02 September 2010

Afternoon: A One Act Play

Mama is at kitchen stove adding a myriad of ingredients to a steaming pot. After being in rest time for about an hour, Daughter appears from stage right.

Mama: How ya doing?
Daughter: Great. I finished Peter Pan.
Mama: Already?
Daughter: Look how big the print is.
Mama: Good point. Was it good?
Daughter: Great.
Mama: Was it like the movie?
Daughter: Not at all.
Mama: I've never read it.
Daughter: Are you serious?
Mama: As a heart attack. Will you run get Baby? - I hear him fussing.
Daughter: Sure.

Daughter exits stage right - returns with Baby a minute later. Baby sits down in highchair and indicates it's snack time. Mama produces grapes. (Which she does not cut up, because, miracles of miracles, she finally has a child who has proven himself capable of biting into the grape before he sucks it down his windpipe and needs the heimlich).

Daughter: Mama - what do snow leopards eat?
Mama: Meat of some sort, I would assume, but you are welcome to google it.

Daughter moves to computer, thrilled at computer use permission.

Daughter: What's the best thing to google? just 'snow leopards eat' ?
Mama: Just google snow leopards and one of the first entries will be the wikipedia article, go to that, scroll down and you should see a section on diet.

Daughter: Ah, yes, they are carnivores and hunters but also, what does o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-s-t-i-c spell?
Mama: sound it out.
Daughter: Please.
Mama: Opportunistic
Daughter: What does that mean?
Mama: What does it sound like?
Daughter: Opportunity
Mama: Right - it means they take advantages of opportunities in their food gathering - so, sometimes they go looking for food, but lots of times they just eat whatever stumbles into their path.

Daughter disappears, Mama gets baby down and tries to coax him into taking a few steps. He does. She does a ridiculous "I'm so proud of you" dance and then he starts crawling again. She gets over it, gets up and continues working at stove.

Daughter reappears.

Daughter: How much do live pigs from a farm cost?
Mama: I have no idea. Why?
Daughter: I am trying to plan the pets that the people in the club are going to own when we grow up.
Mama: What club?
Daughter: You know, Mama - Me, Eas, Lily, Junie, Bonnie I guess, Walker, Will, Caroline when she gets a little older, Bella, Bonner, Mia, you know Mama - all the kids at church. Gosh, that sure is a lot of kids.
Mama: Yes it is. Will you grab me the celery, por favor?
Daughter: Sure. Anyway, I'm trying to plan our pets for when we get older and I'm trying to figure out how much it's going to cost. This will be after I'm 18, so I'll be able to use my credit card, but I still want to know.
Mama: Well, you know using a credit card doesn't mean you don't have to pay for it, right?
Daughter: I know, but you don't have to pay for it right then.
Mama: Right, but you need to still have the money in the bank.
Daughter: Right. Anyway.
Mama: Back to the pets.

Daughter: So, I want either a snow leopard or a cheetah. But I'm probably going to need a pig either way.
Mama: Why?
Daughter: Well, I'm going to put the pig in the back of a truck and lure the cheetah/snowleopard depending into the back of the truck and then shut the truck up. So, first I need to figure out how I'm going to keep the pig in the truck and also not have him penned in so the leopard thinks it can get it.
Mama: Rope to a hook?
Daughter: Great idea - I'm sure it was going to be my next idea.
Mama: I'm sure too.
Daughter: So now I need to know how much the pig is going to cost.
Mama: Right - I'd estimate a hundred dollars, but I have no idea.
Daughter: Okay we'll go with a hundred.

Daughter grabs abacus from drawer and hops onto barstool sitting directly across from Mama at stove. She starts writing on a piece of paper.

Daughter: How do you spell hamburger?
Mama: How do you think?
Daughter: H-A-M-E-B-U-R-G-E-R
Mama: Close. No E. Well, there's an E at the end, but no E after M.
Daughter: Okay. And is chicken C-H-I-C-K-I-N?
Mama: E-N
Daughter: Okay, I'm estimating I need 16 Pigs, 30 Chickens and 70 Hamburgers to feed the cheetah.
Mama: Okay

(A small smile passes across Mama's face as she decides not to pursue the "where in hades did those estimates come from, daughter?" line of questioning)

Daughter: So, how much are chickens?
Mama: For ease, go with 5 dollars a piece.
Daughter: Okay, so If I do 30, five times, (using abacus)that's 15 tens, so that's 150 dollars
Mama: Good job. Right.
Daughter: Think I can get 70 hamburgers for 70 dollars?
Mama: Probably.
Daughter: And the pigs. That's 1600 dollars, right?
Mama: Right. So what is that all together?

Son enters from stage right, crying, clutching blanket, clearly having just awoken.

Mama: Son - what ya need? Some love? A granola bar?
Son: Yes, bofe.

Mama: Hey Daughter, it's awesome that you are figuring out the costs of feeding a cheetah, but you know you cannot have a cheetah as a pet. Such a fun thing to pretend - but you cannot keep animals like that as pets in America. It's illegal.
Daughter: Why not?
Mama: Well, a lot of reasons. But think about it like this. If our neighbor had a cheetah, what would we worry about it eating?
Daughter: The dog?
Mama: What else?
Daughter: I don't know.
Mama: Baby, probably.
Daughter, indignant: Well, MY cheetah would never eat Baby. My cheetah would be well fed with the pigs and wouldn't need to eat Baby.
Mama: Right, but you could see how people probably don't want their neighbors having animals that might eat babies, right?
Daughter: I guess.

Daughter, a few minutes later: Could I have one in Afghanistan?
Mama: Well, I don't know. Why?
Daughter: Well, that's where they mainly live - snow leopards - according to wikipedia, so could I have one there?
Mama: Well, maybe. I don't know. But Afghanistan is really far away. And it costs a lot to fly there.
Daughter: Like how much?
Mama: I don't know, but say 2000.

Daughter, adds 2000 to abacus.

Mama: But that will only get one person from here over there once. What about Christmas? Do you want to come home for Christmas?
Daughter: Yes.
Mama: And if you have a family at the time of this leopard ownership, that'll be 2000 for each person.
Daughter: So, maybe 6000 dollars.
Mama: Okay. But do you want to come home and see us for your birthday?
Daughter: Well, yes.

Daughter, a few minutes later: Mama do you know anything about vegetarian animals?
Mama: A little, I guess, why?
Daughter: Well, do you know of any animals that don't eat meat?
Mama: Cows, Sheep
Daughter: Any weird, fun animals?
Mama: I'll think on it.

Mama: You could stay in America and have the leopard if you owned a zoo.
Daughter: How much do zoos cost?
Mama: Millions.
Daughter: That stinks. I saw on television once there were these people building their own zoo. They said it was illegal though. But then they changed the name to a rescue home for animals and they could do it.
Mama: Really? What kind of animals did they have?
Daughter: All kinds - they would come when they were hurt and then leave again when they were better - dogs, cats, but even more fun animals - there was even a black panther.
Mama: Awesome!
Daughter: How much is a roll of chicken wire?
Mama: Daughter, don't you want a granola bar and we can all watch an episode of Mary Tyler Moore?

Son and Daughter begin cleaning up preparing for Mary Tyler Moore. Baby becomes very pleased with himself because he has taken a few more steps, and Mama stifles cuss words because she realizes that she has let her soup stick to the pot while in the midst of the biggest feasibility study in her daughter's life so far.

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