(not including music)  all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

MY FAIR WEATHER GIRL - written by Tanis Harms, 2016

(Ideal for dinner theater.  Actors can be the waiters.
Create bios and have prepared lines to stay in character.
EXAMPLE PROGRAM:  main course, ACT 1, dessert, ACT 2)

PREMISE:     EVELYN’S accent does not seem to blend
.            with what is acceptable in society’s eyes.
.            A professor of linguistics takes up
.            the challenge to improve her speech, and
.            although helpful, his attitude towards her
.            is extremely rude.  EVELYN must rise above
.            his bullying and not let him influence
.            her own attitude towards others.
STYLE:       comedy-musical spoof of “My Fair Lady”
TOPIC:       be in the world, not of the world,
.            and do not show preferential treatment.
SCRIPTURE:   Romans 12:2, James 2-3

SCRIPT:                  ACT 1
.                 CENTER STAGE: STREET

(It is evening.  EVELYN FEHR rushes across the stage
toward the café.  HENRY FLAY runs after her and
shouts out in his thick accent to get her attention.)

HENRY    AH-vah-lun! AH-vah-lun! (Evelyn!  Evelyn!)

(EVELYN’S accent is equally as thick.)

EVELYN   Hahn-ray?  Hahn-ray,     (Henry?  Henry,)
.        woe-t or yo              (what are you)
.        doe-ang hair?            (doing here?)

HENRY    Ay – ay - wohn-tad toe-  (I – I wanted to –)
.        Ay johst – ay -          (I just – I -)
.        sow yo wohk-ang -        (saw you walking –)
.        hair – ohnd – ugh!       (here – and – ugh!
.        (casual) Zoh, hoe or yo? (So, how are you?)

EVELYN   Ay-em phone- bought-     (I’m fine- but-)

HENRY    Wail, bought!  Ay woes-  (Well, but! I was-)
.        thank-ang-  wall,        (thinking- well,)
.        Ay wor-ray- ohnd,        (I worry- and,)
.        bought, woe-t ahf-       (but, what if-)
.                                                      2
EVELYN   Ugh! Hahn-ray! Yo nayd   (Henry!  You need
.        toe lahrn toe            (to learn to)
.        coo-moh-nah-cat bat-tar. (communicate better.)
.        Main-wall, Ay hove       (Meanwhile, I have
.        toe goo.  Ay cohnt bay   (to go.  I can’t be)
.        laht foh-rah wohrk.      (late for work.)
.        Ay wall say yo aw-rohnd  (I will see you around)
.        sohm-war.                (somewhere.)

(HENRY turns, knocks himself in the head with the heel
of his hand, then shuffles away, completely defeated.  
EVELYN exits toward the café where, unseen,
she gets ready to work as a waitress.  Meanwhile...)

(TED struts in purposefully, then stops to look around
and wait impatiently.  SISSY marches up to TED while
checking her wristwatch.  Ted is about to accuse her.)

TED      Sissy!  You are late!  (studying watch)
.        By – two seconds.

SISSY    (deadpan)  My apologies.  I was feeling
.        a little rebellious.

(DEAN BROWN and his wife DORIS enter arm in arm.)

TED      Well, stop rebelling!  Here comes Dean Brown!
.        And his wife... ah-

SISSY    Doris.

(TED turns around just in time to give a cheesy smile

TED      Dean Brown!  And the lovely... Doris!
.        An honor to run into you.

DEAN     Yeesssss... (cannot remember his name)

DORIS    (taking over and stretching out hand to TED)
.        Ted Miller!  Handsome as always.

DEAN     (to DORIS)  You remember Ted Miller, dear.
.        Our resident expert in - linguistics.
.        And his ace assistant... ah-

(TED is still smiling at DEAN BROWN.  SISSY sticks
out her hand to shake with DEAN BROWN and DORIS.)

SISSY    Sissy Smith.                                  3

DORIS    Oh!  Not a name to be forgotten so easily.

TED      Nor a name to be SAID too easily.
.        Sissy Smith – what were her parents thinking?
.        Before assigning a lifelong name to a child,
.        one should always make sure that every possible
.        name combination and variation can simply roll
.        off the tongue - as my name does:  Ted Miller.

DORIS    (waves off the comment lightly)
.        All it takes is marriage to some young,
.        handsome man with a better-suited surname.

SISSY    Riight, no challenge there.

DORIS    Sissy – Miller – does have a nicer ring to it.

TED      It does, but – (horrified) NO!

DORIS    (to SISSY)  So you two are NOT out on a date.

(SISSY shakes her head sternly.)

TED      All business!  We are taking in a meal
.        while discussing research strategy
.        for my dissertation.

DORIS    (to SISSY)  That one WOULD be a challenge.

DEAN     Speaking of challenges, (to TED)
.        you have been put forward as a recipient
.        for the university’s research grant.
.        I am expecting great things from you.
.        New insights into cultural divides – and
.        breakthroughs in academic strategies.

TED      You can count on it.  I have determined
.        my thesis position on-

DEAN     Do you know what is needed?!
.        A solid plan of action to aid the people
.        who struggle with unbearably atrocious accents.
.        These poor people wishing to communicate-
.        but with labor-intensive efforts –
.        by both parties- to no avail.

TED      Interesting, although-

DEAN     We need solutions!  Yes?  What good is it     4
.        to just bring understanding if we do not strive
.        to improve the situation?  THAT is expected-
.        in order to receive this research grant.

DORIS    (laughing nervously)  That’s my darling.
.        Always expecting the most out of everything.
.        Why, even our evening stroll has a purpose.

DEAN     Might as well make the most of a dreary
.        exercise.

DORIS    We were discussing our party plans for
.        distinguished colleagues and such, to kick off
.        the next scholastic year with a bang.  We wish
.        to generate a great excitement of progress-

DEAN     Yes!  Exactly!  I have it!  A brilliant idea!

TED      (dryly)  Oh, another one.  Fantastic.

DEAN     In order for you to win the financial backing,
.        find a subject with atrocious speech patterns-

TED      You want me to bring someone to your party
.        who is linguistically-challenged?

DEAN     To the party – you would bring this subject
.        of study – as the evidence of transformation.
.        The final result revealed.  Meaning,
.        you need to find this person very soon.
.        Once you do, set up an opportunity for me
.        to observe them BEFORE their training program
.        begins.

(SISSY tries to hide her nervous guffaw.)

DORIS    Brilliant as always, dear.  
.        Now come along, or I shall think you
.        are trying to avoid your evening stroll.

(DORIS pulls DEAN BROWN off stage as they speak.)

DEAN     You are not fooling me, dear.
.        This is exercise, no matter what you call it.
.        Except for educational arenas, I detest
.        any physical venue of exertion...

(TED turns to SISSY after they are gone.)

TED      Disastrous!   Now I must change my thesis?    5
.        I am counting on you to fix this.
.        That man is crazy if he thinks-

SISSY    Crazy-brilliant.  But just how do you expect me
.        to fix this?

TED      You will need to accelerate your efforts
.        in obtaining the research materials
.        that I require.  Crazy-brilliance!
.        I cannot wait to replace him as academic dean-

SISSY    Your true aspirations have been revealed.

TED      Oh, I aspire to so much more.  That is just
.        one of the stepping stones.

SISSY    Why am I not surprised that you see people
.        as stepping stones.

TED      And roadblocks.  But nothing or NO ONE
.        will change my plans.  You’ll see.

(SONG 1 sung to “Sleep Eye.”)

TED      (sings verse 1)  I won’t change, nothing will
.        have an influence on my life,
.        I am master of myself!
.        Anything else is all downhill.
.        I don’t care, if there’s strife
.        working t’ward trophies on my shelf.

SISSY    (sings verse 2)  For a man, who’s so smart
.        how can anyone be so rude?
.        Social graces escape you!
.        Living with people is an art,
.        but-you don’t care, you’re a brute,
.        how could this ever work for you?

TED      (sings verse 3)  I know best, as I’ve said-
SISSY    This is what you say in your head!
TED      Do not argue, it’s your loss!
SISSY    Do you think that you are my boss?
TED      (matter-of-factly)  Am I not?
SISSY    (sadly)  Yes you are.
TED      See?  My insight will take me far.

(As SISSY looks away, shaking her head, she notices
CHRIS WILSON entering nonchalantly.  Her heart leaps.)

SISSY    Chris!                                        6

(TED turns to greet CHRIS, who completely ignores SISSY.)

CHRIS    Ted-ol’-buddy!  GREAT to see you.

(CHRIS and TED shake and slap each other’s shoulders.  
SISSY sighs with exasperation, even though CHRIS finally
turns to her and politely but stiffly side-cheek-pecks.)

CHRIS    Sissy.

SISSY    Will you be in town for long?

CHRIS    Ted has asked me to be a sounding board
.        as he formulates his thesis.
.        I will stick around until the end of summer,
.        for the awards ceremony, of course.

TED      Chris is being honored for his article –
.        WHICH my research material contributed to-

SISSY    I remember.  I was there.  Congratulations.

CHRIS    Thank you.

TED      (echoing)  Thank you.

CHRIS    Acknowledgement is the best reward.

SISSY    (ironically)  I quite agree.
.        So where will you be staying?

CHRIS    Since I am helping Ted out, I thought
.        it only fair that he take me in.

SISSY    How nice.  So he’s not charging you rent?

TED      Must we stand outside talking like idiots?

SISSY    Of course, if we are to talk like idiots,
.        we best do that indoors.

CHRIS    Touché.   So!  You found “Square PI Café”
.        without any problem.

(CHRIS motions toward the café and they walk towards it.)

TED      This better be worth it.

CHRIS    They have the best food and service around.   7
.        At least – they did at one point.  Shall we?

.                   STAGE RIGHT: CAFÉ

(CHRIS, TED and SISSY enter and sit at the table.)

CHRIS    (looks around)  So far, everything still
.        looks the same.

(Cheerily, EVELYN rushes over to hand everyone a menu.  
As she speaks with the very thick accent,
all THREE drop their jaws in astonishment.)

EVELYN   Wail-cohm toe            (Welcome to)
.        Skoh-ar Pah Coh-FAH!     (Square PI Café!)
.        Ay-em AH-vah-lun, yar    (I’m Evelyn, your)
.        wah-trows.  Toe-dahs     (waitress.  Today’s
.        chaf spah-sh-oil as aw   (chef’s special is a)
.        dah-lay sa-mooked        (deli-smoked)
.        cha-con cloh-eb-hose     (chicken clubhouse)
.        ohnd Now An-geh-lond     (and New England)
.        fash ohnd chaps.         (fish and chips.)

CHRIS    (unsure)  I’m sorry.

TED      Was that even English?

EVELYN   Yah, oh cars.            (Yeah, of course.)

CHRIS    What happened to Victoria?
.        The maître de’s girlfriend?

EVELYN   Oo, dah mah-trah day     (Oh, the maître de)
.        ohnd has gar-el-frand,   (and his girlfriend,
.        day-ah splat op, ohnd    (they split up, and)
.        shay laft.  Yo cohnt     (she left.  You can’t)
.        ay-van bay-lay-veh       (can’t even believe)
.        da strass van shay       (the stress when she)
.        vohs stall hair.         (was still here.)
.        Off-tar mahn-ay, mahn-ay (After many, many)
.        yars, ohnd dan shay      (years, and then she)
.        johst day-sah-dod dot    (just decided that)
.        hay wohs-ant go-ed       (he wasn’t good)
.        ay-nof foh-rah har-      (enough for her-)

TED      (shaking head as she speaks)  Please stop.  

CHRIS    I’m sorry.

EVELYN   No, Ay-ed nah-var doe    (Now, I’d never do)  8
.        sotch.  Ay’v bayn        (such.  I’ve been)
.        broht op aw noise        (brought up a nice)
.        gar-el- whet go-ed       (girl – with good
.        moor-ol ston-dords, ohnd-(moral standards and–)

TED      Seriously.  I cannot understand a word
.        you are saying.  And I’m sure if I could –
.        I still would not be interested.

CHRIS    It’s okay.  As long as the food is still good.

EVELYN   Dah fohd hair as         (The food here is)
.        ahx-all-ont!  Dah chaf   (excellent!  The chef)
.        wohrk-d ot aw Franch     (worked in a French)
.        rah-star-ohnt fohrah     (Restaurant for)
.        fahf-tee-an yars-        (fifteen years-)

TED      Will you be quiet!  I mean, I’ve never heard
.        anything this atrocious.  It is simply
.        horrendous.  From which rock did you crawl?
.        From where in the world do you come?!  

EVELYN   Dah bone-ducks?          (The boondocks?)

SISSY    The boondocks?

CHRIS    Sh!  Don’t answer.  (turning to Ted)
.        Now Ted, you’re the linguist expert.
.        You should be able to place her.

TED      May I ask which language you speak?

SISSY    That’s cheating.

EVELYN   An-geh-lash              (English.)

TED      I mean, what is your mother-tongue?

EVELYN   An-geh-lash              (English.)

TED      Impossible.  That cannot be English-based!
.        Could there be an isolated pocket of people
.        in our area that have gone undiscovered?

EVELYN   Way or ohn dah mip.      (we are on the map.)
.        Whet vah-ry, vah-ry,     (With very, very,
.        vah-ry, vahry, tay-ny    (very tiny)
.        lat-tars.                (letters.)

TED      I’ve never heard the English language         9
.        massacred so brutally.

EVELYN   Hoe cohd yo sah          (How could you say)
.        sotch- sotch tangs?      (such- such things?)

SISSY    Ted, she’s standing right here.

CHRIS    I’m sorry.

TED      Well, stop being sorry, man, and support me
.        in this.

CHRIS    You are absolutely, without a doubt,
.        correct in your assessment.  But-

(EVELYN sobs and dabs at her eyes as the rest talk.
SISSY leans over to TED with excitement.)

SISSY    Why, Ted, here is the subject for your
.        thesis challenge.

CHRIS    What challenge?

SISSY    Dean Brown changed the direction of Ted’s
.        dissertation to include a subject-
.        to be observed before and after-

TED      Which I refuse to do-

SISSY    And lose the research grant?

TED      I will prove to Dean Brown that my thesis
.        of choice will blow his out of the water.
.        And I will still get the research grant.

SISSY    You don’t think that you could help her
.        speak without an accent?

EVELYN   Doe yo tuck oh-bot may?  (Do you talk about me?)

TED      No matter how talented I am - there are
.        those people who are incapable of change
.        and will never make anything of themselves.

EVELYN   Yar johst sotch          (You’re just such)
.        vash-us snow-bs!         (vicious snobs!)

TED      I do not care how good the food may be,
.        the service here is dreadful.
.                                                     10
EVELYN   Ah woes bay-ang noise.   (I was being nice.)

TED      We must leave now!  I cannot bear to hear
.        this obnoxious noise for one second longer.

EVELYN   Foh-rah long-which       (For a language)
.        ax-part, yo new          (expert, you know)
.        nah-ting off noise worts.(nothing of nice words)

TED      Your manager will hear about this!

EVELYN   Hay owl-rawdy news ay    (He already knows I)
.        hove in ox-cent.         (have an accent.)

(EVEYLYN gasps as TED pushes CHRIS and SISSY out.
SONG 2 sung to “Mocking Bird” by Evelyn from the café
while the REST sing from center stage.)

.        (singing verse 1)
EVELYN   Woes hay fohr rayl,      (Was he for real,
.        ohnd Ay’em note aw fayn! (and I’m not a fan!)
SISSY    What kind of bully, is this man?
TED      Without sense and without poise,
.        anything she said was just making noise!

.        (singing verse 2)
EVELYN   Whet sotch stoh-tas     (With such status)
.        War war has mah-nars?   (where were his manners)
CHRIS    All her words fell like pounding hammers!
SISSY    I’m sure she’s distraught and shedding tears.
TED      Hope I recover, my aching ears.

.        (singing verse 3)
SISSY    You were too harsh on that girl’s speech-
TED      All I discerned was a loud high screech.
CHRIS    At least you could be slightly amused.
TED      Not when I see my language abused.

.        (singing verse 4)
SISSY    I know Ted - this conversation’s done!
CHRIS    Let’s order pizza, and try having fun.
EVELYN   Ay’ll tray toe wohrk new (I’ll try to work now)
.        ohnd note brahk don      (and not break down.)
.        Hoop new own says        (Hope no one sees –)
.        may - - frohn.           (me - - frown.)

(EVELYN retards the ending, then exits stage right.  
CHRIS and SISSY push TED off to stage left.)

.                  STAGE LEFT: OFFICE                 11

(It is morning.  TED sits at desk.  CHRIS enters.)

CHRIS    Morning.  Started without me?

TED      I need to win that research grant without
.        having to take up that challenge.
.        MY thesis proposal must wow Dean Brown-

CHRIS    (settling onto sofa)  It sounds like the dean
.        will only be wowed by the challenge
.        he presented.  Are you that confident-

(SISSY enters and is about to shyly sit next to CHRIS.)

TED      Sissy - coffee!

(SISSY gasps and leaves.  CHRIS shakes his head.)

TED      What?  She’s my assistant.

CHRIS    Man, you are living in the wrong era.
.        How do you even get away with treating her-

TED      Seriously, you want to discuss women at a time
.        like this?  Now back to my dissertation-
.        which will be on the corruption of language-

CHRIS    Based on my award-winning article?

TED      Which is based on my research findings.
.        And I will be expounding on that-
.        (interrupted by the doorbell ringing)
.        Sissy - door!  And tell them – we are
.        not interested.

CHRIS    When you expound on that, you mean you’ll–

(The doorbell rings again.)

TED      Sissy!  Door!  (to CHRIS)  Your article merely
.        exposes the truth. I will confirm my predictions
.        of the hopeless decline of all languages-

CHRIS    Due to?

TED      Due to lazy educational institutions,
.        melting-pot-situations, as well as the
.        electronically-crazed lingoists.
.                                                     12
CHRIS    Lingoists?

(Doorbell rings again.  Ted glares at SISSY as she
marches through the room to an off-stage lobby.)

TED      Yes, I am coining a new term.
.        Other people get to do it.  Why not me?
.        Lingoists – those reducing the language down
.        to street lingo, slang and acronyms.
.        So I claim that it would be impossible to
.        improve on the use of the English language-

CHRIS    Where is your solid proof though?  And-
.        what about Dean Brown’s challenge to you?

SISSY    (offstage)  But - you can’t just -

(EVELYN can be heard offstage.)

EVELYN   Ay-em note lay-vang      (I’m not leaving)
.        ohn-tal Ay say ham!      (until I see him!

TED      Sissy, no interruptions!

EVELYN   Oo, hay’s an hair!       (Oh, he’s in here!)

(EVELYN marches in and faces TED.  SISSY follows.)

EVELYN   Yo!  Yo lohst may        (You!  You lost me)
.        mah johb!                (my job!)

TED      (corrects her)  Cost... you “cost” me my job.

EVELYN   Woe-t-ah-var! Ay dewn’t  (Whatever!  I don’t)
.        hove aw johb,            (have a job,)
.        tunks toe yo.            (thanks to you.)

CHRIS    We’re sorry.

EVEYLN   New, yar note!           (No you’re not!)

(EVELYN swings back to TED.)

EVELYN   Ohnd yar goo-ang toe     (And YOU’RE going to)
.        hahlp may gat            (help me get)
.        aw-noh-dar own.          (another one.)

TED      (candidly)  Impossible, I don’t have any
.        connections in the restaurant business.
.                                                     13
EVELYN   Note toe bay aw          (Not to be a)
.        wah-trows. Ay wohnt      (waitress.  I want)
.        may dram johb.           (my dream job.)
.        Dah own ay want toe      (The one I went to)
.        ohn-ah-var-saty foh-rah- (university for-)

TED      YOU went to university?  (to CHRIS)  Hence,
.        proof of the lazy educational institution.

EVEYLYN  Ay wohnt aw johb an      (I want a job in)
.        dot coh-rayr.            (that career.)

TED      And what exactly did you hope to become?

EVELYN   Aw WAH-thar ger.         (A weather girl.)

CHRIS    (quizzically leaning forward)  I’m sorry.

TED      Aw WAH-thar ger?

EVELYN   No, aw WAH-thar ger!     (No, a weather girl!)

(EVELYN stands her ground with her hands on her hips.
Ted, Chris and Sissy look at each other quizzically.
SONG 3 is sung to “Dance, My Baby Diddy.”)

.        (singing verse 1)
EVELYN   Owl Ay wohnt toe bay     (All I want to be...)
TED      What could be “Aw WAH-thar ger.”
.        aw WAH-thar ger, aw WAH-thar ger?
EVELYN   As dot toe mohch         (Is that too much)
.           toe say?              (to see?)

.        (singing verse 2)
CHRIS    Say it one more time...
EVELYN   Plays mahk may           (Please make me)
.           aw WAH-thar ger,      (a wather-ger)
.        Aw WAH-thar ger, Aw WAH-thar ger.
SISSY    That sounds very sublime.

.        (singing verse 3)
TED      You could understand her?
SISSY    Just make her Aw WAH-thar ger.
CHRIS    Aw WAH-thar ger?
SISSY    Aw WAH-thar ger?
TED      I don’t understand her!

(EVELYN clenches her fists with great irritation.)

EVELYN   Aw WAH-thar ger-         (A weather girl-)   14
.        aw WAH-thar ger-
.        aw WAH-thar ger!!!
.        Ya new!  Stow-dee-ang    (You know, studying)
.        dah WAH-thar pay-terns   (the weather patterns)
.        whet boh-rue-mah-track   (with barometric)
.        oar prah-shar, wahnd     (air pressure, wind)
.        cah-rants, ohnd clohd    (currents, and cloud)
.        oh-cow-moh-lah-shuns-    (accumulations–)

TED      Oh, a weather girl... - No!

(TED sits down as a signal that the conversation is over.
EVELYN continues, using uses air quotes as she speaks.)

EVELYN   “New” – woe-t?  “New”-   (“No” – what?  “No”–)
.        Ay cohnt bay             (I can’t be)
.        aw WAH-thar ger, oohr    (a weather girl, or)
.        “New” – ya wall note     (“no” – you will not)
.        hahlp may?               (help me?)

TED      (mocks her air quotes)  “Noooo” to both.

EVELYN   Wall, Ay ray-fohz toe    (Well, I refuse to)
.        layv ohn-tall ya         (leave until you
.        hahlp may.               (help me.)

(EVELYN sits defiantly.  SISSY shrugs and exits.)

TED      I do not have connections in the media, either.

EVELYN   Ya sah ya or in          (You say you are an)
.        ax-part whet             (expert with)
.        long-which-as.           (languages?)

(TED takes his time thinking about how he may want
to answer this.)

TED      I am a Professor of linguistics and English
.        literature.

EVELYN   Ay nayd ya toe mahk may  (I need you to make me)
.        tuck bah-tar An-geh-lash (talk better English.)
.        Dah tah-lah-vah-shun     (The television)
.        pre-doe-sars woe-d note  (producers would not)
.        hair may bay-cohz off    (hire me because of)
.        may ox-cent.             (my accent.)

TED      Of course television producers would not
.        hire you with that accent.
.                                                     15
EVELYN   Zoh ya wall hahlp may.   (So you will help me.)

TED      No.  It would be completely hopeless.  But,
.        if you ever get married and have children,
.        and submerse THEM into a culture far different
.        than the one from which you came, THEY may
.        stand a chance.  Besides, I won’t have any time
.        to indulge in this crazy pipedream of yours.
.        I’ll be busy with -  

EVELYN   Crah-zy peep-dram?!      (Crazy pipe dream?!)
.        Ats bayn may             (It’s been my)
.        chayld-ash dram.         (childish dream.

TED      (laughing)  Childish, indeed.

EVELYN   Chayld-who-d!  Ay mayn.  (Childhood!  I mean.)

TED      I do not care.

CHRIS    Well, of course, you do not care about her-

SISSY    Or anyone else, besides yourself!

CHRIS    But that is just it!  Here is an opportunity
.        staring you right in the face, which would
.        help YOU out - and you cannot see it.
.        Because of your stubborn pride-

SISSY    Helping her would help you.

CHRIS    If you try to improve this young lady’s
.        English, you will either support your
.        thesis statement, or you will glean
.        new research material.  AND you will
.        be taking on Dean Brown’s challenge –
.        guaranteeing you the research grant.

SISSY    Let me rephrase:  duh!

TED      I hate working with people.

SISSY    If you don’t do this, word will get out
.        and you will look like a fool, a fake,
.        and a failure.

TED      A threat?  Coming from you?

SISSY    Not me - her.
.                                                     16
(SISSY points at EVELYN.  SISSY has to prompt EVELYN
with a nod to get her on board with the plan.)

EVELYN   D-dah-fan-at-lay.  Ay’d  (Definitely.  I’d)
.        goo toe dah prass ohnd   (go to the press and)
.        ah-var-tang.             (everything.)

SISSY    You have the entire summer.

TED      That’s only four months.  Most people
.        do not have the gift of speech adaption.
.        Out of habit and laziness, they become
.        satisfied with low-level achievements-

EVELYN   Ay em NOTE               (I am not)
.        say-tahs-fayd.           (satisfied.)

TED      My ears!  Four months is a long time
.        to put up with that.

SISSY    Word WILL get out.

EVELYN   Ay CON tall aw goo-ed    (I CAN tell a good)
.        stew-ray, bought oon-lay (story, but only)
.        wan day-ahr troh.        (when they’re true.)
.        Lake oh-bot may          (Like about my)
.        Ohn-tay Teen- hoe shay   (Auntie Teen- how she)
.        owl-moost dayd wan shay  (almost died when she)
.        fall ay-slap in dah      (fell asleep on the)
.        soo-fah, ohn stair-tad   (sofa and started)
.        snoo-rang.  Har          (snoring.  Her)
.        broh-dar, watch as may   (brother, which is my)
.        dead, poor-d haynd       (dad, poured hand)
.        loo-shun don har         (lotion down her)
.        moth, zoh wan shay       (mouth, so when she)
.        wook op quackly, shay    (woke up quickly, she)
.        hat har had-             (hit her head –)

TED      Look, if I’m going to do this, it’s going
.        to be done on my terms, and without any
.        of your - so-called stories.  Okay?

CHRIS    So, this is happening?

TED      (to EVELYN)  We will need to work long hours-

EVELYN   Ay wall cohm hair owl    (I will come here all)
.        dah ohnd ah-van-angs-    (day and evenings-)

TED      I don’t know what you just said, but we      17
.        will begin tomorrow morning - 8 am sharp.

EVELYN   Fayn!  Ay’ll bay hair    (Fine!  I will be here)
.        brat ohnd ahr-ly         (bright and early)
.        whet dah roos-tars.      (with the roosters.)

(EVELYN stomps out.  TED swings around and eyes CHRIS.)

TED      You don’t think she’ll really bring
.        roosters with her?

CHRIS    Hard to tell, but I’d be curious to see that.

TED      Sissy, arrange for Dean Brown to come by
.        tomorrow first thing.

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(It is morning.  EVEYLN walks with determination toward
TED’S.  HENRY rounds the corner and notices her.)

HENRY    AH-vah-lun?  War or      (Evelyn?  Where are)
.        ya ouf toe zoh ar-lay?   (you off to so early?)

EVELYN   Ay’m goo-ang for-ah may  (I’m going for my)
.        An-geh-lash lah-suns.    (English lessons.)

HENRY    Bought ya owl-rawdy new  (But you already know)
.        An-geh-lash.             (English.)

EVELYN   Ats toe gat rad off      (It’s to get rid of)
.        may ox-cent.             (my accent.)

HENRY    Woe-t ox-cent?           (What accent?)

EVELYN   Hahn-ray!                (Henry!)

HENRY    Ya sond johst phone      (You sound just fine)
.        toe may.  Ay johst       (to me.  I just)
.        war-ray woe-t as aw      (worry what is a)
.        noise gar-el doe-ang an  (nice girl doing in)
.        dah bag Sat-ay.          (the big city.)

EVELYN   Ay cohn bay an dah       (I can be in the)
.        sat-ay ohnd stall bay    (city and still be)
.        noise.                   (nice.)

HENRY    Bought – at cohn         (But - it can)
.        chah-nge aw par-sun.     (change a person.)
.                                                     18
EVELYN   Mah-bay for-ah dah       (Maybe for the)
.        bat-tar.  Woe-t or YA    (better.  What are YOU)
.        doe-ang an dah sat-ay?   (doing in the city?)

HENRY    Ay em on ahn-jan-air.    (I am an engineer.)

EVELYN   Go-ed.  For-ah whale     (Good.  For a while)
.        Ay thoht ya war          (I thought you were)
.        foh-law-ang may oorh     (following me or)
.        sohm-tang.               (something.)

HENRY    Oorh sohm-tang.  Bought- (Or something.  But –)
.        Ay woes – Ay em – wall-  (I was – I am – well-)
.        Ay wahn-dar-             (I wonder-)

EVELYN   Hayn-ray, Ay dew-n’t     (Henry, I don’t)
.        hove ohn-y tame for-ah   (have any time for)
.        wayn-dar-ang.  Dar       (wondering.  There)
.        or plah-says toe goo.    (are places to go.)

HENRY    Bought- ahf ya hove      (But- if you have)
.        ohn-y tame- mah-bay-     (any time- maybe-)

EVELYN   Hahn-ray, Ay doe-n’t     (Henry, I don’t)
.        hove ohn-y sotch tame.   (have any such time.)
.        May who-l laugh          (My whole life)
.        day-pands ohn days       (depends on these)
.        lah-suns.                (lessons.)

(Henry exits.  SONG 4 to “All the World is Sleeping.”)

EVELYN   (singing one verse)
.        Oaf Ay goe toe Bah-tar   (Off I go to better)
.           mah-sulf              (myself)
.        Owl fohr bald-ang may    (all for building my)
.           coh-rayr.             (career.)
.        Ay wall doe woe-t-ah-var (I will do whatever)
.           at tucks,             (it takes,)
.        Ay ray-phase toe shad    (I refuse to shed
.           aw tare.              (a tear.)
.        Johst os loan os Ay      (Just as long as I)
.           ray-man.              (remain)
.        Noise ohnd whet go-ed    (Nice and with good)
.           ston-dords            (standards,)
.        Rast ay-shard dah        (rest assured the)
.           warld woe-n’t         (world won’t)
.           chah-nge may          (change-me)
.        Ay wall ahm-prohve,      (I will improve,)
.           moost shore-lay.      (most surely.)
.                                                     19
.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(At his desk, TED writes notes when the doorbell rings.)

TED      Sissy!  Door!

(SISSY marches through the room to get the door.
SISSY comes back with DEAN BROWN.)

TED      Dean Brown.  Coffee?

DEAN     With cream and sugar.

(SISSY marches out to get coffee.)

DEAN     You have her trained rather well.  Now,
.        I’m dying to meet your subject.
.        Your assistant told me something
.        about this woman.  I am most intrigued.

TED      She should be along shortly.  Prepare yourself
.        for an onslaught of indistinguishable verbiage.
.        Please note - I did not make this challenge
.        easy, by any stretch of the imagination.
.        I am about to take on the impossible.

(Doorbell rings.  SISSY rushes in, puts down coffee cups
on her way to answer the door.  SISSY leads EVELYN
into the room and motions for her to sit.  
EVELYN throws herself into a chair.  Noticing DEAN BROWN,
EVELYN sits up a little straighter.  SISSY stands
in the background observing.)

DEAN     How do you do?  I’m Dean Brown.

EVELYN   Hah-loo.  Ay’m           (Hello.  I’m)
.        AH-vah-lun Far.          (Evelyn Fair.)

DEAN     How is it that you know Ted Miller?

EVELYN   Way oon-lay johst mat.   (We only just met.)
.        Hay wall bay hahlp-ang   (He will be helping)
.        may toe gat aw johb os   (me to get a job as)
.        aw WAH-thar gar.  At as  (a weather girl. It is)
.        sohm-tang Ay hove        (something I have)
.        owl-wehs wohn-tad        (always wanted)
.        toe bay.                 (to be.)

(DEAN BROWN nods his head slowly as he listens.)
.                                                     20
DEAN     Interesting.  Most interesting.  Well,
.        I’ve intruded long enough.  I just stopped in
.        to see how my colleague was doing.
.        And I see that he is doing - VERY well.
.        Very well, indeed.  Congratulations
.        on receiving the university’s research grant.
.        I look forward to seeing your progress
.        in the near future.  Perhaps we should
.        all meet for drinks sometime.  Yes?
.        Good day, all.  Nice to have met you...
.        (not knowing what to call her)

EVELYN   Noise mat-tang ya,       (Nice meeting you,
.        toe, sar.                (too, sir.)

DEAN     Lovely!  Such a lovely – woman.
.        (to SISSY)  I’ll see myself out.  Thank you.

SISSY    (after DEAN has left)  That went well.

TED      (clearing throat)  We’ll see.  Now,
.        as usual, observe and take notes.

(While SISSY gets ready with a notebook and pen,
TED turns to EVELYN.)

TED      Please, could you please sit over there.

(EVELYN goes to throw herself into the other chair.
TED stands up abruptly.)

TED      No-no.  If we’re going to do this,
.        we’re going to do this correctly –
.        and completely.  Stand up.  Stand up, please.
.        Accents seem to go hand-in-hand with
.        cultural decorum.  Manners and such.

(SISSY rolls her eyes at TED, as EVELYN stands up
awkwardly and waits.)

TED      Now...  Hello.

EVELYN   Hah-LOO?               (Hello?)

TED      Hello.

(EVELYN realizes she should play along and answers back
matter-of-factly and confidently while putting on airs.)

EVELYN   HAH-loo.                                     21

TED      Heh... low.

(EVELYN speaks back very slowly)

EVELYN   Dots – woet – Ay – sad.(That’s what I said.)

TED      You said “Hah-loo.”  Say, heh- heh- heh–low.

EVELYN   Heh... Heh... HAH–loo.

(TED stands still, collecting himself, then continues.)

TED      (almost giving up)  Please, have a seat.

EVELYN   Tanks.                 (Thanks.)

(TED motions that she should sit down slowly, but
EVELYN flops into the chair.)

TED      No-no-no-no...  Sit down nicely – slowly.
.        Come-come.  Try it again.  Decorum.

(EVELYN stands up again and sits down very slowly.)

TED      Please... what is your name?

EVELYN   AH-vah-lun Far.        (Evelyn Fair.)

TED      Avalon Far?

EVELYN   New!  AH-vah-lun Far.  (No!  Evelyn Fair.)

TED      That’s what I said.  Avalon - Far.

EVELYN   New!  Hair...          (No, here...)

TED     I am repeating it exactly as you said it.

(EVELYN looks around, then grabs the notebook and pen
from SISSY to write it down.  While TED looks at it,
EVELYN throws herself back down into the chair.  
Seeing TED’S balk, she stands up and sits down again,
nicely.  TED now reads the name.)

TED      Ev-e-lyn.  Evelyn Fair.

EVELYN   Dots woe-t Ay sad.     (That’s what I said.)
.        AH-vah-lun Far.        (Evelyn Fair.)
.                                                     22
TED      You said AHV- ugh!  (calms himself)
.        Let’s continue, shall we.

EVELYN   Lahts.                 (Let’s.)

TED      Let’s.  Leeeehts.

EVELYN   Laaahts.

(LIGHTS fade out, and then fade back in again.)

TED      Leeehts.

EVELYN   Laaahts.

TED      Let’s!

EVELYN   Lahts!

TED      As in - “Let’s do lunch”.

EVELYN   Lahts doe launch.

TED      No-no-no-no-no!

EVELYN   Say-ray-os-lay!        (seriously.)
.        Lahts doe launch.      (Let’s do lunch.)
.        Ay’m store-vang.       (I’m starving.)

TED      SISSY!  Could you order in some launch!
.        I mean, lunch!  Dag!

EVELYN   New, ya moose-nt       (Oh no, you musn’t)
.        swahr.  Dots note      (swear.  That’s not)
.        vah-ray cloh-say.      (very classy.)

TED      Well, there’s a bonus.  At least we won’t
.        have to worry about any gutter language
.        with you.

EVELYN   Ay tall’d ya ohnce,    (I told you once,)
.        Ay’m aw noise ger-al,  (I’m a nice girl,)
.        whet ston-dords.       (with standards.)

TED      A nice girl with standards - who is guilty
.        of murder.

EVELYN   Nah-var!  Woe-t or     (Never!  What are)
.        ya tuck-ang oh-bot?    (you talking about?)
.                                                     23
TED      You have murdered the English language.
.        You mutilate it every time you open your mouth–
.        with every word you speak, you commit a crime.

EVEYLN   Dots tar-rah-bowl.     (That’s terrible.)
.        Ay doe-nt mayn toe.    (I don’t mean to.)

(EVELYN puts her hand over her mouth and starts to cry.)

TED      Well, you do.  And as you do this, you kill
.        any chance you would ever have at finding
.        a dream job, or a respectable man to marry.

EVELYN   War or yar mah-nars?   (Where are your manners?)

SISSY    Yes, Ted - decorum?

TED      PLEASE don’t cry.  I can’t stand crying.
.        Time for a break.  Go – take a break.

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(EVELYN flies out of the office and onto the street.  
HENRY sees her rush past her.  EVELYN collapses
onto the park bench, sobbing uncontrollably.)

HENRY    Woe-t ah-var           (Whatever)
.        hoe-pand?              (happened?)

EVELYN   Ay sad Ay woe-d        (I said I would)
.        nah-var crah, bought   (never cry, but)
.        dot main as sotch      (that man is such)
.        aw bayst!              (a beast!)

(Angered, HENRY marches up to the office.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(Doorbell rings incessantly.  SISSY rushes to answer.  
HENRY pushes his way in and finds TED at the desk.  
SISSY slips by and disappears inside.)

HENRY    Yo!                    (You!)

TED      Do I know you?

HENRY    Dad yo heart may       (Did you hurt my)
.        AH-vah-lun?            (Evelyn?)

TED      There are MORE?                              24

HENRY    Dar’s Oon-lay own      (There’s only one)
.        AH-vah-lun, ohnd ya    (Evelyn, and you)
.        dar note lah aw        (dare not lay a)
.        fan-gar ohn har.       (finger on her.)

TED      Aaaare - you her husband?

HENRY    Fotch-or hose-bund.    (Future husband.)

TED      You two are engaged?

HENRY    Note yaht.             (Not yet.)

TED      So you’re just dating.

(SISSY walks in with a tray of food and waits.)

HENRY    New.                   (No.)

TED      So you’re not her boyfriend?

HENRY    Note yaht, bought yo   (Not yet, but you
.        bay car-fool yo        (be careful you)
.        doe note gat ahny-war  (don’t get anywhere)
.        nayr toe har.          (near to her.)

TED      You needn’t worry.  I like to stay
.        as far away from people as possible.

HENRY    Ay wark johst nahxt    (I work just next)
.        dew-r, zoh Ay wall     (door, so I will)
.        hove may ays ohn yo.   (have my eyes on you.)

(HENRY walks out while moving two fingers from his eyes
to TED, back and forth.  SISSY remains where she is,
afraid to move, until he has left.)

SISSY    (suppressing giggles)  Well - that was weird.

TED      Sissy... stop letting in all these
.        strange people!

SISSY    I’m not your bodyguard, and I’m hardly
.        a bouncer.

TED      Just be a doorkeeper.  Just KEEP the door SHUT.
.        If someone uninvited is standing outside
.        that door – simply - do not open the door.
.                                                     25
(EVELYN sails back into the room and flops down
onto the sofa with her arms crossed.)

TED      (to EVELYN)  So you came back for more.

(SISSY approaches the sitting area and places the tray of
sandwiches and bottles of Pierre onto the coffee table.

EVELYN   Tunk yo, Sassy.        (Thank you, Sissy.)

SISSY    Did you just call me sassy?

EVELYN   Asn’t dot yar nahm?    (Isn’t that your name?)

SISSY    It’s - SI-ssy.


SISSY    Sissy Smith.

EVELYN   Sah-ssy Smath.  

SISSY    Say, Ted Miller.

EVELYN   Tad Mah-lar.

SISSY    Interesting.

EVELYN   An-trah-stang.

(CHRIS enters casually.)

CHRIS    Still at it?  Hey, you ordered supper
.        and didn’t tell me?

EVELYN   Dahs as launch.        (This is lunch.)

SISSY    Evelyn, say “Chris Wilson”.

EVELYN   Crass Wall-zen.

(SISSY nods and looks at TED.  TED gets up to pace.)

TED      I see a pattern here.  Wait a minute,
.        let me think.

(TED paces while EVELYN drinks and chows down.)

TED      Decorum.  Please, chew with your mouth closed.
.                                                     26
(TED studies EVELYN for a moment then sits back down,
perplexed.  EVELYN takes a swig of the Pierrie
and belches while saying the word.)

EVELYN   Bahlch.  Woet as dees? (Belch.  What is this?)

SISSY    Perrier.

EVELYN   Pah-ray-air?  Dahrs    (Perrier?  There’s)
.        boo-bulls an dahr.     (bubbles in there.)

(EVELYN drinks again and belches while saying burp.)

EVELYN   Bahrp.                 (Burb)

TED      Excuse me!  Ladies do not – belch or burp.

EVELYN   Off cars day doe.      (Of course they do.)
.        Yo showed hair may     (You should hear my)
.        Ohn-tay Teen.  Shay    (Auntie Teen.  She)
.        cohn pot ohn-y main    (can put any man)
.        toe sham.  Shay        (to shame.  She)
.        hahs at don toe aw     (has it down to a)
.        sahns, aw fayn ort     (science, a fine art)
.        ay-van -               (even – )

TED      It’s not FINE, and it’s certainly not ART–

CHRIS    (smiling)  Careful how you limit
.        the definition of art.

TED      (to EVELYN)  No more belching – burping –
.        no passing any form of gas.  Decorum.
.        It’s unacceptable in the rest of society.
.        It’s downright disgusting.

EVELYN   Ats aw not-chore-el    (It’s a natural)
.        bow-dy phone-shun      (body function.)
.        Ah-vary bow-dy         (Everybody)
.        dews at.               (does it.)

TED      Ah-vary bow-dy?

EVELYN   AH-VARY bow-dy!

CHRIS    It is true.

TED      (to CHRIS)  I think you are enjoying this far
.        too much.  Are you here to sabotage or help?
.                                                     27
CHRIS    I am most curious of the potential outcome.
.        Her success, and-or your insanity.

TED      The ultimate test of her success – will be
.        put on display-

CHRIS    I know.  At the party.

EVELYN   Dars aw port-y?        (There’s a party?)

SISSY    Don’t worry about that yet.

TED      No, her ultimate test will be...
.        (to CHRIS)  YOUR award ceremony.

CHRIS    What?

TED      This way I am guaranteed your support.
.        Consider it your rent for staying here
.        the entire summer.

EVELYN   Woe-t port-y?  Woe-t   (What party?  What)
.        sar-ah-moo-ny?         (ceremony?)

TED      Never mind that now.  We need to get to work.
.        Alright?  Where were we?

CHRIS    Trying to change her into the perfect woman
.        so she will not embarrass me at my ceremony!

SISSY    I’m just curious, what do you consider
.        the perfect woman to be?

CHRIS    Someone who is professional in every way.
.        Hardworking.  Knows her path in life.
.        And can practically read my mind as to what
.        I want-

(SISSY puts a sandwich into CHRIS’ hand.)

CHRIS    Thank you.

SISSY    I must be the perfect woman for you, then.

CHRIS    Except that you lack a certain status level.
.        I’m expecting such to help and not hinder
.        my progress and comfort in life.

(SISSY grimaces angrily and gladly changes the subject.)
.                                                     28
TED      May we please get off the topic of women,
.        and back to refining Evelyn?

SISSY    Gladly.  I noticed a pattern in her speech...
.        She uses an “ah” sound for “a” “i” and “eh,”
.        as well as an “oh” sound for “ah” and “oo” –
.        “oo” for “oh” and “a” for “e”-

TED      Yes!  After analyzing your – dialect –
.        I have extracted the particular vowels and
.        syllables which give you the most issues.
.        Let me see, what would be a phrase
.        that incorporates those the best...

(TED watches EVELYN as she pours salt and pepper
onto her vegetables and is just about to eat it.)

TED      I have it.  Vegetables are better
.        with salt and pepper.

EVELYN   Ohnd lohts off         (And lots of)
.        bot-tar!  Doe yo       (butter!  Do you)
.        hove ohn-y bot-tar?    (have any butter?)

TED      No-no.  Say it, “Vegetables are better
.        with salt and pepper.”

EVELYN   Vah-jah-te-balls       (Vegetables)
.        or bat-tar whet        (are better with)
.        solt ohnd pah-par.     (salt and pepper.)

CHRIS    Kind of rings around in your ears, doesn’t it?

(SISSY nods agreement as she nibbles on her sandwich.)

TED      Simply horrible.  Now try, “Teenagers
.        are known for their tardiness.”

EVELYN   Ay woes nah-var        (I was never)
.        laht far ohn-y tang    (late for anything.)
.        Nah-var.  Note os      (Never.  Not as)
.        aw Teh-ahn-ah-jar,     (a teenager,)
.        note os aw chayld,     (not as a child,)
.        note ay-van os aw      (not even as a)
.        bah-bay.  Ay woes      (baby.  I was)
.        doe ohn Sap-tam-bar    (due on September
.        twan-tay-ath, boght    (twentieth, but)
.        Ay come oat ohn dah    (I came out on the)
.        fahf-tee-ahnth.        (fifteenth.)
.                                                     29
TED      And what is with the extra syllables?!
.        Evelyn, repeat after me slowly, “Teen –“

EVELYN   Tee-ahn.

TED      Teeee-

EVELYN   Teeee-

TED     “Nnn”

EVELYN  “Ahnnnn”

TED      No! – not “ahn”, just “n”!

CHRIS    You’re going to drive her crazy, you know.

TED      She will not be the cause of my undoing.

CHRIS    Your undoing – meaning YOU may go crazy?

SISSY    You could just quit for the day.

TED      Are you crazy!  We have work to do.

SISSY    Before WE all go crazy!

(BEGIN OPTIONAL SCENE – depending on desired length.)

SISSY    Why not take a constructive break.  Work on
.        something else just for a while.  Like– dancing!

TED      Dancing?!

SISSY    Decorum!  Since you are now taking her
.        to the awards ceremony.  (to EVELYN)
.        Do you know how to dance, Evelyn?

EVELYN   Ay new dah who-don.    (I know the hoe-down.)

SISSY    Hoe-down?  Ah, what about the waltz?

EVELYN   Dot’s ohn-lay woe-t    (That’s only what)
.        tar-ball loss gar-els  (terrible loose girls)
.        doe.  Rah-mahm-bar,    (do.  Remember,)
.        Ay’em aw noise gar-el  (I’m a nice girl -)

All      A nice girl - with standards.

TED      Got it!                                      30

EVELYN   Plah-sus war yo donts  (Places where you dance)
.        lake dot or mate       (like that are meat)
.        more-cats.             (markets.)

SISSY    Meat markets?  Hardly.  Unless you mean that
.        the so-called meat just hangs around curing,
.        shyly over in a corner somewhere.

TED      Oh, now!  This is just a case of a serious
.        lack of cultural exposure.

(SISSY rushes to a CD player to put on a slow waltz.)

SISSY    It’s not so bad.  No one is being loose.  See–
.        (glances over TED and eyes rest on CHRIS)
.        Would you mind?

CHRIS    Ahhhhh, nooo.

(CHRIS gets up and starts waltzing with SISSY.  
TED rolls his eyes dramatically, then puts out his arms
to EVELYN, not wanting to look at her.)

TED      (sighing)  I’ll hardly touch you.  Trust me!

(EVELYN takes a big sofa cushion and puts it in between
them, takes TED’S hand with one, and puts the other hand
on his shoulder – just touching him with her fingertips.
TED only touches EVELYN with his fingertips.)

SISSY    See?  It’s just a harmless dance.

TED      First to the right, then a step to the left,
.        etcetera.  That’s all it is.

SISSY    It only means something when the person
.        you’re dancing with means something to you.

(SISSY looks back at CHRIS purposefully.  
CHRIS remains oblivious.)

EVELYN   Ay sah.  Ay lahrn-d    (I see.  I learned)
.        sohm-tang.             (something.)

(EVENLYN and TED break apart and start to sing
SONG 5 sung to “All the Pretty Little Horses”
while continuing to sway and dance on their own.)

.        (singing verse 1)                           31
EVELYN   Mate-more-cat -        (Meat market –)
.           Ay cohn-t say,      (I can’t see,)
.        Ay tank ats moor       (I think it’s more)
.           off aw dah-lay.     (of a deli.)
TED      Lesson one, lesson two,
.        what else can I do to get through?
CHRIS    Persevere, don’t be severe!
SISSY    Finding some good approach that’s new.

.        (singing verse 2)
EVELYN   Ay cohn donts -        (I can dance –)
.           owl nat loan,       (all night long,)
.        owl dah whale dot ay   (all the while that I)
.           sang dahs sung.     (sing this song.)
TED      Lesson three, lesson four,
.        will we get there, I can’t take-much more.
CHRIS    Persevere, don’t be severe!
SISSY    Just resist running for the door.

.        (singing verse 3)
EVELYN   Note os bod -          (Not as bad –)
.           os Ay thoht         (as I thought,)
.        Ay want bay-cohm       (I won’t become)
.           sohm-tang Ay-m note.(something I’m not.)
TED      Lesson five, lesson six,
.        how did I get into this fix?
CHRIS    Persevere, don’t be severe!
SISSY    Think of what to use that clicks.

(EVELYN and TED come back together to finish the dance.
SISSY turns off the music.)

TED      Well, at least YOU are having fun.


EVELYN   Ay-m sur-ray Ay cohs   (I’m sorry I cause)
.        yo sotch so-faring.    (you such suffering.)

CHRIS    It’s – ah – it is getting late.

TED      All right.  You can go - find your Henry.

EVELYN   May Hahn-ray?  Woe-t   (My Henry?  What)
.        or yo sah-ang?  Ay     (are you saying?  I)
.        dew-n’t hove aw        (don’t have a)
.        Hahn-ray.              (Henry.)

TED      Yes, the man who claims he’s going           32
.        to marry you.  

EVELYN   Mah-ray may?  Hahn-ray (Marry me?  Henry)
.        wohnts toe mah-ray may?(wants to marry me?)

TED      To be sure, he’s not a great conversationalist,
.        but you can console yourself a little.
.        If things do not work out career-wise -
.        at least there’s SOMEONE who WANTS to
.        marry you, for what you are right now.
.        You seem to be in shock.

EVELYN   Ay-m johst sore-praised(I’m just surprised)
.        dot Hahn-ray as        (that Henry is)
.        ahn-tar-as-tad an may. (interested in me.)
.        Ay main, Ay’v newn ham (I mean, I’ve known him)
.        fohr-ah sotch aw loan  (for such a long)
.        tame.  Hay nah-var     (time.  He never)
.        sad ohn-y-tang.        (said anything.)

TED      You talk too much.  Perhaps you’ve never
.        given him a chance to say anything.
.        Nonetheless, he came by - to make sure
.        that I didn’t put any moves on you. –
.        Can you imagine!

EVELYN   Ay hove nose fohr yo.  (I have news for you.)
.        Ay-m vah-ray           (I’m very)
.        lake-eh-ball.  Ohnd    (likeable.  And)
.        yo oct lake yo hove    (you act like you have)
.        toe fat dam oaf.       (to fight them off.)
.        Os af.                 (As if!)

TED      WHAT would a country-bumpkin like you know,
.        anyway?

EVELYN   Ay hove fail-angs,     (I have feelings,)
.        Johst lake             (just like
.        ohn-y-bow-dy els!      (anybody else!)
.        At maw-tors note       (It matters not)
.        war yo or frohm, oorh  (where you are from, or)
.        hoe yo spake -         (how you speak –)
.        ah-var-bow-dy hahs     (everybody has)
.        fail-angs.  Toe-dah    (feelings.  Today)
.        as oo-var.             (is over.)
.        Go-ed-nayt.            (Goodnight.)

(EVELYN storms out of the office.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET               33

(It is evening.  HENRY sees EVELYN storming past.  
She stops abruptly.)

HENRY    Ah-vah-lun, or yo      (Evelyn, are you)
.        oo-kah?                (okay?)

EVELYN   Ay johst wohnt toe new,(I just want to know,)
.        woe doe yo cape        (why do you keep)
.        foh-law-ang may?       (following me?)

HENRY    Ats coo-ants-eh-donts? (It’s coincidence.)
.        May oaf-face as johst  (My office is just)
.        dot wah.  Ay gat       (that way.  I get)
.        coh-fay frohm dah      (coffee from the)
.        showp dar, ohnd-       (shop there, and-)

EVELYN   Dad yo goo ohnd tuck   (Did you go and talk)
.        toe Proo-fahs-sar Tad? (to Professor Ted?)

HENRY    Ay – yahs – Ay woes -  (I – yes – I was -)
.        johst cone-sahrn-d.    (just concerned.)
.        Dad hay heart yo       (Did he hurt you)
.        oh-gahn?               (again?)

EVELYN   Woe?                   (Why?)

HENRY    Ah, Ay-m – noise.      (Oh, I’m – nice.)
.        Ay woes cone-sahrnd-   (I was concerned-)

EVELYN   Dots owl?              (That’s all?)

HENRY    As dot aw bowd tang    (Is that a bad thing?)

EVELYN   New, bought ats aw     (No, but it’s a)
.        bowd tang note toe sah (bad thing not to say)
.        woe-t yo rah-lay wont  (what you really want)
.        toe sah.               (to say.)

HENRY    Woe-t or yo tray-ang   (What are you trying)
.        toe sah, dan?          (to say, then?)

EVELYN   Ugh, Ay-m vah-ray      (Ugh, I’m very)
.        tared, Hahn-ray.  Ohnd (tired, Henry.  And)
.        Ay hove new tame toe   (I have no time to
.        plah gas-sang gams.    (play guessing games.)

(After EVELYN storms off, HENRY slowly shuffles off.)

(CHRIS steps outside to stretch and starts to walk.    34
SISSY catches up to him.)

SISSY    Hi.  Would you mind if I walked with you?

CHRIS    As long as you don’t mind walking in silence.
.        I do this every night to clear my head.

SISSY    Of course.  I just wanted to go for a walk.
.        It’s not that safe for a woman to be out
.        walking by herself.

(SISSY looks over at CHRIS and realizes that he’s
very serious about the silent part.  As they walk,
SISSY looks ahead and begins to sing
SONG 6 sung to “Coventry Carol.”)

SISSY    (singing)  Oblivious – oh why-can he not see
.        everything he means to-me-

CHRIS    I’m sorry.  That would include singing.

SISSY    Sorry.  (softly singing)  Oblivious-

CHRIS    I’m sorry.  And I really mean it.
.        I just want my freedom.  No strings attached.

SISSY    Who around here is trying to make you
.        into their puppet?

CHRIS    I just get that sense, sometimes.  It’s just
.        every so often, I feel the grip of hands
.        around my neck, (chokes himself dramatically)
.        choking me – trying to make me comply with
.        certain social norms.  (throws hands down)
.        I just can’t have that.

SISSY    (hopelessly calm)  Got it.

CHRIS    (calmly again)  I’m sorry.

SISSY    Good to know.

(SISSY looks very confused and befuddled as she
follows CHRIS off stage.)

(HENRY comes out of the shadows and watches them
walk away, then HENRY goes into
SONG 6 sung to “Coventry Carol” - heart-wrenchingly.)

HENRY    (singing verse 1)                             35
.        Oo-blah-vay-aws, oo wah(Oblivious, oh why)
.          cohn shay note say   (can she not see)
.        ah-var-tang shay mains (everything she means)
.          toe may?             (to-me?)
.        Woe-t most Ay doe -    (What must I do –)
.           toe gahn hair       (to gain her)
.           ox-hap-taunts?      (acceptance?)
.        Woe-t strow-tah-jay    (What strategy)
.           toe coh-mans?       (to com-mence?)
.        (singing verse 2)
.        Oo-blah-vay-aws, hoe   (Oblivious – how)
.           cohn shay bay       (can she be)
.           zoh bland?          (so blind?)
.        Woe cohnt shay raid    (Why can’t she read)
.           may mand?           (my mind?)
.        woe-t most Ay doe -    (What must I do –)
.           toe gat hair        (to get her)
.           Oh-tan-shone?       (attention?)
.        Ay nayd                (I need)
.           ahn-tar-van-shone.  (intervention.)

(HENRY walks off with a dejected, ponderous air.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(TED paces the floor and pulls at his hair with
frustration.  Doorbell rings.)

TED      Sissy!  Door!  Sissy!  Ugh!

(TED marches off stage to answer, then marches back in
with an amused DEAN BROWN following close behind.
TED then continues to pace as DEAN BROWN sits to watch.)

DEAN     I have come to check up on your progress.
.        I sense that it is not going well.

TED      (angry)  No-no. Things are well! Just splendid!

DEAN     So she will be ready in time for my party?

TED      Actually, I have upped the ante- a little.
.        Your party will merely be a testing ground.
.        The final examination will take place
.        at the awards ceremony.

DEAN     Giving you another week.

TED      You met the raw material.
.                                                      36
DEAN     All right, then.  You have another week.  But
.        I still expect you to bring her to my party.

TED      Just... please, be kind.

DEAN     (curiously)  Have you learned anything yet?

TED      A bit of patience - perhaps.
.        (sees DEAN’S quizzical, dubious glance)
.        Yes-yes, of course, we are extracting
.        massive amounts of knowledge on –
.        the subject matter.  (turns to mutter)
.        If only it were useful.

.                         ACT 2
.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(It is morning.  EVELYN and TED are back at it.)

TED      Teenagers.  Teeeeen –

EVELYN   Tee-ahn –

TED      Teee – n!

EVELYN   Teee - ahn.

SISSY    (carrying in a tray of food)
.        Funny how she can say “teen” when it
.        comes to that auntie of hers.

TED      (slaps his hands together)  Say her name,
.        Evelyn.  Say the name of your auntie
.        that you so incessantly speak about.

EVELYN   Yo main may Ohn-tay    (You mean my Auntie)
.        Teen.                  (Teen.)

TED      YES!  That’s it.  Now, just say her name,
.        without the “auntie” part.

EVELYN   Teen?

TED      Yes-YES!  Again?

EVELYN   Teen.

TED      Exactly!  Could you possibly say that
.        whenever you say “teen”ager?
.                                                      37
EVELYN   Ats spall-d            (It’s spelled)
.        dah-frant-lay.         (differently.)

(TED and SISSY stare at each other incredulously.)

TED      (snaps out of revere)  Well then- in your head,
.        spell “teenager” differently.  Say her name –

EVELYN   Teen –

TED      -ager!

EVELYN   -ah-jar.

TED      (gasping)  I see.

EVELYN   Ay-sah.

TED      See.


TED      Eeee.

EVELYN   Aaaaay.

TED      Jer.


TED      (growling)  Er.

EVELYN   (growling)  Ar.

(SISSY writes something on the notepad and hands it
to TED, who shows it to EVELYN.)

TED      Read the word “teenager” this way.

EVELYN   Teen – a-ger.

TED      Ah-ha!  Yes-yes-yes!  Teen-ager.

EVELYN   Teen-ager.

TED      This is fantastic.

(SISSY starts to hand out the plates of food.)

TED      (glaring at SISSY)  What are you doing?       38
.        We can’t stop to eat now.  We’re finally
.        getting somewhere.  Evelyn said, “Teenager!”

SISSY    I’ve also observed that Evelyn has quite
.        a hearty appetite.

EVELYN   Ay EM store-vang!      (I AM starving!)

TED      Fine!  I suppose I could stop meanwhile
.        and figure out some other strategies
.        to conquer this dialectic-horror.
.        (watches EVELYN eat with her mouth open)
.        Evelyn, decorum.  Mouth closed when you chew.
.        Your mouth, it’s always open!  

SISSY    It’s pretty much how she talks, too.
.        You know, the form of her mouth as she talks -

TED      Why?  Why is that?  Why... that’s it.
.        Maybe that’s the key right there.
.        (as SISSY nods knowingly, he turns to EVELYN)
.        Evelyn, say “vegetable.”

EVELYN   Vah-jah-te-ball.       (Vegetable.)

(TED pounces to put a hand underneath Evelyn’s jaw.)

TED      Now say, “vegetable”.

(When she talks, EVELYN’s jaw stays put, but the
top half of her head lifts.)

EVELYN    Vah-jah-te-ball.      (Vegetable.)

(TED uses his other hand to hold the top part of her
head down – so EVELYN has to talk with a clenched jaw.)

TED      Now, with a smile, say “vegetable”.

EVELYN   Veg-eh-teble.

TED      That’s it!!!  Again!

EVELYN   Veg-eh-teble?

TED      Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.

EVELYN   Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.

TED      Amazing!                                      39

EVELYN   Vegetables are better –

TED      With?

EVELYN   With salt and pepper.

TED      Again.

EVELYN   Vegetables are better –

TED      With what?

EVELYN   With salt and pepper!

TED      That’s it!  I’ve done it!

(SISSY balks at the oversight.  CHRIS straggles in.)

EVELYN   Vegetables are better – with salt and pepper.

(CHRIS is impressed and surprised.)

TED      Again.

(As TED holds onto EVELYN’S head, ALL go into
SONG 7 sung to “Brahms’s Lullaby” with excitement.)

EVELYN   (singing verse 1)
.        Vegetables - are better –
TED      (shouting)  With what?  
EVELYN   (singing)  With salt and pepper!
TED&CHRIS(shouting)  With what?
EVELYN   (singing)  With salt and pepper,
.        and lots of butter.
TED      (quickly speaking)  And who usually
.        hates vegetables?
EVELYN   (singing)  Teenagers?
TED&CHRIS(speaking)  Who hate them?
EVELYN   (singing)  Teenagers!
.        Teens hate vegetables
TED      (speaking)  What do they hate?
EVELYN   (singing)  Vegetables!
TED      (speaking)  Again?
EVELYN   (singing)  Vegetables!
TED      (speaking)  But how are they better?
EVELYN   (singing)  With lots of butter.
ALL      (sing last line)  With lots of butter.

(TED releases Evelyn’s head and sits back.)            40

TED      That’s it!  I’ve done it.  And now...
.        “Teenagers are known for their tardiness.”

EVELYN   Teeeen-agers – are – noh-ehn –

TED      Ugh!

CHRIS    Looks like we celebrated prematurely.

TED      No!  “Know-n!” – Ahhh...

SISSY    How do you say “none?”

EVELYN   Known.

TED      Okay then.  Teen-agers – are known –

EVELYN   Teen-agers – are – known –

TED      -for their –

EVELYN   For - dar –

TED      Thhhhh- their.

(EVELYN inhales to begin but TED holds up a “stop” hand.)

TED      Stick out your tongue.  All the way.

EVELYN   Thhhh- ar.

TED      Thhhh-

EVELYN   Thhhh-

(TED grabs EVELYN’s cheeks to pull into a smile.)

TED      Th-their.

EVELYN   Th-their.

CHRIS    Except you can’t go around holding her face
.        every time she says something.

TED      (reluctantly lets go of EVELYN)  Their –

EVELYN   (carefully)  Their-

SISSY    If only she could keep her teeth clenched.    41

TED      Try keeping your teeth clenched while speaking.
.        Now, “tardiness.”

EVELYN   Tardi-nnnn-ess.

TED      Wonderful.

EVELYN   (keeping her teeth clenched)  Wonderful.
.        Teen-agers – are – known – for – thhh-er
.        tardi-nnn-ess.

SISSY    (blandly)  Just in time for the party.

CHRIS    At least there’s a little more time
.        to fine tune before my awards night?  
.        Meanwhile, it will be such fun to see
.        how she does amongst the learned world
.        of deans, professors and-

TED      Fun for you, perhaps.  It’s my reputation
.        on the line.  Evelyn, there is a party
.        that we will all attend.  You can wear
.        one of your little black dresses.

EVELYN   Ay doe note hove aw    (I do not have a)
.        lah-tall block drahs.  (little black dress.)

TED      Pardon?

EVELYN   (clenching teeth and being careful)  Sorry.
.        I do not have a little black dress.

TED      Sissy - take Evelyn shopping.

SISSY    How is that part of my job description?

CHRIS    You already make coffee.

TED      Did you WANT to be fired?

SISSY    Ha!  You would never fire me because no one
.        else in their right mind would ever work
.        for you!  And – deep - deep down inside –
.        you KNOW I’m indispensable.  I expect
.        a little more credit.

TED      Nonetheless, you are taking her shopping.
.        God knows she can’t wear what she usually does.
.                                                      42
EVELYN   Ay woe-d nah-var       (I would never)
.        ox-pact-               (expect-)

(TED grabs EVELYN’s head to clench her teeth down again.)

EVELYN   (continuing) – I’d never expect you to know
.        God’s taste in clothing.

TED      (releasing EVELYN’S head)  Call it a hunch.

EVELYN   A haunch?

TED      Gr.  Remember! speak – with – clenched - teeth.

CHRIS    And in your head - spell everything differently.

SISSY    (dryly)  And only talk about vegetables.

EVELYN   And teenagers?

TED      No, that would be weird.  Just talk about food.
.        You know enough about food.  Just don’t
.        let them see it in your mouth.  

CHRIS    The weather is usually a safe topic.

EVELYN   (exits with SISSY) I know all about the weather.
.        Auntie Teen always says that weather indicates-

TED      (yells after them)  No!  Stick with food.

.                   STAGE RIGHT: STORE

(SISSY begins with her professional manner, but as EVELYN
skips excitedly along, SISSY slowly warms up.  At
stage right, they dance while trying on hats and wraps to
SONG 8 sung to “Bye, Baby Bunting” with clenched teeth.)

.        (singing verse)
EVELYN   I want to show them,
.        make a great impression.
SISSY    I am sure you’ll do that as you
.        give them a great demonstra-tion.

.        (singing verse 2)
EVELYN   I’m getting nervous.
SISSY    Nothing you can’t stifle.
EVELYN   I don’t find it frivolous-
SISSY    I never called it -trifle.
.                                                      43
.        (singing verse 3)
EVELYN   I’m getting worried -
.        what if I’m embarrassed?
SISSY    I know you can do it
.        just use all that you have pract –iced.

.        (singing verse 4)
EVELYN   O-kay, I will show them!
.        It’s already mine-
SISSY    Just like I have told you,
.        you can relax while you wine and dine.

(EVELYN stops short.)

EVELYN   Wait a minute.  Did you say – “wine”?

SISSY    Yes, it’s a cocktail party.  There will be
.        appetizers, wine, cocktails – What?

EVELYN   I don’t drink–

SISSY    That’s okay.  It’s actually a good thing.
.        Keep all your wits about you.  No big deal.

(SISSY grabs a few shopping bags and they walk out.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(EVELYN speaks as she follows SISSY across the stage.)

EVELYN   It’s a huge deal.  I just can’t do it.
.        I cannot be in a place where loose morals run
.        amok, and blustery drunken advances are made-
.        (stops as SISSY doubles up with laughter)
.        How can you make light of such a matter –

SISSY    Oh Evelyn, it won’t be like that.  I promise.
.        The party will be filled with stuffy
.        fuddy-duddies all trying to appear very
.        intellectual.  And the ladies there will be all
.        hoity-toity and uppity-yuppity.  They themselves
.        frown on anybody getting even slightly tipsy.
.        No one would dare have their name smeared
.        amongst the upper-echelon.

EVELYN   So it is a den of gossips?

SISSY    You’re really making snap judgments –

EVELYN   I am.  I’m sorry.  I should not judge.        44

SISSY    You really are a nice girl with
.        good standards.  And I really like you.
.        I always know where you stand.

EVELYN   You see, I was just never going to let
.        the city change me in a bad way.
.        I don’t want to be pressured into anything.

SISSY    Many people don’t drink.  Either because
.        they’re alcoholics.  Pregnant.  It’s too
.        expensive.  Or... they just don’t drink.

EVELYN   So, what should I say when they offer?

SISSY    Just say, “I would LOVE some water, please.”

.                        ACT 2
.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(It is evening.  TED and CHRIS pace.)

TED      I hope Sissy has good taste in style.

CHRIS    I think she does, from what I’ve noticed.
.        I have not - really noticed.  Honestly,
.        I’ve had my eye set on someone else.

TED      (horrified)  Evelyn?

CHRIS    No!  Kendra McArthur.

TED      Oh, she’d be fabulous for your career.

CHRIS    And yourself?

TED      My career, of course.  I don’t have time
.        to bother with nursing some relationship-
.        which will only be a roadblock to success-

CHRIS    How astute of you.  So?  The only woman
.        standing in the way of your success- is-

(SISSY and EVELYN walk out, each looking stunning.
Both TED and CHRIS are stunned at the transition.)

TED      Evelyn.

CHRIS    Evelyn?
.                                                      45
EVELYN   (still clenching teeth)  Good evening.

SISSY    She cleans up rather well, don’t you think?

TED      Ah, yes, sure.  Well, we ah, we should –
.        join the party.

CHRIS    Shall we?  Ladies.

(The FOUR walk to the stage right.)

.                   STAGE RIGHT: HOUSE

(As the FOUR enter the “house,” they are met by DORIS.)

DORIS    Darlings, welcome to the party.  Come in.
.        Let me find my husband.

(DORIS turns around just as DEAN BROWN enters,
and she continues her spin back to the FOUR.)

DORIS    And here he is.

DEAN     Ted Miller, and guests.  Welcome.
.        Will there be introductions?

TED      Dean Brown and the lovely wife-

SISSY    (whispers into TED’s ear)  Doris.

TED      Doris!  You remember my assistant.

DORIS    Sissy Smith!

TED      This is a good colleague of mine,
.        Chris Wilson.

DEAN     You are the one up for an award next week.

CHRIS    Yes sir.  Pleased to meet you.

TED      And this is Evelyn Fair.  The, ah-
.        My, ah-

(DEAN BROWN and DORIS stare at EVELYN, waiting to see
what she will do or say.  TED clenches his teeth as
he stares at EVELYN wondering how to explain her.
EVELYN takes a deep breath, then makes sure to speak
very slow and concise, while maintaining a stiff smile.)
.                                                    46
EVELYN   His loyal subject.

DEAN     Ah!  Marvelous!

EVELYN   We have met before.

DEAN     Yes-yes we have.  Although, I don’t think
.        I would have recognized you.

(WAITER walks by with a tray of drinks.)

DORIS    May I offer all of you something to drink?

(EVELYN’S smile falls briefly as she braces herself
with quiet terror.)

DORIS    Evelyn?

(EVELYN’S smile is back with intensity.  
SISSY cocks her head to the side as a signal.)

EVELYN   (relaxing)  I would LOVE some water, please.

DORIS    Certainly.  What kind?

EVELYN   (suddenly confused)  Wwaaah-ter, please?

DORIS    (laughing)  Well, sure.  We have sparkling,
.        tonic, arctic-chilled, Perrier-

EVELYN   (recognizing something)  Perrier, please.

(The REST have all grabbed a drink by now, so DORIS nods
to the WAITER to get water, then turns back to EVELYN.)

DORIS    Your water is on its way.

EVELYN   Thank you so much, Dor-IS.

DORIS    (pulls EVELYN aside)  You’re kind of young to
.        have dentures.  I’ve heard that Polygrip does
.        wonders to hold your teeth firmly in place.

(EVELYN lets out a laugh-sigh combination as she
grins widely, still clenching.  TED clears his throat
for SISSY to join the ladies and rescue EVELYN.)

SISSY    Oh, Evelyn doesn’t have dentures.  She, ah...

EVELYN   I suffer with lock-jaw.                       47

DORIS    You should see someone for that.

EVELYN   It runs in the family.  My Auntie Teen-
.        after she nearly died after she had a nap-
.        fell and hit her head- although that was-

TED      (rushing over)  Tragic.  It is such a tragic
.        story.  Really.  Too – tragic to tell.

DORIS    Oh, so protective.  Are you two an item?

TED      No!  Lovely lady, but - no.

DORIS    Then you’ve brought your lovely assistant,
.        Sissy, as your date, yes?  It’s all right, dear.
.        This is how Dean Brown and I got together.

(DORIS notices SISSY nervously glancing at CHRIS.)

TED      Except that - she’s NOT.

DORIS    I apologize.  Of course, it’s obvious.
.        Sissy came with Chris.

CHRIS    No!

DORIS    Oookay!  I don’t quite understand.

SISSY    We are all JUST - colleagues.

DORIS    (to EVELYN)  So what is it that you do-

TED      SHE – is - helping me with my research!
.        Another assistant.  (changing the subject)
.        Evelyn, Dean Brown is the academic dean of the
.        university.  Naturally, it’s always pointed out,
.        how ironic it is that he is a dean and that his
.        name is in fact - Dean.  He is dean Dean Brown.

SISSY    That IS ironic, isn’t it!

(As CHRIS speaks, SISSY stares at him with admiration.
WAITER brings EVELYN her Perrier, which she begins
to drink too quickly.  TED motions for her to slow down.)

CHRIS    So as people call you Dean Brown, you would
.        never know if they are meaning it with
.        your respectful title or as a casual slight.
.                                                    48
DEAN     I suppose not.

(DORIS pulls SISSY aside as the REST mime conversation.)

DORIS    Listen dear, I can see how you pine over
.        this man... Chris Wilson, is it?

SISSY    So embarrassing.  Mostly because he is
.        hardly aware of my existence.

DORIS    Take it from me.  You need to let him know -
.        very directly - that you are interested.

SISSY    I can’t do that.

DORIS    Continue pining then, because men cannot
.        read our minds.

(SISSY and DORIS return to the GROUP.)

DEAN     So, Chris, from what I hear, it is to be
.        expected that your acceptance speech will
.        include a big “thank you” to our faculty
.        for our part in your article?

CHRIS    Ah, ha ha, you are quite right.  I couldn’t
.        have done it without dear old Ted.

(SISSY cringes with anger at the oversight of her
contribution.  DEAN turns toward EVELYN who finishes
drinking her water.  TED motions to EVELYN again
to keep her jaw clenched.)

DEAN     So Evelyn, what sort of things do you enjoy?

EVELYN   (tries to speak but has to burp)
.        Bubbles.  Sorry.

DEAN     You enjoy bubbles?  No need to be sorry,
.        I suppose.

DORIS    Oh, Perrier does the same thing to me, too.
.        Here darling.  Let me get you more water.

(DORIS takes the Perrier bottle from EVELYN and exits.
WAITER walks by with a vegetables platter. EVELYN quickly
grabs something and finds that it’s a carrot.  Taking
a bite, she holds it up, and quickly remembers to chew
with her mouth closed and talk with her teeth clenched.)
.                                                    49
EVELYN   Vegetables are better with salt and pepper-
.        and lots of butter.

DEAN     I - quite agree.  Is there something wrong
.        with your jaw?

DORIS    (returns, handing another Perrier to EVELYN)
.        Lock-jaw.  But oh, funny thing, I thought
.        the poor girl wore dentures-

DEAN     Remember your uncle?  He had problems
.        with even the tiniest bits of apples.

EVELYN   That’s nothing.  My Auntie Teen can’t chew
.        ANYTHING with her dentures.  She’d rather
.        gum everything to death.  So for every meal,
.        she puts the dentures into her purse;  as well
.        as whatever leftover food she can sneak away.
.        One day, my uncle Harold noticed her putting
.        a wrapped cabbage roll into her purse.
.        He figured she might as well – because
.        that’s where her teeth usually are.

(TED laughs very nervously.)

DEAN     Ha!  Brilliant!  Or, were you serious?  

(TED spreads out his hands in question to EVELYN.)

EVELYN   Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.
.        And lots of butter.

DORIS    You do keep going on about butter.  You should
.        really avoid butter at all costs.  You could –
.        someday – lose that girlish figure of yours.
.        But– oh- go ahead, I suppose I cannot stop you.

EVELYN   (waving her off with a smile)  Don’t worry,
.        you COULDN’T!  Avoid butter!  My family
.        would DIE without butter.  Why, our entire
.        culture is basted in butter.

DEAN     You mean, based in butter-

EVELYN   (very matter-of-factly)  No!  Basted.
.        Besides meat, we use butter in everything.
.        Simply everything.  My Auntie Teen would
.        even use it to oil the tractors.
.        And when she ran out of shaving cream-
.                                                    50
TED      My-my-it’s getting late.  At least you don’t
.        have to wake up early to milk the cows.

(TED grabs EVELYN by the shoulders and swings her around
toward the door.  Everyone’s laughter peters off.)

DEAN     Ted, buddy, please do not spoil our fun.
.        Evelyn is such a hoot.

DORIS    Simple - charming.  SIMPLY charming.
.        I can’t imagine living such a –
.        (eyes flashing)  simple life.

EVELYN   It’s really not that simple a life.
.        Especially when you’re trying to plan something
.        like a surprise anniversary party for
.        your parents and then you run into my
.        Auntie Teen, who always spills the beans-
.        which is funny because she’s also very clumsy-

TED      I really must meet this Auntie Teen of yours.
.        In fact, let’s go find her right now.

(TED pushes EVELYN out, with CHRIS and SISSY following
and trying to smooth out the awkward exit.  SISSY grabs
EVELYN’S Perrier and hands it to DEAN and DORIS,
along with all the other drink glasses.)

SISSY    Thank you for the lovely party,
.        Dean and Doris.

CHRIS    Yes, thank you, and – I’m sorry-

DEAN     Thank you – for coming.
.        (calling out to TED)
.        The party was – a complete success.

DORIS    Yes, thank you so much for the
.        entertainment.

(DEAN and DORIS laugh as they exit stage right.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(While SISSY and CHRIS watch awkwardly, TED puffs
himself up in front of EVELYN.)

TED      How...  How...  HOW?

(TED puts up a “stop” hand to EVELYN and               51
walks away.  CHRIS and SISSY begin to follow.)

EVELYN   Did I do something wrong?

SISSY    I thought you did – fine.  Yes, it was fine.
.        I guess- we’ll see you - tomorrow morning.

(Alone, EVELYN wrings her hands and tries to keep
from crying.  A few feet away, HENRY sits on a park bench
reading a newspaper.  HENRY shakes his head,
puts down the newspaper, and starts to sing
SONG 8 sung to “Bedtime.”)

HENRY    (singing verse 1)
.        Ats sotch aw strahnge  (It’s such a strange)
.         warld                 (world)
.        ohnd zoh hoard toe     (and so hard to)
.         fat en.               (fit in.)
.        Ay fail lake Ay-m      (I feel like I’m)
.         dram-ang,             (dreaming,)
.        johst flute-ang        (just floating
.         oh-rond.              (around.)
.        Ay johst cape tray-ang (I just keep trying)
.         toe fond sohm-own els (to find someone else)
.        whet owl tangs an      (with all things in)
.         coh-mohn, an          (common, on)
.         sam-ah-lore groan-d   (similar ground.)

EVELYN   (singing verse 2, with clenched teeth)
.        My time at the party, it was a big test.
.        The hope that I had was- that I would not choke.
.        But I kept on talking- and talking all night.
.        My prayer is that I will not- be a big joke.

.        (singing verse 3)
HENRY    Ats sotch aw           (It’s such a
.           strahnge warld      (strange world)
EVELYN   (echo)  It’s such a strange world
HENRY    Ohnd zoh hoard         (and so hard)
.           toe fat an.         (to fit in.)
EVELYN   (echo)  and so hard to fit in.
.        (sings next line)  I feel like I’m dreaming,
.           just floating around.
.        I just keep trying to find someone else
HENRY    whet owl tangs        (with all things)
.           an coh-moan        (things in common,)
EVELYN   (echo)  With all things in common
HENRY    An sam-ah-lar groan-d.(on similar ground.)
EVELYN   (echo with retard)  On similar ground.
.                                                     52
(EVELYN now looks in HENRY’S direction and realizes
he is there.  She pulls herself together to look
more dignified as he approaches her.)

HENRY    AH-vah-lun.  Yo lake- (Evelyn.  You look-)
.        luck sotch aw         (like such a)
.        sat-y pahr-sohn.      (city-person.)

EVELYN   I just had my first test.  I thought
.        it went well, but my instructor didn’t
.        seem too impressed.

HENRY    Yo ah-van tuck lake   (You even talk like)
.        aw sat-y pahr-sohn.   (a city-person.)

EVELYN   Is that such a bad thing?  Look!  I have goals.
.        I have a message to bring to the world
.        about weather.  And in order to report
.        the weather, I must communicated this
.        clearly enough that everyone can understand.
.        You need to stop trying to keep me from
.        changing.  And you need to stop following me-

HENRY    Mah-bay yo or dah      (Maybe you are the)
.        own foh-lah-ang may.   (one following me.)

EVELYN   Hardly.  I think we now live
.        in two completely different worlds.

(EVELYN storms off, leaving a hurt and confused HENRY.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(It is morning.  CHRIS kicks back in the easy chair.
TED enters, rubbing his forehead.)

CHRIS    Last night went well – don’t you think?

TED      You’re in my chair.

CHRIS    (stands so TED can collapse in the chair)
.        You don’t think it went well last night?
.        It was – (laughs)  highly entertaining.
.        (sighs as he settles onto the sofa)

TED      I was not amused.

(SISSY enters with coffee to hand to TED.)

TED      How do YOU think last night went?            53

SISSY    All things considered, I thought she did –
.        well enough.

CHRIS    What about me?

SISSY    You – behaved yourself well enough, too.

CHRIS    Not what I meant.  Why didn’t you bring
.        me any coffee?

SISSY    If you want coffee, you could – ask for it –
.        perhaps.  I did not realize I was being
.        paid to serve you too.  I suppose all I am
.        is a glorified servant – who is not seen
.        as a valued colleague of any level.
.        Never shown any gratitude - or decorum.

CHRIS    I’m sorry.  Could you please bring me
.        some coffee?...  Thank you?

(SISSY gasps with frustration and exits.)

CHRIS    See THAT did not seem to go so well.
.        I wonder what her issue is.

TED      Forget about her.

CHRIS    Well stop worrying about last night.
.        You heard Dean Brown calling out
.        that the party was – and I quote –
.        “a complete success.”

TED      So you feel she’s ready to go to your
.        awards night next week –

CHRIS    Oh-well-but - as you said, she still needs
.        some fine-tuning.

TED      People thought she had lock-jaw, or
.        wore dentures.  This does not equate to
.        success.  Not in my books.

(EVELYN walks in timidly, wearing street clothes,
but dressed more fashionably than in the beginning.
ALL eyes turn to her.  She continues clenching teeth.)

EVELYN   What?  Soooo...

(SISSY enters and gives CHRIS a cup of coffee,        54
then sits down with a notepad and pen, remaining
dutifully poised.)

TED      Oh!  NOW you have nothing to say?

(SISSY looks from EVELYN to TED a few times.)

EVELYN   What do you mean?

TED      Last night was a complete disaster.

CHRIS    Now really.  You cannot include “complete”
.        in that assessment.

EVELYN   But – I worked so hard.  And I kept
.        a clenched jaw the entire time.

TED      But you went on and on with all these stories.
.        You never shut up.  It was embarrassing.

EVELYN   I kept to the subject of food.

SISSY    She did do that.

TED      THINK about it.

EVELYN   What?  I – was having fun.  Is there anything
.        wrong with having fun?

TED      You simply – cannot keep rambling on and on
.        like that.  No matter what the subject is.

EVELYN   But the subject just kept coming up –
.        and they were - laughing.

TED      They were laughing AT you, not WITH you.
.        All your folklore stories about this
.        Auntie Teen.  They don’t make any sense.
.        And they’re not that interesting.  And –
.        they lack CLASS.

EVELYN   (angrily)  Oh, and your stories would
.        be better?  You’re a very boring man.

TED      Forget the stories.  Nobody wants
.        to hear stories.  Nobody wants to hear YOU
.        talk or tell your stories.  At all!  Ever!

EVELYN   Well-
.                                                     55
(Choking up, EVELYN storms out.)

TED      Women!

CHRIS    That was very rude of you.  Just because she’s
.        your case study, doesn’t make her less human.

(SISSY stares at TED, fuming.)

TED      What are you looking at?

SISSY    He’s rude to everyone.  

(CHRIS thinks about that for a bit and nods his head.)

TED      Get back to work.  I don’t pay you to sass me.
.        (to Chris)  Women!

(SISSY swings around and storms out.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(SISSY finds EVELYN sitting on the bench sobbing.)

SISSY    Men!

(EVELYN dries her eyes and looks up.  Seeing SISSY, she
then looks around as if expecting to see someone else.
SISSY looks around with her.)

SISSY    Who are you looking for?

EVELYN   Ohhhh, (sadly) no one.

SISSY    I’m sorry.  Ted should not treat you like that.
.        No one deserves that.

EVELYN   Including you!  Why don’t you just quit?

SISSY    I can’t quit.  I need the money.

EVELYN   But, is it worth all of THAT?  I mean,
.        you’re smart.  You could easily find
.        something better.  (SISSY shakes her head)
.        Seriously, you’re the one who kept coming up
.        with all the ideas of how to help me.
.        You – you – could be a speech pathologist...

SISSY    I always thought I’d become a professor of-
.                                                     56
EVELYN   As a speech pathologist, you could help people.
.        You helped me-  You could help people
.        with REAL problems.

SISSY    Something to consider.  But look,
.        you’re the one who has nothing to lose
.        by just walking away from all of this.
.        You don’t HAVE to put up with Ted’s attitude.

EVELYN   Tempting.  To just leave him hanging.

SISSY    Yeah, if you walked away now, he couldn’t
.        finish his dissertation.  All of his work
.        would go down the drain.

EVELYN   But I’m a nice girl with standards.  AND –
.        I cannot just do that.  Remember, I’ve put
.        a lot of work into this, too.  And I still
.        want to be a weather girl.  (sighing)
.        Who am I kidding.  I can’t pull it off.
.        I mean, Ted was right.  They were all
.        laughing at me.

SISSY    Let me give you some advice.
.        When you go to the awards night this week,
.        just ask questions.  We can come up with a few
.        good questions.  People LOVE to hear
.        THEMSELVES talk, so let THEM do all the talking.  

EVELYN   But then, how do they get to know ME?

SISSY    Sadly, most people just don’t care.  And when
.        they do, it’s only because you can help them
.        somehow.  They only care about themselves.
.        When you put yourself out there like that,
.        you risk – well – you risk being humiliated.
.        So asking the questions and letting them
.        do all the talking saves you a lot of effort.
.        And they will LOVE you for it.  You just
.        have to know how to work the system.

EVELYN   You mean, schmoozing?

SISSY    Well, people like to call it networking.

EVELYN   Networking...  Is that how you think
.        you’re going to get Chris’s attention?

SISSY    What?
.                                                     57
EVELYN   Just because I’m from the boondocks,
.        doesn’t mean I’m blind.  You like Chris.

SISSY    Awkward.  Do you think he likes me?

EVELYN   I guess you’ll never know unless you ask.
.        Or, you just tell him how you feel.

SISSY    So you think he likes me?

EVELYN   Ah, from what I’ve seen – I don’t think so.

SISSY    That is what I’ve actually come to realize.
.        And something else!  I’ve just decided,
.        I don’t really like Chris.  He’s an okay guy,
.        but I’m not going to force someone to like me.
.        I’m not going to change who I am – just so he
.        might like me.  I think it would be great to
.        find someone who liked me– just for who I am.

EVELYN   You’ll find that guy one day.  You certainly
.        are nice – and very patient.

SISSY    Thanks!  So?  Do you think you can bear
.        any more punishment – I mean – lessons –
.        from the great Professor Miller?

EVELYN   Ahhhh, yes, I still very much want to become
.        a weather girl.

.                   STAGE RIGHT: HOUSE

(As EVELYN and SISSY march back to the house,
TED and CHRIS take note.)

TED      So I may assume that you are here to finish up
.        the tweaking sessions?

EVELYN   (clenching her teeth)  Can we?

TED      “May” – we.

EVELYN   No – I really meant – CAN we.  I am merely
.        wondering if we actually CAN– with real decorum.

TED      I really do not know what that means.  I can now
.        make out your words, but not their intent.

EVELYN   Stop being rude.  And say what you mean.
.                                                     58
TED      I have been.

EVELYN   No, you keep putting me down.

(EVELYN crosses her arms and looks away stubbornly.)

TED      I – I’m sorry.

EVELYN   (slowly turning)  Forgiven.  And I’m listening
.        for some constructive criticism and guidance.

TED      Ahhh, okay, the positive things that I’ve done –
.        (EVELYN turns away)
.        That we have done – YOU have done –
.        (EVELYN turns toward him a little more now)
.        Has been good.  Very good.  Now – what I need
.        from you is- try to make it sound natural.
.        Less – clenched.

EVELYN   Hm, natural.  Do you mean, I should sound
.        like you?

TED      Yes?

(EVELYN sighs and shakes herself loose a little,
then begins speaking naturally without an accent,
and without clenched teeth, but still carefully.)

EVELYN   Is this how I should sound, perhaps?

TED      Yes!

EVELYN   This does not FEEL natural.  I feel as if
.        I am acting.

TED      Is that so bad?  I mean, it sounds - wonderful.

EVELYN   It feels weird to me.

TED      So you CAN do this?  You WILL do fine.

EVELYN   I just feel like I have lost myself.

SISSY    Evelyn, just because you don’t speak with your
.        old accent, doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself.

EVELYN   But – I am to avoid telling any stories-

TED      Only for tonight.
.                                                     59
SISSY    Or during a job interview.

CHRIS    Or trying to impress some young gentleman.

SISSY    Wrong!  Not to impress some gentleman!
.        You should be yourself.  Don’t try to change
.        or be something you’re not in order to start
.        a relationship.  You’re not doing anyone
.        any favors.  Especially yourself.

CHRIS    Sissy?  Well, look who suddenly became all...
.        something-something.

SISSY    Chris!  If I have helped you in any way
.        with your research, and I have, you will
.        include me in your thank you speech.
.        (to TED)  JUST as I will expect from you-
.        a special mention in your dissertation.

(EVELYN points a threatening finger at CHRIS then
motions back and forth between him and SISSY.  EVELYN
then taps at her head – like – think about it!
SISSY marches off and drags EVELYN along with her.)

CHRIS    Well, now I’m afraid I’m going to mess up
.        my ‘thank you’ speech.  I dare not forget
.        to thank everyone.

TED      THAT is why those speeches go on forever.

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(It is evening.  HENRY paces, then stops, speaking as if
EVELYN is there in front of him – practicing.)

HENRY    AH-vah-lun, Ay-m tor-d (Evelyn.  I’m tired)
.        off– yo– note hair-ang (of– you– not hearing)
.        dah tangs Ay-m         (the things I’m)
.        tray-ang hoard toe     (trying hard to)
.        sah – toe yo.  Oh-bot  (say – to you.  About)
.        yo.  New!  AH-vah-lun, (you.  No!  Evelyn,)
.        laht may tuck.         (let me talk.)
.        Down’t sah ohn-y-tang  (Don’t say anything)
.        own-tall ay tall yo-   (until I tell you –)
.        dot yo cohn dan sah    (that you can then say–)
.        sohm-tang.  Bay-cohz   (something.  Because
.        Ay hove sohm-tang toe  (I have something to
.        tall yo.               (tell you.)

(HENRY paces again, shaking his head.)                60

HENRY    New!  AH-vah-lun!-     (No!  Evelyn!
.        Dar as sohm-tang       (There is something)
.        Ay hove toe ohsk.      (I have to ask.)
.        Ohnd Ay showed johst – (And I should just –)
.        ohsk at.  Sohm-tang    (ask it.  Something)
.        Ay showed johst -      (I should just –)
.        sah – zoh – lat may    (say – so let me)
.        sah at – ohn-y-tame!   (say it!  Any time.)

(HENRY slumps down onto the bench.)

HENRY    Ugh, Ay-m zoh          (Ugh, I’m so)
.        Hoop-lass!             (hopeless!)

.                   STAGE RIGHT: HOUSE

(TED, EVELYN, CHRIS and SISSY enter the office all now
dressed up.  CHRIS places his trophy award on the desk
to admire.)

SISSY    Wonderful thank-you speech, Chris.  I was
.        pleasantly surprised when you included me.

CHRIS    You deserve some credit.  I realized this as
.        I’ve watched you work with THAT guy over there
.        all summer long.  I don’t know how you do it.

TED      Well, let’s not forget the other great success.
.        I did it.  I managed to turn HER
.        (pointing at EVELYN) into something
.        desirable enough that someone would want to
.        hire her to be on television, of all things.

EVELYN   Who knew there would be so many producers
.        there?

SISSY    Now just a minute.  YOU did it?!  JUST – YOU?

TED      I did.

EVELYN   Sissy did a lot to help.

TED      Because she’s my assistant.

EVELYN   She came up with most of those observations
.        and strategies.

TED      That’s quite a bold claim, isn’t it?
.                                                    61
EVELYN   And what about all the work I did?

TED      It’s my dissertation.  And still lots
.        of work remaining.  I will have to calculate
.        the ramifications of these findings into
.        the equation of what it would take to turn
.        around the entire use of the English language
.        in society.  I’m sure- millions of years.
.        So my hopeless prediction is still confirmed.
.        Sissy, you’ll get to work on that tomorrow.
.        I want you to start with researching the –

EVELYN   There he goes again!

SISSY    Ted, you’ll have to do that research –
.        on your own.  I quit.  

TED      You cannot quit!  You need me-

SISSY    You mean, you need me.  But, I have been
.        interviewing for a position as a speech
.        pathologist in the school system.  I begin
.        next week.  But – I would love a week off.

CHRIS    Congratulations!

TED      Not congratulations.  I want you to work
.        for me.

SISSY    But I don’t want to work for you!
.        Although, I will thank you for the
.        experience that I’ve gleaned.

TED      I don’t see how you even qualify-

SISSY    Oh, when they heard that I’ve assisted you
.        for over two years, they were so impressed-
.        THAT was the main qualifier, right there.
.        I’ve already cleared out my things.
.        So, good luck to you.

(CHRIS fingers the trophy as he admires it.)

SISSY    And I hope you and your trophy are
.        very happy.

(SISSY exits swiftly.)

CHRIS    What was that all about?
.                                                    62
EVELYN   Just – time and efforts wasted.

CHRIS    I’m still confused.

EVELYN   It’s okay.  It really doesn’t matter.  Anyway!
.        (to TED)  Thank you, Ted, for helping me...

TED      Are you waiting for something?  You do not
.        need my permission to leave.

CHRIS    Ted, you could thank her.

TED      I helped HER.

EVELYN   It’s all right Chris.  Some things -
.        cannot be changed – overnight or maybe ever.
.        Well Ted, all the best trying to find someone
.        who can put up with- can assist - you.

TED      I’m not that rude.

EVELYN   There are many things you still have to learn
.        about the English language.

TED      YOU are giving ME an English lesson now?

EVELYN   It really isn’t how you say something:
.        as in using the proper accent or grammar.
.        But it IS - HOW you say something,
.        as well as the words themselves.
.        And this applies to anybody, no matter
.        what their academic or social status is.

(EVELYN exits.)

CHRIS    Nice girl.  With good standards.
.        You could do with a few lessons from her.

(TED tosses a wad of paper at CHRIS.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(EVELYN meets up with HENRY who is still sitting
on the park bench.)

EVELYN   Hello, Henry.

(HENRY stands up quickly and as tall as he can
make himself.  He speaks very firmly.)
.                                                     63
HENRY    AH-vah-lun!  Or yo     (Evelyn!  Are you)
.        fan-ash-d whet         (finished with)
.        dot main?              (that man?)

EVELYN   What?  Why’d you want to know, Henry?

HENRY    New, uh, Ay johst-     (No, ah, I just– )

EVELYN   Henry!  You really need to learn how to talk.

HENRY    Yo main, phone-sy-     (You mean, FANCY)
.        schmohn-sy, lake yo?   (SCHMANCY like you?)

EVELYN   No – just talk.  Speak up for yourself.
.        Speak your mind.  Tell me what you are thinking
.        and feeling.  Express yourself.  Out with it.
.        Say what you really mean!

(HENRY is shocked into blurting it out.)

HENRY    Ay- Ay wont – toe      (I – I want – to)
.        dat yo...              (date you...)

(EVELYN keeps staring at HENRY, waiting._

HNERY    Ay– doe– llllake yo-   (I– do- lllliiiike you–)
.        vah-ray mooch,         (very much,)
.        AH-vah-lun!            (Evelyn!)

EVELYN   (melting a little)  Really?  Even after
.        I’ve been so rude to you?

HENRY    Wall... yo- hove-      (Well... you – have –)
.        cane-d off-            (kind of-)

EVELYN   Let the city change me, even though
.        I didn’t want it to.  Speaking clearly
.        is one thing, but being rude – I have found –
.        is completely unnecessary.  I am sorry.

HENRY    Ay foor-gahve yo.      (I forgive you.)
.        Zoh- yo wall goo oat   (So – you will go out)
.        whet may?              (with me?)

EVELYN   (HENRY gets worried as EVELYN thinks)
.        Well, I first have a very important question.
.        If I started telling one of my crazy stories,
.        about my Auntie Teen, would you do me a favor
.        and try to stop me from telling it?...
.                                                     64
HENRY    Woe-aaahh?  Ay LOHVE   (Whhhyyy?  I LOVE)
.        yar stoo-rays.         (your stories.)

EVELYN   Oh Henry!  You DO know what to say!

(SONG 10 is sung to “Rockabye, Baby.”)

.        (singing verse 1)
HENRY    Zoh mah-nay dahs spant,(So many days spent,)
.          heart ohnd pan-ang   (hurt and pining.)
.        Wan tangs tarn oat,    (When things turn out,)
.          ats zoh sar-prays-ang(it’s so surprising.)
EVELYN   Speaking your mind,
.           expressing your heart
.        helps out so immensely,
.           doing your part.

(SISSY and CHRIS enter.)

.        (singing verse 2)
SISSY    Wisely placed efforts,
.           on the right things.
.        Finding purpose is like
.           finding wings.
CHRIS    Realize that all work
.           does pay the bill.
.        But all work and no play
.           does not fulfill.

(TED, DEAN and DORA enter.)

.        (singing verse 3)
TED      When you are rude,
.           you become lonely.
.        Lessons in life
.           don’t come that easy.
DEAN&D.  True love will last when
.           you’re a best friend.
ALL      This story is over.
.           This is the end.