Well sir, we have
no scene as we enter the small house half-way up in the next block now,
because within the largest upstairs bed-room where we are taking you it
is pitch dark and almost twelve-o'clock midnight. But here's a voice.
SADE: [Softly] Vic?
VIC: [With a bare edge of gruffness]
SADE: No, you're not.
VIC: Yes, I am.
SADE: Talk to me a minute.
VIC: I'm very drowsy.
SADE: Vic, I don't wanta
go to sleep mad.
VIC: Whatcha mad about?
SADE: I'm not mad. But you
VIC: Me? Mad? Laughable. My soul
never was so much at peace. I never was so serene.
SADE: Fred don't mean to
VIC: Sade, you'll kindly not mention
that name to me again. I've finished with Fred Stembottom.
I play no more Five Hundred with Fred Stembottom. I brush no more
with Fred Stembottom. Fred Stembottom an' I are quits.
SADE: I know you feel
bad about tonight.
VIC: [With spirit] Who
feels bad about tonight?
I don't feel bad about tonight. I feel
about tonight. Tonight has taught me that a man can cherish a rattle-snake
as a friend an'...
SADE: A little lower, Vic.
SADE: You'll wake Rush up
talkin' so loud.
VIC: Very well, I'll say now more.
Let us sleep. I bid you good-night. [With finality] Good night.
SADE: [After a brief pause]
It's just this way.
VIC: What's just who's way?
SADE: It's just Fred's way
to get under a person's skin.
VIC: He didn't get under my
skin. He might of thought he got under my skin, but he didn't
get under my skin.
SADE: Jokin' is all it really
realize that kind of jokin' bothers a person.
VIC: It didn't bother me
by a long shot.
SADE: [Timidly] You got
kinda red in the face.
VIC: [Tough] What?
SADE: You…kinda squirmed in your
chair when he was talkin'.
VIC: [Louder than necessary]
Who wouldn't squirm around in their chair listenin' to such ignorant
bunk? Who wouldn't…
SADE: Please, Vic--Rush.
VIC: [Referring to Fred]
The fat head.
SADE: [Brief pause] It's
just Fred's way.
VIC: Just his way, hey?
Some way, I'll say.
SADE: I know he's stubborn
an' loud-talkin' but he's a wonderful husband to Ruthie an' such
a good provider an' sends money to his folks an' just as soon give you
the shirt off his back as…
VIC: I don't want the shirt
off his back. I wouldn't have
the shirt off his back. An' I'll tell
ya this, Sade, I've been in that guy's house for the last time.
SADE: I bet if he had any idea
you felt this way about it, he'd just
more'n apologize. I bet he'd
come over a-kitin' sayin' how sorry he…
VIC: If he comes over a-kitin'
I'd send him right back again a-kitin'. Listen, were we or were
we not guests at his home tonight?
we were guests over there in his home tonight an' that's why I say…
VIC: Let me say a minute
... long as we're gonna lay in bed till morning talking. We were
over there tonight. We were invited over there to play a sociable game
of cards. What did our courteous host do? He lit right in an' told
his guest his business was just so much hooey. He spent twenty minutes
laughin' about his guest's...
SADE: No, he didn't, Vic.
VIC: [Exercised] He didn't?
He didn't? Fred Stembottom didn't sit there at that card-table with that
big wide dumb half-wit grin on his face an' snort over how funny my job
down at the Plant...
SADE: Vic, please. You're
talkin' terrible loud. Rush's got to have his sleep.
VIC: O.K. I didn't ask to
discuss this. You're the one that wanted to have a pleasant chat
in the middle of the night.
SADE: Couldn't you just bring your
voice down a little?
VIC: I'll bring my voice down to
I need sleep
myself. I bid you good-night. Good-night.
SADE: [Ignoring this] Fred
didn't laugh at your job, Vic.
VIC: Oh, he didn't, huh?
Where were you? In Canada? He sat there with that monkey-face
grin an' went on for twenty minutes about the Kitchenware Industry. [Mocks
Fred] 'How do they get men to go in Kitchenware, Vic? Do they pick
'em out of insane asylums or do they stunt the brains of new-born babies?'
SADE: He just meant that to be
VIC: Did you think it was
SADE: No, but...
VIC: I should think it'd burn you
to hear cheap cracks like that about your husband's work.
SADE: I didn't think it was very
smart of Fred to go on like that, but just the same I realized he
VIC: We make our living
out of Kitchenware. The food we
eat comes from Kitchenware. Our
money in the bank comes from Kitchenware. I've spent going on twenty
years of my life in Kitchenware. All the future I got is
SADE: No, I don't think it was
very smart of Fred to go like that but just the same I realized...
VIC: An' who the heck is Fred Stembottom?
Nothin' but a rotten little thirty-two-dollar-a-week clerk that only hangs
on to his job because his bosses are too kind-hearted to...
SADE: [Reproach] Oh, Vic.
VIC: Oh, I wouldn't tell that to
I wouldn't tell it to
nobody. But what if I had said things
like that tonight?
He did. To me.
SADE: [Small voice] Only
VIC: [Scornfully] "Only
foolin'." "Only foolin'."
SADE: Well, he was only
foolin'. I know Fred's a little stupid when it comes to lots of things
but I know as sure as there's a man in the moon that he wouldn't set out
VIC: What surprises me,
Sade, is that you didn't get mad
yourself. That's what surprises
SADE: I did get a little
VIC: Certainly acted it.
You an' Ruthie both sat there an' giggled while Fred was hittin'
up the two-bit comedy. Laughed out loud when he called me "The Prince
of Pots an' Pans" an' the "Sweetheart of the Fryin' Skittle."
SADE: I laughed because...
VIC: Never mind. It's
O.K. It won't happen again. I've been in Fred Stembottom's house
for the last time an' you can put that in your pipe an' smoke it. Now let's
go to sleep. Must be going on one o'clock.
SADE: Vic, don't get mad, but...
VIC: I'm not mad.
SADE: Don't you...can't you kinda
see where... Don't get mad now at what I say, will ya?
VIC: I'm not mad. I'm not
mad. Can't I kinda see what?
SADE: Can't you see where you were
a little bit to blame tonight?
SADE: Fred didn't start his joshin'
till - till after you give
him a little joshin'.
VIC: Did I run down his job? Did
I make fun of the way he makes a living? Did I poke him in the spot that
it hurts the worst?
SADE: No, but... [Halts]
VIC: But what?
SADE: You kinda went after his
goat early in the evening there.
SADE: Well - remember when Ruthie
served the ice cream?
VIC: I do.
SADE: Remember what was bein' said?
VIC: I complimented Ruthie on her
ice cream, stated it was delicious, announced it was my favorite flavor,
an' in every way behaved like a guest is s'posed to behave.
SADE: Do you remember - I may not
get this exactly right - but do you remember sayin' you liked ice cream
served in round chunks like baseballs?
VIC: I do.
SADE: An' then you recollect what
VIC: Somethin' insulting, I imagine.
What'd he say?
SADE: He said speakin' of baseball
it wouldn't be long now before -- Izzy Bean, is it?
VIC: Dizzy Dean.
SADE: He said speakin' of baseball
it wouldn't be long now before Dizzy Dean would be fannin' out National
League batters like sick flies.
VIC: I recall the remark, yes.
SADE: An' then you said
Dizzy Dean was just so much wet gunpowder an' oughta be plowin' corn down
on the farm.
VIC: Sure. That's right.
Dizzy Dean's a flash in the pan.
SADE: That got under Fred's skin.
VIC: What did?
SADE: The things you said about
Dizzy Dean. He thinks Dizzy Dean is marvelous. Keeps a scrap-book about
him an' everything. Listens to the radio. Thinks the sun rises an' sets
on Dizzy Dean.
VIC: That's another example
of Fred's stupidity.
SADE: But you were trompin' on
his toes with the things you said.
SADE: Trompin' on 'em good an'
I saw his neck get red as fire one time there when you said you'd rather
have one pitcher from the bush league than all the Dizzy Deans in the world.
VIC: I was tellin' the truth.
SADE: But it made Fred mad.
SADE: An' you went right ahead
makin' him mad. You were talkin' about his car. Said you'd bet him
three to one the transmission wouldn't hold up five hundred miles.
VIC: An' it won't. I was
statin' fact. Everybody knows that make of automobile is so much
SADE: But after all it's his
car. He paid good money for it. He's as proud of it as Adam. Goes
over it with a damp cloth every night of the universe.
VIC: If he was smarter he'd drive
it into Sugar Crick.
SADE: But don't you see,
VIC: See what?
SADE: He didn't make you any madder
than you made him. It was just one thing leading to another. Till
finally he got on the subject of Kitchenware.
VIC: Well, he won't get on the
subject of Kitchenware any more. Not with me. I'm though
with the fat-head.
SADE: But won't you admit you were
to blame for...
VIC: Kiddo, it's getting' on for
Let's get some
SADE: All right.
VIC: Good night.
SADE: Good night.
[Pause] [More Pause]
VIC: I'm asleep.
SADE: It's Ruthie that I'm
VIC: What about her?
SADE: She's my best friend.
SADE: I wouldn't lose her for anything.
VIC: You don't hafta lose.
SADE: [Pause] When you an'
Fred have these flare-ups, naturally the wife sticks to the husband.
I noticed tonight. I was peeved when Fred was laughin' at your work an'
Ruthie was peeved when you were makin' fun of Fred's baseball players an'
his auto. We couldn't help it. We
tried to, but was bound
to show a little. Like I said, Ruthie is my best friend. My very
best friend. I'm with other ladies a lot, yes - - Mis' Donahue an'
Mis' Harris an' Mis' Brighton an' Mis Applerot -- but it's not the same.
Maybe it's because they're a little older than I am. Maybe it's
because they're a little brighter in the head an' got more education. I
don't know what it is. But I'm not the same with them as I am with
Ruthie. With Ruthie I can laugh an' cry an' fight an' talk nonsense an'
just get along marvelous. With other ladies I sorta feel like here I am
a woman that aint a girl any longer an' got a fourteen year old boy. See?
SADE: Ruthie an' I get along a
lot like kids get along. It's
hard for married ladies with
families to have close friends where you can just take your hair
down. An' Ruthie's the only close friend I got. The only one I ever
have probably -- because I'm getting along to an age where women don't
close friends. [Pause] Awake?
VIC: Yeah - I'm listenin'.
SADE: You…see what I mean?
SADE: Don't you think…If you tried
don't you think you an' Fred could hit it off better?
VIC: I guess so.
SADE: Mean it?
VIC: Sure. Fred aint beyond
redemption. Not a bad egg at all if ya don't take him serious.
SADE: Would it…Would it be all
[Low giggle because
she's afraid to say it]
VIC: Would it be all right if what?
SADE: If I asked 'em over tomorrow
night for more cards?
VIC: Fred an' Ruthie?
SADE: You're not just talkin'?
VIC: No, Go ahead--ask 'em
SADE: Thanks, Vic.
VIC: Hey, kiddo, don'tcha think
we oughta settle down an' get some sleep?
VIC: Good night.
SADE: Good night.
Announcer: Which concludes another
brief interlude at the small house half-way up in the next block.