A Mother’s Will
Opening scene – setting is the waiting room of a law office.
When the lights come up, DON and DALLAS are sitting, both reading magazines. DON is well dressed, which includes high-quality shoes; DALLAS is casually dressed, which includes a pair of sneakers
DON: Listen to this drivel; it says here that the secret to accumulating wealth is to avoid spending. Well, duh. that’s like saying the secret to living a long life is to avoid dying. They shouldn’t let accountants write business articles; although this one about compound interest is an eye opener. If you can save $100 a week, at 7% interest, it could grow to $300,000 in 25 years. Imagine – thee hundred grand. I could sure use that right now.
DALLAS: Twenty-five years ago, you were what, 18? If you had a hundred bucks back then, you’d invest it in beer, as long as Mum didn’t find out.
DON: Not just beer. I’d also invest in a new suit, and maybe a new pair of shoes.
DALLAS: I don’t think a hundred bucks would buy all that, even 25 years ago.
DON: Then I’d just get the shoes. Shoes are very important in today’s business world. There’s an article in here (magazine) that talks about all the things you can tell about a person by his footwear.
DON looks down at the sneakers DALLAS is wearing. DALLAS looks at them, too, then at DON.
DALLAS: What are you reading?
DON: Wall Street Journal.
DALLAS: Where did you get that? All I see here are Law magazines.
DON: I brought it with me.
DALLAS: Sure you did.
DON: I did.
DALLAS: You’re just saying that to justify taking it when you leave.
DON: It beats Judicial Monthly. (indicating DALLAS’s magazine) Anything good in that?
DALLAS: Well, I see an ad in here for a 20% discount on gavels.
DON: And to think I paid full price for mine.
DALLAS: There you go; if you saved 20% 25 years ago, by now you’d have … (he thinks)
DON: I’d probably have a sawbuck.
DALLAS: What’s a sawbuck?
DON: Ten bucks.
DALLAS: It is?
DON: I think so. It’s an old expression, probably before your time.
DALLAS: You’re only two years older than I am.
DON: A lot can happen in two years. I’ll ask Mum, if she ever comes out of there. Do you know what this is about?
DALLAS: Not really. I got a message to be here at 11 to discuss Mum’s will.
DON: It must be important to ask you to drive two hours to get here.I thought she wasn’t back until the weekend.
DALLAS: I guess she came home early.
DON: Man she’s unpredictable. Two months ago it was a retreat in Katmandu; last month hiking in Nepal. And now an African safari?
DON gets up and walks to the door to the office.
DALLAS: At least she’s keeping busy.
DON: She’s not the only busy one. If someone doesn’t come out soon, I’m leaving.
DALLAS: Sure you are.
DON: I mean it. I’ve got businesses to run. Besides, we don’t even know what’s in this for us.
DALLAS: Hubert was a wealthy man with no kids. I’m assuming all of his estate went to Mum two years ago.
DON: That doesn’t mean she’ll still have it all when she‘s gone. Or that we’re even in her will in the first place.
DALLAS: We’re all she’s got. Who else would be in it?
DON: Maybe some wacky charity somebody talked her into on one of her trips, like “sweaters for alpacas”. I don’t know what’s gotten into her lately. She’s gone all the time.
DALLAS: Would you please stop pacing?
DON stops, stares at Dallas, and sits. They both go back to their magazines. There is a brief pause.
DALLAS: So … how are things at home?
DON: Why? What did you hear?
DON: Then why did you ask?
DALLAS: I was just making conversation, if that’s alright. Is everything okay?
DON: Oh, ah, yeah, sure.
DALLAS: Brenda and the girls?
DON: They’re fine.
DALLAS: I got a thank you note from Meaghan last month. Brenda must have coached her on that.
DON: What makes you think I didn’t?
DALLAS: When it comes to sending thank-you cards, you are 0 (oh) for … well, pick a number.
DON: It could happen.
DALLAS: Yeah, and cows could do the cha cha. I know a gift card isn’t very imaginative, but I had no idea what a 16 year old girl would like.
DON: It’s usually one of two things: to be driven somewhere, or left alone. Sometimes both.
© John Spurway 2013