Humor Script posted April 21, 2016

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Flipping Channels

Scenes from a Marriage: Vol. 12

by Mark Valentine

SCENE: The Valentine living room. Mark is flipping through channels on the TV, looking for something to watch. His wife, Maggie and their 16 year old son, Dave are also in the room.
MARK: No Blackhawks, no Cubs - nothing to watch tonight. Hmmm – maybe an Andy Griffith rerun.
MAGGIE: I checked – it’s a Helen Crump episode.
MARK: I don’t know what Andy sees in her. Ellie was much better. So sincere and pure. And smart – you can’t get a pharmacist’s license without being smart.
MAGGIE: You know she’s a fictional character, right?
MARK: Of course. It’s not like I’m out of touch with reality or anything. I’m just sayin’, if she WERE real, then she definitely would have made a great wife...for Andy, that is.  Say, why don’t you ever wear that pharmacist’s smock I got you last Christmas?
MAGGIE: Is THAT why you got me that? I was wondering what in the world possessed you to buy me such a strange gift. You want me to wear that so you can fulfill some kind of warped Miss Ellie fantasy?
MARK: Why can’t you indulge me a bit?  I do the Al Pacino thing for you.
DAVE: For the love of God - stop! You guys know I’m sitting right here, right? I think I’ll go study in my room. Let me know when it’s safe to come back. (Dave exits)
MAGGIE: What Al Pacino thing?
MARK: You know – “Say hello to my little friend.”
MAGGIE: (laughing hysterically) You’re trying to sound like Pacino when you do that?
MARK: Yeah, what did you think?
MAGGIE: (still trying to catch her breath from laughing) I don’t know, I thought you were just trying to, you know, sound sexy or something.
MARK: I’ll have you know I worked really hard on that impression – just for you – I know how you like Al Pacino. (he sulks)
MAGGIE: (forces herself to stop laughing – tries to look serious) Wait – do it again.
MAGGIE: C’mon, please? I probably wasn’t listening before – you know on account of being excited and all. C’mon – one more time?
MARK: You’ll just laugh.
MAGGIE: No, I won’t. I promise. C’mom – for me?
MARK: OK. Wait. Let me get into character. OK here goes …  “Say hello to my little friend”.
MAGGIE: There it is. I see it now. Wow! That’s really good. Uncanny.
MARK: It IS kind of good, isn’t it? Wait, I do Clint Eastwood too!
MAGGIE: Why don’t you save that one for later? You don’t want to get me too worked up now.
MARK: Yeah, good point.
MAGGIE: Dave, you can come back in now – we’re done being gross.
DAVE: You sure it’s safe?
MARK: I’m not sure. Mom’s still a little excited.
MAGGIE: It’s very safe. Trust me.
(Dave re-enters room)
DAVE: We have to write a paper for history on something from the 1960s. Is it OK if I turn on the History Channel? There’s a documentary on called “Who Killed JFK?” I was thinking that might make a good topic.
MAGGIE: (to herself) Oh, Lord, Here we go.
MARK: That’s a great idea Dave, but there’s no need for the TV. I can tell you all you need to know about the JFK assassination. As it happens, I’ve done extensive research on this topic. None of those History Channel documentaries get it right.
MAGGIE: (to Mark) Honey, I think Dave is supposed to do the research on this himself.
DAVE: No, Mr. Gwynn said we should interview our parents about the sixties.
MARK: Hah – see! Not only is my help allowed, it’s encouraged.
DAVE: So, who DID kill JFK?
MARK: The Portuguese.
MAGGIE: Why does everything always come back to the Portuguese with you? What have you got against them?
MARK: THEY know what they did to my family.
DAVE: What did the Portuguese do to your family?
MARK: It’s too painful to talk about. Let’s just say that Brazilians today should be speaking Hungarian and leave it at that.
DAVE: So the Portuguese killed Kennedy? I thought I remember you once saying that Castro did it?
MARK: Him too – they were in cahoots.
DAVE: In what?
MARK: Cahoots
DAVE: Gesundheit
MARK: Nice! (Mark gives a congratulatory fist bump to Dave) See what he did there honey? Chip off the old block, I tell you.
DAVE: Seriously, what are cahoots?
MARK: It’s an idiom
DAVE: Mom always says that you’re an idiom.
MARK: I think you’re mishearing that. Anyway, to be in cahoots with someone is to be conspiring with them about something.
DAVE: So what was the conspiracy between Castro and the Portuguese?
MARK: It went down like this – you may want to take notes here. The Portuguese are the world’s leading producers of cork. The Cubans use a lot of cork. They’re big wine and rum producers. Also, Cubans back in the sixties, actually right up until earlier this year, were always sending messages in bottles to their relatives in Florida, you know, on account of there used to be a travel ban, and no mail service.
MAGGIE: Please stop.
MARK: Anyway, in 1961, the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba and coerced the other western countries to go along with them. The Portuguese cork syndicate lost access to their biggest customer. It was crippling their bottom line. Do you think Big Cork was gonna sit by and just let that happen?
DAVE: Big Cork?
MARK: Yeah, Big Cork. They’re like Big Oil, only, you know, with cork. Anyway, they had to get JFK out of the way, so they entered into cahoots with Castro. Castro then pulled Lee Harvey Oswald into the cahoots, and the rest, unbeknownst, apparently, to The History Channel, is history
DAVE: Let me see if I’ve got this. You can “enter into” and/or “be pulled into” cahoots.
MARK: That’s correct. Those are the two main ways of getting into cahoots.
MAGGIE: You know what Dave, I’m thinking a lot of kids will write essays on JFK. Why don’t you go with a different topic?
MARK: You want him to choose a topic that I don’t know anything about so that I won’t be able to help him, because you don’t think I know what I’m talking about. I see right through your little plan.
MAGGIE: No, it’s not that, I’m just concerned that Mr. Gwynn may not be able to handle that much truth. I mean, if the Warren Commission couldn’t handle it, a high school history teacher wouldn’t stand a chance.
MARK: But I’ve spent a lot of time researching this theory – it would be a shame to let all that knowledge go to waste. It would be like Stephen Hawking’s kid not writing about black holes.
MAGGIE: It might be a little different than that.
MARK: It would be almost the same. I’m just saying that my extensive expertise in this area should be put to use.
MAGGIE: And I’m sure it will be. In due time. For now why don’t you teach Dave about baseball in the 1960’s? You know a lot about that. What do you think about that as a topic, Dave?
DAVE: I suppose. Dad, what can you tell me about baseball in the 60’s?
MARK: I can tell you a lot, if it’s OK with your mom, that is. Does that meet with your approval Maggie? You’re not worried I’ll say something embarrassing?
MAGGIE: Yes, I promise I won’t interfere.
MARK: OK then. Well Dave, you know of course that one of the big stars for the White Sox in the sixties was Minnie Minoso. I actually met him once.
DAVE: Cool.
MARK: Well anyway Dave, Orestes, “Minnie” Minoso was from Cuba, and he brought with him the Cuban practice of corking bats with Portuguese cork.
MAGGIE: Oh Lord, here we go.
MARK: (to Maggie) That’s right, it all comes back to the Portuguese. And you said it was OK. You, my friend have been hoist by your own petard.
DAVE: Hoist by what?
MARK: Her own petard.
DAVE: Is that another idiom?
MARK: Yes  – don’t they teach you anything in that school? Cahoots, petard – these are words you should know.
Mary Meg, their 18 year old daughter, enters.
MARY MEG: What’s going on?
DAVE: Mom was just hoist by her own cahoots.
MARK: Petard.
DAVE: Whatever.
MARY MEG: Sorry I asked. Anyway “Criminal Minds” is on – can I watch it?
MARK: What’s that?
MARY MEG: It’s a TV show that came out after 1975 so you’re probably not familiar with it.
MARK: I don’t know, I wasn’t through flipping channels.
MAGGIE: Yeah you can watch it – Dad and I have other stuff to do.
MARK: Like what?
MAGGIE: I was thinking maybe Miss Ellie would like to say hello to your little friend.
MARK: Ohhh. We’re gonna go watch TV upstairs kids.
MARY MEG: Whatcha gonna watch?
MARK: I don’t know  - probably just watch Netflix and chill
MARY MEG AND DAVE: (in unison)  Eeeeewww!
MARK: Oh, now, THAT idiom you know.



Those of you without access to the younger generation may want to google "Netflix and chill"
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