|Humor Script posted October 5, 2016|
How Can I Keep from Singing?
Scenes from a Marriage: Vol. 15
Valentine kitchen. Mark is cooking dinner and singing along with an iTunes playlist
MARK: (singing along with the “Les Miserables” soundtrack) One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calgary; These men who seem to know my crime, will
MAGGIE (interrupting): It’s Calvary.
MARK (turning down volume): I’m sorry, what did you say?
MAGGIE: The lyric is “this never ending road to Calvary”. You said “Calgary”.
MARK: No, I’m pretty sure it’s Calgary.
MAGGIE: Why would Jean Valjean be going to Calgary?
MARK: Duh? To get away from Javert.
MAGGIE: In Canada?
MARK: Sure – Canada was a French colony at the time.
MAGGIE: Yeah, but I don’t think the French settlers had made it that far west.
MARK: Which is precisely why Javert would never find him there. Why would he want to go to Calvary?
MAGGIE: It’s a metaphor. Think about it.
MARK pauses to think a moment, then tries the revised lyrics on for size (singing quietly to himself): This never ending road to Calvary - Yeah I guess that makes sense. Oh, man! Now I have to start all over.
(Mark hits the ‘Back” button on his iPhone and the introductory music starts again. Maggie pushes pause.)
MAGGIE: You know, you don’t always have to sing when you cook.
MARK: Sure I do (hits the play button) One day more… (hits pause) Wait a minute – are you trying to tell me that you don’t like my singing?
MAGGIE: No, of course not. Hey, speaking of Canada, did you stay up to watch the game last night?
MARK: Yeah, pretty exciting. Encarnacion hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th to give the Blue Jays the win. Are you trying to change the subject?
MAGGIE: Not at all, I just wasn't sure who won. Anyway, sorry about the outcome - I know how you hate Canada.
MARK: No, I love Canada. It’s my third favorite country.
MAGGIE: What’s the one you hate?
MARK: Portugal, but we’re reconciling.
MAGGIE: How do you reconcile with a country?
MARK: Just like I do with you. I wrote them a poem and sent them some flowers. I think you’re trying to change the subject. Do you think I’m a bad singer?
MAGGIE: No, it’s just that Broadway tunes might not be in your range.
MARK: What do you suggest?
MAGGIE: I don’t know. Something...you know…quieter. You sent flowers to Portugal?
MARK: You must think I have no attention span. Let’s stay on topic – what exactly about my singing do you find offensive?
MAGGIE: Nothing. I didn’t realize it was such a sensitive subject. Forget I ever brought it up.
MARK: Did you ever consider the possibility that maybe YOU’RE not comfortable with YOUR singing voice, and therefore, when I sing, it makes you feel inadequate?
MAGGIE: That’s it! Wow. You read me like a book. It was a classic case of projection. And you, brilliantly cut right through my defenses to arrive at the core issue. What keen insight you have. You must have been a great therapist. What’s your second favorite country?
MAGGIE: Your second favorite country? You said Canada was third. I assume that the US is number one.
MARK: Damn skippy!
MAGGIE: So, I was just curious as to who’s number two.
MARK: You’re trying to change the subject again.
MAGGIE: No, I’m genuinely curious. It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed your rankings.
MARK: I post them on the bulletin board every month.
MAGGIIE: I forgot to check this month. So, who’s number two?
MARK (eyes Maggie suspiciously): Tuvalu.
MARK: It’s a small island nation in the Pacific. About 10 square miles total. It’s a democracy – average high temperature is 87 and average low is 81 – that’s true in winter and in summer.
MAGGIE: How do you know this?
MARK: I’ve been doing some research. Tuvalu’s population is under 10,000. No crowds, no traffic jams. Robert Louis Stevenson once visited there. Plus, their major industry is fishing. Think how healthy we’d be if we lived there.
MAGGIE: You’re thinking of moving there?
MARK: Well, we’ll have to move somewhere if Trump wins – why not Tuvalu?
MAGGIE: I don’t know – it sounds a little too warm for me.
MARK: (sotto voce): Greenland is too warm for you.
MAGGIE: What was that?
MARK: Nothing. Say, speaking of temperature, how’s that menopause thing going? We almost done yet?
MAGGIE: You have a terrible voice and you can’t sing.
MARK: I guess that answers my question.
(A few minutes of silence ensue before Maggie re-engages Mark in conversation)
MAGGIE: Hey, how about we move to Calgary if Trump wins?
MARK: I don’t know. I haven’t researched Calgary.
MAGGIE: You’re not the only one in this house with a penchant for trivia.
MARK: What do you know about Calgary?
MAGGIE: You mean, besides the fact that it’s not mentioned in Les Mis?
MARK: Yes, besides that.
MAGGIE: I know that as the third largest municipality in Canada, it offers all the advantages of a metropolis with only about a third of Chicago’s population.
MARK (who had been stirring spaghetti sauce, puts down the spoon and turns his full attention to Maggie): Impressive. Tell me more.
MAGGIE: They have a growing tech sector which has helped offset the loss of jobs in the oil industry and has kept Calgary’s economy vibrant and competitive.
MARK: Wow – I’ve never seen this side of you before -you sound just like a female Alex Trebek. Go on.
MAGGIE: A female Alex Trebek. Is that a good thing?
MARK: Absolutely! Carry on.
MAGGIE: OK, well they only had 24 murders in all of 2013 – that’s an average weekend in Chicago. And, while the temperature can dip below zero in the winter, the dry chinook winds can raise the temperature by as much as 50 degrees in a matter of hours, thus breaking up the monotony.
MARK: Keep going! I’ll take ‘Calgary Factoids’ for $800, Alex.
MAGGIE: They have an annual folk music festival – you know how you love folk music. Then there’s the world-famous Calgary Stampede which draws more than one million visitors annually. Calgary averages 332 days of sun a year and has relatively low humidity.
MARK: Do you have any idea how sexy you are right now? I think we should postpone dinner and, you know…
MAGGIE: You mean, right here, on the linoleum?
MARK: I just mopped it this morning, so it’s clean…
(Just then, their son David walks in the back door)
MAGGIE: Oh, hey there, Dave. Didn’t expect you back so soon.
MARK: You sure you don’t need to go back out somewhere?
DAVE: No, I’m good. What’s for dinner?
MARK: Spaghetti. It’ll be a while yet, so if you have more errands to run, or other things to do that take about twenty minutes...
MAGGIE: Forty minutes.
MARK: Split the difference – 30 minutes. If you needed to go somewhere for about thirty minutes, you wouldn’t miss dinner.
DAVE: You guys are acting weird again. I think I’ll stay here if that’s OK.
MARK (Winks to Maggie): Yeah that’s fine. In fact we were just talking about you.
DAVE: About what?
MARK: About the night you were conceived.
DAVE: Please tell me that conversation is over.
MAGGIE (to Mark): It was right in front of the fireplace - you remember that?
MARK: That’s right, we had that white carpet there.
MAGGIE: And we had a fire going, and a bottle of wine…
DAVE: For the love of God, stop talking!
MARK: Oh yeah, that was one night of sweet love-making.
DAVE: I’m outta here. (He exits via the back door)
MARK: Works every time.
MAGGIE: Sing to me.
MARK: One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calgary; These men who seem to know my crime, will surely come a second time…
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