I WAS ONLY JOKING

PHIL:
Wow this has been a great time you guys.

JANET:
Yes, thank you both for such a lovely evening. And what a great idea to have Chinese take-out.

SALLY:
Well I sure wouldnít want to try to top what we had at your house last month.

STAN:
Boy, Iíll say! Janet if that wasnít the best pot roast Iíve had in the past five years, I donít know what was.

SALLY:
Oh yes Janet youíve got to give me your recipe. Here, Sit down. (Points to patio chairs)

JANET:
Oh sure, itís something my mother showed me.

PHIL:
Yep, Iíve got to watch myself around her or Iíll end up looking like the side of a house. Janetís got all sorts of tricks to make a meal out of whatever happens to be in the kitchen.

STAN:
Sallyís got a few tricks of her own.

JANET:
Oh? Like what?

STAN:
Like being able to serve gravy in slices. (Stan and Sally both laugh)

SALLY:
Thatís a little joke we have after one Thanksgiving when I let the gravy sit on the stove a little too long.

JANET:
Ooh I hate when that happens. (Giggles)

STAN:
We call her "Chief Cook and Executioner. (Laughs at his own joke) Hey thatís ok Hon just think of it as keeping all the antacid companies in business.

JANET:
Stan youíre awful.

STAN:
Aw she knows Iím just joking. Donít ya sweets?

SALLY:
(Laughs with a little less enthusiasm)
Well youíd better watch it I might hide the Rolaids next time.

PHIL:
So Sally, how do you like your new car?

SALLY:
I love it. It has cruise control, andÖ

STAN:
And blindfolds for the passengers. It isnít as scary that way. Right Sal? But if you donít like the way she drives stay off the sidewalk.

JANET:
Oh now stop it. Iíve ridden with Sally before. Sheís an excellent driver.

PHIL:
I wish we could afford a new car. Iím not sure we can keep the old one running.

JANET:
Oh Honey you do a great job keeping it going. Itís a good thing Phil can work on it. Weíd be up to our ears in repair bills. Itís nice to be able to avoid new car payments.

SALLY:
Well in our case, itís probably cheaper to make the car payments. We call him Mr. Bad Wrench. Hey tell them about your famous oil change.

PHIL:
What happened?

STAN:
I forgot to put the oil cap back on.

SALLY:
There was oil all over the engine compartment; what a mess. Thatís okay dear. I knew I wasnít marrying Mr. Fixit. (To Janet) Well at least heís cute.

STAN:
Hey youíre lucky. If I was an ace mechanic, you wouldnít have a new car would you?

PHIL:
Hey Stan come on over some time,. I can show you some tips. Iím not a pro or anything, but my dad showed me some stuff about working on cars.

SALLY:
(Mock horror) No Phil! Donít do it! When Stan gets tools in his hands, things break. One year he was going to change fixtures on the downstairs sink, and we could have given canoe rides in our basement.

JANET:
Well at least you tried, right Stan?

SALLY:
Run for the hills kids! Daddyís getting his tools out! Just kidding dear.

STAN:
(To Phil) Well at least this way she doesnít interupt me during the football games to go fix something.

JANET:
Oh look how the kids are out there playing. Iím so glad that theyíre getting a chance to play together.

SALLY:
Yeah. Ours are usually so shy around other kids. Itís good to see them come out of their shells once in a while.

JANET:
Do you think Christina wants to join gymnastics with Susie?

SALLY:
(Laughs) You mean little Stumblina Tina? Thatís what Stan nicknamed her. No I donít think sheís ready for high skill activities at this stage. Besides she really doesnít have the self confidence.

PHIL:
How about Matthew? Do you think heíd want to try out for Jeremyís football team? Theyíre still signing kids up.

STAN:
Naw. We tried to get him interested in team sports but it just seems to stress him out. I canít figure it out. I used to beg my dad to let me try out for teams.

PHIL:
Hey look Mattís going out long. (Like a sportscaster) Jeremy drops back, seeís Matthew in the open. Pumps, eludes one tackler, then another Oh what a pass!

STAN:
(Reacts to dropped pass) Oohhh! Dropped in the endzone. (Laughs) Chalk up another one for Teflon Matt, with the non stick hands. Thatís okay Teflon. Youíll get one, one of these times. Hey Matt, Where are you going? Címon back, I was only joking you know that.
(Eyes follow his son across stage, then he turns to Phil and shrugs)

SALLY:
(To Janet) Your kids seem so positive and well adjusted. I just donít understand why Matthew and Tina have such a hard time feeling good about themselves.

(Lights fade to black)

Copyright © 1999 Robert J. Lee

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