ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU
By Dwayne Yancey
Copyright 2004; all rights reserved.
(The scene: An American home, early 1961. The father is in a chair, reading the newspaper. The mother is talking on the phone. The daughter is at a table, doing her homework.)
MOTHER (on the phone): so I was thinking I might get myself one of those hats like the new First Lady has. What do you call those hats that Mrs. Kennedy wears? . . . Pill-boxes, thats right. Pill-boxes. So what do you think? Margaret thought it wouldnt look good on me, but what do you think, Betty?
FATHER: Damn Ruskies! Look at this! Everytime you turn around the Reds are shooting something else into space. How do those godless communists do it? Thats what Id like to know.
DAUGHTER: Mom, can you help me with my homework?
MOTHER: Hang on, Betty. (Covers the phone). What do you want?
DAUGHTER: I said can you help me with my homework? This is hard.
MOTHER: Im sorry, dear. I dont understand that math theyre doing nowadays. Ask your father.
(Daughter sighs; mother resumes phone call.)
Im sorry, Betty. Now what were you saying? See, I saw this just darling little hat down at the Woolworths
(Son runs in.)
SON: Mom! I need some baking soda!
MOTHER: Hang on, Betty. (Covers the phone.) What do you want?
SON: Baking soda! I need a big box of baking soda.
MOTHER: Look in the cabinet.
SON: And some vinegar.
MOTHER: Look in the cabinet. All right, Betty, Im back. Now, as I was saying
(Son goes to get the baking soda and vinegar.)
DAUGHTER: Why do you need baking soda and vinegar?
SON: Science experiment.
DAUGHTER: What kind of wait a minute, you dont have science.
(Son exits, with baking soda and vinegar.)
MOTHER: so did I tell you about what I heard about Alice? Well, I wont say I was eavesdropping, but we do have a party line, and you know sometimes its hard to tell when the phone is ringing for us and when its ringing for the Hendersons
DAUGHTER: Dad do you know anything about algebra?
FATHER: Huh? What? Oh, that. Big mess for DeGaulle. Big mess.
FATHER: Algeria. Big mess for France. Colonialism; always trouble.
DAUGHTER: Not Algeria algebra!
SON: Dad, I need a pipe.
FATHER: Hmm? What? Here you go.
(Hands the son a smoking pipe.)
SON: Not that kind of pipe. Like a metal pipe.
FATHER: Oh. Go look in the garage.
FATHER: Ill tell you how they do it. Its because they can just order people to do something and it gets done. Thats how they do it.
DAUGHTER: Thats how who does what?
FATHER: The Russians. They start indoctrinating their kids to take orders as soon as theyre old enough to walk practically.
DAUGHTER: Whats that got to do with my algebra homework?
FATHER: Then they start teaching kids math and science when theyre in kindergarten. Kindergarten! No wonder theyre launching all these rockets. Kennedys got his hands full, I tell you. Not to mention that whole Castro business.
DAUGHTER: Will somebody just help me with my homework?
MOTHER: Honey the Wilsons want to know if wed like to come over for bridge on Sunday night.
FATHER: What? Bridge? Oh, sure, thats fine.
MOTHER (back on the phone): Wed love to come over.
SON: Dad, I need some matches. And do we have any rope or blasting caps or wire or
FATHER: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. Come here, son. What do you need rope for?
SON: For my fuse.
FATHER: Your fuse? Your fuse for what?
SON: Im building a rocket!
FATHER: Thats nice. When I was your age I used to build model airplanes.
SON: No, Im building a real rocket!
FATHER: Thats nice.
DAUGHTER: Why are you building a rocket?
SON: Because the president said to ask not what your country can do for you, but to ask what you can do for your country. And it looks like we need someone to build some rockets cause all ours are blowing up.
MOTHER: oh no, thats no bother at all honey, the Wilsons TV set has gone on the blink. They think a tube has gone bad or something. Would it be all right if they came over tonight to watch Jackie Gleason?
FATHER: Sure. Jackie Gleason is pretty funny.
MOTHER: Of course, Betty, wed love to have you come over.
(Daughter looks out the window.)
DAUGHTER: Keith, what is that thing youve built out in the yard?
SON: So can I have some matches?
------- THE END ---------
1791 Mount Pleasant Church Road
Fincastle, VA 24090
Days: 540 981 3113
Nights: 540 473 3313
Website:www.storyfoundry.com, search under "playwrights." THIS SCRIPT IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
Performed by Dwayne Yancey and The Yancey Family Players