“An On-line Education”
Written by Joe Janes
139 of 365
(Lights up on Edna and Elsie having coffee in Elsie’s living room. Jared, in shabby t-shirt and shorts, works at a laptop on a table off to the side.)
EDNAThis coffee is delicious. Maxwell House?
ELSIEI switched to Folgers’s Crystals.
EDNAIt’s very good.
ELSIEIt’s the crystals.
EDNAHas Jared found a job, yet?
ELSIEOh, I didn’t tell you. Jared is going to college.
EDNAReally? That’s great. Where?
ELSIERight here. On the computer. You can do that these days.
EDNAOh, sure. I’ve seen the commercials.
ELSIEA degree and everything.
EDNAJared, your mother tells me you’re a college boy, now.
JAREDHunh? Oh, yeah. That’s right Aunt Edna.
EDNAWhat’s your major?
JAREDUh, business communications and management marketing.
EDNAOh, my. Very exciting.
ELSIEVery cutting edge, right Jared?
EDNAYou’ll have to invite me to your graduation.
ELSIEI don’t think they have one.
JAREDThey just e-mail it to you and you print it out.
EDNAThe miracle of technology. Are you in class, right now?
(She gets up and moves behind him)
JAREDYeah. I’m taking a quiz.
EDNAWhat’s it about?
JAREDI’m actually done. I’m waiting for the results, now.
EDNA (reading the screen)You are most like Jabba the Hut. Is that a good thing?
JAREDYeah. It’s like an “A.” I have a lot more quizzes to do, so, you know…
EDNAStudy away! It’s good to see you so motivated. I always told your mother you were a late bloomer. And look at you, blooming.
ELSIEHe’ll be a college graduate in no time.
EDNA (returning to her seat)I used to be so worried about him, Elsie. Such a loafer. Mooching off you all these years. I was wrong about you, Jared.
ELSIEThe tuition’s much cheaper than regular college. I don’t mind paying it at all. Worth the investment. It will make him very hirable. He’ll get a job by the time he’s 35 and then he’ll be able to take care of me for a change (she giggles.)
JARED (getting up and exiting)Hey, Mom. Can I have your credit card?
ELSIESure, Dear. It’s in my purse.
JARED (off)Got it.
EDNADidn’t you already pay for his classes?
ELSIESometimes there are extra class fees, just like the real thing. Right, Jared?
JARED (re-entering)Um, yeah. Headmistress Jasmine wants to have a one-on-one tutorial with me. Costs extra. So, I’m going to take the laptop into the bathroom. For some privacy.
ELSIEOkay, Dear. You be nice to her. Be respectful.
EDNADo what she says!
JAREDOh, I will. Got to make sure Mom gets her money’s worth.
(He exits with the laptop.)
ELSIEHe’s become more thoughtful since he’s been in school.
EDNAHe seems more mature.
ELSIEThey grow up so fast.
EDNAThis is really good coffee.
ELSIEIt’s the crystals.