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?

DALLAS:       Nothing.

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