mean you couldn’t believe them any more than you can believe anything else he says.

 

{Everyone laughs.}

 

Jack: The precincts closed a little while ago. The results should be coming in any minute.

 

{Carl starts leading Sherrie over to the lover’s Wall as Chelsea comes in and runs to the table where Samuel and Camille are.}

 

Chelsea: I’ve got good news.

 

Samuel: Yes?

 

Chelsea: The third convict has been caught.

 

Samuel: Oh good. That means Carl is clear.

 

Camille: So who is Carl?

 

Carl: {Now at the lover’s Wall.} Sherrie, I’ve got something I want to show you.

 

{Everyone else seems involved in what they are doing.}

 

Sherrie: What?

 

{Carl points at the wall. He could have something covering part of the wall and pull it off for her to see.}

 

Sherrie: C H and S M.

 

Carl: It’s for us. And I have a special question I want to ask. {He reaches in his pocket and pulls out a ring.} Sherrie, I have enjoyed these last months together and I don’t want them to end. {He kneels.} Will you marry me?

 

Sherrie: Of course I will.

 

{He puts the ring on her finger then stands up and she throws her arms around him.}

 

Carl: Everyone, I have an announcement to make. First I want say that, win or lose, a man couldn’t have any better friends than those that are in this room tonight. {Everyone claps and pats each other on the back.} Second, I have just asked Sherrie Miller to be Mrs. Carl Howard.

 

{Everyone cheers. Congratulations are ad libbed.}

 

Jack: It’s about time, I would say.

 

Samuel: Let’s hear it for Sherrie Miller, the next first lady of Middleton.

 

{Everyone cheers again and Sherrie looks a bit shy. Camille and Chelsea can get up and run give her hugs. As everything starts to settle down Dixie comes running in and goes to Samuel.}

 

Dixie: {Out of breath.} I just found out who Carl is.

 

Samuel: {In all of the noise.} What?

 

Dixie: {Yelling} I just found out who Carl is.

 

Jack: {Holding up the radio or pointing to a TV.} Here comes the announcement.

 

Radio (or TV) Announcer (off stage): With the results finally in, the race for mayor wasn’t even close like the polls showed. The results show Carl Howard winning by a margin of 79% to 20% for incumbent Mayor Rosch.

 

{The place breaks into cheers. People are hugging each other. Samuel grabs Dixie and pulls her downstage.}

 

Samuel: So who is he?

 

Dixie: That’s what I’m trying to tell everyone. The mayor’s investigator found out who he was and…

 

{The Mayor comes in and everyone grows quiet as he goes to Carl.}

 

Mayor: I suppose congratulations are in order, Carl Howard. I suppose Carl Howard won the election. But considering there is no Carl Howard, I guess the election becomes null and void.

 

Carl: What are you talking about?

 

Mayor: Your name is David Tanner. Someone has fabricated who you are.

 

Carl: {Looking at everyone then back at the mayor.} You’re lying.

 

Mayor: I’m not. And in fact I have your mother here. {or “parents here” if there is someone to play the father.}

 

{Mrs. Tanner comes in. (If another male actor is available Mr. Tanner could come in as well and the Mayor could rephrase his remark accordingly.) Mrs. Tanner runs to Carl (now David) and throws her arms around him.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: Oh, David. We thought you were dead and to find you’re alive.

 

{Carl (David) pulls away from her and backs away. He looks at everyone then turns and runs off stage.}

 

Sherrie: Carl!

 

{She runs after him, followed by Mrs. Tanner (and Mr. Tanner if there is one) ,

then Camille, Chelsea, and Dixie call after Sherrie and run after her. Mayor Rosch sits there and grins as Samuel glares at him and Jack and James look on in disbelief.}

 

Intermission (if desired)

 

Act II Scene 1

 

{Sherrie is cleaning tables and Samuel is at the counter. Carl, now David, walks in.}

Sherrie: Carl! Or should I call you David?

 

Carl: Just call me Carl. I don’t understand David.

 

Sherrie: I’ve been so worried about you.

 

Carl: I just wanted to be alone for a while. I needed to have some time to think.

 

Sherrie: I’m sorry. This is all my fault.

 

Carl: No, it isn’t. Camille, Dixie, and Chelsea found me and explained the whole thing.

 

Sherrie: Yes. They explained it to me, too. But, Carl, I was the one that assumed you were my date. I should have realized no one would really set me up with as nice a guy as you.

 

Carl: {Going to her and taking her in his arms.} My feelings for you have not changed.

 

Sherrie: What about your parents? And your mother said you had a fiancée back home.

 

Carl: I still can’t remember any of that. But this woman that says she’s my mother wants me to go to a specialist in the city today to see if they can help me get my memory back.

 

Sherrie: That is exciting news.

 

Carl: I’m not sure I want my memory back.

 

Sherrie: Why not?

 

Carl: I’m happy here. I don’t remember that life. Maybe I wasn’t happy there.

 

Sherrie: I don’t understand why. You had just finished your law degree. Your father is Lieutenant Governor of Virginia {or any Eastern state can be substituted}.

 

Carl: But what was I doing clear out here when I got beaten and robbed?

 

Sherrie: I don’t know.

 

Carl: I must have been running away from something.

 

Sherrie: But you’ll never know what unless you get your memory back.

 

Carl: I will only do it if you promise to be with me.

 

Sherrie: I promise I will be there as long as you want me to be.

 

{Mrs. Tanner come in.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: David, I’m here to take you to your appointment.

 

Carl: Will you quit calling me David?

 

Mrs. Tanner: But son, that’s your name.

 

Carl: And don’t call me son. I have to get used to this. Just call me Carl for now.

 

{Sherrie gets up and goes to the counter. She and Samuel can be looking at each other with their expressions telling what they are thinking.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: I suppose I can for now. Let’s be on our way. It’s a three hour drive.

Carl: Sherrie’s coming with us.

 

Mrs. Tanner: We don’t need her tagging along.

 

Carl: Then you can just go without me.

 

Mrs. Tanner: Now, David.

 

Carl: Who?

 

Mrs. Tanner: Carl, you are our son and you go if I say.

 

Carl: First off, if what you’ve told me is true, I’m 26 so I will make my own decisions anyway. And second off, how do I really know I’m your son? I don’t know you from Adam. Well, maybe Adam, but not Eve. So why do you think I will just go around doing what you tell me?

 

Sherrie: {Bringing up a shake as if trying to diffuse the situation a bit.} How about a chocolate shake for good luck?

 

Carl: That sounds great.

 

Mrs. Tanner: Not in our car, you won’t.

 

Carl: I guess I will have to just eat it before we go.

 

{Carl starts to eat it slowly making sounds of ooh and ah at how good it is while Mrs. Tanner keeps looking at her watch, tapping the table, tapping her foot, and anything else she can do to show her impatience.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: Can’t you eat it any faster than that?

 

Carl: A chocolate shake should be savored. Every last bite.

 

Mrs. Tanner: I never allowed such horrible food in my home.

 

Carl: {Continuing to eat slowly.} It’s a good thing we’re not there.

 

Mrs. Tanner: All right! All right! You can eat it in the car, but no spilling. {Carl clears his throat and nods toward Sherrie.} And you can bring that girl with you, too.

 

{She turns and stomps off stage. Sherrie looks at the tables and then at Samuel, who catches her eye.}

 

Sherrie: Uh, Samuel, would you mind…

 

Samuel: You go on. I’ll take care of things here.

 

{Sherrie runs and gives Samuel a hug.}

 

Sherrie: Thanks Samuel.

 

{Carl and Sherrie exit. The lights fade.}

 

 

Act II Scene 2

 

{The lights come up and Samuel in the apron is bussing tables. Sherrie comes in and flops down exhausted.}

Samuel: So, what did the doctor have to say?

 

Sherrie: In the x-ray the doctors found a small bone fragment pressing against the part of the brain where Carl is having headaches. They are also sure this is what is causing the memory loss. They want to operate to remove it.

 

Samuel: What does Carl think?

 

Sherrie: Who knows? We couldn’t get a word in edgewise to each other all the way here.

 

Samuel: Where is Carl?

 

Sherrie: He’s outside explaining to his mother that he is going to be staying with Jack and Uncle Jim, and not at the hotel with her. I’m not sure she is used to being told no, and Carl is not about to be told what to do by someone he doesn’t know. He is so much like her in some ways it makes me laugh.

 

{Carl comes in very angry.}

 

Carl: That is the most stubborn woman in the world.

 

Sherrie: What did you tell her?

 

Carl: I told her that I would not stay at a hotel with a total stranger. She might mug me or something. Boy, did that make her mad.

 

Sherrie: What did she say to that?

 

Carl: She said I should learn to do what I’m told by my parents.

 

Samuel: Then what did you say?

 

Carl: Nothin’ much. I just asked her who died and left her to be king.

 

Sherrie: It didn’t help that you spilled that chocolate milkshake all over the interior of their car.

 

Carl: If we hadn’t hit that bump in the road at that instant I would have hit her square in the back of the head with it.

 

Sherrie: I thought you’d done that on purpose.

 

Carl: Of course. How do you think the lid got off?

 

{Sherrie looks at Samuel and grins. There is a short pause.}

 

Samuel: So I hear you’re going to need a surgery.

 

Carl: No, and I don’t plan to do it.

 

Samuel: You don’t?

 

Carl: Why should I go back and have that woman run my life?

 

Samuel: Good point.

 

Sherrie: But, Carl, what about your headaches?

 

Carl: I can live with some headaches, but I can’t live with that woman.

Samuel: Speaking of headaches, the mayor, or should I say, former mayor is still trying to figure out how to get the election tossed.

 

Carl: And that reminds me. I need to get my speech ready for the inauguration tomorrow. {To Sherrie} Do you want to come help me?

 

{Samuel goes back to the counter to leave them alone.}

 

Sherrie: I’d love to, but I’d probably better stay here and take over for Samuel.

 

Carl: Ok. But promise me you’ll read through it for me?

 

Sherrie: Sure.

 

{Carl kisses her and exits. Sherrie sits there for a minute as if deep in thought. Samuel notices and sits down.}

 

Samuel: I may be old, but I’m a good listener.

 

Sherrie: {Acting surprised} What?

 

Samuel: I know you well enough to know something is bothering you.

 

Sherrie: Samuel, the doctor said that if they do the surgery and the bone fragment is removed, that part of his brain that has had the pressure on it will take over. The doctor said these last nine months of Carl’s life will only seem like a dream, if he remembers it at all.

 

Samuel: Oh, I see. Then if Carl gets the surgery he will likely not even know you?

 

Sherrie: Right. And further, the doctor says if his brain tries to reconcile both lives it may cause him problems recovering, possibly make him go into some kind of shock.

 

Samuel: Then you don’t want him to have the surgery?

 

Sherrie: I’m not necessarily saying that. I worry about him. Ever since we’ve known him he has had terrible headaches.

 

{Mrs. Tanner comes in and comes over to the table where Sherrie and Samuel are.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: Do you mind if I speak to Miss Miller alone? {Samuel looks at Sherrie and then gets up and starts working on tables or other things. He can even go in the kitchen for part of it but he needs to hear some of the conversation.} Miss Miller, we need to talk about David.

 

Sherrie: Please, call me Sherrie.

 

Mrs. Tanner: All right. Sherrie, David has said he will not get the surgery.

 

Sherrie: That has to be his choice.

 

Mrs. Tanner: I don’t think David is totally thinking straight right now. He doesn’t know what’s best for him.

 

Sherrie: So why are you talking to me about this?

 

Mrs. Tanner: I realize that David has grown to love you. I was hoping you could convince him to have the surgery.

 

Sherrie: But if I do, he may not remember me anymore.

 

Mrs. Tanner: That’s true, but I beg you to consider what is best for David.

 

Sherrie: What will happen to me then? Carl, or David, has asked me to marry him. We were talking of being married on Valentine’s Day.

 

Mrs. Tanner: You have to understand that he has another life. He graduated first in his class from law school. He has a job at the most prestigious law firm on the whole east coast. He has a fiancee from one of the most well-known families. He has everything going for him.

 

Sherrie: But he’s so happy here.

 

Mrs. Tanner: What does he have here?

 

Sherrie: He’s was just elected mayor.

 

Mrs. Tanner: A town of five thousand? He could be mayor of a city of millions.

 

Sherrie: We worked together for months. I read every speech. All of his friends spent hours campaigning for him.

 

Mrs. Tanner: But back home he has a life that some people can only dream of.

 

Sherrie: But here he has a lot of friends.

 

Mrs. Tanner: {Much more subdued.} Out there he has a family that loves him. Please bring him back to us.

 

{There is a short pause.}

 

Sherrie: I need some time to think. I won’t try to convince him of anything until after his inauguration tomorrow. He at least deserves that and so do all of his friends who have worked so hard.

 

Mrs. Tanner: I suppose you do. But please help us get him to have his surgery. You can never know what it’s like to think you’ve lost someone and then find out they’re alive. It’s like he came back from the dead. When the two men who had beaten and mugged him had been found in Las Vegas with his car and told the police they left him dead on the side of the road, you can’t imagine how I hurt. Then to find out he was alive again I was so excited. But since he doesn’t know me, it’s like he died all over again.

 

Sherrie: Unfortunately, I do understand. Let me think about it.

 

{Mrs. Tanner starts to leave and pats Sherrie’s shoulder, the first time she has shown any kindness to Sherrie at all. Then she exits.}

 

Samuel: That’s a tough thing she asked you to do. She’s really asking you to convince Carl to have the surgery and then to walk away. You do realize that, don’t you?

 

Sherrie: Yes. But I’ve got to do what is best for Carl.

 

Samuel: And you think the surgery is the best?

 

Sherrie: I can’t worry about the headaches the rest of his life. And Samuel, he does deserves to have his past restored to him.

Samuel: But in restoring his past, he may lose his present.

 

{There is a short pause as they both think.}

 

Sherrie: Samuel, if he has the surgery, do you think I will ever see him again?

 

Samuel: Sherrie, I have lived long enough and seen enough things that I think events in life seldom happen by chance. I don’t feel Carl was brought here by some roll of a coincidental dice. He’s done a lot of good while he was here. I think if he is to be here again, he will end up back here somehow.

 

{Sherrie nods and puts her head in her hands and starts to cry. Samuel puts his arm around her to comfort her. The lights fade. }

 

Act II Scene 3

 

{As the lights come up, Samuel is waiting the tables. Dixie, Chelsea, and Camille are all there at a table as if waiting. A car sound is heard or Samuel can just run to the door saying, “I heard a car.”

 

Samuel: {On the edge of the stage as if looking off.} Sherrie’s back. Sherrie’s back…

 

{Samuel runs to the door to be off stage to the garage and calls Jack and then to the kitchen to call James. Jack comes on and about passes Dixie then goes another way to avoid her. Sherrie comes in carrying a piece of paper as James also comes on. They all gather around her.}

 

Samuel: So, how did the surgery go?

 

Sherrie: {sadly} It went well. The doctor says he’ll make a full recovery.

 

Dixie: Then why aren’t you still there?

 

Sherrie: I stayed around long enough to say hello as he was coming out of the anesthetic, but when he started recognizing his mother, the doctor thought it would be best if he didn’t have the confusion of two realities.

 

Chelsea: You’re not going to just walk away are you?

 

Sherrie: What else can I do?

 

Camille: You could go back and make sure the reality he knows is the one you’re in.

 

Sherrie: No. Carl, or David, has another life. He has a family. He has a father, a mother. He has {short pause as if trying to get hold of her emotions} a fiancée.

 

Dixie: But I thought you told Carl, uh David, you would always be there for him, for as long as he needed you.

 

Sherrie: That’s the point. He doesn’t need me anymore. {Looking as if she is going to cry.} I better get my apron and get back to work.

 

Chelsea: {Stopping her.} Sherrie, you can’t just walk out of his life.

 

Dixie: Don’t you love him?

 

Sherrie: Sometimes really loving someone is knowing when to let them go. {She leaves to get her apron.}

 

Camille: This is so unfair. For eight or nine months Sherrie’s whole life has been tied to Carl.

 

Dixie: She campaigned for him.

 

Chelsea: She encouraged him when he was discouraged.

 

Camille: She talked him in to having the surgery and if she hadn’t things would have remained the way they were.

 

Samuel: She talked him into having the surgery because she loves him. She loves him enough to do what is best for him, even if it hurts or doesn’t seem the best for her.

 

{Sherrie comes back in with her apron carrying the paper.}

 

Sherrie: Oh, Samuel. I forgot to give this to you. Carl asked me to give it to you. He said you would understand what it is.

 

{Samuel takes the paper and the others look at him questioningly. He reads it and looks a bit perplexed.}

 

Jim: What is it, Samuel?

 

Samuel: It’s a form authorizing me to be acting mayor for the length of time that Carl, or David, is recuperating.

 

Jack: Do the city ordinances allow for that?

 

Samuel: Yes. If the mayor knows he is going to be absent he can appoint an acting mayor, representative or representatives to act in his behalf. This is allowable for up to six months, at which time if the mayor has not returned a new election is scheduled.

 

Jim: What if the mayor didn’t appointed anyone?

 

Samuel: Then by law the senior member of the city council would be the acting mayor until a new vote could be arranged.

 

Chelsea: Whatever happened to Mayor Rosch trying to get the court to invalidate the election?

 

Jack: The paper says the court threw it out because politicians often use nicknames.

 

Jim: Besides, when the mayor realized his term was up and he would not be the mayor even if the election was invalidated, he gave it up.

 

Samuel: So what am I going to do with this?

 

Sherrie: You need to be mayor.

 

Samuel: But I am so old.

 

Sherrie: Age has nothing to do with it.

 

Samuel: What do I know about being mayor?

 

Jim: You know how to treat people and you’ve got good common sense. What more could we ask for?

Samuel: {Looking at the paper.} Carl suggests here that I have Sherrie work with me as my assistant.

 

Sherrie: Me, but I…

 

Samuel: Carl would want it that way.

 

Jim: Yes, Sherrie, Carl would want it that way.

 

Samuel: You know the things Carl was elected on better than anyone here.

 

Sherrie: But I’m so young.

 

Samuel: Did someone just tell me age had nothing to do with it or what? Either you’re in or I’m out.

 

Sherrie: All right. It’s just going to be that every time I do I will think about… {She pauses as if her heart will break.}

 

Chelsea: {Grabbing her hand.} Sherrie, I’m sorry. I wish we had never played that April Fools’ joke on you.

 

Sherrie: I’m not.

 

Dixie, Camille and Chelsea {ad libbed}[*:*] You’re not?

 

Sherrie: No. Because of you I met a wonderful man, felt love that I had never felt before. For a brief moment I was something more. Something more than just a waitress or just another girl. I was something more than I had ever been because I meant something to somebody. No. I wouldn’t give up having known Carl for all of the heartbreak in the world.

 

{Sherrie wipes her eyes on her apron and exits.}

 

Jack: What do we do now?

 

Samuel: Like I told Sherrie. I have always felt that things in life very seldom happen by chance. It’s hard to believe Carl, or David just happened to come into our lives. The only thing we can really do is see what the future brings.

 

{The lights fade.}

 

Act II Scene 4

 

{The lights come up and Sherrie is busy cleaning. She is back to her old self, with the glasses, hair pulled back, and very plain looking. Chelsea, Camille, and Dixie come in carrying a cake and singing “Happy Valentine’s To You” to “Happy Birthday”. Sherrie tries to act cheerful.}

 

Chelsea: We thought you could use some cheering up today.

 

Dixie: So we brought you a cake.

 

Camille: And you can eat it, too, because we didn’t make it. We bought it.

 

Sherrie: That is really sweet.

 

Camille: We know today was going to be your wedding day and we just wanted to come and try to make things better.

Sherrie: I really appreciate it.

 

Dixie: Hey, I have an idea. What if we set you up with somebody? I could set you up with my cousin and you could set me up with Jack and we could do a double date.

 

Camille: Oh, Dixie. Give it up.

 

Dixie: No, serious, I’m talking about my real cousin. He’s up visiting this week.

 

Sherrie: Thanks for the offer, Dixie, but I think I’ll just take a walk down by the river where Carl and I used to talk.

 

Dixie: Well, maybe you could still set me up with Jack.

 

Sherrie: I’ll check with him and see.

 

Chelsea: If there’s anything we can do, or if you’d like to go do something tonight, let us know.

 

Sherrie: Thanks, but I’ll probably just try to have a quiet day.

 

{Chelsea, Camille, and Dixie give Sherrie hugs and then exit. While Sherrie is working, David comes in. He is dressed in a business suit and looks like a lawyer. He goes up behind her.}

 

David: Hello, Ma’am. Can I get a table for three?

 

{Sherrie turns around, nearly bumping into him and gasps, drops the dishes she is carrying, and covers her mouth. There is a short pause as they look at each other, then she quickly bends down to pick up the dishes.}

 

David: I didn’t mean to frighten you. Are you all right?

 

Sherrie: Uh, yeah. Uh, table for three?

 

David: Yes, please. {He looks at her closely for an instant.} Have we met before?

 

Sherrie: Why do you ask?

 

David: You look really familiar.

 

Sherrie: I’m afraid you don’t know me.

 

{She takes him to the seat by the lovers Wall. He eyes it a second then looks back at her.}

 

David: I know. Harvard? You attended Harvard?

 

Sherrie: I’m afraid not.

 

David: How about the lawyers’ convention in Chicago?

 

Sherrie: No. Can I get you something while you’re waiting, like a chocolate shake or something?

 

David: Wow! Great guess. A chocolate shake is my favorite. You know it’s funny, my mother never let me have them before my accident and now I have a real craving for them.

 

Sherrie: {Laughing nervously} Weird. {Sherrie goes and starts preparing the shake as she continues to talk and eventually comes out and comes in with a chocolate shake while David eyes the Lover’s Wall.} So, the others in your party would that be your mother, father, fiancée?

 

David: My mother is one, but no fiancée. I had one once, but not now.

 

Sherrie: {With some hint of excitement.} I’m sorry to hear that.

 

David: I’m not. She was mostly my mother’s idea. I couldn’t really stand her. A bit too snooty, if you know what I mean. You’re going to find this funny, but I even ran away to get some time alone and had an accident and spent nine months in the hospital. {Looking at her some more.} Are you sure we’ve never met?

 

Sherrie: I can’t say that. I’m just sure you don’t know me. So, this accident you had. What happened?

 

David: I got beaten and robbed by two guys. During the nine months I spent in the hospital, I had the most interesting dream.

 

Sherrie: Oh?

 

David: Yes. I was in this small town working as a mechanic. I was even elected… Oh, never mind. It was all too strange. {Looking at her again.} I know. You worked at the hospital I was at?

 

Sherrie: Sorry, but no. Is there anything I can get for your mother, and who did you say the third person was?

 

{Mrs. Tanner comes in but stays in the background, trying to not be seen by the two.}

 

David: Actually, I didn’t say because I don’t know. Mother said we were meeting a friend here for lunch, but wouldn’t tell me who, then she dropped me off and went to get us registered at the hotel. {Looking at her again.} I know. You worked at a hotel we stayed at.

 

Sherrie: I’ve never worked at a hotel. What did you do after you got out of the hospital?

 

David: I felt so different. The first thing I did was cancel my engagement.

 

Sherrie: What did you mother say about that?

 

David: To my surprise my mother was ok with it.

 

Sherrie: Did that make you feel better?

 

David: Kind of, but I’ve just felt something was missing.

 

Sherrie: Like what?

 

David: I don’t know. I keep trying to figure it out. You’re going to think this is weird, but I have this strong desire to fix cars. I keep buying these old cars and fixing them in my spare time.

Sherrie: Did that help?

 

David: A bit, but something still doesn’t seem right. I keep going from this to that, but can’t seem to figure it out. That’s why Mother decided I needed a vacation. Why she decided we should come clear out here is beyond me. {There is a short pause while he looks at her.} You know, you are the first girl I’ve talked to in a long time. I usually have a hard time talking to girls, but with you it feels so natural. It’s so comfortable, like… like I know you. Kind of strange, huh?

 

Sherrie: Perhaps.

 

{Samuel comes walking in and passes them on the way to the counter. He pauses for a brief instant when he sees David then continues to his seat as he speaks.}

 

Samuel: Hi, Mayor.

 

David: Hi, Samuel. Anyway, we flew out here for our vacation, got a rental car… {Suddenly realizing what he had said, and turning back to Samuel.} What did you call me?

 

Samuel: Mayor.

 

David: But why did I call you Samuel?

 

Samuel: Maybe because that’s my name.

 

David: Have we met before?

 

Samuel: Yes.

 

David: Really? Where?

 

Samuel: In a hamburger joint called…

 

Sherrie: Samuel, this is probably not the time for past stories. This man and his mother are just out here for a vacation.

 

Samuel: My apologies.

 

{Samuel goes to his seat and he sees Mrs. Tanner who waves very discretely at him and he waves back discretely as if trying to figure out what is going on.}

 

Sherrie: {Turning back to David} When you’re ready to order let me know.

 

David: What would you suggest?

 

Sherrie: The Gas-N-Grill Super Special is one of our favorites.

 

David: Gas-N-Grill. That’s a neat name. I had a dream once about a girl at a place named that. Kind of funny, huh? Her name was…

 

{David pauses.}

 

Sherrie: Yes?

 

David: Oh, sorry. It was just a dream. I’ll tell you what. When my mother gets here I’ll go ahead and take that Gas-N-Grill Super Special.

 

Sherrie: If there’s anything else you need just call me.

 

David: {Looking at the Lover’s Wall.} By the way, can one of you tell me what this board is? I feel funny when I look at it.

 

Samuel: {Excited, as if trying to help David remember} Sure. That’s the Lover’s Wall. People in love put their initials in it. {Pointing at one.} Take this one, for instance. C H and S M. Carl Howard and Sherrie Miller. Now that was one of the cutest couples you ever saw. Why they were…

 

Sherrie: {Sharply} Samuel! Mr. Tanner probably doesn’t want to hear those stories. He’s out here on vacation with his mother. {Then calming down.} Samuel, come sit down. Can I get you the usual?

 

Samuel: {A bit subdued} Sure.

 

{While Sherrie is writing down Samuel’s order, David is fingering lover’s Wall. As she starts to walk away he calls after her.}

 

David: Oh, and Sherrie, can I get a second chocolate milkshake to go with my Gas-N-Grill Super Special? {Sherrie and Samuel turn to look at each other as David turns back to the wall, then realizes what he said and turns to her again.} What did I just call you?

 

Sherrie: You called me Sherrie.

 

David: And you called me Mr. Tanner as though you know who I am. {Turns back and fingers the Lover’s Wall briefly and then as if to himself} C H and S M. Carl Howard and Sherrie Miller. {He looks up as if deep in thought} Carl Howard and Sherrie Miller. {Suddenly as if it hits him} Carl Howard and Sherrie Miller! {He then turns to her.} You are Sherrie, aren’t you?

 

Sherrie: Yes.

 

David: And I was Carl Howard. {Sherrie nods.} Then it wasn’t a dream. Sherrie, I…

 

Sherrie: I probably should go clean…

 

David: Sherrie, please don’t go.

 

{Mrs. Tanner steps up where all can see her now.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: Well, David, that took you long enough.

 

Sherrie: I don’t understand.

 

Mrs. Tanner: Since the surgery David hasn’t been the same. He’s about turned the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion yard into a used car lot working on old cars. I realized he still was searching for something and couldn’t find it, and that’s when I realized, Sherrie, he was searching for you.

 

David: But, Mother, why didn’t you tell me it wasn’t a dream?

 

Mrs. Tanner: The doctor felt it would be too big a shock to the system, at least until you were well. I thought that you would forget it all after a while, but somehow your heart wouldn’t let you forget, even though your mind had.

 

David: So, why didn’t you tell me once we headed out here?

 

Mrs. Tanner: I wanted you to discover it for yourself.

 

Sherrie: You brought him back to me?

 

Mrs. Tanner: You loved him enough to let him go.

David: {Pulling Sherrie’s ring from his pocket.} Then this must be yours. I found it on my table when I left the hospital.

 

Sherrie: My engagement ring.

 

David: You left it there.

 

Sherrie: I had to.

 

David: But why? Didn’t you love me?

 

Sherrie: With all my heart.

 

David: Then why did you leave?

 

Sherrie: You had a family and another life.

 

David: I’ve kept your ring with me, somehow knowing it was the key to what I was feeling.

 

{He goes to put it back on her finger and she pulls back.}

 

Sherrie: But David, I can’t.

 

David: If it’s the ring, I can get you an even fancier one.

 

Sherrie: No. No it’s not the ring. No ring can mean more to me than this one.

 

David: Then what is it?

 

Sherrie: {Almost crying.} I’m… I’m just a waitress.

 

David: And I’m. . .{pausing briefly as if thinking} I’m just a mechanic. But I love you. I lost you once. I don’t want to lose you again. Please.

 

{He holds out his hand to take hers. She pulls back just a bit.

 

David: Please!

 

{Sherrie looks at Mrs. Tanner. Mrs. Tanner smiles and nods. Sherrie slowly holds out her hand and David slips the ring on. Then they throw their arms around each other and Sherrie cries.}

 

Mrs. Tanner: {Putting a hand on each of their shoulders and stepping between them.} So, when do we plan the wedding for? Sherrie? {Short pause and looking at her son} Mayor?

 

Samuel: {Stepping up and looking at them.} How about, April first?

 

{Everyone smiles. The lights fade.}

 

The End

 

 

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April Fools (Comedy/Drama Play Script)

Three roommates play a joke on the fourth roommate, Sherrie. She is shy so they set her up with a nonexistent guy whom they make up with all the characteristics that they think will make Sherrie willing to go out with him. The problem occurs when a young man, Carl, staggers in after being beaten and mugged and can't remember who he is. Sherrie thinks he is her date and tells him all about himself from what her roommates have told her. Carl starts living this life while the roommates start trying to search out who he really is. A fun but touching story.

  • Author: Daris Howard
  • Published: 2015-12-05 20:40:21
  • Words: 18036
April Fools (Comedy/Drama Play Script) April Fools (Comedy/Drama Play Script)