GOSSIP

By D. M. Larson

Copyright (c) 2005

From the published play:

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CAST OF CHARCTERS

 

The play can be done with two actors (see below) or 3w and 2m

 

Actor 1

Bula Bister - runs a small town newspaper which is more like a gossip paper than a serious news source. She pays a few bucks for gossip to whoever is willing to give it.

 

Actor 2

Skeeter Skeetch- assistant to Bula at the paper

Fanny Mae Alcott - young female reporter who hangs out behind the boys locker room

Sheriff - sells his crime reports for a few bucks for beer

Kilabrew - nurse who loves to share hospital gossip

 


SCENE 1

(Play takes place in a makeshift newspaper office. BULA sits at her desk facing the audience and SKEETER is sleeping under a table covered by newspapers)

 

BULA: Skeeeeeter! Where are you, boy?

 

SKEETER: [Crawls out from under a table] Yeah.

 

BULA: What you doin' down there?

 

SKEETER: Sleepin'.

 

BULA: Didn't you go home last night?

 

SKEETER: We had a deadline for the paper. Pulled an all nighter.

 

BULA: So you got the paper done? Where is it?

 

SKEETER: [Looks] Shoot. I knew I forgot something.

 

BULA: Now, Skeeter....

 

SKEETER: Oowa, baby. The "Now Skeeter" talk.

 

BULA: We have an obligation to the people of this town to bring them news on a weekly basis. [SKEETER mouths the speech as he sits and listens] We are this town's ear to the world. They count on us to give them the news like no one else can... You listenin' to me, Skeeter? [He even mouths the last part]

 

SKEETER: Yes, ma'am.

 

BULA: How much of the paper we got done?

 

SKEETER: The front part's all done.

 

BULA: Then get it out there. The people are waiting.

 

SKEETER: [Mumbles to self] I bet they ain't even out of bed yet. [Exits]

 

BULA: Poor, Skeeter. This big time newspaper business is hard on the boy. [Looks through paperwork on desk] Now let's see. What do we have for next week's top story? Looks like we're down to two: Mayor Mack and Mablegate. Shall we explore the question, "Why does the mayor spend more time with his secretary than with his wife" Or the Jorkle family expose... When your kids are born with extra fingers and toes, does that mean you're inbred? Wow. Where do we ever get such good news? I'll bet no other paper in the state can boast about these kind of headlines.

 

SHERIFF: [runs in, gun out] Hold it! Police!

 

BULA: Ah!

 

SHERIFF: [laughs] Hey, Bula.

 

BULA: You scared me half to death.

 

SHERIFF: I know. [snickers]

 

BULA: What you want, sheriff?

 

SHERIFF: You still paying a buck each for my police reports.

 

BULA: A buck a story. Offer's still good.

 

SHERIFF: [proud] I've got five this week.

 

BULA: Five! That's a regular crime wave.

 

SHERIFF: If this keeps up, I may have to hire me a deputy.

 

BULA: Wouldn't that be something? [makes a note] That's a story in itself.

 

SHERIFF: That's six bucks, then.

 

BULA: Fine. [Goes to purse] Six dollars. Don't you go spend that all in one place.

 

SHERIFF: Just enough to get a snack at the Come and Go.

 

BULA: Snack? I didn't know beer was a snack food now.

 

SHERIFF: I'm on duty. Wouldn't even consider it.

 

BULA: I guess you�ll have to take a break then.

 

SHERIFF: Good idea. [exits]

 

BULA: [sarcastic] Boy, do I feel safe knowin' he's around. [Types] Crime wave hits Mud Lake. Hide your valuables. Sheriff Peters says we had a record number of incidents this week. First off, old man Peters, the sheriff's pappy, had to be given a ride home again. Personally I think he likes riding in his son's police car.

 

KILABREW: [enters] Bula? How's you feeling today?

 

BULA: Fine, fine. Here to bring me the community health report?

 

KILABREW: Certainly. Oh, my.

 

BULA: What?

 

KILABREW: [examines BULA] You been getting enough vitamin C?

 

BULA: I... I don't know...

 

KILABREW: YOU DON'T KNOW. Don't toy with your health, Bula. You ain't a school girl no more. A healthy body is a temple for the gods.

 

BULA: I thought there was only one God?

 

KILABREW: You're so closed minded, Bula.

 

BULA: What you got for me, Kilabrew?

 

KILABREW: First, we have "This week's weight watch" by Nurse Nancy Kilabrew. Emma Sue Jones - gained 12 pounds. Patty May - lost 2 pounds. And a big congrats to Jane Graham - Lost 25 pounds. Billy Joe Bugle - happily gained another 27 pounds on his way to a town record 324 pound.

 

BULA: And they all signed their release forms right?

 

KILABREW: Oh, yeah. Thankfully none of them read what it says.

 

BULA: Anything else.

 

KILABREW: Got some great baby names for you. I asked Patty Mae Jones what she'd name her upcoming child. She has settled on naming the kid after her favorite snack: Goober if it's a boy.

 

BULA: And if it's a girl?

 

KILABEW: Raisinette.

 

BULA: Lovely.

 

KILABREW: That's six bucks.

 

BULA: Six? That's only two stories.

 

KILABREW: Four weight watchers and two baby names.

 

BULA: Five bucks then. The two names are for the same kid.

 

KILABREW: Fine. [BULA hands over $5] Oh, is that a bird I hear. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

 

BULA: You can go away now.

 

KILABREW: Cheap, cheap, cheap. [Exits]

 

BULA: Just wait until I write my expose' about the local hospital, Nurse Kilabrew. [Pulls out a big file folder marked KILABREW in big letters] I'm getting enough dirt on her to write a book. Imagine handing out condoms, which only encourages those kids... I think every teen in this town should have to go to the local gas station and have to try buying them in public. [smiles] And have old lady Smithe call out, "Price check on Trojans, extra ribbed." That will teach 'em.

 

FANNY: [appears at door] Can I come in Ms. Bula?

 

BULA: Why it ain't Fanny Mae Alcott? Has my favorite reporter today?

 

FANNY: [Excited] Favorite reporter? Oooh. That sounds good.

 

BULA: Well, you've been quite the news hounds lately.

 

FANNY: News hound. I like the sound of that too. The boys at school have always said I've been a dog.

 

BULA: [Raises an eyebrow] Well...uh, what you have for me today?

 

FANNY: Well, I was walkin' around looking for a story. I went out behind the boys locker room. I always go there hoping to... uh... talk with one of the boys. You know, interview 'em after the big game. And if they ever win a game, I'm gonna get the best darn interview. Losing don't make good news.

 

BULA: You got a point here, Fanny? I'm a busy lady.

 

FANNY: I do. See I heard some of them boys talking in the locker room. They leave the window open cause it gets real hot in there. I don't know why they get so hot. They ain't got nothing on...

 

BULA: To the point, Fanny. A good reporter gets to the point.

 

FANNY: [Hands over a report] Anyway, I got this. Don't know if it's worth printin.'

 

BULA: No, honey. This is good.

 

FANNY: You think so?

 

BULA: Top notch investigating.

 

FANNY: Gosh.

 

BULA: There's your dollar, darling. Enjoy.

 

FANNY: Wow. I feel just like Barbara Walters.

 

BULA: Keep it up and someday you just might be her.

 

FANNY: You really think so. I sure look up to her. Her and Jerry Springer.

 

BULA: They're the biggies.

 

FANNY: I'll see you tomorrow.

 

BULA: Keep 'em coming, Fanny Mae.

 

FANNY: I will. I'm headed over to the boys swimming hole. They got all kinds of interesting things going on over there.

 

BULA: This will do fine on the society page. [Sits at typewriter] Romance is a budding in the Mud Lake area. It's good to see so many of our young people courting, especially when they're courting someone other than their cousin. This week Jimmy Joe Johnson's heart is a palpitating for none other than Betty Sue Mall. Unfortunately he's feeling a bit shy and can't figure out a way to tell Betty he's got those special feelings for her. Don't you worry, though, Jimmy. She'll know all about it soon enough. Best wishes to both of you in this new found romance. Fanny Mae Alcott reporting. [Pulls it out of typewriter] Oh, dangit. I forgot the "r" in heart. Now folks is gonna think Jimmy's gone into heat. I gotta get myself a computer.

 

END OF SCENE


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