Mabel’s Bed-Sample

ACT I

The backdrop is North River, Conception Bay, NL and a charming house that is being renovated. There are signs that an addition is being built on. A large, freshly-painted sign proclaiming MABEL’S BED, leans against the back steps. The main set is a large, modern kitchen/dining area with at least one doorway leading to other rooms. There is a short path leading from the kitchen door down to the small wharf.

SCENE I

Lights up on the wharf where JENNY CAHILL is singing (a capella) and hauling in the fish she just caught.

JENNY
Go where the wind blows, only the wind knows
Rivers and fishermen go down, go down,
to the sea; go down, go down, to the sea.

She unhooks the wriggling fish and gives it some good advice.

JENNY
Listen here you stupid fish. You must decide very quickly what you want to do with your life and do not, I repeat, do not, let love or marriage or children or any other tasty bait get in your way. And never, ever stop struggling until you’ve reached your objectives because if you do, you’ll end up like me.

She gives the fish a hard knock on the wharf.

JENNY
And you. Dead!

She throws the fish in the fishing basket. Blackout.

Lights up on the kitchen/dining room revealing boxes piled against the walls and there is a general impression of disarray. Several loaves of homemade bread are cooling on the counter.

BERT CAHILL enters with his arms full of groceries. The phone rings and BERT throws down the groceries and picks up the receiver.

BERT
Hello. Who? Mabel who? Wrong number!

BERT exits to get more groceries. MABEL CAHILL enters with another bag of groceries just as the phone rings again.

MABEL
Hello? Yes, it is, but …ahhhh we’re renovating and…umm, what’s the name again? Gary Jamieson? THE Gary Jamieson? Really? That’s very exciting. No, it’s no problem. The renovations will all be completed by next month. Right you are. We’ll see you then. Oh, Mr. Jamieson do you have any food allergies? Garlic? I never put garlic in pancakes, ha ha. Excellent. We look forward to seeing you. Goodbye. Oh my God. My first client. And it’s Gary Jamieson!

MABEL looks around her kitchen and starts tidying like a maniac. Finishing the Bed & Breakfast has suddenly become a major priority but she will keep Gary Jamieson a secret for now. The B & B is not supposed to open until next summer but there is no way she is going to turn down Newfoundland’s biggest movie star. Besides he won’t be here for another month and that will be plenty of time to get the new room finished. BERT enters with the last of the groceries and dumps them on the floor.

MABEL
Bert, you have to finish painting that sign today.

BERT
It looks better the way it is. Lends a bit of character to the scenery.

MABEL
I don’t want character. I want accuracy and I’m tired of being ribbed about it.

BERT
You’re nowhere near opening a bed and breakfast. You’re putting the sign before the horse. Strangers will be knocking for nothing.

MABEL
Oh they’ll be knocking for something. Why don’t you just surround the damn thing with blinking neon and turn my bed and breakfast into a house of ill repute?

BERT
There’s no need to get so excited Mabel.

MABEL
And fix that door handle!

BERT
Make up your mind. Sign or door handle?

MABEL
Both!

BERT
I have to finish mowing the lawn. I’ve got a book to write.You’re the one who hired that fool handyman, Charlie Cripps. He’s drunk most of the time and now I got to pick up the slack.

MABEL
He came highly recommended.

BERT
By whom? His brother? The other drunk? And have you forgotten that tomorrow I have to go into town to pick up Heather and Tamara? That will take the best part of the day.

JENNY enters, takes a lemon out of the fridge and rubs it over her hands to rid them of the lingering smell of fish.

BERT
Speaking of which, Jenny, why don’t you pick them up?

MABEL
She’s working Bert!

BERT
Their flight doesn’t get in till 6:00 o’clock. You finish at five. Plenty of time.

JENNY
I already told you. I’d love to pick them up but I got a gig at the Fishing Admiral tomorrow night.

BERT
Everybody’s got a gig. You got a singing gig, your mother has a hotel gig. I got a writing gig. And I’m the only one with the gig on hold. If you want this anniversary party to happen in two weeks you all better stop gigging.

JENNY
I guess you also forgot I’m taking next week off. I will be at your service all hours of the day, doing whatever needs to me done.

BERT
Good. Excellent. And Mabel, if you’re serious about this friggin’cockamamie bed and breakfast lunacy, you need to hire another, preferably sober, handyman, who can stay on the wagon he’s building.

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